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ISRAEL IS BEAUTIFUL: THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST AT ROSH HANIKRA
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, July 31, 2008.

The Mediterranean Coast at Rosh Hanikra (Yehoshua Halevi)

 

Yehoshua Halevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Staring out across the ocean into the midday sun would probably rank last on my list of choice places and times to photograph. I often find myself in the right place at the wrong time, so when that happens, I reach deep down into my bag of photographic tricks. Rosh Hanikra is a chalky cliff along the Mediterranean coast on the border between Israel and Lebanon, known for its labyrinthine grottoes carved over the years by the pounding surf. I was en route to an assignment not far from the coast and thought I'd steal an hour admiring the aquamarine water that flows through this natural wonder. Following the dark and misty maze of tunnels, I was surprised to emerge suddenly into a very short opening with a southwestern view of blue ocean expanse. The fresh air and sunshine compelled me to stop, gaze, and, of course, preserve the moment in pixels.

Actually, I shot this image on film, using my widest lens, a 20 mm Nikkor stopped down to f22 to produce the sun star, a natural optical effect of shooting with the lens at its smallest aperture. Without this tool, it's nearly impossible to shoot directly at the sun at high noon. As luck would have it, there were some pretty cumulus clouds to add interest to the sky, in particular the three directly under the sun which nicely parallel the three main rocks situated just off shore. My memory in pocket, I stepped back into the darkness and headed off to work."

Contact Yehoshua Halevi by email at smile@goldenlightimages.com and visit his website: http://www.goldenlightimages.com

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HEBREW U PROFESSOR WHO THINKS NON-RAPE-IS-RACISM GETS BUSTED FOR RAPE
Posted by Steven Plaut, July 31, 2008.
 

What was left of the academic reputation of Hebrew University was demolished altogether July 30, 2008. The reason was the arrest of the leftist professor of sociology who had been one of the theses advisors of that notorious thesis claiming that Jews are racists because Jewish soldiers do not rape Arab women.

In recent days, headlines have reported the stories of the Hebrew University president joining a call of endorsement for the activities of a far-leftist anti-Zionist group that claims Israel is an apartheid land, Arab students at Hebrew University being arrested for membership in al Qaeda, and a Hebrew University professor of pharmacy insisting on hiring a convicted terrorist to work in his chemistry lab. But these were relatively minor disgraces compared with that now infamous "rape thesis."

To remind you, a Hebrew University graduate student claimed in her thesis that the absence of any history of rapes of Arab women by Israeli soldiers proves that Jews are racists and oppressors, people who do not even regard Arab women as worthy of being sexually abused. The student at the Mount Scopus campus and her "research" were then awarded a university honor for these impressive "discoveries" by the Shaine Center, a Hebrew University sociology "research" center dominated by far leftists. Nitzan had argued that abstaining from rape is just as inhumane and oppressive as "symptomatically raping" and in fact replaces it, because it just serves to reinforce the intolerance felt toward Arabs by Jewish soldiers. These racist soldiers think of Arabs as so inferior and horrid that they do not even feel a compulsion to rape them. While giving some shallow lip service to how the "question" of rape refusal is "very complex," Nitzan's own "answer" is quite simple and straightforward –– it reflects Jewish racism against Arabs.

Israel, she claimed, is so racist and anti-Arab that abstaining from rape is part and parcel of its determination to enforce rigid "lines of division." She asserted that individual soldiers who refuse to rape represent an intentional policy of oppression roughly similar to when governments order mass rape, because in both cases the "policy" serves to subordinate and dehumanize the oppressed victim population. The thesis drew its "scientific" conclusions from interviews with 25 reserve soldiers, ages 23-32, who served as combat troops in the "occupied territories" during the intifada. None of the comments by any of these soldiers supports or provides any confirmation, even the most indirect, to any of the lunatic "conclusions" reached by Nitzan.

Facing a storm of public outrage, the president of Hebrew University, Prof. Menachem Magidor, and the Rector, Prof. Haim D. Rabinowitch, jointly issued an announcement defending the student and dismissing those who expressed outrage over the contents of the thesis.

The "Non-Rape as Racism" thesis was co-supervised by one Eyal Ben-Ari, a Hebrew University professor of sociology, who claims to know something about the sociology of the military. Ben-Ari is a far leftist with a track record of turning out anti-Israel propaganda, such as claims that Israel is an ultra-militarist society, and much of his propaganda is misrepresented as scholarly research. The other co-supervisor of the rape thesis was Ben-Ari's co-author in a book about Israeli "militarism." Israeli feminist groups never had a word to say about that "thesis" nor about Ben-Ari's role in inventing the "No rape as Racism" hypothesis.

From his role in the rape thesis, it was already known that Ben-Ari had goofy ideas about sexual (mis-)behavior. But now it turns out that the ultra-feminist Israel-bashing professor of sociology practices what he preaches.

The very same Professor Eyal Ben-Ari was arrested yesterday for suspected rape and sexual abuse of his students, and arraigned before the Jerusalem magistrate's court. It seems that Ben-Ari made it a habit to condition giving nice grades to and getting research grants for his female students on their sleeping with him. He was clearly not being racist though, because he is the same guy who discovered the academic finding that raping proves you are not racist. The police claim Ben-Ari had been behaving thus for the past fifteen years! This was not the first Hebrew University professor arrested for sexual misbehavior.

The Jerusalem weekly Yediot Yerushalayim broke the story and claimed Ben-Ari routinely attacked his female students sexually and violently. It cited two students who claimed they had been violently raped by Ben-Ari. He is also accused of using university funds to take his female students on trips for sexual trysts. He purchased for one of them a vibrator and then submitted the bill for reimbursement to the Hebrew University's Shaine Center (the very same Center that granted an award to the "Non-Rape is Racism" thesis!).

While awaiting trial Ben-Ari is subject to a restraining order preventing him from entering the Hebrew University campus, as well as an order not to leave the country. The same ultra-feminists in Israel who insisted that an (unmarried) cabinet minister be indicted because he gave a French kiss to a woman in his office have yet to say a word about the behavior of this member of the Tenured Left.

Haaretz (July 31) reports that female students in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University, which claims to specialize in feminism and social justice, allege that Ben-Ari is not the only tenured lecher in the department who abuses them sexually, and that these faculty members walk about boasting of their "conquests" of the PhD students. Strangely, the university authorities never looked into their behavior.

Ben-Ari had also served as a consultant to the Israeli army over the role of women in the military.

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

This appeared today in the Jewish Press website:
http://thejewishpress.blogspot.com/2008/07/ professor-who-thinks-non-rape-is-racism.html

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STAGGERING STATISTICS ON MUSLIMS KILLING MUSLIMS
Posted by Marc Samberg, July 31, 2008.
 

This was posted October 9, 2007 on the Waste of My Oxygen website It was written by Gunnar Heinsohn and Daniel Pipes

 

ACT has posted a set of statistics that demonstrates the real violence against Muslims, it is not Jews, Christians or even America that is leading the pack in Muslim Genocide, but rather other Muslims. These numbers (almost 10 million killed by other Muslims) defy rationality and surely anyone with half a brain can see where the real problem lies. Islam may or may not be a peaceful religion, but the people who dominate the religion and are the face that the world sees as representation of the religion, surely are far from peaceful.

"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. In contrast, over 90 percent of the 11 million who perished were killed by fellow Muslims." –– By Gunnar Heinsohn and Daniel Pipes, FrontPageMagazine, October 8, 2007

The Arab-Israeli conflict is often said, not just by extremists, to be the world's most dangerous conflict – and, accordingly, Israel is judged the world's most belligerent country.

For example, British prime minister Tony Blair told the U.S. Congress in July 2003 that "Terrorism will not be defeated without peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine. Here it is that the poison is incubated. Here it is that the extremist is able to confuse in the mind of a frighteningly large number of people the case for a Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel."

This viewpoint leads many Europeans, among others, to see Israel as the most menacing country on earth.

But is this true? It flies in the face of the well-known pattern that liberal democracies do not aggress; plus, it assumes, wrongly, that the Arab-Israeli conflict is among the most costly in terms of lives lost.

To place the Arab-Israeli fatalities in their proper context, one of the two co-authors, Gunnar Heinsohn, has compiled statistics to rank conflicts since 1950 by the number of human deaths incurred. Note how far down the list is the entry in bold type.

Conflicts since 1950 with over 10,000 Fatalities*

  1. 40,000,000 Red China, 1949-76 (outright killing, manmade famine, Gulag)
  2. 10,000,000 Soviet Bloc: late Stalinism, 1950-53; post-Stalinism, to 1987 (mostly Gulag)
  3. 4,000,000 Ethiopia, 1962-92: Communists, artificial hunger, genocides
  4. 3,800,000 Zaire (Congo-Kinshasa): 1967-68; 1977-78; 1992-95; 1998-present
  5. 2,800,000 Korean war, 1950-53
  6. 1,900,000 Sudan, 1955-72; 1983-2006 (civil wars, genocides)
  7. 1,870,000 Cambodia: Khmer Rouge 1975-79; civil war 1978-91
  8. 1,800,000 Vietnam War, 1954-75
  9. 1,800,000 Afghanistan: Soviet and internecine killings, Taliban 1980-2001
  10. 1,250,000 West Pakistan massacres in East Pakistan (Bangladesh 1971)
  11. 1,100,000 Nigeria, 1966-79 (Biafra); 1993-present
  12. 1,100,000 Mozambique, 1964-70 (30,000) + after retreat of Portugal 1976-92
  13. 1,000,000 Iran-Iraq-War, 1980-88
  14. 900,000 Rwanda genocide, 1994
  15. 875,000 Algeria: against France 1954-62 (675,000); between Islamists and the government 1991-2006 (200,000)
  16. 850,000 Uganda, 1971-79; 1981-85; 1994-present
  17. 650,000 Indonesia: Marxists 1965-66 (450,000); East Timor, Papua, Aceh etc, 1969-present (200,000)
  18. 580,000 Angola: war against Portugal 1961-72 (80,000); after Portugal's retreat (1972-2002)
  19. 500,000 Brazil against its Indians, up to 1999
  20. 430,000 Vietnam, after the war ended in 1975 (own people; boat refugees)
  21. 400,000 Indochina: against France, 1945-54
  22. 400,000 Burundi, 1959-present (Tutsi/Hutu)
  23. 400,000 Somalia, 1991-present
  24. 400,000 North Korea up to 2006 (own people)
  25. 300,000 Kurds in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, 1980s-1990s
  26. 300,000 Iraq, 1970-2003 (Saddam against minorities)
  27. 240,000 Columbia, 1946-58; 1964-present
  28. 200,000 Yugoslavia, Tito regime, 1944-80
  29. 200,000 Guatemala, 1960-96
  30. 190,000 Laos, 1975-90
  31. 175,000 Serbia against Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, 1991-1999
  32. 150,000 Romania, 1949-99 (own people)
  33. 150,000 Liberia, 1989-97
  34. 140,000 Russia against Chechnya, 1994-present
  35. 150,000 Lebanon civil war, 1975-90
  36. 140,000 Kuwait War, 1990-91
  37. 130,000 Philippines: 1946-54 (10,000); 1972-present (120,000)
  38. 130,000 Burma/Myanmar, 1948-present
  39. 100,000 North Yemen, 1962-70
  40. 100,000 Sierra Leone, 1991-present
  41. 100,000 Albania, 1945-91 (own people)
  42. 80,000 Iran, 1978-79 (revolution)
  43. 75,000 Iraq, 2003-present (domestic)
  44. 75,000 El Salvador, 1975-92
  45. 70,000 Eritrea against Ethiopia, 1998-2000
  46. 68,000 Sri Lanka, 1997-present
  47. 60,000 Zimbabwe, 1966-79; 1980-present
  48. 60,000 Nicaragua, 1972-91 (Marxists/natives etc,)
  49. 51,000 Arab-Israeli conflict 1950-present
  50. 50,000 North Vietnam, 1954-75 (own people)
  51. 50,000 Tajikistan, 1992-96 (secularists against Islamists)
  52. 50,000 Equatorial Guinea, 1969-79
  53. 50,000 Peru, 1980-2000
  54. 50,000 Guinea, 1958-84
  55. 40,000 Chad, 1982-90
  56. 30,000 Bulgaria, 1948-89 (own people)
  57. 30,000 Rhodesia, 1972-79
  58. 30,000 Argentina, 1976-83 (own people)
  59. 27,000 Hungary, 1948-89 (own people)
  60. 26,000 Kashmir independence, 1989-present
  61. 25,000 Jordan government vs. Palestinians, 1970-71 (Black September)
  62. 22,000 Poland, 1948-89 (own people)
  63. 20,000 Syria, 1982 (against Islamists in Hama)
  64. 20,000 Chinese-Vietnamese war, 1979
  65. 19,000 Morocco: war against France, 1953-56 (3,000) and in Western Sahara, 1975-present (16,000)
  66. 18,000 Congo Republic, 1997-99
  67. 10,000 South Yemen, 1986 (civil war)

*All figures rounded. Sources: Brzezinski, Z., Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the Twenty-first Century, 1993; Courtois, S., Le Livre Noir du Communism, 1997; Heinsohn, G., Lexikon der Völkermorde, 1999, 2nd ed.; Heinsohn, G., Söhne und Weltmacht, 2006, 8th ed.; Rummel. R., Death by Government, 1994; Small, M. and Singer, J.D., Resort to Arms: International and Civil Wars 1816-1980, 1982; White, M., "Death Tolls for the Major Wars and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century," 2003.

This grisly inventory finds the total number of deaths in conflicts since 1950 numbering about 85,000,000. Of that sum, the deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1950 include 32,000 deaths due to Arab state attacks and 19,000 due to Palestinian attacks, or 51,000 in all. Arabs make up roughly 35,000 of these dead and Jewish Israelis make up 16,000.

These figures mean that deaths Arab-Israeli fighting since 1950 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.

(Adding the 11,000 killed in the Israeli war of independence, 1947-49, made up of 5,000 Arabs and 6,000 Israeli Jews, does not significantly alter these figures.)

In a different perspective, 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. In contrast, over 90 percent of the 11 million who perished were killed by fellow Muslims.

Comments: (1) Despite the relative non-lethality of the Arab-Israeli conflict, its renown, notoriety, complexity, and diplomatic centrality will probably give it continued out-sized importance in the global imagination. And Israel's reputation will continue to pay the price. (2) Still, it helps to point out the 1-in-1,700 statistic as a corrective, in the hope that one day, this reality will register, permitting the Arab-Israeli conflict to subside to its rightful, lesser place in world politics.

Professor Heinsohn is director of the Raphael-Lemkin-Institut für Xenophobie-und Genozidforschung at the University of Bremen. Mr. Pipes (www.DanielPipes.org) is director of the Middle East Forum.

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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"PEACE AGREEMENT" –– NOT "PEACE" –– A CRITICAL DISTINCTION
Posted by Dr. Aaron Lerner, July 31, 2008.

Israel is not negotiating "peace" with the Palestinians and Syrians, but instead pieces of paper.

"Peace treaties", "peace agreements" and even "peace arrangements" all have a place in policy discussions.

But policy arguments that posit "peace" as the pay-off are not just intellectually dishonest.

They are dangerously deceptive.

The hyper-optimistic "best case scenario" assumptions that all so often accompany the line of thinking that we are talking about achieving some kind of idyllic "peace" serve to dangerously underestimate Israel's needs or the risks Israel faces under the "peace" arrangements.

Consider that Shimon Peres genuinely argued at one point that Israel's security interests could be secured in a deal with Syria if there were classy hotels operating on the Golan Heights.

That's not to say that there isn't a value for agreements. Just that they must be recognized for what they are and what they aren't.

Pieces of paper cannot guarantee peace. They can provide a framework for relations. But if a party to a piece of paper determines its interests would be best served by violating the piece of paper then that's exactly what they will do.

That's the paradox of "land for piece of paper": the greater the Israeli security concessions for a piece of paper, the greater the chances that the Arabs ultimately turn their backs on the deal.

Dr. Aaron Lerner is 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

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HAREIDI STUDENTS PASS NAT'L AVERAGE BY FAR ON PSYCHOMETRIC EXAM
Posted by Hillel Fendel, July 31, 2008.
 

A class of 30 hareidi men scored overwhelmingly better than the national average on a recent psychometric exam –– despite, or because of, their lack of general studies schooling.

Facts Belie Editorial

Haaretz newspaper editorialized angrily this week against the exemption of hareidi students "from acquiring knowledge such as English and math" –– and just a few days later reported on the hareidi students' high scholastic achievements.

The editorial was in response to a law passed the Knesset this week. The new law states that hareidi high schools –– "yeshivot ktanot" –– will continue to receive State funding, despite their not teaching the official "core" program of math, English and science.

Successful Student Explains

"If I would have learned English and math [in high school]," one student was quoted by Haaretz as saying, "it would have been a terrible waste of time. I hear from people who did matriculation exams in high school that half the time is wasted; anyway, in the end, whoever wants to get into university has to learn it all over again." The specific class of 30 hareidi students who were the subject of the article scored as follows: Four (over 13%) scored better than 700, compared with 5% of the general population, and 45% did better than 610, compared with 27% of the others. 70% received at least a "passing" grade of 400, compared with 50% of the national population.

Torah Study Instead

The hareidi schools teach very little or no general studies for most of the students' years in elementary and high school, and concentrate on Torah studies instead. The rationale behind this approach is based on the pre-eminence of Torah study in Jewish Law and thought, and the confidence that general studies can be made up in a concentrated and more effective manner if and when they become necessary.

The Haaretz report emphasizes that the sample class represents only a tiny fraction of the entire hareidi population and can therefore not be considered a scientific model. However, its tone puts the lie to the left-wing paper's editorial of only a few days before.

Haaretz Attacks Hareidim and Secularists

Apparently unaware of the hareidi psychometric results about to be publicized in their own newspaper, the Haaretz editors wrote, "The hareidi manipulators 'succeeded' in achieving publicly-subsidized ignorance for their students." This was done, the editorial notes cynically, out of "fear that general knowledge would cause them to abandon the political camp that is dependent on their ignorance."

The editorial acknowledges the recent upsurge of secular interest in Judaism and Jewish studies –– and attacks that as well: "Education Minister Yuli Tamir's willingness to give in to the hareidim regarding general education does not indicate tolerance, but rather sycophancy and surrender. The secularists have developed a strange fear of Jewish studies and of holiness in general, as part of their search for identity. Secularism has lost the self-confidence it had in the early days of the State, and has begun to lower its head before everything that is considered 'spiritual' or 'preserving the Jewish spark'..."

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

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ISRAEL: AMAZING THINGS OCCUR IN THE ERA PRECEDING MOSHIACH
Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, July 31, 2008.
 

We are taught that at the end of days it will be a time when everyone will be a Tzadik or everyone will be a Rashah and then Ben Yishai will come. On this I once heard that it can not mean that it will be a time when either everyone will be a Tzadik or everyone will be a Rashah. What is meant is that there will no longer be the Benonim, no more fence sitters, no more compromisers. Either one will be with G-D and try the best he can to live according to the Torah or one will be against G-D. This is more and more the case these days.

After the folly of the Golden Calf, Mosheh Rabbenu called out: "MI LASHEM, BO ALI!" "Whomever is for G-D, come to me!" The same call is being heard today as well.

This below is from yesterday's Yeshiva World
http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/21655/Israel: +Amazing+Things+Occur+in+the+Era+Preceding+Moshiach.html It was written by Yechiel Spira.

 

The Israeli secular community does not really know what to make of the new trend, but Baruch Hashem, many kibbutzim and other secular communities around Israel are requesting a shul and mikve, the very same communities that have lived for decades without the holy structures.

Many of the secular kibbutzim have been ideologically opposed to the construction of the buildings, working with tenacity to remove any trace of Yiddishkeit from their communities.

This year, dozens of shuls and mikvas have been constructed in secular communities and it appears the trend is gaining momentum. 50% of requests given to the Ministry of Religious Services have come from secular kibbutzim and moshavim. Permits were given to construct 37 new mikvas, and in some cases, in totally secular areas including Kinneret Rotem, Kfar Vardim, Tzur Yitzchak, Tal El and N'vei Ziv.

The ministry permitted the construction of shuls in 79 communities, 80% in totally secular communities including Kibbutz Ashdod Yaakov Ichud, Gan Ner, Kibbutz Gezer, Kfar HaNaggid, and Karmei Yosef.

Minister of Religious Services (Shas) stated, "Undoubtedly, there is a new trend in Israel. A growing number of Israelis are more open and more in need of religious services. This is a record-breaking number of requests from the staunch secular community."

Ronny Kenan, the general manager of Kibbutz Ashdod Yaakov Ichud explains they never had a real synagogue and there are a growing number of residents wishing a formal building for prayer.

The leaders of the national kibbutz movement confirm the number in the report, adding the overwhelming number of kibbutz residents are indeed secular. They add today, there is more pluralism today and less homogeny. They confirm there appears to be a growing interest in returning to "traditionalism" and prayer.

A study conducted by the Shitim Institute reveals that 50% of the population fasts on Yom Kippur and 60% of the kibbutzim do have some type of community activity on Kol Nidrei night.

Aryeh Zelasko lives in Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem. He is Director of Sales and Marketing of Israel Visit (www.israelvisit.co.il) which provides information and an internet buying facility for American visitors to Israel.

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HAMAS' CHRISTIAN CONVERT: YOU (JEWS) WILL NEVER HAVE PEACE WITH HAMAS
Posted by Avodah, July 31, 2008.
 

This excerpt is from "Hamas' Christian Convert: I've Left a Society that Sanctifies Terror" written by Avi Issacharoff. It appeared in Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1007097.html

 

Masab [son of West Bank Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef] knows that he has little hope of returning to visit the Holy Land in this lifetime.

"I know that I'm endangering my life and am even liable to lose my father, but I hope that he'll understand this and that God will give him and my family patience and willingness to open their eyes to Jesus and to Christianity. Maybe one day I'll be able to return to Palestine and to Ramallah with Jesus, in the Kingdom of God."

Nor does he attempt to hide his affection for Israel, or his abhorrence of everything representing the surroundings in which he grew up: the nation, the religion, the organization.

"Send regards to Israel, I miss it. I respect Israel and admire it as a country," he says.

Masab, son of West Bank Hamas leader and MP Sheikh Hassan Yousef, has become a Christian. He says, "You Jews should be aware: You will never, but never have peace with Hamas. Islam, as the ideology that guides them, will not allow them to achieve a peace agreement with the Jews. They believe that tradition says that the Prophet Mohammed fought against the Jews and that therefore they must continue to fight them to the death." "An entire society sanctifies death and the suicide terrorists. In Palestinian culture a suicide terrorist becomes a hero, a martyr. Sheikhs tell their students about the 'heroism of the shaheeds.'"

Is that the justification for the suicide attacks?

"More than that. An entire society sanctifies death and the suicide terrorists. In Palestinian culture a suicide terrorist becomes a hero, a martyr. Sheikhs tell their students about the 'heroism of the shaheeds.'"

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com

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PETITION FOR JEWISH PARADE IN ARAB CITY
Posted by Daisy Stern, July 31, 2008.
 

This is a news item from Arutz-7.

 

(IsraelNN.com) Jewish National Front activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben Gvir have petitioned The High Court of Justice for permission to conduct a flag procession in the Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm. The two claim that "if the police allow members of the Open House to conduct a gay pride parade in Jerusalem and leftists to conduct parades in Hevron, there is no reason why they won't let us march in Umm al-Fahm."

Contact Daisy Stern at daisystern1@gmail.com

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FROM ISRAEL: JUST SUPPOSE
Posted by Arlene Kushner, July 31, 2008.
 

Political predictions are never written in stone, and certainly I make no claims that what I'm about to write here is anything other than a speculation. But I think it's a reasonably informed speculation and worth sharing...

I wrote yesterday about Netanyahu and Barak having met, and about thoughts that they might have been talking about more than defense issues.

Well, just suppose that...

Netanyahu has convinced Barak that he (Barak) will have a more solid political future if he throws the lot of Labor in with Likud rather than with Kadima. Suppose Barak is sold on the idea that the whole Kadima party is politically polluted and that something of their reputation would ultimate rub off on Labor (not that Barak himself is exactly Mr. Clean, you understand).

This notion that Likud now seeks to represent itself as the party of integrity (no laughing out there, please) is bolstered by Uzi Dayan having joined its ranks. Dayan's Tafnit party platform had a strong plank for clean government –– his endorsement of Likud is like the Seal of Good Housekeeping (for those Americans old enough to remember that).

Suppose Netanyahu has made promises to Barak about the role Labor can play in the coalition, and that Netanyahu and Barak together have decided to finish the Kadima party.

It could happen: they could do it. Without Labor, it is very unlikely that anyone at Kadima's helm would be able to put together a stable coalition.

~~~~~~~~~~

All of this is by way of saying that it ain't over yet, and we cannot be certain how it will play out –– and certainly cannot be sure that the next government will be Kadima-led.

Haim Ramon, an Olmert mouthpiece and a deputy PM, told Army Radio this morning that Kadima's chances of forming a new coalition are very slim. While Shaul Mofaz, also speaking to Army Radio, said he thinks he has a good chance of winning the Kadima primary, and that he intends to put together a broad-based coalition for a unity government. Right now in polls on the Kadima primary Mofaz is running just a couple of points behind Livni, who previously had a major lead.

And Binyamin Netanyahu is calling for new elections, saying, "This government has reached an end and it doesn't matter who heads Kadima. They are all partners in this government's total failure."

~~~~~~~~~~

It is apparently as I had speculated yesterday. (Making this speculation was a no-brainer, really.)

Police sources are saying that Olmert decided to step down now because "he recognized that the investigation evidence held by police is serious and solid....The investigation Friday is expected to be difficult and uncomfortable for Olmert. He will be confronted with evidence and documents that have accumulated against him, and it is a fair assumption that he already understands that this involves substantive evidence." (Olmert is to be questioned again, this time with regard to alleged double billing for travel.)

There are actually commentators who are saying that Olmert has stepped down with dignity, doing what's right for the country. But, hey, I say he's doing what's right for Olmert, as he always does. Far better this than the possibility of being forced out after he's indicted.

What's clear is that he is without humility of any sort or a sense of responsibility for what has transpired. He is, he tells us, only a hard working and innocent man who has been set upon by enemies.

~~~~~~~~~~

Most disconcerting is Olmert's pledge to keep working on peace negotiations. This raises the issue of exactly what would be tolerated in this country in terms of any commitments he might make to the PA when he is on his way out. We cannot let our guard down here.

~~~~~~~~~~

Earlier this week, Olmert told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that it was highly unlikely that it would be possible to reach a comprehensive agreement with the Palestinians by the end of 2008. While there were gaps on issues such as borders and refugees, he said the main sticking point was Jerusalem.

Then, a day later, Olmert announced expectation that it should be possible to reach an agreement on everything else but Jerusalem by the end of 2008, with a mechanism set in place for how to reach a Jerusalem agreement in the following year.

~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday the Palestinians weighed in on this. If there is no comprehensive agreement by the end of 2008, we are being told, the PA may stop negotiations. "May." I have never known a group to make so many threats, all of which turn out to be nothing but hot air.

What Abbas's chief of staff, Rafik Husseni, said was, "We will negotiate until the end of the year, and then the president will review our options."

But here's the key: "Without a deal on Jerusalem, there will not be a peace deal at all."

Ahmed Qurei, head of the negotiating team, vociferously agreed:

"There will be no peace agreement with Israel unless there's an agreement on Jerusalem. And there will be no state without Jerusalem. Olmert and the rest of the world must understand that Jerusalem is the core of the problem."

Note: "Jerusalem" means a demand for all of eastern Jerusalem, with us returning to the Green Line. This means, aside from everything else, total relinquishment of the Kotel and Har Habayit (the Temple Mount). This is not going to happen.

So the bottom line is that I don't believe Olmert is capable of signing off on a final deal with the PA before he leaves office. But he can do us damage by going on the record as being committed to things that will come to haunt us later.

~~~~~~~~~~

Abbas made yet another threat yesterday that is a sure sign of just how precarious the position of the PA is right now. If Israel releases Hamas members of the Palestinian parliament as part of the deal to secure the release of Shalit, Abbas would dismantle the PA. This information, according to Haaretz, came as a "personal message" from Abbas delivered to our Central Command by head of the PA's civic affairs department.

Many Hamas parliamentarians were arrested by Israel after Shalit was captured and about 40 remain in our prisons. Abbas is afraid that their release would end up strengthening Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria significantly just at a time when Fatah and Hamas are embroiled in conflict.

The position that Abbas is taking on this might have the effect of weakening him on the Palestinian street, as Abbas is supposed to be working for the release of all Palestinian brothers.

~~~~~~~~~~

There is no progress in negotiations to secure Shalit in any event, because Israel is refusing to release all of the prisoners demanded by Hamas –– not because they will strengthen Hamas civic infrastructure, but because they are terrorists. Neither will we permit the opening of the crossing at Rafah as a precondition.

But the question remains as to whether Israel might give credence to Abbas's concerns on this.

~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday, Khaled Abu Toameh reports, PA security was put on high alert because Hamas is threatening PA officials in Judea and Samaria –– especially in Ramallah, and the threats are being taken seriously.

Leaflets distributed by Hamas's military wing, Izzadin Kassam, targeted top PA leaders for "collaborating with Israel."

Specifically mentioned were Abbas, PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad, PLO executive committee member Yasser Abed Rabbo, top Fatah officials Azzam al-Ahmed and Ahmed Abdel Rahman, and Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a senior adviser to Abbas.

"Collaborating with Israel": Great climate for negotiating serious "peace talks," no?

~~~~~~~~~~

Eli Lake, writing in the NY Sun, discusses the fact that there is now likely to be a slow down in PA –– Israel negotiations, which will be problematic for Rice, who is pushing for an interim document.

Lake cites David Makovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy:

"Basically, Secretary Rice would like a summation document that points to the disagreements and the points of convergence between the two parties. The problem is that no political figures like to expose to the public the concessions they make in the absence of a diplomatic breakthrough....There is not much hope for such an agreed-upon document."

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

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GERMAN OUTFIT GETS AROUND SANCTIONS BY BUILDING EQUIPMENT AT HOME AND DELIVERING TO IRAN
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 31, 2008.
 

News Wire –– German outfit gets Iran LNG nod-Germany gets around sanctions by building equipment at home, and delivering to Iran

Germany's federal export control office has cleared the way for engineering outfit Steiner-Prematechnik-Gastec to build equipment Iran plans to use in three liquefied natural gas plants, according to reports.

The Federal Office of Economics & Export Control concluded after a 12-month investigation that plans by Steiner-Prematechnik-Gastec to build equipment for converting natural gas to liquids do not violate sanctions against Iran.

"Because the equipment would be built here [in Germany] and then sent to Iran, that work does not fall under any existing sanctions involving Iran," Holger Beutel, a spokesman for the government office, told the Associated Press.
http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article160046.ece

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

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THE STRUGGLE FOR SETTLEMENT CONTIGUITY
Posted by Herb and Miki Sunshine, July 31, 2008.

This was written by Nadav Shragai and it appeared in Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1006736.html.

 

The establishment of the Jewish settlers has joined forces with non-establishment groups to fight the Civil Administration

The Jewish settlements of the eastern part of the Etzion Bloc in the West Bank –– unlike the consensual settlements of the western part of the bloc –– have not been suffering from an overdose of popularity among Israeli statesmen.

On the map of the permanent status agreement drawn up by negotiating teams in the past, Nokdim, Tekoa, Kfar Elad and Ma'aleh Amos –– settlements in which about 3,000 people live –– are marked as locations destined to be evacuated. The fact that up until about a year ago the trip from the eastern part of the Etzion Bloc to Jerusalem took about three quarters of an hour, whereas the distance between the western part of the Etzion Bloc and the capital amounts to only a 15-minute trip, only demonstrated the gap between the authorities' attitude toward settlements like Kfar Etzion or Efrat in the western part of the Etzion Bloc, and the step-children to the east of the route of the separation fence.

Then everything changed, or at least this is the feeling among the inhabitants of the eastern part of the bloc. After long years of struggle, the Za'atra Bypass Road was completed, a fast road 10 kilometers long that connects the settlements of the eastern part of the bloc directly to Har Homa in Jerusalem –– itself a controversial and relatively new neighborhood beyond the 1967 border.

The road has whittled the trip to Jerusalem down to 15 minutes, and has changed the atmosphere in those settlements from one extreme to another. In Tekoa and Nokdim, it is now impossible to obtain a room to rent, and the prices of building plots have soared by 70 percent.

Jerusalem's new suburbs

Over the last few months, 20 new families have joined Kfar Eldad, where some of the houses were empty, and others have been refused because of lack of space. Suddenly the settlements of the eastern Etzion bloc have discovered that they have become suburbs of Jerusalem, like their siblings to the west.

Now this new reality is ostensibly under threat by the possibility that Shadma, an abandoned military base in Area C which overlooks the new road that connects the eastern part of the bloc to Jerusalem, will be transferred to the Palestinians.

Up until 1967, a Jordanian army base was located at Shadma. Then Israel established military bases of its own, but for the past two years the place has been empty and the settlers' action committees have been waging a fierce battle against the Civil Administration's plan to hand it over to the Palestinians. The latter want to establish there, by means of the Beit Sahur municipality, a neighborhood with a hospital, an amusement park and perhaps also an industrial zone.

The field echelons of the Israel Defense Forces are also opposed to the plan. They fear that the settlements of the eastern part of the bloc will be cut off again. The road, they stress, is less than one kilometer distance from Shadma, in the range of light arms and machine guns.

The struggle has already changed the reality on the ground, to some extent. Nearly every week inhabitants of Har Homa and the Etzion bloc visit the site. They demonstratively ignore the warning sign "Closed Military Zone" that confronts them; they hold picnics, hikes, heritage tours and Torah lessons there, and about two weeks ago they raised an Israeli flag on the water tower.

The struggle for Shadma has engendered unusual cooperation between a Jerusalem neighborhood committee (that of Har Homa, which is overlooked by Shadma) and action committees on behalf of the settlers, between the settlers' establishment (the Etzion bloc regional council and its head Shaul Goldstein) and the anti-establishment action committees headed by Nadia Matar of Women in Green and Arieh and Ditya Yitzhak, and between the leaderships of the eastern and western parts of the bloc, which politicians have often sought to divide.

This struggle has put on the map another point of confrontation between the settlers and the anarchist organizations that are also active at Shadma, in an attempt to ensure that the place will be handed over to the Palestinians.

In Hebron, the encounter between the settlers and the anarchists led to open conflict. Here, everything is still hidden beneath the surface, and only the competing graffiti written by one side and then obliterated by the other, time after time, testifies to the potential for a similar uproar.

At the beginning of this month, a meeting of the Committee for a Jewish Shadma was held at the Gush Etzion community youth, sport and culture center. Shaul Goldstein outlined two stages: the first –– prevention of the handover of the place to the Palestinians, and the second –– the establishment of a Jewish settlement or outpost on the site.

He noted that Jewish settlement in the Etzion Bloc accounts for only 4 percent of the territory. "Shadma," he asserted, "is part of what is most precious to us."

MK Uri Ariel (National Union-National Religious Party) proposed working vis-a-vis the Defense Ministry, the Central Command and the Shin Bet security service to ensure that they will oppose "the destructive ideas of the Civil Administration."

Har Etzion Yeshiva head Rabbi Yaakov Madan spoke about "daily action, with all our might, in order to succeed in the struggle for the eastern road, which is a struggle for settlement contiguity between Har Homa and the Etzion Bloc."

A distant past

The struggle for Shadma has already engendered the first stirrings of a political lobby, and also a reminder from the distant past: Close to the abandoned military camp, at a place called Beit Betza, traces of the Greek siege on the Hashmoneans have been found. This is where Yehonatan, Shimon and Yohanan fled after the battle in which their brother, Judah Maccabee, was killed.

However, despite the historical connection, the settlers are more interested in the present. Arutz Sheva, the settlers' pirate radio station, reported dramatically a few days ago that "the Israeli flag that was hung on the tall water tower in Shadma is visible from afar, and declares proudly that the place will not be abandoned to the Arab enemy."

The flag is the sign. Shadma is one of the stops on the trans-outpost trip that the outpost youth are holding this week. A happening and a bike ride are planned for the site, and on Wednesday, a marathon of lectures in preparation for the Ninth of Av: from destruction to redemption.

Contact Herb and Miki Sunshine by email at sunshine.h@012.net.il

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U.S. OFFICIAL: IRAQIS TOLD ME WMDS SENT TO SYRIA
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 31, 2008.
 

This was written by Ryan Mauro and it appeared in World Net Daily (WND). Ryan Mauro is founder and chief editor of WorldThreats.com.


Former head of prisons says incarcerated ex-Saddam forces disclosed move

As U.S.-led troops pressed toward Baghdad in 2003, Saddam remained defiant in a walkabout among cheering crowds in the capital

A former American overseer of Iraqi prisons says several dozen inmates who were members of Saddam Hussein's military and intelligence forces boasted of helping transport weapons of mass destruction to Syria and Lebanon in the three months prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Don Bordenkircher –– who served two years as national director of prison and jail operations in Iraq –– told WND that about 40 prisoners he spoke with "boasted of being involved in the transport of WMD warheads to Syria.

A smaller number of prisoners, he said, claimed "they knew the locations of the missile hulls buried in Iraq."

Some of the inmates, Bordenkircher said, "wanted to trade their information for a release from prison and were amenable to showing the locations."

The prisoners were members of the Iraqi military or civilians assigned to the Iraqi military, often stationed at munitions facilities, according to Bordenkircher. He said he was told the WMDs were shipped by truck into Syria, and some ended up in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

Other Iraqi military personnel, including former top Saddam associates, have made the same claim.

In early 2006, Saddam's No. 2 Air Force officer, Georges Sada, told the New York Sun Iraq's WMDs were moved into Syria six weeks before the war started.

WND also reported in 2006 a former general and friend of Saddam who defected alleged WMDs were hidden in Syria and said the regime supported al-Qaida with intelligence, finances and munitions. Ali Ibrahim Al-Tikriti, the southern regional commander for Saddam's militia in the late 1980s, said the regime had contingency plans established as far back as the 1980s in the event either Baghdad or Damascus was taken over.

Saddam knew the U.S. eventually would come for the weapons, Al-Tikriti said at the time, and had "wanted since he took power to embarrass the West, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so." So he denied they existed and made sure they were moved into hiding, the former general said.

Among other claims, WND also reported a former U.S. federal agent and counter-terrorism specialist deployed to Iraq before the war said he waged a three-year, unsuccessful battle to get officials to search four sites where he believed the former Saddam regime buried weapons of mass destruction.

Bordenkircher said four of the Iraqi prisoners who separately offered to speak to the "right" people about Saddam's alleged transport of WMD later became involved with U.S. and Iraqi intelligence agencies.

Some prisoners said the drivers, upon return from transporting the WMDs out of Iraq, discussed the movement. They said, according to Bordenkircher, the materials shipped out would return once Iraq got "a clean bill of health from the U.N., and then the program could be kick-started easily."

Four of the prisoners –– civilians attached to the Iraqi military –– said they worked at the al-Muthana Chemical Industries site. They said the cargo included nitrogen mustard gas warheads for Tariq I and II missiles.

Bordenkircher said the stories of the military personnel and the civilians matched and did not contradict one another.

Bordenkircher also said prisoners confirmed al-Qaida had a presence in Iraq before Operation Iraqi Freedom began, specifically in Mosul and Kirkuk.

Iraqis under the command of Uday Hussein, one of Saddam Hussein's sons, supported the al-Qaida elements in the country with training and providing safe harbor, they said.

Bordenkircher also was a senior adviser to South Vietnam's correctional system during the war in Southeast Asia, from 1967-72. His task was to improve conditions for 80,000 civilian prisoners. The U.S. Department of Justice asked him to play a similar role in Iraq, sending him first to Baghdad's infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad in March 2006 to shut it down.

Bordenkircher previously served as Marshall County sheriff of Moundsville, W.Va., and police chief and warden of the state penitentiary at Moundsville.

Previous stories:

Report: Saddam did have WMDs
Hundreds of WMDs discovered in Iraq
Memo reportedly shows location of WMD
Saddam general: WMDs in Syria
New evidence on Saddam's WMDs?
Duelfer: 'A lot of material left Iraq and went to Syria'
Is this one of Saddam's mobile bio-weapons labs?
Inspector: Saddam had WMD on 'short notice'
Saddam's WMD have been found
Secret intelligence memo links Saddam, bin Laden

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

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ISLAM AND CHRISTIANS
Posted by Christina Walberg, July 31, 2008.
 

Mi name is Christina Cederin and I have read the aritkel by Raymond Ibrahim. The Christians are also like Islam they dont like Jews. First many of them have not read the history about how Israel became a state. Im very surprised why nobody tell about how Israel was trying to help poor arabs with work better money. The problems is and I think You know it too but my anger to the rich arabs they dont help the own people Instead they beg money from EU Israel and USA They have the oil and power to rule the whole Europian market. And then the train poor and undereducated people to get a terror and war and hate to Jews Christians and Americans. Many Christians are very shallow about the Jewish people. They think all are Cheder and Fundmendalisiskt and rest is a grey mass. Wrong!!!!! I get very angy about our Swedish Press how they write about Israel. Christina Cederin

Contact Christina Cederin at cederin@hotmail.com

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THE FACE OF THE ARAB WORLD; ANOTHER BETRAYAL BY THE U.S.?; IRAN PREPARING HOLOCAUST
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 31, 2008.

THE FACE OF THE ARAB WORLD

Like the P.A., Lebanon is preparing a hero's welcome for grisly murderers whom Israel is releasing to it in return for Arab captors murdering, I mean, returning the bodies of, Israelis. Non-Muslim Lebanese are celebrating, too.

Do they share a vicious culture, or do just the Muslims laud murder and intimidate the others into feigning solidarity? (IMRA, 7/16.)

PM Olmert said, woe to the people who welcome monstrous murderers back. Does that mean he condemns Abbas, who welcomed that ilk? Abbas called the slain Muslim murderers "martyrs." Or does Olmert persist in calling Abbas "moderate?" (IMRA, 7/16.) Christians called those persecuted for their faith "martyrs," whereas Muslims call "martyrs" those who persecute for their faith.

"In recent years every single time the Israeli government acted with unbelievable stupidity, it and its captive media chanted in uniformity that there had been no choice at all and no alternative. They were lying…"

By trading live terrorists [and some dead ones] for dead Israelis, "Olmert today in effect murdered all captive Israelis held now or to be held in the future by the Hamas and the Hezbollah. He has made it clear that he will not avenge their murders, but will pay tribute to their murderers." (Prof. Steven Plaut, 7/16.)

PRO-ZIONIST GROUP ON U.S. CAMPUSES

"Over the last couple of years, the Zionist Freedom Alliance (www.zfa.org.il) has been slowly taking American college campuses by storm with a message of Jewish rights not heard for many decades. Led by veteran IDF soldiers and activists in Israel, the ZFA presents Zionism to the youth as a revolutionary struggle for national liberation."

"Unlike most pro-Israel advocacy organizations that present Israel as a democracy or focus on the Jewish state's willingness to surrender territory, ZFA speaks of Israel as a Middle Eastern nation with a legitimate moral and historic right to its land."

"'We tell young people about the fight for freedom from British rule,' says ZFA leader Yehuda HaKohen. ‘And we explain how we are still fighting against nearly the entire world for our right to live freely in the whole of our country. Educating young people to the history of our struggle creates a paradigm shift in how they view our situation today. If people know two basic facts –– that this really is our country and that we fought the British Empire to free it –– their understanding of the Middle East conflict is revolutionized. Suddenly the Jewish people are the natives in the story and international pressure to shrink our borders is an act of Western imperialism against an indigenous population.'" The group is leftist and anti-globalization (Arutz-7, 7/16).

JIHAD IN PHILIPPINES –– AN OBJECT LESSON

Islamic rebels have been fighting in the Philippines to seize Mindanao island and subject it to Islamic law. Of the island's 16 million humans, only 4 million are Muslims (IMRA, 7/17).

How many Muslims want what the rebels do? This is an object less. Muslims fight to seize their countries or provinces and turn them into Islamic states. We Westerners, think of majority rule and super majorities required to change our constitutions. Muslim minorities commit aggression without waiting for majority status. An influx or other growth of a Muslim population can threaten the safety and culture of a non-Muslim country. Western multi-culturalists should rethink their assumptions about other cultures, not assume that others are like their own.

"PAINFUL CHAPTER CLOSES IN ISRAEL"

That was the NY Sun's caption for a photograph of PM Olmert embracing the widow of a soldier whose remains were exchanged for living terrorists.

"Israeli Mourns Soldiers, Awaits Next Move by Hezbollah" was its caption for a photograph of smiling Hizbullah terrorists, including the baby-killer and another released one. Israeli officials discussed whether Hizbullah would fire at Israel its 40,000 missiles, triple the number it had before Israel blasted most of what it had in the recent war, or would it consolidate its hold on Lebanon, first (7/17).

What is Israel waiting for? Why didn't it declare the Security Council Resolution a failure and the UNO counter-productive when Syria began re-supplying the missiles to Hizbullah, and start knocking out the missiles?

The visual contrast was dismaying. Seeing it makes a stronger impression than reading about it. Obviously Israel lost in this exchange. Hizbullah was vindicated; its popularity in Lebanon will rise. Israel prides itself on its ethics, in this case, its effort to get its soldiers back and its refusal to kill enemy prisoners. But the result is that the enemy got back its gunmen, who soon will capture more Israeli soldiers to murder and will find and kill more Israeli babies. That is one of Hizbullah's next moves. Painful chapter closing? Olmert comforted that woman but his policy will put many more into bereavement.

ANOTHER BETRAYAL BY THE U.S.?

An organization of anti-regime Iranians took sanctuary with the Americans in Iraq, though their method of combat was terrorist. They gave up terrorism and provided the US with valuable intelligence. Now Iran is trying to get Iraq to extradite them for liquidation. Will the US protect them? (MEF News, 7/16).

WHAT ALTERNATIVE TO ISRAELI REGIME?

The cowardly and stupid betrayal of Israel by its prisoner-exchanging government was not denounced by the supposedly right-wing opposition parties, Likud and National Union. Those parties do not present much of an alternative to the regime (Prof. Steven Plaut, 7/17).

The media mis-labels parties.

ISRAEL DENOUNCES ARAB REACTION TO EXCHANGE

Israel has produced a YouTube video denouncing the Arab reaction to the recent prisoner exchange, particularly their lionizing the released baby-killer. The video contrasts Muslim values with that Israel and of the rest of the world.

PM Olmert had said that Israel would not live under the shadow of Hizbullah missiles, but now Hizbullah has three times as many. He once said that Israel is tired of fighting and winning. Hizbullah crows of victories (Arutz-7, 7/17).

What does Israel mean, "rest of the world?" I did not find any revulsion against the Arabs outside of some Israeli commentators. Let this be a measure of the ethics of the "international community." One would have thought that the Holocaust would have taught the Jewish people that most governments don't much care about right and wrong. (The US does try to lead UNO efforts to correct some international oppression, but the UNO doesn't cooperate.)

Israel's more prominent commentators are complicit with the terrorists. They did not oppose the deal, despite knowing its horrible result. They usually favor the Arabs. The Israeli government, which made that deal, should share opprobrium with the Arabs. Olmert does not want to win, so he should give way to a leader who would want Israel to win.

IRAN PREPARING AERIAL HOLOCAUST FOR ISRAEL

Just as Israel made an unhidden test flight in preparation or warning for a raid on Iran, Iran has made an unhidden test flight in preparation or warning for a raid on Israel. First, Iran launched nine missiles, some capable of reaching Israel. On TV, they showed an orange flare. Then an orange flare streaked across Israel. The Israeli media didn't acknowledge it as a meteor, which it resembled, because none were predicted. Iran is getting poison gas for missiles, from N. Korea. The government of Israel confiscated the country's gas masks and refuses to replace them (claiming they are not ready, but how many years does it take?). Barry Chamish thinks the government is in collusion with Iran (7/17). It acts as if in collusion with Israel's other enemies.

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

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THE GROWING THREAT OF NARCO-TERROR
Posted by Michael Freund, July 31, 2008.
 

With a great deal of attention focused of late on Hizbullah's extensive arms buildup, little heed has been paid to yet another dangerous development taking place across the northern border: the resurgence of the drug trade in Lebanon.

Without much fanfare, the Shi'ite terrorist group has been presiding over an increase in the cultivation and production of illicit crops such as opium and hashish in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

And though the extent of the drug trafficking is still well below the levels reached during the heyday of the 1980s, it is nonetheless on the upswing once again.

That alone should have policymakers both in Israel and the West concerned, if only because the lucrative narcotics trade plays such an important role in financing Hizbullah's network of terror and mayhem.

In its recently released 2008 World Drug Report, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime noted that Lebanon continues to be one of "the most important cannabis resin producers in the Near East," along with Egypt.

While production is down since the height of the civil war, when the Bekaa Valley was awash in drugs, the report found that the area used to cultivate opium poppy, from which heroin is made, and cannabis soared in 2007 to an estimated 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres).

And as Reuters put it (September 26), the most recent harvest has emerged as "what locals describe as one of their best cannabis crops since the 1975-1990 civil war." Local Lebanese farmers aren't the only ones getting into the act. An article in the Yemen Times three months ago revealed that at least 20 drug lords are now operating openly in the Bekaa Valley.

One of them told the paper that there was little to fear from the Lebanese army or police, as they rarely ventured into the area, and that even when they do, it is merely "to clear a few marijuana or opium fields for the press, just to show that the Lebanese government is addressing the drugs problem." Everyday life in the Bekaa, the correspondent concluded, "is dominated by the industrial production of, and trade in, drugs."

Needless to say, the renewed strength of Lebanon's drug trade has had a direct spillover effect on Israel. After all, at least some of the illegal drugs being grown in the Bekaa, which is under Hizbullah control, end up in the hands of dealers and users in Tel Aviv.

On March 25, 33 kg. of heroin were confiscated on the Lebanese border in what was hailed as one of the largest local drug busts in recent memory. And in February, Israel broke up a drug-smuggling ring involving an IDF sergeant.

Since 2000, 24 people, including IDF officers, policemen and civilians have been arrested for involvement in the drug trade between Lebanon and Israel.

But the damage doesn't stop there, for in addition to weakening Israeli society by facilitating the availability of harmful drugs, Hizbullah has also exploited the situation for military purposes.

As analyst Yossi Melman noted in Haaretz (March 31), Hizbullah "allows Lebanese dealers to smuggle drugs into Israel, in exchange for which they provide Hizbullah, through their Israeli contacts, with intelligence information on the deployment of the IDF in the North, and purchase maps and equipment for Hizbullah." Like any good drug cartel, Hizbullah's ambitions aren't limited merely to the neighborhood marketplace, but extend far beyond, stretching from Europe to South America to the United States.

In November 2007, for example, authorities in Los Angeles indicted a criminal gang involved in cocaine and counterfeiting activities, and at least one of the suspects had links to Hizbullah (The Los Angeles Times, November 7).

And earlier this year, a report by the Bulgarian parliament's Interior Committee found that terrorist groups such as Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad were actively involved in Bulgaria's drug trade and were using it to fund their terrorist activities back home (Sofia News Agency, April 9).

Likewise, Hizbullah has an active presence in the southern hemisphere, where it is said to be heavily involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities. In remarks delivered two weeks ago at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Michael Braun, the assistant administrator and chief of operations at the US Drug Enforcement Administration, said that "the nexus between drugs and terror is growing at light speed... One of the most prominent regions where the drug-terror nexus is at its strongest is the tri-border area in Latin America, where the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay join. Both Hamas and Hizbullah are active in this region."

It is clear, therefore, that Hizbullah increasingly poses not just a terrorist threat to Israel and the West, but a narco-threat as well. The group's tentacles literally extend around the globe, and it is actively involved in helping to spread the poison of illegal drugs far and wide, from which it profits handsomely.

Indeed, some analysts estimate that Hizbullah earns upwards of $500 million annually from the drug trade alone, which in part helps to explain its ability to rearm so broadly and quickly.

It is therefore essential that steps be taken to tackle this menace. After months of political turmoil, Lebanon finally has a president, so it is high time for the US and Europe to press Beirut to take a far more aggressive stance regarding stamping out drug cultivation in the Bekaa.

No more excuses must be accepted, and any further Western aid to the Beirut government should be linked to its performance on eliminating bumper drug crops that are being grown right under their noses.

And at home, Western governments need to start underlining the direct link that exists between drugs and terror.

Many Americans now understand that when they fill up their cars with gasoline, they might be putting money into the pockets of those who are hostile to them.

The same is no less true when it comes to illegal narcotics, which often help to fund terrorist groups abroad that aim to harm the West and its interests.

For by doing drugs, users are not only betraying their own health and well-being, but that of their country too.

Michael Freund is Chairman, Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org). This article appeared in Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331138010&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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2000 CHILDREN FROM 33 COUNTRIES HELPED BY ISRAELI SACH
Posted by Marc Samberg, July 31, 2008.
 

A 3-year old Angolan boy is the 2000th child to treated by Save a Child's Heart (SACH), the Israeli-based international humanitarian project providing life-saving heart surgeries and follow-up care for children from developing countries.

A 3-year old boy from Angola underwent life saving heart surgery on Tuesday (July 29 2008), at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.

Dalton Antonio Domingos is the first Angolan child to be operated in Israel and is the 2000th child to be treated by Save a Child's Heart.

Dalton was brought to Israel, with three other children from Angola, by Save a Child's Heart and by the Israeli 'ÄúLR'Äù group, who initiated and paid for the flights and for the treatment of the children. 'Äúe;LR'Äù group'Äù operates in Angola in various fields, including agriculture, and helps the society there recover and unite after the civil war.

Angola is the 33rd country from which Save a Child's Heart brings children for life saving heart surgery.

Dalton will stay in Israel with his mother another month to recover and then will return to his father who is waiting for him in Angola.

Save a Child's Heart (SACH) is an Israeli-based international humanitarian project providing life-saving heart surgeries and follow-up care for children from developing countries.

SACH mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries, who suffer from congenital heart disease and to create centers of competence in these countries.

SACH is a hospital based project whose services are provided in Israel at the Wolfson Medical Center (WMC) by a team of 70 dedicated experts who, from chief surgeon to physiotherapist, contribute a substantial portion of their time without any payment from SACH.

SACH patients, whose ages range from infants to teenagers, come from the "Four Corners of The Earth": from St. Vincent and Ecuador in the American Continent to China and Vietnam in the Far East; from Russia and Ukraine to Ethiopia and Zanzibar; from Jordan, Iraq and the Palestinian Authority to Nigeria and Congo –– 2000 children from 33 different locations to date.

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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"PEACE AGREEMENT" –– NOT "PEACE" –– A CRITICAL DISTINCTION
Posted by Dr. Aaron Lerner, July 31, 2008.
 

"On the day the dream of peace comes true we will all stand and wonder: How did we not achieve this sooner?" –– Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announcing he will not run in Kadima primaries –– 30 July 2008

Israel is not negotiating "peace" with the Palestinians and Syrians, but instead pieces of paper.

"Peace treaties", "peace agreements" and even "peace arrangements" all have a place in policy discussions.

But policy arguments that posit "peace" as the pay-off are not just intellectually dishonest.

They are dangerously deceptive.

The hyper-optimistic "best case scenario" assumptions that all so often accompany the line of thinking that we are talking about achieving some kind of idyllic "peace" serve to dangerously underestimate Israel's needs or the risks Israel faces under the "peace" arrangements.

Consider that Shimon Peres genuinely argued at one point that Israel's security interests could be secured in a deal with Syria if there were classy hotels operating on the Golan Heights.

That's not to say that there isn't a value for agreements. Just that they must be recognized for what they are and what they aren't.

Pieces of paper cannot guarantee peace. They can provide a framework for relations. But if a party to a piece of paper determines its interests would be best served by violating the piece of paper then that's exactly what they will do.

That's the paradox of "land for piece of paper": the greater the Israeli security concessions for a piece of paper, the greater the chances that the Arabs ultimately turn their backs on the deal.

Dr. Aaron Lerner is 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

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THE DIVINE POLITICAL PLAN
Posted by Moshe Feiglin, July 31, 2008.
 

"And you shall drive out the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein; for I have given the land to you to possess it.
But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those that you let remain will be as thorns in your eyes, and as pricks in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land in which you dwell.
And it shall come to pass, that as I thought to do unto them, so will I do to you
." (This week's Torah portion, Numbers 33: 53, 55, 56)

This week's Torah portion provides us with the most realistic political plan that exists. The State of Israel must foster a reality in which the entire Land of Israel is in the hands of the Nation of Israel. It must not allow any part of the land to remain in foreign hands. If we give our land to foreign peoples, we will lose our own hold on the land and will eventually be forced to leave. Any political plan or solution that does not take this fact into account is nothing more than an illusion.

Shabbat Shalom,
Moshe Feiglin

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

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ALARMING: SECRET NUCLEAR BOMB MFG DISCOVERED IN IRAN
Posted by Nurit Greenger, July 31, 2008.

 

Now there is no doubt Iran is working on the bomb. This should remove all belief of good faith negotiations. Congress should now move ahead with full force to enact tougher sanctions –– no more talks. It seems that only Israel will have the courage to attack Iran's nuclear sites; this newly discovered one is not under ground.

The first one below is entitled "Secret N-plant discovered at Al-Zarqan area.'"

Now there is no doubt Iran is working on the bomb. This should remove all belief of good faith negotiations. Congress should now move ahead with full force to enact tougher sanctions –– no more talks. It seems that only Israel will have the courage to attack Iran's nuclear sites; this newly discovered one is not under ground.

The second one is called "The Hollow Regime: Bragging in Tehran," and was written by Michael Ledeen.

 

KUWAIT CITY : A secret nuclear bomb manufacturing center at Al-Zarqan Area in Al-Ahwaziya Region, which was first established in 2000, was discovered recently, highly reliable sources told Al-Seyassah. Sources from Al-Ahwaziya claimed Tehran has started building a secret nuclear plant for manufacturing atomic bombs in Al-Zarqan Area near Al-Ahwaz City in southwest Iran and its border with Iraq. Sources said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is not aware of this plant since it was not included in negotiations with Iran held in Geneva at the beginning of this month. Sources revealed Iran started implementing the project some time between 2000 and 2003, which led to the evacuation of a large number of Arab tribes from the area to Al-Zarqan. Sources added the Tehran administration vacated the location, destroyed all the houses, wells and farms, and started full implementation of the project in 2007.

Disclosing Tehran directed international A-bomb inspectors to other places, sources warned the project poses a very serious threat to international security. Sources affirmed the Iranian authorities built a three-meter high wall around the project site, which allegedly measures thousands of kilometers. Sources added IAEA inspectors focused on other Iranian nuclear plants, such as Dour Khawain in Al-Ahwaz and Bu Shahri reactor, because the Iranian government diverted the international media's attention from the secret nuclear plant. Sources asserted the Iranian government is currently working on another nuclear program touted to be more dangerous than Bu Shahri.

Intensified

According to sources, intensified security efforts raised doubts on the legality of the activities in the area, especially after observing a heavy presence of Revolutionary Guards which, sources pointed out, indicates the importance of the area.

Reportedly, Al-Ahwaziya –– an Islamic Sunni organization –– in coordination with National Society for Arabstan State, started investigations on the activities in the area. The organization allegedly received documents from the company in charge of the project that frequently transports employees to and from the project site. After a thorough investigation, sources said the organization uncovered plans of the Iranian regime to build an A-bomb plant in the area.

Attached with a report about the alleged plant are documents from the office of the assistant of Revolutionary Guard Chief in Al-Ahwaz City Brigadier Hassan Jalaliyan –– dated April 7, 2008 –– and stamped as "highly confidential".

Sources revealed 'Al-Zarqan Nuclear Reactor' was the subject of a letter from Jalaliyan to the manager of Mehab Qudus Company for Construction and Supervisory, Mohammed Kayafir.

In the letter, Jalaliyan allegedly asked Kayafir to secretly transport the construction materials from the warehouse to the nuclear reactor center, emphasizing that citizens should not question the purpose and destination of the materials.

Recruit

Jalaliyan has also instructed Kayafir not to recruit Arabic-speaking workers from Khuzestan for the construction of Al-Zarqan Nuclear Reactor. He said employees, including the administration staff, should all be recruited from the northern parts of the country. National Society for Arabstan State took satellite pictures of the location, which looked perfect for the construction of a nuclear reactor. It is near Karoon River which, sources say, will provide water for the project in addition to increasing the capacity of Al-Zarqan Power Plant. The site is more suitable for building a nuclear reactor than Bu Shahri, which is close to American bases and Dour Khuwain Plant located in an open area and an easy target. Al-Zarqan Nuclear Reactor is in the middle of very highly populated areas, making it a very difficult target due to a possibility that the Iranian authorities will use civilians as human shields.

Iranian authorities had also closed the main road between the plant and Karoon River to install main water pipes, sources added.

Al-Seyassah Report


"The Hollow Regime: Bragging in Tehran."
by Michael Ledeen

The Iranian regime has two fundamental instruments of power, whether at home or abroad: terror and deception. Both are dramatically on display. This past Sunday, 30 people were executed for a variety of alleged "crimes," and a number of whom lost their lives because they dared to criticize the regime. This wave of executions in the world's second-most active killer of its own citizens (China tops the list) coincides with the anniversary of the resumption of public hangings last August, which was viewed as "sending a message" to would-be critics and anyone in the West who might be tempted to support Iranian dissidents. This weekend's victims were convicted of drug trafficking and disruptions of public order, and so far as I can tell the mass executions mark a new grisly watershed in the mullahs' ongoing terror war against their own people.

This dramatic carnage surely bespeaks a profound insecurity in Tehran. It documents the fear that dominates the rulers' nightmares, the fear of their own people, who are the greatest threat to the survival of the mullahcracy.

Many of the pundits, in public print and in the oxymoronically mislabeled "Intelligence Community," would have us believe that the regime is stable, and that the Iranian people have given up their hopes for freedom. But the mullahs' decision to carry out mass executions gives the lie to that analysis, as does the recent attack on a Revolutionary Guards convoy in the country's capital city. The RG are the pretorian guard of the regime, and if they cannot protect an armed column (apparently carrying arms to Hezbollah for the next campaign against Israel), they cannot protect anything. No wonder the Supreme Leader and his viziers are worried.

This assault against the symbol of the mullahs' power is only the latest such event, and news of it arrived slowly in the West. But there have been several other attacks, including a bomb in a prominent mosque, and other RG units in areas of ethnic repression such as Baluchistan and the Arab zones near the Iraqi border.

The RG are also doing badly on foreign battlefields. In Iraq, its agents and officers are now routinely killed and arrested — often without putting up a fight — by Coalition and Iraqi security forces. This report from the U.S. Armed Forces Press Service is typical:

... coalition forces captured two suspected Special Groups leaders in Baghdad today. These key leaders were taken in the Rusafa district of Baghdad.

Coalition and Iraqi forces continued operations over the weekend discovering a number of arms caches, capturing al-Qaida terrorists, discovering roadside bombs and attacking terror and criminal networks.

In Rusafa, coalition forces used intelligence information to locate and capture an Iranian-trained senior leader of Special Groups criminals. The agent of Iran is responsible for attacks against Iraqi security and coalition forces as well as kidnappings and smuggling of weapons from Iran to Iraq. He was captured without incident.

Coalition forces also captured another Special Groups criminal in a separate Rusafa district operation. He is a senior leader responsible for supplying weapons, money and logistical support to subordinate Special Groups commanders. He also provides fighters as reinforcements to areas in need — making his role crucial for sustained operations by Special Groups in the area. He, also, was captured without incident.

The Special Groups took another hit when Iraqi special operations forces detained two other criminals in Baghdad, July 24 and 25. . . . One of those detained was associated with improvised rocket-assisted mortar attacks. The other man is reportedly responsible for weapons trafficking from Iran into Diyala.

The mullahs know that the domestic and foreign fronts are linked, for Iran's humiliating defeat in Iraq is greatly encouraging to the dissidents at home. Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, and the others are doing everything in their power to deceive Iranians (perhaps including themselves) into believing that they are winning in Iraq and Afghanistan, that the Coalition is teetering, and that all opposition to the regime is hopeless.

To that end, the mullahs routinely resort to the most shameless forms of deceit. The most hilarious — bringing back memories of al-Qaeda's claim to have captured an American soldier, only to have the "hostage" turn out to be a G.I. Joe toy — was the recent photo of a "new warplane," which on examination was another plastic toy.

This was of a piece with the Photoshopped "evidence" of "new Iranian missiles," which was doubly deceptive: it was an old missile, not (as claimed) a new one, and there was only one of "them," not (as claimed) four launched simultaneously.

Alongside these hoaxes, designed to convince their people and the West that Iran is a mighty military power, Iranian leaders brag about their economic power as well. It's another hoax; every Iranian knows that the country is a basket case. I doubt many simple souls were impressed (except to laugh bitterly at the outrageousness of the assertion) by Ahmadinejad's promise that Iran would soon be the world's leading economic power. They know better; they are paying a terrible price in misery for the incompetence of their kleptocrats. They know that the regime spends a fortune on the nuclear program, another fortune to support terror abroad, and pockets yet another fortune. So there's nothing left for "the economy."

All these bits of deception are aimed at maintaining and expanding the power of the regime, despite its many manifest failures, despite the contempt in which it is held by the majority of Iranians, and despite its quasi-pariah status in the international community. So far, it has worked. No government in the West has seen fit to support the Iranian dissidents. Some European labor unions have given at least verbal support to the Iranian workers' organizations, but not the AFL-CIO, a pathetic shadow of the brave organization that supported freedom in the Soviet Empire. And the American government, Seymour Hersh and other fabulists notwithstanding, has done nothing of consequence to challenge the regime, and so far as anybody knows, has no intention of doing any such thing.

We act in such a feckless way as to permit the mullahs to say to their people, "you see, the Americans are afraid of us. They will do nothing. You have no hope." And the hell of it is that the Islamic Republic is hollow, as its own behavior and its own results on the battlefield prove abundantly.

Lots of Iranian people know that the mullahs are losing Iraq, and more of them would know if we had a more accurate and honest press, and an administration capable of explaining the world, and its reaction to it. Still, the Iranians know a lot. Iranians are among the most avid surfers of the internet; they are second in the world (to the Chinese) in the use of "anti-filtering" software (manufactured by the Chinese). So when Iranian deceptions are exposed by American journalists or bloggers, many Iranian people find out about it. And more would find out if Western governments saw fit to provide them with the tools of the modern world: laptops, servers, cell and satellite phones, phone cards, and the like.

Our miserable policy, which is to chant "we don't want regime change, we want a change in behavior," is doomed, as the whole world has known from the get-go. Paradoxically, this non-aggressive policy is destined to make military conflict inevitable, whoever is the next president. This policy is a preemptive acquiescence to a nuclear Iran, with all the incalculable consequences attendant to it, and is guaranteed to bring us face to face with the Sarkozy option of "Bomb Iran, or Iran With the Bomb."

And yet, the Iranian regime is hollow. So far as we know, they are without atomic bombs and a reliable delivery system. We have defeated them in Iraq and will repeat it in Afghanistan. Their economy is a shambles, their people hate them, they present us with Potemkin weapons systems. It is a political explosion ready to happen, it only needs the support of the West. Mainly, us, although I think we would get the support of the French and Italians at a minimum, and perhaps the Danes as well.

But we seem bound and determined to wait until the mullahs don't need deception any more. I wrote a book about this sort of policy many years ago. It was called Freedom Betrayed; How American Won the Cold War, led a Global Democratic Revolution, and Walked Away. Still seems right.

Michael Ledeen is author, most recently, of The Iranian Time Bomb: The Mullah Zealots' Quest for Destruction.

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PEACE ACTIVISTS –– AH TEN SHUN
Posted by Rachel Golem, July 30, 2008.
 

URGENT WARNING TO PEACE ACTIVISTS!!!!!! !!

Recently, the peace group International Solidarity Movement became suspicious of a young couple who joined their group. They seemed very eager to become involved and were very well versed on middle eastern politics and history. Unfortunately this was just an attempt by the Mossad, Israel's highly secret intelligence organization to infiltrate our organization.
 

We do not have their names and unfortunately, all we have is this poor quality photo. At first, we thought their strange outfits were part of an alternative lifestyle. As progressives, we welcome all people regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. We now realize that their clothing was a brilliant attempt to exploit our tolerance of all people.
 

If you seem them, do not use violence. We are peace activists. Be careful what information they have access to. Use non-violent methods to keep them out of our meetings.
 

Form a human chain at the door if necessary.

 

See their photo below.

 


 


Contact Rachel Golem by email at rachelg@rachelgolem.com and visit her website: www.rachelgolem.com

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THE THIRD LEBANON WAR
Posted by Mark Silverberg, July 30, 2008.

There is something to be learned from the frenzied love-fest given in Beirut in mid-July to the most notorious of the Lebanese prisoners released by Israel. Samir Kuntar was sentenced to 542 years in prison for killing four people during a raid in 1979. Kuntar executed a father (Danny Haran) in front of his 4-year-old daughter, then killed the little girl by smashing her head against a rock with a rifle butt.

But to the Lebanese, Kuntar is a returning hero. He walked down a red carpet in Beirut. He was kissed by the Hezb'allah leader and cheered like a rock star. In the southern port city of Sidon, posters of Kuntar adorned the streets and walkways as children rode by on their bicycles, no doubt dreaming of the day that they too could become "heroes" by murdering "Zionist" children.

  • When a banner in Beirut (according to the New York Times) proclaims "God's Achievement Through Our Hands";

  • when The Beirut Daily Star (in other respects a decent newspaper) headline reads: "Nation Unites for Heroes' Homecomings";

  • when the Free Patriotic Movement (supported by more than 70% of the Christian population in Lebanon) supports pro
  • Syrian forces in the May battles that took place in the streets of Beirut;

  • when the second-in-command of the Lebanese Armed Forces (George Adwan) attends the Kuntar "homecoming" (in his words);

  • when elected officials of the Lebanese government including its President Michel Suliman (who referred to Kuntar as a "freed hero"), prime minister Fouad Siniora, government ministers and many members of Lebanon's pro-democracy March 14th Movement call on the Lebanese people to participate in the public celebration, declare it a national holiday, issue statements that the prisoner swap was an "historical victory . . . against the Israeli enemy and its hostile policies", and call on all those participating to "raise the Lebanese flag" as a show of unity;

  • when Parliamentary Speaker and Amal Shiite leader Nabih Berri and Progressive Socialist Party and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt declare the release of Kuntar to be "a day to celebrate freedom, martyrs and human rights";

  • when public departments, unions, businesses, municipalities and educational institutions across the nation close for the day in his honor; when shouts of joy and support fill the streets of Beirut and al-Manar television celebrates the "divine victory" over Israel,

it would appear that Kuntar's return was not merely being celebrated by Hezb'allah supporters, but by the Lebanese people and their leaders.

Barry Rubin of the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Israel has observed:

"What horrifies me most are not radicals cheering terrorist Samir Kuntar, but that most relative moderates feel compelled to do so. At the airport to greet him were leaders of Lebanon's anti-Syrian, anti-Iranian Druze and Christian groups as well as the ambassadors from Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and Morocco. To avoid being discredited, relative moderates must affirm that anyone who murders Israeli children is a hero."

It can of course be argued that Lebanese politics requires such posturing in order to create the illusion of national unity, but such posturing over the return of genocidal terrorists like Samir Kuntar may have significant consequences should a Third Lebanon War erupt.

During the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, the Siniora government was internationally recognized as a moderate counter-balance to Hezb'allah in Lebanon. That international respectability prevented Israel from attacking a broad range of Lebanese targets requiring it to restrict its attacks primarily to Hezb'allah missile launching sites, the Haret Hreik district of south Beirut where Hezb'allah and its Al Manar television station were headquartered, the major airport runways at Beirut's Rafiq Hariri International Airport (used to transit Hezb'allah military personnel and weapons), the fuel reservoirs of the power station in Jiyyeh, twenty bridges over the Litani and Zahrani Rivers, a main highway leading to Beirut International Airport and two Lebanese military airfields (as a warning to the Lebanese military to stay out of what was then seen as a purely Israeli-Hezb'allah conflict).

But events in recent months have altered the Lebanese political landscape in favor of Hezb'allah, Syria and Iran –– blurring the lines between non-state and state actors. Hezb'allah together with its foreign paymasters is now seen as the undisputed power-broker of Lebanon and the Lebanese government is gradually being relegated to puppet-status. Hezb'allah holds veto power in the Lebanese parliament. The Lebanese Army is working with Hezb'allah in south Lebanon and recently refused to intervene when pro-government forces were confronted by Hezb'allah militias.

The true military power in Lebanon today rests with Hezb'allah. The important decisions relating to matters of war, peace and diplomacy are being made and conducted by Hezb'allah. The border region with Israel is now being militarized under Hezb'allah, and the power to carry out acts of war against Israel such as further kidnappings and the firing of missiles from southern Lebanon into Israeli civilian population centers rests solely with Hezb'allah. In effect, by celebrating the return of Kuntar, the Lebanese have made (or at least created the perception of having made) common cause with Hezb'allah against Israel and in so doing, they risk sharing Hezb'allah's fate.

The massive support shown for Kuntar throughout Lebanon, if taken at face value, has effectively re-defined the status of the Lebanese government (and, by extension, the Lebanese people) as the enemy of Israel. Giora Eiland, the former chief of Israel's National Security Council noted in Ynet News:

"The only way to prevent another war is to make it clear that should war break out, Lebanon may be razed to the ground. Not only will the Lebanese government fear it, so would Hezb'allah . . . This will deter the group, if it realizes that aggression on its part would result in destruction that would outrage the population and turn it against Hezb'allah."

In effect, in the event of a Third Lebanon War, a vast array of strategic targets throughout Lebanon would no longer be immune from Israeli retaliation. By making common cause with Hezb'allah, the Lebanese stand to reap the whirlwind.

The destruction of Lebanon would be a horrible outcome, but to the Israelis it is doubtless preferable to the destruction of Israel. Deterrence of further conflict is the preferred alternative. If Israel makes it clear that should war occur, it is the country as a whole, not just Hezb'allah that will suffer, perhaps cooler heads will prevail in Lebanon.

The costs of the Second Lebanon War in terms of $5.6B in damages, 1,200 Lebanese killed and over 4,000 injured would pale by comparison if Hezb'allah-led Lebanon engages Israel. The national celebrations for Kuntar in Lebanon, and that nation's embrace of this murderer and his genocidal compatriots, not only reveal (again) the depths of Hezb'allah's moral bankruptcy, but also the readiness of other Lebanese to follow it into the abyss.

Mark Silverberg is a senior writer for The New Media Journal. He is Executive Director Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania and an attorney with Degrees in Political Science and International Relations. His works on Islamic terrorism, American foreign policy and Middle East affairs have been published in numerous scholarly journals, periodicals, newspapers and on the Internet; he is the author of The Quartermaster of Terror: Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Jihad (Wyndham Hall Press, 2005).

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YOSSI EZRA'S RETURN TO HEBRON
Posted by David Wilder, July 30, 2008.
 

A few weeks ago, I bumped into some journalists in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood. Seeing me, they asked about various problems, including threatened expulsion from several buildings here in Hebron.

Finishing up their interview, they concluded by saying/asking, "I guess you don't have too much to be happy about with all of these problems." My answer: "No, you are wrong. We have a tremendous reason to be in high spirits. The very fact that we are here is reason to celebrate. The fact that today there are some 90 families and well over 300 children in Hebron, in five neighborhoods, is reason to celebrate. The fact that we are still in Beit HaShalom a year after having moved in, despite all the attempts to expel us, is something of a miracle and reason to celebrate.

"True, there are problems. There always have been problems and almost always will be –– but what of it? That's the way life is. True, it could be easier; but taking into consideration where we were 60 years ago and 40 years ago, as well as the kinds of politicians running the country and the pressures from so many different sources, the very fact that we are in Hebron at all is, in my eyes, nothing less than a Divine miracle. And for that, we are truly happy."

One of the seeming issues we have today is the right to purchase property in Hebron, and the legitimacy of construction on Jewish-owned land.

For example a couple of weeks ago, on a Friday morning, we had a special visitor in Hebron. Yosef Ezra was born in Hebron in the early 1930's. However, as he related to us, his family history in Hebron goes back over 400 years. Following the expulsion from Spain in 1492, Jews scattered all over the world. Yossi Ezra's family made their way from Spain to Eretz Yisrael, and settled here in Hebron. They lived here continuously until the expulsion immediately after the 1929 riots and massacre, but returned with a small group of families in 1931.

Yosef Ezra carefully examining an ancient Sefer Torah in the Avraham Avinu Shul. Written in the 1100's, it was brought to Hebron by his ancestors.

Most of those families were again expelled in the spring of 1936. However, one family remained in Hebron: The Ezra family. Yossi's father, Ya'akov, processed dairy products and sold them to Arabs in the city. He refused to leave. He would work in Hebron during the week and return to his family in Jerusalem for Shabbat. Many times his children would come with him, running around in the streets and alleys of Hebron and playing with Arab kids.

Until November 29, 1947, that is. The United Nations approved the partition plan, dividing Eretz Yisrael between the Jews and Arabs. The Jewish leadership in Israel accepted the plan. The Arabs rejected it and declared war. Ya'akov Ezra's friends told him, "When you go to Jerusalem for Shabbat, don't come back any more." Only then was the Ezra family, 450 years in Hebron, exiled from the home. That lasted for 19 years.

Following the 1967 Six-Day War, the Ezras wanted to return to Hebron and their age-old property. But all requests fell on deaf ears. Moshe Dayan and others weren't interested in Jews returning to Hebron and refused to speak to them. But today, things have changed.

Yossi Ezra comes into the Avraham Avinu neighborhood like a long lost child coming home. Looking around behind the destroyed Jewish homes in the old "Arab shuk," he declares, "All this was an olive grove that my father worked. Twelve dunam (1,000 square meters –– 10,700 feet) of land –– all of it here belonged to my father. Here, you see this mosque? My father built it on his land for the Arabs who worked here, so they'd have a place to pray. All the buildings here are on my family's property."

Yossi Ezra has been instrumental in assisting Hebron over the past few months. A few years ago the community built a small apartment called Beit Ezra, underneath Beit Nachum v'Yehuda, in an abandoned Arab shop –– itself built on Ezra's property. A military appeals panel recently ruled that the Arabs have no claim to that land. When the three judges visited the site, Ezra pulled a piece of paper from his pocket. "My father paid the water bill here. This is the receipt, from 1932."

A few meters away, inside the Avraham Avinu shul, Yossi Ezra carefully examines an ancient Sefer Torah, explaining that it was written in the 1100's and brought to Hebron by his ancestors.

Yossi Ezra is an authentic example of Hebron's fascinating history, blending the past, the present and the future.

However, the following should be clear: I mentioned earlier about "the seeming issues" plaguing Hebron, as illustrated by the struggle to continuing living in "Beit Ezra." But the roots of the issues are much deeper and, in truth, have nothing to do with building or purchasing today.

Not too long ago, a group of government representatives visited Hebron. While standing outside Ma'arat HaMachpela discussing various ways to improve conditions at the holy site, one of the young "legal experts" piped up, "But there's a problem here because Ma'arat HaMachpela is registered as belonging to the Waqf, the Muslim religious trust." One of the Hebron men scratched his head, looked at the lawyer, and reacted. "Gee, I remember reading somewhere that it was registered with someone who preceded Muhammad. Avraham, I think his name was."

This is the real issue! When Jews in the State of Israel of 2008 can conjure up such a statement as, "Ma'arat HaMachpela belongs to the Arabs" (while keeping in mind that they wouldn't allow Jews access to this site for 700 years), it's clear that something in our national and religious psyche is tainted.

On the other hand there is a cure, a medicine to alleviate all such ills. On the same day that Yossi Ezra visited Hebron, I came upon a large group outside in the Machpela garden. A group of first-graders from Efrat had come to celebrate the conclusion of studying Chumash Bereishit –– the Book of Genesis. The festivity included a wonderful play, depicting Abraham's purchase of the Caves of Machpela almost 4,000 years ago.

This is the recipe to heal such a disease that threatens to destroy our roots: children outside Ma'arat HaMachpela, acting out the purchase of this sacred site. In reality, it's not only a play. It's reality! Every day, Jews who visit, pray and identify with this hallowed place are recreating and reinforcing –– with their very presence –– Jewish ownership of our land. This is our strength, our legacy, and our future.

Yossi Ezra represents where we came from. These children represent where we are going.

It's a good thing Abraham didn't need anyone's permission to buy Ma'arat HaMachpela.


Just as Hebron is important, so much more so is Temple Mount in Jerusalem. A petition calling on the State of Israel to open Temple Mount to Jewish worship appears on the web. It's opening sentence is:

The Temple Mount is the holiest place in the world to the Jewish people; yet Jews are denied the right to pray in groups, and even as individuals; this refusal is accompanied by their constant degradation, and they are granted no opportunity for any religious expression whatsoever on the Temple Mount.

Anyone interested in reading the entire petition and signing it, can view it at:
http://www.petitiononline.com/har1/petition.html.

Please participate in this holy mission!

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

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JEWS ARRESTED FOR RECLAIMING JEWISH JERUSALEM LAND
Posted by Lee Caplan, July 30, 2008.
 

This was written by Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel and it appeared in Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNN.com).

 

(IsraelNN.com) A group of 160 Jewish activists entered a Jerusalem property belonging to a Jew on Wednesday, to reclaim ownership of the property from Arabs who began to build an illegal structure there. Despite attempts by Border Guard officers to evacuate the Jews, the activists succeeded in staying long enough for them to declare the property returned to Jewish hands before some 150 were arrested and taken for questioning by Jerusalem District police.

The property consists of a number of trailer homes on approximately 5 acres (20 dunams) of land in the Ras Hamis neighborhood of northern Jerusalem, between French Hill and Anata. The caravans on the property do not have electricity or running water.

According to real estate agent Aryeh King, the group obtained permission to enter and take control of the property from owner Eliyahu Cohanim, a resident of Ramat Gan. The land is part of the Eastern Gate compound that the Jerusalem Municipality has planned as a Jewish residential area and industrial park.

"We did this after the Arabs started this week to build an illegal structure on the spot, this is after the municipality has already demolished a structure on this property once before," King said.

Although the property belongs to a Jew who gave them permission to come, and King's group notified police in advance of their arrival, a group of Border Guard police officers arrived Wednesday morning and told the activists to leave the property. The activists refused to comply with the order and remained.

Several days ago Border Guard officers succeeded in preventing the group from entering the property.

The Palestinian Authority has also submitted a program for construction in the area, including the plot of land belonging to Cohanim. There has been widespread illegal Arab construction throughout Judea and Samaria in recent years.

According to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), a senior PA official boasted that Arabs have built 6,000 homes without permits during the last four years in Jerusalem alone, of which fewer than 200 were demolished by the city.

Many of the illegal Arab homes are being built on Jewish-owned land, according to Haaretz.

The JCPA reports that "in the Jewish neighborhoods, illegal construction typically takes the form of additions to existing legal structures –– such as closing a balcony or hollowing out under a building to create an extra room. In the Arab sector, however, illegal construction often takes the form of entire multi-floor buildings with four to 25 living units, built with the financial assistance of the Palestinian Authority on land that is not owned by the builder."

At the same time, the Israeli government has destroyed a much higher percentage of Jewish homes that do not meet the paperwork requirements.

Olmert: 'No need to demolish illegal Arab homes, eastern Jerusalem will be given to PA'

In 2006, King reported that Ehud Olmert, as the mayor of Jerusalem, ordered the municipality to destroy files that documented hundreds of illegal Arab building projects throughout eastern Jerusalem.

In the report, published by World Net Daily, King asked the State Comptroller at the time to investigate the situation, following the publication of a local media report alleging that Ofir May, as head of the Jerusalem Department of building permits, erased the files. The files detailed over 300 cases of Arab construction on eastern Jerusalem deemed illegal starting from 1999.

The local report alleged that the files were destroyed with the specific intent of allowing the statute of limitations on home demolitions to run out, making it impossible to destroy the illegal Arab homes.

"Ehud Olmert gave the order not to deal with the problem and not to put Israeli security forces to the duty of taking down the illegal Arab complexes. Senior municipal workers told me Olmert said not to bother with the illegal Arab homes because eventually eastern Jerusalem would be given to the Palestinian Authority," said King.


See also: "Palestinians violently stone Israelis"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOnUdSufSHA&feature=related

Contact Lee Caplan at leescaplan@yahoo.com

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OBAMA: REMEMBER WHAT YOU SEE HERE
Posted by Paula Stern, July 30, 2008.
 

This was the wise advice someone called out to Barack Obama during a visit to Yad Vashem recently. Remember what you see here. What did Obama see while in Israel? The answer, sadly, is what he thought American Jews wanted him to see in order to capture their vote. He met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and to hedge his bets, he met with Opposition Leader Binyamin Netanyahu. He had dinner with Shimon Peres and met with the deservedly-beleaguered prime minister.

Beyond that, he reportedly went to three sites: the Western Wall, the National Holocaust Museum (Yad VaShem) and Sderot. Perhaps an amazing accomplishment for the whirlwind tour of about 36 hours, but a visit filled with messages sent and received, nonetheless.

Do these three sites represent Israel? Certainly, that would be a message he'd want to send back to American Jews, no? Perhaps he is correct as far as the American voter is concerned, but isn't it interesting that all three sites essentially symbolize our weakness more than our strength?

The Western Wall has been called our holiest site, and no doubt this is the way Obama's advisors presented it to him. A must-see and must-be-seen-at location, they'd have told him. But did anyone tell him that our holiest site is actually beyond reach; hidden just behind the Wall?

It is there, just above the Wall, the Temple Mount, buried in ruins below three Arab mosques. "The Temple Mount is in our hands," Colonel Motta Gur announced over army radio in 1967. An elated country knew this was the symbol of our victory, our greatest success –– the Temple Mount, not the Western Wall.

It was an amazing moment in our history. After 2000 years, the Temple Mount was finally back in our hands, and then, as we have seen too often in Israel, the Israeli government caved into international pressure and surrendered. What great idiocy allowed Moshe Dayan to simply hand the keys and the area back to the Arabs after we had recaptured it, we will never understand.

The Western Wall, the last remnant of what was, is holy and special and ours, but it is not, as so many claim, our holiest site. Today, the Temple Mount is all but denied to us. Our people are arrested if they dare move their lips silently in prayer during the short time we might be allowed to visit. Days will go by when we are banned from entering and much of the world still idiotically believes that the Second Intifada was birthed in a seemingly immaculate conception after Ariel Sharon briefly visited the site in 2000. The Western Wall is a symbol of what we have lost, more than it is a symbol of what we are. Remember what you saw, Obama, and what you did not.

Yad Vashem, another Obama photo op, is a very important site in Israel. We drag all our international visitors there as regularly as the clock ticks and the sun rises. There amid cameras and solemn faces, they lay a wreath and mouth platitudes of shock and shame. Sadly, it is doubtful that Obama or any of these visitors actually gain any real understanding of the Holocaust during these short visits. It's another must-be-seen-at place.

By my best estimates, Barack Obama could not have spent more than an hour there, including the requisite dance of the wreath. The last time I visited, I spent almost three hours wandering through each exhibit, watching the videotaped stories, the horrible films shot during the Nazi era, the collection of pictures and personal items that remain long after the people were murdered.

I have been to Auschwitz and Maidanek, Chelmno and Treblinka. I have stood in a gas chamber, faced the crematoria. I've walked the streets of the ghettos and touched the graves and still, three hours wasn't enough, though it was all I could stand. But Obama didn't have to understand the Holocaust and its significance. All he had to do was stand and have his picture taken as he gently bowed towards the eternal flames and then on with his busy itinerary. Lunch and a visit with the president, more comments and pictures.

Next stop, Sderot. Another calculated miscalculation. Sderot is not a symbol of our strength, but of our ongoing shame. From the inside, it is a story of resistance and determination, but that honor goes only to those who live there. They deserve our praise for withstanding thousands of rockets and mortars, for living despite the fear. But, for the rest of Israel and the world, Sderot is about our failure to protect, our refusal to stop the rockets. It is about our ignoring the agony and danger of the people who live there because of world pressure. Sderot is about our ongoing delusion that peace can be achieved if you simply ignore reality.

Remember, Obama, what you saw in Israel. But perhaps more important, remember what you didn't see. In your brief visit here, what you failed to see, essentially, was the very country you came to visit. Next time, if you wish to see Israel, ask us, not your advisors and perhaps not even the American Jews.

You didn't see Masada, symbol of our commitment to stay in this land at all costs. You didn't see my son's army base, where he and others train and protect our land. You didn't see the great universities, like the one my daughter attends or the one where my mother teaches. You didn't see our new Supreme Court building or the Knesset, where democracy lives in our country. You didn't see the hustling hi-tech areas in Haifa, Gush Dan, Jerusalem and elsewhere. This is where Israelis develop amazing inventions and technologies that astound the world and save lives.

You didn't go to the Golan Heights to understand how it towers above northern Israel, protecting almost a quarter of our people or see the tanks and planes with which we defend Israel. You didn't visit any of our hospitals, where Jew and Arab are treated equally by some of the best doctors in the world and where Palestinian children such as Doa'a Ayad and Farah Bacher were treated despite ongoing rocket fire and hostilities.

Obama didn't go to Theodore Herzl's grave or Ben Gurion's –– both great symbols of Israel's Zionist beginnings and he didn't shake the hand of Ya'akov Asahel, a 53-year-old father of eight and grandfather of six who bravely faced and shot the second bulldozer terrorist in Jerusalem in recent weeks. The attack took place only hours before Obama arrived, and only minutes from the hotel where he would stay.

Barack Obama shook the hand of Abu Mazen, who was convicted of planning the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, during which a wheelchair-bound American Jewish man, Leon Klinghoffer was thrown into the sea. Obama shook the hand of several Israeli politicians, why not shake the hand of a Ya'akov Asahel, a man who represented bravery and honor?

Masada, the Golan Heights, our hospitals and hi-tech stars all didn't rate a visit. In the end, three places did, and each in some way represents our weakness and our defeat. One could ask Barack Obama why flying over Sderot was more important than flying over the Golan; why shaking Olmert's hand was more important than shaking Asahel's hand.

Why did Barack Obama and his advisors think that American Jews wanted to see Israel's weakness and not its strength? I don't know what Obama will remember of his trip here, but the greater message may well be his affinity with the sites that show our weakness. Perhaps the best legacy of the Obama visit should be to remember what he chose to see and where he chose to be seen.

This is on Paula Stern's website: Paula Says. It is archived at
http://www.paulasays.com/articles/todays_realities/ obama_remember_what_you_see_here.html

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FROM ISRAEL: HOW ABOUT THAT!!!
Posted by Arlene Kushner, July 30, 2008.
 

Would have sworn it wouldn't happen and it has: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has announced that after Kadima elects a new leader in its September 17 primary, he will resign from office to give his successor a chance to form a new coalition.

Originally he had said that he would only step down if the newly elected head of Kadima succeeded in forming a new government and there were not going to be elections. This sounds different.

