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Posted by Boris Celser, June 30, 2007.

Image Before My Eyes: A Photographic History of Jewish Life in Poland, 1864-1939

By Lucjan Dobroszycki & Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

Published by Schocken Books, New York, 1977

ISBN 0-8052-3607-4


Boris Celser lives in Canada. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Mrla, June 30, 2007.

Today, among those states, organisations and people in the region who reject Israel's continued existence, there is a perception that the correct strategy for producing the eventual demise of the Jewish state has been found. The new strategy has been likened to the antique far-left doctrine of "prolonged popular war."

According to this view, conventional battlefield confrontation is only one of a variety of means to be employed to achieve the desired end. Ongoing, demoralising guerrilla attacks, which sap will and morale, the constant maintenance of conflict -- with the intention of preventing successful societal development, and a parallel political strategy of delegitimisation and isolation -- are all key ingredients. The perceived combination of sophistication and indefatigability represented by Hizbullah in Lebanon is a key model and source of inspiration in this.

Victory here is not predicated on a Syrian armored column entering Tel Aviv. The intention is to gradually whittle away at the various components of Israel's strength. The goal is to make of Israel a "failed state", in which the pursuit of normal life becomes impossible

This is where the various international delegitimisation initiatives come in. Initiatives such as the UCU boycott are the result of the efforts of a fairly small number of people. The anti-Israel boycott campaign offers a chance for activists of fringe political organisations to "punch above their weight" and for a moment take centre stage. The people behind the latest move in Britain, for example, are members of a small far-left party -- the Socialist Workers party.

This was written by Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. The Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya P.O. Box 167 Herzliya, 46150 Israel Email: gloria@idc.ac.il Phone: +972-9-960-2736 Fax: +972-9-956-8605

The decision by the University and College Union (UCU) to consider a boycott of Israel is the latest manifestation of a broader process which has been steadily gathering speed in the last half-decade: the converging of opinion on the Middle East conflict among members of two camps, who might ordinarily be considered to have little in common.

The two camps are the European radical left and supporters -- both in Europe and here, in the region of Islamist states and organisations. The alliance is built around a joint commitment to Israel's disappearance from the map.

Supporters of these streams sometimes gather together. The "anti-war" conference in Cairo in April of this year, attended by representatives of Hamas, Hizbullah and European extreme-left and Islamist groups, was organised jointly by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian Socialist Revolutionary party. Leaders of Respect -- that joint venture of far-leftists and Muslim Brothers -- were also in attendance.

But the important cross-pollination is taking place in the realm of ideas and strategies, rather than joint political organisation.

Israel's regional enemies are currently in a state of euphoria. The failures of the second Lebanon war, combined with the possibly imminent eclipse of US strategy in Iraq, and the emergence of Iran as an active sponsor and inspiration for radical Islamist organisations, have combined to produce in the region an atmosphere familiar to students of its history. This mood might aptly be termed "pre-conflict euphoria". Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent contention that the "countdown to Israel's destruction has begun" perfectly captures it.

A previous manifestation of this phenomenon in the region took place in the period between Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in August, 1990, and his expulsion from there in Operation Desert Storm in January 1991. The atmosphere in Arab capitals prior to the war of June 1967, and the lionisation of the Palestinian guerrillas in 1968-70 are similar instances. On all these occasions, broad swathes of the intelligentsia and the people of a number of regional states came to believe that after many failures, they had finally found the blueprint for defeating Israel, and undoing the shame inherent in its creation.

Today, among those states, organisations and people in the region who reject Israel's continued existence, there is a perception that the correct strategy for producing the eventual demise of the Jewish state has been found. The new strategy has been likened to the antique far-left doctrine of "prolonged popular war".

According to this view, conventional battlefield confrontation is only one of a variety of means to be employed to achieve the desired end. Ongoing, demoralising guerrilla attacks, which sap will and morale, the constant maintenance of conflict -- with the intention of preventing successful societal development, and a parallel political strategy of delegitimisation and isolation -- are all key ingredients. The perceived combination of sophistication and indefatigability represented by Hizbullah in Lebanon is a key model and source of inspiration in this.

Victory here is not predicated on a Syrian armored column entering Tel Aviv. The intention is to gradually whittle away at the various components of Israel's strength. The goal is to make of Israel a "failed state", in which the pursuit of normal life becomes impossible.

This is where the various international delegitimisation initiatives come in. Initiatives such as the UCU boycott are the result of the efforts of a fairly small number of people. The anti-Israel boycott campaign offers a chance for activists of fringe political organisations to "punch above their weight" and for a moment take centre stage. The people behind the latest move in Britain, for example, are members of a small far-left party -- the Socialist Workers party.

But such figures have been able to emerge from eccentric obscurity precisely because of the current febrile mood regarding Israel and the Middle East conflict among significant parts of educated British opinion.

Thrilled by the militant challenge offered by the popular war strategy and its supporters, the boycotters wish to cast themselves in the mould of the anti-Vietnam war and anti-apartheid campaigners of the past. They will do their bit by cutting the ties of support linking the enemy entity to its western backers through commerce, trade, and cultural and educational links. Israel, in the analogy, is to play the unflattering role of Thieu's doomed South Vietnamese republic, or the apartheid regime.

Ultimately, the followers of the strategy of prolonged popular war and their international cheerleaders are advocates of failed ideologies, backed by states whose achievements in the field of societal and economic development are modest in the extreme. Previous outbreaks of pre-conflict euphoria in 1967, 1970 and 1990-91, ended in defeat and humiliation. In all three of the previous cases cited, however, it is worth noting that the mood eventually faded as a result of a decisive military humiliation suffered by its main protagonists. This time, hopefully, another way will be found in time to deflate the ugly, politicidal alliance now gathering strength.

Contact Mrla at mrla26@aol.com

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Posted by Professor Gerald M. Steinberg, June 30, 2007.

This was published June 2007 in JCPA as Vol. 7, No. 6 June 28, 2007
http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=1&DBID= 1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=443&PID=0&IID=1601&TTL=Advice_for_Mr._Blair: _Stop_Patronizing_the_Palestinians

  • In taking the position of "international peace envoy" for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr. Blair will need to change the basic political parameters in order to avoid another catastrophic failure.

  • Most importantly, this will require abandoning the widely held images of Palestinian victimization and demonization of Israel. Palestinians must be shown that massive corruption, as well as terror and incitement have unacceptable costs, and that they must take control over their destiny.

  • British and European leaders, academics, NGO officials, journalists, clergy, and others who have fostered the patronizing image of Palestinian helplessness and who have turned a blind eye to corruption and terror must also change frameworks. Continued aid must be tied to performance in these key dimensions.

  • On this basis, it may be possible for Mr. Blair to encourage the transformation in Palestinian society that will one day create the basis for pragmatic compromise and a stable peace with Israel.
Given the dismal record of many would-be peacemakers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Tony Blair must realize that the prospects of success as the latest peace envoy are not good. Having spent a great deal time on and in the region as Prime Minister, he must be aware of the obstacles, and the absence of any magic formula for instant peace in this most protracted of ethno-national and religious conflicts. Mr. Blair has seen enough to know that good intentions and simplistic slogans are not enough, and that real peace requires the type of societal transformations that take many years, once it begins.

The brutality of the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the collapse of the remnants of Fatah and the PLO may provide a small foundation from which to begin this transformation among the Palestinians, particular those in the West Bank. But this process will also require a basic change in international policies and perceptions with respect to Palestinians. In particular, the patronizing and ineffective emphasis on Palestinian suffering and helplessness that has dominated actions since 1948 must end. Palestinians must be given the opportunity and the external push to take control over their own destiny, and stop seeing themselves simply as passive victims.

The rampant corruption and failed leadership in Palestinian society is, to a large degree, a product of the massive welfare system in effect since the Israeli defeat of the 1948 Arab invasion, and the refugees that resulted. At that time, "temporary" camps and housing were created under control of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Rather than work to end their refugee status, as in many similar situations of warfare and displacement, (and following Israel's example of integrating hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees who fled violence in Arab countries), this situation was deliberately and cynically perpetuated. The objective was blatantly political -- as long as refugees and camps existed, the goal of reversing the UN partition resolution and the establishment of Israel remained alive. In this central respect, nothing has changed in almost 60 years.

Beyond the massive economic cost of maintaining this situation (UNRWA spends hundreds of millions of dollars per year), more damage is caused by perpetuating the image of Palestinian victimization. The Arab defeat in the 1967 war led to the reinforcement of this image, as well as further increases in welfare funding through other aid and development frameworks through European governments, major churches, and powerful via pro-Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Although the PLO was founded in 1964, and came to be accepted as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people", its leaders limited their activities to the political and military struggle against Israel. Yassir Arafat showed no interest in building civil society or ending the dependence and victimization. On the contrary, for decades, he was a major contributor to this syndrome.

The international community, and particularly European governments, perpetuated and widened this process, handing over additional funds, often in bags of cash handed directly to Arafat and his cronies. Officials in London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Oslo, Bern, Stockholm, Rome and elsewhere, ignored the obvious evidence of massive corruption and the lack of interest in building institutions or providing services (the report written much later by the EU's watchdog agency OLAF remains a tightly guarded secret, making a mockery of European calls for transparency).

The core reason for allowing huge amounts of European tax revenues to disappear among Palestinian officials was paternalism. European leaders did not expect anything better from Arafat and Fatah, and did not try or condition aid to fundamental changes. After the 1993 Oslo peace framework established the Palestinian Authority and the refugee camps in this territory ceased to exist, the image of victims and helpless refugees continued, and the corruption increased, abetted by the donors.

In parallel, the "Palestinian cause" and the prevalent image of helpless victims was perpetuated among self-proclaimed human rights groups and other NGOs, in the media, in churches, on university campuses, and among politicians. In Britain, powerful groups such as War on Want, Christian Aid, and others held rallies for the Palestinians, collected funds, and demonized Israel through boycott and divestment campaigns. European leaders continued to embrace Arafat until his death, long after his personal corruption and failed leadership was revealed and many Palestinians distanced themselves. By the same token, Palestinians were not expected to behave by the ordinary rules of moral and civilized behavior, or to respect human rights. And no terror attack, including bus bombings and suicide bombers in cafes, was considered repulsive enough by officials in Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch to change in this neo-colonialist image of Palestinian victimhood.

Given this dismal condition, Mr. Blair would be well advised to avoid more of the same -- more victimization and sympathy for "Palestinian suffering". A sharp cut-off of all international aid would worsen the situation, but the terms of this assistance should be radically altered. Palestinians must be told that the aid will decrease annually, and that they will have no alternative but to use this assistance to become self-sufficient and to demand effective leaders. And this aid should no longer be used to perpetuate the political and ideological war against Israel being waged, in large part, through the manipulated images of passive Palestinian victimhood.

This in itself will be a very difficult challenge for Mr. Blair and his staff. They will encounter stiff resistance from both Palestinian and European officials in UNRWA, the powerful development agencies such as DFID, the pro-Palestinians NGOs that receive this funding, and elsewhere and who know no other approach. Most importantly, if this is to succeed, Palestinians must be taught to take responsibility for their own situation, rather than appealing for international assistance, both economic and political, whenever they are in difficulty. In this process, more Palestinians will come to realize that support for terror and suicide bombers, and the preaching of incitement in schools, mosques and the media, has an unacceptable cost. And along with Mr. Blair, they will also understand that the decades of war with Israel must finally end through difficult compromises on the Palestinian side as well. Without leaders and society capable of such compromises, nothing else will succeed.

Gerald M. Steinberg is editor of NGO Monitor and director of the Program on Conflict Management at Bar-Ilan University.

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Posted by Susan Rosenbluth, June 30, 2007.

At the beginning of May, the Bush administration handed Israeli and Palestinian leaders an eight-month timetable setting specific dates -- some of which have already passed -- for steps both sides must take to push the peace process forward. The timeline demands that Israel remove its security roadblocks from Palestinian areas and allow Palestinian bus and truck convoys to travel unimpeded between Gaza and Judea and Samaria.

The timeline gives dates for PA President Mahmoud Abbas to deploy his forces in an attempt to implement a halt to the terrorist Qassam rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.

The US plan demands that Israel approve and support, in an "immediate and ongoing" manner, US requests for weapons, munitions, and equipment for PA forces loyal to Mr. Abbas.

"The eight-month timeline calls for a series of steps that resemble the 'confidence-building measures' laid out in the tattered Road Map plan, another US initiative which Israel began to carry out and the PA basically ignored," said Hana Levi Julian of Arutz Sheva.


US diplomats said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was committed to the effort and that she hoped to draw up a blueprint that both sides would agree to, possibly in writing, when she arrives in the Middle East on May 15. The US plan calls for the "benchmarks" to be implemented between May 1 and the end of December.

A senior US official who has been involved in the discussions told Reuters that the benchmarks, which, he said, both sides had, at least in principle, agreed to, were designed to give Israelis and Palestinians "an incentive."

"One side gets security. The other side gets greater freedom of movement," said the official.

"A Joke"

Upon receiving the timetable, Israeli officials said many of the benchmarks imposed on the Jewish state would be impossible from a security standpoint. Hamas leaders said they simply would refuse to adhere to the US plan which essentially asks the Palestinians to halt their rocket fire and relinquish terrorism in exchange for easing of restrictions and barriers in PA areas.

"I swear it's a joke," the Damascus-based Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mishaal told Al Jazeera. "The equation has now become: dismantling the checkpoints in exchange for giving up resistance. This has become the Palestinian cause."

Mr. Mishaal said the Palestinians would "never agree to stop Qassam rockets in exchange for easing barriers."

"Very Dangerous"

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, the PA minister of information and formal spokesman for the Hamas government, called the American initiative "very dangerous."

"It does not meet the minimum hopes of the Palestinian people," he said, noting that it "does not include one single word in reference to lifting the economic siege on the Palestinian people."

Ever since Hamas's election, the PA has faced an economic and diplomatic freeze from the US and most of Europe. To have aid restored, Hamas leaders will have to recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce terrorism, and accept all past signed agreements with Israel.

Thus far, Hamas, which is sworn to Israel's destruction, has adamantly refused to comply with any of those requirements, and the freeze, which the Palestinians refer to as "the siege," has continued.

"Pointless Initiative"

"The US administration asks the Palestinian people to stop resisting the occupation, in exchange for the removal of military checkpoints, which are scattered here and there, and Israel already started gesturing that they will refuse this initiative, in order to create an atmosphere of negotiations over an originally pointless initiative," said Dr. Barghouti,describing the document as "a plan to end and trivialize the Palestinian cause."

The An Nasser Salah Addin Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, characterized the US document as "a trickster's plan aimed to reduce Palestinian demands to below the level of the sacrifices that have been made so far."

Dr. Barghouti also objected to the US proposal's reference only to Mr. Abbas's Presidential Guards, rather than the entire PA government, which, of course, means Hamas. This, he said, was a US attempt "to set a crack between the government and the presidency."

Dr. Barghouti said if the Hamas government falls, "there will be no other government having the same Palestinian unanimity." He vowed that Hamas would not seek early elections because that would "neglect the challenge to break the siege imposed on the Palestinian people."

No Conditionality

Israeli officials said most troubling from their perspective was Washington's decision to set specific dates for when Israel would begin allowing Palestinians to travel from Gaza to Judea and Samaria.

"There is no conditionality. Even if the Palestinians don't complete their obligations, the US will expect us to complete ours," a senior Israeli official explained.

Israelis fear that Hamas will use the proposed convoys to extend the terrorists' power and weapons from Gaza into Judea and Samaria.

Since Israel withdrew unilaterally from Gaza in the summer of 2005, Palestinian terrorists have smuggled into that area over 30 tons of illegal, offensive weaponry. It is feared that convoys would permit these weapons to reach terrorist groups in Judea and Samaria, where the security situation has not deteriorated as badly as it has in Gaza.

Israeli officials also raised concerns that the Jewish state was being asked to ease restrictions on Palestinian movements without any assurances that Mr. Abbas has completed his own commitments to security.

Talk and Photo-Ops

"Under the plan, Israel agrees to allow the transfer of weapons to the Palestinians and to unilaterally and unconditionally forfeit Israel's security. At the same time, all the Palestinians are required to do is make declarations, hold meetings, publish documents, and have photo-ops, including at least one showing they are 'beginning to destroy tunnel networks,'" said Dr. Aaron Lerner of the IMRA news agency.

He pointed out that the Palestinians already have produced some photos of PA forces pouring cement into tunnels as well as deploying forces, efforts that had no impact on either smuggling or Qassam rocket fire.

Dr. Lerner maintained that, if the US were really serious, it could have required a different set of benchmarks for the Palestinians, such as the destruction of a specific list of "hard targets," including training camps or specifically identified fortifications.

The US plan says nothing about requiring the Palestinians to close down rocket factories or confiscate rockets, weapons, or explosives, or hand over contraband for removal or destruction.

Nothing Real

Asked why he thought the American proposal has no real benchmarks for the Palestinians, Dr. Lerner offered two possibilities: The Americans don't really think the Palestinians can meet any goals, or the Americans "really don't care."

"Which is worse? In either case, this means the US is proposing that Israel unilaterally increase the exposure of its citizens to terror attacks," he said.

It is suspected that even the minimal security demands on Mr. Abbas could bring a backlash from Hamas and other terrorist groups, which have already stated that they have no intention of complying with the US plan.

"Some of these steps are difficult," said Mr. Abbas's aid, Saeb Erekat. "But it's the right approach."

Not All Demands

On May 4, officials in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said Israel would not be able to agree to all the demands in the US document, especially the issue of the convoys. Other requirements in the plan, such as the lifting of restrictions on Palestinians' movements, seem more acceptable, the officials said.

"Some of the ideas in the timetable Israel is already implementing; others are already well advanced; and there are some that Israel will not be able to address at the present because of security concerns," an official in Mr. Olmert's office said.

The demand for a corridor between PA territories is not new. Such convoys were approved in a deal brokered by Ms. Rice in November 2005 before the Hamas terror organization became the ruling faction of the PA government.

Hamas in Gaza

Although Israel faced numerous attacks before Hamas's election, the number skyrocketed after the terror group took control of the PA in January 2006. Since Hamas has been in power, Gaza has been the site of kidnappings of an IDF soldier, foreign nationals, and Palestinians from many different factions.

In fact, the situation in Gaza has so badly deteriorated that thousands of PA residents are reportedly lining up for visas that will enable them to live in other countries, far away from life under the PA government.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed and wounded in the internecine fighting between Hamas and Fatah as they battle for control of the government, despite the unity coalition that was supposed to end the bloodshed.

Journalists Targeted

Reflecting the general consensus that Gaza is simply not safe, many foreign journalists no longer maintain permanent bureaus there, and the Foreign Press Association recently warned its members to avoid on-site coverage in Gaza if at all possible.

Since Hamas took power, a number of reporters have been kidnapped, including journalists from the Associated Press, Fox News, the French Agence France Presse, Presse, and others. Some were held for a few hours; others much longer.

On March 12, Alan Johnston, a Scottish national who works as a reporter for the British Broadcasting Corporation and had been in Gaza for three years, was kidnapped and has not been heard from since. In mid-April, a Gaza group, "The Battalions of Jihad and Tawheed in Palestine," said to be allied with the Islamist terror organization Al Qaeda, issued a flyer claiming it had executed Mr. Johnston and promised to release a video showing his murder.

The announcement connected Mr. Johnston's kidnapping with Israel's imprisonment of convicted Arab terrorists from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

Beyond the flyer, there has been no further confirmation of Mr. Johnston's death and no video has been released.

Unpopular Prime Minister

Perhaps one of the major obstacles to the US plan from the Israeli side is the fact that it was Mr. Olmert who agreed to it, and no one knows whether his government will last another week, to say nothing of eight months.

At the end of April, the Winograd Commission, which was established to investigate the government's mishandling of the Second Lebanon War last summer, issued its findings which severely castigated Mr. Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, who had already resigned.

In the wake of the Winograd Commission's findings, there have been serious calls from inside the government and from the public, for Mr. Olmert to resign and for new elections to be held.

Mr. Olmert's support levels in the polls had been hovering at about three percent before the Winograd Commission's report. Afterwards, they dropped to nearly zero.

Waiting for Bibi

The polls also predict that, if Mr. Olmert's government falls and new elections are called, the Likud party will receive between 30 and 35 Knesset seats, compared to its present representation of 12 MKs. The polls have consistently shown that the head of Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu, is favored to be the next prime minister and that he would have little trouble forming a politically conservative coalition with the National Union/National Religious Party, Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu, and a hareidi religious party, such as Shas. The three parties are expected to garner about 30 seats together, easily giving Mr. Netanyahu the necessary 61 seats to form a government.

In addition, a recent poll gave Russian businessman Arkadi Gaydamak's prospective new party nine seats. Mr. Gaydamak has already forged a political alliance with Mr. Netanyahu.

Asked about his plans, Mr. Netanyahu said he felt ready to reassume the position of prime minister. He said he had learned his lessons from his previous term at the head of the government, and he predicted Mr. Olmert's government would fall prematurely due to public pressure.

Mr. Netanyahu and the Likud are regarded as much more security-minded than are Mr. Olmert and his government, meaning that a Netanyahu government is more likely to object to any US benchmarks that involve security risks.

Israel's security establishment has already said the moves required in the benchmark plan would dramatically endanger already vulnerable Israeli civilians who face constant missile launchings from Gaza, suicide bombings, and other terrorist attacks.

A Gift

According to IMRA's Dr. Lerner, the new American proposal may be an inadvertent gift to Mr. Olmert.

"At the very moment that many Israelis are focused on getting rid of the rascals, Ms. Rice has provided a common enemy in the form of a one-sided ludicrous proposal for Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to fight on behalf of the Jewish state," he said.

The PA's problem is that while Mr. Abbas may agree to the US plan, he has, in the past, proven powerless against Hamas, who has already stated its objections to it.

Not Yet Accepted

The US blueprint was written by US security coordinator, Major-Gen Keith Dayton; US Ambassador to Israel Dick Jones; and US Consul-General in Jerusalem Jacob Walles.

Ms. Rice approved it before it was presented to Israel and the PA, neither of whom has formally accepted it yet.

Palestinian sources told Ha'aretz that the PA's Mr. Abbas has accepted the document, but, the sources said, it is feared that Mr. Olmert will "sabotage" it due to his precarious political situation.

Binding Document

If both sides accept the document, its rigid timetable will become a binding agreement.

The bus convoy operating five days a week between the Erez checkpoint at the entrance to Gaza and the Tarqumiya roadblock at the entrance to Hebron is required to be established no later than July 1, 2007.

Even earlier --

June 1, 2007 -- Israel is required to remove specific roadblocks and other traffic and movement restrictions in Bethlehem, Hebron, and Shechem (Nablus).

The document requires the PA to develop a plan against the Qassam rockets no later than June 21, 2007, and Mr. Abbas must deploy his forces against the terrorists by then. Palestinian forces are also required to act to prevent arms smuggling in Gaza in coordination with Israel.

The plan requires Israel and the PA to re-establish coordination and liaison headquarters in Judea and Samaria.

Transferring Weapons

Some Israeli officials expressed dismay at the new plan's requirement for Israel to transfer or allow others to transfer weapons to the PA. This, too, is not a new idea. In the past, Israel has been encouraged to allow weapons to reach Palestinian leaders who allegedly were going to make efforts to stop terrorism. It never worked, and the weapons that went to the Palestinians usually were eventually used to kill Jews.

In May 2006, weapons given to the PA were used in terrorist attacks that resulted in the death of one Israeli and the wounding of another.

Last December, when another series of weapons were transferred to PA forces loyal to Mr. Abbas, a Palestinian-terrorist leader frankly told the press, "We promise to show Israelis very soon that the weapons brought for [Mr. Abbas's] Presidential Guard and [PA] security forces will be used against the occupation."

Yuval Steinitz, then chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, predicted that "a lot of IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians will be killed with these weapons."

No Discussion of Benchmarks

According to Mr. Olmert's foreign press adviser, Miri Eisen, benchmarks were not discussed by Messrs. Olmert and Abbas at their meeting in mid-April.

"They certainly discussed the problem that the Palestinians have not addressed the security issue to Israel's satisfaction at all," Ms. Eisen told Dr. Lerner. She called the halting of Qassam rocket-fire into Israel "a pretty obvious benchmark."

"This is something that comes up at every meeting. And the bottom line is that Israel is not willing to expand -- certainly not the 'non-ceasefire,'" she said.

However, she said, there has been no discussion between the Israelis and Palestinians on any concrete benchmarks that fall into a timeline for achievement.

Endanger Israeli Lives

In the US, the Zionist Organization of America took immediate exception to the "benchmark plan." ZOA president Morton Klein, who is urging Israel to reject the plan, wrote to President George Bush, asking him to revoke it.

Mr. Klein said the plan "entails major Israeli concessions to the unreformed Hamas/PA terrorist regime and will thus endanger Israeli lives."

Mr. Klein pointed out that the plan does not mention the need for the PA to fulfill its commitments under the signed Oslo agreements and the Road Map to jail terrorists, close Palestinian-terrorists' weapons factories, and end the incitement to hatred and murder which is regularly heard in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools, and youth camps that feeds terrorism.

"None of these commitments have been fulfilled by the PA," said Mr. Klein.

Rewarding Terror

He pointed out that, in return for many far-reaching concessions by Israel, all the "benchmark plan" requires of the PA is that it deploy security forces and merely "begin curbing rocket fire" into Israel by Palestinian terrorist groups.

"The 'benchmark plan' is simply a dangerous mistake that rewards the PA's promotion of terror and refusal to comply with their signed commitments. It not only fails to hold them accountable for their horrific actions, but sends a message that we are not serious about their compliance with past agreements," said Mr. Klein.

He maintained that because the plan "seeks to launch Israel along the road to major concessions to the PA regardless of the on-going non-fulfillment of PA commitments" to past agreements, the "benchmark plan" is "divorced from reality" and "dangerous to the security and welfare of Israel and its citizens as well as to America and its citizens."

Under these circumstances, he said, the new plan "not only makes a mockery of Israel and US, but sends the message to Al-Qaeda and others murdering Americans in Iraq and elsewhere that terrorism pays."

No More Weapons

Mr. Klein also strongly condemned the "benchmark plan" requirement that Israel supply weapons to the PA at the discretion of Maj-Gen Dayton, calling it "an insult to Israeli sovereignty and a danger to Israeli citizens."

"Israel has taken huge risks for peace in the past, handing over all of Gaza and half of Judea and Samaria to the PA, as well as money, assets, and even arms, all of which were simply used to murder and maim more innocent Jewish men, women and children. The very existence of this new timetable for further, dangerous Israeli concessions to the PA, which has done nothing to jail and arrest terrorists or end incitement to hatred and murder within the PA, shows that these realities are simply being ignored by Secretary Rice and her advisers," said Mr. Klein.

He called for the Israeli government to "decisively and utterly reject this plan" and for President Bush to "disown it."

"The 'benchmark plan' is simply incompatible with the President's insistence that he is 'the best friend Israel ever had,'" said Mr. Klein.

Susan Rosenbluth is published and editor of Jewish Voice and Opinion in Englewood, NJ. Contact her at susan@jewishvoiceandopinion.com or visit the website: http://jewishvoiceandopinion.com

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 30, 2007.

To: president@whitehouse.gov

Dear Mr. President,

There is a real civil war going on in the Gaza Strip now. Hamas is winning. Hamas seems to have planned an assassination attempt on both PM Abbas and PM Olmert. Hamas seems suddenly to have gone in to high gear with attacks on Fatah as well as on Israel.

Two questions come to mind:

1.) Why is Hamas diverting some of its bellicose energy against Israel, even while its fighters roam the streets of Gaza assassinating putative Fatah sympathizers and attacking Fatah emplacements and personnel?

my hypothetical explanation: to get Israel involved in the civil war.

Any Israeli retaliation against Hamas or its affiliates permits Hamas to blame Israel for the violence and deaths, to call the fighting an Israeli plot to divide the Palestinian forces, and, perhaps most important, to put Fatah in a position that puts it in a no-win situation and renders it incapable of functioning as a government --

-- if Fatah does not join Hamas in Hamas' attacks on Israel, and does not join Hamas in whatever counter-attack Hamas undertakes against Israel, then Fatah is a collaborator with Israel and loses support from the rank and file that support Hamas and want to see the terrorism continue....and then Hamas is justified in killing any Fatah people they can find....killing them for collaboration.

But if Fatah does join Hamas, then Abbas and the PA lose any ability to pretend to Israel and to the West (and especially to Condi and Bush) that Abbas and the PA are a moderate force struggling to contain Hamas (the old Arafat good-cop/bad-cop routine). So, either way, Fatah loses. And when Fatah loses, Hamas wins.

2.) Why now? Hamas is 20 years old, has grown in power and support and funding over these decades, and has risen from a local religious extremist terror group (sort of a regional franchise of the Muslim Brotherhood) to Arafat's partner, and then Abbas' partner, and now Abbas' boss (thanks to the Mecca Accords).

But why not continue that progress, and leverage its new political power into greater positions of power within the Palestinan populace and within the supportive (almost cheerleader) EU and UN?

Why now suddenly turn to civil war and armed assault on erstwhile partners....thus destroying any semblence of willingness to compromize and make peace -- that semblence being the political ambrosia that nourished the hope held so dear by Condi and Bush that with enough concessions and enough flexibility and enough restraint, Israel could somehow coax Hamas in to some sort of peace mode?

My hypothetical answer: el-Qaeda and Iran have taken over.

Per the analysis below, el-Qaeda has been in Gaza since c. August 2005, if not before. Its operatives have grown in strength and in recruits. And as some may recall, Dr. Ayman ez-Zawahiri (el-Qaeda's #2 terrorist leader) had some very harsh words with PA Prime Minister Isma'il Haniyeh earlier this year when it looked like Haniyeh was going to enter in to some type of agreement with Abbas in order to advance the notion that a 'Hudna' with Israel was in the works. ez-Zawahiri's chastizement of Haniyeh came on the tail of an argument between Haniyeh (who lives and works in Gaza) and Khaled Mesha'al, the operative leader of Hamas living in exile in Damascus. Mesha'al was displeased with the degree to which Haniyeh was ammenable to Abbas' more flexible approach to Israel, and to his willingness to meet with Rice about peace talks with Israel.

It looks like Mesha'al and ez-Zawahiri won.

And where does Iran fit in to this? Israeli security sources noted months ago that Iranian operatives were located in the Gaza Strip. Let's recall that despite their Shi'ite-vs.-Sunni differences, el-Qaeda and Iran have worked together for decades. And Iran has long desired (since the Presidency of Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani at least, and more probably since the Ayatollah Khoumeini's 'Islamic Revolution' back in November of 1979) to be the leading force in the world-wide Jihad against 'global non-belief', displacing Saudi Arabia who held that honor since shortly after the six-day war (June, 1967).

So, with Israel's evacuation of the Gaza Strip, the anarchy and power vaccuum there created the ideal circumstances for the injection of el-Qaeda forces in the Strip, with Iranian funding.

My guess (just a guess) is that Iran now funds Hamas, and with that funding gains leverage such that it, via its Damascus puppet Mesha'al, decides that Hamas needs to stay true to its doctrine and its commitments -- terrorism until victory of martyrdom. And to make sure that Haniyeh is not seduced by the power that he could wield if he were to acquiesce to the west's pressures to moderate, Iran sends in the el-Qaeda troops.

So, what better way to establish the supremacy of Jihadist Imperialist Supremacist Totalitarian Triumphalist Terrorist Theocratic Tyrannical Islamofascism than to:

a.) get rid of the more moderate competitor/partner in a civil war which Hamas is sure to win (recall that many PA police and security forces moonlighted for Hamas during the Intifada 2 years)

b.) re-envigorate the great Jihad which will go on until victory (destruction of Israel) or martyrdom (which is really not such a bad alternative if the Qur'an's promise of 72 virgins for all eternity is correct).

It may not be likely that this will lead to a better life for Palestinians, but it will most assuredly advance the cause of el-Qaeda's war against global non-belief and strengthen the position of Akhmedi-Nejad as the first and only Muslim leader to be in a position to really wipe out Israel and take on the full force of western opposition to the 'Islamic Revolution'.

That's why the civil war is happening now.

So, Mr. President, what should you learn from these events and analyses?




David Meir-Levi

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by Moshe Dann, June 30, 2007.

According to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) tens of billions of dollars (one-third from US taxpayers, the rest mostly from Canada and European countries) have been spent over the last 50 years providing "Palestinian refugees" and their descendents. An estimated half million people 60 years ago, that number is now over four million and increasing daily.

UNRWA's purpose: to insure the "Palestinian Right of Return" -- the destruction of Israel.

No Arab country except Jordan -- where they constitute more than two-thirds of the population -- accepts them as citizens. Saudi Arabia, for example, recently passed a law allowing all foreigner workers in the country to apply for Saudi citizenship next year – except Palestinians.

More than 400,000 "Palestinian refugees" living in UNWRA-supported "camps" in Lebanon cannot work or even go to school outside their designated areas. Ditto for Syria.

Most "Palestinian refugees" listed by UNRWA (which includes Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and Gaza) in 2002, don't even live in the camps, but in nearby villages and towns. All receive free assistance and services for the rest of their life, including their children, their grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, ad infinitum.

According to UNRWA's rules, anyone who applied for relief, claiming they lived in Palestine for at least two years prior to 1948 (when Israel was attacked) and claimed to have lost property and livelihood was entitled to assistance, regardless of where they came from, or where they live today. Once a "Palestinian refugee," always a "Palestinian refugee" –no matter what.

That explains why the number of "Palestinian refugees" who receive aid has grown from a few hundred thousand to four and a half million (although no one really knows the exact numbers because of UNRWA's faulty records). That number could double in a generation – along with UNRWA's nearly half-billion-dollar annual budget.

UNRWA is supposed to verify that those who receive assistance don't work. Not surprisingly, however, no one checks. No one confirms the validity of those who receive benefits from UNRWA. After death, certificates of eligibility are simply passed on to others. No one checks bank accounts, automobile registrations, or property ownership.

With multiple wives families can comprise scores of children – all "refugees."

And, according to UNRWA rules, even if one parent is "Palestinian," the entire family is eligible for assistance and "refugee" status.

UNRWA openly admits that they don't monitor programs that support terrorism, or payments to families of terrorists by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hizbullah and (until recently) Iraq's Sadaam Hussein.

In fact, nearly all teachers employed by UNRWA are members of terrorist-controlled unions. Funding these teachers and the curriculum of hatred and bigotry which they teach supports terrorism and terrorist organizations. This may explain why so many children are willing to blow themselves up, carry weapons and explosives and place themselves as shields for terrorists.

Although responsible for what goes on in the areas it administers, UNRWA ignores the fact that terrorists are being trained there, including the next generation of homicide bombers, that bomb-making factories flourish inside the camps, and that arms and ammunition are stockpiled there.

UNRWA ignores the launching of thousands of rocket attacks against Israel from within territory under its responsibility.

And most outrageous, UNRWA is accountable only to the UN General Assembly, dominated by the 56-member Organization of Islamic Conference which is also part of the 115-member Non-Aligned Movement -- an automatic majority in the 191-member U.N.

UNRWA violates its own UN mandate (Resolution 302), which states (Paragraph 5): "constructive measures should be undertaken at an early date with a view to the termination of international assistance for relief."

UNRWA (Paragraph 7) indicates only two responsibilities: to work with Arab governments to provide jobs for the refugees and to help Arab governments end (not perpetuate) international assistance. UNRWA has been doing the exact opposite.

The "Palestinian Right of Return" (to Israel) -- their basic, non-negotiable demand – encourages the refusal to accept Israel's existence and fuels Palestinian terrorism. It reinforces Palestinians' belief in their victimization, promotes a culture of denial and self-destruction, and sabotages any hope for change. UNRWA facilitates this mess.

And we pay for it. Had enough? Stop the funding, now.

Moshe Dann, a former asst professor of History, is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem.

This essay comes from the May 2007 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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Posted by Arlene Peck, June 30, 2007.

This essay appeared in Arutz-Sheva

CAIR has perfected the art of spin.

Move over, Bill O'Reily! CAIR has so perfected the art of spin that I don't think even you would catch the con job until it was over. At least, I'd bet that the innocents at Paramount didn't have a clue that the screening they arranged for the movie A Mighty Heart was a ruse to make CAIR, the terror-supporting organization, look good.

Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director of CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area, joined forces with Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, a nondescript nobody whom no one has ever heard of. Lacking credibility, his claim to fame, apparently, is that he is head of a dot.com "synagogue" and a group called "Jews on First.com." He shared the panel with another group called "Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace" (don'tcha just love it?). Oh yes, another of the panelists was DeDe Gardner, co-producer with Brad Pitt/Plan B Entertainment. She was on the stage thinking she would be discussing the movie in an effort to publicize it. The event was held in the Sherry Lansing screening room at the studio. I thought it kind of a clever that the venue was a site named for a Jewish girl who made good.

It was simply a forum for presenting the audience with a means to discuss how to "Build Unity and Understanding in Today's World." Folks, for this terrorist-supporting organization to carry that off.... Well, imagine the Nazi party having a car wash benefit for a group of yeshiva boys. I was waiting for them to raffle off a puppy.

The movie, about Daniel Pearl, was made to show the sick, barbaric mentality of his captors and the primitive and savage lifestyle in that part of the world. Yet, Paramount gave CAIR a platform from which to proclaim that the criminals out there were giving Muslims a bad name. Hussam, referring to CAIR, claimed that Muslims suffer from misconceptions: "There is widespread belief that Muslims are sympathetic to terrorism," and, of course, "CAIR cares about all religions." I think that he referred to what is happening now as the "demonization of the Muslim religion." Finally, he smiled and said, "CAIR cares about not only Daniel Pearl, but all human beings. CAIR is speaking against evil through their own people."

Of course, had we been allowed to ask questions during this so-called "dialogue," I would have said that if that were the case, then how come the Koran says that if you're not one of them, then you must be destroyed.

Of course, they carefully picked a self-hating "rabbi," who never said where his congregation was located -- except in the universe of the dot.coms. He spoke movingly about how the Jews should be so grateful because the Muslims gave them refuge in Turkey in years past. And how no Jewish group would be "brave" enough to bring together a group such as the one gathered. And that the "problem in the Jewish community is because they suffer from Islamic phobia," and he commended CAIR for the courage that they showed. He couldn't imagine a Jewish organization having the "courage" to bring about a dialogue such as the wonderful evening we were experiencing.... Gawd!

While the now-benevolent group CAIR was presented by the good people at Paramount as a loving organization, with all of its 33 chapters, I couldn't help but wonder what Daniel's wife and parents would think of that evening. I don't blame Paramount because they are so clueless. Here, in the land of Hollywood, they don't even know what FOX news is, much less CAIR or its intentions. However, it might have been prudent for Paramount to do a little homework before giving this group credibility by letting CAIR use their studios to promote its propaganda.

In the movie, the terrorists made the comment that it was "the Jews" who were responsible for 9/11 and that 4,000 Jews stayed home from work that day at the Twin Towers. I thought it wouldn't have hurt had this misconception been corrected. In fact, the ultimate spin was the end of the movie, when they didn't show the beheading. These peaceful people needed a reminder.

One of the primary comments, repeated often, was that there was no reason to be ashamed of being Muslim. Oh really? It was interesting that this so-called panel was, in reality, a sounding board to promote the Islamic culture. Although the evening had been billed as a "dialogue" about the movie, only two hand-picked, bland questions were asked. Then, suddenly, an announcement was made that there was,unfortunately, no more time for questions.

Apparently, there was no time for questions at all. Especially the one that I had written, asking, "If the Muslim religion is such a peaceful one and the 'criminals' don't represent the masses, then why aren't we seeing 'million man marches' protesting the actions of the murderous and the dysfunctional, by the 1.6 billion people they claim to represent?" In fact, forget the million-man marches, how about a twenty-five-man march? (Women, in many of those Islamic countries, aren't even allowed on the streets. Look at the pictures next time and see how many women you see in the crowd.)

The moral of the story? Maybe the Israeli government ought to hire CAIR to handle their public relations, as CAIR sure seems to be doing a better job at it. Maybe they could get a big Hollywood studio to help them in their endeavors. Maybe they'll even raffle off a trip to the Holy Land. Or at least have everyone leave with a hug.

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

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Posted by Bryna Berch, June 30, 2007.

This was written by Petra Marquardt-Bigman, a freelance writer and researcher with a Ph.D. in contemporary history. She has published a book and a number of articles on American intelligence on Germany during and after World War II; her current work focuses on Europe's political discourse about Israel and the Middle East conflict, and she is writing a related blog, "The Warped Mirror", at the Jerusalem Post's Blogcentral site.

This article was published as Volume 1, Issue 2 (April 2007 / Iyar 5767) Article 8/9 in Covenant -- Global Jewish Magazine by the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya -- P.O. Box 167, Herzliya, 46150, Israel. The email address is covenant@idc.ac.il

Abstract: In August 2006, the German writer and Nobel laureate Gunter Grass caused a media-quake of major proportions when he revealed that he had served in the SS. While the ensuing controversy pushed the debate about the war between Israel and Hezbollah into the background, both issues once again brought up the problematic legacy of a past that, reflecting postmodern preferences, is increasingly viewed as a "grand narrative" structured in terms of "victims" and "perpetrators." Highlighting a casual remark of Grass about his supposedly first encounter with racism as an American POW and his failure to break his silence when he accepted the offer of an honorary doctoral degree from an Israeli college, the article explores how Europe's "grand narrative" shapes the European discourse about Israel and the Middle East.

At the end of 2006, the Guardian's Berlin correspondent noted that Germans would remember the year "for just one rather marvelous thing -- the World Cup." [1] Under the title "The War is Over", the article highlighted some of the World Cup's aspects that doubtlessly were appreciated even by those (relatively few) Germans who couldn't care less about football: the country had shown for all the world to see that it had emerged from the shadows of its past -- Germans could wave their flag and cheer their national team without projecting anything but a harmless, infectious enthusiasm for a popular sport.

Among the fans watching the World Cup was the famous German author and Nobel laureate Gunter Grass. The almost 80-year-old writer had just finished his latest book, an autobiographical work about his youth that was due to be published a few weeks after the World Cup. He had also been offered an honorary doctoral degree from an Israeli college, and in between watching the World Cup matches and reading the proofs for his book, he made time to meet the representatives of Netanya Academic College.

It was reportedly a pleasant meeting that took place at Grass's home near Lubeck in northern Germany. The Nobel laureate told his guests that he was happy to accept the honor offered to him and that he looked forward to visit Israel for an official ceremony that would be organized by the college. But Gunter Grass did not tell his guests what he would tell an interviewer a few weeks later: his forthcoming autobiography Peeling the Onion[2] would reveal a secret that he had kept for more than sixty years. The secret was a most unexpected one from a man like Grass who had spent a lifetime speaking out passionately about the need for Germans to face up to their Nazi past. The secret was that Gunter Grass himself had kept silent for more than sixty years about his own service in the SS.

It quickly became clear that the young Grass had been drafted for service in the Waffen-SS towards the end of the war, and that he had not been involved in any of the atrocities committed by Himmler's notorious organization. Yet, it was unavoidable -- and some thought, calculated -- that his confession caused a media-quake of major proportions that would reverberate for months throughout Germany and even in the European and international press. The history that during the World Cup had seemed just a faded memory was back in the headlines again.

But it was not just the confession of Nobel laureate Gunter Grass that forced Germans in mid-August 2006 to once again confront their past. The summer's war between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah had already brought back the sensitive question of whether Germans could feel as free as others to criticize Israel's conduct. Yet, this debate was quickly drowned out by the flood of editorials, commentary and TV programs that covered any conceivable reaction to Grass's confession and tried to square the rather belated revelation with the writer's lifelong pose as a righteous leftist.

In the respected Suddeutsche Zeitung, two younger writers soon issued an exasperated "plea for less Grass and more debate on the Middle East."[3] Protesting that the generation of Grass was dominating the political discourse, they criticized that "all express their understanding, their consternation, their disappointment, even their nausea -- none of them is under 75. A class reunion of old German intellectuals who feel chronically inclined or obliged to enlighten us on the same topic: Hitler and me.[...] It's shameful that within three days, the Grass affair has elicited more statements and morally-grounded positions from German writers and thinkers than the war in northern Israel and southern Lebanon did in the 33 days prior."

There was another aspect of the frenzy surrounding Grass's revelation that was perhaps no less "shameful" and certainly no less telling: In the lengthy interview before the publication of his book, Grass had smugly recalled how he, a young SS recruit who was held as a POW by American forces, encountered "direct racism" for the very first time when he witnessed the discrimination of black soldiers in the US Army.[4] It was a rather casual remark, and among German commentators, it went largely unnoticed. But the Wall Street Journal picked it up for what it was: an editorial noted with some sarcasm that, growing up in Nazi Germany, the young Grass should have had a few opportunities to notice racism prior to his capture by American forces. Describing the Nobel laureate as "a darling of the anti-American and anti-globalization set," the editorial concluded that SS-recruit Grass "felt morally superior to those damn Yanks, and he still does six decades later" -- all of which earned him, in a pun on his most famous novel, the designation "Tin Moralist."[5]

A Hungarian commentator highlighted another aspect: the public intellectual Grass, who claimed to speak with the authoritative voice of moral indignation on Germany's past and present, had obviously failed to notice in his youth that Jews were disappearing; sixty years later, he was an outspoken critic of America, but had once again nothing to say about the threats of the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.[6]

There was indeed something very characteristic in the casual and smug way in which Grass had recalled his first encounter with "direct racism," and the incident -- as well as the fact that it was barely noted in the flood of commentary that engulfed Europe's media in the aftermath of Grass's belated confession -- may well serve as an illustration of a crucial mechanism that shapes the views of Europe's elites not only about America, but also about Israel.

Europe has come a long way in its approach to the country that was established because of the very direct racism that went unnoticed by the young SS recruit Gunter Grass. Guilt-ridden support for the state of the Holocaust's survivors has given way to sharply critical attitudes that do not always stop short of accusing Israel of crimes as evil as those committed against European Jewry. Neither Israelis nor pro-Israel advocacy groups seem quite to understand what feeds the hostility that they see coming from Europe: the countless calls to boycott Israeli academia, films, exhibitions, companies, and products; the threats to try Israeli army personnel and Israeli politicians for war crimes, and, beyond calls and threats, actual measures like the ban that prohibits refueling stops of El Al planes with military cargo in several European countries, Germany among them. Equally hard to understand is how those who used to fervently endorse the pledge of "Never Again" would remain somewhat aloof when the call to wipe Israel off the map was issued from Teheran. Eyebrows were raised, dismay was expressed, but in the end the response remained muted, and neither the intellectual nor the political debate took much notice of the existential threat that a nuclear Iran poses for Israel.

But perhaps Europe simply sees little reason to worry about existential threats to Israel -- after all, in the fall of 2003, a survey in the European Union revealed that 59 percent of Europeans regarded Israel as a greater threat to world peace than Iran. As always in situations like this, Israeli media and international organizations like the Anti-Defamation League blamed latent antisemitism for European hostility towards Israel. But this well-worn explanation fails to grasp the formative forces that are shaping European public opinion. In this context, Grass's casual remark about his first encounter with "direct racism" may be paradigmatic: Obviously a young man who grew up in Nazi Germany and went through SS training did not encounter "direct racism" for the first time when he witnessed the discrimination of black servicemen in the US Army, but doubtlessly that was the first time Grass noticed racism. His sensitivity to manifestations of racism might have been enhanced by his "demotion" from being a member of what he perceived to be SS elite troops to being a prisoner of war, in other words: from being a potential perpetrator to being a potential victim.

Some sixty years later, Gunter Grass seems to have devoted precious little effort to questioning his perceptions or the notions that were formed on the basis of these perceptions. It is the narrative that preoccupies him -- and it is narratives that preoccupy the political discourse in postmodern Europe.

In the prosperous and largely peaceful environment that Europe has provided for its citizens in the past few decades, the horrors of the 1930s and 1940s have receded into history. While the Holocaust is obviously still widely regarded as part of a traumatic and formative past, prevailing postmodern preferences have shaped the discourse about this past. On the one hand, the Holocaust has given rise to a "grand narrative" that structures European perceptions of the past and present in terms of "victims" and "perpetrators." On the other hand, the postmodern perspective which views the legacy of the Holocaust as a narrative construct has diminished the acceptance of interpretations that tied European, and particularly German, guilt for the destruction of European Jewry to the establishment of Israel and required a basically positive view of the Jewish state. After decades of diligent Vergangenheitsbewaltigung -- that quintessentially German construct describing the process of coming to terms with the past -- Germans and Europeans alike feel that they have graduated beyond the constraints of "political correctness" in the discourse about Israel. At the same time, this discourse reflects Europe's grand narrative and is thus generally still conducted within the coordinates set by the categories of the "victim" and the "perpetrator." The perception that, in the case of Israel, the state and the people that had been accorded unquestioning victim status have become perpetrators makes this discourse particularly resistant to voices that speak for a country that wants to be neither victim nor perpetrator.

Europe's tendency to now overcompensate for the previous "political correctness" towards Israel also has to be understood in the context of the current challenges that are posed by the radicalization of Muslim minorities in Europe and the related threats to social peace and public security. Faced with these problems, Europe has, for the first time since the end of the Cold War, experienced a sense of being threatened. In a somewhat paradoxical switch of roles, the political right tends to interpret that threat within a conceptual framework that conjures the specter of the rise of a new fascism; by contrast, the political center and left resolutely reject any attempts to look for parallels in the past and insist that the present policies of the US and Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories are the major factors that cause the radicalization of Muslim populations. What seems to be rarely noted in the European discourse is that this view echoes quite uncritically the narrative that has been instrumentalized for decades in the Muslim world to channel popular dissatisfaction with repressive and stagnant regimes.

Thus, the publication of a statement of support for Gunter Grass by 46 Arab intellectuals, who dismissed criticism against the writer as a ploy to divert attention from the crimes of Israeli "neo-Nazis," may have been an embarrassing show of solidarity, but it was not necessarily a completely undeserved one.[7] The Neue Zurcher Zeitung that carried the report noted critically that the statement reflected an intellectual discourse divorced from reality, feeding on slogans, empty rhetoric, and conspiracy theories. This criticism may not only apply to the intellectual discourse in the Arab world.

The dichotomy between the role of the victim and the perpetrator that dominates the discourse about Israel in Europe and elsewhere reflects perhaps a deep-seated human longing for morality and justice. However, as the example of Gunter Grass might illustrate, the human experience is more ambiguous: what would have happened if he had been just one year older, and had been drafted earlier in the war? Would his misguided youthful idealism have made him a willing perpetrator, or would he have refused participation in murderous SS commandos, and have become a victim? And what would have happened to a Jewish US soldier taken prisoner by Grass and his comrades? Futile questions perhaps, and Grass himself seems either never to have wondered about them, or is simply all too sure of the answers.

Against this background, it is interesting to note that Tom Segev, in an article in Haaretz,[8] still thought that Israelis should appreciate the positive response of Grass to the offer by Netanya Academic College, because "Israel these days is not a major source of attraction for people who stand for the values of justice and human rights, even if they're German." After the interview in which Grass revealed that he had served in the SS, the college requested and received from Grass a letter of explanation -- which clearly was formulated with German public opinion in mind -- but eventually it was decided to "defer" the granting of the honorary degree to Grass. However, Segev suggested that Grass should perhaps still be invited at some point to Netanya, so that Israelis would have a chance to hear "what a person like him ought to say about the occupation and the oppression in the territories."

Just a few days after Segev's article appeared, Israelis actually did get a chance to hear something that was probably not far from what Grass would say: considering what is known about the views held by Grass, it is safe to assume that he would largely agree with the positions expressed by a group of mostly German academics who, in mid-November 2006, published a "manifesto" demanding a re-evaluation of the "special" relationship between Germany and Israel.[9] Under the title "Friendship and Criticism", the authors devote considerable room to assuring readers of their friendship for Israel, but they reject the notion that Germany's past requires them to uncritically support Israel; at the same time, the manifesto repeatedly invokes the need, even the duty, for "special sensitivity."

Unfortunately, the manifesto shows little evidence of "special sensitivity"; indeed, it would rather seem that there is "special insensitivity" when the manifesto echoes some of the favorite lines of such "friends" of Israel as the Iranian president. Just like Ahmadinejad, the manifesto's authors seem to regard the establishment of the State of Israel as a historic injustice against the Arabs: "It is the Holocaust that has, for six decades, caused the continuous, and currently even unbearable, suffering of the Palestinians.[...] countless dead, families torn apart, expulsion, and life in make-shift housing up to today have been the consequence." The text continues to argue that, without the Holocaust, Israel would not feel justified to ignore so intransigently the human rights of Palestinians and Lebanese, and without the Holocaust, Israel would not be backed in this -- materially and politically -- by the US.

By arguing that Israel owes its existence exclusively or primarily to the Holocaust, the authors of the manifesto seem to deny that Zionism was a legitimate quest for a Jewish homeland. Indeed, the manifesto emphasizes that the UN decision to "accept" the establishment of the State of Israel was taken still under the "shock" of the Holocaust and "against the Arab states." According to the manifesto, the Middle East conflict has German and European roots, and it was no fault of the Palestinians that "a part of the European problems was transferred to the Middle East." Obviously, this has been said before in Farsi and in Arabic.

There is equally little "special sensitivity" when the manifesto's authors declare that they are "convinced" that Jewish intellectuals like Adorno, Einstein, Freud, Marx and Zweig -- "of whom we are so proud and without whom German culture and the German contribution to the sciences would be so much poorer" -- would subscribe to the principle that only respect for equality, human rights and international law can guarantee peace and the continued existence and security of Israel, Jews in the Diaspora, and the future Palestinian state.

It is indeed likely that these German-Jewish intellectuals would have agreed with this principle, but the problem that is overlooked by the professors who authored the manifesto is that there has been historically a severe shortage of Arab-Muslim intellectuals who agree with this principle. In fact, not long before the publication of the manifesto, the Berliner Zeitung carried an article by an Iraqi-born writer who discussed the "Two faces of Arab Intellectuals" and criticized that Arab intellectuals would routinely condemn terrorist attacks in English, German, or French, and praise them in Arabic.[10]

However, the authors of the manifesto clearly prefer to focus on what can be criticized about Israel. While there are unequivocal condemnations of suicide attacks and the launching of Qassam rockets, the manifesto leaves little doubt that it is the suffering inflicted by Israel on Palestinians and Lebanese that is "unbearable." Notwithstanding all the reaffirmations of friendship for Israel, the nine pages of the manifesto paint Israel as the victims' state that has become a cruel perpetrator, cynically trampling human rights and dignity in its lust for land, a mighty militaristic monster, propped up by 20 percent of America's foreign aid budget, oppressing, terrorizing and killing Palestinians and Lebanese at will.

It is simply remarkable with how much righteousness European intellectuals feel entitled to criticize Israel based on a simplistic view of the Middle East conflict that ultimately reflects Europe's "grand narrative" of victims and perpetrators. Europe's image of Israel is central for European perceptions of the Middle East: torn between feelings of obligation from their historic guilt and resentment arising from the often unacknowledged notion that the Jewish state has to prove that it is indeed a worthy guardian of whatever might be defined as the "legacy" of the Holocaust, Europeans feel increasingly justified in condemning Israel as racist, militaristic, oppressive, and generally malevolent. Perhaps one should also not underestimate the power of the associations triggered whenever the issue of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories comes up: when the French hear "occupation", they think of the Nazi occupation of France, not of their own colonial rule in North Africa and elsewhere; and when the Germans hear "occupation", they think of the Allied occupation of Germany, not of the Nazi occupation of much of Europe. Thus, Israel becomes the greatest threat to world peace, and the Star of David somehow gets distorted into a swastika. And since Europe's grand narrative assigns the role of the perpetrator to Israel, the role that remains for the rest of the Middle East is that of the victim.

Yet, when Europeans, and certainly Germans, look at themselves, the dichotomy between the victim and the perpetrator all but dissolves. The story of Gunter Grass is paradigmatic: as we learn from his autobiography, the young SS recruit "somehow" managed before his capture to strip off his SS uniform and change into a more innocuous Army uniform; with equal ease, he managed to strip off his role as a potential perpetrator and change into a potential victim by taking offense at the discrimination of black US soldiers. And while it would be just a strange historical coincidence if -- as Grass has implied -- the German Nobel laureate and the German Pope really came to know each other as POWs in an allied camp, it may be less of a coincidence that the Pope suggested in a speech in May 2006 at Auschwitz that the Nazis had been "a ring of criminals" that "used and abused" the Germans, and that the Shoah was "ultimately" directed against the sources of the Christian faith.[11]

Coming to terms with the past for many meant not only acknowledging guilt, repenting, paying reparations, and building memorials, but also working up the courage to say: "we were victims, too" -- because the perpetrators were "a ring of criminals" that victimized the rest of Germany and Europe. Not surprisingly, one literary critic commented that Grass narrated his memories in a way that made it "comfortable" to recall life in the former Reich territories: "West and East Prussia re-emerge from the fog of the Cold War, reflections about expulsion can take place under his watchful eye and it's even acceptable for the Germans to be victims too."[12]

Like the Guardian's Berlin correspondent, many Germans seem to feel that "the war is over", that it is time to see Germany untainted by its past. Having graduated from a lengthy, though not always entirely voluntary process of Vergangenheitsbewaltigung, many also seem to feel that they can claim a moral superiority that entitles them to judge the Middle East conflict all the more harshly. A decidedly nonconformist German voice -- the author and songwriter Wolf Biermann -- summed it all up in his characteristically polemic way:

Three decades after the Holocaust, the Germans had just about forgiven the Jews for what they'd done to them. But now the perpetrators are becoming increasingly ungracious towards this hopeless ongoing conflict of their victims. Again and again I hear the cold-hearted argument: these Jews must have learnt what oppression is at the Nazi school of hard knocks. Precisely! Which is why I cold-heartedly counter, having learnt their Shoah lesson, the survivors have no desire to get slaughtered all over again.[13]


[1] Luke Harding, "The War is Over," December 26, 2006, at:

[2] Gunter Grass, Beim Hauten der Zwiebel [Peeling the Onion], Steidl 2006. The projected publication date of Grass's book in English, by Harcourt, is Fall 2007.

[3] Eva Menasse and Michael Kumpfmuller, "This Endless Moral Flutter," originally in German in Suddeutsche Zeitung, August 17, 2006; English at: http://www.signandsight.com/features/909.html.

[4] An English summary of the extensive debate in the German and international press about Grass's revelation can be found at http://www.signandsight.com/features/899.html; Grass's remark about his first encounter with "direct racism" was addressed mainly by non-German commentators, e.g.: Neue Zurcher Zeitung: "The Staged Confession," by Roman Bucheli, August 14, 2006, available in English at: http://www.signandsight.com/features/903.html.

[5] Wall Street Journal editorial: "Tin Moralist," August 16, 2006; Page A10.

[6] Rudolf Ungvary, Elet es Irodalom (August 25, 2006), English summary at:

[7] Neue Zurcher Zeitung, "Peinliche Solidaritat", September 14, 2006, at:
English at: http://www.arabia.pl/english/content/view/209/16/.

[8] Tom Segev, "I was Young and Stupid," Haaretz Magazine, November 10, 2006, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/786092.html.

[9] Text in German at: http://www.frankfurter-rundschau.de/in_und_ausland/dokumentation/?em_cnt=1009679; a documentation of the ensuing debate in Germany is at: http://www.frankfurter-rundschau.de/in_und_ausland/dokumentation/?em_cnt=1014426; a news report in English is at
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3328858,00.html; see also this author's comments at

[10] Khalid al-Maaly, "Two Faces of Arab Intellectuals," originally in German, Berliner Zeitung, September 14, 2006; English translation at:

[11] Address by the Holy Father, "Visit to the Auschwitz Camp," Auschwitz-Birkenau, 28 May 2006, at:

[12] Ina Hartwig, August 22, 2006, quoted in English at:

[13] Wolf Biermann, "Germany Betrays Israel," October 26, 2006, English at:

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 30, 2007.

Christians and Jews are not the only ones in the islamofascist cross-hairs. This was written by Dhammajarat and it appeared in Front Page Magazine April 4, 2007.

Allahu Akbar! The tinny P.A. system tore asunder the pre-dawn peace and quiet.

I was jolted in my mind, almost like experiencing a car wreck, suddenly and without any warning. This totally incongruous sound intruded upon and encompassed everything, causing even the birds to rustle in the darkness.

It was just after 4 a.m. I was seated underneath the holy Maha Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, in the state of Bihar in India. It was a few days past the full moon of May 2004, a few days past Veesak. This was my second visit to this unparalleled location, the site of the Lord Buddha's attainment of full Enlightenment over 2,500 years ago. Now, towards the end of my 10 day stay, I had applied for and been granted the great honor of permission to spend the night within the Maha Bodhi compound.

My plan was to spend the entire night practicing seated meditation, walking meditation, and circumambulation of the great Maha Bodhi Stupa. The air was warm and my practice was going very well as I alternated between the three practices, as the hours passed.

The beautiful waning full moon light filtering through the glistening leaves of the Maha Bodhi Tree, the soft fluttering of the leaves, the serene quiet, took me back to that time long ago when the Buddha himself had sat very near this same exact spot.

Or so I thought...

The mussein's call to prayer for the faithful of Islam, here in this most sacred location to all of Buddhism, ripped me back to modern reality. I was stunned! How could this be? Here in one of the most significant spots of Buddhism, loud speakers come on at four in the morning every day, to shock and intrude upon meditators and Buddhist practitioners using this spot for that which it has to offer in its most special way?

How could this be allowed? It is...

The Muslim call to prayer seemed to go on and on...20 minutes to a half-hour later, the scratchy recording thankfully ended and quiet returned.

My concentration was thoroughly blown. Instead of following my breath, I found myself looking at the great distraction and paradox I had just experienced.

I thought about Mecca!

Could any other religion intrude itself there in the holiest of places to Islam, as the tenets of Islam had so intruded itself here in the holiest place of Buddhism?

No way! I could imagine immediate death being visited upon anyone that would even try -- that is, if they would be admitted anywhere close to the Muslims' holy Kabah -- let alone be allowed to set up a loud public address system that would broadcast the message of another religion across the courtyards of the Grand Mosque, or any other Moslem religious site. The hypocrisy was astounding.

After awhile, I ceased to be so shocked and began to calm down. I began to see that this was merely a continuation of a long and sad trespass against Buddhism perpetrated by the faith of Islam.

In my previous visits to India, I had visited every site that was specific to the actual life of the Lord Buddha. At every location the pattern was the same: Just the partial foundations remaining of what had once been great Stupas or elaborate religious universities of Buddhist learning and practice. Even the place of the Buddha's birth had been destroyed and buried, with modern day excavations only now giving some restoration.

I had learned from guides on location, and then from further studies once I returned home, that these locations had all been laid to waste in the early Moslem invasions of India, starting in the 900's by Turkic hordes issuing forth from what is now Afghanistan, and continuing for over a thousand years until the Mughal era. A prolonged and calculated assault, an assault designed to wipe an entire belief, an entire religion, off the face of the Earth. The long history of Islam, being spread by the sword and by fire, had left its indelible mark on these wonderful peaceful, harmless, legacy sites of Buddhism.

I learned how the monks and nuns and religious students were slaughtered without mercy and piled up and burned, and all terrified survivors were driven like dry leaves before a strong wind, out of the region of India entirely, wherever this Islamic wind blew.

I was told this is how Buddhism actually came to Tibet and Southeast Asia, by Buddhists fleeing for their lives! My faith had been rendered a refugee faith via the tender mercies of Islam.

I learned how Islam was particularly unkind and brutal to Buddhists, because to Moslems the Buddhist represented the most reprehensible type of human personality: the "atheist" holding no monotheistic God image as their object of worship and veneration. We were worse even than the far more numerous Hindus, with their vast pantheon of multiple gods. The Buddhists, to the Muslims, only worshipped the image of a man, and no God higher.

Apparently they did not bother to look into the philosophies of Buddhism any more deeply. That was enough for the sword to come down and the fire to be applied. And so they have over the centuries until today.

I remember, some years back, before the gripping situations that we face today had quite come in to focus for many of us, I followed the story of the great Buddhas of Bamiyan, in sad and war torn Afghanistan. The Russian war was over, and the rein of the Taliban was in full force, but they were not content to merely rule the people with an iron hand by the strictest applications of Sharia law. They had to physically erase the "infidel" past, as well.

I remember shedding tears as I saw the footage of those magnificent Buddhas, the tallest ancient statues in the world, being reduced to rubble by explosive charges and artillery shells. I remembered hearing on the news footage, that same cry of Allahu Akbar! -- as the dust of Bamiyan settled to reveal the emptiness of the destruction. The same cry that destroyed my meditative absorption under the Bodhi Tree.

Now, I pray we never hear this call in this our home, America. Not until and unless Islam totally and completely reforms itself after over a thousand years of ravaging and sweeping all others before it.

I feel, through my direct experiences of it, that Islam has not changed its ways in the least. In fact it has become more aggressive now than at any time since its period of greatest expansion in the 900s to the 1200s. "Modern" Islam seeks to return humanity to those very same times -- a revival of the dark ages of Islamic slaughter, mayhem, and pillage -- all in the name of Allah.

We Buddhists must realize that we, and our cherished practices, would be swept away entirely and crushed utterly, should Islam ever gain ascendancy in this world in which we live. Islam is the only belief that propagates itself thus == by the sword.

And it is very patient.


David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by Ted Belman, June 30, 2007.

Dr. Aaron Lerner is Director of Independent Media Review and Analsis (IMRA). Its website address is http://www.imra.org.il IMRA offers examples of spin below.

1. Spin after Hamas exploited decision of Sharon and Olmert administrations to ignore reality and avoid addressing the smuggling from Egypt to Gaza Strip: "fall of Gaza to Hamas is an opportunity"

2. Spin after Fatah terrorists exploit proposed timeout to murder Israelis: "now that Fatah has regained the respect of the Palestinian street by murdering Israelis they will be strong enough to make peace"

3. Spin after the next shipment of weapons America supplies are turned against Israel: "now the world appreciates the sacrifices Israel made to try to bolster Mahmoud Abbas"

4. Spin after successful mega attack murders thousands of Israelis: "this opens a window of opportunity for the IDF to act without concern for bad press".

Now Aluf Benn reports Cabinet approves transfer of withheld tax revenues

The prime minister added that at Monday's summit in Sharm el-Sheikh he will present "our expectations as well as our demand for a fight against terror."

"At the same time, we will declare our intention to assist the new government."

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the cabinet that any diplomatic progress would be dependant on the actions of the Palestinian emergency government.

Livni slammed Russia as well as some Arab states for refusing to give their full support to Fayad's cabinet, accusing them of trying to revive the unity government between Fatah and Hamas and thus thwart any chance of diplomatic progress.

The spin is that Israel must offer "gestures" or "confidence building measures" to support the Abbas government. I can't think of one instance where such gestures have resulted in increased support for Arafat or Abbas, or for that matter a benefit for Israel.

On the other hand it may be argued that making gestures increased support for their policies of intransigence and violence. Such gestures merely reward intransigence.

The Government of Israel must explain how gestures will result in Arab compromises for peace. The latter must be a precondition for the former.

Furthermore it is not enough to say Abbas is moderate or willing to compromise for peace. Such willingness must first be demonstrated by his words to his own constituency and then by action.

Rather than hold the Arab feet to the fire by demanding compromise we say what they want because they won't say it and because they don't want it. Similarly we call Islam a religion of peace so Muslims don't have to take a stand on the issue.

What we say is spin and it doesn't accord with reality. Abbas has yet to indicate his willingness for substantial compromise. If he is not willing to compromise, why are we sucking up to him.

INSS just published a paper "First We Take the West Bank..." byAnat Kurz.

[..] The common aspiration of Israel and Fatah to prevent the fall to the Islamist camp of the West Bank, as well, does not constitute a basis for agreement on permanent status. Fatah's main concern now is to block the rise of Hamas power in the West Bank and to regain control in Gaza. Preparing for agreement with Israel -- which entails historical concessions -- is not on its agenda.

In any case, it could not impose any agreement it might negotiate. And Israel's security and ideological reservations about territorial concessions in the West Bank will continue to complicate the task of reaching a compromise with Fatah -- just as they did in the years preceding Hamas' electoral gains.

Moreover, the current political break between the West Bank and Gaza does not relieve Fatah leaders of their obligations to Gaza residents or signal the end of Hamas' intention to expand its presence in the West Bank. With the revival of a political process, the West Bank and Gaza will be on the negotiating table as a single entity. And any Palestinian delegation -- religious, secular, or mixed -- will insist on maintaining that link. Israel will not be able to ignore demands in that spirit, however much they may complicate matters.

Now that's a bit of truth telling.

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

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Posted by Phyllis Chesler, June 30, 2007.

The cultural war between Islamic barbarism and Judeo-Christian civilization is raging even as Gaza and Sderot are under siege. The manipulation of propaganda is a key factor here. Britain -- the country that turned Nazi-era European Jews back from Palestine's shores -- is now trying to boycott and isolate Israeli doctors, journalists, and university professors. The British Anglican Church, well-financed British-based NGOS (Christian Aid, World Vision, Amnesty International, etc.) and British academics have joined their voices to the Islamist-led jackal-chorus against Israel.

In order to understand such British actions -- or in order to see how Jew-hatred is synchronized in Britain -- let me refer to two recent British cultural offerings.

First, a Welsh-British theatre troupe appeared in New York City and, in a powerful and well acted play, "Memory," presented yet again the morally false equivalent of Nazi soldiers and Jewish civilians in Germany in the 1930's and 40's with Israeli soldiers and Palestinian villagers today. Both sets of soldiers are only "following orders."

While our sympathies are with the persecuted and murdered Jews, they are also meant to extend to the Palestinian villager in the play who, appealingly, holds a basket of fresh oranges as he contemplates the demolition of his home. (There is absolutely no discussion of why his home is being demolished, no mention of the non-stop terrorist violence against Israeli civilians.)

Thus, our terror, pity, sorrow, and moral outrage on behalf of the Jews murdered in the Holocaust and our considerable repugnance toward the Nazis is masterfully manipulated so that we transfer exactly such negative feelings toward (undeserving) Israelis and positive feelings toward (undeserving) Palestinians.

Obviously, many Palestinian civilians are worthy of compassion. Like the rest of the civilized world, they, too, are held hostage by hate-filled terrorist maniacs. The barbarism of Hamas gunmen toward Fatah gunmen and leaders has revealed to the world that Israel never had a peace partner in Gaza and that neither the secular Fatah nor the Islamofascist Hamas is able or willing to protect the Palestinian civilian.

Most Palestinian civilians, however, along with their many Western allies, still scapegoat Israel rather than their own leaders for their considerable misery and danger. Like the so-called moderate Muslims (whom we cannot easily find) who maintain a loud silence, Palestinians do not denounce and resist their own corrupt and murderous leaderships and are still filled with a pathological hatred toward Jews and Israel.

The other recent British cultural offering that warrants discussion is a "mockumentary" directed by Gabriel Range and titled "The Death of a President." Drawing on our collective trauma over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, this film, which poses as a documentary, transposes 1963 emotions onto an event that has not occurred, namely, the assassination of President George W. Bush. The British desire for the death of the American president is so great that wish-fulfillment fantasy is presented through a reality-form technique.

Surely, this is a new kind of propaganda. The man jailed as the president's assassin, Jamal abu Al Zikri, is really an innocent Muslim whose wife, Zahara, is presented on camera as a soft-voiced, eminently sympathetic figure in hijab. The true assassin is an African-American father whose son was killed fighting the war against jihad in Iraq.

Beyond culture -- or rather as an extension of it -- the siege against the Jews also includes the rockets raining down on Sderot and the bizarre international silence about it; the Western intellectual glamorization of Tariq Ramadan (who, I might add, teaches at Britain's distinguished Oxford University whose press publishes his clever double-speaking books which essentially strive to present a Muslim Brotherhood message for the twenty-first century).

One might expect that Jewish advocates and Israeli intellectuals would condemn all this and boycott or at least ostracize those who write books justifying the demonization of Israel. Some do just that, but many others do not.

For example, the influential American Jewish Book Council just gave a showcase to Stephen Walt, who together with John Mearsheimer authored a paper about how the "Zionist Lobby" was causing unrest both on American campuses and in terms of American foreign policy. Walt was invited to speak at the council's annual Jewish book network conference in New York. (Walt and Mearsheimer have expanded this dangerous libel into a book to be published this fall.)

Meanwhile, Brandeis, the "Jewish" university, gave Jimmy Carter a stand-alone platform to spout his anti-Israel views. And then there's the Forward -- a Jewish newspaper that has previously honored me and in whose pages my work has appeared -- which covered the latest British attempt to boycott Israeli academics mainly by focusing on the allegations of one Israeli-American academic, Dr. Yigal Arens, a professor of computer science who insists that he has been " boycotted" or disinvited to a conference at Ben Gurion University because of his anti-Israeli politics. This is passing strange since so many Israeli academics are themselves left wing and specialize in criticizing Israel.

And now leaders of Americans for Peace Now, Israel Forum, and Brit T'zedek v'Shalom are contemplating a merger in order to increase their clout and attract "more money to push for a two state solution."

Nevertheless, there is some sanity on the horizon:

  • Austin, Texas-based physicist Dr. Steven Weinberg, who is also a Nobel laureate, cancelled a trip to the UK in protest of the boycott of Israeli products called for in April by British journalists.

  • Dudu Himmelfarb, chairman of the worker's union of Maman, an Israeli cargo company, has announced that "if the British union decides to go ahead with the boycott, we will stop unloading cargo from the British Aircrafts and imports from Britain."

  • Just this month some 100 Israeli reservists from Sderot refused to serve, saying, "We, reserve soldiers and officers from Sderot, have been brought up on the values of Zionism, Judaism and the sacrifice for the state and its citizens. We used to believe that army service was a privilege and a duty for the State of Israel and its residents, and that this was the only way to ensure the existence of a safe home for the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora....Last summer we were called up for the war in the north and responded to the call out of a sense of mutual commitment, national duty and a shared destiny with the residents of the north. We feel that this commitment is being violated in Sderot and the Gaza-area communities by the Israeli government.... The government does not offer a solution to the threat."

  • Media watchdogs CAMERA, HonestReporting.com, MEMRI, and a host of ex- and dissident Muslims together with Christians and mainly Orthodox Jews from all over the world continue to fight Israel's demonization.

  • Rank-and-file members of the various British bodies that have called to boycott Israel are demanding second votes. Jewish groups are launching petition drives and calling for the British to reconsider their obsessive delegitimization of Israel. The noted law professor and author Alan Dershowitz has called on academics worldwide to affiliate with Israeli universities. (I had already done so long ago as part of a drive undertaken by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.) The Goldhirsh Foundation has announced that it will not fund any UK scientists.

It is not enough. Nothing is enough. It is not our fault; the forces arrayed against us are overwhelming. Therefore, I implore the grassroots members of the Jewish Book Council not to invite Professors Walt and Mearsheimer to any more Jewish book fairs. (I do not have enough space to discuss why this seeming relaxation of our commitment to free speech may ultimately save the very civilization in which such an idea evolved).

So many non-Jewish universities are caving in to Islamist demands for pro-Islamic programs; I hope administrators at Brandeis (where I once taught and where my beloved son went to school and loved it) will consider it incumbent upon them not to join this lynch mob; may they "boycott" Walt-Mearsheimer and others of their ilk as lecturers -- unless they allow for face-to-face debate.

Finally, I hope that, like the Nazi-era Danes, other American and European professors will proudly "wear the Jewish star" and join me in affiliating with Israeli universities.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the author of many works including the bestseller "Women and Madness" (1972), "The New Anti-Semitism" (2003) and "The Death of Feminism: What's Next in the Struggle for Women's Freedom" (2005). Her forthcoming book is titled "The Islamification of America."

An Emerita professor of psychology and women's studies and the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women's Health Network, she may be contacted through her website, www.phyllis-chesler.com

This article appeared June 27, 2007 in the Jewish Press.

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Posted by Daily Alert, June 30, 2007.

These are excerpts from an article written by Martin Peretz which appeared in the New Republic.

* So what is Palestine? It is an improvisation from a series of rude facts. Palestine was never anything of especial importance to the Arabs or to the larger orbit of Muslims. Palestine was never even an integral territory of the Ottomans but split up in sanjaks that crossed later post-World War I borders, a geographical and political jumble.

* When the 1947 UN Partition Plan for Palestine was passed, envisioning a "Jewish" state and an "Arab" (not, mind you, Palestinian) state, even the idea of a separate Arab realm was met at best with a yawn. Though almost no Arab wanted Jewish sovereignty in any of Palestine, virtually no Arab seemed to crave Arab sovereignty, either. Foreign Arab armies did the fighting against the Haganah, and foreign states sat for the Palestinians at the cease-fire negotiations.

* Indeed, from 1949 through 1967, what was the West Bank of Arab Palestine was annexed -- yes, annexed -- by Jordan, and what was the Gaza Strip was a captive territory of Egypt, unannexed so that Gazans had no rights as Egyptians (whereas the West Bankers had rights as Jordanians). The Palestine Liberation Organization, founded in 1964, was not founded to liberate these territories. It was founded to liberate that part of Palestine held by Israel.

* The final fall of Gaza to Hamas puts the whole question of Palestine and the Palestinians into a new perspective. There are now three cohorts of Palestinians between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. (Four, if you count the Palestinian majority under Hashemite rule.)

* The most serious near-term danger actually comes from the West Bank. Rockets and more precise weapons aimed at the thickly populated heart and narrow waist of Israel from almost any place in what is now Fatah land would revive both the anxieties and military reflexes of Israel. That is why U.S. policy must not assume that there are facile ways to render the West Bank peaceful. What keeps that area more orderly than Gaza is the presence of Israeli troops.

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

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Posted by Bryna Berch, June 30, 2007.

What a rotten way to treat people who made the wildness bloom, who contributed to Israel's economy, and who, by the superb quality of the produce they marketed, won the respect of the European community, which was conditioned by Arab money and their own low resistence to the Anti-Semitism virus, to hate Jews. The Israeli government hasn't the competence to resettle 10000 people. But their solution to fighting their Arab enemies? They babble on about expelling up to another quarter of million Jews from Samaria and Judea (the West Bank for the illiterati). It kind of reminds you of Stalin killing off his best generals despite the certainty that the Germans were about to start to invade Russia. This was written by Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent, and it appeared June 22, 2007 in Haaretz

Almost two years after the disengagement from Gaza, construction of permanent housing has begun at only two of the 26 sites intended for 9,000 evacuees, according to a report by the Gush Katif Settlements Committee.

For example, no groundwork has been laid at Nitzanim and Talmei Yafe, projects decided upon months before the disengagement began.

The committee predicts that the trailer parks now housing the evacuees will remain in use for at least five years, instead of the two years that the government intended. The resulting problems are legion.

-Some 1,450 former residents of Gush Katif are still unemployed.

-More than 500 families are in bad financial shape, and some even receive food packages and help from welfare agencies.

-Because of the rampant unemployment, many families are using their state compensation funds for daily subsistence instead of saving it for building a house.

-Only 33 farmers out of 400 have been given alternate lands, and of these, only a handful are back in real business. Those who resumed growing crops face major infrastructure hurdles such as erratic electricity, sewage, drainage, etc.

-Farmers lost their overseas markets, buyers and distributors.

-A memorandum of understanding with the government on amendments to the Evacuation Compensation Law improved matters on a personal level. However, business owners and farmers will not be compensated for lost income until they can rebuild their businesses. Furthermore, compensation for Gush Katif evacuees is low and does not reflect the true value of their property. For instance, compensation for greenhouses is 60 percent of the cost of erecting them. Compensation for seniority is 10 percent of that granted to people evacuated from Yamit under the peace treaty with Egypt. And 650 people who requested individual property appraisals have received either no decision or a very low assessment, because the state froze individual appraisals after it turned out that many were higher than the compensation afforded by the law.

Despite all the above, the committee noted that more than 85 percent of evacuees continue to live in a community framework, in order to uphold their ideals and provide a support network for each other.

MK Uri Ariel, who chairs both the National Union-National Religious Party faction and the Knesset lobby for the evacuees, said the report underscores the state's colossal failures. "Housing at temporary sites is continuing long beyond the period intended, and no government ministry has a working plan for the extended stay," he said.

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Posted by Daily Alert, June 30, 2007.
This article was written by Cal Thomas and it appeared June 20, 2007 in the Washington Times
(www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070620/ COMMENTARY09/106200010/1012&template=nextpage). Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist.

The Bush administration's announced goal for Israel and the "Palestinian people" has been two states, living side by side in peace. The administration is two-thirds there. There are now two states -- one in Gaza, headed by the militant Hamas organization, which shot its way to power; and another in the West Bank headed by accused Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas. Unfortunately for Israel, there is no peace, which should not surprise those who have been predicting exactly what is now coming to pass.

Whatever their names, be they groups like Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda, or states like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran, their objectives are identical: the annihilation of the democratic Jewish State and the elimination of all Jews, either by death or displacement, from the land. To argue otherwise and to continue believing the fiction that "infidel" diplomats from the State Department or European Union can magically transform people commanded to hate Jews and Israel based on a twisted mandate from their corrupt notion of God, is to be in extreme denial.

Hamas won't stop with Gaza. After Hezbollah's victory over poorly directed Israeli forces in Lebanon last summer, why should it? The one thing terrorists understand is weakness. They perceive Israel, under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, as weak and they are going for Israel's jugular. Benyamin Elon, a conservative member of Israel's Knesset, said, "The Fatah is diminishing in front of our eyes, and a group of gangsters is taking over. Israel can wake up now from the delusion of an independent Palestinian state."

Will it, or will Mr. Olmert be passing out and swallowing, himself, more diplomatic sleeping pills during meetings this week with President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and members of Congress? The violence and broken agreements are not being perpetrated by Israel. They are being perpetrated on Israel. It is mystifying why Western diplomats continue to pressure Israel to "do more" when "more" has brought Israel less.

Each time Israel gives up something necessary for its security, it receives in return more war, more terror and more insecurity. If more for less remains the "strategy" of the United States, Israel has two choices: surrender now or prepare for all-out war with catastrophic results.

Since President Bush laid out his "vision" for a two-state solution to Middle East turmoil four years ago this month, Israel has frozen expansion of Jewish communities beyond the armistice lines of 1949 (a major Palestinian demand). As Caroline Glick wrote in the Jerusalem Post, "Israel expelled all Israeli residents of Gaza and northern Samaria in order to render the areas Jew-free to the Palestinians."

What was the Palestinian response to Israel's construction halt? Did they suddenly embrace the two-state solution of peace and harmony with Israel? No. The Palestinians held elections in January 2006 and instead of picking leaders to make peace with Israel, they overwhelmingly voted in members of Hamas to head the Palestinian Authority. A flood tide of terrorists and arms subsequently flowed into Gaza.

The intentions of Hamas and other terrorist groups are not hidden. They openly proclaim what they intend to do and do it. Osama bin Laden said five years before September 11, 2001, that he planned to attack the United States. Few took his statement seriously enough to eliminate him when they had the chance.

Those still in doubt or denial about what Israel's (and America's) enemies plan might benefit from reading Jed Babbin's new book, "In the Words of Our Enemies" (Regnery Publishing). In it, Mr. Babbin assembles what the Islamic terrorists, Chinese and North Korean communists and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez are saying they want to do to us.

This quote from the al Qaeda training manual leaves no room for diplomacy: "The confrontation that Islam calls for with these godless and apostate regimes, does not know Socratic debates, Platonic ideals nor Aristotelian diplomacy. But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine-gun."

Anyone who questions the sincerity of such a statement is a fool. Apparently enough fools remain in leadership in Israel, the United States and Europe to encourage the killers to fight on until victory is attained.

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

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Posted by Bryna Berch, June 30, 2007.

It isn't often the Guardian sounds like a news-paper and not like a ranting I-hate-Israel rag. Savor this. Of course, the columnist writes as if Palestinians are a real people and deserve a state. But he recognizes the "palestinians" have screwed themselves out of a state -- at least in the short run.

This was written by Emanuele Ottolenghi and it appeared June 18, 2007 in the Guardian
(http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/emanuele_ottolenghi/2007/06/ already_in_its_death_throes.html).

Already in its death throes after seven years of futile struggle against Israel, the Palestinian national movement suffered a fatal blow last week, when Gaza fell in the hands of Hamas. Now, instead of a state-in-the waiting, Palestine is two failed states, under two governments at war with one another.

Hamas in Gaza might still pursue its fight against Israel; and Fatah in the West Bank might still voice the rhetoric of grievance against Israel as the occupier. But the two are now locked in a deadly struggle. Anti-Zionist rhetoric has been waving the ghost of a one-state solution -- implying that Israel might disappear, replaced by a united binational state comprising the West Bank and Gaza as well as present Israel. It now looks as though there will be a one-state solution after all -- Israel, alongside two failed states, both Palestinian, and fighting each other.

It has not been easy for Palestinian nationalists. Ever since their late leader and national symbol, Yasser Arafat, chose to exploit the Intifadah, in September 2000, to extract more concessions from Israel, everything that could possibly go wrong, did. First, violence turned Israeli public opinion against the now moribund Oslo process: Ariel Sharon quickly replaced the left-wing peace coalition against which Arafat had unleashed his Intifadah. Systematic resort by Palestinian factions to terrorism against Israeli civilian targets only created the momentum for Israel's military offensive in late March 2002. West Bank towns were reoccupied and the backbone of the terror network that seemed so close to breaking Israel's will was crushed.

Arafat's flirting with gun-toting militias and a myriad offshoot of armed groups only earned him confinement by Israel and isolation from America. Sharon easily won the next electoral round and set the stage for unilateralism -- Israel would withdraw to borders of its choosing and the Palestinians would be left behind, once more. The spectre of this move did nothing to propel Palestinian leaders into action to bring an end to the mounting anarchy within their ranks and sue for peace. Instead, Arafat allowed anarchy to grow, as if it would only harm the enemies of Palestine, and not Palestine itself. Eventually, the persistent refusal of the Palestinian Authority, first under Arafat, then under Abu Mazen, to disarm all militias and dismantle all terror networks yielded the outcome all but fools would predict. In January 2005, I wrote that:

"Terror groups have grown stronger since the intifada began. Abbas' predecessor... used terrorism to pressure Israel into more concessions. Convinced as he was that outsourcing violence to a network of terror groups would promote his goals, he willingly let them run amok, thus renouncing the monopoly over the use of force. Four years later, terrorists pose a formidable challenge not only to peace, but even more crucially to Palestinian statehood. Today, terrorists mainly attack Israeli targets. But tomorrow, unless disarmed and forced to recognize that only the Palestinian Authority has the monopoly over the use of violence, they could use their weapons and their militancy to dictate conditions or carve out areas of influence through threats, blackmail and intimidation. They have to be disarmed -- not for Israel's sake, but for Palestine's sake."

Alas, it is too late now. Brother will fight brother, while the West Bank and Gaza go their separate ways. At last, Abu Mazen seems to have understood the need to establish the monopoly over the use of force. Hamas has clearly understood it too, as it moved to disarm everyone not loyal to Hamas in Gaza. But this is too little too late. Two governments are now in place, and with them, two separate entities are slowly coming into being. They'll play this war out to the bitter end. The west has already chosen its horse, not realizing that this is a cockfight, where the audience can do little else but watch.

There is little rejoicing in this turn of events, but it must be understood for what it is: the end of Palestinian national aspirations.

