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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL: THE GREEN OF SPRING HAS RETURNED TO ISRAEL
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, January 31, 2009.


The Eastern Galilee: Despite very low rainfall, the green of spring has returned to Israel
 

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

Yehoshua Halevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT:

After years of photographing people, I have no doubt that the best portraits emerge from the sessions in which I am able to forge a strong relationship with my subjects. The same holds true for landscape photography. The more familiar I become with the land of Israel, the better able I am to capture the qualities of her beauty with my camera. Does she look her best when she first wakes up in the morning or when the late afternoon sun settles over her mountains? Which camera angles are most flattering to a spring meadow or a rocky coast?

I whizzed past this shot at 100 km/hour on the road connecting Rosh Pina and the Golan Heights and drove another two kilometers before deciding to go back and shoot. The scene caught my attention initially because of the stark contrast between the bright green field and the dark patterns formed by the differently-shaped trees. Most unusual, and therefore most interesting, was the topography and how the crest of the hill juts out between two valleys and floats like a promontory in the middle of a vast plateau. At least that's how I made it appear in the final image by lopping off half the photo and cropping near the top of the front side of the hill. Shooting mid-morning, the background was very hazy, but I was able to boost the clarity by increasing the contrast. Often, a small tweak in lighting or an imaginative crop — like a slight tilt of the head or lowering of the chin — is all it takes to elevate the average to the exceptional.

Contact Yehoshua Halevi by email at smile@goldenlightimages.com and visit his website:
http://www.goldenlightimages.com. Reproductions of his work as cards, calenders and posters may be purchased at
http://www.cafepress.com/halevi18

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60 MINUTES, LET THE TIME RUN OUT!
Posted by Batya Medad, January 31, 2009.

CBS's veteran news show, 60 Minutes, just had a program about Israel. They called it "Time Running Out For A Two-State Solution?"[1] Thomas Friedman also wrote an op-ed with the same theme.[2]

One thing I've learned is that whenever someone tries to sell you something that must be decided on, signed for "immediately, or..." it's something bad. And the sic "Two-State Solution" is worse than bad. It'll make the Arab Hamas terrorist missile attacks from Gush

Katif look like Heaven.

Please look at these maps.


Distances To Cities on the Mediterranian From Gaza, Samaria and Judea (AKA: The West Bank).[3]

 


Distances to Cities on the Mediterranean from Gaza, Samaria and Judea

 


Hezbollah's Arsenal

 


Hezbollah's Artillery Ranges

Please look again.

On 60 Minutes, Tsippi Livni reiterated that she was going to remove Jews like me from their homes. Here's the transcript:

"It's not going to be easy. But this is the only solution," she replied.

"But you know that there are settlers who say, 'We will fight. We will not leave. We will fight,'" Simon asked.

"So this is the responsibility of the government and police to stop them. As simple as that. Israel is a state of law and order," Livni said.

The "only solution?" And what about "law and order?" Contrary to the Arab lies Bob Simon reported on his show, the Arabs build thousands of buildings all over Judea and Samaria without the need of permits and inspections. It's rare for the Israeli authorities to destroy unsafe, unapproved or Arab terrorist homes in Israeli cities, and when they do it takes months of complicated decision-making. The Arab mansions I photographed a couple of years ago are dwarfed by the new ones.

Some of you may expect me to cry, rant and rave about how Tsippi's plan would affect me personally, but I don't see it as a personal problem. I don't see it as a local Shiloh problem, nor a Shomron (Samaria) problem nor a Judea-Samaria problem.

Please look again at the maps. It should be very clear that the establishment of an Arab terrorist state in Judea and Samaria would herald the destruction of the State of Israel, G-d forbid. That is the aim of the Arabs. Hamas, Fatah, Hizbullah etc all agree on it. They're all the same.

In May of 1967, Israel was a poor struggling country, suffering from Arab terrorism, when Egypt, Jordan and Syria began to threaten war. Egypt demanded that the United Nations remove its "peace-keeping forces," which had been in place to prevent war. The UN quickly fled. Egypt, Jordan and Syria bragged that they would destroy Israel and shove it "into the sea."

I remember all this. I wasn't a child at the time. And at the time, Israel only held parts of Jerusalem and none of Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley, the Golan Heights, nor Sinai and Gaza.

The present, the post-June, 1967, Six Days War violence against Israel is part of a long history of violence against Israel. It began long before Israel took possession of our Biblical, our historical Homeland. They never wanted us here and never will want us here. There is no possible compromise.

As I've said many times before, I'm a pragmatist. I'm not a dreamer. I look at the facts, at the map and at history.

60 Minutes is just a TV show. It didn't tell the truth. The Arabs who appeared on it didn't tell the truth, and Tsippi Livni didn't tell the truth either. The only one who spoke straight was Daniella Weiss.

Footnotes

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/23/60minutes/main4749723.shtml

[2] http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_11547788?nclick_check=1

[3] http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_rqongu6sVpo/SYSwDXyBPsI/
AAAAAAAACV4/mwMXOaJ_S2Y/s1600-h/map_Israel_distances.gif

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

This article is archived at
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2009/01/60-minutes-let-time-run-out.html

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HONEST OBAMA AND IRAN
Posted by Shaul and Aviva Ceder, January 31, 2009.
This was written by Caroline B. Glick and it appeared yesterdat in Jewish World Review
(http://www.jewishworldreview.com/). 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.
 

In his first week and a half in office, US President Barack Obama has proven that he is a man of his word. For instance, he was not bluffing during his campaign when he said that he would make reconstituting America's relations with the Islamic world one of his first priorities in office.

Obama's first phone call to a foreign leader was to PLO chieftain Mahmoud Abbas last Wednesday morning. And this past Tuesday, Obama gave his first television interview as president to al-Arabiya pan-Arabic television network.

In that interview Obama explained the rationale of his approach to the Muslim world. "We are looking at the region as a whole and communicating a message to the Arab world and the Muslim world, that we are ready to initiate a new partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest," the new president said.

Obama distanced his administration from its predecessor by asserting that rather than dictate how Muslims should behave, his administration plans, "to listen, set aside some of the preconceptions that have existed and have built up over the last several years. And I think if we do that, then there's a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs."

In short, Obama argues that the root of Islamic world's opposition to the US is its shattered confidence in America's intentions. By following a policy of contrition for Bush's "cowboy diplomacy," and acting with deference in its dealing with the Muslim world, then in his view, a new era of US-Islamic relations will ensue.

Obama's honesty was a hot subject during the presidential campaign. Many analysts claimed that he was a closet moderate who only made far leftist pronouncements about "spreading the wealth around," and meeting with Iran "without preconditions," to mollify his far left partisan base.

Others argued that Obama was a man of his word. From his voting records in the Illinois Senate and the US Senate, and in light of his long associations with domestic and foreign policy radicals, these commentators predicted that if elected, Obama's policies would be far to the left of center.

Judging by Obama's actions since entering office last week, it appears that the latter group of analysts was correct. Obama is not a panderer.

Between his economic "stimulus" package, which involves a massive intrusion by federal government on the free market; his decision to close the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay; his dispatch of former Senator George Mitchell to the Middle East to begin pushing for a Palestinian state two weeks before Israel's general elections; his announcement that he will begin withdrawing US forces from Iraq; his repeated signaling that the US will no longer treat the fight against Islamic terrorism as a war; and his attempts to engineer a diplomatic rapprochement with Iran, Obama has shown that his policy pronouncements on the campaign trail were serious. The policies he outlined are the policies with which he intends to govern.

On a strategic level the most significant campaign promise that Obama is wasting no time in keeping is his attempt to diplomatically engage with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran is the central sponsor of the global jihad. Hizbullah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are all Iranian proxies. And, as is becoming increasingly undeniable, al Qaida too enjoys a close relationship with the mullahs.

The 9/11 Commission's final report noted that several of the September 11 hijackers transited Iran en route to the US. And in recent weeks we learned that after spending the past six years in Iran where he played a major role in directing the insurgency in Iraq, Osama bin Laden's eldest son Sa'ad has moved to Pakistan.

Beyond its sponsorship of terrorism, due to its nuclear weapons program Iran is the largest emerging threat to global security. Together with its genocidal rhetoric against Israel, its calls for the destruction of the US, and its incitement for the overthrow of the governments of Egypt and Jordan, among others, Iran is the single largest source of instability in the region. Moreover, as US Defense Secretary Robert Gates made clear in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Iran is working actively in South and Central America to destabilize the Western Hemisphere.

Obama caused an uproar when during a Democratic primary debate last spring he said that he would meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions. In subsequent months, he sought to soften his declaration. It is now apparent that his statement was not a slip of the tongue. It was a pledge.

The Iranians for their part have reacted to the new president with a mixture of relief and contempt. On November 6, two days after the US election, Ahmadinejad sent a congratulatory letter to Obama. Ahmadinejad's letter was considered a triumph for Obama's conciliatory posture by the American and European media. But actually, it was no such thing. Ahmadinejad's letter was nothing more than a set of demands much like those he had set out in a letter to then-president George W. Bush in 2006.

In his missive to Obama, Ahmadinejad laid out Iranian preconditions for a diplomatic engagement with America. Among other things, Ahmadinejad demanded that the US send all its military forces back to America. As he put it, the US should, "keep its interventions within its own country's borders."

Ahmadinejad further hinted that the US should end its support for Israel and withdraw its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. In his words, "In the sensitive Middle East region... the expectation is that the unjust [US] actions of the past 60 years [since Israel was established] will give way to a policy encouraging the full rights of all nations, especially the oppressed nations of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan."

The Western media made much of the fact that some conservative press organs in Iran condemned Ahmadinejad for sending the letter. They claimed that this meant that Ahmadinejad himself was tempering his animosity towards the US in the wake of Obama's election. But in fact, most of the conservative media in Iran viewed the letter as an attack against Obama who they attacked with racial slurs.

Sobh-e Sadegh, published by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wrote in an editorial on November 10 that negotiations with Obama would only be worthwhile if, "coexistence with a nuclear Iran and acceptance of its regional role are part of the US negotiating position."

On November 11, Borna News Agency, which is aligned with Ahmadinejad called Obama "a house slave."

In general, Iran's government controlled media outlets reported that Ahmadinejad's letter was an ultimatum and that if Obama did not submit to his demands, the US would be destroyed.

This week Ahmadinejad made Iran's preconditions for negotiations even more explicit. In statements at a political rally on Tuesday, and in a television interview given by his advisor on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad said that Iran has two conditions for engaging Washington. First, the US must abandon its alliance with Israel. In his words, to have relations with Iran, the US must first "stop supporting the Zionists, outlaws and criminals."

The second condition was communicated Wednesday by Ahmadinejad's advisor Aliakbar Javanfekr. Echoing Sobh-e Sadegh's editorial, Javanfekr said Iran refuses to stop its nuclear activities.

Notably, also on Wednesday, the US-based International Institute for Strategic Studies released a report concluding that Iran will have a sufficient quantity of highly enriched uranium to make an atomic bomb in a matter of months.

To summarize, Iran's conditions for meeting with the Obama administration are that the US abandon Israel, (which as Ahmadinejad reiterated at his annual Holocaust denial conference on Tuesday must be annihilated), and that Obama take no action whatsoever against Iran's nuclear program.

For its part, the Obama administration is signaling that Iran's conditions haven't swayed it from its path towards a diplomatic engagement of the mullahs. In her first statement as US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said Tuesday, "We look forward to engaging in vigorous diplomacy that includes direct diplomacy with Iran."

And in his al Arabiya interview, Obama implied that the US may be willing to overlook Iran's support for terrorism when he referred to Iran's "past" support for terrorist organizations. Obama placed a past tense modifier on Iranian sponsorship of terrorism even through just last week a US naval ship intercepted an Iranian vessel smuggling arms to Hamas in Gaza on the Red Sea. Due to an absence of political authorization to seize the Iranian ship, the US Navy was compelled to permit it to sail on to Syria.

The most sympathetic interpretation of Obama's desire to move ahead with diplomatic engagement of Iran in spite of the mullocracy's preconditions is that he has simply failed to countenance the significance of Iran's demands. If this is the case, then it is apparent that Obama remains convinced that the US is indeed to blame for the supposed crisis of confidence that the Islamic world suffers from in its dealings with America. By this reasoning, it is for the US, not for Teheran to show its own sincerity, because the US, rather than Teheran is to blame for the dismal state of relations prevailing between the two countries.

If in fact Obama truly intends to move ahead with his plan to engage the mullahs, then he will effectively legitimize — if not adopt — Teheran's preconditions that the US end its alliance with Israel which Iran seeks to destroy, and accept a nuclear-armed Iran. And under these circumstances, Israel's next government — which all opinion polls conclude will be led by Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu — will have to adopt certain policies.

First, in keeping with his campaign rhetoric, Netanyahu will have to make preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons his most urgent priority upon entering office.

And second, to withstand US pressure to allow the Obama administration time to develop its ties with Teheran, (time which Iran will use to build its first nuclear bomb), Netanyahu will need to form as large and wide a governing coalition as possible. All issues that divide the Israeli electorate between Right and Left must be temporarily set aside.

In the age of Honest Obama, Israel is alone in recognizing the necessity of preventing Iran from acquiring the means to destroy the Jewish state. Consequently, Netanyahu's government will need to proceed with all deliberate speed to take whatever actions are necessary to prevent Israel's destruction.

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

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THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (ALA) SUPPORTS TERRORISTS
Posted by Safe Libraries Org, January 31, 2009.

The essay below is called "ALA Responsible for Every Society on Earth!," and was posted January 29, 2009 by Annoyed Librarian in Library Journal,
http://www.libraryjournal.com/blog/580000658/post/1450039945.html.

The essay makes a serious point: the American Library Association [ALA] supports terrorists and should lose its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status for political actions having nothing to do with American libraries

Vist our website: http://safelibraries.blogspot.com. A summary of this essay is archived at
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2009/02/ala-supports-terrorists.html

[Editor's Note: Those surprised to learn that left-radical marxists have major influence in a group that helps to determine what we — and our children — read should examine previous Think-Israel articles on the ALA by searching the Google box at the top of Home Page; in particular read Tolkan, "The American Library Association, the P.A.'s Pal" by clicking here.]

 

I'm sure glad I'm not on the ALA Council, if in fact I'm not on the ALA Council. (I just checked the roster and am pretty sure I didn't see "Annoyed Librarian" on it, so I think I'm safe.) It's not that there aren't many fine people on Council. I can't think of any at the moment, but there must be. It's that the Council is constantly subjected to the political harangues of people in the Regressive Librarians Guild (http://annoyedlibrarian.googlepages.com/rlg). The RLG librarians just love to harass people who don't agree with them. If you, for example, think that the American Library Association shouldn't take stands on political issues that have nothing to do with American libraries, the regressive librarians start attacking you as a "conservative" or "fascist" or whatever other nonsense pops into their heads. These people are so wacky they think anyone who isn't a Marxist is a fascist, and they really hate it when people point out how ridiculous they look, marching around in their drab grey clothes singing the Internationale.

For a while they quieted down. I'm not sure if I had anything to do with it, but there was a correlation between a year or so of my publicly mocking them and picking apart their pitiful arguments and the radical wing of the ALA Council retreating into the shadows for a while. But, fortunately for me, they're back.

If you read the ALA Inside Scoop blog (and it's so riveting I don't know how you can resist), you'll have seen this report on the last session of Council. Here's the relevant passage on the latest irrelevant resolution:

"During the International Relations Committee report delivered by chair Beverly Lynch, Councilor Al Kagan urged that we cannot achieve peace and stop the destruction of libraries and cultural institutions in Gaza without changing the policies of the U.S. government. A resolution on the connection between the recent Gaza conflict and libraries was introduced and the perpetual debate ensued: Is it the Association's role to insinuate itself into international affairs? Councilor Elaine Harger argued that peace is a library issue, just as civil rights was in the 1960s, and Executive Board member Larry Romans cited ALA policy related to the Association's social responsibilities.

With limited opposition, the resolution then passed, calling for 'the protection of libraries and archives in Gaza and Israel' and urging the U.S. government 'to support the United States Committee of the Blue Shield in upholding the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.' It also 'calls on the U.S. government to continue working for a permanent peace in the region.'"

I have to hand it to the regressive librarians. They're at least trying to make their irrelevant resolutions sound like they have something to do with libraries. Their previous arguments such as the one claiming that it was crucial for American libraries that Samuel Alito shouldn't be confirmed for the Supreme Court were just plain stupid. There's no other way to describe them. Councilors who voted for these things were either as willing to have the ALA look like a ridiculous mouthpiece for blowhards as the regressive librarians or they were so beaten down by the constant badgering of the regressives that they caved in just to shut them up. Either way, the ALA looks silly.

This time they are at least talking about libraries, just not American libraries. But then again, the regressives aren't interested in American libraries. They're interested in US policy and international politics — which I grant are much more interesting topics than American libraries. From the report, we can see the real interest: "changing the policies of the US government." That's what we need to do to "achieve peace." How is this relevant? Oh yeah, to prevent the destruction of all those libraries in Gaza. Are there any American libraries in Gaza? Somehow I don't think so, but then again no one really cares about that. What really matters is opposing Israel, and all this talk of libraries is just a red herring.

And look at the supposedly supporting argument. "Peace is a library issue, just as civil rights was in the 1960s." Huh? This is relevant how, exactly? Even if the civil rights argument was relevant, aren't we talking about civil rights in America? Of course we are. And what's the connection between American civil rights disputes forty years ago and peace in Gaza now? What am I missing? Obviously I'm missing nothing because there is no connection. It's just a foolish argumentative ploy so that if anyone voted against the irrelevant resolution about Gaza the regressives could talk about how they also oppose civil rights.Oooh, scary!

Don't forget to note the citation of ALA policy "related to the Association's social responsibilities," policy that was added years ago after heated harangues by the regressive librarians and used to justify the ALA Council passing resolutions on any irrelevant political topic that comes along. It's good to know that the ALA not only has "social responsibilities" for American society, but for every society in the world, except Cuba of course. The ALA is such an amazing, powerful, and all-knowing body that I just can't understand why the rest of the world ignores their resolutions. I'm just assuming everyone ignores them. Perhaps after this resolution, libraries in Gaza are safe, and the Palestinians will say, "Thank you, ALA Council! You've saved our libraries!"

Now before you get your radical panties in a twist, I'll state for the record that I don't think libraries in Gaza should be destroyed, if that's what you're thinking. You'd have to be pretty doltish to think anyone opposed to this resolution thinks that, but I don't put anything past the regressives. However, it's eminently clear this has absolutely nothing to do with American libraries or the ALA's alleged "social responsibilities" and everything to do with the regressive librarians getting the ALA Council to be a mouthpiece for their politics. If they tried to pass a resolution against Hamas firing rockets into Israel (which might destroy libraries, after all) or refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist (which also exacerbates conflict), I'd be shocked speechless, but would still be opposed. But we all know that won't happen.

Since the resolution passed "with limited opposition," once again the ALA Council is a regressive librarian tool. All hail the revolution.

Contact the Safe Libraries Org by email at plan2succeed@gmail.com

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POPULATION FIGURES: JEWS LIVING IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA
Posted by Avodah, January 31, 2009.
This was posted by JoeSettler on his website
http://joesettler.blogspot.com/2009/01/more-good-news-for-jews.html. It is entitled "More Good News For the Jews."
 

Last week a Peace Now report was released stating that their were 285,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria (and not including East Jerusalem which pushes the number closer to 500,000).

The report indicated a sharp increase in Jewish residents. While this Peace Now report would normally be considered good news, there is even better news.

Right afterward, the Ministry of the Interior released their numbers, and they are even better, with 297,745 Jews living in Judea and Samaria, and over 550,000 if you include East Jerusalem.

Amana (which assists residents trying to buy housing in Judea and Samaria) says the number has already surpassed 300,000.

During Olmert's terms (since 2006) we saw an increase/influx of some 45-50,000 Jews, and new construction was up 43.1% in just 3 years (in Little Israel new construction was down 6.9%). There hasn't been such a jump since 1967. (You might even be tempted to say that Olmert was good for Judea and Samaria).

Furthermore in 2007 (no data yet for 2008), 59,861 Arabs took a positive step to creating Peace in the Middle East, by permanently moving away to live in other countries. It is presumed that even larger numbers left the West Bank in 2008.

Since 2005, 25,000 Arabs permanently left Gaza (3 times the amount of Settlers expelled in 2005), but since closing the passageway none have been able to escape to better living conditions.

Certainly this is a positive indicator that Benny Elon's "Right Road to Peace" is on the right track, and if we want real peace in the Middle East, all the money being wasted right now (the Wall, UNRWA, etc.) should be given to the Palestinians to relocate instead of perpetuating them as refugees.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The Olmert-Livni Government hasn't yet permanently settled the 10,000 Jews they kicked out of their homes in Gaza in August 2005. But they continue to want to move Jews out of Samaria and Judea and some of Jerusalem. We hope that the new government will sweep this idea off the table and into the garbage.]

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com and visit his website:
http://am-yisrael-blog.blogspot.com/

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JEWS: TO THE MUSLIM GAS CHAMBER
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, January 31, 2009.

This was written by Phyllis Chesler and it appeared on her blog on Pajamas Media website
http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2009/01/30/jews-to-the-muslim-gas-chamber/

 

Today, we have grown used to seeing Palestinian and Hamas supporters goose-step, Nazi-style, shoot out their arms as they deliver the Hitlerian "Sieg Heil" salute. They also chant and scream: "Jews to the ovens," "Hitler did not kill enough of you," "Jews to the gas chambers."

This is raw, rank, Jew-hatred or anti-Semitism; that much is clear. But we are also faced with a major paradox. These same Palestinian and Hamas supporters routinely hold signs that accuse Israel of being a "Nazi" state. To them, Gaza is "Auschwitz," and the Israelis have "occupied" it with "genocidal" intentions.

Of course this is not factually true. According to my colleague, Dr. Barry Rubin: "In 1939, there were seven million Jews in continental Europe. At the end of the Holocaust, only one million Jews survived. There are currently 1.2 million Palestinians in Gaza. At the end of the 2009 war, 1,199,000 Palestinians are still there. The percentage of Jewish civilians killed by Germans and their allies was 86 percent. The percentage of Gazan Palestinians killed by Israelis is 0.1 percent. The number of Jewish civilians deliberately killed by Nazis and their allies is 6,000,000. The number of Palestinian civilians deliberately killed by Israelis=0." (Please see below for his additional comparisons).

But the truth no longer matters. People, both Westerners, Arabs, and Muslims, (this includes the media), have all piled onto such metaphoric overkill. It is as if thoughtful and moderate voices can no longer be "heard," only shouting, shocking, attacks seem to "register." And, once someone says something, no matter how outlandish, it is deemed to be true — even if it obliterates both reason and reality.

The true truth is that Hamas and Hezbollah, backed by Iran, are engaged in a serious attempt to exterminate the Jews and to wage jihad against both Jews and other infidels. The Muslims/Islamists have projected their own obvious and evil design onto their intended victims whom they portray as Christian Crusaders or Elders of Zion. This would be laughable, or only of psychiatric interest, if it were not so omnipresent and dangerous due to its widespread acceptance.

In a sense, those Europeans and North Americans who support such a false Nazification of Jews, are merely continuing the Holocaust-era determination to genocidally exterminate Jews. This time, they hope that by doing so, the Islamist hordes will spare them, allow them to live as dhimmis, as inferior and subordinate citizens, in an Islamified Europe.

I asked my friend, Dr. Nancy H. Kobrin, the psycho-analyst and Arabist, what she thinks is going on. She said: "If we (the Jews) exist, the Muslims might have to acknowledge their own Jewish roots. They can't do that. Therefore, they must destroy us."

"So, they're trying to destroy the evidence, the living witnesses?" I replied.

"Well, they are pandering to people who like Nazi insignia and the Nazi ideology. But they are also trying to drive the Jews crazy. They must know how seeing Nazi insignia makes us feel. This is very primitive, non-verbal behavior."

Talk about primitive behavior! Just as certain primitive tribes have been described as literally eating their enemies hearts or other organs in order to incorporate their magical power — similarly, psychologically, the Nazi insignia-loving Jew-haters want to inherit or subsume the Jewish status as "victim" by destroying the Jews and presenting themselves, (the persecuted Muslims), as the noble "victims" of vicious Nazi Jews.

Dr. Kobrin calls this "psychological splitting. They want to have it both ways." What she means is that the Palestinian propagandists and Muslim jihadists want to both identify with the Nazis as triumphant, death-cult destroyers — and also with the (past) and preferred sacred status accorded to dead Jewish victims. The Palestinians and other Islamists offer up their own babies, women, elderly, and civilian populations as human shields, human sacrifices, in order to obtain this grisly goal. They also engage in faked staged photos to approximate such Jewish-style deaths as well.

Elsewhere, in a Frontpage Symposium about the resurfacing of Nazi cartoons, Dr. Kobrin reminds us that "paranoids" are obsessed with "purity" and therefore with "cleansing." This is accomplished by having a "scapegoat" upon whom one projects all the "dirty" components of oneself or of one's group-self.

The use of Nazi images are meant to terrify and intimidate all who view them — especially those who have, in the past, been jailed, tortured, exiled, and wounded by those who display just such symbols. These images are forms of visual hate speech. They are meant to re-traumatize real victims and their second- and third-generation descendants and to intimidate bystanders.

But those Muslims/Islamists who display Nazi imagery also feel that they are the wounded ones. They seek public redress for their real and imagined wounds. What wounds could that be? For starters: Painful, shameful, anal penetration by trusted relatives in childhood; beatings in childhood; painful, public male circumcision between the ages of 5-12; cruel parents, cruel teachers, cruel religious leaders, equally cruel peers — and a culture which takes cruelty as a given; poor nutrition, illiteracy, and/or no productive future — mainly due to Muslim and Palestinian leaders who demand reverence and obedience even as they hoard the wealth meant to alleviate their people's suffering; street theatre/political protest/mob merging as the only approved form of social life or group "orgasmic" activity.

According to Lloyd DeMause, there is a "paranoid" underside to anti-Semitism. It is caused by "child abuse, paedophilia and incest." He writes:

"For instance, I would like to refer to a careful survey in the journal, Child Abuse & Neglect that showed that when questioned 652 Palestinian undergraduates concluded that 19% were sexually assaulted by a family member, 36% by a relative and 46% by a stranger. Since this adds up to more than 100%, obviously many were abused by more than one person, but the overall conclusion I detailed in my Journal of Psychohistory article entitled "If I Blow Myself Up and Become a Martyr, I'll Finally Be Loved" (Spring 2006) was that most Palestinians are sexually abused, that men routinely have young boys they rape and that this is not mainly because of poverty because the college students reporting such horrible memories have upper-class families."

This explains the Arab street. The Westerners who support them — ah, that is a more painful and a more curious matter. Are Westerners trying to both hide and atone for their racism by cleverly masquerading as staunch anti-colonialists and by "slumming," dressing as impoverished Arabs, marching right alongside the presumably "wretched of the earth," all fitted out in high jihadic gear? Or, is this a symbol of a Western wish to (psychologically) die, to be done with the demands of freedom, to be cleansed of all our filth — our greed and lust, our many choices?

There is something else. The jihadic use of European Nazi images is essentially a total "fakeout." The jihadists are projecting all the sins of Islam towards Jews onto Christian Europe. In their use of Holocaust era imagery, the jihadists are trying to pretend that there is no long and genocidal history of Muslims towards Jews, Christians, and other infidels; they presume to deny that there is a 1400 year history of Islamic Jew hatred and genocide towards infidels — one that is still very much alive today; one that is supported by Muslim religious sources.

Despite individual exceptions and moments of respite, historically, Jews were routinely and relentlessly subjected to pogroms in the Muslim world and were ultimately driven out of the Muslim Middle East. The Jewish refugee story is the larger and more hidden story of 1948-1956. The Christian Crusades took place because crusading, imperialist, and genocidal Arab Muslims were slaughtering Christians throughout the Middle East and central Asia in what was once known as Byzantium; Zoroastrians in Persia too. Christians are still persecuted by Muslims today; many have been forced to flee Muslim lands. Read the important works of Bat Ye'or and of Dr. Andrew Bostom on this subject. Matthias Kunzel focuses more closely on the Nazi-era relationship between Arabs and Nazis in his book, Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11.

The use of Nazi images in pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli demonstrations cannot be countered with sweet reason, fact, or truth. The hoarse demonstrators who scream hate speech slogans, who seem hypnotically in thrall to hate, are not capable of rational conversations in which any truth other than their own prevails. If one presents a jihadi True Believer with objective facts which challenge their version of reality, they will either physically and verbally threaten to attack you, actually attack you, or they will walk away.

Bullies, including terrorists, must be defeated militarily. They will comprehend absolutely no other language.

Israel, Hamas and the Nazis: A More Accurate Historical Comparison
Notes by Dr. Barry Rubin

Number of Jews in Continental Europe, 1939: 7 million
Number of Palestinians in Gaza 2009: 1.2 million
Number of Jews still alive in Continental Europe at end of the Holocaust: 1 million
Number of Palestinians left alive in Gaza after the 2009 war: 1,199,000
Percentage of Jews Killed by Germans and their allies: 86 percent
Percentage of Gazan Palestinians Killed by Israelis: 0.1 percent
Number of Jewish Civilians deliberately killed by Nazis and their Allies: 6,000,000
Number of Palestinian Civilians deliberately killed by Israel: 0

Number of Jews armed during most of the Holocaust: 0
Number of Hamas soldiers in Gaza: About 20,000
Number of rockets fired at Israel by Hamas: 4000
Number of rockets fired by Jews at Germany: 0
Number of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians by Hamas: Thousands

Number of terrorist attacks on Jewish civilians by the Nazis: thousands
Number of armed attacks of any kind by Jews on German civilians: 0
Nazi "humanitarian supplies" for Jews: starvation diet coupled with slave labor
Israeli humanitarian supplies for Gaza: regular shipments even while Hamas is attacking Israel, no one actually in Gaza even claims to be hungry; treatment of Palestinians in Israeli hospitals

Nazi treatment of Jews: According to a Gestapo official in Warsaw: "It is permissible to take from a Jew everything....Whoever wishes may kill a Jew, and our law will not punish him for it." (Jan Karski report, 1942) Hamas treatment of Jews: It is permissible to take from a Jew everything. Whoever wishes may kill a Jew, and our law will not punish him for it.

Israeli treatment of Palestinians: Soldiers subject to strict discipline and code of behavior for whose violation soldiers are court-martialed and sent to prison.
Nazi soldiers hide among German civilians to incur civilian casualties?: No
Hamas soldiers hide among Palestinian civilians to incur civilian casualties?: Yes
Ideology of Nazis Toward Jews: All Jews in the World Should be Exterminated
Ideology of Israel toward Palestinians: Have your own state and just leave us alone
Ideology of Hamas toward Israelis and Jews: Starting with all Jews in Israel should be exterminated, Hamas is increasingly extending that to all Jews in the world.

Nazi goal: World Conquest
Israel's goal: A small democratic state
Hamas and Islamist goal: World conquest
A common Western attitude toward Nazi Germany prior to 1939: The Germans have suffered a lot and have legitimate grievances. If we appease them they will leave us alone. They are only after the Jews and what do we care about them?
A common Western attitude toward Hamas in 2009: The Palestinians have suffered a lot and have legitimate grievances. If we appease them they will leave us alone. Hamas, Iran, and other radical Islamists are only after the Jews and what do we care about them?
Syrian, Iranian, and Hamas view of the Holocaust: It didn't happen.
Syrian, Iranian, and Hamas view of the Gaza war: It was another Holocaust.

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NOTORIETY IN ISLAMIST CHANNEL
Posted by Naomi Ragen, January 31, 2009.

Our friend Shoaib Choudhury, the courageous Bangladeshi journalist, continues to expose the Bangladeshi neo-Nazi Islamists.

Naomi

 

From Shoaib
Dhaka, January 30, 2009

In a television talk show titled 'Ekanto Shonglap' [Exclusive Dialogue] on Diganta Television [owned by Mir Qashim Ali of Islami Bank] at 11:30 pm [Bangladesh time], former secretary Mohammad Asaf Ud Dowlah commenting on Palestine issue said, "My soul bleed when I recall the recent atrocities on the people of Gaza and if I was a young man, I would have gone to Gaza with weapon to exterminate Israel.."

He said, "Now I believe what Adolph Hitler did during Holocaust was absolutely correct. He should have done this more extensively to eliminate the total Jewish population from the world."

Abdul Hye Sikder, the anchor of the program and a former leader of the Cultural front of Bangladesh Nationalist Party [now working with state owned Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha] echoed the opinion of Asaf Ud Dowlah.

Diganta Television is continuing spreading religious hatred through its programs and most of the programs in the channel are anti United States, anti-West and anti Israel.

SALAH UDDIN SHOAIB CHOUDHURY
Journalist, Columnist, Author & Peace Activist
Editor & Publisher, Weekly Blitz www.weeklyblitz.net
PEN USA Freedom to Write Award 2005; AJC Moral Courage Award 2006; Key to the Englewood City, USA [Highest Honor] 2007; Monaco Media Award, 2007,

Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist and journalist who lives in Jerusalem. She can be contacted at www.naomiragen.com, where you can subscribe to her newsletter.

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FEARS OF GROWING FIFTH COLUMN: MORE ARABS BOYCOTTING ELECTION
Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 31, 2009.

I think the time has come....a bit late but that's how it goes in these here parts, to have a new government start sending these elements to their bros in Gaza and the West Bank where settlements are not wanted. Why should we tolerate Arab settlements in Israel?

This was written by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and it appeared today in Arutz-7
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/129693

 

(IsraelNN.com) The number of Arab party Members of Knesset will decline from nine to four following the February 10 elections, according to a new poll carried out by Geocartographia for Globes. The survey reflects a growing trend among Israeli Arabs to boycott the Israeli democratic process and ally with radical anti-Israel groups, most notably the Islamic Movement headed by Sheikh Raad Salah.

Known Arab terrorist organizations also are getting openly involved in Israel. Police on Friday shut down the Maidan Theatre in Haifa, where the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group was planning a rally for Saturday.

The event was promoted as a pre-election rally, but police said information indicated that the purpose was to back the terrorist group that was headed by the late George Habash. In response, Issam Mashul, a former MK of the predominantly Arab Hadash party that includes Jewish MK Doc Khenin, called the police move "political terror."

Virtually all pre-election polls show that Hadash will win four seats in the next Knesset, one more than it now holds.

However, the Ra'am-Ta'al and Balad parties, along with a new party that wants to shift focus to issues other than the Arab-Jewish struggle, will not hold any seats at all in the next legislature, according to the Globes poll. Other surveys the past three days project 8-10 seats for Arab MKs.

The High Court recently overturned a Knesset Elections Committee decision that Balad and Ra'am-Ta'al cannot run because of their positions that question the validity of a Jewish nation. The Geocartographia poll indicates that the committee decision touched off a negative reaction in the Arab community, according to the polling group's manager Prof. Avi Degani.

The projected lack of Israel Arabs' participation in the upcoming election is a new low. "If a third of the Arab electorate fails to go the polls, that will be a danger signal," Globes noted.

Forty percent of Arab respondents have not decided how they will vote or whether they will join a growing number who have said they will boycott the ballot box.

If they vote for non-Arab parties, Kadima and Meretz may benefit. The latest polls project between 28 and 31 seats for the Likud, 20-23 for Kadima and 13-17 for Labor. All of the surveys agree that Shas will maintain its current level of 11 seats or will lose only one, while Israel Is Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu) is projected with 16 MKs and Meretz 5-7 seats.

The surveys also show that the Jewish Home faction, which is largely a renewal of the National Religious Party, will win 3-4 seats. The Ichud Leumi (National Union) is projected to earn 3-5 seats. United Torah Judaism (UTJ) would be represented with 5-7 MKs if elections were held now.

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

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WORLD DEMONSTRATIONS
Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 31, 2009.

Yvette is still up almost two am, because she got upset seeing an interview show from the States showing the poor palestinians crying and blaming, and doing their prepared thing.

I strongly believe it's all a planned conspiracy, and it has audiences the world over, who need someone to blame for something. Screw the Jew is nothing NEW !!!

If the world's media wasn't so biased and anti Semitic, the palies wouldn't have a chance. They try everything and sad to say have gained ground due primarily to our weak kneed politicians and system.

We've allowed ourselves to get involved in a war of attrition, which has no chance for victory.That appears to be the case with the rest of the western world, verses ISLAM. Think about what's been happening, all over, for decades, and the reaction has been similar to that of pre WW 2. Talk of peace while a maniacal religion spreads it's hatred.

Sad, Bad, Mad mad world.....!!

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

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FROM ISRAEL: WAKE UP!
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 31, 2009.

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)

I cited Dr. Bernard Lewis, the venerable dean of Islamic studies, this past week. I cite him again now.

This is in the context of a 30 minute version of a longer film on radical Islam and its danger to the West, including the US. The film, called "The Third Jihad," is legitimate. The people interviewed are, in many instances, familiar to me (and deeply respected by me). They are serious, well-informed and grounded people with a clear vision about the dangers facing us.

Dr. Lewis says to America: "Wake Up!"

Melanie Phillips, the marvelous British commentator, whom I also cited this past week, says that "The battleground is a battleground of ideas and ideology. The West hasn't entered this battleground, it hasn't even understood that there IS a battleground."

Would that America would start to get it.

I urge everyone receiving this to take the time to see it, and then to share it broadly.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-864522917532871834

~~~~~~~~~~

Sociologist Gunnar Heinsohn, of the Raphael Lemkin Institute at the University of Bremen (Germany), has written an article of significance, called "Ending the West's proxy war against Israel."

In Gaza, he says, there is a "youth bulge," the result of a high birth rate of six children per woman. Where there is a "youth bulge," he explains, there is typically violence, as young men are expendable.

What is more, as most of the people in Gaza are registered with UNRWA — the UN Relief and Works Agency — as "refugees," they receive assistance, which is provided via donations from the US and Europe.

"The West pays for food, schools, medicine and housing, while Muslim nations help out with the military hardware. Unrestrained by such necessities as having to earn a living, the young have plenty of time on their hands for digging tunnels, smuggling, assembling missiles and firing 4,500 of them at Israel since 2006.

"The current situation can only get worse...Gazan teenagers have no future other than war. One rocket master killed is immediately replaced by three young men for whom a martyr's death is no less honorable than victory....Some 230,000 Gazan males. aged 15 to 29, who are available for the battlefield now, will be succeeded by 360,000 boys under 15 who could be taking up arms in the coming 15 years."

"...the West continues to make the population explosion in Gaza worse every year. By generously supporting UNRWA's budget, the West assists a rate of population increase that is 10 times higher than in their own countries."

~~~~~~~~~~

The solution, of course, is reduction in birth rates. UNRWA — unlike UNHCR, which is responsible for all refugees other than Palestinians — indefinitely maintains descendants of refugees on its rolls, now counting the fourth generation.

"If we seriously want to avoid another generation of war in Gaza, we must have the courage to tell the Gazans that they will have to start looking after their children themselves, without UNRWA's help. This would force Palestinians to focus on building an economy instead of freeing them up to wage war."

Then, says Heinsohn, by 2025, many boys in Gaza would be only sons. "They would be able to look forward to a more secure future in a less violent society."

To achieve a state of calm even sooner than 2025, he suggests that the West might "consider offering immigration to those young Palestinians only born because of the West's well-meant but cruelly misguided aid." If in the next 15 years North America and Europe were to absorb 200,000 young Palestinians, "that would be a negligible move for the big democracies but a quantum leap for peace in the Near East."
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123171179743471961.html?mod= rss_opinion_main

~~~~~~~~~~

More food for thought...

Jonathan Schanzer — a counterterrorism analyst and deputy executive director of the Jewish Policy Center in Washington — has written a new book, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine.

An excerpt in the Jerusalem Post magazine on Friday analyses the deep divisions and differences that exist between the Palestinians of Gaza and those of Judea and Samaria: There are two distinct economies and two distinct cultures (in part the result of historical connections to Egypt and Jordan, respectively), resulting in animosity and a growing rift.

Khalil Shiqaqi, a Palestinian sociologist, describes, "a psychological barrier between the inhabitants of the two territories and...mutual suspicion [that cannot be] disregarded or ignored."

Exacerbating the situation is the fact that the family or clan (hamula) often commands the greatest allegiance: "Nationalism is a recent concept in the Middle East; it was introduced by Western powers in the World War I era." And there is an absence of intermarriages between clans in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza.

With the Hamas takeover there have been political breaches, as well, that may prove to be irreconcilable.

~~~~~~~~~~

The notion of Palestinian nationalism, then, is mostly honored in the breach by Palestinians. And the vision of one Palestinian state for the "Palestinian people" is no more than the figment of certain fevered imaginations.

In the face of all this, one is forced to wonder, and not for the first time, what the policy heads in Washington are thinking when they make a "two-state solution" the center piece of their foreign policy.

Hillel Frisch, in reviewing this book, says:

"Reading Hamas vs. Fatah, one realizes that if peace is only achieved between two sides, each possessing the ability of give and take, each with a high probability of keeping its commitments, then the Palestinians have long ago ceased to be partners in a peace process...

"The experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon all demonstrate the folly of expecting that a coherent state able to keep its commitments will naturally evolve after 'peace' is achieved. Peacemaking has to be preceded by effective state-building..."

~~~~~~~~~~

I have already reported on the leak — by Yediot Ahronot, actually — of Olmert's comments to envoy George Mitchell, with regard to what his negotiating team has been prepared to give to the Palestinians in negotiations: part of Jerusalem, uprooting of 60,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria, etc.

Well, now Tzipi Livni — recognizing that this goes beyond anything that had ever been offered to the Palestinians before, and was not necessarily something that would meet with the acceptance of the Israeli people — has declared that she had nothing to do with this.

What she said was that "[this] does not represent me or what I am advancing." Her claim is that Olmert was speaking only of discussion between himself and Abbas, and that she, as head of negotiations, had no part in this.

This report, however, has further diminished her already very poor chances of winning the election.

~~~~~~~~~~

I have just completed a major report on Adalah, a pro-Palestinian Israeli NGO that has Israel's destruction as a Jewish state as its goal. As it receives funding from the New Israel Fund, this is of particular concern.
See it here: http://israelbehindthenews.com/pdf/InsideAdalah.pdf

~~~~~~~~~~

At the Jerusalem Conference last week, I was interviewed about this report. You can see the interview here:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com:80/TV/?act=one&id=3127

Scroll down to the last row of small pictures and look for the one second from the right, with a title "Arabs use non-profits to try to destroy Israel," and run that.

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

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WHY OPPOSING IDEOLOGIES WORK — A SPECULATION
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, January 31, 2009.

Below is my response to a message I received today.

The message read:

"socialists and Muslims do not go together hand in hand. they are on opposite side of the pole

for our survival they are both dangerous.............

they do not have the same goals or methods of achieving them especially since they are mortal enemies perfect example are 2 major socialist (communist....to me they are more or less the same just degrees)

their experience in Russia with the Chechens and other Muslims in their realm

the same goes for China which has battle royal going on with a part of CHina which is dominated by Muslims both countries are not tolerant of Muslims

as far as our misguided socialist Jews are concerned they have always been liberal in their thinking sympathizing erroneously with what they believe are the oppressed to which they once more less belonged

perfect example: they were major supporters of the civil rights movement in the US (will not go into details am sure you know about them) and then the blacks turned on them viciously.

our liberal Jews poorly and totally misguided"

Note nothing is any longer heard about Chechnya's Moslem struggle for liberation. Then again not much is heard any longer about the series of States whose geography line runs from Iran to Russia! They are all outside America's news loops!

Russia assassinates and murders Moslems about which no one reads certainly in the Western press.

Russia assassinates and murders its journalists who dare seek to expose inhumane treatment and take no prisoners policies regarding Moslems at the hand of mother Russia. Russia does not answer to anyone! While apologists for Islam abound in the West!

Moslems who have sought autonomy for Chechnya have not mounted terrorist attacks in Russia for a long time now have they? One must surely wonder why?

Nevertheless Islamic terrorists have no compunction over attacking anywhere else on the globe. Nor infiltration of target States' infrastructure indeed full speed ahead! Any and all effort to confront Islamic terrorist sponsoring, funding, funneling on American soil are immediately objected to as in the case of CAIR using all legal means to stop interference of jihad.

How odd that Islamic countries do not object, nor protest nor issue FATWA — death warrants — against Soviet agents whose system in effect to control Islamic terrorism remains unequalled in Western countries?

Why are Islamic States not so chutzpadic when it comes to Russia? And why does no one in the European press or in America even speculate or wonder why?

Such good relationships between Russia and Islamic terror sponsored/practicing States surely has its reasons in spite of opposing ideologies of Communism and that of Islam — the latter a religious cult that otherwise respects no boundaries or borders! Its intent: erasure.

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THE TWO STATE SOLUTION HAS FAILED
Posted by Hands Fiasco, January 30, 2009.

This is Jinsa Report #851, published January 28, 2009.

 

At its theoretical best, it was never two states for two people.

It could have been four states — Jordan, the West Bank, Israel, and Gaza — for two-and-a-half-and-a-half people: Israelis in Israel; Palestinian arabs in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jordan; and the two halves being Arabs in Israel and Bedouins in Jordan. At its worst, it is two states — Jordan and Israel — with enclaves of irredentist Palestinians supported by Iran, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba eating at their sides. And always, there are hundreds of thousands of original refugees and their descendants festering in third countries — Lebanon, Syria and Egypt — unable to go where they want, and unwilling to go where they can.

At their theoretical best, the Palestinians could have taken up President Bush's conditions for American political support of their independence:

Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership, so that a Palestinian state can be born. I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty. If the Palestinian people actively pursue these goals, America and the world will actively support their efforts.

That was very theoretical — lyrical, but theoretical. The old, terrorist-dominated Palestinian leadership wasn't interested in ceding authority to young technocrats, or interested in tolerance of either Jews or independent-minded Palestinians. It wasn't interested in liberty or practicing anything. Each gift or concession Fatah and Hamas received from Israel or the international community was turned to the furtherance of violence and the veneration of death and destruction.

Cry for Palestinian children, but remember the photos on the Hamas website (now removed) of beautiful children in uniforms, pretending to be suicide bombers, marching with guns to the approval of adult men. Search the Internet for the New York Times story of August 3, 2000 by John Burns, "Palestinian Summer Camp Offers the Games of War," alerting us that even before the so-called "second intifada" that Fatah was teaching its children that death was their destiny."

Cry for the Palestinian economy, but remember the greenhouses — purchased on September 3, 2005 from settlers in Gush Katif for $14 million private Western dollars; employing 4,000 Palestinians; exporting $75 million worth of fruits, vegetables and flowers annually and destroyed on September 13, 2005.

Remember, too the Palestinian civil war that bifurcated leadership roughly, but not completely, along territorial lines. All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't bring Fatah leadership back to Gaza, even if we wanted to do it. And why should we?

Our new President has told us to put away childish things. One would be the idea that Palestinian nationalism ever saw its expression in two rump states straddling a strong, viable, democratic State of Israel partnered with a modern, forward-looking king in Jordan. Once we put that behind us, Israel will be more secure and the Palestinians may finally begin to look for a way out of the swamp. If they do, we should help them; if they don't...

The JINSA Reports are published by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (http://www.jinsa.org).
To subscribe, email jinsareports-www@lists.jinsa.org
This is JINSA Report #851
(http://www.jinsa.org/node/915)

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HYPOCRICY!
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, January 30, 2009.

This is by David A. Harris, Executive Director, American Jewish Committee. It was published January 26, 2009.

 

Dear Ms. Trine Lilleng,

You were an unknown Norwegian diplomat till this month. No longer.

As first secretary in the Norwegian Embassy in Saudi Arabia, you recently sent out an email on your office account in which you declared: "The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany."

Accompanying your text were photos, with an emphasis on children, seeking to juxtapose the Holocaust with the recent Israeli military operation in Gaza.

Clearly, you are miscast in your role as a diplomat, all the more so of a nation that has sought to play a mediating role in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In fact, you're desperately in need of some education.

Let's begin with your current posting. You've been in Riyadh since 2007.

If you're so anguished by human rights violations, perhaps you could have begun by devoting some of your attention — and email blasts — to what surrounds you. Or were your eyes diplomatically shut?

Have you failed to notice the many legal executions, including beheadings, going on in your assigned country?

Have you ignored the often abysmal treatment of foreign workers, many from Asia, who also happen to be disproportionately counted among the victims of Saudi capital punishment?

Have you neglected the gender apartheid that surrounds you? Did you ever look out of your car to notice that Saudi women are proscribed from driving, and that's hardly the worst of it?

Have you checked the skyline of Riyadh or Jeddah lately to count the number of church spires or other non-Muslim houses of worship?

Have you bothered to inquire about the fate of homosexuals?

Okay, you were AWOL on those issues. Maybe you just didn't want to offend your hosts by speaking the truth, or maybe you're suffering from that diplomatic disease known as "localitis" or "clientitis."

But surely a woman like you, with such capacity for empathy for those in far-away places, and especially for children in danger, couldn't remain silent about other human rights transgressions, could she?

After all, could an individual so deeply moved by the plight of Palestinians in Gaza remain silent about what a New York Times columnist earlier this month described as "hell on earth" — Zimbabwe?

Could a person so anguished by the fate of Palestinian children stay mum about a country where a girl's life expectancy at birth is 34, much less than half that of her Norwegian counterpart, and where the health care sector has vaporized, all thanks to the one-man rule of Robert Mugabe?

Could such a dedicated humanist possibly avert her eyes from the deadliest conflict since the Second World War, which has killed over five million people, many of them children, in the Congo in the past decade — not to mention the documented and widespread use of torture, rape, and arbitrary detention?

An observer of such acute sensitivity could hardly hold her tongue while Afghan girls attempting to go to school have been doused with acid by those who wish to deny young women access to education, reminiscent of the five years of Taliban rule, could she?

In neighboring Pakistan, where you served in the Norwegian embassy for three years, the beleaguered human rights community must have been fortunate to have such an impassioned voice for all that's wrong in this failing state. Or was that voice, perhaps, on mute?

The children of Sderot, the Israeli town near the Gaza border, have been in desperate need of just such a spokesperson as you for the past eight years.

After all, their town has been in the crosshairs of literally thousands of missiles and mortars fired from Gaza. Those Israeli children live with all the signs of trauma, knowing that, with only 15 seconds warning, they could be hit at any time in their schools, their parks, or their beds. Yet, during my visit there last week, for some reason, those children and their parents had yet to hear you speak out for them. What a pity!

And the children of Iran could use your help as well. According to human rights groups, Iran has no compunction about executing children or those who were children when their crimes were allegedly committed.

Oh, and by the way, your compassionate help would also undoubtedly be welcomed by others under the gun in Iran, including women's rights activists, union organizers, student protesters, independent journalists, reformist politicians, and religious minorities. And let's not forget, once again, the children of Israel, who, according to the Iranian president, don't have a right to live.

But wait!

A Google search about you reveals nothing, not a single word, regarding your views on Zimbabwe, Congo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sderot, or Iran. Or, for that matter, Burma, Darfur, Syria. Shall I go on?

Only Israel, faced with those who wish to destroy it, manages to prompt your impassioned correspondence and righteous indignation. Why?

No less, your stunning lack of education extends beyond the contemporary world to 20th century history, specifically the Holocaust.

Your invocation of the Holocaust to describe what's taken place in Gaza is, frankly, nothing short of obscene.

Your claim that the grandchildren of the survivors are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them goes beyond any norm of decency, much less honesty.

Approve or disapprove of the Israeli military operation, but there is no basis whatsoever for such a comparison.

When Israel entered Gaza in a war of self-defense in 1967, the population was 360,000. After Israel withdrew totally from Gaza in 2005, it was estimated at 1.4 million.

Would that the Jewish population under Nazi rule had quadrupled!

When Israel entered Gaza in 1967, life expectancy for women was 46. When it left Gaza, it was 73.

Shall we even bother to discuss life expectancy for Jews under Nazi occupation?

The Second World War in Europe lasted from September 1,1939 to May 8, 1945 — 68 months in all. That means an average monthly extermination rate of nearly 90,000 Jews.

Compare that to the total number of victims in Gaza over three weeks — roughly guess estimated at more or less 1,000 — and recall that the majority were armed fighters committed to Israel's destruction, who used civilians, including children, as human shields, mosques as arms depots, and hospitals as sanctuaries.

Believe me, Ms. Lilleng, if the "grandchildren of the Holocaust survivors" had wanted to do exactly what the Nazis did to their grandparents, they would have unleashed their full air, land, and sea power. They would have thrown the Israel Defense Forces' ethical guidelines to the wind, kicked out the UN and Red Cross personnel on the ground, stopped humanitarian transports of food, fuel, and medicine, prevented media reporting, and left absolutely nothing — and no one — standing.

Unless, of course, they needed slave labor, in which case they would have carted off the able-bodied to work in Auschwitz replicas until they dropped. Or material for ghoulish medical experimentation, in which case, in the spirit of Mengele, they would have kept Palestinian twins alive temporarily.

But Israel didn't do any of these things. It's a peace-seeking democracy dedicated to the rule of law — unlike so many of the countries whose horrific sins you blithely choose to overlook.

What are we to make of your selective moral outrage and rank hypocrisy?

You ought to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself why Israel, and only Israel, makes your blood boil and leads you to speak out, even at the risk of grossly distorting both reality and history.

The answer, Ms. Lilleng, should be painfully obvious.

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MUSLIMS IN THE LORDS
Posted by Boris Celser, January 30, 2009.

This was written by Thomas Landen and it appeared January 26, 2009 in the Brussels Journal
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/3765

Lord Nazir Ahmed

The House of Lords is a venerable British institution, but what does one get if one accepts Muslims in? This:

A member of the Lords intended to invite her colleagues to a private meeting in a conference room in the House of Lords to meet the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an elected member of the Dutch parliament, to watch his controversial movie Fitna and discuss the movie and Mr. Wilders' opinions with him.

Barely had the invitation been sent to all the members of the House when Lord Ahmed raised hell. He threatened to mobilize 10,000 Muslims to prevent Mr. Wilders from entering the House and threatened to take the colleague who was organizing the event to court. The result is that the event, which should have taken place next Thursday was cancelled.

Lord Ahmed immediately went to the Pakistani press to boast about his achievement, which he calls "a victory for the Muslim community."

A victory for the Muslim community, but a defeat for British democracy where topics to which Muslims object cannot even be debated. That, apparently, is what one gets when one accepts Muslims into the House of Lords.

Lord Ahmed is considered to be a "moderate" Muslim. The Pakistani born Nazir Ahmed became the United Kingdom's first Muslim life peer in 1998. He is a member of the Labour Party and was appointed to the Lords by Tony Blair. Lord Ahmed took his oath on the Koran. He led one of the first delegations on behalf of the British Government on the Muslim pilgrimage of the Hajj, to Saudi Arabia. In February 2005, Lord Ahmed hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for anti-Zionist author Israel Shamir. In 2007, he responded to the award of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie by stating that he was appalled, saying that Rushdie had "blood on his hands." Lord Ahmed was among the founders of The World Forum, an organization set up "to promote world peace in the aftermath of 9/11 with an effort to build bridges of understanding between The Muslim World and the West by reviving a tradition of Dialogue between people, cultures and civilizations based on tolerance."

What does "dialogue" mean to those who make discussion about controversial issues impossible? Thank you, Mr. Blair, for bringing "diversity" to the House of Lords.


UPDATE, February 3, 2009: by Melanie Phillips,
http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3317931/

"Wilders has been re-invited to speak and screen his film in the Lords later this month. Parliament now has a second chance to show that jihadi thuggery will not be allowed to prevail within the cradle of democracy. But if it is really to demonstrate this, it should also surely take action against Lord Ahmed, who abused his position as a peer of the realm to threaten mass intimidation of the House in which he sits. If it fails to do so, it will be another notch on the ratchet of Britain's slide into submission."

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

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OBAMA'S MESSAGE TO THE RADICAL MUSLIM WORLD'S LEADERS: HE'S RIGHT AND HE'S WRONG
Posted by Mrla, January 30, 2009.

This was written by Rachel Raskin-Zrihen and it appeared on the Political Mavens website:
http://politicalmavens.com/index.php/author/rachelraskinzrih/

 

President Obama's message to the radical Muslim world's leaders, he said, is that they will be judged by their people for what they build and not by what they destroy.

Well, it seems to me that on the one hand he's right about that, though not necessarily in the way he meant. And he's also completely wrong.

The Muslim world is judging its leaders by what they've built, all right. They're judging them on the terrorist network they've built — a vast network that spans the globe and operates almost with impunity. It's managed to terrify entire nations into giving in, a little at a time, to Islamic demands.

They're also being judged on the unrivaled propaganda machine they've built. It's an apparatus that uses every conceivable cynical means to its end — it's end being the destruction of Israel, the Jews, the Christians and the West in general.

This machine is succeeding beyond anything the West itself might have thought possible because, I think, the Islamo-fascists know us better than we know ourselves, and infinitely better than we know them.

They know, for instance, that the West can be made to commit hara-kiri at the mere suggestion that we are somehow infringing on someone's human rights. Since this is not a burden with which the Islamo-fascists themselves are saddled, I'm sure they find it amusing to watch us take to the streets demanding Israel's destruction for civilian deaths in Gaza which were, in fact, engineered by Hamas fighters firing from civilian centers in the hope of provoking a response for exactly that purpose.

The Islamo-fascists propaganda machine is also functioning to create the impression throughout the West that not bowing to its will is tantamount to denying their religious and human rights.

For a group for whom human rights is Jewish-created nonsense, they seem to me to spend a lot of time demanding it from the West while simultaneously denying it to anyone not Muslim. They seem also to deny it to Muslims who step out of their very strict prescribed line of permissible behavior and thought.

And the West's reaction is as interesting as it is really scary.

It's a phenomenon similar to that which allows the Muslim world and its Western supporters to demand a Jew-free "Palestine," and to deny equal rights to Jews and Christians in nearly all 40-plus of the world's predominantly Muslim nations, while the very idea of an Arab-free Israel is universally condemned as racist.

In fact, they have built a nearly universally accepted lie that Zionism — defined as the idea of a Jewish state in ancient Israel and Judea — is racist by nature. This, even though it is the world's only Jewish country, in which more than 1 million Arabs live. This despite its being surrounded by more than 20 Arab Muslim countries, some of which don't permit Jews even visit, let alone to live there. These countries, however, are not racist. Go figure.

What the Islamo-fascists have built is massive and it's working, and the Arab street is indeed judging its leaders by this and finding them empowering.

In that way, Obama is right.

On the other hand, he's wrong about their not judging their leaders on what they destroy. They judge them on that, too, and also, if their reaction to destruction is any indication, find that immensely satisfying, as well.

Who can forget the images of the Palestinians dancing and handing out candy after the attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001? Radical Islamic culture celebrates death and destruction. It's why they do so much of it. It's why they believe that to raise a child to die while murdering a Jew or an American is an express ticket to paradise. It's why the greatest thing to which one can aspire in that culture, is to destroy life — their own and their victims' — and such killers are glorified in image and song.

See, Obama is wrong. The leaders of the radical Muslim world are also judged by what they destroy. In fact, what they build is, mostly, all about what they can destroy.

It's a completely different world view, and unless more of us catch on to that, I'm afraid we'd better get used to it.

Contact Mrla at Mrla26@aol.com

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EUROPE'S ANTI-SEMITISM BACKFIRES
Posted by Steve Kramer, January 30, 2009.

Anti-Semitism is a double-edged sword. Obviously, it hurts Jews and can be murderous to them; less obviously, it may harm its perpetrators. For example, Hitler elevated the goal of ridding Europe of its Jews, to the point that valuable railroad cars were used to transport Jews to the ovens, instead of utilizing them to help the failing German war effort. In contemporary Europe, where anti-Semitism is quietly encouraged by some governments and acquiesced to by all, the surge in the Muslim population threatens the historic European mindset and culture. In the Middle East, the government-induced fixation with Israel and the Jews is preventing the more moderate regimes from defending themselves against a violent Iranian takeover, a la Lebanon and Gaza.

There was no anti-Semitism per se until the Christian age. Up until that time, Jews had enemies, but the antagonism against them was generic and typical of the conflicts between warring peoples. The New Testament built a fundamental and everlasting enmity against Jews, beginning with the crucifixion of Christ. The columnist and rabbi Smuley Boteach wrote, "Yes, original Jewish culpability begins with the greatest lie ever told, that the Jews were responsible for killing G-d incarnate ... ." In Matt: 27: 22-25, it is written: "What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered, "Crucify him!" "Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!" When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. ... All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!" Pilate, Boteach wrote, "was the cruelest proconsul ever sent by Rome to Judea and crucified tens of thousands of innocent Jews for the most minor infractions." The New Testament put the onus on the Jews for crucifixion of Jesus. Matthew, St. Paul, and St. Augustine added to the narrative against the Jews, while John, the author of the book of Revelations, even called Jews the children of Satan.

Things got even worse in the Middle Ages, with anti-Jewish edicts, blood libels, the Crusades, expulsions, the Inquisition, the Reformation, pogroms, and more. The worst of the abuses against Jews occurred among Christians in Europe, but Mohammed's enmity against the Jews, for failing to convert en masse to Islam, stoked similar sentiments among the Muslims, who classed the Jews (and Christians) as dhimmis, subservient to the Muslims and subject to onerous regulations, taxation, and pogroms.

Modern anti-Semitism dates to 1879, when Wilhelm Mahr, a German, coined the phrase "anti-Semitism" as a tool against Jews, whom he claimed were devouring German society. This new "ism" maintained that Jews couldn't save themselves from their evil ways even by assimilating into their country's culture. Mahr founded the League of Antisemites to fight the Jews to the death, or at the least, to be expelled from Germany. From Mahr to the rise of Hitler took less than fifty years.

In Europe, anti-Semitism has never lost its allure. Post-WWII Europe briefly favored recompensing the Jews for the Holocaust, to the extent that the United Nations "officially" established the right of Jews to a national state in Palestine. But the favorable attitude soon soured. Today, even the majority of Germans, whose parents and grandparents were responsible for the slaughter of six million Jews during WWII, feel no special empathy or obligation towards Israel, the Jewish nation. European governments tend to appease or ignore anti-Semitism, rather than condemn it, such as the recent anti-Israel riots that swept across Europe during Israel's retaliation against Hamas.

The Scandinavian countries, Spain, Belgium, Holland, and Greece are the most anti-Semitic European countries. Most of the others are not far behind. They have welcomed Muslim immigrants from Africa and Asia and allowed millions of illegal Muslim refugees to remain in their countries, with little effort to assimilate them to European culture and mores. In fact, there is a conscious plan to allow Muslim culture to permeate Europe without European values being transmitted to Islamic countries. I'm referring to the EAD (Euro-Arab Dialogue), which gives Muslim culture a privileged place in Europe.

At the same time, European leaders have allowed the cancer of reactionary anti-Semitism to flourish amidst their native populations. With the Muslim contingents in their countries burgeoning because of their high fertility rate, European governments face a two-headed menace: rising Islamic demands for Sharia law and special privileges, versus a bigoted, xenophobic segment of the population that hates both Jews and Muslims. In the next few decades, the liberal, intellectual ruling class of Europe may capitulate to the Muslims "democratically", without a fight — they show signs of that already. A clash between the Muslims and native European patriots may prevent a Muslim takeover, or follow it; in either case, an exodus of European Jews is probable. Europe, as we know it, is definitely in for some changes.

The damage from fomenting anti-Semitism is more overt in the Muslim countries. Take Egypt, the largest and most powerful Arab country, and Saudi Arabia, the wealthiest Arab country. They, like all Arab countries, have used anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism as their main tools to keep their masses distracted from the excesses of the ruling class. So long as Israel and the Jews could be pointed to as the cause of all the distress and disaffection afflicting the average citizen, the ruling class of each country was insulated from their collective anger. But now there is the pressing problem of Iran, whose ambition to rule the Muslim-Arabian world dates back to the 7th century CE.

Iran has deployed a proxy army (Hizbollah) in Lebanon and another (Hamas) in Gaza, plus it has made Bashar Assad's Syria into a puppet state. With these two terror forces and Syria's missile arsenal, Iran threatens to destroy Israel. But Egypt and Saudi Arabia are equally threatened by Iran's brand of militant Islam. Both countries need help from Israel (and America) to fend off Iran, which soon will attain its goal of possessing nuclear weapons. When Iran possesses even one atomic bomb, it will most likely bully its neighbors and enemies by threatening to use its new weapon. Or, Iran might supply a nuclear device to a terror ally in an attempt to deflect the disastrous consequences of using the weapon itself.

Nevertheless, the Egyptian and Saudi rulers can't overtly support Israel against Iran or its allies, because they have built their regimes on the foundation of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Nor can any of the other Sunni Arab countries threatened by Iran admit that Israel is a bulwark for them. Instead, they must continue to vilify Israel publicly even if they cheer Israel on against Iran and its proxies privately.

Anti-Semitism is a useful tool for governments to funnel the anger of their downtrodden or discontented masses away from their ruling classes. But this strategy doesn't come without a price. Europe is in danger of succumbing to a Muslim takeover within two generations, while its antipathy towards Israel blinds it to the danger of Iran's growing appetite for power and influence — which stretches beyond the Middle East towards Europe and Russia. The Arab states are even more directly threatened than Europe is by the prospect of a bullying nuclear-armed Iran, but they can't stuff the anti-Semitic genie back into the bottle to join with Israel in a united front. With these trends in mind, it seems that the cultivation of anti-Semitism is a double-edged sword.

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."

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EAR PLUG EYED
Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 30, 2009.

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at fred@gmail.com View this art graphic and others at
http://reifyreadying.blogspot.com/

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JIMMY CARTER'S MYOPIA
Posted by Michael D. Evans, January 30, 2009.

Former President Jimmy Carter has just released a new book, We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan that Will Work. Carter's solution is straightforward, Israel should embrace the Quartet.

The plan is backed by a group known simply as The Elders, an idea formulated by British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel to create a world council of elders to tackle issues such as peace in the Middle East. Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center are heavily involved with this endeavor. Carter is one of three individuals appointed as Elders to the Middle East. The delegation's objectives were met with skepticism by the Israelis, but according to Mr. Carter, were eagerly embraced by the "Palestinians, peace groups and human rights activists in the region." How could he ask the Jewish people to embrace a group known as The Elders? The controversial [Editor's note: it is not "controversial." It is a proven fraud.] Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is the biggest bestselling book in a bigoted world, and is charged with fueling anti-Semitism, from the Russian pogroms to the Holocaust. Carter's plan is to allow the Quartet to solve the Middle East problem. He calls for "peace-loving" organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas and states like Iran and Syria to be involved in the negotiating process in order to have peace in the Holy Land.

Carter refers to Jews again and again as "radicals," another word for terrorists. He called former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin a "radical" and then goes on to describe him as the "most notorious terrorist in the region." Of course, he said the British said that, not him. Carter describes Likud Party leaderBenjamin Netanyahu as a "key political associate and naysayer" who was strongly opposed to Israel relinquishing control over the Sinai.

It appears that Jimmy Carter is revising history. The Benjamin Netanyahu I know was attending college during the Camp David meetings. In fact, when I recommended him to Begin for a government job, the prime minister did not even know who Benjamin was. I have no idea how Carter was so aware of Benjamin Netanyahu's political ideology; he was selling furniture to help fund his schooling.

The former president writes that Begin agreed to divide Jerusalem. I found that to be astonishing ... especially since Mr. Begin had given me a copy of the letter he wrote to Carter on Sept. 17, 1978. In the letter he wrote, "Dear Mr. President. ... On the basis of this law, the government of Israel decreed in July 1967 that Jerusalem is one city indivisible, the capital of the State of Israel." According to Begin, Carter informed him that the U.S. government did not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Begin told me he responded, "Excuse me sir, but the State of Israel does not recognize your non-recognition."

The former president writes that Prime Minister Begin agreed to a freeze on building Jewish settlements. Begin told me he had not agreed to a total freeze; he only agreed not to build new settlements for three months, during the negotiations. Carter gives the impression that he and Begin were close friends by saying that Begin and Sadat visited him in Plains to reaffirm the personal commitments each had made to the other. I found that quite humorous; Mr. Begin told me he had refused to meet with Carter when the president traveled to Jerusalem. At that time, he was no longer prime minister but was outraged that Carter had misrepresented the events during their meetings.

Carter viewed PLO leader Yasser Arafat as a "little George Washington." He pens, "We pursued the concept of non-violent resistance of Hamas leaders and gave them documentation and video presentations on the successful experiences of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and others." Peace in the Holy Land must include Palestinian militant leader, Marwan Barghouti, the serial killer. Carter calls him the "most intriguing player in the Middle East." He has run for the presidency in the Palestinian National Authority.

Begin told me of a meeting with Carter during which he gave the president a list of cities in the United States with Bible names, i.e., Shiloh, Hebron and Bethel. He asked Carter, "Could you imagine the governor of Pennsylvania would proclaim that anyone could live in the city of Bethlehem, Pa., except Jews?" President Carter agreed that such a man, if he did such a thing, would be guilty of racism. Begin replied that he was governor of the state in which the original Bethlehem, and the original Jericho, and the original Shiloh were located. He asked me, "Did Carter expect me to say that everybody could live in those cities except Jews?" Could it be that Carter's ideals are formulated by the number of zeros before the decimal on the contributions to the Carter Center by oil-rich Gulf States? These same states do not now nor will they ever allow Jews to worship freely within their borders, no matter how much land Israel relinquishes.

Carter's final plea is for President Barack Obama to "shape a comprehensive peace effort between Israel and the Palestinians ... then use persuasion and enticements to reach these reasonable goals with the full backing of other members of the International Quartet [Russia, the UN, the EU, and the United States] and the Arab nations." It is likely he would call on The Elders for their expertise. The best thing Obama could do is completely ignore Carter and his plan.

Michael D. Evans is the author of "Jimmy Carter: The Liberal Left and World Chaos." A television special based on the book is currently being produced.

This article appeared as an Op-Ed piece January 28, 2009 in the Washington Times
http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/28/jimmy-carters-myopia/

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IRONY AND INJUSTICE; HOW ISRAEL IS LOSING TO HAMAS; WHY CLEMENCY FOR POLLARD; CAMERA DOESN'T LIE?
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 30, 2009.

IRONY OF WAR

Far leftists at Ben-Gurion U. denounced Israel in the neo-Nazi magazine, Counterpunch, for bombing a university in Gaza. Ironically, the magazine came out on the same day that the authors' university was closed when struck by a rocket, which the Gaza university is used to store (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/1).

That is when professors pass from being ideologues to being fools.

INJUSTICE RETURNS, IN CASES OF POLICE BRUTALITY

Although dozens of victims of brutality during police removal of Jews from Amona in Judea-Samaria had filed civil suits against police, the police closed almost all their investigations of criminal cases against police. Police offered "lame excuses." For example, in the filmed beating the heads of two cameramen, the case was dropped for "lack of public interest." [That is a recurrent, silly excuse.]

A judge eliminated the prison sentence of a cop who had admitted wantonly attacking a fellow who had urged him to stop beating a girl. The judge left a small fine in place, but thought that the policeman's otherwise lengthy service should mitigate his sentence (IMRA, 1/2/09).

Police hurt hundreds of civilians that day. It's an epidemic of brutality for political purposes. I think an example should be made of those police, of the prosecutors who favor them, and of the politicians who direct them.

ARREST ARAB RIOTERS

During the Gaza offensive, protesting Arabs in the Galilee rioted. Police arrested 10 Arab youths (IMRA, 1/2/09).

I have complained that police often let Arabs get away with rioting. Apparently in wartime, domestic Arab violence is taken more seriously. Police did not beat the Arabs. Not that I think police should. However, why then beat Jews?

HERE'S ANOTHER JUDICIAL ODDITY

Jewish, left-wing protestors against Israel's part in the Gaza flare-up were barred by police unless they promised not to wave PLO flags. They sued over it. Police said they feared the flags might anger the Jewish public. The protestors said they are not responsible for crimes by passers-by (IMRA, 1/2/09). I'm disgusted but agree. I note that police give the same reason for barring Jews from praying on the Temple Mt., only it is Arab violence that the police fear. Let the police arrest the violent, not bar others!

HOW ISRAEL IS LOSING TO HAMAS

The war left Hamas largely intact. Most of its tunnels are operational. Using them, Hamas could restock arms and repair what was damaged. Most Hamas troops and most Hamas leaders hid. Then not much was accomplished

[The IDF performed brilliantly, not as in Lebanon.] Battlefield success does not itself determine who won. The diplomatic aftermath does. [An old story for Israel, but unlearned.]

Israel did not specify clear goals it could be seen to have accomplished. Israel demands that Hamas stop smuggling weapons, forego control over international borders, and stop firing missiles at Israel. Israel relinquished its bargaining from strength and its demands, when it failed to insist on controlling the borders itself.

Hamas demands control over Gaza borders with Egypt and the sea. This would permit Hamas to rearm and renew attacks on Israel. Thus Hamas is not deterred from further raids on Israel. Israel failed to gain deterrence, a chief goal.

Israel asks that the borders be controlled by foreigners, such as the EU, which accepts Hamas demands. The EU colluded previously with terrorists in Gaza and in Lebanon. That Israeli request also means Israeli defeat. By accepting Hamas demands, the mediators prove they are not honest brokers. By accepting such mediators, Israel guarantees its own defeat.

"Hamas is an illegal terrorist organization...conducting an illegal terror war against Israel...by accepting the EU as a legitimate interlocutor, Israel itself gives credence to the view that Hamas is a legitimate actor."

The only way for Israel to win would be to destroy Hamas and prevent terrorists from attacking Israel from Gaza. The Israeli regime refuses to do this. It is determined to lose, again, as it did in Lebanon. To engage in another ground offensive needlessly risks Israeli troops (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 1/2/09).

Conclusion: the war was electoral campaigning by military means. This is a cynical view, but the regime's leaders betray their country repeatedly.

ARAB'S REVEALING LANGUAGE

A leading Egyptian parliamentarian believes that Middle East foreign affairs cannot be reformed, now, and Egypt must turn to shore up its economy against the world economic crisis. He said, "Israeli aggressions against Gaza were a result of the firing of rockets by Hamas at Israeli settlements." (IMRA, 1/3.) Hamas fired on cities in the State of Israel, but he calls them "settlements." He calls Israel's response, "aggressions." Shows non-recognition of Israel and Islamic notion that any defense against Muslim attacks is aggression.

HOW TO WIN IN GAZA

Israel should deploy its forces in the Philadelhi corridor between Egypt and Gaza, and widen it to protect them, block arms tunnels, and make tunnels expensive and more easily detected.

1. Gizmos and international and other non-Israeli forces failed to stop the smuggling from Egypt to Gaza before and undoubtedly would fail again.

2. The Israeli forces would be on the other side of a fence from Gazans, and therefore would not have much trouble with them.

3. The deployment and Israeli flags would show that Israel won.

4. "...Fatah can rightfully charge Hamas with responsibility for the return of Israel to the Philadephi Corridor, with the message that only responsible Palestinian leadership — in contrast to Hamas — will ever bring about conditions for Israel to leave the Philadephi Corridor." (Dr. Aaron Lerner, IMRA, 1/3/09.)

I don't that Israel should retain Gaza and encourage the Arabs to leave.

WHY POLLARD DIDN'T GET CLEMENCY

"The public aspect of the Pollard campaign for clemency — telephone calls to the White House, the faxes, the prayer rallies, the internet campaign — was only a small part of the entire operation. The major thrust of the initiative was carried out very quietly behind-the-scenes. It was an amazing operation! We had outstanding professional advisers. We had the very best lawyers. They filed an excellent petition which clearly outlined the injustice of the case and demonstrated the gross disproportionality of the sentence. We worked around the clock lobbying and making the right contacts. We had access to the White House and intensive behind-the-scenes contact. Our representatives met and spoke with high level American officials to make the case and were successful. We had the support of the American Jewish leaders. [Not too much.] We had recommendations from those who matter most in the clemency process. We had massive grassroots support and participation in the US and Israel. We left no stone unturned in doing whatever it took to present the best case to the President for commutation of Jonathan's life sentence to the 24 years he has already served."

"So what was missing?" asked the show host. "The support of the Government of Israel, " replied Esther Pollard. She meant Olmert, Peres, Livni, and Barak (IMRA, 1/21). Also, Pres. Bush did not rise to the occasion, to do the right thing. I challenge Obama to uplift this mean spirit. NOT ONLY HAMAS FOUGHT ISRAEL, & BY WAR CRIME "Gaza — Ma'an — The armed wing of Fatah claimed responsibility for shelling

an Israeli intelligence building in Kisufim on Saturday." (IMRA, 1/3.)

HAMAS' OTHER FRONT

The P.A. publicly told its partisans in Gaza to be ready to take over from Hamas, there. In response, Hamas broke the arms and shot the legs of dozens of Fatah men. Hamas put dozens of others under house arrest.

Relatives of people killed by Israeli security forces broke into prison and murdered "collaborators," lest Israeli forces rescue them (IMRA, 1/4/09).

Wouldn't it have been nice if the IDF got to the prisons first, and did rescue them! The P.A. was indiscreet. Hamas was brutal. The self-proclaimed foreign humanitarians did not seem to notice the murders, arm-breaking, and shooting. If Arabs are harmed not by Jews, they don't seem to care.

WHEN GAZA POLICE ARE NOT POLICE BUT WORSE

As part of its initial combat, Israeli forces attacked and killed a concentration of police in Gaza. [Israel's critics called them civilians, needed to keep order.] A Hamas web site proudly "said that nearly all of them were 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam members, who by day carried out security missions and by night engaged in jihad and attacks." (IMRA, 1/4/09.)

Did the major media publicize this, or just the Arab accusations against Israel? Those "police" did not get much family life at night nor much sleep.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, THE CAMERA DOESN'T LIE?

"During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, a Reuters staffer was caught faking a photograph of damage from IDF bombing in a Beirut suburb to make it appear as though Israel has massacred the neighborhood instead of using pinpoint surgical strikes as it had. The staff member was reportedly dismissed."

This time, Reuters published a false Hamas claim of having kidnapped two more Israeli soldiers, without checking with the IDF (Arutz-7, 1/5/09.)

The Arab side and sympathizers fomented a great humanitarian outcry against Israel with false charges of massive damage of civilian areas. They should have praised Israel for warning Sidon and Tyre residents to flee to the beaches, away from urban areas where the PLO was holed up and would be fought.

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

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E-MAIL FROM DUBAI — WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?
Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 30, 2009.

This email came from Bob, who writes, "This is from an e-mail friend in Dubai who is originally from Scotland. He talks about the current economic climate there."

 

Hi Bob

What the heck happened???

Simple — Greed Corruption and incompetence by a few that comprise the ruling elite of bankers politicians and CEO's

Dubai is also broke and an estimated 2,000 expatriates are leaving daily — many leaving behind houses, apartments and cars that are now unsellable even at 25% price of September 2008.

Officially over 3,000 abandoned cars have been collected by police but figure is probably several times that, as many cars are sitting around in various parking lots. Over 2,000 (2/3) of the official figure were classified "Luxury" BMW's, Porches Etc. Sales of new vehicles have dropped to near zero while prices of 2nd hand have dropped +50% if a buyer can be found.

A 1 year old BMW is now cheaper than a new mini KIA. Personally however wold have KIA (as I do) due to far lower running and maintenance costs. + after 3 years it has been incredibly reliable with only problem a broken ashtray probably due to overuse. I regret I am a heavy nicotine addict.

Dubai became the largest construction site on the planet with 20% of its tower cranes — Now a forest of "Dead and Dying Tower Cranes" and abandoned tower blocks.

Having exhausted its oil (Production is now below 10% of that in 1991) Dubai became a "Cinderella State"

A magic wand turned a square yard of dry salty desert sand into several thousand dollars worth of real estate. Midnight came in October 08.

Over 3,000 real estate companies in this former village were in existence in October 08, a few with up to 1,000 commission paid agents ... All drove around in fancy cars and had phenomenal life styles based on cheap and easy loans in turn based on their commissions on ever increasing property prices and rents that rose over 10 fold since 2001.

What an insane party they had.

Over 400 tourist hotels under construction but traffic was such that it would take hours to get to them or anywhere else. Tourist and business arrivals have dropped +70% and I can now live in a hotel cheaper than renting a studio.

An insane law here to encourage national to buy property was that they did not have to pay back loans unless property was rented out. Result it costs them nothing to sit on empty properties while demanding extreme rents. Result is high rents and as of Nov 08 +40% mortgages in default. Where I am living now is a Cluster of 300 apartment blocks apparently all sold yet occupancy is 10% at most and some nice looking cars are gathering dust in the car parks.

Since returning from holiday in August time to drive around Dubai has about halved.

Dubai property prices rose 43% in first half of last year, Rents even more so.

Why should a studio apartment here have been valued higher than my 5 bedroom house in Scotland which overlooks fields and a golf course.

Greed Corruption and Incompetence of a few has been a worldwide plague.

Regards
Alan

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

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FROM ISRAEL:WHAT WE CONTEND WITH
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 30, 2009.

I ain't easy, that's for very sure, and it's only going to get worse in the months ahead.

The IDF knew that there might be law suits forthcoming against IDF officers in courts in various countries with regard to what has just gone on in Gaza. And they have been preparing for it. But who could have ever anticipated this:

Yesterday a court in Madrid, Spain granted a petition by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, asking that National Infrastructure Minister and former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and former IAF and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz be investigated for alleged "crimes against humanity" for their involvement in the 2002 assassination of Hamas terrorist Salah Shehadeh.

Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon, former GOC Southern Command Doron Almog, former National Security Council Head Giora Eiland and Brigadier-General (Res.) Mike Herzog have also been named as persons on interest in the case.

Shehade — considered responsible for hundreds of lethal attacks on Israel — was the founder of Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing. Israel arrested him in the 1980s and later turned over to the PA, which set him free in early 2000. When he was successfully targeted from the air in July, 2002, 14 other people were killed.

Justice Fernando Andeo, a National Court of Spain Judge, is said to have decided to grant the petition "in the name of universal justice."

~~~~~~~~~~

The outrage here is every bit as great as would be expected.

Ben Eliezer made this statement:

"I do not regret the decision I made as defense minister to take [Shehadeh] out. He was one of the biggest murderers. A hundred Israelis were killed under his orders. At the time, suicide bombing attacks took place on buses, at coffee shops and on the street on an almost daily basis. If we hadn't assassinated him, he would have continued with the attacks and killed more and more Israelis.

"I delayed the attack two or three times because Shehadeh was surrounded by innocent people. When I gave the order, we were under the assumption that he was alone. I was not aware at the time of any innocent people who resided in the adjacent building. We were certain there were no innocent civilians in the area.

"The IDF has always operated with caution."

~~~~~~~~~~

Defense Minister Barak, calling the Spanish court decision "delusional," commented that:

"Those who call the killing of terrorists 'a crime against humanity' are living in an upside-down world.

"This decision is all the more outrageous when you consider Hamas' true colors, being revealed once again these days to us and the world

"All senior officials belonging to the defense establishment, past and present, acted properly and in the name of the State of Israel, out of their commitment to protect the citizens of Israel."

He said he would do everything in his power to get the charges dropped.

~~~~~~~~~~

Moshe Ya'alon, expressing confidence that the State would act to protect those being investigated, said, "This is part of the propaganda against the legitimacy of the State of Israel."

Indeed, it's the State that's under attack, not just the individuals named.

~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, Conservative Catholic priest Floriano Abrahamowicz of Treviso in northern Italy, told the Tribuna di Treviso yesterday that "the only thing certain" about the gas chambers "was that they were used for disinfection."

"The Israelis cannot say that the genocide they suffered at the hands of the Nazis was graver than that occurring in Gaza just because they killed several thousand people while the Nazis killed six million."

Abrahamowicz denied that he was an anti-Semite, saying that his father was Jewish. But he referred to the Jews as god-slayers.

~~~~~~~~~~

Abrahamowicz's words made press world-wide because they followed the incident of the lifting by Pope Benedict of the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, a Holocaust denier, and three others in the Church who are traditionalists and opposed changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council. This Council, which set a tone for reconciliation with the Jewish people, has been referred to by Williamson as "a separation of Catholic Authority from Catholic Truth." Presumably the Pope's decision was motivated by a desire to heal a rift between different Church factions, but it will have considerable repercussions.

Several sources report that Williamson recently said in an interview that, "Anti-Semitism can only be bad if it is against the truth. But if something is true, it can't be bad."

The Pope's decision has generated major tensions in the relationship between the Jewish world and the Church and seriously set back decades of inter-religious dialogue. The Rabbinate of Israel has broken off contact with the Church.

~~~~~~~~~~

Then there is a clip offered by MEMRI showing a TV show on the Sunni Islamist Egyptian channel Al-Rahma TV that featured Egyptian cleric Amin Al-Ansar speaking about the Holocaust. (Holocaust Memorial Day was this week.) First he explained that because of the Jews' deeds during and after World War I, "it got to the point that the rulers themselves had no solution but to annihilate them."

Then, he screened footage of torture and killing of Jews in Dachau, Mauthausen, and Belsen, and said, "This is what we hope will happen, but, Allah willing, at the hand of the Muslims."

~~~~~~~~~~

Sometimes one feels that there is no end. But there is good news, as well. And I'm delighted to report it and provide a counterbalance:

Naalin, a small Palestinian Arab village not far from Ramallah, bought a set of pictures from Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum and put them on display. Hundreds of people visited the exhibit, some learning about the Holocaust for the first time. Of course, there was the inevitable linkage: "Why should we suffer too?" But, none the less, quite unusual and encouraging.

~~~~~~~~~~

Then there's this:

When Anwar Abu Arar, age seven, of the Israeli Arab village of Kalansuwa, was killed in a road accident, his father, Khaled, decided to donate the boy's organs. "Children are always children," he said. "It doesn't matter to me if they are Arabs or Jews. If it's impossible to save my son, I want to help other children. It's a matter of conscience."

When he decided for organ donation, Khaled knew that the organs might go to Jews. As it turned out, two Arabs and two Jews received the boy's heart and lungs, liver, and two kidneys.

Said Khaled, "I hope this contribution of my son's organs will reflect the fact that Arabs and Jews in Israel all want peace and quiet."

Bless him.

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

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SRI LANKAN DEATHS? YAWN. ONLY WHEN JEWS KILL DOES IT MATTER TO THE WORLD
Posted by Mrla, January 30, 2009.

This was written by Meryl Yourish and it appeared January 27, 2009 on Yourish's website
(http://www.yourish.com/category/israeli-double-standard-time) under the title: "Israeli Double Standard Time, World".

 

The world's double standard on Israel is in sharp relief today.

The Red Cross reports that hundreds of civilians have been killed and wounded, and over 250,000 civilians are trapped in the fighting. Aid workers have been hurt as well.

An estimated 250,000 people are trapped in a 250 square-kilometre area which has come under intense fighting. They have no safe area to take shelter and are unable to flee.

Does that sound a little bit familiar to anyone who followed the Gaza war?

So you would expect cries of outrage from the international community, right? The EU, the UN, all of the people who protested the Gaza war — they're all on the case, as it's defenseless civilians being murdered by an army with superior weaponry using disproportional force, right?

The AP put out an article, but strangely, it hasn't been picked up by all the major news outlets. Definitely not by the thousands that pick up every story on Israel when it fights back against Palestinian terror.

At least 300 civilians were wounded and scores feared killed by Sri Lankan army artillery shells fired into a designated "safe zone" for ethnic Tamils trapped by fighting between the military and Tamil rebels, a health official alleged Tuesday.

The shelling comes as the rebels continue to fall back, pulling their forces and civilians into the last remaining areas of dense jungle still under their control and leaving behind ghost towns.

TamilNet, a pro-rebel Web site, said more than 300 civilians were killed by the shelling on Monday. The military denied firing into the zone.

The Red Cross said Tuesday that "hundreds" of people have been killed in Sri Lanka's northern Vanni region.

"People are being caught in the crossfire, hospitals and ambulances have been hit by shelling and several aid workers have been injured while evacuating the wounded," said Jacques de Maio, the International Committee of the Red Cross' head of operations for South Asia in Geneva.

And there's not a "disproportionate" to be found in the article. And here's the AP boilerplate to explain the war to its readers:

The Tamil Tigers have fought since 1983 to create a separate state for minority Tamils, who have suffered decades of marginalization at the hands of governments controlled by the Sinhalese majority. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the civil war.

Oh. It's a civil war. That's different. It doesn't matter that 70,000 have died in Sri Lanka, or millions in Darfur. These are civil wars. They're not wars of "occupation." So there will be no world outrage. The Stop The War Coalition won't protest. ANSWER will be staying home. Hugo Chavez won't break off relations with Sri Lanka. Stephen Walt won't write articles about the Sinhalese Lobby. President Obama won't promise to put the crisis in Sri Lanka at the top of his list of things to fix early in his administration. There will not be four op-eds in the New York Times chastising the Sri Lankans for murdering innocent civilians. There will be no op-eds in the Washington Post by the Tamil Tigers, explaining why they're not really terrorists, but their enemies are.

Dead Sri Lankans? Who cares? Jews didn't kill them, so they don't count. Dead Palestinians, now there's a cause worth shouting over.

Israeli Double Standard Time: It happens every only on days that end with a "y".

Contact Mrla at Mrla26@aol.com

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OBAMA JUST FLATTERS HIMSELF
Posted by Boris Celser, January 30, 2009.
This article was written by Charles Krauthammer.
 

WASHINGTON — Every new president flatters himself that he, kinder and gentler, is beginning the world anew. Yet, when Barack Obama in his inaugural address reached out to Muslims with "to the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect," his formulation was needlessly defensive and apologetic.

Is it "new" to acknowledge Muslim interests and show respect to the Muslim world? Obama doesn't just think so, he said so again to millions in his al-Arabiya interview, insisting on the need to "restore" the "same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago."

Astonishing. In these most recent 20 years — the alleged winter of our disrespect of the Islamic world — America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. It engaged in five military campaigns, every one of which involved — and resulted in — the liberation of a Muslim people: Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The two Balkan interventions — as well as the failed 1992-93 Somali intervention to feed starving African Muslims (43 Americans were killed) — were humanitarian exercises of the highest order, there being no significant U.S. strategic interest at stake. In these 20 years, this nation has done more for suffering and oppressed Muslims than any nation, Muslim or non-Muslim, anywhere on earth. Why are we apologizing?

And what of that happy U.S.-Muslim relationship that Obama imagines existed "as recently as 20 or 30 years ago" that he has now come to restore? Thirty years ago, 1979, saw the greatest U.S.-Muslim rupture in our 233-year history: Iran's radical Islamic revolution, the seizure of the U.S. embassy, the 14 months of America held hostage.

Which came just a few years after the Arab oil embargo that sent the United States into a long and punishing recession. Which, in turn, was preceded by the kidnapping and cold-blooded execution by Arab terrorists of the U.S. ambassador in Sudan and his charge d'affaires.