~~~~~~~~~~

Olmert went on to protest his innocence with regard to the investigations in process now, and vowed to vigorously defend himself. My own take is that he smells an indictment coming and saw this as the graceful way to bow out.

~~~~~~~~~~

The process that will unfold after his resignation:

The resignation of the prime minister includes the resignation of his entire government. President Shimon Peres will then consult with various political factions in the Knesset and charge the head of one with attempting to form a new government.

~~~~~~~~~~

It is assumed that this person will be the newly elected head of Kadima, but this is not a given. As to who will head Kadima: Livni and Mofaz are both furiously vying for the position, with Olmert, who at this point despises Livni, working as he can to help Mofaz come out ahead. Others are also in the running but with smaller showings in the polls.

~~~~~~~~~~

That person, whoever it will be, will have 28 days to put together a stable government; if he deems it appropriate, Peres can extend the time by 14 days.

If the selected faction head still cannot put together a coalition, then Peres will select another MK heading another faction to make the same effort to form a coalition.

There are predictions –– about which I will not comment here –– that forming a stable coalition with the current makeup of the Knesset will not be easy.

If no coalition is formed, the nation goes to elections, to be held within 90 days. Then after elections, a coalition must be formed to create a stable government –– and it can assumed that the head of the faction that secured the most mandates would be given the first opportunity to do this.

~~~~~~~~~~

It must be noted that, even though Defense Minister Barak is head of the Labor faction, he cannot be chosen to form a coalition now because he doesn't currently sit in the Knesset.

With regard to elections, polls show that head of the opposition, Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud), is the public's first choice. Netanyahu has been quiet of late, waiting for a process to unfold. He undoubtedly is smiling tonight. If, as predicted, his party were to come out ahead in an election, he would be chosen to form the next government.

Two brief political observations here:

Netanyahu and Barak have held some consultations of late, presumably about defense issues, with Barak briefing Netanyahu. But it is being speculated –– and it is just speculation at this point –– that there may be some sort of political cooperation coming down the road. This would mean Netanyahu was moving his supposedly centrist-right party left, but we'll need to see how things unfold.

What adds to this speculation is the fact that Uzi Dayan has just announced he was joining the Likud party and was promised a leadership role. On the basis of his political positions, I would have expected Dayan to go with Labor. This was a surprise. Dayan had formed the Tafnit party, which has a strong social agenda, but did not pass the electoral threshold for gaining a seat in the last election; presumably Tafnit backers would now support Likud.

Seems Netanyahu is already building his coalition.

~~~~~~~~~~

If head of a political faction does succeed in putting together a new government within the allotted time, Olmert continues to run a caretaker government until that new government is in place. If the nation goes to elections, Olmert heads a caretaker government even longer –– until after the elections and the establishment of a coalition.

And so we'll be seeing his face for some time yet, in spite of this announcement. The question remains as to how much damage he can do in his lame-duck position. Particularly is this the case with regard to negotiations with the PA.

~~~~~~~~~~

MK Aryeh Eldad (NU/NRP), speaking after Olmert's press conference, said that Olmert was "the most failure-ridden and corrupt leader in Israel's history."

The fact that Olmert would be resigning his position in a few weeks' time, Eldad said, was "the only good news Olmert managed to supply in his time in office."

Sadly for our nation, there is enormous truth to this.

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

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JOY SHORT LIVED –– OLMERT DIDN'T RESIGN
Posted by Delta Vines, July 30, 2008.
 

Oh Joy of joys! When I first heard Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, had resigned, I was elated! Oh yea, let's dance in the streets and sing at the top of our lungs! The people of Israel would not have the threat of Olmert handing over their land to those who seek to destroy them anymore!

SCREEEEEEEEECH!!!!!!!!

The brakes went on when I found out the truth. You see, I equated the word "resign" with "stepped down".

Silly me.

PM Olmert has not stepped down. He has not resigned. He has just given us his intentions. That, and took the opportunity to proclaim his innocence from serious legal charges against him. Oh, yes, and reminded the Israeli people of all his accomplishments while in office. Uh huh, a true politician!

In an article from Reuters, Olmert is reported to have said

"I have decided I won't run in the Kadima movement primaries, nor do I intend to intervene in the elections." Olmert was referring to his ruling centrist party from his official residence in Jerusalem.

"When a new (Kadima party) chairman is chosen, I will resign as prime minister to permit them to put together a new government swiftly and effectively," Olmert said.

Olmert, who could stay on as a caretaker prime minister for months while a successor struggles to cobble together a new coalition, vowed not to "ease up" on peacemaking "for as long as I remain in office."

Well, the U.S., PA, and other Kadima Party members aren't worried about Olmert's participation in peace talks. Barak and Livni are in the U.S. even now holding talks regarding handing over the Golan Heights for a tissue thin promise of peace from Syria. (How quickly we forget the history of residents of the Galilee having to dodge bullets when Syria previously held the Golan).

As if to reinforce how un-needed PM Olmert is to these "peace talks", Ha'aretz reported the following in one of its articles:

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators plan to continue talks toward a peace deal despite Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's announcement that he intends to resign following party primaries in the ruling Kadima faction later this year, a Palestinian official said on Wednesday.

"We decided today that we are going to continue pursuing to reach an agreement before the end of the year," the negotiator, Saeb Erekat, told reporters after Israeli and Palestinian officials met U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

If everything is a matter of business-as-usual, what doesn't Olmert proceed to stepping down immediately? Because he is using great strategy that will keep him in office longer, regardless of charges brought against him.

The resignation will not be in place until AFTER the Kadima primaries in September. That amounts to members of the Kadima party will vote to appoint a new Prime Minister from within their ranks. (Likud need not apply).

I wonder how many people will still want to claim Kadima as their political party? The top contenders for the Kadima party Prime Minister are Livni or Mofaz; both would be equally as dangerous regarding safe-guarding Israeli's in these peace talks. Mofaz is Olmert's preference; Livni is much like an "Olmert clone". Either one would carry out Olmert's objective of "making peace" (aka national suicide). Some conjecture that former PM Ehud Barak (Labor party) will push for earlier general elections anyway. All interested candidatea have already been salivating; walking around Olmert much like vultures circling roadkill.

But PM Olmert is not going away –– not yet.

Israeli law is such that Ehud Olmert will continue as prime minister even after a new Kadima party leader is elected. That new party leader will have a few weeks to form a unity government, which means including members of other political parties. Olmert would leave office after that government is formed.

However, if that government is not formed within that few weeks, new General Elections would then be called for. That means that despite announcing his resignation, PM Olmert could stay as Prime Minister of Israel until March or April of 2009! This would then give him more time to give away as much of the small country of Israel as he desires...all in the name of peace.

No, Ehud Olmert has not gone away. He plans to stay for awhile.

G-d help Israel before mankind helps himself TO Israel.

Contact Delta Vines at delta_vines@sbcglobal.net. Visit her website:
http://tsofah.blogspot.com/2008/07/unless-shalit-is-alive-no-live.html

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ANTI-JEWISH POLICE IN ISRAEL; PA'S SELECTIVE READING OF AGREEMENTS; MUSLIM KING'S SLANDER UNCHALLENGED
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 30, 2008.
 

THE NEW ISRAEL

On being rescued from terrorists, a candidate for President of Columbia praised her government, saying that only Israel could have equaled that feat. She is behind the times. She is thinking of the old Israel and the Entebbe rescue.

Israel doesn't rescue its prisoners any more. It makes lopsided prisoner exchanges to get them back murdered. It goes in for appeasement. It engages in a peace process with them, just as Columbia did until realizing that the terrorists that phony process to fasten its control over the countryside (Caroline Glick, IMRA, 7/13).

The new Israel is what Peace Now and the New Israel Fund strive for. It is an Israel that will suffer, on the way to extinction.

P.A. EMULATES HIZBULLAH ON PRISONERS, TOO

The P.A. admires Hizbullah for kidnapping Israelis, in order to get its own prisoners released by Israel, in exchange. The P.A. intends to emulate Hizbullah, thinking that it cannot otherwise get prisoners released (Arutz-7, 7/13). But PM Olmert has announced intent to release many P.A. prisoners, simply at Abbas' request.

If Olmert has asked anything much of Abbas, we haven't heard of it and Abbas hasn't done it.

EXAMPLE OF ANTI-JEWISH POLICE STATE IN ISRAEL

Shimshon Cytryn is the Jewish nationalist youth framed by illogical evidence for attempted murder of an Arab, during a stone-throwing fight for which no Arabs were indicted. Three years later, and after having served his prison sentence and married, prosecutors appealed his sentence. They claimed he is a racist, endangers Israel, and should be made an example of. The Supreme Court extended the completed sentence. Back to jail for Shimshon! (IMRA, 7/14).

The US does not allow appeals and arbitrary extensions of completed sentences. Few of its prosecutions are political. The racists are on Israel's Supreme Court, which is anti-Jewish and fails to recognize that the youth was framed.

WILL ISRAELIS WAKE UP OVER PRISONER EXCHANGE?

The IDF is making plans to bury the Israelis whom Hizbullah is expected to release. Lebanese are making plans to celebrate the release of their live gunmen. Won't Israelis feel foolish! (IMRA, 7/14). Will they wake up?

"PARDONED" WITHOUT BEING PARDONED?

The trade of Jewish bodies for Muslim prisoners required release before sentence fully served. This was done by issuing a pardon. Pres. Peres said it does not mean forgiveness (IMRA, 7/15). Peres should beg our pardon.

"Pardon" removes the taint of a crime, finding the convict not guilty or forgiven.

P.A.'S SELECTIVE READING OF AGREEMENTS

The P.A. accused Israel of violating the Oslo Accords by raiding Islamist institutions in Nablus, a city to which the Accords grant P.A. rule (IMRA, 7/14).

The Accords also state that the P.A. is supposed to crack down on terrorism. The P.A. doesn't. That is a severe violation, defeating the Accords' purpose. The Accords also reserve overall security to Israel. Hence Israel did not violate the Accords. The Palestinian Arabs continually violate their agreements, but falsely accuse Israel of violating them. The media usually publishes the Arab accusations without explaining their falsity. Some "news" media!

Israel should declare the Accords void and the Territories open to Jewish claims.

FRANCE STILL CRAZY?

""President Sarkozy is personally interested in pursuing development of strategic ties with Syria." (IMRA, 7/14.)

Why would France want strategic ties with part of the evil axis?

RUSSIA BOOSTS TRADE TIES WITH S. ARABIA

Trade and military ties are tightening. Pres. Putin is pleased (IMRA, 7/15).

Why doesn't Russia boost ties with decent countries, too? Russia cuts off oil pipeline supplies to countries that don't obey Russian demands.

HOW ISRAELI MEDIA TREATS THE PRISONER TRADE

Declaring, "The boys are coming home," the media depicts the returnees as live soldiers, and avoids photographing their caskets. The media is publishing misleading propaganda in support of the government (IMRA, 7/15).

I find it repulsive. Same for wives who, seeking "closure," agitate for an exchange that will make more widows, others and themselves.

OFFERED WEAKNESS, IRAN SHOWS TRUCULENCE

The permanent Security Council members and Germany offered Iran "...civilian nuclear power plants, economic assistance, new airplanes, agricultural assistance, hi-tech transfers and a freeze on the expansion of economic sanctions against the nuclear-weapons-seeking mullocracy. In exchange for all of that, the Iranians weren't even required to end their uranium enrichment activities."

The offer implies that the major powers would let Iran develop nuclear weapons, but slower, as if heeding their order to stop developing them. If Iran wanted better relations, it would have accepted. Instead, it demanded more concessions. Its leaders reject all limitation, tested missiles, and threatened to destroy enemies.

EU representative Solana has been negotiating with Iran for five years. He must be too embarrassed to admit that Iran was toying with him. Iran uses diplomacy as a cover for continuing nuclear development, now at an advanced stage. Solana mistakenly claims that negotiating does no harm. There is great harm in its letting a rogue state advance war potential and embarrassing him to suggest instead that the West simply should offer Iran more

Pres. Sarkozy has similar hubris. He is legitimizing Syria, pretending that its plan to open an embassy in Lebanon recognizes Lebanon's independence rather than Iran's control over it. Sarkozy demanded that Israel give Lebanon a valuable observation post in the Golan, and then pretends to be an honest broker between Israel and Syria. Syria said it would not normalize relations with Israel, no matter how much of the Golan Israel were to give it.

Sarkozy is working against his national interest, thinking he is puffing up France's importance (Caroline Glick, IMRA, 7/14).

The way Iran rejected the offer is like the way Arafat rejected the offer PM BArak made to him. Many Muslim imperialists prefer conquering to accepting tribute.

OTHER PROBLEMS FROM PRISONER EXCHANGE

We've already heard that by making lopsided exchanges and by not having a death penalty for terrorists, Israel encourages kidnapping of its soldiers. The exchanges do additional harm. They treat war criminal terrorists as if POWs entitled to Geneva protection. They accept terrorism mistreatment of Israeli prisoners who are entitled to Geneva protection. Freeing so many terrorists degrades deterrence and criminal justice and boosts terrorist organizations' prestige (IMRA, 7/15).

PRISONER EXCHANGE MISAPPLIED

Two principles bear on prisoner exchange in Israel. The old Jewish principle holds that it is a duty to redeem captives, but not at so high a price as to encourage kidnappers to capture more. Israel violates that principle.

An Israeli principle holds the government should strive hard to get captured or wounded troops home. Israel abuses that principle, because by trading for them dead or alive, it receives them dead. They never know the feeling of coming home. They know the feeling of being murdered, their murderers having been given an incentive by the State of Israel.

There really is a third principle. Leaders, in this case PM Olmert, sacrifice their country's wealth and people, in order to posture, appear to have accomplished something, and avoid admitting mistakes.

The Olmert regime has two added purposes: (1) Stay prosecutors' hands by following their ideological policy of appeasement of the enemy; (2) Favor the enemy, due to one's psychological disturbance in the form of an ideology of national suicide phrased in idealistic terms not based on reality. There is a similar phenomenon in the US. The supposed idealists are among the most vicious people, in their harmful results and their callousness about it.

SHOULD JEWS MOVE TO ISRAEL?

The Jewish people failed to send a critical mass into the homeland in the 1920s, in time to secure it. There aren't many Jews left, and between the anti-Zionist efforts of Britain and the government of Israel, there isn't enough critical mass of homeland left to provide secure borders.

The government still is trying to draw foreign Jews in. Should they go? Religious Jews have Torah reasons for going. It is difficult to move where the government restricts, corrupts, dries out, and runs down the economy and the Jewish people. Worse, that government rewards enemies for murdering Israelis they capture.

NOBODY CHALLENGES MUSLIM LEADER'S FALSEHOODS

Denouncing extremism, the King of S. Arabia depicted Islam as moderate. He cited as the best example of religious tolerance Islam's early period. My newspaper pointed out that Islam started with a discriminatory tax on unbelievers and that his kingdom now teaches extremism. I'd add that Islam started out by exterminating resistant tribes and still approves of deceit. The Christian and Jewish leaders at the conference let him make his false claims unchallenged. What good can emerge from their silence about genocidal jihad?

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

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PALESTINIANS JUST GOT A BILLION BUT CRYING FINANCIAL CRISIS AGAIN
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 30, 2008.
 

Why are the palestinians crying financial crisis again when they just got a billion dollars (incl. $562 million from US taxpayers) over the last 6-7 months? U.S. Is Largest Donor to Palestinian Authority. (psst, They're splitting it with HAMAS)

 

State Department Press Briefing, July 2, 2008

QUESTION: A Palestinian-related question. Apparently, Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad has appealed to the World Bank to help him get emergency funding to bridge a shortfall in donor funds to pay their public workers. And I just wonder if you're going to get involved in this in any way. Maybe you would increase your contribution to the donor fund or there's some other way that you can help them bridge that shortfall?

MR. MCCORMACK: Yeah. Let me look into the specifics of it. I hadn't seen that story. I know that we are involved on a regular basis in urging donors who have made pledges to fulfill their pledges. Very oftentimes, it's the case that donors are either slow to or fail to meet their commitments in terms of the Palestinians and often –– and you do very oftentimes get to these situations or close to these kind of situations where –– the Prime Minister Fayyad has a hard time meeting his payroll. Let me see if we can ––

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you.

MR. MCCORMACK: –– I'll look into this a little bit more, see if we can get you some more details.

You have to hand it to Mr. McCormack. He dutifully came up with the details and sent them out in a press release. (This must be almost as important as the Fulbright Scholars.)

QUESTION: Reports indicate that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has reached out to the World Bank to secure emergency funding for public works. Is the Department of State aware of any appeal to the World Bank by the Palestinians? What has been the U.S. contribution to the Palestinians? Will the United States press the donors to assist the Palestinians?

[NEW] Answer: We would refer you to the World Bank and Palestinian Authority for details on their communications with each other.

It has been clear for some time that the Palestinian Authority faced a serious and imminent budget crisis. This is why we have been working urgently with the Palestinian Authority and our partners in the international community, in particular with regional partners committed to peace, to do everything possible to support the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people. As Secretary Rice said in May, "states that have resources ought to be looking not for how little they can do, but how much they can do."

The United States remains the largest single state donor to the Palestinian Authority. We have provided $562 million in total assistance in 2008, surpassing our pledged level of $555 million.

This includes

  • $264 million in project assistance through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL);

  • $150 million in direct budget support –– the largest single tranche for funds provided to the Palestinian Authority by a single donor country;

  • and $148 million in contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The United States remains firmly committed to supporting the Israelis and Palestinians with the resources and resolve of the American government as they work to realize peace. We continue to urge all donors to maximize their budgetary support for the Palestinian Authority during this critical time.

So out of $920 million disbursed to the palestinians in the last six (now seven) months, the U.S. has contributed $562 million, or 61%. I'm no economist, but it seems to me that all these international donor conferences are adding up to a big ripoff of the American taxpayer.

At first glance this response seems to be about the Arab countries not fulfilling their pledges.

The palestinians will bleed this country dry if they can, and they'd turn on us in a nanosecond.

They have no loyalty to us, no relationship. Meanwhile, the Arab countries won't pay up, but it won't affect their relationship with the palestinian leadership... because that's all about family, tribal, religious and ideological loyalties. Foggy Bottom doesn't seem to realize that we have none of that "infrastructure" with these people. They'll gladly take our money, hug our president, and then do exactly as they please (most likely having to do with killing Jews).

Foggy Bottom doesn't have a clue, but they certainly do have a lot of Arabs and American Arabist sympathizers incessantly courting and pressuring them. Not that that's any excuse for the Bush administration selling out Israel against the will of the Congress and the electorate. Just think, how many times do you imagine a representative of Israel's interests bangs on Condi's door? vs. the multitudes of lobbyists for 22 Arab countries (most, if not all, with oil to sell). Let's face it, the Israel Lobby just isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Makes me sick –– all that American taxpayer money to palestinians, and just like with Arafat, no transparency. And they're giving what, 40% to HAMAS?


PA "President" Abu Mazen, Feb. 12th, 2008: "Hamas are our brothers and part of the Palestinian people." PA Prime Minister, Finance Minister & Foreign Minister Salam Fayyad, April 5th, 2008: "There is no solution for the troubles in Gaza, or for the rockets being fired from it ... All we can do is transfer funds to the Gaza Strip."


How many more days does Condi have left? And how much damage can be done? Call your representatives in Congress. Since so many are running for re-election, they might just promise you they'll shut off the faucet to these liars, cheaters and thieves.

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

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ENDING LEBANON'S FREE RIDE
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 30, 2008.
 

This was written by Caroline Glick and appeared in the Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331130971&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

 

Since Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora bowed to Hizbullah's demands in Doha last month and agreed to grant the Iranian-controlled, Syrian-supported terror group control over his government, Lebanon has become an official agent of a terror group. That is, Lebanon, as a state, has become a sponsor of terror. But no one seems to notice or to care.

Truth be told, on the surface the situation in Lebanon is quite complicated. There is a power struggle of sorts going on today between Saniora's pro-Lebanese sovereignty March 14th movement and Hizbullah.

Even in its diminished status, the March 14th movement is seeking to compel Hizbullah to subordinate its Iranian proxy army to the government. But this is an exercise in futility.

As Hizbullah demonstrated clearly during its armed insurrection in May that led to the Doha agreement, and as it continues to demonstrate in its attacks against Sunni neighborhoods in Tripoli, it is fully willing to use its militia to force its political opponents to accept its complete independence.

But then, while it is clear that the March 14th movement's leaders and supporters oppose Hizbullah's independence from central authority, it is far from clear that they oppose its terrorist operations. The fact of the matter is that none of Hizbullah's political opponents in Lebanon have anything but praise for its aggression against Israel and its clear intention to continue its war against Israel for its Iranian commanders.

MAKING THIS point this week, Lebanon's Finance Minister Muhammad Shatah, explained, "We are all in agreement that it will be crazy not to benefit from Hizbullah resistance capabilities, but the dispute is whether this will be done within the state or outside."

The widespread support that Hizbullah's terror war against Israel enjoys in Lebanon was prominently displayed on July 16 when convicted baby killer Samir Kuntar and his fellow Lebanese terrorists were released to Lebanon by Israel in exchange for the mutilated corpses of IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser who were killed in Hizbullah's raid on their military position in Israel on July 12, 2006.

All of Lebanon's supposedly moderate leaders were at the Hizbullah-controlled Beirut airport to accord Kuntar a hero's welcome.

President Michel Suleiman embraced Kuntar –– who crushed four-year-old Einat Haran's skull –– and his fellow terrorists as "our freed heroes." Sa'ad Hariri, the head of the March 14th movement, referred to Kuntar's release as "an historic day of joy." Saniora hailed the corpses-for-murderers swap explaining, "The success of Hizbullah in the negotiations led by a third party is a national success for the party and for the struggle of the Lebanese because it secured national goals which Israel always refused to respect." And Druse leader Walid Jumblatt hailed Kuntar's release as "a national holiday."
 

HIZBULLAH'S DOMESTIC intimidation and international terrorism is enabled by the Lebanese military which refuses to confront it. And this is nothing new. During the 2006 war, when Suleiman commanded the Lebanese armed forces, the Lebanese military actively collaborated with Hizbullah units. Then, as now, Hizbullah was a coalition partner in Saniora's government.

During the war, the Lebanese military guided Hizbullah in attacking the INS Hanit along the Lebanese coastline with an advanced, Iranian-supplied Chinese C-802 missile. The Lebanese military pays pensions to the families of Hizbullah fighters killed in battle. Since the war, the Lebanese military enabled Hizbullah to reassert its control over south Lebanon, to expand its control north of the Litani River and to massively rearm.

Moreover, throughout the war, Saniora acted as Hizbullah's mouthpiece. He condemned all Israeli efforts to defend its territory from wanton aggression and championed all of Hizbullah's demands in cease-fire negotiations. By the same token, the Saniora government backed all of Hizbullah's attacks against Israel –– attacks which forced a million Israelis to flee their homes or live in bomb shelters for the duration of the war.
 

IN JULY 2006, understanding the Saniora government's collusion with Hizbullah, Israel's immediate reaction to Hizbullah's abduction of its soldiers and bombardment of northern Israel was to hold Beirut accountable.

In his first press conference of the war, just hours after Goldwasser and Regev were abducted and their comrades killed, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made this point explicitly. He declared, "This morning's events were not a terror attack. They were the act of a sovereign state that attacked Israel, without reason and without provocation. The government of Lebanon, of which Hizbullah is a part, is attempting to destabilize the region. Lebanon is the responsible party, and Lebanon will pay the consequences for its actions."

Israel's initial strategy for fighting the war was to disable Hizbullah's war machine by bombing Lebanese infrastructure targets such as highways, the airport, bridges, electricity grids and the telecommunication systems.

All of these facilities enabled Hizbullah's war effort. It is possible that if Israel had in fact attacked Lebanon's national infrastructures, the blow to Hizbullah's war machine might have been strategically debilitating. In that event, the task of land forces charged with defeating Hizbullah forces on the ground would have been smoother.

But US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would have none of it. Already in the earliest stages of the war, she began putting pressure on Israel not to attack Lebanese infrastructure. Her demand was formalized in the G-8 declaration three days after Hizbullah initiated hostilities.

Rice's support for Saniora's government was so strong and consistent, that she eventually forced Israel to cave to all of Hizbullah's demands in UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which set the terms of the cease-fire at the end of the war.

Rice defended her support by noting the democratic character of the March 14th movement and its success –– with US and French support –– in forcing most Syrian forces to depart Lebanon in April 2005.

Despite its and the Lebanese military's open and active collusion with Hizbullah throughout the war, in its aftermath, US support for Saniora's government expanded exponentially. In the year following the war, US aid to Lebanon grew from $41 million to $520 million. US military assistance to the Lebanese military since the war has been in excess of $410 million, making Lebanon the second largest recipient per capita of US military aid.

US military support for Lebanon grows even as the Lebanese armed forces demonstrate at every turn that they collaborate with Hizbullah. It was supplemented after the Lebanese military, under Suleiman's command, refused to prevent Hizbullah's coup in May.

Moreover, the day before Suleiman gave Kuntar the red carpet treatment at the Beirut airport, Maj.-Gen. Robert Allardice, the US Central Command's director of strategy, plans and policy, visited Beirut and announced an additional $32 million in military aid.

Since 2006, the US has given Lebanon some 285 Humvees, 200 cargo trucks, helicopter parts, assault rifles, grenade launchers, anti-tank weapons and urban warfare bunker weapons. Another 300 Humvees, mobile communications systems, several hundred anti-tank missiles and coastal patrol craft are on order.

Israel has recently begun openly expressing its alarm about these weapon transfers.

Given Hizbullah's now inarguable control over Lebanon and its sway over its military forces, it is all but a foregone conclusion that these weapons will likely be used by Hizbullah and its allied forces in the Lebanese army in any future war with Israel. In recent weeks, senior Defense Ministry officials have been dispatched to the Pentagon in an attempt to convince the US to stop the weapons transfers.

Yet while the Pentagon was only too happy to give Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Ashkenazi an unrequested medal, it has rebuffed all of Israel's entreaties.
 

ALL OF this is depressingly familiar.

In many ways, the Saniora government is to Hizbullah in Lebanon what the Fatah terror group is to Hamas in the Palestinian Authority. As is the case in Lebanon, the US trains, finances and arms Fatah. It supports Fatah politically against Israel, claiming that Fatah has earned its support through its moderation relative to Hamas.

But as events have shown repeatedly, Fatah is a terrorist organization and is only too happy to collude with Hamas in attacking Israel and to form governments with it so long as Hamas doesn't embarrass it too much.

Notably in the case of Fatah, the US cut off its assistance to the PA after it and Hamas formed their unity government last year and only reinstated it after Hamas ended the unity deal by seizing control of Gaza from its Fatah partner.

In Lebanon's case, US support for the country has grown as Hizbullah's control it and its military have become more open. Indeed, today Rice is openly pressing Israel to surrender Mt. Dov and Ghajar village to Lebanon even though it has no legal claim to either.

And this she does by claiming that an Israeli capitulation to Hizbullah's demands will strengthen Saniora who is controlled by Hizbullah –– and believing that this will be a good thing.

With even the Olmert-Livni-Barak government calling openly for a revision of Resolution 1701 to curtail the Lebanese military's ability to facilitate Hizbullah's rearmament and assertion of control over southern Lebanon, and with even Britain finally classifying Hizbullah's militia as a terror group, the time has come to revisit US policy.
 

US JEWISH leaders and counterterror champions on Capitol Hill should begin a campaign to compel the State Department to place Lebanon on its list of state sponsors of terror.

At a minimum, US military and financial assistance to the Hizbullah-controlled government should be abrogated immediately.

The current government of Lebanon is only expected to remain in power for another year.

Hizbullah is expected to be the big winner in Lebanon's parliamentary elections scheduled for next year.

As Lebanese parliamentarian Samir Franjieh from the March 14th movement explained in a media interview this week, "Weapons eliminate the principle of majority [rule]. In... 2005 the March 14 [movement] won a majority of parliamentary seats in the elections. The result was practically eliminated by the use of force. Having armed factions [running for elections in 2009] would limit the freedom of voters."

It is reasonable for the US to seek to support pro-Western democrats in the Arab world. It is unreasonable for the US to be bankrolling a terror-controlled regime populated by terrorists and democrats who support their aggression. This is particularly the case when the same terrorists are waging war not only against Israel, but against its own forces in Iraq.

Olmert's July 12, 2006 declaration is still apt. Lebanon, must be forced to suffer the consequences of its support for Hizbullah.

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

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POVERTY, IGNORANCE, HELPLESSNESS AND DESPAIR: OBAMA'S LIE
Posted by Seth Frantzman, July 29, 2008.
 

Obama penned an editorial soon after Sept. 11 in which he claimed that it was caused by the "poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair" in Muslim countries and that America's job was to raise the prospects of children around the world in order to cure this 'helplessness'. Mr. Obama would have been better served had he first learned about the lives of the 9/11 terrorists, all of whome were born wealthy and had a life of luxury and opportunity. Obama's empathy for the terrorists shows why he is such a dangerous person.

 

On September 19th, 2001 Barack Obama, who is may be the next American president, wrote an editorial in the Hyde Park Herald that claimed the September 11th, attacks stemmed from a lack of "empathy" on the part of the hijackers who suffered from "poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair." He claimed that "I must also hope that we, as a nation, draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy...we must... engage in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness...such a failure of empathy, such numbness...is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, it may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. More often, thought, it grows out of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair....we must be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe, not just in the Middle East but also in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe."

This is Barack Obama. It is his essence. For all of those that have believed that rumors and accusations against him have been spread by fear-mongers this lays it all to rest. His minister's decision to say 'God damn America'. His wife's decision to say 'this is the first time I've been proud of my country.' These were accusations of guilt by association. But this editorial was not written by a friend of Obama. It was written by the man himself, just 7 days after the deaths of 3,000 Americans. This editorial expresses the essence of the Obama view of America and the world.

For Obama the September 11th hijackers are the real victims. They are the ones who suffered first. They suffered poverty, ignorance, helplessness and despair. Lets just remind ourselves of who the hijackers actually were. Mohammed Atta was an engineering student who later studied at the American University in Cairo for a degree in architecture. In 1992 his father was met by two high school aid workers from Germany who offered to bring Atta to Germany. He moved to Hamburg where he stayed with these Germans, receiving free room and board. He studied urban planning in Hamburg. He received a free trip to Syria from his German professor in 1994 for an archeological dig and in 1995-1996 a German foreign exchange program, Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft, provided him with free trips to the Middle East and financial support. He arrived in the U.S in 2000 sponsored by Al Quaida. Saeed, Ahmed and Hamza al Ghamdi were all from the same place in Saudi Arabia and were all born middle class. Saeed and Ahmed both journeyed to Afghanistan in the 1990s to help the Chechans in their war against Russia (another 9/11 hijacker Mohammed al Shekri, also was there). Hani Hanjour was the son of a wealthy food supply businessman in Saudi Arabia. He was born in 1972 and came to the U.S in 1990 to Tucson Arizona where we was given a free apartment by his friend and able to enroll at the University of Arizona. In 1996 he came back to the U.S and enrolled at Holy Names College in Oakland California and stayed with a host family which provided him with free room and board.

When one reads the biographies of the 9/11 hijackers and the stories of their activities in the U.S and Europe they find that these men were all born into middle or upper class families. They all attended college numerous times. They all lived plush lifestyles, frequently living for free on the dole of others. Many of them took 'time off' to go to Russia and murder Russians as part of the Chechnya war. These were not people suffering from any 'helplesness' or 'poverty' or 'despair'. They had purpose in life. They had money. They lived well. In the U.S they visited and became regulars at strip clubs. They flew from place to place and rented numerous apartments and rental cars. They lived the high life in Vegas. These were all men who had many opportunities in life, more opportunities and free-rides than most Americans. They chose to devote themselves to murder. They did so in Chechnya first, in a conflict that was not theirs, and then they chose to murder Americans. Their hatred was not 'channeled'. They choose to hate. They were not manipulated. These were men in their mid to late twenties. They were educated.

Barack Obama finds only sympathy for the terrorists in his editorial. There is no sympathy for the poverty and helplessness of Americans. There is no sympathy for the helplessness of those trapped on the upper floors of the World Trade Center who had to jump to their deaths because of the heat from the flames. Barack Obama does not have empathy for them. He has only empathy and understanding for the murderers and their culture which he claims to understand. The way in which Barack Obama came to believe that the 'real' victims of 9/11 were Muslims and Arabs living in America and that 9/11 was caused by America's foreign policy and by the poverty of those in Middle East is typical of a deep hatred for the United States.

His view is predicated on two radical views. The first view is that it is acceptable for people to murder others so long as they are poor. Barack Obama ascribes to this view completely. He claims the hijackers were poor in order to excuse their actions. This is an extraordinary view of human affairs. It envisions a world in which people can be randomly murdered by those suffering from 'poverty' and the world should be sympathetic to the murderer rather than the murdered. What about the impoverished people who died on 9/11. Didn't they deserve to have a full life? Why did they deserve to die just because someone else suffered from poverty? The Nazis also used this poverty excuse before they launched their invasions of various European country. According to the Nazis the impoverishment of the treaty of Versailles forced them to become nationalistic and seek 'living space'. What would Barack Obama have said in 1939? Would he have excused the Nazi crimes as stemming from 'helplessness', 'despair' and 'poverty'?

The second view of Barak Obama is his belief that America is responsible for "raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe." This is an extraordinary burden that no country deserves. First Obama blames the U.S for 9/11, excusing the murder of Americans by claiming it stems from poverty and then he claims the U.S is responsible for raising the world out of poverty. This prescription views a world in which America is forever responsible for being attacked unless it can help everyone else in the world become wealthy. Once again we see the profound and extreme vision of Obama. For him the world is one in which a person deserves to be assaulted unless he can help others become wealthy. This is a world without any right and wrong, where the victim is always the murderer and the murdered person is always responsible for his own death because he has not helped the murderer.

We face a terrible fate in the U.S. People are enthralled by Obama. From the 'I've got a crush on Obama' videos on Youtube to the Obamamania in Europe, the world is obsessed with this person. Yet Mr. Obama is a demagogue. He and his wife and his circle of friends constitute a very real and terrifying threat to the lives of Americans. If Obama is sworn in as the next president of the United States we must prepared to live under an administration that believes that Americans deserve to die for things they have no control over. We will have a president that excuses our deaths and manufactures the truth so that our murderers are called 'impoverished and helpless' and we are told that we are guilty for not raising our murderers out of their poverty.

What more could America have done for the people of Saudi Arabia? What more could we have done before 9/11 to raise them up? Since the 1930s America has been Saudi's closest ally. We helped the Saudis during the Gulf Crises of the 1980s. We helped the Saudis in Afghanistan when they, like America, were fighting godless Communism. We helped them against Saddam Hussein. We pay huge amounts of money for oil so that most Saudis do not have to work. We have enriched the entire country so that Saudi's GDP per capita is $23,200 compared to the U.S which is $45,000. The UAE's GDP, where one of the hijackers came from, is $37,300. Out of 229 countries Saudi Arabia has the 54th highest GDP per capita. What are we supposed to do, Mr. Obama? Are we supposed to make them number 1? A gulf Arab state, Qatar, is already number one in the world with GDP per capita of $80,000. That's right, Mr. Obama. An Arab Muslim country has the highest GDP in the world. Yet they suffer from 'helplessness'? What helplessness? Is it that they are helpless in finding enough ways to waste their oil billions? Are they helpless at finding enough prostitutes from enough ethnic groups to import to give them the sexual pleasure they so require? Is it the helplessness of not finding enough extremist causes to go fight in, such as Chechnya, where they can go murder civilians from other countries? Is it that they don't already receive enough welfare and compassion wherever they go in the form of people taking them, accepting them to Universities, giving them free apartments, providing them with homestays and being interested in their 'exotic' culture? What more do they need?

I am an American. I've seen poor people all my life in America. I've seen them living in the wretched circumstances. When they go to work one day and they are murdered by a Gulf Muslim Arab terrorist for no reason I am supposed to accept the fact that one of my presidential candidates will excuse their murder because America didn't do enough to make the Gulf Arab wealthier and the terrorist suffered from 'despair'? America's poor deserve better. Americans deserve better. Americans deserve a president who cares about them. Americans deserve a president who doesn't spit on them when they are dead. Never, in American history, has an American president excused the deaths of his fellow Americans. Even the worst and most mediocre American presidents, such as Milliard Fillmore, didn't excuse the murder of his own people.

No man deserves to die. No man deserves death at the hands of the cowardly Muslim terrorist. There is no excuse for the murder of a human being. It doesn't matter if he is wealthy or poor. It doesn't matter if the murderer is wealthy or poor. Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense and it said that 'without the pen of Paine, George Washington's sword would have been wielded in vain.' Obama has lost that American common sense. For whatever reason he has a profound contempt for Americans and their way of life. He has a deep seated hatred for the American people and a deep empathy for other people throughout the world. How else can one judge his excusal of the murder of Americans, his lies about the lives of the 9/11 hijackers and his prescription that America must raise the 'hope' of children throughout the world.

Seth J. Frantzman is a graduate student in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His master's thesis was on the 1948 war. Contact him at sfrantzman@hotmail.com Visit his website: Terrra Incognita Journal, http://journalterraincognita.blogspot.com/ This article was published July 22, 2008.

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GAZA SMUGGLING TUNNELS ARE FOR MILK, SAY PALESTINIANS
Posted by Marc Samberg, July 29, 2008.
 

This was written by Ryan Jones and comes from Israel Today
http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=16745&skintype= G&skinname=_default&skinsrc=printmodule.ascx&containertype= G&containername=_default&containersrc=printContent.ascx&mid=912

 

Palestinian officials from the Gaza Strip have distributed a set of carefully-staged photographs they say are evidence that the smuggling tunnels running under the Gaza-Egypt border are for milk and other essential goods, not weapons.

Palestinians say Gaza arms smuggling tunnels are really for milk

The photographs show masked Palestinian militants lifting jugs of milk and sacks of baby food from the entrance to one of the tunnels on the Gaza side of the border.

Israel insists that the tunnels, of which intelligence estimates indicate there are hundreds, are used to import small arms and advanced weapons like heavy mortar shells, anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft missiles. The tunnels are also said to be the conduit via which the Palestinians receive the material used to build their Kassam rockets.

Palestinians say Gaza arms smuggling tunnels are really for milk

Hamas has acknowledged Israel's position by insisting during ceasefire negotiations last month that it would not agree to halt smuggling efforts as part of the truce.

"We cannot talk about stopping smuggling because it is something beyond our ability as a government and we did not give a commitment in this regard," Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told worshippers at a Gaza City mosque on June 25 as the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire was being finalized.

Egypt, too, has never tried to claim the tunnels were for anything other than arms smuggling, and has even made a show of closing a handful of tunnels and confiscating the weapons found inside for public consumption.

Also backing up the Israeli assertion that the smuggling tunnels could only exist for nefarious purposes are weekly and sometimes daily summaries published by the Israeli government of the quantities of humanitarian aid entering the Hamas-controlled territory. The Palestinians, say Israel, have no need to smuggle essential goods into Gaza because there is no shortage.

Between 100 and 150 trucks carrying humanitarian aid from Israel and international aid organizations enter Gaza on a daily basis. Out of that number, the 50 or so daily shipments that enter via Gaza's central Sufa Crossing contain milk and baby food, according to the manifests.

The Palestinians, and in particular the Hamas regime in Gaza, have been accused of manufacturing a dire humanitarian crisis to elicit international criticism of Israel. So far it has worked, as mainstream international media outlets today routinely refer to the situation in Gaza as a disaster of epic proportions. Some have even gone so far as to parrot the Palestinian line that the situation in Gaza is a "holocaust."

Hamas and its supporters were briefly called out on their lie when in April they claimed that a shortage of industrial fuel had shut down Gaza's only electrical plant and plunged the area into darkness. Israeli officials immediately pointed out that Gaza receives the vast majority of its electricity from Israel. Further betraying the Palestinian deception were a series of news photographs that showed Hamas leaders covering the windows of their offices with heavy curtains and lighting candles to give the impression of a blackout during press conferences.

Israel has imposed a limited embargo against Hamas-ruled Gaza, but has repeatedly stressed that the sanctions only limit the import of non-essential goods and some building materials that had previously been used to manufacture rockets. Exports from Gaza have also been curtailed to combat the terrorists' practice of hiding bombs in shipments of agricultural produce.

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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LAND OF ISRAEL HIKERS ATTACKED BY ARABS, POLICE STAND BY
Posted by Hillel Fendel, July 29, 2008.
 

(IsraelNN.com) Some 200 youths and adults on a week-long "Land of Hilltops Trek" were attacked by Arabs with clubs and rocks. The police arrested Jews, including one who fired in the air.

The trek, which began on Sunday, is being led by veteran Yesha (Judea and Samaria) settlement pioneer Daniella Weiss, former Mayor of Kedumim. She told Arutz-7 what happened:

"This is the third day of our beautiful march through the hilltops of the Land of Israel, which we began in Sa-Nur [one of four Jewish communities in Samaria that were destroyed in Ariel Sharon's Disengagement plan –– ed.], and are planning to end up in Asa'el in southern Judea. We have already been to Shvut Ami [adjacent to Kedumim], Kol Tzion near Adei Ad [just outside Shilo], and we are now at Maoz Esther, near Kokhav HaShachar.

"The plan is to continue to Migron, then Shaar HaMizrach (Gateway to the East) between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, and then we will sleep in Shdemah (south-eastern Jerusalem, near Har Homa), and then to Maaleh Halhoul and Asa'el. Each of this places has important significance in terms of Jewish presence in the area.

Map of Judea and Samaria (From Boker Tov, Boulder!
www.zioneocon.blogspot.com/2003_08_24_zioneocon_archive.html)

"Everything was going very well, until we arrived in Maoz Esther. A bunch of Arabs swooped down upon us with rocks and clubs, and three of our people were injured; they have just been evacuated by ambulance. At one point, one of our escorts tried to protect one of our boys, and he shot in the air. Right then, something amazing happened:

"From behind a little hill suddenly emerged some cars and policemen wearing civilian clothes, but with police hats –– and they arrested the one who shot in the air, as well as some of our other escorts who were carrying weapons!

"Apparently, the police were waiting and watching the whole time, doing nothing until our boy shot in the air. They want to leave us without weapons, and thus cause us to call off our entire trek, because they see –– and want to discourage –– the wonderful and pioneering spirit that we bring."

"But we will of course not stop, though we are now trying to figure out the best course of action. I can tell you that there will be some sharp measures and protests against the security forces."

Other participants accused the police of outright cooperation with the Arabs in their ambush of the Jews.

When told of a report that two Arabs were also arrested, Daniella seemed surprised and skeptical. "We saw no such thing," she said.

MK Eldad: Police State in Service of Olmert Gov't

MK Prof. Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said in response, "This is just another step in the police agreeing to become a 'political police' in the service of the Olmert government."

Eldad noted the decisions this week to place three Shomron Jews under house arrest and restrict Jewish entry to certain areas of Samaria. "If the security forces do not revert immediately to protecting Jews instead of fighting against them alongside the Arabs, a catastrophe can be expected –– and the responsibility will lie squarely with the Defense Minister [Ehud Barak] and the Public Security Minister [Avi Dichter]."

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com). This article appeared in Arutz-Sheva
www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/126997

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BOYCOTT DURBAN 2!
Posted by Sacha Stawski, July 29, 2008.

This essay is to be found at
http://boycottdurban2.wordpress.com/2008/07/29/boycottdurban2-en/#more-52
 

At the 2001 UN Conference against Racism in Durban, anti-colonialism bared its anti-Semitic face. Democracies should stay away from a repeat performance next year in Geneva. By Pascal Bruckner In September 2001 the South African city of Durban played host to the third United Nations World Conference against Racism, which was aimed at achieving recognition for crimes related to slavery and colonialism. The event's organisers hoped that the whole of mankind would use this ceremonious occasion to face up to its history and chronicle events with equanimity.

These good intentions rapidly degenerated into one-upmanship among victims and bloodlust directed at Israeli organisations and anyone else suspected of being Jewish. The original intent, which was to heal the wounds of the past through a sort of collective therapy and arrive at new standards for human rights, twisted into an outburst of hatred which, in the wake of the September 11 attacks that followed only days later, disappeared from the public eye.

It's time we had another look. Against the wishes of the organisers, Durban became an arena where people screamed and hurled insults at each other in a re-enactment of the comedy of damned, in the face of the white exploiter. "The pain and anger are still felt. The dead, through their descendants, cry out for justice", Kofi Annan said on August 31 of the same year –– an astounding choice of words for a UN secretary general and more a call for revenge than reconciliation. The delegates at the conference, particularly those from the Arab-Muslim states, also understood it as such and, together with the African group, they transformed the conference into a stage for anti-colonialist revenge. The West, which is genocidal by nature, should recognise its crimes, beg for forgiveness and pay symbolic and financial reparations to the victims of its oppression. Emotions ran high and anger was brought to the boil by coverage of the second antifada which was being violently quashed by the Israeli army.

Zionism was condemned outright as the contemporary form of Nazism and apartheid, but so was "white viciousness", which had caused "one Holocaust after the other in Africa" through human trafficking, slavery and colonialism. Israel should disappear; its politicians should be brought before an international tribunal similar to the one in Nuremberg. Anti-Semitic cartoons were circulated, copies of "Mein Kampf" and the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" were handed out. Beneath a photo of Hitler were the words that Israel would never have existed and the Palestinians would never have had to spill their blood if he had been victorious. A number of delegates were physically threatened, there were calls of "Death to Jews". This farce came to a head when the Sudanese Minister of Justice, Ali Mohamed Osman Yasin, demanded reparations for historical slavery, although in his own country, people are being shamelessly thrown into a new slavery today.

One might think that this sinister comedy would give the UN second thoughts about repeating its mistake. But there is no underestimating the extraordinary determination of dictators and fundamentalists, who have transformed the UN Human Rights Commission into a platform for their demands. A Durban II (The Durban Review Conference) is due to take place in Geneva 20 to 24 April 2009, and it promises to be a repeat of Durban 1.

The reports and projects which have been mounting up over the past six years do not encourage optimism. On September 14, 2007, Doudou Diene, UN Special Rapporteur for racism, xenophobia and discrimination held a speech in front of the United Nations in Geneva. In it he repeatedly blames Western countries for using September 11 to encourage the most perfidious forms of Islamophobia. He defines this Islamophobia as a form of racism which has its roots in the first contact between Islam and Christianity, notably the Crusades and the Spanish Reconquista. He does make mention of anti-Semitism, anti-Christian sentiment and other forms of religious suppression, but his main focus is "anti-Muslim racism". Throughout Europe and the United States intellectuals and politicians of all stripes are guilty of a wide array of offences against the religion of the prophet.

These include the principle of laicism, as championed by the French, the "ban on religious symbols in public schools", the "threatened ban on the burqa in England's public buildings" and stigmatisation of the veil and the headscarf: all signs of a resurgence of intolerance. Diene regrets that laicism has lead "to a general suspicion of religious belief" and he believes that "dogmatic secularism" is being used to "manipulate the freedom of religion". So it comes as no surprise to him that the West, as a "pillar of slavery and colonialism", is leading the way in a "systematic denigration of Muslim intellectuals" (here he is thinking particularly of Tariq Ramadan) and the idea of a "clash of civilisations" a la Samuel Huntington.

By contrast, as he sees it, the persecution of Christian minorities in the Middle East, Africa and India is the unfortunate consequences of the missionary work of Evangelical groups from North America, who are letting their religious brothers suffer for their own bigotry. All criticism of dogma, every questioning of religious belief is, Diene says, a form of racist insult and should be punished. Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius have become untouchable icons, who must be protected against criminal attacks. Should we reintroduce blasphemy as a criminal offence like the fundamentalists of the three monotheistic religions are suggesting –– in a return to the Ancien Regime?

Unsurprisingly, Diene's report has the ardent support of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the majority of the Non-Aligned Movement where you can count the democracies on one hand. Because Doudou Diene makes it his policy to refrain from all criticism of authoritarian regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America and reserves his munition for the States of Europe and North America, whom he accuses of fomenting pogroms against their minorities. It will also come as no surprise that in April 2007 Iran was nominated as vice president and Syria as rapporteur for the Disarmament Commission. This might be hilarious if it weren't so tragic!

In a nutshell: Anti-racism in the UN has become the ideology of totalitarian regimes who use it in their own interests. Dictatorships or notorious half-dictatorships (Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Cuba etc.) co-opt democratic language and instrumentalise legal standards, to position themselves against democracies without ever putting turning the questions on themselves. A new Inquisition is establishing itself, which brandishes "defamation of religion" to quash any impulses of doubt, particularly in Islamic countries. And this at a time when millions of Muslims, particularly in Europe, want to distance themselves from bigotry and fundamentalism. In a reversal of values, anti-racism is being propagated by despots in the service of obscurantism and the suppression of women! It is being used to justify precisely the things which it was formulated to fight: suppression, prejudice, inequality.

In the hands of these powerful and organised lobbies, the UN is becoming an instrument of retrogression in the world, when it was created to promote justice, peace, and human dignity.

Europe must take a firm stand against this buffoonery: boycott it, plain and simple. Just as Canada has done. Perhaps we should also think about dissolving the Human Rights Commission or only letting truly democratic countries in. It is intolerable that in the year 2008 –– like in the thirties –– nations which recognise justice, the multi-party state and freedom of expression are being brought before the tribunal of history by the lobbies of fanatics and tyrants.

First signatures:

1. Sharon Adler; Editor-in-chief AVIVA-Berlin and photographer, Berlin, Germany
2. Nasrin Amirsedghi; Publicist, Mainz, Germany
3. Seyran Ates; Lawyer and author, Berlin, Germany
4. Prof. Russell A. Berman; Stanford University, Editor Telos, USA
5. Prof. Pierre Birnbaum; University Paris I, France
6. Pascal Bruckner; Novelist and essayist, France
7. Paulo Casaca; Politician and Member of European Parliament, Portugal
8. Thierry Chervel; Journalist, Berlin, Germany
9. Nina Farhi; Psychoanalyst, London, Great Britain
10. Moris Farhi; Writer, London, Great Britain
11. Alex Feuerherdt; Journalist, Bonn, Germany
12. Dr. Ralph Giordano; Journalist and author, Cologne, Germany
13. Gabi Gleichmann; Essayist and writer, Norway
14. Lars Gustafsson; Poet, philosoph, romancier, and the former Editor-in-chief Bonniers litterära Magasin, Sweden
15. Gabriel Heimler; Artist, Berlin, Germany
16. Prof. Jeffrey Herf; University of Maryland, USA
17. Katharina Höftmann; Student of psychology, Berlin, Germany
18. Dr. Martin Jander; Historian, journalist, Germany
19. Britta Jürgs; Publisher AVIVA publishing house, Berlin, Germany
20. Dr. Necla Kelek; Sociologist and author, Berlin, Germany
21. Dr. Michael Kreutz; Orientalist, Erfurt and Bochum, Germany
22. Jonathan Kriener; Orientalist, Bochum, Germany
23. Dr. Matthias Küntzel; Author and Board member Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (German Chapter), Hamburg, Germany
24. Prof. Benny Morris; Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel
25. Thomas von der Osten-Sacken; Author and Head of Mission of Wadi in Iraq, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
26. Dr. Diethard Pallaschke, University of Karlsruhe and Board member Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (German Chapter), Germany
27. Dr. Mahmoud Rambod; Historian and sociologist, Bochum, Germany
28. Peter Schneider; Writer, Berlin, Germany
29. Saul Singer; Journalist Jerusalem Post and author, Tel Aviv, Israel
30. Sacha Stawski; Honestly Concerned e.V. and Coordinating Council of German NGOs against anti-Semitism, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
31. Dr. Sylke Tempel; Journalist and publicist, Berlin, Germany
32. Benjamin Weinthal; Journalist (Haaretz/Jerusalem Post), Berlin, Germany

Everyone who also wants to sign the appeal is sincerely invited. Please send an e-mail with your full name, your profession and your town to boycottdurban2@yahoo.de. Afterwards your signature will be published on this website.* The appeal will result in an open letter to the German government and further governments of the EU before the Durban Review Conference starts. Therefore, this collection of signatures will be closed by February 1st, 2009.

* Your E-mail-address will not appear on
http://boycottdurban2.wordpress.com/signatures/ and not be abused for commercial purposes.

Contact Sacha Stawski by email at sstawski@honestly-concerned.org

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TERRORIST-THIEF ADMITTED BACK TO SCENE OF THEFT; THE DANGER OF INTERFAITH COUNCILS
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 29, 2008.

TERRORIST-THIEF ADMITTED BACK TO SCENE OF THEFT

An Arab doctoral student at Hebrew U. in Jerusalem stole 40 gallons of components for explosives from his lab, and recruited cell members to blow something up. After only six years, he is out of prison. He would like to resume his doctoral studies. Prof. Amiram Goldblum, who heads the lab approves, arguing that the man has served his punishment. Goldblum is a founder of Peace Now. He had excused Saddam's Scud bombardment of Israel as due to Israel not making concessions to Palestinian Arabs (IMRA, 7/14).

Goldblum, an enemy of his people, pretends to be an idealist. Otherwise one might ask whether he has heard of recidivism. Terrorists, operating from an indoctrinated, religious fanaticism, are notorious for returning to crime. What a ridiculous excuse for letting a failed terrorist have another opportunity to commit the crime! It's even peculiar that Western countries let Muslims study chemistry. That criminal should have been, and still should be, expelled from the country.

Only six years in prison for such a terrorist? Israel needs a Sam Adams, who stood up for his country; the government doesn't. Goldblum's suicidal act would occur only in Israel. We Jews have too many psychologically damaged people. That is the major problem in that secularist society.

OLMERT ENCOURAGES ISRAELI ARABS

He told them, ""Israeli Arabs are not a strategic threat. They are citizens of the State of Israel, with equal rights. You have always been part of the State and always will be." He cited having given them: educational preference, subsidy to non-Jewish veterans to buy housing sites, favors building an Arab city in the Galilee, and more civil service jobs (by preference?). He hopes those measures reduce racist expressions in Israel and improve Arab-Jewish relations (IMRA, 6/13). How much land in the Galilee did Arab squatters steal?

Israel suffers from two forms of racism: (1) Action such as by Olmert; and (2) By Muslims. Ironically, the more Jews make concessions to the Muslims, the more the Muslims become contemptuous and the more they demand. This increases their racism! The government has failed to catch on to that cultural trait. What is the government doing about Muslim racism against Jews and Christians. Nothing. The government is blind to that, as well.

Of course Israeli Arabs are a strategic threat! They never ended it, and are striving to take over the country in alliance with the external enemies. They are becoming radicalized. (Israel lets radical preachers come to their mosques.) Their leaders encourage foreign enemies. Their masses scoop up state land.

THE DANGER OF INTERFAITH COUNCILS

S. Arabia is sponsoring an interfaith conference to stress tolerance. A Saudi official said that they chose Spain as the site, because there is where Muslims, Jews, and Christians once lived under Islamic rule. That is the Muslim notion of tolerance –– let infidels live, so long as Muslims dominate. Although It is not the Jewish or Christian notion, Jewish and Christian leaders probably would not object to the reason for choosing Spain. They would not want to antagonize the Muslims and spoil the conference.

Another likely unspoken problem is that although Muslim states want the West to treat Muslims and Islam like their own people and religions, they don't reciprocate. This intolerant aspect of Islam would be ignored.

A third topic likely to be ignored is the Muslim attempt to denounce terrorism but claim that Palestinian Arab attacks on Israeli civilians are acceptable under some false excuse of self-defense [from people who are not attacking them; the Muslims are the aggressors].

Again, Muslims defame Israel and the US, claiming that Zionists are behind 9/11 and Israelis are responsible for the violence against them. Nevertheless, Muslims demand in the name of tolerance and harmony that the West ban criticism of Islam. We'll be told to meet Islam half way, but Islam will meet us half way. What they really are asking is that we give up some Western traditions and some of our ability to resist Islamic imperialism.

Much that should be said at the conference won't be. What is said would be lowest common denominator platitudes. Ignoring the major differences between the religions would leave the false impression that all three religions are about the same. The people back home would be misled and ill served. That is the danger of interfaith councils as of diplomacy with totalitarian governments. (David Twersky, NY Sun, 7/14, Op.-Ed.).

What is the point of the conference, to establish Islam as the senior partner? I think the point is to provide cover for Islamic imperialism. If that is so, then the Christian and Jewish leaders to attend would prove poor leaders.

OBAMA ENDS PRO-ISRAEL STANCE

Candidate Obama now "clarifies" his statement that Jerusalem should be the undivided capital of Israel. He claims he phrased it wrong and really meant it shouldn't be divided by barbed wire, as before (IMRA, 7/14). But he used the customary language for uphold Israel's claim to the city. He's just a liar. He abandoned almost every position used to seize the nomination.

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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BANKRUPT? P.A. IS WORLD'S LARGEST RECIPIENT OF FOREIGN AID PER CAPITA
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 29, 2008.
 

European Union Funding for Peace Coalition [FPC] (http://eufunding.org.uk) has published an independent look at the role of European funding in the Middle East.

The FPC Report exposes massive contradictions in European aid to Palestinians. It's called "Managing European Taxpayers' Money: Supporting the Palestinian Arabs –– A Study in Transparency." Find it at
http://eufunding.org.uk/FPC2004Report.pdf  

The first article below was written by Carl in Jerusalem and comes from his website: israel matzav. It is archived at
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2008/07/bankrupt.html

The second article comes from Jihad Watch and was written by Robert Spencer.


Salaam Fayad

Could it be that the world's largest recipient of foreign aid per capita with the expert suit-and-tie-clad businessman at its helm is going bankrupt? That's what the 'Palestinian Authority' is telling the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday morning. The reason for the 'bankruptcy'? No, of course it's not that they spent more than they took in. It's that they didn't take in enough. You see, many of the 'donor countries' –– especially the Arab ones –– haven't been ponying up their money now that a barrel of oil 'only' costs $126 instead of $147....

The officials told The Jerusalem Post that the PA wouldn't be able to pay July salaries to more than 150,000 public servants and may be forced to close down several government institutions as a result of the deepening crisis.

I know one place they could cut back –– they could stop paying 'salaries' for all their 'employees' in Gaza who haven't come to work in over a year. At least 40% of the 'Palestinian Authority's 'budget' is spent in Gaza, which they do not even control.

The officials disclosed that the deficit in the PA budget has risen in the past six months from $1.6 billion to $2b.

"We are facing a real crisis," a top PA official told the Post, adding "we are on the brink of bankruptcy."

Another PA official warned that the financial crisis would undermine the PA and limit its ability to reach a peace agreement with Israel.

"We will lose the support of the Palestinian public if we stop paying salaries to our civil servants and policemen," he said. "This is happening at a time when Hamas is receiving large sums from Iran and radical Islamic groups."

PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad expressed concern that the PA could face a financial crisis if the donor countries, particularly some Arab states, failed to transfer to the PA treasury the funds they had pledged to donate at the Paris conference.

Fayad described the financial situation of the PA as "difficult," adding that his government was making enormous efforts to provide the necessary money to pay salaries to its employees.

As of January 2006, the 'Palestinian Authority' had some 140,000 employees, 58,000 of whom were employed in the 'security services.'

The Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction [PECDAR] said Monday that the PA had received only $900m. of the $7.7b. promised during the December 2007 Paris Donors' Conference for supporting the Palestinians.

The money was promised to the PA over a period of three years by nearly 90 countries and international organizations during the Paris conference.

According to PECDAR, the PA was supposed to receive up to $3b. of it during 2008.

However, PA officials complained that that the donors had so far paid less than 35 percent of the promised sum.

The officials said they were particularly disappointed with the majority of the Arab countries for failing to meet their financial commitments toward the Palestinians.

"Most of the Arab countries are now setting conditions for providing us with financial aid," the PA officials said. "Some are saying that they will give us the money only after we end our differences with Hamas, while others are suddenly talking about the need for reforms and transparency in the Palestinian Authority."

What a shocking concept! You mean, even the Arab countries don't want to throw their money down a black hole anymore? I'm shocked. Just shocked. Call in the UN! They're always willing to throw money away! But get a load of this:

"The number of households in Gaza below the consumption poverty line continued to grow, reaching 51.8% in 2007, despite significant amounts of emergency and humanitarian assistance," the UNRWA statement said.

Meanwhile, poverty rates in the West Bank fell to just over 19%.

...

The report concluded that "Israeli-imposed movement restrictions in the occupied Palestinian territory, whose population is estimated to have grown by about one third since 1999, have resulted in considerable regression over the past eight years and remain the main barrier to economic recovery and development."

It doesn't sound like the 'West Bank' has regressed at all, does it? Hmm. Maybe if the IDF were back in Gaza keeping the terrorists in check (like they are in the 'West Bank'), Gaza wouldn't 'regress' anymore either.


"UN NOTES THAT GAZA HAS WORLD'S HIGHEST JOBLESS RATE, BLAMES ISRAEL"
by Robert Spencer
http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/021984.php

Remember when, during the Gaza pullout, former World Bank President James Wolfenson, Mortimer Zuckerman and others raised $14 million to buy the Gaza greenhouses and give them to the Palestinians? At that time the New York Times reported that his call for money was received enthusiastically by the American Jewish community: "Within 48 hours, Mr. Zuckerman said, he had his $14 million. And the Palestinians had a shot at inheriting relatively intact the greenhouses whose vegetables and flowers have been a major source of Israeli export income, and, not incidentally, about 3,500 desperately needed Palestinian jobs."

They "had a shot." And what did they do with that shot? Palestinian jihadists destroyed some of the greenhouses. They looted others. They used some for smuggling tunnels.

But the unemployment rate in Gaza? Israel's fault, of course!

"U.N. Says Gaza Has World Highest Jobless Rate," from Israel National News, July 28 (thanks to Dennis):

(IsraelNN.com) Unemployment in the Gaza region stands at 45 percent, the highest in the world, according to a report issued by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. It noted that nearly all of Gaza's factories have shut down in the past several years. The unemployment rate in Judea and Samaria was estimated at 25 percent.

The report blamed Israel's closure of the Gaza crossings and restrictions of fuel as causes for the disastrous state of the economy. It did not note that the Gaza economy was flourishing before the Oslo War broke out almost eight years ago.

One reader commented:

of course the reporter doesn't mention the reasons for the fuel restriction are because the Muslims kept attacking the fuel trucks and kept lobbing rockets daily into Israel...The Palestinians are lucky they get any fuel..The reporter also fails to mention none of the Arab oil producing nations have delivered so much as one gallon of fuel to Gaza..It seems the other Muslims don't like Palestinians either..but Allah knows whats best..

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

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ZOA ACTION ALERT: NEED CLARIFICATION OF US POLICY ON SHEBAA FARMS
Posted by Lee Caplan, July 29, 2008.
 

Urge Members of Congress to sign on the Knollenberg-Scott Letter on Clarification of US Policy on Shebaa Farms

 

Please contact your Representative now to express your support for the Knollenberg-Scott letter seeking clarification of U.S. Policy on the Shebaa Farms/Har Dov issue and urge them to sign on to the letter.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) supports the Knollenberg-Scott letter seeking clarification from Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice of actual U.S. policy on the Shebaa farms/Har Dov issue. The ZOA applauds Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI, 9th District) and Rep. David Scott (D-GA, 13th District) for stepping across party lines to come together on this issue, and calls upon their colleagues in the House of Representatives to sign onto this letter as soon as possible. The full text of the letter can be viewed as a pdf here: [link to PDF to be inserted here]. The deadline for signing on to this letter is Friday, August 1st.

As the Knollenberg-Scott letter states: 8 0United States and international policy has consistently stated the "Shebaa farms are not occupied Lebanese territory."

Shebaa Farms/Har Dov is an area captured by Israel from Syria in the Arab war against Israel in 1967 and is not part of Lebanon. Indeed, the Israeli-Lebanese border was fully demarcated in 2000 by the United Nations, which found that Israel had completely withdrawn from Lebanese territory. Forcing Israel to relinquish this area to Lebanon is a stated objective of Hizballah, the Islamic Republic of Iran's proxy army in the region. So any call to re-open the issue is a reward for Hizballah, and thus a further reward to Iran.

Yet last month U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice told reporters after meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora that "the United States believes that the time has come to deal with the Shebaa Farms issue...in accordance with [U.N. Security Council Resolution] 1701."

The Knollenberg-Scott letter clearly points out just how troubling this seeming reversal of United States Policy is, explains and high lights the facts and history of the issue, and respectfully asks Secretary Rice to clarify the current position of the Bush administration regarding the Shebaa Farms.

We encourage you to contact your Representative to express your support for the Knollenberg-Scott letter on the Shebaa farms issue and urge them to sign onto this letter.

Phone 202-224-3121 & ask for your Member of the House of Representatives. Alternatively, you can obtain this information at
http://capwiz.com/zoa/dbq/officials/.

Contact Lee Caplan at leescaplan@yahoo.com

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22 'NEW' POLISH JEWS REDISCOVER THEIR HERITAGE
Posted by Michael Freund, July 29, 2008.
 

Below is an article appearing in today's Jerusalem Post about a very special program organized by Shavei Israel in Jerusalem for 22 young Poles who recently discovered their Jewish roots. It was written by Jackie Len

A group of 22 Polish youth who only recently discovered their Jewish roots arrived in Israel this week for a three-week-long Polish-language seminar in Jerusalem.

The seminar is being arranged by Shavei Israel, a non-profit organization which aims to strengthen ties between Israel and the descendants of Jews around the world. The participants will travel throughout Israel, study Hebrew daily and learn about Jewish history, culture and religion, as well as the history of the State of Israel.

"In Poland in recent years there has been this awakening taking place where more and more people are discovering their Jewish roots," Michael Freund, founder and chairman of Shavei Israel, told The Jerusalem Post.

"Many Jews who survived the war and chose to remain in Poland, because of the persecution they faced, decided to hide their identity. Now that Poland has become a democracy and its society has begun to open up people feel freer to identify as Jews. We are seeing this incredible phenomenon of the hidden Jews of Poland emerging from the shadows."

Young Poles visiting Israel on a journey back to their Jewish roots

Rabbi Yitzhak Rapoport, one of Shavei Israel's two full-time emissaries in Poland, told the Post, "Shavei Israel has the idea that people who have Jewish roots should receive an equal opportunity to decide whether they want to be Jewish or not."

"It is not their fault that they are not 'Jewish' in the sociological sense of being Jewish."

The participants each possess unique stories of how they began reconnecting with their Jewish roots, but not all were able to do so without complicating their former lives.

About a year and a half ago, Andrzej, one of the seminar's participants, found papers proving the Jewish heritage of his mother. She, like many other Jewish children, was given away as a baby to a non-Jewish Polish family during World War II. Andrzej has since become an observant Jew, keeping kosher and observing Shabbat.

"The irony and/or tragedy of it all is that Andrzej's mother is a believing Catholic while his father is even quite anti-Semitic," said Rapoport.

"Andrzej therefore made it a secret to his own family that he was going to have a brit mila [circumcision]."

Another participant, Patryk Wolanowski, grew up in a Polish orphanage.

"His aunt once told him that his father was Jewish. That's all he knows," [But now he is] an active member of Jewish life in Wroclaw [Poland]," said Rapoport.

"The goal here is to strengthen the connection between the descendants of Jews and the Jewish people. I think there is value simply in maintaining this connection because the fact of the matter is the State of Israel and the Jewish people don't have that many friends around the world," said Freund.

"I see it time and time again, when people discover that they have some Jewish ancestry, they gain a certain affinity to the Jewish people," he added.

Freund has high hopes for the impact the trip will have on the participants.

"Being in Israel will work its magic on them, I'm sure," he said. "There is nothing quite like the experience of seeing a Jewish country in action, of traveling to and seeing up close some of the places they have heard and read about. I'm sure that will have a big impact on them. Whether it is visiting the holy sites or simply seeing street and store signs in Hebrew."

Over 90 percent of Polish Jewry, about three million people, were wiped out in the Holocaust, by far the greatest number of Jewish casualties from any one country during World War II.

"I can think of no sweeter revenge for what happened there [Poland] than if we can succeed in bringing back some of Poland's hidden Jews to the Jewish people," concluded Freund.

Michael Freund is Chairman, Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org).

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HOPE? CHANGE? YES! HOPE OBAMA CHANGES!
Posted by Barry Rubin, July 29, 2008.
 

Barack Obama has been to the Middle East. He said he supported Israel and wanted peace.

So I guess everything's ok, right? Well, if he's elected president and follows through on these words that'll be just fine.

But concern about an Obama presidency is hardly dispelled, except in the media systematically ignoring the real issues. Without getting into the debate over Iraq strategy, here are the serious problems:

1. Obama claims there is a "window of opportunity" for successful Israel-Palestinian negotiations. That's nonsense. But won't Obama pretend progress and "prove" he's right: by demanding unilateral Israeli concessions? Equally, Palestinian intransigence won't prompt him to admit they're responsible for failure. This isn't a window of opportunity but a doorway to disaster. Consider this simple question: If Israel withdrew from all the West Bank would anything really change? Would the Palestinians reciprocate, alter their line, stop terrorism, and accept the conflict's end? No.

2. In this context, Obama's emerging campaign theme is especially worrisome. He criticizes Bush for not jumping into a peace process from his term's start. The reason, of course, was President Bill Clinton's discovery that Palestinian leaders weren't interested in peace. Obama doesn't understand why the 1990s' process failed or that you don't commit the president's prestige unless there's a real chance for progress.

3. Obama thinks it "pro-Israel" to argue that Israel desperately needs peace with the Palestinians above all and that he'd do Israel a favor by pressuring it into concessions. But Israel only benefits from an agreement producing stability, the conflict's end, no cross-border terrorism, and a moderate Palestinian state. Obama's approach seems likely to turn into a peace-at-any-price scenario on the pretext of saving Israel in spite of itself. Obama thinks he knows best about Israel's security needs.

4. Obama remarked that Israel's government is weak and "the Palestinians are divided between Fatah and Hamas. And so it's difficult for either side to make the bold move needed" for peace. He believes there's no problem with Fatah being eager for peace whereas its own radicalism –– not divisions –– is the roadblock. Even if one believes his thesis, since Obama can't solve Palestinian or Israeli political divisions, which he equates as the equal barriers to progress, how's he possibly going to advance peace?

Meanwhile, he totally misstates –– and presumably misunderstands –– Israeli politics. If the Palestinians were willing, Israel's government could easily move ahead. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's alleged corruption is a big issue but the coalition agrees on peace steps. Far from shrinking back, Olmert and his government see making progress as the key to popularity and survival. In contrast, the PA knows that the actions needed to make a deal would be its downfall. That's the critical difference.

5. Does Obama really understand that the region's central issue is a war with radical forces who seek to overthrow every regime and seize control of the area? He emphasizes al-Qaida as the threat thus neglecting Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hizballah, and the Muslim Brothers? Are they potential allies if only treated nicely?

6. His new gimmick –– I'm for fighting harder in Afghanistan and less in Iraq –– is foolish. Whatever one thinks of Iraq, Afghanistan is far harder. U.S. policy has a chance to help create a stable regime in Iraq but not in Afghanistan. And does Obama really intend to be a hawk on the Afghan front or is this a cheap trick to show him as being tough? I'll bet on the latter explanation.

7. There's no indication Obama understands the need to defend Lebanon against a takeover by Hizballah, Iran, and Syria. Obama's last statement on Lebanon actually endorsed Hizballah's position, due either to ignorance or his philosophy of avoiding confrontation at all costs.

8. If Obama wants to make the United States and the West more independent of Middle East instability or radical blackmail, at least in the long term, he'd favor extensive oil drilling on U.S. territory, which he doesn't.

9. The real issue is not that he wants to talk to Iran and Syria but what he'll offer them and what he'll conclude when they reject or sabotage his efforts? Obama says his "willingness to negotiate" would expose Tehran by stripping "away whatever excuses they may have, [and] whatever rationales may exist in the international community for not ratcheting up sanctions and taking serious action." Isn't that what the Bush administration did last week and Europeans have been doing for years? Do we really believe Obama just wants to have talks as a trap so he then can get tough?

10. Obama says the right things on Iran nuclear but can he actually be counted on to stop Tehran? Asked about an Israel attack he replies, "My goal is to avoid being confronted with that hypothetical."? Yet his more likely avoidance strategy would be to block the attack, not force Iran to back down. He claims U.S. policy failed because it didn't "follow through with the kinds of both carrots and sticks that might change the calculus of the Iranian regime." Clearly, he's not familiar with the history which contradicts that assertion.

11. Won't radicals conclude he's so weak (or even sympathetic) that they can walk all over him and get away with it? Do we think they're wrong? Does he really understand the use of force, deterrence, the stick as well as the carrot? That doesn't fit his record and ideology.

It comes down to this: Do you really believe Obama has the understanding, toughness, and worldview needed to deal with the extremists or that they will eat his poor allies for lunch and him for dinner?

There are thus two options:

* Option A: Obama becomes president and hope he does a good job, perhaps after a three-year, possibly costly, learning process.

* Option B: We won't have to find out whether the previous sentence will come true.

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 (Wiley). Prof. Rubin's columns can be read online.

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ISRAELI UNIVERSITY HEADS DEMAND ALL CONTROLS BE REMOVED ON PALESTINIANS ENTERING CAMPUSES
Posted by Steven Plaut, July 29, 2008.

Israeli universities are the occupied territories of the Far Left. The cartel that oversees and controls the universities is known as the Council on Higher Education, whose main appendage is the VATAT or Budget and Planning Committee, which allots all public funds to Israeli universities, using arbitrary and curious criteria. The VATAT consists of university professors who divvy up among their own institutions the loot taken from the taxpayer.

The Israeli university system is not only corrupt and mediocre but dominated by leftist politicization. While university officials often shrug their shoulders when listening to complaints about the many tenured traitors operating out of their campuses, insisting that it is all just a price that needs to be paid if academic freedom is to be preserved, they generally insist disingenuously that politicization of the campus leadership and officialdom by the Left does not exist at all.

Oh no? Consider the petition to the Israeli Minister of Defense sent by the members of the Council of University Presidents this week, as reported on the YNET news web site. These are university PRESIDENTS, not rank and file Post-Zionist academic quacks!

It was part of their efforts in support of a court petition filed by "Gisha," one of the countless leftist pro-Palestinian political groups operating in Israel. "Gisha" is one of the extremist groups monitored for its anti-Israel activities by the NGO-Monitor web site. Funded by the extremist New Israel Fund and other anti-Zionist groups, it likes to denounce Israel as an "apartheid" regime that violates international law (see this and this).

The University presidents denounced the Ministry of Defense for interfering with the right of Palestinians to enter freely and study in Israeli universities. It seems that the Ministry of Defense would like to restrict entry to the universities to Palestinians who are not known terrorists. After all, there have been terrorist attacks within the Hebrew University campus in which students and other living things were murdered.

Hebrew University cafeteria after Arab terrorist bombing that murdered students.

The Ministry also wants Palestinian students prevented from entering certain fields, like nuclear engineering or similar fields in which Palestinians can learn to murder Jews more effectively.

The University chiefs think otherwise, and see nothing wrong with teaching Palestinians the basics of constructing nuclear warheads. We are reminded of the recent story of a leftist professor of pharmacy at the Hebrew University insisting that a convicted Palestinian terrorist be granted access to lab chemicals. The University chiefs also seem to think that the six Hebrew University students recently arrested for membership in Al-Qaeda represent a protest movement that needs to be expanded.

The chiefs openly endorsed the Gisha court petition. Besides the University chiefs, those who asked to join the petition were astronomy Professor Zvi Mazeh of Tel Aviv University, who complained that Jews were subject to quotas for centuries and so quotas should not be applied to Arabs in Israel
(see http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3574736,00.html). You would never know from his statement that Arab applicants to all Israeli universities enjoy affirmative action preferences and reduced admissions standards. Other signatories included Professor Moshe Ron, a retiree from the Hebrew University's general literature department and long an advocate of insurrection and mutiny among Israeli soldiers
(see http://www.seruv.org.il/universitysupportEng_print.asp), and Ehud De Shalit, a Hebrew University mathematician.

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

This article was published today in the Jewish Press http://thejewishpress.blogspot.com/2008/07/ israeli-university-heads-join-leftist.html

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DEBKAFILE: IN SECRET NOTE, OLMERT SAYS BUSH HAS DITCHED ISRAEL ON IRAN THREAT
Posted by Dave Nathan, July 29, 2008.
 

This is a DEBKAfile report from July 26, 2008.

 

Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert this week shot off a strong secret note to US President George W. Bush, DEBKAfile's sources reveal, protesting the administration's strategic steps toward rapprochement with Iran.

Israel was not forewarned, Olmert wrote bitterly, although these steps directly violated US-Israel understandings on Iran of the past year. Bush, he said, had broken the promises he gave in face-to-face meetings with the prime minister earlier this year. If nothing is done to arrest Iran's progress towards a nuclear bomb, Olmert warned, Iran will have all the components ready for assembly by early 2009, that is, in 6-8 months.

This time line is tighter than the one the prime minister gave the Democratic Senator Barack Obama when he visited Jerusalem Wednesday, July 23.

DEBKAfile's Washington sources add that Bush has not replied to the letter, although the prime minister wrote in a spirit of extreme alarm over the threat to Israel's security and indeed survival building up in Tehran.

The US response apparently came in the way American military chiefs brushed off Israeli chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, when he presented intelligence updates on the state of Iran's military nuclear program. He was received with great honor during his week's working visit, but his hosts declined to address the working theories guiding the IDF with regard to that program.

Res. Maj-Gen Yizhak Ben-Israel, former head of IDF Weapons Authority, strongly refuted Saturday, July 26, the estimate published by Time Magazine quoting former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevi (up until 2002) as speaking out against an Israeli attack on Iran, because it "could have an impact on us [Israel] for the next 100 years."

Ben-Israel, a world-class expert on Iran's nuclear and missile programs, countered that Israel's failure to attack Iran's nuclear sites would "jeopardize its security." Time is working against the Jewish state," he said.

As he spoke, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced his country's nuclear program had managed to double the uranium-enriching centrifuges operating in Natanz to 6,000.

Contact Dave Nathan at DaveNathan@aol.com

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IDEAS FOR POLLARD: BRACELETS, WEDDING INVITATIONS, AND MORE
Posted by Hillel Fendel, July 29, 2008.

(IsraelNN.com) Supporters of Jonathan Pollard refuse to allow him to drop from the news –– and have ideas as to how to ensure he is pardoned soon.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem, co-Chief Rabbi of Beit El, and a long-time outspoken supporter of Pollard, has publicized a list of 12 ideas, many of them new, as to how to keep Pollard on the agenda. The goal, he writes, is to ensure that outgoing U.S. President George Bush issues him a pardon, and the way to do that is to have the Israeli government make an official request for such –– and the way to do that is to keep Pollard high in the public awareness, so as to influence the government.

On November 21 of last year, Jonathan Pollard entered his 23rd year of a life sentence for his activities on behalf of Israel. He was convicted not on charges of treason, as some mistakenly believe, but on one count of passing classified information to an ally. The median sentence for this offense is 2-4 years, but Pollard received a life sentence –– the result of a plea bargain which he honored and the U.S. government violated.

On Rabbi Aviner's list of ideas are the following:

1. Talk about Pollard wherever possible –– with friends, in the store, in classes, on the radio, in written articles, and wherever possible.

2. Wear a blue Pollard bracelet.

3. Recite prayers, including public prayers in the synagogue during the Torah reading.

4. Mention Pollard in wedding and Bar-Mitzvah invitations and Grace After Meals cards.

5. Post bumper stickers and the like wherever permitted.

6. Give to the cause http://www.jonathanpollard.org/; helping to redeem captives is the best charity there is.

7. Involve non-religious people. "For some strange, illogical reason," the rabbi writes, "almost all those who have joined the struggle for Pollard are religious. If you know high-ranking secular people, please try to interest them in the struggle..."

8. Write to MKs, Prime Minister Olmert, and U.S. President Bush.

9. Write to Pollard himself, though only in English. His address:

JONATHAN POLLARD 09185-016
P.O.B. 1000
BUTNER N. C.
U.S.A. 27509-1000

Former officials of the U.S. government such as ex-CIA director James Woolsey and former top U.S. Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross have come out in favor of clemency for Pollard.

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

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PROPHECY UPDATE FOR AV
Posted by Avodah, July 29, 2008.
 

This was written by HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok and is available at
http://www.koshertorah.com

The month of Av is upon us; a time of national mourning for the Jewish nation. During this month, more than five great national tragedies occurred throughout history, all on the same day. This strange occurrence is Heaven's way to get us to realize that there is more to life than natural occurrences. As in the past, we still fail to listen today. Therefore, I only find it right and fitting to share these words at this time.

We live in very dangerous times. Torah Judaism faces today a crisis unmatched since the days of the destruction of the Temple. The unsettled situation with the State of Israel is creating international anti-Semitism. Once there were peoples who never heard about or cared about Jews, now they all know about us and are being taught to hate us. Radical atheistic secularism is on its own jihad seeking to root out and destroy anything related to G-d and religion. This secular jihad knows no borders and has no boundaries. It permeates and infects everything it touches. It poisons the minds and contaminates the bodies of all who come in contact with its media propagated "new world order" philosophy.

Religion in general and the Torah specifically are being attacked from both inside and outside the Jewish nation. More Jews today have turned their backs on G-d and Torah that those who still seek to support and serve. On the surface, matters only look like they are getting worse.

In many religious circles, desperation has set in and messianic fervor is rising to a pitch. This fervor is the greatest danger of them all! We all believe that Mashiah will eventually come. Yet, the more and more desperate the situation becomes, the more and more desperate the people become. If Mashiah comes today or tomorrow and we are all miraculously saved from all our present disgusting circumstances, then all will be well and good. Yet, what if Mashiah continues to tarry, as he has for two thousand years? What if Mashiah does not come when we so desperately expect him and need him to magically redeem us? Are we ready to face the possibility that what we so desperately cry out for may not come when we want it and need it most?

We have to look at the facts. We must not allow ourselves the dangerous confusion between faith and desperation. Our Sages warn us not to rely on miracles, and in our desperation we are doing exactly that. Relying on a miracle of a sudden and miraculous redemption that may not come, is a sure way to kill faith in the hearts of countless desperate souls. This then is the great danger! Those who lose faith become bitter. They turn on what once they believed. The supporters and believers in Torah and Mashiah turn and become his most bitter enemies and opponents. This has already happened numerous times throughout history and it stands to happen again; this time on a national scale.

Let me be very forthcoming here. The redemption is not going to come when we expect it. The redemption is not going to come how we expect it. What is going to come is going to be almost completely unexpected. It will require of each of us the greatest fortitude and determination to survive. Each and every one of us will go through a period of lose and tribulation. This period is unavoidable. It is ordained and well under way. We have a long road yet before us and we had better get focused on the reality of this.

It is wonderful that messianic consciousness is spreading throughout the nation. It is dangerous that its spread is coupled with desperation for radical action. We can make it through this most turbulent of periods, yet we must face reality in order to do so. We must stop allowing ourselves to be distracted by all the fantasy myths we hold so dear and so desperately embrace. It is time for the sleeper to awaken.

Messianic rumors are running rampant. We hear stories that "this Rabbi said this" and "before Rabbi So-and-So died he revealed that." One Rabbi it is alleged saw Mashiah face-to-face and yet another received a message from him in a dream. Many of these stories are outright fabrication told by lying individuals with the specific intent of spreading false hope. They intend to inundate people with such lies that when none of them materialize then they will all lose hope, abandon the land and possibly (they hope) even abandon the Torah.

You must take all these stories and cast them into the rubbish. Discount them all and forget them all. If someone actually has something to say, then they will come forward personally and say it, directly. They will not need rumors to spread the information. They themselves will stand up publicly and make an announcement. So far, we have not seen any of this. Therefore, rest assured that everything, yes, everything that you hear spread in the name of this or that Rabbi is just a rumor, unless that Rabbi came out personally into the public arena publicly and declared it so. The rumors are merely false hopes maliciously spread with the intent to break hearts and destroy true faith.

This is what happens because we lack leaders to inspire us with leadership and faith. The Jewish people today have no viable leadership. Everyone, in every walk of Jewish life knows this. Religious leaders have been shown to be as petty and small as their secular counterparts. Real righteousness, wisdom and courage seem to be lost. The mighty lions that once headed the great schools of Torah learning and even the mighty Israeli army have all be declawed and defanged and now "meow" when they once roared. The world watches and laughs with glee.

All Israel watches and twists logic and spins truth to somehow find a justification to tolerate this deplorable state. Yet, there is no justification. Justifying the unjustifiable and tolerating the intolerable is what is so disgusting and deplorable. It only makes matters much worse when one refuses to see just how bad things really are. It makes matters all the worse when we knowingly see what is so horrible and try to spin it and say it is not so bad.

This same gutless and cowardly attitude is what led numerous souls to walk into the Nazi death camps to surrender to torture and death, rather than fight for life and survival. Are you ready for another Holocaust? You had better be! Because the way things are going now, the next one is inevitable and unavoidable. Its borders will know no bounds. It will strike at Jews worldwide, all because we do nothing tangible and real to stop it.

Pray all you want; this is really great and indeed powerful. But prayer is not the weapon needed to stop this onslaught. Prayers affect matters in Heaven, but it is our actions that affect matters here on Earth. Do not bother to pray if you are not willing to back up your prayers with proper righteous action. Prayer asks G-d to intervene on our behalf. This Heaven is ready and willing to do. Yet, we are Heaven's vessels. Heaven acts through us. Therefore, when we refuse to act and do what is necessary then we are in essence causing our own prayers to go unfulfilled.

G-d hears our prayers and blesses the works of our hands, yet when our hands do not work, then there can be no blessings. We have in essence silenced prayer and stripped G-d of hands (G-d forbid). Granted G-d can work through whatever agent in the world He so chooses. Yet, Torah is clear that we are His chosen agents. So when we do not do our share, then we cut off our own salvation. This is exactly where we are right now. This is why things today are so desperate and dangerous.

We do not realize that we ourselves have become our own worst enemy. We ourselves, with all our yeshivot and Torah are contributing more to the destruction of Israel and the death of the Torah Judaism more than any of our enemies. This is the bitter truth that we can no longer afford to deny. I assure you that this is a message direct from Heaven!

We have a long road to walk before Mashiah's intervention. Much must come upon the Earth before his army comes from out of the skies and imposes a real and lasting new world order. Let me be frank, the apocalypse is coming and there is no way to avoid it and there is no way to prepare for it in such a way that you will not be affected by it.

The great modern Babylon, leader and whore of the nations is destined to soon topple and fall. In a single day, in an instant, she will fall and not rise up again. She will fall to a combination of events. On one side the combined economic/social/political scene will become so terrible that it will make living in modern Babylon a hell on earth. Then "it" will come, a natural disaster beyond anything experienced in recorded history; a cataclysm that some will define as being an extinction level event. With these two together, one on top of the other, Babylon will fall.

Everyone, Jew and Gentile, man, woman and child, will see such tremendous and massive change in everything that we know and recognize. Once the changes are all over, we will not even recognize our world. Everything, down to the fundamental basics will be changed. We will not need thousands of years of evolution for this to occur. It will happen over a period of a few short months. Think about what it will take to trigger such massive and sudden change and you will get a picture of what is soon to come.

Do not fear! Do not despair and run away. Do not resign yourself to a terrible fate and proclaim it G-d's Will. It most certainly is not!! G-d's Will is for you to live and to thrive. Yet, in order to do this there are steps you must take in order to bring this about. You can pray all that you want, but prayer alone is not enough; now you must take the practical necessary steps to bring your prayers to fruition.

Do not ask the stupid question when will this great tribulation come. There are no time schedules here, although some claim that the time is set and known to the few. While this may be so, still, it does not matter. No one knows from day to day what will be. Indeed, no one knows what will be from hour to hour. We foolishly worry about the future. Yet, we do not even know what will befall us in next five or ten minutes. If not for the Grace of G-d at every moment, we would not live to breathe our next breath. So do not worry so much about the future, rather place your focus on the "here and now."

Now is the time when we have to prepare for the future. Stockpiling food and weapons might sound like a good idea, but all such survival preparations can be overturned in a moment. You can be physically separated from your supplies and then what good will they all do you. They can all be lost in a flash, in an earthquake, flood or bomb blast. Such preparations, while having their merit, are still for the most part, a waste of energy and time.

Preparing for the future means to train yourself, body and soul, to be able to face and deal with the rigors of any kind of tribulation, present and future. Even those physically prepared to face disaster often crumble psychologically, ending up dead because of the fear and insecurity in the souls. Fear kills more souls than any physical force. Preparing for Mashiah means to train to become a warrior and all warrior training, ancient and modern begins with the mind/soul. We begin with disciplining the heart and mind. Afterwards, the body will follow suit.

The Ba'al Shem Tov, long ago said, that prior to the great coming of Mashiah to the world, we must each psychologically actualize a personal portion of Mashiah within our individual mind/souls. Until we have a portion of the Mashiah within us, how can we expect to recognize him when he comes? As the old saying goes, "it takes one to know one."

