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Posted by Yehoshua HaLevi, May 31, 2008.

Water droplets cling to newly sprouted wheat stalks. (Yehoshua Halevi)

Yehoshua HaLevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT: A macro or close-up lens is useful only if you first identify with your eyes the detail you want to photograph. The lens itself doesn't select the important content any more than a wide-angle lens keeps out unwanted scenery. I stumbled on this photo while en route to a reporting assignment in the Negev. I had left early to allow for a stop or two along the way and pulled onto the shoulder to admire a group of trees set amidst a vast, green wheat field. When I reached the edge of the field, I noticed this clump of stalks, my attention drawn to the light reflecting off the wet grass and the beads of dew clinging to the ears of wheat. I immediately shifted gears from a wide-angled landscape to a close-up. Monochromatic images like this sometimes lack punch, but in this instance I love the way the blades curve and spiral freely throughout the image. The extreme close-up accentuates the texture and more than makes up for any lack of color variety.

Dew is fleeting, and once the sun gets up, it melts away quickly. If you like this look, however, you can easily recreate it any time by grabbing the nearest water bottle and gently sprinkling the contents onto your subject. Water has a natural tendency to bead and adhere to the surface of flower petals, leaves, and even ripe fruit. In response to a recent photo of the old city walls, I received a comment from a reader in Italy, who wrote to thank me for vividly transporting him to Jerusalem. "The picture made me see the bright, early-morning light, feel the fresh air, and hear the morning noise of a city waking up." Photography really succeeds, I think, when a two-dimensional image can evoke this kind of deep, sensual response that doesn't exist in the actual photo at all, which is just paper or pixels. Sometimes a tiny drop of water or ray of sunshine is enough to set those feelings in motion."

Contact him at smile@goldenlightimages.com

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Posted by Friends of Hatikva, May 31, 2008.

This was written by Arieh Eldad, a plastic surgeon, a member of the Israeli Knesset and an activist for a strong Jewish state.

If the Zionist revolution was intended to bring normality to the Jewish people, it was destined to fail.

The Jewish people is not a normal people. There is no historical parallel to a people with four thousand years of continuous history. You may say that in Egypt there are antiquities that predate our Patriarchs, but there is no connection between the Egypt of the Pharaohs and the Egypt of today. It is not the same people, the same language, the same religion, or the same culture. You may say the Chinese culture is more ancient than ours. But the Chinese remained in their land and were not destroyed and exiled twice and did not return from far away exiles to re-establish themselves. The Jewish people is not a normal people.

In the same way, Judaism is not a normal religion. There is no parallel to the unbreakable tie between the Jewish religion and nationality. And our movement of national liberation –– Zionism –– is unlike any other national liberation movement of the past centuries. African or European peoples who fought for their freedom had to eject foreign rulers and declare independence. The liberation movement of the Jewish people had a double task: to gather the exiles of Israel from around the world and to free its land from foreign rulers. So Zionism is not a normal liberation movement.

Considering these three anomalies, is it any wonder the Jewish people's desire for normalization was not realized with the return to Zion? We did become "productive": no longer just middlemen, brokers, traders, and bankers; the Jews in the land of Israel are also soldiers and farmers and industrialists. But if Zionism hoped to take the Jews out of exile and raise a generation in the land free of oppression and the complexes of exile, we can say we have succeeded in taking the Jews out of exile but not in taking that exile out of the Jews.

Apparently 2000 years of persecution, forced conversion, destruction, expulsion and exile created a new species of Jew who is a professional survivor. Most of those who carried the genes of Bar Kochba fell on the way. The genes of Josephus Flavius keep popping up on the stage of history in characters such as the leaders of the Judenrat, Kastner, those who turned Jewish underground fighters over the British in "The Season," those who sank the Irgun arms ship Altalena, and the most recent "heroes" who uprooted and exiled the residents of Gaza in what they called a "disengagement." A direct line leads from Josephus Flavius to Mordechai Vanunu and Ilan Pape. A direct line leads from Aristobulus, the Hasmonean king who opened the gates of Jerusalem to Pompeii of Rome in order to survive the war with his brother Horkynus the Hasmonean, to Ehud Olmert who is ready to open the gates of Jerusalem to the Arab enemy in order to survive politically and win support from the world's sole superpower.

So Zionism has failed in its mission of normalization. But Zionism had set other goals, first among them saving the Jewish people from the impending disaster. Herzl, who heard the Parisian mob, students of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," yelling "Death to the Jews" during the Dreyfus trial, understood that the Emancipation was not the solution to the problem of the Jews in exile. And Herzl understood that if the existence of the Jews in exile could not be guaranteed and Jews were to be saved, the exile needed to end and they needed to have a state that would be a safe refuge from anti-Semitism.

Zionism also failed in this mission. It came too late. The destruction of the Jews of Europe preceded the establishment of the state. And those who say that the destruction of the Jews contributed to international support for a Jewish state are right.

Zionism had to fail in order for its goal to be achieved. But Zionism was too late for the six million who rose in smoke and whose ashes fertilize the fields of Europe.

As much as the gentiles who refused to give Herzl a charter over the land of Israel are to blame, so are the Jews who refused to unite and redeem themselves. The Haredim waited for a messiah to come from heaven, the Bundists preferred Yiddish and exile, the socialists wanted to redeem to the world and thought that when economic classes would be abolished, the Jewish problem would also be solved. All of them vigorously fought Herzl. And the Zionism of those who followed in Herzl's path but were unable to free themselves from the chains of exile, who preferred "one more dunam and one more goat and one more rally against the White Paper" to taking up arms and expelling all foreign rulers from Israel –– they also bear responsibility for the failure to save the Jews of Europe and for the State of Israel coming too late and not being a safe haven when it was needed.

But even now after the State of Israel has been established, it does not seem a safe haven for the Jews. Over 23,000 Jews have been killed in Eretz Israel since the modern return to Zion, solely because they were Jews. In no other country have so many Jews been killed solely because they were Jews. So perhaps our "safe haven" is not such a safe haven. Perhaps the Jews are safer living in the United States, France or Iran.

Anyone attempting to tally such an "accounting" of deaths of course ignores the six million murdered in Europe. And the hundreds of thousands slaughtered in riots and pogroms and crusades, from Siberia to Arabia, Ethiopia to Spain. The State of Israel was established so Jews could determine their own fate, to fight and defeat their enemies, not to be human dust but to turn their enemies to dust. The State of Israel can fulfill this mission and therefore at least in this regard is the realization of generations of dreams. But as long as its leaders are of the race of Flavius, they may turn Israel over to the worst of its enemies and fail to prevent the destruction now threatened by Iran, and they may themselves bring the Arab enemy into the country and into Jerusalem. They are prepared for the first time in the history of the Jewish people to recognize the right of another people to establish a state in Eretz Israel.

From this point of view, perhaps it would have been better if a Jewish state recognizing the right of another people to Eretz Israel had not been established? Perhaps it would be preferable if a state of six million Jews had not been established, if its leaders are incapable of facing the enemies who want to destroy it, and are Jews of exilic character who prefer that the world fight for us and stop Iran with sanctions and pressure, and they are blind and deaf and do not see what is clear to all: the leaders of Iran act as suicide bombers who are prepared to sacrifice their lives in order to destroy Israel? Perhaps it would be better if the largest concentration of Jews in the world had not been established if its leaders are incapable of preventing its destruction?

No! The law of exile is a law of destruction or conversion. Exile ends either in gas chambers and crematoria, or a golden exile with intermarriage rates above 50 percent. In Eretz Israel, where a state of the Jews has been established, a Jewish State can be established. A state of Jews daring to rise as one and not a state of Flaviuses. A state prepared to deal with its enemies and wipe them out, and not look to the gentiles for salvation. Not even to the good gentiles known as "friends of Israel," who are ready to promise that if Israel is attacked with nuclear weapons, Iran will be destroyed. We do not want to be an excuse for the destruction of Iran. We want to and we can liberate Eretz Israel from any foreign ruler, whoever it may be. Not because the land is necessary for security. Eretz Israel is our homeland, not a safe haven. It is our only home even when it is under fire. We must and can return Zionism to its forgotten goal –– the liberation of the homeland. Zionism is not a mistake. It's just that those carrying the flag have wearied and have become post-Zionists, if not outright anti-Zionists.

After 2000 years, our fate is once again in our hands. If our leaders have gone bad and are trying to push us into the abyss, we have no one to complain to but ourselves. It is in our hands to guarantee the existence of the State of Israel, and turn it from the state of the Jews into a Jewish State. To turn the State of Israel into the Kingdom of Israel.

Friends of Hatikva write: "Hatikva is a new political party in Israel that proudly and forthrightly stands for Zionism. Hatikva vigorously believes that the entirety of the Land of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, and that we must never sacrifice even one inch of our birthright. Hatikva believes in a strong Israel that will not appease its enemies but instead will unapologetically exercise its military power to protect the Jewish people. The American Friends of Hatikva, although legally independent, shares the same principles as the Hatikva party in Israel and is devoted to educating the people about the need for a strong Zionism.

We invite you to visit our website www.HatikvaUSA.org and to join and support the American Friends of Hatikva. Contact us at info@hatikvausa.org"

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Posted by Dawn Treader, May 31, 2008.

This was written by Herb Keinon and it appeared today on the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1212041429553&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The paradox that is Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was on abundant display late Wednesday afternoon at the Mt. Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem. There, standing around the pine-tree shaded grave of David Raziel, the former IZL commander whose 67th yartzeit was being marked, Livni –– along with some 25 IZL old timers –– sang the Betar anthem, "Tagar" (defiance: "On all obstacles and hindrances/ Whether you succeed or fail/ In the flames of the revolt/ Carry the flame to kindle/ For silence is mire/ Sacrifice blood and soul/ For the sake of the hidden glory."

"To die or to conquer the mountain," the song concluded, and Livni chimed in. "Yodefat, Massada, Betar."

The paradox here is a double one. First the ideological paradox: Livni, chief negotiator of the Israeli delegation reportedly willing to cede 91 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, singing the famous words of Ze'ev ("both-banks-of-the-Jordan") Jabotinsky.

And then there was the more practical, political, paradox. Indeed, one couldn't help but wonder what was going through Livni's mind as she sang the words, "for silence is mire," and "to die or to conquer the mountain."

Two of the most oft-voiced criticisms of Livni of late have been her silence in the face of the investigation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and a lack of "fire in the belly" needed to capture the mountain, in this case represented not as part of Eretz Yisrael, but rather the zenith of Israeli politics: the prime minister's chair.

Unlike a year ago, Livni on Wednesday –– following the damning testimony of Morris Talansky –– left it to Defense Minister Ehud Barak to call for Olmert to step down, without then having the gumption to do so himself instead of serving another day under a man in whom he not longer had confidence.

Livni, last May, made a similar call to Olmert after the publication of the Winograd Committee's interim report.

"I told him that resigning would be the right thing for him to do," she said at the time, but then shied away from drawing her own conclusions and quitting the government if he did not.

And, for really the first time in her very charmed political career, Livni got clopped on the head in the media at the time for this seeming hypocrisy.

BUT NOW, she's obviously learned her lesson. Now, rather than calling a dramatic press conference and drumming up expectation, she summoned the press to the memorial service that was barely on the media's radar screen. And rather than speaking bluntly, she hinted broadly. And at the end of the day Wednesday, it was Barak, rather then Livni, who got clopped by the press.

"The state is not just a technical matter of borders and citizens; it is not just symbols, a flag, and an anthem," Livni said. "The state has a vision and values that obligate its citizens and its leaders."

And then, she added, giving a clear indication of what was on her mind, "Before we can be a light unto the nations, as we would want, it is fitting for us first to work inside our home to show the light."

Livni, obviously, feels she is best suited to serve as the nation's candle-in-chief. And, if the polls are any indication, the public feels the same way –– another Livni paradox: The country loves her, if only because it knows so little about her.

The one thing it does know is that she is clean and straight, and as the country emerges from the Omri Sharon-Moshe Katsav-Haim Ramon-Avraham Hirschson-Ehud Olmert era, it will be looking for one thing –– a clean and straight candidate.

Israelis are now obsessed with corruption, and Livni is widely viewed as the one candidate who can regain the public's trust in the system, who can take corruption off the agenda.

"Is she really Snow White?" one of her associates was asked. The reply: "She is definitely not corrupt."

She is also not lavish, not cut in the same cigar-loving, living-the-good-life mold of Olmert, Barak or Likud head Binyamin Netanyahu.

In one of the few in-depth profiles of her, a piece last year in The New York Times Magazine, Livni said, "I prefer jeans to a suit, sneakers to high heels, markets to malls ... In general, I don't like formality at all. It is just part of what I do. You know, when I was young, I went to the Sinai and worked as a waitress."

That lack of excess is also bound to have an appeal to Israelis, rebounding from hotel suites costing thousands of dollars, be they for Olmert in Washington, or Netanyahu during the Second Lebanon War in London.

It is no coincidence, by the way, that there are so few in-depth profiles of Livni. Over the last year she has carefully guarded her media image, speaking almost exclusively on the radio or television, where she has complete control of content. And, even then, she keeps those appearances to a minimum, seemingly a firm believer in the dictum "more is less."

And, as a result, the public does not know much about her positions. What they do know they often hear in long, painfully convoluted sentences at press conferences that sound good at first blush, but then on second take don't really mean that much. As a result, if the public backlash against having leaders who could feature in that 1980s television show, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" sweeps Livni into office, the open question is where will she lead the country?

And this is where she falls short. One associate, who said he would vote for Livni, added –– in the same breath –– that she lacked the "vision thing," is not a particularly good manger and is indecisive.

Colleagues who have worked with her describe a micro-manager who has trust in very few people, and does not give those who work under her a sense that she has faith in their judgment. They describe a person who changes her mind a great deal, and who can take an inordinately long time making a mundane decision, such as filling a personnel vacancy. She has also been described as awkward in personal relations, but not arrogant as it sometimes appears; impatient and somewhat "testy."

An indication of a rather mercurial managerial style is the fact that over the last year eight of her top staffers –– people filling positions such as chief of staff, chief political adviser and media adviser –– have stepped down. On the up-side, however, she is described as someone who listens and thinks things through.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. (Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Regarding diplomatic policy, those on the Right who harbor hopes about the woman who can sing the Betar anthem by heart and has an impeccable Revisionist pedigree (her father and mother were both IZL fighters), will be sorely disappointed if they think her policies toward the Palestinians would be fundamentally different from Olmert's.

The Annapolis process, or better yet the idea of a shelf-agreement with the Palestinians, is an idea she hatched at the tail end of 2006, and then sold in 2007 to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who has since taken the ball and run with it.

Unlike Olmert, who diplomatic officials say is skeptical that the agreement can be worked out, Livni –– who is heading the negotiations glaring exception being that she is much more adamant than Olmert that actually believes it can. There are no major divisions between her and Olmert regarding borders, security and Jerusalem, with the only glaring exception being that she is much more adamant than Olmert that Israel must insist, before an agreement is signed, that the Palestinians completely reject any claim to a "right of return" for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

One diplomatic source said, however, that another difference between her and Olmert is that Livni –– ever the lawyer –– sees the drawing up of a peace agreement itself as an achievement, that the agreement, the piece of paper, is what is important. Olmert, the official said, places less importance on the document.

As to the fledgling Syrian track, Livni's position is not clear. She sounded less than overly enthused last week by the announcement of indirect talks with the Syrians through the Turks, but this may be more because of a sense of pique at being left in the dark over the negotiations than anything else.

She did, however, take what the international media would call a more "hard-line position," on the talks than Olmert, saying that in order for there to be an agreement, the Syrians would have to renounce support for Hizbullah and Hamas, and end its "problematic connections" with Iran. Olmert was less explicit in publicly broadcasting those positions.

One area where there may be a more pronounced difference with Olmert's policies is in relations with Europe. While known to have a good and friendly relationship with Rice, Livni –– according to diplomatic officials –– would likely place more of an emphasis on Europe.

As foreign minister, Livni has spent untold hours in conversation with the Europeans, and has grown to appreciate their importance. Livni would certainly not ignore the US, the officials said, but would likely spend more time than Olmert paying attention to the EU and dialoguing with it.

According to one diplomatic official, in this regard, Livni would likely be more like Shimon Peres than Yitzhak Rabin.

"Rabin was 100 percent oriented toward America," the official said. "Peres understood America, but his heart was in Europe. Livni would likely be more like him."

Regarding how to deal with the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, one official said that as a result of her lack of security experience, Livni would probably have more of an inclination to follow the IDF, which itself is currently split on the wisdom of a large-scale military incursion. But if she decided to go in, the official added, knowing her style, she would want to have an exit strategy clearly and carefully mapped out beforehand.

An indication of a rather mercurial managerial style is the fact that over the last year eight of her top staffers –– people filling positions such as chief of staff, chief political adviser and media adviser –– have stepped down. On the up-side, however, she is described as someone who listens and thinks things through.

Regarding diplomatic policy, those on the Right who harbor hopes about the woman who can sing the Betar anthem by heart and has an impeccable Revisionist pedigree (her father and mother were both IZL fighters), will be sorely disappointed if they think her policies toward the Palestinians would be fundamentally different from Olmert's.

The Annapolis process, or better yet the idea of a shelf-agreement with the Palestinians, is an idea she hatched at the tail end of 2006, and then sold in 2007 to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who has since taken the ball and run with it.

Unlike Olmert, who diplomatic officials say is skeptical that the agreement can be worked out, Livni –– who is heading the negotiations –– actually believes it can. There are no major divisions between her and Olmert regarding borders, security and Jerusalem, with the only glaring exception being that she is much more adamant than Olmert that Israel must insist, before an agreement is signed, that the Palestinians completely reject any claim to a "right of return" for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

One diplomatic source said, however, that another difference between her and Olmert is that Livni –– ever the lawyer –– sees the drawing up of a peace agreement itself as an achievement, that the agreement, the piece of paper, is what is important. Olmert, the official said, places less importance on the document.

As to the fledgling Syrian track, Livni's position is not clear. She sounded less than overly enthused last week by the announcement of indirect talks with the Syrians through the Turks, but this may be more because of a sense of pique at being left in the dark over the negotiations than anything else.

She did, however, take what the international media would call a more "hard-line position," on the talks than Olmert, saying that in order for there to be an agreement, the Syrians would have to renounce support for Hizbullah and Hamas, and end its "problematic connections" with Iran. Olmert was less explicit in publicly broadcasting those positions.

One area where there may be a more pronounced difference with Olmert's policies is in relations with Europe. While known to have a good and friendly relationship with Rice, Livni –– according to diplomatic officials –– would likely place more of an emphasis on Europe.

As foreign minister, Livni has spent untold hours in conversation with the Europeans, and has grown to appreciate their importance. Livni would certainly not ignore the US, the officials said, but would likely spend more time than Olmert paying attention to the EU and dialoguing with it.

According to one diplomatic official, in this regard, Livni would likely be more like Shimon Peres than Yitzhak Rabin.

"Rabin was 100 percent oriented toward America," the official said. "Peres understood America, but his heart was in Europe. Livni would likely be more like him."

Regarding how to deal with the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, one official said that as a result of her lack of security experience, Livni would probably have more of an inclination to follow the IDF, which itself is currently split on the wisdom of a large-scale military incursion. But if she decided to go in, the official added, knowing her style, she would want to have an exit strategy clearly and carefully mapped out beforehand.

Contact Dawn Treader at dawntreader3@yahoo.com

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 31, 2008.

This comes from the International Herald Tribune and is archived at
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/05/27/europe/terror.php It was written by Elaine Sciolino and Souad Mekhennet and published May 27, 2008. Basil Katz contributed reporting from Paris.

Malika El Aroud by her computer in her living room at her home in Brussels in April. The Arabic banner on the wall translates as: There is no God but Allah and Mohamed is his Messenger. (Hazel Thompson, New York Times)

BRUSSELS: On the street, Malika El Aroud is anonymous in an Islamic black veil covering all but her eyes.

In her living room, El Aroud, a 48-year-old Belgian, wears the ordinary look of middle age: a plain black T-shirt and pants and curly brown hair. The only adornment is a pair of powder-blue slippers monogrammed in gold with the letters SEXY.

But it is on the Internet that El Aroud has distinguished herself. Writing in French under the name Oum Obeyda, she has transformed herself into one of the most prominent Internet jihadists in Europe.

She calls herself a female holy warrior for Al Qaeda. She insists that she does not disseminate instructions on bomb-making and has no intention of taking up arms herself. Rather, she browbeats Muslim men to go and fight, and rallies women to join the cause.

"It's not my role to set off bombs –– that's ridiculous," she said in a rare interview. "I have a weapon. It's to write. It's to speak out. That's my jihad. You can do many things with words. Writing is also a bomb."

El Aroud has not only made a name for herself among devotees of radical forums where she broadcasts her message of hatred toward the West. She also is well known to intelligence officials throughout Europe as simply "Malika" –– an Islamist who is at the forefront of the movement by women to take a larger role in the male-dominated global jihad.

The authorities have noted an increase in suicide bombings carried out by women –– the American military reports that 18 women have conducted suicide missions in Iraq so far this year, compared with 8 all of last year –– but they say there is also a less violent yet potentially more insidious army of women organizers, proselytizers, teachers, translators and fund-raisers, who either join their husbands in the fight or step into the breach as men are jailed or killed.

"Women are coming of age in jihad and are entering a world once reserved for men," said Claude Moniquet, president of the Brussels-based European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center. "Malika is a role model, an icon who is bold enough to use her own name. She plays a very important strategic role as a source of inspiration. She's very clever –– and extremely dangerous."

El Aroud began her rise to prominence because of a man in her life. Two days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, her husband carried out a bombing in Afghanistan that killed the anti-Taliban warlord Ahmed Shah Massoud at the behest of Osama bin Laden. Her husband was killed, and she took to the Internet as the widow of a martyr.

She remarried, and she and her new husband were convicted in Switzerland for operating pro-Qaeda Web sites. Now, according to the Belgian authorities, she is a suspect in what the authorities say they believe is a plot to carry out an attack in Belgium.

"Vietnam is nothing compared to what awaits you in our lands," she wrote to a supposed Western audience in March about wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Ask your mothers, your wives to order your coffins." To her followers she added: "Victory is appearing on the horizon, my brothers and sisters. Let's intensify our prayers."

Her prolific writing and presence in chat rooms, coupled with her background, makes her a magnet for praise and sympathy. "Sister Oum Obeyda is virtuous among the virtuous; her life is dedicated to the good on this earth," a man named Juba wrote late last year.

The rise of women comes against a backdrop of discrimination that has permeated radical Islam. Mohamed Atta, the Sept. 11 hijacker, wrote in his will that "women must not be present at my funeral or go to my grave at any later date." Last month, Ayman al-Zawahri, Al Qaeda's second in command, said in an online question-and-answer session that women could not join Al Qaeda.

In response, a woman wrote on a password-protected radical Web site that "the answer that we heard was not what we had hoped," according to the SITE monitoring group, adding, "I swear to God I will never leave the path and will not give up this course."

The changing role of women in the movement is particularly apparent in Western countries, where Muslim women have been educated to demand their rights and Muslim men are more accustomed to treating them as equals.

El Aroud reflects that trend. "Normally in Islam the men are stronger than the women, but I prove that it is important to fear God –– and no one else," she said. "It is important that I am a woman. There are men who don't want to speak out because they are afraid of getting into trouble. Even when I get into trouble, I speak out."

After all, she said, she knows the rules. "I write in a legal way," she said. "I know what I'm doing. I'm Belgian. I know the system."

That system has often been lenient for her. She was detained last December with 13 others in a suspected plot to free a convicted terrorist from prison and to mount an attack in Brussels. But Belgian law required that they be released within 24 hours because no charges were brought and searches failed to turn up weapons, explosives or incriminating documents.

Now, even as El Aroud remains under constant surveillance, she is back home rallying militants on her Web site –– and collecting more than $1,100 a month in government unemployment benefits.

"Her jihad is not to lead an operation but to inspire other people to wage jihad," said Glenn Audenaert, the director of Belgium's federal police force. "She enjoys the protection that Belgium offers. At the same time, she is a potential threat."

Born in Morocco, raised from a young age in Belgium, El Aroud did not seem destined for the jihad.

Growing up, she rebelled against her Muslim upbringing, she wrote in a memoir. Her first marriage, at 18, was unhappy and brief; she later bore a daughter out of wedlock.

She was unable to read Arabic, but her discovery of the Koran in French led her to embrace a strict version of Islam and eventually to marry Abdessatar Dahmane, a Tunisian loyal to Osama bin Laden.

Eager to be a battlefield warrior, she hoped to fight alongside her husband in Chechnya. But the Chechens "wanted experienced men, super-well trained," she said. "They wanted women even less." In 2001, she followed her husband to Afghanistan. As he trained at a Qaeda camp, she was installed in a camp for foreign women in Jalalabad.

For her, the Taliban were a model Islamic government; reports of their mistreatment of women were untrue. "Women didn't have problems under the Taliban," she insisted. "They had security."

Her only rebellion was against the burka, the restrictive garment the Taliban forced on women, which she called "a plastic bag." As a foreigner, she was allowed to wear a long black veil instead.

After her husband's mission, El Aroud was briefly detained by Massoud's followers. Frightened, she was put in contact with the Belgian authorities, who arranged for her safe passage home.

"We got her out and thought she'd cooperate with us," said one senior Belgian intelligence official. "We were deceived."

Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, who was France's senior counterterrorism magistrate at the time, said he interviewed El Aroud because investigators suspected that she had shipped electronic equipment to her husband that was used in the killing. "She is very radical, very sly and very dangerous," he said.

El Aroud was tried with 22 others in Belgium for complicity in the Massoud murder. A grieving widow in a black veil, she persuaded the court that she had been doing humanitarian work and knew nothing of her husband's plans. She was acquitted for lack of evidence.

Her husband's death, though, propelled her into a new life. "The widow of a martyr is very important for Muslims," she said.

She used her enhanced status to meet her new "brothers and sisters" on the Web. One of them was Moez Garsalloui, a Tunisian several years her junior who had political refugee status in Switzerland. They married and moved to a small Swiss village. There, they ran several pro-Qaeda Web sites and Internet forums that were monitored by Swiss authorities as part of the country's first Internet-related criminal case.

After the police raided their home and arrested them at dawn in April 2005, El Aroud described extensively what she called their abuse.

"See what this country that calls us neutral made us suffer," she wrote, claiming that the Swiss police beat and blindfolded her husband and manhandled her while she was sleeping unveiled.

Convicted last June of promoting violence and supporting a criminal organization, she received a six-month suspended sentence; Garsalloui, who was convicted of more serious charges, was released after 23 days.

Despite El Aroud's prominence, it is once again her husband whom authorities view as a bigger threat. They suspect he was recruiting for the feared Christmastime attacks last December and that he has connections to terror groups operating in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

The authorities say that they lost track of him after he was released from jail last year in Switzerland. "He is on a trip," El Aroud says cryptically when asked about her husband's whereabouts. "On a trip."

Meanwhile, her stature has risen with her claims of victimization by the Swiss. The Web site Voice of the Oppressed described her as "our female holy warrior of the 21st century."

El Aroud's latest tangle with the law hints at a deeper involvement of women in terror activities. When she was detained last December in the suspected plot to free Nizar Trabelsi, a convicted terrorist and a one-time professional soccer player, El Aroud was one of three women taken in for questioning.

Although the identities of those detained were not released, the Belgian authorities and others familiar with the case said that among those detained were Trabelsi's wife and Fatima Aberkan, a friend of El Aroud and a 47-year-old mother of seven.

"Malika is a source of inspiration for women because she is telling women to stop sleeping and open their eyes," Aberkan said.

El Aroud operates from her three-room apartment above a clothing shop in a working-class Brussels neighborhood where she spends her time communicating with supporters on her main forum, Minbar-SOS.

Although she insists she is not breaking the law, she knows the police are watching. And if the authorities find way to put her in prison, she said: "That would be great. They would make me a living martyr."

After all, she said, she knows the rules. "I write in a legal way," she said. "I know what I'm doing. I'm Belgian. I know the system."

That system has often been lenient for her. She was detained last December with 13 others in a suspected plot to free a convicted terrorist from prison and to mount an attack in Brussels. But Belgian law required that they be released within 24 hours because no charges were brought and searches failed to turn up weapons, explosives or incriminating documents.

Now, even as El Aroud remains under constant surveillance, she is back home rallying militants on her Web site –– and collecting more than $1,100 a month in government unemployment benefits.

"Her jihad is not to lead an operation but to inspire other people to wage jihad," said Glenn Audenaert, the director of Belgium's federal police force. "She enjoys the protection that Belgium offers. At the same time, she is a potential threat."

Born in Morocco, raised from a young age in Belgium, El Aroud did not seem destined for the jihad.

Growing up, she rebelled against her Muslim upbringing, she wrote in a memoir. Her first marriage, at 18, was unhappy and brief; she later bore a daughter out of wedlock.

She was unable to read Arabic, but her discovery of the Koran in French led her to embrace a strict version of Islam and eventually to marry Abdessatar Dahmane, a Tunisian loyal to Osama bin Laden.

Eager to be a battlefield warrior, she hoped to fight alongside her husband in Chechnya. But the Chechens "wanted experienced men, super-well trained," she said. "They wanted women even less." In 2001, she followed her husband to Afghanistan. As he trained at a Qaeda camp, she was installed in a camp for foreign women in Jalalabad.

For her, the Taliban were a model Islamic government; reports of their mistreatment of women were untrue. "Women didn't have problems under the Taliban," she insisted. "They had security."

Her only rebellion was against the burka, the restrictive garment the Taliban forced on women, which she called "a plastic bag." As a foreigner, she was allowed to wear a long black veil instead.

After her husband's mission, El Aroud was briefly detained by Massoud's followers. Frightened, she was put in contact with the Belgian authorities, who arranged for her safe passage home.

"We got her out and thought she'd cooperate with us," said one senior Belgian intelligence official. "We were deceived."

Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, who was France's senior counterterrorism magistrate at the time, said he interviewed El Aroud because investigators suspected that she had shipped electronic equipment to her husband that was used in the killing. "She is very radical, very sly and very dangerous," he said.

El Aroud was tried with 22 others in Belgium for complicity in the Massoud murder. A grieving widow in a black veil, she persuaded the court that she had been doing humanitarian work and knew nothing of her husband's plans. She was acquitted for lack of evidence.

Her husband's death, though, propelled her into a new life. "The widow of a martyr is very important for Muslims," she said.

She used her enhanced status to meet her new "brothers and sisters" on the Web. One of them was Moez Garsalloui, a Tunisian several years her junior who had political refugee status in Switzerland. They married and moved to a small Swiss village. There, they ran several pro-Qaeda Web sites and Internet forums that were monitored by Swiss authorities as part of the country's first Internet-related criminal case.

After the police raided their home and arrested them at dawn in April 2005, El Aroud described extensively what she called their abuse.

"See what this country that calls us neutral made us suffer," she wrote, claiming that the Swiss police beat and blindfolded her husband and manhandled her while she was sleeping unveiled.

Convicted last June of promoting violence and supporting a criminal organization, she received a six-month suspended sentence; Garsalloui, who was convicted of more serious charges, was released after 23 days.

Despite El Aroud's prominence, it is once again her husband whom authorities view as a bigger threat. They suspect he was recruiting for the feared Christmastime attacks last December and that he has connections to terror groups operating in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

The authorities say that they lost track of him after he was released from jail last year in Switzerland. "He is on a trip," El Aroud says cryptically when asked about her husband's whereabouts. "On a trip."

Meanwhile, her stature has risen with her claims of victimization by the Swiss. The Web site Voice of the Oppressed described her as "our female holy warrior of the 21st century."

El Aroud's latest tangle with the law hints at a deeper involvement of women in terror activities. When she was detained last December in the suspected plot to free Nizar Trabelsi, a convicted terrorist and a one-time professional soccer player, El Aroud was one of three women taken in for questioning.

Although the identities of those detained were not released, the Belgian authorities and others familiar with the case said that among those detained were Trabelsi's wife and Fatima Aberkan, a friend of El Aroud and a 47-year-old mother of seven.

"Malika is a source of inspiration for women because she is telling women to stop sleeping and open their eyes," Aberkan said.

El Aroud operates from her three-room apartment above a clothing shop in a working-class Brussels neighborhood where she spends her time communicating with supporters on her main forum, Minbar-SOS.

Although she insists she is not breaking the law, she knows the police are watching. And if the authorities find way to put her in prison, she said: "That would be great. They would make me a living martyr."

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

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 31, 2008.

This comes from the Faith Freedom website

Those that follow the worldwide problem of Islam, continually hear the popular "it's only a few" excuse by the Islamic apologists. Well, I beg to differ. Lets finally put that excuse to rest.

If it were only a "few", then how can these FACTS be explained?

TURKEY: Landslide win for Islamic party in Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey –– A party with deep Islamic roots has won a landslide victory in Turkey's elections –– a win that would allow it to rule without a coalition and amend the constitution if it receives enough seats in parliament.
See http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/11/03/turkey.elections/

Since they have taken control they are slowly moving Turkey away from being a secular nation.

Turkey's parliament has approved a constitutional amendment that would ease the ban on women wearing Islamic headscarves in universities. The ban has been strictly enforced on campus since 1997 when the staunchly secularist military ousted a government seen as too Islamist.
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7230075.stm

Most recently they are getting stricter and stricter. Just like the rest of the Islamic world.

TURKEY: Law Banning Alcohol, Cigarettes Comes Into Effect

(ANSAmed) –– ANKARA, MAY 13 –– A new law to overhaul tobacco and alcoholic beverages usage drew fierce criticism from sector representatives, and is seen as another negative factor in Islamist-rooted AKP's record of conservative arrangements. Law No. 5752, which will take effect tomorrow, bans the sale of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes "by breaking its packaging or dividing them." Sector representatives say if implemented, it would mean that the sale of alcoholic beverages by the glass at establishments like restaurants and bars would not be allowed.
See http://www.ansamed.info/en/news/ME03.@AM17150.html

PALESTINE: Hamas wins Palestinian election

This morning, Hamas leaders announced that they had an "outright majority" in the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council. "Hamas has won more than 70 seats in Gaza and the West Bank, which gives it more than 50 percent of the vote," said Ismail Haniyeh, a leader of Hamas.
See http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Hamas_wins_Palestinian_election

EGYPT: Islamic Terrorist Group Muslim Brotherhood Increases it's Seats in Parliament Five Fold

Egypt is supposed to be our Allie, who we actually give $3 billion a year to.

By Michael Slackman
November 27, 2005

CAIRO, Nov. 27 –– The Muslim Brotherhood may be banned, but it has demonstrated in the latest parliamentary elections that it is by far the strongest Egyptian opposition group, trouncing the secular political opposition and weakening the governing party's power monopoly.

Results made public today by the government showed the Brotherhood winning 29 more seats in Saturday's runoff in the second round of parliamentary voting. The group won 47 seats in the first round this month, meaning that with just one more round of elections to go, the Brotherhood already has 76 seats –– more than five times its total in the departing Parliament. Because of the group's outlaw status, its candidates run as independents.
See http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/27/international/africa/ 27cnd-cairo.html&OQ=_rQ3D1Q26ftaQ3Dy&OP=7aef2814Q2Fi_gTiMQ7BBQ2FhQ7BQ7BxQ 22iQ22DDpiJJiQ22biQ5EvxghvyxQ5EQ7BvyQ7DiyQ2AhQ5EByiQ22bBvM1ByQ5EhQ7BHIxeQ7D

Lebanon: Islamic Terrorist Group Hezbollah Gains Seats in Lebanese Government

After the 2005 elections, Hezbollah won fourteen seats in the 128-member Lebanese Parliament. In addition, Hezbollah has two ministers in the government, and a third is endorsed by the group.

Hezbollah did not disarm when it entered Lebanese politics, and experts say the group's new political involvement is not an indication that the group is becoming more moderate.
See http://www.cfr.org/publication/9155/

The facts show us that we are talking about MILLIONS of Muslims who support Islamic terrorists and are voting them into their governments. Not just a handful or a few as Islamic apologists try to portray. Let's not kid ourselves, the Islamic world is getting stricter and stricter and they are not our Ally. Feel free to use this article in your debates. (Please include my link).

Islamic apologists and excuse makers: Do you care to explain? I will be waiting....

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

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Posted by Emanuel A. Shulman, May 31, 2008.

In January 2004 I wrote the following, entitled: "Looking Over Sharon' wall". It was intended as a forecast of things to come. I have always believed that, if you are willing to predict future events, stick your neck out and put it in print. You are then either proven right or wrong in public. Please read the following and determine how close I was in 2004 –– now looking back from 2008.

Few of Israel's planners, including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Shimon Peres (perpetual loser) former Justice Minister Yossi Beilin (voted out of his own Party), America's President George W. Bush, etc. have contemplated the full long-term impact of another Arab Palestinian State on the 'other side of Sharon's security wall'. Allow me to suggest a few things that are likely to happen (not necessarily in order of their happening):

1. Each of the nations who have Arab Palestinians on their territory and have refused them citizenship will eject their 'Palestinians' toward the new Arab State of Palestine. Those nations include Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, Libya –– not inclusive of those Arab Palestinians living now in Europe, America and elsewhere. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia already ejected 700,000 Arab/Muslim Palestinians into Jordan after the PLO betrayed their brethren in Kuwait during 1990.

2. The estimated number of Arab/Muslim Palestinians to be ejected from their current residences in Arab and non-Arab countries ranges from 3 to 5 million –– depending upon whose figures you believe. (Note! The neo-State of Palestine would be overcrowded if only 500,000 were allowed to enter.)

3. It would be highly probably that most new Arab/Muslim Palestinians migrating into this volatile area of the Middle East would be located in tents or shack slums, pressed up close to the Jewish State of Israel against Sharon's Security Wall. There they will need water, sewage, food, employment which the U.N. and E.U. will demand that Israel provide. Piling up against the Security Wall will provide a Gaza-like condition which will have intended political and practical consequences not yet understood by Sharon and his cronies.

There they will squat in misery and squalor as they have in refugee camps now going on 50 years. They will howl and scream, not against Yassir Arafat (or whomever takes his place) but against the Israelis who will not allow them past the Security Wall to join their Israeli-Arab brethren. That's what they'll say, appealing to the World to pressure Israel into opening the gates.

4. The virtual "Palestine" CITY OF THE WALL will grow to a typical festering refugee camp of squalor, filth and disease. As in other refugee camps, It will be an incubator for discontented youth who will join other Terrorists who will freely operate close to Sharon's Security Wall/Border.

As in Gaza, the Terrorists of many nations will become operating gangs, recruiting new members, manufacturing missiles, mortars, rockets, explosive devices –– with no Israeli troops to interfere or disturb their planning. The removal of Jewish residents and Israeli troops will allow Terrorists to form well-organized and efficient armies of conquest through Terror.

5. Local Arab/Muslim Palestinians manufacturing weapons will now be free to produce mortars, Kassem Rockets, 'et al' but, once it's no longer necessary to use the Egyptian tunnels in Rafah to smuggle in weapons, then larger weapons can be trucked, shipped or flown in. That means that larger missile launchers and artillery can be imported into the Terrorist Center of the World –– much the same as the 10,000 missile launchers set up by Hezb'Allah in the area of Lebanon after the IDF retreated when ordered by then Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Launching mortars, missiles over the Wall into the densely populated near-by Israeli cities will be too easy.

Any documents promising peace and de-militarization to Israel which are drafted by the Europeans, the Arabist State Department, the non-Jewish Leftist Jews mandating a "Weapons-Free Zone" will, as always, be unenforceable –– if not comical.

6. WMD, Weapons of Mass Destruction. Since the territory abandoned by Sharon will now be free of Israelis patrols or the IDF's snap raids, the Arab Palestinians can import WMD –– including NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical). Hezb'Allah, Al Qaeda, PFLP, PLO, Tanzim, Al Aksa Brigades, Hamas, 'et al' will have no problem in acquiring NBC –– WMD (Weapons of Mass Death) from Iran and Syria which would easily pass into Arab Palestinian hands –– and may already have. Israeli intelligence definitely knows that of the 10,000 missiles on the Lebanese border in the zone abandoned by Barak, a substantial number have chemical warheads.

7. It is highly probable that the U.N. and the E.U. will be invited by the Palestinian Authority into the new territory to interfere with any reprisal raids against Terrorists by Israel. Hot pursuit of Terrorists, targeting Terrorist leaders, destroying weapons' depots will be difficult, if not impossible IF the U.N./E.U. troops are interspersed among the 'supposedly' civilian population. That could get worse if American troops are added to the so-called "Peace-Keeping Forces" planned by E.U. through NATO. Be assured that none of these troops would act as Americans are presently doing in Iraq or as Israelis have done to intercept and thwart Terrorist plans. Recall that U.N. troops stationed in Lebanon to stop Terrorists from attacking Israel became a porous line, often assisting Terrorists up and back after their violent missions.

8. I would imagine that Sharon will provoke a civil war when he tries to remove what some of the Media and world governments pejoratively called "settlements" but are really Jewish communities –– villages, towns and cities. It has long been the plan of the Arabist State Department, in collaboration with the Labor Left of Israel and now even Arik Sharon, to turn over to incoming Arab Palestinians all the farms, homes, factories, wineries, water, sewage systems and electrical grids all built by the Jews. This will be claimed compensation for the 400,000 Arabs who fled at the behest of the seven Arab armies so they could sweep the Jews from the land into the sea without being impeded by Arab villagers jamming the roads. (As an aside, there is to be no compensation to the some 850,000 Jews who were ejected from the Arab countries where they had lived for centuries, nor will they be recompensed for the properties they were forced to abandoned after the seven Arab countries ignominiously lost the first war of 1948.)

9. Israel (under Sharon) will have also given up the water aquifers under the Judean and Samarian hills that provides Israel with 33% of her fresh water resources. Given the Arab custom of not treating their sewage and allowing it to run down, raw, into the valleys and from there down into the aquifers so that water flowing from it will be heavily polluted. The aquifer will be contaminated and any water coming from there would have to be heavily chlorinated and even boiled in order to drink safely. This situation is already occurring in those areas given over to the Arab Palestinian Authority now under Yassir Arafat's control under the Oslo Accords. Imagine the ground and air pollution when 3 or more million Arabs are packed up against Sharon's Security Wall/Border. Note! The aquifer in Gaza under the control of the PA is now drained so low from excessive pumping that it has been infiltrated with salt sea water. The Arabs call it their "salt tea". Having over-pumped their wells after Israel's Water Authority turned over water control to the P.A., the Arabs then demanded to be connected to Israel's main water carrier.

10. Sharon will have given up the Jordan Valley which was always considered a natural barrier to invasion from Jordan by Arab armies and a natural tank trap. This was confirmed on 6/29/67 by a once secret advisory by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff study of what Israel must keep in order for America NOT to have to rescue her from an attack by any coalition of Arab Armies.

Sharon will also be forced to give up their water rights to the Jordan River. Sharon will have given up the natural barrier of the Judean and Samarian Hills with their steep incline along with their high positions for artillery and the narrow roads that enemy armies would have to navigate to get to the heart of the Jewish country and Jerusalem.

11. Sadly Sharon, along with willing Leftist Jews, seems determined to divide Jerusalem and quit claim on Jewish Rights to the Holy Temple Mount. According to maps and plans developed long ago by Yassir Arafat, Jews, will be allowed to approach the Western Wall –– only –– with the permission from the Arab Muslim Waqf. The Waqf are the Muslim trustees to whom Moshe Dayan (a non-Jewish Jew) gifted the Holy Temple Mount of King Solomon after Israel liberated the eastern half of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Days War. Like most Leftists he didn't want observant Jews to have a focal point for their rightful historical and religious claims on Jerusalem. The Left started the Oslo process then, although the real planning and conspiracy by Peres, Beilin and Rabin to evict all Jews from the territories began in earnest in the early 1980s.

In effect, under the Sharon/Bush planning, the Eternal Jewish Capital City of Jerusalem will return to the same division when Jordan illegally occupied it for 19 years. King Hussein destroyed 58 Jewish synagogues, drove out the Jewish residents, and turned the ancient Jewish graveyard on the Mt. Of Olives into truck routes with its headstones used as urinal splash plates for Jordanian soldiers. Yes, indeed, Arik, you will surely leave a legacy that no one will forget.

Having free unimpeded access to Sharon's Wall on their side, there will be little problem for the Arabs to dig down 20 or 30 meters (approximately 60 to 90 feet) as they have done successfully in the tunnels from Egypt to go under the Security Wall into Israel's heartland. They can dig –– not dozens but hundreds of such tunnels which could only be filled on the Israeli side if and when found. I would imagine that Terrorist operations would ramp up far more viciously than we have seen even in these past 3 years.

In addition, they will have assistance from Arab Muslim Palestinians living inside of Israel as citizens (with full civil rights). Once Sharon has shown the yellow feather of fear and retreat as did Ehud Barak, Israeli Arab citizens will quickly cross over to assist what they consider the likely winner, namely Arafat or his replacement.

Think of Judea and Samaria in terms of a replica of Arafat's mini Terrorist state which he created inside Lebanon. No law except Terror, a free retreat for every Muslim Terrorist to ply his wicked trade –– something like the Muslim Jihadists pouring into Iraq through Syria from Egypt, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Chechnya, Yemen, Algeria and even non-Muslim Arabs from France and England. They only will stay long enough to beat or kill enough Americans –– if they can and many will move into the new Arab State of Palestine. But, Arafat's new State will be a permanent base of Terror operations against Israel, the Arab nations such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia and then, globally, to America and Europe. It will be a more than a safe haven for Terrorists –– it will be their new Terror Mecca created by Sharon and Bush.

Should Israel now feel that she needs to engage in hot pursuit of Terrorists or to try to take out missile launchers, be assured the U.N. would vote sanctions as would the E.U. who has been pouring money into Arafat's pockets and the P.A. –– most of it embezzled.

As one looks over Sharon's Wall to a land once brought back to civilization by the Jews, your will soon see a backward conglomeration of a compressed howling mob of Arab Muslim Palestinians made into useful refugees by Arafat or his replacement. It will be one gigantic pest house of disease and sewage running down the middle of the street with hostile Terrorists always pushing, bombing, sniping, suicide bombing and pressing against or under Sharon's Wall. They will always be in contact with the Arabs living in the heart of Israel, breeding in extraordinary numbers and subsidized by Arab nations for birthing new Arab Muslim Palestinians –– much as they were paid by Iran, Syria, Saddam and Saudi Arabia to martyr themselves while killing Jews. The end will be intended to be the same either way –– that is, kill Jews with bombs or with babies who are later taught –– from the age of 3 and up –– to hate the Jews, kill them when able and advancing toward being a 'Shaheed' (martyr for Islam).

Look over your War Wall, Arik, and see what you have done. You once had forward vision when you were a General and you were one of the truest and best warriors for the Jewish State of Israel. Now you are old, and as happens to old men, you dream of the past when you could think ahead and plan well. Now, you will try to evacuate Jews and give their life's dreams to the millions of incoming Arabs who will be packed tightly against your Wall.

So, now your legacy is to squeeze Israel behind a Walled Ghetto, 9 miles wide from the sea to its very center. As the millions of Arab Muslim Palestinians are packed into the impossibly small area of Arafat's State, they will begin to do what the Arabs promised in 1947, namely, to push the Jews into the sea.

This will be your legacy Arik Sharon IF you continue to assist the creation of another Arab State of Palestine. You will join Haman, Herod or Hitler in the eyes of the Jewish people. Be assured you will have a place in history as a betrayer of the Jewish people and hated for eternity.

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

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, May 31, 2008.

This is by Ann Coulter. Visit her website at www.anncoulter.com

After decades of comparing Nixon to Hitler, Reagan to Hitler and Bush to Hitler, liberals have finally decided it is wrong to make comparisons to Hitler. But the only leader to whom they have applied their newfound rule of thumb is: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

While Ahmadinejad has not done anything as starkly evil as cut the capital gains tax, he does deny the Holocaust, call for the destruction of Israel, deny the existence of gays in Iran and refuses to abandon his nuclear program despite protests from the United Nations. That's the only world leader we're not allowed to compare to Hitler.

President Bush's speech at the Knesset two weeks ago was somewhat more nuanced than liberals' Hitler arguments. He did not simply jump up and down chanting: "Ahmadinejad is Hitler!" Instead, Bush condemned a policy of appeasement toward madmen, citing Neville Chamberlain's ill-fated talks with Adolf Hitler.

Suspiciously, Bush's speech was interpreted as a direct hit on B. Hussein Obama's foreign policy –– and that's according to Obama's supporters.

So to defend Obama, who –– according to his supporters –– favors appeasing madmen, liberals expanded the rule against ad Hitlerum arguments to cover any mention of the events leading to World War II. A ban on "You're like Hitler" arguments has become liberals' latest excuse to ignore history.

Unless, of course, it is liberals using historical examples to support Obama's admitted policy of appeasing dangerous lunatics. It's a strange one-sided argument when they can cite Nixon going to China and Reagan meeting with Gorbachev, but we can't cite Chamberlain meeting with Hitler.

There are reasons to meet with a tyrant, but none apply to Ahmadinejad. We're not looking for an imperfect ally against some other dictatorship, as Nixon was with China. And we aren't in a Mexican stand-off with a nuclear power, as Reagan was with the USSR. At least not yet.

Mutually Assured Destruction was bad enough with the Evil Empire, but something you definitely want to avoid with lunatics who are willing to commit suicide in order to destroy the enemies of Islam. As with the H-word, our sole objective with Ahmadinejad is to prevent him from becoming a military power.

What possible reason is there to meet with Ahmadinejad? To win a $20 bar bet as to whether or not the man actually owns a necktie?

We know his position and he knows ours. He wants nuclear arms, American troops out of the Middle East and the destruction of Israel. We don't want that. (This is assuming Mike Gravel doesn't pull off a major upset this November.) We don't need him as an ally against some other more dangerous dictator because ... well, there aren't any.

Does Obama imagine he will make demands of Ahmadinejad? Using what stick as leverage, pray tell? A U.S. boycott of the next Holocaust-denial conference in Tehran? The U.N. has already demanded that Iran give up its nuclear program. Ahmadinejad has ignored the U.N. and that's the end of it.

We always have the ability to "talk" to Ahmadinejad if we have something to say. Bush has a telephone. If Iranian crop dusters were headed toward one of our nuclear power plants, I am quite certain that Bush would be able to reach Ahmadinejad to tell him that Iran will be flattened unless the planes retreat. If his cell phone died, Bush could just post a quick warning on the Huffington Post.

Liberals view talk as an end in itself. They never think through how these talks will proceed, which is why Chamberlain ended up giving away Czechoslovakia. He didn't leave for Munich planning to do that. It is simply the inevitable result of talking with madmen without a clear and obtainable goal. Without a stick, there's only a carrot.

The only explanation for liberals' hysterical zealotry in favor of Obama's proposed open-ended talks with Ahmadinejad is that they seriously imagine crazy foreign dictators will be as charmed by Obama as cable TV hosts whose legs tingle when they listen to Obama (a condition that used to be known as "sciatica").

Because, really, who better to face down a Holocaust denier with a messianic complex than the guy who is afraid of a debate moderated by Brit Hume?

There is no possible result of such a meeting apart from appeasement and humiliation of the U.S. If we are prepared to talk, then we're looking for a deal. What kind of deal do you make with a madman until he is ready to surrender?

Will President Obama listen respectfully as Ahmadinejad says he plans to build nuclear weapons? Will he say he'll get back to Ahmadinejad on removing all U.S. troops from the region? Will he nod his head as Ahmadinejad demands the removal of the Jewish population from the Middle East? Obama says he's prepared to have an open-ended chat with Ahmadinejad, so I guess everything is on the table.

Perhaps in the spirit of compromise, Obama could agree to let Iran push only half of Israel into the sea. That would certainly constitute "change"! Obama could give one of those upbeat speeches of his, saying: As a result of my recent talks with President Ahmadinejad, some see the state of Israel as being half empty. I prefer to see it as half full. And then Obama can return and tell Americans he could no more repudiate Ahmadinejad than he could repudiate his own white grandmother. It will make Chris Matthews' leg tingle.

There is a third reason to talk to dictators, in addition to seeking an ally or as part of a policy of Mutually Assured Destruction.

Gen. Douglas C. MacArthur talked with Japanese imperial forces on Sept. 2, 1945. There was a long ceremony aboard the USS Missouri with full press coverage and a lot of talk. It was a regular international confab!

It also took place after we had dropped two nukes on Japan and MacArthur was officially accepting Japan's surrender. If Obama plans to drop nukes on Ahmadinejad prior to their little chat-fest, I'm all for it. But I don't think that's what liberals have in mind.

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

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

Binyamin Ben Eliezer, a not terribly bright politician, has offered various solutions for what is likely to be a water crisis for all of Israel –– for a long time to come.

Ben Eliezer wants to build more water desalination plants, apparently to offset his Party's famous plans to abandon the Golan Heights which is one of Israel's principal water sources.

But, Eliezer may not have taken into account the raw sewage sabotage that the Palestinians are implementing by letting untreated sewage run into the sea from Gaza. The prevailing currents push the sewage North, contaminating Israel's coastal areas where more than 70% of Israel's population and Israel's main industrial base in centered.

Once the contamination levels of human feces and chemicals reach a certain level of density (PPM = Parts Per Million), any desalination plant will be closed down. Their filter membranes would clog and the disease-laden water would simply flow through. One doesn't expect Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or his Leftist Party Coalition (Kadima, Labor and Meretz) to do anything to stop the sewage flow.

Then there is the matter of gifting Jordan with the Millions of Cubic Meters of water as Israel's singularly most famous gesture of good will. Israeli leadership is full of such "gestures" –– among other foul-smelling substances.

Israel's so-called "Leadership" is gesturing away the Jewish nation into a permanent, ever worsening state of drought. Have you ever spoken to Israel's so-called "Leadership"? Outside of dirty politics, where they are superb, in practical things they are dumb as a stump.

Water futures? "not to worry". Pollution? "not to worry". Terrorist growth? "not to worry". Loss of the water protected from Israel's Golan Heights? –– "not to worry". Loss of the aquifers under the Israeli mountains of Judea and Samaria? –– "not to worry". Sewage contamination? –– "not to worry". Why worry when the Members of the Knesset have plenty of food and filtered water in the Knesset dining room? Reality simply doesn't enter those rooms the lazy, craven Leftist Knesset Members think are hallowed.

As for Prime Ministers, the words "dumb" or "stupid" doesn't even approach describing their incompetence and corrupt nature. The most recent Prime Ministers are killing the country and, after they have succeeded in despoiling the nation, they will try to escape and live on the loot they scavenged from the Peoples' Treasury.


First: Cut off water and fuel supplies to Gaza until they build sewage treatment plants sufficiently large enough to treat sewage to the highest level technology allows.

Get rid of incompetent leaders and make them take educational tests to determine if they are fit to hold any post in government (like the psychometric tests Israeli students must take to attend university).

Start building more desalination plants –– which should have started 20 years ago.

Cut the water being delivered free to Jordan.

Dig a channel from the Haifa area down to the Jordan Valley. This channel is to parallel the Jordan River and NOT mix salt water with fresh water. (Note! I offered such a water plan to Israel more than 25 years ago –– which contemplated hydroelectric power, desalination plants, modification of the moisture content in the Jordan Valley for improved crops' production and sea water lakes for recreation and fishing.

But, there were people then in power –– like Ben Eliezer, who simply had zero vision and an inability to process information. As they say, those chickens have come home to roost.

Drought is endemic in the Middle East. Biblical records speak of 7 year droughts –– as in Egypt –– but, in fact, droughts of 50 to 100 years have been recorded in core borings of land. However, when you are a politician and reasonably stupid, you talk about solutions (to raise your public image) but do nothing to implement them or something too little to be effective.

Experts in hydrology, water conservation and recycling of waste water have been alerting successive governments about serious water shortages, pollution and contamination for years but they have been ignored.

How can you expect politicians who have never worked a day in their lives (other than to hustle the Peoples' money into their own pockets) be expected to deal with down-to-earth critical issues like water, national security, resettling 10,000 Jewish men, women and children they uprooted, etc. when they could not even run a small vegetable stand in Machane Yehuda (the local outdoor market)? This is not a trivial matter, given that droughts can last 50 or more years across the Africa/Asian Middle East, much of which is in an advanced stage of desertification. This is before the forecast effects of climate change due to measurable global warming.

Martin Sherman, for example, has written in great detail about Israel's water shortages [see here. ] for years –– to no avail. Israel desperately needs a highly intelligent government of problem solvers. She cannot survive on government planning shown to be dedicated to graft, corruption by crooks whose first morning thought is how to stay in power and fill their own pockets.

Appropo –– the international space station's single toilet has malfunctioned and the U.S. will now pay Russia $30 million dollars to send up a space craft with a new Russian toilet. Can you imagine what will happen in Israel when, because of a water shortage, your household will be allowed to flush only once a day (or once a week)? Those are simple practical matters which inept government like the current one run by the Kadima/Labor Parties cannot grasp or deal with.


Following is a deeper analysis from a paper I published in 1992:
WATER –– 274. By Emanuel A. Winston April 7, 1992

Israel has been given a brief reprieve from a critical water shortage. The unlikely once in a century snow and rain cannot be depended upon in future winters.

Let us suggest that this one year be used as breathing space to develop alternate water sources on an emergency basis. There are a few available sources that can be developed. For example:

While waiting to build the necessary but very expensive salt water desalination plants, let us capture more of the run-off that flows into the Mediterranean and is lost. More valleys can be dammed up in lakes and their bottoms sealed to stem seepage and catch surface runoff.

There is another perhaps greater run-off of lost fresh water. Irreplacable aquifers deep under the earth's surface also stretch out under the Mediterranean. Some aquifers are close to the sea floor surface near the point where the continental land mass meets the sea.

Although much of the flow continues to remain trapped in the rock formations beneath the sea basin, a great deal escapes into the salt water of the Mediterranean.

Those off-shore fresh water springs can be drilled, capped and piped. We will only be taking the fresh water which has already escaped the aquifers directly under the land mass of Israel. As many know, we have been depleting those land-based aquifers by excessive pumping. This creates negative pressure, allowing salt water to invade the aquifer, making the aquifer itself and the wells it feeds unusable and often unrecoverable.

Taking fresh water from off-shore points will increase available supplies and allow us to possibly decrease our on-shore pumpage.

Locating fresh water undersea springs is no problem for the senisitive instruments of today which can distinguish levels of comparitive salinity. Where the fresh water does not come to the surface of the sea floor, we can drill, again using techniques developed for drilling shallow oil wells.

There are other methods: The plan suggested by Laudermilk, the founder of Israel's present water system, suggested a pipe from the Haifa area to carry Mediterranean Sea water through the Jezreel Valley directly into the Jordan River and on to the Dead Sea. (No doubt, he intended to separate sea water from fresh water.)

Topographic maps show a drop between the Mediterranean in the Haifa area and the Dead Sea. There is a slight earth bridge of several meters which can be easily breached. I believe that a diversion of Meditteranean water with its relatively low salt content can be extremely beneficial in a new water system. It would entail building a concrete tunnel through the Jezreel valley between the sea and the Jordan valley. The salt water would be contained except where it was diverted for special uses.

The following outlines the general plan. It is intended to provoke the scientific reader into adding his own components, both technical and conceptual.

1. The basic inlet would extend into the sea sufficently far to ensure an uncomtaminated supply of sea water.

2. The water carrier on land could be in an open trough or closed pipe.

3. Whenever there is sufficient slope a section of closed, large diameter pipe would be laid. This section would contain a low incline power generator (possibly an Archimedes Screw). Generator stations would be positioned at certain locations along the pipe. The fall-off from the Mediterranean sea level to the Jordan Valley is sufficient to run these generators.

4. Other sections of the water carrier would have passive desalinization capability. Given the constant sun and high temperatures of the Jordan Valley, passive evaporation can be used in de-salinization of the sea water. This section would be covered with a transparent fiberglass dome. The water flowing in this section would be kept shallow in order to enable the sun to heat the water and accelerate the evaporation. Water would condense on the dome, drip into collection troughs and flow into storage tanks. Perhaps "water farms" could be designed in which the canal water would be allowed to spread to a very shallow depth over an area of many dunams. Solar reflectors could be designed to enhance the evaporation rate of the water onto the condenser domes that would cover the entire area only several centimeters over the water.

5. Using a mix of low-incline generators plus electrical generating sea-water, we can run membrane filtered desalinization plants along the water carrier.

6. Finally, the remaining water would flow into the Dead Sea thus ensuring the future of both the industrial operations and the tourism that the area attracts.


Regarding the current water crisis, I reprint another article I published in December 1998,

ISRAEL'S LOOMING WATER CRISIS By Emanuel A. Winston –– December 1998

Be prepared for the Israel government and American Administration to throw a smoke screen over Israel's soon-to-be-lost water. As part of the Wye "River" fiasco, Israel's leaders have finalized her commitment to give away her irreplaceable underground rivers. Arik Sharon, now Foreign Minister, will soon be visiting Washington, there to discuss, among other things, some of the bribes Israel is to receive for caving in on the Wye Agreement. One of those bribes is to be the construction of a desalination plant, presumably to relieve Israel's coming water shortage. This shortfall will become acute as she transfers control of the aquifers under the Judean/Samarian hills –– representing approximately 30% of Israel's fresh water resource.

Since ONE desalination plant cannot possibly produce even a fraction of the lost water, it can now only serve as a political curtain to hide the consummate stupidity of Israel's three successive Governments, namely: Labor/Meretz under Rabin and secondly Peres and now Likud under Netanyahu. I mention these names so the readers may forever mark those responsible for the drying up of Israel.

So, what is wrong with turning sea water into drinking water? Absolutely nothing, IF like Saudi Arabia, you have unlimited billions of dollars to build the "many" plants needed and free fuel to power the high energy needs of such plants. Even California couldn't do it with money and fuel from their own pumped oil. Saudi Arabia had the money and the excess natural gas to literally burn from its vast oil deposits but Israel is not blessed with such reserves.

So, what's the problem? A really big plant can range in cost from $3-5 Billion dollars and that's only to build. Then it needs a huge amount of electrical power. In Israel's case, that would likely require either a vast expansion of present power plants –– more coal and/or nuclear –– or construction of new electrical plants. Here one has the problem of additional Billions in cost to construct, the continuous maintenance costs to produce the power, the polluting fuel (coal or nuclear) and finally the cost per cubic meter of water which will be so high that it will require government subsidies which then comes back in increased taxes.

So, whether it's paid with the water bill or paid from other tax revenues...the people still pay the enormous increase. And that, dear readers, does not solve the problem of losing 30% of Israel's water. I have the feeling that one could line the shores of the Mediterranean with such plants in order to make up the shortfall of 30%. But, that's not all. Presently, our erstwhile leaders are under pressure from our good friends Madame Albright in cahoots with the EU to give up the Golan Heights to Syria.

So, what's wrong that? Besides having primitive leaders in Syria who are armed to the teeth with chemical weapons and the missiles to deliver them, we again have the problem of water. Israel water resources from the Golan represents 40% of its total water supply. If you couple the 30% being given to Arafat with the 40% to be given to Syria that makes a nice round figure of 70%. But wait...Israeli or American politicians can be expected to jump in to tell you that they will arrange an agreement where, at a fixed price, the Palestinians will sell Israel this water with various guarantees. Certainly our erstwhile Jewish leaders will jump at the chance of accepting more guarantees because Oslo I and II, Hebron and Wye worked out so well.

Today, with the water from the Judean/Samarian aquifers and the waters from the Golan and a rapidly diminishing central aquifer Israel is pushing the envelope of its growing water needs. If Israel lost even 5% of current water resources, certain industries would be closed or rationed. If it went beyond that, civilian rationing would begin with a vengeance. Some may recall a brief drought several years back where the level of the Kinneret (Israel's northern reservoir) fell 5 meters.

The government and the people were beginning to panic as the seculars began to urge to Rabbis to pray for rain. Well, finally the rains came and just in time. Mostly due to a volcanic eruption in the Philippines which spewed forth particulate matter in a plume which drifted over Israel causing a weather change resulting in what was called "Century Rains". However, just as an unexpected quirk of nature (HaShem) caused the rains, other such quirks caused drought. The African continent is undergoing such a drought and a process called desertification is ongoing and expanding rapidly.

Israel is part of the African continent. Droughts of Biblical proportions lasting years are not unknown in this region of the world. Therefore, if one factors in drought; giving away of 70% of her water resources; increased population along with increased water consumption, the inadequate but costly desalination solution –– Israel would dry up to a small, burnt out cinder in the next decade. One can hardly wait for Bibi and Arik to drink a water toast with Clinton/Albright/Arafat and Assad over the new miracle of creating water where there is very little.

And then there is the sewage. We are giving the Palestinians clean water and getting their sewage back, just as is presently happening in Gaza. They pour untreated sewage into the wadis and streams, polluting the shrinking water table. The Palestinians ruined the Gaza aquifer in 2 short years as they sunk 2000 wells. This over-pumping lowered the water table, allowing the sea water to seep in. In Gaza they now drink what they call "salt tea". The Gaza aquifer is unrecoverable.

If Israel gives up control of the Judean/Samarian water resources (30%) and possible the 40% under the Golan Heights to Syria, the foreseeable over-pumping will lower the water-table of Israel's only remaining aquifer on the coast and the Mediterranean will invade the sweet water. Everything that Israel made bloom will wither and die –– along with the State of Israel herself.

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

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 30, 2008.

This was written by Bob Unruh and it appeared today in World Net Daily Bob Unruh is a news editor for www.WorldNetDaily.com.

Class by CAIR teaches: 'There is one god, Allah'

Public school students at Friendswood Junior High in the Houston area have been roped into Islamic training by representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations during class time, prompting religious leaders to protest over Principal Robin Lowe's actions.

Pastor Dave Welch, spokesman for the Houston Area Pastor Council, confirmed the indoctrination had taken place and called it "unacceptable."

"The failure of the principal of Friendswood Junior High to respect simple procedures requiring parental notification for such a potentially controversial subject, to not only approve but participate personally in a religious indoctrination session led by representatives of a group with well-known links to terrorist organizations and her cavalier response when confronted, raises serious questions about her fitness to serve in that role," the pastors' organization said.

According to a parent, whose name was withheld, the children were given the Islamic indoctrination during time that was supposed to be used for a physical education class.

"I am simply trying to get the word out to those whose kids may not have told them about an Islamic presentation that all kids were required to attend," wrote the parent, who was working to assemble protests to the school board.

WND previously has reported how public school textbooks used across the nation have begun promoting Islam, teaching
[http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=63872] even the religious doctrines.

WND also has reported on several other schools that have taught Islam as a required subject.

In the Texas case, a school e-mail to parents provided only a half-hearted acknowledgement that such mandatory religious indoctrination might not have been the best decision.

"In hindsight, a note should have been sent home to parents indicating the purpose and content of the presentation in time for parents to contact me with questions or concerns or requests to exempt their child," the school note from Lowe said. "This will be our practice in the future, should we ever have another presentation of a similar nature."

School officials also said the "Islamic Awareness" presentation was "to increase understanding of the Islamic culture in response to racially motivated comments that have been made to students on campus."

The pastors said in a statement: "According to students who were forced to attend these sessions, these Islamic evangelists taught them:

* Adam, Noah and Jesus are prophets
* There is one god, his name is Allah
* The 5 Pillars of Islam
* How to pray five times a day
* Islamic religious garb"

The pastors noted that the principal's claim there were "comments" to students on campus was unverified. Nor does that excuse or justify "this infringement upon the religious beliefs of students and parents of the community nor the violation of school policy and possibly state and/or federal law," they said.

"We do not believe that this unapproved action by Principal Robin Lowe represents the school district and certainly not the majority of students or parents in the Friendswood community. Our commitment is to support all appropriate administrative, legal and political remedies to assure that this will not happen again and these Islamic activist organizations are kept out of our schools," the pastors said.

The parent reported the presentation was 30 to 40 minutes long and handled by two Muslim women from CAIR's Houston office. CAIR, as WND has reported, is spinoff of the defunct Islamic Association for Palestine, launched by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook and former university professor Sami al-Arian, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide services to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Among the convicted CAIR staffers are former communications specialist Randall Todd "Ismail" Royer, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges he trained in Virginia for holy war against the U.S. and sent several members to Pakistan to join a Kashmiri terrorist group with reported ties to al-Qaida; and Bassem Khafagi, who was arrested in January 2003 while serving as CAIR's director of community relations and convicted on fraud and terrorism charges in connection with a probe of the Islamic Assembly of North America, an organization suspected of aiding Saudi sheiks tied to Osama bin Laden. In October 2006, Ghassan Elashi, a member of the founding board of directors of the Texas branch of CAIR, was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison for financial ties to a high-ranking terrorist.

The parent reported Lowe told students her sister, niece and nephew were Muslim.

But the parent complained the Muslims "were given full attention of our kids, during academic school time, to present their religious beliefs. ... This was put right at the end of the school year ... which will most likely prevent a Christian response."

There also was no parental notification, and students were required to attend.

"The kids did not even know they were having an assembly or what topic it pertained to until they entered the gym," the parent wrote. "I send my kids to school for academics. ... I teach them religion at home."

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

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Posted by Marni Soupcoff, May 30, 2008.

This was written by Dave Gordon and appeared as a Full Comment in National Post

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/05/28/ dave-gordon-stop-donating-to-universities-that-tolerate-anti-semitic-hatred.aspx

When York University's call centre phoned me last week to solicit a donation, I thought it was auspicious that it occurred the week of Israel's sixtieth birthday.

I not only declined a donation to my alma mater, but made it known that I would not offer money to an institution that sits on its hands as hatred is proliferated and even funded in its halls. I hope to encourage others to remove their financial support from that and other institutions.

Tens of millions of dollars from Jewish donors and alumni are given to schools like York, University of Toronto and Ryerson.

These donors, as well as Jewish students currently attending these schools, should know that these institutions have become enablers to events like Israeli Apartheid Week, and initiatives like Ryerson's proposed academic boycott of Israel.

University donations are directly, or indirectly, furthering the cause of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment on campus.

That these Jewish philanthropists stay quiet is remarkably troubling: It's as if they tacitly approve of these campus events. Their silence, and their donations, must be brought into the open.

One donor in particular gave $10-million to York this year, while also giving $5-million to United Jewish Appeal. They have sufficiently demonstrated their love for the Jewish people and Jewish causes, but it seems as though their priorities are lopsided, and they do not know, or care, on what their money is spent.

Would it not be more prudent for advocates of Israel, truth and the Jewish people, to direct their donations to organizations whose mandates are to combat anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity on campus?

These groups are operating on a veritable shoestring, at a time when the community ought to rally behind them, the way that so many anti- Zionists and anti-Semites are organizing many rallies on campus.

Ben Feferman of Hasbara –– a pro-Israel campus advocacy group –– calls these hate-filled incidents "crimes against students." In November, 2007, York University saw several hate-filled incidents. Hasbara Fellowships organized an informational table campaign about Noam Chomsky. The table was swarmed by anti-Israel students, shouting that "Hizbullah is not a terrorist organization. The real terrorists are Zionists and the Americans." A faculty member shouted "Gestapo!" at Jewish students. That same month the Campus Coalition of Zionists put on an Iran Awareness Campaign. Anti-Israel students mobbed the table. They then began ripping materials down, shouting and pushing students. These mini-riots were posted on YouTube.

Itamar Marcus, who runs Palestinian Media Watch, came to speak at York. Anti-Israel students stormed the event and would not let him speak.

In March and April of this year, also at York University, Jewish students were called "Zionists Pigs." Also heard was, "You Jews should go back to Germany, where you belong." Pennies were thrown from a second story balcony at Jewish students. At York there was a "Naqba Rally" celebrating the extremist Palestinian narrative of Israel's founding.

When Natan Sharansky came to York, anti-Israel students told one Jewish student: "Get off our campus you genocidal racist" and "you are bringing a second holocaust upon yourself."

Jewish activist groups need more funding to respond to these and other incitements.

In a York University course, "Introduction to Critical Concepts: An Introduction to Politics," the textbook says, "Israel continues to use state terrorism in an attempt to subvert the Palestinians' quest for nationhood." This is a small sample of what happens regularly on just one campus.

At a Carleton University rally, a Jewish student held up a photo of the terrorist who gunned down eight yeshiva students. Another student responded with this gem: "Good, he's a hero. That's eight less Zionists in this world."

Many Jewish students feel intimidated on campus and are afraid to show outwardly that they are Jews. While universities get millions of dollars in donations from alumni, Betar –– another Israel advocacy group on campus –– is operating on modest community donations, without

UJA funding. They are the ones in the trenches, counter-protesting, leafletting, educating students, and bringing in those speakers who have the courage to speak about the Jewish homeland in favorable terms in an unfavorable environment.

Hasbara and Betar's mandates are simple: the combat of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on campus with proactive programming.

I call upon alumni to divest from any university whose administration says nothing about anti-Semitism on campus, and stop only giving money to large umbrella organizations that don't involve themselves directly in the battle. Instead, choose to help those organizations who have pledged to support students' Israel advocacy, and actually do so on a daily basis.

I encourage big donors to meet with our Israel advocacy campus representatives, to hear the stories first hand.

As for the call I received from York University –– I asked them to keep my number on file and continue to call whenever they have a funding drive. I'll be the one giving them an earful until things change for the better.

Marni Soupcoff is a columnist and editorial board member at the National Post. She has a law degree from Stanford University. Contact her by email at msoupcoff@nationalpost.com

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Posted by Michael Evans, May 30, 2008.

Many Christians ask me, "How do I know if my church is a Bible-believing church that doesn't teach replacement theology, progressive dispensationalism or supersessionism?"

Ask yourself some questions:

1. Does my church pray for the Jewish people, the peace of Jerusalem, and Israel?
2. Does my church give offerings of compassion to comfort them?
3. Does my church preach on Israel and its Biblical significance?
4. Does my church take tours of Israel?
5. Is there an Israeli flag in my church?
6. Does my church teach on the significance of Church's Jewish roots?
7. Does my church have a Night to Honor Israel or Jerusalem Prayer Summit annually?
8. Does my church ever preach against replacement theology, progressive dispensationaism, or supersessionism?

If the answer to these questions is "No," then you may be a member of a church that refuses to believe the Bible, and rejects God's Eternal promises to the House of Israel. If your church seems powerless, and appears not to be blessed by God, perhaps this is the reason.

Israel is a Miracle Nation because of its formation; and when we stand with Israel, we are standing with God's prophetic plan.

We must be part of God's dream and His team and support Israel and the Jewish people. Their existence and the rebirth of Israel is a miracle. As Christians, we believe in miracles. The resurrection of our Lord was the greatest miracle. If He can live again, it is no problem at all of for Him to restore the Nation of Israel.

Israel was not born in 1948. It was born in the heart of God and revealed to Abraham many years before the birth of Isaac. God made a blood covenant with Abraham that the land of Canaan would be given to Abraham's seed through Isaac. (Genesis 15:18) As part of that vision, God told Abraham that for 400 years his seed would be strangers in a land that did not belong to them. (Genesis 15:13) The seed of Abraham from Isaac spent 400 years in Egypt before Moses led them out, and Israel, the nation, was born. "Who had heard such a thing? Who had seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children." (Isaiah 66:8)

Enduring Covenant People

Unique as this religious centrality is, there is one reason above all others why committed Christians must stand with Israel: The God of the Universe, the God that we worship, has chosen to make an everlasting convent with the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob-the Jewish people.

The word "everlasting" has nothing temporary or confidential about it. It clearly means, "lasting forever." And although Jews are found today in North and South America, Australia, Russia, Europe, many parts of Africa, and virtually every other continent on earth their historic spiritual and physical center was, and always be, the Promised Land of Israel.

God's Eternal covenant with the descendents of Abraham featured the promise to give them the land of Israel as an everlasting possession. This is recorded in the very first book of the Bible, Genesis, in chapter 17.

Why the Church Should Support Israel? Because God Does!

"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:1-3)

Israel is God's dream, and we are called to be a part of His team. The title deed belongs to God Almighty. When God made His eternal promises to Israel, there was no United Nations. There were only pagan nations to challenge this dream, to challenge God and His word.

To be apathetic toward of God's Divine plan or Eternal purpose, and our role as Christians in it, means to reject Our Lord's Divine Assignment to the Church and heavenly opportunity. God's prophetic time clock has been set on Jerusalem time! And the spotlight of Heaven is still on the Jews. It all began with them, and it will all end with them. God's plan is an eternal one! If what we do as Christians does not matter in the light of eternity, then we had better stop doing it. As Christians, can no more neglect our responsibility to stand with the House of Israel then we can neglect believing in the promises of God.

Jerusalem is the only city for which God commands us to pray. He also commands a blessing on those who pray for Jerusalem! When you pray for Jerusalem, Psalm 122:6, you are not praying for stones or dirt, you are praying for revival (2 Chronicles 7:14), and for the Lord's Return. Also, you are joining our Lord, the Good Samaritan, in His ministry of love and comfort to the suffering. "If you've done it unto the least of these, my brethren (the Jews) you've done it unto me." It is our divine commission.

King David explained precisely why God Almighty has commanded us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and has commanded a blessing upon us for doing so. The revelation is found in Psalm 122:8: "For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee." God is telling us to pray for the souls of Jerusalem. David felt that prayer needed to be offered up for all of his brothers, and friends who lived there. Prayer needs to be offered today for the House of Israel, for those who live there from over 120 nations of the Earth. It is the city most targeted by terrorists, simply because it is Jerusalem. It has drawn the Jewish people of the world like a prophetic magnet...those who have prayed, "New Year in Jerusalem."

In Psalm 122:9, David's revelation says, "May there be peace as a protection for the Temple of the Lord." Ultimately, we are praying for Satan to be bound. In Isaiah 14, Satan said he would battle God from the Temple of the Lord, on the sides of the north. When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we are praying for the souls of the City of Jerusalem; we are praying for the Temple of the Lord; and, we are praying for the Messiah to come. The prophecies of the Bible point to the Temple of the Lord as the key flashpoint that will bring the nation of the world to Jerusalem, and ultimately result in the battle that will end Satan's reign over the earth for all eternity. It will spell his final death.

In 691 A.D., Islamic adherents in Jerusalem built the Dome of the Rock over the Foundation Stone, which was the spot of the Holy of Holies in the Bible. Islam later attributed another event to the Foundation Stone: the binding of the son of Abraham the "Hanif," the first Monotheist. As the Koran does not explicitly mention the name Isaac, commentators on the Koran have identified the son bound by Abraham as Ishmael. Thus Islam teaches that the title deed to Jerusalem and the Temple Site and all of Israel belong to the Arabs –– not the Jews.

If fact, Mohammed never set foot in Jerusalem, nor is the city mentioned by name in the Koran. His only connection to Jerusalem is through his dream or vision where he found himself in a "temple that is most remote." (Koran, Sura) It was not until the Seventh Century that Moslem adherents identified the "temple most remote" as a mosque in Jerusalem (perhaps for political reasons.)

The truth remains that this site which now stands the Dome of the Rock, as is sacred to Jews as the Temple site, will be the basis for the battle of ages that will be fought.

There is a divine reason the Church was born in Zion! All roads lead to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. The world is hopeless, not knowing what to do. Heaven and Earth met in Jerusalem, and will meet there again. The destiny of America and the world is linked to Jerusalem. It is epicenter of spiritual warfare and affects the entire world.

Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria are the battle zones. It is no accident that the Great Commission is directed toward these prophetic areas. If Christians are not salt and light then the Great Commission will become the Great Omission! "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

If Our Lord and Savior reached out in compassion to Israel, and made prayer for her His highest priority, do we dare make it our lowest? There is a direct correlation between the power that Heaven promises for the Church and its birth in Jerusalem, and the Church's obedience to be a witness In Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. The church cannot, and must not, ignore Christ's Eternal mission for her, and at the same time, expect power from on high. If His disciples' obedience was directly related to a power surge from Heaven and the birth of the Church, can disobedience empower the church and lift her heavenward to fulfill her final mission?

"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." (Isaiah 60:1-3)

(The above is an excerpt from Dr. Evans' book Why Christians Should Support Israel.)

Michael Evans is the author of "Beyond Iraq: The Next Move," and founder of Jerusalem Prayer Team, America's largest Christian coalition praying for the peace of Jerusalem. Contact them at www.JerusalemPrayerTeam.org and ddress email inquiries to jpteam@sbcglobal.net

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


They plan to mass the descendants of Palestinian Arab refugees at the borders of Israel and then cross them.

Hamas tried to do the same, recently. The government of Israel issued clear and publicly known orders to its troops to shoot all who attempt to cross into Israel. An Arab admitted that knowing of Israel's intent to use whatever force is necessary to stop the invasion, the Arabs would not take the chance of trying to invade. That's deterrence! Time to issue the order, again (IMRA, 5/2).

If Israeli troops did shoot down mobs trying to storm the country and take it over, the world would condemn Israeli "brutality," as if the Muslims didn't deserve it and is if the world didn't bear some responsibility for letting the Arabs assume, from constant examples, that the world does not mind Arab attacks on Israel, only Israeli self-defense. The Western moralizers against Israel are immoral.


There was almost no news about this in English and little in Hebrew. The Olmert regime acquiesced to Russian demands for Jerusalem land Russia once owned. Olmert's regime is very agreeable –– agreeable to foreigners. Residents and businesses in the 17-acre "Russian Compound" area are upset, but had no say. That's Israeli democracy. Residents of 40 years standing in certain other parts of Jerusalem found themselves served with eviction notices (Barry Chamish, 5/19).


The Islamists won half the seats in the parliament. Women won none. For now, the balance still tips against the Islamists, because Cabinet members are ex-officio members of the legislature (IMRA, 5/19).

What happens next election?


A former Israeli intelligence officer assessed relations with Syria. After stating Syria's goal –– to get the Golan and to improve relations with the US –– he failed to carry his analysis further. Upon signing a treaty with Israel, Syria, like Egypt, might get advanced US weapons. That would tempt Assad or (which the strategist failed to consider) his successor to war (IMRA, 5/19).

His analysis suffered from a belief in a "peace process" and not seeing jihad as religious.


A professor from Hebrew U. spoke on the subject with erudition about Judaism and, I thought, naivete about Israeli politics. He made a thoughtful point that the state should not try to define Jewish matters, it should just see to it that the country has a law of Jewish return, Jewish symbols of the state, and Jewish education. He favors allowing civil marriage and divorce. He finds that young people are interested in Judaism on their own, but don't know much about it and are alienated when they feel authorities compel them to adhere to it.

The Israeli was asked how his country should react to criticism that its return policy does not allow for multi-culturalism. He replied that many countries have such a return policy, though the Jewish people needs it whereas others do not. An example is the 20,000 Russians of Finnish origin who were admitted into Finland without have to meet the usual naturalization criteria. Let the critics stop singling out Israel, he said, it makes their view suspect. Besides, it is not their business.

He finds that Israel has changed a lot in the past decade. The Ultra-Orthodox are much more involved in the State. The Arabs now strive to undo the Jewish state, not just demand what they consider equality. He contends that calling the Arabs a fifth column is self-fulfilling and thinks they should be given more. Perhaps, but they have been largely radicalized already. I think that giving them more strengthens their drive to take over. They don't belong in a Jewish state.

Regarding the Arabs, he said that the political Center has dissolved. He considers Olmert and Sharon in the Center, and Netanyahu and Lieberman on the Right. I consider them all on the Left, when in office or when describing their main views. Sharon may have been a tough general, but he formed a leftist party, then brought it into Likud, where it diluted the party's nationalism. Clever, eh? They all favor territorial concessions to the enemy. The professor sounded unaware that the Palestinian Arabs already have a state, the one called Jordan. If people would acknowledge that fact, they would stop feeling any urgency for a Palestinian Arab state in the Territories. They also might realize that statehood is not the long-term goal of Arafat's Arabs but conquest of Israel. The deduction from that realization would be to fight and oust the Arabs, not to empower them.

He admits that land-for-peace and unilateral withdrawal failed, and warns that holding on to the Territories forever, except for settlement blocs, would swamp Israel demographically. Guess he isn't aware of the changed demographics favoring the Jews. He failed to consider taking steps that cause the Arabs to leave the Territories and Israel, and annexing vacated areas as well as settlement blocs. Absent the Arabs (and the hundred thousand Russian antisemitic gentile immigrants that he seems unaware of), and Israel can remain a Jewish state.

The notion that Arabs may swamp the Jewish state if those Arabs are not in a defined state but just Territories, doesn't seem logical. On the other hand, he seems unconcerned how many Palestinian Arabs could enter an Arab state set up in the Territories, and dry up Israel by siphoning off its mountain aquifer. Neither does he consider the effect of so many Arabs on the Israeli side of the mountain, no natural barrier. I think it makes more sense for Israel to keep all the water and put the Arabs on the other side of the mountains. Much safer that way and fairer, since the Territories traditionally are Jewish territory and as chief and intended heir to the Mandate, Israel has the right to annex the Territories. But it should not annex the Arabs with the land.

The notion that Israel should be the steward of the Territories for the Arabs until the Arabs can be trusted to make peace seems less realistic than Israel taking over the Territories because the Muslims cannot be trusted to make peace. It is not a matter of finding a new regime in the P.A. but of Islam fundamentally being imperialistic. Since Israel has the better claim to the land, it should start taking it over, without taking in Arabs.

The professor thought he was reminding us that the present Israeli regime was elected on a platform of withdrawal. He was not reminding us but misleading us. The parties that opposed withdrawal won a minority of seats. However, some of them joined Sharon's coalition, asserting their condition that he not withdraw. He did, and their greed for patronage kept them from voting down his government. They do not follow the will of the people, in Israel.

As for the state being democratic, that is yet to come, if the state can survive the existing leftist authoritarian state that is appeasement-minded. The professor thinks Israel is democratic. Hence he favors getting a written constitution. He did not take into account that the ruling elite, which took Zionism largely out of the curriculum, and oppresses dissent, might write a constitution that entrenches the Muslims, further weakens Jewish content of education, and does not pry the Left away from its police state tactics.

I realized a shortcoming of American education. Americans are not taught how to ask concise and pertinent questions. Instead, member of the audience give speeches, remarking about themselves and rambling on, until my bladder is near bursting.


Israel's Prime and Foreign Ministers brief foreign leaders, such as (enemy) Mubarak of Egypt, on negotiations with the P.A.. The Olmert regime does not brief its coalition partners on those negotiations (IMRA, 5/17). Authoritarian.


France banned a TV station's broadcasts for urging Muslim children to murder Jews. Egyptian and Saudi satellite broadcasters transmit messages of hatred and violence to German Muslims. Bigotry has increased significantly there. A hard core of about 10% take it utterly seriously, and about a third are inculcated with hatred of the Jews and of the West. The small percentage of German Muslims belonging to Islamist organizations may increase, since so many have adopted their bigotry. They call their German teachers "Jews," as an epithet, when they think their instruction does not follow Islamic law. Anti-Christian sentiments are less common.

Islamic antisemitism started with Muhammad. He is quoted by the Islamists on that. The Nazis financed some of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's antisemitic campaign. One of the Nazi themes was that of an international Jewish conspiracy to take over the world (which the Nazis tried doing.

The current antisemitic campaign piggybacks onto popular culture. For example, bigoted slogans are put into rap music and onto t-shirts.

Germany and Germans do not react much against Islamic antisemitism. The Interior Ministry makes some effort, but the Foreign Ministry allows the satellite propaganda to persist (IMRA, 5/17).


Hizbullah defeated and cowed the other militias and the Lebanese Army. Then it removed its troops. It could have taken over Lebanon. That was not its objective. It wants to be free to continue jihad, not be tied down with daily governmental responsibilities. By demonstrating its military superiority, it will not be interfered with. It now can organize the Shiites, control the border, and import heavier weapons for war. It also may command the Lebanese Army.

