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Friday, November 07, 2003

I'm getting sick of these polls

The latest from the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center, published in the Jerusalem Post:
76.8% of Palestinians support continuation of the "intifada" - only 21.7% say they want to see an end to the violence

67.9% of Palestinians support resumption of "military operations" against Israel "as a suitable response within current political conditions

61.8% of Palestinians support suicide attacks

43% said the goal of the "intifada" should be the "liberation of all of historic Palestine"

59.8% say Arafat would be re-elected if elections were held today
How much can you read about people wanting to kill you? It's a very bizarre experience.

Ashrawi interviewed on ABC(Australia)'s "7:30 Report"

Kerry O'Brien really, really tried
KERRY O'BRIEN: Throwing forward to today, in your speech for tonight, you deplore the cycle of violence involving both sides in very eloquent terms, but not once do you condemn specifically the violence of Hamas by name. There's not a reference to suicide bombers. Now, what signal do you think that sends?

DR HANAN ASHRAWI: You haven't heard my speech, but you read it.

KERRY O'BRIEN: I read it.

DR HANAN ASHRAWI: I never stick to written text anyway, but still, I did that on purpose because I don't want people to dictate my language to me.

When I talk about violence, I know what I mean.

And when I talk about extremism, and ideology and fundamentalism and that type of violence, I don't have to indicate which parties in Israel use that and which parts of the army use that, or what parts of Palestinian political society or military wings do that.

We all know, and when I talk about a generic situation, I'm talking about it comprehensively.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But you are talking specifically about some of your criticisms of the Israelis. You talk specifically in your criticism about Sharon, about the wall they're building, but your criticisms of the extremists on your own side are general. As I say, you don't mention Hamas by name.

DR HANAN ASHRAWI: I mention different organisations -

KERRY O'BRIEN: Do you condemn Hamas for its terrorism?

DR HANAN ASHRAWI: I condemn all acts of violence, particularly those targeting innocent civilians on both sides.

Now, I always make the distinction between political action and military action.

Violent action is not to be condoned by anybody, regardless whether it's Hamas, Jihad or Fatah or anybody or popular front - and we've said that repeatedly.

Now there are conversations, there are speeches and discussions, but at the same time, if the discourse is always being hijacked by placing the Palestinians on the defensive and saying the only legitimacy you have is by adopting my language, my approach, condemning the side I condemn, then I would lose my integrity and the honesty of my own speech.

So I would much rather dictate my own language rather than have it dictated by others.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But then, of course, others will make their own judgments about how peaceful you are by your words?

DR HANAN ASHRAWI: Well, people will make judgments anyway.

Those who have agendas will try to distort whatever I say and whatever I do and they certainly have tried and they've failed repeatedly.

I mean, I'm amazed at the fact that in Australia they have such a strident presence, but I've had awards from all over the world - honorary degrees, given speeches.

This is the first time I see so much hate - no, second time.

And at the same time a wilful disregard of the facts, of the comprehensive message and of a lifetime of struggle for the sake of a deliberate distortion.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Given the number of deaths, given the killings that have been perpetrated by suicide bombers organised by Hamas, shouldn't Hamas be disbanded if it can be disbanded? Would you want to see the serious attempts be made to disband Hamas?

DR HANAN ASHRAWI: I would like to see first of all an active political pluralistic democracy in Palestine so that those who want to dissent can do so peacefully by political means.

Then I would like to see an active judiciary under a rule of law so that those who violate the law will be held accountable in accordance with the law.

I don't want to see a civil war because that's not the way to deal with this problem.

But I would like to see a total rule of law, building of institutions, a commitment to this nation-building institution and respect for the law.

That means that there will no longer be the multiplicity either of political - of military factions or even individuals who take the law into their own hands or who commit acts of violence.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Both the Government and the Labor Opposition here are moving in the Parliament to ban Hamas in Australia as a terrorist organisation. Do you have a problem with that?

