Saturday, September 06, 2003
"I searched the rescue scene, hoping I would not recognize anyone I knew"
Israel's agony hits home - Star-Ledger (NJ)
BY MAIDA AVERBACH
Every time we heard a news bulletin about a new terrorist bombing in Israel, we were glued to the TV, hoping against hope that our 37-year-old son, Steve, and his family were safe.
We watched the news in a continuing ritual, searching pictures of one disaster after another and hoping our loved ones were not there. We are in a perpetual state of anxiety over this vital, handsome and brave son, who has lived in Israel, his chosen homeland, since he was a teenager. He has managed to live there happily despite the many hardships that he and his countrymen have experienced.
We had arrived home on May 17 from a dinner at which my husband, David, a surgeon, had received an award from his hospital colleagues. As usual, we put on Fox News. There it was! Another bus bombing in Jerusalem, where it was already May 18. The No. 6 bus was hit by a terrorist, dressed as an Orthodox Jew, wearing a bomb belt, which he detonated to kill himself and take with him as many innocent victims as he could.
I searched the rescue scene, hoping I would not recognize anyone I knew. A wave of nausea passed over me as I thought I caught a glimpse of Steve's arm on a stretcher. Just a mother's fear, I thought; it couldn't be. But another sleepless night lay ahead as I wondered if this time I was not imagining something horrible.
The phone call came at 6 a.m. Steve's wife, Julie, was speaking very calmly and slowly. "There has been a bombing on the bus that Steve was on," she said. "He is alive but hurt. Here is Barbara, the social worker, who will explain."
My husband and I were both wide awake by then, stunned, anxious and in tears. Barbara Hanoch gave us the details.
Steve's spinal cord was injured. He was stable and had had surgery to remove a ball bearing that entered his neck. He was conscious but on a ventilator.
Barbara told us they had arranged for us to stay in the "melonite" at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerrem. Someone from the "Bituach Leumi" would contact us. She relayed all the information professionally and compassionately.
Our life was forever changed. The terrible injury affected not only Steve but his entire family, including his four sons, who most likely will never be able to sit on their dad's shoulders, play Frisbee on Shabbat or run bases with him ever again.
We arrived at 10 a.m. the next day, and as I sat by his bedside watching his body fight to obtain oxygen, my mind traveled in many directions.
I cannot understand the mentality of a culture in which parents raise a child to want to die in such a fashion -- bombs strapped to his waist. The bomber was a 19-year-old Palestinian engineering student whose parents, although mourning his loss, were "proud" of what their son had done. How much good might this young man have done for his people in a long lifetime.
I cannot fathom the mentality of a culture that teaches its young to hate with such a passion that instead of wanting to grow up to serve others in a productive way, they kill innocent people while dying themselves, in the belief that they will attain a place in heaven with wonderful rewards.
I am appalled at the vast sums of money in the hands of Palestinian leaders earmarked for training and arming these bombers rather than for schools that teach tolerance and love as well as academics, for playgrounds, sports arenas, theaters, museums, universities and for industries where their people could be employed.
Having been raised during the Holocaust and during times of virulent anti-Semitism, I can understand how frustrated a people can get trying to establish their own identity and culture. But never have we witnessed Jews resorting to this outrageous behavior as a people. We have been taught tolerance, compassion, pride, hard work and the desire to serve all people as well as our own. We cannot see any justification for this brutal and barbaric behavior.
During Steve's hospital stay, I saw a dedicated staff caring for Arab and Jew alike with compassion. I saw Palestinians being trained as physicians. My husband was invited into the operating room to observe an Arab resident assist and learn new skills.
For weeks, Steve could not speak, had a feeding tube in his stomach, splints for his legs and hands, an access tube in his jugular vein for fluid and medicine and a catheter in his bladder. This is how his four young sons saw him after being prepared by psychologists to know what to expect.
Steve spent five weeks in the intensive care unit and then was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital near Tel Aviv. He must depend on others to feed him, bathe and shave him, scratch an annoying itch on his face, help blow his nose, massage his painful neck and take care of his bodily functions, over which he has no control.
Although he undergoes therapy, we are aware that this strong and charismatic soldier of life suffers from muscle wasting. His arms have become thin and his chest narrow. How do we tell him that he may have to "settle" for breathing on his own and being fed for the rest of his life? Watching him cry like a baby at a particularly trying moment tears my heart out.
As time went on, a clearer picture emerged from witnesses of the bus bombing. It seems Israel is now realizing that Steve is probably a hero. Commuter buses drive in tandem throughout Israel. On the fateful morning, Steve sat at the end of the first bus. When the terrorist boarded and proceeded to the end of the bus, Steve was immediately suspicious. He rose and drew his gun, causing the bomber to detonate his belt of murder earlier than planned. We are told that this killer wanted to wait for two more stops when the bus would have been packed with commuters. Steve's action probably saved many lives.
We were told this by many people and of course we are proud though heartbroken.
On our last visit to Israel, Steve was finally out of immediate danger of death, but he remains paralyzed from the shoulders down.
At that time, so many people were excited about the prospects for peace in the Middle East. Palestinian leaders were negotiating with known murderers in their midst to stay their carnage for three months. Would we be so excited about President Bush negotiating with Osama bin Laden?
I feared that the three months would allow Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups -- these maimers of the innocent -- to regroup and strengthen themselves whereupon Israel will be back to square one in its fight for survival.
We learned that "hudna," the term being used to signify the three-month truce, is an Arabic expression dating back to the Middle Ages meaning "a time for regrouping" and traditionally lasted 90 days. Draw your own conclusion.
Despite the supposed truce, on Tuesday a bus bomber struck again. This time 20 were killed, including at least six children, ranging in age from 3 months to 15 years. Scores more were injured. For their families, the pain of terrorism is fresh. For those maimed by the bomb, the hope for recovery remains strong.
A month ago on my 65th birthday, I received the best gift. I was trying to get some office work done, when I answered a phone call from Israel. It was Steve. "Happy birthday, Mom," he said. He had progressed to the point where he was able to breathe for several hours on his own. He spoke without hesitation and did not sound as if he was having any problem breathing.
Gifts like this are rare and priceless. They remind us that nothing should ever be taken for granted. Not even the most minute things in life like speaking. They also remind us that there are indeed miracles happening every day.
Reuters is ridiculousA Reuters article headlined, "Palestinian PM Quits, Israel Wounds Hamas Founder," has this for the lead sentence:
"Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas resigned on Saturday
after an exhausting power struggle with President Yasser Arafat . . . "
I got so exhausted myself that I didn't get much further than that first sentence. You can read it all at Yahoo News.
A pox on the Swedish Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh"Of course Arafat´s unwillingness to give Abu Mazen increased power was decisive, but Abu Mazen´s position would have been much stronger if Israel had also contributed to the peace process," Lindh told Swedish radio at an EU foreign ministers meeting in the Italian Alps.
Maybe she had had too much to drink; see Italian wine story below.
From the Anti-World, and since 1997, no less
Germany protests: Italian winery labels bottles with portraits of Hitlerfrom news4colorado.com
Germany has complained to Italy about a winery that labels its bottles with portraits of Adolf Hitler, the Justice Ministry said Friday. Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries recently wrote to her Italian counterpart to say the labels are "contemptible and tasteless'' and asked him to see what could be done to stop their production, spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said.