Hamas' takeover in Gaza has created a small Islamic state on the shores of the Mediterranean, next door to Israel and to Egypt. Helped by Iran and Syria, Hamas has now opened a southern front in their war against Israel but in the process, it has made Palestine as a state even less viable than before.

Now, Hamastan needs to conquer the West Bank to make itself the credible and legitimate champion of the Palestinian struggle. Meanwhile, Fatahland will try to regain its lost territory of Gaza before it can even begin to negotiate credibly with Israel. An endless war will further contribute to Palestine's demise. For ordinary Palestinians, seven years of the Intifadah yielded nothing but grief, death, and poverty. The passage of time did nothing to strengthen Palestinian territorial claims: if anything it gave time to Israeli settlements to expand and Israeli control over Jerusalem to tighten.

As Hamas assumes control over Gaza, Gazans are longing for the return of the despised Israelis. Palestinian intellectuals have conceded that Palestinians might need to be "re-occupied" by an international force led by the Arab league -- a return to the pre-1967 occupation by Jordan and Egypt, no less. Now, not even this option seems available -- unless, that is, foreign forces are sent to fight Hamas and re-conquer Gaza.

With the Gaza takeover by Hamas, history has finally drawn its curtain on the two-state solution. Before Palestinian nationalism can reclaim one Palestine, complete, before it can even settle for the meager leftovers Israel held for 40 years, Palestinians have to face their own, wearing each other out, Hamastan against Fatahland, while the Israelis look on.

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Posted by Barry Rubin, June 30, 2007.

The problem here is that while Fatah is certainly less extreme than Hamas (and there are good reasons to prefer a Fatah victory between the two), we should have no illusions about Fatah's moderation. An international policy of "backing" Fatah is not a good idea, not least of all because it is spreading many of the same ideas and using the same tactic (terrorism) as does Hamas. Moreover, the two are willing (at least at times) to be partners. And, I regret to say it, I think Hamas is the long-term leading group in the Palestinian movement though Fatah will of course also remain powerful. At least, Hamas is going to set the [Arab] agenda on all things concerning Israel, even if many do not accept Islamization.

Given the Middle East's grim circumstances and poor prospects for peacemaking, it is tempting to see the Palestinian scene as a struggle between good-guy moderates, Fatah, and bad-guy extremists, Hamas. If so, the best policy seems simple: support Fatah against Hamas in hopes of strengthening those favoring peace and compromise.

It would be good if this were true but unfortunately it is not. Fatah is not better than Hamas because even if it is slightly less extreme, Fatah itself is the core of the problem. Only by recognizing reality can policymakers be freed to find better ways to ameliorate the situation -- including reducing the Palestinian people's suffering.

Why does this conflict remain unsolved? If the issue is merely a wish by Palestinians, led by Fatah, to create a West Bank-Gaza Strip state, the issue would have been settled long ago with such a solution. But despite Western media interviews in which the Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas expresses such ideas, this is not Fatah's line. The problems are legion:

  • Abbas is a weak leader incapable of restoring order or making the compromises necessary to achieve peace.

  • Abbas himself is not so moderate, having a strong personal dedication to the demand that all Palestinians who so wish can go to live in Israel rather than a Palestinian state, both a deal

  • breaker in itself and a sign of a higher priority on destroying Israel than creating a viable state for the Palestinians or ending the remains of the occupation.

  • Abbas lacks support within Fatah itself, which remains overwhelmingly hardline, seeking a total victory in which Israel would be wiped off the map.

  • Fatah is so riddled with corruption, factionalism, and incompetence that it has earned the disdain which many Palestinians have toward it.

  • Fatah's strategy is not to offer a peaceful alternative vision but to compete with Hamas in maximal demands and the glorification of violence.

1. Weakness as Leader

  • Abbas lacks political skills, having literally never even made a public speech before becoming the PA leader.

  • He has no personal base of support within Fatah. Being a behind the-scenes bureaucratic intellectual by nature and experience he is timid.

  • Nor is he particularly moderate, only being so in comparison to others in Fatah.

  • To some extent, the only reason he remains leader is that he is a useful front man for the real power-brokers in convincing the West that Fatah is not so extremist.

  • He has failed completely to advance negotiations with Israel, solve the PA's problems, fix Fatah's ailments, take control of the Gaza Strip after the Israeli withdrawal, or stop Hamas' growing power. Abbas has raised and dropped plans in quick succession without making any attempt to implement them. His skills are more than overmatched by his colleagues' radicalism, the younger generation's challenge, the security forces' assertive independence, and Hamas' rivalry. Even within Fatah, his personal support was far less than 20 percent, and his few backers fought with him and among themselves.

There is no possibility that he will take a strong hold over the movement or the PA and he is incapable of defeating Hamas or taking decisive steps toward compromise and peace.

2. Fatah's Shortcomings

  • Widespread corruption. The movement has done zero to clean up its reputation in the 18 months since a humiliating election defeat. Even the highest leaders are badly corrupted, even by regional standards, including Abbas's closest advisors. This means, for example, aid money is not used to help the people but goes into their bank accounts.

  • Incompetence: Fatah did a terrible job of running the PLO for 40 years and the PA for 12 years. It was indifferent to building a good infrastructure or running successful institutions. Health, education, economic progress and social welfare took a back seat to armed struggle against Israel.

  • Factionalism: Fatah's official leader is not Abu Mazin but the hardline, popular, pro-Syrian Farouq Qaddumi who opposed the Oslo agreement. Fatah leaders know Abbas is too weak to challenge their power but is valuable in presenting a more moderate face to the world, better able to retain Western support and funding than an openly hardline leader.

  • Hardly one member of the Fatah Central Committee is personally committed to Abu Mazin or known for taking a moderate stance. Fatah is still in the hands of Arafat loyalists who see no reason to change their view that the conflict's only acceptable outcome is a Palestinian state in place of Israel.

  • Factionalism makes Fatah incapable of acting decisively or changing course. The dissident younger generation is led by the terrorist al-Aqsa Brigade, which is an integral part of Fatah, and Fatah's grassroots' Tanzim group. The main leader is Marwan Barghuti, serving a life sentence in an Israeli jail as organizer of the 2000-2005 terrorist campaign. Barghouti's strategy is an alliance with Hamas, not more moderation. Since the election defeat, Fatah has made no reform or leadership change to resolve the factionalism which caused it.

  • Fatah and the PA under its rule has never interfered with, arrested or punished those launching terrorist attacks against Israel. There has never been a single case of a Fatah member being sanctioned for such behavior. In short, Fatah has not lifted a finger to stop terrorism or educate toward moderation.

3. Fatah's Strategy

In 2000, Fatah rejected a peace agreement that would have quickly ended the Israeli presence, created a Palestinian state, made possible repatriation of refugees, and provided more than $23 billion in international payments. Instead, it launched a disastrous five-year-long war based mainly on terrorism, and ending with Hamas taking over control of the PA.

Moreover, the group insists on the return of all Palestinian refugees to Israel -- rather than their resettlement in a Palestinian state -- as a way of subverting Israel. Abu Mazin is personally strongly wedded to this demand which is absolutely critical in Fatah's thinking. Qaddumi explained, "The Right of Return of the refugees to Haifa and Jaffa is more important than statehood."[1]

Equally, Fatah favors a two-stage process -- in which any Palestinian state would immediately be used as a base for a renewed conflict to conquer Israel -- not a two-state peace. It remains loyal to the 1974 program proclaiming that any Palestinian state is only a way-station to total victory.

One might expect Fatah leaders to take a pragmatic stance along the following lines: We are in a terrible situation and have no state because of our incorrect strategy. Violence, radicalism, and maximalist demands have not brought benefits. We must instead try a strategy of compromise, peace, and moderation. Let us accept Israel's existence; get our own state; bring home the refugees to become productive citizens; and focus on economic, social, and cultural development to benefit our people.

This would have required a new program based on self-criticism of the past and a sense of reality about the present. Fatah could have made a deal with Israel to end the conflict and obtain a state. It might have focused on raising living standards; convincing refugees to return to a Palestinian state (rather than demand they move to Israel); gaining credibility with Israel as a peace partner; creating a strong economy, schools, and health system; and other such steps. There is no evidence that the leadership of Fatah or the PA -- except for a handful of people -- ever seriously considered such a program.

Refusing to acknowledge the situation means Fatah rejected the usual response of those being defeated: changing course, being cautious, reducing expectations, and offering compromises. Instead, it tells its own members and people: Our armed struggle is winning. Continue the battle, produce more martyrs, make no concessions, gain international support by projecting an image of moderation, and we will win in the end as Israel collapses or surrenders, no matter how many years are required, lives it costs, or resources must be spent.

Fatah has never told Palestinians that in 2000 the United States and Israel offered a comprehensive negotiated solution including an independent Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem. Misinformed that Israel poisoned Arafat and told that it wants to wipe out the Palestinians, that Israel is the enemy of Islam, has no right to exist, and offers them nothing, Palestinians understandably see long-term armed struggle as their only alternative. Told repeatedly -- by Fatah as well as Hamas -- that total victory is just and that the whole world supports them, they believe this program will triumph. Certainly, such a conclusion makes them unlikely to opt for a comprehensive moderate rethinking of their world view.

This political culture -- spread through the PA-controlled schools, mosques, and media -- has now been passed to a new generation. At the same time, the kind of program required as a minimal basis needed to achieve peace with Israel is basically defined as treason, a charge that the many rivals for leadership in Fatah would not hesitate to fling at anyone deemed excessively moderate.

More immediately, Fatah failed to use the opportunity of a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to build a stable polity. Instead, the collapse of Gaza in anarchy, radicalism, and violence provides a vision of what a Fatah-led state would look like.

For Fatah, weakness and failure is guaranteed by internal divisions and the inability to make key decisions, on one hand, and the lack of moderate goals or a viable strategy, on the other hand. As a result, it is unable to achieve a state, improve its people's material well-being, or end the violence.

As a result of all these factors, other than on the specific issue of Islamism there is little difference between Hamas and Fatah. Given Fatah's low credibility, poor performance, and inability to offer success or an alternative vision, it is understandable -- though very regrettable -- that most Palestinians support Hamas.


Here is the paradox: Money is given Fatah it is likely to be stolen, not used to improve the lives of Palestinians. Arms and military training given Fatah will be turned against Israel

Fatah is unwilling to challenge Hamas militarily or even to restrain it -- and smaller radical groups -- from terror attacks and rocket launching against Israel. It will either reject or not implement any promises it makes in this regard, as experience as repeatedly shown.

The correct response to this unpleasant situation is to decertify the Palestinian movement. Since it failed the test of the peace process, and events since then, and is now in the hands of a movement that opposed the peace process, there is no sense giving it the rewards based on pledges to do otherwise. As before 1993, the world must wait until there emerges a Palestinian movement that is truly ready to cease terrorism, negotiate seriously, and make a permanent peace with Israel. Such a movement would be offered great rewards but until then there is nothing to be gained by dealing with Fatah or Hamas.


[1] Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2002

Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, has written and edited 50 books on the Middle East. His latest book, The Truth About Syria, has just been published by Palgrave-Macmillan.

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Posted by Fred Reifenburg, June 30, 2007.

I find it amazing, that bright and experienced people keep hitting their heads against a stone wall, and won't face up to a simple fact. There cannot be peace with Muslims, specially since they've made it ever so clear they wish to destroy Israel and the west. I'm sure if they succeed it wouldn't stop there.

So....enough already at finding peaceful solutions.

There is IMO, another way to settle the matter. The west has got to get its act together, and fight this menace.....to victory. Not likely in our time, but it's the solution that has always worked, where as negotiation is looked upon by our enemies as a sing of weakness.

Think about it. And read this piece by Israel Zwick, who can be reached by email at israel.zwick@earthlink.net or go to his website: www.cnpublications.net

In his op-ed column in the NY Times on June 6, 2007, Thomas Friedman made some astute observations about the prospects for Arab-Israeli peace. The article was aptly titled, "What a Mess." Friedman noted that the three methods that were tried so far have all failed. Land for peace, favored by the Left was discredited by the failure of Oslo. Permanent occupation, favored by the Right, was rendered impossible by Palestinian militancy. The third way, unilateral withdrawal, was discredited by the debacles in Lebanon and Gaza. So the solution to the mess can only come about via a still undetermined "fourth way."

Mr. Friedman, who has a long and deep involvement with Middle East affairs, should know that a fourth way has already been proposed over 20 years ago and offers the best possible solution. However, it is still considered to be too politically taboo to be placed on the table. This plan involves voluntary relocation of the Palestinian Arabs, while the remaining Arabs in Israel and the territories will form a commonwealth government that would be in federation with Israel.

There are a number of variations to this plan but the essential elements are as follows:

1. All Arabs living within the 1947 boundaries of Palestine as well as those living in the UNRWA refugee camps would be offered a compensation package to end their refugee status and allow permanent relocation. The package would include a $50,000 cash payment per family, compensation for their property, and free transportation to any country of their choice that is willing to take them. The 22 countries of the Arab World must participate in this process and be willing to absorb some of the Palestinians and contribute to resettlement costs. Recent polls have suggested that a large portion of the 4 million Palestinian "refugees" would be willing to consider such an offer. To avoid discrimination, Israeli Arabs should be offered the same opportunity. This stage of the plan is expected to take about three to six years for completion. It would be financed by the same donations that are now funding the Palestinian Authority, UNRWA, and UNICEF.

2. The current Palestinian Authority and all of its militias will be dissolved. It is widely recognized that the PA established by the Oslo Accords has been a failure. There should be only one central security apparatus and no private militias. No country can tolerate gangs of armed gunmen who make their own rules and carry them out by force.

3. In place of the PA, the remaining Arabs living in the 1947 Palestine boundaries, and those that are allowed to return, will form a new commonwealth government modeled after Puerto Rico, which has been "occupied" by the United States for over 100 years. Gaza, Judea, and Samaria will be annexed to Israel but the Arab areas will become a self-governing entity. Security arrangements, passports, monetary system, and international commerce will still be monitored and controlled by Israel. Otherwise, the Arabs will govern themselves with their own mayors, judiciary, parliament, and civil police force. The Arab areas will be function in confederation with Israel, in peaceful coexistence with mutual cooperation. The Arabs will be allowed some form of representation in the Israeli Knesset.

The advantages of such a plan are as follows:

  • There will be no more Palestinian refugees or refugee camps. All Palestinians will have a permanent residence and citizenship in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, other Arab countries, or other locations of their choice.

  • The Left will be satisfied because there will be no more "occupation" of Palestinian Arabs. All Arabs living in the 1947 boundaries of Palestine will have their own government. Israel will still control security arrangements and the military.

  • The Right will be satisfied because the historic lands of Israel will remain a part of Israel. Jews will be allowed to remain in communities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

  • The Palestinians will be satisfied because they will have the best of both worlds: self-government and the privileges of association with Israel. Puerto Rico has benefited from this type of arrangement and is not complaining about "occupation." Those that aren't satisfied will have the opportunity for voluntary relocation with compensation.

  • The US, EU, and UN will be satisfied because there will be peace and harmony in the Middle East.

As Thomas Friedman acknowledged, the three ways that have been attempted so far have failed to bring peace to the region. So it is time to dismiss the political taboos and try an innovative fourth way, such as this plan, which has the ability to satisfy all the interests in the conflict. Variations of this plan have been floating around for the last 30 years. Perhaps it is time that they be seriously considered.

http://cnpublications.net/2006/10/23/ editorial-consider-alternative-forms-of-government/

Contact Fred Reifenberg at freify@gmail.com

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Posted by Bryna Berch, June 30, 2007.

Below is part of an extensive article on how to prevent Islam from conquering Europe. The whole evolving article is to be found on Islam Watch (http://www.islam-watch.org) The list is at
http://www.islam-watch.org/NoSharia/archives/oldindex.html. It was written by No Sharia.

The excerpt below is "is Policy Area 12: Foreign Policy Part B 12.3 'More about Goals and Policies.'" It is part of a section archived at

Among the numerous new proposals are the following:

  • All current Conventions, Declarations and Programs of EU, or parts of them, which work against the goal to prevent the islamization of Europe, shall now be changed or eliminated.

  • The religious education at schools or universities (in moslem countries) shall not contain hate against people of other faiths, or against people without religious faith. Neither shall it contain teachings contrary to the UDHR, muslim supremacism, incitements against western countries, ... A country which allows such elements as a part of the schools´ religious curriculum is an enemy of important values of the European countries.

  • One rule regarding immigration: In some countries or regions in the Middle East, the proportion of marriages between first and second cousins are about one half of the total number of marriages. If they would choose freely, muslim women would choose cousins as partners in the same low proportion as in Europe (1% or less). A ban on marriages between first and second cousins is one of the most effective ways to help young muslim women in Europe avoid forced marriages arranged in order to strengthen the extended families important in the Middle East. A ban also weakens the extended families which -- like earlier in Europe -- in itself has positive consequences for the feeling for, and growth of, citizenship in the relevant group.

  • A new International Center for Crimes Against Human Rights (ICAHR) shall identify, find and arrange for the arrest of persons who regularly commit specially serious or abhorrent crimes against UDHR in countries where the governments do not protect human rights enough. Examples of possible criminals to be given attention by this center are:
    -Prison guards in moslem countries who regularly rape girls or young women before their execution (often for political /religious reasons). These acts are committed in order to prevent them from going to heaven, and are a common practice in e g Iran.
    -Specially notorious torturers of political prisoners of e.g. the democratic opposition in a country
    -Medical doctors who regularly earn a good income by performing Female Genital Mutilations (FGMs)
    -Religious leaders in moslem countries proclaiming specially abhorrent fatwas violating UDHR, against citizens or residents of t h a t country a s o

  • All collections of money for charities in EU countries shall be tightly controlled. The distribution shall later be controlled by an EU-, or state, organization.

  • All financing of mosques, or financing of religious activities in EU, by states which do not allow full religious freedom on their own territories, is forbidden..

He also describes how the future political development will lead to a dismantling of the non-economic parts of the EU constitution, and the historic possibility that will appear to replace social democracy and social liberalism as important forces on the political scene of Europe.

Islam Watch is a website run by a dedicated group of Ex-Muslims, who have made it their mission to tell "the truth about Islam." They put "Islam under scrutiny by Ex-Muslims."


Besides some new goals, attention is here mainly given to policies regarding some goals stated in 12.2. The order of subjects is not the same as in 12.2.

1. The European Union shall declare its view of terrorism and Islam in the following manner: Western countries and the European Union have no responsibility for the occurance of Islamic terrorism based on one or more interpretations of Islam´s holy or most respected texts. Many of the common explanations now for this terrorism are excuses without value. Islamic terrorism is a consequence of the goal to impose Islam on the world, and -- if necessary -- by force.

It is a basic goal for the foreign policy of the European nations to actively uphold universal values like those defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations (UDHR; 1948). That is also a recognition of the fact that the only way western nations can coexist "peacefully" now with real, traditional Islam is by compromising over time all their basic values. But since that is an utter impossibility, it means that Islam must change -- and by that enter the modern world.

A. The religion Islam contains parts which are not accepted in the European Union as parts of a religion in a modern western sense. Some parts of Islam violate the human rights of individuals according to e g UDHR. Such parts can therefore not be accepted by the members of EU on the basis of the principle of religious freedom. One human right -- religious freedom -- cannot be allowed to violate many other human rights.

B. Acceptance and introduction of some other parts of Islam in Europe would weaken or make impossible the long-term integration and assimilation of Muslims in the specific country, and are therefore not accepted. Acceptance of them would only build parallel societies (in the meaning given in Policy Area 6) and are therefore forbidden as a long-term threat to a free and democratic society based on human rights and which allows freedom for all religions incl the right not to have a religion. They are therefore not recognized as valid parts of a religion.

C. The remaining parts of Islam are allowed and respected in EU as a religion. These concern e.g. personal worship and include the five pillars of Islam.

2. All current Conventions, Declarations and Programs of EU, or parts of them, which work against the goal to prevent the Islamization of Europe, shall now be changed or eliminated.

3. It is an important goal for the European Union to promote human rights in countries where human rights are widely violated on a daily basis. The violations regard e.g. women and children; religious minorities: christians, buddhists, hinduists etc; apostates, atheists and secular humanists; and members of the political democratic opposition. Special attentions shall be given to countries geographically close to the Union. In the long run, this policy will secure peace even if it may sometimes create extra opportunities for political gains for Islamists in the short run.

Just the treatment of the christian copts in a so-called moderate moslem country like Egypt is abhorrent but the treatment of atheists/secular persons there, is worse. The treatment of Muslim women in a so-called moderate country as Malaysia, or persons in that country who want to leave Islam, is unacceptable. Any country with similar uncivilized and cruel domestic policies is not a true and reliable friend of the western democracies even if e.g. Malaysia is a democracy, but in a more limited sense. But in reality it, like Egypt, is an enemy of important values of the European countries. It shall have consequences for all types of contacts.

4. It is of vital interest to EU that the school education in moslem countries consists of real subjects incl science, and that religion is just is a small part of the curriculum. The children will then get impulses of many types which is important for their intellectual growth, and they learn for the future. Improvements in these school systems are an important part of the dismantling of the ideological infrastructure of extremism.

The special subject of religion at school ought to contain objective descriptions of other religions. The religious education at schools or universities shall not contain hate against people of other faiths, or against people without religious faith. Neither shall it contain teachings contrary to the UDHR, Muslim supremacism, incitements against western countries, promotion of physical jihad, encouragement of terrorism incl glorification of forced Islamification of infidel countries a s o. A country which allows such elements as a part of the schools´ religious curriculum is an enemy of of important values of the European countries. It shall have consequences for all types of contacts with that country.

5. The principles expressed in p. 4 are also valid regarding the contents of sermons and all messages conveyed in mosques and other buildings used for religious activities and education. The government of the specific country has the duty to control that no teaching supporting violations of human rights is performed. Neither shall any enmity, hatred or contempt of nonMuslims based just on their religious affiliation or lack of it, be expressed on a regular basis (see p.4).

6. A new International Center for Crimes Against Human Rights (ICAHR) shall identify, find and arrange for the arrest of persons who regularly commit specially serious or abhorrent crimes against UDHR in countries where the governments do not protect human rights enough. New legislation shall be introduced in EU countries when there is a lack of legal rules concerning responsibility for certain barbaric acts based on religion. New principles or interpretations of international law are probably needed to increase the personal responsibility for inhuman acts based on the rules of a religion, anywhere in the world. Religion is now the primary reason for violence, terrorism, conflicts and wars, and special rules are therefore necessary in this area.

It is self evident that only a very small part of all abhorrent crimes against human rights can get attention, be investigated and have their perpetrators arrested and tried in a court in a EU country. However, just the possibility that such crimes a r e investigated, the publicity around various trials, and that attention aimed at certain crimes, will have important effects. Priority is initially given to countries close to EU.

Examples of possible criminals to be given attention by this center are:

-- Prison guards in moslem countries who regularly rape girls or young women before their execution (often for political /religious reasons). These acts are committed in order to prevent them from going to heaven, and are a common practice in e.g. Iran.

-- Specially notorious torturers of political prisoners of e.g. the democratic opposition in a country

-- Medical doctors who regularly earn a good income by performing Female Genital Mutilations (FGMs)

-- Religious leaders in moslem countries proclaiming specially abhorrent fatwas violating UDHR, against citizens or residents of that country aso

7. All financing of mosques, or financing of religious activities in EU, by states which do not allow full religious freedom on their own territories, is forbidden. This prohibition also regards companies and all types of organizations in, or from, those countries. Financing includes all types of gifts or loans, directly or via middlemen. No already existing financial agreements of these types may contain conditions regarding choice of personnel, rules about the contents of the religion in the specific building or organization etc. Such agreements shall no longer be observed. The local mosque in question shall decide regarding such matters.

It is well-known that moslem countries discriminate against other religions than Islam, and that specially Saudi Arabia, where other religions are not allowed, finances a fundamental interpretation of Islam in many western countries. Its financial muscles help it to take over and dominate other versions of Islam. The ultimate goal of eg Saudi Arabia regarding its financing of wahabism in Western countries is also to help to transform these countries to Islamic countries. Then other religions will heavily discriminated or even forbidden, christians and jews forced into dhimmitude, and e.g. apostates, atheists and agonostics persecuted and sometimes killed. Allowing religious financing from those moslem states is the same as financing the Islamisation and future limitation of e.g. religious freedom and freedom from religion in EU countries. This type of financing shall therefore be forbidden.

8. All collections of money for charities in EU countries shall be controlled. The distribution shall later be controlled by an EU-, or state, organization. No activities of the organizations which in other countries receive the money are allowed to violate the UDHR. If a specific sub-organization is active in social work but another suborganizaton belonging to the same umbrella organization is active regarding religious extremism or terrorism, no money is allowed to be distributed to the social work-organization.

There are no possibilities to make certain that money is not distributed to terrorist organizations, or organizations which partly support terrorism, if the receiving organizations (and the activities the money is meant for) are not tightly controlled. The controlling or distributing state/EU organization therefore has a strict responsibility that unsuitable recipients do not receive any money.

9. All countries (1) where one religion is given preferences by the constitutions and/or laws, and that religion is in opposition to UDHR regarding important aspects, or (2) which have signed the The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (1990), shall be prevented to:

(a) buy existing companies active in the following industries in EU countries, or

(b) otherwise in EU engage in activities concerning:

-- Media of all types: newspapers, magazines, TV-stations etc
-- Industries of importance for defence, or companies engaged in research for the national defence or defence-related areas
-- Industries of importance for the national security of the specific nation (communication, transportation etc).

If these rules violate earlier trade agreements etc, these shall be renegotiated and amended, cancelled, or just copied and reconfirmed by the parliaments but now with certain countries excluded.

10. (1) Immigration, (2) the demographic growth of the Muslim population in Europe and its consequences in form of an increasing radicalization of it, and (3) the acceptance as members of EU of countries with populations trained in a version of Islam that often violates human rights, are all parts of the same problem. Policies regarding them must therefore be formulated from the same point-of-view and with the same goal. Issues regarding immigration will be treated in Policy Area 8. Just a few desirable components in a future immigration policy are mentioned here: A. In order to increase the strength and power of the extended family that is so vital in many clan/tribe based countries in the Middle East, marriages between cousins are common. In some countries or regions, the proportion of marriages between first and second cousins are about one half of the total number of marriages. In western countries where the reason for marrying generally is love and affinity, this proportion is insignificant.

For that reason, Muslim girls are influenced or forced to marry cousins from their homecountries in order to strengthen their extended families. A male Muslim immigrant in Europe marries his daughter to a nephew in the home country (1). The opportunity to increase the family in the west is often seen as so important and the pressure on the daughter is so hard that the daughter very often doesn´t have the power to resist the pressure. A ban on marriages between first and second cousins is therefore one of the most effective ways to help young Muslim women avoid forced marriages. If they choose freely, the same low proportion of them as in Europe would choose cousins as partners. The psychological drive of her parents -- and specially when forced marriages have been made unlawful -- to force the daughter to marry a non-family person is also much weaker. At the same time a ban weakens the extended families which -- like earlier in Europe -- has positive consequences for the feeling for, and growth of, citizenship in the relevant group.

B. People who base their careers on applying or teaching a version of Islam which often violates human rights, are not neutral or negative to these violations. If they were, they would have chosen another career. Instead these people constitute the strong base for continuous human rights violations in a Muslim country. They accept and approve of the violations and teach and argue for them. Their values and goals make them dangerous for a tolerant democracy. Regarding visits or immigration to Europe of such persons and their families, certain special rules were indicated in P A 4 (4.2).

Special restrictive rules shall apply to: (1) professional teachers and students of shari'a and Islamic jurisprudence; (2) jurists which practice sharia laws except defense attorneys (new category); (3) politicians, representatives and employees of Islamic religious parties which don't accept UDHR; (4) managers and representatives for religious or faith organizations, financial organizations etc with charters, policies and/or record of earlier actions that violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and/or the rights of a citizen or an individual defined in the Constitution of X-country.

Such persons are not allowed to visit or immigrate to EU unless they are able to show that their opinions regarding human rights don't in any way contradict the UDHR. They have the burden of proof. No members of any Islamist organization like the Muslim Brotherhood can visit EU or immigrate here.

No immigrants shall be allowed to enter Europe without a psychological test of his /her values regarding democratic and human rights and a written assurance that he/she will accept the important values of his/her new country; and that he/she will bring up his/her children to accept the laws and important norms of his new country.

11. Islamic clergy with traditional Islamic education and training in countries that have signed the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, or have received similar education in other countries, are not allowed to act as clergy regarding religious activities in EU. It is a training that is built on contempt for human rights, inequality and dislike for non-Muslims, and recommends all types of practices that are contrary to UDHR. A reformed education of Islamic clergy must be created by Muslims in Europe with a contents that is not contrary to the UDHR, Individual members of the clergy who are able to give ironclad assurances that they will never act or talk in any manner against UDHR, can be allowed to function as clergy. During a period of transition, traditional clergy may temporarily be allowed to work even without such an assurance.

12. Lying about the holocaust, or the genocide against the Armenian people, has been criminalized in a few countries. The pervasive atmosphere of a certain definition of multiculturalism (meaning that Islamic values have the same worth as western values), and the intolerance in media against everybody who dissents from this view, makes it necessary to counteract the tendency in media to conceal negative aspects of Islam.

Media are in their practical work dominated by socialists and socialdemocrats who are now trying to regain the political initiative for the left by destroying the non-socialist market society by using multiculturalism (in the given meaning), Islam and immigration as tools. Many of the journalists understand that an Islamic society and Islamic laws are fundamentally unsuitable for handling the modern world and complex economies. They believe that moslem politicians will then turn to socialists to find help. So after the cold war showed the bankruptcy of the socialistic ideas, the socialists would again be able to revive their collapsed doctrine because Islam will need s o m e theory for running large, or complex economies.

Market economy has as its foundation individualism, freedom, creativity and democracy with protection of minority rights -- all values antithetical to Islam. That Islamic countries historically have partly used a market economy for their primitive industrial sectors and their commerce activities will not be enough of an obstacle to introducing extensive socialistic policies in European countries.. The collectivism of socialism will be found to be more suitable for Islam in western societies.

Another advantage of socialism is that its first purpose in practice was never to produce goods and services effectively but -- to control people. The future Islamic regimes in the west will appreciate the possibilities to cement their positions of power and realize the Islamization of society by using all control mechanisms that socialism offers. That socialism is a totally unsuitable system for economic growth and development doesn't matter, because future moslem societies in Europe will stagnate and decline anyway.

It is not correct today to see the media as a guarantee for political freedom. For many of the left-oriented journalists, a revival of socialism is probably more important than freedom. They therefore want to suppress everything that can prevent the Islamification and hinder Muslims positive to sharia to get into power in the west. In order to reach their political purposes, they try to conceal all negative matters regarding Islam and call nearly all criticisms for Islamophobia, racism, cultural imperialism etc. Then the population is kept in the dark and therefore passive.

It shall therefore be a crime to conceal the religious background of criminals in cases it may have played a role. For example, data from various countries show that rape is committed much more frequently by Muslim young men than by men from other religions. It is evident that religion may play a role in that. The matter shall be freely discussed, and the opinions of the citizens shall be heard. But in order not to cause any obstacles for their political goals the journalists instead suppress all negative matters regarding Muslim persons where the religion may play a role. That behaviour shall therefore be criminalized and the religious background of e.g. criminals shown.

13. Leftist governments and governments sympathetic to Islamists shall not be able to use the bureaucracy and decision-making processes within EU to prevent effective anti-Islamist or antiterror measures. It is therefore important for governments really concerned about protecting human rights to agree outside EU on such measures concerning national security, in case differences of opinion inside EU prevents the union from acting.

The most important parts of the anti-Islamist/anti-terrorist work by police, intelligence/security, or military personnel shall either be carried out outside the EU organization, or -- if kept in EU -- an organization shall be prepared by interested governments which organization immediately (if needed) can take over all functions (relevant for those countries) of the specific EU administration.

14. Anti-Islamist (ie Human Rights) parties which are members of coalition governments in various countries shall together determine and cooperate regarding those EU policies to which they give special priority. The Human Rights (HR) parties can then force, or gain important concessions from their domestic coalition partners concerning just these EU policies by sacrificing their own standpoints regarding less vital domestic matters. By concentrating on a small number of issues and sacrificing others, essential results may be won.

One can foresee that at some point in time during phase 5-7 of the future development of Europe (see part 1), one EU country will during a crisis declare that certain specified EU laws, conventions etc are not operative (valid) any longer in that country. It just stops to apply these specified laws that EU has created and forced upon the member states. Some other countries will later follow that example. Because the EU establishment at that time have pushed through too many laws without support of, or against the wishes of a majority of the population in EU, the union will have lost part of its legitimacy and support. And the populations have generally started to understand the great danger that the politicians have put Europe in.

The governments committed to human rights, and sympathizers in coalition governments in other countries will be able to prevent that any effective measures are taken against them by EU. The HR parties will in various countries threaten to topple the coalition governments if those want to support the EU commission. New elections can't generally be used by the establishments, because at that time most political conditions will support the HR parties. The consequences of decades of disastrous policies regarding immigration and wholesale acceptance of Islam start to become visible to everybody. And if decisions are made by EU, they are ignored. The legal process is too slow and cumbersome and unable to handle such political processes. And if any verdicts are made, they will be ignored. When EU has lost its legitimacy, legal issues will anyway in practice have little importance.

By paralyzing the political process and ignoring a number of EU laws and conventions, these states will get back their freedom of action and can then carry out the policies they find necessary in accordance with their national interest and national rules. EU loses rapidly its importance outside the economic sphere, and its house of cards consisting of various conventions, declarations and programs etc with no basis in the will of the populations, will crash.

15. The intelligence about all types of Islamist activities in the EU countries shall be improved. A considerable effort shall be made so that enough persons in the police, intelligence services, the military, diplomatic corps a s o swiftly learn the Arab language All large mosques and Muslim organizations where any Islamist activities can be suspected, shall be under surveillance. All possible Islamist organizations shall be infiltrated.

A European center shall be created that gathers information from national centers in EU countries regarding all (1) acts of violence, or (2) threats of violence that can be judged to be political and are motivated by religion. Political violence and political murders constitute the beginning of physical jihad (see phases 3-5 (c-e) in part 1). Good indicators regarding the degree of radicalization of various parts of the Muslim population shall be created.

A European center shall be created with the goal to collect the information from national centers regarding all crimes against the human rights of Muslims by Islamists and other Muslims, owing to religion or traditions, which in practice are accepted and/or supported by religion. These crimes aim at supporting or strengthening parallel societies in Europe, and are often directed towards women, girls, apostates, or Muslims who are not enough religious. They constitute an important part of the efforts to undermine Europe.

16. All legal obstacles for an effective anti-terrorism and anti-Islamist policy shall be removed in all EU countries. Countries may have to modernize their legislations so that laws used in a state of war, can be used during e.g. armed rebellion and civil war. Terrorists are not soldiers and shall not be given any protection similar to that a soldier has according to the Geneva Convention. They shall not be tried in civilian courts: special or military courts and military laws shall be used.

A terrorist is according to his philosophy and way of fighting, a fundamental enemy of the specific country and also of civilization. Any type of armed rebellion for religious reasons against a member state of EU shall be treated as if the participants have committed high treason during war. Using explosives is comparable to using a firearm against own citizens and soldiers, and helping the enemy in wartime.

A military state of emergency is an extremely drastic measure, and a small number of less drastic "Levels of Emergencies" with varying limitations of human rights shall be defined for the EU countries. They shall be suitable for combating lower levels of unrest and violence than a widespread armed rebellion.

17. In order to meet a new political situation in Europe, new laws and punishments are necessary. Economic criminals are sometimes forbidden to work as business men. Likewise, it shall be possible to forbid political/religious criminals to work with political and/or religious matters. Members of the Islamic clergy who have committed e.g. religious hate crimes or crimes against integration (see PA 4 -6) shall not be allowed to take part in religious work or activities. Other punishments which may be new in some countries are: ban against moving outside a geographic area; house arrest; ban to meet people besides the family; ban to communicate with others via telephone, internet etc.

The new crime called |Betrayal of the European Civilization" was described in sect 12.2 p.6. It is necessary to establish such a crime because the nation state is now heavily influenced by the actions of non-elected international administrators and bureaucrats, who can seriously damage the specific country. If the consequences of the actions of such EU employees are highly detrimental to the national interest of a state, and can be judged to be part of a political agenda that aims at promoting the interests of radical Islam, or objectively helps radical Islam to gain influence in Europe, such a crime is committed. The proper definitions, criteria and safeguards for the legal rights of the accused will be formulated by the European states which introduce this crime in their legal systems..

It can be expected that laws in different countries may counteract each other regarding such a crime. However, during a political process similar to the one described in p. 13 above, there will probably be possibilities in various countries to apprehend and bring accused EU employees to justice even before an armed rebellion or civil war in Europe has been started by the Islamists. After military operations start, there will be a widespread demand among the European populations that those politicians and EU employees who are responsible for the misguided policies that have caused a disaster for Europe, shall be brought to justice. Then other parts of national laws will also be relevant.

(1) http://www.isteve.com/cousin_marriage_conundrum.htm

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Posted by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, June 29, 2007.

Hamas TV Mickey Mouse becomes Martyr in final episode

The Hamas satellite TV channel has responded to the international controversy over its hatred-spouting Mickey Mouse clone by having the character beaten to death by an Israeli and becoming a Shahid, martyr for Allah.

Al-Aqsa TV broadcast Friday the final episode of the children's program Tomorrow's Pioneers, starring Farfur, the Mickey Mouse lookalike whose teachings about world Islamic domination, violence and hatred outraged the world after PMW made them public in May.

Without apparent regard for the sensitivities of their child viewers, the show's creators killed off the character in a particularly violent way that allowed them to continue the show's rabidly anti-Israel messages.

In this last episode, the squeaky-voiced Farfur receives land documents from his grandfather. The episode ends when an Israeli investigator tries to force Farfur to give up the key and the papers that his grandfather had given him. When Farfur refuses, the Israeli continues his brutal attack and beats Farfur to death.

Although Farfur's death is not shown to the child viewers, the hostess of the show, Saraa', sadly announces his death to the children:

"Yes, our children friends, we lost our dearest friend, Farfur. Farfur turned to a Martyr while protecting his land. He turned into a Martyr at the hands of the criminals, and murderers, the murderers of the innocent children."

PMW reported the existence of the Mickey Mouse knockoff and his hateful messages in May, prompting worldwide outrage. The New York Daily News dubbed the character "Terror Mouse," while Walt Disney's daughter Diane described it as "pure evil."

Despite promises by the PA that the show would be suspended immediately, it remained on the air for another week, and was then suspended during the violence in Gaza. This final episode, which includes the killing of Farfur by Israel, enabled Hamas to remove the program while continuing its hate messages.

Click to view video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9lL81QhiR8)
or PMW website (http://pmw.org.il/asx/pmw_mickey290607.asx).

The following are excerpts from the final episode:

[Text:] "Farfur in Interrogation"

Israeli interrogator: "Sit down, Farfur... Farfur, we want to buy the land, we will give you a lot of money. You will get a lot of money, and we will take the documents."

Farfur: "No!! We will not sell our lands to terrorists!"

Interrogator: "Farfur!!! I want you to give me the documents, give me the documents!"

Farfur: "I'm not giving the documents! Not giving! Not giving!"

Interrogator: "Farfur!!! [Visual: interrogator beats Farfur] Farfur! Hand me the documents. Farfur! Hand me the documents, Farfur!"

Farfur: "I am not handing them to criminals, to terrorists!"

Interrogator: "You call us terrorists, Farfur?!

[Visual: interrogator beats Farfur again]

Take this! Take this! Take this! Take this!"

Farfur: "Stop! Stop!"

Saraa': "Yes, our children friends, we lost our dearest friend, Farfur. Farfur turned to a Martyr while protecting his land. He turned into a Martyr at the hands of the criminals, and murderers. The murderers of the innocent children... [Talking to a child caller] You saw that the Jews let Farfur die as a Martyr. What do you want to say to the Jews?"

Shaimaa', 3 years old, on the phone: "We don't like the Jews because they are dogs! We will fight them!"

Saraa' [sarcastically]: "No, the Jews are good, oh Shaimaa'. The Jews are our friends, and we play with them, isn't it so?"

Shaimaa': "They killed Farfur!"

Saraa': "That's right, oh Shaimaa'. The Jews are criminals and enemies, we must expel them from our land."
-- [Hamas, Al-Aqsa TV June 27, 2007]

Itamar Marcus is director of PMW -- Palestinian Media Watch -- (http://www.pmw.org.il). PMW is based in Jerusalem. Barbara Crook, a writer and university lecturer based in Ottawa, Canada, is PMW's

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Posted by Daniel Mandel, June 29, 2007.

In February, I dissected a classic example of malign reportage by Associated Press (AP) in which an attack in Jerusalem upon Jews worshipping at the Western Wall by Muslims throwing stones, bottles and refuse was presented as an unprovoked Israeli police assault upon peaceful Muslim worshippers that included a (non-existent) storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque. AP achieved this Orwellian effect by the propaganda devices of distortion, tendentious expression and obscuration of salient facts.

Now AP has done it again -- this time in relation to one of its all-too-rare reports on the Palestinian media, a perversely skilled hate industry that incites hatred and murder of Jews. Its depredations on the Palestinian mind, especially that of Palestinian youth, have been systematically reported by organisations like by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and the Middle East Media Research Institute.

PMW has a detailed report, including transcripts, on the antics of Farfur, a clone of Disney's Mickey Mouse featured on Hamas Al-Aqsa TV who devoted his air time to indoctrinating Palestinian children with hatred of Jews and America. AP now reports (hat tip to Barry Rubin) that Farfur, in a final program broadcast today, was shown beaten to death by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfur's land. But AP found no space to inform the reader of the incitement to hatred, the anti-Semitic statements, the promotion of the theme of Muslim world domination that characterized Farfur's stint on television. AP noted only that "the character urged Palestinian children to fight Israel."

AP seems determined to keep the public in ignorance of the hatred within the Palestinian Authority and its promotion of it in its media. A public aware that hatred drives the conflict rather than the usual suspects of occupation, settlements, statehood et al would end up having a very different view of the conflict. That prospect AP does its best to preclude.

Daniel Mandel is a Fellow in History at Melbourne University and author of H. V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist (Routledge, London, 2004). His blog can be found on the History News Network.

This essay appeared today on the History News network (HNN) website
-- http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/40409.html

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Posted by Jenny Grigg, June 29, 2007.

This presentation comes from Honest Reporting.

Honest Reporting monitors the media for inaccuracy and unfairness in how they report the news about Israel. Ther website address is http://www.honestreporting.com. You can help support their research online or by sending contributions to: HonestReporting, 400 South Lake Drive, Lakewood, NJ 08701-3167.

15 seconds isn't a long time, unless you are a resident of Sderot. That's about as much warning as they can hope for once missiles are launched and en-route to their homes and schools. 15 seconds of fear and panic can seem an eternity, as captured in our latest short film.


The people of Sderot are under constant bombardment. It is a horrifying situation that demands the world's attention in a context that reveals the full extent of civilian suffering at the hands of Gazan terrorists.

Watch our short film about the situation and help us demand that the media report accurately on the intent of the terrorists' actions and their psychological impact instead of a simple analysis of damage assessment. As our movie shows, there is no child who survives those 15 seconds, who is likely to live a life unharmed.

Click here to view film.

Together we can make a difference in media coverage of Israel. Click the image above to view, and thank you for supporting our cause.

Want to skip the film? Head straight to our donation page at www.honestreporting.com/a/securedonate.asp or click the button below.

Contact Jenny Grigg at jennygrigg@gmail.com

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Posted by Daniel Mandel, June 29, 2007.

This week, Tony Blair departed office after ten years, the British Labour Party's longest-serving prime minister, the only person to have led the party to three consecutive general election victories, and the only Labour prime minister to serve more than one full consecutive term. He leaves office with 61 percent of the British public judging him to have been a good prime minister. Add to that the high popularity that he enjoyed through much of his tenure and it becomes difficult to reconcile it with his earlier than intended departure under compulsion from his own party. What happened?

To say the Iraq war happened, with Blair's stalwart support and involvement, is the lion's share of the answer, but that in turn poses other questions. Opposition to the war generally splits into two: those who revile the Western powers as motivated by all manner of avarice and aggression, and others who know that good is intended but who doubt or reject the means used to achieve it. No argument will sway the former, but the latter have been listening and many in the end have found the argument wanting. Why?

It used to be customary for the war's supporters in America to bemoan President Bush's inarticulateness while breathing a sigh of relief when Blair stepped into the breach to make a rousing case for removing Saddam Hussein and reviving Iraq. That he led a British Labour government was only to be marveled at, just as his defiance of popularity at home over a matter of conviction was only to be admired in a man often held to be manipulative and media-obsessed. (Even by his own recent admission, he devoted "inordinate attention in the early days of New Labour to courting, assuaging and persuading the media.") Yet in the end Blair's argument failed to sway enough of the British public and even his own party.

Partly, this is bad luck. There was no reason to assume that the post-Saddam epoch would be one of prolonged American mishandling and several, not easily reversed, mistakes. The operational decisions being American ones, Blair was to that extent at the mercy of events. A swifter and more decisive outcome would have caused much of the criticism to wither away. There is little point complaining about liberating Iraqis from tyranny.

But on-going bloodshed is another matter, say the critics. They are right, but only if one accepts the premise that a failure to bring tranquil democracy to Iraq is the decisive test of the war's merit.

MANY, PERHAPS MOST, SUPPORTERS of the war, including me, did not subscribe to that view. Instead, we cited Saddam's chronic violations of the 1991 Gulf war ceasefire; his retention of the technology, toxins and research infrastructure to achieve it; the massive human toll of his rule (eclipsing today's casualty figures); his past genocide, aggression and patronage of terrorists. The problem is that Tony Blair, the war's most effective spokesman, did subscribe to the democracy litmus test. What possessed him to set the bar to such heights and to invite a negative verdict on his own conduct?

Blair believes that democracy is a cure for terrorism. In a sense he is right. But in an important sense he is mistaken. That which militates against democracy -- religious fanaticism, ideological totalitarianism, tribal loyalties trumping civil society -- also produced the repression that Blair sought to cure. Yet he failed to understand that there is no democratic silver bullet, that a society devoid of democratic traditions and memory cannot become democratic in the short space of a few years.

To think otherwise exposes a confusion of democratic processes (elections, parliaments, constitutions, referenda) with the characteristics of democratic society (separation of religion and state, contractual, law-abiding, pluralistic, tertiary educated) that alone permit democratic processes to have meaning. The nature of the society in question, not assemblies and documents, is the deciding criterion.

Failure to understand this leads to polices that stress democratic processes at the expense of democratic purposes -- something witnessed last year when the Bush Administration foisted legislative elections upon Palestinians, thereby bringing to power the doctrinally genocidal Hamas movement. Similarly, in Iraq, making democracy a higher priority than security, at least until now, has thwarted efforts to bring either to Iraq.

Yet Blair understood this no better than Bush, to judge by one of his fullest statements on Iraq -- his July 17, 2003 address to a joint session of Congress, as these excerpts show:

"There is a myth that though we love freedom, others don't; that our attachment to freedom is a product of our Western values; that Afghan women were content under the lash of the Taliban; that Saddam was somehow beloved by his people."

Like so many, Tony Blair believed that, given half a chance, all would seize liberty with both hands. Yet the instinct for autocracy, for rule by ruthless men who dispose of the complex problems of life, has in the past permitted even the most educated societies to tolerate fascism, to vote in Nazism, to yearn for various forms of communism or to acquiesce in the terrors of all three. The Middle East is no different.

Now, it is perfectly true that Afghans celebrated the fall of the Taliban; that Iraqis too are free and in the main relieved, no matter the editorials masquerading as news insinuating otherwise. But democracy has few roots in the region. Authoritarian nationalist or Islamist parties could win the day in most parts of the Middle East were elections held today. To curbstone pundits, that would make authoritarianism or Islamism democratic. All it actually proves is that certain societies are unprepared for democracy, since "one man, one vote one time" is no democracy at all.

"Anywhere, anytime ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret police."

Were it only true. Admittedly, the election of Hamas was then in the future, but had Blair not noticed what nearly occurred in Algeria in 1992 when elections presaged an Islamist victory which, when curtailed, led to a horrific internal war that makes Iraq's present one look tame? Egyptians and other Arabs once idolized Nasser, who introduced the political concentration camp into the Middle East. If successful in appealing to our baser instincts, dictatorial regimes are often venerated and their crimes ignored or justified.

"How hollow would the charges of American imperialism be when these failed countries are and are seen to be transformed from states of terror to nations of prosperity, from governments of dictatorship to examples of democracy, from sources of instability to beacons of calm?"

"Examples of democracy"? "Beacons of calm"? It was bold of Blair to suggest this outcome even in 2003. How much better it would have been to say forthrightly that the Taliban and Saddam were rightly removed because both harbored terrorists capable of inflicting enormous damage against innocent lives everywhere. Both produced the bulk of refugees that had come from the Middle East in recent years. Both were exceedingly brutal to those who fell under their rule.

Removing the Taliban and Saddam warded off international dangers, freed captives, and allowed Afghans and Iraqis to breathe easier. Instead of saying as much and standing on that record, Blair conceded the logic of his critics, arguing that anything less than establishing a new golden age would be a failure. Small wonder that Blair wanted then, as now, to see dividends on the Israeli-Palestinian front, as if that had anything at all to do with Afghanistan or Iraq.

"This 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 reverses matters. Terrorism is a symptom of war, not an aberration that can be cured by peace. It follows that its defeat is a condition of peacemaking, not the other way around. In the Oslo years (1993-2000), Israelis sought a peace based on two states for two peoples, whether Arabs wanted it or not. Thus the blind eye towards Yasser Arafat's sponsoring of a culture of terrorism and hatred. Successive Palestinian polls indicate enthusiasm for terrorism and rejection of Israel. Israelis awoke in 2000 from the delusion that a two-state solution was obtainable from men dedicated to a one-state program. Others, including Tony Blair, have still not.

UNFORTUNATELY, BLAIR'S ADVOCACY, like Bush's, failed to clarify issues that went to the heart of how Iraq was to be restored and secured and how other regional conflicts related to it and should be managed. Increasingly, Blair was caught in a pincer movement of dislike of Bush at home and ongoing conflict abroad.

That is a tragedy, because the ideals that animated Blair were both principled and in short supply in a cynical world. As a result, Britain has yet to awake from the illusion that it can have its war on Islamism in concert with Europe rather than the United States.

His support last year for the American position favoring giving Israel time to dispose of Hizballah in Lebanon (a task Israel botched) led his party, which dislikes Bush, is unsympathetic to an Israel under attack and fed up with bad news from Iraq, to press for his departure. David Pryce-Jones has it right when he avers, "It is a horrid irony that his best decision is the cause of his unpopularity and downfall."

Daniel Mandel is a Fellow in History at Melbourne University and author of H. V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist (Routledge, London, 2004). His blog can be found on the History News Network.

This article was published in the American Spectator and is archived at

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Posted by Barry Rubin, June 29, 2007.

Bob Leiken*, phony Islam expert, has written a poem about me which he is sending around. For those who don't know, Leiken is a Latin American expert turned immigration expert turned Islamism expert. He hasn't read the sources and knows nothing about the subject, of course. He makes the most basic errors.

I wrote a satire making fun of him. You can also read my article on Muslim Brotherhoods at
http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2007/issue2/jv11no2a8.html--which Leiken himself read and disregarded before launching himself on his latest career as the Muslim Brotherhood's apologist. Lenin called such people "useful idiots."

This ignorance wouldn't matter if he weren't advocating that the United States team up with Muslim Brotherhoods, thus helping the forces responsible for extremism, repressive dictatorships, and terrorism in the world.

Imagine someone who advocated in the 1930s that the fascists were misunderstood and you could work with the more moderate ones. Same goes for the Stalinists. How different would the world be if the appeasers had won out on those occasions.

In this current conflict, what Leiken doesn't know -- well, one of many things he doesn't know -- is that when people like him talk about engagement with Muslim Brotherhoods, people in the Middle East reach the following conclusion:

The Islamists are winning, even the Americans are recognizing it. We better either join the Islamists, give up or make our own deal.

Lives are at stake. People are tortured, murdered, blown up. This is not a game. The policies Leiken advocates cost lives and may even cost countries. Just imagine that you are an Egyptian or a Jordanian who doesn't want to wear a veil, lose the limited freedoms now enjoyed, or have a regime that implements Islamist punishments. You hear about some American pseudo-intellectual who is advocating that the West work with those who want to turn your countries into Iran- or Taliban-type societies. And if you want to discount 10 or 20 percent for the "moderation" of the Muslim Brotherhood go right ahead.

How typical that Bob has responded with a poem -- poem which makes no reference to the Middle East or Islamism. Not a detailed discussion of the issues but a poem which you are free to interpret as you wish.

I will only remark on the opening three lines:

Line 1: To suggest that those who oppose revolutionary Islamism lack a heart is pretty shocking. Think of the victims of this movement. Now think of someone who is promoting his career by advocating cooperation with the closest thing to totaltiarianism in our era.

Line 2: To suggest that those who actually research their topic and can provide detailed refutations of his claims have no mind is equally shocking. Isn't the absence of mind something that arises from the lack of real research, serious analysis, and instead just talking to people who want to seize state power and create dictatorships and believing them?

Line 3: Well if goods offered to the public are worthless, whose goods does that label best fit? I think this poem is all too revealing.

I repeat, as much as during the struggle against fascism and the struggle against Communism, the fate of freedom and civilization is at stake. This is no game for dilettantes.

And yet we are living in an era in which fools and ignoramuses too often seize the floor and the microphones. What is truly remarkable is that they don't even see how clearly they are demonstrating their total lack of qualification to conduct rational discourse.

And if you have any doubt on that point here's the poem

Absence of heart -- as in public buildings
Absence of mind -- as in public speeches
Absence of worth -- as in goods intended for the public,

Are telltale signs that a chimera has just dined
On someone else; of him, poor foolish fellow,
Not a scrap is left, not even his name.

Indescribable -- being neither this nor that --
Uncountable -- being any number --
Unreal -- being anything but what they are,

And ugly customers for someone to encounter,
It is our fault entirely if we do:
They cannot touch us; it is we who will touch them --

Curious from wantoness -- to see what they are like --
Cruel from fear -- to put a stop to them --
Incredulous from conceit -- to prove the cannot be

We prod or kick or measure and are lost;
The stronger we are the sooner all is over;
It is our strength with which they gobble us up.

If someone, being chaste, brave, humble,
Get by them safely, he is still in danger,
With pity remembering what once they were,

Of turning back to help them. Don't
What they were once was what they would not be;
Not liking what they are not is what now they are.

No on can help them; walk on, keep on walking,
And do not let your goodness self -- deceive you;
It is good that they are, but not that they are thus.

 *  Robert S. Leiken is Director, Immigration and National Security Program, at The Nixon Center.

Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, has written and edited 50 books on the Middle East. His latest book, The Truth About Syria, has just been published by Palgrave-Macmillan.

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Posted by Naomi Ragen, June 29, 2007.


On July 18, the Bangladeshi journalist whose only crime is his pro-Israel stance goes on trial for his life. He faces a judicial system that is weighted against him. We need to urgently contact our Senators, Congressman, and political leaders in countries around the world to help him. You can google to find out the name and e-mail, or phone number of your representative. Below, a heartrending letter from Shoaib's brother. We need to get behind this man whose only crime is that he is a Muslim who dares point out the Koran says the land of Israel was given to the Jews. Please help. Please forward this. We cannot let Shoaib be sacrificed.

In America, to find your representative, go to

In Australia,

In Canada http://www.canada.gc.ca/main_e.html

For the rest, just google.

Below is an appeal by Choudhury's brother.


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

My brother Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury went to court today, June 28th, filled with optimism. The Government of Bangladesh had recently sent the judge and public prosecutor who, until now, had been trying his case, to another part of the country with the result that his trial would have to begin again with a new judge and prosecutor. We were hopeful that this might result in this judge dropping the charges again Shoaib today. Sadly, it appears that the government has only removed a judge who was hopelessly tainted by his public assertions that he would convict Shoaib regardless of the evidence that might be presented.

Today, the judge stated that he is prepared to proceed quickly, and the prosecutor was prepared with witnesses ready to testify against Shoaib.

You may recall that, in Bangladesh, there will be no jury in this trial on charges of treason, sedition and blasphemy. Neither will Shoaib's attorneys be permitted to bring any witnesses in his defense. The only option open to the defense is to cross examine the prosecution witnesses. In addition, the judge has the option of ending the trial and issuing a verdict after only half of the witnesses have been heard. It is safe to assume that the witnesses who can make the most convincing case against Shoaib will be heard first. If convicted the penalty will be either death by hanging or thirty years in prison, which is, in fact, a death sentence.

This only reason for the present delay is that there is one more appeal to void the charges now pending in the Supreme Court. While the Supreme Court is on vacation, it may or may not be possible for the judge to press for a decision from a jurist in chambers rather than from the full appellate court.

Shoaib Choudhury is on trial because he urges his government to recognize the State of Israel. This is not a crime. He is on trial because of rumors originating in Saudi Arabia that he is a Mossad agent, something so patently ridiculous that no reasonable court would even consider it. Why would a secret intelligence agent publicly proclaim his support for Israel in an Islamic country? The Qur'an states that Allah/God gave the Land of Israel to the Jewish people. His country proclaims that Shoaib's support for Israel is treason because it is in opposition to their policy and that it is blasphemous, a charge they find convenient. He is on trial because he has Jewish and Christian friends and because he publishes their articles in his newspaper. This is not blasphemy, and it is not a crime. although some extremist Muslims would like to think that it is. He is on trial because he writes plainly about the danger of extremist madrassas teaching children as young as five to hate Jews and Israel. The majority of Bangladeshis cannot afford any other form of education for their children and are willing to send them anywhere as long as they learn to read and write. Every charge against Shoaib is false. Shoaib works tirelessly for interfaith understanding. Bangladesh considers this treason and blasphemy.

He has committed no crime at all, except for his attempt to travel to Israel -- a minor passport violation for which others have been assessed a fine equivalent to about US $7.00. Yes, seven. Shoaib was imprisoned, tortured and held in solitary confinement for seventeen months. His glaucoma was not treated, and he lost his sight in one eye. During that time, he was never tried. He was released only because of the efforts of his dearest friend and brother in the United States, Richard Benkin and a U.S. Congressman, but without the charges being dropped.

Please note that Shoaib takes no public position on matters of Israeli policy.

We will begin again. We will not give in to defeatism or despair.

There is a new U.S. Ambassador in Dhaka who has scarcely had time to unpack. We cannot give him the luxury of easing into his responsibilities.


Yes, this is a worst case scenario. There may be further legal delays, but it is equally possible that there may not be. What is absolutely clear is that this new judge and prosecutor are fully prepared to hear the case against Shoaib quickly. In Bangladesh, this is never a good sign. We must proceed as if the worst will happen, because it is very possible, and then pray that it does not.


Additional information about Shoaib may be found at www.interfaithstrength.com.


Wishing you abundant blessings,

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

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Posted by Avodah, June 29, 2007.

This was written by Rabbi Yaakov Zev. Rabbi Zev writes from Jerusalem. His commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.

Sight is not an objective sense given to all.

This week's parasha, Balak, includes the fascinating story of Bil'am and his donkey on their journey to curse the Jewish people. Suddenly, the donkey stops in his tracks, unable to continue; whereas, Bil'am, in his rush to complete his mission, sees no reason for the sudden delay.

The obvious question presents itself. "How is it possible that the donkey sees that which Bilaam does not see?" Rashi explains: "God permitted an animal to see that which man is unable to see." Only eight verses later, we are told that "God gave sight to Bil'am" to see the reason for the road blockage.

It seems, then, that sight is not an objective sense given to all living beings equally. In the story of Hagar exiled from Avraham's home, she becomes thirsty and God opens her eyes so that she can see a well of water only a few feet away from her. An automobile accident witnessed by two people standing at the same location will be seen differently by each of the witnesses.

The subjective phenomena of sight is based on factors related to the intellectual and emotional background of the viewer. Evidence of this is found in the midrash describing the sight of the "cloud on the mountain" seen by Avraham and Yitzchak, but not by Eliezer or Yishmael. Their spiritual capacities were very different.

About two months ago, the Jewish people celebrated the 59th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. The founding of the state opened the doors of the country to immigration for the first time in 2,000 years. Since then, the population of the state has grown to almost half of the world's Jewish population, a miracle in itself. There is, however, the other half of our people whose "subjective vision" is still blurred by all kinds of issues, blinding them from "seeing" the "cloud on the mountain," God's gift to our generation -- the possibility of returning to our homeland.

May they soon see the beacon of the Light of Zion, guiding their way to the birthplace and future of our People.

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com

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Posted by Avodah, June 29, 2007.

This was written by Ofir Haivry and it appeared today as an opinion piece in YNet
www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3418074,00.html). Dr Haivry is a fellow at the Shalem Center's Institute for Philosophy, Politics, and Religion.

The growing political and cultural rift between the Arabs of the Gaza Strip and those residing in Judea and Samaria has stirred debate about the possibility of establishing two separate political entities and the future of Palestinian nationalism in general. Yet perhaps we should be asking whether there ever really was a Palestinian "nation"?

In many places in the world, arbitrary borders set by colonialist powers define a "nation" that do not exist in practice. Is there such thing as a Sudanese "nation" or Iraqi "nation"? Or are we talking about a collection of tribes, groups, and even nations possessing vastly different ways of life, religions, and values that has been gathered together by chance and who are paying a bloody price for this to this very day?

The borders of British Mandatory Palestine too were set, just like the case with its neighbors, on the basis of colonial interests. In many areas, the border was drawn in a rather random manner. Had it been performed a little differently, would the Arabs of Marjayoun in southern Lebanon become Palestinian? Would the Arabs of Tarshiha in the Galilee be Lebanese? Are residents of Trans-Jordan, which was initially part of Mandatory Palestine and a few years later became the Kingdom of Jordan, Palestinian or Jordanian?

During the less than 30 years of the existence of this Mandate, from which the Palestinians draw their name, no significant indications were to be found of a united national identity of their own. The leader of Mandate Arabs was the Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, who viewed himself as a pan-Arabic leader, imposed his rule through the persecution and assassination of his rivals, and headed a loose alliance of clans, tribes, and local interests that were mostly united by hatred towards the Jews, and to a lesser extent towards the British.

Illusion of national identity

Hence, in the bloody clashes of 1936-1939, where the Arabs seemingly fought the British (and of course massacred the Jews,) more people were killed in intra-Arab violence than at the hands of the British. Similarly, in 1947-1949, the Arabs fought against the establishment of the Jewish state in a disorganized and separate manner, in various locations, such as the Jerusalem mountains, the Galilee, Jaffa, and so forth.

Following the Mandate's end, it is even more difficult to find a united national activity or perception, aside from the hatred of Israel. Under Egyptian rule in Gaza and Jordanian rule in Judea and Samaria, there were neither substantial cultural development attempts nor national activity or a demand for the establishment of a state in those areas. The only objective that aroused support and stirred activity -- and saw the establishment of Fatah and PLO to that end -- was the establishment of an Arab country in place of Israel.

After 1967, the unification under Israeli rule created an illusion of national identity. Yet the characteristics of Arafat's leadership replicated those of the Mufti -- one-man rule focused on hostility to Israel, and based on regional and clan calculations alongside the persecution and assassination of rivals.

Arafat's death and Israel's withdrawal from Arab population centers revealed that forced unification and hostility towards Israel are apparently the only characteristics of the Palestinian "nation." Perhaps when a state existing within superficial borders has been in place for a long period of time, there is a point in maintaining it without genuine national identity. Yet Mandatory Palestine ceased to exist about 60 years ago and hatred towards Israel is no substitute for national identity.

This conclusion should prompt us to ask new questions regarding the conflict's essence, ways of addressing it, and possible objectives.

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com

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Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman, June 29, 2007.
This article was written by Jason Moaz, Senior Editor of The Jewish Press and it appeared June 7, 2007 in the Jewish Press.

Trolling the Internet these past couple of weeks has served to quash any lingering, hopeful doubts that the post-Zionists have indeed won the battle over how Israel is perceived. (... by the ignorant, the uninformed and deliberate liars) jsk.

The historical revisionists, whose initial attempts at recasting Israel's image from David to Goliath were focused on the events surrounding Israel's creation, have in recent years focused increasingly on the 1967 Six-Day War, which for the first decade or so after its occurrence was widely seen as a case of Israel's justified response to Arab threats and aggression.

But, as Israel in the 1970's and 1980's came to lose favor among liberal and leftist academics and journalists, there was a significant shift in the way the Six-Day War was being portrayed -- in terms of both cause and effect. The change was already evident well before the term "post-Zionism" was coined, and became even more pronounced as post-Zionism came into its own in the 1990's.

So it was refreshing to see military historian and New York Post columnist Ralph Peters take on the post-Zionists this week with a free-swinging celebration of Israel's 1967 victory. Peters, a retired intelligence officer, castigated, "revisionist historians [for] reinventing the Six-Day War as the source of Israel's problems."

Reading the revisionists, he wrote, one would think "prior to June 1967, Israelis had lived in an Age of Aquarius, eating lotus blossoms amid friendly Bedouin neighbors who tucked them in at night. The critics also imply that, by some unexplained magic, Israel might have avoided war and its consequences."

Contrary to the doomsayers, "June 1967 announced Israel as a regional great power -- less than 20 years after the state's desperate founding. And the Six-Day War remains more important today for what it achieved than for the Arab failures it left behind....

"The Six-Day War didn't create the Middle East's problems, it only changed the math. For Israel, it marked a coming of age. Taken together with the Yom Kippur War, six years later -- two rounds in a single fight, really -- the war of June 1967 meant the end of Israel's basic struggle for existence and the beginning of its 'quality of life' wars."

"In the real world," Peters concluded, "outcomes aren't perfect. There are no wars to end all wars. The proper question is, "Are you better off than before the shooting started? Judged by that common-sense standard, Israel is vastly better off than it was on the eve of the Six-Day War. Thanks to the heroes of June 1967, Israel survived. Miracle enough."

Peters's column brought to mind a piece written two decades ago by the redoubtable George F. Will. A slew of American and Israeli intellectuals were marking the 20th anniversary of the Six-Day War by lamenting Israel's lopsided victory, which, they sobbed, had transformed Jews into occupiers and oppressors and hardened them to the plight of the Palestinians.

It remained for Will to cut through the muck (crap) of leftists wallowing in misplaced guilt, which he did in a Newsweek column titled, "A Just War Remembered." "It has been 20 years since those six days that shook the world," he wrote. "Because of what happened then, a united Jerusalem is capital of Israel, and Israel never again will be 12 miles wide at the waist. Because of the war the West Bank, which Jordan seized militarily and held for 19 years, is rightfully Israel's to dispose of, as it deems prudent.

"And, because of the echoing thunderclap from Israel 20 Junes ago, the security of Israel and hence the spiritual well-being of world Jewry have been enhanced. The Holocaust ended in 1945, but the Holocaust as aspiration was not destroyed until June 1967, when Israel smashed encircling armies that had the inescapably genocidal mission of obliterating the national gathering of Jews."

Noting the inclination in certain circles to denigrate the idea of history being determined by the actions of individuals, Will wrote that it was "invigorating to revisit in memory the Six-Day War, a clear case of enormous consequences assignable to the decisions of particular people -- Nasser, Hussein and some young Israeli pilots and tankers who reminded the world of the good that can come from a just war."

George Will and Ralph Peters -- two non-Jews with more intellectual honesty and moral clarity than all of Israel's post-Zionists and their American Jewish fellow travelers put together.

Jerome S. Kaufman is National Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America and hosts the Israel Commentary website (http://www.israel-commentary.org).

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, June 29, 2007.


S. Arabia is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on Wahabi-type mosques in northern Africa. Basically its foreign policy is to promote that version of Islam. Unfortunately, Wahabiism is similar to al-Qaeda ideology (IMRA, 6/11).


Declaring war, hundreds of Hamas troops attacked Fatah troops all over Gaza. They inflicted many casualties. Hamas captured some Fatah headquarters, thousands of rifles, many rounds of ammunition, and armored jeeps. Hamas took over northern Gaza, and warned P.A. security men not to enter. Hamas is pursuing leading Fatah men by attacking their homes. Pundits call northern Gaza "Hamastan."

The P.A. called it a coup, but Hamas pointed out that Fatah was the one being given US weapons against its coalition partner (IMRA, 6/12).

The civil war was predicted. So was Hamas' victory. To the aggressor, goes the victory. Fatah waited, but Hamas organized and attacked. The US bet on a lame horse (tough only against civilians). The thousands of rifles that it gave Fatah are ending up in the hands of Hamas, as Hamas boasted they would and right-wing Israeli commentators feared they would. PM Olmert had approved the arms transfer to Fatah. Soon they will be used against Israel.

I think that Israel should have evened the odds by attacking Hamas more, this past year, so both sides would lose more gunmen. Israel should not, howver, have let Fatah bring in arms.


The June 13 NY Sun headline: "Mayor Cheers As Math Gains Start To Show." The story was that N.Y. City math students had almost caught up to the state's.

The June 12 Op.-Ed. headline was, "An Invitation to Cheat." The story was that American faculty change test scores to favor their students. Mayor Bloomberg pays $15,000 bonuses to principals whose students make substantial gains on reading tests. In one New York City school, students went from about 40% passing to 80% in a single year. Next year, the principal retired with the $15,000 bonus and, as a result of the bonus, $12,000 more in annual pension. The percent of passing fell back to the original 40%. The matter is under investigation. The Mayor's repeated misuse of before-and-after comparisons is deceptive. Although, he is getting a reputation for competence, it should be for incompetence and using statistics misleadingly.


Peres opposed PM Begin's plan to bomb Iraq's nuclear reactor. He threatened to leak the plan of attack. Iraq would have been able to destroy Israel, if Peres had his way.

Peres betrayed Israel's agent, Pollard, to the US government, and lied about it.

Peres subverted PM Rabin's policy of not negotiating with the PLO. Peres foisted Oslo upon the country. He armed Arafat's terrorists and brought them to the edge of Israel's cities. As a result, at least 1,500 Israelis have been killed.

Peres and his associates bribed politicians to support Oslo. Politicians who disputed the policy were falsely indicted. With Oslo, the government politicalized the Army, promoting officers who supported Oslo. Furthering the corruption, IDF generals retired into partnerships with terrorist chieftains. (Some of Israel's negotiators with the PLO had partnerships with PLO leaders.) The government defamed civilian opponents and restricted their civil liberties. "The Israeli media corrupted public debate by silencing and demonizing voices of opposition. The education system of Israel was corrupted when schoolchildren were provided with new 'peace friendly' textbooks which taught a revisionist history of the state that called into question the morality and legality of the establishment of Israel."

As Foreign Minister, Peres canceled his agency's public relations. Now it could not explain Israel's right to the land, that Peres did not believe in. He used his position to make public relations for the terrorists. He courts foreign, anti-Israel politicians.

Peres' Peace Center gave a monetary award to one of those officials, who was on its board. That official, Larsen, falsely accused Israel of war crimes in Jenin. Larsen seems to have tried to influence the Nobel committee in Peres' behalf (Caroline Glick in Winston Mid East Analysis, 6/12).

As opposition leader, Peres undermined the first war in Lebanon. Leftist generals performed suspiciously badly. Peres may be behind the death of PM Rabin and others and perhaps PM Sharon's coma. He seems to want to get Israel destroyed. He does seem to be a foreign agent, I though, French. It's been hinted to be Russian, however.


In order to retain power, PM Olmert pretends that UNIFIL successfully checks Hizbullah arms smuggling in Lebanon, rather than admit his terrible mistake in inviting UNIFIL. Now he suggests that UNIFIL guard arms smuggling into Gaza, even though it would cause Israel great harm (IMRA, 6/12). I think IMRA has assessed Olmert shrewdly.


Al-Qaeda has outraged the Sunnis of Iraq. They have joined the government effort against al-Qaeda (IMRA, 6/13).

They are from a province that a few months ago, a Marine intelligence officer called hopelessly lost.


Islamic Jihad trained two Arab women in suicide bombing. Then it sent them on a mission to blow up people in and near Tel Aviv. They got there on a false application of needing medical attention, but were captured by guards.

Dr. Aaron Lerner cites this as evidence why Pres. Bush ought not demand that Israel let down its guard for the convenience of Arab life (IMRA, 6/13).

Those Arabs want independence? Let the P.A. provide their medical care! It is not Israel's responsibility to save the P.A. money and to save enemy lives.


Syria has removed governmental archives from Damascus. That is a sign of imminent war. Pres. Assad declares readiness to negotiate peace, but when Israeli officials accept his invitation, he does not respond. Apparently he declares readiness to negotiate merely for public relations (Arutz-7, 6/15).

Israel's folly is to let Hizbullah and Hamas build up forces that could divert the IDF from dealing with Syria. Syria might not have chosen war, if Israel forcefully eliminated Hizbullah and Hamas and had pounded Syrian positions on the Lebanon border that supplied Hizbullah. Israel didn't even have its planes over Gaza, to bomb the ammunition trucks Hizbullah captured from the P.A..


"American Middle East military envoy Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton said last week that reports of Hamas forces being superior to those of American-trained Fatah were incorrect. He and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently convinced American Congressmen to approve more than $60 million to help equip the Fatah militia despite the danger that Hamas might confiscate its weapons." (Arutz-7, 6/15). That was only days before Fatah's collapse in Gaza. The State Dept. is adept at arming America's enemies. It also is adept at avoiding the blame. We need a President who will clean out the State Dept..

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 richardshulman5verizon.net

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Posted by Andrew Bostom, June 29, 2007.
This essay is called "Dhimmification' on the march" and it was written by Diana West. It appeared today in the Washington Times
(www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070629/ EDITORIAL04/106290013)

If anyone wants to know why Muslims the world over tell pollsters the United States is at war with Islam, just read President Bush's speech at the Islamic Center of Washington, especially the part about American-style religious freedom -- in the president's words, "what we wish for the world."

He began this way: "For those who seek a true understanding of our country, they need look no farther than here."

No, not the mosque itself, but down the street it occupies. "This Muslim center sits quietly down the road from a synagogue, a Lutheran Church, a Catholic parish, a Greek Orthodox chapel, a Buddhist temple -- each with faithful followers who practice their deeply held beliefs and live side by side in peace," the president explained, standing in his Islamically observant stocking feet before a cool Muslim audience. "This is what freedom offers: societies where people can live and worship as they choose without intimidation, without suspicion, without a knock on the door from the secret police."

As one who has attended a Bar Mitzvah at that synagogue down the road, I have news for the president: Freedom, American-style, has changed. To enter, I passed an armed guard holding an automatic weapon manning the door. Armed guards like him man many such doors in many such cities. In fact, so common is it for religious worship (mainly, but not exclusively, Jewish worship) to require armed protection today that we miss the implications: the degree to which freedom to worship without fear in America has been curtailed by the open-ended threat of Buddhist violence.

Whoops, sorry. I mean, curtailed by the open-ended threat of Greek Orthodox violence. Or was that Catholic Lutheran violence?

No, the peril to the synagogue was, and remains, Islamic violence. The resulting diminution of freedom is a symptom of advancing dhimmitude -- the diminished cultural condition of non-Muslims living in relation to Islam.

So, freedom of worship ain't what it used to be. But even in its terror-constrained state, the spread of American religious freedom actually threatens religiously unfree Islamic cultures, which, for example, consider "apostasy" -- deciding not to be Muslim -- a capital crime.

But that threat is only on paper. Where Americans actually become involved in the Islamic world, Shariah (Islamic law) is protected, enshrined even, as shockingly attested by Shariah's primacy in the American-fostered constitutions of Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian Authority. The president doesn't seem to understand that. I don't think he even understands Shariah, under which the primacy of Islam is absolute, and other religions are "tolerated," at best, at the high cost of dhimmitude. Nearly six years after September 11 -- nearly six years after first visiting the Islamic Center and proclaiming "Islam is peace" -- Mr. Bush has learned nothing.

In fact, his peroration on freedom at the Islamic Center mainly underscored "America's respect for the Muslim faith here at home." Abroad, too. Even as he was asking Muslim leaders (again) "to denounce organizations that use the veneer of Islamic belief to support and fund violence" (some veneer), the president announced the United States would send an envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a global Islamic support group that does a large bit of that. "Our special envoy," the president said, "will listen and learn from representatives from Muslim states and share with them America's views and values."

What can the Free World learn from the Unfree World? Maybe something about the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam adopted by the foreign ministers of the OIC in 1990. In dire contrast to the United Nation's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Islamic document recognizes only human rights sanctioned by Shariah -- which, basically, leaves women and non-Muslims without human rights.

Hmm. Might Mr. Bush -- or anyone in our leadership, civilian or military -- notice the unbridgeable cultural differences revealed by these disparate notions of human rights? Alas, probably not. Islam's still peace, according to the prez. Those pesky "extremists" fighting jihad are not, he said, "the true face of Islam."

There Imam Bush goes again. "I am astonished by President Bush when he claims there is nothing in the Qu'ran that justifies jihad violence in the name of Islam," jailed jihadi cleric Abu Qatada said under similar circumstances almost six years ago. "Is he some kind of Islamic scholar? Has he ever actually read the Qu'ran?"

No. He's just leader of the Free World -- a Free World that has become less free and more dhimmified on his severely myopic watch.

Contact Andrew Bostom at abostom@cox.net

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Posted by Judah Tzoref, June 29, 2007.

Castigating the Hamas has become an international fad. Across the West and particularly in Israel, public figures condemn Hamas and berate it with multifarious terms of abuse on media channels and every public podium. The more such condemnation of Hamas appears to be mordant and excruciating, the more it emerges as a redemptive process of self purification, typical of every generation's prudes.

However, launching the poisonous arrows of censure at Hamas alone, as the epitome of evil and the ultimate obstacle to every prospect of reconciliation, is not necessarily indicative of virtue and greatness of mind. In general, the sweeping condemnation of Hamas reflects the extent to which the West has fallen in love with its own lies. So much so, that it has been driven to the point of fundamental misconception of the reality in which it fumbles its way.

Hamas is indeed murderous, abusive and recalcitrant, but it can boast a basic advantage, by which it outshines many others: it is the real thing. Hamas compels us into focusing our reluctant eyes straight to reality. The overwhelming reality encroaches upon our sanity once we are bold enough to cast a close-up glance at it, so that in every possible manner we attempt to circumvent any direct visual contact with it. However, when the unsavoury reality is exposed before our eyes and intimately imposed on us, it's most convenient to point our blaming finger at Hamas.

Not surprisingly USA is the most bitter enemy of Hamas, which indulges in the bad manner of undermining well-established American lies. America, that ardently nurtures the cult of the "politically correct", prefers to wallow in the quagmire of moral and cultural decadence, wrapped up in its fine veneer of sublime values. It is the same USA, the population of which amounts to only four percent of the world population, that consumes about 25 percent of the world energy sources. It is USA that preaches to the entire world on morality, but at the same time features as the star polluter of the globe, deteriorating it to the verge of ecological catastrophe.

USA avows its most staunch friendship to Israel, but at the same time channels her into the treacherous path of disaster-begetting Judenfrei land plans. Those pernicious plans are first and foremost foiled by Hamas, for its own motives and interests, dusting away the grimy layers of fraud and counterfeit accumulated on them. Hamas is the only factor that is capable of curing us from the delirious addiction to the narcotic peace potion before too late.

Above all, only the Hamas is endowed with the power to force us, Jews, to contemplate our unfortunate image reflected from the mirror of Israeli reality. With a razor-blade sharpness it confronts us with a truth invoked from the roots of our spiritual identity: "If you are indeed the Jews that have returned home, then prove it, otherwise, if you are just imposters, then go away".

Moreover, without inhibitions of political correctness, Hamas flings the purest truth in our faces, the truth we fear so much, up to the point of escapism into mental hideouts of denial and suppression. The self-demanding message is openly conveyed to us by the Hamas: "If you have in mind to get entrenched here along the coastal plain within a noisy, dense and polluted ghetto, teeming with towers, real estates, carnivals, pride parades and non-stop urban buzzing, then forget it. This kind of story is already behind us. There isn't any justification for yet another Crusader Kingdom in a pseudo-Jewish style. You don't fathom the Holy Land, and you don't deserve it."

The more we understand that Hamas is an indispensable essence of present-day reality, the deeper we shall be able to perceive its fierce nature. For Hamas is an inevitable product of our substance, and is the one that scourges us with the whip of truth and wakes us up from the twilight zone of lies, illusions and self-delusions, in which we have bogged down, and consequently losing contact with reality.

Dr. Judah (Yehuda) Tzoref is a scientist, trained at the Technion in Haifa and Oxford University in England. His expertise is in physics and energy engineering. He is a grass-roots activist on behalf of Israel. He lives in Rehovot.

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Posted by Steven Plaut, June 28, 2007.

This was written by Martin Peretz, editor in chief of The New Republic (TNR). Ir is archived at

Think back two years. Ariel Sharon was not only alive but healthy and staking his place in history on an idea he had never truly believed: that the Arabs of Palestine might be ready for peace with the Jewish state. This idea may have run against both his deepest convictions and his basic instincts. But somehow he carried many of his old comrades with him: comrades from Israel's old wars and comrades from the political right--where, after a brief parliamentary stint on the left, he had positioned himself.

Carrying comrades to a place they had not been before also entailed making enemies, and Sharon's enemies were bitter and vindictive. Nonetheless, he carried out the withdrawal of all 8,000 or so Israelis from Gaza unconditionally and without making explicit demands on the Palestinians--or inexplicit ones, for that matter. He also dismantled four settlements in the West Bank, from what he and his friends called Samaria. No one thought that these would be the last to be vacated, no one. And Israel's entire security establishment (army, intelligence, the diplomatic corps) laid out various maps for discussion that were uncannily reminiscent of the (overly generous) proposals put forward by Ehud Barak in the waning days, the pathetic waning days, of the Clinton administration. Condoleezza Rice even persuaded a few American Jewish zillionaires to ante up roughly $15 million to buy, as a parting gift from the Jews at once symbolic and practical, for the Gaza Arabs the hothouses that had helped make local agriculture, for the first time in history, so abundant and also valuable. Ask about the hothouses of Gaza now, and people will laugh. Ask about the rest of Gaza, and people will cry.

They cried even before Gaza was put through the trauma of civil war. For what was unraveling was the whole idea of the Palestine nation itself. Of course, some said, "I told you so." (I count myself among those entitled to say that.) I was never taken in by the dream of Palestine, although I realized that Israeli dominion over so many Arabs did somewhat dim the incandescence of the Zionist reality, a free Jewish people, free in politics and in spirit, in arts and in science and above all in literature, in law, and in the press, free from the religious coercion of the rabbis, a nation speaking its own language at home at last.

No people moves without an elite committed to the whole. That the Palestinian elites were and are corrupt is a historic reality, a shabby reality. It was the Palestinian aristocracy that sold off its lands for Jewish settlement from the very beginning of the Zionist experiment. And the last act broadcast on television: the dismantling of the gaudy riches of Palestine's "revolutionaries" in Gaza.

Contrast this with the secular, although economically impoverished, aristocracy of the kibbutz, created by the early Zionists, which, as Dorothea Krook has shown, shaped the ethos of both the movement and the state. There was an exhilarating and learned asceticism to the Jewish pioneers, an asceticism that has almost altogether vanished but remains as contingent reproach. It is needed now.

Most of the Arabs of Palestine resented the Jews. But resentment is not a foundation for a nation. In some uncanny way, Yasir Arafat grasped the guilefulness of Palestinian peoplehood and so was always inventing new myths (e.g., Jesus was the first Palestinian). There has been a big to-do in academic circles over the last quarter-century about "imagined communities" as nations. This was meant to help legitimize groups whose coherence was incoherent. But, alas, even Benedict Anderson, in fitting his lax definitions with history, does not refer at all to the Palestinians. The British Communist historian Eric Hobsbawm does allude to the Palestinians in his book on nationalism, but only to dismiss them as a nationalist movement.

One of the harsh truths that we have learned is that terrorism may be the prime expression of a fledgling nationalism, perhaps even its only collective expression. But it does bring a certain dread to its adversaries, and Palestinian terrorism has over the decades brought that dread to Israel. A suicide bomb also makes a big and incredulous splash, and with that comes to its instigators the sense that they can no longer be ignored. Of course, their hapless but willing instrument is dead. Poor man, increasingly we can also say poor woman, poor pregnant woman.

"Palestine" is not the only place where the very idea of the nation is so weak that its violent eruptions seem to be dismal admissions of failure. But, however impoverished the reality, it has caught the fancy of many outside Palestine. The fact is that, had these outsiders--some cynical, some hopelessly muddle-headed--not embraced the cause, the cause already would have perished from its own exhaustion.

So what is Palestine? It is an improvisation from a series of rude facts. Palestine was never anything of especial importance to the Arabs or to the larger orbit of Muslims. Palestine was never even an integral territory of the Ottomans but split up in sanjaks that crossed later postWorld War I borders, a geographical and political jumble. When General Allenby captured Jerusalem, it was a great happening for believing Christian Europe, not a tragedy for Islam. When the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan for Palestine was passed, envisioning a "Jewish" state and an "Arab" (not, mind you, Palestinian) state, even the idea of a separate Arab realm was met at best with a yawn. Though almost no Arab wanted Jewish sovereignty in any of Palestine, virtually no Arab seemed to crave Arab sovereignty, either.

Foreign Arab armies did the fighting against the Haganah, and foreign states sat for the Palestinians at the cease-fire negotiations, as they had sat for decades at the international conferences on Palestine convened by the powers. Palestine was being fought over to be divvied up by Cairo, Amman, and Damascus. The Syrian army was overwhelmed by the Israelis. No rewards there. It was different for King Farouk and Abdullah I, who got land in reward for their soldiers' combat.

Indeed, from 1949 through 1967, what was the West Bank of Arab Palestine was annexed--yes, annexed--by Jordan, and what was the Gaza Strip was a captive territory of Egypt, unannexed so that Gazans had no rights as Egyptians (whereas the West Bankers had rights as Jordanians). The Palestine Liberation Organization, founded in 1964, was not founded to liberate these territories. It was founded to liberate that part of Palestine held by Israel. We are long past this history, and Israel had become accustomed to the idea--if not exactly the precise reality--of an independent Palestine for the Palestinians, the name of their desire. Ehud Olmert gladly would have signed on the dotted line if the Palestinian Authority could bring itself to realize it would get what it could get (and perhaps even a little more) if the Palestinians would finally stop their war against the Jews. And their rage.

But the Palestinians' war against the Jews is actually also a war against one another. While Mahmoud Abbas probably would have settled for being president of a cartographically realistic Palestine, there were integral parts of Fatah, and particularly its fighting gangs, that still held out for the grand irredentist map--if not "from the river to the sea," something more than was ordained in 1967. Could Abbas, in the end, rein them in? Not when Hamas had set the terms of the intra-Palestinian conflict as all or nothing. Those are characteristic Hamas conditions, with other Arabs as with the Jews. It is true that Fatah men of combat were battling for their lives. But they were not battling for peace with Israel.

The disintegration of Gaza began as soon as the Israelis departed. This was not an issue of what Israel did or did not do. The ur-religious and the ur-nationalist were in psychological control of the strip from the beginning. Hamas did not shoot (many) rockets across the border into enemy territory. But its surrogates did. Hamas did nothing about this, and Fatah really couldn't. They couldn't, although Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, the American coordinator in the area, assured they could, especially after supplying arms to Fatah and persuading Olmert to supply more weapons, which, as luck would have it, are now in Hamas's possession. The ordinary Gazans clearly were not pleased by the chaos and the haphazard murders on the streets. They were and are objects not subjects, victims not victimizers. But Hamas is also bitter, embittered by its costly victory. For them, there remains the project of Reconstruction, in the American Civil War sense, of the souls of their neighbors.