DR HANAN ASHRAWI: I mean, it's up to Australia to decide what they want to do -

KERRY O'BRIEN: But they are a terrorist organisation, aren't they?

DR HANAN ASHRAWI: You have to look at both sides of Hamas.

The political wing has men and negotiations and dialogue with the Europeans, with the rest of the world, even with Americans, for a long time.

It's the military wing that has been condemned constantly.

Now there is a move -

KERRY O'BRIEN: I'm not sure how you can separate one wing from the other. They're both under the umbrella of Hamas?

DR HANAN ASHRAWI: No, you can, you can in a sense because the people who have been conducting negotiations with Europeans and others were the political wing - this happened in Ireland and different places.

You don't illegitimatise everybody, then you have no interlocutor.

But now there's a move motivated by this current Israeli Government and the American administration to consider all of Hamas as illegal.
Read it all (and comments) here.

Mystery illness affects three babies in Petah Tikvah

Arutz Sheva: Three infants under a year old remain in a coma today (Friday) in an intensive care unit in the Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petah Tikvah.

The three are suffering from identical symptoms, including neurological brainstem damage.

For now, there is no explanation for the mystery illness. All three of the babies were admitted in the past few days, are from the Petach Tikvah area and are about the same age; however, since the three infants were not in contact with one another, doctors do not fear an easily transmittable disease at this stage.

Nevertheless, the serious symptoms of the unknown affliction have doctors and disease control experts concerned. Health Ministry officials have been notified of the cases and are actively involved, as is the Center for Disease Control in the United States.

MESA annual conference this weekend in Anchorage

FrontPageMagazine: The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) meets for its annual conference on November 6-9 in Anchorage, Alaska. The event displays the work of hundreds of Middle East specialists, and thus offers a good barometer of the state of the field of Middle East studies.

Of nearly three hundred papers, panels, and presentations over a four-day conference, the words “terror”, “terrorist,” “terrorism,” “attack,” and “suicide bombing” do not appear once.
In contrast, eight papers discuss “American Orientalism,” an allusion to the late Edward Said’s theory of a racist West that is incapable of understanding the Middle East. The nine papers on women in the Middle East somehow manage to avoid the topics of “honor” killings or female circumcision.

Israel is rarely mentioned except in discussions of “expropriation of Palestinian Refugee Land” and “occupation.” Zionism, or Israeli nationalism, is the topic of only three papers. By contrast there are five papers on “Palestinian Nationalism” and an additional fifteen papers presented on other Palestinian issues.

There is also some progress. Three scholars will present papers on “Islamic Activism” and five will address “Rescuing Islamic Political Theory from the Jihadist Ideology.”

MESA is also offering a special session on the Middle East legacy of Nobel Peace laureate Ralph Bunche, the UN negotiator who brokered four armistice agreements between Israel and Arab states after the 1948 war. Less inspiring is the composition of the panel on Bunche: Joel Beinin, Georgetown’s Michael Hudson, Naseer Aruri of the University of Massachusetts – all driven anti-Zionists.

MESA’s film festival is a mixed bag. Three of the 48 films deal directly with terrorism or militant Islam. Of six 9/11-themed films, four examine the Arab-American perspective after the attacks, and two films actually present a Saudi perspective, featuring interviews with the parents and relatives of, as MESA delicately puts it,“the accused hijackers.”

MESA describes one terrorism documentary with characteristic glee: “Cynicism and outrage animate this exploration of how American foreign policy has fueled resentment around the world.”

But other films are more promising. “Islamic Fervor” documents the struggle of the reforming regime in Morocco and its efforts to resist Islamic extremism. Two movies examine the reality of Islamist violence toward women.

via Internet Haganah

Saudi investigated for surveillance of Jewish Girls School in Baltimore

Baltimore Sun: Officials at a Jewish girls middle school in Mount Washington told parents last week that the FBI is investigating a Middle Eastern couple who were spotted videotaping the Smith Avenue campus and pupils.