In spite of however bad things are becoming there is always hope. Our hope is not in miracles and magic, rather our hope is in the power that we already have within us. G-d has created us human beings with tremendous inner natural resources. We can overcome any adversity, no matter how great or small. We are beings created in the Divine Image. We do not need miracles and false hopes. All we need to do is what we have always been able to do so well. We need to learn to live as full human beings and stop living like animals.

We desperately need to detach ourselves from the distractions of secular living, with all its pursuits of wealth, opulence and power. We need to recognize that the present new world order being built is not our world order. Indeed, the present new world order does not reserve a place for us. The secular/atheist new world order has discarded us and everything we hold sacred, so too must we discard it.

We must return to explore the true Torah way. We must dismiss the present generation of leadership because they have all been compromised. Their "meows" must be stilled. We need to inspire and arouse mighty lions to again take their places at the head, the heads of yeshivot, the heads of the military and the heads of government. Yet, all these institutions are parts of modern Babylon. Therefore, I believe they are beyond repair. I do not believe that we will chance society. I do not believe that we can replace all modern day pussycats with lions. But, in spite of this, there is still great hope. There is still much that we can do.

You yourself do not have to remain being a pussycat. You can learn to roar like a lion and take your place as head of your own life. This is entirely up to you. You as an individual can actualize Mashiah within yourself. You can bring to yourself personal redemption, long before the nation and the planet will experience it. It is all up to you. There is hope and salvation is already inside you, waiting to come out. G-d is already with you. All you need do is release His salvation from within your mind and heart and take your rightful place as lion at the head of the pack.

Character counts for everything. Your morals and fortitude mean everything. Standing up to be the best you can be mean everything. Upholding what is right in the face of the most staunch opposition means everything. Roaring like a lion when all others around you cower with fear and meow like pussycats means everything. Be wise, be strong, be determined and most important; be honorable.

Turbulent times require great leadership. Fear and the meows of pussycats will lead us down the path of death. Bravery and the roar of the lion will lead us down the path of life.

We have much to do to prepare for the great tribulation to come. And the preparations begin within. The next four years will be mightily turbulent. Do not be afraid and do not crumble. Stand tall with spiritual conviction. Detach from Babylon and learn to become children of the desert as did our ancestors when they left Egypt, their ancient Babylon. The desert prepared them to enter the Holy Land. So too will it prepare us. Pay attention here to what I am saying, especially those of you living in Eretz Yisrael!

Mashiah is indeed here and among us. He is waiting for us to join him in the desert. When we see him first in our hearts, only then will we recognize him with our eyes. "The lion has roared, who will not fear? The L-rd G-d has spoken, who can but prophesy? (Amos 2:8)

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com

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"FUNDAMENTALS OF JUDAISM" AND OTHER AMAZING SUMMER CLASSES AT NAALEH.COM!
Posted by Hally Goldstein, July 29, 2008.
 

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to share some really exciting news with all of you –– Naaleh.com is now adding a Fundamentals of Judaism segment to their already amazing variety of online Torah video classes! As always this course is completely FREE when you sign up at Naaleh.com.

While there may be many inspirational beginner courses in Judaism available on the web, Naaleh.com will be the first (as far as we know) to bring users a video course focusing on practical Halacha. Now, a newcomer to Jewish observance will have the ability to learn the basic practices of an observant Jew via the new course, "Practical Judaism". The course will cover all daily observances, from how one wakes up in the morning to how to keep kosher and how to daven. The course will be taught by Rabbi Ari Jacobson, a leader in beginner's Jewish education for over 20 years. Rabbi Jacobson has taught for over 25 years in Yeshiva University, Yeshiva Ohr Sameach in Monsey, and the JSS Summer Kollel at Camp Morasha.

After Succot, Naaleh.com will also add more courses to the Fundamentals of Judaism segment –– a course on the Laws of Shabbos as well as a basic Parsha class.

No prior background knowledge of Judaism is required, and the courses can be enjoyed by both beginner and advanced students.So, please spread the word to any newcomers to Torah observance that you may know or anyone wanting to review all the "basics" of living a Torah lifestyle!

In addition, Naaleh.com is currently featuring some really inspiring Summer Courses relating to The Three Weeks of Mourning that we are currently in:

"Collective Soul: Perspectives on Jewish Unity"
Teacher: Rotating Naaleh Staff

"Jerusalem, Echoes of Lament: Tisha B'Av and the Three Weeks"
Teacher: Rotating Naaleh Staff

"Megillat Eicha"
Teacher: Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller

All classes are FREE, so sign up today at Naaleh.com and start learning!

Hope to "see" you all in class soon,

Contact Hally Goldstein at Hally@naaleh.com and visit the Naaleb website: www.naaleh.com

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BLASPHEMY BY OBAMA! CYNICAL USE OF HOLY SITE AS CAMPAIGN PROP
Posted by Daisy Stern, July 29 2008.
 

This shows the DECEPTIVE character of this base Schwartze Muslim who PRETENDS to be religious, but is nothing but SCUM! –– DS

I've received numerous comments about BHMO's "private note to the Lord" at the Western Wall. This appears to be the "last word" on the matter from a reputable Middle East News source. PLEASE FORWARD to those who admire BHMO's phoney "humble sincerity." (I wonder whether the fawning, pro-Obama, American Press will dare print this?) A.M.

OBAMA'S "PRIVATE" NOTE to GOD WAS ACTUALLY A MEDIA STUNT!

The complete story –– see below –– can be found by visiting the IRIS blog at:
http://www.iris.org.il/blog.html. It is entitled, "Obama's 'Private' Note to God Was a Media Stunt."

 

On Sunday I detailed to one friend and newspaper columnist how I was nearly certain that the private, humble, pious note of Barack Obama to God was a cynical publicity stunt. I didn't publish it here because I, too, am guilty of trying to appear "moderate" and maintain my credibility. I also thought that further publicizing the story would be counterproductive, by repeating the chillul Hashem [blasphemous defamation] that a Jewish student and an Israeli newspaper allegedly violated Obama's sacred privacy.

My reasoning was simple: who leaves a private note to God trailed by a phalanx of people, on King David Hotel stationery? That makes it identifiable as genuinely his to anyone skeptical of the note's authenticity.

Here is the official statement to that effect by the newspaper, Maariv:

Obama's note was published in Maariv and other international publications following his (Obama's) authorization to make the content of the note public. Obama submitted a copy of the note to media outlets when he left his hotel in Jerusalem.

What is despicable is that Obama allowed a "yeshiva student" and an Israeli newspaper to be painted as villains for days in the international media rather than admitting that he himself encouraged its publication.

For months there have been credible stories of how Obama has thrown a parade of people close to him under the bus, including his own grandmother ("a typical white person" with fear of blacks).

Now we see that Obama can't even have talk to God without using Him for a publicity stunt.

Here is the article about the incident prior to the concrete confirmation from Maariv:

What initially seemed to be a journalistic scoop of dubious moral propriety now seems to be a case of an Israeli paper being played by the Barack Obama campaign. Maariv, the second most popular newspaper in Israel, was roundly criticized for publishing the note Obama left in the Kotel. But now a Maariv spokesperson says that publication of the note was pre-approved for international publication by the Obama campaign, leading to the conclusion that the "private" prayer was intentionally leaked for public consumption...

If the Maariv statement about pre-approval of publication of the note is true, it would mean that the Obama campaign had managed the event brilliantly, if deceptively, getting the double benefit of appearing to be victimized by the invasive Israeli press and prayer-thieving Jew while at the same time leaking out his humble Christian plea to the Lord.

Already by the weekend, a (relatively) slick video appeared on YouTube that blended Obama's Western Wall prayer with various church scenes, crosses aplenty, a dove of peace, and a soundtrack based on Amazing Grace.

The video closes with a "vote" button and an invitation to visit the official campaign website.

Revelation of this latest Obama collaboration with the media might detract a bit from the perceived sincerity of the prayer and strike some as an especially cynical use of the Kotel [Western Wall] and an obstensibly private prayer to the Deity as a campaign prop.

Contact Daisy Stern at daisystern1@gmail.com

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BETWEEN THE LINES
Posted by Jack L., July 28, 2008.
 

Joseph Farah explains why Jewish state cannot solve crisis it did not create,

 

I've written about the world's collective amnesia"
(http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=15256) when it comes to the so-called "root causes of the Middle East crisis." The conventional wisdom today suggests the new state of Israel in 1948 was to blame for the creation of the Arab refugee problem. The mantra is repeated endlessly by U.S. State Department apparatchiks, Israel's enemies around the globe and even by well-meaning, guilt-ridden Jews.

The entire Middle East peace process is based on this notion –– that repatriation of Arab Palestinians in a new homeland of their own will solve the conflict.

There's just one problem with the concept: It's patently untrue. In fact, I've been collecting, over the years, quotations from the Arab press that reveal the truth of the matter –– that Arab aggression toward Israel and the Arab leadership's own encouragement of flight by Arab Palestinians was the main cause of the world's oldest refugee crisis.

Here are some oldies but goodies –– not the words of Jews and Israelis, but the actual words of Arabs closer to the time of the events:

"The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the act of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agree upon this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem." –– Emile Ghoury, secretary of the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee, in an interview with the Beirut Telegraph Sept. 6, 1948

"The Arab state which had encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees."
–– The Jordanian daily newspaper Falastin, Feb. 19, 1949

"Who brought the Palestinians to Lebanon as refugees, suffering now from the malign attitude of newspapers and communal leaders, who have neither honor nor conscience? Who brought them over in dire straits and penniless, after they lost their honor? The Arab states, and Lebanon amongst them, did it."
–– The Beirut Muslim weekly Kul-Shay, Aug. 19, 1951

"The 15th May, 1948, arrived ... On that day the mufti of Jerusalem appealed to the Arabs of Palestine to leave the country, because the Arab armies were about to enter and fight in their stead."
–– The Cairo daily Akhbar el Yom, Oct. 12, 1963

"For the flight and fall of the other villages it is our leaders who are responsible because of their dissemination of rumors exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs ... By spreading rumors of Jewish atrocities, killings of women and children etc., they instilled fear and terror in the hearts of the Arabs in Palestine, until they fled leaving their homes and properties to the enemy."
–– The Jordanian daily newspaper Al Urdun, April 9, 1953

The truth is out there –– but you've got to search for it.

The candid comments by Arabs in the Arab press continue to this day. Here's what Jawad Al Bashiti, an Arab Palestinian journalist in Jordan, wrote in Al-Ayyam May 13 of this year: "Remind me of one real cause from all the factors that have caused the 'Palestinian Catastrophe,' and I will remind you that it still exists. ... The reasons for the Palestinian Catastrophe are the same reasons that have produced and are still producing our catastrophes today. During the Little Catrastophe, meaning the Palestinian Catastrophe, the following happened: The first war between Arabs and Israel had started and the 'Arab Salvation Army' came and told the Palestinians: 'We have come to you in order to liquidate the Zionists and their state. Leave your houses and villages, you will return to them in a few days safely. Leave them so we can fulfill our mission (destroy Israel) in the best way and so you won't be hurt.' It became clear already then, when it was too late, that the support of the Arab states (against Israel) was a big illusion. Arabs fought as if intending to cause the 'Palestinian Catastrophe.'"

The Arabs know the truth –– if they read their own history. There was no Jewish conspiracy to chase Arabs out of their homes in 1948. It never happened. There are, instead, plenty of historical records showing the Jews pleading with their Arab neighbors to stay and live in peace and harmony. Yet, despite the clear, unambiguous words of the Arab observers at the time, history has been successfully rewritten to turn the Jews into the bad guys. The truth is that 68 percent of the Arab Palestinians who left in 1948 –– perhaps 300,000 to 400,000 of them –– never saw an Israeli soldier.

Even more importantly, the revised history has given the guilty a free ride. The Arab states that initiated the hostilities have never accepted responsibility –– despite their enormous wealth and their ability to assimilate tens of millions of refugees in their largely under-populated nations. And other states have failed to hold them accountable.

It's bad enough the Arab states created a small nation of refugees by their actions. It's worse that they have successfully blamed that international crime on the Jews.

Today, of course, this cruel charade continues. The suffering of millions of Arabs is perpetuated only for political purposes by the Arab states. They are merely pawns in the war to destroy Israel. There were some 100 million refugees around the world following World War II. The Palestinian Arab group is the only one in the world not absorbed or integrated into their own people's lands. Since then, millions of Jewish refugees from around the world have been absorbed in the tiny nation of Israel.

It makes no sense to expect that same tiny Jewish state to solve a refugee crisis it did not create.

Contact Jack L. by email at yakovdov1@yahoo.com

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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL: SUNSET NEAR SDEROT
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, July 28, 2008.

Sunrise at the Dead Sea (Yehoshua Halevi)

 

Yehoshua Halevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Many years ago, I photographed a sunset at the Grand Canyon. There was an observation point along the road where about 25 tourists had gathered, but as soon as the sun dipped below the horizon, all but three of us went on our way. One of the other photographers quipped to me, "This is where you separate the amateurs from the pros!" Why? Because the best light from a sunset often occurs about 15-20 minutes after the sun disappears. He was right, as the best shots of the evening came a short while after the crowd had vanished. Despite being among the most commonly photographed subjects, sunsets frequently yield disappointing results. After all, how can you take a wide expanse of sky, the unique mood of twilight and a process that often lasts more than an hour and reduce it to the blink of an eye? Well, you can't really. Although I've taken many very satisfying sunset photos, I still find myself chasing after a good one and studying the sky in the late afternoon to see if clouds and weather patterns will combine for a good celestial show. This shot was taken near the city of Sderot, on the way back from a trip to Gush Katif two years ago. I was traveling with friends when we noticed the colors forming in the sky with only a few minutes to spare before the sun disappeared. We jumped out of the car and looked for some high ground. Often with sunsets, I'll look for some interesting terrain to add to the composition, but in this case the horizon was just a straight line over flat ground, which didn't add any interest to the photo. Choosing to include only sky, I then focused on forming the best possible composition. Placing the fireball at the bottom of the frame was a bit unconventional, but it seemed to fit nicely at the tip of the downward spiral formed by the clouds and colors. Finally, the narrow, vertical format accentuates the patterns in the sky and the downward motion of the setting sun. In retrospect, this was the right cropping decision, but I still hedged my bets by taking a few horizontals as well, and sticking around for another 10 minutes. Israel the Beautiful is my weekly photo blog featuring the beauty of the land of Israel plus tips on how I got the shot. These photographs are available for purchase as fine-art prints. To see more of my work, please visit
www.goldenlightimages.com To view the entire series, please visit: Israel the Beautiful
http://www.israelthebeautiful.blogspot.com/

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A THIRD OF BRITISH MUSLIM STUDENTS JUSTIFY KILLING FOR RELIGION
Posted by Hana Levi Julian, July 28, 2008.
 

A new report released Monday by the London-based Center for Social Cohesion reveals that British Muslim students are not far behind their Middle Eastern peers in their social values, especially those who are members of on-campus Islamic societies.

The report, entitled "Islam on Campus: A Survey of UK Student Opinion," reveals that approximately a third of those surveyed supported the idea that one can kill in the name of religion, a finding that has raised alarm bells.

The Center drew its information from field interviews as well as a YouGov poll of 1,400 students.

"Universities should be places where people of all faiths and backgrounds can come together in an environment of mutual tolerance," said Center director Douglas Murray.

The study also found that 43 percent of Muslim students said they felt that Islam was compatible with secularism.

Among the Muslim students surveyed, 32 percent said killing in the name of religion could be justified. However, almost double that number, 60 percent of those who are active members of Islamic student organizations, supported the idea.

Only 2 percent of non-Muslims felt killing in the name of religion was justified.

The report also showed that the vast majority of students polled –– 79 percent –– said they respected Jews. Only seven percent said they had "very little or no respect at all" for Jews.

"These findings are deeply alarming," said one of the authors of the report, researcher Hanna Stuart. "Students in higher education are the future leaders of their communities."

She noted, however, that there was a striking difference between the average Muslim and those who join on-campus Islamic groups, who "often hold opinions that are significantly more extreme than those of ordinary Muslim students."

The director of the center, Douglas Murray, concurred. "It is vital that students and government understand that groups like [the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS)] –– who often promote a highly conservative interpretation of Islam –– are not representative of all Muslim students. Empowering these groups risks giving an official stamp of approval to extreme forms of Islam," he warned.

The study also found that 40 percent of the students supported introduction of Islamic Sharia law (Islamic religious law) in Britain, as well as significant support for the concept of worldwide Islamic rule.

A third were in favor of a worldwide caliphate (worldwide Islamic government) based on Sharia law, as opposed to the 58 percent of active members of Islamic student organizations, who supported the idea.

"It is important that pluralist and democratic Muslim voices are encouraged and promoted and that intolerant voices are sidelined. University authorities need to urgently take steps to reduce Islamist influence on campus," said Center director Murray.

Researcher Hannah also noted that the research showed significant numbers of students "appear to hold beliefs which contravene liberal, democratic values. In addition, there are signs of growing religious segregation on campus. These results are deeply embarrassing for those who have said there is no extremism in British universities."

Hana Levi Julian is a writer for Arutz-7 (www.INN.com).

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JUSTICE, ISRAELI STYLE
Posted by Daisy Stern, July 28, 2008.
 

This is an Arutz-Sheva news items entitled "Hevron Hills Jews Warned To Keep Distance from Leftists"

(IsraelNN.com) Southern Hevron Hills Regional Director Tzviki Bar-Chai has warned area residents to keep their distance form leftists and anarchists who increasingly have incited violence. A security report Monday morning stated that extreme left-wing groups have provoked Jewish residents to defend themselves against violence and then face charges of brutality.

Leftists and Arabs earlier this month torched the fields of the hilltop community of Asa-el. The fire reached several feet from one of the homes, and residents caught and beat the arsonist. Leftists complained to police, who arrested all of the men in the community but did not charge the man who set the fire. The residents still are in administrative detention leaving their wives and children alone and unable to travel to work.

Contact Daisy Stern at daisystern1@gmail.com

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THE RIGHT OF RETURN AND THE FORGOTTEN REFUGEES
Posted by Marc Samberg, July 28, 2008.
 

This was written by Peggy Shapiro and it appeared in American Thinker
http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http:// www.americanthinker.com/2008/03/the_right_of_return_and_the_fo.html

 

Enter "Right of Return" on any search engine and you will get some variation of the Palestinian claim that Palestinian Arabs who left Israel in 1948 and all of their descendants have the an "inalienable right" to return to Israel. The estimate of the number of Arab refugees (when five Arab nations attacked the new government of Israel in May, 1948) varies, but according to the U.N.'s report in 1949, there were approximately 700,000 refugees. United Nations Conciliation Commission, October 23, 1950 Today, Palestinians assert the "Right of Return" for around 4.5 million people, most of whom have never set foot in Israel. UNRWA rolls An influx of over four million Muslims into Israel would, of course, destroy Israel as Jewish state.

On March 19, 2008, a group of Jewish representatives addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council to present The Case for Rights and Redress on behalf of refugees caused by the Arab-Israeli conflicts. These are not the ones who hold the title of "refugees for the longest period of time in recorded history" and who have been supported by UNRWA welfare in "refugee camps" for the past sixty years. No, the U.N. address was for Justice for Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries, the 850,000 Jews who were expelled from their homes in Arab lands. The report refers to documents recently uncovered in UN archives that "reveal a pattern of state-sanctioned oppression that precipitated the mass exodus of Jews from 10 Arab countries."

According to official Arab statistics, 856,000 Jews leaving their homes in Arab countries from 1948 until the early 1970s. The property they were forced to leave behind is worth more than $300 billion today. The expelled Jews held deeds to 100,000 square kilometers (more than four times the size of the State of Israel). Before the United Nations became an agent of animus towards Israel, it recognized the plight of all refugees. UN General Assembly Resolution 194, which was passed on December 11, 1950, recommended that both Palestinian and Jewish refugees should be permitted to return if they are willing to live in peace with their neighbors. The text of its Article 11:

"[r]esolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property..."

Mr. Auguste Lindt, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, recognized the refugee status of Jews from Arab and Muslim countries in the report of the UNREF Executive Committee, Fourth Session –– Geneva 29 January to 4 February, 1957. Dr. E. Jahn, Office of the UN High Commissioner, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Document No. 7/2/3/Libya, July 6, 1967, recognized the refugee status of these Jews.

The U.S. Congress recognized that the Palestinian refugee issue is matched by similar issues of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, and in House Resolution 185 and Senate Resolution 85 directed the US president to instruct all official representatives of the United States that "explicit reference to Palestinian refugees be matched by a similar explicit reference to Jewish and other refugees, as a matter of law and equity."

For the first time ever, a Jewish refugee from an Arab country, Regina Bublil-Waldman appeared at the United Nations Human Rights Council to claim the rights of Jewish refugees and to enter these historical truths into the minutes of the United Nations:

Jews have been an indigenous people of the Middle East for over 2,500 years.

On the basis of race and religion, Arab regimes subjected Jews to arbitrary arrest, confiscation of property and expulsions.

The UNHCR has ruled that Jews fleeing from Arab countries were "bona fide" refugees, victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Jewish Community Relations Council, as part of the initiative to secure redress for Jewish refugees from Arab countries and educate the public about the mass violation of human rights of Jews in Arab countries, is collecting documents to catalogue the loss of extensive communal and individual assets.

If there is an "inalienable right of return," then the price tag for the Arabs states will be hefty. I think Israel could be convinced to settle for a five-fold increase in land and $300 billion restitution.

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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FROM ISRAEL: HAMAS IN JERUSALEM
Posted by Arlene Kushner, July 28, 2008.
 

Yuval Diskin, head of Shin Bet, provided a report for the Cabinet yesterday.

Some Jerusalem neighborhoods, he told them, were becoming hotbeds of Hamas activity and a serious security problem. The neighborhoods of Abu Dis and Azariya were mentioned in particular, as was Shuafat.

Now, if I live to be 120 I will not understand everything that is taking place. All I can do is report on it. Seems the neighborhoods that are considered most problematic are on the "other side" of the security fence. That is, the fence, designed to keep out terrorists from Israel proper, is not contiguous at every single point with the municipal border –– while in some places the fence extends beyond the municipal border, here and there the municipal boundary extends beyond the fence. The IDF apparently does not operate in these areas, which are not part of Judea and Samaria, but rather –– as part of the municipality –– part of Israel proper. But the Jerusalem police don't go often to the other side of the fence. And so there is less law enforcement or deterrence activity in these areas than is the case in Judea and Samaria –– a security vacuum.

(I hasten to mention, however, that the Arab neighborhoods from which the two tractor terrorists hailed –– Umm Tuba and Sur Bahir, as well as the neighborhood of the Rav Kook yeshiva terrorist –– Jebl Mukabir –– are all inside the fence, as is Shuafat, so I am further confused.)

Diskin reported, as well, that Arabs from Judea and Samaria were increasingly filtering into these neighborhoods illegally, and in some cases were making their way into Jerusalem on this side of the fence.

~~~~~~~~~~

In the first seven months of 2008, there have been 30 terror related deaths in Israel, as opposed to 13 for all of 2007; half of these killings were carried out by Arabs resident in east Jerusalem.

Diskin conceded that current methods of deterrence are not working sufficiently. The question now is what will be done.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter is calling for housing demolitions and deportations of people associated with terror. And he makes the additional point –– which must be attended to without delay –– that there are Arabs working in construction in the city using equipment that is heavier and more dangerous than the tractors that have been used twice so far now.

~~~~~~~~~~

Diskin reported on a significant increase in what he called "popular terrorism," by which he meant relatively spontaneous acts by individuals not affiliated with any terror group. This is certainly how the two tractor terrorists are being represented.

But my perspective is slightly different. Khaled Abu Toameh ran a piece the other day in which he said that in both cases it is believed that the tractor terrorists, who had criminal records and had been associated with drugs, were trying to redeem themselves with family and community. Well...for me this is a no-brainer: If redemption of reputation is achieved via a terrorist act, then what we're talking about is a situation in which the community values terrorism. The individual may not have been recruited for the terrorist act, but he was certainly inspired by the values of the community. This is not a "lone" act.

~~~~~~~~~~

On yet another somber note, Diskin told the Cabinet yesterday that since the "ceasefire" has been in effect, "four tons of explosives have been transferred into Gaza for Hamas, as well as 50 anti-tank missiles, light arms, and materials for Kassam rocket manufacture –– metal rods and gunpowder."

And still we sit here, with a prime minister and a defense minister grateful for the apparent quiet and the future be damned.

~~~~~~~~~~

Hamas and Fatah are at each other's throats.

A blast in Gaza on Friday that killed five members of Hamas and a young girl is being blamed on Fatah, which is denying it. Hamas arrested some 160 Fatah men on Saturday, and seized material from the offices of the PA news agency WAFA and other Fatah offices.

In response, Fatah has rounded up dozens of Hamas members in Judea and Samaria.

~~~~~~~~~~

An editorial from The Daily Star, in Lebanon, on this subject is well worth citing (emphasis added):

"...the fighting has...served to greatly undermine the Palestinian cause. It has become increasingly difficult for the international community to feel sympathy for the Palestinian people...The image of lawlessness and internecine warfare conveys the image of a people who are simply not ready for self-governance or an independent state.

"International mediators will soon grow tired of helping those who show no interest whatsoever in helping themselves."

~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, Egypt yesterday announced an effort to relaunch the "Palestinian dialogue," in an attempt to bring the two sides together. Abbas, who now says he has no preconditions for such talks, appears more eager than Hamas, which has not yet responded to plans to invite the two sides to Cairo.

~~~~~~~~~~

Condoleezza Rice is pressuring Israel and the PA to come up with a "document of understanding" before the opening session of the UN General Assembly, to show what has been accomplished. An unnamed Israeli official, cited by Haaretz, said that gaps remain on most issues and that "neither we nor the Palestinians want a deadline that can't be met..."

Foreign Minister and head of the negotiating team, Tzipi Livni, yesterday spoke out strongly against such pressure:

"I purposely am not setting deadlines because I think that's very bad. I very much don't want to be in the same situation that Ehud Barak was in at Camp David at the end of an American administration finishing its term and trying to put pressure on everyone to bridge gaps that cannot be bridged."

While today Olmert told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that:

"I don't believe we can reach an understanding this year that includes the Jerusalem issue. There is no practical chance of reaching an overall understanding on Jerusalem."

Without Jerusalem, there is no deal.

~~~~~~~~~~

I close here with a most perceptive piece on Obama by Jeff Jacoby, "Missing from the Berlin speech." Jacoby looked at Obama's speech in Berlin not by parsing each word and focusing on what he said, but, rather, but observing what he missed in the larger sense:

"'People of the world,' Obama declaimed, 'look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.' But the world didn't stand as one during the Cold War; it was riven by an Iron Curtain. For more than four decades, America and the West confronted an implacable enemy on the other side of that divide. What finally defeated that enemy and ended the Cold War was not harmony and goodwill, but American strength and resolve.

"Obama's speech was a paean to international cooperation. 'Now is the time to join together,' he said. 'It was this spirit that led airlift planes to appear in the sky above our heads.' No –– it was a Democratic president named Truman, who had the audacity to order an airlift when others counseled retreat, and the grit to see it through when others were ready to withdraw."
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/ articles/2008/07/27/missing_from_that_berlin_speech/

The message of unity that Obama delivers appeals mightily to many Americans. But what must be asked is if he has the staying power to confront the implacable enemies that the world now faces. Many of us here, looking into the eyes of that enemy, fear that he does not. His Berlin speech does not reassure us.

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

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GREEN LIGHT FOR IRAN, NOT ISRAEL
Posted by LEL, July 28, 2008.
 

This was written by Jonathan S. Tobin Executive Editor of Philadelphia Exponent. It appeared July 24, 2008 in the Philadelphia Exponent
http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/16697/. Contact Jonathan S. Tobin via e-mail at jtobin@jewishexponent.com

 

Bush has folded like a cheap suit on the push to halt Tehran's nuclear ambitions

For those who feared that the Bush administration's last days would feature a score-settling with the remaining members of the president's designated "Axis of Evil," the news is heartening. But for those of us who worry about the security of Israel as well as that of America, it isn't so good.

The designated leaks from official Washington have grown from a drizzle to a torrent. Almost all sources seem to say that not only is the administration unwilling to take action about the impending nuclear threat from Iran itself, but that it is also adamant that Israel refrain from a pre-emptive attack on Tehran's nuclear program.

This was the backstory to the startling decision of Bush to send Undersecretary of State William J. Burns to a meeting between an envoy from Iran and representatives of Iran and Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China this past weekend in Geneva.

Incoherent Policy

For the president, who only a few weeks ago characterized as "appeasers" those who wanted to talk with rogue states and terrorist-sponsors, such as the mullahs who run Iran, it was quite a reversal. Unfortunately, the turnabout produced nothing other than the chortles of the president's critics, who rightly scored him for hypocrisy and ideological incoherence and a condemnation from John Bolton, Bush's stalwart former U.N. ambassador.

The result of the gathering was as predictable as it was pointless. The six powers asked the Iranians to stop enriching uranium and talked about the generous economic incentives they would give them if only they would drop their nuclear ambitions with which they could make good on their threats to destroy Israel.

The Iranians said no.

Rightly assessing that the threat of sanctions thrown at them are bluffs, the Iranians again made no concessions, and also made it clear that there would be none in the future.

This is a game the Iranians have been playing for five years. The routine is now well-established. The West offers Tehran goodies in exchange for good behavior. The Iranians refuse. The West talks about enforcement of stronger sanctions that are never enacted. Then they go back to the negotiating table, offer more, and the Iranians say no again.

This can go on forever. Or at least until Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad –– or his successor –– gives the world the news that Iran has become a member of the world's nuclear club, inaugurating a frightening new epoch of world history.

Even if the optimists are right and Iran doesn't soon make good on its threats to "wipe Israel off the map" and/or allow their apocalyptic theology to lead them into setting off a nuclear exchange, the notion of a state sponsor of terrorism offering a nuclear umbrella to their Hamas and Hezbollah allies would turn the Middle East upside-down.

The question is, will anyone do something about Iran before this happens?

The preferred solution is diplomatic. But it is not a secret that the Iranians have correctly measured the West's lack of seriousness. For diplomacy to have any chance, Iran must be convinced that the consequences will mean complete economic isolation, and if that doesn't work, the use of military force.

The last five years have proved that the threat of tough sanctions is a fantasy. As for the use of force, Bush may be in the process of taking it off the table.

In Israel, there is a consensus that stretches across the political spectrum that the time to put an end to this existential threat to the Jewish state's existence is growing short. To show that they mean business, the Israelis recently held military exercises in the Mediterranean to demonstrate that they had the ability to strike Iran today, just as they did Iraq in 1981 when Israeli planes destroyed Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear reactor.

But a repeat of the success of the daring mission ordered by Menachem Begin is not likely.

The element of surprise the attackers had then is gone. Iran's facilities are also hardened targets probably buried deep in rocky terrain and spread around the country. Military experts such as author and commentator Ralph Peters have pointed out that rather than a single bombing run, it would take a concerted campaign to take out Iran's nuclear program. He doubts the Israelis have the ability to do it on their own. Even if they did try, the Israel Air Force would need extensive cooperation from U.S. forces in both Iraq and on the waters of the Persian Gulf.

It is in that light that we must read a report published recently in the London Sunday Times. It quoted an unnamed Pentagon official saying Bush had given the Israelis the okay to plan for a strike in case diplomacy failed –– an "amber light" –– but warned the Americans would give Israel no help and no cooperation over Iraq or the Gulf if they ultimately attacked. Which is to say that the odds of success, problematic under the best of circumstances, now appear to be quite dim.

The fact that the same official said that the United States would come to Israel's aid in case it was subsequently attacked by Iran is cold comfort for Jerusalem.

Nothing Can Stop Him

Combined with the administration's switch to its own brand of appeasement, the message it is sending Ahmadinejad is pretty clear. Rather than Israel getting a "green light" to accomplish what Bush surely knows is the only way to stop Iran, it is Tehran that is getting one. Ahmadinejad must be thinking that nothing can stop him now.

While it is possible that Bush will think again before his term ends, that appears increasingly doubtful as fears of the economic impact of a conflagration and the administration's general exhaustion after five years of war in Iraq have taken their toll. In effect, the lame-duck commander-in-chief is conceding that action on Iran will not take place on his watch leaving the next president, whether his name is Barack Obama or John McCain, to face potential disaster sometime during their first term in office.

Bush's legion of critics are wont to speak of him as one of America's worst presidents. That is probably unfair, even though his faults are by no means inconsiderable. But if he meanders into retirement and leaves this mess to his successor in such a feckless manner, he will surely merit comparison to the man whom many historians believe really does deserve the title of "worst president."

James Buchanan, a cowardly and indecisive Pennsylvania Democrat who dithered as pro-slavery secessionists launched a Civil War in 1860-61, left Abraham Lincoln a mess that would take four years and the loss of more than a million lives before it was resolved. That earned him a uniquely ignominious place in the history of the republic.

If Bush does the same thing on Iran, the cost in blood –– in Israel, Iran and elsewhere –– could go far higher.

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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WHAT WAR OF IDEAS?
Posted by UCI, July 28, 2008.

This was written by M. Zuhdi Jasser, who is the founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix Arizona. He is a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, a physician in private practice, and a community activist. He can be reached at Zuhdi@aifdemocracy.org

 

As a Muslim, I am continually mystified by our nation's inability to foster an environment conducive to a real "contest of ideas" between Muslims. This "intra-Muslim contest" is arguably the linchpin of an effective counterterrorism strategy and possibly the most important debate of the 21st century. The infamous January 2008 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memorandum, "Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations of American Muslims" only stifles progress in this debate. It absurdly admonishes government employees and thought leaders to avoid terms like Jihadist, Islamist, and Salafist.

More recently, buried in media coverage last week over the debate concerning the 2009 Intelligence Authorization Act of 2009 (H.R. 5959) was discussion over the Hoekstra Amendment (A004) which simply "barred the use of funds to prohibit or discourage the use of the phrases 'jihadist', 'jihad' 'Islamo-fascism', 'Caliphate'," Islamist' or 'Islamic terrorist' within the Intelligence Community or the Federal Government."

"Mainstream media" who did mention the amendment spun it in ways which only catered to the Islamist mindset, stating that these terms are felt by so-called experts to cause "religious offense" and "are frequently applied incorrectly." So who is to determine their 'correctness' –– a small group of Islamist advisors? Where does that leave the war of ideas?

Thanks to Congressman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, Muslims who believe in the need for Muslims to engage one another in a contest of ideas will go on another day with hope that these terms can be debated on our terms and inside the United States and not on the Islamist terms in foreign Islamist media alone.

No thanks to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslims are again perceived as being unwilling to engage in any contest of ideas and would rather remain oblivious to the root causes of the ideologies of militants. Rather than engage the militants in a real war of ideas over what is and what is not "Islamic," American Islamists would rather coerce the language of non-Muslim governmental leaders.

CAIR-Michigan's Executive Director was quick to give the Islamist line stating that they "support using terminology such as 'criminals,' murderers' or terrorists that help isolate and remove the false cloak of religiosity they use to justify they barbaric actions." Which part of militant Islamism is Mr. Walid dismissing as barbaric –– just the means of terror or also the ends of an Islamic state or a 'caliphate?" If he is just dismissing the means as "barbaric," do he and CAIR-Michigan believe that the goals (the end-game) of the terrorists are irrelevant to their organizations or DHS' counterterrorism efforts in the U.S.? Are there good forms of a theocratic Islamist state which Mr. Walid and CAIR would like to see formed –– just not barbarically? If not, how does just calling them "criminals" begin to even touch the surface of what motivates these individuals and their organizations? How does Mr. Walid expect to engage in a war of ideas without using any of the Islamic terms if the debate is just over violence and criminality?

For background to this entire discussion, we are reminded that a nameless group of "influential Muslim Americans" met with Secretary Chertoff on May 8, 2007 and are cited as sources of a few "expert Muslims" who made these recommendations, which are now part of official State Department, Department of Homeland Security, and National Counterterrorism Center policy. These experts felt that these terms (Jihadist, Islamist, or caliphate) inappropriately empowered radical Muslims. Forget whether these concepts are compatible with American democracy.

And certainly in order to bow to political correctness and some Islamist sympathizers, DHS et al were all too willing to oblige and turn our government into a filter for what is and what is not Islam. Is the U.S. government encouraging a war of ideas or contrarily doing whatever it can to completely block any war of ideas and become the "arbiter-in-chief" of the Islamic lexicon? Who were these Muslims who covertly guided the public lexicon of our entire government? A quick Internet search reveals a June 5, 2007 San Francisco Chronicle story which also coincidentally notes a May 8, 2007 meeting of Secretary Chertoff with "influential Muslims." Apparently, an erstwhile Pakistani ambassador and current professor, an author, a blogger, and a city councilman have become the primary sources for the intellectual governmental interference in what is an internal Muslim war of ideas. Muslim apologists who live in denial prefer to dismiss militant Islamists into meaningless labels as "radicals," "terrorists" or "extremists."

Transnational Islamist movements can never be effectively countered if their militant arms are dismissed out of hand. Avoiding terms like Jihad, political Islam and Islamism due to concerns over offending those with non-violent interpretations misses the entire crux of the war of ideas. A public process of Muslim confrontation to reclaim spiritual Islam from political Islam is the only path toward clarifying nomenclature. This path may offend some Islamists who prefer to sneak their theocratic ideology under the radar of secular liberal democracies. But any other path besides calling Islamists what they call themselves simply delays the needed debate and prevents real enlightenment, real reform.

By refusing to label militants what they call themselves, the U.S. government is bizarrely committing a form of takfir –– the right in Islam reserved only to God of determining who is or is not a Muslim or a mujahid. This war will not be won over a slippery slope struggle of somehow excommunicating militants from Islam. That is actually what the militants do to moderates.

We would be far better served as Muslims actually debating the real root causes of the militancy –– the empowerment of Islamist clerics and their pre-modern mixture of Quranic and Hadith exegesis and shar'ia (Islamic jurisprudence) in government. To ignore the terms is to, in fact, protect the militants from reform and critique by anti-Islamist Muslims. To ignore the terms is to protect the militants from critique where they are most vulnerable in a public (not private) debate over their own religious legitimacy. Muslims cannot marginalize the religious legitimacy of Islamists who are entirely dismissed by the most influential media and government in the world. Truly moderate non-Islamist Muslims will not be able to internally marginalize ideologies which are entirely ignored by non-Muslims. This is not to mention a key and very concerning element to all of these apologetics –– the premise by DHS and their advisors that there is some kind of 21st century explanation of "caliphate," "Islamism" or "Jihadism" which is compatible with American Constitutional law and our democracy.

No small group of Muslims has a right to direct the community lexicon especially over who is Muslim or what is Islam. The 'free exercise of religion' does not insulate religious communities from internal debate or external critique. Without it, there can be no legitimate ijtihad (modern reinterpretation) of Islam, to ultimately usher in a coexistence of Islam and modernity.

America is the place where this debate is the most feasible, yet it is proving to be the most elusive. Terrorism is just a tactic. Their goal is some form of an Islamic state, a theocracy which can never be free or natural. Some postulate that recent reductions in incidents of Islamist inspired terror are due to the realization of groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood, that terror is a liability in their endgame of political Islam. Thus debating terror or 'extremism' rather than Islamism or jihadism actually empowers the theocrats.

Across the Muslim world, political Islam and its militant offshoots are a reality. In Muslim majority nations, the movements call themselves harikat Islamiyia or Islamic movements. Few there seem flummoxed by their Islamic moniker. And the ones who are actually direct their ire where they should –– to those groups rather than to non-Muslims.

The frustrations of peaceful Muslims with the misuse of Muslim terms should be directed publicly at al Qaeda and their ilk not the U.S. government. The battle over the lexicon is an internal Muslim one. Reformists who are anti-Islamist need to take on the theological legitimacy of advocates for political Islam and their theocratic followers. Denying the terms prevents this Muslim struggle –– this Jihad, if you will.

Thanks to petro-dollars, Wahhabism, and global Islamism, the faith of Islam, which has no clergy or Church, has been transformed into a faith with a pseudo-clergy who have been allowed to determine who and what is Muslim. Homegrown terror can never be prevented without allowing Muslims the space to battle these ideas.

Those who are quick to succumb to apologetics for Islamists should ask themselves first, whether the separation of religion and government in the United States actually defends this bizarre governmental control of the lexicon or, rather, a deference of the lexicon to the free market of ideas within the Muslim community? Members of Congress who voted in favor of the Hoekstra Amendment (A004) which passed 249-180 seem to understand the steps necessary to create the space for this battle of ideas and ultimately the most effective form of counterterrorism –– an eventual Muslim defeat of the legitimacy of political Islam rather than a vacuous non-Muslim attempt by the U.S. government.

What is and what is not Islam cannot be filtered through advisers to the U.S. government. Call these groups as they call themselves and let Muslims battle over whose ideas predominate in Muslim scholarship and discourse. Left unfettered, the public square will determine what words mean as long as Orwellian masters leave the faithful to repair themselves.

UCI –– The Unity Coalition for Israel (http://www.israelunitycoalition.org) –– is "the largest worldwide coalition of Jewish and Christian organizations, with more than 200 groups representing millions of people dedicated to Israel. Though we have many different backgrounds, we have one common goal: A Safe and Secure Israel."

"Israel is not just a Jewish issue. Millions of Christians resolutely endorse the principle of peace with security for the state of Israel. Because we work closely together and speak with a united voice, our message is being heard!"

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US EXERTS PRESSURE ON ISRAEL; MORE TERRORISTS RELEASED GRATIS; WAR ON TERRORISM?
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 28, 2008.
 

OLMERT IN FOOL'S PARADISE

PM Olmert boasts of a success. He boasts that he has kept Hizbullah from firing any more rockets at Israel, because Hizbullah is afraid of what Israel would do.

What success? Hizbullah has tripled its supply of rockets, since the war. It could launch them whenever Iran wants it to. If it were afraid of Israel, it would have heeded Israel's warnings not to rearm. PM Olmert is living in a fool's paradise. He is dangerous to the survival of Israel (Dr. Aaron Lerner, 7/10).

Why should Hizbullah be afraid of Israel, when Gaza terrorists fire rockets at Israel with impunity?

It isn't clear which side is deterring which. Hizbullah may be deterring Israel from raiding Iran. The government of Israel must be afraid of Hizbullah, whose rockets could blanket the country.

Only a fool lets enemy forces build up into a formidable threat, when those forces are led by totalitarian fanatics bent on genocide.

SARKOZY TAKES SYRIA OUT OF ISOLATION

Pres. Sarkozy invited Syria to a Mediterranean conference. He thwarted the US effort to isolate Syria internationally, because, he said, Syria is cooperative over Lebanon. He cited the Hizbullah-Lebanese agreement on how to govern Lebanon as an example (IMRA, 7/11).

Cooperative? Syria continues to arm Hizbullah for war. The agreement leaves Hizbullah independent of Lebanon and the government of Lebanon dependent upon Hizbullah's approval.

Is Sarkozy competing with Olmert for fool of the month?

DOES U.S. PRESSURE DRIVE ISRAEL?

The US does make demands upon Israel. However, when Israel feels it must take certain action, US disapproval does not deter it. Certain appeasement-policies by Israel, thought to result from US pressure, are Israeli initiatives. The problem with Israeli polices that harm the national interest are that they suit the leaders' ideology (Dr. Aaron Lerner, IMRA, 7/24).

There may be some truth to this, but US pressuring isn't done in the open. Barry Chamish reported the face of an Israeli leader turned white, as he emerged from a meeting with a top US official. We don't know what threats were made.

RISE IN TERRORISM IN JUDEA-SAMARIA

Terrorists threw rocks and bombs at Israeli motorists in Judea-Samaria on 7/10. They had carried out hundreds of such attacks in recent months. Some attacks obviously emanate from certain Arab villages along the roads (Arutz-7, 7/11).

Isn't that the area of the P.A. run by supposedly anti-terrorist moderates? Let Israel remove those villages, for safety's sake. Trying to catch the terrorists doesn't work completely enough!

FATAH MILITIA NOW PART OF P.A. POLICE

Fatah's militia states that its forces have been integrated into the official security forces of both parts of the P.A..

That was Sec. Rice's objective. She suggests that that means they no longer would commit terrorism (IMRA, 7/12). The record shows otherwise. For shame!

The official P.A. security forces commit terrorism, so why not former Fatah militia men among them? The Fatah men can commit terrorism after hours, too. The P.A. sees to it that they have weapons.

OLMERT NOT DONE RELEASING PRISONERS

PM Olmert indicated that he will come to a meeting with Abbas and announce his is releasing some terrorist prisoners in what he calls a goodwill gesture.

A former secret service executive points out that previous releases, done in the name of strengthening Abbas' regime, strengthened terrorism, not the regime. It also demoralizes Israeli security forces, who lose lives capturing terrorists (IMRA, 7/13).

Bad enough when Israel uses prisoner release to bargain for something of advantage to it, but this release is gratuitous. Release of terrorists is not a mere "gesture." It is substantial action. It is a security risk. It has not brought goodwill but ill will, as the Muslims react with contempt and dissatisfaction. Neither the governments of Israel and the US nor the media investigate the results of such releases. They assert that each one is for goodwill, but fail to rate goodwill. They ought to know what with Islam, an enemy thought evil does not earn goodwill by concessions. Concessions make it seem to Muslims to be weak, because Islam doesn't make concessions when strong.

My advice to Israel's secret service is to capture Olmert as an enemy agent or a traitor. That would save many Israeli lives and perhaps the Jewish nation.

TERMS THAT DECEIVE

What does Israel call two rocket attacks a day? "Ceasefire."

What do the State Dept. and the US media call the Abbas regime that preaches bigotry and terrorism and whose forces and people respond by shooting, firebombing, and stoning? "Moderate."

What does the world call the Hamas and Fatah regimes that repress business and divert foreign aid for warfare that their signed agreements forbid? "Victims" of Israeli economic oppression, needing more foreign aid.

What does the NY Times call Israelis who build houses in parts of their homeland that the Arabs claim now (the rest later)? "Not in the spirit of peace."

What does it call Arabs who build illegally there and in Israel? Nothing. The Times, which criticizes Israel so much and undeservedly, is silent about what the Arabs deserve criticism for.

"WAR ON TERRORISM?"

A new acquaintance remarked that there can't be a "war on terrorism," because terrorism is a method. We should be making a war on the ideology that utilizes terrorism.

I agree. The US government, however, has not come up with a strategy for that. Few of its critics have, either. Most of them are in denial about the ideological war being waged against us, utilizing terrorism among other methods.

A hopeful sign was posted in the NY Times of 7/13, by an Op.-Ed. that suggested establishing non-Islamist schools in Pakistan, so that country does not indoctrinate youth in terrorism as fast as we liquidate terrorists.

The acquaintance added that most Americans mistakenly equate terrorism with Islam. The equation is incorrect, but most terrorists now are Muslim and gain much support from fellow Muslims. Despite denials, the religion endorses such methods, under approved practices established from its founder. They can call his methods divinely inspired, but he did target civilians among others. Such mass-execution and enslavement is defined as "terrorism." The Muslims (not just Islamists) are trying to redefine it, to let Islamists off the hook. Duplicitous!

Generally speaking, the non-Islamic terrorists are not engaged in a loose, evil axis, to replace civilization with their primitive, totalitarian society. Recently, non-Islamic terrorists made some alliances with drug dealers. Evil seeks out evil.

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

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MORE PERILS OF INTERFAITH DIALOGUE
Posted by Dave Nathan, July 28, 2008.
 

This is by Steven Emerson. For background, see below. It is entitled "Organizer's Past Raises Questions About Madrid Interfaith Conference."

News reports indicate that the recent World Conference on Dialogue in Madrid ended with something less than the Kumbaya atmosphere both organizers and attendees had envisioned. According to the reports, a presidential advisor from the United Arab Emirates urged attendees to "to distinguish between Judaism and Zionism," adding "I can speak to pacifists but not bellicists, who are in favor of war.

"Rabbi Marc Schneier, chairman of the World Jewish Congress in North America, responded, saying "Israel is not a political issue... If you want to understand Judaism, then you need to understand that Israel is a core issue of our religion." Jay Rosenbaum of Temple Israel in Lawrence, N.Y., went further, telling a New York Sun reporter that the comments were anti-Semitic, representing "the same old rhetoric that has led to more hatred and the building of a wall between the Jews and the Muslims for the last 60 years. "Here's hoping that the episode opens more eyes than just Rosenbaum's. After all, if Jewish leaders such as Schneier, David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee legitimize these meetings with their presence, how can representatives of any other faith challenge their wisdom? The same holds true for interfaith dialogue back home in America.

The Madrid conference is the latest in a long line of so-called interfaith dialogue initiatives between various leaders of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It was sponsored by the Saudi monarch and organized by a man who justifies Palestinian suicide bombings and is alleged to have links to a senior Al Qaeda financier.

Now come new disclosures that the principal partner in domestic outreach, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), is rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood, the 80-year-old Egyptian society from which virtually all Sunni terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda and Hamas, emerge. The Brotherhood's long range goal is to make Islam dominant throughout the world, not to seek a path to mutual understanding. The time for ignoring these links or blaming the messenger has passed. It is a time for pointed questions, answered publicly.

Those Jewish leaders, ever desperate to forge any common ground with self-styled mainstream Muslim organizations, must examine these new disclosures and explain why they believe in continued dialogue with people who are blatantly deceiving them. They must challenge their outreach partners for credible explanations. At a time when Sami Al-Arian admits he was in the Muslim Brotherhood when ISNA was created, and that he co-founded ISNA, as the Investigative Project on Terrorism reported Tuesday, it's time to stop the "dialogue" and demand real answers.

Schneier, a participant at the aforementioned Madrid conference, and Eric Yoffie of the Union of Reform Judaism, are cases in point. Both have bent over backward to whitewash ISNA, currently named an unindicted co-conspirator by the government in a HAMAS financing trial in Dallas against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). As reported in the New York Sun, on the topic of ISNA, the major Muslim Brotherhood umbrella group in the U.S.:

"People do evolve," says Rabbi Schneier, who told us that he has worked with the Islamic Society of North America to prepare a public service announcement with rabbis and imams jointly warning against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and also to plan joint activities between synagogues and mosques that are set for November.

Evolve? ISNA denies having anything from which it has to evolve. And this is Schneier at the Madrid Conference opening:

Rabbi Marc Schneier, North American chairman of the World Jewish Congress, said King Abdullah was reaching out to other faiths to counter extremists and fanatics within Islam. "What I heard from him is that 'I represent Islam, and I am the voice of moderation'," said Schneier.

So the leading exporter of Wahabbi Islam, who refused to invite any Israelis (the one rabbi with Israeli citizenship at the conference, the AJC's David Rosen, was listed on the program as an American), let alone have the conference on Saudi soil, is somehow a voice of moderation. Adding to his "moderate" credentials, Abdullah invited a radical, pro-Islamist Jewish leader who attended the Iranian president's 2006 Holocaust denial conference:

Some other Jewish officials invited to the conference are more controversial, including Rabbi David Weiss, whose group, Neturei Karta, objects to the creation of Israel on the grounds that it violates Jewish religious law. At a 2006 gathering in Tehran hosted by hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Weiss made headlines by saying the number of Jews said to have been killed in the Holocaust was inflated.

Given that, how surprising is it to learn that the Madrid conference featured former neo-Nazi leader William Baker? There is no report of any protest for Baker's inclusion. The Associated Press quoted Rosen after the conference opened:

"What is historic about this is that it is organized by the king of Saudi Arabia," he told the Associated Press. "To hear the king of Saudi Arabia talk about tolerance, moderation and cooperation between the religions to address contemporary challenges is quite something. "When asked what he hoped to get out of the three-day gathering, Rosen added:"The significance of this event is the fact that it is happening. I didn't have any great expectations with regards to the intellectual content."

Michael Lerner, editor of the liberal Tikkun magazine. Lerner wrote a fairly glowing assessment of the conference's opening, acknowledging dramatic change could take years, but finding the Madrid meeting a key step in the right direction:

I came away from this direct time with the Saudis with the distinct impression that I had helped foster more positive notions about who Americans are, who Jews are, and what Israelis are about. I believe that this happened in many other conversations that took place in the hallways between the 20 or so Jews at the conference and the hundreds of Muslims and Christians. While some of those Jews probably conveyed the same stuckness and stubbornness that Israel and the American Jewish establishment always conveys, there were fresh thinkers like Rabbi Michael Paley, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, Rabbi Phyllis Berman, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Marc Gopin, Rabbi Scott Sperling and Rabbi David Rosen who each have creative and exciting ideas on how to continue this dialogue. For that, as for many other aspects of this set of conversations, I give thanks to God for the opportunity that I have had to serve the causes of peace and reconciliation!

In an email to Lerner shared with the IPT, Ali Alyami, the executive director of the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, told the rabbi's his high hopes were not warranted:

The Madrid Conference has two objectives: One is to spread the deadly Wahhabi ideology and the other to silence critics of Saudi gross violations of basic human rights and hate for non-Muslims. With due you respect, you missed the point completely. According to the secretariat of the Muslim World League (the extremist organizer of the conference you praise profusely) "The conference does not aim to unite religions or to reconcile between them...the differences are there through God's wisdom and will. The objective of the conference is to spread knowledge {Wahhabism} and encourage cooperation in hope of attaining positive coexistence." The Saudis fed you a lot of false information and you bought it. This is tragic. (emphasis original)

Meanwhile, Yoffie, who spoke at ISNA's convention in Chicago last summer and has a history of partnering with ISNA, has said, in a statement posted on ISNA's website:

We chose ISNA as our partner because it is the closest equivalent to the Union within the American Muslim community. It has issued a strong and unequivocal condemnation of terror, including a specific condemnation of Hizbollah and Hamas terror against Jews and Israelis.

True, one can find this statement, "ISNA rejects all acts of terrorism, including those perpetrated by HAMAS, Hizbullah and any other group that claims Islam as their inspiration" on ISNA's website. ISNA rather slyly only generally "rejects" the violent acts: its officials refuse to condemn both groups, will not label either as terrorist organizations, but instead refer to HAMAS favorably as the "democratically-elected Palestinian government."[1] ISNA studiously ignores the HAMAS Charter, a virulently anti-Semitic tract which states that, "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" and the fact that violent jihad is a core principal of HAMAS and Hezbollah. More on this below, as ISNA's own website contains similar anti-Jewish sentiments. And unfortunately for Schneier and Yoffie, their timing on ISNA's alleged evolution and condemnation of terrorist groups, respectively, could not have been worse. Just last week, in documents presented in the HLF case, federal prosecutors said of ISNA:

HLF raised money and supported HAMAS through a bank account it held with ISNA as NAIT [the North American Islamic Trust]. Indeed, HLF (under its former name, OLF) operated from within ISNA, in Plainfield, Indiana... ISNA checks deposited into the ISNA/NAIT account for the HLF were often made payable to "the Palestinian Mujahadeen," the original name for the HAMAS military wing. From that ISNA/NAIT account, the HLF sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to HAMAS leader Mousa Abu Marzook, Nadia Elashi (defendant Ghassan Elashi's cousin and Marzook's wife), Sheikh Ahmed Yassin's Islamic Center of Gaza, the Islamic University and a number of other individuals associated with HAMAS.

As I have previously reported, ISNA's support of HAMAS is not merely financial, but the group was also a vocal supporter of HAMAS leader Mousa Abu Marzook, using the pages of its magazine, Islamic Horizons, to both whitewash HAMAS' bloody history and engage in thinly veiled anti-Semitism. For example, in the November/December 1995 issue of Islamic Horizons, almost a full year after HAMAS was officially designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, an article titled "Muslim Leader Hostage to Israeli Interests" characterized Marzook as:

[a] member of the political wing of Hamas, disliked by the Zionist entity for its Islamic orientation, continues to be held hostage in the U.S. at the whims of his Zionist accusers. And, more than two years after HAMAS' designation as a terrorist group, in the September/October 1997 issue, Islamic Horizons published an article describing Marzook as: [j]ailed without trial in New York for-months for alleged ties to organizations seeking Palestinian rights.

This is an almost unbelievable contention, if not for the fact that it was uttered by the house organ of a major Muslim Brotherhood front organization. Now, despite the documented evidence, ISNA says it has no connection –– and indeed that it never had any connection –– to the Muslim Brotherhood. And apparently Rabbi Schneier not only takes the group's word –– again, in face of the actual evidence –– but claims that ISNA has somehow "evolved."

Since ISNA unabashedly claims no connection to the Muslim Brotherhood, it is true the group has evolved, just not in the way Schneier suggests, since the transparent lies of ISNA's leadership have grown even bolder, which is an evolution of sorts. And ISNA's ties to the most virulent anti-Israel terrorist groups are hardly the only complication when it comes to "interfaith dialogue," especially with Jews, despite Rabbi Yoffie's assurances to the contrary. A cursory look at the "library" page on ISNA's website includes the following passages about Jews (as well as four other, similar in nature to those in the HAMAS Charter) used to justify extremist violence against both Israelis and Jews around the world by the most radical of Islamist terrorists:

Book 41, Number 6985: Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.

Perhaps Schneier and Yoffie are unaware of ISNA's invocation of this Hadith –– which plainly states that Muslims need to kill the Jews to bring about the end of times. Or perhaps they are aware, but choose to look the other way. Either way, pining for the mass slaughter of Jews by Muslims to usher in paradise should be a disqualifier for any sort of interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Jews. Schneier, who has a history of failed outreach efforts, should know better. In November 2006, he attempted "interfaith dialogue" with a leader of the largest mosque in New York, with less than optimum results:

One of the last widely publicized Jewish outreach efforts to Muslims was made last November by Rabbi Marc Schneier, spiritual leader of the New York Synagogue. But it backfired when Imam Omar Abu Namous of the Islamic Cultural Center, who was invited to the rabbi's synagogue for a dialogue, unleashed a barrage of criticism of Israel –– even questioning its legitimacy –– as a stunned congregation watched. Rabbi Schneier said later that the incident "opened my eyes to the reality that we have a long way to go."

Actual constructive interfaith dialogue can only come when Islamist groups own up to their past and present support for terrorist groups. For ISNA's part, only after a sort of "truth and reconciliation" construct, in which the group's leadership admits its history of support for HAMAS, former U.S.-based HAMAS leader Mousa Abu Marzook, and various and sundry other Palestinian and Islamist terror organizations (all documented by federal prosecutors, by the way) should the organization begin to earn trust. Indeed, the various Jewish representatives who overlook these ties in the name of "interfaith dialogue," themselves are engaged in a huge disservice to everyone who deplores Islamist terrorism and extremism, and have no place as religious or community leaders.

NOTE [1] "US Muslim coalition condemns Israeli action in Gaza," The Muslim News, July 11, 2006,
http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?article=11322. Steven Emerson is an internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security and considered one of the leading world authorities on Islamic extremist networks, financing and operations. He now serves as the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, one of the world's largest archival data and intelligence institutes on Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorist groups.

Contact Dave Nathan at DaveNathan@aol.com

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WHY JEWISH SETTLEMENTS?
Posted by Ralph Rants, July 28, 2008.

I was asked by one of my readers to justify why Israel needs settlements. This week I decided to answer that question. I will answer that question with three simple answers. Settlements have become the central point in the ever elusive Arab Israeli peace process.

  1. Security: The distance between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River is 50 miles. That is less than one hour on a interstate in the United States. With all the hostile neighbors Israel has Israel needs the land to defend herself. If Jordan had joined the fight against Israel in 1973 and Israel did not hold the West Bank she could have captured Tel Aviv.

  2. Legal: Judea and Samaria belongs to Israel based on the British Mandate of 1922 which gave the land east of the River Jordan to the Jewish people. Now let's be clear about it the League of Nations was just as legal as the United Nations thus any mandate or law passed or recognized by them is just as legal as any law or resolution passed by the United Nations.

  3. History: Now let us look at the Historical reasons. Judea and Samaria was given to the Jewish people by God, and by the League of Nations both I believe represent spiritual and international law. Many of Judaism's holiest sites are located in what is commonly know as the West Bank. Also there has never been a Palestinian state or a people. Technically if a Arab state was to be created it should have been created in Jordan because of the 1922 mandate, and because the population of Jordan is 75% Palestinian.

This article is stored at http://ralphsrant1.blogspot.com/2008/07/settlements.html

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OBAMA'S EXAMPLE FOR ISRAEL...CHANGE
Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, July 28, 2008.

Israel has a very important lesson to learn from Barack Obama...and it better do so quickly.

I checked out Obama's official website, Obama For Change, and here's what's highlighted:

With the right leadership, and a change of attitude and focus, Barack Obama brings a new viewpoint to discover solutions to the problems at hand.

It's about time...It's about change.

Exactly.

Now, I'm a registered Independent voting for John McCain, but certainly my own country needs a good dose of proper change...in how we get energy, as just one example. McCain knows this as well.

Certainly, if this idea is important for America, it is even more so for Israel.

Jews and/or Israel have been undergoing change imposed from the outside for centuries.

In the 19th century, the Reform movement emerged among Jews who –– among other things –– were determined that the days of the imposed ghetto, degradation, and such (from which Napoleon had freed them) should never return.

Assimilation was the name of the game –– to the point of recommendations to change the Sabbath to Sunday. The idea was to rid themselves of their identities as Jews. Henceforth, they would just be Frenchmen, Russians, Poles, Germans, etc. of the (much diluted) Jewish faith ... not German or French Jews.

Sounded reasonable –– if not a bit pathetically nauseating –– no?

Too bad the Germans, Poles, French, and so forth didn't see things this way.

Modern political Zionism, leading to the resurrection of the state of the Jews, arose because –– in perhaps the most enlightened of nations in the 19th century –– France –– the most vile anti-Semitism proved to be alive and well, targeting even the most assimilated of Jews –– whom Alfred Dreyfus, of the infamous Dreyfus Affair, symbolized. And it flourished amongst the intelligentsia as well as the rabble.

Another assimilated Jew, Theodore Herzl, was a reporter from Austria covering Captain Dreyfus's railroaded trial. Shocked to the core at seeing mobs shouting such things as "death to the Jews," he later wrote, Der Judenstaat –– The Jewish State.

So much for that change...

It was as if G_d was saying, " Israel will be reborn –– whether you Jews like it or not!"

In the Jews' quest for normalcy, they bent over backwards in the pursuit of modern political Zionism to create a state like all others...somewhat reminiscent of the Reform movement's motivations, but on a national scale.

Now, don't get me wrong, not all saw things this way. Religious Zionists saw G_d's hand in all of this...the Hebraic prophecies unfolding as planned. I agree. And they too had many supporters.

But most of the Zionist leaders who came to rule both pre-state and post-'48 Israel also deluded themselves into believing that the rest of the world would forget that Israel was the Jew of the Nations.

Well, since Auschwitz, it's not proper –– in at least some circles –– to be "anti-Semitic."

No problem...

Utilize absurd double and moral equivalence standards, and replace anti-Zionism for anti-Semitism, and the age-old animus now remains kosher.

All other peoples can demand national liberation except the one people who needed it the most...the condemned to wandering "G_d-killers" of the Christian West and the "slayers of Prophets and Jew Dogs" of the Arab/Muslim East.

Being the oldest, still existing victims of imperial conquest, the Jews were expected to simply remain that way.

Seeking to gain acceptance in an "Arab" world which sees them as sons of apes and pigs, too many Jews then continued to pursue this change even further in pursuit of a "post-Zionist" Israel.

Again, recall one of the key motivations of the Reform movement...What can we do to change ourselves so we'll gain acceptance from the Gentiles?

Unfortunately, ignorance of one's enemies has characterized too many of those who have called the political shots in Israel. The very idea that dhimmi Jews (or Kurds or Berbers or Copts or black Africans, etc.) should demand political rights in what Arabs consider to be purely Arab patrimony and the Dar ul-Islam is laughable to anyone truly familiar with this subject.

Add to post-Zionism a continued movement away from the idea of Israel as a Jewish State, and you have the mess Israel now finds itself in.

So, so much for those changes as well.

Therefore, guess what?

It's time for Israel to try another type of change...a return to its proud roots.

It's time for Israel to stop trying to alter itself to be accepted by others.

The values of Jews became the moral guidelines for much, if not most, of the modern world; and, despite its imperfections, Israel is still that light unto the nations the Bible asked it to be.

The national liberation of the Jewish people in the land in which they have thousands of years of continuous history –– Zionism –– ranks as noble as any of such movements can be. If Arabs can have almost two dozen states –– conquered and forcibly Arabized from mostly non-Arab peoples –– then why not one resurrected state for Jews?

No, Israel has nothing to cover up for...certainly nothing to revise its very being. If compared with the same set of lenses to the "Arab" world (rarely done), Israel should indeed be canonized. Indeed, as I write this article, black Muslim African refugees fleeing Arabs from Darfur are fleeing to Israel.

What's needed now is change –– but done the right way...

There are Jews in Israel who still have the sense of justice, passion, and compassion of Golda, Ben-Gurion, Jabotinsky, and Begin. Where are they?

Where are the leaders who will insist that Israel no longer trade live, captured, rabid butchers for the bones of dead Jews –– regardless of how nice they make it sound? Where are the leaders who will institute a quick death penalty for such "heroes?" Better yet, why are they taken alive?

Where are Israeli leaders who will insist on "peace for peace" instead of "land for peace?" It's obvious that the latter has not worked...it's only brought closer to fruition the Arabs post-'67 "destruction in stages" plans for "their" kilab yahud –– Jew dogs. Think Gaza...the same will happen after a total Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, aka, the "West Bank." Not to mention the Golan. Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion Airport, the Knesset, and so forth will receive what Sderot gets daily now.

Where is the change which will bring new Israeli leaders who will insist that Israel get a reasonable territorial compromise granting it real borders to replace former, UN-imposed, suicidal Auschwitz/armistice lines a la UNSC Resolution 242? America's United Nations' representative in '49, Ralph Bunche, openly stated that those lines were never meant to be Israel's permanent borders.

The Arabs will never play ball, you say...

Of course they won't. So what?

They don't accept a 9-mile wide Israel either. Think about what other nations have done thousands of miles away from home in the name of their own national security and interests.

Israel must do what it must do to thrive –– not just survive.

Demanding reasonable territorial compromise merely undoes the injustice created by the Arab invasion of a nascent Israel in 1948 and the mostly armistice lines –– not borders –– which emerged as a result. Those lines simply marked the points at which a half dozen invading Arab armies were turned back. As would become all-too-common later on, the UN only got involved after the Jews turned the tide and had the Arabs on the run...not before, to stop the Arabs' initial aggression.

Where are the new Israeli leaders who will tell the State Department's next James Baker or Condi Rice, when he or she insists on such things as Israel supplying its enemies with weapons (which were then used to massacre Jews in yeshivas, etc.), to go fly a kite?

Where's the change which will bring to the fore proud Zionist Jews who will draw the lines beyond which no further retreat will be allowed –– regardless of who is twisting the arms, turning the screws, and increasing the heat from across the sea?

If it means losing American aid, then so be it. My prediction is that such games will backfire big time on any White House which lowers itself this way.

Millions of fair-minded people will not expect the sole, resurrected Jewish State to sacrifice itself on the petroleum greased altar of international hypocrisy so that Arabs can get their 22nd state –– and second, not first, in the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine. Jordan sits on almost 80% of that territory.

So, as a solid McCain supporter (despite some concerns ), I'm now hoping that Israelis will do some real soul searching and take a cue from the Obama camp.

Replacing Olmert with someone of similar ilk will accomplish nothing but a continuation of the sort of change we've explored earlier...the change that gave Israel its first military defeat, handed over a live Samir Kuntar, and so forth. The latter's head needed to have been parachuted onto Hizbullah's headquarters.

That Condi loves Tsipi Livni should send another disturbing signal as well.

Israel must get itself new leaders, at all levels, who will place the overall Zionist forest ahead of individual, parochial trees which hold fragile coalitions together. Olmert should have been dumped long ago.

The change that Israelis must insist upon may very well determine if the Jews' long-awaited, reborn state will continue to even exist.

Hamas and Fatah's Abbas refuse to recognize a Jewish Israel. Abbas's "moderates" just sung praises to a returning butcher –– Kuntar –– who murdered a father while his 4-year old daughter watched and then beat her skull in with his rifle butt against a rock until she too was dead.

In short, the type of change that Israel must have will bring forth leaders who will know how to better address such things. And for those who care, it's time to do all that's legally and humanly possible to see to it that this happens sooner rather than later.

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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SHIN BET HEAD: ISRAEL ABANDONING JERUSALEM NEIGHBORHOODS
Posted by Lee Caplan, July 28, 2008.
 

This was written by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and it appeared today in Arutz-Sheva.

 

(IsraelNN.com) Israel has abandoned several eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods within the separation barrier, leaving them without army or police patrols, according to Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) chief Yuval Diskin.

"Neighborhoods are being abandoned...and it leaves a vacuum where Hamas operates," he added. Smuggling of weapons has increased, and police find it more difficult to deploy forces in neighborhoods where the terrorist infrastructure has strengthened.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter (Kadima) pointed out that 20 percent of terrorist attacks in the past five years involved Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem. He explained that a dramatic change has occurred this year, raising a red flag through the direct involvement in terrorist attacks by Arabs who live within the separation barrier.

Three attacks this year that resulted in the deaths of 11 Jews were carried out by eastern Jerusalem Arabs who acted on their own, without any apparent ties to an organized terrorist movement. "It is extremely difficult to foresee and to prevent these types of attacks," Dichter noted.

He reiterated a view, becoming more acceptable among political leaders, that demolition of the homes of families housing terrorists and expelling them from the city are the most effective means of preventing attacks. The Public Security Minister emphasized that such moves must be thoroughly justified because they face the danger of being challenged by international law as a violation of human rights.

The separation barrier has left large swaths of the capital cut off from the rest of the city, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his deputy Vice Prime Minister Chaim Ramon have favored surrendering Israeli sovereignty over the affected Jerusalem suburbs.

Contact Lee Caplan at leescaplan@yahoo.com

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WHY GANDHI WAS WRONG; NON-VIOLENCE DOESN'T WORK
Posted by Sultan Knish, July 28, 2008.

Gandhi's tactic of non-violence is often foolishly credited with the peaceful liberation of India. This claim would be more impressive if the British Empire hadn't expired but was still around with a large retinue of colonies, instead of having disposed of its colonies, many around the same time as India. And considering the bloodshed of Partition, despite Gandhi's best attempts at appeasing Muslims it was hardly peaceful. Yet despite the hypocrisies that have dotted Gandhi's life, his ideas continue to have a powerful hold on the Western imagination.

Few would seriously argue that had Gandhi been facing Imperial Japan (whose brutal conquest of Asia he briefly supported) or Nazi Germany or even the British Empire of the 19th century, that non-violence would have been nothing more than an invitation to a bullet. Yet that is exactly what first world nations are expected to do when confronted with terrorism. Not long after 9/11 slogans were already appearing on posters challenging, "What would Gandhi do?"

We can hazard a guess at what the man who urged Britain to surrender to Hitler and told the Jews to walk into the gas chambers, would do. We can do better than guess at the outcome. The same outcome that surrender to tyranny always brings, whether in the name of non-violence, cowardice or political appeasement, a great heap of skulls shining in the sun.

Gandhi's non-violence or Tolstoy's more honestly named, Non-Resistance to Evil through Violence who heavily influenced Gandhi or Tolstoy's own influence through the writings of Rousseau represent a pacifist strain that runs through Western civilization. It is a particularly futile and dangerous strain that values internal nobility over the lives and welfare of others.

Non-violence is either redundant or dangerously misguided. When confronting an opponent, that opponent's goals are either violent or peaceful. If his goals are peaceful then non-violence is redundant. If his goals are violent, then non-violence achieves nothing. The political victories of non-violence have come mainly from a nation that wanted a peaceful outcome seeing violent suppression of protesters through violent law enforcement tactics. While this produced political victories, it also demonstrated the inherent pointless of it, as it only worked with a nation that was already prepared to reach a peaceful agreement.

Had Martin Luther King tried his tactics in the early 19th century South, he would have gotten nowhere. Had Gandhi pitted himself against Imperial Japan, he would have been beheaded. Clearly non-violence is a tactic that can only work against essentially peaceful opponents who are easily embarrassed by a few jailed protesters. It fails utterly against opponents who genuinely want to conquer or kill you and are willing to do whatever it takes to see that it happens.

Had the application of non-violence been limited to a form of civil protest in democracies, there would be no objection. It is when Gandhi is cited as a model for confronting dictatorships and tyrannies that we reach the fundamental gap between reality and the ideology of non-violence.

Can non-violence stop an enemy bent on your destruction? The answer is no. Non-violence can only enable such an enemy. But the nasty trap in the philosophy of non-violence is that it presumes that a source of the violence is in the victims themselves.

This is why when Gandhi advised the Jews to go willingly into the gas chambers, he described any protest by the Jews to the West as itself violent. Only by being willing unprotesting sacrifices could the Jews fit Gandhi's model of non-violence. This is shocking only to those who fail to realize that "Blame the Victim" is inherent in the philosophy of non-violence. Unsurprising from a man who degraded and abused his wife and drove his sons away, and yet continues to be regarded as a sort of saint.

The self-destructive nature of non-violence is that it only works when the source of the violence really is within the individual practicing it. Non-violence only works therefore when non-violently confronting those whose goals are ultimately non-violent. It is self-destructively useless when confronting those whose goals are violent. But because it teaches that we are the source of the violence, it repeatedly blames the target of the violence for doing anything whatsoever to resist the violence.

In Gandhi's non-violence, a rape victim who screamed for help would be guilty of practicing violence rather than non-violence. In Tolstoy's rendering of non-violence, there is no difference in moral culpability between attacked and attacker. This simplistic picture leaves no room for self-defense and no place for a society that seeks to protect its own people. When viewed this way it exposes the ideology of non-violence for what it really is, a self-indulgent selfish form of martyrdom that emphasizes inner nobility over social utility.

At the heart of non-violence is hypocrisy. Quaker non-violence prevented them from funding a militia to protect colonial settlers against attacks. It prevented them from serving on either side in WW2. It did not however prevent them from composing lists of victims for the Nazis. It has not prevented them from agitating on behalf of terrorists today.

Tolstoy's non-violence did not prevent him from distributing and promoting the writings of violent anarchists, it did however prevent him from condemning the Pogroms. Gandhi's non-violence did not prevent him from self-interestedly welcoming a Japanese occupation of Asia or urging a British surrender to Hitler.

The common denominator of non-violence is a contempt for the victim of violence and a slavish need to appease or appeal to the violent. Given a choice non-violence will elevate the perpetrator of naked violence, over the peace-loving people and nations doing their best to stop him. The former has the glory of an unambiguous sinner ripe for conversion, while the latter appears to the philosopher of non-violence as an obscene heresy that uses violence to achieve peaceful ends.

For the democracy confronting a destructive ideology, non-violence is nothing more than a suicide pact. The refusal to resist evil grants hegemony to evil. But the refusal of the philosophers of non-violence to admit the necessity of violence instead drives them to demonize those who would resist evil with violence, as the source of the violence.

This is from yesterday's Sultan Knish website:
http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2008/07/why-gandhi-was-wrong-non-violence.html

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FROM ISRAEL: STILL OBAMA
Posted by Arlene Kushner, July 27, 2008.

The Jerusalem Post ran an exclusive interview with Barack Obama on Friday. Along with it they ran an editorial on what he had to say. I would like to cite from that editorial:

"On the question of the fate of Jerusalem...he was confusing. He wants Jerusalem to be Israel's capital and he wants the parties to work things out for themselves.

"That led us to ask where he stood on borders....on April 14, 2004, President George W. Bush wrote to prime minister Ariel Sharon: 'In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the Armistice Lines of 1949...'

"We asked Obama whether he too could live with the '67-plus' paradigm. His response: 'Israel may seek '67-plus' and justify it in terms of the buffer they need for security purposes. They've got to consider whether getting that buffer is worth the antagonism of the other party.'

"Without that 'buffer,' the strategic ridges of the West Bank that overlook metropolitan Tel Aviv and the country's main airport would be in Palestinian hands. Eighteen kilometers –– or 11 miles –– would separate 'Palestine' from the Mediterranean, the narrow, vulnerable coastal strip along which much of Israel's population lives.

"While Obama promises to dedicate himself, from the 'first minute' of his presidency, to solving the conflict, his apparent sanguinity over an Israel shrunk into the 1949 Armistice lines is troubling. Half the Palestinian polity is today in the clutches of the Islamic rejectionists in Gaza. If the IDF precipitously withdrew, the other half ruled by the 'moderate' Ramallah based leadership would quickly fall under Islamist control..."

~~~~~~~~~~

Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA, citing from that Jerusalem Post Obama interview, comments (my emphasis added):

"Obama: 'I think that Israel should abide by previous agreements and commitments that have been made, and aggressive settlement construction would seem to violate the spirit at least, if not the letter, of agreements that have been made previously.'

"It's that old 'spirit' argument again.

"...since absolutely none of the agreements Israel has with the Palestinians prohibit settlement construction (if anything, the wording of the Oslo agreements facilitates ongoing settlement activity) opponents of construction talk about 'spirit'.

"...But what's wrong with this 'spirit' approach?

"[It] enable[s] parties to unilaterally change the balance of the requirements and obligations of the deal. And that's a dangerous precedent."

~~~~~~~~~~

And then there is this. On July 24, Senator Obama delivered a major speech in Berlin. In that speech, he said:

"This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. This threat is real and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it. If we could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York."

This was called to my attention by something sent out by Steve Kohn, whom I thank. Steve wrote the following:

"After spending 24 hours in Israel the day before, speaking in front of rockets that had fallen on Sderot, and staying at a hotel on a street subject to a terror attack hours before his arrival, the senator...shows his true beliefs –– that terror against Jews somehow is less heinous, violent and meaningful than that inflicted on others. How appropriate that he omitted Israel from his list of terror targets when speaking in Berlin."

Obama's full speech is at:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/us-election/ full-text-of-barack-obamas-berlin-speech/2008/07/25/1216492688512.html

~~~~~~~~~~

More bad news with regard to Hezbollah. It is now being reported that this Shiite terrorist group has been recruiting Sunnis in south Lebanon, in villages opposite the Shaba Farms. This is a bid for control of the area. "The Future Movement" is the name of the Sunni group with which Hezbollah is vying for power.

~~~~~~~~~~

MEMRI, which monitors and translates what Arabs are saying in Arabic, has several excerpts from TV programs in which Samir Kuntar has been interviewed since his release.
See http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD199908

I cite here just one:
"Allah willing, I will get the chance to kill more Israelis."

~~~~~~~~~~

Columnist Sarah Honig, writing in Friday's Post, has it right, I think, when she says terrorists such as Kuntar should receive the death penalty here (only Eichmann has ever been executed in Israel), thereby precluding kidnappings to try to secure their release.

"It's at least slight solace to know that the most heinous of butchers won't get the last laugh on us and won't in the interim enjoy our hospitality, be well fed by Israeli taxpayers, will further their education, pursue hobbies, receive conjugal visits, procreate and even commission and coordinate more terror onslaughts."

~~~~~~~~~~

On Thursday, the IDF arrested seven terror suspects in Judea and Samaria.

Early today, in an arrest operation in Hebron, we took out Shihab Na'atsha, the explosives engineer from Hamas responsible for assembling the bomb belt used in the suicide attack in Dimona in February, which killed one person and injured 40.

And the PA wants us to stop doing these operations?

~~~~~~~~~~

A half a dozen times, I began a posting on the situation with regard to Iran, and a half a dozen times I have found myself side-tracked. But even more so, I have found it close to impossible to be coherent on the subject, so swiftly do reports shift.

McCain's recent statement on the subject was this:

"I think we have a lot of options to explore before we seriously explore the military option, and I don't think we have exercised those enough.

"I would hope that would never happen [that Israel would feel the need to attack Iran]. I would hope that Israel would not feel that threatened."

He said the US and Europe could impose "significant, very painful sanctions on Iran, which I think could modify their behavior."

"But I have to look you in the eye and tell you that the United States of America can never allow a second Holocaust."

~~~~~~~~~~

While Obama, while here, said:

What I can do is assure that I will do everything in my power as president to prevent Iran attaining nuclear weapons. And I think that begins with engaging in tough, direct talks with Iran, sending a clear message ...and elevating this to the top of our national security priorities, so that we are mobilizing the entire international community...

"One of the failures, I think, of our approach in the past has been to use a lot of strong rhetoric but not follow through with the kinds of both carrots and sticks that might change the calculus of the Iranian regime. But I have also said that I would not take any options off the table, including military. "

~~~~~~~~~~

Last week during his visit in Washington, Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi urged a blocking of Iranian aggression.

Israel has been stunned by the reversal in former American policy as the US has begun to attempt direct contact with Iran –– as last week a high-ranking State Department official was sent to join the European delegation meeting Iran's top nuclear negotiator, without noticeable effect. If reports are accurate, there is even the possibility of a US diplomatic presence at the consular level in Teheran. Always, this is announced with threats also implicit.

