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Saturday, August 09, 2003

Remember Richard Ingrams?

In mid-July, Ingrams wrote in a column for the Observer (UK):
"I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it."
Arutz Sheva reports that The British Press Complaints Commission has determined that Ingram's article in the Observer was "not a breach of journalistic ethics" and was not antisemitic.

Right. Thanks for that clarification.

Yael <<<<<< JEWISH NAME



UPDATE: JTA reports that The Observer received about 50 letters and emails in response to Ingrams' column. 50? Just 50? What the hell is wrong with us that that's the best we can do?


Shavua tov

Foundation stones for the Third Temple: past, present and future are One
I recently read a teaching about Tisha B'Av that conveyed the paradox of that holy day. Why do we Jews still mourn the loss of the Temples, after thousands of years? It was explained that when someone dies, and you know for certain that they are dead, then the laws of mourning structure your way through grief, and back to life. Mourning observance becomes less and less strictured over time, and eventually ends.

When one is not absolutely sure, however, if a loved one is dead or not, then there is no end to the mourning, and no one can console you. So it was with Jacob, when his son Joseph disappeared. The father wasn't absolutely certain of his son's death, and so he mourned for years and years, and no one could console him. He continued to mourn, instead of returning to life, because he held hope that his son still lived. This, then, is why we continue to mourn the loss of the Temples -- we have not lost hope for their recovery.

A very important teacher in my life kept repeating to me that I mustn't think like the Greeks or Romans, but learn to think in Talmudic fashion, like a Jew. I would ask is it this or that? either/or? And he would tell me, again and again, that the answer can be both. This story from Arutz Sheva, illustrates that paradox is alive and well in the thoughts and lives of today's Jews.

Do we mourn or do we hope? We do both.
Two giant stones - 6.5 tons each - were transported yesterday morning, in honor of Tisha B'Av, in a large parade around downtown Jerusalem, accompanied by dozens of cars draped with flags of Israel and the Temple. The stones are fit to be used as the cornerstones of the Temple, says Gershon Solomon of the Temple Mount Loyalists, as they are made of white marble cut by diamonds, and not by metal. In addition, they were mined in the Negev desert, just as were the Second Temple stones, and are the same light blue color.

The parade made its way from northern Jerusalem, around the Old City and Mt. Zion, along King George St., and back again. It set out from the Givat HaMivtar neighborhood from where the stones are kept year-round - in the burial cave discovered 22 years ago of King Antigonos of Judea, the last of the Hasmonean kings.

In 40 BCE, Antigonos rebelled against Rome and announced the independence of his kingdom. The Romans promptly invaded Jerusalem, and thus began the era of Roman rule. Gershon Solomon told Arutz-7's Leah Rabinowitz that the Romans crucified Antigonos, and made sure to bury him in Syria, so as not to arouse nationalistic feelings among the Jews. A certain priest could not make peace with this travesty, and expended major efforts to recover the body and bring it for burial outside Jerusalem, overlooking the Temple Mount [in today's Givat HaMivtar]. That priest, together with a tablet telling this story, was also found buried in the same burial chamber.


Friday, August 08, 2003

Two Americans still missing in Israel

(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. has offered to help Israelis authorities search for two teenagers with American citizenship who disappeared last week in separate cases in northern Israel, the U.S. Embassy said on Thursday.

Media reports said the FBI is already involved.

Dana Bennet, 18, who holds dual American and Israeli citizenship, disappeared on her way home from working the late-shift at a Tiberias restaurant early last Friday morning.

Two days later, on Sunday, American citizen Eliezer Zusia Klockhoft, 19, also disappeared.

Klockhoft, who is studying at a Jewish religious school here, was visiting the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai with fellow students near the northern Israeli town of Safed. His friends went hiking and when they returned, Klockhoft could not be found.

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv said it had offered to help in the search for the two missing Americans.

"We're in close touch with the Israeli authorities regarding the cases of missing Americans and have offered any assistance that may be needed," the American Embassy in Tel Aviv said. "We're also staying in close touch with the families."


The Jerusalem Post reported that Bennet, who underwent head surgery recently, is at a high risk if she does not receive her medication as soon as possible. Over 300 civilian volunteers and 80 police personnel are involved in the search.

Moussaoui Aimed to Hit White House

According to a federal prosecutor, "the evidence is clear" that Moussaoui had accomplices in a plan to fly a fifth attack plane, although he did not make clear whether the alleged operation was planned on Sept. 11. Moussaoui is serving as his own lawyer, and his "alleged preparation for terrorist acts" could make this a death penalty case.

There is some question as to whether the case can continue in criminal court, given its relevance to national security. Story in the Washington Post.

Israeli marine commandoes raid Hamas bomb lab in Nablus; Soldier killed

Full story at JPost.
Roi Oren of Moshav Odim was 20 years old

May his family and friends be comforted among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem . . .

He who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our God, from the border of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Aravah, on the land, in the air, and on the sea.

May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighters from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.

May He lead our enemies under our soldiers' sway and may He grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is the Lord your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you.

V'imru, Amen.


Hizballah's Kidnapping Rampage Goes Unopposed

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
The Lebanese Shiite terror group has launched an extensive, particularly vicious, terror campaign against Israel in collusion with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. At present, an Israeli Arab terror gang in Galilee, controlled and funded by Hizballah, is believed by Israeli security officials talking to DEBKAfile to be responsible for the kidnap-murder of Israeli soldier Oleg Shaichat, whose body was found last week in northern Israel. The same squad also apparently abducted Tiberias teenager Dana Bennet six days ago and possibly also New York yeshiva student Eliezer Zussiya Klughoft, who was last seen on Mt. Meron on Saturday, August 2.

Three kidnappers from the same gang tried at gunpoint to force an Israeli Druze soldier into a car at the Yokneam junction on August 7. They fled when he cocked his rifle. Military and police investigators regret the soldier’s failure to open fire on his assailants and interrupt their depredations. But the Druze soldier was constricted from opening fire by the new rules of engagement quietly put in place since a truce was declared on June 29.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report Israeli authorities are convinced that these terrorists are not snatching hostages as bargaining chips but are out to kill. This they do shortly after grabbing a victim and bundling him or her into their vehicle. Several days before Shaichat was abducted, a frightened Bedouin soldier showed up late at his unit and reported he had escaped kidnappers at the Golani junction in northern Israel. His superiors who did not believe him at the time now see he was telling the truth.

Israeli security officials have realized retrospectively that the particularly virulent and violent speech Hizballah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Sunday, July 27, several hours after Shaichat’s body was found, was a signal to go ahead with these abductions. In the address, he referred to Elhanan Tannenbaum, the retired Israeli army colonel kidnapped by his organization three years ago. “Who says he’s alive?” Nasrallah asked and went on to declare with brandished fist: “I will work day and night to capture more Israeli prisoners".

That broadcast address is now seen as an implicit order to terrorist gangs to press ahead with the campaign of abduction and murder. Nasrallah actually spoke in the Palestinian vernacular of Arabic, specifically addressing Israeli Arabs in the Galilee so as to reach the ears of the terrorist squad which has since been preying on Israeli teenagers in the north. Word slipped out to listeners in Galilee that they could pick up the broadcast and results were soon to follow.

Continued at Debka.

Mofaz warns the PA

"At the end of September, there are three dates that come together," said the former chief of General Staff. "First, it will be three years since the start of the conflict; second, it will be three months since the start of the hudna [cease-fire]; and third, it will be the end of [PA Minister of State for Security Affairs Muhammad] Dahlan's 90-day plan to work against the terrorist infrastructures."

At that point, he said, "We will have to tell the PA, 'Either you're going to take care of this or we are going to take care of this."

Yes! Read the full interview with Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, by Caroline Glick, in the Jerusalem Post. Highly recommended.

"Jews call the site the Temple Mount

and believe it is the location of the destroyed Jewish temples of the Biblical era."
"But the hill is currently occupied by the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine. Muslims call it Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), the third holiest site in Islam." Voice of America.
That historic Jewish sovereignty in Israel, as denoted by the Temples, is mentioned anywhere with any intimation of doubt, however slight, gives me the total heebie jeebies.


Copyright Poster-Aid Ltd. Israel. Poster-Aid offers the photo above in 11"x17" mounted and framed. Sales to benefit NAVAH, whose volunteers visit terror victims and distribute financial assistance and care packages from around the world.


Week 14 of the Road Trap

ZOA reports that July 29 - August 4, 2003, there were at least 16 terrorist attacks on Israelis, in which 5 people were wounded.

During the first 14 weeks since Abu Mazen became prime minister and the road trap was published, there have been a total of 379 Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 52 people were murdered and 325 wounded.