The so-called "Fuehrerwein'' bottles, part of vintner Alessandro Lunardelli's "historic line,'' features 14 different labels portraying Hitler with slogans like "Sieg Heil'' and other Nazis.
Photos of more of the labels can be seen at the winery's website.
Shavua tov - There's been a shiftHeadlines from Debka:
Hamas orders its Izz a-din Al Qassam terrorist brigades to strike Israeli targets anywhere and everywhere without delay. Israeli police beef up security nationwide.
Israel assassination attempt misses Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin when helicopters strike building in Gaza City where top Hamas strategists including Yassin were planning fresh wave of terrorist attacks Saturday. Palestinian sources report Yassin taken to hospital with light-medium injuries, Marwan Abu Ras seriously hurt, Ismail Haniya escaped injury.
Arafat accepts resignation of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)as Palestinian prime minister Saturday. Jerusalem government sources say Israel will not accept Arafat's domination of Palestinian government. DEBKAfile: That domination is now a fact. Sharon may have to postpone his long-planned India visit Monday over fresh crisis.
Friday, September 05, 2003
Abu Mazen Says: He Will Not Use Force Against Terrorists
Ha'aretz: Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas told Palestinian lawmakers Thursday he prefers dialogue with opposition groups rather than pursuing a policy of "policing" them. Abbas told the Palestinian Legislative Council he would continue talks with militants rather than launching a campaign to disarm and dismantle their groups, as set out in the road map to Middle East peace. "This government does not deal with the opposition groups with the policing mentality, but the mentality of dialogue," he said.
AP /Jerusalem Post: Abbas stopped short of seeking a vote of confidence after summing up his first 100 days in office. Though Abbas has little support among Palestinians, there appears to be a widespread understanding that his ouster could deal a heavy blow to efforts toward statehood. Several Palestinian legislators have said U.S. diplomats told them Washington might lower its profile as a Mideast mediator if Abbas is toppled.
Colin Powell: "The roadmap is sound. We stand by it."
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Palestinian HAMAS protestors march through the Jabaliya refugee camp carrying a model depicting an Israeli passenger bus bearing the words, in Arabic,
during a rally, Friday, Sept. 5, 2003. Hebrew writing labels the bus from the Israeli national bus company, and also states
"HAMAS anger will burn the Zionist heart"
"The people of Israel had better not ride on buses."
Israeli commando killed in clash with armed Palestinians in Nablus
Sgt. Maj. Ra'anan Komemi, a member of the Israel Defense Forces' elite Naval Commando unit, was killed before dawn Friday in a gunbattle with armed Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus. Four other soldiers were wounded in the incident, one of them seriously.
A senior Hamas bomb-maker, Mohammed Hanbali, who orchestrated several fatal suicide bombings and was responsible for dozens of Israeli deaths, was also killed in the gunbattle.
The army later blew up the seven-story building where the incident took place, and some 100 Palestinians had lived.
Komemi, 23, from Moshav Aminadav near Jerusalem, was laid to rest at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem later Friday. Komemi is the fifth soldier from the Naval Commandos to be killed in action since the end of the IDF's Defensive Shield. Six years ago Friday, 13 soldiers from the same unit were killed in an operation in Lebanon.
Troops from the elite Shayetet 13 unit exchanged fire with Palestinian militants they had come to arrest in a raid in the city in the early hours of Friday morning, killing one and arresting three, witnesses said.
Hanbali, a Hamas commander in the West Bank responsible for dozens of terror attacks and topped Israel's wanted list for that region, was killed in the raid.
The troops fired four rockets at the apartment building where the gunmen - defying a call over loudspeakers to surrender - were holed up, damaging two floors of the structure after residents were ordered to leave.
Then the army sent dogs to search the building area, after which troops entered and the Palestinian gunmen fired at them, Israel Radio quoted Brigadier General Gadi Eizenkot, who commands the West Bank Division, as saying.Komemi was killed in the shooting and four others were wounded, after which troops returned fire, killed a gunman, and destroyed the building, Eizenkot said.
Several loud blasts were heard during the two-hour firefight. The IDF said the wanted men threw grenades. It was not immediately clear whom the soldiers were chasing.
Witnesses said soldiers removed the body of a Palestinian man from the building. Four residents took the man's body and laid him nearby, the witnesses said. Three Palestinians were arrested after the gun battle, residents said.
IDF blows up Nablus apartment building
The building was blown up more than six hours after the gunbattle had ended because the military believed some militants might have remained hiding on top floors, said Maj. Sharon Feingold, an army spokeswoman. Feingold didn't know if additional fire had been directed at Israeli troops after the gunbattle ended.
Israeli troops had ordered about 100 residents to evacuate the structure, which housed 15 apartments, before the start of the raid. As it exploded, the building disappeared behind large brown clouds of dust and debris that covered the neighborhood.
Three Palestinians were arrested after the gunbattle, the army said.
The family of the dead Hamas leader, Hanbali, said the young man was studying for a master's degree in industrial engineering at Nablus' An Najah University. He was a Hamas leader and his father is a well-known Islamic leader in the city.
Residents of the destroyed apartment building, some of them weeping, tried to salvage whatever they could from the rubble. Eleven families lived there.
"My family is in the street," said 8-year-old Baker Sobeh, searching for some school books in the debris. Soldiers arrested his father. His mother and siblings stood in the street in their pajamas. "I thought it would be just for a few minutes or a short while," said his mother, Mona, explaining why residents left the building with no belongings when soldiers ordered them out.
Hours after the building was destroyed, a woman in her 70s, Fatima Herzellah, couldn't bring herself to go. "I just want to be close to my place," she said through tears. Someone brought her a plastic chair to sit there beside the ruins of the building where she shared an apartment with her son and his family.
An adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Dore Gold, acknowledged that the destruction of the apartment building would bring hardships to the families that lived there. "Nonetheless, the war we are facing now has been imposed on us," Gold said. "Israel is not seeking to be in Nablus, but is only there because the area is a constant source of terror attacks on Israeli civilians."
With friends like this, who needs Palestinian terrorists?
Labor Party Knesset Member declares: Zionist movement is deadAvraham Burg was speaker of Israel's Knesset from 1999 to 2003 and is a former chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel. He is currently a Labor Party Knesset member. This essay is adapted by the author from an article that appeared in Yediot Aharonot, and translated by J. J. Goldberg.
WARNING: It is vile.
A Failed Israeli Society Collapses While Its Leaders Remain SilentAfter Shabbos, I may try to write to Burg, to suggest that Transfer is the Answer: he should transfer to Boulder to be with like-minded Jews, and I can take his place in Israel, of which I have a more positive opinion. More motzei Shabbos.
by Avraham Burg
The Zionist revolution has always rested on two pillars: a just path and an ethical leadership. Neither of these is operative any longer. The Israeli nation today rests on a scaffolding of corruption, and on foundations of oppression and injustice. As such, the end of the Zionist enterprise is already on our doorstep. There is a real chance that ours will be the last Zionist generation. There may yet be a Jewish state here, but it will be a different sort, strange and ugly.