Shlomo Spetner, president of Bais Yaakov School for Girls, wrote to parents on Oct. 31 that a parent had spotted a car with a man and woman who appeared to be Middle Eastern. The parent reported to the school's principal and police that the pair videotaped the entrance to the school and the girls as they were leaving the building.

When the parent approached them, according to the letter and a police report, they fled. The parent reported the license plate number of the car, and Baltimore County Police, and members of the FBI's terrorism task force have questioned the driver and are in contact with him, Spetner said.

The man is a Saudi national who is a student at a local college, Spetner said. According to a police report, he lives in the Fallstaff neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore.

FBI spokesman Larry Foust confirmed that the matter is being investigated but would not comment on the details.
Yeah, right, the FBI and the government - any government - will protect the Jews. Don't they always?

Muslim paranoia: Enemies made us impotent!

"the perfect emblematic tale of Islamic victimhood"
by Mark Steyn

I haven't really followed Sudanese current events closely since, oh, Gen. Kitchener's victory over the Mahdi at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898. But a recent story from that benighted land happened to catch my eye. Last month mass hysteria apparently swept the capital city, Khartoum, after reports that foreigners were shaking hands with Sudanese men and causing their penises to disappear. One victim, a fabric merchant, told his story to the London Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi. A man from West Africa came into the shop and "shook the store owner's hand powerfully until the owner felt his penis melt into his body."

I know the feeling. The same thing happened to me after shaking hands with Sen. Clinton. Anyway, as Al-Quds reported, "The store owner became hysterical, and was taken to the hospital." The country's "Chief Criminal Attorney General" Yasser Ahmad Muhammad told the Sudanese daily Al-Rai Al-A'am that "the rumor broke out when one merchant went to another merchant to buy some Karkady [a Sudanese beverage]. Suddenly, the seller felt his penis shriveling."

The invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, in its exhaustive coverage, noted that the penises of Khartoum were vulnerable not merely to handshaking. "Another victim, who refused to give his name, said that while he was at the market, a man approached him, gave him a comb, and asked him to comb his hair. When he did so, within seconds, he said, he felt a strange sensation and discovered that he had lost his penis."

Tales of the vanishing penises ran rampant round the city, spread by cell phones and text messages. Sudan's Attorney General Salah Abu Zayed declared that all complaints about the missing penises would be brought before a special investigative committee, though doctors had determined that the first plaintiff was "perfectly healthy." The health minister, Ahmad Bilal Othman, said that the epidemic was "scientifically groundless," and that it was "sorcery, magic, or an emotional problem."

By now you're probably saying, "Oh, come on, Steyn, this Sudanese penis thing is all very well, but you're supposed to be a columnist. There's some big geopolitical argument behind all this tittering at shriveling manhoods, isn't there?"

Absolutely. For one thing, a week after the Malaysian Prime Minister told an Islamic summit that their "enemies," the Jews, control the world and got a standing ovation from 56 fellow Muslim leaders, it's useful to be reminded that the International Jewish Conspiracy is comparatively one of the less loopy conspiracies in the Islamic world. That said, they'll probably figure out a way to pin the disappearing penises on some or other agent of Zionism. After all, according to reports in Middle East newspapers, Israel laces Arab chewing gum with secret hormones to make Muslim men hot for Jewish babes who turn out to be Mossad agents. Come to think of it, remember those stories in the National Enquirer after 9/11 about Osama bin Laden being, ah, somewhat underendowed in the trouser department? He spent much of the '90s in Sudan. Who's to say some Zionist didn't sneak up and shake his hand while he was on a shopping trip to Khartoum?

It is, in that sense, the perfect emblematic tale of Islamic victimhood: The foreigners have made us impotent! It doesn't matter that the foreigners didn't do anything except shake hands. It doesn't matter whether you are, in fact, impotent. You feel impotent, just as -- so we're told -- millions of Muslims from Algerian Islamists to the Bali bombers feel "humiliated" by the Palestinian situation. Whether or not there is a rational basis for their sense of humiliation is irrelevant.