The final fall of Gaza to Hamas puts the whole question of Palestine and the Palestinians into a new perspective. There are now three cohorts of Palestinians between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. (Four, if you count the Palestinian majority under Hashemite rule.)

Let's deal first with the easiest of these to grasp: the Arabs of Israel, citizens of Israel with freedoms--legal and social--that are unimaginable in any Arab country. Their loyalties are always tested by kin and undermined by the residual discriminations of the Jewish state. But their loyalties are also the subject of an inevitable internal struggle. They are, after all, the privileged Palestinians, the Palestinians who live in a decent society. But one thing of which they will not hear--and that is a perfectly logical proposal--is that some of them, together with their land and homes, become part of whatever Palestine will be. The hostility to this idea will, by way of compensation, radicalize these Israeli Arabs and thus make them more and more suspect by their Jewish fellow citizens.

Then, there is the West Bank. The optimism about peace prospects there is, at least, very much premature. And, frankly, from what I know about locales like Jenin and Hebron, I wonder why commentators think that the Judea and Samaria territories are so different from Gaza. In fact, these Palestinian cities historically have been centers of Arab extremism, although--and this is a curious characteristic of Arab extremism--this rarely ties one locale to another. So what you have is the bane of fanaticism without the bonds of community. Indeed, the defining loyalty among many Palestinians is loyalty to family, clan, and tribe, not progressive social formations, as they say. But Rashid Khalidi does not focus on these persistences in his book Palestinian Identity, which he optimistically subtitled The Construction of Modern National Consciousness. In fact, the persistence of these antique ties is another reason why the Palestinians are far from being a coherent people. But, then, Pakistan is also not a nation, and neither is Iraq. I recall that Palestinian embroidery differs in every town and city. That is quaint, and it makes for pretty dresses in many styles. But it is not a model for a nation-state.

The initiative remains with the Gaza Palestinians, which is to say, Hamas. It will not be tempted, as many of the journalistic prophets informed us when the group won the parliamentary elections, to become responsible. Rage is actually its way in the world, and it is a shrewd, if not wise, tactic. Your adversary becomes uncertain and jittery, afraid to provoke but loath to ignore. Rockets will continue to land in the towns and kibbutzim of the Negev and further into Israel. More advanced weapons will be smuggled into Gaza--alas, from Egypt, which did not, over the past years, demonstrate either the will or the capacity to stop the running of war materials from the Sinai to the Strip.

Israel must now make choices that will determine Egypt's responsibilities. Given the fact that Hamas has declared war on Israel, Jerusalem could decide to simply seal its border with Gaza. Enemies at war do not generally supply one other with food and medical provisions, let alone gas and electricity. What should persuade Israel to make such arrangements? To win goodwill? Nonsense.

Of course, Egypt could assume greater responsibility, including the shepherding of endangered Fatah Palestinians to safety. But a corollary to that would be the obligation to truly bar weapons from being sent underground to Hamas. So what if Israel responds to Hamas rocket and missile assaults harshly and with the precision that its air power permits? Is not Mubarak afraid of Hamas's cousins in the streets of Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood, already chafing under the regime's heavy hand? Israel might also recapture the Philadelphia Corridor and police the Gaza border with Egypt.

There is at least one assumption that we can make: Israel will not permit attacks without appropriate response. The abandonment of Sderot by a third of its population is a stain on Zionism. It will not occur again. And, with Israel under such intense pressure from Gaza, it is hardly possible to imagine that even Fatah will be able to resist the temptation of armed mischief. And why do I say even Fatah? I shouldn't.

Then, of course, Hezbollah may be tempted, and Syria, too. The resulting combination--assaults from the north, the east, and the west--would be a peril for Israel. But the most serious near-term danger actually comes from the West Bank. For rockets and more precise weapons aimed at the thickly populated heart and narrow waist of Israel from almost any place in what is now Fatah land would revive both the anxieties and military reflexes of the state and its population. Surely that would not be good for the Arabs.

That is why U.S. policy must not assume that there are facile ways to render the West Bank peaceful. Almost everyone has admitted, some with bitterness, that what keeps that area of Palestine more orderly than Gaza is the proximate presence of Israeli troops near Arab population centers.

Would that there were a mature national will among the Palestinians. It might even be able to temper the rage of the Arabs against one another. Not until their sense of peoplehood conquers their rage against one another will they be in the psychological position to think of peace with Israel. I doubt this will happen any time soon. This is the end of Palestine, the bitter end.

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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Posted by Doris Wise Montrose, June 29, 2007.

This comes from the Solomonia website:
http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archives/015906.shtml The website has an audio link to a piece of a speech by Arnold Roth
(www.solomonia.com/blog/images/march07/Arnold_Roth_2007_03_18cut.mp3) Sol of Solomonia writes: "Listen as Roth responds to a question ('shouldn't journalists face charges of malpractice just as physicians do?') and describes the phone calls he got from journalists soon after his daughter was murdered. Usual apologies apply for the quality, but it's well worth a listen."

The essay was written by Arnold Roth. His daughter was one of the people massacred when Arab terrorists blew up the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001.

Left -- Tamimi in 2001
The prisoner whose picture appears in the New York Times is Ahlam Tamimi. She was twenty years old at the time of the Sbarro massacre. From the Malki Foundation Facts about the massacre
(http://www.kerenmalki.org/Press/Press_Listing.htm) "Far from matching the media cliché of under-privileged and 'desperate', she was a university student and journalist with a troubled personal past who transplanted herself from Jordan to Ramallah in 1998. In the days before the massacre, she visited the center of Jerusalem several times, collecting intelligence information. After her arrest, she confessed to a previous attempt at civilian mass-murder by planting a bomb among beer-cans on the shelf of a mid-town supermarket, a few minutes walk from Sbarro in the center of Jerusalem on July 30, 2001. This bomb was discovered in time and innocent lives were saved. Ten days later, the outcome was completely different."

June 27, 2007 -- The New York Times carried a review of a film called "Hot House" that goes inside Israeli prisons and examines the lives of Palestinian prisoners. We're not recommending the film or the review. But we do want to share our feelings with you about the beaming female face that adorns the article. You can see it here.

The film is produced by HBO. So it's presumably HBO's publicity department that was responsible for creating and distributing a glamor-style photograph of a smiling, contented-looking young woman in her twenties to promote the movie.

Ahlam Tamami, Arab terrorist

That female -- Ahlam Tamami -- is our child's murderer. She was sentenced to sixteen life sentences or 320 years which she is serving in an Israeli jail. Fifteen people were killed and more than a hundred maimed and injured by the actions of this attractive person and her associates. The background facts are available at

Neither the New York Times nor HBO are likely to give even a moment's attention to the victims of the barbarians who destroyed the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem and the lives of so many victims. So we would be grateful if you would pass along this link to some pictures of our daughter whose name was Malki. She was unable to reach her twenties -- Hamas saw to that.

Though she was only fifteen years old when her life was stolen from her and from us, we think Malki was a beautiful young woman, living a beautiful life. We ask your help so that other people -- far fewer than the number who will see the New York Times, of course -- can know about her. Please ask your friends to look at the pictures -- some of the very few we have -- of our murdered daughter. They are at http://www.kerenmalki.org/photo.htm

And remind them of what the woman in the Israeli prison -- the woman smiling so happily in the New York Times -- said last year. "I'm not sorry for what I did. We'll become free from the occupation and then I will be free from prison."

With so many voices demanding that Israel release its terrorist prisoners, small wonder she's smiling.

With greetings from Jerusalem,
Frimet and Arnold Roth
On behalf of Keren Malki

Contact Doris Wise Montrose at doriswise@sbcglobal.net

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 28, 2007.

Dear Mr. President

A very ugly picture is emerging from the new situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Until now it was possible to assert (and, in fact, I often asserted) that the overwhelming majority of Palestinian people (the rank-and-file, man-in-the-street) wanted peace and did not want to destroy Israel and genocide its Jews. It was their leaders, their terrorist leaders, who were the cause of the problem, and the people as a body politic were afraid to speak out because their terrorist leaders terrorized them just as they terrorized the Israelis.

The articles below offer up, indirectly, some distressingly clear evidence that this is not the case any more (and indeed, perhaps it never was).

1.) Note in the NY Times article that Hamas remains strong in the West Bank, even after slaughtering Palestinians in Gaza. Not only did the Palestinian people vote Hamas in to power as the Palestinian Authority leaders, but they also voted for Hamas locally as well....in dozens of city and town councils in the West Bank. Qalqilyah is a Hamas stronghold in the West Bank, and an apparently very large number of West Bank Arabs still strongly support Hamas.

Some pundits were wont to opine that Hamas won the 2006 elections on a ballot of clean government...although Hamas spokespersons denied that this was the case, saying that Hamas' priorities are completely clear and well known to all in the Palestinian Authority territories: destroy Israel, genocide the Jews.

But even if the pundits were right (they were not, but even if they were), they cannot make that claim any longer. Hamas' non-transparency has become obvious, as has its disregard for 'clean government'. Moreover, its role as the prime mover and inciter in the recent, very brutal and very brief civil war underscores its brutal terrorist nature and disregard for the concepts of 'Palestinian unity' and democracy which were part of its platform. It is also now clear that Hamas has become a proxy for Iran and Syria, as is Hezbollah.

It is now beyond obvious to those who tried to whitewash Hamas, that Hamas is a brutal, thugish, barbaric terrorist group. Few are still alive in Gaza who do not support its Islamo-fascist rule; but it still has the support of many, perhaps most, Palestinans in the West Bank.

2.) In the Yahoo article, Fayyad's baby steps toward rule of law in the West Bank seem to be one small baby step in the right direction: disarm 'militants' and stop the incitement in mosques. But note that armed groups are defying Abbas' demand to disarm, and Hamas preachers (many of whom are elected officials in local government) defy Fayyad's demand to end the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hate-preach that has typified Hamas friday sermons since the terror group came in to existence in 1987.

Perhaps even more telling, Fayyad condemns Israel's military operations in the West Bank to stop terrorists before they blow up civilians. Why? Because it '..undermines... (Fatah's).... efforts to provide security and end the chaos'. Hmmm...how does stopping terrorists undermine Fatah's efforts? Only if Fatah's efforts are to continue terrorism.

There are two possibilites:

either Fayyad must say something anti-Israel in order to dis-associate from Israel, or he and Abbas have other plans for the deployment of those terrorists later (and recall that many Fatah 'security personnel' moonlight for Hamas). Either way, Fayyad's condemnation of what should logically be seen as Israel's cooperation with Fatah, to strengthen the PA in the West Bank, tells us that he and his constituency are not seeking peace and cooperation with Israel.

3 & 4.) Note the Pew Poll discussed in these two newspapers: A majority of the Palestinian people support Iran's acquisition of WMDs. Iran's acquisition of WMDs is opposed by every Arab state and almost every Muslim state in the world...leaders and populace. Yet a majority of the Palestinian people, and two Islamo-fascist terrorist states, are rooting for Iran's bomb. Let's recall Akhmedi-Nejad's promise: a world without Israel, and a world without America.

So what is the ugly picture that emerges from these news items:

1 & 2 = There is some very significant plurality, or majority (hopefully a small majority, but we really cannot know, and hope is not a contraceptive) of Palestinian people (the rank-and-file, man-in-the-street) who really do not want peace and co-existence with Israel. They really do support Hamas in its commitment to genocide every Jew in Israel, and they remain supportive of that Hamas goal even as Hamas slaughters other Muslim Palestinians and openly grabs power and destroys any hope of a Palestinian state other than a Hamas terrorist state run by Shari'a law. That is what they really want, that is why they voted for Hamas, and that is why they still support Hamas in the West Bank, and that is why they do not want to give up their arms, and that is why Fayyad must distance himself from Israel even as Israel helps him and Abbas hold on to power in the PA.

3 & 4 = A majority of the Palestinian people have aligned themselves with the enemies of the USA. At first glance this would seem odd. After all, the USA has provided billions of dollars of aid to UNRWA for the benefit of Arab refugees over the past 55 years; whereas the Arab countries pay less than 3% of the annual UNRWA budget. The USA has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to Arafat and the PA since the 1993 Oslo Accords, turning a blind eye to the obvious fact that almost all of that money (USA taxpayer money) was going to support Arafat's terror war. The USA has provided, twice since the Oslo Accords, advanced and sophisticated weapons and training for the PA security forces with the understanding that they would be used to keep order and quell terrorism, and then turning a blind eye to the fact that many Fatah operatives turned these weapons in terror attacks against Israel. The USA supported and hosted and feted and honored and lionized and white-washed Arafat and his terror war during six presidential administratons. Clinton hosted him more times than he hosted any other head of state. In sum, the Palestinian people have received more aid, per capita, than any other political body in the entire world (with the exception of the tiny African state of Cape Verde) over the past 14 years, much of it from the USA.

So why do they support America's enemy and cheer when their leaders shout 'death to America'?

Well, a brief look at history gives us the answer. In the 1930s and 40s, Palestinians under the leadership of the Haj Amin el-Husseini, sided with the Nazis. During the 50's to 80's under Arafat's leadership they sided with the USSR. After the Cold War came to an end, they sided with Saddam Hussein and cheered when he bombed Israel and cursed the USA for Gulf War 1. And they sided with el-Qaeda and cheered when el-Qaeda bombed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And they sided with Saddam Hussein and cursed the USA for Gulf War 2, and then mourned Saddam's fall. And now they side with Iran and root for the Iranian Bomb -- the bomb whose sole raison-d'etre is the nuclear destruction of Israel...the very same Israel in which they themselves live.

In sum: a significant majority of the Palestinian people have always sided with the totalitarian, tyrannical, triumphalist, supremacist, imperialist, fascist anti-Israel and genocidally Jew-hating side of the world's dominant conflicts, over the past 85 years. The Palestinian people have always sided with America's enemies...who have also been Israel's enemies.

If 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' then 'my enemy's friend is my enemy'.

Britain supported the creation of a Jewish State: so the Palestinians adored Hitler. The USA supported the existence of a Jewish State: so the Palestinians helped the Soviets. Saddam opposed the USA....and the USA aided Israel...so the Palestinians adored Saddam. el-Qaeda plans to wipe out both the USA and Israel, so the Palestinans support el-Qaeda. Hamas promises the destruction of both the USA and Israel, so the Palestinians support Hamas.

The Palestinian national movement, such as it is, displays two glaringly evil characteristics:

1.) it is the only national movement, in all the world and throughout all of world history, whose sole defining paradigm is terrorism, and whose unique and unrelenting goal is the destruction of a sovereign state and the genocide of its Jews

2.) its lust to achieve that goal trumps all other considerations: no amount of aid or money or support from the USA can erase the USA's monumental betrayal of Palestinian hopes and dreams of an end to Israel and an end to Jews. No amount of prosperity and democracy and freedom under Israeli sovereignty, or the potential of that prosperity under a Palestinian state co-existing and cooperating with Israel, can dull the commitment to Israel's destruction. No amount of penury, suffering, disempowerment, oppression under a thugocracy, poverty under a kleptocracy, lost opportunities for peace and prosperity, can be stark enough, severe enough, to shake the supporters of this misbegotten pseudo-nationalism from the moorings of terrorism and of war until victory or martyrdom.

No matter what the human and economic costs, no matter what the suffering, no matter how many dead....if the leaders promise the destruction of Israel and the humiliation of Israel's ally, then those leaders have the followers they need in order to rule. Even though the Iranian promise of a nuclear attack on Israel means the death of millions of Palestinians...the Palestinians cheer wildly for this nuclear consumation, seemingly blinded to this dire reality by their intense hatred for Israel and desire for its destruction. Now, that's a real suicide bombing.

So, from the current state of affairs in the West Bank, and from a brief look at Palestinian history, we must conclude that the Palestinian people are the enemy of Israel and the enemy of the USA.

And in case you are thinking...well, really it is not the majority...recall that Hamas was voted in to power democratically, and recent polls say that hamas would win again if there were another election. Whether a plurality or a majority, enough Palestinians want Hamas to lead them in its end-of-days armageddon-scenario eternal cosmic war against Israel....such that Hamas does indeed lead, and is likely to continue to do so.

So, even if it is not the majority, it is enough of a plurality. And enough of that peaceful majority are silent in the face of that pro-terrorism plurality, such that Hamas can continue to rule, terrorism can continue to increase, and the dream of an end to Israel and an end to Jews can continue to burn in the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people, and continue to mobilize the energies of that society.

And in case you are thinking....well, really it is just the leaders....recall that there are no leaders without followers.

I encourage you, and Madame Secretary, to temper your enthusiasm for a West Bank state of Palestine with the information noted above.

1.) In West Bank, Hamas Is Silent but Never Ignored
By Ian Fisher
New York Times
June 28, 2007
HAWARA, West Bank

A new code was born here overnight. No one, it seems, belongs to Hamas in the West Bank anymore. Everyone now is an "Islamist," a word that neatly, and maybe more safely, shears the religious from party affiliation amid the uncertainty of a Palestinian people newly divided.

"I don't want to spend my life in jail!" a 35-year-old restaurant owner said, refusing to give his name after expressing pro-Hamas sentiments in an interview here.

Hamas, shrewd as it is deadly, has gone to ground in the West Bank, which is controlled now by its secular rival Fatah and supported by the United States, Europe and Israel as the territory with the only workable Palestinian government.

Dozens of Hamas members have been arrested in the last week, since the militant Islamic group drove Fatah out of Gaza, the West Bank's smaller and more radical sibling. Men with beards -- the symbol of religious devotion and, often, of Hamas -- say they are sticking close to home. Hamas's charities, a bedrock of the group's support, have been attacked, and their workers are lying low.

But in scores of interviews in the West Bank with people of all political shades, one thing seems clear: Hamas remains a powerful presence in the West Bank, even if kept somewhat in check by both Fatah and the Israeli Army. This may be the most crucial fact that Israel, the United States and others will have to absorb as they bolster the West Bank as a sort of trial Palestinian state.

"If Hamas doesn't like it, Hamas can destroy it," said Fais Hamdan, 34, a stone cutter with an "Islamist" beard in this village of 6,000 near Nablus, as he sat in the restaurant with the owner who would not give his name. "If they want to kill any political deal, they only have to attack a settlement or another Israeli target. Don't think that Hamas is very weak in the West Bank."

The central issue, as it has been for years, remains credibility.

Hamas crushed Fatah politically last year, sweeping legislative elections in January 2006, partly because Fatah was perceived as corrupt and aloof. That reality, even many Fatah members complain, has changed little.

Hamas also still remains, on paper at least, a strong political force, with the majority of legislative seats in parliament and in control of dozens of city and town councils around the West Bank. Israel has curtailed that as best it can. Of the 74 Hamas legislators, 40 are in Israeli prisons -- and many of its other leaders have been arrested since the fighting erupted in Gaza.

But that could end up helping Hamas because Israeli prison is where Palestinian leaders often gain their contacts and organizational skill.

More broadly, many Palestinians seem to hold little hope that anyone -- America, Israel or even Arab states fearful that Hamas's Islamism could spread -- will actually make good on promises of aid to the West Bank.


For the moment, political leaders and security officials say, the danger of the Gaza violence spilling into the West Bank seems remote. Fatah is stronger here and, unlike in Gaza, Israeli soldiers still occupy the West Bank.

At any rate, Hamas seems for now to have taken itself out of any fight in the West Bank -- though its critics say that is not only because its members fear arrest.

"If they are hiding, then they are hiding for shame at the crimes that were committed in Gaza," said Ahmad Hazaa Shreim, a legislator and leader of Fatah in Qalqilya, a Palestinian city of 40,000 close to the Israeli line.

Qalqilya, walled off almost completely by the Israeli barrier, presents a telling test case for the future of Hamas in the West Bank. Flags of both Fatah and Hamas still fly here, and in 2005, its residents voted in a 15-member city council composed entirely of Hamas members (including the mayor, who was in an Israeli jail at the time and was arrested again last month).

But then last year, the city bucked the trend, voting in a majority of Fatah legislators at a time when Hamas won elections around the Palestinian territories.

Now the two forces are locked in another standoff. Hamas is coming under verbal fire for pushing Fatah from Gaza.


Akram al-Himouni, a local Fatah leader, said he saw some hope if Hamas apologized for Gaza and allowed Fatah back there. If Hamas does not "say sorry," he said, "then the story will become worse, and there could be a military resolution."

He added grimly: "I know Hamas. I believe there may not be a dialogue; the resolution may be unfortunately by force."

But many others predicted some sort of reunion, if not from love than from an inescapable logic tied, as always here, to what the outside world decides to do.

If the outside world manages to create stability in the West Bank, and thus hunger for real peace, many argue a final settlement cannot happen without Hamas, which represents a sizable, if unknowable, percentage of the population. [On Wednesday, Saudi and Jordanian officials called for Palestinian unity.]


2.) Fayyad warns Islamic preachers
By Mohammed Daraghmeh, Associated Press Writer
June 28, 2007
Associated Press writer Ali Daraghmeh contributed to this report

The new Palestinian prime minister delivered a stern warning Thursday to hundreds of Islamic preachers, including Hamas supporters: He won't tolerate calls for violence delivered from mosque pulpits and plans to collect militants' weapons.

Salam Fayyad's meeting with some 800 Muslim clergy marked the latest attempt to stem the influence of Hamas in the West Bank following the Islamists' violent takeover of Gaza this month. Security forces have arrested dozens of Hamas activists in the West Bank, and President Mahmoud Abbas is trying to dry up funding to Hamas with a review of all private organizations.

But Fayyad's crackdown on Hamas was complicated by Israel's hunt for gunmen from Abbas' Fatah movement in the West Bank city of Nablus. 'We view this aggression as a way to undermine our efforts to provide security and end the chaos,' Fayyad said.

Israel described the operation as a routine one targeting militants involved in plots to carry out attacks, and said troops found weapons and explosives in Nablus. Five Israeli soldiers were wounded by bombs as they moved from home to home through the densely populated Old City. Tens of thousands of residents were confined to their homes by a curfew.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has promised to bolster Abbas' government in his struggle with Hamas. Olmert's spokeswoman, Miri Eisin, said the Israeli government is committed to working with Abbas, but would not risk the safety of its own citizens. 'We will go forward with full strength to strengthen Abbas, and full strength to stop the terror,' she said.

This week, Abbas issued a decree barring militants from carrying weapons, but it is doubtful he will be able to disarm Fatah's violent offshoot, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. Fatah gunmen said they need their weapons for future confrontations with Hamas and Israel, and will not surrender them. Previous attempts to collect illegal weapons ended in failure.

In his meeting with clergymen Thursday, Fayyad was accompanied by Abbas' top security official, Interior Minister Abdel Razak Yehiyeh. 'We will collect weapons and replace them with pens and books,' the minister told the crowd. 'The phenomenon of militants is very dangerous, and we want to stop it in all forms.'

Fayyad told the preachers to take politics out of their sermons. 'We won't allow them (mosques) to be turned into places of incitement and intimidation,' he said. 'It's the responsibility of men of religion to ... present religion as a way of tolerance, not as a cover for bloodshed.'

Hamas is influential in many mosques in the West Bank and Gaza, and has been using Friday sermons as a vehicle for spreading its hard-line message. Preachers have also been actively involved in politics. In Nablus, seven of eight Hamas members of parliament are preachers, said Suhair al-Dubai, a moderate clergyman from the city.

'The government has realized how important the mosques are in forming and leading public opinion,' said al-Dubai, who attended the meeting with Fayyad. 'But Hamas is very well organized in mosques ... The government can restrict them, but not eliminate them because they are part of a structure and can always find a way to play a political role.

Mohammed Abu al-Hasan, a Hamas preacher from the West Bank town of Jenin, said clerics would continue to speak their minds, regardless of any government directive.

'We will not accept these restrictions and we are going to respond with our own message in this Friday's sermons,' he said. 'Fayad is a politician, he can handle political issues and we...can handle religious issues.' Copyright

3.) Israel Today,
Jerusalem News Wire
Headline News
Thursday, June 28, 2007

Palestinians rooting for Iran to get 'the bomb'

A majority of Palestinian Arabs are in favor of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, according to the results of a global survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Despite their reliance on American aid and their constant insistence that Washington support their nationalistic claims, the Palestinians continue to exude some of the most anti-US sentiment in the Middle East.

This phenomenon first came to light for most following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The fall of the Twin Towers in New York and the partial destruction of the Pentagon were joyously celebrated by huge crowds of Palestinians throughout Judea, Samaria, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem.

The same tendency to back the enemies of America, no matter who they might be, is believed to also lie behind the Palestinians' support of Iran obtaining nuclear arms against the efforts of the US-led international community.

The Pew survey also showed that Israel is one of only four nations where a majority backs America's war in Iraq and its efforts to establish a stable democracy there.

4.) Poll: Most Palestinians favor Iran nukes,
Associated Press,
The Jerusalem Post
Jun. 27, 2007

Iran's potential acquisition of nuclear arms is favored by majorities in only Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Palestinian territories, a poll released Wednesday showed.

The international survey conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center also indicated that unease with American foreign policy and with President George W. Bush had intensified in countries that are some of the closest US allies, while Russia and China also face growing international wariness. Support for the US-led war in Iraq, the NATO military action in Afghanistan and worldwide American efforts against terrorism have dropped since 2002, and views of the US in much of the Muslim world remain particularly negative.

[...remainder of article unrelated to this issue]

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, June 28, 2007.

I have been reporting in recent days on the growing sense, reinforced in many quarters, that Palestinian nationalism is dead and will be replaced by a more overt allegiance to clans, factions, etc. And this is, indeed, the way matters are likely to ultimately go. But the nationalism seems to be in the throes of a last gasp.

Last week, I shared the response of a furious Saudi Arabia, which had worked hard to mediate the Mecca agreement for a unity government, that they were not having it any more: no more mediation. I shared, in fact, a report on the disenchantment with the Palestinians being widely expressed within the Arab world. Now, however, according to Agence France-Presse (cited by IMRA), Saudi King Abdullah told Egypt's President Mubarak on Monday that Saudi Arabia would resume mediation between Palestinian factions.

"We need some time for the spirits to calm down, for the verbal clashes to subside," he reportedly said. "We need time to create the climate conducive to mediating between the Hamas people and the Palestinian Authority in order to sort out their differences."

"Sort out their differences" indeed. My take is that the Saudis can mediate until the cows come home, but will not achieve genuine national Palestinian unity. The nationalism is too shallow and the other allegiances (the "differences") too deep. If the Saudis are not yet prepared to acknowledge this, they will simply delay the inevitable.


Of course, Hamas is in deep trouble, isolated as it is in Gaza. And so at present this terrorist group is presenting a conciliatory face. According to a Palestinian news agency, Hamas has said that it is prepared to relinquish the position of prime minister and allow an independent to assume the post in order to bring about reconciliation. A high level (unnamed) Hamas official has reportedly said, "Hamas is ready for dialogue and to form a government with an independent figure at its head. Hamas is ready to return things to normal. [Normal?] Hamas is not willing to control the [Gaza] Strip, or the security offices and headquarters, or other departments, but rather Hamas calls on Abbas to begin dialogue..." This source said Hamas is ready to deal based on "national criteria and not factional criteria." Coming from a member of Hamas, this is nonsense.


The Saudis are not moderates, nor promoters of moderation; they fund and promote terrorism. It is important to remember that when they "mediated" the Mecca agreement, they were partisan, pushing the Hamas position down Abbas's throat. Reports surfaced from a reliable source, after the fact, about how Abbas felt coerced to accede to Hamas demands. (The fact that he did accede rather than walking away is another story.) It is possible that the Saudis may have as a concern now the rescuing of Hamas.


There is yet another element to be factored into this picture:

According to the Middle East Newsline -- a security oriented news agency -- Egypt quietly supported the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. MENL reports that Egypt cooperated with the infiltration of weapons into Gaza that would strengthen Hamas. This is not a surprise. We saw this, we knew this. Egypt has been turning a deaf ear to Israeli demands that it stop the flow of weapons coming from the Sinai. What is startling is the reason why they apparently did this. MENL cites Western intelligence sources that say Egypt was worried about al-Qaida, which presents a serious threat, and that Fatah was allied with al-Qaida as a way to undermine Hamas. According to this report, Hamas's strongman, Ma'ashal, was in communication with Egyptian intelligence chief Gen. Omar Suleiman with regard to this matter.

Ma'ashal specifically fingered Fatah's Muhammad Dahlan as the man dealing with al-Qaida. It has long infuriated me that Dahlan is represented in the media as a "moderate" ally of Abbas, capable of unifying the security forces in a positive way. For Dahlan is a terrorist, no more than scum. That he may have been involved with al-Qaida does not shock. And it may help explain why Hamas has had such virulent hatred for him.

This report dovetails with other information: For Egypt has also now declared a readiness to "mediate" between Palestinian factions. It would make sense. Having helped to secure a Hamas victory in Gaza, Egypt would be ready to help Hamas out of its bind of isolation.


There is a great deal to be learned from all of this, starting with the fact that matters, in this part of the world especially, are frequently not what they seem. There is here a vast complexity -- often counter-intuitive -- regarding the relationships between groups. The prevailing motivation is one of self-interest and short-term survival, not necessarily ideology at all, and some surprising covert alliances result.

Most significant is the overwhelming evidence that there is nothing remotely "moderate" about Fatah.


From the other side comes a decree from Abbas, announced on Tuesday, that includes an exemption from fees and taxes for all people living in Gaza. As it was officially worded: "item 88 of the constitution will be suspended in the southern governorates." Not that Fatah could collect fees and taxes there in any event. But this is significant in that it indicates Abbas has not washed his hands of Gaza but is continuing with the assumption (or the fiction) that all Palestinian areas are under the jurisdiction of the PA.


Ismail Haniyeh, who was removed as prime minister by Abbas, has made an offer, through channels, to Israel that was rejected. Haniyeh requested that crossings to Gaza, in particular Karni, be opened, and in return they would stop the terrorism.

What has been made clear by Israeli officials is that this was not a plea for crossings to be opened for humanitarian purposes, but rather commercial purposes, to enhance prosperity for the area.

The fact is that there is no humanitarian crisis, as relief -- in the main, food and medicine -- is going into Gaza daily, primarily through the Sufa and Keren Shalom crossings. Yesterday alone, according to the IDF spokesman, supplies that went into Gaza included: 581 tons of animal feed; 319 tons of straw; 327 tons of sugar; 164 tons of flour; 5 tons of semolina; 143,000 liters of oil; 134 tons of rice; 27 tons of seedlings; 32 tons of salt; 30 tons of baby formula; 24,000 liters of hypochlorite (a water purifier); and 50,000 vaccinations. Additionally, 22 Palestinians were taken for medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.

The first commercial shipment into Gaza since Hamas took over -- a joint effort of Israel and the Dutch government -- made its way to the Rafah area in the last two days: One million flower bulbs, which must be planted now if a season of growth is not to be lost.


Meanwhile the EU monitors who served at the Rafah crossing have said they would not return while Hamas was in charge, but only if Abbas's presidential guard, Force 17, came back. They are in Ashkelon, 70 strong, awaiting orders.

This is one of those matters that sounds serious but is truly a joke if you know that background. The EU monitors monitored. They watched terrorists and weapons move through the crossing. Watched.

Who cares where they are?


President Moshe Katsav. I have not written about his situation in some time. But now he's top of the news again, as Attorney General Mazuz has negotiated a plea bargain with him. The rape charge will be dropped and he will plead guilty to two lesser sexual charges (indecent assault and sexual harassment); he will resign and pay penalties, but receive a suspended sentence and not do time in prison.

The furor surrounding this is considerable: Questions are being asked as to why Mazuz did this and whether he was, in the final analysis, without the evidence to convict him of rape. The woman who leveled that charge and her attorney are furious. So are women's rights groups, who see a person of status as being able to get away with major wrong doing.

Mazuz, in making the announcement, spoke about "evidential difficulties due to legal limitations," but said there were also other considerations. There was considerable interest in not subjecting the nation to a trial that would be embarrassing and put Israel in a bad light. What is more, if Katsav had been indicted on rape, he might have been convicted and might not have been; this way there is a certain guilty plea.

Katsav himself said he was tired and was prepared to do this to save his family anguish.

Clearly, Katsav is guilty of wrong-doing of a sexual nature. Did he rape? I cannot say. I had assumed that if the investigation was headed in this direction that there was reasonable possibility that this was so; but heard unsubstantiated statements subsequently that made me wonder. The bottom line is that at this juncture I do not very much care. There is too much of greater importance to deal with. And I, for one, am frankly very glad that our nation won't be exposed to an extended trial in this regard. It would not have done us any good. As it is, Katsav's career has ended and he will suffer public censure for his misconduct.


A small correction in the interest of accuracy: The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Briefing I alluded to yesterday on the matter of possible Jordanian federation with Palestinian elements in Judea and Samaria is not new, but was originally released in 2005. Another arm of the JCPA just publicized this Briefing and I was not diligent in picking up its date. It was publicized now because it is relevant now -- and that is the most significant point, I think.

Arlene Kushner is Senior Research Associate, Center for Near East Policy Research, Beit Agron International Press Center, Jerusalem, Israel. Contact her at akushner@netvision.net.il

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, June 28, 2007.


The IDF bombed a Fatah arms factory in Gaza (Isabel Kershner, NY Times, 6/11, A9).

Only weeks earlier, Israel had authorized thousands of rifles for Fatah.


Israeli settlers and soldiers fixed some Arab tombstones that a few rogue Jews had broken. Leftists and Arabs were trying to get the media to denounce settlers as a whole for the original vandalism. The story of the reconstruction should have made the headlines. Arabs often wreck Jewish cemeteries, but never reconstruct any (IMRA, 6/10).


When the kidnappers were killed, the P.A. pensioned their families (IMRA, 6/11). Thousands of Fatah and Hamas terrorists are on the P.A. payroll! So much for Abbas' moderation!


The Finance Minister promised to spend the money properly (IMRA, 6/11).

The P.A. is in a war of aggression, imperialism, and genocide, but it would spend this money on officially designated projects. Some standard, the EU has!

Since the aggression, imperialism, and genocide is against the Jewish state, the EU does not mind helping the P.A.. It calls its aid to jihadists humanitarian.


The US demands independence for the western Palestinian Arabs, but encourages Morocco to grant the western Saharans autonomy (IMRA, 6/11).


Accusing NPR of having implied that Pollard spied for the Soviets, Jonathan Pollard's attorneys demanded that NPR apologize.

I read the passage. I agree with NPR that it is clear that not all the spies it named had worked for the Soviets or for enemies of the US (IMRA, 6/11).


Illegal Arab radio stations in Judea-Samaria have interfered with communication between pilots and Ben-Gurion Airport. When the problem becomes acute, flights are canceled or delayed, and airport workers threaten to strike, then the Israeli Communications and Police Ministries detect the station and close it. Apparently detection and penalty are not much deterrent, because there have been 50 such closings this year (IMRA, 6/7).

The article did not state what penalty was exacted.


In addition to the usual arguments, Dr. Aaron Lerner note the blunders made by Israeli commanders and prime ministers, and suggests that risking Israeli security for peace-on-a-paper would go poorly for Israel if future leaders blunder again (IMRA, 6/7).

Here's the next possible blunder. Fatah asked Israel to allow it to have armored personnel carriers and anti-tank missiles, ostensibly for use against Hamas. PM Olmert is mulling this over, rather than rejecting it out of hand. He should reject it, because the Fatah has used weapons Israel allowed (actually supplied) to attack Israelis (Prof. Steven Plaut, 6/7).

This brief is out-of-date, but Prof. Plaut's warning was prophetic. He foresaw what would happen. Why didn't Olmert?


Gazans have a new form of TV entertainment. They watch videos of lavish villas formerly owned by Fatah officials and scenes of the heavily armed Fatah militiamen fleeing at the first sign of battle with Hamas. This is bound to disgust the Muslims of Judea-Samaria with Fatah. They know that Abbas has 60,000 gunmen on the P..A. payroll, which consumes most of the lavish foreign aid, and most of which the rest goes into building more villas and bulging private accounts.

Fatah originally was more secular. When it turned more virulently Islamist and indoctrinated the people in hatred and warfare, it legitimized Hamas, which has the same ideology. Thus is boosted its own nemesis.


Avi Shauli wrote an analysis of what it cost Israel to control the Territories. He wonders how much poverty Israel might have avoided, if it had not taken over the Territories and had not spent those billions of dollars. If it had not, Dr. Aaron Lerner suggests, the Territories long ago would have been like Lebanon, with Israel under terrible siege, immigrants not coming, investors not confident, the economy not expanding, and the country perhaps not surviving (IMRA, 6/9).

It if had crushed terrorism, reclaimed territory, and encouraged Arab emigration, it would have saved a lot of money.


The Lebanese Army finally stopped adhering to the agreement not to enter Palestinian Arab towns in Lebanon, which agreement Syrian-backed terrorists abused in order to gain sanctuary from which to build up forces and attack the Lebanese Army. The regular terrorists within may be ganging up on the Syrian agents, in order to put down the insurrection that otherwise is drawing the Lebanese Army in and could put them down, too.

The Lebanese Army caught Hizbullah men ferrying arms. As usual, the Army let the men go, but this time it confiscated the arms (Arutz-7, 6/7).

Lebanon can use the arms. Its duty is to stop their flow to Hizbullah, but it usually looked the other way.

The Palestinian Muslims make such trouble wherever they are given sanctuary. No wonder the Arab states want to foist them upon Israel!


"We naive Jews truly believe in peace, but actually, now that we have 'peace' with Egypt, we all know what it means to have peace with an Arab country. Egypt is right now mediating between Hamas and Fatah to have them point their guns at us, at Israel, instead of at each other. Egypt is also responsible for supervising the border with Gaza to ensure that no weapons or terrorists are smuggled in -- and look how 'efficient' they have been. They just freed from prison some terrorists who built the tunnels... Egypt wages war against us in the United Nations and everywhere else..."

A phony peace is not desirable. The goal for as long as Muslim Arab culture remains intolerant should be co-existence. Co-existence requires strength to deter, not concessions to signal weakness (Arutz-7, 6/11).

Concessions not only signify weakness, they also often make for weakness, because they give away strategic ground, etc..


In an attempt to kidnap an Israeli soldier, Gaza gunmen approached Israel in a jeep marked "TV." Islamic Jihad, however, denied the jeep was so marked by the gunmen. It accused Israel of having stuck the TV signs on the jeep upon retrieving it. P.A. journalists did not believe Islamic Jihad's claim (Op. Cit.).

By contrast, Human Rights Watch accepts unknown P.A. Muslims' accusations against Israel. If the P.A. journalists don't believe fellow Gazans' claims in contrast to Israel's claims, why does Human Rights Watch? The terrorists committed the war crime of "treachery." Why doesn't Amnesty Intl. condemn it instead of falsely condemning Israel for war crimes.


The US is pressing Israel to agree to Abbas' request for permission to bring from Sinai armored personnel carriers, thousands more rifles, millions more bullets, and anti-tank weapons. This is supposed to enable his forces to fight Hamas. But they are too poorly motivated to do so, meaning that the weapons would end up in Hamas' hands, and Fatah usually fights Israel more than it fights Hamas.

Israel has objected to the US plan to sell "smart" bombs to S. Arabia, lest the bombs fall into Osama's hands. An objection that should be made but isn't is that the government of S. Arabia may use them against Israel, after having violated its agreements with the US by station in jets only 100 miles from Israel.

The US plans and US refusal to sell Israel the F-35 and to let Israel install its software in purchased F-22s are part of Bush's shift against Israel after losing ground in the recent election. Bush has turned to James Baker's notion of preserving stability by supporting at the expense of Israeli security the extremists it calls moderate Arabs. Bush officially rejected Baker's recommendations, but replaced some of his top staff with people who favor some of them. Israel also adopted Baker's illusion that one can negotiate peace with Mideast fanatics.

Baker's notions make no sense in this era of all sorts of Muslim alliances. Bush said he would not attack Iran's nuclear facilities, so Arab states are engaging in a destabilizing nuclear arms race. Iran and Syria, are arming rebels to destabilize Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and the P.A.. The elderly leaders of Egypt and S. Arabia are not stable or moderate, despite what Olmert says they are. Egypt refuses to stop the arms flow into Gaza. S. Arabia subsidizes Hamas, and its diplomacy would get Israel destroyed. PM Olmert refrains from attacking Gaza much, lest that destabilize it (IMRA, 6/9 from Caroline Glick), but Gaza already is destabilized.

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 richardshulman5verizon.net

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, June 28, 2007.

This next is from the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles and is entitled "One Year in Terrorist Captivity". The Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles is located at 6380 Wilshire Blvd. #1700, Los Angeles, CA, 90048.


Eleven months have passed since the unprovoked abduction of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser on the Israeli side of the Lebanese border, an action that precipitated widespread confrontation between Israel and the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist organization. To date no word has been heard from the two captive soldiers, and neither their families nor the government of Israel have any knowledge of their whereabouts or their current state of health.

Two weeks prior to their abduction, another soldier, Gilad Shalit, was abducted as well, this time on the Israeli side of the border with Gaza. His family, too, anxiously awaits news from him. Especially grave is the fact that these unprovoked abductions were carried out on sovereign Israeli territory.

Taken from their families ten months ago, these captive soldiers are denied the most basic of human rights as enshrined in the Geneva Convention. In a gross breach of U.N. Resolution 1701, the terrorist organizations that carried out these abductions, and Syria and Iran who support them, behave as if these human rights are nothing more than a bargaining chip in their game of negotiation, refusing even to transmit messages to the captives from their families. International bodies who met with the captives' families have also tried to forward messages and letters, but they have been met with a negative response as well.

The Israel Foreign Ministry is active in efforts to gain their release on all levels: Foreign Ministry Tzipi Livni and her fellow ministers, alongside Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, raise the issue at the highest levels in their diplomatic meetings, in Israel and abroad -- as do the Foreign Ministry's director-general and other senior officials. The Foreign Ministry also assists the families of the kidnapped soldiers in their meetings, both abroad and with visiting dignitaries in Israel, in an effort to keep the cause of the abducted soldiers on the international public agenda.

Israel's embassies abroad are also taking part in this effort, with emphasis on the humanitarian aspect: the families await a clear sign that their sons are alive and well. Those with influence, whether direct or indirect, on Syria and Iran are being asked to exert this influence on these countries. Thus, it is hoped, Syria and Iran, which sponsor the terrorist organizations holding the abducted soldiers, will be forced by growing international pressure to bring their influence to bear to obtain the hoped-for news and their eventual release.

Neither Israel nor any other civilized, law abiding country can accept this situation. We urge you to support us in our endeavor -- to bring our soldiers home.




a short movie showing the current Israeli MIAs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHIDSH2SKKI  HaTikva -- Rally for the release of four Israeli soldiers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBex3EMM67w  Interview with Israeli Kidnapped Soldier's Wife.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at 4nuritg@ca.rr.com. Visit her blog:

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Posted by David Bedein, June 27, 2007.
This was published in Arutz-Sheva

Rescue operations conducted by the government of Israel to bring more than 16,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel represented one of the few times in history that a Black African community willingly and enthusiastically moved to a majority-White Western country. From the point of view of Ethiopian Jewry, they had come home to Zion. Having visited Ethiopian Jews during their trek from Ethiopia during Operation Moses in 1984, this reporter heard numerous stories from Ethiopian Jews about their own prophetic lore. Passed down from one generation to the next was a tradition that Ethiopian Jews would be repatriated to Zion when the last emperor of the Solomonic dynasty would fall. And when Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia, was overthrown in 1974, that was one of the signs that Ethiopian Jews would indeed come home.

Although Israeli Jews of Ethiopian origin now number more than 100,000, there were some Ethiopian Jews who were left behind. They are the 15,700 Ethiopian Jews from a group known as the Falash Mura, the remnants of Ethiopian Jews who had been forcibly converted over the course of previous generations. After intense pressure, the Israeli government made a decision on February 16, 2003, that anyone who can trace maternal descent to Jews of Ethiopia would be allowed to return to Israel under the Law of Return. The Israeli government then launched Operation Promise to raise funds to bring this last community of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

With expectations raised, these 15,700 Ethiopian Falash Mura have moved their residence into three temporary compounds in the Gondar region of Ethiopia, awaiting their repatriation to Zion. However, the Israeli government will only allow 300 Falash Mura per month to arrive in Israel. No one in the Israeli government will give an explanation as to why such a low quota exists.

Meanwhile, although the Israeli government is supposed to be providing "Immigration Eligibility Forms" for the Falash Mura, no Israeli government representative has visited the three compounds where the Falash Mura have been lingering since the decision to bring them to Israel. No Israeli government official will give an explanation for this policy.

However, the Israeli government is making every effort to absorb at least 5,000 Muslim Sudanese refugees from Darfur, who are leaving transit camps where they had been living in temporary accommodations in Egypt. The Israeli collective farms known as kibbutzim are absorbing the Darfur refugees and giving them work in exchange for room and board. How an unpaid Muslim population will integrate into Israeli society is a question that no one in Israel is prepared to deal with.

Now the Jewish State prepares to welcomes Black African non-Jews, who are strange to Israel, while it turns its back on Black African Jews who perceive Israel as their home. To learn more about the plight of remaining Ethiopian Jewry, check out the web site of The Struggle to Save Ethiopian Jewry at http://www.SSEJ.org

David Bedein is Bureau Chief, Israel Resource News Agency. (http://Israelbehindthenews.com). He is president of Center for Near East Policy Research. Contact him by email at media@actcom.co.il

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, June 27, 2007.

It is becoming increasingly infuriating when politicians give away our money like it's their own, while shamelessly pandering to special interest groups. The same is with foreign aid; it hurts the country that gives it as well as the country that receives it! Sending a dime of foreign aid to any country in the world is unconstitutional, which should be enough reason not to do it; it's also counterproductive! Kind of like welfare; receiving welfare over a long period of time is a result of confiscating by force the wealthy and seducing the other side to dependency on government.

Recognizing the morally qualitative difference between Israel and any other nation in the Middle East is a given. Anyone who takes a noncommittal backseat on this issue must be carefully examined.

Israel however, is not better off today because of all the billions of dollars -- in foreign aid -- U.S. taxpayers have pumped into her economy of its enemies! And America is not better off because of all the billions of dollars --in foreign aid -- U.S. taxpayers have pumped into the coffers of misguided politicians around the world -- including, as scary as it is -- madmen like Kim Jong-il, Arafat, or now terrorist Abbas in suit-Abu Mazen, a new foreign aid fiasco in the making.

The time has come for the U.S. to stop thinking that we can buy peace and freedom for our allies from our enemies. No money is ever given away to anyone with no strings attached therefore, giving it creates restrictions on the defense of freedom foreign aid. Foreign aid ultimately represents pandering to -- all type of -- special interests groups, therefore must end.

This was written by Joseph Farah and it appeared today in WorldNetDaily
(http://www.worldnetdaily.com:80/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56377) Joseph Farah is founder, editor and CEO of WND and a nationally syndicated columnist. His latest book is Stop The Presses: The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution. He also edits the online intelligence newsletter Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, in which he utilizes his sources developed over 30 years in the news business.

The White House sent out a message to "Jewish Leaders" last Wednesday.

For some reason, I, an Arab-American Christian journalist, received a copy. (This won't surprise those who deride me as a "neocon," which has become a euphemism for Jew.)

The message came from Jeremy Katz of the Office of Public Liaison, who identifies himself as the White House liaison to the Jewish community. (I couldn't help but wonder how many other taxpayer-supported liaisons there might be.) Katz offered that he wanted to ensure that recipients "didn't miss this important statement from the president."

Here's what it said:

"I am strongly committed to Israel's security and viability as a Jewish state, and to the maintenance of its qualitative military edge. During our meeting today, I told Prime Minister [Ehud] Olmert that I am committed to reaching a new 10-year agreement that will give Israel the increased assistance it requires to meet the new threats and challenges it faces. The work on this new agreement was launched during the prime minister's previous visit. I will send Under Secretary of State Nick Burns and an interagency team to Israel in July to lead discussions aimed at concluding an agreement soon."


This president, who seems hopelessly confused or inept when it comes to protecting his own country's security and viability is going to send more of my hard-earned money and your hard-earned money to Israel, a nation that also seems hopelessly confused and inept under its recent political leadership when it comes to protecting its own security and viability.

What's wrong with this picture? Plenty.

Do you detect the condescension in this message?

Do you hate it as much as I do when politicians give away your money like it's their own, while shamelessly pandering to special interest groups?

Do you know foreign aid not only hurts the country that gives it but the country that receives it as well?

I take a backseat to no one in recognizing the morally qualitative difference between Israel and any other nation in the Middle East. But I don't think America should send a dime of foreign aid to Israel or any other country in the world. It's not only unconstitutional, which should be enough of a reason not to do it; it's also counterproductive.

Think of foreign aid like you think about welfare. Is receiving welfare over a long period of time a good thing for anyone -- those whose wealth is confiscated by force and those who are seduced into dependency on government?

I don't think so. Most of us have been able to see the harmful effects of welfare on both the recipient and those of us who are coerced into this supposed act of compassion.

It, too, is wholly unconstitutional and counterproductive. Nowhere in our founding documents will you find any provision for forcible redistribution of wealth -- and that's exactly what domestic welfare and international welfare, aka foreign aid, are all about.

Is Israel stronger today because of all the billions of dollars U.S. taxpayers have pumped into the coffers of its misguided politicians? No.

Is Israel better off today because of all the billions of dollars U.S. taxpayers have pumped into the coffers of its enemies? No.

Is America better off because of all the billions of dollars U.S. taxpayers have pumped into the coffers of misguided politicians around the world -- including madmen like Kim Jong-il? No.

It's time to end the foreign-aid fiasco.

It's tie to end the charade that suggests we can buy peace and freedom for our allies and from our enemies.

It's time to end the pandering to special interests groups that foreign aid ultimately represents.

It's time to end the restrictions on the defense of freedom foreign aid often represents -- because no money is ever given away to anyone with no strings attached.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at 4nuritg@ca.rr.com. Visit her blog:

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Posted by Yasharlachayal Organization, June 27, 2007.

Dear Friends,

Please take a few moments to look at our latest project helping soldiers through Sderot.


Just a reminder, every donation goes 100% to helping Israeli combat soldiers.

We would greatly appreciate passing this link to as many of your friends and relatives throughout the world.

Thank you,

Contact the Yasharlachayal Organization at yasharlachayal@yahoo.com

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Posted by Michael Travis, June 27, 2007.

1. by David Horovitz Jerusalem Post June 27, 2007

Sanctions and diplomacy have failed and it may be too late for internal opposition to oust the Islamist regime, leaving only military intervention to stop Iran's drive to nuclear weapons, the US's former ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Worse still, according to Ambassador Bolton, the Bush administration does not recognize the urgency of the hour and that the options are now limited to only the possibility of regime change from within or a last-resort military intervention, and it is still clinging to the dangerous and misguided belief that sanctions can be effective.

As a consequence, Bolton said he was "very worried" about the well-being of Israel. If he were in Israel's predicament, he said, "I'd be pushing the US very hard. I am pushing the US [administration] very hard, from the outside, in Washington."

Bolton, interviewed by telephone from Washington, was speaking a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency announced it would send a team to Teheran, at Iran's request, to work jointly on a plan ostensibly meant to clear up suspicions about the nuclear program. Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani had met on Sunday with IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei, and a day earlier with top EU foreign policy envoy Javier Solana.

Bolton, however, was witheringly critical of the ongoing diplomatic contacts with Teheran, which he said were merely playing into the hands of the regime.

"The current approach of the Europeans and the Americans is not just doomed to failure, but dangerous," he said. "Dealing with [the Iranians] just gives them what they want, which is more time...

"We have fiddled away four years, in which Europe tried to persuade Iran to give up voluntarily," he complained. "Iran in those four years mastered uranium conversion from solid to gas and now enrichment to weapons grade... We lost four years to feckless European diplomacy and our options are very limited."

Bolton said flatly that "diplomacy and sanctions have failed... [So] we have to look at: 1, overthrowing the regime and getting in a new one that won't pursue nuclear weapons; 2, a last-resort use of force."

However, he added a caution as to the viability of the first of those remaining options: While "the regime is more susceptible to overthrow from within than people think," he said, such a process "may take more time than we have."

Overall, said Bolton, it was clear that Iran had surmounted "all the technical problems of uranium enrichment," and it "may well be that we have passed the point of Iran mastering the nuclear fuel cycle." If so, it was now merely a matter of time before Iran reached a bomb-making capability -- "a matter of resources and available equipment," he said -- and it was solely up to Iran to set the pace.

To his dismay, however, the Bush administration was still clinging to the empty notion that the sanctions route could work, "even though [the UN's sanction] Resolutions 1737 and 1747 were full of loopholes. The US is still seeking another sanctions resolution and Solana is still pursuing diplomacy," he said bitterly.

Bolton lamented that the Bush administration today was "not the same" as a presumably more robust incarnation three years ago, because of what he said was now the State Department's overwhelming dominance of foreign policy. "The State Department has adopted the European view [on how to deal with Iran] and other voices have been sidelined," he said. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "is overwhelmingly predominant on foreign policy."

Asked where this left Israel, Bolton said simply: "Israel's options are as limited as those of the US, except that you are in more danger in that you are closer. I hate to say that."

Bolton, who served as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security from 2001 to 2005, before taking the ambassadorial posting to the UN from August 2005 to December 2006, said the failed handling of the Iran nuclear crisis was one of the reasons he had left the Bush administration. "I felt we were watching Europe fiddling while Rome burned," he said. "It's still fiddling."

2. Whatever happened to the 'Spirit of Entebbe'?
by Michael Freund
June 26, 2007
The Jerusalem Post

Once upon a time, and it truly seems like it was a very long time ago, the State of Israel knew how to take swift and decisive action in order to protect its citizens and punish its foes.

I know, dear reader, that may be hard for you to believe, particularly in light of recent events. After all, Israel has spent much of the past decade in retreat, ignominiously capitulating to terrorism and turning over vast swathes of territory to Palestinian control.

With Cpl. Gilad Schalit being held captive by Palestinians in Gaza for the past year, and the residents of Sderot and the Western Negev dodging Kassam rockets on a daily basis, it is easy to forget that words such as heroism, daring and bravery once exemplified our government's approach towards combating terror.

None of these qualities were on display the other day at Sharm e-Sheikh, of course, where Prime Minister Ehud Olmert saw fit to heap concession after concession on the ineffectual and increasingly irrelevant Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

After agreeing to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars to the Abbas-led regime, and to strengthen the armed Fatah gangs loyal to him, the premier presented his Palestinian counterpart with an unexpected parting gift.

"As a gesture of goodwill to the Palestinians," Olmert declared, "I decided today that I'll bring to the Israeli government at its next meeting a recommendation to release 250 prisoners from Fatah without blood on their hands."

Then, in what passes for Israeli resolve and determination these days, the premier insisted that the Fatah terrorists would be freed, but only if "they sign commitments not to become involved again in terrorism." Phew. And I thought they would be let go for nothing.

Apparently, it didn't dawn on the Prime Minister to link the release of Palestinian terrorists with freedom for Gilad Schalit, or to condition any further movement on the diplomatic front with progress towards his return home.

Instead, the fact that a young Israeli Jew serving his country was abducted 12 months ago by a group of thugs was treated as if it was a pesky and tiresome nuisance, rather than a substantive and fundamental matter of principle.

In light of the Prime Minister's sorry display, it is especially important that we recall the anniversary of an important event that took place just over three decades ago this week, one which offers us a potent and timely reminder of just how terrorism should truly be fought.

IT WAS 31 years ago today, on June 27, 1976, that armed gunmen from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, together with some German accomplices, hijacked Air France flight 139, diverting it to Libya and then on to the city of Entebbe, in Idi Amin's Uganda.

As the world looked on, the terrorists proceeded to separate out the Jewish and Israeli passengers, threatening to kill them if Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails were not set free.

Back then, however, Israel was not yet in the habit of yielding to terrorist demands. No international summits were convened at Sharm e-Sheikh, no "gestures" were made to the terrorists, nor were any tax receipts transferred into their coffers.

Instead, Israel reacted precisely as it should have, by launching a stunning military raid on July 4, 1976, freeing virtually all the captives and bringing the situation to a sudden and dramatic end.

In one fell swoop, Israel had underlined its role as the sovereign defender of Jews everywhere. An entire generation was inspired to believe that the Jewish people were determined to defend themselves whatever the consequences might be.

THE RESCUE at Entebbe was also a powerful symbol for the entire free world. It showed that with a little courage and resolve, and a healthy dose of military force, the scourge of international terror could be defeated.

For years afterwards, it was the "Spirit of Entebbe" which guided this country, and which deterred its enemies from once again thinking that Jews and Israelis were fair game.

Looking back, it is hard to believe how much has changed since then. In just three decades, Israel has gone from being a country which frees hostages to one that frees terrorists. Instead of refusing to negotiate with the bad guys, we now offer them unilateral concessions while getting nothing in return.

In times such as these, we must seek to revive the "Spirit of Entebbe" and infuse it into our national life. Jewish lives were once considered precious enough to warrant risking international condemnation over saving them in a distant land. That must again become a pillar of Israeli security policy.

By refraining from taking the steps necessary to protect itself for fear of how the world will react, Israel is effectively placing greater importance on international public opinion than on the lives and well-being of its citizens. That calculus is not only morally warped, but short-sighted and dangerous too.

As Entebbe so clearly demonstrated, winning the war against terrorists comes not when one yields to them, but when the terrorists themselves are forced to yield.

Only by regaining the spirit of triumph and fortitude that was embodied at Entebbe, and by hitting back at our foes, can Israel possibly hope to dissuade them from committing further atrocities and outrages.

And the sooner our government adopts this basic and self-evident approach, the safer all of us will be.

3. Here we go again, demonizing Israel
From Boker Tov Boulder!

It's not big news when Palestinians throw one another from the roofs of tall buildings, engage in gunbattles in hospitals, hunt down opposition Palestinians (identified by numbers and different colored stars) and either execute them or shatter their kneecaps with a bullet to the back of the knee...

... after an hours-long gun battle ... the Hamas military wing removed all the family members from their compound and lined them up against a wall. Militants selected a 14-year-old girl, two women aged 19 and 75, and two elderly men, and shot them to death in cold blood...

... BUT when Israel does anything, Dhimmedia is on it!

Israeli troops kill 10 Palestinians

JERUSALEM -- Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday killed 10 Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, Palestinians said, the bloodiest fighting in the area since the Hamas militant group violently seized control two weeks ago.

That is all the American reading public will ever hear or know of it. Never mind the context, supplied here by Arutz Sheva reporter, Ezra HaLevi: 5 Terrorists Dead in 2 Counter-Terror Operations in Gaza

Five terrorists were killed as the IDF carried out counter-terror operations in Judea, Samaria and two parts of Gaza Tuesday night.

In Khan Yunis, next to the destroyed Jewish town of N'vei Dekalim, Islamic Jihad terrorist Di Abu Daka was killed in a gunbattle with IDF Givati Brigade troops pre-dawn Wednesday. Two more terrorists were wounded, and no IDF injuries were reported.

Three terrorists of Hamas were later killed in Gaza City by an IDF tank shell after they engaged soldiers with anti-tank rockets.

In addition, Islamic Jihad's senior terrorist in charge of launching rockets, Raad Fanuneh, was killed in an explosion while driving in the city's Sajaiya neighborhood. PA reports claimed it was an IAF air strike, but the IDF says it has no knowledge of such an attack.

The IDF forces entered Gaza through the Karni Crossing in the north and Sufa Crossing in the south for the two morning operations.

Shortly afterwards, terrorists fired a Kassam rocket from Gaza towards Sderot; it landed uneventfully in an open area.

An IDF tank in northern Gaza was damaged and the soldiers lightly injured when terrorists fired anti-tank missiles at it Wednesday before noon. The Salah a-Din Brigades of the Hizbullah-backed Popular Resistance Committees took responsibility for the attack.

IDF sources said that the army would continue to take action in Gaza to fight the terrorist threats against Israel, particularly the manufacture and launching of Kassam rockets. This, regardless of the "internal Hamas-Fatah situation in Gaza, which is not Israel's concern."

Judea and Samaria

IDF soldiers engaged an Islamic Jihad terrorist in a gun battle in Burkin, a village near Jenin, Tuesday night -- after he resisted arrest and opened fire on the troops. The man was seriously wounded, despite PA reports he was killed in the fighting.

Two other terrorists were wounded in the fighting and taken to Afula's HaEmek Hospital for treatment. No IDF injuries were reported. The terrorists were involved in Fatah terrorism in addition to Islamic Jihad operations.

And (from the same link) you will NEVER see this in American newspapers:

IDF Continues Humanitarian Aid Despite Dangers

The Kerem Shalom Crossing was closed Tuesday after terrorists targeted it with gunfire and mortar shells. A large bomb was discovered near the crossing earlier Tuesday.

The crossing had been used to transfer humanitarian assistance to the Arabs of Gaza. At least 80 trucks filled with food crossed into Gaza via the Sufa crossing after Kerem Shalom was closed. The shipment also contained 600,000 young plants for Gaza's greenhouse farmers.

Argh. This drives me crazy.

Contact Michael Travis at michaelmgr@gmail.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, June 27, 2007.


Sec. of State Rice and other US officials keep asserting such falsehoods as that most western Palestinian Arabs are moderate and want a two-state solution. Neither journalists nor Israeli officials challenge the assertions or ask what they are based on. They let officials assert whatever they want.

Poll after poll finds that most P.A. Muslims want Israel conquered. When asked about descendants of refugees, P.A. Muslims reply that they want those millions to be able to move to Israel. If they moved in, they would take over and make a single, Muslim state. They have not declared yet whether they would bury or cremate the Jews. But they explicitly don't want ultimately there to be two states, one being for the Jews.


It sounds democratic. Israel's elected Knesset picks the President, a largely ceremonial post with the crucial power of pardon. Why crucial? Israeli politicians, whether in the Cabinet of Knesset, by and large are venal. Since Israel lacks a constitution, institutions carve out powers for themselves, as have the attorney-generals and the Supreme Court. So might a President, especially if that master of corruption, Shimon Peres becomes one. In addition, Peres, who helped the US prosecute Pollard, is sure not to appeal for US clemency.

The problem in letting the Knesset pick the President is that the Knesset, itself, is not democratic. It is elected by proportional representation, which is democratic in theory and non-democratic in practice. Proportional representation means that a certain number of most parties' candidates are going to be elected, a few more if the party gains more popular favor. The party bosses pick the candidates. To get an assured place on the list for each election, aspiring Members of Knesset cater to the party bosses, not to the electorate. Therefore, the party bosses really pick the President, and for reasons of their own. The US method of districts electing their own representatives is more democratic.


The US has built up Egypt's military sufficiently for it to challenge Israel's. Polls of various Muslim countries report the people of Egypt being the most hostile both to Israel and to the US. Perhaps the State Dept. thinks that the risk of Egypt's military falling into Islamist hands is small -- I don't -- and perhaps it thinks that Egypt may help the US defend S. Arabia -- which it once tried to capture -- but in the 28 years or so since US subsidies began, the US has gotten nothing for its $50 billion gift to Egypt. Israel may get attacked.


Passed after the Six Day War, "Resolution 242 in no way refers to Jerusalem and this omission was deliberate," said the author of 242, Ambassador to the UN, Arthur Goldberg. Re-dividing Jerusalem and the other proposals for Israel to withdraw from all the territory it gained up to the armistice line of 1967, gained in self-defense, would make Israel difficult to defend and therefore a likely object of war. Imagine, turning non-Muslim holy sites over to Hamas, after the precedent of Jordan destroying all 50 synagogues upon seizing Jerusalem in its earlier aggression! (former Israeli Ambassador Dore Gold, NY Sun, 6/8, Op.-Ed.)

At least don't call Israeli concessions to the aggressors a peace process.


An American diplomat agrees with the Gulf Cooperation Council that it is entitled to develop nuclear energy for peaceful use, as Iran would be. He hopes that Iran finds a diplomatic solution to its development for non-peaceful uses (IMRA, 6/5).

There is no diplomatic solution; this is not a diplomatic problem. Iran has no grievances. Iran is building nuclear weapons in behalf of its religious goal of conquering the world and destroying some of its enemies at the outset. That problem is religious. Not willing to reform its intolerant, imperialist religion, and finding no resolute resistance to its weapons drive or its wars by proxy, Iran continues to pursue its goal. It welcomes diplomacy without teeth, equivalent to time for weapons development without hindrance.

There would have been a purely economic sanction, but other great powers support Iran. That leaves these options: (1) Overthrow the regime. Iran is too close to culmination of weapons development for the US to accomplish much with dissidents; (2) Bomb certain non-nuclear facilities, making an economic crisis that may topple the unpopular regime. This may or may not work. Probably not enough time to take a chance on it, as the sole remedy; and (3) Attack the nuclear facilities. That would work in combination with other options, and if rebuilt nuclear facilities were attacked, in turn.

What a naïve US diplomat! The route to nuclear weapons is to develop industrial nuclear facilities and learn the technology. Then, under cover of industrial nuclear works, sneak in development of nuclear weapons. The diplomat might have noticed that Iran's and N. Korea's rogue development, rogue behavior, and ability to develop nuclear power clandestinely in violation of pacts, sparked interest in Gulf development. The GCC doesn't need it to save oil!


Pro-Arab, advocacy historians are turning the evidence on its head to make Israel seem to have fought the Six Day War for nothing, and to blame it for not having peace and for seeking territory.

The revisionist "historians" (including Benny Morris) do not consult Arab sources contemporary to the time. Genuine historian Michael Oren did research Arab sources. He found their 1967 plans to attack Israel. He also notes that Israel did not let citizens settle in the Territories for years. Instead, it immediately offered the Territories back, for peace, but the Arabs said "No, no, no, no." An offer of the Territories indicates no craving for more land (IMRA, 6/5). The Arab aggression and their "No" does indicate a craving for more land.

Of course the Arabs planned war! Various Arab states put their armies under a unified command that frequently boasted of a blood-curdling purpose. Hostile armies mobilized on the edge of Israel, which is an act of war. Egypt closed an international strait Israel used as a shipping lane, another act of war. Israel asked Jordan to stay out of the war, even after Jordanian bombardment. When Jordanian ground forces started moving in, Israel retaliated.

I remember the gathering of enemy forces, more formidable than Israel's, and the mounting of dread in my circle.

How diseased is the human mind that so many people seek to blame the victims! We Jews experienced that often, but some of us are so desirous of outsider approval, that we help place that blame. Isn't that sick!


Syrian agents and terrorists under Syrian auspices staged an uprising in a Palestinian Arab town of Lebanon, just as the UNO seemed about to start a tribunal for assassins of Lebanese officials, probably at Syrian orders. Syrian agents told journalists that the uprising was at the behest of Lebanon or the US, rather than admit being behind it. Generally uninformed, the journalists swallowed the line.

The terrorists in question are part of a Syrian-sponsored organization. Its leader operates from Damascus, meaning under Syrian protection. Its commander long has been a Syrian agent. When Jordan demanded his extradition, Syria claimed to punish him, but imposed a three-year sentence, if he even served it, instead of shooting him "while attempting to escape," their usual punishment. Sentence over, Syria let him go to Lebanon (Barry Rubin, IMRA, 6/6) to foment strife.


Avi Shauli wrote an analysis of what it cost Israel to control the Territories. He wonders how much poverty Israel might have avoided, if it had not taken over the Territories and had not spent those billions of dollars. If it had not, Dr. Aaron Lerner suggests, the Territories long ago would have been like Lebanon, with Israel under terrible siege, immigrants not coming, investors not confident, the economy not expanding, and the country perhaps not surviving (IMRA, 6/9).

It if had crushed terrorism, reclaimed territory, and encouraged Arab emigration, it would have saved a lot of money.


The Lebanese Army finally stopped adhering to the agreement not to enter Palestinian Arab towns in Lebanon, which agreement Syrian-backed terrorists abused in order to gain sanctuary from which to build up forces and attack the Lebanese Army. The regular terrorists within may be ganging up on the Syrian agents, in order to put down the insurrection that otherwise is drawing the Lebanese Army in and could put them down, too.

The Lebanese Army caught Hizbullah men ferrying arms. As usual, the Army let the men go, but this time it confiscated the arms (Arutz-7, 6/7).

Lebanon can use the arms. Its duty is to stop their flow to Hizbullah, but it usually looked the other way.

The Palestinian Muslims make such trouble wherever they are given sanctuary. No wonder the Arab states want to foist them upon Israel!


"We naive Jews truly believe in peace, but actually, now that we have 'peace' with Egypt, we all know what it means to have peace with an Arab country. Egypt is right now mediating between Hamas and Fatah to have them point their guns at us, at Israel, instead of at each other. Egypt is also responsible for supervising the border with Gaza to ensure that no weapons or terrorists are smuggled in -- and look how 'efficient' they have been. They just freed from prison some terrorists who built the tunnels... Egypt wages war against us in the United Nations and everywhere else..."

A phony peace is not desirable. The goal for as long as Muslim Arab culture remains intolerant should be co-existence. Co-existence requires strength to deter, not concessions to signal weakness (Arutz-7, 6/11).

Concessions not only signify weakness, they also often make for weakness, because they give away strategic ground, etc..

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 richardshulman5verizon.net

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Posted by Boris Celser, June 27, 2007.

Please give your support to the Malki Foundation
PO Box 23637 Jerusalem 91236 Israel
Office Phone +972-2-567-0602 * Office Fax +972-3-542-3783
On the web at www.kerenmalki.org

Dear Friends of Keren Malki:

It's one of the most vexing issues of the day in this country: does it make sense to open the gates of Israeli jails and release convicted Palestinian Arab prisoners now. And if yes, what do people hope is going to be achieved by it?

This afternoon, Infolive.tv posted a streaming video of a debate, moderated by journalist Margot Dudkevitch, between two women with quite different viewpoints on this life-and-death question.

One is Naomi Hazan, a professor of political science and previously a member, on behalf of a very left-wing party, of Israel's parliament, the Knesset. The other is Frimet Roth, the mother of Malki who was murdered in the Hamas terror attack on Jerusalem's Sbarro restaurant in August 2001.

This being Israel, the debate is a lot closer to the bone than the abstract sort of airey-fairy discussion that sometimes goes on in other places. One of the names being touted for release in the current initiative happens to be that of a convicted murderer who was involved in the murder of the Roths' daughter. Prof. Hazan has very definite views about whether and why that convicted felon ought to go free now, right now. (And about whether he's actually a political prisoner.) Frimet Roth has a different position.

The streaming video of the debate is at

http://www.infolive.tv/en/infolive.tv-7119-israelnews-great-debate-should-israel- release-palestinian-prisoners

Good wishes, The Team at Keren Malki

Boris Celser lives in Canada. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Daily Alert, June 27, 2007.

This was written by Fouad Ajami and it appeared June 24, 2007 in U.S. News and World Report (the July 2, 2007 edition).

Five summers ago, on June 24, President George W. Bush, in a landmark speech, offered the Palestinians his and America's commitment to support "the creation of a Palestinian state." America was in the throes of a campaign against terrorism; the Iraq war, as we now know, was in the planning phase. It was important for the Bush administration, or so it seemed, to set the stage for these two campaigns by a generous and forthcoming policy toward the Palestinians. This was claimed to be nothing less than an American equivalent of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which had pledged Britain's support for the creation of a Jewish "national home." Bush's pledge drew the right moral and political parameters. America's support was contingent, the president said, on leaders "not compromised by terror." The vision was generous and held out to the Palestinians the promise of normalcy: "You deserve democracy and the rule of law. You deserve an open society and a thriving economy."

The Palestinians were to squander the chance given them by that diplomatic opening. Tahani Skaik, a woman of Gaza, in the most recent dispatches coming from that setting of grief and anarchy, understood what had become of the dream of statehood. "I feel now it's far away. As a Palestinian, I feel very empty." The Palestinians have lived, and for decades now, on a sense of historical entitlement. The world owed them a state come what may; it would be delivered to them even when their leaders faltered, even as they fell afoul of international norms and expectations. Now they know better. Another telling dispatch laid bare the Palestinian malady: It has come to pass that the Fatah leaders in the West Bank have served notice that they are done with the Qatar-based al Jazeera television. In bitter, scalding language, one of the influential leaders of Fatah -- Yasser Abed Rabbo -- accused al Jazeera of being a "partner in the crimes of Hamas," of covering up the mayhem of Hamas in Gaza while playing up "individual transgressions" in the Fatah-dominated West Bank. The Palestinians have come full circle. The "second intifada," which broke out in September 2000, had played out on al Jazeera's broadcasts. The insurrection and al Jazeera were twins.

The mayhem of Palestine. In the intervening years, the "Palestinian street" would be whipped into a frenzy, and the anarchy and the cruelty of the homicide bombers would become a diet for the Palestinians -- and for a wider Arab audience that lived, vicariously, on the mayhem of Palestine. This was not destined to last, but the Palestinians never grasped that. The American war on terrorism that would come in the aftermath of 9/11 had put before the Palestinians one of those great, defining moral and political questions: They could opt for the forces of order, tie their fate and their cause to sobriety and realism, or ride with the outlaws. Terrorism had lost its glamour, but the Palestinians had persisted with the belief that their bargaining power had increased because America was now on the ground in the Arab-Islamic world. Saddam Hussein was a marked man, but he was a hero to the Palestinian street. To the bitter end, the Palestinians insisted -- and have continued to do so -- that they were entitled to judge what was best for the Iraqis, that the Iraqis had been better off under the tyrant. The Shiites of Iraq had risen, they had come forth with their grim tales of what they had endured during the long night of Baathist despotism, but the Palestinians remained hostile to the claims of the Shiites. They seemed to begrudge those tormented people of Iraqtheir moment and the right to their own grief.

By the time the fury of the second intifada burned out, as it was bound to, the Palestinians were politically bankrupt and bereft. The Arab world had bigger battles to fight in Iraq and the Persian Gulf; the Israelis, keen to conciliate the Palestinians, had grown weary of them. There was a diplomatic dance, the quartet, which brought together the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations in a halfhearted effort to keep the Palestinian world afloat. But the Palestinians would do all in their power to snuff out those diplomatic efforts as well. Given a chance, by an election in early 2006, to signal their desire for normalcy, the Palestinians voted for mayhem. Two convicted terrorists, Marwan Barghouti and Abu Ali Yatta, headed the Fatah list; all in all, 14 members of the new parliament were serving prison sentences. National movements are often carried away by delirium, their politics can become deeds of self-immolation, and the Palestinians have come to embody the suicidal streak of mass-based nationalism.

This is not a failure of the Bush diplomacy, the disorder now on full display in Gaza and the West Bank. This is the harvest of Palestinian history. What we see is the inevitable fate of a national movement given over to the cult of the gun.

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

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Posted by Naomi Ragen, June 27, 2007.
Friends, The article below by Barry Rubin was forwarded to me by Jim Sinkinson, director of FLAME, with some wise remarks, including the following:

"Hamas" Coup in Gaza Makes Mid-East Peace a Remote Fantasy: It's Time for a Change in U.S. Policy I'm sure the irony of last week's flurry of Mid-East "peace initiatives" was not lost on you. Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert have been invited to a summit meeting in Egypt that will include Condoleezza Rice and representatives from Egypt and Jordan. And they will discuss what exactly? Only the most naïve Mid-East observer would claim that the conditions for peace between Israel and the Palestinians have improved over the last three months or six months or year. To the contrary: Overall, the Palestinians as a group have become less interested in and less capable of forging a peace deal than ever in the history of the conflict."

Peace-nowers and those who naively swallow their fantastical reasoning, people who have not stopped agitating for Israel to continue its suicidal policies of far-reaching iniatives that would lay her throat bare to the knife of Hamas terrorists or PLO murderers, have truly become a fifth column. All those who continue to support policies calling for peace talks, or any other word containing the word peace, when our enemies are committed body and soul to a war of annihilation against us, should please stop calling themseves Israel's "friends and supporters." Just admit you agree with Hamas and Abbas and want Israel wiped off the map. So much more honest. Mr. Bush, Ms. Rice, these words are meant for you as well. We all need to reexamine our outlook and our thinking in light of unfolding realities.

This was written by Barry Rubin, and it appeared in the Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2007. Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, has written and edited 50 books on the Middle East. His latest book, The Truth About Syria, has just been published by Palgrave-Macmillan.


The seizure of the Gaza Strip by Hamas opens a new period in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Middle East. A new Islamist state is being established and it doesn't bode well for the West or regional stability.

And yet we can hope that something will be learned from this experience. Israel's left-leaning Ha'aretz expresses the lesson with what some would call British understatement: "Anyone in Israel still contemplating the question of a Palestinian partner might also need to do some rethinking. In Gaza, at least, it seems there is nobody left for Israel to talk to."

In 2000, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat turned down President Bill Clinton's offer of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem and an opening offer of $23 billion in aid. Ever since then it has been clear that there is no diplomatic solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Arafat's renewal of terrorist violence only reinforced this point.

The problem was not just Arafat, but the overall strategy of the Fatah-dominated Palestinian movement. Since the peace process began in 1993 with the Oslo Accords, that leadership made hardly a single effort to move Palestinian society toward peace and moderation. Fatah did have an attractive alternative it could have offered: We will get a state, return the refugees to live in it, develop our economy and culture and enjoy large-scale international aid in exchange for ending the conflict.

Instead it continued to glorify violence, spread hatred of Israel and America, and raise a new generation with a belief in eventual "total" victory and the extinction of Israel. After Arafat died, Fatah remained incompetent and corrupt but lacked a strong leader. Unable to obtain a state, unwilling to make peace and uninterested in governing well, Fatah dug its own grave. Why should anyone be surprised that Hamas replaced it? At most, Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and American pressure to hold fair elections only accelerated this process.

There has been another important lesson in this recent history: Most of the Arab states and movements need the conflict to continue. After all, what would mismanaging dictatorial regimes do without having Israel as a scapegoat? If, for example, Syria made peace with Israel in exchange for getting back the Golan Heights, it would be the beginning of the end for that regime. Within weeks, its people would be demanding human rights and free-enterprise economic reforms. The regime could not use anti-Israel and anti-American demons as an excuse to continue the dictatorship, deprive its people of rights and material well-being, and mobilize support. The same applies to radical Islamist movements seeking to gain power.

So let's get this straight: There is no near-term solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. There is no Palestinian side with which a compromise agreement can be negotiated. Many Arab states seek to exploit the conflict. Others would like to make peace but are too scared, and it is to the West's discredit that such states don't believe that it can or will protect them.

There are several key policy conclusions to be drawn from the Hamas triumph. First, Western and especially U.S. policy must get beyond an obsession with solving this conflict. It is going to go on for decades. Peace plans will go nowhere. Hamas will not be persuaded to moderate -- why should it when it expects victory at home and appeasement from Europe? Hamas is the enemy, just as much as al Qaeda, because it is part of the radical Islamist effort to seize control of the region, overthrow anything even vaguely moderate, and expel any Western influence.

Second, since Palestinian politics have clearly returned to a pre-1993 status, so must Western and U.S. policy. This means no Western aid and no diplomatic support until their leaders change policies. The Palestinian movement can only earn financial help and political backing on the very distant day when it accepts Israel's right to exist, stops endorsing and using terrorism, and is serious about negotiating a real two-state solution.

Third, it is time to support Israel proudly and fully. Israel has done everything possible for peace, taking great risks to do so. But the idea that evenhanded, confidence-building behavior can broker peace is regrettably dead.

There are wider strategic implications for U.S. and Western interests in this dramatic yet predictable development. The radical forces have gained a major new asset that will encourage theq recruitment of new cadre. Iran, Syria and Hezbollah will grow more confident and aggressive.

We are now in the middle of the third great battle with totalitarianism in living memory. As with the struggles against fascism and communism, this conflict can only be won by a mobilization of Western resources and resolve. What has happened in the Gaza Strip is a lost battle in that process. There is not room for too many more of these defeats.

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

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Posted by American, June 27, 2007.

This comes from The Reality Show website -- http://lightonthings.blogspot.com

The very APARTHEID bastion of the world, otherwise known as the `Islamic world', or the totalitarian dictatorships inc. where no one is ever equal there, not women, not one class to the other, not one minority has any decent rights, but persecuted in the regular Arab racism's supremacy & Islamic apartheid, or Islamo fascism.

In order to divert attention from the real criminals of apartheid in this world [or to disperse their populations' resentment of the oppressive regimes, after all, what else can can so 'unify' that intolerant culture than common hatred?], and much much worse then that [to say the least], they, in their collective hatred & Apartheid motivation against the `non Arab' the `non Muslim' entity AKA Israel, to deny it's right to exist, have come up with a myth about "apartheid in Israel", what it actually means is that if democratic & free Israel dares to defend it's self from a Racist Arab terrorist it is doomed to be branded as an "apartheid" system.

The sad part is of course that some have been bought by Arab oil money like Jimmy Carter, but the world should not let the magic sand cover the Arabian monsters including those "freedom fighters" fascists in Gaza that oppress Christians or those "moderate" `Palestinians' that try to ethnic cleanse all Jews from the land, and so far there's not one Jewish family under "moderate" fascist `palestine'. Contact American at American1627@yahoo.com

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Posted by Ya'aqov Ben-Yehudah, June 27, 2007.

Kfar Tapuach is located in the Shomron 15 minutes from Sh'chem the burial place of Joseph, and 10 minutes away from Har Brachah, where we received the blessings when we first entered Eretz Yisroel. As you may very well know, this area is one of the more dangerous areas in Israel. The Tapuach First Response Team is comprised of 18 dedicated members eight of whom are paramedics.

We respond to everything from roadside shootings and hostage situations to car accidents. The members of the medical team have all been trained by Magen David Adom (Red Star of David), and attend regular refresher courses. The medical team responds to over 95% of the car accidents in our area and are often the first on the scene. We have gone through extensive extraction training using our rescue saw as well as the Jaws of life. Currently there are not any government nor local organizations that are willing to help us obtain equipment. All of our equipment that we have obtained so far, was obtained through private donations. Currently, we are looking to buy a battery-operated "Jaws Of Life." It can be brought through a company in Israel at the cost of $11,850, or in New York for $9,900. The same company in New York has one, second-hand unit for $6,630. It is two years old and they claim that it is in excellent working condition but will probably need new batteries.

We accept donations through Hatzalah Yehuda & Shomron. Please contact them before sending any donation and tell them that you wanted to donate specifically to "The Tapuach Medical Rescue Team." Please write that on the check in the memo area as well. Please also notify me about any donations, so I can keep track of them.

Thanking you in advance,
Shaul Levine

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me. I can also be contacted through
Yahoo, AOL, and MSN messengers, as well as Skype at shaultapuach

Contact Details for Hatzalah Yehuda & Shomron:
Email: info@hatzalah.org.il
Website: www.hatzalah.org.il

In the United States:
Hatzalah Yehuda & Shomron
130 Church Street #324
New York, NY 10007
Tel: (866) 428-0310

In Israel:
Hatzalah Yehuda & Shomron
Givon 108/2
Givaat Zev, 90917
Tel: 1-700-700-911

Hatzalah Yehuda & Shomron is a charitable 501(c)3 non-profit organization as determined by the US Internal Revenue Service, ID # 20-1239468, and in Israel as a registered Amutah under article 46 of the Israeli tax authorities. ID # 58-036-3885. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Contact Ya'aqov Ben-Yehudah at yaaqov.ben.yehudah@gmail.com

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Posted by Mrla, June 26, 2007.

This was written by Bret Stephens and it appeared as an opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal. Mr. Stephens is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board. His column appears in the Journal Tuesdays.

A failure with a thousand fathers

Bill Clinton did it. Yasser Arafat did it. So did George W. Bush, Yitzhak Rabin, Hosni Mubarak, Ariel Sharon, Al-Jazeera and the BBC. The list of culprits in the whodunit called "Who Killed Palestine?" is neither short nor mutually exclusive. But since future historians are bound to ask the question, let's get a head start by suggesting some answers.

And make no mistake: No matter how much diplomatic, military and financial oxygen is pumped into Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, it's oxygen flowing to a corpse. Palestine has always been a notional place, a field of dreams belonging only to those who know how to keep it. Israelis have held on to their state because they were able to develop the political, military and economic institutions that a state requires to survive, beginning with its monopoly on the use of legitimate force. In its nearly 14 years as an autonomous entity, the PA has succeeded in none of that, despite being on the receiving end of unprecedented international goodwill and largesse.

HAMAS'S SEIZURE of the Gaza Strip this month--and the consequent division of the PA into two hostile, geographically distinct camps--is only the latest in a chain of events set in motion when Israel agreed, in September 1993, to accept Arafat and the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. An early indicator of what lay ahead took place on July 1, 1994, when Arafat made his triumphal entry into Gaza while carrying, in the trunk of his Mercedes, four of the Palestinian cause's most violent partisans. Among them were the organizers of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and the 1974 Ma'alot school massacre. If ever there was an apt metaphor for what Arafat's rule would bring, this was it.

Arafat was determined to use Gaza and the West Bank as a staging ground for attacks against Israel, and he said so publicly and repeatedly: "O Haifa, O Jerusalem, you are returning, you are returning" (1995); "We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion" (1996); "With blood and spirit we will redeem you, Palestine" (1997). With equal determination, the Clinton administration and the Israeli governments of Rabin, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak treated Arafat's remarks as only so much rhetorical bluster. Mr. Clinton desperately wanted a Nobel Peace Prize; Israelis wanted out of the occupation business at almost any cost. These were respectable goals, but neither had as its primary aim the creation of a respectable Palestinian state.

Later, after the second intifada had erupted in all its suicidal frenzy, former U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross would admit the Clinton administration became too obsessed with process at the expense of substance. He should give himself more credit. The decision to legitimize Arafat was Israel's, not America's; once he was brought inside the proverbial tent he was bound to put a match to it. Still, the Clinton administration elevated Arafat like no other leader of the 1990s. If the rais came to flatter himself as a second Saladin, the flattery of White House banquets surely played a role.

The global media also did their bit in Arafat's elevation. Successive generations of Jerusalem bureau chiefs developed a conveniently even-handed narrative pitting moderates on both sides against extremists on both sides--a narrative in which Arafat was a "moderate" and Ariel Sharon was an "extremist." When Mr. Sharon took his famous walk on the Temple Mount in September 2000, it was easy to cast him as the villain and Palestinian rioters--and, later, suicide bombers--as the justifiably aggrieved. Cheering Palestinians on from the sidelines were the Arab media and the governments that own them, happy to channel domestic discontent toward a foreign drama.

As with individuals, nations generally benefit from self-criticism, and sometimes from the criticism of others. No people in modern history have been so immune from both as the Palestinians. In 1999, Abdel Sattar Kassem, a professor of political science in the Palestinian city of Nablus, put his name to the "petition of the 20," written to "stand against [Arafat's] tyranny and corruption." Arafat imprisoned him; the rest of the world barely took notice. Arafat's global popularity reached its apogee in the spring of 2002, exactly at the same time the civilian Israeli death toll from terrorism reached its height.

Yet what served Arafat's interests well served Palestinian interests poorly. Arafat learned from his experience with Mr. Clinton that one could bamboozle an American president and not pay a price. George W. Bush took a different view and effectively shut the Palestinians out of his agenda. Arafat learned from the "international community" that no one would look too closely at where its foreign aid was spent. But a reputation for theft has been the undoing of Fatah. Arafat thought he could harness the religious power of "martyrdom" to his political ends. But at the core of every suicide bombing is an act of self-destruction, and a nation that celebrates the former inevitably courts the latter.