There is time to change course, but not much. What is needed is a new vision of a just society and the political will to implement it. Nor is this merely an internal Israeli affair. Diaspora Jews for whom Israel is a central pillar of their identity must pay heed and speak out. If the pillar collapses, the upper floors will come crashing down.
The opposition does not exist, and the coalition, with Arik Sharon at its head, claims the right to remain silent. In a nation of chatterboxes, everyone has suddenly fallen dumb, because there's nothing left to say. We live in a thunderously failed reality. Yes, we have revived the Hebrew language, created a marvelous theater and a strong national currency. Our Jewish minds are as sharp as ever. We are traded on the Nasdaq. But is this why we created a state? The Jewish people did not survive for two millennia in order to pioneer new weaponry, computer security programs or anti-missile missiles. We were supposed to be a light unto the nations. In this we have failed.
It turns out that the 2,000-year struggle for Jewish survival comes down to a state of settlements, run by an amoral clique of corrupt lawbreakers who are deaf both to their citizens and to their enemies. A state lacking justice cannot survive. More and more Israelis are coming to understand this as they ask their children where they expect to live in 25 years. Children who are honest admit, to their parents' shock, that they do not know. The countdown to the end of Israeli society has begun.
It is very comfortable to be a Zionist in West Bank settlements such as Beit El and Ofra. The biblical landscape is charming. From the window you can gaze through the geraniums and bougainvilleas and not see the occupation. Traveling on the fast highway ©£hat takes you from Ramot on Jerusalem's northern edge to Gilo on the southern edge, a 12-minute trip that skirts barely a half-mile west of the Palestinian roadblocks, it's hard to comprehend the humiliating experience of the despised Arab who must creep for hours along the pocked, blockaded roads assigned to him. One road for the occupier, one road for the occupied.
This cannot work. Even if the Arabs lower their heads and swallow their shame and anger forever, it won't work. A structure built on human callousness will inevitably collapse in on itself. Note this moment well: Zionism's superstructure is already collapsing like a cheap Jerusalem wedding hall. Only madmen continue dancing on the top floor while the pillars below are collapsing.
We have grown accustomed to ignoring the suffering of the women at the roadblocks. No wonder we don't hear the cries of the abused woman living next door or the single mother struggling to support her children in dignity. We don't even bother to count the women murdered by their husbands.
Israel, having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, should not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centers of Israeli escapism. They consign themselves to Allah in our places of recreation, because their own lives are torture. They spill their own blood in our restaurants in order to ruin our appetites, because they have children and parents at home who are hungry and humiliated.
We could kill a thousand ringleaders and engineers a day and nothing will be solved, because the leaders come up from below - from the wells of hatred and anger, from the "infrastructures" of injustice and moral corruption.
If all this were inevitable, divinely ordained and immutable, I would be silent. But things could be different, and so crying out is a moral imperative.
Here is what the prime minister should say to the people:
The time for illusions is over. The time for decisions has arrived. We love the entire land of our forefathers and in some other time we would have wanted to live here alone. But that will not happen. The Arabs, too, have dreams and needs.
Between the Jordan and the Mediterranean there is no longer a clear Jewish majority. And so, fellow citizens, it is not possible to keep the whole thing without paying a price. We cannot keep a Palestinian majority under an Israeli boot and at the same time think ourselves the only democracy in the Middle East. There cannot be democracy without equal rights for all who live here, Arab as well as Jew. We cannot keep the territories and preserve a Jewish majority in the world's only Jewish state - not by means that are humane and moral and Jewish.
Do you want the greater Land of Israel? No problem. Abandon democracy. Let's institute an efficient system of racial separation here, with prison camps and detention villages. Qalqilya Ghetto and Gulag Jenin.
Do you want a Jewish majority? No problem. Either put the Arabs on railway cars, buses, camels and donkeys and expel them en masse - or separate ourselves from them absolutely, without tricks and gimmicks. There is no middle path. We must remove all the settlements - all of them - and draw an internationally recognized border between the Jewish national home and the Palestinian national home. The Jewish Law of Return will apply only within our national home, and their right of return will apply only within the borders of the Palestinian state.
Do you want democracy? No problem. Either abandon the greater Land of Israel, to the last settlement and outpost, or give full citizenship and voting rights to everyone, including Arabs. The result, of course, will be that those who did not want a Palestinian state alongside us will have one in our midst, via the ballot box.
That's what the prime minister should say to the people. He should present the choices forthrightly: Jewish racialism or democracy. Settlements or hope for both peoples. False visions of barbed wire, roadblocks and suicide bombers, or a recognized international border between two states and a shared capital in Jerusalem.
But there is no prime minister in Jerusalem. The disease eating away at the body of Zionism has already attacked the head. David Ben-Gurion sometimes erred, but he remained straight as an arrow. When Menachem Begin was wrong, nobody impugned his motives. No longer. Polls published last weekend showed that a majority of Israelis do not believe in the personal integrity of the prime minister - yet they trust his political leadership. In other words, Israel's current prime minister personally embodies both halves of the curse: suspect personal morals and open disregard for the law - combined with the brutality of occupation and the trampling of any chance for peace. This is our nation, these its leaders. The inescapable conclusion is that the Zionist revolution is dead.
Why, then, is the opposition so quiet? Perhaps because it's summer, or because they are tired, or because some would like to join the government at any price, even the price of participating in the sickness. But while they dither, the forces of good lose hope.
This is the time for clear alternatives. Anyone who declines to present a clear-cut position - black or white - is in effect collaborating in the decline. It is not a matter of Labor versus Likud or right versus left, but of right versus wrong, acceptable versus unacceptable. The law-abiding versus the lawbreakers. What's needed is not a political replacement for the Sharon government but a vision of hope, an alternative to the destruction of Zionism and its values by the deaf, dumb and callous.
Israel's friends abroad - Jewish and non-Jewish alike, presidents and prime ministers, rabbis and lay people - should choose as well. They must reach out and help Israel to navigate the road map toward our national destiny as a light unto the nations and a society of peace, justice and equality.
(gasp!) Mini Atlas of the World states that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel
Pro-Palestinian activists seek retractionPage 136 of Harper Collins' Mini Atlas of the World states that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The pro-Palestinian news group called "Al Awda right of return" is callling on its members to write to Harper Collins to dispute that statement. No doubt Harper Collins will hear plenty.
If you recognize a need to "balance" this action, you can write or call
Harper Collins Publishers
77-85 Fulham Palace Road
Telephone: 0870 787 1724
Fax: 0141 306 3767
Thursday, September 04, 2003
Anarchy in the Terror-tories
(AP Photo/Muhammed Nasser) Masked pro-Arafat activists try to break the main door of the Palestinian parliament building demonstrating against Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas prior to his speech in the West Bank town of Ramallah, Thursday Sept. 4, 2003.
In a speech marking his first 100 days in office , Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas told parliament Thursday it must either support him or send him home. (AP Photo/Muhammed Nasser)
Sgt. Gavriel Uziel was killed this morning by Arab gunfire
He and other soldiers were arresting an Islamic Jihad terrorist in Jenin. He was 20 years old.
May his family and friends be comforted . . .
Arutz Sheva points out that Sgt. Uziel, of Givat Ze'ev just north of Jerusalem, is the 62nd victim of Palestinian terrorism and violence since the Israeli government accepted - with reservations - the American-sponsored Road Map plan three months ago.