Dr. Gerald Steinberg, a conflict resolution expert at Bar Ilan University, has offered the opinion that the current combination of combined US diplomacy and threats might work. Bush is gambling that Iran might suspend nuclear aspirations, which would accrue to his administration's credit, but that if Iran is obstinate, there is greater national justification for the military option.

~~~~~~~~~~

Iran is making ever more grandiose threats that are discounted in many quarters. Ephraim Halevy, the previous Mossad chief who now heads the Center for Strategic and Policy Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is now on record as saying that "Iran is not 10 feet tall."

It is his opinion that Iranian retaliation would not be as serious as many imagine and that our defense systems would take out most of it.

Meir Javedanfar, a respected, Iranian-born writer and analyst, says that more rational leaders within the Iranian –– who have greater authority than the president –– are reining in Ahmadinejad.

Halevy agrees; "I don't detect an appetite among the Iranians to bring about a catastrophe."

This is a different message from what we'd been hearing before.

Menashe Amir, a key Iranian analyst, was cited recently as saying that while Iran appears on the surface to be united in its nuclear drive, "there is a debate in Iran. [Some] say: We are being offered a fantastic, generous incentives package. Let's accept it...we cannot withstand the international pressure. The sanctions are widening, and the danger of a US or Israeli attack is growing. Let's not miss this chance..."

He says that among the Iranian politicians holding this opinion are former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, parliament speaker and former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, and former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani.

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

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IMPRISONED SECURITY GUARDS PETITION SUPREME COURT TO FORCE PRESIDENT TO RULE ON PARDON
Posted by Hands Fiasco, July 27, 2008.
 

This comes from Independent Media Review Analysis (IMRA) imra@netvision.net.il and is at
http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=40048.

It appeared July 24, 2008 on Israel Justice and is archived at
www.israeljustice.com:80/news2.asp?key=141

Datya Itzhak writes:

As a first step, we request that you telephone –– rather than e-mail –– the Israeli Embassy or the Israeli consulate nearest you and demand to know why the Halamish brother are still in prison.

The embassy's phone number is 202-364-5500.

Stress that, as an American citizen, you can ask the State Department to investigate what you feel is clearly a human rights violation.

Now, we are asking you to call your member of Congress and raise the issue of Dan and Yitzhak Halamish. We also ask you to call the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor and inform them of the brothers and demand an investigation. Tell the department officer you have also raised these cases with your member of Congress.

The State Department's main numbers are 202-647-4000 or 1-800-877-8339.

The Olmert government, with an approval rating of near zero, has refused any accountability to the Israeli people and fears only the Bush administration. Unless we act now, there will be many more Dani and Itziks in jail.

If you agree with this, please act quickly.

With Love of Israel,
Datya Itzhak

 

JERUSALEM –– Two Jewish security guards, imprisoned for shooting in the air to disperse a group of Bedouins who had infiltrated their community, have petitioned the president to decide immediately on their request for a pardon.

Over two months ago, the Justice Ministry approved the pardon request for Dan and Yitzhak Halamish, two brothers sentenced to seven and eight months respectively and sent the request to the office of President Shimon Peres.

On June 1, the president's office sent a letter to attorney Dov Even-Or confirming that the pardon request had reached an advanced stage.

"Your clients' request is being dealt with in the advanced stages," presidential aide on pardons, Ms. Talia Sukari-Lina said. Even-Or said his petition includes a request that the president be forced to answer all pardon requests within 30 days.

"50 days have passed since this letter [from the president]," Even-Or said, "and still the president hasn't announced his decision."

In his petition, Even-Or stressed that the president should be limited to 90 days and if he still hasn't decided, the pardon should be automatically approved.

"The request form the petitioners for a pardon was presented in March," Even-Or said. "It's not reasonable that that they are sitting in jail while the president struggles with a decision on their request."

On May 4, Supreme Court Judge Salim Jubran rejected the previous appeal by the Halamish brothers to postpone judicial proceedings until the president considered their application for a pardon and ordered them immediately to jail on May 5. Jubran is the same judge who rejected their original right to appeal the conviction. The Supreme Court then extended the beginning of the sentence to May 20.

The brothers appealed to the Supreme Court after the president's office advised the brothers to apply for a stay of proceedings, granted to a third defendant, Baruch Feldbaum.

The Halamish brothers, as part of their reserve military service, were members of a security response team organized, equipped and trained by the Israeli Army to help protect their community and surrounding region from Arab attack. On Feb. 21, 2004, the brothers were summoned by another security officer, Feldbaum, to help expel Bedouins who trespassed into the Jewish community of Sdei Bar and were encamped near a student dormitory. Bedouin tribes in the area had been deemed responsible for the killing of several Jews in the area in previous years.

Under the direction of Feldbaum, the Halamish brothers ordered the bedouin squatters to leave. The Bedouins refused, and about 20 of them approached the Jewish security officers with sticks and rocks. Feldbaum shot toward the ground when the Bedouins continued to move closer.

The response team later said that it shot in self-defense. An army medic who arrived at the scene determined that nobody was struck by the gunfire, an assertion disputed by the Bedouins.

At that point, the military abandoned its own security team and allowed a police investigation. Although police refused to conduct ballistic tests or even a lineup of suspects, the brothers were convicted of shooting toward the Bedouins. Dan was sentenced to seven months in prison; Yitzhak, to eight months.

An Israeli appeals court said ballistic tests or a lineup weren't necessary. The word of the Bedouins –– who refused to show up to police headquarters to identify their purported assailants –– was enough.

The court also rejected a recommendation by the probation officer for community service. The three-judge panel said it wanted the Halamish brothers to go to jail to serve as a lesson to others.

Contact Hands Fiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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THE ORTHODOX UNION AND THE BULLDOZER TERRORIST ATTACK
Posted by Avodah Ivrit, July 27, 2008.

Icon of the Orthodox Union of Hebrew Congregations

It is no coincidence that last week's bulldozer terrorist attack
(http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/126925) took place a block from the Israel Center, the Orthodox Union of Hebrew Congregations [OU] headquarters in Israel.

No, the Arabs did not plan this around the OU.

However, the Vice-President of the OU David Luchins, Ph.D. was visiting from the U. S.

A group from the National Council of Synagogue Youth [NCSY], the OU's youth branch, was also in Jerusalem at the time, as part of its summer educational tour of Israel.

It is not a coincidence that all of these people, places, and events came together.

These visitors now have an opportunity to serve as shlichim, as messengers to the Jews in the U. S.
 

BUT, WHAT MESSAGE WILL THEY BEAR?

Will they spin the terrorist attack into the "copycat" attack of another crazy person, as the Israeli government has?

Will they downplay it, or even ignore it?

Will parents of NCSY members tell the kids that they "don't understand such complicated matters," and shouldn't get involved?

Or will OU officials, members, and youth recognize this profound occurrence, step up to the plate, and share the horror of the experience of being in Jerusalem while a terrorist attack was in progress?

Will they avoid the mincing of words, and political-correctness, and put two and two together to come up with four?

Only time will tell.
 

MEANWHILE, ON THE SAME DAY OF THE SECOND BULLDOZER ATTACK by an "Israeli Arab" in two weeks, a rather telling article by Nathan J. Diament, the OU's Director of Public Policy was published on the website Real Clear Politics
(http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/07/ obama_under_the_microscope_in.html). It is entitled "Obama Under the Microscope in Israel." (Thanks to the Torat Yisrael Blog for the reference.)

In this article, focusing on Sen. Barak Obama's (D-IL) visit to Israel, Diament praises two U. S. presidents, one whom supported the transfer of 95 percent of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to Arabs, and the other, a vocal supporter of the formation of yet another Arab terrorist state.

We look forward to the OU's message(s) it conveys to our fellow Jews in the U. S. After having read Diament's article, we are not optimistic.

NOTE:

The Orthodox Union did not authorize the use of its logo. It is placed here, only as the highly recognizable symbol of kosher food, to assist our readers in identifying the OU organization.

Contact Avodah Ivrit by email at avodahivrit@gmail.com and visit
http://avodahivrit.blogspot.com/2008/07/more-avodah-ivrit.html

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READING EHUD BARAK
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, July 27, 2008.
 

Below is an article by Caroline B. Glick that appeared July 25, 2008 in the Jerusalem Post

When you finish reading this you will wonder if the Israeli people are so totally stupid and ill informed as to need a keeper. Olmert, Livni and Barak deserve more than merely removal from office. Incompetence, malfeasance, misfeasance in office is a crime against the Jewish people. They should be locked up in the darkest prison for what they have already done and what is like yet to occur.

They have all aided and abetted the growth of Hezbollah, Hamas and Fatah in pursuit of their Leftist ideology and these efforts to remain in office at any price to be paid by the Israeli people.

They deserve no honor, no respect and certainly no pity for their crimes while in office. It all began in earnest during the Rabin-Peres Oslo period and has grown worse ever since. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 is merely a drop in the bucket with all the backsliding of a corrupt Israeli Government.

 

On July 14, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak castigated UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which set the terms of the cease-fire that ended the 2006 war between Israel and Iran's Lebanese army Hizbullah, saying, "UN resolution 1701 didn't work, isn't working and won't work." He added, "UN resolution 1701 is a failure."

Resolution 1701 is indeed a failure and always has been a failure. The resolution is predicated on the false belief that UNIFIL, the UN force deployed along Lebanon's border with Israel would work together with the Lebanese army to prevent Hizbullah from rearming and reasserting its control over Lebanon after the war. Yet, under 1701, Hizbullah tripled the size of its arsenal of missiles over what it was on the eve of the 2006 war. Hizbullah now has more than 40,000 missiles. That arsenal includes new long-range missiles capable of reaching Be'er Sheva and Dimona.

Not only has Hizbullah reasserted its control over southern Lebanon under Resolution 1701, it extended its control north of the Litani River. Moreover, the military and political power Hizbullah gained under 1701 paved the way for the group's coup this past May. During its coup, Hizbullah demonstrated that it is the most powerful military force in the country. It also exposed the Lebanese military's complicity with its aggression and collaboration with its fighters.

That event then paved the way for the Doha agreement between Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and Hizbullah in June in which Siniora, and the Lebanese democrats he represented, surrendered control over the country to Hizbullah. The terms of the agreement transferred control of the Lebanese government from Siniora's democratic cadres to Hizbullah's Iranian overlords by giving Hizbullah veto power over the government's decisions.

Barak's acknowledgment of 1701's failure to curb Hizbullah's emergence as the master of Lebanon and as an unprecedented threat to Israel was the first time an Israeli cabinet member publicly acknowledged the resolution's failure. Notably, he made the statement two days before Israel collectively acknowledged Hizbullah as the victor in the Second Lebanon War by returning arch-murderer Samir Kuntar, five fellow Hizbullah terrorists and 200 bodies of Lebanese and Palestinian terrorists to Lebanon in exchange for the mangled corpses of IDF hostages Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, whose murder by Hizbullah on July 12, 2006, precipitated the war.

Unfortunately, in making his statement, Barak's aim was apparently political rather than substantive. He didn't offer any suggestions of how Israel should treat the Hizbullah threat that has emerged under UNIFIL's firmly closed eyes. Barak decision to point out 1701's obvious failure was nothing more than a bid to distance himself from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni ahead of what he sees as the inevitable downfall of the government as a consequence of the multiple criminal probes now being carried out against Olmert.

For the past two years, both Olmert and Livni have upheld Resolution 1701 as an unvarnished success. They have studiously refused to acknowledge that UNIFIL has done nothing to prevent Hizbullah from rearming or reasserting its military control over southern Lebanon. To the contrary, they have stubbornly clung to the false view that UNIFIL and the international community can be counted on to fight Hizbullah for Israel. Each time another report comes out about Hizbullah's rearmament, all Olmert and Livni will do is sent another letter of protest to the UN.

The government's continued insistence that the international community will protect Israel from Hizbullah was most recently exposed in the Foreign Ministry's press release the day the corpses-for-murderers swap was carried out. The Foreign Ministry proclaimed, "Hizbullah persists in defying the international community....The international community must act with determination to remove this manifest threat to the civilians of both Israel and Lebanon."

Olmert and Livni have two reasons to persist with their fiction that Resolution 1701 is a strategic achievement for Israel. First, if they admit it has failed, they will be forced to acknowledge their personal incompetence in embracing –– and in Livni's case taking credit for writing –– a resolution that facilitated Hizbullah's takeover of Lebanon.

Beyond that, both Olmert and Livni advocate the establishment of a similar international force for Gaza, Judea and Samaria. If they admit that international forces are incapable of securing Israel's border with Lebanon, they will be compelled to acknowledge that international forces cannot be trusted to secure Israel's border with Gaza, or any future borders with Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem. Since this would call into question the wisdom of their entire plan of establishing a Palestinian state, they cannot admit that resolution 1701 has failed.

It is unsurprising that Barak chose not to point out the policy implications of 1701's failure. Barak after all shares Livni's and Olmert's unwarranted faith in the international community's willingness to defend Israel so that Israel won't have to defend itself.

During his premiership, Barak justified his decision to withdraw all Israeli forces from South Lebanon and surrender Israel's former security zone to Hizbullah by arguing that UNIFIL forces would fill the security vacuum Israel's withdrawal precipitated. Then too, he supports deploying foreign forces on the Golan Heights following a hypothetical Israeli withdrawal, as well as in a post-Israeli-withdrawal Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza.

Given Barak's alignment with Olmert and Livni, Barak's sole goal in noting 1701's failure was to distance himself from Livni and Olmert ahead of the murderers-for-corpses swap that took place two days after his press conference. Barak wanted to draw attention to the fact that he was out of power during the war with Hizbullah so that he wouldn't share the blame with Livni and Olmert for Israel's defeat in that conflict.

Barak felt the need to distinguish himself from his colleagues because by supporting the prisoners-for-corpses swap, he became a full partner in that defeat.

This last point was driven home by Hizbullah chief of operations in south Lebanon Nabil Kaouk. In the aftermath of the murderers-for-corpses swap, Kaouk declared that the swap was "an official admission of Israel's defeat." The day after the swap, a poll of Arab countries showed that Hizbullah chief and Iranian servant Hassan Nasrallah is the most popular leader in the Arab world.

All of this brings us to those elections that Barak is apparently certain Israel is about to have. Barak clearly believes Olmert will not run in those elections. Aside from Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu, Barak's main opponent will be Livni, whose reputation is wrapped up with Resolution 1701.

Barak's self-interested, cynical refusal to point out the policy implications of 1701's failure makes him substantively indistinguishable from Livni just as his support for the corpses-for-prisoners swap makes him as culpable for Israel's defeat at the hands of Iran's Arab foreign legion in Lebanon as Livni and Olmert.

If, when Barak's expected elections do take place, the Israeli public merely rejects leaders it feels are responsible for the country's defeat in Lebanon but continues to accept the strategy of depending on the kindness of strangers that led to that defeat, the country will not have taken any concrete steps to contend with the dangers it faces.

Unless new leaders reject the failed strategies upheld by Israel's current leaders, Israel will be unable to take the necessary steps to defend itself against the burgeoning threats that have arisen as a consequence of Olmert's, Livni's and Barak's incompetence and self-interested blindness.

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

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WESTERN CIVILIZATION'S HOPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST: OUR FRIENDSHIP WITH ISRAEL
Posted by LEL, July 26, 2008.
 

Gary Bauer, a 2000 candidate for president, is chairman of Campaign for Working Families and president of American Values. This article appeared yesterday in
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=27689

 

This week's third annual Christians United For Israel Summit in Washington, D.C., commenced amid predictable media chatter over the political implications of the burgeoning Christian-Jewish alliance. But the summit's true purpose –– to foster greater respect and understanding between Christians and Jews –– was rooted in a much deeper insight into the relationship between these two faiths: that the future of Western Civilization may well depend on it.

Midway through the conference, I was approached by a young Israeli Jew who grabbed me by the shoulder and thanked me for my work on behalf of Israel. He also told me that he was "astonished" by the level of support for Israel by Americans and particularly by conservative Christians. At first, he told me, he had been skeptical of Christians' intentions for supporting Israel, believing that there must be some sort of "hidden agenda" in our concern for the beleaguered state. Only recently had he come to realize that Christ support for Israel is sincere.

And it's true. Most American Christians have long recognized an obligation to support Israel. A poll conducted this month by the Washington-based Joshua Fund, an evangelical organization, found 82 percent of American Christians felt they have a "moral and spiritual obligation" to support Jews and Israel.

Christians support Israel because the Bible commands us to pray and act for the peace of Jerusalem and to speak out for Israel's sake. But Christian support for Israel is important also because Israel is the sole democracy in the Middle East, America's only reliable ally there and the only nation in that region rooted in the Judeo-Christian values that have allowed Western Civilization to thrive. American Christians, and all Americans of goodwill, must recognize that Israel and America's futures are inextricably linked.

The media, United Nations and European elites often trumpet the notion that Israel is the primary impediment to peace in the Middle East. They claim that if only Israel would agree to a few concessions –– to divide Jerusalem, abandon Judea and Samaria, give up on the Golan Heights and accept unlimited refugees –– peace could be established. But it is becoming clear that the intention of Israel's enemies is not to argue about the details of peace agreements but rather to debate a much more fundamental issue: whether Israel has the right even to exist.

The enmity that fuels that debate is inculcated early. Israeli children are taught to reject bigotry and racism and to be tolerant of other faiths. But in many Muslim countries, children are taught to hate Jews and Christians. A recent report by the Hudson Institute revealed that the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education teaches literal hatred of "unbelievers." Even Palestinian television programs aimed at young children showcase Islamic radicalism and teach that nothing is more glorious than to become a suicide bomber for Islam.

But the lack of reciprocity goes further. While Israel's judicial system relentlessly protects the rights of Israel's Muslim citizens, a culture of hatred of the "infidel" is endemic in much of the Muslim world. A new report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center found that Gaza's 3,500 Christians are increasingly at risk of violence, that Christian schools have become targets of terrorist attacks and that the tiny Christian minority living in Gaza lives in daily fear and intimidation and often tones down Christian holidays and observances in order not to provoke the extremists. In much of the Islamic world, Christianity is illegal and Christians who worship openly are imprisoned or worse.

At the end of my conversation with the young Israeli Jew at the CUFI Summit, he told me that he already fully appreciated the threat of Islamic terrorism. "What I want is hope," he said as he recounted how he had spent four years in the Israeli Defense Forces and attended the funerals of at least 10 friends killed by terrorists before he was 21 years old. He also told me that he had a 17-month-old child whose name means hope in Hebrew. This young man wanted reassurance from me that there was hope that his child would grow up in a peaceful Israel.

There is hope. Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing." It's certainly true today. The biggest threat to the peace and security of Israel, and the peace and security of the West, is not Iran's Ahmadinejad or Hamas or Osama bin Laden but rather our own complacence and inaction. What happens in the battle against Islamo-fascism ultimately depends on us, our resolve and courage to do what it takes to defend our way of life.

The only way we lose this battle is if we decide it's not important enough to us to win. If good people do nothing, the enemy will win. But the good news is that we ultimately have control over this battle's result.

There is reason to hope, then, and that hope was palpable at this week's CUFI summit. Hope for a peaceful future begins with Christians, Jews and all people of goodwill deciding that the values of Western Civilization are values worth defending.

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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POLITICAL MESSIAH IN THE HOLY LAND –– OBAMA IN THE MIDEAST
Posted by GWY, July 26, 2008.
 

Caroline B. Glick is the deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post and the senior fellow for Middle East Affairs at the Center for Security Policy. Her book, Shackled Warrior, Israel and the Global Jihad was released earlier this year. She took questions from National Review Online editor Kathryn Lopez on Friday about Barack Obama's visit to the Mideast. This is a National Review Online (NR0) Question and Answer Article.

 

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Am I wrong in saying that Barack Obama did not impress Israel?

CAROLINE GLICK: Israelis are very caught up with our local news right now. Foremost on our national agenda are the seven criminal probes being carried out against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the political maneuvering surrounding those investigations, and the expectation of new elections or some governmental shake-up in the wake of Olmert's likely indictment on fraud charges. Consequently, Obama's visit didn't evoke any deep-seated interest in Israel.

At the same time, he didn't make any serious mistakes during his visit so to the extent he made any impression, he made a positive one. There is trepidation in Israel about the statements he has made about Iran and the division of Jerusalem and his associations with anti-Semites like Rev. Jeremiah Wright. But the media wasn't given much opportunity to challenge him on these points and so the trepidation was not dispelled. But again, Israelis by and large just weren't that into him.

LOPEZ: What was the point of the trip there so far as you can tell?

GLICK: The point of the trip was clearly to shore up support for Obama among American Jewish voters. It is hard to know whether he was successful in doing so or not, although he certainly didn't hurt himself among those who already support him.

His repeated assertions of his commitment to Israel's security were repeatedly contradicted by the policies he wishes to adopt if elected. On the one hand he opposes permitting Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, but on the other hand, he insists that the way to make this happen is to sit down and talk to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has made annihilating the Jewish state one of his main goals in office. He says he understands Israel's need to protect its citizens from terror attacks but then he says that Israel's interests are served by strengthening the Palestinian terror groups by extending Palestinian sovereignty from Gaza to the West Bank. Gaza is ruled by jihadists from Hamas who are bankrolled, trained and armed by Iran. How are Israel's interests served by importing jihadist control to the outskirts of Tel-Aviv and to Jerusalem?

Then again, like Israeli Jews, American Jews are not too caught up in details. He said he supports Israel and got his picture taken at Yad Vashem and the Wailing Wall wearing a kippa. So he probably succeeded in pulling more American Jews into his camp of supporters.

LOPEZ: How close did you get to the "messiah"?

GLICK: I generally try to stay as far away as I possibly can from people who say they can make oceans recede. Our paths didn't cross. In fact, I managed to be out of the country on Wednesday.

LOPEZ: How did the Palestinians take to him?

GLICK: They were certainly gratified that unlike Senator John McCain, Obama made the trip to Ramallah and had his picture taken with Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas against the backdrop of Yasser Arafat's photograph. It is hard though to know if Obama's trip changed the Palestinians' impression of him. It is already clear, and has been for months that the Palestinians, like the Arab world (minus Iraq) prefer Obama to McCain because they view him as sympathetic to their war against Israel and their hostility towards the U.S. and the rest of the West. But he was in Israel for such a short time that it is hard to say that his visit excited anyone.

LOPEZ: Does he remind you of anyone?

GLICK: Obama acts like a European leader in his treatment of Israel. On the one hand, he professes this profound respect for Israel and the Jews, and goes on and on about how our security is important to him. On the other hand, he espouses policies that undermine Israeli security and threaten its survival, and demands that the Jewish state become the only state that turns its other cheek towards our enemies as they try to kill us. This is the same sort of message that we hear from all Europeans leaders. And it is tiresome and insulting.

Beyond that, Obama is in a unique situation because of the adulation he enjoys from the U.S. and Western media. The media is willing to ignore all of the substantive contradictions inherent in his policy pronouncements and to base their support for him on a quasi-religious faith. I don't remember this ever happening before in an American election –– at least not to the same extent. It is an interesting sociological phenomenon that is worthy of academic research. On a political level, it makes debate very difficult since Obama is treated more as a symbol than a politician. And it is hard to debate a symbol.

LOPEZ: What the heck happened at the Wailing Wall?

GLICK: That depends who you read. In Israel, the story was presented as "an ugly Israeli" story. People were rude and heckled him at the Wall, someone removed his note. Israelis are mean and rude to visitors, end of story.

In the U.S. blogosphere especially, the story was cast as angry Jews yelling at Obama for his desire to transfer sovereignty over parts of Israel's capital city to the Palestinians.

What is clear is that Obama wrote the following prayer that he placed in the Wall, "Lord, Protect my family and me. Forgive my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will."

This was supposed to be a private benediction, and it was extraordinarily improper for someone to take this prayer and sell it to the media. On the other hand, in the world of paparazzi, the exposure of the prayer was predictable, and Obama apparently constructed the prayer for public consumption. Like everything else about his visit, this was a carefully crafted statement, designed not to ruffle any many feathers. And like this prayer, there was nothing extraordinary about Obama's visit. As you would expect from a politician, he tried to be all things to all people. And he probably succeeded.

Lopez: Were there campaign signs there?

Glick: Apparently there were a few, but the Israeli media didn't pay much attention. Again, we're basically scope-locked on the corruption investigations of the prime minister.

Lopez: Did he get his Jerusalem answer wrong?

Glick: Israelis don't support making any concessions on our sovereignty over Jerusalem and so his answer won him no support among most Israelis. But again, no one challenged him much on the issue and no one really cared that deeply about what he thinks about much of anything other than Iran.

Lopez: What is Israel looking for in an American president?

Glick: We're looking for someone whose policies reflect an understanding of the real security threats facing Israel and the United States. We're looking for a president who understands that Israel is the frontline state in the global jihad and as a consequence, it has to have support as it defends itself and acts as the frontline of the U.S. defense perimeter. That is, we're looking for a president who understands that Israel is a valuable ally and that America's national security is directly linked to Israel's because our enemies are the same. It is this sort of president that will understand that standing with Israel and strengthening the alliance isn't a matter of platitudes designed to get Jewish voter support and disposed of when constructing real policy, but, rather, a real commitment to U.S. and Israeli security needs.

Bush projected this understanding in the 2004 election which is why some 75 percent of Israelis enthusiastically supported his reelection.

Lopez: Does Obama have it?

Glick: No, Obama doesn't have it. His statements about Iraq being a "diversion" alone are proof that he fundamentally refuses to acknowledge that there is a global jihad raging, that Israel is a frontline state in the jihad and that the U.S. cannot allow jihadists to gain control of any territory and particularly territory as strategically vital as Iraq or Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Obama is a quintessential leftist who thinks that war can be wished away by blaming the U.S. for its enemies' hatred and malicious designs. This is the type of person who will push very hard not only for America to stand down from the war and ask the Iranians for forgiveness while enabling them to get the bomb, but will blame Israel for the Arab world's refusal to accept its right to exist.

Lopez: What's the best-case President Obama scenario from where you sit? Worst-case?

Glick: The best-case scenario is that Obama will be willing to learn from the Bush administration's mistakes in attempting to appease the Palestinians, the Iranians, and the North Koreans. Such an Obama administration would recognize that its liberal formulations are fundamentally misguided and abandon them in favor of reality-based policies. Given Obama's stubborn refusal to admit he was wrong about the surge and his insistence that he can strike a deal with Ahmadinejad, the likelihood of this happening is about zero.

The worst-case scenario is that Obama actually bases his foreign policy on his ideological beliefs. If he does that, he will leave Iraq prematurely and so enable Iran's effective takeover of the country through its Shiite proxies.

He will botch up Afghanistan and end up enabling an open jihadist takeover of nuclear-armed Pakistan.

He will negotiate with Ahmadinejad, giving Iran the time and political cover to complete its nuclear program and test its nuclear weapon, and he will then refuse to assist Israel in attacking the Iranian nuclear program thus escalating the threat of an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel and Iranian nuclear blackmail of the Middle East and Europe.

He will press Israel to curtail its counter-terror activities towards the Palestinians and so enable a Hamas-Iranian takeover of the West Bank. This in turn will precipitate the expansion of the missile war against Israel from Gaza to the West Bank and so place Israel's major urban centers and its international airport at risk.

While he will simply roll over a left-leaning Israeli government like the current one while protesting his enduring commitment to Israel's security, if a Likud-led government is installed during his tenure and tries to extricate Israel from the failed "land-for-peace," policy paradigm while gearing up to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, he will treat the government with hostility and strengthen the position of Israel's enemies in his administration. This in turn will weaken the social and political standing of American Jews who will find themselves under unprecedented and unjustified suspicion of disloyalty due to their support for Israel. As in all things, the reality of an Obama presidency is difficult to predict

and may well fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Contact GWY at GWY123@aol.com

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OLMERT'S COUP
Posted by Moshe Dann, July 25, 2008.

Olmert's legacy and Binyamin Netanyahu's burden.

Like it or not, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has changed Israeli politics. Never before has disregard for the public will been so blatant and ruinous to Israel's national psyche, stamina and cohesion.

Such behavior is not new; what is different is the way in which it is done, the extent to which it has undermined public confidence, and the depth of that wound.

Politicians are naturally filled with arrogance and self-service; few are ready to admit mistakes –– until they can't hide anymore. Olmert's greed, however, is not only an individual fault; it reflects a system that has become utterly corrupted.

Buying off or destroying the opposition is, as political theorists have noted, standard practice. It is the grease for compromise in representative democracies. Dictatorships tolerate no opposition. But opposition in democracies, to be meaningful, must be effective and able to articulate a coherent alternative agenda. This does not exist in Israel. The major opposition party has no alternative national agenda.

That democracy is based on consensus, albeit with many falling through the cracks, is the social adhesive that protects and empowers all of its citizens. Lacking that sense of common purpose, however, is a failure that no society can afford, or long survive. That is Olmert's legacy and Binyamin Netanyahu's burden.

Having shaken the foundations of public faith in the system, Olmert-Ehud Barak-Tzipi Livni-Haim Ramon-Eli Yishai, as Kadima-Labor-Shas, and other major political elements are dedicated to ensuring that the system (and their power) be maintained and preserved, rather than reformed. Accountability threatens incompetence, corruption and venality no matter who rules.

Nevertheless, a new political awareness is emerging which can, in time, create a real social and political revolution; a change in the system by which Israel is misgoverned, and even a re-dedication to the basic Jewish and Zionist ideas and values which are the core of Israel's existence.

Olmert's coup, therefore, supported by all those who benefit from his largesse, is to be welcomed. This is the only way in which Israelis can understand the true nature and extent of corruption and its effects. Political consciousness comes out of dissatisfaction and critical thinking, not ensuring the Old Order.

The problem is not that Olmert rules for himself (and his cronies); he has demonstrated how a wily politician can use the system to his advantage. Fighting for one's political life is what those in power do. Rather, we must ask what the alternative is. Diverted by petty scandals, we fail to see the greater exploitation.

This inquiry demands a careful examination and investigation of every major institution by public committees, objective and bi-partisan, staffed by professionals. At this point, the only public body capable of such a task is the Office of the State Comptroller. The Knesset, composed largely of politicians whose primary interest is not to investigate or change the system, is incapable of this task. A combination of universities, colleges and dedicated public servants, like Yaron Zalekha (the former Accountant General) might provide the necessary commitment and thoroughness. Students could also be employed, as they are often idealistic and less susceptible to bribery and corruption.

Formidable obstacles are the business and financial elites whose profits and enormous power may suffer. They will try to sabotage any real reforms. Legislation must be introduced to criminalize and hopefully limit their interference.

Olmertism means individual survival takes precedence over enormous national issues. He and his entire government have taught us what it's all about: Me First. That Olmert represents the abuse of power is clear. That his tenure violates the nature and values of democracy is obvious. That he and his government remain in power, however, is legal, and a shame upon us all.

What you can do:

1) Insist that you will only vote for a party that is committed to serious electoral reform based on the principle of accountability and responsibility.

2) Demand that any party wishing to receive your support must include a broad, comprehensive and specific national agenda.

3) Protest –– with dignity and self-respect –– the appearance of politicians who refuse to accept electoral change at social, business and communal gatherings, union meetings and official events.

4) Believe in the future of a Jewish Zionist country, our homeland in Eretz Yisrael.

5) Don't despair! Energize and organize.

Moshe Dann is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem. Contact him at moshedan@netvision.net.il. This article appeared in Arutz-Sheva
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/8132

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TURKEY IN THE THROES OF ISLAMIC REVOLUTION?
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 25, 2008.
 

This was written by Spengler and it appeared in the Asia Times
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JG22Ak02.html

 

Turkey is half pregnant with political Islam, if one believes Western foreign ministries and the mainstream press. Its Islamist government last week arrested 82 alleged coup plotters from Turkey's military and intellectual elite, on the strength of a secret indictment of 2,445 pages. Turkish media have offered fanciful allegations linking the secular leaders of the alleged "Ergenekon" plot to al-Qaeda as well as the violent Kurdish Workers' Party. Among those detailed are pillars of the secular establishment, including the head of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce and the Ankara editor of the country's leading daily newspaper, Cumhuriyet.

Before shouting "Reichstag Fire!" in a crowded theater, one should read the indictment, when and if it is made public. A few Western analysts, such as Michael Rubin at the American Enterprise Institute, are warning [1] that an Islamic putsch is possible, after the fashion of ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran. The question of the moment, though, is not whether mass arrests of civic leaders on charges that challenge the imagination are compatible with Turkey's image as a democratic nation, but rather why the world's media have printed nary a harsh word about the administration of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A perfect storm of enmity has come down on the beleaguered Turkish secularists, who find themselves without friends. That is a tragedy whose consequences will spill over Turkey's borders, for the secular model established by Kemal Ataturk after World War I was the Muslim world's best hope of adapting to modernity. Many years of misbehavior by Turkey's army and security services, the core institutions of secular power, have eroded their capacity to resist an Islamist takeover.

The United States State Department, meanwhile, has found a dubious use for what it thinks is a moderate strain of political Islam. Washington apparently hopes to steer Turkey into a regional bloc with the short-term aim of calming Iraq, and a longer-term objective of fostering a Sunni alliance against Iran's ambition to foment a Shi'ite revolution in the Middle East.

By rejecting Turkey's efforts to join the European Union, France and Germany have destroyed the credibility of the secular parties who seek integration with the West. Perhaps the Europeans already have consigned Turkey to the ward for political incurables, and do not think it worthwhile to try to revive Western-oriented secularism. Turkey's liberal intellectuals, who suffered intermittent but brutal repression at the hands of the secular military, think of the Islamist government as the enemy of their enemy, if not quite their friend.

Sadly, the notion that moderate Islam will flourish in the Turkish nation demands that we believe in two myths, namely, moderate Islam and the Turkish nation. Too much effort is wasted parsing the political views of Erdogan, who began his career in the 1990s as an avowed Islamist and anti-secularist, but later espoused a muted form of Islam as leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Whether Erdogan is a born-again moderate or a disguised jihadi is known only to the man himself. Islam in Turkey flourishes in full public view. At the village level, the AKP draws on the same sort of Saudi Arabian patronage that filled Pakistan with madrassas (seminaries) during the past two decades, and incubated the Wahhabi forces that have now all but buried the remnants of Pakistani secularism.

If political Islam prevails in Turkey, what will emerge is not the same country in different coloration, but a changeling, an entirely different nation. In a 1997 speech that earned him a prison term, Erdogan warned of two fundamentally different camps, the secularists who followed Kemal, and Muslims who followed sharia. These are not simply different camps, however, but different configurations of Turkish society at the molecular level. Like a hologram, Turkey offers two radically different images when viewed from different angles. Turkish Islam, the ordering of the Anatolian villages and the Istanbul slums, represents a nation radically different than the secularism of the army, the civil service, the universities and the Western-leaning elite of Istanbul. If the Islamic side of Turkey rises, the result will be unrecognizable.

Modern Turkey is a construct, not a country in the sense that Westerners understand the term; it is the rump of a multi-ethnic empire that perished in World War I, and the project of a nation advanced by a visionary leader who could not, however, pierce the sedimentary layers of ethnicity, language and history that make modern Turkey less than the sum of its parts. Turkey's army prevailed as the dominant institution of the secular state simply because no other entity could array the poor farmers of the Anatolian highlands according to the secular program.

The trouble is that there are not that enough Turks in Turkey. To replace the imperial identity of the Ottoman Empire, Kemal proposed Turkum, or Turkishness, an Anatolian national identity founded on the many civilizations that had ruled the peninsula. Ethnic identity in the sense of European nationalism informed neither the Ottoman Empire nor the Kemalist state. The Orghuz Turks who conquered the hinterlands of the Byzantine Empire during the 12th century never comprised more than a small minority of the population. At the height of their conquests during the 17th century, the Ottoman Empire ruled over more Christians than Muslims.

Kemal created modern Turkey by thwarting the attempts of Western powers to partition his country after its defeat in World War I, but at terrible cost. The 20 million population of the Ottoman Empire was reduced to perhaps 7 million (by a French government estimate) in 1924. Up to a million and a half Armenian Christians were murdered in 1914-1918 at the instigation of the Turkish government, to neutralize a population considered sympathetic to wartime adversaries. Most of the killing was done by Kurdish tribesmen. Between 1.5 million and 3 million Greek Orthodox Christians, whose ancestors had settled Asia Minor thousands of years before the Turks arrived, were expelled in 1924 at the conclusion of the Greek-Turkish War.

Modern Turkey thus began not only with the rump of an empire, but with the turnover of nearly half its 1924 population. Because Kemal's concept of Turkum requires suspension of disbelief in favor of a nonexistent national identity, Turkey has avoided a census of its minorities since 1965. Perhaps 30% of its population are Kurds, whose integration into the Turkish state is uncertain. Kurds are concentrated in eastern Turkey in an area that before 1918 was known as Western Armenia –– because ethnic Kurds replaced the slaughtered Armenians. In addition, there are 3 million Circassians, 2 million Bosniaks, a million and a half Albanians, a million Georgians, and sundry smaller groups. But even within the majority characterized as "ethnic Turks", the sedimentary layers remain of millennia of contending tribes and civilizations.

The Kemalists had mixed results in their efforts to pack this ethnic and cultural jumble into a newly-designed national identity. What sometimes is called the "deep state" –– the secretive Kemalist hold over military and intelligence services –– may turn out to be shallow as it is brittle. One Turkish historian told me, "Like the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid, who fell 100 years ago this week because of an explosion of popular unrest, the Turkish military are the victims of their own success in creating a diversified and modern society which wants to live in a freer system. The hard hand they turned against intellectual dissenters drove sections of the westernized intelligentsia into the arms of the Islamists –– and it is that alliance which is now at work to demolish both the military's influence in politics and (perhaps) the entire heritage of Kemal Ataturk."

Like its Ottoman predecessors, the Kemalist establishment recognized its danger far too late. This year, the country's Constitutional Court attempted to ban Erdogan's AKP for attempting to undermine the secular state. It seems probable that the suppression of the supposed coup plot constitutes the AKP's response, as well as a pre-emptive action against the last-resort tactic of the secularists, namely military intervention to prevent Turkey from sliding into Islamism.

Turkey presently is composed of 70 million people who do not quite know who they are.

If the hologram rotates towards Islam, that is, a return to sharia and traditional life in opposition to modernity, Turkey will no more resemble the "moderate Muslim" state of 2008 than Kemal's Turkey resembled the Ottoman Empire of 1908. According to one Turkish analyst, "The Islamic movement in Turkey is a vast and varied coalition of which the AKP is only the nose cone. It was designed to look studiously moderate and allay the suspicions both of the military and of world opinion. Some sections of the AKP are undoubtedly moderates or pragmatists and deserve their moderate reputation. But alongside the party, there is an enormous groundswell of Islamic movements, at work transforming Turkish society and institutions. Successful revolutionaries tend to be those who conceal their intentions until the hour of victory: if anyone in the AKP intends to move towards sharia it is unlikely that they would be shouting this from the rooftops."

It should be no surprise that the State Department looks favorably on Turkey's Islamist drift: that is precisely how Foggy Bottom viewed Iran in 1979, when it sped the overthrow of the shah. It appears that the United States and Saudi Arabia, each for its own reasons, are doing their best to propel Turkey on the way to Islamism. Saudi Arabia's support for Islamist organizations at the grassroots level is an open secret in Turkey, and the influence of Erdogan's AKP at the village level stems to a great extent from Saudi patronage.

Less subtle is the burgeoning importance of Gulf state contracts for the Turkish economy. Turkey has two main sources of external business: consumer goods exports to Europe, and contracting as well as exports in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Economic conditions are deteriorating in Turkey, and the country's stock market is the worst performer this year among emerging markets. With Europe in recession, and prospects fading for Turkish entry into the European community, Saudi Arabia looms larger in the Turkish economy, strengthening Erdogan's hand among the business elite.

Washington's immediate concern is the appearance of stability in Iraq, which will influence the November presidential elections in the US. As a self-styled moderate Sunni, Erdogan seems to be Central Casting's idea of an Iraqi ally. Erdogan received an extraordinary welcome when he visited Iraq last week, with the promise of an economic and political alliance with the country.

An Iraqi spokesmen, Ali al-Dabbagh, declared after Erdogan's visit that "Turkey is Iraq's door to Europe", adding that Turkey "can be the best trade partner of Iraq", according to the BBC on July 13. Even more, "The security and political dimensions are also of paramount importance because the two countries are on the road to democracy. Turkey is a democratic country and democracy has started to take roots in Iraq ... I think this relationship will be a large nucleus around which other countries will rally so that the region will develop into a common market benefiting its peoples."

Less dramatic, but perhaps more important than the mass arrests, was another development in Turkey. The country's Supreme Court dismissed all charges against the exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, the man Michael Rubin believes will be Turkey's answer to Khomeini. State prosecutors had accused Gulen of founding an illegal organization with the objective of undermining the secular structure of the state. An elderly diabetic, Gulen has lived in exile in the United States since 1998. "We expect Gulen here any day," a Turkish analyst told me. Whether Rubin is correct to view Gulen as the Turkish Khomeini is of secondary interest. Gulen's movement is one of a number of entities that might form the kernel of an Islamic Republic in Turkey.

The Sorcerer's Apprentices of the State Department do not understand the sort of objects that they are animating.

Political Islam will not merely change coloration of the country, but transform its character from the grassroots upward. For all the crudeness of the Kemalists, American diplomats will regret their failure as much as the fall of the shah.

Note

1. Turkey's Turning Point National Online, April 14, 2008.

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

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MEDIA PROPAGANDA TAKES ITS TOLL; MORE OLMERT CORRUPTION; BLIND IDEOLOGUES IN POWER
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 25, 2008.
 

WHO HAMPERS SECURITY EFFORT IN JUDEA-SAMARIA?

When the IDF apprehends terrorists in the supposed moderately-governed P.A., the P.A. reproaches Israel as having impeded the P.A.'s own security efforts.

If the P.A. really were anti-terrorist, it would thank Israel. Its claim might be credible if the P.A. imprisoned terrorists. Instead, it propagandizes in favor of terrorism, forfeiting the right to complain about successful efforts by Israel.

MEDIA PROPAGANDA TAKES ITS TOLL

Some friends anguish over their support for Israel while, they think, Israel mistreats the Arabs. How mistreat? They complain that Israel is building houses in the Territories. That, they say, is an affront to the Arabs.

How do they know? They are absorbing complaints by the media. I mentioned to one friend that the Oslo Accords did not restrict Jewish building in the Territories. She didn't think so. However, I had read the Accords in toto.

I pointed out that the Arabs build in the Territories, often illegally. How come there are complaints only about the Jews? I also mentioned that the Arabs steal public land in Israel en masse. The media does not complain about that. Again a double standard. The media has an agenda. This agenda is anti-Zionist. The media should be discounted.

My friend complained that Israel is building where it had agreed not to. It is not clear what Israeli officials agreed to, and under what pressure and anti-Jewish and undemocratic ideology, but if they did, the Arabs' complete violation of those agreements nullify them. It wouldn't be fair for the Arabs to get away with their violations, all of which are immoral and serious, from defamation to theft to murder, while Israel should have to continue making concessions, such as refraining from building, which the legal status of the Territories, under the Palestine Mandate, requires. (Yes, I read that document, too. It requires, actually requires, "full settlement of the land by the Jews." And yes, the international legal experts, in the days when they were experts and not propagandists, explained that Judea, Samaria, and Gaza still have the legal status of unallocated territory under the Mandate.) The media does not explain that. It lies about Israel having most of Palestine. It bases those statements upon this statistical deceit: It conveniently forgets that Britain illegally gave the Arabs illegally 79% of Palestine, removing it from the Mandate. It calls the rest, of which Israel has the most, "Palestine." It rouses readers to indignation against Israel for not relinquishing the secure borders that the Territories would afford, to a faith bent on conquering and killing. Good people are made indignant against the innocent and in favor of the guilty. They should despise the media.

MORE OLMERT CORRUPTION

Now police accuse PM Olmert of having asked multiple charities to pay for the same foreign trips, which he then used for family vacations rather than for public purposes. He does not see anything wrong with his double billing. How low his ethical standard has sunk!

He complains about police leaks about the investigations (IMRA, 7/11).

The leaks are deplorable.

I have lost track of how many cases of corruption have been opened against Olmert. Is it seven? Do prosecutors plan to spend the rest of Olmert's term in office uncovering new cases of corruption, without sending him to jail for the earlier cases? That way, they seem to be doing something, enabling him to keep offering the Arabs more concessions. Enough concessions, and Israel will fall.

Would that my friends, who worry about Jewish building in Judea-Samaria, understood that. Why can't they, misinformed as they are, draw a conclusion from the abandonment of Gaza and its having been turned into a base for warfare against Israel, and from Islamic statements that their goal is not just territories but Israel, that appeasement does not work? Probably the friends not only are misinformed but also don't put their minds to make something of the little information they do have.

The difficulty is that they are not very amenable to much explanation from truthful sources. They remain under the sway of continuing propaganda from the media, especially The NY Times and NPR. The media foster attitudes that Israel mistreats the Arabs. The media do not explain that those Muslims also are enemies of the US.

PRISONER EXCHANGE

The P.A. demanded the remains the remains of an Arab terrorist from Jaffa, who led a raid that murdered dozens of Israelis, years ago. An associate of the allegedly moderate Abbas wants to hold a big funeral in her honor for her "courageous" action. Israel acquiesced, in the Hizbullah prisoner trade.

The P.A. has named many institutions after her (IMRA, 7/11).

The major P.A. celebration seems to be like a triumph over Israel. This is an example of how evil the P.A. is, Abbas et al, and how degraded the government of Israel is, Olmert et al.

JOKE ABOUT OBAMA

When your liberal friends say they favor Obama, tell them, ruefully, "Now that Obama has become so right wing (having reversed many previous positions), I have to vote for McCain as the more liberal candidate."

BLIND IDEOLOGUES IN POWER

The American political system has peculiarities. Presidents and governors are merely elected citizens treated almost as royalty. After leaving office, they still are called "President" and "Governor," but a year before leaving office, they begin to be treated as ordinary citizens. President Bush is a "lame duck." He, himself, takes into account the supposed views of his likely successors. "Supposed" views, because in running for his office, they, especially Obama, reverse longstanding positions. Because possible successor Obama would disapprove, Bush is inhibited from attacking Iran.

Obama, long a blind ideologue of the Far Left, now acts Center-Right. He still retains the know-nothing liberal position that the way to deal with Iran is by negotiation. Years of failure of negotiations with Iran as with Iraq and most ideological dictators haven't dented his faith. He must think that his way with words here will sway fanatics there.

He would keep negotiating with Iran until Iran gains nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them to us. Then Iran would present an immediate danger. Then he might find it necessary to knock out Iran's nuclear facilities. What happens to us if Iran moves an hour earlier?

Under the influence of constant liberal criticism, even Pres. Bush's supporters discuss whether Iran poses an "immediate" threat. If a mugger says he is going to kill you, and he takes out bullets to load into his pistol, would you wait for him to load them and become an "immediate" threat?

PM Olmert presents another type of danger to his people. Bush procrastinates. Obama is blind. Olmert is reckless and desperate.

Remember the reckless way Olmert and Foreign Min. Livni lurched into an unprepared war on Hizbullah, ignorant about the military but interfering with it for politics? Notice his reckless offers of concessions and his reckless negotiations? (Negotiating is dangerous, more so than a war that can be expected to be won.) Olmert is hobbled by an anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish ideology, the leftist prosecutor's if not his own. He does anything to distract from his prosecution and to please the leftists. He is liable to attack Iran before the IDF is ready, and to interfere with its possible success. He also is liable to do nothing.

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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HUGO CHAVEZ'S JEWISH PROBLEM
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 25, 2008.
 

This article was written by Travis Pantin, who lives in New York City. He was educated at the University of Chicago and has been a staff reporter for the New York Sun. It appeared in the July/August issue of Commentary Magazine (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/).

 

In December 1998, preaching a gospel of socialist revolution that had gone blessedly unvoiced in the decade following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Hugo Chávez won a landslide election for the presidency of Venezuela. At the time, his governing philosophy, dubbed "Chávismo," seemed unlikely to amount to more than a historical and geographical anomaly –– a temporary reversal in a region that appeared to have decisively rejected Marxist nostrums.

Nearly another decade has passed since Chávez's ascension. He has suffered a few setbacks in the intervening years, notably a temporary ouster in a 2002 coup and a defeat in a referendum last year that, if passed, would have effectively made him dictator for life. His propensity for wild rhetoric and diktats –– as when he created a new time zone by fiat in December 2007, moving the clocks in Venezuela back a half-hour to address the inability of his countrymen to arrive promptly at appointments –– has led to questions about his emotional and mental stability. It has also made it easier for Western policymakers to discount the seriousness of his oft-stated goal of fomenting violent political change throughout Latin America.

But to dismiss Chávez as a lunatic is to wish away his proven political skill. He is, without question, a powerful figure –– and one who, thanks to a quirk of geography, is also in possession of dangerously large amounts of oil. His government claims to control over 100 billion barrels of proven reserves, by far the largest of any country in the Western hemisphere. Although estimates vary, at current production levels and prices Venezuela's oil revenues may top $250 million daily.

Unlike Fidel Castro, who as a client of the Soviet Union had to apply to his patron for funds, Chávez is thus free to indulge his ambitions. "In Venezuela we have a strong oil card to play on the geopolitical table," he told the Argentinian newspaper Clarín in 2005. "It is a card," he added, "that we are going to play forcefully against the nastiest country in the world, the United States."

To this end, Chávez has made common cause with FARC, a narco-terrorist group working tirelessly to overthrow the legitimately elected democratic government of Colombia, Washington's closest ally in South America. No less ominously, he has aligned his government with regimes and terror groups that would otherwise seem to hold little attraction for a Spanish-speaking country on South America's northern coast. These include Libya –– which awarded Chávez the al-Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights, named for the country's dictator –– as well as Syria, Hizballah, and Hizballah's patron Iran. Virtually alone among world leaders, Chávez is an impassioned defender of Tehran's right to pursue nuclear technology and has even hinted he would be willing to finance it.

As this list may suggest, there is something else, aside from simple anti-Americanism, at work in Chávez's foreign policy. He and his supporters are in the grip of another age-old obsession, albeit one with a few indigenous twists: an obsession, that is, with the supposedly excessive power of world Jewry, and in particular of Venezuela's few, prosperous, and increasingly imperiled Jews.


Venezuela's Jewish community, amounting to less than 1 percent of the country's total population of 26 million, is among the oldest in South America, dating back to the early 19th century. During the struggle for independence from Spain, the fugitive revolutionary Simón Bolívar found refuge among a group of Venezuelan Jews, some of whom later went on to fight in the ranks of his liberating army. Today, the majority of the country's Jewish population is descended from an influx of European and North African immigrants who arrived during the years surrounding World War II. Most reside in the capital city of Caracas, comprising a tightly knit community made up of roughly equal numbers from Ashkenazi and Sephardi countries of origin.

Venezuelans pride themselves on living in an ethnic and religious melting pot. Their homeland, unlike its neighbors Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile, has no history of having harbored Nazi fugitives. Before Chávez came to power, members of the Jewish community reported little animosity from either the government or the populace, and sharply anti-Zionist rhetoric was relatively uncommon. Nor did Venezuela's fifteen synagogues (all but one of them Orthodox) experience much of the anti-Semitic vandalism common in other Latin American countries with tiny Jewish populations. The Hebraica center –– its building functions as a lavish social hub, elementary school, country club, sports facility, and gathering place for Caracas Jewry –– was largely left in peace.

No longer. Since Chávez took the oath of office at the beginning of 1999, there has been an unprecedented surge in anti-Semitism throughout Venezuela. Government-owned media outlets have published anti-Semitic tracts with increasing frequency. Pro-Chávez groups have publicly disseminated copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the early-20th-century czarist forgery outlining an alleged worldwide Jewish conspiracy to seize control of the world. Prominent Jewish figures have been publicly denounced for supposed disloyalty to the "Bolivarian" cause, and "Semitic banks" have been accused of plotting against the regime. Citing suspicions of such plots, Chávez's government has gone so far as to stage raids on Jewish elementary schools and other places of meeting. The anti-Zionism expressed by the government is steadily spilling over into street-level anti-Semitism, in which synagogues are vandalized with a frequency and viciousness never before seen in the country.

The details are arresting.

  • Graffiti, often bearing the signature of the Venezuelan Communist party and its youth organization, have appeared on synagogues and Jewish buildings, with messages like "mata ninos" ("child killers"), "judios afuera" ("Jews get out"), "judios perros" ("Jews are dogs"), and swastikas linked to stars of David by an equals sign.

  • Sammy Eppel, a columnist for the independent Caracas newspaper El Universal, has documented hundreds of instances of anti-Semitism in government media. To take one particularly noxious example, in September 2006 El Diario de Caracas, until recently one of the country's most important papers, published an editorial containing these fiery words:
    Let us pay attention to the behavior of the Israeli-Zionist associations, unions, and federations that are conspiring in Venezuela to take control of our finances, our industries, commerce, construction –– which are infiltrating our government and politics. Possibly we will have to expel them from our country ... as other nations have done.

  • On television, Mario Silva, the host of a popular pro-Chávez show called La Hojilla ("The Razor Blade"), has repeatedly named prominent Venezuelan Jews as anti-government conspirators and called on other Jews to denounce them. "Rabbi Jacobo Benzaquén and Rabbi Pynchas Brener are actively participating in the conspiracy in conjunction with the media," Silva has said. "So as not to be called an anti-Semite," he added, "I repeat that those Jewish businessmen not involved in the conspiracy should say so."

  • Armed government agents have conducted two unannounced raids on the Hebraica club during the past five years. The first occurred during the early morning hours of November 29, 2004, when two dozen men wearing masks invaded the elementary school just as pupils were arriving for class. In the second, which came shortly after midnight on December 2, 2007, government agents broke through the front gate and disrupted hundreds of celebrants at a wedding party in the nearby synagogue. In each case, allegedly, the agents were looking for weapons and other evidence of "subversive activity."

  • The last few years have seen the creation of a terrorist group in Venezuela calling itself Hizballah in Latin America. The group has already claimed responsibility for placing two small bombs outside the American embassy in Caracas in October 2006 –– one of them, it is thought, intended for the embassy of Israel. Although neither of the two bombs detonated, the group's website hailed the man who planted them as a "brother mujahedin" and has urged other, simultaneous attacks throughout Venezuela in solidarity with Hizballah in Lebanon.

In this connection, although there is no direct evidence linking Chávez with Hizballah in Latin America, the group's website has featured words of praise for him, and the feeling may well be mutual. Not only has Chávez repeatedly expressed support for Hizballah in general, but (according to Venezuelan newspapers) he paid $1 million to print posters of himself with Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah to be displayed at a Hizballah rally in Beirut.


Insofar as there is a rationale behind any of this, it would seem to form a part of Chávez's general view of the world. According to that view, the United States has coopted both Europe and Israel into a transnational enterprise whose purpose is to exploit and impoverish the world's less developed but resource-rich countries. Jews, especially but not exclusively in the form of the state of Israel, are an integral part of this enterprise. In a July 2006 interview with the Arab TV network al-Jazeera, Chávez elaborated upon the relation between the U.S. and Israel:

The greatest menace to the future of humanity is the United States, and one of its instruments of aggression in [your] part of the world is the state of Israel. ... The Secretary of State has said that that [the U.S.] will change the map of the Middle East. This plan was made in advance and in great detail in the Pentagon, except that Israel is the executor. ... They want to transform the map of the Middle East in order to guarantee the dominance and control of the largest reserves of oil and energy in the world.

As an alleged oppressor of the Palestinian Arabs, Israel has its own place of special infamy in Chávez's world view. This latter theme has served him particularly well in his efforts to mobilize the sentiments of his rural constituents. Thus, during a 2005 speech marking Columbus's discovery of the Americas, Chávez likened the plight of Venezuela's Indians to that of Palestinians. Reminding his listeners of how their ancestors had been "murdered in their land" by "governments, economic sectors, and great land estates," he thundered: "You were expelled from your homeland, like the heroic Palestinian people."

All of these elements seem entirely derivative of Marxist-Leninist theorizing, with a strong admixture of post-colonialism à la Franz Fanon and Fidel Castro. But Chávez is not just another Latin American leftist on the Castro model. While the Cuban dictator may be his most important political influence, his greatest intellectual debt is to the Argentinian writer and thinker Norberto Ceresole: a man not of the Left but of the populist Right, a Holocaust denier, and a sworn enemy of Israel and the Jews.

Born in 1943, Ceresole was one of the leading spokesmen for the radical populist government of the Argentinian president Juan Perón. Later, in the guise of a political theorist, he argued that the only appropriate leaders for Latin American nations were caudillos: nationalist, militarist, and charismatic strongmen capable of ushering in a "post-democratic" age in which the region's people would become effortlessly at one with the generals who would direct every aspect of society. Led by a group of such caudillos, a confederation of Latin American fascist states would then be in a position to beat back American global hegemony.

Ceresole reportedly traveled with Chávez during his initial bid for power. After the latter's 1998 victory, he published a celebratory volume, Caudillo, Army, People: The Venezuela of President Chávez. The second chapter is entitled "The Jewish Question and the State of Israel." In it, Ceresole espoused a "new revisionism" that defined the Holocaust as a "myth" and Israel as a global menace:

The existence of this political enterprise –– Israel: a power concentrated in the monopoly of monotheism and implemented through an army, police forces, jails, tortures, assassinations, etc. –– seeks to consolidate itself through a series of ideological manipulations in the bosom of the hegemonic power of the United States, which seeks to be accepted as the ruler of the world by any means, even generalized terror, and dissuasive and persuasive practices.

It was for this reason, according to Ceresole, that one of the greatest threats to the Chávez regime lay in Venezuela's "Jewish financial mafia." Indeed, the Venezuelan Jewish community as a whole was to be considered guilty of race-based hostility to Chávez's redemptive nationalist movement.


The ingeniousness of Ceserole's doctrine, as filtered through the sensibility of Hugo Chávez, resides in its blending of Marxist economics with two venerable anti-Semitic traditions. The first, still powerful in South America, derives from Catholic teachings about the historic Jewish responsibility for the death of Jesus. The second, encapsulated most notoriously in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, has flourished in both rightist and leftist variations throughout modern European history, resurfacing in our own time in the fulminations of extreme anti-Zionists. Chávez drew on both traditions in an address he delivered on Christmas Eve in 2004. Here he spoke ominously of certain "minorities, the descendants of those who crucified Christ," who had "taken possession of the riches of the world."

But there was an added element at play in this passage, which has to be quoted in full to be properly appreciated:

The world has enough for everybody, but it happened that some minorities –– the descendants of those who crucified Christ, the descendants of those who ejected Bolívar from here and who crucified him in their own way in Santa Marta, over in Colombia –– took possession of the riches of the world. A minority appropriated the world's gold, the silver, the minerals, the waters, the good lands, the oil, and has concentrated the riches in a few hands.

Like most of its South American neighbors, Venezuela is a nation of economic extremes. There are a small number of extraordinarily well-to-do families –– the "white oligarchs" –– and an enormously large population of very poor people, partly or wholly native-American, with few prospects of economic advancement. Since his ascension to power, Chávez has been engaged in a policy of forcible redistribution, nationalizing industries and large farms and turning their proceeds over to social programs aimed ostensibly at ameliorating the condition of the poor.

In common with most such efforts at top-down nationalization and redistribution, however, this one has been a grotesque failure. A country bringing in at least $1.75 billion a week in oil revenues suffers from chronic food shortages, including in such staples as coffee and sugar. Even the oil business, now run by Chávez cronies rather than by professionals, is nowhere near as profitable as it might be. And so the inequities persist, and with them the need to identify scapegoats that can divert attention from Chávez's culpability and allow him to maintain his iron grip.

Chávez often speaks of Jesus Christ as the first true socialist, whose agenda he, like Bolívar before him, is fulfilling. In so doing he draws upon another Latin American trope, this one of more recent vintage. The "liberation theology" that emerged in Catholic circles in Brazil in the 1960's provided a theological justification for radical social change; proponents of this quasi-Leninist doctrine use the phrase "Christ killers" to refer to the capitalists who allegedly block the fulfillment of their revolutionary vision. In this sense, Chávez's Christmas 2004 speech, adroitly weaving together the teachings of liberation theology with local political history, appealing to a legacy of deep economic resentment that he himself has greatly exacerbated, and evoking the incendiary motifs of the world's oldest hatred, made up a perfect storm of demagogic rhetoric.


It is helpful to keep this background in mind in evaluating the response of Venezuela's Jews to the outrages, physical and verbal, that have been perpetrated against their community. Reaction to the Christmas 2004 speech provides an illustration.

As it happens, one unequivocally strong protest emanated from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in distant Argentina. "In your words," read a statement addressed to the Venezuelan president,

we find two central arguments of anti-Semitism: the canard of the deicide and the association of Jews with wealth. ... Our center condemns your anti-Semitic statements. Such offense to universal values demands an immediate and public apology.

But this protest itself drew a protest –– from, in fact, the head of the Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela. "We believe the president [in his speech] was not talking about Jews," wrote Fred Pressner in a letter to the Wiesenthal Center. Rather, Pressner went on, seizing on the speech's artful ambiguities, Chávez was referring to the "white oligarchy." Still worse, according to Pressner, was the fact that the Wiesenthal Center, by acting "without consulting us, on issues that you do not know or understand," had "interfered in the political status, in the security, and in the well-being of our community."

Unquestionably, the Venezuelan Jewish community is in a very difficult situation. There had already been something of a split earlier in 2004 following the first raid on the Hebraica club. While some had reflexively tried to downplay the significance of the incursion, Pynchas Brener, the country's chief Ashkenazi rabbi, demurred, pronouncing the raid a "direct aggression" by the state heralding an "important shift" in relations. "There is not a single Jewish family in Caracas that was not affected," Rabbi Brener said.

Nor was there any equivocation on Rabbi Brener's part in the wake of the second raid on the Hebraica club in December 2007. This was particularly ominous, he averred, because of the timing: the raid took place on the day before the Venezuelan electorate was scheduled to vote on a constitutional referendum that, if passed, would allow Chávez to retain office indefinitely. In light of the ruling party's well-documented eagerness to blame its political troubles on Jewish machinations, the raid could have been a fishing expedition –– a hunt for prospective "evidence" pointing, in the event of the referendum's failure, to a conspiracy on the part of the country's leading Jews.

Shortly after this second raid, indeed, Pressner's organization abandoned its own previous calls for moderation. "We denounce this new and unjustifiable act against the Venezuelan Jewish community," it declared in a forceful press release, "and express our profound indignation and repulsion." For his part, Rabbi Brener proclaimed that the purpose of the raid "was just to scare the daylights out of the Jewish community, to convince us not to vote and to keep a low profile." But, he added defiantly, "since the Holocaust we don't scare easily."

Neither, of course, does Venezuela's president. Although the government acknowledged that the search for evidence of "subversive activity" at Hebraica was fruitless, and although the referendum did narrowly fail, Chávez has vowed to achieve his constitutional reform –– that is, to create his dictatorship –– by other means.


One-third of Venezuela's Jews have fled the country by now, and those who remain are in a state ranging from discomfiture to terror. When asked why they stay, some wealthier Jews say that the answer is economic. "The problem ... is that you could never live like this anywhere else," the owner of a Caracas textile plant told a reporter from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. "Nobody here really wants to go to Israel. You would need to have ten times as much money to live this way." Others, less well off, are similarly reluctant, and offers by the Israeli government to ease the process of aliyah have so far met with few takers.

The stated reasons are many. Even amidst all their trouble, it has been pointed out, Venezuela's Jews retain a workable relationship with the Chávez government. Jewish journalists can still speak out. Nor have Jewish business been targeted for expropriation by Chávez's redistributionist policies. Jews can still travel freely, and anti-Semitic violence has not touched many of them personally. So they hold out, bearing the yoke of economic and political harassment and hoping for change.

Are they right to do so? History suggests that once anti-Semitism becomes an instrument of state policy, the possibility of violence can never be discounted. For centuries, moreover, anti-Semitism has waxed and waned with fluctuating business cycles. With both the ailing economy and Chávez's social programs dependent almost entirely on oil revenues, a drop in prices could trigger widespread animosity against the "Semitic banks" that members of Chávez's party have repeatedly denounced for every passing ill. A major event like a military strike on Iran by the United States or Israel might similarly serve as justification for seizing the assets of Venezuela's Jewry. In the meantime, as the numbers dwindle, and many of the richest depart, it is becoming increasingly difficult to care for the Jewish poor, who make up a full 25 percent of the community.

Caught in a vise between an all too realistic fear and a possibly illusory hope, one of South America's most productive and peaceful minorities awaits the future in grim expectancy.

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

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THE 'JIHAD' CANDIDATE
Posted by Dave Nathan, July 25, 2008.
 

Richard Carroll is an op-ed writer and the author of the books, "Terrorists' Crossing" and "Orphaned Heroes." This appeared on the Two Sisters From the Right website:
http://www.2sistersfromtheright.com/

 

Conspiracy theories make for interesting novels when the storyline is not so absurd that it can grasp our attention. 'The Manchurian Candidate' and 'Seven Days in May' are examples of plausible chains of events that captures the reader's imagination at best-seller level. 'What if' has always been the solid grist of fiction.

Get yourself something cool to drink, find a relaxing position, but before you continue, visualize the television photos of two jet airliners smashing into the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan and remind yourself this cowardly act of Muslim terror was planned for eight years.

How long did it take Islam and their oil money to find a candidate for President of the United States? As long as it took them to place a Senator from Illinois and Minnesota? The same amount of time to create a large Muslim enclave in Detroit? The time it took them to build over 2,000 mosques in America? The same amount of time required to place radical wahabbist clerics in our military and prisons as 'chaplains'?

Find a candidate who can get away with lying about their father being a 'freedom fighter' when he was actually part of the most corrupt and violent government in Kenya's history. Find a candidate with close ties to The Nation of Islam and the violent Muslim overthrow in Africa, a candidate who is educated among white infidel Americans but hides his bitterness and anger behind a superficial toothy smile. Find a candidate who changes his American name of Barry to the Muslim name of Barak Hussein Obama, and dares anyone to question his true ties under the banner of 'racism'. Nurture this candidate in an atmosphere of anti-white American teaching and surround him with Islamic teachers. Provide him with a bitter, racist, anti-white, anti-American wife, and supply him with Muslim middle east connections and Islamic monies. Allow him to be clever enough to get away with his anti-white rhetoric and proclaim he will give $834 billion taxpayer dollars to the Muslim controlled United Nations for use in Africa.

Install your candidate in an atmosphere of deception because questioning him on any issue involving Africa or Islam would be seen as 'bigoted racism'; two words too powerful to allow the citizenry to be informed of facts. Allow your candidate to employ several black racist Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan followers as members of his Illinois Senatorial and campaign staffs.

Where is the bloodhound American 'free press' who doggedly overturned every stone in the Watergate case? Where are our nation's reporters that have placed every Presidential candidate under the microscope of detailed scrutiny; the same press who pursue Bush's 'Skull and Bones' club or ran other candidates off with persistent detective and research work? Why haven't 'newsmen' pursued the 65 blatant lies told by this candidate during the Presidential primaries? Where are the stories about this candidate's cousin and the Muslim butchery in Africa? Since when did our national press corps become weak, timid, and silent? Why haven't they regaled us with the long list of socialists and communists who have surrounded this 'out of nowhere' Democrat candidate or that his church re-printed the Hamas Manifesto in their bulletin, and that his 'close pastor friend and mentor' met with Middle East terrorist Moammar Gaddafi, (Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)? Why isn't the American press telling us this candidate is supported by every Muslim organization in the world?

As an ultimate slap in the face, be blatant in the fact your candidate has ZERO interest in traditional American values and has the most liberal voting record in U.S. Senate history. Why has the American main stream media clammed-up on any negative reporting on Barak Hussein Obama? Why will they print Hillary Rodham Clinton's name but never write his middle name? Is it not his name? Why, suddenly, is ANY information about this candidate not coming from main stream media, but from the blogosphere by citizens seeking facts and the truth? Why isn't our media connecting the dots with Islam? Why do they focus on 'those bad American soldiers' while Islam slaughters non Muslims daily in 44 countries around the globe? Why does our media refer to Darfur as 'ethnic cleansing' instead of what it really is; Muslims killing non Muslims! There is enough strange, anti-American activity surrounding Barak Hussein Obama to peek the curiosity of any reporter. WHERE IS OUR INVESTIGATIVE MEDIA!?

A formal plan for targeting America was devised three years after the Iranian revolution in 1982. The plan was summarized in a 1991 memorandum by Mohamed Akram, an operative of the global Muslim Brotherhood. 'The process of settlement' of Muslims in America, Akram explained, 'is a civilization jihad process.' This means that members of the Brotherhood 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.'

There is terrorism we can see, smell and fear, but there is a new kind of terror invading The United States in the form of Sharia law and finance. Condoning it is civilization suicide. Middle East Muslims are coming to America in record numbers and building hate infidel mosques, buying our corporations, suing us for our traditions, but they and the whole subject of Islam is white noise leaving uninformed Americans about who and what is really peaceful. Where is our investigative press? Any criticism of Islam or their intentions, even though Islamic leaders state their intentions daily around the globe, brings-forth a volley of 'racist' from the left-wing Democrat crowd.

Lies and deception behind a master plan –– the ingredients for 'The Manchurian Candidate' or the placement of an anti-American President in our nation's White House? Is it mere coincidence that an anti-capitalist run for President at the same time Islamic sharia finance and law is trying to make advancing strides into the United States? Is it mere coincidence this same candidate wants to dis-arm our nuclear capability at a time when terrorist Muslim nations are expanding their nuclear weapons capability? Is it mere coincidence this candidate wants to reduce our military at a time of global jihad from Muslim nations?

Change for America? What change? To become another 'nation of Islam'?

Contact Dave Nathan at DaveNathan@aol.com

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JUDEA/SAMARIA JEWS TALK TOUGH: 'WE ARE NOT IDF'S PUNCHING BAG'
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, July 25, 2008.
 

This report by Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel appeared in Arutz-Sheva. It is very disturbing. I am sad to say I believe every word of what is written in the following. Since the days of Rabin and Peres, the Army, the Police and Secret Services have been trained and tasked to view Israeli citizens as adversaries who are to be justifiably attacked in deference to Government Arabist policy. The Judiciary has become a willing accomplice, first under the guidance of the former Head Justice of the Supreme Court Aharon Barak and now under Dorit Beinish.

Soldiers are taught to look the other way. Police are taught not to attack Muslim Arab Terrorists lest it "upset" Olmert, Livni and Ehud Barak who are dead set on pleasing President Bush and Secretary Rice.

 

(IsraelNN.com) Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria lashed out Thursday at their treatment by the Israeli Defense Forces after a day of tense clashes in those regions, promising to exact a 'price' in response to the IDF's physical aggression, refusal to protect them, and above all the way the IDF treats them in the media.

"We're not the IDF's punching bag," they proclaimed in a statement from the Binyamin-area 'Homesh First' activist headquarters, referring to several instances throughout the day when the army spokesperson's office accused Jewish civilians of violently attacking soldiers. The civilians were vehemently denying that they assaulted any troops, and some of them plan to sue the army for libel.

Confrontations broke out Thursday in several locations between local Jewish residents and Israeli armed forces, in which the IDF was sent in to forcibly remove Jewish residents from their homes. The first incident of the day occurred at 11 a.m., when Yasam special police forces conducted a raid on the outpost of Adei Ad, near Shiloh in Samaria, and carted away a bus that was being used as living quarters.

The Binyamin activist headquarters said in response that if the security forces continue to harass Jewish pioneers in the existing communities, they will have to deal with the pioneers in new locations as well.

In another confrontation at Adei Ad, two Jewish men were arrested by Israeli forces after one of them snatched a rifle from a soldier and fired it into the air. IDF spokesmen described the incident as another violent act committed by 'settlers,' and denied any wrongdoing in the incident. The civilian involved in the incident claimed that he took the weapon to save his life from Arab assailants, while the soldiers did nothing to protect him.

Homesh First said the man who took the gun was an air-conditioning technician from Jerusalem who was travelling with a passenger from the town of Kedumim to Itamar in Samaria. The two were attacked by dozens of Arabs who pelted his car with rocks and then attempted to extract him from the car to lynch him. Panic-stricken, he ran to a group of IDF soldiers standing nearby who refused to do anything. Desperate for the soldiers to do their job, he gave up trying to convince them, took the weapon of one of the soldiers, fired in the air and then gave it back. It remains unclear whether the civilian took the rifle forcibly or the soldier agreed to let the civilian use it.

Army must apologize for false report'

After the initial statements from the IDF accusing the Jewish civilians, police determined that the lives of the two men had truly been in danger, and that their car had indeed been seriously damaged by rocks thrown by Arab rioters. The two were released immediately.

So far no apology for the false report has come from the IDF spokesman's office. Nor has there been any investigation into why the soldiers, who saw two Jewish civilians in mortal danger at the hands of an Arab mob, failed to act to protect them, even when the Jews begged them to.

Homesh First said it expected the IDF to issue a formal apology for releasing the "negligent" report.

In yet another incident, the IDF said that during an altercation with a group of Jews at Havat Gilad, one of the Jews threatened a soldier with bodily harm by brandishing a knife and pressing it to the soldier's neck. The army spokesman's report said that the Jew then grabbed the soldier's helmet and fled the scene. The soldier was unharmed.

Ynet quoted military spokesmen as saying that the incident was viewed "severely" and would be dealt with. "A red line has been crossed here, this is very serious," said the spokesmen.

However, the Havat Gilad Jews vehemently denied that anyone from their group had threatened a soldier with a knife or in any way. Meanwhile they confirmed that a helmet had indeed been stolen from a soldier, and said it would be returned to the military promptly.

Itai Zar founded Havat Gilad (Gilad's Farm) and named it after his brother, who was killed in an Arab terror attack. He told reporters that the army's claims "are utter lies. There were two witnesses here –– one of them the regional security officer and the other one a lawyer. They both saw the helmet being taken from the soldier, but there were no threats made with a knife. Therefore, we intend to sue the IDF Spokesman's Office."

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

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TALI FAHIMA FINDS A WHORE!
Posted by Steven Plaut, July 25, 2008.
 

Remember Tali Fahima? The Jewish communist Israeli woman who sat in jail for assisting her Palestinian terrorist "boyfriend" plan terror atrocities? The poster girl of the Israeli Left:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/4042 Or click here.


 

Well, now it seems she is really angry with her terrorist boyfriend. Not for murdering Jews, mind you, but because she thinks he is collaborating with the Israeli intelligence services and giving them information. How dare Zubeida betray her to engage in romance with the Zionists! Talk about a two-timer!

Below is today's Haaretz report:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1005273.html It is entitled "Tali Fahima: Zakariya Zubeidi is Israeli security service's whore."

For more on this, see also http://imshin.net/?p=898 on this story. It includes a link to a video
http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=569443&sid=126 The full rant by Fahima is here in Hebrew:
http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=569443&sid=126

See also: http://jacobk9.tripod.com/id25.html, written in 2005. It claims Tali was a right wing sympathizer until a year and a half ago, when she saw the light and realized the Palestinian arabs were right, so she volunteered to be a "Living Shield" for them. The essay suggests she be given the Alternative Nobel Price[sic]. Rachel Giora from Tel Aviv University was one of the initiators as was Jacob Katriel, "professor emeritus from the Technion" and a "central figure in the Israeli Communist Party" (See:
http://thejewishpress.blogspot.com/2007_09_01_archive.html)

 

Tali Fahima, a Jewish Israeli woman who was tried and convicted for her contacts with Zakariya Zubeidi, former Jenin chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, criticized Zubeidi on Thursday, saying that he had turned into the "whore of the Shin Bet security service."

Speaking to Channel 10 news, Fahima complained that Zubeidi, who was once on Israel's most wanted list for his role in the Palestinian Intifada, was now on friendly terms with the Shin Bet when it served his purposes.

Fahima referred to Zubeidi's recent request that the Shin Bet allow him leave the West Bank city of Jenin and undergo eye surgery in Ramallah.

The Shin Bet had removed Zubeidi from its most wanted list in a gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last year, along with other militants who turned in their weapons, on the condition that they refrain from leaving the city in which they live, under close Palestinian police supervision. Fahima's rage was sparked when Zubeidi negotiated with the Shin Bet, which he professed to view as his enemy, over permission to leave Jenin to go to Ramallah.

Fahima, who served two years in prison for charges which include supporting a terror organization and aiding an enemy during wartime, told Channel 10 "I refuse to see him and I won't even speak to him." She explained that it was Zubeidi's duty to inform the Palestinian people that he had negotiated with the Shin Bet to further his own personal needs.

Fahima added that Zubeidi "talks about his private pleasures, like being able to travel around without an [IDF] drone following him, like the occupation is over, like everything is fine –– It was nice to believe in the fairy tale, but there are no fairy tales in the resistance. Zubeidi is a disgrace to the resistance. We are still living under an occupation."

However, Fahima added in a personal jab that Zubeidi "is not a big terrorist. A man who fires bullets into the air is not a big terrorist."

Zubeidi responded to Fahima's remarks, saying "this is the first time in eight years that I've left [the West Bank city of] Jenin. I came to Ramallah to take care of my eyes that were hurt from an explosive device."

"Tali Fahima only experienced a small part of the Palestinian people's problems," he added.

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

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100 JEWS THROW ROCKS, BURN TIRES IN BOURIN
Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, July 24, 2008.
 

Stop complaining and fight back!
Here's how:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/7702
http://www.nfc.co.il/Archive/003-D-27449-00.html?tag=04-32-31
Have a nice day

Looks live we might have finally moved on to the next level of protest against the illegal activities of the Olmert Junta. Let's see what happens next.

This comes from Arutz-Sheva
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/150427

 

(IsraelNN.com) About 100 Jews entered the Arab village of Bourin, threw rocks and burned tires Thursday, in response to a security forces sweep on Adei Ad near Shiloh. One of the activists reportedly took a gun from a soldier and fired in the air.

Also in response to the police raid, Jewish residents from the Shiloh area demonstrated at the Shiloh Junction and other activists from Samaria said they intend to carry out protests later today.

Aryeh Zelasko lives in Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem. He is Director of Sales and Marketing of Israel Visit (www.israelvisit.co.il) which provides information and an internet buying facility for American visitors to Israel.

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NATAN SHARANSKY: "BIG CONCERN ABOUT OBAMA"
Posted by Nurit Greenger, July 24, 2008.
 

In this article Natan Sharansky is on the mark and to the point on ALL his thought processing points NOT only for Israel but very much so for the USA and also for the entire Free World! Is anyone listening?

This is by Christopher Ruddy, an editor at Newsmax.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Newsmax Editor Christopher Ruddy is visiting Israel this week and met with Natan Sharansky. The former Soviet dissident spent more than a decade in the communist Gulag. He emigrated to Israel after his release in 1986, became a Knesset member and served in four successive Israeli governments, including time as deputy prime minister. In 2006, he resigned from Israel's Knesset, but he remains active in the country's political discourse. He has just authored his latest book "Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy."

Jerusalem –– An Israeli businessman I met described Natan Sharansky as having an "inner strength." Indeed he has. We might say in America he is a man of a quiet charisma.

It's Wednesday, the day after a crazed man went on a rampage using a bulldozer in a suicidal attempt to kill and maim innocent Israelis. In the end, 16 civilians were injured before the terrorist was shot dead.

All of this took place not far from Sharansky's Jerusalem office at the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies, where he serves as its chairman. Sharansky appears calm and safe, even unshakable. But he sees real threats to the state of Israel.

"There must be a serious punishment," Sharansky says of the suicidal terrorists. First, the Israeli government should demolish the homes of suicidal terrorists, a tactic he describes as a "deterrence" that is "one of the most effective ways of social pressure" to thwart future acts.

Sharansky quickly qualifies this remedy as a "micro-therapy." The attacks of radical Islamics do not come in a vacuum, Sharansky posits.

He says the backers of the fundamentalist ideology that foments terror, Wahhabism from Saudi Arabia, as well as the military sponsors of Hezbollah and Hamas (he names the Iranians and Syrians), need to pay a price for their support.

"I think one of the biggest failures, of shortsightedness, of all American administrations, Democratic and Republican alike, is their attitude toward Saudi Arabia," he says.

Sharansky's comments carry great weight here and for policy-makers in the West. Though he resigned from the Knesset as a stalwart Likud backer in 2006, he has remained active in the political debate.

The real problem for his country, he says, slowly sipping a cup of tea as he sits behind his desk, is that the Arab world sees Israel as vulnerable. "Our adversaries have a growing feeling that we are weak and they are strong. This has to be changed," he says. To do so, he would punish, including with military retribution, states and networks that back terrorists.

Obama and Iran

As we talk, Barack Obama is here visiting Israel. Sharansky is dubious of the candidate. "He is definitely a big concern for me," he says. Sharansky thinks Obama has "a little record or almost no record, while the one who he is competing with is McCain, and we know for sure his principles." Sharansky continues the train of thought: "It is very alarming for me the way Senator Obama voted, the way he spoke about his desire to negotiate with Ahmadinejad, and the way some of his advisers think. "I was at AIPAC. He made a very strong speech, speaking about a Jewish state, defensible borders, a united Jerusalem, then the next day he started correcting himself."

Still, Sharansky feels having Obama as president is not as dangerous as having a weak Israeli government. The threats, as the bulldozer incident showed, are constant, but none is more serious than the one Israel now faces from Iran. "With any government of Israel, it becomes inevitable, if this [Iranian] regime becomes nuclear, that we will have to act because for us that is a question for the survival of our Jewish civilization," he explains. "If Iran will not change, Israel will have to act. I think it will be very tragic if Israel has to act alone." He is not sure that if Israel does attack Iran alone, it will solve the problem. "The only chance it would be 100 percent successful is if the free world, and first of all the United States of America, will be supportive of Israel." Indeed, there is a consensus among Israeli elites –– left and right –– that a nuclear Iran is a direct threat to the existence of the Jewish state. The question now is whether Israel acts alone or in conjunction with the U.S. and other Western states.

The Larger Issue: Identity

The survival of the West depends on democracy, Sharansky argues. His best-selling book, "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror," made his case and figured into President Bush's second inaugural address. Taking his lead from Sharansky, Bush declared in the speech, "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world." Bush also said during a February 2005 trip to Europe that Sharansky's book "confirmed what I believe."

But Sharansky believes democracy does not mean unlimited freedom overnight, especially for states that have no history of democratic institutions. Instead, he argues for the gradual development of democratic institutions. "First you must have the beginnings of a free society, have institutions that guarantee individuals some basic freedoms," Sharansky says. "Elections are the end result of democracy, not necessarily the beginning of the process." And existing democracies, in Europe and the United States, not to mention Israel, face significant challenges.

Sharansky tackles this subject in his newest book "Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy." The thesis of his book is that democratic society, if it has any hope for long-term survival, must offer an identity for its citizens. Looking out at the world, he says "our enemies look so dangerous because they have a strong will." This means they have beliefs they are ready to die for. "The free world, if it does not have values for which people are ready to die, will be powerless, its people decadent. It will be doomed to failure." Identity, he says, gives people these values. It is not the enemy, as many in the West believe. "Europe is suffering the most from a loss of identity. Faith and patriotism have weakened as it embraces a super-identity –– all in an effort to avoid war." Europe has become John Lennon's song "Imagine," a world, Sharansky paraphrases, "where there is no hell and no paradise, no borders, no nations, in a world where there is nothing to die for. "Less than two generations [after Lennon's song], Europe is helpless and powerless against a small group of Islamic terrorists. "It is the tragedy of Europe," Sharansky declares, but he says of America, "in general, its society is still healthy."

With such powerful ideas about the future of his nation and the West, is Sharansky ready for a political comeback? He says yes, if there is a government that stands for something, has found its identity, he would consider it.

Editor's Note: Natan Sharansky's Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy is available from Amazon. You can also check out his Facebook group that supports the book.

Contact Nurit Greenger at nurit@ca.rr.com

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END THE ILLEGAL OCCUPATION! GIVE BACK THE LANDS, YOU COLONIALIST DOGS!
Posted by Steven Plaut, July 24, 2008.
 

I posted this on the Jewish Press Blog
http://thejewishpress.blogspot.com/2008/07/ end-illegal-occupation-give-back-lands.html

Let's see the Neturei Karters try to get THESE folks to deny the Holocaust!

Now that the heads of Iran are openly calling for Israel's annihilation, and Iran's "president" suggests that Europe create a Zionist state some place inside Germany or maybe in Alaska, I think we should all promote a REAL solution to the problems of the Middle East and end the REAL illegal occupation.

I refer of course to the illegal Iranian occupation of lands that properly belong to the Mongols.

Meaning all of Iran.

True, Iran was conquered or liberated from the Persians by the Mongols militarily starting in 1219. Iran then became a legitimate part of the Mongol homeland. Tamerlane, who was part Mongol, also ran the place. All in all, the Mongol liberation of Persia lasted for two and a half centuries, not much different from the length of the period of Arab rule over "Palestine," after which Mongol Iran was lost to Turkic tribes. I guess that means the Turks also have a legitimate claim to a homeland there!

Now if the fact that some Arab armies once conquered the Land of Israel is thought to confer upon them rights of sovereignty and even statehood, why should not the Mongol conquest of Iran do the same? Besides, Iran was once a Mongol state, as recent as 550 years ago, whereas the last time the Land of Israel was an Arab Palestinian state was, well, never!

Not only should Mongol rule be restored to Iran as the only legitimate rulers of the place, but these days the Mongols make far better neighbors than the ayatollahs. The Mongols have no nuclear ambitions and have never met with the pagans from the Neturei Karta. The Mongols would surely put the Persian Gulf petroleum to better use than the Holocaust Deniers in Iran these days, like developing yak milk production capacities. Let's have a two-state solution: Iran and Mongolia both as independent Mongol countries! (Those pesky Persians can take refuge in Antartica or Venezuela.)

So, I say, end the illegal occupation once and for all. Liberate Iran from the imperialist colonialist occupation of the Iranians! Restore it to its proper owners –– the Mongols!

Biladi biladi!
Biladi ya ardi ya arda al-judoud
Fida'i Fida'i

(That is the Mongolian song of national liberation: Its lyrics continue: "Az der rebe zingt Zingn ale chasidim Az der rebe tantzt Tantzn ale chasidim." Alas, I do not know enough Mongolian to tell you what it means.)

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

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COPYCAT ATTACK –– COPYCAT HEADLINES
Posted by Honest Reporting, July 24, 2008.
 

Initial BBC and the AFP headlines ignore the victims in second bulldozer attack

Les s than three weeks after a Palestinian from east Jerusalem used a bulldozer to kill three people on a busy street in Israel's capital, another east Jerusalem resident attempted to replicate the attack. The second attacker rammed his bulldozer into a bus, then began flipping cars on the street, wounding at least 16 people.

When the first bulldozer rampage took place, we were stunned to see the BBC's initial headline focusing on the fate of the driver –– who was shot by Israeli security –– rather than the victims of his attack. The BBC subsequently changed its headline to make it more neutral, reflecting what appeared to be a better understanding of the incident and its significance.

Or so we thought. Despite a virtual repetition of the first incident, the BBC's initial response the second time was a headline questioning whether an attack had taken place at all. The headlines on the BBC's web page went from "New Vehicle 'Attack' in Jerusalem" to "New Digger 'Attack' in Jerusalem," then finally settled on "Israel Hit By New Digger Attack."

It is difficult to understand how the BBC ever saw the incident as anything other than an attack. The bulldozer driver rammed into a bus, then pushed into it several more times, shattering glass and throwing the passengers into a panic. He then zigzagged through the road to harm as many motorists as possible before he was stopped. This is how the bus driver described the incident to the Jerusalem Post.

"I was driving on the main road when suddenly the tractor hit me in the rear on the right hand side," said bus driver Avi Levy.

At first Levy thought it was a traffic accident, but then the attacker struck the bus over and over, causing pandemonium as passengers shouted: "God save us" and "escape, escape."

"He made a U-turn and rammed the windows twice with the shovel. The third time he aimed for my head –– he came up to my window and death was staring me in the eyes," Levy said.

"Fortunately I was able to swerve to the right [onto a small side street], otherwise I would have gone to meet my maker," he said as he stood next to the badly damaged bus, whose left-side windows were completely blown out.

In the news story beneath the headline, the BBC does not put quotes around the word "attack." However, the headline writers make the first impression with readers and undermine what otherwise could be fair coverage of the incident. But the BBC was not the only media outlet that skewed the story with its initial headline. Agence France-Presse (AFP), the third largest wire service after the AP and Reuters, repeated the BBC's shocking error from the first attack, placing all of the emphasis on the driver instead of his victims.

Although the AFP changed its headline to "Palestinian Shot Dead After New Bulldozer Rampage," its first story on the incident was headlined, "Jerusalem Bulldozer Driver Shot Dead: Police." The headline leaves out any information about victims or a rampage, leaving the casual reader scanning headlines to believe that a construction worker had been killed without cause.

There is no excuse for such a misleading headline, even as an initial report. The first paragraph of that first story already acknowledges police sources saying that the driver was killed after injuring several people, so it is impossible to argue that the headline writers didn't have the facts available.

You can send your comments to the BBC Complaints website –– http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints (for detailed instructions on how to navigate the BBC Complaints website, click here). For the AFP, write to contact@afp.com.

LOOKING BEYOND WIKIPEDIA

The Jerusalem Post's technology writer David Shamah offers hope for people who have begun to despair of Israel getting fair treatment on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Although he notes that the Israel page on the site is still dominated by Arab propagandists, he also points to other sites that are part of the Wikipedia family that do not appear to be biased against Israel.

One such site is WikiNews, a news site that allows people to contribute their own content in the same way Wikipedia allows people to edit articles.

Reuters and AP could learn a lesson or two from this site on how to write an objective article that deals in fact, not opinion. In the May 23 incident in which Israeli planes confronted an unidentified aircraft that turned out to be Tony Blair's plane, Reuters wrote "Israeli fighter jets scrambled to intercept a plane carrying Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair this week after his pilots failed to identify themselves," the emphasis being on intercepting the plane carrying the 'peace envoy.' I could spend a whole article just analyzing that sentence, in fact!

Compare that to the WikiNews version: "Israel scrambled two fighter jets to intercept a suspicious aircraft that was failing to respond to air traffic control (ATC) and had moved into attack positions, only to discover that it was carrying International Middle East peace envoy and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair." A lot more factual –– and accurate description of what actually happened.

The objectivity found on WikiNews demonstrates that citizen journalists could produce work that upholds journalistic standards better than some professional reporters. We'll continue to keep an eye on the site to make sure the quality remains.

Honest Reporting monitors the media for inaccuracy and unfairness in how they report the news about Israel. Ther website address is http://www.honestreporting.com. Contact them by email at action@honestreporting.com

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FROM ISRAEL: OBAMA VISIT & POLICIES
Posted by Arlene Kushner, July 24, 2008.
 

Obama's whirlwind tour of Israel is completed, and I find that readers are seeking comments on that visit. He did it all right while here: Visiting Yad VaShem (the Holocaust Memorial –– required stop for all visiting dignitaries), Sderot, the Kotel –– making appropriate comments in each place, and meeting with top leaders.

If there was any concern I had, it was that Obama saw fit to pay a visit to Ramallah and meet with Abbas and Fayyad –– something McCain opted not to do when he was here. There was no press conference from Ramallah –– it is my impression that he was seeking to keep this low key.

From Aaron Klein at WorldNetDaily comes a report from someone who attended Obama's meeting with Abbas. Obama reportedly assured PA leadership that there was a "misunderstanding" with regard to his statement about an undivided Jerusalem –– a mistake he corrected immediately. This PA official said Obama told them he supports a negotiated settlement that would give the Palestinians territory in Jerusalem. He also expressed "full understanding" regarding the need for Israel to halt "settlement activity."

~~~~~~~~~~

Israeli historian Dr. Michael Oren recently provided an analysis of the positions of the two candidates with regard to Israel, and I would like to share highlights here. There are genuine differences:

–– "While McCain has avoided criticizing Israel's settlement policy and balked at delineating the contours of 'Palestine,' Obama has impugned the settlements and taken up Bush's call for a 'contiguous' Palestinian state free of Israeli roadblocks and joined by West Bank-to-Gaza routes.

–– "McCain...has emphasized the Palestinian Authority's duty to clamp down on terror in accordance with the Road Map. 'We must ensure that Israel's people can live in safety until there is a Palestinian leadership willing and able to deliver peace,' he stated. Obama, by contrast, has refrained from mentioning the PA's responsibility in suppressing terror.

–– "Obama has expressed strong reservations about the Israeli right, complaining to American Jewish leaders that 'there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel then you're anti-Israel.' He has also welcomed the renewal of peace talks between Israel and Syria...McCain, however, has not revealed a preference for one Israeli party over another and has withheld comment on the Syria-Israeli discussions.

–– the Democratic contender seems less adamant than his Republican rival in opposing all communications with Hamas. Obama waited five days before distancing himself from former President Jimmy Carter's meetings with Hamas officials; McCain condemned them instantly. And while McCain withheld comment on Israel's ceasefire with Hamas, Obama greeted it as an opportunity to 'bring calm to the people of southern Israel, improve life for Palestinians in Gaza, and lead to the release of [captured Israeli corporal] Gilad Shalit.'"

~~~~~~~~~~

As to Dr. Oren's predictions for the path each candidate would take as president:

"While both aspirants will honor Bush's pro-Israel legacy and actively pursue peace, McCain would be less prone than Obama to pressure Israel for concessions and more inclined to take the Palestinian Authority to task for its Road Map infractions. Obama may prove more flexible than McCain in admitting some role for Hamas in negotiations and recognizing Palestinian claims to Jerusalem. McCain would preserve and Obama would renounce much of his predecessor's policies on preemption and the war on terror...

"McCain is unlikely to ratchet up pressure on Israel, to oppose Israeli claims to Jerusalem, or to link the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with any of the region's manifold struggles. He will not deal with Hamas, even in context of the national unity government that the organization is currently considering with the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

"An Obama presidency, however, may well launch an entirely new initiative, one based on zero tolerance for Israeli settlement-building and checkpoints, as well as on the belief that the road to Baghdad and Teheran runs through Bethlehem and Nablus. Obama might be expected to show deeper sympathy for the Palestinian demand for a capital in Jerusalem and greater flexibility in including Hamas in negotiations, if only indirectly, through the national unity coalition with Abbas."

http://docs.google.com/View?docid=df7qj7nh_42fnsmfkgm

~~~~~~~~~~

You might also want to see an article entitled, "Where Does Obama's Foreign Policy Take Us," by Kory Bardash and Abraham Katsman:

"The candidates...differ on the core issue of whether the Israeli-Palestinian [conflict] is the cause of the rest of the region's woes, or vice 'infect(s) all of our foreign policy' and 'provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists.' That is a formulation that suggests heavy Israeli concessions to achieve 'peace' at any cost.

"McCain, on the other hand, sees the opposite –– that Islamic fanaticism is the obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace: '[I]f the Israeli-Palestinian issue were decided tomorrow, we would still face the enormous threat of radical Islamic extremism.' According to Dr. Oren, neither McCain nor any of his advisors have indicated a readiness to apply greater pressure on Israel."

And I will say forthrightly that it is McCain's conceptualization that is correct.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331087590&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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

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ISRAEL'S (FIRST) "VEHICULAR" TERROR ATTACK: UPDATE, BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
Posted by Reuven Kossover, July 24, 2008.
 

Background

As reported on July 2, an Arab "went postal" along the Jaffa Road, killing three and injuring at least 40 people. When I was riding towards Jerusalem's Central Bus Station Wednesday, July 2, planning to go to the phone company to clear up a bill, I heard the 12:00 news on the semi-official Voice of Israel hourly news roundup. While waiting for that bus, I had seen quite a number of police motorcycles, vehicles and a number of ambulances rushing ahead in the same direction I was going.

We Israelis have some rules of thumb when it comes to seeing ambulances or police vehicles: one ambulance means an accident or a heart attack; two ambulances mean a very serious vehicular accident; three or more are the sign of a terror attack. I was convinced there had been a terror attack based on the number of ambulances and the huge number of police vehicles zipping by.

But there are also certain terms you listen for in Hebrew on the news broadcasts to indicate this: pitzutz –– explosion, irua yeri –– a shooting incident, nifga –– injured, m'Habel –– terrorist, pigua –– terror attack. These were among the first terms I learned in Hebrew when we moved here seven years ago. Of all these terms listed, I heard only one –– nifga –– injured.

The noon broadcast spoke of otobus hit'hapekh –– an overturned bus, traktor (must I translate?), and reHov yafo –– the Jaffa Road.

The more we made our way slowly up the Jaffa Road, past landmarks like Davidka Square, maHane yehuda Shuk (souk in Arabic), the famous "open air" market where you can supposedly get bargains, the more I sensed that a trip to Bezeq to deal with a phone bill would be put off –– and that I would be writing an article instead. My sense of this was confirmed when the police shut off the Jaffa Road altogether just past the Shuk and directed all traffic towards Agrippas Street, which runs parallel to the Jaffa Road for a ways.

After about 100 meters or so on Agrippas, the police directed all traffic away from Agrippas Street as well, and since my ultimate destination was the Central Bus Station, which is on the Jaffa Road, I got off. But I still couldn't see what a tractor had to do with an overturned bus.

I followed a couple of Haredim (the very observant Jews who wear long black coats and have peyot, (long sideburns) upwards towards the Jaffa Road. As I got there, a Border Guard was hollering "back!, back!" a command I sidestepped –– literally. I looked at the crushed vehicles, at least twenty ambulances, another twenty police vehicles, and the Zak –– a vehicle, which made me shiver. I asked questions and stood with notebook in one hand, pen in the other, and wrote most of my previous article. When I was done, I made my way to the Central Bus Station, hurrying to the internet cafe there to type the story up. After finishing it, and having my son send an e-mail notifying the editors of breaking news, I was just in time to catch the 14:00 bus to Ariel, which stops at Ma'ale Levona.

Riding the bus home, I caught the Hebrew news at 15:00 approximately three hours after the events occurred. In this broadcast, the term pigua was used. Nevertheless, some important details still elude me, so lets look at the coverage since early Wednesday afternoon, July 2, to see what can be had.

Update

The first point is one which requires no URL's to document. The term traktor used was a misnomer. The construction vehicle driven by the Arab was a bulldozer –– but Hebrew uses traktor to mean bulldozer as well. Another nuance in how Hebrew stretches words learned....

The second point is the names of the murdered: According to Yeshiva World News, the dead are Batsheva Unterman, HY"D (an abbreviation for hashem y'nakem damam –– may G-d avenge their blood), 33 of Bayit V'gan, a neighborhood on the western edge of Jerusalem; Elizabeth Goren-Friedman, HY"D, a teacher of the blind crushed by the bulldozer. She was 54 years old and was buried Wednesday night at 22:30. The third victim was Jean Relevy, HY"D, (reported as Reloy in Ha'aretz) 68, from Gilo, a neighborhood at the southern edge of Jerusalem. Jean was in a vehicle when he was trapped and killed.

Now let's look at the murderer, Hussam Duwiyat. He was an employee of the Jerusalem Municipality who lived in the Arab neighborhood of Tsur BaHer, which is adjacent to Armon haNetziv, a neighborhood in southeast Jerusalem where we had lived for five years. He was working on the site. This answers the question I had raised as to whether a terrorist grabbed the keys to the vehicle from a worker or not. But Duwiyat, who awoke on Wednesday morning a mere construction employee became a terrorist in doing the deed. He aimed to murder Jews, where there were lots of Jews.