Israel misunderstood how terrorists work. Its "peace movement" sympathized with the enemy. It thought that withdrawal would leave responsibility for governing to the terrorists, who would mellow and develop the economy. Instead, they just get more territory and people to work with. Thus Abbas and Hamas demand that Israel feed their people while they make war (IMRA, 5/17).

Less than a week later, Hizbullah arranged with the powerless government of Lebanon to let it have a majority of votes in the legislature.

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

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

It is intuitive.

Yes. And it is painful.

But it is a policy that would ultimately both save lives and put an end to the torturously nightmarish situation of uncertainty that the families of our captured soldiers frequently endure.

Bodies for bodies.

Lives for lives.

No exceptions.

If you are planning to capture an Israeli to swap you damn well better make sure he doesn't die during the operation or later in captivity.

The kind of operation that unavoidably wounded IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev as they were taken captive in July 2006 would not have been carried out in the first place if the terrorists knew they were taking a big risk that their efforts would ultimately only yield a body swap.

The nation's hearts go out to the families of the POW/MIA's, but the families of future kidnapping targets also have rights.

Trading live terrorists for bodies could very well mean the unnecessary death of future targets.

Yes. The nation has an obligation to return its soldiers –– both living and dead.

But its obligation to prevent future unnecessary deaths takes precedence.

Dr. Aaron Lerner is co-founder of IMRA, Independent Media Review and Analysis, an Israel-based news organization which provides an extensive digest of media, polls and significant interviews and events relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict. Contact him at imra@netvision.net.il

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 30, 2008.

A Great Bravo to Philippe Karsenty for his courage and his dynamic resilience ..... His fight for TRUTH.....and to those who believed in him and supported him as a team, let's move this to the next step NOW

I thank you, Philippe Karsenty, and ALL
Gabrielle Contact him at pk@m-r.fr

This is what he writes:

As most of you may already know, on May 21st we won our appeal against France 2 in the al Dura case. This legal victory is the victory of truth over lies...over state-sanctioned lies and anti-Semitic propaganda. We owe this victory to each and every person who, in his way, and according to his means, helped us open doors that were closed. This battle was won by an international team!

Today, one week after we delivered a smash in the face to France 2, French media have given virtually no coverage to this incredible court decision. The verdict of acquittal of all charges is fully explained in a 13-page ruling that is 100% to our advantage; each and every line of the court's judgment is an accusation against France 2. Furthermore, the ruling has far-reaching and universal implications for freedom of thought, expression, justice, and media responsibility.

If you wish to read the Ruling (in French), just ask and I'll send it to you.

HOWEVER, THE GAME IS NOT OVER YET. France 2 is still denying the truth and French media, if and when they even mention the case, are still covering France 2's lies. France 2 has been lying about the al Dura affair for seven and a half years. They are still lying today.

The next battle will be political; we will have to ask the French government to demand that the state-owned TV channel admit that the al Dura news report was a fraud and issue a public apology for broadcasting a staged "killing" and, therefore, an apology for being the party to a colossal historical hoax. It is well within the government's responsibility to take these steps. As the de facto CEO of France 2, Sarkozy has the power to conduct an internal investigation of the TV station in order to separate the truth from the lies. I call on you, my friends and supporters, to notify all of your contacts, and the relevant organizations you support, to join me in demanding that Sarkozy exercise his authority to make amends on behalf of France 2. Only then can one even attempt to redress a wrong that has resulted in death and injury to so many innocent people.

I cannot thank all the people who helped us achieve this victory but I'd like to express my appreciation to several organizations for their unflagging support: the American Freedom Alliance, the Zionist Organization of America, the American Jewish Congress, Stand With Us and some Washington think tanks.

I'd also like to thank two French-language media –– Radio J and Guysen.com –– whose reporting on the affair, in good times and bad times, was consistently thorough, informative, and honest.


The most serious damage to our cause was done by certain members of the American Jewish Committee, notably the AJCommittee's representative in Paris, Valérie Hoffenberg, who for the past three and a half years has worked actively against our efforts to reveal the truth. She functioned as the gate-keeper at the Elysee Palace (the French White House), discouraging serious discussion of the al Dura hoax among decision makers, and blocking access to me and others who were capable of providing evidence of the hoax. Her role was crucial and destructive.

Within the past year, the Elysee Palace received many letters and faxes in support of our position on the al Dura hoax. Almost everyone in the government was aware of the case and of the support my position was receiving. However, it was assumed, at the Elysee, that my position did not have the support of American Jewish organizations –– that the American Jewish community, in fact, supported France 2's version of the story. This impression was created by Valerie Hoffenberg who actually advised French politicians to "keep their hands off the case." Hoffenberg was working behind the scenes to discredit me and to assist France 2 in covering up its lie.

On September 2007, the AJCommittee leadership realized that it was on the wrong side of the issue –– protecting the worst anti-Semitic blood libel of modern times. They then chose to mask the behaviour of their Paris representative by issuing a congratulatory press release that contradicted their actual position. The press release was designated for an American and English speaking audience. When its Paris representative was asked to issue a public statement about the case in French, she refused. Even after our recent, major victory this May, she has steadfastly refused to comment in French: she doesn't want to jeopardize her relationship with the French establishment.

Over the past year, in an effort to prevent the AJCommittee from undermining our efforts, I personally alerted AJCommittee President David Harris several times. I also met with people from his organization to inform them of the problem. He has also been contacted by numerous donors demanding that he instruct Valerie Hoffenberg to withdraw her opposition to my efforts in the case. To no avail.

Meanwhile, here in France, the American Jewish Committee claims to be "the oldest and the most influential American Jewish organization." For those who know the truth about the negative role it played in this crucial battle, this claim is laughable. If you know people connected to the American Jewish Committee, please inform them of the situation and seek an explanation.

I will not spare the AJCommittee in the book I am currently writing –– slated for rapid publication in both English and French –– where I will reveal the whole story of this path towards the truth.

In closing, I would like to suggest you consult these two links:

–– The first one is the statement I made after the verdict, on May 21st

–– The second is the wonderful full-page article by Nidra Poller which was just published in the Wall Street Journal Europe
(https://services.wsj.com/Gryphon/jsp/retentionController.jsp?page=11249) and the editorial piece of the WSJ

Thank you for your interest and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Merci et à bientôt,

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

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Posted by Simon McIlwaine, May 29, 2008.

This comes from the Atlantic Magazine
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/196111/ben-gurion The article which appeared in November 1961 was prefaced:

In this, the Bar Mitzvah year, signaling the coming of age of Israel, it seems fitting to make an assessment of the young and enterprising democracy. We turn first to its elder statesman, David Ben-Gurion, who has been Prime Minister of the republic of Israel during eleven of its thirteen years of existence.

David Ben-Gurion was the founding prime minister of Israel.

The Jewish people are not only a national and political unit. Since their first appearance on the stage of history they have been the personification of a moral will and the bearers of a historic vision which they inherited from the prophets of Israel. It is impossible to understand the history of the Jewish people and their struggle for existence—both when they were a nation rooted in their own soil and more or less controlling their own destiny, and when they were a wandering people, exiled and dispersed—unless we bear in mind the unique idea which their history embodies, and the stubborn opposition, not only physical, political, and military, but also spiritual, moral, and intellectual, which the Jews have always confronted.

In ancient times, our most important neighbors were Egypt and Babylon. The struggle with these mighty neighbors was political and military as well as cultural and spiritual. Israel's prophets spoke out against the spiritual influence of these neighbors on Israel's religio-moral concepts and social patterns. They advocated faith in one God, the unity of the human race, and the dominion of justice. Today, the Jewish people, having held their own, appear again in the same area in which they evolved. The entire environment in this region has been completely transformed since Bible days. The languages, religions, civilizations, and the very names of the ancient Middle Eastern peoples have disappeared. Yet Israel, though largely uprooted for two millenniums, continues its ancient traditions of language, faith, and culture—as it were, uninterruptedly.

Little is known about the history of our people during the period of the Persian rule. The Hellenistic era initiated by the conquest of the East by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. led to a desperate struggle between Judaism and the superb Hellenistic culture. The struggle was not only that of a downtrodden people fighting foreign oppressors. In the main, it was a cultural contest of great drama between two unique peoples utterly at variance in material, political, and philosophical terms, but alike in spiritual grandeur.

The Jewish people's most difficult test came, however, after the birth of Christianity. Unlike the cultures of Egypt and Babylon, Greece and Rome, Christianity was not foreign to Judaism. It stemmed from the Jewish people; its inspiration was from a Jew whose ideas belonged within the framework of the Jewish concepts of his day. The new faith was given its direction away from Judaism by Saul of Tarsus. Called Paul, he was the son of a Jewish citizen of Rome living in Syria. He was brought up in the spirit of Judaism and was a zealous Pharisee, but as a Diaspora Jew he had absorbed something of Hellenistic culture. Once a fanatical opponent of the Christians, he "saw the light," came to believe in Jesus as the Son of God, and gave new direction to the sect. His mission, he believed, was to the Gentiles, and he created a church opposed to Judaism. In the name of Jesus, we find it said, "I am not come to destroy [the law] but to fulfill." Paul, however, was determined to root out the law.

About five hundred years after the defeat of Bar Kochba in 135 A.D., the land of Israel was conquered by the Arabs. Unlike most of the preceding conquerors, these invaders were not merely a military force; they were armed with a new faith, Islam. This religion, though not an outgrowth of the land of Israel, showed clear signs of Jewish influence. The conquests of Mohammed and his disciples were more rapid and remarkable than those of Christianity. All the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa succumbed to the new religion. Only the Jewish people withstood it.

A new ideological trend against the Jewish people's survival arose with the great revolutions of modern times, in France and Russia. The French Revolution, inspired by "Liberty, egalite, fraternity," had powerful effects throughout Europe: it undermined monarchy and feudalism; it gave the Jews the first impetus to emancipation and equality of rights. But this revolution demanded of Jewry the obliteration of its national character. Many Western Jews willingly succumbed, and an assimilationist movement arose which threatened to overwhelm the Jewish people.

The Jewish historic will withstood even this powerful challenge. Emancipation instead led to new expressions of its national character and Messianic yearnings. Much of Jewry divested itself of its theocratic garb and adopted a secular outlook, but its attachment to its historic origins and its homeland became stronger; its ancient language awoke to new life; a secular Hebrew literature was created; and there arose the movements of Chibbat Zion ("Love of Zion") and Zionism. The emancipation which came from without was transformed into self-emancipation –– a movement of liberation from the bonds of dependence on others and life in foreign lands –– and the first foundations were laid for the resuscitation of the national independence in the ancient homeland.

Like the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution also aroused –– and continues to arouse –– repercussions throughout the world. Once again the Jewish people were confronted with an ideological struggle and a historic test, no less grave and difficult than all those that had gone before.

In 1917 the Balfour Declaration was issued; for the first time since the Destruction of the Temple, the Jews were recognized by a world power as a separate nation, and they were promised the right to return to their land. The League of Nations, established at the end of World War I, gave international confirmation to the Balfour Declaration and recognized the historic connection of the Jewish people with their ancient homeland.

In the same year, the Bolshevik Party gained power in Russia, and the new regime, which promised redemption to the world, dealt a grievous blow to the Jewish people: Russian Jewry, the largest and most vital Jewish community in the world, was forcibly cut off from the rest of the Jewish people and their renascent homeland.

But for some time after the Bolshevik regime had attained absolute power, Russian Jewry contributed the finest of its pioneering youth to the revival of the Jewish people in the land of Israel. The achievements of this youth bear witness to the capacities latent in Russian Jewry and the aspirations that live within it, and all the external pressures, physical and spiritual, cannot crush or destroy it. The foundations for the resurgence of the Jewish state were laid mainly by Jews from Russia and eastern Europe, and in May, 1948, the state of Israel was proclaimed.

The adherents of Jewish independence refuse to rely on any foreign verdict. They are well aware of the limited numbers and capacity of the Jewish people; they can respect and esteem the great powers which are responsible for the fate of tens of millions of people and whose influence extends beyond the limits of their own territories. But there is one kingdom in which the Jewish people regard themselves as equal in all respects, even in the capacity to influence humanity at large and the generations to come, and that is the kingdom of the spirit and the vision. In this kingdom, neither quantity nor the size of armies has the last word. It is not through numerical strength or political and economic power that Jerusalem and Athens have left their mark on the culture of a large part of the human race.

In pointing out to the world a new way toward freedom, peace, justice, and equality, the advancement and redemption of humanity, and the realization of the dearest hopes of mankind in our day and in all generations –– in these spheres the great and powerful nations have no monopoly.

The Jewish people, who after two thousand years of wandering and tribulation in every part of the globe have arrived at the first stage of renewed sovereignty in the land of their origins, will not abandon their historic vision and great spiritual heritage –– the aspiration to combine their national redemption with universal redemption for all the peoples of the world. Even the greatest tragedy ever wrought by man against a people –– the Hitlerite holocaust, which destroyed one third of the Jewish people –– did not dim the profound faith of all Jews, including those who went to their death in the ovens of Europe, in their national redemption and in that of mankind.

The Jewish people will not submit to foreign bondage or surrender to the great and the powerful in determining their future and their road to the vision of the Latter Days. In the state of Israel there is no barrier between the Jew and the man within us. Independence is indivisible.

There is no contradiction between spiritual independence and an attachment to humanity as a whole, just as political independence is not incompatible with international ties and economic independence does not necessitate economic autarchy. Every people draws sustenance from others, from the heritage of the generations, from the achievements of the human spirit in all eras and all countries. Mutual dependence is a cosmic and eternal law. There is nothing in the world, large or small, from the invisible electron to the most massive bodies in infinite space, which has no bonds with its fellows or with unlike bodies. The whole of existence is an infinite chain of mutual bonds, and this applies to the world of the spirit as well as to the world of matter. It is less conceivable today than in any previous generation that any people should dwell alone.

Now that, after our long journey through world history and all the countries of the globe, we have returned to our point of departure, and for the third time have established the commonwealth of Israel, we shall not cast off the rich and extensive international experience that we have acquired; we shall not retire into our shell. We shall open wide our windows to every aspect of world culture, and we shall endeavor to acquire all the spiritual and intellectual achievements of our day. We shall learn from all our teachers, but we shall guard our independence. We shall not succumb to separatism or isolationism; we shall preserve our bonds with the world outside, but not accept external domination. The roots of independence lie in the heart, in the soul, in the will of the people, and it is only through inner independence that it is possible to win and maintain external independence. The most dangerous form of bondage is the bondage of the spirit.

The Jewish people's rejection of the dominance of physical force, however, does not mean the denial of the place of physical force in life as a means of defense, to ensure life. We should be denying Jewish history from the days of Joshua Bin-Nun until the Israel Defense Forces if we were to deny the fact that on occasion there is a need and place for physical force to preserve life. That would be foreign to the spirit of the Jewish people.

From the days of the prophets to the times of Einstein, Jewish intuition, both religious and scientific, has always believed in the unity of the universe and of existence, in spite of their numerous forms and expressions. And although, since days of old, the finest sons of the Jewish people, the prophets, sages, and teachers, have always regarded the supreme mission of Israel as residing in the kingdom of the spirit, they have not belittled the body and its needs, for there is no soul without a body, and there can be no universal human ideals without the existence of national independence. In the establishment of the Jewish state, the victory of Jewish over Arab arms played a great and decisive role, but the root and origin of this victory lay in the moral and spiritual superiority of the Jewish defenders.

The faith of the Jewish people in the superiority of the spirit is bound up with their belief in the value of man. Man, according to the faith of the Jewish people, was created in the image of God. There could be no more profound, exalted, and far-reaching expression of the greatness, importance, and value of man than this; for the concept "God" in Judaism symbolizes the apex of goodness, beauty, justice, and truth. Human life, in the eyes of the Jewish people, is precious and sacred. The sons of man, created in the image of God, are equal in rights; they are an end in themselves, not a means. And it is no wonder that the sages of these people based the entire law on one great principle: "And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Love of one's neighbor applies not only to Jewish citizens. "The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

Even in ancient days, the people of Israel were distinguished by an original conception of history which had no parallel among the peoples of East or West, neither of Egypt nor Babylon, India nor China, nor Greece and Rome and their heirs in Europe, until modern times. Unlike the other ancient peoples, ours did not look backward to a legendary golden age in the past which has gone never to return, but turned their gaze to the future, to the Latter Days, in which the earth will be filled with knowledge as the waters cover the seas, when the nations will beat their swords into plowshares, when nation will not lift up sword against nation, or learn war any more.

That was the historical philosophy which the prophets of Israel bequeathed to their own peoples and through their people to the best of all nations.

This expectation and faith in the future stood by our people during the tribulations of their long journey through history and have brought us to the beginnings of our national redemption, when we can also see the first gleams of redemption for the whole of humanity.

Simon McIlwaine is with Anglican Friends of Israel
(www.anglicanfriendsofisrael.com). Contact him at Simon.McIlwaine@ormerods.co.uk

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 29, 2008.

This appeared on Jihad Watch
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/021209.php It was written by Duncan Gardham for the Telegraph

"Staff appear reluctant to challenge inappropriate behaviour ... for fear of doing the wrong thing."

Muslim gangs are threatening to take control of one of Britain's top security prisons where inmates include al-Qa'eda terrorists, a report reveals.

Staff at Whitemoor jail, Cambs, believe a "serious incident is imminent" as several wings become dominated by Muslim prisoners.

There is an on-going theme of fear and instability among employees, says the Prison Service's Directorate of High Security report.

"There is much talk around the establishment about 'the Muslims'," it says.

Some staff believe the situation has resulted in Muslim prisoners becoming more of a gang than a religious group.

"The sheer numbers, coupled with a lack of awareness among staff, appear to be engendering fear and handing control to the prisoners," the report says.

The situation has become so bad that white prisoners are warned about the Muslim gangs by staff on arrival.

The concern about Muslim prisoners is in danger of leading to hostility and Islamophobia, the report warns.

"Staff appear reluctant to challenge inappropriate behaviour, in particular among black and ethnic minority prisoners, for fear of doing the wrong thing," the report adds.

"This is leading to a general feeling of a lack of control and shifting the power dynamic towards prisoners."

Just under a third of the 500 prisoners at Whitemoor are Muslim.

Although they include the shoe-bomber Saajid Badat, the majority of them have been jailed for offences unrelated to terrorism.

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

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Posted by Gil Ronen, May 29, 2008.

Hoopoe (duchifat). Dorit Bar-Zakai, teva.org.il
Spur-winged plover (siksak). Nechemia G., he.wikipedia.org.

The Jewish state's national bird is the hoopoe (duchifat in Hebrew), after being chosen in a national election process that stretched over six months, and which was initiated by the Society for Protection of Nature. The winner was declared by President Shimon Peres, whose own last name refers to a vulture.

The hoopoe, a crested bird with a unique appearance which is mentioned in Jewish legends about King Shlomo (Solomon) and the Queen of Sheba, is common throughout Israel. According to legend, the hoopoe is capable of cutting through stone, and is referred to as "nakar turia," or mountain chiseler, in the Talmud. Legend also has it that when its beak breaks, the hoopoe can continue chiseling through rocks with its folded crest –– hence its name duchifat, which means "two beaks" in Aramaic. Ethiopian Jews called it the "Moses Bird" and believed it would carry them to Jerusalem one day.


The hoopoe is unafraid of human beings, but when in danger, it makes a hissing sound and secretes a foul-smelling liquid. Its friendly nature may have been the deciding factor in the elections: the final vote tally shows it far ahead of the competition, in what some analysts say is the result of generations of "campaigning" in which it wandered alongside Israeli children on innumerable footpaths.

The final contestants who made it through the bird primaries in December 2007 were the night owl (tinshemet), red falcon (baz adom), spur-winged plover (siksak), griffon vulture (nesher), finch (chochit), kingfisher (shaldag), bulbul, warbler (pashosh), the honey-sucker (tzufit), and, of course, the hoopoe.

Land of a billion wings

The candidates were chosen out of about 540 species of birds which populate Israel's skies regularly. Israel is considered a world center for bird-watching. Because of Israel's central location between three continents and astride the Syria-Africa fault line, more than 500 million birds cross its skies annually. The contest was birthed by The Society for Protection of Nature, which decided that Israel needed a national bird of its own, just like other avian superpowers such as Egypt, the U.S.A., Mexico, Iraq and Austria.

The Society for Protection of Nature decided that Israel needed a national bird of its own.

A public committee with representatives from the academic world, government ministries, writers and schoolchildren's representatives determined 25 percent of the vote. The rest of the vote was determined through a combination of public voting through the internet, voting by 70,000 children in the nation's schools, and thousands of soldiers who voted at their bases and through text messages. Votes were also cast by 20 Knesset members and Israeli diplomats in 40 cities worldwide.

The hoopoe received 35 percent of the vote, trailed by the tiny warbler with 10.3 percent and the finch with 9.8 percent. The honey-sucker, spur-winged plover, bulbul, griffon vulture and red falcon each received about 7 percent of the vote, the night owl got 4.8 percent and the kingfisher barely flew in, with just 3.5 percent.

Gil Ronen writes for Arutz-Sheva
(www.IsraelNationalNews.com) where this story appeared today.

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Posted by Yoram Ettinger, May 29, 2008.

Enclosed you'll find my latest OpEd on Israel's economy, which has systematically defied the "Prophets of Doom."

Additional OpEds and newsletters on issues of national security and overseas investments in Israel are posted at http://yoramettinger.newsnet.co.il.

Enjoy it, Shabbat Shalom and may we heed the lesson of this week (opening) portion of the Book of Numbers (Ba'Midbar –– "desert" in Hebrew): In order to survive challenges/threats –– while wondering in a political, spiritual, social or economic "desert" –– one should exhibit a pro-active, optimist, Can-Do mentality,


The 1948-2008 series of Arab-Israeli wars, coupled with Palestinian terrorism, have been bumps on the path of unprecedented Israeli economic growth: From a $1.2 billion GDP in 1948 to a $170 billion GDP in 2007! From a labor and land-intensive import-based economy, which is vulnerable to security and political uncertainty, to an increasingly know how-intensive export-driven economy, which is less vulnerable to wars and terrorism.

Sixty years ago, Israel was labeled as an economy-deprived country. In 2008, the "London Economist" claims that "Israel has an economy with the power to astonish...[featuring] most NASDAQ-listed companies, other than Canada and the US." Israel has been recently admitted to the OECD –– the exclusive club of the leading global economies –– the Shekel has joined thirteen other top-traded currencies, and Israel's credit rating has been upgraded by Moody's, Standard & Poor and Fitch.

During the last four years, Israel's economy has grown 5% annually, compared with a 2.7% annual growth for the OECD countries. Despite the draining 2006 war in Lebanon, the costly 2005 "Disengagement" from Gaza, the unprecedented Palestinian terrorism and prolonged political uncertainty, Israel's economic fundamentals have been vigorous: minimal budget deficit (1%), low inflation (2.8%) and interest (5%) rates, surplus of trade balance ($4 billion) and balance of payment ($5 billion) and high foreign exchange reserves ($28 billion).

400 global (mostly US) companies have established plants and research & development centers in Israel. They express confidence in the long-term viability of Israel's economy, notwithstanding the failing peace process and the exacerbation of Palestinian terrorism. For instance, most of Intel's chips and microprocessors have been developed by Intel-Israel. Hence, Intel constructs its sixth ($4.5 billion) Israeli plant, which will boost the 2007 $1.5 billion export by Intel-Israel.

IBM has just acquired its third Israeli company in 2008 and Microsoft concludes its seventh Israeli acquisition in recent years. HP, Texas Instruments, GE-Medical, Motorola, Cisco, EMC, AOL, Google, Marvelle, Kodak, AT&T, Xerox, Phillips, SAP, Siemens and more giants have followed suit. They have realized that in order to play in the top high tech league, they must set foot in Israel, thus gaining access to Israel's unique breakthrough technologies. They leverage Israel's competitive edge: generating groundbreaking technologies. 140 per 10,000 Israelis are engaged in research & development, ahead of the US and Japan with 85 and 70 per 10,000 respectively. As a result, Israel is second only to the US in the absolute number of start-ups, but leads the world in the number of start-ups per capita.

Overseas investment in Israel's high tech exceeds any single European country and surpasses France and Germany combined. Total overseas investment in Israel reached $23.4 billion in 2006, compared with $10.5 billion in 2005, $9.1 billion in 2004 and $5.1 billion in 2003. In addition to warren Buffet, who made his highest overseas investment in Israel ($4 billion), overseas investors include leading investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley, prestigious venture capital funds, such as Sequoia, Greylock and Benchmark, prime insurance companies such as Mass Mutual, AIG and Marsh McLennen and state employees pension funds such as California, Illinois, New York and Oregon.

According to Morgan Stanley, "Israel's economy is robust, able to withstand geo-political constraints and global slowdown, featuring a strong Shekel, low interest rate, reduced inflation and budget deficit, a trade surplus and surge in overseas investment."

Israel's 60 year impressive economic track record constitutes a proof that –– when it comes to the impact on sophisticated economies –– the performance of Wall Street supersedes the terrorism of Gaza Strip.

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports. Contact him at yoramtex@netvision.net.il

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Posted by Crystal K. May 29, 2008.

Ethnic cleansing of non-arab, historic Communities of Khaldean, Syriac, Assyrians, being wiped out in Iraq. Not only Kurds! ("First they came for the Jews...") This is by Patrick Goodenough, CNSNews.com International Editor,
www.cnsnews.com:80/ViewCulture.asp?Page= /Culture/archive/200805/CUL20080527b.html

(Editor's note: Adds comment from Assyrian Universal Alliance.)

(CNSNews.com) –– Days before Sweden hosts an international conference aimed at pushing ahead the political and economic reform process in Iraq, hundreds of exiled Iraqi Christians demonstrated outside the country's parliament Sunday to draw attention to the minority's plight in their homeland.

"A new wave of ethnic cleansing is going on in Iraq," Iraqi Christian representative Behiye Hadodo told the gathering. "If these atrocities continue, the Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian communities there will be wiped out altogether, creating a new catastrophe for humanity."

Iraq's Assyrians are a non-Arab ethnic minority located mainly in northeastern Iraq, and adherents of Christian denominations including the Chaldean Catholic and Syriac Orthodox churches.

A 1987 census recorded 1.4 million Christians in Iraq, but the numbers began to drop after the 1990 Gulf War, reaching around 800,000 before the U.S. invaded in March 2003.

Persecution at the hands of Islamic radicals –– killings, church bombings, kidnappings, forced conversions and harassment –– has prompted hundreds of thousands of Christians to flee the country since 2003. Although accurate statistics are unavailable, researchers believe the community may have been halved in the past five years.

Many have moved to Syria and Jordan, and others to northern Europe, Australia and the United States.

Of an estimated 70,000 Iraqi Christians in Europe, nearly half are reported to live in Sweden.

Speeches during Sunday's rally in Stockholm centered on continuing harassment by fundamentalists in Iraq, including abductions and assaults of girls and women, and the forcing of women to wear veils in line with strict Islamic doctrines.

Participants reiterated calls for international support for an autonomous safe region for Iraqi Christians in the historical Assyrian region in the north of the country.

Hadodo, a representative of the European Syriac Union, said the demonstration's goal was to draw the attention of the United States, European Union and United Nations to the "ongoing terror" and especially to the murder of Christian clerics in Iraq.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will join counterparts and officials from around the world including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a meeting near Stockholm that will follow up last year's launch of the International Compact with Iraq.

The compact is a partnership between the Iraqi government and the international community, aimed at pursuing political, economic and social development over a five-year period.

Iraqi officials are expected to outline progress made during the past year, with a strong focus on the security situation. Among those due to attend is Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, whose government is accused by the U.S. of destabilizing Iraq by supporting insurgents there.

Iraq's Christians are hoping that the meeting in Sweden will consider their concerns too.

"Since the liberation of Iraq much attention has been devoted to the demands and expectations of Iraq's Shi'a, Sunni, Kurds," Hermiz Shahen, secretary of the Australian chapter of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, said Wednesday.

"[Yet] the plight of the Assyrian nation is attracting little attention in the outside world."

Pointing to the high number of Christian refugees, Shahen said the international community must make the issue a priority.

Within one or two generations, he said, Christians in the Middle East –– the birthplace of Christianity –– may be reduced to a negligible number, having been forced to flee radical Islam.

"It is important that the Assyrian voice be heard [at the meeting in Sweden] and the Assyrian nation be distinctly recognized," he said. "It is time for the advocates who call for democracy, justice and human rights to stand up for the rights of the indigenous Assyrians of Iraq."

Shahen said Assyrians' demands included equitable representation in government and amendment of the Iraqi constitution to protect Assyrians and allow them "true and equal citizenship."

They also wanted the establishment of an Assyrian governorate or province, administered by Assyrians under the jurisdiction of Iraq's central government. This would encourage refugees, whether internally displaced or outside the country, to return, and enjoy political, educational, linguistic, religious and cultural protection, he said.

Prior to the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime, the U.S. designated Iraq as a "country of particular concern" (CPC) for religious freedom violations. The 1998 International Religious Freedom Act allows for a range of steps, including sanctions, to be taken against governments that engage in or tolerate serious religious freedom violations.

CPC designation was subsequently lifted, but the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent body advising the White House and Congress, last year placed Iraq on a "watch list" pointing to escalating, unchecked violence against religious minorities as well as "evidence of collusion between Shi'a militias and Iraqi government ministries."

Earlier this month, the commission in a letter to Rice said it remained seriously concerned about the situation, citing violence against non-Muslims "from Sunni insurgents and foreign extremists, as well as pervasive violence, discrimination, and marginalization at the hands of the national government, regional governments, and para-state militias, including those in Kurdish areas."

Some of the commission's members argue that Iraq should already have be returned to the CPC blacklist, but the commission said it would make a recommendation in the near future, after a visit to Iraq.

Earlier this year the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Paulos Faraj Rahho, became the most senior Christian figure to be slain. His body was found after gunmen abducted him at his church, killing three men with him.

The Minority Rights Group International says Iraq is the second-most dangerous country in the world for minorities in 2008, behind Somalia and ahead of Sudan, Afghanistan and Burma.

Crystal is moderator of EUROPEANS_WHO_SUPPORT_ISRAEL@yahoogroups.com. Contact her at k_hallal@yahoo.com

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Posted by Beth Goodtree, May 29, 2008.

Who knew that Syria and/or Iran might bomb their cause celebre, the Palestinians? Certainly these aggressors do not. Yet this is exactly what might happen –– especially in the following scenario involving Iran, what with all the threatening rhetoric coming from Ahmadinejad. To borrow a phrase from The Golden Girls' Sophia Petrillo, picture it:

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is feeling his oats at having forestalled, yet again, the UN inspectors and effectively tying the hands of the nations who dread him getting a nuclear bomb. The sanctions mean little to him. He feels unbeatable. And he is also constantly filled with a visceral hatred of Jews in general and Israel in particular. "The Little Satan," he calls it.

And although Ahmadinejad might be a tyrant, he's not crazy. He would never attack the United States, otherwise referred to by him as "The Great Satan." But he sure as heck might send a few missiles in Israel's direction, especially if he's feeling particularly invincible. Then again, he might get Syria to do it.

Either way, on this bright and sunny morning sometime in the near future, while the morning doves are cooing and the petunias are opening their glorious petals to the sun, while the air sings with bumble bees fertilizing the orange groves and roses, and the palm fronds waft gently in a fragrant breeze, Ahmadinejad gives the word. And the word is death. But not mere death. Ahmadinejad wants to see the accursed Jew suffer in ways even Hitler didn't imagine. And so he had his top military men assemble a special bomb.

At the same time that his top scientists and military men were devising an especially horrendous form of not-ready-for-prime-time death, Ahmadinejad was getting ready his excuse. Just like the fake 'Jenin Massacre" that never occurred, or the al-Dura shooting that was done by the Palestinians themselves and then blamed on Israel, he had his most devious minds devise another atrocity to commit and then blame on the Israel. Ahmadinejad is using this latest fake atrocity as an excuse for the missiles he is about to let fly.

Little does he realize that he is about to commit a real atrocity, not on Israel and the Jews, but on the people he conveniently champions –– the Palestinians, and maybe even Jordan.

Ahmadinejad gives the word and the first of two missiles is launched towards Israel. The time is now about two hours before the Sabbath, when most Israelis are out and about getting ready for sunset and prayer. It's the busiest time of the week and Ahmadinejad has calculated it so as to invoke maximum death and injury. And horror.. Horror is very important, not merely for the psychological effect upon his sworn enemies, but to show the world that unless they follow his dictates, the same will happen to them.

At IDF Defense Headquarters, they track the missile's launch and the Arrow3 Missile Defense System is automatically activated. The system is an upgrade from the current Arrow2 system and untried in actual battle. Too late it does its job, but somehow, the first missile falls harmlessly on a recently deserted street in one of the most observant sections of Jerusalem. Some storefront windows are shattered, the pavement is destroyed, but no one was still out in the shopping area to be hurt.

Ahmadinejad is furious. He tells his generals to make the next one count. And at IDF Headquarters, no one is resting easy. Soldiers who had gone home for the Sabbath have been pouring in from the first second it was recognized that Israel was under attack. They rapidly check and readjust the Arrow3 Missile Defense System and wait. Shortly, another missile is spotted coming in from the northeast and the Arrow3 is again activated. This time it works and hits its mark –– the missile that is heading towards one of Israel's most vulnerable areas.

However, the true horror has just begun. The missile Iran shot at Israel is intercepted and 'neutralized' above the eastern bank of the Jordan River. But what nobody knew was the missile's payload. It was filled with napalm and phosphorus, as well as radioactive material. When the missile is intercepted by the Arrow3, it explodes in midair, raining burning chemicals and radiation far and wide upon the populations on either side of the Jordan River below.

Suddenly, Jordanians and Palestinians who are going about their daily lives are pelted with burning fragments of death. Their clothes catch on fire and on both sides of the Jordan, people are running into the river to douse the flames. Men, women and children have been turned into screaming pillars of fire, their flesh melting and charring as they run. But the water is no help, for the entire surface of it is afire from the phosphorus and napalm. They die, burning in the water and breathing in air turned to flame. And those who manage to survive have had their burns and wounds infected with microscopic particles of radioactive material. Their deaths will be even slower and more horrifically agonizing than their countrymen who agonizingly roasted to death in the initial bombing.

And so Iran (or maybe its satellite, Syria) has inadvertently bombed Jordan and the Palestinians.

Could this scenario happen? Absolutely. And unless the world, especially those nations threatening Israel, are very, very careful, it will.

Beth Goodtree, was an award winning writer on Jewish-American and Israeli issues until Metastatic Ovarian Cancer silenced her voice three years ago. Despite a grim prognosis, she has overcome, for the time being, her disease. This is her first article since her illness. Contact: BethGoodtree@yahoo.com

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Posted by Marc Samberg, May 29, 2008.

This was written by Danny Seaman. It was published today in YNET http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3549532,00.html Danny Seaman is the director of the Government Press Office

Media manipulation has become strategic Arab weapon against Israel

A French court has acquitted Philippe Karsenty of libel charges over his claim that TV network France 2's news report from the Netzarim junction in September 2000 was staged. The ruling constitutes an achievement in the effort to expose the truth around the incident that has become known as the Muhammad al-Dura affair. However, this is just the first stage in the struggle against international media coverage of the Middle East, which has been biased for many years now.

The revelations of the deceit in the al-Dura affair are a result of intense work by physicist Nahum Shahaf. He was followed by many good people from academia and the world of journalism who exposed the methods used by the Palestinian industry of lies to produce images that are etched in the collective memory via global media. This was succinctly defined by American Professor Richard Landes as "Pallywood."

The al-Dura affair is the most conspicuous and blatant of the phenomenon of media manipulation undertaken by Palestinian workers employed by international media outlets. These employees stage, produce, and edit events and photos in a bid to slander Israel in the world. Media reports and photos such as the al-Dura case affect global public opinion and governments. The stages events undermine Israel's ability to conduct itself within the conflict and affect our ability to maneuver and secure targets in times of emergency

Media manipulation has in fact turned into an strategic Arab weapon used against the State of Israel. It is used as an equalizer vis-à-vis Israel's military advantages while boosting the Arabs' global status vis-à-vis Israel. During the Second Lebanon War, international media personnel on the ground reported of an "IDF massacre in Qfar Qana," while bloggers at homes around the world quickly and without much effort revealed that the incident was in fact a Hizbullah production.

Yet this did not prevent the international community from pressing Israel to end the war. Several weeks before that we saw the photos of a Palestinian girl on the Gaza beach –– later revealed to be the reenactment by a Palestinian photographer of an event the IDF was not involved in. Just recently, a mother and her four children in Gaza were hit by an explosive device carried by Hamas men, an incident that was immediately attributed to the IDF by the media.

'Credible' sources

The bias is not only reserved for times of emergency. Often we see reports about some kind of harm done to the Palestinians by Israel that immediately make headlines worldwide. In many cases, the charges turn out to be false, yet the damage to Israel is already done. This stems from the fact that foreign networks do not do the minimum they should be doing –– verifying sources and crosschecking information. After all, they always attribute reports to Palestinian reporters and always find "credible" sources that would confirm the charges.

This may be forgiven the first and possibly second time. Yet once these revelations emerge time and again, we could expect foreign media outlets to be stricter and exhibit proper professional conduct before again leveling false charges at the State of Israel.

Therefore, exposing the truth behind the Muhammad al-Dura events is vital for the elimination of the phenomenon of staged media reports and for undermining the natural manner with which this phenomenon is accepted by global media outlets and the leniency they show to it. This tolerance sometimes stem from reasons of political sympathy, but mostly for reasons of financial profitability. Israel must make clear to global media outlets that they bear responsibility for the reports of their employees and must insist on adherence to journalistic ethics and accurate reporting, even when dealing with the State of Israel.

The establishment of a public relations office in the Prime Minister's Office could be an important factor in this struggle. In order to truly succeed in the media war, a structural bureaucratic change and additional funds are not enough. It is vital to internalize the essence of the struggle which the state contends with in the media. Members of the office must be willing to dedicate the required effort, while displaying public courage at times, in order to disprove and thwart the blood libels formulated by the Palestinians and to force global media outlets to adhere to professional standards.

In addition, as proven by Karsenty, Shahaf, Landes, journalists Gérard Huber and Stéphane Juffa, and others, the state can and should enlist the assistance of private professionals who are willing to fight for the State of Israel's good name and for the truth.

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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


Israel's Shdemah Army base is just south of Jerusalem. It is in Area C, which according to the Oslo Accords, is under total Israeli control. The site overlooks the new Jerusalem-to-Gush Etzion highway, itself built as an alternative to the tunnel route that often gets targeted by terrorists.

The IDF quietly abandoned the base. The government did not offer it to Jerusalem or to the Jewish people. It secretly offered it to the Arabs, to build a neighborhood, rather than letting the Arabs start in area A. Surveyors already marked the area out for the Arabs. Jews in the area are alarmed at the future threat to their security that would ensue. A Member of the Knesset added this problem to other abandonment of security for the Jews, such as bringing hundreds of P.A. police into more P.A. cities, arming the P.A., and the removal of anti-terrorism checkpoints (Arutz-7, 5/16).

The Left, the foreign media, and other anti-Zionists complain that Israel builds communities and housing in order to block Arab expansion and stake more of a claim to the Territories. Truth is, Israel mostly does the opposite. And the Arabs do get foreign funds for building in order to block Jewish expansion. That the Left does not complain about. The media is the champion of the double standard, sometimes known as antisemitism. In thus supporting the terrorists, the media and the Left considers itself virtuous. They are most immoral!

What are the stakes here? The Arabs continue the jihad they started against modern Zionism in 1920. They are trying to take over the country. That would mean death to millions of Jews, for those Arabs are bigoted killers. Israel has a right to a government that protects them, and the government has a right to protect them. It should be building in order to block Arab expansion. It certainly should not take down checkpoints that block Arab terrorists. Neither should it allow Arab building overlooking roads that Israelis need to travel on. That problem was resolved for Israel in 1947-49, the War for Independence. At that time, Arabs tried paralyzing Israeli transit and starving Jerusalemites by attacking road travel. Jewish forces cleared the roads and in a few cases, removed Arab villages from strategic sites, including some at sensitive border points.

Now it is like 1947. This time, the place of the British Mandate government in siding with the Arabs against the Jews, arming the Arabs against the Jews, and disarming the Jews against the Arabs, has been taken by the government of Israel. Some Jewish state, celebrating its 60th anniversary!

Ben-Gurion should have named the newly independent Jewish state "Judea," instead of Israel. Then it could be celebrating its anniversary in the thousands of years. The State would have been named after its ancient forebear, and the province by that name would more readily be recognized as a Jewish one than by the nickname, "West Bank," which includes the province of Samaria.


A lecturer in Jordan suggested that suicide bombers should strike at Dimona [Israel's nuclear facility] with portable nuclear bombs (Arutz-7, 5/16).

Can the Muslim Arabs do something for mankind instead of hating most of it and destroying what it can? The significant difference between their notion of God and the Christians' notion of the Devil eludes me.


Various allegedly right-wing politicians in Israel, from Likud, Shas, National Religious Party, and National Union, found much in the speech by Pres. Bush to praise as worthy of emulation by their deficient Prime Minister. Bush's speech upheld positive national pride, Zionism, God, God's giving the Land of Israel to the People of Israel, and it condemned making concessions to terrorists. The politicians wished that their Prime Minister felt the same as Bush.

Maale Adumim Mayor Kashriel asked Bush to honor his letter promising former PM Sharon that Israel may retain major towns in Judea-Samaria. State Dept. officials replied that the letter was not meant as a promise. It was kept vague for that reason, and was meant just to enable Sharon to cite it (Arutz-7, 5/17). In other words, Bush is phony and duped most of the Israeli public. I felt so at the time. The US often reneges on vague promises or not-so-vague ones. This incident reveals the real nature of the US government. Don't trust it.

The stated principles are good; the words were only words. Bush betrays them. Whom do those politicians think PM Olmert gets his ideas for concessions from? From Bush and Bush's envoy, Rice!

Question for Bush: Since you believe that God gave the Land of Israel to the Jewish people, why do you insist that the Jewish people give some of it to their mortal enemies? How dare you talk about God's wishes and then defy them? Are you even aware that most of the Land of Israel already is under Jordanian sovereignty?

Don't make concessions to terrorists? Rice keeps demanding such concessions. Take down checkpoints, she importunes Israel. Then, she says, those Jew-hating Muslim Arabs will enjoy life better. But so will the terrorists, who could move more freely. Bush's policies are those of a killer.

Bush doesn't fool me. How can he fool the Israeli politicians? Is there not an honest one among them and among the major media, to contradict Bush? Are they all under the spell of illusion and hypocrisy? Some "right wing!"


Israel removed still more checkpoints, at the behest of the hostile State Dept.. Terrorists usually exploit this "easing of conditions for Palestinians" to launch attacks. The casualties and Israeli counter-attacks, coming during an international business conference in Bethlehem, may disrupt the conference and be used by the media to make Israel look bad (IMRA, 5/18). Why doesn't the media make the terrorists look bad? After all, they are bad! Terrorism drives out business, but the media blames Israel for the poor P.A. economy.


In a press review of his meeting with Abbas, Pres. Bush mentioned that the first thing they discussed was Lebanon. He said to Abbas, "I appreciate you sharing your strategy with me." Abbas has a strategy for Lebanon?

Bush stated the "false premise upon which the entire house of cards known as the Bush vision is built: 'The (PA) President and his team are committed to peace. They stand squarely against those who use violence to stop the peace process. '" Pres. Bush said that, when given a chance, the western Palestinian Arabs "will build a thriving homeland." (IMRA, 5/18.)

And they would build it in the Jewish homeland. Unfair to the Jews. Nor is it a truthful statement, especially "when given a chance," as if Israel stops them. They have had ample opportunity. Israel built much infrastructure for them. It gave them autonomy so they could build for themselves. Instead, they preyed upon themselves and sent assassins into Israel, so that Israel had to restrict their movement. Their general criminality discouraged foreign capital and wasted foreign aid. They bungled their opportunity. The world should stop lavishing funds and sympathy upon those pathetic enemies of mankind. Pity for pirates?

Abbas and regime praise terrorism. How can Bush pretend otherwise? Bush can pretend, because the major media also pretend. They don't gather news so much as disseminate allegations in support of their view.

Abbas agrees with Bush's regret that Iran is taking over Lebanon, through its proxies. Abbas would regret that, because Hamas is one such proxy and much of Fatah, supposedly Abbas' own organization, increasingly has become another.


Israel uses recycled water for agriculture. The P.A. does not. It uses fresh water, then runs out (IMRA, 5/2) and blames Israel for hogging the water. Waste not, want not, my teacher used to say.


Then he complains, from the pages of the prestigious Times, which gives space to appeasement of the Arabs and not to my view, that nobody wants to hear any criticism of Israel or to hear the Arab point of view. I have written hundreds of pages about the Times' lopsided and erroneous presentation of the Arab point of view and of the paper's unfair criticism of Israel that usually omits Israeli rebuttal. The Muslim Arabs get frequent access to the media, but pretend that they are denied most access. As stated earlier, Western media and leaders don't want to criticize the Arabs. Israel they criticize all the time. As usual, the Arabs blame their enemies for what the Arabs do and pretend to be the underdogs.


Khoury feels sorry for the Arabs in the Territories, calling their life hell. It isn't hell, if one compares their filled out bodies with the emaciated ones of some Africans and south Asians. But it is unpleasant for his people to be ruled by Arab dictators who extort their money, use much of it for war even though they had negotiated peace, and who bring up their children to want to murder other people. If he feels sorry for his people, why doesn't he condemn their Arab rulers? The answer is that the Arabs are ashamed to admit fault. They prefer to blame others. Should statehood be given to would-be murderers?

Since the Arabs keep attacking Israel, don't Israelis deserve sympathy? They don't get it from Khoury. That man, who talks of taking responsibility for what one does, does not admit any wrongdoing by his people, who have done as much wrongdoing as any others.

He urges the P.A. leadership to confront Israel. How irresponsible! They have a peace agreement. All they had to do was keep it and negotiate a final agreement, for Israel was willing to cede them much of the Territories. But that's the Muslim Arab way –– confront rather than resolve peacefully. They also demand everything rather than compromise anything except temporarily. This is because their religion seeks to conquer the world in holy war, which includes propaganda.


Here's another example of his multi-faceted falsehoods: "Israel has depicted the problem as rooted in the Arab world's refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist. But even after the majority of Arab states demonstrated their recognition of this right by supporting the Saudi peace initiative of 2002, nothing changed...the true problem lies in Israel's rejection of the Palestinian right to an independent state..."

I call his falsehoods multi-faceted, because in just two, related sentences, he embeds a number of false and misleading claims and concepts. The Arabs started the wars on Israel. It is not up to Israel to make peace but up to the Muslim Arabs to stop making war. The Muslims had their reason for starting the war. Khouri doesn't state it. They haven't changed it. It derives from principles of Islam and from Arab rulers' imperialism. Here they are.

In 1947, when the UNO proposed a Jewish and an Arab state in what was left of the Palestine Mandate, Israel accepted the Arab state but the Arabs rejected the Jewish state. Islam holds that any area it once had conquered but subsequently lost, it must recover. A Jewish state in the Mideast that Islam once conquered (from the Christians and Jews) is an affront to Islam.

When the Jews reconstituted their state, the Palestinian Arabs and Arab states attacked Israel. As the Arabs made plain in the first few wars, their goal was to exterminate the Jews and seize their country. When the war ended, Egyptian and Jordanian forces controlled Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and the Old City of Jerusalem. Jordan wanted what it took for itself. Egypt wanted what it took as a base for attacking Israel again. They did not permit the Arabs in those areas to set up another Palestinian Arab state.

The Palestinian Arabs attacked Israel which had approved the UNO plan for an Arab state, and the Palestinian Arabs rejected that plan, and the existing Arab states seized the Territories and didn't let a state form there. Therefore, Khoury has no basis for claiming that the Jews caused the wars by thwarting Palestinian Arab statehood. Let Khoury blame his fellow Arabs, not Israel!

By the way, there already is an Arab state in Palestine. It is called Jordan. What then is the need for another? It is a phony pretext for attacking Israel. Imperialists make up excuses for their attacks. Americans didn't take seriously the excuses of imperialists such as the Nazis, Japanese Empire, and the Communists. Why take seriously the excuses of the Arab imperialists?

The Arab war on Israel in 1967 ended with Israel in control of the Territories. Instead of expelling the Arab enemy and incorporating the Territories, Israel mostly held them in suspended status, offering them to the Arabs in return for peace. At Khartoum, the Arab League said "No." Let Khoury blame them, not Israel, for not permitting the Arabs to have the Territories!

Under the Oslo Accords, Israel granted the Arabs in the Territories autonomy and an opportunity, if they ended their terrorist war on Israel, to make permanent arrangements for complete self-rule. The Arabs broke all their commitments. They teach their children that they are entitled to all the cities in Israel. So much for who is responsible for non-peace.


Khoury referred to an Arab right to independence. There is no such right. The Arabs, who give few rights to their own people and fewer to minorities, talk expansively about non-existent rights for their own rulers.

Another alleged right is that the descendants of Arab refugees may enter Israel. It is an option, if Israel permits, provided that the Arabs agree to genuine peace. The refugee descendants don't believe in peace. If they entered Israel by the million, they would cripple national defense in a civil war or take the country over by majority rule. They would expel the few Jews they don't murder. Nevertheless, the demand for that "right" is part of the Saudi proposal. It is a proposal for war and genocide. Khoury calls it a peace proposal, as do the Saudis. This is a deception. Deception of the infidels is a major Islamic tactic. Khoury won't tell readers that. Shouldn't the Times, which does publish other background information?


Khoury admits that some Arab states did not agree to the Saudi plan. The Arabs come out with proposals that capture favorable headlines. They don't mean what they say, however. Some don't agree with the others. When one goes to war, the others usually side with it. Organizations claim they don't endorse what their supposed representatives proposed. They find pretexts for not complying.

Contrary to what Khoury alleged, the Saudis did not promise to recognize Israel. Their plan asks Israel to surrender its secure borders, and then the Arabs would consider recognizing Israel. By not having those borders and having the refugees inside, Israel would be rendered helpless. Considering that the Arabs still are in an arms race, such a plan means war and genocide.

Consider Muslim Arab culture. The Muslim Arabs and Iranians are ramping up holy war. They preach hatred and conquest. Since they haven't stopped calling Jews "sons of apes and pigs," how would they get their people to retract their bigotry and desire for war? Shouldn't a cultural and religious movement for peace be visible, before the blandishments of Arab leaders about peace are taken seriously?


I think the Times should be ashamed of publishing Khouri's defamation without a rebuttal or an editorial pointing out his lies and misrepresentation. Instead of fully informing readers, as the Times claims to do, it fills them with lies and vicious ones at that, leading to genocide.

A newspaper that indulges in such advocacy journalism about jihad cannot be trusted on other political issues.

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

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Posted by CAMERA, May 28, 2008.

Bravo to investigative reporter Joel Mowbray for pointing out the absurd errors made by Frank Rich in the New York Times regarding the pro-Israel pastor, John Hagee. As Mowbray notes, "Mr. Rich branded Mr. Hagee a bigot when, in fact, he [Hagee] was actually fighting bigotry."

Frank Rich's hit piece on Hagee is a classic example of taking words out of context.

This article appeared in The Washington Times

The cartoon is by Dry Bones and is on Hagee, CUFI, and Campaign 2008. Saul Goldman who submitted it writes: a cartoon is worth a gazillion.



In a particularly harsh New York Times column, Frank Rich recently painted a persuasive portrayal of high-profile evangelical Christian minister John Hagee as a nutty anti-Catholic bigot who does not like Jews, either. Simply put, it is a lie. Certain facts cited are, in fact, true. The most damning "facts," however, are not. Therein lies the problem.

Mr. Rich flipped the truth on its head –– and it would stretch credulity to think he made an honest mistake. In the YouTube video the Times columnist parades as evidence of bigotry, Mr. Hagee is actually doing what he has done for decades: combating anti-Semitism. In other words, Mr. Rich branded Mr. Hagee a bigot when, in fact, he was actually fighting bigotry.

Describing a now-infamous YouTube video clip –– which lasts all of one minute and 17 seconds –– Mr. Rich wrote: "Wielding a pointer, [Mr. Hagee] pokes at the image of a woman with Pamela Anderson-sized breasts, her hand raising a golden chalice. The woman is 'the Great Whore,' Mr. Hagee explains, and she is drinking 'the blood of the Jewish people.' The Great Whore represents 'the Roman Church,' which, in his view, has thirsted for Jewish blood throughout history, from the Crusades to the Holocaust." What the columnist neglects to note is that "the Great Whore" is not Mr. Hagee's term, but rather the Bible's. And suffice it to say that if Pamela Anderson had the same breast size as the rather plain-looking "Great Whore," then the iconic blond never would have become, well, iconic.

But those are simply deceptive tactics. This is the big lie: Mr. Hagee never said that "the Great Whore" was the "Roman Church." Certainly not in the video, and it appears, not ever. Mr. Hagee quite clearly said that she represented "the Apostate Church."

Later in his monologue, Mr. Hagee cited Adolf Hitler's boast that he was merely following in the footsteps of the "Roman Church." (Many Protestants have used the "Great Whore" to further anti-Catholicism, but Mr. Hagee has not.) So shoddy was Mr. Rich's research that not only did he not call for comment, but he even declined an offer from Mr. Hagee's publicist to answer any questions –– an e-mail that was only sent the day before publication, because the publicist had heard that the column was in the works. (Mr. Rich did not respond to a request for an interview for this column.)

Were Mr. Rich interested in being fair, he would have noted that Mr. Hagee, for over a decade, personally supported a San Antonio-area Catholic convent which provided free housing for retired nuns. (Mr. Rich knew this, as it was referenced in the publicist's e-mail.) His failure to adhere to basic journalistic standards might explain why Mr. Rich (perhaps unintentionally) created the impression that Mr. Hagee is, at best, no friend of Jews, or at worst, an anti-Semite. It's an ugly implication –– and dead wrong.

Theologically, Mr. Hagee believes that one of the greatest sins a Christian can commit is anti-Semitism –– hence the reference in the video to the drinking of the blood of the Jews. He was reminding Christians, as he often does, of the long history of Christian anti-Semitism. Mr. Hagee wastes no opportunity to teach Christians that one of the surest ways for a Christian to become a member of the "apostate church" is to engage in anti-Semitism.

For decades, Mr. Hagee has easily been one of the most prominent Christian leaders fighting anti-Semitism. To him, loving Jews as much as one's Christian neighbors is a core tenet of his faith. In his book "In Defense of Israel," Mr. Hagee wrote, "Show me an anti-Semitic Christian, and I'll show you a spiritually dead Christian whose hatred for other human beings has strangled his faith."

If anything, Mr. Hagee is obsessed with purging anti-Semitism from Christendom. Thus, the book contains a lengthy discussion of the history of Christian anti-Semitism. (It is from this section that his critics have pulled quotes to argue that Mr. Hagee is anti-Catholic. The leading critic, though, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, this week announced a truce with Mr. Hagee.)

If only Mr. Rich had spent roughly 20 minutes to peruse the relevant chapter, he would have learned two important tidbits: 1) Mr. Hagee's criticism was directed solely at the Catholic Church's past deeds, and 2) Mr. Hagee also attacked Protestant anti-Semitism, with an in-depth exploration of Martin Luther's considerable influence on Nazi ideology.

Throwing stones from inside his glass house, Mr. Rich wrote, "Any 12-year-old with a laptop could have vetted this preacher in 30 seconds, tops." Given how far off the mark he was, it is only fair to ask of Mr. Rich: Could he not find a "12-year-old with a laptop"?

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) monitors the news and TV media for how fair they are in reporting on Israel. The website address is www.camera.org.

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 28, 2008.

This is what the nation is struggling with in response to Talansky's testimony yesterday. It is not simply a question of illegality, but of out-and-out sleaze. Asking for money in unmarked envelopes instead of by check over a period of many years. Requesting loans for extravagances and never repaying them, even when asked to do so.

There is the sense on the left and the right that Olmert is not a man who can head this nation. The focus is quality government, which is not a political issue tilting one way or the other. A rabbi is calling on other rabbis to camp outside Olmert's home until he quits. An "Envelope Movement" has started, with people printing up "Olmert go home" on envelopes, passing them out and putting them in public places. And now I'm hearing about demonstrations in the streets.

Perhaps most significantly, Barak, who is head of Labor, at a press conference this afternoon, has now called upon Olmert to step down:

"In the wake of the current situation and considering the challenges Israel faces...the prime minister cannot simultaneously lead the government and conduct his personal affairs.

"Out of consideration for the good of the country and the accepted norms, I believe the prime minister must detach himself from the day-to-day leadership of the country."

Barak suggested that the choice of whether to resign or temporarily suspend himself remained Olmert's. He indicated that if Olmert did neither, "we will move towards early elections."


From several quarters criticism is being leveled at Barak for neither quitting the coalition now, nor setting a timetable for doing so if Olmert fails to act. There is concern that his words were not strong enough, and that he may be grandstanding rather than speaking sincerely.

MK Zevulun Orlev gave voice to this when expressing unease that Barak might "repeat the false promises he made at Kibbutz Sdot Yam at his infamous press conference in June 2007." That's when he promised to quit after the final Winograd report was issued, although when time came, he did not do.

Part of what's going on here, of course, is Barak's fear that in elections he would be trounced by Netanyahu.


Three Labor MKs, acting more decisively, moved to dissolve the Knesset. There is a process, however, and this does not automatically come to a vote.


MK Eli Yishai (head of the Shas faction) is behaving in his usual pathetic manner. "I'm not going to get emotional about this," he said, while explaining that he was still backing Olmert. He will now be consulting the Council of Sages that guides Shas.


Needless to say, there is a lot of backroom caucusing taking place as people try to position themselves, within their own parties and in relationship to the other parties.

Early rumors have spread of a Labor-Likud national emergency government that would leave Kadima in the cold.

As would be expected, tension between Labor and Kadima is considerable.


And Olmert? He's a man without shame. In the face of all that was publicly revealed yesterday, he refuses to step down. Says his strategic adviser, Tal Zilberstein, this would be an admission of guilt. His lawyers are claiming that there's nothing new in Talansky's testimony and that Olmert's innocence will be proven.

Ultimately it will be up to the prosecutors and court to determine legal guilt, although when one hears about more than $300,000 allegedly transferred from Talansky's corporations to Olmert's lawyer, Messer, one does begin to suspect that there was more going on than Talansky's pure love for the mayor of Jerusalem.

But the other guilt –– of impropriety, of lack of ethical behavior –– is staring us all in the face.


Abbas is worried that all of this turmoil will effect negotiations. Let's hope so.

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

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, May 28, 2008.

Sh'lom y'all,

If you recall the real bottom-line motives of the international boycott-divestment movement, this witch-hunt is not a surprise.

See my four articles (blog: www.sanityandsurvival.blogspot.com; or www.frontpagemag.com, go to archive and then to contributors, and then search on my name for the divestment articles) for details.

The bottom line is: the divestment movement is merely a front in order to create a podium from which to bash Israel.

Thus it does not matter that such an initiative, such a witch-hunt, is likely to be voted down, or rejected, or censured....

..........what matters is getting out there in front of the public on one occasion and one pulpit and one soap-box after another and another and another...and just keep telling the world how horrid Israel is. Eventually (per Goebbels) they will come to believe it.

that's the strategy....that's the bottom line. that's why the boycott movement in the UK keeps re-surfacing...no matter how many times it is shot down, and no matter how strong the condemnation. that's why pro-palestinian spokespersons within and without various churches and church movements and universities and teachers' unions, just keep raising the issue.

the unpleasant tragic reality is that those in the church and the university systems who do so are either utterly duped by the Arab propaganda, or are conscious and intentional purveyors of it.

of those in church movements, it can be concluded that they hate the Jews more than they love their Savior.

of those in the university organizations, it can be concluded that they hate the Jews more than they honor their commitments to academic integrity.

The article below is called "The universities' witch-hunt against the Jews." It was written by Melanie Phillips and it appeared today in the Spectator (UK)

Today, the Universities and Colleges Union is discussing whether universities should single out Israeli and Jewish scholars for active discrimination.

Yes, you read that correctly. The UCU is debating a motion which not only raises the spectre yet again of an academic boycott of Israel but demands of Jewish and Israeli academics that they explain their politics as a pre-condition to normal academic contact. The motion asks colleagues

to consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation with individuals and institutions concerned, including Israeli colleagues with whom they are collaborating... the testimonies will be used to promote a wide discussion by colleagues of the appropriateness of continued educational links with Israeli academic institutions... Ariel College, an explicitly colonising institution in the West Bank, be investigated under the formal Greylisting Procedure.

The implication is that, if they don't condemn Israel for the `occupation', or practising `apartheid', `genocide' or any of the other manufactured crimes laid at Israel's door by the Palestinian/ Islamist/neonazi/leftwing axis, they won't be able to work. Their continued employment will depend on their holding views which are permitted. The views they are being bludgeoned into expressing as a condition of their employment are based on lies, distortion, propaganda, gross historical ignorance, blood libels and prejudice. And this in the universities, supposedly the custodians of free thought and inquiry in the service of dispassionate scholarship.

What makes it all the more appalling is that it is Israelis and Jews alone who are being singled out for this treatment. No other group is to be barred from academic activity unless they hold `approved' views; no state-run educational institution controlled by any of the world's numerous tyrannies is to be `grey-listed'. The UCU's own rules state that it

actively opposes all forms of harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination.

Well, various Jewish groups in the Stop the Boycott campaign have obtained a legal opinion from two QCs which states that today's motion constitutes harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination on grounds of race or nationality. It says:

If the Motion is passed it would expose Jewish members of the Union to indirect discrimination... Additionally, the Union faces potential liability for acts of harassment on grounds of race or nationality. The substance of the Motion may also involve the Union in becoming accessories to acts of discrimination in an employment context against Israeli academics...No doubt, if such Israeli academics speak in favour of the Palestinian viewpoint they will be immune from further action; if they are against it or possibly even non-committal they and their institutions are to be considered potentially unsuitable subjects for continued association...

The Union will accordingly be adopting a provision, criterion or practice which will put Jewish members at a particular disadvantage compared to non-Jewish members. That is because Jewish members are much more likely to have links with Israeli academics and institutions than non -Jewish members. To require Jewish members to act consistently with the Motion (if passed) would be to impose a professional detriment upon them as Union members which is based on their race. If they acted inconsistently with the Motion, we infer that they would also be subject to disadvantage or sanction under the Union rules or practices –– an alternative detriment. We do not see how any such detriment would be justified as pursuing a legitimate aim. No proper Union purpose is promoted by imposing this detriment on certain members. Thus the Motion will have the effect of indirectly –– and unlawfully –– against Jewish Members of the Union.

The opinion is thus unequivocal. Today's motion breaks the law; it breaks the UCU's own rules; it is prejudiced, discriminatory and unjust towards Israelis and Jews. But the motion also notes

legal attempts to prevent UCU debating boycott of Israeli academic institutions; and legal advice that such debates are lawful

In other words, two fingers to the Jews. Such is the disgusting and terrifying state to which Britain's intelligentsia has now descended. http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/736686/the-universities-witchhunt

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 Eye on the UN, May 28, 2008.

Israel-bashing agenda emerges as substantive discussion of Durban II gets underway in the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group

On May 27, 2008 states negotiating the substance and procedure of the Durban Review Conference/Durban II revealed the anti-Israel agenda in the first "non-paper" outlining issues intended to be discussed.

The non-paper was released in Geneva during the first meeting of the "Intersessional open-ended intergovernmental working group to follow up the work of the Preparatory Committee for the Durban Review Conference."

Under the subject "Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance", the "victims identified" by an intergovernmental working group include "the Palestinian people under foreign occupation." The paper suggests that the "vulnerability" of Palestinians "is connected to racial or ethnic distinction from the occupying power."

In other words, Palestinians are victims of Israeli racism. This is the recast UN formulation of the 1975 General Assembly resolution declaring 'Zionism is racism'.

Durban II is intended to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action adopted on September 8, 2001 and that Declaration included a statement singling out Israel as guilty of racism against Palestinians.

Leading the effort to once again isolate Israel, and demonize the Jewish state as racist, are Iran and Egypt. In the section "Other contemporary forms of racism as reported by different countries" Iran pointed to "the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which constitutes a violation of a wide range of civil and political rights." As part of "Strategies to achieve full and effective equality, including...mechanisms in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance" Egypt insisted that "...Other issues to be addressed include...foreign occupation."

The Durban II agenda should ring other alarm bells for democratic societies, as the non-paper declares a clear assault on the freedom of expression under the guise of combating alleged Islamophobia. Here are some of the issues and suggestions now on the table:

* "Permissible limitations on the exercise of the right to freedom of expression should be codified."
* "the need to draw up a code of conduct" for journalists
* "define the threshold for legitimately restricting freedom of expression in order to protect the victims."
* "the imbalance between the defence of secularism and respect for freedom of religion"
* "the ideological pre-eminence of freedom of expression."

In the meantime, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the African regional group –– now controlled by the OIC and its spokesperson Egypt –– are running circles around the European Union. On the first day of the session of the intergovernmental working group, for example, Egypt spoke more than four times as often as any other state. The German delegate remarked: "I find it quite ironic that our Egyptian colleague was insisting that he wants to be heard, when he was the person that talked most –– all the time –– here this morning; he has delivered a headline for this meeting which is en attendant l'Egypt [pending Egypt]."


Click here to watch video.


Durban II and the Egyptian Bully
April 21, 2008 –– May 2, 2008; May 26, 2008 –– May 28, 2008: Egypt is running circles around the states in the European Union, while the Islamic Conference now controls the African Regional Group. And nobody is prepared to stop them.

Anne Bayefsky is Editor of EYEontheUN, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and Director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. Contact her at anne@hudsonny.org
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Posted by Michael Freund, May 28, 2008.

This past Monday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a Knesset Committee that anyone who believes in the idea of "Greater Israel" is a "delusional fantasist".

Yet, as I argue below in the column from the Jerusalem Post, the real "delusional fantasists" are those who persist in clinging to the false hope of forging an even falser peace after 15 years of ongoing Palestinian violence, terror and obstructionism.

Believing in the right of the Jewish people to the entire Land of Israel is neither delusional nor fantasy. It has been the basis of our faith, and the core of our national dream, for the past 2,000 years, and over the past six decades we have seen it begin to come to pass.

And soon enough, the promise of "Greater Israel" will yet come true.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a slight problem on our hands. This coming Sunday night marks the start of Yom Yerushalayim, the annual celebration of Jerusalem's liberation during the heroic 1967 Six-Day War.

Normally speaking, it is a day filled with cheer. Special prayers are recited in synagogues around the world, marches, ceremonies and commemorations are held, and crowds of visitors flock to the Old City to stroll through its narrow streets, caress the gentle stones of the Western Wall, and savor the holiness in the air.

But here's the glitch: just how exactly are we supposed to rejoice over Jerusalem's reunification this year when the Israeli government is now actively seeking to divide it?

It almost seems like throwing a large wedding anniversary party in the middle of divorce proceedings.

Sure, the negotiations with the Palestinians may or may not be getting anywhere, depending on the latest spin being circulated in the media. And the current governing coalition, along with its policy of concessions, might in any event be gone before we know it.

But all that is beside the point.

The very fact that Jerusalem is on the table just 41 years after its miraculous emancipation from the shackles of foreign control cannot help but cast a menacing shadow over the festivities.

And yet, oddly enough, despite the uncertainty hanging over the fate of our capital, I intend to whoop it up and revel fully in the spirit of the day. And you should too.

Here's why: the jig is up for the Left and its supporters.

TRY AS they might to let the air out of the balloons, those in favor of tearing apart Jerusalem cannot, and will not, succeed. They and their ideological fellow-travelers are running out of steam, and they long ago ran out of political vision and courage, so it is only a matter of time before their outmoded policies become a thing of the past.

Point of fact: for the past 15 years, ever since the signing of the Oslo Accords, various Israeli leaders have been coaxing and cajoling, pleading and pressing, and even begging and beseeching the Palestinians to make peace with us. And all they have to show for it is a string of failures and half-a-dozen worthless agreements, topped off by a steady stream of Kassam rockets now raining down on Sderot and the Negev.

And yet, that doesn't seem to stop the proponents of retreat from hurling invective at those of us who refuse to buy into their forlorn worldview.

"Delusional fantasists." That is how Prime Minister Ehud Olmert referred to those who believe in the vision of Greater Israel when he appeared before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

"Only fantasists," he said, "can believe that in this day and age, and in the current situation, it is still possible to cling to the vision of 'Greater Israel.' "

But who is really being delusional here? Is it Israel's Right, which has warned from the start about the dangers of appeasing Palestinian terror, or those who persist in clinging to a false hope of forging an even falser peace?

With all due respect to Mr. Olmert, repeatedly banging one's head against the wall of Palestinian obstructionism in the hopes of making peace, even as more and more blood pours forth with each blow, hardly seems to qualify as rational behavior or intelligent policy-making.

If anyone is delusional, it is those who still think that dividing the land of Israel will appease the Palestinian appetite, and quench their thirst for dismantling the Jewish state once and for all.

Believing in the right of the Jewish people to the entire Land of Israel is neither delusional nor fantasy. It has been the basis of our faith, and the core of our national dream, for the past 2,000 years. It was a Divine promise to our ancestors, and it has propelled our people over the past century to climb out of exile and to continue to strive. And over the past six decades we have seen it begin to come to pass.

Herzl too was mocked in similar terms when he boldly predicted the establishment of a Jewish state. Back in 1897, the great Zionist thinker Ahad Ha'am wrote this about Herzl's vision: "only a fantasy bordering on madness can believe that so soon as the Jewish State is established millions of Jews will flock to it, and the land will afford them adequate sustenance."

GUESS WHAT? It happened. Just look around at what Israel has accomplished in the past 60 years.

So in the spirit of the day, I'm going to keep right on celebrating the return of Jerusalem to Jewish control, confident in the knowledge that those who raise a hand against her will not succeed.

And I take solace from a passage in the Talmud in Tractate Taanit (29a), which is well worth pondering as we mark Yom Yerushalayim. The Talmud there contains a description of how the two Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed, centuries apart, by the Babylonians and then by the Romans.

In both cases, when the attackers entered the Temple grounds, it occurred on a Sunday. Nevertheless, says the Talmud, the Levites on duty were singing the Song of the Day normally recited on Wednesdays.

Rabbi Nachman Kahane points out that Wednesday's song, which is Chapter 94 of the Book of Psalms, begins with the words, "O G-d of vengeance, L-rd, O G-d of vengeance, appear!"

The Levites, he explains, seeing that the Temple was about to fall into enemy hands, issued a last-minute plea to G-d to avenge its capture, hence they chose Wednesday's song.

But why specifically Wednesday?

Jump ahead nearly 2,000 years to the Six Day War, when Israeli soldiers ascended the Temple Mount and restored it to Jewish control. The day that took place was June 7, 1967 which was, of course, a... Wednesday. And so the historical circle was closed.

Go ahead, dismiss it all as a coincidence, if you wish.

But don't go calling it "fantasy." The promise of Greater Israel will yet come true. Just you wait and see.

Michael Freund served as an adviser to former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He is a Jerusalem Post correspondent. This article appeared today in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1211872828857&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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


Hamas TV tells Arab children that Tel Aviv was an Arab place and so were certain other major cities in Israel. The program accuses the Israelis of having changed the names of those cities, including Beersheba to Hebrew ones (IMRA, 5/14).

Tel Aviv is a modern city. It was built by Zionists, because the Arabs harassed Jews living in Jaffa. The Arabs did not build cities in Israel, though they have illegally built houses on stolen land and gotten recent, timid Israeli regimes to grant them municipal status and subsidy, though the Arabs claim that they are discriminated against.

Zionist immigrants found that the Arabs had changed the ancient Hebrew names of places into a slightly different Arabic language version. Israel may have changed those back. The Arabs did not live in Israel in ancient times, as did the Israelites, but conquered the area 1300-1400 years ago.

During the Arabs' first attempt to exterminate the Palestinian Jews, in 1947, the Arabs fled, Israel demolished many of the abandoned Arab villages, and probably gave their own names to new towns there. But Beersheba is mentioned in the ancient Hebrew Bible, before the Arabs arrived.


Pres. Peres of Israel praised Sec. Rice for helping Israel negotiate in difficult times (IMRA, 5/14).

Rice constantly criticizes Israel, victim of P.A. aggression, and does not criticize the P.A.. She demands Israeli security concessions to the aggressors, and does not demand that the aggressors desist. She insists that Israel give up more and more in its negotiations. Some help to Israel!


Several others were killed in Iraq. For us Americans, better there than here.

Now European Muslims are fighting abroad. How long before they fight in Europe? Is Europe waiting for that to happen? It may find that a large portion of the national armies with which it would hope to put down the rebellion is Muslim.

I'll be vacationing in Europe soon. I wonder what to reply when some native starts to make fun of Pres. Bush or worse, of the US. What would Europe's economy have been like if it had to pay its share of NATO defense of Europe, mostly borne for many years by the US. NATO cost the US more than 20 times as much as aid to Israel, which held off our enemies there with its own troops.


So said my political science professor, DeHaas. PM Olmert tried to delay the testimony of Mr. Talansky (who may reveal that indeed he did bribe Olmert). The court rejected Olmert's appeal (IMRA, 5/15).

Earlier, Talansky expressed fear for his own safety. Perhaps he recalls that Sharon suffered his first attack after being alone with Peres, and went into a coma shortly after being alone with Olmert and giving him a signed statement transferring office to him if incapacitated. Instead of investigating, the Attorney-General declared Sharon not permanently incapacitated. He was lying to keep the country from holding an election in which someone less leftist and less subject to prosecutorial blackmail might get the office.


Abbas controls P.A. broadcasts in Judea-Samaria. While Bush was indulging in his usual unwarranted praise for Abbas, the P.A. broadcast a slur on the US as being the biggest Satan. The P.A. favors Cuba, Venezuela, and N. Korea, because they are anti-American. It lauds those who fight the US. A new P.A. state is likely to line up with jihad against America (IMRA,Arutz-7, 5/15). Will the US media ever question why the US helps those enemies of ours?


The detailed reviews of Daniel Silva's half-dozen novels were exciting. All are about Islamists who gain entrée into naïve Western society posing as moderates. While the Islamists plot, the Israeli hero attempts to thwart or trap them.

The stories are patterned enough after real events and characters to make them instructive and entertaining in a way that news reports are not (gleaned from MEFNews, 5/15).


A recent rocket attack on Ashkelon was launched from a former Jewish town in Gaza (Arutz-7, 5/15).

The rocket that struck Ashkelon was new and improved. Inevitable and predicted. Nevertheless, the regime waited for this to happen. Then when the enemy uses the respite to build up fortifications, the regime fears to act.

How ironical and revealing about the short-sightedness of Israeli policy! The policy of removing all the Jews from Gaza was bulldozed by former PM Sharon. Sharon was known as Israel's best strategist. His policy was anti-Zionist strategy. People didn't know that he always had been a leftist, but they suppose him to have been a right-winger. In that case, how come they don't wonder what turned him against Israel? Why don't they question the acquiescence of the Knesset to his intended and announced plan to expel the Jews?

The answers are that the Knesset doesn't question a Prime Minister if it means they might lose their valuable legislative seats, and the media don't ask many question about policies they like. Few people think about public issues. They parrot.


An Israeli radio announcer indicated that the rocket attack on Ashkelon did not produce enough casualties to finally get the Olmert regime to take the "serious" action against terrorism that Olmert publicly admitted he had yet to take.

The government does not protect its people. Protecting the people is the fundamental obligation of government. The Olmert regime does not meet its basic obligation. It hardly is appropriate for it to be negotiating national security with the enemy whom it lets attack it national security (Dr. Aaron Lerner, IMRa, 5/16) and under the auspices of the US, which demands that Israel let the Arabs have the ability to attack.

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

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, May 28, 2008.

Israelis are wonderful!

After the testimony on how PM Olmert received large sums of cash in unmarked Envelopes for many years –– a new grass-roots movement is springing up in pockets throughout Israel: "Tnuat Matafot" –– "The Envelope Movement".

Some are printing up Envelopes saying "Olmert HaBayita" –– "Olmert Go Home" (signed) "Tnat Matafot" –– "The Envelope Movement" and distributing them. Others are carrying around Envelopes in a demonstrative manner –– so everyone will get the message, or posting them in obvious places.

There is even talk of "Hafganot Matafot" –– "Envelope Demonstrations" where people will wave Envelopes and poster sized Envelopes and call for PM Olmert to resign.

The testimony was just today.

The "Envelope Movement" is just starting.

Let's see where it goes and who takes it there.

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

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Posted by Root and Branch Association, Ltd, May 27, 2008.

Israelite Pathan Jerusalem Proclamation Signatories:

Shalom Mr. Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden,

The responsibility that lies upon the Children of Israel and their biological and spiritual descendants of today, is a great one, shared by the Jewish People inside and outside Israel, and amongst those who look to the Jewish People as a source of inspiration and inner peace.

We have gone through great hardship, war, and yet here we are today, stronger than ever, the only real opposition we face today is from within our own ranks, bringing to light the old adage of two Jews and three opinions.

Yerushalem, our capital appointed by King David, has been the center of Jewish, Israeli and even Muslim prayer. I am witness firsthand to the knowledge of the airport mosque of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia facing Yerushalem even today, where Muslims knowingly pray towards the ruins of the Temple of Solomon (please see Note below).

As do they in our tribal Pathan lands on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, towards the Land of our forefathers. I speak not only as a Muslim from Pakistan, but as a child of Israel, of the Pathan tribe of Yousufzai (Pashto: Sons of Yosef). I represent a migrating family of Pathans who have traveled through many eras and countries. We were always neighbors with practicing Jews who treated us as one of them, and we treated them as one of us. We continue to pray towards our capital city [Jerusalem], as do 20 million Pathans in Asia and across the world, knowingly or unknowingly (please see Note below).

Muslims across the world have the Ka'aba to pray towards. Yerushalem has always been inhabited by the Jewish People, it is a multi-cultural city which is the heart and soul of the Jewish People. Anyone who does not allow the Jewish People to inherit the city and control it as their own is offending the memory of Abraham, who is the spiritual father of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths.

I propose not to divide the holiest city in the world. I propose Yerushalem to be not only the capital of the Jewish People and the State of Israel, but as the center of the United Nations and the capital of the world.

Shalom from Karachi,

Mr. Qazi Fazl Azeem
Israelite Pathan
Karachi, Pakistan


My brother-in-law's first cousin, Dr. Omer Naseem, was appointed medical doctor for the Airport of Saudi Arabia in Riyad from 2004-2005. He told me himself that he had a compass which points to the ka'aba built into his watch. In the mosque that he was praying in at the Airport for one year, it did not point in the direction of Makka but towards Yerushalem.

Dr. Naseem asked about this to the priest (mullah) there who admitted it points to the ruins at Yerushalem as it was the Qibla-e-Awwal (original point of worship) of the Muslims (this is true), before Muslims started bowing towards the Makkah city [Qur'an, The Cow, Sura 2:142-149].

I do not know if the Bani Israel built that mosque, but this story is a confirmed one.

In the Pathan tribal lands, we have confirmed stories of the Star of David on mosques, schools. I personally have seen the prayer caps worn by Muslims. In Pathan mosques the caps have the Magen (Shield of David) shape on them. The prayer mats are hexagons, not octagons.

The history books all tell of the mosques pointing towards Yerushalem. After the Taliban took over I do not know about the situation in the tribal lands currently.

Dear Qazi Fazli Azeem,

May I congratulate you on your fervor to sign the International Proclamation.

Let's admit: You won; honor where honor is due! [as the first Israelite Pathan to sign the Proclamation]

Besides that, in this race everyone wins and there are no losers, as we read in Genesis 12:3, 22:18.

Interesting to note that there are more signatures under the International than under the National Proclamation.

Of course there are more people living outside of Israel than within its borders. Still this is a good sign, because these people do not only show their closeness to and fondness for the Jewish People. They also express their wish to move things in their countries' governments for a better policy towards Israel.

As I wrote in my Letter to the Editor of The Jerusalem Post on October 19, 2007, "When it comes to Israelis, anyone feels free to say anything to us, coupled with lots of Israelis willing to listen to it."

What a difference when we get supported as we would like to be.

Peace from Jerusalem,

Mr. Moshe-Mordechai Van Zuiden
Jerusalem, Israel

Dear Mr. Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden,

I have just read and signed the online petition: "Don't Divide Jerusalem, International" hosted on the web by PetitionOnline.com, the free online petition service, at: [ http://www.PetitionOnline.com/DDJo/ ].

I personally agree with what this petition says, and I am most grateful to our dear friend Mr. Aryeh Gallin for introducing me to you.

I am glad that I signed your petition, as I do believe that Jerusalem should not be divided even if a Palestinian state is ever created.

Jerusalem should remain in Jewish control, as we all know that in Israeli control Muslims have never been denied access to the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa, but when the Old City was in Muslim (Jordanian) control, Jews were not allowed to go to the Western Wall, as far as I know.

Muslims continue to enjoy access to their holy mosques in Old Jerusalem, but it may not be so for Jews if their holy places come under Arab control.

Second, it is the sanctum sanctorum of Judaism, the holiest Jewish place, whereas for Muslims it is thought to be the third holiest place.

Moreover, Muslims turn their backs to the holiest of the holy in the Dome of the Rock, where once stood King Solomon's Temple, when they pray five times a day facing towards Mecca, thus hurting Jewish sentiments five times every day.

Best wishes,

Dr. Navras Jaat Aafreedi
Israelite Pathan
Lucknow, India

Dear Navras,

Thank you for your warm support.

Let's hope that we soon all will dance in the streets of Jerusalem together,

Love and shalom from Jerusalem,

Mr. Moshe-Mordechai Van Zuiden
Jerusalem, Israel

"Don't Divide Jerusalem/Non dividete Gerusalemme"
As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmat-Ullahi wa barakatuH

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Dear Friends,

I have just read and signed the online petition: "Don't Divide Jerusalem, International", hosted on the web by PetitionOnline.com, the free online petition service, at:

I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might agree, too.

If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider signing yourself.

Make your personal contribution to preventing Israel's Capital from being divided in order to please P.L.O. thugs.

Shaykh Professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi
Istituto Culturale della Comunità Islamica Italiana


(Distributed through the List of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community on Monday, October 29, 2007)
(Distributed through the Root & Branch Information Services on Friday, November 2, 2007)

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Dear Shaykh Palazzi,

My esteemed friend, thank you so much for endorsing my International Petition.

I knew I could count on you.

We're off to a good start b"H (with God's Help).

Much blessing from liberated Jerusalem,

Mr. Moshe-Mordechai Van Zuiden
Jerusalem, Israel

The Root & Branch Association, Ltd. (www.rb.org.il), "an all-volunteer, non-member organization founded by Torah-observant Jews, promotes cooperation between the State of Israel and other nations, and between B'nai Israel (Children of Israel) and B'nai Noach (Children of Noah) in Israel and abroad, to build a better world based on the universal Noahide Covenant and Laws as commanded by the G-d of Israel in the Bible and Jewish tradition."

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Posted by Zeev Shemer, May 27, 2008.

[Editor's Note: This story is circulating the internet. It's an interesting story. We don't know if it's true. The version here is attributed to Maru Angarita's website:
http://maruangaritablog2.blogspot.com/2008/01/iran-ghost-flights-to-venezuela.html What is credible is that –– the Monroe Doctrine not withstanding –– unsavory Middle Eastern countries are unhampered as they forge connections with unsavory governments in the Western Hemisphere.]

There are nine miles that separate Judea (the West Bank) from Israel's coastal line, more specifically Netanya, and 11 miles to Tel Aviv. Just a couple of miles separate Lebanese Hezbollah territory from Quiriyat Shmona, Naharia and Shlomi, and practically, Tiveria, Haifa and Afula are also a stone throw away. Across the Atlantic there are 90 miles that separate Cuba from South Florida, 120 miles to downtown Miami. There are even fewer miles separating Mexico's border from the southwestern states.

If anyone had the delusion that Iran would launch a missile attack against the US once it completes its nuclear program I am afraid he either understands nothing about military warfare or he is a salesman for a Radar manufacturing company.

In June 2006 the Associated Press reported that the presidents of Iran and Venezuela pledged to support one another in disputes with Washington:

"Iranian's president Ahmedinejad called Hugo Chavez "a brother and trench mate." Chavez pledged that his country would "stay by Iran at any time and under any condition." He admires the Iranian president for "his wisdom and strength." He also invited Iranian oil companies to invest in Venezuela. –– Iran is the world's No. 2 oil exporter and Venezuela No. 5. "We are with you and with Iran forever. As long as we remain united we will be able to defeat (U.S.) imperialism" Chavez said.

During his visit to Qatar, Chavez said Venezuela could eventually export guns and ammunition to Bolivia and other allies once Kalashnikov weapons plants were built."

Manuel Kliese from airlines.com reported on June, 2007 shortly after Iran Air's first flight to Venezuela:

"Iranian News Agency (IRNA) and German newspapers published in late 2006 that a new route "across the pond" was to be opened. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez had decided to strengthen relations between their two countries, and decided that a direct flight route between Tehran and Caracas would be the appropriate step to show Uncle Sam that they can cope without him quite well –– even transatlantic style. To complete the political puzzle, a stop in the Syrian capital of Damascus would create a proper "axis" and also generate enough payloads to make this route economically feasible, as there is quite a diaspora of Syrians living in Venezuela."

Iran Air's only aircraft able to fly the route would be one of their Boeing. I was more than happy to finally hold a ticket for IR744, code share VO3744 for 18 May '07 in my hands! After passing a very relaxed security control with liters of liquids in my carry-on luggage, the loud and impressive morning prayer began yelling in Mehrabad's gate area –– the sun was just about to dawn on the longest day I would ever experience, on my westbound flight from the Middle East to South America! Once getting onboard, I found myself more than happy, having the complete upper deck plus a friendly female flight attendant (of course veiled in her Muslim "Hijab") to myself. The cockpit door was not closed and I could well follow our flight deck crew preparing to start engines for the first leg to the Syrian capital Damascus.

"While catching the first views of Venezuela's tropical mountain ranges at the Caracas coast, Captain Kaviani joined me for a glass of (non-alcoholic of course!) beer and a friendly chat after many hours of work for him. It was a very nice finish of this just amazing flight."

Let us fast-forward to January 11th, 2008; from an anonymous source:

Yesterday I arrived at Maiquetia Int'l airport in Caracas, Venezuela, and met up with a girlfriend of mine who works at the duty free shops. As I waited for my luggage I asked her about Iran Air's flight that had arrived thirty minutes prior to us and she told me the following:

"Iran Air's flight is also known here as the 'Ghost Flight', a Boeing 747SP configured for 287 passengers, when it arrives the flight appears on the Arrival's board but nobody sees its passengers; they do not go through customs and they certainly do not pickup their luggage at the carrousel. They do not exit through the main doors, they are escorted to side doors through a hallway closed off upon their arrival; this so not even airport employees come in contact with the passengers.

Its departures are also announced, I suppose to justify its commercial route but equally no one ever sees its passengers. Everyone does realize that there is something out of the ordinary when suddenly there is a security movement and buses arrive with police escort. Again the side doors are used and nobody sees anything. Cargo vans approach the hangars and workers using Iran Air overalls begin loading and unloading the aircraft's cargo. Whatever is taken out of the plane is placed inside civilian vans and trucks which disappear shortly after."

This is more or less the account of my friend at the airport. She added that these flights are not the only ones that seem unusual, Cubana Air flights have been known to operate from time to time in a similar way.

On April 2008 Pablo Bachelet from the Miami Herald published his story under the headline 'US faults Venezuela airport screening'.

Venezuela has failed to screen passengers arriving to Caracas on its weekly flight from Tehran and Damascus, a State Department report on counterterrorism released Wednesday says.