The PA agreed to the road trap, agreed to be obligated to:

1) cease all violence - They obviously haven't.

2) issue an unequivocal statement of support for Israel's right to exist in peace and security - They haven't.

3) arrest, disrupt and restrain terrorists - The longest they have detained a "militant" before releasing them is four days. Wow.

4) confiscate illegal weapons - Nope.

5) dismantle the terrorist infrastructure - Nope; in fact, it is widely believed that the terrorist organizations are using the respite of the "hudna" to rearm and rebuild their forces.

6) end all incitement against Israel - The following words accompany a video clip shown on official PA Television just recently:
"Killing, Bombardment and house demolition
That will not hurt our strength.
By God, we shall say hello to you, oh Jerusalem
We will take our freedom.
We are your boys Palestine
This is the Intifada generation
We will attack while the stones are in our hands
By God, [may] your struggle be like this.
We will not surrender, and no to humiliation
Even if the airplanes are bombing us
until the liberation of Palestine
our blood will not be in vain
We are your people. Oh old one [Arafat is seen on screen]
We are the heroes of stone !"

7) end Arab states' support for terror - Nope.

8) "undertake consolidation of security authority, free of association with terror and corruption" - Only two security agencies are under the Interior Minister. Arafat continues to control the rest -including Force 17, General Intelligence, Military Intelligence, the National Security Forces and the naval forces- via a newly-created "National Security Council" which he himself chairs.

9) institute democratic reform - This is the real killer (pardon the pun). A suspected "collaborator" with Israel was summarily executed in the central square of Ramallah yesterday, August 7th.

The Daily Telegraph (UK) describes it thus: Witnesses said three gunmen pulled the man into a car and drove to the centre of town. Then, one of the gunmen pulled the man from the car and shouted, 'In the name of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, we carry out the sentence of death', and shot the man" [six times in the head and chest].

Democratic reform? These people have no apparent clue what that would even look like. Terror and anarchy continue to rule, with no end in sight, road trap or no road trap.


BBC headline: ISRAEL DEFENDS PRISONER RELEASE

Let me get this right. Israel released hundreds of Palestinian criminals in a gesture of goodwill, over and above what is required by the road trap. No one, but no one applauded this action. Not the President, not Colin Powell, not Kofi Annan, not Dominique de Villepin. Most of them were, in fact, busy admonishing Israel for The Wall.

The PA actually scorned the prisoner release as insufficient, and the media obediently regurgitated the scorn, while glorying in the photo ops of the criminals' reunions with their families. The BBC quotes a freed prisoner as saying the releases were "a big trick from the Israeli occupation." The report says further that "Many Palestinians are angry." Wow, that's new and different.

Now Israel is cornered into having to defend the prisoner release? Defend?

What's wrong with this picture? Hullo? Is anybody home?

Don't miss Krauthammer on The Wall

There have been nearly 100 Palestinian suicide bombings. All the terrorists came from the West Bank, where the barrier is being built. Not a single one has come from Gaza. Why? Because there already is a fence separating Gaza from Israel.
The State Department is in direct contradiction of the road map. They must've spent too much time in the anti-world at the UN. See more on the UN below (Saturday, Aug 2).


For Lovers of the New York Times

New book warns that the Times slants hard news to further political agenda


From a review at Amazon.com: "This book shines a bright light onto the inner workings of a once preeminent and credible news organization, not from a professional critic's prospective, but from a life long reader and devoted fan of the "newspaper of record".

Another reviewer comments that "the temperment of this book is even handed, not the shrill tone of some other books purporting to expose wrong doing in other public institutions. Mr Kohn also suggests ways for the the NY Times to improve, get back to reporting real news, and continue as an important institution."

Journalistic Fraud is for sale at World Net Daily, and Amazon.com, above.



Thursday, August 07, 2003

Post Tisha B'Av MUST READ

Israel Without Apology by Sol Stern
Three decades ago, I was a Berkeley New Leftist with a political and personal problem. I had been born in Israel, and, though I didn’t consider myself a Zionist, I certainly didn’t want to see the Jewish state disappear. Yet my comrades on the Left were starting on a long march whose ultimate objective was to demonize Israel and turn it into a pariah among the nations. At Bay Area meetings, I heard Israel denounced as an imperialist aggressor that had “ripped off” the land from the native population and had aligned itself with the most reactionary forces in the world. The Arabs, on the other hand, were the truly victimized, the wretched of the earth, right up there in the pantheon of our movement’s other heroes, the Cubans and the Vietnamese.
Three decades reads more quickly than one would think. Stern ends with his recent visit to Israel:
This year my wife and I and our 16-year-old son went to spend Passover with our “tribe” in Israel. Since 9/11, when my son fled north from Stuyvesant High School, three blocks from the World Trade Center—and when so many phoned from Israel to ask if we were safe, as we have phoned so often after suicide bombings in Israel—we have understood in the most intimate way what our Israeli friends and family go through every day. This year I went to Israel with deep trepidation, expecting the worst. We understood what a devastating impact the suicide bombings were having on Israeli life, what numbing fear families felt as their children went off to school or merely to the corner playground. We had heard about people losing their jobs or leaving the country, and about a growing sense that the government might not be up to the job of smashing the terror networks or finding some way out of the impasse. Some people had even begun to think the unthinkable—that Israel might not bear up indefinitely under the stress.

Yet what I saw moved me deeply and renewed my hope that the Israeli people would bend but not break.
Amen.


This is absurd, or it would be, if it weren't so awful

Google News Search offers ALJAZEERAH as a "news source." Gimme a break. This story from "Occupied Jerusalem" via Aljazeerah, via Google News:
60 Jews Discreetly Settled in West Bank
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, 8 August 2003 — Sixty French Jews arrived in Israel earlier this week and were discreetly moved to various West Bank settlements, the Israeli Yediot Aharonot daily reported yesterday.

The immigrants arrived late Tuesday and were moved to settlements including Ofra, Eli, Koshov Yaacov and Beit El and others where they will study Hebrew for a year and then decide on their definitive place of residence.

Only 120 French Jews opted to live in Jewish settlements in 2002, the paper noted. The US-backed peace road map stipulates that Israel must freeze its settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, three gunmen executed a Palestinian in the center of the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday after accusing him of being a collaborator, witnesses and security sources said. The three said they were from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, witnesses said.

“The guy had a mask on and had his hands tied behind his back,” one witness told AFP. “Before they shot him, they took off his mask. They then said he was a collaborator and we sentence him to death.” The trio pumped around 10 bullets into the victim’s back before fleeing shortly after 4:30 p.m., witnesses said.
WRITE TO NEWS-FEEDBACK@GOOGLE.COM TO OBJECT TO ALJAZEERAH. Suggest a more reasonable Middle East source, like maybe . . .

Azure
Dateline Israel
Debka File
Eretz Daily
EretzYisroel
Forward
Gamla
Ha'aretz
Hebrew Press Editorials
IDF News Page
IRIS
Israel21C
Israel Forum
Israeli News Agency
Israel Insider
Israel National News
Israel Resource Review
JCPA Daily Alert
Jerusalem Post
Jewish Advocate
Jewish Chronicle
Jewish Comment
The Jewish Exponent
Jewish Post
The Jewish Press
Jewish Telegraph
Jewish World Review
Jewsweek
JTA - Global Jewish News
The Maccabean
The Media Line
Mideast Tribune
Mideast Truth Org
Mideast Truth
Our Jerusalem
Outpost
The Source Israel
Tzemach News
USAJewish
Virtual Jerusalem
Voice Of Judea
YeshaNews


"Powell says US not ready to punish Israel just yet on fence

From kait8.com, ABC affiliate in Jonesboro, AR
Washington-AP -- Secretary of State Colin Powell indicates the U-S isn't ready to punish Israel just yet over its construction of a security fence.

Powell confirms the Bush administration has been looking at the possibility of cutting loan guarantees to Israel if the construction continues. But Powell also notes the U-S would have to be "faithful with congressional direction" on how to use those loan guarantees.

Several Democrats have criticized the administration for raising the possibility, and have suggested it violates a congressional mandate.
Go Dems!

RAINBOW GROCERY in San Francisco proposing a boycott of Israeli goods

This from a comment at LittleGreenFootballs:
Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco is at it again...they are proposing a boycott of Israeli goods and it will be up for a vote soon.

[See the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California:] Rainbow Grocery puts Israeli boycott on the ballot

Why do I care? Well, when I lived in San Francisco I shopped there a lot (I'm a vegan)....and this pisses me off so much.