Above all, Arafat equated territory with power. But what the experience of an unoccupied Gaza Strip has shown is the Palestinians' unfitness for political sovereignty. There are no Jewish settlers to blame for Gaza's plight anymore, no Israeli soldiers to be filmed demolishing Palestinian homes. The Israeli right, which came to detest Mr. Sharon for pulling out of the Strip, might reconsider its view of the man and the deed. Nothing has so completely soured the world on the idea of a Palestinian state as the experience of it.

WHAT DOES this mean for the future? At yesterday's summit in Egypt, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah threw rose petals at Mr. Abbas's feet. But the potentates of the Middle East will not midwife into existence a state the chief political movement of which has claims to both democratic and Islamist legitimacy. The U.S. and Israel will never bless Hamastan (even if the EU and the U.N. come around to it) and they can only do so much for the feckless Mr. Abbas. "Palestine," as we know it today, will revert to what it was--shadowland between Israel and its neighbors--and Palestinians, as we know them today, will revert to who they were: Arabs.

Whether there might have been a better outcome is anyone's guess. But the dream that was Palestine is finally dead.

Contact Mrla at mrla26@aol.com

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, June 26, 2007.

An article very few will know about or read... The (Hebrew) article is based on The Market Square Is Empty: The Rise and Fall of Arab Jerusalem, 1967-2007, written by Dr. Hillel Cohen. It should remove any doubt that "the Palestinian dream to see East Jerusalem become the capital of Palestine, which in the early 1990s appeared within reach, now appears further than ever from being attained."

Lacking the leadership to address the crisis, Israel can only hope that the Palestinian Arabs seal their own fate. For sixty years, like clockwork, the Palestinian Arabs have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

If the book, entitled The Market Square Is Empty: The Rise and Fall of Arab Jerusalem, 1967-2007, does not make an impression on readers, nothing will. It states, "The Palestinian dream to see East Jerusalem become the capital of Palestine, which in the early 1990s appeared within reach, now appears further than ever from being attained."

Israel, therefore, was recently able to celebrate the fortieth year of the unification of Jerusalem with greater ease. Scarcely any real hope remains for a Palestinian capital based in Jerusalem. For the past fifteen years, East Jerusalem has sunk into ruins. The area is chocked to death with heaps of filth. It is a ghost of Palestinian politics. East Jerusalem is a divided from the rest of the city. It is also isolated from Judea and Samaria, which are areas surrounded by many Jewish communities. In protecting against terror, the security wall, moreover, is ensuring the demise of East Jerusalem.

The second Intifada, also known as Intifada El Aksa, sounds like a pitiful joke if one examines the willingness of Jerusalem Arabs to be part of a Palestinian state and their affinity for the Palestinian Authority (PA). One has to differentiate between the affinity of Jerusalem Arabs for Palestinian or Arab nationalism or for Islam. Because of what they have gone through with Israel and because of the internal struggles and weakness of the PA, affinity for the PA is not strong. At present, the Palestinian Arabs residing in Jerusalem prefer to ignore the PA, but this does not mean they have lost their basic hope for nationalism.

To severe East Jerusalem from greater Jerusalem is to invite the chaos of the territories. The East Jerusalem Arabs are identified as a neither here nor there hybrid society somewhere between Israeli Arabs citizens and the Arab residents in the territories. Their legal position and rights also differ from their brothers, and being isolated by the wall makes their reality much different. The fact is that East Jerusalem Arabs feel more comfortable in a mall in Jerusalem than the Kasbah in Hebron.

After Oslo, the general Palestinian Arab populous perceived East Jerusalem Arabs to be somewhat privileged. Others think that they suffer much more from Israel's "occupation." Being governed by Israel has its advantages and disadvantages. The movement of East Jerusalem Palestinian institutions to Ramallah increased the crisis in that part of the city.

In reality, the balance of power is in Israel's favor, and this is most noticeable in East Jerusalem. There will be no problem to squelch any uprising or resistance. Therefore, truthfully speaking, those still trying to get organized and take action no longer speak about armed struggle.

It is not that pleasant to reside in East Jerusalem, and many who have the wherewithal are leaving. Ever since Palestinian Arabs living outside the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem were denied Israeli residence identity cards, many from all social classes have been flocking inside the city. Those who benefited from social security or who could work in Israel came back. People wanted back in at all cost, even if it meant taking residence in half-demolished, half-livable buildings, which led to overcrowding and further contributed to the city's economic and social decline.

The Palestinian Arabs' society, filled with sexual taboos, is in crisis largely due to its exposure to Israeli society. The Palestinian Arab youths working in West Jerusalem go out to have fun there are made confused by the breakdown in their conventionally accepted behavior. Poverty and congestion have made prostitution, rape, and incest clear characteristics of East Jerusalem culture.

What has really happened since 1967? What has happened to the Palestinian Arabs' traditional customs of hospitality from just thirty years ago? Everything has changed. Today, nothing from then is possible -- not from the Israelis or from the Palestinian Arabs. The level of suspicion and mistrust has intensified. People are leery of strangers. They worry about being identified of collaborating with Israeli authorities. In fact, the entire world around has changed. Most of the Palestinian Arab villages are now small westernized towns with increased consumption and satellite television service. Now, when a Jew enters such a village, the Arabs become suspicious, thinking that the Jew will not leave, will claim the land, and will settle it!

In 2002-2003, Jerusalem endured many terror attacks mostly at the hands of East Jerusalem residents. Today, this threat has been reduced, and sitting in a city café is a smaller risk. This has changed throughout Israel. The Israeli intelligence and military crackdown has worked. Israel crushed Fatah and Hamas in the West Bank but not in the Gaza Strip where the situation is different. The harsh IDF crackdown has made it clear that the armed struggle of the Palestinian Arabs is problematic, and many of them understand it today.

Some say the security wall is the deterrent of terror, but the wall does not necessarily prevent the terrorists from entering Israel. The wall proved that Israel can do whatever it wants, and acts of terror only gives Israel the right to seize more land that Palestinian Arabs sit on. The Palestinian Arabs do not gain anything from armed struggle. Okay, they kill many Jews, but what do they gain by it? Nothing!

Since 1996, many Israelis have known that Hamas would screw the Palestinian Arabs. Israel will use Hamas to stop any further disengagement and to capture more "Palestinian Arab land." And that is exactly what has happened. This was Faisal Husseini legacy as well (Faisal Abdel Qader Al-Husseini, July 17, 1940-May 31, 2001, born in Baghdad, was the PLO representative in Jerusalem and a Palestinian Authority (PA) minister. He was thought to be a possible future leader of the Palestinian people. In his last post as Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, he was based in East Jerusalem. Husseini was considered a pragmatist by journalists. He taught himself to speak Hebrew and regularly appeared on radio and television shows in Israel to explain the Palestinians' point of view. Following Husseini's death, Israeli police seized his headquarters, the Orient House.)

In Oslo, the PLO gave up on Jerusalem sovereignty. That was the first step. With that, they provided Israel legal ground to shut down the POL institutions in Jerusalem. The second step was the struggle to weaken Husseini's influence. Budget cuts and his competition for power with Arafat helped. All of this undermined East Jerusalem. It became apparent that all the struggles in Jerusalem failed. How long one can struggle without reward?

Oslo was a main reason for the second intifada of 2000. Since the Oslo Accords, 2,000 new Jewish communities have been built on what the Palestinian Arabs see as their future state. All the diplomatic meetings and protests did not help. The tragedy of the Palestinian Arab armed struggle is that it brought about the same, if not worse, results. They lost at every turn. Perhaps Israel taught them that only force works and that they lack the required force to resist.

Another tragedy is that the Palestinian Arabs found themselves living on land that legally, according to the League of Nations, belongs to the Jews. It is rightly the historical land of the Jews. Contrary to what the Palestinian Arabs think, the Jews have historic roots in Eretz Yisrael, and they established solid foundation there. This is where the tragedy really begins. If the Jews did not arrive, nothing would have developed the way it did. But the Jews did arrive, and they are much stronger on all levels.

Assessing this equation, what should the Palestinian Arabs do? The disaster in this equation is that if the Palestinian Arabs keep quiet and do not protest it does help. Protesting peacefully does not work. Turing to an arm struggle screws them over. No matter what they do, they are screwed.

What are the Palestinian Arabs to do? Theoretically, if they launched another massive peaceful protest, they would only achieve another Oslo like process. If an alien from Mars came to ask what nation would be worthwhile joining, the answer definitely would be, not the Palestinian Arab nation!

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at 4nuritg@ca.rr.com. Visit her blog:

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Posted by Honest Reporting, June 26, 2007.

In November 2005, Al Qaida spokesman Ayman al-Zawahiri said "We are in a battle and more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media." Like Al Qaida, Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the US State Department. Even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently described Hamas as "murderous terrorists".

American newspapers would not give Osama bin Laden op-ed space. So why would they give the oxygen of publicity to a Hamas terrorist whose organization is responsible for the murder of US citizens in Israel and whose charter calls for Israel's destruction and is filled with unadulterated anti-Semitism? This is the question being asked following the appearance of op-eds by Ahmed Yousef, advisor to former Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh, on the same day in both the New York Times and Washington Post.

Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center is a Jewish legal rights institute staffed by some of Israel's leading attorneys. It provides legal representation to assist the hundreds of Israeli victims of Palestinian terror to fight back, through Israeli, American and European courts, against Palestinian terrorist groups and their financial patrons. Asked for comment by HonestReporting, Shurat HaDin Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said:

It is bewildering and shameful that these newspapers would bestow any measure of legitimacy on an Islamic terrorist organization like Hamas by providing them a public forum. The liberal doctrine of freedom of expression should never be extended to organizations which are openly dedicated to carrying out acts of murder against Jewish civilians and who draw encouragement from their new found respectability. Legally speaking, it would seem that there is not much difference between outlaw regimes like Iran and Syria, which illegally provide material support and resources to terrorist organizations, and liberal media outlets which provide millions of dollars in free advertising and access to groups like Hamas when they publish their leaders' dangerous messages. The NY Times and Washington Post are every bit the supporters of the terrorist organizations that Tehran and Damascus are when they facilitate the publication of Hamas' messages.

Many people around the world were, quite rightly, appalled that Hamas, having brutally taken over Gaza, could score another coup, having its propaganda published in two of the most influential US broadsheets. However, according to Reuters, it seems that the only embarrassment felt by the newspapers was the admittal that neither would have carried the articles had they known of the other paper's publishing plans.

While the Washington Post's Ombudsman, Deborah Howell has yet to address this issue, NY Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt, in response to outraged readers, issued a rather weak response: "The point of the op-ed page is advocacy." And, Rosenthal [editorial page editor] said, "we do not feel the obligation to provide the kind of balance you find in news coverage, because it is opinion."

Op-ed pages should be open especially to controversial ideas, because that's the way a free society decides what's right and what's wrong for itself. Good ideas prosper in the sunshine of healthy debate, and the bad ones wither. Left hidden out of sight and unchallenged, the bad ones can grow like poisonous mushrooms.

We agree that left unchallenged, bad ideas can grow like poisonous mushrooms. But has the New York Times really ever challenged the negative portrayal of Israel that consistently appears in its own pages and those of much of the mainstream media?

Could the New York Times and Washington Post be guilty of providing material support for a terrorist organization? After all, many legitimate charities and political groups would pay tens of thousands of dollars for a prominent ad in these newspapers. Instead, Hamas has been given the equivalent publicity for no charge whatsoever. Not to mention other newspapers, including the International Herald Tribune, Sacramento Bee and Salt Lake Tribune, that republished these Hamas op-eds in their own pages.

We urge you to write to the New York Times and Washington Post, inviting them to contact Shurat HaDin, which has been at the forefront of providing legal representation to victims of Hamas terror. Demand that these terror victims are given equal op-ed space to tell their stories and to present their case that Hamas is a terrorist organization whose messages and goals are illegitimate.


The above is a prime example, along with the broadcasts of kidnap victims Alan Johnston and Gilad Shalit, of how, as a Jerusalem Post analysis explains, modern terrorists have adopted the mass media as their weapon of choice:

"The better the show is, the higher the ratings are. The higher the ratings, the more people receive the terrorists' message," said Eviathar Ben-Zedeff, a research fellow at the International Institute for Counter Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, on Monday.

"Terror is a political act of psychological warfare. The terrorists' purpose is to influence the viewers and to motivate them into political action. That is achieved by creating fear among the viewers who, as a result, are ready to put pressure on their politicians to change policy, for example, to give back occupied territories or to free many prisoners," Ben-Zedeff explained.

According to Ben-Zedeff, this is part of a propaganda mechanism aimed at leveraging the terror organization's ideas.

Read the full article here and remember to ask why the New York Times and Washington Post have allowed themselves to be party to exactly this sort of manipulation.


Many of you have expressed your disatisfaction with the impersonal nature of making complaints through the BBC's website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints. In our last communique, we gave you the e-mail address of Fraser Steel, the BBC's head of editoral complaints. Unfortunately, your complaints bounced straight back. While it was certainly a genuine working e-mail in the past, it appears that the BBC has discontinued Steel's address to avoid dealing with volumes of e-mail.

So it's back to the website for complaints to the BBC. But please do not be disheartened -- the BBC usually replies to your complaints (even if the responses are rarely satisfactory). Please continue to hold the BBC to account for its anti-Israel bias.

Honest Reporting monitors the media for inaccuracy and unfairness in how they report the news about Israel. Ther website address is http://www.honestreporting.com. You can help support their research online or by sending contributions to: HonestReporting, 400 South Lake Drive, Lakewood, NJ 08701-3167.

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 26, 2007.

If you, or anyone you know, still labors under the Islamo-fascist apologist falsehood that jihad is really first and foremost a psychological battle within your own psyche to make yourself a better person, or a spiritual struggle against one's evil impulses, be sure to read (or have your benighted acquantances read) the MEMRI article below which appeared in a recent Islamo-fascist Jihad media outlet.

Islamophile apologists claim that the West misunderstands the concept 'jihad'. There is, of course, the historical interpretation of jihad as conquest....but this is the 'lesser jihad'. Far more important in Muslim tradition, they say, is the 'Greater Jihad'...the spiritual jihad against one's evil inclinations (like smoking, eating too much, praying to little, etc.). Hence, they say, once the West understands better the 'true Islam', the Islam of peace and tolerance and brotherhood, then the West can better appreciate the 'radiant face of Islam' and then understand as well that the so-called Islamo-fascist threat is really no threat at all, but just an internal misunderstanding among Muslims as to the true nature of jihad.

In my opinion, such Islamophile apologists are doing far more than just misrepresenting jihad as a theolgocial concept. They are obfuscating the reality of Islam's nefarious history and whitewashing a truly great evil in order to allow that evil to advance more effectively. That is not merely misrepresentation. In time of war, that is treason.

I am not a theologian, and certainly no expert on Islam. Hence I have no way of knowing what the 'true Islam' really is. In fact, no one seems to know what the 'true Islam' really is, since there are at least 7 different interpretations of Islam (Shi'ite, Sunni, Alawi, Suffi, Hanaffi, Salafi, Wahhabi)and at least four different interpretations of Shari'a law. Each claims its interpretation as the unique truth of Islam.

Thus I cannot know whether Islam's interpreters among el-Qaeda, per the MEMRI article below, are correct in their representation of 'true Islam,' or whether the Sufi version of Islam is correct and Islam's 'believers' should denounce violence and war and seek universal acceptance of Islam via exemplary living and wonderously effective teaching.

But, now, as we are engaged in World War 4, that distinction does not matter: not for us, nor for the tens if not hundreds of thousands (and if you include Sudan, it is millions) of victims of Jihad.

As we can deduce from the material below, if some brave and brilliant Sufi got in front of Osama and proved to him categorically and irrefutably that Osama had mis-interpreted the Qur'an, and in fact Allah wanted Islam to prevail world-wide ONLY via exemplary living and wonderously effective teaching, and in fact Mohammed's Jihad, which was indeed slaughter and massacre and conquest and rapine and pillage and genocide.... was NOT at all what Allah REALLY wanted [i.e., what ALLAH really meant when his Angel Gabriel talked to Mohammed was the 'greater Jihad' of spiritual struggle]....

In light of all that Sufi wisdom, Osama is not likely to respond with: Oh My GOD!!! I've been wrong all these years. Stop the fighting, call back the Mujahideen, dismantle the WMDs...we've got some serious internal repentance-"greater jihad"-inner-struggle to do!!

If anyone out there does think that Osama might repent if he could be shown the 'radiant face of Islam', please email me with a rational account of why you think I am wrong. But consider first the reason why I presume to know Osama's response.

The 1375 years of war by Moslems (especially Arab Moslems) against all non-Moslem nations that bordered upon Arab/Moslem conquered lands [starts in Arabia, moves to middle east, then west across africa, then north into spain and france, then moves east into iraq, iran and then 500 years of fighting against india, then intermittent war and terrorism against other smaller states so that parts of Asia and what was once Soviet Central Asia become Moslem -- but, bottom line, endless war and terrorism] cannot rationally be understood as one gigantic and horrendously erroneous mis-interpretation of Islam?

Were all those Moslem warriors and historians who rejoiced in the conquests and slaughter....were they all deceived, or were they all in error as to the correct interpretation of 'jihad', were they all just unfortunate mis-understanders of Mohammed's message?

Osama's 'True Islam' and the 'True Islam' of the writer in the MEMRI article below are completely consistent with, and in fact modeled after, the 1,375 years of Islamo-fascist Jihad....an unending relentless assault on the non-Muslim world by Muslim forces, killing hundreds of millions and obliterating half-a-dozen civilizations....all in the name of 'true Islam'.

Whatever 'true Islam' may be, the dangers to Jews, to Israel, to Christians and to Hindus, and to the USA, and to all of Western civilization, are inherent in the interpretation of Islam that is exemplified in the article below. This interpretation, demanding ruthlessness in slaughter and endless war and violence and terrorism and decapitations until Islam reigns supreme in all the world ('Islam uber Alles'), is used by the Islamo-fascist Jihadist terrorists to justify their terrorism, their imperialism, their supremacism, their triumphalism, their anti-democracy tyranny, their totalitarian shari'a law, their theocratic caliphate, and the beastly and brutal acts of inhumanity which characterize their war against us.

And their colluding apologists try to lull us into inaction with speculation about 'true Islam' and its 'greater Jihad'.

This article comes MEMRI (http://memri.org); it is Special Report No. 1635 (http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP163507).

Senior Al-Qaeda Sheikh: 'May Allah Send Someone Who Will Kill Them Even More [Savagely]... Tear Their Hearts Out... Cut Their Heads Off, Tear Them Limb From Limb, and Shed Their Blood in Rivers'

The April-May 2007 issue of the jihadi e-magazine Sada Al-Jihad, published by the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), includes an article by Sheikh Hussein bin Mahmoud [1] titled "Let Them Find Ruthlessness in You," in which he criticizes the Muslims for being too lenient in their war against their enemies. Bin Mahmoud states that Allah commanded the Muslims to fight their enemies fiercely, without compassion or mercy, and uses Koranic verses to back up his assertions. He extols the example of Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, who cut off the infidels' heads and struck terror in their hearts.

The following are excerpts from the article:

"When... Al-Zarqawi Went Out and Slaughtered a Few Infidels, the [Advocates of] Tolerance and Friendship Had a Fit"

"The way of [waging] jihad changes according to the [available] means, innovations, ploys and practices. Over the history of Islamic conquests, jihad was [waged] according to these [changing] general principles... which we cannot enumerate here fully. We can, however, mention one aspect which our [Islamic] nation is now in dire need of, since many Muslims today have a distorted [understanding] of Islamic principles and tenets, due to [the influence of] the enemy, or due to [the influence] of some Muslims whose spirit has been defeated... and they have begun to distort the [true] meaning of Koranic verses on [the pretext of] rationalism, moderateness, a civilized [outlook], or similar notions. These notions have lost their [true] meaning and have become synonymous with defeat, withdrawal, impotence and falsification of the truths of Islamic shari'a.

"The aspect that Muslims must accept is that of ruthlessness and firmness in jihad. Many Muslims today are educated in a spirit that is far from the [true] spirit of the Koran... The Muslim nation is the strongest nation in history... since it has the mightiest prophet, the mightiest book [i.e., the Koran] and the mightiest religion on Earth, and it is the nation which strikes its enemies hardest, [since it fights them] according to Islamic shari'a. Owing to these qualities, [the Muslim nation] is the most awe-inspiring of nations, and nobody [dares to] covet [what belongs to it], as long as it adheres to its principles and to the sources of its strength, which are the Koran and the sunna.

"It is no exaggeration to say that many Muslims today have never heard of the Koranic verses [that speak of] jihad... and do not believe that the Koran includes verses that speak of force, firmness, terror and cruelty, since they have heard so much about peace, security, compassion, friendship, justice, grace, honesty and moderateness. These are all words of truth, but in times of war, they are used to express falsehoods.

"When the emir and commander Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi went out and slaughtered a few infidels, the [advocates of] tolerance and friendship had a fit. They jumped up, made threats and swore that this [act] runs counter to the spirit of [Islam]. How much suffering have these people and their supporters caused us! When we told them that Allah commanded to cut off the heads [of the enemies], they would say, 'be mindful of Allah, and do not make things up,' and we had to bring the Koran and show them these verses so that they would believe [us]. Some of them even turned the book over [and looked] at the cover to make sure that it really was the Koran. These [people] had read the Koran many times, but they had not read it [carefully]..."

"The Perfect Muslim is Gentle with His Fellow Believer and Harsh Towards His Enemy, the Infidel"

"A quick review of some Koranic verses [will help us] characterize [the concept of] cruelty in battle, so that the Muslims understand the truth about this matter and [realize] what is missing from their [school] curricula, sermons and religion courses. The [Muslim] nation must urgently familiarize itself with these military aspects of the Koran, so that it can deal with its enemies and fight [them]... in the way prescribed by Allah in order to grant [the nation] victory. After the great battle of Badr, Allah told the Prophet [Muhammad]...: 'It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. You desire the frail goods of this world, while Allah desires [for you] the hereafter; and Allah is Mighty and Wise [Koran 8:67]'... The word 'prophet' in this verse appears in the indefinite form, which means that [all] the prophets used to kill many of their enemies by the sword rather than take them captive... Allah says this explicitly [in the following verse]: 'So when you meet the infidels in battle, then cut off their heads, and after you have killed many of them by the sword, place [them] in shackles, and afterwards either set them free if you choose or let them ransom [themselves] until the war ends [Koran 47:4]'...

"The first real battle fought by the Muslims was the battle of Badr, in which they captured many polytheists in order to hold them for ransom, according to the custom of the [pre-Islamic] Arabs. Allah rebuked them and explained to them that this was not the way of the prophets, for [the prophets] killed many of the infidel leaders and soldiers in order to purge the land of them... and [in order to] prepare the world for da'wa for the sake of Allah. During the battle of Badr, something momentous happened: Allah ordered the angels to fight alongside the Muslims and to strengthen their spirits, and He told [the angels] that he would strike terror into the hearts of the infidels. [The Koran says]: 'Remember thy Lord inspired the angels [with the message]: I am with you. Give firmness to the Believers, [and] I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers. You cut off their heads and smite all their fingers off them [Koran 8:12]'... "This was the beginning of the war against the infidels, and the initial shock, [meant to] fill the hearts [of the infidels] with fear and terror of the Muslims, so that they would stop resisting and accept the treaty, and later either convert to Islam if they want to, or continue to live under the treaty and come to no harm... "[The question is]: This violence, ruthlessness and firmness -- Is it [meant to be] a permanent law and feature of war, or does it apply only to the early [years of Islam]? The answer [is given in] Koran 9:123, where Allah says: 'O ye who believe! Fight the infidels who are near to you, and let them find ruthlessness in you, and know that Allah is with the faithful.' This was one of the last suras to descend, its verses were among the last to descend, and the laws [they set out] are timeless... The perfect Muslim is gentle with his fellow believer and harsh towards his enemy, the infidel..."

"Allah Commanded the Believers... to Show [Their Enemies] No Mercy or Compassion"

"Today, the content of all these verses is perhaps encapsulated in a single verse, which is: 'If ye punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith ye were afflicted [Koran 16:126].' [In this verse], Allah commands [us] to fight the enemy the same way he fights us, to kill him in the same way he kills us, and to deliberately kill those who set out to kill us. Today, our enemies hit us with nuclear bombs, cluster [bombs] and chemical [bombs] which have killed many of our men, women and children, destroyed homes and crops, spread disease and burned [people's] bodies. We [therefore] have the right to fight back by the same means, by the command of Allah who [instructs us] to be ruthless and fierce [with the enemy] and to smite him, in order to teach others a lesson...

"These verses teach us that Allah commanded the believers to be firm, forceful, ruthless and radical in killing the enemies who fight against [Islam], and to show them no mercy or compassion... This applies to offensive jihad. What about [the case in which] the infidels attack the Muslim states, shed [Muslim] blood, violate women's honor and offend [Islam]? In that case, there is no doubt that they must be struck and killed with even greater ruthlessness, as a lesson to others and in order to fill them with awe for the [Muslim] nation, so that no-one will wish to attack [the Muslims] anywhere, ever again. For Allah has said in the Koran: 'If ye gain the mastery over them in war, disperse them and those who follow them, that they may remember [Koran 8:57]'...

"Wars are fought on the basis of theories of warfare, and not [on the basis of] a hodgepodge of peace[full terms] and philosophies that are all talk. [War] is bloodshed and killing, and not [a matter for] religious arguments, theories, debates and... programs on the satellite channels. Our righteous forefathers implemented the principles of the Koran, and the results were amazing: [they gained] victory after victory and Allah's triumph was realized, because they defended his faith and obeyed his command to kill, disperse and smite the enemies of the faith...

"Looking at the Islamic [world] today, we find that these divine edicts are hardly ever implemented. We once had two men whom we beseeched Allah to give a long life so they would revive the tradition of Khaled [Bin Al-Walid]. [2] [These two men were] the commander Sayf Al-Islam Khattab [who led the jihad in Chechnya] and the slaughtering Emir Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi... Despite their short lives, they left an enduring legacy that will be remembered for generations to come... They were among those who stood most firmly against the infidels, and reminded the Muslims of some of the [Koranic] verses [that they had forgotten]. They killed and cut off heads, and the mere mention of their names on any front was enough to scare the enemies and disperse those who followed them...

"May Allah send the [Muslim] nation someone who will kill them even more [savagely], strike terror in their [souls], tear their hearts out... cut their heads off, tear them limb from limb and shed their blood in rivers...

"Hussein Bin Mahmoud

"The 29th day of Rabi' Al-Awwal, 1428 (April 17, 2007)."


[1] Sheikh Hussein Bin Mahmoud is the pseudonym of an Al-Qaeda leader who frequently writes on Islamist forums (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, November 30, 2006).

[2] Khaled Bin Al-Walid, also called Sayf Allah (the Sword of Allah), was a commander during the Muslim conquests.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, June 26, 2007.

Unless and until Hamas and kindred spirit terror organizations are forced to cease launching deadly Qassam missiles into Israel, wrecking havoc in Israeli neighborhoods, destroying the lives of aggrieved Israeli citizens, nothing current prime minister Olmert and his Kadima party do in a presumed effort to secure peace for the beleaguered state they steward has any consequence. Period! Making nice nice with Holocaust trivializer Mahmoud Abbas is a farce. Negotiating with Arab movers and shakers is a farce. If Olmert and his crew cannot even secure the safety of Israeli citizens, routinely bombarded by missiles, ever projecting an image of weakness to the world, ever allowing his nation to be disgraced by taunting Arabs, these elected leaders have no credibility whatsoever!

No other nation would or should tolerate the 'in your face' day in and day out militant behavior Israel absorbs. Any other nation would deploy its military, crushing an enemy that will not be subdued by reason. But Olmert, in consultation with the Bush Administration, dances to the beat of a different drummer. He and his Kadima cronies make life a bit uncomfortable for Hamas on occasion, sounding the clarion call for an intrepid IDF to put to sleep or jail a murderous jihadist or two, but such waltzing about or doing a two-step in lieu of a war dance on steroids brandishing potent weapons does not cut it. Harsh verbiage, as well as sanctions, for the most part, Olmert and Bush's primary weapons of choice, bizarrely challenged by former U.S. president and Nobel peace prize recipient Jimmy Carter, directed at militant atavist cadres like Hamas, as if those that shroud their own vulnerable adults and even children in suicide gear effectively deserve merely verbal castigation and trade embargos, will not stop the intolerable Qassam missile launchers, obsessed with jihad and the annihilation of Israel at any cost to an Arab populace they care little about. And what does it matter if Israel finesses its strategy? As Jackson Diehl points out in his opinion piece 'A human rights watchdog barks only at one nation', published in the 06/26/2007 edition of the Newark Star Ledger, Israel is virtually the only nation excoriated again and again by the United Nations Human Rights Council, composed of a cadre of presumably civilized 'humane' countries. Bizarrely, member in good standing Sudan, Islamic General Omar al-Bashir's oil-rich racist genocidal regime, distinguished by tendencies to torture, rape, and murder Muslim Black African's with virtual impunity, co-sponsored on behalf of the Arab League the latest condemnation of the Jewish State. Never forget, even a despicable nation that happens to be drenched in oil will always trump Israel in the hearts and minds of mostly all industrial nations, many of which happen to squat on the aforementioned 'morally principled' council, including India, South Africa, China, Mexico, eight nations of the European Union, and many others apparently immune to shame.

Enough! If current Israeli leaders refuse to deploy enough troops, supported by state of the art air power, into Gaza and wipe out an enemy that grows stronger each day, let them resign forthwith, making room for others that truly have Israel's best interests at heart.

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant, working for the Social Security Administration. 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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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 26, 2007.

This Washington Post article is for anyone you may know who still thinks that the UN condemnations of Israel have any moral or legal valence.

This article is another piece of evidence strongly substantiating my assertion that the UN is run by the Arab league, and is nothing more than a platform from which to demonize Israel and the USA.

That the Arab states have done this is no surprize. Part of their long term strategy to destroy Israel is the PR war, of which the UN condemnations are an imporant part.

But...why do western NGOs and Human Rights groups, and western nations, go along with this macabre charade?

The article was written by Jackson Diehl and is called "A Shadow on the Human Rights Movement". It appeared yesterday in the Washington Post and is archived at
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/24/ AR2007062401373.html?

Where does the global human rights movement stand in the seventh year of the 21st century? If the first year of the United Nations Human Rights Council is any indication, it's grown sick and cynical -- partly because of the fecklessness and flexible morality of some of the very governments and groups that claim to be most committed to democratic values.

At a session in Geneva last week, the council -- established a year ago in an attempt to reform the U.N. Human Rights Commission -- listened to reports by special envoys appointed by its predecessor condemning the governments of Cuba and Belarus. It then abolished the jobs of both 'rapporteurs' in a post-midnight maneuver orchestrated by its chairman, who announced a 'consensus' in spite of loud objections by the ambassador from Canada that there was no such accord.

While ending the scrutiny of those dictatorships, the council chose to establish one permanent and special agenda item: the 'human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.' In other words, Israel (or 'Palestine,' in the council's terminology), alone among the nations of the world, will be subjected to continual and open-ended examination. That's in keeping with the record of the council's first year: Eleven resolutions were directed at the Jewish state. None criticized any other government.

Genocide in Sudan, child slavery and religious persecution in China, mass repression in Zimbabwe and Burma, state-sponsored murder in Syria and Russia -- and, for that matter, suicide bombings by Arab terrorist movements -- will not receive systematic attention from the world body charged with monitoring human rights. That is reserved only for Israel, a democratic country that has been guilty of human rights violations but also has been under sustained assault from terrorists and governments openly committed to its extinction.

The old human rights commission, which was disparaged by former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan for casting 'a shadow on the United Nations system as a whole,' frequently issued unbalanced condemnations of Israel but also typically adopted half a dozen resolutions a year aimed at the worst human rights abusers. For the new council, Israel is the only target. Eighteen of the 19 states dubbed 'the worst of the worst' by the monitoring group Freedom House (Israel is not on the list) were ignored by the council in its first year. One mission was dispatched to examine the situation in Darfur. When it returned with a report criticizing the Sudanese government, the council refused to endorse it or accept its recommendations.

The regime of Gen. Omar al-Bashir, which is responsible for at least 200,000 deaths in Darfur, didn't just escape any censure. Sudan was a co-sponsor on behalf of the Arab League of the latest condemnations of Israel, adopted last week.

This record is far darker than Kofi Annan's 'shadow.' You'd think it would be intolerable to the democratic states that sit on the council. Sadly, it's not. Several of them -- India, South Africa, Indonesia -- have regularly supported the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement in their assaults on Israel and defense of Cuba, Belarus and Sudan. The council's chairman, who rammed through last week's decisions without a vote, is a diplomat from Mexico.

The European Union includes countries holding eight of the council's 47 seats. It has made no serious effort to focus the council's attention on the world's worst human rights violators. According to a report by the independent group UN Watch, the European Union 'has for the most part abandoned initiating any country-specific resolutions.' At one point before last week's meeting, the European Union threatened to quit the council, effectively killing it. Yet when the meeting ended, Europe's representative, Ambassador Michael Steiner of Germany, said that while the package of procedural decisions singling out Israel 'is certainly not ideal ... we have a basis we can work with.'

What about Western human rights groups -- surely they cannot accept such a travesty of human rights advocacy? In fact, they can. While critical of the council, New York-based Human Rights Watch said its procedural decisions 'lay a foundation for its future work.' Global advocacy director Peggy Hicks told me that the council's focus on Israel was in part appropriate, because of last year's war in Lebanon, and was in part caused by Israel itself, because of its refusal to cooperate with missions the council dispatched. (Sudan also refused to cooperate but was not rebuked.) Hicks said she counted only nine condemnations, not 11.

Never mind how you count them: Is there a point at which a vicious and unfounded campaign to delegitimize one country -- which happens to be populated mostly by Jews -- makes it unconscionable to collaborate with the body that conducts it? 'That could happen, but I don't think we're anywhere near there,' Hicks said.

That's the human rights movement, seven years into a century that's off to a bad start.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by UCI, June 26, 2007.

Terrorist organizations like Fatah should not be financially supported, especially by Israel and the United States. We urge you to send this letter to President Bush and oppose the support of Fatah. A sample letter and President Bush's contact information are shown below. Please feel free to change the wording to express your own thoughts.


Dear Mr. President

With Hamas in control in Gaza--and now in possession of huge quantities of American military equipment--Washington is pressing for the Jews to allow Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") to be turned into another Gaza.

Forcing Israel back to its 1949, 9-mile wide armistice line (not border) existence will simply bring most of its population and industry within easy range of Fatah's American weapons (whether Hamas winds up with them or not). Most people travel farther than that just to go shopping or to work.

And what does Israel get for this "partnership?" A hudna...ceasefire. As Abbas' folks point out, the same thing their prophet, Muhammad, granted to his enemies until he was strong enough to conquer them.

Where is the evidence for Fatah's "moderation?"

Are Fatah's web sites, schools, mosques, television stations, press, etc. spreading this alleged "acceptance" to their own people--whom poll after poll show that, if Israel withdrew from all disputed lands, would mostly seek Israel's destruction anyway?

With Fatah's chestnuts temporarily being pulled out of the fire, one might think that Abbas would be seeking a real partnership with Israel himself.

"No! He can't do that," some will say, "it will make him a traitor!"


Israel would be suicidal granting vital concessions to folks who still can't reconcile with the right of Jews to have in one, tiny, reborn state what Arabs insist upon having almost two dozen of in over six million square miles of territory mostly conquered from non-Arab peoples.

America must press Abbas and Fatah to show their true intentions before anything else is expected of Israel.

A peace treaty--not a ceasefire--along with meaningful territorial compromise in the disputed territories is a must. And Abbas must realize that the days of his excuses are over. After yet another grace period to get finally his and Fatah's act together, Israel will deal with attacks launched from territories they control the same way America would react to attacks upon its own territory and people.

Mr. President, this should be the message you convey right now...not, "it's time for Israel to give away the store for empty Arab promises" yet again.


(your name and email address)

President George W. Bush
Email: president@whitehouse.gov
Fax: (202) 456-2461
Please send a copy of your letter to voices@israelunitycoalition.org or fax to (913) 648-7997.

UCI -- The Unity Coalition for Israel (http://www.israelunitycoalition.org) -- is "the largest worldwide coalition of Jewish and Christian organizations, with more than 200 groups representing millions of people dedicated to Israel. Though we have many different backgrounds, we have one common goal: A Safe and Secure Israel."

"Israel is not just a Jewish issue. Millions of Christians resolutely endorse the principle of peace with security for the state of Israel. Because we work closely together and speak with a united voice, our message is being heard!"

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Posted by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, June 26, 2007.

A Palestinian journalist has expressed despair about the society of death worship in Gaza. In so doing, he has corroborated PMW findings documenting the death culture promoted in Palestinian Authority education.

The journalist wrote:

"We knew that they would do it, especially in Gaza, where a mother brushes her young son's hair at 7:00, so that he will be killed at 7:30, and where the children learn that death is preferable to life! We knew that they would do this, it was clear to us: with language overflowing with the rhetoric of death and the norms of killing, in the religious rulings [Fatwas] and in Friday and holiday sermons."-- [Ghassan Zaqtan, Al-Ayyam, June18, 2007]

The journalist's critical mistake is that he seems to attribute the death culture only to Hamas, whereas it has been the Fatah leadership and education that initiated and still actively teach that death is preferable to life.

For example, a Palestinian Authority schoolbook written by Fatah educators teaches 13- and 14-year-olds literally to prefer death over life, while it is the "enemies" who cherish life:

"O heroes, Allah has promised you victory ... Do not talk yourselves into flight...Your enemies seek life while you seek death. They seek spoils to fill their empty stomachs while you seek a Garden [Paradise] as wide as are the heavens and the earth. Do not be anxious to meet them [enemies], for death is not bitter in the mouth of the believers. These drops of blood that gush from your bodies will be transformed tomorrow into blazing red meteors that will fall down upon the heads of your enemies." -- [Reading and Texts Part II, Grade 8 (2002), p. 16]

The words introducing this poem are: "Read and enjoy."

PMW has been alerting the world in numerous reports since November 2000 that the PA has been indoctrinating children to see death as preferable to life. Senator Hillary Clinton severely criticized this PA education when she introduced PMW's latest report on PA schoolbooks earlier this year:

"When we viewed this report [on PA textbooks] in combination with other media that these children are exposed to, it basically, profoundly poisons the minds of these children." -- [Press conference introducing PMW report, US Senate, February 8, 2007]

The Director of the Palestinian Children's Aid Association, Firial Hillis, explained that it was an integral part of the official educational policy to educate young children to aspire to Shahada -- Martyr's death. These are her words:

"The concept of Shahada for him [the child] means belonging to the homeland, from a religious point of view. Sacrifice for his homeland. Achieving Shahada in order to reach Paradise and to meet his God. This is the best. We also teach our children to protect the homeland, belonging and to reach Shahada". [PATV, May 4, 2003]

View video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFnbNy6MMDA)
or PMW website (http://pmw.org.il/asx/PMW_Frial_7.asx)

Music videos that have run thousands of times on PA TV have reinforced this message to children to aspire to Shahada.

The following are some examples:

1. In a video broadcast on Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority TV hundreds of times from 2001 to 2004, a young boy leaves a farewell letter to his parents and goes off to seek Shahada, describing the death he achieves as "sweet." This PA clip is designed to offset a child's natural fear of death by depicting Shahada as heroic and tranquil.

Click to view video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0_ExnR6yxs)
or PMW website (http://pmw.org.il/asx/Farewell_letter_7.asx).

2. From 2000 to 2003, PA TV broadcast a music video depicting the delightful Shahid paradise of Muhammad Al-Dura, who died in a crossfire. The child actor is shown flying a kite, frolicking on the beach and even at an amusement park. The clip opens with an invitation to other children from Al-Dura to aspire to death: "I am waving to you not in parting, but to say 'follow me'." This video directing children to follow Al-Dura to paradise as Martyrs was suddenly broadcast again in June 2006, after Israeli troops had gathered at the border of the Gaza Strip after the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Click to view video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=canTCmXEMk8)
or PMW website (http://www.pmw.org.il/asx/pmw_duraclip2006.asx).

The result of such virulent PA indoctrination is apparent, when listening to the interview on PA TV with two 11-year-old Palestinian girls talking about Shahada and describing it as a primary ideal and personal goal. They explain that "all Palestinian children" view Shahada as more worthwhile than living, because of its promised grand Afterlife. Click to view video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dPb1bF-s4M)
or PMW website (http://pmw.org.il/asx/PMW_Walla_7.asx).

Itamar Marcus is director of PMW -- Palestinian Media Watch -- (http://www.pmw.org.il). PMW is based in Jerusalem. Barbara Crook, a writer and university lecturer based in Ottawa, Canada, is PMW's

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Posted by Manhigut Yehudit, June 26, 2007.

A new mishigas (nonsense) has entered the Jewish world. It is becoming more popular by the day. It's called traveling to Europe to see the great alter haym (old home). The goal of these trips is to relive the wonderful life the Jews had back in those good old days. Very often, prominent Rabbis lead these trips, whose frequency and popularity are growing rapidly. Virtually every week, a major Rebbe goes to Hungary, Ukraine or Poland. Thousands flock with him to walk the sacred European ground where his grandfather once stood. Ahhhh, what holiness! What a privilege to travel to these places where Jewish life once flourished.

In reality, however, the opposite is true. Those places in Europe were never great. The alter haym was replete with poverty, depression and sickness -- not to mention pogroms, blood libels, book burnings and forced conversions. Europe is dripping with Jewish blood that has not stopped bubbling. The smell of the crematoria is still in the air; it is the scent of Jewish weakness and defeat.

When I think of Jewish life in Europe I do not see greatness. I see tragedy, sadness, persecution, desecration, defamation and humiliation. In short, I see an exile that has been turned into an illusion of paradise. Yes, there were great people in those countries who overcame unbelievable obstacles to become Torah giants. Yes, they built Yeshivas, wrote works of Torah scholarship and started Chassidic dynasties. I am not saying to forget them. Heaven forbid! These great Jews are our pillars of strength and their words are holy and pure. But here is my point: Their words are holy;their villages in Hungary are not!

Think about the message we are sending our youth when we glorify these foreign, anti-Semitic cities. If Radin is holy because the Chofetz Chaim lived there, then the Lower East Side is holy because of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. If Lublin and Volozhin are special because of the yeshivas they once had, then Lakewood and Baltimore are too! And if Munkatch and Bobov are special because of the Chassidus that grew there, then imagine how wonderful Boro Park, Williamsburgh, Monsey and Monroe are. Virtually- the Holy of Holies!!!

Let us be clear. These towns served a purpose and in many of them Torah grew. It is vital we hold on to that Torah -- never letting it go -- but at the same time, it is equally vital we stop glorifying the dirt and rubble these places became. Europe is not holy -- period! There is only one place that a Jew calls holy and it's not anywhere in the exile. Similarly, there is only one language that a Jew calls his own and it's not Yiddish. Sorry to disappoint you, but holding on to that language is yet another example of clinging to -- and exalting -- the world of the exiled, battered and punished Jew. Yiddish served a purpose, as did Ladino for our Spanish brothers and sisters. But those days are over. Our language is Hebrew and it is our obligation to study it and speak it to our children.

During holiday prayers we say: "Because of our sins we were exiled from our land." This means that the exile is a punishment. We must never forget that. No matter how you look at it, it is still jail. Jewish life was meant to be in Israel and only due to our sins did we end up in places like Poland, Germany and New York. Stop glorifying those places and focus all of your energy on the one and only place for Jewish life -- the Land of Israel. May we merit to meet there soon!

Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) is a group of people inside the Likud party who want to see Israel adopt a more Jewish character. Shmuel Sackett, together with Moshe Feiglin, is its cofounder. The Manhigut Yehudit website address is http://www.manhigut.org.

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Posted by Daniel Mandel, June 26, 2007.

"Was Churchill A Friend Of The Jews And Zionism?" was posted by Daniel Mandel, May 21, 2007. To read it, click here. This is a followup to that essay and was published on History News Network (HNN) and is archived at

I thank those who have discussed my piece on HNN, " Was Churchill a friend of the Jews and Zionism?" published on 21 May. Putting aside all exchanges extraneous to the precise subject, three major challenges have emerged from readers:

  • Churchill wrote in 1920 an article in which he blamed atheistic Jews for Bolshevism, demonstrating that he was anti-Semitic

  • Whatever Churchill thought about helping the European Jews during the Second World War by bombing the railway lines and/or death camps, the bureaucracies of the US and UK were not interested in helping the Jews and Churchill effectively permitted the bureaucracies to have their way.

  • Was not the British Foreign Office, presided over by Anthony Eden, guilty of the decisions in Iraq that permitted the farhud against the Baghdadi Jews to take place in June 1941, and if so, how can one say that Churchill was not in ultimate authority and therefore not implicated?

1. This Churchill article attacks "Jewish domination" of Bolshevism, of which Churchill had rightly written the previous year that it "means in every country a civil war of the most merciless kind between the discontented, criminal, and mutinous classes on one hand and the law abiding on the other." At the same time, Churchill contrasted the Jewish role in Bolshevism to the "simpler, truer, and far more attainable goal" of Zionism, hoping to direct Jewish energies in that direction. Such a hope was hardly anti-Semitic, but the belief in Jewish domination of, as opposed to participation in, Bolshevism conveys, in the words of Churchill's biographer, William Manchester, "a sour tang of anti-Semitism."

Why Churchill briefly took this line (for he never recurred to it) is a matter for speculation. It has been suggested that this was the baleful influence of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which had exploded onto the international scene and was everywhere in the air at the time. My own view is that this was an uncharacteristic lapse. My evidence is that Churchill, who at this time was backing mightily the anti-Bolshevik military campaign of the White Russians under Anton Denikin, was not blind to the persecution of Jews under the ancién regime that had contributed to the Jewish gravitation to Bolshevism. Accordingly, he was far from being an uncritical supporter of Denikin. Churchill urged upon Denikin several liberal commitments, including demanding a written promise to suppress anti-Semitism in Russia. Which anti-Semite, furnished with an opportunity to harm Jews, would have done that?

2. I cannot see how the notion that Churchill permitted the bureaucracies to abandon the Jews to their fate at the hands of the Nazis can be inferred from what I wrote. I referred to the failure of the RAF to bomb Auschwitz stemming from the overriding of Churchill's directives on sometimes spurious logistical grounds. In other words, Churchill supported the idea, but the relevant bureaucracies did not. To understand this better, here is Gilbert's explanation of Churchill's reaction on 7 July 1944 to the news received that day from the Jewish Agency for Palestine that Jews were being gassed at Auschwitz:

The ... request of the Jewish Agency was, "that the railway line leading from Budapest to Birkenau, and the death camp at Birkenau and other places, should be bombed."

When Churchill was shown this request by Eden, he did something I've not seen on any other document submitted to Churchill for his approval: He wrote on it what he wanted done.

Normally, he would have said, "Bring this up to War Cabinet on Wednesday," or, "Let us discuss this with the Air Ministry." Instead, he wrote to Eden on the morning of 7 July: "Is there any reason to raise this matter with the Cabinet? Get anything out of the Air Force you can, and invoke me if necessary." I have never seen a minute of Churchill's giving that sort of immediate authority to carry out a request.

As Gilbert relates in Road to Victory (Volume 7 of his Churchill biography), Eden duly passed on Churchill's request for bombing the railway lines to the Air Ministry. Sir Archibald Sinclair, the Secretary of State for Air, replied that it "was out of our power" and that bombing the gas chambers could only be done by day, thus necessitating action by the US 8th Air Force, which conducted the daylight raids on the Third Reich. Churchill was not shown Sinclair's reply and the US War Department turned down the request.

In short, those who say that Churchill permitted the bureaucracies to have their way are mistaken. Much more to the point is that the bureaucracies were peopled with hostile and anti-Semitic officials. That this was so can be demonstrated also by other indices, of which the following is telling: one British Foreign Office official, Armine Dew, felt moved to minute on 1 September 1944, "In my opinion a disproportionate amount of time of this office is wasted on dealing with these wailing Jews." As Conor Cruise O'Brien comments on this passage in his The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism, "Officials don't write that sort of thing on files, if they feel that other officials are likely to think the comment in poor taste. The comment was in fact neither reproved nor exceptional; it represented the dominant official view."

3. Readers who argue that Churchill could and should have initiated timely British action to stop the farhud against the Baghdadi Jews have simply ignored the fact that, like other war leaders, Churchill was compelled to delegate many important decisions to diplomats and commanders in the field, of which the Iraqi situation in 1941 was a classic instance.

I said in my earlier piece that the defective judgment of the British ambassador in Baghdad, Sir Kinahan Cornwallis, and the military commander, General Archibald Wavell, were to blame, but some readers maintain that the Foreign Office ran affairs in Iraq and Churchill could and should have initiated timely British action to stop the farhud. This is inaccurate. Large discretion was invested in Cornwallis and Wavell and not even the Foreign Office took the fateful decisions that permitted it to occur.

The Foreign Office and Wavell believed in propitiating the pro-Nazi Rashid Ali al Kaylani and coming to terms with him rather than putting an end to his take-over of Iraq. If the decision had been left to either, that is probably what would have occurred. However, the efforts of the Secretary of State for India, Leo Amery, the government of India (with its justified strategic anxieties about securing supply lines to India) and ultimately Churchill himself prevailed to override their objections and put into effect the operation to quash Rashid Ali's coup and establish control in Iraq which is recounted with panache by Somerset de Chair, a British intelligence officer who participated in it, in his book The Golden Carpet. This move and the decisions that flowed from it in London forced Rashid Ali's hand by compelling him to militarily oppose the British before German forces in the Mediterranean theatre could come to his aid. In this connection, Kedourie writes in Arabic Political Memoirs that "Churchill's hand is clear in this swift and decisive response."

However, even after Rashid Ali's coup had been suppressed, Wavell remained devoted to the idea that Britain should leave, to use contemporary parlance, a "light footprint" in restoring the pro-British administration. He also gave orders that, once communications had been reestablished with Cornwallis in Baghdad, that the latter would issue all directives on the ground. Cornwallis, like Wavell, had believed that Rashid Ali was a man who could be dealt with, that he represented Iraqis in some meaningful sense and that consequently firm British action would be resented by Iraqis and so tended to the improvisatory, weak policy favoured by Wavell. It was Cornwallis who, on behalf of Britain, approved the terms of the armistice with the internal security committee appointed by Rashid Ali, which included permitting the Iraqi military to retain its arms.

This clause, and others like it, was motivated by the flawed assumption that British interests could not be secured unless the fiction was established that Britain had not clashed with the Iraqi army but was there solely to reinstate the legitimate Iraqi government. This in turn led Cornwallis to insist that British troops not enter Baghdad or its environs. (The failure to station troop in Baghdad was even remarked upon in the Foreign Office as contrary to expectations and mistaken). Responsibility for the maintenance of law and order thereby devolved on Iraqi police and troops, but since they were "debauched by Nazi propaganda, and bereft of leadership, they ran amuck and themselves began the attacks on the Jews" (Kedourie). Until the Iraqi regent signed orders on 2 June to suppress the rioters, no one moved to end the killing, which claimed the lives of 180 Jews. De Chair with justice commented bitterly, "All who cared to defend their own belongings were killed, while eight miles to the west waited the eager British force which could have prevented all this. Ah, yes, but the prestige of our Regent would have suffered."

To reiterate, the vital sequence of British decisions that permitted the farhud to occur were made by Wavell and Cornwallis, not by Churchill -- and one could add, not even by Eden and the Foreign Office. This reflects the inescapable fact that fateful decisions on the ground in war-time are often made by local commanders and officials, not prime ministers and cabinets.

Dr. Daniel Mandel is a Fellow in History at Melbourne University and author of H.V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist (Routledge, 2004). His blog can be found at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, June 26, 2007.
In theory, informed adults select consumer products and elect officials to govern as the people would wish. Observing an in-flight movie without being distracted by its sound track, I was struck by how much adults are manipulated rather than informed.

You know that direct advertisers generate unnecessary desires. The movie was a comedy about ordinary people. Their dwelling was not ordinary. Room after room! All were equipped with similar and therefore largely useless furniture, all lamps aglow continuously. TV producers save time for the plot by not having the actors turn lights off and on, but I think that viewers get the habit and desire to over-consume power and housing. This is a form of indirect advertising for waste.

During the vacation, we walked past immense, single-family houses that recently displaced attractive but moderate ones. Show-offs! Many affluent homeowners set up second and third houses. The additional houses receive the same federal tax deduction on local real estate taxes and mortgage interest intended to encourage people to own their own home instead of renting. This causes some of the urban sprawl and the resulting car pollution and municipal expense for roads and extended sewage lines. Americans denounce the pollution that their way of life increases but mostly ignore the sprawl.

When the people demand an end to such abuses, lobbyists for the status quo overwhelm their representatives. American business is losing its competitiveness and is being drained by excessive lawsuits and excessive fines, but the Trial Lawyers Association lobbies mightily against reform.

In other respects, American government often reflects what business wants, in conflict with what the people want. You probably know that the Bush administration had the polluters' lobbyists write its environmental legislation. The latest Bush attack on the environment is to reinstitute last year's attempt to sell off millions of acres of wilderness. A great outcry last year thwarted the proposal. The wilderness had been accumulated as a national treasure reflecting the wonder and beauty of our continent-wide country. The rationale by a profligate Administration (not that Congress is less profligate) was that sell-offs would help balance the budget. Another trick is to legislatively or administratively redefine a food ingredient, but keep the label the same, so as to deceive the people. Thus the proposal to allow pasteurized almonds to be sold as "raw" on the label.

It takes a lot of abuse to rouse the people, and sometimes they are roused for the wrong cause (against national defense). What do the people know? Working longer hours, many people return home too tired for what TV broadcasters still call "the news." It is just enough news to misunderstand. Others read newspapers that slant into more detail. NY Times readers have a great depth of misunderstanding, more depth of it than the skimpy broadcasts that strive primarily to entertain. Every week, the readers absorb another lesson in why they should oppose Pres. Bush. It may not be the right reason, but it is their reason. They get steered in the direction of changes that exacerbate the problem. Wouldn't be dire, if it weren't a matter of survival against jihad.

We are supposed to pick among candidates, but the candidates are anything but candid. After winning, they still try to evade tough issues. Tough issues are ones whose solution requires voters to pay a price. The longer the evasion, the higher the price, until only a crisis sees a reform through.

Congress and more so the New York State legislature pass a flood of bills, each hundreds of pages long, on little notice. Few solons can claim to have read and studied them and none to have debated them. But they pass the hasty concoctions. Then come the inevitable complaints. Oh, exclaim the solons, as if not responsible for the new problems, we must do something about it.

One could go on in this vein. Point is, the system has several serious weaknesses that produce problems instead of solving them. The people are manipulated by lobbies and advertisers. Our democracy in some ways is more theoretical than actual.


Arab propaganda, in collusion with the radical-led "human rights" organizations and the media, has succeeded in keeping people from awareness of the Arab-Israel conflict's origin. They don't know of the decades of Arab terrorism and aggression that led to the 1967 war. All they know is that in 1967, Israel took over the Territories. All they hear after that is the false claim that this led to the present conflict, so therefore Israeli withdrawal from the Territories would end the conflict. They don't understand the Arab imperialism and Islamic jihad that initiated the conflict and still impels it.

The so-called human rights organizations ignore Arab terrorism against Israel, and mis-characterize the Arabs as victims of Israel.

Foreign groups and governments finance radical Israeli organizations that promote the concept that if Israel treated the Palestinian Arabs better, they would make peace. (I have seen cited no evidence for the concept but much against it.) It is the Arabs who treat Israel badly, not the reverse.

Most Israelis have come to see the bankruptcy of Oslo-like concessions to the Arabs (Gerald Steinberg in IMRA, 6/5). Israel is no occupier.

Most Jews have no idea of the collusion among the Arabs, "human rights" organizations, the media, and European governments against Zionism.


They work (Ernest Sternberg, NY Sun, 6/7, Op.-Ed.).


Hamas has just declared a willingness to accept a state in the Territories. It would not deem that a solution but a step to capturing Israel, too (IMRA, 6/5).

Hamas now is more dangerous, because it can accept more concessions.

I bet that if it did take over Israel, it would bring up the fact now conveniently ignored by those who ask Jews to "compromise" territory," that Palestine includes Jordan (whose detachment form the Mandate was Zionist compromise enough), and demand that it merge with Jordan. Islamists work, in stages. They don't upset people by presenting their total demands at the outset, though Hamas demanded more, publicly, than did Arafat. That was what was dangerous about Arafat. He was more able to deceive the West. Of course, the West and Israeli leaders, being anti-Zionist, want to be deceived by the Muslims.


Several Israeli radio broadcasters admitted that they and news editors often slanted the news to promote the prior withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon. They wanted to get their sons out of combat. They were not apologetic for their breach of journalistic ethics and deceit of their audiences, and even though they admitted that the prior withdrawal led to the recent war and casualties.

Another journalist admitted that, just as the Right has claimed, the media protected PM Sharon from criticism earned by firing Cabinet Members who opposed his withdrawal of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. The media deliberately helped his policy because they favor it. There were no calls to punish the miscreants and reform the institution (Arutz-7, 6/5).


The June 5 edition has an Op-Ed piece by "new historian" (i.e., falsifier of history in behalf of appeasement) Tom Segev. Mr. Segev claims, "I belong to a generation of Israelis who slowly but surely came to believe in peace." He insinuates that that the prior generation did not want peace. That is libel. Of course they wanted peace! They didn't start wars nor commit terrorism. The Arabs did; Israel was forced to defend itself. Mr. Segev aids his country's critics who ignore Arab imperialism and defame Israel as bellicose.

Segev also questions the wisdom of having taken over the Territories and the Old City. The Old City has the Jewish people's holiest site, and the Territories contain the historical core of the Jewish homeland, a major attraction for a Zionist return to the Jewish homeland. He questions this, because he is a "post-Zionist" and evinces little devotion to the Jewish religion. He doesn't understand the religious role in anchoring Jewish claims to the country and to its purpose in redeeming the country, though Jewish secularists do not object to Muslim religious claims to the country.

In questioning the wisdom of take-over, he confuses a worthy goal with weak policies that fell short of goal. After having weakened those policies, Segev and other secular leftists illogically cite policy failure as indicating poor goals.

In the June 9 edition, Steven Erlanger quotes leftists who call the "occupation" corrupting and who suggest "Israel must reach out to the majority of Palestinians who want a two-state solution." Leftists don't show why it is an occupation, what is corrupting about it, and where is the majority that want a solution. Polls show the Arabs want dominance. The Left's leaders are corrupt, as police investigations show.


The euphemistic label, "right of return," is false. It isn't a right for people who tried to seize the country and commit genocide. It isn't a return for most of those who would flood in, because they never lived in Israel. Their parents and grandparents did, for the most part.

Dr. Aaron Lerner has his own term for the philosophy behind the alleged right: "What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine." (IMRA, 6/6.)


Israel's Gen. Yadlin said, "Hamas is demanding open passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip because it is interested in exporting the knowledge it has gained in Gaza to the West Bank." Then it would be able to fight Israel from there, too (IMRA, 6/6).

The US has demanded open passage between Gaza and Judea-Samaria, too.


UNIFIL's mandate is due to expire soon. Should it be continued? Israel: (1) Complains that UNIFIL does not patrol where Hizbullah tells it not to; but (2) Asks that UNIFIL be extended to the Syria-Lebanon border to stop arms smuggling and northern Lebanon. What a contradiction, asking that a group that failed in its current task be given two more like tasks! (Dr. Aaron Lerner, IMRA, 6/6).

Israel should recommend ending UNIFIL, so that nobody could pretend Hizbullah is being checked and so that UNO troops would not be in the way when Israel must fight Hizbullah, again. Israel should proclaim UNIFIL a failure, to open people's eyes to how counter-productive the UNO is. Alas, Israel goes along with pretenses: that the UNO tries to preserve peace, that the US is pro-Israel and trustworthy, and that the Arabs would make peace if only the right formula of concessions to them were found.


A psychology professor at Tel Aviv U. who fashions himself an expert on terrorism suggests that Israel apologize to the harm it caused the Palestinian Arabs and accept millions of them. It would not undermine Israel's legitimacy, he (falsely) says. Instead he thinks if Israel stopped its "racism," the Arabs would make peace. Prof. Steven Plaut thinks it absurd to apologize to those who launched a genocidal attack, and instead the Arabs should apologize. The Arabs don't have legitimate grievances and terrorism is not caused by grievances (6/6).

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 richardshulman5verizon.net

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Posted by Justice for Jonathan Pollard, June 26, 2007.

This article was written by Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman and was published in Legal Times 6/25/07 under the title "Give Pollard a Chance."

Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman are litigation partners in the New York office of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. They specialize in white-collar criminal defense, securities litigation, and complex commercial litigation. Dora Straus, an associate of the firm, assisted with this article.

Richard Jones, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, issued a public apology on May 22 for stating that Jonathan Pollard, our pro bono client, had committed "treason," and that "[t]he fact that he wasn't executed is the mercy that [he] will receive" from the U.S. government.

The ambassador's statements had caused an uproar. Pollard delivered classified information to Israel, an ally of the United States. He was never charged with treason, which entails aiding an enemy of the United States. And Pollard's crime, espionage, was not a capital offense.

This incident raises the question of why he remains in prison after nearly 22 years. What harm did he actually cause the United States, and does it warrant continued incarceration?

To this day, about 40 pages of the court docket upon which Pollard was sentenced remain under seal, at the direction of the U.S. government. The sealed portions contain the government's projections, circa 1987, of possible harm from Pollard's conduct that might arise after sentencing. More than 20 years later, the government refuses to allow us, Pollard's security-cleared attorneys, access to these portions of the docket.

The likely explanation for this stonewalling is that the government's projections did not materialize. Importantly, this renders invalid the premise underlying Pollard's life sentence and the justification for keeping this man in custody.

On Nov. 21, 1985, Pollard was arrested on a charge of delivering classified information to Israel. He has been incarcerated since that day.

In 1986, pursuant to a written plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage. Although he was never charged with intending to harm the United States, in 1987 he was sentenced to the maximum sentence, life in prison.

Before sentencing, then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger submitted a declaration to the court, specifying the claimed harm caused by Pollard. Portions were designated classified and placed under seal. Before sentencing, they were shown to Pollard and to his attorney. We, however, have never seen the classified portions of the Weinberger declaration.

The publicly available Victim Impact Statement filed by the government before sentencing describes the actual damage to the United States: "Mr. Pollard's unauthorized disclosures have threatened the U.S. [sic] relations with numerous Middle East Arab allies, many of whom question the extent to which Mr. Pollard's disclosures of classified information have skewed the balance of power in the Middle East. Moreover, because Mr. Pollard provided the Israelis virtually any classified document requested by Mr. Pollard's coconspirators, the U.S. has been deprived of the quid pro quo routinely received during authorized and official intelligence exchanges with Israel, and Israel has received information classified at a level far in excess of that ever contemplated by the National Security Council."

Although this was the actual harm caused by Pollard, we know from the public record that the sealed portions of the Weinberger declaration contain projections of possible future harm that might occur from Pollard's conduct. Pollard's lawyer noted to the court that the Weinberger declaration did not allege that the United States "has lost the lives or utility of any agents, that it has been obligated to replace or relocate intelligence equipment, that it had to alter communication signals, or that it has lost other sources of information, or that our technology has been compromised. Indeed, the memorandum only discusses the possibility that sources may be compromised in the future" (emphasis in original). The government responded by urging the court to consider "the reasoned concerns of a U.S. Cabinet member as to the real potential for further injury resulting from defendant's crimes" (emphasis added).

In sum, the thrust of the Weinberger declaration was to project what might happen, and to urge the court to sentence Pollard as if those projections had already happened. The court was evidently persuaded, as it sentenced Pollard to life in prison.


There is real reason to believe that Weinberger's projections were overly aggressive. In a second declaration, Weinberger inappropriately described Pollard's crime as "treason." Four years later, the Justice Department admitted that it was "regrettable" that Weinberger had used the term "treason."

In 1992, addressing Pollard's habeas corpus petition, Judge Stephen Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit went much further. He called the government's misuse of the word "treason," in conjunction with other government misconduct at sentencing, a "fundamental miscarriage of justice requiring relief" from the life sentence. Williams was outvoted, 2-1, largely on the basis of procedural impediments to relief, such as the heavy burden of proof on habeas review.

Pollard's only remaining avenue of relief is executive clemency. If Weinberger's projections have failed to materialize, we can present a compelling argument for clemency because the premise underlying Pollard's life sentence will have been invalidated.

In 2000, we took Pollard's case pro bono. We applied for, and were granted by the Justice Department, the requisite security clearances needed to see the sealed portions of the Weinberger declaration. But despite our security clearances, the Justice Department refused to consent to our viewing the sealed portions, even under strict conditions of confidentiality. The department claimed we had no "need to know."

We filed a motion, asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to allow us access. We explained that we were applying for executive clemency from then-President Bill Clinton and that we needed to be able to address authoritatively what harm Pollard had actually caused. The government argued that we had no need to know the contents of the court docket. It stated that the sealed docket materials were irrelevant, intimating that they had lain dormant and unread by anyone since the sentencing. The district court refused to grant us access.

In the face of the government's insinuation that the materials had not been accessed since the 1987 sentencing, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) demanded that the Justice Department inform him whether any persons had been permitted access to the department's copies of the sealed materials since the 1987 sentencing, and if so, provide the details of the access. The Justice Department admitted that between 1993 and 2001, it had unilaterally allowed access to its copies of the sealed materials on at least 24 separate occasions. None of those instances of access were by anyone representing Pollard. It was apparent from the dates that access had been allowed precisely at times when initiatives were under way to obtain executive clemency for Pollard -- clemency that the Justice Department has consistently opposed.

Since, by law, no one could see the materials without a "need to know," the Justice Department conveniently determined on at least 24 occasions that someone had such a need to know because the purpose was to oppose clemency for Pollard.

In 2001, we moved for reconsideration based upon this newly discovered information. Surely, if opposing clemency provided government personnel with a need to know the contents of the documents, seeking clemency should provide security-cleared defense counsel with a corresponding need. Basic fairness mandated such a result.

In 2003, our motion for reconsideration was denied. We then appealed to the D.C. Circuit.


At oral argument on our appeal in 2005, Judge David Sentelle sua sponte expressed the unprecedented view that the D.C. Circuit lacked jurisdiction to allow us access to the sealed docket materials because our motivation for access was in conjunction with a contemplated clemency application and the separation of powers would somehow be violated were the court to allow us to see materials in its docket.

The documents in question were created as part of a judicial process, are governed by a court-issued protective order, and were filed with the court under seal pursuant to that protective order. The protective order expressly contemplates that, in the future, additional persons may obtain access to the sealed materials. And, while jurisdiction is not conferred by stipulation, it is noteworthy that neither the district court below, nor the government, our adversary, had ever expressed the slightest concern about jurisdiction. To the contrary, the government had expressly conceded that there was jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, in a 2-1 decision, Judges Sentelle and Karen LeCraft Henderson of the D.C. Circuit ruled in 2005 that it had no jurisdiction to consider our motion for access to the sealed docket, because the doctrine of separation of powers provides the executive branch with sole jurisdiction to decide who may have access to court docket materials if the access is to make a clemency application.

A dissenting opinion by Judge Judith Rogers vigorously rejected the reasoning of the majority, stating "Neither Pollard's counsel's request to the district court nor the court's potential granting of it ... poses interference with the President's clemency power" and therefore implicates no separation-of-powers concerns. In the absence of any such concerns, the majority's ruling placed the district court "in the untenable position of lacking jurisdiction over motions that relate to documents that were filed with it and over which it has continuing control." The dissent further noted that because this case does not involve the typical request for access to classified documents within the executive branch's possession, there was no concern that the court's exercising jurisdiction could open the floodgates to similar motions.

The Supreme Court denied certiorari.


The courts have thus left the decision whether to allow us access to the materials squarely with the executive branch.

To make a serious and effective application for clemency based on fact and not on surmise, we should be permitted to see the sealed docket materials. This is not a discovery request. We are asking to see only documents previously shown to Pollard and his counsel. We have the appropriate security clearances, and we have the "need to know." The Justice Department has never questioned our integrity.

If, as we anticipate, Weinberger's projections did not materialize, the appropriateness of clemency after 22 years in prison will be manifest.

Basic fairness mandates that we be provided access to these materials so that we can make a fact-based presentation in support of clemency for a man sentenced to life in prison on the basis of projections of harm that, most likely, have never come to pass and never will.

Our system of justice is predicated on the constitutional protection of checks and balances, so that those in political control are prevented from wielding the authority of government to deny justice to those who are disliked or unpopular. It is the role of the judiciary to protect the individual against prosecutorial overreaching. Unfortunately, the judiciary did not fulfill that role in this case, and the executive branch remains unchecked.

Where a life sentence is, in all likelihood, unfairly premised on projections that, two decades later, have not materialized, justice requires access to the sentencing docket materials by security-cleared counsel. We need to be able to make a viable clemency application to right the wrong of Pollard's continued imprisonment.

Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman are litigation partners in the New York office of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. They specialize in white-collar criminal defense, securities litigation, and complex commercial litigation. Dora Straus, an associate of the firm, assisted with this article.


*Give Pollard a Chance -- Legal Times -- [PDF of the original publication of the above article]

The Executive Summary of the Pollard Case -- by Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman

Don't be Fooled by Ron Olive -- By Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman

The Court Case Page (legal filings, documents, articles)

Contact Justice for Jonathan Pollard by email at Justice4jp@gmail.com

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Posted by Naomi Ragen, June 25, 2007.

Journalist Tom Gross points out in an article in the National Review Online that Hamas scored a publicity coup, getting its propaganda into both the NY Times and the Washington Post on the same day as an editorial! Wow, what do we need Al Jazeera for? Tom also points out what the Times and Post forgot to mention about Hamas. Sort of like letting Goebbels have his say, without mentioning the activities of the Nazi Party, wouldn't you say? And these are the "newspapers of record" of the free world? Boy, are we ever in trouble.

Tom Gross' article appeared June 24, 2007.


Congratulations Hamas: Getting an opinion piece into the NY Times and Washington Post on the same day is unprecedented

While Hamas was still executing people in Gaza last week, including civilians, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the NY Times-owned International Herald Tribune all rushed to promote the propaganda of one of the world's most murderous terrorist groups.

Getting an opinion piece into the Times and the Post on the same day is unprecedented. Congratulations Hamas!

Even Reuters acknowledges the achievement: Hamas scores publicity coup in U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Shunned by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization, the Islamist group Hamas scored a publicity coup this week by defending its policies in Gaza with opinion pieces in two of the country's most influential newspapers on the same day.

The New York Times and The Washington Post gave space to Ahmed Yousef, a senior Hamas figure, on Wednesday to argue that the United States should not interfere in Gaza, where Hamas took control after six days of bloody fighting against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah fighters.

Yousef is senior political adviser to Ismail Haniyeh, who became Palestinian prime minister after elections last year. He is now contesting his dismissal by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who formed a new government in the West Bank after Hamas took over Gaza.

Hamas leaders rarely have access to major U.S. media to express their views unfiltered, and getting an opinion piece into the Times and the Post on the same day appeared unprecedented.

Here is what the New York Times and the Washington Post didn't put on their editorial page. This is what Ha'aretz reports
(http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/873758.html) this weekend:

Hamas was not using a random hit list. Every Hamas patrol carried with it a laptop containing a list of Fatah operatives in Gaza, and an identity number and a star appeared next to each name. A red star meant the operative was to be executed and a blue one meant he was to be shot in the legs -- a special, cruel tactic developed by Hamas, in which the shot is fired from the back of the knee so that the kneecap is shattered when the bullet exits the other side. A black star signaled arrest, and no star meant that the Fatah member was to be beaten and released. Hamas patrols took the list with them to hospitals, where they searched for wounded Fatah officials, some of whom they beat up and some of whom they abducted.

Aside from assassinating Fatah officials, Hamas also killed innocent Palestinians, with the intention of deterring the large clans from confronting the organization. Thus it was that 10 days ago, after an hours-long gun battle that ended with Hamas overpowering the Bakr clan from the Shati refugee camp -- known as a large, well-armed and dangerous family that supports Fatah -- the Hamas military wing removed all the family members from their compound and lined them up against a wall. Militants selected a 14-year-old girl, two women aged 19 and 75, and two elderly men, and shot them to death in cold blood to send a message to all the armed clans of Gaza.

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

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Posted by Boris Celser, June 25, 2007.

The article below is such a grotesque and stupid analysis that it hardly deserves comment. It is just disengagement propaganda disguised as policymaking.

Why not a 4-state solution?

Two Palestinian states, one in Gaza and the other in the West Bank.

Two Jewish states, one anti-settler, one for the settlers. The settlers, smaller in number, would be the equivalent of the Gazans, since the Israeli media and most politicians consider them pariahs, and they have little in common with mainstream Israelis, just like those in Gaza and the West Bank.

The settlers can then demand the whole Judea and Samaria (as they should), and launch Kassam attacks against the moderate Palestinian state in the West Bank. Of course, in this case the world would not deny the West Bankers the right to defend themselves against the savage settlers, who will also want Hebron to be divided, so they can set up their capital there.

The bloody Americans would of course support a Abbas-Olmert alliance to crush the enemy, considering them the Jewish version of the Taliban. Olmert would then visit MJ Rosenberg and the Israel Policy Forum, and declare that as far as the illegal settler state is concerned, he is not "tired of fighting, tired of wining, tired of defeating his enemies", because destroying these enemies, unlike the other ones, will bring him glory and power.

The settler state would have to rely on the kidnapping of Jews from the main Zionist state, in order to obtain the release of its prisoners and tax revenues. Of course, in this case the main Zionist state would cut off electricity and water to the settler state, because it is not a partner for peace.

The Olmert government, to avoid being accused of killing its own people, would arm, train, and pay terrorists from the bad mean Gaza Palestinian state to attack the Jewish settler state. It would transport them there, ensuring contiguity from Gaza to the West Bank, after all.

Eventually the settler state would succumb to the joint Arab-Israeli effort to wipe it out, leaving a 3-state solution in place. But not for long, because the Gazans would be considered heroes by the Palestinian West Bankers for their role in the fighting against the settlers. They would join forces and proclaim a common Palestinian state on temporary borders, which would result in a two-state solution. This new stronger Palestinian state, immediately recognized by the world, would launch attacks on the remaining Jewish state, embued with all the confidence of having destroyed with one of the two Jewish states. The purpose is to create a one-state solution" Arab Palestine. The remaining Jewish state, now settlerless, would collapse out of total demoralization.

My question is: Why is the Jerusalem Post sending this exclusive to registered users only? Are the non-registered users smarter? Apparently so.

This essay is called "The three-state solution?" and was written by Jacob Savage, a graduate fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. It appeared in today's Jerusalem Post.

Separating Gaza from the West Bank makes more historical sense than forming a unified Palestinian nation. (AP)

The Hamas takeover of Gaza this month revealed deep fissures within the Palestinian cause. The Americans, the Israelis and the Palestinians all might like to think these divisions are temporary, but the reality is not so simple. To a large extent, residents of Gaza and the West Bank are two different peoples, and the idea of a three-state solution -- Israel, plus a Hamas-run Gaza and a Fatah-governed West Bank -- makes historical sense.

Gaza was, starting in the early 1800s, culturally dominated by neighboring Egypt. Though Gaza was part of the Ottoman Empire, a large number of its residents were Egyptians (and their descendants) who had fled political turmoil. The West Bank, on the other hand, became culturally and economically linked with Jordan after the kingdom's founding in 1921. Unlike Gaza, the West Bank always has had a prosperous Christian minority, which served as an important moderating influence.

The two regions' experiences after the establishment of Israel in 1948 also were quite different. In 1950, Jordan annexed the West Bank, granted its residents citizenship and created a bureaucratic and legal infrastructure that helped connect the West Bank with the rest of the Arab world.

The simultaneous Egyptian occupation of Gaza, however, was both careless and brutal. Gazans remained stateless and were forbidden to leave the strip. Egypt never created a Gazan civil service, placing Egyptians in charge of all civil and military posts.

Even today, the two economies are almost entirely disconnected. Gaza wallows in a poverty that has led to political and religious radicalization. In 2006, Gaza's unemployment rate was more than 35 percent, compared to 18% in the West Bank. With the exception of the joint distribution of foreign aid and political patronage, the two regions have very little to tie them together.

However, the most important difference is the way that refugees who fled or were expelled from Israel in 1948 have assimilated. More than a million refugees and their descendants live in the Gaza Strip, making up more than 84% of the total population -- and nearly 50% still live in camps.

The much larger West Bank integrated its refugees far more successfully. Only 26% of refugees are in camps there -- representing less than 10% of the total population. Because they have created familial and economic ties to the West Bank, they are more rooted and amenable to political compromise.

It is conceivable, for instance, that West Bank Palestinians would give up the refugees' right of return in exchange for Israeli territorial concessions. Yet many Gazans, who have lived in refugee camps their whole lives, are tragically, if understandably, unwilling to accept such a compromise.

The idea that national identities remain static is a late 20th century fiction. Palestinian identity has been in flux since the Ottoman period, and there is no reason to think that it is now frozen in place. Indeed, after receiving Jordanian citizenship in 1950, many residents of the West Bank came to see themselves as Jordanian. Yet following the Israeli conquest in the 1967 Six Day War, they quickly adopted a panPalestinian identity.

All that was needed for this identity to shift was a single generation severed from Jordanian power, influence and institutions. (Acknowledging that his ostensible subjects would never again view themselves as Jordanians, King Hussein renounced all claims to the West Bank in 1988.) A similar division has existed for some time between Gaza and the West Bank. As a result of Israeli travel restrictions, an entire generation of Gazans has never set foot in the West Bank, and vice versa.

In light of the current political schism between the West Bank and Gaza, Yasser Arafat's vision of a united Palestine seems more remote than ever. It is finally time to seriously consider a threestate solution.

Israel would be able to treat Gaza as a pariah state and respond to Hamas's rocket attacks accordingly. Israel could then await Gaza's further descent into a quarantined chaos or the unlikely emergence of a more moderate political leadership.

West Bank Palestinians also could profit from such an arrangement. Indeed, the Israelis are already considering giving Fatah the nearly halfbillion dollars in tax revenues they've been withholding. Once detached from Gaza, the West Bank leadership probably could force Israel to dismantle roadblocks and evacuate settlements. Following a perverse logic, the benefits might even extend to residents of Gaza. Freed from West Bank hegemony, Gazans could live in whatever Islamist dystopia they choose.

A bifurcated Palestine ultimately might facilitate a temporary solution to the conflict: peace between Israel and the West Bank, continued fighting between Israel and Gaza. This is an admittedly partial solution, but it is better than the status quo of no solution at all. (Los Angeles Times)

Boris Celser lives in Canada. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Rachel Kapen, June 25, 2007.

A Name is Better than Oil

There is a Hebrew proverb: tov shem mishemen tov -- a name is better than oil, which actually can be interpreted, and often is, to mean the reputation of a person. However, the first meaning is just as valid. The name a person is given at birth accompanies him throughout his entire life and may have an effect on it for good or bad.

Jews in general and Israelis in particular see the TANACH -- the Hebrew bible -- as the best source of names for their children and barring the instances when naming a child after a deceased grandfather or other close family member, they prefer to choose a name which implies bravery. Such is the name Ehud which I chose for our son, albeit, the reason was actually to make it sound similar to his paternal grandmother for whom he was named. Ehud ben Gera, son of Gera, was a biblical hero from the Book of Judges. His heroism was tempered with cunning. He was left-handed. He came to bring a gift of offering to Eglon, the king of Moab and the enemy of the Israelites at that time. His left-handedness was relevant to the method he used to outwit the oppressive king, kill him, and thus save his people.

The parents of the two most important people responsible nowadays for the security of the State of Israel named them Ehud, Ehud Olmert the Prime Minster and Ehud Barak former Chief of Staff of the IDF, former Prime Minister, and currently the Defense Minister. However, it is also the name that was given to one of the two Israeli IDF soldiers, namely, Ehud Goldwasser, abducted by the terrorists of Hizbullah. Let us hope and pray that the legacy of their ancestor and namesake Ehud ben Gera from the Hebrew tribe of Binyamin -- the courage and cunning which he possessed and which enabled him to save his oppressed people thousands of years ago -- will be transferred to his modern namesakes Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak and inspire them to bring back the three IDF abductees real soon and in good health.

Contact Rachel Kapen at skapen285466MI@comcast.net

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 25, 2007.

When Iran speaks the truth, and the UN speaks the truth, and Hamas speaks the truth, it behooves you to listen.

The Hamas putsch in Gaza was done at the behest of Iran. Iran said so. they are not joking about their commitment to wipe Israel off the map. They created Hezbollah 25 years ago to do just that, and now they are co-opting the leadership of Hamas. Now there's an 'axis of evil' for you.

When the UN says something nice about Israel, you need to take note. Israel is pouring food and water and electricity and medicine in to the Gaza Strip....at no charge...to prevent a humanitarian crisis. None the less, Hamas is causing the crisis.

And when Hamas tells you that you and Madame Secretary Rice look like absolute fools as you pour money and weapons in to the hands of terrorists, pretending that the terrorists will not use their new-found lucre for terrorism.....well, I suggest that you take their criticism to heart.

The American strategy for peace in the middle east is a failure. A complete failure.

when a strategy fails over and over and over, it is time to take a look at it with a critical eye....an eye toward revising it, re-evaluating it, replacing it.

Here are some concrete suggestions:

a.) Stop pouring money in to Fatah's and Abbas' pockets. Have you forgotten all those emails I sent you telling you that Fatah terrorists moonlight for Hamas? The money and weapons will end up in Hamas hands, one way or another. They will be turned against the USA and Israel.

b.) Stop pretending that Abbas is a moderate. He is simply Arafat in a suit and tie. Moreover, he has no power now and is rapidly having less than no power as time progresses. And every time that you praise him and call him a moderate, his stature and power and influence in the West Bank is reduced....because he looks like a lackey for the Great Black Satan (USA) and the Little Black Satan (Israel).

c.) Stop demanding that Israel exercize restraint. Israel's restraint is seen by the terrorists as weakness. Weakness promts the psychotic murderer to murder more....the easier the target, the more the desire to strike at it.

d.) Start supporting Israel directly, and in the UN, for a major military assault on the Gaza Strip.

These news items come from Jerusalem Newswire (http://www.jnewswire.com).

david ml

Iran admits aiding Hamas, Hizballah
by Staff Writer
Sunday, June 24, 2007

While Fatah officials have accused Iran of carefully orchestrating Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza, Hamas leaders deny any connection.

Palestinian Authority Intelligence Chief Tawfiq Tirawi accused Teheran of funding Hamas and training hundreds of their gunmen. He told a news conference that the Hamas leadership planned the takeover in a meeting in Syria a month before the battle for Gaza began.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri dismissed the allegations of Hamas-Iran cooperation as 'baseless fabrication,' and denied Hamas fighters had been trained in Iran.

The chairman of Iran's Supreme National Security Council admitted to Newsweek magazine, however, that Iran indeed supports Hamas.

"We do support Hizballah and Hamas; that is right. But these two are not terrorist groups. These are the two groups that are defending their own land," Ali Larijani said in an interview published on Friday.

Larijani scoffed at American, Israeli and international efforts to bolster Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Have the Americans seen any miracle coming out of the support they have given to Abbas?" he asked.

Tirawi, meanwhile, warned that Hamas is stockpiling weapons in the West Bank and might try to target Palestinian government installations there.

UN official says Israel doing all it can for Gaza
Headline News
Sunday, June 24, 2007 by Staff Writer

In a rare commendation from one of the many UN agencies established specifically to deal with the "Palestinian issue," John Ging, director of UNWRA (United Nation Relief and Works Agency) operations in Gaza, admitted that Israel is doing everything possible to prevent a humanitarian crisis in the Hamas-controlled coastal strip.

"The Israelis are very committed to stopping such a crisis from happening," Ging told Israel's Ynet news portal on Saturday. "The problem is on the Palestinian side, or lack there of."

Ging said he is coordinating with Israel on how to get supplies into Gaza via one of the several border crossing terminals without allowing Hamas to exploit the situation.

He recognized that "Israel, naturally, can't accept Hamas being there," but stressed that some solution must be found to aid the people, who "really are just stuck in the middle."

Hamas: Thanks for arming us, America!
Headline News
Sunday, June 24, 2007 by Staff Writer

Hamas has successfully transformed itself from a fringe terrorist group into a powerful military machine thanks largely to the generous financial aid the United States has given to the Palestinians, according to one of the group's co-founders.

"Two years ago, one bullet in Gaza cost around $4 -- now it would cost 35 cents. The American aid money has been translated into weapons. Thank you, America!" said former Palestinian Authority foreign minister Mahmoud al-Zahar in an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel.

Despite imposing a crushing economic embargo on direct aid to the Palestinian Authority since Hamas' electoral victory last year, America and Europe have continued pour funds into humanitarian operations in Judea, Samaria and Gaza at an unprecedented rate. Zahar is not the first Palestinian official to admit the bulk of that money is used for guns, not bread.

On top of that, Hamas took possession of a massive cache of US-supplied arms when it defeated its rivals in Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah-aligned security forces two weeks ago in Gaza. The Bush Administration decided to militarily bolster Abbas in order to curb Hamas' growing strength, but the Iranian-trained terrorist militia easily overran their CIA-trained Fatah foes in a stunning three-day assault.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by Bryna Berch, June 25, 2007.

This article was written by David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post. To my mind, the most interesting thing about it is that the usually timid and conciliatory Horovitz advocates bartering the services Israel has continued to suppy its sworn enemy instead of giving them to the Gazan terror thugs for free.

That's certainly better than being totally stupid. But Horovitz seems to think in terms of leverage. Leverage and subtlety and hard bargaining are all good tactics when both sides want to negotiate and actually end hostilities. Hamas (openly) and Fatah (quietly) don't want to negotiate. They are dedicated to their mission: to destroy Israel and then go on to take over the West. When they are losing badly and someone offers them a deal, they'll take it -- on a temporary basis. They make deals but they don't keep them, even when a reasonable person would think they've gotten everything they need to administer a thriving economy and a contented citizenry. When they recover, they go back to carrying out their mission. What's worse -- the "innocent" Arab civilians are, for the most part, just as bloodthirsty and gungho for massacring Jews as their leaders.

I liked one of the comments made by a reader of the article. "Not Jewish" from the USA said:

The Jews are in a death fight with these vile Gazan heathens. Israel needs to destroy Hamas, retake Gaza and eliminate the Islamic threat to her existence and citizens.

To me that's a cleaner and more effective solution. It's going to come to it anyways -- and the longer Israel delays, the bloodier it will be. Israel should stop pretending -- as Condi, the Bush wacko does -- that Israel can make peace with the "good" terrorist, Abbas. A terrorist is a terrorist and it is no more comforting to be killed by a "moderate" terrorist than a "bad" terrorist.

Let's be sure we've got this straight. Hamas has taken over the Gaza Strip, with a display of ruthless brutality toward its own people. We've seen Palestinians shoved off the roofs of buildings, by other Palestinians. We've seen Palestinians with literally dozens of bullets pumped into their heads, by other Palestinians. Palestinians murdered in front of their families, by other Palestinians. Palestinians murdered as they waited, desperate and helpless, to get out of the Strip, by other Palestinians.