This is to say nothing of the Marine barracks massacre of 1983, and the innumerable attacks on U.S. embassies and installations around the world during what Obama now characterizes as the halcyon days of U.S.-Islamic relations.

Look. If Barack Obama wants to say, as he said to al-Arabiya, I have Muslim roots, Muslim family members, have lived in a Muslim country — implying a special affinity that uniquely positions him to establish good relations — that's fine. But it is both false and deeply injurious to this country to draw a historical line dividing America under Obama from a benighted past when Islam was supposedly disrespected and demonized.

As in Obama's grand admonition: "We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name." Have "we" been doing that, smearing Islam because of a small minority? George Bush went to the Islamic Center in Washington six days after 9/11, when the fires of Ground Zero were still smoldering, to declare "Islam is peace," to extend fellowship and friendship to Muslims, to insist that Americans treat them with respect and generosity of spirit.

And America listened. In these seven years since 9/11 — seven years during which thousands of Muslims rioted all over the world (resulting in the death of more than 100) to avenge a bunch of cartoons — there's not been a single anti-Muslim riot in the United States to avenge the greatest massacre in U.S. history. On the contrary. In its aftermath, we elected our first Muslim member of Congress and our first president of Muslim parentage.

"My job," says Obama, "is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives." That's his job? Do the American people think otherwise? Does he think he is bravely breaking new ground? George Bush, Condoleezza Rice and countless other leaders offered myriad expressions of that same universalist sentiment.

Every president has the right to portray himself as ushering in a new era of this or that. Obama wants to pursue new ties with Muslim nations, drawing on his own identity and associations. Good. But when his self-inflation as redeemer of U.S.-Muslim relations leads him to suggest that pre-Obama America was disrespectful or insensitive or uncaring of Muslims, he is engaging not just in fiction but in gratuitous disparagement of the country he is now privileged to lead.

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

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SPARE THE PIETIES ON GAZA
Posted by Laureen Moe, January 30, 2009.

This was written by Jack Engelhard and it appeared January 7, 2009 in Arutz-7
www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/8494

Jack Engelhard is the author of "The Bathsheba Deadline" and "Indecent Proposal", as well as the award-winning memoir of his experiences as a Jewish refugee from Europe, "Escape From Mount Moriah".

 

Israel is a Jewish State. Is that your problem?

Frankly, given a choice, I prefer the skinheads and other brutes who express their anti-Semitism openly. In such places, we know the enemy.

But please spare me the pieties and the righteous indignation of those "good people" protesting throughout Europe against Israel's defensive operation in Gaza. True, thousands have taken up banners in support of Israel. At the same time, however, the streets of Europe (and even some in America) are in an uproar. These are the "humanitarians" — the good, the noble, the refined, who chant "peace."

Now you're up and about? Now you speak? Where were you when, throughout the years, thousands of jihadist bombs fell on Israel? The streets of Europe were empty. There were no pictures in the newspapers of grieving Jewish mothers and fathers. You called it "peace" as long as the Arabs were doing the killing and the Jews were doing the dying. All was well with the world.

Suddenly, as Israel answered back, you found your Cause; and how self-righteous you are in your Cause.

You are the best and the brightest of Europe. You are educated. You attended the finest schools. You care for the birds, the bees, the bears, the trees. You favor free speech and freedom of religion. Strange it is that the one and only place in the Middle East that shares your world-view is Israel, and it is Israel that you slander.

Israel is a Jewish State. Is that your problem? At the first hint of Jewish self-defense, how quickly you show your true colors.

I've seen the photos of your candlelight vigils along the streets and boulevards of Europe, all of it; all these tears in the service of those terrorists whom you call your brothers. Indeed you are related to Hamas (and Fatah) as once before, a mere generation ago, you were related to Hitler's storm. Your angelic faces are touching — and disgusting. Your hypocrisy is transparent and nauseating.

You speak of disproportion. You want proportion? Give Israel a population of 300 million residing in 22 countries, similar to the Arab Muslims who surround and ambush Israel — instead of five and a half million Jews in one single country. There's plenty of "proportion" coming from your BBC, which delights in presenting one side of the story and picks up where Der Sturmer left off. Now, with this type of "news", we know how Europe was conditioned for a Holocaust.

Already we see Nights of Broken Glass. Thank you, Europe, for reminding us why America was discovered just in time (and why Israel was redeemed many generations too late). You dare judge Israel? In your deportations, your expulsions, your forced conversions, your inquisitions, your pogroms, you have no moral authority over Israel or even within your own borders. You gave all that up from 1492 to 1942.

To those on the Left who sought peace, well, dear peace-lovers, peace brought this on. "Land for Peace" made this happen, as Land for Peace became Land for Jihad. "Painful Concessions" caused this war. "Goodwill Gestures" backfired. Want more "peace"? Give up the Golan Heights. Give up the entire West Bank. Give up Jerusalem. Imagine the "peace." As for those "innocent civilians" in Gaza, they were given a choice and they chose Hamas. They chose this pestilence.

As for those "refugee camps" — why are they "refugee camps" when Israel handed over all that territory for a nation to be built in peace and security alongside Israel? Why are all Palestinians automatically refugees even after they've been given a home? The only true refugees are the thousands of Israelis who were driven from Gaza and still live in trailer parks. No tears for them in this world that still dreams of Auschwitz.

On this day, in response to a column I wrote about Theresienstadt, someone responded that I was incorrect; that Theresienstadt was not a prelude to Auschwitz, but rather "a vacation resort." I wrote back wishing this person a lifetime in such vacation resorts. I wish the same lifetime vacation resorts to all those parading throughout the streets of Europe with banners crying, "Death to Israel." God bless the IDF! Go Israel!

Contact Laureen Moe at meadow-lark@telus.net

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TORAH CONSTITUTIONALISM
Posted by Moshe Kerr, January 29, 2009.

This is the latest in a series of essays on Torah Constitutionalism. The previous essay can be read below.

 

Torah Constitutionalism (Continued) — an excerpt from my in-process Talmud Moderni.

Understanding the critical and fundamental relationship between cutting a brit and creating a soul from nothing requires developing the faith that the Universe entails more dimensions than the physical 3 plus time. The brit/soul spirituality hinges upon spiritual "domains". The notion of sabbath domains serves to teach a לשׁמנ/לשׁמ depth teaching.

Accepting the yoke of heaven, the עמשׂ employs 3 Divine Names. Kabbalah teaches the mitzvah of positive time oriented commandments and their relationship with tumah. Tumah, in contrast unto tohorah, like the 613 exist only in this world but not in the world to come. Understanding the positive time oriented commandments dynamic dialectics with tumah makes kabbalah — as codified in the Sid'dur — relevant to all generations of bnai brit. This unique category of commandments do not depend upon the physical language of the Torah but rather the Oral Torah's interpretation of the Written Torah's intent or kav vanah to determine a Torah commandment!

Determining the intent or kav vanah of positive time oriented commandments falls upon the shoulders of every living generation to determine. This yoke of heaven sanctifies the holiness of positive time oriented commandments as the instrument which gives spiritual identity and uniqueness to every generation of bnai brit which walks before the Elokim for ever.

Affixing a place of prayer entails assigning a direction of the soul/domain unity. By the way I pray, "all my heart", affixes the soul/domain of my bnai brit peoples within the lands of Torah. "All my nefesh", affixes the soul/domain of my bnai brit people who suffer galut existence before our fathers and before the Elokim. Accepting the yoke of heaven dialectically contrasts love and anger with living within the oath/brit lands and living in galut lands. "All my might", affixes the soul/domain of my bnai brit noach peoples internationally across the face of the earth.

By the way I learn, Torah spirituality rejects the static ism of an unstoppable force colliding with an immovable object, which — practically speaking — would entails favoring a 2-state solution between Israel and Arabs who entertain themselves with the fantasy called "Palestine".

Dynamic leadership has a focus upon political responsibility and accountability. Conceding an Arab state with Gaza and Samaria occurs on the condition that this established Arab state would respect and maintain the dignity of a Jewish minority living within the borders of Palestine. Equally important, the settler movement requires that the lands of Torah open another gateway permitting free settler development.

Changing the dessert of the Negev into a rain forest requires that the lands of Torah turns her eyes unto Africa and developing the Sahara dessert. The premise upon which this vision stands, the South Americans have destroyed the rain forests, Israel shall rebuild, replant and re-establish new rain forests starting with the Negev. Achieving this key ecological objective shall serve as the foundation for establishing an international bnai noach alliance, starting in Africa.

(Technically by building a power station and harnessing its energy to convert water from the sea into hydrogen and oxygen gases and shooting these gases into the atmosphere, this could duplicate the effect of trees producing oxygen and making conditions appropriate for a rain forest to live.)

Contact Moshe Kerr at moshekerr@gmail.com

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ISRAEL INVADING ADVOCATE — SAMANTHA POWERS — NAMED CHIEF OBAMA ADVISER
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, January 29, 2009.

As if king President Hussein's team couldn't make a scarier appointment.

Israel-Hating Samantha Power Named Key Obama Adviser

Here's a note to the 78% of American Jews that voted for Barack Obama. The "Other Shoe" has been thrown at Israel. The President is naming Samantha Power to a senior foreign policy/national security position ...

Friends of Israel may remember Power for a different reason. She is a strong believer in the anti-Semitic notion that Jews Control foreign policy. She has also said that she would recommend that the US SHOULD SEND IN TROOPS TO IMPOSE A SOLUTION ON ISRAEL.

Previous Atlas Samantha Power Posts:

Atlas Shrugs: SAMANTHA POWER RETURNS: I TOLD YOU SO
Atlas Shrugs: Obama chief advisor calls for a military invasion of Israel ...

Ed Lasky and Richard Baehr wrote the best piece on Samantha Power back in February 2008 when it became clear that President Hussein was surrounding himself with classic Jew haters. It's called "Samantha Power and Obama's Foreign Policy Team." This below is an extract from the Baehr and Lasky essay:
www.americanthinker.com/2008/02/samantha_power_and_obamas_fore_1.html

 

Senator Obama's supporters have uniformly ignored the role and the views of Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor Samantha Power, who is very problematic regarding Israel, Iran, and for that matter, American supporters of Israel (see below). Power left her position at Harvard to work for Obama for a year after his election to the US Senate. She is now identified as a "senior foreign policy advisor.".

In the case of Power, it was Senator Obama who made the initial contact with her after reading her book on genocide. Power is now actively working for the campaign. She cannot be casually dismissed as one of Obama's many advisors, with no particular assigned role.

It is not at all hard to imagine her having a senior foreign policy role in an Obama administration, perhaps as US Ambassador to the United Nations, an organization she views warmly. The problem for those who favor a strong US-Israel relationship is that Power seems obsessed with Israel, and in a negative way. Much like the authors of the Baker-Hamilton report, she believes resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is central to solving other problems in the Middle East. And it is clear that her approach to addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be for the US to behave in a more "even handed" fashion, which of course means withdrawing US support for Israel, and instead applying more pressure on Israel for concessions.

Commentary Magazine, and in particular Noah Pollack, have done a superb job of investigative reporting regarding Power's record and views. She is a headliner for Senator Obama — a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and a professor at Harvard. Power has a column carried by TIME and she writes frequently. Indeed, it is her writing that reveals reasons to be concerned. From Commentary:

Power is an advocate of the Walt-Mearsheimer view of the American relationship with Israel. In a recent interview published on the Harvard Kennedy School's website, Power was asked to explain "long-standing structural and conceptual problems in U.S. foreign policy." She gave a two-part answer: the first problem, she said, is "the US historic predisposition to go it alone." A standard reply, of course. The second problem, though, should give us pause:
Another longstanding foreign policy flaw is the degree to which special interests dictate the way in which the "national interest" as a whole is defined and pursued.... America's important historic relationship with Israel has often led foreign policy decision-makers to defer reflexively to Israeli security assessments, and to replicate Israeli tactics, which, as the war in Lebanon last summer demonstrated, can turn out to be counter-productive.

So greater regard for international institutions along with less automatic deference to special interests — especially when it comes to matters of life and death and war and peace — seem to be two take-aways from the war in Iraq.  

Power is not just assenting to the Walt-Mearsheimer view of American foreign policy, but is also arguing that Israel had something to do with the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq in 2003: an appalling slander, and a telling one. piece Power wrote for TIME, titled "Rethinking Iran," the thrust of which rethinking involves the need to engage diplomatically the mullahs and pretend that the Iranian nuclear program is a figment of the paranoid imagination of the Bush administration. She writes:

The war scare that wasn't [the recent incident between Iranian speedboats and the U.S. Navy in the Straight of Hormuz] stands as a metaphor for the incoherence of our policy toward Iran: the Bush Administration attempts to gin up international outrage by making a claim of imminent danger, only to be met with international eye rolling when the claim is disproved. Sound familiar? The speedboat episode bore an uncanny resemblance to the Administration's allegations about the advanced state of Iran's weapons program-allegations refuted in December by the National Intelligence Estimate.

Does Power actually believe that the NIE put to rest concerns about the Iranian nuclear program? If she actually thinks that — and it appears she does — she deserves voluminous ridicule from thinking people everywhere.

Power also advocates that America send armed military forces, "a mammoth protection force" and an "external intervention", to impose a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. This directly contradicts her criticism of the invasion and "occupation" of Iraq and her call for the removal of American forces from that nation. On the one hand, Power abhors American efforts to remake an Arab nation, but takes the contrary view when it comes to inserting American forces in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to impose a settlement. These troops, if sent, would be seen as occupiers and be sitting targets for Arab extremists. The colonial image of America and charges of imperial overstretch would echo throughout the Arab world.

If America sought to avoid being so tarnished — which is presumably what Samantha Power would desire — then the alternative would be for the United States to take a confrontational attitude toward Israel, so as to be seen as standing up for the Palestinians. Given her inclination to view Israel as guilty of war crimes she would probably look favorably on such an approach towards the Israelis and Palestinians.

Power's views on the problems caused by the US-Israel relationship also place her in the same camp as Zbigniew Brzezinski and George Soros (an influential supporter of Barack Obama's), who also oppose the so-called "Israel lobby" and reject the participation of American supporters of Israel, including Christians, in the foreign policy discussion. Power writes of her willingness to

"alienat[e] a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import; it may more crucially mean sacrificing...billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel's military, but actually investing in the state of Palestine."

Power appears to support slashing, if not eliminating, military aid to our ally (surrounded by 300 million people who wish to destroy her) and giving it to the Palestinians, whose charters (whether the Hamas or Fatah version) advocate the destruction of Israel. The PA has used aid dollars to teach hate and sponsor terror, and Palestinian society has devolved into an internationally-supported welfare state characterized by enormous corruption. Why is there any reason to believe that massive amounts of additional aid be used any differently and more constructively?

Power also showed her animus toward Israel in another instance, appearing to argue with the New York Times for more negative coverage of Israel in the paper. As Noah Pollak writes:

"Martin Kramer points us to an interesting quote from the 2003 book Ethnic Violence and Justice, in which Samantha Power, one of Barack Obama's foreign policy advisers, asks a question of David Rohde, a reporter who covered the intifada for the New York Times. The quote is as follows:
Samantha Power: I have a question for David about working for the New York Times. I was struck by a headline that accompanied a news story on the publication of the Human Rights Watch report. The headline was, I believe: "Human Rights Report Finds Massacre Did Not Occur in Jenin." The second paragraph said, "Oh, but lots of war crimes did." Why wouldn't they make the war crimes the headline and the non-massacre the second paragraph?

(The article to which Power refers is here and its headline is: "MIDEAST TURMOIL: INQUIRY; Rights Group Doubts Mass Deaths in Jenin, but Sees Signs of War Crimes." Obviously, Power has misremembered the headline.)

Here we have another window into the thinking of Power: Israel is accused in sensational press reports of a massacre in Jenin, and is subjected to severe international condemnation; Human Rights Watch finally gets out a report and says there was no massacre; the NYT reports this as its headline; and Power thinks the headline still should have been: Israel guilty of war crimes!"  

Revelations regarding Power's views of Israel can be found in her new book, Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira De Mello and the Fight to Save the World, a biography of the UN official killed in Baghdad in a 2003 terrorist bombing. A series of terrorist attacks emanating from the mini-terror state created in Southern Lebanon by the PLO had led to an Israeli occupation of the southern portion of Lebanon. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon had been inserted to quell the conflict, but was proving ineffectual. Israeli forces remained in place.

Power wrote:

" Israeli forces refused to comply with the spirit of international demands to withdraw and the major powers on the Security Council were not prepared to deal with the gnarly issues that had sparked the Israelis invasion in the first place: dispossessed Palestinians and Israeli insecurity".

The "spirit of international demands" to withdraw? Aside from wondering what that means and the enforceability of such a spirit, how about that phrase "dispossessed Palestinians and Israeli insecurity"? The dispossessed Palestinians had left Palestine mostly at the behest of calls by their Arab brethren to step out of the way as armed forces invaded Israel upon its founding. They and their descendants were denied rights by Lebanon and were unable to assimilate — unlike the 600,000 Jews who were stripped of their possessions in Arab lands and whom Israel welcomed. The term "Israeli insecurity" makes it seem as if the Israelis were suffering from an emotional or psychological condition. In fact, it was not insecurity, per se, that the Israelis suffered from. It was Palestinian terrorism that the Lebanese government refused to prevent.

There is more from Ms. Power. Israel warned UNIFIL of its upcoming move into Southern Lebanon. Power talked of this move as a "ploy" and then wrote of "humiliation" that was to come as Israel ignored UN efforts to stop them. She wrote:

"Israel had thumbed its nose at the Security Council resolutions that demanded that Israel stay out of Lebanon, and in the course of invading a neighbor, its forces had trampled on the UN peacekeepers in its way".

She quotes the subject of her book — really a hagiography — calling the Israelis "bastards". She writes that the degradations suffered by UNIFIL before the Israeli invasion was felt far worse after the Israelis came into Lebanon. She writes that the Israeli authorities "threatened the peacekeepers and regularly denigrated them".

And now she is a senior foreign policy adviser to Presidential candidate Barack Obama, as well as occupying the Anna Lindh Professorship of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy. How appropriate: Anna Lindh, the late Swedish Foreign Minister, was a dedicated opponent of Israel.

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NYTIMES ASSESSES GAZA OFFENSIVE; HAMAS THINKS IT WON; ON ISRAELI CAMPUSES; IDF OUT, NYTIMES STILL FIRING
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 29, 2009.

NY TIMES ASSESSES GAZA OFFENSIVE

Ethan Bronner wrote a "news analysis" that mostly is editorial and pro-Arab. His sub-headline: "Israel Cannot Be Sure Of Lasting Deterrence." Hence, Israel lost.

He starts with an incendiary recount of apparently civilian structures. He omitted IDF explanations of those structures, which may have had military usage. He adds to the emotional tilt against Israel a question, whether "...three weeks of overpowering war by Israel here weakened Hamas as Israel had hoped, or simply caused acute human suffering?"

"Israel knew it could not destroy every rocket or kill every Hamas militant." Israel couldn't in a limited war. [Then it wasn't such a powerful war as he initially implied. Israel should have stuck it out and done the job, it if wanted to succeed.] Mr. Bronner questions whether Israel succeeded in getting Hamas to cease firing rockets into Israel. Answer: Israeli officials didn't think so. [Then why did they stop? Another answer: Hamas fired rockets even after having agreed to cease firing.]

Another answer is that Hamas spared most of its fighters from battle.

What effect did the assault have upon Gazans' view of Israel? Some resent Israel. Others resent Hamas for getting them into this. That is tempered with some of them objecting only because Hamas' provocation failed. If Hamas had found a way to conquer Israel, its Arab critics would not complain. [So much for their moderation and peace-making potential!]

A Gazan complained that Israel's assault is no way to make peace (1/19, A1). Self-defense against aggression was not done against peace, the Muslim aggression was.

In a companion article about the damage, the content and tone indicated that damage was pervasive, but in a subdued tone, showed that areas of Gaza City were hardly touched. The article, like the Times in general, fails to put the assault in perspective. Why doesn't the Times put it something like, "Thirteen hundred Gazans were killed out of one and-a-half million?" I don't know the actual figures, but another example might be, "500 houses were destroyed out of 500,000. How many houses were struck by mistake, not having been used by or for terrorists? 50?" That kind of perspective would deflate journalistic hyperbole.

LEBANON DEFEAT LED TO THE GAZA COMBAT

Hamas modeled itself on Hizbullah. Former Brig. General Eitan said that Israel's failure to win in Lebanon emboldened Hamas. The enemy is watching. A ceasefire that lets Hamas survive would end Israeli deterrent in a big way (Arutz-7, 1/1).

WHERE THE IMPROVED ROCKETS CAME FROM

Three countries make Grad rockets of the type used by Hamas to reach Israeli cities further away: China, Russia, and Bulgaria. The ones fired at Beersheba were imported from China by Iran or Hizbullah, were trans-shipped into Sinai, and then were smuggled into Gaza (IMRA, 1/1).

Does China consider itself acting legitimately in supplying terrorists?

SECURITY IN GAZA BEFORE OSLO & WITHDRAWAL & AFTER

Before Oslo, most Arabs in Gaza did not have guns; the few who did were untrained in their use. After Oslo, and especially after withdrawal from Gaza, the Arabs were able to train thousands of gunmen. Now it takes an army to quell them. Poor policy, retreat and withdrawal! (IMRA, 1/1.)

Gaza proved that one cannot make peace by pretending there is peace. Discerning people can learn from the Gaza combat. Arab terrorism and aggression are not prompted by Israeli presence but by Israeli withdrawal and other concessions, seen by the Arabs not as goodwill but as weakness. The conflict is not about land, which the Arabs have almost double what the US has. It is about religion (Prof. Steven Plaut).

E.U. ON GAZA

It issued another press release on the situation in Gaza (IMRA, 1/1). Meanwhile, persecution goes on in Africa, unabated.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CEASEFIRES

There are two kinds of ceasefires. One is long term and stable. The other is temporary, if effect while negotiating the other. Defense Min. Barak confused the people by failing to distinguish between the two, when stating Israel's goal. He was behaving as politician, rather than as commander (IMRA, 1/1).

A long term ceasefire would keep Hamas in power. It is not satisfactory. It is not stable. Hamas keeps violating ceasefires, as did Arafat.

HAMAS TRIES TO PERSUADE CHILDREN IT WON

Hamas TV tells children that Hamas killed 80 Israelis, including 49 civilians, and lost only 48 fighters. The film shows Israelis crying for their mothers, before battle, and all getting killed in it. Observers have reported that Hamas killed 13 Israelis, including 3 civilians, and lost hundreds of fighters (IMRA, 1/19).

ISRAEL WASN'T SERIOUS ABOUT WAR

During combat, Israel transferred funds to Hamas, sent in sugar that Hamas converts into rocket fuel, continued to supply electricity, enabling journalists to maintain anti-Israel propaganda, and warned Hamas men to evacuate from buildings about to be bombed.

The "world" forgets that what permitted this combat to erupt was Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. Israeli officials were told that this would happen. They paid no attention (Prof. Steven Plaut, 12/30).

ON ISRAELI CAMPUSES

Israeli Arab college students carry flags of "Palestine," as they protest in behalf of Hamas. Some leftist professors and students join them. David Grossman, Amos Oz, and A.B. Yehoshua published articles demanding that Israel stop shooting back. They did not get articles published demanding that Hamas stop firing rockets at Israeli cities. Treasonous, all! Nothing jolts the Left into reality.

Far leftist Prof. Neve Gordon said the problem is that Israel doesn't abandon violence to negotiate (Prof. Steven Plaut, 12/30). Israel had negotiated, and got a peace agreement. The Arabs don't keep agreements. Hamas wouldn't extend the truce. Gordon doesn't understand Islam. He should resign or be fired from his university, for ignorance unbecoming a professor.

PRES. PERES DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHY HAMAS FIGHTS

He said there is no logical reason for Hamas to fight (IMRA, 1230). Sure there is. Hamas fights for jihad. The reason is to kill Jews and take over. Persistence is Hamas' hallmark. Mental and moral defect Is Peres'.

WHEN ARABS ABOUT TO GO ON CAMERA

When the TV cameras approach Arabs in a hospital in Gaza, etc., cameramen and relatives tell them what to do and what to say. This is manipulation of the media by the media and for the media (IMRA, 12/30).

NY TIMES CONS READERS

The caption below a large photograph of a destroyed building is, "Most Palestinians (Arabs) are furious at Israel over damage like that in Rafah, in Israel's south..." (1/19, A10). Rafah earns its living from arms smuggling tunnels, a legitimate target of attack. Why didn't the article explain that? How deceptive! Residents may be furious, but undeservedly so. They got what they deserved.

IDF OUT, NY TIMES STILL FIRING

Israel speeded its troop withdrawal from Gaza to precede Obama's inauguration. [Was the whole operation ended for the same reason? I hope Israel didn't jeopardize its goals just to please that foreign politician who should be told to mind his own business, as the US struggles to hold its head above water.]

The Times had more pictures and words to reinforce the impression of wholesale Israeli destruction in Gaza. It has paragraph-after-paragraph of Arab complaints that Israel struck civilian buildings. The writer asks why Israel did it. He included a skimpy Israeli explanation — brief, dry, and drowned out. Readers without an independent background in the subject may well overlook it. The article did state that some structures were of dual use. For example, an Arab bewailed the destruction of a university chemical laboratory. An Israeli official explained that Hamas uses chemicals to make rocket fuel. [Totalitarian regimes draft colleges to serve the cause of total war.] The article characterized decisions about whether a facility was civilian or military as "tricky." That makes this a matter of opinion, rather than a reasonable military assumption, as it was.

Another Arab resentfully regretted that it is impossible to make peace with Israel, which attacks them (Ethan Bronner, 1/20, A6).

Do readers swallow that distortion or recognize it for one? Israel had a ceasefire; Hamas ended it; Hamas did not recognize the peace agreement that the P.A. had made with Israel. After quoting that Arab, the newspaper, which is willing to furnish background material, should have mentioned Hamas' deliberate rejection of the Oslo agreements. If readers realize the falsity of complaints that Israel won't make peace, do they become skeptical of the veracity of Arabs' talk with reporters?

The Times ombudsman probably would defend his newspaper as having presented both sides. It did, but over-balanced for the Arab side. It conferred at least as much credence for the Arabs, who natural jihadi propagandists of false accounts. Deception of the infidel is an honored tactic under Islam. We Westerners need to know that! By contrast, the IDF gives sober, factual accounts.

The ombudsman would rationalize that the newspaper does not make judgments, but lets the parties make their own claims and readers may judge. What a disservice that is, when one side is of totalitarian defamers and the other side strives for accuracy. The Times leaves readers uninformed about that and without means of judging. One needs facts with which to judge'' the Times presents claims. As I point out, it presents those claims emotionally weighted by tone and quantity in favor of the totalitarian side. A disservice to America!

Sometimes the reporters do purport to offer facts, but those may be statements by the warring Islamist side and its agencies, including their hospitals, toting the party line. There is no indication that the Times verifies these figures. There are many instances, more constantly being exposed [but not by the major media], of Islamists taking advantage of media bias and resulting audience ignorance to use Arab stringers to plant false statements and films.

It took a long time for a private individual to get a French court to acknowledge that French TV used a staged and edited video to give the misimpression that Israeli troops murdered an Arab boy. This is a major story. The major media, however, basically ignored it. It would throw into doubt their methods in general.

A fair presentation would not precede and surround a fragmented Israeli explanation with Arab complaints that set one's emotion against Israel. Instead, it first would raise the question of civilian-vs.-military targets. It would follow with about four paragraphs explaining the steps Israel took to reduce enemy civilian casualties, the extensive war crimes by which Hamas mingled its forces and usages with civilians and their structures, the legitimacy of targeting all those Hamas members and facilities, and the small proportion of damage, less than in past wars. Then it could present Arab complaints. They consequently could be seen for what they are. Times reporters might be barred from Gaza thereafter. Loss of access may deter good reporting.

Once those four paragraphs covered the matter cogently and comprehensively, there wouldn't be much story left. Instead, the Times has been ranting on, and the Arabs have been raging on, for days, because the Times has yet to explain the subject coherently and fairly. If it had done so, then on subsequent days, it could simply repeat the jist of the four paragraphs. However, the Arab complaints would be seen as less newsworthy, having been answered. Probably the Arabs would stop wasting their time complaining, if the media had covered and exposed their false complaints. Readers would have become immune to them.

Not to be outdone, Isabel Kershner's companion article discusses unfairly the Israeli Arab reaction to the Gaza combat. For example, "While most Jewish Israelis consider Hamas a terrorist organization that deserves to be destroyed, several Israeli Arabs noted that it won democratic Palestinian elections in 2006."

Hamas didn't win and its election wasn't democratic. Suppose the election were democratic. Would that make its repressive, jihadist rule kosher?

Jewish Israelis merely "consider" Hamas a terrorist organization that deserves to be destroyed? Hamas definitelyl is terrorist, as the US, the EU, and Israel have declared and as its actions prove. Terrorists are equivalent to pirates, deemed under international law to be common enemies of mankind and which countries have a duty to destroy. The Times makes the status of Hamas out to be a matter of opinion, which it is not. It is as if the Times gave equal weight to Nazis' opinions during WWII.]

The Times brushed off as animosity the government's banning of the main Arab parties, Ms. Kershner offered no factual evidence for the decision, which evidence is overwhelming. Instead, she stated the reasons given by the rival political parties which submitted the petition to ban. That way, the reasons were put as mere accusations.

The accusations were "incitement, supporting terrorism against Israel, and refusing to recognize it as a Jewish state." "Incitement?" That's putting deceitfully mildly the rousing of mob violence. Arab politicians went to enemy states exhorting at least terrorist war on Israel. One politician spied for the enemy during wartime. And so on. The ban of those parties should have been done years ago and with prosecution of their criminally subversive leadership. Israeli timidity encourages Arab subversion. The context is one of stoning of Jews and parades chanting "kill the Jews."

The article misrepresented Israeli policy entirely as discrimination against Arabs and omitted mention of Israeli policy that discriminates against Jews. I see Israeli Arabs as the defeated enemy, sulking when silent, but silent no more. Their parties side with the enemy. It is a dangerous fifth column. Sure there are some decent people among them. But remember, in general, they tried to exterminate the Jews and never apologized or recanted. Many of them cheer on successful terrorist attacks.

It is a complicated situation, but one from which there can be no harmonious exit. The Jews must extricate themselves from the blunder of trying to be tolerant of a people whose religious beliefs are cited by their clergy as justifying murder.

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

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OBSESSIVE OR OBTUSE?
Posted by Hands Fiasco, January 29, 2009.

Martin Sherman in the essay below offers response to what he views as insincere pro-disengagement arguments. Just when we thought that there was a limit to the intellectual dishonesty of Israel's bon-ton elite, along comes Yair Lapid to prove otherwise. In his latest article, "Stop blaming disengagement", Lapid endeavors somehow to reinstate the lost honor of the "Disengagement." The attempt to decouple the causal chain linking Israel's unilateral withdrawal in the August of 2005 to its military operation in the December 2008 is neither compelling nor convincing.

 

Yair Lapid explains why our situation could have been much worse if it wasn't for Gaza pullout.

Lapid launches into his absurd apologia, by raising the currently fashionable, albeit flimsy, argument so eagerly embraced today by other unrepentant apologists for the Disengagement: That the high-trajectory shelling from Gaza and the subterranean smuggling into Gaza existed before the Disengagement.

Yet the statistics provided to support this claim, without stipulating their source, appear to be greatly at odds with the documented data on the pre- and post-Disengagement realities. While Lapid states that: "In (the) four years before disengagement, more than 5,000 mortar shells and Qassams were fired at Israeli communities," the official site of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, quotes entirely different figures — based on a detailed study composed by Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) run by veterans of Israel's intelligence community. According to the study, in the entire seven year period (2001-2007) a total of around 5,000 mortars shells and Qassam were fired from Gaza — of which almost 2,500 were fired in 27 months (Sept 2005-Nov 2007.)

However, in spite of Lapid's faulty data, he is correct in stating that the bombardments and the tunneling did exist prior to the Disengagement. However, least we be tempted to accept his equally faulty inferences, we should recall two factors, which some seem desperately anxious to conceal. These relate to matters of the scale and of the origins of current Palestinian military prowess.

As for the former, any dispassionate observer of events is easily able to discern that Disengagement brought a quantum leap in the scale of the activities of Palestinian terror in terms of operational execution, logistical capabilities, and political empowerment.

This is clearly reflected in a paper published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) Israel's War to Halt Palestinian Rocket Attacks, authored by Israel's former ambassador to the UN, Dore Gold. It points out that although:

"Qassam rocket fire did not start with Israel's Gaza disengagement...nonetheless, after disengagement, the number of confirmed rocket strikes against Israel increased by more than 500 percent. The disengagement led to the loss of Israeli control over the Philadelphi route, allowing for a significant increase in the range and quantity of rockets in the Palestinian arsenal. What is dramatically new in the rocket attacks in 2008 are the range and quantity of rockets being fired."

With regard to the enhanced logistic capabilities, again the study concedes that "Palestinian organizations had used tunnels in past years to smuggle weaponry into Gaza, but, since the Disengagement, "the scale of this smuggling mushroomed". It points out that:

As a result, the quantities of explosives and foreign-produced, longer-range rockets that could enter Gazan territory increased dramatically. Yuval Diskin, the head of the Israel Security Agency, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in early 2006 that the amount of explosives smuggled into the Gaza Strip had grown drastically — by more than 300 percent. At the same hearing Diskin also revealed that "since the disengagement, between $50-$70 million in cash has been smuggled into Gaza in order to finance the Hamas terrorist operations."

As to the issue of political empowerment, while there may be some truth to Lapid's contention that "Hamas did not take power in Gaza because of the disengagement (but rather) because of the American insistence to hold free elections," he ignores the wider political impact of the disengagement that bestowed enhanced status and prestige on the radical Islamist movement, which was credited with coercing Israel into retreat.

As the JCPA paper points out: "The 2005 Gaza disengagement provided Hamas with a sense of empowerment and self-confidence. Politically, this led to the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority parliamentary elections in January 2006." Moreover, even if Hamas's electoral victory was not entirely due to the Disengagement — since it also won in the "West Bank" — it is highly improbable that without it, Hamas' violent take-over of Gaza in mid-2007 would have occurred. Indeed it is widely accepted among Israel's security establishment that the only thing preventing a similar overthrow of Abbas' Fatah-regime in the "West-Bank" is the presence of the IDF there!

But perhaps one of Lapid's most breathtakingly brazen statements is: "there is a possibility, and it is even a realistic one, that had it not been for the disengagement, our situation today would have been much worse." It is even more galling in the light of a previous pronouncement of his:

"We withdrew from Lebanon and Hizbullah is attacking us from there. We withdrew from Gaza and it is from there that the terror groups are attacking us. The only quiet areas right now are Judea and Samaria. Even the most extreme leftists are reconsidering: maybe it isn't about the occupation after all."

The difference in the severity of the realities confronting Israel in the pre-Disengagement era and post-Disengagement one are so clear and stark, that to attempt to suggest that there is any equivalence between them is a ludicrous as to suggest that a mild cold and terminal pneumonia are similar simply because they can both be diagnosed "viral infections."

Disengagement has been a staggering failure, at least in the conventional sense of the word. All the envisioned benefits that its proponents advanced as reasons for its implementation have not materialized. All the ominous forebodings of the dangers that its opponents warned of as reasons for eschewing its implementation, and which were scornfully dismissed by its proponents, have indeed materialized. The ascendancy of the radicals, the expanding threat to Israel's civilian population, the emerging strategic dimension of the weapons in the hands of radicals.

Lapid would do well to acknowledge this, for as a public figure, this would be a far more honorable choice than his ongoing shabby and shady attempts to avoid admission of error. But wait! On second thought perhaps Lapid is right after all. Perhaps for him the Disengagement is not a failure. Perhaps for him the Disengagement did attain its intended goal. Perhaps — as he as already admitted in an earlier article — his original fiery support for the Disengagement was just a hoax. Perhaps, as he admits in that article, the motivating drive behind the Disengagement was not a desire to further the interest of nation but to undermine the interest of the settlers.

Perhaps Lapid should re-examine the text of his final paragraph in which he assails the critics of the Disengagement: they don't care, because they are not interested in the truth, but rather, in the opportunity to exploit the pain and sorrow over today's victims in order to avert the next evacuation. And to that end, it is ok to lie, and to smear, and to come up with false arguments

If he were to replace the word "avert" with the word "induce," he would discover how perfectly he has described himself!

Contact HandsFiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO PEACE IS THE KORAN; WESTERN NEGEV NOW; MUSLIM AGGRESSION OUTSIDE ISRAEL
Posted by Janet Lehr, January 29, 2009.

THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO PEACE IS THE KORAN which informs it's readers that the Jews and Christians are flawed and must be converted or eliminated (depending on the interpreter). Here is a link to a search-able Koran: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/k/koran/ You can type in any name or phrase and see where it appears in that book.

A WOMAN ARRESTED AT THE CAIRO AIRPORT, because her identity card described her as a Christian, has been threatened for her faith by the judge in her case, according to a new report. According to the Assyrian International News Agency, a woman identified as Martha Samuel Makkar was arrested Dec. 13 as she, her husband, Fadl Thabet, and two sons were trying to leave Cairo for Russia. As WND reported, authorities in Egypt deprived the woman's two children, ages 2 and 4, of food to try to coerce her to abandon Christianity and return to Islam.

A SUMMARY OF OUR RECENT TRIP TO ISRAEL
Larry Kleinman

I thought that I got it. But I didn't. I mean, I've been a supporter of Israel my whole adult life. I've gone to I-don't-know-how-many rallies, parades, and demonstrations to show my support. I've argued with people who consider Israel racist and repressive and all that. I've sent each of my kids there for a summer, one of those summers being the summer of 2006 during the war with Lebanon. I'd gone there three times myself, and I'm sitting in the Tel Aviv airport right now, having concluded my fourth trip. I mean, I get it, right? No, I didn't get it.

You know who gets it? Benny Vaknin, the mayor of Ashkelon, a city in southern Israel that is something like 15 miles from Gaza. He gets it. A couple of days ago, he told me and the eight others with whom I was traveling that he has been friends with the mayor of Gaza City for years. That he used to send his city engineers to Gaza City to help develop better municipal sanitation systems. Of course, he told us this while we met with him in a concrete bunker several stories underground, the place from which he is now running his city because the city that his friend used to run is now being run by people who are trying to kill the citizens of Ashkelon with missiles.

The nurse in charge of the trauma room at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, another city in the south of Israel, also gets it. She met with us in her trauma room, a 6-bed unit that, unlike any emergency room that I've been to, needs large steel doors, an air lock entry, and reinforced concrete walls and ceilings, so that it can be sealed off from the rest of the hospital (and world). Soroka Hospital is just a few minutes by helicopter from Gaza, which is a good thing for the soldiers who are severely wounded in Gaza and are brought to the trauma room there. It is also 30 seconds by missile from Gaza, which is not a good thing for the nurse and everyone else who lives there. The steel doors, concrete, and air lock are there to keep the room safe from missiles that might carry a radioactive or chemical warhead. The nurse told us that a doctor saved a soldier's life the previous day by literally cutting him open and, in order to stop the bleeding, sticking his finger in the hole that shrapnel had made in the soldier's heart. She also said that they have done similar things for Palestinian patients. She said that it is her job to help save lives, and whose life she is saving is of no concern. Oh, she gets it all right.

I started to get it a little bit three days ago. Having arrived late the previous night from various parts of the US, the nine of us left our hotel in Jerusalem around 7:30 in the morning and headed west toward the Mediterranean coast. Although nobody talked about it, I think that we were all thinking the same thing. We'd all been to Israel before, some of us many, many times, some of us had even lived there for a year or more, and we'd all been on a tour bus with an Israeli guide pointing out various sites before, so it was all quite normal. And yet, we were heading to the area where missiles have fallen every day for the last two weeks, and we knew that this trip was going to be anything but normal. We were on what is called a "solidarity mission" — a trip taken to show the people of southern Israel who have been under attack that we haven't forgotten them. After about a half hour, we stopped at some 7-11 kind of place, and the guide said that we stopped here because once we passed this spot we'd be inside the 40 km zone which has been the range of the Hamas missiles. He said that stopping here would give us a chance to enjoy our coffee without worries. He also said that this was the first time he'd ever taken a tour group into a war zone, and as if that were not enough, he added that in the event of a siren — "siren" is the word that we would later discover seems to be preferable to "attack" — we would have 45 seconds to stop the bus, crouch in the aisle using the seats as protection, and put our hands over our heads as most of us had done during the drills that we did in elementary school in the 1950s. Funny, for the last 50 years I've been making fun of those drills — oh yeah, if the Russians drop an atomic bomb on us, crouching with my head covered by my hands will be a big help — and now I was trying to remember exactly how to do it and wondering how fast I could do it.. Yes, I was getting it a little bit. So much for the worry-free coffee.

Another person who gets it is the guy who runs the North American desk at the Israeli Foreign Ministry. When we met with him at the Ministry in Jerusalem toward the end of our trip, he told us that when he was a kid during the Six Day war in '67, he and his classmates would write notes of support, put them in little boxes along with some cookies, and send them off to the soldiers. Later, when he was fighting in Lebanon in the 80's, he would get those boxes sent by school kids. Today, he said, he has his own school age children, and now they are sending boxes to soldiers. His great fear is that one day his children will be receiving those boxes.

There are, as we would come to discover, different degrees of getting it. The Foreign Ministry guy, who is afraid of history repeating itself on his children, is at one level. Some of the parents that we met in a waiting room at Soroka Hospital are at a different level. They aren't afraid for their children's future; they are afraid for their children's present. One father — his son has been in a coma for four days since he took some shrapnel in the left side of his brain — talked to us for a while. His grief was unimaginable — as only a parent could put it, he talked about the difference in his feeling between his own service in the Yom Kippur War in '73, and his son's today. He looked directly at me — I'm about his age — and said something that indicated that I would obviously know about war since I am an American so I had been in Viet Nam, and that of course we would endure this awful experience — we, he said — because, just as our fathers had to do, fighting a war is something that we all have to do for the survival of our country. But please, God, he seemed to be saying, not our children. With tears coming down my face, I said nothing to him — for the first time in my life I felt ashamed that I never served in Viet Nam — and just gave him a big hug. He asked us to pray for his son's recovery, to ask God to "allow him to see his son's bright blue eyes again."

Another father, who could not speak English well, was only able to ask us to pray for his son. He said that all that can be done for his son now is what it says on an American dollar — "In God we trust." I hugged him, and as I started to walk away, I remembered that I had some of the dollar bills that people at home had given to me to give as tzdekah (sometimes translated incorrectly as charity). I gave him one, pointed to the "In God we trust", read it very slowly to him and pointed at the words hoping that he might understand me, and gave him the dollar. I'm not sure what he said back to me but I think he told me that he would keep it and give it to his son when his son recovers.

Unlike Soroka Hospital, Barzilai Hospital, in Ashkelon, does not treat the serious cases, but we found some parents worried about their children there as well. These are the mothers of premature babies, some weighing less than two pounds. The neonatal intensive care unit is on the top floor of that hospital, but since the hospital was not built to withstand a missile hit, most of the patients in the hospital (including Palestinian being treated there) had to be sent home. The babies in NICU can't be sent home, so they were moved to the basement, where a dozen or so women sit with their babies in an open, non-sterile, make-shift nursery (through which we also walked).

Israel, to say the least, has been getting a pretty rough time in the press. Pictures of dead children in Gaza are heartbreaking and it is pretty easy to portray Israel as a nation of barbarians. The Foreign Ministry guy told us about the efforts that Israel has been making to get the world to understand that they are not trying to overthrow Hamas — he said that Israel has no right to determine who the government of its neighbor should be — and are certainly not trying to kill innocent Palestinians. As an example of the kind of press that they have been dealing with, he showed us a BBC interview broadcast a few days ago in which a BBC correspondent asked a Foreign Ministry spokesman if Israel wanted to apologize for "stopping medical aid from getting to children who had been trapped in their house destroyed by Israeli bombs with nothing to do for two days but stare at the corpse of their mother," and then added "How in the name of humanity can your government do that?" Yes, it is true that Israel has had far fewer deaths than have the Palestinians, but this is due in part to the fact that Israel has taken better precautions to protect its people. Nearly all Israeli apartments and houses built since the first time that Israeli civilians came under fire — in the Gulf War — have a "safe room," a room made of concrete and steel that can be sealed against explosions as well as radiation and poison. Meanwhile, the Palestinians tend to win the media war — more deaths equals more sympathetic coverage.

But there is a great deal of suffering in Israel, and it tends to go unreported. At a Conservative synagogue in Beersheba, a young rabbi there talked to us about what it had been like to live with the rockets, and how much stress people there are dealing with. Everyday things, not something that one would think of, and not something reported in the news, but real, nevertheless. Schools have been closed since there is concern that there would not be enough time to get all students into a shelter. Even if that could be fixed, there is the concern that getting to and from school — when kids might have as little as 45 seconds to find shelter once the siren goes off — is too dangerous. As such, parents have to rearrange work schedules to take care of kids not in school. She herself has an extra burden — she has twin one-year-olds, and no "safe room" in her house. One of her neighbors has a safe room, but the 45 seconds of warning is not enough time for her to run to the neighbor's house carrying one child, run back, and then run again with the other child. As such, two adults have to be with the kids at all times. She also told us that the rockets have taken a terrible psychological toll on kids. They are all scared to death, and something like 50% of all 9 year olds in Beersheba are wetting their beds. Then she said something that seemed to summarize both the incredible Israeli stoicism, and the terrible-ness of the situation. She said that after all, "this is these kids' first war." Their first war! She said it as if it is a rite of passage, the way that we might say that this was one of our kids' first skinned knee.

If anybody gets it, the people of Sderot get it. Sderot is about a mile from Gaza, which gives its citizens less than 15 seconds to get cover. And it hasn't been under attack for just the past two weeks. Hamas has been firing missiles at Sderot for eight years. Eight years! Something like 6,000 missiles in the past eight years. Do the math. How many times a day in the past eight years has a siren gone off? How many times have people had 15 seconds to save their lives? How many times have senior citizens — who can't even get out of a chair in 15 seconds, much less run to a safe room or down a flight of stairs to a shelter, sat helplessly where they are, wondering if they were about to die? How many times did a mother with more than one child have to choose which child to carry to a shelter and which to leave behind? (Yes, that is really happening.) We met the mayor of Sderot — of course, in his underground command center — and he is an amazing person. He told us that half of his town is deserted, that those who have someplace else to go — relatives or friends in the north — have left. The nine of us already knew that without having to be told. We were there on a beautiful, warm, sunny day. The playground was deserted. The streets were deserted. The houses were deserted. The stores were nearly all closed. It looked like a ghost town, which it is rapidly becoming. Of those people still there, 70 percent of them need psychological help. If there is someone from whom you would expect to get a "kill the Arabs" rant, it would be him. And yet he said no such thing to us. He said that he had no animosity toward the Palestinians. He said he felt sorry for their deaths. But he was absolutely clear in his support for Israel 's attacks on Hamas. He wants the attacks on his town to stop. He wants peace.

The mayor of Sderot isn't the only Israeli who feels for the people in Gaza. We visited two college girls in Beersheba in their typical student apartment — lousy section of town, hand-me-down furniture, clock made of a beer can. Both spoke excellent English (turns out that each has one American parent) — and in many ways could have been typical American college kids. Except that in addition to talking about classes, friends, parties, etc, they also talked about how they were afraid to take a shower since they might not hear the siren. One of them, when she was asked how the typical Israeli college kid is viewing the "situation" — nobody here says the word "war" — said that she has to put her typical feelings on hold. I asked her what she meant by "typical feelings" and she said, "Oh you know.war is bad, people should all get along. And I know that Palestinians deserve the same things that we do — water, electricity — but we are fighting for our survival now. I can't let those other feelings get in the way."

An Army captain who talked to us in Sderot made the situation pretty clear. Gaza asks for ordinary items — pipes for plumbing in houses, fertilizer for farmers to grow food, gasoline for cars and tractors. Israel can't prohibit this "humanitarian aid" from coming in. Hamas, however, cuts the pipe into two foot sections, fills them with fertilizer and sugar and a few other easily obtained ingredients (just like the ingredients used in the bomb that blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City), and uses the gasoline as propellant. Oh, and they throw in ball bearings and whatever other metal fragments they can find (anything that can become lethal shrapnel once the fertilizer explodes), and fire the whole thing off aimed at Sderot. (The Israelis know this is happening because they have begun putting certain marks on the pipes being sent to Gaza, and these marks are now showing up on the missiles lading on Sderot.) Of course, the missiles are fired about 30 feet from a school or mosque or someone's home. The Israelis see the launch and fire a bunch of mortars at them. They usually hit the target and kill the terrorists. Sometimes, though, they miss by a little — say, 30 feet, and now it is not only the terrorists who are dead.it is the innocent people in the house, school, or mosque next door.

Just about every Israeli we talked to cared about what the world thinks of them and doesn't understand why they are being portrayed as they are. I remember one in particular. He was a kid, about 19, wounded in the fighting in Gaza, but only "lightly wounded. (Lightly wounded, by the way, includes such things as losing a toe.) We met him in the hospital where he was recovering. We talked for a little while — what sports he likes, what music he likes, the usual stuff that teenagers care about — and as we were leaving he looked at me and said "Represent us well in America." I told him that I would. I hope I am.

Without fail, every person that we talked to — the Foreign Ministry guy, the mayors, the college kids, the rabbi, people on the street and people in stores — thanked us for being there and told us how brave we were. It is hard to describe how ridiculous this felt. People living for weeks, and in some cases, years, with their lives in danger, thanking us for spending a total of maybe 12 hours doing that. But nothing was as gut-wrenching as getting thanks from the soldiers that we ran into about a mile from Gaza. There were about 100 of them, resting in a field and waiting for the command to go back into battle. We had brought some neck warmers with us — they are apparently loved by the soldiers because they not only keep them warm at night, they are apparently a cool fashion statement. (Remember, even though they are soldiers, we are not talking John Wayne here — we are talking 18 and 19 year old kids, whose wardrobe, even when 99% of it is a uniform — is a big deal.) They were incredibly appreciative of them, as they were of the cookies that we had also brought (18 year old boys tend to eat a lot) but when they found out that we were Americans, that we were only in Israel for a few days, and that the reason that we came was to show support for them, they fell all over themselves thanking us. How do I describe the feeling — embarrassment, maybe? — when a kid who, unlike my kids, is not going to a party or going to a bar, is going to war, makes a big deal about my bringing him cookies. I told them this — that my little act of handing out cookies pales in comparison to what they have been asked to do. I told them that they are kids and should not be asked to give up their kid-hoods, and for the first time they stopped laughing and smiling. A couple of them grew serious and told me that I am right, that they shouldn't have to do this. They don't want to be in danger, and they don't want to put the people in Gaza in danger either. But what alternative do they have?

Oh, they get it.

And then there is the mother, father, and grandmother of Alex Mashvitzki. I don't know if they get it. It might just be too much for them to get. Alex, a 21-year old soldier, was killed in Gaza about a week ago, and his parents ended shiva the first day that we were in Israel. We went to visit them and there is no way that I can do justice to the pain in that house. His mother and father seemed cried out. They just sat there, looking blankly, and answering questions in a monotone. The father played a PowerPoint that Alex's fellow soldiers made, showing a montage of pictures of Alex — baby pictures, bar mitzvah pictures, high school pictures, and IDF pictures — with Eric Clapton's See You in Heaven as background music. His grandmother was not cried out at all. I wound up sitting next to her, and she did not stop crying for the 30 minutes or so that I was there. She kept saying "Life is cruel," "He was only a baby," and "How can I go on?" One of my many character faults is that I am simply awful at relating to older people. In fact, I have to admit that if I had seen her before I chose my seat, I would have sat somewhere else. And yet, I found myself not only relating to her, but I think I actually was able to give her some comfort. She reminded me of my own grandmother — her sense of sadness, of being punished by God, was overwhelming. She told me that she had been a partisan fighter against the Nazis, and then told me that she was from Bialystok ( Poland ), where my grandmother was from. For some reason that hit me hard and I started to cry. We sat there for a few minutes holding each other's hands crying, until I was able to pull myself together. Then she showed me an album filled with photos of her Alex, and pointed him out in every picture. When it was time to leave, I didn't want to go. I had to bend almost in half to hug her — she is tiny, maybe four-six — but was surprised that she hugged me back. Someone in our group later told me that I was amazing with her, and he is right. The amazing part, though, is that I know that I helped her in a small way, and I know that I have never been able to do anything like that before. Maybe I was getting it. In a place where people are often called on to do things that they aren't comfortable with, but do it because it has to be done, I had played a very small role, but I had done something to help. It is a feeling that I will never forget.

In the last few days, we've been in range of the Hamas missiles for a total of about 15 hours, during which time something like 25 missiles were fired. Incredibly, we were never in the city at which they were fired. We would leave Ashkelon to go to Sderot, for example, and an hour after we left, a rocket would hit Ashkelon. Then, after we left Sderot, a missile would hit there. The radio was always on in the bus (in case we did not hear the siren), and many of us also had Blackberries, so we were constantly hearing about an attack in the place we had just been. It was eerie, and although we kept joking about it (we are being watched over, we are bad luck charms, we should split up and go over the whole country so nothing will get hit, etc.), I know that at least some of us had mixed feelings about not actually experiencing a siren. I know that I do. Of course I am happy to have made it back unharmed and yet the purpose of this trip was two-fold. We wanted to reassure the people of the South that we have them in our thoughts and prayers, and we accomplished this. But it was also to understand as best we could what it is like to actually be living in those conditions, and then report this back to everyone that we can here.. So many things that were only vague concepts to me before — what a half empty town looks like, what a hospital in a war zone feels like, what soldiers who are about to go into battle say or do — are now solid images in my memory. And yet the worst part — what must be moments of sheer terror as the siren goes off and you have those precious few seconds to find a place to keep yourself alive — is as much a mystery to me today as it was before I came. Saying that I am disappointed would not only be plain stupid — who could possibly be disappointed to have avoided such danger — it would miss the point. A more accurate phrasing, I think, would be to say that my experience was not complete, and 90 percent of me says thank God that it was not. But only 90 percent.

A few hours ago we came back to Jerusalem to pack up our stuff, check out of the hotel and leave for the airport. But before we did, the nine of us got together to "debrief" each other. The intention was for each of us to share his or her feelings about what we had seen in the past three days. Not one of the first three people to speak — including me — got more than a few sentences out before we started to cry. As it turns out, we were the only ones able to hold it together enough to even get those few sentences out; nobody else said anything.

I think we all got it. I can't really say for sure what "it" is — I think that it is something that we all will work out for ourselves — but it is certainly about the terrible sadness that we had just seen, about things that should not have to happen, about the world working the wrong way. Children not able to be children. Parents burying their children. People living in terror. And generation after generation after generation of people hoping that theirs will be the last generation to live this way, and fearing that it will not.

Islamists use our freedoms and commitment to tolerance and multiculturalism against us  

THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL
Brigitte Gabriel

I have told my personal story, of how Islamists, step by step, took over my country of Lebanon. How they used our freedoms and commitment to tolerance and multiculturalism against us to further their ultimate ends. And how they are using the same strategies and tactics against us in the West.

During this first month of the New Year 2009, we have seen some stunning developments that, considered together, should leave absolutely no doubt about the rising radical Islamic threat on our doorsteps in America.

I have been warning Americans since 2002 about this threat, and that the threat is not just confined to terrorism. This is not a "war on terror." Terror is a tactic, one of many in the arsenal of radical Islamists.

I have been declaring, to anyone who would listen, that Islamists are well on their way to subverting and transforming Europe, and they are riding that wave here to America.

I have told my personal story, of how Islamists, step by step, took over my country of Lebanon. How they used our freedoms and commitment to tolerance and multiculturalism against us to further their ultimate ends. And how they are using the same strategies and tactics against us in the West.

In just the past three weeks we have seen:

  • A violent Islamic protest in Britain, where an angry mob shouting "Allahu Akbar" chased — yes, chased — dozens of British policemen for blocks. You must see this video to believe it! (Please be warned — there is offensive language and profanity). To see this video, click here. If YouTube is intimidated and takes it down, click on this video showing the same scene — British police running away from Muslim thug protesters shouting Allah Akbar and free-free Palestine. Shocking!

  • Pro-Hamas, anti-Israel Muslims conducting demonstrations here in America, shouting praises to Hitler for what he did to the Jews, yelling "go back to the ovens," and at times physically attacking counter-protestors.

  • The Amsterdam Court of Appeals ordering the prosecution of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders because he has made statements deemed "insulting" and harmful to "the religious esteem" of Muslims.

  • Austrian parliamentarian Susanne Winter convicted of "incitement," because of public statements she has made, including the claim that the prophet Mohammed was a pedophile.
    Click here.

  • Muslim protest marches in Italy that ended with the protestors, in an obvious act of intimidation, conducting mass prayer vigils directly in front of Catholic places of worship.

  • The release of an official U.S. government report stating that Hezbollah is forming terrorist cells here in the U.S. that could become operational.
    Click here.

  • The UN continuing to move ahead with the "Durban II" conference and its document that is little more than an anti-Israel rant that calls for suppressing public "defamation" of religion — notably Islam. This has run parallel to an effort by the Organization of the Islamic Conference to get the UN Human Rights Commission to pass a resolution condemning public "defamation" of Islam.

My friends, the handwriting is clearly on the wall. Radical Islam is on the march, and it is growing stronger and bolder with every passing day.

What elected official in Europe or the UK will now have the courage to speak out against this threat? Certainly the actions against parliamentarians Wilders and Winter will ultimately have a chilling effect on American elected officials as well.

How many more "no-go zones," Muslim enclaves where non-Muslims and even police officers fear to go, will appear in Europe? We're already seeing such enclaves develop here in America right now. There's a reason why Dearborn, Michigan, is frequently referred to as "Dearbornistan."

What will happen in America when 50,000 ranting, chanting Islamist demonstrators attempt to aggressively back down and chase police officers trying to maintain order? Will the police use the force necessary? If they do, we can expect howls from groups like CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations). How will government officials respond?

And if the police back down and run, as they recently did in Britain, what message is being sent to radical Islamists?

With the recent announcements by the Obama administration regarding ending the use of certain coercive interrogation practices, will this administration have the courage and use the tools necessary to protect us from Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda terrorist cells in our midst?

It is becoming crystal clear that 2009 is going to be a critical year in our effort to roll back the rising tide of Islamofascism. Over the next several weeks we will be announcing various projects and programs designed so that we can more aggressively and effectively go on the offense against this threat.

I am asking you to pay close attention to these announcements when they occur and to participate in every way you can. We must all come together and ACT! this year, before the worldwide momentum building behind radical Islam becomes too powerful to stop.

Always devoted,
Bridgitte Gabriel

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

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FROM ISRAEL: DEJA VU AGAIN
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 29, 2009.

Heaven forbid we should fall back into a pattern with Hamas in which they hit us with an occasional rocket, low key enough to avoid engendering a new incursion into Gaza, and we respond, but without sufficient deterrence to make them stop. But the situation may be heading that way. We left Gaza too soon.

I would like to review some news items first, and then return to the final section of my report on the Jerusalem Conference.

~~~~~~~~~~

On Tuesday, a large bomb thrown from inside Gaza hit an IDF patrol at the Gaza border near the Kissufim Crossing; one soldier was killed and three others wounded, one seriously. (We don't have the name of the soldier who was killed because his family requested that it not be released. We know he was a Bedouin tracker.) This was followed by a mortar attack.

We responded by air, killing the terrorist who was said to have carried out the bombing of the soldiers, and taking out a number of tunnels near the Philadelphi Corridor.

~~~~~~~~~~

On Wednesday, Hamas rejected our terms for a longer-term ceasefire, which stipulated that we would open the crossings into Gaza only if Shalit were released. Hamas says they want the crossings opened and 1,000 prisoners released for Shalit as well.

If our government in its last days — possibly before the election to garner votes — agrees to this, it would undo much of what was accomplished in the fighting and set us back. I'm holding my breath.

~~~~~~~~~~

Following this, Wednesday night, a rocket was launched from Gaza into the Eshkol region.

Livni made statements about how the days of restraint were over. And Haim Yalin, head of the Eshkol Regional Council called for a harsh response. He explained to the press that he and others had sat with Barak and Olmert during the war, and told them, "It does not matter at what stage the military operation ends, what matters is what Israel does after the first rocket is fired."

This is correct and echoes a strong feeling on the part of many here that the beginning of rocket fire represented a moment of truth that required a particularly tough response.

As it was, after midnight last night, we hit a weapons depot in Rafah inside Gaza.

This morning, two Kassam rockets were fired into the Sderot area.

We followed with an air attack on a vehicle in Khan Yunis, in the south of Gaza, which was carrying Mahmoud Hamdan Samiri. Was this a direct response to the second rocket attack? Seems not. It followed that attack, but Samiri was said to have been involved in the earlier attack at Kissufim.

So...is that it?

~~~~~~~~~~

George Mitchell is in the area, according to various sources to gather information. He came into Jerusalem on Tuesday from Cairo, made various statements about the US being committed to peace and wanting to foster a stronger truce, and proceeded over the next couple of days to meet with President Peres, PM Olmert, Foreign Minister Livni, and Chief of Staff Ashkenazi. Tomorrow he will meet with Likud head Netanyahu and then head to Jordan. Syria is not on his itinerary.

~~~~~~~~~~

Today Mitchell went to Ramallah and met with members of the PA. In a press conference with Mahmoud Abbas, he declared that "to be successful in preventing the illicit traffic of arms into Gaza there must be a mechanism to allow the flow of legal goods, and that should be with the participation of the Palestinian Authority."

We saw that coming. Olmert informed Mitchell that there would be no opening of the crossing for full flow of goods until Shalit was released.

~~~~~~~~~~

It has just been revealed, however, that when Olmert met with Mitchell, he shared with him his own vision for a "peace plan," which, according to Israel National News, would require us to surrender most of Judea and Samaria and expel 60,000 Jews from their homes.

This reminds us, once again, that the greatest dangers we face are not from the outside, but rather from within. Olmert remains — in spite of his recent strength with the war — a destructive force and a loose cannon.

Likud, alarmed by Olmert's position — as well it should be — has reportedly asked for an emergency session of the Knesset.

MK Gidon Sa'ar declared that, "This plan is dangerous and abandons the security of Israel. It will bring Hamas' missiles to Tel Aviv and the center of the country." The Likud party made it clear in a statement that "this plan does not obligate Israel nor the Likud headed by Binyamin Netanyahu." And indeed it does not, although it will cause additional pressure to be put on us.

~~~~~~~~~~

President Obama gave his first interview on Tuesday, with Al-Arabyia originating in Dubai. "My job," he said, "is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect."

~~~~~~~~~~

Speaking of Dubai, is this strictly a coincidence? George Mitchell was chairman of a law firm that was paid $8 million to represent Dubai's Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum in 2006, with regard to charges that Maktoum and others enslaved boys from Africa and South Asia and brought them to Dubai to be camel jockeys in races. The firm, DLA Piper, did extensive lobbying in the Middle East, and did both lobbying and legal work for the Sheikh.

~~~~~~~~~~

According to The Guardian today, the Obama administration is working on a draft of a letter to Iran that would be conciliatory and pave the way for direct US-Iranian talks.

Iran is not demonstrating pleasure with Obama, however. Ahmadinejad says "profound changes" are required. These would include an end to support for Israel and an apology to Iran.

How long will it take, and how hard will he have to be pushed, before Obama realizes that his current approach to Iran will not be constructive?

The one encouraging note is that Adm. Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has indicated that Obama has not taken the possibility of the US using force against Iran off the table.

~~~~~~~~~~

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post yesterday, EU foreign policy head Javier Solana refused to state unequivocally that the EU would continue to insist upon previously determined conditions — renouncing violence, recognizing Israel, and accepting previous agreements — before talking with Iran. This is broadly seen as a weakening within the European community with regard to recognizing Hamas.

~~~~~~~~~~

Turkey, which once was considered in the Western-tilting or moderate camp of Islamic nations, has made a worrisome shift towards the radical Islamist forces of late. At the World Economic Forum, Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has now declared that "President Obama must redefine terror and terrorist organizations in the Middle East, and based on this new definition, a new American policy must be deployed in the Middle East." This is understood to mean that Hamas and Hezbollah should not longer be considered terrorists.

He'll have an opportunity to say this directly to George Mitchell, who is due in Turkey on Sunday.

According to an Israeli official, Erdogan is fomenting anti-Semitism in Turkey with his uncritical acceptance of the Hamas version of what went on in Gaza.

~~~~~~~~~~

Returning to the Conference...

Binyamin Netanyahu kicked off the day yesterday with a brief talk on the future of Jerusalem. Said he: "We will ignore nothing we need to do to keep Jerusalem united."

Any attempt to "solve" problems here by dividing Jerusalem would have global ramifications. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." If Jerusalem were divided, he said, Hamas, and then Iran, would move in.

"Our connection to the land is precisely the reason why we are here and not somewhere else. Har Habayit (The Temple Mount) is at the center." Already the Arabs call it the "holy seat" to blur our historical connection to it.

Netanyahu then recounted actions he'd taken in the past, when he was prime minister, to strengthen Jerusalem — such as the building of Har Homa in spite of Arab objections, and things he'd still like to do.

What seems important here, beyond the primary concern for Jerusalem herself, is that if Netanyahu indeed becomes prime minister — as polls indicate he will — and keeps Jerusalem united, this alone would preclude a Palestinian state.

~~~~~~~~~~

Last session to be shared: "Is There a 'Clash of Civilizations'?" This is a panel that offered serious thinkers with differing philosophies, ideologies and perspectives. It provided considerable food for thought.

Professor Yisrael Aumann, Nobel Laureate, speaking from the perspective of game theory, which is his special expertise, opted to pass on the broader subject of the panel — global terrorism — and address the issue of domestic terrorism and how we respond:

We stimulate terrorism, said Aumann, by providing incentives. We have provided signals via the withdrawal from Gush Katif that terrorism pays. From the Gush Katif evacuation there followed the Second Lebanon War and then Hamas in Gaza and the war with this group. We destroyed the chance for peace now but can bring it in the future by avoiding concessions, gestures, and flexibility that bring war.

The Arabs understood correctly what the message of Gush Katif was. We must remember that the Romans said, "If you want peace, prepare for war." They had the Pax Romana, for 400 years. Similarly, during the Cold War the US was able to move toward peace not by concessions but through strength. There were armed aircraft in the air, hovering 24/7 every day, and we were prepared to use the armaments if necessary.

WWII was caused by "peaceniks" and appeasement. "Peace in our time," was followed 18 months later by Britain declaring war.

~~~~~~~~~~

Shlomo Avineri, Israel Prize laureate, then disagreed with Aumann: We don't bring terror on ourselves, the Arabs do it to us. They were killing us even before we compromised on anything.

The war, said Avineri, is not between civilizations and not between the West and Islam. It is within Islam, which never underwent a change, a transformation to modernity. It is a reflection of huge frustration.

The Islamic traditions of the Middle Ages deteriorated because Western models for transformation — such as liberalism and democracy — never worked for them. Thus they have attempted to renew the glory of the old days and moved to a Jihadist approach.

The hatred of the West is deep. The Muslim world is regressing. They hate us because of our strength, not because of our weakness.

Those Arabs who are fighting radical Islam, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are not democracies. We must ally with them and turn a blind eye to what we don't like. Bush tried to enforce democracy but they don't have the foundations and it will fail. This is a complex situation but we share a political agenda.

Radical Islam is more dangerous to the moderate Arabs than to us. Were Egypt, for example, to open the border with Gaza, it would cause huge problems for them.

~~~~~~~~~~

Bernard Lewis, the much venerated elder dean of Islamic scholarship, who was present but not formally part of the panel, was asked to share his perspective on this issue. His take was fascinating:

All religions, he said, are triumphalist. But only two — Christianity and Islam — are exclusive. That is, only these say there is one truth and only one road to heaven. (Judaism, by contrast, only says Jews must be good Jews for a share in the world-to-come. Non-Jews can remain such and still have their share of heaven if they live moral and good lives. Everyone doesn't have to be Jewish.)

Thus, a conflict between Christianity and Islam was inevitable.

Islam, says Lewis, is now functioning in the early 15th century. Christianity in the 15th century was at battle within itself with because of different Christian groups. At the end of this time there was a Christian acceptance of secularism. Lewis says he's not prepared to predict if Islam will reach this stage.

Jews have a religion and a culture, but are not a civilization unto themselves. Jews have been a component in the Christian and Muslim civilizations. (Ashkenazi Jews came out of Christian culture, and those called Sephardic Jews came out of the Muslim culture — and differences between these two groups is reflected in the differences in the two civilizations.)

What is going on now is seen by the West as a clash of civilizations. Islam sees it as a clash of religions.

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

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ALWAYS TROUBLE WITH THE JEWS
Posted by Boris Celser, January 29, 2009.

This was written by Christian Ortner and it appeared January 8, 2009 in Die Presse. Christian Ortner is a journalist in Vienna.

Why don't the Jews just let themselves be killed without resistance? After all, that's how it used to be!

On the whole, Austria displays rather a lot of sympathy for the Jews, at least as long as we're talking about dead Jews. For example, today practically nobody has anything against the Jews murdered in the concentration camps.

It's a bit different when it comes to Jews who are (still) alive. True, in an interview the Austrian Chancellor did condemn Hamas' rocket attacks on Israel, but in the same breath he also condemned Israel's efforts to robustly defend itself against these acts of terrorism.

Presumably this resolute on-the-one-hand/on-the other attitude is entirely capable of securing a majority. As long as Israel puts up, without showing any resistance, with a situation in which a considerable proportion of its population are forced to live in air-raid shelters in order to avoid becoming the victims of a Hamas rocket, we tolerate its behavior. If they defend themselves against these attacks, we put them on the same level as the Hamas terrorist. Why can't the Jews living in Israel let themselves be killed off just as noiselessly and politely as their parents and grandparents did at the time in the European extermination camps?

In contrast, as might have been expected, France showed more awareness of tradition and continuity than the stubborn Jews. While its Foreign Ministry similarly reprimanded Hamas and Israel equally, in the best Orwellian style thereby eliminating the difference between aggressor and victim, the Grande Nation made a masterly connection to the glorious days of Vichy, when proud France also had to put up with acts of Jewish insolence with impunity.

By way of camouflage for their behavior, all those who expect Israel to kindly allow itself to be bombarded with rockets, without making any trouble, have recently started using the argument of "disproportionality" of Israel's resistance, in other words the fact that clearly more Palestinians fell victim to Israel's resistance than Israelis to Hamas' terror.

It is an undisputed fact that the main reason for this is that Hamas sets up its rocket positions at schools, nursery schools, and hospitals, precisely in order to achieve this effect. Which is why the following question must be asked: Why do the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza not prevent Hamas from firing rockets at Israel from their schoolyards? After all, it is hard to imagine that Hamas would be able to continue carrying out terror against Israel for even one day in the face of resistance by its own population.

So far, there is no information about Hamas (elected by a majority) using force to install its rocket positions right in the middle of the civilian population. Hence the question of "proportionality" must also be asked differently. As long as the Palestinians tolerate Hamas firing rockets at Israeli nursery schools, from within their midst, from their houses and schools, they cannot really be considered "innocent civilian victims."

It is not Israel's resistance which is disproportionate, but the criticism of this resistance.

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

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ACCOUNT OF ISRAELI ATTACK ON UN SCHOOL DOESN'T HOLD UP TO SCRUTINY
Posted by Boris Celser, January 29, 2009.

This was written by Patrick Martin and it appeared today in the Globe and Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090129.wgazaschool29/ BNStory/International/home.

JABALYA, GAZA STRIP — Most people remember the headlines: Massacre Of Innocents As UN School Is Shelled; Israeli Strike Kills Dozens At UN School.

They heralded the tragic news of Jan. 6, when mortar shells fired by advancing Israeli forces killed 43 civilians in the Jabalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. The victims, it was reported, had taken refuge inside the Ibn Rushd Preparatory School for Boys, a facility run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.The news shocked the world and was compared to the 1996 Israeli attack on a UN compound in Qana, Lebanon, in which more than 100 people seeking refuge were killed. It was certain to hasten the end of Israel's attack on Gaza, and would undoubtedly lead the list of allegations of war crimes committed by Israel.

There was just one problem: The story, as etched in people's minds, was not quite accurate.

Physical evidence and interviews with several eyewitnesses, including a teacher who was in the schoolyard at the time of the shelling, make it clear: While a few people were injured from shrapnel landing inside the white-and-blue-walled UNRWA compound, no one in the compound was killed. The 43 people who died in the incident were all outside, on the street, where all three mortar shells landed.

Stories of one or more shells landing inside the schoolyard were inaccurate.

While the killing of 43 civilians on the street may itself be grounds for investigation, it falls short of the act of shooting into a schoolyard crowded with refuge-seekers.

The teacher who was in the compound at the time of the shelling says he heard three loud blasts, one after the other, then a lot of screaming. "I ran in the direction of the screaming [inside the compound]," he said. "I could see some of the people had been injured, cut. I picked up one girl who was bleeding by her eye, and ran out on the street to get help."But when I got outside, it was crazy hell. There were bodies everywhere, people dead, injured, flesh everywhere."

The teacher, who refused to give his name because he said UNRWA had told the staff not to talk to the news media, was adamant: "Inside [the compound] there were 12 injured, but there were no dead."

"Three of my students were killed," he said. "But they were all outside."

Hazem Balousha, who runs an auto-body shop across the road from the UNRWA school, was down the street, just out of range of the shrapnel, when the three shells hit. He showed a reporter where they landed: one to the right of his shop, one to the left, and one right in front.

"There were only three," he said. "They were all out here on the road."

News of the tragedy travelled fast, with aid workers and medical staff quoted as saying the incident happened at the school, the UNRWA facility where people had sought refuge.

Soon it was presented that people in the school compound had been killed. Before long, there was worldwide outrage.

Sensing a public-relations nightmare, Israeli spokespeople quickly asserted that their forces had only returned fire from gunmen inside the school. (They even named two militants.) It was a statement from which they would later retreat, saying there were gunmen in the vicinity of the school.

No witnesses said they saw any gunmen. (If people had seen anyone firing a mortar from the middle of the street outside the school, they likely would not have continued to mill around.)

John Ging, UNRWA's operations director in Gaza, acknowledged in an interview this week that all three Israeli mortar shells landed outside the school and that "no one was killed in the school."

"I told the Israelis that none of the shells landed in the school," he said.

Why would he do that?

"Because they had told everyone they had returned fire from gunmen in the school. That wasn't true."

Mr. Ging blames the Israelis for the confusion over where the victims were killed. "They even came out with a video that purported to show gunmen in the schoolyard. But we had seen it before," he said, "in 2007."

The Israelis are the ones, he said, who got everyone thinking the deaths occurred inside the school.

"Look at my statements," he said. "I never said anyone was killed in the school. Our officials never made any such allegation."

Speaking from Shifa Hospital in Gaza City as the bodies were being brought in that night, an emotional Mr. Ging did say: "Those in the school were all families seeking refuge. ... There's nowhere safe in Gaza."

And in its daily bulletin, the World Health Organization reported: "On 6 January, 42 people were killed following an attack on a UNRWA school ..."

The UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs got the location right, for a short while. Its daily bulletin cited "early reports" that "three artillery shells landed outside the UNRWA Jabalia Prep. C Girls School ..." However, its more comprehensive weekly report, published three days later, stated that "Israeli shelling directly hit two UNRWA schools ..." including the one at issue.

Such official wording helps explain the widespread news reports of the deaths in the school, but not why the UN agencies allowed the misconception to linger.

"I know no one was killed in the school," Mr. Ging said. "But 41 innocent people were killed in the street outside the school. Many of those people had taken refuge in the school and wandered out onto the street.

"The state of Israel still has to answer for that. What did they know and what care did they take?"  

EDITOR'S NOTE: February 5, 1009 UPDATE:

These are excerpts from an article by Abraham Rabinovich in today's The Australian
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/

A statement issued yesterday by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Human Affairs acknowledged that it had wrongly blamed the deaths at the time on the "shelling of the UNRWA (Relief and Works Agency) school".

"The humanitarian co-ordinator would like to clarify that the shelling, and all of the fatalities, took place outside rather than inside the school," the statement said.

The clarification came several days after a journalist for Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper, Patrick Martin, interviewed Palestinians living near the school and a teacher, who told him that none of the casualties were in the school but on the street outside.

Neither Mr Ging nor other UN officials attempted subsequently to dispel the widespread suspicions of Israeli culpability, although they knew otherwise, until the newspaper report.

That denial, however, did not convince critics around the world, who continued to accuse Israel of deliberately targeting schools harbouring civilians seeking shelter, a belief buttressed by the UN statement.

Military analyst Anthony Cordesman, in a study of the Gaza conflict released this week, concluded that the Israeli Defence Forces did not violate the rules of war during the three-week campaign.

He said Hamas was not bound by international conventions but was able to "manipulate humanitarian considerations" for propaganda leverage.

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

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DUKE UNIVERSITY'S COLONIZATION PROGRAM
Posted by Seth Frantzman, January 28, 2009.

The next generation of colonialists: Duke University's 'Engage' program invites young students to 'change the world' through working at NGOs throughout the world as part of their student exchange program. It gives 18-22 year old students the chance to 'intervene directly' in places, helping to make local NGOs more efficient and 'train locals'. This arrogance, that we should 'change the world' is inculcated at a young age. But this NGO-poverty-tourism is a decidedly racist worldview.

Duke University has many study abroad programs. Incorporated into most of them is the chance to spend extra time participating in the 'Duke Engage' program. Its motto is 'challenge yourself: change the world.' It is a good case study in the way in which western students increasingly believe it is their duty to 'change' the entire world, an arrogant concept that smacks of racism, colonialism and the idiocy of 'the white man's burden.'

To understand the idiocy it is worthwhile examining what Duke Engage students are engaged in. In Egypt's Cairo they are part of St. Andrews Refugee ministry, a "localized western model NGO." Participants "develop programs for making local NGOs more efficient....exciting opportunities to be in charge of a new program." Students in the program will, however, have to learn some Arabic to work with the locals. In Kenya "Students in the FSD program in Kenya will be individually placed with a partner organization in one of seven development subject areas, including microfinance/microenterprise, women's empowerment, environment, health, human rights, education and youth development, or community development." In South Africa "Students will spend six weeks in Cape Town, working with social agencies that are seeking to improve life in townships, document the history of District Six (a neighborhood bulldozed by the apartheid regime because it was a model of multi-racial democracy), and promote health and economic reform in the nation." In Northern Tanzania "Students will learn about healthcare technology shortcomings in the developing world and spend time directly intervening to address these challenges."

In Uganda "DukeEngage students will primarily provide training on, education, and dissemination of vital medical services." In China the students will undermine the government by dealing with migrants to cities who "often underpaid, with no health or employment benefits, and subjected to a range of discriminatory practices... Interfacing with JP Morgan's Corporate Social Responsibility office in Beijing, Duke Engage Beijing students will work at one of the most successful of these places [for migrant worker children], the Dandelion Middle School (Pugongying Zhongxue). Our students will engage in a wide range of tasks, from teaching English and other subjects, to working with school staff in health, nutrition, life skills, counseling and study-to-work programs." In Vietnam however the students will be involved in some nationalism through going to "Ben Tre Province to participate in the Vietnamese Youth League's Green Summer Campaign."

In Ireland "students will spend two months in Dublin working with communities of refugees and migrants. DukeEngage students will be placed with one of five different NGOs serving the migrant and refugee community [or] Duke students will work with five Belfast-based NGOs that focus on human rights." In Haiti they will be "documenting the needs and strengths of community partners in Haiti and developing cross-disciplinary partnerships, from environmental health, engineering design, and health management to clinical care; and 3. determining priorities community members, leaders and health professionals have related to the planned construction of a health and research center." In Israel "students who participate in the follow-up DukeEngage portion of the program will work in one of several organizations that promote social justice in disadvantaged communities. The organizations, which are all based in Jerusalem, focus on providing social assistance to new Ethiopian immigrants, community education, creating local leadership for social change, women's rights, and environmental justice."

It all sounds well and good. But let us consider the mentality behind it. First among the mentality is the belief that "we can do it better than them." The programs don't send college students abroad to learn from locals. It doesn't say the students will observe and first learn about what the local people are doing. Instead the mentality is that a bunch of college students from the west, ages 18-22, are perfectly capable, even if their majors are in things not related to the programs, to show up and immediately begin telling the locals what to do. Is there anything more arrogant than thinking that simply by the virtue of these students being from Duke that they can suddenly take charge of a health care clinic in Haiti or perhaps running a food co-op NGO in Kenya? The insinuation is that the natives are just there to be told what to do. Isn't that, in truth, what this program is saying: "dear Westerner, come and run your own plantation with natives ready to work for you, eager to learn from you and take direction...be your own boss of some hundred savage people and whip them into shape so that they can be more efficient because you, by virtue of coming from the West, surely know more than all these savages."

What does it mean to 'change the world'? It means the world needs you and only you, the westerner, can change it. It means the world needs changing and isn't good enough, isn't up to 'our standards'. It means that we must change it, not that it could, god forbid, change us. It means that we have a 'duty' to change it. This is an arrogant idea, the idea that it needs changing. But what if it is doing ok by itself. Haiti appears to need changing until one recalls just exactly who it was that has been running it for the last hundred years. Recall that Haiti was the second country in the Western Hemisphere to gain independence (after the U.S) in 1802 and recall that it did just fine in the 19th century until people began colonizing it again. Recall that since 1992 it has been run by NGOs and the U.N. So when we say we must 'change' it, we should be changing our own policy towards it. We should have long ago left it to its own ends. Poor and savage it may be, but our 'change' doesn't appear to be helping. Haitians are poorer today per capita than they were in 1802. So how is the 'change' helping?

Why aren't the arrogant colonists-in-the-making sent to their own countries or places where they speak the local language at least to affect some change? Why aren't we dispatching them to the inner cities to lord it over some of our own people? Why don't we dispatch them to St. Joseph's hospital in Tucson to run the hospital for a few days? If we believe any Duke student is capable of running, without training, some clinic in Africa why not let them run a clinic, with no training, in Harlem? I mean, by Duke's logic, those people in Harlem must be equally savage as the one's in Kenya so why not let our best and brightest 18-22 year olds experiment on our own black poor people? We don't need to send them all the way to Africa, we have plenty of African immigrants here in the U.S for rich folk to experiment on with leftist notions of 'I must change them and only I can do it because they are to stupid'. But we wouldn't send some inexperienced, wet behind the ears, student go run a hospital in Harlem or Tucson, so why would we send them to Africa to do it? Do the Africans deserve so little, are they are so useless that we truly believe some 20 year old is capable of telling them what do to by virtue simply of the fact that they live in a poor African country? What do these students really know about making local NGOs "more efficient." The insinuation is that the native people running the NGOs locally are obviously corrupt and inefficient and only by bringing them the natural efficiency that any 18 year old American social science student innately has can they improve.

There is another side to the Duke Engage program, that while less arrogant, is equally obnoxious. This is the belief that it is the duty of Duke to work to subvert various governments throughout the world by sending study abroad students into the country to create unrest among minorities and encourage militant activism among groups that Duke has identified as 'disadvantaged.' On the surface it seems natural for American students to want to help minorities in Ireland, China or Israel. But lets imagine a situation where some idealistic Americans show up and encourage local Chinese labourers to assert their 'rights' more and this leads to riots and then bloodshed. Imagine the situation in Israel where the Americans show up to work among the local Ethiopians and because Americans imagine that every black person everywhere must suffer terrible discrimination, they fill the Ethiopians' heads with images of the Old South, and soon these poor Ethiopians are imagining all sorts of racism where none previously existed. It is not far fetched. Westerners have a strange habit of always being more nationalistic and extreme than locals. I have witnessed western white women encouraging Arabs to be more nationalistic, telling them about their 'true claim to the temple mount', regaling Muslims with stories about Mohammed that even the Muslims didn't know and inquiring of Arab women 'why do you speak Hebrew, the language of your enemy?' I've seen white women from the west asking "where is the racism, those Ethiopians, they are the blacks here so they must be discriminated against, I am sure there is more racism than we see on the surface." Westerners need to find racism in other countries because the idea of racism as a natural part of society is ingrained in the West and the idea that "racism is everywhere" is typical of an American liberal education. Thus in India white westerners typically ask "aren't the white Indians racist against the black ones." Indians might inquire "what blacks and whites?" But westerners refuse to think that the notion of race is not easily accepted elsewhere. So westerners will mistake the Indian Hindu notion of caste for race and class, because race and class are easily understood in the West. It might surprise them to learn that caste in India transcends both dark and lighter skinned Hindus and poorer and richer ones.

We cannot imagine Chinese students flooding America on foreign exchange visas and being put in charge of our rural health care centers or going among Mexican immigrants and encouraging them to fight for 'social justice'. We can't imagine African students arriving in the U.S to campaign for environmental justice. We can't imagine Russian students meeting with poor whites in the south and educating them about their 'disadvantaged position.' We can't imagine it because it would seem odd to have foreigners running around our country telling our people how to live, whipping them into a frenzy about justice, telling them how to run a health clinic and then leaving after their six weeks of poverty and social activist tourism was at an end, returning to Africa or China or Russia to talk about how they 'changed the world' and leaving a big mess behind them.

The arrogance of social-justice-tourism and the evils of NGOs and those who think they have a right to run them is never ending. The Duke case is just the tip of the iceberg of a persistent liberal racism against the world, a leftist-human-rights racism that permeates our culture and makes us believe that we must 'change the world', not by first changing ourselves, but by undermining foreign governments, and imposing ourselves upon others and lording it over others. Anyone that believes that some 20 year old college student with no background and no experience who has never worked a day in his life can show up in Kenya and be placed in charge of 40 year old Africans is as bent morally as those people in the Old South who owned slaves.

Contact Seth J. Frantzman at sfrantzman@hotmail.com and visit his website: http://journalterraincognita.blogspot.com These essays appeared on his website.

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A SELECTIVE APPROACH TO THE FACTS AT UNRWA
Posted by Barbara Taverna, January 28, 2009.

This was written by Melanie Phillips
http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3296271/ a-selective-approach-to-the-facts.thtml

The pressure group Arab Media Watch has put out a statement claiming that my observation in my Daily Mail column yesterday, that Hamas has intercepted dozens of aid trucks and confiscated food and medical supplies bound for the UN stores in Gaza is untrue. It bases its claim upon the following:

AMW chairman Sharif Hikmat Nashashibi spoke on the phone with John Ging, director of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, and its spokesman Chris Gunness. Ging described the claim as 'completely untrue.' Gunness described it as 'utter nonsense,' and said he would make a statement about this to the Mail. 'It took me a few minutes to verify that this very serious claim is false,' wrote Nashashibi in a letter to the newspaper. 'Phillips could have, and should have, done the same.'

Presumably, AMW will therefore have made the same complaint to Jordan's Petra news agency, which reported on January 20 that

Hamas hijacked Jordanian aid trucks after they crossed into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing on Tuesday. The aid was to go to UNRWA. As the truck drivers started unloading the aid, Hamas gunmen opened fire on them and forced them to go to Hamas-run stores.

and to the government of Jordan, which confirmed

on Tuesday that Hamas gunmen had seized the trucks shortly after they entered the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom border crossing

and to Fatah, one of whose officials said

that on Monday night alone, Hamas gunmen intercepted 12 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid that had been donated by the Jordanian government to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. He said that the trucks were on their way to the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) when the gunmen belonging to the movement's armed wing, Izaddin al-Kassam, stopped them and confiscated their contents... Last week Fatah activists and eyewitnesses in the Gaza Strip claimed that Hamas had confiscated fuel and food that was en route to hospitals and schools housing thousands of Palestinian families.

Perhaps AMW might care to bring all this to the attention of John Ging and Christopher Gunness? Now here is an analysis of both these gentlemen and the body they represent, which reports that

Ging accused Israel of killing the Palestinian driver of an aid truck on Jan. 7, 2009, while Israeli officials — including the medic who brought the Palestinians to a hospital in Ashkelon — said the driver's death [was] the consequence of Palestinian sniper fire...Ging acknowledged, however, that he could not be absolutely certain that the attacks came from IDF forces, telling a reporter who asked whether other combatants may have been responsible, 'There is a conflict going on.'

And now let's look at UNRWA which has been supervising the Palestinian 'refugee camps' in Gaza for decades, during which time they have developed into mass production terror factories under its nose. The vast majority of UNWRA's staff in Gaza are Palestinians — and all Gazans are either supporters of Hamas or are very firmly under their thumb. But when asked at a press conference whether UNRWA was indeed a Hamas front, John Ging stalled:

He was 'just not going to answer' allegations that UNRWA had been infiltrated by Hamas. No evidence had ever been provided by any authority, at any level. Absolutely no official allegation had been made.

When you look at the efforts UNRWA has made over the years to ensure that none of its operatives is controlled by Hamas, no wonder he was coy. Fox News reported:

UNRWA official Chris Guinness told the Jerusalem Post this week that the agency screens names of new employees against the relatively small U.N. database of Taliban and Al Qaeda figures. Extremist Palestinians, however, are far more likely to belong to organizations, such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, that are not on that watch list.

In 2004, former UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen told the Canadian Broadcasting Company, 'I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as a crime.' (My emphasis) He added, 'We do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another.'

...There have been several high-profile examples of terrorists being employed by UNRWA. Former top Islamic Jihad rocket maker Awad Al-Qiq, who was killed in an Israeli air strike last May, was the headmaster and science instructor at an UNRWA school in Rafah, Gaza. Said Siyam, Hamas' interior minister and head of the Executive Force, was a teacher for over two decades in UNRWA schools.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill say they are also concerned that terrorist propaganda is being taught in UNRWA schools. A notebook captured by Israeli officials at the UNRWA school in the Kalandia refugee camp several years ago glorified homicide bombers and other terrorists. Called 'The Star Team,' it profiled so-called 'martyrs,' Palestinians who had died either in homicide bombings or during armed struggle with Israel. On the book's back cover was printed the UNRWA emblem, as well as a photo of a masked gunman taking aim while on one knee.

There is evidence that students educated in UNRWA schools are much more likely to become homicide bombers, said Jonathan Halevi, a former Israeli Defense Forces intelligence officer who specializes in Palestinian terrorist organizations. Halevi has spent several years building an extensive database for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs of terrorist attacks by Hamas and other Islamic extremist groups.

Though he cautioned that estimates are tricky because the identity of an attacker is not always made public, Halevi estimated that over 60 percent of homicide bombers were educated in UNRWA schools. By comparison, roughly 25-30 percent of Palestinian students in the West Bank, the origin of almost all homicide bombers since the start of the intifada in 2000, attend UNRWA schools, according to the agency's figures.

In October 2004, Arlene Kushner wrote a piece documenting UNRWA's links to terrorism published by the Center for Near East Policy Research. As CAMERA records:

In this piece, Kushner writes of Hamas members controlling the unions representing UNRWA employees, of an UNRWA ambulance being used to transport weapons and explosives and to terrorists and of an UNRWA driver taking 'advantage of the freedom of movement he enjoyed to transmit messages among Hamas activists in various Palestinian towns.' Kushner also details the actions of Nahd Rashi Ahmad Atallah, a senior UNRWA official who admitted that during the months of June and July 2002, 'he had used his car, an UNRWA car, for the transportation of armed members of the "Popular Resistance Committees" who were on their way to carry out sniper attacks against Israeli troops ... and a missile attacks against Jewish settlements in the Northern part of the Gaza Strip.'

Also, in May 2008, the Global Research in International Affairs Center published an article detailing how UNRWA schools have 'become hotbeds of anti-Western, anti-American, and antisemitic indoctrination, recruiting offices for terrorist groups.' Included in this piece is a description of how Awad Al-Qiq, a science teacher at an UNRWA school served as the leading bomb maker for Islamic Jihad. According to the report's authors 'Islamic Jihad did not need to pay him a salary for his military and militant activities since the UN, and American taxpayers, were already doing so.'

Now a devastating report on UNRWA by its former general counsel, James Lindsay, has just been published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. It concludes:

At the same time, UNWRA has gradually adopted a distinctive political viewpoint that favors the Palestinian and Arab narrative of events in the Middle East. In particular, it seems to favor the strain of Palestinian political thought espoused by those who are intent on a "return" to the land that is now Israel. UNRWA's adoption of any political viewpoint is undesirable, but the one it has chosen to emphasize is especially regrettable. In addition to clashing with the objectives of the United States, this view has detracted from UNRWA's humanitarian assistance, encouraged Palestinians who favor refighting long-lost wars, discouraged those who favor moving toward peace, and contributed to the scourge of conflicts that have been visited upon Palestinian refugees for decades.

Readers can make up their own minds whether one telephone call to UNRWA can really establish the truth of anything about Gaza at all.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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FIXING UNRWA: REPAIRING THE UN'S TROUBLED SYSTEM OF AID TO PALESTINIAN REFUGEES
Posted by Daily Alert, January 28, 2009.

This was written by James G. Lindsay, an Aufzien fellow at The Washington Institute focusing on Palestinian refugee issues and UN humanitarian assistance, served with UNRWA from 2000 to 2007 as legal advisor and general counsel.

UNRWA — is it part of the solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict or part of the problem?

The humanitarian aspect of the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas has cast a fresh spotlight on the presence in Gaza of the nearly sixty-year-old United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), raising important questions about why the UN still operates schools, hospitals, and clinics for "refugees" six decades after the partition of Mandatory Palestine.

UNRWA began providing assistance to Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon in May 1950, in the wake of the 1947-1949 Arab-Israeli war. Since then, the organization has survived wars, coups, uprisings, and, in Gaza and the West Bank, even the creation of the first-ever Palestinian governing body — the Palestinian Authority — which operates in parallel with, not in place of, UNRWA institutions.

Over the course of its long history, UNRWA has rarely been the subject of comprehensive external evaluation, and virtually nothing has been written on the organization's strategy and operations by a senior staff member with knowledge of how UNRWA actually works.

This path-breaking study by James G. Lindsay, UNRWA's former general counsel, offers one of the first insider accounts of the organization. In it, Lindsay analyzes the agency's evolution over the past half century, evaluates recent criticisms of its operations, and recommends bold new policies for the U.S. government — UNRWA's largest single-country donor — that will help repair an aid and relief system that has strayed from its original mission.

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

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THE JEWS OF THE GATHERING NIGHT
Posted by LEL, January 28, 2009.
This was written by Melanie Phillips and it appeared in the Spectator
http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3295341/ the-jews-of-the-gathering-night.thtml
 

One of the most agonising and tragic aspects of the current global wave of Jew-hatred is the prominent part played in this by Jews. This is not a new phenomenon. Throughout the centuries of Jewish persecution, from the medieval 'conversos' to Karl Marx and beyond, there have always been Jews who, for a variety of reasons, have been ready and willing to advance the agenda of the persecutors of the Jewish people. Today, the west is teeming with their successors — almost always on the left, very often but not always highly secularised and with a tangential or deeply conflicted relationship with their Jewish identity, they are in the forefront of the movement to demonise, delegitimise and destroy Israel. They do it to no other country; only the expression of self-determination of their own people inspires in them such frenzied and obsessive loathing.

Nothing could be more inappropriate than their common soubriquet of 'self-hating Jews'; on the contrary, they usually love themselves inordinately. What they hate is the Jewish bit of themselves — or to be more precise, everything but that bit of the Jewish bit which enables them falsely to represent Jewish powerlessness as the key characteristic of Jewish peoplehood, about which they generally know next to nothing and which they generally disdain altogether until the chance arrives to dump on it with maximum venom. The fact that they are Jews — however nominally — gives a free pass to the non-Jewish Jew-haters to dress up their bigotry as high-minded conscience, while still others of good will are led to believe the hateful lies and libels about Israel in the misguided belief that, since Jews are giving voice to them, they cannot be an expression of prejudice. The result of all this is that the Arab and Muslim agenda of the destruction of Israel and genocide against the Jews is advanced every time a Jew-hating Jew spews such venom into the public sphere. On Front Page, David Solway lists some of the examples of this pathology:

The late Harold Pinter won a Nobel Prize, not for his over-rated plays, but for his anti-Israeli (and anti-American) posturing. Equally influential are fellow Jewish anti-Zionists like Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Naomi Klein, Joel Kovel, Tony Judt, Ilan Pappe, Tom Segev, Sara Roy, Henry Siegman, Avrum Burg, Jaqueline Rose and Richard Falk, to mention only a sparse handful, whose denunciation of Israel is so extreme and untextured as to be scarcely distinguishable from antisemitism.

Such apostates do not scruple to trade in apocrypha when indulging their animus against their own people, even when they can be readily exposed. In Fabricating Israeli History, Efraim Karsh has abundantly demonstrated how left-wing Israeli 'New Historians' have cooked the documents they work with. The lamentable Naomi Klein falsely accuses Israel of having cynically profited from 'endless war' and calls for academic and economic boycotts. Noam Chomsky's gross fabrications have been outed by Peter Collier. The list goes on... Given the virulent anti-Zionist advocacy of so many prominent Jewish self- haters, one remains skeptical of ever achieving collective assent or reasonable consensus. Masking the syndrome of self-contempt as a quest for 'justice,' these Jewish turncoats seek redemption in a denial of both history and genealogy. Diagnostically speaking, it is not so much a mental illness or clinical aberration we are witnessing, but a sickness in the soul supple enough to contort itself into a spurious idealism, a simulacrum of ideological nobility.

Indeed, one of the most insufferable characteristics of these Jew- hating Jews is that they claim to represent authentic Jewish morality as opposed to the supposed corruption of those principles by Zionism and Israel. They do nothing of the kind. Their claim merely advertises their profound ignorance of Jewish ethics and history, which they so badly misrepresent. They are beneath contempt; and were the situation not so desperate, their rantings would be regarded as of no more consequence than those of any other fringe sectarian groupuscule. But their position in fashionable society means they are lionised by an equally ignorant and bigoted intelligentsia — with the result that these Jews of the gathering night are significant contributors to the unconscionable agenda of our times.

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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EGYPT SHOULD DESTROY GAZA TUNNELS TO EARN FOREIGN AID
Posted by Jonathan Schanzer, January 28, 2009.

A half-dozen U.S. military officers and engineers recently toured Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Maan News Agency reported.

They reportedly are working to install high-tech sensing equipment to locate the smuggling tunnels that snake beneath the sands between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula. Maan notes that the group is already training Egyptian security personnel to use the equipment.

The need for this equipment is dire. Dozens of Gaza Strip smugglers went back to work last week, openly repairing the tunnels that supply the Hamas economy, as Israel withdrew its troops.

With their help and determination, Hamas will quickly replenish the rockets and launchers destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces in Operation Cast Lead.

Egypt says it will accept equipment or aid from any nation to help combat smuggling. But, with or without help, Egypt must begin to actively identify and destroy these tunnels. If it won't, Washington should consider revoking Egypt's $1.7 billion in foreign aid.

Israel has complained with increasing intensity that Egypt turns a blind eye to the tunnels. Cairo originally dismissed those allegations as "old and silly."

However, as Israeli protests grew louder, the U.S. House and Senate agreed to a 2008 foreign aid bill that would withhold about $100 million of Egypt's foreign aid unless Washington could certify that Egypt was doing its part to stop the smuggling.

Egypt, however, still failed to deliver. In late January 2008, the Hosni Mubarak regime stood by as Hamas destroyed parts of the wall separating Gaza from the Sinai.

Tens of thousands of Gazans streamed into Egypt, stocking up on food, supplies and weapons. According to Israeli security services chief Yuval Diskin, large quantities of long-range rockets, anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles and materiel for rocket production were brought into Gaza.

Predictably, the Israeli government was furious. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel stated in a BBC interview that it was "the responsibility of Egypt to ensure that the border operates properly, according to the signed agreements." Weapons Highway

However, it took Egypt 12 days to close the border. Once sealed, underground smuggling returned to previous levels.

One year later, despite regular diplomatic overtures from Jerusalem and Washington, the smuggling continues. The continued operation of these tunnels has wide-reaching consequences.

The tunnels are the lifeblood of the Gaza economy, enabling Hamas to circumvent international sanctions. Tunnels furnish the Hamas economy in the Gaza Strip with everything from cigarettes and car parts to erectile dysfunction pills and fresh cheese. Hamas also smuggles in Iranian cash to pay the salaries of its loyalists.

Additionally, Hamas collects revenue from the tunnels, which yield approximately $140 million per year. In some cases, Hamas charges the operators thousands of dollars to maintain them.

In short, without the tunnels, the Hamas economy would likely collapse. The power structure would quickly follow.

Notably, Egypt's refusal to shut down the tunnels directly contributes to the bloody internecine conflict between Hamas and Fatah — the two dominant Palestinian factions. The more weaponry and goods Hamas smuggles into Gaza, the stronger it will get and the more prepared it will be to confront Fatah in another round of violence. This will only ensure future instability in the West Bank and Gaza.

Finally, and most obviously, the Sinai tunnels provide Hamas with the projectiles and ordnance that provoked Israel into the most recent conflict. This led to a re-inflammation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, not to mention needless bloodshed on both sides. The resumption of tunnel activity now ensures that a future round of conflict is just around the corner.

Until now, Israeli efforts to get Egypt to take stronger action against the tunneling had potentially dangerous consequences. Specifically, Israel feared jeopardizing its cold peace with Egypt, which had ensured a tense regional calm since 1978.

However, it is now clear that Egypt has failed to live up to its obligations. The need for additional U.S. personnel to bolster Cairo's flaccid anti-smuggling efforts is proof of this.

As calls for change and accountability reverberate throughout Washington at a time when budgets are under increased scrutiny, the U.S. Congress should take a hard look at Egypt's $1.7 billion in foreign aid.

More than $1.3 billion of that is military aid. Those funds must be used to better patrol the Gaza border. If they are not, U.S. foreign aid should be reconsidered.

Schanzer, a former terrorism analyst at the U.S. Treasury Department, is deputy director of the Jewish Policy Center and author of "Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine."

Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism analyst for the U.S. Treasury Department, is director of policy for the Jewish Policy Center and author of the forthcoming Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine. Contact him at jschanzer@jewishpolicycenter.org This article appeared yesterday in the Investor's Business Daily.

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FROM ISRAEL: THOUGHTS, HEAVY AND DEEP
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 28, 2009.

From the third and final day of the Jerusalem Conference I bring you a wealth of significant information. I will begin with the last session I attended because it is so shatteringly significant.

The topic: "The UN and the International Assault on Israel"

From the panel I will cite three special women: Anne Bayefsky, who runs Eye on the UN; Caroline Glick, columnist (with whom many of you are familiar); and Melanie Phillips, a gusty and articulate British journalist. And I will do this by subject, although all are intertwined:

The UN:

Bayefsky says we must understand that the UN is the single biggest purveyor of anti-Semitism in the world today. Consider some facts. There have been ten emergency sessions of the GA; five of them have been to discuss Israel. The Human Rights Council of the UN has passed more resolutions about alleged violations by Israel than about all other nations in the world combined.

The intent of Durban II, coming in April, is to turn Israel into the new S. Africa.

The UN has no definition of terrorism. Its counter-terrorism unit has never mentioned a terrorist by name.

Ahmadinejad spoke words of unabashed anti-Semitism at the UN and (except for the US and Israel, who weren't present) received a round of applause.

Glick says the agenda of the UN is the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.

The UN is the sum of its parts; with 57 Islamic states plus EU states, there is no way for Israel to win in forums there. Some diplomats speak differently to Israelis in private. (They say, as she put it: "Oh, we didn't really mean it when we voted against you on every resolution, we think you're great.") But Israel can never take advantage of this to turn things around in UN forums, because the whole is more powerful than the intentions of these individual people who speak nicely in private.

The UN charter says every nation has a right to self-defense, but this is irrelevant to the decisions made within the UN.

Part and parcel of what is happening is UNRWA and its connection to Hamas. Commission-General Karen AbuZayd just said she doesn't know anything about human shields in Gaza. "Hamas leaves us alone. It respects us."