The report, which examines terrorism trends worldwide, says Venezuela established weekly flights with Iran and Syria in March of last year and passengers arriving at the Simon Bolivar International Airport were "not subject to immigration and customs control."

It was unclear if passengers are still skipping screening procedures but Venezuela's ambassador to the United States, Bernardo Alvarez, denied the accusations.

The Venezuela-Iran-Syria flight has raised alarm bells among U.S. officials given that Venezuela, unlike Canada, Mexico and many Caribbean nations, refuses to provide advance lists of passengers so U.S. authorities can cross-check them with U.S. terror suspect lists.

On June 1st, one of JFK Airport bombing suspects Abdul Kadir was arrested in Port of Spain, Trinidad with a ticket to fly to Tehran via Caracas, Venezuela.

Adam Goldman from the Associated Press was one of the first to report on the planned bombing:

New York –– Four Muslim men were foiled from carrying out a plot to destroy John F. Kennedy International Airport, kill thousands of people and trigger an economic catastrophe by blowing up a jet fuel artery that runs through populous residential neighborhoods, authorities said Saturday.

Three men were arrested and one was being sought in Trinidad on Saturday. In an indictment charging the four men, one of them is quoted as saying the plot would "cause greater destruction than in the Sept. 11 attacks."

"The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable," U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf said at a news conference, calling it "one of the most chilling plots imaginable." Authorities said they were motivated by a pattern of hatred toward the U.S., Israel and the West.

Kadir, a former member of Parliament in Guyana, was arrested in Trinidad for attempting to secure money for "terrorist operations," according to a Guyanese police commander who spoke on condition of anonymity. Isha Kadir, the Guyanese suspect's wife, said her husband flew from Guyana to Trinidad on Thursday. She said he was arrested Friday as he was boarding a flight from Trinidad to Venezuela, where he planned to pick up a travel visa to attend an Islamic religious conference in Iran.

To sum up, it seems that the Muslim world has a clear plan of attack. Iran will not launch a missile attack at the US nor will it strike against Israel. Iran will use its proxies and the world's media to accomplish its goals. Maybe the new sophisticated Radar system that America has pledge to Israel will allow us to see the missiles coming. And would they be launched from a considerable distance such as from Iran or Pakistan, there is a good chance to intercept. However, when they manage to transport these deadly warheads into the hands of the Hezbollah and or Hamas, the people of Israel will have a merely a few seconds to utter a prayer before they are struck.

Regarding the US, although it has been shown that most ports in the US do not undergo strict inspection, an attack from across the border via Mexico, Cuba or Canada will too be unstoppable. Iran and Venezuela have countless other allies in their war against the US and Israel. Venezuela and Cuba harbor terrorists from the FARC (Colombian terrorists group). They have deep connections with terrorists and smugglers in Mexico, the government of Bolivia, a new ally in Brazil, the support of the Muslim world, mainly Saudi Arabia, a country which for oil interests the US calls its ally. And last but not least, they have pledged support to the first Arab-American candidate in the US that can once and for all, open the door for their Trojan radioactive-horse.

The only solution is not a good defense but rather a strong offense. The US and Israel need to immediately take steps to remove Chavez from government. They must plan and execute a precise attack on Iran's nuclear installations. They must search and destroy all Hezbollah's terrorists roaming in southern Lebanon. They must strengthen President Uribe in Colombia to battle and destroy the rebels that have inflicted so much suffering on the Colombian people for the past 70 years. They must cut-off the so-called Palestinians form Gaza, remove the subversive populations from Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), cut-off relations with Saudi Arabia and use Iraq's oil to revive the US economy that has suffered enormously since the Islamic attacks of 9/11.

None of what I just mention will happen. The leaders of Israel as well as the new presidential hopefuls in the US are characterized by their liberalism and lack of common sense. When Jabotisnsky came to Poland in 1930 to warn the Jews of the horrors he foresaw, he was met with anger and rejection.

Here is to the few that listened, L'Chayim!

Ze'ev Shemer lives in Ramat HaGolan in Israel and teaches at Western Galilee College and at Ort Braude Technical College. He holds a Master's Degree in Education and specializes in Judaic Studies and Language. Ze'ev is a master of Aikido and Ju-Jitsu and teaches pre-army cadets. Contact him by email at zeev.shemer@yahoo.com

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 27, 2008.

This was written by Clare M. Lopez and it was published on the Family Security Matters website:

When the Director of National Intelligence declares publicly that "We try not to refer to 'jihad' as something that's bad," even though he knows that the United States (U.S.) and all of civilized society is engaged in an existential struggle with the forces of Islamic Jihad, it is hard to fathom what he could possibly be thinking.

Only a few short weeks ago, we were told that referring to jihad might somehow legitimize our enemies. Of all of our leaders charged with the defense and protection of our Constitution, DNI Michael McConnell bears a special responsibility to understand clearly the identity of the enemy and the nature of the threat he poses. He also has a professional responsibility to communicate that honestly to the American people.

The refusal of DNI McConnell and, apparently, the rest of the Bush administration, to acknowledge the obvious linkage between terror in the name of Islam, and the Islamic faith, goes beyond absurd: it is dangerous to national security because it prevents the U.S.'s top officials from crafting an appropriate strategic policy to defend us.

Willful ignorance of the fundamental doctrine of Islamic Jihad, as defined by Islamic scriptures, scholarly consensus, and historians cannot change what is written, what is believed, and what is lived by those who would destroy our Constitutional system and replace it with Sharia.

It doesn't matter in the end whether we agree or disagree with the doctrine of our enemies, or judge it good or evil: if that is what guides the enemy's behavior towards us, then that is what we must deal with. It is also irrelevant that more peaceful methods for propagating Islam, such as Da'wa, do exist, or that there indeed is a "Greater Jihad" (the inner struggle to better oneself). Neither Da'wa nor the "Greater Jihad" employs warfare or terror to replace liberal democracy with Sharia. But the "Lesser Jihad" does.

Let it be clear:

"Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion." (Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller, A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, o9.0, JIHAD, pg. 599)

"Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the Religion of truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya (tribute) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." (Quran, Sura 9:29)

This is Islamic law; this is sacred, non-abrogated, Islamic scripture. It is doctrine. It cannot be changed. It can be criticized or renounced –– but if Muslims do so, they are apostates, subject to the death penalty. It will take much courage and the support of free people everywhere to establish the right to leave such doctrine behind, in the dustbin of history.

What is unavoidable is the current reality of this doctrine for millions of Muslims across the world, including right here in the U.S. The 2007 Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas, Texas featured a startling collection of documents entered into evidence; among them was the "Explanatory Memorandum" of the Muslim Brotherhood for the destruction of Western civilization (dated 1991).

"The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands..."

With such documents now in the public domain, in addition to such fine works as Andrew G. Bostom's comprehensive collection of primary source documents about Jihad through history, The Legacy of Jihad, there is simply no excuse for not understanding the systematically destructive character of Islamic Jihad for all societies that have ever attempted to stand against it.

So, how could it possibly be that the head of American intelligence does not want to refer to Jihad as something that's bad? Why are U.S. government employees not allowed to speak the name of the Jihadi enemy, or the Mujahedeen troops that slaughter in the name of Islam, or the Caliphate they are fighting to re-establish? It seems that it is alright to speak of al Qaeda (but only as an "aimless death cult") –– even though al Qaeda is but one discrete organization of Jihadi terrorists and hardly "aimless." It also appears to be acceptable to speak of the "radicalization phenomenology" –– which apparently is what our government thinks is the process by which normal, everyday citizens of the world are turned into suicide bombers.

But to refer to the faith-based ideology that every suicide bomber's farewell video claims as motivation for the murder they intend, that hate-filled Friday sermons cite as God-given justification, or that treatises by scholars of the Islamic faith annotate with such exactitude –– no, that is forbidden.

Outreach to non-jihadi Muslims is certainly a key component of this war. But we need to show them and all who believe in the values of tolerance and civil society the respect they deserve. A misplaced concern that holds such potential allies incapable of distinguishing between the Greater and Lesser Jihad and thinks an infantilized lexicon that denies the reality we all see will somehow win over hearts and minds betrays an incompetence that is jarring to observe.

Neither can fear of the magnitude of this threat be allowed to destroy our faith in ourselves, our abilities, and our values. Dhimmitude (the second-class status of people conquered by Jihad) is a status freely accepted; it does not happen overnight, but is slipped slowly, inexorably over a society that loses its will to resist.

We Americans are not a people to submit, whether by infiltration, subversion, or Jihad.

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

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 27, 2008.

Morris Talansky began his pre-trial deposition in court today with a recounting of his personal relationship with Olmert, whom he says he loved.

In order to help Olmert, when he was mayor of Jerusalem, Talansky offered to write him a check. But Olmert said that because of the way checks were routed, it was better to have cash. So Talansky gave him cash.

Now, I'm not a multimillionaire financier and that request for cash smells like three day old fish to me. So what was Talansky thinking? "I didn't really grasp it. I didn't really work out how the system works over all," he claimed.

Later in his testimony he admitted that, "I overlooked, frankly and honestly, a lot of things. I overlooked them, maybe I shouldn't have."


Talansky says, between 2002 and 2005, he gave Olmert $150,000 from his own pocket, as well as assisting with raising funds from others. Some of this was transferred via Olmert's long-time assistant Shula Zaken, and some was handed to Olmert directly when he was in the U.S. He paid Olmert's hotel bill and covered other expenses; sometimes Olmert asked for money –– $5,000 here, $3,000 there. He admits that there are no records of how this money was spent: While a good part of the money was allegedly used for political expenses, Olmert, he explained, was fond of high living –– expensive cigars, watches, first class on flights, etc.

Sometimes there were "loans" –– as for example $25,000 for a family trip to Italy. The loans have never been paid back. On one occasion, when Talansky asked for the return of money, Olmert told Talansky to speak to his son, who lives in New York, but nothing materialized.

As to those campaign expenses, documents presented showed $300,000 transferred from Talansky to Olmert lawyer and associate Uri Messer from about 1999. Talansky says the last money he gave Olmert was in 2005. Olmert had asked for expenses for a primary, and Talansky confesses to being shocked at how much Olmert said he needed: some $70,000.

Seems that he had become disenchanted with Ehud Olmert.


Talansky, in his testimony to this point –– which is extremely damning of Olmert in several respects –– paints himself as innocent. "I was a victim," he says. "I trusted Olmert." He never had any ulterior motive or expected anything from what he gave Olmert. He did it for love of the man and for love of Jerusalem. He did it, it would seem, because Olmert hugged him and invited him to his son's wedding –– because it made him feel personally connected to what was important to him.

That's how it would seem.

He did acknowledge that Olmert tried to drum up business for a venture of his. (That's when billionaire Sheldon Adelson was approached and rebuffed the outreach.)

The question becomes one of legality: what was pure friendship, what was bribery, when was Olmert legally justified in taking the money, what does it mean that full records do not exist, etc. The testimony will continue. When Olmert's lawyers cross examine, they will seek to discredit Talansky and to search out legal rationale for why this money would have been given.


Durban II is being thus titled because it follows Durban I, which indeed was held in Durban, S.A. But this conference will be held elsewhere.

From Anne Bayefsky, of Eye on the UN:

The next UN racism conference –– known as Durban II or the Durban Review Conference –– will be held on UN premises in Geneva from April 20-24, 2009, a UN preparatory committee decided today. Durban II is intended to promote the implementation of the 2001 Durban Declaration, which singled out only Israel and labeled Palestinians as victims of Israeli racism

Observed Bayefsky: "holding the meeting at a UN venue on European soil will essentially guarantee funding from the UN regular budget for the conference, and that the European Union will fully participate and not follow boycott plans of Canada, the United States and Israel.

"Ironically, the Durban Review Conference will take place over Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah on April 21, 2009. Jews all over the world will be remembering the 6 million murdered in the worst instance of racism and xenophobia in human history. At the same time, the United Nations will be discussing whether the Jewish state, created in the wake of the Holocaust and standing as a bulwark to ensure it is never repeated, should be demonized as the worst practitioner of racism and xenophobia among nations today."

For further information: www.eyeontheUN.org


Sixty-one supporters (the number required) have promised to sign on to a bill in the Knesset that would require 80 votes to give away the Golan. This is good news.

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

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Posted by Judith Apter Klinghoffer, May 27, 2008.

Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Robert Kennedy on the anniversary of the 6 Day War because he was a strong supporter of Israel. Hence, if a Palestinian would consider a similar despicable act, he would not focus on Barack Obama, the man endorsed by Hamas but on the man who could be trusted to stand up to Hamas and it's puppet masters, John McCain.

But wasn't Robert Kennedy an antiwar advocate? And, therefore, wasn't the CIA the real culprit, as conspiracy theorists advocates would like to argue?

The simple answer is no. Robert Kennedy (and Eugene McCarthy for that matter) was a Vietnam dove but a Middle East hawk. The Johnson administration liked to refer to them as "Dawks and Hoves." Indeed, when captured, Sirhan Sirhan was carrying an newspaper article describing Kennedy as such. Kennedy believed that American forces could not hold the containment line both in Southeast Asia and that the Middle East was the more important one. That translated into support for Israel and more specifically, into support for the sale of Phantom Jets to the Jewish state.

Lyndon Johnson promised to supply the jets but he delayed acting on that promise. His envoys, Averell Harriman and Llewelyn Thompson were negotiating with the Vietnamese in Paris and they hoped they can get a better deal for South Vietnam with Israeli concessions to the Arabs. American officials, including Johnson, emphasized that the Arabs had "a unique opportunity" to deal with a president who was "beyond the domestic pressure of the Jewish vote" and who delayed action on the promised Phantom sale irrespective of the JCS analysts' conclusion that Israel was "in an inferior military position." The media was filled with speculations of an imminent package deal.

It should be remembered that the Israeli air force was decimated by the 6 Day War and that the USSR was engaged in a massive rearmament of Egypt and Syria. Thus, the refusal to supply Israel with Phantoms became equated with a willingness to sacrifice Israel for a better deal in Vietnam. On May 9, 1968 both Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy called for Phantom sales.

Hubert Humphrey stood by Johnson who mounted a full frontal attack on Israel by arguing that "American hopes for a reduction of world tensions and results in the Paris peace talks" depended on Israel withdrawal from the territories without a peace agreement.

When asked about the assassination of Robert Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson insisted that he did not know the reasons for the attack on the Senator. "We cannot permit a wave of anti-Arab sentiment among the American public at a time when we are trying to restore good relations with our friends in the Arab world, explained a "top official" to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reporter.

Mel Ayton, "The Forgotten Terrorist,"
Potomac Books, ISBN: 1597970794

By the way, Palestinians definitely considered Sirhan Sirhan one of them as is evident from the following report:

When Yasser Arafat's Black September terrorist stormed the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum in March of 1973 and took US Ambassador Cleo Noel, Charge d'Affaires George Curtis Moore, and others hostage, Sirhan's release was one of their main demands.

On March 2, 1973, after Nixon rejected that demand, Arafat was overheard and recorded by Israeli intelligence and the U.S. National Security Agency giving the code words for the execution of Noel, Moore, and Belgian diplomat Guy Eid, who were shot to death.

To sum up, appeaser Obama is not in danger. Robert Kennedy was not an appeaser. That was the reason he was assassinated. Of course, appeasers, then and not, try to cover up the crime.

Contact Judith Apter Klinghoffer by email at jklinghoff@aol.com This article is archived at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 27, 2008.


Tony Blair said peace requires "easing conditions for Palestinians (just the Arab ones) while assuring Israelis their security. How? By boosting the P.A. economy and removing Israeli checkpoints against the movement of terrorists."

What about boosting the security of Israel, under daily assault from the Arabs? Nothing suggested about that (Isabel Kershner, NY Times, 5/14, A11). Phony!

What did Blair say about P.A. incitement to terrorism? Nothing. He is phony! Although Blair paid lip service to Israel selecting roadblocks they find least problematic, his proposals would assure Israelis of continuing insecurity. Thus Blair misrepresents the Road Map as being for peace and security.

The assumption is that without economic aid, the Arabs would resort to terrorism. What the studies validate that assumption? None cited. What is the logic behind the assumption? That unlike poorer people who are not Muslims and who are not Arabs, Muslim Arabs commit terrorism against Israelis if their standard of living is low. How absurd! Better to tell the Muslim Arabs to behave like other people, instead of rewarding them for misbehaving. Tell them that their miserable economy is their own fault, first for electing crooks and second for making war. Why should other countries give aid to Arab aggressors? Why not compensate Israel for suffering terrorism? Nor are Arab terrorists usually from the poorer class but from the educated classes, whether Palestinian Arabs or Saudis. Economics is not the motive. Religion is. Blair doesn't know that?

I think it is more logical to suppose that by boosting the P.A. economy, the P.A. would be able to afford more war. Certainly an improved economy would help keep the Arabs in the area, where they are positioned to commit terrorism against Israel. Why not boost the economy of Israel? A boost would be just. Not boosting Israel's economy implies that the Quartet knows that the war is caused by the Arabs. Then why does the Quartet often malign Israel? Because the Quartet is used to making the Jews the scapegoat.


"'We must be... strong in the face of those who murder the innocent to achieve their objectives,' –– unless, of course, they are moderate peace partners."

"'... we must understand the realities of the world in which we live,' –– except, of course, the reality of what the 'moderate peace partners' really want and... do."

"... when PM Olmert says the government... will 'take the necessary steps so that this will stop' –– he didn't say which year it would take those steps" (IMRA, 5/14).


"Bush looks toward the day when Muslims 'recognize the emptiness of the terrorists' vision and the injustice of their cause.' This statement is in violation of the US Constitution requiring separation of church and state, and solicits racial and ethnic prejudice in the name of religion to promote warfare for profit. Mr. Bush is actually in trouble and needs more money for his country. NeoCon thinking believes war with Iran will improve the US economy. It may also be viewed by Muslims that US is actually at war with Muslims who do not kowtow to US interests. Mr. Bush by using these words is including all Muslims in this statement."

Later in his piece, Cain blames modern Israel in its entirety because, he writes, Israel killed the Messiah ("Lazarus Cain", Soc.Culture.Israel newsgroup, 5/15.)

NEOCONS: The influential neo-Cons, except V.P. Cheney, have resigned, because they lost influence to Sec. Rice and the State Dept.. Gone are Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, and Perle. Many of the neo-Cons have become critics of Pres. Bush, as he changed his outlook and made what they consider to have been mistakes.

Is Cain out of touch with the political situation? I think that that is not the point with certain opponents of Pres. Bush. The neo-Cons had become a useful rallying cry against Bush's vigorous initial reaction to terrorism. They became a double scapegoat. Since some of the recognized names among them were Jewish, antisemites liked to pretend almost all were. Then they could offer this as evidence that "the Jews" control the US and blame Bush's policies on the Jews. Of course, they ignore the fact that most Jews, including US Jews, are not neo-Cons. Nor do those who use the term pejoratively define it.

Although Bush no longer holds with neo-Con ideology, it remains convenient for his more radical opponents to vilify him with that old, scapegoat, rallying cry.

ANTI-MUSLIM: Bush is friendly to Islam but hostile to some Islamist terrorists. He is trying to recruit what he considers moderate Muslims to oppose what he considers the imperialist "fringe" that, again in his opinion, distorts the Koran to recruit moderate Muslims against all but extremist Muslims. It is a measure of self-defense against definite attacks and jihad against the US. This is his Constitutional duty.

No matter how assiduously and in how servile a manner Bush differentiates between Muslims and Islam, as he did again in the quoted statement, Islamic opponents of Bush depict him as anti-Muslim. It is a devious tactic. They want to rally Muslims against him on false pretenses. Slander is one of their tactics. It is unfortunate that many Muslims fall for slander and rumors. It would be one thing for them to defend the faith when it is attacked. It is another to allow themselves to be misled by demagogues with a sinister agenda of harm to the while world, and who exploit their credulousness.

Islamists have persuaded many Muslims that the US is at war with them. Their belief is false and not the fault of the US. Masses of Muslims follow what their leaders say, true or not. They easily can be rallied against infidels and foreigners, having been taught prejudice with rancor. They blame the US for defending itself against attacks by terrorists who also are Muslims. They do not give the US credit for helping Muslims, although the US fought Serbia for the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo, gives financial aid to some Muslim states, and is trying to make another Islamic state out of Jewish territory. Bush is not the prejudiced one, at least not against Muslims. They are prejudiced.

JEWS KILLED JESUS?: So is Cain prejudiced. Although the Western Christian sects have rescinded their accusations against the Jews of deicide, Cain continues with the old canard. All contemporary Jews had nothing to do with the matter. Neither did most Jews of the time –– they weren't there.

If the legends about Jesus are correct, then he was sentenced to a death he sought, by the Romans in a non-Jewish way, and was punished in a Roman way. Asserting that some Jews just in Jerusalem favored his punishment, and that some Jews in Judea favored him, even if true, by no means makes the whole Jewish people guilty then and for all time. About this, Cain is neither logical nor decent. Cain blames Bush falsely for stirring up religions bigotry, but that is what Cain attempts to do. Where is Cain's conscience?

RACIAL PREJUDICE FOR PROFIT?: Racial prejudice? Hardly. Muslims are of all races. Since Bush's statement appealed to Muslims, it was not inciting prejudice against their religion but trying to rally them against Islamists who, he believes, commit war crimes using the religion as pretext. What profit? Who said neo-Cons think we can make money from a war on Iran? How could we? War has become far more expensive than to be for gain. Cain implies as much, when he said that the US needs money. In other words, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars cost the US a great deal and brought us no gain. The only value of a war for the US nowadays is self-defense.

What is Iran doing that upsets the US? It sets proxies to turn neighboring countries into fanatical imperialists. It sets them to fighting against US troops. Is not that an act of war?

Iran also is striving to build nuclear weapons and continental missiles. It has threatened the US, Israel, and Europe with nuclear weapons. What is Bush waiting for? What is Cain waiting for, the bombs to be delivered? What has he to say about Iranian provocations? Is war all right with him, unless the US fights back in one? Is he anti-American"

CHURCH-STATE SEPARATION: As quoted, Bush was not violating principles of Church-State separation. He was not establishing religion nor was he interfering with one's practice. He was urging Muslims not to be taken in by the Islamists, who, Bush suggests, fight against us and them (latest bombing in a Gulf country) in the name of religion. He should be commended for doing that.

In any case, if the whole religion made war on us, he would be commander-in-chief in defense against it. That would not violate Church-State separation.

By the way, Muslims in general, not just Islamists, establish their religion and repress or destroy other religions in every country they can. Even in this country, they already are trying to curb other religions, ironically in the name of Church-State separation, while, inconsistently, striving for privileges for Islam. Those are a threat to our way of life. Does Cain care enough for our Constitutional way of life to oppose Islamic attempts to replace other religions here or in Europe? The Muslims back their demands by votes, lawyers, and threats of force. What does Cain think of Muslim death threats against rational critics?

Perhaps not Cain, but Muslim opponents of the American way of life use arguments that they think will appeal to Americans but which they don't consider valid.

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

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Posted by Hillel Fendel, May 27, 2008.

Arab affairs expert Dr. Guy Bechor of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya estimates that a "Golan for peace" deal will net Israel, in the long run, anything but peace.

Bechor, who authors a Hebrew-language newsblog on Israel and the Middle East, wrote an article for Ynet news in which he predicts that no matter what Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad promises, he is likely to be toppled by radical Moslem forces –– leaving northern Israel vulnerable to the terrorists on the plateau above.

Bechor predicts that an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan would be followed by a three-stage process:

Stage I

"About a million Syrian residents will be settled in the Golan immediately.... A presidential decree has already been issued [by Bashar Assad] announcing that any Syrian resident who moves to the Golan will receive a government allowance... This will enable [Assad] to realize his dream with no interruptions: establishing a 'resistance' against Israel in the Golan Heights. Officially, Assad will argue that he has no connection to the terror attacks that would be directed at the Galilee region and northern Israel from the Golan; yet in practice, Syrian intelligence officers will do as they please vis-à-vis northern Israel, [as] they already did in northern Lebanon."

Stage II

Bechor argues that despite the friendly relations between Lebanon and Syria, Syria supports subversive activity against the Lebanese government: "Why wouldn't the Syrians do the same in the Golan? Would a peace deal with Israel stop them? With Lebanon they have not only peace, but even an official relationship of fraternity and friendship."

Stage III

"Assad's minority Alawite regime will be toppled," for the "peace deal will in fact serve to precipitate his downfall (and for that reason, Bashar won't be pursuing real peace with Israel.) His regime has no legitimacy in Syria as it is, particularly when it comes to the Muslim Brothers, whose power keeps growing."

Once this happens, "the Golan Heights will turn into the radical spearhead against Israel, and not only from Syria: People will be coming from Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Terrorism will be two-pronged both from the Golan and from Lebanon. Life in the north will turn into an unbearable nightmare, yet the situation will be irreversible..."

Bechor concludes that Israel's agreements in the past and future with Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority are either reversible or did not cost much. "But with Syria, the situation will be different: From being an empty buffer zone, the Golan Heights will turn into a crowded anti-Israel region for generations to come. From being a strategic asset to Israel, the Golan will turn into a burden on top of the other regional efforts to eliminate Israel. Our future generations will not forgive anyone who would do that."

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

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Posted by Barry Rubin, May 27, 2008.

Why is Israel negotiating with Syria and what happened in Lebanon? One of these events may be the Middle East's most important development for 2008. Hint: it isn't the first of them.

Let's consider why the two sides are "negotiating" including the fact that they aren't negotiating.

There isn't going to be a deal. Both sides know it, yet have good reason to be seen talking, indirectly that is.

Start with six factors that account for Israeli government policy.

1. Keep Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in power. It's not the only issue but sure it's there. Olmert wants to claim he's amidst such important negotiations that it's a sin to interfere. What's more important, he says, envelopes filled with cash or peace? Olmert has used this strategy with Palestinian talks for a while and is now jumping on a different horse. This doesn't mean he's going to give away national security assets to save himself. The beauty of this strategy is that he doesn't have to do that. Just making headlines achieves this goal.

2. Show everyone Israel wants peace. The country is indeed ready to take chances and make compromises –– though only if sufficiently rewarded and proving this seeks to muster support from Western governments, media, and public opinion, and also to ensure its base within Israel.

3. Give Syria reason to show restraint. If Syria is gabbing away in contacts that are all-win, no-lose for that dictatorship –– it doesn't want to wreck them by too much terror or another Hizballah war on Israel. Keeping things quiet in the north lets Israel focus on the south, the Gaza Strip.

4. Keep Turkey happy. Turkey is an important friend of Israel and has tied its prestige to this initiative. Not real important but should be on the list.

5. Show the Palestinians that Israel has an alternate partner, as a way of pressuring them. Israel gains a freer hand for dealing with them (see point 3, above) by at least momentarily widening the gap between Palestinian and Syrian interests. Many of those backing the Syrian track don't believe progress with the Palestinians is possible. If point 1 is most important for Olmert's political calculations; point 5 is central for coalition partner Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

6. Media coverage and political statements ignore or misinterpret the fact that Israel isn't negotiating with Syria. It's merely holding more systematic, indirect contacts to establish whether Israeli preconditions for direct negotiations can be met. Even though the answer is "no," this means Israel can do this at little cost and no substantive concessions.

Thus, Israel is doing something totally different from the ideas of Senator Barack Obama which would bring disaster if he becomes the U.S. president. If Syria is ready to move away from Iran, stop backing terrorist groups, be ready to make full peace with Israel, and meet other conditions (limiting forces in the Golan Heights, early warning stations, etc.), talks can advance. When this doesn't happen the talks will either collapse or enter a long, obviously dead, slow-motion process.

This game, in my opinion, is not a good thing, since it weakens the struggle against the Iran-led bloc which is the region's most important issue, but it is unlikely to inflict material damage to Israel's strategic position.

What, then, are Syria's motives? It, too, has good reasons to play the game.

1. Syria's main problem is international isolation. The alliance with Iran as well as sponsoring terror against Lebanon, Iraq, and Israel, has brought Syria serious diplomatic and economic costs. Negotiating with Israel bails it out of jail. The precedent is 1991-2000. Without concession or policy shift, the dictatorship survived a decade when it was vulnerable (USSR's collapse; America's Kuwait victory). Understandably, it wants to repeat this triumph.

2. The Damascus regime argues that if the West and Israel want it to talk peace, they better treat it right. Forget about investigating Syrian-planned murders in Lebanon; cancel the tribunal trying the regime's highest level to murder.

3. Ditto, forget about punishing Syria's building a secret nuclear weapon installation with North Korea. Ignore Syria's backing for insurgents in Iraq who kill Iraqis and American soldiers.

4. Demand more concessions which might be obtained without any of their own.

5. Stall for time in the belief that Obama will become president and follow a pro-Syria policy. This is what they're saying in Damascus.

6. Focus on what they really want: consolidating control over Lebanon without interference from abroad. The world, including especially the UN and State Department, did nothing to stop Hizballah-Iran-Syria victory in Lebanon, then compounded the betrayal by pretending it was a step toward stability. This probably would have happened without the Israel-Syria drama but that couldn't hurt, so reasoned Syria's rulers.

Of course, the idea that Syria wants real peace, will recognize Israel, move away from Iran, abandon Hamas or Hizballah, and cease terrorist meddling in Iraq is purest nonsense. All these steps are against the regime's vital interests. Yet, as demonstrated above, it can play the talks' game without doing any of these things.

Meanwhile, Lebanon has fallen to Hizballah, another state added to Iran's bloc. This catastrophe is intensified by ignoring it. One day, this tragedy might be seen as equivalent to the 1938 sacrifice of Czechoslovakia at Munich to appease Germany. Bashar is no Hitler (perhaps closer in this parallel to Germany's junior partner, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini), but toward Lebanon the United States and Europe, especially France, acted like British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain at Munich.

And this is even without Iran having nuclear weapons or Obama being in the White House. What could come next may be far worse unless the West wakes up.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and co-author of "Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography" and "Hating America: A History" (Oxford University Press). His latest book is The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). Prof. Rubin's columns can now be read online at http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html. Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

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Posted by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, May 27, 2008.

American Jewish philanthropist and businessman Moshe Talansky testified before the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert requested contributions in the form of cash to his various political campaigns.

Talansky recounted that in 1992, he offered to write Olmert checks for his campaign, but was told to give cash instead. He said that he knew some of the money was used for "expensive cigars and expensive pens." Despite the thousands of dollars that both Olmert and Talansky admit changed hands, the New York native told the court, "I never received anything, and I never expected anything [in exchange]."

During his pre-trial testimony, given before three judges, Talansky recounted meeting Olmert during the First Gulf War, when the latter was Minister of Health. "We became close," Talansly said. "I saw that he wanted to run for mayor of Jerusalem, that he believed in a strong, united city... I had great admiration for him. We used to call him 'the prince of Likud.' I truly loved him. The most important thing for me was the unity of Jerusalem."

When asked why he "loved" the then-Likud politician, Talansky replied that, for him, Olmert represented someone who could unite the religious and secular sectors of Israeli society.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz is a writer for Arutz-Sheva.

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 27, 2008.

This appeared on Gateway Pundit

A 13 year-old girl was gang-raped in the Ivory Coast and left bleeding, trembling and vomiting

We're from the UN and we're here to help.

The BBC reported:
Children as young as six are being sexually abused by peacekeepers and aid workers, says a leading UK charity.

Children in post-conflict areas are being abused by the very people drafted into such zones to help look after them, says Save the Children.

The most shocking aspect of this abuse is that most of it goes unreported and unpunished, a new report argues, with children too scared to speak out.

The UN has said it welcomes the report, which it will study closely.

A 13-year-old girl described to the BBC how 10 UN peacekeepers gang-raped her in a field near her Ivory Coast home, and left her bleeding, trembling and vomiting on the ground.

No action has been taken against the soldiers.

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

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Posted by Jewish Community of Hebron, May 27, 2008.

The decision by the military appeals panel regarding Beit Ezra –– The Ezra House –– in Hebron includes:

1. Heavy criticism targeted at the custodian for abandoned property concerning stolen Jewish property.
2. A legal outline which will obligate the property to be leased to the Hebron Jewish community.
3. A ruling that past Arab vendors have no legal rights to the building; at the most, they may be entitled to possible financial compensation.

A military appeals panel today publicized its decision concerning "Beit Ezra" –– the Ezra house, in Hebron.

"Beit Ezra" is property owed by Mr. Yosef Ezra, whose family lived in Hebron for hundreds of years, prior to the 1929 riots, massacre and expulsion. Presently two Jewish families live on property owned by the Ezra family. During the years of Jordanian occupation this property was stolen by Hebron Arabs and used for as Arab shops. Hebron's Jewish community redeemed this property and today utilizes it in coordination with Mr. Ezra. Arab vendors, instigated by Peace Now, brought a legal suit against the community and the families, arguing that the land had been stolen from them. A military appeals panel heard the suit and today ruled.

In the decision, which ranges over 30 pages, the three panel judges heavily criticize the custodian for abandoned property in Judea and Samaria. They ruled that he did not utilize proper judgment as dictated by his job, as a guardian of the property, which he is obligated to protect. He left the property abandoned, deteriorating and vacant, and was wrong to demand eviction orders for the Jews living there. The custodian did not take into account the good of the property or take into consideration the will and desire of the original owner, Mr. Yosef Ezra, as he is obligated to do.

The panel also ruled that the Arab vendors haven't any legal rights to the property, and certainly not as 'protected residents.' At most, if they can prove that the property was legally rented, they may be eligible for monetary compensation due to cessation of their lease. The panel ruled that in his previous ruling, the custodian took into consideration only the rights of the former Arab vendors, when in reality, they have no legal rights whatsoever.

Concerning the Jewish residents, the panel ruled that they inhabited the property without receiving permission from the custodian and as a result must evacuate the property. However, in light of the fact that their residency in the property is compatible with both the good of the property and the desires of the owner, and in reality is the only way to fulfill both these obligations, the panel outlined a method which will allow the Jewish residents to remain living in the property:

1. The residents must evacuate the property within 60 days.

2. Within 60 days Mr. Yosef Ezra and/or the residents and/or the Hebron Jewish community may forward a proper request to lease the property. An appeal will immediately postpone the evacuation from the property until a final decision is rendered.

3. The custodian is obligated to consider the request in accordance with 2 criteria in obligation of his role: a) the good of the property; 2) the will and desire of the owner.

The custodian may not take into consideration the rights of the Arab vendors as 'protected residents,' because these rights do not exist. The custodian's decision to the request must be given within thirty days. This decision may be again appealed to the military appeals panel.

The significance of this decision is that the Jewish residents will be able to continue living in Beit Ezra. (More material is available in Hebrew, including the full panel decision, at

In addition, the latest (Hebrew) Hebron newsletter is available at
You can contribute directly to The Jewish Community of Hebron, POB10, Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100, hebron@hebron.org.il, 972-2-9965333 or write to The Hebron Fund, 1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230, hebronfund@aol.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 26, 2008.


The "Defenders of Islam" organization has bombed Gaza pharmacies, cafes, and stores with Internet access. It also has committed "honor killings" of women accused of illicit relations with men (Arutz-7, 5/12).

No trial necessary, under Islam. Suspicion is enough for it. Since Hamas controls Gaza tightly, one must assume its complicity in this terrorism.


PM Olmert denies that he was bribed. He claims the funds given him were campaign contributions. Trouble is, he wasn't running for office, when much of it was turned over. He is said to have many offshore accounts (Barry Chamish, 5/11). Is that where he keeps his campaign contributions?


Israel would like Eqypt's proposed ceasefire in Gaza to include a cessation of arms smuggling and other military build-up. Dr. Aaron Lerner asks why Egypt didn't include that provision in the first place (IMRA, 5/12).

My guess is that Hamas wouldn't accept that provision, because its purpose in obtaining a ceasefire is to be able to build up its forces without IDF interference and to stave off an Israeli invasion until Hamas could wreak heavy casualties upon the Israelis. I further believe that this suits Egypt's purposes, which is to dominate the region by weakening Israel, anyway, an infidel state.


Elie Wiesel asks, if Israel could make peace with Germany, why can't it make peace with the Palestinian Arabs (IMRA, 5/13).

Simple answer: Germany overthrew their fascists; the Palestinian Arabs elect theirs. Besides, peace requires two sides to want it. The jihadists don't want peace, they want to conquer. Couldn't Mr. Wiesel have figured that out?


"Israeli campuses this week are full of anti-Israel, Nakba ceremonies, organized by leftist Jewish students and faculty and Arabs, to mourn Israel's existence. All on campus facilities paid for by Israeli taxpayers and by Jewish donors from outside Israel." (Prof. Steven Plaut.)


Physicians for Human Rights denounced Israel's Shin Bet for letting a Palestinian Arab die by delaying his entry into Israel for chemotherapy. The organization was informed of the man's death by the grieving brother.

A week later, he was found alive. The brother had lied. He didn't want the patient vetted first, since he was suspected of terrorism. Shin Bet rebuked the Physicians for not checking the story (IMRA, 5/13).

NGOs and the media don't check negative stories about Israel very well.


Hizbullah domination of Lebanon taught Hillel Halkin half a lesson for Israel. He concludes that Israel never should depend on international guarantees. They aren't enforced. He claims that Egypt honors its non-aggression pact with Israel only because it is afraid not to. He urges Israel to reject any agreement with the P.A. that depends on international observers (NY Sun, 5/13, Op.-Ed).

Guarantees and pacts were violated routinely, including by the US.. Until recently, Mr. Halkin urged Israel to accept more. How many times must Israel be deceived to learn such a lesson?

Nor is Halkin right about Egypt. Egypt violated its agreement as soon it got the full Sinai. Egypt reduced diplomatic relations, tourism, and trade with Israel. Egypt built tank tunnels under the Sinai and leads international diplomacy against Israel. Egypt nurtures terrorist movements against Israel, by counsel and by letting them smuggle arms through Egypt.


Former Bush advisor Jay Lefkowitz states that Pres. Bush has made the legitimacy and security of Israel a high priority. Bush's Evangelism makes him sympathetic to Israel, but he also wants to carve a second Palestinian Arab state out of former Mandate territory. However, Bush conditions that state on P.A. conduct. It must be peaceful and democratic (NY Sun, 5/13, Op.-Ed.).

Bush has broken the law and lied for the P.A. about compliance with anti-terrorism, so he can continue to subsidize terrorism there. He has not demanded that the P.A. cease its incitement to violence against Israel and initiate rule of law. Instead, he has criticized Israel and demanded that it stop most defensive measures against terrorism emanating from the P.A.. Some Evangelists are anti-Israel. Bush talks nicely about Israel but demands it give up defensible borders.


Egypt has nominated its Min. of Culture to become head of UNESCO. The Minister stated that if he found an Israeli book in an Egyptian library, he would burn it himself. Israel protested to Egypt. He opposes normalization of relations with Israel, though Egypt's treaty pledges normalization (IMRA, 5/14).

Egypt did not normalize relations. That violates its treaty. Now that new, alleged peace agreements are being proposed between Arabs and Israel, it is time to review how successful the existing ones are and how the various truces worked out. Fact is that the Arabs violated almost all the truces and treaties.


The Olmert regime has ordered the Army to scale back its anti-terrorist arrests during Pres. Bush's visit. It wants the area to seem calmer. This means that the terrorists are not going to be held off balance during the visit.

As for the Arabs, they didn't forbear. They fired a rocket into a shopping center in Ashkelon, Israel (IMRA, 5/14).

Israel is currying favor with Bush. Doesn't gain favor, however. Appeasement never does. It has the opposite effect. Act contemptibly, like Olmert, and become treated with contempt, as Rice treats him.

Israel is afraid that the State Dept. deliberately would misinterpret raids as making difficulty for Bush. They all prefer misinterpreting the lack of raids and of fighting in general as progress in coming to peace. Unfortunately, the Arabs have no peace movement.

Israel should at least continue its anti-terrorist operations, already minimal as part of the effort to appease the State Dept.. Let Israel show how much terrorism there still is, by fighting it, thereby protecting Israelis. It won't do that, because such a demonstration would undermine the pretense that Abbas is anti-terrorist and the pretext that he is a "peace partner" with whom to sign an agreement giving up Israel's secure borders. The confusion and the legal aspects would be clarified by an Israeli declaration of war in response to the thousands of attacks.


Israel will give first opportunity for arresting terrorists to the P.A.. If the P.A. fails to arrest them, Israel may. Usually, the P.A. doesn't punish them but seeks out Israel's informants for punishment (IMRA, 5/14).

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

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Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, May 26, 2008.

It is the height of arrogance, indeed unscrupulous, for an unpopular national leader, his ability to govern in question, resignation looming over his head like a Sword of Damocles about to fall, to engage in major policy initiatives, especially relating to foreign policy, clandestinely, with no real authority, contrary to the will of the majority of people he was elected to serve, against the advice of his military generals, perhaps to create a diversion, perhaps to put himself in an essential position where he must remain in power and continue his quixotic quest, his fool's errand without interruption. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert now cynically so engages in peace negotiations, more aptly termed 'take a piece of Israel' negotiations, through Turkish mediators, contrary to strong exhortations by his nation's essential American ally, with Riyad Dadawi, Syrian strongman Bashar Assad's strategist for the U.N. sponsored probe and future trial in the 2005 murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Furthermore, Dadawi remains liaison for the Syrian army with Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Hizballah.

As if dealing with questionable characters is not enough, what on earth is Olmert doing anteing up Israel's Golan Heights, land justifiably captured in 1967 from Syria when that regime along with other hostile Arab regimes attempted to annihilate the Jewish homeland, as a bargaining chip to secure a pie-in-the-sky promise of peace from Israel/Jew hater Assad? Does Olmert believe the alliance between Damascus and Tehran will be strained as a result of any peace treaty between Syria and Israel? If so, then why did Syrian defense minister Hassan Turkmani shuttle off to the Iranian capital to presumably boost military ties right after talks began? Ceding the Golan Heights to Syria would in fact be an immense strategic blunder for Israel. 'The Golan Heights And The Facts', by Yoram Ettinger, Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research, strongly supports that assertion. His Policy Paper No. 108, 2000 delivers a number of reasons why Israel must never cede the Golan Heights, as depicted below.

The eastern ridge of the Golan Heights constitutes the watershed of the Lake of Galilee, which provides Israel with 30% of her water supply. Would that be safe in Syrian hands no matter what the regime's spokesmen say? Additionally and most importantly, the mountain ridges of the Golan Heights, much like those of Judea and Samaria, give Israel a topographical edge in case of war. Ceding the Golan Heights with or without a peace treaty is ceding the high ground to a neighbor that cannot be trusted, that has yet to secure peace treaties even with Muslim neighbors, that remains an abuser of human rights, that has brutally occupied Lebanon, that has hosted Nazi war criminals, that has attempted to build a nuclear reactor, that houses weapons of mass destruction, that lends financial and moral support to Hizbullah as well as kindred spirit terrorist groups, and that is ruled by a murderous autocratic government that would again attempt to destroy Israel if only it could no matter what is said for the sake of convenience! Recall that during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, control of the Golan Heights eastern mountain ridge, located just 35 miles from Damascus, a natural tank barrier (as well as a defensive missile launching site for Israel), enabled 177 Israeli tanks to thwart 1,400 Syrian tanks bearing down on the Jewish homeland with no warning.

Only a traitor and fool would compromise his nation's security for effectively nothing except perhaps his own personal and political survival, using a diversionary ploy to forever in this case taint the perpetrator Olmert's legacy, a lopsided agreement if (God forbid) successfully brokered by Israel's harried elected leader that would rank among the worst historically to befall any in effect sacrificed state, especially one fated to fight for her own survival on a daily basis. It boggles the mind that under such circumstances, the non-consulted disrespected Israeli Knesset as a body does not issue a precedential 'cease and desist' letter to Olmert preventing him from perpetrating acts that betray the State of Israel, specifically consummating agreements with the hostile regime of Syria, declare agreements already consummated to be null and void, solicit a vote of no confidence for the disgraced perhaps soon to be indicted prime minister, and enact legislation to prevent any future 'rogue' prime minister from crafting foreign policy without appropriate consultation of fellow legislators. There isn't even a demographic upside to Olmert's intended folly as some might bequeath to the stupidly conceived abandonment of Gaza. Israel cannot afford to similarly turn her back on the Golan Heights, a region she must defend and nurture for the sake of future generations.

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant. He advocates for the State of Israel with an American perspective. He writes, "Advocating for the disrespected underdog has been my passion, no doubt Israel falls into that category." Contact him by email at larose@snip.net

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Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, May 26, 2008.

This was written by Aaron Klein and it appeared yesterday in World Net Daily.

JERUSALEM –– Terrorists in the Gaza Strip are rejoicing at an Israeli decision today to evacuate troops stationed at a major Gaza-Israel border crossing following repeated Palestinian attack against Israel's side of the border station.

"This retreat proves the Israeli army is a paper tiger. What we proved to the world in 2005 (when Israel evacuated its Jewish communities from the Gaza Strip) we are proving once again. We are reaching a new step and proving our resistance and our rockets are working," Muhammad Abdel-Al, spokesman and a leader of the Hamas-allied Popular Resistance Committees terror group, told WND.

"Just as the Zionists are running from the border, they will also run from Ashkelon, Ashdod, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa and Tel Aviv ... . We will keep firing until every Jew climbs back into the sh--ty hole he came from," said Abdel-Al, whose group took responsibility for scores of recent attacks against the Israeli border.

Abu Ahmed, a leader of the Islamic Jihad terror group in Gaza, called Israel's troop evacuation a "victory."

"We feel proud and determined," he said. "Israelis start to withdraw from bases that are well-fortified because the Palestinian resistance proved that we are able to reach them at any point even if it is very fortified. We are proving once again that the myth of the unbeatable Israeli army is irrelevant," Abu Ahmed told WND.

Under instructions from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government, the IDF announced soldiers stationed at the Gaza District Coordination Office, the army's liaison office to Gaza, were set to be transferred from their facility just outside the Erez border crossing to a base further inside Israel due to the security threat in the Gaza border area.

Erez is the main commercial and humanitarian aid crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. It has been the target of several recent Palestinian terror attacks and attempted attacks.

Last Thursday, the Islamic Jihad terror group along with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the so-called military wing of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization, attempted to carry out a massive bombing at the Erez Crossing that, if successful, would have been the largest terrorist attack here since the Jewish state retreated from the Gaza Strip three years ago.

In last week's attempted attack, a truck reportedly carrying four tons of explosives detonated prematurely as it was approaching Erez. Even though the truck exploded hundreds of feet from the crossing, the explosion was large enough to rip a hole in a pedestrian passageway leading out of the Erez terminal and into Gaza.

Residents in the Gaza Strip who live more than 20 miles from the crossing told the Palestinian media they heard the blast.

"In terms of the amount of explosives used, Thursday's attack was the biggest since Israel pulled its settlers and troops out of Gaza nearly three years ago," Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich said.

IDF sources told WND that if last week's attack would have been successful, they estimate tens of soldiers and civilians would have been killed.

In response to Palestinian attacks, defense officials here have been petitioning the government to carry out a large-scale Gaza incursion to massively dent the territory's terrorist infrastructure.

An average of one dozen rockets and mortars per week are fired from the Gaza Strip into nearby Jewish communities. Earlier this month, during a visit by President Bush to Jerusalem, one terrorist rocket smashed into a large shopping mall in the coastal city of Ashkelon, seriously injuring 11 people.

The new decision to evacuate Israeli troops from the border station comes as Olmert is reportedly seeking to finalize an Egyptian-brokered cease fire with Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups.

Amos Gilad, who heads the Israeli defense ministry's political-security branch, flew to Egypt today for talks with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman regarding the cease fire deal.

Defense officials here have been warning a cease fire in Gaza will likely be used by Hamas to transport weapons into Gaza, rebuild armies and infrastructure in the territory and train in combat against future IDF operations.

Alongside the evacuation of troops and brokering of a cease with Hamas, Olmert last week announced he commenced negotiations with Syria over an Israeli retreat from the Golan Heights –– strategic, mountainous territory looking down on Israeli population centers.

The Golan negotiations are taking place as Olmert faces what is being described as a very serious criminal investigation in which the prime minister is suspected of bribery and corruption. Olmert has vowed to resign if he is indicted in the rapidly expanding case.

A survey conducted last week by Israel's Channel 2 found 70 percent of Israelis oppose relinquishing the Golan Heights for peace with Syria, compared to 22 percent in favor of such a move.

The poll found 57 percent of Israelis believe the timing of the negotiations with Syria is linked to the corruption case against Olmert.

Fifty-eight percent of those polled reportedly said Olmert did not have the legitimacy to negotiate with Syria.

Aryeh Zelasko lives in Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem. He is Director of Sales and Marketing of Israel Visit (www.israelvisit.co.il) which provides information and an internet buying facility for American visitors to Israel. Zelasko writes, "Stop complaining and fight back! Here's how:
Have a nice day."

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Posted by Steven Plaut, May 26, 2008.

1. As you know, the Olmertocracy has an obsession about giving away national prizes to haters of Israel and anti-Zionist extremists. Here is its latest boondoggle –– handing a science prize to a pro-Palestinian moonbat professor who then sent the money to Bir Zeit "university" and to one of the extremist Israeli leftist seditious groups: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/986898.html

How about if we send the entire annual allotment to Ben Gurion University to Bir Zeit, instead –– you know, for peace of course!!

2. Many people in Israel are asking why the leftist establishment is now suddenly going after Olmert with its subservient Attorney General's office and its hegemony over the media. After all, for years the Left's stooges were content to sit back and turn a blind eye to Olmert's personal corruption because he was carrying out the Left's agenda. The Attorney General and media in Israel only uncover "sleaze" and dirt and corruption in politicians whose politics they dislike. That is why they just can't ever seem to take notice of all the personal corruption of Ehud Barak and Amram Mitzna. (And we all recall the whitewashing of Ezer Weizmann!) But let Bibi and his wife remove some trinkets and ashtrays without permission from the PM's residence and the media have a field day! Or let Aryeh Deri fail to provide documented explanations for all of $40,000 out of his funds used to purchase his home....

So why the sudden determination to drive Olmert from office? It is obviously not a sudden squeamishness about bribery on the part of the stooges of the Left.

One explanation being whispered about Israel, and one I find highly plausible, is that the Left and its captive institutions are upset at Daniel Friedmann, Olmert's Minister of Justice, and his determination to end judicial tyranny in Israel. The Left is in favor of judicial tyranny because it allows it to impose its political agenda on Israel through the courts without the inconvenience of actually having to win elections. The Left has placed Friedmann in its sites and is willing to topple Olmert to get what it wants.

3. Finding New Ways to Express Jew-Hatred
By Dr. Dvir Abramovich
FrontPageMagazine.com | 5/26/2008

I am often reminded of Martin Luther King's statement about anti-Zionism:

"You declare that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely anti-Zionist. And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops... When people criticize Zionism they mean Jew; we are talking anti-Semitism... .Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land... Anti-Zionist is inherently anti-Semitic and ever will it be so. And what is anti-Zionist? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-Semitism."

Late last year, Israeli author A.B Yehoshua observed: "Instead of attacking Jews they are attacking Zionism, and this is the way because you cannot attack Jews anymore openly."

Anti-Zionism gives old fashion anti-Semitic intent a sheen of civilised discourse, but people of good conscience should not be deceived or intimidated to deal with it or let down their guard. As they say, the devil is in the details. Principally, anti-Zionism is an accurate reflection of unbridled street level anti-Judaism feeding on anti-Semitic myths that in turn nurture the battle against the existence of Israel. Obviously, it's easier to disseminate age-old anti-Jewish feeling cloaked as anti-Zionism. But in no way should Anti-Zionism serve as a convenient cover, a euphemism, a loophole for those spewing and fomenting anti-Semitic slander.

For the record, not every criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. No one wants to stifle a free, honest and open debate on all sides. It's all about the pitch the criticism reaches. Moreover, there's no problem with champions of the Palestinian cause who dissent and use industrial strength criticism to make a point about the specific policy of the Israeli government. As long as they recognise Israel's right to exist, do not deny individual Jews self-determination and the right to live and do not seek Israel's destruction because it is "a racist entity' guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity" (NGO declaration before Durban).

To wit, who can forget the blatantly hypocritical circus of the Durban conference where a considerable number of nations insisted that every reference to Anti-Semitism be linked with the racist practices of Zionism" while simultaneously arguing that Zionism was a movement based on racist supremacy akin to apartheid.

It has been noted that the line is crossed when Israel is imbued with known antisemitic stereotypes, when Israelis and Jews are compared to Nazis and blamed for worldwide disasters (the Mel Gibson syndrome), when they are singled out and attacked in a disproportionate manner, and when Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state is questioned.

For Gabriel Schoenfeld, editor of Commentary, anti-Semitism is "the right and the only word for an anti-Zionism so one-sided, so eager to indict Israel while exculpating Israel's adversaries, so shamefully adroit in the use of moral double standards, so quick to issue false and baseless accusations, and so disposed to invert the language of the Holocaust and to paint Israelis and Jews as evil incarnate." In a similar vein, Ruth Wisse reveals that, "Contemporary Anti-Zionism has absorbed all the stereotypes and foundational texts of fascist and Soviet anti-Semitism and applied them to the Middle East." Swedish statesman Per Ahlmark wisely doubts that anyone would believe this declaration, "I am against the existence of Great Britain, but I'm not anti-British."

History has shown us that rarely has there been anti-Zionism without anti-Semitism. Dr King named the lie, saw that anti-Zionism is often used to mask the face of anti-Semitism and so do I. Take Resolution 3379 (Zionism=racism), a strategy to de-legitimatise Israel's right to exist. Arab Historian Bernard Lewis has written that the insidious resolution was chosen as the best stand in for a vicious anti-Semitic campaign by Soviet and Arab Ideological goals. Once accepted, it erased the taboo against publicly expressing anti-Semitic sentiments in the wake of the Holocaust. And as then US Ambassador to the UN Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan recalled in his book A Dangerous Place, the shameless resolution was not only aimed against Israel but also against world Jewry. Intellectual William F. Buckley observed at the time that the UN had become "The most concentrated gathering of anti-Semitism since the days of Hitler's Germany" while Lionel Trilling maintained that with this legal travesty the ghost of Hitler haunted the halls of the UN.

Recognising the interdependence of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, the US Senate passed a resolution condemning the vote as an encouragement of Anti-Semitism as did the Australian Parliament. In 1991, President Bush in an address to the UN assembly, stated, "Zionism is not a policy, it is the idea that led to the creation of a home for the Jewish people in the state of Israel... To equate Zionism with racism is to reject Israel itself, a member in good standing of the UN." Even the Vatican, in its document The Church and Racism of the Holy See's Council acknowledged that, "Anti-Zionism... serves at times as a screen for anti-Semitism feeding on it and leading to it." (part II, no. 15).

Consider that anti-Zionism is the first type of Jew hatred to deny that it hates Jews. Today, those who hate Jews and who fan the flames of bigotry call themselves anti-Zionists, seeking new modes of packaging their virulent ideology and knowing that "if one tells the same lies long enough" as Goebbles stated, "people will begin to believe them". Yet, it is beyond dispute that throughout the world, classical anti-Semitism is being dressed us as anti-Zionism, a more respectable, but no less poisonous and vile, type of hate.

There is hard and fast evidence that all too often anti-Semitic figures brand themselves anti-Zionists. Consider Kwawe Ture. When speaking on American campuses, the Black Nationalist figure's favourite punchline is "The only good Zionist is a dead Zionist." Ture asserts he is not anti-Semitic, merely anti-Zionist although he heads the AAPRP, one of the most radical anti-Semitic groups on the left, tells audiences that Jews dominated the slave trade and that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis to create the Holocaust. Clearly, animosity towards Zionism by high profile hate mongers is always bonded to smearing against Judaism. Robert Wistrich remembers an interview with Valery Emelianov a leading member of the ultra right wing Russian group Pamyat in which Elianov kept using the word Zionists where it was plain it was a transparent codeword for Jews, also repeatedly employing the term "Jewish Nazis". And what about Syrian Defence Minister Mustafa Tlas and his 1983 book The Matza of Zion, a blood libel clocked as insight into Zionist behaviour and intention. One could also add the Peronist congressman in Argentina who classified Zionism as device for taking over Latin America and the Court in Crete that ruled in 1984 that Jehovah's Witnesses are part of a Zionist conspiracy to rule the world as prime examples.

Even left-wing icon and peace activist Israeli author A. B Yehoshua has recognied the anti-Zionism agenda. In March last years he observed: "Instead of attacking Jews they are attacking Zionism, and this is the way because you cannot attack Jews anymore openly." Let us also recall that that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran spoke at anti-Zionism conference when he infamously spoke about wiping Israel off the map.

The establishment of a Jewish state has not erased anti-Semitism. There is still a need for a demonized scapegoat and Israel itself has become the world's Jew, its favorite scapegoat. Anti-Zionism is an ingenious way to defame Israel and the Jewish people. And for that very reason, anti-Zionism should not lose its seat on the bus of political correctness that protects certain groups; it should never be made acceptable, tolerated, ignored or hushed up.

Dr. Dvir Abramovich is Director of the Center for Jewish History and Culture at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is president of the Australian Association of Jewish Studies.

4. Hebonics:

New York City Public Schools have officially declared Jewish English, now dubbed Hebronics, as a second language. Backers of the move say the city schools are the first in the nation to recognize Hebronics as a valid language and a significant attribute of American culture.

According to Howard Ashland, linguistics professor at Brooklyn College and renowned Hebronics scholar, the sentence structure of Hebronics derives from Central and Eastern European language patterns, as well as from Yiddish.

Prof. Shulman explains:

"In Hebronics, the response to any question is usually another question, with a complaint that is either implied or stated.

Thus 'How are you?' may be answered, 'How should I be, with my bad feet?'"

Prof. Shulman says that Hebronics is a superb linguistic vehicle for expressing sarcasm or scepticism. An example is the repetition of a word with "shm" at the beginning: "Mountains, shmountains. Stay away. You should want a nosebleed?"

Another Hebronics pattern is moving the subject of a sentence to the end, with its pronoun at the beginning: "It's beautiful, that dress."

Prof. Shulman says one also sees the Hebronics verb moved to the end of the sentence. Thus the response to a remark such as "He's slow as a turtle," could be: "Turtle, shmurtle! Like a fly in Vaseline he walks."

Prof. Shulman provided the following examples from his best-selling textbook, "Switched-On Hebronics":

Question: "What time is it?"
English answer: "Sorry, I don't know."
Hebronic response: "What am I, a clock?"

Remark: "I hope things turn out okay."
English answer: "Thanks."
Hebronic response: "I should be so lucky!"

Remark: "Hurry up, dinner's ready."
English answer: "Be right there."
Hebronic response: "Alright already, I'm coming. What's with the 'hurry' business?"

Remark: "I like the tie you gave me; I wear it all the time."
English answer: "Glad you like it."
Hebronic response: "So what's the matter; you don't like the other ties I gave you?"

Remark: "Sarah and I are engaged."
English answer: "Congratulations!"
Hebronic response: "She could stand to lose a few pounds."

Question: "Would you like to go riding with us?"
English answer: "Just say when."
Hebronic response: "Riding, shmiding! Do I look like a cowboy?"

To the guest of honour at a birthday party:
English answer: "Happy birthday."
Hebronic response: "A year smarter you should become."

Remark: "It's a beautiful day."
English answer: "Sure is."
Hebronic response: "So the sun is out; what else is new?"

Answering a phone call from a son:
English answer: "It's been a while since you called."
Hebronic response: "You didn't wonder if I'm dead already?"

5. Jewish Voice for Peace and the New Blood Libel
posted by Dr Mike at www.bluetruth.net

Jewish Voice for Peace needs a new motto, something like "We're not really anti-Zionist, but we always act that way." Their latest screed about the Palestinian Nakba reads like a textbook produced by the Palestinian Authority, full of allegations designed to incite hatred and prevent peace. It levels charges of atrocities allegedly committed against Arab civilians by the Jews of 1948 Palestine, who had the temerity to try to defend themselves not only against 5 invading Arab armies, but also against local villages that had long been launching attacks against Jewish civilians and besieging Jewish Jerusalem.

Their "fact sheet" accuses Israel of war crimes, in blood-curdling detail that brings to mind accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust. This of course is not by accident. There are three themes that anti-Zionists use to try to relate the Palestinian narrative to the Holocaust. First, they attempt to present the Arabs as nothing more than peaceful innocent bystanders who became secondary victims of the Holocaust (ignoring the fact that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin al Husseini spent the war years in Berlin where he encouraged the Nazis to commit full scale genocide against the Jews, recruited Muslims for the Nazis, and toured Auschwitz with Eichmann, probably to help plan a similar facility should the Germans have overrun Palestine). Secondly, they insist on the false equation of the mass industrial-scale extermination of European Jewry based on a horrific racist ideology, and the dislocation of Palestinian Arabs caused by another war of extermination against the Jews.this one started by their fellow Arabs. Finally, and most outrageously, they claim that current Israeli self-defense actions against the terrorist organizations Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad are morally or legally on a plane with Nazi Germany's treatment of the Jews.

The descriptions used by JVP are almost all credited to one source: Ilan Pappe's book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Pappe, for those unfamiliar with him, is a former Israeli lecturer at the University of Haifa who has since relocated to the University of Exeter in the UK. A doctrinaire Marxist who once ran for Knesset with the Communist-led Hadash party, he opposes the existence of Israel as a Jewish state but nonetheless supports "resistance" by Hamas, a radical Islamist movement that seeks to impose sharia law and at least tolerates, if not incites, violence against Christian "infidels" . Most tellingly, he also frankly admits that he is not really interested in facts: "'We do [historiography] because of ideological reasons, not because we are truth seekers... 'there is no such thing as truth, only a collection of narratives'." This philosophy was exposed when one of Pappe's graduate students, Teddy Katz, was shown to have falsified evidence about an alleged massacre at Tantura in 1948 by claiming that his interview subjects said one thing while the tapes of the interviews proved otherwise.

There are historians such as Benny Morris who have indeed documented incidents of expulsion and even murder of Arabs during Israel's War of Independence, when the Jews were fighting for their lives and the Arabs were fighting to kill Jews. Israel, no more and no less than other countries, was not born without violence, without wrongs being committed, without people being displaced. All Americans who are not part of the original Native American population live on their land by virtue of military conquest, much of it involving acts worse than anything Israel is accused of by its worst enemies –– and Americans are not returning to a homeland for which we have pined and prayed for centuries. The same holds true for Canadians and Australians. So by what moral right do those who point the finger at Israel and bellow "J'accuse!" continue to reside in their own comfortable homes?

The blood libel is an old staple of anti-Semitism. Jews through the centuries have been slaughtered because of the now-rejected Catholic teaching that the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus, then for the myth that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood for matzah. Now we have the new blood libels against Israel. The most prominent has been the al-Dura affair, used as a bloody shirt to create a jihadist frenzy during the Arafat's terror war.and now that the entirety of the filmed evidence has been aired in a French courtroom, the questions about what might have been a fully staged hoax are larger than ever. Other examples of media gullibility to Arab manipulation abound.the "Jenin massacre" in 2002 during which world media eagerly swallowed Palestinian claims of hundreds of deaths during Operation Defensive Shield, the doctored pictures from Lebanon, blame placed on Israel for the deaths of civilians killed by Hamas mines on a Gaza beach. Of course, while the sensationalist false reporting of these incidents makes headlines, the "corrections" are always buried in small type at the bottom of page 10.

JVP has chosen to perpetuate the tradition of the blood libel, hiding behind anti-Zionism as a politically correct shield. As self-described experts on anti-Semitism, their leadership can't claim to be ignorant of what they are doing. So one can only conclude that they agree with Pappe: facts aren't important, advancing the ideology is. And the ideology, sadly, is not one of peace, but of fanning the flames of anti-Israel hatred. Please join the battle: http://jidf.blogspot.com/

6. Store sells 'Jews Against Obama' shirt

NEW YORK, May 24 (UPI) –– An Israeli immigrant says he has received death threats since he began selling "Jews Against Obama" T-shirts at his store in New York.

Doron Braunshtein, who operates a boutique on the Lower East Side, told the New York Post he changed his mind about U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., because of the flap about the Democratic presidential candidate's former pastor and having discovered Obama had visited Pakistan.

A T-shirt in the window of his store, Apollo Braun, has on it a yellow star with the word "Jude" inside, a checked scarf or keffiyeh like that worn by Yasser Arafat, a belt of bullets and a copy of "Survival In Auschwitz" by Primo Levi. Braunshtein said he wants to remind Jews of what can happen.

"You open the door for Obama, you have no idea what can come your way," he said.

Most people who saw the T-shirt disapproved with Michael Idov, a magazine editor, calling it "nauseating." One woman liked it, so Braunshtein gave her one.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Andras Bereny, May 26, 2008.

This was written by Datya Itzhaki.

Rivka Meirchik is the second young Jewish woman this year to languish in the Neve Tirza prison without trial after refusing to recognize the authority of the court and to cooperate with the prosecution.

Earlier this year, 18 year-old Tzvia Sariel spent over four months in Neve Tirza until she was released in March and all charges against her were dropped. [In January, seven teenage Jewish girls were released after being held for three weeks in Neve Tirza without trial. The 13 to 14 year-olds were also arrested for Jewish settlement activities and also refused to cooperate with authorities.]

On May 22, an Israeli judge sent Meirchik back to jail for another month after deeming her refusal to cooperate with authorities an ideological crime.

Rivka Meirchik, 29, an anti-government demonstrator who participated in Jewish settlement and was arrested almost two months ago, is being held until the end of judicial proceedings. She has refused to cooperate with authorities, including paying a release bond and agreeing to restrictive conditions.

"[For Meirchik] it's ideological," Kfar Saba Magistrate Clara Rejiniano said. "The law allows me to keep a person nine months. These are legal decisions which we must respect." Rejiniano, who ordered Meirchik remanded in custody until the end of judicial proceedings on April 21, scheduled the next hearing for June 19.

Ms. Meirchik was arrested on April 2 in the Jewish community of Shvut Ami after police ordered all Jews evacuated from the area. [Shvut Ami was one of the Jewish communities established after the expulsion of 10,000 Jews from Gush Katif and the northern Shomron in August 2005.]

Merichik was charged with trespassing, assaulting a police office and disobeying military orders after the area was proclaimed a closed military zone. For her part, she said that she was beaten by police.

She has since been held in the Neve Tirza prison after she refused to recognize the authority of the court, refused to cooperate with police prosecutor Shir Laufer and refused to accept court-imposed conditions for her release.

Meirchik, who appeared pail and frail, has also refused to be handcuffed or shackled with leg-irons with the result that prison authorities have refused to allow her out of her solitary confinement cell and have deprived her of phone and visitation rights. However, she is brought to court appearances manacled and on April 14, Kfar Saba Magistrate Nava Bechor ordered her held in leg-irons and handcuffs throughout the hearing. [Bechor is the same judge who ordered Tzvia Tsariel held for a fourth month in jail prior to her trial.]

During the May 22 hearing Rejiniano said she had no authority to release Meirchik, despite the prosecution's insistence on calling an expert witness to testify on the land claims by Arabs to Shvut Ami, located near the Jewish community of Kedumim, to prove the trespass offense.

Defense attorney Aviad Visoly asked that Meirchik be released from hearings as the cross-examination of the witness would be lengthy and Meirchik had already spent close to two months in prison.

"I reiterate my request to free the defendant from the hearing and all other hearings," Visoly said, "in view of the fact that the prosecution witness has brought 10 pages on testimony and will be questioned on every paragraph."

Attorney Rinat Levine from the military prosecutor's office presented the court with Jordanian maps and tax possession registration documents from 1933 and 1936 as evidence that the land is owned by Arabs.

The judge, visibly annoyed by prosecutor Nili Dayan for bringing the witness, nevertheless castigated Visoli for a political cross-examination.

"Who has sovereignty in Judea and Samaria according to international law?" Visoli asked Levine. "I will prove that according to international law that Israeli law is the law in Judea and Samaria."

The judge refused to allow Levine to answer the question. "This is political," Rejiniano said as she addressed the prosecutor. "Do you understand what you have brought to this trial for an offense of trespassing?"

A second witness, border policeman Nasid Sayad, testified that Meirchik had assaulted him and resisted arrest while she was sitting on the ground.

Sayad, who said he bent down to touch Meirchik's bag, first said Meirchik bit him when she was sitting down and later testified that Meirchik also slapped him.

Visoli asked Sayad to demonstrate how a police office, over one meter tall, with a second police officer at his side, was slapped and bitten by a very slight young woman in a sitting position. Sayad refused to cooperate with the defense's request.

Visoli said he will appeal to the Supreme Court to have Meirchik released immediately. He said that it isn't a crime under Israeli law not to recognize the authority of the court.

"It's shocking," Visoli said. "Her incarceration is illegal and so is keeping her in custody until the end of proceedings."

The major Israeli media, particularly the state-operated radio and television, did not mention a word of this travesty of justice. So, we must turn to you, lovers of Israel, who were so effective in the case of Tzvia Sariel and who, thanks to your efforts was released from jail, and ask that you act to help defend Jewish rights in Israel .

As a first step, we request that you telephone –– rather than e-mail –– the Israeli Embassy or the Israeli consulate nearest you and demand to know why Rivka is still in prison. The embassy's phone number is 202-364-5500. Stress, that as an American citizen, you can ask the State Department to investigate what you feel is clearly a human rights violation.

Now, we are asking you to call your member of Congress and raise the issue of Rivka Meirchik. We also ask you to call the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor and inform them of Rivka and demand an investigation. Tell the department officer you have also raised Rivka's case with your member of Congress. The State Department's main numbers are 202-647-4000 or 1-800-877-8339.

The Olmert government, with an approval rating of near zero, has refused any accountability to the Israeli people and fears only the Bush administration. Unless we act now, there will be many more Rivkas in jail.

If you agree with this, please act quickly. What could be more important than winning the release of a Jewish woman imprisoned for loving her country and people?

With Love of Israel,
Datya Itzhaki

Andras Bereny lives in Kfar Tapuach in the Shomron. Contact him at bereny@tin.it

To Go To Top

Posted by Steven Shamrak, May 26, 2008.

When I started my weekly Internet editorial letters six years ago, the term Hasbara, pro-Israel propaganda, was dormant. Fighting the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda is only the first step. The main and ultimate goal is to unite Jews and our genuine friends behind the true Zionist inspiration and create a Jewish state on all Jewish ancestral land, Eretz-Israel. Generally speaking, I believe that it is a waste of time to reply to accusations and fabrications of anti-Semitic or anti-Israel bigots, if there is a difference. We must focus on our own goals and actively pursue them!

At the same time, because of the use of modern communications and the Internet by Jew-haters, in addition to the traditional anti-Israel media bias, it would be foolish to ignore or dismiss the damage being caused to Israel in the area of the public perception of the Arab-Israel conflict and the right of Jews to the land of Israel. For several years, I have been watching the rise of anti-Zionist activities on YouTube, MySpace, Wikipedia as well as in many blogs and chat-rooms. Information about Israel and Jewish history has being systematically distorted by Jew-haters, who are ether twisted-minded hateful individuals or well organized campaigners of some interest groups, organizations and even governments.

Propaganda is a weapon used to manipulate people's opinion. It is a very important tool of warfare. It has being successfully applied by many countries: Communists in former USSR, by Nazis in Germany, as well as by the US in order to join WW2. The Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels used to say: "The 'Big Lie' was simple –– tell the biggest, most outrageous lie; tell it often enough; tell it loudly enough –– and eventually people will believe it." That's what the enemies of the Jewish people have been doing for a long time unopposed. As a result even Jews start to believe in their lies!

Jew-haters have been resurrecting the same false accusations and fabrications even after they had been proven wrong many times over. Even now, some Christians still believe that Jews use the blood of Christian babies in ritual preparation of matzos. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is still used by traditional anti-Semites and the book has successfully migrated from anti-Semitic Europe to the bookshelves of Muslim countries, where it has become a best seller and even made its screen debut as a TV serial.

Enemies of Jews do not care about facts! Their brains are completely short -circuited and consumed by hate. They are not just unwilling but unable to process or accept facts. They jump from one issue to another, from country to country in their hateful asymmetrical propaganda war against Jews! The aim is to create the perception that their lies have some element of truth. They often say: "There is not smoke without fire." And, they are very good at creating lots of smoke!

Surprisingly, most of the so-called independent Western press, exploiting the anti-Semitic inclination of the general population, is a willing participant in the Israel-bashing game. Journalists are only too happy to report anti-Israel information, often without checking the source and its validity. Editors use screaming headlines like: "World Bank Blames Israel for Poor PA Economy", "Olmert Ready to Give Up Temple Mount" or "Will Israel Return Golan Heights to Syria?" to increase the sale of their papers, but in the process they are creating the perception of Israel's wrong-doing and an atmosphere of uncertainty which only encourages PA terrorists to perform their blood-thirsty acts. Many of those editors and journalists are quite knowingly and eagerly participating in this scam!

At present, many Jews do not believe in or even have any knowledge about the rights of Jewish people to the land called Palestine. They are even afraid to express any support for Zionist ideals. We are living in a dangerous time, when the corrupt and self-hating government of Israel is so eager to give up more of Jewish land to the enemies for the illusion of peace, but is not wiling to end Arab occupation of our land and finish Jewish suffering from terror in Israel.

From a Jewish existential point of view, we can't ignore or dismiss the activities of our enemies as either naïve or harmless. That is why I implore you to participate in actively promoting and defending the Zionist ideals. By the co-ordinated effort of many supporters of Israel, we'll be able to positively refute the disinformation which Jew-haters and self-hating Jews have been spreading, and propagate the right of Jews to live in peace on Jewish ancestral land. I know, that we are facing uphill battle, but somebody must do it. It was partially achieved 60 years ago. We just have to finish the job: "If not me than who, if not now then when?"

Steven Shamrak was involved in the Moscow Zionist movement. He worked as a construction engineer at the Moscow Olympic Games project and as a computer consultant in Australia. He has been publishing an Internet editorial letter about the Arab-Israel conflict since August 2001 and has a website www.shamrak.com. He can be reached by email at StevenShamrak@gmail.com

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Posted by Ralph's Rant, May 26, 2008.

This week there were several news items that have that have questioned the sanity and the qualifications of the present government in Israel and the Prime Minister. The first instance were reports that Israel was removing soldiers and civilian staff from the Erez Base near the Erez Crossing in Israel. This action leaves the South Erez Gaza Belt very exposed to enemy attacks. This action is the same as the US pulling soldiers away from the US border with Mexico and not protect civilians or US sovereignty if the Mexicans were claiming sovereignty and firing rockets at the US. This is a very personal issue for me since I lived in the area for a few years and have many friends in the area.

Failing to secure this area including the Sederot area which is sovereign Israeli territory brings up the question is Olmert is planning to give away this area to the PA as part of a land corridor between Gaza and the PA. It makes you wonder after all make the place undesirable to live in to force the civilians to move. Why in my opinion is for personal greed and ambition. Prime Minister Olmert is guilty of it in my opinion and is my opinion no beyond selling that area of Israel out.

There has been talk of this type of Trans Israel corridor being given to the PA which would split Israel and give a huge blow to her sovereignty. The Prime Minister and his current government continues to give more and more away with each new map given to the PA.

The PM is also talking of giving away the Golan. Again why because of personal greed and ambition. No one says that there should never be sort of negotiated agreement for peace at some stage with real secure borders that protects the religious sites secure borders and the settlements, but this is whole sale give away for nothing, and to people that want us destroyed. One of the ministers in the Likud went so far to say that this was treason. Now this MK may have gone too far in threading Olmert and that should be condemned. But is this treason that depends on the motivations of the leaders but in my opinion is that yes it is treason. The Knesset and the military needs to do something to save Israel and to restore democracy before it is too late. In my opinion the present Kadima government must be replaced and fast by the Knesset or the Military and new elections held.

This article is archived at http://ralphsrant1.blogspot.com/2008/05/olmert-and-treason.html

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Posted by Daily Alert, May 26, 2008.

This was written by Clifford D. May and it appeared in National Review Online
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NTc0ZTY4MmJmMzNkZmVhNDNhMmJlY2VjOThlNGFlOTI= Clifford D. May, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism.

The real reason the Arab-Israeli conflict can't be settled.

To celebrate July 4th, Americans shoot off fireworks –– a colorful reminder of the nation's often explosive struggle for independence. This month, Israelis have been celebrating 60 years of independence, and any store-bought pyrotechnics are superfluous: The rockets' red glare can be seen in Israel's skies night after night, courtesy of Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza and is openly dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish state.

If we want peace between Israel and the Palestinians, we need to marginalize the radicals and empower the moderates. That's the conventional wisdom. There's one problem with it: Moderates wield no power in Gaza.

Meanwhile, over in the West Bank there is Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Fatah, Hamas' rival. He is reportedly furious over President Bush's recent remarks to the Israeli parliament looking forward to the120th anniversary of Israeli independence –– a time, Bush predicted, when Israel will live in peace with an independent Palestinian neighbor.

Abbas told reporters: "The Bush speech at the Knesset angered us . . . I frankly, clearly and transparently asked him that the American position should be balanced."

This, too, has become conventional wisdom. The problem with it: If my goal is to kill your two children and your goal is to keep them alive, a balanced position –– one midway between the two –– would endorse the murder of one of your kids.

Such balance is relentlessly on view in the mainstream media. For example, to commemorate Israel's 60th year of independence, the Washington Post ran a front page feature on two men, one Israeli, one Palestinian, both born 60 years ago "into a land at war."

The story neglects to mention how that war began: The U.N. passed a resolution that established Israel and called for an Arab state as well. Jewish leaders agreed. Had Arab leaders done likewise, Palestinians also would be celebrating 60 years of statehood this month –– and there would have been no war and no refugees.

The Post reports that the family of Nabil Zaharan, the 60-year-old Palestinian, fled "their native Jaffa out of fear of advancing Israeli troops." This has become the conventional narrative –– Palestinians driven from their homes by Jews. But as Efraim Karsh, head of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Studies at King's College, University of London, writes: "The recent declassification of millions of documents from the period of the British Mandate (1920 –– 1948) and Israel's early days . . . paint[s] a much more definitive picture of the historical record. . . . By the time of Israel's declaration of independence . . . none of the 170,000 –– 180,000 Arabs fleeing urban centers, and only a handful of the 130,000 –– 160,000 villagers who left their homes had been forced out by the Jews."

Karsh quotes Ismail Safwat, the Iraqi general who served as commander-in-chief of the Arab Liberation Army that was attempting to "drive all Jews into the sea." Safwat noted "with some astonishment that the Jews 'have so far not attacked a single Arab village unless provoked by it.' "

The overwhelming majority of those who fled, Karsh explains, were instructed to do so "by their own leaders and/or by Arab military forces whether out of military considerations or in order to prevent them from becoming citizens of a prospective Jewish state."

One of those leaders was Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, who had spent World War II close to Hitler in Berlin. Scholar Barry Rubin writes that al-Husseini "hated Jews, wanted to destroy them and could not envision compromise."

"The key point," Rubin says, "is that in rejecting partition, in demanding everything and starting a war it could not win, the Arab side ensured endless conflict, the Palestinian refugee issue, and no Palestine. It wasn't murder –– it was suicide."

Those Palestinians who did not flee are today Israeli citizens –– more than 20 percent of the population. Despite the departure of families such as Zaharan's, Jaffa remains an Arab city with minarets and mosques framing its skyline.

Also unmentioned in the Post piece: Nearly a million Jews whose families had lived for centuries in such places as Egypt, Syria, and Iraq were expelled. Today, half of all Israeli Jews trace their roots to Arab countries.

Israel's war of independence has never really ended. Thirty years ago, there seemed a chance: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat went to Camp David and made peace with Israel. Not long after, he was gunned down by members of an Islamist group headed by Ayman al-Zawahiri. Now Osama bin Laden's top deputy and presumed to be living in the tribal areas of Pakistan, al-Zawahiri is a living reminder of the consequences that await any moderate who would dare end this long and bloody conflict.

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 Morris Sadek, May 26, 2008.

This appeared May 18, 2008. It was written by Nadia abou el Magd for The National.
http://freecopts.net/english/index.php?option=com_content&task= view&id=895&Itemid=9

It is not uncommon to see girls as young as five veiled in Egypt. Now we have Islamic banks, Islamic fashion, Islamic TV channels, Islamic hairdressers, Islamic swimsuits, Islamic writers, Islamic everything

CAIRO // Every day for the past five years, Ahmed Gamil has begun his morning shift as a taxi driver by tuning into a radio station that broadcasts the Quran.

"How else would I start my day?" Mr Gamil said during a recent journey downtown. "My life is so miserable, religion is the only thing that prevents me from committing suicide."

There are increasing signs across Egypt of Islamic fervour, including devotion to the Quran and outward manifestations such as women wearing veils and men growing beards. Some analysts put this down to a lack of other outlets for personal expression.

Heba Moheb is veiled as she reads the Quran on the underground metro, in the car reserved for women. She is surrounded by her three children, including Faten, her daughter, who despite being only 11 wears a veil. It is not uncommon to see girls as young as five veiled in Egypt.

"A Muslim woman should by definition be veiled; God didn't give us a choice in this matter," said Ms Moheb, 30. "A woman's body is a precious gift from God that we appreciate by covering it, not exposing to all."

The few unveiled women in the metro were Christians.

"I look like a Copt, that's why I'm spared, I guess," said Mona Eissa, 28, as she was running to catch the women's car in the metro. Another woman in a niqab was distributing flyers upon which were written slogans:

"You will be questioned about the veil in doomsday" and "The veil is a religious duty".

The state does not encourage veiling and has tried to bar niqab-wearing women from entering university. It is working on a law to stop nurses from wearing it while at work for health reasons.

Women in the 1960s and early 1970s used to wear miniskirts on the streets of Cairo without attracting attention. Now, with millions using the underground system every day, women choose to travel in the car reserved for women to avoid harassment.

"The phenomenon of the new religiosity started during late president Anwar Sadat's time and deepened during president Hosni Mubarak's era [starting in 1981] as both presidents left religion as the only sphere open for expression," said Amr Chobaki, an analyst whose doctoral dissertation is on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

"All other fields are closed or besieged and risky." There are no real political parties, syndicates and non-governmental organisations are threatened, he said.

The rise could be also attributed to a group of young preachers who are taking their sermons outside mosques and homes and reaching a new generation of Muslims on Islamic websites and satellite channels. These preachers include Amr Khaled and Yemeni Habib el Jaafry.

Many Egyptians have downloaded the call for prayers in to their mobile phones to remind them of the prayer times and use Islamic songs or a recitation of God's names as ring tones. Islamic books are best sellers at the annual Cairo book fair.

"Religion is an effective means of asserting identity," said Emad Shahin, a political scientist. "Religion is increasingly playing an important role in the region and will continue to play a role for quite some time."

The religious phenomenon is not rooted in politics, Mr Chobaki said. "It's rather a superficial and apparent Islamisation and religiosity, an unprecedented close conservative culture that is not only not tolerant of other religions but of secular and less religious Muslims. It is causing real suffering."

The phenomenon is not only Islamic. There is a similar parallel among Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 per cent of the population, but its expression is private. Many Christians now tattoo crosses on their arms.

"The Christians withdrew behind their church walls, and the Church became their guardian in all aspects of life," Mr Chobaki said.

"It replaced the state for them, and its discourse is also fanatic sometimes. The whole atmosphere in Egyptian society is tense.

"If real opportunities emerged in Egypt to be able to express oneself without dangers, like political parties and civil society, this would start to reduce the tension and gradually defuse this superficial religiosity phenomenon. But this will take time, as the current regime has no political project [to coax people to leave] this religious sphere, which people have played havoc with it like everything else in Egypt."

Not all of Egypt's population of 78 million are this devoted. Only about 80 per cent of Egyptian women are veiled. Nightclubs and bars remain popular and restaurants and hotels serve alcohol.

The rise in religious devotion also crosses class. The rich wear brand name scarves as veils, and have their own spas for women and children.

Some complain that intolerance has grown alongside the trend toward religiosity. "Sometimes I'm harassed and insulted at the street because I'm wearing the cross," said Heba, 35, a secretary, who would only give her first name.

At Sabaya, a new hairdresser and cafe for "veiled women only", Hanan Turk, the owner and a famous actress who donned the veil last year, said she does not have non-veiled women as customers.

Secularists are frustrated with what they see as an overdose of Islamisation at the expense of the more cosmopolitan Egypt they grew up in.

"Now we have Islamic banks, Islamic fashion, Islamic TV channels, Islamic hairdressers, Islamic swimsuits, Islamic writers, Islamic everything," protested Mona Helmi, a feminist writer. "This is too much."

Nada Mahmoud, 40, said she is the only one among her college friends at the American University in Cairo and among the mothers of her son's friends who is not veiled.

"They keep trying to convert me," she said. "Somehow it's beyond their comprehension that you could be a good Muslim and don't want to take the veil.

There is no talk about other spiritual or moral aspects of Islam; they are more concerned about the veil." source http://freecopts.net/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=895&Itemid=9

Morris Sadek Esq is a lawyer at the Court of Cassation, Egyptian special Legal Counsel, DC Bar, United States of America. He is president of the National American Coptic Assembly USA.

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 26, 2008.
May 26, 2008

I would like to begin with some enlightening material regarding the al-Dura case, for we are dealing here with a pattern of inaccuracies in reporting news about the Palestinians –– either because major news outlets are naive in trusting what their Palestinian stringers tell them, or because they run information even when it is clear to them (or should be) that inaccuracies exist.

Dr. Richard Landes, Professor of History at Boston University, has done groundbreaking work in researching and exposing the construction of these deliberate inaccuracies; it is he who coined the term "Pallywood."

The first link below is to a video done before the appeals court decision was released in which Landes describes what is going on, and the second is after the decision.


As to other "confusion" taking place here:

Amos Gilad returned from Egyptian mediated negotiations on a ceasefire with Hamas totally empty-handed. Israeli officials say there has been no breakthrough on any of the major issues. Hamas will not agree to include the release of Shalit in the deal or to stop smuggling of arms.

One might think that this would move us, finally, to call it quits. But that is not the case: Instead the government is "suspending" any plans for a major operation in Gaza, waiting apparently to see what else develops, as Suleiman is still trying.

Said Barak at a Labor meeting:

"If, indeed, a calm emerges, then we will have to examine it according to what it entails and what its results are. And our demand could not be clearer –– there can be no attacks. I say to all those who are pushing for a speedy operation: Think before you act."

Speedy operation??! This has been dragging on for months.


Meanwhile, Yuval Diskin, head of the Shin Bet, in his weekly report to the Cabinet yesterday, warned that time is on Hamas's side. Already the terrorist group has smuggled in sophisticated Iranian weapons that might reach as far as Ashdod or Kiryat Gat.

He said that Israel had to act fast, because "as time goes on, a military operation will cost...more casualties...

"There has been cooperation between Hamas and Iran. Time favors Hamas and the rest of the terror organizations, and the threat on the State of Israel is steadily rising."

Diskin remains convinced that the chances for a truce are low. But "the Egyptians want very much to bring a truce into being. They fear a mass breakout into Egypt and [want] to keep their hegemony as a mediator. Hamas is interested in a truce but does not accept Israel's terms. They are emphasizing the removal of the siege and buying time."

Hamas, he said, will demand that Egypt open Rafah if the negotiations fail.

Reason enough to explain why Suleiman is working so hard.


Olmert offered some "reassuring" words, as is his practice, saying: "...things are nearing a decisive point."

Have we not heard this before?

Because Israel "wants peace and security both in the short run and in the long run," he explained (thereby indirectly addressing critics who accuse the government of being myopic), "we will have to make decisions."

And wait! He said more: "If this...is not reached through Egyptian mediation, we will have to [use other] means. The government has nothing more important than securing its residents' safety. Both I and the defense officials are losing sleep over this issue."

Yes, undoubtedly he loses sleep over this issue...


Shaul Mofaz, former Chief of Staff and Defense Minister, is currently one of those in Kadima coming out strongest for a military response, as he demanded action to regain deterrence in Gaza. "We must be the ones setting Israel's agenda –– not the terror organizations," he said on Army Radio.