This also violates Rainbow Grocery's mission statement.

So please--CALL RAINBOW GROCERY at 415-863-0620 and let them know how you feel....even if you wouldn't step 100 feet near tofu. They have gotten a lot of calls and sadly, this action could be the start of a very dangerous anti-Israeli trend.


Wednesday, August 06, 2003

"As the heavens are higher from the land, so also is My way higher than yours, and My thoughts from your thoughts" (Isaiah, 55:9).

WHAT HAPPENED ON THE NINTH OF AV? from Aish.com
On Tisha B'Av, five national calamities occurred:

During the time of Moses, Jews in the desert accepted the slanderous report of the 12 Spies, and the decree was issued forbidding them from entering the Land of Israel. (1312 BCE)

The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, led by Nebuchadnezzar. 100,000 Jews were slaughtered and millions more exiled. (586 BCE)

The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans, led by Titus. Some two million Jews died, and another one million were exiled. (70 CE)

The Bar Kochba revolt was crushed by Roman Emperor Hadrian. The city of Betar -- the Jews' last stand against the Romans -- was captured and liquidated. Over 100,000 Jews were slaughtered. (135 BCE)

The Temple area and its surroundings were plowed under by the Roman general Turnus Rufus. Jerusalem was rebuilt as a pagan city -- renamed Aelia Capitolina -- and access was forbidden to Jews.


Other grave misfortunes throughout Jewish history occurred on the Ninth of Av, including:

Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade. Tens of thousands of Jews were killed, and many Jewish communities obliterated.

The Spanish Inquisition culminated with the expulsion of Jews from Spain on Tisha B'Av in 1492.

World War One broke out on Tisha B'Av in 1914 when Russia declared war on Germany. German resentment from the war set the stage for the Holocaust.

On Tisha B'Av, deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto began.


The Sages say that the Messiah will be born on Tisha B’av. We read Eichah-Lamentations with the prayerful hope that he has already been born and that this day next year will be a day of joy.

All who mourn the destruction of Jerusalem will merit the celebration of her rebirth (Ta'anit 30a).




Why does Israel even bother?

On the very day that Israel released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, in the very week that Israel transferred 2 billion shekels (about US$470 million) to the PA, I have to come across this disgusting editorial in the Modesto Bee. Now I know that the Modesto Bee ain't much, but it represents that thoughtless, immoral lefty, pro-Palestinian point of view that I so abhor. It treats the supposed cycle of violence like mere children's pettiness, it promotes a notion of equivalence in accusing both sides of "hesitating," it finds far more fault with Israel than it does with the Palestinians.

For this Israel takes part in "good will gestures" ? It's a waste of good will. It only makes us appear weak, and our enemies take full advantage . . . the Modesto Bee included and for example:
In separate White House meetings with President Bush, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon explained why the U.S.-backed "road map" toward peace is idling: The other side isn't doing enough to hold up its end of the bargain.

Such finger-pointing is not surprising, given lingering mistrust after 34 months of deadly terrorist attacks and Israeli counterattacks. But the two sides need to get beyond this stage soon, lest a tenuous three-month cease-fire declared by two Palestinian extremist groups dissolve.

Who will take the first bold step? At the moment both Abbas and Sharon are hesitating. The Palestinian won't try to disarm Hamas and Islamic Jihad while they stick to the cease-fire; besides, his security forces may lack both the strength and will to do it. Abbas also faults Sharon for moving too slowly to pull Israeli forces out of occupied areas, for not dismantling more illegal Jewish "outposts" and army checkpoints, and for holding onto thousands of Palestinian prisoners.

Add to that growing Palestinian complaints about Israel's construction of a security fence along its border with the West Bank that's now 85 miles long. What angers Palestinian leaders most is not so much the fence's existence as that, by cutting through parts of the West Bank, it has effectively annexed West Bank land to Israel and left many Palestinians inside Israel, cut off from jobs, markets, schools and villages. Bush has called the fence a problem, but Sharon bluntly refused to stop building it.

But in response to Bush's admonition to "carefully consider all the consequences of Israeli actions," Sharon did promise to "minimize the infringement on the daily life of the Palestinian population." But that "infringement" already exists and is seen by Palestinians as another Israeli fait accompli that could prevent creation of a contiguous Palestinian state that the "road map" envisions and that all parties say they support.

The two sides must stop the finger-pointing and accusations of bad faith and deal seriously.
There's more, but not a lot. I wouldn't bother.



On a lighter note, ISRAELI BEER in the news


DEBKAfile Special Report
August 5, 2003, 12:56 PM (GMT+02:00)
A close inspection of photos from inside the Mosul villa where Qusay and Uday were shot dead by American troops last month reveals beer bottles and a candy wrapper with what looks suspiciously like Hebrew lettering. Ironically, Saddam Hussein’s sons and grandson may have spent their last hours consuming the products of the hated Zionist state. In another odd twist, the troops of the US 101st airborne division may have cracked open beer of the same Macabbee brand while laying Saddam’s heirs to siege.

DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources reveal a thriving, unacknowledged, semi-secret Middle East trade route that has sprung up between Israel and Iraq in response to rising demand. More and more goods are getting through despite difficult and often hazardous conditions.

The sudden demand in Iraq for Israeli six-packs owes much to the dearth of beer manufacturing in the strictly Muslim Persian Gulf region and the dry heat raging in Baghdad, Tikrit, Mosul and Basra, which makes an iced beer a favorite thirst-quencher for the close to 150,000 American GIs and 15,000 British troops sweltering there in full combat gear. Many Iraqis, too, have taken advantage of the new openness to their geographical west and cultivated a taste for the Israeli brew.

To meet the demand, trucks, loaded with beer produced in Israeli breweries working round the clock, roll nearly 1,000 miles east night by night, through Jordan and over two frontiers..

Beer is not the only Israeli commodity heading into Iraq. The convoys carry farm produce, foodstuffs, dairy products, eggs and ice cream, orders for which keep Jordan-based Israeli sales agents and their Jordanian counterparts with full hands and busy satellite phones.

With the national economy in recession and expanding unemployment, Israeli manufacturers are responding with brisk efficiency to any unexpected equipment shortages sprung in American units far from home - from mobile kitchen units to transformers. The US Army Corps of Engineers, the unit responsible for the maintenance of Iraq oil installations, airfields and military landing strips, have found they can obtain pipe sections, pumps or reinforced concrete faster and more cheaply from Israel than by airlift from the US.

There is also a constant flow of military products including spare parts – whether made in Israel, withdrawn from American emergency stores in southern Israel or unloaded under cover of dark from American cargo ships putting in at Ashdod and Haifa ports.

On the eve of Tisha b'Av, Israel has released 339 Palestinian prisoners

What, are they CRAZY?!


Bassam Abu Sharif, an adviser to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, called the planned release a "joke," which he said proves "Sharon is not serious about implementing the road map."

I can't bear this. Read the rest at JPost.


In June 1996, Yehudit Dasberg's daughter and son-in-law Efrat and Yaron Ungar were murdered by terrorists in a drive-by shooting, and Yehudit and her husband have been raising her two orphaned grandchildren - now 8 and 9 years old - ever since.

Mrs. Dasberg met the Prime Minister in the Knesset corridors today, and asked, "Why are you releasing so many terrorists, that so many IDF soldiers and GSS agents worked so hard to apprehend?"

Mr. Sharon responded that the decision was the "correct" one, and that the government had resolved not to release terrorists with blood on their hands.

Mrs. Dasberg then said to him, "The ones you're letting go tried to murder - but missed."
(From Arutz Sheva.)



Roadmap? What Roadmap? by Jeff Jacoby

The US-sponsored "road map" to peace between Israel and the Palestinians is not a very challenging document. The text, which is posted at the State Department website, is only 4-1/2 pages long, and most of it is written in reasonably clear English. Anyone willing to invest 15 minutes in reading it can glean a pretty good idea of its terms.

And yet a surprising number of people one might expect to be familiar with the road map seem not to know what it says.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, for example.

In an interview last week with Lally Weymouth of Newsweek and The Washington Post, Abbas said he had discussed the road map four times with Ariel Sharon and was "waiting to see" if the Israeli prime minister would deliver on his commitments.

"Does that mean freezing settlements?" Weymouth asked.

"Not this only," Abbas answered, "but all the items stipulated in the road map -- freeing the prisoners . . ."

"But the issue of prisoners is not in the road map," Weymouth objected.

"It is in the road map," Abbas insisted.

In fact, it isn't in the road map.
Read the rest at Jewish World Review. It's good!