Hamas's gunmen were gleefully prepared to mow down their own people. They even looted the home of the very icon of the Palestinian cause, Yasser Arafat, stealing his Nobel Prize -- terrorists, farcically, snaffling the globe's most prestigious peace award from the late laureate who had so signally and duplicitously thwarted the possibility of peace. But the prime target of their murderous aspirations, of course, remains our reviled Zionist state.

Israel, to Hamas, has no right to draw breath. It must be destroyed. There can be no Jewish sovereignty here. Young Palestinian minds must be educated to murder us infidels at any and every opportunity.

Now Hamas may have cemented its hold on Gaza via the resort to barbarism, but it was the Palestinian public, of its own free will last year, that entrusted Hamas with the task of parliamentary governance.

Yes, the people wanted to be rid of the corrupt Fatah. But they knew everything about Hamas's uncompromising and violent fundamentalism, and they were not deterred. And it was that other duly elected leader of the Palestinians, Mahmoud Abbas, who chose to enter a full governing partnership with this murderous outfit.

Yet this ballot-box-rooted and now bloodily culminated rise of Islamic extremist military rule on our doorstep in Gaza is being hailed in some international circles as enabling a positive transformation. Abbas, who legitimized Hamas politically, who chose not to confront Hamas terrorism militarily, whose loyalists have often outdone Hamas in carrying out acts of terrorism and whose American-trained and American-armed forces failed to put up a fight against Hamas in Gaza -- thus, incidentally, providing Hamas with great additional quantities of weaponry -- has been rewarded with a renewal of Western aid. This despite the fact that some of the international funding will obviously be conveyed to Gaza, as he maintains the fiction of PA rule there, where it will be used, for instance, to pay salaries in the very education apparatuses that are so systematically teaching hatred of Israel and the West.

At the same time, Israel is now being called upon to ensure that the people of Gaza survive the Hamas takeover that they themselves helped effect. Israel is called upon to insist on delivering water and gas and food to a Gaza dominated by a leadership that doesn't merely fail to coordinate the receipt of such assistance but emphatically denies the very fact of our existence. Israel is called upon to keep supplying electricity to Gaza in the certain knowledge that such electricity will be used, among other purposes, for the manufacture of Kassam rockets and other weaponry to try and kill Israelis. And Israel, of course, does feel a moral obligation to help ordinary Palestinians in need.

Israel is also now called upon to put aside the inconvenient issue of the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the consequent emboldening of its fundamentalist ideology and that of its key state champion, the would-be nuclear, Israel-eliminating Iran. Israel is called upon to set aside, for a moment, the daily escalating threat posed by Hamas's full control of what is now an overt arms supply route via the Philadelphi Corridor from Egypt. And instead it is being urged -- and its government is ostensibly endorsing the idea -- to seize the moment to advance substantive peace talks with the suddenly tough-talking but hitherto demonstrably impotent Abbas over the fate of the next slice of territory Hamas is eyeing, the West Bank.

HERE, IN the words of Giora Eiland, the former national security adviser, is how Israel should be grappling with Hamastan and its repercussions.

First, suggests Maj.-Gen. (res.) Eiland, Israel might take the elementary step of setting out its immediate interests in Gaza, which he lists as 1) an end to Kassam attacks, 2) a prevention of the further arming of Hamas, mainly via the Philadelphi Corridor, and 3) a deal for the return of the captured Gilad Schalit.

Next, he recommends, Israel should recognize that it enjoys a certain leverage to try and achieve those interests. Hamas's coup damaged the Palestinians, all Palestinians, he says, "more than they understand. It broke two iron-clad rules -- no civil war ("the Palestinians had always stepped back from the brink") and no differentiation between Gaza and the West Bank.

Furthermore, as the sole address in Gaza now, he notes, Hamas has a lot more to lose than in the recent past.

To that end, the last thing Israel should be doing is throwing away its leverage by declaring that it recognizes that it must provide humanitarian aid, electricity and water, and must open the border crossings and so on. Rather, on the declarative level, it must say that "Gaza is an enemy political entity, in its activity and its orientation."

As a consequence, Israel should further say that it must insist on keeping border crossings closed in order to stop arms smuggling, and that it is prepared to attack not only Kassam cells but also Gaza government targets and supply routes in order to improve security for Israel. This would prompt international protests, Eiland recognizes. "But Israel's response would be, 'Well, that's how we have to act because we are up against Hamas.'" However, Eiland goes on, Israel should also declare that "if our three immediate interests are met, we'll be able to step back."

The guiding principle, Eiland stresses, is that it is not in Israel's interest to maintain supplies to Gaza, "so why do it for nothing? Why give up on our interests? If we give Gaza all it needs, and Hamas is able to keep firing and keep rearming, we are left with no leverage."

How would this unfold practically? "Israel makes clear, discreetly if necessary, that if there is a complete halt to Kassam attacks from a given date -- and it doesn't matter who is behind such attacks, because Hamas is the sole government address now -- it will slowly open borders and allow supplies. But this stops if a single Kassam is fired."

Similarly, Eiland goes on, "Israel makes clear that the current situation on the Philadelphi Corridor is intolerable and that it may need to retake and widen the corridor to hundreds of meters. This would require the razing of houses, leaving people homeless. The world would protest. And Israel would say, 'Okay, we'll be prepared to pull back if the border is respected.'"

IF EILAND'S recommendations, in our phone conversation, have thus far been delivered in his familiar sober tones, his voice ratchets up a few notches when he speaks of the wider political situation. "I just don't understand this talk of diplomatic options," he says. "What are they on about? Any political deal has to apply to the West Bank and Gaza. But what can Abu Mazen do about Gaza? The last thing Israel should do is deal with Abu Mazen in the West Bank and reconcile to Hamas in Gaza.

"Abu Mazen and [Prime Minister] Olmert say they want renewed political talks," he goes on, "but how can that work? Israel will say it wants a permanent accord, but security issues have to be resolved first. Abu Mazen will say there's no chance of resolving security issues, not even in the West Bank, until there's a permanent accord. It's a dead-end."

Prime minister Ariel Sharon's national security adviser, now based at Tel Aviv University's INSS (Institute for National Security Studies), does not anticipate Hamas replicating its Gaza success in the West Bank in the near future, though he doesn't marginalize its strength there and doesn't doubt its ambitions. "Fatah is stronger in the West Bank. The West Bank is more secular and more modern than Gaza. There isn't equivalent popular support for Hamas. And Israel, of course, is deployed there and prevents Hamas gearing up in the way it did in Gaza."

In terms of the specific dangers posed by Hamas's Gaza takeover, Eiland's main concern is over the weapons flowing in, and the fighters going in and out -- including for Iranian training, which proved so effective against Fatah.

As it stands, he says, the 50-100-meter-wide Philadelphi Corridor cannot be effectively sealed even if Israel were to redeploy there. "It should be at least 500 meters wide," he says, to thwart the tunnelers, and Israel should clear such a space, which would involve knocking down houses. "That sounds tough. But we need to create a new reality. To say, 'I'm here and I'm staying.' And to be prepared to rethink if the Egyptians and/or an international force are demonstrably ready to police it instead."

Indeed, Eiland reveals that after disengagement from Gaza had been announced, but before it was implemented, when Israel was insisting it would stay in the Philadelphi Corridor unless the security situation enabled its departure and the international community was pressing it to leave, an international proposal was put to Israel to resolve the issue. Under this proposal, international forces, recognizing that the corridor needs widening and effective policing, would have done the job instead of Israel. "They said, 'If you leave Philadelphi, we'll destroy the homes near the existing route and we'll rehouse those people in Gush Katif."

Of course, no such agreement was reached. "And after we'd left Gaza, in that interim period when we were still holding Philadelphi, defense minister Shaul Mofaz suddenly announced that Israel was prepared to give up Philadelphi." At that point, of course, says Eiland, the international community recognized that if Israel was ready to go anyway, there was no need to pay any such price to get the IDF out.

This, says Eiland, was symptomatic of Israel's mishandling of Gaza. "Where disengagement is concerned, we closed our eyes to reality," he charges. Sharon decided not only that Israel was going, but that it would do so one-sidedly. "He didn't give the Palestinian relative moderates the chance to take control. This strengthened Hamas and prevented any political chances."

The debate over leaving Gaza, he laments, was "so superficial" -- something, as he has stressed often in the past, that typifies the decision-making process here. "What happens is that it is recognized that a certain situation is no good. Someone has an idea. And it's a case of "yes" or "no." Maybe there are other options? Well, they're not discussed."

In the case of Gaza, "Sharon announced at [the] Herzliya [strategy conference in December 2003] that leaving is good for us. That meant right away we'd get nothing for it. If you tell your neighbor you're throwing your fridge onto the trash, he's hardly going to offer to buy it from you. We decided we were leaving Gaza. We declared it had no value and so we gave it up for nothing in return. We sacrificed all leverage."

That is precisely what Eiland fears Israel risks doing again now with regard to easing Hamas rule. "And amazingly," he goes on, voice rising again, if it hadn't been for the rude awakening of the war last summer, and the collapsed credibility of unilateralism, "we'd be doing the same thing right now in the West Bank. Unbelievable."

The argument at the heart of Kadima's thinking, he notes, was that the security barrier represents Israel's best line of defense, and that troops should be pulled back to that line, unilaterally if necessary.

But the consequences of withdrawing unilaterally "would be terrible," he argues, and offers one small example. "A couple of weeks ago, you'll recall, the Israel Airports Authority wanted to shut Ben-Gurion Airport because pirate radio signals were interfering" with communications between the flights and the control tower. By extension, "if you install radio transmitters in Ramallah, you can close down the airport. So if Israel were to leave the West Bank without an agreement, before Iran even brings in the weapons, a few innocent radio transmitters will play havoc with normal life here."

"We are here and they are there," he quotes, witheringly, from the unilateralist mantra. "It's childish. And yet," he notes, "that's the platform that won Kadima more votes than any other party in the last elections."

Eiland's stillborn initiative

Giora Eiland himself, when still heading the National Security Council under Sharon three years ago, advocated leaving Gaza only as the first stage of an internationally sponsored multi-stage negotiated program leading to a permanent accord.

Specifically, Egypt would have been asked to contribute to the resolution of the conflict by allocating a 20-kilometer by 30-kilometer (230 sq. miles) rectangle of sparsely populated Sinai territory on its side of the border to allow Gaza reasonable space to grow and flourish. Conjoined with today's Strip, this enlarged Palestinian Gaza, boosted by overseas investment and support, was intended to feature a major city, major airport and major seaport -- and to come to serve as an attractive potential destination for Palestinian refugees seeking a return to the new homeland. In return for its territorial generosity, Egypt would have been compensated with a strip of land perhaps a third of the size from the Israeli western Negev, with its president receiving the adulation of a grateful world.

The initiative also envisaged that tunnels from Jordan under the Negev to that new strip of Egypt, and routes up through the Sinai to the new Palestinian Gaza seaport, could carry oil and other commodities to the world from Saudi Arabia and beyond -- with Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinians all benefiting financially. Jordan would also have gained from the fact that, with Gaza a newly attractive location, the dire threat of a Palestinian refugee influx to its territory would be much reduced.

Meanwhile, having pulled out of Gaza as a good-faith first step toward this negotiated solution, Israel would have completed its West Bank security barrier along the route Eiland was finalizing at the time, leaving 11 to 12 percent of the territory and some 90% of the settlers on the Israeli side. And with Egypt and Jordan deeply invested in the new arrangement, they would have had an unprecedented interest in ensuring its success.

That, at least, was the idea...

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, June 25, 2007.

Unfortunately, MANY think like Olmert and none will learn until they are and WE are DEAD!

The way the Arabs flip flop on their word, tomorrow Hamas will make nice with Fatah, take the money and then kill them again! Bush and Olmert have not learned a THING.

The Chutzpah Olmert has to state in clear conscious: "...In case this (Hamas and Fatah make nice, nice for a while...) happens, Olmert admitted, the funds being transferred will likely fall into Hamas' hands."

And, dumb Bush still thinks that transfer of funds would open "a window of opportunity for 'the peace process.'" What peace and with whom? Empty skull moron!

God!...I am sooooooooooooo mad I cannot hold myself together! Where is the Kamikaze unit!?

The article below is called "Gov't OKs $562 Million Transfer to Fatah Terrorists." It was written by Gil Ronen and it appeared in Arutz-Sheva

"MK Eldad noted that the government was now Hizbullah's partner in arming Fatah"

(IsraelNN.com) The Israeli government approved a phased transfer of $562 million Sunday to the terrorist Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas, also known as 'Abu Mazen'. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert acknowledged that there is a risk that Abbas will cave in to pressures from the Arab world and again form a "unity government" with Hamas. In case this happens, Olmert admitted, the funds being transferred will likely fall into Hamas' hands.

Olmert said, however, that he left his meeting with US President George W. Bush with the message that the transfer of funds would open "a window of opportunity for 'the peace process.'"

The first installment of the transfer is expected to be handed over within the next few days. The government was assured that the transfer is to be accompanied by the establishment of an "oversight mechanism" that will supposedly ensure that they do not fall into terrorist hands.

The funds in question are tax monies collected by Israel for the PA from residents of eastern Jerusalem. They were frozen after the Hamas won the PA elections in 2006.

The money transfer will be the chief "gesture" the government intends to present to Abbas in Monday's regional summit meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh. Diplomatic sources said there was no intention at the moment to hand over more weapons and ammunition to Abbas, but hinted that Israel would be forthcoming if asked by American mediator Keith Dayton to take additional steps -- presumably, to ease restrictions on movement in Judea and Samaria.

Only two ministers voted against the measure: Avigdor Lieberman and Yitzhak Aharonovich of Yisrael Beiteinu. However, Minister Lieberman said Sunday that his party would not leave the ruling coalition despite the decision. "Abu Mazen, [Fatah Gaza terror leader Mahmoud] Dahlan, and the rest of those wimps have no intention of arresting even one terrorist," Lieberman said, adding that "Abbas is an opportunist who tours the world but has violated every agreement." However," Lieberman added, "Yisrael Beiteinu will remain in the coalition in order to influence the government from within."

Olmert was asked about the risk involved in easing restrictions on the PA, and replied: "When you make a move like this, you have to be willing to take risks, although it isn't easy."

At this point, Minister Lieberman said "the problem is that we only take risks and never get anything in return. Oslo A, Oslo B, the Disengagement. We took risks but what good did it do?"

General Security Service (Shabak) chief Yuval Diskin told the government that Abbas, whose forces were clobbered in Gaza, is weak in Judea and Samaria as well. "The Fatah is divided and crumbling," he said. "It is not as strong in Judea and Samaria as one might think."

Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) said that by handing over the money in stages, "we will be able to verify if Abu Mazen's strengthening is only declarative... If he does not get stronger we will stop transferring money."

"Lieberman is a partner to terror"

Four members of the National Union / National Religious Party fired a simultaneous rhetorical salvo at Minister Avigdor Lieberman, for his decision to stay in the government despite the decision to aid the PA

MK Aryeh Eldad called the decision "foolish and criminal," and called on Minister Lieberman to leave the coalition, saying that Lieberman was now a "partner to terror" despite voting against the money transfer. He noted that the government was now Hizbullah's partner in arming Fatah.

MK Effie Eitam called on Lieberman to leave the government as well, saying the government's decision "proves that Lieberman has zero influence." Eitam added: "Lieberman's earlier statement -- 'if Hamas is not taken apart, the government will be taken apart -- was proven today to be a hollow one. Meanwhile, the Hamas took apart Gaza and Olmert is taking apart Lieberman in the government."

MK Uri Ariel said "Minister Lieberman is trying to be a member of the government without being responsible for its failures...These funds are fueling terror and no sleight-of-tongue will change this."

MK Tzvi Hendel asked -- "How far shall we take this folly? Instead of bringing back our deterrence capability and finishing off Gaza's terror and its leaders, Olmert is nurturing a new false Golden Calf in the form of Abu Mazen and the Fatah, and thus building the basis for a new keg of terror which will go off in Judea and Samaria."

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at 4nuritg@ca.rr.com. Visit her blog:

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, June 25, 2007.

"Pope" George W. Bush and "Popess" Condileezza Rice have bestowed "sainthood" on the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen). He can do no wrong and he has done no wrong -- according to the current DIS-information campaign. For 40 years Abu Mazen was Yassir Arafat's companion, assistant and financier in global terrorism. Arafat was the godfather of modern terrorism -- including ordering the murder of the American Ambassador Cleo Noél, his aide and the Belgian charges des affaires, the Munich massacre, Entebbe, blowing up of airplanes, attacking children in schools, bus bombings, suicide terror attacks, sniper shootings, etc. Are all those murders and vile acts to be forgotten and forgiven?

Arafat's various terrorist champions in the field (now under Abu Mazen) will carry a virtual "knighthood" bestow upon them by "Pope" Bush with the sword of Muslim Arab Palestinian Statehood. The knights of Arafat and Abu Mazen are the PLO, the Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, Tanzim. Within each of the aforementioned there are the cells of Hamas, Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Syrian Intelligence and Iranian Intelligence Agencies. Add to that the Palestinian "saints" in the seven cities turned over to Arafat and now under the, supposedly, benevolent guidance of "Saint" Abu Mazen.

I wonder. Who appointed Bush and Rice to a Washingtonian Papacy -- with the power to erase the sins of Abbas and his Arab Muslim Palestinians? Who gave Bush and Rice the authority to take $100 million dollars from the American taxpayers' in the U.S. treasury and gift it to Abu Mazen for salaries to these various terrorist groups? Each of the 7 cities Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres surrendered to the Arab Muslim Palestinians has a core group who is manufacturing Kassem Rockets, suicide belts, and training young people (from the age of 3) to be irrevocably dedicated to hating and killing "infidels" (non-Muslims), both Jews and Christians. They are pledged to use every weapon in their possession to attack Israel and replace the whole Jewish State with a Muslim Palestinian one.

Is that what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meant when she said on NPR, June 24th that there could be only one State of Palestine?

One day, perhaps under the Freedom of Information law, we will find out how a series of pro-Arab U.S. State Departments and the CIA have been training and paying Arafat and Abu Mazen's terrorists. We will look through the records of George Herbert Walker Bush and James Baker to examine their role in assisting terrorists, via Saudi Arabia whose agenda was to destroy the Jewish State of Israel.

We should also be able to review Bill and Hilary Clinton's connection to Islamists when Bill Clinton was Governor of Arkansas and again as President.

Then we can examine the connection of President Bush and family to Saudi Arabia for the U.S. taxpayers' dollars in the Billions that were funneled to Palestinian Muslim Arab terrorists through various false fronts like the UNRWA (United Nations Relief Works Administration).

We await the results of the meetings of the Quartet (the U.S., the E.U., U.N. and Russia) in Sharm el Sheik with Egypt and Jordan to decide the fate of the Jewish nation as was done at the Waunsee Conference under Hitler's orders.

Making Abu Mazen more "saintly" than Mother Teresa is the campaign of the moment. "Pope" Bush is trying to recruit England's retired Prime Minister Tony Blair to leader the beheading of Israel's defenses.

One can only be reminded of the British blockade of Jews trying to escape the graveyards of Europe. When the British were finally forced out of Mandatory Palestine the Arab nations' armies marched in to demolish the newly born Jewish State of Israel on May 14,1948. When the British left, they turned their Taggert forts and tonnage of weapons over to the Arab Muslims as they left. Yes, "Pope" Bush, Tony Blair is the perfect recruit to undercut the Jewish State.

But, "Pope" Bush has other fallen "saints" and "angels" whom he has enlisted: You remember President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt? He has been called upon to employ his saintliness to call Hamas and Fatah together to end their current bloody Civil War. Mubarak assisted Muslim Arab Palestinian terrorists by facilitating the smuggling of weapons and men across Israel's Southern border and by ships such as the Karin-A (caught on January 4, 2002) and the Santorini bringing weapons from Iran which freely transited the Egyptian Suez Canal intending to unload their weapons near Alexandria. There the Muslim Arabs Palestinians of Gaza could take delivery in small boats. The Israelis interfered and captured the ship, exposing Egypt's complicity and the Iranian origin of the weapons.

Mubarak was supposed to stop the smuggling of weapons through tunnels dug deep from Egypt into Gaza. "Somehow" Egyptian soldiers rarely found those tunnels -- even when they were dug from the middle of Egyptian military camps. "Saint" Mubarak wanted arms pumped into Gaza with the intent and knowledge that those weapons would be used against Israel. Making Israel bleed was what "Saint" Mubarak wanted. So much for having a summit meeting of the key players against Israel. What does it really mean?.

Of course, the chorus of fallen"angels" would not be complete without Olmert whining and begging forgiveness for being a Jew. At his elbows are the other "angels": Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak. They too are blessing Abu Mazen as a worthy, "saintly" figure in order to gift more of Israel's precious treasury -- despite the needs of his own people, the Jewish people. It has been reported in Israel that of Israeli children go to bed hungry.

But, who are Bush, Rice, Abu Mazen, Mubarak, King Abdullah of Jordan, Peres, Ehud Barak and the Europeans actually worshiping as they appoint such flawed "Saints" and "Angels"? Perhaps they have actually chosen Moloch, the underworld god, who feeds on human sacrifices...especially children. We all think of "Angels" as higher spirits but, there are also those fallen "angels" -- straight out of hell.

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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Posted by Boris Celser, June 25, 2007.

The Tragedy of Gaza: The once 4th largest growing economy in the world now rivals Mogadishu
  by Yula

An indictment of just about everyone from scruffy radicals to State Department squares, from oil sheikhs to British profs

During the 1970's, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world -- ahead of such "wonders"as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself... GNP per capita grew somewhat more slowly, [but] expand[ed] tenfold between 1968 and 1991 from $165 to $1,715... By 1999, Palestinian per-capita income was nearly double Syria's, more than four times Yemen's, and 10 percent higher than Jordan's... Only the oil-rich Gulf states and Lebanon were more affluent.

Gaza has now reached its nadir as a poverty-stricken, Islamist terror state. Gazan poet Bassem al-Nabris writes that, if there were now to be a referendum in Gaza on whether the Israeli "occupation" should return, "half the population would vote yes. But in practice, I believe the number of those in favor is at least 70%."

How did things get this way? Is it time for soul-searching among the Western countries -- including an important part of the Israeli body politic -- that long regarded "Israeli occupation" as the ultimate evil, to be ended at all costs without checking too closely how it was done or the consequences?

Although statistics specifically for Gaza are hard to come by, an important 2002 Commentary article by Efraim Karsh noted that under the Israeli "occupation" -- more fairly termed administration -- that began in 1967, Gaza and the West Bank in fact made "astounding social and economic progress":

In the economic sphere, most of this ... was the result of access to the ... Israeli economy: the number of Palestinians working in Israel rose from zero in 1967 to 66,000 in 1975 and 109,000 by 1986, accounting for 35 percent of the employed population of the West Bank and 45 percent in Gaza. Close to 2,000 industrial plants, employing almost half of the work force, were established in the territories under Israeli rule.

During the 1970's, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world -- ahead of such "wonders"as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself... GNP per capita grew somewhat more slowly, [but] expand[ed] tenfold between 1968 and 1991 from $165 to $1,715... By 1999, Palestinian per-capita income was nearly double Syria's, more than four times Yemen's, and 10 percent higher than Jordan's... Only the oil-rich Gulf states and Lebanon were more affluent.

If the Left-dominated Western media largely "missed" this story, it was because it was too sold on the idea of the Palestinians as victims of Israel to even inquire if that was really the case. Within Israel, more legitimately, the Zionist ethos of Jewish self-sufficiency seemed challenged by an influx of Third World menial workers who lived under Israeli rule but lacked citizenship rights.

The Israeli Left, however, instead of seeing a complex situation entailing benefits and costs for both sides and requiring a patient approach, cast it in Manichean terms of the corruption of the Zionist dream and joined the international community's pressure on Israel for a rapid "solution."

Yet, as Karsh pointed out, the great gains for the Palestinians under Israeli rule went well beyond employment and economic growth. Life expectancy rose sharply while mortality and infant mortality rates plummeted, and perhaps most strikingly, during the two decades preceding the intifada of the late 1980's, the number of schoolchildren in the territories grew by 102 percent, and the number of classes by 99 percent, though the population itself had grown by only 28 percent. Even more dramatic was the progress in higher education. At the time of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, not a single university existed in these territories. By the early 1990's, there were seven such institutions, boasting some 16,500 students. Illiteracy rates dropped to 14 percent of adults over age 15, compared with 69 percent in Morocco, 61 percent in Egypt, 45 percent in Tunisia, and 44 percent in Syria.

But it all started to unravel -- fast -- as Israel, under the euphoric glow of the Oslo "peace process," withdrew from Gaza and the Jericho area of the West Bank in May 1994, turning them over to Yasser Arafat's rule. Gaza was especially hard hit.

As a dramatic spike in terrorism led Israel to impose repeated closures, unemployment in Gaza rose as high as 50 percent and by 1996 economic output declined about one-third. From that year to 1999 the situation improved under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as terror reverted to pre-Oslo levels and the Israeli closures decreased.

But Netanyahu lost to Ehud Barak in the 1999 election, and the rest is well-known recent history: Barak's rejected offer of statehood to Arafat in summer 2000, the outbreak that fall of the Al-Aqsa Intifada and Gaza's (and the West Bank's) conversion into a launching pad for an all-out terror war necessitating Israeli closures and other measures, Gaza's severance from Israel under the 2005 disengagement plan, Hamas's win in the 2006 election and takeover of Gaza in June 2007 -- leaving Gaza in a state of violent squalor comparable only to Mogadishu and with its residents apparently longing for the "occupation" once seen as the epitome of evil.

With that "occupation" -- bête noire of just about everyone from scruffy radicals to State Department squares, from oil sheikhs to British profs -- partially gone from the West Bank and gone from Gaza, Gaza-2007 is one of the many dire results. In reality, the Israeli administration of the territories brought great socioeconomic benefits to the Palestinians there and great security benefits to Israel, along with a problematic psychological situation of dhimmi-Jewish rule over Muslim Arabs that was not really the greatest of evils, far from it, and would have required a solution involving genuinely moderate Palestinians and genuine security guarantees for Israel.

But the world didn't have the patience for that, and now the indigent jihadist statelet on the Mediterranean is the world's problem.

Boris Celser lives in Canada. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, June 25, 2007.


Background: The US claims that its arms sales maintain for Israel a "qualitative edge" over Israel's enemies. That is not true and if it were, not sufficient.

Would you feel secure on the "edge" of a cliff or volcano? The desired goal against genocidal and jihadist aggressors should be superiority, not advantage by an "edge."

By emphasizing qualitative, the US indicates that Israel has a quantitative inferiority. If the enemy makes a surprise attack that takes out some of Israel's best defenses, and deploys much greater numbers of sophisticated arms, it could win. It certainly could inflict heavy casualties. A small, beleaguered country cannot survive heavy casualties. Such casualties would set it up for defeat in the next, inevitable round of warfare. Why inevitable? Because the US limits Israeli victory so it isn't decisive, the world forgives the Arabs their debts, and the Arab and Iranian arms purchases begin again.

US arms sales are a matter of economics and lobbying, not much of strategy. "Edge" is not measurable. It is estimated. With each sale of arms to the Arabs, the Pentagon issues a disclaimer that this sale will not shift the balance of power. Of course it does shift. Who is to tell at what point the shift is decisive? What is behind the disclaimer? Nothing. That's right. The Pentagon offers no analysis. It makes no analysis. It just puts in the disclaimer as lip service. Sales go on.

The US sells mostly the same advanced weaponry to the Arabs as it does to Israel, only more of it. Thus the US built up a modern Egyptian military, whose Navy is superior to Israel's. Where's Israel's naval edge?

Sometimes the US puts restrictions on the sale to Arabs. For example, it conditioned the sale of certain jets to S. Arabia on their not being stationed near the border nearest Israel and on their not getting an aerial refueling capability. S. Arabia violated those conditions, without penalty. Thus the US does not maintain Israel's edge. By contrast, when the Pentagon thinks that Israel has violated its condition of sale to Israel, it withholds contracted goods until Israel proves it hasn't. It sometimes demands that Israel not incorporate into the purchased weapons superior Israeli technology. Guess why?

News Brief: Israel planned to buy from the US the F-35. The US, however, insists that Israel not incorporate into the purchased planes Israeli technology. As Dr. Aaron Lerner put it, "the US apparently doesn't want Israel to be able to have an aircraft that is superior to what they will eventually sell to Arab neighbors." Bad for business! At the same time, the US is resisting an Israeli demand for limits on the sale of "smart bombs" to S. Arabia, which Israel thinks would be destabilizing (IMRA, 6/5). Other US policies undermine Israel, too. The US would take away Israel's defensive borders and anti-terrorism tactics.


One of the most informative analysts is Barry Rubin, who writes in the Mideast Forum News. Pres. Bush just made an excellent speech in the Czech Republic about freedom and democracy, great if it weren't hypocritical. Mr. Rubin points out that the Hamas electoral gains in the P.A. and in Egypt shocked the Bush Administration out of promoting democracy in favor of stability. He suggests that such a policy ends up losing both democracy and stability. It entrenches the dictators, whose only organized opposition is Islamist. The Administration's deceitfulness about this undermines its credibility. It excels at fine announcements, but is poor at carrying them through.

The Bush administration's mistake was not in favoring democracy but in urging premature elections. It failed to promote an economic development and growth of civil institutions that would anchor democratic institutions and movements. Such growth would have paved the way for democratic elections to work out.

Not only was there a rush to elections, but the elections really were not democratic. The US should have demanded democratic standards. The main one is that parties should not be eligible if they have militias. The militias intimidated voters and committed fraud.

Sec. Rice and Coalition Provisional Authority administrator Paul Bremer set up proportional representation in Iraq (and in the P.A.). That (as in Israel) made candidates dependent upon the party leaders who chose them and who ranked them on the electoral list, which determined whether they got elected, rather than on voters (for whom their campaign could get only a marginal increase in seats).It emphasized ethnic or sectarian rivalry (the bane of Iraq, today).

The National Security Council, run by Rice and a successor, was supposed to see to it that officials complied with policy, but she did not. The President was not firm, either. The National Security Council was filled with people who had disdain for Pres. Bush and who had partisan loyalties to his opponents. The State Dept. is filled with diplomats who prefer the ease of getting along with rulers, and come to represent them rather than us, to meeting with dissidents in promoting democracy. Some of them look forward to retiring into highly paid, Saudi lobbying (which is anti-American). Some were Kerry people, who dropped (i.e., sabotaged) funding for democratic opposition in Iran, (which might have spared us from the future nuclear attack). And they called him stupid!

Rice and the others are interesting in sounding good, so they go through the motions of diplomacy. They won't accomplish much, especially because Iran senses and openly declares their inner weakness (6/4).

To look good, they may force a phony peace agreement upon Israel, that would ruin Israel. It would have an anti-American effect, in strengthening jihadists.


PM Olmert was to meet with Pres. Bush before Bush's major speech on what he expects, especially about the benchmarks. Israel has not stated what it expects. It reacts defensively, trying to minimize some demands and extend implementation of others (but the State Dept. is relentless). Israel neither denies the right of the US to make demands of Israel in regard to Israeli national security, nor rejects the US demands, which undermine Israeli security and therefore peace, nor sets up its own demands of the Arabs. The Olmert regime still fails to criticize the benchmarks for not including specific, measurable, timed, and useful dismantling of terrorism.

Dr. Aaron Lerner cites the continued US pressure on Israel as refutation of Sharon's notion, which I remember Sharon defenders citing, that the major concession he was giving by withdrawing from Gaza and northern Samaria would relieve Israel of pressure for concessions for some time (IMRA, 6/4).

Since the State Dept. wants Israel out of all its defensible borders, there is no limit to US demands. Israel should tell Americans that State Dept. support for P.A. terrorists harms US security and interferes with Israel's security.


Emanuel Winston calls National Public Radio that. NPR commemorates the Six-Day War with a pro-Arab interpretation, by having mostly commentators known for Holocaust-denying and other anti-Jewish, pro-Arab, propaganda lines. One is the notorious Prof. Norman Finkelstein, without scholarship or integrity.

The months before the war featured constant threats from Arab rulers and commanders that they were going to wipe out the Jews of Israel. If it weren't for a pre-emptive Israeli air assault on the Arab forces already mobilized, which is an act of war, the otherwise vast Arab forces would have committed the genocide. Nevertheless, NPR features hardships of Palestinian Arabs.

NPR did not mention that those Arabs had been taken over illegally and repressed by Egypt and Jordan. Neither did it mention that Jordan wantonly shelled Israel, although Israel refrained from counter-attacking. Only after Jordan moved ground forces to Jerusalem, did Israel finally respond. Israel is not responsible for Palestinian Arab adversity, but NPR makes it seem as Israel were (Winston Mid East Analysis, 6/5).

Israel greatly boosted the Territories' standard of living and civil rights, but got terrorism in return. That is the real story and the real tragedy. NPR does not show the Israeli decency and Arab 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 richardshulman5verizon.net

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Posted by Israel Academia Monitor, June 24, 2007.

This article was written by Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer, an affiliate professor at Haifa University, Member of the International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom of Bar-Ilan University and was the 1996 Fulbright professor at Aarhus, Denmark. She is the co-author of International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights and the author of Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences. It appeared on HNN -- History News Network

No, you'd not guess it from the headline. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised by it. I got used to the Economist reflexive anti Israel, often anti-Semitic stance. But here it was. "Slamming Israel, giving Palestinians a free pass:A strangely one-sided boycott in Britain stirs global rage." Seems balanced, doesn't it?! "Slamming" vs. "rage." But read on: the text is nothing of the sort. Instead, the text reinforces the stereotype of thin skinned, aggressive Jews overreacting to politically naive genteel idealists' well meaning efforts to aid hapless Palestinian victims.

The deceptively lighthearted tone of Yair Lapid's "A letter to the British academic" provides them with just the ammunition. For the Israeli columnist begins by mocking the traditional British academic attire.

It was with great interest I read of the British University and College Union's call for an academic boycott of Israel. I was glad to discover that the association has not yet made a final decision as to how best to boycott us. Their highnesses are still pondering the decision. The blue-gray smoke wafts from their pipes, their foreheads wrinkle, a watch on their wrist sits underneath the sleeve of a Harris Tweed jacket with its leather elbow patch. Maybe they say to themselves, perhaps we'll boycott them immediately or maybe we'll wait a bit. No reason to be hasty, these sweaty baby-makers somewhere in the Middle East, won't stop killing each other in the near future. In the meantime let's have another pint and study the rare 18th-century manuscript that we found in the library.

Not so, the Economist writers protest indignantly. Our academics also wear Jeans:

ALMOST everybody loves a nice, neat stereotype, and Yair Lapid, an Israeli writer and talk-show host, is no exception... In reality, of course, British professors are a variegated species -- as likely to be wearing soiled denims as well-cut tweed -- and exactly the same goes for Israeli ones. Along with quite a few of his compatriots, Mr Lapid regards his country's campuses as "fortresses of the radical left" -- though he clearly finds enough merit in them to consider them worth defending from the absent-minded academics of Albion.

Why such dismissal? To demonstrate that they are weak and unimportant and that the entire issue is merely a tempest in a tea pot unworthy of serious opposition. To further make that case, the Economist uses the well honed strategy which call for the presentation of the boycotters not as shrewd political operatives engaged in a lengthy campaign but naive underdogs caught in a whirlwind:

No ... spirit of subtlety or differentiation was evident in the vote taken on May 30th at the inaugural conference of a newly formed association of British academics, the University and College Union, which claims to speak for 120,000 teachers and other employees. A mere 257 of them took part in the "anti-Israel" ballot, with 158 voting in favour and 99 against. In favour of what, exactly? To be precise, what they endorsed was the circulation (to all the union's branches, for "information and discussion") of the full text of an appeal by Palestinian trade unions to boycott Israeli academic and cultural activities. Things are not going to move very fast, at least in the dons' view of things. Local branches of the UCU will debate the text, probably during the autumn term; then there may be a ballot among all the members. Sally Hunt, the union's general secretary, has said she doesn't believe a majority of her members either support the motion or regard the issue as a priority.

In other words, nothing of importance happened. Anthony Julius and Alan Dershowitz tell a rather different story:

The University College Union on May 30 passed two boycott resolutions. Resolution 30 endorsed the call for an academic boycott of Israel by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). It also committed union funds to promoting it on campuses. But it did not commit the union of university teachers itself to a boycott. Resolution 31 condemned the USA and EU boycott of the Palestinian Authority (that is, the "suspension of aid"). There is symmetry here. Thirty calls for a boycott; 31 calls for the ending of a boycott. Israel's universities, which are liberal institutions, are to be shunned; the government of the PA, which is governed by a party committed to the destruction of Israel, is to be embraced. Does not seem like the actions of political amateurs? Does it? There is more --

These resolutions are the successors to boycott resolutions passed by the predecessor academic unions, the AUT in 2005, and NATFHE in 2006. The AUT resolutions purported to justify a boycott of named Israeli universities by making specific -- though false -- allegations against them. The NATFHE resolution, which was much like UCU resolution 30, "invited members to consider their own responsibility for ensuring equity and non-discrimination in contacts with Israeli educational institutions or individuals and to consider the appropriateness of a boycott of those that do not publicly dissociate themselves from such policies." The AUT resolutions were reversed following a special conference; the NATFHE resolution lapsed upon the union's dissolution only a few days later. As this resolution is NOT a boycott one, the membership would have no opportunity to reverse it. Naive? Julius and Dershowitz continue:

The UCU resolutions are in a 2007 series of boycott resolutions. They follow the National Union of Journalists resolution, and precede the UNISON resolutions. The NUJ resolution called for "a boycott of Israeli goods similar to those boycotts in the struggles against apartheid South Africa". One of the UNISON resolutions affirms the union's "right and desire to act in solidarity with the Palestinian people". These resolutions open with a very one-sided, hostile account of events in the Middle East.

Again, does this look like the work of a bunch of "absent minded Albions?" So why present it as such? The answer is simple. In order to present the response of the friends of Israeli academics and even Israeli trade unionists as excessive.

The Economist begins thus:

Tony Blair, at least, showed somewhat quicker political reflexes: the prime minister immediately telephoned his Israeli counterpart to voice his disapproval and dispatched his universities minister, Bill Rammell, to Israel to try limiting the potential damage (amid warnings from Israeli trade unions that they may refuse to unload British goods. "How disproportionate," it seems to argue. And this was just the beginning! It is followed by veritable blitzkrieg by powerful American boycott "opponents" who write damning articles, place newspaper advertisements, call the boycotters unpleasant names and threaten not to cooperate with the boycott:

If the British eggheads are taking things at a leisurely pace, the same cannot be said of their opponents, whose reaction was instantaneous and incandescent -- especially in the United States. Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard University law professor, has said he is rounding up a team of 100 lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic in order to "devastate and bankrupt" anyone acting against Israeli universities. He predicted that British academia would be "destroyed" if it went ahead with a boycott of Israel, because the countervailing reaction would be so powerful. That reaction is already gathering pace: more than 2,000 American scholars, including several Nobel Prize winners, have pledge to stay away from any event from which Israelis are excluded...

The Anti-Defamation League, a movement which fights anti-Semitism, has placed some dramatic newspaper advertisements to underline its case that the singling out of Israel by British academia -- at a time of terrible misdeeds in Darfur, Zimbabwe and Iran -- can only reflect prejudice...

The more venerable parts of the British academic establishment seem to agree: there have been condemnations of the UCU vote from the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and Universities UK, which groups all universities' vice-chancellors.

How silly of the British boycott advocates to underestimate the powerful forces arrayed against them. Didn't they see the fierce responses to the April British National Union of Journalists's decision to boycott Israeli goods? Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate at the University of Texas, "instantly dropped plans to visit London's Imperial College in July, saying it was 'hard to find any explanation other than anti-Semitism" for the union's move.'" Can you imagine a more "inappropriate response"?

Does the that mean that the boycotters should cease and desist the boycott? Not according to the Economist writers. They call the "politically naive" leaders of the boycott, defiant and that always implies approval:

But the British academics who have spearheaded the boycott campaign, citing a moral imperative to support their Palestinian colleagues on the hard-pressed campuses of the West Bank, are defiant. Hilary Rose, who with her husband Steven has been at the heart of the boycott movement for the past five years, sees positive results. One of these, she says, is the objections raised recently by some staff at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem to the appointment of a former chief of Shin Bet, the domestic intelligence service, Carmi Gillon: the objectors argued that such appointments would harm the image of Israeli academia at a sensitive time. Also encouraging, from her viewpoint, was the fact a group of Israeli academics were now calling for Palestinian students to have freer access to their universities.

Of course, they do not mention that the "hard pressed" Palestinian campuses are filled with members and voters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and, hence, constitute a direct threat to the Israeli institutions which have seen their share of suicide bombings. They elegantly sumsume Yair Lapid's inconvenient truth under the phrase "close up:"

I am aware of the argument that the occupation is the root of all this horrible violence. It's just that this is an argument, well, how shall I say it -- okay, academic. After all, Arab terror started long before we occupied even one piece of this land. Every major wave of Palestinian terror came as the chances of a peace treaty came closer. It was the situation when there was the wave of terror bombings on public busses in the "Black March" of 1996, which destroyed the prospects of the Oslo Agreement. This is how it was when the second intifada erupted as it did just after Ehud Barak proposed giving up nearly all the occupied territories including part of Jerusalem. That is the way it is now with the wave of Qassam rocket attacks in the wake of Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza strip.

I still believe in peace. I am interested in the occupied territories, the bloodshed and cruelty. I believe in peace as I have all my life and I know that a price will have to be paid to achieve it. All I am asking for in the meantime is a fair chance to still be alive when it comes.

Of course, this inconvenient truth is not part of the Palestinian script of What Really Happened in the Middle East, and it is that script that the Economist writers want the boycotters to rewrite with the help of boycott opponent Sari Nusseibeh, the Palestinian president of Al-Quds University in east Jerusalem which hosts branches of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations throughout Gaza and the West Bank. Perhaps together they can come up with a less blatantly anti-Semitic strategy which would not endanger important British academic and commercial interests. "When confronted with such unreasonable, aggressive, prickly Jews," the Economist seems to be saying, "one must tread lightly." Is the Economist following a familiar Anti-Semitic script? I think so.

For more information on Anti-Israel Israeli academics, go to
http://israel-academia-monitor.com/; contact the organization by email at e-mail@israel-academia-monitor.com

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, June 24, 2007.

Research suggests white slavery was much more common than previously believed. This comes from Ohio State U's Research News

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A new study suggests that a million or more European Christians were enslaved by Muslims in North Africa between 1530 and 1780 -- a far greater number than had ever been estimated before.

In a new book, Robert Davis, professor of history at Ohio State University, developed a unique methodology to calculate the number of white Christians who were enslaved along Africa's Barbary Coast, arriving at much higher slave population estimates than any previous studies had found.

Most other accounts of slavery along the Barbary coast didn't try to estimate the number of slaves, or only looked at the number of slaves in particular cities, Davis said. Most previously estimated slave counts have thus tended to be in the thousands, or at most in the tens of thousands. Davis, by contrast, has calculated that between 1 million and 1.25 million European Christians were captured and forced to work in North Africa from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Davis's new estimates appear in the book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800 (Palgrave Macmillan).

"Much of what has been written gives the impression that there were not many slaves and minimizes the impact that slavery had on Europe," Davis said. "Most accounts only look at slavery in one place, or only for a short period of time. But when you take a broader, longer view, the massive scope of this slavery and its powerful impact become clear."

Davis said it is useful to compare this Mediterranean slavery to the Atlantic slave trade that brought black Africans to the Americas. Over the course of four centuries, the Atlantic slave trade was much larger -- about 10 to 12 million black Africans were brought to the Americas. But from 1500 to 1650, when trans-Atlantic slaving was still in its infancy, more white Christian slaves were probably taken to Barbary than black African slaves to the Americas, according to Davis.

"One of the things that both the public and many scholars have tended to take as given is that slavery was always racial in nature -- that only blacks have been slaves. But that is not true," Davis said. "We cannot think of slavery as something that only white people did to black people."

During the time period Davis studied, it was religion and ethnicity, as much as race, that determined who became slaves.

"Enslavement was a very real possibility for anyone who traveled in the Mediterranean, or who lived along the shores in places like Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, and even as far north as England and Iceland," he said.

Pirates (called corsairs) from cities along the Barbary Coast in north Africa -- cities such as Tunis and Algiers -- would raid ships in the Mediterranean and Atlantic, as well as seaside villages to capture men, women and children. The impact of these attacks were devastating -- France, England, and Spain -- each lost thousands of ships, and long stretches of the Spanish and Italian coasts were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants. At its peak, the destruction and depopulation of some areas probably exceeded what European slavers would later inflict on the African interior.

Although hundreds of thousands of Christian slaves were taken from Mediterranean countries, Davis noted, the effects of Muslim slave raids was felt much further away: it appears, for example, that through most of the 17th century the English lost at least 400 sailors a year to the slavers.

Even Americans were not immune. For example, one American slave reported that 130 other American seamen had been enslaved by the Algerians in the Mediterranean and Atlantic just between 1785 and 1793.

Davis said the vast scope of slavery in North Africa has been ignored and minimized, in large part because it is on no one's agenda to discuss what happened.

The enslavement of Europeans doesn't fit the general theme of European world conquest and colonialism that is central to scholarship on the early modern era, he said. Many of the countries that were victims of slavery, such as France and Spain, would later conquer and colonize the areas of North Africa where their citizens were once held as slaves. Maybe because of this history, Western scholars have thought of the Europeans primarily as "evil colonialists" and not as the victims they sometimes were, Davis said.

Davis said another reason that Mediterranean slavery has been ignored or minimized has been that there have not been good estimates of the total number of people enslaved. People of the time -- both Europeans and the Barbary Coast slave owners -- did not keep detailed, trustworthy records of the number of slaves. In contrast, there are extensive records that document the number of Africans brought to the Americas as slaves.

So Davis developed a new methodology to come up with reasonable estimates of the number of slaves along the Barbary Coast. Davis found the best records available indicating how many slaves were at a particular location at a single time. He then estimated how many new slaves it would take to replace slaves as they died, escaped or were ransomed.

"The only way I could come up with hard numbers is to turn the whole problem upside down -- figure out how many slaves they would have to capture to maintain a certain level," he said. "It is not the best way to make population estimates, but it is the only way with the limited records available."

Putting together such sources of attrition as deaths, escapes, ransomings, and conversions, Davis calculated that about one-fourth of slaves had to be replaced each year to keep the slave population stable, as it apparently was between 1580 and 1680. That meant about 8,500 new slaves had to be captured each year. Overall, this suggests nearly a million slaves would have been taken captive during this period. Using the same methodology, Davis has estimated as many as 475,000 additional slaves were taken in the previous and following centuries.

The result is that between 1530 and 1780 there were almost certainly 1 million and quite possibly as many as 1.25 million white, European Christians enslaved by the Muslims of the Barbary Coast.

Davis said his research into the treatment of these slaves suggests that, for most of them, their lives were every bit as difficult as that of slaves in America.

"As far as daily living conditions, the Mediterranean slaves certainly didn't have it better," he said.

While African slaves did grueling labor on sugar and cotton plantations in the Americas, European Christian slaves were often worked just as hard and as lethally -- in quarries, in heavy construction, and above all rowing the corsair galleys themselves.

Davis said his findings suggest that this invisible slavery of European Christians deserves more attention from scholars.

"We have lost the sense of how large enslavement could loom for those who lived around the Mediterranean and the threat they were under," he said. "Slaves were still slaves, whether they are black or white, and whether they suffered in America or North Africa."

Contact Robert Davis by emails at Davis.711@osu.edu and Jeff Grabmeier at Grabmeier.1@osu.edu

Contact Fred Reifenberg at freify@gmail.com

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Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, June 24, 2007.

When Sunni Islamic terrorist organizations, for one, such as Hamas, are ever willing to routinely wrap even children in explosives, morphing human beings yet to experience the world, as well as other vulnerable so-called martyrs, into weapons of choice to murder and mutilate innocent victims, and one pompous ass such as former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, a Nobel peace prize winner to boot, harangues his nation and Israel for not dealing with that democratically elected cadre of psychopaths, we are in serious trouble! We are in more serious trouble because the feckless media does not excoriate Carter, because the feckless media does not seriously address the grave implications of that democratically elected as well as kindred spirit maniacal organizations, demonstrating a willingness to intentionally so blow up members of mankind, and because the vast majority of mostly worthless, presumably moderate Islamic leaders, do not stick their necks out verbally blasting those that so violate and besmirch the faith they have chosen to represent. Furthermore, we see that same martyr driven mindset rearing its ugly head in other parts of the world, at an accelerating pace, especially in war torn nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan, especially among Sunni Muslims affiliated with radical groups such as al Qaeda and the Taliban. No doubt, war is hell and horrible atrocities are committed when populations are driven to engage in warlike behavior for whatever reason, yet the concept of wrapping human beings in explosives, to be used as weapons during full-blown war, or to commit such acts of terror during in effect perpetual states of war, demonstrates a malignant sickness challenging the very primacy of life's natural survival instinct. People truly outraged, in fact, need to first contemplate the religious roots thus justification of such metastasizing behavior if there is to be any serious attempt at eradicating it, despite the lack of effort so far displayed by the aforementioned media as well as presumably moderate Muslims collectively.

We cannot logically deny that the concept of a spiritual heaven, hovering above our material world, can become a perilous notion when attached to anti-secular sadomasochistic thoughts, especially those extolling martyrdom. Susceptible Muslims, mesmerized by Machiavellian mullahs into believing suicide missions will guarantee them a fast track ticket to heavenly paradise, perhaps amidst compliant virgins, is the primary extreme yet relevant example of that contention. In light of this, might honorable visionary intrepid religious leaders of all faiths consider relocating conceptual heaven, as envisioned by religious souls, into the very material domain their flocks encounter on a daily basis? Furthermore, might such leaders also consider relocating their conceptualized deity solely within that same domain, in essence within the hearts and minds of not only their followers but all humans, no longer in some imagined distant spiritual land? Is this a radical shift in religious thought, altering indeed the nature of so many faiths? Of course! Yet, how else are we to combat a catastrophic pandemic that has befallen mankind? One manipulated mesmerized Muslim, wrapped in a nuclear suicide belt, obsessed with his or her mutated mission, could change life as we know it on today's disrespected terra firma, less meaningful to the mutated madman or madwoman than some imagined far away spiritual heaven encased in sharia law.

Still, should all faiths consider so altering their conceptualizations of heaven and any deity presumably dwelling within it when today only the Islamic faith has mutated that belief into a scourge of horrific proportions? It behooves all of mankind, no doubt, to attempt to end war, to attempt to care for aggrieved citizens, to begin acting like a species worthy of inhabiting and dominating the third recorded millennium. How might any man hurt his neighbor or anyone else in any way if he believes that a deity resides within that person's material being? How could one tribal member hurt any member of his or any other tribe if such an act would also befall the internalized deity? This idea deserves serious consideration.

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant, working for the Social Security Administration. 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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Posted by Lee Caplan, June 24, 2007.

Tell Olmert, Barak and Zippy Livni: Gilad Shalit comes before Palestinians' welfare!!

MK Rabbi Yizhak Levi was horrified to hear the government's decision, today, to provide "humanitarian aid" to the Hamas regime in Gaza including electricity, water, food and medicine. He has approached the Prime Minister with the idea that Gilad Shalit's release, which is also a humanitarian issue, should come before Israel provides any of this humanitarian aid. This is a very good idea because it is so obvious that even these three weak ministers can manage to understand it.

So, please call

PM Olmert 02-6705555,
Defense Minister Barak 03-6976663
and Foreign Minister Zippy Livni 02-5303531.

Tell them in a firm way, that you heard about MK Levi's helpful suggestion for securing Shalit's release, and ask what did they think about it, please, and has it been implemented already? You can mention that you think TODAY might be a good time for the minister to get moving with respect to this suggestion. If you have a son in the army, mention that too.

Contact Lee Caplan at leescaplan@yahoo.com

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Posted by BabbaZee, June 24, 2007.

This comes from the Aish website:

GOOD MORNING! The story is told that Napoleon was walking through the streets of Paris one Tisha B'Av. As his entourage passed a synagogue he heard wailing and crying coming from within; he sent an aid to inquire as to what had happened. The aid returned and told Napoleon that the Jews were in mourning over the loss of their Temple. Napoleon was indignant! "Why wasn't I informed? When did this happen? Which Temple?" The aid responded, "They lost their Temple in Jerusalem on this date 1700 years ago." Napoleon stood in silence and then said, "Certainly a people which has mourned the loss of their Temple for so long will survive to see it rebuilt!"

___If we know our history and understand it, then we can put our life in perspective. We can understand ourselves, our people, our goals, our values. We will know the direction of our lives, what we want to accomplish with our lives and what we are willing to bear in order to fulfill our destiny. Friedrich Nietzsche put it well, "If you have a 'why' to live for, you can bear with any 'how'."

___We are now entering the Three Weeks, the time between the 17th of Tammuz (Tuesday, July 3) and the 9th of Av (starting Monday night, July 23rd). This is a period when many tragedies happened to the Jewish people. Why do we mourn the loss of the Temple after so many years? What did and does it mean to us?

___The Temple was a central focal point of the Jewish people. Three times a year -- Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot -- the Jews living in the Land of Israel came to worship and celebrate at the Temple. It offered us the ultimate opportunity to come close to the Almighty, to elevate ourselves spiritually. It represented the purpose of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel -- to be a holy people united with the Almighty in our own land ... a Jewish state. That is what we seek to regain and that is why we mourn and remember the loss of what we once had.

___What can one read to gain knowledge, get perspective, to understand who the Jewish people are and what we are about? Certainly, reading the Five Books of Moses is the place to start. I recommend the Artscroll Stone Edition. Nineteen Letters by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch will give a tremendous understanding of the Jewish purpose. Nine Questions and Why the Jews? by Praeger and Telushkin address central issues of the Jewish people. And then there is Judaism in a Nutshell: God by Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf for people who are long on curiosity, but short on time. For more history and understanding of the holidays, read Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov. All are available from your local Jewish book store, http://www.judaicaenterprises.com or by calling toll-free 877-758-3242.

___In Jewish cosmology, the Three Weeks are considered to be such an inauspicious time period that one is not allowed to get married. From the 1st of Av (July 16th), one is even advised to push off court cases until after the 10th of Av (after July 25th). We refrain from hair-cutting, purchasing or wearing new clothing, listening to music and pleasure trips. It is a time for self-reflection and improvement.

___On the 17th of Tammuz, five calamitous events occurred in our history:

1. Moshe broke the first Tablets of the Ten Commandments when he descended from Mt. Sinai and saw the worshipping of the Golden Calf.
2. The Daily Sacrificial Offerings ceased in the First Temple due to lack of sheep.
3. The walls of Jerusalem were breached during the siege of the Second Temple.
4. Apustumus-the-Wicked burned a Sefer Torah.
5. An idol was placed in the Sanctuary of the Second Temple.

___The 17th of Tamumz is a fast day. The fast begins approximately an hour before sunrise and continuing until about an hour after sunset. The purpose of the fast is to awaken our hearts to repentance through recalling our forefathers' misdeeds which led to tragedies and our repetition of those mistakes. The fasting is a preparation for repentance -- to break the body's dominance over a person's spiritual side. One should engage in self-examination and undertake to correct mistakes in his relationship with God, his fellow man and with himself.

___It is interesting to note that Saddam Hussein was a student of Jewish history. He named the nuclear reactor (from which he planned to create a bomb to drop on Israel) -- you guessed it, Tammuz 17! (Want the source? Two Minutes Over Baghdad by Amos Perlmutter.) I also highly recommend http://www.ShabbatShalomAudio.com and http://www.aish.com/holidays. There are many excellent articles and insights on our website.

Contact BabbaZee by email at babbazee@cs.com and visit the website The Outraged Spleen of Zion at

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Posted by Yuval Zaliouk, June 24, 2007.

Dear friends,

If you are still confused about the maze of Middle Eastern politics...

If you are still in doubt about the roots of the conflict...

If your mind is open to Arab/Palestinian propaganda and lies...

Here is a good article written by the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Warren Goldstein.
(www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1182409621159&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull).

It may help you organize your thoughts and gain some knowledge about the TRUTH.

Your Truth Provider,


Sometimes we make the most fundamental errors. When large numbers of people make mistakes -- even monumental ones -- it is almost impossible to challenge the resultant prevailing view. It was once the conventional wisdom that the earth is flat. In ancient times if anyone dared to claim that the earth was round, they would have been denigrated as being detached from reality. When, in the 16th century, Nicolaus Copernicus dared suggest that the sun was the center of the solar system and not the earth, he was regarded as a heretic.

In today's world any attempt to explain the Arab-Israeli conflict in terms other than "Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian land" and the "denial of Palestinian nationalist aspiration" is often regarded like a declaration that the earth is flat and the center of the universe. But what if this view is wrong? What if, in terms of understanding the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are living in pre-Copernican times? What if the Jewish State that is considered to be the root of all evil in the Middle East were instead the victim?

SOUTH AFRICA'S apartheid history is often invoked against Israel both internationally -- by former president Jimmy Carter among many others -- and in South Africa by trade union leaders and politicians. But what if the real apartheid of the Middle East is the one directed against the Jews? And what if Israel is more akin to the African National Congress (ANC) -- the famous South African liberation organization led by Nelson Mandela and now the governing party?

In South Africa the conflict was caused by a white racist apartheid regime. The ANC was always ready to talk peace, but the regime refused to talk and so the conflict could not be resolved, and the ANC was forced into an armed struggle. Like the ANC, the Israeli government has always been ready to talk peace but has been forced since the birth of the Jewish State into an armed defensive struggle because the anti-Semitic Arab world has not been prepared to talk peace.

The ANC had to wage an armed struggle for many years until finally white South Africans were ready to talk, and then the long-standing conflict was resolved relatively quickly. Unlike the ANC, Israel has not found genuine negotiating partners. And so its struggle continues, and peace remains a distant dream.

WHAT IF Zionism is not colonialism but rather an ancient people's deep connection to their native, historical and covenantal land? What if the real colonialism is Arab expansionism, which contests a Jewish state on even 1/520th of the area of Arab lands?

Nearly 4,000 years ago the forefathers of the Jewish People, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived in the land of Israel, which God had promised to them and to their descendants forever. That promise was confirmed at Mount Sinai, and was delivered upon by God through Joshua, after the death of Moses, more than 3,300 years ago when the Jewish people entered the land after being liberated from Egyptian slavery and oppression. About 3,000 years ago King David established Jerusalem as the capital city of the Promised Land.

The Jewish people lived in the Land of Israel for 850 years until their expulsion by invading Babylonians. They returned in large numbers 70 years afterwards and remained for many centuries until their eviction by the Roman Empire.

Despite unremitting anti-Semitism and persecution some Jewish communities managed against great odds to remain in Israel during the long interval between the Roman dispersion and the events leading to the re-establishment of the Jewish State in 1948.

WHAT IF the dispute has never been about Palestinian statehood but really about the destruction of the Jews and the only Jewish State on earth? In 1917, the Balfour Declaration, confirmed later by international law through the League of Nations, declared the British Mandate of Palestine to be a National homeland for the Jewish people, recognizing 4,000 years of Jewish connection to the land, and the injustice of the destruction of ancient Israel by the Romans and the forced removal of the Jewish people.

In 1922 the British took 76% of the land designated for a Jewish state in Palestine and allocated it instead to the Arabs, creating east of the Jordan River a new country then called Transjordan, and later, to be known as Jordan, which to this day has a Palestinian majority.

IN 1947 the United Nations voted to establish two states -- one Arab and one Jewish -- west of the Jordan river on the remaining 24% of the original portion of land allocated for a Jewish State by the international community.

In spite of this reduction to their original portion the Jews accepted the offer, which was then rejected by the Arabs. This was the beginning of a long history of Arab rejectionism. And so, in 1948 the newly reborn State of Israel was invaded by Arab armies from Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and the Arab Legion, all of which made it quite clear that they intended to destroy the tiny Jewish state at its rebirth and to massacre its citizens, many of whom were Holocaust survivors. Israel survived the war, and from 1948 to 1967, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were in Arab hands and there was no "occupation" of these territories then.

If the cause for the Arab-Israeli conflict is the "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza then why did the conflict rage throughout these years unabated, with continued Arab refusal to recognize Israel and to make peace with its Jewish neighbor? Why was it that in mid-1967 just before the Six Days War, and before the West Bank and Gaza fell into Jewish hands that Arab leaders called for the destruction of Israel? What "occupation" was at issue? Why at that time did the Syrian leader order his soldiers to attack Jewish civilian targets to "pave the Arab roads with the skulls of Jews"?

FOR THE 19 years that Jordan controlled the West Bank and Egypt the Gaza Strip, the Arab world had the opportunity of establishing another Palestinian state in those territories, and chose not to.

Why not? If the conflict is about Palestinian statehood, then why was there no talk whatever of a Palestinian state for all those 19 years? After the Six Days War Israel immediately tried to enter into negotiations with the Arab world about the political future of the West Bank and Gaza. The response came from the Khartoum Conference of all the Arab States on September 1, 1967 in the form of the infamous 3 No's -- "No Peace, No Negotiation, No Recognition."

And so, when in 2000 at Camp David, Yasser Arafat rejected without making a counter-offer at all, Israel's proposal of 95% of the West Bank and Gaza as well as land compensation for the remaining 5%, his intransigence was wholly consistent with Arab rejectionism of any Jewish presence at all.

IF THE Arab-Israeli conflict is about a Palestinian state than there has always been an obvious solution of two states living in peace side by side. The conflict is more fundamental and therefore, all the more intractable, and is really about Arab rejection of the very presence and existence of a Jewish State, and probably any Jews at all, in the heart of the Middle East.

And so the charter of Hamas calls for the murder of all Jews world-wide. And rockets from Gaza continue to target Israeli civilians even after Israel's evacuation. And threats of genocide and a second holocaust, together with denial of the first, emanate from Iran. And the Arab world is awash with the most rabid and pernicious anti-Semitism.

WHAT IF the war directed against the State of Israel, is really the global war of fundamentalist tyranny against freedom and democracy? Then indeed all of those who believe, with the best of intentions, that they are defending a vulnerable victim, are actually being complicit in one of the worst injustices in the history of human civilization. They will have sided with the forces of death and destruction, of fear and prejudice.

What if the world is siding against the only beacon of freedom and democracy in the Middle East, thereby endangering us all, because the fate of Jews is often a sign portending the future? Hitler came after the Jews first, and then he attacked the world. Suicide bombings began in Jerusalem and then migrated to New York, Bali, Madrid, London and Nairobi.

We need clarity to understand these tumultuous times. We also need an ultimate vision of peace and reconciliation between Arab and Jew. The conflict in the Middle East is between brothers, and that is the real tragedy. We are all the children of Abraham; Jews are the children of his son Isaac, and Arabs the children of his son Ishmael.

The Talmud tells us that, although the sons of Abraham fought for many years, when Abraham was buried in Hebron, Isaac and Ishmael were reconciled at his grave. Let us all pray to God that we will merit to see the day when brother will once again be reconciled with brother in the Middle East.

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

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Posted by Bruce Tuchman, June 23, 2007.
This is by Dr. Rusty "John Doe" Shackleford.

Jimmy Carter's New Book?

Contact Bruce Tuchman at bruce@nycat.org

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Posted by Barry Rubin, June 23, 2007.

Fatah al-Islam, a Palestinian Islamist group, has been waging an uprising in Lebanon which has attracted huge media coverage. Most journalists identify this group with al-Qa'ida or are just plain confused as to its identity. In fact, what is happening is a major deception operation by Syria, a rather typical case of how radical forces in the region fool the West, score against their adversaries, and avoid any retaliation for their deeds.

Let's first describe the story briefly, then explain the motives and proof behind it. An outline goes like this:

* Step1: Syria wants to sponsor violence and terrorism in Lebanon to bring that country back under its control and intimidate the Lebanese from supporting an international tribunal to investigate and punish those responsible for murdering Lebanon's most popular politician, former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, and 22 bystanders on February 14, 2005. Since all the evidence points at Syria's leaders as the murderers, killing the investigation is their highest priority. The timing of this uprising came at the very moment that the UN Security Council was voting to hold the tribunal.

* Step2: Organize and order a shadowy group of terrorists, called Fatah al-Islam, to disrupt Lebanon.

* Step3: And this is the scheme's most clever part, blame the terrorism on your victim, Lebanon's own government, and your enemy, the United States. Get some gullible or ideologically inclined journalists to talk to Syrian officials, be fed this line, and then spread it throughout the world.

So how do we know that the uprising in the Palestinian camp of Nahr al-Bared in northern Lebanon, which killed well over 100 people and led the Lebanese army to shell the camp, was a Syrian operation?

Well, first, the group itself, Fatah al-Islam, is merely part of an older group, Fatah al-Intifada, which has been a Syrian front group for almost 25 years. That is a rather strong hint of who these people are and from where their pay and arms come. But there is much more.

The leader of this group is a man by the name of Colonel Abu Khaled al-Amleh. And he lives and operates out of Damascus, Syria. The Syrians do not let terrorist groups function in the country unless the regime likes them and finds them useful. That is also a major piece of evidence. But we are just getting started.

The field commander of the group is a man named Shaker al-Absi. He has been working as a Syrian agent since 1983. In 2003, Absi joined the insurgency in Iraq against the Western forces there. Of course, Syria is the insurgency's main sponsor. Hundreds of fighters cross the Syria-Iraq border; reportedly there is a special government bus that takes them to a good jumping-off point. This record reinforces the idea that Absi is working for Syria.

In Iraq, Absi worked with Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qa'ida--Usama bin Ladin's group--there. There is no inconsistency here. After all, when Syria helps the insurgency, most of the forces they assist are led by al-Qa'ida. While al-Qa'ida is by no means controlled by Syria, the radical duo has some common interests.

Mr. Absi was involved in the murder of a U.S. diplomat, Lawrence Foley, in Jordan on October 28, 2003. Naturally, the Jordanians wanted Syria to extradite him so he could be questioned and punished. Syria refused, clearly because its regime would not benefit from having Absi tell what he knew, especially about Syria's own role in his activities. In 2004, Jordan sentenced Absi to death in absentia.

So instead of turning him over to Jordan, the Syrian authorities announced that they were going to punish Absi themselves. Accordingly, they claimed Absi was sentenced to three years imprisonment for his violent actions in their own country. Three years is a joke. Terrorists who attack the Syrian regime are put to death or given very long sentences. Often, they happen to die conveniently in a manner that used to be described as "shot while trying to escape."

And of course there is no evidence that Absi was ever in prison and certainly not for three years, since only two years later he is back in business as a terrorist. For all we know during this period in between he was living very nicely and engaged in training himself and others.

On being "released," in November 2005, Absi came back to Syria and went to Lebanon. Again, if the Syrian government thought he would do anything against their interests there he would not have been allowed to go so easily and conveniently. Immediately, Absi "split" his old group and began Fatah al-Islam. The ideology of the group, merging Arab nationalism and Islamism, is very much in line with Syria's current political doctrine.

Within Lebanon today, independent and pro-government newspapers have run detailed articles about Absi, his Syrian credentials, and the motives of Damascus for bashing Lebanon. Since Hariri's murder three years ago, there have been 15 major terrorist attacks, mostly aimed at assassinating critics of Syrian attempts to dominate Lebanon. There is a pattern here.

Meanwhile, Syrian officials have been briefing some Western journalists, who know no Arabic and have no serious background in studying the Middle East. They tell these people that Fatah al-Islam is a front for Lebanon's government and even the United States. There is no evidence that this is true. What is telling is that the articles published use precisely the same phrases employed by Syrian officials about 48 hours earlier.

The situation in Lebanon is complicated. But the majority of Lebanese want their country to be independent. They suffered under 20 years of Syrian occupation which looted the country and repressed its people systematically. The moderate, democratic leadership needs and deserves Western support against a terrorist offensive directed by the neighboring dictatorship. It would be a pity to be fooled, by such transparent schemes as the Fatah al-Islam affair, into supporting the oppressors.

Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, has written and edited 50 books on the Middle East. His latest book, The Truth About Syria, has just been published by Palgrave-Macmillan.

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Posted by Yuval Zaliouk, June 23, 2007.
The truth is evident and quite simple:

It is high time to stop believing in things that never existed, such as "Palestinian Authority" and other such two worded terms that never belonged together: "Palestinian territories" "Illegal settlements" "Occupied territories" to mention the most egregious ones.

This was written by Israel Harel and it appeared June 21, 2007 in Haaretz

George W. Bush and Ehud Olmert looked pathetic giving their "full backing" to the broken-down crutch that is Mahmoud Abbas. Contrary to the talk in Washington, nothing has changed to open a new opportunity for negotiations over a final settlement. It is impossible to hold talks with Abbas, just like it was impossible to hold talks in the past on any kind of arrangement, and certainly not on a permanent settlement. The Hamas victory in the Gaza Strip and the establishment of a "moderate" government in Ramallah do not divide the territory into Hamastan in the Gaza Strip and Fatahstan in Judea and Samaria. This is only another illusion in the basket of Israeli illusions -- a fallacy that's part of the same belief that there is an Arab leader (it used to be Yasser Arafat, and now it is Mahmoud Abbas) who wants to sign an agreement with us, and one that entails relinquishing the right of return and recognizing Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and Zionist state.

It is not only the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria and their leadership who do not recognize the right of Israel to exist as a state with a Jewish and Zionist character, but as a number of recently published documents have revealed, it is a view shared by entities representing the Arab citizens of Israel too.

The Palestinian government sworn in earlier this week is a fiction, even if the United States and Israel support it. In Ramallah, where this fictitious government sits, Hamas won a decisive victory in the last elections: four seats in parliament for Hamas, and only one for Fatah. In Nablus, four seats went to Hamas and two to Fatah. In Hebron: nine to Hamas and none for Fatah. In Jerusalem: four to Hamas and two for Fatah. In the cities of Judea and Samaria Hamas won 30 parliamentary seats. Fatah got only 12.

Given the circumstances, the new government does not represent the Palestinians -- only Israeli illusions, and possibly also those of the Americans and the Europeans. The Israel Defense Forces cannot prevent the erosion of Fatah's military power, and it is doubtful whether it is even worth investing efforts in such futility. The experience of recent years proves that our "allies," Mohammad Dahlan among them, are only boisterous characters -- corrupt and lacking any real power. They are certainly no ally of Israel.

In any case, Hamas will defeat them, and Israel should prepare well for the confrontation ahead. And in a confrontation of this nature, the various Dahlans would bring no benefit, only a burden.

Abbas' men lost in the fight not because Hamas militants are more brutal or better trained. If Fatah could, it would have adopted the same methods. Hamas won because the vast majority of the Gaza Strip population supports it, and this is first and foremost support for the religious ideology of the movement, which calls for the destruction of the Zionist entity. And as the elections have shown, this call is shared by the vast majority in Judea and Samaria, the area which Israeli analysts and politicians have designated for a Fatah state.

Certainly since the elections, areas A and B have been controlled by Hamas. As the events in the Gaza Strip show, the fact that many countries around the world have opposed the Hamas regime did not weaken support for the group. While in Judea and Samaria, thanks to the "occupation," Israel is able to prevent, and it is important that it prevent, some of the bloodletting, it is unable to prevent the weakening, and even the disappearence of Fatah as a significant force.

It is therefore time to let the truth out: Abbas is a fiction, and he cannot be saved.

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

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 23, 2007.

Now the 'Rushdie intifada' has begun.

As Mr. Dhume notes in his WSJ op-ed piece below, the 'hair-trigger hysteria' of Islamo-fascists may have gone too far. Rushdie's knighthood (whether deserved or not), like the election of Sarkozy and the election of a French government that supports him, may be the beginning of non-Muslim Europe telling the Islamic extremists that we all have had enough.

It seems to have gradually become clear that the hair-trigger hysteria and the endless potential for eruption of the 'muslim street' (*) are programmed, planned, choreographed, by Muslim leaders whose main purpose is to teach the dhimmi that they must not insult Islam....no matter what.

Insulting islam justifies mass murder, genocide, suicide bombers....nothing is too extreme, no amount of death and destruction is too much, if Islam is dishonored.

And, of course, it is always the Islamo-fascist side which decides what constitutes an insult.

'british spine' and maybe some battle-hardened 'french brie' may lead to a turning point where the islamification of western europe is turned back.

Charles Martel did it with one battle in 732 (or 736?? I forgot the exact date)....and saved Europe from dhimmitude. over the past 1,300 years the Muslim leaders who truly want 'Islam uber Alles' have gotten smarter. What they could not win in the field of war, they are attempting to win in the field of propaganda and demography and exploiting the humanistic and liberal systems of the EU nations.

Maybe EU leaders are finally getting wise to this new strategy to achieve the same old Islamo-fascist goal.

This article appeared today as a Commentary in the Wall Street Journal and was written by Sadanand Dhume, a fellow at the Asia Society in Washington, D.C. My Friend the Fanatic, his book about the rise of radical Islam in Indonesia, will be published next year.

Another Friday in Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi -- and as if on cue, the hoarse, bearded and pyromaniacal pour out of the mosques into the streets armed with Union Jacks and effigies of Queen Elizabeth II, Tony Blair and the newly knighted Sir Salman Rushdie.

Having protested Danish cartoons and popish detours into Byzantine history to the point of exhaustion, the proverbial Muslim street is once again seething. Pakistan's minister of religious affairs said Mr. Rushdie's award justified suicide bombings, while a group of traders in Islamabad banded together to place a $140,000 bounty on his head. Fathi Sorour, the speaker of Egypt's parliament, declared that, "Honoring someone who has offended the Muslim religion is a bigger error than the publication of caricatures attacking Prophet Muhammad." Malaysian protesters besieged the British high commission (embassy) in Kuala Lumpur chanting, "Destroy Britain" and "Crush Salman Rushdie." With the irony perhaps lost in translation, Iran, whose president thinks nothing of threatening to wipe Israel off the map, condemned the award and called it a clear sign of (that mysterious new ailment) "Islamophobia."

For many of us, however, her majesty's conferral is a welcome example of something that has grown exceedingly rare: British backbone. After years of kowtowing to every fundamentalist demand imaginable -- from accommodating the burqa in schools and colleges to re-orienting prison toilets to face away from Mecca -- the British seem to be saying enough is enough. Nobody expects Mr. Rushdie to be awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan, the Collar of the Nile or Iran's Islamic Republic Medal, but in Britain, as elsewhere in the civilized world, great novelists are honored for their work. A pinched view of the human condition or poorly imagined characters may harm your prospects. Blasphemy does not.

In the larger struggle against Islamism -- the ideology that demands that every aspect of human life be ordered by the seventh-century Arabian precepts enshrined in Shariah law -- the Rushdie affair carries totemic significance. In 1989 the late Ayatollah Khomeini declared a price on Mr. Rushdie's head for the crime of apostasy, after reading about his mockery of the prophet Mohammed in "The Satanic Verses." At the time, few could have predicted that this was merely the first act of a drama that's still unfolding.

Eighteen years after the ayatollah's fatwa, since lifted, but thanks to freelance fanaticism, never quite extinguished, the Bombay-born Mr. Rushdie has managed to lead a full life. He has turned out eight novels and essay collections, married twice (most recently the model and actress Padma Lakshmi), mentored a generation of young Indians writing in English, and spoken out against obscurantism and religious bigotry of every stripe. He has also witnessed -- mirrored in his own predicament -- the consequences of a Europe too paralyzed by deathwish multiculturalism and moral relativism to recognize the danger it faces. It has become a continent where an Islamist stabs a film director in broad daylight in Amsterdam, where bombs go off in Madrid commuter trains and London buses, where writers, directors and cartoonists suddenly find themselves bound by sensitivities imported not merely from alien lands but from another age altogether.

No Western country has done more to accommodate Islamists than Britain, and none better shows the folly of this course. Successive governments feted organizations such as the Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, and welcomed as refugees a stable of jihadist clerics, including the Syrian-born Omar Bakri Muhammad and the hook-handed Abu Hamza al-Masri. Rather than moderate Muslim passions, this climate of permissiveness gave us Richard Reid the shoe bomber, Daniel Pearl's murderer, Omar Saeed Sheikh, the quartet behind the 2005 London bombings and the plotters who ensured that we must now worry about carrying moisturizing lotion and baby formula each time we board an airplane. A recent poll by Policy Exchange, a London think tank, shows that 28% of British Muslims would rather live under Shariah than under British law.

But at last it looks like the pendulum has begun to swing the other way. Mr. Rushdie's elevation signals an intention to draw a line between respecting Islam and allowing a small minority of Islamists to impose their hairtrigger hysteria on secular Muslims and non-Muslims. It highlights two of the core values of Western civilization conspicuously absent in most of the Muslim world: freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry. It squarely rejects the notion that the fossilized norms of Mecca and Mashhad hold sway over Manchester and Middlesex, and beyond them, over Malmo and Minneapolis. Above all, it honors a brave man who has come to symbolize our turbulent times. A little old-fashioned British spine has never been more welcome.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, June 23, 2007.
I view our current situation, vis a vis the Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, etc. this way: we're in a war of attrition, against a clever determined enemy. Why are we taking prisoners, and then releasing them, and once again capturing them and going through the same routines? Aren't we busy enough with routing them out to waste the time to imprison then only to release them again? Prisons used to serve a purpose, in the hope of combining punishment, and rehabilitation, where possible. In a war situation it's a fight to the death. We should provide a service by sending these fanatics to their Allah.

My constant reference to inmates running an asylum -- when one reads the current set of news articles...

We're fighting an enemy hell bent on our destruction, yet we're propping them up so that further down the line they'll succeed. We're all mad if we continue down this path.

We allow passage of aid, funds, arms ... you name it, instead of bombing the shit out of them, and completely destroying their infrastructure, so that they cannot cause us and the whole world further grief. WAR of what I view as madness.

The enemy smuggles arms and spends every available penny to build a force to defeat us, and we help them by providing them with basics, from water, and electricity to food, medical aid and allowing leftist anarchist to show them support. Crazy doesn't describe this madness sufficiently.

Contact Fred Reifenberg at freify@gmail.com

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Posted by Jonathan Spyer, June 23, 2007.

Jonathan Spyer is a Senior Fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary university (ICT). This appeared yesterday in The Guardian.

The Hamas coup that took place in Gaza last week is an event of historic importance. For the first time in the region, Islamist fighters took on the internationally recognised forces of a western-subsidised Arab nationalist client -- and beat them hands down. Fatah was revealed to be the empty, corrupted shell that most Palestinians and many observers of Palestinian politics have known it to be for a long time. The implications of the bloody putsch in tiny, crowded Gaza have not yet presented themselves in full. But it is already possible to make a number of observations, and draw some tentative conclusions.

Three observations:

Firstly, the coup is the latest victory to be added to the considerable list of gains made by the Iranian-Syrian alliance in the last four years. Following on from what looks like the successful undermining of western policy in Iraq, the ongoing Syrian attempt at re-encroachment in Lebanon, the electoral triumph of Hamas in 2006, and the holding by Hezbollah of Israel to a bloody stalemate in 2006, the latest events will be a further indication to the Iran-led bloc that their way -- the way of 'muqawama' (resistance) is the road to victory.

Hamas's relationship with Iran is of long-standing, dating back to the mid '90s. And with the region currently polarising into two rival blocs -- the US and its allies and Iran and its clients -- the movement is now conclusively choosing its side. Tens of Hamas fighters have journeyed to Iran for advanced training in Iran in the last months. The movement received pledges of $250 million from Teheran in the last year.

Secondly, Arab political establishments are aware of what is happening, are frightened by it, but have not yet developed a coherent response. Given their track record in responding decisively on other matters of import, optimism would be misplaced.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit in a speech a few days ago asserted that Iranian aid to Hamas activities in Gaza posed a threat to Egyptian national security. Yasser Abd Rabbo, of Fatah, similarly told reporters that "Iran helped Hamas to lead a military coup against the legitimate Palestinian leadership and to control the Gaza Strip...Iran supports those hostile powers in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories in order to serve its regional interests on the expense of the peoples and nations of the region."

So far so good. But take a closer look at Fatah on the West Bank, where we are told the successful alternative to Hamas-stan is to be built. Fatah failed signally to undertake desperately needed reforms after the 2006 election defeat. The result was the debacle of June, 2007. The movement remains disunited, riven by clan and factional interests, and colossally corrupt. The west and the government of Israel now want to shore up and finance this rotten structure. But no-one has explained why the result of this will be any different to last time around, when money disappeared into the labyrinthine corrupt structures established by Fatah, and ended up financing gold taps in PA officials' bathrooms.

Thirdly -- the regime Hamas is creating in Gaza will be one of prayer, poverty and bloody repression. Already, disturbing stories are beginning to filter out of the Strip -- of unhindered attacks by Islamists on Christian sites in the Strip -- such as the armed assault on the Rosary Sisters School and the Latin Church in Gaza City earlier this week. Of attacks on Internet cafes and coffee houses. And of extraordinary cruelties visited upon supporters of the old regime -- Funeral processions attacked by armed Hamas gunmen, wounded men in Shifa hospital shot in the legs by Islamist fighters.

The Erez crossing yesterday was witness to a forlorn procession of former Fatah security men, and Russian citizens -- mostly women whose government was evacuating them -- all seeking a way out of Gaza. One Israeli Arab woman from Ramle, whose Gazan husband remained behind in the Strip, told an Israeli newspaper "I'm very scared...Hamas is cruel. They kill people as if they were birds."

All of which, for Israel, leads to the following conclusion: The siege is drawing in. Iranian client militias are now arrayed to Israel's south and north. Hamas in the south, Hizballah to the north. The mood in the pro-Iranian camp is one of purpose and steady gain. It is engaged in a long war among whose objectives is the destruction of Israel. Its followers feel the wind behind them.

Yet while it can educate a seemingly endless supply of young men willing to die and destroy, this camp is able to create only islands of poverty, repression and the rule of blood -- from which people seek to flee. This remains the contradiction at its heart -- a contradiction which is likely to see the currently ascendant energies of Iran and its allies finally dissipated in pointless destruction and defeat. In the meantime, Israel is watching events in Gaza and further afield carefully. The clash between the forces of the 'muqawama' and its enemies -- the western democracies and their allies -- has not yet reached its height.

Dr. Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya.

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Posted by Martin Sherman, June 23, 2007.

This was published June 20, 2007 as an Israel Opinion piece in Ynet News "Something Rotten in the State of Israel" discusses the implications of the Israeli political system's tendency to reward failure. It is archived at

A similar piece in Hebrew can be found at:

Something is rotten in State of Israel

Q: What is the difference between the State of Israel and a lunatic asylum?

A: In a lunatic asylum, at least the management is supposed to be sane.
-- Popular Joke

The events of the last week dramatically underscored how close the biting cynicism of popular humor comes to accurately describing the theater of the absurd reflected in the machinations of the ruling elites in the country. Just stop for a moment and consider the Kafkaesque scenes that have unfolded of late before the Israeli public.

- I --

In the latest act in the on-going saga, we saw Shimon Peres being elected as president of Israel exactly on the day that the

Hamas was completing its takeover of Gaza. It is difficult to ignore the bizarre symbolism in this development for it underscores the perverse principle that has emerged so vividly in Israeli public life -- i.e. poor past performance, however dismal, however damaging to the national interest, has no bearing on the prestige, power or position that an individual may attain -- even in the immediate wake of such failure.

For it is difficult to imagine any other occurrence that could demonstrate more clearly just how preposterous were the policies Peres advocated over the last two decades. It is difficult to think of any other individual who bears greater responsibility for the transformation of Gaza into "Hamastan" than the president-elect of Israel. It is difficult to conceive of any outcome that refutes more brusquely the claim that Peres' accession to the highest office in the land is a fitting culmination to his long career in public life.

For not only is he associated perhaps more than anyone -- with the initiation of the process that led to the establishment of an outpost of radical fundamentalism "five minutes from Ashkelon," but he also acquired his international prominence -- which allegedly gives him "presidential stature" -- by sponsoring a policy that exacted a terrible price from his own people, severely undermined the security of his own state, and wrought ruin on the Palestinians.

In spite of all this, on the very day that events of the ground provide incontrovertible proof that all the prestige that he has accumulated was based on nothing but an alluring brew of fanciful follies and falsehoods; on the very day that reality demonstrated beyond all doubt that he possesses neither political wisdom nor historical perspective, that his "grand vision" is nothing but an hallucinatory mirage that brought only calamity and chaos to those it was intended to benefit; on the very day that the utter failure of his alleged "statesmanship" was so starkly and irrevocably exposed to all; on that very day, somehow Peres, through the torturous, convoluted machinations of the Israeli system, found himself elected to represent the State of Israel

- II --

It should be remembered that this scene featuring Peres, was preceded by an early one starring Ehud Barak -- in which the Arab vote decided who was to be the defense minister of the Jewish State. Moreover, this vote brought to office the very man that the Arab sector usually singles out as responsible for the "bloody events of October 2000," in which 13 Arab citizens lost their lives in clashes with the security forces.

But if the Arab support for Barak seems puzzlingly incongruous, his support among the Jews (and particularly among senior members of his party) in nothing short of astounding. Of course, the claim that Barak has expertise and experience in security affairs does have a convincing initial ring to it -- until one remembers that... he was defense minister not too long ago, and was thrown out of office via the ballot box because of his abysmal performance.

Moreover, the major security problems that Barak will be called on to contend with -- as an allegedly competent security expert --- are all the result of his handling when he served as defense minister in the government headed by... Ehud Barak.

His flaccidity in facing the Palestinian gangs and his flight from the Lebanese militia constitute the "original sin" that eventually led to the takeover of the radicals in the south and the enhancement of their prowess in the north. Yet now, though the working of some bizarre inexplicable, illogical process, Barak returns to head the Defense Ministry, without providing the slightest clue of how he intends to improve his performance this time round; without giving the remotest indication of what he understands better now -- after a six-year break in which he was not involved in national security or public life -- than he did previously.

And all this takes place with the active support of his party, which he led to disastrous electoral defeat -- and without any contribution on his part to its rehabilitation.

- III --

Of course, these scenes were played out against the backdrop of another one, played out by another prominent political protagonist -- Ehud Olmert, who attained his position of prime minister not because of his own personal attributes, but rather, because of a quirk of fate. He acquired this office principally because, prior to the elections, he did not manage to erode, with sufficient pace, the public support amassed by his predecessor Ariel Sharon (a phenomenon in itself, worthy of the attention of students of the absurd -- in view of the widespread and well-known corruption and the manifest feebleness of the response to Palestinian violence that characterized his government); and he remains in office despite the miniscule public support he enjoys and the almost universal desire to see him resign.

For Olmert, like Peres and Barak, the defeat of Fatah (which in the perverse terminology of the absurd is dubbed "moderate" -- in spite of its overt commitment to the complete eradication the "Zionist entity") constitutes the ultimate negation of the raison d'etre for the continued existence of his party and the continuation of his incumbency -- i.e. the contention that Israel, by means of unilateral "convergence", can determine its own permanent borders and long-term destiny.

After all, however grave the inquiries into corruption charges against Olmert may be, the man has never been suspected of excess honesty and never made claim to this. Accordingly, this character-attribute was never the basis for his election and thus the lack thereof can at best constitute only a secondary reason for his removal from office.

By contrast, it has become quite clear that he cannot implement the central plank of his party's platform and thus cannot deliver on his pivotal electoral promises to the voter. There is accordingly no justification for his continued stay in power -- at least not without receiving a renewed mandate from the electorate. This is the way matters should be conducted -- if we weren't trapped in the theater of the absurd.