~~~~~~~~~~

What to do? Glick says we must engage in political warfare, exposing the UN to its member nations. As the UN seeks to delegitimize Israel, so must we work to delegitimize the UN, holding up a mirror to its actions.

We must subvert the UN by going to separate governments and appealing to common interests to form coalitions outside of the UN.

~~~~~~~~~~

The International Community:

Melanie Phillips, who is British, spoke from the perspective of her country. She says the war in Gaza unleashed in Britain intense hatred of Israel because they bought the Hamas propaganda, especially via BBC. The Jihad has come. In demonstrations Muslims were seen prostrated, praying on the streets, and crying, "Allah Akhbar." Britain took the lead in calling for a UN ceasefire.

All of this happened, says Phillips, because of enormous ignorance, infantile leftism, and moral equivalence.

There is a belief in "soft power": the nation-state is the problem, trans-nationalism is better. This thinking leads to the conviction that the UN is the repository of wisdom, truth and goodness. The British know nothing of the Hamas-UNRWA connection. And these ideas have taken root in the Anglican church.

What we're dealing with here is a battle of the mind. We must continue to tell the truth: If Israel goes down, the West goes down. This is not about a two-state solution, but rather the destruction of Israel.

~~~~~~~~~~

The US and Obama:

Bayefsky says we're not prepared for what's going to happen. Obama is going to run US foreign policy through the UN because he is seeking international approval. He will inflate the importance of the UN and adopt the UN narrative on Israel: That the root cause of the conflict is settlements and that Israel will be expected to do certain things that will lead to a better situation for the West.

Glick says there is a sad diminution of self-image in America. We can no longer assume the US will veto anti-Israel resolutions.

Phillips says Britain is ecstatic about Obama because it understands that he represents a negation of US power.

This is what American Jews don't understand.

He has surrounded Hillary with enemies of Israel who deal in moral relativism. (Note from me: Do NOT assume that because someone is a Jew he or she is pro-Israel. Some of our worst enemies are Jews.)

Phillips emphasized, again, that we must keep telling the truth.

Glick says Israel has no desire for direct confrontation with America, because the people are with us. Bayefsky says we must say "no" to Obama, talking over his head to the American people and Congress.

~~~~~~~~~~

Bayefsky raised some questions regarding how much American Jews are with us. Israel is not high on their list of priorities and is not likely to be the determining factor in how they vote or what they support.

~~~~~~~~~~

The bottom line here, from Glick: The Israeli people are the bravest and strongest on earth. (I second this!). Our government needs to listen to the people and not the outside world.

~~~~~~~~~~

The next topic: "New Challenges of the IDF on the Battlefront and in International Law."

I would like to focus first on an excellent presentation by one special man (and very proud Israel): Danny Seaman, who heads the Government Press Office. He spoke, of course, about media issues in a war.

We've learned some important lessons since the Lebanon War 2-1/2 years ago, he says. We are no longer trying to appease the media, but rather doing what's right for Israel.

The challenges are not challenges to the IDF, they're challenges to Israel. The IDF should address military issues only and the government must present our case and be in the forefront with the media.

It's good that the media is not around in battle, because they sometimes report troop movements that put our troops at risk of enemy fire. The media doesn't like it when it is limited in its access, but they have no choice but to adhere to our rules when we declare a closed military area.

On a daily basis, Hamas threatens the media. And so, those who are in Gaza are those who do what Hamas wants.

~~~~~~~~~~

TV dictates the agenda for the rest of the media. If there are pictures on a TV screen then print media follow with a story. It is expected (editors insist on it).

Unfortunately, the hunger for a "good" picture causes slants in what is presented on TV, and thus later in newspapers. Seaman asked TV crews at one point why they weren't showing the suffering of the people in Sderot and related areas, who suffered trauma, disrupted lives, etc. The answer was that the rocket attacks didn't make good TV pictures. So this story was neglected.

~~~~~~~~~~

Additionally, Palestinians are experts at manipulating pictures. Either through computer doctoring or on the scene. (Seaman alluded to the possibility, as example, of dead bodies dragged out of a building that the IDF presumably killed, when in fact it's not clear where these dead came from or even — this is not an exaggeration — if they were returning bodies via the back door and bringing them out the front door a second time.)

Seaman says that fraud should be addressed vigorously by Israel via existing criminal laws. Editors should know that if they knowingly let through a picture that has been manufactured, there will be consequences. This will motivate them to be more careful and check their sources.

~~~~~~~~~~

Journalists on the scene in Gaza didn't know what they were looking at. Had no background. Some asked where the terrorists were, because all they saw were "civilians." Had no perception of civilians who were also Hamas. When a briefing was held for journalists during the war, to provide some background, out of 1,200 foreign journalists in Israel, 35 came.

Legal issues that are being raised have come to attention first because of the media reports — legal experts weren't on the scene. And the vast majority of journalists don't check with us to get our side.

~~~~~~~~~~

Also on this panel there was a powerful presentation by Maj.-General (res) Yossi Peled, former head of the Northern Command of the IDF and now a candidate on the Likud list (#15).

Peled spoke of his great pride in the morality of the Jewish state.

"The Jewish state," he said, "is a one-time gift and we have no moral right to risk it."

Israel should never be taken for granted. As a child Holocaust survivor he knows this well. Other nations, he says, can lose wars and keep going. But not Israel. One defeat would destroy us. Only us.

This, my friends, is where Never Again! comes in. We will not be defeated.

Peled says the order of obligations of the IDF is to defend the citizens of the state, protect, the lives of the soldiers, and avoid injury to enemy civilians. He is deeply pained for the death of children in Gaza, but he knows we were not responsible and that we behaved properly.

~~~~~~~~~~

Legal issues were addressed by Colonel (res) Danny Reisner, former Director of the International Dept. of the IDF Prosecution Office. Once, he said there were two elements to a war: political and military. But now there are legal and media aspects as well and issues of "war crimes" are raised.

There is, he explained, no requirement of "proportionality" in number of dead on our side and theirs. The only thing to be examined is how many were killed in a specific attack and for what goal.

International law allows firing on a mosque or school if there are weapons stored inside or if our soldiers were being fired upon from these buildings.

The Palestinians would like to take us to the Hague with regard to "war crimes," but the international court there has no jurisdiction. The only door to the Hague would be via the UN.

What might happen, however, is that certain countries would allow Palestinians to charge us in their courts even though they had no involvement in the war. Preparations are being made for this possibility.

(Point of interest: international law allows Nazis anywhere to be tried in an Israeli court. Similarly, anyone attacking a Jew anywhere can be tried in an Israeli court.)

I asked the Colonel about whether international law applies to terrorists groups who are not signatory to international conventions, and he says this is Israel's position, but the terrorist groups' defense is that it does not.

~~~~~~~~~~

Tomorrow I will talk a bit about what Binyamin Netanyahu said in his talk regarding a commitment to keep Jerusalem united.

And I will examine some very exciting thoughts from some very serious people regarding the "clash of civilizations" and what we're now seeing.

~~~~~~~~~~

I wasn't going to write about any current news in this posting, but this seems so relevant to what is discussed above that I will include it:

Yesterday Mahmoud Abbas, the maybe president of the PA, in anticipation of Mitchell's arrival today, declared himself ready to back international efforts to prosecute Israel for war crimes: "We will do all we can to prove Israel committed crimes that would make your skin crawl We want the world to give us justice for once.

"Israel does not want peace, otherwise it would not have done this. We need to understand this and tell it to those coming from Europe and America."

My first response (and forgive my lack of professionalism here) is that he is scum. But this is not new. He is playing both ends against the middle, now working the Hamas side so that they'll feel he's with them, although he would gladly return to being our "peace partner (perish the thought) if he imagined this would serve him better.

He's also playing the "victim" card. He wants the world to "give us justice for once," indicating that $1.3 BILLION given to him by the world last year was insufficient.

And he's playing — mark this well! — to what he imagines will be a more sympathetic ear from Mitchell.

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

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VIRTUALLY UNNOTICED: A NEW MIDDLE EAST
Posted by Barry Rubin, January 28, 2009.

It can certainly be claimed that no world area is more closely — even obsessively — watched than the Middle East. This is quite understandable for many reasons, including the fact that many of the world's crises, much of the world's violence, and most of the world's diplomatic energies are connected with that region.

And yet, despite all this, a tremendous transformation has happened in that nexus of global interests while being most incompletely comprehended. In short, the Middle East is totally different from the way it had been for the preceding half-century in ways that will profoundly affect the United Kingdom and every other country in the West.

To comprehend how much the region has truly changed, we need only consider its main features from the 1950s until well into the 1990s and even just past the last turn of a century. In those days, a trio of critical factors defined the tale.

First, the Arabic-speaking world was dominated almost totally by Arab nationalist doctrine, with all regimes and large movements being of that persuasion.

Second, much of Middle East politics consisted of dizzying maneuvers and mutual subversions among nationalist regimes seeking regional hegemony — usually Egypt, Iraq, and Syria — or those trying to play off the elephants to survive — Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the rest.

Third, Arab regimes lined up in two blocs, with more radical, anti-status quo military regimes and their client movements siding with the USSR, and more conservative monarchies seeking Western support in self-defense.

By the 1990s, this regional order was unraveling in the face of evidence that Arab nationalist ideology and regimes had failed. After all, they hadn't built a united Arab nation from Morocco's Atlantic coast to Saudi Arabia's Persian Gulf shore. Nor had they expelled Western influence, destroyed Israel, or generally brought their people high living standards, much less freedoms.

The winds of change were blowing, but in which direction?

It was easy to believe in the 1990s that moderation was on the ascendant. Iraq's defeat in Kuwait, the fall of the radicals' Soviet bloc sponsors, and start of an Arab-Israeli peace process all seemed good omens. Some dreamed democracy would replace dictatorship, outrun Islamists, and bring bright tomorrows.

That was not, however, what happened. The culprit was not Western policy errors or insufficient effort. Rather it was the continuing power of traditional ideas, the regimes themselves, and the societies over which they presided. The very few liberal voices were overwhelmed by a message with far more mass appeal, that of the Islamists.

Both opposition groups agreed that the existing order had failed but had opposite solutions. Moderates proposed peace with Israel, cooperation with the West, democracy, women's rights, and modernization. After all, this was the blueprint used successfully in much of the world and held as an ideal by those yearning to imitate that outcome. But it didn't work that way in the Middle East.

For rulers, reform portended anarchy and the specter of Islamist takeover. For the largely traditionalist masses, liberal solutions were too dangerous and unfamiliar. To Islamists, it represented treason. They argued that failure arose from too much, not too little, Westernization. In effect, they proclaimed: you may have been hitting your head against a stone wall; your mistake was not doing it hard enough.

Thus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ushered in the new era with an August 15, 2006 speech to his tame Journalists' Union. The West, Israel, and moderate Arabs, he claimed, wanted a region "built on submission and humiliation and deprivation of peoples of their rights." Instead there would be, "A sweeping popular upsurge...characterized by honor and Arabism...struggle and resistance."

This result is the new Middle East of Assad and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

First, everywhere Islamists seriously challenge nationalists. In seeking to seize state power and not give it back. This rivalry is spilling over among the growing number of Muslims in Europe, especially since Islamists are far more proportionately stronger there than back in the Middle East.

Second, two blocs contend for regional power. The better-organized, more coherent side is led by Islamist Iran, with junior partner Syria, Lebanese Hizballah, Palestinian Hamas, and Iraqi insurgents. Also on the Islamist — but not Iranian — side are Muslim Brotherhoods and al-Qaida. All want to destroy Western influence, Arab regimes, and Israel.

The other grouping consists of the other Arab states, Israel, and the West. Yet this alignment is weak, disorganized, and full of internal conflicts.

Fourth, the "moderate" side's adherents have parallel interests in containing Iran, preventing Islamist revolution, and countering high levels of terrorism and instability. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean these forces are cooperating.

In an interview with journalist Bob Woodward, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice senses the change but is over-optimistic about it. Rice argues there is now a high level of cohesion among regional American allies, even if those countries don't want to speak or act publicly.

Yet Arab regimes are timid. They know their own people accept many radical notions (taught them by the Arab nationalists themselves for decades) and want to avoid confrontation with radicals if possible. Thus, for example, much of the nationalists' "anti-terrorist" rhetoric is a plea for gunmen to slay Israelis or Westerners rather than attack governments and institutions where they live.

Consider the bizarre politics of Iraq, where — despite parallel U.S. and Saudi interests in stopping Iran — the Saudis help Sunni insurgents who kill American soldiers and try to force them out.

Quite possibly, the greatest danger of Iran getting nuclear weapons is not that they would be fired at Israel — though this is a rather chilling prospect — but that these arms will turn the balance in the two-bloc struggle. Once Iran has atomic bombs atop long-range missiles, Arab states will rush to appease Tehran, Western countries be even more prone toward appeasement, and Muslim masses likely to queue up in front of the radical Islamist recruiting stations to enlist on what they perceive as the winning side.

This massive struggle, not al-Qaida's sporadic terror attacks, is the real main issue for the region, perhaps the world, in decades to come. The battle will be fought out more in Arab states through terror civil war, and revolution, than on the Israeli or Western fronts. Western ability to influence events will be limited

A solution will not come from concessions to a side which is roughly the Middle East equivalent of German-led fascism or Soviet-spearheaded Communism. Struggle, steadfastness, and strategic alliances are keys to victory and survival. Fresh from musings about history's end we've been thrust into a new era of traditional international power politics and ideological contention which seems set to become the twenty-first century's main feature.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East.

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GAZA: BATTLEFIELD VICTORY AND POLITICAL DEFEAT
Posted by Jack L., January 28, 2009.

This was written by Michael Kleiner, who is currently on the Likud list for the Eighteenth Knesset. He is the former chairman of the Knesset's Land of Israel Committee

 

In the aftermath of the Gaza war, Israel has two winners and two losers. The obvious winners are Zahal and the right wing bloc. The two losers, yet to be clearly identified as such, are the state of Israel and the Kadima party.

No one denies the smashing victory of Zahal but it's not necessary to wait for the judgment of history to realize that the victory was limited to the battlefield. Zahal was blessed with a chief of staff that reminds one of old times and a minister of defense who knows how to conduct a military campaign. Zahal had the strong support of the public and was properly prepared — the result of lessons learned in the second Lebanon War. It succeeded in carrying out activity in enemy territory, like that in Lebanon, with only minor casualties. Motivation was high and the functioning of its chain of command has inspired pride. That the Israeli government was unable to convert the victory in battle into a political victory is a great pity. The army won and the state has lost.

Here is a partial list of the military objectives that the political leadership did not define and failed to achieve:

1) The Philadelphi access is not in our hands.
2) Hamas remains in power.
3) Gilad Shalit is in captivity.
4) Hundreds of tunnels for the smuggling of war material remain active.
5) The Kassam rocket launchers and their squads continue to threaten the peaceful life of the settlements in the south.

And here is a list of costs that were unanticipated on the political level:

1) A wave of anti-Semitism in the world.
2) A wave of dangerous and humbling proposals by the European meddlers.
3) Episodes without precedent of collision with the American administration.
4) And most serious of all, at the end of the day they will open again the passages between Gaza and Rafiah. Hamas will have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat...

In a state in which the army is the heart it is difficult to understand the difference between a military and a political victory. One is therefore likely to attribute to Israel the victory in Gaza. However, logical examination of the results of the war point to a military victory which has camouflaged a bitter political loss.

It is a loss which has a mother despite the fact we usually attribute failures to a male parent.

With poor English and with body language that demonstrated an appearance that shifted between arrogance and neurosis, Tzipi Livni appeared time after time before the microphones, alarming the world. A foreign minister in a war has two choices; diplomatic sweet talk while the army hits hard or an attack without restraint on the hypocrisy of a world that has ignored eight years of missile attacks on Jewish communities and exhibited a double standard when reacting to any legitimate step of Jewish self-defense. Mrs. Livni selected the path of aggressive apologetics which is a definite recipe for eating rotten fish while acquiring an expulsion order from the city.

While Ehud Barak took his stand with the soldiers on the battlefield, Livni abandoned her post when she abstained from acting in the UN — preferring a triple press conferences with both Ehuds (Barak and Olmert). In a war which is conducted in the midst of an election the public accepts the media exposure given a politician that results from the performance of her appointed tasks but it does not tolerate one who abandons her post and leaves the country exposed to a damaging Security Council resolution while she grabs another photo opportunity.

The complete opposite to Livni's media exposure during this war is the disappearance of Benjamin Netanyah from the media. There were people who asked where has Bibi disappear to? It is not pleasant to relate that the chairman of the opposition spread a publicity umbrella over the failing activity of the foreign minister's head. Relieving Livni of her job of appearing in the media and explaining Israel's position, Netanyahu did that for her, as if he were a lowly soldier in the lines. With this he has proven that sometimes a private soldier may function much better than the public relations chief of staff. The Israeli public appreciates the lowering of one's media profile and giving support to the government from the benches of the opposition. That is one of the reasons the Likud under Netanyahu's leadership held its place in the polls while Kadima under Livni is faltering.

The entire right wing bloc was strengthened by the war in Gaza with almost everyone acknowledging that the right had been correct when it warned that Oslo would bring katyushas upon Ashkelon and when it warned that the one-sided evacuation signals weakness and invites aggression from the Palestinian side. It is recognized that it was correct that any retreat from territories of Eretz Yisrael would put more and more citizens in the line of fire. Personally I cannot restrain myself from relating that the successful military action by Zahal in Gaza was carried out according to the detailed program of the Herut Party at whose head I stood — a program that I proposed even before the founding of Herut — which called for the following; the bombardment of military targets in Gaza by air, leafleting Gaza with an evacuation warning, and entry of ground forces into the territory to cleanse it from war material and military activists.

The left which has by its slovenly performance led us into this war has carried out military activity that comes out of the workshop of the "extremist right," — the "hallucinating right". The successful campaign came into being because the right was proved correct and the campaign was carried out according to our methods. The public understands and knows who to reward. This is why the right wing bloc gains strength and support for the government wanes. The public is sick of governments hungry for political agreements which cast to the wind the achievement of the army and invite the next round of violence, placing Israel in an ever more difficult starting position. The public looks for a government that will take the battlefield victory and convert it into a political victory for the Jews.

Contact Jack L. at yakovdov1@yahoo.com

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OBAMA HAILS 'ANTI-ISRAEL' ARAB PLAN
Posted by Chuck Brooks, January 28, 2009.

This was written by Aaron Klein and it appeared in World Net Daily
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId271

Initiative includes massive concessions, erosion of Jewish character

JERUSALEM — Following scores of denials he would trumpet the plan, President Obama today hailed a so-called "Saudi Peace Initiative," which offers normalization of ties with the Jewish state in exchange for extreme Israeli concessions.

Defenders of Israel warn the plan would leave the Jewish state with truncated, difficult-to-defend borders and could threaten Israel's Jewish character by compelling it to accept millions of foreign Arabs.

WND was first to report last November advisers to then-presidential candidate Obama gave positive reception in meetings with Arab diplomats to the Saudi plan — but the reports were strongly denied by Obama's campaign.

Today, in an interview with an Arab television network — his first formal interview as president — Obama trumpeted the Saudi initiative:

"Well, here's what I think is important. Look at the proposal that was put forth by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. ... I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal, but it took great courage to put forward something that is as significant as that. I think that there are ideas across the region of how we might pursue peace. I do think that it is impossible for us to think only in terms of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and not think in terms of what's happening with Syria or Iran or Lebanon or Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Obama said he "believes" that there are "Israelis who recognize that it is important to achieve peace. They will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side."

In November, WND quoted a top Arab diplomatic source stating Obama advisers held meetings with Arab countries in which the Saudi Initiative was "very present."

The source said in most cases it was the Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, that stressed the importance of the plan. He said Obama's advisers expressed a positive attitude toward the plan, but he stopped short of confirming a London Times article that claimed Obama would make the plan a central part of his Mideast policy.

Then-senior Obama Mideast adviser Dennis Ross flatly denied the Times report, which quoted a source close to Obama stating that the president-elect intended to throw his support behind the Arab plan. Ross is now Obama's Mideast envoy.

One senior Obama adviser was quoted telling the Times that on a visit to the Middle East last July, Obama said privately to the Palestinian leadership it would be "crazy" for Israel to refuse the Saudi Initiative, which Obama purportedly said could "give them peace with the Muslim world."

Although Ross denied Obama would trumpet the Arab plan, Israeli President Shimon Peres told the British in November that in conversations he held with the president-elect, Obama proclaimed himself "very impressed" with the the Saudi plan, which was ratified by the Arab League. Peres was responding to questions about whether he thought Obama would advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in general and the Saudi plan in particular.

Initiative threatens Jewish state

The Saudi Initiative, originally proposed by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 2002, states that Israel would receive "normal relations" with the Arab world in exchange for a full withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount.

The West Bank contains important Jewish biblical sites and borders central Israeli population centers, while the Golan Heights looks down on Israeli civilian zones and twice was used by Syria to mount ground invasions into the Jewish state.

The Saudi plan also demands the imposition of a non-binding U.N. resolution that calls for so-called Palestinian refugees who wish to move inside Israel to be permitted to do so at the "earliest practicable date."

Palestinians have long demanded the "right of return" for millions of "refugees," a formula Israeli officials across the political spectrum warn is code for Israel's destruction by flooding the Jewish state with millions of Arabs, thereby changing its demographics.

When Arab countries attacked the Jewish state after its creation in 1948, some 725,000 Arabs living within Israel's borders fled or were expelled from the area that became Israel. Also at that time, about 820,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries or fled following rampant persecution.

While most Jewish refugees were absorbed by Israel and other countries, the majority of Palestinian Arabs have been maintained in 59 U.N.-run camps that do not seek to settle its inhabitants elsewhere.

There are currently about 4 million Arabs who claim Palestinian refugee status with the U.N., including children and grandchildren of the original fleeing Arabs; Arabs living full-time in Jordan; and Arabs who long ago emigrated throughout the Middle East and to the West.

According to Arab sources close to the Saudi Initiative, Arab countries are willing to come to an agreement whereby Israel absorbs about 500,000 "refugees" and reaches a compensation deal with the PA for the remaining millions of Palestinians.

Obama advisers back Arab plan

Some top Obama current and former advisers have recently endorsed the Arab Initiative. The Times referenced a partisan group of senior foreign policy advisers who urged Obama to give the Arab plan top priority immediately after his election victory, including Lee Hamilton, the former co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Democratic former national security adviser. Brent Scowcroft, a Republican former national security adviser, also joined in the appeal.

Contact Chuck Brooks at chetz18@aol.com

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LESSONS OF GAZA
Posted by Steven Plaut, January 28, 2009.

1. "The Lessons of Gaza"
Jewish Press
http://www.jewishpress.com/printArticle.cfm?contentid=37944

The great untold story of Operation Cast Lead was the level of euphoria and national unity that gripped Israel. Those who think the era of miracles is over will have to explain this sudden wall-to-wall political consensus in Israel.

In what is arguably the most contentious society on earth, public opinion polls were showing a 94% approval rating among Israeli Jews for the military action against Hamas. Almost the same percentage opposed any cease-fire that did not include the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

The emergence of this sudden national consensus came against a backdrop of an international wave of naked anti-Semitism on a level not seen in decades, and of Israeli Arabs almost uniformly expressing both opposition to the operation and outright hatred of Jews and the Jewish state.

The really amazing thing, however, was that the man responsible for the surge of good feelings and patriotism among Israelis was the most unpopular and probably the most corrupt politician in modern Israeli history.

Ehud Olmert already had one foot out the door of the Prime Minister's Office before the shooting started, and many believed his other foot was headed straight for prison. Olmert's approval ratings before the Gaza war were not significantly above zero. Yet within moments of his ordering the commencement of operations, Israelis were closing ranks behind him in a way that caught nearly everyone by surprise.

The rest of the world may be united in denouncing Israeli "brutality" and the supposedly disproportionate level of Palestinian casualties. But Israel was just as united, at least for the moment, in celebrating the beginning of the end of its era of national self-debasement and capitulation.

Israeli television stations and newspapers reported in great detail on the countless anti-Israel demonstrations all over the world, down to and including the swastikas and the chants that Hitler had been right. This only seemed to augment the sense of national unity and determination among Israelis.

The devotees of Hamas could march on Western campuses all they wanted, Israelis seemed to be saying, but we will deal with the savages in our own way.

The new Israeli national unity manifested itself even in the face of the distorted and maniacal denunciations of Israel for its alleged insensitivity to the plight of Palestinian civilians.

Of course, the same world media that failed to challenge the lies surrounding the infamous "death" of the Gaza boy Muhammad al-Dura back in 2000 kept repeating the Hamas "estimate" as if it were a scientific finding from an unimpeachable source.

In any case, clearly the bulk of the Palestinian dead were armed genocidal terrorists. The usual "human rights" organizations, which have never acknowledged that Jewish civilians in the Negev are entitled to their human rights, kept claiming that a quarter of the dead were "children." Of course, they count any 17 year old killed while firing a bazooka at Jews as a "child."

My youngest son spent most of the war dodging rockets in Netivot, a town of 26,000 in the Negev near the Gaza Strip best known for serving as the spiritual center for Moroccan Jewry, with its shrines of leading Moroccan rabbis. Netivot was hit by more than its fair share of Hamas rockets.

Home for a weekend, my son watched the televised images of a Palestinian man sitting on a pile of rubble that had once been his home and sobbing about how there is no justice.

"You do not like having your house blown up?" my son responded to the TV screen. "So who told you to start firing rockets at me?" He speaks for nearly all Israelis.

And then of course there was all the whining by the media about how Israel was preventing convoys of supplies from entering Gaza, as if the Allies in World War II had sent convoys of supplies to Berlin when it was under siege. A caller to an Israeli radio program put it rather succinctly: "So release Gilad Shalit and stop shooting rockets at us and you can have all the supplies you want; in fact you can shop in Israel and use our hospitals and beaches."

Even some — though certainly not all — members of the country's dwindling far left came out in support of the operation. (I say "dwindling far left" because half have woken up to the fallacies of leftist thinking while the other half have morphed into outright anti-Zionists.)

Consider the following developments, which would have been unthinkable a month ago and which are a very small sampling of the changed mindset in Israel:

The novelist A.B. Yehoshua, leader of Israel's leftist literary soviet, wrote a scathing article telling off an anti-Israel columnist at the far left anti-Zionist daily Haaretz.

The popular singer Arik Sinai, long associated with Tel Aviv bohemian leftism, suddenly went on a Zionist crusade, complete with bashing of leftist anti-Zionists.

Street protests in Israel against the war consisted almost exclusively of Arab students and Jewish members of the pro-terror HADASH communist party.

The Israeli national consensus opposing the declaration of a cease-fire by the Olmert team was almost as broad as the consensus in support of the actual fighting.

* * *

Within days of the new cease-fire, however, it was becoming clear that Olmert had blown the whistle before the team had finished its work. The abandonment of Gilad Shalit was just part of it. The new cease-fire would allow Hamas to re-stock its armories and replenish its rocket warehouses.

Hours after the cease-fire went into effect, Hamas's smuggling tunnels were being repaired and returned to operations. Worst of all, most of the Hamas leadership remained alive.

Even more worrisome, the Olmert people were reverting to the approach that had produced the rocket blitz on Israel in the first place. After eight years of a policy of restraint that had achieved absolutely nothing, turning the other cheek was being restored as the national defense policy.

Olmert and Livni were back to offering land for peace, reaffirming that two decades of giving up land and getting war in return had taught them nothing. For decades Israeli leaders had agreed to one unilateral cease-fire after the next. These bought Israel nothing but demonization in the world media.

After their brief incarnation as fierce Zionist warriors, Olmert and his pals were once again pretending that Mahmoud Abbas and the PA were something different from the Hamas; that they were reasonable people who yearned for peaceful coexistence with Israel and with whom deals could be struck. And Israel was again offering to release hundreds of terrorists from captivity.

If there was one lesson Israel should have learned over the past eight years, it was that Israeli restraint buys neither goodwill for the country nor moderate behavior on the part of Palestinians. For eight years Hamas and its affiliates in Gaza fired rockets at Jewish civilians, while the Israeli government's main response was to turn the other cheek and order the country just to wait passively for Hamas to run out of ammunition.

Israeli leaders had deluded themselves into thinking that if only the world would clearly see unprovoked Palestinian aggression and terror, Israel would enjoy a public relations Xanadu. Especially after the Israeli government, for the sake of peace, drove all Jews out of Gaza.

The expectation that restraint would boost Israel's image was among the stupidest of the delusions of Israel's Osloid leadership. The world not only ignored the thousands of rockets fired at Jewish civilians, it went to contorted moral lengths to justify them.

For decades Israel's leaders misunderstood and misjudged anti-Semitism and they continue to do so now.

Anti-Semites and those with totalitarian ideologies always reverse cause and effect. For them, every atrocity against Jews is a righteous protest against Jewish wrongdoing and Israeli misbehavior. Every retaliation by Israel is an unprovoked criminal act of malice and Nazi-like aggression. It is exactly like claiming the Japanese were the victims of American aggression at Pearl Harbor.

The real problem is that the Anti-Israel Lobby does not consider Jews to be human. Therefore Jewish deaths never matter and Jewish lives are expendable. Because Jews are not quite human, they can never be entitled to the right of self-defense or permitted to engage in it. Anti-Zionism has now been thoroughly Nazified. There can be no other word for people who insist that Jewish life is worthless and that Jewish deaths never count.

If Olmert had responded to the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel by merely sneezing in the general direction of the terrorists, thousands of protesters would have take to the streets and the campuses in Europe and America to denounce this as a disproportionate response and a war crime; many would no doubt describe it as an act of biological warfare.

Absolutely nothing can ever be gained by Israeli restraint, except to demonstrate weakness and fan terrorism. But that insight, clear to any reasonably intelligent seven year old, was too complicated for Israeli officials who for eight years ordered residents of Sderot and the other towns of the Negev to sit and take it. Sderot had been turned by the Israeli government into an undefended Guernica, its children traumatized, its families reduced to paupers.

* * *

Another delusion that fell victim to Operation Cast Lead was the notion that Israel's far left, while perhaps dangerously na.ve, is not at all anti-Semitic or self-hating.

Over the past two decades a malignant plague of anti-Semitism has swept the left, including the Jewish left. It affects Jews in the United States, in Europe, and even in Israel. While 94 percent of the Israeli public was solidly behind the soldiers and the attack on the Hamas infrastructure, the Jewish left was out at the forefront of the pro-jihad Nuremberg marches, waving Hamas and PLO flags, demanding international boycotts of Israel, calling for a Hamas victory.

The Jewish-born British Member of Parliament ranting about how Israel is a Nazi regime was just the tip of the iceberg. While the Arab regimes themselves were letting everyone know the contempt they felt for Hamas, Jewish leftists were out displaying their contempt for Jews, from the members of J Street to the Reconstructionist "rabbi" leading a pro-Hamas rally in Philadelphia,.

Those who thought that "Jewish anti-Semite" was an oxymoron will have to think again. Increasingly, the left, and especially the campus left, produces a mass of Jewish collaborators with the enemy, the Jewish equivalents of Taliban John. Just about every Israel-bashing newspaper and Internet site now features anti-Jewish columnists and writers, many of them Israeli faculty members.

But the rudest awakening of all at the end of Cast Lead came with regard to the Israeli far left, led by the academic fifth column. For years, the pursuit of leftist silliness has been just as fashionable on Israeli campuses as it's been on campuses in the U.S. and Europe. As Orwell wrote, some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals can believe them. As the guns in Gaza began to fall silent, a number of Israeli leftists emerged from their bunkers with a vengeance, sabotaging the consensus of patriotism that had filled Israel during the war.

Ben-Gurion University, the campus with arguably the largest number of anti-Israel extremist faculty members, was shut down for weeks as Hamas rockets bathed Beersheba. Several rockets landed close to the campus. Public-school buildings in Beersheba were destroyed by rockets. Yet leftist faculty members at BGU went on the warpath against Israel and in support of Hamas. In an article titled "Black January," BGU sociologist Lev Grinberg proclaimed Hamas terrorists to be the true Maccabees, struggling against the evil empire:

I admit that I find the name "Cast Lead" in bad taste because of its allusion to Chanukah and the Maccabees who fought against a mighty conqueror. If indeed there is a struggle here of the weak against an occupying empire, it is the struggle of Hamas against Israel, not the other way around. Our self-image as the weak victim is utterly surreal and trapped in the mythology of the Jews as the ultimate victims, regardless of reality.... The firing of missiles by the prisoners in protest against their starvation was interpreted as aggression, while their oppression by their jailers was interpreted as self-defense.

Grinberg had earlier denounced Israel's targeting of terrorist leaders as "symbolic genocide."

Neve Gordon, a BGU lecturer now serving as the chairman of political science at the university, turned out one pro-terror anti-Israel article after the next for anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi websites, denouncing Israel as a criminal entity. In one, he excoriated Israel for bombing the Islamic "university" in Gaza that was serving as the storage warehouse for the very same rockets being fired at his own university campus.

Oren Yiftachel, a professor of geography at Ben Gurion University who has made a career out of denouncing Israel for being an "apartheid" regime, cheered the firing of rockets at the children of Sderot and Netivot as the moral and just response of Palestinians "imprisoned" by Israel firing at their "jailers."

At my own University of Haifa, left-wing faculty members exploded in a wave of outraged protests when the campus heads decided to fly Israeli flags as a gesture of solidarity with the embattled residents of the Negev towns. The leftists claimed this would be insensitive because it would offend the pro-jihad Arab students who fill the campus.

The most important lesson of the past eight years, at this late stage understood by everyone except university leftists and most Israeli politicians, is that nothing will really put an end to the terror and rockets other than some good old-fashioned R&D — Reoccupation and Denazification.

Everything else is a delusion.

2. "End the Holocaust Memorials. The ceremonies have become a substitute for acting against modern fascists."
By Daniel Schwammenthal
From today's Wall Street Journal Europe
January 27, 2009, 6:20 P.M. ET

After yesterday's Holocaust Memorial Day, I have a request: Let it be the last one, at least outside the Jewish world.

Let's put an end to the shallow declarations of "Never Again," which have degenerated into denunciations against long-dead Nazis made from a safe historical distance. This is risk-free grandstanding, which German writer Johannes Gross summed up well: "The resistance to Hitler and his kind," he once wrote, "is getting stronger the more the Third Reich recedes into the past."

Holocaust Memorial Day has become an annual ritual in which Europeans promise moral clarity and courage the next time it's needed. Yet the list of post-Holocaust genocides is long: the killing fields of Cambodia, the slaughter of Tutsis in Rwanda, the murder of Christians and animists in southern Sudan and the continuing destruction of Muslims in Darfur. While the world yawns, the Islamists in Khartoum are busy with their second genocide.

Nor has the memorial day benefited Jews. Solemn declarations about the evils of the Holocaust have not ended Europe's booming trade with those dreaming of Israel's destruction, the mullahs in Tehran. The ceremonies deploring the West's inaction against the German fascists 60 years ago have become a substitute for action against modern fascists, predominantly Islamist.

Anti-Semitism — and not only when disguised as anti-Zionism — is in vogue again in Europe. To scant media attention, and even scanter government criticism, the shouts of "Death to Jews" have filled the streets of the Continent in recent weeks, as protestors, mostly Muslims, voice opposition to the war in Gaza. Western trade unions and academics have intensified their calls for a boycott of Israel. In Italy, a trade union even called for boycotts of local stores owned by Jews.

The solemn speeches around Europe yesterday mourning those who died in the Holocaust hardly mentioned these developments. Citing the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, the Central Council of Jews in Germany stayed away from yesterday's official ceremony in the German Parliament.

The United Nations also had a Holocaust memorial service yesterday. Yet just four months ago, the president of Iran was allowed to give an anti-Semitic speech at the General Assembly to enthusiastic applause from many delegations. Although talking about "Zionists," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's use of classic anti-Semitic canards about a Jewish plot for world domination made it clear whom he really was after.

Although they "are miniscule minority," he said, the Zionists "have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the U.S. in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner." And so on. The secretary general of the General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, embraced the Iranian after his hate speech.

That's the same d'Escoto Brockmann who is calling for a boycott of Israel. It's also the same man who was scheduled to open yesterday's U.N. Holocaust Memorial ceremony but backed down after Israel complained. It's easy to understand why he had wanted to be there: The more crocodile tears people like him spill for dead Jews the easier it is for them to demonize the living ones and avoid being tagged as anti-Semitic. In such hands, Holocaust memorials have become a cover to pound the Jewish state with greater moral authority.

In Europe, there were a few cancellations of yesterday's annual Holocaust Memorial Day events, along with comments suggesting that Jews are the new Nazis. In Barcelona, a city official told La Vanguardia that "marking the Jewish Holocaust while a Palestinian Holocaust is taking place is not right." People in Lulea, Sweden, said Israel's war in Gaza left it unable to mourn the six million dead Jews. "It feels uneasy to have a torchlight procession to remember the victims of the Holocaust at this time," Bo Nordin, a clergyman and spokesman for a local church, told Swedish National Radio. "We have been preoccupied and grief-stricken by the war in Gaza and it would just feel odd with a large ceremony about the Holocaust."

Trine Lilleng, a Norwegian diplomat — stationed in Saudi Arabia no less — spelled it out more directly in an email that found its way into the Jerusalem Post: "The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany," she is reported to have written.

The lessons of the Holocaust are straightforward enough but they haven't been learned, as yesterday's events show. Let's stop pretending otherwise and put an end to these phony ceremonies.

Mr. Schwammenthal is an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe.

3. Montreal Jews and the Anti-Israel Israeli Moonbat:
http://www.jewishtribune.ca/TribuneV2/content/view/1273/53/

4. Ben Gurion University does, so why shouldn't UNRWA?:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3662945,00.html

5. Pipes on Israel's legacy of foolishness:
http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID= 2EE9AF09-D5D8-47FB-BAC0-5EA47A7952DB

6. The Wilders Show Trial:
http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID= F7B62B44-BF6C-4DDF-8F6D-63EF5AC0BD68

7. Lying about dead Palestinians:
http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID= 4B992155-5DC7-4DAA-96D0-934DBC518A23

8. Guilty until proven innocent — yet another leftist professor at the Law School of Tel Aviv University wants Israel's "war crimes" investigated:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1059435.html

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AL-QAIDA AND THE PLAGUE
Posted by Olivier Guitta, January 28, 2009.

In the middle of the massive coverage of U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration, a rather troublesome news story emerged. Unfortunately, it failed to get the coverage it deserves. If confirmed, it deserves the full attention of the Obama administration: the story has to do with bio-terrorism.

The story began with a Jan. 6 report in the Algerian newspaper Echorouk that a number of terrorists had died of the plague in one of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) training camps in Tizi Ouzou. Another Algerian newspaper En-Nahar, affirmed that 50 terrorists have been diagnosed with the plague, 40 of whom have already died.

Now some analysts dismissed outright this story saying it was totally fallacious. But a few observations at this point give credibility to this story, even though one cannot be sure of the provenance of the plague. Consider the following:

1. Algerian authorities have been totally silent. Reliable sources usually willing to share information declined to comment on this report. As can be expected, Algerians authorities were not too pleased that the story was confirmed by American sources. Indeed the Washington Times confirmed through a senior U.S. intelligence official that an incident had taken place at an AQIM training camp that had to be shut down as a result.

2. Coincidence or not: 60 terrorists from AQIM from Tizi Ouzou (the same region where the incident allegedly occurred) decided to surrender to the authorities. It is very rare that such a large number of AQIM operatives defect at the same time. That could mean that they possibly got really scared by what had taken place in the training camp and did not want to get involved in biological weapon experimentation that could likely result in their deaths.

3. Over a year ago, Pakistani terrorists came to train in AQIM training camps and may have one way or another contributed to the production of that biological agent. Interestingly, the Washington Times mentions an intercepted communication between AQIM leaders and AQ Central in Pakistan relating the mishap.

4. Al-Qaida operatives in Europe had tried to develop biological weapons in the recent past. In France, Menad Benchelalli, a terrorist specialized in poisons had produced small amounts of ricin and Botulinum toxin that he intended to release in France. He was arrested in 2002. Then in 2003, British authorities arrested seven individuals accused of also producing ricin.

5. AQIM was "hired" by AQ central mostly because of their extensive network in Europe that could allow them to strike Europe at some point. AQIM's leadership has been under intense pressure to attack European targets in order to maintain its credibility. In fact, by not using a "conventional" weapon, AQIM would prove its value to AQ Central. If the group was indeed developing a biological weapon, it was surely destined for delivery in Europe, and most likely in France.

Interestingly, AQIM did not wait long to refute this story. On Jan. 21, in a communiqué the group accused "some hypocrites who quoted their masters at the Algerian intelligence agency" of being behind this false story. The group also noted that this story was planted to dry up the well of new AQIM recruits. If indeed that is the case, it might be a very smart strategy that maybe should be copied.

Another explanation for the alleged deaths of the AQIM operatives is very bad hygienic situation in the camps. Indeed, several former AQIM terrorists told the Algerian En-Nahar newspaper that living conditions are horrendous and that numerous deaths resulted from poor hygiene. They add that the AQIM emirs (chiefs) quarantine the sick right away, because the disease propagates itself very quickly.

Whatever the explanation, it seems that there have been unexplained deaths among AQIM operatives. At this point, the developments of this story and its possible implications need to be closely monitored. Indeed a nightmarish scenario could unfold if one of the infected individuals boarded a flight to Paris, London or New York. This person could become de-facto the means of "delivering" the weapon.?

Olivier Guitta is an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a foreign affairs and counterterrorism consultant. You can read his latest work at www.thecroissant.com/about.html

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THE DAY AMERICA LOST THE WAR ON TERROR
Posted by Saul Goldman, January 28, 2009.

This was written by Ben Shapiro and it appeared today in www.Townhall.com.

 

On Nov. 4, 2008, America lost the war on terror. President Barack Obama's feckless, pathetically apologetic perspective on foreign policy spells the end of the quest for liberty in the Middle East. It spells the end of America's moral leadership in the global war for freedom. And it spells the end of a hard-fought campaign to protect America. Our enemies must be happily celebrating their great good fortune in America's election of this platitudinous, morally relativistic, Jimmy Carter carbon copy in the midst of battle.

On Jan. 26, 2009, Obama granted his first television interview as president of the United States to Al Arabiya, the Dubai-based television network part-owned by the Saudi government. In the interview, he demonstrated with the utmost clarity that his understanding is inversely proportional to his arrogance.

He started by humbling America before the world. "(A)ll too often the United States starts by dictating," Obama said, shame for his country dripping from his lips. "So let's listen." There was no call for the Muslim world, which has sponsored genocide after genocide, terrorist group upon terrorist group, to listen.

Obama apologized for President Bush's "Islamic fascism" terminology, equating Muslim terrorism with nonexistent terrorism by Jews and Christians: "the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations — whether Muslim or any other faith in the past — that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name." There was no call for the Muslim world to actively fight terrorism — honesty is not the Obama administration's policy.

Obama repeated the Clintonian line that the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict could be solved by pressing Israel into negotiations with terrorists — a foolish conceit that has cost Israeli and Palestinian lives. He talked about getting rid of "preconceptions" regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict — code for embracing negotiations with Hamas. He pledged to talk with Iran — on the same day that Iran's government spokesman branded the Holocaust "a big lie." He bought into the Muslim-sponsored notion that the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict lies at the heart of all trouble in the Middle East. He praised the one-sided Saudi peace plan as an act of "great courage."

Most sickeningly, Obama openly jettisoned his constitutional role as the caretaker for America's national interest. Instead, Obama posed himself as an honest broker between America and the Muslim world. "(T)he United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect," he said. "I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries." Obama didn't stop there. He stated that his job is to speak for the Muslim world, defending them from Americans' negative perceptions: "And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives."

No, Mr. President. Your job is not to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world harbors us no ill will. That is their job. The Muslim world must demonstrate with its words and actions that they do not wish America replaced with an Islamic state. They must demonstrate that they do not support terrorism against America and our allies.

Your job is to protect and defend the United States of America. That is your sworn duty.

And you abrogate your sworn duty every time you go on Arab television stations and apologize for America's foreign policy. You abrogate your sworn duty every time you force American allies to negotiate with terrorists. You abrogate your sworn duty every time you pledge to protect the interests "not just of the United States, but also ordinary people who right now are suffering from poverty and a lack of opportunity" — the same ordinary people who elect Hamas, prop up the Ayatollahs, supported the Taliban, recruit for al-Qaida, and live off of the beneficence of Hezbollah. Not all Muslims are "extraordinary people," and the interests of suffering Muslims do not always align with American interests.

On Nov. 4, 2008, Americans elected their first international president. They elected a man who does not seek to preserve American values. Leftists perceived George W. Bush as an imperialist for American interests; by the same token, Obama is an imperialist for "global interests." In a war to save America from implacable foes, Obama's Global Interest Imperialism dooms American exceptionalism to the ash heap of history. With it may go the last, best hope of Earth.

Contact Rabbi Saul Goldman at gold7910@bellsouth.net.

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BRILLIANT EXPLANATION: YOU TELL US...PROPORTIONATE OR DISPROPORTIONATE...!?
Posted by Boris Celser, January 28, 2009.

In an interview, Professor Shalom Rosenberg from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem was asked by the interviewer about the proportion whereby only few Israelis were killed and the hundreds of Gazans that were killed; he replied in sweetness language: "Hamas itself set this proportion. If Hamas demands to free 1000 terrorists incarcerated in Israeli jails for one Israeli soldier — Gilad Shalit — then they themselves set that the life of one Israel equals to one thousand Gazans. If so, this proportionality dictates that in order to defend one Israeli soldier, we (Israel) have to attack terrorists although the risk of killing hundreds of citizens."

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

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ROCKS, A FATAL WEAPON; THE MOVIE DEFIANCE; ISRAEL STILL TRYING TO FINANCE HAMAS!
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 28, 2009.

TALK OF MASSACRE IS PHONY

The Arabs and their sympathizers accuse Israel of seeking or committing a massacre of civilians. If Israel wanted to do that, it could have had its artillery destroy most Gaza apartment houses overnight, much cheaper than by air raids. Then the deaths would have been in the tens of thousands [or hundreds of thousands]. The accusations are defamatory and ridiculous (IMRA, 12/28).

GAS DISCOVERED OFF ISRAEL

Three trillion cubic feet of natural gas was discovered off Haifa. This is a significant find. It may change Israel's economy (Arutz-7, 1/18).

Will the economy improve? Corrupt societies waste windfalls on luxuries that don't last

ROCKS, A FATAL WEAPON

An Arab youth threw a rock at an Israeli car. The rock ricocheted back onto the youth's head, killing him. (Arutz-7, 12/28).

People are too comfortable, in my opinion, with Arab stoning of Jews. I think that the response to that by victims and police should be to shoot to kill. This time, the intended victim escaped and the perpetrator got what he justly deserved.

THE OTHER SIDE

An Arab doctor who works in Israel received much publicity in the NY Times, when his house was blown up by the IDF. The doctor claimed that he strives for mutual tolerance, and lamented loss of his house and three adult daughters in it. Israel had reports of gunfire at it from that house (Arutz-7, 1/18).

I think that is poor journalism, biased towards the Arabs, as usual. The report was controversial. Generally, IDF reports are accurate and Arab claims are not. The newspaper should have awaited confirmation before it made a big human interest story out of the doctor's claims, with only a single sentence explaining the justification for the bombing.

ASSESSING THE UNILATERAL CEASEFIRE

Hamas continues to shoot at Israeli troops and fire rockets at Siderot, and can start restocking arms, while the IDF does nothing. This is another of the ceasefires in which only Jews die. It was a cowardly arrangement (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/18). Someone called it an attempt to turn victory into defeat.

FIFTH COLUMN FAVORED IN ISRAEL

Arabs threw stones at Israeli traffic passing between Jerusalem and Modiin. Police dispersed them (IMRA, 12/29).

Dispersed? Why not arrested? When Jews throw stones back at Arabs, the police arrest the Jews and not the Arabs. That may serve leftist ideology of defeatism and surrender, but it is unequal enforcement of the law and favoritism towards the Muslim fifth column. Favoring a fifth column sews future strife.

ARAB REPAIRMEN

Two Arab repairmen were called into an apartment in Kiryat Sefer, now called Modiin illit, most populated Jewish town in Judea-Samaria. They stabbed the residents and then two more in the street, and attacked a third before someone shot one and the other fled (Arutz-7, 12/29).

Did the major media report this interesting story, itself a silent witness to the non-feasibility of allowing Muslim Arabs to live with Jews? If not, why not?

The story upholds an argument for arming all Israeli Jews, especially settlers, capable of handling guns responsibly. Bi-national living has turned Israel and the Territories into the American wild West. No sheriff? People need self-defense

THE MOVIE, "DEFIANCE."

I saw the movie, "Defiance." It was inspiring, as I anticipated. In scene, Holocaust survivors were brutal to German troops. That was disturbing. The brutality is understandable; no sympathy is due to the Germans. I think that the Jewish partisan commander should have stopped the beating and executed the Germans. Couldn't keep prisoners, lest they escape and bring the German Army down on the whole partisan camp.

When discussing gun control hereafter, I will mention that if all the Jews in Europe were armed, they could have taken a toll of their persecutors, and prevented their labor being exploited for their persecutors. It might have given pause to their persecutors. On the other hand, suppose all the Muslims in W. Europe were armed. The answer to that is not to harbor fifth columns.

IMMIGRATION TO AND FROM SPAIN

From N. Africa, Muslims sneak into Spain. There, an al-Qaida network based in Syria recruits some of them as suicide bombers and pays for their transportation to Iraq, where they murder civilians or assassinate foreign troops assisting Iraq (IMRA, 12/29). Spain should purge itself. The government of Syria claims innocence in the war in Iraq, but it hosts terrorist organizations that fight there.

WHICH RELIGION TOLERANT OF HOLY PLACES?

On December 29, Arabs rioted near Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem. They threw a pipe bomb and rocks at the Jewish holy site (Arutz-7, 12/29).

Jews have never to my knowledge attacked a Muslim holy site, except when terrorists in Gaza use mosques as firing platforms or munitions dumps. Arab Muslim propagandists have been accusing "the Jews" for decades of attempting to destroy al-Aqsa mosque. Never any attempts! Totally defamatory.

From such examples, of which there are many, one can build a case for which religion and which people are tolerant and peaceable.

THE "INNOCENT" CIVILIANS IN GAZA

The father of a boy whom terrorists murdered at a Yeshiva in Jerusalem wrote, "'When our 16 year old son was murdered ten months ago together with seven of his friends, the TV screens of the world were filled with scenes of the yeshiva library filled with blood, together with scenes of the residents of Gaza dancing in celebration and flashing "V" signs to one another for victory, handing out candies and firing into the air in celebration."

The father finds the world hypocritically urging Israeli restraint about the attacks from Gaza. The need is to eradicate Hamas (Prof. Steven Plaut, 12/30) and the capability of that evil people there to mount more terrorism or conventional war.

THE "LOYAL" ISRAELI ARABS & THE "IDEALISTIC" EU

"The 'Itija'a' organization of Israeli Arabs, funded by the EU, has issued a statement saying that the firing of rockets by the Hamas at Israeli civilians is not a war crime, but the Israeli bombing in Gaza and targeting of terrorists is. It also accused Israel of conducting genocide in Gaza and that the rule of the Hamas in Gaza is "legitimate." The organization has not been banned and its heads have not been jailed by Israel." (Op. Cit.)

ISRAEL STILL TRYING TO FINANCE HAMAS!

The American head of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fisher, and the Finance Ministry, had ordered two banks to transfer funds to Gaza. Shurat HaDin petitioned the courts to bar the transfer. The petition argued that since Hamas controls Gaza, the funds help it finance its war on Israel. The two banks ceased transfers. Gov. Fisher then demanded that Israel's postal bank transfer the funds. It balked, demanding immunity from prosecution. Can't be given. Shame on Fisher for trying to finance Hamas! (IMRA, 1/1).

HUMANITARIANISM OVER GAZA

The media disingenuously questions whether Israel targeted civilians. It knows very well that Israel does not do that. That biased insinuation plays into the hands of America's terrorist enemy.

Israel takes risks to minimize civilian casualties. For that, it occasionally gets a slight mention in the press. That mention gets lost in the much bulkier verbiage of false accusations against Israel as seeking civilian casualties. The media doesn't know, or doesn't let on that it knows, that Israel wants perhaps most of all to be perceived as humane. Israel would not attack civilians wantonly.

By contrast, few journalists openlyl question the purpose of Hamas attacks on Israel. The purpose is to kill Jews. As we've pointed out before, even before Islamo-fascism arose, jihadists sought genocide against Israel. Therefore, whereas originally the Arabs had a weak claim for the Territories and Israel, but nevertheless a claim, it has forfeited that claim. Their method is so criminal and vicious, that they have proved themselves unfit to share territory with and undeserving of diplomatic consideration.

What shall we make of this? I conclude that this is not a rational world. Antisemitism and related ideologies combine with advocacy journalism to make a vast gap between what happens, what is reported, and what people believe. Israel bends over backwards. To avoid inflicting enemy civilian casualties, and to seem to be cooperating with foreign critics, Israel incurs preventable civilian and military casualties. Its regime holds its head high instead of in shame at allowing its own people to be murdered. It is acting out the Jewish neurosis of trying to please the gentiles.

The gentiles don't get pleased. They don't acknowledge Israel's excessive steps to spare enemy civilians. To the contrary, the media is part of the world mob accusing Israel of deliberately targeting civilians. The media scapegoats the Jews. It knowingly wields defamation as a club to coerce and cajole Israel to defend itself less. Indeed, Israel seeks foreign troops to protect it.

WHY WEREN'T ARM TUNNELS BOMBED BEFORE?

An IDF press release mentions having attacked dozens of arms smuggling tunnels (IMRA, 12/30). The tunnels made possible Hamas aggression.

I asked IMRA how come the IDF suddenly identified and struck dozens of tunnels. Reply of 1/20: "We knew and didn't bomb. Just as we didn't bomb many other targets before." That makes the government accomplices of Hamas rocketing!

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

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CBS NEWS: "TIME RUNNING OUT FOR A TWO-STATE SOLUTION?"
Posted by Eli E. Hertz, January 28, 2009.

Bob Simon of 60 Minutes:

"Palestinians ... when they want to travel from one town to another, they have to submit to humiliating delays at checkpoints and roadblocks. There are more than 600 of them on the West Bank."

Bob: Who is Humiliating Whom?

Bob, you say Palestinian Arabs feel humiliated and harassed when Israeli authorities search them and their belongings; when they are prevented from traveling freely because of checkpoints, roadblocks, closures and curfews. You say they feel "corralled."

Bob, in Israel, every Israeli is searched numerous times during the course of a single day. Israelis are asked to open their bags and purses for inspection. In most cases, they are subjected to body searches with a metal detector every time they enter a bank or a post office, pick up a bottle of milk at the supermarket, enter a mall or train station, or visit a hospital or medical clinic. Young Israeli men and women are physically frisked in search of suicide belts before they enter crowded nightclubs.

As a matter of routine, Israelis' car trunks are searched every time they enter a well-trafficked parking lot. Daily, their cars pass through roadblocks that cause massive traffic jams when security forces are in hot pursuit of suicide bombers believed to have entered Israel.

Israelis are searched not only when they go out for a cup of coffee or a slice of pizza, but also when they go to the movies or a concert, where the term "dressed to kill" has an entirely different meaning.

These ordinary daily humiliations now extend to similar searches when Israelis go to weddings or Bar Mitzvahs. No one abroad talks about the humiliation Jews in Israel are subjected to, having to write at the bottom of wedding invitations and other life cycle events, "The site will be secured [by armed guards]" — to ensure relatives and friends will attend and share their joyous occasion.

One out of four Israeli children, ages 11 to 15, fear for their lives. One out of three report they fear for the lives of their family members, and more than a third report they have changed their patterns of travel and social lives due to security concerns.

Bob, these ubiquitous security checks do not exist in Arab cities and towns in Israel (or, for that matter, in Judea and Samaria) because those places are not and never have been targets of Palestinian terrorism. In fact, the average Israeli is "humiliated and harassed" by being searched far more times a day than the average Palestinian. Not one human rights group, nor you, has so much as noted this massive intrusion into the rights of privacy and person imposed on Israelis.

To date, no one protests the fact that, since the 1970s, Jewish schoolchildren in Israel are surrounded by perimeter fences, with armed guards at the schoolyard gates, as if their schools were the domiciles of Mafiosi.

Not one Arab village in Israel or the Territories has a perimeter fence around it. Guards are not required at Arabic shops, cafes, restaurants, movie theaters, wedding halls or schools — either in Israel or in the Territories. Palestinians also do not need armed guards to accompany every school trip, youth movement hike or campout. They are not targets of terrorism.

Countless Israelis in sensitive areas within the Green Line — not only in the Territories, but also in Jewish towns, villages and bedroom suburbs — are "ghettoized" behind high fences.

Many Israeli motorists avoid major arteries that pass through Arab areas of Israel, while Arab citizens and Palestinians from the Territories continue to enter Jewish cities and go about their business without peril. Israelis are told, in effect, to disguise themselves when traveling abroad — not to speak Hebrew in public and not to wear garments that reveal their Jewish-Israeli origins. Even Israel's national airline — El Al — has been forced to remove its logo from the tails of its aircraft at certain airports, out of concern for the safety of its passengers. This followed several attempts to down Israeli civilian aircraft with missiles. On the other hand, Arabs who frequent Jewish cities and towns in Israel wear their traditional Arab headgear without fear of being attacked or harassed.

Bob, all this begs the question: Who are the victims and who are the victimizers? Who are the ones being harassed and humiliated? Palestinian Arabs or Israelis?

Eli E. Hertz is president of Myths and Facts, Inc. The organization's objective is to provide policymakers, national leadership, the media and the public-at-large with information and viewpoints that are founded on factual and reliable content. Contact him at today@mythsandfacts.org. And visit www.mythsandfacts.org

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DO PALESTINIANS REALLY WANT A TWO-STATE SOLUTION? JUDGING BY THEIR WORDS AND ACTIONS THE ANSWER IS NO.
Posted by Boris Celser, January 27, 2009.

This was written by Josef Joffe and it appeared in today's Wall Street Journal Europe.

Mr. Joffe is publisher-editor of Die Zeit, and a fellow at the Institute for International Studies and the Hoover Institution, both at Stanford University. http://wsj.com/article/SB123301610441317741.html

What if there is no solution? With the war in Gaza slipping into an uneasy truce, peacemakers will now descend on the Middle East. That includes George Mitchell, President Obama's special envoy to the region.

But is peace possible? The real message of Gaza may be a bloody and cruel testimony to intractability. How shall we count the ways? Annapolis, Wye, Taba, Camp David, Oslo ... all the way back to 1947 when the Arabs refused the original two-state solution. Looking at this tale of doom, the proverbial visitor from Mars would ask in all innocence: "Could it be that the Palestinians actually don't want two states?"

No, not if we listen to what Palestinian leaders say and write, especially in Arabic and with no CNN team around. It's one state from the "river to the sea," and the blood-curdling oratory is not just anti-Israel, it is eliminationist anti-Semitic echoing Hitler and Himmler. This is not hyperbole. Just read the daily compilation in English on www.memri.org and recoil in horror. But let's be statesmanlike about this ("you know, the flowery language of the Arabs") and look at the strategic games both sides play. Double-statehood is not the first prize in this game, alas.

In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza. Our man from Mars would have thought: Now is the time for the Palestinians to really build a state, as they couldn't previously when Yasser Arafat was in charge and the Israeli army in place. Instead, the Palestinians elected Hamas, which thrust the three no's at Israel: no recognition, no negotiation, no acceptance (of the Oslo Accords).

The "conversation" was not about statehood but about will. It was Kassam time, with Hamas firing the missiles and Israel tightening the blockade. This is known, in the media vernacular, as a "spiral of violence." But if the missiles were the answer to the blockade, why did Hamas target the border passages and the power plant next door that supplied Gaza with electricity?

So much irrationality makes perfect sense if we posit a different strategic game. Hamas's object is provoking Israel to prove that it doesn't care about the consequences. Indeed, it wants bad things to happen to its own people. This will mobilize the "Arab street" and the world's media against Israel while demonstrating its absolute imperviousness to pain and threats of more. "Bring it on," is great for Hamas's credibility, pride and honor, but for the purpose of statehood, it would behave very differently. It would wheel and deal, cajole and dissimulate. It would play quid pro quo, not Kassams against F-16s.

Naturally, Israel couldn't allow Hamas to dictate the rules, and so it began to ready a massive counterstrike by last summer. Hamas miscalculated in 2008 as Hezbollah did in 2006. Each thought it could humiliate and cow Mr. Big without triggering retaliation. Recall Hezbollah chief Nasrallah, who admitted that he never would have authorized forays into Israel if he had foreseen the reaction. Hamas was unluckier still, for Israel was a lot more successful in Gaza than in southern Lebanon in 2006.

For Israel, the object was "never again." Never again would it allow deterrence to lapse, or its reputation for swift and efficient military force to suffer. With the country's credibility restored, you might ask: Isn't this precisely the moment for another Annapolis or Taba, where Arafat extracted even better terms than at Camp David in 2000? Alas, the Abba Ebban cliché about the Palestinians never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity is true.

The reason is that double-statehood is not their No. 1 priority. They want it all, and if they can't get it, they would rather nurse their honor, pride and sense of righteous victimhood than engage in the sordid business of compromise. At any rate, the simple two-state solution is now off the table. Most Israelis (minus the settlers and their supporters) have come around to two states. But never again will Israel vacate territory (as in Gaza) without making sure that it won't turn into a strategic springboard against the heartland. Never again will Israel relinquish control over a border like the Philadelphi Corridor that served as entry point for Iranian missiles into Gaza. It will insist on a strategic presence in the Jordan Valley.

Nor can Israel yield military control over the West Bank. What a twist of fate. Today, it is the Israeli Defense Force that guarantees the survival of Fatah and President Mahmoud Abbas against Hamas, Jihad and their Iranian sponsors. Here is the bitter irony. Fatah might want to make peace, but doesn't have the power to deliver; Hamas has the power, but it doesn't want peace, dreaming about a "final solution" that wipes Israel off this part of the map.

This is why the Obama administration is looking at yet another disappointment. The upside is that today Palestine is less than ever the "core" of the Middle East conflict. The real issue is Iran and its reach for regional hegemony. The conventional wisdom has it that peace for Palestine would weaken Tehran's mischief potential, robbing it of a rallying point for the Arab masses. Actually, it is the other way round. Iran will use its power, through its proxies, to demolish whatever deal might be hashed out by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

For Iran's game is not a two-state solution, let alone peace. Rather, its object is to intimidate America's Arab supporters and to eliminate Israel as America's strongest regional ally. So for the Obama administration, Israel/Palestine has become an intractable sideshow on a vastly enlarged stage that extends from Haifa to Herat.

American (and European) good offices should be designed to manage rather than to solve a conflict that still defies solution. The object of intercession ought to be a stable truce. Preventing another eruption means closing off all conduits for offensive weaponry. The U.S. and the European Union can offer Hamas a benign tit for tat: Stop the terror and gain wondrous economic benefits like copious investments and easier movement of goods and people — provided the money doesn't again disappear in the pockets of the Palestinian leadership, as it did in Arafat's days.

It took Israel 40 years to push Fatah from terrorism to teeth-gnashing acceptance. The Levant will be a lot happier place if Hamas turns out to be a faster learner.

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

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'CONCILIATORY' OBAMA SPEAKS TO AL-ARABIYA
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, January 27, 2009.

This was written by Rick Moran and it appeared in the American Thinker
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/01/ conciliatory_obama_speaks_to_a.html

 

Will Obama be any more successful than George Bush in reaching out to Muslims? Bush confidante and friend Karen Hughes ran a high profile effort out of the State Department that was supposed to counter the propaganda coming from the Arab press about the United States while extending a hand sto the worldwide Muslim community in friendship.

For a variety of reasons — not all of them Bush's or Hughes' fault — the effort fell flat on its face. Hughes not only had to counter propaganda from Muslim countries but also the hysterical and oftentimes false reporting from the western press on Bush and US intentions toward Muslim countries. In addition, the idea that Bush was supposed to "apologize" for liberating 25 million Muslims from tyranny was just never going to happen, no matter how much al-Jazeera and other Arab media demanded it.

In short, it was an effort doomed to fail from the outset.

Now here's Barack Obama, World Superstar, beloved of billions, inviting the less hysterical than al-Jazeera (but still dishonest) al-Arabiya TV into the White House for a chat. And the interview goes about as well as you'd expect — for Muslims. For US interests? Not so much:

The interview with the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya Network was a dramatic piece of public diplomacy aimed at capitalizing on the new American president's international popularity, though it balanced America's traditional commitment to Israel, whose security Obama called "paramount.'

"I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries," Obama said, according to a White House transcript. "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy."

The Al Arabiya interview, directed squarely at Muslims around the world, revived a vision of personal, symbolic international change that was in the air when Obama — with his far-flung family members, and complicated story — launched his campaign. It was a vision, and an aspect of his story, that the candidate buried when, in 2007, was forced to combat whispering campaigns about his own faith.

But by giving his first interview to the Arabic network, Obama signaled his continuing belief in his personal power as a symbol of America against the temptations of Islamic militancy. He even dismissed "bankrupt" ideas and policies that don't improve children's health care, jabbing at "nervous" Al Qaeda leaders in language that echoed his campaign against George W. Bush.

"Echoed his campaign" against Bush? Well, I might gently point out that Mr. Obama did not run a campaign against Mr. Bush except that he tried to superimpose the former president's face on John McCain every time he opened his mouth. I get what the Politico guy is saying but I guess accuracy in media doesn't count for much in the Age of Obama. Must be that "international change in the air." Better check the water too.

And aren't you a little curious what Osama Bin Laden thinks of this guy? I hardly think Osama will react the same way to criticism that our Mr. Bush did. Maybe Obama thinks he will.

But it is US interests in the Middle East where the rhetorical rubber will meet the real-world road. And here, President Obama humbly begs forgiveness from Muslims for our sins in freeing the followers of the prophet in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan from the rule of some of the less faithful followers of Islam like the Taliban and Saddam Hussein not to mention the infidel Milosevic.

Somewhere in the universe, that has to count for something. Not in this White House. Not with most Muslims apparently. Instead, the order of the day is apology and humility. Now a little humility is always a good thing. But Obama goes and really makes a hash of things when he plays into the Muslim narrative that Bush and the US never listens, we only "dictate:"

The occasion for this interview was the departure of Obama's special envoy, George Mitchell, to the Middle East, and a more aggressive and optimistic approach to that conflict than some argued that the circumstances dictated. The president offered no timeline for peace, but a firm view that a Palestinian state remains within reach.

"What I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating — in the past on some of these issues — and we don't always know all the factors that are involved," Obama said. "What we want to do is to listen, set aside some of the preconceptions that have existed and have built up over the last several years. And I think if we do that, then there's a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs."

Obama's interview was marked by attempts to sympathize with the concerns of ordinary Muslims, particularly on the question of living conditions in the West Bank. But he sought a conciliatory tone throughout the interview, at one point avoiding even restating American policy, and his own platform, than an Iranian nuclear weapon is plainly unacceptable.

"Will the United States ever live with a nuclear Iran? And if not, how far are you going in the direction of preventing it?" asked the interviewer, Al Arabiya Washington Bureau Chief Hisham Melhem.

Obama responded only generally, expressing disapproval of an Iranian bomb but not the flat condemnation that is standard from American officials.

Man, I can just see King Abdullah and other Gulf State leaders furrowing their brows after hearing that statement. For 8 years we have spent a considerable amount of diplomatic effort and capital in ramming sanctions on Iran through the security council, warning of the danger to Iran's neighbors and the entire civilized world of an Iran with the bomb. And here's our "conciliatory" president saying "so sorry — we didn't really mean it." He also termed Iranian support for terrorists and trying build nukes " not helpful." Well, I suppose that's one way to put it. I personally would not have used that term.

"Unacceptable" perhaps. Maybe even "deal-breaker" as in "It is a deal breaker regarding negotiations until Tehran stops supporting groups that want to kill innocent Americans,"

But that's just me. What does our Celebrity President have to say?

You know, I said during the campaign that it is very important for us to make sure that we are using all the tools of U.S. power, including diplomacy, in our relationship with Iran," he said. "Now, the Iranian people are a great people, and Persian civilization is a great civilization. Iran has acted in ways that's not conducive to peace and prosperity in the region: their threats against Israel; their pursuit of a nuclear weapon which could potentially set off an arms race in the region that would make everybody less safe; their support of terrorist organizations in the past — none of these things have been helpful."

Does Obama believe that Iran actually wants to be "helpful?" Obviously yes. What exactly they want to be helpful about — like wiping Israel off the map and blowing us to kingdom come — might not sit well with most of the rest of us but that's because we fear the inheritors of Xerxes ambitions. We must be like our new president and banish our fears while trusting that the fanatics in Tehran are just funnin' around and don't really mean it when they say "Death to America."

Glad we got all that straightened out, aren't you?

Humility has its place in international relations. Walking softly and carrying a big stick is always good advice — advice not followed always by Obama's predecessor.

But abject surrender to the faux sensibilities of Muslims, who are fed a barrage of the most nauseating anti-American propaganda from a media that deliberately obscures the truth and plays to the fears of a billion people by giving space to the most idiotic conspiracy theories on the planet? Somewhere, an American president has to draw a line.

In his eagerness to be loved, Obama granted legitimacy to lies, half truths, and urban legends about America that have been swallowed whole by the gullible masses of Muslims. It remains to be seen how this will play out diplomatically. But I am not confident it will do anything except raise expectations that can never be met.

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THE INSIDE STORY OF OPERATION CAST LEAD
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, January 27, 2009.

This was written by Joel J. Sprayregen, and it appeared in the American Thinker
http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/01/inside_story_of_israels_succes.html

Joel J. Sprayregen, a Chicago lawyer, returned recently from Israel where he consulted with military and academic sources. He is associated with JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) and other think tanks dealing with international security issues.

 

The tactical successes of Israel's recent Gaza operation, based on superb intelligence, began with air attacks on terrorist targets, which were extremely accurate and caused Hamas to go underground. The second phase, the ground attack, was a well-coordinated effort "in a fashion never done by the IDF before," according to a background briefing. There was much more of what the American military calls "jointness," or cooperation, between ground and air forces.

Successful tactics included: night maneuvers with sophisticated optical equipment; senior commanders on the battlefield with the troops leading to better tactical decision-making, as well as wounding of several brigade commanders; entry into potentially booby-trapped houses was effected through the side walls, not through doors and windows; and almost all units were accompanied by a canine unit. The dogs were very effective in uncovering hidden terrorists and explosives, thus protecting soldiers; however the casualty rate among the dogs was quite high.

Use of Electronic Warfare and False Casualty Reports

Another innovation was the use of electronic warfare. The IDF was able to jam all radio, TV and cell phone communications. "In addition, the IDF was also able to call thousands of Palestinian homes to warn of an impending incursion," the briefer said. He noted that the psychological impact of the electronic jamming was important as well. "The Palestinians believe we could triangulate on terrorists' cell phones to find them, even when the phone was turned off," he said. "Whether we could or we couldn't or we did or we didn't doesn't matter. They believe we have the capability."

An authoritative report was published indicating that Hamas had duped gullible world media by doubling the numbers of persons killed in Gaza. Every civilian death is a regrettable tragedy. But the report of an experienced Italian journalist in the respected Corriere della Serra deserves scrutiny. The reporter quoted a Palestinian doctor at the main Gaza hospital — where Hamas leaders hid in underground rooms — as saying: "The deaths could not be more than 500 or 600 at most, mainly youths who were enlisted by Hamas, which sent them to their deaths." It would not be the first time that the media accepted wildly false Palestinian casualty figures. In 2002, Palestinians claimed a "massacre" of 1500 people in Jenin. It turned out that 45 terrorists, 9 civilians and 23 Israeli soldiers had been killed.

Hamas Gunmen Fled

The Italian journalist quoted Gaza civilians as complaining that Hamas gunmen prevented them from leaving while firing from their homes. The gunmen told the civilians "we are all destined for paradise, are you not happy to die together?" An Israeli journalist embedded with an IDF unit said: "Hamas fighting prowess hardly inspired awe." He explained that "Hamas' Iranian-devised military doctrine was based on stopping or at least slowing the IDF outside Gaza City. But the Hamas gunmen — in full view of the people of Gaza — abandoned the arena and fled into the crowded neighborhoods where they hurriedly shed their uniforms." The areas from which rockets had been fired were quickly abandoned. "The offensive array of bunkers and tunnels and booby-trapped buildings — set for remote detonation — were captured intact." Hamas did take advantage of the fog of war to torture and kill 70 Palestinians from the rival Fatah movement; the torture included gouging of eyes of suspected informers.

One of the Israeli government's goals was to ensure that the ties between Hamas and Iran are well documented, according to the briefer. "We know that the Iranians supply Hamas with sophisticated weapons and train Hamas fighters in Iran." An entire unit of Hamas gunmen trained in Iran was eliminated. The defeat of Iranian proxies, quietly cheered by many in the Arab world (though Palestinian casualties provoked indignation), is a major blow to Iran's aspirations for regional hegemony. The scheduled third-phase of the offensive that was to follow the air strikes and ground campaign was suspended when the truce commenced. Asked if there was one message he would like to convey, the briefer concluded, "There can be no return to the status quo," i.e., incessant Hamas firing on Israeli civilians.

The Future is Clouded

The key to peace in Gaza remains cessation of Iranian arms supplies to Hamas. It was therefore encouraging to hear leaders of six European countries — France, Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy and Czech Republic offer — in Egypt and Israel — to provide troops and technical assistance to prevent Hamas from smuggling weapons and terrorists into Gaza. French President Sarkozy said "the EU would never harm the security of Israel." Dissonant in this display of European unity was the fact that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan could speak only in Egypt and not in Jerusalem. Erdogan's ardent backing of Hamas coupled with Iranian-type castigation of Israel, plus anti-Semitism inspired by his AKP party, has damaged Turkey's image as an aspirant for EU membership. Erdogan may have opted for leadership of the Muslim world, rather than a place in the EU.

While one can understand Israel's rationale for declaring a truce after inflicting major damage on Hamas' military capabilities (this is not World War 2, where total victory can be achieved), it is likely that further pre-emptive action by Israel will be necessary. The credo of Hamas is that Israel must be destroyed. There is scant chance of durable peace with an enemy which indoctrinates children to believe there is a religious duty to kill Jewish civilians. Ending Hamas misrule would entail heavy and largely undesirable costs for Israel, including possible reoccupation.

Egypt is not likely to seriously curb smuggling of Iranian arms through tunnels for several reasons, including that Egypt likes to see Israel bleed, and that cracking down on Hamas would enrage millions of Egyptian adherents of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot.

Since Hamas continues to view Israeli civilians as targets for murder and Palestinian civilian casualties as useful sacrifices for obtaining international support, it is almost certain that we will be returning to this sanguinary subject. Israel's main achievement was demonstrating that Hamas will pay a severe price if large-scale rocketing is resumed. The tunnels can be reopened, but they can likewise be redestroyed.

Ominous reports are surfacing of Iranian frogmen delivering arms to Hamas. The US Navy is supposedly monitoring this development.

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FROM ISRAEL: CONFERENCE UPDATE
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 27, 2009.

When my posting was edited yesterday, before it was sent, a whole long phrase was accidentally cut, thus confusing some of you, who wrote to ask me what I was talking about. Let me try the offending sentence again:

(Said Ya'alon) We need a "bottom-up" peace, with the elimination of incitement that teaches Palestinian children to kill us.

~~~~~~~~~~

Today a host of subjects were covered at the Conference and it is only possible for me to touch briefly on those subjects that resonate.

The subject of a United Jerusalem brought together a panel of speakers who, of course, all agreed that our city must stay undivided and under our sovereignty. But each presenter had his or her own particular perspective on this issue. Uzi Arad, Head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy in Herzliya, used an expression regarding the prospect of dividing our city that was so fitting it is worth remembering. To divide Jerusalem, he said, would be like doing an amputation. It boggles his mind (as the minds of most of us) to contemplate the division of a city that is an historical unit.

Dr, Eilat Elazar is a fellow at the Shalem Center Institute for the Archeology of the Jewish People, and does magnificent work. She spoke today about excavations in the northern part Ir David (City of David), the most ancient, original Jerusalem. She has found what appears to be David's palace, along with artifacts dating back 3,000 years, such as stamps containing names known from the Tanach.

I cannot do justice in writing to the stunning slides she presented, but urge everyone who visits here to take a tour of Ir David. There is a sense of wonder in understanding and being able to see how deep indeed our roots in the land are.

Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the UN and now director of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, came to offer assurance that whatever Olmert may have offered the PA verbally with regard to dividing Jerusalem obligates us to nothing, although the world may try to obligate us.

Dr. Gold shared an interesting story: When the Hebron agreement was signed as part of Oslo, Netanyahu, who was then prime minister (who says, by the way, that he was obligated to the Hebron agreement by what had preceded it) sought a quid pro quo for turning over a good part of Hevron to the PA. He sent Gold to Washington, and the deal, arranged with Dennis Ross, was that we would build the new Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa. The Palestinians screamed long and loud, and the US backed us.

~~~~~~~~~~

Dore Gold's most important message, however, was this: We must use diplomacy to protect our national interest. The Palestinians have constructed their own narrative to make it seem as if Jerusalem is a Muslim city. We must strengthen our historical truth, by making sure we understand it, and then talking about our historical rights and the archeology that stands as evidence. Jerusalem is a Jewish city.