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

From the MEMRI news ticker:
August 4, 2003
FOLLOWING THE ARREST OF WANTED MEN WHO HAD TAKEN REFUGE IN ARAFAT'S MUQAT'A HEADQUARTERS, FATAH'S MILITARY WING AL-AQSA MARTYRS BRIGADES POSTED A COMMUNIQUÉ ON ITS WEBSITE DEMANDING THAT 'THE HEROES, THE MUJAHIDEEN, AND THE MARTYRS CARRY OUT THEIR OPERATIONS INSIDE THE PLUNDERING [ZIONIST] ENTITY IN ORDER TO SHAKE THE GROUND UNDER THE [ZIONISTS'] FEET AND THWART THEIR PLANS.' (HTTP://WWW.KATAEBAQSA.ORG)
And this surprising tidbit:

August 1, 2003
SADDAM SENT HIS PERSONAL AID, ABD HAMOUD, WITH AN OFFER TO STOP ATTACKS ON U.S. FORCES IF THE FORCES WOULD LEAVE HIM AND HIS FAMILY ALONE. THE DEAL WAS REJECTED, HAMOUD WAS ARRESTED, AND SADDAM'S SONS WERE KILLED. (AL-HAYAT, LONDON, 8/1/03)






399 Prisoners to be released tomorrow afternoon, on the eve of Tisha b'Av
This is not required by the road map. No one seems to enjoy it as a gesture of goodwill - the Palestinians complain that it's not enough and the western media is completely ho-hum on it. It's totally crazy to me that Israeli criminals stay in jail and the Palestinian ones get out. It's totally crazy in light of the fact that only a day or two ago a woman and three of her children, traveling in a car, were shot by terrorists.

Ah, here it is. JPost has the answer: Sharon said releasing the prisoners is a necessary step to support the cease-fire and assuage Palestinian public opinion in an effort to shore up Abbas. The release of prisoners is important to the Palestinians, Sharon said.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said that further prisoner releases have been put on hold "to see how the Palestinians behave." Mofaz said he has instructed the IDF to prepare for an eruption of violence, and that the likely date for this would be late September. This would mark three years of the so-called Aksa intifada and the end of the 90-day cease-fire, he said.

DEBKA: Jerusalem police will not allow group of Israeli Knesset members to visit Temple Mount Thursday to mark Jewish 9th of Av fast and anniversary of Jewish temple destruction.

House Democrats in Israel

This is the AP? Not so biased, this one.
Yahoo News / AP: JERUSALEM - A leading U.S. congressman on Tuesday accused Yasser Arafat of hampering peace efforts and told the new Palestinian prime minister he must take responsibility and strike a deal with Israel.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who is leading 29 House Democrats in a weeklong tour of Israel to discuss the Mideast peace process, made his comments after separate meetings with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Hoyer told Sharon that Israel is "the world's most courageous democracy," adding, "We are together in the struggle against terrorism." The congressman said few of the Israeli leaders he talked to expressed confidence that Abbas, who was appointed by Arafat in April under U.S. pressure, had the power to act without Arafat's approval.

"Nobody believes that Arafat is pursuing peace positively at this point," Hoyer said. "And that's the problem."

The congressional delegation later met Abbas at the Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Hoyer said he told Abbas at their meeting that Arafat had hampered peace efforts, and "the world was now looking for (Abbas) to be a partner for peace." He said he told Abbas he must dismantle Palestinian terror groups, a step Abbas has refused to take, fearing a civil war.



Good News: Rutgers is responding

Rutgers' Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Emmet A. Davis, has set up a website: Concerns About Student Conference, which offers a place to send comments and/or inquiries. It also includes FAQs, copy of the president's statement about the conference, etc. He's obviously smart, and I appreciate it.

While anything less than cancellation of the conference will not satisfy me, I am grateful that attention is being paid to the matter. Just the fact that they built the website defuses some of the angst. This is a great improvement over Michigan last year, the response from which was canned and lame.

Make this website worth their while, and take full advantage of the opportunity represented by the comments and inquiry page. "Free speech" is not for the enemies of Israel only. And it is not the issue here. We need to keep pointing out the fact that free speech entitles one to speak their mind on any street corner -- IT DOES NOT ENTITLE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US TO THE USE OF PUBLIC UNIVERSITY FACILITIES.

We all know that there are conferences Rutgers would not allow. They wouldn't allow a KKK hate-fest, they wouldn't allow pedophiles or child pornographers, they wouldn't allow white supremacists, they wouldn't allow a conference centered on the position that Canada has no right to exist! There is a line drawn, and I, for one, want to know why it's drawn in such a way that Jews are not protected. I'm going to give them comments as often as possible, and will copy them to Prof. Dennis, as below.



From: Anne Lieberman
To: Emmet Dennis <dennis@oldqueens.rutgers.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2003 6:28 PM
Subject: Re: Third National Student Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement

Dear Prof. Dennis,

I am very grateful to see that you've built a website for discussion of the upcoming conference. It represents a far greater response to the problem of this conference than the University of Michigan was able to provide last year. Already you have defused some of the angst surrounding this event. But do not think that it is sufficient response in and of itself. I will not be satisfied until the conference is cancelled.

Perhaps you do not understand the bad spot that Jews are in, in the world right now, or you would never allow such a Jew-hating conference to take place. I say Jew-hating because I believe quite certainly that much of today's anti-Zionist, anti-Israel commentary and activism is merely age-old antisemitism in a new cloak, a politically correct garment. If allowed to go ahead, this conference will empower the notion that "politically correct antisemitism" is acceptable and legitimate.

There was a syndicated political cartoon by Tony Auth, published last week in American newspapers, that is almost identical to a poster produced in the mid-1930s by the Nazi propaganda machine. If you are a Jew, this is very frightening.

The Belgian affiliate of Oxfam, a very politically correct feed-the-hungry global organization, is promoting a boycott of Israeli produce. Their poster, recently removed from the website, showed an orange dripping blood. If you are a Jew, this is very frightening.

National Public Radio portrays a bias against Israel that is unfathomable. NPR consistently refuses to use the words "terror" "terrorism" or "terrorist" in conjunction with Palestinians. It is Palestinian "activists" or "militants" who blow themselves up to murder Jewish grandmothers and babies in strollers. As if that weren't bad enough, recently NPR has begun to use the word "terror" -- for Jews! There are allegedly two, maybe three, Jewish "terror cells," in Israel, consisting of about three persons each, which stand accused of planning terrorist acts against Palestinians. These people, less than dozen, who have not been proven to have committed a single illegal act, are "terrorists" according to NPR, while Palestinian suicide bombers are not. If you are a Jew, such bias in the mainstream press is very frightening.

That a public univeristy would allow a conference in their facilities that centers on the proposition that Israel, the only safe haven for Jews in the world, does not have the right to exist, is likewise, frightening. Can you imagine a conference focusing on how Canada does not have the right to exist? It sounds ludicrous, doesn't it? But Israel's right to exist is being questioned - in mainstream circles - all over the world right now. Israel is the Jew among the nations, and has no friends, except perhaps the United States, and that seems somewhat tenuous. Once again, the Jews stand alone.

Please let me remind you that this is not a matter of free speech. The Solidarity-with-Palestinians people can say all they want all over the internet, in marches down any street, they can freespeak to any reporter who will listen to them, from any street corner or basement hovel. Their right to free speech does not include access to Rutgers lecture halls and microphones. To hold a conference at Rutgers is not a right but a privilege. I would think that in a sane world, a group would have to prove worthy of such a privilege, would have to at least have a constructive message to offer. The conference you intend to support will endorse terrorist suicide bombings and the destruction of a nation. What good will that do in the world? What harm? Has academia devolved to such a state where simple right and wrong are no longer discernible?

Jewish existence should not be a matter of debate at any time, or any place. Our right to exist, to have a state obligated to protect Jewish life, has already been decided, at great expense. We continue to defend it, also at great expense. It is shameful that we must further defend ourselves at a public university in America. If it weren't true, I would say it is unthinkable. But then, we've had demonstrators in front of a synagogue in Denver chanting "Death to the Jews." Nothing is unthinkable anymore. You'll see, these "solidarity" folks will be chanting for my death on your campus come October. I have no doubt.

NEVER AGAIN we often say, but these days our mantra seems to fall on deaf ears. Rutgers and the state of New Jersey have an opportunity to stand up for something good in the world. Please summon the necessary courage to cancel this event. If you do not, then you will have to live with the consequences of having nourished an evil and dangerous sickness in the world. As a Jew, I will probably have to live with those consequences sooner and more directly than you, but one day you too may feel threatened by this sickness. And then you'll understand what I was talking about, back in '03.