The Oslo War, which began almost three years ago, has claimed 842 Israeli victims in total.
Arafat's FATAH organization claimed responsibility for the killing.
Reuters: "U.S. blames Palestinians for Peace Deadlock"
I saw "U.S. blames" and thought for sure the next word would be Israel, but lo and behold . . .
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday blamed the Palestinians for the deadlock in Middle East diplomacy and said there was no alternative to the peace plan known as the road map.You can read the rest of this Reuters article at the Boston NPR website. The transcript of the daily briefing is not yet available at the State Department website. It will be interesting to see if there was more said by Boucher.
"I don't want to sugarcoat this," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told a daily briefing.
"The main problem now is terrorism and violence and the Palestinian Authority needs to take hold of that problem if we are to move forward," he added.
Boucher said the United States was closely watching events in the Palestinian legislature, where Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas asked for new security powers on Thursday.
Abbas, the Palestinian politician favored by Washington as against popularly elected President Yasser Arafat, also criticized Israel and the United States, saying they had not done enough to make progress possible on the peace plan.
I like that bit about not sugarcoating this. Hey, let's not.
Do you get the Sky Angel Network?
RELENTLESS is airing on the Sky Angel Network, September 6th 8pm-9pm ET on Angel Two #9702.
For more information on the airing please visit www.skyangel.com.
Islamist doctrine: heavenly rewards await all who die for Allah
via Cal Thomas: "The war that never ends"Two days prior to the August suicide bombings at a grocery store in Rosh Haayin near Tel Aviv, and at a bus stop in the West Bank, killing two Israelis, official Palestinian TV broadcast a music video that reinforced the doctrine that heavenly rewards await all who die for Allah.
The video begins with scenes depicting a romance cut short when Israeli soldiers shoot the woman in the back. She immediately goes to heaven, where she joins other young women dressed in identical long white gowns --- the "Maidens of Paradise." The maidens are dancing in water, a clear depiction of the afterlife in Islamic tradition. Later in the video, the man attempts to visit the woman's grave and soldiers also shoot him in the back. He is transported to heaven where he is reunited with the woman.
Watch the video.
"We promise to be the shield of the Jewish people"
Israeli Air Force flies over Auschwitz today
Three IAF F15 fighter planes, piloted by offspring of Holocaust survivors, will launch a salutary flyover the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp this afternoon at 1PM, to honor the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
The planes will lift off from the Polish airbase Radom.
During the flyover the head of the Israeli air force team Brig.Gen. Amir Eshel will announce over the pilots' communication system that will be broadcasted simultaneously on the ground, "we air force pilots flying in the sky above the camp of horror, created from the ashes of six million victims, carry their silent cries, salute their bravery and promise to be the shield of the Jewish people in Israel " -- JPost.
Wednesday, September 03, 2003
Abu Mazen could be toppled. Does it matter?Yahoo News/Associated Press:
Postponing a showdown, the Palestinian parliament speaker temporarily blocked a confidence vote Wednesday that was sought by Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in his power struggle with Yasser Arafat.
If a vote is held in the coming days, the U.S.-backed Abbas could be toppled, dealing a heavy blow to efforts to end three years of violence and move toward Palestinian statehood. The prime minister has minimal support among Palestinians, many of whom say they distrust him because he has Israel's backing.
Abbas is to address parliament Thursday to sum up his first 100 days in office, a period marked by somewhat reduced violence but also disappointment over a lack of movement in implementing the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan.
Abbas' report will be debated, but legislators said a confidence vote is not expected for at least another week. In the meantime, parliament will try to help end the wrangling between Arafat and Abbas over their authority, particularly control of the security forces.
Israel has warned of dire consequences should Abbas be ousted, saying it won't do business with a government hand-picked by Arafat. Several Palestinian legislators said they were told by local U.S. diplomats that with Abbas gone, Washington might lower its profile as Mideast mediator.
Egyptian Ministry of Culture Publication: The Prophet Muhammad's 'Night Journey' was Not to Jerusalem but to Medina
Ahmad Muhammad 'Arafa, a columnist for the Egyptian weekly Al-Qahira, which is published by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, wrote an article rejecting the established Islamic doctrine that the Prophet Muhammad's celebrated "Night Journey" (Koran 17:1) took him from Mecca to Jerusalem. 'Arafa, presenting a new analysis of the Koranic text, asserts that the Night Journey in Surat Al-Isra' (that is, "the Sura of the Night Journey") in the Koran does not refer to a miraculous journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, but to the Prophet's emigration (Hijra) from Mecca to Medina.Read full translation of the article, titled "Was the Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey to Palestine or Medina?" which was published on August 5, 2003, at MEMRI's Special Dispatch Series.
It should be noted that the belief that Muhammad's Night Journey (Koran 17:1) was a miraculous journey to Jerusalem is one of the most important foundations of the sanctity of Jerusalem in Islam. There is an extensive body of Islamic traditions related to this belief, and these are explicitly or implicitly rejected by the author. This article constitutes a dramatic departure from a standard Islamic doctrine. The fact that this article was published in a government journal adds to its political significance.
University of Colorado
CONFERENCE ON WORLD AFFAIRS. Again.
Usually quite the forum for Israel-bashing and other antisemitic displaysFrom The Middle East Education Project:
The first general meeting of the University of Colorado Conference on World Affairs (CWA) will be held on Wednesday, September 3, in UMC Room 415, from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm. This marks the beginning of the planning process for the 2004 conference.Sorry to be late posting this. Please don't let missing the first meeting discourage you from attending the next. They're looking for "A LARGE TURNOUT AND HIGH LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION FROM THE BOULDER JEWISH COMMUNITY . . . " Come out, come out, wherever you are!
At that time, subcommittees will be formed that represent distinct subject matter areas. These subcommittees will, over the months leading up to the conference, work to select and invite panelists qualified to discuss these area of interest; the international affairs subcommittee is one such example.
Participating in the conference through subcommittee membership is an excellent way to support change and influence the direction of this year's conference. The ability to participate in the selection of speakers and moderators and to clearly define their roles should help prevent the inflammatory statements and emotionally charged bias on the subject of the Middle East that has emerged in the past.
A large turnout and high levels of participation from the Boulder Jewish community will help ensure that the treatment of the Middle East at the CWA will be fair and balanced. High attendance and the opportunity to participate in many panels will help us to achieve our goals as well as assist the conference by providing useful input from an important constituency.
Please contact The Middle East Education Project
if you are planning to attend.
of Boulder-area interest
Picnic at 1:00 pm
AAT - Americans Against Terrorism
invites you to a
Picnic & Emergency Rally
Sunday, Sept. 7th
invites you to a
Picnic & Emergency Rally
Sunday, Sept. 7th
Rally To Disarm the Terrorists at 2:30 pm
Monaco at E. Princeton
Featured speaker: Walid Shoebat -- Former Palestinian terrorist!
Food (all kosher) : $10 with advance reservation; $12 day of picnic; $30 maximum per family
To make a picnic reservation, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Allied Jewish Federation
Faith Bible Chapel
Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council
Resurrection Anglican Fellowship
Walid Shoebat, former Palestinian terrorist, will also be speaking
Saturday Evening, September 6, 8:00 pm
Resurrection Anglican Fellowship
The Chamber Center/Cherry Knolls Shopping Center
6840 S University Blvd
Daniel Pipes in the New York Post
Who supports Israel?