Moti Kedar, who teaches at Bar Ilan University in the Arabic department, provided us with a short history of how Muslims came to construct the notion that Jerusalem was theirs. Motivation was political, but the history they have constructed fits with their theology: Islam, the true religion, is believed to be the inheritor of religious tradition, superseding Judaism and Christianity.

And so, Jerusalem may have been Jewish, but why, according to their thinking, should they not then "make" it Muslim. Kedar says Muslims are afraid that their illegitimate claims will be exposed.

His message then, too, is that we must know our history and speak out about it.

~~~~~~~~~~

During the session on "Israel under attack and the civilians of the Gaza area respond," there was one presentation that was stunning — that moved me to tears, actually. This was by Rachel Saperstein, formerly of Gush Katif and now in a makeshift caravan in the "refugee camp" of Nitzan, near the Gaza border. I don't know that I can do justice to what she said so passionately and eloquently. But let me share just this story:

The people of Gush Katif in Gaza were greenhouse farmers who performed miracles in making things grow in a region of barren sand. She says that some of the Palestinians who had worked with the Jews of Gush Katif have called their former employers and told them they are confused. They are using the same techniques they had learned from the Jews, and yet nothing grows. Why is it that nothing grows?! "Because," said Rachel, "we Jews were banished from our land, and we make things grow there."

I am trying to find out if Rachel's talk can go up on YouTube, and then I'll provide a URL so that you can all hear her for yourselves.

~~~~~~~~~~

There were many other topics discussed in the course of the day, some too complex to do justice to here and now. And so I will end this section with the issue of Islamic Internet sites and how they are used to influence the world.

One way in which this is done is fairly obvious: Videos are put up in Arabic to influence Arab people. Videos about the virtues of martyrdom and the evils of Israel.

But there is something else that is more insidious and perhaps more dangerous. This is the matter of the information warfare, which represents a strategic threat to Israel. There are sites put up in English and European languages, that are ostensibly disseminating factual information. Some are databases offering great detail, detail sometimes not found anywhere else. This information appears legitimate, but cannot be readily checked. E.g., which houses were demolished by Israel during the Gaza operation or which Palestinians Israeli soldiers shot in an orchard in Judea. Journalists, UN agencies and others utilize this information. In some cases, history is being re-written.

This sort of material comes from Arab sources and also from pro-Palestinian NGOs such as B'Tselem, which often distorts facts.

We are not doing enough to counter this.

~~~~~~~~~~

Because the issue remains so very critical, and worrisome, please see this Commentary blog regarding an Obama statement on Iran. Once again, thanks to Yisrael Medad on this (hi Winkie!):
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/52282

~~~~~~~~~~

What does this tell us? Tzipi Livni's brother has just volunteered to campaign for Likud.

~~~~~~~~~~

Eli Yeshai, head of Shas, has announced that his party would be supporting Likud and not Kadima in the election.

~~~~~~~~~~

When the fighting stopped in Gaza, we opened an emergency clinic at the Erez Crossing to treat Palestinians. We're now going to close it.

Said, Yair Amikam of the Ministry of Health, "Despite our best intentions and the willingness of seven or eight physicians to leave their regular work places each day to help out at the clinic, less than five patients have been treated since the beginning of last week. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the result of an order given by Hamas."

~~~~~~~~~~

Noam Shalit, Gilad's father, went to France to discuss his son with French President Sarkozy. Why France? Because Shalit has dual citizenship and is also a French national. According to Noam, Sarkozy says Gilad is alive.

The French have been working on securing Gilad's release.

~~~~~~~~~~

This morning an IDF military patrol near the border of Gaza, close to the Kissufim crossing, was attacked by a large bomb that killed one and injured three. Soldiers went into Gaza briefly at that point, attempting to find the attackers. What they did find were several more bombs that had been planted.

This is not the end of the matter. Defense officials met to discuss what comes next and Barak announced that, "This is a difficult attack and we will respond, but there is no point in elaborating."

What was made clear is that the "response" will not be closing of a crossing. "The response will not be the way it used to be," said Amos Gilad. "The equation has changed."

This is critically important: we are being tested and simply must hit hard.

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

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BUSH REJECTED PARDONS FOR MANY, BUT LEFT POLLARD PETITION ALIVE
Posted by Justice for Jonathan Pollard, January 27, 2009.

This is from the Los Angeles Times
www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-pardons28-2009jan28,0,3097686,full.story View this also at
http://www.vosizneias.com/26412

 

Washington — President George W. Bush, on his last full day in office, formally struck down the petitions for clemency of some high-profile politicians and businessmen, including former lawmakers Randall "Duke" Cunningham, Edwin Edwards and Mario Biaggi and "junk bond" financier Michael Milken, the Justice Department said today.

The chief of the Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney, Ronald Rodgers, confirmed the pardon rejections through a spokeswoman, in response to queries from The Times' Washington Bureau.

The Justice Department said Bush also denied petitions for clemency for two men who became highly polarizing symbols of their eras. One of them was John Walker Lindh, the young American serving 20 years in prison for aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan at a time when it was fighting U.S. military forces just after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Bush also denied one of the longest-standing petitions for clemency, for Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for the murder of two FBI agents during a 1975 shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. His application had been under consideration since 1993, current and former Justice Department officials said.

Such denials can be a serious setback for those intent on winning clemency. After a denial a petitioner must wait two years to reapply for a pardon and one year for a commutation of a prison sentence, although they can also circumvent the Justice Department and appeal directly to the White House whenever they want. In some cases, a presidential denial can be a setback in other ways as well, and make it harder politically for the next administration to approve it, according to several current and former administration officials involved in the pardon process.

Bush, who has not spoken publicly about denying the pardons, did not make formal rulings on some other well-known figures, leaving their petitions alive. That long list includes former Illinois Gov. George Ryan; then-Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby; Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel; media mogul Conrad Black; and telecommunications executives Bernard Ebbers and John Rigas.

Bush also denied clemency last Dec. 23 for Justin Volpe, the New York City police officer convicted of sodomizing Haiti immigrant Abner Louima with a broomstick, Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney said today.

Reach Justice for Jonathan Pollard by sending an email to justice4jp@gmail.com and visit the website: http://www.JonathanPollard.org

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HAMAS DEFENSE AGAINST ISRAELIS
Posted by Boris Celser, January 27, 2009.

INTIFADA BABY ARMOR

HAMAS DEFENSE AGAINST ISRAELIS

To see their secret weapon, click here.

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

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CALIFORNIA COLLEGE STUDENT: TERROR IS THE NEW COMMUNISM
Posted by Shaul Ceder, January 27, 2009.

This was written by Dennis Prager and it appeared in Jewish World Review
(http://www.JewishWorldReview.com). Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem".

As they say on the TV show "24," the following took place last week between 9 and 10 p.m. on a flight from Los Angeles to Denver.

I spoke for a few minutes to the 20-year-old woman seated across the aisle from me.

She: What brings you to Denver?"
Me: I am giving a speech.

She: What do you do?
Me: I'm a radio talk show host.

She: Who did you vote for?
Me: McCain

She: Why?
Me: Smaller government and the war on terror.

She: Terror is the new communism.
Me: Communism killed about a hundred million people. And who do you think attacked and killed 3,000 of us on Sept. 11?

She: The government.

For the record, as I believe this to be essential to understanding this young woman's views, she is a student attending the University of California Santa Barbara.

Truth is she had to be a student at a major university. She would never have come up with "Terror is the new Communism" on her own. It is a moral obscenity that one has to learn.

Of course, there is an irony to this statement. Meant in the opposite way she meant it, I could largely assent to the proposition that terror is the new communism. Communism was an enslaving and murderous threat in its time and the Jihadism is such a threat in our lifetime.

But that is not how this young woman meant the statement. As she has learned history and the contemporary world, communism was a bogeyman in its time and terror is a bogeyman in our time.

When I told her that communism had killed 100 million people, I could not tell if she even processed the words. It was as if had I uttered a series of nonsense syllables. She either didn't believe me or didn't care.

On the assumption that I had met a person with a normal conscience, the only rational explanation for her non-reaction is that she didn't believe me and regarded what I said as right-wing propaganda (just as the belief in that Islamist terror threatens us).

In her belief that neither communism nor terror were/are real threats, I suspect this young woman represents many college students. If one wants to understand what left-wing dominance in university social sciences departments produces, one merely had to meet this young woman.

At most universities, communism is a non-evil, indeed, largely a non-issue. The most enslaving and murderous movement in history is almost never taught as such. When communism is mentioned at all, it is usually solely in order to show how vile anti-communists were. Thus, as little as students may know about McCarthyism, most students far more readily identify it with evil than they do communism. Indeed, more could probably identify Joseph McCarthy than Joseph Stalin.

Nor is this a matter of students not being taught to label anything as evil. They have no problem labeling Nazism, Fascism, George W. Bush, slavery, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, and tobacco companies as evil. It's just that they won't label communism as such.

Does one in 10.000 students know of the communist terror-famine that took about 6 million Ukarainian lives. How many know about the communist Pol Pot, who butchered nearly one-third of his fellow Cambodians? Or how many innocents were murdered in the Gulag Archipelago (or could even identify it)? Or that China's communist tyrant Mao Zedong killed about 60 million of his fellow Chinese? Or that Communist North Korea is essentially a concentration camp in the guise of a country?

The answer to all these questions is very few.

And that, quite frankly, breaks my heart. I am currently reading Mao: The Secret Life, almost universally regarded, even in the mainstream media, as the most important book on Mao ever written.

According to the authors, in 1930-31 alone, Mao and his gang developed 120 types of torture for use on innocent people he wanted to force into phony confessions so as to rule by terror. They included burning the vaginas of wives of opponents and pulling wires through men's penises, which were then attached to their ears and plucked.

These poor souls have no memorial. Least of all at an American university.

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

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THE NEW BLOOD LIBEL
Posted by Barbara Taverna, January 27, 2009.

This was written by Eli Kavon and it appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post
(www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1232643755758&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull). Eli Kavon is on the faculty of Nova Southeastern University's LifelongLearning Institute in Davie, Florida.

 

On February 5, 1840, a Capuchin monk in Damascus vanished without a trace. The missing friar's fellow monks spread a rumor that, with the approach of the Passover holiday, Jews ritually murdered the Christian and siphoned off the man's blood to bake matzah. Under pressure from the French Consul in the city, the Muslim rulers of Damascus arrested several Jews for the brutal crime. Under torture, one of the Jews confessed to the ritual murder of the monk. Alarmed by the Muslim adoption of the medieval Christian charge of ritual murder against the Jews, world Jewish notables united to protest the death of one of the Jews in Damascus under torture. Even US President Martin Van Buren protested the injustice of this "blood libel."

In the end, the Muslim authorities released the surviving Jews and dropped the heinous charges. Thus, what became known as "The Damascus Affair," passed into history as just one of many libels against the Jews that repeat themselves-in a somewhat different guise-in today's world.

In the 21st century, the charge of the "blood libel" against the Jews is no longer solely a European phenomenon. In a disturbing transformation, Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East are breathing new life into this charge of ritual murder against the Jews. The popular media in Arab and Islamic lands often accuse Jews of using the blood of slain non-Jewish children for filling hamentashen on Purim and for baking matzah on Passover. But there is also another version of the blood libel in the Middle East that is far more complex and more insidious than the medieval Christian accusation of ritual murder against Jews.

That is the "New Blood Libel' — the charge that the modern Jewish State murders Palestinian civilians, especially children, in the name of Zionism. At rallies around the world organized by Muslims protesting Israel's recent invasion of Gaza, the chants of "baby killers" and "Israelis are Nazis!" were repeated again and again by the protestors. These sickening accusations have been picked up by Western media outlets and flashed on television and computer screens all over the world. The time has come for Jews and non-Jews-defenders of democracy and Israel's right to exist as a sovereign Jewish State-to respond to the haters of Israel and expose their new charge of blood libel to be as destructive and utterly untruthful as the medieval accusation.

Is a Gaza City in partial ruins due to Israel's response to repeated Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, indeed, a "concentration camp," as was the description recently put forth by a Vatican representative? Any of us not trapped in an Orwellian world of "Newspeak" know that Gaza City is not a post-modern version of the Warsaw Ghetto. The equation of the Israeli army with the Nazi SS is absurd. German mobile killing units murdered more than a million Jews in Russia, shooting men, women, and children into mass graves. Nazi Germany transported European Jewry to death camps in Poland where the victims were gassed and cremated. The Nazi Final Solution was a systematic program to destroy the Jews of Europe and, eventually, Jews throughout the world. There are no Israeli mobile killing units today in Gaza. There are no gas chambers or crematoria in Nablus. There has never been a systematic program by the Jews of Israel to destroy Palestinians. Blockades and checkpoints are not mass murder. They are safeguards to protect Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from suicide bombers. They are repressive — but they would not exist if the Palestinians truly wanted to live in peace with Israel.

The death of civilians in war is always a tragedy. The Israeli army in Gaza attempted to root out Hamas terrorists. They did not target civilians for mass execution. During World War II, German civilians were killed in Allied bombing raids on the cities of the Reich. Does that mean that the Americans and the British were war criminals? The Germans started the war and the Allies wanted to end the conflict as soon as possible through the bombing of German cities. The Palestinian civilians killed in Gaza died because the leaders they chose provoked Israel into invading territory that Israel abandoned years ago. That these facts need to be pointed out to those who accuse Jews of being Nazis is quite sad. The rhetoric of those who make these accusations does not spring from intelligent thought. They propagate this modern blood libel because they hate Jews.

The enemies of Israel libel the Jews of Israel as heirs of the Nazis for one reason: they want to rob Israel of its legitimacy and ensure that, one day in the near future, the Jewish State will be wiped off the map. They equate the threat Israel poses today with the threat Nazi Germany posed to the world more than sixty years ago. If the Nazis posed a peril to the world and, therefore needed to be defeated and destroyed, the same goes for Israel. In a tragic distortion of history and the truth, these haters of Israel create the rationale for the destruction of the State of Israel. If Jews in Israel are racists and imperialists, the modern blood libel posits that Israel has no legitimate reason to exist. If the Independence War of 1948 is an example of Jewish ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians — although we all know that it was a war in which the Jews had to fight off Arab armies in battles of self-defense — then the basis of Israel's existence is in doubt. If Gaza City is the Warsaw Ghetto, as the libelers claim, then Hamas is a group of freedom fighters, heroes of the free world. How absurd are these claims! If only the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto would have had sophisticated weaponry and rockets rather than just the pistols and homemade bombs with which they fought the Germans. If only the world would have protested the slaughter of Jews with the same vigor in which they have accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza.

How pathetic it is that the Damascus Blood Libel is still alive. The new libel is as disgusting and untrue as its medieval predecessor. To combat the new accusations we must arm ourselves with the facts and counter the lies with truth. Perhaps, one day, the world will move beyond outright lies and come to know the truth.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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NOTES ON GAZA
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 27, 2009.

Israel warned civilians to stay away from Hamas structures (IMRA, 12/27).

The Israeli government revealed that if Hamas had maintained the ceasefire, with occasional attacks, the government would not have launched an assault on Gaza. It would have allowed Hamas to continue building up its army for a major assault on Israel (IMRA, 12/27).

Sec. Rice said, "The United States is deeply concerned about the escalating violence in Gaza. We strongly condemn the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and hold Hamas responsible for breaking the ceasefire and for the renewal of violence there. The ceasefire must be restored immediately and fully respected (IMRA, 12/27).

That's almost a non-sequitur. If Hamas is responsible for breaking the ceasefire and for repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel, why demand a ceasefire and not let Israel take out Hamas facilities so as to punish it and prevent some future attacks? Her response is typical States Dept. succor for anti-Israel forces.

"Israeli intelligence was tracking, following, and marking the Hamas leadership, terrorist camps, and rocket crews for months. Hundreds of Hamas soldiers were caught in their bases. It can be assumed that aerial surveillance was able to retrace the steps of rocket crews to observe the locations of rocket warehouses and factories. As a result the Israeli Air Force attacks were remarkably accurate."

The government engaged in military deception to lull Hamas into complacency. (But thousands of Hamas members escaped.)

"Note this report from Bloomberg: "Most of the Palestinian dead were members of the Hamas security forces, including police chief Tawfiq Jaber and the head of the organization's Security and Protection Service, Ismail al-Jabary, said Taher Noono, a spokesman for Hamas. "

"50 targets were hit simultaneously in the first wave of bombing, scoring 97% of direct hits in the space of 3 minutes. 50 additional targets were hit in the second wave. Most of the command posts, military bases, arms factories, and arsenals were damaged or destroyed. Tunnel personnel came scurrying out of their underground enterprises near the Egyptian border as the bombings shook the earth." (Prof. Steven Plaut, 12/27).

Pictures from Gaza indicate this fact. Note these photos of Palestinian (Arab) security forces hit in their bases. These are uniformed combatants of a force that declared war on Israel, and they are very legitimate targets according to international law." "No military force in the world is as careful as the IDF in differentiating combatants from the civilians surrounding them."

Media accusations that Israel was bloodthirsty were false. The media published pictures of supposedly wounded Arab children looking in good health. The photographer was the one for the pro-terrorist Intl. Solidarity Movement. They must have been faked — fauxtos (IMRA, 12/27).

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

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ACORN TO GET FUNDS VIA STIMULUS PACKAGE
Posted by Barbara Sommer, January 27, 2009.

Remember ACORN? They were the group that President Obama used to work with. During the presidential campaign their fraudulent voter registration drives were news almost every day. ACORN was famous for registering dead people, the same people in multiple counties, and even giving Mickey Mouse the right to vote.

Two weeks ago I reported that ACORN may get some money out of the Democratic Party Stimulus Plan:

The Democrats are rewarding ACORN for their fine Illegal work by throwing some cash their way in the Obama stimulus plan:

Looks like the infamous ACORN(Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) that was caught up in voter fraudin 2008 will be in the running to get some funding (pages 72-73 of the report.) The bill provides for $10 million for the SHOP program. The funding will provide competively awarded grants to national and regional nonprofit housing organizations to develop or rehabilitate low-income housing.

There is plenty of more funding that will no doubt find its way to ACORN coffers like the $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants or the $4.1 billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (Source: www.SwineLine.org).

It has only gotten worse according to the Republican Leadership it looks as if ACORN may get over $4.19 BILLION Dollars out of this Stimulus.

Washington, Jan 23 — The House Democrats' trillion dollar spending bill, approved on January 21 by the Appropriations Committee and headed to the House floor next week for a vote, could open billions of taxpayer dollars to left-wing groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). ACORN has been accused of perpetrating voter registration fraud numerous times in the last several elections; is reportedly under federal investigation; and played a key role in the irresponsible schemes that caused a financial meltdown that has cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars since last fall.

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and other Republicans are asking a simple question: what does this have to do with job creation? Are Congressional Democrats really going to borrow money from our children and grandchildren to give handouts to ACORN in the name of economic "stimulus?"

Incredibly, the Democrats' bill makes groups like ACORN eligible for a $4.19 billion pot of money for "neighborhood stabilization activities." Funds for this purpose were authorized in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, signed into law in 2008. However, these funds were limited to state and local governments. Now House Democrats are taking the unprecedented step of making ACORN and other groups eligible for these funds:

"For a further additional amount for 'Community Development Fund,' $4,190,000,000, to be used for neighborhood stabilization activities related to emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes as authorized under division B, title III of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (Public Law 110 — 289), of which — "(1) not less than $3,440,000,000 shall be allocated by a competition for which eligible entities shall be States, units of general local government, and nonprofit entities or consortia of nonprofit entities[.]"

"(2) up to $750,000,000 shall be awarded by competition to nonprofit entities or consortia

ACORN is working hard for their money, this "non-partisan" organization is already campaigning for the stimulus:

For three weeks now ACORN members have been aggressively pursuing a campaign to pass a bold, progressive Economic Recovery package in the new Congress. Working closely with allies like US Action, AFSCME, and the larger Americans United for Change coalition, ACORN members are taking a major role in building the coalition to pass this recovery package, and to create the context for it to be both stronger and more directly responsive to the situation facing working families across this country.

Because of reality facing America's low- and moderate-income communities, ACORN members and their neighborhoods function as the canaries in our nation's economic coal mine. In many cases, our members are experiencing severe economic dislocation, but, despite their personal hardship, they are organizing for a progressive response to the worsening economic situation facing the entire United States.

Back on December 18, ACORN offices around the country helped launch the new Campaign for Jobs and Economic Recovery Now (CJERN). These 18 late-December events were all coalition events, featuring a cross-section of speakers from the community organization, human services, environmental, labor, and elected-official sectors — we were proud, for example, to be joined by the mayors of St. Louis and Oakland on the 18th (Source: Huffington Post).

Isn't it great the way the Democrats works hand in hand with ACORN an organization that is doing its best to destroy the electoral process with bogus voting?

Folks this is an affront to our sensibilities. The Democratic Congress is telling American Tax payers that they are stupid enough to accept anything. $4.1 BILLION Dollars of YOUR money to go to a criminal organization, whose objective was to disrupt the political process.

PLEASE WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN, YOUR SENATORS, TELL THEM TO TAKE ACORN OUT OF THE STIMULUS PACKAGE.

Contact Barbara Sommer at sommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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FATAH VS HAMAS: BE MY BROTHER OR I'LL KILL YOU
Posted by Barry Rubin, January 27, 2009.

There was an election on Hamas's mind when it cancelled the ceasefire with Israel, leading to the Gaza war. But it wasn't the February Israeli election but rather the January Palestinian non-election.

Four years ago, Mahmoud Abbas was elected leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA) for a two-year term. Two years ago, Hamas won a majority in the Palestinian parliamentary election. Hamas then made a coalition agreement with its rival Fatah, which previously controlled the PA. Shortly thereafter, Hamas staged a bloody coup and threw Fatah out of the Gaza Strip. But Fatah, and Abbas, still controls the internationally recognized PA and the West Bank.

While Hamas and Israel went to war, Israel and the PA remained at peace. The war had nothing to do with Israel-Palestinian relations as such but as a response to Hamas's extremism, rejecting not only any comprehensive peace agreement with Israel but even a real truce. How, then, does this triangular relationship figure in Palestinian politics?

Analysts have generally ignored the proximity of Hamas's decision for war to its impending January 2009 showdown with Abbas, Fatah, and the PA. It was widely predicted that Abbas was going to announce that, given the impossibility of holding new elections, he would simply extend his term for another year.

The event was expected to mark a major widening of the rift between the two groups. Hamas, it was thought, would declare Abbas a usurper, name its own candidate for "president," and the establishment of two rival Palestinian governments would be complete.

Even before that date, the PA had apparently enjoyed some real success — with Israeli help — in reducing Hamas's organization on the West Bank, ensuring any takeover bid there would be impossible, and making progress toward restoring order and even improving the economy.

Hamas no doubt saw choosing war as a way of upstaging Abbas, showing that it was the real fighter for Palestinian rights (principally the right to wipe Israel off the map), and even attracting support from some Fatah men who concluded that Hamas was macho and their own organization was too meek. In effect, it was a reiteration of traditional Palestinian politics in which those who take the most extreme action, evidence the greatest intransigence, and kill the most Israelis prove their credentials for leadership.

In practice, though, Hamas played into Abbas's hands. Now he has the perfect rationale to insist that elections cannot be held — which is, of course quite true — and he must remain as leader for the indefinite future.

Despite this, the relationship between Hamas and Fatah remain quite complex. It seems bizarre that Hamas set off a civil war, murdered Fatah men in cold blood, and kicked the group out of Gaza yet still most of Fatah is ready to forgive it. There is a strong likelihood that if given the choice, Fatah leaders — though not necessarily Abbas himself — would prefer conciliation with Hamas, which would make any peace with Israel impossible — to making a diplomatic deal with Israel and getting a Palestinian state.

From Israel's standpoint, of course, how can it negotiate any comprehensive solution with the PA when it cannot deliver half of the territory, people, and armed men who are supposed to be bound by such an agreement? Moreover, the possibility that either Hamas will overthrow Fatah at some future point or even that the two will join together in a new war against Israel rather puts a damper on Israeli willingness to make concessions.

The paradox of a simultaneous blood feud and brotherly love relationship between the two Palestinian organizations is explained by the supposed sanctity of being fellow Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians, coupled with a deep and abiding loathing of Israel.

Yet this also coexists with such deep Fatah anger at Hamas that interviewed Fatah cadre told reporters that they were glad Israel was trouncing Hamas in Gaza Strip. The solution of this paradox was for the official PA line to be: it's all Hamas's fault but there should be an immediate ceasefire and Israel is behaving in a beastly way.

This approach is strengthened by the fact that most Arab states and a surprising amount of the media (albeit in many cases the two are identical) are taking a similar line. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the smaller Gulf states and more — pretty much all the leaders except for Syria — hate Hamas. They see it as an agent of Iran, meaning a friend of their Islamist opponents.

If Fatah were more adept politically, it could benefit from this situation. A clever and active policy would combine an energetic campaign to unite the Arab states behind the PA, while persuading the UN and West that they should ensure its restoration to power in the Gaza Strip as the "legitimate government." The Fatah underground in the Gaza Strip would be reinforced and figure out some way (even with a little secret coordination with Israel) to oust Hamas and seize power at least in sections of the territory.

Yet both the PA and Fatah lack the will power and political skill to take advantage of such a promising situation. They are sitting back and hoping that someone — though not Israel — will give them back the Gaza Strip on a silver platter. The problem also includes their lack of charismatic leadership and failure to deal seriously with the problems that led them to being kicked out by the election: corruption, incompetence, and the failure to articulate a moderate vision of achievable peace with Israel.

No outside power, including Israel, and no amount of money can make up for the shortcomings of the PA and Fatah. Thus, it is much easier for Hamas to lose the war than for the nationalist forces to win.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East.

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DIASPORA JEWS AND THE WAR
Posted by Barbara Taverna, January 26, 2009.

This is by Isi Leibler and appeared today in the Jerusalem Post Contact Isi Leibler at ileibler@netvision.net.il

 

The virulent global response to our struggle to defend our citizens against a cruel and evil foe confirms that Balaam's biblical depiction of Jews as "the people that dwells alone" remains valid to this day.

Notwithstanding unprecedented efforts to minimize noncombatant casualties among enemies ruthlessly exploiting their own women and children as human shields, we were once again demonized. Diaspora Jews had to endure a new torrent of frequently violent anti-Semitism with demonstrators displaying placards proclaiming obscene messages like "Death to the Jews," "We are all Hamas" and "Jews to the gas." Even more shocking, purportedly respectable liberals joined in some of these murderous hate fests.

Despite being vastly outnumbered by Muslims (other than in the US) and enveloped in a violent anti-Semitic climate reminiscent of the 1930s, most Jewish communities maintained their support for Israel. The fact that this time Israeli spokesmen effectively articulated their case undoubtedly encouraged many of the traditionally more timid Jewish leaders in smaller communities to speak up.

American Jewry, encompassing the vast majority of Diaspora Jews, remained steadfast in its support. AIPAC, despite having been the target of a radical Jewish campaign seeking to discredit it, retained its standing as a responsible and effective lobbying group supported by the leading American Jewish agencies.

It was gratifying to observe that the highly vocal fringe groups like J Street, Israel Policy Forum and other left-wing clusters who had been urging the US administration to exert pressure on the government were marginalized and to date have been utterly ineffective.
 

ELSEWHERE, THE response of the smaller Diaspora Jewish communities was sometimes more problematic and largely determined by the attitudes of individual leaders. The vast majority displayed considerable fortitude and responded to the anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic venom with public expressions of solidarity. Most Jewish community leaders were also attacked in the media for their support of Israel by people of Jewish origin, many of whose only involvement in Jewish affairs related exclusively to Israel bashing.

In Europe, the French under the leadership of CRIF, once again emerged as the most robust Jewish community. In the UK, even the Board of Deputies of British Jews which has a penchant for lying low and trying to avoid rocking the boat, responded to pressure from grassroots activists and endorsed public meetings expressing solidarity which were well attended.

Predictably, the obsequious Board of Deputies launched a major appeal for funds to provide medical assistance to be equally divided between civilians in "Gaza and in Israel" presumably to demonstrate that Anglo Jewry is no less distressed concerning the plight of Palestinians than about their own kinsmen. Supporting the humanitarian needs of Palestinians is, of course, commendable. Even residents of the South who endured Hamas missile attacks for eight years contributed aid to noncombatants in Gaza. However it is doubtful whether the "noble" sentiments displaying equal concern to both parties conveyed in the Board of Deputies appeal will impress anyone, including the general British public and certainly not the supporters of Hamas. One can imagine the response during the World War II Blitz had Anglo-Jews sought to divide funds raised to alleviate the suffering of British civilians with German noncombatants.
 

IN CONTRAST to the UK, the Australian Jewish community has a long tradition of maintaining a proactive approach. When prime minister John Howard, renowned for over a decade as one of Israel's greatest friends, was defeated, there was considerable concern that Australia's policy toward Israel could tilt toward the European model with its propensity to endorse moral equivalence. To the relief of the Jewish community, the new Labor Party Prime Minister Kevin Rudd unequivocally maintained his predecessor's policy of friendship to Israel. However last November, his government stunned the Jewish community by endorsing a UN resolution which went to the lengths of accusing Israel of breaching the Geneva Conventions. The Jewish community rallied and protested in a robust but responsible manner.

Subsequently, when the Gaza war erupted, the Australian government again emerged as one of Israel's few friends in the international arena and in the UN consistently justifying its right to take measures necessary to defend its citizens. This demonstrates how even a small Jewish community can have a positive impact if it is willing to stand up and be counted.

In that context, one must commend the courageous South African Jewish Board of Deputies which was not deterred from promoting the case for Israel despite the hostile environment surrounding it.
 

ON THE ORGANIZATIONAL level, the poor performance of the New York-based World Jewish Congress whose Plenary Assembly opens in Jerusalem today was highly disappointing. The raison d'être of this global Jewish body is to provide leadership and direction to the smaller Jewish communities, especially during periods of crisis. To his credit, WJC president Ronald Lauder did participate in the American Jewish Presidents Conference solidarity mission to Israel. Likewise, the European Jewish Congress, an autonomous offshoot of the WJC, did encourage its constituents to support Israel. But despite the global tsunami of anti-Semitism and its obligation to raise its voice in defense of Israel, the New York head office of the WJC has been virtually invisible over the past month.

Their incompetence is also exemplified by the ongoing Chavez fiasco. Last year, the WJC was criticized for groveling to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez after he had mumbled a few words about opposing anti-Semitism and signed a statement with the Argentinean and Brazilian presidents "condemning anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism." Despite being aware that Chavez remained totally committed to Iran and had been facilitating the penetration of Hizbullah into Latin America, the WJC leaders lavished him with praise and predicted that the Venezuelan ambassador previously withdrawn from Israel would soon return to Tel Aviv.

When the war against Hamas erupted, Chavez accused Israel of inflicting a "holocaust" on the Palestinians, demanded that their leaders be charged with war crimes, expelled the Israeli ambassador and called on Venezuelan Jews to dissociate themselves from Israel. The head of the local Jewish community, Avraham Benshimol, courageously defended Israel and condemned Chavez.

Following this, WJC secretary-general Michael Schneider was urged to speedily issue an appropriate statement and delete the lead story on the World Jewish Congress Web site which continued extolling the virtues of Chavez. Yet, weeks later, after Chavez had already formally severed relations with Israel and virtually every major Jewish organization had condemned the Venezuelan government, the WJC statements praising Chavez remain the lead story. Hopefully the global Jewish body will get its act together after its assembly.

If history is to be any guide, one can expect that sooner or later there will be another upheaval that will again put the Israel-Diaspora relationship to the test. One of the prime tasks of the new government following the February elections should be to resurrect the ministry of Diaspora affairs which went into cold storage after the retirement of former minister Natan Sharansky. This ministry should become an essential instrument for the strengthening of ties between Jews everywhere in peace as well as in war.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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THE LAUGHABLE SAUDI PEACE PLAN
Posted by LEL, January 26, 2009.

This is by Max Boot and appeared in Commentary
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/boot/51962

 

It is not only our enemies that will be testing the young new American president. So will our allies. Or should I say ostensible allies? The latest test comes from Saudi Arabia. Prince Turki al- Faisal, a member of the royal family and a former chief of Saudi intelligence, has penned an op-ed for the Financial Times with the headline: "Saudi patience is running out."

The prince darkly warns Obama to adopt the Saudi peace plan for Israel...or else. The plan, in case you've forgotten, calls on Israel "to withdraw completely from the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, returning to the lines of June 4 1967; to accept a mutually agreed just solution to the refugee problem according to the General Assembly resolution 194; and to recognize the independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. In return, there would be an end to hostilities between Israel and all the Arab countries, and Israel would get full diplomatic and normal relations."

That this is not actually a solution to the Israeli-Arab dispute should be obvious to anyone with even a modicum of understanding of the region. If Israel were actually to withdraw from the West Bank, the almost certain result would be a toppling of a corrupt and deeply unpopular Fatah administration and its replacement with a popular and fanatical Hamas administration which would never accept Israel's right to exist. Nominal recognition from a few more states such as Saudi Arabia would do nothing to solve Israel's dire security problems emanating not only from Hamas and Hezbollah, but also from their sponsors in Syria and Iran. Further Israeli territorial concessions would have the same effect as its previous withdrawals from Gaza and southern Lebanon, further emboldening its enemies to step up their attacks. Anyone who thinks that the ineffectual Saudis — any more than the ineffectual Egyptians who have already recognized Israel — would somehow protect Israel from the terrorists has been smoking a few hookahs too many.

Moreover, Prince Turki's protestations of peace and goodwill are severely undercut by the rabid hostility his article exhibits toward Israel. He writes that the Israeli armed forces have "murdered more than 1,000 Palestinians" in the course of their "bloody attack on Gaza." He also refers to Operation Cast Lead as a "calamity," "butchery," "the slaughter of innocents," and a "disaster." He lays almost all the blame for what happened at Israel's feet — it was "Israeli actions that led to this conflict, from settlement building in the West Bank to the blockade of Gaza and the targeted killings and arbitrary arrests of Palestinians."

And so on, in the typical way of anti-Israel zealots. Prince Turki concludes with a plea: "Let us all pray that Mr Obama possesses the foresight, fairness, and resolve to rein in the murderous Israeli regime and open a new chapter in this most intractable of conflicts."

It is hard not to laugh at a representative of one of the world's most oppressive and intolerant regimes condemning the most democratic, liberal and tolerant government in the region as a "murderous... regime." It is also hard to take seriously the prince's professions of deep concern for the sufferings of Hamas, a terrorist group that is aligned with Saudi Arabia's chief enemy, Iran, and whose destruction he would no doubt be delighted to witness.

This is part of the Saudi habit of trying to push new American administrations into being more "even-handed" in the Middle East — code for turning against Israel. Perhaps the Saudis really care about this issue. More likely they are eager to assert their anti-Israel credentials as a way to blunt Iran's appeal and to bolster Saudi claims to preeminence in the Muslim world. It would be deeply unfortunate if, as appears likely, Obama plays into Saudi hands and acts as if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is (a) the fulcrum of the Middle East and (b) resolvable through more American pressure on Israel. Neither proposition is remotely true, as the new president is likely to learn to his regret before too long.

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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ZOA CONCERNED: MIDEAST ENVOY MITCHELL BLAMES BOTH SIDES EQUALLY; RATIONALIZES PALESTINIAN VIOLENCE
Posted by Zionist Organization of America (Z0A), January 26, 2009.

January 23, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Morton A. Klein
Phone: 212-481-1500

Wash. Post: Mitchell Plan Was Flop.
Why Try Him Again?

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed concern over President Obama's appointment of George Mitchell as his Mideast envoy dealing with the Arab war against Israel. It's surprising that Obama would appoint Mitchell since, as Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post said, "The Mitchell Plan of 2001 was a flop. Why try the Mitchell approach again?" And Aaron Miller of the Woodrow Wilson International Center said this week, "The appointment of George Mitchell would be a strong suggestion that Obama is going to free himself of the exclusive relationship that the US has had with Israel."

ZOA's specific concerns include the fact that Mitchell has always made it clear that he believes both sides are equally at fault for the lack of peace. He believed this even when terrorist Yasser Arafat headed the Palestinian Authority! In fact, the reason there is no progress is the Palestinian Authority's refusal to adhere to their written agreements to fight and prevent terrorism, arrest terrorists, end incitement to hatred and violence against Israelis and Jews in their schools, media, speeches and sermons, and refusal to accept its existence as a Jewish state that is the reason for the lack of progress. After all, Israel has already given the Palestinian Arabs all of Gaza and half of Judea & Samaria with little to show for it except for the greatest amount of terrorism in Israel's history. And the United States and the world has given the Palestinian Authority billions of dollars in aid — more aid per capita than any country has ever received.

Evidence of Mitchell's "equal blame" thesis include statements from the Mitchell Report of April 2001:

  1. "Israel and the Palestinian Authority must act swiftly and decisively to halt the violence," — not the Palestinian Arabs must end their suicide bombings and terrorism, Israel has committed virtually no terrorism against the Arabs.

  2. "There's a high level of hostility and mistrust between the parties."

  3. "Fear, hate, anger and frustration have risen on both sides."

  4. "Neither party exercised restraint at the beginning of terror war in September 2000."

  5. "Israel and the Palestinian Authority should reaffirm their commitment to existing agreements and should immediately implement a cessation of violence." — Israel has fulfilled most of their commitments, the Palestinians have not.

  6. "The Palestinian Authority and Israel should work together to establish a "cooling off period" and implement additional confidence building measures."

  7. "The Palestinian Authority and Israel should identify, condemn, and discourage incitement" — ignoring that it's virtually all on the Palestinian Authority side.

  8. "Palestinian Authority and Israel should undertake to preserve and protect holy places sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians." — Israel has always done this — Palestinians have destroyed Jacobs Tomb and other Jewish holy sites.

  9. "Leaders on both sides must act and speak decisively to reverse dangerous trend of sense of futility and despair and a growing resort to violence. They must rekindle the desire and drive for peace." — Israel has always wanted peace — Palestinians have not.

  10. "Parties must protect human rights." — Israelis do; Palestinians don't.

  11. "Each side accused the other of violations, specific undertakings and resolving their political differences peacefully." — Israel has fulfilled their obligations, the Palestinians haven't.

  12. "Through relationship of kinship, friendship, religion, community and profession, virtually everyone in both societies has a link to someone killed or seriously injured in recent violence." — but there would be no deaths if the Palestinians stopped terrorism, stopped rocket attacks, and ended incitement to violence.

  13. "End the cycle of violence." — Palestinians terrorize, Israel responds.

  14. "We urge both sides to exhibit a greater respect for human life when demonstrators confront security personnel." — Israelis do, Palestinians don't.

  15. "Both sides expressed concerns about hateful language and images emanating from the other, citing numerous examples of hostile sectarian and ethnic rhetoric in the Palestinian and Israeli media, in school curricula and in statements by religious leaders, politicians and others." — Palestinians incite to hatred and violence, Israelis don't.

  16. "Their competing claims and religious differences have led to a grinding, demoralizing, dehumanizing conflict."

  17. "We call on the parties to renew formal commitments to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and to refrain from incitement and hostile propaganda. We condemn hate language and incitement in all its forms. We suggest the parties be particularly cautious about using words in a manner that suggests collective responsibility." — Again, the Palestinians do this, Israel doesn't.

  18. "Each side mistrusts the other, believing that it really doesn't want peace." — It's the Palestinians that have shown little interest in peace, the Israelis have made major concessions.

  19. "I believe a majority on both sides want a peaceful resolution." — Polls (see later) show Palestinians don't want peace.

Mitchell also inappropriately criticized Israeli actions in his Report.

  1. He demanded that "Israel must freeze all settlement activity, including "natural growth" of existing settlements — meaning children of Jews in communities there would have to move and couldn't live near their parents. This is also a racist notion that Jews can't live in Judea & Samaria but Arabs can live in Israel. I guess Mitchell wants Jews in Judea & Samaria to stop having children. He also says nothing about and apparently supports the fact that the Palestinian Arabs are massively and illegally building Palestinian settlements in Judea & Samaria.

  2. He said that "settlements violate the spirit of Oslo," when in fact there was no mention of settlements being frozen in the Oslo agreements that Arafat signed.

  3. Demanded "Israel lift closures, ensure that security forces and settlers refrain from destruction of homes and roads, trees and agricultural properties in Palestinian areas. These measures have disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs." — Closures stop terrorists, some homes and trees protect terrorists to enable them to shoot onto roads.

  4. "Israel appears not to comprehend the humiliation and frustration that the Palestinians endure everyday as a result of living with the effects of occupation, sustained by the presence of Israeli military forces and settlements in their midst." — If there was no terrorism, there would be no Israel forces. Their alleged humiliation isn't fatal, Palestinian Arab terrorism often is.

  5. He said, "the widely seen images of the killing of 12-year-old Muhammed al-Dura in Gaza, shot as he huddled behind his father, reinforced the perception that Israel had contempt for the lives and safety of Palestinians." — The al-Dura killing was a staged fraud.

  6. He said, Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount (September 2000) "was poorly timed and the provocative effect should have been foreseen." — Why can't a Jewish leader visit Judaism's holiest place, the Temple Mount, without offending the Palestinian Arabs.

George Mitchell also promotes the false anti-Israel belief that Jews living in communities in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) is the biggest obstacle to peace — not Arab terrorism or Arab incitement by quoting former Secretary of State James Baker. Baker said "I don't think there is any bigger obstacle to peace than the settlement activity that continues not only unabated but at an enhanced pace." Mitchell further states, "This policy described by Baker has been, in essence, the policy of every American administration over the past quarter century."

Mitchell Explains Away Palestinian Terrorism

Shockingly, Mitchell actually seemed to claim that Jewish communities existence and growth is a basis for Palestinian violence saying, "Israel has a responsibility to rebuild confidence, a cessation of Palestinian-Israeli violence will be particularly hard to sustain unless Israel freezes all settlement construction activity."

Then Mitchell seemed to express again a rationale for Palestinian terrorism. He said, "We acknowledge the Palestinian Authority's position that security cooperation presents a political difficulty absent a suitable political context, i.e. the relaxation of Israel security measures combined with ongoing, fruitful negotiations. We also acknowledge the Palestinian Authority's fear that, with security cooperation in hand, Israel may not be disposed to deal forthrightly with Palestinian political concerns. We believe that security cooperation cannot long be sustained if meaningful negotiations are unreasonably defined, if security measures 'on the ground' are seen as hostile, or if steps are taken that are perceived as provocative or as prejudicing the outcome of negotiations."

And as recently as December 18, 2008, at a conference in Tel Aviv of the Institute for National Security Studies, Mitchell said, "The Palestinians want an independent, economically viable and geographically integral state, that is their overriding objective." Mitchell ignores the fact that if this were true, the Palestinians could have had a state in 2000, offered by Ehud Barak. Instead, the Palestinians launched a terror war against Israel. They could have established a state from 1948-67, when they controlled Gaza & Judea & Samaria. If the Palestinians' real goal were a state and not Israel's destruction why would they have elected Hamas in Gaza and why would Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas create a new Fatah party emblem showing all of Israel as Palestine with a Kalyshnakov rifle next to it. Mitchell also ignores Abbas' public statement that "it is not required of Hamas, or Fatah, or the Popular Front to recognize Israel. (PATV, October 3, 2006)" Even Americans, in a new early January 2009 poll, show they are strongly opposed to establishing a Palestinian state. Only 31% of Americans now support such a state (Jerusalem Post, January 16, 2009). Americans understand we don't need another terrorist state in the Middle East. Statehood does not bring peace. Syria, Iran and North Korea have sovereign states — are they lovely peace-loving countries.

Mitchell ignores numerous polls nullifying his theses: 54% of Palestinians reject 2-state solution in historic Palestine (September 2008, An-Najah National University Poll); 58% of Palestinians reject statehood alongside Israel (An-Najah National University poll, May 2008); 75% of Palestinians don't think Israel has right to exist and 70% of Palestinians support one-state solution (Near East Consulting poll, February 2007); 67% of Palestinians oppose Hamas recognizing Israel (PCPSR, September 2006); 61% support non-recognition policy toward Israel pursued by Hamas/Palestinian Authority government (Bir Zeit University poll, June 2006).

Mitchell also made no mention of the Palestinians goals reflected in schools, speeches and the media calling for Israel's destruction as well as every official Palestinian map showing no Israel.

Marty Peretz in this week's New Republic said, "Mitchell is a bit too credulous." This was evident when in answer to the talk show host Charlie Rose's question "Do you think Yasser Arafat will be able to negotiate for peace and take steps for peace." — Mitchell confidently answered, "Yes, I do."

More Mitchell credulousness was revealed when he said, "The problem is that Palestinians don't believe they'll really get a state." And "they need a contiguous state," said Mitchell again ignoring Israel's offers by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and others.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "The ZOA is troubled by the choice of George Mitchell as President Obama's Mideast envoy for several reasons. One, he incorrectly believes both sides are equally at fault. He gives a moral and factual equivalence between the Palestinian Arabs and the Israelis actions and goals. He refuses to distinguish between the aggressor and the victim, between right and wrong. Secondly, he incorrectly believes that "settlements are the main problem," not understanding that the main problem is the Palestinian Arabs' refusal to fulfill their obligations by ending terrorism, outlawing terror groups, ending incitement, refusing to place Israel on their official maps and recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. He seems oblivious to the fact that freezing settlements was not only not in the Oslo accords, but it would reward the Palestinians for their violence, and promote a racist agenda of Jews being banned from living in Judea & Samaria while Arabs can live in Israel. (How is it that Israel can have 15% of their population be Arabs, while the Arabs won't permit even less than 10% of their population in the territories be Jews)? Thirdly, he wants Israel to endanger itself by closing checkpoints which monitors the possibility of terrorists entering Israel, which makes as much sense as closing security checkpoints in airports. He has accepted the Arab propaganda of its alleged humiliation and frustration and phony staged killings like that of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Dura. Again, no terror, no checkpoints. Fourthly, he tries to explain away Palestinian Arab terrorism, violence and murder by claiming that Israeli behavior and actions are its cause. Finally, he strongly urges both sides to negotiate, as if that is the overriding goal in and of itself, ignoring the fact that 15 years of negotiations and concessions has only led to more bloodshed.

"Mitchell seems unaware that the real issue is not settlements, or Jerusalem, or statehood, but the Arabs refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state. And that Israeli concessions were not taken as positive signs by the Palestinians but as an indication that Israel is weak and ready to cave in to more demands.

"The issue is not more concessions but making clear that unless the Palestinians transform their culture, and actions, and policies, and goals, they will not be able to get anything in terms of more concessions or international funding.

"We also must remember that George Mitchell's success with the IRA-British problem doesn't translate to success with the Arab war against Israel. However extreme and murderous the IRA was, the goal was not the destruction of Britain and extermination of its people. They wanted only to remove Northern Ireland from British rule. By contrast, the goal of Hamas and the Palestinian nationalist movement is Israel's destruction and the murder of Jews, not merely the creation of a Palestinian Arab state next to it. This is not, as Mitchell once said, merely a "more complicated" conflict — it is a conflict on a different plane with different goals and motivations from the nationalist war in Ireland. We are worried that George Mitchell does not understand this."

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FROM ISRAEL: THE JERUSALEM CONFERENCE
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 26, 2009.

This evening began the sixth annual Jerusalem Conference, a nationalist forum that brings together a large array of speakers under the aegis of IsraelNationalNews (Arutz 7) and B'Sheva newspaper. Over the course of the next three days, I will share pertinent comments from some of those speakers.

You can also watch the conference live on
http://www.jerusalemconference.com/eng/default.aspx from about 9:30 or 10:00 AM Israel time until evening, for the next two days.

~~~~~~~~~~

Tonight I wish to cite Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon, who, in the opening address, spoke simple truth — which is so rarely heard and so very welcome.

Ya'alon — a former Chief of Staff, who was relieved of his position because of his opposition to the "disengagement" — is now Senior Fellow at the Adelson Institute for Strategic studies at the Shalem Center and a candidate for the Knesset on the Likud list (#8).

~~~~~~~~~~

This, in summary, is what he said:

Even the most "moderate" of the Arab regimes has declined to recognize our right to exist as a Jewish state. They exhibit no readiness to compromise.

But there has been a blurring of these facts in public debate and in the terminology we use. Why should we assume that a return to the '67 lines will lead to peace when we weren't accepted before '67, when we were inside those lines?

We continue with the same approach, which leads to ambiguity and confusion.

The US did not pressure Israel with regard to Oslo or the "disengagement." The impetus for this came from inside of Israel. We continue to talk in language of yesteryear, as if nothing has been learned. But all we've gotten in return for territory is rockets.

It time for our leadership to say we tried, but we don't have a partner. Not only do we not have a partner now, we are not going to have a partner. We must seek other solutions.

The challenge of new leadership is to provide a clear vision of where we are going. With a clear understanding of the challenges we will face. And without blurring the issues.

The conflict is not territorial. We are at the forefront of the battle with Islam. We need a new strategy that eliminates the idea of territory for peace.

Talk of withdrawals fuels Jihad. The Arabs export rockets to Israel instead of commercial goods to Europe. We don't need leaders coming forward with big plans, and shaking hands. We need a "bottom-up" peace, with kill us.

~~~~~~~~~~

We are speaking, says Ya'alon, about more than issues of land and security. We must also combat an ideological assault, because our legitimacy is being attacked. There is an erosion of the sense of the justice of our cause.

Israeli Arabs say they are the locals and we are the colonialists. They say the rights to this land — ALL of the land — is theirs.

With this the resilience of our society is being tested. We must stand strong for a Jewish home. We must know who we are.

~~~~~~~~~~

Would that every Israeli would have heard this.

~~~~~~~~~~

I will mention in passing then, just a couple of the comments of a speaker who followed Bogie. This is Ya'akov "Katzele" Katz, new head of the Ihud Leumi party — the National Union. As a man of Torah, he spoke about the understanding that religious nationalist Jews have with regard to the meaning of this land, and our need to fight for it and stand strong for it.

While he acknowledged, and I certainly recognize, that there are people who are not religious who stand strong for Israel and understand our connection to this land, there is enormous wisdom in what he says. When we break with our tradition, when our roots grow shallow, we lose our way.

The challenge then, is to sow deep roots and instill that sense of tradition in our young people.

~~~~~~~~~~

Perhaps it is keenly relevant to this need to instill tradition in our young people that MK Binyamin Netanyahu, head of Likud, and MK Effie Eitam, of the religious nationalist Achi party, signed a memorandum of understanding today.

Netanyahu — saying that, "the gaps between the Likud and Religious Zionism are disappearing" (Netanyahu said that??!!) — pledged that Likud would provide funds for religious nationalist educational institutions. These are the educational institutions, I say without a shadow of a doubt, who build young Israelis with the strongest devotion to Israel, and the best understanding of our roots in the land. Keeping these institutions solid is critical to Israel.

Netanyahu also pledged that he will prevent any further withdrawals (any further "disengagements"), and that he would speedily attend to the needs of those who were evacuated from Gush Katif — something that is urgently past due.

Additionally, Netanyahu pledged to keep Jerusalem united under Israeli control and to increase the Jewish majority in the city.

~~~~~~~~~~

If Binyamin Netanyahu has pledged all of this, it means he sees that our country has moved to the right.

Eitam said this was "An old dream and a historic moment."

Eitam was going to formally join the Likud before the lists were set, but as I understand it, did not because of some legal complication. He expressed hope then that he would in the future. This memorandum of understanding does not put Eitam on the Likud list, rather it signals cooperation.

How this impacts the success of Ihud Leumi — National Union, which Eitam was once a part of and broke with, remains to be seen.

~~~~~~~~~~

In a meeting with Tony Blair, Netanyahu made other comments about what he would do as prime minister. These were clearly highly politicized statements in anticipation of the arrival of Mitchell on Wednesday. Said Netanyahu, he would not build new settlements, but "like all the governments there have been until now, I will have to meet the needs of natural growth in the population. I will not be able to choke the settlements." Notice: It's not that he would be deliberately uncooperative, but he wouldn't be able to help this situation.

This is how I see Netanyahu playing the game. No overt confrontation, but sort of sliding out sideways. Mitchell's position is a settlement freeze.

He also said he would advance negotiations with the Palestinians quickly. Again, avoiding direct confrontation. But making it clear, at the same time, that he intends to focus on "economic development."

~~~~~~~~~~

Haaretz cites Likud officials as saying he would include Labor, Yisrael Beitenu and Shas in a Likud government, but not Kadima. Put simply, he wants Kadima to fall on its face.

Couldn't happen to nicer people. Livni has just said on "60 Minutes" (the widely watched TV show in the US) that if she is prime minister she would move out "the settlers" for peace.

Guess she said that because she hadn't yet heard Moshe Ya'alon speak about confusion and repeating the same formulas that haven't worked.

(I know how horrendous that "60 Minutes" show was, and perhaps will have further comments soon.)

~~~~~~~~~~

I love it: EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, after touring in Jabaliya in northern Gaza, told reporters that:

"At this time we have to also recall the overwhelming responsibility of Hamas. I intentionally say this here — Hamas is a terrorist movement and it has to be denounced as such.

"Public opinion is fed up to see that we are paying over and over again...for infrastructure that will be systematically destroyed."

He charged Hamas with using civilians as "human shields," and said the years of rocket fire on Israel served as a "provocation." "When you kill innocents, it is not resistance. It is terrorism."

Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas spokesman, declared himself "shocked" to hear these words.

~~~~~~~~~~

Along with all of the above, there is in the news a whole lot of "more of the same": The issues I addressed yesterday regarding rumors about what sort of deals Egypt is cooking up and what Hamas is demanding. I prefer to not re-play these, or speculate, but rather to see how matters play out. All of the reports are coming from the other side, without Israeli confirmation.

I will mention that apparently there is a PLO delegation in Cairo, pumping for an agreement with Hamas, which they claim must precede a truce. Hamas is not necessarily seeing it this way.

And there is a report that Egypt wants to see Hamas strike a deal for a truce before our election: This speaks volumes about what Olmert might give as compared to Netanyahu.

~~~~~~~~~~

Today, Transportation Minister Mofaz, at a Kadima conference, sent a verbal message to Hamas's Haniyeh: "Only when Gilad Shalit sees the light of day, will you see the light of day. Only when Gilad goes free will you and your friends go walk free." That sounds good. It should just be true.

~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, Haniyeh sent a congratulatory message to Obama, in which he said, "Palestinians will never be content as long as they remain victims of terrorist and barbaric occupation."

And our enemy, Jimmy Carter, gave a TV interview in which he declared that Hamas has to be involved in reaching peace. Carter says Hamas can be trusted because they "adhere[d] to the ceasefire fully."

Two questions: What planet is this man on? And does he have Obama's ear?

~~~~~~~~~~

You might find this article, "In Egypt's Rafah, tunnel denial is the way of life," interesting. Brenda Gazzar, writing in the Post, quotes Rafah mayor, Gen. Sameh Issa Abdul Wahab, who says: "Any [tunnel] that is discovered, the authorities destroy it immediately. The executive [security] forces are in complete control."
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232643747836&pagename= JPArticle%2FShowFull

That was my laugh for the day. ~~~~~~~~~~

But there is absolutely nothing funny about this. The new US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said today that the issue of a nuclear Iran will be a top priority of the new administration:

"Dialogue and diplomacy must go hand-in-hand with a very firm message that Iran needs to meet its obligations as defined by the Security Council."

The more I read, the worse it sounds. Trying to convince Iran to "meet its obligations as defined by the Security Council"? Get real!

~~~~~~~~~~

I would like to end with this article about how Hamas tried to break into ambulances and, more importantly, how an Arab ambulance driver describes his cooperation with the IDF, which worked to protect him. (Thanks to my daughter, Sharon Raanan on this.)
http://www.smh.com.au:80/news/world/hamas-tried-to- hijack-ambulances-during-gaza-war/2009/01/25/1232818246374.html

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

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ONLY 250 OF GAZA FATALITIES WERE CIVILIANS
Posted by Barbara Sommer, January 26, 2009.

The article below was written by Hanan Greenberg and it appeared today in YNET Israel News
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3661940,00.html
Ali Waked contributed to this report.  

EDITOR'S NOTE: The cartoon on Hamas is not part of the original article. It is by Steve Breen and it appeared today in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

 

Senior military sources say recent findings indicate at least 700 of those killed in Gaza offensive were gunmen. Palestinians claim only 300 armed men killed.

 

A continuing IDF investigation into the number of civilian Palestinian casualties during the Israeli offensive in Gaza indicated that only 250 of the fatalities were civilians.

The military estimates that between 1,100 and 1,200 people were killed during the offensive. Some 700 of are believed to be militants and most are believed to be Hamas operatives.

The IDF is still trying to ascertain the identity of the remaining fatalities, but security sources said many would probably turn out to be militants as well. "Hamas is familiar with the numbers and is doing everything it can to concealed them," said an IDF source.

The data presented by the Palestinian is vastly different: Palestinian Groups operating in the Strip have reported 92 of the fatalities as gunmen, 48 of whom were affiliated with Hamas, 32 with Islamic Jihad, 10 with the Popular Resistance Committees' Salah a-Din Brigades and two with the Mujahedeen Brigades.

According to a Palestinian source, the majority of the Palestinian fatalities were killed in air raids. The Palestinians reported 200 police officers were killed in the first day of the Gaza shelling, alone.

Hamas claimed that "the Israelis are concealing their losses and lying about the losses suffered by the Palestinians."

'Ratio of 1:3'

The military is doing everything it can to compile accurate data regarding the identity of those killed in Gaza, including debriefing soldiers and cross-referencing their information with intelligence.

Gaza Division Chief Brigadier-General Eyal Eisenberg alluded to the fact that the majority of the Palestinian fatalities were Hamas operatives, but refused to specify numbers.

The IDF has yet to verify the identity of some 200 fatalities, mostly men in their 20s, whose identification is delayed because they are still buried under the rubble. The defense establishment believed many of them would prove to be Hamas men.

Many of the fatalities were considered to be civilians at first, because there were no weapons found with them, said a military source, "But that method of operation is consistent with the way Hamas was hiding in the midst of civilians, moving between their strongholds with no weapons. In many cases someone thought to be a civilian casualty turned out to be a Hamas operative after we ran our checks."

Rubble in northern Gaza neighborhood of Jabaliya (Photo: AP)

The civilian-gunman casualty ratio, he added, was one to three, proving that the IDF was targeting Hamas and not civilians. The IDF stressed that the forces took significant precautions in order to avoid harming any civilians; but considering the way that Hamas chose to involve civilians in the fighting, mounting a surgical strike resulting in absolutely no civilian casualties was impossible.

Armistice likely to hold

As for the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the defense establishment believes it is likely to hold; especially given Hamas' failure to boast about any substantial achievements, like kidnapping a soldier.

"The devastation in Gaza, which is a direct result of the nature of a battlefield formed by Hamas, is enormous and it's a deterrent factor for Hamas, which finally realizes the might if the IDF," said a defense establishment source.

"They don't seem to be interested in violating the ceasefire, but if the do, they will realize that (Israel) has no intention of reverting back to the days of a surgical response."

The success of Operation Cast Lead, added the source, has led the military to begin implementing some of the operational patterns used in the offensive to other sectors.

Contact Barbara Sommer at sommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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INTERNATIONAL LAW OR INTERNATIONAL PREJUDICE?; ISRAEL LOST IN GAZA
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 25, 2009.

INTERNATIONAL LAW

Traditional international law was humane and fair. Under it, Israel's tactics are legal and fair, and terrorists' tactics are not. Then it embraced antisemitism (i.e., favoring aggressors over Israel).

International law or at least the international order respected national sovereignty and individual liberties such as freedom of speech and religion. That is changing.

First, the powers that be lie about what traditional international law holds. The media and the Europeans pervert its meaning. They exploit popular lack of information (thank the same media for that), in order to make Israel seem to violate the law. The Arabs lie about what various UNO resolutions mean.

Second, the powers that be are trying to change international law. The Security Council is one instrument for it. It issues biased rulings and resolutions.

The UNO as a whole is trying to control underwater resources or regulate it, to gain the power to tax what are supposed to be its boss, the member states.

Going further, the Supreme Courts of the US and Israel are trying to subordinate their law, or interpret it and define its legality, by the standard of other countries' laws. That is not democratic nor wise. Many foreign governments think collective political correctness more important than individual liberties. This is bad for the economy and fatal for democracy.

To a certain extent, globalization must impose rules for transparent and reliable trade. It, too, however, can become a vehicle for allowing lower environmental and health standards for manufacturing than a sovereign state's laws require of imports. Some of the international trade pacts call for totally free trade. Under free trade, a government is not supposed to subsidize its companies' products and restrain the importation of foreign products by tariffs. The notion of free trade, however, is being used to stifle domestic laws that protect a country from harmful products.

Israel has a simple case. As the League of Nations recognized, the Jewish people were unjustly expelled from their homeland, and have the best historical, legal, religious, and moral right to it. That, to me, is above international law, but international law supported it. Now, however, the State Dept. is trying to hold Israel to the non-viable standard of the General Assembly when it recommended boundaries for Israel, its resolution being merely advisory. This is not international law. It would invoke a holocaust. I no longer justify Israel's position by reference to it and the warped new world order. I have confidence that Israel will continue to act decently (except towards Jews).

ISRAEL LOST IN GAZA

Sure enough, after leaving about 92% of Hamas forces alive, and incurring world condemnation, PM Olmert claimed that Israel had accomplished all its goals in Gaza. Did it? He did not at first specify those goals. He declared another unilateral ceasefire, since joined by Hamas. He is discussing with the US obtaining more technical assistance in detecting arms smuggling tunnels. He senses a new Egyptian determination to destroy tunnels. European monitors at the Gaza-Egypt border, chased away by the terrorists before, may be returning.

Olmert accomplished little. True, Hamas' boasts that it would wreck Israeli forces proved hollow. But Hamas can regroup. It probably learned how better to react to new IDF tactics. Hamas will get foreign aid to rebuild such infrastructure as Israel destroyed. It galls me to see the international charitable impulse taxing us to restore terrorist power against Israel. I see photos of stocky Arab youths in Gaza, whom we are told are dying of hunger and thirst. Shame on media misrepresentation! Semi-skeletons in sub-Sahara Africa could use the money for sun-powered stoves, brick molds, water-saving agricultural tools, and female education.

Olmert and Livni retain their anti-Zionist dependency upon foreign protection. The foreigners are hostile and usually help the enemy. This was proved in Lebanon again, recently, but Israeli leftists have a blind spot about it. Hamas could chase the foreign monitors out, again. Qatar and Mauritania are breaking relations with Israel. This shows how infirm Arab recognition is.

Technical advice and gadgets from the US don't suffice. I think it is a face-saving rationalization for withdrawal. Since Egypt didn't try to reduce arms smuggling before, why expect that enemy of Israel to do so now? Indeed, Egypt still is trying to get a terrorist-unity regime in Gaza. That won't eradicate terrorism.

Hamas gained in popularity. It is more likely now to seize the rest of the P.A., if Israel lets it. The ceasefire not only forfeited the opportunity to destroy Hamas but also to reclaim the destroyed Jewish communities, at least those bordering Israel, and to encourage the Arabs to leave the Jewish Territories.

Israel explained its case better this time, starting before the offensive. However, it still investigates mishaps too slowly. More important, its self-hating regime does not have the independence-mindedness or courage to take the offensive in the media. Instead of waiting to be accused, even if informally, by the UNO and the media of war crimes, it merely replies. It states explanations matter of fact, instead of with indignation. Israeli soldiers should report in that they are returning fire at a UNO school, and the Israeli spokesman immediately should condemn UNRWA for lending itself to the war crime of waging war from civilian facilities, which is Hamas' main method of combat. Leave the UNO in ill repute, not Israel!

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

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WALLOWING IN THE FLESHPOT AND BADMOUTHING ISRAEL
Posted by Judah Tzoref, January 25, 2009.

While the Zionist movement should recognize the role of Nazism in rendering the Return to Zion as the prime existential alternative to the Jewish exile (Galut), Anti-Zionism should be indebted to the Palestinism for providing it with an effective driving force.

While Nazism symbolizes the essence of anti-Semitism, Palestinism is the anti-matter of the Jewish Return to Zion. Both movements, Nazism as well as Palestinism, share the common denominator of undermining the course of the Jewish destiny.

While Nazism attempted to obstruct the course of Jewish destiny by perpetrating the physical genocide of the Jews, Palestinism aspires to achieve the same goal by deprivation of the Jewish sovereign national revival in the Land of Israel, and by perpetuating the colonialistic Arab occupation of the Jewish homeland.

Both movements have inevitably justified their causes on preposterous fallacies. While Nazism drew upon the Race Theory in order to instil the racial inferiority of the Jews, Palestinism has created the Palestinian myth in order to obscure the unique Jewish bond to the Land of Israel by fabricating a false Palestinian nation never known in the human history before.

The ideological identity between the two movements, Nazism and Palestinism, is too obvious to deny, though each movement attempted and has been attempting to advance its anti-Jewish cause by different means, which eventually converge to the same tragic scenario of Jewish calamity with disastrous ramifications on the entire world. Indeed, history proves that the two movements have always harboured the closeness of mutual sentiments and a common cause.

The notorious detractors of Israel are enraged by any suggested interpretation of their harsh anti-Israeli censure as an expression of anti-Semitic stance. However, such vitriolic critics of Israel regurgitate the most fervent Palestinistic vocabulary and instinctively adopt the Arab-Islamic agenda and historic timetable that does not regard as relevant any historical event prior to the emergence of Mohammed.

The most virulent speakers against Israel would like to be regarded as the champions of constructive criticism. However their raving rhetoric, that invokes the familiar stench of abusive slogan diatribes, leaves no doubt as to their Palestino-Nazi source of inspiration.

The dividing line between fair judgement of Israel and slanderous blasting against it is too obvious to be overlooked. No objective, pertinent and conscientious critic of Israel will ever be accused of anti-Semitism. Such fair critic of Israel will never be associated with the need to protest against any interpretation of his critic as an anti-Semitic stance. On the other hand, the habitual anti-Semites, that so transparently attempt to camouflage their venomous badmouthing against Israel under the veneer of constructive criticism, embark on a vociferous self-righteous campaign against their association with the suspicion of anti-Semitic motives.

Be it a Jew or a Gentile, the anti-Semite is sooner or later bound to betray his anti-Semitic disorder. The lowest in the hierarchy of anti-Semitic scale are the Jewish badmouthers of Israel, in particular those living outside the country. Such Jews, who deserted their country in time of trouble for the hedonistic selfish interests of indulging the comforts of overseas fleshpot, wish to whitewash the disgrace of their moral deficiency by defaming the country they left in the lurch.

Such Jewish renegades, who add insult to injury by conspiring to harm the country they deserted for the Moloch of selfishness, such Jews who are able to sink so low down to a pointless attempt to gain higher moral ground by belittling the country they betrayed, such people symbolize the abysmal bottom of human nature.

Moreover, the same anti-Semitic venom, that they spit on Israel, inevitably rebounds on them as a boomerang. They bear the seeds of anti-Semitism and disseminate them wherever they crawl over the globe with their fervent message of "constructive criticism" against Israel.

Dr. Judah (Yehuda) Tzoref is a scientist, trained at the Technion in Haifa and Oxford University in England. His expertise is in physics and energy engineering. He is a grass-roots activist on behalf of Israel. He lives in Rehovot. Contact him at jtzoref@netvision.net.il

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PA GIVING SHELTER TO JIHAD FUGITIVES
Posted by Daily Alert, January 25, 2009.

This was written by Khaled Abu Toameh and it appeared in today's Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232643736978&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

 

Col. Radi Assidah, the Palestinian Authority's security commander in the Jenin area, said over the weekend that his force is protecting and providing shelter to Islamic Jihad fugitives.

Gaza terrorists prepare to fire Kassam rockets[file] (Photo: AP)

A number of Islamic Jihad activists wanted by Israel recently handed themselves over to the PA security forces in the city out of fear that they would be killed or arrested by Israel, Assidah said.

The PA security commander's statements came in response to allegations by Hamas and Islamic Jihad that his forces were holding "political prisoners" in PA jails.

Assidah said the Islamic Jihad men arrived about five months ago at the headquarters of the PA security forces in Jenin to seek sanctuary until their cases with Israel were resolved.

"They sought refuge with us," he said. "Since then we have been hosting them in our headquarters. They are not prisoners and they are entitled to leave whenever they want."

Assidah also revealed that the PA government of Salaam Fayad was paying the wanted Islamic Jihad men monthly salaries.

The fugitives signed documents pledging to refrain from any "activities" until their cases were resolved, he said.

The colonel expressed outrage over allegations that the Islamic Jihad men were being held against their will and were threatening to go on a hunger strike.

"We are now discussing the problem of these men so that they could leave our headquarters," he said. "When they decide to leave, that will be done in front of the media to prove that the PA does not arrest anyone from Islamic Jihad."

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

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HAMAS, GAZA, AND THE U.N.N. (UNITED NAUSEATING NATIONS)
Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, January 25, 2009.

No sooner was Israel reborn in the wake of the Holocaust in May 1948 as a result (on the human part of the deal, at least) of a United Nations' vote, it was attacked by a half dozen Arab nations — most of which had gained their own independence only recently as well. From that moment on, with a few (but important) rare exceptions, the U.N. would work to basically try to undo its "mistake" of permitting the resurrection of the Jew of the Nations.

Can't help it...visions of the Hebrew Prophets pour though my mind. Some excerpts from Ezekiel 37:

The hand of the Lord was upon me... set me down in the midst of the valley full of bones.... very many... and, lo, they were very dry.

And He said unto me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord God, thou knowest."

Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; 'Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, bring flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you.' "

So I prophesied... there was a noise...shaking, and the bones came together, bone to bone... sinews and flesh came up upon them, and skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then said He unto me, "Prophesy unto the wind, Son of man, and say to the wind, 'Thus saith the Lord God: 'Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.' "

So I prophesied... and the breath came into them, they lived, and stood up upon their feet....

Then He said unto me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost....Therefore prophesy and say, 'Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel....' "

Whoa...! Heavy stuff...I still get goose bumps..

Written some twenty-six centuries or so ago, if this wasn't the resurrected phoenix of the Jews — Israel — then I'm Michelangelo.

And when Jews from the remote corners of the "Arab" world — where they also didn't know what the morrow would bring and were commonly known as yahud kelb/Jew Dog killers of prophets — were gathered to be flown to Israel, with tears they recited the Hebrewprophecy predicting that they would return to Israel on the wings of eagles as they boarded the planes used in Operation Magic Carpet.

One of those above 1948 Arab attackers, Transjordan, became independent two years earlier. Its army was led by British officers and, like Egypt's, was well equipped with Allied armaments left in the region after World War II.

Since the Emirate's own story is crucial for understanding attempts made to try to balance conflicting Arab and Jewish claims over that part of the Turks' previous empire which emerged as the Mandate of Palestine after World War I, I frequently reference this in my work. Arabs bring up their tale of how Jews allegedly stole all of the land over and over again; hence my own need to repeatedly remind readers of the truth as well.

Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill convened the Cairo Conference in 1921. As a result of this and other machinations of the latest empire (the Brits') to acquire the land of the Jews — Judaea — since the fall of the latter to Hadrian's Roman armies in 135 C.E., Britain's Hashemite Arab allies were awarded all of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine east of the Jordan River — almost 80% of the total area — in 1922.

Transjordan's King Abdullah attributed this gift to an act of Allah in his memoirs. Along with other observers, Sir Alec Kirkbride, the Brits' East Bank (of the Jordan River) rep, had much to say about this as well in A Crackle Of Thorns.

Not long afterwards, Abdullah's brother, Emir Faisal, was gifted with all of the Mandate of Mesopotamia — renamed Iraq. Millions of Kurds thus saw their own best chance at independence shattered on behalf of Arab nationalism and British Petroleum politics as well.

The Ottoman Turkish Empire had ruled most of the region for the previous four centuries. Most of those above invading and other "Arab" states had, in turn, become Arab by the conquest, subjugation, and forced Arabization of millions of native peoples who survived earlier jihads in the wars of the Dar ul-Islam against the Dar al-Harb...another point I feel a need to stress repeatedly.

Similar stories could be told all over the region...millions of native, non-Arab peoples, within the power vacuum created by the collapse of empire, seeing their own hopes for freedom and independence in the new nationaist age swept away on behalf of the Arab Nation. Some later fought alongside Arabs against the Mandatory Powers...did them little good after the French and the British left the scene (one way or the other), however.

From Egypt, through North Africa into the Sudan, to Lebanon, Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan, and elsewhere, scores of millions have all been forced to consent to this forced Arabization process.

As Egypt's most famous native "Uncle Tom" Copt, the late President Sadat's Foreign Minister Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali basically summed it up for Israel (as well as all others) in an interview with an Israeli author: if you want to be accepted in the neighborhood, you have to consent to Arabization.

The post-1922 up to the current fight, therefore, has been to create a second state for Arabs in what's left of "Palestine" — not a first...the Arabs' 22nd in total spread out across over six million square miles of territory. And that state is expected, by "moderates" willing to tell the West what it wants to hear, as well as the more honest Hamas types, to replace the sole state of the Jews — not live peacefully along side it.

Back to the United Nations...

In 1947, another partition plan was presented which would have divided the roughly 20% of the Mandate of Palestine left after the creation of Transjordan in half between Jews and Arabs.

Had Arabs accepted this, they would have wound up with some 90% of the total original area.

They rejected this offer on the grounds that all was part of the Dar ul-Islam and/or their "purely Arab patrimony." The rest is history.

Some things change, others never do. Israel's fight with Hamas, Fatah, and others today is the same as it was back then.

Back to May, 1948...

The U.N. watched its newest child brutally attacked upon birth. It did nothing to stop the onslaught and only finally stepped in after the Jews turned the tide of the battle.

Afraid that they would push the Arabs back even further and take more of the non-apportioned territory of the Mandate, the U.N. finally acted. Keep in mind that, unlike Arab claims, these were not "purely Arab" territories.

The armistice lines drawn up by the UN. in 1949 simply marked the point where hostilities were stopped.

Amongst other things, they left Israel a mere 9-miles wide in some places, and not much more in its strategic waist — where most of its population and industry are located. Many peole travel farther than that just to go to work. It should not be a surprise, therefore, that these became known as the Auschwitz Lines — a constant invitation to Arabs to attack. The lines were never expected to be Israel's real borders, as America's own U.N. rep, Dr.Ralph Bunche, wrote about himself.

Recall that as a result of the 1948 Arab assault, Transjordan grabbed the non-apportioned west bank of the Jordan River (where both Jews and Arabs had roots, owned land, and were allowed to live). Now holding both banks, it changed its name to Jordan (since it now held territory from other parts of the Mandate besides those across the river) — and made all the land it now held Judenrein (Jew free) — including east Jerusalem. Numerous age-old synagogues were destroyed, ancient Jewish tombstones were used to pave roads, build latrines, and so forth. Only two nations recognized that illegal seizure.

While Jordan thus emerged above, Pharaoh — who had used Gaza to invade the land of the Jews for thousands of years — once again grabbed that coastal strip.

Note that during the time Jordan and Egypt held Gaza and the West Bank (aka, Judea and Samaria, its real name) — almost two decades — no one demanded the birth of the Arabs' second state in Palestine in those areas. Not a peep from the United Nations either...

As another result of the Arab attempt to nip a microscopic, resurrected Israel in the bud, two refugee situations were created...another point that needs to constantly be reemphasized.

The Arabs have continued to this day to thrust the plight of their own refugees — created primariliy as a result of their own actions — into everyone else's faces — people who were pawns (willingly or unwillingly) of the Arabs' own murderous schemes that backfired. Scores of millions of non-Arab peoples also became refugees as a result of wars over the last century. Yet the folks who have received the most aid have been the biggest whiners.

Arab refugees, right from the start, were made virtual wards of the world — unlike all the others above. The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) — whose spokemen, right now, are villifying Israel over Gaza — was created just to cater to these folks — most of whom were newcomers themselves coming into the land because of its economic development by the Jews.

The U.N.'s predecessor, the League Of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission, recorded numerous Arabs crossing into the Mandate from the surrounding Arab states. Many more slipped in through very porous borders under cover of darkness and were never recorded. And still many others arrived with Muhammad Ali and son Ibrahim Pasha's armies from Egypt about fifty years or so earlier and never left...all alleged "native Palestinians." Hamas's virtual patron saint (for whom those rockets Gaza has been blasting israel with are named as well as Hamas's "militant wing), Sheikh Izzedin al-Qassam, was from Latakia, Syria. Arafat was born in Cairo.

Indeed, so many Arabs were recent arrivals themselves into the Palestinian Mandate that UNRWA had to adjust the very definition of "refugee" from its prior meaning of persons normally and traditionally resident to those who lived in the Mandate for a minimum of only two years prior to 1948.

Now, keep in mind that for every Arab who was forced to flee the fighting that Arabs started (after all, how dare Jews want in one tiny, resurrected state what Arabs demand for themselves in some two dozen others), a Jewish refugee was forced to flee "Arab"/Muslim lands into Israel and elsewhere...but with no UNRWA set up to assist them. Why not?

UNRWA has been openly hostile to Israel from the getgo. It has long allowed the promotion of anti-Western and anti-Semitic attitudes among the Arabs it serves, and has done little to help solve the problem of their refugee status — unless giving shelter and employment to those who would terrorize and destroy their Jewish neighbor counts in his regard.

Before Israel's current round of fighting in Gaza, back in 2004, UNRWA Commissioner-General Peter Hansen told the Canadian Broadcasting Company "I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as a crime."

Solid evidence and documentation obtained from Arabs on the spot have revealed that UNRWA has turned a blind eye to Arabs setting up mortar and rocket firing positions adjacent to U.N. schools, hospitals, private homes, and so forth. Additionally, in this latest round, Israel had solid intelligence that Hamas leaders were hiding in the basement of such a hospital.

Similarly, when Israel was forced to go after Hizbullah in Lebanon in 2006, it turned out that the U.N force there, UNIFIL, not only did not prevent attacks on Israel but allowed Hizbullah to set up its positions right next to UNIFIL units. After a U.N. position got hit as a result, pictures made the rounds showing just such a Hizbullah position right next to a U.N. building. Furthermore, solid evidence surfaced that UNIFIL members collaborated with Hizbullah to enable the kidnaping of Israeli troops from inside Israel proper-the move which started the war in the first place.

Ahhh, the United Nations...Nice to know where many millions of American tax dollars are going to, isn't it?!?!

Turning the clock back again, from 1948 to1956, Israel was attacked repeatedly by Arabs using Egyptian and Jordanian territories as their bases. In 1956, when Egypt blockaded it at the Strait of Tiran, Israel struck back hard. France and Great Britain were peeved at Egypt's Nasser as well for nationalizing the Suez Canal, so the time was ripe.

In a lightening assault, Israel soon found itself on the banks of the Suez Canal.

Before Western pressure forced it to withdraw — note the inaction of the U.N. to stop Arab attacks on Israel and so forth which provoked the Sinai Campaign (sound familiar?) — Israel's David Ben-Gurion received assurances that if Egypt ever played the same blockade game again, it would be recognized as a casus belli. This would become very important, once again, in the not-too-distant future. A United Nations Emergency Force was also set up in Gaza and at the Strait of Tiran to supposedly prevent such happenings again.

So, tell me please...what good is a fireman who, at the first smell of smoke, disappears from sight?

In Spring 1967, Egypt's Nasser must have been all sugared up once again.

Pharaoh amassed 100,000 troops, but instead of chariots, he positioned planes, tanks, artillery, and so forth on Israel's border, reinstated the blockade, and ordered the U.N. force out of Gaza so his tank divisions would have an open door.

Without a wink, the U.N. turned tail and ran — leaving Israel, once again, all on its own. Nasser, meanwhile, got other Arab nations to jump aboard his own latter-day Final Solution bandwagon as well. While Syria was up to its eyeballs in this right from the start, others — like Jordan's young King Hussein — had to be lured into this a bit later.

Big mistake...

Well, as you probably know, things didn't quite turn out as Arabs planned...

In six days in June 1967, Israel destroyed several Arab air forces, left hundreds of their tanks smoldering, took thousands of prisoners, etc.and so forth...Remember Ben-Gurion's casus belli deal in 1956 regarding a renewal of blockade?

Oh yes — I almost forgot...

Israel also now found itself holding all of the Sinai Peninsula (in which it developed oil fields, established important air bases, and at last gained a little strategic depth) up to the Suez Canal; in control of the Strait from which it had been repeatedly blockaded; on top of the Golan Heights, from which its farm villages and fishermen on the Sea of Galilee had been repeatedly attacked; in Gaza; and back in Judea and Samaria — the "West Bank," from which all Jews were either previously slaughtered or later excluded from as a result of Transjordan's land grab in 1948. Places like Hebron — where the Hebrew Patriarchs and some of the matriarchs are buried — and elsewhere once again saw Jews.

And in a rare moment (Divine guidance?), something else next happened which proved to be not par for the U.N.'s usual course.

After much argument, and thanks to America and Great Britain — folks who also opposed Israel in the past — the final draft of the U.N. document, UNSC Resolution 242, which dealt with any future Israeli withdrawal, was worded in a precise way which called for the creation of secure and real borders to replace Israel's '49 Auschwitz lines. It also allowed for a necessary revision of those borders in order to undo — somewhat at least — the travesty of the '49 U.N.-imposed lines.

Here's Britain's Lord Caradon on 242...

It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand that the Israelis return to them.

President Ronald Reagan commented on this same subject on September 1, 1982...

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

Regardless of the renewed pressure that will undoubtedly be coming with the new American President's administration, Israel must insist upon those territorial adjustments it was promised in order to right an historical wrong. A fair compromise must be demanded by Israel's own new leaders.

The State Department opposed Israel's creation from the start and has been usually hostile ever since.

Expect more of the same, if not worse, coming from the Foggy Folks with an Obama Administration.

The Jews the new President appoints to work with him are as reassuring on this matter as James Baker's stick it to the Jew of the Nations "Jew Boys" were before — a good shield to deflect criticism later on from Jews who really care. I truly hope I'm wrong here...but doubt it. In fact, President Obama apparently just loves Baker's Jew Boy Dan Kurtzer — Foggy Bottom's Jew point man used to force the Jews in Israel to ignore 242 and return to their previous suicidal Auschwitz lines.

The new President had already sent his well-known, anti-Israel friend and special envoy, Robert Malley (raised in a family of anti-Zionists and Communists who counted Yasir Arafat as a close friend), to Lebanon's slave master and Iran's best buddy, Syria, before he even took the oath of office.

Now, pray tell, what might that be all about?

Decades ago, Israel had already offered a retreat from well over 90% of the Golan Heights to Syria in return for a true peace...

.....'Twasn't good enough for Iraq's Saddam Hussein's twin butchers in Damascus, the Assad boys — neither Papa nor Junior.

So, guess who and what's gonna be offered up to try to wean Syria away from Iran? The same folks whose arms are going to be twisted even further than they were already by Condoleezza Rice & Co. to believe that Mahmud Abbas's latter day Arafatian Fatahniks are really the good cops. After all, President Bush had already begun arming, training, funding, and otherwise supporting those alleged doves of peace.

Trust me Jew of the Nations, to such folks you should give away the store and bare the necks of your kids...

Expect much more of the same (if not worse) with President Obama, close friend and associate of Rashid Khalidi and numerous other blatantly anti-Israel folks. Louis Farakhan has called him the messiah.

With a final return (for now) to the United Nations, let's just say that with Arab genocidal actions being/having been waged against millions of Kurds and black Africans, and Arab murder and subjugation being waged against millions of Copts, Jews, Amazighen/Berbers, and others, the only thing that the United Nations seems capable of doing is vilifying Israel and placing it continuously under the high power lens of moral scrutiny for its determination to survive and defend itself despite the United Nations' indifference. Indeed, most of all of the latter's condemnations have been aimed solely at Israel.

Perhaps it's time for Israel to seriously consider withdrawing from the United Nauseating Nations or, at the very least, make sure that it quickly elects a new generation of leaders who will know how to stand their ground and demand the fair territorial compromises Israel is entitled to and must have regardless of who's tightening the screws.

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

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RAFAH TUNNELS: KEY TO DEFEATING HAMAS
Posted by Moshe Dann, January 25, 2009.

Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip prompts two basic questions? How did Israel get into this mess? And how can Israel get out?

In focus now, finally, are the estimated hundreds of tunnels under the town of Rafah used to smuggle everything from sophisticated weapons, to drugs, prostitutes, food and gasoline. Allowing this little town and UNRWA-sponsored jihadist camps to operate as weapons suppliers and shelters for terrorist organizations has cost the lives hundreds, maimed thousands and jeopardized the entire region.

Rafah, a 4 km long Arab town that straddles the Egyptian-Gaza border, is the key to preventing Hamas from obtaining weapons and ending the conflict. Without the supply of ammunition and weapons, Hamas could not sustain a military confrontation, or fire rockets into Israeli cities. Why, then, has Israel, until recently allowed the tunnels to exist, why haven't they been destroyed completely, and when will it end?

Background:

In the wake of the Israeli-Arab war in 1948-9, Egypt created and occupied what came to be known as, "the Gaza Strip." Rafah was split along the international border established in 1906 between the Egypt and what was then called Palestine, dividing the town in two.

After conquering Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula in 1967, Israelis built settlements in both areas; those in Sinai were destroyed when Israel returned the area to Egypt as part of peace agreements in 1979-80. Egypt, however, refused to accept responsibility for the Gaza Strip, or change the configuration of Rafah, leaving Israel holding this problematic bag.

The remaining 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip, with government backing, provided a strategic method for controlling the strip, and became an economic powerhouse, providing jobs and stability to local Arabs.

In the late 1980's, when the Arab "uprising" (intifada) against Israel began, terrorists in Gaza needed more weapons. Since Israel controlled the above-ground routes, tunnels were dug beneath the Egyptian border, their entrances hidden beneath buildings. Egypt did not restrict tunnel-building and smuggling; Israel was limited in its ability to detect the tunnels, reluctant to interfere with the clans that controlled the tunnel operation, since they provided money to PA officials and the local population.

Following the Oslo Accords (1994), Israel turned over control of Jericho and Gaza City to the PA as the first stage of a proposed withdrawal from all Arab-populated areas in the entire West Bank (Yehuda and Shomron), which was intended to comprise a Palestinian state.

From time to time, under Israeli control, the IDF tried to deal with the tunnel problem. Several solutions were proposed:

(1) Israel could have unilaterally turned its part of Rafah to Egypt, placing the entire town under Egyptian control. Proposed by then PM Menachem Begin to President Sadat, it was rejected by Egypt.

(2) a water-filled trench along the Egyptian-Gazan border (about 15 kms) through Rafah was rejected by Israeli "experts." This has not been explained publicly.

(3) removing Arab homes on the Israeli/Palestinian side, relocating its residents and arresting the clans that run the tunnels was also rejected.

According to an informed source, when Israel decided to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, in the summer of 2005, Gen. Amos Gilad was sent to negotiate with the Egyptians. He focused narrowly, according to the source, only on the number and deployment of Egyptian troops that would be placed on the border ostensibly to prevent smuggling, rather than structural changes, such as widening the corridor to make it more difficult to build the tunnels and relocating the population of Rafah.

Negotiations with Egypt, however, ended abruptly when then Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz announced Israel's decision to leave the Gaza Strip and the Philadelphia Corridor unilaterally, without pre-conditions. The reason for this fatal mistake has never been explained. Even those who supported withdrawal questioned the rush. Was it because of American/EU pressure? Israeli incompetence? Corruption?

A recent interview in Haaretz with head of MI suggests that reports were submitted to fit political, rather than security considerations.

The tunnels are big business, costing $100,000 to build — the investment is recovered in a few weeks, or less. Directly supported and financed by the PA according to documents found by the IDF, the tunnels are controlled by criminal gangs with close ties to the PA, and provide a major source of illegal funding to PA officials and local residents.

In order to support the PA, the Israeli government often ignored the tunnel business, except for limited IDF action in 2004, which was a prelude to PM Sharon's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2006 ("disengagement").

In May, 2007, Israeli Comptroller reported that the IDF failed to procure and develop technology to locate and destroy the tunnels. Only at the end of 2004, when terrorists mounted deadly attacks against IDF positions in the Gaza Strip was the issue taken seriously.

Although warned by military and security experts not to abandon the critical border area with Egypt, Sharon ignored the advice.

According to Israeli military sources, nearly all the tunnels are located in Rafah. A look at the map explains why: Rafah is the only town on the southern border, and therefore is the only place that can provide cover for the tunnels which stretch only a few hundred meters between the Egyptian and Gazan sides of the town.

The tunnels cannot extend beyond Rafah because the distance to the nearest town, Khan Yunis, is too far and the area is uninhabited. Without Rafah's cover, therefore, tunnel smuggling will end. And without the ability to resupply its weaponry, Hamas will either be forced to focus on economic and social betterment, or implode.

The problem of these tunnels can be resolved simply, cheaply, quickly and without violence: Egypt can remove the homes and build a security perimeter on its side of Rafah. A "closed military zone," with an entrance carefully watched would end tunnel smuggling.

Egypt has been playing a deadly cynical game — allowing weapons to reach Hamas at Israel's expense. It's now up to Egypt to act responsibly.

The author, a former asst professor of History (CUNY) is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem. Contact him by email at moshedan@netvision.net.il

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CORRECTING TOM FRIEDMAN'S OP-ED
Posted by David Meir-Levi, January 25, 2009.

Below is my way-too-long-to-be-published open letter to Tom Friedman about his op-ed which appeared in today's Palo Alto Daily News. It may have appeared earlier elsewhere, or it may appear over the next few days.
read Friedman at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/opinion/25friedman.html?_r=1

To: Thomas Friedman
From: David Meir-Levi
Date: January 25, 2009
RE: Your op-ed essay in today's newspapers

I have long been an admirer of your work. I own all your books and have read some several times. I have until now considered you a fair-minded and perceptive analyst of the Middle East and a reasonably objective commentator regarding the Arab-Israel conflict. However, your essay today ("Two-State solution for Palestine is in Jeopardy" in the Palo Alto Daily News, Palo Alto, CA) reveals an amazing list of non-sequitors, baseless assertions, and factual errors, all of which are quite at variance with objectivity, fair-mindedness, and informed commentary.

Par. 2: you assert that the two chief problems are Hamas and the "fanatical Jewish settlers in the West Bank." This is an assertion which seems to contradict reality, since the Jewish settlers (whether they are "fanatic" or not is a topic for a different discussion) have not fired 10,000 qassam rockets in to Arab civilian residences, do not plant road mines, do not carry out drive-by shootings or sniper attacks or kidnappings, do not reject any and every attempt to find peaceful resolution, do not demand the annihilation of all Muslims, and do not declare eternal war and unending hatred of the Arabs — nor do they even threaten to do so.

Hamas does. I am not a supporter of the so-called "Settler movement," but I find your implied moral equivalence quite irrational.