Analysis

Of course, the pro-Arab, pro-business, semi-official Ha'aretz has already absolved Hussam Duwiyat as a petty criminal run amok, not much different from his neighbor, Ala Abu-Dahim, who murdered eight students at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav four months ago. But this goes in line with the general attitude of Ha'aretz towards this whole event, dismissing it as unimportant in the general scheme of things.

They used Yaron Kutik, owner of a cafe located near where the bulldozer came to a halt, as their spokesman. He said, "This is the first time I've seen a terror attack happen right in front of my eyes, but this is not an attack that will affect us in the long term. Every Jerusalemite knows there's no such thing as a calm in Jerusalem. In a few days everyone will forget this attack and move on".

Of course, the folks in the rich suburbs of North Tel Aviv, where the publishers of Ha'aretz live, were not affected. They don't care. This happened in Jerusalem, where the "religious" Jews live. The writers at Ha'aretz do not realize how they expose the fault lines of the kulturkampf in Israel, and the fact that they chose to use this quote, from Yaron Kutik –– a model of insensitivity to the mourners and to the dead –– shows how little they value Jewish life.

If they value Jewish lives so cheaply, why should an Arab be criticized for taking Jewish lives with such impunity? The underlying message of their whole article is directed at the cowardly but rich "reform" Jews of America, who chicken out of coming to Israel at the drop of a keffiyeh –– "don't cancel your tours, it was just a couple of religious Jews who got killed –– you're all safe here".

The new "pro-business" Ha'aretz wants to make sure the money keeps flowing in. More accurate coverage of this terror attack can be found at Arutz Sheva, where we see a repetition of events from the Mercaz HaRav killings in another interesting way. On that 15:00 Kol Yisrael news broadcast I heard on the bus, a member of Yasa"m, the swat team of the Israel Police usually used to beat up Jewish demonstrators, was heard to say, "I pulled out my gun, cocked it, and killed the terrorist".

Apparently, it did not quite happen this way.

Let's look at the Arutz Sheva piece a bit more closely. "Despite the mobilization of Yasam (special police anti-terror units) and other Israeli police forces, the terrorist was shot dead by a young religious off-duty Givati soldier who had just finished his basic training".

The Jerusalem Post had a similar recitation of the facts in its original report (taken from my e-mail server). It reads as follows: "Police said that the driver plowed his vehicle into two public buses, toppling them over, and slammed into several cars. A soldier on leave took the gun from an elite policeman at the scene and shot the terrorist dead. The soldier is the brother-in-law of the I.D.F. officer who killed the terrorist in the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva attack, Channel 2 reported".

The soldier's name has been withheld by court order, partly to protect him from Arabs who might wish to kidnap or kill him in vengeance –– which is why it has not been mentioned in this story either. But the revised report in the Jerusalem Post reads as follows: "The soldier, who cannot be identified due to a court order, said the attacker was shouting, 'Allahu Akbar'. As hundreds of people fled in panic, an elite police commando team on motorcycles sped toward the tractor, and one of the officers jumped on the tractor and shot the assailant dead".

Again, we see a religious soldier being slighted to favor the Israel Police –– and to make it worse, that branch of the Israel Police that does the most egregious damage to believing Jews trying to secure the homeland here –– Yasa"m –– the bully goons of the secular government. Ilan Franko, the police chief in Jerusalem, did something similar to cover up the delayed response and irresolute actions of the Israel Police when Ala Abu-Dahim murdered eight students at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav on March 6 of this year.

So, in these terror attacks, we see a careful pattern of news management –– the government-influenced press tries to minimize the importance of the attack, exonerate the attacker, and finally, if a religious Jew has in any way contributed to ending the attack, this contribution is erased in its entirety, leaving the secular regime to flex its muscles and show how well prepared it is to protect the citizens of this beleaguered country. When the exact opposite is the truth.

This analysis does not even begin to deal with the deliberate distortions of the news of this terror attack perpetrated by ("This is Londonistan") the B.B.C., caught by HonestReporting before it could be covered up.

For all this, the most important issue for me on Wednesday, July 2, was not the murders or the news management and distortions by the foreign press. It was the fact that at the Central Bus Station, my bathroom away from home, the management is constructing toll booths to make sure that everyone who wishes to use any of the toilets there will have to pay a shekel. And of course, as the shekel rises against the dollar, the price of shaking hands with the unemployed goes up as well!

Shabbat Shalom from Ma'ale Levona

Mr. Reuven Kossover is with the Root and Branch Association (R&B) and is the R&B Information Services Editor. Contact him at rb@rb.org.il

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OBAMA ON JERUSALEM, PROPERLY (RE)(RE)(RE)PHRASED
Posted by B Taverna, July 24, 2008.
 

This article was written by Rick Richman and it appeared in the July 31, 2008 issue of American Thinker, entitled "Obama on Jerusalem, Properly Phrased." It is archived at
www.americanthinker.com/2008/07/obama_on_jerusalem_properly_ph.html

Rick Richman edits "Jewish Current Issues." His articles on the "peace process" have appeared in American Thinker, The New York Sun and The Jewish Press.

 

In its lead editorial yesterday ("Obama in Jerusalem"), The New York Sun noted that Barack Obama's continuing explanations of his AIPAC speech, in which he said Jerusalem "must remain undivided," raise more questions than they answer. Obama added yet another explanation yesterday in Sderot.

To decode his current position, it is useful to review in one place the various statements he has made on this issue. So here is a compilation of them, followed by a JCI revision of his AIPAC speech to correct the poor phrasing that marred it:

1. Position Paper on Israel issued during his 2000 congressional campaign:
(http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/04/before-obamas-p.html)

"Jerusalem should remain united and should be recognized as Israel's capital."

2. January 2008 Response to the American Jewish Committee Election Questionaire –– "How do you see the likely final status of Jerusalem?":
(http://www.ajc.org/site/?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=3878133)

"Jerusalem will remain Israel's capital, and no one should want or expect it to be re-divided."
3. June 4, 2008 AIPAC speech:
www.barackobama.com/2008/06/04/remarks_of_senator_barack_obam_74.php
"Let me be clear. ... Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."

4. July 12, 2008 Interview with Fareed Zakaria:
http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/07/with_upcoming_trip_to_israel_o.html

ZAKARIA: One area where you're outside the international consensus –– and certainly, perhaps, some others –– is the statement you made in a recent speech supporting Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

Now, why not support the Clinton plan, which envisions a divided Jerusalem, the Arab half being the capital of a Palestinian state, the Jewish half being the capital of the Jewish state?

OBAMA: You know, the truth is that this was an example where we had some poor phrasing in the speech. ... The point we were simply making was, is that we don't want barbed wire running through Jerusalem, similar to the way it was prior to the '67 war, that it is possible for us to create a Jerusalem that is cohesive and coherent.

I was not trying to predetermine what are essentially final status issues. I think the Clinton formulation provides a starting point for discussions between the parties.

5. July 22 Interview with Katie Couric:
http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/07/cbs-katie-couric.html
COURIC: ... You said not too long ago that Jerusalem should remain undivided. And then you backtracked on that statement. Does that play into the argument that some believe that someone more experienced would not have made that kind of mistake?

OBAMA: Well...if you look at what happened, there was no shift in policy or backtracking in policy. We just had phrased it poorly in the speech. That has happened and will happen to every politician. You're not always gonna hit your mark in terms of how you phrase your policies. But my policy hasn't changed, and it's been very consistent. It's the same policy that Bill Clinton has put forward, and that says that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel, that we shouldn't divide it by barbed wire, but that, ultimately that is ... a final status issue that has to be resolved between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

6. July 23 Sderot Press Conference:
http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/07/obama_on_jerusalem_properly_ph.html
QUESTION: Senator Obama, you said at [the] AIPAC convention that undivided Jerusalem continues to be the capital city of Israel –– and then you change it, and clarified later on, and people in Israel wonder how we can be sure of your other statements, that you are going to be committed to the security of the state of Israel, and you are not going to change it when you're the President of the United States.

OBAMA: First of all, I didn't change my statement. I continue to say that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel. And I have said that before and I will say it again. And I also have said that it is important that we don't simply slice the city in half, but I've also said that that's a final status issue. That's an issue that has to be dealt with with the parties involved, the Palestinians and the Israelis, and it is not the job of the United States to dictate the form in which that will take, but rather to support the efforts that are being made right now to resolve these very difficult issues that have a long history.

Based on all these statements, here is what Obama apparently meant to say at AIPAC last month, with the poor phrasing of his first three statements corrected with the better phrasing from his three most recent statements:

So let me be clear. ... Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel and must remain undivided. What I mean by this is simply that there should be no barbed wire between the divisions, and my very consistent policy has been that Bill Clinton's plan, proposing a partition of Jerusalem, provides a starting point for negotiations on this final status issue. Of course I do not want to predetermine the issue, and we shouldn't simply slice the city in half. It's not our job to say what form the capital of Israel should take, but just to support the efforts to resolve this very difficult issue, which has a long history.

Got it?

He's likeable enough. But he's not ready to be president.

Contact B. Taverna by email at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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WHY THERE ARE NO ARAB NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS IN SCIENCE
Posted by Daisy Stern, July 24, 2008.
 

Jack Golbert said:

"Dr. Hatter's report "did not explain how Israel taught the rats to tell the difference between Old City Arabs and Jews, so that they only chase away Arabs."

No doubt we use the same techniques that kept us from getting the Plague when we poisoned the wells back in the 14th Century. It's amazing how people never seem to be embarrassed to spread such stupidities or to believe them. Their hatred overpowers their brains.

And DS added:

What they are really saying is their living quarters are so disgusting, they attract the biggest, most voracious species... unless the rats grow gigantic on all the refuse left over by these filthy people. One good way to get rid of these rats would be to get rid of all their stinky garbage!

This is a news item from Arutz-Sheva entitled "PA Paper: Israel Using Super-Rat"

 

(IsraelNN.com) PA-Fatah newspapers have reported that Israel has developed a rat with supernatural powers, and is setting it loose among the Arab population in eastern Jerusalem in order to drive the Arabs away. According to Palestinian Media Watch, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and Al-Ayam informed their readers that the rats are let loose by "settlers" who bring them to the Old City in large cages and release them in order to "make the Arabs' life hell and make them leave."

The accounts credit a Dr. Hassan Hatter with discovering the supposed plot and describe the rats as highly aggressive, abnormally large and unafraid of cats. The female "gives birth to 140 rats a year –– four times the average in nature."

Dr. Hatter's report "did not explain how Israel taught the rats to tell the difference between Old City Arabs and Jews, so that they only chase way Arabs."

Contact Daisy Stern at daisystern1@gmail.com

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PARENTS' EXCUSES FOR TERRORISM; MEDIA APOLOGIZES TO THE ARABS FOR TRUTH; HOW THE PA PREPARES FOR PEACE
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 24, 2008.
 

PITFALL OF NEGOTIATION

Israeli defense officials state that the Security Council truce resolution for Lebanon has failed. The government hopes if renewed, it would confer more power on UNIFIL to stop Syria from further arming Hizbullah. Hizbullah is much stronger now than it was when at war.

The government, however, does not declare UNO resolution 1701 a failure. Too bad the government doesn't seize the opportunity to berate the UNO! It won't, because it has invested its prestige in the resolution. Foreign Min. Livni calls that resolution her initiative and a success. PM Olmert, clinging desperately to power court, will not admit that the resolution is another failure of his and that therefore the war, which he had pronounced an achievement for Israel, was a strategic defeat. As has been pointed out, resolutions and treaties with dictators put the West at a disadvantage, because the West does not like to admit foreseeable failure when the enemy violates them.

Another reason for not admitting that the UNO resolution that bans Hizbullah rearming lets it rearm is that the anti-Zionist Israeli regime has abandoned self-reliance and depends on foreign organizations and countries to defend it. If Israel admitted that those defenders are unreliable, Israel would have to return to self-reliance. Dependency upon a hostile world is foolhardy.

As originally requested, the resolution was not so bad. It got watered down. That usually happens at the UNO. Israel didn't have the courage to reject the watered-down version. It doesn't know how to back out.

What does Israel think the Security Council would do when renewing the UNIFIL mandate? Would the Arabs' allies on the Council vest power in it to confront Hizbullah and Syria? Not likely. Would the European members of UNIFIL forces contribute 50,000 more troops and go to war with Hizbullah? Less likely. Israel is stuck. Best it could do is demand that UNIFIL's mandate be terminated. Then UNO forces would not impede it when Hizbullah renews warfare with Israel.

OLMERT'S CASH-FILLED ENVELOPES

Don't be angry with him. He just wanted to open a stationery store.

PARENTS' EXCUSES FOR TERRORISM

Every time a terrorist makes headlines, his parents act puzzled about their "good boy." The parents of the bulldozer-murderer claimed his crashes were an accident. But he kept on driving and crashing, even after having been shot and struggling with police. Part of Arab culture is not to admit obvious wrongdoing.

THE MEDIA APOLOGIZES TO THE ARABS FOR TRUTH

Some years ago, a foreign TV station broadcast live the brutal Arab lynching of two Israeli reservists in Ramallah. Afterwards, a TV broadcaster apologized to the P.A. for not following its journalistic guidelines.

A few days ago, the BBC happened to broadcast live the Arab driver running a bulldozer over Jews in Jerusalem and the Jewish hero slaying the terrorist. This was fine journalism, but the BBC apologized, too. The apology said it wasn't balanced. What they mean is that they don't follow their editorial policy of portraying Israel as no better than the Arabs or worse, whereas the live broadcast showed the terrorists' bestiality, his fear, and the Israeli's heroism. [Incidentally, the hero is Orthodox.]

The media usually is too arrogant to apologize much for its frequent, real mistakes. Why so readily apologize for these truthful broadcasts? The answer is that they don't want to admit that for years they have been misleading audiences about the Arab-Israel conflict. Their mistakes include fabricating tales of a Jenin massacre, a Kafr Kana massacre, and the slaying of the al-Dura boy. They didn't apologize even after those stories were proved to be blood libels.

The mischief of the Kafr Kana fraud was the indignation it aroused in Pres. Bush and Sec. Rice. They reacted by withdrawing support for an Israeli victory over Hizbullah and lending support to the UNO truce resolution (Caroline Glick, IMRA, 7/8). Israel's seeming inability to move decisively against Hizbullah was said to have disgusted the US leaders, too.

SECURITY COUNCIL PROCEDURE THWARTS IT

Hizbullah frequently interferes with UNIFIL. Nevertheless, UNIFIL units do not report this. Therefore, UNIFIL reports deny that Hizbullah has been rearming, and they reject Israeli reports. Security Council members know that Hizbullah has rearmed, but since the UNIFIL reports deny it, they feel that they cannot act contrary to those reports. The reports deny it, apparently because of a reluctance to admit that their mission failed.

The truce and withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Lebanon theatre, like all the land-for-peace schemes that Israel has been proceeding with, depend upon third parties reporting violations. The third parties, however, do not much report Arab violations. Therefore, the withdrawal schemes are ill-conceived (IMRA, 7/9).

Indeed, sometimes the third parties report that Israel violated the terms. Either the reports are false or they equate Israel with the Arab violators when Israel suspends implementing concessions while under attack or other Arab violations.

ISRAEL ON FIRE SALE

Olmert is eager to negotiate away the Territories, the Golan, and part of Jerusalem. He's urging the US to enter and expedite negotiations over the Golan.

Meanwhile, the truce with Hamas, for which no rational purpose ever was shown by Israel, has had three ill effects: (1) Hamas has prepared for waging a more formidable war; (2) It has continued bombarding Israel; and (3) Since Israel has not used the time to reinforce buildings within rocket range, many more residents of Israel will evacuate.

Iran asserts that Israel will fall apart by itself. Olmert is leading the demolition. Dr. Aaron Lerner wonders whether it wouldn't be better if Pres. Peres pardoned Olmert, so he wouldn't have to be desperate to please the far leftist Attorney-General who might prosecute him for several counts of corruption (IMRA, 7/10).

Problem is, Peres has proposed much the same. He doesn't believe in boundaries. That means no defensive borders. It means being conquered.

Although Israel is celebrating its 60th year of independence, it is not independent. It clears everything with the US. It asks UNIFIL and even its Arab enemies to protect it. It lets its enemies build up forces of aggression. It allows its enemies to bombard it, without even retaliating against Hamas. It lets Arabs in Israel flout the law, seize public land, and beat up and threaten Jews. It punishes Jews who object. And its schools teach that the Arabs are equally entitled to the country.

HOW THE P.A. PREPARES FOR PEACE

The media of the supposedly moderate Abbas disseminates detailed claims that Israel performs Nazi-like medical experiments upon Arab prisoners. These experiments are said to harm the prisoners and eventually kill them or make them a burden upon their families when released.

This slander follows years of accusations of bringing disease to Arab areas. The P.A. has described its propaganda as intended to rally support for the cause against Israel. Israel, of course, does not conduct experiments upon Arabs (Arutz-7, 7/10). The disease never has shown up.

What Israel did with Moroccan Jews, however, may be another matter.

Don't the Arab masses get annoyed at being lied to? No, they accept official lies, however absurd. The hundreds of released Arab prisoners show no signs of medical experimentation. The Red Cross does not endorse the accusations.

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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OU WHITEWASHES OBAMA
Posted by Ted Belman, July 24, 2008.
 

Obama given a whitewash by OU

Nathan Diament of the OU wrote "Obama Under the Microscope in Israel"
(www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/07/ obama_under_the_microscope_in.html)

By including this erroneous sentence, he undermined the truth and everything we have been working on, to portray the real Obama.

This is not merely because an unprecedented campaign has been waged by viral emails and incendiary articles falsely portraying Obama as harboring secret biases for the Palestinian cause and taking advice from persons openly hostile to Israel's interests.

Obama does harbour a bias for Palestinians and does have advisers hostile to Israel.

"Jews can't vote for Obama and be pro-Israel at the same time," says it all.

His advisers include or did, Power, McPeak, Malley, Rice, Cirincione, Hamilton and Brzezinsky. They also include Daniel Kurtzer who is on record of being against Israel's settlements and in favour of dividing Jerusalem.

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

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SUPPORTING ISRAEL –– CUFI IN WASHINGTON
Posted by Gary Bauer, July 24, 2008.
 

Christians United for Israel (CUFI), founded by Pastor John Hagee, held its third annual conference in Washington, D.C., this week. I was proud once again to play a major role in the gathering, speaking five times over two days to the 3,500 attendees from every state in the union and abroad. CUFI and Pastor Hagee came under withering fire this year when a variety of critics took portions of his sermons out of context in order to smear his reputation. But truth won out, and this year the conference was better than ever!

Interestingly, some of the bloggers and organizations involved in the attack appear to be subsidized by billionaire and political leftwing radical George Soros. It is no secret that a variety of forces on the left are outraged that Christians and Jews are forging stronger bonds. They are also furious that we have spoken out against pressuring Israel to give up more land in a vain effort to appease its enemies. Fortunately, the smear campaign failed, and if the 3,500 cheering delegates were any indication, CUFI will continue to be a major force in support of Israel, combating anti-Semitism and exposing the danger of Islamofascism.

Gary Bauer is the president of American Values. Contact him at gary.bauer@mail.amvalues.org. And visit the website: http://www.ouramericanvalues.org

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AMBASSADOR GILLERMAN'S FINAL SPEECH TO THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL
Posted by Asher Eder, July 24, 2008.
 

Hi,

I wanted to share with you the e-mail (below) I received from the Christian Embassy (The International Christian Zionist Center) –– thanks to them for sending it. It was written by Gil Ronen and appeared yesterday in Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNN.com).

A. Eder

 

Israel's outgoing Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Gillerman, gave his last speech Tuesday to the U.N. Security Council. Referring to Jerusalem's second tractor terror attack in three weeks, which occurred just hours before his speech, he said that when the first tractor attack occurred, people said the driver was "a madman." It now is clear, he added, that the problem was not a solitary madman but rather "a phenomenon."

Gillerman had prepared a written speech but told the ambassadors that he decided to "speak from his heart" instead.

"This is most probably my last appearance before you as the representative of the State of Israel," he said. "I would like to thank each and every one of you for the time you have spent on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and our problems." He emphasized that "whatever happens, whatever you discuss, whatever transpires –– Israel will prevail."

Most of the Horror is Within Islam

Gillerman went on to say that the world was not dealing with a clash of civilizations, but rather with a "clash of civilization, in the singular" –– within Islam. "Most of the horror, most of the bloodshed, most of the killings, and most of the violence... is sadly and tragically within Islam," he said. Not only are the majority of terrorists Muslim, he noted, but also the majority of terror victims around the world.

The Ambassador said he was most concerned about the "eerie silence of the Muslim world" in the face of terrorism, and expressed his hope to see a Muslim leader emerge who would say "enough is enough, what are we doing?"

"I hope very much that the Arab and Muslim world will realize that it is its duty and responsibility today, in that very clash, to support the moderates and isolate the extremists," he added.

'Imagine...'

Gillerman extended an invitation to all those present to visit Israel.

"You will see a country which is very different from the perception you get on TV, where you see a country torn by violence and bloodshed... You will discover a vibrant county, of great excellence and innovation, in making the desert bloom, in agriculture, science and medicine," he said. "You will see a country which is contributing each and every day to mankind and to humanity, not just to itself and to the Jewish people, and making the world a better place."

"You will not understand the essence of Israel until you feel it and smell it," he said.

He asked his colleagues to "imagine, for one moment, what it is like to be an Israeli."

Boarding a Bus with Fear

He asked them to picture "a grandfather like me who sometimes goes to the kindergarten to pick up my granddaughter and whose heart breaks when he sees an armed guard at the entrance to the kindergarten."

"Imagine what it is like," he said, "to board a bus and look to the side in fear, or to sit in a coffee shop in Jerusalem. Sitting in a coffee house in Paris, Moscow and New York, costs a few dollars. Sitting in a coffee house in Jerusalem could cost many lives," he said.

Gillerman asked those present to "imagine a bulldozer driving down Fifth Avenue or the Champs Elysees and crushing cars... I have been here for almost six years. Occasionally I have been accused of over-reaction and dramatization. If you visit Israel or just imagine what happens in it, you will understand. When you speak about the situation in the Middle East, you will think about what we deal with every single day."

Contact Asher Eder at avrason@netvision.net.il. This was

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THE ISRAELI PRIDE PARADE
Posted by Jack L., July 23, 2008.
 

This was written by Ben Dror Yemini, writer for Maariv. It appeared in MidEast Truth
http://mideasttruth.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8472; the original Hebrew text can be found at
http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/734/075.html

 

Anyone who reads newspapers could be forgiven for thinking that Israel is a dangerous place ruled by violence and corruption. The celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary provides an opportunity to take stock of our achievements. The facts speak for themselves.

The Contribution to Humanity Index

There are quite a few measures by which countries are rated: national product, life expectancy, education, etc. There is no index measuring a specific country’s contribution to humanity. That kind of index is long overdue. Whoever gets confused by facts is in for some surprises. Here is a partial list:

Agriculture: Israel leads the world in developing strains resistant to natural hazards and special crops to withstand harsh weather conditions. Israel invented the drip irrigation system, which saves tremendous amounts of water. Milk yield in Israel is the highest in the world, even double the European average. In Israel, a palm tree produces an average of 182 kg of fruit, compared to 17 kg in the rest of the Middle East.

Since the establishment of the state, the area of agricultural land has increased threefold, but output has increased by a factor of 16. Ashkelon boasts the world’s largest desalination facility –– unless Hamas’s rockets manage to hit it, so that they can complain about a water crisis in the Gaza Strip.

High-tech: A significant part of the leading high-tech developments in the world are Israeli inventions. The first disk-on-key was an Israeli innovation. The ICQ instant messaging program, which has become an integral part of every computer the world over, was developed in Israel. The best security software in the world comes from Israel.

Most of the Windows XP operating system that is used in almost every computer worldwide was developed in Israel. VOIP technology (Voice over Internet Protocol, the basis for programs like Skype), making international telephone calls simple, inexpensive and readily available, was developed in Israel. It is no coincidence that every other day we hear about yet another Israeli company being acquired by a conglomerate.

Israel is in second place in the world, after Japan and ahead of the United States, in the number of patents per capita. If you check the effectiveness of the inventions, we actually take the lead. Out of the one hundred most important start-ups selected in Europe last year, ten were Israeli.

Science: Israel is in third place in the world in scientific publications per capita. And, when considering the importance of the publications as opposed to relative quantity, Israel is in 14th place in the world. This includes realms that benefit all of humanity –– research in medicine, physics, mathematics and others.

Israel reached fifth place in the number of recipients of special grants for young researchers from the ERC (European Research Council). But, relative to its size, it actually takes first place in the number of winning researchers.

Medicine: Teva is the largest company in the world for generic medicines. There are probably few homes worldwide without some "Made in Israel" medication. Teva and other companies also develop new drugs. Teva developed a drug to treat Parkinson's disease. Israel participated in developing a treatment to reduce relapses of multiple sclerosis.

Just two years ago, Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company, purchased an Israel company's product that can prevent blindness. Israel leads in the field integrating nanorobotics and medicine.

And this is only a partial list.

Human potential

Not everything is wonderful in Israel. Many people have been left behind. The gaps in Israeli society are among the largest in democratic countries. Too few have control over too much of the capital. Therefore, developing and expanding human potential has to be the national mission of the next decade. The per capita product in resource-scarce Israel is 40% greater than in rich Saudi Arabia. The reason is simple: human resources produce much more than oil resources. And, despite its accomplishments, Israel is still far from fully utilizing its potential.

The Lie Industry

Here we arrive at the biggest paradox of all: even though Israel could be number one in the world in contributing to humanity, were there such an index, it also occupies first place in the hostility index. Israel is perceived, according to many polls (the last of which was a worldwide BBC survey) as the country most dangerous to world peace.

Leading newspapers throughout the world –– The New York Times; The Washington Post; Le Monde; and The Guardian –– when mentioning Israel's 60th anniversary, chose to completely disregard Israel's contribution to human development and to emphasize instead "ethnic cleansing and the Palestinian Nakba." Here as well, they do not let the facts confuse them (see And the World is Lying –– the Plight of the Refugees).

The paradox between Israel's contribution to the world and its image indicates only one thing: the lie industry is winning out over the facts. In fact, the Israel-Arab conflict has wrought the lowest number of victims in the annals of all conflicts. That does not keep the lie industry from spreading the libel that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians –– even though there is no genocide and never was (see And the World is Silent).

Criticizing Israel is permissible. Not all its actions are praiseworthy. Yet every intellectual and liberal who is still influenced by facts and not by fashion has to admit that the anti-Zionist vogue will go down in history as one of humankind's lowest trends, matched only by phenomena such as racism and antisemitism. So, it is time to introduce the real Israel –– an Israel that can proudly observe its 60th year, due mainly to its enormous contribution to humanity.

Israel does not need a military parade. It needs a parade of its achievements. We could call it a Pride Parade.

Contact Jack L. by email at yakovdov1@yahoo.com

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CJHSLA DEMANDS DEFINITIVE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO ATTACKS BY ARAB ISRAELIS
Posted by Doris Wise Montrose, July 23, 2008.
 

The Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors Los Angeles (CJHSLA) notes with grave concern the increasing Islamic radicalization of Arabs in the heart of Israel. Both the yeshiva massacre in March and the two recent murderous bulldozer rampages were committed by Israeli Arabs who lived in Jerusalem. They carried coveted Israeli identification that grants the bearer complete freedom of movement.

CJHSLA challenges the major Jewish organizations to develop sufficient courage to support the only policy that will allow for the survival of the Jewish State and prevent the next Holocaust, i.e. the resettlement of the Arabs. Many Jews living both in Israel and in the United States agree with this position but are reluctant to offend the sensibilities of the international community.

CJHSLA perceives a growing and potentially irreversible trend among Israeli Arabs toward sedition against the state of Israel. Hamas and other Islamic fundamentalist groups enjoy increasing popularity and Israeli Arab leaders incite their followers to violence against Jews. Leaders of government-sanctioned Arab parties have been witnessed chanting as part of a mob for terrorist attacks, and Arab MKs (members of the Knesset) openly engage in treasonous rhetoric without interference.

CJHSLA reminds the American Jewish community that eighty-six years ago, when the "Mandate for Palestine" confirmed the irrevocable right of Jews to settle anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, it was unanimously endorsed by both Houses of Congress. President Harding signed the Resolution into law, approving the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, "... it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine..."

This Congressional resolution deliberately did not endorse giving the Arab residents of the Jewish State political rights. What went without saying in 1922 –– that such non-Jewish legal residents should have no right, nor should they have the freedom, to randomly murder Jews at will –– needs in 2008 to be said.

The Israeli General Secret Service (Shin Bet) has reported that Israeli Arabs pose a "long-term danger to the Jewish nature and existence of the State of Israel." If this existential danger is not addressed, we will continue to see attacks against innocent and unarmed citizens throughout the Jewish state.

In 1922, one speaker on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives suggested that "if will not consent to Jewish government and domination, they shall be required to sell their lands at a just valuation and retire into the Arab territory which has been assigned to them by the League of Nations in the general reconstruction of the countries of the east." If they would not accept this, he said, they should be made to leave by force.

The political climate is quite changed now. No one today would dare use the words "Jewish" and "domination" in the same sentence, much less broach the subject of Arab resettlement. Instead, in 2008, the Jews of Israel are expected to take their lives into their hands by walking down their hometown streets in the middle of the day, in effect consenting to "domination" by Arab terrorists.

The evidence is overwhelming and crystal clear. If Israel is to survive, a substantial portion of its Arab population must be induced to move to one or more of the neighboring Arab states. CJHSLA implores the government of Israel to adopt such a policy, and the government of the Unites States to renew its endorsement. Doris Wise Montrose is with the Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors of Los Angeles. Contact her at doris@cjhsla.org Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization raising awareness about the network of anti-Western and anti-Semitic extremists who march under the banner of global jihad. It insists that, among the commitments imposed upon people of good will by the last Holocaust, there must be a political commitment to prevent the next one.

View press release:
http://www.expertclick.com/NewsReleaseWire/default.cfm?Action= ReleaseDetail&ID=22372&f5=1

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KILLING OF BULLDOZER TERRORIST PROVES DRUZE ARAB LOYALTY TO ISRAEL
Posted by Mark Samberg, July 23, 2008.
 

This news item is from Israel Today
http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=16693

 

A leader of Israel's Druze Arab community on Wednesday said that the events surrounding a second bulldozer terrorist attack in Jerusalem a day earlier was evidence of the sect's ongoing loyalty to the State of Israel.

Tuesday's attack, which left at least 16 people wounded when a Jerusalem Arab plowed into traffic with an earth-moving bulldozer, came to an end when an armed Israeli civilian and a Druze Border Police officer attacked the terrorist.

The armed civilian, Yaakov Asael, was reportedly the first to fire, with Border Police officer Amal Ganem quickly joining the fight with his assault rifle. After initially firing from skewed angle, Ganem moved to another side of the still-rampaging bulldozer and opened fire again, this time killing the terrorist.

Druze community leader Sheikh Muafiek Tarif told Ynet that "the Druze sect has shown its loyalty to the State of Israel for years now. Today, the resourcefulness of Amal Ganem, a Druze community member, proved our loyalty to the State of Israel."

Tarif continued by calling Ganem, "who acted quickly and without hesitation in order to prevent further casualties," a "model to thousands of young Druze who have acted and are acting on behalf of the State of Israel."

The Druze, whose religion lies somewhere between Islam and Judaism and reveres Moses' father-in-law Jesse as its patriarch, are usually fiercely loyal to whatever nation in which they reside, including the Jewish state. Following the establishment of State of Israel, Druze leaders insisted that the Israeli army impose mandatory military service on their community's young men just as it does on Israeli Jews.

However, the past year has seen an increase in tension between Israeli Jews and the Druze communities in parts of northern Israel. Druze leaders have been quick calm the situation, while urging Israel to show greater appreciation to an Arab sector that has traditionally been as loyal to the Jewish state as most Jews.

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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THE KILLER OF A 4-YEAR-OLD CHILD CHEERED LIKE A ROCK STAR
Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman, July 22, 2008.
 

This was written by Mitch Albom of the The Detroit Free Press, July 20, 2008.

Mitch Albom is a multiple award winning journalist; contact him at malbom@freepress.com

 

It was a ghastly trade, flesh and blood for two boxes of bones. Many criticized it. Some could not bear to watch it. But, if anything showed the difference between Israel and Hizballah in last week's exchange of two dead Israeli soldiers for five live prisoners and 199 corpses, it was not the trade itself. It was the reaction.

In Israel, where the bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev arrived in black coffins, the mood was, according to reports, somber and mournful. Candles were lit. Prayers were recited. These two young soldiers, both students and reservists at the time, were captured in a cross-border raid two years ago by Hizballah guerrillas, setting off a small war that left 160 Israelis and 1,000 Lebanese dead.

Because the Israeli military vows to never leave a soldier on the battlefield, negotiations were held to get the two men back, even though most believed they were dead. Hizballah captured the two men to use them as bargaining chips and held firm to its demand that Israel free several prisoners, including Samir Kuntar.

Not Kuntar!, many Israelis said. He was serving life sentences for murdering three people in 1979: a police officer, a civilian named Danny Haran and Haran's 4-year-old daughter, whose head Kuntar smashed on rocks and with his rifle butt. Haran's wife, hiding her other baby from Kuntar, covered her mouth to stop her whimpering. The child suffocated.

Kuntar's killings were regarded in Israel as the most brutal form of terrorism. The thought of freeing him went against every fiber of justice. But, last week, after almost 30 years behind bars, Kuntar was allowed to go by the Israeli authorities. And on Wednesday, he walked down a red carpet in Beirut and was kissed by the Hizballah leader and cheered like a rock star. Samir! Samir!" the crowd reportedly yelled. This for a man convicted of smashing a child's head into pieces.

You can take whatever side you like in the Israeli-Palestinian debate. You can argue who is entitled to land, statehood and borders. But you cannot defend the frenzied love-fest that took place for Kuntar in Lebanon, as if he were some long-lost statesmen, instead of a common murderer who did the worst thing you can do: take the life of a child. What religion condones that? What holy book says that is a good thing? A banner in Beirut, according to the New York Times, read "God's Achievement Through Our Hands."

What God would have a child's murder on anyone's hands? How do people celebrate such a killer? Is it because the little girl was Israeli –– and Israel is the enemy? Since when does a 4-year-old know of politics or war? Is it because Arab children got killed by Israelis? Yes, children undeniably die in bombings –– on both sides. However, an Israeli soldier who deliberately smashed a child's head on a rock should –– and likely would –– be tried as a criminal, not cheered like a hero.

The total disregard for life of anyone who does not believe what Hizballah believes stands in stark contrast to the value of life –– and even of its demise –– that Israel demonstrated in bringing those two bodies back. The families of Goldwasser and Regev were able to put their sons in the ground, to say good-bye, to end the wondering. That small act meant something to the government, which voted on the exchange. In the midst of the never-ending conflict Israel faces, that says an awful lot.

Meanwhile, here is what Kuntar said to the cheering crowd: "I return from Palestine only to go back to Palestine, I promise families in Palestine that we are coming back, me and my brothers in the resistance." You'll note he never says the word "Israel." To men like Kuntar, Israel does not exist and should never exist. He and the terrorist group that freed him (and you can install Hizballah into all the government seats you want, a terrorist group is still a terrorist group) want a world in which Israel has no place. The Jews should be driven into the sea.

With a philosophy like that, it may be hard to expect remorse. But if you can justify Hizballah calling a national holiday to cheer home a child murderer, there is no talking to you. There is only mourning –– as there were over two coffins last week –– for a world in which such things and such thinking can take place.

Jerome S. Kaufman is National Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America and hosts the Israel Commentary website (http://www.israel-commentary.org).

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ROCKET ATTACKS FROM GAZA; ISRAEL SIDES WITH ATTACK ON HEBRON JEWS; NY TIMES FAIR, TODAY!
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 22, 2008.
 

ISRAEL LAX IN PREVENTING TERRORISM

Terrorism begins before a terrorist sets out on a mission. It begins with illegal incitement to terrorism and lax enforcement of the law against Muslim criminals. Thus, if the Arab bus company whose driver murdered Yeshiva students had been audited, police would have found it employed criminals. If police had arrested the hundreds of Arabs who demonstrated in praise of the murderer, it would have interrogated a certain career criminal and perhaps found out he had become an Islamist, before he went on to murder by bulldozer. The police were not the ones who stopped the two acts of terrorism, bystanders did.

In Arab areas of Jerusalem, the Negev, and "the Galilee, the police simply refuse to enforce the law. They do not patrol the streets. They do not arrest religious, educational and political leaders who solicit terrorism or incite hatred. They do not enforce building laws. They do not protect state and privately owned land from squatters. Today some 90 percent of Arab construction in Israel is carried out without permits. Whole towns in the Negev have been built on stolen state land. And the police do nothing." [No patrols, no intelligence.]

"As a consequence of police inaction, thieves, smugglers, terror solicitors and other dangerous criminals are allowed to operate in the open. Fearing the wrath of human rights groups on the one hand and Arab rioters on the other, the police simply do not enforce Israeli law in the Arab sector."

The government claims its hands are tied, but it could pass a law allowing for swift demolition of terrorists' houses. It could "pass regulations barring anti-Zionist propaganda in public school curricula and sanctioning the immediate firing of public school teachers who teach students to hate Israel. It can suspend government funding of municipalities...that do not enforce building codes. It can set up well-paid community police comprised of loyal citizens. The government can prosecute Arab politicians and leaders who treat with the enemy for treason." Instead it appeases the Arabs and treats right-wingers as the enemy (Caroline Glick, IMRA, 7/5). American Jewry in general is unaware of this.

MORE ROCKET ATTACKS FROM GAZA

The rockets keep coming (IMRA, 7/7). What does Israel call a daily rocket barrage? "Ceasefire."

Obviously Israel imposes no heavy penalties upon Hamas. It closes some gates to trucks, for a couple of days, but that suits Hamas. Hamas is making a lot of money highly taxing the extortionate prices for goods smuggled from Sinai and getting the rest of the world to condemn Israel for sometimes closing some gates. Obviously, Hamas does not enforce the ceasefire.

DISTORTED ACADEMIA

"... information that would normally be proven false by scholarly research of the facts"..."is given equal weight against the facts as opinions and agendas replace serious scholasticism and research in educational materials such as books and by professors with an agenda. In turn, that false information gets disseminated over and over again later by graduates who know no better (or don't want to know better) and move into future teaching positions..."

Edward Said wrote regularly wrote for Pluto Press, a university publisher. He encouraged Palestinian Arabs and supporters to write their own history. He said..."that facts don't matter, only emotions matter. When history becomes a fabrication to support an opinion or agenda, then true academic scholarship is lost. Sadly, this is happening in the American university...system due to indirect payoffs to administrators and department heads of Arab oil money. European and Israeli universities tend to try and emulate what happens in America, so the same tendency follows. (Unfortunately, the Israeli system doesn't get Arab oil money as a side benefit, only some professors do indirectly. through the EU)."

Readers mistakenly think that books published by university presses must have been researched carefully. They get taken in by those out to undermine Israel. Some Communists exploit their Jewish heritage as cover, in that effort. (Citing them, antisemites condemn the Jewish people as Communists.)

EGYPT UNCOVERS A FEW SMUGGLERS' TUNNELS

Egypt regularly uncovers a few tunnels, now. Hundreds more remain in operation, and the few uncovered are soon replaced. That way, believes Dr. Aaron Lerner, Egypt is able to tell Sec. Rice that it is doing "something" about the arms smuggling, without actually choking off the smuggling (IMRA, 7/5).

The worst Rice might say is that Egypt "should do more." Now that Egypt has US training and equipment for detecting tunnels, what excuse has it for not finding more? When will Israel lose patience with Egypt\? Where is Rice's integrity and supposed brilliance in exposing the Egyptian ruse?

HEBRON JEWISH SPOKESMAN ATTACKED

The Hebron Jewish spokesman saw a group in Hebron with Arab-sponsored literature defaming the Jewish community. He tried to photograph them, but a Frenchman blocked his view, knocked off his glasses, and held his arm. An Israeli woman tried to restrain him, but he hit her. The pair went to the police station, but the officer there yelled at him without hearing his side (IMRA, 7/6). The Frenchman has diplomatic immunity. He also has a lot of nerve.

WHAT TRUCE IN GAZA?

The Israeli government agreed to an unwritten, disadvantageous truce in Gaza that it admitted it did not expect the Arabs to honor. This is irrational. Israel could have made valuable propaganda by rejection Hamas offer' for one-sidedness by habitual truce violators. Israel could have exposed Hamas.

But Israel agreed. Very soon, the Arabs resumed the bombardment, with improved rockets. Day after day, rockets fall on Israel. Nevertheless, Israel does not attack intercept or retaliate militarily. It does is close off Gaza to Israeli shipments of goods, but Hamas keeps getting arms in from Sinai. Why should anyone respect an Israeli government that fails to protect its people?

COMPLAINT ABOUT BUSH DISPROVED

One of the biggest but silliest complaints about Pres. Bush is that he alienated the rest of the world, especially Europe. As an afterthought, now that the French, German, Italian, and British governments are friendly again, with the US, isn't it time for those complainers to acknowledge relief that governments not totally evil are coming around to see the US more in its true light?

Do Democrats not notice the US leading the effort at the UNO, futile though it be, to do something about the various oppressive regimes?

At a friends' house, a woman was telling a fiery liberal that China offered no help to Indonesia after its tsunami. That's not decenct. The liberal probably had accused Bush and the US of doing little, but Americans did the most and usually do. There is no similarity between the US and Bush that liberals depict and reality, including his undeserved praise as pro-Israel.

NY TIMES FAIR, TODAY!

Usually, the Times exaggerates economic problems and blames them all on Pres. Bush, while the NY Sun mentions the Administration' s positive economic aspects without the negative. On 7/8, however, Times economist, Paul Krugman, countered the exaggeration. He tried fairly to gauge our economic status and the extent of responsibility by Bush and by Congress. Bush opposed conservation of energy, ever costlier. He ignored the critical role of the Federal Reserve, foreign countries, private corporations, and oppressive regulations.

The editorial stated that Obama has shifted so far to the center-right, that he dismays his followers in the hope of beguiling the majority. His constant lying forfeits credibility in his claim to be ending politics by deception [and rancor[. [It doesn't matter what his web sites state, he can't be trusted.]

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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A LIST OF SHARIAH-COMPLIANT BANKS
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 21, 2008.
 

We receive many emails asking us for a list of banks participating in Sharia finance.

We urge you to visit this website. It lists financial institutions here and around the world and the latest information on Sharia finance.
http://shariahfinancewatch.wordpress.com/shariah-compliant-banks/

 

Shariah Compliant Banks

Alpha Natural ResourcesAsset Acceptance Capital Corporation
Aviva Plc
AXA
Barclays PLC
BNP Paribas Group
Citibank, N.A.
Credit Agricole, S.A.
Deutsche Bank AG
Dow Jones & Company Inc.
Equity Insurance Group Limited
Goldman Sachs Group
HBOS plc
HSBC Holdings plc
INVESCO Perpetual
Julius Baer Group
Maersk Logistics
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
Morgan Stanley
NYSE Euronext
Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Singapore Power

National Security and Financial Risks: Islamists are attempting to impose Shariah Compliant Finance (SCF) on Western institutions to use our own financial strengths against us. The most serious problem with SCF is that it legitimates and institutionalizes Shariah law (i.e., Islamic law), a theo-political-legal doctrine violently opposed to Western values.

With $1-$2 trillion petrodollars annually looking for an investment home, blind exuberance is driving financial institutions to adopt SCF, without even a minimal baseline for legal compliance. This willful blindness, and lack of both transparency and due diligence may cause SCF to be the next sub-prime crisis, but this time with deadly consequences.

Legal Risks: Western financial institutions which adopt SCF may have criminal and civil exposure to claims of aiding and abetting sedition and the material support of terrorism, securities fraud, consumer fraud, racketeering, and antitrust violations, as well as exposure to tort claims for sedition and terrorism, and for the violation of internationally recognized norms of the law of nations.

Terror Financing Mechanism: SCF as monitored by paid Shariah law advisors to U.S. banking institutions must "purify" certain return on investment (ROI) dollars that do not meet Shariah law standards. This money must be donated to Islamic charities –– including some that promote Jihad and support suicide bombing. Investment disclosures state that these profits can be as high as 6% of profits of investments. With $800 billion already in SCF assets, the potential for billions of dollars to be siphoned off for terrorism is real. This would be a serious criminal violation of U.S. law.

Consider this example: Shariah Mutual Funds promote themselves as "ethical funds." To be Shariah-compliant, they donate "tainted" revenues to Shariah-compliant "charities." A post 9-11 U.S. investor in a Shariah-compliant "ethical investment" is not told that Shariah law also requires imposing Shariah as U.S. law, execution of gays and female apartheid. Is he a victim of consumer fraud? Is this same post 9-11 investor unwittingly funding terror? The government has shut down the three largest Shariah-compliant charities in the U.S. –– the Holy Land Foundation, Benevolence International Foundation, and the Global Relief Foundation –– after proving they funded terrorist organizations. The American taxpayer deserves answers to these questions. The Center for Security Policy (CSP) is meeting directly with members of Congress, U.S. regulatory agencies and Wall Street financial institutions in order to ensure the enforcement of existing U.S. laws on sedition, disclosure, material support of terrorism, and money-laundering. CSP is committed to revealing the civil liability and criminal exposure of Shariah law and Shariah-compliant finance.

WHAT IS SHARIAH LAW?

Understanding Shariah law is integral to understanding the dangers of Shariah-compliant finance. Shariah law is Islamic law dating back to the 7th century and is today the law of the land in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan and the law under which the Taliban operates. Recent polls reveal that only 10-15% of Muslims worldwide want to live under this all-encompassing system of Islamic jurisprudence that covers all aspects of a Muslim's life including religious, social, political, and military obligations. However, with a current population of 1.5 billion Muslims, this translates to a huge pool of Jihadist recruits and supporters –– a base of approximately 150 –– 225 million Muslims. Shariah law authorities, some of whom are now being paid handsomely by Barclays, Dow Jones, Standard & Poors, HSBC, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Deutschebank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Credit Suisse and others have the power to dictate Shariah compliance as deemed by "scholarly consensus" on matters of finance, family, penal law, apostasy, and war.

Examples of authoritarian Shariah law include:

requirement of women to obtain permission from husbands for daily freedoms; beating of disobedient woman and girls; execution of homosexuals; engagement of polygamy and forced child marriages; the testimony of four male witnesses to prove rape; honor killings of those, principally women, who have dishonored the family; death to apostate Muslims who chose to leave Islam; inferior status of non-Muslims, and capital punishment for those "slander Islam."

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

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ISRAEL'S UNWANTED OPEN DOOR
Posted by LEL, July 21, 2008.
 

This was written by Caroline Glick and it appeared July 17, 2008 in the Jerusalem Post.
http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331010688&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

 

Any residual doubt that Washington has decided to take no action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons dissipated Wednesday with the news that Undersecretary of State William Burns will be participating in EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana's negotiations with Iran's nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Geneva on Saturday.

That those negotiations will fail to end or even slow Iran's progress toward nuclear weapons capabilities is a certainty. Ahead of the talks, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated for the umpteenth time that Teheran will make no compromises on its uranium enrichment activities. And so far, Iran –– as opposed to Washington –– has been true to its word.

Given Iran's forthrightness, there is only one reasonable explanation for the administration's decision to send Burns to meet with Jalili: The US wants it to be absolutely clear to Teheran and everyone else that it has no intention whatsoever of attacking Iran's nuclear installations.

It makes sense that Washington considers it necessary to make this point clearly. In light of the threat that a nuclear-armed Iran would constitute to US national security interests, it would have been more reasonable to assume that America would attack the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities preemptively than to assume it would allow Iran to go forward with its goal to acquire nuclear weapons.

A nuclear-armed Iran would place the US military's hard-won victories against Iranian surrogates in Iraq and its tentative success in separating Iraq's Shi'ite leaders from Teheran in jeopardy. So, too, given Iran's increasingly active support for the Taliban, an Iranian acquisition of nuclear capabilities would cast doubt on America's ability to defeat the resurgent Taliban.

The US's economic well-being would also be endangered by a nuclear-armed Iran. Teheran has repeatedly threatened to attack Saudi oil platforms and endanger the oil shipping lanes in the Straits of Hormuz. And a nuclear arsenal would give Iran unprecedented power to dictate price-setting policies for the OPEC oil cartel.

Beyond all that, a nuclear-armed Iran would directly threaten US territory in two ways. First, there is no reason not to think that Teheran would use Hizbullah cells in the US to detonate nuclear devices in US cities. Iran has already shown a willingness to use Hizbullah to carry out terror attacks in the West –– most spectacularly in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

Second, it is widely feared that Iran is developing the capacity to launch an electromagnetic pulse (or EMP) attack against the US mainland. An EMP attack is conducted by launching a nuclear bomb into the atmosphere above a country. It needn't actually hit the country. Simply by detonating a nuclear device at sufficiently high altitude, an EMP attack can destroy the electrical grids, communications systems and military-industrial foundations of a society. Such an attack would set the US back a hundred years.

Fears of an EMP attack against the US were sparked last week by Iran's test of an advanced version of its Shihab-3 ballistic missile. The day of the missile test, William Graham, who heads a congressionally mandated commission on the EMP threat to the US, gave testimony on the issue to the House's Armed Services Committee. Graham explained that Iran has already conducted missile test from ships in the Caspian Sea. If it acquires nuclear weapons, it will apparently have the capacity to launch a nuclear warhead capable of carrying out an EMP attack against the US from a freighter in international waters off the US coast.

While any of these threats would be sufficient to justify a preemptive attack against Iran's nuclear installations, the US still has a reasonable excuse for not conducting such an attack: Iran has made clear that if it acquires nuclear weapons, the US will not be Teheran's first target. Israel enjoys that distinction.

And since the US is Iran's second target, the Bush administration has made clear that if Iran attacks Israel, the US will launch an attack against Iran. That is, the US will fight to ensure that Iran won't be able to attack it if America moves to the head of Iran's target list. But as long as it's only No. 2, it will take no action.

The US cannot be accused of being unfair to Israel by deciding not to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. After all, defending Israel is Israel's responsibility, not America's. And on this point, news reports in recent weeks have made it clear that while the US will not attack Iran, it has given Israel a "green light" for a preemptive strike on the Islamic Republic's nuclear installations. And this is no small thing.
 

THE BUSH administration's willingness to stand back and allow Israel to attack Iran's nuclear installations to prevent a nuclear holocaust of the Jewish state compares well with how the administration of the president's father treated Israel in the 1991 Gulf War. At that time, Israel was under threat of Scud missile borne chemical weapons attack. Although Saddam Hussein ended up not attacking Israel with chemical weapons, the threat that he would was credible. He attacked Israel with Scud missiles almost every night for the duration of the war.

Despite this obvious casus belli, the first Bush administration not only refused to politically support Israel's right to defend itself against Iraqi aggression, it took active steps to prevent Israel from attacking Iraq's Scud missile installations. Then-president George H.W. Bush refused to provide Israel with the electronic codes that would allow Israeli and US jets to identify one another as friendly aircraft. In so doing, he left open the prospect that the US would shoot down IAF jets over Iraqi airspace if Israel dared to defend itself.

So, mindful of the precedent set by his father, President George W. Bush's decision to leave the door wide open for an Israeli preemptive strike on Iran is a positive development. But an open door is only significant if someone is willing to walk through it. And it is far from clear that the Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government has any intention of doing so.

For an Israeli government to walk through that door, its leaders would have to be vested with a sense of national destiny and a modicum of responsibility and competence. But as Wednesday's bodies-for-murderers deal with Hizbullah demonstrated, the Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government has no sense of national destiny and no competence to lead the country. What Wednesday's spectacle showed is that Israel's leaders' horizons are limited to the space between yesterday's news and tomorrow's headlines.

On Wednesday, Israel received the corpses of IDF hostages Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser in exchange for baby-murderer Samir Kuntar, four Hizbullah terrorists and 200 bodies of Palestinian and Lebanese murderers. Ahead of the swap, the Almagor terror victims' advocacy group published the names of 180 Israelis who were murdered by terrorists Israel released in recent years.

As the Almagor report showed, many of the terrorists Israel released –– including Saleh Shehadeh, Nasser Abu Hmeid and Abdullah Kawasmeh –– became senior terror commanders, responsible for building the terror infrastructure that caused the death of hundreds of Israelis. Others, such as Matzab Hashalmon, who was released in the 2004 terrorists-for-drug dealer-and-Hizbullah-spy Elhanan Tenenbaum, were quickly recruited as suicide bombers. Hashalmon murdered 16 Israelis when he detonated on a bus in Beersheva a couple of months after he was released.

The government knows for a fact that Wednesday's deal will lead directly to the murder of more Israelis and to the abduction and murder of more IDF soldiers. It simply doesn't care. The Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government doesn't care about protecting the public. It only cares about tomorrow's headlines. And Wednesday's deal allowed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai to give speeches where they waxed poetic about Israel's loyalty to its dead soldiers and to have their pictures taken as they leaned somberly over Regev's and Goldwasser's flag-draped coffins.

They looked so impressive in those photos that it was easy for the public to miss what they had just done. The public could have easily missed the fact that in their "deeply moral, and patriotic" decision to trade Samir Kuntar –– who murdered four-year-old Einat Haran by crushing her skull on a rock after he executed her father Danny in front of her –– for Regev's and Goldwasser's body parts, these politicians signed the death warrants of untold numbers of Israelis. And if they go forward with their pledge to release a thousand terrorists for IDF hostage Gilad Schalit, they will sign the death warrants of still more Israeli men, women and children.
 

THE GOVERNMENT'S devotion to its yesterday-to-tomorrow's-headlines policy horizon is fed by the local media. Disgracefully, the Israeli media's coverage of events is so mindlessly shallow that senior journalists simply refuse to make any connection between tomorrow's threats and today's decisions. That this is the case was born out in the media's grotesque treatment of Wednesday's corpses-for-murderers swap.

In the weeks leading up to the government's decision to accept this Faustian bargain, the media cast the issue as the personal affair of the Regev and Goldwasser families and ignored completely the ramifications of the deal for the Israeli people as a whole. In their puerile depiction of the story as a personal story, the media stooped to treating Kuntar as the personal enemy of the Haran family, instead of as the enemy of the Jewish people as a whole. Refusing to note the national repercussions of the deal, the media acted as though the entire story was a struggle between opposing families: the Regevs and Goldwasser on one side and the Harans on the other. Israel as a nation was nothing but an abstract, unimportant bystander.

Given the media's refusal to cover anything that they can't personalize and trivialize, the media are incapable of adequately reporting the danger that Iran's nuclear program constitutes to Israel as a whole. And since they will not concentrate on this basic reality, the Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government feels no pressure to contend with the danger. It is a non-story. And non-stories produce no policies.

Aside from that, although a successful strike on Iran's nuclear facilities would win them considerable clout with the public, an unsuccessful attack would end their political careers. And their careers are the only thing Israel's leaders are concerned with.

This being the state of affairs in Israel today, all the open doors in all the world won't help Israel in its moment of crisis. Only two things can guarantee that Israel's leaders will act against Iran. Either someone will come up with a way to guarantee success

–– and this is not likely; or the government will fall and the nation will elect new leaders who understand their responsibility for Israel's national destiny and are capable of walking the nation through that open door.

Contact LEL by email at lel817@yahoo.com

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OBAMA: 9-11 HAPPENED BECAUSE AL-QAIDA LACKS 'EMPATHY'
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 21, 2008.
 

Senator lectures U.S. military, blames terror on 'poverty, ignorance, despair' This was written by Aaron Klein and was published in World Net Daily
http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=70119

 

JERUSALEM –– The 9-11 attacks were carried out because of a lack of "empathy" for others' suffering on the part of al-Qaida, whose terrorist ideology "grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair,"

Sen. Barack Obama explained in largely unreported comments eight days after the mega-terror attacks that rocked the nation.

Obama went on to imply the September 11th attacks were in part a result of U.S. policy, lecturing the American military to minimize civilian casualties in the Middle East and urging action opposing "bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle-Eastern descent."

"Even as I hope for some measure of peace and comfort to the bereaved families, I must also hope that we, as a nation, draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy," Obama wrote in a piece about 9-11 published on Sept. 19, 2001, in Chicago's Hyde Park Herald.

The senator continued: "Certain immediate lessons are clear, and we must act upon those lessons decisively. We need to step up security at our airports. We must re-examine the effectiveness of our intelligence networks and we must be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction," wrote Obama.

"We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity or suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, it may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics.

"Most often, though, it grows out a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.

"We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad. We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle-Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe –– children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and within our own shores."

Obama's piece gained little notice outside the Hyde Park Herald, which covered Obama's district as a Chicago state senator. The Hyde Park area is heavily influenced by the Nation of Islam.

Obama's remarks gained more traction on Internet blogs the past few days after the statements were republished last week by the New Yorker magazine in a piece that caused a campaign storm when the magazine printed a cover image depicting Obama in Muslim garb and wife Michelle sporting an afro and carrying a machine gun in the Oval Office. A picture of Osama bin Laden hangs over the fire place in which an American flag is being burned.

The New Yorker explained its image was meant to be a satirical depiction of the distorted way some Americans view Obama.

Regarding Obama's remark that al-Qaida is unable to imagine the suffering of others, Michelle Malkin responded in a National Review Online piece, "Is this man for real?

Osama bin Laden's murderous legions are plenty able to 'imagine' the 'suffering of others.' Go watch an al-Qaeda beheading snuff video. Just Google it or surf YouTube. Imagining the suffering of infidels is covered amply in basic Jihadi Training 101."

Robert Spencer, director of the Jihad Watch website, noted, "Barack Obama, back in late September 2001, completely ignored Islam itself. He found the roots for Muslim terrorism not in Islam but in 'a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.'

"What Obama could not, and apparently cannot, allow himself to do is to investigate the nature of Islam, to find out what it teaches about Believers and Infidels. I can help out a bit. I can tell him, right now, right here, that Islam is based on a clear division of the universe between Believers and Infidels."

In an opinion piece in Commentary Magazine, writer Abe Greenwald, responding to Obama's belief terrorists act out of despair, commented, "'[P]overty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.' Strange, considering our attackers were wealthy and educated, connected and ecstatic. You know, if Obama is going to keep ex-terrorists around, he should at least utilize them. He could have asked Bill Ayers, 'Bill, did your 'failure of empathy' stem from your impoverished upbringing as the son of the CEO of Commonwealth Edison?"

Indeed Obama's notion terrorists act out of desperation and poor living conditions was directly contradicted in a WND interview last year with a recruited Palestinian suicide bomber.

The recruited bomber said he is driven to carry out a suicide operation to "satisfy Allah and his instructions. No money interests, nothing. No brainwash, no pressure; it is my decision."

"[My idea of suicide martyrdom] became stronger when I understood what status I will have in heaven if I scarify myself for Allah."

Asked about media reports portraying Palestinian suicide attackers as acting in response to occupation or poor living conditions, the recruited bomber called those media claims "lies" and "Israeli propaganda."

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

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'BRITAIN SHOULD LOOK AT THE LESSONS OF HISTORY AND THE REALITIES OF TODAY,'
Posted by Boris Celser, July 21, 2008.
 

TORONTO, July 21, 2008 –– B'nai Brith Canada has characterized the remarks by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown relating to Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem as an "abdication of Britain's historical responsibility".

"British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the State of Israel, to also serve as the capital of a future Palestinian State. This completely ignores the national, cultural, and religious bond between the Jewish People and their holiest city," said Frank Dimant, Executive Vice President of B'nai Brith Canada. "Jerusalem has only been the capital of the Jewish State, never of any Arab country.

"Prime Minister Brown has also called on Israel to cease 'settlement' building in Judea and Samaria. Such remarks ignore historical realities.

"It seems Prime Minister Brown has forgotten Britain's historical role, in which Lord Balfour viewed with favour the establishment in then-Palestine of a 'national home for the Jewish people'. One must also recall that under the British Mandate the original borders of the Jewish homeland were redrawn, with more than three-quarters of this original territory apportioned to the newly-formed Transjordan, made up of a predominantly Palestinian population. The Jews accepted, albeit with strong reservation, this markedly shrunken territory because at least it represented the rebirth of the Jewish State in their ancestral homeland.

"This historical lesson ought to be foremost on the mind of the British Prime Minister as he proposes further areas that Jews should vacate and employs terminology such as 'settlements' that disguise the ancestral presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria.

"The Prime Minister should also take his cue from more recent history in which we see the de facto terrorist State in Gaza that has been established in areas from which Israel withdrew a mere three years ago. It is time that Britain and the entire world community held the Palestinians to account for the terrorism perpetrated by groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, rather than reward them by pressing Israel to make still more territorial concessions that will erase a Jewish presence from these areas."

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

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CONVINCING EUROPE ISRAEL HAS A RIGHT TO EXIST
Posted by Seth Frantzman, July 21, 2008.
 

Israel has succeeded in convincing much of the Arab world of its right to exist. But what many people forget is that during that same 60 year period Israel has not succeeded in convincing the Europeans of its right to exist. More properly stated: The Europeans are unable and unwilling to accept the existence of Israel. This is a much greater danger than any Arab ever was. It is also a much more disgusting and shameful turn of events.

 

There is a moniker that is often employed about the Israeli-Arab 'conflict'. It is always believed that Israel must force the Arab states to accept her existence. This is why 'right to exist' is such a mantra among those who support Israel and why at least one book has used these words in its title. Golda Meir once quipped that there will be peace when 'Arabs love their children more than they hate Israel.' The ideology of 'land for peace' is also part of this desire for recognition and acceptance in the region. Israel remains, quite simply, one of the few states whose neighbours do not recognize her. (she is not the only one: Puntland in Somalia has this problem, as does Kosovo and Taiwan among others. Israel is unique only in the sense that, until recently, her neighbours wanted to see all her residents, the Jews, removed, rather than simply disputing whether or not she is a country). However since the mid-1970s this has begun to change. More and more Arab and Muslim states do accept the existence of Israel, at least on paper. Today's greatest haters of Israel are not even Arab Muslim states but the petty leaders of other Muslim states such as Iran, Indonesia and Malaysia.

What Israelis and Israel advocates seem to have missed is the fact that they have largely convinced the Arab world that Israel does exist. What Israel has failed to do is to convince the European and other westerners that she has a right to exist. Thus the questioning of Israel's existence has moved from the local neighbourhood to the international level and on an international scale Israel has failed to convince the intellectuals and high brow pashas of the West. This is supremely interesting, for it is the West that is primarily responsible for the creation of Israel both because of the West's genocidal programs, the creation of the United Nations, the ideology of nationalism and socialism and the First World War. Although Jews shouldered the physical burden of building Israel is was the west that helped propel her to statehood. The First World War, colonialism and the legalism employed in the 'mandates' granted after the First World war helped create Israel in much the same way as Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia were created.

But while the West has not decided that the other states it served as a midwife for deserve to be dismantled, prominent westerners have decided that Israel is a 'mistake' that was 'conceived in sin'. Without going into the irony of how the West and Europeans, who are mostly secular and godless, like to use imagery such as 'conceived in sin', one must challenge the way Westerners have betrayed Israel and the degree to which the West must be brought to justice for this betrayel.

The West plays a double game with nationalism and 'anti-colonialism' and 'post-colonialism'. Tunisian and Algerian nationalism was seen by Albert Memmi and Franz Fanon as a wonderful development, a natural 'indigenous' reaction to French colonialism. Intellectuals in Europe celebrated all nationalism that took place in foreign countries outside of Europe so long as those nationalisms could be considered 'anti-colonial'. Thus the leftist intellectuals in Europe first exhibited their love for the other and this contradictory 'love it abroad, hate it at home' approach to the world: nationalism was good so long as it was being carried out by 'coloureds' and was taking place against 'the white man'. Other types of nationalism that manifested themselves over the years, for instance that of the Afrikaners, the Israelis, the Serbs and the Russians was considered 'chauvinistic'. But Hugu Chavez was not a chauvinist, even if he looks like an ape and beats his chest like one during long drawn out harangues on state controlled radio and television. Fidel Castro, although he was born into a wealthy family and although his 'comrade' Che was similarly wealthy and white were both considered anti-colonial romantics, mostly because of their beards, fatigues and interest in cigars. In fact the use of fatigues and uniforms, which were much hated and spat upon in 1960s Europe and America, were celebrated so long as they were worn by someone pretending to be 'anti-western', 'anti-capitalist' and 'anti-colonialist'. Thus while few could countenance Meir Kahane or Timothy Mcveigh and their respective JDL and militias, one could find love in Arafat and Pol Pot.

So the West gave birth to nationalism. The West exported it abroad by educating the natives in the West (this is an obvious fact as we can see that Gandhi, Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Idi Amin, Laurent Kabila, Pol Pot and Ho Chi Minh, to name a few, all learned their nationalism either in Europe or through Europeans). Then the West came to hate nationalism at home and love it abroad. But then there were the Jews. Jewish nationalism, once in vogue among westerners who admired Israeli's socialist kibbutzim, became tainted as Western intellectuals began to re-write their race playbooks so that the Jew became part of the 'white' world. Once Israel was redefined as 'white' and 'western' and 'European' it could be considered, like Afrikaner South Africa, an extension of Europe, an evil weed of the Old Europe, that had to be beaten back. Europeans saw themselves in the Jew and the Afrikaner and were profoundly shocked. So between 1968 and 2008 the European intellectuals began to believe that Israel did not have a right to exist. This was precisely the same period where the Arab was just catching up with Europe and accepting the existence of Israel.

Europeans are at the forefront of Israel hatred. Throughout Europe Jews cower in fear over the all-too often assaults on them by Muslims who Europeans have invited to settle in Europe as 'refugees', often in former Jewish parts of town. Europeans have convinced themselves that Israel is a 'nazi' state and that its crimes are 'like Apartheid' (In fact a recent visit by 'anti-Apartheid activists' from South Africa claimed Israel is worse than Apartheid because Israel 'wishes the Palestinians would disappear' whereas the Afrikaner at least met blacks in his day to day life).

The fact that Europeans sell technology to Iran, which threatens to destroy Israel, is merely one part of the European hatred of Israel and her attempt to destroy Israel. Europeans have a profound belief that they have a right to dismantle Israel since they believe, incorrectly, that they created Israel. Europeans have come to believe their own rhetoric, they believe Israel is a colonial extension of their continent and thus believe they can dismantle her the way they did the other colonies. The truth is that the Europeans will celebrate the destruction of Israel. But they will reap what they have sown. In the European war against Israel the European has employed the Muslim refugee, the ever tear filled eyes of the Arab women with her headscarf and her children, always parading as 'victims'. But now Europeans are stuck with fifty million of those Muslims they invited as 'victims' to settle in their midst. While Europeans pray everyday for the destruction of Israel they do not realize they have brought the destruction on themselves.

Contact Seth Frantzman at sfrantzman@hotmail.com

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IRAN HOLDS REGIME APPROVED ISLAMIC FASHION SHOW
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 21, 2008.
 

This comes from Gatway Pundit website
http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2008/07/ iran-holds-regime-approved-islamic.html

The "old drape" look is making a comback this year.

The Iranian Regime held its third annual Festival of Women of My Land conference complete with a fashion show highlighting this year's bold new look. Mehr News reported:

A group of ambassadors of the Islamic countries to Iran and their families paid a visit to the 3rd Festival of Women of My Land currently underway at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults on Saturday.

Accompanied by the Iranian Foreign Ministry Officials, the group visited the works of designers of their own country as well as other Muslim countries' dress designs.

A total number of 33 Islamic countries participated in the festival presenting new Islamic designs for women dress.

Black is in again this year...

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

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BREAKING THE CODE: OBAMA'S ANTI-ISRAEL MESSAGE
Posted by Rand H. Fishbein, Ph.D., July 21, 2008.
 

If words are a window onto the soul, then Barack Obama's comments before a recent gathering of more than 7,000 delegates at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2008 Policy Conference reveals much about his true attitude towards Israel and the not-so-secret agenda of his foreign policy advisors. Here was an opportunity for the great orator to set the record straight and to disabuse his critics of the widely held notion that his sympathies lie not with Israel's enemies, but with the safety of the besieged Jewish State.

"Let me be clear," Obama declared to his pro-Israel audience, "Israel's security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper –– but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders."

For most of those in attendance, the statement by the Illinois Senator was nothing short of a ringing endorsement of Israel and its security requirements, an unambiguous declaration that if elected, the new President would not pressure Israel into making life-threatening concessions in the name of peace. So convinced was the AIPAC audience of his sincerity that he received rapturous applause from a crowd long accustomed to lofty pro-Israel declarations by aspiring candidates.

But what was Obama hinting at? A careful parsing of the passage suggests that either he was calling for all Palestinian towns on the West Bank to be linked territorially, something that already exists, or more likely that in any final peace deal Hamas-controlled Gaza must be connected to the West Bank via a land bridge.

In fact, the Obama statement was a sinister reformulation of a key Palestinian demand that if implemented, would erode not only the geographic continuity of the Jewish State, but could fatally undermine its security as well.

By asserting that "The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive," Obama implicitly called for the partitioning of Israel, the break-up of a U.N. member state and U.S. democratic ally, and the sacrifice of its territorial integrity in the face of unrelenting terrorism. This is surely not what the AIPAC audience understood and certainly not what the American People expect of a possible future President.

Nonetheless, the erosion of Israeli security is the logical consequence of any proposal that would press for a contiguous Palestinian state between 'Hamastan' and the Palestinian territories on the West Bank. Hamas, after all, is committed to the destruction of Israel and has demonstrated this fact by firing over 4,000 rockets into Israeli towns and cities since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. The U.S. Government has branded Hamas a terrorist organization and has noted its links not only with terrorist groups in Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, but also its close association with Al-Qa'ida.

Surely those advising Obama on foreign policy matters are aware that what their candidate is asking of Israel is nothing short of national suicide. Individuals like Zbigniew Brzezinski, Lee H. Hamilton, Susan E. Rice, Lawrence J. Korb, Joseph Cirincione, W. Anthony Lake and David Bonior boast long resumes opposing Israel security interests and challenging the extent of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Today, neither Egypt nor Israel is able to stem the flow of guns, rockets and explosives from the Sinai Peninsula into Gaza. How then will it be possible to stop this weaponry from migrating over a land bridge and into the West Bank? Setting aside the fact that Hamas and Abbas's Fatah are today implacable foes, such a corridor would only facilitate terrorist infiltration of the West Bank and bring Hamas terrorists closer to Israeli population centers. A corridor would complete the encirclement of the Jewish State by hostile Arab forces, something that no sane Israeli government could willingly accept.

Obama's call for Palestinian territorial continuity contradicts all mainstream notions of Israeli defensible borders and security, effectively nullifying his pledge to safeguard the well-being of the Jewish State. It also invalidates his declaration that "We must isolate Hamas unless and until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements," something they have pledged never to do.

Troubling, as well, is the use of the word "need" in the Obama declaration: "The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive..." It demonstrates not only a conspicuous break with longstanding American policy, but also a striking ignorance of the historic realities that brought the Palestinians to this point in history. The U.N. Partition Plan of 1947 gave the Arabs a contiguous and cohesive portion of Palestine upon which to build their state. That portion is called Jordan and constitutes 77 percent of historic Palestine. But the Arabs rejected that generous offer preferring, instead, to attack the nascent Israeli state in the hope of stealing the entire loaf.

Senator Obama should understand that the Palestinians do not "need" more land. They may desire a corridor between Gaza and the West Bank, but a "desire" is not a "need." Such a corridor is no more a requirement of self-sufficiency than was a land corridor running through India and connecting Muslim Pakistan and Muslim Bangladesh following the partition of India in 1947. If the island state of Malta is able to prosper with a land area of 122 square miles then the Gaza Strip, at 146 square miles, should be able to do the same. In fact, there are 17 countries that are less than 200 square miles in size. All are economically and politically viable.

History has taught us that appeasement and intimidation should never be the basis for American policy. What the Palestinians deserve is a leadership that cares more about the welfare of its own people than in its unremitting obsession with the destruction of Israel.

If adopted by a future Obama administration, the candidate's proposal would nullify any pretense that the U.S. backed safe and secure borders for Israel. Without geographic and economic continuity, the main population centers of Israel would be divided, the security services would be further strained, Israeli military mobilization would be severely impaired, military training bases would be isolated, traffic from the port of Eilat would be slowed, and the cost of exploiting the Negev's mineral wealth probably would rise significantly.

Shorn of platitudes, the Obama speech to AIPAC was a sober warning to all who support the Democratic candidate for president. The subtext was clear: under an Obama administration Israel's security is not "sacrosanct." Everything is "negotiable." And the Jewish State will be "pressured" to concede its very territorial continuity to satisfy an Obama vision of peace in the region.

After all, it took only twenty-four hours following his AIPAC speech for Obama to repudiate his own declaration that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." After senior Hamas and Palestinian Authority leaders condemned the statement, he retreated, telling CNN's Candy Crowley in an interview that "obviously, it's going to be up to the parties to negotiate a range of these issues. And Jerusalem will be a part of these negotiations."

Could this new approach to Israel signal the emergence of an "Obama Doctrine," one that calls for the weakening of democratic states that do not capitulate to the relentless assaults of terrorist insurgencies? Hopefully, it is not. America can ill afford to abandon a stalwart democratic ally in the Middle East any more than Israel can afford the price of many more concessions.

Other countries facing local insurrections are watching to see if the formula Obama has sketched for Israel will be their fate as well. The clock is ticking. It is time that Israel and the American voting public carefully reexamine Obama's words. Thankfully, he has helped us to break the code before it is too late.

Obama told his AIPAC audience: "...(W)e know that we cannot relent, we cannot yield, and as President I will never compromise when it comes to Israel's security. Sadly, Senator, by your words and your associations, you already have.

Rand H. Fishbein, Ph.D., President of Fishbein Associates, Inc., a public policy consulting firm based in Potomac, Maryland, is a former Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, and Special Assistant for National Security Affairs to Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI).

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"BAY OF PIGS" ALL OVER AGAIN!; A SANE VOICE FROM THE OTHER SITE
Posted by Steven Shamrak, July 21, 2008.
 

"BAY OF PIGS" ALL OVER AGAIN!*
by Steven Shamrak

More than four years ago (Feb 2004) a CIA report projected: 'The death of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat would set in motion a sequence of events that could culminate in an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, a report released this week by the US intelligence community predicts'. The evaluation was formulated by the National Intelligence Council, which operates under the guidance of CIA director George Tenet.

My comment at the time was: "Could" –– Does not mean will. They were wrong about September 11, Afghanistan and Iraq. There is no reason to trust and believe them now. Pan Arab philosophy, not Arafat, is responsible for worldwide terror! Arafat is not a problem, he is just another symptom of Islamic international terror policy which denies Jews a Jewish state in a Jewish land!

It seems that the old saying "One can't change the nature of the beast!" is still true. And it applies not only to so-called Palestinians but also to the CIA's strategically biased analytical abilities (or disability) as well judging by the 'success' the United States is having in Afghanistan and Iraq. Isn't it time to ask: Where is the Intelligence in the US National Intelligence?
 

Food for Thought
by Steven Shamrak

I do want to see peace between Israel and her neighbours, but with all my vivid imagination I am not able to visualise it while Arab hate-dwellers live on Jewish land with the determination to destroy Israel and kill Jews. By repeating the same acts one will get the same results only. Why would the same misguided and impotent plans and fake agreements bring peace to Israelafter they failed so many times? Why are we sacrificing the Jewish dream, Jewish national unity and Jewish lives for the illusion that our enemies may become humane and respectful toward Jews! What kind of dream is this?

*Price is Raised for Shalit.* A senior Hamas thug in Gaza, Ismail Radwan, said on Wednesday that the great achievement by Hizbullah today "strengthens the demands for releasing prisoners as part of the Shalit deal and even raises their price." Israel must understand, he said, that "it cannot dream that the Palestinians will lower their demands especially after it has been proven that the resistance can change the rules of the game with the enemy." (Enemies gloat over Olmert's 'Moral victory'!)

*Abbas Congratulates Family of the Murderer of Jews.* PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas congratulated the family of arch-terrorist Samir Kuntar on his imminent return to Lebanon. (What is Israel negotiating for and with whom? The removal of all terror-infested population from Jewish land is the only way toward the establishment of peace in Israel!)

*Syria 'Definitely' Wants Peace with Israel?* Syrian President Bashar Assad told the Lebanese newspaper L'Orient-Le Jour "Israel is not serious enough, and therefore we must discern between the signing of an agreement with Israel and coming to a peace agreement." (He is actually talking about signing deceitful Hudna!) He also said "conducting indirect talks does not say that we don't want to sit with the Israelis at the negotiating table –– the opposite is true." It this case, why did Assad demonstratively sit out during the Israeli prime minister's speech to a Paris summit during the launch of a new Mediterranean union in an apparent rebuff just hours after Ehud Olmert urged Damascus to open direct peace talks? (Destruction of Israel is the first objective. Everything else is just a smoke screen in order to achieve the goal!)

*Corrupt to the Core.* The Knesset has expanded its fleet of leased vehicles from 90 to 150 during the past year despite soaring fuel costs. The average vehicle is estimated to cost almost 3,000 shekels ($900) a month.

*Kuntar Will Kill More Jews When Freed.* The mother of Dani Haran told reporters Tuesday that Samir Kuntar will kill more Jews once he is released back into Lebanon. Nina Keren, mother of one of the four Jewish victims of Kuntar's 1979 cross-border murder spree, said that she "could not stop crying" when she heard the news that her son's killer will be freed.

*'Politically Correct' Chicken.* Middle East envoy Tony Blair called off what would have been the first visit of a top Western diplomat to Gaza after Israel's Shin Bet security service said he might come under attack there. Blair said the threat was "specific" and "credible". (I am sure he will find a way to blame Israel and not the so-called Palestinians for this attempt on his life.)

*Quote of the Week:*

*"The prisoner swap proves more than ever that we (Jews) are a people who thirst for life, whereas the enemy is a nation of death and loss of direction."* –– *Benny Regev*, the brother of Eldad Regev who was kidnapped and killed by Hezbollah.

*Another Political Stooge Came to Israel.* British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who recently visited Israel, stated that he backs a new Arab state with borders defined by the 1949 Armistice Lines that existed until eastern Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza were restored to the Jewish state in the Six-Day in 1967. Carrying out the plan would require the expulsion of more than 500,000 Jews. (Due to obvious anti-Israel or anti-Semitic reasons, it is OK to transfer Jews form Jewish land but not occupiers of the Jewish land, fake Palestinians! The United Kingdom had created this political mess in the Holy Land during the Mandate control of Palestine and is still pursuing its anti-Jewish policy!)

*Hamas: No Negotiations with Israel.* A spokesman for Hamas Ismail Radwan said that negotiations with Israel out of the question and the Islamic movement will never recognize "the enemy." He also slammed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and added that "the Zionist enemy must depart and recognize the Palestinian people's rights." (Yes, the enemies of Israel "must depart" from Jewish land! The sooner it is done, the faster that peace will come to Israel.)

*Hamas Training Base.* The Israeli news service (Ynet) received several videos, filmed and produced by various terror organizations, that show terrorists are training in the remains of public buildings that were once a part of the Jewish Gaza community of Atzmona. The buildings include synagogues and schools.

*They are All the Same.* Lebanese President Michel Suleiman spoke at the formal welcome ceremony for the terrorists freed by Israel and said: "I wish to thank everyone who contributed to the release and congratulate the resistance (Hizbullah) for this achievement, ... to Samir Kuntar and his friends (terrorists) I say –– it is their right to be proud of their nation, their country and their resistance. Your return is a new victory."
 

A SANE VOICE FROM THE OTHER SITE.
by Dr. Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-born psychologist.

I am not a Christian, a Muslim or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others' right to believe in it.

Wafa Sultan: The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.

Wafa Sultan: The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said: "I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger." When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash and began this war.

Wafa Sultan: My colleague has said that he never offends other people's beliefs. What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call other people by names that they did not choose for themselves? Once, he calls them Ahl Al-Dhimma (all non-Muslims who came under Muslim rule historically and accepted a "protected" status and agreed to pay a special tax called jizya to the state –– in short, second class citizens, just like Jews were in most Christian countries), another time he calls them the "People of the Book," and yet another time he compares them to apes and pigs, or he calls the Christians "those who incur Allah's wrath." Who told you that they are "People of the Book"? They are not the People of the Book, they are people of many books. All the useful scientific books that you have today are theirs, the fruit of their free and creative thinking. What gives you the right to call them "those who incur Allah's wrath," or "those who have gone astray," and then come here and say that your religion commands you to refrain from offending the beliefs of others?

Wafa Sultan: "The Jews have come from the tragedy (of the Holocaust), and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. 15 million people, scattered throughout the world, united (not quite, unfortunately) and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a Mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them."

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. For several years, he has been publishing an Internet editorial letter about the Arab-Israel conflict since August 2001 and has a website www.shamrak.com. Contact him at stevenshamrak@gmail.com

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PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Posted by Harold Reisman, July 21, 2008.
 

The most recent political and military decisions made by the Israeli government leave many uncertainties. One certainty, however, is that the Israeli military has a much more difficult planning period ahead. In a reasonable interval –– let us estimate it at less than one year at minimum and two years maximum –– Israel will face a two or three front guerilla war. This coming war will include not only missile barrages in the North and the South but also (a) military incursions and raids from Lebanon and Gaza and (b) internal uprisings within Israel and the West Bank. The Israeli response will require at least 50,000 troops plus armor in each area. More likely, 100,000 in each area will be needed if police and border forces are included. At that time, both Syria and Egypt will mobilize and send troops and armor to their respective borders as purely "defensive measures" and to "prevent an Israeli attack". Jordan will merely reinforce its border to prevent PLO/Hamas incursions. Israel will be forced to respond to the Syrian-Egyptian moves (which will be coordinated) by its own further mobilization. The UN will condemn Israel for any action against "civilians" in Gaza and Lebanon and also condemn any "excessive force" used against internal and West Bank uprisings.

There will follow a number of possibilities –– all negative for Israel. One possibility (the least disastrous) is one more "truce" with more concessions to the PLO/Hamas groups and border adjustments that favor Egypt and Syria. UN troops will be sent to Gaza (just as they are now in Lebanon) and Israel will have to suspend any retaliatory attacks while enemy re-arming continues. UN troops might be stationed in the West Bank as well, allowing freedom of movement for PLO/Hamas militias. The next worse case involves lengthy military mobilization and a severe economic turndown in Israel while taking continuing military and civilian casualties. There will be no direct Egyptian or Syrian incursion but anti-aircraft defenses will be supplied to both Hezbollah and Hamas. This will be overlooked by the UN and the US as "purely defensive" measures. The worst case scenario is a multi-front war including conventional and non-conventional forces with the UN ready to reverse any losses by the Arab side while condemning Israeli "aggression".

Of course, one possible optimistic outlook concerning the present demarche is continuing negotiation leading to long-term peace treaties with Syria and PLO/Hamas groups. This is presumably the stance or the hope of the supporters of the new status. However, 40 years of negotiations –– and their results –– do not lend support for such a positive view.

If the Israeli military and leadership are preparing for the best case scenario, the country is in far worse condition than any pessimist can possibly envisage. Still, it is conceivable that the leadership is working on all possible scenarios. If so, the internal debate will continue to rage and appropriate measures and responses will be diluted, compromised and weakened...or all three. Review the government responses of the last two decades as well as the current situation and determine whether Israel's position has improved or declined over time. One can legitimately ask whether the geopolitical and military situation of Israel vis-a-vis its opponents is better or worse now than in 1991. If the answer is that the current situation is "better" than that of past years, then the on-going pattern of disengagement and decline should be satisfactory. Note that the Iranian nuclear weapon program has not yet been mentioned here. All the machinations and manipulations noted above have only delayed and avoided any serious approach to that rather large problem.

Contact Harold Reisman by email at hbr029@sbcglobal.net

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RESCUED: JEWISH MOM, 8 CHILDREN, AFTER 17 YEARS AS MUSLIMS
Posted by B. Taverna, July 21, 2008.
 

This was written by Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel and it appeared in Arutz-7
www.israelnationalnews.com/SendMail.aspx?print=print&type=0&item=126886

 

(IsraelNN.com) After a 17-year captivity to an abusive Muslim husband, a Jewish mother and her eight children were rescued Sunday from the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. Yad L'Achim, an organization dedicated to solving problems of this type, freed Naama [not her real name] from imprisonment in her own home and almost two decades of fear, shame and violence. Seizing a window of opportunity –– her husband was in prison and his brother under house arrest –– her liberators wove through the narrow alleyways of the Muslim Quarter to deliver her to safety.

When her rescuers arrived, Naama was living as a Muslim wife in every way, and her Arabic-speaking children had no Jewish identity. All that was set to change as she stepped out this week into a new life among her people.

Naama's rescued daughters cry together

Naama, now around 40, grew up in a Torah-observant home in the Golan Heights. At 20, she rebelled against Judaism. Constant fighting with her parents and her decision to stop observing Shabbat culminated in a falling-out with her family, and Naama left her home to seek a different life. Vulnerable, with her life in a volatile state, Naama met an Arab man, who married her and brought her to the Muslim Quarter, promising her a warm, stable home where she would be loved and feel happy. Naama's life as a Muslim began.

In time, she gave birth to eight children, who were raised as Muslims. Meanwhile her husband's abusive nature began to reveal itself. By Naama's account, her children endured a life of violence from their father, and she herself ended up living in a state of fear, threats and constant abuse from the Arab man.

The increasingly lawless nature of Naama's Arab husband led to his arrest by Israeli police and his incarceration in an Israeli prison. With her husband temporarily out of Naama's life, his brother was placed under house arrest, leaving Naama with a window of opportunity to flee her life of Islamic servitude.

At this time, word of her predicament reached Yad L'Achim. The charitable group, whose mission it is to return Jews to their cultural and religious roots, contacted Naama and offered her a chance to return to Judaism. Several months ago, after learning of Naama's situation, the organization sent her a messenger.

"We put her in touch with a Jewish woman who had gone through the same exact experience, and who succeeded in rehabilitating herself," said a Yad L'Achim official. "That convinced her that she, too, could make it back to Judaism and a better life for herself and her children." Plans were drawn up for extricating Naama and her children from the Muslim Quarter.

Meanwhile, the charity contacted another brother of Naama's wayward husband and persuaded him to remain silent as the resue plans were finalized.

The rescue operation began this past Sunday at 3:30 p.m, as dozens of volunteers in Yad L'Achim's rescue unit met near Jaffa Gate to make final preparations. The volunteers braced themselves for the physical dangers of a difficult mission: to pluck her out of a tiny area crowded with hundreds of Arab families. Timing was of the essence, as a delay of just a few seconds could alert her many neighbors and bring swarms of angry Arabs pouring out into the narrow alleyways to fight the rescue.

As the rescuers went in, vans were dispatched to the area to provide cover for them and to snatch them, the mother and her eight children out of danger. With the rescuers snaking their way towards Naama's house, the vans' engines were kept running, as the drivers read Psalms for the safety of their friends and the success of their dangerous mission.

The rescue team reached the entrance to the house, where they found Naama waiting with one of her children. As soon as the captive wife saw them, she began to sob uncontrollably.

Deplorable conditions in Naama's Muslim home

As the rescuers quickly packed Naama's few possessions into cartons they had brought along, social workers who were part of the rescue team observed the appalling conditions that Naama and her children had endured. They had been living as part of a hamula, or clan, one of many families inhabiting the single house in deplorable conditions.

Family members in Naama's hamula quickly learned of the rescue and tried, without success, to convince her not to leave.

Finally the rescue team, having gathered the mother, her children and their belongings, spirited them to the getaway vans. Just 15 minutes after entering the quarter, the team left, all participants safe inside vans that sped onto the next destination: a "safe house" that was to become the new home for Naama and her children. The rescue mission was crowned a success.

Naama's new refuge is a spacious and furnished apartment, whose location is closely guarded from the reach of her husband. "Here she will learn to be independent and take her first steps back to Judaism," said a Yad L'Achim official. "We have people who will be at her side, offering warmth and love. The children don't speak Hebrew and have not been circumcised. They have no remnant of Judaism, other than their souls."

Rabbi Shalom Dov Lifschitz, chairman of Yad L'Achim, congratulated the rescuers for their courageous action as his charity celebrated the success of another operation. However, Rabbi Lifschitz cautioned that there were many others, like Naama, in desperate need of rescue from such captive and devastating relationships.

"We must think of all those Jewish souls that are still imprisoned," said the rabbi. "We must make use of every legitimate means to bring them from darkness to light."

For more information on Yad L'Achim, go to http://www.yadlachimusa.org.il (English) or http://www.yadleachim.org (Hebrew)%ad%

Contact B. Taverna by email at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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OLMERT REGIME'S SERIAL BLUNDERS; DO-GOODER SEQUEAMISHNESS; BECOMING LIKE THE ENEMY?
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 21, 2008.
 

U.S. VIEW OF PROPOSED ISRAELI STRIKE AT IRAN

A high-ranking US officer disapproves of the prospect of Israel raiding Iran's nuclear facilities. He said it would destabllize the Mideast.

How stable would the Mideast be, if Iran were allowed to develop nuclear weapons? (IMRA, 7/3.)

BRITAIN ON TERRORISM

A British court removed the People's Mujahadeen of Iran from its list of terrorist organizations, because the group renounced terrorism. The group still opposes the government of Iran.

Britain added the whole Hizbullah military wing to its list, because Hizbullah fights against British troops in Iraq, etc.. (IMRA, 7/3). Why not the political wing, which uses politics to foster the organization's goals?

OLMERT REGIME'S SERIAL BLUNDERS:

Trade live Hizbullah terrorist for dead Israelis;

Omitted from deal restrictions on Hamas strengthening its military;

Failed to replace the collapsed Gaza fence with a simple and cheap transfer of the border-straddling town into Egypt, so the town can't conceal tunnel borers;

Doesn't insist that Egypt stop arms smuggling by sea into Gaza;

Failed to protest Hizbullah's illegal, post-war military build-up;

Negotiates with Syria under Turkish auspices, making it difficult to break off without alienating Turkey;

Didn't see to it that in return for turning P.A. cities' security over to P.A., the P.A. must take specific, measurable anti-terrorism steps or steps would be reversed.