September 3, 2003 -- 'I HAVE developed a habit," writes Richard Ingrams, a columnist for The Guardian, a far-left British newspaper, "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."
This shameful passage raised a small storm in Britiain over anti-Semitism. But what about Ingrams' assumption that Jews uniformly support the Sharon government?
At first glance, this might seem accurate. Israeli Jews voted Ariel Sharon into power and the leading diaspora Jewish organizations generally take their cues from Jerusalem. But a closer look reveals the assumption to be nonsense, as Jews are among Sharon's (and Israel's) most vocal critics.
The academic campaign to delegitimize Israel presents a striking example of this, for Jewish faculty have lead the effort. Noam Chomsky started and other Jews picked up the pressure on U.S. university administrators to withdraw investments from Israel. In Britain, Steven and Hilary Rose initiated an academic boycott against Israel; John Docker had a similar role in Australia. Among Middle East specialists, Joel Beinin, Ian Lustick and Avi Shlaim lead the anti-Sharon charge.
Authors such as Norman Finkelstein, Thomas Friedman, Michael Lerner, Arthur Miller and Susan Sontag are outspoken critics. Lawyer Stanley Cohen specializes in representing the enemies of Israel. British MP Oona King states that "in escaping the ashes of the Holocaust, [Israelis] have incarcerated another people in a hell similar in its nature - although not its extent - to the Warsaw ghetto." The president of the World Jewish Congress, Edgar Bronfman, clashes publicly with the Sharon government. One compilation lists 65 predominantly Jewish or Israeli anti-Sharon groups.
In short, Jews - especially Jewish intellectuals - do not uniformly support Sharon.
There is, however, another group that does predictably support Israel: conservatives. No less predictably, the Left opposes Israel. While there are plenty of exceptions, this pattern has wide validity. Some examples:
* A conservative like U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay speaks of the "common destiny of the United States and Israel" and the "heartfelt friendship between the citizens of two democracies at war, bound by the solidarity of freedom." In contrast, a far-leftist like the writer Kirkpatrick Sale considers the idea of a Jewish state "a mistake" and says the time has come "to ask whether the 50-year-old experiment known as the state of Israel has proven to be a failure and should be abandoned."
* Britain's Labor prime minister, Tony Blair, hosted a conference in early 2003 on the Arab-Israeli conflict and did not bother to invite Israelis; he also ostentatiously snubbed Israel's foreign minister. In reply, Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith criticized Blair for "fiddling with pointless conferences while suicide bombers are malignantly burning their way through Israel" and he berated Blair for "giving support" to Yasser Arafat while refusing to see the Israeli foreign minister.
* It was primarily conservatives in the European Parliament who pushed for a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the possible misuse of the European Union's monthly 10 million euro stipend to the Palestinian Authority for support of terrorism.
Ethnicity and religion certainly play a role in shaping attitudes but ideas matter more. One telling symbol of this was in 1998, when The Nation magazine called on a leftist Jew (Andrew N. Rubin) to savage a book by a conservative Muslim (Fouad Ajami) for being too friendly to Israel.
In many other countries, notes Charlotte West, Israel also finds its most solid support among conservatives; Australia, Canada, France, Italy come to mind.
This is new. Twenty years ago, liberal or conservative outlooks had little bearing on one's views of Israel or other Middle East issues. During the Cold War, Middle Eastern problems stood largely outside the great debate of that era - policy toward the Soviet Union - so views of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq, militant Islam and other topics were formed in isolation from larger principles.
Today, all that has changed. The Middle East has replaced the Soviet Union as the touchstone of politics and ideology. With increasing clarity, conservatives stand on one side of its issues and liberals on the other.
Daniel Pipes (www.DanielPipes.org) is director of the Middle East Forum.
Kol hakavod to Jonathan Goler at MIT
Student told to remove Israeli flag from dorm window -- fellow student finds it offensive and inflammatoryI happened onto this story by accident, so it's a bit dated -- August 17, 2003. As of that date, a fellow student had complained to the administration, the schoool had instructed him to remove the flag, but the owner, Jonathan Goler, had refused to do so.
Arjun Mendiratta G, a member of the Social Justice Cooperative, said the group saw this as “not so much a free speech issue, [but] more of a community issue.”Read the whole story in the MIT Tech.
“If people in the community feel it’s offensive,” MIT should do something about it, he said.
“MIT has a responsibility to ensure a comfortable living and working environment for all students,” Mendiratta said.
“Looking at this as a free speech issue ignores some of the real points that are there,” he said.
Sriram, the Sidney-Pacific president, said the ban on publicity materials inside the building was out of respect for fellow residents. He said the prohibition on objects and postings on the exterior of the building was for respect for the neighbors, since the building “interfaces with Cambridgeport.”
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Well, I'll be damned. I got a response from the BBCMost of the time, when I complain to these large media corporations, I feel like I'm ranting into thin air. It feels a lot like yelling into the phone after someone's already hung up on you. A year and a half ago or so, when I started pointing out bias to the media, people would actually answer me, but I don't think I've received a single response in the last several months. Until today.
Here's what I wrote about the BBC line, "Foreign activists of the International Solidarity Movement were among those detained on Tuesday" --
"Foreign activists"?? Make that ''pro-Palestinian, pro-terrorism activists,'' and you'd be on your way to accuracy and truth.The response I received from the BBC also addressed my complaint about how they chose to headline the news that Israel had released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners: "Palestinian prisoners head home." I think it's obvious that they refused to give Israel any credit for this bending-over-backwards "goodwill gesture" by simply not mentioning it in the headline!
Why do you withhold information about the fundamental positions of the International Solidarity Movement? They support any mode whatsoever of Palestinian ''resistance'' --including suicide bombing of innocent civilians-- and they take direct action to interfere with Israeli army efforts to thwart terrorist attacks. Why not call them what they are?
So, without further ado, I give you Richard Sambrook, Director of the BBC:
Dear Ms. Lieberman,
Thank you for your email of 6 August.
With reference to the report "Israel arrests fence protesters": it is the responsibilty of the BBC to remain impartial on this as on other issues. You clearly have a strong view of the International Solidarity Movement. Other people would no doubt take a very different view. It is not for the BBC to espouse either opinion but to report events such as the ones you mention accurately and without taking sides. I believe this is what our story did.
Regarding the headline "Palestinian prisoners head home": it is the style of BBC News Interactive to keep its headlines as short as possible. This means taking out all unnecessary words. The reference to "Palestinian" prisoners made it unnecessary to refer to Israel in the headline. The fact that Israel had released the prisoners was in fact mentioned in the very first sentence of the story. I do not see how this can be construed as suggesting it was "all accomplished by the Palestinians."
Thank you again for your e-mail.
Director, BBC News
I didn't know about Cat Stevens
I knew Cat Stevens had converted to Islam, but I didn't know the details, nor realize the implications. Today's Denver Post has a story about Cat Stevens, or rather, Yusuf Islam, speaking at a Chicago convention organized by the Islamic Society of North America, urging American Muslims to start their own schools. He and other parents from his mosque in London opened such a school in 1983.