- IV --

No administrative or governmental system can survive the ravages of irrationality that the Israeli system in presently being subjected to. No such system can sustain itself if it operates on the basis of disregarding the facts, ignoring realities -- and bestowing lavish rewards on failures.

No amount of stock market peaks, of scientific advances or of technological advances will be able to fend off eventual collapse and catastrophe if this mode of conduct persists.

So before the final curtain falls on all of us, the Israeli public must be reminded of two things: (a) Unlike the inmates of a lunatic asylum, the Israeli citizen has the opportunity to elect the "management" -- and to "un-elect" it. (b) In a democracy, the major drawback is that there is no dictator to blame for the fate of the nation. When the kratos (power) is in the hands of the demos (people,) it and it alone is responsible for its destiny.

It and it alone will bear the price of the absurd antics it allows its elected leaders to perform.

Dr. Martin Sherman is a political scientist at Tel Aviv University with degrees in geology, physics, finance and political science. He has written extensively on the politics of water in the Middle East and the necessity for Israel to safeguard its water supply. Contact him at ms6747@gmail.com

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Posted by Avodah, June 22, 2007.

This was published in Haaretz

It is almost politically incorrect, practically heresy, to claim today that the Golan is not Syrian in the least nor a deposit or bargaining chip for negotiations. The Golan is a lot more "Israeli" than "Syrian." It has been Israeli for 40 years, double the time it was in Syria's hands. It has been under Israeli sovereignty for 26 years. It has neither a foreign people nor a demographic problem. The Golan has become a part of Israeli life. It is the most frequently visited part of the country, dotted with dozens of Jewish communities, agricultural fields, industrial areas and tourist resorts, nature reserves and wild landscape.

Whoever talks about "returning" the Golan to Syria is being misleading. The Golan was placed under a French mandate in the colonialist agreement that divided the region; Syria won independence only in 1946. In the brief period it was in the Golan -- 0.5 percent of its territory -- Syria turned the region into a launching pad for its attempt to conquer and decimate Israel. The Syrian army shelled the Israeli communities along the border, attacked the Lake Kinneret fishermen, tried to divert the course of its waters and made life "down below" a Sderot-style hell. The Golan was conquered in a justified defensive war. We paid for it with blood. The Syrians lost it fair and square.

In previous eras as well, the Golan was not considered a part of Syria, and it is replete with findings of Jewish heroism and sovereignty, starting with the reign of Solomon, through the Second Temple period, the heroic battle of the city of Gamla and the Talmudic period. It was no foreign land that we conquered. The results of the Second Lebanon War greatly increased the Syrian appetite and led it to threaten a war against Israel unless the Golan is handed over. This is exactly the time to tell the Israeli story of the Golan Heights. (Ha'aretz)

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com

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Posted by Barry Rubin, June 22, 2007.

During World War One, Germany concluded that its chief ally, Austria-Hungary, was more of a burden than an asset. As one German official put it, being in that alliance was like being "shackled to a corpse."

And more than a century earlier, it was said of the doomed French dynasty, the Bourbons, that they learned nothing and forgot nothing.

Welcome to the alliance with Fatah, sort of Austria-Hungary and the Bourbons rolled up into one. The group is now ruler of a West Bank-only semi-state after Hamas captured the Gaza Strip from it. The United States is backing Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas with aid and probably military assistance. Israel's government will do everything possible to preserve that regime, too.

This is a completely logical policy decision. It makes perfect sense given the balance of forces and the overall situation. I understand why it is being done. The problem is that it isn't going to work very well, or at least only to a limited extent. And if we know that now, perhaps this fact should shape policy just a bit?

But first, let's sweep the floor of all the debris that belongs in the garbage can. There are those now arguing for backing, or at least parlaying with, Hamas. Reportedly, the European Union is going to keep giving aid to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis.

As I recall, in wartime one does not send aid to enemy-ruled states, even to help the civilians there. Putting on pressure is necessary to defeat the enemy. Of course, the United States and Europe are not at war with Hamas, or Hizballah, Syria, or Iran for that matter. The problem is that the West generally doesn't understand that these forces are at war with them.

If you send aid to the Gaza Strip, it will strengthen Hamas's rule. Aid will be diverted to pay terrorists and buy arms. The schoolteachers whose salary you pay will teach children that their highest duty is to become a suicide bomber and that Christians and Jews are sub-human. The salaries paid are used to buy support for Hamas. Those loyal get money; those who oppose Hamas don't. Is all this so hard to understand?

And if one wants to do something humanitarian, take the money that would have gone to the Gaza Strip and give it to poor people in Africa, Asia, South America, Iraq, even the West Bank. Don't finance terrorism, antisemitism, and radical Islamism for goodness sake. Is that so hard to understand?

The second piece of nonsense is that this is some great opportunity for advancing the peace process. Have no doubt. The United States and Israel may give Fatah money, trade some intelligence, and try to get them to stop cross-border terror attacks. But serious negotiations? Forget it.

In understanding the Fatah world view let's try a simple test. You are a Fatah official. You receive money. What do you do with it? Answer: put it into your foreign bank account. Why? Because aside from pure greed and a culture of corruption, you are afraid that Hamas will take over the West Bank too. You will need a bankroll so that you and your family can flee abroad and live comfortably, very comfortably.

As for Abbas, he is a loser and only if he is replaced can one even begin to believe in Fatah's survival. He is the closest thing in the Palestinian movement to a French intellectual, not the kind of person you would like to have by your side in a knife fight.

Consider his first two decisions. Who did Abbas make prime minister? Muhammad Dahlan, who has been warning about the Hamas threat for more than five years, or some other warrior? No, Salam Fayyad, a professional economist. Why? Does Abbas intend to launch a major development and anti-poverty campaign? No, it's because Fayyad, an honest and experienced guy it is true, but certainly no wartime consigliore, is more likely to bring in Western aid money.

In addition, Abbas has refused to outlaw Hamas on the West Bank. Perhaps he hopes for reconciliation? Or wants to avoid a confrontation on his remaining turf? If Abbas is thinking like a European Union bureaucrat he is really doomed.

There is something deeper, too, in the desire by many in the West or Israel to believe in an alliance with Fatah, a group which still carries on terrorist attacks and doesn't believe in Israel's right to exist. This is the obsession with the peace process dream.

Now peace is a very good thing. It is certainly preferable to war. Peace far better serves the interests of average people. But, unfortunately, a comprehensive, formal peace is not going to happen. Get over it. Smell the coffee. Deal with unpleasant reality.

OK, so we have to deal with the cards which have been dealt. But this means a tough policy, showing adversaries that it is costly to be enemies; pressing supposed allies to deliver the goods.

What lesson does Iran draw from Western weakness in opposing its nuclear weapons' program? To paraphrase the words of the Union admiral during the Civil War, "Damn the diplomatic notes! Full speed ahead!"

What lesson does Syria draw from Israel's failure to retaliate against it last summer and the stream of Western suitors bearing gifts and flattering the dictatorship? Escalate the war against Lebanon!

What lesson does Hizballah draw from Western refusal to get tough on arms smuggling and Europeans trembling lest it attack the UNIFIL peacekeeping forces in Lebanon? Rearm, rebuild positions in the south, and start firing rockets against Israel again!

So, all right, work with Fatah but have no illusions or expectations. And don't give something for nothing.

Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, has written and edited 50 books on the Middle East. His latest book, The Truth About Syria, has just been published by Palgrave-Macmillan.

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 22, 2007.

I do not support the course of action described in the Jerusalem Post article below. But I do very much empathize with the frustration which drives the writer to his conclusions. The terrible connundrum is that both sides of the argument are both correct and incorrect at the same time.

Israel, and the USA, must make a choice between two very bad options:

a.) do nothing in Gaza and and support Abbas and hope that Fatah prevails and Gaza, with a defeated and repentant Hamas, reverts to some sort of 'moderate' terrorist union with Fatah's west bank, or, absent Fatah's prevailing in Gaza, at least keep Hamas penned up in Gaza where its ability to do damage is limited....


b.) invade Gaza and crush Hamas and (God forbid!!) create 1,200,000 new refugees streaming in to Egypt (indeed a casus belli for Egypt and an Israeli war crime and a crime against humanity)

So the question is, which one is the worse option, and which is the lesser of the two evils.

Obviously, Olmert and Bush prefer option #a, while Mr. Freund and many others root for option #b.

Short term, there is the third option:

c.) crush Hamas while it is penned up in Gaza, and support Abbas as long as he continues to use his terror forces to crush the Hamas cells in the West Bank, so that Fatah/PLO prevails in Gaza and in the west bank and no new refugees are created, but the terrorism from Gaza stops....and if/when abbas or his successor in the PA reverts to standard PLO terrorism, then crush those too...

Unfortunately, this is not a long-term solution, because:

1.) Abbas and Fatah are still terrorists who have not changed their tune: ''from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free''.....so eventually they will revert back to terror against israel when they are strong enough to do so (and let's not forget that we have reports from Israeli intelligence dating back to the mid 1990s noting that many Fatah police and 'security forces' moonlight for Hamas)....and they will have the support of other Arab/Muslim nations (see '2') and the support of some significant plurality or small majority of the Palestinian people.

2.) Arabia and Syria and Libya and Hezbollah and Iran are still terrorist states and will work with Hamas refugees, and with some fatah pragmatists, and others in the arab and muslim world who will flock to that banner....and eventually recreate a new and improved Hamas in Syria or Sinai, just as Iran via Syria created Hezbollah to take over when the PLO was driven from Lebanon. this new and improved Hamas will prevail over Fatah and PLO by virtue of its popularity with some large plurality or small majority of Palestinians, and by virtue of the resources at its disposal from Iran and Syria.

3.) Israel still remains the Jew among nations. Arab Muslims in Sudan can genocide 2,000,000 Christian and animist black Africans, and 800,000 Muslim black Africans,...and the world is silent in the face of this blatant brutal racist genocide. But if Israel kills one palestinian civilian accidentaly during hot pursuit of Palestinian terrorists, the UN convenes in special session to condemn Israel's act of inhumanity. So, no matter what Israel may be able to do to prevent '1' or '2', it is sure to run afoul of the UN and EU and those in the USA and UK who are the cheerleaders of Arab terrorism and its goal of the genocide of Israel's Jews...aka 'hitler's little helpers'.

4.) Israel is still very dependent upon the USA for $$ and political support and weaponry. The USA still sees Israel's priorities as secondary or tertiary to USA priorities. USA priorities include keeping Abdullah bin-Saud happy both for support for USA actions in the Arabian Gulf and for support against any Arab/Muslim forces turning off the oil spigot. So, no matter how many Jews may die in terror attacks, and how outrageously irrational it is for Israel to supply electriciy and water and food and medicine to the Gaza Arabs while they are lobbing qassams on Sederoth, and how obscenely hypocritical it is for Bush to demand Israeli restraint, and how counter-productive it is for Bush to micro-manage Israel's defensive actions.....as long as Abdullah demands payment for his loyalty to the USA in the coinage of USA pressure on Israel, Bush and his successors will pressure Israel....and Israel will be susceptible to that pressure.

The above four considerations explain why Professor Michael Oren (Hebrew Univ and Princeton) and Palestinian journalist Khaled abu-Toameh and Israeli government spokespersons Yuval Steinitz and Ra'anan Gissin and I all say that there is no solution to the conflict...there is only management of the conflict.

UNLESS....unless the Technion (or the Weizmann Institute, or Ben Gurion University) were to discover or invent a low-cost, bio-degradable, non-pollutant, renewable, efficient fuel substitute for petroleum.

Then without money to pay their terrorist minions, and to buy political influence, and to coerce media acquiescence, and to endow Jihad-friendly academic positions and think-tanks.....the Saudi and Iranian funders of world-wide terror would shrivel up, and so would the terrorists.

That's why I support the Technion.

The article below -- "Take Back Gaza Now" -- was written by Michael Freund and it appeared June 22, 2007 in The Jerusalem Post
(www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1182409609548&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull/).

Talk about a twist of fate. Watching the frightening scenes on television the other day as the green flag of Hamas was raised triumphantly over Gaza, I couldn't help but think back to the Israeli elections that took place 15 years ago this week.

Still reeling from the brutal terrorist murder of teenager Helena Rapp of Bat Yam, Israelis went to the polls on June 23, 1992, and voted for Yitzhak Rabin, thanks in large part to his promise to "take Gaza out of Tel Aviv."

Now, just a decade and a half later, Gaza is back, and with a vengeance. For far too long, Israel has been trying to run away from the Gaza problem, and that has gotten us nowhere. The time has come to stop fleeing and to face this threat head-on.

Indeed, thanks to the blundering of successive Israeli leaders, what was once just a thorny counterinsurgency problem has now become a full-blown strategic threat, as the rise of Hamastan before our very eyes makes abundantly clear.

The existence of a rogue, Taliban-style terrorist state along Israel's southern border is a recipe for disaster. If allowed to come to pass, the consequences will be felt far beyond the outskirts of Sderot and Ashkelon. Gaza will serve as a regional launching pad for terrorism, trouble and tribulation, and it will tempt the rest of our neighbors to think that the "liberation of Palestine" is near.

And if Hamas were to extend its rule to Judea and Samaria, it would place all of central Israel within striking distance of Muslim fanatics. It is therefore essential that Hamas's "experiment in Islamic rule" be shut down as quickly as possible, before the danger becomes even more pressing.

So let's finally shed our delusions that we can "take Gaza out of Tel Aviv," and let's just "take Gaza," once and for all.

Israel should reassert complete control over the area, topple the Palestinian Authority, arrest and try its leadership, and finally declare that this land is rightfully ours and we shall never again abandon it.

We should methodically uproot the terrorist infrastructure, and rebuild the rubble of Gush Katif and its once-thriving Jewish communities. In other words, take Gaza back, take all of it back, and don't ever give it up again.

LET'S BE honest: after 15 years of retreat, it is time to try something else. Those who preached concessions and withdrawal have been proven painfully wrong, again and again, and the people of Israel have suffered terribly for their shortsightedness and frailty.

The government needs to stop worrying about how Condoleezza Rice and Javier Solana will react, and start concerning itself a little more with the safety and security of its citizens. Leaving Gaza in the hands of Hamas and its supporters is simply not an option.

"But there is no military solution," shout the Left and much of the media, as Kassam rockets continue to slam into the Negev. "We must negotiate," they say, as the terror groups recruit Palestinian mothers with young children to serve as suicide bombers.

Pay them no heed. These are the same high priests of appeasement, after all, who got us into this mess in the first place. It was at their behest that Israel pulled out of Gaza nearly two years ago, expelling thousands of Jews from their homes and withdrawing the IDF. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan's famous 1980 query to Americans, "Are Israelis better off now than they were before the Gaza retreat?" It is evident that the answer is a resounding "no."

At the time, proponents of the move said it would wash Israel's hands of Gaza, strengthen Palestinian moderates and pull the rug out from under the extremists.

They were wrong. Dead wrong.

The pullout from Gaza has proven to be a disastrous mistake, one that has claimed numerous Israeli lives -- and Palestinian ones, too.

So when the pundits and the talking heads now try to persuade us of the wisdom of supporting Fatah thugs against Hamas terrorists, or of inviting an international force into the area, let's just remember how effective their previous policy prescriptions turned out to be.

After all, it was the opponents of the pullout who have proven to be prescient. They predicted beforehand that an Israeli withdrawal would lead to a Hamas takeover in Gaza. That, of course, is precisely what has occurred. They warned that pulling the IDF out of Gaza would lead to intensified Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel, and that, too, has come to pass.

WE NEED not accept the present situation, nor should we. It is not too late to correct the error of withdrawal, and to declare at last an end to the delusions of reaching a false peace with those who seek our demise. So let's hit the collective rewind button, and take back control over the entire Gaza Strip.

Let the Left ridicule the idea of returning to Gaza as much as they please. They were wrong then and they are wrong now, and I'd rather be right and alive, than progressive and on the run.

What about the Palestinian population, you say? Sorry, but the Palestinians had their chance. They blew it. They could have had a state, they could have made a deal with Barak, with Peres, or with Rabin. But instead they chose the path of extremism and bloodshed. They have no one to blame but themselves for the outcome, and there is no reason why innocent Israelis should continue to pay the price for the Palestinians' ongoing obstructionism.

Will there be political and diplomatic fallout from an Israeli move into Gaza? For sure. The Europeans will spill their lattes when they hear the news, and the halls of the United Nations will echo with the drumbeat of outrage as the Jewish state is condemned for defending itself.

But as important as diplomacy is, it pales in comparison with protecting the lives of innocent Jewish men, women and children. When it comes to safeguarding the welfare of its citizens, Israel has no choice but to put aside all other considerations and to act to defend itself.

For no matter what Israel does, or does not do, the blame is inevitably hurled our way. So we might as well do what we must, and proudly raise the blue and white flag once again over the sand dunes of Gaza.

We should never have left in the first place, and the time has now come to return. Like it or not, the choice between Israel or Hamas ruling over the area really doesn't leave us with much choice at all.

So Gaza, here we come!

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, June 22, 2007.

This was written by Victor Davis Hanson and it appeared in Jewish World Review
(http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0607/hanson062107.php3). Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

"The Palestinian people will never forgive the Hamas gangs for looting the home of the Palestinian people's great leader, Yasser Arafat." So Palestinian Authority spokesman Abdel Rahman recently exclaimed. "This crime will remain a stain of disgrace on the forehead of Hamas and its despicable gangs."

Looting? Crime? Despicable gangs?

Excuse me. For years, Palestinian Authority-sanctioned gangs shot and tortured dissidents, glorified suicide bombing against Israel and in general thwarted any hopes of various "peace processes."

Of course, this kind of behavior isn't limited to the Palestinian territories but is spread across the Middle East. The soon-to-be-nuclear theocracy in Iran is grotesque. Iraqis continue to discover innovative ways to extinguish each other. Syria assassinates democratic reformers in Lebanon. ABC News now reports that new teams of al-Qaida and Taliban suicide bombers have been ordered to the United States and Europe from Afghanistan.

Here's why much of the region is so unhinged -- and it's not because of our policy in the Palestinian territories or our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

First, thanks to Western inventions and Chinese manufactured goods, Middle Easterners can now access the non-Muslim world cheaply and vicariously. To millions of Muslims, the planet appears -- on the Internet, DVDs and satellite television -- to be growing rich as most of their world stays poor.

Second, the Middle East either will not or cannot make the changes necessary to catch up with what they see in the rest of the world. Tribalism -- loyalty only to kin rather than to society at large -- impedes merit and thus progress. So does gender apartheid. Who knows how many would-be Margaret Thatchers or Sandra Day O'Connors remain veiled in the kitchen?

Religious fundamentalism translates into rote prayers in madrassas while those outside the Middle East master science and engineering. Without a transparent capitalist system -- antithetical to both sharia (Muslim law) and state-run economies -- initiative is never rewarded. Corruption is.

Meanwhile, mere discussion in much of the region of what is wrong can mean execution by a militia, government thug or religious vigilante.

So, Middle Easterners are left with the old frustration of wanting the good life of Western society but lacking either the ability or willingness to change the status quo to get it.

Instead, we get monotonous scapegoating. Blaming America or Israel -- "Those sneaky Jews did it!" -- has become a regional pastime.

And after the multifarious failures of Yasser Arafat, the Assads in Syria, Muammar Gaddafi, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Saddam Hussein and other corrupt autocrats, many have, predictably, retreated to fundamentalist extremism. Almost daily, some fundamentalist claims that the killing of Westerners is justified -- because of a cartoon, a Papal paragraph or, most recently, British knighthood awarded to novelist Salman Rushdie. The terrorism of Osama bin Laden, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban is as much about nihilist rage as it is about blackmailing Western governments to grant concessions.

Meanwhile, millions of others simply flee the mess, immigrating to either Europe or the United States.

These reactions to failure often lead to circumstances that can defy logic.

The poor terrorists of Arafat's old party, Fatah, seem to shriek that they have been out-terrorized by Hamas, and desperately con more Western aid to make up for what has been squandered or stolen.

Muslims flock to Europe to enjoy a level of freedom and opportunity long denied at home. But no sooner have many arrived than they castigate their adopted continent as decadent. The ungracious prefer intolerant sharia -- denying to their own the very freedom of choice that was given to them by others.

Our response in America to this perennial Middle East temper tantrum?

In the last 20 years, we've sent billions in aid to the Arab world. We've saved Muslims from Bosnia to Kuwait. We've removed dangerous thugs in Afghanistan and Iraq, fostering democracies in their place. We've opened our borders to immigrants from the Middle East. We've paid billions of dollars in inflated oil prices. All the while, many in the West have wrongly blamed themselves for the conditions in the Middle East.

It's past time for Middle Easterners to fix their own self-inflicted mess. In the meantime, the U.S. and its allies should help as we can -- but first protect ourselves from them as we must.

Contact Fred Reifenberg at freify@gmail.com

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Posted by David Ha'Ivri, June 22, 2007.

Shabbat Shalom. This weekly Torah commentary is brought to you by www.kahane.hameir.org This was written in 1992 Rabbi Binyamin Zev Kahane and it has been translated by Lenny Goldberg. It is archived at
92-the-legitimiate-rights-of-the-ammonites- ?566166564424d62b3c3608660372b956=6fae9d168bdaf868c4a610979cfb70b5

The modern concept of "Jewish occupied territories" rears its ugly head in Parshat Chukat and in our haftarah, Shoftim (Chapter 11). We read in our parasha how Og, the king of Bashan, and, the king of Ammon, try to prevent the Jewish people from passing through their borders to get to the Land of Israel. Both kings decide to wage war against The Chosen Nation and both kings lost. The children of Israel conquer their enemies and inhabit their land. Interestingly enough, no one at the time suggested that the Jewish people return the land that they just conquered to the nations that tried to annihilate them. No, such a proposal was never even considered. But, what if such a proposal was raised? How would a Jewish leader have reacted?

Land For Peace

To answer these questions we move the clock ahead 300 years until we arrive at the haftarah of our parasha. In the time of the Judges, the king of Ammon brazenly demands that Israel return to him the territories that were conquered, and if Israel refuses, there will be war. The king recounts some well-known history: "Because Israel took away my land when they came out of Egypt, from Arnon as far as the Yabok, and the Jordan." (Judges 11:13) Compared to the demands of today's Arabs, this demand is quite "moderate". The king of Ammon, unlike the P.L.O., does not call for the total destruction of the Jewish State. He only wants that which was taken from his people. In words that echo in the U.N. and in Washington, the king concludes his demand in the following manner: "Now, therefore, restore those lands peacefully." Peace -- that magic word. What normal Jewish leader can refuse such an offer? After all, Ammon's claim is not an unreasonable one; the lands were taken from them. Ammon, unlike the P.L.O., once had a sovereign empire with a capital and an army on that land. And most importantly, here was a genuine opportunity for peace -- no more war, no more bloodshed.

Not One Inch

The answer Yiftach returned to to the king of Ammon is far different than what Rabin and Peres told Arafat. Yiftach recounts all the past history, and then concludes: "So now the Lord of Israel has driven out the Amorites from before his people, Israel, and you should possess the land?! Will you not possess what your god, Kemosh, gives you to possess? And all whom the Lord, our G-d, shall drive from before us that we shall possess." (Judges 11:23-24) This is the reaction of a true Jewish leader. A reaction based on emunah -- faith in the word of G-d. The land is ours not because of any historical claim or because we defeated the former inhabitants in battle. Rather, the land is ours because G-d gave it to us and we have no right to give it up...

How To Subdue the Enemy

Ma'ase abot siman labanim -- the deeds of our fathers are signs to the children. One needs only to study our Torah to learn how to deal with our enemies who initiate wars and then cry "Jewish land for peace". The Arabs have attempted to destroy the Jewish State through four wars and much terrorism and when that failed the P.L.O. and the other Arabs went to the negotiating table and demanded Jewish land or else there will be no peace. Unfortunately, there are Jews who have little or no faith in the G-d of Israel who are (mis)leading the country today. These politicians are unfamiliar with the story of Yiftach and do not understand that our true right to the land of Israel is only because G-d gave it to his people as an eternal inheritance. May we, and our leaders, be worthy of having faith in the Al-mighty so that our enemies may be subdued as they were in the days of Yiftach.

Contact David Ha'Ivri at haivri@gmail.com

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 22, 2007.

Another one of these great conundra about why Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch etc constantly condemn Israel for putative violations of Palestinian rights....

...even as Hamas slaughters Palestinian non-combatants, women and children,

...and as Israel keeps unnumberable thousands of Palestinians alive in Gaza with free food, water, electricity, and medical supplies.....

...plus treating Palestinian wounded in Israeli hospitals.

It seems as though no matter how brutal and barbaric and genocidal the Palestinan terrorists are, they remain, teflon-like, unsullied by their evil, at least in the eyes of many.

No matter how much good Israel does, even for its enemies, it remains the world's worst perpetrator of crimes against humanity...even in the eyes of its putative friends.

This is both, and at the same time, 1938 Germany and Orwell's 1984.

Orwell's 'NO-THINK' allows many of our brightest and best:

a.) to ignore the fascism of Islamic terrorist jihad, and the religious apartheid of the Islamic concept of dhimmitude, and the Nazi redux of 'Islam uber Alles', and

b.) to pretend that Israel is the perpetrator of unthinkable crimes, even as Hamas terrorists are throwing Fatah people off of 15-story high-rise apartments (which are inside of what are still called 'refugee camps' even though they are indistinguishable from the surrounding suburbs), shooting children, and murdering patients in their hospital beds, and

c.) to discount the humanitarian services that Israel offers to its enemies in the midst of an existential war and daily multiple rocket attacks (I don't recall that anyone expected England to offer free electricity to Germany during the Blitz) as though it is Israel's obligation to take care of the Arabs who seek to destroy her, and

d.) to then turn to the world's leaders and demand that Israel, the UN, the UK, the EU, etc...all recognize that Hamas is a world-class terrorist organization with the blood of thousands on its hands only because of the nasty things that the USA and Israel did....and if only Israel would be nice, then Hamas would settle down.

Now that's NO-THINK.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 22, 2007.

Ms. Farhat-Holzman offers some welcome insight in to the workings of Amnesty International (and, I presume other so-called human rights groups as well), with a reasonable explanation of why they are so skewed against Israel.

I am not sure that her explanation gives us the full gamut of dynamics behind the harsh anti-Israel language from so manyof the world's NGOs against Israel, glaringly unbalanced in light of the almost near absence of any criticism of Arab or Muslim or Palestinian violations of human rights.

But I do think that what she describes below is part of the picture.

It is rational to assume that even if terrorist Arab or Muslim states and Arab or Muslim terrorist organizations did not actually kill 'AI' representatives who made critical or condemning comments about these Arab or Muslim countries, these states could easily deny access to the 'AI' representatives. So, just as Eason Jordan had CNN self-censor so that Saddam Hussein would continue to give CNN reporters preferential access to pre-war Iraq, so too must 'AI' and its compatriots self-censor and do what my mother taught me to do re saying nasty things (if you can't say something nice, don't say anything) about Arab terrorists and terrorist governments, so that 'AI' can continue to function in those areas.

This is called "Why is Demonizing Israel So Easy?" and it was written by Laina Farhat-Holzman. It appears June 24, 2007 in Sunday's Santa Cruz Sentinel. Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author. You may contact her at www.globalthink.net.

The righteous British academics, along with the even more righteous British Journalists' Union, have bravely stepped forth to condemn Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians. They propose boycotting Israeli products and scholarly contact with Israeli universities. The stupidity of this position is stunning-but nobody has discussed why they are doing this-except for the obvious new alliance of the political left with the Muslim and leftover Marxist worlds. Anti-Semitism is always in fashion. But there really is another reason, which I discovered by chance.

Two years ago, I was invited to be a speaker at a conference hosted by Amnesty International at the University of Colorado, Boulder. I talked by phone and e-mail with the two young student coordinators, who seemed quite interested in what I was going to say. My paper was about perceptions by many Americans that Amnesty International is not even-handed, which discredits their impartiality. My point was that Amnesty can only report on countries that permit it, such as the US and Israel, both of which are often on Amnesty's bad list. Countries that kill investigators or whistle blowers largely get a pass from Amnesty. This is unfortunate and is not Amnesty's fault-but their reporting becomes quite skewed as a result. One does not get a balanced view of human rights abuses around the world from their reports.

The night before I was to fly out to the conference, I received a call from the student coordinator that the 'Muslim Student Association,' which was co-sponsoring the conference, did not want to hear my paper. I was disinvited.

This insight helps to comprehend how British academics and labor unionists could focus only on Israel while totally ignoring all the other behaviors that should be condemned. It is easy. Not a word out of them about Sudan, which is carrying out major genocide in Darfur; nothing about Syria, which this week found seven pro-democracy activists (students) guilty of 'endangering the state.' Certainly not a word about Iran's recent (and continuous) beating up and arresting students whose sin is wanting to hold a democratic election at the university. Not a word about Pakistanis burning the union jack and threatening suicide bombers to take out Salman Rushdie, the brilliant novelist who wrote a masterpiece: The Satanic Verses.

I have long thought that the Nobel Prize committee were gutless wonders in knuckling under to Muslim intimidation. Rushdie deserves the prize, not only for that work, but for his entire body of original works of imagination. I was surprised-and delighted-that he has just been honored with British knighthood by the Queen. The Pakistanis and Saudis are not as pleased. This is the second time that a bad book review includes a death sentence-so tolerant is the Muslim world. How many of these critics even read?

And what about those poor Palestinians about whom the academics and unions are so protective? Are the Israelis persecuting them now? The poor Palestinians of Gaza do not think so; they are trying desperately to escape from their Palestinian brothers, who are bent upon mayhem, to Israel. Looting seems to be the national pastime in Gaza. When the Israelis pulled out, leaving the Palestinians the infrastructure of a prosperous greenhouse industry, they looted and destroyed what could have been a golden goose. In addition, Hamas has completed looted the home of the late Yassir Arafat, including taking his (undeserved) Nobel Peace Prize medals. Where is the condemnation from the British academics?

It seems that indignation against Israel is chic, exciting, and SAFE. Why should they care that Israeli universities educate and grant advanced degrees to Israeli Arabs? Why should they care about the multitude of scientific patents that come out of Israel to enrich life everywhere? If one of these academics or journalists were ill, would they go to a hospital in Syria or Gaza or Iran, or Israel? And if they ran into difficulties legally, would they be more likely to receive justice from Israel or would they like to try their luck in Saudi Arabia?

I would hope that there are some professors and journalists in Britain, the land that gave us political freedom, who are capable of speaking up and engaging in critical thinking. Their spokesmen get an 'F' from me.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by Batya Medad, June 22, 2007.

When will they ever learn?
Will they ever learn?

Throughout recorded history, we've seen that giving into aggressors, bullies, has only brought on more trouble, violence and death.

Did converting to Catholicism during the Inquisition save Spanish Jewry and allow them to live in peace? Certainly not! To this day, the Spanish Church has kept records of those "new Catholics," considering them second class, secret Jews, at best. A neighbor of mine from Majorca, younger than myself, could never understand why as a young child, he was attacked and cursed. His parents never spoke of his father's background, but hundreds of years after the Inquisition the list of "formerly Jewish families" was still common knowledge in the local church.

Did it help the Jews of Germany when the German Jewish leaders cooperated with the Nazis? It certainly didn't. Discriminatory laws against Jews got harsher, and then the systematic murder of 6 million Jews and millions others is fully documented.

* Has life become more peaceful in Israel since Begin's Camp David agreement and subsequent Sinai withdrawal?
* Has life become more peaceful in Israel since Rabin & Peres's Oslo Accords which gave the Arabs rifles and other arms? Against whom were they used?
* Has life become more peaceful in Israel since the Sharon-Olmert Disengagement from Gush Katif and Northern Shomron?

That's a very short list of the numerous Israeli attempts to "bribe" or "sweet talk" the local Arab terrorists into agreeing to "peace." They all ave something in common. They caused the level of violence against Jews to rise.

Thirty years ago when Begin was elected Prime Minister, the first time that a party other than Labor won Israel's elections, Israelis were complaining that the "front" was too far away.

I remember a Jerusalem neighbor who said that it was inconvenient for her husband to do reserve duty in the Sinai. That's why so many Israelis wanted to believe that although Egypt had made war against Israel twice in barely ten years, they could trust the Egyptians. Now the war is more convenient. Terrorism can happen at home -- no need to travel to the front!

There wouldn't be kassams for the Arabs to launch at Sderot if the Egyptians weren't cooperating -- and I don't mean cooperating with us! Is that peace?

Your ordinary Arab does not want peace, certainly not the peace we, Israelis, envision. We've all seen pictures of proud mothers, fathers, family members and friends celebrating the murder of Jews by Arab suicide bombers.

Those Arabs who don't like the violence are lining up for visas in order to live in foreign countries. They're not going to risk their lives fighting terrorists. They'd rather disappear in Europe or some country in North or South America.

Every time a truck bringing food and medicine enters Gaza it strengthens the terrorists' hold on the people. Terrorism pays and pays well.

Even though Israel has been under attack in the north and south, it's planning more "gestures."

When will they ever learn?
Will they ever learn?

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

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 22, 2007.

Dear Christian leaders,

I have been monitoring Bishop Younan's newsletters and other missives for several years. He is a Christian Arab cleric living in Bethlehem, working with Na'im Ateek of Sabeel (a truly vitriolic Jew-hater who travels the world preaching the justification of Arab terrorism and demonizing Israel).

In his newsletters, he routinely presents a regurgitation of Arab propaganda, ignores the context of the terror war being waged against Israel, and calls upon the Christian world, via his readership, to pressure the USA to pressure Israel to make more concessions despite the obvious failure of previous concessions to gain any progress toward peace and reconcilliation.

He is a dhimmi. A shill for the Arab propaganda outlets. And has been such for years if not decades.

His message below is perhaps the most transparent example of pure Arab propaganda rendered with a Christian tone, effective only to an audience ignorant, or ignoring, of the reality of the terror war that Hamas and other terror groups have waged, and of the truly evil purposes of that war.

I have added some clarifying comments, in bold and italics inside square brackets ([]).

Note, too, Rev. Conner's analysis of Bishop Younan, in the letter beneath Bishop Younan's. I suspect that Rev. Conner is correct. Bishop Younan is desperate, devastated, and can do nothing but limply repeat the same tired transparent lies that his Muslim handlers have been feeding him for years....even as he sees all hope for a Palestinian future demolished by the very same terrorist forces that he has been supporting and lauding for decades.

If you, or anyone you know, may be influenced by Bishop Younan's words, please use my critique and Rev. Conner's to achieve some balance and clarity.

David Meir-Levi

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL)

Statement by Bishop Dr. Munib Younan
June 15, 2007

We have been warning for some time now that the situation here in the Occupied Palestinian territories -- especially Gaza -- is untenable and explosive. I fear that unless we take drastic action, we will sink into all-out, protracted civil war that will dramatically fuel the fires of extremism, violence and chaos in the Middle East.

[Hmm.. What has Hamas been doing for the past 20 years, other than fueling the fires of extremism, violence and chaos?]

This could further radicalize the whole Middle East and perhaps tip us over a turning point toward religious fanaticism that would be hard to change. So I speak today to urge leaders, combatants, ordinary people and the international community: for God's sake and the sake of all those suffering here from violence and oppression, stop the internal violence, end the international aid boycott and implement a serious plan to end the illegal, 40-year occupation of the Palestinian people.

[He can be excused for not knowing that Israel's sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza Strip is completely legal. But he cannot not know that Israel transferred sovereignty to the Palestinian Authority in 1994; and Israel's current military presence in the West Bank is a function solely of the terror war that Palestinian terrorists are waging]

The heads of local churches in Jerusalem issued a statement Wednesday, June 13, 2007, calling on all Palestinian brothers to put down their arms against one another and stop the violence immediately. There is no justification for this violence, and it only damages the legitimate cause of the Palestinian people for self-determination, our own state and an end to occupation.

[Interesting to note that during all the years of the Intifada, neither he nor any other Christian leader in the West Bank or Gaza Strip ever issued a call to stop the violence against Israel.]

Sisters and brothers of Palestine, accept your responsibility to end all violence and return to the higher ground and aim of non-violent struggle to this illegal occupation.

[Interesting to note that during all the years of the Intifada, he never urged a non-violent struggle against Israel]

People of the Arab League, please step in and help us regain our balance.

Although a resolution to this conflict seems so unreachable, we already know the solutions: follow international law, UN resolutions and basic human rights law. Implement the two-state solution, based on the 1948 armistice line (the Green Line), which would lead to two equal, viable, sovereign states, each with Jerusalem as its capital, just resolution to the refugee problem, shared resources and ending the policy of settlements.

[He seems unaware of the incredible irony of his words. Israel agreed to that in 1937, 1947 and 1949. The Arab leadership rejected it then and continue to do so today]

So as I sit in Jerusalem trying to analyze what is happening and why, I can't help but wonder. Why, instead of implementing the many relevant UN resolutions supporting these concepts (66 in all), has the international community ignored them all these years and continued to allow the confiscation of Palestinian land and building up almost 500,000 illegal settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

[Confiscation of Palestinian land? I guess he did not notice that Israel ceded the Sinai in exchange for peace. Israel ceded land east of the Jordan river in exchange for peace. Israel ceded the Gaza Strip in the hope of jump-starting the peace process. And Israel offered to cede more West Bank land in exchange for an end to the terror war]

Why, if the West wants to foster democracy, did they reject the outcome of democratic elections held under occupation with little violence and boycott the new government? Why has the international community sat by and watched the longest occupation in history -- 40 years -- and then placed an unprecedented boycott on them, which amounts to sanctions against a captive people. How is this possible? Maybe it is time for deep self-evaluation for Palestinians, Israelis and the international community.

[He cannot not know that Hamas is a fascist, genocidal force committed to the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of its Jews. Yet he wonders why the international community rejects Hamas. It does not seem to occur to him that supporting Hamas means supporting the 2nd genocide of Jews.]

For this reason, from Jerusalem I call on international leaders of the world to wake up and see that some of their policies have had devastating negative effects on this conflict and, in fact, the whole Middle East. Realistically, what can one expect in Gaza when you lock 1.5 million people into a tiny patch of land 20 miles long by 5-10 miles wide, virtually seal the borders except for a small fraction of trade and then completely stop the already meager salaries?

[By now it is clear that he is simply regurgitating Arab propaganda, making excuses for the violence in Gaza, blaming it on Israel and the USA and the international community, exonerating Hamas. He is a quisling for Hamas.]

A recent OxFam study of families in Gaza showed that the average family in Gaza has an average debt of $1750, in a land where a school principle only earns about $6000 per year. And in the West Bank, what can we expect when you herd people into tiny enclaves, take away freedom of movement and allow continued violations of human rights to go on behind walls of concrete and barbed wire fences?

[Indeed what can you expect? So in his opinion Israel never should have built that nasty fence. Never should catch terrorists at road blocks or during curfews. Better they should be allowed to roam freely. If allowed to roam freely, would they stop their terrorism or do more of it? ]

Leaders of the world, your complicity in allowing and supporting the illegal occupation and your unprecedented action in boycotting this occupied people have created a humanitarian, political and economic crisis that now threatens not only the people of Palestine, but also Israel and the whole region. The Arab and Muslim world see this conflict as the litmus test for how the West treats them, and until some justice and improvement on the ground occurs for Palestinians, it will continue to fuel the fires of fanaticism in the whole Middle East.

[Odd that it never seems to occur to him that the endless Arab terrorism against Israel, and the endless refusal of Arab leaders to make peace, and the endless diatribe of annihilation and rhetoric of genocide, and the commitments in foundation documents of terror forces to utterly destroy Israel...all of these are a "litmus test" for how the Arab and Muslim world treat non-Muslims]

If you want to bring an end to the horrific violence in the Middle East and if you are concerned as I am by the rampant growth of religious extremism: please, I urge your from Jerusalem, get serious about implementing the two-state solution, begin immediate serious talks about these issues with all sides and end the illegal and immoral boycott and occupation.

[I presume that here he is talking to the Palestinian leaders. He cannot not know that Israel has offered a two-state solution more than a dozen times since 1937 -- and the Arab side has rejected the offer every time]

If we truly want to end this deadly stalemate and build a modern, democratic civil society in Palestine living side by side in a just peace with Israel, let us use our resources to educate our children and not to buy weapons to oppress them.

[Again, he must be talking to the Palestinian leaders. It is ONLY in the Palestinian schools that the curricula and textbooks and school plays and playground songs and posters and art work and graduation ceremonies teach hatred of Israel, hatred of Jews, hatred of non-Muslims....and the commitment of each and every Arab Muslim child to "Islam uber Alles" or martyrdom.]

We in the ELCJHL continue to be committed to a just solution based on international law and to see education as the key in preparing the future leaders who can lead us from occupation to freedom, from fear to mutual trust and from violence to peace/salaam/shalom.

For more information about the churches, schools and ministries of the ELCJHL, see www.holyland-lutherans.org.

Open letter by Rev. C. J. Conner that is posted on Conner's website and entitled, "Dear Bishop Mounib Younan: Become a Peace Maker."

I found Dr. Younan's statement about the Palestinian civil war. I have also attached a downloadable copy above, and highlighted what I found to be very telling passages. I encourage you to read it as you think about the Christian response to the recent developments in the Middle East.

As a student of forensic theology, it made me sad "reading the tea leaves" in Younan's statement. What you see is a mind beset by emotional chaos and dishevelment, indicative of the personal angst Younan finds himself in the midst of as he sits in Jerusalem. You see a man in a sort of existential crisis as he is being forced to re-evaluate everything he has believed and taught. Here is a man that is discovering that he has no control, and for all the work and organizing he has done all across the globe, he is face to face with his own inadequacies and shortcomings in his quest for his particular vision of a Palestinian State. The humanity that I share with Bishop Younan in Jesus Christ makes me want to reach out and comfort him and use this opportunity to show him a better path than he has taken. I am saddened when I read the entire letter though because Younan doesn't seem ready to turn his life, heart, and ministry over to the mercy and grace of God.

We discover a few things about Younan's long standing agenda for Palestine and Israel, which has been thrust onto American counsciousness by presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, and why his plan will never happen. This is because Dr. Younan today find's himself ideologically isolated with Hamas -- relegated to a place of irrelevance as represented by the tiny Gaza strip where he and his ilk belong.

1) He refers on more than one occasion to the "occupied" Palestinian lands, though Israel has dismantled any (sic! He probably means 'many') settlements it had in the West Bank and completely pulled out of Gaza -- so the information he offers is not accurate or true. The building of the security fence coincided with Israel's withdrawal from Gaza for one very important reason -- it was the Israeli presence in Gaza that kept peace and order and the fence was necessary to ensure Israel's security in the absence of a peacekeeping force. The area we know as Palestine simply is not occupied by any forces outside of Palestine, and hasn't been for quite a while now. Bishop Younan considers all of Israel to be an occupation, and his rhetoric "against the occupation" is language that is well understood by radical Muslims as a call to destroy Israel.

2) We often hear about a two state solution, and the Lutherans over there maintain that their plan is different than that of radical Anglican Cleric Naim Ateek, who calls for one state. Younan's agenda is revealed here more clearly than it ever has been in the last 6 years. During that time he has traveled America talking about a two state solution, but leaving out one very important fact in his discussions. He wants a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as it's capital. This is an untenable solution, especially when radical islamic groups like Hamas and rogues like Ahmadinejad (who has indicated his support of Younan's coalition of Holy Land Churches) want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

3) Younan references 66 UN resolutions, but doesn't condemn the agenda of Hamas -- which is in part to wage a war of terror on Israel. He calls for an end to violence among Palestinians, but cites his reasons why violence against Israel is understandable if not outright justifiable. Rajmahan Gandhi, in his assessment of the situation in the Middle East, rightly said that unless and until the leaders of Palestine repudiate and end all use of violence against Israel, they will never achieve their goals of a Palestinian State -- and rightly so. Nobody in their right mind can blame the tiny state of Israel for protecting her people. On the flip side, the Palestinians unfortunately reap what they sow. God doesn't bless a murderous people, not financially or otherwise.

4) Younan raises the threat of radical Islamic fundamentalism, warning the West that the militants will come after us with a vengeance if his particular vision isn't implemented, and chiding the West for not recognizing "democratic elections" that put Hamas at the helm. I have outlined before how Younan is aligned with Hamas. Younan is not passively stating the facts here. To the middle eastern ear, this is an active call to arms.

Let's pray for Palestine, and give thanks to God that Hamas is being isolated and squeezed out into the Gaza Strip. While Younan is angry that Palestine has careened into civil war, it will ultimately be the best thing for peace in the Middle East. Perhaps it is not the best thing for the islamic militants and folks like Younan who say "peace peace" but in reality work for everything but peace -- but this fact marks the beginning of a new day for the Palestinian people.

I never hear Mounib Younan speak of forgiveness or reconciliation.

He speaks of peace, but always with a list of caveats and the constant subtext of a bitter theology of revenge against Israel. He vows to continue a struggle against Israel, to teach children how to hate Israel (read his statement). This is not a way forward in peace, but rather an unrelenting march towards bloody confrontation if not now, then sometime in the near or distant future.

Israel on the other hand has long exhibited remarkable restraint, genuine concessions, and a commitment to peace with deep respect and regard to the value of human life -- both Jewish and Palestinian. Younan's idea of justice is Church-sponsored strategy and organization for bloody revenge. This will never foster peace.

I believe that Palestine and Israel can live in peace side by side -- but not unless radical Islamic fundamentalists give up their quest to impose Sharia Law and to kill Jews; not unless the religious leaders that have done everything they can to undermine the peace process are neutralized and rendered completely irrelevant; not unless Palestinian leaders do all they can to put an end to suicide bombing, rockets, and mortars. These things seem to be on their way to becoming a reality -- the real building blocks of peace being put into place one by one.

In his statement Younan does quite a bit of putting the cart before the horse in demanding Jerusalem to be the capital of a new Palestinian State. This kind of rhetoric might embolden Hamas to mount a major attack on Israel through Gaza, but it will never foster peace or the establishment of a Palestinian state. No talk of a Palestinian state -- or any state for that matter -- will ever come to fruition without first a demonstrable and sustained commitment to peace. This is not only the case in respect to Israel, but in respect to any people of any time in the world. Without a true commitment to peace first, Younan's vision for Palestine can only be realized through bloody war. Younan regularly cites the economic hardships of the Palestinian people, but fails to see the cause and effect connection between the Islamic terrorism of Hamas and the deep and debilitating poverty the Islamicists have caused through their acts of evil. Younan must begin to embrace and teach among the Palestinian people the timeless Biblical principal -- "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."

And as the Rev. Julie Rowe, Younan's public relations person on loan from the ELCA, advises him, let's pray that she convinces him to become a beacon of hope, peace, and reconciliation -- three grand Christian Ideals that have everywhere preceded the stability of autonomous states throughout every era of conflict in human history. Let's pray that Bp. Younan can recognize that the vague sense of exasperation, inadequacy, and failure he feels is God's call to repentance. That still, small voice that nags at him in the depths of his heart and beckons him to reconsider his direction is the reminder that redemption is the Christian's constant companion. Redemption gives us the power and strength of the cross to choose a new way of being and living, a new direction as Christ daily creates in us a new heart. Pray that Bp. Younan listens to God's call to repentance and forges a new direction by the grace of God.

My earnest hope is that this is a new dawning age for the Palestinians -- a time that the world has been waiting for -- a time when the hate mongering of groups like Hamas and religious leaders like Bishop Younan is finally rejected by the collective will of the Palestinian people and their leaders in the West Bank who have long worked for a true, sustainable peace while their counterparts have been stomping around the world raising support for more conflict.

Remember the people of Palestine in your prayers. Peace is at hand!

Rev. CJ Conner
Author of "Jesus and the Culture Wars: Reclaiming the Lord's Prayer."

**** NOTE: WorldNetDaily today: Arabs squat on Jewish property by Temple Mount !!!! Jeanne G

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, June 22, 2007.


S. Arabians hire about two million foreign housemaids. The Saudis compel most of them to wear the Saudi head cover. The Saudis justify it as wearing a symbol of modesty and as a means of avoiding male molestation. An editor thought that the foreign women should have a choice but that the Saudis should "educate" them about the importance of the head cover (IMRA, 6/3).

To the Saudis it may symbolize modesty, but to feminists it symbolizes the insignificance of women in conservative Islamic society. To foreigners it symbolizes Muslim oppression and the arrogance in compelling employees to follow local religious practices. I believe that wearing it does reduce male molestation, but what does that imply about Saudi if not also other Muslim men? That they are sexual criminals without civilized self-restraint? Before they "educate" the foreign maids, why don't the Muslims civilize their own men?


Shmuel Cytryn, a shepherd from the Territories, who once ran afoul of the government for exposing their agent of political dirty tricks, is under house arrest for having tried to stop two Arabs who stoned his car, smashing his windshield (Barry Chamish, 6/5). Now Israel is framing his son for self-defense.

It seems as if a Jew's self-defense is illegal in Israel. Actually, in that police state, opposition to illegal governmental anti-Zionism is punished. The stated causes for imprisoning people are pretexts or the people are framed.

The world condemns Israeli self-defense against aggression as violating the Arabs' human rights. Arab aggression is unpunished, except for Saddam's.


Pres. Bush told our "allies" that since he needs Iran's help in withdrawing from Iraq, he won't attack its nuclear weapons facilities (IMRA, 6/2).

If we withdrew our troops, Iran would take over, and the whole war would have been for nothing. If we had a goal of victory, we wouldn't need help in withdrawing troops. In any case, Iran might or might not cooperate. In the meantime, they would be free to explode an atomic bomb on an American city. Surely that is worse. I think the Administration is playing politics with our lives and foolishly both in what it is letting Iran get away with and in what it thinks it would get from Iran. There should be a national debate on this. Unfortunately, the candidates who are debating are trying more not to say things than to say things. The West is weak, so the Muslims are determined.


The IDF reports that Hizbullah has placed hundreds of operatives and stores of ammunition in bunkers near UNIFIL positions in southern Lebanon. Hizbullah operatives, disguised as civilians, have hampered UNIFIL patrols. UNIFIL has not interfered with Hizbullah's banned preparations for war (IMRA, 6/6).

That was predicted. UNIFIL is worse than useless. It makes the world think it has taken care of the Hizbullah problem, and it is in Israel's way. Those seem to be its goals. The UNO could save a lot of money if it did not engage in phony peacekeeping.


Since Hamas took power in the P.A., and many foreign countries agreed to boycott it, financial aid to the P.A. has tripled. The US and many European countries are pouring in funds, as are the Arabs. They claim it is not going to Hamas. The Dutch asserted that the donation is beneficial for Israel, because it went to the P.A. Police, who, the Dutch claim, calm the terrorists who otherwise attack Israel (Arutz-7, 6/3). Arabs' poverty was blamed on Israel. What excuse is there now? The Arab leaders steal the donations or use them for war.

The Dutch insult Israelis' intelligence. If the police were useful, they would arrest terrorists. Unfortunately, the police are, themselves, mostly terrorists. Terrorism was the chief qualification for recruitment, under Arafat. Why don't the Dutch donate funds to Israel, for defense, if they wish to be humanitarian? Alas, European sympathy is for the aggressors and not their victims. In the name of decency they help the aggressors.

Much of the foreign contribution does get to Hamas, or it goes to gunmen who belong both to another organization and to Hamas, or it saves Hamas funds it would have to divert from another function.


Gaza has an Islamist vice squad. This squad has bombed dozens of Gaza internet cafes, music shops, pool halls, and restaurants. Now it has threatened to slit the throats of female broadcasters who do not wear conservative head scarves. Some already have been telephoned death threats (Arutz-7, 6/3).

One would think that human rights and feminist organizations would make themselves heard against this Islamist crime against women's rights. But they don't. They are too busy slandering Israel. They make molehills out of Islamic mountains and mountains out of Israeli molehills.


I have learned a lot about Israel from my newsgroup rivals. I found out that Israel commits or commissions the acts of terrorism against Israel and the US. All along, I had thought that the Muslims, who preach terrorism, perpetrated them. Instead, they are nice people who really want peace with the Jews, despite their constant Islamic indoctrination to the contrary. (How do they resist it?)

I've long known that the Israeli government fails to act in its country's best interest. I was informed that all the billions of dollars it spend on anti-terrorism, and the casualties they sustain, are avoidable, if their secret service would only desist from terrorism. They are doubly foolish to risk antagonizing the US by attacking it, since the US is the only major country somewhat friendly towards it.

I don't understand why Israel does this. My rivals pose as the standard for judging behavior, "look who benefits from it." Nobody benefits from Israel's committing the terrorism instead of making peace. The government spends money, gets its people killed, risks US favor, and antagonizes the neighbors.

I thought the Arab-Israel conflict was based on Islamic jihad, but apparently the Muslims only give lip service to jihad, when it comes to Israel. I thank my rivals for clearing up my great misconception about the Arab-Israel conflict. It is good to have access to their informed and rational views every day.


Shimon Peres eliminated public relations efforts from Israel's Foreign Ministry. IMRA notes the government's neglect to provide its representatives with a common sound-byte demanding a meaningful dismantling of terrorism by the P.A. This misses the point, though the note is more perceptive than most commentaries. Barry Chamish does grasp the point.

The point is that the leftist elite running Israel sympathizes with the terrorists and hate religious and patriotic Jews. It does not want to fight to preserve Israel. It has adopted the European over-estimate of collective security, all the worse in relying upon enemies such as UNIFIL to protect it. The State Dept., geared to appease the Arabs, is perpetually antagonized by Israel's existence. Israel depends upon diplomacy, though diplomacy doesn't stop the jihadist arms race.

Rather than defend Israel and its legitimate territorial and defense claims, the rulers seek secret deals to cede territory. That would make the enemy stronger and more confident. But there's no logic to leftist ideology, which is misinformed and neurotic, the opposite of logical. Half the Israeli politicians are bought out or under control of leftist prosecutors.

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 richardshulman5verizon.net

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Posted by Boris Celser, June 22, 2007.

Some comments on Sarah Honig's article below. It appeared in the Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1182409605870&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Arafat was good for the Jews by rejecting Barak's offer. Just like Peres has been good for the Palestinians by supporting and arming them. But did Arafat regret his mistake? Peres doesn't. Enough of that. It was such a busy week that while reading Sarah's Tack I felt as if I were back in school. My old teacher gave me a book to read, and told me to summarize the book's message in my own words. What exactly is Sarah's message today on last week's events? A complicated one, I think.

She used Arafat and Barak as bait, to see if we can find out. First, Peres became president. He combines the worst attributes of Uncle Joe (Stalin), uncle Ho (Chi Minh), Chairman Mao, and the Great Leader (North Korea's Kim Il Sung). Upon his election I wrote a talkback calling him "Israel's Kurt Waldheim" and voila, Kurt dropped dead the next day. Probably didn't like the comparison. Sorry, Kurt. Second, the two Ehuds are side by side. Barak can give away the farm to Abbas to support Fatah.

The Temple Mount must be contiguous, so he might offer the underground to Abbas. Having screwed up immensely, and being out of the loop for so long, he is DM so that Olmert can survive a little longer. Third, Hamas. It took it six days to conquer Gaza. Coincidence? Is Gaza now occupied or disputed territory? Will there be a Hamas boycott, sanctions, resolutions, road map for peace? Should Gaza City be divided into West and East, the West being the desired one because it is closer to the sea?

Location, location, location. Will Abbas appoint its own Winograd commission to find out what went wrong? Will the Quartet demand military parity between Fatah and Hamas? To achieve it, it's cheaper and faster not to send weapons to Fatah, but to make Peretz Hamas's DM for a few months. Then last comes Tzipi Livni. She doesn't want military action against Hamas, even though now Ashkelon is under attack. It is not good for Israel's image abroad, she says. Israelis voted for Kadima.

Palestinians for Hamas, but at least Hamas is theologically pure. Our FM believes that Rice is to be eaten, Blair is a blast, Sarkozy a type of cancer, and Putin a Latin swearword. But not to worry. Her English is fast improving. She wrote a letter in English to the faithful, reminding them that her motto is C.C.O. Ceriousness, Cerenity, Onesty. Sarah, did I get the gist of your article?

In his younger days Ezer Weizman was wont to repeat at the slightest provocation the Prophet Samuel's assurance that "the Eternity of Israel shall not deceive," but then he always followed it up with: "and the Arabs wouldn't let us down." So far, time after incredible time, they indeed bailed us out.

Yasser Arafat, bum rap that we gave him notwithstanding, certainly rescued us from Ehud Barak's hubris. Envision the ensuing calamity, had the PLO chieftain accepted the deal Barak and Bill Clinton dangled before him at the 2000 Camp David summit.

Had Arafat taken advantage of Barak's foolhardy generosity -- instead of violently rebuffing it and launching his bloody Second Intifada -- he'd have taken possession, besides Gaza, of nearly all of Judea and Samaria, settlement blocks included, as well as east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount (except for ill-defined "subterranean layers" thereof, according to Barak's cockamamie concoction). After Arafat's departure to the netherworld's great terrorist convocation, his PLO cohorts would have inherited his latifundia.

From here on the story is familiar, except for name-place variations. Everything that happened in the Gaza Strip -- which Ariel Sharon ceded unilaterally according to Barak's reckless Lebanese precedent -- would have been replayed in Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, etc. Eventually Hamas would have gained domination over all that Arafat's fat Fatah failed to control.

The pattern is the one revealed before our eyes in Gaza-turned-Hamastan. The outstanding difference is that the Hamastan which brash Barak thoughtlessly almost created along Israel's entire long convoluted eastern flank, directly adjoining this country's densest population centers, would have been incalculably deadlier than anything visited from Gaza on poor suffering Sderot.

WHAT DEVASTATION Kassams from Kalkilya could inflict beggars the imagination. Suffice it to note that into the space between Kalkilya and the Mediterranean is wedged the entire width of Israel and that this slender strip is filled by a row of three side-by-side towns -- Kfar Saba, Ra'anana and Herzliya -- in that order, with no vacant gaps between them. It's a single urban sprawl, stretched out before enemy eyes and permanently vulnerable to its predations.

And whoever fires into Kfar Saba can reach Tel Aviv easily enough. Those who retroactively doubt the Six Day War was worth winning omit mention that during said war an old Jordanian WWII-vintage Long Tom cannon, fired from a lowly hill outside Kalkilya, hit an apartment building smack-dab in Kikar Masaryk, Tel Aviv's very heart.

The only reason such feats, and worse, aren't replicated today is because of continued Israeli presence in areas Barak would have put beyond Israeli supervision. Luckily Arafat seven years ago churlishly spurned Barak's inconceivably egregious largesse. Barak literally came within a hairbreadth of destroying Israel's self-preservation potential.

NOW EHUD Olmert, whose flunky prime-ministerial record is only rivaled by Barak's, couldn't wait to install the architect of Hizbullah's hegemony in southern Lebanon -- and the inspiration for the subsequent Gaza disengagement -- as defense minister of the state whose deterrence Barak's irresponsibility damaged so grievously. Arrogant Barak, who had done so much harm, is now in position to do more harm.

Expediently hyped as a man of incomparable military expertise, Barak lulls the amnesiac public to overlook his dismal past and believe in futuristic fables he once more cynically peddles.

It's not for nothing that Barak was chucked out of office as quickly as he was, despite the priceless perks he accrued from starting out as the darling of the leftist establishment and its lapdog media. Even our historically-challenged electorate somehow dimly perceived that something was dreadfully awry when the renascent Jewish state's leader proposed to surrender the cradle of Jewish existence without a fight, without crushing coercion, without an extreme existential emergency.

TO DISCERN that, Mr. and Ms. Average Israeli didn't have to realize that it took Titus four whole formidable Roman legions to capture Jerusalem in 70 CE. They intuitively understood that only by unparalleled brute force could the Temple Mount have been wrested from outnumbered Jews, who resisted courageously despite overwhelming odds in one of the most tragic and traumatic struggles even in this nation's sad history.

More recently Jerusalem's defense and ultimate liberation exacted a bitter price as well. Jews hadn't come so far, sacrificed so much, just to give it away because a desperate politician imagined he could translate the concession into temporary electoral advantage.

There must have been something wrong with this picture for too many Israelis even prior to Hamas's current triumph, before a time when the folly of handing Judea and Samaria over to Titus-wannabes had been accentuated by the Gaza debacle. Barak offended something profound in the Israeli psyche and insulted the common sense of folks who're hardly firebrand ideologues or perturbed intellectuals.

In February 2001 he was sent home by Israelis who continued to suspect that Arab schemes to obliterate Israel hadn't been abandoned. They could see no rationale in appeasing would-be annihilators at any cost in order to keep Barak in power at any cost.

Barak was on the verge of relinquishing vital territory in order to outmaneuver all opposition and stun the populace with a fait accompli all-encompassing instant "peace."

Had Arafat not upset Barak's delusional strategy, Kalkilya and Tulkarm would make life in the Sharon and beyond unlivable today. As per Ezer's witty prediction, the Arabs yet again miraculously didn't let us down. The crucially cogent question now is how many Israelis, in a society afflicted by chronic short-term memory-impairment, recall that only barely -- by Arafat's dubious grace -- was central Israel saved from Barak's machinations and a fate worse than Sderot's.

Boris Celser lives in Canada. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Barbara Sommer, June 22, 2007.

Mahmoud Abbas says: One of the oldest churches in Palestine, which stood long before our arrival [in the region], was looted."

Years of propaganda that the Palestinians are the original indigenous population of the region down the toilet.

This next is today's MEMRI dispatch -- No. 1632 --, archived at

Mahmoud Abbas: No to Dialogue with the Murderers; This is Not a Struggle Between Fatah and Hamas, but Between the National Project and the Emirate of Darkness and Backwardness

In a scathing speech to the PLO Central Council on June 20, 2007, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas harshly condemned the brutal actions of Hamas during its takeover of Gaza, and accused the Hamas leadership of plotting to assassinate him. Ruling out any dialogue with Hamas, he called to restore the situation that had existed before the coup. He also declared that his main objective was to prevent the civil war from spreading to the West Bank, and called to launch final-status negotiations with Israel.

The following are the main points of his speech: [1]

Hamas has Desecrated our National Symbols

"The Palestinian flag was trampled today under the feet of [those] who regard the Palestinian national project -- whose banner we have been carrying generation after generation -- as opposed to their [own] project of darkness. They have replaced [the Palestinian flag] with their own flag, which is a flag of division, detached from our people's history, its struggle and its sacrifice. Next, they persistently set out to desecrate each and every emblem of our national struggle, even in the home of our [late] leader, the martyr Yasser Arafat, and [in the home of Fatah founder] Abu Jihad. In central Gaza, they threw down the statue of the unknown soldier pointing towards Jerusalem -- [a monument] that symbolizes the sacrifice of [our] martyrs, the legacy of the Palestinian fighters, and the unity of Palestinian, Egyptian, and Arab blood."

Hamas Plans to Establish Emirate of Religious Fanaticism

"[Hamas] formulated a plan to split Gaza from the West Bank and to establish an emirate, or a mini-state of one color controlled by a single group of extremists and religious fanatics. [In order to realize] its plan, it made military and political preparations by forming armed militias, controlled exclusively by [Hamas], which were trained to take over the PA in our beloved Gaza Strip... [Meanwhile, Hamas] continued its assassinations of the field commanders and leaders of the security apparatuses and of the Fatah movement in Gaza. We witnessed murders and executions unprecedented in our entire history, based on accusations of apostasy and treason, on the uprooting [of people], on incitement to hatred, and on agitation of raw impulses and emotions."

Crimes Perpetrated By Hamas

"The putschists attacked the headquarters of the National Security [Forces], General Intelligence, the Preventive Security [apparatus], and the Presidential Guard, and perpetrated horrors that are totally alien to our [Palestinian] heritage and tradition -- murdering, executing people on the street, throwing fighters from tall buildings, and looting security headquarters, public facilities and Christian houses of worship.

"[Indeed,] even the churches were not spared. One of the oldest churches in Palestine, which stood long before our arrival [in the region], was looted and set on fire. There are Christians among us, and they are our brothers, and now we discover that [according to Hamas] they are enemies and must leave [Palestine]?!... This is a mark of shame on the Palestinian people, on those who perpetrated these [crimes], on the putschists and murderers. [They attacked] the homes of hundreds of Palestinian Authority civil servants, [who are] peaceful citizens as well as symbols of our national sovereignty like the presidential headquarters, which was taken over by hooligans who destroyed and looted it..."

No Dialogue with the Murderers

"There can be no dialogue with these murderers and putschists, and in our entire history, I cannot think of another force or group [of Palestinians] who murdered their own people, [looted] homes and property, and desecrated our national symbols, like the putschists in Gaza have done during this black week. To what end did they do this, and in the name of what religion? [It cannot have been] in the name of religion, for religion has nothing to do with acts such as these. Islam calls for tolerance and liberty. This is not Islam; it is alien to [the spirit of] Islam... The only purpose of the coup was to realize the sick and reckless fantasy of establishing an emirate of darkness and backwardness that will control, with fire and with an iron [fist], the lives, opinions and future of the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza...

"We have reached a new juncture, and there is no point in calling for dialogue as in the past. We must quell the putsch, in all its forms and manifestations, including by dismantling the Executive Force, which carried it out, and which was pronounced illegal by presidential decree. The Hamas leadership must apologize to the Palestinian people and to the PLO for the blood-soaked putsch it has perpetrated, and must hand over all PLO facilities and headquarters to the new legitimate government of united Palestine. It must obey the law and the decisions [of this new government, and stop] the destruction, crimes, assassinations, executions, looting, robbery, and other violations that have been carried out and are still being carried out in the Gaza Strip...

"We are not hostile to anyone, nor do we exclude or distance anyone -- but [Hamas] has betrayed the trust [placed in it] and staged a putsch against the legitimate [government]. They are not worthy [partners] for dialogue. There will be no dialogue with them under any circumstances..."

The Conflict Should Not Be Described as a Struggle Between Fatah and Hamas

"Whoever tries to distort and simplify matters by describing this conflict as a struggle between Fatah and Hamas is wrong. This is a conflict between the national project and the project of the militias; between the project of the single homeland and the project of an Emirate or an ostensible mini-state; between a project that attempts to impose its conditions by force and to establish its closed and private regime, and the project that has embraced democracy, dialogue, and national partnership in resolving conflicts. [This is a conflict] between those who take [the path of] assassinations, murder, killings, and plots in order to achieve their sectarian goals, and those who stand for the law and for the defense of the unity of the homeland and the people."

The Hamas Leadership Tried to Assassinate Me

"One month ago, I learned that the Hamas movement had planted a bomb on Salah Al-Din Street, [meant] to explode as I passed by. The information was definite, and came from the security services, but it did not include the precise location [of the bomb]... I insisted on going to Gaza, and there I received a videotape from an individual in the Hamas movement. In the video I saw six people -- with their faces uncovered and wearing Hamas symbols -- dragging a 250-kilogram bomb. They placed it underground, and one of them said: 'This is for the Israelis; we'll keep it in reserve.' They went on digging until they had [placed] three [bombs]. Some of them said: 'This one [i.e. the first bomb] is for Abu Mazen, this one [i.e. the second] is for Abu Mazen, and this one [i.e. the third] is [also] for Abu Mazen; the next one will be for the Preventive Security [Forces]'. [The video had] picture and sound. These people are known -- their names and their faces are known. Whoever wants to see the video [can see it].

"I sent [the video] to [Hamas leader] Khaled Mash'al in Damascus. He immediately denied [the accusation], before [even] viewing [the film]. [But] I was certain of all of this, since the messenger who brought me the video said that they had sent it to Khaled Mash'al so that he could give them the go time -- when to light the fuse, or when [to set off] the bomb... I sent [the video] to all the Arab countries and to other countries [as well], so that they could see the extent of the crimes of this dark movement, this putschist [movement] that accuses others of apostasy." [2]

The Goal is to Prevent Civil War in the West Bank

"Our main goal is to prevent the civil war [from Gaza] from spreading to the West Bank; to carry out [our] security plans; to [put] an end to the era of the militias, so that there will be [just] one weapon in the field -- the legitimate weapon of the Palestinian Authority; and to stop and prevent all infractions by any side. [Our goal] is to treat the citizens on the basis of respect for the law, and not to settle scores with anyone for belonging to [a certain] group, or for [holding certain] opinions...

"The schools, colleges, and universities will become centers of study and enlightenment, rather than centers of ignorance, darkness, and the propagation of an ideology of hatred that destroys the people's unity and the social fabric. Likewise, the mosques should be supported and developed such that they will remain centers of worship for the glorification of Allah, be He praised and exalted, and not centers of political propaganda that are exploited for the good of a certain group or a certain element and serve as weapons stockpiles and interrogation centers...

"The PLO Central Council is called upon to remain permanently convened, so that it can take part in dealing with the coup and in expelling [its perpetrators] from all circles of the Palestinian people. Likewise, the Council is called upon to support the resolutions of the PA -- especially in the area of dealing with the coup -- and to prevent [Hamas] from achieving its goals of dividing the homeland's unity. The new government should be supported. All of the PLO institutions and Palestinian organizations in the homeland and abroad [should] give the government [their] full trust and support as well as national, popular, and legal backing..."

Launch Final-Status Negotiations

"We call today to launch final-status negotiations, and we believe that current conditions do not at all prevent the opening of negotiations in the context of an international peace conference. As for international protection [in the Palestinian territories], and the arrival of international forces and observers, this is a subject for internal discussion, in all its aspects: political, judicial, and the degree to which this serves the national interest..."

[1] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), June 21, 2007.
[2] See The MEMRIblog, June 21, 2007, "Footage of Purported Planning of Hamas Assassination Plot Against Mahmoud Abbas,"

Contact Barbara Sommer at sommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 22, 2007.

This essay is two years old. I have updated it a bit, in light of the Hamas carnage and war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

"Silence in the face of evil -- the Middle East conflict"

I am continuously puzzled by the fact that so few commentators on the topic of the Middle East conflict turn their attentionto what I call the great moral divide.

It seems to me that this moral divide should be a really big factor in how westerners look at the dynamics of the conflict. Instead, it is almost never mentioned; and in fact, in my opinion many commentators assiduously avoid dealing with it, intentionally obfuscate it, or even lie about it.

Such obstructionist behavior makes me feel that the great moral divide must be really important....otherwise commentators would not be so reticent to dealwith it.

As I see it, there are two aspects to the moral divide:

1.) What the Arab terrorists (*) do, say they want to do, and boast about what they have done or are going to do.....is all really evil by any standard of western morality.No matter how it is spun by the various pundits and journalists and politicians and clergy and academicians and pseudo-statespersons who serve as cheerleaders for the terrorists, the obvious bottom line behavior and goals, based upon the terrorists' own words and deeds, are:

genocide, attempted genocide, incitement to genocide, diatribe of genocide,

targeting of civilians for murder, attempted murder, mass murder, attempted mass murder,

kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, of Israelis and other non-Muslims


hate speech, hate preach, hate teach,

pressing women and children into terrorist service (sometimes without their knowledge and/or against their will),

theft, embezzlement, re-directing/mis-directing billions of dollars from intended civilian beneficiaries to terrorist activities or to secret private accounts,

routine running of criminal activities, auto theft, extortion, kidnapping their own for ransom,

and international trafficking of weapons and hard drugs for profits to fund terrorism,

impoverishing a whole population so that foreign aid can be embezzled and used for terrorism,

denying a whole population its civil and human rights and its right to political self-determination via the democratic processes promised it by the UN and the USA and Israel...

...all of these are galactic violations of a host of international legislation regarding civil and human rights, international laws of war, international interdictions regarding genocide, international conventions, and internationally canonized rights of women and children and non-combatants.

All of these are just plain evil.

And all of these are the defining characteristics of the Arab terrorists and various Moslem and Arab governmental authorities which support and fund and shelter and train and arm the terrorists.

The Arab Palestinian terrorist cause is the only cause in the world, and across all of world history, for which the sole defining paradigm is terrorism, and the unique and unrelenting goal is the destruction of a sovereign state and the genocide of its people. It is obvious that such a cause cannot be a just cause. But even if it were, its methods are evil, its intentions are evil, its aspirations are evil, its words are evil, and its deeds are evil. The Palestinian terrorist movement is just plain evil(*).

Silence (obfuscation and justification all the more so) in the face of evil is complicity. Complicity with evil is evil.

The Palestinian terrorists and their cheerleaders are evil.(**)

2.) What many of the leaders (*) of many Arab and some non-Arab Moslem states say and do and teach and preach in support of the Palestinian Arab terrorists is evil.

Openly, knowingly, enthusiastically cheering and supporting and harboring and funding and training and deploying evil is evil.

Never before, in all of human history, has there been such massive expenditures of money, resources, human efforts, and energy that many Arab and some Moslem state leaders have been making, for over three-quarters of a century, in order to destroy Israel and exterminate its Jews; either with their own forces, or by support of proxy Arab terrorist forces. Even the Nazi campaign to exterminate the Jews of Europe never reached the multi-national dimensions and umpteen billions of dollars of expenditures and endless relentless international propaganda campaigns of Arab leaders and Arab states -- and all for the sole purpose of destroying one small nation and its Jewish citizenry.

Where else in the world, and in all of human history, do we find the leaders ofso many sovereign states endlessly diverting resources, for decades, from their own people, and neglecting their own people's needs, in order to eradicate asovereign state?

Where else in the world, and across all of human history, do we see such enormous energy poured into international collaboration for the propagation of the PR and propaganda and revisionist history and political machinations and mendacious mis-information that have characterized the Arab political and propaganda assaults on Israel? And these assaults have been maintained within the family of nations and at theUN and in the intellectual arenas of the Western world, for decades ... and all with the sole intent to demonize Israel so that it will lose the support of its allies, and thus be easier prey when its Arab enemies are ready to launch their great final jihad?

The sheer obscenity of such a heinous endeavor is beyond description; but no one seems willing to comment on the pure evil of such design.

Consider too the commitment that these state leaders have made to an education system that systematically demonizes Israel and Israelis (and in some cases Jews and Judaism), in order to create in the minds of their youth (today's sophomore is tomorrow's Senator) the cross-generational trajectory that will keep the evil alive far in to the future, and will provide justification for those evil expenditures and evil goals.

Teaching children to hate is child abuse raised to the level of public policy. Child abuse is evil.

And consider the cost of the lost opportunities. What would the MiddleEast look like today if Arab leaders had been willing to cooperate with the Zionists in the application of western agrarian technology, medicine, epidemiology, industrial technology, and science in general, to the Arab wastelands and to the impoverished peasantry who barely eked out a subsistence living on those waste lands? And how much more so, had neighboring Arab states been willing to make peace with, and work with, and build with, both Israel and the state of 'Palestine' which would have come into existence with the UN partition plan of 11/29/1947?

Look at the sand dunes 8 miles north of Jaffa in 1911. Then look at Tel Aviv today, built on those sand dunes. Something similar could have happened in the desert south of Damascus, in the waste land north of Amman, in parts ofthe Sinai desert east of Egypt,on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea, and more, had Arab leaders chosen to work with Zionists rather than try to exterminate them.

The cold, bitter, implacable, brutal, primitive and baseless hatred that so many in the Arab world bear toward Israel, Israelis, Zionism, Jews andJudaism -- that hatred is evil. And those Arab leaders who nurture this hatred, and who use it to run others, for decades -- they are evil. And evil too are their intellectual collaborators in both Arab and western nations, who try to spin for us a new pseudo-reality in which that hatred has "just cause" and that terrorism is spawned by "real grievances".

Baseless brutal hatred is evil. And all the more so when it impels the haters toward violence and war and destruction and terrorism and mass murder and genocide.

But what about Israel? Judging from the level of hysteria in the endless anti-Israel diatribe from the UN and much of the media and mosques in Muslim and western countries, one might conclude that Israel is the world's worst violator of human rights -- far surpassing China or North Korea or Libya or Arabia or Cuba or Venezuela or Iran or Russia or any of the failed states whose misdeeds have been documented but have drawn no ire from the civilized world.

Certainly there are evil people among Jews, Israelis, Zionists, as there are among all groups across the world. Israel as a state, and Zionists as active participants in the creation of that state, have done some bad things, some times, to some people, as have all states at sometime, somewhere.

But there is a radical and substantive difference between a state doing some bad things, making some mistakes, harming some people.....and a state or group whose core intentions and goals and methods and deeds and official policies areevil.

No state is perfect. No society is flawless. And this is certainly true of Israel as a state and as a society. But even if all the lies that Arab PR and propaganda have perpetrated about Israel were true (they are not, but even ifthey were), the fate that the Arab terrorists, and their state enablers, and their mendacious cheerleaders, all avidly seek for Israel would not be justified. The extermination of an entire people cannot be justified, ever, except in the hearts and minds of truly evil people.

No Jewish leader, no Zionist leader, no Israeli leader, ever, during the entirehistory of Zionism and the State of Israel, ever perpetrated the heinous acts which are par for the course in the Palestinian Arab war against Israel: acts which are the hallmarks of the Arab terrorists and their enablers; and which are partof the very core of Arab political and religious ideology.

Yet, almost no one discusses the sheer evil of the Arab anti-Israel (and anti-Jewish) program. It is as though the Arabs get a free pass to be evil, and to do evil and arouse no ire save that of their victims.

Consider the long and discouraging list of utterly evil actions in Victor Davis Hanson's essay ("When should we no longer support Israel?" www.Victorhanson.com, March 30, 2004) which characterize Palestinian terrorism and terrorist government:

"...we should no longer support Israel, WHEN:

Mr. Sharon suspends all elections and plans a decade of unquestioned rule.

Mr. Sharon suspends all investigation about fiscal impropriety as his family members spend millions of Israeli aid money in Paris.

All Israeli television and newspapers are censored by the Likud party.

Israeli hit teams enter the West Bank with the precise intention of targeting and blowing up Arab women and children.

Pre-teen Israeli children are apprehended with bombs under their shirts on their way to the West Bank to murder Palestinian families.

Israeli crowds rush into the street to dip their hands into the blood of their dead and march en masse chanting mass murder to the Palestinians.

Rabbis give public sermons in which they characterize Palestinians as the children of pigs and monkeys.

Israeli school textbooks state that Arabs engage in blood sacrifice and ritual murders.

Mainstream Israeli politicians, without public rebuke, call for the destruction of Palestinians on the West Bank and the end to Arab society there.

Likud party members routinely lynch and execute their opponents without trial.

Jewish fundamentalists execute with impunity women found guilty of adultery on grounds that they are impugning the honor of the family.

Israeli mobs with impunity tear apart Palestinian policemen held in detention.

Israeli television broadcasts to the tune of patriotic music the last taped messages of Jewish suicide bombers who have slaughtered dozens of Arabs.

Jewish marchers parade in the streets with their children dressed up as suicide bombers, replete with plastic suicide-bombing vests.

New Yorkers post $25,000 bounties for every Palestinian blown up by Israeli murderers.

Israeli militants murder a Jew by accident and then apologize on grounds that they thought he was an Arab, to the silence of Israeli society.

Jews enter Arab villages in Israel to machine gun women and children.

Israeli public figures routinely threaten the United States with terror attacks.

Bin Laden is a folk hero in Tel Aviv.

Jewish assassins murder American diplomats and are given de facto sanctuary by Israeli society.

Israeli citizens celebrate on news that 3,000 Americans have been murdered.

Israeli citizens express support for Saddam Hussein's supporters in Iraq in their efforts to kill Americans.

So until then, I think most Americans can see the moral differences in the present struggle.

If the Palestinians wish to hold periodic and open elections, establish an independent judiciary, create a free press, arrest murderers, subject their treasury to public scrutiny, eschew suicide murdering, censure religious leaders who call for mass murder, embrace non-violent dissidents, extend equal rights to women, end honor killings, raise funds in the Arab world earmarked only to build water, sewer, transportation, and education infrastructure, and pledge that any Jews who choose to live in the West Bank will enjoy the same rights as Arabs in Israel...then they might find Americans equally divided over questions of land and peace.

But all that is a lot of ifs. And so for the present, Palestinian leaders should not be too surprised that Americans increasingly find very little in their society that has much appeal to either our values or sympathy. If they continually assure us publicly that they are furious at Americans, then they should at least pause, reflect, and ask themselves why an overwhelming numberof Americans, not Jewish, not residents of New York, not influenced by the media, are growing far more furious with them."

As Dr. Hanson notes, were these atrocities perpetrated byIsraelis, the world would rise up in righteous ire, heaping calumny on Israel. They are typical of the Palestinian terrorist government -- and the world is silent.

And, not surprisingly, the same is true of Arab much ballyhooed and state-supported Holocaust denial.

Virtually alone among peoples of the world, Arabs appear to have won a free pass when it comes to denying or minimizing the Holocaust. Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah has declared to his supporters that 'Jews invented the legend of the Holocaust.' Syrian President Bashar al-Assad recently told an interviewer that he doesn't have 'any clue how [Jews] were killed or how many were killed.' And Hamas's official Web site labels the Nazi effort to exterminate Jews 'an alleged and invented story with no basis.'

Such Arab viewpoints are not exceptional. A respected Holocaust research institution recently reported that Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia all promote Holocaust denial and protect Holocaust deniers. The records of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum show that only one Arab leader at or near the highest level of government -- a young prince from a Persian Gulf state -- has ever made an official visit to the museum in its 13-year history. Not a single official textbook or educational program on the Holocaust exists in an Arab country. In Arab media, literature and popular culture, Holocaust denial is pervasive and legitimized. (RobertSatloff, "The Holocaust's Arab Heroes", Washington Post, 10.8.06).

This denial, criminal in some countries in the West, is standard government policy in many Arab and some Moslem countries.

Finally, consider as well the tragic fact that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where anti-government demonstrations can muster up to 400,000 (June, 1982) proclaiming their opposition to a war (in this case it was the Lebanon war), even as the Palestinian Arab terrorists in Lebanon rain terrorist rockets on civilian communities. Has there ever been an anti-war demonstration in any Arab country, anywhere, at any time?

Israel is the only country in the Middle East where anti-war activists can demonstrate outside of the Parliament building against the closure of crossing points in to Gaza (because it makes life harder for the Gazan Arabs), even as Hamas' Qassam rockets from Gaza rain down on Sederoth.

That fact, perhaps more than any other, depicts for us the great moral divide in this conflict.



(*) Nota Bene! I'm talking ONLY about Arab terrorists, and the state leaders who support them, and the rank-and-file terrorists who join their terrorist groups, and the broader population throughout the world which supports them.

I am NOT talking about your average Arab/Moslem man-on-the-street, regular person, nice civilian, non-terrorist, non-militant, who (I presume) wants nothing more than to lead a normal life, raise crops and a family, give his kids a good start in life, and leave the world a bit better off than he found it....same as you and I.

(**) And the evil is not limited to the Arab -- Israel conflict. Arab attacks on Arab healthcare workers, misuse of the neutrality of Arab patients and ambulances, destruction and violence and genocide of Moslema gainst Moslem in Sudan (Darfur as well as South Sudan), Iraq, Mauritania, Yemen, Algeria, Somalia, Lebanon, and Gaza, as well as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- this evil abounds throughout the Moslem world and has been a characteristic of the Moslem world since the days of the first Caliphs. And the common thread through all of these calamities is the deep-seated religious and racial intolerance that causes Sunni and Shi'a Iraqis to massacre each other in mosques and markets and funerals and weddings, drives the ethnic cleansing of Darfur that has resulted in deaths and displacement by the hundreds of thousands, and the bona fide genocide in south Sudan which has resulted in the deaths of more than two million black African Christians and animists. And most recently, Hamas' war-crimes against Fatah agents and civilians in the Gaza Strip demonstrate the extremes of brutality that a terrorist group motivated by and acting in the name of Islam can perpetrate against its own.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by John G. Wiggins, June 22, 2007.

I understand how hard it is to think the palestinians would choose living the way they are living over living the way they could be living with the millions of dollars coming in from all over the world. But the cold hard facts are the cold hard facts. These people cannot think rationally. When you've been indoctrinated all of your life the way they have it is near impossible for them to change. It is an evil spirit that controls their minds. Listen to the Leaders who are supposed to be educated people. Do they really think Jews drink Babies blood? Yes, yes, yes!!! With all their heart they believe it and will believe it until Messiah comes. There will be no peace. They hate peace, they love death! they love war! they hate Jews! Make your peace Israel with a strong deterrent. They respect force. They hate people who feel sorry for them and want to help them, but they will use this to con them and kill them. Right now they are doing Satan's bidding and until their eyes are opened by Messiah they will continue to hate.

Contact John Wiggins at johngwiggins@yahoo.com

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Posted by Avodah, June 22, 2007.

This comes from the Little Green Footballs website:
www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/ ?PHPSESSID=68a8ba7f98b3fa2ade57a1f00c9352f5

Apparently, when Iran captured those British sailors it wasn't their first attempt; they went for an Australian Navy boarding team first: Iran 'unable to take Australians'.

Iranian naval forces in the Gulf tried to capture an Australian Navy boarding team but were vigorously repelled, the BBC has learned.

The incident took place before Iran successfully seized 15 British sailors and Marines in March.

The lessons from the earlier attempt do not appear to have been applied in time by British maritime patrols.

The 15 Britons were searching a cargo boat in the Gulf when they were captured over a boundary dispute. When Iranian Revolutionary Guards captured the British sailors and Royal Marines in March, it was not exactly their first attempt.

It turns out that Iranian forces made an earlier concerted attempt to seize a boarding party from the Royal Australian Navy.

The Australians, though, to quote one military source, "were having none of it".

The BBC has been told the Australians re-boarded the vessel they had just searched, aimed their machine guns at the approaching Iranians and warned them to back off, using what was said to be "highly colourful language".

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com

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Posted by Barry Rubin, June 21, 2007.

Dear Career Counselor:

I am in bad shape. I cannot get a job or support myself. I want to be rich and famous and powerful but I have no idea what to do. Can you suggest a powerful, prestigious, high-paying field where I need do no study or training?

Destitute and Dumb

Dear D&D:

I'm so glad you wrote me as I have the perfect solution: become an expert on the Middle East and Islam. It's easy, painless (for you, though many others will pay for it with their lives), and profitable. Just look at these examples:

Stephen Mearsheimer and John Walt. Sure they were tenured professors but they hadn't produced anything of note in years. Then they had an idea. Write a paper attacking the power of the Jewish lobby. Years of study? Intensive research? Nah. A few hours by a grad student on the internet. Result: Fame, a huge book contract, invitations to speak, largely respectful media coverage! Within months.

Or how about Bob Leiken. A washed-up Latin American expert, former Marxist revolutionary. The left hated him because he was an instrument of Oliver North in supporting the Nicaraguan Contras. Even North made fun of him. He had to sell his house and move his family into an apartment. Things looked dim. And then, presto! A grant from Smith-Richardson, another grant from the CIA, two articles in Foreign Affairs, a contract with Oxford University Press. All this within about a year. Invited to brief the State Department. Why? Because he decided to be an instant Middle East expert. Did he take courses, learn languages, spend hours reading texts? Nope. Just sat in a room with some radical Islamists. They told him they were moderates. He wrote it down.

And like the great language expert, the rival of Henry Higgins, who in "My Fair Lady" proclaims that the flowerseller Eliza Doolittle is a Hungarian princess of royal blood, Leiken proclaims that the radical Islamists are really moderates who the United States can engage. Wow says Condi Rice. Do tell, asks the State Department.

Has he read their extremist statements in Arabic? Nope, who needs Arabic. How about the translations and academic papers on the subject? Waste of time. Study of Koranic and Islamic sources? That's for wimps and suckers. All you have to do is talk to them and then you know. Because hardline supporters of terrorism who cheer the murder of people by kidnappers and suicide bombers wouldn't lie to you, would they?