Par. 4: you assert that "No Israeli government has mustered the will to take down even the 'illegal,' unauthorized settlements..." Are you in some state of early-onset Alzheimers?

Do you not recall that the "right wing" "hard-liner" "war monger" "hawkish" "former terrorist" Prime Minister Menahem Begin dismantled six Israeli communities in 1982 in the Sinai in order to accommodate the demands of Anwar es-Sadat, and thus become the first Israeli leader to achieve peace with Egypt?

Do you not recall that it was the "right wing" "hard-liner" "war monger" "accused war criminal" Ariel Sharon who led the IDF when it went in to those settlements to drag out the Israeli "settlers" in handcuffs? And this is the same Sharon who supported the peace talks with Egypt and supported the ceding of all of the Sinai peninsula to Egypt, and supported his Prime Minister in this monumental gesture of peace and reconciliation with Egypt.

Do you not recall that it was this same "accused war criminal" Sharon who ceded the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority. On September 12, 2005 the last of almost 10,000 Israelis was forcibly dragged out of the Gaza Strip, 17 Israeli communities (aka "settlements") evacuated, along with four other communities in northern Shomron (West Bank), and the Gaza Strip was unilaterally and unconditionally turned over to the Palestinian Authority in a galactic and globally unprecedented gesture of peace and reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority? And what did Israel get for this gesture: Hamas took over and declared more endless war.

Israel's unwillingness to dismantle more "settlements" is not a lack of will. It is an intelligent function of experience. In the absence of the Israeli army, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip and ratcheted up its terrorist offensive against Israel's civilian population with its qassams and suicide bombers and arms importation and drive-by shootings and kidnappings. And, to top even that, Hamas leaders again foreswore any peace with Israel, instead announcing unabashedly that they would build upon this great victory in order to increase the terrorism from the West Bank as well.

No country in the world should be expected to take actions which enable its enemies to destroy it. Why do you think that Israel is at fault for not taking such action?

Moreover, you may not have looked lately, but since 2002 Israel has not increased the number of communities in the West Bank.

Where is the fanaticism? Where is the lack of will? What are you talking about?

Par. 5: You write that "..without a stable two-state solution, what you will have is...(endless terror war)..." You assert, therefore, that with a stable two-state solution we will have something other than "...Israel behind a high wall, defending itself from a Hamas-run failed state in Gaza, a Hezbollah-run failed state in south Lebanon, and a Fatah-run failed state in Ramallah."

What is your evidence for such an assertion?

Hamas and Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad and the el-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and Tanzim and Force 17 and Hizb-ut-Tahrir and Ansar-el-Islam and el-Jama'a al Islamiyeh and the Muslim Brotherhood and Fatah and the PFLP and the DFLP and the PFLPP-GC, and a number of other terror organizations whose names I don't recall at the moment, all insist that theirs is a jihad without end until Israel is destroyed and "Palestine" is free "from the river to the sea," if need be it is a thousand-year "struggle until victory or martyrdom!"

No room for a two-state solution there, stable or otherwise.

Par. 8: You assert that Kissinger could "..strike a deal that would hold." Odd. I can't recall any deals of Kissinger's in the Middle East or elsewhere which ever held. The only Middle East "deals" which has held are the Israel-Egypt peace treaty and the Jordan-Israel peace treaty, and these were no thanks to Kissinger.

In this same paragraph you suggest that a peace maker must also be a nation builder because (as you note in Par. 9) of the need to "...make peace between Palestinians...so there is a coherent, legitimate decision-making body there..."

Here I think you are correct, but you seem not to notice the inherent contradiction between your words and recent history. Every attempt at Palestinian nation building has failed. Since 1937 there have been 15 attempts, some by the UK, some by the UN, some by the USA, some by Israel, and some by a combination of these forces, to create a state for the Palestinians. Every attempt has not only failed, but has been rejected by Palestinian leaders (and some leaders of Arab nations) with a response of violence, war, or terrorism, or threats of the same. Today, as in yesteryear, the Palestinian people are led by hate-mongering jihadists whose first (but by no means last) target is the Jews of what they call "historic Palestine." These leaders vociferously oppose any peaceful resolution and declare that the destruction of Israel and the genocide of its Jews is the only resolution that will please Allah and satisfy Arab honor. And, let's not forget, today's Hamas leaders came to power by popular vote. There are no leaders without followers.

And the above makes utterly ludicrous your suggestion in Par. 10 that the USA and Israel should work to bring Hamas into a Palestinian national unity government. It is common knowledge today that Abbas remains in power in the West Bank only because the Israeli army controls the West Bank and prevents Hamas operatives from deposing him and setting up a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority there. Hamas' political victory was no accident. A significant plurality, and perhaps even a majority, of Palestinians want Hamas in power. In the West Bank Abbas' ratings are lower than former President Bush's were at their worst in the USA.

Let's recall too that Hamas has been locked in a power struggle with Fatah since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2006. Back then they tossed Fatah people from rooftops or shot them in their beds. Today Hamas is systematically slaughtering Fatah people in Gaza, stripping them naked, parading them through the streets of Gaza City, and then shooting them in the head to the wild cheers of Gazan onlookers. So why do you think that Hamas in a "unity government," knowing that it has the support of most of the West Bank Arabs, will treat its Fatah partners any differently?

Are you smoking something, or have you just gone all cracked?

Par 12: you suggest that "..bringing Hamas into a Palestinian unity government ...will be tricky." Tricky??!! I never knew that you were such a master of understatement.

You think it will be "tricky" to get Saudi Arabia and Egypt to influence Hamas when Hamas has the unswerving support of Hezbollah and Syria and Iran (and indirectly, Russian support as well, via Iran)? Do you think that it is merely "tricky" to get Mubarrak to help Israel and the USA when such actions will be considered treason by a significant number of his constituents, who are then likely to support the Muslim Brotherhood in its rise to power in the Egyptian parliament? Is it just "tricky" to get Iran, now a key player, to end its wild and crazy ride to Middle East hegemony, and Shi'ite dominance, and nuclear power merely because a new American president wants to "engage" it? Or is it more likely that Akhmedi-Nejad and his government will continue to play their own "tricky" game by "engaging" western leaders in an endless cycle of "draw the line in the sand and then stand quietly by as Iran crosses it," again and again, while the Iranian centrifuges are being built and the uranium enriched?

Driving Hamas to moderation, talking Syria and Iran into ending their pursuit of power, making an honest government out of corruption-riddled Fatah, and getting the Palestinian people to support the leaders whom we want them to support.....that's not "tricky." That is super-hero magic. And this brings me to my last issue with your article. Your final paragraph says, in convoluted language, that such a line-up of what you call this "diplomatic Rubik's Cube" cannot be done. And here I must agree with you. There is no solution to the Arab-Israel conflict while its key players on the Arab/Muslim side are committed to terrorism until victory or martyrdom, and victory is defined as the destruction of Israel and the genocide of its Jews.

No Israeli government will make the concessions you demand. No rational government will, anywhere. And there is no rational leadership on the Arab/Muslim side (there are certainly rational Arabs and Muslims, but they are not in positions of power in this conflict). So none of what you suggest is likely ever to happen.

So what is the purpose of your essay?

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

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NEW YORK TIMES GIVES QADDAFI A SOAPBOX
Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, January 25, 2009.

No one might seriously suggest the New York Times demonstrates a pro-Israel predilection, yet featuring the article "The One-State Solution", malevolently adorned by a large black and white picture featuring a sapling bursting through the middle of a mature splitting tree craftily conjuring up an image of Moses parting the Red Sea, as the marquee opinion piece in its 01/22/2008 edition, authored by that infamous 'intellect' Colonel Muammar Qaddafi is even over the top for that world renown news juggernaut now teetering on the fringe of bankruptcy. Then again, perhaps breathing rarified air atop the crumbling precipice of Catastrophe Canyon, bone yard of once mighty media outlets, has twisted the judgment of an editor or two, allowing their newspaper to so prominently display the opinion of such a fringe and indeed viciously flawed character. The homicidal Libyan strongman indeed has been responsible for financing thus enabling, among many other acts of terror, the "Black September Movement" which perpetrated the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre of eleven innocent Israeli athletes and coaches and one German police officer; the 1986 bombing of a German discotheque killing and wounding many innocent victims including more than eighty U.S. servicemen; and the downing in 1988 of the Lockerbie killing 259 innocent airline passengers. Letting bygones be bygones in this case doesn't cut it. Furthermore, providing a soap box for this maggot, letting him propose one Jewish-Palestine State he calls "Isratine", tantalizing the minds of many perhaps intelligent yet misinformed gullible readers, willing to buy into such ideas removed from any proper historical context, is a disservice to the tenets of fairness as well as logic, especially when spewed by such a maniacal messenger who somehow escapes worldwide condemnation and in fact criminal prosecution.

More Jews were surely booted out of Muslim countries than Arabs who voluntarily fled Israel during the Jewish homeland's rebirth in 1948, yet that fact is never mentioned in Qaddafi's article as he attempts to justify a right of return for so-called Arab refugees, a bizarre term used to describe mostly children and grandchildren of original Arab inhabitants who for some reason were not welcomed into the Lands of presumed brethren, who for some reason over the years did not lift themselves up by bootstraps as did concurrently exiled Jews. Even Qaddafi, attempting to be reasonable thus persuasive asserts, "It is important to note that the Jews did not forcibly expel Palestinians. They were never "un-welcomed" He goes on suggesting "Yet only the full territories of Isratine... (his fantasyland where Jews and Arabs may peacefully frolic together evermore)...can accommodate all the refugees and bring about the justice that is key to peace." Again, nowhere is it mentioned that tiny Israel is the one and only place in the Middle East a Jew is extended full religious and civil liberties as every other Middle Eastern nation is defined by its exclusive and in most cases exclusionary Muslim culture. Indeed many if not most of those nations are intolerant in fact hostile to non-Muslims. Most essentially, Israel's area, less than the state of New Jersey, is about two tenths of one percent as large as all those surrounding Middle Eastern Muslim countries. How might one reasonably argue, as Qaddafi does, that in effect today's tiny Jewish Homeland should no longer exist, should become a presumably equal admixture of Arabs and Jews. Would Qaddafi also propose that each and every Arab nation similarly break down its walls, allow Jews and other non-Muslims to disseminate their cultures co-mingling with Muslims, even take part in governmental affairs like Arabs now do in Israel?

The tenor of Qaddafi's argument is moderate, explaining why a two state solution will not work, condemning neither Arabs nor Jews, citing a history of the persecution of Jews, stating that Palestinians also have a "history of persecution", cleverly agreeing "The Jewish people want and deserve their homeland", yet by the very nature of his solution robs the Jewish people of that true homeland, knowing that in time Arab populations would dwarf Jewish populations, knowing that in time the erstwhile Land of Israel morphed to Isratine would become just another Muslim state perhaps with a few more Jewish neighborhoods. Again, we must not overlook the fact that the purveyor of this wisdom, granted a soapbox by the New York Times, remains a mass murderer at large. Again, we must not overlook the fact that not only is this homicidal colonel responsible for many Jewish deaths in Munich; indeed he is responsible for the death and maiming of so many others, including many Americans. Are New York Times editors so daft, so insensitive, so hoist with their own petard, so smitten by their contempt for the State of Israel, they would thrust upon their readership 'a wolf's words dressed-up in sheep's clothing' spun by this financer of butchers, as long as those words might plant a seed in the hearts and minds of similarly bent or merely naïve readers that if nurtured might grow into the killer sapling, malevolently adorning Qaddafi's article, symbolizing the destruction of the Jewish Homeland? It appears so.

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant. He advocates for the State of Israel with an American perspective. He writes, "Advocating for the disrespected underdog has been my passion, no doubt Israel falls into that category." Contact him by email at larose@snip.net

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PALESTINIAN ASSASSINATES POTENTIAL AMERICAN PRESIDENT: WHAT THE HISTORY CHANNEL WON'T TELL YOU ABOUT 1968
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, January 25, 2009.

This is from Phyllis Chesler's website and is archived at
http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2009/01/20/palestinian-assassinates- potential-american-president-what-the-history-channel-wont-tell-you-about-1968/

The concerts, parties, balls, and general pageantry continues to unfold, as everyone: from our grand new President and major entertainers, to the youngest citizens along the train-and-parade route, believe they are now part of "history." Everyone has come to have their picture taken, to be part of it all, to be in the historical picture.

But what does this mean if the historical record is as "cooked" as Bernie Madoff's books? What if our textbooks and our media lie outright? Or "lie" by omitting crucial information?

For example: Yesterday, I watched the History Channel's documentary about the American 1960s. It featured wonderful footage of stirring, iconic moments but, as for accuracy? No way, Jose!

The program showed us Martin Luther King Jr. speaking (he was wonderful then and he still is now), and focused on his noble, non-violent marches and ugly assassination; and on the assassination of Bobby Kennedy as he ran for the Presidency.

Oddly enough, just like the movie Bobby, which I reviewed two years ago, the History channel "disappeared" the fact that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated by an angry Palestinian, Sirhan Sirhan, who was furious that America was helping to arm Israel.

Why? Why did both the History Channel and a major feature film about the second Kennedy assassination, both fail to explain who Kennedy's assassin really was? For the historical record, let me tell you.

On June 5, 1968, Palestinian Arab Sirhan Sirhan fatally shot Senator Robert F. Kennedy in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Pasadena, California. Sirhan initially pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and five counts of assault with a deadly weapon, but while the jury was absent, he shouted in the courtroom, "I killed Robert Kennedy willfully...I'm willing to fight for [the Arab cause]... I'm willing to die for it." He then requested to change his plea to guilty on all counts, announcing the intention to request execution, but the court denied this.

Defense witnesses testified that Sirhan had been psychologically scarred by his exposure to the Israeli war of Independence as a child in Jerusalem, where he was born in 1944. The defense also testified that Sirhan had become enraged when Senator Kennedy pledged military support for Israel ("fifty phantom jets") if necessary.

Sirhan stated at trial that he "'read everything about the Arab-Israeli situation he could lay his hands on,' including publications from the Arab information center in the United States and a book on Zionist influence on U.S. policy in the Middle East." He also testified that, on seeing an advertisement for a march in support of Israel, he was "brought back to the six days in June of the previous year," and that "a fire started burning inside of him as a result of the ad."

Evidence produced at trial suggested that Sirhan was insane and inclined to outlandish mysticism, and that he had an intense loathing for the state of Israel and for Jews. He was sentenced to death, but this sentence was commuted to life in prison. All attempts at obtaining parole have been denied and he remains in a California State prison.

What's really interesting is that Sirhan Sirhan is a Palestinian Christian, not a Muslim — but then, so was Edward Said, that arch fiend Propagandist whose seizing the mantle of sacred victimhood for the non-existent "Palestinian" people, especially their exterminationist-terrorist leaders, has become an idee fixee in both the West and in the "Orient," to everyone's great detriment.

Interestingly, both Said and Sirhan Sirhan were Palestinian Christians and were therefore considered "dhimmis," inferior, subject to "protection." (And taxation, torture, exile, and murder). Perhaps both Said and Sirhan wanted to please their superior race Masters — a variant on the court Jew phenomenon, or on the eunuch in the Islamic harem phenomenon.

My dear friend, Ibn Warraq, and others have challenged Edward Said on the grounds of truth. Ibn Warraq demonstrates that Said engaged in the art of the Big Lie. Said was a sexist who stole all thunder from a nascent feminist movement within the western academy and instead, insisted, right along with the Marxists, that brown-skinned men, Arab men, Muslim men, Palestinian men, were far more nobly oppressed than....mere women.

NEWSFLASH: A reader has pointed out that the very same lawyer who defended Saddam Hussein also defended Sirhan Sirhan: None other than America's very own, left-leaning Ramsay Clark.

As I say: Follow the ideological alliances.

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NO ILLUSIONS PLEASE
Posted by Herb and Miki Sunshine, January 25, 2009.

This below is from "Rabbi Meir Kahane Writings", (5732-33) (1971-73), August 25, 1972.

It has been distributed by Barbara Ginsberg who writes: Anyone reading this Rav Kahane article and is not on my personal list to receive the weekly articles written by Rav Kahane and would like to be, please contact me at: barhow@netvision.net.il)

Previously e-mailed Rav Kahane writings are available at
http:/www.barbaraginsberg.blogspot.com

 

The problem is that time is always on the side of the tenacious; conversely, it is the enemy of the weary. The never-ending struggle erodes the determination to search for solutions and compromises that are often more the product of the desire to rest than that of common sense.

Those who are tired allow themselves to believe what freshness of vigor would label as nonsense. Exhaustion and monotony push us into self-delusion We become partners to our own destruction as we fool ourselves into believing that madness is sanity, war is peace, evil is good — all so that we might return to a life of peace and normalcy.

Time is also on the side of the aggressor and works against his intended victim. For it gradually washes out of our minds the past moment of danger, the time when the aggressor sought to attack, plunder, and destroy. That moment of awful truth from which the victim was barely saved fades from his memory. And with the receding of the terrible reality comes arguments cloaked in the peculiar morality that flourishes in the rarefied air of the ivory tower. With the passing of the danger, as the waves of time roll over the stark monuments to that moment of extinction, we turn away from the men to whom we rushed for safety, the generals and soldiers who exist in the harsh world of reality, and we begin to listen to the unreal academics, whose frustrations and envy of the men of reality are too often mistaken for spiritual and moral loftiness.

Our combination of weariness and forgetfulness turns us away from common sense and into the arms of the denizens of the ivory tower, the demagogues and the opportunists. It is at moments like this that we throw away sanity and lose the strength that alone can save us, that alone can enable us to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

Perhaps it is common to all people, perhaps it is more so with us Jews, the inability to withstand victory. But regardless of the ultimate roots of the problem, the fact remains that five years after 2.6 million Jews, together with their nineteen-year-old state, were saved from extinction, large and larger numbers of those who were almost slaughtered seek to return again to the moment of truth

Forgotten are the 1967 pronouncements from Cairo, Damascus, Amman, Beirut, Baghdad, and Fatah.

Forgotten are the pledges to throw us into the sea, wash Tel Aviv clean with Jewish blood, and eliminate the "gangster state" of Israel.

Forgotten are the insanity of borders that left the coastal strip with its million Jews under the guns of Arab armies just twelve, thirteen, or fifteen kilometers away.

Forgotten are the shells that swept into Masaryk Square in Tel Aviv and the Egyptian planes just minutes away from the heartland.

Forgotten are our own projections of tens of thousands of soldiers, and perhaps fifty thousand civilians, dead.

Forgotten are the borders that left settlements on the Huleh Plain lying naked beneath the Golan Syrian guns, the hills of Ephraim dominating Tel Aviv and its sister cities, the Sinai with its Egyptian land armada within spitting distance of our cities.

Forgotten most of all are the hate, the bitter enmity, the solemn pledges of extermination, the schoolbooks with their poisonous venom, the glee and ecstasy of the days of May and early June 1967 when the mobs and potential murderers and rapists were lashing about in an agony of anticipation of the great jihad, the "holy war" that was about to begin.

Forgotten is the reality of Arab refusal to recognize a State of Israel that is even one dunam square.

Forgotten is the never-changing reality of "Hebronism"?

What is "Hebronism"? It is the Arab policy of extermination of the Jew who seeks to live in his own land. It is the reality of that August day of 1929 that saw men, women, and children slaughtered in the streets, homes, and shops of Jewish Hebron. It is the reality of the rape and torture and gouging to death, not of "Zionists," but of yeshiva students and their families, of Ashkenazim and also of Sephardim (the latter who have suddenly become "Jewish Arabs" in the propaganda of Fatah). It is the pogroms of 1920.1921.1936-39, and 1947. In short, "Hebronism" is that policy of Arab treatment of Jews that would be the rule for us every day of the week could our enemies only accomplish it. Should we be so insane as to listen to the "doves" among us who would let them do just that?

We are inundated with all kinds of illusions and delusions. Let us return this land or that land and we will have blessed peace. Let us not dare to settle Jews in Eretz Yisroel lest it anger the Arabs and jeopardize blessed peace. Let us make partial and semi partial and total and semi total agreements that call for compromise and we shall have blessed peace. Let us not move Arabs from the borders and settle Jews there; let us not dare to bomb terrorists lest we hit innocent civilians; let us be "better than they are" — and thus gain blessed peace. Let us recognize the existence of a "Palestine people" despite the refusal of every other Arab country to do so, at a time when they might at last have set up a partial "Palestine" state after 1947. Let us negotiate with our friends the mayors of Gaza and Shehem and Hebron, for they are the solution to the problem of peace. Let us, perhaps, even consider a binational state for the sake of blessed peace. Let us realize that we can reach peace and brotherhood with the Arabs by political concessions and compromises.

It is time for the Jew in Israel to throw away those negative attitudes that he retains from the Galut, the exile. Chief among these is an unwillingness to look at bitter reality. We may not enjoy hearing it, but the truth is that for many years at least there will not be a sincere de jure peace with the Arabs. It may affect the tender souls of the more spiritually intellectual among us, but one can never attain either peace or security by "compromise" with bitter enemies who have no intentions of compromising with you. Those in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza who do sit down with you because they have no choice, do so only in the hope of getting rid of you as soon as possible. Our enemy, in the long run, is weariness. It is against this enemy that we must struggle. We must gird ourselves with tenacity and determination never to tire of what appears to be a never-ending struggle. For that is what it may very well become: a struggle for Jewish existence and a Jewish state that will never cease to be a struggle; a realization that between us and the Arabs stands a massive barrier that may never be breached; a determination by two peoples to live in a land that at least one will never compromise on. There will grow the weariness of having to send our children to the army without stop. There will grow the weariness of having to leave each year for reserve duty. There will grow the weariness of terrorist attacks on the borders or at the International airport or at the Tel Aviv bus terminal. There will, perhaps, again grow the weariness — and the heartbreak — of victims of a new war of attrition. There will grow the weariness of all this, rising to a crescendo with the frustrating cry: "When will it finally end?"

Only the weak succumb to such frustrations; only the weak surrender to time. A strong and tenacious people know that there may never be an end to the struggle and the sacrifice. But, they also look about them and see what their refusal to surrender has accomplished: a state, and today a big one, in much of our Eretz Yisroel; a Jewish state with nearly three million souls and many more to come; the creation of a new and proud Jew. None of these things would have come about had we listened to the intellectual precursors of our modern-day intellectuals and doves. In the name of "peace" there would be no Jewish state; in the name of "morality" there would be no free Jewish nation.

If we hope to survive in the literal sense of the word, let us not succumb to the siren call of easy answers and the tempting promise of "peace." Above all, let us, please, have no illusions. The Arabs intend to wipe us out; we must be strong enough to stop them. the Arabs who live with us in Eretz Yisroel, both those who have done so for twenty-five years and those for just five, do not live us and never will-and one cannot blame them. Let us not play games with them or with ourselves. We give them civil rights and political freedom, but what Jew will ever agree that they should become a majority? What Jew will ever agree to allow Arabs to come in on the same terms as Jews do today under the Law of Return? Israel was formed as a Jewish state. Arabs may have social, economic, and much political equality but, in the end, it is not their state. For the individual Arab we offer much, but for the Arab nation, Israel offers nothing. It is not an Arab state, it is a Jewish state. It came into being because Jews knew that for them there was no hope in a world that thirsted for their bodies and souls. It came into being under the realization that neither king nor republican or Marxist had the solution to the Jewish problem. That in the end it was the words of the rabbis that proved to be eternally true: "It is a law, it is known that Esau hates Jacob."

And so, Eretz Yisrael, the land of the Jewish people, exists. It can never be anything but that and both we and the Arabs know it. Such a fact allows for few illusions over peace. Perhaps peace will come some day; I for one, doubt it. Until it does, let us not listen to the illusions that float down to us daily from the ivory tower or from the self-hating Left. Strength and tenacity: they and they alone assure Jewish survival.

Herb Sunshine is a lawyer, qualified to practice in U.S.A. and Israel. He and his wife Miki live in Jerusalem. Contact them by email at sunshine.h@012.net.il

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HISTORY'S TRAGIC FARCE
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, January 25, 2009.

Once again, Caroline Glick cleans the dirty window of a false and treacherous peace delusion and allows us to peer into a terrible reality. Where the Jew-hating Rice and State Department Left of Obama has gathered a team of expert anti-Semites who are deeply committed to a Muslim Terrorist people and where the State Department continues to run America's foreign policy — not the President — whoever he is.

The article below appeared January 23, 2009 in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232643732139&pagename= JPArticle%2FShowFull Contact Caroline Glick by email at caroline@carolineglick.com

 

It is a fundamental truth that while history always repeats itself, it almost never repeats itself precisely. There is always a measure of newness to events that allows otherwise intelligent people to repeat the mistakes of their forebears without looking completely ridiculous.

Given this, it is hard to believe that with the advent of the Obama administration, we are seeing history repeat itself with nearly unheard of exactness. US President Barack Obama's reported intention of appointing former Sen. George Mitchell as his envoy for the so-called Palestinian-Israeli peace process will provide us with a spectacle of an unvarnished repeat of history.

In December 2000, outgoing president Bill Clinton appointed Mitchell to advise him on how to reignite the "peace process" after the Palestinians rejected statehood and launched their terror war against Israel in September 2000. Mitchell presented his findings to Clinton's successor, George W. Bush, in April 2001.

Mitchell asserted that Israel and the Palestinians were equally to blame for the Palestinian terror war against Israelis. He recommended that Israel end all Jewish construction outside the 1949 armistice lines, and stop fighting Palestinian terrorists.

As for the Palestinians, Mitchell said they had to make a "100 percent effort" to prevent the terror that they themselves were carrying out. This basic demand was nothing new. It formed the basis of the Clinton administration's nod-nod-wink-wink treatment of Palestinian terrorism since the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994.

By insisting that the PLO make a "100 percent effort," to quell the terror it was enabling, the Clinton administration gave the Palestinians built-in immunity from responsibility. Every time that his terrorists struck, Yasser Arafat claimed that their attacks had nothing to do with him. He was making a "100 percent effort" to stop the attacks, after all.

After getting Arafat off the hook, the Clinton administration proceeded to blame Israel. If Israel had just given up more land, or forced Jews from their homes, or given the PLO more money, Arafat could have saved the lives of his victims. Mitchell's plan, although supported by then-secretary of state Colin Powell, was never adopted by Bush because at the time, terrorists were massacring Israelis every day. It would have been politically unwise for Bush to accept a plan that asserted moral equivalence between Israel and the PLO when rescue workers were scraping the body parts of Israeli children off the walls of bombed out pizzerias and bar mitzva parties.

But while his eponymous plan was rejected, its substance, which was based on the Clinton Plan, formed the basis of the Tenet Plan, the road map plan and the Annapolis Plan. And now, Mitchell is about to return to Israel, at the start of yet another presidential administration to offer us his plan again.
 

MITCHELL, OF COURSE, is not the only one repeating the past. His boss, Barack Obama, is about to repeat the failures his immediate predecessors. Like Clinton and Bush, Obama is making the establishment of a Palestinian state the centerpiece of his foreign policy agenda.

Obama made this clear his first hour on the job. On Wednesday at 8 a.m., Obama made his first phone call to a foreign leader. He called PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. During their conversation, Obama pledged his commitment to Palestinian statehood.

Fatah wasted no time responding to Obama's extraordinary gesture. On Wednesday afternoon Abbas convened the PLO's Executive Committee in Ramallah and the body announced that future negotiations with Israel will have to be based on new preconditions. As far as the PLO is concerned, with Obama firmly in its corner, it can force Israel to its knees.

And so, the PLO is now uninterested in the agreements it reached with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. For Israel to enjoy the privilege of negotiating with the PLO, it must first announce its willingness to expel all the 500,000 or so Israeli Jews who live in Judea, Samaria and the neighborhoods in east, south and north Jerusalem built since 1967, as well as in the Old City, and then hand the areas over, lock, stock and barrel, to the PLO.

This new PLO "plan" itself is nothing new. It is simply a restatement of the Arab "peace plan," which is just a renamed Saudi "peace plan," which was just a renamed Tom Friedman column in The New York Times. And the Friedman plan is one that no Israeli leader in his right mind can accept. So by making this their precondition for negotiations, the PLO is doing what it did in 2000. It is rejecting statehood in favor of continued war with Israel.

What is most remarkable about the new administration's embrace of its predecessors' failed policy is how uncontroversial this policy is in Washington. It is hard to come up with another example of a policy that has failed so often and so violently that has enjoyed the support of both American political parties. Indeed, it is hard to think of a successful policy that ever enjoyed such broad support.

Apparently, no one in positions of power in Washington has stopped to consider why it is that in spite of the fervent backing of presidents Clinton and Bush, there is still no Palestinian state.
 

SINCE ISRAEL recognized the PLO as the "sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" in 1993, the US and Israel have based their plans for peace on their assumption that the PLO is interested in making peace. And they have based their plans for making peace by establishing a Palestinian state on the assumption that the Palestinians are interested in statehood. Yet over the past 15 years it has become abundantly clear that neither of these assumptions is correct.

In spite of massive political, economic and military support by the US, Israel and Europe, the PLO has never made any significant moves to foster peaceful relations between Israel and the Palestinians. Not only did the PLO-led PA spend the six years between 1994 and 2000, in which it was supposedly making peace with Israel, indoctrinating Palestinian society to hate Jews and seek their destruction through jihadist-inspired terrorism. It also cultivated close relations with Iran and other rogue regimes and terror groups.

Many are quick to claim that these misbehaviors were simply a consequence of Arafat's personal radicalism. Under Abbas, it is argued, the PLO is much more moderate. But this assertion strains credulity. As The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh reported on Monday, Fatah forces today boast that their terror cells in Gaza took active part in Hamas's missile offensive against Israel. Fatah's Aksa Martyrs terror cells claim that during Operation Cast Lead, its terrorists shot 137 rockets and mortar shells at Israel.

Abbas's supporters in the US and Israel claim that these Fatah members acted as they did because they are living under Hamas rule. They would be far more moderate if they were under Fatah rule. But this, too, doesn't ring true.

From 2000 through June 2007, when Hamas ousted Fatah forces from Gaza, most of the weapons smuggling operations in Gaza were carried out by Fatah. Then, too, most of the rockets and mortar shells fired at Israel were fired by Fatah forces. Likewise, most of the suicide bombers deployed from Judea and Samaria were members of Fatah.

The likes of Madeleine Albright, Powell and Condoleezza Rice claimed that Fatah's collusion with Hamas and Islamic Jihad and its leading role in terror was a consequence of insufficient Israeli support for Arafat and later for Abbas. If Israel had kicked out the Jews of Gaza earlier, or if it had removed its roadblocks and expelled Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria, or if had prevented all Jewish construction beyond the 1949 armistice lines, then Arafat and later Abbas would have been more popular and able to rein in their own terror forces. (Incidentally, those same forces receive their salaries from the PA, which itself is funded by the US and Israel.)
 

THE PROBLEM with this line of thinking is that it ignores two essential facts. First, since 2000 Israel has curtailed Jewish building in Judea and Samaria. Second, Israel kicked every last Jew out of Gaza and handed the ruins of their villages and farms over to Fatah in September 2005.

It is worth noting that the conditions under which the PA received Gaza in 2005 were far better than the conditions under which Israel gained its sovereignty in 1948. The Palestinians were showered with billions of dollars in international aid. No one wanted to do anything but help them make a go of it.

In 1948-49, Israel had to secure its sovereignty by fending off five invading armies while under an international arms embargo. It then had to absorb a million refugees from Arab countries and Holocaust survivors from Europe, with no financial assistance from anyone other than US Jews. Israel developed into an open democracy. Gaza became one of the largest terror bases in the world.

Four months after Israel handed over Gaza — and northern Samaria — the Palestinians turned their backs on statehood altogether when they elected Hamas — an explicitly anti-nationalist, pan-Islamic movement that rejects Palestinians statehood — to lead them.

Hamas's electoral victory, its subsequent ouster of Fatah forces from Gaza and its recent war with Israel tells us another fundamental truth about the sources of the repeated failure of the US's bid for Palestinian statehood. Quite simply, there is no real Palestinian constituency for it.

Even if we were to ignore all of the PLO's involvement in terrorism and assume like Obama, Bush and Clinton that the PLO is willing to live at peace with Israel in exchange for Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, what Hamas's control of Gaza and its popularity throughout the Palestinian areas show is that there is no reason to expect that the PLO will remain in control of territory that Israel transfers to its control. So if Israel were to abide by the PLO's latest demand and accept the Friedman/Saudi/Arab/PLO "peace plan," there is no reason to believe that a Jew-free Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem wouldn't then be taken over by Hamas.

Given that there is no chance that Israeli territorial giveaways will lead to a peaceful Palestinian state, the question arises, is there any way to compel American politicians to give up their fantasies of fancy signing ceremonies in the White House Rose Garden that far from bringing peace, engender radicalism, instability and death?

As far as Mitchell is concerned the answer is no. In an address at Tel Aviv University last month, Mitchell said that the US and Israel must cling to the delusion that Palestinian statehood will bring about a new utopia, "for the alternative is unacceptable and should be unthinkable." So much for "change" in US foreign policy.

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

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FROM ISRAEL: BARUCH HASHEM
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 25, 2009.

It's important to be mindful of blessings, and grateful. And so I start with this, which will bring a smile to a lot of faces:

During the war, I wrote about Aharon Karov, who went off to fight less than 24 hours after he was married. Less than two weeks later, he was critically wounded, and the truth is that it wasn't certain that he would live.

Now I have information on his progress, which has been astounding (undoubtedly in part because of the many prayers said for him). Professor Pierre Singer head of intensive care at the Rabin Medical Center, has expressed amazement at the rate of his improvement.

When explosives went off in a booby-trapped house he had entered, Aharon suffered multiple wounds. Luckily, protective gear covered his head and trunk, but he was injured in his arms and legs as well as his face — with shrapnel piercing his forehead into his skull, his eye, his mouth, his jaw. In one day he endured 14 hours of surgery to address these various acute injuries.

A week ago he regained consciousness and now knows what is happening to him. As he has suffered no permanent damage to his brain, his cognitive recovery should be complete; while still sedated because of pain, he recognizes his family. He is also showing ability to move all four limbs, and his vision is expected to return to normal.

After about four weeks of rehab, he will be discharged. Is it necessary to report that his wife, who has been at his side, is overjoyed? May the two of them go on to many, many years of married bliss.

~~~~~~~~~~

Another mitzvah we can do:

Jonathan Pollard, who should have been pardoned by out-going president Bush and was not, requires contact from the outside to keep his spirits up Now, more than ever. He can receive only regular snail mail — no faxes or e-mail. Letters can be short as long as they convey support. Please, take the time to write:

Jonathan Pollard #09185-016
c/o FCI Butner
P.O. Box 1000
Butner, NC
U.S.A 27509-1000

~~~~~~~~~~

Lucky us. Mitchell is coming! Reportedly, before this week is out. That's George Mitchell, new ME envoy. The "there is no such thing as a conflict that can't be ended" Mitchell. While he will be speaking both with members of our government and heads of the PA, he will not try to initiate any long-term arrangements until after our election. A relief, as this will deprive Olmert and Livni opportunities for any last minute "shenanigans."

~~~~~~~~~~

A former Senator from Maine, Mitchell was called upon by former president Clinton to head up a fact-finding commission in 2000 and 2001 that investigated the Second Intifada.

David Bedein, writing in The Bulletin, in Philadelphia, has taken a hard look at that mission and the recommendations that followed. Among Bedein's points:

"The Mitchell Commission accepted as a given that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)-led riots were based on a movement for 'independence and genuine self-determination,' without giving any credence to the PLO goal, stated in all PLO publications, maps and media outlets, even during the current Oslo process, which consistently and clearly states that 'liberation' of Palestine, all of Palestine — in stages — remained the goal.

"For some reason, the Mitchell Commission characterized the rioters armed with Molotov cocktails as 'unarmed Palestinian demonstrators,' a term that they apparently borrowed from PLO information reports that were published at the time.

"The Mitchell Commission took the position that Israel's security forces did not face a clear and present danger when faced with a mob trying to kill them with rocks and firebombs.

"It made no mention that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has amassed 50,000 more weapons than they were supposed to have, in clear violation of the written Oslo accords.

"The Mitchell Commission surprisingly accepted the notion that the PA security officials are simply "not in control" of their own tightly controlled security services.

"The Mitchell Commission would not consider reliable intelligence reports that documented the PA had planned the uprising...

"It said the notion the PA leadership had failed to prevent terrorist attacks against Israel as only an Israeli 'view,' ignoring consistent incitement that Arafat had conveyed to his own media for the previous seven years.

"The Mitchell Commission also rejected Israel's characterization of the conflict, as "armed conflict short of war"...

"...Instead of issuing a clear call to the PLO to stop sniper attacks on Israel's roads and highways, the Mitchell Commission simply 'condemned the positioning of gunmen within or near civilian dwellings,' leaving the observer to assume that PLO attacks from empty embankments would be acceptable.

"The Mitchell Commission suggested that 'the IDF should consider withdrawing to positions held before Sept. 28, 2000, ... to reduce the number of friction points,' ignoring the fact that this would leave entry points to many Israeli cities without appropriate protection during a time of war."

Concludes Bedein: "In short, the Mitchell Commission Report drove a nail into the coffin of any credibility that George Mitchell could ever have to serve as a potential Middle East envoy."
http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/01/23/news/world/ doc49796fa342e2e857987246.txt

~~~~~~~~~~

It should be further noted that the Mitchell Report, which called for a "settlement freeze," even with regard to natural growth, was the basis for a similar call in the Road Map, two years later.

Thus is Mitchell's reappearance on the scene now considered particularly bad news. As Yisrael Medad asks: "Hear the drums?"

Aaron Lerner in IMRA today points out, however, that Mitchell in his report conceded that Oslo did not limit settlement construction. Mitchell was using the old, slippery and very dangerous "violating the spirit of the Oslo process" line. This was a favorite argument of Rice as well. In the name of the "spirit" all sorts of things can be demanded of us.

We must be strong, and certain of our rights, and unafraid to defend them.

~~~~~~~~~~

President Barack Obama, "[underscoring] the importance of a strong US-Saudi relationship," placed a call to Saudi King Abdullah on Friday. Obama expressed his appreciation for Abdullah's support of a peace plan.

~~~~~~~~~~

According to Khaled Abu Toameh in the Post, the PA's security commander for the Jenin area, Col Radi Assidah, says that his force is protecting and providing shelter to Islamic Jihad fugitives who came seeking shelter because Israel was after them.

~~~~~~~~~~

Negotiations are going on via Cairo for a longer term cease-fire. Latest reports are that our proposal for an 18-month ceasefire and partial opening of crossings was rejected; Hamas countered with a full opening of crossings and a one year cease-fire, which still has to be brought to Damascus for discussion. offering.

Hamas spokesman, Ismail Radwan, said a long-term agreement "will kill the resistance, which is the Palestinian people's legitimate right as long as the occupation continues to exist."

The issue of monitoring of crossings is key to what proceeds now. What a farce! Not even pretending to cooperate with an embargo on weapons smuggling, Hamas is declaring, "No one has the right to prevent the Palestinians from equipping themselves with weapons as long as the occupation continues."

I had read one report that Hamas has agreed to a PA presence at Rafah, but only members of the PA who live in Gaza, none from Ramallah. Now Hamas is saying that Turkish presence would be acceptable. But of course.

~~~~~~~~~~

Osama Hamdan, Hamas representative in Lebanon, and a close ally of Khaled Mashaal, Hamas politburo head in Damascus, said at a rally in Beirut today that there can be no reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas until Fatah ends all security cooperation and peace talks with Israel. Reconciliation must be based on "a resistance program to liberate the territory and regain rights."

He declared that the Palestinian-Israeli peace process had ended.

I do wonder how "there is no such thing as a conflict that can't be ended" Mitchell will respond to this, and how hard he'll push us to make concessions to bring "belligerent" Palestinian groups around.

~~~~~~~~~~

A recent poll indicates that over 70% of Israelis think we'll be back fighting in Gaza in two years. Will it take that long?

~~~~~~~~~~

This is a delightful anomaly that probably gave several BBC executives near-strokes: a former British army colonel, interviewed live, who defends Israel completely with regard to actions in Gaza. We've got it on video now, so please share as widely as possible:
http://www.bicom.org.uk/news/operation-cast-lead/videos/ bbc-news — military-analysis

~~~~~~~~~~

Can this possibly be? According to yesterday's London Times, Iran may be running out of uranium for manufacturing nuclear weapons.

Says the report, "France, Germany, Britain and the US have banded to stop the flow of the material to Teheran by lobbying governments in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Brazil — key uranium producing states — to stop selling."

~~~~~~~~~~

According to a poll for Channel One done today, 30 % of the public sees Likud chair Binyamin Netanyahu as the most appropriate choice for prime minister, as compared to 16% Tzipi Livni of Kadima and 9% for Labor head Ehud Barak.

I remain uneasy about reports that Livni, seeing this as the only chance to move to victory, might sanction a trade of 1,000 Hamas prisoners for Gilad Shalit. She's been "talking tough."

And also uneasy about vague rumors regarding the possibility that Netanyahu might form a coalition with Labor to protect his party from Obama dissatisfaction.

We are into election season now, two weeks and counting...

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

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FREEDOM LOOMS FOR TERRORIST
Posted by Mrla, January 25, 2009.

This was written by Adam Goldman and Randy Herschaft, Associated Press Writers. The AP National Investigative Team can be reached at investigate@ap.org

 

NEW YORK — In 1973, a young terrorist named Khalid Duhham Al-Jawary entered the United States and quickly began plotting an audacious attack in New York City.

He built three powerful bombs — bombs powerful enough to kill, maim and destroy — and put them in rental cars scattered around town, near Israeli targets.

The plot failed. The explosive devices did not detonate, and Al-Jawary fled the country, escaping prosecution for nearly two decades — until he was convicted of terrorism charges in Brooklyn and sentenced to 30 years in federal penitentiary.

But his time is up.

In less than a month, the 63-year-old Al-Jawary is expected to be released. He will likely be deported; where to is anybody's guess. The shadowy figure had so many aliases it's almost impossible to know which country is his true homeland.

Al-Jawary has never admitted his dark past or offered up tidbits in exchange for his release. Much of Al-Jawary's life remains a mystery — even to the dogged FBI case agent who tracked him down.

But an Associated Press investigation — based on recently declassified documents, extensive court records, CIA investigative notes and interviews with former intelligence officials — reveals publicly for the first time Al-Jawary's deep involvement in terrorism beyond the plot that led to his conviction.

Government documents link Al-Jawary to Black September's murderous letter-bombing campaign targeting world leaders in the 1970s and a botched terrorist attack in 1979. Former intelligence officials suspect he had a role in the bombing of a TWA flight in 1974 that killed 88 people.

"He's a very dangerous man," said Mike Finnegan, the former FBI counterterrorism agent who captured Al-Jawary. "A very bad guy."

The events linked to Al-Jawary happened long ago, when the conflagration in the Middle East spread around the world; he is being released into another century, one in which the scale of terrorism has grown exponentially, even bringing down two of New York's skyscrapers.

Al-Jawary has long insisted that he was framed and that the government has the wrong guy. Al-Jawary declined an interview through prison officials and has since failed to answer letters mailed to him in the last year and a half, but his former lawyer, Ron Kuby, insists he "wasn't a threat in 1991 and he's not a threat now."

Federal prosecutors didn't see it that way. They point to his trip to the United States in the 1970s as proof.

A slender, nattily dressed man with a thin mustache, Al-Jawary walked into the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in November 1972 and applied for a visa using a phony Iraqi passport. He answered some routine questions, had his picture taken and was granted a visa.

On Jan. 12, 1973, Al-Jawary flew to Boston via Montreal and then to New York City.

Five days later, after the bureau's office in Tel Aviv received a tip in connection to another investigation, agents tried to locate a man who later turned out to be Al-Jawary.

They found him in New York City and conducted a perfunctory interview. Where do you live? Baghdad. Why did you come here? Flight training at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.

The agent asked if Al-Jawary was affiliated with any political groups. He said he was "nonpolitical."

The agent asked how long he was staying. Al-Jawary said he planned to return to the Middle East after his training ended in about a month and get a job as a commercial pilot, according to FBI documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Al-Jawary befriended a woman named Carol and her young son Todd. Carol and Al-Jawary grew close, with Al-Jawary taking her son on trips to Manhattan. Unbeknownst to the woman, the boy was a decoy. Al-Jawary had no interest in a relationship with her or Todd. He was scouting targets for a terrorist attack, and the presence of the boy would help him avoid suspicion.

He picked two Israeli banks on Fifth Avenue and the El-Al cargo terminal at Kennedy Airport.

Possibly working with two or more people, Al-Jawary rented three cars and assembled three bombs comprised of large containers filled with gasoline, propane tanks, plastic explosives, blasting caps and batteries, according to FBI and federal court records. The propane tanks were particularly diabolical, adding shrapnel to the blast.

Two of the bombs used alarm clocks, but a third employed a sophisticated electronic-timing device commonly referred to as an "e-cell," said Terence G. McTigue, who worked on the New York Police Department's bomb squad. It was twice as powerful as the other two bombs.

On March 4, Al-Jawary — and possibly others — readied the cars in anticipation of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir's visit to the city.

Each car contained a Hebrew language newspaper with propaganda from Black September — the terrorist organization that carried out the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics just months earlier — tucked inside.

But the bombs failed to explode. It is not clear why. They were discovered after the two cars on Fifth Avenue were towed, and the FBI learned about the third car at JFK and notified police.

McTigue disarmed the e-cell bomb at JFK and found the components for the fourth one in the car. It was cutting edge, the work of a professional.

"It was a sea change because it was the first time we encountered an electronic timer rather than a simple alarm clock or mechanical timer," recalled McTigue, who would be badly injured in 1976 when he tried to dismantle a bomb left by a Croatian terrorist.

McTigue also recognized something else as he examined the car bomb: a plastic explosive called Semtex from Czechoslovakia. It had been used in scores of letter bombs sent around the world the previous year, targeting Jews and Israelis and even U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers. One had killed an agricultural counselor at the Israeli embassy in London and another mangled the hands of a 26-year-old postal worker in the Bronx.

McTigue knew those letter bombs. He had handled them. The letters had pressure-release firing devices and were the work of Black September, Palestinian guerrillas believed by intelligence officials to be controlled by Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.

Rogers called the attempted New York City attack a "disturbing development" in a confidential memo to President Richard Nixon — it was, he said, the first time Black September had "mounted an operation on American soil."

As it turns out, Al-Jawary's car bombs and the letter explosives contained similarities that made authorities suspect they were linked.

"The explosive material found in the rental cars was imported and found to be identical to that used in the recent worldwide letter bomb campaign," according to declassified State Department documents obtained from the U.S. National Archives in College Park, Md.

The FBI began a large investigation, "one of the most intensive in the history of the FBI," called "Tribomb," deploying 300 agents and interviewing hundreds of people.

The FBI lifted 60 fingerprints; they all matched Al-Jawary's. They uncovered a fake Jordanian passport behind an air conditioning duct and bomb materials from a room Al-Jawary had rented at a hotel near JFK. Agents recovered a copy of a Jordanian driver's license he had used to rent the cars.

Agents quickly realized that Al-Jawary was involved in the attempted attack and issued an arrest warrant. But he had already slipped out of the country.

The FBI focused on Lebanon because Al-Jawary had gotten his visa there. But Lebanon was the Wild West of the Middle East at that time, a safe haven where Arab and PLO terrorists circulated without fear of arrest. If he was there, Al-Jawary was out of reach.

Al-Jawary brazenly sent postcards to Carol from Paris, Rome, Beirut.

Years passed. The FBI gave up the hunt.

But their elusive quarry resurfaced in 1979, not long after Israel assassinated a top Black September terrorist. Border police stopped Al-Jawary's car as he and another man tried to cross into Germany from Austria, according to federal court documents.

In the trunk of the car, police found 88 pounds of high explosives, electronic timing-delay devices and detonators hidden in a suitcase. They also unearthed cash and nine passports inside a portable radio that could be used to monitor transmissions from ships, airplanes or the police.

Al-Jawary was traveling under the alias "Yousif Salim Sejaan" and refused to talk. He was carrying a French passport indicating he was born in Lebanon, and riding with a man who was a PLO officer.

German authorities soon learned why Al-Jawary was in the country. They had nabbed a total of 11 Palestinians and 40 pounds of explosives around the time of Al-Jawary's arrest. Two of the men admitted they were going to bomb targets in Germany — most likely, Jewish and Israeli ones.

All the explosives seized from Al-Jawary and the other men bore the same wrapping from a pastry shop in Beirut which served as a front for Fatah, the military arm of the PLO. Al-Jawary's fingerprints were on the wrapping.

Still, Germany released Al-Jawary long before the FBI knew that he had been taken into custody.

And he disappeared once again.

But those e-cell bombs did not. A group known as the 15 May Organization — named for the date that Israel was founded — began carrying out terror attacks from Lebanon, Tunis and Baghdad in the 1980s. Suitcase bombs made with e-cells were the 15 May trademark. Its leader was a skilled bomb-maker named Husayn al-Umari, commonly referred to as Abu Ibrahim. Ibrahim had an education in chemical and electrical engineering and a proclivity for targeting airliners. He also received KGB training.

In one high-profile attack in 1982, an explosion rocked a Pan Am jet flying to Honolulu from Tokyo, killing a 16-year-old Japanese boy and injuring several others.

Denny Kline was an explosives guru for the FBI and worked the 15 May cases. He also transported Al-Jawary's 1973 e-cell bomb to FBI headquarters in Washington.

As Kline recollects, the bombs were compared. Yes, both Al-Jawary and Ibrahim had used e-cells, but that was the only common denominator. This similarity didn't mean the bombs were built by the same person, Kline said.

The FBI's bomb expert worked closely with the CIA and never received any evidence or information to suggest that Al-Jawary was involved with 15 May.

But other investigators have since learned of the e-cell connection and believe it's a powerful one, because they were such sophisticated devices and so few people knew how to operate and create them.

"That's a big commonality especially since I don't know of anyone else using the e-cells in the bomb," said Billie Vincent, the former FAA security chief from 1982 to 1986 who studied the Ibrahim devices.

CIA investigative notes obtained by the AP, based on human intelligence and communication intercepts, indicate that Al-Jawary's nom de guerre was Abu Walid al-Iraqi. The notes link Al-Jawary to a man named Abdullah Labib, aka Col. Hawari, who took his orders from Arafat. The notes say that Al-Jawary also worked as a document forger for the PLO and Hawari.

Hawari, a senior Fatah security official and Arafat confidant, "inherited" elements of Black September, according to the CIA notes. Declassified State Department and CIA documents say Hawari took over 15 May in the mid-1980s while Ibrahim continued to supply his expertise.

According to declassified CIA records, Hawari orchestrated the 1986 attack on a TWA flight from Rome to Athens that killed four Americans, including an infant, after they were sucked out of the plane. The explosives used in the attack were linked to Ibrahim.

Hawari reportedly died in a car crash in 1991. Ibrahim, who was charged in the 1982 Pan Am attack, remains at large, possibly hiding out in Iraq.

Besides the use of e-cells, Al-Jawary had another link to 15 May. Ibrahim was suspected of being Black September's bomb maker, Kline and other former intelligence officials said.

Al-Jawary acted on behalf of Black September in 1973 when he rigged the car bombs in New York, federal prosecutors asserted in court documents.

FBI agent Mike Finnegan didn't know any of this when he arrived at work one day in 1988 to find the entire case file — many volumes and thousands of pages — sitting on his desk with a note that said: "Find Him" — find Al-Jawary.

Finnegan thought to himself: "I am screwed."

It took Finnegan a year to review the entire file. He followed every lead and re-interviewed witnesses. Nothing. He asked the CIA for help. Nothing.

Finnegan also looked at other terrorism cases involving bombs. There was one in particular that drew his attention: TWA Flight 841 crashed Sept. 8, 1974, in the Ionian Sea near Greece after an explosive device detonated.

Seventy-nine passengers and nine crew members were killed. Among them were 17 Americans on the flight that originated in Tel Aviv and was headed ultimately for John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Thirteen days earlier, the same flight had landed in Rome. When a ramp agent opened the rear cargo compartment, smoke was found coming from a suitcase.

The fire was extinguished. Italian authorities wrongly determined it had started accidentally when batteries inside a tape recorder caused lighter fluid to ignite. One of the flight's passengers — Jose Maria Aveneda Garcia — stepped forward and identified the bag, according to recently declassified FBI files.

Garcia, who was probably using a fake Chilean passport, wasn't detained. Garcia's address in Rome was bogus.

The suitcase and contents were sent to an FBI laboratory in the U.S., which concluded it was a bomb.

The FBI tried to find Garcia. They never located him. The National Transportation Safety Board said the suitcase was "an attempt at the same form of sabotage" that downed the flight over the Ionian Sea.

Neither attack was ever solved. The suitcase was later destroyed.

Finnegan thought Al-Jawary had been behind the suitcase bomb. It employed an e-cell, according to the FBI. At that time, he was told, the use of an e-cell was a bomb signature.

"It had a very distinct timing device," said Finnegan, who retired in 2004. "It was almost like a foregone conclusion. This was my guy. I desperately wanted to resurrect that case."

James R. Lyons, a retired FBI agent who worked many big cases such as the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, said the use of e-cells in 1973 and 1974 would have been considered the signature of a bomb-maker, making Al-Jawary a prime suspect.

"Absolutely," said Lyons, who was also an FBI bomb technician. "I'd be going after the same guy. No doubt about it."

Another top FBI explosives expert, Dave Williams, said: "Look back in the '70s and '80s and there weren't too many bomb builders out there. So it was very likely that some of these bomb builders got their instructions from the same person or persons. If I were investigating it back then, I would have come to the conclusion that he was an integral part of that conspiracy."

But it wasn't Finnegan's call to pursue the 1974 attack. Street agents don't make those decisions. He had to focus on the New York investigation.

Finnegan had "computer-aged" pictures of Al-Jawary — ones from Al-Jawary's visits to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1971 and 1972. He also had one from a Jordanian driver's license that had been obtained from the investigation.

He now had a good idea what Al-Jawary looked like as a 45-year-old man, and he passed the photos along to foreign intelligence agencies.

In the fall of 1990, Finnegan learned Al-Jawary was residing on Cyprus — a center of terrorism — as the PLO's "cultural attache" under the name of Khaled Mohammed El-Jassem.

Finnegan finally had Al-Jawary in his sights, but then he was gone: In December, Al-Jawary escaped to Iraq, after he figured out the FBI was on to him. Finnegan was furious.

Then, some luck. In January 1991, Al-Jawary left Iraq to attend a funeral in Tunis for his good friend, Saleh Khalef, the leader of Black September and Arafat deputy known as Abu Iyad who had been gunned down by a rival Palestinian group.

But Al-Jawary's travel plans were derailed. He tried to go to Cyprus first but was denied entry. He was put on a plane to Athens. Again, denied entry. He flew to Italy.

Finnegan alerted the Italians that Al-Jawary was on his way. As he passed through Rome, Italian authorities detained him for using a fake Jordanian passport.

But the Italians were reluctant to give him to the FBI, said Robert Blitzer, who served in the FBI's International Terrorism Operations Section from 1986 to 1995.

"They didn't want to release him," Blitzer said. "They were afraid to release him."

After many months of diplomatic wrangling, Finnegan and Bassem Youssef, an Arabic-speaking FBI agent, flew to Rome on a military transport plane to take Al-Jawary back to the U.S.

Under intense security that included the closing of the Rome airport and its air space, Al-Jawary arrived on a helicopter gunship. He had iron plates protecting the front and back of his torso. He was wearing a Kevlar hood.

Inside the plane, Finnegan took off Al-Jawary's hood. Finnegan introduced himself to a bewildered Al-Jawary: "I am Mike Finnegan, New York office FBI."

Youssef began speaking to Al-Jawary in Arabic. Startled, Al-Jawary responded briefly, allowing Youssef enough time to detect a Palestinian dialect along with a Libyan one.

But Al-Jawary quickly switched back to English and began yelling, believing Youssef was an Israeli agent.

"I am not going to talk to you," an animated Al-Jawary told Youssef. "I am not talking to the Mossad."

Convinced, finally, that he was in the custody of the FBI, Al-Jawary collapsed in a chair, relieved. He allowed Finnegan to question him.

Youssef listened.

"The guy was definitely lying about a lot of things," Youssef said. "He did not want to telegraph anything about the truth."

Al-Jawary told Finnegan he wasn't in New York when the bombs were planted. The FBI had the wrong guy. The Mossad had framed him. He's not from Mosul, Iraq. He's not an Iraqi national as the American government asserted.

He's Khaled Mohammed El-Jassem, father of five and devoted husband. He's a victim of Israeli aggression and bombs, which killed his brother and an infant son.

In time, he would say that he was born in Palestine in 1947 but was forced to flee from his home after Israel was established in 1948 and war erupted with its Arab neighbors.

Al-Jawary claims in court filings that he grew up in refugee camps in Jordan. When he was 18, in 1965, he joined Arafat's PLO.

While mired in poverty, a resourceful Al-Jawary managed to earn a bachelor's degree in Palestinian history in Deraa, Jordan, in 1972. Later, he says, he was arrested in Damascus, Syria, from September 1972 to July 1973 — the period of the New York bombing attempts — for publishing an anti-Syrian letter in a local newspaper.

After graduation, Al-Jawary claims he taught history and Arabic in Jordan and married a woman named Rima Omar in 1975. In 1977 the family moved to Beirut, where Al-Jawary claims he worked as a teacher. Five years later, Al-Jawary left Lebanon, choosing to start a new life in Nicosia, Cyprus, where he operated a legitimate business importing electronic equipment from Japan and exporting it to various Middle Eastern countries.

The store folded in a couple of years, according to his version. At some point, he became the PLO's cultural attache.

A Brooklyn jury didn't buy any of this. It took about three hours for the jury to convict Al-Jawary in 1993 — just days after the first attack on the World Trade Center — based on evidence that included his fingerprints on one of the bombs.

Judge Jack B. Weinstein sentenced Al-Jawary to 30 years in prison on April 16, 1993. Weinstein later rejected his pleas for mercy in a written opinion issued after the trial, saying the bombs would have "killed and maimed hundreds, caused large fires and terrorized thousands of people."

Al-Jawary, the judge wrote, was a serious threat.

"It is highly likely that were this defendant released he would continue his dangerous terrorist activities," the judge said.

Since his conviction, many top Palestinian officials have written to the judge on Al-Jawary's behalf, seeking his release. There's even a death certificate in court files along with witnesses claiming Al-Jawary was killed by Israeli shelling in 1988.

None of it was convincing. Al-Jawary's appeals foundered.

But those countless hours behind bars are almost over. Freedom looms for this gaunt and graying terrorist who has spent about a quarter of his life in maximum-security prisons. He was transferred recently to a federal detention center in Manhattan.

Al-Jawary is scheduled to be released Feb. 19 after completing only about half his term, including time served prior to his sentencing and credit for good behavior, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons.

Once he's released, Al-Jawary will be handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and held until his deportation.

It remains unclear where he'll go, largely because Al-Jawary's true identity remains in question — even to this day.

Those who helped put Al-Jawary behind bars believe he'll pick up where he left off.

"What is he going to do when he gets out?" McTigue said. "He'll be deported and received as a hero and go right back into his terrorist activities. He's had years to think about nothing else but causing havoc and destruction."

Contact Mrla at Mrla26@aol.com

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ORWELLIAN LANGUAGE AGAINST ISRAEL FROM THE UN'S HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Posted by Richard L. Cravetts, January 25, 2009.

In the chorus of denunciation from much of the world community of Israel's defensive incursion into Gaza, nowhere was the feverish bleating more evident than from the UN's Human Rights Council, the perennially biased 47-member group of panjandrums that replaced the Israel-loathing UN Commission on Human Rights in 2005. A two-day "emergency session," seemingly held only when Palestinians are dying and not Israelis, titled "The Grave Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including the recent aggression in the occupied Gaza Strip," leaves little doubt of the forgone conclusions to be reached during the vitriolic discussions.

In few places where public diplomacy and negotiations are conducted is there such visible moral incoherence and hypocrisy as regularly occurs in Human Rights Council sessions, including this January 12th session where the resolution was adopted after only Canada voted against it, with members from the EU and West abstaining. EYE on the UN, a group at the Hudson Institute New York and the Touro College Institute for Human Rights which monitors UN activities, notes that, tellingly, "this emergency special session was the fifth the Council has had on Israel. By comparison, the Council has held nine regular sessions on human rights in all of the other 191 UN states," clearly indicating that this group has no problem ignoring egregious human rights violations, ethnic conflict, and massacres in despotic regimes worldwide. In fact, it is almost always Israel who is singled out for censure, and "in its two and a half-year history, the Council has condemned Israel more often than all other states in the United Nations combined."

Underlying the ideologically-driven hatred of the Middle East's only democracy is a deadly Orwellian vocabulary which defines Israel as a pariah nation, a rogue state, an aggressive, murderous regime which is "ethnically cleansing" Palestine of its perennially-suffering third-world victims. Even the title of this wildly productive "emergency session" is coded with lies and distortions that help the Council reinforce Israel's perceived role as the world's most militaristic force and the greatest threat to world peace.

But in order to excuse or obscure the barbarism of Palestinian terror, Israel's behavior in defending itself has to be framed as inexcusable, inhuman, and, in the ubiquitous phrase of the moment, "disproportionate" to the threat it faces from its jihadist foes. Thus, the January resolution, which conveniently ignores the war crimes of Hamas, "calls for the immediate cessation of Israeli military attacks throughout the Palestinian Occupied Territory," and "strongly condemn[s] the ongoing Israeli military operation" which has resulted "in massive violations of human rights of the Palestinian people."

That is the relatively tame language of diplomacy, which, though one-sided, might pass for concern in a world where moral inversion was not so rampant. But this Human Rights Council session, as most do, quickly devolved into a frenzied Israel hate-fest, where one member after another struggled to escalate the rhetoric and frame Israel's current military incursion with the reprehensible and historically vile accusations that the deaths in Gaza, primarily carried out against carefully-targeted Hamas terrorists, were "massacres" tantamount to "genocide," a veritable "holocaust" in Gaza. That these words are so promiscuously used against Israel also reveals how Israel's ideological and existential enemies have no compunction about gross hyperbole when evaluating its military or political actions, and indicates that they are either ignorant of the true meaning of the slanderous terms they fling about, or want to continue heaping invective upon Israel regardless of the truthfulness of the accusations. During the three-day Human Rights Council session, for instance, the Nicaraguan representative called the Gazan situation "a new holocaust;" Syria pined for the "lives taken by Israel in the holocaust it is perpetrating," and the World Federation of Trade Unions NGO demanded "an end to this holocaust."

Yemen crowed that "barbaric massacres and the genocide" in Gaza were "gross and flagrant war crimes." Venezuela denounced "the genocide and criminal action of the Israeli government." Syria drew a horrific vision of "women and children in Palestine are being buried alive" with "schools of the United Nations ... turned into mass graves ... by the "occupying authorities which commit genocide." The representatives from Bolivia, Oman, Ecuador, Libya, and Libya also used the specific term "genocide," sprinkled liberally with "war crimes," "barbarism," and "crimes against mankind" in their general condemnation of Israel.

All of these accusations, of course, have the intended effect of perpetuating the image Israel as the world's bloodiest, most militaristic, and law-breaking rogue nation, incessantly creating high body counts and spilling Muslim blood. The problem with this assessment, even though it is widely held and actively promulgated by Israel's enemies who obsessively focus on the Arab/Israeli conflict as the key impediment to world peace, is that it is a complete inversion of fact. University of Bremen's Professor Gunnar Heinsohn and Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, for instance, recently compiled statistics on all world conflicts with an excess of 10,000 deaths since 1950, just after Israeli was created. Despite the libelous accusations of the Council, the statistics show that a number of other bloody conflicts actually deserve the designation of "genocide," massacre," or even "holocaust," and that the total, though still tragic, number of deaths of Arabs and Jews in Palestine over a tumultuous 58-year period totals 51,000 — only the forty-ninth most deadly conflict.

The roughly 1000 recent deaths in Gaza are indeed tragic, particularly the loss of civilian life; but in their zeal to define recent events as a genocide or a holocaust, the Human Rights Council has apparently conveniently forgotten, or wishes to overlook, say, the 400,000 deaths in Somalia since 1991; 900,000 fatalities in Rwanda; one million deaths in Saddam Hussein's 1980-88 war with Iran; the 1,900,000 souls who have perished, and continue to die, in Sudan; or the 100,000 or more who have died in Iraq since 2003 alone.

So while the significance of the Israeli/Arab conflict looms large in the world's imagination, Heinsohn and Pipes note that the total deaths there "amount to just 0.06 percent of the total number of deaths in all conflicts in that period. More graphically, only 1 out of about 1,700 persons killed in conflicts since 1950 has died due to Arab-Israeli fighting," indicating that neither the particularity of that conflict nor the lethality qualify it for the obsessive attention Israel's detractors are fond of heaping upon it.

More revealing, as the two study authors report, is that Muslim deaths disproportionately occur at he hands of co-religionists, that while "some 11,000,000 Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, or 0.3 percent, died during the sixty years of fighting Israel, or just 1 out of every 315 Muslim fatalities ..., over 90 percent of the 11 million who perished were killed by fellow Muslims."

There have been actual genocides and the horrific death of innocents across the world, many of which occurred in some of the morally-challenged member states of the UN's Human Rights Council, and conscience demands that they be identified and condemned for what they are when they flare up. But the Orwellian contortion of language that attempts to frame the current Israeli defensive incursion into Gaza as a massacre, genocide, or holocaust trivializes history and insults the memory of those souls who have perished in conflicts that could be accurately called by those names.

Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., director of Boston University's Program in Publishing at the Center for Professional Education, is currently writing a book about higher education, Genocidal Liberalism: The University's Jihad Against Israel. Contact him at rcravatts@aol.com

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FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS — OBAMA AND ISRAEL
Posted by Mrla, January 24, 2009.

In the words of the great Bette Davis "Fasten Your seat belts...."

The appointment of George Mitchell as Mideast envoy is just the first official step in President Obama's middle east plan. Mitchell doesn't get it on so many levels. First there is Mitchell's comparison of the Middle East to the British Conflict with the terrorists in Northern Ireland.

There is so much more that Mitchell doesn't get. Mitchell does not believe that morality or right and wrong should comes into to play in negotiations. Or to put it this way, if George Mitchell was King Solomon, that poor baby would have been cut in half. Mitchell places equal blame on Israel and the terrorists for the Middle East conflict. Just take a look at some of the things about the conflict he said in the "Mitchell Report" in April 2001:

  • "Israel and the Palestinian Authority must act swiftly and decisively to halt the violence," — not the Palestinian Arabs must end their suicide bombings and terrorism, Israel has committed no terrorism against the Arabs.

  • "There's a high level of hostility and mistrust between the parties."

  • "Fear, hate, anger and frustration have risen on both sides."

  • "Neither party exercised restraint at the beginning of terror war in September 2000." But George it was a TERROR WAR. Arafat was sending terrorists to commit mass murder how about placing blame where it belonged...the TERROR.

  • "Israel and the Palestinian Authority should reaffirm their commitment to existing agreements and should immediately implement a cessation of violence." — Israel has fulfilled most of their commitments, the Palestinians have not.

  • "The Palestinian Authority and Israel should work together to establish a "cooling off period" and implement additional confidence building measures." Cooling OFF? Stop the homocide bombings and everything would have cooled off.

  • "The Palestinian Authority and Israel should identify, condemn, and discourage incitement" — Hard for Israel to do at the time since it was virtually all on the Palestinian Authority side.

  • "Palestinian Authority and Israel should undertake to preserve and protect holy places sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians." Give me one example where Israel didn't do that. Palestinians have destroyed Jacob's Tomb, Trashed Rachel's Tomb and other Jewish holy sites.

  • "Leaders on both sides must act and speak decisively to reverse dangerous trend of sense of futility and despair and a growing resort to violence. They must rekindle the desire and drive for peace." Israel has been seeking peace. Both Fatah AND Hamas still call for the destruction of Israel. Both Hamas AND Fatah still engage in terorist acts to this day.

  • "Parties must protect human rights." Only one side sends rockets into civilian areas. That same side uses its own children as human shields.

  • End the cycle of violence." He sounds like Bill Hemmer with that most ignorant of phrases, "cycle of violence." So when the US went in to Afghanistan after 9/11 was that cycle of violence?

  • "Both sides expressed concerns about hateful language and images emanating from the other, citing numerous examples of hostile sectarian and ethnic rhetoric in the Palestinian and Israeli media, in school curricula and in statements by religious leaders, politicians and others." One problem ONLY the Palestinian side has the hateful language in their curiula etc. Just because both sides say it doesn't mean its true. The Palestinians also say that the Holocaust never happened.

  • "Each side mistrusts the other, believing that it really doesn't want peace." It's the Palestinians that have shown little interest in peace, all Israel has done is a long series of one-sided concessions.

Then there were the unfair criticisms of Israel in his report like:

  • He demanded that "Israel must freeze all settlement activity, including "natural growth" of existing settlements meaning children of Jews in communities there would have to move and couldn't live near their parents. This is also a racist notion that Jews can't live in Judea and Samaria but Arabs can live in Israel.

  • He said that "settlements violate the spirit of Oslo," WRONG !!! There was no mention of settlements being frozen in the Oslo agreements that Arafat signed.

  • Demanded "Israel lift closures, ensure that security forces and settlers refrain from destruction of homes and roads, trees and agricultural properties in Palestinian areas. These measures have disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs." Israel would be happy to do that just as soon as the terrorists stop using the trees, roads and homes to hide in while shooting at Israelis.

  • "Israel appears not to comprehend the humiliation and frustration that the Palestinians endure everyday as a result of living with the effects of occupation, sustained by the presence of Israeli military forces and settlements in their midst." I can answer that with one word, DISENGAGEMENT. We know how that helped to make peace.

  • He said, "the widely seen images of the killing of 12-year-old Muhammed al-Dura in Gaza, shot as he huddled behind his father, reinforced the perception that Israel had contempt for the lives and safety of Palestinians." True and the Wizard of Oz reinforced contempt for witches and flying monkeys. The only difference is that the Wizard of Oz was a fictional book before it was a fictional movie. Muhammed al-Dura was real as Wizard of Oz, but was not a book first.

  • He said, Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount (September 2000) "was poorly timed and the provocative effect should have been foreseen." Yes because only JEWS are not allowed to enter Judiasm's Holiest Site.

George Mitchell is exactly what Barack Obama wanted and what the 78% of Jews who voted for Obama promised would never happen.

Contact Mrla at Mrla26@aol.com

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JENINITIS
Posted by American, January 24, 2009.

Jeninitis is Islamic Palestinian Pallywood's syndrome of lying:

1) inflating numbers of casualties, collateral by-standers in Israel's anti terrorists operation (heck, they even had the audacity to add dead bodies dug out of graves),

2) Lying about the authentic percentage of combatants vs non-combatants, all as part of its staged drama hype, their strategy is, first lie, after the anti Israel bigoted tarnishing bombarding propaganda is done, whatever real facts surface later on, don't matter, as the damage to Israel is already done.

In Jenin 2002, the Arab Palestinians have been exposed as inflating the numbers of casualties on Israel's operation, Saeb Erekat initially claimed on CNN that there were more than 500 dead, at the end it turned out that there were no more than (around) 50, mostly combatants.

When confronted on CNN on the 'numbers', he stuttered, spun, and changed subject.

So was the case in Dec.-Jan. 2009, at operation 'Cast Lead' against Palestinian Islamic terrorists Hamas (who openly seeks annihilation of all Jews in the area) rockets targeting of Israeli southern zone, where about a Million civilians were under their range, fear of terror, and using Arab civilians to mingle with them and as shields to cause as many civilian casualties, the world TV have been broadcasting constantly from Jihadists'

Hamas hospitals with invented exaggerated numbers up to 1,200 and up.

Later on it turned out that no more than 500-600 have died, and of course, 90% were Hamas terror combatants.

Point is, that a death cult "people" that are willing to murder (directly or indirectly) its own civilians for the sake of gaining sympathy to its fake victimhood, there is never a shred of logic to take seriously anything coming from their "source", unless it's the part when they declare they want to 'kill you'.


Jenin Redux: Casualty Figures Reconsidered
22 Jan 2009 ...
The UN's humanitarian chief began a tour of the Gaza Strip on Thursday to examine the extent ...
http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2009/01/22/1610/

'Maximum 600 Palestinians died in Gaza', (Jan 22, 2009) Israel Cremonesi interviewed Gazans who echoed Israel's insistence of how Hamas gunmen used civilians as human shields. One Gazan recalled civilians in Gaza ...
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232292939271&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Gazan doctor says death toll inflated — Ynet news
22 Jan 2009 ...Gaza's Shifa Hospital claimed that Hamas has intentionally ...
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3660423,00.html

Gaza doctor: Hamas exaggerated Gaza death toll — 500 to 600 killed, mostly fighters, not 1,250
January 22, 2009
* Italy's leading newspaper, after a thorough investigation in Gaza, reports that the Gaza death toll was 500 to 600, mostly fighters, not 1,250 as other media have claimed. Other media relying on thoroughly impartial, bigoted UN sources
* "Hamas using UNRWA school buildings and hospitals as torture centers"

* Torture by Hamas of Palestinian opponents continues at a children's hospital, but Western media and NGOs are suddenly silent

* Pro-Gaza demonstration in Ramallah canceled for a lack of protesters. Third Intifada? Not anytime soon

* New polls show only a minority of Americans now think Palestinians should have their own state

[This is a further dispatch on this month's Israel-Hamas mini-war. This dispatch contains various notes and comments, mainly by myself. Another dispatch with articles by others on the war's outcome, provisionally titled "Israel refuses to win," will follow over the weekend. (Previous dispatches can be read here.)
http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/001004.html

IMRA — Saturday, April 27, 2002 The Palestinians in the Jenin ... investigate the happenings in the Jenin refugee camp, Palestinians are ... bodies recently added, those from the hospital cemetery, bring the number up ...
http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=11656

The Truth About Jenin [PPT]
File Format: Microsoft Powerpoint
Israel's casualties in Jenin were the highest of all West bank fighting: 23. ... The bodies recently added, those from the hospital cemetery, ...
www.deolhonamidia.org.br/includes/redirect.asp?URL=../Slides/TruthJenin.ppt

The Big Jenin Lie
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/218vnicq.asp

Jenin Lie
http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/critiques/Jenin_Lies.asp

Anatomy of Anti-Israel Incitement:Jenin, World Opinion and the Massacre That Wasn't. International organizations, non-governmental agencies and many foreign ...
http://www.adl.org/Israel/jenin/

Jenin: Massacring Truth
http://www.aish.com/jewishissues/mediaobjectivity/Jenin_Massacring_Truth.asp

Contact American at American1627@yahoo.com

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SHOOTING FROM UNRWA & AT UNRWA; SUBTLE INCITEMENT AGAINST ISRAEL
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 24, 2009.

SHOOTING FROM UNRWA & AT UNRWA

An Israeli official pointed out that every year, the automatic majority in the UNO passes the same 21 anti-Israel resolutions, without Israel having done anything to warrant it. Not for the first time, Israeli forces drew fire from UNRWA facilities, and fired back at them. The UNO then condemns Israel. The NY Times wonders whether Israel committed a war crime, but practically ignores whether Muslim terrorists committed a war crime.

"On the one hand, Israeli officials say they recognize the vital role of the organization that provides food and other assistance to hundreds of thousands of Gaza's poor."

"On the other hand, the agency is often accused by critics in Israel and beyond of perpetuating the Palestinian refugee problem, being the only UN branch dedicated to a specific refugee population, whose numbers, according to the agency's criteria, continue to grow."

An Israeli official explained that most UNRWA employees in Gaza are local Arabs and many of them affiliate with Hamas (Isabel Kershner, A1.) or PLO.

The UNO could somewhat redeem itself if it charged Hamas with war crimes.

The numbers multiply because: (1) The UNO and Arabs colluded to keep refugees from integrating; (2) UNRWA defines those "refugees" and not of other nations as descendants of "refugees." Many of the original Arab "refugees" were falsely defined as such; and (3) When Arab refugees die, their identities or welfare cards are passed to others, to get the benefits. Why didn't the newspaper admit this, instead of making it seem as if the critics are partisan and not absolutely correct, factually? Without reporting what are the facts, how can readers reach a proper conclusion? What is the newspaper for?

Figure it out. The UNO is an anti-Israel organization. It has proved itself biased. Its UNRWA exists to keep the Arab refugee problem alive rather than to solve it. Its staff is Arab and pro-terrorist. Terrorists fight behind human and civilian shields. Israel's battle reports are sincere, but late. Terrorists lie for advantage.

What UNRWA's critics say makes sense. The newspaper doesn't like their import. Hence it presents the matter as "he says, she says." I conclude that UNRWA should disband. The US should drop it. As for the Times, I heard that it is up for sale. I would not mourn it. It is so biased. However, I do mourn the newspaper industry and the television industry, which for a while offered quality and convenience, until their revenue sources spread thin and young people became willing to sit all day in their computer chairs straining their eyes to gather news from sources even less reliable.

WAR DAMAGE, BUT BY WHOM?

A certain neighborhood "..was a scene of devastation on Thursday, filled with impromptu tank-track roads, rusting greenhouses, and blown-up houses that had been booby-trapped with mannequins, explosive devices, and tunnels." [The Arabs let their greenhouses rust, and blame Israel for their poverty.]

A third of the houses were booby-trapped. The mannequins are a lure to draw fire and then to explode, forcing the Israeli soldiers down a hole in the floor, where Hamas gunmen would capture them (Ethan Bronner, NY Times, 1/16, A12). And torture them. And murder them. And hold their corpses for ransom.

Since one-third of the houses are booby-trapped, and since Hamas men use civilian buildings as firing platforms in the first place, imagine how much of the "devastation" and the civilian deaths occurred by accident before combat and how much during combat should be attributed to Muslim terrorists! Terrorists, you know, the people whom "innocent civilians" "democratically elected."

Was that question too difficult for Mr. Bronner to imagine?

BRONNER'S LACK OF IMAGINATION, NEXT DAY

He reported that more than 1,100 Arabs died in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health, which estimates that 40% are women and children under 18. "Israel estimates that only a quarter of the dead are civilians. Israel, which has suffered 13 dead, 3 of them civilians, is being accused of a disproportionate use of force. Death tolls in warfare may carry a moral weight, but not a legal one." (A8.) The P.A. Red Crescent calls it a civilian casualty if not in uniform, if not fighting that day or if not in uniform. Hamas men often don't wear uniforms!

No statistic should be quoted from a Hamas agency. Hamas figures, as PLO figures, are as propagandistic as Nazi and Communist statistics. They doctor statistics to serve the cause. The Muslim terrorists endanger civilians in order to either deter IDF attacks or to make propaganda against attacking IDF troops. Hamas can be expected to inflate civilian casualties (as do biased "human rights organizations). By contrast, IDF figures have been as accurate as possible.

Notice the tricky juxtaposition of lopsided death statistics with the accusation that Israel uses disproportionate force, and without a definition of "disproportionate." The definition indicates that Israel does not use disproportionate force.

Also tricky is the false notion that death tolls that are legal may not be moral. Not under the Geneva Conventions, which based international law on ethics. The international furor really is against Jewish defense and seeks to inhibit 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

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PALLYWOOD, GAZA EDITION 2009
Posted by AA, January 24, 2009.

This appeared on the Digg.com website.

"Video of Carnage in Gaza Market is a Hoax"
http://digg.com/politics/Video_of_Carnage_in_Gaza_Market_is_a_Hoax

We, like many other websites, posted a video allegedly showing the aftermath of an IDF air strike on a Gaza market. The video turned out to be disinformation: it was not shot three days ago, as indicated by the link, and has nothing to do with the current conflict.

From Wake Up From Your Slumber

I regret that I was deceived by the video I grabbed and uploaded for propagation in the original post "Israel bombs a civilian market (GRAPHIC Video)".

Here is a side by side of the video posted and a photo from 2005.

Please allow me to explain.

The video in question made its initial appearance on LiveLeak with the upload date January 1st. It claims to be connected to IDF strike in the recent conflict with the header "RAW (Graphic): Scene After IDF Attack In Gaza 1/1/09".

This turned out to be a very inaccurate and misleading claim.

Someone, likely a pro-Israel right-winger (judging his attitude rebutting criticism of Israel's response to Hamas/Gaza reminiscent of Little Green Footballs fan who sought to "minimize" the horror as reflected in reddit comment history), posted a detailed comment on Reddit that debunked the claim.

Here is what the debunker by the reddit username TW9zc2Fk (who has been a registered user for only a week) said:

Hi there cyberdogg2, you might want to read my comment over here.

Just a few problems with this:

  • The video was recorded on September 23rd 2005, not 1st January 2009

  • The scene is not a civilian marketplace, it is from the Jabalya refugee camp in the north of the Gaza Strip

  • The video does not depict the aftermath of an IDF air strike, it depicts the aftermath of the explosion of a pick-up truck carrying Qassam rockets during a Hamas rally (that explains the large number of Hamas personnel present immediately after the explosion, the miniature Hamas flags, etc.)

  • At least 15 Palestinians were killed and dozens injured in the blast, many of whom were Hamas security personnel either in or around the pick-up truck (that explains all the wounded in military uniforms)

  • The copy of the video you are actively distributing has been edited. The original video supposedly showed the Hamas pick-up truck (visible for a split-second at the start of your edited version) exploding, whereas your version cuts from an image of the pick-up beforehand to the immediate aftermath.

  • Despite Hamas' attempts to pin the detonation on Israeli aircraft they claim were flying overhead at the time, eyewitnesses reported no engagement by the aircraft, the cause was established to be mishandling of the Qassam rockets, and Israel denied all involvement

I kindly suggest you now take whatever action you can to stop spreading this video as misinformation about Israel's operations in the Gaza Strip at present.


A comment by a reader: blqysmg, on 01/05/2009

Actually, it's old news for many of us who have followed the conflict for years. The Palestinians, some of whom have lived through terrible times in real war conditions, have taken to "staging" photo ops for news crews, sometimes re-enacting a battle several times until it looks horrific enough. I've seen the background footage. Some of the news crews are complicate in the behavior, others are taken in by what looks like real news coverage.

I once saw a scene that was shot for the news where a family was hit by an IDF rocket barrage, then some of the children were heroically rescued by injured Palestinians. After the children were rescued, the "dead" were removed from the line of fire. When they got around the corner, the dead hopped up off of the stretchers and the children danced around and clapped their hands; then they did it again. They "died" three or four times, sometimes changing outfits in the process to remove "blood soaked" clothing. The footage was then assembled by a French news crew, and portions of it were shown to the French people as actual news.

Contact AA at american1627@yahoo.com

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HOW IDF LEGAL EXPERTS SAVED ISRAELI LIVES IN HUMAN SHIELD SCENARIOS
Posted by Eleazar Ben Yair, January 24, 2009.

This was written by Dr. Aaron Lerner,, Director of IMRA, Independent Media Review and Analysis, an Israel-based news organization which provides an extensive digest of media, polls and significant interviews and events relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict. Its website address is http://www.imra.org.il Write him at imra@netvision.net.il

Unfortunately, the folks at Haaretz decided only to provide English readers a painfully short version of what may be one of the most important articles about the operation in Gaza.

Friday 23 January 2009 Hebrew edition magazine article is available at
www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1057768.html

It includes the following interesting passage relating to Senator Mitchell:

Question: Did the events of September 11 impact the legal situation?

Former international law division head Daniel Reisner: Absolutely. When we started to define the conflict with the Palestinians as an armed conflict this was a dramatic switch and we started to defend it before the Supreme Court. In April 2001 I met the American envoy George Mitchell and explained to him that the war against terror above a certain level is war and not law enforcement. The Mitchell Committee rejected that position and in its report called on the Government of Israel to abandon the term "armed conflict" and return to the term "law enforcement". It took four months and four jets to change the opinion of the United Stattes on the matter, and if not for the four jets I am not certain that we could have developed the concept of the war on terrror to the magnitude that we have developed it to today."

How IDF legal experts legitimized strikes involving Gaza civilians By Yotam Feldman and Uri Blau. In Haaretz 22/01/2009
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1057648.html

 

The idea to bombard the closing ceremony of the Gaza police course was internally criticized in the Israel Defense Forces months before the attack. A military source involved in the planning of the attack, in which dozens of Hamas policemen were killed, says that while military intelligence officers were sure the operation should be carried out and pressed for its approval, the IDF's international law division and the military advocate general were undecided.

After months of the operational elements pushing for the attack's approval, the international law division headed by Col. Pnina Sharvit-Baruch gave the go-ahead. In spite of doubts, and also under pressure, Sharvit-Baruch and the division also legitimized the attack on Hamas government buildings and the relaxing of the rules of engagement, resulting in numerous Palestinian casualties. In the division it is also believed that the killing of civilians in a house whose residents the IDF has warned might be considered legally justified, although the IDF does not actually target civilians in this way.

Many legal experts, including former international law division head Daniel Reisner, do not accept this position. "I don't think a person on a rooftop can be incriminated just because he is standing there," he said.

One reason for the international law division's permissive positions is its desire to remain relevant and influential. Sources involved in the work of the Southern Command said that its GOC, Maj.. Gen. Yoav Gallant, is quite suspicious of legal experts and has a reputation of not attaching much importance to their advice. The Southern Command's legal adviser was not invited to consultations before the attack, and was compartmentalized when it came to smaller forums. It was actually during the action in Gaza that consideration for his opinions grew.

The legal addendum to Operation Cast Lead's order shows the way the IDF's legal experts legitimized the army's actions: "As much as possible and under the circumstances of the matter, the civilian population in a target area is to be warned," it states, adding "unless so doing endangers the operation or the forces."

The addendum orders commanders to be extremely cautious in the use of "incendiary weapons" (for example, phosphorus bombs), but does not prohibit their use: "Before using these weapons, the the military advocate general or international law division must be consulted on the specific case."

A source who served in the division in the past says it is "more liberal than the attorney general and the High Court petitions department." "The army knows what it wants, and pressure was certainly brought to bear when legal advisers thought that something was unacceptable or problematic," an operational military source said.

According to a senior official in the international law division, "Our goal is not to tie down the army, but to give it the tools to win in a way that is legal."

Contact Eleazar Ben Yair at eleazar_benyair@yahoo.it

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FROM THE IDIOTS WHO ARE PROSECUTING GEERT WILDERS
Posted by Eleazar Ben Yair, January 24, 2009.

This is from the Yid with Lid website (http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com).


The Netherlands, the country that is prosecuting persecuting Gert Wilders for exercising free speech has decided to allow American Islamic hate monger, Khalid Yasin into the country to orate across the country.

Khalid Yasin has been quoted as:

* Advocating the death penalty for homosexuality

* Claiming the HIV virus was deliberately engineered by Western governments,questioning the existence of al-Qaeda and its involvement in the 9/11 attacks

* Asserting that the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings were justified in the light of a history of Western oppression of Islam

Here are some of his most special quotations:

"There's no such thing as a Muslim having a non-Muslim friend. If you prefer the clothing of the kafirs over the clothing of the Muslims, most of those names that's on most of those clothings is faggots, homosexuals and lesbians...The Koran gives a very clear position regarding homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality — that these are aberrations, they are immoralities and if they are tried, convicted, they are punishable by death."

"Osama bin Laden is not everywhere, omnipotent. ... where's Osama bin Laden? That would warrant $68 billion in 17 countries hunting him and everyone in their houses being afraid of this kind of Osama bin Laden bogey man. This is a creation ... in order to justify a war they call on terror but is really a terror they have put inside the people. It is a war against Islam... There has been no evidence that has surfaced, no bona fide irrevocable, irrefutable evidence ... that there is a group called al-Qa'ida that did the September 11 bombings. I'm of the opinion there was a rogue operation that took place."

An AIDS virus, that is a classic disease that was created in Fort McKinley, United States. Fort McKinley, the AIDS virus, 63,000 gallons. Missionaries from the World Health Organisation and Christian groups went into Africa and inoculated people for diphtheria, malaria, yellow fever and they put in the medicine the AIDS virus... I don't say [that AIDS was created] by the US Government. I say there were at least five governments that acted in complicity

Source: Khalid Yasin: The new voice of Islam

I guess this is how it works in the Netherlands If you call Gay people "Faggots," or say terrorism is justified that is NOT hate speech and you are welcome into the country.

If you LIVE in the country, work for its benefit as a member of the legislature, and try to protect your country and others by using the words of the Koran to show people what Islam is all about, THAT IS HATE SPEECH !?!?!. Strange country.

To read the entire article about Yasin's visit, goto
http://www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/region/netherlands/
Radical Muslim preacher welcome in Rotterdam

Support Geert Wilders:

Help Defend Geert Wilders from The Worldwide Islamic Attempt to Stifle Criticism, and the movement to Stop YOUR Freedom of Speech

The Freedom Party (PVV) and Geert Wilders Are faced with an all-out assault.

Exploding legal expenses might cripple the battle for YOUR liberties.

Your financial support is URGENTLY Needed

Three ways of how you can donate money:

1. Paypal. More information on www.geertwilders.nl.

2. Freedom Party Foundation. Stichting Vrienden van de PVV, bank account: 67.04.72.344

International donors add: IBAN: NL98 INGB 0670 4723 44 BIC: INGBNL2A

3. Checque to:
Stichting Vrienden van de PVV,
PO Box 20018,
zip code: 2500 EA The Hague, The Netherlands.
www.geertwilders.nl

Contact Eleazar Ben Yair at eleazar_benyair@yahoo.it

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A BOLD NEW MOVE
Posted by Ari Bussi, January 24, 2009.

At this very hour, four weeks ago, Israel entered Operation Cast Lead. The following Saturday, on the eighth day of the Operation, Israeli ground forces entered Gaza. Two weeks later, Israel had declared a unilateral ceasefire (2AM on Sunday, 1/18/2009).


On Wednesday, January 21st, the IDF Spokesperson sent out the following announcement:

This morning, the last IDF soldiers left the Gaza Strip and returned to Israel.

The forces are now redeployed outside the Gaza Strip, and are prepared for any development.

It was as if by cue from Washington, DC: The soon-to-be President expected there to be no noise from Gaza during his historical inauguration. Israel, a sovereign country, embarked on this Operation to achieve two goals: bring quiet and safety to one seventh of its population, the residents of the South, and prevent future armament by Hamas in Gaza. Neither goal seems to have been achieved; noteworthy are Hamas's race to rearm itself and the continued smuggling operation via tunnels into Gaza.

Life in Israel has resumed, the Operation almost forgotten. The bigger threat, it is repeatedly said, is Iran, dismissing everything else as marginal. A window of opportunity for Israel to act against Iran while President Bush was still in Office seems to have closed, a new era has began. "Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph" (Exodus 1:8).