What I didn't know was that on a 1988 visit to Jerusalem, Yusuf Islam donated tens of thousands of dollars to Hamas, according to the Israeli government.
In 1990 and again in July 2000, he was detained upon arrival and deported from Israel.
You can read the story in Rolling Stone.
Wolfowitz in today's Wall Street JournalI don't buy Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz's premise that terrorism stems from hopelessness, rage and despair, yadda yadda yadda, but his point that U.S. efforts in Iraq are part and parcel of a global war on terrorism I find absolutely true. I also agree that the war hinges on the resolve of the free world. May it be so resolved.
Read the whole thing (requires registration), or just this moving story in conclusion:
Not long ago, a woman named Christy Ferer traveled to Iraq along with the USO. She'd lost her husband Neil Levin at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, and she wanted to say thank you to the troops in Baghdad. She wrote a wonderful piece about her trip, and in it, she wondered why our soldiers would want to see her, when they could see the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, movie stars and a model. When the soldiers heard that a trio of Sept. 11 family members were there, she found out why.
Young men and women from across America rushed to the trio, eager to touch them and talk to them. One soldier, a mother of two, told Christy she'd enlisted because of Sept. 11. Another soldier displayed the metal bracelet he wore, engraved with the name of a victim of 9/11. Others came forward with memorabilia from the World Trade Center they carried with them into Baghdad. And when it was Christy's turn to present Gen. Tommy Franks with a piece of steel recovered from the Trade Towers, she saw this great soldier's eyes well up with tears. Then, she watched as they streamed down his face on center stage before 4,000 troops.
To those who think the battle in Iraq is a distraction from the global war against terrorism . . . tell that to our troops.
Left, Right or Center?
A letter from Yair in Israel, via Naomi RagenFriends,
Israelis have a few on-line newspapers. One of them, Y-net, lets readers post reactions to news articles. I found a letter from a fellow name Yair, that I think is worth posting to all of you. In reaction to the recent targeted killings of Hamas terrorists, this is what Yair had to say:
"Can someone tell me if I'm a rightist or leftist? Please don't insult me, or give me grief, because it's a real question and I really want to know.Some of the reactions of other readers included the following.
I'm happy for every terrorist who's killed, but I want to give them their own state.
I want them to have a state, but I want a wall between their state and mine which is a kilometer high and two kilometers deep.
I'm against killing Arafat. But I wouldn't hide my satisfaction if the army put something in his tea.
I believe that you make peace with enemies, but these low-lives, you can't believe a word they say.
So what am I, a rightist or leftist?"
"You're neither. You're simply sane."
"You express what the great majority of us feel."
"You are definitely a leftist. I voted Meretz, and I feel the same way."
You are absolutely on the right, like me."
My dear friend, you are simply confused, like the rest of Israelis. That's why you suggest giving terrorists a state, and think a wall --however high-- is going to keep them from trying to kill you. You understand that Arafat has to go, but you don't want the responsibility of doing it. You desperately want to negotiate with normal people and reach a political solution, and you refuse to understand that you are not in a political conflict, but a religious and cultural war which has no solution other than to defeat the other side's attempt to annihilate you. But you are my brother, and you certainly do speak for the majority in my country.
-- Naomi Ragen
Monday, September 01, 2003
HAMAS posts "hit list"
from Arutz Sheva
The Hamas has published a new "hit list" - a list of Israeli officials being targeted by the terrorist organization.
The list appears on the Hamas website and includes Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Oslo architect and current opposition leader Knesset member Shimon Peres, and MK Yossi Sarid, the leader of the far-left Meretz party.
Among the other photos on the poster is an image of the late cabinet minister Rechavam Ze’evi, with an "X" across it. Ze’evi was murdered by Popular Front (PFLP) terrorists in a Jerusalem hotel in 2001.
In other terror/war briefs from the past day:
Border police were targeted in stone-throwing attacks in Abu Dis, outside Jerusalem....
Soldiers were targeted in a firebomb attack near the village of Zeta in the Shomron....
Also in the Shomron, soldiers were targeted by gunfire near Tzufim....
Soldiers came under fire near Arabeh, southwest of Jenin....
In Gaza, a 30kg bomb was safely neutralized along the border security fence of southern Gaza....
Two grenades were hurled at an IDF position in the Rafiach area of southern Gaza....
And five mortar shells landed in the southern Gush Katif community of N’vei Dekalim.
In all of the foregoing incidents, no injuries were reported. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said today that there continues to be a sharp increase in the number of daily credible terrorism warnings.
Insight Magazine offers interview with Dick Morris
Clinton suffered from paralysis by analysisSome excerpts:
Q: You also address the subject of how the media treat Bush and how they treat Clinton by saying that Clinton is brilliant and Bush is stupid. From where does that come?Read it all.
A: Bill Clinton spent a lot of time telling America how bright he was. That was a big part of his image-building. Now it happens to be completely true that Bill Clinton is the brightest single human being I've met in my life. He's the only person I've ever spent time with where I have to race hard to catch up with his thinking. But there are many different kinds of intellect, and I'm not sure that Clinton's is always the best one to have.
I have to say this about President Bush. I've been in the White House and I've seen how it works. The media are under the impression that the White House is run by the staff. The fact of the matter is that the White House is run by the president, and the decisionmaking process there is such that the president rolls over in bed, thinks about it and comes up with a conclusion by morning.
It's not the West Wing, it's the East Wing. And it's not a daytime occupation, it's a nighttime occupation where he thinks about stuff. And you could not possibly have the level of sophistication and brilliant politics that goes on in the Bush administration without having a brilliant president. You couldn't possibly have that.
I believe the key to understanding the difference between the way Bill Clinton would have dealt with 9/11 and the way Bush dealt with 9/11 is that Clinton suffered from paralysis by analysis. To a certain extent Clinton saw everything in relativistic terms, where there is no black and white about it, whereas the Bush judgments about good and evil are fairly simplistic - and in this case fairly accurate.
Q: You spend 50 pages talking about the intentional failings of the New York Times, yet you don't advise readers to vote with their wallets.
A: You can't not read the New York Times. It's too influential, too important, and it devotes too much to in-depth coverage. So you have to read it. Just like you have to read a bunch of other sources. In my opinion, every day, a well-read person in the United States who follows politics has to read the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Washington Times (mainly because there is no other organ that presents the Republican point of view), the Wall Street Journal, and then at least look at various other articles in the USA Today, the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times and a bunch of other organs.
Q: How much responsibility do the writers of the New York Times bear personally for what appears under their names? How involved do you think they were in planting the bias in their articles that you cite?
A: I can only relate to the final product, but I believe that the way the paper was run under Howell Raines, the editors said, "We want an article of roughly this length, on roughly this page, that says this. Now go find it for me."