Most sincerely,

Anne Lieberman
Boulder, Colorado



----- Original Message -----
From: Emmet Dennis
To: Anne Lieberman
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 12:05 PM
Subject: Third National Student Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement


July 22, 2003

Dear Ms. Lieberman

Thank you for your correspondence concerning the status of a conference entitled the “Third National Student Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement, tentatively scheduled to be held at Rutgers facility in October 2003.

In response, I am pleased to refer you to a statement below by President Richard L. McCormick to the Rutgers community that addresses the substance of your communication.

As is the case with the hundreds of other programs, conferences, and events held at Rutgers facilities each year, we will continue the review process for this event in accordance with the various policies and procedures with which any program must comply before approval of a reservation for use of the facility.

I sincerely appreciate your interest in this matter. I will continue to work closely with those involved and affected by the Conference emphasizing safety, civility and respect. A number of teach-in’s are also planned by our faculty during the time of the conference. Our campus ministries will also be involved.

Yours truly,

Emmet A. Dennis

Emmet A. Dennis, Ph.D.

Professor and Vice President for Student Affairs



Got Milk? And Honey?

VISIT THE STORE AT KUMAH.ORG
Dear America,
Thank you and shalom.
We have to go home now.
Your friends,
The Jews


From LittleGreenFootballs

See Monday's post at LGF: "Echoes of Nazism"
This cartoon by TONY AUTH appeared recently in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and perhaps the Washington Post and Seattle Times, though I haven't confirmed those --




Mike Silverman discovered this image, a Nazi propaganda cartoon from the mid-1930s:



Disgusting? You betcha. Welcome to free speech in America 2003.

According to his bio at Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes Auth's cartoons, he is on the editorial board at the Philadelphia Inquirer. You can write to them at editor@phillynews.com. Or you can go hiking. or biking. or out to lunch.



RESPONDING TO NPR'S ONGOING BIAS
NPR -

I am writing regarding the language used in a July 21 show about the Middle East. In that show, Craig Windham uses the term militant to describe a Palestinian and terrorist to describe an Israeli settler. This reversal of terminology is absolutely Orwellian. I believe that a responsible media source has two choices in such a situation:
1. Describe Israeli settlers and Palestinians both as militants
2. Describe Israeli settlers as militants and Palestinians as terrorists.

I looked up the definition of terrorism in Webster's dictionary. Here is what it says:
n : the systematic use of violence as a means to intimidate or coerce societies or governments

Clearly, this description better fits the broad Palestinian strategy, tactic, and behavior than a few isolated Israeli settlers. Accordingly, the second choice above makes greater sense for a responsible media source. Instead, in this example from July 21, the least accurate and responsible version possible was taken.

Suffice it to say, NPR's ongoing bias against Israel resulted in me not renewing with KCFR in Denver for $120. I assure you, I am not alone in that sentiment.

Jonathan W. Bein, Ph.D.

"The day is short, the work is long, the workers are tired, the wage is great, and the Master is impatient." - The Ethics of Our Fathers



Monday, August 04, 2003

Eretz Yisrael L'Am Yisrael


AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

Settler Outpost at Beit El, north of Ramallah. Some obstacle to peace, eh?

Lila tov.

Good one by Gil Troy in The Forward

"CARRYING A BIG STICK"
For too long, Israelis have been imprisoned in the "Bontsha Schweig" mentality, as in the Yiddish story "Bontsha the Silent," where all the little Jew demanded after a lifetime of humiliations was a hot buttered roll. For too long, the negotiating dynamic with the Palestinians and the other Arabs has been that Israelis make only one request, for an undefined "peace," even as the other side imposes multiple and mounting demands. The Palestinians have pushed this to another level, providing a new definition for chutzpah: when you start a war, lose a war, then make outlandish and shifting demands rather than suing for peace.

Not only did Sharon, finally, belatedly, take the fight against Palestinian terrorism to Palestinian neighborhoods, George Bush style, but Israel made specific demands: to end incitement, to root out terrorists.

For too long, Palestinians have specialized in selling Israelis pieces of their own "Brooklyn Bridge" again and again — exemplified most recently by the new demand from nowhere, once the cease-fire began, that Israel release prisoners to prop up the new Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, and appease the extremists. Even the "road map" does not mention this issue, although the diplomatic quartet and the media dutifully accepted it once the Palestinians repeated it enough times.
Read it all.

SHARANSKY GIVEN RESPONSIBILITY FOR LEADING THE FIGHT AGAINST ANTISEMITISM
Israel's minister of Diaspora Affairs and Jerusalem, Natan Sharansky, recently convened a global forum on behalf of the State of Israel to address the dangers posed by the "recent explosion of antisemitism across the world." Sharansky writes in the Jerusalem Post:
The extent to which anti-Semitism has returned was on display two years ago in Durban, South Africa. What was billed as an international conference against racism became a veritable carnival of hatred against Jews. Under a false banner of human rights the legitimacy of Israel was subjected to an unprecedented assault. At Durban it became painfully clear that the attempt to deny Jews their legitimate rights as individuals had been replaced by a systematic effort to deny the Jews their legitimate rights as a nation. What had always been a specious distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism was exposed once and for all.

NOW THE State of Israel has decided to take the gloves off. An anti- Semitic disease that has spread like wildfire across the globe demands a global response. I feel privileged, as the minister of diaspora affairs, to have been given responsibility by my government for addressing this pressing issue.

I firmly believe that Israel must play a leading role in the battle against anti-Semitism, but I also know that we cannot win that battle alone. I was extremely pleased by the response from many of the leading forces in the struggle against anti-Semitism to my recent invitation to establish a forum that would begin implementing a coordinated counteroffensive.

Participants from abroad included the heads of organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the World Jewish Congress, and Jewish leaders from the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Russia, Australia and elsewhere, as well as individuals who have devoted much of their time and energy to fighting anti-Semitism. Israeli participants represented an equally impressive array of individuals and organizations who have been at the forefront of this important struggle.

We all understand that if we hope to defend Jews effectively against anti-Semitism we must show that we are more committed to our mission than our enemies are to theirs. . .
The entire essay, at JPost.

Statement from PM Sharon's Bureau ON RELEASE OF PALESTINIAN PRISONERS

via IMRA
Monday, August 04, 2003 9:10 AM
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

[IMRA: It is noteworthy that there is no mention of the consequences of
violating the declaration. Previously there were reports that Israel would
require that any released prisoner who is convicted of engaging in activity
against Israel after their release will serve the remainder of their
sentence in addition to the the sentence for the crime they committed after
their release.]
The Ministerial Committee on Palestinian Prisoner Affairs last night
(Sunday), 3.8.2003, and decided to release Palestinian prisoners that meet
the relevant criteria determined by the government.

The Palestinian prisoners will be asked to sign a commitment that they will refrain from all terrorist activity and/or violence in the future.

The Palestinian prisoners' release will be carried out on Wednesday,
6.8.2003, beginning in the afternoon.

In accordance with the guidelines of Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein,
the list of Palestinian prisoners to be released will be published this morning.
If I were in Israel, I would definitely sleep better at night, knowing these people are signing commitments to refrain from terrorism. Do you think they could get AbuMazen to sign one? Oh right, but he did. What was it called? Some kind of map?
JORDAN REJECTS LAW WHICH GAVE WOMEN THE RIGHT TO FILE FOR DIVORCE
The temporary law has been found to be contradictory to traditions and Islamic teachings, and was thus rejected by the lower house of Jordan's parliament. It will now pass to the Senate. More from the BBC.

You've gotta know the women's rights advocates will jump on this. Or are they too busy protesting the American military presence in Iraq (in "free Palestine" t-shirts)?



from the Anti-World

SYRIA ASSUMES PRESIDENCY OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL
By Melissa Radler at JPost:
Syria assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council yesterday morning for the month of August, marking the second time the terrorist-sponsoring nation has held the prestigious post.

Syria, which was elected in October 2001 by 160 nations out of 177 to a two-year term as a non-permanent member, plans to concentrate its presidency on discussing peace initiatives in Africa, following the situation in Iraq, hearing reports on the International Criminal Court and pressing for the inclusion of Syria and Lebanon in road map negotiations, Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe told reporters yesterday.

Speaking only in Arabic, Wehbe declined to answer questions on Syrian support for the road map or the fate of Israeli MIA's kidnapped by the Syrian-backed terrorist group Hizbullah, saying only, "There cannot be security without peace, and there cannot be peace if it's not comprehensive and just."

During Wehbe's last term as council president, in June 2002, the Damascus-based Islamic Jihad terror group claimed responsibility for killing 17 Israelis in a suicide bombing at the Megiddo junction.