These blunders can have a cumulative effect. [They display weakness and stupidity that the Arabs now exploit, demanding more.]

The Knesset won't act against Olmert, lest its Members risk their lucrative jobs there. The Attorney-General hasn't acted, apparently because his ideology favors the concessions that Olmert offers the Arabs (Dr. Aaron Lerner, IMRA, 7/3).

DANGEROUS P.A. PROPOSAL

Abbas' Prime Minister proposes that Egyptian troops mediate a Hamas-Fatah truce in Gaza, combining of their forces, and dismantling of private militias. Hamas considers him a stooge of Fatah; Fatah doesn't trust him (IMRA, 7/4).

No faction is trustworthy. Deception is part of their culture's code of honor.

Egyptian troops in Gaza could facilitate Egyptian invasion of Israel, which is the military doctrine of Egypt. Israel should not accept their entry. Unfortunately, the government of Israel does everything to give its enemies a strategic advantage and tempt them to war when they have absorbed enough concessions.

Combining Hamas and Fatah forces doesn't end the threat of militias to Israel, it multiplies it –– P.A. unity means strength. Israel can't maintain a huge standing army to face the growing enemy army at its border, an enemy that is too near to allow Israel time to mobilize reserves.

The Fatah desire to reunite with Hamas demonstrates that Fatah shares the ideology of Hamas in major ways. If outsiders were realistic about that, they would realize the falsity of the distinction made between P.A. "moderates" and extremists, a false distinction that attributes moderation to Abbas and his Fatah.

"DO-GOODER SQUEAMISHNESS"

About a year ago, a Jerusalem Arab terrorist murdered some Israelis, and was killed, too. The former practice of demolishing the terrorist's house was not practiced, nor was the family deported. Instead, they received survivor benefits from the State. When the government seems ready to demolish terrorists' houses, leftists appeal to the Supreme Court. The Court usually issues an injunction against demolition.

Another member of that family drove a bulldozer into Israelis. After having killed some, he was shot. The police did not follow the former practice of firing a coup de gras shot, to make sure he was dead. As a result, the driver got up and drove some more, murdering another civilian, before he finally was shot dead. His family stands to get more survivors' benefits (Prof. Steven Plaut, 7/4). Israeli policy isn't humanitarianism, it's anti-Jewish.

MA'AN NEWS

Ma'an News reported that Israeli warships fired at Gaza fishing boats, which the Arabs call a truce violation (IMRA, 7/5). It did not report why the ships opened fire. Perhaps the fishing boats were smuggling arms. Poor reporting!

GETTING THE REAL STORY

A news brief from an Israeli source asserted that Israel had made a break-through in solar technology. It did not identify the break-through, nor state the cost of electricity flowing from the improvement. The news brief is useless.

Why was the real story omitted? I was a reporter briefly, but don't have time to get many original sources. When important, I follow up with questions about a story's significance. Sometimes I get answers, which I pass on.

BECOMING LIKE THE ENEMY

You've heard the argument, don't take certain measures against the enemy, or you risk becoming like the enemy, ruthless killers. That can be too squeamish.

If we shun certain measures against the enemy, we risk becoming like the enemy as a result of our having refrained from measures to prevent our conquest. The double standard these days is to be lie about and be over-exacting about minor issues with the US and Israel, and to ignore Islamist atrocities.

Under the guise of humanitarianism, anti-Israeli leftists oppose popular cries in Israel for demolishing the houses of Israeli and P.A. suicide killers and not giving their families "survivor benefits." Israel's Attorney-General's cryptic opinion is that demolition has no legal "obstacles" but poses legal "difficulties." What does that mean –– Israel is a government of his opinion and discretion, not of law?

If too legalistic, Israel can't wage war. War must be swift and decisive. After lawyers have set guidelines, they should keep out of it. Israel should coordinate propaganda with the military to show why most criticism of it is unfair. The military should be able to defeat or deter enemies.

FINALLY OBAMA CRITICIZED BY NY TIMES

The NY Times weekly reviews of 6/29 and 7/6 finally had cartoons that criticized candidate Obama, after weeks of faulting only his rivals. Favoritism?

I would excuse a candidate for stressing certain issues in certain audiences, for reevaluating issues occasionally, and for dropping unimportant positions that people don't want. I do not excuse a candidate supposedly of reconciliation but who constantly carps personally, distorting opponents' positions and lying about his own. Obama shifts positions on the same issues with different audiences or for public relations. For example, he reassured certain groups that he didn't mean what he told others. His constant lying, making him almost totally unscrupulous, is different from candidate McCain's occasional pandering.

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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DHIMMI-CARTER'S FAUX-PEOPLE
Posted by Paul Lademain, July 21, 2008.
 

We are the NON-evangelical Christians for Zion. We have something to say to Carter:

Below is an photo published by Honest Reporting UK. It demonstrates how Baptist Carter's faux-people use children for Carter's anti-American campaigns.

But the the photo is useful for a purpose far different from what dhimmi Carter intends: It sends a clear message to the world that his faux-people occupying Gaza (the fake Palestinians from Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, etc. who are being paid to invade Israel's lands) are hardly oppressed and certainly not starving. This kid is FAT and wears the latest gear from Macys. His appearance is a far cry from that of the native people of Darfur, and for whom dhimmi Carter, the pretend-Christian, doesn't give a damn.

Unlike the fat punk posing for photos here, the children of Darfur are dying of starvation –– their swollen bellies and gaunt faces are testimony to the despicable crimes of the Arab Muslim Janjaweed who slaughter non-arab children and drive the native people of Sudan from their lands. The Saudis don't want the despicable, dirty crimes of Islam to be seen for what they are: cold-blooded genocide.

We often wonder why Carter doesn't just pack up his Saudi millions, renounce his citizenship, and take up residence in Riyadh.

Below, the item is from Honest Reporting UK:

"Here is another example from a Times story on February 9, 2008.

The image is one portraying the deprivation of the Palestinian people in Gaza. A boy in a crowd clutches a barbed wire fence because Israel has "limited supplies to Gaza." Yet unlike the picture, the article states that Israel had reduced electricity to Gaza by less than one percent. Does an electricity reduction of less than one percent really lead to the hardship that seems to be reflected in the picture? Or is this another case of Palestinians posing for the Palestinian photographer working as a stringer for Reuters?"

Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net

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SAMIR KUNTAR AND THE LAST LAUGH
Posted by Steven Plaut, July 21, 2008.
 

This was written by Daniel Pipes and it appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331033377&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. Contact him at www.DanielPipes.org

 

Israel has lived the past 60 years more intensively than any other country. Its highs –– the resurrection of a 2,000 year old state in 1948, history's most lopsided military victory in 1967, and the astonishing Entebbe hostage rescue in 1976 –– have been triumphs of will and spirit that inspire the civilized world. Its lows have been self-imposed humiliations: unilateral retreat from Lebanon and evacuation of Joseph's Tomb, both in 2000; retreat from Gaza in 2005; defeat by Hizbullah in 2006; and the corpses-for-prisoners exchange with Hizbullah last week.

An outsider can only wonder at the contrast. How can the authors of exhilarating victories bring such disgrace upon themselves, seemingly oblivious to the import of their actions? One clue has to do with the dates. The highs took place during the state's first three decades, the lows occurred since 2000. Something profound has changed. The strategically brilliant but economically deficient early state has been replaced by the reverse. Yesteryear's spy masterminds, military geniuses and political heavyweights have seemingly gone into hi-tech, leaving the state in the hands of corrupt, shortsighted mental midgets.

How else can one account for the cabinet meeting on June 29, when 22 out of 25 ministers voted in favor of releasing five live Arab terrorists, including Samir Kuntar, 45, a psychopath and the most notorious prisoner in Israel's jails, plus 200 corpses? In return, Israel got the bodies of two soldiers murdered by Hizbullah. Even The Washington Post wondered at this decision.
 

PRIME MINISTER Ehud Olmert endorsed the deal on the grounds that it "will bring an end to this painful episode," a reference to retrieving the bodies of war dead and appeasing the hostages' families demand for closure. In themselves, both are honorable goals, but at what price? This distortion of priorities shows how a once-formidably strategic country has degenerated into a supremely sentimental country, a rudderless polity where self-absorbed egoism trumps raison d'être. Israelis, fed up with deterrence and appeasement alike, have lost their way.

Appalling as the cabinet decision was, worse yet is that neither the Likud nor other leading public institutions responded with rage, but generally (with some notable exceptions) sat quietly aside. Their absence reflects a Tami Steinmetz Center poll showing that the population approves the swap by a nearly 2-1 ratio. In short, the problem extends far beyond the official class to implicate the population at large.

On the other side, the disgraceful celebration of baby-murderer Kuntar as a national hero in Lebanon, where the government shut down to celebrate his arrival, and by the Palestinian Authority, which called him a "heroic fighter," reveals the depths of Lebanese enmity to Israel and immorality, disturbing anyone concerned with the Arab soul.
 

THE DEAL has many adverse consequences. It encourages Arab terrorists to seize more Israeli soldiers, then kill them. It boosts Hizbullah's stature in Lebanon and legitimates Hizbullah internationally. It emboldens Hamas and makes a deal for its Israeli hostage more problematic. Finally, while this incident appears small compared to the Iranian nuclear issue, the two are related.

International headlines along the lines of "Israel mourns, Hizbullah exults" confirm the widely held but erroneous Middle Eastern view of Israel as a "spider's web" that can be destroyed. The recent exchange may give the already apocalyptic Iranian leadership further reason to brandish its weapons. Worse, as Steven Plaut notes, by equating "mass murderers of Jewish children to combat soldiers," the exchange effectively justifies the "mass extermination of Jews in the name of Jewish racial inferiority."

For those concerned with the welfare and security of Israel, I propose two consolations. First, Israel remains a powerful country that can afford mistakes; one estimate even predicts it would survive an exchange of nuclear weapons with Iran, while Iran would not.

Second, the Kuntar affair could have a surprise happy ending. A senior Israeli official told David Bedein that, now out of jail, Israel's obligation to protect Kuntar is terminated; on arrival in Lebanon, he became "a target for killing. Israel will get him, and he will be killed... accounts will be settled."

Another senior official added "we cannot let this man think that he can go unpunished for his murder of a four-year-old girl."

Who will laugh last, Hizbullah or Israel?

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

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ISRAEL NEEDS A CHURCHILL
Posted by Paul Eidelberg, July 21, 2008.
 

Israel is at war with a cunning, determined, and ruthless foe –– Islam. It would be bad enough if Israel's ruling elites were merely cretins and cravens, but they are also traitors to Judaism. Hence I call them evil.

To betray Judaism is to betray the ethics Israel bestowed on mankind, and not only ethics, but also monotheism, the ultimate source of Western civilization., of philosophy and science. Nietzsche knew whereof he spoke when he said: "Wherever the Jews have attained to influence, they have taught to analyze more subtly, to argue more acutely, to write more clearly and purely: it has always been their problem to bring people to 'raison.'"

But now the Jews, led by a shameless prime minister, are surrendering to the enemies of civilization, a barbaric religion animated by murderous hatred. Here is what Churchill said of this religion in 1899:

No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome. (Emphasis added.)

Of course, Churchill did not foresee the decline of Christianity in Europe, today inundated by Muslims.

Yes, but if only Israel had a Churchill! The threat now confronting Israel by of Islam recalls the threat that confronted England by Nazi Germany. Allow me, therefore, to cite some of Churchill's war speeches, as I have done on a previous occasion –– and would that these words were read by American statesmen.

Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as England's Prime Minister on May 10, 1940. Three days later, in a speech to the House of Commons, Churchill declared: "You ask what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny. ... That is our policy. You ask: What is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory –– victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival."

In a world broadcast, May 19, 1940: "...Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. 'As the Will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be.'"

In the House of Commons, June 18, 1940 (after England's terrible losses at Dunkirk): "I expect the battle of Britain is about to begin.... The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. The whole might and fury of the enemy must soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he must break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted .... Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'"

In a world broadcast, April 27, 1941: "I have thought in this difficult period, when so much fighting and so many critical and complicated maneuvers are going on, that it is above all things important that our policy and conduct should be upon the highest level, and that honour should be our guide."

In Guildhall, November 7, 1941: "I have never given any assurances of a speedy or easy or cheap victory. On the contrary, as you know, I have never promised anything but the hardest conditions, great disappointments and many mistakes. But I am sure that at the end all will be well for us in our island home, all will be better for the world, and there will be that crown of honour to those who have endured and never failed which history will accord to them for having set an example to the whole human race."

In a world broadcast, May 10, 1942: "Is it not far better that demonstrations of thousands of people should gather in Trafalgar Square demanding the most vehement and audacious attacks, than that there should be the weepings and wailings and peace agitations which in other lands and other wars have often hampered the action and vigour of Government."

Perhaps some readers will see a vast difference between Hitler's war against Great Britain and Islam's war against Israel. But Hitler's war, like Islam's, was triggered by a policy called "territory for peace."

By appeasing the Nazis, the democracies betrayed Czechoslovakia. Today, the democracies, by appeasing Islam, the successors of the Nazis, are betraying not only Israel but Western civilization. Hence Israel needs a Churchill to replace its ignominious Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, for I dare say only minuscule Israel, inspired by the spirit of Entebbe, can inspire America and save the West from perdition.

Professor Paul Eidelberg is President of the Foundation For Constitutional Democracy. He can be reached by mail at 244 Madison Avenue, Suite 427, New York, NY 10016, Tel: 212-372-3752, and by email at Constitution@usa.net

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THE FRIENDLY STING
Posted by Asher Eder, July 20, 2008.
 

Shalom.

May I forward herewith Rafi (Ralph) Dobrin's letter (below) as I think it could well be a very much needed wake-up call.
Asher Eder

I felt rather self-conscious because ...

A few days ago I sent out a newsletter saying that I was thinking about staging a demonstration near Mr Olmert's Jerusalem residence, to protest the fact that he has untenably remained prime minister. A few people responded. Some said there was no point in demonstrating because it wouldn't change anything. No one will join you, was another comment. Another mail said that it was unfair on Mr Olmert and that he was under enough pressure at the moment. One person said that demostrations would weaken Israel. A few people indicated that they would join in any demonstration against Mr Olmert.

Anyway, I wanted to get a feel of what it was like to demonstrate near the man's house. So I prepared a poster and proceeded to Terra Sancta. The placard read in Hebrew: "Not only Olmert, but also the negative norms of our politicians and society must go –– wake up before it's too late." In Hebrew it has a more convincing ring to it. (I hope you can open the attachment that I have added here.)

I stood on the pavement, holding the placard aloft, but Terra Sancta is not really a good spot to demonstrate because the cars come up two-lane Gaza Street which turns into four lanes at that spot, which means that the drivers have to keep their eyes on the road. After about half and hour I felt that my poster wasn't getting optimum attention, so I moved on to Paris Square not far away. There, things changed dramatically. It seemed that every fourth or fifth car or pedestrian responded positively as I stood there. People nodded encouragingly, smiled, made a thumbs up sign. One man threw his arms in the air and shouted repeatedly in Hebrew: "If only it could happen."

After a while I began to feel somewhat self-conscious, standing there by myself and exhibiting the sign to hundreds of passing eyes that gazed at me. So I crossed the road and proceeded down Agron Street on the side of Independence Park. I was in for an even more amazing response. As I marched in the direction of the Old City, along the side of the road, hundreds of cars were crawling upwards in a long traffic jam. I kept brandishing the placard and almost every person in that traffic jam saw me. It seems that a guy striding with a placard is more impressive than one just standing in one spot, and the reactions were even more lively than before. There was some honking, many people waved. A few stuck their heads out of the windows of their cars and shouted stuff like: "You're so right," or "Well done." "We're right behind you." Pedestrians were also walking up and down the road and many nodded their agreement when they saw the poster.

By the time I reached Mamilla I felt that I'd been in the public eye for too long. It got to be a bit too much for me, so I headed home, nevertheless quite elated that I had presented a clear message and that literally hundreds of people had seen me in a relatively short time and had quite clearly responded. This has made me feel that the time is indeed ripe for the people to take to the streets and demonstrate against our pathetic government, its structure, procedures and norms, and also against ourselves as an overly self-indulgent, apathetic society, in need of far more general integrity, that is about to lose everything that we have built up in the last hundred years if we don't wake up –– NOW!

If you ask if I helped change anything during my little promenade, my answer will be very little if indeed anything. One doesn't change things by an isolated demonstration. It has to be a loud, ongoing campaign, staged in as many places as possible throughout the country. Posters have to be intelligently worded and created. More and more people must become involved. The media has to be drawn in and helped to cover the subject extensively and soberly. It must become the in-thing –– the idea of Israel's transformation into the great little country that we all want to see and that is going to fulfill its promise as a real, secure haven for the Jewish people where life is good for everyone.

I am talking about staging demonstrations as well as processions. I believe that both can be effective. They have to appear in every part of the country. Loud, colorful, optimistic, positive, not too banal, short catchy phrases on the placards and posters, avoiding vulgarity or any political slogans. Indeed, there must be absolutely no connectionwhatsoever with any political figurehead, party or functionary.

But people must be encouraged to join in –– people from all walks of life. It must not be thought of as politically, religiously, socially, economically or professionally sectarian in any way. It must become the in-thing to be an active part of.

We must discard the insular, apathetic, negative and defeatist attitudes that have taken root in the last decade or so. Personal priorities must be changed. We have to be willing to devote as much time as possible in participating in some kind of activity connected with the demonstrations. There are many things we can all do. For those who might find that standing in a demonstration or marching too strenuous, especially in this hot summer weather, the campaign will also need people to help make placards, think up slogans, to phone people, to organize, to drive participants to meeting places, to conceptualize, to help plan ahead. Centers launching demonstrations should be set up in various parts of the country. Each center will need people organizing, etc. There should also be contact and corroboration with any other groups demonstrating for change –– as long as they are not politically initiated.

I don't think I've been more serious in my life when I call on you personally. Please respond to this newsletter. And send it on to your contacts. We need your feedback. I am not just talking about Mr Olmert. Like my poster said: : "Not only Olmert, but also the negative norms of our politicians and society must go –– wake up before it's too late." Mr Olmert's demise is only the beginning!

This can be a vigorous turning-point for the change in Israel, that is so very desperately needed. You can be a part of it.

Rafi Dobrin
Phone 02-6422347.
E-mail: dan-dob@zahav.net.il
My website is: www.israelandtruth.org

Contact Asher Eder by email at avrason@netvision.net.il

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ANTI-ISRAEL WEBSITE FUNDED BY EUROPEAN UNION
Posted by Michelle Nevada, July 20, 2008.
 

Have you ever seen this website?
http://www.poica.org/editor/case_studies/view.php?recordID=1472

It is incredibly anti-Israel, yet it is funded by the EU (take a look below).

Here's how the report on the breaking story that a house in "East" Jerusalem has been returned to its rightful owners –– Religious Sephardi Jews.

So, how common is this? Does the EU fund all the anti-Israel websites, or just certain anti-Israel websites?

Here's the story below, mentioning also how extreme leftists and false rabbis are against Jewish rights.

Has anyone reported on this??
Michelle

BTW: Peace Now, Shalom Achshav, has lost its status of Non Profit Organization because it is NIT an educational organization, BUT a political organization (funded, against Israeli Law and against EU law, MAINLY by the EU)

 

"High Court Says Jews Own Eastern Jerusalem Building"
From Arutz-7
(http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/150171).

(IsraelNN.com) The High Court has backed a Jewish family that bought an eastern Jerusalem property during the time of the Ottoman rule and which an Arab family claimed it owned during the Jordanian occupation of the area. The house in question is located in Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood, where Arabs later established a neighborhood called Sheikh Jarrah.

Rafik Husseini, an aide to Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, complained to foreign diplomats that the ruling created a precedent allowing for the eviction of two dozen other families.

Leftists, including the Rabbis for Human Rights, have set up protest vigils to prevent the eviction of the Arab family.

Contact Michelle Nevada by email at Michelle_Nevada@comcast.net

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PAY ATTENTION TO CHANGING EVENTS!
Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, July 20, 2008.
 

'The Bush administration has decided to break with previous policy by sending one of its most senior diplomats to engage Iran's top nuclear official, the White House announced Wednesday (07/16/20008)'

Undersecretary of State William Burns heads for Switzerland to do what his boss said his administration would never do, astonishingly without preconditions, without say first demanding that AhMADinejad assert he does not intend to 'wipe Israel off the map'. Hmmm! Is Bush a flip flopper, willing to override a seemingly 'sacrosanct' implied commitment he has made to Israel? How indeed can he reverse a position he so adamantly supported? Et tu Bush! Are we witnessing a rather curious epiphany from this swaggering Texas cowboy turned plowboy? Perhaps this U.S. president has been chopping wood in the blazing sun too long. Perhaps he's grown wobbly. More likely, perhaps there are a few details most folks don't know about.

Iran just happens to be in the process of activating an international oil exchange called a bourse that will trade ever needed 'Persian tea' a/k/a 'Texas tea' for euros instead of dollars. Egad! Do you think just maybe Uncle Sam's current leader is altering his 'axis of evil' rhetoric for the sake of his petrodollar? If the petrodollar is replaced by the petroeuro all hell breaks loose from Wall Street to Main Street. Unless the dollar remains the world's primo oil trading currency, Uncle Sam's economy could sink lower than the New Orleans basin. Furthermore, will President Bush be scurrying off to Beijing to attend opening ceremonies of the Olympics, something no other sitting U.S. president has ever done, something few other world leaders will do this time around due to China's human rights violations, because the 'tough speaking' G.W. has been brought down a notch or two along with his nation's currency, because the 'Oriental Dragon' holds more than a trillion dollars worth of his Treasury Bills a/k/a I.O.U.s, a debt that continues to grow thanks to the 'kindness' of Chinese bankers albeit growing less and less dependent on American consumers to sustain their overheating economy? Does Bush hold a hand full of jokers that ain't wild in a critical world class poker game of Texas Hold'em? Is President Bush and his crew attempting to hold together a superpower that spends a hell of a lot more than it makes, imports a hell of a lot more than it exports, depends on the psychological (some might say illogical) value and oil purchasing power of its dollar to keep America afloat? How many leaks can they plug before their nation's challenged levees burst, making the ravages of Hurricane Katrina look like a mere basement flood? If all this was not enough, let's not ignore that 'piece de resistance', a concurrent problem with perhaps more insidious implications in the short run; if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can't be fixed, if the fate of five trillion dollars worth of mortgages is no longer certain, no matter how many leaks are plugged, the perilously constructed 'printing press' economy of Israel's heretofore most formidable ally could come to a grinding halt?

Comprehending why the 'dollar' obsessed Bush Administration apparently has changed its tune about Iran, why Iran's emerging nukes thus Israel's perceived submerging security are likely less of a concern than the surging Persian's 'in your face ' currency coup in progress against the 'Great Satan', is critical to Israel's strategic planning. Indeed, Uncle 'Got Rocks', rocked by mounting debt, even considers making nice nice with Israel's most aggressive enemy, suggesting he might open a diplomatic post on the Holocaust denier AhMADinejad's home turf. Do you think just maybe nukes and Israel's existence might take a backseat to currency issues if a diplomatic thaw occurs? Would Iran's mouthpiece and those mullahs pulling his strings ever agree to cease financing proxy terrorist organizations Hizbullah and Hamas, ever agree to cease spinning their nuclear centrifuges, in effect scale down Middle East tensions knowing that would also drop the price of oil, its flow to industrial nations perceived to be no longer threatened? Indeed, might a deal be cut with Israel's erstwhile most formidable ally, sparing the petrodollar, alas, while Israel remains the shlamazel recipient of Iranian financed rockets from Gaza, threatening rhetoric from AhMADinejad and his regime's rabid lapdog proxies, mostly to create a hostile unstable Middle East where the price of modern day Persia's black energy elixir continues climbing to the stratosphere?

How might Israel survive and prosper in a world defined by deception, where friends and foes alike blow smoke up your posterior, obsessed with their own agendas? Gaining and maintaining wealth always seem to override moral imperatives; just witness the ongoing genocide in Darfur and ask if world leaders really give a damn about saving their souls! In such a world, where vestiges of a savage evolution still linger in the recesses of modern day brains, where the most ruthless meat eaters still manipulate their masses, how does a tiny disrespected nation like Israel thrive without experiencing continual tsuris, without continually looking over her shoulder, without pondering a potential nuclear Armageddon? Nurturing stronger ties with the up and coming 'new predators on the block', looking eastward to rising stars like China, India, and South Korea couldn't hurt. Of course, moral issues should never be ignored, but survival in the midst of a jungle is job one for any nation, prosperity is job two!

Yet, Israel's imminent threat from Iran cannot be easily extinguished by bombing the regimes emerging nuclear infrastructure, much of which is buried underground. There are no assurances the United States would aggressively support her in such an endeavor considering her ally's dependence on a viable petrodollar and an unimpeded flow of oil. Still, a silver lining exists within this ominous cloud. An Iranian nuclear attack on Israel launched from within her borders or through a proxy would be suicidal! There are 'hopefully' enough sane heads within Iran's power structure to prevent such an attempt, knowing any Israeli response would 'wipe Iran off the map'. Indeed, nuclear weapons and launchers are already available from immoral opportunistic connected entrepreneurs of many ethnicities. For the right price, such buck chasers would sell their mothers, parasites that they are, or more likely nukes to any regime or terrorist cadre within the global military industrial complex that defines our modern day orb. Reinventing the wheel, albeit a nuclear wheel, does not really increase the risk factor of any nuclear holocaust occurring. Does this perspective imply Israel should not be concerned over Iran's increasing nuclear capabilities? Of course not, but if a military strike against Iran is too risky, may indeed backfire, what can Israel do with her own weaponry except prepare for the worse and hope a nuclear war never occurs?

Most importantly, most controllably, Israel's prosperity remains within her grasp. Why not focus on developing a cost efficient automobile battery able to attain speeds of say 60 miles per hour or more? Would an individual or more likely an Israeli team responsible for such a boon for civil mankind be in contention for a Nobel prizes in science, economics, and peace? Would such a battery batter the economies of terrorist financing fossil fuel regimes like Saudi Arabia and more importantly from Israel's perspective Iran, no longer able to extort the camel' s share of their wealth from heretofore oil addicted industrial nations? Hopefully, Uncle Sam will be forced to wean himself off of his own petrodollar dependency, stop outsourcing livelihoods, and begin rejuvenating a once wondrous economy sadly drawn to the dark side. Please note, time is of the essence!

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 SKELETON IN THE PALESTINIAN CLOSET jl
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 20, 2008.
 

This was written by Jonathan S. Tobin and it appeared in Jewish World www.aish.com/jewishissues/middleeast/Skeleton_in_the_Palestinian_Closet.asp

 

The Mufti of Jerusalem's Nazi ideology lives on among contemporary Islamists.

It is axiomatic that a knowledge of history is a prerequisite for understanding the present. But the question is: How much weight should we give to controversial figures from the past when deciding how to think about current conflicts?

According to the authors of a new book about Haj Amin al-Husseini (1893-1974), the grand mufti of Jerusalem, who played a key role in fomenting and exacerbating the struggle between Jews and Arabs during much of the 20th century, the answer is quite a lot.

The book, Icon of Evil: Hitler's Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam, by David G. Dalin and John F. Rothman, makes the case that you can draw a direct line from al-Husseini to not only the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas –– groups that took up his battle against Zionism –– but to Iran, Al Qaeda and the 9/11 conspirators.

That's a searing indictment that both supporters of Israel and its foes ought to examine closely. And if this book fails to deliver the definitive account of the Mufti's life in English that students of this period of history have been waiting for, it nevertheless shines a spotlight on a figure who deserves far greater attention than he has received in recent decades.

Appointed by a Jew

Husseini was a member of an elite landed-clan of Palestinian Arabs who retain their status to this day (Yasser Arafat was a cousin). In the aftermath of World War I, he rose to prominence as a fanatical opponent of both the British and the Jews.

Ironically, it was a British Jew, Sir Herbert Samuel, who appointed Husseini to the post of mufti, the putative Muslim religious leader of Jerusalem.

Samuel became the first high commissioner of the territory in 1920. Palestine had been given to Britain as a mandate by the League of Nations in order for them to make good on their 1917 Balfour Declaration promise to create a Jewish national home in the country.

While many in the British government were openly hostile to Zionism, Samuels was not. But he was concerned about being seen as evenhanded between Jews and Arabs. So when there was a vacancy in the office of mufti, Samuels appointed the hard-line Husseini.

This was a decision the Jews would rue for decades as Husseini used his post as a platform to promote hatred against the Zionists, who were transforming the country from a barren backwater into what would become the modern State of Israel. Husseini incited the riots of 1929 in which hundreds of Jews were slaughtered by Muslim pogromists and did his best to better that record during the Arab Revolt of 1936-39.

Though the Mufti's gangs were defeated, his work paid dividends in 1939 when the British, as eager to appease Arabs and Muslims on the eve of World War II as they were the Germans, issued a White Paper that placed severe limits on Jewish immigration and land sales, effectively closing the door to a Jewish state.

But Husseini did not seize this opening and instead continued his Anglophobic campaign after the war began. Eventually, he wound up in wartime Berlin where he was received by Adolf Hitler and housed in luxury by the Nazi state as an honored collaborator of its elite killers. Husseini made propaganda broadcasts for the Germans and recruited Bosnians to serve in a special Muslim SS brigade that was responsible for the murder of more than 12,000 Bosnian Jews. As such, he played a personal role in the Holocaust.

After the war, Husseini evaded prosecution as a war criminal and, as the birth of the Jewish state loomed, he sought to take command of the Arab drive to destroy it. In that he failed, as Palestinians loyal to the Mufti were routed by the Jews. When the Arab states invaded the country on May 15, 1948, the Mufti was left on the sidelines of the conflict where he fumed impotently for the rest of his life in exile in Damascus and Cairo.

Unfortunately, Dalin and Rothman's book is hampered by a lack of original research, leaving the authors to make sometimes uninformed guesses about the Mufti's inner life that leave us with more questions about his personality than answers. Instead, at times, they rely on egregious speculation that adds little of value to the existing literature on the subject.

In this vein, they go overboard in a chapter devoted to a "what if" scenario in which their protagonist fantasizes about the mass slaughter of Palestinian Jewry had Hitler prioritized the conquest of the Middle East rather than that of Russia. Counter-factual fantasy fantasies can be amusing, but it has no place in what promised to be a serious biography. It is especially annoying when, as in this case, the authors spin tales about what could not have happened as opposed to what might have occurred.

In this case, the notion that Hitler would have passed on invading Russia requires us to ignore everything we know about this mass murderer's most important goals: the destruction of communism and lebensraum for German colonists in the East. Their tale of the Wehrmacht being transferred en masse to North Africa instead of to Russia, also requires the British Navy, whose control of the Mediterranean restricted Hitler's ability to reinforce Manfred Rommel's Afrika Korps, to disappear.

While there's no doubt that everything we know about the Mufti shows us that he would have liked to preside over a Palestinian Auschwitz, such speculation about this nightmare obscures more important issues that require no digression into fantasy.

What is important about the Mufti is that he is a human bridge between early stages of a Palestinian nationalism, and the Muslim Brotherhood movement and its current Islamist identity in the form of Hamas, Al Qaeda and Iranian-backed Hezbollah. The authors rightly see his kinsman's Arafat's career in terrorism and rejection of peace as being inspired by the Mufti's example. And though some observers like to pretend that Islamism is a recent aberration in Palestinian culture and politics, Husseini's life is a testament to the fact that religious fanaticism has always been integral to its character.

First Islamo-Fascist

Despite its flaws, Dalin and Rothman's book is on target when it concludes that Husseini was a seminal figure not only in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but in the culture of the Muslim world.

Though contemporary Palestinian Arabs bear no guilt for the crimes of the Nazis because the Mufti was one, it is both fair and reasonable to assess the influence that his philosophy had on the movement he spawned. Fatah, Hamas and the Palestinian media, as well as that of the rest of the region, show that the Mufti's bloodthirsty Nazi-like hate for Jews is alive and well today not only in Gaza and Ramallah, but throughout the Islamic sphere.

Although some deprecate the use of the term "Islamo-Fascist," a study of the life of the Mufti shows that the combination of these disparate ideas into one ideology of hate is no Western invention. Amin al-Husseini, Nazi collaborator and Palestinian religious and political leader, may have been among the first Islamo-Fascists. The tragedy of the Middle East and the Palestinians is that he was far from the last.

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

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LOSERS IN THE ASCENDENCY
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, July 20, 2008.
 

Who is in the cheering section for Obama in his run for the American Presidency?

Nouri al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, endorses Obama's plan for America's military withdrawal in 16 months. What does that mean? Long range planners and analysts know exactly why Al-Maliki made this declaration, although shortly afterward he said he was quoted out-of-context.

Al-Maliki has performed more as an extension of Iran's Shi'ite policy than that favorable to Iraq. With the U.S. military gone, with U.S. influence in the Middle East gone, Iran can eventually first bond with Iraq and then swallow it whole.

Prime Minister Al-Maliki, himself a Shi'ite Muslim, has been moving in that direction since he came to office. Iran and Iraq, united as one nation under Iran's theocratic tyranny and both with nuclear weapons, would dominate the entire Middle East, both militarily and in total control of the oil reserves.

It is little wonder that Al-Maliki wants Obama as President of America because he believes that Obama will assist in the melding of Iraq and Iran into one Super State. Regrettably, the U.S. is presently needed by Al-Maliki to rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure and train Iraqi troops.

Let's look further.

Reports coming in demonstrate that the perennial losers of Europe are giddy over the prospect of Obama becoming President of America. Keep in mind that European nations have always acted as pacifists and then they had to be rescued by American troops at great cost in lives and treasure during the fighting and continuing with financial support after like the Marshall Plan.

IF (as anticipated) crowds pour out in the street of France, Germany, Spain and England in support of Obama, be assured that Eurabia is well on its way to final Islamization. Will they, as in the past, beg America to come to their rescue when they are lost?

Europe was always the appeasement capital of the planet and such unqualified intervention into an American election is a strong indicator that they want an American President of Surrender to match their ideology of appeasement.

If that doesn't tell the whole story, the Left Liberal Media has gone teen-age wild over Obama. His trip to the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, then the "Palestinian Authority" (and also Israel as a by-the-way), followed by the European capitals show how the American election has been subverted to Islamic and appeasement interests. Obama is being accompanied by three news anchors plus hundreds of reporters. They didn't join Senator McCain's trip to some of these areas in the spring.

The Leftist Media has gone delirious with the prospect of Obama guiding America's future. All this for an inexperienced Junior Senator from Chicago who has never even put up one bill of consequence during his very brief term of office.

Granted, Obama is definitely a Chicago politician, with all the twists, turns and moves of a Chicago politician.

As a brief aside, have you wondered why his wife, Michelle, got a job at the University of Chicago to deal with the city on a $300,000 per year salary?

As for Al-Maliki being Iran's Shi'ite subversive, you can count on it. While he may delude himself into thinking he can keep Iraq independent, he can only be a puppet of the Ayatollahs or simply disposed of and replaced.

A combination unified State of Iran and Iraq will control all of the Middle East oil under a nuclear umbrella. That includes Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and the shipping lanes through the Straits of Hormuz. Only then will you hear the Europeans and American appeasers howl and squeal like stuck pigs in a cage.

Perhaps they will call on a Presidential Pacifist by the name of Barack Hussein Obama –– but, it will be useless and too late.

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

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AMERICA'S CHAMBERLAIN?
Posted by B. Taverna, July 20, 2008.
 

This was written by Melanie Phillips and it appeared in the Spectator
www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/843431/americas-chamberlain.thtml

 

Some months ago I worried here that the quiet in Iraq might be at least in part the result of a deal made between America and Iran: in exchange for Tehran's calling off the bombers in Iraq to help put another Republican into the White House, the Bush administration would undertake not to attack Iran. Yesterday's Guardian story that America is to station diplomats in Iran for the first time since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and intends to send a senior official, William Burns (pictured above), to discuss Iran's nuclear program with Iranian officials can only deepen that fear. Unless this is all an elaborate bluff, the suspicion must be that what the Bush administration is now focused upon is not safeguarding the survival of Israel and the freedom of the world but on winning the presidency for the Republicans. After all, Bush has now effectively stolen Obama's line of talking to Iran without preconditions. McCain, of course, has put himself in the opposite camp to Obama over Iran. If he doesn't condemn this Bush volte-face in the loudest possible terms, the suspicion can only deepen that this is the very dirtiest kind of deal.

Meanwhile Israel is being isolated by America, which is giving Iran a further gift of the thing it most craves –– time to build its nuclear weapons capability. What should be happening now is that the Iranian regime should be under the maximum economic diplomatic and military pressure, treated as a pariah state and kept guessing about the possibility of a US attack, all in order to weaken and destabilise it. Instead this latest act of craven American appeasement will strengthen it because it displays in flashing neon lights the message that America hasn't got a clue what to do about Iran and so could Tehran kindly help it out of this jam, please. Far from avoiding war, this only makes it more likely –– and more likely also that when that terrible eventuality occurs, Iran will be on the front foot.

History teaches us, after all, that war is the inevitable outcome of appeasement because, instead of preventing bad people from doing bad things, it galvanises them further to do so. When the Americans talked to the Japanese, the result was Pearl Harbour. When Chamberlain talked to Hitler, the result was the invasion of Poland. And when Britain tried to appease the Arab Nazis in 1930s Palestine by offering to reward them for their terrorist intransigence by giving them half the land promised to the Jews, the result was the Arab war of annihilation against the reborn Jewish state –– a war which continues to this day.

Moreover, Iran is as strong as it is today only because of the astounding fact that America has refused to fight back in the war that Iran has been prosecuting against it now for almost three decades. When its people were taken hostage at the US embassy, Jimmy Carter infamously sat on his hands. When more than 240 Americans were murdered when Iran bombed the US marine barracks, the US did virtually nothing. When Iran fomented attacks in Iraq and blew up coalition troops by its roadside bombs, America gave orders to its military that there were to be no covert ops in Iran and not even any hot pursuit of Iranian terrorists over the border. And when Iran turned Lebanon into a proxy battleground and stifled the nascent Lebanese democracy, America looked the other way. So much for the 'Bush doctrine'.

It is however quite staggering to witness this change in attitude towards Israel by a man who had been arguably the most pro-Israel American president in history. Yet now he is giving the impression that –– in the prescient cry of Ariel Sharon –– Israel is to play the role of Czechoslovakia in 1938, with William Burns about to join the EU in sealing its fate in a re-run of the Munich agreement. This in turn follows the intense American pressure upon Israel to reach a suicidal deal with Fatah to establish what would inevitably be a Palestinian terror state. But of course, entirely contrary to the false belief that America has its strings pulled by the Zionists, more often than not American presidents have by their actions shown they are no friend at all to Israel. Clinton, that quintessential false friend, was a key player in the Oslo peace process which armed Fatah and resulted in the thousand-plus Israelis dead in the second intifada and the strengthening of the jihad everywhere. Over the years America has constantly forced Israel to make 'painful concessions' which have imperilled its security, while refusing to compel the Arabs to make any concessions at all and insisting on rewarding them instead for their aggression. It is that systematic accommodation with genocidal terror and the sacrifice of truth and justice on the altar of appeasement which is the single most important reason for the never-ending Middle East impasse –– and why the whole of the free world is now about to be held to ransom.

Contact B. Taverna by email at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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EDUCATION MINISTRY REMOVES TORAH FROM LEV LEVIEV JEWISH IDENTITY PROGRAM
Posted by Hana Levi Julian, July 20, 2008.

(IsraelNN.com) The Educatio&n bsp;n Ministry has decided to reconsider implementing the Lev Leviev Foundation's Zman Masa (Journey Time) curriculum for the upcoming school year. However, the state has set two conditions –– chopping out most of the program's Orthodox Jewish faith-based references and making sure that only teachers within the secular state system are allowed to teach it.

The program is intended to strengthen Jewish identity. The foundation picks up the cost of the program, which includes two instruction hours per week, as well as all course materials.

The state's main objection, as expressed by pedagogic secretariat director Professor Anat Zohar in April, was that "the program is written from the viewpoint of faith, observing the commandments and accepting G-d's sovereignty." The pedagogic secretariat is responsible for approving external programs.

According to Zman Masa, the program was approved by the previous director-general at the Education Ministry, Shmuel Abuav. It has operated for the past two years without the ministry's pedagogic secretariat's authorization.

Last year the program was taught by 160 adjunct teachers in 66 public elementary schools in Rishon LeTzion, Netanya, Petah Tikva and Beit Shemesh. All the teachers were Orthodox Jews who actively practice the concepts taught in the curriculum.

But this year an Education Ministry official told Haaretz, "The program will be taught exclusively by teachers from the state school system." Zman Masa program director Shai Rinsky commented that it has been difficult to find secular teachers who are able to do so.

The program, which was designed to bolster Jewish identity, will apparently have to have large pieces rewritten, such as those subjects that refer to Jewish ritual hand-washing, how to tell the difference between kosher and non-kosher animals and information on the Holy Temple and its ritual vessels. References to the Leviev Foundation –– which created and funded the program –– will be deleted from title pages as well.

Changes that are currently being made in the curriculum are expected to be completed by mid-August, and are expected to comply with the parameters delineated in the Shenhar Report, which stipulated that Judaic studies at state schools must remain pluralistic.

Hana Levi Julian is a writer for Arutz-7 (www.INN.com).

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ABBAS' LOVE LETTER TO A CHILD-KILLER
Posted by Daisy Stern, July 20, 2008.
 

This was written by P. David Hornik and it appeared July 118, 2008 in Front Page Magazine
http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID= 23E40B55-62ED-49CA-80EE-5E09425748CA

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Tel Aviv. He blogs at
http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com/. He can be reached at pdavidh2001@yahoo.com.

 

Reputedly moderate Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas is reported to have "sent greetings to Kuntar" –– referring to the Lebanese terrorist freed in Wednesday's Israel-Hezbollah exchange who in a 1979 attack killed a 28-year-old Israeli man in front of his 4-year-old daughter and then killed the girl by smashing her head.

Abbas was on a visit to Malta at the time and was under no known pressure to issue his tidings. Even if he was –– Samir Kuntar being popular among his Fatah Party, which held a rally in Ramallah to laud his release and that of the remains of Palestinian mass murderer Dalal Mughrabi –– Abbas did not have to accede to the pressure. He has, after all, free will and there is absolutely no compulsion for anyone to send greetings to an unrepentant child-murderer upon his release from prison into total freedom at the age of 46.

Since Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005, he has been fawned over and enshrined as a figure of peace and moderation by both American and Israeli (as well as, of course, European and other) leaders, particularly by President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the American side and by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on the Israeli side.

Those of us who have been disturbed by this treatment have tried to call attention to many indications that Abbas is not really a benign or moderate figure, of which these are only some of the highlights:

* On December 5, 2005, the same day that an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing in Netanya, Israel, killed 5 people and wounded over 40, Abbas signed a law giving monthly stipends to the families of suicide bombers.

* At a Fatah rally in Ramallah on January 11, 2007, Abbas told a large crowd of Palestinians, estimated between 50,000-250,000, that "We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation" and "The sons of Israel are mentioned [in the Koran] as those who are corrupting humanity on earth."

* Abbas has always insisted on the "right of return for Palestinian refugees," code for the demographic flooding and destruction of Israel and completely unacceptable even to the most pliant of Israeli governments. A report last May cited Abbas's insistence on this point as part of the ongoing unreconciled differences between him and Olmert. Among many other instances, at the same 2007 Ramallah rally where Abbas spoke of the "legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation" he said that the "issue of the refugees is non-negotiable."

* Abbas has never recognized Israel's legitimacy as a Jewish state. He declined to do so at the November 2007 Annapolis Conference, and after the conference "reiterated his rejection of Israel's demand to recognize it as a Jewish state."

* Abbas engages in dangerous incitement against Israel before Muslim and Arab audiences, as when he told the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Senegal last March –– a gathering that included Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad –– that "Our people in Jerusalem are under an ethnic cleansing campaign" and Palestinians "are facing a campaign of annihilation" by Israel, or told the Arab summit in Damascus later that month that "Israel pursues its aggression and occupation" and perpetrates "barbaric attacks, causing hundreds of defenseless victims."

* Abbas formed a unity government with Hamas –– officially defined as a terrorist organization by both the United States and Israel –– in March 2007. Since that government's dissolution in June 2007 Abbas has kept trying to reestablish it, discussing the matter with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and international terrorist leaders in Damascus as recently as last week.

There are two basic motivations for calling attention to these counterindications of Abbas's supposed moderacy. One is a regard for truth. The leaders of the United States and of Israel should not have to stoop to fawning over, and extolling as "a man of peace...a man of vision," an individual with a track record like that of Abbas.

Second, as is often the case, distorting the truth in this way has harmful practical consequences. Upholding the fiction of the moderate Abbas is central to encouraging perceptions of the Palestinian Authority itself as moderate and on a path to peace with Israel, enabling a situation where, among other things:

* Lavish international aid keeps flowing to the PA. As Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen noted this week, "the PA announced on January 15, 2008 its intentions to give Hamas...'40 percent' ($3.1 billion) of the $7.4 billion pledged in December 2007 by international donors. Evidently, the donors did not take this statement seriously, and from January to June 2008, gave the PA $920 million in direct budgetary aid." At the abovementioned Arab summit in Damascus, Abbas himself said the PA transfers 58 percent of its budget to Hamas-controlled Gaza and pays the salaries of 77,000 employees there. Meanwhile there is no evidence that the aid to the PA has reduced the poverty and corruption that beset the West Bank and Gaza under PA and/or Hamas rule, or has done much more than line the pockets of a venal elite.

* With Abbas and his PA perceived as benign and peaceful, no pressure is put on Abbas to address the problem of the severe anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic, and anti-American incitement that permeates the PA's schools, medias, and mosques –– as abundantly documented by Palestinian Media Watch and others.

* The United States goes so far as to fund, equip, and train PA forces even though the results range from corruption and ineptness to increased terrorism.

* The belief that Abbas's PA is conciliatory leads to heightened pressure on Israel to take measures that are harmful to it such as ceasing to build homes even in its capital city and taking down checkpoints that are vital to preventing terror attacks.

It's not clear whether and how much, in the time they have left, Bush and Rice will keep chasing the Abbas-mirage with all the deleterious consequences. As for Olmert, who also doesn't have much time left as leader, he said in a news conference this week with Abbas and French president Sarkozy that "I think we have never been as close to the possibility of reaching an agreement as we are today" –– despite all the above and much more.

But apart from these specific American and Israeli leaders, the practice of anointing a Palestinian leader as a moderate and then treating him that way no matter how grave the counterindications goes back to Yasser Arafat in the early 1990s and remains a clear-cut danger for the future. Now that Mahmoud Abbas has sent his tidings to a heinous child-murderer, continuing to flatter and boost Abbas has gone beyond the cowardly, undignified, and harmful: it has become obscene. Both Americans and Israelis deserve much better conduct from their leaders and should demand it in no uncertain terms.

Contact Daisy Stern at daisystern1@gmail.com

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IF I FORGET THEE, JONATHAN POLLARD
Posted by David Wilder, July 20, 2008.
 

This was published July 15, 2008 in Israel Insider

 

When Israel releases Barghuti and Hamas releases Shalit, the US must free Jonathan Pollard. If we can do it, so can you.

Tomorrow's planned prisoner exchange is very bittersweet. Almost everyone has an opinion and all sides have some element of legitimacy. On one hand, the price is so very high; on the other hand, we have a responsibility to bring our soldiers home, dead or alive. A soldier, entering battle, must know that anything and everything will be done to bring him home, be it to his family, or to 'kever Yisrael' –– to a Jewish grave.

Yet, perhaps the swap will serve as motivation to capture more soldiers, and exchange them for other terrorist killers. But, who can forget the unbelievable 'mesirut nefesh' –– total dedication, of Rabbi Shlomo Goren, then Chief Rabbi of the IDF, to wade through enemy mine fields to recover bodies of Israeli soldiers killed in action.

It's something of a catch 22 –– whatever you do is right, and whatever you do is wrong. I know that I've asked myself countless times, 'what would I do if, (G-d forbid), it was one of my sons.' In truth, I don't know.

Of course, with the release of two Israeli soldiers, either dead or alive, a huge dark cloud shadows their return: where is Ron Arad, whose fate is still unknown? Is he dead or alive? Is he in Lebanon or Iran? According to Israeli intelligence sources, having studied the newly-released photos of Arad, taken about 20 years ago, the pictures were taken not in Lebanon, rather in Iran. Perhaps Ron Arad is still alive, wasting away in an Iranian dungeon?

However, with enigma surrounding Ron Arad and the as of yet unknown condition of Regev and Goldwasser, at least people know their names, show some concern for them and their families. Unfortunately, it's not that way with all Israeli MIAs, POWS. There are those, who, for one reason or another, have been forgotten, despite that fact that they wore the same uniform as the others, fought for the same country as the others, and whose fate is just as unknown as the others.

Ron Arad was captured in October, 1986. Four years earlier, in June, 1882, during the battle of Sultan Ya'akub, Israel lost three of its finest. During the battle, commanded by Ehud Barak, three tank warriors, Tzvi Feldman, born in 1956, Yehuda Katz, born in 1959, and Zacharia Baumel, born in 1960, disappeared. They may have been killed during the brutal fighting.

However, there were accounts of people who saw them displayed during a parade in Syria.

Their families have gathered accounts over the years, which, at the very least, raise a reasonable doubt as to their fate. Perhaps they are long gone. But perhaps not. And, if we use the Regev-Goldwasser measuring stick, what difference does it make? Why have the IDF and the Israeli government totally forgotten about these three men? Why aren't they household names, as is Ron Arad? Why didn't Israel demand a full report from Hizballah concerning the fate and location of these three men just as they did concerning Ron Arad?

Why doesn't the Israeli media exert pressure on the government and IDF concerning then, as they did concerning Regev, Goldwasser, Arad and Gilad Shalit? Why does Gilad Shalit's name continue to make headlines, while most Israelis, 22 years later, have no idea who Katz, Feldman and Baumel are?

I have an answer, but don't really like it. As a matter of fact, I despise what I think. It really stinks. It's even worse than that. But I can't think of any other viable reason.

These three men came from the wrong side of Israeli society. They all had Kippas on their heads. They belonged to religious tank units. Their families were not left-wing supporters of 'peace,' Labor, and Arabs. The men weren't media lovelies. Rather, they were young idealistic patriots, who fought for their country, their people and their belief. Their belief hasn't betrayed them, but their country and their people have.

But that's not all.

It's clear that serious negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit will continue between Israel and Hamas. Clearly, Israel should demand information and release of the three above-discussed men. But in my opinion, that's not enough.

Hamas terrorists are not stupid. If, as is expected, Israel receives two bodies for killer Kuntar, Hamas is going to demand an even higher price for a 'live' Israeli. That price will almost undoubtedly include Marwan Barghuti, a convicted murderer and leader of the '2nd intidada' which claimed thousands of Israeli lives, dead, maimed and wounded. The present Israeli government will almost assuredly OK the deal.

However, Israel must demand more than the release of POW Gilad Shalit. After all, Barghuti will only be one of the hundreds of terrorists freed by Israel. Israel must look towards its best friend and ally, put its foot down, and tell the United States: look at what we are being forced into in order to release one Israeli soldier. What is the price of one man? Is there a price? Yet, the price is too high. We must bring home more than one POW. When we release Barghouti and Hamas releases Shalit, you must free Jonathan Pollard. If we can do it, so can you.

At every Jewish wedding, the happiest day in a person's life, we repeat the words, 'If I forget thee Jerusalem....'

I add :

If we forget thee, Tzvi...
If we forget thee Yehuda...
If we forget thee Zacharia...

If we forget thee Jonathan...

If we forget all of you, who are we, what are we, why are we?

[EDITOR'S NOTE –– UPDATE: Regev and Goldwasser were captured alive and were returned dead; they had been mutilated. Kuntar was convicted of a heinous crime, sat comfortably in jail, even earned a college degree and was released alive.]

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

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IDF MI CHIEF: HAMAS, HIZBULLAH MAY BE PLANNING IMMINENT ATTACK
Posted by Marc Samberg, July 20, 2008.
 

This was written by Jerusalem Post Staff
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331031902&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

 

Head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin warned on Sunday of a possible terror attack by Hamas or Hizbullah in the near future along the Gaza Strip and Lebanon borders, respectively.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Yadlin said Hizbullah still had many outstanding issues with Israel which could be used to justify such an attack, such as the Shaba Farms, the village of Ghajar, IAF flights over Lebanon and Imad Mughniyeh's assassination in February –– for which the group has blamed Israel.

Of Gaza, Yadlin said some organizations which have not signed on to the cease-fire are planning a major attack.

However, Yadlin said Hamas was succeeding in enforcing the cease-fire on the Palestinian side but assessed that the fact that border crossings were not open "according to Hamas's expectations, constitutes a potential for eroding the cease-fire." While weapons smuggling continued, Egyptian activity in Sinai "diminishes the amount of arms smuggling, but quality weaponry still finds its way into the Gaza Strip."

Yadlin also said that Israel's enemies were continuing to arm themselves. But he added those enemies were worried of the possibility of a "hot summer" and did not intend to initiate a war with Israel during US President George W. Bush's remaining time in office, or before they had armed themselves sufficiently.

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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FROM ISRAEL: TOUGH TIMES
Posted by Arlene Kushner, July 20, 2008.

Military Intelligence Chief Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, in a report to the Cabinet today, indicated that an attack in the north by Hezbollah might be coming soon.

Is anyone surprised?

According to Yadlin, they have many "outstanding issues" with Israel that could be used to justify an attack. These include Shaba Farms (sometimes referred to as Mount Dov), which I just wrote about; Imad Mughniyeh's assassination, which has been blamed on Israel; Israeli air force sorties over Lebanese airspace; and the village of Ghajar, formerly a Syrian village that is today half in Lebanon and half on the Israeli controlled Golan Heights.

~~~~~~~~~~

Yadlin further said –– not a surprise either –– that the "ceasefire" with Hamas in Gaza is fragile. There are groups within Gaza looking to break the status quo who are planning a major attack.

What is more, Hamas itself has indicated that the fact that border crossings were not opened "according to Hamas's expectations, constitutes a potential for eroding the cease-fire." This is part of their ever-escalating set of demands, because Israel had clearly linked opening of crossings to real progress on Shalit negotiations.

~~~~~~~~~~

However, to qualify all of the above, Yadlin also said that our enemies were continuing to arm themselves and preferred not to attack us until that arming was complete to their satisfaction, and, possibly until the Bush administration was over. (This says a lot about what they are expecting to replace Bush.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Negotiations on Shalit are due to re-start this week as Ofer Dekel, our official negotiator, formerly with the Shin Bet, returns to Cairo after a hiatus of some weeks. We are being charged by Hamas with "stubbornness" and "intransigence" because we haven't agreed to the specific prisoners and the number of prisoners that they are demanding. Abu Obaidah, spokesman for Hamas's armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, which is holding Shalit, says that "Sooner or later Israel will have to accept our conditions" or "there will be no agreement."

~~~~~~~~~~

Six Arabs –– two Israeli Arabs living inside the Green Line and four with Jerusalem residency papers living in eastern Jerusalem –– have been arrested by the Shin Bet for allegedly setting up an al-Qaida affiliated network with intentions of shooting down President Bush's helicopter when he was here earlier this year.

One of the suspects, Muhammad Naghem, from Nazareth, was a student at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. From his dormitory on the Givat Ram campus, he had a clear view of a nearby helicopter landing pad.

In January, he allegedly videotaped the landing and takeoff of Bush's helicopter and then contacted an Internet forum for global jihad elements to inquire about what would be involved in shooting down the president's helicopter. While the operation had not progressed passed the planning stage, the six, under interrogation, admitted to forming the cell, which they say met at the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.

This rings all sorts of bells.