Many people were angered by the order of Major-General Yosef Mishlav, the coordinator of the government's activities in the territories, to pull soldiers away from the Erez Crossing, in the wake of the truck bombing at Erez just days ago. In what MK Zevulun Orlev (NU/NRP) referred to as a "cowardly act," soldiers of the Coordination and Liaison Authority, who had been near the Erez were "temporarily" moved to the Julis base 17 kilometers away.

Some of the harshest criticism of this decision came from within the IDF. Said one army officer:

"[This] is an admission of our failure to protect the lives of our citizens and soldiers. The army... should be at the front and serve as a buffer between the enemy and our civilian population. It is wrong to evacuate them because of a threat. What will the residents of Netiv Ha'asara, who live near the base, say? They will justifiably demand that the State evacuate them as well."


"Theoretically and realistically, Israel can get along without [former chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen.] Dan Halutz," intoned MK Arye Eldad (NU/NR) after Shabbat.

He was mocking a statement made by Halutz: "The thought of ceding the Golan Heights gives me a bellyache, but for real peace one must be willing to pay a real price. Theoretically, Israel can do without the Golan."

Explained Eldad, "Israel must pay heed, and do something if it doesn't want to return to the failures of the Second Lebanon War. In that war, Halutz was exposed as someone who does not understand anything of the basic principles of war, and accordingly Israel saw that it didn't need his advice."


But, in the face of vast confusion, Olmert's talk about proceeding with the negotiations with Syria persists.

Iranian officials, who were greatly irked by Israel's demands that Syria cut Iranian connections, have gone out of their way to emphasize their strength: Iran's foreign minister is referring to "strategic ties" with Syria.

Those who imagine that Assad will break that connection totally in order to regain the Golan are dreaming.

This was made clear even in a Damascus-run newspaper on Saturday, when an editorial (that reflects government policy) said that Syria's relationships with other nations were not on the table and that there were no preconditions (by which was meant imposed on them).


Of additional concern is the fact that Syria is stalling on permitting representatives of the International Atomic Energy Commission to visit the site where a reactor was allegedly bombed by Israel.


And Barak, even though he really recognizes the realities, persists in dreaming anyway:

At yesterday's Cabinet meeting, he explained that, "The Syrians have a different agenda than Israel," and that peace is not their priority.

Assad's priorities are: survival of his regime; getting the international tribunal into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri canceled (as that is expected to point an accusatory finger at the highest echelons of the Syrian government); securing a "special status" for Syria in Lebanon; and getting into the good graces of the US and the West.

Yet, said Barak, Israel should try to pull Syria from the orbit of Iran, even though efforts will have to be complicated and lengthy.

What he fails to perceive (or willfully ignores) is the vast likelihood that if Syria does pursue negotiations it is not out of a desire for peace, but rather an attempt to achieve those priorities listed above.


Within the coalition, there is from my perspective no one more hypocritical with regard to negotiations with Syria than MK Eli Yishai, head of the Shas faction. Meeting yesterday with representatives of communities in the Golan, he delivered a promise to stand by them in their efforts to prevent their evacuation from the Golan.

What unmitigated nonsense! If he wanted to help them prevent this, he should withdraw from the coalition and make it difficult or impossible for the government to proceed. But then, a new government might not continue with the building of those housing units that Olmert has promised him. And so he settles for words regarding not abandoning Israel's security to Syria.


Minister Shaul Mofaz was also at that meeting. His response, designed to reassure, was fairly ludicrous. It's wrong to turn the Golan over to Syria now, he declared, as this would be tantamount to giving it to Iran. So, we need creative solutions, such as giving the Golan to Syria but leasing it for 25 years so our people can stay there for now.


There are unsubstantiated reports –– coming from Palestinians close to those doing the negotiations –– that Israel is now offering a withdrawal from all but 8.5% of Judea and Samaria (with control of Jerusalem not yet discussed). This would be less than the 12% Israel had reportedly sought to hold on to previously, but more than the Palestinians find acceptable.

Abbas has just told a meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council that there has been no progress in the negotiations since the beginning.


Talansky has been questioned again, prior to his forthcoming court testimony that is scheduled for tomorrow. Olmert's lawyers will cross-examine him subsequently –– precisely when is unclear. Talansky, who is very restive and eager to return to the US, has had the hold on his travel extended until the testimony is given. There is now talk about allowing him to go, as he is scheduled to return for the wedding of his grandson on June 11.

The rumors keep flying: NY State Assemblyman Dov Hilkind says he saw Olmert, when he was mayor, receive envelopes of cash. Talansky's driver said he transported cash for Olmert. On it goes. There was a leak indicating that an indictment would be served by the end of the summer, and then that was quickly denied.

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

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Posted by Carl in Jerusalem, May 25, 2008.

This was published May 22, 2008 on my website and is archived at

Suit-and-tie clad unelected 'Palestinian' President Salam Fayyad told a Bethlehem conference on economic development in the 'Palestinian' territories on Tuesday that some 50,000 Arabs have left Gaza since Hamas took over last June and many times that number would like to leave.

Fayyad linked the exodus to the fighting between Hamas and Fatah, which resulted in the Hamas take-over of Gaza and a sharp decline in international aid to Gaza. PA sources admit that the clash has caused a great rift among the Arabs of the PA-controlled areas (Gaza, Judea, and Samaria), weakened the PA's international status, shaken internal security –– and brought about increased emigration.

Conference organizer Hassan Abu Libdeh agreed: "There is a Palestinian brain drain [a WHAT? CiJ] caused by the difficulties of living here," he said.

A year ago, in May 2007, the Mufti of Jerusalem for the PA, Sheikh Muhammed Amin Hussein, issued a religious ruling banning emigration
(http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2007/06/official-palestinian-authority-mufti.html) from "the land of Palestine." Hussein acknowledged in his ruling at the time that many young Arabs are flooding foreign embassies in an effort to receive residency permits.

In April, I reported that some 80% of Gaza residents want to leave, but this is the first time that the 'Palestinian Authority' admits it. Of course, we have to keep in mind that this is Hamas' rivals speaking and they have an interest in making Hamas look as bad as possible. Still, I have no reason to doubt the report. In fact, I wonder what percentage of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria would like to leave. Don't expect anyone to tell us that one anytime soon.

50,000 in less than a year? Not bad

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Posted by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, May 25, 2008.

Teaching children that all of Israel is occupied "Palestine" is a backbone of Palestinian Authority education for both Fatah and Hamas.

Both Hamas and Fatah recently broadcast TV programs featuring children with giant keys hanging from their necks, and names of Israeli cities written on the keys. The key, a symbol of ownership, is a prominent Palestinian symbol indicating their claim of ownership over all Israeli cities and all of Israel. It also represents their demand that residents of refugee camps be settled in these Israeli cities.

The Fatah children's keys include the names of Israeli cities Haifa, Ramla, Acre, Jaffa, Beer Sheva.

The Hamas children's keys include the names of Israeli cities Haifa, Ramla, Acre, Beit Shean, Jerusalem.

Incitement of children to Shahada
Teaching hatred with music
Children as combatants in PA ideology
Denying Israel's right to exist
Hamas in its own words
Support for terrorism
Understanding Shahada
Mothers joy at sons' Shahada
Hatred of America and the West
Holocaust denial
Clarifying history
Arab world TV
Contact Palestinian Media Watch:

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 North American representative.

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 25, 2008.

Start giving IQ tests to people who are in Congress. Just because people get degrees doesn't mean they have an IQ over 90 because they can skate through some colleges.

This was posted by Robert Spencer on Jihad Watch and is at

Abysmally clueless Biden: "to compare terrorism with an all-encompassing ideology like communism and fascism is evidence of profound confusion"

This is the fruit, of course, of talking about terrorism rather than jihad. In "Republicans and Our Enemies" in the Wall Street Journal, May 23 (thanks to George), Senator Joe Biden shows that he, like almost everyone else, still has no idea of the ideology motivating jihad terrorists:

The intersection of al Qaeda with the world's most lethal weapons is a deadly serious problem. Al Qaeda must be destroyed. But to compare terrorism with an all-encompassing ideology like communism and fascism is evidence of profound confusion.

Terrorism is a means, not an end, and very different groups and countries are using it toward very different goals. Messrs. Bush and McCain lump together, as a single threat, extremist groups and states more at odds with each other than with us: Sunnis and Shiites, Persians and Arabs, Iraq and Iran, al Qaeda and Shiite militias. If they can't identify the enemy or describe the war we're fighting, it's difficult to see how we will win.

"If they can't identify the enemy or describe the war we're fighting, it's difficult to see how we will win." That is true. But if Biden can't see the ideology unifying significant numbers of Sunnis and Shiites, Persians and Arabs, people in Iraq and Iran, and al Qaeda and Shiite militias, he is just as clueless as those he is criticizing.

Here, Senator, is a good recent capsule description of that ideology.
Goto: http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/021127.php

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

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Posted by Carl in Jerusalem, May 25, 2008.

This was posted today to my website:

Haaretz to 'Palestinians': 'Look in the mirror. Time is running out'

Anyone who has read this blog for any period of time has seen me refer to Haaretz as Israel's 'Hebrew 'Palestinian' Daily' (a term which was not coined by me, but by Steven Plaut). Bradley Burston is one of Haaretz's most left-wing writers. But look what he's telling the 'Palestinians' now
("A Special Place in Hell," http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/985341.html).

We in the post-modern West have spent years educating ourselves to believe that all cultures are equally valid –– with the possible exception, of course, of our own. We have taken it on faith that to criticize the culture of an indigenous people is obscenely imperialist, paternalist.

In short, we gave you a pass. And we encouraged you to give yourselves one. In respecting you for your steadfastness, we refrained from calling you on your passivity. In accepting and amplifying your contentions as to Israel's acts of wrongdoing, we chose not to hold you accountable for your own, or to explain them away as a function of occupation,

You learned, over time, to hold Israel responsible for the whole of your plight. You learned, over time, to ignore, explain away, blame entirely on Israel, or otherwise deny the ways in which your actions and, in particular, your passivity, have deepened and fostered your misery. You learned to excuse your leaders their corruption, and their policy of foiling Israeli and foreign attempts to improve your conditions. You learned to excuse your Arab brothers their duplicity and their lip service and their exploitation and their cold shoulder and their contempt and their consummate failure to come to your aid.

In the process, you may have grown accustomed to a definition of time, and of indigenous peoples, that bears re-examination. There is, first of all, this:

The Jews are an indigenous people here, no less than you.

The Jews have every right to have a nation here, no less than you. [I am amazed to read this in Haaretz! CiJ]

The Jews are stubborn and proud and fundamentally fierce as hell, no less than you.

You have dismissed the Jews as a foreign influence. You have dismissed their history, waved away their blood and sinew tie to Jerusalem, acted as though they have no business here but evil.

But in the decades you have spent misleading yourself about the true nature of the culture and the origins of the Jews, generation upon generation of Jews has been born here. They are natives. They are not going anywhere. And even the leftists among them are willing to die in defense of staying on this soil.

Worse, perhaps, is the way in which you took deadly aim at the concept of land for peace, and destroyed it, perhaps for all time. Your artful justifications of using Gaza settlement ruins for Qassam launchers wash with no one. You have justified every last claim and prediction of the Israeli right. You have lost immeasurable international support. You are looked upon abroad as Polarized to the heart, paralyzed by internal strife, and unable to arrive at, abide by, or implement decisions.

Your unfortunate ally Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, rising to your defense, marked the anniversary by telling you that Israel "has reached the end like a dead rat after being slapped by the Lebanese" and that "Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken."

Your unfortunate ally Osama Bin Laden told you last week that Israel's 60th anniversary was "evidence that Palestine is our land, and the Israelis are invaders and occupiers who should be fought."

"We will continue, God permitting, the fight against the Israelis and their allies ... and will not give up a single inch of Palestine as long as there is one true Muslim on earth."

What your unfortunate allies are saying is that it is more important to eliminate the Jewish state than it is to create a Palestinian one.

For this entire decade, the Palestinian national movement has acted accordingly. At the same time, it has effectively done the bidding of the Israeli right, doing everything in its power to raise the status of the settlers from an unruly, unfocused, marginalized, declining entity to that of a prophetic force.

Thanks in no small part to you, the settlement movement is flourishing as never before, confident that your rockets and your rhetoric will see to it that, as the years and generations pass, the settlers will come to be seen as, yes, indigenous.

The settlers will never be able to repay their debt to you.

You may have noted that in the wake of the second intifada, hundreds of suicide bombings in Israel's main cities, and thousands of Qassams, mortar shells and Katyushas, the Israeli left is furious with you, the Israeli center wants never to hear from you again, and only the Israeli right is delighted with the decisions you have made and the actions you have undertaken

You made conclude from this that the left were untrustworthy to begin with and all Israelis are the same.

Or you might think twice.

True, Israel was once isolated, stigmatized, universally condemned, boycotted [and Burston and his colleagues at Haaretz long for those days. CiJ]. But your actions, and those of Bin Laden and Iran, have effectively welcomed Israel into the good graces of a range of countries which have begun to think twice about you. And have ceased to care about you. No country in the world –– Israel included –– has cried wolf more often in the past than you have. Now, when your distress is truly worse than ever, the cry has fallen on deaf –– or hostile –– ears.

We in the media coddled you, supported you, cast you as the noble underdog. In response, you decided that the Jews control the media, take Israel's side, slander the cause of Palestine.

Look again.

Your celebration of terror has alienated many of your closest friends.

You did this. You. No one else. You have convinced exactly those Israelis who were willing to trade the West Bank for peace, that this would be a literally fatal error. [And it would be. CiJ]

Last month, as if to remove the remainder of doubt, the veteran Palestinian Authority Representative in Lebanon, Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki, told a Lebanese television station, "Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine."

You owe your children more than this. You owe your children more than pipedreams, nightmares, threats and delusions. You owe them more than victim status. You owe your children, and theirs, more than a culture of failure and passivity and graft and violence and loss. You owe your children and theirs –– and ours –– an honest search for peace.

Or would you rather that I simply shut up? Just the rantings of another untrustworthy Jew? Still want to believe you did everything right? Still want to believe that your few friends remaining in the Western left are more than just powerless cranks? Still want to believe that if you hold out long enough, everything will come your way?

As you wish.

Read it all.

There's a lot that Burston says with which I don't agree (for example, he defines the 'Palestinians' as 'indigenous' when the historical evidence shows they are not). But that's not really the point. What this shows is that even the Israeli left is beginning to see through the sham of a 'Palestinian state' and that it is nothing more than an excuse to extirpate the Jewish state. If our leftists can see it, maybe they will stop working at cross-purposes against us and maybe the world will see it too.

Even the left is getting tired of the 'Palestinians.'

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Posted by Avodah, May 25, 2008.

This was written by Tzvi Fishman and it appeared in Arutz-Sheva
(http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/2806). Tzvi was a Hollywood screenwriter before making aliyah. He had co-authored 4 books based on the teachings of Rabbis A.Y. Kook and T.Y. Kook. Contact him by email at tzvi@jewishsexuality.com

I wasn't intending to write a blog this evening, but it is impossible to keep silent at the incredible wonder of Lag B'Omer. Not only are the hillsides of Jerusalem ablaze with towering bonfires in tribute to the secrets of Torah that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai revealed; not only are the streets of Jerusalem inundated with the smoke of burning embers; the hillsides and streets of all of the country are lit up with the fire of Torah. Not only the streets, my friends, but the smoke of the holy fire penetrates into every single apartment and house, like the aroma of havdala after Shabbat, penetrating through windows and concrete walls to reveal the inner spirit of every Israeli soul, of Israeli house, to reveal the inner holiness of the entire country of Israel whose national soul is completely Torah, no matter how secular its surface appearances seem.

This is what Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai taught us. The great wisdom of patience. To see below the surface appearance to the inner reality, where the light of Israel shines in an eternal, unquenchable blaze.

Inspired by the light of the Zohar, Rabbi Kook writes:

"Out of the profane, holiness will also come forth, and out of wanton freedom, the beloved yoke (of Torah) will blossom. Golden chains will be woven and arise out of secular poetry, and a brilliant light of t'shuva will shine from secular literature. This will be the supreme wonder of the vision of redemption. Let the bud sprout, let the flower blossom, let the fruit ripen, and the whole world will know that the Spirit of G-d is speaking within the Nation of Israel in its every expression. All of this will climax in a t'shuva which will bring healing and redemption to the world" (Orot HaT'shuva, 17:3).

Indeed, the revival of the Jewish people in Israel is a wonder that is impossible to explain in any mundane fashion. Clearly, there are powerful inner forces at work as we return to our homeland. Increasingly sensitized to our own national longings, we realize that gentile lands cannot be called home. The process takes time. The nation is not transformed overnight. But gradually, the curse of galut is erased. From being a scattered people, the Jewish nation returns to have its own sovereign state. G-d's blessing is revealed in all facets of the nation's existence; military success, economic prosperity, scientific achievement, the resettlement of the nation's ancient cities and holy sites –– all leading to a great national t'shuva, the renewal of prophecy, and the return of the Divine Presence to the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, in fulfillment of our prayers.

Rabbi Kook explains that the secular, physical rebuilding must necessarily precede the spiritual building. The Talmud teaches that the Beit HaMikdash was first constructed in a normal, profane manner, and only after its completion was its sanctity declared (Me'ilah 14A). This is the pattern of spiritual building; first comes the physical vessel, and then its inner content. First the Ark is constructed, and then the Tablets are placed within.

It must be remembered that the Zionist movement did not begin with Herzl, but rather with the giants of Torah, the Baal Shem Tov and the Gaon of Vilna, more than a hundred years earlier. They sent their students to settle Eretz Yisrael, teaching that the active resettlement of the Land was the path to bring the long-awaited redemption. Other great Rabbis, Rav Tzvi Hirsh Kalisher, Rav Eliyahu Guttmacher, and Rav Shmuel Mohliver were the actual builders of the early Zionist groups like the "Lovers of Zion." As the movement spread, its message attracted many non-religious Jews as well.

Rabbi Kook writes:
"Occasionally, a concept falls from its loftiness and its original pureness after it has been grounded in life, when unrefined people become associated with it, darkening its illumination. The descent is only temporary because an idea which embraces spiritual goodness cannot be transformed into evil. The descent is passing, and it is also a bridge to an approaching ascent" (Orot HaT'shuva, 12:12).

The Zohar teaches that the original, pure, lofty idea of the return to Zion is that the revival of the Jewish nation in Israel is the earthly foundation for the revelation of the Kingdom of G-d in the world (Zohar, Ki Tisa, 276A). However, when a holy idea needs to be grounded in reality, it necessarily descends from its exalted elevation. When this happens, people of lesser spiritual sensitivities seize the idea and profane its true intent. Because greater numbers of people can grasp the idea in its minimized form, its followers increase, bringing more strength and vigor to its practical implementation. This trend continues until the inner spiritual light arises to banish the material darkness.

Celebrations all over the country

"This process will surely come about," Rabbi Kook proclaims. "The light of G-d, which is buried away in the fundamental point of Zion, and which is now concealed by clouds, will surely appear. All those who cling to it, the near and the distant, will be uplifted with it, for a true revival and an everlasting salvation."

Rabbi Kook's deep spiritual insight did not blind him to the unholy lifestyles of the secular pioneers, and we are not blinded to the painful shortcomings of their followers today. However, as the Lag B'Omer bonfires blaze all over Israel, filling each house with the aroma of burning incense, we know that the holy essence of Am Yisrael guarantees that the nation will return to its roots.

Long before the establishment of the State of Israel, Rabbi Kook described this process in almost prophetic terms:

"We recognize that a spiritual rebellion will come to pass in Eretz Yisrael amongst the people of Israel in the beginnings of the nation's revival. The material comfort which will be attained by a percentage of the nation, convincing them that they have already completely reached their goal, will constrict the soul, and days will come which will seem to be devoid of all spirit and meaning. The aspirations for lofty and holy ideals will cease, and the spirit of the nation will plunge and sink low until a storm of rebellion will appear, and people will come to see clearly that the power of Israel lies in its eternal holiness, in the light of G-d and His Torah, in the yearning for spiritual light which is the ultimate valor, triumphing over all of the worlds and all of their powers" (Orot, Pg 84).

"The nation's eyes will be opened, its soul will be cleansed, its light will shine, its wings will spread, a reborn nation will arise, a great, awesome, and numerous people, filled with the light of G-d and the majesty of nationhood. Behold, the people shall rise up like a great lion, and like a young lion, it shall lift itself up" (Orot HaT'shuva, 15:11).


Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, May 24, 2008.

Transfer of Terror is Required.

Two days after the Jaipur serial blasts that were allegedly masterminded by the Bangladesh-based terror outfit HuJI (Jamaat-e-Islami), the Rajasthan government has decided to identify and deport Bangladeshi immigrants, even those with valid documents who are presently residing in the state.

India will launch a drive this year to deport more than 20 million illegal immigrants from Bangladesh because they pose a serious security threat. The decision was taken at an internal security meeting of state police chiefs, senior state bureaucrats and federal security officials who agreed to conduct the drive between April and June.

"The presence of a large number of illegal foreign immigrants, particularly from Bangladesh, poses a serious threat to the internal security and needs to be tackled with utmost urgency and seriousness that it deserves," a statement from the ministry said. Indian security agencies have in the past accused illegal Bangladeshi immigrants –– most of them Muslims –– of committing crimes, and say some of them work for Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency.

(Bangladesh was created at the time when Indian peninsula was divided by the British and over 12,000,000 people were transferred between the newly created countries. After Jordan was illegally ceded from Palestine, allocated for the Jewish state, Arabs were not removed from Israel. Even after 60 year of terror, inflicted by Arabs, Israel is still unwilling to transfer the terror-infested population from Jewish land. But, nothing has stopped the Israeli government from carrying out the self-humiliating, forceful removal of 8,500 Jews from Gaza!)

Another Gesture of Peace. A powerful truck bomb with four tons of explosives was detonated on Thursday at the main pedestrian crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip by PA terrorists, causing extensive damage that dealt a serious blow to Gazans' hopes of opening up their sealed-off territory. –– It is time to implement the Sinai Option!

French Court: Al-Dura Report Was Faked. A French appeals court has overturned the libel conviction of Philippe Karsenty, who claimed that the 2000 France-2 TV report of the death of Muhammad Al-Dura was staged. Karsenty said France-2 should acknowledge that it "created and is continuing to perpetuate the worst anti-Semitic libel of our era." So far, despite access to Reuters and Associated Press wire reports, only Jewish and Israeli media have published the trial verdict. The mainstream media has symptomatically remained silent. (Jews still remember the Dreyfus Affair and the waves of anti-Semitism that followed!)

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

The United Nations can't be called 'Useless Nothing' anymore. After so many years of doing nothing about genocide in Sudan, occupation of Tibet by China and even ethnic cleansing of Sunnis from Iraq by Shiites during the last 5 years, the only name that is appropriate for this useless organisation is "Ugly Nothing". The definition fits right on!

If Olmert does not Respect Israel Why Must Others! Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said week a ago that the Jewish state is holding talks directly with the Palestinian movement Hamas, despite a government decision forbidding such moves. The talks are in direct defiance of the government's resolution. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that a rigid timetable for Israel and the Palestinians to forge a peace agreement may lead to negative results. (What results? Hudna is not peace!) Egyptian officials have asserted that Israel will agree to a version of a ceasefire in Gaza without demanding the immediate release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Olmert is Playing Syrian Card. Ehud Olmert said that more tough concessions may be in store for the Israel public, this time due to negotiations with Syria, due to begin within the next two weeks. Mayors of communities in the Golan Heights held an emergency meeting following the announcement. The head of the Golan Regional Council, Eli Malka, commented, "We will not let a Prime Minister who is motivated by foreign considerations to hand over a stretch of land to the Axis of Evil and endanger our very existence." (Like an animal, trapped in the serial corruption investigations cage, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is trying to save his political skin and avoid criminal prosecution by conducting negotiations with Hamas and even proposing that a naval blockade be imposed on Iran to try to curb its nuclear program, which will not work!)

More PA Police Needed? The PA/Fatah special police force that was trained by the US to fight terrorists has turned out to be a failure. So far the force's contingent in Jenin has been running scared from the terrorists it was supposed to bring under control. In a first test of their mettle, 300 of the PA's US-trained 'elite' policemen were unable to defeat 13 terrorists and had to call in the IDF. (The game of pretence is exposed again. The core problem is the PA's complicity in terror, not a lack of police!)

Quote of the Week-1:

"As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is –– the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history." –– President George Bush –– Nice words George, but why do you send Condi to Israel so often? One message in Jerusalem, another in Riyadh and Cairo.

Present-day Jewish Refugees. Forty percent of Jewish families who were forced out of the Gaza region by the government almost three years ago still are waiting for lots where they can build permanent homes. The expellees are suffering from unemployment and the lack of adequate temporary housing. (No aid from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)! And, as usual throughout history, there is no international outcry or even interest about plight of Jewish refugees!)

Delusional Progress Reports. A senior Israeli negotiator quoted in Yediot Acharonot said that reports of progress in talks with the PA have been greatly exaggerated. "What progress are they talking about? It's clear that there are serious conflicts on all of the 'core issues!'"

PA: Most Reject Two-State Solution. Most Arabs, 57.6 percent, living in the PA controlled territories reject the two-state solution, according to a new poll carried out by the Al-Najah University. However, more than two-thirds support a new Arab state based on the 1949 Armistice Lines. (This is not news. 'Palestinians' want it all! The plan is to destroy Israel by taking it a part, piece by piece.)

Olmert and His 'Bribe Diet'. A former New York limo driver, Avi Sherman, came forward to make the claims that he's the bagman who delivered suspected bribes to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Manhattan and Jerusalem –– including cash hidden in cases of Slim-Fast given to him by the founder of the diet-food empire. Israeli police expanding probe of allegations that Olmert received $480,000 in bribes from a Long Island businessman, Morris Talansky, and others over a period of several years. (Any self-respecting and decent person would have resigned a long time ago!)

Quote of the Week-2:

"After 15 years (since the Oslo agreement), billions of dollars in aid, massive international attention and unlimited diplomatic support, what do the Palestinians have to show for it?" –– US Senator Sam Brownback asked, and answered –– "Nothing." –– Good answer, but he made the wrong conclusion as he thinks that a confederation with Jordan is a solution to the conflict. It had already been tried! The transfer of fake Palestinian people to Sinai is the only way to stop terror attacks in Israel.

Arabs Set Fire to Wheat Field. Arabs have once again set fire to the wheat fields of Yitzhar, residents of the town said. The fields were not planted this year due to the farmers' observing Shemitta, a sabbatical year when the land of Israel enjoys a "Sabbath rest". Arabs have been doing this for several years, in the fall and the spring, with no action by the authorities.

Bin Laden Seeks Cheap Publicity. In the recording for "Nakba Day," which marks Israel's founding, Bin Laden said that "the Israeli Palestinian struggle" is the heart of the Muslim war against the West, and inspired the 9/11 attackers. "Jihad is compulsory for liberating Palestine," Bin Laden said. "We shall continue fighting the Israelis and their allies with Allah's permission. We shall not give up a centimetre of Palestine as long as there is at least one Muslim in the world." (The aim: world domination by Islam! Even long after the 9/11 attack Al Qaeda did not care about so-called Palestinians. Only after their defeat in Afghanistan did the organization start to back the 'Palestinians' in order to boost its recruitment campaign and popularity.)

Despicable Animals Israel has been Tolerating. Jordanian Professor Dr. Ibrahim Alloush said on Al-Jazeera TV that suicide bombers should be equipped with small nuclear bombs: "... consider how to get martyrdom-seekers into Dimona and elsewhere armed with non-conventional explosives and perhaps even small nuclear bombs." (Dr. Alloush lived for 13 years in the United States. –– We educate our own enemies and pretend that they are kidding. One can't change the nature of the ugly beast!)

Welcome Back to Middle Ages.

New terrorist groups calling themselves defenders of Islam began attacking cafes, pharmacies, and businesses with Internet access in Gaza. In addition, women's groups say the new terrorist groups have carried out several "honor killings," murdering women accused of 'immodest' behaviour. Gaza police said cafe in Dir el-Balah was targeted because it used to contain a large television set.

Hamas protesters in Gaza accused the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria of kidnapping political prisoners' wives. "... it a cowardly act and departure from the ethics and traditions of the Palestinian people," a Hamas web site reported. (I was not aware that Hamas was so ethical. Hamas kidnapped and is still refusing to return an Israeli soldier! Isn't that "a cowardly act"? Fatah's action is precisely in line with the traditions of the 'Palestinian' people!)

Steven Shamrak was involved in the Moscow Zionist movement. He worked as a construction engineer at the Moscow Olympic Games project and as a computer consultant in Australia. He has been publishing an Internet editorial letter about the Arab-Israel conflict since August 2001 and has a website www.shamrak.com. He can be reached by email at StevenShamrak@gmail.com

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Posted by Sergio Tessa (HaDaR), May 24, 2008.

'Can't believe one word they say'... by now it's clearly applicable to our own governments...

OUR LEADERS AND OUR MEDIA have been lying to us CONSTANTLY at least since they told us that PLO terrorists, who worked and trained all of their lives to murder Jewish babies, had become from one day to the next peace "policemen" to be given weapons.

TWO THOUSAND DEAD JEWS AND 19.000 INJURED JEWS LATER they still lie to us...and they will do it more and more on the Golan issue with the help of THEIR TOTALLY CONTROLLED media...which, in fact, do not represent the public's positions AT ALL... Here the media are NOT the watchdog of democracy, as is taught and practiced in democratic countries; here they are the watchdog of the government and of the powerful ruling élite.

This is entitled "Losing our credibility. Arab credibility has always been questionable, but what about us?" It was written by Jackie Levy and was published yesterday in Ynet News

I was three and a half years old when I saw my grandfather sitting outside the trench, listening to his small radio, and being very concerned. We spent the Six-Day War with grandpa and grandma at an immigrant transit camp north of Tel Aviv. There were no bomb shelters in the transit camp, of course, so my grandpa, like all other men, dug a trench for us.

My grandpa, just like many other grandparents at the time, used to listen to Arabic-language stations, mostly because of the music. Yet now, at the edge of the trench, the radio was talking about war, and the newscaster's voice had a loud and festive quality to it that was difficult to define as "pleasant."

Grandpa tried to tell us that he doesn't believe a word, but everyone heard him choke up when he informed us that the Egyptians already conquered Tel Aviv, and that we shouldn't think about traveling north, because the Syrians are already in Tiberius.

There's something odd about thinking that an Arab army conquered Tel Aviv while you lie in a little pit in Herzliya, surrounded by aunts, some reading material, and piles of Tunisian sandwiches (which were prepared, as was customary in my family, based on the assumption that the war would last two years.)

In retrospect, this event was entrenched in my memory and in that of my family not as a time of terror and fear, but rather, as the ultimate proof of the dubious credibility (some will call it shameless tendency to lie) of our enemies.

Since then we've had quite a few opportunities to remember that war, in the trench, with the horrifying chatter of Voice of Cairo. So every time some Arab newscaster or spokesman boasts or whines, every time some Arab political leader or sheikh speaks with the familiar exaggerated passion, and again every murderer on their side becomes a noble hero and every move we make is akin to spreading uranium at the homes of babies, I recall that moment where grandpa finally allowed himself to switch to a different station. That was a beautiful moment.

'Can't believe one word they say'

So why am I telling you about the history of my family? Well, it appears that over the years, the problem of Arab credibility has turned from folklore to a strategic question and one of the main issues in the political debate on the question of peace. Regardless of whether it is nice to talk like that or not, or whether the words are uttered explicitly or not, the sentence "we can't believe one word they say" keeps on hovering above the question of price tag, future, and borders.

And now, again we hear talk of a peace initiative, and again we see winds of hope, but also fear and anxiety. As usual. Yet it appears this is the first time when even naive civilians, Zionist patriots, mostly fear the credibility problem of the Israeli side. You can't believe one word they say, we tell each other, but this time we're looking inside, into our own home.

Or in other words, had my grandpa still been alive, and had his small radio still been working, I would have asked him to switch back to Voice of Damascus.

Sergio Tessa can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net.

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Posted by Barry Rubin, May 24, 2008.
"If you have tears, prepare to shed them now....
Oh, what a fall was there...
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down."

–– William Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar," Act 3, Scene 1.

May 21, 2008, is a date –– like December 7 (1941) and September 11 (2001) –– that should now live in infamy. Yet who will notice, mourn, or act the wiser for it?

On that day, the Beirut spring was buried under the reign of Hizballah.

Speaking on October 5, 1938, after Britain and France effectively turned Czechoslovakia over to Nazi Germany, Winston Churchill said, "What everybody would like to ignore or forget must nevertheless be stated, namely, that we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat...."[1]

In contrast, Assistant Secretary of State David Welch said that the agreement over Lebanon was, "A necessary and positive step." At least when one sells out a country one should recognize this has happened rather than pretend otherwise. But this is precisely what took place at Munich, when the deal made was proclaimed as a concession that brought peace and resolved Germany's last territorial demand in the region.

Churchill knew better and his words perfectly suit the situation in Lebanon today:

"The utmost [Western diplomacy] has been able to gain for Czechoslovakia...has been that the German dictator, instead of snatching the victuals from the table, has been content to have them served to him course by course."

Yes, that's it exactly. On every point, Hizballah, Iran, and Syria, got all they wanted from Lebanon's government: its surrender of sovereignty. They have veto power over the government; one-third of the cabinet; election changes to ensure victory in the next balloting; and they will have their candidate installed as president.

The majority side is not giving up but is trying to comfort itself on small mercies. The best arguments it can come up with are that now everyone knows Hizballah is not patriotic, treats other Lebanese as enemies, and cannot seize areas held by Christian and Druze militias. It isn't much to cheer about.

Nevertheless, as in 1938, a lot of the media is proclaiming it as a victory of some kind, securing peace and stability in Lebanon.

Not so. If Syria murders more Lebanese journalists, judges, or politicians, no one will investigate. No one dare diminish Hizballah's de facto rule over large parts of the country. No one dare stop weapons pouring over the border from Syria and Iran. In fact, why should they continue to be smuggled in secretly? No one dare interfere if and when Hizballah, under Syrian and Iranian guidance, decide it is time for another war with Israel. This defeat was not only total, it was totally predictable. Just as Churchill said:

"If only Great Britain. France and Italy [today we would add the United States, of course,] had pledged themselves two or three years ago to work in association for maintaining peace and collective security, how different might have been our position.... But the world and the parliaments and public opinion would have none of that in those days. When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have affected a cure."

Instead there was a lack "of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong...." Actually, though, as Churchill knew, when he spoke these faults were still not corrected. The folly continued.

And so is what comes next? Back to Churchill:

"All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness." That country suffered because it put its faith in the Western democracies and the League of Nations (now the United Nations). In particular, she was betrayed by France whom the Czechs then, and the Lebanese today, trusted to help them.

The UN Security Council on May 22 endorsed the Lebanon agreement even though it totally contradicted the Council's own resolution ending the Hizballah-Israel war, thus betraying the commitments made to Israel about stopping arms smuggling, disarming Hizballah, and keeping that group from returning to south Lebanon. The UN's total reversal of its demands from two years ago –– constituting a total victory for Hizballah –– did not bring a flicker of shame or even recognition that this in fact had happened.

All this is a victory for terrorism. It is quite true that the Lebanese Shia –– like the German minority in Czechoslovakia which Hitler promoted –– has genuine grievances and that Hizballah has real support in its own community. But how did it overcome the other communities, the other political forces in Lebanon? Through assassination and bombing albeit done by Syria's surrogates rather than directly), by intimidation and fear, by demagoguery and war.

Iran and Syria help their allies; the West doesn't. And so the message was: We can kill you; your friends cannot save you. Look at their indifference! Despair and die.

And here, regarding the future, we can only quote Churchill's speech extensively:

"In future the Czechoslovak State cannot be maintained as an independent entity. I think you will find that in a period of time which may be measured by years, but may be measured only by months, Czechoslovakia will be engulfed in the Nazi regime. Perhaps they may join it in despair or in revenge. At any rate, that story is over and told. But we cannot consider the abandonment and ruin of Czechoslovakia in the light only of what happened only last month. It is the most grievous consequence of what we have done and of what we have left undone in the last five years –– five years of futile good intentions, five years of eager search for the line of least resistance...."

Lebanon will not disappear as a country on the map, of course –– contrary to the Iranian alliance's intentions toward Israel –– but it is now going to be part of the Iranian bloc. This is not only bad for Lebanon itself but also terrifying for other Arab regimes. The Saudis deserve credit for trying to save Lebanon. But what will happen now as the balance of power shifts? They are less inclined to resist and more likely to follow the West's course and adopt an appeasement policy.

Again, Churchill in 1938:

"Do not let us blind ourselves to that. It must now be accepted that all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will make the best terms they can with the triumphant Nazi power. The system of alliances in Central Europe upon which France has relied for her safety has been swept away, and I can see no means by which it can be reconstituted. The road down the Danube Valley to the Black Sea, the road which leads as far as Turkey, has been opened.

In less than four years, that is where German armies were marching, thankfully a situation far worse than we can expect in the Middle East. Yet the trend toward appeasement and surrender could well be similar. Churchill said:

"In fact, if not in form, it seems to me that all those countries of Middle Europe... will, one after another, be drawn into this vast system of power politics –– not only power military politics but power economic politics –– radiating from Berlin, and I believe this can be achieved quite smoothly and swiftly and will not necessarily entail the firing of a single shot."

His specific example was Yugoslavia whose government within three years was ready to join Germany's bloc. (It was prevented from doing so only by a British-organized coup but was then invaded and overrun by the German army.)

Only the names of the countries need be changed to make Churchill's point apply to the present: "You will see, day after day, week after week [that]...many of those countries, in fear of the rise of the Nazi power," will give in. There had been forces "which looked to the Western democracies and loathed the idea of having this arbitrary rule of the totalitarian system thrust upon them, and hoped that a stand would be made." But they would now be demoralized.

Churchill knew that his country's leader had good intentions but that wasn't enough. His analysis of British thinking applies well both to Europe, to President George Bush's current policy, and very well to the thinking of Senator Barack Obama:

"The prime minister desires to see cordial relations between this country and Germany. There is no difficulty at all in having cordial relations between the peoples. Our hearts go out to them. But they have no power. But never will you have friendship with the present German government. You must have diplomatic and correct relations, but there can never be friendship between the British democracy and the Nazi power, that power which...vaunts the spirit of aggression and conquest, which derives strength and perverted pleasure from persecution, and uses, as we have seen, with pitiless brutality the threat of murderous force. That power cannot ever be the trusted friend of the British democracy."

Churchill understood that his nation's enemies took their ideology seriously and that their ambitions and methods were incompatible with his country.

And finally, Churchill understood the trend: things will get worse and would even make it politically incorrect to criticize the enemy:

"In a very few years, perhaps in a very few months, we shall be confronted with demands with which we shall no doubt be invited to comply. Those demands may affect the surrender of territory or the surrender of liberty. I foresee and foretell that the policy of submission will carry with it restrictions upon the freedom of speech and debate in Parliament, on public platforms, and discussions in the press, for it will be said –– indeed, I hear it said sometimes now –– that we cannot allow the Nazi system of dictatorship to be criticized by ordinary, common English politicians. Then, with a press under control, in part direct but more potently indirect, with every organ of public opinion doped and chloroformed into acquiescence, we shall be conducted along further stages of our journey."

In short, what could be called "Germanophobia" or seen as war-mongering in resisting German demands and aggression would be...verboten, something often seen in contemporary debates when political correctness trumps democratic society and pimps for dictatorial regimes and totalitarian ideology..

Churchill predicted victory but only if the free countries –– and even some not so free whose interests pushed them to oppose the threat –– were strong and cooperated:

"Do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."

Wow. Well if you don't see yet the parallelism with the current time let me continue on my own. Lebanon's brief period of independence has ended. Lebanon is now incorporated –– at least in part and probably more in the future –– into the Iranian bloc.

Only three years ago, after the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, almost certainly ordered at the highest level of the Syrian government, a popular mass movement called the Beirut spring helped push out the Syrian military. The resulting government was called "pro-Western" in the newscasts, but it might have well been called pro-Lebanon.

Forget about the Israel-Palestinian (and now Israel-Syrian) negotiations or the latest reports from Iraq or Afghanistan. What has happened in Lebanon is far more significant. When all these other developments are long forgotten, the expansion of the Syrian-Iranian zone of influence to Lebanon will be the most important and lasting event.

Basically, the supporters of the Lebanese government –– the leadership of the majority of the Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Druze communities –– capitulated to the demands of Hizballah. And who can blame them? With a steady drumbeat of terrorist acts and assassinations, with the Hizballah offensive seizing Sunni west Beirut, with the lack of support from the West, they concluded that the battle was unwinnable.

Politicians, intellectuals, academics, and officials in the West live comfortable lives. Their careers prosper often in direct relationship to their misunderstanding, misexplaining, and misacting in the Middle East.

Then, too, all too many of them have lived up to every negative stereotype the Islamists hold of them: greedy for oil and trade; cowardly in confronting aggression, easily fooled, very easily divided, and losing confidence in their own societies and civilization.

In a statement of almost incredible stupidity, the New York Times stated:

"Everybody knew President Bush was aiming at Senator Barack Obama last week when he likened those who endorse talks with 'terrorists and radicals' to appeasers of the Nazis."

During the Cold War, I remember that it was said that if a Soviet official or supporter began a statement like that –– everyone knows –– what followed invariably is a lie. So it is in this case. For several years, the main criticism of Bush has been his strategy of pressure and isolation on Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hizballah, and assorted terrorists. There have been hundreds of op-eds, eds, speeches, reports, and other formats on this point. It is the administration's number-one problem. Suddenly, it applies only to Senator Barack Obama. What rubbish.

Equally, the principle issue is not just one of contacts with extremist forces but how much toughness, pressure and isolation as opposed to concessions (of which negotiations are one) and compromises are offered. For example, there have been numerous ongoing contacts with Iran over the nuclear issue for years, supported by the Bush administration. They have all failed. For someone to come and say that negotiations have not been tried is pretty ridiculous. The hidden element there is really as follows:

  • The real fault is with us, not them.
  • You haven't offered enough.
  • And the assessment that no agreement is possible because of the other side's aims and behavior is always unacceptable. This implies that even if you talk with them and get nowhere, you just have to keep listening to grievances, avoiding giving offense, trying, conceding, and apologizing.

In this context, what better example could there be of this dangerous malady than Obama, the apparent Democratic nominee and possible future president of the United States?

According to Obama at an Oregon rally, Iran does not "pose a serious threat" to the United States. His reasoning is as disturbing –– or more so –– than his conclusion. Obama explained that Iran has less to spend on defense and if it "tried to pose a serious threat to us they wouldn't ... stand a chance."

We can now feel secure that the Iranians won't load their soldiers onto landing craft and storm the New Jersey beaches. Unfortunately, that isn't their military strategy. Perhaps Obama doesn't understand that the average B-1 bomber costs less than a suicide bomber. Has he heard about asymmetric warfare?

Forget that. Has he heard of terrorism, the Marine barracks' bombing, or September 11?

According to Obama:

"Iran they spend one one-hundredth of what we spend on the military. I mean if Iran tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance. And we should use that position of strength that we have to be bold enough to go ahead and listen. That doesn't mean we agree with them on everything. That doesn't, we might not compromise with them on any issues. But, at least we should find out are there areas of potential common interest and we can reduce some of the tension that have caused us so many problems around the world."
One cannot pretend away the implications of this paragraph. Let's list them:
  • No understanding that Iran follows strategies designed to circumvent that problem of unequal power including terrorism, guerrilla war, deniable attacks, long wars of attrition, the use of surrogates, and so on.

  • The only way Obama sees for using the U.S. "position of strength" is to listen to their grievances, as if we are not familiar with them. In short, the only thing you can do when stronger is to get weaker. Presumably the same applies when you are the weaker party.

  • Why is he so totally unaware that dialogue has been tried? A decade with the PLO, longer with Hizballah by other Lebanese, four straight years of European engagement with Tehran over the nuclear issue, multiple U.S. delegations to talk with the Syrians, and so on. Was nothing learned from this experience?

  • And what happens afterward if Obama's dialogue doesn't work? What cards would he have left? What readiness to try another course? Perhaps by then the Iranians will have nuclear weapons and other gains negating that "position of strength" so fecklessly frittered away.

  • What possible issues can the United States find to compromise with Iran? Let's say: give them Lebanon (oh, we already did that); ignore their sponsorship of terrorism; give them Iraq; give them Israel; withdraw U.S. forces from the region, accept their having nuclear arms. What?

  • Why should the United States be able to reduce tensions through negotiations when Iran wants tensions? There is an important hint here: if the United States makes concessions it might buy off tensions. Since Iran and the others know about Obama's all-carrots-no-sticks worldview, they will make him pay a lot to get the illusion of peace and quiet.

  • There is no hint, not the slightest, of his understanding the option of using power to intimidate or defeat Iran, or as a way to muster allies. If Obama had the most minimal comprehension of these issues, he would fake it with some blah-blah about how America would combine toughness with flexibility, deterrence with compromise, steadfastness in order to gain more from the other side in negotiations. A critical element in peace-keeping, peace-making, and negotiations is to act tough and be strong in order to have leverage. Even in responding to criticisms, Obama has only talked about whether negotiations are conditional or unconditional and at what level they should be conducted. He is oblivious to the fact that the chief executive does things other than negotiations.

  • If this is Obama's strategy while Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons what would he do in dealing with a Tehran owning them?

Make no mistake, Obama is channelling Neville Chamberlain –– precisely because what he says shows his parallel thinking. Many people may get a chill listening to Obama but it certainly isn't a Churchill. Apologists, sympathizers, and wishful-thinkers keep endowing this would-be emperor with beautiful suits of clothes. He doesn't have any.

And at present, even more if Obama wins, the threat is of an Iran that's aggressive precisely because it knows that it will not have to confront U.S. forces. Tehran knows that it can sponsor terrorism directly against U.S. forces in Iraq, and also against Israel and Lebanon, because that level of assault will not trigger American reaction.

Yet anyone who doesn't want to get into war with Iran should be all the more eager to talk about sanctions, pressures, deterrence, building alliances and backing allies; in short, combating Iran indirectly to avoid having to confront it directly.

All the more so now, however, Syria won't split away from Iran; Iran won't give up on its nuclear program; Hamas won't moderate; Hizballah won't relent. Why should they when they not only believe their own ideologies but also think they are winning? In each case, too, they are banking on an Obama victory –– whether accurately or otherwise –– to bring them even more.

There are too many Chamberlains and not enough Churchills, perhaps none at all. Things are bad, very bad, for the West right now. The beginning of repairing those strategic fortunes is to recognize that fact.

[1] All quotes taken from the full text at

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and co-author of "Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography" and "Hating America: A History" (Oxford University Press). His latest book is The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). Prof. Rubin's columns can now be read online at http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html. Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, May 24, 2008.

Allmerde, our prime inmate, knows how to screw things up while diverting attention from his misdeeds.....

Aren't there enough inmates left that can settle this nation's headaches?

DEBKAfile's Washington sources report that the Bush administration is "reassessing" its relations with Jerusalem over Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert's decision to embark on peace talks with Syria through Turkish mediators. One US official called the move a "slap in the face" two weeks after President George Bush declared that America stood by Israel in opposing negotiations with "terrorists and radicals."

Our sources report fears that Israel may find some of the benefits of America's closest regional ally withheld for the remainder of Bush's term in office –– direct dialogue between the White House and prime minister's office, intelligence-sharing, diplomatic coordination on Middle East strategy and other urgent business. Israel's defense establishment and military high command are concerned about possible delays in the flow of essential supplies of equipment. Olmert's close aides, especially those involved in the peace talks with Syria, may no longer enjoy a warm top-level welcome in Washington.

According to a US official, who asked to remain unnamed, the decision to cool ties with Jerusalem followed the discovery by American agents in Turkey that Olmert's senior advisers, Yoram Turbovich and Shalom Turjeman, and a Syrian delegation arrived in Istanbul for indirect peace talks. The two delegations stayed at the same hotel for three days and a Turkish go-between shuttled between their rooms.

Since 2003, it has been administration policy to isolate Syria and boycott its top officials for facilitating the flow of terrorists into Iraq, its efforts to destabilize the pro-Western Lebanese government and its close ties with Iran.

The Americans were particularly displeased when they discovered the identity of the Syrian negotiators: Riyad Dadawi, legal adviser to the foreign ministry and president Bashar Assad's strategist for the UN-sponsored probe and future trial in the 2005 murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri; and the colonel who liaises for the Syrian army with Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the Lebanese Hizballah terrorists.

Three days after Jerusalem, Damascus and Ankara announced that peace talks had begun, the Syrian defense minister Hassan Turkmani landed in Tehran to boost military ties with Iran.

The American official commented dryly that if the Olmert government is prepared to consort with such characters, it should not be surprised by the administration's

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

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Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman, May 23, 2008.
This essay was redacted from a book review by Robert Satloff in The Weekly Standard, May 12, 2008. Robert Satloff is the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Who Speaks for Islam is written by John L. Esposito, founding director of Georgetown University's Prince Aiwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim -Christian Understanding, and Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. As the authors state at the outset, the book's goal is to "democratize the debate" about a potential clash between Western and Muslim civilizations by shedding light on the "actual views of everyday Muslims" –– especially the "silenced majority" whose views Esposito and Mogahed argue are lost in the din about terrorism, extremism, and Islamofascism.

This majority, they contend, are just like us. They pray like Americans, dream of professional advancement like Americans, delight in technology like Americans, celebrate democracy, like Americans and cherish the ideal of women's equality like Americans. In fact, the authors write, "everyday Muslims" are so similar to ordinary Americans that "conflict between the Muslim and Western communities is far from inevitable."

Similar arguments have been made before; some of this is true; some is rubbish; much is irrelevant. The real debate about the "clash of civilizations" is about whether a determined element of radical Muslims could, like the Bolsheviks, take control of their societies and lead them into conflict with the West. The question often revolves around a disputed data point: Of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, how many are radicals? If the number is relatively small, then the fear of a clash is inflated; if the number is relatively large, then the nightmare might not be so outlandish after all.

What gives Who Speaks for Islam its aura of credibility is that its answers are allegedly based on hard data, not taxi-driver anecdotes from a quick visit to Cairo. The book draws on a mammoth, six-year effort to poll and interview tens of thousands of Muslims in more than 35 countries with Muslim majorities or substantial minorities. The polling sample, Esposito and Mogahed claim, represents "more than 90 percent of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims." To back up the claim, the book bears the name of the gold-standard of American polling firms, Gallup.

The answer to their poll's self-determined, all important question as to the percentage of Muslims who told pollsters that the attacks of September 11, 2001, were "completely" justified and who said they view the United States unfavorably was seven percent. That is the double-barreled litmus test devised by Esposito and Mogahed to determine who is radical and who isn't.

The authors don't actually call even these people "radicals," however; the term they use is "politically radicalized," which implies that someone else is responsible for turning these otherwise ordinary Muslims into bin Laden sympathizers. By contrast, Muslims who said the 9/11 attacks were "not justified," they term "moderates."

More than half the book is an effort to distinguish the 7 percent of extremist Muslims from the "9 out of 10," as they say, who are moderates and then to focus our collective efforts on reaching out to the fringe element. With remarkable exactitude, they argue: "If the 7 percent (91 million) of the politically radicalized continue to feel politically dominated, occupied and disrespected, the West will have little, if any, chance of changing their minds." There is no need to worry about the 93 percent because, as Esposito and Mogahe have already argued, they are just like us.

There is much here to criticize. The not-so-hidden purpose of this book is to blur any difference between average Muslims around the world and average Americans, and the authors rise to the occasion at every turn. Take the very definition of "Islam." From Karen Armstrong to Bernard Lewis and that's a broad range, virtually every scholar of note (and many who aren't) has translated the term "Islam" as "submission to God." However, "submission" evidently sounds off-putting to the American ear. Therefore, Esposito and Mogahed offer a different, more melodious translation preferring, "a strong commitment to God" –– that has a ring to it of everything but accuracy.

Or, take the authors' cavalier attitude to the word 'many'. How many is many? At the very least, one might expect a book based on polling data to be filled with numbers. This one isn't. Instead, page after page of Who Speaks for Islam contains such useless and un-sourced references as "many respondents cite" this or "many Muslims see" that.

Or, take the authors' apparent indifference to facts. Twice, for example, they cite as convincing evidence for their argument poll data from "the ten most populous majority Muslim countries," which they then list as including Jordan and Lebanon, tiny states that don't even rank in the top 25 of Muslim majority countries. Twice they say their 10 specially polled countries collectively comprise 80 percent of the world Muslim population; in fact, the figure is barely 60 percent. These problems would not matter much if the book gave readers the opportunity to review the poll data on which Esposito and Mogahed base their judgments. Alas, that is not the case. Neither the text nor the appendix includes the full data to a single question from any survey taken by Gallup over the entire six-year period of its World Poll initiative. We, the readers, either have to pay more than $20,000 to Gallup to gain access to its proprietary research or have to rely on the good faith of the authors. Or, more accurately, we have to rely on Gallup's good name –– the integrity, trust and independence" cited above.

As to the precision of the data classifications and how the information was compiled and classified, therein lies the smoking gun. Mogahed publicly admitted they knew certain people weren't moderates but they still termed them so. She and Esposito cooked the books and dumbed down the text. Apparently, by the authors' own test, there are not 91 million radicals in Muslim societies but almost twice that number.

They must have shrieked in horror to find their original estimate on the high side of assessments made by scholars, such as Daniel Pipes, whom Esposito routinely denounces as Islamophobes. To paraphrase Mogahed, maybe it wasn't the most technically accurate way of doing this, but their neat solution seems to have been to redefine 78 million people off the rolls of radicals.

The cover-up is even worse. The fill data from the 9/11 question show that, in addition to the 13.5 percent, there is another 23.1 percent of respondents_...300 million Muslims –– who told pollsters the attacks were in some way justified. Esposito and Mogahed don't utter a word about the vast sea of intolerance in which the radicals operate.

Then there is the more fundamental fraud of using the 9/l1 question as the measure of "who is a radical." Amazing as it sounds, according to Esposito and Mogahed, the proper term for a Muslim who hates America, wants to impose Sharia law, supports suicide bombing, and opposes equal rights for women but does not "completely" justify 9/11 is "moderate."

Could the smart people at Gallup really believe this? Regardless, they should immediately release all the data associated with their world poll and open all the flies and archives of their Center for Muslim Studies to independent inspection. With a dose of transparency and a dollop of humility, the data just might teach something useful to the world's six billion citizens.

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 Emanuel A. Winston, May 23, 2008.

In the first article below, Rachel Ehrenfeld has both the intellect and instincts to forecast matters of national importance.

As you read the following, think of the time when the Muslim Brotherhood and other "Jihadist" (Holy Warrior for Islam) organizations will overthrow the Saudi monarchy and own one of the largest stockpile of advanced weapons in the world. The same is true for Egypt –– birthplace of the Muslim Brotherhood and now the military colossus of the Middle East with more than $60 Billion of American tax-payers' money invested in high tech arms.

Pakistan has built the "Islamic Nuclear Bomb". Iran is well on the way to becoming a nuclear power.

Islamic fanatics will threaten and will use such weapons while the West thinks that negotiating will change their ways.

Any of the above, once they achieve deliverable Nuclear Weapons, will NOT negotiate or compromise but, will dictate how other nations are to live or die under Sharia Law.

The Ehrenfeld article is archived at
http: /terrorfinance.typepad.com/the_terror_finance_blog/

Also below is an essay by Ali Alyami Executive Director, of The Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia. Contact him at ali@cdhr.info

1. The Saudi Spell
Rachel Ehrenfeld

As if Saudis flying civilian airplanes into buildings in New York and Washington, DC, were not enough, the Bush Administration is now supporting the development of " civilian nuclear power" in Saudi Arabia.

In a feeble attempt to deflect criticism, the Administration published its agreement with the Saudis to "Improve Peace And Stability In The Region Through Nuclear Cooperation," detailing the kingdom's commitments to participate" in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)."

This agreement, according to the While House press release (May 16), is to "ensure a smooth supply of [Saudi} energy to the world." Judging by previous Saudi compliance with and adherence to agreements with the U.S. (like stopping funds to terrorist organizations such as Hamas), expect a Saudi nuclear weapon as fast as their trillions of petrodollars (your money) can buy.

Instead of neutralizing Iran's nuclear facilities, the U.S. now openly contributes to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. What remains to be seen is who will use its nuclear weapons against the U.S. or Israel first, the Saudis, or Iran?

2. by Ali H. Alyami
May 17, 2008

This –– the nuclear energy pact between US and Saudi Arabia –– is a colossal blunder.

In the past, prince after prince insisted that Iran nuclear program is for peaceful energy only. Now they are saying Iran poses a threat to them with its nuclear program and want the US to help them build their own. How could we expect the international community to support our efforts to force Iran into quitting its nuclear program? Not too long from now, two additional unstable and dictatorially ruled Muslim states, Saudi Arabia and Iran (Pakistan has nukes) will have the means to make nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons in the hands of irrational and unstable dictatorial regimes can be used against states in the Middle East and beyond. Muslims are not likely to use nuclear weapons against each other. What we are doing here behooves me.


"Kingdom, US sign nuke energy pact"
http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.PrintContent&fa= regcon&action=Print&contentid=200805176663

Saudi Gazette report

JANADRIYA, Riyadh –– US President George W. Bush held talks with King Abdullah Friday. Bush, on his second visit to Saudi Arabia this year, discussed with the King aspects of cooperation between the two countries and ways of enhancing them in a way to serve the two countries' mutual interest. The two leaders also discussed the developments sweeping the Middle East –– especially the Palestinian issue and the situation in Lebanon and Iraq. The Kingdom and the US signed cooperation pacts in the presence of King Abdullah and President Bush. An agreement on technical cooperation was signed by Interior Minister Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on a peaceful nuclear energy program.

The agreement was signed by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Rice. "This agreement will pave the way for Saudi Arabia's access to safe, reliable fuel sources for energy reactors and demonstrate Saudi leadership as a positive non-proliferation model for the region," a statement earlier issued by the White House said. The White House said Saudi Arabia had also agreed to two global initiatives, one to combat nuclear terrorism and another to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Earlier, King Abdullah greeted President Bush and first lady Laura Bush on the Riyadh airport tarmac. They then rode together in a limousine to the King's horse farm outside Riyadh, the center piece of a visit the White House says is mostly to pay tribute to 75 years of formal ties between Washington and the Kingdom. "We're honored to be here," Bush told Abdullah as they sat side by side inside an elaborate tent. The King presented a pair of Arabian Oryx to Bush.

President Bush presented a model of a falcon to King Abdullah. As Bush arrived in Riyadh, oil prices hit a new record high near $128.00 a barrel in a volatile global market. Light, sweet crude for June delivery rose as high as US$127.82 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange during the afternoon in Europe, before retreating to US$126.28, up US$2.16 on Thursday's close of US$124.12. In London, Brent crude contracts were also higher, up US$2.52 to US$125.15 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal told reporters that the Middle East peace process will be "discussed in depth" during Bush's second visit to Riyadh since January. He said the Saudis will also raise "Israel's ongoing policy of imposing collective punishment on the Palestinian people and its continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip." Bush travels on to Egypt at the weekend to meet Palestinian leaders.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 23, 2008.


"... Jimmy Carter, just returned from his squalid suck-up junket to Hamas,... said "triumphantly that he has secured the usual (off-the-record, highly qualified, never to be translated into Arabic, and instantly denied) commitment from the Jews' enemies acknowledging Israel's 'right to exist.'"

A major notion in Europe is that Israeli statehood, due to demographics and an evil Jewish disposition towards the Arabs, should be rescinded. During the centuries' sojourn of Jews in Europe, they were not accepted as part of the nations there. [Then who is evil?] For that, the Jews "had to move to the Middle East. Reviled on the Continent as sinister rootless cosmopolitans with no conventional national allegiance, they built a conventional nation state, and now they're reviled for that, too. The 'oldest hatred' [antisemitism] didn't get that way without an ability to adapt."

Ironically, Europe's birth rate is so much below Israel's, that its civilization may be absorbed within the rising Islamic demographic there (Mark Steyn, NY Sun, 5/12, Op.-Ed.)


Israelis of Iranian descent, whose relatives were harmed by terrorists sent by Iran, are suing the United Bank of Switzerland for damages. The bank knowingly provided Iran with the dollars need by the terrorists for acquiring arms, for eight years. The bank had admitted to laundering $4-5 billion to regimes designated as sponsors of terrorism, after its greenbacks were found in Saddam's custody. It was fined $100 million by the Federal Reserve (IMRA, 5/12).

Why should class action suits be used only to loot corporations?


The policies of Olmert and his Foreign Min. Livni let Hamas bring rockets and mortars into Gaza and let Hizbullah accumulate thousands more in Lebanon. Now, if the IDF were to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, Iran could get its Hizbullah and Hamas proxies to fire at Israeli cities (Benny Livni, NY Sun, 5/12, p.5).

So, whom do they suggest would replace Olmert when and if he is indicted? Livni. It is like a death wish.

In many countries, deranged people having a lust for power take charge. In Israel, crooks and fools take charge.


Olmert's proposed declaration of principles for a P.A. state is said to bind Israel for decades. Typical commentary. Why don't Arab declarations bind them?

Such a declaration would lack legal standing, harm Israeli national security, and contradicts the national purpose. An honorable successor would repudiate it.

Sure, the State Dept. would cluck that a Prime Minister had promised it. So what! He had no right to make that promise.


Western journalists described the Lebanese Army as neutral. They and the people of Lebanon were surprised that the Lebanese Army did not stand up against Hizbullah's intimidation of the country and its attacks on other militias. Indeed, the Army countermanded the government's orders to dismantle Hizbullah's illegal communications system and to face it down in Beirut and elsewhere and protect the people from Hizbullah.

I wasn't surprised. The Army had many Shiites in it, not that that is necessarily a deciding factor. More significant, the Army assisted Hizbullah during the war with Israel and later allowed Hizbullah to smuggle in weapons and to fortify southern Lebanon. Under the ceasefire agreement, the Army was to coordinate with UNIFIL's 20,000 troops against such moves. The Lebanese Army never did, and UNIFIL averted its eyes from smuggling. Years before this war, the Lebanese Army did not patrol southern Lebanon and separate Hizbullah and Israel.

Christian and Druse factions that side with Hizbullah will find themselves isolated and driven out as much as the other Christians. They needed unity.

Appeasement by the US and Israel abandoned the patriotic Lebanese forces to Hizbullah, Syria, and Iran. Were they blind to the build-up? Or have the Democrats made US military action unacceptable except later and at high cost?


Don't you find it annoying that the newspapers put it that some terrorist organization "claimed credit" for a particular attack? What kind of a people are those Arabs that consider war crimes against Jews creditable? Better language would be "admitted perpetrating." Controlling Gaza, Hamas sometimes lets other groups claim responsibility for an attack by Hamas or with Hamas rockets. Few major media explain that. Why should the media report which groups perpetrated war crimes? Why give them the publicity they seek?


PM Olmert is suspected of having accepted bribes and of peddling influence as Mayor and Cabinet Minister, in half a dozen cases. Meanwhile, he is setting up terrorists in positions to inflict heavy casualties upon Israel. Perhaps he is being bribed by the Arabs, the way the Chinese bribed Bill Clinton into giving them US military secrets. It more likely is blackmail by the leftist Attorney-General, who keeps Olmert and had kept corrupt Sharon in power and subservient to the leftist program for appeasing the Arabs, by refraining from indicting them. Now, however, Olmert is so disreputable, that the Left may have to find another agent.


PM Olmert says he would accept a ceasefire with Hamas, if one can be worked out. I think it would be worked out –– the Muslims would lie and falsely promise enough for Olmert to pretend he is getting something. He and Foreign Min. Livni claim to have gotten security from Hizbullah by letting the UNO take charge of keeping it from re-arming. Hizbullah is taking over Lebanon and also fortified the southern area against Israel, in violation of the ceasefire rules for it.

Military experts and many others warned Olmert to reject a Gaza ceasefire. Hamas and the government use the Arabic word for the kind of ceasefire that lasts until military forces, in this case, Hamas', are built up enough to be able to resume the war more successfully. Why then does Olmert want a ceasefire?

Why, you mean, aside from his usual, eventual acceptance of almost anything the Arabs or their ally, the State Dept., demand? During a ceasefire, there would be less pressure on him to invade Gaza and destroy Hamas. The US, would not like an invasion. For one thing, it claims to worry about civilian casualties. Then why doesn't the US worry more about the greater civilian casualties when the war resumes but on a grander scale?

For another thing, the US claims that the war would make Abbas less popular. Let us understand the US line of reasoning. On the one hand, the US arms Abbas' forces to fight against Hamas, which they never get around to doing [because they'd lose], and it asks Israel to ease off on terrorism coming from Abbas' area, lest its counter-attacks cost him popularity he never had and doesn't know how to develop. On the other hand, if Israel destroyed Hamas for Abbas, his forces would dominate the P.A. without further Israeli help. But the doesn't want Israel to do that, lest he be unpopular. Unpopular? Who would challenge him, after rival militias were destroyed?

The common element in US reasoning apparently is to oppose anything beneficial to Israel.

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

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Posted by Judith Apter Klinghoffer, May 23, 2008.

This was published today in http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/50716.html

FT columnist Philip Stephens writes:

Mr Obama describes the world as is; Mr McCain as it seemed to be during that fleeting unipolar moment. America's voters will decide in November which of these lenses they prefer to look.

Well, this voter prefers to look at Obama's lens. It is prettier and more comforting. But I knows that taking my eyes off the McCain lens will put my life in jeopardy. For the world is not as Obama describes it and Islamist terror has nothing to do with the fleeting unipolar moment. If the US and Israel disappeared tomorrow would Jihadist stop their terror campaign agaist India where they only last week they killed 80 in Jaipur in order to "blow part of your tourism structure" and, second, to "demolish your faith in the dirty mud, in the name of Hanuman, Sita [and] Ram".?!

Stephens is not alone in his wish to make the world go away. Rather, his mood is representative of that of the liberal/leftist transnational elite that believes it found a champion in Obama. If avoiding reality means expunging the historical record and making mass executioners like Che Guevara into heroes, wannabe Hitlers like Ahmadinejad into a trustworthy negotiating partners, and putting up with a "reasonable number" of terrorist attacks as India has been so virtuously been doing, it is a price they will gladly pay. After all, what are the chances that they personally will be the victims?!

Moreover, they resent Bush for selfishly keeping terror away from America. So doing merely is increasing terror elsewhere, they argue. They also insist that war in Iraq created more terrorists and so has the war on terror as a whole. Evidence to the contrary be damned or at least covered up. For it, like progress in Iraq, will merely strengthen the hands of inconvenient realistic like McCain and his old fashioned patriotic supporters. Already, these appeasing transnational elites have succeeded in convincing the British government not to use the term "war on terror" anymore and the American government not to talk of Jihadists.

President Obama, Europeans believe will enable them to be the Swisstype free riders, another FT columnist Gideon Rachman explains Europeans so yearn to be and, indeed, already are. Moreover, Obama will not challenge the morality or wisdom of their choice. If anything, he will hold them up as the example America should follow.

The trouble, Kishore Mahbubani of Singapore notes is that reality bites:

The Swiss can feel secure because they are surrounded by Europe. The Europeans can only feel insecure because they are surrounded by an arc of instability, from north Africa to the Middle East, from the Balkans to the Caucasus. ... while America is protected by the vast Atlantic ocean, Europe feels ... Islamic anger directly because of its geographical proximity to the Middle East and its large domestic Islamic populations.

In other words, the average European like the average American has reasons for feeling insecure. They have real enemies, of the kind the "annoying" McCain worries about. But do not assume that Kishore wants Europe to join the war against terror. No, he wants Europe to rely on Asia instead of on the US because Asia is will solve Europe's Jihadist problem. All it would take is patience and forgetting (at least for the time being) about such unimportant issues as democracy or human rights:

The real irony here is that Asia is doing much more to enhance long-term European security than America is. The Asian march to modernity, which began in Japan and is now sweeping through China and India, is poised to enter the Islamic world in west Asia. When this march enters the Islamic world, Europe will be surrounded by modern, middle-class Muslim states.

Hence, Europe should encourage Muslims to look at China, India and Asean as their new development models. The success of the Beijing Olympics could help to ignite new dreams of modernisation among disaffected Islamic youth, who will ask why their societies cannot prosper like China. In short, if Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy could think strategically and long-term, they should enthusiastically participate in and cheer the success of the Olympics. When the Islamic world is finally modernized, Europe can go back to being a giant Switzerland again.

Sounds very convincing, doesn't it? The trouble is that no where is Jihadism as strong and virulent as in West Asia. Moreover, Singapore where Kishore lives borders Muslim Malaysia and Indonesia both of which have strong Islamists movements. In other words, Asian Kishore is just as blind as European Rahman and American transnational supporters of Obama. They all deserve the "disrespect" with which David Brooks complains we treat them. For they are not real Alpha Geeks. Real Alpah geeks are mathematicians and physicists like Einstein, pacifists who do not shirk reality but write a letter to FDR warning him not to stand idly by while Hitler may be developing a nuclear weapon.

As Israel's founding father, David Ben Gurion said and as I believe American John McCain, though not Barack Obama, would second though replacing Israel with the US, national security trumps all:

I have many values I hold dear, some are Jewish and others universal. ... I care about literature, philosophy, science and social science. But I have to confess to my narrow point of view: Nothing is more important to me than national security. If they give me a choice between the highest human ideals and the national security of Israel, I will choose unhesitatingly Israeli security and not because I do not believe in ideals but because "not the dead will praise Thee." We have the right to live and that I consider the primary right and the primary concern."

For the first time in American history we may elect a president who does not share Ben Gurion's view and that is scary.

Contact Judith Apter Klinghoffer by email at jklinghoff@aol.com

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Posted by Phyllis Chesler, May 23, 2008.

[Editor's Note: What makes Safir's account of particular interest is that fact that Arab photo hoaxes aren't recent –– they didn't invent them with the Al-Durah hoax or in the second Lebanon War (cf. doctored pix of Beirut; Qana hoax, etc.)]

It only takes one person.

If one person fights with all his might to tell the truth, (and today that person is Philippe Karsenty), if he or she risks everything to expose the Big Lie, takes on The Very Naked Emperor, then, one by one, others also start speaking out.

I have been writing about the doctored footage and staged photos that characterize the propaganda war against Israel and the Jews since 2001. Most recently, see "Photos That Lie: Building the Case Against Israel, Article by Article, Day After Day" at
http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2008/05/12/ photos-that-lie-building-the-case-against-israel-article-by-article-day-after-day/, and "The Hoax That Launched the Al-Aqsa Intifada: Mainstream Media Complicity and Silence" at
http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2008/05/22/the-hoax-that-launched- the-al-aqsa-intifada-mainstream-media-complicity-and-silence/.

I have known the prominent Israeli academic, Dr. Marilyn Safir, of Haifa, for 36 years. She is an American-born left feminist psychologist who moderates a major Israeli feminist academic listserv group. I have written about her experiences of anti-Semitism in both The New Anti-Semitism and in The Death of Feminism. Nevertheless, Marilyn never disconnected from the international feminist movement for this reason-and I am not suggesting that she should have.

When the Kassam rockets literally began falling on her head in Haifa she invited me to come to Israel to talk about anti-Semitism in general and among intellectuals and progressives in particular. I agreed-but then, alas, could not go.

With her permission, I am sharing what she has just told me about her personal eye-witness experience of Palestinian faux-tography in the first Lebanon war (1981-1982). She writes:

Hi Phyllis:

In the first Lebanon War, just before I left for that feminist conference in Montreal, we saw two news reports on Israel TV. In one, the Israel news team followed a French film crew. The French media put several young children in a burnt out car and lit a fire on the far side of the car and then filmed the children in the "burning car" screaming and crying with the smoke and flames billowing in the background. Two days latter I saw this clip broadcast in Montreal. If I hadn't seen them staging it, I would have believed these were kids who were directly attacked (by Israelis) and left to burn to death.

The other clip –– was of the Israeli air force attacking a "hospital" with a big red cross on the roof. We could see that the "hospital" was actually a base of the PLO who were (engaged in) shooting from it. That, too, appeared on the news. Interestingly, the Lebanese Government took out a big paid ad stating that the (so-called) Hospital was PLO Headquarters and was headed by Arafat's brother.

(The Montreal feminist ) conference was the one that the PLO tried to take over to pass anti- Israeli Resolutions –– and that I more or less single handidly fought to prevent –– successfully –– I might add.


Chesler responds:

Thank you Marilyn. I wonder how many more such incidents people know about and when will they come forward? But as important: Will the mainstream Western and Arab language media ever cover this? Will the liberal blogosphere cover it? And, if not, what do we propose to do?

Dr. Richard Landes just told me that he dates what he has coined "Pallywood" (Palestinian hoax propaganda) back to the first Lebanon War. He has an excellent article about it on his blogsite, Augean Stables at

Dr. Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. She is an author and lecturer and s co-founder of the still ongoing Association for Women in Psychology (1969). Visit her website at http://pajamasmedia.com/xpress/phyllischesler/

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Posted by Rachel Kapen, May 23, 2008.

My native State of Israel which celebrates these days it's 60th birthday doesn't have the death penalty except for Nazis and their collaborators, and Adolph Eichmann, the Nazi arch-war criminal who is mostly known in Israel for sending the hundred of thousands Hungarian innocent Jews to their death, clearly fits into this category. Escaping justice at Nuremburg, he managed to find haven in Argentina –– like other Nazis –– where he lived peacefully with his family under the assumed name of Ricardo Clement. That is, until the Israeli Mossad, a world-known spy agency, after years of hunting him, found him, abducted him, and brought him to face justice in Israel. This took place in May of 1960. I'll never forget how on May 23, our then Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announced his capture in the Israeli Knesset, the parliament.

Eichmann's trial took place in a makeshift courtroom in Jerusalem, in a town hall named: Beit Ha'am –– home of the people. And it was a huge sensation. Hundreds of journalists from all over the world came to cover the sensational trial of a Nazi arch war criminal brought to justice by his victims or in their name. There were about 100 witnesses who arrived from all over the world or living in Israel who told the hair-raising horrors inflicted on them and which they miraculously survived by the man who sat emotionless in the glass cage in the middle of the room.

One of these journalists found his way one morning to our neighborhood in Jerusalem, not far from Yad VaShem, the world known memorial to the Shoah –– the Holocaust, and as I was hanging diapers on our front porch he began shouting at me questions about my reaction to the trial. Instead of shouting back I asked him to climb up the flight of stairs to our small apartment where I lived with my American-born husband, Shelly, then an assistant in the physiology department of the Hebrew University-Haddassah Medical School and our first-born, nine months old Gilead, and I told him how as long as I can remember I knew about the Shoah yet only now, after listening to the witnesses I am really beginning to understand the awfulness and the enormity of what happened. After all, for me and for my contemporaries who grew up in a country of much less than one million Jews, the mind-boggling number of 6 million murdered Jews was beyond comprehension. However, I was not the only one who as a result of the Eichmann trial became aware of the enormity of the Shoah. For many years Shoah survivors who reached the safety of the Jewish homeland refused to talk about the horrors they went through, trying to rebuild their shattered lives but the Eichmann trial opened floodgates.

Adolph Eichman was found guilty on all counts and was sentenced to death. After the Israeli Supreme Court rejected his appeal, he was executed by hanging, his body cremated, and his ashes scattered at sea, far from the territorial waters of the Jewish state.

As Israel celebrates its 60th birthday, it is time for soul-searching and taking inventory, and in my opinion bringing Eichmann to justice was one of the State's crown achievements.

The Torah exhorts us to: Tzedek tzedek tirdof –– justice, justice thou shalt pursue, and pursuing Adolph Eichmann and bringing him to justice in the names of the 6 million was an apt fulfillment of the commandment.

Contact Rachel Kapen by email at skapen285466MI@comcast.net

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 23, 2008.

The responses to/analysis of Olmert's bid to negotiate with Syria. Touching briefly on what's happening:

–– Olmert attempted to give a talk at a Jewish Agency ceremony last night and was booed down by protesters carrying "The people are with the Golan" signs.

–– While comments by Bush have been circumspect, a report today cited a US official as calling Olmert's overtures to Syria as a "slap in the face" to the US. Bush has let it be known that he has no intention of softening his stand against Syria (which, quite likely, is what Assad is after).

–– I wrote yesterday about Livni's spelling out of what would be expected of Syria for a peace deal. Well, the Syrians responded with anger. They say they thought Israel was going into this talk without preconditions.

Seems Livni's detailing of expectations may have been an attempt to soften the blow to the US: "See, we won't deal while they are still part of the Axis of Evil." This helps explain why these expectations weren't spelled out specifically before any agreement to negotiate took place, as, of course, they should have been. All of this merely highlights the ludicrousness of the situation. (The damage done to attempts to isolate Syria by Olmert's willingness to confer legitimacy on Assad must be taken seriously.)

–– MK Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud head) has declared that Likud would not abide by any agreement made with Syria by Olmert.

–– Word is that the indirect talks in Turkey will be continued in a week to ten days.

Shai Bazk of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzlyia has written an opinion piece on Syrian negotiations that concurs in the opinion that there will be no deal because what is wanted is only the process. His take involves analysis of Assad's precarious position as a member of the ethnic minority Alawite.


Good news here: A French appeals court has overturned an earlier ruling of libel with regard to the al-Dura case.

This is the case of the libel against Israel constructed by a Palestinian stringer in Gaza working for France 2 TV, who claimed to have filmed Israeli soldiers shooting down the boy Muhammad al-Dura in 2000. This was broadcast by the station's Jerusalem correspondent Charles Enderlin, causing an enormous furor and even becoming a rationale for terrorism.

French Jew Phillipe Karsenty, who maintains a media watchdog website, became convinced that the entire thing was a hoax and charged that the station had knowingly misled the world on this issue. France 2 and Enderlin sued him for libel, and won.

Now in the appeal, this has been overturned. Says Karsenty, "The verdict means we have the right to say France 2 broadcast a fake news report that was a staged hoax.

Among the reasons that Karsenty became convinced it was a hoax:

No footage was shown of the boy being killed; first he is alive, then he is lying on the ground apparently dead.

Only seven bullet holes were in the wall behind the boy even though the claim was that he had been subjected to a 45 minute hail of Israeli bullets.

Israeli soldiers stationed in the area testified that they did not participate in a gun fight that day.


Olmert was questioned by police again today, and a final decision is being made on when Talansky will be deposed, or if he is deposed on Sunday, when he will be cross-examined by Olmert's lawyers.


I believe it is official now that Hamas has rejected Israel's ceasefire terms, as conveyed by Egypt's Suleiman. Hamas officials are expressing anger at Suleiman for pushing them to accept Israel's offer rather than leaning on Israel to be more forthcoming with Hamas.

Hamas officials are angry about two things: They wanted immediate relief from the blockade, while Israel said this would come as a later part of the process, and then within parameters agreed upon earlier, which include European monitors at the Rafah crossing. They also didn't find it acceptable that Israel insisted on making sure that Hamas was truly abiding by the ceasefire before stopping all operations.

Sources close to Hamas have reported, as well, that Hamas rejected Israeli demands that weapons smuggling be stopped.

Israel's terms, said a Hamas representative, were "completely unacceptable" and were aimed at "further humiliating the Palestinians and aggravating their suffering."

This scenario, I believe, reveals a good deal about the Hamas mindset and how they view Israel. They have an exaggerated sense of their own power and obviously saw Israel as weak and accommodating; they thought they could make arrangements on their terms because launching of rockets at us had beaten us down.

That they wouldn't agree to stop smuggling (even if they intended to continue covertly) tells the whole story.


An explosive-laden truck blew up yesterday at the Erez crossing. The driver was the only casualty. Other terrorists fired mortars at the crossing at the same time that the truck exploded. As a jeep accompanied the truck, it is thought that the intention may have been kidnapping of a soldier.

One of the groups that took credit is Fatah's Al Aksa Brigades.

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

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Posted by Dr. Aaron Lerner, May 23, 2008.

This article appeared in Insrael Insider and is archived at http://web.israelinsider.com/Views/12875.htm

"I do not know how to work out a security arrangement if Israel actually withdraws from the Golan Heights. To the best of my knowledge there is no solution to this. And in the absence of a solution to this matter, we could find ourselves in the situation that you are basing yourself only on the good will of the other side. And in the Middle East, with the kind of regime of Bashar Assad, and also with the problematic nature of that regime –– that it could be replaced by a Sunni regime within a relatively short period of time, you are taking an unreasonable level of risk.
–– Gen. (ret) Giora Eiland, former head of Israel's National Security Council –– Israel Radio interview –– Evening news magazine 22 May 2008

Unfortunately, Eiland has many former colleagues who suggest doing just that: "The support of Israel's defense establishment of the talks with Syria is based on the ... view that when Assad gives his word he keeps it."
–– Haaretz correspondent Amos Harel 22 May 2008

Simply put, elites in the defense establishment support a deal with Syria on the basis of reasoning that has absolutely nothing to do with their area of expertise. Many of these same people seriously erred in previous predictions regarding developments in the region in general and Syria in particular. But that doesn't stop them from religiously supporting withdrawal from the Golan.

Many of them were convinced, for example, that Syria's billions of dollars of unpaid bills to the Russian arms industry would prevent them from acquiring any substantial or significant new weapons systems for the foreseeable future. Oops. They were dead wrong.

Many of them cited various and sundry gizmos that could take the place of the Golan. Gizmos that have since been addressed by other gizmos.

And of course, many of them assumed absolute best case scenarios when considering how post withdrawal security arrangements would play out in the event of an emergency. If nothing else, the Second Lebanon War sent an expensive reminder that reality rarely is the best case scenario.

Is a peace treaty impossible without leaving the Golan?

Interestingly, the very same country acting as go between in the Syria-Israel talks, proved that it is indeed possible for Syria to forego what it considers to be sovereign Syrian territory.

[Wikipedia: "Under the leadership of Syrian President Bashar al Assad from 2000 onwards there was a lessening of tensions between Turkey and Syria over the Hatay issue. Indeed, in early 2005, when visits from Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Turkish prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened a way to discussions between two states, it was claimed that the Syrian government announced it had no claims to sovereignty concerning Hatay any more."]

As Channel 2's analyst for Arab affairs, Ehud Ya'ari, asked Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul at a Jerusalem press conference in early January 2005: "Can Syria's recognition last month of full Turkish sovereignty over the Hatay province [Alexandretta] be seen as a precedent for the case of the Golan Heights?"


Dr. Aaron Lerner is co-founder of IMRA, Independent Media Review and Analysis, an Israel-based news organization which provides an extensive digest of media, polls and significant interviews and events relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict. Contact him at imra@netvision.net.il

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Posted by Judy Lash Balint, May 23, 2008.

Last night Ehud Olmert got what was coming to him –– not from scandal-weary, cynical Israelis who no longer believe that protests achieve anything, but from idealistic young Zionists who have just concluded long-term programs in Israel.

Just one day after news surfaced of a proposed Golan giveaway –– Olmert's latest desperate act to hold on to power –– participants at the mega-event in Latrun, just outside Jerusalem, roundly booed the Prime Minister as he rose to address the crowd. A more impassioned group ran toward the stage wearing T-shirts with the slogan, "The People are with the Golan," and yelling anti-withdrawal slogans.

The action drew major news coverage on every Israeli TV and radio station and on the front pages of today's weekend papers. Let's hope their action will inspire the silent majority of Israelis who share their views to return to the streets to preserve a semblance of defensible borders.

Judy Lash Balint is an award-winner investigative journalist and author of "Jerusalem Diaries: In Tense Times" (Gefen). It is available for purchase from www.israelbooks.com. Contact her at judy.balint@gmail.com

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Posted by Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) Institute for Contemporary Affairs (ICA), May 23, 2008.

This was written by Dr. Dore Gold, Israel's ambassador to the UN in 1997-99, is President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and author of Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism (Washington: Regnery, 2003) and The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City (Regnery, 2007).

This article was published by ICA as Jerusalem Issue Brief Vol. 8, No.1 22 May 2008. Contact the ICA at http://www.jcpa.org

  • Israeli negotiators will quickly discover three core areas in their discussions with the Syrians that they will not resolve easily: delineation of an agreed boundary, security arrangements, and the Syrian-Iranian alliance.

  • Just prior to the outbreak of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Syria deployed 1,400 tanks along the border against a total Israeli force of 177 tanks (a force ratio of 8 to 1 in favor of Syria). Should Syria's considerable missile forces be used to delay Israel's reserve mobilization, then the importance of the Golan terrain will increase as Israel's small standing army will have to fight for longer without reserve reinforcement.

  • When Israel reached its Treaty of Peace with Egypt in 1979, it agreed to fully withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula to the international border. Syria illegally occupied Israeli territories during the 1950s that were within Israel's international borders: the southern demilitarized zone at al-Hamma, the Banias area, and the strip of coastal territory along the northeast shoreline of the Sea of Galilee.

  • If Israel were to agree to the June 4, 1967, line, as Syria demands, it would be rewarding Syrian aggression. Moreover, it could compromise Israel's control of its largest fresh water reservoir. Israel should not have to be arguing with the Syrians over the question of whether a future Israeli-Syrian boundary should correspond to the June 4, 1967, line or to the older international border, for neither of these lines is defensible.

  • The U.S. has given Israel repeated diplomatic assurances in the past that Israel will not have to come down from the Golan Heights, beginning with a September 1, 1975, letter from President Gerald Ford to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It was renewed prior to the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference by Secretary of State James Baker. During the Clinton administration, Secretary of State Warren Christopher renewed the Ford commitment in a letter dated September 19, 1996.

  • Even if, by prior agreement with Tehran, the Syrians took steps that appeared to be downgrading relations, Israel's concession of the Golan Heights would be irreversible, while the political orientation of states in the Middle East is notoriously changeable. It would be a cardinal error for Israel to put into jeopardy its own security by agreeing to come down from the Golan Heights.

Despite advances in military technology, the Golan Heights remains a vital strategic asset for the defense of the State of Israel. True, this week Israel and Syria have re-opened their diplomatic dialogue after a hiatus of eight years. But negotiators will soon find that there are three clusters of issues that they will not resolve easily: delineation of an agreed boundary, security arrangements, and the Syrian-Iranian alliance. And to a large extent, these issues have become even more difficult since negotiations were held back in the 1990s.


Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six-Day War, after years in which the Syrian armed forces positioned there pounded Israel's farms and towns below with artillery attacks. In the western Golan, there are a series of steep cliffs reaching a height of 500 meters that dominate the Sea of Galilee, which Syria exploited to attack Israel from 1949 to 1967. Eastward, the Golan plateau continues to rise to a maximal height of 1,200 meters above sea-level –– at Har Avital –– close to the Syrian border. This provides Israel's numerically inferior standing army a clear topographical advantage against the masses of Syrian armor that are deployed in the plain below –– stretching back to Damascus, Syria's capital –– until Israeli reserve forces arrive.

Just prior to the outbreak of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Syria deployed 1,400 tanks in this area against a total Israeli force of 177 tanks (a force ratio of 8 to 1 in favor of Syria). In the early 1990s, it was estimated that Syria generally deployed a standing force of five to six divisions in this area against an Israeli force of one division.[1]

It is incorrectly assumed that with the proliferation of ballistic missiles, the initial terrain conditions of conventional warfare are less important. In fact, should Syria's considerable rocket and missile forces be used to delay Israel's reserve mobilization, then the importance of the Golan terrain will increase as Israel's small standing army will have to fight for more extended periods of time without reserve reinforcement. Whether the Israeli Air Force can supply close air support during this critical period will depend on how preoccupied it becomes with suppressing Syrian ballistic missile attacks against Israeli cities. In short, the Golan Heights remains an essential strategic asset for Israel's defense.