One of the things I'd feel humiliated about if I lived in the Arab world is that almost all the forms of expression of my anti-Westernism are themselves Western in origin. Pan-Arabism was old-school 19th century nationalism of the type that eventually unified the various German and Italian statelets. Nasserism was transplanted European socialism, Baathism a local anachronistic variant on 'tween-wars Fascist movements. The Arabs even swiped Jew hatred from the Europeans. Though there was certainly friction between Jews and Muslims before the 20th century, it took the Europeans to package a disorganized, free-lance dislike of Jews into a big-time ideology with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Mein Kampf and all the rest.

Even Islamic fundamentalism, though ostensibly a rare example of a homegrown toxin, has, as a practical matter, more in common with European revolutionary movements than with traditional expressions of Islam -- an essentially political project piggybacking on an ancient religion to create the ideology of choice for the world's troublemakers.

There's something pathetic about a culture so ignorant even its pathologies have to be imported. But what do you expect? The telling detail of the vanishing penis hysteria is that it was spread by text messaging. You can own a cell phone, yet still believe that foreigners are able with a mere handshake to cause your penis to melt away.

Aside from its doubts in its collective manhood, Sudan is no laughing matter. Two million people have been slaughtered there in the last decade. The Christian minority is vanishing a lot faster than that fabric merchant's privates. Osama certainly found the country fertile ground for his ideology: Sudanese mujahideen have been captured as far afield as Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan. An economic basket case with a 27 percent literacy rate has managed to find enough spare cash to export revolutionary Islam to many other countries. And they've got half-a-billion dollars' worth of state-of-the-art Chinese weaponry from Iran.

A handshake-fearing guy with a cell phone is one thing; what happens when the handshake-fearers have cell phones and a suitcase nuke? It's at the intersection of apparently indestructible ancient ignorance and cheap, widely available western technology that the dark imponderables of the future lie.

In 1898, after Kitchener slaughtered the dervishes at Omdurman, Hillaire Belloc wrote a characteristically pithy summation of the British technological advantage:

"Whatever happens

We have got

The Maxim gun

And they have not."

But the dervishes have cell phones now. Those and some dimestore boxcutters and a couple of ATM cards were all they needed to pull off 9/11.

And there are plenty of people out there willing to help them get the cheap knock-offs of the 21st century's Maxim gun.

ISM and Abu REUTERS hard at work

Activists from the international solidarity movement try to stop an Israeli army bulldozer from closing the entrance to the Balata refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Nablus, November 7, 2003. Israeli soldiers killed a 10-year-old Palestinian boy and three militants in the Gaza Strip Friday as Israel took its first steps in the West Bank toward putting into motion a promised easing of a blockade. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini
FACT is, two days ago, on Wednesday, Nov. 5th, the IDF removed troops from around all Arab cities except for Nablus and Jenin, where warnings of possible attacks were high. They permitted the passage of private vehicles and public transportation throughout the area.

During the previous week, 15,500 Arab workers and traders were permitted to enter Israel from Gaza and the "West Bank."

REUTERS Washington: 1-800-424-0013

AP in on the act as well

Uninteresting - and just plain bad - photo gets 139-word caption
The separation fence Israel is building, is seen from the window of a house in the northern West Bank village of Jubara, near the city of Tulkarem, Tuesday Nov. 4, 2003. The people of Jubara are trapped in a tiny pocket of land between Israel and the 'security' barrier, given only sporadic access to their schools, clinics and fields across the fence and now everyone must apply for a special permit to remain in the village or risk expulsion from their homes. The new restrictions, which affect nearly 7,500 Palestinians living in villages in what Israel calls the ''seam zone,'' created by periodically dipping into the West Bank, appear to be the first of their kind since Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast War, according to the United Nations (news - web sites). (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

AP PHOTOS 212-621-1900

Anarchy in the Terror-tories

BBC: Growing numbers of Palestinians are being hunted down and killed - not by the Israeli army but by their own friends and neighbors. Palestinian human rights workers say more than 70 suspected collaborators have died in vigilante killings over the past three years.