~~~~~~~~~~

Talansky had his third day of cross-examination by Olmert's lawyers today, and I do not intend to report on any of it. Let's let the dust settle. What we've got now are a series of conflicting reports on what Talansky really said, in what way he backtracked on what he said before (apparently overtly contradicted himself), how the police "interpreted" what he said, when Olmert's lawyers were bringing in inconsequential side issues, and all the rest.

~~~~~~~~~~

Please see Charles Krauthammer's article, "The Audacity of Vanity," regarding Obama's vastly inflated sense of himself, at: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/07/ obamas_egoaccomplishment_gap.html

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

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IS THE SISTINE CHAPEL THE SITE FOR THE GREATEST SUBVERSIVE ACT IN THE HISTORY OF ART?
Posted by Liba S., July 20, 2008.
 

This was written by Rabbi Benjamin Blech and it appeared on the Aish website
http://www.aish.com/societyWork/arts/The_Michelangelo_Code.asp This article originally appeared in the World Jewish Digest.
http://www.worldjewishdigest.com/ME2/Default.asp

Rabbi Benjamin Blech is the author of 12 highly acclaimed books, including Understanding Judaism: The basics of Deed and Creed. He is a professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University and the Rabbi Emeritus of Young Israel of Oceanside which he served for 37 years and from which he retired to pursue his interests in writing and lecturing around the globe. He is also the author of If God is Good, Why is the World So Bad?

 

In the heart of the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel is the site of the conclave where every new pope is elected. It is without doubt the holiest chapel in the Christian world, and draws more than 4 million visitors per year. Most of the world knows it best for its magnificent frescoes painted by the great Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. What has remained a little-known secret, however, is that within this citadel of Christianity lies perhaps the greatest subversive act in the history of art.

Almost none of the visitors who enter the Sistine realize that they are gazing upon secret messages embedded by Michelangelo in his artistic masterpiece. They would certainly be surprised to learn that, in the pope's own chapel, Michelangelo employed these secret messages to advocate for a revolutionary change in Christianity's relationship to Judaism, and that the code itself was rooted in the Jewish tradition.

Michelangelo became fascinated with Midrash and Kabbalah as a teenager, studying with private tutors provided by his patron, Lorenzo de' Medici. Using his knowledge of Judaism and its mystical symbols, he later incorporated messages, via painted images, on the chapel's walls dangerously contrary to the teachings of the Church. In this way, he criticized the corrupt spiritual leadership of the time, and condemned the Church's failure to acknowledge its debt to Jewish origins.

Expressed 500 years before the more liberal contemporary theology of Pope John Paul II and "The Good Pope," John XXIII, discovery of his secret code and heretical views might have cost Michelangelo his life.

When I first heard these claims from Roy Doliner, a Jewish docent and scholar of the humanities who has been leading tours of the Sistine Chapel for close to a decade, I assumed they were too incredible to be true. Only after he shared with me his diligent research (after which I performed a great deal of scholarly sleuthing on my own) did I became thoroughly convinced of their legitimacy. I eventually co-authored a book with Roy, The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican, which was released earlier this year. To our great delight, the book is already beginning to alter the way scholars interpret the work of Michelangelo, sparking vigorous, and sometimes heated, debate.

"Just as the work of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel changed forever the world of art, so will this book change forever the way to view and, above all, to understand the work of Michelangelo," said Enrico Bruschini, official art historian for the U.S. Embassy in Rome and a leading expert on the art of Rome and the Vatican.

A true Renaissance man, Michelangelo was at home in philosophy as well as art; in Christian theology as well as Jewish mysticism. However, those who have studied his work in the past generally have not been conversant with the wide corpus of knowledge that forged him as an artist. Most Sistine Chapel scholars were not well-versed in Judaism and Kabbalah; it was impossible for them to fully grasp the artist's allusions. By combining the scholarship of our respective fields, Roy and I, the docent and the Orthodox rabbi, were able to uncover secrets long buried in Michelangelo's frescos.

From the start, Michelangelo had a personal agenda different from that of his patron. In 1508, we know that Pope Julius II ordered Michelangelo to re-plaster and paint the crumbling ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, a demeaning job at that time for any great artist, and especially for Michelangelo, who detested painting and lived only to sculpt. The pope gave him a simple design, a very standard and banal layout of Jesus and Mary at the two ends of the ceiling, surrounded by the Apostles and a common design of geometric shapes in the center. The artist refused, and fought with the pope who, sick and distracted, finally let him develop his own plan.

Imagine the surprise of the pope and the viewers when the completed project was unveiled four and a half years later: Ninety-five percent of the Chapel was adorned with heroes and heroines of the Jewish Bible. The rest was filled with pagan sibyls and naked boys.

In the 12,000 square feet of the world's largest fresco, there was not a single Christian figure to be found. The only nod to the Gospels –– and one of the ways Michelangelo managed to save both his life and the painting –– was a barely-noticeable series of names of the Jewish ancestors of Jesus that do not even appear in chronological order. Why did Michelangelo disobey the pope in this way?

Michelangelo had a hidden agenda: to remind the Church that its roots were grounded in the Torah given to the Jewish people. This insight, which he inserted throughout his work, is only now beginning to receive attention in contemporary scholarship. It is also showing up in the popular media. Time magazine's March 24 cover story, "10 Ideas That Are Changing the World," singled out what scholars are now calling "Re-Judaizing Jesus" as the most powerful idea in the field of religion.

Michelangelo's frescos emphasize the universality of God and the kinship of all mankind by beginning the pictorial narrative with the Creation story of Genesis, not with the birth of Jesus. To a Church that preached exclusionism and stressed Divine love for only a limited number of His children, Michelangelo emphasized tolerance of all faiths, even the despised Jews of his time.

One fresco exemplifying this idea is the portrait of Aminadab, father of Nachshon, which appears above the elevated area where the pope sat on his throne. Hebrew scholars know that Aminadab's Hebrew name means, "from my people, a prince." But the Church interprets a "prince of the Jews" to refer directly to Jesus. Michelangelo positioned Aminadab, "Prince of the Jews," as surrogate for Jesus himself.

This is one of the extremely rare figures painted by Michelangelo sitting perfectly upright, looking forward, a signal by the artist that the figure is, indeed, noteworthy. Moreover, a bright yellow circle, a ring of cloth sewn onto a garment appears on Aminadab's upper left arm. (This detail was not revealed for modern audiences until the frescoes were restored in 2001.) This patch displays the badge of shame forced on the Jews of Europe by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 and the Inquisition during the 15th Century. Here, directly over the head of the pope, the Vicar of Christ, Michelangelo was reminding the Church that Jesus was a Jew. He was condemning the Church for its shameful treatment of the Jews, from whom Jesus was born.

This was a courageous statement. His veiled messages were painted at a time when the Talmud and other Jewish sacred texts were being burned all over Europe, the Inquisition was operating at full strength and the Jewish people had just been expelled from Spain in 1492. Michelangelo had the courage to challenge the papal court, asking via the symbols of his painting, "Is this how you treat the very family of Our Lord?"

Michelangelo's contempt for the Church's treatment of Jews went further to insult the pope himself via an almost imperceptible gesture of Aminadab. Almost hidden in shadow, this surrogate for Jesus is subtly making "devil's horns" with his fingers, which point downward toward the very spot where Pope Julius' richly embroidered ceremonial canopy would have been, over the papal throne.

In somewhat similar manner, in another fresco placed over the original chapel portal through which Pope Julius entered, Michelangelo depicts the prophet Zechariah with the pope's own face. Over his shoulder one can see a little angel with his fingers curled in a way to make an obscene gesture known in Italy as "giving the fig."

In the symbolism of the Sistine Chapel frescoes, instead of shame and persecution, inclusiveness and acknowledgement of Divine Favor are the qualities Michelangelo advocates for the Church's treatment of the Jews. We have an even more powerful indication of Michelangelo's philo-Semitism in his later work, "The Last Judgment."

In it, a golden-haired angel robed in red poses directly over Jesus' head and points at two men within a group known as the "Righteous Souls," a collection of figures who represent those privileged to spend eternity in a state of bliss with Jesus as reward for their deeds on earth. Michelangelo portrays both of these men as Jews, a potentially blasphemous act. One wears the two-pointed cap that the Church forced Jewish males to wear to reinforce the medieval prejudice that Jews, being spawned of the Devil, had horns. This figure is shown speaking to the other older Jew as he points one finger upward, indicating the One-ness of God. The other figure wears a yellow cap of shame; during the 13th century, the Church ordered Jewish men in Italy to wear such caps in public. In front of the two figures, a woman, her hair modestly covered, whispers in the ear of a nude youth before her. The youth resembles Michelangelo's young tutor, Pico della Mirandola, who owned the largest Kabbalah library in the world at the time, and who taught the young artist secrets of Jewish mysticism as he infused within him a life-long respect for the Jewish people.

In granting Jews a place in heaven with Jesus, the 16th century Michelangelo took a then-blasphemous stand on an issue which still provokes heated debate among Christians in the 21st century. His depiction of those granted Divine Favor clearly contravened official Church doctrine, which maintained that Jews could never hope to have a Heavenly reward.

Michelangelo defined genius as "eternal patience." This year, the 500th anniversary of Michelangelo starting his work on the Sistine ceiling, we have finally "cracked" his "code," and his insights, ingeniously concealed in his work, can at last be heard.

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USING BOMBS TO STAVE OFF WAR
Posted by Boris Celser, July 19, 2008.
 

Benny Morris's article –– see below –– is interesting, but I have a few problems with it, because no one really knows all. It appeared in the New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/18/opinion/18morris.html?_r= 1&oref=slogin&ref=opinion&pagewanted=all. Benny Morris, a professor of Middle Eastern history at Ben-Gurion University, is the author, most recently, of 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War.

1) He claims Iranian leaders may hope Israel's conventional attack will destroy the nuclear facilities, even leading to thousands of casualties and international humiliation. At best I could see military elements or lower echelon politicians hoping for it, perhaps even aiding Israel to accomplish this, but not the top leadership. Totalitarian leaders if overthrown are not normally sent to retirement homes, and there's too much at stake now for Iran's leadership to do little or nothing if Israel strikes. Not after its investment in supporting Syria and arming Hizbullah and Hamas. No, I don't think so.

2) I'm also a bit skeptical about Iran retaliating against an Israeli conventional strike with ballistic missiles tipped with chemical or biological weapons. That would basically ensure a nuclear retaliation by Israel without Iran being prepared to reply in kind. After all, if Iran wants to wipe out Israel without regards to Israeli nuclear retaliation, and could do so today with chemical or biological weapons, why not do it now? If they must have nuclear weapons to do so, it's unlikely they will retaliate using any type of WMD's now, unless they really believe the jerks in charge of Israel will do nothing. But with Olmert, Peres, Livni, and Barak in charge, the Iranians could chance it, but I don't think that's what Morris meant here.

3) Morris also suggests Iran may not want to attack American targets if America does not attack Iran with Israel. But if Israel is given logistic support by the US, such as the use of Iraqi-based US bases, in order to maximize the chances of an Israeli success, and this would be inevitably known, I can't see Iran not attacking US and Western interests via terrorism and oil blackmail. Attacking Israel and Jewish targets only will not be enough, there are far more Western targets worldwide than Jewish ones, and, besides, Iran attacking Israel and Jewish targets may be enough to give the incentive for the Bush administration to finish off what Israel missed in the attack before a new president takes over. This possibility is always there, so any logistical US support for Israel's attack could and should lead to Iran using terrorism against everyone, not just Israeli and Jewish targets. Chaos and fear are good for Iran. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Now, this is an interesting point. If Israel were to drop a small tactical nuke in the Iranian desert, followed by an announcement that it'd hit Teheran (bluff or not) in 3 days if Iran didn't open its nuclear facilities entirely, I'd love to see how Mr. Ahmadinejad and his regime would cope with 11 million people abandoning the capital in a big hurry. Everybody would be watching it on CNN.

Regards.
Boris

 

ISRAEL will almost surely attack Iran's nuclear sites in the next four to seven months –– and the leaders in Washington and even Tehran should hope that the attack will be successful enough to cause at least a significant delay in the Iranian production schedule, if not complete destruction, of that country's nuclear program. Because if the attack fails, the Middle East will almost certainly face a nuclear war –– either through a subsequent pre-emptive Israeli nuclear strike or a nuclear exchange shortly after Iran gets the bomb.

It is in the interest of neither Iran nor the United States (nor, for that matter, the rest of the world) that Iran be savaged by a nuclear strike, or that both Israel and Iran suffer such a fate. We know what would ensue: a traumatic destabilization of the Middle East with resounding political and military consequences around the globe, serious injury to the West's oil supply and radioactive pollution of the earth's atmosphere and water.

But should Israel's conventional assault fail to significantly harm or stall the Iranian program, a ratcheting up of the Iranian-Israeli conflict to a nuclear level will most likely follow. Every intelligence agency in the world believes the Iranian program is geared toward making weapons, not to the peaceful applications of nuclear power. And, despite the current talk of additional economic sanctions, everyone knows that such measures have so far led nowhere and are unlikely to be applied with sufficient scope to cause Iran real pain, given Russia's and China's continued recalcitrance and Western Europe's (and America's) ambivalence in behavior, if not in rhetoric. Western intelligence agencies agree that Iran will reach the "point of no return" in acquiring the capacity to produce nuclear weapons in one to four years.

Which leaves the world with only one option if it wishes to halt Iran's march toward nuclear weaponry: the military option, meaning an aerial assault by either the United States or Israel. Clearly, America has the conventional military capacity to do the job, which would involve a protracted air assault against Iran's air defenses followed by strikes on the nuclear sites themselves. But, as a result of the Iraq imbroglio, and what is rapidly turning into the Afghan imbroglio, the American public has little enthusiasm for wars in the Islamic lands. This curtails the White House's ability to begin yet another major military campaign in pursuit of a goal that is not seen as a vital national interest by many Americans.

Which leaves only Israel –– the country threatened almost daily with destruction by Iran's leaders. Thus the recent reports about Israeli plans and preparations to attack Iran (the period from Nov. 5 to Jan. 19 seems the best bet, as it gives the West half a year to try the diplomatic route but ensures that Israel will have support from a lame-duck White House).

The problem is that Israel's military capacities are far smaller than America's and, given the distances involved, the fact that the Iranian sites are widely dispersed and underground, and Israel's inadequate intelligence, it is unlikely that the Israeli conventional forces, even if allowed the use of Jordanian and Iraqi airspace (and perhaps, pending American approval, even Iraqi air strips) can destroy or perhaps significantly delay the Iranian nuclear project.

Nonetheless, Israel, believing that its very existence is at stake –– and this is a feeling shared by most Israelis across the political spectrum –– will certainly make the effort. Israel's leaders, from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert down, have all explicitly stated that an Iranian bomb means Israel's destruction; Iran will not be allowed to get the bomb.

The best outcome will be that an Israeli conventional strike, whether failed or not –– and, given the Tehran regime's totalitarian grip, it may not be immediately clear how much damage the Israeli assault has caused –– would persuade the Iranians to halt their nuclear program, or at least persuade the Western powers to significantly increase the diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran.

But the more likely result is that the international community will continue to do nothing effective and that Iran will speed up its efforts to produce the bomb that can destroy Israel. The Iranians will also likely retaliate by attacking Israel's cities with ballistic missiles (possibly topped with chemical or biological warheads); by prodding its local clients, Hezbollah and Hamas, to unleash their own armories against Israel; and by activating international Muslim terrorist networks against Israeli and Jewish –– and possibly American –– targets worldwide (though the Iranians may at the last moment be wary of provoking American military involvement).

Such a situation would confront Israeli leaders with two agonizing, dismal choices. One is to allow the Iranians to acquire the bomb and hope for the best –– meaning a nuclear standoff, with the prospect of mutual assured destruction preventing the Iranians from actually using the weapon. The other would be to use the Iranian counterstrikes as an excuse to escalate and use the only means available that will actually destroy the Iranian nuclear project: Israel's own nuclear arsenal.

Given the fundamentalist, self-sacrificial mindset of the mullahs who run Iran, Israel knows that deterrence may not work as well as it did with the comparatively rational men who ran the Kremlin and White House during the cold war. They are likely to use any bomb they build, both because of ideology and because of fear of Israeli nuclear pre-emption. Thus an Israeli nuclear strike to prevent the Iranians from taking the final steps toward getting the bomb is probable. The alternative is letting Tehran have its bomb. In either case, a Middle Eastern nuclear holocaust would be in the cards.

Iran's leaders would do well to rethink their gamble and suspend their nuclear program. Bar this, the best they could hope for is that Israel's conventional air assault will destroy their nuclear facilities. To be sure, this would mean thousands of Iranian casualties and international humiliation. But the alternative is an Iran turned into a nuclear wasteland. Some Iranians may believe that this is a worthwhile gamble if the prospect is Israel's demise. But most Iranians probably don't.

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

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WHO REALLY CARES ABOUT OUR SOLDIERS?
Posted by Naomi Ragen, July 19, 2008.
 

My article, Infamy, has been widely circulated. The response has been overwhelmingly supportive. But what I would like to do is speak not to those who were "shocked and disgusted" by my admission that I was ashamed to be an Israeli after the release of Sami Kuntar, the baby-killer Hezbollah is so proud of who says he can't wait to kill again –– but to those who disagree for reasons I can respect. In an article entitled: "Some Mistakes are Worth Making," Daniel Gordis quotes me without using my name and says that –– unlike me –– he feels proud of what Israel did. He says that he can now face his sons, one of whom is about to be drafted, with the firm belief that while the country he lives in demands much of its soldiers, it is also a country that "owes [them] everything in return and getting them home..is part of that."

I also have a son who is in the army. And as far as I see it, a soldier is sent to the front to defend the citizens of his homeland. All the risks, the injuries, the loss of life that come to soldiers and their families, are based on the premise that the citizens of that country are worth defending, and that those who rise up to murder them must be stopped and punished, or at least put somewhere they can do no harm. What I think Israel owes its soldiers and their families is the vow that their sacrifices of life and limb will not have been in vain.

By returning the bodies of soldiers who died to protect Israel's people at the cost of turning loose a murderer who has declared he can't wait for his next opportunity to kill, the State of Israel is spitting in the face of that sacrifice. Now that Hamas has openly declared the Kuntar trade has given them the determination to keep Gilad Shalit prisoner until hundreds of Palestinian murderers are let loose, I can only say this: How many soldiers died and suffered permanent injuries to apprehend those murderers? What of their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of their families?

And what of the families of the victims? As Ehud Olmert hugged Karnit Goldwasser, weeping with her, he turned his back on 82-year-old Nina Karen, the mother of Danny Haran and grandmother of the two babies Kuntar was physically and morally responsible for murdering. Karnit lost her husband because he was a soldier in the Israeli army. He gave his life to defend us. And Ehud Olmert turned that sacrifice into an empty gesture, a photo-op.

I was in a terror attack. It is known as the Passover Massacre. A terrorist blew himself up in Netanya hotel just as people were sitting down to seder. Most of them were elderly Holocaust survivors and their children and grandchildren. We were lucky. We were upstairs. What we didn't know, is that a second bomber was scheduled to blow himself up upstairs, and would have killed my entire family. He was apprehended by Israeli soldiers at great personal risk soon after, and now sits in an Israeli prison until another corrupt Israeli politician decides to take the easy way out and let him and hundreds more like him out into the streets to kill again, so that our soldiers will have to risk their lives again.

This is not a mistake worth making. It's a mistake we are risking the lives of our soldiers to prevent. Let us respect that and stop kidding ourselves that we can make something heroic out of something despicably wrong. Let us get rid of the men and women whose brainless approach to leadership has already cost us a price we, and no nation, can afford to pay.

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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INTERFAITH MEETING CLOSES. U.A.E. OFFICIAL'S SWIPE AT ZIONISM
Posted by Marc Samberg, July 19, 2008.
 

This was written by Joseph Goldstein, Staff Reporter, New York Sun. It is archived at
http://www.nysun.com/foreign/ uae-official-attacks-zionism-at-saudi-conference/82164/

 

MADRID –– The Saudi king's talk of tolerance and moderation notwithstanding, the Jewish state is proving to be a divisive issue at the religious conference that the Saudi monarch has convened here.

The conference, the theme of which is interfaith dialogue, is an effort by the Saudi monarch to foster more cordial relations between imams in his country and Christian and Jewish religious leaders in the West. The conference is also drawing notice because Abdullah, whose kingdom includes the sites of Islam's two holiest places, denounced religious extremism during his address on Wednesday to the Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish leaders who are participating in the conference.

Abdullah left Spain after opening the conference and is currently in Morocco. In an apparent effort to keep the Israel-Palestine issue from taking center stage, the Saudis did not include a single Palestinian Arab Muslim leader among the approximately 200 religious figures in attendance, conference participants say. And the one Israeli rabbi in attendance is listed on the program material as an American.

But after a day's worth of speeches by Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu leaders, in the middle of the fourth two-hour conference session, a government official from the United Arab Emirates urged Muslim leaders to avoid the company of Zionists.

"We have to distinguish between Judaism and Zionism," the official, Izzeddin Mustafa Ibrahim, who is listed on the program as an adviser on cultural affairs to the president of the U.A.E., said. "Zionism is a political system. Judaism is a religion."

He continued: "I can speak to pacifists but not bellicists, who are in favor of war."

Mr. Ibrahim, a Muslim scholar of Christianity who said he has met with three popes in the interests of Christian-Muslim relations, then continued: "I have only one minute left," referring to the amount of speaking time allotted to him, and finished off his statements with a broad appeal to begin a "Judaic and Islamic dialogue."

"I believe it has to start," Mr. Ibrahim said, referring to such a dialogue.

A New York rabbi, Marc Schneier, then took the lectern but did not directly respond to Mr. Ibrahim's statements about Zionism. He spoke of outreach efforts in North America between imams and rabbis.

In an interview outside the conference room, however, another New York rabbi denounced Mr. Ibrahim's remarks "as the same old rhetoric that has led to more hatred and the building of a wall between the Jews and the Muslims for the last 60 years."

"Being anti-Zionist is the new canard for being an anti-Semite," the rabbi, Jay Rosenbaum of Temple Israel in Lawrence, N.Y., said.

Despite the monarch's efforts to foster discussion between Muslim clerics and religious leaders of other faiths, Saudi Arabia does not appear likely to embrace religious pluralism on its own soil.

Christians and Jews are forbidden from building houses of worship and from praying in public within Saudi Arabia. One of Saudi Arabia's most senior religious figures, an imam of the grand mosque in Mecca, Saleh bin Humaid, told The New York Sun that there would be no such change in that policy.

"In the privacy of their home they can worship their God and perform their ritual freely," the imam said through his translator. "Nobody will be harassed."

"From a religious point of view, they can't build a synagogue or a church because it's a sacred place for Muslims," Sheik bin Humaid said, referring to the entire country of Saudi Arabia.

In defending the policy, Sheik bin Humaid, who is also speaker of the Shura Council in Saudi Arabia, drew a comparison: "We can't imagine having a mosque in the Vatican," he said.

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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ANTI-SEMITISM WITHOUT ANTI-SEMITES
Posted by B Taverna, July 19, 2008.
 

This appeared on Pajama Media. It was written by Henryk Broder. English Translation by John Rosenthal.

Henryk Broder delivered this statement to the Bundestag's Domestic Affairs Committee. He is the author of numerous books on contemporary German political culture and anti-Semitism, including Hurrah, Wir Kapitulieren! [Hurray! We Give Up] and Der ewige Antisemit [The Eternal Anti-Semite]. He is a regular contributor to many leading German-language news publications and one of the principal co-authors of the popular German blog Die Achse des Gutens

 

Earlier this month, the Domestic Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag held public hearings on anti-Semitism in Germany. Many of the speakers chose to focus on the "classical" anti-Semitism to be found in what in Germany are euphemistically called "right-wing extremist" milieus, i.e., among skinheads and self-avowed neo-Nazis. The journalist Henryk Broder, however, located the problem elsewhere: namely, in the mainstream "anti-Zionist anti-Semitism" to be found, for instance, among academics ... and Bundestag members.

I thank you for the invitation to this hearing. It is an honor for me to be able to speak to you. I know that there has been some unhappiness on account of my participation. But I am sure that by the end of my statement you will not regret having invited me.

This is not the first hearing on the issue of anti-Semitism and it will not be the last. Ever since the writer and self-avowed Jew-hater Wilhelm Marr published his "The Triumph of Germandom [Deutschtum] over Jewry" in 1879, thus becoming the leader of political anti-Semitism in imperial Germany, there have been numerous attempts made to define, explain, and neutralize anti-Semitism. They have all failed. If this was not the case, we would not be here today. Every discussion of anti-Semitism starts with a definition of the concept. And many get no further than that, such that after all the efforts to get a grasp on the phenomenon one is left merely with the finding that anti-Semitism is, as the old joke goes, "when one can't stand Jews even more than is normal."

I would like, therefore, to concentrate on two points: two arguments to which one has to pay special attention if one does not want to conduct a merely virtual debate. Firstly, anti-Semitism is not a matter of a prejudice, but rather of a sort of resentment. In and of themselves, prejudices –– literally "pre-judgments" [Vorurteile] –– are harmless. I have prejudices, you have prejudices: everyone does. It is only negative prejudices that bother us. If I say to you that Germans are hardworking, disciplined, and show their guests great hospitality, you will happily agree with me. If, however, I say that Germans are cheap, infantile, and lack a sense of humor, you will presumably get upset. That's an unacceptable generalization, you will say. It is the same with Jews. We gladly hear positive prejudices expressed –– on the "people of the book" or Jewish humor –– but negative prejudices, which thematize our worse tendencies, we take as an insult.

The distinction between a prejudice and a resentment is as follows: a prejudice concerns a person's behavior; a resentment concerns that person's very existence. Anti-Semitism is a resentment. The anti-Semite does not begrudge the Jew how he is or what he does, but that he is at all. The anti-Semite takes offense as much at the Jew's attempts to assimilate as at his self-marginalization. Rich Jews are exploiters; poor Jews are freeloaders. Smart Jews are arrogant and dumb Jews –– and, yes, there are also dumb Jews –– are a disgrace to Jewry. The anti-Semite blames Jews in principle for everything and its opposite. That is why there is no point in trying to debate anti-Semites or in wanting to convince them of the absurdity of their views. One has to marginalize anti-Semites: to isolate them in a sort of social quarantine. Society must make clear that it disdains both anti-Semitism and anti-Semites: just as it disdains parents beating their children and rape –– including spousal rape –– even though it well knows that it cannot monitor everything that transpires behind closed doors.

Secondly, if you want to come to terms with anti-Semitism, you must realize that it is not a fixed quantity like the meter prototype in Paris or the definition of the volt, watt, or ampere. Like all social phenomena, anti-Semitism is susceptible to transformation. Even poverty is no longer today what it once was at the time of Oliver Twist. The anti-Semitism that we are most readily inclined to discuss is an artifact of the last century and the century before that. It is the anti-Semitism of fools, who are still chasing chimeras. [In the late 19th century, the German Social Democrat August Bebel famously described anti-Semitism as the "socialism of fools." –– Translator's Note] The common anti-Semite has no real idea about the object of his obsessions, but only a diffuse feeling. He lets off steam by painting swastikas on aluminum siding and scribbling Juda verrecke ["Jews go croak!"] on gravestones. He is a case for the police and the local courts, but nothing more than that. Nobody is going to feel sympathy for thugs who raise their arms to give the Hitler salute and shout Juden raus! ["Jews out!"]. This sort of anti-Semitism is ugly, but politically irrelevant: it is its own death notice.

The modern anti-Semite looks entirely different. He does not have a shaved head. He has good manners and often an academic title as well. He mourns for the Jews who died in the Holocaust. But at the same time he wonders why the survivors and their descendants have learned nothing from history and today treat another people as badly as they were once treated themselves. The modern anti-Semite does not believe in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. But instead he fantasizes about an "Israel lobby" that is supposed to control American foreign policy like a tail that wags the dog. For the modern anti-Semite, it goes without saying that every year on January 27 he will commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz. But at the same time he militates for the right of Iran to have atomic weapons. For "how can one deny Iran what one has permitted Israel or Pakistan?" as Norman Paech [the foreign policy spokesperson of the German Left Party] has put it. Or he inverts the causal relationship and claims that it is Israel that is threatening Iran and not vice-versa –– as [German Middle East scholar] Dr. Udo Steinbach did in a recent radio interview. The modern anti-Semite finds ordinary anti-Semitism disgraceful. He has no problem, however, embracing anti-Zionism and is grateful for the opportunity to express his resentment in a politically correct form. For anti-Zionism is a sort of resentment just like classical anti-Semitism was. The anti-Zionist has the same attitude toward Israel as the anti-Semite has to Jews. He is not bothered by what Israel does or does not do, but rather by the fact that Israel exists. That is why he participates so passionately in debates about the solution to the Palestinian question –– which could well mean a final solution for Israel. On the other hand, he is left indifferent by conditions in Darfur or Zimbabwe or Congo or Cambodia, because there are no Jews involved in those places. Ask the foreign policy spokesperson of the Left Party, for instance, how many statements he has issued about "Palestine" and how many about Tibet. Earlier –– let' s say at the time of classical anti-Semites like Wilhelm Marr, Karl Lueger, and Adolf Stoecker –– everything was plain and simple. There were Jews, there were anti-Semites, and there was anti-Semitism.

After 1945, for the well-known reasons, we then had in Germany an anti-Semitism without Jews. And now today we are again confronted by a new phenomenon: an anti-Semitism without anti-Semites. Another new phenomenon is the professional profile of what might be called the "leisure time anti-Semite" who does his regular job during the day, perhaps even in a federal government office, and then in his spare time writes "critical" texts on Israel that appear on obscure anti-Zionist websites. [The reference is to Ludwig Watzal, an official of Germany's Federal Office for Civic Education (BpB), many of whose articles have been reprinted on the site antimperialista.org. See [1] here on Watzal. The BpB has resisted calls for Watzal's dismissal, arguing that the writings in question are not connected to his professional activity. –– Translator's Note] Nobody wants to be an anti-Semite, but the "anti-Zionist" hall of shame is getting increasingly crowded.

Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are two sides of the same coin. If the anti-Semite was convinced that it is not him, the anti-Semite, who is to blame for anti-Semitism, but rather the Jew himself who is to blame, so too is the anti-Zionist convinced that Israel is responsible not only for the suffering of the Palestinians, but also for the hardship it suffers itself. The older persons among you will perhaps remember what a Green Party politician, who is still a member of the Bundestag, said about the Iraqi rockets that were fired at Israel at the time of the first Gulf War in 1991: "The Iraqi rocket attacks are the logical, nearly unavoidable consequence of Israeli policy." [The author of the quote is Green Party Member of Parliament Hans-Christian Ströbele. –– Translator's Note] At the time, the same Green Party politician also opposed the delivery of defensive weapons like Patriot rockets to Israel, because this would, he claimed, lead to an escalation in the hostilities.

Today, some 17 years later, we hear similar remarks about rocket attacks on Israel from southern Lebanon or the Gaza Strip: namely, that they are the logical, nearly unavoidable result of Israeli occupation and that Israel would do well not to react in order to avoid escalating hostilities. The modern anti-Semite pays tribute to Jews who have been dead for 60 years, but he resents it when living Jews take measures to defend themselves. He screams "Beware of the Beginnings!" when a handful of weekend Nazis hold a demonstration in Cottbus, but he justifies the policies of the current Iranian president and defends the continuation of German business with Iran.

Ladies and gentleman, we will not solve the problem of anti-Semitism: not at this hearing nor at the next. But the mere fact that you are discussing the issue –– when there are also other and more pressing problems that need attention –– is a good sign. If I may in all modesty make a suggestion: leave the good old anti-Semitism to the archaeologists and antiquarians and historians. Devote your attention to the modern anti-Semitism that wears the disguise of anti-Zionism and to its representatives. You will find some of the latter among your own ranks.

I thank you for listening.

Contact B. Taverna by email at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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WEAK AND DESPERATE FOR A DEAL" IRAN –– THE USA
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 18, 2008.
 

This is from the JoshuaPundit Website
http://joshuapundit.blogspot.com/2008/07/ weak-and-desperate-for-deal.html

Indeed, Bubba....the sands run out of the hourglass and the weak go to the wall.

In its waning days, the Bush Administration is trying to salvage its foreign policy fiasco on Iran by making one last attempt to see if the mullahs can be bought off –– at any price.

Condi Rice has mobilized her minions in the State Department and has now crossed even the feeble, shaky line in the sand President Bush had before,of no talks or diplomacy with Iran until they agreed to cease their illicit nuclear enrichment and be a tad more transparent about exactly what their nuclear program is all about.

I guarantee the mullahs have been laughing behind their beards at that one, probably wondering how even an infidel ferenghi could be that stupid when Ahmadinejad has been telling them exactly what the mullahs want nukes for all along. I mean, how many times do they have to chant 'Death to America' or talk about annihilating Israel or holding oil prices and the Persian Gulf hostage does it take?

Apparently the message still hasn't sunk in, because Dubbyah and Condi have dispatched Undersecretary of State William Burns to Geneva for direct talks with Iran's new nuclear spokesmouth Saeed Jalili and are even talking about re-establishing formal relations and sending US diplomats to staff an 'interests office' in Iran, a country that openly admits that it's been in a state of war with us for over thirty years and has been acting on it.

Apparently one hostage crisis wasn't enough.

While Condi is trying to spin this frantically, I doubt even she believes what she's saying anymore at this point, although she inadvertently let quite a lot slip.

"The United States doesn't have any permanent enemies," Rice said in a press conference. "This decision to send Undersecretary (William) Burns is an affirmation of the policy that we have been pursuing with our European allies ... for some time now."

"It is, in fact, a strong signal to the entire world that we have been very serious about this diplomacy and we will remain very serious about this diplomacy."

Rice also said that Burns is there not to negotiate, but to listen. But for that matter, Jalili isn't there to negotiate either. He's there to hear what price the West is offering and convey it to his masters in Tehran, so the bargaining can begin, and it will probably continue when Ahmadinejad comes to New York to address the UN.

So, what will the Mullahs want, in exchange for an agreement they have no intention of keeping anyway? That remains to be seen.

One thing they've apparently already gotten is assurances that the US has definitely taken any kind of military action off the table as long as George Bush is in the White House...and that the US will not do anything to assist the Israelis in taking action.

The Israelis, of course may wake up to find themselves expendable, if they haven't already.

So, how are the Iranians seeing this? Our ex-Ambassador to the UN John Bolton put it quite well, calling it a U turn in American policy. "To the Iranians, it will send a sign of the political weakness of a (US) administration in its last days and desperate for a deal," he told The Associated Press.

It's exactly that, and the Iranians are probably are happily surprised at the new turn of events as Hitler was back in 1938 at the weakness of Britain and France.

This will come back to haunt us.

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

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OIC SEEKS TO "CRIMINALIZE CHRISTIANITY AND PUSH THE EXECUTION OF MORE CHRISTIANS"
Posted by Manuel Vider, July 18, 2008.
 

"The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) wants to criminalize Christianity at the U.N." was written by Dr. Laurie Roth, for the Canada Free Press
(http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/3984). Ir appeared July 16, 2008.

Laurie Roth has a Ph.D. in counseling and a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, is happily married and currently resides in Washington State. She is a singer/songwriter with five CD albums to her credit. She plays the piano, keyboard, and violin and has a voice that can penetrate your very soul. Laurie is also an accomplished author, cartoonist, and artist. She can be reached at: Drljroth@aol.com

 

Since 1999, the OIC has been pushing with the U.N the 'Defamation of Islam' campaign. The OIC isn't a small fry committee trying to be heard in the U.N., but is being pushed by the 57, Muslim nation members in it and reflects the Declaration of Human Rights in Islam which is only reflected by Sharia law. That is how they want human rights defined and filtered through, Sharia law.

What is it the OIC exactly wants and is pushing through the U.N.? Its actually quite clear when reading through even a little of this rubbish. On the surface they say they want to cover the defamation of all religions, but amazingly only one religion is mentioned by name as persecuted of sorts, Islam. According to Patrick Goodenough, International Editor, CNSNews.com, the text states they have "deep concern that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism."

They refer to that nasty mental illness that so many of us have, Islamaphobia, when we happen to in our hate and illness notice the forced sexual mutilations, beheadings, forced conversions, honor killings growing in America, buildings continuing to blow up, body parts continuing to fly past our windows and ongoing threats. Take more medication you mentally ill, hateful people. Don't you know that real international religious freedom must submit to the wonder and edification of Shari Law?

The way this anti protection of religion and freedom piece of rot reads would only criminalize Christianity and push the execution of more Christians who are already being sentenced to prison and death for reading the wrong material, mentioning a verse to a Muslim or doing practically anything that might engage a real discussion in a Muslim country with a Muslim.

Patrick Goodenough, CNSNews.com, says it like it is in pointing out that this religious defamation idea is being used as a shield and a sword. "In Islamic countries, blasphemy laws are used as a shield to protect the dominant religion, but even more dangerously, they are used to silence minority religious believers and prevent Muslims from converting to other faiths, which is still a capital crime in many Islamic countries."

Justice Scalia from our own Supreme Court recently reminded us of a few things of importance: "America is at war with radical Islamists. The enemy began by killing Americans and American allies abroad: 241 at the Marine barracks in Lebanon, 19 at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, 224 at our embassies in Dar Es Salaam and Nairobi, and 17 on the USS Cole in Yemen. On Septemeber 11, 2001, the enemy brought the battle to American soil, killing, 2,749 at the Twin Towers, in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and 40 in Pennsylvania."

Lets call this what it is. This aggressive effort of the OIC to slam this through the U.N and get the defamation piece approved by the U.N. itself is nothing but a declaration of War against freedom of speech internationally and Christianity. This is hidden in fancy, protective words, it would only protect MORE persecution, targeting and murder of more Christians and suck out even any soft ray of freedom a Muslim in a country might want to even discuss or compare their faith with any other. This will be brought up later this year at the U.N. again. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will give an expected report on the measure put together by the OIC in Pakistan last year and passed in a vote 108-51.

Lets talk more about the OIC's special glasses of protection they want to cram down our mentally ill, freedom loving throats. All freedom and religious protection must go through Shari law. Lets see, beatings for wives and women, yes; Execution of gays, yes; crucifixion of robbers, yes; beheadings of Christians who preach the gospel, of course; execution for any convert from Islam to Christianity.....on and on it goes and reads. . Gee, don't you feel enlightened, inspired and eager to have the U.N. pass this Defamation of Islam Act? Have you figured it out yet that this is nothing but a bold maneuver of the Islamic countries to destroy Islam's enemies and conquer the world, using violence, threats and killings as usual, but with an added flare, the most powerful International legal body officially behind them, the U.N.

If this passes with the money, power and push of the 57 members of the Islamic countries and friends, and the anti-semitic, anti-Christian and anti American U.N., get ready for an unprecedented blood bath world wide from the Religion of peace. Normal witnessing and sharing by a Christian pastor or missionary will be a crime, insulting and defaming Islam. That will mean a massive prison sentence or death sentence.

When are we all going to wake up and smell the sick tasting coffee? We are in a world war with Radical Islam. It isn't Islamaphobia that we are struggling with! It isn't hate for Muslims and their right to choose and express a different faith we are struggling with! It is that Sharia Law represents the complete opposite to our freedom of speech, constitution and the bill of rights! It is barbaric and condones beatings, torture and killings as a matter of course. OK, no more shy talk.....IT IS EVIL and the opposite of religious and personal freedom. It still blows my mind that Dr. Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, has even suggested that Sharia Law should be implemented and allowed in Britain due to how many Islamics have immigrated and developed there. He also puts his other fat foot in his mouth when he criticizes Christianities' history of violence and its harsh punishments....bla bla. After all, everything to make peace with the big dogs who control oil and want to kill you. Kiss up. Don't tell the truth or defend the truth!

Read more about this nightmare push by the OIC at the U.N. and what you can do to sign a petition against this at www.aclj.org. Stand up for REAL freedom of speech worldwide. If someone of ANY faith believes in what they follow, they should be allowed to debate their theology, discuss it and share it. If it is so right on, attract people because they are drawn to its compelling love and truth, not forced to follow it, stay with it or die. I have taken insults, questions and attacks for decades against my Christian faith. That is fine. I don't wish to kill people because they feel differently. Let me share why I believe and what my theology is based on in love, and if we disagree, fine.

Radical Islam will not stop until it takes over our legal system, our cultures, our moral framework, the U.N., our school curriculums and our lives if necessary. I say a big fat NO to Radical Islam. Come and Kiss My Grits!


This article was also posted by Raymond today on Jihad Watch
http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/021812.php These are comments from readers.

From: David England.

The OIC is establishing its intial program for its equivalent Nuremberg laws. Like the goals of the Third Reich, to establish laws to protect Germans from Jews, so to Second Caliphate through its political arm, the OIC, is seeking to establish laws to protect islam from infidels.

The Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935 deprived German Jews of their rights of citizenship, giving them the status of "subjects" in Hitler's Reich. So too these laws are designed to make infidels the "subjects" of sharia law in other parts of the world where the infidel cannot as easily be punished by fatwa or mosque mob.

Once established these laws will give extraterritorial affect to sharia law making it forbidden for infidels to marry muslims unless the children are automatically recognized as muslim. Like the Hitler laws these will talk about German persecution by Jews and will claim that The Law is simply for the Protection of Muslim (Blood) and Muslim Honor.

These laws are intended to soon be followed by "The Law for the Protection of the Health of the Islamic countries," which will require all persons in foreign countries to respect sharia law in their countries especially if a party to the domestic dispute is a muslim."

These laws are intended to give extraterritorial effect to sharia. If enacted they will be folowed by lobbying for laws that completely deprive infidels of their rights as human beings.

From: Jewel Atkins.

The wonder of the UN is how they intend to enforce all these measures in dar el Harb. I realize that in Europe the police and governmental authorities are cowed enough to do their bidding from within and without the confines of national borders, but in America, where ridicule and blasphemy are national past times, how will anyone but Hollywood and the press...oh, and the educational camps we call universities and the primary schools and secondary schools, how are they going to enforce these edicts....oh, never mind. I guess they already do. I forgot. Silly me. It's called multiculturalism.

Contact Manuel Vider by email at manuel.vider@gmail.com

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PEACE AND PROGRESS AT HEBREW UNIVERSITY: ISRAELI ARAB STUDENTS CHARGED WITH OPERATING AL-QAEDA CELL
Posted by Steven Plaut, July 18, 2008.
 

This was written by Efrat Weiss and appeared in Ynet
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0%2c7340%2cL-3569927%2c00.html. Raanan Ben-Zur contributed to this report

 

6 Israeli Arabs charged with operating al-Qaeda cell

(Video) Hebrew University students indicted of trying to build terror infrastructure in Jerusalem. One of suspects allegedly collected information in attempt to shoot down helicopter carrying senior official during US President Bush's visit to Israel

VIDEO –– Cleared for publication: The Shin Bet and the police have arrested six Israeli Arabs, four of them residents of east Jerusalem, on suspicion of planning to operate an al-Qaeda cell in Israel.

Among the suspects are students at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The six suspects were identified as: Ibrahim Nashef, 22, of Tayibe, a physics and computer sciences student at the Hebrew University; Muhammas Najem, 24, of Nazareth, a chemistry student at the Hebrew University; Yusef Sumarin, 21, of the Jerusalem village of Beit Hanina; Anas Shawiki, 21, of the Jerusalem town of Jabel Mukaber; Kamal Abu Kwaider, 22, of Jerusalem's Old City; and Ahmed Shawiki, 21, of the Jerusalem town of Shuafat.

All the suspects were charged with membership in a terror organization. Some of them will be tried for aiding the enemy at a time of war, possessing propaganda material in favor of a terror organization, soliciting and attempting to solicit others to join a terror organization.

According to the indictments filed against them Friday, the six used to meet at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. They surfed al-Qaeda websites containing radical Islam content, where they also found instructions for the production of explosive devices.

Taking an interest in Bush's chopper

One of the detainees lived in the Hebrew University dorms which overlook the university's landing ground. According to the suspicions, he watched the landing ground in January 2008, during US President George W. Bush's visit to Israel.

He also allegedly looked for instructions for shooting down a landing helicopter on the internet, and took pictures of the landing choppers using his cellular phone.

The six were arrested in a joint police and Shin Bet operation between the months of June and July.

According to the indictments filed against them Friday, the six used to meet at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. They surfed al-Qaeda websites containing radical Islam content, where they also found instructions for the production of explosive devices.

Taher and Omar Abu-Sakut, who are registered members of the Islamic Movement, were arrested following a joint Shin Bet, police and Border Guard operation that took place in June.

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

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CULTURECIDE OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
Posted by Amil Imani, July 18, 2008.
 

The intolerant monolithic Islamists are on the march, lashing out with fury at non-Islamic people and cultures. This cult of violence and death spares neither the living nor the non-living heritage of humanity: wherever and whenever it can it commits culturecide –– wiping out other people's precious cultural treasures. Not long ago, the Islamists' destruction of the Buddha statues in Afghanistan shocked the world and exposed the savage nature of this cult of violence depravity. Yet, much more destruction on a broad range is taking place in Iran under the direction of the Islamist theocrats.

The Islamist zealots ruling Iran for the past 30 years have undertaken a systematic campaign of endangering and destroying the cultural sites of pre-Islamic Iran, ignoring the numerous petitions[1] and pleas of the Iranian people.

For one, blatantly rejecting the repeated appeals of individuals and organizations such as the International Committee to Save the Archeological Sites of Pasargad,[2] the Islamic Republic proceeded with the construction of the Sivand Dam[3] which went into operation on April 2007 by the order of the ruling Islamists' point man, President Ahmadinejad.

What many experts have pass. The inevitable elevation of humidity from the Sivand Dam has given rise to massive invasion of Cyrus the Great Mausoleum by lichen and fungi. Cracks have started to appear[5] on the stonework of tomb of King Cyrus, humanity's first author of the charter of human rights.

The building of the Sivand Dam by the Islamist government was launched under the pretext that it would be a boon for the farmers. Impartial experts, including expert geologists from the University of Shiraz, have countered with evidence to the exact opposite outcome. Farmers in the area had worked diligently for centuries and habilitated the originally salty soil. Water from the new dam is bound to make it the farmers' bane by returning the soil to salinity once again, experts warned.

In order to discredit those who protested against constructing the ruinous dam, the Islamic Republic's Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, who ironically heads the state culture and heritage organization, has claimed that groups "opposing the Islamic Republic" are behind the protests.

Mr. Rahim-Mashai who was appointed as the director of ICHTHO after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was "elected" as the regime's new President said in a press conference in March 2006 that he had never heard of the Sivand Dam or the Bolaghi Valley. The Pasargad Heritage Foundation[6] has filed a complaint against Mr. Mashai for a hearing on his intentional systematic endeavor to destroy ancient cultural treasures of the Iranian people.

The destructive effects of the Dam is also impacted the air quality of the area. According to Amir-Teimur Khosravi the Mayor of Pasargadae,[7] "the level of humidity near the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is so high that none of the Pasargadae's residents have ever experienced it before. There is constant flow of damp and humidity smells in the Pasargadae plains[8] that are coming from Bolaghi Gorge. In the Southwest section of the mausoleum, which is considered the entrance to the archaeological site, the subterranean waters have surfaced and caused cracks to appear on the stonework."

Khosravi continued, "Pasargadae has always been renowned for its clean and pleasant weather, but now, as a result of high levels of humidity produced from [the artificial lake behind] the Sivand dam, the area suffers from a sultry condition."

Referring to the gorge, "it is far from here," said one of the government's functionaries at the dam site, which is slowly filling up. "There will be no damage." People in the provincial capital Shiraz –– renowned as being the capital of poets and beautiful roses, as well as for its imperial Persian ruins –– have a different opinion. They say the project may increase humidity[9] in the arid area near the city of Shiraz, which they believe could damage the limestone mausoleum of Cyrus the Great.

From its inception, the Islamic Republic has waged a systematic campaign of wiping out any and all cultural heritage and even joyous pre-Islamic festivals of the Iranian people: replacing Iranian's traditional happy celebratory events such as Nowruz, Yalda,[10] and many more with endless death-centered Islamic mourning. The Islamists aim to obliterate the Persian antiquities as well as any vestiges of the pre-Islamic Iran. They have put in charge inept puppets as archeology experts so that it would justify their terrorist action against Persian antiquities.

The illegitimate government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is a quisling foreign entity that has betrayed Iranian people, its tradition, its glorious pre-Islamic achievements, and is incessantly working against Iran's national interest. Iran, under the stranglehold and machinations of these parasites, has been transformed, in less than three decades, to the lead perpetrator of all that is abhorrent to humanity.

Although the Islamic Republic's record speaks dismally for itself, there are numerous reasons for its relentless campaign of cultural genocide. The Islamic regime's decision to slowly destroy Cyrus the Great tomb is in part motivated by the realization that the people revere King Cyrus for the just laws he instituted as well as his emancipation of the Jews some 2500 years ago. Hence, this benevolent king is despised by the Islamists for symbolizing what are truly Iranian and anathema to Islamic credo, as well as keeping the love of non-Islamic nationalism alive in the heart of the populace.

Under the guise of development, the Islamic Republic has launched a comprehensive program of obliterating any physical traces of Iran's rich archeological sites. A partial list of these acts is listed below.

  • Sahand Dam in East Azerbaijan[11] which will submerge the 6000-year-old Kul Tepe site. Archaeologists agree that over ten ancient sites in the region, some from the fifth millennium B.C. will be buried under the water, according to an official of the East Azerbaijan Province Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department.

  • Alborz Dam in Mazandaran province, which caused irreversible damage to the cultural heritage of the eastern part of Mazandaran province.

  • Karun Dam in Khuzestan[12] province is submerging the ancient sites of the Izeh region.

  • Mulla Sadra Dam[13] to Drown 7000 Years of History. "Mehr Ali Farsi is one of the most important archeological sites of Fars province. Archeological excavations in this historical site could reveal many unknown facts about the pre-historic period of Fars province. "Despite the fact that this historical site had been identified before the inundation of Mulla Sadra Dam, the authorities of the dam have neglected the necessity for carrying out excavations in this area and started the flooding of the dam in a very short time," according to Azizollah Rezayi, head of archeology team in Mehr Ali Farsi historical site.

  • Salman-e Farsi Dam[14] was inundated in 2007, without the CHTHO's permission. It flooded a 350-hectare Sassanid city, which had been inhabited since the pre-Achaemenid era.

  • Destruction of one of the biggest historical sites in the Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari[15] province by the Islamic Republic Ministry of Road and Transportation. A local archaeologist who wished to remain anonymous for his safety said: "Israel should not be worried about the [Islamic] regime's threat of wiping it off from the map; it is we [Iranians] who should be worried, as the regime is determined to wipe us off of the map."

    He added "everyday this anti-Iranian regime is coming up with a new plot to destroy our heritage. One day our heritage is being threatened by dam projects, the next it's road constructions. They claim these are development projects, but if this is the case why is our heritage being destroyed in the darkness of night and in secret –– and why don't they sit down with the cultural authorities to find a solution to carry out their so-called development projects, and at the same time safeguard our national heritage?"

  • 45,000 years old Paleolithic site of Kaftarkhun,[16] located in Iran's Isfahan province, has been completely annihilated to build a horse racing course while the eastern parts of this ancient site have seen irreversible damage due to quarry blasting.

  • 1000-hectare area of a historical site[17] belonging to Parthian dynastic era (248 BCE-224CE) in Khuzestan province has also fallen victim to developmental constructions of the Islamic regime's Hamidieh Azad University in Hamidieh city.

  • Tomb of Firuzan (Abu-Lu'lu'ah)[18] in Kashan destroyed, in part to placate the Sunni Arabs. This Persian hero killed the Islam's third Caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab, avenging the death on thousands of Iranian by Omar's Islamic aggressors.

    The inanimate historical sites of the world are indeed living schools where invaluable lessons are held in their repositories. Preserving, exploring and studying these sites tell a great deal about humanity's past, its triumphs and defeat.

    Destroying these sites, no matter where they are in the world is tantamount to the burning of libraries. Only truly barbarians such as the bigoted Islamists fail to appreciate these treasures that belong to the entire human family. It is the Islamists' belief that any and all information, ideals and practices that fall outside of Islam are void and must be eliminated.

    It is the imperative duty of all enlightened people to steadfastly counter the relentless monolithic Islamic culturcide taking place in Iran or wherever in the world the scourge of Islamism invades.

    Footnotes

    1. http://www.petitiononline.com/Pasargad/petition.html

    2. http://www.savepasargad.com/european_languages.htm

    3. http://www.cais-soas.com/News/Sivand/sivand_news.htm

    4. http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2008/April2008/10-04.htm

    5. http://in.news.yahoo.com/ani/20080618/
    r_t_ani_sc/tsc-cyrus-the-great-s-mausoleum-in-iran-f32bc39.html

    6. http://www.savepasargad.com/january/
    Indictment%20of%20Mr.%20Esfandiar%20Rahim-Mosha%27i.htm

    7. http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2008/June2008/17-06-pasargadae.htm

    8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasargadae

    9. http://en.epochtimes.com/news/7-10-8/60508.html

    10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nowruz

    11. http://www.mehrnews.com/en/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=131826

    12. http://archaeonews.blogspot.com/2006/09/karun-2-dam-continue

    13. http://archaeonews.blogspot.com/2006/07/mulla-sadra-dam-to-dr

    14. http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/
    Default.asp?NewsCode=50912&NewsKind=CurrentAffairs%20%20%20

    15. http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2007/October2007/30-10-overnight.htm

    16. http://mosaferan.ir/main.asp?ID=00553%20%20

    17. http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2007/May2007/02-05.htm

    18. http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2007/June2007/28-06.htm

    Contact Amil Imani at amil_imani@yahoo.com. This essay can be found at
    www.amilimani.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=111&Itemid=2

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  • SMUGGLING BY SEA SOARS; INTERPOL AT THE SERVICE OF JIHAD?; "TOURING" LEFTISTS COME TO RIOT
    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 18, 2008.
     

    LIVNI HAS 1 QUALIFICATION FOR PM

    Foreign Min. Livni is contending for leadership of the Kadima Party and possibly becoming Prime Minister. She has one qualification. Unlike Olmert, Sharon, and Peres, she is not corrupt. Leadership she lacks. Her foreign policy is a disaster, leaving hostile forces building up around Israel. She makes some forceful statements to impress voters, but gives no signs of ending the anti-Zionist thrust of Israel's government (IMRA, 7/2 and earlier).

    Of course, her other qualities are disqualifications. Other politicians may have her one qualification and her many disqualifications.

    SMUGGLING BY SEA SOARS

    Dr. Aaron Lerner asked a spokesman for PM Olmert what Olmert had meant in claiming that the truce would not "strengthen" Hamas. Under the terms of the truce, Hamas can use its warehouses of materials to manufacture weapons, it can train soldiers, and it can fortify areas. Doesn't that strengthen Hamas?

    The spokesman replied that Olmert meant that Egypt would stop the arms smuggling. Dr. Lerner pointed out that those other actions would strengthen Hamas (IMRA, 7/2). Egypt was supposed to stop arms smuggling before, but didn't. Why expect it to now?

    Palestinian Arabs bringing arms shipments to Gaza no longer are stopped by Egyptian coast guard vessels they pass within yards and are greeted with waves (IMRA, 7/2). Is Olmert trying to get Israel destroyed? All his acts tend that way.

    Not remarked on before was that Egypt didn't just act as intermediary in negotiating the truce. It actively bargained in behalf of Hamas, by making demands upon Israel. Israel should have rejected Egypt as a biased broker.

    GOVT. HAS NO EXCUSE

    Deputy-Defense Min. Vilnai complained that Egypt is "not doing enough" [you remember that euphemism for not doing anything serious] to stop the arms smuggling into Gaza. He admitted that the government knew in advance that this would happen. Nevertheless, Dr. Aaron Lerner observes, the government went ahead with the farcical truce that enables Hamas' military buildup to accelerate. Isn't that an indictable offense? (IMRA, 7/2).

    Israel doesn't indict leftist leaders for depraved indifference to their people's lives. They hold onto power.

    INTERPOL AT THE SERVICE OF JIHAD?

    As Europeans start to criticize Islamism for striving to conquer it, Muslims are striving to repress criticism. Jordan subpoenaed several Danish journalists and editors involved with the cartoons about Muhammad. The prosecutor is issuing a subpoena to a Dutch parliamentarian criticizing Islam. He threatened to post the warrant to Interpol. That means that if the accused travels to a country having a reciprocal arrangement with Interpol, it would extradite him to Jordan for trial. Denmark and Holland ignore the warrants, saying they uphold freedom of speech (IMRA, 7/2). Tellingly, they did not defend the truth of the criticism of movements and countries that want to conquer them.

    In Islamic countries, trial means conviction. That means that Interpol, which apparently takes national prosecutors at their word, hands over people who raise the alarm about a drive to conquer their countries to be jailed by aggressors! The aggressors can plot, but defenders may not alarm.

    This will not do. It shows the limits of internationalism in a world having some nasty nations. This is a lesson to the US, which Pres. Bush so far has kept from the Intl. Criminal Court. International agencies, such as the UNO, may be guided by authoritarian regimes, which prosecute ideologically. The US is freer and should stay free. Europe should stop criticizing the US about this and emulate it.

    IS TERRORISM GREATER IN EUROPE OR IN THE U.S.?"

    A study claimed that terrorism is much greater in Europe. It attributed this to American success in integrating Muslims and letting them prosper.

    Daniel Pipes doubted the statistics. After all, Islamist aggression arrives from religious fanaticism, not one's economic condition. [Education and wealth seem to boost fanaticism.] Mr. Pipes made his own analysis.

    Pipes found the original study counted incorrectly. There are many more instances of terrorism and by terrorists in the US, in proportion to the number of Muslims there compared with the number of Muslims in Europe.

    Why are they more aggressive in the US? Are they turning more to religion, in order to maintain their original identity? That would mean they don't want to integrate (Pipes #864, 7/2). Perhaps they are less monitored in the US. Perhaps more European Muslims travel abroad to join in organized warfare.

    It used to be said that they would leave the US alone, because they are free here to organize and raise money for jihad elsewhere. That theory doesn't work. It first was disproved in France, which indulged Islamists and then was bombed.

    FREEDOM OF THOUGHT ON ISLAM IN ACADEMIA?

    The Middle East Studies Association pursues its line of blaming the West for terrorism, which it otherwise ignores. It stifles independent discussion. To allow open discussion, Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajama have formed the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa. It will offer think tankers and military experts a scholarly contrast to the older Association (MEFNews, 7/2).

    EUROPEAN CONVERTS TO ISLAM

    More Europeans are converting to Islam. Islamists work to turn them into terrorists. Most have not turned, but the others constitute a serious rise in the number of terrorists, particularly serious because they tend to arouse less suspicion. The lack of border inspection between countries within the EU makes the criminals harder to detect than it would have been in former years. The EU gets in the way of national security efforts (MEFNews, 7/2).

    RIOTS CALLED TOURS

    Leftist groups, such as "Breaking the Silence" and International Solidarity Movement, conduct tours of the Jewish area of Hebron. They use tours to defame local Jews and falsely accuse the besieged Jewish neighborhood of oppressing the Arabs. At the end of the tours, the groups lead participants in physical attacks on resident Jews.

    In the interest of safety, police bar the tours. The organizations, however, successfully petition the Supreme Court. The Court usually rules that touring is a civil right, although it is clear that the tours are the venue for incitement to riot.

    Some Hebron Jews are using the same type of petition to ask the Court for permission to tour the 93% of Hebron that is in the P.A. and barred to Jews (Arutz-7, 7/2). The motive behind this petition is not stated.

    ISRAELI WELFARE BENEFITS FOR TERRORISTS

    The families of Israeli Arabs who murder Jews there receive survivor benefits from the country's social welfare system (Prof. Steven Plaut, 7/3).

    Three years ago, some anti-withdrawal demonstrators blocked a road. A non-participating youth on the sidewalk took photographs of them. Police beat that youth into unconsciousness. Although not convicted of anything, he was left with an unresolved police record. He had to struggle with the IDF to be allowed to enlist. He recently shot a rampaging terrorist in Jerusalem (IMRA, 7/3). Hero.

    Israel is rough on Jews, good to its Arab enemies.

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

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    STATE DEPARTMENT SELLING "MOSQUES IN AMERICA" CALENDAR
    Posted by Anne Lieberman, July 18, 2008.
     

    If anyone's interested, the U.S. State Department is selling a 2009 wall calendar of "Mosques in America" (in a limited edition for Ramadan) and trying to cover it up by erasing even the Google cache, etc.
    (http://bokertov.typepad.com/btb/2008/07/jaw-dropper-sta.html)

    Heath Kern Gibson is the Editor-in-Chief of Dipnote published by theState Department
    (http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/entries/state_department_social_media/)

    It may not be quite clear yet as to what impact social media will have exactly on foreign policymaking. What is evident, though, is that foreign policy does not operate in a vacuum, and it must incorporate or respond to changes in communications. We are interested in your thoughts on how social media –– how these changes in communication –– will affect foreign policymaking in the years ahead.

    UPDATE July 18, 10 AM EST:

    As luck would have it, the State Department –– at "Dipnotes," its official blog –– has invited the public to "Tell Us What You Think" about its "Social Media" efforts. Seems to me such a calendar would fit quite nicely into that category.

    UPDATE on the UPDATE 12:09PM EST:

    Well that's funny. I left a comment at Dipnote and it's not showing up –– yet they've published a comment from Syria, of all places.

    Hey, whose State Department is this, anyway?


    Todah to Devorah for bringing this jaw-dropper to my attention:

    Screen capture of State Department's offering of "Mosques of America" calendar (WND)

    From yesterday's Dhimmi Watch:
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/021807.php

    Available now: the State Department's 2009 Churches of America Calendar!

    From "Mosques of America" calendar (WND)

    Just kidding.

    But you can get this one: "2009 Mosques of America Wall Calendar: Limited Edition for Ramadan." Available from the U. S. State Department's "Global Publishing Solutions" department. (Thanks to Brian C. Ledbetter at Snapped Shot.
    http://www.snappedshot.com/archives/ 2443-State-Department-2009-Churches-of-America-Calendar.html)

    UPDATE: Brian notes that the page has been pulled since he put his notice up at Snapped Shot yesterday. I still had it open and was able to capture the mosque image, but sure enough, it's gone now. As Brian remarks, it seems that the wise "public servants" at State "get all nervous when We, The People actually notice" what they're doing.

    SECOND UPDATE: Here is the Google Cache page, and lest that disappear soon, here in two parts (top of the page and bottom of the page) is a screen capture of it.

    If you go to that screen capture of the bottom of the now-disappeared page, it says you can place your order by registering and logging in at their online Catalog Ordering System at http://gps.state.gov/shoponline/catalog

    and "for other related information, inquiries and follow-ups," contact GPS Customer Service at customerservice@gps.state.gov

    Customers may also fax number (632) 301-2989 "for immediate action."

    Please use the following stock number when ordering: M0535-E (2009 Mosques of America Wall Calendar)

    State_dept_bureau_of_administration


    Global Publishing Solutions (GPS) is part of the Information Sharing Services of the United States Department of State Bureau of Administration. Our main purpose is to provide the U.S. Department of State and other authorized U.S. government agencies with an economical source for print and pre-media solutions, with assurances for high quality and dependable worldwide delivery.

    In light of the Mosques calendar being scrubbed off the internet, it is especially ironic to note that the Bureau of Administration handles Freedom of Information requests for the State Department.
     

    AND THIS MAY BE OF INTEREST AS WELL:

    Global Publishing Solutions Awarded U.S. Department of State Printing Contract (October 2006):
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2006_Oct_23/ai_n27033199

    WASHINGTON –– Following a rigorous government selection process, the Department of State awarded a 10-year contract worth $164 million to its revamped in-house printing and publishing organization, Global Publishing Solutions (GPS). The award decision culminated an 18-month public-private competition, comparing the government's ability to provide a commercial service with the private sector bidders' ability to accomplish the same service. Competitive Sourcing is one of the five Government-wide initiatives of the President's Management Agenda, which is the Administration's strategy for improving the management and performance of the Federal government.

    The competition encompassed 199 positions, including Foreign Service, Civil Service, Foreign Service Nationals, and contractors. The Department expects to save approximately $80 million over the life of the contract as a result of this competition, with improved quality and increased capability to reach overseas audiences with America's message.

    ... The US Department of State requirements for publishing have changed dramatically over the years and especially under the current Administration.

    As part of her Global Diplomatic Repositioning Initiative, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has directed the Department to support developing nations as they work to become progressive democracies. In addition to moving hundreds of personnel from Europe and Washington to transitional countries and reallocating budgets to capture funds for the effort, the initiative also requires the best means of communicating America's message to developing nations, where computers are scarce and populations continue to rely on printed materials.

    To accommodate Rice's Transformational Diplomacy initiative, GPS has devoted many months and resources to evaluating best practice options. As part of this effort, GPS employs state-of-the-art strategies and counsel from one of the industry's pre-eminent experts, David Zwang....

    Bloggers are making a joke of this calendar business, and surely it's a great opportunity for that, but it doesn't strike me as very funny. I actually fear the State Department. If you can imagine.

    Anne Lieberman hosts the Boker Tov, Boulder website. This article is from
    http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/entries/state_department_social_media/

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    FROM ISRAEL: CONTEMPLATING
    Posted by Arlene Kushner, July 18, 2008.

    Karnit Goldwasser

    Here I include a photo of Karnit Goldwasser, whose words were so moving. It shouldn't change (appreciation to Michael P). Thank you for your patience, I'm learning...

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    When I cited Ofer Regev yesterday, I let his words stand on their own. I didn't feel it was my place to add comment when sharing words by a mourner at a funeral.

    But now I would like to go back to those words for just a moment. He said:

    "We lived in a world where we believed our enemy was exactly like us. We thought we could speak to people who also wanted to raise a child, grow a flower, love a girl, exactly like us. But the enemy proved it is not like us. And still, we will not stop trying."

    "And still, we will not stop trying." Our strength, perhaps, because we are a people eager to see good in others and filled eternally with hope for the future.

    But also, the way to our downfall. At some point it is incumbent upon us, if we value our own lives and our own security, and that of our children, to face squarely the reality of what our enemies are and to respond accordingly. We are way past that point now. True enough that our enemies do not simply want to raise children and grow flowers. They want us dead.

    "Trying" with such people puts us at a considerable disadvantage and makes us weak. It also makes no sense, if we really know better.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    For a video with comments on this by Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz, and shots of the funerals: click here.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Let's take a look at our enemy and what he's doing now. Yesterday, Samir Kuntar and the other four terrorists we released to Lebanon went to the grave of the top Hezbollah commander, Imad Mugniyah, who was assassinated a few months ago, in order to participate in a military ceremony on the site.

    Lebanese mass murderer Samir al-Kuntar at Wednesday's 'victory rally' in Beirut

    Wearing Hezbollah military uniforms, they walked down a red carpet that had been put out for them and saluted the grave. (See Lenny Ben-David's blog on this salute, which is so Nazi-like:
    http://lennybendavid.com:80/2008/07/that-mustache-that-salute.html.)

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    After kissing members of the Mugniyah family, Kuntar said to the assembled crowd:

    "This morning I heard that the enemy [Israel] has decided to assassinate me. This enemy knows me well and I want to answer it with two sentences: 'You threaten me with murder, when death is customary for us and a martyr's death is an honor from Allah?'" Addressing Mugniyah, he continued: "We swear in the name of the almighty Allah and in the name of your pure blood that we will continue in this path and never give up until we reach the place that was given to you by God [i.e., a 'martyr's death']."

    "Not like us" is an understatement. Celebrating death, they are the evil antithesis of all that we are, and we must never forget it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    As to hearing that we want to assassinate him, there is this:

    MK Yisrael Hasson (Yisrael Beiteinu), formerly a Shin Bet deputy director, gave an interview on the radio yesterday.

    "None of them [Hezbollah] will be absolved," he said. "Whoever bathed in Jewish blood, whoever attacked the honor and independence of the State of Israel, will not be able to tell their grandchildren anything, because they will never get to that stage.

    "I have no doubt that Nasrallah will not die a natural death. The State of Israel will settle its accounts with him. He knows that better than we do."

    Nasrallah is so aware of this that he spends most of his time in a bunker. And so will this be true with Kuntar. Others here have now spoken of our steadfast tradition of "eliminating" those who have gone free but need to be taken down because of what they've done to Israelis. One unnamed Israeli official reportedly said that "Israel will reach Kuntar and liquidate him," as the intelligence community will not rest until this is done. For all his bravado, this must make Kuntar a nervous man.

    Fervently do I pray that he should be dispatched speedily. Not only because this would be justice for Kuntar, but because it would begin to win us back some deterrence.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    In other respects as well, we are hardly done with our enemies in Lebanon. I have wanted for some days to write about Shaba farms, which has been in the news again. Now it is more pertinent than ever.

    When tentative outreach for peace negotiations with Lebanon was made by Israel last month, the issue of Shaba Farms was immediately raised by Lebanon. This is an area of 20 square miles that is on the on the far north-east of the Golan Heights, near the border between Syria and Lebanon (see map at
    http://www.palestinefacts.org/images/map_shaaba_farms.jpg). Israel took it from Syria along with the Golan in 1967. The area is mountainous and has strategic value.

    In 2000, we pulled out of the security strip in southern Lebanon and the UN certified that we were back to the international Blue Line and no longer on Lebanese land –– the UN declared Shaba Farms to be Syrian. Hezbollah, which had used our presence in southern Lebanon as a reason for attacks, then found a new reason –– claiming that we were occupying Lebanese territory with the farm area, which was theirs. That is a Lebanese position that has been maintained since, and the UN later backtracked on what it originally said.

    Aside from the fact that this area has strategic value and was secured in a defensive war, there is the over-riding issue that the international community perceives that each time we reach for peace we must whittle down our size. Not only does this become an infringement upon our rights, it is a never-ending process that would reduce us to a non-defensible area before long.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Now, with talk of negotiations with Lebanon, the EU suggested that Shaba Farms be turned over to the UN until there might be a resolution of various claims. This Israel has rejected, saying that this would permit Hezbollah access to the farms.

    But Rice has been pushing for us to turn it over directly to Lebanon, and I secured off-the-record information yesterday indicating that Olmert, while he is not saying so publicly, is inclined to go along in the (very mistaken) believe that this would bring quiet to our north.

    Last Sunday the new Lebanese president, Gen. Michel Sueleiman, made a statement at the Mediterranean conference in Paris that if the farms cannot be secured by negotiations, the Lebanese army will take this "Israeli-occupied land" by force. And indeed, the Lebanese army has built a road to within 300 meters of Shaba Farms and set up an outpost.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Add to this now one other factor:

    Kuntar, in his remarks at the military ceremony, mentioned Shaba:

    "This time yesterday I was in the hands of the enemy. But at this moment, I am yearning more than before to confront them...

    "Believe me –– anyone who thinks freeing the Shaba Farms...will end this conflict is delusional."

    "...the objective of the resistance is the Shaba farms, and what lies beyond the Shaba farms. This must be clear."

    ANY concession on Shaba will be an act of appeasement and make us weaker in our enemy's eyes. They will continue to find reasons to attack us. This is clear. They are now going after the Galil (the Galilee), claiming they have a right to seven villages there. It will not end until we finish Hezbollah, for their aim is our destruction, step by step.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    While the focus this week was on the Israeli sense of obligation to rescue soldiers, we must pray that the IDF is strengthening and planning and reviewing policy towards the day when we again do battle to the north, so that risk of capture of our soldiers is minimized and a true victory becomes a reality.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    It has now been reported that Hezbollah is buying land in villages in south Lebanon with non-Shiite majorities and using it to build military positions and store missiles and launchers. This is a new policy that will make attacking these sites even more difficult.

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

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    UNCOMMON SENATE HEARING DISCUSSES ISLAMIST GROUP AGENDAS
    Posted by Marc Samberg, July 18, 2008.
     

    This comes from the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT). Its website is at www.investigativeproject.org. The original article has live link to additional material. It is archived at
    http://www.investigativeproject.org/article/722

    IPT Executive Director Steven Emerson's report to the Committee –– Report on the Roots of Violent Islamist Extremism and Efforts to Counter It: The Muslim Brotherhood –– can be found on the IPT website.

     

    An open hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs bore witness to an unusually candid discussion about the Muslim Brotherhood's network in the United States. It was unusual in the respect that it was discussed at all. The fact that many major American Muslim organizations are derived from the Muslim Brotherhood is rarely addressed on Capitol Hill.

    The topic of the July 10 hearing was, "The Roots of Violent Islamist Extremism and Efforts to Counter It," and the subject most discussed was Islamist ideology as the root cause of terrorism. What made this hearing significant was the extent to which the U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood network was discussed in oral and written testimony –– largely by Zeyno Baran, senior fellow and director of the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute.

    Ms. Baran's central point was that, while not all Islamists will become terrorists, all Islamic terrorists begin with Islamist ideology. She cited the Muslim Brotherhood as the "prime example" of the spectrum of Islamist groups that, while differing in tactics, agree on their final goal: a world dominated by Islamic law, or Shariah. As such, Ms. Baran pointed out that there were inherent problems with the outreach policies of various government agencies. She specifically cited sensitivity training for the FBI run by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as "completely self-defeating" as FBI agents might be taught to be overly sensitive and may avoid asking certain questions during investigations that they should be asking.

    Ms. Baran elaborated on some of the precepts of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist movement dedicated to re-establishing the Caliphate. In doing so, she made a revealing comment on Islamist strategy in the West:

    The freedom and justice HT seeks by overthrowing democracy can often only be attained through violence. However, HT is not likely to take up terrorism itself. Terrorist acts are simply not part of its mission. HT exists to serve as an ideological and political training ground for Islamists. And I have called them a "conveyer belt to terrorism." In order to best accomplish this goal, HT will remain non-violent, acting within the legal systems of the countries in which it operates. The same can be said actually about many of the Islamist organizations, including the Brotherhood. These groups do not need to become terrorists because winning hearts and minds is far more effective in achieving the ultimate goal. But of course they do not rule out the use of force if they cannot establish their caliphate via non-violent means.

    She also painted a picture of the Brotherhood infrastructure in the United States:

    Following the bottom-up approach focusing on education, the first organizations created in America were the Muslim Student Associations (MSA), which are based in universities. After they graduated, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) was created in order to expand these radical ideas and extend the influence of Islamism beyond college campuses. In the 1980s, several other prominent Islamist organizations were created including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), and after Hamas was created in 1987 in Gaza, the IAP became its leading representative in North America.

    There are a whole set of other organizations that can be added to this list; I will just mention the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which I believe was created by MB to influence the US government, Congress, and NGOs, along with academic and media groups. Despite being founded by leading Islamists, CAIR has successfully portrayed itself as a mainstream Muslim organization over the past 15 years –– and has been treated as such by many US government officials, including Presidents Clinton and Bush.

    What is critically important in all these organizations is their support for one another; the same leaders appear in multiple organizations, tend to have familial relations, and move within the same close trusted circles.

    Why haven't these facts been subject to more open and public discourse on Capitol Hill and in the mainstream media? Ms. Baran answered that herself in her opening remarks:

    I understand that for most Americans, dealing with Islamism is extremely difficult because it is associated with Islam. Very few people dare to question the beliefs or actions of Muslims for fear of being called a bigot or an Islamophobe.

    As an observant Muslim herself, Ms. Baran is in a unique position to understand and appreciate the Islamist challenge facing America. Other witnesses before the committee, however, did not agree with her assessment. Dr. Peter P. Mandaville of George Mason University commented that some individuals associated with CAIR may share the Muslim Brotherhood ideology, but said that it would be "wrong to characterize the organization in its entirety" as a Muslim Brotherhood front group. Dr. Fathali M. Moghaddam of Georgetown University dismissed concerns about CAIR's sensitivity training, claiming that the FBI agents he has taught would not be affected by any excessive sensitivity (and incidentally came out with a ringing endorsement of a book by John Esposito, his colleague at Georgetown, and director of the university's Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding). Michael E. Leiter, the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, refused to condemn the FBI's outreach policy, claiming that outreach was critical. Mr. Leiter advocated full-spectrum outreach, even with those who might be anti-American, but drew the line before those who supported violence.

    In March, the IPT began to roll out an extensive profile on CAIR, noting its undeniable roots at a 1993 meeting of the U.S.-based Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood attended by CAIR's founders, Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad. The profile notes consistent support by CAIR officials and speakers at CAIR events for the use of violence and terrorism in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    By Mr. Leiter's logic, if it were established that CAIR, ISNA, and other American Islamist organizations supported violence in any part of the world, they should not be partners in outreach. Also, if outreach were to become "full-spectrum," as Mr. Leiter advocates, government agencies would have to move beyond the status quo, where all outreach is dominated by Islamist organizations to the detriment of other American Muslim organizations like the Islamic Supreme Council of North America, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, and the American Islamic Congress –– who are comparatively ignored by government officials.

    Hopefully the hearing and Ms. Baran's testimony will spark further debate in policy circles, in the media, and on the blogosphere.

    Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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    DINARS FOR DOLLARS: ARABS BUYING OUT COLLAPSING WESTERN BANKS
    Posted by Avodah, July 18, 2008.
     

    This was written by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and it appeared in Arutz-7
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/126866.

     

    (IsraelNN.com) First it was Citibank. Now it's Barclay's and New York City's Chrysler Building skyscraper. Muslim Arabs are buying out collapsing Western banks and businesses and gaining growing international power, but some Arab investors are worried their investments may go down the drain with the American economy.

    The current financial crisis in the United States has spread to other countries because of a massive debt that was not backed by enough real and liquid collateral. Banks and businesses gasping for financial breath are up for sale at basement prices, but no one is certain if the basement is the bottom.

    "The possibility remains that more Arab white knights will be sought to rescue ailing financial institutions," wrote Dr. Mohammed Ramady, a former banker and Visiting Associate Professor at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in the Financial Adviser magazine. He said he fears that Arab investors will end up chasing their investments with more money to keep them from going under.

    The Abu Dhabi Investment Council of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates kingdom of Abu Dhabi last November announced it was bailing out the mammoth Citibank financial institution, formerly headed by Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Stanley Fischer, with $7.5 billion.

    Next in line was Britain's Barclay's Bank, which raised $9 billion from investors in the oil-rich kingdom of Qatar and in Asian countries. The Abu Dhabi Investment Council last month forked out approximately $800 million for a 75 percent stake in New York City's 1,046-foot-tall Chrysler Building, which was the world's tallest building for a year until the Empire State Building surpassed it.

    The purchase of American banks by foreigners has been blocked in the past by security and political considerations, but the barriers have come down, wrote Dr. Ramady. "How long this lasts is only a matter of guesswork, as once again, the specter of foreign takeovers of 'national' symbols will be hard to accept," he added.

    The latest American symbol to go down the drain is the Anheuser-Busch beer brewer. The Times of London wrote, "The weak dollar and weak economy mean the United States is up for sale. Japs are conquering the car industry. Arabs just bought part of the Chrysler Building. Jeez, they even tried to buy the ports a while back. Whatever next? A hijab on the Statue of Liberty?"

    In a more serious vein, The Australian editor-at-large Paul Kelly wrote earlier this month that the foreign investments, headed by Arabs, signal a major change in international power.

    "The energy, financial and political woes that grip the U.S. signal a decisive shift in world power, mocking the liberal delusion that Barack Obama or John McCain can return American prestige and power to its pre-Bush year 2000 nirvana," he wrote.

    "There is no such nirvana. There is instead a new reality: the greatest transfer of income in human history [and] the rise of a new breed of wealthy autocracies that cripple U.S. hopes of dominating the global system and demands on the U.S. to make fresh compromises in a world where power is rapidly being diversified."

    Flynt Leverett, former director of Middle East Affairs on the National Security Council, thinks that "the international economic position of the United States has deteriorated substantially since the new millennium."

    In the current issue of The American Interest, Gal Luft, from the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, warned that OPEC's Arab countries could potentially buy the Bank of America with two months' worth of production and General Motors with six days' worth."

    The growing Arab takeover of American businesses continues unhindered. The giant Dow Chemical company and a Kuwaiti company have agreed to set up world headquarters for their joint petrochemical venture in Dearborn, Michigan, which has a high concentration of American Arabs.

    The Abu Dubai Investment Council years ago entered the international media business, buying a nine percent stake in Reuters News Agency, which usually reports with an open anti-Israeli bias.

    However, Abu Dhabi's' director of international affairs, Yousef al Otaiba, has reassured American officials that its purchase of Citibank will not be used to exert political pressure on the U.S. He wrote the Treasury Department, "It is important to be absolutely clear that the Abu Dhabi government has never and will never use its investment organizations or individual investments as a foreign policy tool."

    Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com

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    ISRAEL IS EXPRESSING ITS GRATITUDE TO THE WARRIORS OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
    Posted by Ted Belman, July 17, 2008.
     

    This is by Solly Ganor and comes from the Israpundit website
    http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=1575

     

    About months ago I received an invitation from the Minister of Defense Ehud Barak and the chief of the Israeli armed forces Gabi Ashkenazi. The invitation was for a meeting of the `warriors' of "Tashach", 1948 and it was in honor of 60th anniversary of the State of Israel and the War of Independence. We were to gather on June 1st seven p.m. at the camp of `Rabin', at the military establishment of the Kyria in Tel Aviv.

    What caught my eye was a sentence at the bottom of the invitation: " The State of Israel wants to tell you `Todah' Thank you."

    It has been a while since the State of Israel wanted to thank me for anything, so I decided to attend. I was curious if I would meet some of my old army buddies of the 7th brigade, the majority of which were at the time Mahal volunteers. They came mostly from English speaking countries and their contribution to the Israel's victory over the Arabs was never properly appreciated. I was also curious how many would be able to come. After all, most of us who fought in the war of Independence were In the late seventies or eighties and most of us fought in at least four subsequent wars as `Miluimniks' In those days they discharged you from the reserve duty when you were at least fifty or more.

    Approaching the Kyria on foot I could see them from a distance, a long line of people standing patiently, inching their way towards the entrance around the massive wall that surrounded the military establishment. As we came nearer we saw their wrinkled faces and gnarled hands, some of them barely able to walk, supporting themselves on canes, some were lead by young soldiers helping them along. They walked quietly and proudly trying to straighten out their bent bodies., They came from all over the country, men and women, to be together one more time and to accept the gratitude not only from the state of Israel but also from the people of the country. They looked anxiously around trying to spot long forgotten comrades, who helped them stem the tide of the Arab hordes that swooped down on the fledgling state to strangle it at its birth.

    Here and there we heard joyous shouts of people who found each other hugging and kissing.

    We finally made it inside. The compound was huge! Thousands of plastic chairs were spread out in front of a stage where a military band were playing tunes we sang in 1948.

    From here we were to hear the speeches by the dignitaries.

    Was I surprised? Not really. After all, these were the people who stopped the combined Arab armies with their bodies, as they had few weapons to fight with.

    No, I wasn't really surprised at their tenacity and determination. Without these old timers, Ben Gurion could have proclaimed the establishment of Israel until he was blue in the face, Israel wouldn't have survived. In May 1945, when the British were departing from Palestine, Robert Kennedy, came as a young correspondent for the Boston Post. In one of his dispatches he wrote: "Jews make up for lack of arms with undying spirit and unparalleled courage. "

    Ironically, senator Robert Kennedy was years later assassinated by a Palestinian named Sirhan, B.Sirhan. He claimed that he did it for his country.

    I was glad that I came to be among these people with "the undying spirit and unparalleled courage." As Robert Kennedy put it.

    My memory took me back to the immigrant ship `Pan York', loaded with two thousand men, women and children from the DP camps of Europe, survivors of the Holocaust.

    There were also young men from Canada, US and England who came to join the Israeli Defense Forces that were in the middle of a life and death struggle against the combined 7 Arab armies. It was August 1948, three months after the state was declared.

    I remember the day when we sighted the Carmel hills surrounded by an early morning mist.

    Then as the sun rose in the East the mist lifted and we saw the white houses of Haifa stretching from the sea to the Carmel like some three thousand year old apparition that endless generations of Jews dreamt of. We all stood on the deck in total silence and then one of us began singing the Hatikvah and we all joined and the sound carried far across the quiet water.

    At that moment we knew that we came here to lay our lives down if necessary to fulfill a two thousand year old dream; the rebirth of our ancient home.

    Many of us who were on that ship did lay their lives down in the defense of this country.

    As I sat among my comrades in arms sixty years later and heard Ehud Barak and Gabi Askenazi thanking us in the name of the nation, I thought of those who died for this country, some of whom were the last members of whole families who died in the Holocaust. The thanks and our gratitude belongs to them.

    We would be amiss if we wouldn't express our thanks and gratitude to the Mahal volunteers who gave their lives for this country. They came as volunteers from all over the world, South Africa, the US, England and many other countries to fight in the war of Independence and more than a hundred of them died defending it.
    Herzelia June 13, 2008

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

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    FROM ISRAEL: THE DAY AFTER
    Posted by Arlene Kushner, July 17, 2008.
     

    I wrote yesterday that, while I absolutely believe the prisoner trade that was made yesterday should never have happened (and that opinion holds!), I acknowledge the reality and enormity of the pain of the families involved, who are now able to have closure.

    What we're seeing with them is a demonstration of the sterling character of the people of the nation.

    I focus first on the words of the Goldwasser family, at the funeral of Ehud this morning at the Nahariya Military Cemetery.

    Shlomo, Miki, and Karnit...

    His widow, Karnit, spoke directly to him:

    "On the twelfth of July, at nine hours and six minutes, time stopped. A journey began for you and me –– for us, the family, and for the entire country. Now you and I move on to the next journey, the journey of my life. You will be a full partner in it, you will continue to be my inner voice, eternally young, accompanying me throughout my life. It will be lived without you, but forever you will be there.

    "My love, they say that time heals and covers wounds. Is that so? Two years have passed since that one moment when, with a wave of a knife, the artery of our life together was cut. That moment, the worst of all, was turned into a horrible reality; a reality which forced all of us to sink into a dark and complicated world.

    "Please forgive me, my darling husband, for not [talking about] your many virtues here, those which accompanied me every step of the way during the struggle for your return. This isn't the place to do that.

    "With your permission, the personal farewell I'll do in my own time."

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Micki Goldwasser, the mother of Ehud, refused to cry at the funeral, declaring that she would save the crying for later. She said:

    "We have discovered this nation to be a wonderful nation. We have found bereaved families with superior mental fortitude, we have found generosity. We have found the spirit of volunteering, the meaning of the word friendship. This is an amazing nation.

    "I would like to salute the Arad family. I would like to salute the members of the Shahar family –– it took great strength for them to come. And in particular, I would like to salute a great woman who has been my inspiration by standing up to all horrors with her head held high –– Smadar Haran."

    [Eliyahu Shahar was one of the policemen killed by Kuntar during his rampage. And it was the husband and young daughter of Smadar who were massacred by Kuntar –– Smadar's ability to go on with her life has been a model of extraordinary strength and courage. For all of these people the return of Kuntar in this exchange was a grievous thing.]

    "I turn to the Jewish nation and ask you to hold your head high in national pride."

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Eldad Regev was buried this afternoon at the Haifa Military Cemetery. At his funeral, his brother Ofer –– seen below with his brother Eyal, partially obscured, and his father, Tzvi, saying Kaddish –– delivered these words:

    "We lived in a world where we believed our enemy was exactly like us. "We thought we could speak to people who also wanted to raise a child, grow a flower, love a girl, exactly like us. But the enemy proved it is not like us. And still, we will not stop trying.

    "I stand here today sad, crying, but proud; proud of my country that fought with me to bring you back, proud of every citizen who thought of you, Eldad, as his brother. I'm proud to belong to those who love and not to those who hate. And to the entire nation who paid a high price with clenched teeth, they know that camaraderie has no price.

    "Every Hebrew mother should know that the fate of her sons, even if they are taken hostage, lies in the hands of commanders who will not rest and never give up until they return.

    "I am proud of you my little brother, a man of many talents, a lover of literature and soccer. A true patriot both on the front lines and in everyday life, during reserve duty or in the volunteer work you carried out."

    Eyal Regev, Eldad's other brother, quoted something that Eldad had written on Yom HaZikaron (Remembrance Day), before he was captured: "Maybe there is eventual comfort and hope, and remembrance and faith are not for nothing."

    "My Eldad," said Eyal,"may your memory be blessed."

    Eldad Regev's father Tzvi and...

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Herb Keinon, writing in the Jerusalem Post, attempted to explain what has happened here in the last few days:

    "Much of what makes Israel unique and different needs to be understood to explain the grisly prisoner exchange that took place on Wednesday. Israel freed a child-murderer and four prisoners of war, along with nearly 200 bodies of assorted terrorists and infiltrators, for coffins bearing the remains of two IDF reservists.

    "No other country in the world would have made such a deal. But no other country in the world bears the scars that Israel does, nor the almost absolute knowledge that there will be other wars to fight in this generation, and that people we all know will be called upon to do the fighting...

    "Israel's ethos of never leaving a soldier behind also comes, to a great degree, from a sense of communal obligation following the Holocaust –– a feeling that whenever Jews are in danger, everything, but everything, must be done to try to save them, if only because so little was done back then.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Perhaps this is so, and undoubtedly there is some truth in this. There is no question but that we value life and the preciousness of each individual as no other people.

    But if there is a communal obligation for each life, there is also the obligation to not put lives of our soldiers at unnecessary risk, and I suggest that this what this trade has done: for we've delivered a message that will encourage further kidnappings.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    This is what an anguished Naomi Ragen wrote yesterday regarding this very issue:

    "What can we do? [we hear] We are civilized and they are not. We care about our soldiers and their families.

    "No, I'm afraid you do not. If you cared, then you would have a death penalty for people like Kuntar, so that they too can be released in caskets...

    "...Civilized is not a moral value, because we all know what Western civilization is capable of. Concentration camps. Civilian round-ups, the gassing of children...On the other hand, the moral thing to do to a tried and convicted murderer like Kuntar is to spill his blood, because he has spilled the blood of others. That may not fit in with current civilized niceties, but let no one say it is immoral.

    "When it comes to immoral, to release Kuntar to a hero's welcome and the opportunity to murder others is on the top of the scale...

    "If we cared about our soldiers, we would not be showing our enemies that kidnapping and terrorism pay. We would not be setting the stage for the next murderous terrorist raid and hostage standoff. We would be passing laws with a mandatory death penalty for convicted terrorists with blood on their hands...Then, we would be cutting off all water and electricity to Gaza until Gilad Shalit is released. If that didn't work, we'd begin executions within one week, increasing the number convicted terrorists facing firing squads with each passing day until Gilad is returned to us safe and sound. And if that didn't work, we would begin daily bombings of Gaza, with the same number and frequency of attacks that our own city Sderot has suffered over the past three years from the Gazans. Not civilized? Perhaps. But moral. Extremely moral.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Just perhaps, with this posting I have shared a bit of the anguish of our nation right now.

    There will be other days for discussing other issues.

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

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    ISRAEL, FRANCE SLAMMED FOR 'ENDING SYRIA'S ISOLATION'
    Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, July 17, 2008.
     

    This was written by Aaron Klein and are from WND's Jerusalem Bureau
    (http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=69751).

     

    Lebanese leader: 'They opened the doors of Europe to this wrecker'  

    By conducting diplomacy with Syria, France and Israel have "opened the doors of Europe" to Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been working to destabilize Lebanon, charged Lebanon's Druze leader Walid Jumblatt in an interview with WND yesterday.

    "They have opened the door to Europe freely to Assad without mentioning his wrecking of Lebanon and the Hariri tribunal," said Jumblatt, head of the Progressive Socialist Party and considered one of the most prominent pro-democracy politicians in Lebanon.

    Jumblatt was referring to an international tribunal to try the murderers of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who was assassinated in February 2005 in a car bomb blast widely attributed to Syria.

    "I don't understand French policy. I am afraid Assad is now at ease, waiting for new a administration in the United States. President Bush will leave and then the isolation that was around Bashar will be over," Jumblatt said.

    Last weekend, Assad attended a French-initiated regional conference at which financial deals with Syria were discussed. French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised to make a state visit to Damascus in September or October and to send a delegation of high-level businessmen and legislators to Syria in next month –– a major blow to U.S.-imposed sanctions against Damascus.

    Assad's invitation to France was issued immediately after it was announced in May that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was conducting indirect talks with Syria regarding renewing negotiations over an Israeli retreat from the Golan Heights.

    The Syrian talks with Israel are widely credited with partially ending a U.S.-imposed policy of isolating the Assad regime, specifically in bringing about French and greater European diplomacy with Syria.

    While he had harsh words for Israeli and French diplomacy with Damascus, Jumblatt praised an Israeli prisoner exchange deal with the Hezbollah terror group that it set to take place today.

    "Look, even though we are at adds with Hezbollah, they did their job precisely and they did succeed. Now they are getting paid," Jumblatt told WND.

    In the controversial deal, Olmert's government agreed to release Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar and four captured Lebanese guerrillas in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah in a 2006 raid.

    Kuntar, considered a hero in the greater terrorist community, is currently serving four life sentences in an Israeli prison for murdering four Israelis in a 1979 terror attack in northern Israel.

    He reportedly sent Hezbollah a letter from his Israeli prison cell indicating he would like to join the Lebanese terror group once he is released from Israeli prison.

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

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    LONDON THINK-TANK TO FIGHT ANTISEMITISM
    Posted by Simon McIlwaine, July 17, 2008.
     

    This was written by Jonny Paul, Jerusalem Post correspondent and it appeared yesterday. It is archived at
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215330995096&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

     

    "The academic boycott of Israel is ignorant on so many different levels; it's ignorant, as it will achieve nothing, it's ignorantly ineffective, it's ignorantly motivated and it's driven by politics," UK Minister for Europe Jim Murphy said this week at the launch of a new think-tank dedicated to examining the growth and development of anti-Semitism in the world today.

    Speaking at the launch of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism (EISCA) in Parliament, Murphy highlighted the extremes of both Left and Right, and spoke about the legitimization of contemporary anti-Semitism by other faiths.

    EISCA director Dr. Winston Pickett said the institute's goal was "to become a leading think-tank on anti-Semitism, generating new strategies to counter and overcome it. Its research trajectory seeks to analyze anti-Semitism as a global phenomenon with deep historical roots and a resilient ability to adapt to present circumstances.

    "Our aim is to provide clear thinking on anti-Semitism –– and this means regarding it as central to understanding contemporary prejudice and racial hatred today."

    In keeping with this goal, Pickett said, the think-tank plans to offer a Web-based network for the most comprehensive scholarship in the field and toward solutions-oriented research that explores ways to address anti-Semitism in all its forms.

    At the launch, Murphy enumerated two motives behind right-wing anti-Semitism: the tangible hatred of "the other" and the conspiracy theories of influence, which he said the far Left had also utilized.

    "For the extreme Left, I would argue it is their unresolved relationship with Israel which drives their philosophy," he said. "The idealistic dreams of Israel as a potentially enduring socialist and collectivist state were strong. But particularly during Israel's second decade as a state, some international anti-imperialists came to a different conclusion. Israel's relationship with the US was part of this. And for a tiny minority, anti-Israelism took on an air of anti-Semitism."

    Murphy stressed that "being critical of Israel in no way makes you an anti-Semite, any more than Zionism equals racism." But he said there were those who had "gone beyond criticism of Israel into the entirely darker sphere of anti-Semitism."

    "Once you set aside the legitimate criticisms people have of Israel, then you can only come to one conclusion, which is, for the vocal minority, [that] they are driven by anti-Semitism," he said.

    Murphy also talked about the anti-Semitism championed in the Islamic world.

    "In addition to the anti-Semitism of political extremes, there is also, of course, the anti-Semitic pulse from a minority in the Islamic world," he said. "President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad of Iran is the highest-profile proponent, but he is not alone. Sections of the Islamic media tolerate and on occasion advocate anti-Semitism."

    Murphy called for wider research on anti-Semitism and talked about the need to be much better at collecting statistics on anti-Semitic incidents throughout Europe. He made it clear that the British government was fully committed to supporting the new initiative and had already provided some financing for the think-tank, via a £20,000 grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government, to publish a report later this year on anti-Semitic discourse, stemming from a key recommendation of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism.

    "Our commitment is absolute," he said. "That is the reason we welcomed the All-Party Inquiry into Anti-Semitism and its important recommendations to the police, the Home Office, government departments, schools and universities on steps to take to monitor anti-Semitism better and to reduce levels of abuse. In particular, the report calls for further research on the correlation between conflict in the Middle East and attacks on the Jewish community."

    Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Stephen Pollard, chairman of EISCA, said he felt Murphy's speech set down an important marker.

    "Jim Murphy stressed that the government is committed to leading the fighting against anti-Semitism," he said. "That is good news, but it is terrible that in the modern world such a commitment is necessary. That is why EISCA has been formed –– to study, analyze and act against the roots of contemporary anti-Semitism."

    Simon McIlwaine is with Anglican Friends of Israel (www.anglicanfriendsofisrael.com). Contact him at Simon.McIlwaine@ormerods.co.uk

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    HEROES, THEN AND NOW
    Posted by Judy Lash Balint, July 17, 2008.
     

    The Exodus, July 1947

    Yesterday, as two shiny black coffins passed from Lebanon to Israel, and murderer Samir Kuntar appeared in his "commando" uniform at a festive welcoming ceremony in Lebanon it was hard to accommodate the welter of emotions that flowed during one of Israel's darkest days in recent memory.

    But, as with every traumatic event here, there are points of such stark illuminating light that always occur among the simple people, not the so-called "leaders," which enable us to retain our pride and faith in the ultimate destiny of the country.

    Eldad Regev, 28, and Udi Goldwasser, 31, were both "miluimnikim" –– reservists who spend around a month every year serving with their army units. When they were abducted they were fulfilling their reservist obligations. Yesterday, as the coffins containing their remains were returned, the members of Eldad and Udi's reserve unit were waiting at a nearby army base. Shlomi, a soft-spoken member of the unit in his mid-thirties, choked back tears as he told reporters that=2 0all the men would continue to serve, "with the spirit of Udi and Eldad accompanying us all the way." While accusing Hezbollah of "playing with us" by withholding information about Regev and Goldwasser for two years even till the last moments before the exchange, Shlomi acknowledged that the tears he and his friends could now openly shed would be not only tears of sadness but "tears of memory."

    At the moment that the coffins were removed from the black vans on the Lebanese side, a rabbi at the Regev home in Kiryat Motzkin quietly lit two memorial candles in the stairwell of the apartment building underneath pictures of the two kidnapped soldiers. Neighbors and friends sobbed as reality finally hit home.

    Sadly, halachic input has been sorely lacking from the Israeli debate over the lop-sided exchange –– not a word was heard from either of Israel's chief rabbis, Yonah Metzger or Shlomo Amar, causing many of us to ask, once again, just why our tax shekels continue to subsidize the anachronistic institution of the chief rabbinate, who are shunned by the ultra-orthodox world and ignored by secular Israelis.

    It was left to prominent Israeli human rights lawyer, Justus Weiner, a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs where I work, to weigh in on the halachic and international law implications of the exchange. (See http://tinyurl.com/5vyqul for the full article)

    A few hours before the exchange took p lace, I received an e mail notification about the second yahrzeit ceremonies of Benji Hillman z"tl, son of friends in Raanana, who was killed early on in the war at age 26, just three weeks after his wedding, sent to battle in order to redeem Regev and Goldwasser whom we now know were already dead.

    Most years in mid-July, Jews are in the midst of the Three Weeks that lead up to Tisha B'Av, the day that commemorates the series of disasters that befell the Jewish people on and around this date since the destruction of the Temple. This year being a leap year in the Jewish calendar, we're not into that period yet. Still, on the secular calendar, this week marks the 61st anniversary of the date when the Exodus, packed with 4500 Holocaust survivors aboard, limped into Haifa harbor after having been boarded by British authorities resulting in the death of three passengers. As the British sought to send the Jews back to France, from where they had set sail, the defiant survivors refused to disembark and started a 24 day hunger strike that eventually led to members of the UN Special Committee on Palestine influencing their colleagues in New York to put the partition plan to a vote. That decision, taken in November 1947, of course, led to the creation of the state of Israel in May 1948.

    In Jerusalem last night, just hours after we had all witnessed the heart-sickening spectacle at the Lebanese border, a few hundred people gathered to relive the heroism and single-minde d Zionism of the Exodus. Yes, it may have been the fictional account –– in the form of the 1960 film Exodus starring Paul Newman, but nevertheless, reality seeped in, as it tends to in Jerusalem. In the audience at the auditorium of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center were several passengers from the real Exodus; the daughter of Yossi Harel, the commander of the Exodus who died a few months ago and veteran Jewish journalist, Ruth Gruber, 96, who covered the story in 1947.

    We gasped as we saw the exact spot where we were sitting depicted in one scene, and murmured as we recognized familiar spots in Jerusalem in their 1960 state. Otto Preminger had apparently spent 13 weeks filming in Israel using 4000 extras for the epic three and a half hour movie. The head of MGM came from Los Angeles to present the Israeli film archive with a newly restored version of the film, which was the one screened last night.

    Today, Udi and Eldad will be buried in the north at funerals attended by tens of thousands of mourners. They and their dignified families are the heroes of Israel, 2008, along with the 157 Israelis, soldiers and civilians killed in the Second Lebanon War. If only their sacrifice would lead to something as momentous as the founding of the state.

    Judy Lash Balint is an award-winner investigative journalist and author of "Jerusalem Diaries: In Tense Times" (Gefen). It is available for purchase from www.israelbooks.com. Contact her at judy.balint@gmail.com

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    HAMAS TV BUNNY ASSUD SENTENCED TO HAVE HAND CHOPPED OFF FOR STEALING
    Posted by Marc Samberg, July 17, 2008.
     

    From http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a5b_1216298738
    http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1814.htm

    Aired on Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas/Gaza) –– July 11, 2008:
    Hamas TV Bunny Assud Is Tempted by Satan to Steal and Is Sentenced by Children Viewers to Have His Hand Chopped Off:

    Following are excerpts from a Hamas children's show, titled "The Pioneers of Tomorrow," which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on July 11, 2008.

     

    Assud the bunny: In the name of Allah, I hope my dad doesn't see me. God, make him go on sleeping, while I take one or two bills. There's his stash of money... Man, there is so much money here... No, I must put it back. Stealing is forbidden.

    Satan: No, no... What are you doing, Assud?No, ASsud, I promised you that nobody would see you or know about this. Take one or two bills. Don't be afraid, Assud.

    Assud: Okay, I'll just take one... Actually, I'll take two.

    Satan: No, take three.

    [...]

    Voice of girl: Assud, you were wrong to follow Satan, who is the source of all problems. In addition, you caused problems between your parents. You have no right to cause such a great problem. Don't you know that stealing leads to Hell. The Prophet Muhammad said: "If my daughter Fatima had stolen, I would have chopped off her hand." If you were in Saudi Arabia now, they would chop off your hand. Allah said in the Koran: "As for a thief, male or female, cut off their hands: A punishment by example, for their crime."

    [...]

    Child TV host Saraa: What do you think about what Assud did?

    Asmaa: It was wrong, because "as for a thief, male or female, cut of their hands."

    Assud: Oh my God! You say that my hand should be chopped off, Asmaa?

    Asmaa: Yes.

    Assud: You think my hand should be chopped off?

    Asmaa: What?

    Assud: You want my hand to be chopped off?

    Asmaa: Yes.

    [...]

    Nur: The Prophet Muhammad said: "If my daughter Fatima had stolen, I would have chopped off her hand.

    Assud: So if Saraa were to steal, her hand should be chopped off, right?

    Nur: No.

    Assud: When you were little, didn't you ever steal a shekel or something?

    Nur: No, because Allah is watching me.

    Saraa: Nur, do you think we should go ahead and chop off Assud's hand now?

    Assud: No, no. Saraa, I'm begging you...

    Nur: Saraa, he has repented and promised never to do it again, then that's it.

    Saraa: Well, if we don't chop off his hand, maybe we should chop off his ear?

    Assud: No, please, no, I'm begging you...

    Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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    ISRAEL'S NEW SECURITY LAW; WHY OIL PRICES ARE HIGH; IRAN TOYS WITH WEST
    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 17, 2008.
     

    FOREIGN AID TO P.A. & WAR

    Foreign aid to the P.A. strongly correlates with war. The aid enables the P.A. to concentrate on jihad and ignore domestic problems with the economy and corruption. This is all the more true as the foreign donors distribute the funds without requiring that the funds be kept from war [and the P.A. stop its war].

    Yes, the P.A. uses the funds to pay employees. However, it hires terrorists as police. That means violence. Bloating its staff It also means greater expenses and pleas for more donations. [Are the donors suckers or they want terrorism?]

    Much of the violence from P.A. terrorists is done in the name of organizations not part of the P.A.. [But they are indulged by the P.A., contrary to P.A. agreements to crack down on terrorism.] Members of those organizations often also belong to P.A. forces. Thus, even when the P.A. does not direct them to terrorize, it pays their living so they can be free to commit terrorism. The P.A. and Abbas' organization, Fatah, however, cooperate with Hamas. The P.A. turns some donations over to Hamas, ostensibly to run the government in Gaza. That is money that Hamas can free up to commit war.

    Foreign donors say the primary goal is to support moderation. Moderation doesn't increase. [How can it, when the aid finances Islamist education and terrorism?] Nor does the subsidized P.A. regime fully control Fatah and perhaps the security forces (MEFNews, 6/30). The "moderates" pay the extremises.

    ISRAEL'S NEW SECURITY LAW

    The Knesset passed a law barring recent visitors to enemy states from serving in the Knesset. The MKS who passed it do not want enemy sympathizers legislating. Some Arab MKs would not be allowed to win the next election. Arab MKs, however, claim that the vote was not sufficient to overcome the Basic Law, which, they further claim, gives them the right to visit relatives abroad and to plump for peace there. They will appeal to the Supreme Court (IMRA, 7/1). The Arabs' excuse is not relevant to the security law.

    How the Arabs affirm constitutional rights that, on taking power, they would deny others! The Supreme Court may well rule in their behalf, because the Court is anti-Zionist. The Court puts Arab welfare ahead of national security [and the Muslims put national insecurity ahead of their welfare]. The Court also rules on the basis of what it likes, rather than on the basis of enforcing the law.

    Countries normally have restrictions on aiding the enemy. Arab MKs have gone to foreign countries and, far from plumping for peace, have encouraged the foreign countries to keep up their attacks on Israel.

    OLMERT LIES ABOUT TRUCE

    PM Olmert told his people that the truce with Hamas does not allow Hamas to strengthen itself against Israel. But it does. It does not forbid Hamas to manufacture weapons, fortify Gaza, or train troops. Hamas is not supposed to smuggle weapons and Egypt is supposed to stop them. Not likely.

    Why does Olmert misinform them? Does he think they don't know what is in the truce, or doesn't he know? Neither possibility inspires confidence (IMRA, 7/1).

    WHY OIL PRICES ARE HIGH