Whenever you'd talk to a New York Times reporter there would always be a supposition to the story, and they eventually would trot out the supposition and get you to comment on it. If you affirmed it, you'd be in the article, and if you disagreed you wouldn't be. Instead of just saying, "Tell me what the facts are about this situation," the bias, the lean, the journalistic political purpose to the story was predetermined. And it's a damn shame. The New York Times assumed the role of being the unbiased and detailed source for national and international news and then just basically gave it up.
from the blog, NOT A FISH
"The meaningless chatter of your regular split personality Israeli mother trying to make sense of current insanity"I've been trying to figure out a cogent response to those who accuse me of ignoring the Palestinian side of things, but Imshin beats me to it and does a better job than I ever could. Far from "meaningless chatter," her experience and her thoughts light the way to real understanding. I copy her recent post in its entirety, with gratitude:
Sunday, August 31, 2003
I can imagine that a lot of people who wander onto this page probably leave in a hurry, disgusted with this Israeli's preoccupation with Israeli issues (How provincial!), and with the fact that she ignores the Palestinian side of things, and that she seems indifferent to the suffering just a few kilometers to her East. Oh, yes, they probably say, it's all very well for her, worrying about sending her kids to nice schools in wealthy Tel Aviv, but what about the Palestinian children? What about their schooling? What about their miserable lives?
The first thing I have to say about that is that I am living my life, not theirs. If I write about their suffering it will mainly be the fruit of my imagination or things I have read. Before the first Intifada and before the wave of terrorist attacks that hit Tel Aviv in the mid-90's I was in regular contact with Palestinians. Not any more and not as a result of anything I did.
The second thing I have to say is that I am well aware that what happens to the Palestinians, how they live, what they learn in school, if they learn in school, and what their lives are like, has a real affect on my life. I know this, I live my life in awareness of this fact. And I worry about it. I worry about it no less than I worry about the lives and schooling of Israeli children from lower socio-economic strata than myself. There is no getting away from the fact that the lives of our two peoples are intertwined.
A lot of people who don't live in this region are very critical about Israel and its policies, although these things have no affect whatsoever on their personal lives. Some of these people are rather ignorant about some of the basic facts of the conflict. This doesn't bother them particularly or stop them from judging harshly.
Contrary to popular belief, Israel is not to blame for the situation ordinary Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza strip find themselves in. I know we are all in this together and Israel has certainly made many mistakes and done cruel things. Many things were done (and are still being done), that could be avoided, or maybe done in a more humane fashion. This is regrettable and should be seriously looked into and fixed. But these things are not representative of the whole picture. When seen out of context they look horrific, but this is not all there is to this.
A lot of people are forgetting something that is central to the conflict, or maybe they never knew, and that is that the Palestinians had a wonderful opportunity, a real, sincere opportunity offered to them by Israel, with the backing of the western world, to build a nation and a state alongside Israel. This was a time when the Left in Israel was strong, creative, persuasive. Something wonderful was happening, we were building the future of this land together. Many Right Wing friends of mine decided to vote with me for the Left, so persuaded were so many of us that we were going in a good direction.
And then buses started blowing up. One of the buses that blew up in the mid-90's was a busy Tel Aviv no. 5 bus, on one of the most central lines in the city. Parking and traffic being what they are in the city, I often prefer to get the no. 5 bus to more or less anywhere I want to go in Tel Aviv. There is a stop right across from my apartment, another by my workplace.
That murderous attack completely shattered my feeling of security in the place I live my life.
But do you know what? It didn't change my belief in the Oslo Accords. Not one little bit. It maybe even strengthened it. So did the many murderous attacks that followed. The change didn't come until September 2000.
So what changed?
What changed was that the Palestinians refused an offer of a lifetime and then ATTACKED us! What changed was the shock of the realization that our yearning for peace and coexistence, and our willingness to compromise and share this land, with joint research and development in education, agriculture, technology, with Israelis shopping in Bidya and Palestinians working in Petach Tikva and holidaying in Herzliya, with this land developing towards becoming an economic heaven for both peoples, was not being reciprocated.
The leadership on the other side was just biding its time, we discovered, waiting for more and more concessions. They had never given up their determination to rule the whole of the Land of Israel, although they had said they had. They had promised that they would never again take up arms against us as a way of solving their differences with us. And we had believed them. And then we offered them to end it all, once and for all. A historic finish to the conflic for all time. They weren't interested. They didn't even ask to think about it. It was just NO.
Because instead of using those years to build a nation, a society, a state, the Palestinian leadership, fresh from their privileged exile in Tunisia, had used them to build a culture of hate. They had sowed, not seeds of understanding and coexistence among the young generation of Palestinians in schools, but seeds of hope that it would not be necessary to make compromises with the hated Zionists after all. They had taught them that the day when they would all be back in Haifa and in Jaffa, and that the Jews would be gone, was getting nearer and nearer with every concession made by the weak, spoilt Israelis.
It's easy to judge from the other side of the world, where the chance of your kid getting blown to smithereens in the local mall are still extremely slim, even in these days of planes being flown into tall buildings as part of a sick game of terror (but for how long?). It's easy to decide who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, when it doesn't touch you, when it makes no difference to your life, when you don't really know all the facts and don't really care to know them.
I don't know how we can resolve this conflict anymore. I thought I knew. This knowledge was such a deep belief for me that it shaped and defined most of my adult life. It was who I was.
It turned out I was a naive, trusting fool. Now, it seems, this conflict can only be solved if my people and I cease to exist. Well, I have no intention of doing anything that would further that end. My only alternative is to be strong, refrain from spending too much time worrying about the situation and just live my life.
So forgive me for not agonizing about the Palestinians all day, every day. I am sorry for them. They have terrible leaders who have been holding them down and leading them astray, and they have no way of getting rid of them. I can't change that. I have my say every four years, sometimes more often than that. I'm sorry the Palestinians don't have the same privilege. On second thoughts, maybe I'm not. They probably wouldn't elect anyone who would want to make peace with us.
posted by Imshin 20:37
Sunday, August 31, 2003
The Guardian (UK) is hideous trash
from this blog August 29:
NO KIDDINGLittleGreenFootballs, home of the little green infidel, pointed out the following day THIS HEADLINE from the Guardian:
Guardian (UK) headline: "Israel kills activist in rocket response"
See it to believe it.
I don't know about yours, but my dictionary defines activist as "an especially zealous worker, as in a political cause." Somehow this doesn't seem an appropriate appellation for someone who the article says was "identified by Hamas as a member of its military wing."
I'm an activist. He was a terrorist.
posted by Yael at 3:40 PM
"Israeli assassins kill hopes of peace for Palestinians"
There is little interest in restraint now in Gaza. [Imad] Falouji said: 'People see the Hamas belief that Israel understands only the language of blood is true. The biggest loser is the Israeli people. Before they were safe because the Palestinians guaranteed their safety. That guarantee has gone, and now they are all wondering where the next Hamas strike will hit.'See "Israel routing Hamas," directly below. Maybe tomorrow the IAF will locate that blind cleric and Rantisi, and the U.S. will take out Saddam and Osama. Oh, how CNN and the Guardian would wring their hands and cry; I can see the headlines now . . .
Israel routing HAMAS
from Arutz Sheva
Ynet (Yedioth Ahronoth) lists the four targets of recent Israeli offensives in Gaza:
Aug. 20 - Hamas senior Ismail Abu Shanab and two bodyguards.
Aug. 24 - Hamas operations officer Ahmed Shitawi and three other Hamas terrorists.
Aug. 26 - failed attempt on the life of Hamas terrorist and Kassam rocket manufacturer Haled Masoud.
Aug. 28 - Hamas explosives expert Hamdi Kalah.
One person was killed accidentally in these attacks, and PA sources claim that a 9-year-old girl was killed yesterday by IDF fire.