Or how about Mary Habeck? A military historian, lost her job at Yale. Hey, why is everyone else having all the fun! I'll be an expert on the Middle East and on Islam too! So she loaded up the truck and took a brief trip to Iraq. Next thing you know she's got a book, testifies to Congress, is briefing Hilary Clinton, and being consulted by the great and powerful. Does she know anything about Islam? She thinks that jihad is an inner struggle, not having much to do with smiting infidels and conquering lands. But what's the difference? If you don't want to do so you don't have to see the dead bodies produced by your advice.

So what are you waiting for? How could you NOT decide to be a Middle East expert or a sage about Islam? You'd have to be crazy not to do it. Operators are standing by.

By the way, all of the above is completely true -- and other examples could be cited. But if not cast in the form of a satire, who'd believe it?

Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, has written and edited 50 books on the Middle East. His latest book, The Truth About Syria, has just been published by Palgrave-Macmillan.

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Posted by Michael Travis, June 21, 2007.
Only in the Spirit can this be understood.

This set of items comes from IsraPundit (www.IsraPundit.com).

The very important and incisive first item is a letter sent by us to a former presidential candidate; it should -- we believe -- set alarm bells ringing everywhere.

The second item below was written by Jerry Golden. powerfully addresses the same issue.

1. From: Jan Willem van der Hoeven,
Director, International Christian Zionist Center

Dear Sir

Shalom from Jerusalem, where we have returned after a busy month in the United States. We are so thankful for the time we were able to be with you -- it was definitely the highlight of our week of meetings in and around Washington DC. Thank you again for your courtesy and graciousness in hosting us.

As we prayed in your office, and have prayed since -- including today: May the Lord continue to use you mightily for His purposes for your nation, and may He bind us together as, like you, we seek to stand on His Word concerning this crucial relationship between Israel and the United States.

We would like to share the following points regarding the recent developments in Gaza, and in the light of tomorrow's meeting between Prime Minister Olmert and President Bush. I know you have a great deal of insight into these issues already, but if our perspective from "closer to the ground" can add to yours as you seek to alert your countrymen to what is happening in the Middle East, then we'd certainly want to send you some pointers as critical issues develop.

We believe Israel and America's apparently instinctive reaction to Hamas' coup in Gaza -- to rush to the aid of Abbas and his emergency PA government in order to bolster them against a Hamas takeover in the "West Bank" -- is the wrong move. The following reasons show why it is short-sighted and extremely dangerous for Israel.

The Palestinian Arabs in the PA areas in Judea and Samaria will not have been repulsed by what Hamas did -- they will be impressed. This is the traditional Arab response to those who demonstrate strength, even brutality. This means that Hamas will now enjoy even greater support on the "West Bank" (we believe this will be shown to be true in the coming months), and it is a support base into which the Islamist group will tap when the time is right, in order that Hamas can do in Judea-Samaria precisely what it did in Gaza.

Olmert and Bush may believe they will be bolstering Abbas, but it is Hamas that will finally benefit -- as it did in Gaza -- from the weapons and other equipment that will now be sent to flood the "West Bank."

If this flood of aid to Abbas includes a fast track towards handing him the entire "West Bank" in order to jumpstart the "peace process" because Israel "now has a partner" -- which is how Olmert and US administration officials have indicated they see this -- then that vital territory will soon be lost to Israel, in political terms -- forever. The high ground overlooking Israel's populated coastal plain will be in the hands of the Palestinian Arabs who will then have de facto achieved every goal in this phase of the PLO's multi-stage plan to destroy Israel -- whether "Hamastan" in Gaza and "Fatahstan" in the "West Bank," or "Hamastan" in all those areas.

The United States will then have played an active and direct role in "dividing up God's land" and gravely endangering Israel -- the consequences of which, we know as Bible believers, will be fearful for the nation you -- and we love so much.

As we watched the Gaza Strip implode last week, our thought was that God was fighting for Israel by allowing that situation to unfold. From where we stand, it certainly does seem as if He is giving Israel reason after reason for fully justifying its need to abandon the whole land-for-peace process.

Israeli leaders can already point to the failure of the unilateral withdrawal approach -- last summer's war with "Hizballahstan" in southern Lebanon, and the incessant Kassam attacks from "Hamastan" in Gaza. Now the Hamas coup has provided an extremely sound reason for halting all cooperation with the implementation of President Bush's "two-state solution."

We need to strengthen the hands of Binyamin Netanyahu and any US senators or congressmen who have recognized the bankruptcy of this whole approach and who can see that it is gambling with the very existence of Israel.

May God help us,

Yours for Zion's sake
Stan Goodenough,
Assistant to Jan Willem van der Hoeven,

2. 'The Golden Report' by Jerry Golden

Only in the Spirit can this be understood.

Many have asked why I've been silent for over a week about the insanity here in Israel. I am still shaking my head in total unbelief. Please keep in mind that what you are about to read is my very simplistic evaluation, knowing that there are many complications not mentioned here.

First we pull out of Gaza under pressure from the Bush White House, knowing that it would become a terrorist stronghold. I like most Israelis sat in total unbelief and watched Ariel Sharon who we all had trusted completely taken over by George W. Bush. We watched Sharon go against his country and even his own party and use words that no other Prime Minister ever used, like occupation, and a Palestinian State to mention a couple. We watched Sharon bring Olmert from the 33rd position in the Likud Party all the way to the position of his number one in the Government. It seems now with 20/20 hind sight that is how far back Sharon had to reach into the Likud ranks to find someone who would continue the planned destruction of Israel. And once again we sat still without protest like sheep being led to the slaughter once again. I have asked God many times if He has placed something in the minds of us Jews that allows us to be intelligent in many ways and yet stupid in others, or how a people who have suffered the horrors of the Holocaust can once again sit still and allow someone like Sharon and Olmert lead us into yet another Holocaust? But like you when I read the prophetic Word of God I find all my answers of what is to come and what will be.

Then we sit still and allow Egypt (our peace partner) to open its border for tons of weapons moving into Gaza preparing Hamas for an all out war. To add insult to injury we allow these same Hamas terrorists to shell our cities and towns in the western Negev, causing death and destruction to our Jewish citizens and we do little to nothing about it, because Bush says we must show restraint to help his efforts in Iraq.

Now Hamas has completely taken over the entire Gaza Strip, turning it into another Taliban state living under Islamic Sharia Law. And as everyone knew would happen all the weapons supplied by the US to Abbas in Gaza are now in the hands of those who have sworn to destroy Israel and kill every Jew. And the weapons continue to flow into Gaza in preparation for all out war.

The world is now being told that the good news is Abbas can now be dealt with in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) that he is a moderate terrorist. When it has only been a few weeks ago when he made the statement that both and Hamas and Fatah should be turning their guns on Israel and not on each other. The fact that he is a Holocaust denier and sworn enemy of Israel seems to be forgotten. Or is it that everyone has forgotten that Fatah is a terrorist organization, and the PLO is headed by Abbas. That the Aksa Martyrs Brigade has killed more Jews with suicide bombers than Hamas has and it too is under the control of Abbas and Fatah. Or that the reason the average "Palestinian" voted for Hamas in their election was they were fed up with all the corruption in the Abbas government. That while the average "Palestinian" lived on a $1,000 or less a year, all of the Government officials lived in mansions and drove new high dollar Mercedes with money giving by the US and EU.

But now we hear Rice say we must now support Abbas and give him millions of dollars to rearm his terrorists with. Front Page Jerusalem Post today says, "Us Resumes Financial And Political Ties With Pa. It's not enough that because of the Bush pressure on Sharon we now have a Taliban State on our southern borders that has sworn to destroy the State of Israel and kill every Jew, he wants to now finish the job and turn the heart land of Israel into a terrorist state as well, and his spin doctors are very quick to start their propaganda to the whole world.

We now have Barak back as our Defense Minister with his eye squarely on the Prime Ministers job; we all know that he will give it all to the Arabs even the Old City and the Temple Mount. We now have Shimon Peres the epitome of total evil as our next President. While Netanyahu who so many believe to be the best man for the job of PM sits still with his mouth shut and seems to have no fight left in him. So to say things look bad here in Israel would be a very fair statement.

As terrible as the above may seem it is pale in comparison to what Iran and Syria have in store for Israel. For months now Iran has been shipping convoys of weapons into Lebanon to rearm Hezbollah with longer range missiles under the ever watchful eye of the UN. Russia, North Korea and China have been arming Syria with Iranian financial backing. And Iran has hundreds of long range missile aimed at Israel of which anyone of them could be carrying a nuclear warhead purchased from any number of the old USSR countries.

While Egypt sits unnoticed allowing Hamas in Gaza to rearm and they too have a very large and dangerous army thanks to the US. Egypt has a long memory and they want revenge for 1967 and 1973 wars.

All this only means that if Israel just sits here and waits it will be destroyed or nearly destroyed and only God can then save her. But then that sounds Scriptural doesn't it!

But don't think it is only Israel that will be destroyed. The United States is the main target and with Israel out of the way look out USA the terrorists cells in the US will begin their planned destruction of that country as well. In the meantime God is showing the US His displeasure of the back stabbing that the US is doing to Israel...

Contact Michael Travis at michaelmgr@gmail.com

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Posted by Avodah, June 21, 2007.

This comes from http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2007/06/emuna_news_anal.html and was written by Rabbi Lazer Brody.

Why Olmert and Kadima will never succeed

The Kadima party was founded and based on a non-ideological, opportunistic bolt of both Labor and Likud MKs from the respective parties of their youth. Olmert, Livni, Peres and company all turned their backs on their comrades in a blatant show of disloyalty. Especially pitiful is Othniel's willingness to betray his National Religious comrades from youth, and to serve as Kadima's Uncle-Tom kippa (skullcap) wearer that will have to market Olmert's surrender of Judea and Sammaria to the disenfranchised families, Heaven forbid, all for the price of being "in".

Kadima is the wrong horse to back -- a lame one, as we'll see in the coming elections when they'll most likely be wiped off the political map. A party built and based on disloyalty won't last, just like any other relationship based on treachery and disloyalty won't last.

Poor Man's Viet Nam

Olmert, all smiles about Bushey's arm around his shoulder in DC, won't have the grin on his face for long. He and bumbling George are the blind leading the blind. The Bush-Olmert push to save Abu Mazen and his ultra-corrupt Fatah murderers is ever so remindful of Lyndon Johnson's and Nixon's fruitless efforts to sage the corrupt regime of "democratic" (sic) South Vietnam in the late 60's and early 70's. Ultimately, the USA left Southeast Asia with its tail between its legs, licking the wounds of tens of thousands of Americans killed and wounded, while the ideologically-motivated North Vietnamese reunited the country.

Just as the USA backed the wrong horse back then, they're backing the wrong horse now.

The CIA has suffered a miserable defeat in Gaza, outclassed and outdistanced by the Syrian intelligence, who together with Khaled Meshal in Syria, planned a smoother overthrow of the Fatah in Gaza than anyone could imagine. Most experts were expecting thousands of dead in a Fatah-Hamas intramural bloodbath, yet the whole deal took 48 hours. Most strageically remarkable is the bonanza of CIA and western intelligence secrets that has now fallen into Hamas, Syrian, and Iranian hands. The CIA's Middle East Desk is probably buying Tylenol by the case this week.

Any arms and funds that the USA and Israel have ever given to the Fatah in Gaza is now in Hamas hands, another Olmert-Bush fumble in democracy's endzone.

The CIA is a pitiful match for Syrian and Iranian intelligence, especially on an Islamic home court. Lousy intelligence, poor judgment, a lack of understanding of the local mentality and lack of conviction are bringing Olley and Bush to support not only the wrong horse, but a dying horse. The Hamas are plenty strong in Shechem and in Jenin, and with Syrian (and some say Al Qaida) help, getting stronger by the minute. Ultimately, they'll smash the Fatah in the West Bank too. Academically, even if the slithery Fatah could gain control of the so-called West Bank, they'd bite the Jewish hand that helped them at the very first opportunity. Better the known enemy now; this would be a gift to preserve the sanctity of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, for no one in their right mind would make territorial concessions to the Hamas. Then again, without emuna, there's no sanity anyway. As it is, Olmert would rather surrender the Golan to the Syrians rather than stand up to them. In his eyes, Gush Katif was only the beginning. May Hashem save us from such leaders.

A known enemy is better than a hand seeking a mock peace, that really has a dagger up its sleeve. Personally, Hamastan is better for Israel than an American-supported Fatahland. Israel should have no qualms about smashing a Hamastan that throws the first stone over the border. In the Middle East, restraint means fear, or lack of deterrent power. That leads us to our next item:

Syrian Test of Israeli Nerves

The new renegade Ansar Allah terrorist group in Lebanon is a Syrian creation, brilliantly designed by Syrian intelligence to weaken Siniora's silly government in Lebanon and to test Israel's resolve and nerves in one fell swoop. Only 3 days ago, 3 Katyushas fell in Kiryat Shemona destroying homes but miraculously not injuring anyone, and as predicted, Israel did nothing. In Middle East sports, that's called Syria 1 -- Israel 0. The truth is that the Israeli leadership is deathly afraid of the enemies. Where there's no emuna, there's no deterrence or resolve.

Once more, backing the wrong horse

The only answer to militant, hostile, dark-side radical Islamo-fascists are the type of gung ho emuna soldiers of kedusha that I had the privilege of spending last Shabbat with. Rather than the Israeli government backing the forces of Torah and emuna, it's backing abomination parade scheduled to contaminate the holy city of Jerusalem this Friday. May Hashem help us.

Thank G-d, Hashem runs the world

Despite the scary situation, Hashem does everything for our ultimate good, whether or not our limited human brains comprehend what's happening. Just wait and see. If you want to bet on the right horse, pick emuna, for it's Israel's strongest weapon. Just ask little Nachman Emuna (illustration below by Disney artist Ken [Baruch] Becker, may Hashem bless him always): Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com

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Posted by Ezra HaLevi, June 21, 2007.

This appeared today in Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNationalNews.com).

Peace Now, a left-wing group founded to bring about Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon, but expanded to work toward a withdrawal from all areas won by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War held a protest in Hevron earlier this month. The protest, in the heart of the tiny Jewish quarter of the city, featured large signs demanding the Jews be barred from living in the city of the Patriarchs.

"The Settlements are an Obstacle to Peace!"

The 200 Peace Now protestors (the group claimed 300 came and state-run radio reported that as well -- though only four 50-seater buses were brought) were ringed by heavy security as they delivered their message that the Jewish community in Hevron is a burden on Israel's security forces. The local community, by and large, chose to ignore the protest, saying the group's aim was to draw them into confrontations it could then use to justify Peace Now's provocations -- but several activist groups from outside Hevron came to counter Peace Now's message.

Women in Green, Tzafrir Ronen's Nahalal Forum and Kumah all turned up with signs and activists to say that Jewish life in Hevron is a positive thing, which should be expanded and allowed to flourish. Peace Now protestors led chants like "We don't want to die in vain, make peace now!" and "Hevron settlers -- a bone in the throat."

"Mom is Buried Here," says the Hebrew sign -- a reference to the matriarchs Sara, Rebbeca and Leah

Women in Green's Nadia Matar pointed out that Peace Now is heavily funded by the same European Union that is soft on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."In any event, we didn't come here to stare at them." she said. "They are here to protest 40 years of 'occupation,' and we are here to celebrate our return to the Land of Israel."

Kim M., a student at a Christian university in Pennsylvania, observed the Peace Now protest from the side. "I've only been in Palestine for a few days," she said. "And I'm still trying to figure everything out." Kim wore a CPT (Christian Peacemaker Teams) hat; she was part of a tour organized by the radical Christian group. Other CPT members stood aside and opined that the Jewish Peace Now protestors still insist on occupying pre-1967 Israel as well, "stolen from the Palestinians in 1948."

Tzafrir Ronen, out of earshot in the spot designated for the counter-protest -- said that similar protests were in fact heard prior to 1967 by the left, when the government wanted to expand the now-concensus Galilee city of Afula. He also blasted the journalists who had come on armored buses paid for by Peace Now.

The armored buses came in handy, as the left-wing protestors were targeted by Arab stone-throwers while leaving Hevron due to their yellow license plates identifying them as Israeli. Peace Now told reporters that it thought the rocks may have been thrown by "settler youth," not Arabs.

Ezra HaLevi writes for Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNationalNews.com).

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Posted by JINSA, June 21, 2007.

Contrarians. We've been called that before. While much of the American Jewish community approves of President Bush and Prime Minister Olmert's decision to fund and support Abu Mazen as "the President of all the Palestinians," we are disappointed at many levels.

First, Abu Mazen may be the President of all the Palestinians, but he has/had a legislature dominated by the freely elected Hamas. For the U.S. to now say that we accept the results of the Presidential election but not the result of the legislative election is poor policy.

Second, Abu Mazen did nothing to change the culture of corruption he actively helped Yasser Arafat develop during the Oslo years. How could the Palestinians be the world's largest per capita aid recipients -- according to the Wall Street Journal, "the PA has so far received more foreign aid than all of Europe received under the Marshall Plan" -- and still have 30 percent of its people dependent on food aid from outside? For the U.S. to agree to provide more money with less control is poor policy.

Third, two American generals tried their hand at training Palestinian forces to protect themselves -- if not to protect the people they were supposed to serve. We never liked the mission those generals were given, but we had assumed they wouldn't fail. They failed; utterly failed. The Fatah soldiers trained by American officers did not protect the civilians. They did not protect the institutions of the PA. They did not protect their wounded comrades, some of whom Hamas shot in their hospital beds while others were tossed out of buildings. The men our generals trained turned and ran ignominiously. For the U.S. to provide more arms with less control is poor policy.

Fourth, Abu Mazen at the height of his capability (and this is not it) was not a partner in the establishment of a two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis. He was willing to discuss day-to-day security and economic policy for the territories, and believed suicide bombings were counterproductive to Palestinian goals (though not necessarily bad in and of themselves). At the same time, he was entirely committed to Arafat's three-point program: an independent Palestinian State with its borders undefined; Jerusalem as the capital; the so-called "right of return" of the original 1948 Palestinian refugees and their descendants to places inside Israel from which they claim to have come. If he couldn't accept the legitimacy of Israeli sovereignty then, for the U.S. to believe he can and will while under siege from people better trained, better armed and more ideologically committed than he, is poor policy.

Fifth, Abu Mazen has already indicated that he wants to talk to Hamas about the future. Since they won and he lost, it is safe to assume that Fatah will move toward the Hamas position rather than assume Hamas will move toward the Fatah position.

America has already lowered the bar of expectations of Fatah responsibility to the ground. As Fatah becomes more like Hamas in order to survive, the only way for the U.S. to lower the bar further would be to dig a hole. For the U.S. to begin digging is poor policy.

The JINSA Reports are published by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (http://www.jinsa.org). To subscribe, email jinsareports-www@lists.jinsa.org This is JINSA Report #676 and was posted yesterday. The list of reports is archived at
http://www.jinsa.org/articles/articles.html/function/browse/ categoryid/650/documentid/650/history/3%2C650

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, June 21, 2007.


The theory for favoring Fatah over Hamas and therefore for arming Fatah head Abbas is that Fatah would make peace with Israel. The main fallacy and disproof of that is Fatah's refusal to have made peace with Israel when it could.

There are other fallacies, such as Fatah's and Abbas' hard line, that besides having their own state, the western Palestinian Arabs should be able to flood and submerge the Jewish state. Fatah competes with Hamas in indoctrinating in hatred and terrorism against Israel. Fatah and Abbas have done nothing to stem the corruption that caused their electoral loss, and they are divided. Abbas is only nominally the head of Fatah, which uses him as a front man to seem to the West as moderate. Its head is Qaddumi, a radical. Fatah never has punished anyone for terrorism. It remains the same organization as under Arafat, not caring how much its people suffer from the diversion of their funds. It never told the people how much Israel offered them; they are told that Israel wants to wipe them out (IMRA, 6/3 from Barry Rubin).

In order to champion Abbas, people have to ignore his record and his organization's. They have to misunderstand Muslim culture. That's easy to do when the schools teach little, the media censors itself, and the real goal is to give Jewish territory to the Muslims. Any excuse will do.


At first, the Kurdish sector in Iraq was prospering and democratic. Then the leaders became more corrupt, abused power, and destabilized the province; there is neither accountability nor a free press. The two leading families, which had collaborated with Saddam, divided up many choice posts among their relatives. They intimidate or bribe other parties. The leading parties control the student unions even in high schools. The students spy on fellow students. Party members get preferences for scholarships, etc. Businesses having to take rulers' relatives as partners. The boom is subsiding, and inflation is impoverishing the masses.

People who demonstrate against corruption are subject to arbitrary arrest, torture, and death. Of the five judiciaries, four are extra-legal. The parties control appointments to them. Criticism of officialdom is considered, under Saddam's continuing law there, as defamation.

Iranian and other intelligence services and Islamist organizations make for insecurity there, sometimes with connivance by the rulers. The US had been popular for saving them, but lost favor for not demanding democracy for them. The US thinks its silence makes for stability, but it doesn't (MEF News, 6/6).


"Amnesty International (AI) today issued a report entitled 'Enduring Occupation: Palestinians under siege in the W. Bank,' which provides more evidence of AI's strong political agenda on Arab-Israeli issues. This report also reinforces the unjustified boycott campaigns that delegitimize Israel and the right of self-defense. By participating in this campaign, the members of Amnesty International undermine the basis of universal human rights."

"Previous NGO Monitor reports have noted the prevalence of one-sided attacks on Israel from AI, and the organization's latest publication confirms this long-standing bias. 'Enduring Occupation' begins by placing full responsibility for the conflict on Israel, with minimal reference to Palestinian (Arab) terror. The emotive language employed in the report is more appropriate for a propaganda communique, such as the highly charged opening implication that Israel deliberately kills Palestinian children, and the coarse abuse of Holocaust terminology, such as 'Wall of Death'. Once again, Amnesty has invented and ignored evidence in order to demonize Israel."

"The report also falsely implies that Israel arbitrarily imposes restrictions on Palestinians, commits 'war crimes,' and calls for Israelis to be prosecuted in the world's courts. AI's report barely acknowledges Palestinian terror and the extensive support it receives from neighboring regimes. Nor is there substantial recognition of Israel's right, according to international law, to defend itself against such terror."

"Furthermore, the report deliberately misrepresents Israel's separation barrier, ignoring the precipitous decline in terror attacks following the barrier's construction. There is no mention of widespread corruption within the Palestinian economic and social systems, the international boycott of Hamas as a terror organization, and the continued mismanagement of funds by the Palestinians. AI's report is explicit in laying the blame squarely on Israel and indicative of a clear political agenda."

"Gerald Steinberg, Executive Director of NGO Monitor, remarked that 'This Amnesty report, following tendentious condemnations of Israel, demonstrates the moral bankruptcy of this organization.' (IMRA, 6/3.)" What "occupation?"


It makes no sense to work on new accords with destabilizing and radicalizing Arab societies. An accord "would not help, it cannot stop the macabre march, and it would not hold." (Youssef Ibrahim, NY Sun, 6/7, p.7). Besides, even when those regimes are stabile and not Islamist, they don't keep agreements.

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 richardshulman5verizon.net

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Posted by Michael Devolin, June 21, 2007.

Islam has no moderates. Islam represents only Muslims, which includes those who are transiting away from that congenital humanity they inherited through nascency-a humanity that, properly motivated, defies the insensate culture bequeathed them from the Koran-and those who have already protruded beyond that humanity, having made the journey to veridical Islam, which now includes the blood-for-blood reality show presently being played out in Gaza by Muslim terrorists belonging to Hamas and Fatah.

I remember that but a few days ago, the media were comparing Hamas and Fatah, describing Fatah as "secular" and "the more moderate" of the two. Fatah, in my opinion, is nothing more than a terrorist group driven by the lure of billions in "foreign aid" currencies, directed by a senior citizen terrorist who now adapts, as an imposed prerequisite to receiving these same billions, the cavil of statecraft. And now Abbas' Fatah gunmen, in a public display of what has evolved as Islam's peculiar avant-garde statecraft, are killing Hamas supporters in the streets. Where is the moderation in that? And how is this behaviour any different from that of Hamas' gunmen who, not to be outdone, are killing Fatah gunmen in the streets? Islam has given a whole new meaning to the term "vicious circle."

And please, can anyone enlighten me as to what is "secularism" in Gaza, because every time I watch TV news casts about either of these two Islamic killing fraternities, whether Hamas or Fatah, I see men with an AK47 in one hand and a Koran in the other? It seems to me that in the context of Gaza and the so-called Palestinians, both secularism and Islam are neither indicative nor portentous of any sort of denouement to the obsession these people seem to have with killing each other whenever they are not busy killing Israeli Jews. These people are ready to govern a "Palestinian state" contiguous to Israel? I don't think so. Such a state, whether governed by Fatah or Hamas, would be, to borrow a phrase from Geoffrey Wheatcroft, "an absurdity, a noble failure, or something in between."

And what relevance does secularism have within the bounds of the so-called Palestinian struggle anyway? After all, this is the same populace that voted in the Muslim zealots of Hamas and rejected "the more moderate" Fatah. What pertinence, therefore, has Fatah's miasmic secularism in a religious setting as autocratic as Islam's? None.

After all is said and done, whether within or without Gaza, the hemorrhaging of whatever frail unity previously existed between Fatah and Hamas is nothing more than the sectarian violence that follows Islam around the globe. Yesterday it was Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia. Today it's Gaza: another of Islam's reality shows.

Michael Devolin is a Noachide and lives in Canada. Contact him at devolin@reach.net This essay was published yesterday in the Magic City Morning Star website.

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Posted by Sergio Tessa(Hadar), June 21, 2007.


This below was written by Yitzhak Benhorin and published today in Ynet News. It is archived at

During visit to Washington, opposition leader says Palestinians cannot impose order in West Bank alone, need Egyptian and Jordanian involvement; talks about Iranian threat with US VP

WASHINGTON -- A Palestinian division of the Jordanian military should be deployed in the West Bank in order to bring law and order to the area, opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu suggested Thursday.

During a visit to Washington, Netanyahu told Israeli reporters that Palestinians will not be able to impose order alone and require international assistance to do so. "We can't build up Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with Palestinian forces alone. We need Egyptian and Jordanian involvement," he said.

"Egypt must block arms smuggling in the Philadelphi corridor, which is has not done to date. Jordan can and must support the effort with a measured security contribution in the West Bank," he elaborated.

"We need to consider a new role for Jordan, one of Jordanian support," he told Ynet. "Depending, of course, on the willingness of Abbas and (Jordanian king) Abdullah, we must begin to coordinate Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian security cooperation."

Netanyahu met with US Vice President Dick Cheney, discussing with him the Iranian threat. He said economic and political action should be taken against the regime, stating that economic sanctions had the potential to be effective.

However, he said, the bottom line was to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The world must not become accustomed to a nuclear Iran, he said.

While in Washington, Netanyahu also met with two presidential hopefuls -- Democratic Senator Hilary Clinton and former Republican senator Fred Thompson, who has yet to declare his candidacy formally.

During previous visits to the US, Netanyahu had convened with Republican primary candidates Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, as well as Democratic Senator Barack Obama. He also spoke with Senator John McCain.

Let's not forget that it was Mr. Pipi Zigzagyahu who gave the PLO terrorists control of the high ground in Hebron and is DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MURDER OF TEN MONTHS OLD SHALHEVETH PASS, ZTUQ"L, HI"D. Peres did not have the guts to do it. HE DID!

Sergio Tessa can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net.

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Posted by Paul Lademain, June 21, 2007.


Recently this week, UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it "offended" the Moslem population which claims it never occurred. This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended.

This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the

six million Jews,
20 million Russians,
10 million Christians
and 1,900 Catholic priests

who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russia peoples looking the other way!

Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be "a myth," it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!

Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.

Please send this e-mail to 10 people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain.

Please don't just delete it. It will only take you a minute to pass this along -- Thanks!

Contact Paul Lademain at lademain@verizon.net

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Posted by UCI, June 21, 2007.

In viewing this video clip it's important to remember that previous to the British Mandate there was an area called Palestine, however there was never a Palestinian State. During the time when it was considered a "Palestinian area", the majority of the population was Jews and they were referred to as "the Palestinians".

We know you will find this video clip insightful and informative. It was produced by the Terrorism Awareness Project.


UCI -- The Unity Coalition for Israel (http://www.israelunitycoalition.org) -- is "the largest worldwide coalition of Jewish and Christian organizations, with more than 200 groups representing millions of people dedicated to Israel. Though we have many different backgrounds, we have one common goal: A Safe and Secure Israel."

"Israel is not just a Jewish issue. Millions of Christians resolutely endorse the principle of peace with security for the state of Israel. Because we work closely together and speak with a united voice, our message is being heard!"

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Posted by Boris Celser, June 21, 2007.

I wrote this next as a comment to "The road to Hell" written by Moshe Arens in today's Haaretz
(http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/873573.html). Arens' article appears below.

An unofficial offer to Ha`aretz from the Jerusalem Post

This is an offer you can`t miss. Would Ha`aretz be interested in getting three columnists in exchange for just one? Give the Jerusalem Post Moshe Arens, and receive in return MJ Rosenberg, Naomi Chazan, and Gershon Baskin. Ha`aretz satisfaction is guaranteed, or the deal is cancelled. Ha`aretz, please reply in 24 hours, and the JP will include a fourth columnist, David Kimche, a 10-shekel value absolutely free. Please call. Jerusalem Post operators are standing by.

If you want to know what hell looks like just take a look at the recent pictures of the carnage in Gaza. It might be comforting to say that this has nothing to do with us in Israel, but this would only be another of the many escapist delusions that capture Israeli minds so frequently. Not only will the Hamas takeover in Gaza affect us in the years to come, but there is little doubt that Israel's flawed policy in past years bears a good share of the responsibility for what is happening there now. These Israeli policies were no doubt motivated by the best of intentions -- a desire to arrive at peace and do justice to the Palestinians -- but as is well known, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Who likes to be told "I told you so"? Most certainly not those like Yossi Beilin and Avraham (Avrum) Burg and the other politicians of their dovish circle who have for years advocated negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization and concessions to the PLO and who have consistently called for an end to what they keep calling the occupation of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

It all started in Oslo 15 years ago. The arch-terrorist, the man who invented the hijacking of passenger aircraft and who ordered the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic games, was hailed by some Israelis as a freedom-fighter with whom it was said we must negotiate and make peace.

"You make peace with your enemies" was the insane slogan repeated endlessly to justify this foolish course of action. And thus, at the conclusion of the negotiations in Oslo begun by amateur meddlers in international diplomacy, Yasser Arafat and his gang of corrupt terrorists were brought in from Tunis and imposed on the Palestinian population in most of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. (Israel left Gaza then, and not, as the advocates of disengagement have falsely claimed, at the time of the uprooting of the settlers in Gush Katif in August 2005).

A straight line connects Arafat's corrupt rule and his support for acts of terror against Israel's civilian population to the Hamas takeover in Gaza. Just connect the dots. They start with the Oslo Accords and pass through Ehud Barak's decision in 2000 to abandon Israel's security zone in southern Lebanon and betray Israel's long-time allies in the South Lebanon Army. It was not only Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah who then saw Israel as no more than a spider web, incapable of putting up resistance to terror. That brought on the Al Aqsa Intifada, orchestrated by Fatah and Hamas, with its terrible toll of civilian deaths.

And just as the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet security service were about to hand the terrorists a decisive defeat, along came the Sharon government with the nonsensical idea of forcibly uprooting Israeli settlements and retreating to the Israeli-Egyptian armistice line of 1947, an idea marketed under the false slogan that "we were getting out of Gaza."

That was all the encouragement that Hamas needed to claim victory over Israel and win the Palestinian elections against the corrupt Fatah party.

As should have been expected, Israel's unilateral retreat was followed by a continuous barrage of Qassam rockets against Israeli towns and villages. Despite all this, government spokesmen, led by Tzipi Livni, kept repeating that it is Israel's aim and Israel's interest to bring about the establishment of a Palestinian State in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Encouraged by Israel's seeming weakness, Hamas' power grew, it won the Palestinian elections, and now, in a no-holds power struggle, Hamas has taken over the entire Gaza Strip. They don't intend to stop there.

Israeli governments have been mistaken, again and again, in gauging Arab reactions to Israeli moves intended to move toward a relief of tension in the area and bring the Arabs closer to their goals as they are perceived by Israel. But to those whose goals are unlimited -- the destruction of Israel -- coming closer to their goal, as perceived by them, simply encourages them to intensify the struggle against Israel.

Good intentions are not enough. If not combined with a healthy dose of realism they can lead straight to hell. I don't like to say I told you so, but I told you so.

Boris Celser lives in Canada. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Barbara Sommer, June 21, 2007.

Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA wrote: "To please Bush, PM Olmert offers to make murdering Israelis easier for Palestinians" is certainly a harsh headline. But it is the truth.

Question: How much time and thought did Mr. Olmert put into the offer before saying this?

Answer: Given his decision making record in the Second Lebanon War, the odds are that Olmert spent as much time thinking as it takes an average reader to read this sentence.

This below was entitled "Olmert: Israel to agree to 'more far-reaching' checkpoint removal in West Bank." It was written by Aluf Benn and Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz Correspondents 20/06/2007 and it is archived at

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday in Washington that Israel would agree to a "more far-reaching" removal of checkpoints in order to increase Palestinian freedom of movement inside the West Bank.

Olmert added that the cabinet would on Sunday approve the release of tax revenues collected by Israel on the behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

Speaking after a series of meetings in the White House, including a two-hour session alone with President George W. Bush, Olmert added that the new Palestinian government should be given assistance and a chance to succeed.

"The new Palestinian government deserves a chance, and also assistance," he said.

Measures will also be taken to bolster the forces loyal to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, he added.

Referring to the Gaza Strip, Olmert said: "We will provide all that is necessary to meet humanitarian needs and we will not be indifferent. This suffering has been caused by Palestinians against their own people."

Regarding the plight of refugees waiting at the Erez crossing, Olmert said that anyone whom security checks prove is not a terrorist will be allowed to pass through.

Prior to their meeting, Bush and Olmert spoke to journalists at the White House. The president praised Olmert for being a strong leader committed to the security and prosperity of his country and to creating the conditions for peace.

He also pointed out that Israel and the United States share the vision of two states living side by side in peace and security. That vision, he said, is important to the moderates in both countries -- "the ordinary Palestinians who need something to look forward to" and Israelis concerned that demographic pressure threatens their state's Jewish character.

Bush linked the Palestinian front in Gaza to other Middle Eastern fronts in which the U.S. is currently involved.

"It is interesting that extremists are assaulting democracies throughout the Middle East, whether this is in Iraq, Lebanon or the potentially democratic Palestine. We are in a monumental ideological confrontation," he said.

Following the Hamas takeover in Gaza, the speech that Bush was planning to make next week to commemorate the launching of his two-state vision has been canceled, and a planned visit to the region by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been postponed.

Also canceled was a meeting of the Quartet that was scheduled to take place in Cairo next week with the participation of Olmert and Abbas.

Olmert reiterated his commitment to meet with Abbas and stressed that he had even been willing to visit Jericho. Nonetheless, he did not say whether there was a schedule for the renewal of meetings between the two leaders.

Bush praised Abbas and the prime minister of the PA's emergency government, Salam Fayad.

On the Syrian front, responding to a reporter's questions about whether he would be willing to mediate between Israel and Syria, Bush said: "If the prime minister wants to negotiate with Syria he doesn't need me to mediate ... It's up to the prime minister."

Contact Barbara Sommer at sommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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Posted by Boris Celser, June 21, 2007.

This is moving around the internet. Among other sites, it was on the Michael Worth website:
http://www.michaelworth.com/three_things_to_think_about.shtml and posted by Leslie Moris on Chron Watch
http://www.chronwatch-america.com/articles/757/1/ Three-Things-to-Think-About/Page1.html




Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a single cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.


They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.


The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a Courthouse is this: You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery", and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment

Boris Celser lives in Canada. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Joseph M. Hochstein, June 21, 2007.

This was published in

A false allegation that 6,000 Palestinians died in the 1967 Six Day War appears at the website of PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service.

The false report originated as an inadvertent error in a Canadian newspaper June 2. It gained more visibility on the internet a few days later when Michael Getler, ombudsman of the 354-station PBS, cited it as if it were fact.

Getler devoted his June 8 column to "Six Days," a documentary film directed by Israeli-born Ilan Ziv. The ombudsman's column, titled "Versions of War," dealt mainly with Getler's discovery that "there were actually several versions of this same basic film being seen in different countries, and that the American, or PBS version, was different in important ways."

WHAT FIRST DREW his attention to this, the PBS ombudsman wrote, were viewers' complaints that the film did not mention Israel's aerial and naval attack on the USS Liberty, a U.S. surveillance vessel operating near the Sinai coast. The attack killed 33 sailors and one Arab-language specialist of the National Security Agency.

The PBS ombudsman went on to cite a Toronto Globe and Mail preview which stated June 2 that the film "has been praised by some reviewers for not shying away from the deaths of 6,000 Palestinians during the war, something that's clearly described in every version except the one for PBS. The filmmakers describe the reasoning behind this difference as a mix of concern about American attitudes toward the continuing conflict and what PBS subscribers might make of such an inclusion."

It turns out, though, that the newspaper article was in error and the number 6,000 applied not to deaths but to the population of three Palestinian villages which Israel destroyed during the war. These villagers were deported, not killed. No standard history of the war mentions 6,000 Palestinian deaths, nor have anti-Israel propagandists made such a claim.

The error came to light after a MidEastWeb editor forwarded the PBS ombudsman's article on June 12 to a MidEastWeb e-mail list. There, another editor spotted the reference to "deaths of 6,000 Palestinians" and asked, "Is this the birth of another Jenin myth?"

The question triggered an effort to determine whether such a claim actually appeared in any version of the film.

An e-mail inquiry to the film's Canadian producer, Ina Fichman, failed to produce a response.

An e-mail request to the newspaper where the PBS ombudsman found the assertion of 6,000 Palestinian deaths also drew a blank. The Globe and Mail features editor did not respond to a request for the film critic's e-mail address.

Eventually, MidEastWeb found an e-mail address for the critic, Matthew Hays, and put the question to him.

Hays promptly wrote back to confirm that the reference to 6,000 deaths was an unintended error that crept in when he interviewed the filmmakers. He added that they had been referring to the displacement of 6,000 Palestinians, not to deaths.

The 6,000 displaced Palestinians were residents of three villages -- Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba -- which the Israel army destroyed on June 8, 1967.

The version of the film shown in Israel devotes considerable attention to the destruction of the villages. It interviews a witness who as a member of nearby kibbutz Harel noticed that the villages had been evacuated. He had a camera with him, so he made photographs of the empty houses. Israel knocked the houses down, and later the area became part of the Ayalon Park (known as Canada Park).

The destruction of the villages is not a new disclosure. Amos Kenan, a prominent Israeli writer, took part in the operation as an army reservist, and he wrote about it in the Hebrew press shortly after the war. His account appeared in English in "Israel: A Wasted Victory," a 1970 collection of his newspaper articles. Trish Wood, an investigative journalist, dealt with the subject in "Park without peace," a 1991 television documentary she made for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

A point that does not appear in the current documentary, at least not in the version shown on Israel Channel 10, is that one of the villages, Imwas, was widely thought to be the site of Emmaus of Christian scripture.

The current mistaken mention of deaths that didn't occur is much different from the intentional reporting of a massacre that never happened in Jenin in April 2002. In Jenin, Israel barred reporters from area, and Palestinian and other anti-Israel sources took advantage of this public-relations blunder to spread false stories of blanket bombing, destruction of the entire refugee camp, and as many as 3,000 dead. Some media organizations treated the lies and disinformation with professional skepticism, while others let themselves be carried away in a frenzy of unsubstantiated accusations against Israel. Subsequent investigation eventually found the massacre charges to be false. This finding did not receive sensational media coverage.

UPDATE June 28, 2007 (www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000603.htm):

Michael Getler, ombudsman of the Public Broadcasting System, has published a correction disowning his recent online reference to 6,000 Palestinian deaths in the 1967 Six Day War.

According to the PBS ombudsman, the producers of Ilan Ziv's documentary film "Six Days in June" blame the error on a misunderstanding in an interview between them and a writer for the Toronto Globe and Mail. A June 2 preview in the Toronto newspaper referred erroneously to "the deaths of 6,000 Palestinians during the war." The PBS ombudsman repeated this in his June 8 column, citing it as if it were fact. The false allegation went uncorrected at the PBS site for two weeks, until MidEastWeb called attention to it on June 21. The PBS correction confirms MidEastWEb's finding that, "the newspaper article was in error and the number 6,000 applied not to deaths but to the population of three Palestinian villages which Israel destroyed during the war. These villagers were deported, not killed." Getler published the correction as a parenthetical paragraph at the end of his weekly column for June 22. Here's the entire text of the correction:

"(Correction: In the column about the 'Six Days in June' film, there was a reference to the earlier story in the Globe and Mail that had praised the international version of the film shown in Canada for 'not shying away from the deaths of 6,000 Palestinians during the war, something that's clearly described in every version except the one for PBS.' The Canadian producers of the film say that was a misunderstanding in the interview with the reporter and that the producers were referring to the 6,000 expelled from three of the villages.)"

The villages that Israel destroyed were Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba. They were part of the strategically important Latrun salient, which commanded the Ayalon Valley entrance and controlled the main road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in the 1948-49 Israel-Arab war. Gunmen from the villages took part in lethal ambushes of Jewish convoys trying to lift the Arab siege of Jerusalem in that war.

After capturing the villages in 1967, Israel later moved the route of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway. The road now passes through land that once belonged to the village of Imwas.

Imwas is believed to have been the site of ancient Emmaus, a place of historical military importance. It is first mentioned as the camp of a Syrian Seleucid army defeated in 166 BCE by 3,000 Jews commanded by Judah the Maccabee. (lst Maccabees:3-4).

Almost two centuries later, according to the historian Josephus, the legate Quintus Varillus ordered the town burned to the ground in retaliation for a Jewish ambush that killed the centurion Arius and 40 of his soldiers as they were delivering grain and weapons to the legion. This happened a few years before the first century CE. The town was later rebuilt, and Vespasian's Fifth Legion camped there for two years prior to the siege of Jerusalem in the first Jewish-Roman war (66-73 CE). Many centuries later, Crusaders built a fortress there.

Imwas was one of several sites in the vicinity thought to have been the location of Emmaus of Christian scripture (Luke 24:13-35). The exact location of the New Testament Emmaus remains uncertain.

Joseph Hochstein is an American newspaper editor who made aliyah and now lives in Tel Aviv. Contact him at hochjm@netvision.net.il

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Posted by David Bedein, June 20, 2007.

This was published in The Bulletin (Philadelphia) and is archived at
www.thebulletin.us/site/news.cfm?newsid=18497393&BRD= 2737&PAG=461&dept_id=576361&rfi=6

Jerusalem -- Yesterday, President Bush, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, announced that the U.S. government will renew funding for "humanitarian needs" of the Palestinian Authority, on the assumption, as Bush emphasized, that this aid will bolster the "moderate" elements of the Palestinian Authority.

One of those "humanitarian" needs involved funding the schools of the Palestinian Authority.

The question remains, however, whether the U.S. government should consider schools of the Palestinian Authority as one of those "moderate" elements that should once again be funded by the U.S. government.

Indeed, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) told this reporter that, following the death of PLO leader and founder Yassir Arafat in November 2004, one of the clear promises made by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was that he would introduce textbooks that would promote peace and tolerance. When Rep. Sherman and 34 other congressmen confronted Abbas during his trip to Washington in May 2005 with the crass anti-Semitic incitement that was then being taught in the Palestinian schools, Abbas' defense was that these school books were published before he was elected leader of the Palestinian Authority in January 2005, and he promised to make improvements.

Now, two years later, new PA textbooks for 11th and 12th grade have been published, and the first books published during Abbas' reign hardly educate for peace with Israel.

Instead they promote the ideal of a violent struggle against Israel.

Dr. Arnon Groiss, who holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at Princeton University, and who serves as a senior researcher for the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, www.edume.org, translated these new schoolbooks and was recently invited to make a presentation for the European Parliament in Brussels, because of the EU member funding for the Palestinian Authority school system.

Dr. Groiss reported that the new PA schoolbooks teach the following values:

* Jews are foreigners and have no rights whatsoever in Palestine.
* The Jews have a dubious and even murderous character.
* Israel is an illegitimate usurper who occupied Palestine in 1948 and 1967.
* Israel is the source of all kinds of evil done to the Palestinians.
* Peace with Israel based on reconciliation is never sought.
* A violent struggle for liberation is encouraged instead.
* The exact area to be liberated is never restricted to the West Bank and Gaza alone.
* Jihad and martyrdom are glorified and terrorist activities against Israel are implicitly encouraged.
* The West is imperialist, aspires to world hegemony, directs a cultural attack against Islam and supports Israel.

Groiss note that the PA schoolbooks teach the students that Palestine and Jerusalem has been Arab since antiquity, on account of the ancient Canaanites and Jebusites who are presented as Arabs. All others, including the Jews, were foreign invaders with no legitimate rights in the country. In these new Palestinian schoolbooks, which were produced by the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, not by the Hamas, Jewish holy places in the country are not recognized.

Instead, they are presented as Muslim holy places usurped by the Jews. Groiss points out that the Jewish holy place of Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem is renamed "Bilal bin Rabbah Mosque" in 2001, while in 1996 it was still called "Rachel's Dome" in another textbook. We are witnessing here a new myth in the making. In his presentation, Groiss brought up numerous examples of how the new Palestinian textbooks teach that Israel is solely responsible for the conflict and the Palestinians are Israel's victims. The Arab armed opposition to the U.N. Partition Resolution of 1947 is not mentioned, nor is the invasion of seven Arab armies on the day that Israel declared independence in 1948.

Groiss assembled a list of 25 accusations against Israel that appear in the Palestinian school books, which include the following:

* Israel contributes to Palestinian social ills and family violence
* Israel causes the increase of drug abuse cases in Palestinian society
* Israel pollutes the Palestinian environment
* Israel usurps Muslim and Christian holy places
* Israel strives to obliterate the Palestinian national identity and heritage

The books also glorify those who kill Jews and achieve martyrdom; one book reads: "...The flow of blood gladdens my soul, as well as a body thrown upon the ground, skirmished over by the desert predators." In other cases, martyrdom is described as a wedding party.

These new Palestinian schoolbooks thus obliterate Israel as a sovereign state, present it as an enemy that one should fight to the end.

In other words, in Grioss' words, "they teach war rather than peace."

The question that the Bush administration must now cope with is whether or not to fund the Palestinian war curriculum in the framework of "humanitarian" gestures for "moderate" elements in the Palestinian milieu.

David Bedein is Bureau Chief, Israel Resource News Agency. (http://Israelbehindthenews.com). He is president of Center for Near East Policy Research. Contact him by email at media@actcom.co.il

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Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, June 20, 2007.

Caroline Glick's masterpiece, Grounded In Fantasy, appeared in the June 18th edition of the Jerusalem Post. It is must reading for all interested in what's happening in Gaza and beyond these days. [Editor's Note: See below.]

While many of us have been writing about these things, the gal definitely has a way with words. I was almost convinced not to write this piece, since between what I and others penned earlier and Glick's recent column, all bases--for heads not buried ostrich-style in the sand--should have been already covered.

Leave it to the Associated Press and Israel's Prime Minister Olmert, however, to convince me otherwise...

On the same day Glick's editorial appeared, Olmert was quoted in an AP article stating that Israel would be a "genuine partner" of a new Palestinian government and promised to consider releasing millions of dollars in frozen tax funds to it.

As has repeatedly been pointed out, there's no real difference between what our State Department would have us believe to be Abbas's latter day Arafatian good cops and Hamas's bad cops.

There is no doubt that both seek the destruction of the State of the Jews. And both have been honest about this (Hamas more than Fatah). Abbas's boys simply play the game better for Western consumption to gain all kinds of support--and, again, have said so.

Why won't the Foggy Folks listen? And President Bush?

As has been repeated often--but not sinking in to those creating the fiction of Fatah "moderates"--Abbas's folks have called any and all dealings with the Jews merely a Trojan Horse, each unilateral concession gained from Israel since the Oslo fiasco bringing them one step closer in their admitted destruction in stages plans. Pressured by its American friends, Israel's weak leaders have, unfortunately, played along with this dangerous game.

With Hamas now in control in Gaza--and in possession of huge quantities of American military equipment, besides what's being smuggled freely via Egypt from other (especially Iranian) sources--President Bush and the State Department are now pressing for the Jews to allow Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") to be turned into another Gaza.

But, it will be said that Fatah and Abbas are different...

Who's kidding whom here?

Fatah's goals for creating "Palestine" from the River to the Sea have never changed...and won't.

Forcing Israel back to its 1949, 9-mile wide armistice line existence will simply bring most of its population and industry within easy range of Fatah's American weapons. And that, along with the moderate Abbas's pledge that he'll never stop demanding that Israel agree to be swamped by millions of alleged "returning" jihadist refugees, makes any such "deal " a joke. Fatah and its affiliates have as much or more Jewish blood on their hands as Hamas.

What does Israel get for this proposed "partnership?"

A hudna...ceasefire. As the Arafatians--not Hamas--like to point out, the same thing their prophet, Muhammad, granted to his enemies until he was strong enough to conquer them. And this is not to say that an actual treaty with Fatah would be worth the paper it would be written on considering the agreements Abbas's "moderates" have already reneged upon...before the ascendancy of Hamas.

Unfortunately, the same questions need to be repeatedly asked over and over again...

Where is the evidence the Foggy Folks offer for Fatah's alleged moderation and acceptance of a permanent Jewish State as its neighbor?

Are Fatah's web sites, schools, mosques, television and radio stations, press, etc. and so forth spreading this message of "acceptance" around to their own people--whom poll after poll show that, if Israel withdrew from all of the disputed lands, would mostly seek Israel's destruction anyway?

No, they definitely are not.

Webster's New World College Dictionary defines partner as a person who takes part in some activity in common with another...sharing its profits and risks.

Unfortunately, as we saw once again in that AP article, the wrong party once again jumped at the opportunity at "partnership" here.

Olmert still lives the leftist fantasy of Arabs giving up their claim of virtually the entire region as being part of the Dar ul-Islam and/or purely Arab patrimony.

Please, Arabs, what can we do to make you accept us?


With Fatah's chestnuts now at least temporarily being pulled out of the Hamas fire, one might think that Abbas would be seeking a real partnership with Israel himself.

"No! He can't do that," some will say, "it will make him a traitor!"


Israel will be suicidal granting such huge concessions in land, aid, and so forth to folks who still can't reconcile with the right of Jews to have in one, tiny, reborn state what Arabs insist upon having almost two dozen of for themselves. It's bad enough that many others (i.e. America) are now insisting upon this; the Jews, themselves, don't have to be a "partner" in this endeavor. Who will stop, for example, that independent Fatahland from importing all kinds of sophisticated arms and placing them right in Israel's backyard? Don't count on the Foggy Folks or anyone else...

While we're discussing meanings, Arabs must learn what the word "compromise" is all about--especially the territorial variety--if anything more is expected to be handed to them, once again, by the Jews.

And fagetabout millions of alleged Arab refugees "returning" to overwhelm the Jews in a 9-mile wide Israel. Again, this is something the moderate Abbas says he'll never concede. Recall that more Jewish refugees fled Arab/Muslim lands (and left far more property and wealth behind) than Arabs who fled in the opposite direction due to fighting Arabs started themselves.

No more Arab sweet talk in exchange for concrete, Israeli concessions that bare the necks of Jewish kids to those who repeatedly and deliberately target them.

Unfortunately, Abbas's idea of partnership means getting the gift of the ultimate Trojan Horse handed to him: The Jews building up the very folks who will bring about their destruction.

For Fatah, both Jews and Arabs "partner" just for the Arabs' advantage and against the Jews' own interests. Another look at Webster's definition may be in order...

Perhaps that's why it was Olmert obeying Washington by pleading for partnership and not Abbas.

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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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, June 20, 2007.


Years ago, Christian Arabs joined the Muslims in a nationalist movement that was anti-Zionist. The Christians hoped that emphasizing a common nationality would spare them from the Muslims. The Muslims used them, but maintained pressure on them. Upon gaining autonomy in the Territories, the Muslims harassed the Christians and drove most out. Islam supersedes nationalism. The Christians lost their gamble. They caused the Jews needless suffering.

Should the Christian Arabs have been allied themselves with Israel? I don't know. Israel, like the US, lets allies down.


Terrorists and their organizations sometimes denounce terrorism but do not specify any terrorist or organization.

I used to think that the vague denunciation was just lip service to anti-terrorism. There also may be something else. The Muslims define terrorism as to exempt themselves from the label and pin it on Israel. Therefore, when they denounce terrorism, they are not denouncing themselves. Likewise, if they denounced a specific terrorist organization, they would be denouncing jihad.


Siderot is the town whose residents are fleeing, because the government does not protect them from P.A. rockets. Other towns nearby would be next, and, as the range of the rockets is extended, towns further away.

The government's restraint in fighting back is a vice rather than the virtue it is pretended to be. Governmental appeasement does not bring relief. The sight of a town being abandoned or paralyzed demoralizes the whole country. The government of the Jewish state, threatened with extinction, demoralizes the people. We long are past the point at which decent Zionists could suggest we not call the Prime Minister of Israel a traitor lest we shame the Jewish state. The government acts shamefully. The Prime Ministers act more in behalf of the direct enemy (Muslim Arabs) and the indirect enemy (the State Dept.) than of the Jewish people. Israel's failure to defend itself encourages Syria to war.


The US dreads a Turkish invasion of Iraq, but long ago it should have eradicated Kurdish terrorism or demanded that the Kurds eliminate Kurdish terrorism. The US knew that otherwise, eventually Turkey would intervene.

ISRAELI POLICE BRUTALITY (against Jews, of course)

Akiva Vitkin blocked a road in protest against the Gaza withdrawal. Police had a right to use reasonable force to arrest him or defend themselves if he had attacked them, but no right to punish him, the judge ruled.

Instead, three police pulled him down, handcuffed him, and sat on the helpless man while one of the officers put his fingers in the victim's nostrils and ripped his flesh, tore his mouth, and jabbed his eyes, until both men were covered in blood. The same cop beat a rabbi who asked the police not to beat girls. Arutz-7 journalist Tuvia Lerner photographed this. He got clear shots, although other police tried to shield their accomplice from view and one threatened to arrest the cameraman. (On what charge?) At the police station, that threatening officer and others beat the handcuffed victim. Then they released him. They did not get him the medical attention he requested.

The two brutal policemen's attorney claimed that ripping noses is a standard police tactic and therefore. (Huh! Where, in N. Korea?) The judge found the evidence against the police compelling and the police statements unconvincing.

Mr. Lerner offered Israel's three TV stations the sensational film that would settle whether Israeli police were guilty of just such nose-ripping brutality against peaceful Zionist demonstrators. They refused. Reporters admitted that their editors would not want such evidence for political reasons (Arutz-7, 6/2).

"Political reasons" means that they, too, are anti-Zionist to the point of condoning police brutality. What a tainted ideology, the Left has! The major Israeli media has been accused of behaving as part of the leftist political parties. Their rejection of the offer of this film helps confirm that accusation.


The British feign moral indignation at Israel over its treatment of the Palestinian Arabs. What humanitarian ethics? They don't boycott Russia for having slain tens of thousands of Chechens high-handedly, to retain control. They don't boycott Syria for repressing Kurds and intellectuals. They don't boycott S. Arabia for repressing women. They don't condemn Sudan's Arab Muslims for genocide against blacks, including Muslim blacks. They don't even have the sense to condemn the Muslim movement to impose Islam upon Britain! They simple-mindedly condemn what they see on TV, which is defamation of Israel. Why pick on Israel? Is it a misguided appeasement to secure oil? (IMRA, 5/31.)

Israel does not mistreat the Arabs, but the Arabs sure mistreat the Israelis! A decent world would boycott the Arabs.


Yes, the government of Israel blundered in how it waged war in Lebanon, and the IDF was unprepared. It would have defeated Hizbullah, had the government not pulled it out prematurely. But it did not do as well as anticipated. An extenuating circumstance is that Hizbullah is not just a terrorist organization. It is a professional army that uses all military methods, including terrorism. It is well trained and supplied by Iran. It spent years preparing for war (IMRA, 5/31).


Senior Israeli security officials share much responsibility for Oslo's failure. They let themselves be used for political ends, neglecting security. They got too close with terrorist leaders, and made "decisions based on 'best case scenario' analysis." The results were absurd or criminally negligent security provisions.

Worse, many of them entered business partnerships with their Arab counterparts. In between negotiating with terrorists, supposedly in behalf of Israel, they discussed business with them. They were motivated "to bend over backwards to make things work -- at least on paper." (Dr. Aaron Lerner, IMRA, 5/31.)


The Russian Compound is a justice system complex in Jerusalem that formerly housed Christian Russian pilgrims. Russia has been negotiating for it with the Barak, Sharon, and Olmert regimes. It wants to gain control of that area for $100 million. Israel would claim that it was returning the property to its owners. The negotiations have been kept secret, to avoid public protest (Arutz-7, 5/31).

That's how the governments of Israel work, in a secrecy to de-Zionize. They do not try to recover property stolen from the Jewish people by the Arabs in Hebron. They allow the Arabs to steal public land. They force Jews off their land in the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria. They let the Muslim usurp the Temple Mount and destroy ancient Jewish artifacts and Jewish holy sites. But they claim they are returning the property on the Russian Compound to its owners, as if they have a conscience, but Russia is Israel's enemy. But the news article might have explained what the legal status of the Compound is.


"The infection is over there [in Gaza], and they're busy trying to lower the fever over here. I told the government that we've got to cause the people in Gaza to want to reinforce their houses." (IMRA, 5/31.)

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 richardshulman5verizon.net

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Posted by Daily Alert, June 20, 2007.

These are excerpts from Michael Oren's article today in the Wall Street Journal. He is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center and the author of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present (Norton, 2007).

  • The green flags of Hamas are unfurling over Gaza and the Fatah forces trained and financed by the U.S. have ignominiously fled. Fears are rife that Iranian-backed and Syrian-hosted terror will next achieve dominance over the West Bank and proceed to undermine the pro-Western governments of Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf. To avert this catastrophe, the U.S. has joined with the Israelis and the Europeans in resuming the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid to the PA under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, and accelerating talks for the establishment of a West Bank Palestinian state.

  • But the policy ignores every lesson of the abortive peace process to date as well as Fatah's monumental corruption, jihadism and militancy. Indeed, the unbridled corruption of the PA and its Fatah headmen served as a principal cause of Hamas' electoral victory in 2006, as well as its takeover of Gaza.

  • Though Fatah originally aspired to replace Israel with a secular state, it refashioned itself in the 1990s as an Islamic movement, embracing the lexicon of jihad. Hundreds of mosques were built with public funds, and imams were hired to spread the message of martyrdom and the hatred of Christians and Jews. These themes became the staple of the official PA media, inciting the suicide bombings that began in 2000 and poisoning an entire generation of Palestinian youth.

  • Fatah has never fulfilled its pledges to crack down on terror. Though Mahmoud Abbas routinely criticizes Palestinian terrorist attacks as "contrary to the Palestinian national interest" -- not an affront to morality and international law -- he has never disavowed the al-Aqsa Brigades, a Fatah affiliate responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks against Israeli civilians.

  • In view of its performance over the past 14 years, the Palestinian Authority under Fatah can be counted on to squander most or all of the vast sums now being given to it by the U.S. and the international community. More gunmen will be hired and better weapons procured, but in the absence of a unified command and a leadership worth fighting for, PA soldiers will perform no more credibly than they did in Gaza. Abbas will continue to denounce terror while ignoring the terrorist units within his own organization, while PA imams will persist in preaching their jihadist sermons.

  • Clearly no progress toward Palestinian statehood can be made before Fatah has reformed itself financially, ideologically and structurally. This process is certain to take many years -- longer if economic aid and political support are provided to the PA unconditionally.

  • The U.S., together with its Quartet partners, can work to establish areas of extensive Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank. Security, however, will be jointly administered by Israel and Jordan. The Jordanian involvement is crucial to convincing Palestinians that the status quo of occupation has ended and they may in the future assume full responsibility for their internal defense. Such an arrangement will benefit Jordan as well, by facilitating its efforts to fight radicalism and stem the flight of Palestinians over its borders.

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

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Posted by Marilyn Cytryn, June 20, 2007.

JERUSALEM [www.IsraelJustice.com] -- Israel has prepared for the trials of nearly 150 people, most of them minors, charged with resisting the military expulsion of 16,000 Jews from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank in 2005.

The government has prepared virtually identical indictments for the 146 defendants alleged to have resisted the Israeli eviction and demolition of Kfar Darom, one of 16 Jewish communities destroyed in the Gaza Strip.

"I thought it was over," Knesset member Yitzhak Levy of the National Religious Party said. "Now they are beginning to get dates for trials. This is very serious; most of these indictments are political."

All of the defendants, some of them as young as 12 at the time, were charged with assault, with a maximum sentence of seven years. Protesters deemed to have thrown liquids, food or sprayed foam towards the eviction forces were charged with aggravated assault, punishable by up to 20 years in jail.

"Anyone who was on the roof [of the Kfar Darom synagogue] has been charged with assault even if he was a passive demonstrator," Meir Munitz, father of a minor who was indicted, said.

Several Knesset members said the trial marked a double standard that targeted Jewish nationalists. They cited the decision by authorities not to prosecute students who fought police during tuition protests in May 2007.

"There should be equal justice for people who are arrested in a demonstration in the Disengagement as well as for the students," Knesset member Michael Eitan, former chairman of the Law and Constitution Committee, said. "There are close to 1,000 indictments [from the expulsion]."

For 18 months, Israeli authorities gave no indication that the Jewish protesters would be prosecuted. The protesters and their supporters in parliament, citing a government decision not to prosecute those who resisted the Israeli eviction of Jewish residents of the Sinai in 1982, said they thought the Kfar Darom cases had been dismissed.

But in April 2007, authorities notified those indicted that they would stand trial starting July 2. The trials would place take in the juvenile court of the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

"These cases were prosecuted by the police prosecutions department, [not by the State Prosecutor's office]," Justice Ministry spokesman Tal Vider said. The police spokesman's office refused to comment.

The decision to indict appeared to reflect Justice Ministry guidelines drafted in 2005 to confront massive anti-government protests to stop the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. The guidelines directed prosecutors and police to detain and indict those who participated in civil disobedience, including minors and first-time offenders.

"The idea was that the people [in Kfar Darom] gathered with the aim to harm the security forces," assistant state prosecutor Shai Nitzan told a Knesset committee in December 2005. "And they attacked and people took part in this. And even though there is no evidence, this is a clear legal rule and I can bring proof. But this is not the place. The people who were part of this group are responsible for this thing just like any other crime and that's why they were indicted."

The indictments of the Kfar Darom defendants were nearly identical in their charges and description. In Munitz's case, the police refused to dismiss the indictment despite a determination that a photograph presented as evidence of somebody spraying foam toward officers was not that of his teenage son.

"These described acts of violence were conducted by the mass of people who barricaded themselves on the roof," the indictment read. "Because the defendant was part of the crowd, he gave backing to the violent acts and made them possible with his presence."

Major Israeli civil rights groups have refused to support the defendants in the forthcoming trial. In August 2005, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel demanded an investigation into the treatment of minors arrested at Kfar Darom.

ACRI said many of the minors spent as much as a week in detention in Beersheba while a special court was established. The association said the minors were brought to court in handcuffs and leg irons, were denied an attorney and banned from meeting their parents.

In some cases, ACRI said, judges presided over hearings in which the defendants were prevented from appearing because prison authorities did not have enough leg irons. In other hearings, 60 suspects were arraigned simultaneously.

"In light of these things, you are asked to examine these serious phenomena...and to pledge that they will not recur," ACRI attorney Avner Pinchuk wrote in the Aug. 22, 2005 letter to senior Justice Ministry officials. "These things that have been described and this is just a few of them, raise concerns as to the fairness of the judicial process and the rights of minors to due process."

But ACRI, whose intervention led to the release of the minors and the termination of a special juvenile court, refused to follow through on its demands for an investigation. The association said it would not intervene in the forthcoming trial for the Kfar Darom defendants.

"We have no way to check the indictments," ACRI spokesman Yoav Loeff said. "This is the job of the courts. We only dealt with the extension of the remand."

Parents of the Kfar Darom defendants said ACRI has refused to respond to their appeals for help. They said the association, which receives funding from foreign foundations, wants to focus on Palestinian rights.

"They [ACRI] stopped having any contact with us," Munitz said. "They refused to answer e-mails or phone calls. They had had enough contact with right-wingers."

Despite their plans for the trials, authorities have refused to investigate charges of police brutality during the Kfar Darom eviction. Munitz and other parents provided the police internal unit with photographs of officers clubbing passive minors and sticking their fingers in the nostrils of demonstrators.

"After we have examined your complaint and the investigations material collected until now," Herzl Sbiro, internal affairs bureau head wrote in a letter to Munitz dated Sept, 28, 2005, "I decided that out of concern for the public interest, the general circumstances of the incident are not appropriate for criminal proceedings. And so I decided not to continue with this investigation.

Parliamentarians said they would seek to pressure the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to halt the Kfar Darom trials. At least 20 out of 120 Knesset members have called for the dismissal of the indictments as well as an end to judicial proceedings against other protesters of the government's destruction of Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank.

"Last year, we [the Tel Aviv prosecutor's office] destroyed 13,000 criminal files because of lack of storage space," Knesset member Aryeh Eldad said. "They should come to the conclusion that they should take all [1,000] files and put them in one room and destroy them. But since this won't happen, it should come from the Knesset."


"We are in the midst of a social and political turmoil, evil winds surround us and there are failings, social gaps are widening, poverty is spreading throughout certain groups and there is a lack of trust in all the institutions that the public needs." -- Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish, 5/6/2007.

Marilyn Cytryn is Shimshon Cytryn's grandmother. Shimshon was accused of beating an Arab into unconsciousness -- when photos show that the photographer who filmed the "unconscious" Arab directed him to get down on the ground and lie still -- an early example of fauxtography. Nevertheless, Shimson was still kept in jail and forced to stand trial. For those who missed the outcome of Shimshon's trial -- He was cleared of "attempted murder" but found guilty of "assault & battery" which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The verdict will be appealed.

Contact Marilyn Cytryn at amcytryn@netvision.net.il.

With the legal costs being very high, and Shimshon about to be married, the Cytryns are very much in need of financial help. If you can help, please send your donations to:

IN ISRAEL, please send checks to:
POB 2 Kiryat Arba,
(make sure to add a note saying it is for the Cytryn fund)

In the USA, tax deductible checks can be sent to:
HONENU (earmarked "The Cytryn fund")
8204 Lefferts Boulevard, Suite 381
Kew Gardens, NY 11415
Telephone: 718-441-7300

Keep up with these ongoing show trials by visiting

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Posted by David Haimson, June 20, 2007.

This article was written by Ben Johnson and it appeared today in Front Page Magazine

IT'S EITHER AN UNPRECEDENTED LOW IN PARTISAN DISCOURSE OR POLITICAL SURREALISM worthy of André Breton: on Tuesday, former president Jimmy Carter, speaking on foreign soil, denounced the policies of his successor as "criminal" because they fail to subsidize a genocidal Islamic terrorist organization that has killed Americans. Then, he blamed internecine Palestinian warfare on Americans and Israelis.

Speaking in Ireland at the eighth annual Forum on Human Rights -- without an apparent hint of irony -- Carter said the Bush administration had sinned against heaven and earth in its decision to withhold direct aid to Hamas once that group came to power in the Palestinian Authority. "That action was criminal," he said. The Palestinian people had elected Hamas fair-and-square in elections his Center described as "orderly and fair." (Carter said the same of Hugo Chavez's election.) He deemed Hamas "shrewd in selecting candidates."

The world's most famous Sunday School teacher further praised the genocidal terrorist organization, at a human rights conference, by citing its penchant for bloodshed. Hamas, Carter doddered, was more orderly than the rival Fatah organization, which Hamas demonstrated in military clashes that showed its "superior skills and discipline." (The Jerusalem Post reported his argument thus: "Carter said Hamas, besides winning a fair and democratic mandate that should have entitled it to lead the Palestinian government, had proven itself to be far more organized in its political and military showdowns with the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.") One can only imagine how impressed he would have been by the "efficiency" of the SS.

Sounding like a junior anchor for al-Jazeera, the Nobel Peace Prize winner incredibly blamed the Palestinian civil war on Crusaders and Zionists. "The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in Palestine," he said, "and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah." He continued:

This effort to divide Palestinians into two peoples now is a step in the wrong direction. All efforts of the international community should be to reconcile the two, but there's no effort from the outside to bring the two together...I don't see at this point any possibility that public officials in the United States, or in Israel, or the European Union are going to take action to bring about reconciliation (between Fatah and Hamas).

Thus, the Americans and the Jews are to blame for divisions between groups of Palestinians that chuck fellow Palestinians out of windows. Only in the most fevered Islamist media are Muslims so excused from personal responsibility for their brutality toward one another.

Carter does not persuasively explain why Israel would want to "reconcile" terrorist groups bent on jihad. (Few things reconcile Palestinians more than dangling an unarmed Jew in front of them.) The Hamas Charter instructs, "There is no other solution for the Palestinian problem other than jihad." Killing infidels is "an individual duty binding on every Muslim man and woman; a woman must go out and fight the enemy even without her husband's authorization, and a slave without his master's permission." This makes jihad nearly the only thing she can do without her husband's permission. But Carter, who once lectured Pope John Paul II for his "perpetuation of the subservience of women" and blasted "the mandated subservience of women by Christian fundamentalists" wants us to fund this misogynist death cult. You've come a long way, Baby....

Carter skirts the fact that Hamas is not merely a threat to Israelis; the group has claimed the lives of numerous Americans. Its ever-expanding U.S. infrastructure may one day conduct terror strikes on U.S. soil. Authorities nabbed Hamas member Ismail Selim Elbarasse in August 2004 for videotaping Maryland's Bay Bridge in what authorities worried constituted "a potential link between Hamas and al-Qaeda." Last October, a Hamas commander ominously told Time magazine, "We shouldn't stand by idly while the Americans are plotting against us." But Carter has indicated the Bush administration is criminal for not supporting this stouthearted nationalist.

"Criminal" might better describe the workings of any government in the Muslim world, so conspicuously over-represented in the Carter Center's donations -- nations in which, for instance, its elected officials have to consult with and bribe a departed leader's widow to find out where he hid billions of dollars of their people's assets. Nonetheless, the U.S. is sending barrels of greenbacks and weapons to the kleptocratic Fatah, whose membership largely overlaps with that of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the group responsible for the Mickey Mouse Murder Hour. Condoleeza Rice has also announced the U.S. is shipping tens of millions of dollars to the UNRWA, where future terrorists are incubated. Yet Carter denounces his own country for failing to establish a Marshall Plan for totalitarian murderers.

Thus concludes a rational progression for Jimmy Carter: in the 1970s, he blundered into establishing terrorists as Iran's all-powerful theocratic rulers. In the 1980s and '90s, he wrote speeches for Yasser Arafat and defended extremists around the globe. Now, he calls the U.S. president a pariah for refusing to underwrite unrepentant jihadists dedicated to spilling as much infidel blood as possible.

Thus, Man from Plains confirms what many long suspected: the Worst President of the 20th Century does not want the United States to end the War on Terror. He merely wants us to switch sides.

David Haimson sends out a free daily news letter with lists of interesting articles. To subscribe, send him an email at dvhaimson@aol.com

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Posted by BabbaZee, June 20, 2007.

This article was written by Rabbi Levi I. Brackman, who is director of Judaism in the Foothills and the author of numerous articles on issues of the day. It appeared on the Chabad website

"Ninety percent of my students," the president of a local university told me, "are moral relativists." Moral Relativism, which is practically the state religion of collegiate America, asserts that there is no such thing as supreme moral standards; rather, each society's morality is relative to its own cultural and historical influences.

According to this view, there is no behavior which could be universally wrong. The moral relativist might personally believe a certain behavior to be wrong, but cannot say that the same would apply for others.

In contrast, Moral Absolutism is the belief that there are universal moral standards by which behaviors can be judged. Indeed, the moral absolutist would argue that the prevalence of moral relativism among our country's educated youth is an existential threat to the civilized society America prides itself to be.

The moment we believe that our own values and morals may be negotiable in other societies and cultures, the imperative to conserve these values in our own society is significantly reduced. Consequently, the very foundations of our society are threatened. But moral absolutism comes with its own set of dangers. We pride ourselves in being a society in which each individual is entitled to make his own decisions on matters of conscience. How would these rights hold up in a society where moral absolutism holds sway? Indeed, the conflict between radical Islam and western liberal democracy falls along similar lines.

Radical Islam would like to impose its moral view on others, and democracies are fighting for individual freedoms. Choosing between moral absolutism and moral relativism seems like having to decide between two evils of equal intensity. If moral relativism leads to chaos and moral absolutism to tyranny, what's left? Judaism's remarkable response to this dilemma is both balanced and instructive.

Judaism sees morality as absolute. Yet, although it has many moral laws and norms by which Jews are expected to live, its universal morality--the laws which Judaism believes should apply equally to all peoples and cultures--are very basic. Called the seven Noahide laws, the first six are prohibitions against murder, stealing, adultery, cruelty to animals, idolatry and blasphemy.

Thus, Judaism is minimalistic rather than imperialistic about the application of Judaic moral standards on others. Instead of presenting the world with a lawbook, it institutes the seventh Noahide law, which states that justice systems must be set up in each civilization. In other words, each society should decide, through its own regulatory system of justice, which additional moral rules, aside from the six fundamental Noahide laws, should be binding upon itself.

By limiting the number of universally absolute moral laws to the basic half dozen, and then mandating each culture to institute others as they see fit, Judaism treads a middle path between moral relativism and moral absolutism.

Clearly, without a minimum few incontrovertible moral principles, a society has no moral foundations upon which to stand. But on that foundation, each society, drawing on its distinct historic and cultural influences, must decide on the moral issues that confront its day-to-day navigation of civil life.

Contact BabbaZee by email at babbazee@cs.com and visit the website The Outraged Spleen of Zion at

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Posted by Honest Reporting, June 19, 2007.

As many of our subscribers have personally found, getting the BBC to admit to a mistake is extremely rare. This time, however, the BBC has issued a sincere and profound apology for its Israel coverage. As Jonny Paul of the Jerusalem Post reported June 15, 2007:

The BBC apologized this week for referring to Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and promised not to repeat "the mistake," following a complaint by four British organizations.

Arab Media Watch, Muslim Public Affairs Committee, Friends of Al-Aksa and the Institute of Islamic Political Thought sent a joint complaint to the BBC after a presenter on its Football Focus program on March 24 mentioned that Jerusalem was Israel's capital and "historic soul."

The BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit posted a response on its Web site: "The reference was a passing one in a context where the focus was on sport, not politics. While recognizing the sensitivity of the issue of the status of Jerusalem, the ECU took the view that the program-makers had taken sufficient action by acknowledging the error and rectifying the Web site."

The Editorial Complaints Unit's ruling was: "Complaint resolved."

In a letter to the complaining NGOs, Fraser Steel, head of editorial complaints at the BBC, said: "We of course accept that the international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and that the BBC should not describe it as such. I was therefore pleased to see that Katherine Tsang [BBC Information adviser], when she wrote to you in April, acknowledged the error and apologized for it. [Presenter] Steve Boulton and other senior managers in BBC Sport told us they very much regret the mistake and apologize for it."

"Senior managers will try to ensure, as you suggest, that the mistake is not repeated. Because it appears on the Web site, there will be a public acknowledgement of the error, and the action taken in consequence."

Steel added: "I'd like to add my apologies for this most regrettable, but I'm sure accidental, factual mistake. I appreciate that the status of Jerusalem is of particular concern to Palestinians, and it is important that it is not misrepresented. I am confident that lessons have already been learned, and they will be emphasized as a result of my decision."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said in response: "Jerusalem is Israel's capital. It is the right of every sovereign state to determine which city will be its capital. If this is not accepted by everyone today, I am confident it will be in the future."

London-based Arab Media Watch told The Jerusalem Post: "Under international law, neither east nor west Jerusalem is considered Israel's capital. Tel Aviv is recognized as Israel's capital, pending a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians."

The Institute of Islamic Political Thought is run by Azzam Tamimi, a Hamas supporter and a member of the Muslim Association of Britain, part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Tamimi spoke at Saturday's anti-Israel rally in London's Trafalgar Square. He blamed the British for their role in the Arab-Israeli conflict and vowed to return to his mother's house in Hebron, which he said could never become a "Zionist place."

To huge applause, Tamimi called Israel "a racist entity that sees us [Palestinians] as subhuman while they see themselves as superhuman."

Tamimi told BBC in an interview in 2004 he did not recognize Israel's right to exist and would be willing to become a suicide bomber. Last year, Merrill Lynch pulled its sponsorship from an event hosted by the London Middle East Institute because of Tamimi's participation.

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee has faced continuing allegations of extremism and anti-Semitism. In 2005, during the last general election in the UK, the group campaigned against pro-Israel and pro-Iraq war MPs, and attempted to slur one MP by claiming she was a Jew. It eventually apologized when they learned the candidate was not Jewish.

Last year, The Observer discovered that the committee's co-founder, Asghar Bukhari, had funded Holocaust denier David Irving.

The Friends of Al-Aksa states on its Web site that the first Jewish commonwealth lasted "only 98 years -- from 1020 BC to 922 BC," and that after the destruction of the First Temple, "all Jews are either killed, exiled or taken prisoners. This marks the end of Israel after 400 years of its inception."

The Leicester-based organization had its bank accounts closed by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2005.

The Muslim Association of Britain accused the bank of being a tool of the pro-Israeli lobby. "It appears the Royal Bank of Scotland is being used as a tool against those that express sympathy with Israel's victims," a representative of the Muslim Association said. "No bank or institution should be allowed to get away with such anti-Palestinian or anti-Muslim bias."

Honest Reporting monitors the media for inaccuracy and unfairness in how they report the news about Israel. Ther website address is http://www.honestreporting.com. You can help support their research online or by sending contributions to: HonestReporting, 400 South Lake Drive, Lakewood, NJ 08701-3167.

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, June 19, 2007.

Fouad Ajami is known as a vocal supporter of Palestinian self-determination. His stinging OpEd article appeared today in the New York Times. Fouad Ajami, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, is the author of "The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs and the Iraqis in Iraq."

It's rare that the New York Times will post an OpEd which speaks of Hamas and Fatah as two sides of the same coin. Both are proven terrorist organizations, operating under Yassir Arafat's original Charter for the PLO to eliminate Israel -- whatever style of propaganda they may select for Western eyes.

The current propaganda is that the Arabist State Department with Condoleezza Rice as its talking head, in collusion with the E.U. (European Union) and the U.N. will fill the pockets of the President of the Palestinian Authority and Head of Fatah -- Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen). They will send Abu Mazen millions of American taxpayers' dollars plus shipments of arms because Fatah is "so moderate".

Perhaps everyone has forgotten that in the Oslo Accords Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres turned over to Arafat the seven cities of Gaza, Jericho, Bethlehem, Schehem (Nablus), Qalqilya, Tulkarem and Jenin. Now each city has became a factory to produce missiles and bomb vests as well as educating the children to use those vests as suicide bombers.

Rice, with all those in the U.S. State Department and the Bush Administration for whom she speaks, clearly understands that Fatah and all the PLO's other terrorist organizations will attack Israel once they acquire new firing positions in Judea and Samaria (the "west bank"). Just see what's happening in Gaza today.

Regrettably, Israel's current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his gaggle of defeatists are begging to put the rest of Israel on the chopping block as they did when they evacuated 10,000 Jews from Gush Katif/Gaza and when Ehud Barak, now Defense Minister, ran away from Israel's security belt in South Lebanon. Now Hamas launches hundreds of Kassam rockets into Southern Israel and Hezb'Allah has scorched Northern Israel with Katyusha Missiles from South Lebanon.

The following article by Fouad Ajami tells part of the story but, enough to show that Fatah and Hamas are one and brothers-under-the-skin.

SO the masked men of Fatah have the run of the West Bank while the masked men of Hamas have their dominion in Gaza. Some see this as a tolerable situation, maybe even an improvement, envisioning a secularist Fatah-run state living peacefully alongside Israel and a small, radical Gaza hemmed in by Israeli troops. It's always tempting to look for salvation in disaster, but in this case it's sheer fantasy.

The Palestinian ruin was a long time in coming. No other national movement has had the indulgence granted the Palestinians over the last half-century, and the results can be seen in the bravado and the senseless violence, in the inability of a people to come to terms with their condition and their needs.

The life of a Palestinian is one of squalor and misery, yet his leaders play the international game as though they were powers. An accommodation with Israel is imperative -- if only out of economic self-interest and political necessity -- but the Palestinians, in a democratic experiment some 18 months ago, tipped power to a Hamas movement whose very charter is pledged to the destruction of the Jewish state and the imposition of Islamist rule.

The political maxim that people get the leaders they deserve must be reckoned too cruel to apply to the Palestinians. Before Hamas, for four decades, the vainglorious Yasir Arafat refused to tell his people the basic truths of their political life. Amid the debacles, he remained eerily joyous; he circled the globe, offering his people the false sense that they could be spared the consequences of terrible decisions.

In a rare alignment of the universe, that came Mr. Arafat's way in the late 1990s an American president, Bill Clinton, eager to redeem Palestinian claims and an Israeli soldier-statesman, Ehud Barak, who would offer the Palestinians all that Israeli political traffic could bear and then some.

But it was too much to ask of Mr. Arafat to return to his people with a decent and generous compromise, to bid farewell to the legend that the Palestinians could have it all "from the river to the sea." It was safer for him to stay with the political myths of his people than to settle down for the more difficult work of statehood and political rescue.

For their part, the Arab states have only compounded the Palestinian misery. The Arab cavalry was always on the way, the Arab treasure was always a day away, and there was thus no need for the Palestinians to pay tribute to necessity. In recent years, the choice was starkly posed: it was either statehood or a starring role on Al Jazeera, and the young "boys of the stones" and their leaders opted for the latter.

After Mr. Arafat's death, the mantle passed to a fairly decent man, Mahmoud Abbas, a leader for a post-heroic era. He is free of Mr. Arafat's megalomania, and he seemed keen to cap the volcano; he promised, as he put it, "one law, one authority, one gun" in the Palestinian street. But he has never been a master of his world; by the time he had been given his political stewardship the culture of the Palestinian world had succumbed to a terrifying cult of violence.

It has long been a cherished legend of the Palestinians, and a proud claim, that they would not kill their own, that there would be no fratricide in their world. The cruelty we now see -- in both Gaza and the West Bank -- bears witness that the Palestinians have run through the consolations that had been there for them in a history of adversity.

It isn't a pretty choice, that between Hamas and Fatah. Indeed, it was the reign of plunder and arrogance that Fatah imposed during its years of primacy that gave Hamas its power and room for maneuver. We must not overdo the distinction between the "secularism" of Fatah and the Islamism of Hamas. In the cruel streets and refugee camps of the Palestinians, this is really a distinction without a difference.

It is idle to think that Gaza could be written off as a Hamas dominion while Fatah held its own in the towns of the West Bank. The abdication and the anarchy have damaged both Palestinian realms. Nablus in the West Bank is no more amenable to reason than is Gaza; the writ of the pitiless preachers and gunmen is the norm in both places.

There is no way that a normal world could be had in the West Bank while Gaza goes under. There is no magic wand with which this Palestinian world could be healed and taught the virtues of realism and sobriety. No international peacekeeping force can bring order to the deadly streets and alleyways of Gaza. A population armed to the teeth and long in the throes of disorder can't be pacified by outsiders.

For decades, Arab society granted the Palestinians everything and nothing at the same time. The Arab states built worlds of their own, had their own priorities, dreaded and loathed the Palestinians as outsiders and agitators, but left them to the illusion that Palestine was an all-consuming Arab concern.

Now the Palestinians should know better. The center of Arab politics has shifted from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, a great political windfall has come to the lands of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, vast new wealth due to the recent rises in oil prices, while misery overwhelms the Palestinians. No Arabs wait for Palestine anymore; they have left the Palestinians to the ruin of their own history.

The rise of Hamas in Gaza should concentrate the minds of the custodians of power in the Arab world. Palestine, their old alibi, the cause with which they diverted the attention of their populations from troubles at home, has become a nightmare in its own right. An Arab debt is owed the Palestinians -- the gift of truth and candor as well as material help.

Arab poets used to write reverential verse in praise of the boys of the stones and the suicide bombers. Now the poetry has subsided, replaced by a silent recognition of the malady that afflicts the Palestinians. Except among the most bigoted and willful of Arabs, there is growing acknowledgment of the depth of the Palestinian crisis. And aside from a handful of the most romantic of Israelis, there is a recognition in that society, as well, of the malignancy of the national movement a stone's throw away.

The mainstream in Israel had made its way to a broad acceptance of Palestinian statehood. In the 1990s, Yitzhak Rabin, the soldier who had led its army into acquisition of the West Bank and Gaza in the Six-Day War of 1967, told his people that it was time to partition the land and to accept Palestinian sovereignty. It was an unsentimental peace, to "get Gaza out of Tel Aviv," as Mr. Rabin put it, but it was peace nonetheless.

In varying degrees, all of Mr. Rabin's successors accepted this legacy. There was even a current in Israel possessed of a deep curiosity about the Palestinians, a romance of sorts about their ways and folk culture and their connection to the sacred land. All this is stilled. Palestinian society has now gone where no "peace processors" or romantic poets dare tread.

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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Posted by Barry Rubin, June 19, 2007.

If you want to understand Arab politics, don't bother with what Western "experts" say, get a feel for what people like to refer to today as the local "narrative." This doesn't mean you accept what is said as true, but that you understand how what is said makes things work (or rather, fail to work).

This is an especially interesting exercise in light of the Hamas seizure of the Gaza Strip. What will Palestinians, Arabs in general, and the West learn -- if anything -- from this experience.

As our text let us take an op-ed by Eyad Sarraj in the Toronto Globe and Mail of June 19, 2007, entitled, "Palestinian Territories: What's Left." There's an irony in the title since Sarraj himself is an activist in the relatively tiny political left of Gaza. He is a physician and has been a human rights' activist. He is one of the most "Westernized" Palestinian intellectuals and political figures. Eyad Sarraj received the 1997 Physicians for Human Rights Award and the 1998 Martin Ennals Award for human-rights defenders. He is director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program

In short, Sarraj should be giving us just about the most rational, pragmatic, honest, detached, and accurate analysis we are going to get from the Palestinians. So if he doesn't get it, well, they are in very serious trouble.

(I will present his words below in regular font and my responses or additions in capital letters.)

In this Gaza, nobody wins


Our leaders have only served to further Ariel Sharon's plan, and to de-legitimate our claim to self-government


Two years ago, the Egyptian security envoy in Gaza told me that if there were a military confrontation, Hamas could easily defeat the predominantly Fatah security forces and take over all of Gaza in three days. "I've seen both sides," he said, "and it is clear that Hamas scores much higher in five areas: leadership, discipline, training, arms and, most important, the motivation." He said the security forces would be hobbled by being stationed in buildings, while Hamas fighters would be able to hit and run. To the shock of the terrified population of Gaza, that's exactly what happened last week. An Israeli military analyst said the Palestinian Authority forces were like a paper tiger.