Israeli negotiators will quickly discover three core areas in their discussions with the Syrians over which there has been considerable Israeli-Syrian disagreement in the past.

1. Delineating an Agreed Boundary: Implications for the Sea of Galilee

The basis of Syrian-Israeli negotiations will be the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference invitation that included UN Security Council Resolution 242 from November 22, 1967. Resolution 242 called for the "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict." By not requiring a withdrawal from "all the territories" Israel captured, the resolution left open the possibility that the future border between Israel and Syria will be negotiated as part of the termination of ­­­­­­­belligerency and establishment of peace between the two countries.

When Israel reached its Treaty of Peace with Egypt in 1979, it agreed to fully withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula to the international border between the two countries. If Syria argues that it too is entitled to the pre-1967 lines, there is a fundamental problem, for Syria itself illegally occupied Israeli territories during the 1950s that were within Israel's international borders: the southern demilitarized zone at al-Hamma, the Banias area, and the strip of coastal territory along the northeast shoreline of the Sea of Galilee.

If Israel were to agree to the June 4, 1967, line, it would essentially be rewarding Syrian aggression from the 1950s. But if it offers the international border between Israel and Syria, that dates back to 1923 during the Mandatory period, then the Syrians would be obtaining less than the Egyptians. Moreover, after Syria encroached on Israel's coastal strip in the 1950s along the northern shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, it proclaimed at that time a 250-meter belt of the lake as Syrian territorial waters. Damascus even denied Israel fishing rights in this part of the Sea of Galilee.[2] Thus, an Israeli agreement to the June 4, 1967, line can compromise Israel's control of its largest fresh water reservoir.

In reality, Israel should not have to be arguing with the Syrians over the question of whether a future Israeli-Syrian boundary should correspond to the June 4, 1967, line or to the older international border, for neither of these lines is defensible. Moreover, the U.S. has given Israel diplomatic assurances in the past that Israel will not have to come down from the Golan Heights. On September 1, 1975, President Gerald Ford wrote to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin: "The U.S. has not developed a final position on the borders. Should it do so, it will give great weight to Israel's position that any peace agreement with Syria be predicated on Israel's remaining on the Golan Heights."

The Ford letter might be thought to be a subject of interest to diplomatic historians alone. However, prior to the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, Secretary of State James Baker renewed the U.S. commitment on the Golan to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir on October 18, 1991. During the Clinton administration, Secretary of State Warren Christopher also renewed the Ford commitment in a letter dated September 19, 1996, to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[3] Christopher, moreover, added in his letter that whatever conditional statements Israel might have made during past negotiations about the Golan Heights (the reference was to the "Rabin Deposit") could not be considered as a legally binding commitment.[4] Israeli is thus still in a strong position to insist on a final boundary that reflects its security interests and is not bound to the negotiating record from past diplomatic contacts.

2. The Limits of Demilitarization and Security Arrangements

The fundamental security problems between Israel and Syria –– the asymmetry of their standing conventional armies –– has been a problem Israel once faced with Egypt. But when Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula, it compensated for its loss of control of the Sinai with "security arrangements" that fundamentally restricted Egyptian forces through demilitarized areas and limited forces zones that were a part of their Treaty of Peace.

But while these "security arrangements" were instituted in the area of Sinai, which is roughly 220 kilometers wide, the territory of the Golan Heights is largely only 25 kilometers wide and is just 12 kilometers wide at its narrowest point. In order to create sufficient security for Israel, it is necessary to institute force limitations on the Syrian Army beyond the Golan Heights, well into southern Syria.[5] Given the proximity of Damascus to the Golan Heights, it is likely that Israel's security needs for demilitarized zones will require Syria to pull back its armored forces behind its own capital.

This problem is exacerbated by Syria's massive acquisition of ballistic missiles and rockets, especially after the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Israel must seek to place limitations on these missile forces and on their location close to the Israeli border. Syria will have to make hard choices regarding what are its paramount interests and the extent of the concessions it will have to make: will Syria be willing to accept intrusive security restrictions near its capital or will it prefer to leave the territorial status-quo in place?

3. Neutralizing the Syrian-Iranian Alliance

In Israeli diplomatic circles, the main demand that is voiced today concerning the renewed negotiations on the Syrian-Israeli track is the separation of Syria from its alliance with Iran and from what President George W. Bush called "the Axis of Evil." But is it reasonable to assume that Syria, indeed, will be willing to distance itself from its ally in Tehran?

The Syrian-Iranian alliance was in fact born in 1980 and had nothing to do with Israel: at the time, it resulted from the Iran-Iraq War and the antipathy of both countries to the regime of Saddam Hussein. Today, the Syrian-Iranian alliance is based on other Syrian interests, as well, that have little to do with Syrian-Israeli relations.

For example, a clear priority for Syria's foreign policy is its hegemonic position in Lebanon. The main vehicle for the Syrians to dominate Lebanon is their close alliance with Hizbullah, which, as was recently proven, is the strongest faction in Lebanon. Were Syria to cut itself off from Iran, it would lose its special relationship with Hizbullah, which is funded and controlled by Tehran. As a result, Syria's control over Lebanon would diminish and the anti-Syrian coalition of Sunni Muslims, Druze, and Christians would become predominant.

Thus, it is extremely unlikely that Syria would halt its strategic ties with Iran and adopt a pro-Western orientation instead. Moreover, even if, by prior agreement with Tehran, the Syrians would take steps that appeared as though they were downgrading their relations, it is important to realize how temporary such changes might be. While Israel's concession of the Golan Heights would be irreversible, the political orientation of states in the Middle East is notoriously changeable. An Israeli negotiator would be hard-pressed to hammer out an agreement that would provide any permanence to a break between Damascus and Tehran.

There are many other daunting subjects that negotiations will face. Israel, for example, expects "full normalization" of relations with Syria, while Syrian spokesmen carefully used the term "normal relations" for the quality of their future ties to the Jewish state. "Normalization" implies the kind of relations enjoyed today by former adversaries like France and Germany in the context of the European Union. "Normal relations" is an alternative term that suggests the most minimal of ties; it provides a kind of formalization of the idea of a "cold peace."

Given these fundamental differences, there are serious risks emanating from the current effort of Israel and Syria to re-engage diplomatically. If expectations are raised that a peace agreement is imminent, but no treaty is finally concluded, then the political environment after a failed negotiation can be full of real escalatory potential.

For Israel it is particularly critical to take into account the interests of its American ally. On April 28, 2008, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, slammed the Syrians for their destabilizing role in Iraq. He disclosed that 90 percent of foreign fighters in Iraq came across the Syrian-Iraqi border. Moreover, al-Qaeda's "facilitators" in Iraq "operated inside Syria."[6]

Entering a negotiation when such broad differences of substance exist is highly problematic. Given the continuing strategic importance of the Golan Heights, it would be a cardinal error for Israel to put into jeopardy its own security by agreeing to come down from this dominant terrain. Finally, such an initiative could also jeopardize Israel's ties with its most important ally, the United States.


1. Aryeh Shalev, Israel and Syria: Peace and Security on the Golan (in Hebrew) (Tel Aviv: Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, 1993), p. 124.

2. Meron Medzini (ed.), Israel's Foreign Relations –– Selected Documents, 1947-1974 (Jerusalem: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1976), p. 271.

3. Eli Kamir, "The Secret Negotiations Between Netanyahu and Assad," Ma'ariv, December 31, 1999.

4. Itamar Rabinovich, The Brink of Peace: The Israeli-Syrian Negotiations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998), pp. 3-13. The "Rabin Deposit" was a theoretical exercise during which the U.S. was told that if Israeli requirements were met for security arrangements, sequence of implementation, and normalization, then Rabin was willing to withdraw from the Golan. The Clinton administration was supposed to put this conditional statement in their pocket and take it out if Syria met Israel's other conditions.

5. In past negotiations these zones of demilitarization were call "the relevant areas," and Israel made it clear they would need sufficient depth for them to provide security. See Uri Sagie, "The United States and the Israeli-Syrian Dialogue," The Israeli-Syrian Dialogue: A One-Way Ticket to Peace? (Houston, TX: Baker Institute, October 1999), Chapter 3.

6. "U.S. Envoy Slams Iran's Alleged Destabilizing Role in Iraq," AFP, April 28, 2008, http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5g6gHdkw33tAceBTnP8yQB3lg2Ybw.

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Posted by Moshe Dann, May 22, 2008.

"No," insists Gen (ret) Giora Eiland, former head of Israel's National Security Council. In a bold critique of current Israeli policy, Eiland said that negotiations to achieve a Declaration of Principles based on the "two-state-solution" plan could not work. "The concept is wrong."

These views seem to be shared by most Israeli military and security experts not serving in the government or IDF and many who are, but can't speak out. Yet, no major media will cover the story.

Eiland, one of Israel's top strategic and intelligence advisors, was responsible for implementing Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Today, however, he readily admits that it was a mistake.

Despite warnings at the time from the entire military and intelligence community, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon went ahead with the destruction of 21 Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip, and total withdrawal, including the critical border area with Egypt –– a narrow strip called the Philadelphia Corridor riddled with smugglers tunnels. The vacuum was filled by the Iranian-backed terrorist organization, Hamas.

The decision to end Israel's presence in the Gaza Strip, Eiland said, was made by Sharon's political advisors, but would not identify them. "And we keep making the same mistakes," he noted.

A "shelf-agreement" now under discussion by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mohammed Abbas would also fail, Eiland indicated, for the following reasons:

  1. There's no trust. The PA has done nothing to stop incitement and terrorism, despite a near-freeze in settlement building. The PA sees any expansion of settlements as an indication that Israel will not withdraw from those areas.

  2. Neither government can make fundamental compromises and survive. Israel cannot withdraw to the Armistice lines of 1949 (as the PA demands); the Palestinians refuse to give up the 'Right of Return' of millions of "Palestinian refugees" to Israel.

  3. Hamas, who control Gaza and are likely to extend their hegemony to the West Bank if Israel withdraws, will undermine any agreement signed by the PA.

"The concept of a two-state-solution, with an independent Palestinian is naïve," Eiland stated. "It's not about details; those have been well-known since the negotiations during Clinton's presidency. The problem is that it's impossible to guarantee what will happen if the PA violates the agreements."

The obsession with the "two-state-solution" in its current form, moreover, prevents the emergence of any other option. "There are other possibilities, but they aren't being considered," Eiland suggested. "For example, Jordan and Egypt could be involved."

"Two-thirds of Jordan's population considers themselves Palestinian," Eiland elaborated. "Jordan would be the logical partner in any solution, especially because a Hamas dominated state would present a direct threat to its existence."

"Similarly, Egypt does not want a terrorist-run state on its border, since it would probably ally with the radical Moslem Brotherhood, a terrorist group in Egypt."

"A Palestinian state, as envisioned is not viable or stable economically, politically, or militarily. It will, inevitably, become radicalized, dominated by the most powerful groups."

"Most important, the Palestinians don't want a 'two-state solution.' They rejected it in 1947/48, again in 1967, in 2000 and today. They prefer to be seen as 'victims,' and seek revenge. Given the choice between no Palestinian state and no Israel, on one hand, and being divided among neighboring Arabs states, on the other, 80% would choose the latter."

"As long as Israel exists and refuses to agree to the 'Palestinian Right of Return' no solution is possible."

"There is no basis for the illusion of a 'two-state solution' as now being presented," Eiland concluded. "The Arab world isn't interested in resolving the conflict, and the risks Israel faces in this scenario are too great."

"We need to think more creatively, and be open to more options, especially a regional approach."

Moshe Dann is a former ass't professor of History, is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem. Contact him at moshedan@netvision.net.il

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Posted by Michael Freund, May 22, 2008.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia –– It is nearly 11 p.m. one night last week in Addis Ababa, and large parts of the Ethiopian capital are bathed in darkness, the result of increasingly frequent power shortages in recent months.

Soldiers and policemen stand guard on the road in front of the Israeli Embassy, as Kalashnikov rifles hang precariously across their chests. As they adamantly turn away traffic from both directions, a large bus pulls up and is waved through, before parking on the dusty thoroughfare.

While its noisy engine takes a much-needed respite, Israeli officials review an assortment of paperwork as they prepare the vehicle's prospective passengers for the short ride to the airport. It is from there that they will board an Ethiopian Airlines flight to complete the millennial-old journey home to the land of their ancestors, the Land of Israel.

Meanwhile, inside a neighboring compound, 42 Falash Mura (descendants of Ethiopian Jews who converted to Christianity in the 19th century) sit quietly and patiently on wooden benches, waiting to board the bus. Their features betray a silent dignity, but little else. There is no trace of excitement or exhaustion on their faces.

Father and son wait to make aliya at embassy in Addis Ababa (Photo: Michael Freund)

Only Yossi, a charming three-year old with an infectious grin, dares to beam with enthusiasm, as though he can sense the momentous nature of what they are about to undertake.

Ten days ago, Yossi and the others arrived in Addis Ababa after a two-day bus journey from Gondar in Ethiopia's north. After recuperating from the arduous trip, they were put through an intensive mini-seminar by Israeli officials to familiarize them with the ins and outs of aliya.

This group, which numbers 38 adults, two children and two babies, is among the last batch of Falash Mura that the Israeli government plans to bring to the Jewish state. According to embassy officials, another 300 or so Falash Mura will be brought to Israel by the end of June, and then the operation will be complete.

Embassy staff have already begun seeking employment elsewhere, as rumors of impending cuts in personnel make the rounds. It is the end of an era, one official says, proudly adding that the ancient community of Ethiopian Jewry has at last found its way home.

Activists in Israel and the United States disagree, saying that there are at least 8,700 Falash Mura in the Gondar region whose eligibility for aliya has not even been reviewed by the Israeli government, which they accuse of wanting to shut down the process in haste.

And they vow to press on until every last member of the Falash Mura who wishes to return to Judaism and the Jewish people is allowed to do so.

But such disputes seem far from the minds of everyone present, as the group of would-be Falash Mura immigrants noiselessly makes it way to the bus after getting the go-ahead from the organizers.

Even the most cynical of observers cannot help but be moved by their solemnity and poise, as they leave behind everything they know and head off in Abrahamic fashion into the uncertain future that beckons them.

Upon reaching the airport, they disembark from the bus, calmly helping one another. A mother carries a baby, gently rocking her to and fro as she settles into a peaceful slumber. An elderly woman, barely able to see or walk, is escorted across the parking lot by two young men as she determinedly makes her way to the terminal.

Behind her, a man on crutches struggles along, keeping up with the group, each tedious step bringing him closer to his goal of reaching Jerusalem.

Watching the scene unfold, the verse from Jeremiah (Chapter 31) quickly came to mind: "and I shall gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child; a great assembly shall return here."

Indeed, it is easy to imagine that this is how the Exodus from Egypt must have appeared, as these remnants of Ethiopian Jewry walk out of the pages of history, and head to the Promised Land.

There are those who see the Falash Mura as economic migrants, or even hitchhikers taking advantage of the Zionist dream. After all, say the critics, their motivation is simply to improve their lives and escape to the West. But all the cynicism in the world can't take away from the fact that these precious souls, these "lost Jews," are at last returning to their people and their land.

It is surely a cliché, but what other country would go to such efforts? At a time when America is clamping down on Mexican migration, and France and Spain battle to contain a flood of North Africans, little Israel reaches out across kilometers of desert and centuries of travail to bring thousands of black Africans in as equal citizens.

As they make their way through Ethiopian airport security, with their meager belongings in hand, one cannot help but see in the fulfillment of their dreams that of ours, too.

Michael Freund served as an adviser to former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He is a Jerusalem Post correspondent. This article appeared today in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at

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Posted by Honest Reporting, May 22, 2008.
An image very much in question: Jamal al-Dura shielding his son Muhammad, 12, during a gun battle in Gaza area in 2000. (Photo: Agence France-Presse)

The iconic images of Mohammad al-Dura's alleged death in Gaza inflamed Palestinian sentiment and provoked terrible bloodshed. Despite the evidence that Israel was not responsible for firing the bullets that hit al-Dura, and doubts as to the credibility of the footage taken from the scene, this libel has continued to prevail.

HonestReporting has brought you the news directly from the trial of Philippe Karsenty, who accused France 2 and its reporter Charles Enderlin of knowingly broadcasting doctored footage of the al-Dura incident.

To recall, France 2 successfully sued Karsenty who then appealed against the verdict. At the appeal trial, some of the raw footage taken during that fateful day in Gaza was aired to a packed courtroom that witnessed numerous examples of "Pallywood" staging of events. France 2, however, only made available some 18 out of 27 minutes of footage that apparently exists.

Evidently, these scenes and the unreliability of France 2's cameraman Talal Abu Rahma has convinced the French appeals judge. Philippe Karsenty has won the appeal against his libel conviction.

Media commentator Tom Gross, who has previously reviewed (see our exclusive video) the al-Dura affair for HonestReporting, said in response to the verdict:

Today's ruling shows there are serious doubts about France 2's version of events, and that the entire world press –– including the American TV networks –– were irresponsible in being so quick to take at face value the claims of a local Palestinian cameraman working for France 2, a cameraman who has admitted his partisanship.

Karsenty said in a statement released after his victory:

The al-Dura lie is an assault on our ability to think, to criticize, to evaluate, and finally to reject information –– especially the right to reject information on which we base our most cherished assumptions. One of Europe's most cherished assumptions is that Israel is a vicious Nazi-like entity that deliberately murders Palestinian Arab children. Moreover, polls conducted in Europe have identified Israel as the greatest threat to world peace, greater than Iran and North Korea, Pakistan and Syria. The al-Dura hoax is one of the pillars on which these assumptions rely....

Now it is time for France 2 to acknowledge that it created and is continuing to perpetuate the worst anti-Semitic libel of our era.


At the time of writing, the full judgment had not been released to the media. However, Take A Pen's Endre Mozes was in the courtroom delivering firsthand accounts of proceedings to HonestReporting. Mozes spoke with some of the lawyers involved who had seen a copy of the judgment prior to its forthcoming release.

Amongst his observations and the comments from these lawyers was the court's acceptance of the argument that protagonists operating in non-democratic regimes such as the Palestinian areas are inherently less reliable and should be carefully scrutinized as should have been the case with Talal Abu Rahma.

Essentially, the court decided the level of doubt associated with the al-Dura footage warrants deep analysis. It is perfectly legitimate to question it, not libelous.

Philippe Karsenty's efforts have opened up France 2 to scrutiny and serves as an example of how the media should be held accountable for their material and the consequences of their reporting. France 2's al-Dura footage has been shown in court to be unreliable and possibly fake. Along with a number of investigations concluding that Israel was not responsible for the bullets that allegedly killed the boy, the icon that is al-Dura –– the edifice upon which so much hostility has been directed at Israel, aided and abetted by a willing media –– comes toppling down.


So far, despite access to Reuters and Associated Press wire reports, only Jewish and Israeli media have published the trial verdict. The mainstream media has regrettably remained silent. Is the same media that did so much to propagate the al-Dura libel without verifying the facts now too embarrassed to admit that they may have erred?

If your local media outlet has not covered this story, write to it and ask why not. While Philippe Karsenty has had his day in court, the State of Israel and all of those victims of the terror and violence fueled by images of al-Dura deserve nothing less.

Some of our own subscribers were not even in their teens in 2000 when the al-Dura case occurred and may not even remember it. Some of those who do remember have questioned why we should continue to pursue this case several years later.

We believe that, irrespective of how long it may take, the truth will emerge. Accountability and justice do not dissipate over time. HonestReporting will continue to hold the media to account and to revisit those cases where an injustice has been done.

Honest Reporting monitors the media for inaccuracy and unfairness in how they report the news about Israel. Ther website address is http://www.honestreporting.com. Contact them by email at action@honestreporting.com

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Posted by Phyllis Chesler, May 22, 2008.

The same mainstream media that ran front page photos of the Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, allegedly being murdered in his father's arms by Israeli soldiers-are, shamefully, not running any stories about the hard-won Karsenty decision in Paris.

Thus, as of this writing, the hardcopy of the New York Times has not covered the story. Surprisingly, the New York Sun didn't either, nor did the hardcopy of the Wall Street Journal. According to my online survey, there is no coverage in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Detroit Free Press, The Miami Herald, The Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the Washington Post, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner or the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Well, maybe they're working on huge weekend stories. If so, I look forward to reading them. However, a brief mention would be in order. Naught but chaos rules.

Google Mohammed al-Dura and you will find 111,000 references to the case-although there were probably millions of references to the case between the fall of 2000-2003. Google the case at the New York Times today and you will get 24,800 references to it. Google the Los Angeles Times and 11,400 references to al-Dura are listed. The Washington Post has 23,300 references to the al-Dura case listed.

When will they come clean, play fair, report the truth? Never? Or when it is too late?

Brian Rohan of Reuters covered it, ("French Court Cancels Libel in Intifada Video Case"), Melanie Phillips of Britain's Spectator covered it ("A Milestone Victory"), as did the Jerusalem Post ("Court Overturns al-Dura Libel Judgment") and other Israeli media. Of course, Pajamas Media published a statement by Karsenty and pieces by Richard Landes and myself.

The online version of the NY Times did cover the French decision-and, as one of my readers has pointed out, although the article gave equal "voice" and equal weight to both sides in the dispute, the headline itself was clear. "Critic of Palestinian Video Wins French Case." (I literally did not see the headline, I only saw the "iconic" photo and the text beneath the headline. I apologize).

The International Herald Tribune ran yesterday's AP dispatch: "Paris Court Acquits Media Watchdog of Libel Over Footage in Boy's Death." This story essentially takes the same line as the Times, namely, that the court merely ruled that Karsenty was entitled to voice his opinion without that opinion being deemed "libelous."

This view of the court decision (which, as of this writing, has still not been released), does not admit that there is actual footage in which the presumably dead boy is seen alive after he has been pronounced dead. It also does not present background or context for the dispute. No other instances of staged Palestinian fauxtography are brought to bear e.g. the Palestinian lawmakers forced to work by candlelight-while it was still daylight; the same woman or the same man telling the same (false) story in Lebanon or Ramallah or Gaza to the same grateful and gullible western media.

There are no stories (at least, not yet), in which the mainstream Western media admit that in the past, they have allowed themselves to be fooled, over and over again, by the narrative of Palestinian Victimhood and Israeli Evil because it suited them-the facts be damned.

Please let me know what the media in your state is saying-or not saying. I hope that MEMRI is checking the Arab language media to see what they print, if anything.

Dr. Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. She is an author and lecturer and s co-founder of the still ongoing Association for Women in Psychology (1969). Visit her website at http://pajamasmedia.com/xpress/phyllischesler/

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Posted by Simon McIlwaine, May 22, 2008.

This is from the Solomonia website:

The IDF downs a bomber at a checkpoint: IDF kills terrorist at West Bank checkpoint

A 20-year-old Palestinian carrying four pipe bombs was shot dead Monday evening at an IDF checkpoint located south of Nablus in the West Bank.

At around 7 pm soldiers manning the Hawara checkpoint spotted the Palestinian as he was making his way toward them in a suspicious manner with wires protruding from underneath his clothes.

Corporal Michal Ya'akov of the military police recounted the incident: "A young Palestinian who seemed confused arrived at the checkpoint. When he reached the turnstile I stopped him and asked that he pass through the metal detector. The apparatus beeped when he went through. I asked him what it was that he had on his body."

According to Ya'akov, the Palestinian responded by saying 'nothing' in Arabic while lifting his shirt and exposing the pipe bombs, which were strapped to the right part of his body.

"I identified the explosive devices and yelled 'explosives in the checkpoint' and cocked my rifle. Everyone (soldiers) aimed at Palestinian's head and neck so as not to set off the explosive device," she said...

Results were predictable. Yet here's how the other side reports the same incident: Israeli soldiers shoot dead young Palestinian at Huwwara checkpoint

...Israeli military sources said the young man refused to comply with soldiers who ordered him to stop and raise his hands. They then opened fire on him, thinking he was wearing an explosive belt.

Eyewitnesses told Ma'an's Nablus correspondent that Israeli soldiers manning the checkpoint fired a volley of six shots at the young man, who appeared to be around 16 years of age, hitting him several times in the back.

They then completely closed the checkpoint preventing anyone from passing through.

According to the eyewitnesses, the Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint had asked the young man to lift up his shirt and when he refused they immediately opened fire on him.

Divergent portrayals of reality make peacemaking not only difficult but a waste of time.

Simon McIlwaine is with Anglican Friends of Israel
(www.anglicanfriendsofisrael.com). Contact him at Simon.McIlwaine@ormerods.co.uk

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 22, 2008.

Genuine peace here, that is. Or even the hint of such a genuine peace. The stage is not properly set. What we have are actors making a pretense of seeking it.

We can look northward first with regard to this. In the 24 plus hours since the big announcement was made regarding peace negotiations with Syria, I've only become more convinced that the government isn't serious, but is playing a game.

Take Livni's comment to the press yesterday: "Israel's primary goal has always been peace with its neighbors. The Syrians have to understand that entails giving up their support of terror, of Hamas, Iran and Hezbollah."

Those are the stipulations that I alluded to yesterday. But you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know Syria is not about to surrender all these things now. And so, if you were serious about peace, you would not announce negotiations now.

But if what you were interested in was simply being engaged in a peace process, that is something else all together.


This is precisely what Barry Rubin said, in a TV interview. He believes that the process serves both sides, but that both sides know a real peace will not come from this.

Says Rubin, with all of the ways that Olmert is served by engaging in the process now, the key one is a message that says: "You have to keep me in office, because of what I'm dealing with."

Aaron Lerner refers to this as the "etrog effect" –– the tender handling that a political leader suspected of wrong-doing may be given by left wing press and law enforcement officials if that leader is involved in an ostensible peace process that is pleasing to them.


A host of politicians –– except for those on the left –– responded to Olmert's announcement with precisely the same suspicions. From the Likud faction came a statement that Olmert was carrying out "a cynical and transparent stunt in order to deflect attention from his personal problems."

Gideon Saar, faction head, observed that Olmert "has no moral and public mandate to hand over the Golan and bring the Syrians back to the Sea of Galilee."

MK Zevulun Orlev (NU/NRP) charged that "without a doubt," negotiations with Syria "are causing Israel grave damage, because in order to save his skin [Olmert] is prepared to make far-reaching diplomatic concessions."

And yet, Olmert has the unmitigated gall to declare that the negotiations are a "national obligation" and that the contacts with Syria represent "an historic breakthrough." He actually says all of this with a straight face.


As expected, the response across the nation with regard to surrendering the Golan has been negative. Some 70% of our population is opposed.

The mayors and regional heads in the Golan held an emergency meeting to decide how to deal with this.

And there is action taking place in the Knesset to spur legislation previously in process that would require 80 votes (out of 120) before the Golan could be given to Syria in any peace deal. MK Eliahu Gabbay (NU/NRP) has announced that he has already secured 57 votes out of 61 necessary.


We all need to laugh when we can, in the face of all that's going on, in order to stay sane and balanced. And so, I off the following from the Post, without comment:

"Kadima officials celebrated the fact that the opening of diplomatic negotiations with Syria dwarfed the news coverage about Prime Minister Ehud Olmert allegedly receiving massive sums of money for his private use from American Jewish financier Morris Talansky on Wednesday's nightly news broadcasts.

"They denied charges from opposition MKs that the decision to reveal the negotiations on Wednesday had been made to distract the public from the corruption case against Olmert on the night that the gag order preventing the publication of the most damning information was lifted."


Now, as to that other "'peace process" with the Palestinians, allow me to offer two news items:

Mahmoud Abbas opened an economic conference in Bethlehem yesterday by saying, "East Jerusalem is ours and it's an occupied territory. It must be returned."

This is a fairly typical indication of the rigidity of the PA position. Note that he doesn't even speak of sharing the eastern part of Jerusalem with Israel. What he advocates is total PA control both of the Kotel and Har Habayit (the Temple Mount). In his dreams...


Totally aside the intransigency of his statement is the fact that it is in error historically. No part of Jerusalem EVER was in the possession of the Palestinians. One does get weary of the lie repeated so often that it is widely believed. After Britain relinquished the Mandate for Palestine, and Israel declared independence, the Arab states promptly responded by declaring war on Israel. By the end of the war, Jordan had captured the eastern part of Jerusalem. It remained in Jordanian hands until the war in '67, at which time Israel took it, subsequently declaring it to be, according to Israeli Basic Law, part of the unified capital of Israel. It is not "occupied," and, as it never belonged to the Palestinians, cannot be "returned" to them.


Just one day before this happened, Abbas had dedicated a statue of a "Return Key," the largest key in the world, in the refugee camp of Aida, near Bethlehem. He declared that it was "the symbol of our return, our hopes and our dreams. This key will remain alive until we return home, God willing, nothing will hinder us and we will not abandon our dream."

According to the PA news agency WAFA, "[the] President made it clear that we are determined in every word and phrase on the right of refugees to return which is a sacred right, and never be delayed or postponed."


Before we move on to other situations, a look at an analysis from the Institute of National Security Studies of what may or may not have been agreed upon so far in our negotiations with the Palestinians.

In a nutshell: There is an attempt to deal with borders first, as this is seen as least problematic. The idea is that if borders are agreed upon then it will be known which settlements will have to be dismantled and that process can be begun.

But the PA wants us to retain only some 3.5% of Judea and Samaria, with other lands given to them to compensate, while Olmert and Livni are talking about retaining 8-10%. No deal even here yet, never mind on refugees or Jerusalem.

What is most significant to me in this report is the suggestion that if he is given the gift of an agreement this will "make it easier for Bush to take a harsher stance with regard to Iran before the end of his term, perhaps even including a show of force." It's not the first time I've encountered a link.

This analysis states that "the weakness of the agreement lies in its being a 'shelf' agreement." We would, in essence, be signing on in principle to certain parameters when we don't know what the situation on the ground might be at time of implementation.

One of many weakness, to say the least.


Let us look then at the situation to our west. Hamas has not quite declared negotiations on the ceasefire to be a failure, because Egypt is still pushing, but they're close. They see Israeli terms as completely unacceptable. Terms such as insisting that the blockade will not be lifted until the ceasefire has been put into effect and it is clear that all factions are cooperating. I love this statement from a Hamas official:

"Israel wants a free truce. They don't want to offer anything in return. They want an end to the rocket attacks in return for an end to their aggression."

So be it.


Going full circle in our analysis, I want to return to the Barry Rubin interview. What Assad wants most, he suggests, is Lebanon, not the Golan. For him the process of negotiating peace with us would take some of the heat off of him with regard to Lebanon, and Syrian involvement there.

Rubin made it very clear that in his opinion the big news is what's happening in Lebanon, which will have repercussion long after the issue of peace negotiations between Israel and Syria has disappeared.

The Arab-mediated settlement made in Lebanon with regard to power and control was a victory for Hezbollah (and thus for Syria and Iran). The US, foolishly pre-occupied with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, failed to support the government of Lebanon. The embattled Lebanese prime minister, Fuad Saniora, seeing his government had little choice, caved to Hezbollah.

The arrangements that were made give Hezbollah veto power over any government decision. (There is even concern now that Hezbollah could veto renewal of the UNIFIL mandate.)

And what did Condoleezza Rice say about this? "We view this agreement as a positive step toward resolving the current crisis."

She ought to hang her head in shame.


The US, while giving tacit approval, is very lukewarm about our prospective negotiations with Syria. They're not eager to have us take the heat off of Assad.


Olmert has approved construction of 286 new housing units in Betar Illit, a haredi community. This is a move, hardly the first, to keep Shas in the coalition. And it works every time. Faction head Eli Yishai has declared that as soon as anything he disapproves of with regard to talks with Syria happens (i.e., we give them the Golan), they'll leave. But so far nothing is happening, so they can stay.

This is his refrain, and he, too, should hang his head in shame. If he had a smidgen of integrity he would declare the obvious –– that the announcement to negotiate with Syria presupposes surrender of the Golan –– and then leave to preclude it from happening.


I end with this shocking report on the alleged training of PA security forces in Jordan. Steven Smith, writing in the International Herald Tribune, has shared the story of the failure of that training. He begins his article:

"The first graduates of General Keith Dayton's Palestinian police-training program will soon hit the hard streets of the West Bank. Unfortunately, they will do so without the firearms, radios and first-aid equipment that they have been promised after graduating from a training program so fraught with problems that it can hardly be called a training program at all.

"I was part of that program and watched as nearly a thousand young officers were being put through the motions of an effort that was dominated more by political pressure than by the need to produce well-trained graduates."

I ask that each of you read this in its entirety and share it with others.

Then I ask that you, and everyone else in the US you will share this with, do something else. Contact your senators and congresspersons and share the link with them. Tell them briefly what it describes. Ask them what the hell is going on. Demand that they do an inquiry into this situation. Stir things up. Even those in favor of training PA forces would want to know that genuine training is being done.

You can find contact information for senators and congresspersons at: http://www.israelunitycoalition.org/media/contacts_congress.php

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

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, May 22, 2008.

The DEBKAfile report entitled: "Israel's Missed Boat In Lebanon" is a critical insight into a vital missed opportunity by the Olmert government. That's to be expected, given that their Kadima Party is undoubtedly the worst, weakest, most indecisive, corrupt government that Israel ever had.

But, in fairness to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, we must recall that it was the U.S. government under President George W. Bush and his U.S. State Department run by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who chose to use and support Olmert like dog on a short leash.

Recall that in prior years a continual parade of Leftist Prime Ministers, similarly on short leashes to the Arabist U.S. State Department, Israel's IDF (Israel Defense Force) was once eminently capable and feared by her adversaries. But, the U.S. foreign policy, run by the State Department, was to appease the Arab and Muslim nations by restraining and dumbing down the Israeli forces.

First, they had to recruit Leftist leaders who would accept U.S. orders to restrain the IDF from boldly striking down Muslim Arab Palestinian Terrorists while they were attacking Israeli civilians or pre-emptively when their Intel found the Terrorists preparing their attacks.

Slowly, the efficiency of the IDF was eroded. Less training; a too slow response by the civilian leaders to Terror attacks; those leaders ordering the removal of patrols and checkpoints; a biased judiciary who sided with the Arab Muslims and –– slowly the citizens and our Army became accustomed to being harassed like the Hebrew slaves in Egypt.

The Israeli Leftist Doctrine of using PC (Politically Correct) officers raised in an "incubator", designed to develop future Politically Loyal politicians resulted in such leaders with immature, and faulty judgement –– such leaders as Ehud Barak and Yitzhak Rabin.

Rabin was always a lost cause and did pretty much what was expected of him by a string of U.S. Presidents who were linked to the Saudis oil tit and a U.S. State Department who favored the many Arab and Muslim countries over the Jewish one country –– which they sincerely wanted gone.

While Olmert was quickly identified as a sniveling, nail-biting, obedient Quisling, to be easily controlled, the betrayal by Ariel Sharon still shocks the nation and those who believed Sharon was the builder of the country and defender of the pioneering settlers. Arik told them to claim every hilltop!

The Washington Arabist bureaucrats in "Foggy Bottom" but also in or out of current government positions, were instrumental in weakening the Israeli officer corps and partially responsible for degrading the "Esprit d'Corps" for which they were famous.

When Olmert, Livni and Barak bumbled their way through the first Hezb'Allah Lebanon War in July 16 to August 18, 2006. By ordering confused restraint on orders from Condoleezza Rice, the collapse of the IDF against a minor Terrorist enemy was complete. What the U.S. demanded of Israel degraded a great military force. As has been said many times, by emasculating the IDF through its pacifistic leaders, the Israeli forces were not there in training or in spirit when America asked them and needed them to attack Hezb'Allah again –– to save Lebanon itself.

No, Sharon and Olmert used the IDF for evacuating pioneering settlers from 21 Jewish communities in Gush Katif/Gaza and 4 Northern Samarian communities, evicting more than 10,000 Jewish men, women and children from their flourishing homes, farms, businesses, factories, schools, synagogues and cemeteries.

So, the IDF was used to brutally uproot Jews, NOT to prepare for the real wars which face it continually from hostile Muslim and Arab neighboring states and from hostile internal "Fifth Column" Arab Muslims who vow to destroy the Jews and wipe the Jewish State off the face of the map.

Now, thanks to their poor training courtesy of Olmert and the U.S. State Department orders, the IDF is NOT prepared to defend Northern Israel –– let alone Lebanon –– from the stockpiled Katyusha Missiles Hezb'Allah supplied from Iran and Syria.

The IDF has NOT been allowed to destroy the active threat of Hamas from the Gaza that has become a Global Terror Base –– as we and many other writers forecast. Hamas has smuggled in an untold numbers of Rockets –– even Grad missiles from Iran –– that can reach as far into Israel as Ashkelon.

But, instead of abandoning Olmert, Livni and Barak, President Bush and Sec. C. Rice continued to support the Kadima gang, delighted that Olmert was complying with the State Department wishes to appease the Muslim Arab Palestinians –– and by extension the oil rich Arab countries.

When the U.S. wanted Israel to strike Hezb'Allah in a bold, decisive manner to save the Lebanese Government, Olmert, Livni and Barak only did what the U.S. State Department had trained them to do. They cowered and refused to take the field when Hezb'Allah might have been defeated as it left its dug-in positions in South Lebanon to attack the capital of Lebanon –– Beirut.

Why should Bush and Rice rage against Israel and her currently weak leaders, given that they were only doing what the U.S. trained them to do?

What was needed was an Arik Sharon as he was in his time of power and charisma. When he did not take orders from incompetent leaders and when he pushed ahead to win the fights Israel was forced into.

Then Sharon became a politician and he was put on a short leash. He too betrayed his people, first in evacuating Yamit, then Gush Katif/Gaza –– with plans to make Judea and Samaria his next evacuation –– like Gush Katif.

His good friends who loved and respected him when he was the defender of Jews, say Sharon is in a vegetative state because the ground of Israel would spit him out if he died and had to be buried in it....because he was a betrayer of the People and the Land. He, too, became the Bush, Rice, Baker plaything –– which spawned the Olmert creature.

President Bush, if you want Israel to once again become a land-based aircraft carrier that America can rely upon, then GET OFF THEIR BACKS!! Cage Rice and send Baker back to the Rice Institute spy school in Texas.

Israel needs an immediate new leader who could be Bibi Netanyahu. But, of course, he too might be easily harnessed –– like you did to Sharon and Olmert. But, then you would still have a weak Israeli military if you played with his mind as was done with Rabin, Barak, Sharon and Olmert.

If you want a fighting Israeli team with the old spirit, TAKE OFF THE LEASH!! Let Israel be the strong Lion of Judah she can be!

Hit Iran while you still can.

Don't use Israel as your bait so it would justify a strike after Israel was devastated by a saturation missile attack.

Stop listening to Rice, Baker and the other pacifists mostly inhabiting the bureaucracies of State, Defense, the Intel Agencies, etc.

With a series of real dangerous wars coming up, you don't want the likes of Olmert and his failing regime, ready to retreat, leaving the field of battle to the Terrorist Regimes.

Start to think about the U.S. State Department Doctrine of deliberately weakening Israel's Defense Force and appeasing Arab Muslims who can never be appeased.

From the DEBKAfile:

Hizballah special forces in Beirut

Sunday night, May 11, the Israeli army was poised to strike Hizballah. The Shiite militia was winding up its takeover of West Beirut and battling pro-government forces in the North. When he opened the regular cabinet meeting Sunday, May 11, prime minister Ehud Olmert had already received the go-ahead from Washington for a military strike to halt the Hizballah advance. The message said that President George W. Bush would not call off his visit to Israel to attend its 60th anniversary celebrations and would arrive as planned Wednesday, May 14 –– even if the Israeli army was still fighting in Lebanon and Hizballah struck back against Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion airport.

American intelligence estimated that Hizballah was capable of retaliating against northern Israel at the rate of 600 missiles a day.

Olmert, defense minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Tzipi Lvini, the only ministers in the picture, decided not to intervene in Lebanon's civil conflict. Iran's surrogate army consequently waltzed unchecked to its second victory in two years over the United States and Israel.

DEBKAfile's US and military sources disclose the arguments Washington marshaled to persuade Israel to go ahead: Hizballah, after its electronic trackers had learned from the Israel army's communication and telephone networks that not a single troop or tank was on the move, took the calculated risk of transferring more than 5,000 armed men from the South to secure the capture of West Beirut.

This presented a rare moment to take Hizballah by surprise, Washington maintained. The plan outlined in Washington was for the Israeli Air force to bombard Hizballah's positions in the South, the West and southern Beirut. This would give the pro-government Christian, Sunni and Druze forces the opening for a counter-attack. Israeli tanks would simultaneously drive into the South and head towards Beirut in two columns.

1. The western column would take the Tyre-Sidon-Damour-Beirut coastal highway.
2. The eastern column would press north through Nabatiya, Jezzine, Ain Zchalta and Alei.

Sunday night, Olmert called Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora and his allies, the Sunni majority leader Saad Hariri, head of the mainline Druze party Walid Jumblatt and Christian Phalanges chief Samir Geagea and informed them there would be no Israeli strike against Hizballah. Jerusalem would not come to their aid.

According to American sources, the pro-Western front in Beirut collapsed then and there, leaving Hizballah a free path to victory. The recriminations from Washington sharpened day by day and peaked with President Bush's arrival in Israel.

Our sources report that, behind the protestations of undying American friendship and camaraderie shown in public by the US president, prime minister and Shimon Peres, Bush and his senior aides bitterly reprimanded Israel for its passivity in [NOT] taking up the military challenge and crushing an avowed enemy in Lebanon.

While the president was busy with ceremonies and speeches, secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and national security adviser Stephen Hadley took Israeli officials to task. Hadley in particular bluntly blamed Israel for the downfall of the pro-Western government bloc in Beirut and its surrender to the pro-Iranian, Pro-Syrian Hizballah. If Israeli forces had struck Hizballah gunmen while on the move, he said, Hassan Nasrallah would not have seized Beirut and brought the pro-government militias to their knees.

One US official said straight out to Olmert and Barak: For two years, you didn't raise a finger when Hizballah took delivery of quantities of weapons, including missiles, from Iran and Syria. You did not interfere with Hizballah's military buildup in southern Lebanon then or its capture of Beirut now.

IDF generals who were present at these conversations reported they have never seen American officials so angry or outspoken. Israel's original blunder, they said, was its intelligence misreading of Hizballah's first belligerent moves on May 4. At that point, Israel's government military heads decided not to interfere, after judging those moves to be unthreatening.

The Americans similarly criticizes Israel for letting Hamas get away with its daily rocket and missile attacks on Israel civilians year after year. A blow to Hizballah would have deterred Hamas from exercising blackmail tactics for a ceasefire. In Sharm el-Sheikh Sunday, May 18, President Bush called on Middle East countries to confront Hamas and isolate terror-sponsors Iran and Syria.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 22, 2008.


Adalah, an Israel Arab NGO that claims to support civil rights for Arabs, receives a subsidy from the New Israel Fund. Adalah calls the 10,000 security prisoners of Israel "political prisoners." Is terrorists' attempt to murder Jews an expression of political views. Adalah further accuses Israel of segregation, in separating out the security prisoners from the other prisoners. It calls this racism (IMRA, 4/17).

If Israel didn't separate the terrorist prisoners from Jewish prisoners, the terrorists would be able to do in jail what they had attempted to do outside –– kill Jews. According to Adalah, protecting likely Jewish victims is racism, but seeking out Jews to attack is not.

See how donations to the New Israel Fund are employed? The Fund's tax deductible status should be repealed and the Fund should be banned for being somewhat of a terrorist front.


The current head of Israeli military intelligence declared these the main threats to Israel: Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.

The general admitted that the key terms of the UNO ceasefire have not been kept. UNIFIL troops are in place, but have not kept Hizbullah from rearming, from re-fortifying the border, and from a significant presence along the border, even if not, in daytime, in uniform. Hizbullah has been getting rockets that, unlike those that couldn't fly far, now can reach almost all of Israel. Hizbullah is stronger than before, but so is Israel. Hizbullah's strength grew exponentially right after Israel's unilateral withdrawal from the southern Lebanese security zone. (Ah, the folly of repeated withdrawal!)

For those who suppose that Iranian nuclear weapons would pose a threat only to Israel, the general points out that Iran is developing missiles that could carry the bombs to Europe and America.

Being a Sunni and (relatively) secular state, Syria doesn't belong in the evil axis, but is dependent upon Iran, now. Abbas and Syria might make a peace agreement with Israel, but there is no indication that they would implement their side of it (IMRA, 5/17). Yes, they'd get the land and then be in a stronger position to attack Israel. Giving up land doesn't beget peace.

What good is it to consider those specific threats, without considering that in a war, Egypt, S. Arabia, and possibly Jordan may weigh in against Israel, and with US weapons that are the equal or superior of what Israel has?


The US has demanded that foreign banks stop doing business with Iran. Some German banks gradually have complied. Iran threatened not to let them return to business there, in future (IMRA, 8/24).

It would be better if the West acted in concert and promptly, not giving the enemy time to adapt to straitened circumstances. This is more exhortation than expectation.


Piracy is increasing in the waters off Somalia, near S. Arabia. It threatens Saudi shipping. Therefore, Arab News is upset with Denmark. Denmark not only paid pirates ransom for the release of a seized Danish crew, it publicly announced the payment. Denmark broke with the international "convention" (I think it means custom) of not publicly announcing payment of ransom. Informed what they can get from Danish ships, Pirates are likely to ply those waters more (IMRA, 8/24).

What do the maritime powers intend to do about piracy? Are the pirates based where they can be located easily and attacked?


A Christian clergyman urged his fellow worshippers to use the term, "Allah," for God. He meant to promote harmony with Muslims. Instead, he stirred controversy all around. Some of the reaction was severe.

Prof. Steven Plaut advised being less politically correct and more relaxed about this. He cited some Jewish authorities and Jews from some Mideastern countries who already used that recommended term. Linguistically it is close to a Hebrew one. It doesn't matter which word people use for the same God.

I posited two other considerations, with which Prof. Plaut concurs. One is that the Christian clergyman's suggestion to switch to "Allah" may be part of the creeping, one-way Western accommodation to Islam, in an effort to gain Muslim good will. In this futile effort, more and more Westerners become like dhimmis.

Second, although the three Abrahamic faiths are monotheistic, they define the supreme creator and his requirements of humans differently. The differences are more significant to humankind than the similarities –– they can cost you your life. Islam, alone of the three faiths, holds that God wants them to impose their rules on others, by force, if necessary. In contending that they worship and obey the same God, Westerners may reduce their guard against jihad.


Now that Israeli police have finished their work, the gag order is lifted and the charges against Arab MK Bishara are revealed. Hizbullah paid him several hundred thousand dollars last summer, for intelligence of use in its war on Israel. The Jerusalem Post further describes this intelligence as helping Hizbullah select targets in Israel. Other, unnamed countries' intelligence services were in touch with him, too.

MK Bishara also is suspected of stealing millions from Arab aid organizations, and laundering the funds through money changers in Jerusalem. One of the money changers agreed to testify.

Bishara heads an anti-Israeli, Stalinist party. Nevertheless, Israel's leftists demanded that he be allowed to participate in the Knesset intelligence committee. How that would have facilitated his espionage!

The anti-Israel Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem named him to its board. The anti-Zionist New Israel Fund tried to get him to be Israel's official representative to a Smithsonian fete for Israel. After the charges were aired, "An ad was run in Haaretz this week declaring 'Azmi Bishara you are our Brother,' and signed by a handful of Israeli anti-Israel leftists and communist moonbats, including Anat Biletzki, professor of philosophy at Tel Aviv University." Holocaust-denier, Prof. Neve Gordon, supports the accused traitor, too (Prof. Steven Plaut, 5/2).

The combination of Holocaust-denying and anti-Zionist totalitarianism by Prof. Gordon is no coincidence. How shameful of those fellow Jews of mine!

I meant to send this out a couple of months ago. Bishara was not indicted yet!


Patriarch Shinoda III thought that the Vatican should not have apologized to contemporary Jews for the accusation that their forebears killed Jesus. He said the apology contradicts the Christian Testament.

Pope Shinoda also said he is keeping tens of thousands of Copts from visiting Jerusalem, lest they be influenced by the Israeli media and their tourism assist Israel's economy and public relations (IMRA, 5/2 from MEMRI).

He makes it difficult to sympathize with the Copts, oppressed by the Muslims.

He needn't worry much about the Israeli media. Being mostly leftist (and in Hebrew), it is anti-Israel.


Israel and the US exemplify the need to separate politics from religion.

In the US, leftist secularists have turned many State educational systems against Christianity, in the name of separation of Church from State, but give Islam special study and understanding.

What should Americans do about their failing schools? First ask why they are failing. Society is too consumer-oriented; America rests on its laurels; the Left has theories about leveling downwards and methods that don't instruct; the curriculum is dumbed down for political correctness; discipline is lax; parents do not prepare their children for education; political correctness obstructs analysis. Teachers and unions are blamed for the whole mess. States are urged to throw good money after bad, though they already outspend successful schools.

Meanwhile, Catholic schools do well with black and Hispanic children. Should they get government funding to expand? Or should politicians become realistic about what holds the public school system? If Catholic schools were subsidized, why not anti-social Muslim schools and cults?

The government of Israel subsidizes religions [but doesn't recognize Reform and Conservative sects]. It lets Islam and Christianity practice freely, but restricts Jewish worship on the Temple Mount and lets the Waqf destroy ancient Jewish artifacts. Why? Fear of Muslim riots and government antipathy to Judaism.

History is taught in Israel with a bias against Zionism and Judaism. Again, leftist influence at work. Especially during Rabin's tenure, the government played dirty tricks against the Orthodox, so as to weaken its appeal for retention of the Territories. Politics against religion.

In Israel, lobbying gets subsidy more than in the US. The Orthodox set up political parties for the purpose. Those parties became thoroughly corrupted. The Shas Party shores up regimes that are anti-religious and that betray national security, so long as those subsidies keep coming in. The country is collapsing, militarily, but Shas keeps Olmert's coalition going. Periodically it threatens to resign if Olmert gives up Jerusalem, while he plots to give that up and more. They did not quit when the Jews were ousted from northern Samaria and Gaza.


The extremist assassinates an infidel and then the moderate dances in the street. This is said tongue-in-cheek. Whether there is a significant number of moderates in a fundamentally intolerant and imperialistic religion, I can't tell.

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

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Posted by Naomi Ragen, May 22, 2008.


This was written by Anne Bayefsky, qho has been covering the U.N. and world politics for years. There is no one whose opinion I respect more. She is senior fellow at the Hudson Institute (http://www.hudson.org/). She also serves as the director of the Touro Institute for Human Rights and the Holocaust (http://tourolaw.edu/academic_programs/institutes/IHRH) and as the editor of EYEontheUN.org (http://www.eyeontheun.org/).


'It's terrorism, stupid." Nothing short of blunt talk will do in light of Sen. Barack Obama's comments this past week on Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah. They are the most significant indication to date of the looming catastrophe for American national security posed by an Obama presidency.

Here is Obama in his own words, speaking in Pendleton, Oregon on Sunday night: "Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. In Iran they spend 1/100th of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance."

How does one begin a course for a presidential candidate in Terrorism 101? Where has Obama been for the past three decades during which the greatest threats to peace and security have moved beyond the sphere of state actors operating alone? After 9/11, why doesn't Obama recognize the capacity of relatively small entities to wreak havoc, at comparatively little cost, on a nation as large and strong as America?

Despite Obama's claim to be a foreign-policy realist, his fancy foreign-policy footwork contains as much realpolitik as a dancing sugar-plum fairy. Obama is keen to explain his hankering for an early heart-to-heart with Iranian President Ahmadinejad –– with whom he would "be willing to meet separately, without precondition during the first year of [his] administration" or his desire to engage in "direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions." His strategy so far has been to deny the undeniable transaction costs of an unconditioned presidential get-together: the undeserved legitimacy conferred on a would-be mass murderer, the time lost while a nuclear-weapons program continues in full swing, and the betrayal of brave local dissenters.

"Tiny" and not "serious" move us another step closer to the edge. The unfortunate reality is that Iran not only poses a serious threat already, but it does stand a chance of carrying out its dire program. Ahmadinejad, in addition to his professed affinity for genocide, is funding terrorist proxies in Lebanon and Gaza who believe they have started the job and are committed to finishing it. The message Obama sends in denying that Iran has "tried to pose a serious threat to us" is that a grave threat to the peace and security of Israel is not a threat to the peace and security of the United States. Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, of "Israel Lobby" fame, would be proud. But even the anti-nuclear-anything activists in the Democratic party should begin to worry about a president who thinks the consequences of an Iranian nuclear strike on Israel can be confined to the locals.

Official U.S. policy holds Iran to be a state sponsor of terrorism, along with Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Not only has Iran tried, and is trying, to pose a serious threat to us, in some ways it is a greater threat than that posed by the Soviet Union. The terrorist organizations or non-state actors whom these rogue states sponsor are not subject to the same economic and political pressures that could be brought to bear on the Soviet Union. Madmen and religious fanatics driven by a belief in the imminent reappearance of the 12th Imam following worldwide chaos, or visions of virgins in post-suicidal heaven, or who just hate us more than they love their children, are not susceptible to the rational calculus of Mikhail Gorbachev.

But according to his recently reported conversation with New York Times columnist David Brooks, Obama believes the problem with Hamas and Hezbollah is that the poor things don't "understand that they're going down a blind alley with violence that weakens their legitimate claims." We need to hear more about where in the governing Hamas Charter (with its overt anti-Semitism and manifest dedication to the destruction of Israel), and Hezbollah's takeover plans for Lebanon, Obama finds legitimate claims. And the solution according to Obama? "The U.S. needs a foreign policy that looks at root causes of problems and dangers."

Hezbollah Leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah couldn't have said it better himself. Oh, wait: He has said it himself. Remember Iranian proxy Nasrallah in Beirut on September 30, 2006, just after he sent 4,000 rockets into Israel: "This experience of the resistance, which must be transferred to the world, relies on faith, conviction, trust, and the moral and spiritual willingness to give sacrifices. Also, it depends on the thinking, planning, organizing, training and armament, and as is said: dealing with the root causes." Surely, Obama ought to know that invoking the language of "root causes" to illuminate the behavior of Hamas and Hezbollah plays into the nefarious strategy of these terrorist organizations and their sympathizers.

How about the tiny factor? On the one hand, we could all hum tip-toeing through the tulips along with Obama and Tiny Tim. On the other hand, we might cast our minds back to "tiny" anthrax envelopes or think about "tiny" suitcase bombs or "tiny" nanotechnology innovations in chemical and biological weapons. I also wonder how all those developing countries, allegedly ready to embrace us once again with a President Obama, will enjoy the big boy's view of their tiny status.

Coming from a man who aspires to bear the single greatest responsibility for the peace and security of the free world, the resemblance to "peace for our time" is the least of Obama's problems. The real problem is a book with a name like "Terrorism for Dummies" would have to become bedside reading at the White House.

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 Moshe Feiglin, May 22, 2008.

Now that Olmert's doctors have not significantly stalled the police investigation into his highly-suspect activities, we must brace ourselves for the prime minister's next delay gimmick.

What will it be this time? Destroying some settlements? A peace treaty with Hamas? Surrendering the Golan? Olmert has been trying all of that for a long time –– thank G-d without much success. It is not so simple to move ahead with peace agreements anymore. The Israeli public has become highly suspicious of "peace" treaties that bring its cities closer and closer to missile range.

No, Olmert likely has a different plan up his sleeve –– no less dangerous. If he gets desperate to diffuse the pressure seething around his corruption cases he will simply send the army into Gaza.

Olmert and his ministers have been talking for as long as we can remember about the army incursion that is getting ever closer, about the sand in the hour glass that is almost spent and all the other empty words. Everybody understands that Israel does not have a real military option in Gaza for a very simple reason. We were already there and we ran away. In other words, if Israel does not intend to encourage the Arabs to emigrate from Gaza, to annex the Gaza Strip to sovereign Israel, to build 100 Gush Katifs there and to destroy all those who try to fight against us –– then there is no reason for us to enter Gaza. Israel's current Oslo mentality will not allow it to follow the above route. So until there is belief based leadership in Israel, it does not have a military option to solve the Gaza problem.

If the problem isn't Gaza, though, but rather the investigations against Olmert, then a military incursion into Gaza becomes a very logical option.

Please take note, dear readers, that there is a very good chance that your sons will be sent to be killed capturing Gaza just to ease up the pressure on the prime minister. After some time goes by, the IDF will retreat from Gaza once more. The missiles will return to Ashkelon, nobody will remember Talansky and nobody will remember our sons who paid with their lives to save Olmert.

Shabbat Shalom,
Moshe Feiglin

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

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 21, 2008.

Three countries –– Israel, Syria and Turkey –– released the announcement at the same time:

Israel and Syria have begun peace negotiations, mediated by Turkey:

"The two sides have declared their intention to hold the negotiations in good faith and openly, and hold a serious and continuous dialogue in order to reach a comprehensive peace deal in accordance with the framework set at the (1991) Madrid Conference."

The talks (which are not face-to-face) apparently began Monday.

Following this announcement, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said that Israel had agreed to fully concede the Golan Heights.

Sources from Olmert's office responded to this: "The negotiations are being held on the basis of the Madrid Conference principles. We do not recall an Israeli commitment at the conference to fully cede the Golan Heights."


The Madrid Conference of 1991: Hosted by Spain and co-sponsored by the US and the USSR after the Gulf War (which was the impetus). After three days of meetings, there were two sorts of negotiations planned. One was a multilateral track in which nations of the Middle East were supposed to discuss issues such as economic development and water. The other was bi-lateral talks between Israel and Syria, Israel and Lebanon, Israel and Jordan, and Israel and the Palestinians.

In subsequent years meetings at the ambassadorial level took place between Israel and Syria in Washington DC. Within the Madrid framework, there was Israeli acknowledgement of a willingness to do some withdrawal from the Golan, but the depth of that withdrawal was not spelled out.

Additionally the Israelis had stipulations regarding the need for full normalization of relations (establishment of embassies and open borders) for a protracted period of time before the agreed upon withdrawal would take place in stages. (The authoritarian Syrian regime –– whether under the father, Hafetz Assad, in 1991 or the son, Bashar Assad, now –– has shown itself to be vastly resistant to openness and full normalization.)

Then too, there was an Israeli stipulation about security arrangements.


Ultimately, all of the various negotiations –– the last upgraded round in January 1999 with US President Clinton, Israeli PM Barak and Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk a-Shara –– came to naught.


Only recently government officials were saying that Syrian would have to throw out the terrorist groups such as Hamas from Damascus, stop assisting Hezbollah in Lebanon, and break with Iran before we'd negotiate with them.

Not only is there not a snowball's chance in hell of all of this happening, we now know that Syria was building an atomic reactor with N. Korean assistance.

So what is going on and what is one to make of this?


The first thing this suggests is that negotiations with the Palestinians are not going well. Olmert is looking for a "success" somewhere, and if one track slows the pattern is to turn to another.

There have been feelers and off-again on-again announcement for some time, but now it is being made public.

If there is a reason to be just a bit alarmed, it has to do with whom Olmert sent to do the negotiating in Turkey: Yoram Turbowitz, Olmert's chief of staff, and Shalom Turgeman, a foreign policy advisor to Olmert. Two men whom I understand to be far left and willing to cross red lines.


But there are many reasons to not be alarmed.

An announcement from the Prime Minister's office says that the return of Turbowitz and Turgeman from Ankara is awaited in order "to learn of the achievements in the attempt to launch a communication channel with the Syrians mediated by Turkey."

"An attempt to launch a communication channel" does not exactly represent a done deal. This is, one might guess, largely in the nature of a trial balloon.


While we will have to await responses, my best guess is that this will not be received well. The nation is not in favor of surrendering the Golan.

Not only are we speaking of a much loved and beautiful region of the nation, there are tremendous implications with regard to security because of the heights and –– perhaps even more importantly –– water. Significant headwaters for the Jordan originate in the Golan, and whatever deal might be struck, turning those headwaters over to Syria is asking for trouble.

The Golan, in contrast to Judea and Samaria, is considered part of Israel proper today, and is governed under Israeli civil law.

The Golan is defined within Jewish law as being part of the Land of Israel, so that laws such as shmita that apply in the land apply there. It was originally part of the Mandate for Palestine (which meant intended for the Jewish homeland) but Britain traded the area to France. It has been under Israeli control now longer than it was ever under Syrian control.


It is understood that we would need to surrender all of the Golan for a peace treaty with Syria: this is Syria's upfront bottom line. The only thing that might be negotiated is a small area at the foot of the heights that would determine whether Syria came all of the down to the shore of the Kinneret.

I thus see as disingenuous the statement from the prime minister's office that negotiations are being done ('would be done'?) under the terms of the Madrid conference, which doesn't require full surrender of the Golan.

This is accurate, in so far as it goes: Madrid understandings did not call for this. But as negotiations progressed over the years, the direction in which they went was towards full surrender. What is troublesome is that each time after negotiations were broken off, when they were renewed again, they picked up from where they were left off. This, clearly, is what the Syrians expect now.

And so Olmert and company must be asked if they are being less than forthcoming, and if an understanding regarding full surrender has been made behind closed doors that we're not being told about. There is very good reason to think this is the case, because Syria would not be interested otherwise.

If the prime minister is not committed to relinquishing all of the Golan under the right circumstances, it suggests posturing that is not serious –– a bit of diplomatic game playing.


One other factor must be mentioned here: that of the vulnerability of Olmert's position because of the specter of an indictment that hangs over his head.

Repeatedly I've heard people refer to him as 'wounded' –– with the follow-up observation that a wounded animal is dangerous. He has less to lose if he realizes he likely has no political future, and so he might be more reckless. On the other hand, even within his own party his support is fading.


As the media is now permitted to reveal more details of the Olmert investigation, we're being told that he made "personal use" of funds given to him by Talansky. Said one official: "Since Olmert became prime minister, and up until this day, he has failed to register or declare the funds he received from Talansky." Police found Olmert's accounting of the use of the funds "unconvincing." "Olmert said the money went to cover [campaign] deficits, but he has shown no proof of that."

Olmert is supposed to be questioned on Friday, and then Talansky on Sunday. Olmert's lawyers are seeking a delay in the deposition to be taken from Talansky, to permit them to better review the evidence so they can properly cross-examine.

A team from the National Fraud Unit will be flying to the States to continue the investigation there.

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

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Posted by Justice For Jonathan Pollard, May 21, 2008.

This was written by Eli Lake and it appeared today in The New York Sun

WASHINGTON –– For the past 11 years, Army tank engineer David Tenenbaum has been trying to undo the damage the government did to him in four days in 1997, when he was accused of being a spy for Israel.

It started with a polygraph test administered February 13, where one interrogator yelled epithets about how they knew how to deal with Jews. The next day, Mr. Tenenbaum arrived at work and found his computer gone and his name erased from the classified e-mail system at the Tank Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, Mich.

He was then asked to enter a conference room, where agents from the FBI informed him he should confess to the crime of espionage. When Mr. Tenenbaum learned he would not be arrested, he walked out of the room and to his Toyota Camry parked on the base outside of Detroit. A guard asked him for his badge and proceeded to use it to scrape away the parking decal on his windshield.

Then the Jewish Sabbath came and the investigators he met in his office the day before began ransacking his home and confiscated this amateur violinist and guitarist's music books as well as the coloring books that belonged to his 4-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

The ordeal was complete on the following Monday. Mr. Tenenbaum read in the Detroit Free Press that he was an alleged spy and learned later that the FBI had forgotten to seal the court request for the Eastern District Federal Court of Michigan asking for a search warrant of his home. Some newspapers even began to call him the next Jonathan Pollard, the Naval officer who was sentenced to life in prison for stealing technology for Israel in 1986.

"It was like the twilight zone," Mr. Tenenbaum said. The U.S. attorney ultimately declined to prosecute the case, stating in a letter that the government failed to produce enough evidence to warrant prosecution despite a thorough investigation. This month, new details emerged when an independent watchdog organization called the Project on Government Oversight published new internal documents relating to the Pentagon inspector general's investigation into the handling of the Tenenbaum case.

Among the documents is a presentation laying out the inspector general's findings. The presentation's third slide says, "Mr. Tenenbaum experienced religious discrimination when his Judaism was weighed as a significant factor in the decision to submit him for an increase in his security clearance."

The investigation then went on to quote several Pentagon officials involved in the case against Mr. Tenenbaum acknowledging that his religion and his contacts in Israel were grounds at least in part for launching the investigation against him. A discrimination suit brought by Mr. Tenenbaum was thrown out of federal court after the government requested the judge acknowledge that the Army would need to disclose state secrets in order to mount its defense.

According to a sworn affidavit of Mr. Tenenbaum, when he took his first polygraph test in 1997, his questioner said to him: "I have done other Jews before and gotten them to confess and I'll get you to confess too," and, "I can tell you are lying by looking into your eyes."

Jewish community leaders and former Defense Department officials say Mr. Tenenbaum's case represents a disturbing phenomenon.

"There are other cases that have been brought to our attention over the years. Often people are afraid to go public for fear of further retribution, but there clearly has to be a systemic approach to this and let justice be done for those who have been discriminated against," said the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein. "This case is a blatant example of discrimination that is tolerated within the system against Jews and perhaps others. For 11 years this innocent man has suffered and paid a heavy price, personally, financially, socially. There is no compensation that is adequate for that suffering."

A former chairman of the Defense Policy Advisory Board and a senior Pentagon official in the Reagan administration, Richard Perle, said, "There is no balanced commitment to a sense of judgment from the people who are responsible for conducting these investigations. They fix on a target. They are disappointed if they cannot establish wrongdoing. And they resist fairness when they fail to show wrongdoing."

He added, "There is a wholly unjustified suspicion of Jews in sensitive positions, and especially Orthodox Jews."

Internal Pentagon documents indicate a fight has now broken out between the Pentagon's lawyers and the Pentagon inspector general that concluded the case against Mr. Tenenbaum exhibited the hallmarks of employment discrimination. That conclusion, a potential embarrassment for the Army, has yet to be published, in part because the Pentagon's general counsel has launched its own investigation into the case, which the inspector general's office complained was intended to undermine the findings of the report.

According to the inspector general's presentation, "OGC objections centered on undermining evidence presented above as either 'opinion' or circumstantial (indirect) evidence."

A spokesman for the Pentagon Thursday declined to comment for the story.

The lead investigator for the Project on Government Oversight, Beverly Lumpkin, said the case underscores the need for the Pentagon to allow its inspector general its own independent legal counsel.

"We are not taking a position on the underlying case," Ms. Lumpkin said. "We would like to see justice done for Mr. Tenenbaum. Obviously we do care what happens to him. Our focus is not on him personally. We think his story is a good illustration of the larger systemic problem with the inspector general at the Pentagon."

Mr. Tenenbaum said he is not surprised that the military would try to suppress the report.

"For almost 12 years I have been fighting for justice," he said. He added that many of the security officials he regards as his tormentors have been promoted in the military. Meanwhile, he is still seen as something of a pariah in his office. He is no longer allowed to work on his favored project of designing armor for Humvees. In the interim, he has earned a doctorate in chemical engineering.

"For 11 years I have been waiting for vindication," he said. "You have to imagine this, I was wrongfully accused of espionage. The punishment is either death or life in prison. I believe the only worse crime is assassinating a U.S. president." He went on: "My father was a Holocaust survivor. He was the only one who survived. He passed away a year before this happened. Can you imagine him seeing his only son being singled out for the same reason he was, being a Jew?"

Reach Justice for Jonathan Pollard by sending an email to justice4jp@gmail.com For information about Pollard and the struggle: see www.jonathanpollard.org for English, or www.FreePollard.org for Hebrew.

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Posted by Delta Vines, May 21, 2008.

This was posted on my website:

Something is afoot.

I'm not speaking of rockets from Gaza Strip being launched into Israel; although that is a continual occurrence. Always the treaties and talks of a "Palestinian state" and the final status of Jerusalem are worrisome indeed.

This time, however, there is a "stinky feet" syndrome which has a stench that is impossible to ignore.

The reports of P.M. Olmert's personal and legal scandals are getting too close to scorching Israel's leader. In order to throw the legal investigator and reports off the scent, Olmert's office has done a masterful PR release.

Israel and Syria have been having negotiations regarding the Golan Heights for over a year –– via Turkish intermediaries. Syrian officials have gone as far as to say Olmert has promised them Israel will retract to the 1967 borders; a report which Israeli official deny.

Enter into this "mix" of scandals and scenarios is a danger which signals the need for keeping the Golan more than ever:

Russian media has revealed a delegation led by Syrian Air Force commander Gen. Akhmad al-Ratyb is meeting with Russian Defense Ministry and Air Force officials. These meetings are to "focus on arms sales –– including submarines, anti-aircraft missiles, the latest model MiG fighter jets and advanced surface-to-surface ballistic missiles", according to a website belonging to Al-Manar TV. The Jerusalem Post has shared a similar report.

Even as Olmert has said Israel needs to prepare for "tough concessions", (another way of saying "I'm giving away the country"), in negotiations to begin in two weeks –– Syria is stockpiling weapons.

This is the same Syria which has strong ties with Hezbollah, declared to be a terrorist organization by the United States. This is the same Syria whose nuclear power plant was destroyed by the Israeli Air Force in September of 2007. This is the same Syria which is aligned with Iran, whose President (Ahmadinejad) has vowed to "wipe Israel off the map".

For Olmert to even consider any negotiations with Syria, let alone under these conditions, is criminal. It is unconscionable to sacrifice people in order to save himself from imminent incarceration. It is a brilliant insanity.

I shudder to think of the consequences to mankind as a result. I tremble when I think of the consequences before G-d.

If the Knesset does not block these actions, they will have no country to govern. A no-confidence motion needs to pass in order to start immediate preparations for new elections.

If not, with Syria as his puppet, and without doing anything which would point directly to himself, Ahmadinejad may well come close to getting his wish.

Contact Delta Vines by email at delta_vines@sbcglobal.net

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Posted by Steve Kramer, May 21, 2008.

It's not pleasant to speak of war as inevitable. But given the present circumstances in the Middle East and recalling recent history, I can come to no other conclusion. Let's review Israel's dilemma. Iran is fast approaching nuclear weapons capability, which only requires a requisite amount of enriched uranium. They already have delivery systems in the form of ballistic missiles, which they happily exhibit to the world. It is well known that the step from enriched uranium to actual weapons is not so difficult, especially considering the number of nuclear scientists who are eager for employment. Nor is Iran hiding its intentions towards Israel. Not only the clownish Ahmadinejad, but also his presidential predecessor and his superiors, screech vile epithets and call for the destruction of Israel in the most heinous language since the Nazi regime. The only question mark concerning Iran is whether their leaders will actually push the button, knowing that many Muslims would die alongside of Jews and that massive retaliation from Israel is almost certain.

While Iran is roughly a thousand miles from Israel, its threats are not only from the homeland. Gaza, which is adjacent to targets inside Israel, is ruled by the Iranian proxy Hamas, which was formed expressly to fight and destroy Israel. This is made clear in an excerpt from their charter of August 1988: "Our struggle against the Jews [not just Israelis] is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realized." Hamas is financed and armed primarily by Iran and it already targets nearby farm communities in the western Negev, Sderot, and Ashkelon. In the near future, more advanced weapons smuggled in from Iran will allow Hamas a much wider range of cities in Israel, perhaps the Tel Aviv metropolitan area itself, where nearly half of Israel's population resides.

In Lebanon, just across Israel's northern border, the Iranian proxy Hizbullah has demonstrated its mastery of the country by totally humiliating the "government" there. Its intentions towards Israel were made clear in its charter of February, 1985: "We see in Israel the vanguard of the United States in our Islamic world. It is the hated enemy that must be fought until the hated ones get what they deserve. This enemy is the greatest danger to our future generations and to the destiny of our lands ... . Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated."

When Israel pulled its troops out of northern Lebanon in 2000, stranding its Christian allies, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak expected that Hizbullah would end its attacks against Israel. Instead, Hizbullah became the recipient of thousands of rockets and other weapons from Iran and Syria (itself an Iranian puppet). It didn't take long for Hizbullah to use them in the Second Lebanon War of 2006, in which Israel's already degraded deterrent factor was further diminished due to poor planning by both government and military leaders. Since the UN-brokered ceasefire ended the war, Hizbullah has completely recovered and now has an estimated forty thousand rockets aimed at Israel's heartland. Plus, Hizbullah can quickly field an army which conceals itself among the civilian population. The Lebanese Army is relatively ineffectual, but whatever capabilities that it has are in the service of Hizbullah.

Completing a semi-circle around Israel is the West Bank, which has only been kept under control by constant Israeli military actions. These are carried out by the Israeli Defense Forces, who maintain a strong presence there. But Israel is under constant pressure from America and others to alleviate the "plight of the Palestinians" by ceasing nightly raids and removing roadblocks/checkpoints which are an impediment to terrorist activities. If Israel's present government acquiesces to demands from America to ease up on the West Bank, the relatively impotent Fatah ruling government will likely be replaced by Hamas, as happened in Gaza.

The United Nations and the Western nations have done little to prevent Iran from continuing its preparations to become a nuclear power. Even mild economic sanctions have been ignored, most recently by Austrian and Swiss energy deals, not to mention Germany, Italy, and Spain, who are among Iran's largest trading partners. America, under the leadership of George Bush, has dialed back its threats against Iran, reversing the policy of "Speak softly and carry a big stick" to "Speak loudly but never mind the stick".

Israel cannot depend on anyone to come to its aid except perhaps when it is too late. The country that has vowed "Never Again" countless times, faces multiple threats from Muslim Nazis. Despite the peace front's willingness to believe in fairy tales, many Israelis feel that they are being cornered and that a preemptive strike against Iran must be made while there is still time. When that attack is carried out, it will not happen because Israel wanted to start a war or because its sure that it will be a success. War will come because Israelis remember the 1930s and are not willing to take a chance that Iran and its proxies are bluffing. Israelis can only hope that a preemptive attack against Iranian nuclear sites, and the ensuing war against Iranian allies in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank will be successful.

Israel's enemies only get stronger as time passes. They won't be pacified with bits and pieces of land nor will they be cowed by meek responses to their provocation. While the thought of another war is horrendous to Israelis, waiting to be attacked is even worse. Given more time, our foes will only grow more formidable. There is always the possibility that America and other Western powers will recognize the danger that Iran and other Muslim jihadists pose to them, causing the West to join Israel in the battle against militant Islam. Then again, they might not. In any case, Israel cannot just stick its head in the sand and hope that the jihadists will fade away. Again recalling the 1930s, Israel needs a leader closer to Churchill than to Chamberlain leading the government. It's imperative that Israelis stop worrying about what the world may think or say when it comes to Israel defending its existence. The time has come to preserve the only Jewish state with maximum force and vigor.

Steve Kramer lives in Alfe Menashe. He has written a weekly opinion column for the Jewish Times of southern New Jersey (www.jewishtimes-sj.com) for the last ten years. He writes, "They're about history, politics, touring, or whatever excites me."

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Posted by Paul Lademain, May 21, 2008.

Hear, hear, Carter. Instead of inciting the Arabs to murder innocent Israelis, YOU should man up and use your X-POTUS-influence to stop "your people" from murdering a courageous Arab policeman who provided info that blocked a terrorist attack against Israeli women and children. The "court" referred to in the article below is an Arab-Islamic court operating in Israel's territory.

We are the NON-evangelical Christians for Zion. We stand by the Patriots of Israel who are battling against foreign invaders and their criminal element.

Read this:

NEWS ITEM: Human rights organization Shurat Hadin –– Israel Law Center (http://www.israellawcenter.org), representing former Soviet Prisoner of Zion Ida Nudel, has petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice to compel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to do all in his power to save the life of Imad Sa'ad, 25, a Palestinian police officer condemned to death by a court in Hebron for the crime of helping Israeli security forces eliminate four fugitive Palestinian terrorists and save Israeli civilian lives.

BACKGROUND: On April 28, 2008 Ima'ad Sa'ad (25), an officer in President Mahmoud Abbas' National Security Forces and the sole breadwinner for his wife and children, was found guilty of working with Israel by the "PA Military Court in Hebron." Their are no appeals from these Palestinian kangaroo military tribunals. The case has been passed to the Jerusalem Mufti to decide if he will approve Sa'ad's death sentence. If he authorizes the execution, PA leader Abu Mazen will then sign the order to have Sa'ad brought before a firing squad. The execution could take place as early as next week following the closing of the Palestine Investment Conference being held in Bethlehem. Shurat HaDin and Ms. Nudel have led successful prior campaigns to save the lives of other convicted Israeli agents facing execution by the Palestinian Authority.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Letters dispatched on Ms. Nudel's behalf to the Prime Minister on May 3, to the White House on May 5 and the Vatican on May 7 have, as of now, gone unanswered. Copies of the letters can be found at: http://www.israellawcenter.org/articlenav.php?id=260"

Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net

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Posted by Ellen Horowitz, May 21, 2008.

Penina Taylor of Jews for Judaism in Jerusalem sent me the following in response to headlines reporting: Orthodox Jewish youths burn New Testaments in Israel. It is entitled "Taking Out the Trash." Contact Jews for Judaism at PO Box 47, Jerusalem 91004 Israel. In Israel, call 02-622-1926. From the USA, call 212 444 1979.

It was reported yesterday by several major news outlets that recently the religious Jews of Or Yehuda set fire to hundreds of copies of the New Testament. Ha'aretz called it "the latest act of violence against Christian missionaries in the Holy Land." Calev Myers, attorney representing the Messianic communities of Israel called for the people who did it to be brought to trial. But brought to trial for what?

The people who burned these books broke no law. Despite the allusions being made to the burning of Jewish holy books during the times of the inquisition or the holocaust, there is absolutely no comparison here. The New Testaments had been basically thrown out –– they were garbage, and there is no law against incinerating garbage, even by religious Jews, even in public.

First let's look at the whole story. The town of mostly religious Jews had recently been targeted by missionaries, a form of harassment. The missionaries were not invited to come, they invaded, and in the wake of their invasion, they left hundreds, maybe even thousands of New Testaments and other missionary literature. The townspeople were in a quandary –– what to do with this heresy that they did not want in their homes? So, the Deputy Mayor came up with a solution. He offered to take the unwanted trash off the residents' hands and dispose of them in such a way that made it clear and in no uncertain terms that such literature was not only unsolicited, but unwelcome.

Like a modern day King Josiah, Deputy Mayor Uzi Aharon set out to unburden the citizenry he was sworn to serve, and they gave him the unwanted materials willingly. In the book of 2 Kings, chapter 22 and in 2 Chronicles 34, we read the story of King Josiah who took the throne at the age of eight years old. It is said of him, "And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. " (2 Kings 22:2) –– a claim that no Christian would deny. And yet, we read in 2 Chronicles 34:33 that "Josiah removed all the abominations from all the country that belonged to the children of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not depart from following the Lord God of their fathers."

Now, King Josiah removed the objects of heresy and idolatry forcibly, he did not give the citizens a choice in the matter, including regarding their service to God and this is where the two stories diverge. Truth be told, we could go on about how the burning of the New Testaments was simply an exercise in freedom of expression or even freedom of religion, which Israel claims to be why proselytizing is no longer illegal in the land. But the bottom line is this: there was no persecution or violence against Christians here, and no one was forced to do anything he/she didn't want to do. If anything, it is the missionaries who are guilty and deserve to be brought to trial for mass harassment, not to mention the countless number of trees who senselessly gave their lives for the printing of the unwanted material and the ridiculous amount of space this story is now taking up on web pages and newspapers the world over.

Ellen Horowitz lives in the Golan Heights, Israel with her husband and six children. She is a painter, an author and a columnist for Israelnationalnews.com. Email her at ellenwrite@bezeqint.net

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Posted by Moshe Phillips, May 21, 2008.

Shmuel Katz, a former legislator in Israel's Knesset and a longtime leader of Israel's nationalist camp, passed away in Israel in early May at the age of 93.

Katz died on the Fourth of Iyar, the traditional Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers (Yom HaZikaron) and the eve of the traditional date of Israel's Independence Day (Yom Ha'Atzmahut).

The timing of Katz's death is reminiscent of the passing of other great patriots. Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1826.

Katz served in the Herut party's first Knesset delegation and had helped Menachem Begin create Herut. Earlier he had served the cause of Zionism as an assistant to Zev Jabotinsky, an emissary for the Revisionist Zionist movement in London on the eve of World War Two, as a member of the Irgun's High Command and as the Irgun's last operational commander in Jerusalem.

As other commentators have mentioned in their tributes to Katz, he was a leader of the effort to retain the lands Israel liberated in the 1967 Six Day War. It was through the Land of Israel Movement, as it was known, that Katz came to the attention of many Zionist activists in America.

Here, I would like to quickly survey half a dozen of the books that Katz, a native of South Africa, wrote in English.

Days of Fire: The Secret Story of the Making of Israel (1968)

This book provided perhaps the first, solid overall history of the Irgun's Revolt against the British. Katz was a direct participant in many of the events he writes and this along his unique access to dozens of other Irgun veterans makes Katz's perspective on this topic hard to match. The inspiring stories of the valor of the Irgun soldiers and the goals they fought for are just as relevant today as they were in the 1940s.

Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine (1973)

Written after the Six Day War, here Katz lays out the historical and strategic reasons for Israel to retain control of the lands liberated in the war. Battleground works as an encyclopedic sourcebook for those involved in Israel's hasbara (public relations) effort as well as a quick way to get a firm grounding in the ins and outs or the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is the book that Americans For a Safe Israel (AFSI) and other groups distributed thousands of copies of for decades to Pro-Israel activists across America. With the publication Battleground alone Katz could have earned the title of the father of Hasbara in America. Katz, however did much more guiding the founders of AFSI, writing for The Jerusalem Post, speaking and counseling many other researchers and writers.

The Hollow Peace (1982)

Here Katz attacks the folly of Camp David and exposes the dangerous situation President Jimmy Carter was creating for Israel decades before most woke up to just what Jimmy Carter was really all about. Katz permanently broke with Menachem Begin over Camp David and here he sets out the details of his objections. The ongoing missile attacks Israel now faces from Gaza, could not be occurring without the non-stop smuggling from Sinai. Katz's warnings were clear.

Battletruth: The World and Israel (1983)

This is the only published collection of essays and articles by Katz. It covers the Camp David Accords, the retreat from Sinai and other issues.

The Lone Wolf: A Two-Volume Biography of Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky (1996)

Katz's two volume masterful work is a breathtaking effort. So much information about Jabotinsky and his tremendous impact on Zionism is related that it causes a new appreciation of the man and his ideas, even from individuals that already consider him the greatest Zionist leader after Herzl. Unfortunately, Katz mostly ignores many to his own right that were important to Jabotinsky's movement and that should have been given more attention here such as Israel Eldad, Hillel Kook, Abba Achimeir, Yirmiyahu Halpern and Uri Zvi Greenberg.

The Aaronsohn Saga (2007)

Katz's last book was about the NILI intelligence network that aided the British against the Ottomans during World War One. The remarkable story of these Zionist heroes and their pure sacrifices is exciting as well as emotional. Most of the young group lost their lives. Here Katz allowed a nearly 100 year old story of bravery to be accessed by today's readers. A comprehensive history of NILI had never been written and Katz's final years were occupied with this noble deed.

"I have never felt so downhearted about Israel as I do now. We're in a terrible state." Katz told journalist Judith Miller in a February 11, 2008 New York Sun interview shortly after The Aaronsohn Saga was published. Surely, without Katz's direct help that "terrible" position becomes that much harder to remedy. However, it is fortunate that Katz left a body of valuable literature that Pro-Israel advocates will continue to look to for generations to come.

Moshe Phillips is a member of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans For a Safe Israel –– AFSI. The chapter's new website is at: www.phillyafsi.com.

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Posted by Gil Ronen, May 21, 2008.

The Palestinian Authority / Fatah special police force that was trained by the US to fight terrorists has turned out to be a failure, according to recent reports. The US-backed police force was supposed to enable Israel to turn over security control of Judea and Samaria to the PA, as a prelude to a possible retreat from its biblical heartland. But so far the force's contingent in Jenin has been running scared from the terrorists it was supposed to bring under control.

According to WorldNetDaily, the Jenin unit's first mission was to clear out a section of Kabatiya, a neighborhood south of Jenin which is considered the main base for the Islamic Jihad terrorist group.

About 200 policemen attempted to engage members of Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Fatah's own "Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades." But witnesses, including members of Fatah and Israeli security sources, said that within less than 30 minutes of the start of the clashes, the elite PA police force retreated from the scene. "The security men ran away scared. They didn't arrest anyone," said one witness. "The security men ran away scared. They didn't arrest anyone."

"No chance for the troublemakers"

The PA's special force has been undergoing training under the supervision of US Middle East envoy Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton since late 2006. An initial contingent of 500 police officers was deployed in Shechem, in northern Samaria, in February of 2008, and another 480 members of the elite force deployed in Jenin in early May. The Jenin force's commander, Suleiman Amran, announced to the media that following the deployment, there is "no chance for troublemakers to return to Jenin."

Gen. Dayton personally oversaw the Jenin and Nablus units' training at US-operated bases in Jordan and in the Judean city of Jericho, and his office has been closely monitoring the police force's deployment. The budget for the force's training and arming was reported to be in the millions of dollars.

However, an Israeli security official closely monitoring the progress of the Shechem and Jenin forces said that they could not fight terrorism. "The Israel Defense Forces must do most of the work for them in that regard. When it comes to public security, they can block off streets and create a perimeter and carry out other basic duties, but beyond that, fighting crime isn't going well," the security official said.

Helpless in Shechem

In Shechem, the new police force proved helpless against 13 senior leaders of the "Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades" who were pardoned last June by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on condition they disarm and refrain from attacks, but who nonetheless publicly took up arms and vowed terror attacks against Israel. They then created a stronghold in the Old City of Shechem, calling themselves the Night Warriors of Al Aqsa.

According to informed security sources, among the Brigades leaders rejecting the agreement were Hanni Ka'abe, Mahdi Abu Jazaleh, and brothers Omar and Amer Haqube. The US-backed Shechem police unit was called upon to eject the "Night Warriors" from Shechem's Old City. "They couldn't even get near the stronghold without being heavily fired upon and then retreating."

A large force attempted to raid the terrorists' stronghold several times, but according to security officials, the assaults repeatedly failed. "We are talking about six attempts so far, five of the attempts utilized more than 300 policemen against the 13 terrorists and all attempts failed miserably," said a security official. "They couldn't even get near the stronghold without being heavily fired upon and then retreating," the official said.

In the end, the IDF raided the Brigades' stronghold, killing Brigades terrorist leader Ka'abe in a shootout and sending at least five other rebel Brigades terrorists into hiding. "Israel had to come in and do the work for the Palestinian force," said a security official. "I don't know how they can handle security without Israel backing them up."

Dayton blames Israel

Dayton was recently quoted as blaming Defense Minister Ehud Barak for the police force's failures, according to the PA's Ma'an News Agency. Dayton reportedly praised the PA in meetings with foreign consuls in Ramallah, but criticized Barak and the IDF. The PA, he said, is "acting with great seriousness in the realm of security as part of its responsibility to secure its territories." However, he said, Israel causes the PA to fail, in part by refusing to grant PA officers free access to areas under Israeli control.

Meanwhile, US training of elite PA security forces continues. A new, three-month course began in March at US-controlled bases in the Jordanian village of Giftlik, according to Israeli security officials. More than 600 "elite PA soldiers" are enrolled in the current course.

The plan of instruction calls for a 1,400-hour curriculum that includes human rights law, defensive tactics, first aid, urban and rural small-unit tactics, firearms, mounted- and foot-patrol techniques, crime scene investigations and more.

Cigarette lighters for handguns

However, according to a recent report in the Herald Tribune, the force's instruction has been inept to the point of being pathetic. In its poorly translated instruction manuals, for example, the words "cover fire," a term to describe small-arms fire to pin down the enemy, was translated as "extinguish a burning fire."