Israel's intelligence services have received 32 specific warnings of possible terrorist attacks, including bombings, soldier-abductions, and shootings. Police are on alert throughout the country, particularly in Jerusalem and the north. IDF sources arrested eight terrorists in the Hevron area last night.
Did you see CNN's eulogy of the late Ismail Abu Shanab? Headlined as "the public face of Hamas and one of the Islamic group's founding leaders," the article says "he led Hamas through two intifadas and countless other battles. He was considered by some a moderate . . "
A founding leader of Hamas? What's moderate about that? From Article 13 of the Hamas charter, which, as a founding leader, Shanab must have helped to compose:
"(Peace) Initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement."From Article 32:
World Zionism and Imperialist forces have been attempting, with smart moves, and considered planning, to push the Arab countries, one after another, out of the circle of conflict with Zionism in order, ultimately, to isolate the Palestinian People...Hamas makes war on infants and toddlers and rabbis and grandmothers. What Jews they do not kill, they seek to terrorize into abandoning Israel, the only sanctuary for Jews in the world. It is utterly disgraceful that CNN would legitimize, much less glorify, such a man and his cohorts.
Hamas is calling upon the Arab and Islamic peoples to act seriously and tirelessly in order to frustrate that dreadful scheme and to make the masses aware of the danger of coping out of the circle of struggle with Zionism. Today it is Palestine and tomorrow it may be another country or countries. For Zionist scheming has no end, and after Palestine they will covet expansion from the Nile to the Euphrates. Only when they have completed digesting the area on which they will have laid their hand, they will look forward to more expansion, etc. Their scheme has been laid out in theProtocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present (conduct) is the best proof of what is said there."
Leaving the circle of conflict with Israel is a major act of treason and it will bring curse on its perpetrators."
Kol hakavod to Rachel Fish and the David Project
Harvard must give back tainted money by Jeff Jacoby, in today's Boston Globe
AGAINST THE BACKDROP of Arab anti-Semitism -- the most virulent Jew-hatred since the Hitler years -- the closing of a single anti-Semitic institute in the Middle East barely registers as a blip on the screen. But it's a blip worth noting, for it shows what can be achieved when one gutsy individual decides to push back against bigotry. The story begins in July 2000, when Harvard's Divinity School accepted $2.5 million from the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan. The money was to endow an academic chair, the Sheik Zayed Al Nahyan Professorship in Islamic Religious Studies. It was a welcome shot in the arm for the divinity school, one of Harvard's smallest and least affluent. The university expressed its gratitude, and praised Zayed for his liberality with an article in the Harvard Gazette.
"Islamic social justice asks every Muslim to respect others," the Gazette quoted him as saying. "Islam is the religion of tolerance and forgiveness . . . of dialogue and understanding."
But Harvard wasn't the only recipient of Zayed's largesse. And tolerance wasn't all he paid for.
The sheik was also the funder and namesake of the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-up, a think tank established in 1999 in his capital, Abu Dhabi. Describing itself as "the fulfillment of the vision of Sheik Zayed," the center quickly became one of the Arab world's leading arenas for anti-Jewish and anti-American poison.
Examples mushroomed. In 2002, the Zayed Center published a report on the Holocaust that said Zionists -- not Nazis -- "were the people who killed the Jews in Europe." It hosted a lecture by Saudi professor Umayma Jalahma, who was famous for claiming that Jews celebrate the holiday of Purim by killing innocent victims and eating pastries baked with their blood.
The Zayed Center honored French author Thierry Meyssan, whose book "The Appalling Fraud" says that US military officers staged the 9/11 attacks. It published an Arabic translation of the book, and hosted a lecture in which he said the "legend" of the 19 hijackers "was not true" and that no plane had crashed into the Pentagon.
Yet another guest was Sheik Ikrama Sabri, the mufti of the Palestinian Authority known for such vile sermons as the one in which he pleaded: "Oh, Allah, destroy America, for she is ruled by Zionist Jews." In the opening speech of a conference last August, the director of the Zayed Center declared: "Jews claim to be God's most preferred people, but the truth is they are the enemies of all nations." And in one of many anti-Semitic tracts offered on its web site, the center extolled "those who challenged Israel," including David Irving and Roger Garaudy, two infamous Holocaust deniers.
Harvard officials probably knew none of this when Zayed made his gift three years ago. But that changed in December, when the founder of the David Project, an organization created to combat global anti-Semitism, spoke at Harvard and mentioned the link between the $2.5 million windfall and the hatred peddled by the Zayed Center.
In the audience that day was Rachel Fish, an Islamic Studies student at the divinity school. What she heard distressed her and she set about researching the issue. The more she learned about the Zayed Center, the more convinced she became that Harvard should have nothing to do with the man for whom it was named.
In March, Fish took her evidence to the divinity school's dean, William Graham, and asked that Zayed's money be returned. Her argument was simple: Harvard would never accept money from a Ku Klux Klan financier. The hate funded by the sheik is no less abhorrent.
Graham, who had first heard about the Zayed Center's anti-Semitic and anti-American output in January, told Fish he would have an independent researcher look into the issue. He promised to get back to her within six weeks.
Six weeks passed. Graham said nothing. Nor did most of the divinity school faculty -- a faculty that normally prides itself on its social conscience and its commitment to human rights. An online petition urging the university to decline Zayed's money drew thousands of signatures. But the administration seemed in no hurry to move.
Fish refused to give up. With the help of the David Project, she contacted the media. By the end of May, Harvard's tainted money was drawing attention, and not just in Boston: It was covered on CBS and NPR, in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, on scores of websites and on talk shows.
Last month, Fish's persistence finally paid off -- sort of. The United Arab Emirates, stung by the bad publicity, announced that the Zayed Center would be shut down. In time it may resurface under a different name, but for now it is out of business, its websites are closed, and its anti-Semitic output has been turned off. Because one young person refused to back away from a fight, the plug has been pulled on a leading purveyor of hatred.
Oh, and Harvard? It announced on Friday that it would need another year to decide what to do about Sheik Zayed's money. Rachel Fish's work isn't finished.
Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is email@example.com.
Kol hakavod to Dr. Bruce Epstein for his good work in conjunction with the St. Petersburg FL Times
Activists get paper to use the T-word
St. Petersburg Times editor Philip Gailey announced in an editorial today that the Times' newsroom editors are in the process of drafting a policy on how to distinguish a militant from a terrorist. The newspaper has one of the largest circulations in all of Florida.
Pro-Israel activist Bruce Epstein pointed out to the Times that "by using the word 'militant' to describe a terrorist, the Times legitimizes the terrorist . . . [and] conveys to its readers that these Palestinian (terrorist) groups are legal, legitimate and even moral." Gailey says that the Times has no such motive or policy, and recognizes that "words do matter." G-d bless him.
This is a welcome reminder that we CAN effect change, and that some people will listen to a thoughtful, clear and feeling argument.
Read the editorial in full.
Shavua tov, boker tov
Cocktail party talk in France: Sharon is a "lout"According to AFP/Yahoo News, the newly appointed French ambassador to Israel was overheard at a foreign office cocktail party in Paris, saying that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is a "lout" and the Jewish state is "paranoid."
So much for diplomacy. Read the full story.