Britain takes over from Syria as president of the 15-member council on September 1.





Reuters is a joke

Either that, or what's happening is simply insane
Both are true. Read this quote from a Reuters article headlined, "Israeli Prisoner List Disappoints Palestinians":
"The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group within Arafat's Fatah movement, took responsibility for the attack (the shooting of a mother and her children in a passing car) near Bethlehem but said that 'it was not aimed at violating the cease-fire.' "

Meanwhile two teenagers have been abducted in separate incidents: Dana Bennett, 18, of Tiberias has been missing since the early hours of Friday morning, and a visiting yeshiva bocher from America, Eliezer Zusia Klockhoft, 19, disappeared on Sunday, while visiting the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai with a group from his yeshiva.

Please pray for their safety and recovery.

It's All About A Shack Between Kiryat Arba and Hebron by David Wilder


The Jewish Community of Hebron
August 4, 2003

Late yesterday afternoon my sixteen year old son approached me and asked
that I show up at the Hebron Heroes neighborhood with my camera at about ten
o'clock in the evening. He told me that another attempt was being made to
reestablish the site, which has been created, destroyed and evacuated three
or four times - I've lost count.

The neighborhood, (labeled an 'outpost' by various political groups) was
originated following the murder of twelve men - nine soldiers and three
Kiryat Arba emergency squad civilians, on November 15 of last year. The day
after the deadly attack Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the location and
immediately declared that a new neighborhood, connecting Kiryat Arba and
Hebron, should be created. Of course, this is the same Ariel Sharon who, a
few years ago, publicly stated that Israeli youth should 'grab hilltops and
settle them.' We know the fate of 'hilltops' settled by Israeli youth during
the Sharon administration. Just as we know the fortune of the new
neighborhood founded between Hebron and Kiryat Arba.

Thank G-d, youth don't give up fast. Persistence is the name of the game.
Time after time, winter and summer, youngsters from Kiryat Arba and Hebron
have tried to reestablish the Hebron Heroes neighborhood. They pitch tents,
build temporary fences, find some old furniture, and build make-shift huts
in an attempt to establish a presence on the empty land between Hebron and
Kiryat Arba. Sometimes near the road, other times closer to the fence
surrounding the Kirya, wherever, never surrendering.

The last time they were evicted was only a few days ago - when, at about
four in the morning I received a beeper message requesting my presence, with
my camera, to record the inevitable. By the time I arrived the males had
already been evicted, but I was in time for the girls, who too, were pulled,
pushed and carried away. Soldiers and police removed Israeli flags hung from
short poles, flags, which more than anything else, signify our attachment to
our land. The furniture, mattresses and other belongs were dumped on the
ground in a pile, and from there, onto an awaiting army truck.









See more pictures at http://www.hebron.com/news/hebheroevic.htm


It took only a short time for the kids to regroup, and last night they did
it again. Small groups walked through the south gate of Kiryat Arba,
carrying small sheets of corrugated metal, lined with wooden planks. Others
carried down the tools, nails, etc. It didn't take much time until the new
dwelling was standing, complete with a flag hanging from the roof.

Of course, the Kiryat Arba-Hebron youth weren't the only ones to mobilize. A
short time later IDF jeeps, officers, soldiers, and police had invaded the
area. One of the officers, a Lt. Colonel name Tzachi, speaking to others
surrounding him, showed his total ignorance of the events unfolding in front
of his eyes. He said, "I despise the use of young children who have no idea
what they are doing." This officer, presently a regiment commander, later
stood about fifty meters from the group and announced through a megaphone
that the area was a 'closed military zone' and that anyone not leaving
within fifteen minutes would be arrested.

At about eleven thirty the action began. Two policemen, backed by a bunch of
soldiers turned cops, marched past the hut, turned left, and found
themselves face-to-face with a group of young men. The police walked up to a
tall sixteen year old and pounced on him, literally jumped him, as if he was
a dangerous criminal. The already familiar free-for-all scuffle started and,
after about fifteen minutes ended, with the boy being dragged off into an
awaiting police car. He, along with three others, were arrested during the
course of the next two and a half hours.

I can testify that it isn't easy watching such scenes, especially when they
turn brutal, as happened last night. One soldier, extremely agitated,
screamed at some of the kids with fire in his eyes, "I told you that I will
grind you up." Fifteen year old Betzalel Lebovitch, whose brother Elazar was
killed by Arab terrorists a year ago on the eve of his 21st birthday, was
standing next to me. He pointed at an officer and asked that I photograph
him because, 'he is beating kids murderously.' As I aimed the camera several
police and soldiers swooped down, grabbed Betzalel, and swiftly pushed him
towards another police car. He too spent the night in jail. Not because he
did anything, rather because he pointed his finger at a brute.









See more pictures at http://www.hebron.com/news/pinuifailed.htm


The security forces tried again and again to reach the hut, but were
unsuccessful. At about 1:00 AM a soldier lunged at a ninth grader named
David, who is small for his age. The soldier, grabbing him in an almost
strangling bear hug, started carrying him towards the police vehicles. A
huge uproar centered around them and others who were trying to clear the
way, leading to the boy losing conscious for a short time. After being
revived, he was given oxygen and released. It was a pretty horrible sight.

A short time later Hebron's military commander, Col. Haggai Mordechai
finally showed up, and seeing the kids with torn shirts and scratched arms
and shoulders, put an end to the madness. As Col. Mordechai sent his
fighting forces away from the scene, a thirteen year old girl from Kiryat
Arba named Liora, stationed herself in front of him, looked him in the eye
and said, "Why do your soldiers act this way? None of us want to hit
soldiers, but why do they hit us?



Why do they grin when talking about how they hit this person or clobbered
someone else? Don't you understand that we are not against the army -
we are here because twelve men were killed here, this is our land, and we
don't agree with the government's policies? If the soldiers would respect us,
nothing would happen. We would just go home. We would come back again,
and again, but there wouldn't be this kind of violence. Why can't they respect
us the way we respect them?"

On Wednesday night, Tisha b'Av eve, sitting on the floor, reading the Book
of Lamentations, I think I'll have a hard time concentrating on the book's
major theme, that being the destruction, thousands of years ago, of the
Temple in Jerusalem. I have a feeling I'll be thinking about that little
hut, and asking myself, if we can't even build a shack, between Kiryat Arba
and Hebron, how will be ever be able to rebuild our Temple - Beit HaMikdash?

With blessings from Hebron,

This is David Wilder


Kol hakavod, David. Without you, how would we know?


Monday Morning in Ramallah



. . . and he's still there. The Rat was born (in Egypt) 74 years ago today.
That "V" is for "Victory" by the way, not peace.



NPR DISCOVERS "TERROR" IN THE WEST BANK!

via Fred Lapides at ISRAPUNDIT

National Public Radio, which routinely calls Hamas suicide bombers “militants” or “activists,” rather than terrorists, has finally found some West Bankers it can comfortably refer to with the “T” word. And no, these terrorists are not from Islamic Jihad, or the Al- Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades, or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or the aforementioned Hamas, or any other similarly blood-soaked Palestinian terror groups. Instead, NPR’s new-found practitioners of “terror” are two Jewish settlers who have been accused of “being part of a terror cell that attempted to carry out attacks against Palestinians.” (NPR, July 21, 2003, report by Peter Kenyon – see the full transcript below.)

Of course, NPR’s Palestinian “militants” and activists” are responsible for the deaths of more than a thousand innocent civilians, while these two Jewish settlers are only charged with attempting to attack Palestinians. But such distinctions are a mere quibble at NPR, where Palestinians, literally by definition , are not terrorists, while Israelis are, at best, guilty until proven innocent.

Indeed, exactly this NPR double standard was at work in the same July 21st broadcast. Reporting yet another Palestinian bombing, newscaster Craig Windham informed listeners that: A Palestinian militant was killed over night in a bomb attack on a military vehicle near the West Bank city of Jenin, according to the Israeli Army.

In fact, the Israeli Army did not refer to a Palestinian militant, it reported that a “terrorist detonated an explosive device [near] an IDF vehicle ... east of Jenin.” But since NPR does not generally consider Palestinian attackers to be terrorists, the network simply changed the Israeli report to suit its own agenda.

The bottom line – when Israel refers to Jews as members of a “terror cell,” NPR is only too happy to use the word, but when at virtually the same time Israel refers to Palestinian terrorists, NPR’s editors immediately spring into action, substituting words like “militant” or “activist,” lest anyone get the wrong idea.