"Instruction in defensive tactics for hundreds of students was taught with three practice batons, a few handcuffs, and dummy pistols that were actually novelty cigarette lighters. The students had none of the safety equipment normally associated with police work," wrote a Tribune reporter. "In the classrooms, I watched as students were taught radio communications without radios, driving and vehicle maintenance with no vehicles, foot-patrol tactics without weapons or radios, and mounted-patrol tactics without vehicles."

In addition, fully 10 percent of the students were reported to be functionally illiterate.

Gil Ronen writes for Arutz Sheva, where this article appeared today.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 21, 2008.


"In the long run," PM Olmert threatened, Israel will take drastic measures against Hamas in Gaza, if it continues terrorism (IMRA, 5/11).

Since Israel is not taking drastic steps, but has been threatening to do so for years, without acting on it, why wouldn't Hamas continue terrorism? What would persuade it to desist? It's doctrine of holy war has not changed. Moreover, Hamas has built up an efficient military. It doesn't care about casualties received, just casualties inflicted. It is looking forward to a major clash. It's only concern is to be ready for it.

Since Israel has been threatening invasion for months or is it years, what does he mean by "long run?" Why don't the media ask him to define it" They don't, because the favors his appeasement and don't want to embarrass him over it.


In an interview, PM Olmert said Israel doesn't blame Egypt for failing to stop arms smuggling from Egypt into Gaza. Dr. Aaron Lerner condemns Israel for failing to press Egypt to perform [or take over the border from the Gaza side].

As for negotiations, he gave away part of his hand by acknowledging he would cede a major part of the Territories (IMRA, 5/11).

Israel never has been good at bargaining. It is too appeasement-minded. Olmert doesn't even try to hold on to much. He makes it seem as if the Arabs are entitled to something from Israel and encourages the Arabs to demand more.


He said that Israel has enough money, now, to pay its own way. It should stop American Jews from seeking influence by donations. He denounced American Jews for financing settlements, which he calls disastrous. [Apparently he'd rather have terrorists running the Territories.] He condemned CAMERA for slandering Israeli media and for censoring the US media in behalf of the Right. [Sounds like Mearshammer's & Walt's old-fashioned antisemitic rant about Jewish control.]

The tirade was set off by the scandal of a fortune donated to Olmert by an American Jew. But Olmert is a leftist. The denouncer, Gideon Levy, failed to denounce US Jewish donations to leftist groups, such as New Israel Fund. Dr. Aaron Lerner reports that Levy gets free trips from foreign donors (IMRA, 5/11).


Yes, writes Prof. Efraim Inbar, Director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies:

1. Israel parried several attempts to destroy it militarily. It will reduce Hamas in Gaza, and it learned what to do with Hizbullah.

2. Its regional military power has grown in relation to its enemies', except for Iran. The Arab world is weak, not democratic, and stagnant. Maybe Israel will strike out Iran's nuclear facilities in time.

3, Israel is recognized as a permanent state, even by its enemies. The Israeli Left now realizes that Israel will have to keep defending itself.

4. Israel has demonstrated social cohesion. The Sephardim have been integrated with the Ashkenazi, though the Orthodox and secularists still have their rift. The ideological debate over borders has ended. Sinai was ceded. Gaza was evacuated. Two-thirds of Israelis wish to retain the Golan. Most are willing to divide Judea-Samaria, Israel keeping the large settlement blocs, Jerusalem, including the Temple Mt., and the Jordan Valley. The public no longer opposes establishment of an Arab state in the rest and Gaza.

5. "An analysis of the political, social and economic dynamics within Israel indicates that time is on Israel's side." [I don't know what this means.]

6. The economy was reformed and grew, persuading even the Left that capitalism is best for the country

7. The US considers Israel a valued ally, and supports it. That makes other countries favorable to Israel. Some have sent ambassadors to Israel [to Tel Aviv, that is]. Starting with the Madrid conference, the Arab countries have come to accept Israel. The rise of Hamas and the 9/11 attacks have gotten other countries to understand Israel's position better.

8. "If the country successfully continues to inculcate the Zionist ethos into the next generations, its future looks bright." (IMRA, 5/11).

I think that the opposite is true:

1. Military successes. Past military successes were limited by the US. They failed to extricate Israel from the problem. Those victories bred complacency and military budget cuts, leaving the IDF with older equipment and insufficient training. Past successes do not guarantee future ones.

The argument that Israel is secure because it might destroy Hamas and knows what to do with Hizbullah is invalid. The IDF may know what to do, but the appeasement-minded government does not. Hamas and Hizbullah have built up strong forces. If Israel pursued them, the enemy could inundated it with thousands or tens of thousands of missiles, etc.. Prof. Inbar substitutes claims about Israel being secure for Israeli action to make itself secure. That is a fatal flaw in a strategist.

2. Regional power –– Israel might destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, but that is wishful thinking, leaving Inbar's happy conclusion unjustified. Nor are Israel's other adversaries weaker, as claimed. Egypt has built up military parity with Israel. The Egyptian navy is superior. Egypt built tunnels under the Nile that its mobile forces can cross before Israel can fully mobilize. That mobilization could be impeded by uprisings by the Palestinian Arabs. S. Arabia has become another front line power, thanks to its new air base and US planes. S. Arabia coordinates militarily with Egypt. Syria has a strong missile force and is rebuilding its other forces, financed by Iran. Oil price increases allow the Muslims to buy out Israeli land and strategic Western companies.

It is a myth that Israel is democratic, but there is little publicity to expose the myth. Israel is not democratic for about eight reasons that I have explained a few times, before.

3. Israel is recognized –– Not by its enemies, including Egypt and Jordan, which have no ambassadors in Israel. Hardly by Western Europeans, who increasingly think Israel should be de-recognized. The Arabs continue to work at eradicating the Jewish state, according to Arafat's phased plan for the conquest of Israel. That is what the negotiations are to advance. Egypt's military doctrine posits Israel as the enemy to invade.

4. Social cohesion and borders –– As Dr. Aaron Lerner remarks, it is no mark of success if many Israelis are amenable to statehood for the P.A., an irredentist, terrorist stronghold. It may be a mark of Inbar's appeasement-mindedness to interpret polls as showing that the people accept P.A. statehood, when poll respondents stipulate, provided terrorism is eradicated, which the people do not anticipate happening. The social conflict between Jewish secularists and religious has produced governmental oppression and anti-Zionism. The government and its leftist allies defame the settlers.

It is not true that Israelis now agree upon what should be the borders. It is misleading to state that the people want to keep the Golan. The government does not care what the people want. It is nearly all-powerful. It has put over other unpopular moves, such as evacuation of Gaza, without a referendum. Thus PM Olmert, like PM Barak, offers some or all of Old Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley to the Arabs, and has taken some action signaling that intent.

6. Israel now capitalist, and the people accepts that –– The government still owns, subsidizes, or overly regulates many industries. There are almost no checks on the government. Reform has a long way to go, but it seems to have stopped.

7. Israeli self-defense is respected and the US considers it a valuable ally –– The rise of Hamas shows the foolishness and lethargy of Israeli policy. If foreign governments are rational about that, they must lose respect for Israel. In any case, they increasingly subsidize Hamas' Gaza and suggest negotiations with it.

Sending ambassadors to Israel does not mean favoring Israel. Enemies usually send ambassadors abroad.

The Madrid conference does not prove acceptance of the legitimacy of a Jewish state. Abbas rejects such legitimacy. Rather, the conference is part of a series of diplomatic moves to pare Israel down to what Sadat called "insignificance." The US is part of that movement. Although Israel has been of incalculable service to the US, the US does not publicly acknowledge it. The Olmert regime's failure to destroy Hizbullah in the Lebanon war disgusted the Bush administraiton with its value. Perhaps other countries understand Israel's position better, but the Quartet still denounces Israel more than Hamas. Sec. Rice insists that Israel refrain from most of its defensive measures.

8. Israel secure if it passes its Zionist ethos on –– True, but did Inbar miss the anti-Zionist education policies of recent leftist governments? The current government gives equal time to claiming that the founding of Israel was a catastrophe. Far Left university professors dominate Israeli college humanities departments, where they preach Jewish guilt and support for terrorism

My conclusion: Inbar's thesis rests upon wishful thinking, naivete, and falsehood. Israel remains close to extinction. It has some assets and advantages, but it is betrayed by its leftist leadership. The current regime is trying to give away Israel's strategic borders to an unrepentant enemy. How come Inbar failed to mention that? His assessment had almost no negative insights.


Sen. McCain is pandering away his otherwise more sensible platform. His opponents go further. They egotistically take personal offense and make nasty retorts and picayune complaints, and they lie as much as Pres. Nixon did. The pair of them make a sorry spectacle, zig-zagging about what they had said, contradicting the taped records.

I'm reading Judge John Sirica's book about Watergate. I mentioned to some friends its reminder of Nixon's assault on civil liberties and his constant lying about Watergate. A Democrat asked me, didn't Pres. Bush assault civil liberties and lie to get us to war just as much?

No, Bush didn't assault civil liberties. He tried novel approaches to the novel form of warfare jihad takes. It takes time to sort out which methods are effective and which go too far. The courts are helping resolve that. Congress, including the Democrats who noisily criticize Bush, carps but doesn't help formulate rules. Their duty is to define the law. It ill suits them to complain when the President goes beyond what they feel comfortable with.

No, Bush didn't lie to get us into the war. Democrats conveniently forget the other reasons for the war, legal ones. They conveniently forget how much latitude the US gave Saddam and the UNO. They lie that the UNO did not authorize force. They assume that Bush knew that Saddam had no weapons, forgetting, and now my friend even denies. that all the intelligence services thought that Saddam still had nuclear weapons. They forget Saddam's tactics that indicate he had the weapons, such as lying about what he had, removing evidence before inspectors arrived, etc.. They also seem unaware that Saddam still had his weapons development team on the payroll, doing what, do you suppose? Bush might have been mistaken, but he was not lying. Bush's critics ought to be more careful about their own ethics in whom they accuse of what.

I've posted a couple of revelations that Saddam did have the weapons or materials for them, and they were found, but the US lost track of them. Bush doesn't want to admit he lost what may destroy our national security, though it would vindicate his war. The Democrat officials don't want to admit what he lost, because it would vindicate his war. About that there is plenty of lying.

Bush gave a speech in Israel against terrorism and appeasement of it. I thought it was a great speech. I'm proud an American delivered it, but sorry that foreigners don't seem capable of doing likewise. What makes me angry at Bush is his flouting of its principles, when it comes to Abbas and his fellow terrorists in the P.A. and Fatah. Them he appeases, and he even demands that Israel hardly defend itself from them.

From what I gather, noted Democrats and liberal newspapers haven't the grace, or is it the intelligence, to praise Bush's great speeches and to detect where he departs from their principles.

Sen. Obama immediately jumped on the part about appeasement, saying it was directed personally at him. To be personal and an affront, it would have to refer to him and in an unfair or nasty way. It didn't. It would have been proper to have named him as one of the appeasers. But he isn't the only one. Most leading Democrats and liberal papers constantly and deceitfully rebuked Bush for not negotiating, but he did. They all had notions of appeasement. It isn't just Obama, despite his oversized ego. Obama still talks about running away from a war the fanatics would pursue us over. He has nerve to complain about criticism he richly deserves. The national security that he would risk is ours!

At a party, another friend made a joke about Bush's intelligence. Let's compare the intelligence of Bush with that of his critics. He knows there is a world war. They don't. He knows that if we don't fight the Islamists in Iraq, they would gain a victory and present even more of a threat elsewhere, perhaps here. They don't. Where is their supposed superior intelligence?

Consider global warming and lay aside Bush's recent pandering on it. Democrats complain that he didn't endorse Kyoto. (I thought it was up to Congress to ratify it, after Clinton signed it.) Nobody explained Kyoto well, but it got to be one of those emotional issues beyond reason, part of the liberals' religion. Kyoto, however, gave a free pass to pollute to China and India, the two biggest, growing economies. It put the brunt of the costs on the US. Nevertheless, without regulations, US industry has cut emissions by double the percentage that the European signers have, with their adherence to Kyoto. (According to economists at the NY Sun.)

I find Democrat leaders too simpleminded to play a constructive role on the issues. They leave leadership to Bush, by default.

Obama also was indignant about criticism of his wife's statements. He called it harassment of his family. Nonsense, she made those statements in public, at his side, while campaigning. If she can make such statements in behalf of his campaign, then opponents may judge them. She and, I think, he, must take responsibility for them. The statements were unpatriotic. Reminder: Our country has many faults, but it also has certain good qualities rare in this world, qualities of which we can be proud. She, however, said she never was proud of this country until it let her husband run for the Presidency. Shame on her! Her remarks warranted criticism. So does he, for being so thin-skinned. He may be clever, but he is not very intelligent about issues. I'd be prouder of this country if it defeats him.

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

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Posted by Simon McIlwaine, May 21, 2008.

Once again Al Beeb shows its bias...

This was written by Carl in Jerusalem and it appeared on his website:

Hey Brits, these are your tax schillings at work.

Al-Beeb produces yet another piece of blatantly biased media in Israel. This one is called 'Bethlehem fights for tourists.' If you watch this video and know nothing about what goes on in this country, you come away with the impression that the poor hoteliers of Bethlehem can't attract any tourists and it's all because those mean, cruel Israelis put up a wall and make people walk through gates and turnstiles (ominously called a 'military checkpoint') to get into the city. Let's go to the videotape and then we'll try to point out some of the ways in which this report could have been less biased.

How could we make this report somewhat fair? For starters, we could say that the 'wall' (which is really nothing more than a fancy fence in much of the country) is there because it has reduced terror attacks outside it by a huge percentage over the last four years despite the fact that it is not yet complete. We could tell the folks at home that the reason it's a wall and not a fence in the Bethlehem area is because 'Palestinian' terrorists used Bethlehem's suburbs to shoot at the Jews of the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo during the early part of this decade, and that in Gilo they also have a wall where the 'Palestinian' gunfire most often hit. It's much easier to shoot through a fence than it is to shoot over a wall, although shooting over a wall is also not impossible. Just go visit Gaza.

We could cite some other reasons why those who might otherwise be most likely to visit Bethlehem may be put off. For example, some Christians might remember the siege on the Church of the Nativity that was carried out by 'Palestinian' terrorists from the 'moderate' Fatah organization and how they held hostages inside the church and trashed it. A Christian who might otherwise visit Bethlehem might keep that in mind when weighing the risks of a visit. They also might remember the IDF's anti-terror operation in Bethlehem in March and wonder how many more terrorists are lurking in the city's alleyways. And given that all but one of Bethlehem's main tourist attractions are Christian (and the one that is not Christian is Jewish), and that most of the tourists the Arab population is targeting are Christian, those tourists may be put off by the fact that Bethlehem was 90% Christian (and the area was 60% Christian) when the 'Palestinian Authority' took over in 1995, and now has less than 20% Christians. Maybe the town isn't hospitable to Christians? (More on the treatment of Christians in the Bethlehem area here).

Finally, there is the practical question of how attractive Bethlehem would be as a tourist destination even if it were easier to reach. Note the hotelier's complaint that most tourists only stay 2-3 hours and don't spend any money. Is there really more there than what the average tourist could see in 2-3 hours? Does the average tourist really feel obligated to sit down and eat lunch in overpriced restaurants and shop in overpriced gift shops? And why would the average tourist want to stay in an overpriced hotel in Bethlehem, when he could stay in a hotel in Jerusalem and have a much wider selection of hotels, restaurants and tourist sites? Maybe things would be better if the 'Palestinian Authority' were allocating money to developing tourism instead of spending it on weapons for its oversized 'police force.'

Those are the questions the BBC and the 'Palestinians' in Bethlehem ought to be asking. When they answer them adequately, Bethlehem may not have to 'fight' for tourists anymore.

Simon McIlwaine is with Anglican Friends of Israel
(www.anglicanfriendsofisrael.com). Contact him at Simon.McIlwaine@ormerods.co.uk

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Posted by Hillel Fendel, May 21, 2008.

Israel and Syria issued similar announcements almost simultaneously around noon today (Wednesday), declaring the opening of unofficial talks between them.

Israel and Syria have never had diplomatic relations, and have been in a state of war ever since 1948. In 1967, Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria, which had used the area for years to pound Israeli towns below with deadly rockets. These attacks killed 140 Israelis, wounded many more, and inflicted heavy property damage.

Since 1967, Syria has always demanded the full return of the Golan as a precondition for peace.

The Syrian declaration today that it has begun unofficial talks with Israel under Turkish auspices, with "the goal of reaching full peace in accordance with the principles reached at the Madrid Conference [in the mid-1980's]," is seen as an indication that Israel has, in fact, agreed to withdraw to the pre-1967 border.

This jibes with Olmert's lack of denial, last month, of Turkish reports that he had agreed to give over the entire Golan to Syria.

Such a withdrawal would mean that Israel would lose not only the strategic depth and water sources of the Golan, but would not even control the northeast perimeter of the Kinneret Sea (Sea of Galilee).

"The Nation is With the Golan" –– by 4-1

The War and Peace Index of last month –– a survey of 600 Israeli adults conducted by the B. I. Cohen Institute of Tel Aviv University –– found that a whopping 75% of Israelis oppose an Israeli withdrawal from all of the Golan Heights for a full peace treaty with Syria, whereas only 19% favor this.

Governmental talk of giving away the Golan in 1996 and 1999-2000 was repressed by widespread popular national campaigns against it. In the mid-90's, thousands of banners and a million stickers reading "HaAm Im HaGolan" (The Nation is With the Golan) graced porches, billboards and cars throughout the country. In January 2000, some 300,000 people took part in one of the largest demonstrations in Israeli history, calling on then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak not to withdraw the IDF from the Golan Heights.

It is known that United States is not enthusiastic about bringing terrorism-backing Syria into the circle of accepted nations. U.S. President George Bush visited Israel last week, and Prime Minister Olmert is set to pay a return visit two weeks from now. it is assumed that the topic of Syria is a signficant issue on their joint agenda.

Israeli negotiators Yoram Turbovitz and Shalom Turjeman have been meeting in Turkey with senior Syrian officials for the past three days.

Olmert Under Political Attack

The political establishment attacked Olmert for the timing of the announcement, as he is currently under intense political investigation for possible major financial crimes. Even Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) said, "Syria is still the seat of the axis of evil, and I'm not certain that it's a good idea to give Israel's northern front over to the axis of evil... Olmert himself said in the past that as long as Syria continues to hold its same positions, we shouldn't talk with them –– so what has changed now?"

Likud MKs, predictably, were much harsher. Together with the National Union and Israel Our Home, they demanded an immediate Knesset session on the matter, even as early as today.

Likud MK Gilad Erdan said the Prime Minister "is prepared to sell everything" in order to protect himself from police investigation. MK Yisrael Katz stated there is a clear majority in the Knesset against surrendering the Golan Heights, and MK Limor Livnat said Olmert has no "moral mandate" to conduct such talks with Syria.

"There are no limits to [Olmert's] cynicism," charged Likud faction chairman MK Gideon Saar. "He is playing around with the security of the country by agreeing to indirect talks with Syria."

On the political left, Meretz MK Zahava Gal'on said she supports talks with Syria, but agrees that Olmert does not have the mandate to do it. Labor MK Shelly Yechimovitch expressed similar sentiments. Labor's Eitan Cabel said talks with Syria must be held no matter who the Prime Minister is.

MK Nissan Slomiansky (National Religious Party ) asserted that the Prime Minister's statement proves that the criminal probe is reaching a critical stage.

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

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Posted by AFSI, May 21, 2008.

This account was written by Datya Itzhaki.

Dani and Itzik Halamish were jailed on May 20 despite a final plea to the Supreme Court to grant a stay of sentence while a presidential pardon is under consideration.

The Supreme Court failed to answer the final appeal by the brothers and they began their respective sentences of seven months and eight months.

"The implementation of the sentence without allowing enough time for the president to complete the pardon process harms the standing of the president of the state," defense attorney Dov Even Or said. "The jailing of the brothers today despite the consideration of a presidential pardon, a process which takes six months, makes a mockery of the [court's] decision if the pardon is accepted."

Dan and Yitzhak Halamish, two members of an Israel Army-sponsored unit have been abandoned by the military and sentenced to jail for protecting a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria.

The Halamishs, as part of their reserve military service, were members of a security response team organized, equipped and trained by the Israeli Army to help protect their community and surrounding region from Arab attack. On Feb. 21, 2004, the brothers were summoned by another security officer, Baruch Feldbaum, to help expel Bedouins who trespassed into the Jewish community of Sdei Bar and were encamped near a student dormitory. Bedouin tribes in the area had been deemed responsible for the killing of several Jews in the area in previous years.

Under the direction of Feldbaum, the Halamish brothers ordered the Bedouin squatters to leave. The Bedouins refused, and about 20 of them approached the Jewish security officers with sticks and rocks. Feldbaum shot toward the ground when the Bedouins continued to move closer.

The response team later said that it shot in self-defense. An army medic who arrived at the scene determined that nobody was struck by the gunfire, an assertion disputed by the Bedouins.

At that point, the military abandoned its own security team and allowed a police investigation. Although police refused to conduct ballistic tests or even a lineup of suspects, the brothers were convicted of shooting toward the Bedouins. Dan was sentenced to seven months in prison; Yitzhak, to eight months.

An Israeli appeals court said ballistic tests or a lineup weren't necessary. The word of the Bedouins –– who refused to show up to police headquarters to identify their purported assailants –– was enough.

The court also rejected a recommendation by the probation officer for community service. The three-judge panel said it wanted the Halamish brothers to go to jail to serve as a lesson to others.

Since then, at least 1,000 people have either telephoned their outrage to the Israeli military or signed a petition for the suspension of theit sentences.

Call the Israel Embassy [telephone 202-364-5500] and ask to speak to the military attache. Express your outrage that the Israel Army abandoned its fighters for protecting Jews. Don't argue. The military attache's office knows exactly what you're talking about. Stress that you are an American citizen whose support for the Israeli military is based on its protection of Jews. Say that you also plan to discuss this case with your member of Congress who decides on U.S. military aid to Israel. Ask you member of congress to convey your message to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who is meeting with Israeli leaders.

The Olmert government, with an approval rating of near zero, has refused any accountability to the Israeli people and fears only the Bush administration. Unless we act now, there will be many more young Jews in jail. Since Passover, the government has gone a rampage to destroy synagogues and structures in Jewish communities all over Judea and Samaria. Call your local synagogue or community center and demand that they cancel all invitations to government members or military personnel to address your communities. Stress that they are no longer welcome in American Jewry.

With Love of Israel,
Datya Itzhaki

Editor's Note: Lee Caplan writes

I just called the Ambassador's office. I was told that they have received a lot of calls about this today, so please, keep the calls coming. I have also taken the liberty to include the contact information for the local consulates. This abuse of good Jews, members of the IDF, can not continue. It is unconscionable that Jews in the State of Israel be punished for protecting Jews! Please call and call and call and/or fax! Tizku lemitzvos.

Also contact President Peres at president@president.gov.il. Even better than emailing President Peres is to fax him. Here is his contact information:

Answering service weekdays 8:00-19:00
Fax: +972-2-5611033

Contact the Justice Ministry at sar@justice.gov.il, and emip@justice.gov.il

Mention that it would be good if they would get busy and deal with this matter right this week, since you know many people who are concerned about this case and feel it impacts on their own personal safety. If they snootily say they have other things more urgent, do not abandon your position. Repeat firmly that in YOUR opinion, they should deal with it NOW. If they repeat THEIR position, firmly repeat –– you do not agree with them at all: you are convinced this is a landmark case that needs to be dealt with now. Show the Ministry that you are very clear in your mind about this.

Feel free to call the JUSTICE MINISTRY, Department of Pardons, to make sure your email was received: telephone 972-2-646-6802/3/4 or fax 972-2-646-6813.

Here is an example email (you can probably write a better, more personal one yourself):

Attn Justice Ministry and President Peres,

I am writing to recommend that you grant clemency on an immediate basis to the two security team members from Gush Etzion, Danny and Itzik Halamish. Their trial was not a fair trial and it precisely these instances that the presidential prerogative of clemency is intended for:

a. The brothers shot in the air and received a 7 month prison term; how can security teams be expected to defend the local Jews from rampant Palestinian terrorism if even such a mild response earns security men a jail sentence?

b. The brothers and the group of Arabs involved filed police complaints against each other (as often happens); only the Arab complaint was investigated â€" why?

c. The police lab did not perform ballistics tests on the brothers' guns because they said, correctly, that the ballistics tests would not be useful in obtaining a conviction (i.e. would either be inconclusive, or would indicate innocence). Since when is a test NOT performed if it can prove that somebody is innocent?? Is the idea to convict everybody no matter what?

d. In this case and in others involving settlers, the State Prosecutor's office asked for a stiff sentence because the brothers "live an ideological life style as is evident from here they live and from their political outlook." Since when it is legitimate for a government office to urge a court to act prejudicially again a person because he happens to live in place x or be politically associated with party y? And what is wrong with an ideological life style?

e. The brothers properly asked the court to hold off on the actual jail sentence until such time as President Peres has completed his clemency review; President Peres's office having previously indicated that this would require several months. What possible reason can there be to deny this reasonable request? Why intentionally create a Kafkaesque situation in which the presidential pardon arrives after the brothers' jail sentence is long over?

In summary, immediate presidential pardon seems to be the only appropriate outcome here. Sincerely, (NAME)

Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI, is a pro-active pro-Israel advocacy group. AFSI may be contacted by mail at 1623 Third Ave., Suite 205, New York, N.Y. 10128 (Tel: 212-828-2424; Fax: 212-828-1717); by email at afsi@rcn.com; or by accessing its website: www.afsi.org.

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Posted by Steven Plaut, May 21, 2008.

I posted this today in the Jewish Press
http://www.jewishpress.com/displayContent_new.cfm?contentid=31855&mode= a§ionid=56&contentname= Good_Morning%2C_Elijah%3A_Amos_Oz_Does_The_Peace_Tour&recnum=1

I have long believed the world would be much better off if Hollywood airheads would stick to entertainment and never pretend to be intellectuals, spouting off with their "ideas" about politics, diplomacy, etc. I am no less convinced that popular literary figures do little more than embarrass themselves when they attempt to serve as political commentators.

Amos Oz is arguably Israel's best-known writer and at the same time the leading member of Israel's Literary Left. Proudly declaring himself a major thinker in the "peace movement," Oz celebrates his political biases openly.

I am in the large hall of a Belgian university to listen to a speech by Oz, who is to receive an honorary doctorate and meet with students and faculty. Oz's books have been translated into many languages and he is well known in Europe. He has been invited to speak about literature to the university audience, but devotes the entire speech to politics, without mentioning literature even once. Oz is an eloquent speaker, but there is an enormous gap between his command of words and images and the depth of his understanding of political reality.

There is an old saying that a shallow moral symmetry is the hobgoblin of small minds. Oz is the master of shallow moral symmetry. The Arab-Israeli conflict (which he invariably calls the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which it is not) is neither black vs. white nor good against bad, he tells his listeners, but rather a conflict between two goods, even if the behavior of both sides is often that of two bads. He condemns Israeli "oppression" and mistreatment of Palestinians as morally symmetric to Palestinian terrorism and xenophobia.

Oz is at his silliest when he tries to distinguish between stark unequivocal moral choices and complex ambiguous ones. "You Europeans have a tendency to frame everything in simplistic good vs. bad terms," he says. "This is OK for some conflicts, like that between fascism and anti-fascism, or that between colonialism and anti-colonialism, or that between the U.S. and Vietnamese, but the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not that."

Of course, the allegedly simple moral conflicts offered by Oz tell us more about him than about the conflict. Anti-fascists have at times been worse than fascists; anti-colonialists generally were far more savage and brutal than European colonialists; and Oz's insistence that the U.S. was the unambiguous evil power in Vietnam is little more than the attempt of an Israeli leftist to pander to fashionable anti-Americanism, to ingratiate himself with those who imagine Europe is the moral superior of the U.S. –– something Oz tries to do repeatedly throughout the evening.

The other problem with Oz's silly characterization of moral clarity vs. ambiguity is that the Arab-Israeli conflict is actually as morally unambiguous as was World War II. Yes, Allied troops sometimes conducted acts of injustice and, yes, German and Japanese civilians were often killed as the war was fought out, but that changes nothing about the moral unambiguousness of that conflict.

The Arab-Israeli conflict exists because the Arab world, controlling 22 states and territory nearly twice that of the United States (including Alaska), is unwilling to allow the Jews to enjoy any self-determination or control over even a tiny piece of territory. Ultimately, the tremendous damage that Oz and his kind have done has been in muddying what should be a clear moral understanding of the Middle East war, all in the name of the sanctity of moral symmetry, and this muddying has undercut Israeli willingness to resist and fight.

Oz devotes his entire speech to promotion of the "two-state solution," by which Israel will withdraw to the pre-1967 borders, removing nearly all settlements, making way for a Palestinian state. This solution is not liked by either side, says Oz, but perhaps 80% of those on both sides declare they expect that this is what in fact will happen. That of course is not exactly the same as accepting a plan or policy as legitimate, and Oz diplomatically skips over the inconvenient fact that nearly all Arabs see this "solution" as a temporary stage in the process of destroying Israel. Oz declares over and over that the bulk of Palestinians understand that Israel is "here to stay" –– something that would come as a great shock to them.

In reality, Israel's decades-long pursuit of a national policy of surrender, cowardice and weakness has convinced virtually all Palestinians that the Jews are on the run and that achieving their dream of exterminating Israel is now within their grasp. Oz declares that less than 30% of Palestinians support Hamas, and the audience smiles approvingly at this complete lie.

Very few in the audience know that two partitions for the purpose of creating "two states for two peoples" have already been attempted. The first was the detachment of Eastern Palestine in 1921 to form Transjordan, a step that was supposed to make a Jewish homeland in all of Palestine west of the Jordan possible. Then, in 1947, the UN proposed a new partition of Western Palestine, creating an Arab Palestinian state in one half and a Jewish one in the other. The Arabs reacted by attempting to commit genocide against the Israeli Jews.

No one in the audience thinks to ask Oz about the total failure of his "ideas" in the Gaza Strip (in a sense, a third partition). Almost immediately after Gaza's Jews were expelled and the territory turned over to the Palestinians, Sderot became the first Israeli Guernica, bombarded daily by rockets; Ashkelon is now well on its way to becoming the second. In other words, Oz's lovely "two state solution" was already implemented in part in Gaza, and it produced the worst terrorist bombardments of Israeli civilians in history.

Oz is at his most "Peresian" (Peres-like) when he insists over and over that history is irrelevant, that there is nothing to be gained by trying to dredge up the past, to draw lessons from it. An inverse of George Santayana, who wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,"Oz tells the audience that his dream is to disconnect all the microphones whenever Arabs or Jews start to mention the past.

"I refuse altogether to look at history," he says. Of course, learning from the past might allow naïve audience members to pick out Oz's factual errors or to understand how his "two-state partition" will achieve nothing more than a new all-out Arab war against Israel.

A few years back, a group of Israeli Jewish literary figures met in Haifa with Arab writers to discuss politics. Each of the Jewish writers –– good doves all –– got up and declared that he accepted the legitimacy of the Palestinian people, supported their right to a state, and acknowledged their having as much moral right to independence as that of the Jews. (I believe Amos Oz was one of the people present.) They waited for the Arab writers to get up and make similar statements about the legitimacy of Zionism and Jewish self-determination. Not a single one did.

A slang expresion among Israelis is "Good Morning, Elijah." It is a sarcastic statement, roughly analogous to the American "Well, duh!" It is a wonderful literary summation of Israel's obtuse literary leftists.

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 Arlene Kushner, May 20, 2008.

It made the news today that Olmert is dubious as to whether a ceasefire will work. However, he's willing to let the process play out because of his respect for Omar Suleiman, Egypt's intelligence chief and the negotiator in the matter.

A splendid reason, is it not?


If quiet comes, it will, as I indicated yesterday, be of an informal nature and follow a progression. We'll stop attacking them if they stop launching rockets. Apparently the release of Shalit would not be made formally part of an agreement (which is what our demand was only days ago), but there would presumably be an understanding that negotiations on Shalit would accelerate after the quiet was in place. If this happened, then Israel would lift the siege.

Israel is also, according to Haaretz, demanding that "Hamas cease smuggling weapons, funds and persons trained in paramilitary activities." This is a joke, as I have not noticed of late that Hamas is a reliable organization that will honor commitments in this respect. There is not the slightest doubt that smuggling will continue as they can get away with it. Only the most stringent monitoring and policing of the situation would intervene. What we're hearing is that the Egyptians said they will "step up efforts."


Now Egypt will be consulting in Cairo with a delegation led by Moussa Abu Marzuk, deputy head of the Hamas's political bureau, to see if they're willing to go along. As they're hurting badly, they will likely agree.

But we should not ignore the words of Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official in Lebanon, that we are mistaken if we think a truce with Hamas would mean that the "resistance operations" would end. That very attitude is what makes it obvious that they will continue smuggling to the best of their ability.


A word of explanation: What we will have, if Hamas agrees to terms, is a tahdiyeh, which is a period of calm, as compared to a hudna, which is a formal ceasefire agreement.

It should be noted, as well, that this tahdiyeh would not apply to Judea and Samaria, where we would continue anti-terrorist operations.


It should also be noted that Haim Ramon, deputy prime minister, yesterday charged that the government was secretly negotiating directly with Hamas despite government policy that prohibits such contact until Hamas recognizes Israel, renounces terrorism, and agrees to abide by former agreements. There has been no official statement refuting this, and the guess is that he knows exactly what he's talking about.


Well, that was fast...

Earlier today Army Radio here in Israel cited an unnamed top Israeli official as saying that behind closed doors a senior member of the Bush entourage here last week had said that Bush and Cheney favored military action against Iran but were holding back because of "the hesitancy of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice."

Makes one wonder exactly how much damage Rice is capable of.

This story was picked up by The Jerusalem Post and circulated widely. Reportedly, Hezbollah's actions in Lebanon of late –– clearly instigated by Iran –– reinforced the inclination within the US administration to attack. Bush was said to be of the opinion that "the disease must be treated –– not its symptoms."


But now Bush has moved to squash this report, which probably should never have seen the light of day. A statement has been released saying that "[the US] remain[s] opposed to Iran's ambitions to obtain a nuclear weapon. To that end, we are working to bring tough diplomatic and economic pressure on the Iranians to get them to change their behavior and to halt their uranium enrichment program.

"As the President has said, no president of the United States should ever take options off the table, but our preference and our actions for dealing with this matter remain through peaceful diplomatic means. Nothing has changed in that regard."


I'm going to make a guess here and say that there was truth in the report from Army Radio but that Bush would rather not publicly appear to be going the military route or to be at odds with members of his administration. He has taken no options off the table and his months in office are limited.

Let's give him the encouragement that might help move him in the right direction: I ask you to contact the president.

In a brief and to-the-point message let him know that you support him in taking all necessary measures to stop Iran from going nuclear –– that the world now depends on his courage to act as necessary –– that you know he understands that Iran absolutely cannot be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.

As a final reinforcement, let him know that his preventing the disaster of a nuclear Iran will be a blessing to all the world and absolutely the greatest legacy of his presidency.

Use your own words, please.

Remember that a phone call or fax is best.

As always, numbers count, so please ask everyone you can to participate here.

President George Bush
Fax: 202-456-2461
White House Comment line: 202-456-1111
TTY/TDD Comment line: 202-456-6213
email: comments@whitehouse.gov


A rare moment of truth. Palestinian Media Watch has provided a translation of a piece written by Palestinian journalist Jawad Al Bashiti inAl-Ayyam on May 13, 2008, with reference to "Nakba" –– the "catastrophe" of the founding of Israel, which is allegedly responsible for the refugee situation.

Wrote Bashiti:

"The reasons for the Palestinian Catastrophe are the same reasons that have produced and are still producing our Catastrophes today. During...the Palestinian Catastrophe the following happened: the first war between Arabs and Israel had started and the 'Arab Salvation Army' came and told the Palestinians: 'We have come to you in order to liquidate the Zionists and their state. Leave your houses and villages, you will return to them in a few days safely. Leave them so we can fulfill our mission [to destroy Israel] in the best way and so you won't be hurt.' It became clear already then, when it was too late, that the support of the Arab states was a big illusion. Arabs fought as if intending to cause the 'Palestinian Catastrophe.'"

This refutes charges that Jews forced Arabs out of the land.


A terrorist attack of major proportions was averted today when a Palestinian going through a checkpoint was found to have four pipe bombs on his person. He was shot dead when he attempted to detonate them.

Evidence, once again, of the need for checkpoints. The checkpoint where this happened –– Hawara –– is one where there have been multiple incidents.


At the northern end of our border with Gaza, the IDF caught gunmen attempting to plant explosives at the fence, and took them down.


The police have announced that Olmert will be questioned again on Friday.

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

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Posted by Batya Medad, May 20, 2008.

"President Bush's visit to the Middle East last week offered a graphic primer on his failed policies –– and the many dangers his successor will face."

At first I thought that there would be some common sense in this New York Times editorial, but then I continued reading. The writer/s has/haven't a clue.

I'm sick and tired of this attitude that Israel and the Arabs are just bickering kids who need a firm hand to "make peace." Now, I'm a mother, grandmother, teacher etc. I've spent close to 40 years living in Israel, and I didn't come here as a toddler.

The Arabs here are blood-thirsty terrorists. That's the truth. There's no way to sugar-coat it, when the proof is dripping with blood and gore, not Al. Take off those rose-colored goggles and unplug your ears. This is no computer game. It's real life!

The Arabs here, cheered on by the world, want us gone, dead, banished –– they're not fussy. Bush's dream/goal of another Arab terror state, shared by almost the entire world, is the key to Israel's destruction. You don't have to read "fine print;" the Arabs are very blunt about it.

I hope that the next US President will just busy him/herself with American problems, like the economy, health care for all, better education, safer roads, etc. And butt yourself out of my neighborhood!

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

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Posted by Kenneth R. Timmerman, May 20, 2008.

As Barack Obama and John McCain thrash it out over how they would deal with Iran, voices from inside Iran are weighing in with an unusual message: If the United States strikes hard and fast, we will support you.

Emissaries from inside Iran have been meeting with Iranian exiles in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere in recent weeks to deliver this provocative message, which they claim comes from pro-U.S. dissidents at the upper-most levels of the regime.

"U.S. airstrikes must be powerful and sustained enough to break the myth of the regime's absolute power and reveal the weakness of the leadership," a former official who traveled outside of Iran recently said.

The United States should target the office of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as the headquarters of the Revolutionary Guards Corp, the offices of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and that of his predecessor and rival, Mullah Hashemi-Rafsanjani, Iranian sources say.

The goal should be to carry out sustained airstrikes over a 48-72 hour period that would "decapitate" the regime.

Such a strike would send a clear message to the Iranian people and to disgruntled officials throughout Iran's faction-ridden government that the United States is serious about confronting the regime over its bad behavior in Iraq and is willing to strike the leaders responsible for that behavior, the Iranian sources argue.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has urged the administration to launch airstrikes against Quds Force bases and facilities in Iran that have been used to support Iran's campaign to help terrorist groups in Iraq to kill Americans.

But many Iranians contend that limited strikes would have a limited usefulness, and might even be counter-productive.

"The conventional wisdom is that limited strikes will allow the regime to rally the people around the flag," says Mohebat Ahdiyyih, an Iran media analyst at the office of the director of National Intelligence.

"However, if the U.S. launches a major strike that goes after the leadership in Iran, that's different," he told Newsmax. "Most Iranians hate the regime. People would be very happy to see a major strike that took out the leadership."

Mr. Ahdiyyih and other Iran analysts speaking at an American Enterprise Institute conference on Monday painted a picture of a bitterly-divided regime in Tehran that is "unstable" and fighting for its survival.

"The situation is so bad that former president Mohammad Khatami has said that the hard-liners [close to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] are worse than al-Qaida," Ahdiyyih said.

Mr. Ahdiyyih regularly scans the Iranian media, including Web sites close to Ahmadinejad and his rivals, to find clues about the factional infighting in Tehran.

Mullah Hashemi-Rafsanjani, a rival to Ahmadinejad who is often mistakenly portrayed in the U.S. media as a "moderate," has been warning that Iran "faces a serious threat of being attacked by the United States," Ahdiyyih said.

"Ahmadinejad's people say it's just a psychological war. But if Iranians found out the risks of their nuclear program, the regime would face serious problems" from opposition inside Iran, he added.

Ahmadinejad has boasted frequently that Iran's nuclear program "is like a locomotive with no brakes," said Alex Vatanka, an Iran analyst with Jane's Information Group.

Iranians interpret that to mean just one thing: that Iran is very close to acquiring nuclear weapons capability, if it hasn't done so already.

It is the real possibility that Iran already could have nuclear weapons or be on the verge of acquiring them that has given a sense of urgency to such discussions in Washington, Jerusalem, and Tehran.

While the hard-liners are convinced that the U.S. is "bluffing" about putting any real pressure on Iran, Vatanka noted that the escalation of U.S.-led sanctions on Iran includes efforts to ban Iran from the international banking system, which would seriously complicate Iran's efforts to get paid for its oil.

"The United States hasn't put this type of pressure on Iran ever," he said.

The popular Tabnak.ir Web site in Iran translated a report from Israel Army Radio on Tuesday claiming that a U.S. military strike on Iran was imminent.

"Based on the statements of senior Bush administration officials, Israeli Army Radio reported today that the possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran in the coming months is more likely than ever," Tabnak reported.

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have become convinced since the Iranian-backed takeover by Hezbollah in Lebanon that "the head of the snake must be struck," Tabnak quoted Israeli Army Radio as saying.

Tabnak.ir is the mouthpiece of former Revolutionary Guards commander Gen. Mohsen Rezai, who is widely seen inside Iran as one of the guiding powers behind the newly-elected, anti-Ahmadinejad majority in the Iranian parliament.

The parliamentary faction, known as the "principalists," is led by former Revolutionary Guards officer Ali Larijani, who was fired by Ahmadinejad as his chief nuclear negotiator because the president considered him too conciliatory.

Another key figure in the new anti-Ahmadinejad faction is Tehran mayor, Mohammad-Baqr Qalibaf, a Revolutionary Guards general and former commander of the Rev. Guards Air Force, who ran against Ahmadinejad in the 2005 presidential elections.

"The Revolutionary Guards is not a unified political party," said Mohsen Sazegara, one of the founders of the Rev. Guards who has broken with the regime and now lives in the United States,

"They are like the rest of Iran. You can see many people [inside the Rev. Guards leadership] who are not satisfied with the present situation" and are seeking a change, he added.

The White House went to great lengths on Tuesday to deny the Israeli Army Radio report, which quoted President Bush as telling Israeli officials that "the disease must be treated –– not its symptoms."

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, the White House said that Bush believed that "no president of the United States should ever take options off the table, but our preference and our actions for dealing with this matter remain through peaceful diplomatic means. Nothing has changed in that regard."

Some Washington, D.C. analysts take the White House at its word. "The Bush administration has decided that the nuclear issue [in Iran] should be decided by the next administration," Patrick Clawson, deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy told the conference at AEI.

On Monday, the USS Ronald Reagan and its carrier strike group steamed out of San Diego for a six month tour of the Persian Gulf.

The Reagan will join the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, which entered the Gulf late last month.

The United States frequently has had two carrier strike groups in the region over the past two years, so the arrival of the Reagan is not a reinforcement.

Together, the two carriers can launch 144 strike aircraft and hundreds of cruise missiles against ground targets inside Iran, while ship-board helicopters, U.S. Marines, and naval artillery can destroy Iranian oil platforms and cripple the Iranian navy.

U.S. airstrikes that target the top leadership of Iran and refrain from extensive damage to civilians or religious targets, could win strong support from the Iranian people for a pro-U.S. coup by the security services, many Iranians in positions of responsibility believe.

"Anything that hurts the regime will make the people of Iran happy. The young people in Iran see the U.S. as the only country that can help them," former regime official, Dr. Mohsen Sazegara, told Newsmax this week.

Dissidents within the Iranian military and the Revolutionary Guards believe that U.S. air strikes that take out the leadership will open the doors to a coup led by the military that would put an end to the Islamic Republic.

But some Iranian pro-democracy activists fear that air strikes will only perpetuate the tyranny of the Islamic Republic.

"Military strikes, as limited as they may be, will allow the regime to repress Iranians even more, because Iran will be at a state of war where dissent will simply not be tolerated," former student leader Roozbeh Farahanipour told Newsmax."

Rather than promote military strikes on Iran, Farahanipour believes the United States should be backing pro-democracy groups inside Iran to carry out a systematic campaign of civil disobedience against the regime.

"The speed with which we can organize Iranians depends on the amount of resources at our disposal," he said. "Marze Por Gohar, with a molecular-sized budget, has been able to organize Iranians to conduct non-violent campaigns inside Iran. Certainly if we received more help from the international community we could be even more potent then we already are."

Marze Por Gohar is a small nationalist party that is calling for Iran to become a secular republic.

Dr. Sazegara, the former Revolutionary Guards founder, would also prefer to see the United States engage in a serious and sustained "Helsinki process" that would impose crippling international banking sanctions and diplomatic sanctions on Iran, and only lift them in exchange for real concessions.

"The first demand should be a general pardon, a general amnesty against political dissidents," Sazegara told Newsmax.

But even Sazegara doubts that the current leadership will ever engage in a serious dialogue over its nuclear weapons program or political freedom.

"The regime knows very well that the first step back [from repression] will set off a chain reaction that ultimately will lead to their collapse," Sazegara said.

The unwillingness to compromise, and the belief that the United States is only bluffing, is encouraging Ahmadinejad and Khamenei to stand firm against U.S. pressure, Sazegara and other Iran analysts believe.

"My biggest fear is that the Iranian leadership will miscalculate, just as Hezbollah did in 2006," says AEI Middle East analyst Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official who served in Iraq.

Rather than softening the tough talk toward Tehran, the White House should "make the red lines as clear as possible so we don't stumble into war," Rubin said. -

Kenneth R. Timmerman is President of Middle East Data Project, Inc. and author of Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran. Visit his website at www.KenTimmerman.com and contact him at timmerman.road@verizon.net

This article appeared in NewsMax and is archived at

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, May 20, 2008.

What a world!

Just imagine our neighbors would have a peaceful relationship, and leave Islam and Judaism out of the equation, what this would do for the benefit of all. The possibilities would be endless, and the entire world would benefit. All the funds now being wasted would be invested in projects beneficial to all.

The Bushies best friends, the Saudis, are behind most of the problems, as is the Muslim brotherhood, and the other religious fanatics that control many millions of lives. ...while the world still denies that it's the religion of death that's behind most of the problems. The facts speak for themselves. Just add up the amount of damage, death, fighting, explosions, has been caused, just over the last several decades, not by Buddhists, nor Jews, nor Christians.

Not very often one sees an article like this one in the British press! A beacon of truth in the British media –– this was written by Andrew Roberts (Daily Express).

The State of Israel has packed more history into her sixty years on the planet –– which she celebrates this week –– than many other nations have in six hundred. There are many surprising things about this tiny, feisty, brave nation the size of Wales, but the most astonishing is that she has lived to see this birthday at all. The very day after the new state was established, she was invaded by the armies of no fewer than five Arab countries, and she has been struggling for her right to life ever since.

From Morocco to Afghanistan, from the Caspian Sea to Aden, the 525 million square miles of territory belonging to members of the Arab League is home to over 330 million people, whereas Israel covers only 800,000 square miles, and is home to seven million citizens, one-fifth of whom are Arabs. The Jews of the Holy Land are thus surrounded by hostile states 650 times their size in territory and sixty times their population, yet their last, best hope of ending two millennia of international persecution -the State of Israel -has somehow survived.

When during the Second World War, the island of Malta came through three terrible years of bombardment and destruction, it was rightly awarded the George Medal for bravery. Today Israel should be awarded a similar decoration for defending democracy, tolerance and Western values against a murderous onslaught that has lasted twenty times as long.

Jerusalem is the site of the Temple of Solomon and Herod. The stones of a palace erected by King David himself are even now being unearthed just outside the walls of Jerusalem. Everything that makes a nation state legitimate –– blood shed, soil tilled, two millennia of continuous residence, international agreements –– argues for Israel's right to exist, yet that is still denied by the Arab League. For many of their governments, which are rich enough to have solved the Palestinian refugee problem decades ago, it is useful to have Israel as a scapegoat to divert attention from the tyranny, failure and corruption of their own regimes.

The tragic truth is that it suits Arab states very well to have the Palestinians endure permanent refugee status, and whenever Israel puts forward workable solutions they have been stymied by those whose interests put the destruction of Israel before the genuine well-being of the Palestinians. Both King Abdullah I of Jordan and Anwar Sadat of Egypt were assassinated when they attempted to come to some kind of sane accommodation with a country that most sane people now accept is not going away.

The process of creating a Jewish homeland in an area where other peoples were already living –– though far fewer of them than anti-Israel propagandists claim –– was always going to be a complicated and delicate business, and one for which Britain as the Mandated power had a profound responsibility, and about which since the Balfour Declaration of 1917 she had made solemn promises.

Yet instead of keeping a large number of troops on the ground throughout the birth pangs of the State of Israel, Britain hurriedly withdrew all her forces virtually overnight on 14 May 1948, thus facilitating the Arab invasions the very day, one of which was actually commanded by a former British Army officer, John Glubb (known as Glubb Pasha). Less than 4 years earlier, Britain had landed division after victorious division in Normandy. Now 'Partition and flee' was the Attlee government's ignominious policy, whose consequences are still plaguing the world half a century later in Kashmir and the Middle East.

'We owe to the Jews,' wrote Winston Churchill in 1920, 'a system of ethics which, even if it were entirely separated from the supernatural, would be incomparably the most precious possession of mankind, worth in fact the fruits of all wisdom and learning put together.'

The Jewish contribution to finance, science, the arts, academia, commerce and industry, literature, philanthropy and politics has been astonishing relative to their tiny numbers. Although they make up less than half of one per-cent of the world's population, between 1901 and 1950 Jews won 14% of all the Nobel Prizes awarded for Literature and Science, and between 1951 and 2000 Jews won 32% of the Nobel Prizes for Medicine, 32% for Physics, 39% for Economics and 29% for Science. This, despite so many of their greatest intellects dying in the gas chambers.

Civilization owes Judaism a debt it can never repay, and support for the right of a Jewish homeland to exist is the bare minimum we can provide. Yet we tend to treat Israel like a leper on the international scene, merely for defending herself, and threatening her with academic boycotts if she builds a separation wall that has so far reduced suicide bombings by 95% over three years. It is a disgrace that no senior member of the Royal Family has ever visited Israel, as though the country is still in quarantine after sixty years.

After the Holocaust, the Jewish people recognised that they had to have their own state, a homeland where they could forever be safe from a repetition of such horrors. Putting their trust in Western Civilisation was never again going to be enough. Since then, Israel has had to fight no fewer than 5 major wars for her very existence. She has been on the front line in the War against Terror and has been fighting the West's battles for it, decades before 9/11 or 7/7 ever happened. Radical Islam is never going to accept the concept of an Israeli State, so the struggle is likely to continue for another sixty years, but the Jews know that that is less dangerous than entrusting their security to anyone else.

Very often in Britain, especially when faced with the overwhelmingly anti-Israeli bias that is endemic in our liberal media and the BBC, we fail to ask ourselves what we would have done placed in their position? The population of the United Kingdom of 63 million is nine times that of Israel.

In July 2006, to take one example at random, Hizbullah crossed the border of Lebanon into Israel and killed eight patrolmen and kidnapped two others, and that summer fired 4,000 Katyusha rockets into Israel which killed a further 43 civilians.

Now, if we multiply those numbers by 9 to get the British equivalent, just imagine what WE would do if a terrorist organisation based as close as Calais were to fire 36,000 rockets into Sussex and Kent, killing 387 British civilians, after killing 72 British servicemen in an ambush and capturing eighteen.

There is absolutely no lengths to which our Government would not go to protect British subjects under those circumstances, and quite right too. Why should Israel be expected to behave any differently?

Last month I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, researching a book about the Second World War. Walking along a line of huts and the railway siding where their forebears had been worked and starved and beaten and gassed to death, were a group of Jewish schoolchildren, one of whom was carrying over his shoulder the Israeli flag, a blue star of David on white background. It was a profoundly moving sight, for it was the sovereign independence represented by that flag which guarantees that the obscenity of genocide –– which killed 6 million people in Auschwitz and camps like it –– will never again befall the Jewish people.

Happy birthday, Israel and Shalom.

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

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Posted by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, May 20, 2008.

font size=4 color=gray>PA daily: Arabs left homes on their own to facilitate destruction of Israel –– and thus became refugees>

The Arabs who became refugees in 1948 were not expelled by Israel but left on their own to facilitate the destruction of Israel, according to a senior Palestinian journalist writing in a Palestinian daily. This plan to leave Israel was initiated by the Arab states fighting Israel, who promised the people they would be able to return to their homes in a few days once Israel was defeated. The article in Al-Ayyam concludes that these Arab states are responsible for the Arab refugee problem.

A backbone of Palestinian English-language propaganda is the myth that Israel expelled hundreds of thousands of Arabs from Israel and created Arab refugees. But in recent years, PMW has documented an increasing willingness among Palestinians to openly blame the Arab states and not Israel.

Following are five such statements of blame, starting with this most recent article and including testimony from refugees themselves and corroboration by Palestinian leaders. Clearly, there is a growing Palestinian willingness to blame the Arab leaders, which corroborates Israel's historical record.

1. Jawad Al Bashiti, Palestinian journalist in Jordan, writing in Al-Ayyam, May 13, 2008

"Remind me of one real cause from all the factors that have caused the "Palestinian Catastrophe" [the establishment of Israel and the creation of refugee problem], and I will remind you that it still exists... The reasons for the Palestinian Catastrophe are the same reasons that have produced and are still producing our Catastrophes today. During the Little Catastrophe, meaning the Palestinian Catastrophe the following happened: the first war between Arabs and Israel had started and the "Arab Salvation Army" came and told the Palestinians: 'We have come to you in order to liquidate the Zionists and their state. Leave your houses and villages, you will return to them in a few days safely. Leave them so we can fulfill our mission (destroy Israel) in the best way and so you won't be hurt.' It became clear already then, when it was too late, that the support of the Arab states (against Israel) was a big illusion. Arabs fought as if intending to cause the "Palestinian Catastrophe". [Al-Ayyam, May 13 2008]

2. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Palestinian Journalist in PA official daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, December 13, 2006

"...The leaders and the elites promised us at the beginning of the "Catastrophe" in 1948, that the duration of the exile will not be long, and that it will not last more than a few days or months, and afterwards the refugees will return to their homes, which most of them did not leave only until they put their trust in those "Arkuvian" promises made by the leaders and the political elites. Afterwards, days passed, months, years and decades, and the promises were lost with the strain of the succession of events..." [Term "Arkuvian," is after Arkuv –– a figure from Arab tradition –– who was known for breaking his promises and for his lies."] " [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, December 13, 2006]

3. Asmaa Jabir Balasimah, Woman who fled Israel in 1948, Al-Ayyam, May 16, 2006

"We heard sounds of explosions and of gunfire at the beginning of the summer in the year of the "Catastrophe" [1948]. They told us: The Jews attacked our region and it is better to evacuate the village and return, after the battle is over. And indeed there were among us [who fled Israel] those who left a fire burning under the pot, those who left their flock [of sheep] and those who left their money and gold behind, based on the assumption that we would return after a few hours." [Al-Ayyam, May 16, 2006]

4. Son of man who fled in 1948, PA TV 1999

An Arab viewer called Palestinian Authority TV and quoted his father, saying that in 1948 the Arab District Officer ordered all Arabs to leave Palestine or be labeled traitors. In response, Arab MK Ibrahim Sarsur, then Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, cursed those leaders, thus acknowledging Israel's historical record.

"Mr. Ibrahim [Sarsur]. I address you as a Muslim. My father and grandfather told me that during the "Catastrophe" [in 1948], our district officer issued an order that whoever stays in Palestine and in Majdel [near Ashkelon –– Southern Israel] is a traitor, he is a traitor."

Response from Ibrahim Sarsur, now MK, then Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel:

"The one who gave the order forbidding them to stay there bears guilt for this, in this life and the Afterlife throughout history until Resurrection Day." [PA TV April 30, 1999]

5. Fuad Abu Higla, senior Palestinian, Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah, March 19, 2001 Fuad Abu Higla, then a regular columnist in the official PA daily Al Hayat Al Jadida, wrote an article before an Arab Summit, which criticized the Arab leaders. One of the failures he cited, in the name of a prisoner, was that an earlier generation of Arab leaders "forced" them to leave Israel in 1948, again placing the blame for the flight on the Arab leaders.

"I have received a letter from a prisoner in Acre prison, to the Arab summit:

To the [Arab and Muslim] Kings and Presidents, poverty is killing us, the symptoms are exhausting us and the souls are leaving our body, yet you are still searching for the way to provide aid, like one who is looking for a needle in a haystack or like the armies of your predecessors in the year of 1948, who forced us to leave [Israel], on the pretext of clearing the battlefields of civilians... So what will your summit do now?"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 19, 2001]


It is clear from these statements that there is general acknowledgement among Palestinians that Arab leaders bear responsibility for the mass flight of Arabs from Israel in 1948, and were the cause of the "refugee" problem. Furthermore, the fact that this information has been validated by public figures and refugees in the Palestinian Authority media itself confirms that this responsibility is well-known –– even though for propaganda purposes its leaders continue to blame Israel publicly for "the expulsion."

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 North American representative.

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Posted by Ted Belman, May 20, 2008.

In my article Refefining "What it means to be pro-Israel" I suggested that my definition of it is to advocate abrogating the peace process and annexing Judea and Samaria. Ami Isseroff commented that the problem with that solution was that no one will take the Arabs in. I agreed to the extent that to achieve such a solution would be extremely difficult. The world will vociferously oppose it.

Ami then referred me to his article Zionism and Israel: Ideological house cleaning
(www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000549.html). It is extremely well researched and worth reading. Here's an extract.

Solutions –– Whatever solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict we support, we need to re-examine all the arguments for that solution, because all of them were born in different circumstances, "a long time ago on another planet." It is easy to see that there is not much chance for a "bi-national state" (born in the 1920s) or that a "one state solution" (a favorite of the Nazi Mufti, Hajj Amin el Husseini) would result in an explosion no matter who was in charge of that state. But the two state solution (born in 1937, revised in 1947, revived more recently in a new context) may need rethinking as well. Here is one very pessimistic take on the two-state solution

Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad, the 'official' Palestinian Authority (PA) government:

They want Israel out of as much territory as possible and they wish to receive as much aid, both in dollars and weapons, as possible. But are their long-term policies consistent with the fantasy?

No, because there will not be an end to the conflict. The PA's position is that it does not and will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and that roughly 5 million refugee descendants have a 'right of return' to Israel. What they are offering is to create a Palestinian state in the West Bank, and a temporarily bi-national state in what used to be Israel proper, which will soon dissolve into civil war. This is not a question of ironing out details.

Of course, as long as Palestinians insist on Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, there isn't going to be any two state solution. But even assuming that the Palestinians will offer acceptable terms, is the two-state solution really going to work? We hope so, but we have to ask questions.

Can three or four million Palestinian Arabs really form a viable state in the roughly 2,200 square miles of the West Bank and Gaza? Will this land be sufficient to support them, with the addition of several million refugees and taking into account the prodigious Palestinian Arab birthrate? Are we all sure that Palestinian Arabs can generate a modern post-industrial economy like that of Israel? And what happens if the land is not sufficient? What happens between a Palestinian Arab state of say, 15 million persons, with a per capita GDP of say, $3,000, and an Israeli Jewish state of say 10 million persons, with a per capita income of $40,000? Can there be peace between two such states?

I agree. That's the dilemma. Neither the solution I propose, nor the two state solution can work. That leaves us with managing the status quo. We must decide if we can manage it better by going through the motions of the peace process or abrogating it.

In the first option we are pressed to make concessions yet we put facts on the ground in fits and starts. As for ending the peace process, we would continue putting facts on the ground. Rather then contend with the pressure to make concessions, we would have to contend with demands that we enter another peace process. I prefer the latter. We would also have to contend with pressure for a bi-national state. This Israel would reject outright. We would also have to contend with renewed charges of being an apartheid state. Effectively it would be because Israel would be fully in charge of Judea and Samaria as though it was sovereign and thus it would be argued that full rights should be offered the Palestinians. Don't get me wrong. Israel, behind the greenline, is not an apartheid state, but if Judea and Samaria are considered part of Israel due to annexation or occupation such a charge would be levied. That issue will ultimately have to be resolved.

In the annexation framework I, and others, have suggested offering citizenship subject to certain prerequisites, namely, all citizens must take a loyalty oath and pledge allegiance, all citizens must preform national service in the IDF or elsewhere, all citizens must speak and read Hebrew. These rules would also apply to Arab Israelis. This can't be done in the occupation framework. Whether we reject the peace process or redirect it to negotiating terms of annexation, we should start pushing in this direction. Obviously the Arabs will reject it, demanding a bi-national state and the international community will do likewise. Thus endless negotiations.

For my part, I would rather have endless negotiations over the terms of annexation rather than over the terms of a two-state solution. At least we would be offering citizenship under certain terms. And of course, continue putting facts on the ground.

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 Daily Alert, May 20, 2008.

This was written by Michael Coren of the Sun Media. It appeared in the Toronto Sn
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Coren_Michael/ 2008/05/10/pf-5524881.html

The Gaza Strip probably receives more media attention per square metre than any other slice of land in the world. Journalists abound in this overcrowded territory with its underemployed population.

Hence our media are full of reports from generally biased reporters who know that if they ever did present a more pro-Israel position their ability to function, if not their lives, would be in acute danger.

What is seldom revealed to the general public is the often unethical closeness between Palestinian spokespeople and foreign correspondents. Anyone who has spent any time covering the region knows of the private abuse thrown at Israelis by reporters who are supposed to have open minds.

One prominent BBC reporter openly wept when Yasser Arafat died and a British documentary maker was recorded on camera ordering someone out of her room because he was Israeli and then demanding to know if another man was Jewish.

Attacking Israel is seen as a way to attack the United States indirectly and as so many media types are anti-American it falls nicely into place. Mingle this with a degree of latent anti-Semitism –– some people still prefer Jews as cringing victims rather than as mighty warriors –– and you have the press corps in Israel and Palestine.

And in Gaza. Which is an icon of the failure of peace as Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary. The country is stronger and wealthier than ever before, but peace is just as unlikely. Gaza says it all. Israel occupied it when it dared to win a war with Arab neighbours dedicated to wiping the Jewish state off the map. It wanted to hand it back to Egypt, but Cairo wanted no part of it. They still don't.

Even so, Israel withdrew. It was painful, risky and divisive. Only a fool would believe that they did this because they cared about the Palestinians. They did it because they hoped it might lead to peace. However, instead of viewing this as a gesture of goodwill, Hamas saw it as weakness and stepped up its military campaign.

Israel left an entire economic infrastructure, much to the chagrin of more hawkish Israelis. It was smashed apart by the Palestinians within hours. Within days the shower of rockets began to descend on Jewish civilians living close to the border, in towns that had never been Arab and had been built from nothing by Jewish labour.

Since then legions of women, children and families have lived in shelters. This, the Israelis are being told, is what happens if you return land. Gaza itself is hellish. But it has been given billions of dollars in foreign aid and the money is still being pumped in. Tragically, it goes to buy guns, rockets and explosives rather than food, oil and books.

As a consequence Israel has tightened the border to protect its citizens.

It is then accused by the media and its enemies abroad –– often dictators and torturers –– of being cruel.


Little is said about Egypt being far stricter on its side of Gaza with its Palestinian cousins or how Hamas directly has prevented a million litres of fuel being distributed to its people.

Double standard and unfair criticism. Nothing new. Israel knows it is badly treated and knows that whatever it does, some people and groups will always hate it. Yet it still celebrates its birthday. As it should. Sixty glorious years.

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 Richard H. Shulman, May 20, 2008.


The NY Times 5/18 "Week In Review" had three articles on the Arab-Israel conflict. All were anti-Zionist, par for the Times' advocacy journalism. They were written by a Palestinian Arab, by Thomas Friedman, and by Jeffrey Goldberg. Friedman and Goldberg profess sympathy for Israel, but urge Israel to cede defensible borders in a policy that has gotten thousands of Jews killed or wounded and fits the Arab plan for conquering the rest. Pretending sympathy for Israel is an old tactic by the traditionally anti-Zionist Times and the customarily anti-Zionist Friedman.


Friedman started by quoting Pres. Bush: "'There has to be 'an end' to the Israeli occupation' of the W. Bank 'that began in 1967.' Israel must be secure and a final agreement 'must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people.'" "'The establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue. The Palestinian people deserve it.'" Friedman upholds the statements by noting that Bush is "long hailed as a true friend of Israel."


Friends can be mistaken, so their reputations prove nothing. Nor is Bush's reputation as a friend of Israel deserved, as you will see, below. Bush got the reputation because he smiled at Israeli leaders, the media does not inform people about this issue, and the leftist Israeli media is unable to contrast what leaders say with what they do and with enemy ideology. Such Jews take seriously the false flattery by diplomats and wily opponents.


Is there an occupation? Jordanian and Egyptian aggressors seized the Old City of Jerusalem and the Territories in 1948. The West did not complain about their control of the Territories as an occupation. This inconsistency indicates a double standard.

Ordinary people have not read international law and scholarly commentary about occupation. Occupation means controlling part or all of a sovereign state belonging to another nationality, not one's own homeland. Mandatory Palestine was not a sovereign state belonging to another nationality. Hence, not occupied.

Neither is the ordinary person familiar with the Palestine Mandate. The Mandate recognized the whole of Palestine as the homeland of the Jewish people. The Mandate listed what had to be done to prepare it for Jewish statehood, by implication. A major requirement was "close settlement of the land by the Jews." How can the Jews be occupiers of an area recognized as the Jewish homeland to be restored to the Jewish people as a matter of historical justice? This return was endorsed by the non-partisan League of Nations, and initially by the UNO, which incorporated the Mandate into its Charter. How can the Jews be occupiers of an area requiring "close settlement of the land by the Jews?

The ordinary person, unversed in such matters, depends on his newspapers and Presidents to inform him. They don't. They have access to the facts, but lie about them. Bush does. Friedman does. The Times does. Those are no friends of Israel, taking the side of the Muslim Arab jihad against the Jews.


"Give back" to the Palestinian Arabs, "give back," "give back," three times Friedman uses that phrase. This makes it seem as if the fair thing is for Israel to "return" the Territories to the Palestinian Arabs. But it didn't belong to them. They never controlled it. One can't "give back" what someone never had. This is another example of the propagandistic use of language to fabricate a case for the non-existent "Palestinian" nationality.

Bush said that "Palestine" should be established as a homeland for the Palestinian people. What does he mean? Is it a homeland or only first to be established as one? Remember that about three-fourths of the Arabs in it are of relatively recent immigrant families. This area is not their ancestral homeland, though it is of the Jews.

What does Bush mean by "Palestine?" Objectively, it is the area of the ancient Jewish kingdom, which the British marked on their maps when setting up the Palestine Mandate. It was renamed Palestine from Judea by the Romans, in an attempt to disassociate it from the Jewish people. At that time, most of the residents were Jews and the Arabs had not turned Muslim and had not conquered the region.

There was no "Palestinian people," although up to the establishment of modern Israel, the Zionists there were called "Palestinians" and the Arabs there were not. Up to the 1960s, most Arabs there had no sense of nationality. Those who did considered themselves Syrians. Then they called themselves Palestinians, the people naming themselves after the area, rather than the area being named after the people the way Judea was named after the Jewish tribe of Judah. Samaria is from the Hebrew word for guard. Samaria, was said to guard the approach to Judah. The ancient state of Israel was named after the Israelites.

By "Palestine," the PLO means the Territories for now, Israel later, and then Jordan. What does Bush mean? What will the State Dept. mean when and if the Arabs get the Territories and then demand more of "Palestine?" Will the State Dept. continue appeasement of the Arabs a Israel's expense? The State Dept. never wanted Israel to come into existence.

The change in name from Arabs to Palestinians was a deliberate ploy to make Arabs seem entitled to the land. Along comes Bush, saying, in effect, "Palestine for the Palestinians." I say, Judea for the Jews.

Perhaps you now guessed why Bush did not define "Palestine." If one defines it, Jewish entitlement to it becomes clearer. Keeping the meaning vague and flexible allows the Arabs and Bush to expand it to include more areas later that the Arabs would demand. According to their ideology, they would demand still more, when and if they get some. That's part of Arafat's phased plan for the conquest of Israel. This is a plan that Bush, Friedman, and the Times also don't mention. If they did, they would deflate their premise that peace is made by giving the Arabs another state there.


Then there is the notion that statehood for the western Palestinian Arabs is long overdue and they deserve it. Where did that notion originate? Deserve it on what basis? Based on their phony claim to being a separate nationality, while the PLO Covenant admits they are not a separate nationality? Based on terrorism? Deserving because of their other war crimes? For fostering bigotry? Desire for conquest? Wholesale corruption? Being part of the Arab nationality possessing more than 20 states and more land than does the USA? Being anti-American? Incidentally, Friedman stressed loyalty to the US over loyalty to Israel (of which I see none, especially when he urges making stronger the mass-murderers of Israelis). Then why does he support the Palestinian Arab people, whose media and leaders encourage Muslims to fight against US troops in Iraq and who hate America? The stronger our ally Israel is, the better it can help us against the Islamists the way it helped us keep the USSR out of the Mideast.

(He really is hostile to Zionism. I think he was conjuring up an image of dual loyalty, to intimidate American Jews, so they would be afraid to have their American patriotism doubted when the champion Israel. This is scurrilous. Just as he claims his anti-Israel policies are good for the US, I claim that pro-Israel policies are good for the US. After all, the P.A. is part of the anti-Western jihad, affecting both the US and Israel.)

It boils down to Bush et al proposing to give traditionally Jewish territory affording Israel secure borders to enemy terrorists pledged to conquer Israel by violence, and calling this peacemaking and telling us that Bush et al are friends of Israel. Who needs such "friends!"


That is the thesis of Jeffry Goldberg's article. He puts the burden of keeping the US government from pressing Israel for agreement with the P.A. upon US Jewry's opposition to major territorial concessions to the Arabs.

The US already presses Israel. It has been pressing Israel for decades and interfering in its internal affairs. This is the sneaky kind of imperial behavior that Democrats perceive the US doing with other countries but fail to see it doing with Israel. Israel has conceded much. Mr. Goldberg is mistaken. What he really must want is the US to force total Arab demands upon Israel.

Since the Arab demands are unjustified, since their demands keep growing, since they keep violating their peace commitments, since it is the Arabs who start the wars, and since the Palestinian Arabs align with the holy war against the US among others, why doesn't Goldberg propose some US pressure upon them?

Would that US Jewry were more influential upon the US government and more staunch about the territorial integrity and security of Israel!


Goldberg urges US Jewish leaders to see the bigger picture, as, he claims, PM Olmert does. Olmert? The problem with Olmert is that, judging by his statements and actions, he does not see the big picture nor does he plan ahead.

One day Olmert removes checkpoints, at the behest of Israel's ostensible friend, Bush. Couple of days later, the inevitable terrorist attack through those checkpoints prompts Olmert to restore the checkpoints. A month later, having learned nothing, and not seeing the bigger picture, but heeding State Dept. demands, Olmert starts the removal-restore cycle again.

Olmert releases terrorists for goodwill. In return, he gets terrorism instead of goodwill. Unable to learn in behalf of Israel, and unable to see the overall jihad, Olmert then plans to release more terrorists for more non-forthcoming goodwill.

Olmert thinks that Abbas is a peace partner, while Abbas says he refuses to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state and if negotiations don't give him what he wants, he'll go to war

Olmert was unable to plan the big picture for the war in Lebanon. He failed to destroy Hizbullah there, and his regime put pro-terrorist UNIFIL in the way of Israeli action against Hizbullah. UNIFIL let Hizbullah regain its military strength there. Result now is a major threat to Israel, in behalf of Iran. Olmert is so blind to the issues that he thinks his Lebanon policy was a success. Same for his Foreign Minister Livni.

Olmert also was involved in expelling the Jews from Gaza. The result is Hamas bombardment of Israel. He couldn't foresee that, though all his critics did. He failed to retain control over the Gaza-Egypt border, allowing arms smuggling to accelerate. He praises Egypt, which allows smuggling from its side.

Olmert also succumbs to many US demands for not pursuing Hamas hard. Meanwhile, Abbas encourages terrorism against Israel.

The Israeli people have lost their patience with, and respect for, Olmert. US Jewry needs to become more of a counter-balance to him.


Olmert pretends to be looking ahead, by arguing that unless Israel sets up a separate P.A. state, the rest of the world would claim Israel is ruling another people and would demand it combine with the PLO, making the Arabs a majority. He also claims that the Arab population is increasing faster than the Jewish population. That is not true.

The claim rests upon P.A. population figures shown to be false. Many Arab residents were counted twice; others were counted even after having moved out. Many do leave. The Arab birth rate is declining. The proportion of Jews in the area is growing.


If Olmert were patriotic, had foresight, and were not a hypocrite about demography, then instead of expelling Jews, he would have expelled illegal Arab aliens, stopped admitting foreign Arabs who wish to marry ones in Israel, would have begun annexing parts of the Territories not populated by Arabs, and would stop subsidizing the P.A. and Israeli Arabs, so that more Arabs would leave. That would address the demographic question favorably for the Jews.


Worrying about what the rest of the world would do, and giving in to their immediate demands because of that worry, is not wise. It merely encourages the world to demand more. Appeasement does not work. The world will stay hostile no matter what Israel does. Israel should learn how to do what is in its own interest, not the Arab enemy's. Israel also should learn how to answer hostile claims. For example, a patriotic and sensible Israeli regime would point out that it is not ruling the Arabs in the Territories. Attacked by them, Israel takes security measures. If that harms the P.A. economy, let the Arabs stop their terrorism.


Goldberg advocates a contiguous Arab state, from Gaza to Judea-Samaria.

That means running a corridor connecting the two parts of the P.A.. The corridor would bisect Israel. Then Israel no longer would be contiguous. What happened to Goldberg's value of contiguous state? Why is contiguity important for the Arabs but not for the Jews? Goldberg seems biased in favor of the Arabs.

He suggests expelling the Jews from Judea-Samaria. In other words, reward Arab aggression and cede the cradle of Jewish civilization to the enemies of civilization. Bad idea. Unjust. Harms America.


Obama's opposition to the terrorist organization, Hamas, is mentioned. Why doesn't Obama oppose the PLO terrorist organization and its Fatah component? Because Obama and Bush and Olmert pretend that Fatah is not terrorist, so Israel would have some group with whom it could pretend to be making peace and could make territorial concessions to. Territorial concessions to terrorists, however, would have deadly consequences. "Friend" Bush gets Jews killed.

The next US President, writes Goldberg, should press Israel to make peace with the moderates before the extremists become too strong. This suggestion erroneously implies that Israel is the obstacle to peace. Does Goldberg not know that the Arabs started all these wars primarily out of religious intolerance that continues? Is he unaware that Israeli school children are taught about peace while the Arab children sing of war and of killing Jews?

What moderates, among the Palestinian Arabs? Like all the other advocates of that supposed piece of wisdom, he doesn't identify those moderates or at least doesn't explain specifically what is moderate about them. Among the Palestinian Arabs are no moderates in power or who dare propose a genuine peace.

In talking about the alleged moderates, Goldberg contrasts these nameless ones with "fundamentalists of Hamas." Just as Hamas believes in the fundamentals of intolerant Islam, so do Fatah and Abbas. Goldberg does not understand Islam and the people involved.


If one hadn't already concluded that the Times caters to views based on lies, the final article is a Palestinian Arab's barrage of dissembling.


The Arab, Elias Khoury, calls the establishment of Israel a catastrophe for his people. He claims they had been living there for centuries but were expelled by a comprehensive plan of ethnic cleansing, exposed by "courageous" new historians such as Ilan Pappe.

The new historians are anti-Zionist propagandists who lack academic standards of historians. They quote out of context to mislead and libel. They have been exposed, themselves, as frauds. Pappe was a Communist. Communists lack integrity.

There was no plan of ethnic cleansing. Almost all Arabs who wanted to, were allowed to stay and urged to stay. Unfortunately, many did and many others were invited back. That was Ben-Gurion's biggest mistake. Instead of blaming him for going to far, which he did not, I blame him for not going far enough. The growing Israeli Arab struggle to capture Israel is strong evidence for my view.

Most of the Arabs fled before Jewish forces arrived. Indeed, the Arab leaders and many others fled before the war started. Whose fault is that? Only a few were forced out, and that was for strategic reasons in a war for survival (a war still running). The evidence in broadcasts, newspapers, and British documents (and in my memory) is overwhelming. Like the notion of Palestinian nationality, the notion of an expulsion was fabricated later, for propaganda.


Prof. Khoury places responsibility for the wars entirely on the Jews. But the Arabs started the wars. They didn't have to. They wanted, however, to exterminate the Jews. They were genocidal. For decades, they wouldn't negotiate and most still won't. Khoury does not mention that. Hmm.

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

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 20, 2008.

This comes from the JoshuaPundit website
(http://joshuapundit.blogspot.com/2008/05/more-good-news-from-israel.html) and was posted by Freedom Fighter.

No wonder the Arabs are in such a hurry to destroy Israel!

First a major breakthrough in solar energy, and now a revolutionary discovery in producing synthetic fuels...using algae!:

{Israeli scientist Dr. Isaac Berzin] discovered that "green slime" contains one of the keys to the alternative fuel the world is seeking. His company is the first ever to develop and produce biofuels from algae that are bred on gases emitted by power plants.

It might sound like some sort of magic trick to put algae, CO2 and sunlight into a box and come out with fuel, but Berzin did it. "I feel a bit like Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb," he says. "He tried thousands of materials until he arrived at the filament. My intuition, too, told me that it was possible to do something that people were only dreaming of –– to build a device from algae to produce energy at market-compatible costs.

"It's logical, really, when you think about it," Berzin continues, "because all liquid fuels are compressed ancient organic matter, the outcome of photosynthesis. The liquid fuels that are pumped out of the earth are ancient plants. There are no miracles here. We just accelerated the process. A quarter of the weight of algae is vegetable oil from which biofuel can be produced, and the point was to control the biology. My goal was to adapt the algae to the local water and the local profile of the gases –– to ensure they would be happy."...

n a large conference hall at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Berzin declares that the world is on the threshold of a vast change. "An era has ended," he asserts without hesitation. "Until now we found a reserve of fuel and used it up. In comparison to the evolutionary process, we are at the transition from the stage of the collectors of food to the situation in which humanity began to engage in agriculture and grow food. That is what we are doing today: we are starting to grow our fuel. Our generation will go down in history as the 'fuel generation.' That generation is over. Man is moving from a situation in which he uses up the sources of energy to one in which he grows energy." ...

This is by no means just theoretical:

Berzin has registered 12 patents that enshrine his rights to the technology connecting an energy farm to a power plant. In 2005, in the heart of the Arizona desert, he chalked up another achievement when he set up the world's first trial project adjacent to a power plant of APS, Arizona's largest electrical utility company. The director of the advanced fuels program of APS, Raymond Hobbs, relates that his Ford has been cruising the streets of Phoenix on green fuel since 2006. "My mandate is to burn fuel and produce electricity, but we have a problem called CO2," he notes. "The good thing about Itzik's [Isaac's] technology is that we are recycling the toxin and creating a new industry. It's a win-win situation for everyone. It's not every day that you make a hole in the smokestack of a power plant that is worth billions of dollars and start to grow algae. I did it because I believed in Itzik. The first time we met, he showed up at my office with three people and said that was his whole company. I say that the size of a company does not determine the size of the head. One person's idea can bring about tremendous change. I am certain that his technology will bring mankind lots of fuel, food and peace."

Even more interesting, the process doesn't interfere with the food supply or take up valuable land and is actually more efficient than synthesizing fuel out of plants used for food crops:

"It turns out that the biofuels produced from corn or soy seeds –– fuels that are considered the future substitute for pollutant fuel –– cause environmental damage themselves. It is also not economically viable: to grow the soy beans you need leaves and roots, a whole system that supports the beans from which the oil is produced. No such system is required to grow algae. Their rate of growth is 10 to 100 times that of any other biological system. So if you have a unit of land, you can achieve orders of production that are many times higher. This is a process that does not compete for land and water resources –– algae can grow in saltwater and in sewage."

Dr. Berzin, who made TIME magazine's list of 100 most influential people this year, is also aware of the implications this could have for the War On Jihad:

" After all, those terrorists are funded by fuel powers...As soon as one energy farm proves itself economically –– and that will happen within a year and a half –– we will be able to establish similar farms all over the world. If an energy revolution of this kind occurs in China, it will foment a strategic change in the division of the political forces on a global scale. A world in which China will not be dependent on Iran will be a different world. Some countries will lose part of their power. The message is one of energy freedom. If you have land, sun and CO2, you can grow your own energy. A revolution like this will make the world free."

And just maybe, that's how G-d intended it. Or as Dr. Berzin puts it, when modestly downplaying his achievement "... it was mostly the finger of G-d. I am not a religious person, but I have a feeling of divine providence. G-d is not mentioned in the Book of Esther, but from the events you understand that He is behind the scenes, that He exists. In my story, too, what I dreamt of came to be, and I often had the feeling that someone behind the scenes was helping me."

Just another major benefit to humanity provided by Israel...as opposed to what their Arab adversaries have contributed to the world. Posted by Freedom Fighter at 10:47 AM 6 comme

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

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Posted by Dawn Treader, May 20, 2008.
This was a news item in Israel Today

Moscow is in negotiations to purchase a large section of downtown Jerusalem once controlled by the Russian government prior to Israel's rebirth in 1948.

The 17-acre Russian Compound is today home to a large police facility and detention center, numerous pubs and restaurants and a large Russian Orthodox church.

The Russian government built up the area in the 1860s to accommodate the large number of Russian pilgrims who were visiting Jerusalem every year, particularly around the time of Easter.

Negotiations over the land has been ongoing since the premiership of Ehud Barak some seven years ago. The Russians are reportedly prepared to pay $100 million for the prime real estate.

Speaking to Israel National News, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman stressed that Israel is not "selling" the land to Russia, but rather "returning" the area to its former owners –– a very dangerous way of putting things considering the Arab claim to all of what is today the Jewish state.

Contact Dawn Treader at dawntreader3@yahoo.com

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Posted by Laureen Moe, May 19, 2008.

The Lord blessed what I was doing.

When I was in Israel I went up to the area that they called THE GOOD FENCE. It was at the Lebanon border. That was in the 80's. I bought an Israeli flag –– - it did not have the usual stick with it that allows you to hold it up and display it. I have had the flag folded in my home since then.

I attend the Church of Zion in B.c. and although they are pro-Israel I don't believe they own an Israeli flag.

So recently when other members of the Church were dancing around with their banners I started to bring my flag and several times just opened it and spread it out over the chair in front of me..and at other times I hold it up in front of me. One time Pastor Gideon's wife Mai came over to me and held the flag in her arms as if it was precious to her and she took it down to the stage area where the dancers were and gave it to one girl to display as she danced. Another time when I opened my eyes as I was praying a dear older member of the congragation appeared in front of me and asked me to bring the flag down to the front of the auditorium (this is our temporary church home) because they were going to pray for Israel.

But the most blessed moment that I had came a little later..One day as the others were displaying their banners I just thought "well why don't I go up on the stage also and bring the flag."

I did not want to disturb the worshipfull atmosphere that was evident so as quietly as I could (without being a spectacle with my cane) I moved toward the stage and from the stairway at the right I went on the stage and held the Israeli flag in front of me (you could not see my face).I neared the back of the stage and because I was not well and could not stand for a long time I didn't expect to be there long..

In a few moments I felt a woman behind me who was joining me by praying over me and then the most Magic momeht of my life occurred –– -I felt my arms being raised the way the biblical Moses had his raised when it was evident that He was tiring from praying...

Two young men had come up on the stage to help me hold up the Israeli flag...that to me was a miracle...I don't know their names and I don't even know if they know each other....

What a blessing they were to me......and I am sure the Lord was thrilled that they obeyed his prompting to go and assist..

I have had those wonderfull moments in my memory as I entered in to a 6 month period of one ailment after another...the hardest thing being that I could not get back to Church for about 8 weeks..

those moments will as long as I live be a treasure.

We don't have to do great exploits for God –– He honors little things ...

Laureen Moe is a Christian Zionist and lives in Canada. Contact her at meadow-lark@telus.net and visit her website, http://www.laureenmoe.org

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Posted by Sergio Tessa (HaDaR), May 19, 2008.

The corollary of the so-called "peace process" was to be a demilitarized palestinian state...or so at least those who were favourable to such a process asserted without any real element of support except their own delusions.

NOW, THE CHICKEN ARE OFFICIALLY COMING HOME TO ROOST...if the experience of 15 years, with billions spent by the arabs in weapons and explosives rather than in social infrastructure, had not been enough.

This was written by Roni Sofer and published today in Ynet
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3544954,00.html Ali Waked contributed to this report.

Optimistic developments touted after Olmert-Abbas meeting prove to hold little water as gaps between Israel, PA only seem to widen as negotiations go deeper. Behind closed doors, Israeli and Palestinian officials have confirmed to Ynet, PA negotiator Ahmed Qureia is demanding an army be built for future Palestinian nation

Despite previous understandings that a future Palestinian state would be demilitarized, Ynet has learned that in talks held behind closed doors, the top negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, Ahmed Qureia, is demanding the establishment of a regular army.

High-level Israeli and Palestinian officials confirmed the newly revealed developments on Monday night.

According to the information obtained by Ynet, the new and surprising demand first emerged as the negotiations teams sat down in Jerusalem last Sunday to discuss security arrangements. Qureia told Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni that the Palestinian state would require a regular army to defend itself.

Livni, though perplexed by the sudden demand, made clear that all previous accords specifically spoke of a demilitarized Palestinian state. A senior Israeli source said that Livni sought to clarify if perhaps Qureia had meant a Palestinian police force, but the latter was reiterated that it was a proper regular army the PA was after.

The source added that the new Palestinian stipulation incensed Livni, who ardently rejects the idea of such an army.

Palestinian policemen in Jenin. Soon to be soldiers? (Photo: Reuters)

A very senior Palestinian source close to Qureia confirmed the exchange. "At the meeting in question we raised the demand for a regular army, meant to defend the independent state," he told Ynet.

"This isn't an army intended to launch an attack against Israel. We are not asking for F-16 jets but rather a force that would be able to defend the nation from threat and realize its basic right to exist in security."

The source said the situation had changed greatly since the days of the Oslo Accords in 1993. "Oslo spoke of an intermediary entity. Now we are talking about a Palestinian state born out of a permanent agreement. There is no clause in any of the understandings that denies the Palestinian state an army to defend itself with, to defend its borders and citizens with," he said.

'What significant progress, exactly?"

Following the most recent meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a senior State official declared that "significant progress" had been made in negotiations on the final borders and security arrangements.

An Israeli official well-informed of the proceedings rejected that statement. "What significant progress are they talking about exactly?" he wondered.

"It's very clear that there are complex disagreements on all the core issues. Up until now the points of contention have been the borders and the matter of the refugees. And that was before you even got to Jerusalem. But now the Palestinians want an army of their own, without regard to any of the previous accords. This isn't progress, it's backtracking. Reports of progress in the negotiations are misleading the public."

But other officials connected to the talks taking place in backrooms think little of the Palestinians demand for a regular army. The Palestinians, they said, were well aware that in the event a Palestinian state will indeed be established, it will undoubtedly be demilitarized. Disagreements are an inherent part of negotiations, they said, but this does not mean the talks are stalled.

In her speech at the president's conference last week, Livni determinedly broached the subject: "Yes, it is important to set recognized borders, but that is not enough. We must determine what will be on the other side of that border.