In Israel "Business is as Usual." It is now election time: Likud under Netanyahu's leadership or Kadima under Livni's? Who will be members of the new coalition that will form the new government? Will Barak remain the Minister of Defense (the Labor party has doubled its strength during the Operation)? Will actions by the Arab parties finally convince the rest of the members of the Parliament it is time to outlaw them? Will the religious right, constantly talking about "unity," be able to transcend its own internal bickering and divisiveness? The elections are on February 10th, and the days are now counted.

We changed from one counting (adding each passing day of Operation cast Lead) to another (counting down to election day). Life switched gears, has anything changed?

First, we have seen the resiliency of Hamas. Second, we have witnessed shifting alliances within the Muslim world, Egypt leading the anti-Hamas camp and Muslim Turkey supporting it. Third, Israel has united in support of its sons and daughters on the front line, in their devoted, courageous attempt to return sovereignty to Israel. More worrisome, though, was the fourth element: the enemy from within Israel. Fifth, anti-Semitism exploded, like trillions of viruses threatening to cripple a body, spreading the world over, feeding on the global economic downturn.

If one asks oneself about the current situation in Gaza, the answer would probably include these buzzwords: "Siege," "humanitarian crisis," "refugees." Even the more informed individuals, including many in the pro-Israel crowd, would succumb to the same. This is probably Israel's greatest failure in this Operation.

The Operation was not fought only on the ground and from the air. People the world over took active part in the Public Diplomacy Front. The "Siege" from before the Operation still continues a month later. The idea of a "Humanitarian Crisis" is so embedded in our mind's eye that we look at ways to help, to force the Siege to break. And so billions of fresh money are committed to the betterment of the Gazans, no lessons learned from the past.

Israel pays a very dear price for Hamas's imaginative work. One goes from strength to strength, the other is subjugated to constant scrutiny, its every step limited. Due to its lack of even the most basic respect to human life, Israel is now preparing for an avalanche of lawsuits against its officers and soldiers. This effort will be assisted, no doubt, with the aid of Israelis themselves, funded by well-meaning Jews from America.

Let us pinpoint every male (now also female) in the approximate age group that could have been called to serve in the South. How otherwise would the names of individuals come out exactly when these individuals are traveling overseas to be used in bogus claims against them for perpetrating "crimes against humanity?" This is either a case of broad "profiling" or a case in point of treason and sabotage.

If a single soldier is to be sued, the whole Country should stand behind it. Indeed, Defense Minister Barak has suggested to form a legal unit whose sole purpose would be to fight such lawsuits. How about starting an offensive rather than a defensive: First, the same "impartial" courts must be used to sue every member of Hamas and their cohorts for the true crimes against civilians — their own civilian population and the civilian population of Israel. Second, Israel's own system must be used to pinpoint the leakage points, those cooperating from within, and ensure they are brought to military court for trial.

Israel seems to have learned some lessons from a war just two years ago — the Second War in Lebanon in the summer of 2006:

  • An army should behave as such.
  • Reporters are subject to censorship and Freedom of the Press is not absolute during wartime.
  • Not everyone should be expressing one's opinions and managing the war on Fox or CNN or other media, definitely not while in service using their IDF ranks.
  • Media, politics and public diplomacy should not be handled by every army officer or soldier — there must be a clear separation between branches of government.
  • Messages resonate more clearly when they are clear and spokespersons speak in unison.
  • Readiness and preparedness are second to none.
  • There are no "holy cows:" A mosque used as an operation base for Hamas or as a military storage location, a school used as a launching site for rockets and a UN facility or (heavens forbid) a foreign correspondents' gathering place are not immune when they are also used for enemy's activities.

Important lessons and proper implementation some two years later: Is that something of which to be proud? Clearly it is not: Improving from a failing grade does not mean one is at the top of the class, and reality proves that the class is headed by Hamas's efforts, despite its having to endure 22 days of Operation Cast Lead.

What does the future hold? In 1982 I was asked the same about Lebanon. Should Israel remain in Lebanon? How would Lebanon look as a result? In 2009 we should ask ourselves how could Lebanon have looked today had things were done differently? One can continue living one's life, facing the threat, hoping that today will not be worse than yesterday. Avoiding the threat does not solve the problem, it just distances one from needing to deal with it.

Hamas must be eradicated, eliminated. We must realize that there is not much difference between Hamas and Fatah, or many of the other gangs ruling in Gaza and Judea and Samaria. Their uniting denominator is stronger than any temporary rift: They all wish the utter and complete destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. Hamas, "democratically" elected some three years ago, now claims the right to rule both Gaza and Judea and Samaria. With the right tune, the world will soon be singing the same unifying song: "Let my people rule."

Israel has brought so much destruction and created a crisis of such unfathomable proportions, the World tells us, that the only venue truly open to Israel is to act with a vision for a better future. Israel must stop all these "humanitarian convoys" into Gaza and the flow of fuel and electricity to the areas under "siege." Egypt must play this role.

Israel should focus, instead, on taking a unilateral positive action. Rather than a unilateral withdrawal and a self-imposed ceasefire, Israel should have invited the Gazans — who knew there is safety in open areas as long as there are no guns, rockets, missiles, explosives and other war material in their midst — to new tent cities, with a hospital — the Gazans always prefer Israeli doctors and medicine — and schools — where children are taught what childhood, as opposed to robbed childhood is all about. Israel should have extended a hand in peace to the Gazans, showing them a gate to a better world.

Sometimes, taking a bold step seems very expensive. In the long run, such are the best investments in everyone's future.

Will Israel do anything between now and February 10th? The election will come and go, and a new government will be formed, possibly not very different from the current. A new President in the White House needs to prove himself. Israel seems the likely target. Without a strong backbone, will Israel be able to stand up for the rights of Israel herself?

Here in Israel, we must look inside. There we will find strength, conviction of the right of way, beliefs strong as lava rock. Faith and ability combined, G-d and Country but capable. Let us end by a letter issued on Friday, January 23, 2009, by the IDF army general who headed Operation Cast Lead to his soldiers:

Daily Orders by GOC Southern Command

Fighters and Commanders of the IDF in the Southern Front,

For the last month, IDF forces, both in reserves and regular service, together with forces of the ISA, operated in a concentrated campaign against terrorism in the Gaza Strip.

Operation Cast Lead was initiated on December 27th, [the sixth day of the Holiday of Chanukah], when an aerial attack was directed against central terrorist command centers and outposts. The operation continued in the weeks to follow in a ground campaign aimed at terrorist sites throughout all of Gaza

After years of continuous intentional terror attacks on Israeli civilians in southern Israel, the operation brought forth a new security situation, making clear that Israel will not allow its existence in this region to be doubted or questioned.

IDF fighters on the ground, in the air, and at sea, operated out of a strong belief in the righteousness of our way and demonstrated a steadfast fighting spirit, ambition, and a maintenance of the goal of this mission, while operating with a sense of comradeship and brotherhood in arms.

The cooperation between the various operating forces, as well as the presence of commanders in the front lines, were a central factor behind the operation's success.

The defense of our right to a safe and peaceful life in Israel had once again come at a high cost. 13 of Israel's finest — fighters, commanders and civilians — were lost in the campaign for the security of Israel's south. We lower our heads and our flag in honor of their memory, and mourn with their families. We extend a wish of full recovery to the wounded, and once more emphasize that we will do our utmost to return the kidnapped soldier, Gilad Shalit, to the warmth of his family.

The battle for the security of the state of Israel is yet to be over. We shall look onward, to the challenges of the future, knowing that we will successfully engage them, thanks to the righteousness of our way and our courageous spirit.

The Southern Command expresses its appreciation to the corps of the IDF for defending Israel and its people.

Yoav Galant, Major General
GOC Southern Command

Contact Ari Bussel at aribussel@gmail.com and visit his blogsite: web.me.com/bussel.

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FROM ISRAEL: UNMITIGATED GALL
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 23, 2009.

That's the gall of the new administration, and the new Middle East envoy George Mitchell. Everything has a solution, he says. And he will find "our" solution. He's coming here as quickly as he can to take care of things. Just as he took care of things in Ireland.

Never mind that we're headed into an election. Or that Abbas — who heads a party that still calls for Israel's destruction in its charter — is not really president of the PA any longer but is pretending to be. Or that Hamas is still in control in Gaza. Or that the majority of the PA legislature IS Hamas. Or that Hamas will never, ever negotiate with Israel.

Hey! He's coming to fix things.

In due course I'll have more to say about Mr. Mitchell.

~~~~~~~~~~

Obama says he intends to work "aggressively" towards finding peace. Bad choice of word or a sign of what's to come?

~~~~~~~~~~

Earlier this week, an Israeli man, Moshe Avitan, suffered a critical gunshot wound in the head when his car was shot at from a passing car, as he was driving near Kochav Hashachar, not far from Ramallah. He was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent surgery.

Yisrael Medad points out in his blog [My Right Word] that Condoleezza Rice is indirectly responsible for this. Last April, she was here and pushing hard for concessions to "strengthen" Abbas. One of these concessions was the removal of the Rimonim checkpoint near Kochav Hashachar. Security officials at the time warned that this presented a danger, as it would permit Palestinians access to roads from which they had been blocked and increase the risk of drive-by shootings.

This was the result of the unmitigated gall of Rice, in demanding this when it put our innocents at risk. And now we're going to have to cope with someone else pushing for more of the same.

What we need is leadership strong enough to say NO to the Americans with unmitigated gall.

~~~~~~~~~~

There has been some controversy regarding the selection by Obama of Ingrid Mattson, President of the Islamic Society of North America, to speak at a prayer service for post-inauguration festivities yesterday at the National Cathedral. Allow me then to share her own words:

"The American government has not criticized sufficiently the brutality of the Israeli government, believing that it needs to be 'supportive' of the Jewish state. The result is that oppression, left unchecked, can increase to immense proportions, until the oppressed are smothered with hopelessness and rage."

This was from the Center for Security Policy and was called to my attention by Judith Nusbaum.

~~~~~~~~~~

The article I cited from the Besa Center about smuggling that had no URL yet has now shown up on the Post site and you can access it here:
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232292929609&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

~~~~~~~~~~

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, former national security advisor, in an interview in the Post has said the following with regard to Egypt stopping smuggling:

"To be polite, the Egyptians are telling us stories and we are deluding ourselves."

As to the agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) Livni signed with Rice:

"...well, without being rude, it's not serious and it's not significant."

We desperately need a change of government, as soon as yesterday, actually.

~~~~~~~~~~

According to Yaakov Katz in the Post, Hamas has now taken over all tunnels operating under the border (yes, there are tunnels operating), tunnels normally run by local Palestinians. Apparently this is to solidify their control over Gaza.

This week they took over a humanitarian supply truck so they could be seen as the ones distributing aid.

They've also placed strict curfews on areas that are heavily Fatah; they shoot anyone out after hours. Fatah is lamenting that we didn't take out Hamas completely.

~~~~~~~~~~

This, at least, brings a smile: Hamas says with regard to the situation here, Obama does not represent change and is going to make the same mistakes Bush did. The Obama demand that Hamas stop firing rockets and recognize Israel is, they say, going to make Mitchell's mission very difficult. They were anticipating an Obama embrace, apparently.

I don't know what they're complaining about, actually, because Obama is also in favor of opening all the crossing.

~~~~~~~~~~

This too presents a bit of a challenge to Obama and Mitchell: The Saudis, who apparently didn't notice that Obama was offering them his hand, say that their relationship with the US and the "peace process" are at risk if the Americans don't stop Palestinian suffering.

This is obviously a bid to get Obama to tilt away from Israel. How much backbone will Obama have, challenged thus?

~~~~~~~~~~

Ultimately Rice fell on her face trying to "make peace" here. May Mitchell do the same.

~~~~~~~~~~

I apologize for this heavy tone before Shabbat, but what must be said must be said. There will be more after Shabbat....

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

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THE PALESTINIAN PANDORA'S BOX (I)
Posted by Yoram Ettinger, January 23, 2009.

The mild reaction by Arab countries to the Hamas-driven Palestinian predicament in Gaza refutes the assumption that the Palestinian issue is a top Arab priority and that it constitutes the core cause of Arab hostility toward the West, USA and Israel. In fact, the Arab reaction has reflected overall Arab attitude toward the Palestinian issue since 1948, through the 1982 Israel-PLO war in Lebanon and the First and Second Intifadah, irrespective of the identity of the Palestinian leadership: Haj Amin al-Husseini, Shukeiri, Hammuda, Arafat, Abu Mazen or Haniyeh.

Arab countries have always showered Palestinians with rhetoric, but they have refrained from significant support. During the 2009 Gaza War, Arab countries rejected the call for an emergency session of Arab leaders on behalf of Gaza. They have limited their meek support to a gathering of Arab foreign ministers, calling for a UN emergency session. Saudi Arabia dismissed the suggestion to employ oil as a weapon. Riad prohibits pro-Palestinian rallies and its religious establishment issued a weak proclamation on behalf of the Palestinian struggle. The Gulf Cooperation Council focused on economic and monetary issues during its December 30, 2008 meeting, according lips service to Gaza.

A similar reaction occurred during the 1982 Israel-PLO war in Lebanon, which erupted on June 4. The Arab oil producing countries convened in August to discuss the price of oil, dismissing the proposal to use the oil weapon on behalf of the PLO. The summit of Arab leaders was deliberately delayed until September, following the expulsion of the PLO from Beirut.

Arab leaders have systematically demonstrated how secondary the Palestinian issue has been in their order of national priorities. For instance, Arab financial support of the PLO was less than 10% of Arab financial support to the anti-Soviet Muslims in Afghanistan. In 1988, the Arab League convened on behalf of the First Intifadah, committing itself to $128MN immediate support, followed by $43MN monthly assistance. Less than $100MN was actually transferred to the PLO, compared with over $1BN annual support to Afghanistan during 1978-1988. In 2002, Saudi Arabia pledged $600MN for the Second Intifadah, but only $100MN has been transferred so far. Other Arab countries made a $55MN monthly commitment, but — as expected — they have once again failed to deliver.

Recent precedents have led Arabs to consider the Palestinians a potential treacherous, subversive, explosive Pandora's box, which could undermine their survival. On the other hand, Palestinians blame Arab leaders for the "1948 Debacle." In 1948/9, the Arab League made it clear that the war against the Jewish State was not launched because — or for — the Palestinians. It declared the provisional Palestinian government null and void, while Egypt and Jordan expelled the Palestinian leadership from Gaza, Judea and Samaria. During the late 1950s, and in 1966, Arafat, Abu Mazen and their Fatah colleagues were evicted from Egypt and Syria for subversion. In 1970, they were decimated in Jordan, following an attempt to topple the Hashemite regime ("Black September"). In 1975/76, they were clobbered by Syria (in Lebanon), as a result of their assault on the central government in Beirut ("Black June"). In 1983, they lost their base in Tripoli, Lebanon, after they failed to challenge the dominant local militia. In 1987, Egypt killed scores of Palestinians, who demonstrated on behalf of the First Intifadah in the Rafah refugee camp in Sinai/Gaza. In 1991, Kuwait expelled 300,000 Palestinians for collaboration with Saddam's plunder of the sheikhdom. Since 2003, thousands of Palestinians have fled Iraq, due to their identification with the Butcher of Baghdad. The Red Carpet, which welcomes Palestinian leaders at the UN and in Western capitals, is transformed into a shabby rug upon landing in Arab capitals.

What do Arab leaders know — about the Palestinians — which has escaped Western and Israeli policy-makers?

Arab leaders have not dedicated themselves to advance the Palestinian cause. They have not regarded the Palestinian issue as a premier link in the formulation of their policies. Domestic, regional and global factors have impacted inter-Arab, Arab-Western and Arab-Israel relations much more than the Palestinian issue. Palestinians do not possess veto power over Arab policy-making.

Since the 1993 Oslo Accord, Israel has subordinated its national security policy to the resolution of the Palestinian issue, switching its focus from the Israeli-Arab path to the Israeli-Palestinian path. Dozens of initiatives, conferences, summits, agreements and cease fires have yielded a series of short-lived illusions of peace and security, which were promptly crashed by an unprecedented Palestinian wave of hate-education, violation of commitments and terrorism. In fact, the roadmap toward the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict does not go through Ramallah or Gaza, but rather through Cairo, Amman and other Arab capitals, as evidenced by Israel's peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, which have withstood Palestinian opposition and an on-going Israeli war against Palestinian terrorism.

A policy which is based on an erroneous assumption — that the Palestinian issue is supposedly the crown jewel of Arab policy — constitutes an erroneous policy. It exacerbates regional instability, fuels terrorism, promotes war and diminishes the prospects for peace.

Israel should base its policy, toward the Palestinians, on the track record of the last 100 years, and especially the last 15 years, which have featured the failure of Land-for-Peace on the Palestinian track.

Lessons of recent history, Israel's minimal security requirements and the need to minimize motivation for Arab terrorism, highlight the necessity to solidify Israel's control of Judea and Samaria.

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports. Contact him at yoramtex@netvision.net.il

This was published by YNET. It is archived at
http://yoramettinger.newsnet.co.il.

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MITCHELL, A MIDEAST ENVOY WITH A TENDENTIOUS LEGACY
Posted by David Bedein, January 23, 2009.

This was published in the Bulletin (Philadelphia)
thebulletin.us/articles/2009/01/23/news/world/doc49796fa342e2e857987246.txt

Jerusalem — Following President Obama's appointment of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell of Maine as his Middle East envoy, it may be instructive to remember the tendentiousness of George Mitchell's 2001 report titled "The Mitchell Report on the al-Aqsa Intifadah"
(www.mideastweb.org/mitchell_report.htm).

This genesis of this report stemmed from President Bill Clinton's Oct. 2000 appointment of an international investigation commission to determine the causes of the Palestinian insurrection, which was deemed the Second Intifada — the Arabic term for "shaking off" — in this instance, shaking off Israel. To this commission, President Clinton named Sen. Mitchell, who is of Arab descent through his mother, as its chairman, along with a Jewish-American, former U.S. Sen. Warren Rudman, to the panel, in addition to three prominent European diplomats.

The initial Israeli response to the publication of the Mitchell Commission report in May 2001 was a sigh of relief when the Mitchell Commission did not blame Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for instigating the riots in Sept. 2000 when he visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which some said had sparked the Arab rioting.

However, even with the Sharon Temple Mount accusation out of the way, the Mitchell Commission report accepted every Palestinian premise for the violence at the time.

The Mitchell Commission accepted as a given that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)-led riots were based on a movement for "independence and genuine self-determination," without giving any credence to the PLO goal, stated in all PLO publications, maps and media outlets, even during the current Oslo process, which consistently and clearly states that "liberation" of Palestine, all of Palestine — in stages — remained the goal.

For some reason, the Mitchell Commission characterized the rioters armed with Molotov cocktails as "unarmed Palestinian demonstrators," a term that they apparently borrowed from PLO information reports that were published at the time.

The Mitchell Commission took the position that Israel's security forces did not face a clear and present danger when faced with a mob trying to kill them with rocks and firebombs.

It made no mention that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has amassed 50,000 more weapons than they were supposed to have, in clear violation of the written Oslo accords.

The Mitchell Commission surprisingly accepted the notion that the PA security officials are simply "not in control" of their own tightly controlled security services.

The Mitchell Commission would not consider reliable intelligence reports that documented the PA had planned the uprising. It also failed to relate documentation showing the PA had spent past seven years preparing its media, school system and security services for a violent confrontation with Israel.

Indeed, in late May 2000, a senior official of Israeli intelligence conducted a press briefing where he revealed intelligence information that the PLO was planning riots for late Sept. 2000.

It said the notion the PA leadership had failed to prevent terrorist attacks against Israel as only an Israeli "view," ignoring consistent incitement that Arafat had conveyed to his own media for the previous seven years.

The Mitchell Commission also rejected Israel's characterization of the conflict, as "armed conflict short of war"; (How else would you describe an army that fires mortar rounds into Israeli cities?)

The Mitchell Commission also condemned the Israel Defense Force's killing of PLO combat officers during a time of war, without giving an alternative.

Instead of issuing a clear call to the PLO to stop sniper attacks on Israel's roads and highways, the Mitchell Commission simply "condemned the positioning of gunmen within or near civilian dwellings," leaving the observer to assume that PLO attacks from empty embankments would be acceptable.

The Mitchell Commission suggested that "the IDF should consider withdrawing to positions held before Sept. 28, 2000, ... to reduce the number of friction points," ignoring the fact that this would leave entry points to many Israeli cities without appropriate protection during a time of war.

The Mitchell Commission also demanded that Israel should transfer to the PA all tax revenues owed, and permit Palestinians who had been employed in Israel to return to their jobs, strangely recommending that Israel once again pay salaries of armed PLO personnel who were at war with Israel.

Meanwhile, the Mitchell Commission took a page out of Arab propaganda when it called on Israeli "security forces and settlers to refrain from the destruction of homes and roads, as well as trees and other agricultural property in Palestinian areas," and would not relate to the possibility that some of the trees and agricultural land had been razed may have been provided cover to PA security forces during combat.

The Mitchell Commission also accepted the notion that "settlers and settlements in their midst" remains a cause of the Palestinian uprising, because these Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria violate "the spirit of the Oslo process," even though not one word appears in the actual Oslo accords would require the dismemberment of a single Israeli settlement.

In conclusion, the Mitchell Commission drew a strange comparison between "settlement activities" and the Palestinian inability to resume negotiations, so long as "settlement activities" continue, providing an excuse for the PLO to continue its armed conflict.

In short, the Mitchell Commission Report drove a nail into the coffin of any credibility that George Mitchell could ever have to serve as a potential Middle East envoy.

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 bedein@thebulletin.us

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DAY 2 & SELF-DELUSION; WHEN HUMAN SHIELDING WAS CONDEMNED
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 23, 2009.
DAY 2 & SELF-DELUSION

Pres. Obama is restoring military interrogation rules, to end CIA abuse. He ordered the cases against suspected terrorist detainees reviewed. What standards? I would like habeas corpus restored. People turned over to our forces by supposed allies but for a bounty should not automatically be deemed guilty of terrorism. New policy should stop keeping people imprisoned indefinitely, without knowing whether they are terrorists. Need clarification.

On the Arab-Israel conflict, the new President seems ignorant, guided as he is by Martin Indyk and "Bakers' Jews." They were called "Bakers' Jews" because they Sec. Baker's dirty work against Israel. No wonder Obama appointed former Sen. Mitchell as his envoy to the P.A. and Israel. Oy!

The NY Times calls Sen. Mitchell "neutral" on the Arab-Israel conflict, and someone whose recommendations were accepted by both sides.

"Both sides" presumably includes Israel. But the Israeli regime is not for the Jews of Israel. It kowtows to the US and other foreign critics. It no longer defends itself thoroughly, just appears to do so whereas it smoothes the way for its own conquest. Its domestic policy often favors seditious Arabs

"Neutral?" How could a decent person be neutral between Israel, that has a right to its homeland, wants peace, strives to reduce enemy civilian casualties when it has to fight back, and is tolerant, and the Arabs, who don't have a right to the Jews' homeland, want war, fight mostly by war crimes, are intolerant, fascist, seek to conquer the world, and are as anti-American as other Islamists? Imagine an envoy neutral between fascist Germany and the Jews!

But Mitchell is not neutral. His recommendations were flagrantly biased against Israel. Yes, Israel accepted them. Israel also accepted Oslo, Road Map, and UN resolutions of ceasefires designed to spare the Arabs a worse defeat and to help the Arabs take defensive borders away from Israel. Israeli regimes have a defeatist and anti-Zionist ideology. It is unfair to cite their acceptance of perverse proposals as evidence that we who are not neurotic should. The Senate used to defer to Kissinger on policy towards Israel, because he is a Jew. He swore in on a Christian Bible and blocked military aid to Israel, etc.. Jewish ancestry or Israeli birth does not indicate loyalty to fellow Jews. About time we learned that!

Make-believe — imagining Mitchell neutral, that neutrality is fair, that all Jews are pro-Israel and even know what being pro-Israel requires, that one can make peace with jihadists, and that the US is, and should be, in a peace process for Israel, is make-believe. The adult world is as make-believe as a child's. Westerners deceive themselves as the Arabs reputedly did. Adult knowledge is full of bunkum. Selfish agendas routinely come with an idealistic cover. The deception works before most victims realize it.

PURPOSE OF A CEASEFIRE

When is the purpose of a ceasefire, ostensibly humanitarian and for peace, actually inhumane and a facility for war?

First, Arab marauders attack or invade Israel. Israel may restrain itself. Foreign commentators usually do, too. The Arabs, however don't — they keep coming.

Finally, Israel retaliates. No longer restraining themselves, the Vatican, UNO, Media, et al, solemnly call for restraint on both sides or they condemn Israel.

During a major war, while the outcome is in doubt, the "et al" restrain themselves. When Israel clearly emerges militarily ahead, the "et al" no longer restrain themselves. They demand a ceasefire. It may take a few days for the diplomats to agree upon the biased wording. But their purpose in advocating or imposing a ceasefire is to deprive Israel of a resounding military and diplomatic victory.

During the three years of Hamas bombardment of Israel, with only token Israeli retaliation — i.e., insufficient to prevent a major Hamas buildup — there was little foreign agitation for ceasefire. It took an Israeli invasion to invoke such agitation.

ISRAEL PULLS ITS PUNCHES, AGAIN

At first, the IDF was tough in Gaza. It put military goals first, as is proper in war. It blasted enemy positions. Then it got mild, probably subdued by the anticipated, unfair criticism. Instead of pounding enemy positions with artillery, it sent in ground forces. That removes a great advantage of Israel's Army. Therefore, it risks greater casualties. Not to be moral but to quiet immoral critics.

Fortunately, the troops fought so well as to incur few casualties.

WHEN USING HUMAN SHIELDS WAS CONDEMNED

Although Hamas fights almost entirely behind human shields, a grievous war crime, the UNO doesn't work up indignation against it. This contradicts its professed concern for those civilians when the IDF fires at Hamas and civilians get killed, as Hamas planned they would.

I remember when the use of human shields was condemned. It was when Israel asked residents in P.A. areas to tell terrorists hiding in houses that they were surrounded and had better surrender. Since the terrorists wouldn't shoot neighbors, many such encounters ended without bloodshed. Should be desirable. However, Israel was faulted, even by its Supreme Court, as using human shields, and was ordered to stop. Meant more firefights and deaths.

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

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GAZA-TRUTH AND CONTEXT
Posted by Simon McIlwaine, January 23, 2009.

"A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery"
by Steven Erlanger
This below was published during the Gaza campaign Please note the information about Zeitoun.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/world/middleeast/11hamas.html?
_r=2 Taghreed El-Khodary contributed reporting from Gaza.

JERUSALEM — The grinding urban battle unfolding in the densely populated Gaza Strip is a war of new tactics, quick adaptation and lethal tricks.

Hamas, with training from Iran and Hezbollah, has used the last two years to turn Gaza into a deadly maze of tunnels, booby traps and sophisticated roadside bombs. Weapons are hidden in mosques, schoolyards and civilian houses, and the leadership's war room is a bunker beneath Gaza's largest hospital, Israeli intelligence officials say.

Unwilling to take Israel's bait and come into the open, Hamas militants are fighting in civilian clothes; even the police have been ordered to take off their uniforms. The militants emerge from tunnels to shoot automatic weapons or antitank missiles, then disappear back inside, hoping to lure the Israeli soldiers with their fire.

In one apartment building in Zeitoun, in northern Gaza, Hamas set an inventive, deadly trap. According to an Israeli journalist embedded with Israeli troops, the militants placed a mannequin in a hallway off the building's main entrance. They hoped to draw fire from Israeli soldiers who might, through the blur of night vision goggles and split-second decisions, mistake the figure for a fighter. The mannequin was rigged to explode and bring down the building.

In an interview, the reporter, Ron Ben-Yishai, a senior military correspondent for the newspaper Yediot Aharonot, said soldiers also found a pile of weapons with a grenade launcher on top. When they moved the launcher, "they saw a detonator light up, but somehow it didn't go off."

The Israeli Army has also come prepared for a battle both sides knew was inevitable. Every soldier, Israeli officials say, is outfitted with a ceramic vest and a helmet. Every unit has dogs trained to sniff out explosives and people hidden in tunnels, as well as combat engineers trained to defuse hidden bombs.

To avoid booby traps, the Israelis say, they enter buildings by breaking through side walls, rather than going in the front. Once inside, they move from room to room, battering holes in interior walls to avoid exposure to snipers and suicide bombers dressed as civilians, with explosive belts hidden beneath winter coats.

The Israelis say they are also using new weapons, like a small-diameter smart bomb, the GBU-39, which Israel bought last fall from Washington. The bomb, which is very accurate, has a small explosive, as little as 60 to 80 pounds, to minimize collateral damage in an urban area. But it can also penetrate the earth to hit bunkers or tunnels.

And the Israelis, too, are resorting to tricks.

Israeli intelligence officers are telephoning Gazans and, in good Arabic, pretending to be sympathetic Egyptians, Saudis, Jordanians or Libyans, Gazans say and Israel has confirmed. After expressing horror at the Israeli war and asking about the family, the callers ask about local conditions, whether the family supports Hamas and if there are fighters in the building or the neighborhood.

Karim Abu Shaban, 21, of Gaza City said he and his neighbors all had gotten such calls. His first caller had an Egyptian accent. "Oh, God help you, God be with you," the caller began.

"It started very supportive," Mr. Shaban said, then the questions started. The next call came in five minutes later. That caller had an Algerian accent and asked if he had reached Gaza. Mr. Shaban said he answered, "No, Tel Aviv," and hung up.

Interviews last week with senior Israeli intelligence and military officers, both active and retired, as well as with military experts and residents of Gaza itself, made it clear that the battle, waged among civilians and between enemies who had long prepared for this fight, is now a slow, nasty business of asymmetrical urban warfare. Gaza's civilians, who cannot flee because the borders are closed, are "the meat in the sandwich," as one United Nations worker said, requesting anonymity.

It is also clear that both sides are evolving tactics to the new battlefield, then adjusting them quickly.

To that end, Israeli intelligence is detaining large numbers of young Gazan men to interrogate them for local knowledge and Hamas tactics. Last week, Israel captured a hand-drawn Hamas map in a house in Al Atatra, near Beit Lahiya, which showed planned defensive positions for the neighborhood, mine and booby trap placements, including a rigged gasoline station, and directions for snipers to shoot next to a mosque. Numerous tunnels were marked.

A new Israeli weapon, meanwhile, is tailored to the Hamas tactic of asking civilians to stand on the roofs of buildings so Israeli pilots will not bomb. The Israelis are countering with a missile designed, paradoxically, not to explode. They aim the missiles at empty areas of the roofs to frighten residents into leaving the buildings, a tactic called "a knock on the roof."

But the most important strategic decision the Israelis have made so far, according to senior military officers and analysts, is to approach their incursion as a war, not a police operation.

Civilians are warned by leaflets, loudspeakers and telephone calls to evacuate battle areas. But troops are instructed to protect themselves first and civilians second.

Officers say that means Israeli infantry units are going in "heavy." If they draw fire, they return it with heavy firepower. If they are told to reach an objective, they first call in artillery or airpower and use tank fire. Then they move, but only behind tanks and armored bulldozers, riding in armored personnel carriers, spending as little time in the open as possible.

As the commander of the army's elite combat engineering unit, Yahalom, told the Israeli press on Wednesday: "We are very violent. We do not balk at any means to protect the lives of our soldiers." His name cannot be published under censorship rules.

"Urban warfare is the most difficult battlefield, where Hamas and Islamic Jihad have a relative advantage, with local knowledge and prepared positions," said Jonathan Fighel of Israel's International Institute for Counterterrorism. "Hamas has a doctrine; this is not a gang of Rambos," he said. "The Israeli military has to find the stitches to unpick, how to counterbalance and surprise."

Israeli troops are moving slowly and, they hope, unpredictably, trying not to stay in one place for long to entice Hamas fighters "to come out and confront them," Mr. Fighel said.

Today, he said, "the mind-set from top to bottom is fight and fight cruel; this is a war, not another pinpoint operation."

Israeli officials say that they are obeying the rules of war and trying hard not to hurt noncombatants but that Hamas is using civilians as human shields in the expectation that Israel will try to avoid killing them.

Israeli press officers call the tactics of Hamas cynical, illegal and inhumane; even Israel's critics agree that Hamas's regular use of rockets to fire at civilians in Israel, and its use of civilians as shields in Gaza, are also violations of the rules of war. Israeli military men and analysts say that its urban guerrilla tactics, including the widespread use of civilian structures and tunnels, are deliberate and come from the Iranian Army's tactical training and the lessons of the 2006 war between Israel and Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Hamas rocket and weapons caches, including rocket launchers, have been discovered in and under mosques, schools and civilian homes, the army says. The Israeli intelligence chief, Yuval Diskin, in a report to the Israeli cabinet, said that the Gaza-based leadership of Hamas was in underground housing beneath the No. 2 building of Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza. That allegation cannot be confirmed.

While The New York Times and some other news organizations have local or Gaza-based Palestinian correspondents, any Israeli citizen or Israeli with dual citizenship has been banned for more than two years from entering Gaza, and any foreign correspondent who did not enter the territory before a six-month cease-fire with Hamas ended last month has not been allowed in.

Israel has also managed to block cellphone bandwidth, so very few amateur cellphone photographs are getting out of Gaza.

But Israeli tactics have caused civilian casualties that have created an international uproar, both in the Arab world and the West. In one widely reported episode, 43 people died when the Israelis shelled a street next to a United Nations school in northern Jabaliya where refugees were taking shelter. The United Nations says no militants were in the school.

The Israelis said they returned fire in response to mortar shells fired at Israeli troops. Such an action is legal, but there are questions about whether the force used was proportional under the laws of war, given the danger to noncombatants.

The backlash from the school attack is another potent example of the risks in an urban-war strategy: Israel may in fact be able to dismantle Hamas's military structure even while losing the battle for world opinion and leaving Hamas politically still in charge of Gaza.


"Hamas faked casualty figures and hospital occupancy rate in Gaza"
imra@netvision.net.il
January 22, 2009 12:44 PM
Translation from Corriere della sera (Italy) report

It could be like in Jenin in 2002. Initially we spoke of 1,500 deaths. Then came out they were only 54, including at least 45 guerrillas who died fighting.

Doubts about the number of victims could be 600 and not 1300 "So the boys of Hamas we have used as targets' Gaza residents accuse the Islamic militants: "We prevented from leaving their houses and shooting from there" Lorenzo Cremonesi, Corriere della sera (Italy) — 22 January 2009
Google Translation

GAZA — 'Go, go out of here!

Do you want the Israelis kill us all?

You want to see die under the bombs our children?

Take away your weapons and missiles, "shouted many among the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip to Hamas militants and their allies of Islamic Jihad.

The bravest were organized and had barred the doors to their yards, nailed to the boards of buildings, locked up as we go along the stairs to the roof higher.

But for most of the guerrillas did not listen to anyone.

"Traitors. Collaborators of Israel. Fatah Spies. Cowards. The soldiers of the holy war will punish. And in any case all will die, like us. Attacking the Jewish Zionists, we are all destined for paradise, you are not happy to die together? ".

And so furious shouting, breaking down doors and windows, hid in the highest floors, in gardens, used ambulances, we baracaded near hospitals, schools, buildings Assembly.

In extreme cases fired against those who tried to block them the way to save their families, or beat wildly.

.. And there is another fact that is emerging more and more evident by visiting clinics, hospitals and families of the victims of Israeli fire. In truth, the number appears much lower for almost 1300 deaths, in addition to about 5,000 injured, reported by the men of Hamas and repeated by the official UN and local Red Cross. "The deaths could not be more than 500 or 600. Mainly boys between 17 and 23 years recruited from the ranks of Hamas that has literally sent to the massacre, "says a doctor Shifah the hospital that will not necessarily be said, is to risk his life.

One thing, however, also confirmed by local journalists: "We have already reported to the heads of Hamas. Why insist on inflating the numbers of victims? Strano, inter alia, that non-governmental organizations, including Westerners, the reporting without verification. In the end, the truth may come to light.

It could be like in Jenin in 2002. Initially we spoke of 1,500 deaths. Then came out they were only 54, including at least 45 guerrillas who died fighting.

As we have arrived at these figures?

"Take the case of the massacre of the family of Al Samoun neighborhood of Zeitun. When the bombs hit their houses have reported that 31 had died. And so there have been an officer of the Ministry of Health controlled by Hamas. But then, when the bodies were actually recovered, the sum total is doubled to 62 and so went to the calculation of total numbers, "says Masoda Al Samoun of 24 years.

He adds an interesting detail: "To confuse the water we had put the Israeli special teams. Their men were disguised as guerrillas of Hamas, with a green bandana tied in front with the inscription usual: there is no other God besides Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet. In order to create chaos. We happen to shout them to leave, feared reprisals. Later we understood that they were Israelis. And 'Just visit any hospital to understand that the accounts do not add up. Many beds are free. The same goes for "Nasser" in Khan Yunis. Only 5 of 150 beds at the private Al-Amal are occupied. In Gaza city was evacuated the Wafa, built with donations "Islamic charities" of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf countries, and bombed by Israel and the end of December. The institute is known to be a stronghold of Hamas, were hospitalized here its fighters wounded in the civil war with Fatah in 2007. The others were at hand, Al Quds, which is bombarded the second half weeks of January.

He says this fact Magah to Rachmah, 25 years, inhabitant of a few dozen meters from the four major buildings in the complex health now seriously damaged. "The men of Hamas took refuge mainly in the building that houses the administrative offices of Al Quds. They used ambulances and forced ambulanzieri and nurses to remove their uniforms with symbols of paramedics, so could be confused and better to escape Israeli snipers.

This has reduced a lot of the number of beds available in health institutions in Gaza. As well, the Shifah, the largest hospital in the city, remains a far cry from the record sold out. "Hamas had hidden there the cells and the emergency room for interrogation of prisoners of Fatah and the secular face of the left who were evacuated from the prison was bombed in Sarajevo, saying the militant Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

It 'was a war in this war between Fatah and Hamas. The local humanitarian organizations, mostly controlled tell of dozens of executions, cases of torture, kidnappings in the last three weeks' perpetrated by Hamas.. One of the most notorious cases is to Shakhura Achmad, 47 years old, resident of Khan Yunis, and brother Khaled, right-hand man of Mohammad Dahlan (former head of the security services of Yasser Arafat, now in exile) who was abducted on the orders of the Head the local secret police of Hamas, Abu Abdallah Al Kidra, and tortured, he would have torn his left eye, and then was killed January 15.


The ISM are supporters of terror
www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3281751/ the-telegraph-becomes-an-ism-mouthpiece.thtml
January 22, 2009

To their lasting disgrace, the British media covered the war in Gaza through the prism of Hamas propaganda, repeating Hamas claims about casualty figures as if they were proven facts, failing to report the ways in which Hamas was victimising the people of Gaza by using them as human shields and failing to challenge activists and apologists for Hamas when they promoted its cause. But there appears to have been one newspaper that went even further than that. It did not just report uncritically activists' claims. It seems to have actually used an activist as a supposedly dispassionate member of its reporting team.

At the end of last month, the Telegraph carried this story on its foreign news pages by Ewa Jasiewicz, reporting from Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza. It was exclusively about the suffering of civilians and children under bombardment by Israeli air strikes. It made no reference to any Hamas terrorists in the camp. Readers were given no indication that Ewa Jasiewicz was anything other than an objective reporter.

Yet the very next day, she appeared again in the Telegraph's foreign news pages — but this time being interviewed by Tim Butcher as an 'activist originally from Kingston, Surrey' and the principal source of his story about two children being killed by a bomb from an Israeli warplane, an event which she claimed to have witnessed.

Indeed, Ms Jasiewicz is not a regular reporter at all. She is a highly partisan, deeply committed, experienced anti-Israeli International Solidarity Movement activist. She is an active player on the side of the Palestinians who are committing acts of terror against the Israelis — which she would describe as legitimate and justified 'resistance'. Nor was this something she had hidden. Indeed, the web is heaving with examples of her hatred of Israel. Here she is in the Guardian spraying around claims that Israel was racist, that its democracy was a myth and that it deliberately targeted Palestinian civilians and activists for slaughter. Here is the statement she made after she was detained at Ben Gurion airport on 31 August 2004 by the Israeli authorities and told that she could not speak to the media, in which she justified Palestinian terrorism as

a liberation struggle — and a struggle of an occupied people that is thus justified under international law.

The BBC reported on August 25 2004:

An Israeli court has ordered the expulsion of a UK journalist who has been held in Tel Aviv since challenging Israel's refusal to grant her entry. The Israelis say Ewa Jasiewicz, 26, is a political activist whose journalism is biased. They denied her entry at Ben Gurion Airport on 11 August. The court said she could be exploited by militant groups as a result of her 'naivety and convictions'. Ms Jasiewicz has denounced the ruling as 'an insult to my professionalism'. Israeli authorities say Ms Jasiewicz is an activist with the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian led organisation which stages protests against the Israeli occupation. Tel Aviv District Court judge Drora Pilpel said Ms Jasiewicz did not pose a direct threat to Israeli security but Palestinians could manipulate her 'naiveté'. The court said: 'Although the International Solidarity Movement was established for a humanitarian cause, it has been exploited, whether consciously or unconsciously, for different and dangerous goals.'

Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muLlFdcK3EA) is an interview with her, one day before her 'news story' from Jabaliya appeared in the Telegraph, in which she describes herself as a 'co-ordinator' of the 'Free Gaza' movement. What in heaven's name has the Daily Telegraph come to that it passes off such a person as an objective reporter writing a news story on its foreign news pages about a conflict in which she is deeply involved as an active player — and furthermore on the side of those who are perpetrating acts of terror?

Also read:

International Solidarity — a Terrorist Protection Movement
http://home.comcast.net/~jat.action/ISM_info.htm
http://home.comcast.net/~jat.action/ISM_essay.htm

The ISM Summer Volunteer Program : The "International Solidarity Movement" With the PLO
http://israelvisit.co.il/cgi-bin/friendly.pl?url=Jun-23-04!volunteers

The International Solidarity Movement and the Palestinian Solidarity Movement: Who They Are And What They Stand For
http://netwmd.com/anti-ism/

Solidarity with Terror by Lee Caplan
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=14063

An ISM member's father speaks out — the ISM is a cult and not to be tolerated
http://www.stoptheism.com/Default.asp?M=21


Some Gaza eye-witnesses tell it as it is
Hamas Shot from Civilian Neighborhoods
(http://www.newsweek.com/id/180691)
by Rod Nordland (Newsweek)

Israel blames Hamas for using housing areas, hospitals, schools and mosques to launch attacks into Israel or against its soldiers, provoking defensive counter-fire that it says is responsible for most of the civilian casualties.

Every one of the residents interviewed in eastern Jabaliya insisted that there had been no provocation from the area, no resistance fighters, and no rocket launchings. "There aren't any tunnels around here, we are not resistance," said Najah Abd Rabo. Yet not more than 20 feet away, there was just such a tunnel, which Israeli troops had unearthed. Right in the middle of the road, it had a convincingly camouflaged roof. Talal Safadi, an official in the leftist Palestinian People's Party, said Hamas fighters were firing from positions all around Al Quds Hospital in the Tal-al Hawa neighbourhood.


Hamas Confirms Executing Fatah Collaborators
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232292930390&pagename=JPost/
JPArticle/ShowFull) Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)

PA Minister of Social Welfare Mahmoud Habbash accused Hamas on Wednesday of confiscating 63 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid while they were on their way to UNRWA in Gaza.

[He also said] 19 Palestinians were murdered in cold blood by Hamas during and after Israel's Gaza operation, while more than 60 others were shot in the legs.

Ehab al-Ghsain, spokesman of the Hamas Interior Ministry, said Wednesday, "The internal security service was instructed to track collaborators and hit them hard....They arrested dozens of collaborators." Arrested ?


Gaza Doctor: Hamas Exaggerated Gaza Death Toll —
600 Killed, Mostly Fighters, Not 1,300.
(http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/843/877.html)
Yossi Bar
(Maariv-Hebrew)

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra Thursday quoted a doctor at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City saying that, despite Hamas and UN claims, most of those killed in Gaza were young men who were members of terror groups. "The number of deaths was between 500-600...most were young men between 17 and 23 who were recruited into the ranks of Hamas, which sent them to be slaughtered," he said.

Journalist Lorenzo Cremonesi confirmed that only 600 people were killed, and not 1,300 as was widely reported, based on hospital visits and discussions with families of the victims.

"It was strange that the non-governmental organizations, including Western ones, repeated the number without checking, but the truth will come to light in the end," said the doctor. "It's like what happened in Jenin in 2002," he said. "At the beginning they spoke of 500 dead; afterwards it was clear there were only 54 dead, at least 45 of them fighters."

N.B. One unmentioned point in the concern over the Gaza victims, (whether of Israeli precision bombing or of terrorist gunmen, indifferent as to their targets). Most of the population of Gaza are under 16 years of age. Until three years ago, the average family size in the Gaza Strip was eight children. (U.N. statistics) It is still in excess of six. So a random killing of the population would result in well over half of the victims being ' children'. But the killing was not random. In addition to clear Israeli concern NOT to attack buildings where children were sheltering except when under fire, it must be recognised that years of indoctrination of very young children on the merits and rewards of martyrdom have distorted the pattern. It is these indoctrinated children who rush into battle zones to throw rocks at the foreign devils, who run errands for Hamas fighters, and who attempt to spy for their adored 'army'...

Simon McIlwaine is with Anglican Friends of Israel (www.anglicanfriendsofisrael.com). Contact him at Simon.McIlwaine@ormerods.co.uk

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BACKGROUND: SEN. GEORGE MITCHELL'S BOTCHED JOB IN GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 23, 2009.

This is by Aaron Lerner, Director of IMRA, Independent Media Review and Analysis, an Israel-based news organization which provides an extensive digest of media, polls and significant interviews and events relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict. Its website address is http://www.imra.org.il Write him at imra@netvision.net.il

 

When President Barack Obama named former Sen. George Mitchell as his Middle East envoy today, the Good Friday Agreement was cited as an example of his experience in such activity.

And that's the irony.

Mitchell's first task is supposed to be related to arms smuggling and the Good Friday Agreement, drafted under the guidance of U.S. Senator Mitchell, was simply a botched job when it came to insuring that the IRA put aside their guns.

Here is the critical section of the agreement from 10 April 1998:

"3. All participants accordingly reaffirm their commitment to the total disarmament of all paramilitary organizations. ... to achieve the decommissioning of all paramilitary arms within two years following endorsement in referendums North and South of the agreement and in the context of the implementation of the overall settlement. "

The agreement said when the "decommissioning" should be achieved ("within two years") but did not explicitly require any action before the end of two years, this when other elements of the agreement provided for the sharing of power before the end of this period.

Here is how Mr. Blair explained the problem a year after the Good Friday photo opportunity:

"Sinn Fein have acknowledged these obligations, but are unable to indicate the timescale on which decommissioning will begin. They do not regard the Agreement as imposing any requirement to make a start before the establishment of the new Institutions. The UUP do not wish to move to the establishment of the new institutions without some evident progress with decommissioning."

"People have got to know if they are sitting down with people who have given up violence for good. "They can't negotiate ... with a stack of guns under the table. It's as simple as that," Blair said in an interview that year.

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

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GENOCIDE HENCHMAN LEADING MUSLIM OUTREACH TO OBAMA
Posted by LEL, January 22, 2009.

This was writen by Patrick Poole and it appeared in Pajamas Media
(http://pajamasmedia.com). It is archived at
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/genocide-henchman-leads- us-muslim-outreach-to-obama/

 

In the 1990s, the extremist Muslim Brotherhood government of Sudan, led by President Omar al-Bashir, was continuing a genocidal jihad against the Christian and animist populations inhabiting the south of the country that killed nearly [1] two million people and forced another four million from their homes. In July 2008, Bashir was [2] indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes related to the regime's subsequent genocide in Darfur.

As Bashir was waging his holocaust against the Christians during the 1990s, one of his closest advisors and top aides was Abubaker Ahmed al-Shingieti, who from 1993 to 1995 served as spokesman for Bashir's government (as he was identified in a 1994 New York Times [3] article). According to al-Shingieti's own published [4] résumé, he later served Bashir as director of public affairs for the presidency from 1995 to 1998, as the genocidal jihad against the Christians was at its height and Sudan was the [5] hub of the international Islamic terror network. As [6] reported by the New York Times, eight individuals charged in the New York landmarks bombing plot in 1993 were traveling on Sudanese passports.

As a result of those arrests, Sudan was added to the U.S. State Department [7] list of state sponsors of terrorism in August 1993. That was not long after al-Shingieti's boss began [8] sheltering Osama bin Laden, who lived in Khartoum from 1992 to 1996. With the close advisory role that bin Laden had with the Sudanese president and other high-ranking officials, it is highly likely that al- Shingieti would have had regular direct contact with bin Laden, as well as a host of other terrorist leaders who regularly visited Khartoum during al-Shingieti's tenure.

This is particularly relevant as al-Shingieti will be heading the U.S. Muslim outreach to the Obama administration as the president of [9] American Muslims for Constructive Engagement (AMCE), a collaborative effort by U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood front organizations to infiltrate our federal government. A recent [10] open letter signed by al-Shingieti identifies him as AMCE's president. The group states its vision as:

The United States Muslim community and the United States government working together constructively in enhancing national security and national interests of the United States of America.

The lead organization in AMCE, the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), which al-Shingieti serves as regional director, is the current focus of a federal [11] grand jury probe into terrorist financing. At least two other AMCE groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), were named by federal prosecutors as [12] unindicted co-conspirators in the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial, which resulted in [13] convictions on all 108 counts. And the Muslim American Society (MAS) was [14] identified in federal court briefs by the Department of Justice as "the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America."

Exhibits entered into evidence in the Holy Land Foundation trial identified CAIR as a front group for the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood, and ISNA was also identified as an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood. Testimony by FBI Special Agent Lara Burns during that trial [15] placed AMCE steering committee member Nihad Awad at an infamous [16] 1993 meeting of U.S.-based Hamas leadership in Philadelphia.

And documents received this past August by the Investigative Project through a Freedom of Information Act request [17] revealed that AMCE steering committee member Jamal al-Barzinji and AMCE advisory council member Yacub Mirza were listed in FBI memos as "members and leaders of the Ikhwan", which is the Arabic term for the Muslim Brotherhood. Department of Homeland Security senior agent David Kane has [18] testified in a federal court affidavit that "Barzinji is not only closely associated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad], but also with Hamas."

A December 2002 Wall Street Journal [19] article relates some additional information about the terrorist connections of AMCE advisory council member Yacub Mirza:

According to court records and Justice Department documents, Mr. Mirza and several associates are suspected of funding the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which targets Israeli civilians with suicide bombers. U.S. officials privately say Mr. Mirza and his associates also have connections to al-Qaeda and to other entities officially listed by the U.S. as sponsors of terrorism.

Another [20] FBI memo obtained by the Investigative Project states that al-Shingieti's organization, IIIT, was one of the "Ikhwan organizations" that "are involved in organizing political support which involves influencing both public opinion in the United States as well as the United States government." This political influence campaign was considered the first phase in a plan "to institute the Islamic revolution in the United States," according to the FBI document.

It is appropriate to revisit these extensive contacts between AMCE member organizations and officials and the international Muslim Brotherhood network, and even activity by AMCE leaders in support of Islamic terrorist organizations, because another Muslim Brotherhood [21] strategic document entered into evidence by federal prosecutors in the Holy Land Foundation trial revealed that the activity of these organizations in the U.S. is part of a "grand jihad" to [22] destroy the West from within:

The process of settlement is a "civilization-jihadist process" with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.

These connections and the Muslim Brotherhood's stated goal of waging a "grand jihad" inside the U.S. raise particular concerns considering statements [23] reported by the Wall Street Journal made by al-Shingieti's current boss, Jamal al-Barzinji, at a fall 2001 Organization of Islamic Conference meeting in Qatar, bragging how he and his associates had successfully infiltrated Washington:

At this time, the president and his administration are continually seeking the counsel and input of American Muslim leaders. At no other time has the Muslim community in America been more effective in relation to the processes of American government.

When considering the concerted and extensive effort by the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate the U.S. government, we can gain insight into how Abubaker al-Shingieti has transitioned from being a top official in the genocidal Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood regime, to a top official in the U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood network, to leading the U.S. Muslim community's outreach to the Obama administration as the head of American Muslims for Constructive Engagement.

Investigating his background we find that despite his recent image makeover as an [4] expert in interfaith relations and reconciliation — a dramatic change from his service as a henchman to a genocidal government — that Abubaker al-Shingieti has not changed his Muslim Brotherhood allegiances in his various transitions, just merely changed employers. Many of his AMCE colleagues have made similar transitions to respectability without distancing themselves from their terrorist ties.

What's a little genocide between friends? Thus we can expect that the agenda al-Shingieti carries in his contacts with the Obama administration will continue to be in service to the Muslim Brotherhood's "grand jihad" he has served for the past two decades.

URLs in this post:

[1] two million people: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/232803.stm

[2] indicted: http://www.icc-cpi.int/press/pressreleases/406.html

[3] article: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/
fullpage.html?res=9F02E0D71030F935A2575BC0A962958260

[4] résumé: http://www.icrd.org/index.php?option=
com_content&task=view&id=279&Itemid=126

[5] hub: http://www.milnet.com/state/1997/mckune97.htm

[6] reported: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=
9F0CE2DC1E3AF935A15755C0A965958260&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/
Subjects/T/Terrorism

[7] list: http://www.state.gov/s/ct/c14151.htm

[8] sheltering: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,134544,00.html

[9] American Muslims for Constructive Engagement: http://
www.amceweb.net/2.html

[10] open letter: http://www.islamicamagazine.com/general/Open-Letter-
Concerning-Anwar-Ibrahim.html

[11] grand jury probe: http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/mar/04/
me-al-arian-gets-federal-subpoena

[12] unindicted co-conspirators: http://www.investigativeproject.org/
documents/case_docs/423.pdf

[13] convictions: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/
latestnews/stories/112508dnmetholylandverdicts.1e5022504.html

[14] identified: http://www.investigativeproject.org/article/597

[15] placed: http://counterterrorismblog.org/2007/08/
cair_executive_director_placed.php

[16] 1993 meeting: http://www1.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/
93Phillyfinal.pdf

[17] revealed: http://www.investigativeproject.org/article/737

[18] testified: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=73719

[19] article: http://www.islamicsupremecouncil.org/CMS/Topics/
insideUS/1218159502002.htm

[20] FBI memo: http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/159.pdf

[21] strategic document: http://www.investigativeproject.org/
documents/case_docs/445.pdf

[22] destroy: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/
columnists/rdreher/stories/DN-dreher_09edi.ART.State.Edition1.4235f88.html

[23] reported: http://www.islamicsupremecouncil.org/CMS/Topics/ Leaders/119111662002.htm

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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THE NEW ANTI-SEMITISM
Posted by LEL, January 22, 2009.

This was written by Claudia Rosett, a journalist-in-residence with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, writes a weekly column on foreign affairs for Forbes.

America has just thrown one of the world's biggest parties, rejoicing with good reason at the fall of the racial barrier to the White House. But bigotry ebbs and flows on many fronts, and a question for President Obama as he takes up his responsibilities as leader of the free world is whether he will now champion — or at least strive to protect — another minority whose members are today the targets of resurgent prejudice.

I am speaking of a minority that even in the relatively enlightened 21st century is increasingly subject both worldwide, and to a disturbing extent even inside the U.S., to double standards, slurs, threats, arson, bombings, stabbings and other attacks on their persons, shops, homes and places of worship.

It is not unusual in some parts of the world to hear them described, not least by official media outlets, as apes and pigs. In some prestigious quarters, notably the United Nations, it appears acceptable — in practice, if not as a matter of official policy — for member states to promote or even issue calls for their extermination.

As you have probably guessed, I am speaking of the Jews. To many Americans, that may sound overwrought. American Jews are by and large a prosperous bunch, sending their children to good schools, filling some of the top ranks in publishing, finance, medicine, academia and government. One of their own, Rahm Emanuel, is currently serving as Obama's chief of staff. What's to worry about?

Plenty. They belong to a minority that just 64 years ago was subject to industrial-scale slaughter in the heart of Europe. The 6 million Jews murdered in that Holocaust are remembered and their deaths commemorated today with cries of "never again."

Yet there are proliferating signs that in too many places, and too many ways, the world is tacitly coming to accept not only persecution of the Jews, but the possibility of a second genocide — not necessarily by way of active complicity, but under labels familiar from the last century: It was not our fault. There was nothing we could do.

Compared with the world's population today of 6.7 billion, the entire Jewish population worldwide is infinitesimal, estimated at roughly 14 million. Some 40% of those Jews live in the U.S. Some 40% live in the world's only Jewish state, Israel.

The rest are scattered from France to Canada, the United Kingdom, Russia, Argentina, Australia and beyond. Collectively, they account for no more than about 0.2% of humanity.

That's also miniscule compared with a worldwide Muslim population very roughly estimated at some 1.5 billion. And Israel, for all its U.S. support, walks a lonely and beleaguered path compared to the 57- member strong Saudi-headquartered Organization of the Islamic Conference — one of the core lobbying blocs in the UN General Assembly.

Many Muslims may well desire simply to live in peace. Unfortunately, some of the most vocal, politically active and militarily aggressive among them — ruling Iran and Gaza, and harbored in places such as Syria and Lebanon — are explicitly dedicated to destroying Israel.

Through Internet and television propaganda, through pronouncements from the UN stage, through everything from subsidies to anti-Semitic lobbying associations to money and arms for terrorist groups, they spend considerable resources fueling movements to boycott, denigrate and attack Jews.

There are many spokes in the anti-Semitic web now being re-woven around the globe, from Saudi Arabia to the Palestinian schools and media that feature maps without Israel, and role models such as a martyred version of Mickey Mouse.

But as Obama takes office, two hubs stand out. One is Iran, supporter of terrorists, source of genocidal proclamations against Israel and seeker of nuclear bombs.

Whatever the doubts about that bomb program raised by the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate of late 2007, Obama's pick for cabinet- rank ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, clearly sees a problem. In her written testimony for her confirmation hearing Jan. 15, she noted that "Iran continues its illicit nuclear program unabated."

The other hub is the United Nations, which, despite its own sanctions on Iran and its own 1945 charter which aims to avert such horrors as another holocaust, continues to dignify Tehran and some of its fellow anti-Semitic despotic states with a slew of important UN posts, while treating Israel as a pariah state.

Though a democracy, Israel has never been allowed to hold one of the 10 rotating seats on a Security Council that in recent years has welcomed such tyrannies as Syria and Libya.

Currently, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is fueling the problem — publicly condemning Israel's battle to stop the terrorist attacks by Hamas, touring Gaza and demanding a probe of Israeli actions, while offering no viable protection to Israelis.

Don't hold your breath for a UN inquiry into weapons and training supplied to Hamas by the same Iranian regime whose nuclear bomb program the UN's leaky sanctions have failed to stop.

In this, Ban is carrying on a deep-seated UN tradition of bias against Jews and Israel. That is broadly obvious from the UN's torrent of anti-Israel statements, resolutions and so forth, including plans to hold a repeat in Geneva this April of the UN's anti-Israel 2001 conference in Durban, South Africa, ostensibly convened to discuss racism.

But if anyone wants more detail, an illuminating account of the UN's anti-Semitic inner circles can be found in the memoir of a former senior UN official, Pedro Sanjuan, The UN Gang, published in 2005.

Sanjuan, who served at the UN in the 1980s and early 1990s, but kept in touch with it well after that, devotes an entire chapter, rich in anecdote, to "The Anti-Semitic UN Culture." Sanjuan writes that though he himself is not a Jew, what bothered him most during his years at the UN was "this unrelenting bigotry" against them.

During Israel's recent battle with Hamas in Gaza, attacks both verbal and physical against Jews have risen worldwide. To cite just a small sample, there have been reports of a double shooting in Denmark, Molotov cocktails hurled at synagogues in France, a Jewish burial chapel fire-bombed in Sweden, graffiti scrawled across British buildings saying "Jihad 4 Israel" and "Kill Jews," schools and synagogues desecrated on the North Side of Chicago, and — in an echo of Germany's 1938 Kristallnacht — rocks shattering the 50-year-old stained glass windows of a Jewish temple in Knoxville, Tenn.

At risk of being written off as hysterics — which the rising stack of evidence suggests they are not — a handful of journalists have tackled the story. These include syndicated columnist Mark Steyn, who in an article last week on "The Oldest Hatred, Resurgent," reeled off a staggering list of epithets, threats and physical attacks targeting Jews, including a crowd in Amsterdam chanting "Hamas! Hamas! Jews to the gas!," and Palestinian demonstrators in Florida sneering, "You need a big oven, that's what you need."

From Britain, writing in The Wall Street Journal Europe, social critic Melanie Phillips describes a demonstration at which Hamas supporters showed up dressed as "hook-nosed Jews pretending to drink the blood of Palestinian babies."

The message British authorities gave to pro-Israeli demonstrators who turned up at the same scene was to put away their Israeli flags because these were deemed "inflammatory."

But whatever surge of anti-Semitism might have accompanied Israel's battle to stop terrorist attacks by Hamas out of Gaza, the rising prejudice and malice dates back well before that.

Last year, a State Department report to Congress on "Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism" noted that "Over the last decade, U.S. embassies and consulates have reported an upsurge in anti-Semitism." That would be the decade in which Israel pulled out of Lebanon (2000), accepted the "roadmap" that sought to establish a democratic Palestinian state (2003) and withdrew from Gaza (2005).

Government-affiliated studies in recent years in both Europe and Britain have reported that, in the words of a 2006 UK all-party parliamentary inquiry: "It is clear that violence, desecration of property and intimidation directed toward Jews is on the rise."

A report leaked in 2003 from the former Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, an independent body of the European Union, observed an outbreak of anti-Semitic acts in Europe following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

These included conspiracy theories that Jews were behind those attacks, denial of the holocaust and "desecration of synagogues, cemeteries, swastika graffiti, threatening and insulting mail." There were "physical attacks" on Jews and Jewish temples, "often committed by young Muslim perpetrators."

The study also described some of the anti-Jewish acts to young people who reportedly had no "specific anti-Semitic prejudices," but joined the Jew-baiting "just for fun."

Nor are Jews in the U.S. entirely spared. In the hate-crime statistics released each year by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, attacks on Jews routinely outnumber religiously based attacks against any other group.

For 2007, FBI figures show that among 1,477 religiously motivated hate crimes reported by U.S. law enforcement authorities, 9% were anti-Islamic, 9.5% were "anti-other religion," 4.4% were anti- Catholic and, by far outstripping any other category, "68.4% were anti-Jewish."

While much of the world may live today in the shadow of terrorist threats, actual attacks over many years have zeroed in repeatedly and specifically on Jews. That's why one now sees Jewish centers in places such as Manhattan surrounded by security barriers. From the bombings in Argentina of the Israeli embassy in 1992 (killing 32) and Jewish community center in 1993 (killing 87), to attacks on synagogues and other Jewish watering holes in places such as Tunisia, Turkey, France and, just two months ago, the terrorist slaughter in Mumbai, which specifically included a Jewish chabad, actual attacks have zeroed in again and again on the Jews.

This scene is also part of a world in which President Obama has become a symbol of what freedom, hope and virtue can do to deliver better days to a long embattled minority. What will he do about the Jews?

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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FROM ISRAEL: IN THE WAKE OF THE WAR
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 22, 2009.

Would you believe? Yes, I guess many of you would believe this AP report:

Yesterday PA TV news showed footage of tunnels between Egypt and Gaza operating again. One sequence showed Palestinian smugglers filling a fuel truck with gas that had just come through a tunnel; other footage showed workers clearing blocked tunnels.

We never said we got all the tunnels, just that we disabled many of them. The question now is how we're going to respond to this.

First signs are not encouraging. There was some inane comment released regarding the fact that this might happen in coming days, before Egypt has a plan in place.

~~~~~~~~~~

Amos Gilad, you see, has just met with Egyptian officials to discuss a long term "truce" with Hamas (whatever Hamas will call it in Arabic), stopping the smuggling, and "lifting the siege of Gaza."

Why is it that my heart is not lifted by this information?

~~~~~~~~~~

Efraim Inbar and Mordecai Kedar have written a paper for the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, entitled, "Egypt is not going to stop the smuggling into Gaza."

The summary reads as follows:

"Conventional wisdom posits that Egypt must and will play a central role in halting the smuggling of weapons from Sinai to Gaza. Yet this is unlikely — for strategic, political and Egyptian domestic reasons. Egypt does not mind if Hamas bleeds Israel a little; it gains domestically by indirectly aiding Hamas; gains internationally by playing a mediating role (in a conflict which it helps maintain on a "low flame"); and is incapable of stopping the Sinai Bedouins from continuing as the main weapons smugglers into Gaza. Thus, Israel would be imprudent to rely on Egypt to end the smuggling of weapons into Gaza."

I have this terribly feeling that we're about to be imprudent.

I received this paper as an e-mail and cannot provide a URL for it because it's not yet posted on the BESA website: http://www.biu.ac.il/Besa/perspectives.html. When it does go up, it's perspective paper #60.

~~~~~~~~~~

From Haaretz, there is this with regard to smuggling:

"One of the Bedouin in the area insists that the smuggling will continue because they have no other way to earn a living. The Egyptian police operating in the area periodically blow up the Palestinian-built tunnels when they become aware of them, but they reportedly turn a blind eye to Bedouin subterranean smuggling routes.

"One resident of the area claims that Egyptian President Mubarak knows not to mess with the Bedouin in Sinai because he knows that terrorist attacks in recent years at tourist hotels in the Sinai were not the work of Al-Qaida but of Bedouin. He claims that they were sending the Egyptian government a message that Egypt should drop a proposed plan to move Sinai Bedouin away from the border.

"The Bedouin reportedly move around almost unhindered by the Egyptian police. In the face of prior attempts to limit their activity, the Bedouin rioted and even attack Egyptian police installations. [There are] indications that the Egyptian police have frequently cooperated with the smugglers, sometimes in exchange for payments of money..."


www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1057661.html

~~~~~~~~~~

The more shtuyote (nonsense) I see now with regard to the aftermath of the war, the less I believe that those who led us into the war (the "triumvirate") had proper motivation (although the action itself was most proper!) and the more I am inclined to see the political purposes that likely drove them.

For proper motivation during the war should and would lead to strength and resolve now.

~~~~~~~~~~

Amos Gilad is now reporting on his Cairo meeting to Defense Minister Barak. Reportedly, these are some of the matters that were addressed with regard to preventing weapons from getting into Gaza:

— Sharing intelligence regarding arms en route to the Sinai.

— The means (at least in theory) for stopping smuggling from the Sinai into Gaza. This is the sticky part. Egypt has 750 troops at or near the border and requested that this be increased to 2,000. The Defense Ministry says this isn't necessary. It is, if truth be told, a question of motivation.

But some defense officials are saying we should let them have it: "If this is what the Egyptians want, then let them have more soldiers. This way, Egypt won't have any more excuses for why it's not stopping the smuggling."

Wonderful. So this will apparently be negotiated.

In addition, there are discussions planned regarding tunnel detection equipment, about which I hope to learn more.

— Ways to create obstacles inside of the Sinai, so weapons never get to the border. There is talk about blocking entrance to the Egyptian Rafah via a barrier around the city and checkpoints (I alluded to this previously), but this addresses the crossing point at Rafah. What confuses me here is how that is supposed to prevent smuggling under the border on either side of Rafah. There is talk of the (remote) possibility of a moat.

Egypt has these various suggestions "under study" but has made it clear that there will be no foreign troops inside of Egypt and no foreign ships patrolling at the coast of the Sinai.

But never mind, the Egyptians say, "Israel knows we're doing our best."

~~~~~~~~~~

A US foreign policy statement released yesterday declares that "US President Barack Obama will make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a key diplomatic priority from day one."

We knew this was coming, but I had secret hopes that he'd be too busy with the economy to pay attention to us. No such luck. The president and the vice president, we're told "will make a sustained push — working with Israelis and Palestinians — to achieve the goal of two states, a Jewish state in Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security."

~~~~~~~~~~

Does this phraseology sound slightly shop-worn? Why, I ponder, does Obama imagine he can accomplish this when everyone else has failed. And why does he imagine that this is an appropriate moment to achieve the goal?

I do apologize if from time to time I will repeat myself — with regard, for example, to why there should be no Palestinian state. But as long as the international community insists on pushing for this, the response must be forthcoming.

Obama did speak about commitment to the security of Israel, and I'll want to see exactly what he perceives as providing us with necessary security. Without knowing specifics, it's just words: perhaps he thinks we can be "secure" if we surrender all of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians.

He also declares, I'm glad to say, that he is in favor of continuing assistance to Israel and cooperation with Israel regarding development of missile defense systems.

~~~~~~~~~~

We have been informed that yesterday Obama called Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah. He did this on his first day as president in order to fulfill his pledge to get involved with Middle East affairs "from day one."

Abbas's people are claiming he called Abbas first. Don't know that this is true just because they say so, but it would be regrettable if he called a two-bit leader of not much ahead of heads of state. This would tell us a good deal.

~~~~~~~~~~

Obama's position on Iran, as now enunciated in the just-released foreign policy statement, quite frankly terrifies me because of its flaccidness, it's lack of strength:

"[Obama] supports tough and direct diplomacy with Iran without preconditions. Now is the time to use the power of American diplomacy to pressure Iran to stop their illicit nuclear program, support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel.

"If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation." It's troubling behavior? Troubling? I'm sick.

But perhaps we shouldn't worry. Perhaps the leaders of Iran will be so eager to join the World Trade Organization that they'll start being nice. After all, Obama is being nice.

~~~~~~~~~~

Yasser Abd Rabbo of the Palestinian Authority said today that the PA "will not allow" Hamas to create a "separate Palestinian entity" in Gaza. Apparently he hasn't noticed that there are already two Palestinian entities. So many words. How will the PA stop it?

~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, Mashaal of Hamas says he's in favor of reconciliation with the PA, but on the basis of "resistance," not concessions to Israel. In other words, do it their way or not at all.

Mashaal is calling for Europeans to talk with Hamas.

And he speaks about gains soon to be achieved: "the lifting of the blockade and the opening of crossing points." This is precisely what worries me. We're going to be pressured big time to allow this.

~~~~~~~~~~

One thing we are doing is preventing the PA from transferring cash to Gaza to pay workers there. This undercuts PA influence in Gaza, although certainly the Israeli goal is to prevent cash from making it into Hamas hands.

This sounds good: We've told the UN and other aid groups eager to be involved in rebuilding that each project has to be approved by us, and that there must be guarantees that none of the work will benefit Hamas. In truth, tough to do on the ground as UNRWA and others are in bed with Hamas, but a good policy.

I'm reading, however, that Washington wants the PA involved.

~~~~~~~~~~

A Hamas spokesman announced today that Hamas will be distributing cash, starting on Sunday, to residents of Gaza hard hit by the war. In total about $37 is to be distributed in Euros (shekels being in short supply). Those whose homes were destroyed, who lost family members or were wounded will be compensated according to a schedule.

Directly or indirectly, we can assume this is Iranian money.

This is apparently a bid to shore up popular support for Hamas.

~~~~~~~~~~

From the Post, we have this quote from Egyptian Foreign Minister Gheit:

"Whether Shalit is alive or not alive, this is a question that needs investigation now. I have no information and I believe the Israeli side has no information either."

Meanwhile, Hamas is saying that there is no progress on negotiations for Shalit, and a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees said, "The Israelis are wrong if they think the war will help them pressure us on Shalit. Our demands have not changed: The entire list of prisoners we demanded, and in addition, launching talks on lifting the siege."

If ever we needed to be tough...

Barak is still saying the war may lead to a break-through in securing Shalit.

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

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ARABIST BBC LOST ITS CREDIBILITY YEARS AGO
Posted by American, January 22, 2009.

Yesterday (Jan 21, 2009), BBC's gimmick was about a girl, a drama invented by Pallywood.

All the sources the BBC quoted was the Hamas-nick "father" (of a wounded girl) and other family ('Abu Rabu') members, that they "saw" with their own eyes how the Israeli soldiers shot at them and eating chocolate.

(Come to think of it, How can you shoot and eat at the same time?, Never mind!).

As if the world hasn't seen enough Pallywood fake reports and fake images? Now, "based" on the story told by the family, the terrible biased BBC has taken and reported it as a "fact".

But of course you never see the real facts in the middle east conflict, like of those Hamas Jihadists how they mingle with civilians to cause casualties, or any Israeli kids injured from Palestinians, because Israel does not exist as human beings in BBC's vocabulary, all Israeli kids are all of a sudden "tanks" — while Palestinian Jiahdists are all "civilians".

Contact American at american1627@yahoo.com

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SUPREME COURT OF INJUSTICE; WAR CRIMES; BLIND TO EVIL
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 22, 2009.

SUPREME COURT OF INJUSTICE

Benny Begin thinks that the present Minister of Justice is harassing the Supreme Court. He wants to restore the Court's lost prestige, because the Court is needed to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority.

The Minister of Justice set out to reform the Supreme Court. That Court forfeited its prestige, because it is self-appointed and self-aggrandizing, rules on the basis of ideology rather than of law and justice, and imposes a tyranny for the minority (Arabs and leftists) against the majority.

There are no checks on that Court. That Court hampers government, including its prosecution of war. Calling Israeli Arabs a "minority," as if entitled to sympathy, ignores their subversive goals and their allegiance to the external Arab enemy. Israeli Arabs have resumed their pre-statehood struggle for the country. The Court should not defy the law and national security in order to side with the Arabs for reasons of personal doctrine. That abuses power.

INAUGURAL OF WHAT?

I read the inaugural address. It was inspirational, but like some of the campaign speeches. It was so balanced, as to give no clue of direction or policy. I think it inadequate for our crisis. We elected an inexperienced, unknown person. He remains unknown, starting out as President. (Next day, he did act.)

I wish he had said he was offering a sense of direction and policy and starting out with accomplishment, by submitting, say, the following executive order, proposed bill, and set of clemency, pardon, and dropping of prosecution.

An executive order to institute Pres. Clinton's proposed reduction in fuel usages for cars and housing and to ban private snowmobiles from national parks and public land. This would save money, non-renewable fuel, and air. He would explain that it is time to stop over-indulging.

A bill to advance computerization of medical records, to reduce costs and errors.

Clemency for Pollard, our political prisoner, whom the US had tortured. Pardons for Scooter Libby and Conrad Black, not for personal or partisan gain. These prisoners committed no crime and there was no crime, but prosecutors trapped them in endless questioning and confused a jury. Drop prosecution of the AIPAC people, who committed no crime and certainly did no harm, but prosecutors bullied the employer to drop legal aid for them and they forced one to testify against the others. No more Justice Dept. bullying! That would lend substance to the uttered sentiment.

BLIND TO EVIL

The UNO does a few good things, but even its foreign aid is mostly misguided.

The UNO is a chaotic, wasteful uncontrolled bureaucracy, grasping for world domination over resources and taxation. It seeks (like the EU) to impose its rule on sovereign democracies. Its security function is stymied or controlled by a log-rolling collection of religious, leftist, or military dictatorships. Half of its security-matters time is spent favoring jihad over Israel. The other half is in protecting or botching action against other genocide. It therefore is an evil axis.

My friends ruefully wish it had more power. More power for evil? Better it had less power or no power. Best it be disbanded until mankind is ready for it. Understand, it seems to lack the power to do much, because those who dominate it don't want it to thwart their schemes.

The UNO is governments' excuse for inaction where action is needed. Nevertheless, the world supposes that what some country does is not legitimate unless it has UNO imprimatur, and is illegitimate if the UNO condemns it. Imagine, gaining legitimacy from the most evil organization in the world?

The most evil organization? Isn't the government of, say, N. Korea, the most evil? N. Korea would not have become the menace it is, without UNO help, obstruction, and incompetence. Some for other, local menaces.

WAR CRIMES

World indignation against Israel's war conduct in Gaza is based on false and misleading media accounts and on audiences primed with prejudice.

The US once made war crimes something for dictators to take into account. No longer. The subject has been turned over to the media process of endless, politically correct commentary, political and religious persecution, and to the lawyers. Lawyers miss the point, they pick the nit.

We see this happening to Israel. Hamas, as the Muslim Arabs and Iranians in general, wage illegitimate war almost entirely by means of war crimes. Israel takes excessive precaution to avoid war crimes. What do the world and the UNO do about it? They ignore Hamas' real crimes and have lawyers misconstruing international law in order to condemn Israel for non-existent war crimes.

It now is difficult for victims of Islamic aggression to defend themselves from war criminals. Lawyers restrict the IDF, and a meddling Supreme Court's second-guesses it. That Court sympathize more with Israel's genocidal enemy.

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

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SAME OLD EHUD BARAK ON PALESTINIAN ARABS RESUMING SMUGGLING
Posted by Daisy Stern, January 22, 2009.

There is nothing whatever preventing the arms smuggling from resuming. It has in fact resumed. The word coming from soldiers is that the tunnels are operating at full capacity as if nothing had happened. The entrances to some of the tunnels may have been damaged but the tunne

Ya'akov writes:

There is nothing whatever preventing the arms smuggling from resuming. It has in fact resumed. The word coming from soldiers is that the tunnels are operating at full capacity as if nothing had happened. The entrances to some of the tunnels may have been damaged but the tunnels themselves survived quite intact and the entrances were quickly repaired. I find it hard to believe that Ehud Barak really believes that Egypt will become Israel's first line of defense by stopping the weapons smuggling through the tunnels or that European observers will do anything more than observe the smuggling. He solemnly says he does and so do Olmert and Livni and clearly they want the voters to believe it. In fact, however, not many people are that stupid. If there is anyone who believes that either Egypt or Europe will take casualties to reduce a threat to Israel, I want some of they've been smoking. Furthermore, the top leadership of Hamas is still in the saddle and Hamas leadership in general seems to be intact, as also the ranks. I question how much of their arsenal the IDF was able to destroy. In sum, it appears that a lot of buildings have been destroyed, which will be quickly rebuilt with international assistance. Damage to Israeli buildings will also be repaired but with Israeli money only, just like after the Hezballah War. The Minister of De Fence is crowing about how Hamas has been sobered and will be deterred from attacking us again (as if he knows). I also want some of what he's been smoking. And the Foreign Minister is clamoring for her share of the credit for what the war accomplished, whatever that might be.

It has also occurred to us at Hashkem that a deal was made to keep things quiet until after the elections. Why would Hamas agree to such a deal? There are rivalries between clans in Gaza and Haniya might have wanted some of the rival clans put down. There were a number of large, expensive private mansions bombed and we are cynical enough to wonder if they weren't part of such a deal. Just speculation. Similarly, why was it important to complete the withdrawal before Obama's inauguration? Did Israel's leaders get a promise of a quid pro quo in the form of Obama smiling at them and saying nice things and making them look good for the Israeli voters? Again, it's just speculation. But is it inherently credible? If it is, then that, in and of itself, says a great deal. If someone had suggested such a thing about Shamir or Begin or Be-Gurion, it would have been laughable.

This below was written by Batya Medad, who 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

Barak Barach
Barak Fled

That has been the rallying cry against Ehud Barach oops! Barak ever since he ran for cover instead of helping the wounded at the training accident at Tzehelim Bet and how he ordered our troops to flee Southern Lebanon, which enabled Hizbullah to arm against Israel.

The vast majority of Israelis are disgusted and disappointed by Israel's early withdrawal from Gaza and the pre-mature cessation of Operation Cast Lead, aka the Election Campaign War.

Ironically, Tzachi Hanegbi, whose mantra used to be "Barak Barach," now sounds just like him in his announcement:

"Hamas militants face a simple equation," Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzachi Hanegbi told Army Radio. "If the [rocket] fire resumes, we will respond with force so strong and overpowering, they will miss the day the Israel Air Force's offensive began." (hat tip IMRA)

Barak's reign as Prime Minister was full of threats like that, but he never followed through, and we ended up with the worst bout of Arab terrorism ever. The media calls it "The Second Intifada," not that I remember any announcemt by the terrorists that they had ended the sic "first" one. There were periodic lulls, like when ocean water recedes between waves.

Ehud Barak was elected during such a lull, and then he so mishandled the subsequent terrorism, emboldening the terrorists by his unilateral campaign promise withdrawal from Southern Lebanon, that most of the country felt under siege. We were forced to get bullet-proof vehicles or travel dressed in heavy bullet-proof vests. My sons were serving in the army at the time, and I was more nervous about their walking in Jerusalem than when they were doing their actual military tasks.

Today, what frightens me is the national amnesia, which has allowed that same Ehud Barak to return to politics as head of the Labor Party and subsequently become Defense Minister. As IDF Chief of Staff, he was instrumental in downgrading the army which caused the many mistakes in Olmert's Lebanese War fiasco of two and a half years ago.

And now, Ehud Barak is willing to accept continued smuggling of arms by Hamas into Gaza. All I can think of is that a deal was made via the Egyptians to keep things "quiet" until after Israeli elections.

Please don't forget that one of the new U.S. President Obama's highest priority Foreign Policy aims is to establish a new Arab country in the very heart of Israel.

My husband and I just spent close to a week on vacation in Eilat, sans internet. That's why I haven't posted recently. We were dependent on TV news, which gave very little real information. Now we're back.

Most Israelis, Jews and concerned people all over the world are shocked that Israel ended Operation Cast Lead without the freeing of Gilad Shalit. What was the real point of that "war?" "War," "operation," "campaign," it doesn't matter what it's called. The important thing is to have a clear goal, and Israel doesn't. Our soldiers are motivated and want to to the job professionally. When we returned to Jerusalem from Eilat, we saw signs all over proclaiming that "the people have the fortitude to support the soldiers on the frontline." Our problem is that we're ruled by weak tired, selfishly ambitious and shortsighted politicians.

G-d is angry with them, and that's why there's no rain. But G-d loves the people, and that's why with all of the rockets and missiles launched at southern Israel, there were so few casualties.

With elections coming up, we have the opportunity to vote for true leaders. I'm voting for Ichud Le'umi, the only party which is uncompromising in its support for the People and Land and State and Security of Israel.

Contact Daisy Stern by email at daisystern1@gmail.com

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LETTERS ARE "OXYGEN" FOR JONATHAN POLLARD
Posted by Justice For Jonathan Pollard, January 21, 2009.

Disgusted? Unhappy with the situation? Disappointed with Bush? Furious with Olmert, Livni and Barak?

Long to see Jonathan home? Still working for his release and also praying hard?

Please write to Jonathan today. Share with him how you are feeling.

It means a lot to Jonathan to read with his own eyes and feel with his own heart, just how much the people are with him at this heart-breaking time. We know of the massive support that is out there because of the volume of emails we are receiving. Although J4JP has been receiving a flurry of emails and comments, unfortunately telephone time for sharing them with Jonathan is very limited.

We urge all of our friends and supporters to take pen in hand and write to Jonathan. He has always referred to the letters he receives as his "oxygen". Let's keep the life support line open.

Write today. Regular mail only, please. No emails, no fax permitted.

Feel free to share a copy of your letter with J4JP by email and we will (with permission) share some of the letters with our readers to comfort and inspire them as well.

Please do share this message with others who may not be receiving our emails — family, friends, shul bulletins, and other lists. Thank you and G-d bless!

Here is Jonathan's address:

Jonathan Pollard #09185-016
P.O. Box 1000
Butner, NC
U.S.A 27509-1000

Reach Justice for Jonathan Pollard by sending an email to justice4jp@gmail.com and visit the website: http://www.JonathanPollard.org

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A CHRISTIAN IN GAZA
Posted by Shaul Ceder, January 21, 2009.

This below was written by Lela Gilbert and it appeared today in Jewish World Review.
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com

It's not just Jews who continue to suffer at the hands of Hamas.

 

On a chilly January morning, three of us drove beneath a cloud-strewn sky through forests, fields, and ancient terraces, making our way from Jerusalem to Israel's southern region where thousands of people live within range of Hamas's rockets. As we approached our destination, I noticed another cloud, a towering column of black smoke on the horizon, billowing from northern Gaza, where a battle was raging.

We passed the community of Sderot-literally "on the map" because of the Qassam strikes it has endured-and soon arrived at Kibbutz Gevim, situated just a few miles from both Sderot and Gaza. We were there to assist in a temporary evacuation of the kibbutz's senior citizens. The two Christian organizations my friends represent were treating these elders to a few leisurely days in the seaside resort town of Eilat, a welcome respite from the relentless bombardment.

I talked with several genial but visibly anxious men and women while they waited for the bus to arrive. Many of them had lived at Kibbutz Gevim for more than half a century. They were eagerly looking forward to getting a good night's sleep in Eilat, with no sirens and no rush to the "safe room" in their houses.

"Do you think this war will make your life better?" I asked one man named Moredcai "Yes, I think so" he nodded. "And not just my life. It will also be better for the people in Gaza once Hamas is broken."

A woman named Edna seemed particularly nervous, her hands in constant movement.. "Aren't you afraid to come here?" she asked me with a worried frown. "My own family won't even come to visit! I have to meet them in Tel Aviv." The sound of a large explosion startled us all and punctuated her comment. She added, "Anybody who says they aren't afraid to live here is lying."

Several residents mentioned medications that made it possible for them to function — prescriptions for anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs are very much in demand, and for good reason. I learned that a few months before, a small boy from Kibbutz Gevim had been injured by a Qassam strike; in fact not a single child could be seen in the carefully-tended kibbutz playground. One woman described her house, which had taken a direct hit and needed extensive repairs. Other rockets had ignited fires and damaged structures. Everyone spoke of the nerve-wracking noise that never seemed to end: sirens, explosions, helicopters and warplanes.

These ordinary men and women couldn't have been clearer about their dearest hopes: they want nothing more than to live out their lives in peace. Unfortunately, they face an extraordinarily hostile enemy that has fired 6,000 rockets into Israel's civilian communities over the past eight years. Hamas's actions reflect the spirit of their 1988 Charter, which calls for the death of Jews and the eradication of Israel.

It's not just Jews, however, who suffer at the hands of Hamas. Getting far less media attention is the situation facing 3,000 Christians who live inside the Gaza strip. Following the Hamas coup in Gaza, a radical sheikh, Abu Sakir announced, "'I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes. They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza.'" Months ago I had a conversation with two Gazan Christians, who had fled their homes and were hiding out in the West Bank while hoping for asylum elsewhere. Their stories exposed the dangers Christian families face under Hamas, including extortion, rape, beatings and murder.

Our little gathering at Kibbutz Gevim wasn't especially religious. It amounted to an ad hoc coalition of concerned Christians hoping to make life a little easier for a group of war-weary Jews. Everything centered on life-affirming values and life-sustaining actions that are deeply rooted in both Christianity and Judaism.

Yet even as we said our goodbyes, another deadly explosion shattered the morning stillness.

As my friends and I headed back to Jerusalem, I thought about encroaching terrorism that has cast its terrible shadow across so many lives across the world. We are often told that its root causes are economic, territorial, ethnic and political. While these issues may indeed play their part, public declarations from groups like Hamas and Al Qaeda are almost entirely religious. By now the world has seen more than enough columns of black smoke towering above our cities, heard enough body counts, and witnessed enough of terrorism's tragic consequences. Still I can't help but wonder-are we taking seriously enough the hateful religious ideology that inflames radical Islamists?

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

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THE MIDDLE EAST WAR COMES TO EUROPE
Posted by Olivier Guitta, January 21, 2009.

After three weeks of war in Gaza, Israel has implemented a unilateral cease-fire. The coverage of this war has been overwhelming. From Washington to Amman to Paris and London, the images, reports and articles on this conflict have been hyper-present.

While it is true that the Israeli-Arab war has been a very passionate issue, the so-called peaceful demonstrations in Europe have unfortunately turned more than often into pure Jew-bashing. And like in 2003-2004, Europe is importing the Middle East war once again.

In fact, the intent of demonstrating for peace — real peace — is quite laudable. But when it comes to calling for the destruction of a democratic state acting in self-defense against a group classified as a terrorist organization by among others the United States and the European Union, then the peaceful aspect seems totally gone.

Lots of demonstrations in Europe have turned quite violent physically and verbally. While it is totally acceptable to criticize Israel and deplore the Palestinian civilian victims, cries of "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas" that erupted during demonstrations throughout Europe are unacceptable and show the extent of the problem Europe is once again facing.

Also most of the demonstrators consider Hamas, a legitimate resistance movement that they compare to the French resistance during WWII. That disturbing comparison totally whitewashes a movement that is viewed by the large majority of European countries as terrorist. Interestingly the WWII comparisons do not stop at Hamas, but are mostly targeted at Israel, described as the "new Nazi state" committing a "holocaust."

Unsurprisingly this rhetoric has pushed in some cases to calls of boycott not against Israel but against all its alleged supporters. So in one instance, Giancarlo Desiderati, the head of a small Italian union called Flaica-Uniti-Cub, called for the boycott of all Jewish-run businesses. In another case, a famous Jewish French stand-up comedian had to cancel his one-man show on Friday because dozens of pro-Hamas angry demonstrators prevented the spectators from going into the venue.

In one troubling example, authorities have even played into the hands of the Islamists that were behind some of the demonstrations. For example, in the German city of Duisburg, during a pro-Palestinian protest organized by the Turkish Islamist group Milli Gorus, demonstrators demanded that the police removed an Israeli flag that was hanging out of a window. And the police complied: they broke down the door of the apartment in question and removed the flag, to the demonstrators' great satisfaction.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg: in fact violence against European Jews has resurfaced. In France alone, 67 anti-Semitic acts have been perpetrated since Dec. 27. These crimes include violent aggression of Jews, burning of synagogues.

The situation has been so bad that some Danish schools in largely Muslim neighborhoods are going to refuse Jewish students because they cannot guarantee their security.

Some Islamist groups are also playing the terrorism card to scare off authorities and advance their agenda. For instance, anonymous posters calling for "Jihad in Palestine" have been found on walls of some London streets.

It is not surprising that Europe is importing the Middle East war: indeed Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. And since the Muslim Brotherhood is very active and present among European Muslim communities through local organizations with lots of clout, such as the Union Des Organisations Islamiques de France, it is their duty to support their Palestinian peers. Even when it means to burn down synagogues.

And that is exactly where the problem lies. Europe is facing an acute challenge at the moment because some in the various Muslim communities are seeing this Gaza war not as an Arab-Israeli war but rather a Muslim-Jewish war. And the most striking example of this dangerous slide is France, which hosts both the largest Muslim (about 6 million) community and the largest Jewish community (about 600,000) in Europe.

That is why the Nicolas Sarkozy government is taking this threat quite seriously and monitoring some suburbs that could erupt in violence. But the French authorities, who want to avoid this tension between religious communities, have called the respective religions for help. So in a way they are reinforcing the view that the war is more of a religious war than anything else.

The current escalation in France is reminiscent of what occurred in 2004 when a staggering 970 anti-Semitic incidents were registered in the country.

A few years ago, Frederic Encel, a geopolitical expert not known for crying wolf, stated that France was turning into a new Lebanon. He was just observing that communities were rapidly growing apart and that tensions were increasing at a rapid pace. Today what is going on in Europe as a result of the Gaza war is a stark reminder of the challenge Europe faces.

Olivier Guitta is an Adjunct Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a foreign affairs and counterterrorism consultant. You can read his latest work at www.thecroissant.com/about.html

This is archived at
http://www.metimes.com/International/2009/01/19/ the_middle_east_war_comes_to_europe/7128/

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BUDDHIST LAMAS FOR THE ANNIHILATION OF ISLAMOFASCIST TERRORISTS
Posted by Steven Plaut, January 21, 2009.

Dalai Lama: "Non-violence can't tackle terror."
From the Times of India, January 18:

NEW DELHI: The Dalai Lama, a lifelong champion of non-violence on Saturday candidly stated that terrorism cannot be tackled by applying the principle of ahimsa because the minds of terrorists are closed.

"It is difficult to deal with terrorism through non-violence," the Tibetan spiritual leader said delivering the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture here.

He also termed terrorism as the worst kind of violence which is not carried by a few mad people but by those who are very brilliant and educated.

"They (terrorists) are very brilliant and educated...but a strong ill feeling is bred in them. Their minds are closed," the Dalai Lama said.

He said that the only way to tackle terrorism is through prevention. The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile left the audience stunned when he said "I love President George W Bush." He went on to add how he and the US President instantly struck a chord in their first meeting unlike politicians who take a while to develop close ties.


"Israel Scored a Tactical Victory But it missed a chance to finish off Hamas"
by Bret Stephens
from the Wall St Journal
January 19, 2009
Write to bstephens@wsj.com

On the Gaza border

Atop a little hill near the beleaguered Israeli town of Sderot, a gaggle of TV crews train their cameras on the Gaza Strip, sentinels to a unilateral Israeli cease-fire that's barely 12 hours old. Earlier the same day, Sunday, Hamas fired 20 rockets into Israel, raising questions about its intentions but causing little serious damage. Later, a pair of Israeli F-15s streak over Gaza City, releasing bursts of chaff but dropping no bombs.

And then comes word that Hamas has declared its own conditional, week-long cease-fire. The TV people clear out. All wars eventually end. The question most Israelis are asking is whether this one has merely gone on vacation.

So why are the top echelons of Israel's political and military establishment delighted by the war's result? Long answer: They think that Israel has re-established a reputation for invincibility tarnished in the 2006 war with Hezbollah; that they bloodied and humiliated Hamas while taking few casualties; that they called overdue international attention to the tunnels Hamas uses to smuggle its arsenal; and, with the unilateral cease-fire, that they put the onus to end the violence squarely back on Hamas's shoulders.

Short answer: They think the war may be a regional game changer.

In a wide-ranging interview, a senior military official offers perhaps the most authoritative explanation of his government's war aims and his interpretation of its effects. "We have no desire to go back into Gaza," he says. "We decided we're not going to spend five years [in Gaza] like the five years Americans spent in Iraq."

On the contrary: Far from seeking regime change in Gaza, the official seems at ease that the Palestinians will remain bifurcated between Hamastan and Fatahland for many years more, the way Germany was divided during the Cold War. The idea is that a Hamas state in Gaza — somehow deterred from mischief — could become a kind of useful negative example to the Palestinians of the West Bank, somewhat in the way East Germany served West Germany as a monument to everything that was wrong with communism.

This leads the official to his second remarkable comment, after I ask whether Israel deliberately chose not to kill Ismail Haniyeh, the elected Palestinian prime minister and Hamas's political leader in Gaza. "Israel tried to target people from the security apparatus and military wing," he answers. "At this moment, we prefer that the less-radical wing will take over."

The current divisions within Hamas are not the only ones the official sees as a consequence of the war. Palestinians, he says, no longer look to Hamas as the party of clean and competent government. Instead, they see a group whose leaders needlessly provoked a ruinous war they didn't have the courage to fight themselves. No wonder the third intifada in the West Bank, on which Hamas had counted, never materialized.

Elsewhere, Hamas's former patrons in the Arab world have split with the group ever since it became a client of Tehran. A dozen Arab states, along with the Palestinian Authority, boycotted an emergency summit of the Arab League, which had been intended as a show of support for Hamas supremo Khaled Mashal.

Then there is Egypt. For years, it took an ambivalent view of Hamas: partly worried by the threat it poses to its own secular regime, partly delighted by the trouble it causes Israel. Now the Mubarak government at last understands that Hamas is also a strategic threat to Egypt. "An Iranian base can play against Egypt the same way it played against Israel," says the official. Almost as an aside, he adds that the timing of Israel's operation in Gaza was dictated in part by the assessment that Hamas was just months away from obtaining longer-range missiles that could reach Cairo as easily as Tel Aviv.
 

NOW THE Israeli government is prepared to believe that the Egyptians will finally clamp down on the smuggling. Israel might even allow Egypt to deploy its army in greater force in the Sinai, despite the provisions against it in the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

Finally there is Iran. "They have drawn a lesson," says the official. "Once again, they saw that Israel has a good air force and good intelligence, and that the combination of the two can be deadly. Unlike in 2006, they saw a well-trained ground force. They found that asymmetrical warfare does not always play for them; that we can use asymmetrical approaches to overpower an asymmetrical threat."

All this, of course, could be overturned the moment Iran goes nuclear and attempts to thwart Israel's freedom of action. Nor is it foreordained that Israel will enjoy the relatively favorable international circumstances that facilitated the past three weeks of war, or that Hamas will perform poorly the next time. "Usually, the one who loses does his homework better," observes the official.

Bottom line: Israel has scored an impressive tactical victory. But it has missed the strategic opportunity to rid itself of the menace on its doorstep. In the Middle East, opportunities don't always knock twice.

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

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URGENT! PUMPING FROM KINNERET HALTED AS WATER DROPS TO CRITICAL LEVEL
Posted by Shaul Ceder, January 21, 2009.
 

Pumping from Kinneret halted as water drops to critical level was written by Avi Bar-Eli and it appeared 21 January 2009 in Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1057384.html.

The pumping of water from Lake Kinneret, which serves as Israel's primary water reservoir, was halted on Monday as water levels reached just 40 cm above the critical "black line," below which all pumping is forbidden. Pumping was stopped as Israel suffers the driest winter season since measurements began in the 1920s.

Since the beginning of the rainy season (October), precipitation throughout the country has reached only 50-70% of its average. January, the rainiest month in the season, has seen just 22 mm of rain — 10% of the multi-annual average for the month — in central and northern areas. Without a dramatic change in the meteorological picture, January 2009 is expected to be the driest in recorded history.

The Water Authority said this week that there is already an unprecedented shortage in Israel's water reserves. The Dan, Banias and Snir rivers are at historic low levels, even though the rainy season is well advanced. These rivers should be pouring some 80 cubic meters of water into the Kinneret lake in January, but as of January 18, there has been almost no flow of water this month. Water sources feeding the Kinneret are also at their lowest level since measurements began. If February is not unusually rainy, the Water Authority says, the Banias and Snir rivers will nearly dry up.

Suspension of pumping from the Kinneret has resulted in increased pumping from Israel's aquifers, which are also in deficit after four years of drought — and on the brink of the fifth consecutive dry year.

And the question arises: What has been done to date to address the increasing water shortage? The Water Authority slashed allocations to farmers by 50% in 2008, placed a moratorium on planting new gardens and canceled all discounts on consumption for garden irrigation. Simultaneously, the Water Authority launched a public advertising campaign to encourage people to save water, which it says has resulted in the saving of 100 million cubic meters of water. Nevertheless, the campaign is heard broadcasted only from time to time.

The authority plans to cut another 100 million cubic meters from its allocation to agriculture, which is already suffering the consequences of the devastating earlier cuts, place a sweeping moratorium on irrigation of public lawns — and possibly private ones as well — and increase efficiency of water consumption in the industrial sector. At present the authority is not planning to restrict household water use.

As plans for additional desalination plants at Sorek and Ashdod move forward at a snail's pace, Water Authority chief Uri Shani has announced that the authority will call on international sources for information on available technology for importing water.

Nevertheless, the tender for the desalination plant in Ashdod, the fifth in Israel, has raised plenty of interest from both local and international corporations. Foreign companies that will be participating tomorrow in a bidders' conference include Wacorp Hyundai India, Nhon Corporation from Vietnam, Mid-Century Beijing from China and the representative of a company based in Oman in the Persian Gulf. Israeli companies that have promised to send delegates include IDE Technologies, Housing and Constructing, Granite Hacarmel, GE and Siemens Israel.

The current tender is for planning and constructing a 65-dunam (16-acre) sea water desalination plant in the northern industrial zone of Ashdod. The plant will be capable of desalinating up to about 100 million cubic meters of sea water a year, or at least 100,000 per day.

The conference will present the draft tender which, for the first time, will not be for a direct franchise between the contractor and state. Instead, the plant is to be operated by Mekorot-Yizum for 25 years under a "Build, Operate,Transfer" (B.O.T.) agreement with the state. The agreement became possible after the Comptroller's department waived the need for a tender for the state-owned water company subsidiary Mekorot Yizum.

The cost of the project, which is expected to begin operating in 2012, is estimated at $450 million.

In a strong show of support for the project, Minister of National Infrastructure Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Water Authority head Uri Shani, Mekorot chairman Eli Ronen, Mekorot Yizum chairman Ido Rozolio and CEO Giora Guttman will participate in the conference.

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

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: WAR ON TERROR
Posted by Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto, January 21, 2009.

Here is a woman who should run for Prime Minister!

Written by a housewife in New Brunswick, to her local newspaper. This is one ticked off lady.

 

'Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001 and have continually threatened to do so since?

Were people from all over the world, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from the nation's capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania?

Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?

And I'm supposed to care that a few Taliban were claiming to be tortured by a justice system of the nation they come from and are fighting against in a brutal insurgency

I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.

I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere belief of which is a crime punishable by beheading in Afghanistan.

I'll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.

I'll care when the cowardly so-called 'insurgents' in Afghanistan come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.

I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.

I'll care when the Canadian media stops pretending that their freedom of speech on stories is more important than the lives of the soldiers on the ground or their families waiting at home to hear about them when something happens.

In the meantime, when I hear a story about a CANADIAN soldier roughing up an Insurgent terrorist to obtain information, know this:
I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank:
I don't care. When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and 'fed special' food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being 'mishandled,' you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts:
I don't care.

And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled 'Koran' and other times 'Quran.' Well, Jimmy Crack Corn you guessed it,
I don't care!!

If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to all your E-mail friends Sooner or later, it'll get to the people responsible for this ridiculous behaviour!

If you don't agree, then by all means hit the delete button. Should you choose the latter, then please don't complain when more atrocities committed by radical Muslims happen here in our great Country! And may I add:

'Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Soldiers don't have that problem.'

I have another quote that I would like to add, AND.......I hope you forward all this.

One last thought for the day:

Only five defining forces have ever offered to die for you:

1. Jesus Christ
2. The Canadian Soldier.
3. The British Soldier.
4. The US Soldier, and
5. The Australian Soldier

One died for your soul, the other 4 for your freedom.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO PASS THIS ON, AS MANY SEEM TO FORGET ALL OF THEM.

AMEN!

Contact Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto at Chatto@012.net.il

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GAZA SUNSET
Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 21, 2009.

Gaza sunset

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il View this art graphic and others at
http://4batya.blogspot.com/ and http://nowthese.blogspot.com/

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OBAMA'S FIRST PHONE CALL TO ABBAS
Posted by Barbara Sommer, January 21, 2009.

According to the following news item, Abbas was Obama's "first" phone call to a foreign head of state. This is archived at
http://palmtreeofdeborah.blogspot.com/2009/01/ first-presidential-phone-call.html

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) — U.S. President Barack Obama promised to work toward a "durable peace" in the Middle East during a phone call to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, Palestinian officials said.

Obama called the Palestinian leader a day after taking the oath of office and assured him that he intended "to work with him as partners to establish a durable peace in the region," Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP.

Obama told Abbas that the president was the first foreign leader he called since taking office, Rudeina said.

Hey! Wasn't Abbas' term supposed to end on January 9th? What's with that?

Contact Barbara Sommer at sommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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THE AID BATTLE BETWEEN UNRWA, FATAH AND HAMAS CONTINUES
Posted by Elders of Ziyon, January 21, 2009.

This is archived at
http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2009/01/aid-battle-continues.html

 

The picture on what exactly is happening with aid trucks into Gaza is getting a little clearer, no thanks to the UNRWA which is keeping mum on the ugly details.

As commenter Suzanne uncovered, last year Hamas admitted it confiscated 16 trucks of aid from Jordan, meant for the Palestinian Red Crescent, and Jordan was not happy about it:

Minister of State for Information Affairs Nasser Joudeh said Hamas government on Thursday seized 16 trucks carrying emergency supplies into Gaza.

"We are surprised it should be confiscated and distributed in a manner based on political considerations...this only penalizes those who really deserve this aid," Joudeh said. Hamas claimed that the Red Crescent was not distributing the aid properly, since it is more oriented towards Fatah.

Hamas claimed that it would give that aid, which presumably was paid for by the ICRC... to UNRWA.

The denial that Chris Gunness gave me saying that he was unaware of any such incidents with any NGOs, and casting doubt on their having happened, seems less and less tenable.

Today, the JPost adds more details to the more recent incident: (also h/t Suzanne)

Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip claimed that dozens of trucks loaded with food and medicine were being held on the Egyptian side of the border at the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The officials said that the humanitarian aid came from several Arab and Islamic countries about two weeks ago. They said that the Egyptian authorities initially tried to deliver the aid to the Palestinians, but were stopped by Abbas.

"Abbas and Fatah are afraid that the aid would be used to strengthen the Hamas government," said a Hamas official. "That's why they are doing their best to prevent much of the aid from entering the Gaza Strip."

Another Hamas official claimed that the aid had been diverted to the West Bank, where Fatah representatives have confiscated the medicine and food. He did not rule out the possibility that some Fatah leaders were planning to sell the food and medicine in the black market.

The Hamas government said Tuesday that it has established a special fund to help the victims of the IDF operation and urged the international community not to give Abbas's authority any money.

Hamas also said that it would not allow the PA to play any role in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. It said that the money should be channeled directly to the victims and not to Abbas's aides in Ramallah.

Fatah strongly denied the allegations and claimed that Hamas militiamen have been stealing the aid since the beginning of Israel's military operation.

Fatah also warned donors against dealing with Hamas directly.

A Fatah official said that on Monday night alone, Hamas gunmen intercepted 12 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid that had been donated by the Jordanian government to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

He said that the trucks were on their way to the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) when the gunmen belonging to the movement's armed wing, Izaddin al-Kassam, stopped them and confiscated their contents.

The Jordanian authorities confirmed on Tuesday that Hamas gunmen had seized the trucks shortly after they entered the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

Last week Fatah activists and eyewitnesses in the Gaza Strip claimed that Hamas had confiscated fuel and food that was en route to hospitals and schools housing thousands of Palestinian families.

We have here a classic turf war, where both sides are accomplished liars. If we discount everything that any Gazan says, we still have Jordanians saying that on at least two occasions their aid convoys have been confiscated by Hamas.

The intriguing part is that Hamas considers UNRWA to be on its side. Given my correspondence with UNRWA's spokesman, and UNRWA's adamant refusal to say anything negative about Hamas even as it put untold thousands of civilians at risk, they may have good reason to consider UNRWA as their own.

UPDATE: Palpress, which is Fatah-oriented, blames Israel for not letting ten aid trucks in from Egypt, not Fatah.

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A LETTER FROM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN ON JONATHAN POLLARD
Posted by Justice For Jonathan Pollard, January 21, 2009.

J4JP thanks the many fine people who have been emailing to express their support and concern for Jonathan. Most people express their dismay, that even after enduring 24 years in some of the worst prison conditions in America there is no openness about why precisely Jonathan Pollard was singled out for such harsh treatment nor is their any willingness, even at this late date, to correct the injustice. Ex-President Bush's refusal to commute Jonathan Pollard's sentence to time-served came as a blow to the the solar plexus of all people of good conscience. The letter below is a example of the kind of email we have been receiving. It is reprinted with permission of the author.

 

Jan 21, 2009:

I have believed that the United States system of Justice was fair and sought the truth no matter who was involved. Sadly, I now realize that I was overlooking facts that should have alerted me to the situation. Jonathan Pollard has been a pawn in a power play between Israel and the United States. Israel is an Ally of the United States, and he passed information he learned from his work in US Intelligence department. He acted as a spy, since his superiors did not authorize release of the information. However, only Pollard has been imprisoned for so long compared to individuals, who acted as a spy for countries not friendly to the United States. There has been little explanation for the harsh treatment he receives. The question that should be answered "What was the information he passed on to Israel"? Why after all these many years is the United States unwilling to explain the supposed harm to the security of the United States he caused?

Left in the dark we make up our own explanations. The State Department of the United States has its own agenda, and is using Pollard's imprisonment to show that Israel is not favored over the Arab countries. It needs to convince Arab oil producing countries that the United States does not support Israel in its fight with the Palestinians. The remarks of President Bush claiming to provide support for Israel's continued existence is just window dressing. The failure to pardon Jonathan is proof that the State Department rules our government. Ex-President Bush needs to be asked to explain his actions to the United States citizens. He, like former Presidents, will write his memoirs to define his Legacy for history. He can start with the question I raised.

I know little about Jonathan Pollard, but have been impressed by his statements while in prison. While in the US Air Force during World War II as a Classification Specialist, I saw Personnel records of GI's, who were suspected of possible disloyalty, and were not to be cleared to receive classified material. I tried to learn how this information was obtained. I learned that the FBI had checked the records of those college students who attended Young Communist League Friday night dances on campus, and listed them as suspects for disloyalty. I, for the first time, questioned my government's behavior. Now 65 years later, I now question it again. I feel the government owes its citizens an explanation.

Julius Romanoff
PA, USA

Reach Justice for Jonathan Pollard by sending an email to justice4jp@gmail.com and visit the website: http://www.JonathanPollard.org

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FROM ISRAEL: SHIFTING GEARS
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 21, 2009.

Now that the war is ending, and after innumerable postings on its happenings, I hope to slow down just a little. Still monitoring the follow-up to the war, of course, but also beginning to look at other matters.

Today I want to offer some comments about President Barak Obama's inauguration speech. I watched him live on TV last night, but waited until today because I wanted to first see his words in printed text.

It is a cause for celebration — for all Americans and especially for Americans of color — that a man with African heritage has made it to the top. I don't deny this and don't denigrate what it means.

But I said from the beginning, and certainly still feel this now, that this alone does not qualify Barak Obama. It might indeed be good to have "a" black man as president, but whether he is "the" appropriate one still remains to be tested.

As it is, he is beginning his presidency faced with incredible challenges, and I remain uneasy.