NPR was created to deliver “programming that meets the highest standards of ... journalism,” but when it comes to Israel, the network seems to aim for the lowest standards of journalism, abandoning even the pretense of objectivity. Until that changes, listeners and financial supporters ought to continue abandoning NPR and its local affiliates.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To prevent any of NPR’s predictable evasions, such as that the above quotes were actually paraphrases or were taken out of context, the full transcript of the NPR report is reprinted below (and contrary to NPR’s claim that its Middle East transcripts are available on its website, this is yet another transcript that is omitted from the network’s website):

NPR July 21, 2003

CRAIG WINDHAM: A Palestinian militant was killed over night in a bomb attack on a military vehicle near the West Bank city of Jenin, according to the Israeli Army. Israeli forces also seized an explosive belt near Nablus today. NPR’s Peter Kenyon has more:

KENYON: An Israeli military source said an army patrol came under attack near Jenin shortly before midnight Sunday, when a Palestinian set off a roadside bomb near their vehicle. The army said the Palestinian was killed and the vehicle was damaged but no soldiers were injured. In Nablus soldiers seized and safely detonated a bomb belt containing between 20 and 35 pounds of explosives. Six Palestinians in the area were arrested for questioning.

The incidents came after the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers held their fourth meeting on the latest peace efforts. It produced no new agreements. Meanwhile, an Israeli court revealed that two Jewish settlers now in Israeli custody are suspected of being part of a terror cell that attempted to carry out attacks against Palestinians. Israeli police said they caught members of the group planting a bomb in an East Jerusalem school. Peter Kenyon, NPR news.

THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!

YOU MUST WRITE TO NPR! If you don't, you might as well just climb on in the cattle car. If you can't object to differential (NB: that's differential, not deferential) treatment of Jews on this small scale, chances are you're going to be absolutely useless if things get worse.

Write to Kevin Klose, the CEO of NPR at kklose@npr.org , the Ombudsman ombudsman@npr.org, and corrections@npr.org. "NPR corrects significant errors in broadcast and online reports. Corrections of errors will be made in audio archives, written transcripts and on the Web site." See that they do.

COPY YOUR CORRESPONDENCE, INCLUDING ANY REPLIES YOU MAY RECEIVE, to action@HonestReporting.com.

NPR funding is down and they blame it on the general economy (Bush's fault). Let them know that you're not financially supporting NPR because of their blatant and destructive bias against Israel, and assure them that you're encouraging others to withhold their support for the same reason.

PUBLIC radio? Hardly! Make that National Palestinian Radio.

To the Editors, the Bergen Record
letterstotheeditor@northjersey.com

I found your editorial of July 20, in defense of the upcoming pro-Palestinian conference at Rutgers, appalling indeed. Free speech in this country gives us all the right to say what we think on any street corner. It does not entitle anyone to have their view legitimized by public institutions.

We had a similar situation here in Boulder, Colorado less than a year ago. Hanan Ashrawi, spokesperson for the PLO, was invited to speak at CU-Boulder the week between the first anniversary of 9/11 and Yom Kippur. Rather than listen and respond to the concerns of the local Jewish community, which centered around the timing of the event more than anything, the University and the larger Boulder community went up in arms over the "issues" of free speech and academic freedom. It was a red herring, introduced to divert attention away from the insult being suffered by local Jews. It was an attempt to "win" the argument by changing the subject. And, sadly, it worked.

Following Ashrawi's visit, there was a spate of antisemitic activity in Boulder, including vile graffitti on the walls of a predominantly-Jewish fraternity house, the desecration of Jewish religious observance (sukkah) on campus with swastikas, and heightened activity by antisemitic hate groups such as the National Alliance. In the name of "free speech," Holocaust survivors who live in Boulder have had to witness swastikas in America. This summer has seen "Death to the Jews" chanted in Arabic in front of a Denver synagogue.

Organizer of the Rutgers event, Charlotte Kates, has been quoted as endorsing the "armed struggle" of the Palestinians, that is, the mass murder of innocent civilian Jews. She has publicly called Israel an "apartheid, colonial settler state" and has said that such states do not have a right to exist. This is antisemitism cloaked in anti-Zionism, and it represents a threat to Jewish existence.

Those who call for the destruction of Israel are free to do so, from any street corner or basement. When the state of New Jersey and Rutgers University lend their prestige and their facilities to such a call, they nurture and empower the message, and should be held accountable for doing so.

Everyone knows that no public university in this country would sanction a conference held by a student Ku Klux Klan organization. Such an event would simply not be allowed, "academic freedom" notwithstanding. If there's a different rule for Jews than for others, something's up, and it needs to be addressed. State and university officials need to concede that there is a line, somewhere, that they wouldn't cross. They need to explain why this conference falls outside that line.

Anne Lieberman
Boulder, Colorado

CCMEP in retreat

Pro-Palestinian activists are congregating in a "Colorado Justice and Peace Movement Retreat," August 15-17, at The Ponderosa Lodge, a retreat center near Monarch Pass, about 15 miles west of Salida along U.S. Hwy 50.

The CCMEP has been sending "activists" to Israel to obstruct Israel's defense against terrorists, since 2001.

If readers have any reservations about the nature of this organization, you may want to express opinions to the Ponderosa Lodge, 1-800-435-2119 or retreat@ponderosalodge.com

Israel Transfers ILS1.25 Billion Withheld Funds To Palestinians

from Dow Jones Newswires
JERUSALEM -(Dow Jones)- The Israeli government has transferred to the Palestinian Authority 1.25 billion shekels ($1=ILS4.4520) withheld since the Palestinian uprising began in late 2000, a spokeswoman for the customs authority said Monday.

That sum represents all the money withheld, minus ILS850 million used to pay the authority's outstanding debts to Israeli utilities and hospitals, she said.

The money - taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority under a 1994 peace accord - was transferred over the past seven months.

Dear Mr. Sharon, by Naomi Ragen

Friends,

Yesterday, the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade took responsibility for shooting into an
Israeli car south of Jerusalem, seriously wounding 39 year old Tzila Chayun,
and injuring her three children. This happened hours after the Israeli
government announced its decision to release prisoners, including those of the
Martyrs Brigade, who are under Yasser Arafat's control.

The government says the shooting doesn't change their plans. The terrorist fled
towards Bethlehem, which was turned over to Palestinian control several weeks
ago.

My government does not represent me anymore. My government is collaborating with
terrorists and helping to get us killed, whatever political game they think they
are playing in the long run, that is the result. No, I'm not going to keep my
mouth shut, Mr. Sharon. If there is not a drastic change in government policy,
I am going to do whatever I can to get you and your not useful idiots out of
power before I'm next.

Naomi Ragen


Dear Mr. Sharon:
You can sit down and talk with Arab leaders. But that is not a substitute for fighting terror.

You can build a wall. But that is not a substitute for fighting terror.

You can hold photo opportunities, and sign new peace plans, and shake hands in front of television cameras. But that is not a substitute for fighting terror.

You can appoint new Arab leaders. But that is not a substitute for fighting terror.

You can release Arab prisoners to foster good will. But that is not a substitute for fighting terror.

You can arrest Jewish settlers and destroy Jewish settlements to appease world opinion. But that is not a substitute for fighting terror.

You can hire security guards for all your restaurants and movie theatres, and post offices and supermarkets....But that is not a substitute for fighting terror.

You can visit Washington, and have good talks with Bush. But that is not a substitute for fighting terror.

You can visit Blair, and the European Union and state your case, and show your statistics, and make convincing arguments. But that is not a substitute for fighting terror.

You can arrest suspected Jewish extremists among the settlers to curry favor with your enemies. But that is not a substitute for fighting terror.

You can accept half-measures, temporary cease-fires, hudna's, a lessening of terror attacks as positive measures that save lives in the short run. But that is not a substitute for fighting terror.

There is only one way to stop terrorism. Only one way to bring peace and security to Israel, and to the world. And that is to fight terrorism. Uproot terror organizations. Imprison and kill their members. Cut off terrorist funding. Expose and condemn advocates of terrorist chic in the media:CNN, BBC,ABC,NBC, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, among well-dressed diplomats, in U.N. agencies, in NGO's, among so-called human rights groups like Amnesty, and ISM, in the Vatican, in the State Department, in the Mosques, in Jewish groups like Tikkun, in the Universities, and in the policies of certain church and synagogue groups.

There is no substitute for fighting terror. There is no substitute for fighting terror.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

HUDNA ATTACK: Israeli mother, three children wounded in terrorist shooting




JPost:
Four Israelis, a mother and three children were wounded when shots were fired at their vehicle near Wallajeh, close to the western entrance to the Har Gilo neighborhood on Sunday evening. The attack occurred just hours after the government announced its intention to release 430 Palestinian security prisoners.