    Oil extracting countries don't auction their oil. They accept the going price. The going price follows the price of oil futures, which are financial instruments, not physical markets of oil. Oil futures have been speculated upwards.

    The answer is to set up auctions, not to curb speculation. Speculation has a legitimate market function when there is a physical market (IMRA, 7/1). Actually, this subject is very complicated, and economists are poor at identifying and explaining the several causes of the problem, including American profligacy. There is no one answer.

    GOVERNMENT ADMITS BIAS AGAINST HEBRON JEWS

    The Israeli regional police chief of Hebron admitted to the Knesset that for years, his police have had special squads to investigate every complaint against Hebron Jews, no matter how minor, and to very strictly enforce the law against Jews there (Hebron Jewish Community, 7/1). Since there are no special squads to investigate every complaint against Arabs and to very strictly enforce the law against Jews, the chief was admitting to official bias against Hebron Jews.

    This means that official reports over-emphasize alleged problems with Hebron Jews and probably under-emphasize problems with Arabs. My sources revealed this years ago. The NY Times does not allude to that bias against Hebron Jews. It does not admit that the government of Israel is anti-Zionist and anti-religious.

    Since the media does not report this discrimination against Hebron Jews, how much credence should we give reports of Hebron Jews attacking Arabs? How would the harassed and closely watched Hebron Jews dare to do such a thing, even if of a mind to? The Left must be slandering Hebron Jews. It's shameful.

    INFLATION IN PRISONER EXCHANGE

    Hamas declared it will exploit Israel's willingness to release many Arab prisoners for few Israeli ones, in making its own deal with Israel. Olmert said he just wanted to bring "the boys home" (IMRA, 7/1). Not the boys, but their bones. That doesn't justify a lopsided exchange. The Arabs notice Olmert's weakness.

    IRAN TOYS WITH WEST

    Iranian officials criticized the government for intemperate language. They warned that more diplomatic language would enable it to thwart Iran's enemies. Those who counsel the use of moderate language do not oppose Iran's extremist goals. They just find diplomatic language more practical in that it doesn't alarm the West. They mean by enemies of Iran the enemies that Iran chooses in the service of jihad. Iran recently muted its language against the West and for its self-proclaimed right to develop nuclear energy (violating signed agreements not to do so for military usage). Iran also expresses interest in the latest offer from the West, after having spurned others.

    I think that is not sincere. The West had become more determined to confront Iran's nuclear development forcefully enough to curb it. Hence Iran turns back to diplomacy. Its nuclear development continues, gaining time while the duped West thinks that it might have some opportunity to negotiate a peaceful resolution. Since the West is not talking them out of their fanatical religious conviction, it can't convince them with arguments outside of religion.

    Pres. Bush says he has not withdrawn consideration of military means of stopping Iran, but prefaces that by stating his priority is diplomacy. Diplomacy is not taken seriously by Iran. It does not want to negotiate a solution. How can there be a solution, when the West is not committing grievances against Iran, and Iran's interest is in conquering the West? How does one solve the imperialist's wish to dominate? Not by discussion. One either defeats and reforms the imperialist or gets conquered.

    Would those Westerners who call for diplomacy and only diplomacy suggest what arguments might prevail, other than payments that we can no longer afford and Iran no longer needs? Iran never left its stance of pride, aggression, and paranoia. Would Westerners define how long we should rely on diplomacy, taking a chance that Iran meanwhile will have developed nuclear devices before we realize it?

    Westerners call for diplomacy blindly. They lack a sense of practicality and responsibility. They engage in wishful thinking. They can't face reality.

    ESTABLISHMENT BLUNDER

    When fluoridation was proposed, the recommended dose was 1 milligram. Researchers thought that more than 1 milligram is dangerous, and less than that, ineffective. Why does this proposed medical dosage alone lack a margin between safety and efficacy? The 1 milligram was to come in the 4 glasses of water that they thought people drink. I just saw a medical video recommend, for general health, 8 glasses of water. That would double the supposedly safe amount of fluoride. Its safety is not tested and was not tested. (I read all the fluoride experiments, only one tested for medical effects, only for children meaning no long-term diseases discernable, especially after that test had first ruled out ill children.)

    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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    CALLING THE BLUFF
    Posted by David Frankfurter, July 17, 2008.
     

    The tragic close to the abduction of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser brings to our whole nation a deep sense of grief, loss and frustration. It also brings a sense of dismay and foreboding. How will we now deal with the realities of negotiating with Hamas for the return of Gilad Shalit? Have we increased the risk and price of further abductions by taking what many perceived as the only possible and moral course of action?

    But grief, dismay and foreboding will not bring Gilad home, nor prevent further abductions. Is there a solution?

    Palestinian treatment of our prisoners and their attacks on civilians launched from civilian neighbourhoods constitute severe breaches of the Geneva Conventions and are clear war crimes. And yet our enemies constantly distort the language and terms of human rights and international law to demonize Israel. It is time to call the Palestinian bluff.

    Israel should declare that –– after years of this demonization and years of our enemies playing with our emotions over Ron Arad, Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser, Gilad Shalit, Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz, Tvi Feldman and Guy Hever –– it is acting against the Palestinian breaches of international law.

    With no further notice, all Palestinian security prisoners should be denied all access by third parties –– International Committee of the Red Cross, journalists, families –– anyone. Once a prisoner is taken, his whereabouts, condition, status or even the fact of his confinement will not be confirmed or denied. Access to judicial process will be granted, but only to the point that arrest and confinement is proven legal, and to the extent that legal counsel accepts these new rules, and agrees not to leak any information except as necessary to conduct a proper defence. All other contact with the outside world, stipends from foreign governments or the Palestinian Authority, cash, gifts, letters from any source will be forbidden. All opportunities for study, or any other form of advancement or entertainment will be prevented. These people will be held prisoner under the same conditions as our boys. As soon as the fate of our missing soldiers is satisfactorily resolved; as soon as those still alive are treated according to international conventions; as soon as the Palestinians cease their war crimes, we will return to the natural compliance with those rules that we believe in and have complied with for the last 60 years.

    Illegal? No doubt there will be immediate appeals to the High Court. No doubt there will be international pressure. The Government must not falter. It must immediately prepare the necessary emergency legislation to allow this track. It must filibuster and delay until it can be achieved.

    We must let the world know that we are no longer prepared to be victims of its double standards.

    David Frankfurter is a business consultant, corporate executive and writer who frequently comments on the Middle East. To subscribe to his 'Letter from Israel', email him at david.frankfurter@gmail.com. This essay is archived at
    http://www.dfrankfurter.livejournal.com/115165.html.

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    THE BANKS ARE BAMBOOZLING US AGAIN
    Posted by Daniel Doron, July 17, 2008.
     

    This appeared yesterday in Jerusalem Post.

     

    With the unveiling of the much lauded reform in the fees and commissions charged by the banks it is becoming evident that the banks, with their powerful lobbyists and guardians in the bureaucracy, have managed once again to sidetrack essential reforms by offering insignificant concessions. As Zvi Lavi of Ynet has pointed out, instead of focusing efforts on completing the reform in the still concentrated banking sector; instead of making the very wasteful management of the banks efficient –– the highly touted Knesset reform merely consolidated 198 confusing fees to "only" 72, lowering the cost of very few. The reduction is in marginal fees, while the basic fees paid by households and small businesses are going to rise considerably and so will the interest spreads charged on loans. Some reform.

    A sensational expose in Yediot Aharonot's June 27 Friday magazine charged the banks with fixing the price of their fees, thus extorting from their customers billions of shekels in excessive fees. Excessive fees, however, serious as they may be, are not the root cause of the banks' troubles. They tell only one-third of the story.
     

    THE DIRECT costs of running the banks are a staggering NIS 25 billion a year. These costs are covered by NIS 14b. earned from the inflated fees, about a third of the banks' profits. The banks make an additional NIS 22b. in interest margins by paying savers less than market interest on their savings and by charging usurious interest to families and small businesses on overdrafts and loans. Surprisingly, this enormous interest income was totally ignored by the Knesset. The low interest the bank duopoly has been paying savers resulted in a huge transfer of wealth from middle-class savers to the few families controlling the banking sector.

    The banks employ 40,000 workers at an annual cost of NIS 15b. Average cost per employ is NIS 350,000, three times the NIS 100,000 cost of other workers. These outrageous salaries were extracted by the bank workers union with the help of the Histadrut and other monopoly unions when the banks were nationalized. The banks' managements cooperated because keeping the workers happy enabled them to take huge salaries and perks for themselves.

    The banks have a thousand branches and costly, fragmented information systems that require thousands of maintenance workers. These branches and information systems cost NIS 10b. a year. The banks have to make around 12% return on their capital of about NIS 60b. –– an additional NIS 7b. They pay about NIS 4b. in income tax. In total the banks have to make at least NIS 36b. to cover costs. They simply cannot make such profits without overcharging, a fact overlooked by the Knesset.

    The bankers and their lobbyists and PR agents managed to focus the public debate and the Knesset's attention on only a small part of the problem, the excessive costs of some fees and commissions. Even in regard to the fees and commissions attention was focused on the fees for managing a bank account. These fees provide the banks only 3%-4% of their income, but they distracted attention from the much costlier fees and commissions and from the exorbitant interest the banks charge on loans and the low interest they pay, far more important issues.
     

    SOME KNESSET members believe that the solution to the banking scandal is to fix the cost of fees and commissions by law. Others believe that only more stringent regulation can avert price fixing. These are false hopes. The country already has the most extensive and stringent banking regulations imaginable. They are mostly unenforceable because the regulators lack determination and are politically too weak, while the banks are politically powerful.

    The banks employ lobbyists who have great influence on Knesset members dependent on bank loans to finance their primaries. They employ the best lawyers and accountants and many academic "consultants" willing to make their case. Still, the Knesset can help by providing regulators with the effective law helping enforce anti-trust regulations as proposed by Ronit Kan, head of the Anti-Trust Commission.

    A basic problem of banking regulation is that the body overseeing bank activity, the Bank of Israel's comptroller of the banks, defines its mission as the preservation of bank stability. To achieve this admittedly important goal, the comptroller has ignored many of the banks' offenses. Hoping to protect short-term stability by safeguarding bank profitability even when it has involved anti-competitive practices and worse, the comptroller did not prevent the banks from following, several times, policies that brought them, and the economy, to the verge of ruin. Only the bailout by the taxpayer, to the tune of many billions, saved the banks and the economy from the comptroller's lack of action.

    This is a pity. Many recent studies indicate that competitive and decentralized banking sector can secure long-term stability better than a centralized banking sector with excessive regulation. True, as we witness now in the US, spontaneous regulation by competitive markets cannot always protect them from all government-created distortions and from human foibles. No system can be perfect, so in rare cases emergency intervention is justified. Over the long run, however, markets prove far better at assuring stability than excessive intervention as practiced here.

    Daniel Doron is director of The Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress. Contact him at Dorondun@netvision.net.il

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    COLLISION COURSE
    Posted by Jonathan Spyer, July 16, 2008.
     

    Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak this week called the Iranian nuclear issue "a challenge not just for Israel but for the entire world." He added that "Israel is the strongest country in the region and we have proven in the past that we are not deterred from acting when our vital interests are at stake."

    Barak's statement reflected the extent of gravity and urgency felt in Israel regarding the ongoing march of Iranian nuclear ambitions. Such remarks do not necessarily portend immediately imminent confrontation. But they point to an underlying dynamic seemingly leading in the direction of conflict.

    Israel has observed the unfolding of events in Iran over the recent half-decade with increasing trepidation. Israeli concerns are not purely focused on issues of military hardware. The rise within the Iranian clerical-led elite of an ultra-radical faction, centred on the Revolutionary Guards and represented at the highest level by President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, has been noted. Saeed Jalili, Iran's newly-appointed chief nuclear negotiator, is the latest representative of this group to come to international prominence.

    The desire of this faction is to revive what they see as the authentic spirit of the revolutionary period, in the face of the waste, decay and corruption that is the reality of contemporary Iran. The drive to project Iranian power across the region is a vital aspect of this ambition. A nuclear capability would make this possible. Hatred of Israel is a genuinely felt sentiment in such circles. It is also a useful tool for building regional influence.

    Israel sees the Iranian nuclear program within the framework of this picture. Israeli planners consider that the Iranians have been playing a clever game of buying time, and using the hopes of the international community to avoid conflict at all costs in order to make progress in their nuclear program. Unanswered questions continue to multiply.

    A recent IAEA report noted evidence that Iran was with-holding information on high-explosives testing relating to its nuclear program. The report detailed military activities including attempts to develop a re-entry vehicle system designed to house a new payload for the Iranian Shihab-3 missile system.

    The report stated that "The agency is of the view that Iran may have additional information, in particular on high explosives testing and missile-related activities, which could shed more light on the nature of these alleged studies and which Iran should share with the agency,"

    Alongside the suspicions of Iranian covert projects to develop the military aspects of its nuclear program, the IAEA report also noted that Teheran now has 3,500 uranium centrifuges at its facility in Natanz.

    The latest revelations indicate that Iran's Revolutionary Guards have set up a network of front companies to develop components for the advanced P2 gas centrifuge, which can enrich uranium to weapons grade two to three times faster than conventional P1 centrifuges –– which Iran claims are in exclusive use at the Natanz conversion facility.

    So from Israel's point of view, what is taking place is that a regime committed to its destruction appears to be in the ongoing process of developing what looks very much like a nuclear weapons program. The hesitant diplomacy of the international community, meanwhile, appears a poor tool for deterring the Teheran radicals. The incentives packages in return for suspension of enrichment –– contemptuously brushed aside by the Iranians, the half hearted implementation of the three UNSC sanctions resolutions, and the evident desire to avoid confrontation at all costs are unlikely to strike fear into an IRGC man's heart.

    A former senior Israeli defence official, speaking at a private gathering earlier this week, detailed four means, in reverse order of preference, by which the Iranians could be induced to abandon their nuclear program. These were: as a result of negotiations, as a result of sanctions, as a result of US military action, and, finally and least preferably, as a result of Israeli military action.

    The former official gave a pessimistic overview of the progress made in the last years using the first two items. He noted that in a situation of extreme threat and lack of total clarity, the threatened party would have no choice but to act according to the worst-case scenario. Such statements should be taken seriously. They reflect an absolute determination to prevent the reality of Israelis being forced to live under the nuclear shadow of a state committed to their destruction.

    Yet for all this, the underlying logic suggests that we are further from the end-game than might appear from the current saber-rattling. Informed US sources contend that the Iranian enrichment program is beset by technical difficulties and wrong turnings. These mean that despite the bluster, the Iranians are still a considerable distance from the point of nuclear weaponisation.

    Whatever the accuracy of such statements, they suggest that the US is far from giving a 'green light' to Israeli action against the Iranian nuclear program. Without such approval, an Israeli operation would probably for geographical reasons be a physical impossibility. So fears of imminent confrontation may be premature. Bluffing, brinkmanship and attempts at intimidation have all been much in evidence in the last days. But excessive focus on the theatrical element should not be allowed to obscure the underlying reality. As it stands, the current situation in the Middle East puts Islamist Iran on a collision course with the Jewish state.

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

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    "NEXT TIME" NOW: KILL, CAPTURE, TORTURE, DESTROY –– TO FREE GILAD SCHALIT
    Posted by Dr. Aaron Lerner, July 16, 2008.
     

    "Next time it will be different", a nation swears as the caskets of Goldwasser and Regev are broadcast on television in the immoral, grotesque and humiliating bodies for terrorist deal.

    A deal that sends the message to Israel's enemies not to kidnap more Israelis –– but instead to grab and kill more Israelis.

    Well. The "next time" is already now.

    And so. Instead of pondering how many murderers the Jewish State should hand over to the terrorist Hamas to gain the release of Gilad Schalit, the State of Israel must return to its senses and do what a normal state that truly values the lives of its citizens does:

    Kill, capture, torture (aka "interrogate"), and destroy –– to free Gilad Schalit.

    We don't know the exact location of Schalit but we know he is in the narrow Gaza Strip.

    And we know exactly the chain of command that is holding him captive.

    And so.

    Like any nation that values its citizens.

    That does not accept its citizens being taken hostage.

    Israel should launch now a bloody and violent invasion of the Gaza Strip in search of Gilad Schalit.

    Every camp, office, warehouse, apartment –– basically any place; every official, officer, gunmen, etc. associated with the organizations that hold Schalit (and that includes first and foremost Hamas) is a target.

    If there is resistance then the IDF will react like the army of any country that values the lives of its citizens and give priority to the lives of the soldiers engaged in the operation over the lives of those either endangering its soldier or intentionally providing a human shield to those enemy forces.

    Hamas leadership should find themselves literally facing the decision of their lives: unconditionally release Schalit or be responsible for the utter destruction of Hamas and their own collective one way visit to Paradise.

    Yes. "Next time" is now.

    And only a return to a strong and respectful response now to the ongoing challenge presented by the holding of Gilad Schalit by Hamas can restore the deterrence that Israel so critically requires for its survival.

    Dr. Aaron Lerner is 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

    To Go To Top

    WHY IS ISRAEL IGNORING CHINA'S JEWS?
    Posted by Michael Freund, July 16, 2008.
     

    Below is an article of mine from today's Jerusalem Post regarding Israel's inexplicable policy of ignoring the remnants of Chinese Jewry.
    (www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215330965901&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull).

    With the Olympic Games coming up in Beijing, this is a good time to try and raise the public profile of the community.

    China's Jews are a living link between the two civilizations, and their continued existence is not only testimony to the power of Jewish memory, but also to the bonds of friendship that have existed between China and the Jewish people for well over a thousand years. It is time for Israel to stop ignoring them.

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

    thanks,
    Michael Freund

     

    The world's favorite international competition is a few weeks away, but Israel is already making a blunder of Olympic proportions.

    The upcoming summer 2008 Games being held in China will once again provide the Jewish state and its athletes with an opportunity to shine on the world stage.

    As is customary, the Israeli delegation will take part in the traditional opening ceremony, proudly marching into Beijing's National Stadium and unfurling the blue-and-white flag for all to see. It is a moment that inevitably catches the attention, and touches the hearts, of Jews everywhere.

    This year, it will also have the added effect of underlining for untold millions of Chinese viewers just how much ties have improved between Beijing and Jerusalem since the establishment of diplomatic relations back in 1992.

    But whereas in previous years, Israel and its athletes have utilized the Olympic Games as an opportunity to reach out to the host country's local Jewish community in a show of tribal solidarity and brotherhood, no such gesture is in the offing for next month's games. Sadly, China's Jews are being given the cold shoulder by the Jewish state.
     

    YES, YOU read that correctly. There are in fact Chinese Jews, and they are heirs to a proud and ancient heritage dating back more than 1,000 years. The first Jews are believed to have settled in China's imperial capital of Kaifeng, along the banks of the Yellow River, during the Song Dynasty.

    Over the centuries, China provided its Jews with a welcome and comfortable home, free of the widespread hatred and persecution that plagued Jewish communities elsewhere in the Diaspora.

    In 1163, Kaifeng's Jews built a beautiful synagogue, which was subsequently renovated and rebuilt numerous times. At its peak, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Kaifeng Jewry may have numbered as many as 5,000 people.

    But by the middle of the 1800s, widespread assimilation and intermarriage had all but erased the Chinese Jews' knowledge of Judaism. After the last rabbi of the community died sometime in the first half of the 19th century, Kaifeng's Jewish community effectively disbanded.
     

    BUT THAT was not the end of the story. Against all odds, Kaifeng's Jews struggled to preserve their Jewish identity, passing down whatever little they knew to their progeny.

    Today there are still several hundred people in the city who are clearly and verifiably identifiable as descendants of the Jewish community. Nonetheless, the policy of the Israeli government throughout the years has been essentially to ignore Kaifeng's Jewish descendants, out of a dubious fear that China's government might not look kindly on such contacts.

    Since Jews are not an officially recognized minority group in China's multicultural society, and Judaism is not accorded the status of an official religion, the question of Kaifeng Jewry's status is a sensitive one for Beijing, which views them as full-fledged Han Chinese. And with the burgeoning of economic, cultural and tourism ties between the two nations, it appears that Israel is unwilling to go near the issue.

    As a result, the Israeli Embassy in Beijing has not kept in touch with Kaifeng Jewry, nor does it make any effort to reach out to them. Representatives of the community are not invited to take part in the annual Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration, nor are they included in any of the embassy's other activities.

    And despite the existence of various educational exchange programs between China and Israel, the Israeli government has made no effort to enable Kaifeng Jews to take part.

    Indeed, several members of the community told me recently that they could not recall the last time they had any contact whatsoever with anyone from Israel.

    This sad turn of events can and should be corrected. There is simply no excuse for Israel to be turning its back on Kaifeng's Jews, many of whom are deeply interested in learning more about their heritage and culture.

    China has always treated its Jews kindly and graciously, and there is no reason to suspect that this has changed. Israel can and should extend a hand to Kaifeng Jewry, while of course respecting Chinese sensitivities. With its international atmosphere, the Olympic Games would provide an excellent opportunity for Israel to do so, in coordination with Chinese officials.

    In the past, the Olympic Games have served as just such a venue. In 2000, at the summer games in Sydney, Australia, Israeli and Jewish athletes participated in a range of events that were organized with the local Jewish community. These included the hosting of competitors for Shabbat hospitality as well as the establishment of a memorial for the Israelis who were murdered in the 1972 Munich Games.

    Similarly, in 2002, at the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, Israeli and Jewish athletes attended two receptions with Utah Jews as well as services with them.

    Why shouldn't Israeli officials make similar gestures vis-à-vis Kaifeng's remaining Jews at next month's games? China's Jews can serve as an important cultural bridge between the two countries, strengthening our sense of a shared past and common future.

    The Jews of Kaifeng are a living link between the two civilizations, and their continued existence is not only testimony to the power of Jewish memory, but also to the bonds of friendship that have existed between China and the Jewish people for well over a thousand years. It is time for Israel to stop ignoring them.

    Hopefully, at next month's games, Israel's athletes will excel and take home numerous medals, bringing honor upon themselves and all of us. But there could be no greater honor, I would think, than for them to renew the link between the State of Israel and Kaifeng Jewry.

    Michael Freund is Chairman, Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org).

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    ISRAELI FOREIGN POLICY ETHICS; P.A. LIONIZES BABY-KILLER; ISRAEL'S DEFEATIST FOREIGN MINISTER
    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 16, 2008.
     

    POLARIZATION

    July Commentary observes that conservative Americans tend to move into areas whose majority is conservative, and liberals tend to move into areas whose majority is liberal. Areas are becoming culturally and politically homogeneous, i.e., polarized. Candidate Obama reflected this in his diatribe against religious Americans and his failure to understand working people for whom he nevertheless proposes radical programs.

    A liberal friend remarked twice that we have a stupid President. My conservative dinner companion didn't take the bait. Next time I will. I could assert that Bush's critics, who would tax and spend us into bankruptcy and don't realize we are beset by a Muslim crusade, are more stupid. That would offend and not persuade. Instead, I'd contend that no ideology has all the answers, but all have some. I did remind the liberal that Europe, whose intellectuals and leaders call Bush stupid, may be forfeiting its civilization to Islam, but forgot to mention that he sees some of the danger and they don't.

    Instead, having the liberal friend's attention, I pointed out to the group that despite Bush's reputation for being pro-Israel, he and Sec. Rice are anti-Israel, yet escape criticism for that from the Jewish people. He and Rice demand that Israel eschew most methods of self-defense from terrorists armed by the US, including retaining defensive borders.

    Polarization also is coming in Judaism. The Conservative movement is declining fast. The Reform movement probably will follow, though its numbers are not declining now. Numbers of nominally Reform people are not declining, but religious attendance and interest has declined. Men and boys are dropping out. The numbers have not fallen yet, because the movement brought in perfunctory members, such as intermarried gentiles who don't observe Judaism even in attenuated form. The movement also has opened itself up to every variety of belief. The danger is that having no religious ideology, it soon will be seen as standing for nothing. Then people would find no point to pretending.

    We Jews would be left with two poles: Orthodox [and ultra-Orthodox] and people of Jewish origin who may or may not identify as such. We will have lost a large segment of our people. Only the high birth rate of the Orthodox will keep the Jewish people alive.

    MISSING FROM ISRAELI FOREIGN POLICY ETHICS

    When Israel learned that the soldiers kidnapped by Hizbullah were killed, in battle or in cold blood, it approved a deal to pay Hizbullah in live prisoners and bodies to return the bodies of the slain soldiers. Nobody called for revenge. Nobody called for executing hundreds of Islamists, so as to deter future murders of prisoners and future kidnappings. Israel simply acquiesced to outlandish Arab demands. Now the Arabs want to kidnap and murder more Israelis, to get more prisoners. Israel's policy is unethical. It is unethical towards its own, innocent people. It is not ruthless towards its enemies, as is popularly believed. It is too lenient towards those enemies, terrorists being no better than pirates.

    ISRAEL'S DESCENT INTO ISLAMIC IMMORALITY

    Nazis tried to justify the racist murder of Jews as pest control. The Muslim Arabs adopted the Nazis' racist notion of Jews as genetically inferior. They also called their murderers of Jewish civilians "soldiers," as if on a par, morally. The Israeli [and other Western] media came to adopt much of the Arab view by calling terrorists "militants" and "activists," blurring their vast difference from soldiers.

    The current prisoner exchange recognizes the Muslim Arab equating of terrorism with war. It exchanged a child-killer and other Muslim murderers for the bodies of Israeli soldiers probably murdered by the Muslims "in cold blood." The Arabs are welcoming the baby-killer as a hero (Prof. Steven Plaut, 6/30).

    Arab hatred of Jews precedes the rise of Islamism. The bad traits of the Islamists are not that novel, just more activist.

    The NY Times praised Israel for making many deals and negotiations with the Arabs. The editorial contrasted that with Pres. Bush, whom it accuses of refusing to talk with the enemy (6/30). He does negotiate with the enemy.

    The Muslim Arabs demonstrate a low level of morality. The Olmert regime and supporters demonstrate moral blindness. The Times is an accomplice of evil. The Times always praises Israeli concessions to the Arabs, without having the integrity to acknowledge that the newspaper long has been anti-Zionist. When Israel acts against its national security, the Times praises it. It specifically cites the non-aggression pact with Egypt. That pact, however, relinquished strategic and economically valuable territory, the traditional Sinai invasion route, to Egypt, a repeat aggressor. From the Sinai, Egypt protects terrorists, as it always has. When the Arabs are ready for their next major war, Egyptians would cut through the Sinai in half the previous time. For that they have been preparing. Guess they didn't read the Times, which states that they are at peace.

    Israel's peace treaty with Jordan didn't accomplish anything except give Israel a water shortage (from the provision that Israel pay water tribute to Jordan). The people of Jordan refuse to normalize relations. The government had curbed terrorism before the treaty, obviating the need for a treaty.

    ISRAEL VULNERABLE TO GAS ATTACK

    The government has taken twice as long to refurbish and redistribute the population's gas masks as estimated. Israel would be vulnerable to gas attack during the next half year (IMRA, 6/30).

    SYRIAN TROOPS IN LEBANON

    So states Janes' Weekly. They are not intent [at least now] on occupying the country so much as to block access by Israeli invaders, expected by Syria (6/30).

    Will this aggression be brought to the Security Council? If not, what is the Security Council for?

    It's hard to believe that Syria is suspicious that Israel is adventurous. Olmert retreats from every front, making excessive, dangerous, strategic concessions without getting anything worthwhile in return. Such a government, afraid to fight smaller wars when it should, is not likely to initiate a bigger war.

    P.A. MEDIA TREATS KILLER KUNTAR AS HERO

    Kuntar is the baby-killing terrorist whom Israel offered to release from prison in return for Israeli corpses. The P.A. lauds him as the ideal fighter against Israel. The P.A. media is headed by Abbas, whom the West calls a moderate.

    When the Arabs capture wounded Israelis, what incentive have they to treat the wounds? They get just as much if the Israelis die (Arutz-7, 6/30). The correct assumption here is that terrorists have no decency.

    If Abbas is moderate, how is he different from an extremist?

    FINALLY JUSTICE FOR DISSENTER

    Eight years ago, a teacher in Israel had enough of the annual glorification of the slain PM Rabin. Although the teacher deplored the assassination, he said Rabin is due no praise, for he gave the P.A. weapons with which its police murder Israelis.

    The Education Ministry fired him for it. The parents agitated for him. He went to court. Finally he was reinstated and the Ministry was ordered to pay his legal costs and some damage. The government lost that attempt to silence opposition (Arutz-7, 6/30).

    The commemoration was disgusting, unearned, really political. Rabin should have been shot during the War for Independence, after he deserted his troops in battle. He was an incompetent officer, but was promoted because of his politics.

    IRAN WARNS U.S. & ISRAEL

    "The era of hit-and-run attacks is over." Iran said it would determine the scope of retaliation against an attack on it, and the retaliation would be powerful. That warning is against a raid on its nuclear facilities (IMRA, 7/1).

    Syria did not retaliate against Israel's attack on its nuclear facility. Iran threatens to retaliate against an attack on its facilities, by war. That means that such an attack must be preceded, accompanied, and followed by demolition of Iran's ability to project force outside its border. It may not mean a long war, but it would mean a tough one and follow-up, as Russia sells arms. Much force must be used in the attack, not, as formerly, just enough to wreck a single target.

    Through its proxies, Iran has been waging clandestine warfare against the West for years. It has gotten away with it. Even now, the NY Times editorializes against fighting Iran, but not against Iran fighting the US and Israel. Hence, the aggression against us continues. Then the Times criticizes the Administration for not ending the Iraq war sooner. How can the US ends a war fed from outsiders whom the Democrats hold immune?

    I don't know who this day likes war, but the reluctance to wage it early in a crisis is like letting acute appendicitis incubate until its bursts.

    UNO PREPARING REPORT ON LEBANON CEASEFIRE

    Hizbullah has thoroughly violated the terms of the Security Council ceasefire Resolution 1701. Under it, Hizbullah was not supposed to bring in arms nor fortify the border. It did both. [This destabilizes the border.]

    Secretary-General Ban is preparing a status report on the Resolution. It is expected not to accuse Hizbullah of any violations. Ostensibly the excuse is that otherwise Lebanon might get destabilized (IMRA, 7/1).

    If Lebanon is stable, it is because Hizbullah dominates it. Hizbullah domination means war and a stronger Iran and Syria. UNO silence serves no legitimate purpose. The UNO is more an obstacle to peace and stability, by blocking efforts to overcome aggression, than a help to it.

    FOREIGN MIN. LIVNI

    Foreign Min. Livni voted for the Hizbullah deal to release senior terrorists, with the proviso that she would oppose it afterwards [when too late] if it frees senior terrorists. Did she fail to read it? As usual, she trying to evade responsibility for disaster. She is a defeatist, no leader (Caroline Glick, IMRA, 6/30).

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

    To Go To Top

    ORGANIZER'S PAST RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT MADRID INTERFAITH CONFERENCE
    Posted by Dr. Milton Fried, July 16, 2008.
     

    Steve Emerson writes:

    "Below is a very important expose that the Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org) posted today about the so-called "Interfaith Conference" being held in Spain tomorrow. Besides radical Islamic leaders, major Jewish and Christian leaders will be attending (please log onto our website and click on the url at the very end of this article to see those attending) from mainstream Jewish and Christian groups. The biggest shocker is that it is being sponsored by Abdullah bin-Turki, head of the Muslim World League MWL). Both Turki and the MWL have long standing ties to radical Islamic groups: Both Turki and MWL were named as defendants connected to Al-Qaeda in 9-11 civil lawsuits, which both groups deny. And Turki is on record in a tape we videoed of him in 2002 as supporting suicide bombings. In our intelligence research, we have dozens of pages of evidence and statements linking both Turki and the MWL and its offshoots to radical Islamic groups including ones that are considered terrorist. That both Jewish and Christian leaders would dignify and legitimize such a radical group and a radical Islamist is both scandalous and dangerous. If you know any of those listed as attending, I would urge you to contact them and their religious organizations to protest."

    Steve Emerson is Executive Director. The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

     

    In an ironic twist, an international interfaith conference set to start Wednesday in Madrid was organized by a man accused of working with a senior Al Qaeda financier and who unabashedly supports Palestinian suicide bombings.

    Abdullah al-Turki is organizing the conference on behalf of the Muslim World League (MWL), where he is secretary general. The MWL was created by the Saudi royal family in 1962 to "promote Islamic unity" and spread Wahhabi doctrine. Wahhabism is an austere form of Islam that seeks to realize the faith as it was practiced by Muhammad and his Companions, barren of the innovations and traditions that arose in the centuries since.

    The conference is expected to attract more than 100 people from more than 50 countries. But it is a previous Madrid venture by al-Turki that raises questions about the conference. In 1999, al-Turki was a partner in a Madrid construction project with a senior Al Qaeda financier, a pending lawsuit claims. Profits from that deal were routed to Al Qaeda cells, according to allegations in WTC Properties v. Al Baraka et. al.

    The lawsuit argues that, without the financial support from the banks, charities and other entities targeted, the 9/11 attacks may not have taken place. Similar allegations were made in at least three other lawsuits. In court papers, Al Turki has disputed the lawsuit's allegations and has argued that none of his actions were intended to support terrorist activities.

    Organizers of this week's gathering say it is expected to attract dozens of American-based Muslims, including Sayyed Syeed and Ingrid Mattson from the Islamic Society of North America, Ibrahim Hooper, Nihad Awad from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, as well as six U.S. rabbis, including Marc Schneier of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and Steven Jacobs of Los Angeles. In addition, John Esposito, director of Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding is among a few American academics invited to attend.

    Saudi King Abdullah will open the conference, the Agence France Press news service reported Monday. The audience will include World Jewish Congress Secretary General Michael Schneider and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican's point man on dialogue with Muslims.

    Al-Turki said the conference will avoid contentious issues and instead serve as an opportunity "to get to know each other and to look for ways to cooperate."

    At another conference organized by al-Turki in 2002, the assembled scholars of the Islamic Fiqh Academy of the MWL "stated that terrorism is not equal to Jihad," the lawsuit says. The scholars "defined a right to struggle 'against occupiers... and those who renege on their commitments or prevent Muslims from peacefully preaching.'"

    In the week following the 9/11 attacks, al-Turki told a radio interviewer that U.S. policy was responsible for the attacks.

    "The attacks are a result of injustice which is carried out in the world, particularly the world which is led by the USA. They are greatly responsible for the injustice which exists in the world today," al-Turki said. He then blamed Israel, which he called "the mother of terrorism. To be able to solve the problem of terrorism in the world, it is necessary first of all to resolve the Palestinian question."

    Later that year, during a news conference at the National Press Club videotaped by the Investigative Project, al-Turki was asked about Palestinian suicide bombings: (click here to see the video clip.)

    We can also reverse the question by asking the questioner: "What do you think of the, um, Israeli oppression against the Palestinian people?" Could that be called terrorism as well? Is it coming from –– is it based on religion? This is a question. In regards to the operation, we shall state that first of all, Islam is against the killing of innocent people, civilians, and non-warring people. Those who are involved in so-called 'operation' in fact were put in a very dark (unintelligible word). They have no way-no other alternative. What could be the alternative for them? They came into a state of oppression, and no hope. It's a hopeless case for them. And because there is a strong and organized terrorism being waged against them, so they have no other choice except to do what they do and we shall not look at the issue from only a religious perspective, but rather we shall look at it as a matter of aggression being forced on them, and they had no other choice except that.

    Bob Blitzer, who served as the FBI's domestic terrorism chief in the 1990s, said he was troubled by a conference purported to be about interfaith dialogue being organized by a group charged with spreading Wahhabism. It's more troubling, he said, when the principal organizer is alleged in court papers to have ties to Al Qaeda.

    "I'm not sure why in the world they would put someone in a responsible position in that type of forum," Blitzer said. "It sends the wrong message. People of faith are seeking rapprochement with the Muslim world. Most, or all, of these folks are going there for the right reasons. If he's the face of this, what does that say?"

    Once they learn about al-Turki's alleged ties to Al Qaeda and his previous statements, Americans planning on attending the conference "should walk away and ask the king about this," Blitzer said.

    That sentiment was echoed by U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), who founded the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus.

    "I am very supportive of interfaith dialogue and believe we need to encourage all religions to work together for peace and for the good of mankind," Myrick said. "I am encouraged by King Abdullah's initiative to promote interfaith understanding. However, I fail to understand how the goals of this conference can be achieved when the man running this summit is a suspected financier of terrorism and has made statements in the past saying that only Islam could dominate the Arabian Peninsula. Call me old fashion, but actions always speak louder than words."

    In WTC Properties v. Al Baraka, et. al. al-Turki is described as having "acted as Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs for many years and clearly was in a position where he should have known about the reach of international terrorism and al Qaeda." He became a shareholder in a business that "bought real estate but did no actual construction work, although [it] list[ed] itself as a construction company. Instead, that company made direct payments to al Qaeda cells," according to the lawsuit.

    Al-Turki's partner was Muhammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi, described in the litigation as "a high level al Qaeda financier" and a brother in law of Osama bin Laden. Spanish authorities arrested Zouaydi in 2002 for financing al Qaeda operations in Europe, the lawsuit says:

    "Zouaydi was part of an international terrorist movement for global jihad which encompassed the al Qaeda network. This network channeled money directly to the perpetrators of September 11, 2001, and to similar global jihad movements planning terrorist actions in San Francisco, Bali, and elsewhere."

    In the Madrid business deal, Zouaydi and al-Turki each were supposed to contribute half the money. But al-Turki stood to receive 70 percent of the profits, the WTC Properties lawsuit said.

    "The Spanish scheme provided material support directly to al Qaeda operatives and the September 11, 2001 attacks. As investigations continue, additional evidence of such schemes will be uncovered," the WTC Properties lawsuit said.

    Attorneys for al-Turki sought to have him dismissed from the litigation in September 2005. His inclusion is based "evidently on no basis other than that he is a Muslim who has held important governmental positions relating to Islamic affairs," his attorneys argued. They also argue that he never entered the business deal with Zouaydi despite numerous overtures from Zouaydi.

    And they cite the 9/11 Commission Report, which found Zouaydi may have given money to an Al Qaeda associate in Hamburg but "no evidence that Zouaydi provided money to the plot participants or that any of his funds were used to support the plot." The High Court of Spain also acquitted Zouaydi of involvement in the September 11 attacks, according to al-Turki's lawyers.

    Twelve defendants were dismissed from the WTC Properties lawsuit in January 2006 but al-Turki was not among them, court records show. His motion to dismiss is still pending.

    Among those invited are Bob Edgar, former general secretary of the National Council of Churches, Rabbi Michael Paley of the UJA Federation in New York, and Rabbi David Rosen, chairman of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligiou Consultations. Rosen told the Christian Science Monitor in an e-mail that he saw the conference as a chance to "break down ... stereotypes, suspicion, and bigotry." He added that he would have liked to see Israeli officials invited, too.

    Click here for a list of invitees, but note that not all those listed will attend. Former Vice President Al Gore, canceled his appearance citing a scheduling conflict.

    UPDATE July 19, 2008

    Saudi-led "interfaith" meeting closes with U.A.E. official's swipe at Zionism, participant complaints of control by Muslim World League
    To read the article, see above.

    Contact Milton Fried at docmiltfried@mindspring.com

    To Go To Top

    THE SILENCE OF THE LIKUD LAMBS
    Posted by Steven Plaut, July 16, 2008.
     1. For those who believe that Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud represent a viable alternative to the Israeli Lemminghood and could produce national salvation, please note their complete silence over the Murderers for Corpses deal on Israel's most disgraceful day in history. Actually, even the Ichud Leumi (National Union) party of the Right has been silent about this perfidy. (Moshe Arens, who is not a contender for Prime Minister, is an exception and did denounce the cowardice and disgrace)

    For the past two years, Israel has been filled with Tee shorts and Billboards that read "Don't Let Indifference Kill Them," with photos of the Israeli soldier captives. This week we learn that they were killed not by indifference but by cowardly appeasement and disgraceful stupidity and capitulation. The country that rescued the Entebbe hostages has now rewarded those who murder Israeli captives in cold blood by releasing baby murderers to their freedom.

    2. Eldad Regev was shot in the head, murdered in cold blood by his captors. The press here has not yet revealed how Goldwasser was murdered.

    3. The people who brought you the "peace process" terminology have now come up with a new term for cowardly capitulation: it is now called "moral victory" and Olmert is fighting the Hizbollah on Youtube.

    4. No pig skin in land fill for him. His family will be getting social security survivor benefits from the Israeli taxpayer.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3569381,00.html

    5. Handing the Hizbollah its victory:
    http://www.jewishpress.com/displaycontent_new.cfm?contentid=33949 &mode=a§ionid=14&contentname=Hizbullah%27s_Final_Victory&recnum=1

    6. see also www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3569058,00.html

    7. The Olmert Memorial Arch:
    www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3568270,00.html

    8. From Tom Gross: "The Terrorists Win"

    This morning Israel has begun the process of a "prisoner swap" with the Lebanese political and terror organization Hizbullah.

    However, Israel is receiving only dead soldiers, kidnapped and murdered by Hizbullah in an unprovoked cross border raid into Israel in 2006. By contrast, Hizbullah is getting five live prisoners including the notorious child killer Samir Kuntar.

    While people in Israel are relieved that the families of the young kidnapped conscripts Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser can finally bury their loved ones, there is despondency and even outrage by many about the terms of the deal the Israeli government has agreed to.

    Israel is demonstrating to terror groups that hostage-taking works –– and it works even when terrorists kill their hostages before handing them back.

    Times have changed from the days when Israeli special forces crossed half a continent to mount a daring raid to rescue hostages at Entebbe.

    Now many countries are negotiating with terrorists. For example, in Iraq in 2005, Germany paid $5 million for the freedom of a kidnapped aid worker. Italy and France have also paid ransoms in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and it is widely rumored that the British government, on behalf the state-owned broadcaster the BBC, paid a considerable sum of money to Hamas to secure the release of kidnapped BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnson last year, as did Fox News to secure the release of two of its employees kidnapped in Gaza a year earlier.

    Such capitulation to terrorists will only serve to encourage terrorist groups to kidnap more innocent people.

    Hizbullah and other extremists are today the heroes of many in the Arab world.


    CHILD KILLER

    Kuntar, now 45, took an Israeli family hostage in the northern Israeli coastal town of Nahariya, shot and killed Danny Haran in front of his 4-year-old daughter Einat. He then crushed her head with his rifle butt until she was dead. Danny's wife managed to hide from Kuntar in the attic with her two-year-old daughter Yael, whom she accidentally suffocated while trying to keep the toddler quiet. Kuntar also shot dead a policeman who tried to rescue the little girl.

    Kuntar has admitted this was a carefully planned operation. He told the court during his trial that he and his accomplices traveled by a rubber dinghy from Lebanon with "instructions to avoid opening fire, to take hostages and bring them to Lebanon." "I was commander of the cell," he said.

    In 1985, the PLO seized the Achille Lauro cruise ship to demand Kuntar's release. An elderly wheelchair-bound American Jew, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot and tossed overboard, left to die in the Mediterranean with his wheelchair.

    During his time in prison Kuntar married Kifah Kayyal, an Israeli Arab woman from Acre residing in Ramallah, who was serving a life sentence for her terrorist activities as part of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine –– General Command (PFLP).

    While in prison, Kuntar was reportedly a gang leader among inmates, and other prisoners feared him.

    Kuntar has never expressed remorse for the killings and recently vowed to continue fighting Israel once released.

    This morning, the BBC, CNN International, and France 24 networks have all described Kuntar as "a fighter" and have not properly explained his crimes in many of their reports.


    KUNTAR'S FREEDOM PARTY

    Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah welcomed his returning comrades by saying he was "more determined than ever" to wage war on Israel.

    "My oath and pledge," he wrote in a letter printed in a Palestinian newspaper, "is that my place will be at the battlefront, which is soaked in the sweat of your giving, and the blood of the most beloved among men, and that I shall continue down the path, until complete victory."

    Kuntar is scheduled to be flown to Beirut in a Lebanese Army helicopter later today, where he will be warmly received by the heads of the Lebanese government, and festively welcomed in an enormous street party Hizbullah has arranged for him. Lebanon has officially declared a national holiday.

    In Israel, by contrast, the mood is one of mourning. Nothing better illustrates the gulf between democratic Israel and some of its neighbors in their attitude towards murderers and the sanctity of human life

    9. Unanswered Questions:
    http://www.jewishpress.com/displaycontent_new.cfm?contentid=33947& mode=a§ionid=14&contentname=Unanswered_Questions&recnum=1

    10. From the Wall Street Journal:

    The Jerusalem Post reports on a happy event for the Palestinian Authority:

    President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday sent his regards to the families of Samir Kuntar and the other four Lebanese prisoners scheduled to be transferred to Hizbullah. Abbas praised the prisoner swap and congratulated the Kuntar family.

    Kuntar was in an Israeli prison for an attack that took place on April 22, 1979. Two years ago we quoted a survivor, Smadar Haran Kaiser, who described the attack:

    It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband, Danny, and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel, about six miles south of the Lebanese border.

    Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists, sent by Abu Abbas from Lebanon, landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away. Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us as the terrorists burst into our building. They had already killed a police officer.

    As they charged up to the floor above ours, I opened the door to our apartment. In the moment before the hall light went off, they turned and saw me. As they moved on, our neighbor from the upper floor came running down the stairs. I grabbed her and pushed her inside our apartment and slammed the door.

    Outside, we could hear the men storming about. Desperately, we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door to take refuge in an underground shelter when the terrorists came crashing into our flat.

    They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. "This is just like what happened to my mother," I thought.

    As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl's skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.

    By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her.

    If smashing a 4-year-old girl's skull with a rifle butt makes Kuntar a hero, you have to wonder what one would have to do for the Palestinians to consider him a coward. The New York Times, meanwhile, describes Kuntar's attack this way:

    Perhaps Israel's most reviled prisoner, Samir Kuntar, will return to a hero's welcome when he crosses into Lebanon this week, 29 years after he left its shores in a rubber dinghy to kidnap Israelis from the coastal town of Nahariya. That raid went horribly wrong, leaving five people dead, a community terrorized and a nation traumatized. Two Israeli children and their father were among those killed. What does the Times think would have happened if the "raid" had gone right?

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

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    THIS IS HOW OUR "MODERATE PEACE PARTNERS" REACTED TO TODAY'S EVENTS!
    Posted by Lee Caplan, July 16, 2008.
     

    This is the way our so-called "MODERATE PEACE PARTNERS" reacted to today's release of a terrorist whose crime was so heinous that he can hardly even be called a human being. Anyone who still thinks that peace is possible with them, please THINK AGAIN!

    Abbas Congragulates Kuntar Family

    (IsraelNN.com) Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) congratulated the family of arch-terrorist Samir Kuntar on his imminent return to Lebanon Wednesday, along with four other live Hizbullah terrorists and the bodies of 199 others who were exhumed by IDF engineers and rabbinical reservists earlier in the week. Abbas also expressed his formal condolences to the families of the terrorists whose remains are to be returned by Israel.

    Kuntar and his fellow terrorists are being freed by Israel in exchange for the bodies of kidnapped IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were sent home to their families in two black coffins earlier in the day, after two years in captivity by the Hizbullah terrorists who abducted them.

    PA: Kuntar "Epitome" of Palestinian Struggle

    (IsraelNN.com) Palestinian Authority media, controlled by "moderate" PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has hailed the release of Samir Kuntar, saying the man who crushed the skull of four-year-old Einat Haran in 1979 "epitomizes the ideal Palestinian prisoner."

    State-run PATV, controlled by Abbas, broadcast a photograph honoring Kuntar against a background of a map of Israel completely covered by the Palestinian flag.

    Palestinians not just in Gaza, but also in Judea and Samaria, took to the streets to celebrate the return of Kuntar. PA president Mahmoud Abbas –– our "partner" in peace negotiations! –– sent greetings to Kuntar on his return home, and his party organized a celebration in Ramallah.

    Ahmed Abdel Rahman, an advisor to Abbas, crowed, "This is an historic victory over Israeli arrogance."

    He referred to Mughrabi as a "martyr who led one of the greatest freedom fighters' operations in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." On this "important" day, he declared Fatah "salutes Hezbollah and its leaders and fighters."

    Contact Lee Caplan at leescaplan@yahoo.com

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    UNLESS SHALIT IS ALIVE –– NO LIVE EXCHANGES
    Posted by Delta Vines, July 16, 2008.
     

    Israeli PM Olmert and his cabinet must really be proud of their accomplishment in the Hezbollah prisoner exchange this morning.

    Correction: It's actually Hezbollah that got live prisoners in the exchange as well as the remains of others. And Israeli defense intel in the form of a map of land mines on the southern Lebanon-northern Israeli border.

    Hezbollah returned the bodies of Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev who were kidnapped (and killed) just prior to the Lebanonese invasion of Israel in 2006. They were not prisoners of war. They were kidnapped citizens standing guard over their land.

    Still, Israel gave Hezbollah everything they wanted, including a live terrorist and murderer who deserved the death penalty.

    To quote that celebrity psycho-babbler extrordinare, Dr. Phil, "What the hell were they thinking?"

    Why trade live people for dead bodies? Why trade military and security intel for dead bodies? WHY DIDN'T THEY TRADE ONLY THE DEAD FOR THE DEAD?

    There is something very wrong here.
     

    The world news media is not expressing sympathy over the return of the bodies of two kidnapped Israeli soldiers. They are noting the jubilant ceremonies being held in Lebanon to celebrate the return of it's murderers, terrorists, thugs. They are declaring Israel a defeated foe, much like a wimpering dog dragging it's tail between it's legs.

    While they do so, Israel is honoring the lives of their fallen citizens who were murdered by terrorists, in somber observances.

    Now the attentions turn to IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit, who was abducted by Hamas in 2006. It is not known if he is alive or if he is dead. Negotiations for a presumed alive Shalit have been ongoing for two years to no avail.

    This morning's exchange between Hezbollah and Israel has endangered the life of Shalit in that Hamas will now not feel any obligation to keep Shalit alive, if he is not already dead. An additional "side effect" is that Hamas will feel free to up the price for Shalit.

    I suggest it should be Israel who ups the price.

    In order to keep other soldiers, citzens, and even tourists from being abducted from such organizations, Israel should take a hard stance.

    Every day that passes in which Corporal Shalit is not returned, Israel should drop bombs on the Gaza Strip. Every day that passes that Shalit is not returned, Israel should return the remains of a Hamas prisoner. Every day that passes, Israel should emphasize that it will ONLY return remains, not live prisoners. Abducting people from Israel will not result in the release of terrorists so they can murder again.

    Every day rockets are fired from Hamas into Israel, Israel should raid the Gaza Strip.

    Will this lead to an "escallation of hostilities"? Probably. Right now, however, Israel is the only one who is suffering from hostiles trying (and in some cases, succeeding), to take over the land of Israel. It may be through political and historical lies –– or –– it may be through abduction of people, the murder of workers on a kibbutz, or the shelling of towns in the Negev. Make no mistake, Israel IS under attack.

    It's time for Israel to fight back.

    What will the world's newspapers say? What will the U.S, U.N., E.U., and the Arab states say? What will happen to oil prices?

    WHO CARES?

    The Israeli's are people whose lives are being laid out as insignificant when compared to the lives of terrorists! It appears these are people whose lives are being laid out as unimportant when compared to gas prices.

    If the world wants independence from being held hostage by Arabian oil wells, let Israel defend herself. It's time for Israel to return to being the fearless defenders of freedom they once were. It's time for Israel to trust G-d.

    Is there a man or woman who can lead that return? I pray so.

    Contact Delta Vines at delta_vines@sbcglobal.net. Visit her website:
    http://tsofah.blogspot.com/2008/07/unless-shalit-is-alive-no-live.html

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    HOW COULD THEY CAPITULATE?
    Posted by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, July 16, 2008.
     

    Ominous clouds are hovering over our people, and tragically, we have been caught napping. The Israeli government has capitulated to its foes on every front, and here in the United States, the political situation is, to say the very least, precarious. But that's for another column. For now, let's discuss Israel.

    One cannot help but wonder how a nation with a blood-drenched history such as ours, a nation that has experienced the most brutal, savage oppression and slaughter, a nation that most recently, suffered through a Holocaust, the barbarism of which is unprecedented in the annals of mankind –– a nation that daily witnesses savage terrorists killing her citizens –– her men, women, children and babes..... how could such a nation forget? How could such a nation capitulate? And mind you, this terror is not unfolding in far-flung battlefields, but in the heart of her villages and cities –– in the very midst of her people. How can such a nation remain asleep? What on earth are Israeli politicians thinking of?

    I remember many moons ago, when, as a young Beis Yaakov student I made my first journey to Eretz Yisrael and met the citizens of this brave new land. "Jewish blood shall never again flow" they exclaimed. "We have come home. Here we can defend ourselves and fight back!"

    How comforting those words sounded to me, a survivor of the Holocaust. But where are those brave men today? Oh yes, I am fully aware that the dynamics have changed. Reality dictates a new scenario, and perhaps even more telling, today's political leaders lack the vision that comes with faith. That Divine promise that bequeathed the land to us as an eternal inheritance does not resonate in their hearts. They hear many voices, but alas, they do not hear the voice from Sinai.

    Terror is everywhere. There is no place to hide –– I met a chasid who said in Yiddish, "Mentchen meinen –– people think that you have to go for a brocha for a shidduch, for a new business, but nowadays, you have to go for a brocha to walk safely on the street and return home b'shalom –– in peace."

    Was it only a few short months ago that everyone was up in arms at the betrayal of Jimmy Carter? Yes, Jimmy Carter made a trip to the Middle East and gave recognition to terrorists, to Israel's most virulent foes. Everyone was outraged, but lo and behold, Israel's Prime Minister is now doing the very same thing. No –– I must correct that. It's not the very same thing. It's by far more perfidious and damaging. Olmert is reaching out to these terrorists, negotiating with them, offering our land!!!

    Yes, with Olmert, everything is "negotiable". He has invited the terrorists to expand their murderous activities to Judea and Samaria ... and even into the heart of Jerusalem. He's making amorous overtures to Syria –– offering them the Golan; he is ready to deal with Iran's Lebanese proxy and has placed Mt. Dov, referred to by Hizbollah as "Sheba Farms", a most strategic piece of territory, up for grabs. And to sweeten the offer, he is freeing the most vicious Arab terrorists, among them the monster killer Sami Kuntar who is obsessed with spilling more and more Jewish blood; who smashed in the skull of a little four year old girl with his rifle butt; a killer who swore that his taste for Jewish blood would not be satiated as long as Israel exists. Observing it all, one cannot help but shudder. How are we to understand this madness? The question is all the more puzzling since Olmert himself, in 2006 declared that under his watch, as long as he is Prime Minister, the Golan would remain a part of Israel for it is strategically critical to its security, and Assad cannot be trusted. And I haven't even mentioned Syria's ties to Achmandinejad of Iran who is furiously working, to develop the nuclear arsenal that could, G-d forbid, wipe Israel off the map. So, the question of how to understand Olmert and his policies still begs an answer.

    "Hafoch boh, Hafoch boh, d'kula boh –– turn the pages, turn the pages, for everything is in it." Whatever the subject may be, if we seek clarity and guidance, we need only turn to our Torah. The Torah sheds light on every dilemma, on every challenge. So what illumination can we find that can give us some understanding of the self destructive course of Israel's Prime Minister?

    As many of these events became public knowledge, it was parshas Shelach. The parsha is always a good place from which to seek enlightenment. Undoubtedly, Shelach is a most difficult portion to understand. How can one explain that a nation that lived through the crushing bondage of Egypt, that beheld the awesome miracles of redemption, could petition to return to the terror and darkness of that land? How could they have been so misled by their leaders, the Princes of Israel who upon returning from their reconnaissance mission advocated going back to Egypt. What could these princes have possibly been thinking when they lobbied or giving up the long yearned-for dream –– the Promised Land?

    Our sages explained that the princes had hidden agendas. They were concerned that once the nation entered Eretz Yisroel they might lose their positions as princes. As unbelievable as it may seem, they opted to give up Eretz Yisroel so that they might retain their power!

    There is always an element of "replay" in our history. The tragedies of yesterday are reenacted today –– so let us try to understand the perfidy of today from the point of view of those princes. And sadly, this pertains not only to Olmert, but to some other Prime Ministers as well.

    After Barak lost a no confidence vote in the Knesset, he tried to salvage his position by offering PLO arch terrorist, Yassar Arafat, a state in Gaza, ninety percent of Yehuda and Shomron, and parts of Jerusalem. Hashem intervened –– Arafat rejected this "sweetheart deal" and opted for war –– The Intafada. The escalation of Arafat's Intafada placed Barak's survival as Prime Minister at even greater risk. New elections were demanded and to survive, he made deals with the left and the Arabs in the Knesset. So it was that even as Israelis were being blown up and maimed by Arab terrorists, Barak offered more concessions. He was looking for an "agreement:" that would permit him to stay in power.

    And then there was Arik Sharon, the valorous right-wing general who swore that unilateral withdrawal from Gaza would never be countenanced, but no sooner were accusations of corruption leveled against him then he changed his stance. Not only did he withdraw from Gaza, but shamefully, he forcibly removed Israel's citizens from Gush Katif as well. Consequently, the leftist media ceased plaguing him, the police investigations, which had been instigated by media pressure abated, and he was lauded for his statesmanship. The diversion worked!

    And now it's Olmert's turn. His political career is hanging by a thread, so he too is trying the time-tested formula: Divert attention from personal problems, appease the leftist media.... give them something to focus on other than the scandals and corruption; strike an agreement with the terrorists and thus retain your position. This Olmert is hoping to save his position. It worked for his predecessors, so why not for him?

    The Arabs are laughing up their sleeves –– they have discovered that they don't have to do a thing –– they don't even have to go to war. The Israelis will romance them and offer them the whole cookie jar without demanding anything in return.

    The debacle in Lebanon –– Hizbollah; the malevolent hand of Assad in Syria; not to mention Hamas, Gaza, and Gush Katif... the incessant rain of rockets on Shderot and Ashkelon and the attacks on Yerushalayim, Ahmadinejad and Iran are all put on the back burner. Coming up with an agreement takes precedence.

    So the question still remains –– how can intelligent people be so blind?

    Once again we go to our Torah for illumination. As I write this column, it is parshas Bolok in which we encounter the evil heathen prophet, Bilaam. G-d Himself spoke to him and warned him, but the warnings fell on deaf ears, so G-d overturned nature to bring Bilaam to his senses. His donkey spoke to him –– a phenomenon that would stop any normal person in his tracks, but Bilaam obstinately continued on his blind path.

    The "Bilaam Syndrome" continues to crop up in every generation, and alas today, we are once again witness to it. Only a blind man could fail to see the satanic intent of our Arab neighbors. It is not a piece of real estate that they seek, but (G-d forbid) the annihilation of the State of Israel. But even as Bilaam, today's politicians turn a blind eye and a deaf ear. Even as the princes, the spies of old, Israel's government pursues its suicidal course, and incredibly, the people remain silent. It is as if they have been hit so many times that inertia has set in. They don't want to know –– they don't want to see. They tell themselves, "yiheyeh b'seder –– it will be okay".

    I agree –– Undoubtedly, yiheyeh b'seder –– it will be okay. I knew that as a young child in Bergen Belsen as well. I was nurtured in the cradle of Torah, so while I could not know whether I would survive, I did know that we, the Jewish people would outlive Hitler. It is a promise from G-d. No nation, no empire has ever prevailed against us for G-d Himself swore that we would be His eternal witnesses. As long as the sun, the moon, and the world exist, we will be here to testify to His one-ness. But again I ask, at what price? How many will be sacrificed before we see the light?

    But you might argue, what's the point? What can I an average person do? A LOT! First and foremost, wake up and awaken your brothers and sisters! Raise your voice! Protest! The calamities that befall our people never come as "sudden events". It is a slow process. Our G-d is a G-d of mercy. He is our Father.....He sends us wake-up calls so that the calamity may be avoided. So let us wake up before everything comes crashing down on our heads.

    We are a nation whose strength and might are in our lips. "Ha kol, kol Yaakov... –– the voice is the voice of Jacob". Yes, our strength is in our prayers, in our Torah learning, and in our chesed. So let us bring forth our time-tested weapons –– our prayers, our Torah study, our chesed, and if we do so, we will be worthy of G-d's speedy intervention. He will protect us despite ourselves and usher in our redemption. Speedily in our own day.

    Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis is founder of Hineni which includes the Hineni Foundation Center in New York City (http://www.hineni.org) and a Jerusalem chapter. She writes a column called "The Rebbetzin's Viewpoint" for the Jewish Press.

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    PRO-ISRAEL REVOLUTION ON CAMPUS
    Posted by Ze'ev Ben Yechiel, July 15, 2008.
     

    This was in today's Arutz-7
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/126853

     

    (IsraelNN.com) Over the last couple of years, the Zionist Freedom Alliance (www.zfa.org.il) has been taking American college campuses by storm with a message of Jewish rights not heard for many decades. Led by veteran IDF soldiers and activists in Israel, the ZFA presents Zionism to the youth as a revolutionary struggle for national liberation. Click here for video of Israel Liberation Week on Hofstra Campus

    Unlike most pro-Israel advocacy organizations that present Israel as a democracy or focus on the Jewish state's willingness to surrender territory, ZFA speaks of Israel as a Middle Eastern nation with a legitimate moral and historic right to its land.

    "We tell young people about the fight for freedom from British rule," says ZFA leader Yehuda HaKohen. "And we explain how we are still fighting against nearly the entire world for our right to live freely in the whole of our country. Educating young people to the history of our struggle creates a paradigm shift in how they view our situation today. If people know two basic facts –– that this really is our country and that we fought the British Empire to free it –– their understanding of the Middle East conflict is revolutionized. Suddenly the Jewish people are the natives in the story and international pressure to shrink our borders is an act of Western imperialism against an indigenous population."

    HaKohen currently lives in Jerusalem but grew up in New York City and often travels to the United States to organize ZFA activities. While some mainstream Jewish groups focus on Israel's security needs, HaKohen's message to campuses is one of Jewish rights. "We must make the world understand that the Jewish nation, like any other nation on the planet, has a right to self-determination in our country. Not in half of our country, but in our whole country. We have nothing against any other peoples, but the world today has no shortage of Arab states. 77% of Palestine (the territory east of the Jordan River) was made into an Arab state, and we are at least entitled to the remaining 23% that was left us by international law to be a Jewish state. No power on earth has the moral authority to rob us of our land."

    ZFA Warrior in Israeli Flag: "Nobody Can Take it From Us"

    HaKohen is no stranger to bold declarations, having repeated the same simple message on campuses across the United States and Canada. While other pro-Israel organizations attempt to rationalize or depreciate the stridently nationalistic aspects of Zionism in order to court the favor of high-profile skeptics and to make their message palatable to wealthy and influential benefactors, HaKohen says that his group has learned out of necessity to work on a shoestring budget rather than alter their message. ZFA activists take no pains in concealing their belief in the unequivocal right of the Jewish nation to the entire Land of Israel. And the movement puts forward this message in a clear and simple yet powerful language that resonates with young people across North American campuses.

    The movement includes an eclectic mix of activists from various backgrounds. When asked what stream of Zionism (Religious, Socialist, Revisionist) they belong to, HaKohen calls the ZFA "Revolutionary Zionism".

    "History is full of great revolutions. And although many of these revolutions have succeeded in impacting the future course of world history, all of them pale in comparison to the Zionist revolution," HaKohen argues. "Only the Zionist revolution aspires to ingather a scattered nation from the four corners of the earth, to revive a dead language to everyday use, to liberate a homeland from under a mighty world empire and to create a moral society that will serve as an example to the human race. Zionism is the greatest revolution in the history of man, and the ZFA sees it as our mission to drive the revolution forward."

    Politically Correct

    Having been raised and educated in the West, many ZFA leaders are sensitive to the reality of the political culture that dominates American campuses. Therefore, the movement is careful not to align with "Right-wing" campus groups, and instead targets students active with the Left. HaKohen defends this position by arguing that "there is nothing 'Right-wing' or 'Conservative' about wanting to keep our homeland free from foreign rule. If we are truly the indigenous natives in the conflict, then our cause should really be championed by liberal students everywhere. Especially since the Bush administration that occupies Iraq and imposes a Patriot Act on the American people is the very same administration pushing to ethnically cleanse the Jewish people from portions of our homeland."

    It is for this reason that ZFA avoids anti-Arab rhetoric and instead focuses its attacks on Western powers and global corporations who have special interests in forcing Israel to surrender land. The group defends this position by claiming that if the Arabs remained the security problem that they are but all international pressure would cease, Israel would immediately take the necessary measures to defend herself and ensure long term survival. But if the Arabs in Judea and Samaria would somehow disappear, the Western world would most likely find another excuse to shrink and weaken Israel. The true enemy of Zionism, according to the ZFA, is not radical Islam but globalization, which seeks to amalgamate continents into unified blocks and threatens Israel's existence as a small Jewish state situated in a mostly Arab region. ZFA activists argue this to be the true motivation behind international pressure on Israel to make concessions and that the eventual goal of Western governments is for Israel not to exist. While this message has angered many American Jewish groups who tend to see Israel and America as allies in a global war against Islamic terrorism, it has actually earned the ZFA support from students who oppose globalization and America's War in Iraq. And it has neutralized anti-Israel voices who accuse "Zionists" of pushing America into a war that benefits Israel. In fact, most ZFA leaders oppose the Iraq War and see it as an aggressive act of neo-imperialism. And many of the students joining the ZFA today are young Jews who view themselves on the political Left. HaKohen attributes this support not only to his group's unique message, but also to their efforts to reach beyond the Jewish community. ZFA speaks in front of Diverse Crowd

    "Israel Demands Justice"

    Many ZFA programs, including the "Israel Liberation Week" event, is geared towards promoting Jewish rights on college campuses and educating the general student public to the justice of the Zionist struggle. "Israel Liberation Week" includes a hip hop concert (featuring Jewish and non-Jewish artists), speeches, information campaigns, historical films and an art exhibit honoring the Jewish underground fighters who were executed by the British administration during the struggle for Jewish statehood. By securing strong support from non-Jewish students on many campuses, the ZFA makes it socially acceptable and desirable for Jewish students to support the Zionist cause.

    HaKohen believes that if young American liberals really understood the history and reality of events in the Middle East, they would naturally support Israel's rights to Judea and Samaria. The problem is that the anti-Israel propaganda and often even the pro-Israel propaganda have worked to present the Jewish state as a Western power occupying indigenous Arab natives. HaKohen argues that nothing can be further from the truth. "The Jewish nation is a Middle Eastern nation and the true native sons of our land. As a result of an injustice perpetrated against us by the Roman Empire, many of us suffered a long and difficult exile. But now we've come home. Israel is our country and like any other people we have a right to freedom in our country."

    ZFA on the March

    The ZFA chose a kafiyah (Middle Eastern head dress) with blue Jewish stars as a symbol of the Zionist revolution. The "Jewish kafiyah," as well as t-shirts and other items, will be available on the ZFA website later in July when they launch their online store.

    The ZFA's cutting edge message and methods have proven successful in taking the wind out of anti-Israel sails. But the movement is small and has been unsuccessful at persuading more established Jewish groups to follow their revolutionary lead. Therefore, says HaKohen, the movement works slowly, one campus at a time, to promote the Zionist revolution as a politically correct struggle for social justice.

    For more information, visit the ZFA online at http://www.zfa.org.il

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    WHENCE CAME THEY ILLEGAL?
    Posted by Daisy Stern, July 15, 2008.
     

    This below comes from Jack.

     

    Our people should sign up and go with them, preferably native Hebrew speakers, to ask questions such as "when did Jewish settlement here become illegal?

    Was it illegal in the 1930's? Did it become illegal when the Arabs massacred the Jews and drove them out of Hebron, Gush Etzion, etc.?

    Did it become illegal when the Arabs insisted that the 1949 Armistice lines NOT be seen as international borders? Or when the PLO first declared the existence of a "Palestinian people" that was previously unheard of? Or how do we know the Arabs want peace with us and not just to take territory for nothing and then make war from the reduced borders which are far more difficult for Israel to defend?

    What indication have they given us?

    Statements in English to the Israeli and international media (which are entirely different from those they make on Arab media in Arabic)?

    Contact Daisy Stern at daisystern1@gmail.com

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    IF I FORGET THEE ...
    Posted by David Wilder, July 15, 2008.
     

    Tomorrow's planned prisoner exchange is very bittersweet. Almost everyone has an opinion and all sides have some element of legitimacy. On one hand, the price is so very high; on the other hand, we have a responsibility to bring our soldiers home, dead or alive. A soldier, entering battle, must know that anything and everything will be done to bring him home, be it to his family, or to 'kever Yisrael' –– to a Jewish grave. Yet, perhaps the swap will serve as motivation to capture more soldiers, and exchange them for other terrorist killers. But, who can forget the unbelievable 'mesirut nefesh' –– total dedication, of Rabbi Shlomo Goren, then Chief Rabbi of the IDF, to wade through enemy mine fields to recover bodies of Israeli soldiers killed in action.

    It's something of a catch 22 –– whatever you do is right, and whatever you do is wrong. I know that I've asked myself countless times, 'what would I do if, (G-d forbid), it was one of my sons.' In truth, I don't know.

    Of course, with the release of two Israeli soldiers, either dead or alive, a huge dark cloud shadows their return: where is Ron Arad, whose fate is still unknown? Is he dead or alive? Is he in Lebanon or Iran? According to Israeli intelligence sources, having studied the newly-released photos of Arad, taken about 20 years ago, the pictures were taken not in Lebanon, rather in Iran. Perhaps Ron Arad is still alive, wasting away in an Iranian dungeon?

    However, with enigma surrounding Ron Arad and the as of yet unknown condition of Regev and Goldwasser, at least people know their names, show some concern for them and their families. Unfortunately, it's not that way with all Israeli MIAs, POWS. There are those, who, for one reason or another, have been forgotten, despite that fact that they wore the same uniform as the others, fought for the same country as the others, and whose fate is just as unknown as the others.

    Ron Arad was captured in October, 1986. Four years earlier, in June, 1882, during the battle of Sultan Ya'akub, Israel lost three of its finest. During the battle, commanded by Ehud Barak, three tank warriors, Tzvi Feldman, born in 1956, Yehuda Katz, born in 1959, and Zacharia Baumel, born in 1960, disappeared. They may have been killed during the brutal fighting. However, there were accounts of people who saw them displayed during a parade in Syria. Their families have gathered accounts over the years, which, at the very least, raise a reasonable doubt as to their fate. Perhaps they are long gone. But perhaps not. And, if we use the Regev-Goldwasser measuring stick, what difference does it make? Why have the IDF and the Israeli government totally forgotten about these three men? Why aren't they household names, as is Ron Arad? Why didn't Israel demand a full report from Hizballah concerning the fate and location of these three men just as they did concerning Ron Arad? Why doesn't the Israeli media exert pressure on the government and IDF concerning then, as they did concerning Regev, Goldwasser, Arad and Gilad Shalit? Why does Gilad Shalit's name continue to make headlines, while most Israelis, 22 years later, have no idea who Katz, Feldman and Baumel are?

    I have an answer, but don't really like it. As a matter of fact, I despise what I think. It really stinks. It's even worse than that. But I can't think of any other viable reason.

    These three men came from the wrong side of Israeli society. They all had Kippas on their heads. They belonged to religious tank units. Their families were not left-wing supporters of 'peace,' Labor, and Arabs. The men weren't media lovelies. Rather, they were young idealistic patriots, who fought for their country, their people and their belief. Their belief hasn't betrayed them, but their country and their people have.

    But that's not all.

    It's clear that serious negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit will continue between Israel and Hamas. Clearly, Israel should demand information and release of the three above-discussed men. But in my opinion, that's not enough.

    Hamas terrorists are not stupid. If, as is expected, Israel receives two bodies for killer Kuntar, Hamas is going to demand an even higher price for a 'live' Israeli. That price will almost undoubtedly include Marwan Barghuti, a convicted murderer and leader of the '2nd intidada' which claimed thousands of Israeli lives, dead, maimed and wounded. The present Israeli government will almost assuredly OK the deal. However, Israel must demand more than the release of POW Gilad Shalit. After all, Barghuti will only be one of the hundreds of terrorists freed by Israel. Israel must look towards its best friend and ally, put its foot down, and tell the United States: look at what we are being forced into in order to release one Israeli soldier. What is the price of one man? Is there a price? Yet, the price is too high. We must bring home more than one POW. When we release Barghuti and Hamas releases Shalit, you must free Jonathan Pollard. If we can do it, so can you.

    At every Jewish wedding, the happiest day in a person's life, we repeat the words, 'If I forget thee Jerusalem....'

    I add:

    If we forget thee, Tzvi...
    If we forget thee Yehuda...
    If we forget thee Zacharia...
    If we forget thee Jonathan...
    If we forget all of you, who are we, what are we, why are we?

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

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    FROM ISRAEL: NORTHWARD
    Posted by Arlene Kushner, July 15, 2008.
     

    The Cabinet has ratified the prisoner exchange with Hezbollah. The reason most commonly given was to ease the minds of the Goldwasser and Regev families, and the mind of every mother whose son serves.

    This decision was made in spite of the fact that heads of the intelligence community were opposed because the report on Arad was insufficient.

    Shimon Peres, as president, will now pardon the prisoners to be returned to Hezbollah, including Samir Kuntar.

    The actual exchange will take place tomorrow at 9:00 AM at the Rosh Hanikra crossing.

    Hezbollah has set up a "triumphal arch" near the crossing and hung flags and photos along the highway. Massive celebrations and a "victory" speech by Nasrallah are planned.

    Here, the IDF is planning military funerals on Thursday for Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.

    How do we swallow this?

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Meanwhile, it has been reported that Hezbollah, with the assistance of the Syrian and Iranian military, has set up radar installations on Mt. Sannine –– 2,600 meters above sea level –– in Lebanon's Beka Valley in central Lebanon, in order to track Israel's planes. Analysts are assuming that this would be utilized in conjunction with air defense systems supplied by Syria.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Noam Shalit, Gilad's father, has vociferously objected to Olmert's promise to Abbas to release more Palestinian prisoners, when Gilad is still being held prisoner.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Yesterday was Bastille Day –– French Independence Day. And who did French president Sarkozy choose to honor at those celebrations by making him a special guest who sat beside him? None other than Bashar Assad.

    Reports are that a planned protest by French veterans who hold Syria responsible for the deaths of 58 French members of a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon in 1983 was blocked by the French government.

    Sarkozy claims to have good motivation for what he is doing in cultivating Assad. But this smacks of appeasement and willful disregard of all that Syria has been involved in of late. It does not speak well for Sarkozy.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Tony Blair was supposed to visit Gaza, but his visit has been cancelled because of specific threats.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Hopefully more soon on Lebanon...

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

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    THE DATING MAVEN ALLY
    Posted by Dave Alpern, July 15, 2008.

     

    From: Dave Alpern
    To: Advice from a Single Dating Expert
    Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 2:46 PM
    Subject: What the... ??!!

    Mr. Katz,

    I'm a transplanted Yank who's been a proud citizen of Israel for 30 years this month. I can't believe what I have just read on your site. It is a mind-boggling sentence in your response to the woman indicated below.

    http://www.advicefromasingledatingexpert.com/ i-think-all-men-are-players-why-cant-i-find-a-boyfriend/2/

    "It's like Israelis assuming that all Palestinians are terrorists. So they have humiliating checkpoints to protect themselves, the Palestinians feel resentful, and there's no space to create true peace."

    There we have it: All-knowing dating coach (!) Evan Katz "goes political" and decrees that Israel is to blame for the lack of peace in the Mideast while trying to explain to a woman why she's failing to find love. Nothing above about almost daily ARAB TERROR against Israelis in their cars, buses, restaurants, bus stops, hotels and shopping malls. Nothing about the reasons for the "humiliating checkpoints." No context of any kind, but rather a cheap, base, wicked and gratuitous swipe at a tiny country that is the only one in the world whose existence is continually questioned, doubted, disputed and rejected.

    Of course all Arabs aren't terrorists... but how many terrorists today are not Arabs??

    Give it all to us, pal... not all Germans were Nazis, not all Japanese were kamikaze pilots, yada yada, blah blah blah.

    I promise you: if you (G-d forbid) have the misfortune to be in an Arab homicide bomber's path, he/she will not stop to ask your opinion of the "humiliating checkpoints." The bomber will simply blast you away along with anyone else he can possibly include in his act of unspeakable monstrosity. You can take that to the bank.

    Sorry, my fellow yet woefully misguided Jew... I don't care to be slaughtered simply because I'm a Jew living in the world's only Jewish state. I take the Arab desire to annihilate me, my family, my friends, colleagues and fellow Jews seriously and personally. If that means some "humiliation" for Arabs who spout hate against us but have no qualms about receiving free medical care and other assistance from "Zionist monkeys and pigs," then they'll have to endure some humiliation. Too f*cking bad!

    In point of fact, you are telling me I have no right to defend myself against people trying to destroy me and my country. Drunk with your leftist liberal crap, you don't begin to comprehend what a filthy anti-semite you are... for your "comparison" above is raw, blatant anti-semitism, no matter how much you claim it isn't. You would have made an outstanding "kapo" in the Nazi death or concentration or labor camps.

    The "Arab-Israeli conflict" has such a ridiculously simple solution: if and when Arab terror stops, the checkpoints, barriers, raids and other defenses against shameless murderers will disappear faster than they appeared. Peace instead of war will break out. Tragically, however, we continue to be under constant attack. Unlike you, I say: NEVER AGAIN!

    In deep disgust and revulsion,
    Dave Alpern –– Petach Tikvah, ISRAEL

    From: Evan
    To: 'Dave Alpern'
    Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 11:40 PM
    Subject: I'm pro-Israel.

    Um. It's a metaphor. Not the point of the piece.

    Try lashing out at your enemies, not your allies.

    Evan Marc Katz –– www.evanmarckatz.com

    Marc,

    Good to know you're an "ally." However, a true ally of Israel would hardly take such an unfair and nasty swipe at Israel on a dating site!

    Such a political reference was totally unacceptable for a dating column, especially since it was a horrendously twisted and vicious distortion. Therefore, it is not even a good metaphor (actually a simile).

    Israel's totally legitmate attempt to defend itself is not what makes peace impossible. Ongoing and unrelenting Arab extremism and violence are what make it impossible to create a "space for peace." It is my humble opinion that you should apologize in your next column for mixing dating advice with Israel's life and death struggle against homicidal Arab terrorists. You erred badly in this.

    Thank you and shalom,
    Dave Alpern

    Contact Dave Alpert at daveyboy@bezeqint.net

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    ARAB STATES FIGHT DOMESTIC TERRORISM; ABBAS INVESTIGATES GAZA TAKEOVER; PA HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, July 15, 2008.
     

    TOUGH TALK

    An Israeli commander said Israel could take out Iran's nuclear facilities any time, but prefers that the rest of the world impose harsh sanctions on Iran, instead.

    Such talk has motivated Iran to bolster defense. The result would be deadlier for raiders and perhaps defeat. Iran gains more confidence as it further prepares.

    How remote is the prospect of greater sanctions on Iran by a world that demonstrated its corruption when France, Germany, and Russia and other countries turned out to have been cashing in on the UNO's Oil-For-Food bribes made by Saddam to pervert the program into financing his power and military! Iran is making so much money from inflated oil prices, and its oil is so badly needed, that it could impose sanctions on some of its critics.

    Under these circumstances, tough talk means big mouth.

    LIE DETECTOR TESTING

    Accused terrorist agent Al-Arian offered to take a "lie detector" test. That is supposed to indicate his faith in his innocence. It does not indicate anything.

    I read a book on polygraphs. They should not be called lie detectors. They don't detect lies. They measure changes in emotional effects upon the body. Sometimes those effects result from lies that, when asked about, disturb the person being tested. The disturbance does not prove deceit. I would be disturbed, though innocent, just as I used to blush when accused. Then my accuser would assume I was guilty.

    Psychologically disturbed people, who lie routinely, can pass polygraph tests. Al-Arian is an Islamist, for whom deceit in behalf of holy war is accepted and routine. He may well be able to pass a polygraph test.

    WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS LIE?

    PM Olmert defends himself from fraud by claiming he did not confer favors in return for receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in envelopes from businessmen "friends." Of course, some of the investigations of him already have shown him intervening in behalf of friends and businesses, but he says that is the way elected officials help constituents in business.

    Isn't it remarkable how well liked he must be for shrewd businessmen to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to him for nothing?

    ABBAS INVESTIGATES GAZA TAKEOVER

    How were Abbas' 50,000 armed men in Gaza unable to prevent Hamas' 20,000 from taking over there? Did his men lack sufficient arms and ammunition? No. Abbas' investigators found that they had ample supplies, though not distributed effectively, not used properly, and largely abandoned. After all, Arafat had used his forces as patronage outlets more than as military organizations. Abbas' men were not sufficiently trained.

    Neither were Abbas' men well motivated. Fatah and the security forces did not unite, and were, themselves, split by rivalry. Each unit got picked off individually.

    Moral also was poor because, although those loyal to the P.A. reported that Hamas was planning a putsch, the P.A. did not react. Arafat never had a plan to deal with Hamas except by appeasement. He allowed the growth of independent militias, which then created anarchy and eroded his authority. He brought 12,000 men from wild militias, including Hamas, into his forces. The Hamas men either took over their units at the time of the uprising or deserted.

    Commanders found themselves without sufficient control over units whose members gave primary loyalty to family or their original groups. During the coup, P.A. commander Dahlan tried to run the defense from abroad and in detail.

    The assessment is that nothing has changed. Reform is vital.

    Dr. Aaron Lerner asks why West continues its demonstrated, failed strategy of depending on the P.A. to fend off Hamas in Judea-Samaria, rather than let its arms fall to Hamas (IMRA, 6/28).

    Dr. Lerner's question is elementary. Why doesn't the West think of it? Why does the West think that when the P.A. recruits militiamen into its official forces, it is disbanding terrorist organizations rather than setting itself up for a coup? Reality requires admitting fault and making tough choices. Do they want Israel to fall?

    IRAN THREATENS WORLD OIL SUPPLY

    Iran said that if attacked, it would take over the oil shipping lanes (IMRA, 6/28).

    Some of the ships with which it could do this were sold to it by an Italian company, ostensibly to combat smuggling (IMRA, 6/28).

    Pres. Bush wanted Europe not to trade with Iran, but the Europeans prefer to make money, so they pretend their dual use equipment only is for civilian use. They call Bush stupid and leading to war, but they are stupid and leading to war.

    ISRAEL IS AN UNREPRESENTATIVE "DEMOCRACY"

    The Olmert regime is making and proposing deals that wreck Israeli national security. When a former commander now active in politics declared excessive the current proposal to release hundreds of convicted murderers for a couple of Israelis, the Israeli (and US) media should have discussed the issue. [It is, after all, a Jewish theme that he played.]

    Instead, gave full throat to the roars of the father of an Israeli prisoner. The father called the ex-commander merely a politician furthering his career. [By taking a stand against the higher-ranking politicians?] The father thinks that only parents can speak on the issue.

    To the contrary, the father is not objective. He is not thinking of national security. The politician, Ya'alon, was thinking of the many more Israeli fathers who would become aggrieved when and if released murderers struck their sons. These parents of prisoners have had too much to say, as if they have become spokesman for what Hamas and Hizbullah want. Nobody represents the public (Caroline Glick, IMRA, 6/28).

    Israel calls itself a democracy but does not represent the people. The system facilitates rule by party boss and Prime Minister without much restraints. Politicians tend to be venal and myopic. The media is ideological.

    P.A. POLICE IN STOLEN CAR

    A senior P.A. police officer on Israel's wanted list was caught near Ramallah. He was driving a car stolen in Caesarea a week earlier. The car had been turned into a police car (IMRA, 6/29).

    A few years ago, we heard more of the mass-theft of Israeli property by, or for the benefit of, P.A. Arabs. They are a parasitic people. Usually one exterminates parasites; Israel turns excise taxes over to the P.A..

    P.A. TRUCE VIOLATIONS CONTINUE

    More rockets were fired on 6/28 (Arutz-7, 6/29).

    Why doesn't Israel raid Gaza and declare the truce void, and in that order?

    P.A. HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

    Human Rights Watch disclosed that the P.A. tortures uncharged prisoners. Britain donates a large sum to train P.A. police (IMRA, 6/29).

    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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    MISHMERET YESHA: AN OPPORTUNITY TO SAVE YEHUDA AND SHOMRON AS JEWISH LAND AND LIVES
    Posted by Aleksandra Fliegler, July 14, 2008.

    Dear Supporters of Jewish Israel,  

    You have a unique opportunity to help fulfill the mitzvah of saving a Jewish life, as well as take concrete steps to keep the land in Yehuda and Shomron under Jewish control. While the Shmita Year is still in effect, host Mr. Israel Danziger, Director of Operations for Mishmeret Yesha in September.

    I am the owner of Jewish Club Maoz, the Northern California Chair of Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI), and wear a few other volunteer hats simply because I recognize that what's happening in Israel today is endangering its survival as a Jewish State. Since the Oslo disaster, I am haunted by a feeling of powerlessness to stop the upcoming catastrophe.

    AFSI & Maoz started inviting speakers from Israel to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2002 in an attempt to wake Jewish consciousness and in hopes to stop the Gaza expulsions. After hosting a number of them, we found one organization, which offers concrete solutions. Unlike 99.9% of the organizations that do nothing but talk, we finally found someone that did something real.

    Suddenly I felt empowered; I felt that I am now a part of a real effort for Jewish Sovereignty. There is an organization of strong proud Jews right at the heart of Israel, in Yehuda and Shomron. It does not rely on the Israeli government, or the IDF, or the International community to stand up for Jewish interests, Jewish land and the Jewish people.

    Since the first intifada in 1988, Mishmeret Yesha has trained over 4,000 volunteers to repel terrorists attacks, organizes volunteers to reclaim Jewish land from Arab squatters, cultivates that land, organizes portable trauma units when a wounded Jew is unable to be transported to a hospital, supports families that choose to stay at the outposts regardless of how hard it may be, and most importantly prevents the loss of Jewish lives where the IDF does not reach for various reasons.

    While there are many organizations that deal with the aftermath of terrorist attacks, no amount of money can bring back that Jewish life, or restore harmony in that family after a loss. Mishmeret Yesha (Guardians of Yesha) refuses to allow Jews to become victims.
     

    TO DATE, OVER 70% OF ALL TERRORIST ATTACKS IN ISRAEL HAPPEN IN YEHUDA AND SHOMRON. The reason we do not hear about these multiple daily attacks is because they do not end-up in casualties. The highly trained MISHMERET YESHA Rapid Response Teams repel those effectively every day.

    A perfect example is the attack on Merkaz HaRav yeshiva. We all heard about that one because eight students were slain in that attack. Very few people outside Israel are aware of the fact that approximately a month before that deadly attack, an identical attack took place in Kfar Etzion on the Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz's Mekor Chaim yeshiva high school. Both were the high-school yeshivot, both were within plain sight of either a police or the IDF station, in both cases the terrorists proceeded to the study hall. With the exception of one thing: two teachers at the Mekor Chaim Yeshiva shot the two terrorists before any tragedy occurred. This rapid response was the result of three years of training of these yeshiva teachers by Mishmeret Yesha.

    Another example is a recent e-mail by the last remaining resident of an outpost up north. The plea in Russian was as follows: "Guys, please help! They are forcing me off this outpost. My power and heat are turned off, they are forcing me out. If I leave, the Arabs will occupy my spot and will start bombing Hadera from here"

    Immediately, MISHMERET YESHA Director of Operations Israel Danziger rushed over there. Over the next seven visits, the resident was supplied with a laptop, mobile phone, internet access, his lapsed firearms permit was restored, agricultural projects were started and two more families have moved in. Not only does that outpost remain under the Jewish control, but the people of Hadera on the coast, however blissfully unaware, are saved as well.
     

    IF MISHMERET YESHA HAD NOT STOOD GUARD IN YEHUDA AND SHOMRON in various capacities, I dare say, the whole Israel would have been wiped off the map within the first Intifada of 1988.

    It is important to note: there is not a single salaried person working for Mishmeret Yesha, not even the Director of Operations. All 4,000 Rapid Response Team members have their jobs, their businesses, and their families but they each dedicate a portion of their personal time to training in this highly specialized type of combat.

    The exceptions to this are:
    The training instructors get paid for their time and several people at the bulletproof vest factory in Beit-El. They also produce and loan out five types of bulletproof vests, two of which are children's sizes, not currently produced elsewhere, one Medic vest, one for the Rapid Response Teams, and one model specifically designed for the IDF per individual IDF units' requests.

    The bottom line is: there is no marketing material published, no fundraiser's hired, no overhead.

    Every dollar donated goes straight into projects and saves lives directly.

    I am proud to offer to you the opportunity to save Jewish lives and to feel empowered by knowing that you are able to change the facts on the ground.

    Please host Mishmeret Yesha's Director of Operations Mr. Israel Danziger in your community today.

    Hear first-hand accounts of the day-to-day life in Yehuda and Shomron and help raise funds for prevention of terror attacks, reclamation of what's rightfully ours, and other worthwhile projects directly addressing the Jewish Sovereignty.
     

    TAKE A MOMENT TO EXAMINE ATTACHED BROCHURES WITH BASIC FACTS, project descriptions, compilation of articles regarding the yeshivot attacks along with the national call to emulate MISHMERET YESHA success on all Yeshiva campuses, and the links below. Also attached are sample flyers with possible topics for your community. These can be altered to match your location or focus topic.

    The original MISHMERET YESHA film 15 min:
    http://www.orgreality.com/yesha/videos.php?id=8

    The most recent 43 minute Interview with Israel Danziger, Director of Operations for MISHMERET YESHA
    http://spotlight.deeperlook.net/video_danziger.html

    If you have any questions, please contact me directly:
    Aleksandra Fliegler
    alex@fliegler.net
    650-992-0512 Home

    Contact Aleksandra Fliegler at alex@fliegler.net

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    MEDIA, JOBS AND ARROGANCE
    Posted by Seth Frantzman, July 14, 2008.

    This is Issue 43 of Terra Incognita
    http://journalterraincognita.blogspot.com/

    In the four-missile version of the image released Wednesday by Sepah News, the media arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, two major sections (encircled in red) appear to closely replicate other sections (encircled in orange). (Illustration by The New York Times; photo via Agence France-Presse)

    1) The Most irresponsible people in the world: After the press published a forged Iranian photo that purported to show four missiles being fired into the air there was very little in the way of apology for helping to fool the public. The Press blamed the Iranians but refused to take responsibility for passing on the propaganda.

    2) Where did all the jobs go? Two hundred years ago most people worked at occupation that required the use of hands. Today's job market has replaced these employments with a variety of service type occupations. Not only are people alienated from work today but even the leading members of society are telling students that they shouldn't get real jobs, they should instead be working as 'community activists' and in related noncupations.

    3) Biting the Hand that feeds: the path of the immigrant and the terrorist: Home grown terrorism is produced because of an extreme sense of arrogance and entitlement on the part of some Muslim immigrants and their descendants. This arrogance must be met with brute strength. However history gives us a lesson of what appeasement encourages; the story of Emma Goldman's experience in America between 1890 and 1919 should be a cautionary one.

    1.) The Most irresponsible people in the world
    Seth J. Frantzman
    July 11th, 2008

    On July 9th, 2008 a photo made its way around the world. Agence France Presse, like other news organizations, had wanted 'art' to illustrate the Iranian army's firing of a number of missiles. These were missile tests by Iran designed to show the world that should a war break out with the U.S or Israel that Iran's missiles would threaten the entire region. Grainy video-stills of the missile test were originally all the media had to work with until a photo appeared on the website of the Sepah News, the media arm Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Without further ado Agence France Presse lifted the photo and distributed it around the world. It made the front pages of The Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times, The Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers as well as on BBC News, MSNBC, Yahoo! News, NYTimes.com.

    The picture shows four missiles shooting upwards from the desert with smoke filling the desert landscape from their launches. Then on Thursday, June 10th, a new photo appeared from the Associated Press. It showed the exact same image, except there were three missiles being launched. Where a fourth missile had appeared in the first photo, the second photo contained a truck mounted with a missile. Upon closer examination y independent individual it became clear that the first photo had been clearly retouched and parts of two of the other missile launches cut and pasted to make it appear a fourth missile had launched. Defence analyst Mark Fitzpatrick of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies told AFP: "It very much does appear that Iran doctored the photo to cover up what apparently was a misfiring of one of the missiles.

    "The whole purpose of this testing was to send a signal so Iran both exaggerated the capabilities of the missile in their prose and apparently doctored the photos as well." Most news organizations reported the faking of the image. The New York Times did the best job (http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/10/ in-an-iranian-image-a-missile-too-many/archives/oldindex.html?hp) by showing the two images side by side with circles indicating which parts had been cut and pasted to create the fake image. Fox News put the image on its home page with a headline that "Photo of launched Iranian missile appears to have been faked." The BBC reported the matter as if it was a point of discussion with the headline "Iran 'faked missile test image'". The BBC said Iran was 'accused' of faking the image but that Iran claimed it had test fired 'nine missiles'. The BBC then reported that "The BBC News website's picture editor, Phil Coomes, said: 'Having examined the photograph from AFP, it can be seen that parts have been edited, with smoke trails and parts of the foreground being cloned.'"

    What is fascinating here is the degree to which the major news organizations were not only duped but upon being duped did not apologize for their irresponsibility but instead made it seem like this was a controversy. This is typical of the way the media operates in the modern world. Instead of getting a handle on the most mediocre of technologies, such as photoshop, and examining pictures before they are published, the media publishes image with reckless disregard and then complains that by some odd circumstance the image was faked without acknowledging the media's own role in distributing the mockery. There is a famous saying that 'extraordinary claims' need 'extraordinary evidence'. But the media version of this is that extraordinary claims just need a quote or a picture from someone else and they become 'true' enough to go on the front page. It is not the first time the media has been duped and played a role in its duping. The media does not simply report the news, it 'manufactures' the news in the Chomsky sense by creating stories and following stories that it deems important to the readers. Thus the media needs the most gruesome and interesting details for those stories. This was the case with Mohammed al-Dura, a Palestinian boy who apparently died of gunshot wounds on September 30th, 2000. Talal Abu Rahma, a Palestinian journalist, filmed 27 minutes of coverage of a gunbattle between Israelis and Palestinians on that day in Gaza. 59 second of his film was shown on television and it showed a father and his child in the midst of the gunfight, unable to escape. The Palestinian journalist claimed the Israelis shot the child. Charles Enderlin of France 2, the channel's bureau chief provided a voice over for the video in which he claimed that the Palestinian boy had been the "target of fire coming from the Israeli position." Enderlin had not been present at the gun battle. The father of the boy became a convincing victim, declaring to the media that the world should avenge his boy's death by harming Israel and that his boy was a 'martyr for Al-Aqsa' The Muslim world printed postage stamps of the death of the boy and assaults on Jews in the western world followed. It subsequently turned out much of Enderlin's story was caught up in lies. He lied when he said the boy's death had been captured on camera but was too emotional to show on France 2. In actuality the boy's death was not depicted. It turned out some of the footage showed other Palestinian boys playing dead for the camera. In the end the media had not only been duped by its Palestinian reporter and hs sympathies but had in fact created a nice propaganda film designed to sow hatred and anger. During the Second Lebanon War Adnan Hajj, a local Lebanese man with his sympathies for Hizbullah, took a photo of smoke billowing out of Beirut after an Israeli bombing raid. Hajj sold his photos to Reuters which released them to the world, which displayed them unquestionably. It turned out the photos were amateurish fakes in which one piece of smoke had been cut and pasted dozens of times to make the bombing appear worse than it was. Reuters appologized for the 'inconvenience'.

    In all these cases we see a reckless disregard for the truth and a lack of responsibility. The news organizations simply appear incapable of even examining the photos they use in the most marginal way. Their excuse will be that they are given hundreds of thousand sof photos and they receive them from trusted sources, such as Reuters and the AFP and therefore cannot be responsible for examining them all. Under their contract with Reuters they except that the due diligence has already been done. But when these mistakes happen again and again one would think that the media would employ someone to examine the photos for evidence of simple fakery (the images by Hajj and from Sepah could be created by anyone using the most simple devices in Microsoft's Paint, they don't even require the expertise of Photoshop and the deception is so easy to spot that average people have been the one's blowing the wistles on the photos, not media watchdogs.)

    One would assume that the media might have at least a modicum of prudence when it comes to trusting images from 'freelance' Arab Muslim Shiite photographers in Lebanon during a war with Israel or from the website of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The media, in a clear mark of irresponsibility, does not bother to check the source. Yet the same media, and especially the BBC, always puts quotes around any stories that eminate from event he highest levels of government in England, Washington or Tel Aviv. Thus when the American government claims something it appears in quotes. Death tolls often appear in quotes. But an image does not appear in quotes, nor does its caption. There is the typical saying that a 'picture is worth a thousand words'. Since the BBC puts so many of its words in quotes one would think that it would have the common decency to put images it displays in quotes or at least explain the source of the material. To blindly pass off the propaganda of the Revolutionary Guards of Iran makes the BBC, in effect, a subsidiary of the Iranian regime. This is, in fact, what has taken place. The media is, for all intents and purposes, part of the propaganda efforts of various Middle Eastern potentates and terrorists. Its lack of responsibility means that it is used by terrorists to get their message out and inflate their claims and fake their 'suffering'. The media always plays the victim in this, acting as it it was given fake material. But who is the victim? If a person buys rotten fruit that is obviously rotten is he truly being 'tricked'. As a famous Muslim imam in Australia asked 'if someone leaves meat outside and another person takes it, who is to blame, the person who left the meat out or the person who took it?' It is unlawful and irresponsible for someone to manipulate images. But given the fact that so many images are maniupated the media should doubly examine any image coming from the Middle East, especially during a time of conflict, as to its authenticity. If one buys rotten produce again and again from the same market at some point they themselves are at fault. If they buy the rotten produce and then give it away to others, as the AFP and Reuters do with these forged and altered images, then they are passing on the rotten fruit and they are at fault for not inspecting it. This is the situation we are dealing with. It is a situation of the utmost in irresponsible behaviour and it means that when dealing with the Middle East and reporting on Muslim countries ones should not only stop trusting the stories eminating from the media but should also no longer trust any of the images. The pictures are no longer worth a thousand words. They are worth nothing.

    2. Where did all the jobs go?
    July 8th, 2008
    Seth J. Frantzman

    In 1714 the following jobs were the occupations of the residents of Bradford, England. Three percent were owners of land. 14 percent were 'landless labour'. Three percent were involved in coal mining. 23 percent were involved in textiles. 19 percent made their daily bread in 'clothing and footwear'. Five percent worked in 'food and drink'. 9 percent were employed in building. 12 percent worked in 'minor trades and industries'. Seven percent worked in 'services'. Three percent were in the professions. 1 percent were 'gentry' and 1 percent were in the militia. In nearby villages the main occupations were coalmining, landless labour and work in the textile industry. In nearby Scotland a list of 'old occupations' contains many interesting, and forgotten, jobs. There was the 'beadman' (Bedeswoman and Beildsman as well) or licensed beggars. There was the 'Alewife' or woman who ran a pub. There were 'Berlin Blackers' who applied black varnish to iron tools. There was the Chapman who dealt goods from his donkey cart by traveling from village to village. There were Byremen who looked after cows. There were Cork Cutters who cut cork imported from Portugal. There was the Cowan (and Dyker) who built dry stone walls. There was a Fethelar or town fiddler. There was the Ghillie or 'highland guard of wild game'. There was a Moneyer, the man who made coins. There was the Rope spinner or maker of rope and the Rove Carrier who moved fibres and flax before spinning. There was the Sprigger who made fine linen. There was the Thong Maker who made leather whips and other leather goods. There was a Walkser whose job was to wet cloth and step on it in order to thicken and clean it. There was also the Wadsetter or holder of a mortgage.

    Today's human looks with disdain on these jobs and celebrates the fact that either they no longer exist, machines do them or 'other people' do them. In the Western countries and other wealthy states these jobs have been exported overseas or they have been usurped by machines. Such were the results of industrialization, globalization and the increasing abilities of assembly line robots to do intricate work.

    There was a time when most people did labour with their hands. But there have been at least two generations, if not three or four, that have separated us from our forbears. Such mundane textile jobs and farm labour is something so remote that most could not imagine it. But society increases daily with more and more people as populations grow (except in Europe). So as these 'old' occupations have disappeared new occupations have had to replace them. Most people, even in this technologically advanced society, must work in order to survive. But given the flaccid nature of people and the fact that so few of them are capable of doing work with their hands any longer society has had to increase the number of jobs that do not require much work. In order to do this we have created a generation of people employed in what was then called 'services'.

    One example of these new kind of jobs that have come to replace the 'Walkser' and the 'Dyker' are jobs described as "Community and External Affairs and Business diversity." This was the description of Michelle Obama's job at a hospital for which she was paid $275,000 a year. Michelle Obama might be the posterchild of a generation for whome work is an abstract theoretical concept. Michelle may have grown up in a modest home but she aspired to higher things. She got into Princeton and spent her time there complaining about how racist it was (although the fact that she was allowed to go there seems to belie this claim). She became wealthy through working a variety of non-jobs, non-occupations, for which no work was required and no results could be provided. After all, how does someone measure 'community outreach' for a hospital? People are dying everyday, they must go to the hospital. Does one need to outreach to them?

    In the end Michelle became a bandleader of the movement against occupation. She has publicly stated to college students that they should not "go into corporate America." Yet at the same time she claims that "Barack Obama will require you to work." But what will this 'work' look like? This work is entirely predicated on the idea that things that are not real occupations can be subsumed under the idea of what 'work' is and then meaningless labels can be dished out to this years college students so that they will all work as 'grant writers' or 'community representatives' or 'organizers' or some other noncupation. In fact that is what these jobs are, they are the opposite of an occupation, they are noncupations.

    It was inevitable that technology would produce this. Movies about the future made between the 1950s and the present have always shown a future where no one works. People are always portrayed walking around in similar track suits but they never seem to have jobs. If they have occupations it is as some sort of officer or deckhand on a star cruiser. In Aliens the movie the directors created a universe that involved futuristic soldiers, but no one had an occupation outside of the military. What jobs were there in Star Wars. There were all the imperial soldiers of Darth Vader and the people who drove his star ships around. Luke Skywalker's uncle was a farmer. But those were basically the only occupations shown in the film. People can't imagine occupations in the future because we have witnessed to many honest occupations fall by the wayside. We imagine a future in which no one works.

    The present state of society, in which people hold jobs that are not real occupations and in which few if any people use their hands during work (except to type), has created all the need for 'meaning' in life. People even volunteer to do old occupations so as to find themselves. They believe that through a few weeks of 'work' they will suddenly have an awakening. The need for all this meaning in life may stem from a lack of actual skills in life but the remedy, psychologists, psychiatrists and 'meditation' does not seem to bring people any closer to knowing what work once was. People in movies speak of owning farms and living off the land but most are ill-equipped to do so. The stories of people like Chris Mcandlis in Into the Wild appeal to people because they wish they too could abandon all to live in a pre-modern state of being.

    The romanticism of the late 19th and early 20th century, both among the Communists and Fascists, saw nations of people working together to build themselves up. These mass ideologies or 'Sacred Causes' tried to re-envision a nation of romantic workers and peasants, all happily working as cogs in the machine. Both the Germans and the Soviets romanticized the countryside and each had their ideologies of 'returning to the soil'. In Russia it was the peasant commune and in Germany it was 'blood and soil'. Either way it was a reaction to modernity which saw ever more people crammed into cities and the land turning fallow as the agricultural people left it to find work in factories. This was a harbinger of doom for folk tradition. But the solution found in Nazism and Communism was mass industrialization. There was to be no true return to the land. Attempts were made to colonize vast swaths of hitherto useless land as shown in David Blackbourn's excellent study Conquest of Nature. In essence, however, this was the irony of these mass movements based on a romantic notion of nature: there was no return, merely a conquest of nature and a slow destruction of it.

    In the Democratic west the conquest of nature proceeded apace with a conquest of the soul that was the result of a lack of occupations being open to the youth. There simply are no more jobs. They have all disappeared. The fact that the best and brightest in the West abhor the 'corporation' and blame all of societies ills on it merely shows the degree to which the wool has been pulled over our eyes. Corporate life holds some of the last actual occupations that are left over from the ancient world. It still has some attachment to the idea of work as a way of life and as an ethos. While small businesses are rightly celebrated as a wonderful part of society few people aspire to work in small businesses. People aspire to the nameless occupations where the real money is. Since people can pull down huge salaries such as $275,000 a year for working as a 'community relations consultant' there is no reason to aspire to having a real occupation.

    Everyday there are fewer and fewer occupations. There are fewer and fewer skills. Everyday people become more and more separated from any sense of their surrounding environment. Karl Marx spoke of factory workers being alienated from their labour but today's people are alienated from humanity. They are alienated from the environment. They are alienated from nature. They are mindless automatons who have no real skills and cannot even explain what it is they actually do for a 'living'.

    3. Biting the Hand that feeds: the path of the immigrant and the terrorist
    July 2nd, 2008
    Seth J. Frantzman

    There was, we are told, a time when the immigrant arrived and paid homage to his new land. He was proud of his new nation. His new country offered him the freedoms and opportunity so sorely lacking in his home country. In some periods the immigrant has lived up this image. In some periods he has become patriotic and he has assimilated and he has even become part of the mainstream culture of his new country. After a few generations his descendants even forget their foreign roots, such has been their assimilation. Sometimes he has preserved his culture and made it part of the culture of his adopted country.

    But there is another type of immigrant. There is another type of person out there. This person, who is present in ever greater numbers in society, has disdain for his new country. (his disdain however is matched by the disdain which citizens today hold for their own countries as well) He has a deep hatred and contempt for it. The more he becomes familiar with it the more he is exposed to the new culture the more he hates it. As states are ever more giving to immigrants, granting them ever more freedoms, they become ever more immodest in their treatment of their adopted countries. As society comes to appreciate diversity, multiculturalism and tolerance more and more there is an ever greater attempt to worship the culture of the immigrant, the 'other', and to encourage him to maintain his values. This, in itself, is not a terrible thing except for the fact that increasingly cultures of intolerance are encouraged and multi-culturalism is used as an excuse for supporting hatred. There is an ever greater attempt, on the part of the immigrant and the mutli-culturalists, to isolate the immigrant in a certain place next to his kin. Then the immigrant, angry at what he now considers his low station in life, explodes with rage over some perceived offense.

    Take two cases in Europe as examples. In Scotland in June of 2008 the police department distributed fliers advertising a non-emergency number on them. To draw attention to the cards that were mailed to residents and given to shopkeepers to display a small 6 month old puppy named 'Rebel' was pictured on the cover next to a policeman's cap. Soon newspaper articles were appearing saying that the cards were offensive. Pray tell who was offended? It turns out Muslims find dogs offensive because they are unclean. Of course, the postcards were not actual dogs, just pictures of them. Muslims don't like dogs, perhaps the way normal people don't like pictures of shit (one should note here that in the Koran dogs are compared to Jews and pigs, so one might assume that a picture of a Jew on a postcard would have been equally offensive. But there are few Jews in the Scottish police force whose faces merit being put on postcard