I went on a tour Sunday morning. Gaza was wearily quiet and people were bewildered. An old man said to me, "Okay, they destroyed the corrupt. We welcome that. Can they feed us now?" I saw what was left of the looted home of Mohammed Dahlan, commander of Gaza's preventive security service, and of the beach chalets that were used for training his new recruits.

My family and I had spent several traumatic days and sleepless nights, trying to find a safe corner in the house as the shooting and shelling raged around us. My baby son was with his grandparents when the fighting erupted and we could not bring him home or even see him until it subsided. The most alarming thing was the inhuman treatment of those who were captured: One man was tied and thrown from the 10th floor of a building; some injured fighters were killed in their hospital beds; and stories of insane torture were numerous and horrific.


It's not easy to explain what has happened here and why. On the surface, it looks like a power struggle that grew out of the U.S.-led blockade of the Hamas government and even to efforts at forging a Hamas-Palestine Liberation Organization unity government.



Last year, I was among a small group of Palestinians that met Elliott Abrams, President George Bush's deputy national security adviser. He was blunt that the Hamas government, which was democratically elected, must be pushed out at any cost. We're not Hamas followers, but we tried to persuade him and other officials that engagement, rather than confrontation, is the better choice; but their determination was unshakable. We warned there would be suffering and starvation and even armed conflict, but to no avail.


It wouldn't be the fault of the U.S. if that happened, he said.


The siege imposed on the Palestinians has been biting. Poverty has reached unprecedented levels, along with unemployment. According to the World Bank, 60 per cent of Palestinians live on less than $2 a day. Israel, which is in full control of all Gaza borders and its sea coast, intensified the blockade by curtailing Palestinians' movement. At times, even fishing has been prohibited.


Already overcrowded, lawlessness became rampant in Gaza. Kidnapping, theft and armed robbery have frightened everyone.



Sarraj was arrested in 1995 and 1996 after accusing the PA of corruption.[i] When a visiting American asked about Sarraj's arrest, Arafat replied in Arabic. His translator explained it was a regrettable matter and Arafat was looking into it. Arafat angrily interrupted him to complain the translation was inaccurate. What he really said was that Sarraj had insulted him and would pay for it.[ii] In June, 1996 Sarraj was briefly arrested a third time, beaten, and charged with selling drugs and assaulting his interrogator.[iii]


Sarraj, a prominent psychiatrist here, is not surprised. "Who rules Gaza?" he asked. "It's certainly not the central Palestinian Authority." There is no law or security here, he said, adding, "The reality is that the Gaza Strip is controlled from outside by Israel and from inside by groups intertwined with security forces and tribes."

Last week, my brother's car was taken away at gunpoint. Many people have been forced to surrender their wallets or cellphones. Beggars roam the streets asking for money or bread. For more than 18 months, civil servants did not receive a salary, only parts of it every now and then. Municipal workers were given a bag of bread every day instead of their wages.


The explosion was bound to happen, and the last straw came when the interior minister declared that he could not fulfil his duties and resigned. He blamed the obstructive attitude of Fatah's director of preventive security.


Of course, Palestinian affairs are not purely Palestinian. The big players are in Washington, Tehran and Tel Aviv. It seems to us that the U.S. and Iran are fighting their war in Gaza, and in Lebanon and Iraq.


But this situation is more than just a power struggle. It stems from the absence in Palestine of a culture of democracy and the rule of law.


Emerging in the mid-1990s from Israel's occupation, we Gazans dreamed of a new era. Instead, our Palestinian Authority continued the culture of the gun. This culture is based on loyalty, secrecy and decisively rooting out opponents. There is no regard for human rights or the rule of law or even human life itself.


What began in the name of resistance to the Israeli occupation became worse during Yasser Arafat's years in power. Many times, I was confronted and even jailed by officials of the security forces -- people who had once been in the resistance but showed no understanding of the seriousness of torture and abuse of the law.

The culture of the gun is contagious.


Armed people exhibit a euphoric and self-confident image as the gun in their hands compensates for inner impotence. In the face of defeat and humiliation against the powerful outside enemy, people look for smaller enemies they can win over. The armed militia leader becomes the new model, the symbol of power who can kill at will and torture others without a hint of remorse.


As the dream of an independent Palestine fades -- the result of Israel's continuing grab of West Bank land and the anarchy of Gaza -- we now imagine the nightmares that may come next.


Will there be three states instead of two: Israel, the West Bank and Gaza? Will there only be one? Will Gaza become an even more extreme place than it is now? Palestinians are bitterly divided in politics and in geography, as the emergency cabinet sits and operates in the West Bank, while the Hamas-led government sits and operates in Gaza. Separating our two territories was one of the objectives of Ariel Sharon's plan of unilateral withdrawal. The tragic irony is that Palestinian leaders have only served to further the Sharon plan, and to de-legitimate our claim to self-government.



In 1999, Sarraj wrote that Palestinians were better off without the peace process. Previously, they had many "winning cards...despite our weaknesses." Refusing to recognize Israel had been a "nuclear weapon" which they had "refused to surrender for 50 years." Now, he claimed, the peace process had taken away armed struggle, national unity, and the sympathy of the world's media. Palestinian refugees abroad were thinking of settling down in their places of exile, "as if everything were over!" Before serious negotiations could really begin, he concluded, the Palestinians "must regain our winning cards."[iv]

And this was precisely what Arafat tried to do. For many, it was unimaginable that he would prefer extremism, violence and suffering to peace and statehood at the price of RELATIVELY SMALL compromises. Arafat, however, was counting on this belief since under THAT ASSUMPTION; Israel would have to be at fault FOR ANY continuing bloodshed and occupation.


The only solution is a government that is made up of neutral people of integrity who advocate peace negotiations with Israel but insist on keeping Palestine intact.



[i] New York Times, May 6, 22, 27, and 28, 1996. He was released shortly after his family wrote a note saying he had been misquoted. Later, though, Sarraj confirmed that the quotes were correct.
[ii] Interview.
[iii]. New York Times, June 11, 1996; Palestine Report, June 14 and 28, 1996; LAW, press release, June 12, 14, 16, 17, and 27, 1996; Washington Post, June 27, 1996.
[iv] Iyad Sarraj, "Oslo, Democracy and the Return of al-Hakeem," Palestine Report, August 18, 1999.

Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, has written and edited 50 books on the Middle East. His latest book, The Truth About Syria, has just been published by Palgrave-Macmillan.

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Posted by Freeman Center For Strategic Studies, June 19, 2007.

This was written by James Linduff and addressed to Bernard Shapiro, Executive Director of the Freeman Center.
http://www.freeman.org/serendipity/index.php?/archives/ 343-JEWISH-AND-ISRAELI-SURVIVAL-IN-21ST-CENTURY-MUST-READ.html

Mr Shapiro:

As I write this email, Syrian officials are removing government archives from Damascus in their preparations for war with Israel, and Iran has publicly stated that "the destruction of Israel" is almost upon the world. Hamas has established control over the Gaza Strip, and is busy cleansing the area of the last remnants of opposition. Lebanon is in turmoil.

In Venezuela, the government of Hugo Chavez has openly allied with Iran and Syria, and began a pattern of state sponsored political repression on their Jewish population. Venezuelan Press has stated that the expulsion of 25,000 Jews may be considered at some point in the future.

In Argentina, who has the largest Jewish population in South America, the phrase "be patriotic, kill Jews" began appearing in slogan graffiti nationally during the Lebanon War, and anti-semetic incidents are on the rise. There are also documented cases of Islamic radical cells and networks in operation in South America, which could engage in anti-Jewish activities at any time.

In Europe, Jews also face a variety of hostile elements, which is well known and documented and generally known. Anti-semetic incidents are also on the rise, as they have been for several years now. Jews are pouring out of Europe to Israel.

Each of these events is easily recognizable to any person with military experience as the preliminary "battlefield shaping" moves of an impending war of terrible scope. It could easily escalate into a world war. Mr. Shapiro, we stand at the brink of another Holocaust, and everyone knows it. I really don't have to cite facts and figures in academic style and format to make this apparent. All one has to do is listen to the nightly news. The question is, how will modern Zionism confront the issue when the pre-war posturing is over, and the much dreaded conflict to eliminate Israel from the map and exterminate the Jewish people all over the world begins? How will Zionism help the Jewish people to survive in the face of an enemy as determined as Hitler? What will be the role of Zionism in a conflict that threatens Jews wherever they reside in the world?

Any person of Jewish descent knows that Israel is a nation that resides partially in exile, and partially in the land. We also know this war portends to affect the diaspora and the nation of Israel equally.

Will Zionism and its allied elements throughout the world distinguish themselves by taking courageous action to save Jews? Will non-Jewish Zionists prove to be the first real, tangible ally the Jewish people have ever known in their history? Will Zionism prove to be a channel to action for it's adherents to use for action in saving the innocent of Israel from another Holocaust? I certainly hope so, sir. I would hate to think that the support of Israel that has been enthusiastically voiced in the press would evaporate into inaction when the real challenges start.

If this were to happen, modern Zionism would have no choice but to melt into history as an ineffective and toothless ideal who lost when it failed, by inaction, to confront the planned genocide of the Jewish people.

If modern Zionism does become a tangible ally of Israel, however, it would have benchmark historical implications that I need not explain to you. The scope would be enormous.

Herman Wouk once said: "Zionism is a single long action of lifesaving, of snatching great masses of people out of the path of sure extinction." (This is My God, first edition (1959), page 264.)

Mr. Shapiro, this email all boils down to a nothing but questions. When will we, as Zionists, begin to take the necessary actions to snatch the great masses of Jewish people out of the path of sure extinction? Do we even recognize the fact that a train wreck is approaching? How long will we tarry? Are we, as a movement, up to the challenge, or have we ran our course? Will Zionism be able to confront the new challenge of 4GW, and Assymetrical Warfare?

I think we will sir. I think we will have new leaders who have yet to be discovered, and new talent yet to be tapped. At least I hope so.

I urge you, sir, to examine these issues, and incorporate them into the studies produced by the Freeman Center. Especially how Zionism can be an outlet to preserve life in a 4GW warfare conflict of global scope.

Thank you for hearing my comments on this sir;


James Linduff

Contact the Center at Freeman Center For Strategic Studies, P.O. Box 35661, Houston, Texas 77235-5661. Phone or Fax at 713-723-6016

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, June 19, 2007.


Hamas is doing in Gaza what Gen. Sharon once did and Israel's recent Prime Ministers should have done again. It is confiscating all unofficial arms. Unfortunately, it is keeping them for war on Israel.

After having lost about 50,000 weapons to Hamas in Gaza, Fatah is asking for more weapons in Judea-Samaria, although Hamas lacks a military organization there and Fatah is arresting Hamas members at will. It is asking, because the US and Israel foolishly are likely to grant it, but they would be turned on Israel.

The chaos is a great opportunity for the old Bedouin tradition of looting. Hamas and the masses loot offices, businesses, and houses of Fatah men in Gaza, and Fatah and the masses loot offices, businesses, and houses of Hamas men in Judea-Samaria. Like Bedouin raiders, what they can't carry away, they burn. They even loot facilities at border crossings, facilities meant to facilitate their employment and movement, but they blame Israel for their poverty.

Some Fatah terrorists, who only recently were fighting Israel physically or by being part of the movement for jihad, have been appealing at the Israeli border to be let into Judea-Samaria. Israel let in a few hundred. In Judea-Samaria, they will consider the Jews stupid (well, aren't they?), and continue the jihad as well as reinforce Fatah's rule. Thousands more would like to enter. The government of Israel is considering that a humanitarian problem. I don't.

I consider that a humanitarian opportunity. It is an opportunity to let the Muslims administer justice to each other. Let Hamas rid Gaza of as many Fatah terrorists as possible. Let the Muslims stew in a juice of their own making. Stop rescuing the enemy! Don't let terrorists survive to attack Jews another day, and consider that humanitarian. Let them be executed and spare innocent lives.

The rivalry between Hamas and Fatah is merely over who shall lead jihad. Neither is any good. Since their people elected them and tell pollsters they favor their platform, the people are no better. The question for Israel is whether to continue to furnish Gaza with water and power. My inclination would be to stop supplying it, but that could arouse a bad foreign reaction and should be discussed with strategists. Perhaps stop until the boycott of Israel stops.


Diehard antisemitism is a form of insanity. The theory that "the Zionists" control the world is spreading into supposedly sane people. The irony of that nonsensical notion is that Zionists don't control even Israel. Israel's curriculum, editorials, courts, and foreign policy have become anti-Zionist.


When he was Prime Minister, Rabin used to retaliate against Gaza terrorism by having the IDF bomb buildings he had emptied by having the terrorists telephoned a warning.

Now PM Olmert (like Sharon) retaliates against Gaza terrorism by having the IDF bomb empty hills.

The tactic is meant to deceive the Israeli people, not daunt the terrorists. To the contrary, the terrorists become emboldened by the apparent protection and arms and training given them by the Left and the US (Winston Mid East Analysis, 5/25). Is this US and Israeli policy foolish or sinister?


An Israeli Arab drug dealer was convicted of having passed information to Hizbullah during Israel's war with it. His father, a former Israeli soldier, asked that his own service be taken into account in the sentencing. The judge stated later that he had (IMRA, 5/25).

What does the father's merit have to do with the son's lack of merit?

Sometimes my sources, such as Daniel Pipes, list evidence of certain people being terrorist by citing that their relatives are terrorist. I consider that guilt by association. It is not evidence. In the case of the Muslim Arabs, however, who tend to act collectively, although a relative's guilt is not evidence, it is an indicator for detectives to check out the rest of the family.


Lebanon cut off the power and water supply to the town from which an Islamist group is shelling the Army (Arutz-7, 5/22).

The Army does not enter the town, comprising descendants of refugees, because Lebanon made an agreement with their ancestors not to invade those towns and to let them keep their arms. Now, however, some people in them use that sanctuary for attacking Lebanese.

Israelis ask what other methods they might use to stop the Islamists from using Gaza as a sanctuary from which to fire at Israel. Some have suggested cutting off their supply of power. Others call that too harsh and too collective a punishment. But the Arabs have a collective jihad, so that with them diplomacy doesn't work and one cannot be too harsh.


Gen. Dayton praised the P.A. forces for having closed two arms smuggling terminals and for finally holding off Hamas recently.

Gen. Dayton criticized Israel for rejecting the US demand to dismantle many checkpoints and roadblocks and allow free passage through Israel, that would make life easier for its Arab enemy and which Abbas could claim credit for having achieved. He ridiculed lsrael's objections that the US made the demand without consulting it. He claimed that Israel knew the US was working on it (true) and that it was just a working paper (not true). He also derided Israel's contention that it would allow terrorists to travel into and even through Israel (IMRA, 5/31).

That is exactly what prior such US demands caused! The US is demanding that Israel sacrifice its people's lives to some terrorists for the benefit of other terrorists. The US is on the wrong side of this jihad. Let us not think that Pres. Bush is a great friend of Israel. That is sentimental nonsense.


People have proposed that Israel level a square block of Gaza housing, after warning residents to evacuate, in retaliation for each rocket fired into Israel. They propose that Israel cut off water for Gaza. They propose that Israel bring in foreign peacekeepers.

The politicians proposing those policies call them plans. But they are not plans. They are sound bytes. Plans would be thought out; sound bytes are not.

Residents are likely not to evacuate. The Arabs already have reacted that way. If Israel cut off the water supply without arranging with Egypt for an alternative supply, Israel might face enormous international pressure. Foreign peacekeepers are more likely to become human shields for the terrorists (Dr. Aaron Lerner, IMRA, 5/31).

What's the point of cutting off water, only to arrange for water from elsewhere?


Britain pays welfare benefits to multiple Muslim wives and tax deductions if the polygamy was contracted where legal. Mayor Bloomberg consoled some Muslim men who lost children in a fire that revealed one of the men practiced polygamy. The Mayor did not enforce the law against polygamy (Pipes #774, 5/31). There are other examples of Western abasement its own values to appease a religion at war with Western society. Better to expel them than Western values.


Two of the main US Muslim organizations are the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

MPAC's Communications Director, Edina Lekovic, was a managing editor of Al-Talib magazine after the 1998 bombing of US embassies in Africa. By July, 1999, bin Laden was known to have been involved in it. The magazine printed, "When we hear someone refer to the great Mujahid ..., Osama bin Laden, as a 'terrorist,' we should defend our brother and refer to him as a freedom fighter."

Interviewing Lekovic on May 23, Steven Emerson on CNBC quoted the statement and referred to her as a managing editor. She denied being the editor, claimed his research was sloppy, and called him a liar and a character assassin. Later in the day, Emerson proved her name was on the masthead. Other officials in MPAC also have been on the masthead.

Lekovic did not give up. She wrote to Emerson claiming that she worked only briefly for the magazine and her name appeared on the masthead by mistake. Emerson found her name on the masthead at least 11 other times, though in varying capacities, during a 5-year period. The magazine had much al-Qaeda sentiment, such as claiming that the sheik convicted of the first World Trade Center bombing was falsely accused and claiming the Holocaust was fake. The magazine had a link to an al-Qaeda organization.

The same July, 1999 masthead offers "special thanks" to the head of CAIR's Southern California office (Daniel Pipes #775, 6/1).

Officials of those organizations often have been found to make Islamist statements or support Islamist causes. But the US and local governments remain ignorant about them and call on them to help deal with the enemy Islamists that they really are, themselves. Emerson is skillful at exposing them, but this time he should have had his proof with him, since Islamists deny truth.


An Israeli court fined Peace Now for libeling a man as a racist, fascist, lawbreaker threatening the peace of Jerusalem by planning to bring some Jews to Jerusalem illegally. What is newsworthy about this is that Israeli courts usually excuse what the Left or Arabs do, and usually punish what the Right or religious Jews do (Prof. Steven Plaut, 6/1). He broke no law. Peace Now's libel did.

What is wrong with bringing Jews to Jerusalem? Why does that threaten the peace, unless it is that Muslims are lawlessly violent? Why the name-calling?

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 richardshulman5verizon.net

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Posted by Daily Alert, June 19, 2007.

This was written by Youssef Ibrahim and it appeared yesterday in New York Sun

There are many ways to look at the Hamas victory in the Gaza Strip last week, but the most relevant is that Gaza has joined the expanding Jihadistan terrorist landscape.

Gaza is only the most recent addition to Jihadistan's several cities in Iraq, the tribal regions along the Pakistan- Afghanistan border, much of Somalia, and the Hezbollah-controlled areas of southern Lebanon -- yet another place for terrorist-masters to meet, organize, plan, and operate.

It will be a farce if President Bush and Prime Minister Olmert spend their meeting tomorrow discussing a two-state solution or how many millions of dollars are needed to shore up the non-existent authority of Fatah. What is needed is a plan to stop the addition of Gaza to Jihadistan, to contain it, and to bleed it.

Egypt and Jordan are just as concerned as Israel. It is an established fact that much of Hamas's weaponry in Gaza and the West Bank comes across the Sinai desert from Egypt, from all over the Mediterranean coast controlled by Israel, and from Jordan. The weapons are paid for and shipped with the complicity of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood movements of Egypt and Jordan with the complicity of army and government officials. Sinai bedouins and rogue government officials are part of the problem. That is what any conversation should be about.

The Arabs agree. The dizzying descent of Gaza has alarmed pundits and decision-makers in surrounding countries to the point that they are openly saying: Forget the Palestinian Arab cause, save us:

  • "The emergence of an Islamist 'Emirate of Gaza' is far more critical than that the emergence of the Taliban," the editor in chief of a Saudi newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, Tarik Al-Homeid, wrote on Saturday.

  • In Cairo this weekend, the secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, rejected calls for recognizing a Hamas government in Gaza, saying he could not sanctify splitting the region in the name of Islam.

  • Finally, according to the general manager of the pan-Arab Al-Arabia TV network, Abdelrahman Al Rashed, the region now suffers from splits within its splits. "In Palestine, we have two leaderships; in Lebanon, two governments, with two presidents, and two parliaments; in Iraq, we are looking at three mini-states: one Shiite, one Sunni, and one Kurdish," he said yesterday.

Throwing money at the problem will not do. If the Gaza collapse has proved anything, it is that Western funding ends up either in the hands of Muslim fundamentalists or in the pockets of corrupt Fatah officials, most of whom sat out the turmoil with their wives and mistresses in their sumptuous villas and flats in Cairo, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Paris, London, and the French Riviera. Fatah's top security chief, Muhammed Dahlan, actually watched the sacking of his sumptuous marble villa in Gaza from his other sumptuous villa in a Cairo suburb, a senior Egyptian intelligence source told me yesterday.

The most immediate urgency is to cut off funds and weapons in the places that Hamas's flames are heading next: the Palestinian Arab refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. With Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Al Qaeda in Iraq, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the scene is set for a serious Islamic fundamentalist insurrection across the Arab world.

The bloody, month-long fight by rogue Islamists for the Palestinian Arab refugee camp in Tripoli, Lebanon -- which so far has cost the Lebanese army 70 soldiers -- is a fine sample of what is in store.

There are many poor and dispossessed Palestinian Arabs, most of whom are cared for with funds from the United Nations and Western charities. This humanitarian aid, unfortunately, has relieved Palestinian Arab terror groups, such as Hamas and Fatah, from the obligation of feeding their own and allows them to use all their money for war. Thus, a related issue for do-gooders confronting the problem is how to stop this seepage of funds.

Palestinian Arabs have been fighting in the name of a state since 1948, but their leaders have reduced their likely mandate to the miserable conundrum of Gaza, and a patch here and there in the West Bank, from what would have been half of today's Israel.

The day may come for an independent Palestinian Arab state. But right now, the humane and decent thing to do is save the Palestinian Arabs from their rogue Islamists and would-be nationalistic heroes.

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

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Posted by Professors for a Strong Israel, June 19, 2007.

The dust hasn't settled from the war between the Palestinian terror groups, and already the Kadima ministers are returning to their march of folly. Today they are again differentiating between good and bad terrorists, seeing the defeat of "good terrorist" Abu Mazen as an "opportunity" to give him support and to sign agreements with him. Tomorrow they will march onward to give safe passage through Israel to terrorists fleeing their well-deserved fate in Gaza, who will soon launch their attacks from Ramallah. The march continues with the delusion that a multinational force in the Philadelphi Corridor will do better than UNIFIL has done in preventing the rearming of Hezbollah. And of course the ministers put the "humanitarian" needs of the enemy ahead of those of Sderot.

Professors for a Strong Israel rejects any idea of using the soldiers of the IDF to hand the good terrorists a state on a sliver platter; we see this as the essence of an illegitimate war.

Contact Benjamin Svetitsky of Professors for a Strong Israel at bqs@julian.tau.ac.il

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Posted by Barbara Sommer, June 19, 2007.

This was written by Caroline Glick and it appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post

Iran and its client state Syria have a strategic vision for the Middle East. They wish to take over Lebanon. They wish to destroy Israel. They wish to defeat the US in Iraq. They wish to drive the US and NATO from Afghanistan. They wish to dominate the region by driving the rest of the Arab world to its jihad-supporting knees. Then they wish to apply their vision to the rest of the world.

Today, Syria and Iran are ardently advancing their strategic vision for the world through a deliberate strategy of victory by a thousand cuts. Last week's Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip; Sunday's reopening of the Lebanese front against Israel with the Syrian-ordered rocket attacks on Kiryat Shemona; the now five-week old Syrian ordered low-intensity warfare against Lebanon's pro-Western Siniora government; last week's attack on the al-Askariya mosque in Samarra; the recent intensification of terrorism in Afghanistan and Iran's move to further destabilize the country by violently deporting 100,000 Afghan refugees back to the war-torn country -- all of these are moves to advance this clear Iranian-Syrian strategy.

And all these moves have taken place against the backdrop of Syria's refashioning of its military in the image of Hizbullah on steroids and Iran's relentless, unopposed progress in its nuclear weapons program.

For their part, both the US and Israel also have a strategic vision. Unfortunately, it is grounded in fantasy.

WASHINGTON AND Jerusalem wish to solve all the problems of the region and the world by establishing a Palestinian state in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. While Israel now faces Iranian proxies on two fronts, in their meeting at the White House today US President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will gush about their support for Palestinian statehood. Creepily echoing LSD king Timothy Leary, they will tune out this reality as they drone on about the opportunities that Gaza's transformation into a base for global jihad afford to the notion that promoting the Fatah terrorist organization's control over Judea and Samaria can make the world a better, safer, happier place.

Today Bush and Olmert will announce their full support for Fatah chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas's new government. The US will intensify General Keith Dayton's training and arming of Fatah forces. Israel will give Fatah $700 million. The Europeans and the rest of the international community will give the "moderate, secular" terror group still more money and guns and love. The US will likely also demand that Olmert order the IDF to give Fatah terrorists free reign in Judea and Samaria.

Olmert and Bush claim that by backing Abbas militarily, financially and politically they will be setting up an "alternative Palestine" which will rival Hamas's jihadist Palestine. As this notion has it, envious of the good fortune of their brethren in Judea and Samaria, Gazans will overthrow Hamas and the course will be set for peace -- replete with the ethnic cleansing of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem of all Jewish presence.

FATAH FORCES barely raised a finger to prevent their defeat in Gaza in spite of the massive quantities of US arms they received and the military training they underwent at the hands of US General Keith Dayton. Bush, Olmert and all proponents of the notion of strengthening Fatah in Judea and Samaria refuse to answer one simple question: Why would a handover of Judea and Samaria to Abbas's Fatah produce a better outcome than Israel's 2005 handover of Gaza to Abbas's Fatah?

They refuse to answer this question because they know full well that the answer is that there is absolutely no reason to believe that the outcome can be better. They know full well that since replacing Yasser Arafat as head of the PA in 2004, Abbas refused to take any effective action against Hamas. They know that he refused to take action to prevent Hamas's rise to power in Gaza and Judea and Samaria. They know that the guns the US transferred to Fatah in Gaza were surrendered to Hamas without a fight last week. They know that the billions of dollars of international and Israeli assistance to Fatah over the past 14 years never were used to advance the cause of peace.

They know that that money was diverted into the pockets of Fatah strongmen and utilized to build terror militias in which Hamas members were invited to serve. They know that Fatah built a terror superstructure in Judea, Samaria and Gaza which enabled operational cooperation between Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror cells.

SO WHY embrace the fantasy that things can be different now, in Judea and Samaria? Rather than provide rational arguments to defend their view that Hamas's takeover of Gaza is an opportunity for peace, proponents of peace fantasies as strategic wisdom explain vacuously that peace is the best alternative to jihad. They whine that those who point out that Israel now borders Iran in Lebanon and Gaza have nothing positive to say.

To meet the growing threat in Gaza, they argue that Europeans, or maybe Egyptians and Jordanians can be deployed at the international border with Egypt to stem the weapons and terror personnel flow into Gaza. To meet the growing threat in Lebanon, Olmert pleads for more UN troops.

Both views ignore the obvious: Gaza has been transformed into an Iranian-sponsored base for global jihad because Egypt has allowed it to be so transformed. Assisted by its Syrian-sponsored Palestinian allies, Hizbullah has rebuilt its arsenals and reasserted its control in southern Lebanon because UN forces in southern Lebanon have done nothing to prevent it from doing so.

No country on earth will volunteer to fight Hamas and its jihadist allies in Gaza. No government on earth will voluntarily deploy its forces to counter Hizbullah and Iran in south Lebanon. This is why -- until they fled -- European monitors at the Rafah terminal were a joke. This is why Spanish troops in UNIFIL devote their time in Lebanon to teaching villagers Spanish.

SO WHY are Bush and Olmert set to embrace Fatah and Abbas today? Why are they abjectly refusing to come to terms with the strategic reality of the Iranian-Syrian onslaught? Why are they insisting that the establishment of a Palestinian state is their strategic goal and doing everything they can to pretend that their goal has not been repeatedly proven absurd?

Well, why should they? As far as Bush is concerned, no American politician has ever paid a price for advancing the cause of peace processes that strengthen terrorists and hostile Arab states at Israel's expense. Bush's predecessor Bill Clinton had Arafat over to visit the White House more often than any other foreign leader and ignored global jihad even when its forces bombed US embassies and warships. And today Clinton receives plaudits for his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.

By denying that the war against Israel is related to the war in Iraq; by ignoring the strategic links between all the Iranian and Syrian sponsored theaters of war, Bush views gambling with Israel's security as a win-win situation. He will be applauded as a champion of peace and if the chips go down on Israel, well, it won't be Americans being bombed.

OLMERT LOOKS to his left and sees president-elect Shimon Peres. Peres, the architect of the Oslo process which placed Israel's national security in the hands of the PLO, has been rewarded for his role in imperiling his country by his similarly morally challenged political colleagues who just bestowed him with Israel's highest office.

Olmert looks to his left and his sees incoming defense minister Ehud Barak. In 2000, then prime minister Barak withdrew Israeli forces from Lebanon, and enabled Iran's assertion of control over southern Lebanon through its Hizbullah proxy. In so doing, Barak set the conditions for last summer's war, and quite likely, for this summer's war.

By offering Arafat Gaza, 95 percent of Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem at Camp David, Barak showed such enormous weakness that he all but invited the Palestinian terror war which Arafat began planning the day he rejected Barak's offer.

For his failure, Barak has been rewarded by his Labor Party, which elected him its new chairman on the basis of his vast "experience," and by the media which has embraced him as a "professional" defense minister.

Olmert looks to his right and he sees how the media portrays Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu and former IDF Chief of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon as alarmists for claiming that Israel cannot abide by an Iranian-proxy Hamas state on its border. He sees that Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu supported Peres's candidacy as president and have joined their fortunes to Olmert's in a bid to block elections which will bring the Right to power.

ISRAEL HAS arguably never faced a more dangerous strategic environment than it faces today. Yet it is not without good options. It can retake control over the Gaza-Sinai border. It can renew its previously successful tactic of killing Hamas terrorists. It can continue its successful campaign of keeping terrorists down in Judea and Samaria, and it can continue preparing for war in the north. All of these options can be sold to the Left.

But today both Bush and Olmert will reject these options in favor of mindless peace process prattle. They will reject reality as they uphold Abbas as a credible leader and shower him with praise, money and arms. Their political fortunes will be utmost in their minds as they do this. And they will be guaranteeing war that will claim the lives of an unknown number of Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Bush and Olmert should know that when the time for reckoning comes they will not be able to claim, along with Peres and Barak that their hands did not shed this blood. Reality has warned them of their folly. But in their low, dishonest opportunism, they have chosen to ignore reality and amuse themselves with fantasies and photo-ops.

Contact Barbara Sommer at sommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, June 18, 2007.

After you read the following, you may agree that Olmert and his gang of incompetents should have been caged years ago. Moreover, keep in mind the politicization and weakening of the Secret Services to serve the personal needs of Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert -- rather than protecting the nation. When the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and Intelligence Services (is that an oxymoron?) should have been free to act and destroy the intelligence records that were in the hands of Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) President of the Palestinian Authority and now captured by Hamas, they held back.

Why did they hesitate and await instructions from Olmert -- who was awaiting his instructions from Bush and Rice?

While you cannot hang dumb beasts, you can put them in zoo cages like an orangutan. Olmert, Barak and Peres should have been safely caged as a danger to their nation and themselves. Years of Intelligence Records have been compromised, putting agents at risk, such as recruited Palestinian spies deep inside the terrorist camp, CIA connections, all in the hands of Hamas and from there straight to Iran and Syria. Olmert and Israeli Intelligence should have been smart and quick to destroy the building that held the documents but instead, they dithered. Dumb is curable but, stupid is forever.

Olmert, quintessentially the most stupid of all Ministers in Israel just proclaimed that now Hamas is no longer part of Fatah and therefore somehow this is an opportunity.

That means that Olmert and Rice will continue to arm Abu Mazen and Fatah in order to fulfill his pledge to abandon Judea and Samaria to those "peaceful Fatah Terrorists".

This next is from the DEBKAFile:

DEBKAFile Exclusive: Hamas and its Syrian and Iranian sponsors capture priceless Palestinian Authority intelligence archives in Gaza putsch

June 15, 2007

The Fatah-led general intelligence and security services caved in too fast to shred, wipe or burn documents, computer disks and archives. The entire collection fell into Hamas' hands when they seized Palestinian Preventive Intelligence HQ at Tel Awa (henceforth Tel al-Islam) and the Palestinian General Intelligence center near Gaza port.

DEBKAFile's intelligence sources say: Never before has a bonanza of Western intelligence secrets on this scale ever reached an implacably hostile Islamist terrorist gang. The US, British and Israeli intelligence services may have suffered their greatest debacle in the war on Islamist terror. It will take them many years to recover.

Hamas has taken possession of hundreds of thousands of documents cataloguing the clandestine operations of Western intelligence services in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and the oil emirates. It is now the owner of complete archives of Palestinian undercover links with foreign intelligence services going back decades, with names of spies, political collaborators and double agents. The documentation covers the secret ties Palestinian intelligence maintained from the 1970s, when Yasser Arafat was based in Lebanon, with the Americans, the British, the French, the Israelis and many others.

Most intelligence experts say Israel should have bombed the two buildings and destroyed their contents rather than letting them fall into the hands of an organization and country dedicated to its eclipse.

For Hamas, this booty is priceless -- and not only as the repository of bombs for planting under Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts. The Palestinian group's Syrian and Iranian sponsors will pay a king's ransom for this unique collection of explosive secrets hidden by many a Western intelligence agency and government. Damascus and Tehran will be hugely empowered with the means to stay a jump ahead of American moves in the region and tools to sabotage US policies at any time. They will have a store of national secrets and compromising information to hold over the heads of Western leaders and officials, lists of undercover agents, and records of covert operations carried out by the Israeli Mossad, Shin Bet and Military Intelligence, CIA, British MI6 and other Western agencies. Iran, Syria and Hamas will know the names of politicians, including Israelis, who worked secretly with Palestinians and their shady deals.

One intelligence expert said that the Gaza hoard left in enemy hands by Abbas and Mohammed Dahlan are the crown jewels compared with the Saddam Hussein's intelligence archives.

In the Palestinian security service building, Hamas found computer hard disks covering years of undercover activity and a complete set of sophisticated wiretapping and surveillance equipment and sensors which the CIA and MI6 gave Mahmoud Abbas and his forces. It was all in perfect condition ready to switch on.

After the Nazi regime was defeated at the end of World War II and Eastern Germany fell in the 1990s, there were officials willing to make a desperate effort to destroy or hide their intelligence treasure. Palestinian intelligence officers did not burn a single page.

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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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 18, 2007.

Bruce Thornton (first article below) and Victor Davis Hanson (2nd article) get it right.

Note especially their mockery of Madame Secretary's failed policies (which are also your policies), and their identification of the real problem in the Palestinian and Islamic cultures of victimhood and violence which have been so successful over the past few decades in shaking down westerners for their pity and their money, and in convincing many in our media, academia, clergy and government that Israel is to blame for the 87-year terror war that the Arab world has waged against her because she has the audacity to exist. As Bruce Thornton writes:

"All these tactics first perfected in the jihad against Israel are being used in the other theaters of the war against the West. Yet we still persist in believing that the assault on Israel is a conflict distinct from jihad, or that jihadist terrorism is created by that conflict and would disappear if it were resolved, or that 'moderates' like Mahmoud Abbas genuinely accept Israel's existence and will peacefully coexist with a nation of despised former dhimmi if only the Palestinians get their own state -- all this despite the absence of any empirical evidence from the last fifty years that could support these fantasies."

Meanwhile the U.S. Secretary of State scampers around the Middle East pursing the chimera of the "two-state" solution via "frameworks" and "road maps," Israel is pressured to show "restraint" in the face of violence, and U.S. tax dollars are sent to Fatah, in the weird belief that it makes sense to help Fatah, who believe Israel should be destroyed in "phases," prevail over Hamas, who believe Israel should be destroyed right now. In other words, we continue to validate the jihadists' estimation of our gullibility and weakness, which in turn convinces them that they can win and so should fight on. Why shouldn't they? After all, they've been fighting Israel for over fifty years, and have been rewarded with the Sinai and Gaza. Why wouldn't they think Al-Andalus is next?'

and as Victor Davis Hanson says:

"The problem is not the acquisition of the final seven percent of the West Bank denied in the offer to them at Camp David, but the pathology of a victim culture, one that has learned, through playing the card of terror with simultaneous appeals to multicultural guilt, how to shake down Westerners for their money, attention, and pity...Never a word about murderers having free will and being responsible for their murdering -- much less recognition that a culture that canonizes suicide bombers forgets that once they banish the rules of civilization there is no reason why such savagery would not be turned on themselves."

If we, as in the 'we' of 'western civilization', cannot find the unity of purpose and strength of conviction to face up to, stare down, and defeat our mutual enemy, then the components of our civilizaiton will fall, one by one, to that mutual enemy: the Islamo-fascist terrorists and their Arab and Muslim supporter states which assault us daily, hourly, from Iran and Iraq to down-town USA.

Bruce Thornton
"Murder in Gaza: Why Israel and not Fatah is demonized"
June 14, 2007
Victor Davis Hanson, Private Papers, on the Web

n Gaza the fighting between Fatah and Hamas has escalated to the point of all-out civil war, replete with dead women and children, kneecapping, and handcuffed prisoners thrown from roofs. Meanwhile in Lebanon, the Lebanese army continues to shell a Palestinian refugee camp, with who knows how many civilian deaths. Arab is killing Arab, Muslim is killing Muslim, and the world basically is shrugging its shoulders.

How different from the intense media attention and the U.N.'s hysteria over Israel's attempt to root out terrorists in Lebanon last summer. This obscene double standard that strains out the gnat of Israeli self-defense while swallowing numerous camels of Muslim-on-Muslim violence cries out for explanation.

Certainly the scale of alleged Israeli crimes can't justify fifty years of international hatred and calumny. Since World War II, some 25 million people have died in various conflicts, only 8,000 as a result of Israel's attempts to ward off a chronic existential threat. In the last decade the slaughter in Sudan has claimed 250,000 lives, a brutal war of extermination with a religious and racist subtext that usually sends "progressives" into fits of righteous indignation. And of course the current mayhem in Iraq, where Muslims are blowing up, torturing, and mutilating fellow Muslims, dwarfs even the lurid lies about Israel's behavior regularly circulated among Western liberals and leftists. Yet the supposedly new and improved U.N. Human Rights Council, like its predecessor the discredited Human Right Commission, last year voted to make a review of supposed Israeli "human rights abuses" a permanent activity of every session.

Unsurprisingly, in its first year the Council has issued twelve resolutions: nine condemnations of Israel, and three non-condemnatory resolutions on Sudan.

Objective assessments of Israel's misdeeds, then, cannot explain the double standard that vilifies a tiny country's attempt to survive the attacks of enemies sworn to its destruction. Larger cultural dysfunctions are at work, not least being the corrupt Western media. The major print and television media are filled for the most part with self-styled champions of "social justice," crusaders not for the truth but for "progressive" ideologies in turn based on incoherent ideals and sheer ignorance of history. Their minds shaped by sentimental Third-Worldism, Marxist demonizations of "colonialism" and "imperialism," and arrogance about their own moral superiority, many Western reporters are easily turned into the chumps and shills of corrupt Arab regimes and Muslim jihadists. The Palestinian Arabs in particular have brilliantly exploited the useful idiots of the media to construct the narrative of brutal Israeli "occupation" of the Palestinian "homeland," as documented by Richard Landes and Pierre Rehov, who have exposed the numerous blatant fabrications eagerly swallowed as fact by the media, such as the Jenin "massacre" or the killing of the boy Muhammad Al Durah by Israeli soldiers.

This irrational hatred of Israel on the part of many Westerners is dangerous and short-sighted, as is the failure to understand the true roots of Muslim hatred of the Jewish state. For the modern jihad against the West did not start on 9/11, or even in 1979 with the Iranian revolution. Its first major campaign took place in 1948 when the Arab states ignored a U.N. resolution and attacked a U.N. member state. As significant as this rejection of the Western-crafted international order was, the response of the West -- leaving Israel to sink or swim -- was even more important. By sitting on the sidelines while a Western democracy battled for its life, the West sent a message: that it would not intervene to protect a cultural brother and a legitimate state when attacked by autocracies and religious fanatics.

The failure to destroy Israel militarily two more times led to other tactics -- disinformation, propaganda, phony negotiations, and especially terrorism. And once again, the Western flabby response emboldened the Muslim view of Western decadence and weakness. Suddenly Palestinian "national aspirations" become the rationale for murdering Israelis, even though historically there is no such thing as a distinct Palestinian people. Shrewdly recognizing the West's media-fed obsession with suffering, the Arabs masterfully generate telegenic images that divorce reality from any moral and historical context. Understanding the West's Enlightenment fantasy of conflict resolution through discussion and "agreements," the Palestinian Arabs play that game too, attending conferences and summits, issuing proclamations and "frameworks," and signing various "accords" that they have no intention of honoring. Knowing that the West is infected with cultural self-loathing and guilt, they play the race card, the colonialism card, or the imperialism card as trumps more powerful even than historical fact or responsibility for the conditions they decry. And convinced that a secular West believes in nothing other than material comfort and security, they unleash terrorism as the ultimate demonstration of their own passionate commitment to their ideals, and of the West's spiritual bankruptcy.

All these tactics first perfected in the jihad against Israel are being used in the other theaters of the war against the West. Yet we still persist in believing that the assault on Israel is a conflict distinct from jihad, or that jihadist terrorism is created by that conflict and would disappear if it were resolved, or that "moderates" like Mahmoud Abbas genuinely accept Israel's existence and will peacefully coexist with a nation of despised former dhimmi if only the Palestinians get their own state -- all this despite the absence of any empirical evidence from the last fifty years that could support these fantasies.

Meanwhile the U.S. Secretary of State scampers around the Middle East pursing the chimera of the "two-state" solution via "frameworks" and "road maps," Israel is pressured to show "restraint" in the face of violence, and U.S. tax dollars are sent to Fatah, in the weird belief that it makes sense to help Fatah, who believe Israel should be destroyed in "phases," prevail over Hamas, who believe Israel should be destroyed right now. In other words, we continue to validate the jihadists' estimation of our gullibility and weakness, which in turn convinces them that they can win and so should fight on. Why shouldn't they? After all, they've been fighting Israel for over fifty years, and have been rewarded with the Sinai and Gaza. Why wouldn't they think Al-Andalus is next?

"Gaza -- It's All Our Fault.
Blaming America on CNN is all the rage."
Victor Davis Hanson
June 14, 2007, 0:00 a.m.

One of the more depressing things of being stuck in airports during East-Coast June storms is watching CNN and its parade of glib fools that appear hourly blaming (but, of course) the U.S. for the miasma in Gaza and the ongoing creepy Fatah/Hamas killing.

I lost count of the various contortions. One talking head censures the Americans for not recognizing Hamas despite its refusal to disclaim its reason-to-be of undoing the Jewish state.

Another cited the 'culture of violence' unleashed by the U.S. (read Iraq) -- i.e., apparently the West Bank was like Nantucket until 2003.

Yet another lamented our support for elections that ushered in Hamas, as f the generic support for democracy makes us culpable for the odious overnment that the people freely chose to elect. (As if one who voted or such a terrorist clique would expect the United States to keep subsidizing it; as if one would have to keep talking to Hitler because he was once elected).

And then, of course, was the most Orwellian of all -- our failure to support (e.g., send arms to) Fatah! (Is a terrorist organization no longer a terrorist organization when it is one-upped by another terrorist organization?)

An alien from Mars would almost instantly diagnose the problem of the Palestinians from simply listening to their inane apologists: The problem is not the acquisition of the final seven percent of the West Bank denied in the offer to them at Camp David, but the pathology of a victim culture, one that has learned, through playing the card of terror with simultaneous appeals to multicultural guilt, how to shake down Westerners for their money, attention, and pity.

And now for the very life of it, it can't figure out how to quit that lucrative habit -- so much so that, teenager-like, it simultaneously seems to cry 'I don't want anything to do with you' and 'I don't want anything to do with you even more because you don't want anything to do with me.'

Never a word about murderers having free will and being responsible for their murdering -- much less recognition that a culture that canonizes suicide bombers forgets that once they banish the rules of civilization there is no reason why such savagery would not be turned on themselves.

The only interesting comment came from one 'expert' who swore this wasn't a civil war! -- the type of Middle Eastern savant we have heard the last two years swearing that Iraq is torn by?

A full-fledged civil war, of course.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 18, 2007.

"The Failed States Index 2007" was published in Foreign Policy's July-August 2007 Issue.

The study ranked country instability using these factors: demographic pressure, refugees and displaced persons, group grievance, human flight, uneven development, economy, delegitization of State, public services, human rights, security apparatus, factionalized elites and external intervention.

60 countries are considered highly unstable and were separated into 3 groups from Sudan winning the dubious prize of being considered the most unstable country in the world to Guatemala, which ranked 60th. Country rank depended on the sum of the measured parameters for that country.

The most unstable states ranked from dreadfully unstable to just awful are: Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Ivory Coast, Dem. Rep of the Congo, Afghanistan, Guinea, Central African Republic, Haiti, Pakistan, North Korea, Burma, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Burundi, Timor-Leste.

In the second set -- just a little unstable that the first group above -- and ranked from bad to a little less bad are: Nepal, Uzbekistan, Sierra Leone, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Lebanon, Malawi, Solomon Islands, Kenya, Niger, Columbia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Rwanda, Guinea-Bissau, Tajikistan and Syria.

In the third set -- unstable but not as bad as the countries listed about and again ranking from bad to slightly better: Equatorial Guinea, Kirgizstan, Turkmenistan, Laos, Mauritania, Togo, Bhutan, Cambodia, Moldova, Eritrea, Belarus, Papua New Guinea, Angola, Bosnia, Indonesia, Philippines, Iran, Georgia, Bolivia and Guatemala.

7 out of the first set of 20 (the world's worst) are Arab or Muslim states; and three more are states that are failed in part because of Muslim efforts (civil war) to take over these states and turn them in to Muslim majority states.

So 50% of the world's 20 most failed states are Muslim or under attack from within by their Muslim population.

Of the 2nd set of 20 (not the worst, but close to it), 5 are Arab or Muslim.

Of the 3rd set of 20, 6 are Arab or Muslim.

Of the four that show the greatest change for the worse over the past year, 2 are Arab or Muslim.

So out of the 60 worst states in the world, 18 are Arab or Muslim states. That's 30%.

Arabs make up about 5% of the world's population. Muslims make up about 20% of the world's population.

Muslim and Arab states are vastly over-represented in the list of failed states.

One of the major reasons for the failure of states, and especially apparent in the first set of the world's worst 20, and in the four with the greatest change for the worst, is war, especially civil war. Almost all of the Arab and Muslim states on this list are engaged in a civil war or in a war with other states or in support of such a war by terror groups. While not all Muslims are terrorists, almost all terrorists are Muslims.

I cannot help but wonder if there is some correlation between these being Arab and Muslim states, and their status per the FN index.

Below is material from "The Failed States Index 2007."
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3865&page= 0&fpsrc=ealert071505ak2khg The report points out that "[t]he world's weakest states aren't just a danger to themselves. They can threaten the progress and stability of countries half a world away. In the third annual Failed States Index, Foreign Policy and The Fund for Peace rank the countries where the risk of failure is running high."

It is an accepted axiom of the modern age that distance no longer matters. Sectarian carnage can sway stock markets on the other side of the planet. Anarchic cities that host open-air arms bazaars imperil the security of the world's superpower. A hermit leader's erratic behavior not only makes life miserable for the impoverished millions he rules but also upends the world's nuclear nonproliferation regime. The threats of weak states, in other words, ripple far beyond their borders and endanger the development and security of nations that are their political and economic opposites.

Few encouraging signs emerged in 2006 to suggest the world is on a path to greater peace and stability. The year began with violent protests that erupted from Indonesia to Nigeria over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. February brought the destruction of Samarra's golden-domed mosque, one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines, unleashing a convulsion of violence across Iraq that continues unabated. After Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers last July, southern Lebanon was bombarded for a month by air strikes, sending hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing into neighboring states. And in October, the repressive North Korean regime stormed its way into the world's nuclear club.

What makes these alarming headlines all the more troubling is that their origins lie in weak and failing states. World leaders and the heads of multilateral institutions routinely take to lecterns to reiterate their commitment to pulling vulnerable states back from the brink, but it can be difficult to translate damage control into viable, long-term solutions that correct state weaknesses. Aid is often misspent. Reforms are too many or too few. Security needs overwhelm international peacekeepers, or chaos reigns in their absence.

The complex phenomenon of state failure may be much discussed, but it remains little understood. The problems that plague failing states are generally all too similar: rampant corruption, predatory elites who have long monopolized power, an absence of the rule of law, and severe ethnic or religious divisions. But that does not mean that the responses to their problems should be cut from the same cloth. Failing states are a diverse lot. Burma and Haiti are two of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International, and yet Burma's repressive junta persecutes ethnic minorities and subjects its population to forced resettlement, while Haiti is wracked by extreme poverty, lawlessness, and urban violence. For a decade, Equatorial Guinea has posted some of the highest economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, yet its riches have padded the bank accounts of an elite few. And in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the inability of the government to police its borders effectively or manage its vast mineral wealth has left the country dependent on foreign aid.

To provide a clearer picture of the world's weakest states, The Fund for Peace, an independent research organization, and FOREIGN POLICY present the third annual Failed States Index. Using 12 social, economic, political, and military indicators, we ranked 177 states in order of their vulnerability to violent internal conflict and societal deterioration. The index scores are based on data from more than 12,000 publicly available sources collected from May to December 2006. The 60 most vulnerable states are listed in the rankings, and full results are available at www.ForeignPolicy.com and www.fundforpeace.org.

For the second year in a row, Sudan tops the rankings as the state most at risk of failure. The primary cause of its instability, violence in the country's western region of Darfur, is as well known as it is tragic. At least 200,000 people -- and perhaps as many as 400,000 -- have been killed in the past four years by janjaweed militias armed by the government, and 2 to 3 million people have fled their torched villages for squalid camps as the violence has spilled into the Central African Republic and Chad. These countries were hardly pictures of stability prior to the influx of refugees and rebels across their borders; the Central African Republic plays host to a modern-day slave trade, and rebels attacked Chad's capital in April 2006 in a failed coup attempt. But the spillover effects from Sudan have a great deal to do with the countries' tumble in the rankings, demonstrating that the dangers of failing states often bleed across borders. That is especially worrying for a few select regions. This year, eight of the world's 10 most vulnerable states are in sub-Saharan Africa, up from six last year and seven in 2005.

That is not to say that all failing states suffer from international neglect. Iraq and Afghanistan, the two main fronts in the global war on terror, both suffered over the past year. Their experiences show that billions of dollars in development and security aid may be futile unless accompanied by a functioning government, trustworthy leaders, and realistic plans to keep the peace and develop the economy. Just as there are many paths to success, there are many paths to failure for states on the edge.

The year wasn't all bad news, though. Two vulnerable giants, China and Russia, improved their scores sufficiently to move out of the 60 worst states. That is in part due to the fact that 31 additional countries were assessed this year. But some credit must be paid to the countries themselves. China's economic engine continues to propel the country forward at a breakneck pace, but the growing divide between urban and rural, as well as continued protests in the countryside, reveals pockets of frailty that the central government is only just beginning to address. Russia's growing economy and a lull in the violence in Chechnya have had stabilizing effects, despite fresh concerns about the country's democratic future.

The vast majority of the states listed in the index have not yet failed; they exhibit severe weaknesses that leave them vulnerable, especially to shocks such as natural disasters, war, and economic deprivation. The power of such events should not be underestimated. The war in Lebanon last summer helped undo nearly two decades of economic and political progress. But Lebanon was vulnerable because its political and security structures lacked integrity and remained tensely divided by factionalized elites. Those vulnerabilities not only helped turn the clock back on the country's development, but they reverberated across the region -- into Israel, Jordan, and Syria. It shows again that a country's problems are never simply its own.

That conclusion becomes especially worrisome when the weak states in question possess nuclear weapons. Today, two countries among the world's 15 most vulnerable, North Korea and Pakistan, are members of the nuclear club. Their profiles could hardly be less similar: The former faces the very real prospect of economic collapse, followed by massive human flight, while the latter presides over a lawless frontier country and a disenchanted Islamist opposition whose ranks grow by the day.

But while these states' failings may be frequent fodder for headlines around the world, it is obvious that there are few easy answers to their troubles. In highlighting which states are at the greatest risk of failure, we can only hope that more effective and long-term solutions emerge over time as we compare the index from year to year. In that way, positive reversals of fortune can occur for the world's most vulnerable nations and, in the process, improve the security and prosperity of everyone.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, June 18, 2007.

This was written by Megan K. Stack and it appeared in the Los Angeles Times
(www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/ la-fg-women6jun06,0,5491632,full.story?coll=la-home-center). Megan Stack reported in Saudi Arabia repeatedly during her tenure as The Times' Cairo Bureau chief from September 2003 until last month.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia -- THE hem of my heavy Islamic cloak trailed over floors that glistened like ice. I walked faster, my eyes fixed on a familiar, green icon. I hadn't seen a Starbucks in months, but there it was, tucked into a corner of a fancy shopping mall in the Saudi capital. After all those bitter little cups of sludgy Arabic coffee, here at last was an improbable snippet of home -- caffeinated, comforting, American.

I wandered into the shop, filling my lungs with the rich wafts of coffee. The man behind the counter gave me a bemused look; his eyes flickered. I asked for a latte. He shrugged, the milk steamer whined, and he handed over the brimming paper cup. I turned my back on his uneasy face.

Crossing the cafe, I felt the hard stares of Saudi men. A few of them stopped talking as I walked by and watched me pass. Them, too, I ignored. Finally, coffee in hand, I sank into the sumptuous lap of an overstuffed armchair.

"Excuse me," hissed the voice in my ear. "You can't sit here." The man from the counter had appeared at my elbow. He was glaring.

"Excuse me?" I blinked a few times.

"Emmm," he drew his discomfort into a long syllable, his brows knitted. "You cannot stay here."

"What? Uh ... why?"

Then he said it: "Men only."

He didn't tell me what I would learn later: Starbucks had another, unmarked door around back that led to a smaller espresso bar, and a handful of tables smothered by curtains. That was the "family" section. As a woman, that's where I belonged. I had no right to mix with male customers or sit in plain view of passing shoppers. Like the segregated South of a bygone United States, today's Saudi Arabia shunts half the population into separate, inferior and usually invisible spaces.

At that moment, there was only one thing to do. I stood up. From the depths of armchairs, men in their white robes and red-checked kaffiyehs stared impassively over their mugs. I felt blood rushing to my face. I dropped my eyes, and immediately wished I hadn't. Snatching up the skirts of my robe to keep from stumbling, I walked out of the store and into the clatter of the shopping mall.

THAT WAS nearly four years ago, a lesson learned on one of my first trips to the kingdom. Until that day, I thought I knew what I was doing: I'd heard about Saudi Arabia, that the sexes are wholly segregated. From museums to university campuses to restaurants, the genders live corralled existences. One young, hip, U.S.-educated Saudi friend told me that he arranges to meet his female friends in other Arab cities. It's easier to fly to Damascus or Dubai, he shrugged, than to chill out coeducationally at home.

I was ready to cope, or so I thought. I arrived with a protective smirk in tow, planning to thicken the walls around myself. I'd report a few stories, and go home. I had no inkling that Saudi Arabia, the experience of being a woman there, would stick to me, follow me home on the plane and shadow me through my days, tainting the way I perceived men and women everywhere.

I'm leaving the Middle East now, closing up years spent covering the fighting and fallout that have swept the region since Sept. 11. Of all the strange, scary and joyful experiences of the past years, my time covering Saudi Arabia remains among the most jarring.

I spent my days in Saudi Arabia struggling unhappily between a lifetime of being taught to respect foreign cultures and the realization that this culture judged me a lesser being. I tried to draw parallels: If I went to South Africa during apartheid, would I feel compelled to be polite?

I would find that I still saw scraps of Saudi Arabia everywhere I went. Back home in Cairo, the usual cacophony of whistles and lewd coos on the streets sent me into blind rage. I slammed doors in the faces of deliverymen; cursed at Egyptian soldiers in a language they didn't speak; kept a resentful mental tally of the Western men, especially fellow reporters, who seemed to condone, even relish, the relegation of women in the Arab world.

In the West, there's a tendency to treat Saudi Arabia as a remote land, utterly removed from our lives. But it's not very far from us, nor are we as different as we might like to think. Saudi Arabia is a center of ideas and commerce, an important ally to the United States, the heartland of a major world religion. It is a highly industrialized, ultramodern home to expatriates from all over the world, including Americans who live in lush gated compounds with swimming pools, drink illegal glasses of bathtub gin and speak glowingly of the glorious desert and the famous hospitality of Saudis.

The rules are different here. The same U.S. government that heightened public outrage against the Taliban by decrying the mistreatment of Afghan women prizes the oil-slicked Saudi friendship and even offers wan praise for Saudi elections in which women are banned from voting. All U.S. fast-food franchises operating here, not just Starbucks, make women stand in separate lines. U.S.-owned hotels don't let women check in without a letter from a company vouching for her ability to pay; women checking into hotels alone have long been regarded as prostitutes.

As I roamed in and out of Saudi Arabia, the abaya, or Islamic robe, eventually became the symbol of those shifting rules.

I always delayed until the last minute. When I felt the plane dip low over Riyadh, I'd reach furtively into my computer bag to fish out the black robe and scarf crumpled inside. I'd slip my arms into the sleeves without standing up. If I caught the eyes of any male passengers as my fingers fumbled with the snaps, I'd glare. Was I imagining the smug looks on their faces?

The sleeves, the length of it, always felt foreign, at first. But it never took long to work its alchemy, to plant the insecurity. After a day or two, the notion of appearing without the robe felt shocking. Stripped of the layers of curve-smothering cloth, my ordinary clothes suddenly felt revealing, even garish. To me, the abaya implied that a woman's body is a distraction and an interruption, a thing that must be hidden from view lest it haul the society into vice and disarray. The simple act of wearing the robe implanted that self-consciousness by osmosis.

In the depths of the robe, my posture suffered. I'd draw myself in and bumble along like those adolescent girls who seem to think they can roll their breasts back into their bodies if they curve their spines far enough. That was why, it hit me one day, I always seemed to come back from Saudi Arabia with a backache.

The kingdom made me slouch.

SAUDI MEN often raised the question of women with me; they seemed to hope that I would tell them, either out of courtesy or conviction, that I endorsed their way of life. Some blamed all manner of Western ills, from gun violence to alcoholism, on women's liberation. "Do you think you could ever live here?" many of them asked. It sounded absurd every time, and every time I would repeat the obvious: No.

Early in 2005, I covered the kingdom's much-touted municipal elections, which excluded women not only from running for office, but also from voting. True to their tribal roots, candidates pitched tents in vacant lots and played host to voters for long nights of coffee, bull sessions and poetry recitations. I accepted an invitation to visit one of the tents, but the sight of a woman in their midst so badly ruffled the would-be voters that the campaign manager hustled over and asked me, with lavish apologies, to make myself scarce before I cost his man the election.

A few days later, a female U.S. official, visiting from Washington, gave a press appearance in a hotel lobby in Riyadh. Sporting pearls, a business suit and a bare, blond head, she praised the Saudi elections.

The election "is a departure from their culture and their history," she said. "It offers to the citizens of Saudi Arabia hope... It's modest, but it's dramatic."

The American ambassador, a bespectacled Texan named James C. Oberwetter, also praised the voting from his nearby seat.

"When I got here a year ago, there were no political tents," he said. "It's like a backyard political barbecue in the U.S."

One afternoon, a candidate invited me to meet his daughter. She spoke fluent English and was not much younger than me. I cannot remember whether she was wearing hijab, the Islamic head scarf, inside her home, but I have a memory of pink. I asked her about the elections.

"Very good," she said.

So you really think so, I said gently, even though you can't vote?

"Of course," she said. "Why do I need to vote?"

Her father chimed in. He urged her, speaking English for my benefit, to speak candidly. But she insisted: What good was voting? She looked at me as if she felt sorry for me, a woman cast adrift on the rough seas of the world, no male protector in sight.

"Maybe you don't want to vote," I said. "But wouldn't you like to make that choice yourself?"

"I don't need to," she said calmly, blinking slowly and deliberately. "If I have a father or a husband, why do I need to vote? Why should I need to work? They will take care of everything."

Through the years I have met many Saudi women. Some are rebels; some are proudly defensive of Saudi ways, convinced that any discussion of women's rights is a disguised attack on Islam from a hostile Westerner. There was the young dental student who came home from the university and sat up half the night, writing a groundbreaking novel exploring the internal lives and romances of young Saudi women. The oil expert who scolded me for asking about female drivers, pointing out the pitfalls of divorce and custody laws and snapping: "Driving is the least of our problems." I have met women who work as doctors and business consultants. Many of them seem content.

Whatever their thoughts on the matter, they have been assigned a central, symbolic role in what seems to be one of the greatest existential questions in contemporary Saudi Arabia: Can the country opt to develop in some ways and stay frozen in others? Can the kingdom evolve economically and technologically in a global society without relinquishing its particular culture of extreme religious piety and ancient tribal code?

The men are stuck, too. Over coffee one afternoon, an economist told me wistfully of the days when he and his wife had studied overseas, how she'd hopped behind the wheel and did her own thing. She's an independent, outspoken woman, he said. Coming back home to Riyadh had depressed both of them.

"Here, I got another dependent: my wife," he said. He found himself driving her around, chaperoning her as if she were a child. "When they see a woman walking alone here, it's like a wolf watching a sheep. 'Let me take what's unattended.' " He told me that both he and his wife hoped, desperately, that social and political reform would finally dawn in the kingdom. He thought foreign academics were too easy on Saudi Arabia, that they urged only minor changes instead of all-out democracy because they secretly regarded Saudis as "savages" incapable of handling too much freedom.

"I call them propaganda papers," he said of the foreign analysis. "They come up with all these lame excuses." He and his wife had already lost hope for themselves, he said.

"For ourselves, the train has left the station. We are trapped," he said. "I think about my kids. At least when I look at myself in the mirror I'll say: 'At least I said this. At least I wrote this.'"

WHEN SAUDI officials chat with an American reporter, they go to great lengths to depict a moderate, misunderstood kingdom. They complain about stereotypes in the Western press: Women banned from driving? Well, they don't want to drive anyway. They all have drivers, and why would a lady want to mess with parking?

The religious police who stalk the streets and shopping centers, forcing "Islamic values" onto the populace? Oh, Saudi officials say, they really aren't important, or strict, or powerful. You hear stories to the contrary? Mere exaggerations, perpetuated by people who don't understand Saudi Arabia.

I had an interview one afternoon with a relatively high-ranking Saudi official. Since I can't drive anywhere or meet a man in a cafe, I usually end up inviting sources for coffee in the lobby of my hotel, where the staff turns a blind eye to whether those in the "family section" are really family.

As the elevator touched down and the shiny doors swung open onto the lobby, the official rushed toward me.

"Do you think we could talk in your room?" he blurted out.

I stepped back. What was this, some crazy come-on?

"No, why?" I stammered, stepping wide around him. "We can sit right over here." I wanted to get to the coffee shop -- no dice. He swung himself around, blocking my path and my view.

"It's not a good idea," he said. "Let's just go to your room."

"I really don't think ... I mean," I said, stuttering in embarrassment.

Then, peering over his shoulder, I saw them: two beefy men in robes. Great bushes of beards sprang from their chins, they swung canes in their hands and scanned the hotel lobby through squinted eyes.

"Is that the religious police?" I said. "It is!" I was a little mesmerized. I'd always wanted to see them in action.

The ministry official seemed to shrink a little, his shoulders slumped in defeat.

"They're not supposed to be here," he muttered despondently. "What are they doing here?"

"Well, why don't we go to the mall next door?" I said, eyes fixed on the menacing men. "There's a coffee shop there, we could try that."

"No, they will go there next." While he wrung his hands nervously, I stepped back a little and considered the irony of our predicament. To avoid running afoul of what may be the world's most stringent public moral code, I was being asked to entertain a strange, older man in my hotel room, something I would never agree to back home.

I had to do something. He was about to walk away and cancel the meeting, and I couldn't afford to lose it. Then I remembered a couple of armchairs near the elevator, up on my floor. We rode up and ordered room-service coffee. We talked as the elevators chimed up and down the spine of the skyscraper and the roar of vacuum cleaners echoed in the hallway.

ONE GLARING spring day, when the hot winds raced in off the plains and the sun blotted everything to white, I stood outside a Riyadh bank, sweating in my black cloak while I waited for a friend. The sidewalk was simmering, but I had nowhere else to go. As a woman, I was forbidden to enter the men's half of the bank to fetch him. Traffic screamed past on a nearby highway. The winds tugged at the layers of black polyester. My sunglasses began to slip down my glistening nose.

The door clattered open, and I looked up hopefully. But no, it was a security guard. And he was stomping straight at me, yelling in Arabic. I knew enough vocabulary to glean his message: He didn't want me standing there. I took off my shades, fixed my blue eyes on him blankly and finally turned away as if puzzled. I think of this as playing possum.

He disappeared again, only to reemerge with another security guard. This man was of indistinct South Asian origin and had an English vocabulary. He looked like a pit bull -- short, stocky and teeth flashing as he barked: "Go! Go! You can't stand here! The men can SEE! The men can SEE!"

I looked down at him and sighed. I was tired. "Where do you want me to go? I have to wait for my friend. He's inside." But he was still snarling and flashing those teeth, arms akimbo. He wasn't interested in discussions.

"Not here. NOT HERE! The men can SEE you!" He flailed one arm toward the bank.

I lost my temper.

"I'm just standing here!" I snapped. "Leave me alone!" This was a slip. I had already learned that if you're a woman in a sexist country, yelling at a man only makes a crisis worse.

The pit bull advanced toward me, making little shooing motions with his hands, lips curled back. Involuntarily, I stepped back a few paces and found myself in the shrubbery. I guess that, from the bushes, I was hidden from the view of the window, thereby protecting the virtue of all those innocent male bankers. At any rate, it satisfied the pit bull, who climbed back onto the sidewalk and stood guard over me. I glared at him. He showed his teeth. The minutes passed. Finally, my friend reemerged.

A liberal, U.S.-educated professor at King Saud University, he was sure to share my outrage, I thought. Maybe he'd even call up the bank -- his friend was the manager -- and get the pit bull in trouble. I told him my story, words hot as the pavement.

He hardly blinked. "Yes," he said. "Oh." He put the car in reverse, and off we drove.

DRIVING TO the airport, I felt the kingdom slipping off behind me, the flat emptiness of its deserts, the buildings that rear toward the sky, encased in mirrored glass, blank under a blaring sun. All the hints of a private life I have never seen. Saudis are bred from the desert; they find life in what looks empty to me.

Even if I were Saudi, would I understand it? I remember the government spokesman, Mansour Turki, who said to me: "Being a Saudi doesn't mean you see every face of Saudi society. Saudi men don't understand how Saudi women think. They have no idea, actually. Even my own family, my own mother or sister, she won't talk to me honestly."

I slipped my iPod headphones into my ears. I wanted to hear something thumping and American. It began the way it always does: an itch, an impatience, like a wrinkle in the sock, something that is felt, but not yet registered. The discomfort always starts when I leave.

By the time I boarded the plane, I was in a temper. I yanked at the clasps, shrugged off the abaya like a rejected embrace. I crumpled it up and tossed it childishly into the airplane seat.

Then I was just standing there, feeling stripped in my jeans and blouse. My limbs felt light, and modesty flashed through me. I was aware of the skin of my wrists and forearms, the triangle of naked neck. I scanned the eyes behind me, looking for a challenge. But none came. The Saudi passengers had watched my tantrum impassively.

I sat down, leaned back and breathed. This moment, it seems, is always the same. I take the abaya off, expecting to feel liberated. But somehow, it always feels like defeat.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Michael Travis, June 18, 2007.

This is called "The disintegrating church, and the disintegrating Western Civilization walk hand in hand, blindly off the cliff," and it comes from Punditarian, at the Astute Bloggers.

The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding kneels during a morning service in May at St. Clement's of Rome Episcopal Church in Seattle. (Steve Ringman/Seattle Times)

Redding prays in April with other members of the Al-Islam Center in Seattle (John Lok/Seattle Times.

An Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Washington, according to the Seattle Times, made the shahada and became an active Muslim 15 months ago. But she is still serving as a Christian priest, and her Bishop sees no problem:

Redding's bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting. Her announcement, first made through a story in her diocese's newspaper, hasn't caused much controversy yet, he said.

Got that? Accepting another religion that denies the divinity of Jesus, that persecutes Christians and that punishes apostasy to Christianity by death wherever it exerts temporal power "hasn't caused much controversy yet."

I guess not. Once you swallow Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori's statement of sexual confusion that "our mother Jesus gives birth to a new creation and we are his children," and once you accept gay Bishops who are "married" to their male partners, a Muslim priest is no big thing.

Another example of the fact that the leading exponents of intellectual life in the heart of Christendom are more often than not anti-Christian ideologues. And an anti-Christian ideology is now being accepted in the priesthood of The Episcopal Church itself.

It is really no wonder that more than 250 congregations that were in The Episcopal Church are now affiliating with African diocesan authorities, through he Archbishops of Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda.

(Hat tip: Mark Steyn at the Corner
http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/ ?q=MjZmMzU4YTBjZDAzNjRhMjg2YTExNTg4NjAwOGIyYWU=.)

"Episcopal Church Appoints First Openly-Muslim Bishop." Today, The Seattle Times brings us this story:

Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.

On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.

She does both, she says, because she's Christian and Muslim.

Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, has been a priest for more than 20 years. Now she's ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she's also been a Muslim -- drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved.

Her announcement has provoked surprise and bewilderment in many, raising an obvious question: How can someone be both a Christian and a Muslim..?

She says she felt an inexplicable call to become Muslim, and to surrender to God -- the meaning of the word "Islam."

"It wasn't about intellect," she said. "All I know is the calling of my heart to Islam was very much something about my identity and who I am supposed to be.

"I could not not be a Muslim..." Redding's bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting.

With the benefit of hindsight, it should have been obvious that the first female imam would be an Episcopalian...

"The Episcopal Church's Anti-Israel Media Campaign"
Dexter Van Zile

September 6, 2006

The Episcopal Church has approximately 2 million members and 7,200 churches in the U.S. and is part of the 77-million member Anglican Communion. Because of its presence in the U.S., the relative wealth of its members, and its connections to Anglicans throughout the world, the Episcopal Church is in a strategic position to influence attitudes toward Israel on both a national and global scale.

Sadly, the Episcopal Church is not a trustworthy observer of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The church's leaders and constitutive bodies routinely issue one-sided statements about the Arab-Israeli conflict, and its publications portray Israel as exclusively responsible for violence in the region. Moreover, the church has provided substantial support for anti-Israel activists in both the U.S. and the West Bank. Its so-called peace activism amounts to an ad hoc anti-Israel media campaign that serves to delegitimize Israel's rightful place amongst the nations of the world.

The Episcopal Church's antipathy toward Israel has not gone unnoticed within the denomination. Concern about the one-sided condemnations issued by church leaders, staffers and constituent bodies was raised at the denomination's General Convention held in Columbus, Ohio in June 2006, when three Bishops put forth a resolution calling on the church to apologize for its "consistently unbalanced approach to the conflict in the Middle East." An explanation accompanying the resolution asserted correctly that "virtually all General Convention resolutions concerning the Middle East -- and all public policy statements by Episcopal agencies -- have relentlessly criticized the state of Israel, portraying the Jewish state as an oppressor nation and the Palestinian people as victims of Israeli oppression."

A careful reading of public statements regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict confirms that, indeed, the Episcopal Church has been relentless and unfair in its criticism of Israel.

Anti-Israel Resolutions

The Episcopal Church is governed by a bicameral General Convention, which meets every three years and is comprised of the approximately 200-member House of Bishops and the approximately 900 member House of Deputies. Both clergy and lay members of the church serve in the House of Deputies. When the General Convention is not in session, the church is governed by an Executive Council comprised of bishops, clergy and lay members.

Both the General Convention and the Executive Council have exhibited a marked tendency to issue one-sided statements about the Arab-Israeli conflict that hold Israel to a utopian standard of conduct and its adversaries to no standard at all. Some examples include:

  • In November 1994, the Executive Council approved a resolution asking Motorola to "establish a policy to prohibit the sale of products or provision of services to any settlement, including persons residing in those settlements, located in the Occupied Territories." This resolution, passed one month after two Hamas suicide bombings had killed 13 Israelis and wounded 80, did not offer any condemnation of Palestinian violence or call on companies to ensure that equipment they sell to the Palestinians is not used for terror attacks.

  • In June 1995, the Executive Council passed a resolution asserting that Jerusalem should be a shared city (ignoring decades of Arab aggression against Israel that make such an arrangement untenable) and condemning the construction of settlements in the West Bank including East Jerusalem.

  • In July 2000, the General Convention approved a resolution affirming the "right of return for every Palestinian, as well as restitution/compensation for their loss as called for by the United Nations." In fact, under international law there is no such collective "right of return." Moreover, were such a "right" exercised, the result would be the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. Finally, the resolution offered no acknowledgment of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries who came to Israel after its rebirth in 1948.

  • In August 2003, the General Convention approved resolutions condemning the construction of the security barrier and home demolitions without explicitly condemning or calling for an end to Palestinian suicide bombings, drive-by-shootings and other violence.

  • In June 2006, so-called peace and justice activists within the Episcopal Church presented draft resolutions to the General Convention condemning the security barrier without asking the Palestinians to stop the terror attacks that prompted its construction.

Other problems with the resolutions as submitted by the denomination's peace and justice community to the most recent General Convention include:

  • Another call for Jerusalem to be a shared city, which denies 58 years of persistent Arab violence and aggression against Israel. It should be noted as well there is no evidence the church ever called for Jerusalem to be a shared city when its eastern half -- containing Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount -- was illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967.

  • A condemnation of unilateral action -- a clear reference to the withdrawal from Gaza and the security barrier.

  • A failure to call upon Israel's adversaries to acknowledge Israel's right to exist.

  • Silence about Palestinian suicide bombing.

  • A failure to call upon Hamas to dismantle terrorist infrastructure.

  • Silence about anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hate-mongering in mosques, media and children's textbooks.

After pressure from Christians for Fair Witness in the Middle East, amendments that called for Palestinian leaders to accept Israel's right to exist, greater fiscal transparency in the Palestinian Authority and condemnations of Palestinian terrorism were added to the resolutions. Because of a clerical error, the resolutions were not approved by the General Convention. One question which needs to be asked is why so-called peace and justice activists needed to be reminded of the need to include these changes.

Statements from Clergy

Bishops and Priests of the Episcopal Church have also weighed in on the Arab-Israeli conflict in a partisan manner.

  • On June 30, 2006, Rev. Frank Griswold, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, signed a letter to President Bush asking him to restrain the Israeli government's response to the kidnaping of an Israeli soldier, but did not similarly ask the President to pressure the Palestinians to release the soldier in question or to stop their Qassam rocket attacks emanating from Gaza. This letter, which was also signed by Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, failed to acknowledge other violent acts of war perpetrated by the Palestinians, including other kidnapings and hundreds of rocket attacks from Gaza.

  • On July 12, 2006, the Boston Globe reported that Bishop M. Thomas Shaw of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts would protest the Israeli incursion into Gaza in front of the Israeli Consulate in Boston. At this protest, held on the same day Hezbollah launched rockets into Israel and kidnapped two soldiers, so-called peace and justice activists accused Israel of "genocide." The presence of Bishop Shaw in clerical garb at this protest lent unwarranted credence to these false accusations.

Anti-Israel Church publications

The Episcopal Church's publicity about the Arab-Israeli conflict offers a distorted historical and moral narrative that downplays Israel's attempts to achieve peace and ignores the role Palestinian leaders have played in prolonging the war. Articles published by the Episcopal Church offer little, if any, acknowledgment of Arab rejectionism of Israel's right to exist, Muslim anti-Semitism or Palestinian terrorism.

For example, on July 31, 2001 the Episcopal Church's "Peace and Justice Ministries" published a patently dishonest portrayal of the Camp David offer of 2000 which repeats many of the lies and distortions put forth by Palestinian leaders at the beginning of the Second Intifada.

This document states:

Israel's proposal divided Palestine into four separate cantons surrounded by Israel: the Northern West Bank, the Central West Bank, the Southern West Bank and Gaza. Going from any one area to another would require crossing Israeli sovereign territory and consequently subject movement of Palestinians within their own country to Israeli control. Not only would such restrictions apply to the movement of people, but also to the movement of goods, in effect subjecting the Palestinian economy to Israeli control. Lastly, the Camp David proposal would have left Israel in control over all Palestinian borders thereby allowing Israel to control not only internal movement of people and goods but international movement as well. Such a Palestinian state would have had less sovereignty and viability than the Bantustans created by the South African apartheid government.

What the document does not acknowledge is that by the end of negotiations brokered by the Clinton Administration, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak agreed to a settlement that would have ceded all of Gaza, approximately 95 percent of the West Bank, and an additional 1-3 percent of Israeli territory from its pre-1967 border to the Palestinians. Dennis Ross, U.S. Envoy to the Middle East from 1988 to 2000 who presided over the Camp David/Taba negotiations, describes the final offer to the Palestinians as follows:

[Ehud] Barak's government had now formally accepted ideas that would effectively divide east Jerusalem, end the IDF's presence in the Jordan Valley, and produce a Palestinian State in roughly 97 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of Gaza. (Dennis Ross, The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace, page 755).

The claim about "bantustans" or cantons is also contradicted by Ross, who told Fox News on April 21, 2002 that:

... the Palestinians would have in the West Bank an area that was contiguous. Those who say there were cantons, completely untrue. It was contiguous... And to connect Gaza with the West Bank, there would have been an elevated highway, an elevated railroad, to ensure that there would be not just safe passage for the Palestinians, but free passage. (Fox News, April 21, 2002)

The Episcopal Church's statement regarding the Camp David negotiations also asserts "there is no evidence that the PA or the majority of Palestinians have abandoned the two-state solution" when in fact, Yasir Arafat routinely spoke of the destruction of Israel to his followers while talking peace with Israel and the Clinton Administration.

Moreover, a distorted timeline on the church's Web site deceptively omits key aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict. For example, the timeline uses the word terrorism once -- in reference to Jewish violence against Great Britain in 1946 -- while making no mention of the suicide attacks against Israeli civilians that began in 1994. And while omitting any direct reference to Palestinian terrorism, the timeline emphasizes that Israeli-Arabs were shot during the Second Intifada.

The chronology describes the Six Day War as follows: "Israel conquers the Sinai, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem, which it annexed." What the chronology omits is that Egypt provoked the war by closing the Straits of Tiran and blockading the Israeli port of Eilat, an act of war under international law, that Egypt expelled UN peacekeeping troops from the Sinai Peninsula, and that Egypt issued bellicose statements promising the imminent destruction of Israel. And while referencing UN Security Council Resolution 242, which established the "land-for-peace" principle, it does not mention the Arab response to that resolution: the Three No's of Khartoum issued by the Arab League in 1967 -- no recognition, no negotiation and no peace with Israel. Israel gained territory in a defensive war, tried to negotiate and was rebuffed. The chronology conveys none of this.

The chronology reports that Israel invaded Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 without describing the attacks by the PLO that prompted these invasions.

The chronology states that the Camp David negotiations broke down, without acknowledging that Yasir Arafat walked away from negotiations -- without making a counteroffer -- after Israel made far-reaching land for peace offers.

Moreover, the chronology places responsibility for the Second Intifada on Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount in September 2000, even as Palestinian officials have admitted preparing for the Second Intifada immediately after Yasir Arafat returned from the failed negotiations at Camp David in July.

The chronology also fails to report that Sharon's visit was coordinated with the Palestinian Authority's security chief.

The chronology states that in 2002, "[r]eoccupation of Palestinian areas begins" without reporting that the return of Israeli troops to the West Bank was precipitated by an unprecedented campaign of violence that killed hundreds of Israelis. Operation Defensive Shield began one day after the March 27 bombing at a Passover Seder in a Netanya hotel that killed 30 Israelis and injured 140. In that month of March alone 128 Israelis were murdered in Palestinian terror attacks. To place this number in context, consider that as a percentage of the Israeli population this would be comparable to the killing of 6400 Americans, or more than two 9/11's in one month. What possible justification could the church have for keeping such crucial information from its readers?

The chronology ends in 2003, and as a result omits any reference to Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and to the hundreds of Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel that followed.

Episcopal News Service

A search of the archives of the Episcopal News Service (ENS) reveals a similar bias against Israel. As with their timeline, resolutions and public statements about the Arab-Israeli conflict, this bias manifests itself through generally ignoring violence against Israeli civilians, presenting detailed coverage of anti-Israel criticism, omitting any response from Israeli officials and a tendency to repeat without scrutiny allegations issued by Anglican Archbishop Riah Abu al-Assal of Jerusalem. (The antipathy expressed by Bishop Riah and Sabeel is discussed below.) Articles covering the ongoing violence perpetrated against Israelis, however, are few and far between, while articles dedicated to detailing the suffering of the Palestinians are routine fare for the ENS.

Of the more than 200 articles in the ENS archives, the headlines of four are readily identifiable as sympathetic to Israel's security concerns. Two of these articles were written in response to comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who in October 2005 called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

The other two articles with headlines readily identifiable as sympathetic to Israel's security concerns include a description of efforts by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews to provide bomb detectors to public buses in Israel. (It should be noted that this article was initially published by the Ecumenical News Service). The other article describes the creation of a pro-Israel group -- the Episcopal-Jewish Alliance, founded in response to anti-Israel activism by Bishop Thomas Shaw in 2002.

Notwithstanding these two articles, the Episcopal Church's coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict fails to provide any real description of the threats faced by the Israelis as a result of Palestinian terror. Emblematic of this bias is an article about the impact of the security barrier Israel is building to stop terror attacks from the West Bank. The article offers virtually no explanation as to why the barrier is constructed, even in a section ostensibly devoted to "Security issues." The paragraphs and the heading follow:

Security issues

In a visit to Bethlehem, the group passed through a part of Israel's separation barrier, built inside the pre-1967 border (the "Green Line"), a nine-meter-high wall around the city, and noted that Rachel's Tomb, another venerated holy site, has been placed on the Jerusalem side of the barrier, cutting off access from Bethlehem where it is located. The Israeli government maintains the barrier is built to provide security to Israel. (emphasis added)

"What the commission members found the most shocking of all was that the Wall or Separation Barrier or Fence, as it is variously called, is perceived by all parties as being almost entirely underwritten by the American taxpayer," said Michele Spike, another member of the commission. "The Wall invades Palestinian fields, dividing grazing lands -- including the valley of the shepherds at Bethlehem -- and, at times, encircling Palestinian cities."

The delegation observed that some parts of the separation barrier cut off Palestinians from one another and often makes a two-minute walk into a journey of a mile or more. Family members or friends often find it difficult to see each other, which has hugely negative effects on Palestinian society, the group learned.

This article devotes one sentence to describe why the barrier was built and goes into extensive detail about its impact on Palestinians. While this impact is undeniable, so is the impact of Palestinian terrorism on Israeli civilians -- which the article entirely omits. The decision to build the barrier was precipitated by an unprecedented campaign of suicide bombings that killed Israeli civilians in markets, movie theaters and bus stations. Offering readers such key facts would provide context for Israel's actions, but the author of the article, Brian Grieves, director of the Episcopal Church's Office of Peace and Justice Ministries, did not see fit to include them.

The Episcopal News Service has also devoted substantial coverage to Mordechai Vanunu, who served 18 years in prison for revealing secrets about Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press. Vanunu, who is regarded by Israelis as a traitor, is portrayed by the ENS and the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (which named an award after him in the 1990s) as a "whistleblower." While the Episcopal Church and its constituent bodies have used the court rulings regarding Vanunu's status in Israel as an opportunity to once more direct harsh criticism towards Israel, the church has remained relatively silent about Iran's nuclear weapons program. A search of the Episcopal Church's website (episcopalchurch.org) reveals almost 50 entries about Vanunu, but fewer than five entries about the threat posed by Iran's nuclear weapons program. Clearly, the Episcopal Church seems more concerned about the nuclear weapons held by a representative democracy trying to defend itself than it is about a nuclear weapons program pursued by a repressive dictatorship whose leaders have, on numerous occasions, called for Israel's destruction.

Support for Sabeel

Another salient aspect of the Episcopal Church's anti-Israel stance is the pattern of links between it and Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center headquartered in Jerusalem (Sabeel) and its sister organization, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA).

These two organizations demonize Israel and wrap Palestinian violence against Israelis in the mantle of innocent suffering.

(For more background please see Sabeel's Teachings of Contempt ("A Judeo-Christian Alliance Report" by Dexter Van Zile, June 2005)and "Sabeel's One State Agenda.")

Sabeel is itself a creature of the Anglican Communion and has received substantial institutional support from the Episcopal Church and substantial financial support from Episcopalians in the U.S. When Sabeel's sister organization, FOSNA was founded in 1996 the Episcopal Church was one of its primary sources of support. In the intervening years, both Sabeel and FOSNA have been able to reach out to other denominations for financial and logistical support, but the Episcopal Church remains a significant backer. Mainline churches such as the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Disciples of Christ and the United Methodist Church routinely send missionaries who work in Sabeel's office in Jerusalem. Upon returning to the United States, these missionaries play an important role in the passage of anti-Israel resolutions by their denominations.

As a result of the Episcopal Church's financial and institutional support to Sabeel and FOSNA, anti-Israel activists have had the resources and credibility necessary to convince other mainline Protestant churches in the U.S. to approve resolutions that condemn Israel while giving short- shrift to the motive and impact of Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians.

For example, three denominations that have asked Israel to take down the security barrier on the West Bank without asking the Palestinians to stop the terror attacks that prompted its construction --the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ -- have been subject to sustained lobbying by Sabeel and FOSNA activists.

Links between the Episcopal Church and Sabeel and FOSNA include the following:

  • Sabeel's Founder is Anglican Priest Naim Ateek, who before his retirement served as Canon at St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem.

  • Edmond Browning, former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is currently listed as the President of FOSNA, and as having donated $10,000 to the organization (January 2006 Sabeel newsletter).

  • Rev. Canon Dick Toll, an Episcopal priest from Milwaukie, Oregon is national chair for FOSNA.

  • The group's IRS disclosure form (990) for 1998 states that its primary founders and board members are from the Episcopal Church.

In short, the three most prominent members of Sabeel's leadership in Jerusalem and the United States are members of the Anglican communion, one of them a former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church provides a substantial amount of publicity and institutional support for Sabeel's activities in the U.S.:

  • In June 2006, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, an affiliate of the Episcopal Church awarded Rev. Naim Ateek its John Nevin Sayre Award for peacemaking. At the dinner where this award was bestowed, Rev. Canon Brian Grieves, director of the Episcopal Church's Office of Peace and Justice Ministries introduced Rev. Ateek and defended him from so-called "?slander and demonizing' tactics" and said the award serves as "a rebuke to those voices who would silence Naim's own strong voice as a Palestinian and a Christian living under occupation." (Grieves was responding to call issued by Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East for Rev. Ateek to apologize for his anti-Semitic language in reference to Israel.)

  • Former Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning was a prominent participant in a Sabeel Conference in 2004, sharing the stage with Yasser Arafat and Naim Ateek. Photos of Bishop Browning -- distributed by the Episcopal News Service -- sitting next to Arafat helped to legitimize Arafat in the minds of Episcopalians.

Bishop Riah's Anti-Israel Minis