The family was traveling on the Wallajeh bypass road that links Gush Etzion to south Jerusalem not far from the Malha Mall and the Technological Gardens. Magen David Adom official Zaki Heller said crews sent to the site treated a 39-year-old woman suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest and her 9-year-old daughter, who suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. The two, whose conditions were described as serious to moderate, were transferred to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem.

Two other children, a 14-year-old girl and her twelve-year-old brother, were treated at the site. The teenager was later transferred to hospital.

The family resides in Har Gilo and according to initial reports the father, who was not wounded in the attack, was driving the vehicle when the shooting occurred.

It is the first shooting attack in the area since Israel handed over to the Palestinian Authority security control of the city of Bethlehem and the surrounding environs. In recent weeks, senior IDF officials noted that since receiving security control of the area, Palestinian security officials have done nothing to combat terror, neither confiscating weapons nor arresting terrorists in the area.



Jewish heartbreak and hope in Nineveh by Carlos C. Huerta


Rabbi Huerta is a Major, United States Army Battalion Chaplain 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery 101st Airborne Division

I am writing to you from Nineveh, the city of the prophet Jonah. Its present name is Mosul. I have had the privilege of seeing its ancient walls, of touching its stones, of going to the grave Islamic tradition says is the prophet Jonah's.

There is a mosque at the site; but hundreds of years ago, the Iraqis we work with tell me, it was a synagogue. They tell me the reason the site is so sacred is because of the sacredness in which the Jews held it. Presently, there are no signs of this ancient synagogue. I am the rabbi of the 101st Airborne Division, the division Steven Spielberg immortalized in his epic Band of Brothers. We, the soldiers of the 101st Airborne, fought our way up from the south, from Kuwait. The battle took us past Ur, the city where Abraham was born. We maintained contact with the enemy, passed the site of the great talmudic academies of Sura and Pumpaditya, to the city of Babylon, where the prophet Daniel was taken. There we engaged the Nebuchadnezzar Iraqi Armored Division and beat them. We continued the battle to Baghdad, where so many Jews lived and were massacred in the summer of 1948. It was the city of so many of our sages, including the Ben Ish Chai. Now we are in Mosul.

I ask about the Jews who lived here, and very few remember them. Many say Jews never lived here; but my heart tells me different. The old ones tell me there was a Jewish quarter, a synagogue, study halls, and a cemetery. One day, while searching the streets of the ancient city, I came across a building missing half of its roof. The site was a garbage dump and the building's interior was three-quarters full of rotting garbage, feces and sewage. I had to crouch down low to get inside as the doorway was almost completely buried. As I entered light came through the half-open roof and I could just make out writing engraved on the walls. It was Hebrew. It was then that I knew I had stumbled into the ancient synagogue of the city of Mosul-Nineveh. My heart broke as I climbed over the garbage piles that filled the room where, for hundreds of years, the prayers of Jews had reached the heavens. I realized I was probably the first Jew to enter this holy place in over 50 years.

Over three-and-a half meters of garbage filled the main sanctuary and what appeared to be the women's section. I could barely make it out because of the filth, but there was Hebrew writing on the walls. Many Iraqis congregated around me, wanting to know what I was doing. My translator said that the American army was interested in old archeological sites of all kinds. I asked them if they knew what this place was, and they all said in an instant: It was the house where the Jews prayed. They told me that the houses in the streets surrounding the synagogue had been filled with Jews. They took me to the children's yeshiva, a marbled edifice that no longer had a roof, only walls and half-rooms. There was a vagrant family living there and when I asked them what this place was, they said it was a Jewish school for children.

As I walked through the quarter I was shown the grave of the prophet Daniel, once a synagogue. I saw that many of the doorposts had an engraving of the lion of Judah on the top. I felt the presence of our people, of their daily lives as merchants, teachers, rabbis, doctors, and tailors. I felt their rush to get ready for Shabbat, felt their presence as they walked to the synagogue on Yom Kippur. I could almost hear singing in the courtyards, in the Sukkot, as they invited in the ushpizin. I could hear the Pessah songs echoing through the narrow streets late into the night. And the children, I could see their shadows as they raced down the alleys and around the corners, playing. I heard their voices learning the aleph beth in the yeshivot as they prepared for their bar and bat mitzvot. But I also heard the babies crying, and I could see the young daughters of Zion clinging to their mother's skirts, asking why the bad people were killing them and making them leave their homes of thousands of years. Tears came to my eyes, but I had to hold them back lest I put myself and the soldier with me in a dangerous situation. I had to pretend that I was only mildly interested in what they were showing me. How does one absorb this kind of experience? How do I convey the feeling of hearing all those voices reaching out in prayer at the synagogue as I stood on top of all that garbage? How do I recover our history, how do I bring honor to a holy place that has been so desecrated?

Since then I have gone back to the Jewish quarter of old Mosul with members of my congregation, Jewish soldiers of the 101st: infantrymen, artillerymen, medics, pilots, lawyers, doctors, all proud to be Jewish and serving their country. Together we have found five more synagogues, more yeshivot and many Jewish homes. They have all come away profoundly affected by what they saw. They are saddened, but yet proud to be connected to such an ancient and rich tradition in this historic city of Nineveh. I searched the ancient city near cemeteries in hope of finding the Jewish cemetery. I found a Christian cemetery and a British War cemetery situated next to each other. The British War cemetery is now used as a soccer field. The cemetery was marked as a war memorial cemetery and the dates were for World War I and World War II. There was a marker in the cemetery written in English and Sanskrit, dedicated to the Hindu and Sikh soldiers of Her Majesty's army who died while serving. Another one, written in English and Arabic, was dedicated to the Muhammadan soldiers in Her Majesty's army who died while serving, and a third marker had nothing on it. These markers were over seven meters high. The third marker could have had a dedication, but if so it had been destroyed or removed. Scattered all through the cemetery were fragments of tombstones, some with a few words of English, some with a cross on them. Outside these three markers there were no standing tombstones anywhere, only broken fragments scattered in corners. The cemetery was surrounded by a 1.5-meter wall and an entrance gate.

About half a meter inside the cemetery, barely showing through the surface, was a fragment my assistant, Specialist William Rodriguez, discovered. By working with me over these last few months he has learned to recognize Hebrew letters. As we dug it out we noticed it had both Hebrew and English on it . I was so excited to see it, yet so sad. There are many possible explanations, but the one I think most plausible is that it was the grave marker of a British soldier, a young man by the name of Zev. The British Army had contacted the local Jewish community to have a stone engraver put Hebrew on the stone along with the English. It was their way of honoring and respecting their fallen comrade.

If this explanation is true then this cemetery contains those of the Hindu, Sikh, Islamic, Christian, and Jewish faiths, all soldiers who died in the service of their country. The obvious question: Is death the only way these great faiths can coexist in peace? We would hope not.

I have not yet discovered the ancient Jewish cemetery of the Jews of Mosul-Nineveh. My instincts tell me it is nearby, but in the last 60 years it has probably been desecrated and obliterated. One native I talked to told me that a major highway had been built through it. I will continue to search as my military mission allows me. I have taken Zev's marker and reburied it in the cemetery. I have said kaddish for him and for all the other Jewish souls that may be buried here. There is a great history to be written here, a great opportunity to recover the lost narrative of our people, the Sephardim of Iraq. My prayer and hope is that when the gates finally open for scholars the remnants of our people will still be here for historians to recover.

I have taken many pictures in case those who have no vision destroy the few remnants that remain. I hope there are yet some Jews from this important and holy community still alive in Israel. If so they will be able to add to the oral history of what will, G-d willing, be discovered here. If this chapter of history is erased, it will never be recovered again. I pray that those with more resources, more connections, and more wisdom than I will be able to add to these pages of our great history. I am only thankful that G-D has given me a small part in it. May the memories of our brothers and sisters - hakahal hakadosh d'Nineveh - the holy community of Nineveh - never be forgotten.

Amen.

DEBKAfile on imminent prisoner release:
Israeli ministerial committee prepares to approve list of 450 Palestinian prisoners whose release endorsed by Shin Beit security service, including for first time detainees before trial. Names will be posted on Prison Services website 48 hours before the Palestinians are freed to enable petitioners to appeal decision.

Palestinan Child Abuse



Palestinian mourners carry the Hamas flag-draped body of Ahmed Hindi, 14, who was killed when an explosive device went off in his hands late Saturday, during his funeral procession in Deir e-Balah refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip Sunday Aug. 3, 2003. Four other teenagers were wounded in the same incident. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)