~~~~~~~~~~

Obama said, in the course of his speech:

"To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy."

And I say with some degree of certainty that he is mistaken. That he believes this, worries me. For it tells me that he is measuring the radical, totalitarian leaders of the world by Western standards and values. It is a common fallacy — part and parcel of the "deep down everyone is the same" philosophy — but a fallacy it is. Cousin to the "create a better economic situation for them and they'll stop being terrorists" theory. And it is wrong.

~~~~~~~~~~

The new American president, it seems, doesn't know our common enemy. Ideology — passionate, religion-based ideology — trumps building accomplishments at home. Surely Obama knows about jihad, and the supreme value of being a shahid (a martyr), blessed by Allah. Surely he has heard, "We will win, because as much as they love life, we love death." We, the US and Israel, are not just enemies, we are the devil incarnate. And taking shots at us to weaken us matters much more than building a better society.

As incomprehensible as this is to the Western mind, this is real. It is what has motivated Palestinians to use millions in international support for offensive weapons rather than economic development. And it is what moved well-educated and affluent Arabs to take down the World Trade Center.

The safety and well-being of the Western world will depend in part on Obama's comprehending this, and quickly. There will be no second chances.

~~~~~~~~~~

There is something heartening about reaching out a hand to everyone. And this message of Obama's clearly resonates with a good part of the populace. It speaks to many of an elevated moral plan, a place of conciliation. But will this work to make our very dangerous world safer, or will it simply weaken America and make it a laughing stock in certain places?

When we were fighting in Gaza, Obama said the fighting had to stop, and his approach would be to speak with Syria and Iran. From a place of great unease, I saw this as terribly naive. The leaders of Syrian and Iran would have lied to his face, and continued as they pleased. There is a time when a clenched fist and credible threats are called for.

~~~~~~~~~~

There are disagreements among very serious people today about whether we are fighting against Islam, or radical Islam, an aberration of Islam. But the simple incontestable reality today is that in every hot spot in the world Islamists are involved. We are not finding Hindus, or animists, or Greek Orthodox at the heart of every terror attack; we are finding Muslims.

Several exceedingly knowledgeable people in recent months — I think most readily of Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum — have lamented a regrettable tendency within North America and Europe to avoid identifying terrorists as Muslims, even though they are.

It has become politically incorrect to name them. We've acquired a new (very politically correct) term: Islamophobia. We'll be hearing more about this from the horrendous Durban II, scheduled for April — as if identifying terrorists as Muslims is akin to or even worse than anti-Semitism.

Obama is taking special pains to be inclusive of Muslims. It did not pass unnoticed that he said, "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers," and that he used his middle name, Hussein.

But is this the time for his declaration: "To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect"?

I think he — declining to be a hard-nosed realist — has just made it more politically incorrect than ever to call terrorists Muslims.

But what we've been told is true: We cannot defeat the enemy we're afraid to even name.

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

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DECISION OF THE COURT OF THE SANHEDRIN IN JERUSALEM: ON MILITARY ACTION IN THE GAZA STRIP
Posted by Daisy Stern, January 20, 2009.

Sanhedrin — Great Court of 71

47 93228 Rachel Eimenu 47 Jerusalem

972-2-5661962 Tel — 972-2-5664137 Telefax dbtc@actcom.com e-mail
 

Decision Of The Court Of The Sanhedrin In Jerusalem
10 Tevet 5769/January 6, ‏2009  

Regarding the Military Action in the Gaza Strip

The entire country must share joint responsibility for the current military action in the Gaza Strip and for the likelihood that it will end without a clear defeat of our enemy.

Consideration by Israel to signing a ceasefire agreement with the PLO/Hamas terrorist organizations under the aegis of international or local proposals testifies to the short-sighted political view of the Israel government and its clouded horizon of the country's future. Conclusion of battle must come only when the enemy is unable to fight.

The remark by President Elect Obama regarding the reciprocal responsibility of the current fighting shows a lack of moral understanding and bodes ill for fundamental Israeli and world interests.

If the present military action is not concluded categorically, the Israeli population will suffer the severe results of continuing attacks and from the inept handling of the political side of this battle. This responsibility falls on Jewry as a whole who did not come out in mass to prevent the 2005 destruction of the Jewish villages in the Gaza Strip and northern Shomron. They allowed themselves to be lulled by empty promises of "Peace in our Times" repeated by corrupt politicians, often, to find favor in the eyes of "post-Zionist" law-enforcement officials, who were pleased to delay the pressing of criminal charges.

A Crime took place: The destruction of thriving villages in the Gaza Strip and northern Shomron and deportation of their populations.

The Punishment came in its time: The Arab bombardment of cities and townships from Ashdod to Beer-Sheva, loss of Jewish lives, disfiguring injuries, and destruction of Israeli property, paralysis of life in most of the southern third of the country — and the lack of will to restore the destroyed communities to their past glory.

As Joseph's brothers said to one another: 'We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us'; And Reuben answered them, saying: 'Spoke I not unto you, saying: Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore also, behold, his blood is required.' [Gen 24,21-22].

In addition to our responsibility, the current military action in the Gaza Strip reflects a series of mistakes iside the obvious need to destroy Hamas, which caused the opening of the current military action, it is obvious to the objective observer that political considerations also had their say. The upcoming elections were a primary factor, since it was clear to the Minister of Defense that his party was losing electoral support and he could not allow rockets to continue to spoil his chances of strengthening his party's position. [In fact, the popularity of the Minister and his party increased by more than 50% since the beginning of the war.]

However, we foresee political failure if a premature ceasefire is adopted because the government did not coherently formulate the goals of its military action:

A: The government did not clearly identify the enemy;
B: It did not commit to defeat and remove the enemy;
C: It did not define "victory"; and
D: It did not describe how to consolidate the war's achievements.

The present Israeli government — in ignorance — calls the civilian populace in the Gaza Strip "innocent bystanders". But this populace voted overwhelmingly to be ruled over by the Hamas, whose fundamental, well-publicized doctrine is the destruction of the state of Israel and the killing of Jews as a "religious" Islamic goal. Israel's people have the full right of engaging in a war of self-defense against a political entity with such aims, especially after this entity shoots, shells and targets rockets at the Israel populace for over eight years.

Indeed, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has modified one of the self-imposed limitations that characterized its previous engagements: in the current battle, Israel has attacked all places from which the enemy has attacked our people, and all places in which enemy munitions are stored — even mosques (which is in accordance with international laws). Nevertheless, the IDF still behaves as if the blood of Arabs is worth more than that of Israeli soldiers or civilians. This attitude lies at the basis of the decision — against the advice of eminent military experts — not to purchase the Vulcan-Phalanx electrically powered Gatling gun for Israeli troops or the Israel-US-developed Nautilus Tactical High Energy Laser System, known to be successful in downing rockets and projectiles. Such ordinance would have proved very useful and saved many IDF and civilian casualties.

Necessary Action and Prevention

A.To act according to the lesson taught by King David [Psalms 18,38]: I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them; neither did I turn back till they were consumed, namely, there is no ceasefire until every city and town of the enemy surrenders.

B.No placing of international forces in Gaza to enforce security;

C.No Egyptian forces to be permitted into the Gaza Strip;

D.Temporary Military Rule should be established to maintain order;

E.The loca population will be encouraged to undertake voluntary emigration from the Gaza Strip to whichever countries are willing to accept them. The travel costs will be paid by the Military Rule. This will be a humane solution for the difficult economic situation.

F.A basic constitution will be established, based upon the seven Noahide Laws, which will also be a central aspect of the educational system. This legal foundation includes, among other things, the prohibition against murder or suicide, as well as theincitement to these crimes.

G.All areas of the strip that had Israeli homes and villages will be rebuilt and annexed to Israel, as written in Deuteronomy 11,31-32: For ye are to pass over the Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein, And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and the ordinances which I set before you this day.

We encourage, strengthen and bless the Israel Defense Forces and the other security personnel in their efforts on behalf of Israel, and pray that no harm will befall them. May they recover our country from our enemies; and enable us to live in the whole of the Land promised by the Almighty to the Jewish people.

Rabbi Dov Stein — Secretary

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NICK GRIFFIN FILES A POLICE COMPLAINT AGAINST LAUREN BOOTH FOOR INCITING RACIAL HATRED AGAINST THE JEWS
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 20, 2009.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Nick Griffin is head of the British National Party (BNP), which in recent years has removed itself from its anti-semitic past and strongly resists the islamization of Britian.]

The irony of the far right accusing the left of incitement to anti-semitism shows how upside down the UK has become

Distributed by: MEDIA EYE UK

Nick Griffin files a police complaint against Lauren Booth for inciting racial hatred against the Jews
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/129509

This below is by Hillel Fendel and is called: "Blair's Sister-in-Law Incites Moslems: 'We Want Israel Out!'."

 

(IsraelNN.com) At a rally of 10,000 Muslim men in England last week, Lauren Booth called to Israel: "You are the criminals that we detest!"

Booth, sister of the wife of UK Middle East envoy Tony Blair, spoke at an anti-Israel rally held last Sunday, Jan. 11, in the large town of Blackburn, 35 kilometers north of Manchester. An estimated 10,000 people, mostly young Muslim men, were in attendance.

Sources in England report that the rally was totally ignored by national media, including the BBC, despite the fact that it was "probably the largest Islamic protest march in the UK since the Bradford book-burnings against Salman Rushdie and free speech twenty years ago."

So writes far-right politician Nick Griffin
(//bnp.org.uk/2009/01/the-muslim-march-the-bbc-didn%E2%80%99t-let-you-see-2/).

Booth fired up the crowd by calling for the closing of the Israeli Embassy in London, accusing Israel of "blasting" women and children with chemical weapons, and exhorting the Moslem community to "bring 40,000" to their next anti-Israel protest in "the middle of your city."

"Today we are all Palestinians," Booth ranted. "We will fight for you and your children! And we have a message to you, Israel. You're finished. That's it. No more stories about self-defense. No, no, that's over. You — you are the nation of hate! And you are the criminals — that we detest! ... We are angry, and we want Israel out of this country!"

Booth said she represents the "good people of our country who are angry and disgusted now, because our country has an ambassador in Israel! Withdraw him! We do not want an Israeli embassy in London — they are criminals! Say it with me now: Israel — out! Out! Out! [Crowd screams: Out! Out! Out!]"

She then entertained the crowd by asking them if they remember Tony Blair, how they feel about him as Middle East envoy — the crowd booed in response — and then said, "I have his number here, let me call him; hang on a second." As the crowd laughed with approval, Booth apparently dialed Blair's Jerusalem office, telling the crowd, "Hang on, let me put this on speaker phone," and then saying into the phone, "Hello? Hi, I have a message here from the British people for Tony Blair, about Israel and his role: Shame on you! Shame on you!" She then let the crowd's roars of agreement be heard on the phone.

Griffin later filed a complaint with the local police constable, writing as follows:

"I wish to make a formal allegation of incitement to racial hatred, contrary to S.5 of the Public Order Act, whereby it is an offence to use words intended or, having regards to all the circumstances, likely to incite racial hatred. The offence was, I believe, committed by Lauren Booth in the course of her speech to the Muslims for Gaza rally in Corporation Park, Blackburn, on Sunday 11th January 2009... This rally was attended by many thousands of mainly young Muslim men, already in a high state of anger as a result of media coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in Gaza. ...[H]er use=2 0of the plural in the phrase "you are the criminals we detest", juxtaposed with comments such as "we want Israel out of this country", (not, please note, "the Israeli Embassy", but simply "Israel") are clearly likely — if not intended — to be taken by those present as a green light for hatred, indeed quite possibly actual physical violence, against individual Jews and against Jewish businesses in our High Streets.

"That she intended mischief is indicated by her deliberately setting out to enrage the audience with stories — totally fictitious as far as any news reports coming out of Gaza would suggest — of "chemical weapons" being used by Israel in the targeted attacks on Hamas terrorists which she presents as random attacks aimed at innocent women and children.

"Given the deep-rooted traditional hostility to Jews, simply on account of their being Jews, in the Koran and the Haddith, to make such a speech to a large Muslim audience can only incite hatred against Jews..."

The press office of Griffin's British National Party informed IsraelNationalNews that the complaint, filed on Saturday, has not yet been acted upon.

Anti-Semitism on the Rise

The Community Security Trust, the main Jewish body that monitors anti-Semitism in London, says there were 150 anti-Semitic incidents in the first 18 days of the conflict in Gaza, representing a steep increase. Among the incidents were a suspected arson attack in a north London synagogue, verbal abuse, offensive graffiti, and more. The Metropolitan Police agrees that it has recorded an increase in anti-Semitism in London of late.

Booth's Candy Bars in Gaza


Lauren Booth in a Gaza Well-Stocked Grocery Store

Booth made headlines four months ago when she took part in an anti-Israel stunt by arriving in Gaza aboard a ship, in a challenge to Israeli sovereignty over the coastal waters. Egyptian and Israeli authorities delayed her departure from Gaza. She said that conditions in Gaza were worse than in Darfur, and compared the area to Nazi concentration camps — yet was photographed buying candy bars and soft drinks at a well-stocked Gaza grocery.

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

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GAZA REPORTER CAUGHT ON TAPE CONFIRMING HAMAS FIRED ROCKETS NEAR TV OFFICES
Posted by Barbara Taverna, January 20, 2009.

Seeing is believing (unless Israel is involved)...

This was written by Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent

Footage of a presenter on the Arabic language television station Al-Arabiya apparently confirms that Hamas fired at least one rocket from close to a building used by journalists during the 22-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces shelled the building, drawing international condemnation, and television networks with offices in the building denied that rockets had been launched from anywhere nearby.

But the recording, filmed by an Israeli and released Tuesday by Israel's Foreign Ministry, shows Al-Arabiya presenter Hanan Al-Masri saying that a Grad rocket had been fired from a location near the studios at Al-Shuruk tower in Gaza City. Al-Masri did not realize that she had been caught on camera.

WATCH THE VIDEO:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1057129.html

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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DURBAN II PREPARATIONS AND ASSAULT ON RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 20, 2009.

This was sent out by Anne Bayefsky. Contact her at info@eyeontheun.org

 

This is opening day of the next Durban II planning meeting and the disinformation campaign is in full swing. The obfuscation starts with the title: Intersessional open-ended intergovernmental working group to continue and finalize the process of negotiations on and drafting of the outcome document.

"What we do know, despite the UN-eze," says Anne Bayefsky, Editor of EYEontheUN, "is that Durban II is widely perceived to be a serious threat to the successful international protection of human rights."

"Extremists, both governmental and non-governmental, are continuing to push the substance to the limits, while weak European states are unable or unwilling to push back. The overall strategy is to keep the Durban II plan under wraps as much as possible, until just days away from the April conference itself, so that it will be too late for many democratic states to pull out," Professor Bayefsky pointed out. "They are being entrapped like spiders in a web, under the charade of combating racism."

"One thing is certain," said Bayefsky, "this is no place for the United States."

The first thing diplomats did on opening day was agree that the draft document before them would formally become "the basis for further negotiations as the final document for the review conference."

Diplomats then deliberately worked at a snail's pace, making their way through two dozen paragraphs of the 250 paragraph document. Particularly active in these "anti-racism" discussions was Iran, whose President is a leading advocate of genocide against the Jewish people. Iran lectured: "This whole conference is to identify sources, root causes, perpetrators of racism and defend and compensate and help the victims. This should continually be borne in our mind."

Iran also objected to European efforts to limit the creation of new international norms at Durban II. Iran said "We don't want to prejudge the high possibility of new forms of ideas, and doctrines based on supremacy of one race over others, or other contemporary form of racism. Then we find ourselves in lack of legislative international norms to address them properly. So let us adopt an open-minded approach to this." Everybody watching knew this was part of an attempt by Islamic states to focus on Islamophobia, insert allegations that counter-terrorism activities are racist, and invent limits on freedom of expression, but the public conversation was conducted in vague generalities, for and against new standards.

In addition, there was an obvious effort by Islamic states to gang up on Denmark. Algeria responded to a Danish suggestion that a provision was not relevant with: "It's that very comment that is not relevant."

Cuba made the stakes at Durban II even plainer, when it claimed — erroneously — that the "document we adopt at the Durban Review Conference will be a legal document." When European Union countries sought to stress existing standards and the 1965 Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Cuba responded "We understand the EU doesn't want to accept other norms in the area of racism." Whereupon, European countries retreated.

Here is what we also know:

1) The UN reissued the current draft of the "outcome document" with a January 12, 2009 date. This has now formally become the basis of negotiations. The draft on the table has the following glaring, objectionable provisions (exact quotes below):

(a) It has only one section — called the "Middle East" — dedicated to naming only one country as racist, namely, Israel,

(b) It includes a series of claims aimed at undermining counter-terrorism efforts by tarnishing them with the allegation of racism,

(c) It contains provisions intended to limit freedom of expression, the heart of a democratic society. They include an attack on the Danish cartoons and any alleged defamation against religious personalities and holy books, as well as a call for a code of conduct for journalists,

(d) Religion and religious themes are mentioned in the Durban II draft 62 different times. This has never occurred in the guise of an "anti-racism" global forum. The contexts are "defamation of religion" and a hierarchy of victims of xenophobia, beginning with Muslim victims.

2) The Palestinian UN delegation is working with extreme Arab and Islamic states and NGOs to insert Gaza-related issues into the text.

3) Extremist NGOs, and other NGOs who view the Durban II process as a means to get their own issues on the international agenda regardless of xenophobic content directed at others, are working together to plan an NGO Forum. An NGO Forum at Durban I was a hotbed of radicalism and antisemitism. No details have been announced.

4) States are continuing to further radicalize the Durban II process — demanding even more provisions which would stifle freedom of expression in the name of protecting Islam. Monday morning South Africa and Syria demanded references to the UN's Ad Hoc Committee on Complementary Standards. That body is now considering so-called complementary standards on "defamation of religion, Islamophobia, as well as racial and religious profiling in the context of anti-terrorism."

**************

Provisions in the January 12, 2009 draft of the Durban II "outcome document":

(a) section on Israel:

  • "Expresses deep concern at the practices of racial discrimination against the Palestinian people as well as other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories"
  • "...the Palestinian people...have been subjected to... torture..."
  • "...a foreign occupation founded on settlements, laws based on racial discrimination... contradicts the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations..."

(b) counter-terrorism as racism:

  • "...obstacles hampering progress in the collective struggle against racism and racial discrimination...including...counter-terrorism"
  • "Draws attention to the impact of counter-terrorism measures on the rise of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance..."
  • "Acknowledges that a most disturbing phenomenon is the intellectual and ideological validation of Islamophobia...[W]hen it is expressed in the form of profiling, it hides behind the war against terrorism..."
  • "Urges States to prohibit by law the practice known as racial profiling and profiling based on any grounds of discrimination..., to adopt other necessary measures to eliminate this practice, to provide sanctions for those who violate the law..."
  • "Calls on States to ensure that any measures taken in the fight against terrorism do not discriminate, in purpose or effect, on the grounds of race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, nor on the grounds of culture, religion, belief, names, appearance or language..."

(c) limiting freedom of expression:

  • "Acknowledges that a most disturbing phenomenon is the intellectual and ideological validation of Islamophobia...[W]hen it is expressed in the form of defamation of religions, it takes cover behind the freedom of expression...Believes that...publication of offensive caricatures and making of hate documentaries, would purposely complicate our common endeavours to address several contemporary issues, including the fight against terrorism and the occupation of foreign territories and peoples"
  • "Urges States to take effective measures to address contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and to take firm action against negative stereotyping of religions and defamation of religious personalities, holy books, scriptures and symbols"
  • "Calls for a voluntary ethical code of conduct to be elaborated...in association with the International Federation for Journalists, to address racism in the media and other modern information and communication technologies, while taking into account fundamental issues such as the right to freedom of expression..."

(d) Islamophobia and the Muslim victim:

  • "Notes with concern instances of defamation of religions...in particular Islam..."
  • "Acknowledges that a most disturbing phenomenon is the intellectual and ideological validation of Islamophobia..."
  • "A framework is needed to provide guidelines for States — aimed at countering defamation of religions"

Bayefsky commented "It is incontrovertible that Arab and Islamic states are using Durban II to demonize Israel and the West, and dramatically reverse gains in the world of international human rights and freedoms. How many more so-called red lines have to be crossed before western democracies get the message that Durban II is an offense to universal values? It is imperative that they refuse to legitimize this endeavour immediately."

For a complete source of information on Durban II see www.EYEontheUN.org/durban.

EYEontheUN monitors the UN direct from UN Headquarters in New York. EYEontheUN brings to light the real UN record on the key threats to democracy, human rights, and peace and security in our time. EYEontheUN provides a unique information base for the re-evaluation of priorities and directions for modern-day democratic societies.

We need your support to continue our crucial work. Donate to EYEontheUN online
https://www.hudson.org/eyeontheun/

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

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FROM ISRAEL: FAITH AND COURAGE
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 20, 2009.

I've written so much about the war. I want very much to include a tribute to the spiritual strength of our very special soldiers. Several stories have come to me over the past several days about the eagerness of our fighting men, many not nominally "religious," to pray, to wear tzizit (ritual fringes), to carry a volume of tehillim (psalms) with them. This is the source of our power, which is from Heaven.

There is, for example, the story — shared with me by readers Bud and Phyllis — of the military rabbi, Zev Roness, who, along with two other rabbis, went with our soldiers from their base to the staging area, as they prepared to enter Gaza. They carried a Torah so that they could conduct a service before the soldiers left. When Rabbi Roness asked that the Torah be passed forward from the back of the bus they were riding in, it wasn't forthcoming. He then turned and looked, to see each soldier taking it in turn, and embracing it tightly.

~~~~~~~~~~

I share these photos, discovered via jerusalemdiaries.blogspot.com (Judy Balint), with credit to YNet. I find them beautiful.

~~~~~~~~~~

We certainly need to look to Heaven, because here men and women seem to be making a good mess of things. As I surveyed the news today, I was heavy hearted, wondering how the magnificent accomplishments of our IDF could morph into the situation as it currently stands.

We're caught, once again, in a world that does not confront reality, but instead deals in fantasy. Yet the reality that breathes at our backs is formidable.

~~~~~~~~~~

I read an article this morning (in the Post: "Symbolism is the substance") that spoke about what a victory it was for Olmert that several European heads of state came here to offer us support and have their pictures taken with him. But this is pathetic:

First of all, while they nominally offered support, in truth they came here to make sure we stopped fighting. Yes, they are on our side, to some considerable degree (as long as we stop fighting), with regard to Hamas, but it's going to be a whole other story regarding our relationship with the PA.

They are surely not going to come here and pose with our prime minister in order to back our right to our land, or our right to a united Jerusalem, or even our right to retain some land in Judea and Samaria for security purposes. They are going to pat Mahmoud Abbas on the back for being "moderate" and demand that we surrender what is ours so there can be a Palestinian state.

~~~~~~~~~~

Then I wonder WHY they (the EU, the UN, the left) even think there can be a Palestinian state now. A corrupt Fatah is in shambles: no adequate civil infrastructure is in place; they've squandered the incredible sums — billions! — received from the international community so that there is no solid economic development; the PA legislature has a solid Hamas majority (something people forget); and Abbas's term as president is challenged.

~~~~~~~~~~

I read about forging a unity government between Hamas and Fatah and wonder how they (the same "they" as above) are able to ignore this evidence that it's not going to take place:

Hamas has rounded up members of Fatah in Gaza, on suspicion of "collaboration" with Israel, and brought them to schools and hospitals that have been turned into temporary interrogation centers. At least 100 have been killed, according to Khaled Abu Toameh, and many severely tortured — three have had their eyes put out and several have been shot in their legs.

~~~~~~~~~~

Additionally, we have this significant observation with regard to Hamas from Bret Stephens.

There is, he says, a fundamental error in the West in characterizing Hamas as a nationalist Palestinian movement, when in fact it is nothing of the sort.

Hamas, an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, does not even mention the goal of Palestinian as a state in its charter, although it does mention jihad and the Koran. For them the land is an Islamic Wakf, an Islamic trust, to be part of a pan-Islamic, totalitarian caliphate. Their issues are religious, not territorial.

When we see their position from this perspective, it becomes even more clear that Hamas is not going to merge with the PA and negotiate with Israel.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123180651247875547.html#printMode

~~~~~~~~~~

I would, however, add something to what Stephens has written:

Just because Fatah, by comparison, seems "moderate" and nationalistic — ready to negotiate with Israel to achieve a "two-state solution" — does not mean that this is actually the case. The Fatah charter still calls for the destruction of Israel. The incitement generated by the PA — most notably in its school texts — denies the legitimacy of Israel and promotes jihad. A map of Palestine on the wall of Abbas's office, exposed by Palestinian Media Watch, does not demarcate any area for Israel.

The Fatah goal, insofar as it is nationalistic, is a Palestinian state from the river to the sea. If they had truly wanted a state, side by side with Israel, they would have had it by now, as one has been offered several times. Rather, they are after parameters that squeeze us and weaken us, and a policy of "return" of refugees that would swallow us up internally.

~~~~~~~~~~

There is considerable speculation, including from Military Intelligence, that we're now in a better position to get back Shalit because we're holding hundreds of Hamas fighters that they're going to want back.

First of all, I'm not sure they care that much about these fighters. What they were after were high level terrorists already in our prisons, some with blood on their hands.

But the fact that I keep reading this concerns me, as if this proves we're in a good position now — even though we were in a war and concluded it without securing Shalit. This feels to me like more fantasy.

I certainly don't mean to imply that all is lost, all was in vain. We have gained a considerable advantage, and scored some very solid hits. We may have changed the balance and the dynamic in this part of the world. Or may have the potential to do so.

A good deal now depends on our readiness to stand strong for ourselves from this point on. There are, it seems to me, certain measures of our success in this war that are still to come:

One is our ability to achieve Shalit's release, and how we do it.

Two — and connected to this — is our readiness (or refusal) to fully open crossings, which certainly should not be opened as long as they hold Shalit.

Livni made this link in a talk today: "We sent [Shalit] to defend the country and we have an obligation to bring him back....If Hamas thinks it wants to get something beyond humanitarian assistance, which we will give regardless, we have someone who is very important to us, and, for me, one thing is contingent upon the other."

And three is our firm resolve to act decisively against Hamas every single time there is a rocket shot or evidence of a build-up or smuggling. We must not tie ourselves into some cease-fire deal negotiated via Egypt that ties our hands with regard to future response to doings inside of Gaza.

On Monday, Livni said that a renewal of weapons smuggling would constitute grounds for Israel to attack.

~~~~~~~~~~

You might like to see the observations of Yossi Melman, writing in Haaretz, with regard to Israel's hope that head of Egyptian intelligence,Omar Suleiman, will work out an "arrangement" between us and Hamas:
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1056991.html

~~~~~~~~~~

Our government, along with the Europeans, is also worried that the re-construction in Gaza will strengthen or legitimize Hamas. So, there have been suggestions offered regarding agencies that might oversee the re-construction. One suggestion that was made was that UNRWA might do it.

Wait, did I get that right? Yes, I actually read this. That "Jerusalem" thinks perhaps it might be UNRWA. But, come on guys, you can do better than this. This is the same UNRWA from whose facilities terrorists operate, the UNRWA that then accuses us of attacking innocents on purpose and lying about the terrorists.

This is the same UNRWA that Shlomo Dror, acting months ago as spokesman for the IDF Gaza operations, spoke to me about. He said there was reluctance to allow UNRWA to bring into Gaza building materials they had requested, for fear they would end up with Hamas. Can you begin to imagine what would happen if UNRWA even assisted in oversight with regard to building in Gaza?

But perhaps this is just a ploy out of Jerusalem. For another suggestion is that the PA do it. Totally a joke, but something that Livni would probably be most pleased to facilitate.

~~~~~~~~~~

Here's a mark of our success in the war:

According to Military Intelligence, Iran is now assessing where Hamas's fight — which they had engineered — had failed.

* They had hoped to hit us hard with the booby traps, surprise tunnels and roadside bombs.

* There had been plans to launch rockets that went farther than 40 km., but this didn't happen.

* They wanted to create a "victory image" with a kidnapping or burnt-out tank, but never achieved this.

The down side, and certainly expected (from Yaakov Katz in the Post):

"The IDF is concerned that Hamas and Iran will try to smuggle long-range Fajr missiles into the Gaza Strip. Fajr missiles, manufactured in Iran, have a range of 70 km. and if fired from Gaza would easily reach Tel Aviv.

"While the Fajr is large — 10 meters in length compared to the two-meter Grads — it is believed that it would be possible to smuggle the rockets into Gaza after it was disassembled into several components and via a tunnel dug especially large for the purpose."

~~~~~~~~~~

Two US military analysts visiting here fully concur that we have won the war, but they say we should have hit harder:

Lt.-Gen. Thomas McInerney, a 35-year veteran of the US Air Force and Lt.-Col. Rick Francona, a former US Air Force intelligence officer, both now US TV military analysts, received briefings from Israeli defense officials and toured the Gaza periphery.

"I think you achieved what one Israeli general called 'changing the reality' in which Hamas operates, but I think you were too restrained and could have gone deeper into Gaza," said McInerney.

"The Israeli public's support for this war mutes global opinion. When a nation is united in its right to defend itself, it makes it more difficult for Europeans, the Left or the Arab media to counter that.

"Your leadership is too sensitive about world opinion. I know why Israel didn't [drive deeper into Gaza] — you have an election coming up and a new [US] president taking office, but you need to gain the freedom of operation in Gaza that you have in the West Bank."

Francona said he the fighting we did in Gaza was seen in the US as a healthy demonstration of Israel's abilities. "...the conversation in the US revolves around Israeli decision making...It doesn't question Israel's capabilities. You've won the battle....[This is] just the end of this round, and that seems to be Israeli policy right now."

Both see Israel as prepared to take on Hamas again over the long-term.

You think we might get Gen. McInerney to stay here and serve as a high level advisor to the government?

~~~~~~~~~~ Eight mortar shells were fired from Gaza today, but misfired and

landed in Palestinian areas, not Israel.

~~~~~~~~~~

There is concern here about the intention of certain "human rights groups" to file war crimes charges in the Hague and with European courts against certain of our military personnel. Evidence is being compiled to counter such charges. But there is a travel advisory in effect for IDF officers, who are being told to check with the Judge Advocate General's office prior to travel.

Said Attorney General Mazuz: "All the questions we have to face in Gaza have already been asked [after the Lebanon war], so the military and the State have clear guidelines when it comes to matters like targeted assassinations, returning fire and harming civilians,"

~~~~~~~~~~

We're turning our national attention now towards political matters. Without citing specific numbers, since polls vary, I will simply say that it is the consensus that the right wing has gained in the course of the war. Likud still runs ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~

As I began with something beautiful, let me end with good news:

Standard and Poor has just upgraded Israel's credit rating to an "A," saying this reflects Israel's strong economy in the last five years. This will draw new investors.

~~~~~~~~~~

A huge deposit of natural gas — that might change the face of Israel's economy — has been discovered in the Mediterranean some 90 kilometers west of Haifa. An estimated eighty-seven billion cubic meters of high-quality gas is thought to be in three deposits some 4 miles below the surface of the water.

Rights to drilling in the area belong to Yitzhak Teshuva, owner of Delek Fuel and Delek Drilling companies, who anticipates the find will "supply Israel's energy needs for many decades to come."

A $20 million test drill will now be run. Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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CAMERA READY VICTIMS
Posted by Mrla, January 20, 2009.

Hamas practices human sacrifice; the world shrugs.

This article is by Mona Charen, a nationally syndicated columnis, and it appeared January 16, 2009 in the National Review website:
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=
YmU0ZjM4NmQyYTZlZjk4NTQ2ZTYzNGI0NWFhM2M4ZGQ=

 

They are estimating that as many as 1,000 Gazans (unverified) may have been killed and many more wounded by Israel's counterattack against

Hamas, whose missiles have rained down on southern Israel's schools, homes, and businesses for several years. Many of those killed by the Israel Defense Forces were Hamas operatives. (Israel turns out to have excellent intelligence about their locations, and in several instances the IDF phoned its target before attacking, giving him an opportunity to save his family by leaving the house.) But many were not terrorists, because Hamas has perfected a kind of camera-ready human sacrifice — placing its launchers in playgrounds, hospitals, and neighborhoods crowded with mothers and children.

Every innocent life lost is a tragedy and a horror. But if you watch the news in Brussels or Boston and certainly in Islamabad or Caracas, you will get the distorted impression that the Palestinian plight is the worst on earth — an impression that is reinforced almost daily by the United Nations. We in the United States pay almost no attention to the resolutions, findings, and advocacy of the U.N., regarding it as a font of gasbaggery, stinking hypocrisy, and cant. But the rest of the world does pay attention. According to Eye on the U.N., in 2008, 68 percent of General Assembly resolutions regarding violations of human rights targeted Israel. Afghanistan was cited in 4 percent of the resolutions, along with Azerbaijan, Georgia, the United States, and a few others. Russia, Sudan, China, and Saudi Arabia, to name just a few, were not cited at all. In 2007, 32 countries were mentioned for human-rights violations, though most just barely. Israel once again topped the list with 121 actions taken against it. Sudan came in second with 61, Myanmar third with 41. The U.S. was No. 4, with 39 actions, tied with the Democratic Republic of the Congo!

Regarding the plight of Gaza, remember this: Between 1948, when Israel was created, and 1967, when Israel captured Gaza in a defensive war, the Gaza Strip was administered by Egypt. During those 19 years, the Egyptians never offered citizenship to the Palestinians living in Gaza, nor did they permit them free transit from the Strip into Egypt proper. They did nothing to encourage the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. In fact, in 1958, Egypt's President Nasser formally annulled the "All Palestine Government" — a remnant of the Palestinian state the Arabs had rejected in 1948. Egypt, like all of the other Arab states and, importantly, the U.N., chose to keep the Palestinians bereft and stateless — a permanent and growing dagger aimed at Israel.

Even more instructive is this: When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Gaza's residents had a golden opportunity to begin to build the sort of state they had claimed to desire. The Israelis even left behind the infrastructure to give the Palestinians a start: roads, houses, swimming pools, fish farms, nurseries, orchards, and factories. The Palestinians chose to kill one another (see Jonathan Schanzer's new book, Hamas vs. Fatah) and to fire missiles across the border at Israel instead. Apologists like Columbia's Rashid Khalidi protest that Israel continued to control sea lanes, borders, and air space around Gaza and cut off aid after the Palestinians elected Hamas. Well, Hamas didn't seem to have any trouble importing longer — and longer-range Iranian missiles despite Israel's blockade. And in any case, despite the advice of some hardliners in Israel, the Israeli government continued to permit humanitarian supplies to come through.

Since the start of 2007, 16,000 civilians have been killed in fighting. Not in Gaza, so you may have missed it. It was in Somalia, where an Islamist movement is fighting Ethiopian troops. This is the 18th year of civil strife in that country.

In Sri Lanka, some 70,000 people have perished in a civil war that has flared on and off since 1983. The regime in Burma has killed thousands and forced an estimated 800,000 into involuntary servitude.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), 45,000 people are dying every month. Nearly 5.5 million have died since 1998 in a conflict that grew out of the violence in Rwanda and spread. Half of those deaths were of children under the age of five, according to the International Rescue Committee. The violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has caused more human devastation than any conflict since World War II.

In Darfur, Sudan, more than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million made homeless by violence.

To cite these sad data is not to suggest that suffering is tolerable in any particular case — but merely to observe that the world is strangely blinkered in choosing the tragedies to which it responds.

Contact Mrla at Mrla26@aol.com

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GAZA RETURNS TO RULE BY THUG
Posted by Barbara Taverna, January 20, 2009.

This was written by Melanie Phillips and appeared today in the Spectator
www.spectator.co.uk/print/melaniephillips/3271281/ gaza-returns-to-rule-by-thug.thtml

Further evidence is surfacing that, far from having enhanced its reputation in the eyes of the people of Gaza, Hamas has been shown up as brutal thugs to their own people but cowards who run away when confronted by a proper army. The Jerusalem Post reports:

From the perspective of the people of Gaza, Hamas simply abandoned the arena and fled into the crowded neighborhoods. Once there, since the second day of the campaign, Hamas fighters have hurriedly shed their uniforms. Many of them simply deserted and returned to their families, taking their guns with them. In some locations, Hamas prevented civilians from leaving neighborhoods that were in the line of fire; overall, it invested great effort in blocking civilians who wished to flee to the south of the Strip.

Hamas forcefully appropriated the few international aid deliveries, hijacked ambulances in order to move from one location to another, and carried out public executions of Fatah activists. In many cases, Hamas fighters showed 'forgiveness' and made do with shooting the Fatah men in the legs.

All of this was going on while the entire political leadership of Hamas was hiding in the basements of hospitals such as Shifa in Gaza City or Kamal Adwan near Beit Lahiya. Sporadically, they released videos from their places of hiding. The rather pathetic impression they created is that of a leadership that abandoned its population and was busy trying to save its own skin.

Khaled abu Toameh reports that since the ceasefire, Hamas has been carrying out massacres of Palestinians:

A Fatah official in Ramallah told the Post that at least 100 of his men had been killed or wounded as a result of the massive Hamas crackdown. Some had been brutally tortured, he added. The official said that the perpetrators belonged to Hamas's armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, and to the movement's Internal Security Force. According to the official, at least three of the detainees had their eyes put out by their interrogators, who accused them of providing Israel with wartime information about the location of Hamas militiamen and officials.

...Eyewitnesses said that Hamas militiamen had turned a number of hospitals and schools into temporary detention centers where dozens of Fatah members and supporters were being held on suspicion of helping Israel during the war. The eyewitnesses said that a children's hospital and a mental health center in Gaza City, as well as a number of school buildings in Khan Yunis and Rafah, were among the places that Hamas had turned into 'torture centers.'

A Fatah activist in Gaza City claimed that as many as 80 members of his faction were either shot in the legs or had their hands broken for allegedly defying Hamas's house-arrest orders. 'What's happening in the Gaza Strip is a new massacre that is being carried out by Hamas against Fatah,' he said. 'Where were these [Hamas] cowards when the Israeli army was here?'

And where now is the BBC or Channel Four News? Where is the UN, or Human Rights Watch? Or don't murdered or tortured Palestinians count when it's other Palestinians doing the killing? (Don't all answer at once).

Now here's how Reuters reports some Gazan reactions to the war:

The gains and losses of Hamas's policy are a major point of discussion among Gazans, many of whom instinctively support Palestinian resistance against Israel, but question the cost in lives and destruction of the past three weeks. 'Rockets must end. What did we gain from them?' said Lama, a secretary for a Gaza company, who would not give her full name. 'Now Hamas is negotiating a truce. They were given an offer to renew it in December but they refused. Now after thousands of casualties, how does Hamas explain that?' she asked.

On the other hand, the main lesson of the war for other Gazans is to find more efficient ways of killing Jews:

'I have always been a supporter of rockets and all forms of resistance,' said Aziz, the taxi driver. "But maybe Hamas needs to renew martyrdom operations instead,' he said, referring to suicide attacks. Hassan, the father of five, said there was little point in firing rockets if they were not effective. 'Rockets — I think this issue needs to be stopped for sometime and restudied,' he said. 'Once we have a missile that can reach the heart of Tel Aviv and blow up a building, maybe they can resume fire.'

In the midst of all this derangement, not least in Britain, what a relief to find one sane, decent observer — and one who knows what he's talking about. Interviewed here on the BBC during the fighting, Col Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan and military adviser to the British government, said Israel had no choice but to defend its own people by such an operation. Asked about the reportedly high toll of civilian casualties, Col Kemp said this:

I 't think there's ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza. When you look at the number of civilian casualties that have been caused, that perhaps doesn't sound too credible: I would accept that. However, Hamas — the enemy that they are fighting — has been trained by Iran and Hezbollah to fight among the people and use the civilian population in Gaza as a human shield; and Hamas factor in the use of the civilian population as a major part of their defensive plan. So even though, as I say, the IDF is taking enormous steps to reduce these civilian casualties it's impossible, it's impossible to reduce these civilian casualties when the enemy is using them as a shield.

Listen on Colonel Kemp at http://www.bicom.org.uk/videos/bbc-news--military-analysis

Can you imagine British government ministers or Tory front-benchers putting Israel's actions in such rational, factual and moral perspective, or giving the IDF such an encomium? Exactly.

The Britain which Col Kemp has devoted his life to defending is dying before our eyes.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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JUST SAY YOU'RE SORRY
Posted by Daisy Stern, January 20, 2009.

This was written by Nadav Shragai
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1056966.html

 

Now, after the war and just before the election whirlwind sucks in our politicians once again, it would be appropriate for many of them to go out of their way and visit the mobile-home sites where those uprooted from Gush Katif live. This way they can tell them one small thing: I'm sorry.

Tzipi Livni, Ehud Olmert, Shaul Mofaz and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israel Defense Forces and the police should do this — they, their agents and everyone else who initiated, implemented and aided in using force to uproot 10,000 people from their homes in Gush Katif and Northern Samaria, maliciously and without any real purpose. Everyone who saw some good in the evil of the disengagement and evil in the good of Gush Katif has turned light into darkness and darkness into light. At the very least, they are obligated to make this small apology.

This includes the judges of the High Court of Justice who did not even bother to visit Gush Katif and made due with defense experts acting on behalf of the state "because that is the postion of the court since it was founded." The justices who ruled as they did because they automatically assumed that such a plan "improves the security situation" because "the evacuation reduces the desire of the Palestinians to harm the Israeli population." It would be appropriate for the honorable justices to take a vacation day as an act of forgiveness and go down south for a close-up look at the results of their decisions.

This also includes the media, which provided a challenge for Ariel Sharon and allowed him to turn a prosperous agricultural land, a world full of communities, synagogues, yeshivas and magnificent educational institutions into piles of rubble. Also the heads of the IDF and Shin Bet security service who never spoke in public what they whispered in the backrooms, and the soldiers and policemen who dragged the pioneers of Kfar Darom and Neveh Dekalim from their houses while raining blows on the demonstrators who understood what would come.

The apology must also include everyone who painted those who warned that the rockets from Gaza would reach Sderot, Ashdod and Be'er Sheva as delusional and opponents of peace. Everyone who promised that they would "give it to them" after the first Qassam, but in the end cried about the moral and international constraints that prevented them from doing so, and for years abandoned the south. It must include those who took the name of democracy in vain and aided Sharon in deceiving Likud members and breaking his promises to honor Likud's decisions once it became clear to Sharon that the party's members did not agree with him.

You, too, who paid almost no attention to the hundreds of thousands who tried to stop the evil, who paid no attention to those who internalized the lessons of Oslo and warned that we should not give them land and guns again. You who paid no attention to those who warned of the Hamastan state, foresaw exactly the trajectories of the rockets, and understood that this was something we gave away for free, a further disintegration of our power of deterrence and an adrenaline shot for terror.

Now rise and ask for forgiveness from those who paid the highest price, with their bodies, souls and property for your close-mindedness, arrogance and wickedness. Ask for forgiveness from the Gush Katif expellees, the noble souls who did not steal land from anyone, who made the empty dunes bloom as ambassadors of the State of Israel and who turned into the south's security buffer and absorbed over 6,000 Qassams and mortar shells with their bodies and belongings in the last years of Gush Katif.

Ask for forgiveness from those who swore to "win with love" — who believed and sowed until the very last minute; from those who did not raise a hand against the soldiers. Apologize to those who continued to enlist in the IDF and pay the ultimate price even after they were expelled from their houses, because they understood that the state — the national homeland of the Jewish people, even within limited borders — is still bigger than any mistaken and confused government.

There is no way to know if they will forgive you, but you at least need to ask.

Contact Daisy Stern by email at daisystern1@gmail.com

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MY SON CAME HOME
Posted by HandsFiasco, January 20, 2009.

I received this from Judy Balint, who writes,

Dear friends,

I know most of you in the US will not be paying attention to our part of the wold today, but here,events of incredible poignancy and meaning are unfolding by the minute and I feel an obligation to share them with all of you.

The following piece is penned by my friend and colleague, Ilene Bloch-Levy of Shaarei Tikvah (ilenelevy@netvision.net.il). I hope you'll share in the joy of her son's safe return from the war and feel the gratitude that we all express for the sacrifices and efforts of all our soldiers. from Jerusalem,

Judy Lash Balint, moderator
Jerusalem Diaries

My son came home from Gaza just a few minutes ago. He came home as we had sent him off, only more tired, worn and dirty. Thank you Hashem for bringing him home. To his wife, his brothers and sisters and his loving brood of nieces and nephews. All of us have been waiting patiently these past three weeks to hold him in our arms.

Barely able to wait to embrace him, I ran across the highway where his ride had dropped him off. I grabbed him in the middle of the road and cars driving into my yishuv had to veer around this sight of me standing on tiptoes reaching for my tall, handsome son's face. The drivers waved at us. A few rolled down heir windows to say "todah — thank you" to my son. I whispered Todah again to Hashem.

I helped him toss his heavy bags into the trunk of the car. The heaviest among them being the one weighted down with foodstuffs that Israel's citizens sent to our soldiers. Tens of thousands of kilograms of food poured into the bases in the south. Cartons upon cartons of instant soups, nuts, pretzels, cookies and nosh of every kind. All sent by individuals, families, schools and businesses from throughout the country. We could barely lift his 'booty' and we both shared a laugh as we flung it onto the back seat.

The words that had been in my heart for so long melted on my tongue. My eyes drank him in, tall, bearded now and his face and soul, a bit darker than before he left us that Sunday morning. He reached his hand to his head and apologized for the fact that he was bareheaded. In the midst of everything his kippa had fallen off. "No matter — easy enough to replace," I said as his hand slipped into mine. I reached up to grab his neck and felt his lips touch my cheek, and I knew that his presence, like this, was all that I had prayed for each day since he packed his bags and left before the sun even rose that cold morning.

I pulled in front of his apartment, a few kilometers from my home, and as we descended the steps I heard him speak gently and lovingly with his wife at work, telling her how anxious he was to see her. He turned on the boiler and laughingly told me "I'm not getting out of this shower for the next hour." The bags fell to the floor and he leaned against the kitchen counter to untie his boots swiftly flinging them aside and letting his bare feet rest on the tile floor. He was exhausted and I hesitated to start with the barrage of questions that had been streaming through my head every day, every hour for these past few weeks. He smiled as he opened the bag of goodies and told me about the elementary school children from Mevasseret Zion who had attached notes with their gifts. He spoke with three of them to thank them personally. One child wrote a three page letter and the soldiers in my son's unit were grateful to learn more of this 8-year old's daily life, his favorite subjects and his fondness for playstation. When they called to speak with him, he was overwhelmed and kept calling them "gibborim" heroes. "Ima" he said, "I'm tired now, but I have to tell you how extraordinary this nation is. The children who wrote to us, the people who sent their good wishes with their packages of food, the businesses that sent truckloads of goods. The soldiers I served with, each one caring deeply about the other one. Zahal who made sure that we were well trained and well equipped for our mission. But mostly. Mostly.

This was a war that was guided by the Hand of G'd. Everyday we felt His presence — whether deciding to enter a building by smashing down the back wall rather than entering through the front door, only to discover that the front door had been booby trapped, or searching rooms in a house and uncovering a tunnel under a bed we had lifted where tens of Hamas terrorists were hiding in the hopes of kidnapping one of us, or dozens more stories."

I looked at this child's face and saw the extraordinary young man he had become. Filled with faith. Feeling a passion for those values that have held this nation together for thousands of years. And, his very presence. His very modesty. His deep felt pride at being part of this nation. All of this wrapped around my heart and left me humbled. Humbled and grateful.

"And I will lift up my eyes unto the mountains, from where my strength will come."

Contact HandsFiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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BILL MOYERS CALLED ON HIS BLATANT ANTI-SEMITISM
Posted by Marc Samberg, January 20, 2009.

This below was a comment by Irving Greenberg on Bill Moyers' blantantly anti-semitic remarks. For additional information, see below.

 

Dear Bill Moyers,

I have been a long time fan of Bill Moyers and an admirer of your work in many areas — including the Genesis series in which my wife participated.

For this very reason, I was deeply dismayed to read an excerpt of the transcript of your comments on the Gaza war on the Friday night Journal program. I believe that you made a serious moral misjudgment on the invasion and then compounded your error with two applications that are beyond the pale — even more so for someone of your stature and judgment.

1. You acknowledge Israel's right to defend its people but then allege that Israel's decision to invade Gaza constitutes "waging war on an entire population." You allege that "by killing indiscriminately the elderly, kids, entire families, by destroying schools and hospitals" Israel "spilled the blood that turns the wheel of retribution."

You ignore that Israel has bombed only Hamas military posts, command headquarters and points of origin of Hamas fire — and does so with pinpoint accuracy. You ignore that the UN school shelling was a return of enemy fire from that school or a shell that went astray in an exchange of fire with Hamas shooters stationed nearby.[See above.] Israel has not fired on hospitals or schools deliberately — though Hamas locates headquarters, war supplies and rocket launchers in such places. You ignore the New York Times report (1/11/09) that Hamas tells civilian Palestinians to go up on the roofs of homes where their fighters are located because it knows Israel will not fire when its soldiers or planes see civilians. By leaving out these facts, you shore up the false equation which underlies your whole text: Israel striking back with military force as a last resort at a group pledged to its destruction — and which has backed up that pledge by years of terror attacks, suicide bombers, and rocket showers — is equivalent to Israel consciously targeting civilians and casually initiating these attacks, which is then morally equated to Hamas' deliberate terrorism, targeting civilians primarily.

Hamas' strategy for destroying Israel incorporates the expectation that inevitable misjudgments and accidents in the course of fighting will evoke the kind of one sided outbursts such as yours which undermine Israel's world standing. I, too, feel great pain and sympathy at the enormous suffering and losses of innocent Palestinians, but it is Hamas that has deliberately put them in harm's way, not Israel as your words imply.

2. Equally distressing is your use of the phrase '[ Israel ] spilled the blood that turns the wheel of retribution". Had you used the word revenge, you would have made your point that Israel's attacks inflame Hamas and others, a cause of grave concern to Israelis and to all who seek and love peace. But the word 'retribution' really means this: justified punishment for bad behavior. That tone of justification — terror [justifiably] evokes terror — is all over your next paragraph which subtly suggests that assaults on Jews in Europe are the to-be-expected outgrowth of Israel's attacks and not the excuse used by anti-Semites to continue attacks they have been carrying on for years.

3. Most disturbing of all: You describe Gaza "as the latest battle in the oldest family quarrel on record" — as if modern day Israel was motivated not by self-defense but by the Biblical account of Isaac conflicting with Ishmael; as if Israelis are following the ancient Israelite' "leaders [who] urged violence against its inhabitants;" as if Israelis are following Deuteronomy's instruction to wipe out idolatry. Does Israel smash the religious places of the Palestinians? There is not a political figure in Israel — not even a marginalized extremist — who invokes Deuteronomy as a motivation or justification for behavior toward Palestinians.

You ignore that more than two millennia have passed since Judaism, in its rabbinic development, declared that these Deuteronomic laws applied only to idol worshippers in those previous millennia; that Islam has been treated with great respect by Judaism and specifically honored as a monotheistic religion, never equated with idolatry; that in the Talmud it is ruled that the seven nations referred to in Deuteronomy's injunction to "wipe out their name from that place" no longer exist, and that these instructions may not be applied to any other nation. In short, perhaps out of ignorance, you besmirch Judaism as a blood thirsty religion — using selected texts that have long been nullified. With your words, you strengthen the hands of contemporary haters who seek to portray Judaism and Jews as blood thirsty murderers — this, in order to legitimate their unspeakable desire to actually wipe Israel and Jews off the face of the earth.

4. This brings me to your climactic disturbing comment. You follow the Deuteronomy quote with the following statement. "So God-soaked violence became genetically coded." What that means in plain language is: that Jews are genetically coded to be violent and totally wipe out their opponents. Do you believe that?; that [all] Jews are genetically coded to violence, to assault civilian populations? I cannot believe that you believe that. Then you are all the more guilty, out of anger, of willfully degrading a whole people and lending your eloquent voice and stature for the cruel mission of those who seek the destruction of my people.

You may try to claim that your next sentence states: "A radical stream of Islam now seeks to obliterate Israel from the face of the earth" to argue that you were not speaking just about Jews. But in the context of the previous and ensuing paragraphs which are all about Israel's violence, you tear off that fig leaf. It comes out all Israel, all the time. You have made a shocking departure from the minimum standards of responsibility in your words — and all in the name of speaking up for victims.

I plead with you to rescue your moral standing and your record of working to improve the world. Reflect on your loss of balance. Restore your credibility. As part of your reparation, you certainly should apologize for labeling Jews as genetically encoded for violence.  Yours truly,
Irving Greenberg

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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ANOTHER "ISRAEL SUCCEEDS IN SNATCHING DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY"
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, January 20, 2009.
 

Before the Media gets all delirious in the "Gotcha" Doctor story, there's something that has been revealed. Doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Gaza physician works at Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv. A bomb exploded at his house in Gaza, killing his 3 daughters and other family members. An MRI or CT done on his daughter's skull showed a small round object in her brain.

It looks like a ball bearing. IF it turns out that it is a ball bearing, the world will know that the girl was NOT killed by the Israelis, because the Israeli shells contain no ball bearings. But, the Hamas Arab Palestinian Terrorists do use ball bearing in most of their shells and explosive bomb vests, in order to cause as much maiming and damage as possible to their civilian victims.

Bomb residue from the doctor's clothes and body reveal the substance is not military grade, not used by the IDF but used by Hamas. Investigators believe the doctor's home was booby-trapped or contained explosives.

It is entirely possible that the Doctor was targeted by Hamas for crossing the line by working with the Israelis at the Sheba hospital near Tel Aviv. Regardless, Hamas admits to (brags about) firing from civilian areas, even using the civilians as their "human shields" while claiming they (the Hamas Terrorists) are the civilian population. Granted, the Israelis were quick to admit guilt when accused of anything — especially by the Media. We all recall the "Al Dura" fraud by the French Media. So let's see what develops.

This below is from Rav Rachamim Pauli (Rachamim47@aol.com) on January 17, 2009

The Israeli government is ordering a cease-fire. Minutes before the press conference two Grad Katyushas fell in Ashdod hitting a building and an intersection, knocking out power for a short time. In Ashkelon another fell — totaling about 20 missiles today. Five soldiers were wounded by friendly fire out of 10 and of the total 5 seriously. Battles raged between Hamas in 10 story high refugee shanties of concrete and Israeli soldiers. Poor refugee in their high rise shanties.

A major tunnel network and Kassams and a front line headquarters were captured and exposed without much of a fight today.

IDF: Shots fired from doctor's home

Army says it fired at Gaza doctor's home, killing three daughters, after troops were targeted by sniper fire; meanwhile, IDF says that shell hit fuel tank near UNWRA compound Thursday, but facility itself was not targeted
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3657646,00.html

Not so innocent? The daughters of a Gaza doctor were killed by the IDF after sniper fire from the family's home targeted Israeli soldiers, the army said Saturday. Earlier Saturday, Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish convened a press conference at Sheba medical center near Tel Aviv, where he works, and demanded to know why the army targeted his home.


UPDATE:

From http://israelinsider.ning.com/profiles/blogs/report-hamas-may-have-murdered

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

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PEACE NOW ANGERS ARABS; SUPREME COURT TAKING OVER ISRAEL; ISRAEL'S GOALS
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 20, 2009.

ISRAEL PLANS NATIONAL WAR DRILL

The drill is to take place in July. Part of it is to take out the box containing the gas mask. But there is no such box! The government took back all the masks in 2006, without having replaced them. It claims the failure to replace them is due to a dispute between departments over which is to pay for them (IMRA, 12/23).

The Prime Minister has great power. Why didn't he resolve the conflict? Could it be true that the government wants the Jewish people killed? Or does it just appear that way from its blundering and appeasement policies?

PEACE NOW MUST PAY MA'ALE ADUMIM FOR LIBEL

Peace Now had accused Ma'ale Adumim, in Judea, of having taken 86% of its land from Arab owners. The town sued Peace Now for libel. Peace Now demanded that the IDF release documents that would be definitive about this. The documents showed that only 1/2% came from Arabs. The court fined Peace Now for libel and cited its employees for lying about the town.

A similar verdict was leveled against Peace Now for making a similar accusation against Revava. In both cases, the fine was only $20,000.

Peace Now's report made like-minded accusations against other communities. Prof. Steven Plaut wonders whether each will have to sue Peace Now in order to get a retraction and an apology (12/24).

PEACE NOW ANGERS ARABS

Peace Now claims that the town of Ofra also is built primarily on Arabs' land. The accusation may not only stir up trouble between Arabs and Jews, it may endanger former Arab owners of the land, who will be exposed as having sold it to Jews (Arutz-7, 12/24). The P.A. has executed such Arabs.

HAMAS ENACTS ISLAMIC CRIMINAL CODE

"Penalties include amputation and crucifixion, as well as the death penalty for negotiations contrary to Hamas' interpretation of "Palestinian interests'". Also, lashes and blood revenge. Only the victim can stay the punishment, If the supposed crime has a victim. Some members of the Gaza regime deny the law was passed.

Arafat put Sharia into the P.A. constitution as the inspiration for P.A. law (Arutz-7, 12/25. Islamist groups often dispute what was decided,y

SUPREME COURT TAKING OVER ISRAEL

In Coercing virtue, former US jurist Robert Bork found that Israel's Supreme Court and Attorney-General had imposed themselves over Cabinet and Knesset. They legislate and administer at will. There follow Bork's observations.

In 1992, the Knesset carelessly gave the Supreme Court certain executive power. Now anyone could petition the Court directly, to indict any government official, without having been personally injured by that official.

At that time, PM Rabin depended on a coalition partner. The Supreme Court ruled that the partner could be stripped of parliamentary immunity and tried for corruption. PM Rabin opposed the ruling. He ordered the Attorney-General, the only official entitled to appeal the ruling, to do so. The Attorney-General refused. Rabin thus lost control of the government.

No other court has attained as much power as Israel's Supreme Court. It appoints its own members, took the Attorney-General from the executive branch, set aside legislative and executive action, altered the meaning of enacted law, forbidden certain government action and ordered certain government action and overrides national defense measures. The Court rules on any subject it wants.

No activity is more political and therefore more appropriately done by the executive and legislative branches than war. Nevertheless, [former Chief Justice] Barak's called the deployment of troops in wartime justiciable. Imagine, leaving the conduct of war to the discretion of a non-elected court?

How does the court treat national security? It dictates to the other branches according to universalistic principles regardless of Israel's particular needs. The result is to harm Israeli security [and please leftist ideologues].

The Court's imposes socialist and universalistic cultural and social values. Sounds nice. Proves "deleterious."

The Court catered to Muslim sensibilities and disregarded ultra-Orthodox ones. "The court's rejection of specifically Jewish values was also evident in its decisions that the importation of non-kosher meat cannot be banned, new communities sited for defensive purposes may not be limited to Jews, and Hareidi youth groups may not be funded by the government as other youth groups are." p>The Court arrogantly emphasizes democracy over Jewishness and gets neither. "According to Barak, when the values of Israel as a Jewish state cannot be reconciled with its values as a democratic state, the decision must be made according to 'the views of the enlightened community in Israel'" (Barry Chamish, 12/25). "Enlightened?" That puts his own views on a pedestal.

IRAN INVESTING IN SYRIA

Iran and its businesses are pouring billions of dollars into Syria. Some of the money buys existing assets, some builds new assets, and some promotes the Shiite sect (IMRA, 12/35).

ISRAEL'S GOALS & EXPECTATIONS

Israel had hoped that by attacking Hamas, it would leave Fatah in a stronger position to take over Gaza. Then Israel would support foreign aid to rebuild Gazan facilities damaged by the recent combat.

An Israeli official observed that most suggestions for resolving the combat depend on the goodwill of Hamas, which lacks it.

Incidentally, under cover of the recent combat, Hamas executed about 70 Fatah supporters in Gaza (Isabel Kershner, NY Times, 1/15, A1).

Israel's support for Fatah is puzzling. Fatah made war on Israel, too. The media calls it secular, but it wages jihad against Israel, too. What is the good of breaking down the enemy in Gaza, only to build him back up, under different leaders but the same desire to conquer and kill?

NY TIMES ALMOST GETS IT

Even though modern Israel came into existence months after a historic General Assembly voted in 1947 to partition Mandatory Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, the country's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, famously wrote off the UN in the 1950s,..." mocking it.

The UNO is outraged at Israel for inflicting casualties on it. Israel has a parallel outrage that Hamas uses civilians and civilian institutions as human shields. (Isabel Kershner, 1/16, A12).

Actually it was the second partition of the Mandate, and only advisory. The UNO proposed boundaries so disconnected as to be non-viable. The Arabs rejected the proposal, but the State Dept. pretends it was law and still is valid. The Arabs made war against it, during which the UNO was one-sided in their behalf.

If the Times weren't, itself, anti-Zionist, it might explain UNO bias. Part of this bias is to overlook civilians being used as human shields and to blame Israel for their casualties, just as Hamas cynically hopes. UNO outrage is unjustified. A decent UNO would resolve against Hamas. Shame on the UNO! It lives in a topsy-turvey world, where evil is good and bias rules.

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

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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL: A TRIBE OF GOATS MEANDERS THROUGH NACHAL PRAT
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, January 19, 2009.


A tribe of goats meanders through Nachal Prat

 

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

Yehoshua Halevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT:

While peace continues to elude residents of the Middle East, the intrepid traveler can easily find at least a few hours of silence and solitude in one of the country's spectacular deserts. Although Nachal Prat — the Prat Stream — is located less than an hour's drive from Jerusalem in the Judean Desert, I had not ventured there until recently. The canyon runs roughly parallel to the highway that descends from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, with springs that supply the stream with water year round. I brought my family to this spot during Chanukah. We had hiked about two hours into the canyon when we paused on a shaded rock to have lunch. Suddenly and without warning, we heard the clanging of bells as a trip of goats crested the ridge on the far side of the stream and descended en masse to drink and forage. Accompanied by their shepherd, who rode on a donkey, the goats ambled through our picnic site and up the opposite ridge, the last bell finally fading after about 20 minutes.

I jumped up from my meal and positioned myself midstream to allow both sides of the canyon to remain in the composition and to corral as many of the goats as possible within the frame. I pointed my camera up and down the valley, but prefer this shot in the direction of the sun, which adds a sparkle to the water and brightens the backs of the white-haired goats. I have spent limited time in the environs of the desert, so its landscapes and aesthetic remain fresh and intriguing to my photographic eye. In Biblical times, this stream marked the boundary between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Today, the desert remains timeless as the passage of a shepherd with his flock along ancient trails so easily proves.

Contact Yehoshua Halevi by email at smile@goldenlightimages.com and visit his website:
http://www.goldenlightimages.com. Reproductions of his work as cards, calenders and posters may be purchased at
http://www.cafepress.com/halevi18

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PICTURES OF VICTORY
Posted by Barbara Taverna, January 19, 2009.

This was written by Caroline Glick and it appeared in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1232292908245&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

 

On Sunday, Israelis were witness to a cavalcade of European leaders marching to Jerusalem to have their pictures taken with outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi came to Jerusalem from Sharm e-Sheikh, where they had their pictures taken with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In both cities, they expressed their support for Israel's decision to stop fighting the Iranian-armed, financed and trained Hamas terror regime in Gaza.

Olmert greeted the Europeans leaders as great friends of Israel and claimed that their presence demonstrated that Israel's operation against Hamas enjoyed massive international support. Unfortunately, Olmert's statements were wrong on both counts. The leaders who came to Jerusalem are not friends of Israel and their presence in our capital did not demonstrate that Operation Cast Lead enjoyed international backing.

While sufficing with paying the most minimal lip service to Israel's inherent right to defend itself, the leaders who came to Jerusalem have been outspoken in their criticism of Israel's actual efforts to defend its citizens from Hamas aggression. None have publicly recognized that Israel has a duty to its citizens to defeat Hamas. To the contrary, all have claimed that there "is no military solution" to Israel's military conflict with Hamas.

And while these leaders have repeated vacuous bromides about the "tragedy of both sides," their voters have been much less circumspect in telling the Jews what think of us. Over the past three weeks, all of their countries, and indeed, all the countries in Western Europe have hosted large-scale, violent, anti-Semitic demonstrations and riots. And rather than condemn the anti-Jewish violence and incitement at these events, the Europeans leaders who came to Jerusalem have either sought to appease the anti-Semites or ignore them. German authorities for instance permitted Hamas supporters to wave Hamas flags at their hateful "peace demonstrations" while barring Israel supporters from holding Israeli flags or even displaying them in their windows.

In France, Sarkozy has equated his victimized Jewish community with the French Muslims who have been attacking them by claiming that his government "will not tolerate international tensions mutating into intercommunity violence." Given their refusal to support Israel in its fight against Hamas and their publics' growing hatred of Israel and the Jews, what made these Europeans leaders come to Jerusalem? As Gordon Brown and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner made clear in their remarks in Jerusalem, they came here to advance a hostile agenda. They want Israel to acquiesce to Hamas's demand to open its borders with Gaza and to support the opening of Egypt's border crossing with Gaza. They also intend to start giving Hamas hundreds of millions of dollars in "humanitarian aid" to rebuild Gaza.

If Europe gets its way, any gains that Israel made in Operation Cast Lead will quickly be erased. So the question then arises, why did Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak agree to have them come to Jerusalem? The short answer to this question is that Olmert, Livni and Barak view the European leaders as stage props. As they explained repeatedly since the outset of Operation Cast Lead, Israel's leaders sought to end the campaign with a "picture of victory." A group photo with Olmert, Sarkozy, Brown, Merkel, Zapatero and Berlusconi was the picture that they felt they needed. The fact that the picture came with demands that Israel cannot agree to without squandering its hard-earned gains in Gaza, is beside the point.
 

WHICH BRINGS us to the main point. What the parade of hostile foreigners in Jerusalem demonstrated clearly is that while the campaign in Gaza was touted by our leaders as a way to "change the security reality in the South," for our leaders, its most important goal was to change the electoral reality ahead of the February 10 general elections. Indeed, for them, the operation would have more appropriately been named "Operation Cast Ballots." Olmert, Livni and Barak claimed that by signing a memorandum of understanding with outgoing US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and due to Egyptian good will, Israel succeeded in building an international framework to prevent Hamas from rearming. But the MOU sets out no mechanism whatsoever for interdicting weapons shipments to Gaza on the high seas. And Egypt for its part has refused to agree to take any concerted action to prevent the weapons shipments from docking in its ports and transiting its territory en route to Gaza.

The other operational goal that Livni, Olmert and Barak set for the campaign was to restore Israel's deterrence and so convince Hamas to stop firing its missiles on southern Israel. But, as Hamas's continued firing of missiles at southern Israel after Olmert declared the cease-fire on Saturday night showed, Israel failed to deter Hamas.

But while they failed to accomplish either of Operation Cast Lead's operational goals, they did accomplish — at least for now — their main strategic goal. They succeeded in not losing.

By waging Operation Cast Lead, Olmert, Livni and Barak hoped to turn the absence of military defeat into the building blocks of political triumph. The operation was supposed to secure their political futures in three ways. First, it was supposed to change the subject of the electoral campaign.

As Olmert looks ahead to retirement, and as Livni and Barak vie with Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu to replace him, all three politicians wanted the elections to be about something other than their failures to defeat Hizbullah, their failure to defend the South from Hamas's growing arsenal, and their failure to contend with Iran's nuclear weapons program. This goal was accomplished by Operation Cast Lead, Their second goal — and perhaps Olmert's primary objective — was to erase the public's memory of Israel's strategic failure in the Second Lebanon War. This goal was partially achieved. The IDF performed with greater competence in Gaza than in Lebanon. And Israel achieved its aim of not being defeated in Gaza. As a result, the nation feels much more confident about the IDF's ability to defend the country.
 

THE MAIN difference between how Operation Cast Lead has ended and how the Second Lebanon War ended has little to do with how the IDF performed. The most important difference is Israel has not agreed to have an international force stationed in Gaza as it accepted (and in Livni's case, championed) the deployment of UNIFIL forced in South Lebanon. Since Hizbullah has used UNIFIL as a screen behind which it has rearmed and reasserted its military control over South Lebanon, the absence of such a force in Gaza is a net gain for Israel.

But again, if Israel permits Europe and the UN to flood Gaza with aid money — which will all go directly to Hamas — it will be enabling a new mechanism to be formed that will shield Hamas from the IDF and enable it to rebuild its arsenals and strengthen its control over Gaza.

This prospect is made all the more dangerous by the fact that Israel ended the campaign without taking control over the Gaza-Egypt border. By leaving the border zone under Hamas control, Israel left the path clear for Iran to resupply Hizbullah's armed forces with missiles and rockets. As Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin explained on Sunday, under the present circumstances, Hamas can be expected to rebuild its arsenals in as little as three months.
 

THE THIRD political aim that Olmert, Livni and Barak sought to achieve in waging Operation Cast Lead was to convince the Israeli public that their worldview is correct. That worldview asserts that the world is divided between the extremist Islamic fundamentalists and the moderates. They claim that the latter group includes Arab dictatorships like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and democracies like Turkey, the EU, and Israel. The Kadima-Labor worldview also asserts that by surrendering territory to the Arabs, Israel will receive international legitimacy for any acts of self-defense it is forced to take in the event it is attacked from the territories it vacated.

Although the local media, with their sycophantic celebration of Mubarak and support for Israeli withdrawals have supported this view, it is far from clear that the public has been convinced of its wisdom. Between Turkey's open support for Hamas and vilification of Israel, Egypt's abject refusal to take any concrete action to end weapons smuggling to Gaza, and Fatah's fecklessness and hostility, Israelis have been given ample proof this month that the moderate camp is a fiction.

Moreover, the massive anti-Semitic riots in Europe and the US, and last week's anti-Israeli UN Security Council Resolution 1860 which the US refused to veto have made quite clear that Israel's withdrawals have brought it no sympathy whatsoever from the "moderate" camp.

Just as the goal of not losing did not bring Israel victory over Hamas, so too, Livni, Olmert and Barak's bid to use the operation to increase their political cache does not seem to have succeeded. Opinion polls taken in the aftermath of Olmert's announcement of the cease-fire on Saturday night showed that Likud has maintained, and even expanded, its lead against Kadima and Labor.
 

IN SPITE of its obvious limitations, Israelis can be pleased with the results of Operation Cast Lead on two counts. Although Hamas was not defeated, remains in full control of Gaza and has the ability to rebuild its forces, it was harmed. The IDF's operation did knock out its central installations, reduce its capacity to fight and killed some of its key leaders.

The second reason that Israelis can be pleased with the outcome is that it could have been much worse. The fact of the matter is that Operation Cast Lead was the most successful operation that Kadima and Labor are capable of leading.

With their capitulationist world view, they cannot bring Israel victory over our enemies. The most they can deliver is an absence of defeat. And so long as Israel doesn't allow Europe and the UN to begin transferring hundreds of millions of dollars to Hamas, we will remain undefeated by Hamas.

Looking ahead to the challenges Israel's next government will face, Operation Cast Lead gave Israel between three to six months of security in the south before Hamas will be able to renew its missile offensive. It is during that time that the next government will need to contend with Israel's two greatest challenges — preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and preventing the new Obama administration from undermining Israel's strategic position by selling out Israel's security to buy "pictures of victory" of its own with Iran and Syria.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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MIRACLES IN ISRAEL
Posted by Shaul Ceder, January 19, 2009.
 

This article was written by Sara Debbie Gutfreund, who lives in Telzstone, Israel with her husband and children. Educated in America, she is a freelance writer and is currently working on her first novel. It is archived at
www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/809470/
jewish/Miracles-in-Israel.htm

 

Yesterday my daughters came home from school and informed me that they all have new girls in their classes. One of the girls is from Netivot, another one is from Beer Sheva and, finally, there is Leah from Ashdod.

Ever since the war began my six-year-old asks me every day: "Is the war over yet? When will it end?" Last week my eight-year-old described how they had spent a better part of the morning practicing hiding in the school shelter. We live right outside Jerusalem. Why is the school doing this? But then I heard it in my daughter's voice. She doesn't see an iota of difference between herself and Efrat from Netivot. We are all in danger.

I glanced back at the picture, and felt a jolt of shock "We each have a partner, and we need to walk quietly. We aren't allowed to run," my other daughter explained as we sat down to lunch.

A couple of days ago, my nine-year-old peered over my shoulder at the newspaper.

"Who is that?" she asked, pointing at a picture of one of the first soldiers who was killed in the war.

"He's a soldier who was killed," I told her.

"No, that's not a soldier," she shook her head. "That's a boy. He's not old enough to be a soldier."

As she ran off to play, I glanced back at the picture, and I felt a jolt of shock. He does look like a child! He is so very young. He could be any of our sons. Why didn't I see it before? Wasn't I graduating high school at that age?

Later that day an anxious taxi driver told us that two of his sons are in Gaza.

"Do you know what it's like to wait all day listening to this news?" he said as he turned up the radio.

"At midnight my sons call. 'Abba, don't worry' they say. It will be okay." He shakes his head as the news crackles in.

"It's not okay. It's only okay if your sons are at home."

I think about the summer that I spent volunteering for the IDF. I was between my junior and senior years of college. I was idealistic and driven. I wanted to help. So there I was in full army uniform at four in the morning on a base near Tzfat getting ready to build cement boulders for the army. We worked all day in the intense summer heat. I didn't feel a thing. I was so happy. I was helping. On the last night before my return trip to NY, I was sitting with one of the real Israeli soldiers at dinner.

"Do you know what the only difference is between you and me?" he asked in broken English.

"What?" I asked. I felt so much a part of the country that I couldn't imagine any differences between us at all.

"You are going home, and I am going to war."

I was stunned, though I shouldn't have been. I had only been there for a month. And I wasn't going into battle. In fact, I didn't even know what a real war was. What was it like to graduate high school and receive a gun instead of a free pass to an Ivy League university?

Back home I sat on our black leather couch, surrounded by plush gray carpeting, and I tried to focus on the conversation. It was a typical dinner party full of charismatic professionals who travel frequently.

"So how was your trip?" a well-intentioned guest asked me. My mind flashed back to the cold, bare army base, and the sight of the pre-dawn sky glowing behind the mountains of Tzfat. I heard my own voice from a distance.I was describing the sights, the aromas, and the people of Israel. And then I felt a strange pang of homesickness rise up within me. It was strange because I was sitting in my own home, but my heart was clearly elsewhere.

As I reminisce, my daughter suddenly brings me back to reality. The reality we need to focus on.

She asks, "Does everyone believe in G-d now?" We all pause.

"What do you mean?" I ask, even though I already understand what she means.

"Well, after all the miracles this week... Efrat's whole family is okay even though a rocket landed right next to their building. So now everyone knows, right?"

How far will we allow today's miracles to take us? I think about the Yom Kippur War. After some soldiers came back from the front, everyone gathered in one of the houses to greet them and hear about the latest news. It was a mixed crowd, with soldiers of all levels of Jewish observance. And they said:

"You know how G-d promised the Maccabees that a small army would prevail over a mighty one? Well that's what happened! It was a miracle! They could have taken Tzfat. Instead they retreated. It was Biblical. A real miracle right before our eyes!"

The crowd in that living room sat spellbound.

So I wonder — how far will we allow today's miracles to take us? Will we watch the sun rise and then turn our back on the miraculous beginning of a new day? Will we watch hundreds of rockets fall without injuring anybody and say that it is just a coincidence? Or will we let this war change our lives? Will we see the children's faces underneath the soldiers' helmets? Will we remember that tomorrow we, too, might be running for shelter? Will we welcome each other into our homes and our hearts the way our children do? The miracles are all around us. Let's open our eyes and change our lives.

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

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HOMEGROWN JIHAD: TERRORIST CAMPS AROUND THE U.S.
Posted by PRK, January 19, 2009.

This was written by Jerome Gordon. Contact him by email at jerome_gordon38@yahoo.com This article appeared today as an Iconoclast column in New England Review
www.newenglishreview.org/blog_direct_link.cfm/blog_id/ 19048#CurDomainURL#/blog.cfm

Please distribute to as many of your contacts as possible. Looks like we've being set up for another hit a la 9/11.

The Christian Action Network (CAN) has produced an important new film about the 35 para-military training camps in 22 states in the U.S. and Canada. These camps are sponsored by the terrorist group Jamaat ul-Fuqra (JF) or "community of the impoverished" and its notorious Pakistani founder, Sheik Mubarak Ali Gilani. The film is entitled: "Homegrown Jihad: Terrorist Camps Around the U.S." This is an important documentary on a subject I've written about in the New English Review," Jamaat ul-Fuqra: The best positioned group to help al-Qaeda launch an attack in the US." I noted the following in the NER article on JF:

The group here in the US has committed attacks and robberies, acquired contraband arms, engaging in counterfeiting activities, and proselytized effectively among Afro-American prison inmates. JF members participated in the 1993 terror bombing of the World Trade Center.

JF seeks to "purify Islam" through violence.

What is of great concern is that federal and state law enforcement authorities have investigated and monitored JF and its front group Muslims of the Americas (MoA) and delisted the group as a terrorist organization. Nor has the IRS taken away MoA's charitable tax exempt status.

Last summer an investigator with homeland security training contacted me after reading my JF piece about experiences at the JF/MoA compound in Dover, Tennessee. The Dover compound is problematic as it lies near the US Army's Fort Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne, "Screaming Eagles", Fort Donelson and a number of TVA power dams. The investigator noted in an email to me the threats to facilities in the region:

9 miles to Ft. Donelson
60 miles to Kentucky Lake Dam and a smaller dam
68 miles to Milan Army Ammunition Plant
20 miles to power plant
18 miles to the back entrance to Ft. Campbell

It was apparent from even the Goggle Earth satellite pictures that JF/MoA was expanding the facility. Armed guards were posted at the entrance to the Dover JF compound and the investigator was warned away from entering.

I was sent a preliminary version of this documentary by CAN to review. The premiere of the full length one hour and five minute version of "Homegrown Jihad" is scheduled for mid February. The documentary chronicles JF and Sheik Mubarek Ali Gilani's MoA terrorist training camps in the US. It exposes their vast criminal activities involving murder, assassinations, weapons smuggling, counterfeiting, drug trafficking and terrorist exploits over nearly three decades.

Especially informative was a segment in the film based on interviews with Sue Fenger, former chief investigator for the State of Colorado. She discussed JF terrorist exploits, firebombing of Hindu religious centers, secreting of bomb making materials and weapons in storage facilities near several US Air Force, Army and National Guard facilities in Colorado. Fenger, who doesn't appear on camera for security reasons, describes the decision of former Colorado Governor Romer to set up a state counter terrorism team, and the studied indifference of the FBI. This is an eerie prelude to what happened to the FBI in the run up to 9/11.

JF was acknowledged to be a foreign designated terrorist organization and Gilani its mastermind. The obvious question is, why didn't the State Department renew JF's terrorist designation in 2002 just after the tragic kidnapping and 'slaughter' of valiant Wall Street Journal investigator Daniel Pearl? Pearl was on his way to interview Gilani in Pakistan when he was abducted. The film notes that Gilani alleges that Pearl was setting him up for an assassination hit! The CAN film is dedicated to the memory of Pearl.

The CAN team used light aircraft to overfly several of the JF/MoA compound locations in the US coupled with effective ground reconnaissance of several JF/MoA compounds. The CAN film producers use the the Gilani video ("Soldiers of Allah") to demonstrate terrorist training, from his camps in Pakistan. He dedicates the video to his MoA followers here in America. Gilani is caught on video exhorting his recruits to be "like lions and tigers" and attack the Kafirs-the infidels. He warns them not to make copies of the video to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. The CAN team uses the video to confront JF/MoA para-military camp leaders in Jessup and Commerce Georgia, York South Carolina, Red House, Virginia and Islamberg near Hancock, New York. The film depicts varying reactions to the CAN offer to show the Gilani video. They range from denial to outright violence by the JF/MoA compound leaders.

In Red house, Virginia the film depicts a protest by local citizens requesting the county council remove a street sign near the JF/MoA compound, "Sheik Marburak Gilani Lane" to no avail. The county council in Virginia was alleged by the film's producers to be fearful of Muslim reprisals.

There is a tussle at one compound including an attempt by a JF/MoA compound "Mayor" to seize the CAN team camera. Then there is the 80 MPH chase of the CAN film crew by an outraged JF/MoA compound leader in South Carolina who wants them 'off their lands'. County law officials counsel the inflamed JF/MoA leader that the CAN film team were not on the compound property and were within their Constitutional rights to conduct filming.

There are interviews with neighbors of several JF/MoA compounds who discuss reports of rifle firing and explosions, as well as intimidation of the local populace.

Through a tip, the CAN film team discover a previously undocumented JF/MoA compound in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

Among some of the talking heads expressing concern about these JF/MoA paramilitary compounds in the US are Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), Frank Gaffney of Center for Security Policy, Dr. Peter Leitner of the Higgins Counter-terrorism Institute and the aforementioned Susan Fenger. The CAN producers note that several JF/MoA members were involved in the 1993 Twin Towers bombing and were planning for several simultaneous mid-air bombings of US commercial aircraft. There is a report about one JF/MoA member tried for a triple murder in the State of Washington. The film cites a 2006 Joint Counter Terrorism Task Force report about JF, its terrorist actions and the dangers posed by the more than 35 JF/MoA paramilitary training camps in 22 States and Canada.

Why did the FBI refuse to get involved? We believe it is infiltration by Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the US at both the regional and national levels, ignorance about Islamic Sharia Law war doctrine and fear of being sued for discrimination. The CAN team has produced a heart pounding, riveting and engrossing production.

We understand from the CAN film producers they have made an abbreviated version for possible viewing by national cable TV news outlets like FoxNews. Given what we saw in this preliminary version, we hope that the CAN documentary on "Homegrown Jihad" is viewed by Members of Congress concerned about homeland security and given a wide public viewing. Closing down the JF/MoA compounds and taking away the MoA IRS tax exemption should be priorities for counter terrorism actions by federal agencies. That is, if they are not intimidated by threats from Muslim Brotherhood front groups and free speech advocacy groups.

Regards
Jerry Gordon

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ISRAEL'S MOST POWERFUL LONG RANGE WEAPONS; THE WRITTEN AND SPOKEN WORD
Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, January 19, 2009.

Many folks worldwide do not comprehend basic truths concerning the ongoing Israeli Arab conflict. A peace agreement would have been consummated long ago if extremist groups were not obsessed with the notion that Jewish Israel must not exist. Furthermore, if the late Yasser Arafat truly wanted peace, he would have put the kabash on those elements as he had the power to do so. Jewish Israeli citizens would have done and still would do almost anything for a safe and secure environment where their culture would be guaranteed. Yet, forces beyond their control prohibit such an existence; insure that conflict will continue with no end in sight.

Indeed, plumes of smoke rise above the ever deteriorating dysfunctional terrorist infected Gaza Strip for all the world to witness with little comprehension of the deeper why of it all, directly yet justifiably caused by Israeli warplanes reacting to the incessant insane bombing of their homeland by out of control Arab extremists; still the Jew/Israel despising Hamas movement remains in charge, has no intention of changing its colors, will not revoke its charter i.e. its raison d'etre that screams death to Jews and Israel. Surely, Israel must flex her muscle now and then, in response to Arab extremism, lest she be viewed as weak by a multitude of hostile neighbors. Weakness and strength indeed define the most prominent motivating forces of a most primitive region of our planet, where predators, always sniffing for blood or wobbly knees, must be kept at bay by an unwelcomed Israel. Yet, her necessary show of strength only further infuriates many folks within a Muslim populace, brainwashed to believe the Jew is an eternal enemy that must be eradicated or at least exiled from their post-Ottoman domain. This catch 22 scenario of damned by much of the world, especially the Arab world, if you do fight; damned by ignoring the natural law of self-preservation if you don't fight, weighs profoundly within the hearts and souls of ill-fated Israelis, caring Diaspora Jews, and all their supporters. Can anything be done to ameliorate this conundrum?

Newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama, leader of Israel's most essential ally, soon to shoulder the weight of so many globally connected problems, will initially not consider the Israeli/Arab conflict a most pressing matter. Still, Israeli leaders will need to inspire him, in conjunction with his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to at least craft policies in tune with the ever besieged Jewish State's most pressing needs. If, indeed, the Obama Administration successfully helps reverse the momentum of a perilously failing world economy, advances perceived positive changes in Iraq and Afghanistan, improves a now planet-wide tainted American image, thus enhances its own global credibility, 'Barack the Orator' could very well successfully make the case for Israel, changing the hearts and minds of at least some folks, shifting the blame for conflict from the Jewish homeland to her terrorist enemies. Israel, for her part, will need to consistently demonstrate to Obama and company, by word and action, that she will defeat hostile Middle East elements that someday could attack American interests. Quid pro quo remains as viable as ever in today's world where little is done to help thy neighbor or presumed ally without at least some reciprocation. U.S. President Obama is not an ideologue, does what works, will help other lands if it is in his nation's, thus his own legacy-minded interest.

Widespread favorable changes in mind-sets that dominate general populations, in the long term, dwarf gains made through combat, although at times combat is necessary and in fact, if successful, can lead to mind-set changes among militant movers and shakers, deterring the likelihood of short term future combat. There are related natural phenomenon within many species of the higher animal kingdom where combat as well as posturing is effective in altering future behavior, the latter of course being preferable as it avoids bloodshed while attaining the same if not better results. Thus, Israel's successes on the battlefield, most recently against Hamas, are necessary for all of the reasons stated, but insufficient, as brainwashed Arab populations seethe, focus on televised images of death and destruction in Gaza, demonstrate little if any concern for the terrorized Jewish citizens in Sderot, refuse to recognize why Israel deployed her forces, and in no small way feel humiliated by perceived impotence against a militarily superior Israel. Furthermore, many if not most Middle Eastern Muslims, swayed by decades of exposure to anti-Semitic writings, visual images, and speeches, only reinforce their perceptions by current events, choose to ignore the obvious fact that Hamas militants, for propaganda purposes, put their own people in harm's way, in effect using them as human shields by fighting in civilian neighborhoods, hiding in civilian apartment buildings and homes, storing their weapons and ammunition in schools and mosques, and perhaps launching missiles at their own women and children as well as United Nations outposts, rightly presuming that humanitarian organizations and much of the media will not bother to investigate thus blame Israel. No doubt, when it comes to Israel, guilty until proven innocent is the preferred response!

Since in the mind's-eye of many Middle Eastern Muslims, not a small number interspersed throughout Europe and indeed influential in their new neighborhoods, the United States and Israel are one in the same, a popular respected U.S. President Barack Obama, by demonstrating concern for ordinary Arabs while concurrently reversing the negative spin heretofore excoriating Jews and Israel, by deprogramming the effects of many decades of virulent rhetoric, by castigating the religious psychopaths and Machiavellian rulers that truly exploit the lives of the Muslim masses, can begin to break down the self-defeating hate-filled environment casting a dark cloud over a major portion of our troubled world. Furthermore, President Obama should point out that religious fundamentalist groups like Hamas indoctrinate young Arab children to hate and be willing to kill the infidel i.e. anyone not adhering to Hamas principles, especially the Jewish infidel; provide such children with the means to do so by teaching them how to use real machine guns, then arming them; instruct them on the techniques of suicide bombing and the glory that such an act would bestow upon them and their families; ban the 'egregious' act of playing musical instruments not mentioned in the Koran or even listening or dancing to unsanctioned music, crimes that could be punishable by death Taliban style (yet, I wonder if any instruments were banned when dancing and frolicking were all the rage throughout the fundamentalist Arab streets, as men, women and children praised 'role model' Arab hijackers that took down the U.S. World Trade Towers and blasted a hole in the U.S. Pentagon snuffing out thousands of lives); in effect control all aspects of an Arab's life, severely punishing or perhaps killing those who disobey. Indeed, Obama can further assert that such terrorist organizations believe Muslims can kill other Muslims, can for one 'honorably' kill a Muslim female of any age, who has been raped, for soiling the reputation of her family; and on and on thus in total prevent Muslims, secularly uneducated bound to this savagely insane philosophy, from ever competing effectively within a progressive century twenty one. Jews should never underestimate the most powerful long range weapons at their disposal; the written and spoken word. When the messenger is skillful, popular, and commands the planet's most prominent bully pulpit, chances of success multiply exponentially. This cannot be emphasized enough.

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant. He advocates for the State of Israel with an American perspective. He writes, "Advocating for the disrespected underdog has been my passion, no doubt Israel falls into that category." Contact him by email at larose@snip.net

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THE ONLY THING HAMAS LIKES BETTER THAN DEAD ISRAELIS IS DEAD PALESTINIANS
Posted by Shaul Ceder, January 19, 2009.

This was written by Mortimer Zuckerman and it appeared today in Jewish World Review
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com

JWR contributor Mortimer Zuckerman is editor-in-chief and publisher of U.S. News and World Report.

Reaffirming the Right of Israel to Exist
A detailed reminder to the next leader of the free world

What the world cannot remember the Israelis cannot forget. The Israelis know the Jewish nation has been one defeat away from extinction for 70 years. They know that every partition plan in the region, from the dawn of Zionism to the present day, has failed because of the Arab failure to accept the State of Israel. They know that the Palestinian leadership is virtually hopeless, wherein the people who are moderate are not effective and the people who are effective are not moderate.

Today the impossible Yasser Arafat has been replaced by the impotent Mahmoud Abbas. It was Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, who presided over the division of the Palestinians into Fatah and Hamas. Hamas doesn't want peace, and Fatah can't deliver it. Fatah is so weak that it cannot enforce the rule of law against terrorism or make compromises for fear of the radical Islamists. Indeed, without the support of the Israeli Defense Forces, even now it is under threat of being displaced by Hamas. Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a major Hamas leader, underlined Fatah's weakness when he said, "Fatah can't stop us from seizing control of those [West Bank] territories. It is only a matter of time."

Israel is so small it has no margin for error. A Hamas takeover of the West Bank would put Ben-Gurion Airport and major cities like Tel Aviv in the firing line, which would render Israel virtually uninhabitable. This is not guesswork. When Israel left the West Bank, it became a base for suicide bombers, ultimately forcing the Israelis to go back at great cost. They've since built a security fence, but a fence will not protect people from rockets. The rockets and mortars launched against Israel from Gaza have gained greater lethality, accuracy, and range, going from 20 kilometers before the truce to 40 after. And without the current operation, it is estimated that within two to three months new rockets supplied to Hamas by Iran and assembled in Gaza would have been able to hit Tel Aviv. One of them just reached the outskirts.

Acceptable response. Over 20 percent of the Israelis were vulnerable even before Tel Aviv came within range. No government could ignore these threats to its people. Yet Israel's belated response has been challenged as "disproportionate". This is ridiculous. In the first place, it was Hamas's intention that at least thousands of Israelis would die from its 7,000 rockets. Would it fit the doctrine of proportionality if Israel were to respond with 7,000 missiles against Gaza civilians? Or must it wait until the number of dead is piled high enough to justify a "proportioned" response. And what of the emotional trauma inflicted on the living? Men, women, and children have 15 seconds to reach a bunker, which they must do several times a day. They must live with the constant fear of death and maiming.

Would America sit back if, over three years, 7,000 rockets and missiles were launched at our citizens from Mexico or Canada? We would attack these missile sites and wipe them out. End of story. The "disproportionate" criticism is a cop-out. Hamas sought this battle. It was Hamas that broke the six-month truce organized by Egypt. Both Fatah and Egypt urged its continuance; the current violence would have been avoided, as Abbas stated, had Hamas not fired its missiles.

Tony Blair, now the special envoy of the Mideast quartet, concedes he understands the consequences now more than when he was prime minister of Britain: "I would hesitate to cede the West Bank to the Palestinians after the nightmare Israel has faced since the Gaza withdrawal." He recognizes that Hamas has sabotaged years of negotiation. "Land for peace," he warns, "is in itself not sufficient. Not less important is the character of the Palestinian state."

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya has made it clear what kind of state his Palestine would be. Hamas seeks nothing less than an Islamic state as its covenant describes: "To raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine." To that end, Hamas has turned Gaza into a home for every brand of radical Islamist engaged in a holy war that sanctifies bloodshed, glorifies murder, and educates children to die as shahids — martyrs. There was to be no Israel alongside a Palestinian state. Over and over again Haniya has said that Hamas will never recognize Israel nor honor any of the existing agreements with the infidels. Its founder, Abdul Aziz Rantizi, is explicit: "We will not leave one Jew in Palestine."

To achieve the extermination of Israel, Hamas is ready to sacrifice its followers: "We are not," says Haniya, "seekers of office but seekers of martyrdom." The Palestinian people are like the prisoners in a hijacked plane: hostage to the death cult of radical Islamists. Hamas calculates that no state can tolerate its citizens being vulnerable day after day to the russian roulette of rocket fire that hits children, kindergartens, playgrounds, and hospitals. The attacks are designed to provoke Israel while its perpetrators hide behind their own civilians and keep women and children in their forces. They keep TV cameras at the ready to transmit every image of dead Palestinians, especially children. Except for dead Israelis, there is nothing Hamas leaders like better than dead Palestinians, given the global media's appetite for pictures — all to damage the image of Israel. Who else but Hamas leaders would put their headquarters in a hospital or move about in the street only when t hey are surrounded by children or carry them in their arms because they reckon this will protect them from the more scrupulous Israelis?

They are abetted in this cynical game by the United Nations World Relief Association headquartered in Gaza, headed by and staffed by Palestinians. U.N. schools in Gaza have long ago stopped being just schools where children are taught. They are places of refuge for Hamas terrorists — and points of provocation. There is video footage of terrorists firing mortar rounds from the U.N. school and then running so that others might pay the price for their deadly work. Haniya and other Hamas leaders openly boast about the effectiveness of their human shield tactics, yet it is Israel that gets blamed when some of them die.

Israeli aid. The hypocrisy of it all is manifest on the issue of humanitarian aid. Who else but Israel would suspend the war effort for three hours every couple of days to aid in the provision of humanitarian assistance? Could you imagine England doing something like that when it was being bombarded by Hitler's V-2 rockets during WWII? Israel delivers to Gaza about 2,500 tons a day of food and fuel and other vital supplies. Hamas repeatedly attacks this mercy operation. Last May I visited the border and saw firsthand the result of these attacks on Israelis whose sole purpose for being there was to place bales of humanitarian aid on big flat-bed trucks, drive them through the crossings, deposit them 150 yards on the other side, and return. A week earlier, suicide terrorists exploded bomb-laden cars adjacent to one of the crossings.

The unthinking street crowds in European capitals with their Hamas flags don't give Israel credit for these humanitarian efforts nor its strenuous efforts to avoid civilian casualties: Leaflets are dropped and warnings phoned, even though this will alert the terrorists to escape. The protesters give Hamas a free pass for murder.

How rare it is for the truth to penetrate the moral fog! The Czech foreign minister, Karel-Schwarzenberg, now the president of the European Union, asks a good question. Given that Hamas "deliberately puts its military targets in civilian centers," he asks, "why am I one of the few that have expressed understanding for Israel? I enjoy the luxury of being able to tell the truth."

President Bush has the clearest perception of what is at stake. At Israel's 60th anniversary he said: "Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong because the United States of America stands with you." Alas, this pledge was shamefully compromised by one member of that audience, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. When it came to a vote at the U.N., the United States abstained. But for some reason best known to her, she drafted and urged the U.N. into supporting a resolution that called for a cease-fire without the protections of prior agreements, or the cessation of rocket attacks, or the prevention of Hamas rearming itself. In short, she was behind a resolution guaranteeing a continuance of the terrorism.

Any cease-fire must include cast-iron guarantees. They must decisively end the smuggling of arms, largely through the tunnels from Egypt. They must ensure that the firing of rockets will stop — not just for now but for good. That means the guarantees must leave open not the remotest chance that Hamas can be rearmed. Otherwise, as the National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley put it, the cease-fire would be "a prescription for the resumption of hostilities at some point in the future."

Hamas, in short, must be made to fail and be seen to fail. Israel is not trying to take over Gaza; it is trying to protect itself from Gaza. It is trying to preserve the possibility of a Mideast peace process. If the international community will not permit Israel to respond to ceaseless terrorism launched from land from which Israel has withdrawn, it ends any hopes for a two-state solution. What incentive would Israel have to withdraw from the West Bank were it to become a launching pad for terrorism? Hamas will fight tooth and nail to retain this terrorist option. That is why it must be defanged.

The Middle East conflict must also be framed on a bigger canvas. It is not just about creating a Palestinian state. It is also about preventing the region's takeover by radical Islam, especially Iran, which has co-opted Hamas and Hezbollah. If Hamas is successful in manipulating world opinion to impose a premature cease-fire, it will proclaim victory and continue its murderous ways. Iran and the radical Islamists are out to destroy Western interests in the Middle East — and to replace Arab regimes with radical Islamic states, Iranian-style.

On a visit to Sderot, President-elect Barack Obama said, "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I am going to do everything in my power to stop that, and I would expect Israelis to do the same." As president, he should continue speaking truth to terror. See also

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

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FROM ISRAEL: BALAGAN
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 19, 2009.

A balagan in Hebrew is a state of confusion. And, indeed, with the end of the war in Gaza, this is what we are witnessing: a good number of strange and conflicting statements and illogical positions.

It is possible for me to deal in detail with each, and here I will attempt to provide an overview.