"We are talking about a demilitarized state here (...) we will not stand for a terror state or an extremist Islamist state. There are conditions that will have to be met, before and after. I don't hold by just tossing the keys over the border and hoping for the best. There will be no agreement over the future territory if there won't be satisfactory assurances regarding what its nature will be."

Sergio Tessa can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net.

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Posted by Marc Samberg, May 19, 2008.

This was published by David Oakley, Capital Markets Correspondent and published today in The Financial Times

Britain will announce today its determination to launch the first Islamic bonds by a western government, in the clearest sign yet that long-running doubts over costs and pricing have finally been put to rest.

Kitty Ussher, the UK's economic secretary to the Treasury, will say there is a "powerful momentum" behind the plans, which will cement London's position as the leading western centre for Islamic finance.

The government unveiled hopes to issue Sharia-compliant bond, or sukuk, to much fanfare in April 2007. Since then, the initiative has been hotly debated, with some civil servants raising concerns over the costs of issuing sukuk, which are far higher than for conventional bonds because of the complexity in the way they are structured to avoid paying interest in line with strict religious laws.

The government is convinced the political and financial benefits far outweigh worries about cost. It also believes the bonds can be priced competitively to attract buyers, another concern of some civil servants.

Ms Ussher spoke to the Financial Times ahead of a seminar on Islamic finance today, where she will outline the government's position. "This is an important market for Britain, which we are committed to growing," she said. "Although we don't see this as a competition between financial centres, London is now established as the most important western centre for Islamic finance. New York has missed the boat.

"We are determined to issue Islamic bonds. It will bring money to London and send out a strong positive signal to the Muslim community."

Bankers say a sovereign UK Islamic bond would be a milestone for the $80bn sukuk market, one of the fastest-growing in the world, as it would boost liquidity and encourage other western governments and institutions to follow suit.

So far, the only western issuers of sukuk are a Texas-based oil group, a German state and the World Bank, collectively representing a tiny fraction of the market. The bulk of issues have come from the Middle East and Malaysia, making up about 90 per cent of the market.

Bankers predict the bond will be launched next year and be of benchmark size, which means about £500m. A bond of this size would help Islamic banks by giving them the ability to buy safe triple A rated paper, which will improve their balance sheets and provide them with collateral for other lending operations.

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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Posted by Martin Sherman, May 19, 2008.

This appeared in Ynet

There seems no limit to the perils to which the lunatic Left is prepared to expose Israel and its citizens –– or impose on them –– in pursuit of its delusional and dangerous designs. This was vividly highlighted recently by Emmanuel Rosen's outrageous article "The power of weakness" in which he urges Ehud Olmert to exploit the fact that he has totally lost public confidence and trust in order to concoct a hurried accord with Assad over the evacuation of the Golan. According to Rosen's torturous logic, the fact that Olmert is beset by a maelstrom of grave suspicions of public deceit and private graft is somehow ... a political advantage? Because allegedly now he has nothing to lose!

The article is especially troubling since it is penned by such high-profile media personality as Rosen –– and reflects a disturbing and unflattering picture of the mindset of many Israeli opinion makers –– in terms of both their perception of morality and their grasp of reality.

Rosen totally misrepresents past events, stating that "prime ministers gained political calm when they did nothing (Shamir) but were ousted (Barak) or killed (Rabin) when they gambled on doing something." Is Rosen seriously suggesting that the crescendo of suicide bombings that characterized the Rabin era, or the Palestinian violence that erupted during Barak's term should serve as model to be emulated by Olmert?

But aside from the distasteful deception that Rosen urges in his blatantly undemocratic recommendation that Olmert use (or rather abuse) his lack of public endorsement to undertake a measure that too has no public endorsement, his proposal is dangerously detached from reality –– particularly after the recent exposure of the Syrian regime's nuclear aspirations. Indeed rather than "bold" and "courageous" as Rosen would have us believe, the notion of relinquishing the Golan could be more aptly described as "rash", "irresponsible" and "shortsighted". After all, the severe hazards to Israel's vital security interests implicit in Rosen's suggestion are –– or at least should be –– starkly obvious to any one with even minimal regard for the nation's well being.

Even if Assad was totally sincere in his recent proclamations, who can be sure how long his minority-led regime of tyranny will endure? Indeed, the very agreement with the "Zionist entity" may hasten his overthrow by more radical opponents. How would Israel react if an extremist successor regime were to abrogate the agreement –– especially those clauses which relate to demilitarization of border areas? What if Assad himself did not honor the terms of the agreement; did not dissociate himself from Iran or did not terminate his support for the Hizbullah?

Strategic Sanity

Rosen implies that "most members of the defense establishment" back the idea of handing over the Golan to Assad." This is a claim that is totally bewildering if it is true –– and totally scandalous if it is not. One hardly requires the military acumen of Clausewitz to appreciate the huge military value of the Golan that gives Israel command over the approaches to Damascus and precludes Syrian command over the entire northern portion of Israel. This provides Israel with unequivocal deterrence, which has ensured that the Syrian frontier has been the most peaceful for over third of century –– without Israel yielding a centimeter of territory. Only the moronic or the malicious could suggest that Israel would be better off militarily without the Golan. If widespread support for withdrawal does indeed prevail among Israel's generals, then it is based on a political assessment of the potential benefits should the Syrians honor their commitments and not a military appraisal of consequences that would surely arise should they not. And when it comes to the appraisal of political risk (as to whether Arab commitments will be honored or not), the military has no special professional proficiency or inherent advantage over any other informed citizen –– whose evaluations are not clouded by career considerations that dictate deference to political masters.

Apart from the clear operational advantage that the Golan's topography provides the IDF, the intelligence gathering value of the area –– particularly the ridge of hills on its eastern fringes and from atop Mt. Hermon (aptly dubbed "the eyes of the country") is indispensable. There is wide agreement among experts that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find adequate substitute to compensate for the loss of the intelligence installations stationed there.

Economic Expenditure

Moreover, the estimated direct cost of evacuation of the Golan runs in to the tens of billion of dollars with some estimates exceeding one hundred billion. It is unlikely that a US administration –– manifestly unenthusiastic about any dealings with the regime in Damascus –– will contribute generously to defray these expenditures. Moreover, Israel will have to undertake huge investments in security and dramatically increase the defense budget to compensate for the relinquishing of the strategic advantages its presence in Golan provided. One wonders where Rosen would suggest Israel find the resources to cover these gargantuan costs and what sacrifices he proposed should be made for them.

Also, the Golan constitutes a vital portion of the drainage basin for the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret), and crucially affects both the quantity and the quality of its waters. Experts have warned consistently of the catastrophic consequences for the national water supply if the Syrians prevent the waters of the Golan from reaching the Kinneret, or if they pollute them before they do.

Finally, the detrimental social effects of the prospect of a withdrawal from the Golan would manifest themselves in three distinctly separate groups:

The evacuation of the Golan –– a region far more part of the national consensus than Gaza –– would be far more divisive than the Disengagement. It would cause exacerbated polarization, deepening despair and disillusionment in significant segments of the Jewish population and growing sense of alienation and disillusionment with the Israeli state and its leadership. The inevitable result of this would be an accelerated unraveling of the social fabric and disintegration of social cohesiveness, gravely undermining the country's ability to contend with the daunting challenges it would still have to face after such a withdrawal... or because of such a withdrawal.

Meanwhile, the looming prospect of the return of Syrian rule will be a powerful inducement for the local Druze population to show their loyalty and allegiance to their new masters, and to endeavor to dispel any hint of suspicion of collaboration with the Zionist foe. It needs little imagination to realize that such a desire is easily likely to translate in acts of hostility against Israel and Israelis in order to prove their bona fide to their future rulers.

The withdrawal of the IDF from the Golan will compel it to redeploy in northern Israel, and particularly in the Galilee. Clearly this will require the expropriation of large tracts of land to accommodate new bases, installations and training areas. Inevitably much of this land will be in rural areas populated by the large Arab community. One hardly needs great powers of prediction to foresee the consequences of seizure by the IDF of land which the Arabs see as their own and which they depend on for their livelihood.

The foregoing list of the crucial advantages the Golan provides Israel, and the perilous dangers that relinquishing it would expose it to, is in no way exhaustive, nor adequately detailed. It should however suffice to demonstrate decisively that any initiative to withdraw from it would not be "bold" but "barmy", not "courageous statesmanship" but "craven capitulation."

Dr. Martin Sherman is in the Department of Political Science at Tel Aviv University. He has written extensively on water, including "The Politics of Water in the Middle East," London: Macmillan, 1999. He was a senior research fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, and served for seven years in Israel's defense establishment. He is Academic Director of the Jerusalem Summit.

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 19, 2008.

Let me begin with a link to my latest report on Fatah as moderate. No, this is not the glimmer of hope, although you can perhaps help expand that glimmer by sharing this information with those who still need to "get it":


As to the glimmer:

As more people are seeing the government as just too shaky and vulnerable to function properly, there is increased talk of the possibility of elections –– with the move to go to elections happening either during the summer Knesset session (which is just starting) or the winter session.

Likud faction chairman Gideon Sa'ar expressed hope that "for the good of the state, it will be in this session, because it is impossible to maintain a stable government under the current conditions.

"If we can actually push the government to elections, that will be enough of an achievement for us during this session. We plan to act to widen the cracks within the coalition, and will work to shorten the term of this government and to get elections before the end of 2008."

While MK Zevulun Orlev (NU-NRP) observed that "I really hope that there are coalition parties like Labor that will demonstrate that they are more concerned about Israeli democracy and the public's faith in the government than about furthering their own political careers.

"...the topic of elections and instability will lie just under the surface during every hearing about every subject. It simply cannot be that this kind of government can be responsible for life-and-death decisions."


As for the major coalition faction, Labor, there is movement in the same direction, although perhaps a bit more slowly.

MK Danny Yatom is reported to have held a Labor gathering at his home, at which Barak, party chair, said that elections would likely be held at the end of this year or the beginning of 2009. He said they had to keep their cool and that there was no reason to rush, but that people were beginning to take it all seriously and it was becoming obvious that early elections would be held.

Yatom observed, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that "With all the suspicions against [Olmert] the public's trust in him has been completely shattered. Since the public cannot be replaced, the prime minister must be replaced."


Olmert, of course, is telling members of his Kadima party that they must all stay unified. He shouldn't count on it. As the mood shifts, there are likely to be defections. Even now, several party members held a meeting that they termed a "conceptual forum" –– in order to decide where they were going.


Now, you may be wondering if this talk of elections coming perhaps at the end of the year means that Olmert will not be indicted before then (assuming that he will be indicted). It's an important question.

The investigation is forging ahead. Olmert's lawyers are fighting for all they're worth to prevent Talansky from testifying before an indictment –– claiming that it would infringe on Olmert's basis rights. The State prosecutor, Moshe Lador, is insistent that Talansky must testify –– that this is not an unusual procedure and that it can be done in a manner that is appropriate within the law.

Meanwhile, Olmert is demonstrating a distinct reluctance to answer more questions. So matters are plugging along.

What had at first promised to be a speedy event is now slowing down to a process of some many weeks or even months. We are reminded that it remains in Attorney General Mazuz's hands to decide exactly when to indict (even if it is decided that indictment is the way to go).


Just a brief note here regarding some political matters. Once Avigdor Lieberman pulled his party out of the coalition some months ago, the majority Olmert was working with was reduced. What has now threatened to reduce it even further, down to 64 seats (with 61 required) is a potential split within the Pensioners party. The smaller the majority the easier to find sufficient number of defectors to bring it all down. But the Pensioners split, which was thought to be a done deal, is now in question with regard to its legality, as those splitting were going to join with millionaire Arkady Gaydemak, who had pledged money to get them going because he wanted a party base.


A barrage of Kassams was launched at Ashkelon to day and one narrowly missed what is being called "a strategic site." (Better if those doing the launching are not helped by news reports that tell precisely what they almost succeeded in doing.)


And still there are the mixed messages regarding what is happening with Hamas:

According to Haaretz, Barak, who is headed to Egypt, is prepared to tell Mubarak that we'll accept an unofficial ceasefire that comes about slowly, with a cessation of Israeli military operations if the rocket launchings cease, with the blockade of Gaza then lifted if progress is made on Shalit.

According to this version of the situation, Israel has softened just a bit on the matter of what terrorists to release in a Shalit deal, with a readiness to release some with blood on their hands, while Hamas is still demanding terrorists who were involved in "mass casualty" terror attacks.

What is extremely troublesome here is that there is no clear stipulation about the cessation of weapons smuggling being a necessary component of our readiness stop operations: "Israel will also try to get Egypt to step up efforts to stop weapons from being smuggled into Gaza" just isn't good enough! What is more, this is a backtracking from what had been said previously.


What Haaretz is reporting is this:

"Government officials are slowly coming to realize that a large-scale military operation in Gaza does not serve Israeli interests right now.

"It appears from talks which Olmert and senior cabinet ministers held recently with representatives of the Bush administration and key European Union states that Israel will not have international support if it organizes an assault on Gaza now. However, Israeli sources said they think if it turns out, in a few weeks or months, that the cease-fire has failed because of Hamas, the U.S. and some European states might be more understanding about an attack."

This is how the government operates? Making decisions on whether to protect Israeli citizens dependant upon whether the international community will understand?


With all of this, it is being said that Barak, Olmert and Livni are all skeptical about the chances for a long term quiet with Hamas.

"The Israel Defense Forces will receive an order to begin an operation only if the Egyptian proposal fails, and Kassam fire from Gaza intensifies to the point of incurring serious losses in the western and northern Negev. As the politicians talk about a cease-fire, the IDF is preparing for the chance that the security situation in the South will worsen."

Intensifies to the point of incurring serious losses? How many lives have to be lost before it's serious?

As Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA, wrote, on this issue: "The Arabs can murder Israelis, but shouldn't overdo it."


The communities situated near Gaza are working on a PR effort that will push the government to take action against rocket attacks. Every community will donate a portion of its budget to hiring of professional PR persons who will publicize what is taking place in these communities.

More power to them!


According to Al Quds Al Arabi in London, Abbas is prepared to declare the peace talks a failure. This is because of reports that Olmert has promised Shas that he will permit thousands of apartments to be built in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. And because Abbas was informed by Europeans that the US does not intend to pressure Israel.

This declaration is supposed to be made in a speech Abbas will give in Ramallah. We shouldn't hold our collective breath.


Meanwhile, according to YNet, PA negotiator Ahmed Qurei is demanding that the Palestinian state, rather than being demilitarized, have a full regular army (as compared to police). Livni was said to be incensed.

Said an Israeli official: This isn't progress, it's backtracking. Reports of progress in the negotiations are misleading the public."

For some of us, this, too represents a glimmer of hope.


For those who might like to see a video of Bush's amazing talk in the Knesset:

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Posted by Devin Sper, May 19, 2008.

Israeli police recently began yet another investigation into the latest accusations of corruption against Israeli Prime Minister Olmert. In response, Olmert rushed to offer new unilateral concessions to Syrian Dictator (and ally of Iranian President Ahmedinijad) Assad and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas. In so doing, Olmert follows a long established pattern going back to the very origins of the peace process. Since the first Olso Accords of 1993, whenever a new corruption scandal threatens an Israeli leader, he diverts public attention by offering dramatic concessions to Israel's enemies.

Israelis elected Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister primarily on the strength of public sentiment rejecting the Oslo accords, copies of which Netanyahu famously tore up during campaign rallies. For seven months Netanyahu stood firm on the principles for which he was elected, winning him increasing support in Israel and a standing ovation in the U.S. congress. In January 1997, Netanyahu suddenly and inexplicably reversed course and signed the protocol giving away Israel's claim to Judaism's second holy city: Hebron –– a concession even his labor predecessors had refrained from making. Just as suddenly, three months later, Israel's attorney general announced that Prime Minister Netanyahu, his aide Avidgdor Lieberman and Justice Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (all previously staunch opponents of Oslo) would not be charged in the influence peddling scandal involving former interior Minister Aryeh Deri.

In January 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak's One Israel Party was fined 14 million shekels ($3.2 million) and placed under criminal investigation for campaign finance illegalities during their election the previous year. Six months later, Prime Minister Barak offered Yasser Arafat unprecedented concessions including virtually all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, including East Jerusalem and the Temple mount. All charges against Barak were subsequently dropped.

Most dramatic of all was the reversal of Ariel Sharon's lifelong support for the Jewish settlement movement, whose followers considered him its founder. When Sharon first proposed dismantling the Jewish towns of Gaza and expelling their inhabitants at the Herzlia conference in December of 2003, neither his supporters, nor his detractors, could understand the motives behind his radical reversal. What they may not have known is that only a few weeks earlier the Israel police had questioned Sharon (for seven hours) in connection with two investigations into possible cases of political corruption involving Mr. Sharon and his two sons. In June of 2004, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz dropped all charges, including illegal campaign financing and bribe taking, against Prime Minister Sharon.

The list of Israeli leaders who have continued to tout a failed peace process to divert attention from their own corruption continues through the current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who has so far weathered 11 separate investigations for corruption, with no charges having been filed.

None of this is to suggest that corruption was always the sole motivation behind the peace process. In its inception there were many naïve, albeit well meaning, Israelis who actually believed that Arafat was their partner in peace and that giving away land was the road to Israel's salvation. Even the most starry eyed among them however, became increasingly disillusioned following the second intifada, the election of Hamas and its continued rocketing of Israeli cities from Gaza and the unprovoked attack on Israel by Hezbollah across the internationally recognized Lebanese border. If the majority of Israeli peaceniks now recognize the failure of land-for-peace, hard-nosed politicians like Peres, Netanyahu and Sharon must surely be aware of it.

Corruption, caustic in any polity, will be fatal to a country in as precarious a position as Israel. Recent statements by Assad and Abbas demonstrate that Israel's enemies recognize and exploit the connection between the corruption of Israeli politicians and their weakened bargaining position. Assad added the amazing (and probably true) detail that only President Bush's concern for Israel's long-term vital interests prevents Omert's surrender of the strategic Golan Heights.

Unfortunately the Israeli elite led by the judiciary and the media continue, for reasons known only to themselves, to advocate more of the same failed policy of land-for-peace. They are willing to overlook corruption in politicians who continue to promote land-for-peace and vilify the brave few who point out its failure to bring peace, after three decades. It is striking the way in which the peace process has failed to bring peace, and equally striking in how it enables each of the scandal ridden Israeli governments to remain in power. And therein lays the secret to the longevity of so obviously failed a policy.

During the decline of Rome corrupt emperors would draw attention from their negligent administration by distracting the people with free bread and grand spectacles in the coliseum. Bread and circuses however, did nothing to save Rome from her Barbarian enemies, nor will more land-for-peace save Israel from hers.

Devin Sper is a senior fellow at the Center for Advanced Middle East Studies and author of "The Future of Israel, winner" of a 2005 GLYPH award. He lives in Scottsdale, AZ. Contact him by email at devinsper@yahoo.com and visit his website: www.devinsper.com

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 19, 2008.

This comes from
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/021061.php and was posted by Robert Spencer.

Former FBI supervisory agent: U.S. ambassador to Yemen in 2000 hindered FBI investigation into USS Cole bombing

A naive and muddleheaded multiculturalist ambassador impedes anti-terror efforts. "Coddling Terrorists In Yemen," by Ali H. Soufan, an FBI supervisory special agent from 1997 to May 2005, in the Washington Post:

Seven years after al-Qaeda terrorists Jamal al-Badawi and Fahd al-Quso confessed to me their crucial involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole, and three years after they were convicted in a Yemeni court –– where a judge imposed a death sentence on Badawi –– they, along with many other al-Qaeda terrorists, are free. On Oct. 12, 2000, when I flew to Yemen to lead the FBI's Cole investigation, I had no idea how uncooperative the Yemeni government would initially be. Nor could I have imagined how disconnected from reality the U.S. ambassador to Yemen then, Barbara K. Bodine, would prove.

I have hesitated in the past to share my view of the conflict between Bodine and the FBI's counterterrorism leader, John O'Neill. I feel compelled, however, to respond to Bodine's recent comments, which slander the efforts of many dedicated counterterrorism agents and divert attention from the significant terrorist problem within Yemen, our "ally" in the "war on terror."

A recent Post report on Yemen allowing al-Qaeda operatives to go free offered insight into the challenges the FBI faced. Bodine was quoted in the article not urging the Yemeni government to rearrest the terrorists but, instead, denigrating the agents who investigated the attack. She faulted the FBI as being slow to trust Yemeni authorities and said agents were "dealing with a bureaucracy and a culture they didn't understand. ... We had one group working on a New York minute, and another on a 4,000-year-old history."

In fact, our team included several Arab American agents who understood the culture and the region. Even so, such comments were irrelevant. The FBI left Yemen with the terrorists in jail.

It is true that while tracking the terrorists we worked "on a New York minute." We owed that much to the sailors murdered on the Cole and to all innocent people who remained targets as long as the terrorists were free.

It is also true that we did not trust some Yemeni officials. We had good reason not to: When the FBI arrived in Yemen, some government officials tried to convince us that the explosion had been caused by a malfunction in the Cole's operating systems. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh even asked the U.S. government for money to clean up port damage the United States "caused."...

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

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 19, 2008.

Bush claimed that democracy wasn't hostile to islam. Robert Spencer noted:

One important weakness of his argument here, however, is that it is one-sided. Democracy may not be incompatible with Islam, but is Islam incompatible with democracy? Does Islam contain within it a supremacist imperative that would destroy democracy once it attains sufficient power to do so? If Sharia is the law of the supreme deity, and Islam teaches Muslims that they have a responsibility to work to impose it, might there be some believers in Islam who are working in the West to destroy democracy?
Other comments on the http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/021068.php
Does Bush know what dhimmi, takiyya, jahiliya and kaffir mean?
(Max Publius at http://bravenewsworld.blogspot.com/2008/05/ question-of-year-bushs-vocabulary.html See this site for their Islamofascist Bus Tour.)

AND If the demos is uneducated in anything but the intolerant Koran, "democracy" is merely a greased route to a "popular" tyranny. An inalienable Bill of Rights, first, is more important than any mob rule. (profitsbeard).

Hugh Fitzgerald's comment is below.

Another part of Bush's speech dealt with the supposed spread of "democracy" in the Muslim world:

"He [Bush] also offered plenty of praise for democratic advances, naming countries like Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco and Jordan.

'The light of liberty is beginning to shine,'he said."

Is he crazy?

In Turkey, the so-called "light of liberty" is undoing Kemalism, putting the securalists in the universities, the judiciary, and the army, under great pressure, and bringing Islam back, step by grim step, as Erdogan and now Gul, cleverly backed by all kinds of people, including the shadowy millionaire Fethullah Gulen, probe and prod at every possible weak point in the Kemalist system. Is this "liberty"? Is this the goddam "light of liberty"?

In Afghanistan, after all the vast American and NATO effort, the Taliban are back, and even without the Taliban, the democratically-elected members of the Afghani Parliament have shown, very step of the way, that they are mostly moved by the ideals of the Sharii'a, and are happy to punsih "blasphemes" with death, are happy to deny women equal rights, are happy to undo every bit of the reforms that Westerners initially managed to accomplish, in the legal rights of women and non-Muslims.

The notion that "liberty" has come to Afghanistan is false.

Indeed, had the Soviets won their war, and installed a puppet Communist regime, and had that regime acted with the kind of ruthlessness that the Soviet authorities did toward Islam during the 1920s and 1930s, that might have done more in the vein of Ataturk to eventually make Afghanistan a plausible candidate for democracy.

Iraq? Does anyone think Iraq is a place where "liberty" has arrived?

It's a place whee, at the moment, no one sect can arrogate complete power over the country to itself, but it is also a place where a Sunni despotism has been replaced by a Shi'a despotism, and the Shi'a, whatever their party, have no intention of sharing power in any signficant way (a cosmetic compromise may be possible, in order to extract more weapons and money, over the next few years, from the Americans, but that's it) with the Sunni Arabs, or indeed to allow the Kurds to continue to dream of independence.

Morocco? If anything, the current king is worse, when it comes to pan-Arab hostility to the West, either than his father or than Mohammed V. The ballyhooed "reforms" are nothing at all.

He still retains his position because, as a Sherifian, he possesses the prestige to withstand an outright assault by the most militant Muslims.

But try to find that "light of liberty" Bush prates about, in Rabat, or Sale, or anywhere else in dismal Morocco, from which, every day, hundreds or thousands set out, determined to make it to Spain or to Italy, and from there, once they are safely in the E.U., to its farthest reaches.

The same is true with Jordan, the last country on Bush's list of places where, he claims, the "light of liberty" is spreading.

Jordan remains a police-state, and thank god for that, because bad as it is, what might follow the overthrow of thick-necked Abdullah and his photogenic bride would be far worse. But there have been no reforms, so spirit or light of liberty.

Bush is a hallucinator.

He talks, he likes the sound his words make, he thinks they must conform to some higher reality, and he has convinced himself they must be true. He's messianic, and also a marxist, because he believes that economic well-being, or lack of it, explains the behavior of people, and that by improving the lot of Muslims, or "ordinary moms and dads" in the Middle East, we will do away with the "root causes" of all the distempers, and all the craziness, and all the hatred directed at Infidels.

He's still unclear about Islam, about the simplest things about Islam.

He asked the Arab students whom he saw in Israel if they attended dances with Jews.

The American ambassador, Jones (himself someone with deplorable views on Israel, and also exhibiting a failure to grasp the Islamic roots of the war against Israel because if he grasped those roots, he could not possibly be such a promoter of further surrenders of territory or territorial control, by Israel), explained to Bush that such mixed dances were not exactly possible, and indeed, the very idea of such dances, among Arab boys and girls, also impossible. That Bush did not know this, that he has no real idea of what Islamic societies are like, shines from his every innocent word.

We don't want innocents running us.

We want people who may not be nice, many not have such touching faith in "democracy" or any other ideal, for that matter, except the ideal of keeping us, the Infidels, from succumbing to the many-pronged assault of Islam.

We can't afford the naive and sentimental lovers of something they thing is swell, something they call –– a bit too enthusiastically and too unthinkingly and too inaccurately –– call "democracy."

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 19, 2008.


Hamas attacks entry points for humanitarian supplies into Gaza, steals most of what gets through, and complains that Israel causes shortages. The EU condemned Hamas over it (IMRA, 5/8).

Most of the world condemns Israel, which is partly why Hamas does this.


He said, "I believed the separation between the W. Bank and Gaza would make things easier, not harder. I did not imagine that we would leave Gaza and they would fire Qassams from there; I did not imagine that Hamas would show so strongly in the elections (one of my usual sources).

He doesn't understand the fanatical drive of Israel's enemies. He's been too busy weakening the patriotic element in Israel, in favor of a utopian impression of Israel's neighbors, such that boundaries would not matter. They matter. Israel could have some secure borders, if Israel retained the Territories.


A "News Analysis" by Ethan Bronner of the NY Times discusses first that Israelis are losing patience over PM Olmert's continual investigations for corruption, second that Foreign Min. Livni may replace him as prime minister, and third that Israelis are concerned that not only did Olmert allow Hamas to build up a terrorist army in Gaza, but he let Hizbullah build up another, pro-Iranian army and state in Lebanon. There was some speculation that out of desperation to gain more time in office and to unify the country around him, he might launch the long-awaited offensive into Gaza. On the other hand, his position is too dubious for him to be a unifying leader that others would have confidence following into war (5/10, A7).

Like most Times "news analyses" about Israel, puts events out of sequence and omits more significant considerations, especially ones requiring analysis. These pieces seem to me biased, to distract from the failure of appeasement of Arabs.

The electorate lost confidence in Olmert before the latest corruption scandal and some of the others. His policy to evacuate from Gaza dismayed many Israelis and then proved to be a blunder. He and Livni touted the war in Lebanon as a success, but so mismanaged it that Hizbullah revived and expanded. The people consider him a fool. The news analysis should have speculated on why the country would accept Livni, when she has the same foolish policies. It should have asked whether the leftist Attorney-General's failure to indict corrupt leaders confirms suspicion it is to keep them subservient to his appeasement policy.


The US still accuses but doesn't prosecute Pollard for crimes they know he did not commit. It claimed he gave the USSR a list of all the US spies there. That list is in a safe that requires a higher clearance than Pollard had. Governmental insiders continued to accuse him of that crime even after both arrested double agents confessed. They continue with other baseless accusations.

Why? Because they want him never to get out, because he knows of their blunders. Israel won't assist him, because some of its officials betrayed him to prosecutors by giving them documents with Pollard's fingerprints on them. They don't want their role exposed. They include Peres, Barak, and Min. Rafi Eitan.

Pollard knows that certain US officials arranged to finance al-Qaeda against the USSR in Afghanistan, and that S. Arabia continued afterwards to support al-Qaeda, which then destroyed our World Trade Center. Pollard warned against al-Qaeda, but the US officials ignored him. They are afraid he will expose them.

Pollard also new that the USSR had shipped weapons to almost all Mideastern terrorist organizations. The US President had signed an order to the US intelligence agencies to inform Israel of it. They didn't. They would be embarrassed at being identified as violating orders so as to favor terrorists over Israel.

Pollard also knew that arms were being shipped to the PLO from Greece. Pollard warned Israel, which tipped off Greece. Greece confiscated a shipload. The arms were paid for by the US Vice-President, as ransom for American hostages in Lebanon. This was the precursor to the Iran-Contra deal, whereby the US sent arms to Iran and the PLO. The Sec. of State was sentenced to 24 years in prison, but received clemency. Our officials do not want Pollard proving this to the public.

Although the US declaimed against Iraq's development of chemical weapons, the US secretly assisted Iraq. Pollard warned Israel [saving countless Israeli lives]. The US supplier was owned by the Vice-President and the Sec. of State! (John Loftus in IMRA, 5/6). Note that titles are used but not names of people.


The family of the slain murderer of the yeshiva students complained that the government of Jordan banned their public mourning, although Israel permitted it (IMRA, 5/9). Arab mourners predictably become mobs. Jordan doesn't want riots. Israel is meek and doesn't stand up for itself. Its letting the mourners celebrate the murder of Israelis makes a poor precedent.


In the past 37 years, I have visited Israel eight times. I enjoyed each visit. I have had a couple of dozen wonderful vacations touring various parts of the US. Many of my Jewish friends and relatives toured many countries, but never Israel and seldom in the US. One man explained that Israel was too far for him. He visited China, which is further.

I don't understand the reluctance to vacation in Israel and within the US. Both countries with great variety and the source of our history. The US spans a continent and poses no language, custom, or currency difficulties for us. What do you think accounts for the reluctance?

Perhaps people don't realize America's diversity and don't know how to compose a tour from travel guides mentioning other than national sites. They may think it sounds more impressive to name their vacation spot as some exotic country. They are not above spending their money in a dictatorship that engages in the kind of mass-murder that they condemn our governments for condoning.

I suspect that many Jews have neuroses about visiting Israel, the same as the formerly Jewish publishers of the NY Times were anti-Zionist out of fear of being identified as Jews. It doesn't help the Israeli tourist business that the Times continually though falsely depicts Israel as an oppressive country and has puff pieces encouraging tourism of Arab countries, which actually are oppressive.


Which is it better to be about politics, optimistic or pessimistic? I think that judgment about political issues should be objective, not swayed by emotional tendencies. PM Olmert's optimism oils his movement to appeasement and covers it up. Pessimists fail to see turning points, such as our winning in Iraq. They assume that Israel must depend on the US, which is not dependable.

Having a Republican as President, the Left makes propaganda by painting things worse than they are. When our economy had low inflation and unemployment, liberals complained unreasonably that inequality of income was a national problem. They should have celebrated the economy's performance and thanked Pres. Bush's for his tax cuts. The Right refuses to admit to certain problems.

Racism has died down more than complaints about it. A NY Times journalist accused Sen. Clinton of appealing to racism by noting that Sen. Obama did not poll well among white blue collar workers. The journalist described her message with racist words that she didn't utter. Was he appealing to reverse racism? Sometimes supporting Obama is racist.

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

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Posted by Professor Eugene Narrett, May 18, 2008.

The Gush Katif refugees are still in temporary dismal quarters, jobless and hopeless. The Government is doing very little. To help them, please donate to

In Israel: The Gush Katif Committee
P.O Box 450, Ahuzat Etrog, 79411
(c) 972-54-7775662
In the US: Friends of Gush Katif
P.O Box 1184, Teaneck, NJ 07666
Toll Free 1800-410-1502

This was sent to me by Dror Venunu of the Gush Katif Committee:

4 years ago Tali Hatuel and her And her daughters –– Hila, Hadar, Roni, and Merav –– were massacred And her daughters Hila, Hadar, Roni, and Merav

May 2, 2004 –– Tali Hatuel, 34, and her daughters –– Hila, 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, and Merav, 2 –– from Moshav Katif in Gush Katif were brutally assassinated when two Palestinian terrorists shot on an Israeli car at the entrance to the Gaza Strip settlement bloc of Gush Katif.

They were on their way to campaign against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan. Their white Citroen station wagon spun off the road after the initial shooting, and then the attackers approached the vehicle and shot the occupants dead at close range. The Hatuels' car was riddled with bullets, and the carpet inside was stained with blood. The girls were killed hugging one another. On the car was a bumper sticker saying, "Uprooting the settlements, victory for terror."

In spite of the terrible tragedy, David Hatuel has decided to overcome the trauma and dedicate himself to education in Israel and build again a new family. Recently David got married and had a baby girl.

See these on You Tube:



Contact Eugene Narrett at culturtalk@aol.com

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Posted by Yaaqov Ben Yehudah, May 18, 2008.
The essay below is from the Esseragaroth website

Who remembers the scene in "The Fiddler on the Roof" when the rabbi was asked, "Rabbi, is there a blessing for the Tsar?" And the rabbi responded... "Yes. May the Almighty bless and keep the Tsar,...far away from us."

Well, this is the perfect model for what I believe to be the most appropriate blessing for U. S. President Bush.

Unlike the Divine words Moshe Rabbenu heard emanating from a burning bush, not consumed, President Bush is burning (click here for photo) because his pants are on fire,...as in "Liar, Liar."

President Bush received praise from "right-wing" Members of the Kenesseth [MK] for his address to that body on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Rabbi MK Me'ir Porush (UTJ/Agudas Yisroel) is engaging in settlement activity,...sort of.... Huh?

But, I digress....

The President's words which caught my attention in particular were these:

"...Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. ...We have an obligation to call this what it is –– the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

So, why does the president continue to encourage us to talk with Fatah? Has he seen "Palestinian" educational television lately? Can he really be that stupid to confuse Fatah with Hamas, Hizbollah, and Al-Qaeda?

I don't think so.

It's about oil. It's about money. It's about being handed a particular "map" by the Saudis.

No, I'm not saying that the [Arab terrorist-loving] American leftist got it right. They got it only partly right,...and probably by accident at that.

President Bush himself talked about the U. S. being addicted to oil, and how "we have to get off of oil."

No, he's not that stupid.

The only question is if he's doing this because he believes it's the right thing to do to protect the interests of the U. S.? Or is this "Bible-believing Christian" conveniently dismissing Biblical recommendations against doing nasty things to Jews, and putting their lives in jeopardy, for the sake of less noble goals?

You be the judge, as he talks out of the other side of his mouth.

Bush: 'My Heart Breaks' over Arabs' Situation

(IsraelNN.com, 17 May 2008) After leaving Israel Friday, U.S. President George W. Bush met Saturday with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas –– and promised him that there would be an Arabs state in areas controlled the PA by the end of 2008, if he had anything to say about it. "It breaks my heart to see the vast potential of the Palestinian people, really, wasted," Bush said. Such a state "would be an opportunity to end the suffering that takes place in the Palestinian territories," he told Abbas. (Read more at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/146683)

The only conclusion is that at the very least, he is misleading both Israelis and the Americans who support us.

"Mr. President, may the Almighty bless and keep you [and your plotting and planning]...very far away from us!"

From muqata.blogspot.com, 6may08

Not sure who designed it, but I saw it presented on the Muqata Blog http://muqata.blogspot.com/2008/05/bypassing-gag-order-olmert-scandal-237.html

Contact Yaaqov Ben Yehudah at yaaqov.ben.yehudah@gmail.com

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 18, 2008.

For about the 100th time, Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to resign his position as PA president. This time –– at the World Economic Forum at Sharm el-Sheikh –– it's if there's no peace agreement with Israel this year.

"Israel will not have a better partner than the group leading the PLO today, which believes the Palestinian interest is a historic reconciliation with Israel and a Palestinian state alongside it," he said, warning that if there is no agreement, "Israel will find itself with no partner at all."

Actually, that's pretty much where we are now –– with no partner at all. In spite of his attempt to intimidate us –– he says failure of negotiations will return us to "the tragedy of 2000 which followed the failure at Camp David" –– it he who has the most to lose.

We won't return to the terrorist horrors of 2000, because –– unless the government agrees to something totally idiotic regarding a ceasefire in Judea and Samaria –– we are in a far better position with regard to our intelligence and our actions against terrorists than we were eight years ago.


For a clear vision of just how much of a non-partner Abbas is, you might like to see my latest piece, which discusses his unswerving commitment to "right of return":
http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID= B75880CC-3A5D-4E50-AF64-9087407CF2B3


This has been reinforced by yesterday's statement by Abbas's spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rdeina, that Israel's request that the "right of return" be abandoned serves as an obstacle to negotiations.


Of course Olmert, who is a master at it, is continuing to offer his own words, words. This time on Gaza Today he told the Cabinet:

"We are very close to a decision point regarding every issue in Gaza. The present situation cannot continue.

"Our hope is that one day the residents of the South will be able to live a tranquil life."

Which day would that be?


There were members of the Cabinet who were not satisfied with those words, and expressed anger that until now the Security Cabinet has not even been convened to discuss the way to deal with the situation.

In addition, mayors of communities near Gaza met today and are demanding a meeting with Olmert and with the chair of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

A great many people have simply had it with the delays.


The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee was also in the news today in a different context, as 15 members of the committee are demanding that it be convened in special session and that Olmert and Livni report on what is going on with core negotiations with the PA.

In a letter written to Committee Chair, Tzachi Hanegbi, they said they were speaking out because "of concern for the Knesset's position as supervisor of all government activities and out of a sense that the prime minister, unlike his predecessor, is dictating an approach that ignores the committee in everything related to foreign affairs.

"For months, negotiations have been conducted with the Palestinians over issues affecting Israel's existence and future, with no parliamentary oversight. In addition, a negotiations department has been created with dozens of employees. It too does not report to the Knesset and has no parliamentary supervision of its composition, budget and methods of operation."

What can legally be achieved is perhaps questionable as the prime minister has considerable –– many say too much –– latitude. But this certainly is an issue that cries out for public attention, and it does put pressure on Olmert.

Hanegbi, in a radio interview today, said he thought a possible alternative was having the details of negotiations shared only with the secret service subcommittee, as it has a leak-proof record. MK Yuval Steinitz, Hanegbi's predecessor, pushed instead for an overview to be provided to the whole committee, with some details, and only sensitive material to go exclusively to the subcommittee.


There are conflicting reports coming from various sources regarding the status of ceasefire negotiations in Gaza, mediated by Egypt. To the best of my understanding, the scenario goes something like this:

Egypt's Suleiman, returning from Israel, read the riot act to Hamas and told them that if they didn't include release of Shalit in their terms for the ceasefire, Israel would hit them hard with a major ground action.

And so Hamas appeared to soften, saying they were now considering including Shalit in the deal. However, it's clear when that statement is studied carefully that what is being said is that they'll include him, but they have not softened their demand for close to 300 prisoners to be released by Israel, including some who were directly involved in terrorist acts. Israel, Hamas say, has agreed to the release of only 71.


Leaks and small bits of information regarding the Olmert investigation are likewise hard to pin down in all specifics.

Before Talansky is called to testify in court in a week, Olmert's lawyers are to be given information on what they have regarding the case, so that they can cross-examine Talansky. The police, however, are eager to question Olmert again before turning information over to his lawyers. That's the only way to insure that Olmert's answers, when questioned, will be spontaneous and not planned out according to what it is suspected the police are seeking. There has been no response from Olmert, however, on where or when he would be available for such questioning. Needless to say, he is less than eager to participate.

Talansky's lawyer is saying that his bond to Israel is such that there should be no question about his returning to testify, if needed, after he goes back to the US. The police, however, are not relying on any such assurances, especially as he is suspected of participating in illegal actions. Right now Talansky is being kept in the country, but by the end of the month his lawyers will be petitioning the court to allow him to go. Thus, time is of the essence here.

There is also talk about evidence of yet another charge of bribery against Olmert, this one having nothing to do with Talansky.


The threat of civil war, which seemed so imminent, cooled down in Lebanon last week, as the Lebanese government rescinded anti-Hezbollah measures that had triggered the violence and Hezbollah pulled out of Beirut. The Arab League then stepped in to do negotiations. But those negotiations are stopped dead in Qatar now, as Hezbollah refuses to surrender weapons.

Make no mistake about it: Hezbollah was the big winner here, and I offer Caroline Glick's assessment of how this is so, and why Hezbollah didn't simply overthrow the government when it was in control in Beirut:

"...one of the main advantages that insurgents have over the governments they seek to overthrow is their lack of responsibility for governance. Far from seeking to govern the local population, the goal of insurgents is simply to demonstrate through sabotage, terror and guerrilla operations that the government is incapable of keeping order.

"...Nasrallah and his Iranian bosses have no interest in taking on responsibility for Lebanon. They don't want to collect taxes. They don't want to pick up the garbage or build schools and universities.

"Hezbollah and its Iranian overlords wish to have full use of Lebanon as a staging area for attacks against Israel and the US. They wish to maintain and expand Hezbollah's arsenals. For this they need unfettered access, and if necessary, control over Lebanon's borders, its seaports and airport.

"They need to raise and train Hezbollah's army and cultivate Hezbollah's loyal cadres among Lebanon's Shi'ites to fight Israel...

"Over the past week, Hezbollah secured this freedom through its successful attack on the Saniora government. Today no one will utter a peep of complaint as Hezbollah imports ever more sophisticated weapons systems from Syria and Iran. No one will say a word when Hezbollah openly asserts control over the border with Israel, or places its commanders in charge of Lebanese army units along the border."
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1210668650022&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


A poll just carried out by the Maagar Mohot Survey Institute indicates that 56% of Israelis would prefer that the government continue war against Hamas and 33% that a deal be reached. 51% think a large scale ground operation should be launched and 49% think the Hamas leaders should be physically destroyed.

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

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Posted by Israel Academia Monitor, May 18, 2008.

This was written by Edward Alexander and it appeared May 16, 2008 in the University of Washington's The Daily.

Edward Alexander is a U of Washington professor emeritus of English.

Since it is now a core belief of academic "progressives" that Israel is the world's most wicked country, responsible for all the globe's miseries except (perhaps) avian flu, it's hardly surprising that the very day of that country's sixtieth birthday should, in an act of depraved malevolence, have been marked at UW by the appearance, courtesy of the Simpson Center and the Graduate School, of two Israel-hating lecturers. We were treated to both Norman Finkelstein, the failed academic and beloved dream-Jew of all the world's antisemites, and Yitzhak Laor, a second-tier poet who specializes in depicting Israel as the devil's experiment station.

Laor delivered the (once prestigious) John Danz Lecture. A few people at UW may remember that the Danz lectures were founded to deal with "the role of science in society and in understanding a rational universe."

Since the UW Graduate School long ago decided to disregard the intentions of the Danz family and bring an endless parade of distinctly non-scientific but very leftist lecturers –– Edward Said, Angela Davis, Naomi Wolf –– the appearance of Yitzhak Laor, who is less a scientist than any twelve-year old with a chemistry set, is also unsurprising.

But Laor's appearance raises another question. Since UW president Mark Emmert last year issued a ringing denunciation of the Nazi-style movement to boycott Israeli universities and scholars, how is it that the Graduate School (at the urging of the departments of Comparative Literature, English, and Near Eastern Languages) brings to campus, and at considerable expense, one of the promoters of that boycott?

President Emmert showed a clear understanding that the boycott of Israel is antisemitic because it uses a double standard: if one thinks that Israeli policies toward Palestinian Arabs are objectionable, are they really worse than Russian actions in Chechnya, Chinese actions toward Tibetans, Turkish actions toward the Kurds? But where are the boycotts of Russia, China, and Turkey? What President Emmert needs to do is require the Graduate School (also the Simpson Center, etc.) to boycott the boycotters. Words of condemnation are not enough.

If boycotters of Israel are not given a taste of their own medicine, the highly organized international assault on Israel, in which Laor and Finkelstein are devoted functionaries, will grow by the weakness it feeds on.

Contact Israel Academia Monitor at e-mail@israel-academia-monitor.com

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Posted by Hillel Fendel, May 18, 2008.

Contrary to denials by top Israeli officials, the future of Jerusalem is being discussed in top-level negotiations between Israel and Palestinian Authority officials. So says Abu Ala, who heads the PA's negotiating team with Israel.

Ahmed Qurei, also known as Abu Ala, told the Al-Quds newspaper in eastern Jerusalem over the weekend that the talks are "difficult," and include all the issues in dispute. These include: Jerusalem; the future of the "refugees"- those Arabs who left Israel in 1948 and 1967, as well as their millions of descendants; borders; Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria; and security.

Abu Ala said he does not know of any secret channels of negotiations.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has often said that Jerusalem is not being discussed at present, and that it will be left for a later stage of talks. The Shas party has said even more often that it would quit the government coalition if it learned that Jerusalem was on the table. The departure of Shas would topple the government, for all intents and purposes.

Livni Admitted

Abu Ala's revelation is not the first one of its sort. Even Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has admitted that Jerusalem was being discussed. Speaking with foreign diplomats in early February, Livni said that all the core issues, including Jerusalem, were being discussed with the PA, and admitted that this was in contradiction to the promise Olmert gave the Shas party a few days earlier.

Yisrael Beiteinu Quit, Shas Still In

In addition, four months ago the Yisrael Beiteinu party quit the government in protest of the beginning of talks over the "core issues" –– including Jerusalem. Prime Minister Olmert did not, at the time, deny that the division of Jerusalem was being discussed, and said only, "I have a national responsibility" to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, and "there is no alternative to conducting serious diplomatic negotiations in order to reach peace."

Knesset Members Demand Status Report

Some 15 members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee signed a letter demanding that Olmert and Livni present them with details of the negotiations with the PA, as well as of the secret contacts with Syria. "We cannot agree to have the government conduct important talks without proper parliamentary monitoring," the MKs wrote. Kadima Party MKs are currently not signed on the letter.

Abu Ala also told Al-Quds that the Arab view is that the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem is a "certainty, whether it happens this year, next year, or the year after." However, he admitted that he is not optimistic –– presumably for the short-term –– in light of the opposing positions between Israel and the PA regarding Jerusalem and the refugees.

Islamic Jihad spokesman Abu Hamza took the opportunity reiterate that the "Palestinian people" [sic] would never cede even one inch of its land, and that "resistance" –– the codeword for terrorism –– "is the only guarantee for the return of Palestinian rights."

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

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Posted by Paul Lademain, May 17, 2008.

Bin Laden boasts about bringing "holy" war to Israel.

OK, then Israel should bring Holy Hell to the Islamics.

More to the point: the Islamics have no claim to Jewish Palestine. They never did. A few Arabs once traversed Jewish Palestine on their way to Syria. They refused to settle or even claim Palestine. Palestine never was "their homeland" and that is the truth regardless of how many times Carter spins his lies.

We Americans must face up to and deal with the fact that our X-POTUSs, namely Carter, Clinton, and Bush, happily sold themselves to the Saudis and foolishly endanger Americans when they "stay bought".

Carter blathers about "peace" in the ME, then sucks up to terrorists. He is a treacherous, glib dhimmi.

Americans must ask themselves just who benefits from Bush and Powell's war with Iraq.

The answer is clear: Saudi Arabia ... and Dubai hedge funds manipulating the oil market.

Viva to the Patriots of Israel who are battling against islamic imperialism without and the morally corrupt (Olmert, Beilin, Peres) within.

Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net

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Posted by Morris Sadek, May 16, 2008.

This was written by Jesse Petrilla and it appeared in Front Page Magazine. IT is archived at

Jesse Petrilla is the founder of The United American Committee (UAC), a federation of concerned Americans promoting awareness of threats to Homeland Security, primarily focusing on Islamic extremism in America.

I have recently returned to the United States from Egypt where I was on a fact-finding mission to see what life is like for non-Muslims who live under Islam. What I saw was a dire situation of oppression and discrimination that many in America and the West have all but ignored. I went to Egypt because I wanted to learn what life would be like if our enemies and their allies succeeded in getting their way. What I saw was an example of the harsh life in store for future American generations in Islamic-dominated regions of the U.S. if we do not work to bring attention to Islamic oppression now at this critical time in history.

My journey began on an EgyptAir flight out of JFK. I was a bit surprised, to say the least, when the in-flight video came on prior to departure and instead of the usual safety video, a picture of a mosque flickered on and a deep-toned recorded voice came on reciting Islamic prayers out of the Koran. I've flown on Israeli airline El Al a number of times as well as hundreds of other global and U.S. airline companies, and I have never experienced a Christian prayer or a Jewish prayer on a flight, and could only imagine the reaction of Americans if an airline carrier were to try. Regardless of the policies and logic of other airlines, apparently a Muslim-owned airline feels it fit to assume that all its passengers desire to hear a Muslim prayer, regardless of their faith. The safety video followed and my journey had begun. I was on my way to Cairo and Alexandria to get a feeling of what life was like there for non-Muslims.

The first day, I visited old Cairo. Walking through the alleyways, I visited the many ancient churches there. As I rounded a corner I came upon an old synagogue. Excited to find and learn the experiences of Jews who live there, I entered only to be greatly disappointed and utterly disgusted when I saw the synagogue was filled with hijab-clad Muslim women selling trinkets and postcards inside. It's a museum that I can only assume the government uses to show its "tolerance." I overheard the tour guides speaking of how there "were once Jews here," and I was told that there is only one other synagogue in the city. It makes you wonder if someday there will be regions of America with a museum of the last or second to last synagogue or church. Irritatingly, the Egyptian police refuse to allow anyone to take any photos or video at all of the synagogue either inside or out, and they threatened to take my camera if I questioned their rule.

As I continued through the streets, the afternoon call to prayer began to broadcast from a local mosque, then another mosque, then a third, until the deafening sound of thousands of loudspeakers from mosques all over the city pierced through the air with the call of "Allah akbar" followed by Koranic verses.

I recalled how in several American cities including Dearborn, Michigan, sound ordinances have begun to be overturned to allow this to occur in America. I made my way to meet with a friend who is an activist for human rights in Egypt. He showed me the Egyptian constitution which in article II states that Sharia (Islamic) law shall be "the principal source of legislation.". This clause goes for everyone in the nation regardless of faith. My friend told me the stories and showed me photos of young Christian girls who had been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam, and threatened with death, and their families threatened if they ever convert back. After several days in Cairo, my journey continued to Alexandria where I would visit several churches which had been attacked in recent years.

On the train to Alexandria, we passed through rural villages where I noticed vast amounts of hay on the roofs of many village homes. Our guide told us that the livestock sleep in the house with the people at night. Jokingly I asked if the women sleep out in the stable, but I didn't receive a definitive answer on that one. It was about this time that I realized the majority of the men everywhere I went had a small round bruise on their forehead reminiscent of something out of the book of Revelation. My guide told me that it was from hitting their head on the floor when praying. He also told me that in Egypt specifically, and perhaps elsewhere, some men heat up a metal spoon in a fire and stick it on their forehead to accentuate the bruise. It seems you aren't cool unless you have the mark.

As we stepped off the train in Alexandria, a police officer approached and told my Egyptian Coptic friend that he did not have a license to be my guide, desiring a bribe before he would leave us alone. This had not been the first time in the trip that a cop came up looking for money. It seemed every time I took out my camera, a police officer would show up to tell me I couldn't take any pictures and I would have to pay him a nominal fine. Usually the officer would not be looking for a bribe of more than ten or twenty dollars, and thankfully our guide was able to talk officers out of it the majority of the time.

We went to a local hotel where I turned on the television to see the Statue of Liberty in flames. I changed the channel only to see a video clip of a small child crying with her arms in the air, spliced in with images of U.S. soldiers. The video cut to a bleeding boy lying on the ground –– an obvious piece of anti-American propaganda. Interestingly enough, to the right of the boy in the video you could see a U.S. medic helping the injured child, no doubt hurt by Jihadist terrorists, but you certainly wouldn't know that from the theme of the video.

Our first stop in Alexandria was the Church of St. George, the site of a brutal attack in 2005 where a Muslim in his early 20s entered as a prayer service was finishing. He shouted "Allah akbar" and stabbed a nun in the chest with a knife. Several days after the stabbing, an angry Muslim mob also attacked the church, brandishing sticks and throwing rocks at the Christians. Numerous cars and Christian-owned businesses in the area were torched, and in the end, three people were dead from the violence, all of it being sparked by unsubstantiated reports about a theatrical production that occurred at the church which was rumored to have offended Islam.

I attended a prayer service there, and every 15 seconds over loudspeakers aimed at the church from the mosque next door, the Muslims were yelling at the Christians. "Allah akbar! Allah akbar!" they would yell among other things in an attempt to disrupt the prayer. This was entirely outside of the five daily calls to prayer which come over the same loudspeaker. It was intimidation designed entirely to disrupt Christian prayer, and stopped as soon as everyone left after the service was over. I took a short video of the incident, and posted it on YouTube.

My next stop was the Church of All Saints. When I arrived, I saw a large mosque directly across the street and another on the other block. This was the same case with the previous church I had visited, and my guide explained that as soon as they built the church, mosques went up all around it. Yet today it has become nearly impossible to get a permit in the country to construct a new church anywhere. The Church of All Saints was another site of an attack which occurred in 2006 where a Jihadist entered and began stabbing church-goers while yelling the familiar phrase "Allah akbar". In all, he attacked three churches that day, critically wounding many and killing a 78-year-old man. Yet the government dismissed him as only an isolated mentally ill madman

I met with many people during my trip, and I learned a great deal about what it is like to live as a minority under Islam. I spoke with a priest who told me how he can see the younger generation of Christians there becoming more and more Islamized. I spoke with a man who told me how his young Christian children are taught in public schools there that they are going to hell if they do not become Muslims. I saw brutal intimidation and oppression, and a life dictated by Islamic law that many Americans don't realize but are slowly beginning to see. Before we left, our guide showed us his ID card which had a glaring number 2 in the corner. He told me that Christians are required to have that number on their IDs. I asked if Muslims were required to have a number as well. "Yes," he responded. "Number 1."

In my visit to Egypt I saw a place rampant with police brutality and corruption, where non-Muslims are second-class citizens at best, who are brutally victimized on a daily basis. All this in a nation which is a popular U.S. tourist spot, and has been the recipient of American aid in excess of $28 billion in the last three decades. Thanks to http://www.copticnews.ca/4_e_apr2008/419_egypt.htm Thanks to http://freecopts.net/english/

Morris Sadek Esq is a lawyer at the Court of Cassation, Egyptian special Legal Counsel, DC Bar, United States of America. He is president of the National American Coptic Assembly USA.

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, May 16, 2008.

Having listened to President George W. Bush speak to Israel's Knesset and then having read the transcript, Bush clearly says all the "right" words and seemed imminently sincere. However, I recall taking a course in semantics ages ago where Professor Korzibsiki said: "Words are NOT things; words are just WORDS".

President Bush has various teams that work for him and sometimes, without him. While the speech that the President made congratulating the Jewish State of Israel for all her achievements –– despite Terror attacks, Wars and other pressures was gratefully received, it ignored what Condoleezza Rice and the State Department were doing to Israel.

Through their nefarious means, they had recruited a slavishly weak Prime Minister (Olmert) and before that, Ariel Sharon, to do their bidding and that of the Terrorists.

While Bush was speaking words of encouragement, his various teams were subverting Israel at every possible level. Removing security checkpoints and road-blocks used to screen Terrorists was a high demand by Rice.

At the orders of Rice, backed by the President, Israel was NOT to counterattack in force but to exercise "restraint" when the Kassam Rockets, Iranian Grad and Russian Katyusha missiles bombarded South Israel daily.

President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) was to be treated as a peace implementer through his Terror organization of Fatah –– despite the various other Terror factions attached to Fatah, such as the Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigade, Tanzim and Islamic Jihad –– all fully operational Terrorists. At that time Hamas was deeply integrated into Fatah and later broke away, planning to return and take over Fatah.

Olmert, at Rice's orders, demanded the Olmert meet and negotiate transfer of G-d given Jewish territory to Abu Mazen –– such as Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley, the Golan Heights and all of Jerusalem occupied and desecrated by Jordan for 19 years from 1948 to 1967.

Rice and the State Department thought that this sacrifice would appease the Arab Muslims.

Remember what has happened continually since Yitzhak Rabin turned over Gaza, Jericho and the 7 cities to Arafat under Oslo? And what has transpired since the Israeli government evicted 10,000 Jewish men, women and children from 21 thriving, blooming Jewish communities in Gush Katif/Gaza and the 4 Jewish communities in Northern Samaria?

Is it possible that Bush was kept out-of-the-loop and he didn't know these recent momentous occurrences in history?

Is it possible he didn't know the CIA had been training Arafat's 9 to 12 Secret Services (now under Abu Mazen) in weapons, training, electronics intercepts, sniper shooting?

How is it possible that he hasn't noticed that these various Secret Services have mounted separate and coordinated attacks against Israelis?

Bush said many things which, no doubt, he believed –– such as not appeasing or negotiating Terrorists or Terrorist nations who are trying to kill your country.

But, in the end, it's what you do –– not necessarily what you say.

The other Bush teams are subverting Israel and are intent on making her vulnerable to a so-called "Palestinian people" who cannot be appeased. They say so.

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

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Posted by Gennadiy Faybyshenko, May 16, 2008.

The destiny of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, from the time of the creation of the world, is explicitly described in the Holy Torah. The Jews would be expelled and there would be four exiles, Assyrian, Babylonian, Greek, and Roman, and only then would the Jewish people finally come back to the Land of Israel for the final redemption and the end of times. The prophets constantly mention the fate of the Jewish people because of our covenant-an everlasting promise-between the Almighty and the Jewish people.

Nothing that G-d does is without purpose; everything has a meaning that would lead to the final redemption. However, G-d gives people a choice and the time of the redemption depends on how soon we merit it. What about now? How is it that such a corrupt, self-serving traitor as Ehud Olmert is the prime minister of the country that the Almighty Himself chose? When G-d is truly almighty, and His actions only benefit the world in general and Jewish people in particular, why then do we have someone like Olmert, who is so anti-Jewish and anti-Israel, in such an influential position? I believe that Olmert's despicable traits are precisely the reason why he is in office. The government, both from the left and the right and from the middle, all despise Olmert; but in essence he is their mirror: the whole Israeli government in reality despises itself.

In 1947 the Jews were depressed that the Arabs rejected the partition plan and waged war. Imagine if the Arabs instead had embraced the partition plan, agreeing to live with Jews happily ever after. Then Israel would never have Jerusalem and Hebron, Shechem and Jericho, Bethlehem and Jordan Valley, Eastern Negev and most of the Galilee with the Golan. And G-d purposely infuriated the Arabs in 1967 so that we would liberate those territories. At the beginning it seemed that everything was bad but in reality everything came out perfectly because G-d is perfect and all His decisions are perfect. I can list other miracles that happened to Jewish people but it will take me forever because "Jewish people" is one big miracle. However there were sad moments in history when in the late nineteenth century Jews accepted Berlin as their new Jerusalem and how quickly the remaining Jews who survived ran away from the so-called Berlin. Places like Vilna, famous for its profusion of Jewish literature and the renowned Vilna Gaon, now has barely a single Jew. Because G-d wants His people to be only in one place, Eretz Yisroel, to bring close the final redemption. No matter how much a Jew likes it or hates it when he lived in Galut, his community is nicely relocated in Israel.

However this article is about Olmert and how he was chosen to be the prime minister of the Jewish people. This would be very hard to understand, but in reality similar processes occurred in the past and through out history. The first event happened in Egypt when Jews were slaves under Pharaoh. One day G-d heard the cries of the Jewish people and decided to redeem them. He sent Moses to speak with Pharaoh to let Jews out of Egypt. "But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt. He will not listen to you. Then I will lay My hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out My troops, My people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out My hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it." (Ex.7:3-5) Read that phrase very carefully. It makes absolutely no sense at first glance. On one hand G-d tells Moses to go and ask Pharaoh to let Israelites go while on the other hand G-d will harden Pharaoh's heart so he will not let anyone go and if Pharaoh will not let go then G-d will punish him. We might start to feel bad for the Pharaoh, where is the justice in that? It is equivalent to a bully finding an innocent passerby, tying his hands and asks for money. If that passerby will not give money, the bully will start to punch him. The passerby obviously cannot give money because his hands are tied and then the bully starts to throw punches. Where is the freedom of choice that G-d is known for?

Indeed Pharaoh had a lot of choices and one of them was to repent, but I will not speak about Pharaoh because my topic is the Jewish people. All of us can believe that when Moses would come to Pharaoh and ask to let his people go, after one plague the Pharaoh probably would let them go and if not after one, then after two, but definitely after three because Pharaoh lost much more, almost his entire country. There was no point in keeping Jews as slaves when he had other nations as slaves and could easily conquer other countries. However, G-d hardened Pharaoh's heart on purpose because if not then, Jews who were redeemed would later tell their children that it was just a coincidence, but no Jew can say that after ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea it was a fairy tale. When G-d sent the first plague some Jews saw a miracle in it, though it was not enough. Then G-d threw another plague and another and by the tenth plague the last stubborn Jew who refused to believe in G-d finally submitted and admitted that G-d indeed wants to redeem him. The Pharaoh was chosen to teach Jewish people to believe that indeed there is G-d who has unlimited power and who loves the Jewish People.

When the Sinai Peninsula was planned to be given away to Egypt, most Jews did not care, only Rabbi Meir Kahane of blessed memory made a struggle with few heroic Jews. If we only had Sinai Peninsula, we would have huge oil reservoir that would provide its own economy and not be dependent on American money that did so much damage. That did not bring peace, indeed G-d started to punish even more, throwing plague after a plague with the Oslo Accord, Camp David, two Intifadas and constant threat either by sniper shots or suicide bombings by Arab terrorists. Little by little the average Jew opens his eyes. The liberal establishment does so much for peace but it is G-d Himself who brings war. The uprooting of Gaza strip opened eyes for so many politicians and ordinary people on all sides of the political spectrum. The residents of Sderot were not sympathetic with people from Gush Katif and did not support them, but now they are the ones who suffer the rockets falling on their roofs every single day. If G-d wanted, He could easily have taken Olmert and Kadima out of power by now, but then we would be so tempted to choose Likud or Avoda and that is not what G-d wants. He wants us to build a truly Jewish State that would live by the laws of the Torah and with the rebuilding of the Third and Final Temple on the Temple Mount and of course with the expulsion of all Arabs out of Israel.

Of course G-d can perform a miracle and easily destroy the current government, but we wouldn't appreciate it. We would only appreciate it if we could make chances ourselves, because a man can only appreciate what he achieves on his own and not being spoon-fed. Many Israelis say they are ready. That's not true. They are not yet ready; otherwise they would take the necessary steps and remove Olmert from his throne along with his gang. It's amazing that there hasn't been a revolt. Israel is such a small country. In Europe, in much larger countries, revolutionaries took their respective countries back from the monarchs.

Do we deserve His redemption? When people truly want changes, they make their own changes like in England, France, and the former Soviet Union, where those people disapproved of their government's corruption, they changed it, period.

Would it take plagues from G-d to awaken the Jewish people? Are they just one step away from total annihilation?

Gennadiy Faybyshenko is National Direct of Bnai Elim. Contact him by email at gennadiy1981@yahoo.com

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Posted by Buddy Macy, May 16, 2008.

open letter to To Malcolm Hoenlein and Howard Rieger:

Ehud Olmert is by far the most corrupt, polarizing and destructive Prime Minister the State of Israel has ever had. One must take responsibility for one's actions, and for the relationships one forges. Your public support of Mr. Olmert and his destructive, suicidal policies and agenda in your roles as two of the most powerful Jews in the Diaspora makes both of you culpable and liable. When Olmert is forced to leave office, you must immediately resign from your positions of Jewish leadership.

You may both argue that it is your responsibility to support whoever sits in the Prime Minister's chair, and that the demonstration of this support does not represent a political stance. Unfortunately, your actions during the past nearly three years, since the "disengagement," shout out otherwise. Your job –– first and foremost –– is to help all Jews in need; yet, you have shirked this critical responsibility in deference to the Prime Minister's political wishes. You have ignored the plight of the expellees from Gaza and northern Samaria until the pressure became impossible to bear. And, even then, your assistance to those 10,000 brave souls has been woefully inadequate –– just enough to temporarily silence your critics. Likewise, your refusal to equip our fellow Jews in Sderot and throughout the western Negev with protection from the constant rockets and missiles from Gaza reflects a glaring, unforgivable failure in leadership.

Unfortunately, the politicization of your positions and your lack of leadership do not lie solely with their inaction and silence. In late February, 2008, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs passed a resolution endorsing the two-state 'solution' which completely ignores the resultant creation of a huge Jewish humanitarian crisis for the tens of thousands of new expellees and an imminent threat to Israel's very survival. Prof. Arieh Eldad, MD, MK, head of the newly-formed Hatikva party, equates the implementation of the two-state 'solution' with the destruction of Israel. As the heads of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and United Jewish Communities (UJC), respectively, you must be held responsible for supporting the resolution endorsing such a destructive, suicidal policy: you must be replaced with individuals who truly have the Jewish People's best interest at heart.

Most sincerely,
Buddy Macy

Contact Buddy Macy by email at vegibud@gmail.com

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Posted by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, May 16, 2008.

One theme repeated at a special Knesset session on Thursday –– in the speech of US President George Bush, as well as those of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and others –– was the rejection of appeasement and negotiations with terrorists. At the same time, Bush praised Israel's concessions for peace and envisioned a Palestinian Authority state.

"You won't ever see that happen," MK Hendel shouted towards Olmert as the two right-wing MKs left the plenum.

"No nation should ever be forced to negotiate with killers pledged to its destruction," President Bush told the Knesset. He adding that "we stand together against terror and extremism, and we will never let down our guard or lose our resolve... The founding charter of Hamas calls for the elimination of Israel [and] the President of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map."

Bush then decried negotiations with "terrorists and radicals" as "the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

On the other hand, in his speech, Prime Minister Olmert said that the visit to Israel by the US President "provided another important opportunity for us to discuss the advancement of a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in accordance with your vision, Mr. President, of two states for two peoples. Your personal involvement, and the commendable efforts of the Secretary of State, Ms. Condoleezza Rice, is vital for the success of the intensive negotiations taking place between us and the Palestinians."

Knesset Members Tzvi Hendel and Uri Ariel (National Union) got up in the midst of Olmert's speech and left the Knesset hall in protest. Olmert had just said that he would have the Knesset approve an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) for a two-state solution. "You won't ever see that happen," MK Hendel shouted towards Olmert as the two right-wing MKs left the plenum.

President Bush also reinforced the idea of a future Palestinian state alongside Israel when he detailed his vision for the Middle East 60 years from now: "Israel will be celebrating the 120th anniversary as one of the world's great democracies, a secure and flourishing homeland for the Jewish people. The Palestinian people will have the homeland they have long dreamed of and deserved –– a democratic state that is governed by law, and respects human rights, and rejects terror."

Fatah and the PA: Not Terrorists?

In response to the speech by President Bush, Dr. Aryeh Bachrach suggested that the US President take over his position as the spokesman for Almagor, an organization for victims of terrorism.

In a letter to the American leader, Bachrach wrote: "In your forceful declarations against being 'tolerant of terrorism' and 'not to allow its perpetrators diplomatic achievements' you were giving us a voice. With one mistake –– that you did not count among the terrorist groups Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, which were and are terrorist organizations that just recently gave assistance and protection to their members to murder Israelis in various circumstances."

Along similar lines, the National President of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein, wrote of Fatah head and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that he is behind the "continuing promotion of terrorism, refusal to arrest terrorists, and incitement to hatred and violence within the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps."

"Here is a clear, straightforward litmus test: Does Mahmoud Abbas support preventing terrorism and jailing terrorists? Is he opposed to terrorism? Does he regard terrorism as the enemy of the peace, to which he tells Western audiences he is dedicated? If so, he should be applauding and honoring Imad Sa'ad for doing his duty in fighting terror and assisting the Israelis in doing so, as per the PA's signed obligations under Oslo and the Roadmap. At the very least, he should be immediately releasing Imad Sa'ad from prison. In reality, he has done the opposite...." Only the intervention of Israeli groups prevented Sa'ad from being executed by the PA.

Klein concludes, "There is no sense or morality in having peace negotiations with someone who arrests or executes those who help fight terrorists."

As for the Fatah's being "killers pledged to [Israel's] destruction," thus placing them outside the realm of negotiations according to the Bush vision he articulated on Thursday, it is worthwhile recalling some earlier statements by PLO and Fatah officials.

"The Palestinian people accepted the Oslo agreements as a first step and not as a permanent arrangement, based on the premise that the war and struggle on the ground [i.e., locally against Israeli territory] is more efficient than a struggle from a distant land... for the Palestinian people will continue the revolution until they achieve the goals of the '65 revolution..." (Palestinian Authority Minister of Supply Abd El-Aziz Shahian quoted in Al-Ayaam newspaper, May 30, 2000.) [The "'65 Revolution" marks the first attack by the PLO, a year after its founding and prior to Israel's conquest of Judea, Samaria and Gaza in 1967, and the publication of the Palestinian Covenant that calls for the destruction of Israel via armed struggle. –– ed.]

"When we picked up the gun in '65 and the modern Palestinian Revolution began, it had a goal. This goal has not changed and it is the liberation of Palestine." (Salim Alwadia, Abu Salem, Supervisor of Political Affairs, quoted in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 20, 2000.)

The official website of the Fatah terrorist organization bluntly stated, "a legitimate Palestinian entity forms the most important weapon that Arabs have against Israel, the outpost of the imperialist powers." The statement was part of a January 1, 2002 manifesto marking the 37th anniversary of the founding of Fatah.

Pointedly emphasizing that the Fatah was founded in the late 1950s and carried out its first terrorist attack on Israel in 1965, the celebratory article states, "Fateh believes that the Zionist movement constitutes the biggest threat against not only the Palestinian national security but also against the security of the Arab world." Fatah recommends eliminating the threat through a combination of "the popular armed revolution" and other forms of the "revolution" at the "organizational, military, political, and diplomatic levels. The complementary nature of the different forms of revolution guarantees the continuity of the struggle until victory is achieved."

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz writes for Arutz-Sheva

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 16, 2008.


The US and Israel keep contrasting Fatah with Hamas, though only in generalities. Actually, Fatah is quite brutal. In Judea-Samaria, P.A. police pulled a Hamas cleric out of a mosque, and within a week killed him by torture.

One of the cleric's co-worshippers recognized one of those P.A. police as having served in an Israeli prison with him for many years. He told his former cellmate, haven't you learned, this is why Fatah was kicked out of Gaza? (Pipe #855, 5/5.)

Fatah is almost as vicious as Hamas and just as dedicated to destroying Israel. Westerner's delude themselves if they believe that it is important for Israel to reach an agreement with Fatah and to shore up Abbas against Hamas.

Why don't those who suggest Israeli concessions to Abbas instead demand reform by Abbas? Have they nothing to say about his hiring terrorists, as that police agent, and about his use of torture? Let them demand that his media, schools, and mosques stop defaming Israel and calling for the murder of Jews!

In answer to this, they claim he is weak politically, and needs concessions by Israel to show he can produce results. The concessions and the results are steps along the way to the conquest of Israel. If such steps are needed to shore him up, then his people are hopeless. If he doesn't reform both his regime's corruption and its devotion to jihad, then what is the point of making an agreement with that regime –– it continues jihad?


An Islamic conclave claimed that Britain imposed Greenwich Mean Time on the world. It claimed that science finds that Mecca is in perfect alignment with the magnetic pole and is in the center of the earth. It therefore proposes that Mecca time become the international standard.

There is no perfect alignment with the magnetic pole, because the earth's pole shifts. The center of the earth is deep inside the earth. The Islamic conclave does not understand science or dissembles about it.

Greenwich had the most advanced observatory. An international conference recognized Greenwich time. There was no imperialist plot in that. Rather, there is an Islamic plot against it. Islam is striving against the rest of the world, instead of working with it to solve human problems (Op. Cit.).


The Times lead article, on the 60th anniversary of Israel, took the Arab perspective. That is, it stated Arab claims without explanation or alternative view, as if factual. The only Israelis heard from agreed with the Arabs. [The Times does not explain to readers that the government sympathizes more with the Arabs than with the Jews, at the risk of national security.]

The article admits at the outset that Israeli Arabs are more integrated now and are better off in Israel now and are better off than Arabs elsewhere in the Mideast. They are discontented anyway, being poorer than the majority of Israelis and feeling unwanted by it. They feel part of the country, want equal rights in it, but believe that Israel will get overcome. Thousands of them will protest Israel's founding, this month, again. They sympathize with Israel's Arab enemies. Their elected representatives accuse Israel of Nazism. [The Arabs admire the Nazis and like them, falsely accuse the Jews of barbarism. Their sympathy with the enemy and even treason forfeits any consideration for them and makes them deserve to be unwanted. Their extensive parading with signs, "death to the Jews," and their extensive attacks on Jews are not mentioned. Why not? Mention of it would give a balanced perspective. Otherwise, the Arabs are left to seem like citizens with normal grievances rather than as subversives.]

[Sure they are less well off. They take less education and have more children. Few perform any national service, for which they would earn veterans' benefits, useful in getting jobs. Does the Times expect the government to hire Arabs for jobs related to the defense industry and national security?]

On the other hand, the government has imposed quotas or preferences for Arabs in education, infrastructure, and government employment. [The Times euphemistically calls this "affirmative action." I find that it helps the enemy. The Arabs remain the enemy, defeated but still trying to take over the country.]

One Arab argued that declaring Israel a Jewish state means he is not there. [Every state controlled by the Arabs declares itself a Muslim Arab state and mistreats its minorities. Its Jewish minority was no threat to Arab states but was ousted. In Israel, the Arabs tried to exterminate the Jews. Israel does not treat the Arabs as invisible, having Arab parties in the Knesset and Arabs among the other parties, having Arabic as an official language of the country, and letting Arabs enjoy the rights of citizenship without the responsibility of national service.]]

The Arabs complain about a scarcity of land for them. [Remove the illegal immigrants, and there would be enough.] The article explains that they are not allowed to settle in their former villages, some of whose ruins remain visible, and their towns are packed, while Jewish towns are encouraged to expand. One former landowner says his daughter, a doctor, does not distinguish between Jewish and Arab patients, so why should land rules. [I have heard of cases of Arab medical personnel mistreating Jewish patients and exulting over the wounded Jewish victims of terrorism brought into the hospital. Most land rules don't discriminate, though the Jewish national fund allots land only for Jews, since it was funded for Jews. The Arabs steal land on a large scale, but the law is not enforced against them. Israel was foolish to leave any visible ruins of abandoned Arab villages and mosques for Arabs to rally around]

Jewish attitudes towards the Arabs have hardened. Some rabbis now forbid Jews to rent to Arabs. Most Jews favor the transfer of Arabs out of Israel, as part of the solution to the Arab-Israel conflict. [Yes, because of widespread Israeli Arab disloyalty and increasing terrorism. Once in a Jewish neighborhood, Arabs taunt and attack Jews and blockbust.] The Arabs say they don't want to leave because they know its worse in the P.A..

In a departure from Times practice, the article admits that the Arabs, including those in what now is Israel, started the wars between themselves and the Jews. The Arabs would not allow a Jewish state. When the Jews counter-attacked, the Arabs evacuated from most of their towns. [No, they defended themselves. They ignored most villages which stayed at peace and did not attack the countries of invading armies. This would have been a good place for the article to make clear that almost all of the evacuation was voluntary.]

Israel promised the Arabs equality [no, equality of opportunity]. It broke that promise. The government admits there is discrimination against the Arabs. No examples of discrimination cited. The article admits that the government discriminates against the Jews, referring to "affirmative action". [Is it fair to hold Israel to a promise after the Arabs attempted genocide and still help Israel's foreign enemies?]

The rest of the article speculates about Arab loyalty (Ethan Bronner, 5/17, A1).


The NY Sun copied a Washington Post report that: (1) Abbas leads the P.A., "which is considered relatively moderate;" and (2) A major test of whether their forces would "crack down on armed groups" took place in lawless Qabatiyeh, where they battled Islamic Jihad, pledged to eradicate Israel (5/7, p.7). Was the fight to stop crime, which doesn't affect peace, or to stop terrorism, which does. The report did not indicate which faction attacked nor why. The omission leaves the report of little import.

Who considers the P.A. "relatively moderate?" Politicians, who use that false label as an excuse for demanding concessions from Israel. Abbas' organization is pledged to eradicate Israel, and he won't recognize Israel as a Jewish state. That is not moderate.

Thus the report suffered from a lack of judgment on the purpose of the report and from being incorrectly judgmental in characterizing the P.A..

The Sun takes much of its news about Israel from the Washington Post, Daily Telegraph, and Associated Press. Those sources are biased. They slant against the Sun's editorial position on Israel.


The conference will include: (A) Kissinger, Pres. Bush, Peres, Tony Blair, Joschka Fischer, and Dennis Ross, whose organization devised the conference; and (B) Vaclav Havel, Sergey Brin of Google, Terry Semel of Yahoo, Robert Murdoch, and 7 Jewish Nobel laureates (Ethan Bronner, NY Times, 5/8, A23).

What good for Israel can come from a conference by group (A), all anti-Zionist.


PM Olmert said he would resign if indicted, but meanwhile he must fulfill his duties, for he was elected Prime Minister (IMRA, 5/8).

No, he was elected a Member of Knesset, appointed Dep. PM, and then inherited the premiership from Sharon, stricken after being alone with Olmert and Peres.

Richard Holbrooke said that the UNO proposed to partition "Palestine" into a Jewish state and an Arab one (NY Sun, 5/8, Op.-Ed.). Not Palestine, but what was left of the Palestine Mandate. Jordan, the bulk of Palestine was already split off.

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

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Posted by Naomi Ragen, May 16, 2008.


The Mayor of Ashkelon, whose main shopping center was destroyed by a jihadi missle from Gaza (launched, by the way, from the bulldozed homes of the former Gush Katif community of Dugit, where residents were dragged crying from their homes on the orders of brilliant Israeli politicians) says that the Israeli government will do nothing to protect its citizens because of the public relations involved in the Bush visit.

I thought of the title of a new book written by Caroline Glick, probably one of the brightest and best political analysts in Israel, called Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad. The cover is a blinded Samson finally bringing down the house on the Philistines. How apt. It's a collection of her insightful and passionate Jerusalem Post columns, and highly recommended.

I recently listened to Caroline in a fascinating interview which I think clarifies all the issues we are passionately involved it. She has a way of cutting through the fog and bringing great illumination.

The book review below is by Shalom Freedman and it comes from
http://www.amazon.com/Shackled-Warrior-Israel-Global-Jihad/ dp/9652294152

Caroline Glick has for the past several years written a regular column for The Jerusalem Post. This book is a collection of those columns organized in ten chapters: 1) The War Against Israel 2) The War Against the Free World 3) Israel Alone 4) The Threat of Destruction 5) Israel's Suicide Attempt 6) The Battle for Hearts and Minds 7) Contemporary Thought Police 8) European Betrayal 9) An Israeli in Iraq 10) A Light unto the Nations.

Glick is an incisive, well-informed original and tough writer. Her deep concern is for the security of Israel, and she has an extra-sensitive antenna in detecting dangers and threats. As a Harvard educated native of the United States who served for several years in the Israeli Defense Forces she has a deep knowledge of the political and military systems of both the United States and Israel and the relations between them. While in one sense this book focuses on Israeli security questions it is a must read for anyone who cares about the free world's fight against Terror.

As someone who has lived in Israel for many years I regard myself as fairly knowledgeable about the Israeli-Arab conflict. But reading this work I learned and understood much I had not before.

Glick shows how mistaken the Bush strategy and execution has been in the war against terror. Embedded with the U.S. forces in Iraq at the beginning of its effort to depose Saddam Hussein, she has followed the struggling American effort there closely. She here repeatedly writes about the Americans half-hearted war on terror, in which they excluded as target a major force of Terror, the Palestinians. She shows how Israel and the United States have played the wrong game in believing withdrawal and concessions would lead to peace. She writes with anger and scorn at the withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza and how they brought neither Peace nor Security to Israel. She knows the Palestinian and Arab propaganda tactics inside out and exposes the way the Media repeatedly and perhaps in some cases willingly, falls for them. She is not at all reluctant to criticize Israeli leaders who have kept alive a phony peace partner, Abbas' PA instead of trying to make the best of the truth that the Palestinians at this stage are not ready for peace. She outlines clearly the mistakes made in the Lebanon War of summer 2006 and has harsh words for the phony accomplishments the Olmert government claimed afterwards. Glick is above all a truthseeker and truth-teller and the Truth she tells is often not very pleasant for Israelis themselves. But what is felt through every line she writes is her deep and passionate caring for the Jewish state.

These columns provide an up-to-date look at the ongoing struggle in one of the world's most vital areas. They are a must read for anyone who would truly understand the struggle Israel, the United States the free world as a whole are now engaged in.

I could not recommend this book more highly.

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 Marc Caroff, May 15, 2008.

For those not able to be at the talk yesterday by Yoram Ettinger, I must tell you that it was one of the most informative talks I have ever had the privilege to hear.

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports. Contact him at yoramtex@netvision.net.il

I will paraphrase some of the points made by Mr. Ettinger for the benefit of those who could not attend:

1. While most of us are aware of the contributions that the modern state of Israel has made in the fields of science and technology, we should also be aware that Israel has been a strategic asset to the U.S. in our confrontations with the former Soviet Union, as well as with the rogue states and Islamic terrorists in the Middle East. Israel has been generous in sharing the experience and know-how it has gained about the tactics and weapons of our common enemies in direct confrontations, as well as in sharing new technologies it has developed to thwart those enemies;

2. Most of the blame for Israel's reckless concessions to its enemies, at the expense of its security, over the past several years should be placed at the doorstep of its weak political leaders. U.S. leaders and the media bear less responsibility since, for the most part, they have been following the lead of Israel's political leaders, e,g. Rabin, Peres, Barak, Sharon, Olmert. However, it should be noted that the State Department and the CIA have been actively working to undermine the state of Israel since its founding in 1948 to placate the Arab world;

3. The key to developing a more competent political leadership in Israel is better education and, specifically, more intensive teaching of Judaism, Jewish history, and Zionism in all schools and colleges;

4. While the prevailing malaise in Israel has given birth to a school of confused thought that believes problems of demography can be cured only by territorial concessions, in fact there is reason to hope that the problem will resolve itself. As Ettinger points out, Arab fertility rates have been significantly declining in recent years while the Jewish fertility rate in Israel has not. Moreover, Arab emigration from Israel has been increasing as the result of reduced economic opportunities, and the economic lure of working in the oil fields of the Gulf states has increased;

5. As for Judea, Samaria and Gaza, Ettinger believes that it is incumbent upon all of us to point out that the creation of a Palestinian state would not only endanger the viability of Israel, but it would also threaten vital American interests in the Middle East. Creation of a Palestinian state would be a reward for Islamic terrorism (considering that even our so-called "peace partner", Abbas, has a terrorist background and is the creator of the present system of incitement prevalent in Palestinian schools and media), and would also destabilize Jordan;

6. The talk by Yoram Ettinger was sponsored by Israel Bonds. I would encourage everyone to purchase an Israel bond as an investment in Israel's future, despite the poor state of Israel's present political leadership. As Mr. Ettinger stressed in his talk, Israel bonds were one of the most important factors in building Israel's infrastructure after its founding, and continue to promote Israel's strength and vitality to this day. Call 301-654-6575 for present interest rates on Israel bonds, and to obtain an investment form.

Marc Caroff, President of the Brandeis Chapter of ZOA.

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Posted by Nabil A. Bissada, May 15, 2008.

Undercover Reporter in United Kingdom Films Islamofascism in Action!!

Over a year ago, a United Kingdom television station dispatched a reporter to go undercover into mosques in the UK.

In just the first installment, you will see imams proclaiming:

"Allah has created the woman deficient ...If she doesn't wear the hijab, we hit her."

"You have to live like a state within a state until you take over."

"The pinnacle, the crest, the summit of Islam, is jihad."

In that same installment you will see how a large Muslim organization in the UK has a "special" chat room for communication not meant for non-Muslims to see.

You will see how imams despise non-believers and call for jihad against them.

See the set of videos at

Contact Nabil A. Bissada at NABissad@lasd.org

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Posted by Marc Samberg, May 15, 2008.

This was written by Magdi Abdelhadi, BBC Arab affairs analyst and was posted at
http://www.foxnews. com/story/ 0,2933,352011, 00.html

Muslim scientists and clerics have called for the adoption of Mecca time to replace GMT, arguing that the Saudi city is the true centre of the Earth.

One cleric said science had proved Mecca to be the centre of the Earth

Mecca is the direction all Muslims face when they perform their daily prayers.

The call was issued at a conference held in the Gulf state of Qatar under the title: Mecca, the Centre of the Earth, Theory and Practice.

One geologist argued that unlike other longitudes, Mecca's was in perfect alignment to magnetic north.

He said the English had imposed GMT on the rest of the world by force when Britain was a big colonial power, and it was about time that changed.

Mecca watch

A prominent cleric, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawy, said modern science had at last provided evidence that Mecca was the true centre of the Earth; proof, he said, of the greatness of the Muslim qibla –– the Arabic word for the direction Muslims turn to when they pray.

The meeting also reviewed what has been described as a Mecca watch, the brainchild of a French Muslim.

The watch is said to rotate anti-clockwise and is supposed to help Muslims determine the direction of Mecca from any point on Earth.

The meeting in Qatar is part of a popular trend in some Muslim societies of seeking to find Koranic precedents for modern science.

It is called "Ijaz al-Koran", which roughly translates as the "miraculous nature of the holy text".

The underlying belief is that scientific truths were also revealed in the Muslim holy book, and it is the work of scholars to unearth and publicise the textual evidence.

But the movement is not without its critics, who say that the notion that modern science was revealed in the Koran confuses spiritual truth, which is constant, and empirical truth, which depends on the state of science at any given point in time.

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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Posted by Phyllis Chesler, May 15, 2008.

Dear Readers:

It occurs to me that I ought to have a running commentary on the anti-Israel bias in the contemporary New York Times. It is my home town newspaper and I do read it everyday. Sharing rather than silently swallowing my frustration will be an excellent tonic, and good for my blood pressure.

In today's edition (May 15th), here is how the Gray Lady summarizes what happened in Israel yesterday.


"President Bush's trip to Israel to celebrate the country's 60th birthday was marred by violence. Four Palestinians were killed, including two militants, and nine were wounded in a series of Israeli Army strikes and incursions into Gaza said medics and witnesses there. In Israel, a rocket that the police said was launched from northern Gaza badly wounded four people, including a two year old girl."

Before we even get to the piece itself which was located at the very bottom of page 6, lemme vent. The first "violence" noted above was that caused by "Israeli Army strikes." Absolutely no background or context are given in terms of why Israel would strike Gaza. Hundreds, maybe thousands of non-stop Kassam rockets launched against Israeli civilians, children, schoolhouses, hospitals? Could that be it? The Times isn't saying. And why-oh-why does TimeSpeak keep identifying Hamas terrorists and Islamists as "militants?"

And, now that the Israeli military has been maligned and branded as evil day after day in the Paper of Record, even I tend to trust a smidgen less anything they might have to say. I am meant to; thus, if the Israeli "police" tell us the rocket was launched from Gaza-perhaps, maybe, I am meant to take that with a grain of salt. Not so the "medics and witnesses" of Gaza who have never been maligned and who appear, therefore, as neutral reporters.

Only when you get to the longer piece, do you learn that the Gaza-launched rocket hit a health clinic in Ashkelon (beyond Sderot); that the doctor who was attending to the wounded was also wounded by it; that the rocket was "Iranian made;" that "Hamas has praised the attack."

Yes, the same Hamas that Presidential hopeful Barack Obama wants us to talk to as does the new left-Jewish group which calls itself J Street –– just to make sure you understand that they are truly out of this world. ("J" street in Washington D.C. does not exist, that is their clever point). See James Kirchick's article "What Does the New Jewish Lobby Really Represent" in The New Republic of May 28, 2008.

But back to the New York Times: In terms of this latest rocket attack upon Israeli civilians, you have to read on to the eighth paragraph to learn that sixty other people were also wounded-but only "lightly." Not seriously, right? The fact is, that such attacks have been going on for years, the civilian population is being terrorized and traumatized, as well as murdered and maimed. And yes, "lightly wounded" as well.

The Times piece includes lots of other information having nothing to do with the Israeli murdered, maimed, or "lightly wounded." The piece is also about President Bush's visit and the diplomats, celebrities, theologians, and Israeli leaders who gathered to be part of it.

Folks: Just for the record let me wearily repeat: Israeli government policy may sometimes be imperfect –– but as imperfect as it may be, it does not justify the horrendous, exterminationist assault upon Israeli civilians that Palestinians, Syrians, Jordanians, Egyptians, and Iranians have perpetrated over the decades. I would like you all to read how an Israeli newspaper reported this same event of yesterday.

by Ezra HaLevi

(IsraelNN.com) The Iranian-supplied Grad-type rocket fired at an Ashkelon mall Wednesday was launched from the former Gaza Jewish fishing village of Dugit, which was evacuated and destroyed by Israel in the 2005 Disengagement for the stated purpose of strengthening Israel's security.

Hamas-affiliated Popular Resistance Committees Spokesman Muhammad Abdel-Al told World Net Daily Wednesday that the attack, which wounded dozens, including children, was launched from Dugit, located along the coast in northern Gaza.

Dugit's residents, mostly secular Jews who made a living fishing in the Mediterranean, left reluctantly, but without a struggle in 2005, when then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced his diplomatic plan to unilaterally withdraw the IDF from Gaza and destroy all the Jewish towns there. More than 9,000 residents were evicted from their homes in the operation.

At the time, residents and other opponents of the plan warned that the communities would be used as terrorist training camps and staging grounds for terrorist attacks.

Abdel-Al hailed Wednesday's attack as a "symbolic act" that proved the effectiveness of PA Arabs' policies of launching attacks on Jewish civilians to achieve concessions from Israel's government. "Our launching from Dugit is a sign of success," Abdel-Al told World Net Daily's Aaron Klein. "Mark my words, just as we liberated Dugit, so we will liberate Ashkelon, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa."

In 2005, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon implemented his Disengagement Plan in which Israel demolished 21 Jewish towns in Gaza and 4 in northern Samaria, forcefully expelled the Jewish residents, and handed the Gaza area over to the Palestinian Authority.

In his speech to the Herziliya Conference in 2003, Sharon explained that "the purpose of the Disengagement Plan is to reduce terror as much as possible, and grant Israeli citizens the maximum level of security. These steps will increase security for the residents of Israel and relieve the pressure on the IDF and security forces in fulfilling the difficult tasks they are faced with. The Disengagement Plan is meant to grant maximum security and minimize friction between Israelis and Palestinians."

Dr. Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. She is an author and lecturer and s co-founder of the still ongoing Association for Women in Psychology (1969). Visit her website at http://pajamasmedia.com/xpress/phyllischesler/

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Posted by Barry Rubin, May 15, 2008.

After seeing how Western leaders are handling Lebanon, said an Israeli official privately, "Hizballah could only laugh. We have to take it into consideration that nobody will ever help us."

Of course, Israel is not alone because there are so many others becoming victims of a combination of Western dithering and radical aggressiveness.

Whether or not the West figures it out, the other side knows well what's going on. "There are only two sides –– Iran and the United States," said the Iranian newspaper Kayhan. Another leading Tehran daily, Jomhouri-e Islamia, explained that as a result of Hizballah's victory in Lebanon, "The U.S.'s Influence in the Region will stop, and the regimes identified with it will be replaced."[*] From Tehran's viewpoint, that's about 20 countries, all but Syria, maybe Sudan, and the Gaza Strip."

It's a zero-sum game: Them or U.S., so to speak. Today, Lebanon (or at least west Beirut); tomorrow the world!

Somewhere to the south of Iran target Lebanon, a bit west of Iran target Iraq, north of Iran target Egypt, and adjoining Iran targets Jordan and the West Bank, sits little Iran target Israel.

A Gulf Arab journalist, in an article tellingly entitled, "Iran is Enemy Number One," wrote a few days ago: "The true feeling of the Saudis, Bahrainis, Kuwaitis, and Qataris is that Iran is the enemy and it must be brought down and weakened."

These people know they are at war, with the two fronts right now being Lebanon and Iraq. The Arab-Israeli conflict still exists but has become more of an Israel-Palestinian, Syria, and Iran conflict in practice. For most Arab regimes, it's useful for making propaganda and proving their militant nationalist-Islamic credentials but things have changed a great deal from past decades.

Of course, this doesn't mean they will cooperate or make peace with Israel. Moderation not only threatens to expose them to radical subversion but also to weaken their own dictatorships' structure, which rests heavily on demagogically blaming Israel for all their shortcomings.

As one Gulf ruler put it privately, "We can use Israel and bash Israel simultaneously." In other words, Israelis –– as well as Americans and some Europeans –– must oppose Iranian ambitions for their own reasons. So why should Arab regimes give anything to them for doing so, even if it means protecting their own sovereignty and systems as well?

In this context, the idea that solving the Palestinian issue will bring peace and stability in the region, ensure good Arab-Western relations, and quiet radical Islamism becomes especially laughable.

Consider the following. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, it might use them on Israel. This is such a serious threat genocide that Israel must be prepared to attack Iran's installations to block the possibility.

But this is just a possibility. There is also an absolute certainty. If Iran gets nuclear weapons: no Western country will stand against it, Arab regimes will rush to appease it, and hundreds of thousands of Muslims will join radical Islamist groups to replace all those regimes Iran says must go.

For the moment, however, Lebanon is the Spanish Civil War before the main conflict. A democratic majority, a united front of Christians, Druze, and Sunni Muslims, defies terrorist attacks sponsored by Syria, Iran's ally. They simply don't want to live under an Iran-style Islamist regime. Government supporters are angry that Hizballah can launch war on Israel whenever it pleases at great cost to their nation. They angrily remember decades of Syrian domination, repression, and looting.

Spain, of course, became progressive humanity's great icon of in the 1930s. Such people were horrified that the Western democracies would not help Republican Spain while the German and Italian fascists poured troops, weapons, and money into the Fascist side.

But why didn't Britain and the others act? Their motives were precisely the same as inhibits determination today. They feared war and the resulting cost and casualties. They profited by trading with the other side. They disliked the great power that was doing more (in those days the USSR, today America of course). Since the Catholic Church backed General Francisco Franco's cause they didn't want to be labeled what today would be called "Catholophobic." They lacked confidence in their own society, which Ezra Pound called a "botched civilization," "an old bitch gone in the teeth." Pound eventually preferred the fascists, as too many intellectuals and artists now find the Islamists the lesser of the two evils.

William Butler Yeats said it best: "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere, The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst, Are full of passionate intensity."

In 2006, for example, the UN –– all the world's nations nobly assembled –– decided that troops would be sent to southern Lebanon, Hizballah would be kept out from there and disarmed, weapons smuggling would be blocked. Hizballah disagreed and did what it wanted. The world gave in: Hizballah (Syria and Iran), 1; World, 0.

So if the world won't even help Arab, Muslim-led, democratic, Lebanon, why should Israel give credence to any such promises or guarantees. Ah, but Israel can defend itself. It's the toughest of all Iran's intended targets.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill recalled in December 1941, speaking to Canada's parliament, that collaborationist French generals warned him that if Britain, too, didn't surrender to Hitler, "In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken." Churchill wryly told his cheering audience: "Some chicken; some neck!"
A few years later, Hitler lay dead and defeated.
Mr. Ahmadinejad take note.

[*]  A somewhat different version of this article was published in the London Jewish Chronicle, May 15, 2008.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and co-author of "Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography" and "Hating America: A History" (Oxford University Press). His latest book is The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). Prof. Rubin's columns can now be read online at http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html. Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

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Posted by Steven Plaut, May 15, 2008.

1. A few days ago I posted some dialogue that was being disseminated via the anti-Semitic 'ALEF' chat list that operates under the auspices of the University of Haifa, attempting partially to deny the Holocaust. The material can be read here:

The ALEF list is a list for outright anti-Semites, cheerleaders for terrorism, and Neo-Nazis. The 'dialogue' concerning the Holocaust began when Shraga Elam, an ex-Israel best known for his lavish praise for David Irving, claimed that 'at most' 5.1 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during World War II. This was supposed to be based on an estimate of the world Jewish population posted on a Hebrew University web site by HU's demographer Prof. Sergio DellaPergola at
http://www.huji.ac.il/cgi-bin/dovrut/dovrut_search_eng.pl? mesge121057565332688760

There it says that there were 11 million Jews world wide (elsewhere it says 11.4) after World War II and 16.5 before the war in the entire world. Elam and his ilk then claim that 'at most' 5.1 million Jews were murdered, and the 'Six Million' number is Zionist propaganda. Elam was then joined on the ALEF list by Stalinist British anti-Semite Tony Greenstein and others, including a professor of [psychology from Haifa University), who not only agreed but claimed that as few as 1.5 million Jews may have been murdered.

This is all familiar stuff taken from Neo-Nazi and Holocaust Denial web sites, who make similar 'statistical arguments.'

What is one to make of all this?

First of all, the 11 and the 16.5 numbers on the Hebrew University web site are hardly firm authoritative data points and are little more than wild guesses.

But suppose for the sake of argument that they are correct. Would this give credence to the claims of the anti-Semites and Neo-Nazis that the Six Million number is a fabrication? An invention of Zionists?

Where is the 'missing million' if we take those numbers at face value?

The answer is that the claim reveals far more about the demographic illiteracy of the anti-Semites than about the actual scope of the Holocaust. The 'claim' of the anti-Semites that the numbers show that fewer than Six Million were murdered in the Holocaust ignores natural growth of Jewish populations in other, non-European parts of the world, that is, the excess of births over deaths there. (These included all high-birth Jewish populations in North Africa and Asia.) It assumes a static world Jewish population between 1939 and 1946, other than the effect of the Holocaust. If the Jewish populations outside Europe in 1939 were about ten million, and if these Jewish populations were growing naturally at 2% per year during the years of World War II, which is probably close to or less than they were actually growing, then do the math and that more than 'explains' the supposedly 'missing million' in the data of the anti-Semites.

In fact, the number of Jewish deaths during the Holocaust may have been closer to 7 million than six million.

The anti-Semites, including the Jewish anti-Semites, are misusing demographic data about the Holocaust so that they can engineer a second Holocaust of Jews.

2. As you may know, Wikipedia, the amateurish web 'encyclopedia,' although a reference source that no one with a high school diploma would regard as reliable, has been systematically sabotaged by a group of anti-Semites, who distort and vandalize any entry having anything to do with Israel or Zionism. These anti-Semites seem to be working as a team of editors.

Details about a campaign, led by CAMERA, to correct this can be read here:
http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/critiques/new/ Exposed_-_Anti-Israeli_Subversion_on_Wikipedia.asp and

Since so many high schoolers and laymen. too lazy to do real research on topics use Wikipedia, it is important to assist those attempting to correct the problem. Contact CAMERA for ways you can help.

3. Tel Aviv University held 'Nakba' events this week mourning Israel.s existence on campus facilities, conducted with university official approval and support.

4. Getting high with Hebrew University's Timothy Leary (Benny Shanon):
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3e2bc1ac-14c6-11dd-a741-0000779fd2ac.html? nclick_check=1

First Person: Benny Shanon
As told to Serge Debrebant
Published: May 3 2008 01:31 | Last updated: May 3 2008 01:31

I don't think of myself as naive. But I was too innocent to foresee the reactions to an academic essay I published recently. It suggested that Moses and the early Israelites might have used psychoactive plants.

After I gave an interview to an Israeli newspaper about it, the story was picked up by news wires all over the world. Hundreds of people wrote to me because they'd seen headlines like "Was Moses high on psychedelic drugs?" Some of them called me a sinner or an idiot, others heaped praise on me because they thought I was some kind of 1960s Timothy Leary counter-culture figure advocating hallucinogenic drugs. Just to be clear: I'm not.

I'm a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; my expertise is in the study of human consciousness and the philosophy of psychology. I became interested in non-ordinary states of consciousness when I was on holiday in the upper Amazonian region of Brazil. I got the chance to take part in a religious ritual that meant drinking a powerful psychoactive brew called ayahuasca. This potion plays a central role in the cultures of the indigenous tribes of the region, where it is used in religious rituals and medicinal practices. Ayahuasca is famous for the vivid visions that it induces. Common effects include psychological insights, philosophical-like reflections and deep religious and spiritual sentiments. I have had similar experiences, which had a deep personal impact on me.

I decided to study the potion from a psychologist's approach. Since then, I have consumed ayahuasca about 160 times and published my research in an academic book, called Antipodes of the Mind.

The article on Moses was just a small offshoot of this work. I had started noticing clues showing that the early Israelites might have used a potion similar to ayahuasca.

I should explain that although I am not religious, I deeply respect religious feelings and the Jewish tradition in which I was raised.

I believe that Moses was an extraordinary man.

Journalists simplified my theory and misquoted me, saying that Moses was stoned when he received the 10 commandments. It was like the children's game called 'broken telephone': a child whispers a message to a friend and this child to another, and so on; and in the end the message is totally distorted.

Most people who wrote to me had never read my essay. I received about 100 hate messages, mostly from American fundamentalist Christians. One Christian woman wrote to say she was praying for me and urged me to repent. A Muslim called me a stupid Jew and said I had better never write anything like that about the Koran.

Other people just thought I was in favour of drugs. A father wrote to say that his son was a drug addict and that I shouldn't publish such theories. He didn't know that in traditional native American societies, only mature people are allowed to use ayahuasca. I was 42 when I first drank it –– not exactly a kid taking drugs at a rave party.

There were other people who realised I had been misinterpreted. One message I liked a lot came from a religious Jew living in the US. He said he thought I was right but that I should have kept my theory secret. Indeed, in the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah esoteric knowledge is not meant for everyone. But I'm a scientist and believe in the power of arguments. I don't want to hide a theory just because it could create an uproar.

5. Daniel Barenboim is back:

"We wanted to own land that had never belonged to Jews and build settlements there. The Palestinians see this as imperialistic provocation, and rightly so. Their resistance is absolutely understandable –– not the means they use to this end, not the violence nor the wanton inhumanity –– but their "no." We Israelis must finally find the courage to not react to this violence, the courage to stand by our history."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/14/ israelandthepalestinians.classicalmusic

6. Remembert hat old definition of chutzpah –– where someone kills his parents and then asks the judge for mercy cause he is an orphan? Well, read this
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1210668639064&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

7. Nutty Nadine: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=

8. MES Fiction: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/

9. Jews and Jew Haters II: From Cranks to Clowns May 8th 2008, 9:28 am

(This is a guest post by Mikey)

Six months ago, I posted Jews and Jew Haters: The Anti-Zionist Jewish Squabble. It was about the nasty feud between Tony Greenstein, an anti-Zionist British Jew, and Gilad Atzmon, an anti-Zionist Israeli. Greenstein wants "the state of Israel to be destroyed" and claims that Hamas and Hizbollah are not antisemitic. Atzmon says that burning down a synagogue is a "rational act." I wasn't sure if a sane person could support either side, but I concluded: "this argument is set to run and run."

And so it has turned out. The Tony Greenstein camp has established its own blog, Anti-Zionists against Anti-Semitism, to "opppose [sic] that small current around Israel Shamir and Gilad Atzmon who wish to introduce the ideas of racism and anti-Semitism into the Palestine solidarity movement." A large proportion of the posts are attacks on Atzmon, described as "a holocaust denier" who is "fundamentally racist and reactionary."

The blog is very dull and only masochists will enjoy it. Apparently even Greenstein finds it boring, which may explain why he is anxious for the excitement of a court case. He has initiated legal proceedings against Atzmon in respect of:

False allegations of serious criminal conduct and fraud concerning alleged offences over 20 years ago, contrary to s.8 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
False allegations of violent crimes, in particular against Jewish people
False allegations of race hate crimes against Jewish people
False allegations of vandalising church property

In full litigation mode, Greenstein has also threatened to sue Google for hosting the website of Atzmon's main defender.

In the Nazi mind, the ultimate evil is being a Jew. In Atzmon's mind, the ultimate evil is being a Zionist. This is worse than being a Nazi:

there is no room for comparison between Israel and the Nazis. If a comparison is to be made, then it is the Israelis who win the championship of ruthlessness. Israel and Zionism endanger our world. We have to admit that Israel is the ultimate evil rather than Nazi Germany. We should never compare Israel to Nazi Germany. As far as evilness is concerned, we should now let Israel take the lead.

Since it is the worst insult he can imagine, Atzmon has taken to calling the Greenstein camp crypto-Zionists. Since it is the worst insult he can imagine, Greenstein throws the same accusation against the Atzmon camp, whose ideas "can only lead in one direction –– to the strengthening of Zionism." But Greenstein is more promiscuous with his abuse. Not long after the BNP's legal adviser attacked the Board of Deputies as "a clique of self serving Zionist racists" and a "Zionist-Nazi organisation" and the Jewish Chronicle as "the mouthpiece of the same clique of Zionist parasites and crooks," Greenstein wrote that the BNP is "pro-Zionist." Perhaps he was trying to enliven his blog by making it hard for his readers to keep a straight face.

It may become a double-act. Both Gilad Atzmon and Tony Greenstein despise Anthony Julius for his criticisms of anti-Zionism. Greenstein recently dismissed Julius as "quite a simple fellow" under a headline that screamed, "Gilad Atzmon Joins with Anthony Julius to Attack Jewish Anti-Zionists." That was shortly after Atzmon attacked Julius for his role in "the destruction of history revisionist David Irving's career."

Meanwhile the Trotskyist Alliance for Workers' Liberty has rallied to Greenstein defence. This is in spite of Greenstein's boast on the very same webpage that he would lose no sleep if they [AIPAC], the Bush White House, the leadership of the Republican Party, New Labour's cabinet and any other warmongers I can think of, were vaporised.

As Paul Bogdanor commented:

Previously I exposed Greenstein's thoughts on vapourising as many as 100,000 American Jews in AIPAC, along with the inhabitants of the White House, as well as his endorsement of the IRA atrocity at the Brighton hotel. Greenstein now extends the list to the leadership of the Republican Party, New Labour's cabinet "and any other warmongers I can think of." Thus Greenstein's "anarchist wishful thinking" encompasses the mass murder of the entire democratically elected leadership of America and Britain, and, apparently, anyone at all who supported the Iraq war. That would presumably include everyone from Iraqi voters who support Coalition forces to those he has elsewhere described as "the racist warmongers of Harry's Place"!

Greenstein's troubles go beyond allegations of serious criminal conduct and the exposure of his "wishful thinking" about terrorism. While coping with the tedium of his own blog, he faces the humiliation of a spoof blog by a supporter of Atzmon. The unidentified blogger has even started posting videos mocking a certain "Mony Gripstein" and his comrade, the irreplaceable Roland Rance.

Watching the farce of the Jewish anti-Zionists, you may think that the lunatics have taken over the asylum. I prefer to say that the clowns are now running the circus

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 Richard H. Shulman, May 15, 2008.


The government of Israel indirectly negotiated to release hundreds of terrorist prisoners and give Hamas a ceasefire for rearming. Hamas continued to bombard Israeli towns. Israeli trucks delivered supplies to Gaza, where Hamas stored them and then claimed that Israel was depriving the people of supplies. Israelis commemorated the Holocaust, while Hamas called the Holocaust a Jewish plot to get disabled Jews out of the way. Hamas accused Israel of bombing a woman, but her husband, whom the IDF struck, was carrying a bomb that exploded and killed her. Israeli and international media reported the Hamas accusation unquestioningly as if factual, until an Israeli investigation disproved it (as IDF investigations always do).

Although Israel lets 7,000 Gaza Arabs into Israeli hospitals free, the World Health Organization (WHO) falsely accused Israel of barring Arabs, of whom 33 died. WHO failed to accuse Egypt, which admits none. WHO did not acknowledge that Israel has no responsibility to let enemy aliens in, and no other country does. It did not state that Hamas hoards medical supplies and then claims that Israel denies Gaza hospitals sufficient medical supplies. It simply accepted Hamas' word. Fortunately, Israel investigated and replied swiftly (something it formerly did not do). The media also accepts Hamas' word, though it knows Hamas is so treacherous that it is afraid to let its reporters into Gaza to see for themselves. The media does not inform readers that its source is a terrorist group that murders Jews for religious reasons. The popularity of Hamas indicates the futility of hoping the Palestinian Arabs will make peace with Israel. Nevertheless Sec. Rice suggests not bothering Hamas and waiting for it to decide to make peace. She tries to get Israel to curb its anti-terrorist action in Judea-Samaria, too. (Incidentally, that would enable Hamas to get stronger there.) The problem is that the US and Israel won't admit that all the factions in the P.A. are irredeemable terrorists and must be fought down (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 5/3).


Two soldiers are going to prison for defending Jews in Samaria and firing warning shots in self-defense from a mob of Bedouin trespassers. A medic found no injuries there, but the Bedouin claimed there were. The Supreme Court rejected the defense that the police failed to check their weapons or conduct a line-up. The judges believed the Bedouin, who refused to come to court to make an official complaint. The judges imposed the sentence to be a lesson to others (IMRA, 5/4). Forensics in Rabin murder was poor, too.

What lesson? Don't defend fellow Jews? Let oneself be killed? Sharia applies, in that a Jew's testimony is inferior to that of lying Muslims? Arabs are above the law? A Jew should not expect justice in an Israeli court? Obey the police state?


US officials briefed Congress on whether the secret Syrian plant that Israel bombed was for nuclear weapons. The officials had two gauges. According to one, they believed the plant was for weapons. According to the other, they could not determine the answer with "high confidence." The evidence points to weapons, but there isn't proof that a court would accept.

The indicators? The reactor was not suited for research nor for producing energy, only for producing weapons. After the bombing, Syria removed the remains, as if attempting to prevent anyone from determining whether it had been for weapons. [I would add that any country may sign the pacts and set up nuclear energy plants with foreign assistance openly. Then why act in secret?]

Absolute proof is difficult to obtain. Hence proliferators work hard to conceal their activity. Searching for it can waste valuable time needed for confronting determined proliferators. Therefore, assessors need to use a different vocabulary, so that their assessments be more realistic. They should describe the matter as a strategic analysis (IMRA, 5/4).


Israeli Arabs and their Jewish sycophants call the establishment of Israel a catastrophe for the Arabs. They use the word, "naqba," for catastrophe. It is assumed that Arabs initiated that term's use in 1948, when they lost out. Not so.

The term first was used when the Palestine and Syrian Mandates were set up, about 1920. Arabs in both Mandates rioted over the news, considering the Arabs in the Palestine Mandate as Syrian. They refused to be considered Palestinian. So much for the myth of Palestinian nationalism (Prof. Steven Plaut, 5/5).


Sec. Rice keeps demanding that Israel remove checkpoints in Judea-Samaria. Israel keeps complying. She says the idea is to make life more convenient for the terrorists, I mean, the Palestinian Arabs.

One checkpoint was removed from a road that leads to IDF bases and Jewish houses in Beit El. Along this road terrorists have shot at Jews and mobs came after Jewish residents. They attempted lynching. The road is not needed by the Arabs, who have another road nearby.

Another checkpoint completed the encirclement of Nablus, keeping terrorists in (Arutz-7, 5/6).


Sec. Rice wants Israel to reach an agreement on borders for a P.A. state. Apparently she is pushing the compliant Olmert to commit to Arab demands before the new investigation into his corruption deposes him (IMRA, 5/5).

She's a menace to Israel and to the US. The pity of it is that if Israel did make a deal with Abbas while Bush still is in office, Bush would take credit for it and the US Jews would go along with it. They would not realize that it would doom Israel. How little they know about the issue.


A science teacher at a UNO school was killed by the IDF. Islamic Jihad terrorists treated him as a martyr, its chief bomb maker. UNESCO claims that it has nothing to do with terrorism, he hid his affiliation (IMRA, 5/5).

Since the whole people there are jihadist, it would be difficult for UNESCO to do more than avoid hiring known terrorists. Since most of its employees are local Muslims, who will do the vetting? UNESCO doesn't supervise the Arabs enough. This makes for welfare fraud. The main problem is that UNESCO maintains the people's refugee status. It spends ever more money keeping them dependent. Other UNO agencies try to rescue people from refugee status.


Western antisemites used to claim that the Jewish people "were racially inferior, intellectually inferior, cowards, money-grubbers, killers of God, sub-humans." Thanks to Jewish sovereignty, they are reduced to complaining that the Jews are mean to the Palestinian Arabs. That is a major change and a great accomplishment of Zionism.

The accusations are false now, as the earlier ones were then. Actually, the Palestinian Arabs are mean to the Jews. Nor are the accusations sincere. The whole Arab world oppresses its own people. Westerners, including Israeli leftists, who complain about Israel, rarely condemn Arab oppressors, especially Palestinian Arabs who oppress both Arabs and Jews. They don't care about Arabs and their rights. The complaints are the new outlet for antisemitism. They criticize Israel in the hope of de-legitimizing it. They are motivated by the old hatred, but cloak it in humanitarianism (Prof. Steven Plaut, 5/6).

No wonder the humanitarian organizations unfairly condemn Israel! I think it isn't just sovereignty that has changed the outlet for antisemitism. The Holocaust discredited much of it. Americans have become more tolerant. Plaut overlooks the fact that Israel is the most antisemitic non-Muslim state.


The US once designated Israel as a "non-NATO ally." Before Israel was reconstituted, some US Presidents were pro-Zionist. Afterwards, none were. All followed, more or less, the State Dept. anti-Zionist line. Some of this hostility towards Israel was manifested by embargoes of arms, subsidies, and other attempts to blackmail Israel, by privately withholding or distorting intelligence publicly promised to Israel, by oppression of Israel's agents in the US, and by demanding that Israel appease the Arabs at the risk of its national security.

The basis for an alliance is that Israel has kept US enemies from advancing, has advised the US on enemy weaponry, has offered the US weapons improvements and intelligence on terrorism, and supports the US in the UNO. There is some friction over Israeli competition in arms exports. Sometimes Israel exports to countries that the US considers a menace, but the US always exports to countries that Israel finds a menace. The US is a bully about this. Overall, Israel is pro-American in a world largely hostile or jealous of America. I think, however, that half-way decent foreign countries are starting to realize that the US is their bulwark against the indecent foreign countries.

The basis for the alliance that most people state is illusory. That basis is shared values, including that both countries are democracies. Israel is democratic in name but hardly in substance. It is a police state towards the Jews.


The P.A. keeps protesting against IDF raids in Judea-Samaria. The P.A. argument is that it wants to be responsible for capturing terrorists.

The raids capture terrorists almost every time, throughout the P.A.. Nothing stops the P.A. from having captured the terrorists, itself. But it does not capture them, except a little for show. Therefore, it does not do the job. The P.A. failure indicates bad faith and requires Israeli intervention.


Hizbullah became such a threat to the state that even the Lebanese Army started opposing it. Too late. Hizbullah took over parts of Beirut. It is well armed and trained. The time for the Lebanese Army to have stopped Hizbullah was when Israel impaired Hizbullah and the Lebanese Army could have worked with UNIFIL to arrest Hizbullah for truce violations. Israel flubbed its own chance to destroy Hizbullah. Israel and the US failed to chastise Syria. Israel and the US seem to have been taken by surprise, though the way Hizbullah's protégé staged a coup in Gaza should have shown what to expect from Hizbullah, once rearmed.

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

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Posted by Yuval Zaliouk, May 15, 2008.

Dear friends,

Moshe Aumann is the brother of Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences Robert Aumann.

His letter below speaks for itself. Also following, you will find the article by Irwin Cotler, the former Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

Both the letter and the article are a required reading. They are particularly important in the wake of President Bush's amazing speech to the Israeli Knesset this afternoon.

CNN and the Obama campaign have already begun a massive attack on what the President said. No matter how fierce they attack him, his great speech and incredible demonstration of support for Israel will be remembered forever.

Your Truth Provider,



I much enjoyed Irwin Cotler's article, "The gathering storm, and beyond," in today's issue (May 15) –– and particularly his imaginative use of the word "aboriginal" with reference to Israel and the Jewish people, and his insistence that Israel, beyond being "a homeland for the Jewish people" (i.e., haven, refuge), as it is so often described, is the homeland of the Jewish people.

That is why my disappointment was so great when, towards the end of the article, I saw that all Mr. Cotler could come up with, by way of a bottom line, was "two states for two peoples." Why could he not carry his imaginative approach a step further by driving home the point that the two states he (and just about everybody else) is talking about these days already exist?!

I know it is no longer "fashionable" to refer to Jordan as the Arab Palestinian state, but isn't that what it is? Let's face it: In the area once known as Palestine (the 1910/11 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica defines Palestine in terms of the area east and west of the River Jordan) there reside two human communities, a Jewish one and an Arab one. On the premise that both of these communities are entitled to self-determination and national self-expression, there should be two nation-states in this area, one Jewish and one Arab. Well, isn't that exactly what we have today (Israel and Jordan)? By what rationale, or historical or moral logic, can the creation, now, of a second Arab state in this area be justified –– particularly when such a state would necessarily have to be carved out of the living flesh of little Israel?

I fully realize that a resolution of the conflict based on this premise would still leave some political-demographic problems to be sorted out, but with a modicum of good will, on both sides, and a willingness to engage in some creative thinking, these problems would not be insurmountable.

Moshe Aumann
Email: mmaumann@netvision.net.il

This below is an article written by Irwin Cottler. It appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1210668636678&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Irwin Cottler is the member of parliament for Mount Royal and the former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada. He is a professor of law (on leave) at McGill University and has written extensively on human rights and Middle-East issues.

The incendiary hate language emanating from Ahmadinejad's Iran –– in which Israel is referred to as "filthy bacteria" and a "cancerous tumor" and Jews are characterized as "a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians" –– is only the head wind of the gathering storm confronting Israel on its 60th anniversary.

Indeed, we are witnessing, and have been for some time, a series of mega-events, political earthquakes that have been impacting not only upon Israel and world Jewry but upon the human condition as a whole.

These include:

  • state-sanctioned incitement to genocide in Ahmadinejad's Iran (and I use that term to distinguish it from the many publics and peoples in Iran who are themselves the object of massive state repression) dramatized by the parading of a Shihab-3 missile in the streets of Teheran draped with the emblem "Wipe Israel off the map";

  • symmetrical terrorist militias confronting Israel, in particular Hamas in the south and Hizbullah in the north. These are not simply –– though that would be threatening enough –– terrorist in their instrumentality, but genocidal in their purpose as they openly and avowedly seek the destruction of Israel and anti-Jewish in their ideology. Both, by their own acknowledgement, demonize Judaism and Jews, not just Israel and the Israeli, as "the sons of monkeys and pigs" and "defilers of Islam";

  • the globalization of a totalitarian, radical Islam that threatens not only Jews and Israel but international peace and security, while warning Muslims who seek peace with Israel that they will "burn in the Umma of Islam";

  • the fragility, even erosion, of the Lebanon-Hizbullah divides, aided and abetted by the Iranian-Syrian pincer movements and further exacerbated in the present Lebanese-Hizbullah warfare;

  • the phenomenon of radicalized home-grown extremism, fuelled by Internet incitement, threatening the security of Jewish communities in the Diaspora;

  • exploding energy prices, with oil at $120 a barrel –– six times what it was just six years ago –– with the windfall billions of petrodollars encouraging and financing rogue states like Iran. Every $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil represents millions more in the coffers of Iran;

  • the ugly canard of double loyalty, where the Jewish and Israeli lobbies are accused of acting in a matter inimical to the American and European national interest, as if it is somehow "un-American" or "un-European" to petition government for redress of grievances, an Orwellian politics of intimidation that chills free speech and public advocacy;

  • the trahison des clercs –– betrayal of the elites –– of which the UK is a case study, exemplified in the calls for academic, trade union, journalist, medical and intellectual boycotts of Israeli and Jewish nationals;

  • the singling out of Israel for differential and discriminatory treatment in the international arena, as when the UN Human Rights Council,, the repository for human rights standards-setting, adopted 10 resolutions of condemnation against one member state of the international community, Israel, in its first year of operation alone; while the major human rights violators –– Iran, Sudan, China –– enjoyed exculpatory immunity; and

  • the emergence of a new, escalating, global, virulent and even lethal anti-Semitism.


WITH ISRAEL'S 60th anniversary, these mega-events have not only intensified but congealed into what might be called a "gathering storm," finding expression in the two theses that underpin this article.

First, that this gathering storm appears to be without parallel or precedent since 1938, suggesting thereby that 2008 is reflective and reminiscent of 1938. The second thesis, which reflects my own position and is not inconsistent with the previous notion, is that whatever 2008 may be, it is not 1938.

Simply put, there is a Jewish state today that is an antidote to the vulnerabilities of 1938. There is a Jewish people with untold moral, intellectual, economic and political resources. There are non-Jews prepared to join the Jewish people in common cause, seeing the cause of Israel not simply as a Jewish cause, but –– with all its imperfections –– as a just cause.

Nor is Israel is isolated or alone. It has important friends and allies: for example, the United States, Canada, Germany and France, to name a few; and it has diplomatic relations with the two emerging superpowers, China and India. There are peace treaties, however imperfect, with Egypt and Jordan.

In a word, if one looks at Israel at 60 in this global configuration, 2008 is, even with an admittedly gathering storm not unlike 1938, nonetheless very different from the Thirties.

It is important, therefore, that Israel not be viewed as an Andy Warhol of the international media, or what passes as virtual reality on the Internet of the day. Israel is not simply a snapshot at age 60, nor a fragment frozen in time; nor is it anchored only in 60 years of Israeli statehood, or 120 years of Zionism.

For Israel, rooted in the Jewish people, as an Abrahamic people, is a prototypical First Nation or aboriginal people, just as the Jewish religion is a prototypical aboriginal religion, the first of the Abrahamic religions.

IN A WORD, the Jewish people is the only people that still inhabits the same land, embraces the same religion, studies the same Torah, hearkens to the same prophets, speaks the same aboriginal language –– Hebrew –– and bears the same aboriginal name, Israel, as it did 3,500 years ago.

Israel, then, is the aboriginal homeland of the Jewish people across space and time. It is not just a homeland for the Jewish people, a place of refuge, asylum and protection. It is the homeland of the Jewish people, wherever and whenever it may be; and its birth certificate originates in its inception as a First Nation, and not simply, however important, in its United Nations international birth certificate.

The State of Israel, then, as a political and juridical entity, overlaps with the "aboriginal Jewish homeland"; it is, in international legal terms, a successor state to the biblical, or aboriginal, Jewish kingdoms. But that aboriginal homeland is also claimed by another people, the Palestinian/Arab people, who see it as their place and patrimony.

THE EXISTENCE of a parallel claim does not vitiate that of the Jewish people or cause it to resonate any less as memory and memoir of homeland –– where homeland represents history, roots, religion, language, culture, literature, law, custom, family, myth and values. Rather, the equities of the claim mandate the logic of Israeli-Palestinian partition –– a logic which in moral and juridical terms requires that a just solution be organized around the "principle of least injustice," and that includes mutual recognition of the legitimacy of two states for two peoples.

Nor should the internal divides besetting Israel mask the existential raison d'etre, and moral imperative, of Israel itself. Nazism, and the gathering storm of the Thirties, almost succeeded not only because of its pathology of hate and industry of death, but because of the powerlessness of the stateless Jew and the vulnerability of the powerless without a state. Israel, then, is an antidote to Jewish vulnerability, the raison d'etre in the most profound existential sense for Jewish self-determination.

It is not the case, as it sometimes said, that if there had been no Holocaust, there would not have been a State of Israel, as if a state could somehow even compensate for the murder of six million Jews. It is the other way around: If there had been an Israel, there would not have been a Holocaust, or others horrors of Jewish history.

In the end, we come back to the beginning: that whatever the gathering storm from without may be, whatever the internal grievances, the Kulturkampf of the Jews' despair in 2008 would not only be a betrayal of the Jewish aboriginal past, but a denial of the next 60 years and beyond.

Yuval Zaliouk writes the Truth Provider columns. To subscribe, send an email to ynz@netvision.net.il

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 14, 2008.

The entire situation here.

Many things that call for discussion can be put aside until tomorrow. I would like here to touch only upon the most intolerable elements of our situation.


President Bush arrived this morning, bringing with him (incredibly!) a contingent of 100 prominent American Jews, all of whom seem to think it's just peachy keen that the president is promoting those "peace negotiations" with Abbas.

Bush was, of course, welcomed with the most lavish praise from the heads of our government. And Bush, for his part, expressed great admiration for us and pledged undying friendship.


It is important, however, to take a closer look at what Bush has said, and what he is advocating.

He has a plan, you see: He thinks that we need to set our borders once and for all, and that this will help move things along. The borders? Well, you can't give the Palestinians "Swiss cheese" for a state and expect them to be happy. If we're going to make those Palestinians happy, they have to be offered a contiguous state.

And what of the Bush commitment to our retention of major settlement blocs, presumably incorporated into the letter he had written to Sharon? As Post editor David Horovitz wrote, after interviewing Bush: "On borders, Swiss cheese trumps a 4-year old letter."

Horovitz reports that Bush said: "We... try to make sure that the Palestinians understand that we believe in the contiguous state...How can you have a hopeful place if you're not really in charge of a contiguous territory?... It won't be a viable state."


Just the other day I wrote about how sometimes I report on a situation, and how, almost before my eyes, it will metamorphose into something else. It's not long since Abbas came back from his meeting with Bush very depressed because he learned that the president wasn't going to push us on the settlements. Then I wrote that just possibly Bush would come through on his commitment given to Sharon.

How does that dovetail with what Bush is saying now? Not terribly well. Many analysts see Rice's influence here.

But there's more to the plan. Once Abbas is happy about those borders, it is reasoned, he may be willing to compromise on the issue of "right of return."

Unfortunately, Rice has a short memory, because (as I reported here) not long ago Jordan's King Abdullah warned her that if Abbas were pushed into a compromise such as this, his life would be in danger. Abbas, even if he wanted to, does not have the latitude to give away what the Palestinians see as a key "right." Hamas is breathing down his neck.


Bush made a statement today about US loyalty to Israel. In part, it went like this: "...we will stand with Israel against the nuclear threat." And I ponder what that means. To me it sounds like: You take care of it, and we'll be right behind you. The only tolerable statement would be one that pledges in simple terms not to let Iran go nuclear.


We endured another terrorist attack today. This was a Grad Katyusha, shot at a shopping mall in Ashkelon. Fifteen were wounded, including three seriously, when a part of the roof caved in. Among those seriously injured were a mother and her three-year old daughter.

Intolerable indeed!

This was surely timed by terrorists (Islamic Jihad claimed credit) for Bush's visit. In several places, including in Judea and Samaria, there were protests at Bush's coming to celebrate our independence.


Olmert was just concluding a meeting with Bush when the attack occurred. Olmert's subsequent comment was not easy to swallow:

"We will not be able to tolerate continuous attacks on innocent civilians. We hope we will not have to act against Hamas in other ways with the military power that Israel hasn't yet started to use in a serious manner in order to stop it."

We will not be able to tolerate? We have BEEN tolerating, shamefully. We hope we won't have to act? What kind of nonsensical, empty threat is that? We must act. And note: military power that Israel hasn't yet started to use in a serious manner. In the name of all those suffering under the rocket barrages, I ask, and why not??

Channel two cited an unnamed Israeli official as saying, "We are on a certain path of an extensive military confrontation with Hamas." So, when already?

Information is that the IDF is ready and only awaits political go-ahead.


And this, heaven help us, was Bush's comment on the attack:

"We believe that the surest way to defeat the enemies...is to advance the cause of hope, the cause of freedom, liberty as the great alternative to tyranny and terror."

Will someone please tell this man that the only way to defeat tyranny and terror is by defeating it, not by bringing "hope." Once upon a time, he seemed to know this.


And the last intolerable of this report:

In a conference in the Egyptian parliament, Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni is reported to have said that he "would burn Israeli books himself if found in Egyptian libraries."

This is going to put a considerable strain on our relationship with Egypt.

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

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Posted by Gershom May, May 14, 2008.

Recently, in the Israeli news –– they reported the controversy, over a messianic Jew, who lives in Israel, and is Jewish by birth. Who entered the Israel sponsored –– International Bible Quiz. Which, traditionally –– has only Jewish participants. This quiz, was sponsored by an Israeli governmental organization.

However; this year, a young lady, living in Israel, who is a Jew –– by birth, and a member of the Messianic Jewish Church. BTW, all of whom, consider themselves –– Jews, and entitled to be a part –– of the Torah Covenant, that, G-D, gave the Jewish Nation/People.

She, entered the competition, at the urging of –– what she called, her rabbis. Who are nothing more than, non-Jewish messianic Christian ministers, who proselytize a belief that, The G-D of the Jews, has a son. And, or, is a part of a triune deity.

Though, the government minister, was contacted by many prominent –– Jewish Rabbi's, and asked to either –– exclude the girl, based upon the fact, she is openly practicing as a NON_JEW. And because; traditionally, this quiz, has been for Jewish youth.

The government minister, declined to prevent her from participating. Stating that; it was sad that; with the 60th birthday celebration of Israel. That, this sort of controversy, had to spoil the celebration.

I wrote a response to the Jerusalem Post, which I would like to share with the Think-Israel audience/members.


Regarding the recent TORAH Bible Quiz, and the participation of a person –– associated with, the messianic Jewish movement.

Instead of quibbling, over the equivoque –– of the word Jew, and who is eligible to participate in –– The International TORAH Bible Quiz. Which obviously was not defined clearly –– from the start.

Because, the quiz –– is sponsored by the Jewish People/Nation. We need to either ensure that; it is either limited to, solely Jewish youth –– who are practicing, as JEWS, according to Halachah.

And –– or, to make it perfectly clear –– to our non-Jewish friends, when they apply to participate that;

(1), other forms of beliefs, and their interpretation of the Jewish TORAH, are not acceptable.

(2), the following, should be pointed out to non-Jewish participants;

[**] According to the JEWISH TORAH: Bamidbar/Numb 23, 19; "G-D is not man –– that He should be deceitful, nor a –– son of man –– that he should relent. Would HE say and not do, or speak and not confirm"?

[**] Dvarim/Deut: 6-4; "Hear, O Israel; G-D is our G-D, G-D is the ONE and ONLY".
[**] Dvarim/Deut: 32: 39: "See, now, that I, I am He –– and no g-d is with Me.

Therefore; To say; He (G-D), is also a man diety, or, a deity in any form(s). Then; that makes G-D –– a liar.

These are but a few of the counter points, to present, to those who seek to infiltrate Jewish activity, potentially to proselytize their religion.

BTW, I am formerly associated with this group, when I practiced –– Born-Again-Christianity, and worked as an evangelist.

In that time, I began to discover, that the Christians, were overlooking, re-interpreting –– basic Torah Text.

I intensely sought and answer from G-D. HE, showed me the true truth.

I and my wife, then converted to Orthodox Judaism. And now, live in Israel.

Where I browse/belong to groups/Internet sites. Seeking to expose –– the dark side, of subtle proselytizing, by groups, such as –– the messianic Jews.

Gershom May

Gershom May lives in Hatzor HaGelilit, Israel. Contact him at myplate@actcom.co.il

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Posted by Israel Zwick, May 14, 2008.

This was published May 12, 2008 on CN Publications.

It was with deep sadness that I read about the difficulties facing the people of Kibbutz Kfar Aza following the rocket attack that killed a member, Jimmy Kedoshim. I have fond and nostalgic memories of this kibbutz. I worked there briefly following my junior year in college in 1969.

It was my first trip to Israel, two years after the 1967 War and the summer that Neil Armstrong took a giant step for mankind. The trip to Israel was a giant step for me, I had to save up for it for several years because my parents couldn't afford to finance it, and I forfeited a good summer job as well. But I was eager to go. I wanted to see the historic Jewish sites and visit the few relatives that I had that weren't killed in the Holocaust. My mother had an uncle who went to Palestine before the War and my father had some cousins who were able to get to Palestine after the war.

One day I went to visit my mother's cousin, Refoel Engel, who lived in the ancient Arab town of Ramla near the airport. He introduced me to his attractive daughter who was about my age. After chatting for a while in broken English, Miss Engel (I don't remember her first name) asked me if I would like to work on a kibbutz. Miss Engel was serving her military obligation in a paramilitary unit stationed at Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Since the kibbutz was located near the Gaza border (hence the name Kfar Aza) soldiers were stationed there for protection. It sounded like a great opportunity to participate in Israeli life, so I grabbed it. An opportunity to meet the young women in the military unit also crossed my mind.

Transportation to the kibbutz was on some rickety truck. It was a long trip and the whole time I thought that we weren't going to make it and would get stuck somewhere in the middle of the desert and wait for days until we were found. No such thing happened. The truck made it there and I was excited from the moment I arrived. Kfar Aza was one of those kibbutzim that you read about in the books, a Miracle of the Desert. They were actually growing oranges in the desert with irrigation techniques. The people working there were dark-skinned Israelis, mostly Sephardim, who didn't speak much English. Their vehicles were British Jeeps and trucks that were left by the departing British army. They looked like they were held together by glue, tape, and paper clips. It was a poor kibbutz, most of the work was done by hand with primitive tools, not modern farm machinery. The people lived simply, their only luxury was a swimming pool that was recently completed.

Once I arrived, I couldn't leave even if I wanted to. A bus came to the kibbutz only once a day at irregular hours. Most of the transportation in and out of the kibbutz was by delivery or military vehicles, if there was any room. But I didn't want to leave, this was exciting. I was assigned to a simple room not far from my cousin, Miss Engel.

After a brief rest, I went to train for my job which was to count caterpillar larvae in the cotton fields. I was assigned this job because I told them that I majored in biology in college. The kibbutz had three cotton fields which received varying amounts of irrigation because of the water shortage. Each day, we would go to a different field. We were supposed to identify and count the caterpillars and our totals would determine whether a crop duster would be hired to spray the fields. It was an important job because the welfare of the cotton crop and finances of the kibbutz depended on it. It wasn't an easy task because the larvae camouflaged well in the cotton plant.

Work started at 4 am when the sun rose. I didn't have trouble getting up because I was so excited. A rickety, old British military vehicle drove us out to the cotton field. The first day was the one that received the most irrigation. So I had to take off my sandals, roll up my pants and walk ankle-deep in mud in the hot sun, looking for caterpillars. But I loved it.

At 8 am, we were picked up by the same vehicle to bring us to the community dining room for breakfast. They served us fresh milk that was still warm from the cows. The milk was poured through a strainer to remove the fat. In addition, we had some fresh salad with olives, some cheese, and coarse bread. I wanted to have a fresh orange but was told that they weren't in season, not ripe yet.

After breakfast, we went back to the fields for another four hours of work in the hot sun, then returned for lunch which was similar to breakfast. I don't recall if they served any meat, but being kosher, I didn't eat any meat.

The workday was over at around 1 pm, after that the desert heat made it too unbearable to work. We cooled off in the new swimming pool which was the pride of the kibbutz. I was able to socialize with the other young people. Between their broken English and my broken Hebrew, we were able to communicate a little.

I followed this schedule for about a week, then I decided that my time in Israel was too short and precious to spend it all at this kibbutz, so I went back to civilization, as it was known in Israel at that time.

I understand that Kibbutz Kfar Aza is no longer growing cotton but has developed a lucrative business in industrial plastics. I never went back to visit, but will never forget my experience there. I pray that this rocket attack was an isolated incident and that the IDF will soon find a solution to the persistent attacks on the southern Negev.

To the people of the kibbutz and to the Kedoshim family who are true to their name, I can only say, "Hamokem Yenachem Eschem," and may you overcome your grief and continue to thrive in happiness and peace.

Contact Israel Zwick by email at israel.zwick@earthlink.net and visit his website: www.cnpublications.net. This article is archived at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 14, 2008.


Israel's main source of water is Lake Kinneret. It is drying up. Tapping it probably will have to stop, this summer. The government attributes this to drought. Not so. The fault is Peres' and other Israeli officials, over-eager to sign the peace agreement with Jordan. Jordan, the aggressor, unjustifiably demanded 50 million cubic meters of water annually. A dry country such as Israel, should have rejected the demand.

Now more water is removed than can be replenished (Barry Chamish, 5/3).

I remember thinking of this at the time, but I did not know whether the quantity stipulated in the treaty was excessive. The government should have.


I just read the Quartet announcement of 5/3. It reads just like its announcement of a week or two earlier. Both sides should meet their obligations and not exacerbate tensions, the announcements state, but Israel should do more to make life easier on its enemies in the P.A. (IMRA). Should, should, should.

Sounds silly. The Quartet doesn't do anything useful, and is not fair.


As dozens of Arabs walked towards the Jewish town of Yitzhar in Judea-Samaria, they set the Jews' crops ablaze. At the town, in which they had no legitimate business, they started fighting with residents. Soldiers stopped the fight. No arrests. The Arabs claimed that Yitzhar Jews and Israeli troops went to their village and smashed Arabs' cars (Arutz-7, 5/4). If Jews had attacked Arabs, they would be arrested. IDF troops don't engage in vandalism against the Arabs, so the Arabs are lying. What has unleashed their aggressiveness? The government wants the Jews out and doesn't prosecute Arabs much.

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

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Posted by Hillel Fendel, May 14, 2008.

A grassroots organization has penned an open letter to President George Bush in honor of his visit, succinctly explaining why many Israelis oppose a Palestinian state.

The letter, dotted with sources from the White House website and elsewhere to bolster its points, begins by welcoming the US President to Israel. It then explains that "vital interests" of both Israel and the US are liable to be endangered "due to your visit, particularly in view of Prime Minister Olmert's legal troubles."

Not North or South, but East

The Mattot Arim group states that Israel's worst security threat comes not from Lebanon or Gaza, but from a potential Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria: "Israel is plagued from the north by a terror machine in Lebanon, and from the south by a second terror machine in Gaza. However, Israel's north and south border regions are populated by fewer than 200,000 Israelis. By far, the worst terror threat, therefore, is the potential third terror machine, in Judea and Samaria, just opposite the homes of millions of Israelis."

Pro-Terror Rate in PA –– the Highest in the World

The letter briefly quotes the finding of the prestigious Pew Global Attitudes Project that fully 70% of Moslems in the Palestinian Authority believe that suicide terrorist bombings against civilians can be often or sometimes justified. The PEW survey notes that the extremist Palestinian position is "starkly at odds with Muslims in other Middle Eastern, Asian, and African nations." In fact, the next-highest rates of Muslim approval for such attacks are Nigeria, Mali, and Lebanon, with 42%, 39%, and 34%, respectively.

Mattot Arim states that "this sinister prospect [of danger to millions of Jews] will immediately spring into being if the plans to establish a 'Palestinian state' in Judea and Samaria are pursued."

"We know from your last visit, Mr. President, that you are well aware of this problem," Mattot Arim states. "For example, on January 9, 2008, you said: 'You can't expect the Israelis, and I certainly don't, to accept a state on their border which would become a launching pad for terrorist activities.'"

Despite this, the letter to Bush continues, "Persecution of the only alternative to the Palestinian terror machine –– namely the productive and peaceful, half-million strong Jewish population in Judea and Samaria –– continues, including destruction of homes and places of worship, prohibitions on building homes and schools for large families with desperate housing needs, and disregard for elementary safety of these Jews from terror attacks."

'Olmert is Indisposed'

The letter posits that Olmert's legal troubles render him unable to solve this problem: "Sadly, due to Prime Minister Olmert's ongoing and recently greatly exacerbated legal troubles, he cannot be expected to show leadership on the topic of Judea and Samaria. So, both Israel and the United States can look only to you to act prudently with respect to Judea and Samaria, an area which has long held the elusive key to world peace."

The letter concludes, "We are sad to observe our liberal counterparts not only openly advocating pressure against Israel, but cynically claiming that such pressure is a form of friendship. We are proud to profess a more reasonable alternative... Contrary to what you may have been informed, both the people of Israel and Israel's countless friends in the United States and abroad will welcome any steps you may choose to take to further the Jewish, peaceful and productive, alternative in Judea and Samaria. Throughout history, whenever and wherever allowed to exist, the quiet, stable, constructive Jewish home has been a successful antidote to extremism and barbarism. Your actions can make it so again –– this time in Judea and Samaria, a historically Jewish area whose importance to world peace cannot be overestimated."

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

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Posted by Ezra HaLevi, May 14, 2008.

President Shimon Peres's star-studded mega-conference kicked off in Jerusalem Tuesday with addresses by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Tony Blair and Peres himself.

The newly-refurbished Binyanei HaUmah Jerusalem Conference Center was lined with displays by the cutting edge of Israeli technology and scientific research initiatives –– from insulin pills to electric cars –– as heads of state and Israel's elite mingled over sushi and mini gherkins. Journalists the world over discussed how they had been courted by Peres's staff for months, with promises of an event like no other.

Despite the conference's seeming focus on technology and scientific advances, Peres's role as architect of the Oslo Accords and the main proponent of unconditional negotiations shone through. All three of the top speakers took the opportunity during their short addresses to extol the virtues and importance of establishing a Palestinian state.

Former British Prime Minister and current Middle East envoy for the so-called Quartet (the UN, US, Russia and EU) Tony Blair spoke at the opening event, which featured dozens of former and current heads of state in one of the conference center's smaller rooms, leaving many irate journalists outside the doors.

"It is justice that makes us want a State of Israel," Blair said. "It is justice that makes us want two states –– Israel and Palestine –– living side by side." Blair went on to call upon the world to spread democracy and freedom. "Though it may take some period of time for some countries, they will reach it," he promised.

Prime Minister Olmert, welcomed to the conference hall by more than a few audible boos from the invitation-only crowd, declared that he and Fatah chief PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas "have reached understandings and points of agreement on the core issues" in their ongoing negotiations. Despite that, Olmert said the ongoing talks are "very serious and very significant."

Olmert said that the greatest challenge facing Israel is the determination of its "final borders" with its neighbors in an agreement recognized by the international community. That statement drew the only positive response from host Peres, who applauded and smiled broadly.

Faced with an unenthusiastic crowd, Olmert turned to the scores of young members of Birthright Israel and the Masa educational programs, praising both initiatives and garnering loud applause from the teenagers.

Peres himself took the opportunity of opening the conference –– both at the presidents' event and the main opening –– to criticize Iran. "Fanatical religious ambitions aimed at taking over the entire region –– and terror, including Iranian terror, have no shape and no future," he said. He cited both Lebanon and Gaza as places where Iran was robbing people of their future and said, "If it weren't for Hamas, there would already be a Palestinian state founded on the principle of two states for two peoples."

Peres ended with his trademark exhortation to break with the past in favor of focus on the future. He closed saying: "In Jerusalem we learned to pray. Now let us how learn to act."

US President George W. Bush will be joining the conference Wednesday and delivering an address in the evening.

Ezra HaLevi is a writer for Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNationalNews.com).

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Posted by Nabil A. Bissad, May 14, 2008.

We can't forget the History and what the Arabs and the Muslims world wants to do with Israel.

With my all best wishes

God bless.

Nabil Bissada
U.S. citizen
Originally from Egypt –– a Copt (Christians of Egypt)

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Posted by Ellen Horowitz, May 14, 2008.

Look at this truly moving clip of Jon Voight. His heart is with the Jewish people.

Note that Voight was raised a devout Catholic. He is not affilated with evangelical groups or mega church leaders. He appears to take and individual moral and authentic heartfelt stand with the people of Israel. This is a man who has done some real soul wrestling. And although he may be biblically inspired (he admits in another interview a few years back that Isaiah appeals to the poet in him), he handles himself with the utmost respect while in Israel. I doubt you will find him publically referring to Jesus, spreading the gospel, or hailing Christianity while on his visit here.

But you will find him endorsing the Noahide laws and expressing great respect for Judaism as a religion:

Voight was brought up Catholic and has no intention of converting to Judaism. But he says that of all the religions he studies, he has a special fondness for Jewish learning and values.

"Judaism is an amazing fountain of information. It's not the only answer, but I have tremendous regard for it." ...

..."They [the Noahide commandments] appeal to my own sense of what I feel is a high purpose, which is to try to get everyone to an understanding of what they're asked to do, what life's responsibilities are. These very simple seven laws of Noah are good basics."
–– http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=7338

Ellen Horowitz lives in the Golan Heights, Israel with her husband and six children. She is a painter, an author and a columnist for Israelnationalnews.com. Email her at ellenwrite@bezeqint.net

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 14, 2008.

This is by Lenny Ben-David and it appeared in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1210668627389&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull. Ben-David served as deputy chief of mission in Israel's embassy in Washington. He blogs at www.lennybendavid.com

Take your favorite houseplant and do something stupid: put it in the freezer. Within two hours it will be irreversibly dead.

Like plants, human communities and families grow, flower, reproduce and spread their roots. Unless someone does something stupid and attempts to "freeze" them.

On May 2, four ministers of the "Quartet" –– comprised of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and representatives from Russia, the United Nations and the European Union –– expressed "deep concern at continuing settlement activity and called on Israel to freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth."

Rice and her partners are opposed to all settlement activity, not just the planting of a rickety caravan on some wind-swept hilltop in Samaria. They are opposed to building in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa, to new apartments in the city of Ma'aleh Adumim, or new housing in the Gush Etzion town of Efrat. They do not give any dispensation to Jerusalem's new neighborhoods. They are opposed to construction in settlement population centers despite President Bush's assurances of April 14, 2004 when he wrote: "In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949 [the 1967 lines]."

How serious is that Bush commitment? National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley admitted in a January briefing that Bush's 2004 letter was aimed at helping prime minister Ariel Sharon win domestic approval for the Gaza withdrawal. "The president obviously still stands by that letter of April 2004, but you need to look at it, obviously, in the context of which it was issued," he said. Is the "context" of 2004 different from the context of 2008?

The Quartet makes clear that the "natural growth" of Jewish communities is taboo. That means Zero Population Growth, or even negative population growth. It is a call for no new apartments for growing families and no construction of health clinics, kindergartens or schools. What would that mean for the ultra-Orthodox Jews in the burgeoning West Bank towns of Betar Illit and Kiryat Sefer, where children under 17 comprise two-thirds of the population? The "knitted kipa" national religious communities are not too far behind in the size of their families. Shas politicians could never accept such a diktat.

How does the Quartet plan to stop the natural growth of these Jewish communities? With procreation police? Campaigns advocating birth control? "Sorry," the religious Jews will respond, "we gave at the ovens." In their case, ZPG stands for "Zionist Population Growth."

A FEW years ago, an imprudent ad agency placed posters of bikini-clad models at bus stations in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. Within hours the stations and posters were toast. A few months later, an anti-AIDS poster campaign was launched with a picture of a condom. Incredibly, the posters in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods were left unscathed. Why? Probably because the residents had no clue what the product was. These are neighborhoods where televisions are banned and late-night activities do not include watching Jay Leno.

Large families mean larger apartments. Married children mean a demand for nearby housing. The ultra-Orthodox community of Mea She'arim was visited recently by US Ambassador Richard Jones, who showed just how much he was out of touch with his audience when he expressed concern "about where things are built in Jerusalem... Sometimes people do have to move to a different location. They cannot always stay close to their families." Would an American ambassador ever make such a statement in an Arab society where sons traditionally stay close to their fathers and clans?

Incredibly, it is a tragic fact that the government of Israel actually approved the Quartet's road map in 2003, with its restrictions on settlements and natural growth. The Israeli government, which at the time included several right-wing ministers, expressed 14 "reservations," but they have no standing in talks with the US government or the other members of the Quartet. And not one of those reservations included opposition to the "natural growth" restriction.

To use a rabbinic term, the restriction is a gezera (decree) that the community cannot bear.

So why did Israel's leaders accept such a decree?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that government leaders who supported the road map live primarily in the tony coastal plain, have few children, or have children living on the West Bank of the Hudson, the Rive Gauche of the Seine, a government-granted homestead in the Negev, or eventually in a state correctional facility.

Compare those leaders with two gentlemen very dear to me who passed away last week. Joseph Black, my father-in-law, made aliya at the age of 92 and moved into our home in Efrat. (Is that defined as "natural growth?") When he died at the age of 97, we were comforted by his six grandchildren (our children) and seven great-grandchildren, all of whom live in relatively new homes nearby. Our neighbor, Ernie Alexander, died at age 85 while we were still sitting shiva. His tribe numbers some 60 children, grandchildren and their offspring.

Virtually all live in Israel, and most live "over the Green Line." They prove that "natural growth" is an irrepressible and irresistible force.

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

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, May 14, 2008.

Reports on the attack in Ashkelon of a Grad Rocket are still coming in. The comments in Bold are additional to the original article.

Like his father, George W. Bush is engaging in "That Vision Thing". Only this time George W. Bush is experimenting with the lives of Jews on the off chance that Muslim Arabs can be civilized. His "Vision" is based on absolutely no evidence or experience that Muslims can be weaned away from their blood-lust, murderous pagan religion that allows for no other.

All other religions are viewed as irreconcilable enemies. Real Peace was not ever tolerated but, only a "Hudna" or temporary truce –– unless one side won a battle conclusively, usually slaughtering the men while selling the women and children into slavery.

George Bush is experimenting with the lives of the Jewish people whom he praised, fulsomely, in his speech May 14th. Bush wishes to leave office with a foot-note in the history books as his legacy that he made another Muslim Arab country called "Palestine".

You might think that a president with German ancestry who similarly experimented with the lives of Jews and similarly employed by German industry in slave labor would be reluctant to expose the Jewish State and her people to a hateful, barbarous people.

In the Bush "Vision Thing", he dismisses the unending pledges by the Arab Muslims to occupy Israel and kill all of her Jews. Even as Bush makes speeches as he visits Israel during her 60th birthday anniversary, the Muslim Arab Palestinian Terrorists of both Fatah and Hamas are launching Kassam Rockets, Missiles and suicide attacks into Israel. Worse yet, he has employed a crooked Prime Minister to do his bidding while calling him an "honest man" –– as Olmert is facing his fifth or sixth charge of illegal, fraudulent behavior.

Is this then Bush's delusional "Vision Thing" of "Peace, where there is no Peace"?

Bush and Condoleezza Rice have observed the Mujahadin (Holy Warriors –– a mix of Muslim Jihadists) who keep attacking, killing and maiming American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They observe Syrian-backed Hezb'Allah successfully destroy the Lebanese government and yet insist that Israel accept his "Vision" and likely die for his word.

Granted, Israel's present government may be the sickest, most crooked that Israel ever had but, to sell out a people hunted almost to extinction is a new low low.

But, no less warped is the pro-Arab Bush-Rice government perfectly willing to sell out Israel in a useless gesture to an Islamic world of sheer hate.

These two make Neville Chamberlain look like a visionary genius. There is the expectation that Olmert, driven by a Leftist ideology to de-Judaize Israel through re-partition will make an extraordinary offer to abandon much of Israel.

The Perfidy of this crooked Prime Minister, in cahoots with a President whose family is inextricably linked to the Saudis is a tremendous demonstration of betrayal.

President Bush is going to speak before the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) and try to pull off a Sadat-style "tour de force". Sadat got the Sinai, the oil fields developed by the Israelis, the airfields, road infrastructure and an $18 Billion dollar Israeli investment in Sinai infrastructure. What did Israel get for this sacrifice? Only the temporary absence of War for as long as America paid Sadat and later Mubarak $2 Billion a year for a cold peace. Egypt's President Mubarak put that $2 Billion dollars a year into building his military into the colossus of the Middle East. That's approximately $60 to $70 Billion worth of high tech weapons –– ready to go to war and guess with whom.

Trusting the Bush family with James Baker III and the multi-national oil companies is like petting a black mamba snake. Knowing the Knesset, they will fawn and applaud but none will ask even one penetrating question.

After writing the preceding, I caught the Fox News broadcast covering President Bush's speech to a large Israeli audience. It was brief, well-written by professional speech writers, entirely devoid of the problems such as a missile landing today in Ashkelon, striking a medical clinic, injuring at least 14 with the actual casualty numbers yet to be revealed and reports still coming in. Some reports range from 78 to 100 civilians injured –– including a baby girl. The Grad rocket crashed through the roof of the Ashkelon mall Wednesday and is believed to have carried a message from Tehran to visiting U.S. President George W. Bush that Iran's arm was long enough to reach an American presence anywhere. [Bold: Additional facts]

Yesterday the Terrorist Kassam Rockets killed a 70 year old woman in her own home.

So, on Thursday May 15th, can we expect the full blown double cross as Olmert and Bush speak to the Knesset and tell the Jewish nation how they have arranged a national suicide mission for Israel?

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 Mark Silverberg, May 13, 2008.

The Bush administration has launched a new "outreach" policy reflecting it's reluctance to discuss jihadism in public. This time, it has targeted language. We are no longer at war with jihadism. Rather, we are engaged in a war against "extremism".

In a document titled: "Words that Work and Words that Don't: A Guide for Counterterrorism Communication" released in March 2008, Federal agencies including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counter Terrorism Center will now be issued instructions on how not to describe jihadists, or the "mujahedeen", or to use any references relating to Islam, Islamic theology or Muslims in the context of our current war. Nor are these the only words to be struck from the government's political lexicon. Words and phrases like "al Qaeda movement", "Salafi", "Wahhabist", "Sufi", "ummah" (the Muslim world), "Islamic terrorist", "Islamist", "holy warrior" and even "caliphate" are also to be removed from diplomatic discourse.

The erroneous rationale given is that these terms promote support for "extremism" among Arab and Muslim audiences by providing religious credibility to "extremists" while offending moderate Muslims. The directive states that the term jihad tends to "glamorize terrorism, imbues terrorists with religious authority they do not have and damages relations with Muslims around the world". The memo says the advice is not binding and does not apply to official policy papers, but should be used as a guide for conversations with Muslims and media.

This directive mirrors identical policy guidelines distributed to British and European Union diplomats last year to better explain the current war to Muslim communities there (as if they don't already get it). Last summer, Prime Minister Gordon Brown prohibited his ministers from using the word "Muslim" in connection with terrorism. And in January this year, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith went even further, announcing that the British Government had dropped the hollow term "War on Terror" as well as "Islamic extremism" and decided that Islamic terrorism would henceforth be described as "anti-Islamic activity". Civil servants now have to refer to Islamic terrorists merely as "criminals" without any reference to Islam in order to "prevent the glorification and incitement of terrorism". Bat Ye'or would call these actions just another manifestation of creeping British d'himmitude (infidel submission to Islam), but the fact that the US government is now following the British lead (where fear or misguided sympathy under the guise of "outreach" or "multiculturalism" is the motivating factor) is disturbing.

There are billions of Muslims and literally thousands of Islamic scholars and organizations who believe that democracy and Islam are indeed compatible; who reject violence in pursuit of Islam's goals; who condemn terrorism; who advocate equal rights for minorities and women; and who accept pluralism within Islam. The jihadi Salafists, however, have externalized jihad and interpret this struggle as a holy war to be waged against infidels and apostates until a global Islamic caliphate has been established under shari'a law. These two distinctly different interpretations of the Muslim holy books affect the vast majority of the world's 1.4 billion Muslims as much as they affect non-Muslims. But rather than clarify the distinction between these two divergent schools of interpretation and define jihadi Salafism as the enemy, the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counter Terrorism Center have chosen to sanitize their diplomatic jargon in the name of "Muslim outreach".

It's a fair guess that the vast majority of the global Muslim community understands quite well that a segment of their co-religionists are responsible for a considerable amount of terrorism around the globe, so they don't need us to explain it to them, especially in generic terms which make us look foolish. Nor is anything we say going to affect jihadist credibility amongst Muslims. The argument that: "We must carefully avoid giving bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders the legitimacy they crave ... by characterizing them as religious figures, or in terms that may make them seem to be noble in the eyes of some" is ridiculous. Few if any in the Muslim world care what non-Muslims think about jihadist groups like al Qaeda, so the argument that we have to be careful in our language so as not to give bin Laden credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of Muslims is a non-starter.

At least the 9/11 Commission had the wisdom to define the enemy without all the political correctness we see in this directive. As Jeffrey Imm points out in the Counter Terrorism Blog:

"The 9/11 Commission Report uses the term jihad in referencing the enemy 79 times and specifically defines jihad as a "holy war" executed by Osama Bin Laden and his compatriots (Section 2.3, Paragraph #302 on page 55), as well as defining "mujahideen" as "holy warriors" (Paragraph #302, same page). The 9/11 Commission Report refers to such "mujahideen" 22 times. ... .The 9/11 Commission Report refers to the term jihadist 31 times, including the references to the "worldwide jihadist community" (Section 5.1, Paragraph #691 on page 148), to Islamist Jihadists (Section 5.3, Paragraph #741 on page 158), to Islamist and jihadist movements (Section 6.3, Paragraph #887 on page 191), and multiple references to an NSC memo on Jihadist Networks ... Most importantly, the 9/11 Commission Report provides the definition of "Islamist terrorism" as being based on the ideology of Islamism (Notes, Part 12, Note 3: "Islamism", page 562)? ... Does the NCTC now claim that the 9/11 Commission Report "legitimizes" the actions of Jihadists?"

The only reasonable explanation behind this policy (both here and in Britain) is that these directives represent an emerging trend in our federal security, intelligence and legal agencies (DOJ, DHS, CIA and FBI) that we can somehow better protect America and American foreign interests and reduce the level of violence by engaging in "outreach" with pro-jihadist organizations or countries whether it be Iran in the Middle East or representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US. In effect, jihadist ideologies no longer concern our State Department provided there is a reduction in the level of violence that such groups promote. It amounts to surrender to the forces of global Islam with the only qualification being that jihadists conduct themselves peacefully so as to reduce the necessity of future American military interventions. Part of this policy holds that the language used to describe jihadism actually incites it, so if we change our language, we can reduce the problem. But this "problem" with jihadism is not and never has been one of linguistics, and it will not disappear.

This "outreach" approach is flawed because it ignores the totalitarian ideology of jihadist Islam, the central tenet of which remains conquest, submission and the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate (another term US diplomats will no longer be allowed to use). This new War on Words is just another manifestation of our failed strategy in dealing with global jihadism. Perhaps we should cease using the words "freedom" or "democracy" since these concepts are offensive to Shari'a law, and start setting up no-pork aisles in our supermarkets, or adopt such British "outreach" practices as banning piggybanks, pulling Holocaust education from school curricula and, in some cases, changing the names of pig-centered children's classics like "The Three Little Pigs" to avoid offending Muslim sensitivities.

An Administration that continues to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority and billions of petro-dollars to our enemies should be more concerned with legitimizing jihadists by funding them than they are about nomenclature.

Contact Mark Silverberg at jfednepa@epix.net

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, May 13, 2008.

This was written by Meital Yasur-Beit Or and it appeared in YNet

Stayin' alive: Muhammad al-Harrani, a father of six from Gaza diagnosed with cancer who reportedly died while waiting for a permit to enter Israel, miraculously "came back to life." This was not the result of a miracle, but rather, just part of the tactics used by al-Harrani's family in a bid to secure a permit for him.

Al-Harrani is currently awaiting an entry permit into Israel, so that he can undergo head surgery at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and receive radiation and chemotherapy treatment. At the end of April he was summoned to a questioning session at the Erez Crossing as part of the permit process, but the session was postponed by a week.

On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, al-Harrani's story was published. His family reported to the "Physicians for Human Rights" organization that he died. "The sick man could not withstand the wait for the permit," claimed Ran Yaron, Director of the Occupied Territories Department who blamed the Shin Bet for adopting cruel policies against cancer patients.

However, the next day, the organization discovered that al-Harrani was still alive. Members of group estimated that his brother, who reported the death, "killed" him so he does not report to the questioning session.

"This is a rare case where a family member knowingly provided false information to the organization," Physicians for Human Rights said. "Usually, the organization receives information from the families and from the hospitals, but in this case the information was received from the family and was not confirmed by the hospital."

Meanwhile, the Shin Bet sent the organization an angry response: "We view these harsh accusations on your part with great severity; not even a minimal inquiry into the facts was conducted."

The Shin Bet noted that due to the suspicion of his involvement in terror activities, al-Harrani was indeed called in for a security check, and it was indeed postponed by a week.

Since al-Harrani did not arrive at the questioning session, "he will have to bear the consequences or future damage that may be caused to him, in line with his refusal to cooperate in the procedure," the Shin Bet said.

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

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Posted by Dave Nathan, May 13, 2008.

This was written by Mark Steyn and is archived at

Almost everywhere I went last week –– TV, radio, speeches –– I was asked about the 60th anniversary of the Israeli state. I don't recall being asked about Israel quite so much on its 50th anniversary, which, as a general rule, is a much bigger deal than the 60th. But these days friends and enemies alike smell weakness at the heart of the Zionist Entity.

Assuming Iranian President Ahmadinejad's apocalyptic fancies don't come to pass, Israel will surely make it to its 70th birthday. But a lot of folks don't fancy its prospects for its 80th and beyond. See the Atlantic Monthly cover story: "Is Israel Finished?" Also the cover story in Canada's leading news magazine, Maclean's, which dispenses with the question mark: "Why Israel Can't Survive."

Why? By most measures, the Jewish state is a great success story. The modern Middle East is the misbegotten progeny of the British and French colonial map makers of 1922. All the nation states in that neck of the woods date back a mere 60 or 70 years –– Iraq to the Thirties, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel to the Forties. The only difference is that Israel has made a go of it.

Would I rather there were more countries like Israel, or more like Syria? Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East (Iraq may yet prove a second), and its Arab citizens enjoy more rights than they would living under any of the kleptocrat kings and psychotic dictators who otherwise infest the region.

On a tiny strip of land narrower at its narrowest point than many American townships, Israel has built a modern economy with a GDP per capita just shy of $30,000 –– and within striking distance of the European Union average. If you object that that's because it's uniquely blessed by Uncle Sam, well, for the past 30 years the second-largest recipient of U.S. aid has been Egypt: their GDP per capita is $5,000, and America has nothing to show for its investment other than one-time pilot Mohamed Atta coming at you through the office window.

Jewish success against the odds is nothing new. "Aaron Lazarus the Jew," wrote Anthony Hope in his all but unknown prequel to "The Prisoner Of Zenda," "had made a great business of it, and had spent his savings in buying up the better part of the street; but" –– and for Jews there's always a "but" –– "since Jews then might hold no property ... ."

Ah, right. Like the Jewish merchants in old Europe, who were tolerated as leaseholders but could never be full property owners, the Israelis are regarded as operating a uniquely conditional sovereignty. Jimmy Carter, just returned from his squalid suck-up junket to Hamas, is merely the latest Western sophisticate to pronounce triumphantly that he has secured the usual (off-the-record, highly qualified, never to be translated into Arabic and instantly denied) commitment from the Jews' enemies, acknowledging Israel's "right to exist." Well, whoop-de-doo. Would you enter negotiations on such a basis?

Since Israel marked its half-century, the "right to exist" is now routinely denied not just in Gaza and Ramallah and the region's presidential palaces but on every European and Canadian college campus. During the Lebanese incursion of 2006, Matthew Parris wrote in The Times of London: "The past 40 years have been a catastrophe, gradual and incremental, for world Jewry. Seldom in history have the name and reputation of a human grouping lost so vast a store of support and sympathy so fast. My opinion –– held not passionately but with little personal doubt –– is that there is no point in arguing about whether the state of Israel should have been established where and when it was" –– which lets you know how he would argue it if he minded to.

Richard Cohen in The Washington Post was more straightforward: "Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself."

Cohen and Parris, two famously moderate voices in the leading newspapers of two of the least anti-Israeli capital cities in the West, have nevertheless internalized the same logic as Ahmadinejad: Israel should not be where it is. Whether it's a "stain of shame" or just a "mistake" is the merest detail.

Aaron Lazarus and every other "European Jew" of his time would have had a mirthless chuckle over Cohen's designation. The Jews lived in Europe for centuries but without ever being accepted as "European." To enjoy their belated acceptance as Europeans, they had to move to the Middle East. Reviled on the Continent as sinister rootless cosmopolitans with no conventional national allegiance, they built a conventional nation state, and now they're reviled for that, too. The "oldest hatred" didn't get that way without an ability to adapt.

The Western intellectuals who promote "Israeli Apartheid Week" at this time each year are laying the groundwork for the next stage of Zionist delegitimization. The talk of a "two-state solution" will fade. In the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, Jews are barely a majority. Gaza has one of the highest birth rates on the planet: The median age is 15.8 years. Its population is not just literally exploding, at Israeli checkpoints, but also doing so in the less-incendiary but demographically decisive sense.

Arabs will soon be demanding one democratic state –– Jews and Muslims –– from Jordan to the sea. And even those Western leaders who understand that this will mean the death of Israel will find themselves so confounded by the multicultural pieties of their own lands they'll be unable to argue against it. Contemporary Europeans are not exactly known for their moral courage: The reports one hears of schools quietly dropping the Holocaust from their classrooms because it offends their growing numbers of Muslim students suggest that even the pretense of "evenhandedness" in the Israeli-Palestinian "peace process" will be long gone a decade hence.

The joke, of course, is that Israel, despite its demographic challenge, still enjoys a birth rate twice that of the European average. All the reasons for Israel's doom apply to Europe with bells on. And, unlike much of the rest of the West, Israel has the advantage of living on the front line of the existential challenge. "I have a premonition that will not leave me," wrote Eric Hoffer, America's great longshoreman philosopher, after the 1967 war. "As it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us."

Indeed. So, happy 60th birthday. And here's to many more.

Contact Dave Nathan at DaveNathan@aol.com

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Posted by Bryna Berch, May 13, 2008.

Given that the Israelis are so beset with problems –– what with Arabs who have vowed to destroy the Jewish state, "friends" who supply the Arabs with armaments and Jews, who'd prefer there be no Jewish state to remind them of Judaism, the title of this article seems unreal. But Spengler makes some very good points. Of course if Israel got rid of the missiles aimed at her, she'd be still happier than she is.

Spengler's article appeared today in Asia Times Online
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JE13Ak01.html. The original article has direct links to additional material.

Envy surrounds no country on Earth like the state of Israel, and with good reason: by objective measures, Israel is the happiest nation on Earth at the 60th anniversary of its founding. It is one of the wealthiest, freest and best-educated; and it enjoys a higher life expectancy than Germany or the Netherlands. But most remarkable is that Israelis appear to love life and hate death more than any other nation. If history is made not by rational design but by the demands of the human heart, as I argued last week, the light heart of the Israelis in face of continuous danger is a singularity worthy of a closer look.

Can it be a coincidence that this most ancient of nations [1], and the only nation persuaded that it was summoned into history for God's service, consists of individuals who appear to love life more than any other people? As a simple index of life-preference, I plot the fertility rate versus the suicide rate of 35 industrial countries, that is, the proportion of people who choose to create new life against the proportion who choose to destroy their own. Israel stands alone, positioned in the upper-left-hand-quadrant, or life-loving, portion of the chart [2]. Those who believe in Israel's divine election might see a special grace reflected in its love of life.

In a world given over to morbidity, the state of Israel still teaches the world love of life, not in the trivial sense of joie de vivre, but rather as a solemn celebration of life. In another location, I argued, "It's easy for the Jews to talk about delighting in life. They are quite sure that they are eternal, while other peoples tremble at the prospect impending extinction. It is not their individual lives that the Jews find so pleasant, but rather the notion of a covenantal life that proceeds uninterrupted through the generations." Still, it is remarkable to observe by what wide a margin the Israelis win the global happiness sweepstakes.

Nations go extinct, I have argued in the past, because the individuals who comprise these nations choose collectively to die out. Once freedom replaces the fixed habits of traditional society, people who do not like their own lives do not trouble to have children. Not the sword of conquerors, but the indigestible sourdough of everyday life threatens the life of the nations, now dying out at a rate without precedent in recorded history.

Israel is surrounded by neighbors willing to kill themselves in order to destroy it. "As much as you love life, we love death," Muslim clerics teach; the same formula is found in a Palestinian textbook for second graders. Apart from the fact that the Arabs are among the least free, least educated, and (apart from the oil states) poorest peoples in the world, they also are the unhappiest, even in their wealthiest kingdoms.

The contrast of Israeli happiness and Arab despondency is what makes peace an elusive goal in the region. It cannot be attributed to material conditions of life. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia ranks 171st on an international quality of life index, below Rwanda. Israel is tied with Singapore on this index, although it should be observed that Israel ranks a runaway first on my life-preference index, whereas Singapore comes in dead last.

Even less can we blame unhappiness on experience, for no nation has suffered more than the Jews in living memory, nor has a better excuse to be miserable. Arabs did not invent suicide attacks, but they have produced a population pool willing to die in order to inflict damage greater than any in history. One cannot help but conclude that Muslim clerics do not exaggerate when they express contempt for life.

Israel's love of life, moreover, is more than an ethnic characteristic. Those who know Jewish life through the eccentric lens of Jewish-American novelists such as Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, or the films of Woody Allen, imagine the Jews to be an angst-ridden race of neurotics. Secular Jews in America are no more fertile than their Gentile peers, and by all indications quite as miserable.

For one thing, Israelis are far more religious than American Jews. Two-thirds of Israelis believe in God, although only a quarter observe their religion strictly. Even Israelis averse to religion evince a different kind of secularism than we find in the secular West. They speak the language of the Bible and undergo 12 years of Bible studies in state elementary and secondary schools.

Faith in God's enduring love for a people that believes it was summoned for his purposes out of a slave rabble must be part of the explanation. The most religious Israelis make the most babies. Ultra-Orthodox families produce nine children on average. That should be no surprise, for people of faith are more fertile than secular people, as I showed in a statistical comparison across countries.

Traditional and modern societies have radically different population profiles, for traditional women have little choice but to spend their lives pregnant in traditional society. In the modern world, where fertility reflects choice rather than compulsion, the choice to raise children expresses love of life. The high birthrate in Arab countries still bound by tradition does not stand comparison to Israeli fertility, by far the highest in the modern world.

The faith of Israelis is unique. Jews sailed to Palestine as an act of faith, to build a state against enormous odds and in the face of hostile encirclement, joking, "You don't have to be crazy to be a Zionist, but it helps." In 1903 Theodor Herzl, the Zionist movement's secular founder, secured British support for a Jewish state in Uganda, but his movement shouted him down, for nothing short of the return to Zion of Biblical prophecy would requite it. In place of a modern language the Jewish settlers revived Hebrew, a liturgical language only since the 4th century BC, in a feat of linguistic volition without precedent. It may be that faith burns brighter in Israel because Israel was founded by a leap of faith.

Two old Jewish jokes illustrate the Israeli frame of mind.

Two elderly Jewish ladies are sitting on a park bench in St Petersburg, Florida. "Mrs Levy," asks the first, "what do you hear from your son Isaac in Detroit?" "It's just awful," Mrs Levy replies. "His wife died a year ago and left him with two little girls. Now he's lost his job as an accountant with an auto-parts company, and his health insurance will lapse in a few weeks. With the real estate market the way it is, he can't even sell his house. And the baby has come down with leukemia and needs expensive treatment. He's beside himself, and doesn't know what to do. But does he write a beautiful Hebrew letter –– it's a pleasure to read."

There are layers to this joke, but the relevant one here is that bad news is softened if written in the language of the Bible, which to Jews always conveys hope.

The second joke involves the American businessman who emigrated to Israel shortly after its founding. On his arrival, he orders a telephone, and waits for weeks without a response. At length he applies in person to the telephone company, and is shown into the office of an official who explains that there is a two-year waiting list, and no way to jump the queue. "Do you mean there is no hope?," the American asks. "It is forbidden for a Jew to say there is no hope!," thunders the official. "No chance, maybe." Hope transcends probability.

If faith makes the Israelis happy, then why are the Arabs, whose observance of Islam seems so much stricter, so miserable? Islam offers its adherents not love –– for Allah does not reveal Himself in love after the fashion of YHWH –– but rather success. "The Islamic world cannot endure without confidence in victory, that to 'come to prayer' is the same thing as to 'come to success'. Humiliation –– the perception that the ummah cannot reward those who submit to it –– is beyond its capacity to endure," I argued in another location. Islam, or "submission", does not understand faith –– trust in a loving God even when His actions appear incomprehensible –– in the manner of Jews and Christians. Because the whim of Allah controls every event from the orbit of each electron to the outcome of battles, Muslims know only success or failure at each moment in time.

The military, economic and cultural failures of Islamic societies are intolerable in Muslim eyes; Jewish success is an abomination, for in the view of Muslims it is the due of the faithful, to be coveted and seized from the usurpers at the first opportunity. It is not to much of a stretch to assert that Israel's love of live, its happiness in faith, is precisely the characteristic that makes a regional peace impossible to achieve. The usurpation of the happiness that Muslims believe is due to them is sufficient cause to kill one's self in order to take happiness away from the Jewish enemy. If Israel's opponents fail to ruin Israel's happiness, there is at least a spark of hope that they may decide to choose happiness for themselves.

Why are none of the Christian nations as happy as Israel? Few of the European nations can be termed "Christian" at all. Poland, the last European country with a high rate of attendance at Mass (at about 45%), nonetheless shows a fertility rate of only 1.27, one of Europe's lowest, and a suicide rate of 16 per 100,000. Europe's faith always wavered between adherence to Christianity as a universal religion and ethnic idolatry under a Christian veneer. European nationalism nudged Christianity to the margin during the 19th century, and the disastrous world wars of the past century left Europeans with confidence neither in Christianity nor in their own nationhood.

Only in pockets of the American population does one find birth rates comparable to Israel's, for example among evangelical Christians. There is no direct way to compare the happiness of American Christians and Israelis, but the tumultuous and Protean character of American religion is not as congenial to personal satisfaction. My suspicion is that Israel's happiness is entirely unique.

It is fashionable these days to speculate about the end of Israel, and Israel's strategic position presents scant cause for optimism, as I contended recently. Israel's future depends on the Israelis. During 2,000 years of exile, Jews remained Jews despite forceful and often violent efforts to make them into Christians or Muslims. One has to suppose that they did not abandon Judaism because they liked being Jewish. With utmost sincerity, the Jews prayed thrice daily, "It is our duty to praise the Master of all, to acclaim the greatness of the One who forms all creation, for God did not make us like the nations of other lands, and did not make us the same as other families of the Earth. God did not place us in the same situations as others, and our destiny is not the same as anyone else's."

If the Israelis are the happiest country on Earth, as the numbers indicate, it seems possible that they will do what is required to keep their country, despite the odds against them. I do not know whether they will succeed. If Israel fails, however, the rest of the world will lose a unique gauge of the human capacity for happiness as well as faith. I cannot conceive of a sadder event.


[1] There are many ancient nations, eg, the Basques, but no other that speaks the same language as it did more than 3,000 years ago, occupies more or less the same territory, and, most important, maintains a continuous literary record of its history, which is to say an interrupted national consciousness.

[2] The countries shown in the chart show a roughly inverse correlation of Suicide rate and Fertility Rate. Starting at Top with low Suicide Rate and High Fertility (per 100,000) are: Israel with suicide rate of 6.2 and a fertility rate of 2.77, United States, France. down to at the Bottom: Lithuania with a suicide rate of 40.2 and a fertility rate of 1.22, Singapore and Hong Kong. The original article has the complete list.

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Posted by Hillel Fendel, May 13, 2008.