~~~~~~~~~~

A good place to start is with Ehud Olmert.

My friends, I do not intend to eat my hat because of how he is now behaving. I was careful, you see: I said I would take one day at a time. When he was conducting himself (for whatever reasons) with courage and strength, and reflected his former Zionist positions, I gave him credit for it. But now? He's back to the Ehud Olmert we've know these past few years — playing fast and loose with facts and apparently making decisions for political reasons.

Already Hamas is speaking about how they will come back to strength. At a news conference today in Gaza, Hamas's military spokesman Abu Ubaida, bragged, "Manufacturing the holy weapons is our mission, and we know how to acquire weapons."

What were the comments of Olmert spokesman Mark Regev in response to this?

It is to be expected that Hamas would say this, he intoned. This is certainly true. Hamas is known for braggadocio.

However, he explained, the IDF has "substantially destroyed the Hamas military machine" and Hamas will "think twice and three times" before resuming rocket fire. Certainly there is truth here, but how much remains to be seen.

And...said Regev, the "international arms embargo" put into place by European leaders would prevent Hamas from rearming. "Iranian weapons have to reach the Gaza Strip. We have reason to believe that this is going to work." Olmert is not stupid. He simply cannot believe this. But he wants us to believe it.

~~~~~~~~~~

I have already provided ample evidence — including the fact that ships go directly from Iran to Egypt — that the plans to block weapons from getting to Egypt aren't going to work.

Here I want to offer thoughts from Moti Kedar, of the Arabic Department of Bar Ilan, regarding the fact that it is vastly unlikely that smuggling of the weapons that do reach Egypt will be blocked:

The Bedouins (about whom I recently wrote). They make their living in the Sinai by smuggling. As they actually kill and kidnap police, they have yet to be controlled.

Bribes. Low paid Egyptian workers are eager to supplement their income — it's a way of life for them. "What do you think would be the response of an Egyptian police officer at a Sinai roadblock who earns several dozen dollars a month when a truck packed with "pipes" seeks to go through, and the driver offers him $100?"

The administration. "Mubarak's decisions on almost any front are completely watered down as they pass through Egypt's administration. The number of different ranks the decision must go through is immense, and every level removes the parts it doesn't like."

www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3657730,00.html

~~~~~~~~~~

Herb Keinon, in today's Post, examines all that is not clear either to the Israeli press or to the public now with regard to our government positions. The government — either for sound reasons, or possibly, I would suggest, because of fuzzy plans — is playing its cards close to its collective chest.

At the Cabinet meeting yesterday, head of Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, indicated that Hamas would try to carry out terror attacks or rocket attacks to diminish our achievement (something Mark Regev apparently wasn't aware of when he made his statement, above). But no information was provided for public consumption regarding what we intend to do in such instances.

Writes Keinon, "no clear answers were given as to what Israel would do if it saw Hamas rebuilding factories to manufacture rockets, or continuing to dig arms smuggling tunnels, or whether Israel would hit Hamas leaders when they emerge from their hiding places."

Keinon reports that when one senior Israeli source was asked who would enforce an operation against smuggling, he said: "Those who need to enforce it, will enforce it."

This is not a good response. It echoes Aaron Lerner's concern about Amos Gilad's foolish response that the public doesn't need to know if smuggling is going on. Does not inspire confidence.

~~~~~~~~~~

The one situation in which being reticent may be appropriate is with regard to bringing home Shalit. Olmert is making noises about the fact that this is being advanced. I would like to believe him.

~~~~~~~~~~

The speed with which we are pulling out of Gaza is unsettling. Originally we were told that our troops would not leave until it was certain that there would be quiet, and that it would hold.

But now there is another, more urgent, reason for adjusting the timetable: Olmert wants all troops out before Obama's inauguration tomorrow. As a gesture to the new president. Wow! What a good reason. This too represents the old — the appeasing — Olmert. This was announced at a meeting here in Jerusalem yesterday of several European leaders who had come to "assist" with the cease-fire.

Present were French President Nicolas Sarkozy, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Spanish Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Czech PM, Mirek Topolánek.

One news report showed Olmert sitting with Sarkozy, who said, "Israel doesn't belong in Gaza." To which Olmert replied the equivalent of words such as, "Don't worry, we're going, we're going." Not exactly what I would have said.

~~~~~~~~~~

This, however, is to Olmert's credit:

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki told the Post that the ministry was unhappy about Israel's decision to declare a unilateral cease-fire. "We expected the Israeli side to behave in a different way. We expected Israel to respond positively to [Egypt's] initiative."

When Israel opted for a cease-fire, "it didn't do so in consultation with Egypt, meaning that it did not choose to abide by the terms that we were able to negotiate with the Palestinians."

Bravo on this! That, of course, was the whole point of going unilaterally: not abiding by Hamas's terms.

"They do not recognize that there is another party in this conflict... They call it the enemy, and that's it. They don't deal with it. {Israel is] "basically saying, it is our decision. We don't want anyone to interfere... This is not what we expected."

One major sticking point in negotiations was the matter of opening of crossings, which Hamas was demanding. I think perhaps I finally have the answer I was looking for with regard to this: Israel has made no commitment on this score.

~~~~~~~~~~

Egypt is very eager to be a major player in what's happening here now, and the Egyptians do occasionally find their noses out of joint. To advance his leadership role, Mubarak has now invited leaders of Israel and Hamas to meet separately with Egyptian officials in Cairo, on Thursday, to discuss a long term cease-fire and opening of crossings. I have no words regarding any acceptances yet.

Mubarak was given a boost yesterday with a summit to discuss a "durable truce" in Gaza, which he co-chaired with Sarkozy in Sharm El-Sheikh. It was attended by UN Secretary-General Ban and numerous European leaders. This is contradistinction to the recent Arab meeting in Qatar, which the Egyptians boycotted and the Iranians along with Mashaal of Hamas attended.

~~~~~~~~~~

What's clear, on the face of it, is that there are enormous fissures and tensions within the Arab/Muslim world.

The foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, Saud al-Feisal, and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa (who is Egyptian) held a joint press conference in Kuwait — where an Arab economic summit was held today — at which they warned that the Arab world faces anarchy and an inner split because of the intra-Palestinian struggle, and "Israeli aggression and occupation."

It is to be expected that Israel would be blamed, when, in fact, Israel's role is tertiary at most. There are considerable rivalries, control issues, tensions between Shiite and Sunni groups, between radical jihadist and (relatively) more moderate groups. What I think happened with the war in Gaza is that it caused a spotlight to be shined on various Arab fissures, so that the pretense of Arab unity is more difficult to maintain.

This is something that I will want to discuss in more detail over time.

~~~~~~~~~~

Right now what we're looking at is the entire issue of whether Hamas or the PA will control Gaza. Egypt, as we've seen, is promoting the PA. A fascinating situation, for in previous unity-government negotiations, Egypt — which is perhaps a bit schizoid on the matter, having diverse motivations — pushed the Hamas position.

Ban is also promoting the PA, of course. In Kuwait he urged the Arab League to back Abbas's attempts to reunite Judea and Samaria with Gaza. "We cannot rebuild Gaza without Palestinian unity," he declared.

And, naturally, Mahmoud Abbas himself is now reaching out his hand to Hamas, with an olive branch in it, as he invites unity talks. He sees this, I am certain, as his last chance.

My own conclusion, based on the evidence I've seen, and the opinions of analysts I respect, is that this will not be possible. The antipathy of Hamas for Fatah, because of their conclusion that Fatah assisted us with intelligence during the war, is enormous. And yet, Egypt imagines that after the PA takes control of crossings inside Gaza, it will be able to negotiate a new unity government. Turkey has also weighed in, and wants to negotiate with Hamas and the PA. We'll see.

~~~~~~~~~~

While I certainly want to see Hamas enormously weakened, and unable to smuggle weapons, I am solidly opposed to turning over Gaza to the PA. We would then be subject to a whole new spate of enormous international pressures regarding "peace" negotiations and a Palestinian state. The rationale would be that it was more possible, with one address for all Palestinians.

I will never stop saying it: NO Palestinian state.

~~~~~~~~~~

Actually, it's starting already. The EU has announced plans to host meetings to facilitate, first, humanitarian assistance into Gaza, and, then, a "permanent peace arrangement."

What is projected is a meeting with Foreign Minister Livni on Wednesday, followed by meetings with ministers from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and the PA. Reports are that Livni might not attend. Has anyone in the EU noticed that we're having elections in three weeks?

~~~~~~~~~~

I am amused by concern expressed by PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad that international efforts to support reconstruction in Gaza may "deepen the political rift" if they ignore the PA in the process. What he was referring to was a proposal by EU and UN diplomats to set up an international committee that would fund and organize the Gaza reconstruction.

"I have a political difficulty with this mechanism. It assumes separation between Gaza and the West Bank will continue, and, in not addressing the issue of separation, it may indeed lead to reinforcing it."

The point he seems to miss is that there IS separation, and the reconstruction work must begin. In any event, the idea that the severely inept and exceedingly corrupt PA should manage funds and oversee Gaza recovery strikes me as nonsensical.

What the EU and the UN, and in a different context, the World Bank, are trying to do is find mechanisms for doing humanitarian work and rebuilding in Gaza that do not allow money to fall into Hamas hands.

~~~~~~~~~~

Laugh of the day (which we all need): At the Kuwait conference today, Syrian president Assad, a major promoter of terrorism, proposed that Israel be called "the terrorist entity."

~~~~~~~~~~

I am mindful of the fact that tomorrow is inauguration day in the US, and in coming days and weeks will have much to say about the new administration.

Today I simply recommend an article on FrontPage that begins:

"Barack Obama isn't wasting any time making an impression: he has selected the leader of a group that has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case to present a prayer during his inauguration festivities. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), will offer a prayer at the National Cathedral Tuesday."
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID= 91FE16A6-5394-4855-905A-7FB24FBDCF7B

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

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NEW YORK TIMES DESPERATELY SEEKING FINANCING
Posted by Paul Lademain, January 19, 2009.

YO! Rottweiler!

Remember when I shared my thoughts about the NYT, and that I believed the (Jewish) owners were desperate for funds? So desperate they were borrowing funds from oily arab front companies and banks whose controlling shareholders were Saudis (Citigroup) and taking millions from SAAR and CAIR for full page ads and then publishing pro-Saudi propaganda to keep their "advertisers" happy? Which to my mind explained why the NYT suddenly began to diss Israel and Jews and other US allies who "trouble" the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood?

Well, here's the latest: the NYT is desperately seeking funds to stay afloat. They are now on their knees before Carlos Slim, a Mexican billionaire of Lebanese extraction (his father emigrated to MX from Lebanon) who is married to a woman whom I suspect is hiding her "Palestinian" extraction. Slim owns Telefonos MX, the largest cell phone corporation in Latin America and MX subsidiaries of major US corporations. Slim's political leanings re: the Saudis and the middle east are still unclear.

Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123224568644693653.html?mod=
— special_page_campaign2008_mostpop
New York Times Co. in Talks With Carlos Slim on Preferred Stock Investment

Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net

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EXPLOSIVE DEVICE FOUND AT FLORENCE CHABAD
Posted by Barbara Taverna, January 19, 2009.

This news item comes from Jewish Telegraph Agency
http://jta.org/news/article/2009/01/18/1002331/
explosive-device-found-at-florence-chabad

FLORENCE (JTA) — A rudimentary explosive device was found at the entrance of the Chabad House in Florence.

The device, described as being constructed from a small camping gas canister, was reportedly discovered during the day Saturday but not reported to police until Saturday night after Shabbat.

The Chabad House is located half a block from the city's main synagogue.

Media reports said a paper fuse apparently had been lit, but had burned out, and no damage occurred.

Florence Chief Rabbi Joseph Levy said the episode was "a very serious gesture that shows how one can pass from irresponsible words to actions such as this."

Tensions are high in Italy over Israel's operation in Gaza. Last week, red paint was thrown at the façade of the synagogue in Pisa. On Saturday, thousands of people, many of them Muslim, staged a pro-Palestinian march in Rome. Some of the placards showed swastikas superimposed on the Star of David.

About 300 people staged a counterdemonstration in Rome's historic Jewish ghetto neighborhood.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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KAPOPHILIA
Posted by Steven Plaut, January 19, 2009.

New term = "Kapophilia." It means the love of Jewish anti-Semites. Kapophilia is the correct term for describing the inordinate amount of space granted by the media to Jewish anti-Semites. The media are obsessed with Jewish anti-Semites. People who represent perhaps a hundredth of a percent of Jews are celebrated as the true practitioners of alternative Jewish ethics. People of compassion. Jewish care bears. The Neturei Karta is a serious alternative group inside Orthodoxy. Ilan Pappe is a Jewish intellectual. Michael Lerner is a Rabbi. Gideon Levy is at least as legitimate a representative of Israel as Moshe Yaalon. You know the shtick.

I realize that some might object that the term is insulting to the concentration camp kapos, who collaborated under duress and without choice. Neverthless, it is the best term I could come up with. Please put this new term to good use! Consider this expose of the love of the Guardian for Jewish anti-Semites, by Emanuele Ottolenghi:
http://www.thejc.com/articles/the-guardian-just-loves-self-hating-jews

The Guardian just loves self-hating Jews

"Some of us can't do enough to support our enemies"
From The Jewish Chronicle
Emanuele Ottolenghi
January 15, 2009
Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi is executive director of the Transatlantic Institute

Last Saturday, the Guardian published a letter that compared Israel to the Nazis; described the Palestinian Authority as "Palestinian Quislings"; called on Britain to recall its ambassador to Tel Aviv; and supported a boycott of Israeli goods.

Before informing the readers that the images from Gaza "reminded" them "of the siege of the Warsaw Ghetto", the 78 signatories felt compelled to say: "We the undersigned are all of Jewish origin", somehow establishing a connection between what they said (Israel = Nazi) and who they were (Jews).

This is not the first time the Guardian has given voice to Jews proud to be ashamed to be Jewish. In 2002, it published a letter in which 45 Jewish intellectuals denounced the Jewish state.

The latest letter raises, as do its predecessors, three questions: the substance of the accusations levelled against Israel; whether being Jewish makes such opinions more compelling or more legitimate; and what purpose these individuals serve, by linking their Jewish credentials to the radical ideas they endorse.

On the substance, the signatories compare Israel's actions in Gaza to the Nazis. This is not new, of course, but its repetition does not make it truer. In Auschwitz, there were around 30,000 daily deaths — all unarmed, starved prisoners. In Gaza, since the start of Israel's offensive, there have been fewer than 50 deaths a day, up to 70 percent of them Hamas fighters. Nazis took joy at massacring civilians. Israelis give warning via phone to civilians. Nazis starved their victims for months before destroying the Ghetto. Israel sends humanitarian aid in the form of food and medicines every day. Intelligent people should be able to see the difference and refrain from such comparisons. Are our friends of Jewish origins stupid or malicious? Judge for yourself.

But the effect is to demonise Israel by comparing it with Nazism, the quintessential evil of modern European history.

And, in the process, it ends up trivializing the Holocaust as well, much like Holocaust denial. If only 50 people a day died in the Warsaw Ghetto while the Nazis were resupplying their hapless Jewish victims with food and medicine, one cannot fault the Nazis too much. It also follows, logically, that Jews trying to turn that history into a paradigm of evil are exaggerating — for political goals perhaps? You see where this can go.

Anyone with a sense of history should know better than to compare Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. Even in Zimbabwe things are worse than Gaza. Does that "remind" them of the Warsaw Ghetto? Or do people "of Jewish origin" evoke such comparisons only when Israel is involved?

Second, is being Jewish relevant? Identity is no substitute for knowledge and expertise; religious identity does not confer authority to speak on anything. So why the invocation of "Jewish origin"? Because the Jews are the gatekeepers and once they break a taboo, others can cross that line. If you are Jewish, what you say cannot be labelled as antisemitic. If you are going to trivialize the Holocaust and demonise Israel, it therefore helps being Jewish — ask Norman Finkelstein, author of The Holocaust Industry. Had he been an Episcopalian, no one would ever have heard of him. Because he is Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivors, his lurid thesis made him a "courageous whistleblower". The same with the Guardian's Jewish letter writers.

It follows that these proclamations of "Jewish origin" serve an agenda: they offer an alibi to antisemites. Shielded behind such proclamations, our enemies can call for our destruction, protected by a Jewish certificate of good behaviour that shows that what they are saying is no worse than what certain people "of Jewish origin" are thinking.  

2. Treason even at Bar-Ilan University:

JTA British academics: "Israel must lose" January 18, 2009 LONDON (JTA) — A group of Britain-based academics are claiming that "Israel must lose" the war with Hamas in Gaza. In a letter to the Guardian newspaper the group of more than 300 academics and writers stated that the "massacres in Gaza [are] the latest phase of a war Israel has waged against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years." The letter also states that "The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel's ongoing appropriation of their land and resources." 0A The intellectuals, among them Palestinians as well as Israel-born academics Professors Haim Beresheet and Ilan Pappe, wrote: "Israel must lose," and "We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors, and not upon the criminal use of force."

While it was already clear when the letter was written that cease-fire was imminent, they added: "It is not enough to call for another cease-fire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides... against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank."

Among the signatories of the letter is long-time supporter of an academic boycott of Israelis, Prof. Mona Baker of the University of Manchester, who in 2002 fired from the editorial board of her academic journal two Israelis, because of their affiliation with Israeli universities. One of them, Dr. Miriam Schlesinger of Bar Ilan University, is a leading member of the Israeli branch of the human rights organization Amnesty International.
jta.org/news/article/2009/01/18/1002334/british-academics-israel-must-lose

Want to complain? President: Prof. Moshe Kaveh
President.office@mail.biu.ac.il
Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 52100
Tel. 02-5318599/656
Fax. 02-5353523
http://www1.biu.ac.il/indexE.php?id=988&pt=1&pid=983&level= 4&cPath=35,983,988

List of Officers:
http://www1.biu.ac.il/indexE.php?id=983&pt=1&pid=35&level= 3&cPath=35,983
Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 52100
Tel. 03-531811
Fax. 03-5352423
Bar Ilan "Friends of" Offices:
http://www1.biu.ac.il/indexE.php?id=1056&pt=4&pid=89&level= 3&cPath=89,1056  

3. This is going around the web: WEST BANK STORY....TO THE TUNE OF OFFICER KRUPKE

It was composed by Ruth S. King, from Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI).

Dear Secretary Ban Ki
You gotta understand,
It's just the occupation
That gets us out of hand.
Israel stole the money
that we had in our pockets
Golly Allah, natcherly we sent rockets.

Gee, President Sarko we're very upset;
We never had the foie gras
That ev'ry child aughta get.
We ain't no terrorists
We're misunderstood.
Deep down inside us there is good!
There is good, there is good,
There is untapped good!
Like inside, the worst of us is good!
Dear kindly Blair your Honor,
Israel treats me rough.
They took away my Ipod
That's why I'm so tough
I know you read the Koran
And know that we want peace
It's Israel that's the culprit
They're an infidel disease
They are bad, they are worse,
sons of apes and pigs.
An infidel disease.

Dear Wolfe they want to blitzerus,
Christiane, she knows the scoop
They got the tanks and ammo
And all we got is poop
The BBC says we're violent,
But Israel is the cause
What we need is loving care
Not a show of force.
We're deprived, we're deprived,
Occupied, occupied,
and that's why we're depraved
My grandma is a refugee,
Her aunts and uncles too
That is why we're taught to hate
Every single Jew
My sister wears explosives
Under every single dress
My mother loves Osama
That's why I'm a mess.
I'm a mess, in distress,
my brain is in arrears,
I'll be cured, I'll be well,
When Israel disappears.
So dear quartet of nations
In diplomacy immersed
Hamas ain't no terrorists
They put children first
We are not delinquents
We simply want a state,
In all of Palestine
An Arab caliphate.
Palestine, Palestine,
Every inch is mine,
Caliphate, caliphate, caliphate, caliphate
In all of Palestine.

4. An effective anti-terrorist policy at last!
From PMW Bulletin: Hamas gangs kill Fatah members in Gaza

Hamas has murdered "dozens of Fatah members" in the Gaza Strip for merely violating the Hamas-imposed house arrest. According to the Palestinian daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida the atrocities, which also included shooting people in the legs, has created a backlash in the West Bank and caused "anger, which influenced the level of popular activities carried out in solidarity with the Gaza residents in the towns Ramallah and El-Bira."

In addition, the popular Palestinian singer, Jamal Najar, condemned Hamas as "gangs of anarchic security forces," describing how Hamas murdered his cousin right in front of his children for simply stepping outside. [PA TV (Fatah)]

The following are excerpts from the article in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and the transcript of the words of Jamal Najar:

Headline: "Reports of persecutions and liquidation of Fatah members by Hamas members evoke anxiety and condemnation in the West Bank."

Reports mentioning liquidations of Fatah members in the Gaza Strip by members of Hamas evoked popular condemnation which was added yesterday to the erupting anger, which influenced the level of popular activities carried out in solidarity with the Gaza residents in the towns Ramallah and El-Bira.

The reports from Gaza pointed out the death of dozens of Fatah members caused by Hamas members. A prominent leader stated that isolated random incidents of murder have occurred, but ruled out that this is a case of organized persecution.

Wafa A-Najar, Gaza resident who lives in the town El-Bira, said that her father was killed the day before yesterday and nine of her family members were injured by shooting by Hamas, among them were three small children and two young people in critical condition...

According to the family's story, a squad belonging to Hamas came to her family's house in [the] Sheikh Radwan [neighborhood] in Gaza and shot at the legs of young Badran A-Najar, claiming that he was violating the house arrest which was imposed on him, at the time when he was sitting with his cousins in front of the house...

A prominent leader in the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip, Ibrahim Abu A-Naja, ruled out that this is a case of persecution by some organization, which aims at Fatah, however he pointed out that "a number of isolated incidents [of murder]" had occurred, as has been reported by the Israeli media...

Abu A-Naja called for Hamas to halt any step which provides Israel the opportunity to attack us...

Groups within the Fatah movement in the West Bank estimated that more than a hundred of its people in the Gaza Strip had been exposed to persecution, shooting, and liquidation." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), Jan. 9, 2009]

Jamal Najar, popular Palestinian singer:

"I express my condolences to my cousins, some of them were killed yesterday by the gangs of the anarchic [Hamas] security forces in the Gaza Strip... The father was killed right in front of his children, because he didn't stay at home, after they placed him under house arrest, he and everyone who belongs to Fatah."

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

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LEGAL RIGHT AND WRONGS OF WAR; HAMAS STEALS INTERNATIONAL AID; HERO OF INDEPENDENCE WAR IS PARDONED
Posted by Steven Shamrak, January 18, 2009.
 

LEGAL RIGHT AND WRONGS OF WAR

(extract from an interview: ABC, 7:30 Report)

Recently I saw an 'ABC, 7:30 Report' interview with Don Rothwell who is a professor of international law at the Australian National University. In this interview he addressed the legal questions arising from the conflict in Gaza. I have taken the liberty of removing any loaded anti-Israel biased questions and comments made by ABC Australia host Scott Bevan and present you the answers of the legal expert:

1) ... international criminal law is certainly sufficiently developed over the last few decades that there would be no reason to stop an organisation like the (UN) Security Council, for example, calling upon the recently created International Criminal Court to conduct an investigation into war crimes committed by Hamas military or Hamas political leaders.

2) ... Israel of course, as any state, has a right of self-defence in the face of ongoing armed attacks, whether it's from another state or whether it's from a non-State actor like Hamas. ... until such time as the Security Council of the United Nations has sought to intervene in the matter. (Hamas also has an obligation to stop its attacks after the UN resolution — hasn't it?)

3 ... law (the Geneva Conventions etc) basically provides that civilians are to be protected during the course of an armed conflict, but most importantly, it does need to be understood that civilians do not have absolute immunities. ... unfortunately in the context of a war there is inevitably going to be civilian casualties and the major issue is whether the combatants have sought to minimise those civilian casualties.

4) Israel can certainly point to, it would need to verify, by very, very accurate intelligence that it was facing fire coming from that facility (the UN agency school) or that it anticipated that there would be Hamas activity before it can could seek to really target that school in any way at all. (Is the same scrutiny applied to Hamas?)

5) It does make it the legitimate military target (if there are militants inside) but the point is that Israel should be able to target that facility in a way, which minimises civilian casualties as much as possible. (In the heat of the battle, when civilians are willing participants of a shield for terrorists? And the school was booby-trapped)

6) (Re: treatment of the wounded) Israel has responsibility for the security within that region. It needs to make sure that any movements within that region are appropriately secured and to that end it can say to humanitarian workers such as the Red Cross, "We're not permitting you to move throughout this area because we don't think the area is secure." (They were not in such a rush to move into a war zone in Afghanistan and Iraq! But eager to provide an additional international human shield for Hamas?)

Professor Rothwell also mentioned that Israel, in compliance with international law, has been providing humanitarian corridors and treated wounded Gazans in Israels hospitals. (What was not said is that Hamas and Egypt are deliberately keeping the civilian population in Gaza to maximize the civilian casualties for propaganda purposes! I just wonder, do Hamas terrorists and thier leaders actually care about the international law of war as Israel does? You know the answer. Last time I checked, we still have not heard anything about Gilad Shalit and Hamas has not allowed the IRC visit him!)

The government of Israel approved a unilateral truce as Hamas continued to attack.<  

FOOD FOR THOUGHT. by Steven Shamrak

How many parties does Israel need? Why is political representation and national security based on age or religiosity of people? Why do Israeli voters tolerate the bunch of self-serving, pathetic idiots in the Knesset?

'Useless Nothing' is Outraged Again. A senior Israeli military officer says Israeli troops shelled the U.N. headquarters in Gaza after coming under fire from Hamas terrorists inside the compound, who had fired anti-tank weapons and machine guns. (U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed "outrage" and demanded a "full explanation", but the UN has done nothing to prevent terrorists from using the UN's sponsored facilities like schools and other buildings! No "explanation" is demanded from Hamas! Hezbollah enjoyed the same UN 'tolerance' in Lebanon.)

One-Sided Three-Hour Truce. While Israel again ceased fire for three hours allowing safe entry to approximately 100 trucks and distribution of humanitarian aid to Gaza last Wednesday, Hamas continued to fire rockets ignoring the ceasefires. (This is the same behaviour Hamas exhibited during the time of 'Quiet', and the same will happen when the next 'ceasefire' begins!)

Fighting for the Fame of a Bigger Traitor. Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (Labor) claims that he personally called United States President George W. Bush and told the president point blank to instruct Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to abstain in a United Nations Security Council vote on a Gaza ceasefire resolution. Earlier, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (Kadima) took credit for forcing Rice to change her intention to back the resolution.

Where Did 'Palestinian' Refugees Came from? The first British Governor, Herbert Samuel writing in the Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine to the League of Nations, June 1921, entitled "On the Condition of Palestine after the War" revealed that "There are now in the whole of Palestine (including Jordan) hardly 700,000 people." (This is after some 40 years of economic and political migration of Muslims under the Ottoman Empire! Where did those 'Palestinian' refugees mysteriously appear from just 27 years later?)

Why is Israel Singled out for 'Special' Approval? The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution "recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza" by a majority of 390-5. (Isn't it patronising to approve that Israel is allowed the normal right of any country: to defend itself against the attacks of an enemy? )

Hamas Steals International Aid to Gaza. Hamas terrorists have hijacked at least two convoys of aid trucks, one carrying fuel and one carrying other supplies. Hamas takes a cut of all aid that arrives in Gaza from Israel. Supplies that are not kept are sold to Gaza residents to raise money for Hamas operations.

Quote of the Week: "The objective of this stage is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the area of operation, while taking control of some of rocket-launching area used by the Hamas, in order to greatly reduce the quantity of rockets fired at Israel and Israeli civilians." — Israeli government statement — Sadly, the objective is not to end the treat of terror and end the conflict, only to "reduce the quantity of rockets". Did it work in Lebanon?

Traditional anti-Semitic Yup from Vatican. Cardinal Renato Martino, the Pope's top official on peace and judicial issues, told an Italian newspaper, "Look at the conditions in Gaza: It looks more and more like a big concentration camp." (The Vatican's statements are always deliberate and calculated! We can't dismiss them as the talk of a drunken idiot.)

War Could be Short and Easy. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation against terrorists in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip will be neither short nor easy, said Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Barak told the nation that Israel was not eager to wage war, but could not abandon its citizens, residents of the south, who have been victimized by Hamas rockets. (Wars are only won when clear and right objectives are set. Destroying weapons and creating a buffer zone will not resolve the existing problem. Israel had tried it in Lebanon and failed. Only the removal of the hostile population from Gaza to Sinai will end Hamas terror attacks!)  

HERO OF INDEPENDENCE WAR IS PARDONED.
by Steven Shamrak

60 years after he was sentenced to jail, Charlie Winters, an Irish Protestant from Boston, who took up the clandestine cause from his perch in Miami and helped ferry military planes to Israeli fighters, even flying a B-17 bomber across the Atlantic Ocean himself, was pardoned by President Bush last Tuesday, nearly a quarter-century after his death.

In 1948 and was imprisoned for 18 months for violating the 1939 Neutrality Act and breaking an embargo on weapons to Israel by the United States.

The US as a country, unlike its people, has never been a wholehearted friend of Israel! The fear of the Soviet influence pushed the US to vote for the creation of Israel. Immediately after the UN partition resolution, which was rejected by the Arabs, the United States was a willing and active participant in the international blockade of Israel. This was designed to allow the Muslim states to destroy the newly created Israel which had no army or weapons!

During the Six Day war, in 1967, the US spied on Israel and had a contingency plan of invading Sinai in order to prevent Israel's advance. Even today, Jonathan Pollard is still imprisoned 22 years into a life sentence for passing information to Israel, the best ally of the United States in the ongoing fight against common enemies. This information, in accordance with the agreement between the two countries, had to be provided to Israel but was not! Isn't it time to pardon him?

Even the Oslo accord, which was considering autonomy for the fake Palestinian nation, is being forsaken by the US, and the best friend of Israel is actively pushing the two-state solution and generously offering Jewish land to Islamic terrorists, perfectly understanding that even this 'generosity' will not bring peace. It will bring only more suffering to Jews in Israel, as deportation of Jews from Gaza, and even the possible demise of Israel. Not much has changed in 60 years!

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

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FROM ISRAEL: IT SMELLS
Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 18, 2009.

Still last night I had a bit of a "wait and see" attitude: We're still in Gaza, if Hamas hits us we may start again. Who knows. fire. Khaled Mashaal, politburo leader in Damascus, announced this on Syrian TV.

According to Khaled Abu Toameh in the Post, sources close to Hamas say the group had no choice but to declare the cease-fire: "Hamas needs the lull. They have been hit hard..."

Great, we're giving Hamas a lull.

~~~~~~~~~~

Abu Toameh says the two cease-fires were apparently declared independently and are not coordinated. We had declared that we would remain in Gaza until we were certain that there would be quiet. Mashaal is demanding we leave in a week. Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas has said, additionally, that this quiet is predicated on our opening of all crossings and the lifting of the blockade.

We had better not be in a rush to open all crossings. And if we do it at all before securing the release of Shalit, things will smell even worse than they do now.

According to Abu Toameh, we have said that we would not open any crossings until all hostilities have ceased. That may have been the original offer, which was rejected by Hamas. But as we ostensibly withdrew unilaterally (was it unilateral?), we should have no commitments in this regard at all.

And in any event, how long do we wait before we know all hostilities have ceased? A Grad Katyusha was launched after the Hamas announcement of a cease-fire.

~~~~~~~~~~

Hamas has said it will resist all efforts at disarmament and all attempts to return the PA to Gaza.

Hamas is particularly incensed with the PA at the moment because its leaders are convinced that Mahmoud Abbas and company provided intelligence that allowed us to get to Hamas interior minister Said Siam. This is entirely credible, as Siam was a major architect of the Hamas take-over of Gaza and responsible for the deaths of dozens of Fatah people. After he was killed in our airstrike, Fatah-controlled websites carried comments from people who thanked Ehud Barak.

Hamas is demanding that Egypt open the Rafah crossing and I want to see how this will play out; Egypt's condition was the return of the PA there. Mubarak is demanding we open crossings. Will he keep his crossing closed?

~~~~~~~~~~

This is my considered opinion, for what it is worth:

Taking down Hamas entirely — even if it might have been a desirable goal (which is itself questionable because of what might have come next) — was probably impossible for us. For there is a way that Hamas, an a-moral fighting force, bests us, the most moral and humane of nations.

We were not guilty of disproportionate military actions and certainly not of war crimes. What we did in self-defense can be justified totally within international law. We knew we were right.

But the killing is not palatable to us. It doesn't happen easily, and we're not glib about it. We were sad that there was collateral damage that caused deaths even of women and children on some occasions — in spite of our warnings and our extreme caution in doing pin-point operations.

What we came up against is that Arab jihadist statement: "We will win, because just as they love life, we love death." Hamas does not care how many of its own people die. And so, for example, we knew which hospital many of the Hamas leaders were hiding in, but we would never hit a hospital, and they were well aware of this.

Makes total defeat tough.

~~~~~~~~~~

There are analysts who believe we must content ourselves with partial victories. This is the opinion, for example, of Yoram Kaniuk, who wrote, "Lower Your Expectations," in YNet the other day:

"No state has been able to defeat zealous Islamic terrorists thus far...There is no way to defeat zealous ideologies, because their leaders are willing to hide behind their children.

"The Russians butchered half of Chechnya, yet the other half is patiently waiting...

"...It is only possible to secure tactical wins, and a ceasefire that everyone knows will be temporary."

Unpalatable in the extreme, but perhaps there's a certain truth there.

If so, what's important is that we keep hammering away, and keep securing those tactical wins, until the day comes when we do have the upper hand.

~~~~~~~~~~

This is where the whole issue of deterrence comes in. It is what Brig.-General (res) Yossie Kupervasser, formerly with IDF Intelligence, whom I've cited so many times now, was basically referring to in his recent presentation: hitting hard enough, not so that they're totally defeated, but so that they decide it isn't worth it right now to keep trying to destroy us and table that goal for a distant future. Then the question becomes one of whether we hit hard enough before quitting. And the answer is in the negative.

I don't think it was all wasted, and for nothing. We did give Hamas a good wallop, although we could have and should have given better. The truth of this will emerge as we see how quickly Hamas recuperates and how reticent, or not, to start with us again.

Yuval Diskin, head of Shin Bet, in his report to the Cabinet this morning, confirms that Hamas took a beating. They did not expect us to come into Gaza right before an election, and we left them in a difficult position.

~~~~~~~~~~

I quote here a soldier who was serving in Gaza — referred to only as Aryeh — a member of the reserves and a former hesder yeshiva student (which combines religious study with military service). He was interviewed on Israel National Radio last week:

"No one likes fighting; people want to be with their families...but at the same time, no one wants to leave now. Of all sectors, it's the soldiers who do not want a ceasefire, not because we want to fight but because we know the job is not finished yet. We don't want to have to go back again in a year or two or three. The soldiers want to stay and finish the job, they really do... I think there has to be a hard push against Hamas, even harder than we have done until now; this will take a real sacrifice, we know — but to think that we might leave and the rockets will still fall, what did we do??! Killing 900 terrorists out of 20,000 is just not enough, we have to really decimate their ranks in order that they should know that they should leave us alone...

"True, Gaza is now largely in ruins, but they'll get lots of money to rebuild, and they'll use a lot of the money to get more weapons as well. We gave to go deeper and stronger, and make them understand that it's just not worth it. In addition, I think we can't leave without Gilad Shalit; it would be terrible if not."

What can be added to this?

~~~~~~~~~~

But there are yet other factors that must be examined, palatable or not. One of these is the matter of international pressure.

Many is the time that my blood pressure has gone up when watching the Israeli government cave under international pressure when I thought we should hold tight. When I thought what we needed was a government that was not into appeasement. A prime example is Condoleezza Rice's demand that we leave Rafah in 2005, even though we had an agreement — all the way from Oslo — that said we could stay. We caved, and we should not have, because our security people knew quite well that this was going to be trouble (as indeed it was).

But I see the current international pressure as being considerably heavier than this. The international community loves to see Israel in the wrong, and the number of civilian casualties in Gaza must have had members of the community salivating with the opportunity to come down hard on us.

~~~~~~~~~~

What is more, the UN was involved. The first resolution regarding our operation in Gaza was not passed under Chapter VII, which meant there was no mechanism for applying military force to enforce its terms. But that doesn't mean there might not have been a subsequent resolution under Chapter VII. With the resolution that did pass, the US merely abstained and declining to veto it. This was already recognized as a betrayal of Israel. And that was with Bush as president. Tuesday, a new, and considerably less friendly, US president is being sworn in. (About whom I'll have plenty to say.)

I believe that all of this was factored into the decision of Olmert to cut our losses in Gaza now. I think he may have felt it was better if we appeared to have been victorious, and left of our own volition.

~~~~~~~~~~

The rush to leave, however, was precipitous, and essentially dishonest.

Olmert said last night:

"We formulated understandings with the Egyptian government with regard to a number of central issues, the realization of which will bring about a significant reduction in weapons smuggling from Iran and Syria to the Gaza Strip."

Part of our goal, as stated by him in the beginning, was making sure that Hamas could not re-arm. And so, he could not pull out without making it appear that a mechanism for preventing this was in place.

I spent part of my day today trying to find out exactly what understandings with Egypt would allow Olmert to say that smuggling was less likely — say so, even if he knew it not to be the case. I could learn of no such understanding.

In fact, one Arabic-speaking contact told me forthrightly, "There is no agreement with Egypt."

This, my friends, is what smells most of all. This is the betrayal of what we were supposed to be doing.

~~~~~~~~~~

In fact, I would suggest that Olmert knows that there can be no effective mechanism at the border between Gaza and Egypt to stop smuggling as long as we are not there.

The appeasement here is of Egypt, which is not confronted with the facts regarding the way in which it has tacitly permitted smuggling to continue, and even abetted that smuggling.

Please, see Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz's startling piece on the issue of Egyptian complicity in smuggling:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231950869064&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

And the failure is our refusal to move back into the Philadelphi Corridor.

~~~~~~~~~~

I cited Professor Eyal Zisser yesterday, who explained how difficult it would be for the international community to stop rockets from getting into Egypt — as even Somali fisherman would be willing to carry them in their boats — and why the key to stopping smuggling lies with Egypt.

Today, Dr. Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA has made it even simpler and more clear. Aaron has discovered that "Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines offers weekly container service from Bandar Abbas, Iran to Damietta, Egypt...Loads every Friday, arrival in Egypt two weeks later."

As long as Egypt will not honestly and diligently work to stop smuggling, it is clear that Hamas will be re-armed.

Yuval Diskin told the Cabinet today that Hamas would resume smuggling of weapons into Gaza in a few months, that they would rebuild the tunnels we destroyed.

~~~~~~~~~~

This, my friends, is what we have to hammer at, as the election approaches. The government has to answer for this inexcusable failure.

Lerner, who has been right on top of this issue, the other day exposed the foolishness of defense envoy Amos Gilad, who said, in essence, that it's nobody's business what deal the government strikes with Egypt. We'll know if they are smuggling if they start launching rockets at us again. This is not acceptable.

See Lerner's mockery of the government position here:
http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=42368

~~~~~~~~~~

At today's Cabinet meeting, Olmert declared, "The military forces in the Strip have their eyes wide open, are attentive to any rustle and ready for any order from their commanders,. The decision on the cease-fire leaves Israel the right to react and renew its military actions if the terror groups continue firing.

But already, the IDF is beginning to pull out. It would take something major from Hamas, not a couple of rockets, and not a rustle, to make Olmert reverse his decision.

There will be much more to say, but I'll end here today.

~~~~~~~~~~

Once again, I ask that you understand how difficult it is for me to respond to all of your many comments.

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

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WHY THE ISRAELI PEOPLE HAVE FINALLY HAD ENOUGH
Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 18, 2009.

This article was written by Ian O'Doherty. It was published January 5, 2009 in the Independent (Ireland)
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/ian-odoherty/ why-the-israeli-people-have-finally-had-enough-1592022.html


Enough is enough: An Israeli man stands on the scene after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza landed near the town of Sderot

So, it's genocide now, is it? Or is it actually another holocaust, something which one typically restrained Palestinian analyst described as "worse than Hitler's war against the Jews"?

Are we watching the ethnic cleansing of an entire people? Are we witnessing the deliberate eradication of a race?

Well, no actually, we're not.

Yet the conventional dinner party wisdom which we've had to put up with in the media, both here in Ireland and generally across Britain, is that somehow Israel is the aggressor in the rapidly worsening situation in Gaza.

Footage of air strikes with the ensuing photogenic explosions and dramatic plumes of smoke, quickly followed by clips of collapsed buildings and enraged mourners, makes far better copy than actually looking at the reasons why Israel has done what it's done.

Anyone who devotes only a cursory glance at the news, both print and television, would be forgiven for thinking that, out of spite, might and malice, Israel has decided to destroy the Palestinian people.

The problem with that conclusion — and it's not something you're going to learn from the BBC and most other outlets — is that, contrary to the currently popular belief, Israel is actually acting with a ridiculous degree of restraint.

Over the last couple of years, thousands of rockets have been landing on Israeli soil and, finally, they have had enough.

But behind that statistic there is a human dimension which tends to be rather ignored.

I know many people in the southern Israeli town of Sderot and what is remarkable about their stories is not the number or make of rockets which have fallen on them on a daily basis for years, but the psychological carnage this wreaked upon them.

One woman freely admitted to me that she hasn't had a proper night's sleep in more than two years as she and her family now basically live in their bomb shelter and it's hard to tell who she hates more — the Muslim terrorists of Hamas or the Israeli government which she thinks has abandoned them.

It's a common feeling amongst residents of southern Israeli towns who have been the silent victims of a long campaign of violence, intimidation and murder carried out by Hamas. And now, finally, that the Israelis have said that enough is enough, they are somehow meant to be the aggressors?

There are people of good conscience on both sides of this argument, but one of the main problems in this debate lies in the cowardly tendency of the Western media to apply equivalence to both sides.

Thus, Hamas is seen to be as legitimate a government as the Israelis, and its rocket attacks across the border from Gaza are seen as being part of a yet another, intractable, interminable Middle Eastern dispute.

There's just one problem with that approach — it's completely wrong.

Hamas is a fundamentalist Islamic organisation intent on the eradication of the state of Israel and all its citizens; a violent fascist regime that allows honour killings and the execution of homosexuals to continue in its sphere of influence. Bankrolled by Iran, it manages to make even Hezbollah look like a moderate organisation.

But Hamas is clever.

As a friend of mine from Sderot pointed out, one of its favourite tactics is to launch Qassams from Palestinian schoolyards — while the schools are still in session.

Hamas does this, you see, knowing that the IDF can't immediately strike back (they can vector a rocket launch site within 90 seconds) because the last thing the Israelis need is footage of a devastated Palestinian school with dead kids.

And, over the last week, we have seen carefully manipulated footage of dead civilians, with the fact that they were effectively used as human shields conveniently ignored. When Israel pulled out of Gaza — ironically, the last battalion of IDF troops to leave Gaza contained some people from Sderot — they were acceding to international and internal pressure. The doves on the Left said it was to prove to Palestinians that they wanted to give Palestinians independence, the hawks on the Right — and there are some truly scary right-wingers in Israel, even as ardent a supporter of the country as I am will freely admit that — prophesied that it would lead to carnage.

And, lo and behold, virtually as soon as the last jeep left Gaza the rockets started. And then the blockade began, and the whole damn mess started all over again.

But there's a bigger picture here, something which Israelis have been trying to broadcast to the world, but which, thanks to their spectacular inability to accurately and sympathetically portray their point of view, has not been properly transmitted. It's this — Israel is the front line of the war between democracy and Islamic fascism.

Would you rather live in a society with a free press, equal rights for women — and anyone who knows an Israeli woman will know that they're not easily suppressed, anyway — equal rights for gay people and a proud and stubborn belief in the right of the individual to lead their life in the way that they see fit or would you rather exist in a society where women who dare to speak their mind are executed, where gay people are not just shunned but murdered and where having a dissenting thought marks you out for death?

The civilian deaths in Gaza are to be mourned, and anyone who says otherwise is reprehensible. But in a sick and twisted irony, they are mourned more by Israelis than by Hamas, who know that every dead Palestinian kid is worth another piece of propaganda.

Here in the West, where we share the same values as Israel, we need to start standing shoulder with this tiny oasis of democracy in a vast desert of savagery.

To do otherwise is moral cowardice of the most repugnant kind.

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il View this art graphic and others at
http://4batya.blogspot.com/ and http://nowthese.blogspot.com/

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HAMAS GANGS KILL FATAH MEMBERS IN GAZA
Posted by Palestinian Media Watch, January 18, 2009.

Hamas has murdered "dozens of Fatah members" in the Gaza Strip for merely violating the Hamas-imposed house arrest. According to the Palestinian daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida the atrocities, which also included shooting people in the legs, has created a backlash in the West Bank and caused "anger, which influenced the level of popular activities carried out in solidarity with the Gaza residents in the towns Ramallah and El-Bira."

In addition, the popular Palestinian singer, Jamal Najar, condemned Hamas as "gangs of anarchic security forces," describing how Hamas murdered his cousin right in front of his children for simply stepping outside. [PA TV (Fatah)]

Click here to see the video.

The following are excerpts from the article in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and the transcript of the words of Jamal Najar:

Headline: "Reports of persecutions and liquidation of Fatah members by Hamas members evoke anxiety and condemnation in the West Bank."

Reports mentioning liquidations of Fatah members in the Gaza Strip by members of Hamas evoked popular condemnation which was added yesterday to the erupting anger, which influenced the level of popular activities carried out in solidarity with the Gaza residents in the towns Ramallah and El-Bira.

The reports from Gaza pointed out the death of dozens of Fatah members caused by Hamas members. A prominent leader stated that isolated random incidents of murder have occurred, but ruled out that this is a case of organized persecution.

Wafa A-Najar, Gaza resident who lives in the town El-Bira, said that her father was killed the day before yesterday and nine of her family members were injured by shooting by Hamas, among them were three small children and two young people in critical condition...

According to the family's story, a squad belonging to Hamas came to her family's house in [the] Sheikh Radwan [neighborhood] in Gaza and shot at the legs of young Badran A-Najar, claiming that he was violating the house arrest which was imposed on him, at the time when he was sitting with his cousins in front of the house...

A prominent leader in the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip, Ibrahim Abu A-Naja, ruled out that this is a case of persecution by some organization, which aims at Fatah, however he pointed out that "a number of isolated incidents [of murder]" had occurred, as has been reported by the Israeli media...

Abu A-Naja called for Hamas to halt any step which provides Israel the opportunity to attack us...

Groups within the Fatah movement in the West Bank estimated that more than a hundred of its people in the Gaza Strip had been exposed to persecution, shooting, and liquidation."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), Jan. 9, 2009]

Jamal Najar, popular Palestinian singer:

"I express my condolences to my cousins, some of them were killed yesterday by the gangs of the anarchic [Hamas] security forces in the Gaza Strip... The father was killed right in front of his children, because he didn't stay at home, after they placed him under house arrest, he and everyone who belongs to Fatah." — [PA TV (Fatah) Jan. 6, 2009]


EDITOR'S NOTE: Alex Grobman sent this link to a video entitled: "Chamas kill Fhatach in Gaza.wmv"
He cautions: Not for Weak Hearts

See also:
http://myrightword.blogspot.com:80/2009/02/fatah-in-free-fall.html]

Itamar Marcus is director of PMW — Palestinian Media Watch –– (http://www.pmw.org.il). PMW is based in Jerusalem. Contact them by mail at pmw@pmw.org.il

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LEARN HEBREW WITH PICTURES AND AUDIO
Posted by Jacob Richman, January 18, 2009.
Hi Everyone!

Today, I launched a new website called: Learn Hebrew with Pictures and Audio
http://www.my-hebrew-dictionary.com

Learn Hebrew with Pictures and Audio is a free, online, educational resource to learn Hebrew words in a fun way. The site has 425 words and photographs ranging from fruit and vegetables to household items.

Each Hebrew word is presented as an image with nikud [vowels]. There is an English transliteration and translation for each word and the Hebrew audio track provides you with the correct pronunciation of each word.

Both the student and the teacher will find the site easy to use and very educational. As mentioned, the site is free to all.

Feedback is welcome.

Please forward this message to anyone that may be interested in learning Hebrew. Thank you!

Have a good day,
Jacob

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LOW ISRAELI CASUALTIES MEANS VICTORY IN GAZA
Posted by Judith Apter Klinghoffer, January 18, 2009.

Israel is back. The country and it's army are behaving as in the olden day. 96% of the Israelis supported the war and they acted accordingly. They opened not only their wallets (see, Companies offer benefits to southern residents) but also their homes to the resident of the South. The low Israeli casualty rate attests to the abilities of officer corp, especially chief of staff Ashkenazi.

Damascus Hamas (Gaza Hamas, like the rest the Palestinians are mere canon fodder) can crow all it wants but it knows that it better watch its steps because the minimal IDF has just made the Political decision to reenter Gaza much less daunting. Note that unlike the previous cease fire agreement, Hamas did not set a time limit on this one.

Moreover, I bet that the superior IDF performance in Gaza was the reason Nassrallah was in such pain to stay out of the conflict this time. 3 Israeli civilians and 10 Israeli soldiers died (4 of friendly fire) in the Gaza operation as compared to 43 civilians and 120 soldiers in the 2006 Lebanon War. Sorry to seem heartless but as John McCain so correctly predicted. Casualties is what counts. The US won in Iraq because American soldiers stopped dying there.

Time Magazine asked: Can Israel win? My answer is yes, provided one remembers that it is an imperfect (but less expensive) 21st century kind of victory, not a 20th century kind. But victory it is, none the less.

This article appeared in
http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/60120.html

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INFLAMMATORY
Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 18, 2009.

Inflammatory

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il View this art graphic and others at
http://4batya.blogspot.com/ and http://nowthese.blogspot.com/

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AN IDF SOLDIER SPEAKS
Posted by HandsFisasco, January 18, 2009.

This was a Jerusalem Diary Item. Jerusalem Diaries II: What's Really Happening in Israel by Judy Lash Balint (Xulon) is available for purchase from www.amazon.com or by calling 1-866-909-BOOK (2665) It was written by Ron Arazi, new immigrant, IDF enlistee. His e-mail address is Arazi.Ron@gmail.com

 

As a recently enlisted IDF soldier, I wanted to share with you my experiences during this sensitive time for Israel and her friends. During the first few weeks of the war I was in basic training for non-combat soldiers in a place called Zikkim, which is two kilometers north of Gaza. There I experienced a small taste of what the residents of Sderot have been experiencing for years: what it means to be living under fire of frequent Kassam rockets that terrorists in Gaza are currently launching — relentlessly — at innocent civilians in Israel's southern cities.

The response of Israeli civilians is, as I see it, counter-intuitive. Encouragingly counter-intuitive. Instead of being further shattered by each Kassam, instead of disintegrating in fear of the next and the next and the next attack, the stress of war somehow makes us stronger. This war makes us more determined, more united, and more noble. It is humbling and inspiring to see the spirit of the Jewish People shine its brilliant colors through the cracks of its tough skin. Here is the strength I see: determination.

In just a phone call, reserve soldiers all over the country leave their jobs, their wives, their kids, and go off to battle, unsure when they might return, or whether. Before infantry entered Gaza, there was an argument between the Golani Brigade and the Paratroopers Unit about who which unit would be the first to go into Gaza. Though Paratroopers Unit wanted the honor, the Golani Brigade was the first to enter Gaza. This resulted in Golani soldiers being wounded early in the war. One such Golani soldier broadcast his sentiments about what had happened: "The only thing I regret is that I'm not back there fighting with them now." The war is not only on the battle front. The brave residents of the south persevere in living daily life. Some out of necessity and others staunchly refusing to flee in fear of terrorist bullying, subsistence itself an act of dedication and faith. One Israeli newspapers featured a family in Sderot who celebrated the brit milah (circumcision) of their son. Rockets and sirens sounding, emotions pounding and firing, the father's face is displayed, taut under a prayer shawl, eyes closed, clutching his newborn son in focused concentration, clinging to his child, to God, to life — all in the face of the unceasing threat of unexpected sudden death.

The strength I see displays itself in unity.

I was sent to an IDF base in southern Israel to help out. When the IDF announced they were sending us, the only soldiers who were frustrated were those not being sent to assist. "We also want to go!" they pleaded. "Why are they sending only boys?!" some girls asked, determined, almost desperate to help.

Some of my friends who went down South to volunteer were turned away. "We have enough volunteers here," some of the shelters told them. Soldiers are appreciated. In the supermarket there is a booth that takes food donations and delivers them to soldiers. The post office charges a quarter of the price for all packages sent to soldiers. When a vendor found out that the reason I needed to buy a digital watch was to use it in the army, he lowered the price.

A man I know who lives in the South was in Tzfat shopping for a piece of artwork. After haggling for some time, the artist-merchant found out that the customer was from the south, so he settled for a lower price. This happens all over the country, as it will this Friday in Jerusalem at the vendor fair of merchants from the South. Stressful times could easily lead to more fragmentation, divisiveness. But here, now, in Israel, what I sense is camaraderie.

The ability to be noble also comes from a place of strength. Today, like every day, I overheard people talking about how sad it is that innocent Palestinian women and children are victims of this war. It is natural to feel sympathy for civilian victims, as I myself do, regardless of what side of the border they live on. What moves me is that the sincere concern for innocent Palestinians comes not only from third-party observers who are safely removed from the conflict, but also from IDF soldiers and residents of the south. It would be easy to demonize everyone in Gaza, call them all enemies and condemn them all to death. And this psychological tactic may be at play against Israel and all of her civilians. But this crude thinking is not the way of the Jewish people. Many thoughtful soldiers and residents of the south, people's whose well being is threatened daily, display a tremendously mature and overwhelmingly sensitive world outlook. At the same time that they recognize the vital necessity of Israel to defend itself from Hamas' terrorism — they are the ones whose lives are being threatened! — they are still concerned with the loss of life of innocent Palestinians. It is tragic that Hamas, instead of leading its people into developing a healthy and vibrant economy, manipulated its civilians into becoming the collateral damage of its suicidal, shameful war against Israel's innocent civilians. Imagine how much strength and nobleness it takes for residents of the South and IDF soldiers, who are themselves the primary targets of Hamas, to be sensitive to people living under Hamas' leadership. Not only in its military strength is Israel great, but in its vibrant soul, a soul which yearns, even in the midst of war, for peace.

The picture I painted is only a very thin slice of the complex and intricate reality and beauty of life here in Israel: words are a weak replacement for experience. But as Mayor Bloomberg understood when he came to visit Sderot in an act of unprecedented solidarity, Israel needs your support. The world does not understand how noble and pure the intentions of Israel are, that Israel is fighting for survival and peace, that it is pained with each unnecessary loss of life, that its people are unbelievably humane.

On this crucial topic, silence reaffirms the status quo view echoed throughout the media, a view that replaces reality with sensational spin politics and, sometimes, backhanded anti-Israel bias. Forget, for a second, about impacting international politics. What about your family? Does your family know your views? Do they know how you feel? What you think? And why you think and feel the way you do? Do you know the views of each of your family members? What about your friends? Whether your opinion resonated or whether it clashed with what is written here, if you care, you'll explore the topic with your loved ones and maybe with your friends.

I'd love to hear any responses, but please don't be insulted if I take a little while to answer: Arazi.Ron@gmail.com

Contact HandsFiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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THROW CAIR OFF THE BUS
Posted by Michael Travis, January 18, 2009.

Watch AAH's shocking video filmed in Downtown Fort Lauderdale on 1/13/09, featuring: Violence-driven members of the local Islamic community singing about and praising Hitler, Hamas and Hezbollah...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MIH_PtMO_U

Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate, the founder of CAIR Watch, and the spokesman for Terror-Free Oil Initiative. This is his 1/16/09 speech from AAH's successful CAIR/Hamas Bus Rally...

 

While Israel is engaged with Hamas overseas in a deadly fight to protect the security of Israel's citizens, we find ourselves in a fight with one of Hamas's long-standing tributaries, CAIR.

CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations has been allowed by the Florida counties of Broward and Dade to purchase advertising on 120 of our taxpayer-funded public buses. The messages permitted to be placed on these buses are offensive in nature.

Passersby read on these buses, "Islam: The Way of Life of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad." The message presented by CAIR is that Abraham, Moses and Jesus — arguably the three most important icons of Judaism and Christianity — were Muslim. The fact that Islam was created long after both of these religions is disregarded by CAIR, just as many of CAIR's radical brethren disregard the legitimacy of the Jews' and the Christians' Bibles, which they claim are nothing more than forgeries corrupted by evil men.

So while CAIR props up its religion in bold giant letters, others' religions get trampled on, stamped with the approval of both Broward and Dade's governments. And to make matters worse, the insulting messages ran all throughout Christmas and Hanukkah.

Shame on the counties for allowing this to happen. Shame on the counties for approving such offensive matter to be plastered on our public transportation.

The counties say that, in allowing the material to be placed on the buses, they are just being fair — that they have allowed advertising from Churches in the past. But we are not here to complain about religious advertising, nor are we here to complain about Muslims being able to advertise. We are here to say that the problem is with the message being presented.

And we are here to say, as well, that the problem is with the messenger.

CAIR was created by Hamas, the organization that is, as we speak, raining rockets and mortar fire down on Israeli communities, terrorizing Israel's citizens. CAIR was created by Hamas, the organization which is currently using Palestinian women and children as human shields. CAIR was created by Hamas, the organization which perpetrates gruesome acts of violence against Jews and even its own people, through such horrific means as suicide or homicide bombings.

CAIR was launched in 1994 by three leaders of the American propaganda wing of Hamas, the Islamic Association for Palestine or IAP. CAIR was founded as being a part of the American Palestine Committee, a group led by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. And CAIR was established as a defense mechanism for Marzook and other Islamic radicals, who have been taken into custody by American authorities and placed in our American prisons.

CAIR was indeed created by Hamas. And according to the United States Justice Department, the relationship between CAIR and Hamas existed long after the group's founding. That is the reason why CAIR was recently named by the Justice Department as a co-conspirator for a federal trial dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. It was the largest terrorism trial in U.S. history, and in the end, all of the defendants were found guilty on all charges.

CAIR likes to say that it was unindicted — an unindicted co-conspirator — but let it be understood from now until CAIR is finally shut down, "UNINDICTED" DOESN'T MEAN "NOT GUILTY."

The counties of Broward and Dade have, at least up till this date, ignored our concerns.

We are here to say to Broward County Mayor Stacy Ritter and the Broward County Commission and the Dade County Commission as well, enough with this idiocy! Take down the Hamas messages off of our taxpayer-funded buses now! We didn't agree to fund this trash, and we expect more from you. You were elected to protect us, not to offend us. You were elected to provide us security, not to accept money from those who wish to do us harm.

And do you even know where the money you accepted is from?

Take down the messages from the buses now! Throw CAIR off the bus immediately!!!

Thank you.

Joe

Contact Michael Travis at michaelmgr@gmail.com

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EYE FOR AN EYE: ARAB ATTACKER KILLED BY HIS OWN ROCK
Posted by Avodah, January 18, 2009.

This was written by Maayana Miskin for Arutz Sheva
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/129468

 

(IsraelNN.com) A Palestinian Authority Arab who stoned cars in Samaria was killed by one of his own rocks, police have concluded. A Jewish man held in connection with the death has been released.

The Arab teenager hurled heavy stones at Israeli-owned vehicles along a Samaria highway last Tuesday evening. He managed to hit one car, which was driven by a resident of the nearby town of Emmanuel.

Fearing further attacks, the driver fired a single shot in the air to frighten away the stone-thrower. He then contacted local security officers to report both the attack and his own response.

A short time later, Israeli paramedics received a report of an Arab teen found unconscious and badly wounded next to a highway. The teen suffered a serious head injury that appeared to be a bullet wound. Medical personnel rushed to the scene but were unable to save the young Arab, who died a short time later.

Police originally believed that the resident of Emmanuel who reported firing in the air had in fact fired at his attacker, killing him. The man was arrested and questioned. However, an initial forensic report showed that the attacker had not been killed by a bullet, and the detainee was released.

A final forensic report, released over the weekend, showed that the attacker was killed when a stone he threw hit the car driven by the man from Emmanuel. The stone hit the car's tire and bounced back at high speed, hitting the attacker and leaving him with a fatal head injury.

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com and visit his website:
http://am-yisrael-blog.blogspot.com/

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ABSOLUTELY NO SMUGGLING TO GAZA
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 17, 2009.

Breaking News: 100% Success — Egypt to Report Absolutely No Smuggling To Gaza

This is by Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director of IMRA, Independent Media Review and Analysis, an Israel-based news organization which provides an extensive digest of media, polls and significant interviews and events relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict. Its website address is http://www.imra.org.il Write him at imra@netvision.net.il

 

Break out the champagne and prepare for the elections.

Considering that up to today Egyptian officials insist that absolutely no arms have ever been smuggled from Egypt to the Gaza Strip, the Olmert-Livni-Barak team can be certain that Egypt will certify that no weapons smuggling takes place since the start of the ceasefire.

Will Hamas cooperate?

"Cooperation" doesn't mean not smuggling.

"Cooperation" means not bragging about it — at least until after the Knesset elections.

And what if photographs of arms smuggling are published?

The Olmert-Livni-Barak team can claim that they are old photos.

And what if Hamas has a press conference showing the arms?

The Olmert-Livni-Barak team can claim that they were smuggled in before the ceasefire.

And what if there are rocket attacks?

The Olmert-Livni-Barak team will engage in a "tit-for-tat" approach, according to which each attack is responded to on an individual basis rather than a renewal of the Israeli operation in Gaza.

And what if there are many rocket attacks?

This depends on the "intelligence reports" of "Generals" Mina Tzemach (Dahaf) Yitzchak Katz (Maagar Mohot Survey Institute) and the other pollsters.

If polls show that Kadima and Labor are plunging as a result of the situation then the ceasefire may be dropped.

On the other hand, if Kadima leads in the polls over Likud, one can expect very learned explanations from both officials as well as media commentators and reporters as to why it serves Israel's strategic interests to indefinitely continue the arrangement.

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

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UNITED NATIONS IMPLICATED IN WIDESPREAD CHILD RAPE, CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Posted by Avodah, January 17, 2009.

This was written by Bill Levinson and it appeared in IsraPundit
http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=8089

 

The United Nations, which is currently enabling Hamas terrorists and possibly giving them material support, has been implicated in widespread cases of child rape in Third World countries. As reported by the Washington Times,

The United Nation's "sex-for-food" scandal continues to spread. As the human rights group Save the Children documents in a new report, U.N. peacekeepers in the war-torn, refugee-rich Liberia have been accused of selling food for sex from girls as young as 8. They are the latest victims in a growing tragedy that includes girls from Burundi, Ivory Coast, East Timor, Congo, Cambodia and Bosnia, ...Similar to other U.N. missions, the scandal in Liberia seems to be the result of inadequate training, zero threat of punishment and collusion with top mission officials and NGO workers.

In other words, sexual abuse of starving children is not merely the work of individual United Nations workers. Supervisory personnel also are involved. United Nations Megan's Law Warning

Captain's Quarters
(http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/001664.php)
quotes independent.co.uk's description of how United Nations rock spiders and child tamperers force children to prostitute themselves for food.

Teenage rape victims fleeing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being sexually exploited by the United Nations peace-keeping troops sent to the stop their suffering. The Independent has found that mothers as young as 13 — the victims of multiple rape by militiamen — can only secure enough food to survive in the sprawling refugee camp by routinely sleeping with UN peace-keepers.

The Times Online (also a UK publication)
(http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article405213.ece) reports that United Nations personnel also have been caught with child pornography that they themselves have created.

HOME-MADE pornographic videos shot by a United Nations logistics expert in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked a sex scandal that threatens to become the UN's Abu Ghraib.

The expert was a Frenchman who worked at Goma airport as part of the UN's $700 million-a-year effort to rebuild the war-shattered country. When police raided his home they discovered that he had turned his bedroom into a studio for videotaping and photographing sex sessions with young girls.

The bed was surrounded by large mirrors on three sides, according to a senior Congolese police officer. On the fourth side was a camera that he could operate from the bed with a remote control.

When the police arrived the man was allegedly about to rape a 12-year-old girl sent to him in a sting operation. Three home-made porn videos and more than 50 photographs were found.

World Net Daily meanwhile reports, "U.N. 'peacekeepers' rape women, children." It is no surprise that the United Nations is pushing worldwide gun control, because a handgun is an excellent way for a woman to stop an ape that is trying to rape her (or her daughter). The BBC
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6195830.stm) adds,

Children have been subjected to rape and prostitution by United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti and Liberia, a BBC investigation has found.

Girls have told of regular encounters with soldiers where sex is demanded in return for food or money.

It is past time for the civilized world to demand prosecution of United Nations child rapists, child pornographers, pedophiles, rock spiders, and child molesters.

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com and visit his website:
http://am-yisrael-blog.blogspot.com/

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ISRAEL'S DILEMMA IS THE WORLD'S DILEMMA
Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, January 17, 2009.

Israel's dilemma is the civilized world's dilemma. Hamas led Gaza as well surrounding hostile regimes hold Israel hostage; deploying suicide bombers, firing missiles without provocation at the progressive democrat state; forcing Israel to react, build walls, and as a last resort defend her besieged citizens with armed young men and women no different than you and me. Yet, today, much of the world only sees bloodshed and destruction in Gaza thus reflexively condemns Israel, refusing to comprehend the history of the region, refusing to comprehend the ambitions of Islamic terrorists, refusing to condemn their unconscionable tactic of storing weapons and ammunition in schools and mosques, using women and children as shields, hoping an Israeli missile will hit a civilian or two just to garner worldwide sympathy. An