The local commander of the Al-Aqsa Brigades in Tulkarm, Abu Amsha, told us, "We put them on their knees. We fired at their heads and then at their bodies. That's how Mohammed and Samir were executed."

Mohammed's family claims he was tortured into making a confession in the 21 days that he was held. They have photographs they want to show me which they say were taken after they recovered his body.

"They put metal rods in the fire and then they stuck them into his legs," Mohammed's mother says. "They melted plastic and dropped it onto his body to burn him. Mohammed was in the al-Aqsa brigades with these other guys. Then he got promoted and they got jealous - that's why they killed him," she says.

Back in the refugee camp in Tulkarm it may not take too long before someone else is gunned down in the streets. The men of the Al-Aqsa Brigades told us they are "investigating another collaborator and that he'll probably be dead within days."

"A Snoopy baseball shirt,
an Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades headband,
and a nice big gun"

LittleGreenFootballs Aug. 2002

UK global hub for Islamist propaganda

Spreading Hate, by Rachel Ehrenfeld:
This September, as the U.K. outlawed Hamas, the Hamas publication Filisteen Almuslima (Muslim Palestine) continued to be published in and distributed from London to the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S. In fact, the cover of the September issue carries the horrifying picture of the bloody casualties and the dissevered No. 2 bus in Jerusalem, as well as the glorified image of the homicide bomber who murdered 23 innocent civilians, many of them babies, and wounded 136.

Inside, the magazine praises and justifies the terrorist attack against Israelis and glorifies the terrorist, Raid Misk, as a heroic role model for potential homicide bombers against oppressors of Islam everywhere. It quotes the Koranic verse, which according to Hamas, gives Islamic religious justification for homicide bombings:
Among the believers, there are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah: some of them [have already fulfilled their vows and] found their death [in battle]; and some still wait [their turn]. However, they have not in any way broken [their vows]. [Surah 33 (al-Ahzab), verse 23]
And Filisteen Almuslima is not the only Islamist magazine published in and distributed from England — inciting hate, spreading anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Semitic messages, with pro-jihad, pro-terrorist propaganda and calls for homicide bombings.

Risalat al-Ikhwan (Message of the Brotherhood) is also a London publication with Muslim subscribers worldwide. This magazine serves as center stage for spreading radical Islamist ideology in the best tradition of the Muslim Brotherhood. This Egyptian terrorist organization was outlawed by Gamal Abd al-Nasser in the 1950s, and despite its influence on Hamas and other internationally outlawed terrorist organizations, it is still out in the open in Western countries.

On August 20, 2003, Risalat al-Ikhwan carried a letter by the Muslim Brotherhood's head, Muhammad Mamoun al-Hudeibi, stating:
the Americans, armed with weapons of mass destruction, intend to destroy and devastate Iraq as well as... eliminate and force out millions of Iraqis, in order to put their hands on the Iraqi oil and redefine the map of the region in a way which will reflect its division and rift.
Al-Hudeibi ends his letter by calling on all Arab Muslims to "raise the banner of jihad."

In another statement yet, al-Hudeibi wrote:
...we need to remember that this nefarious attack [on Iraq] by the forces of evil and heresy against our nation is not a matter of recent years alone... [But] victory has always belonged to truth and to those fighting for it, those who have demonstrated patience and strength of will, fought a holy war...Oh, youth of Islam, oh, ye clerics, oh, my brothers... there can be no victory without sacrifice, no domination without jihad.
The U.K. has become a global hub for Islamist propaganda. These and similar publications and their affiliated websites also raise funds for jihad. Yet, bringing these to the attention of the British authorities has resulted, thus far, in the statement: "We're looking into it." They had better be; waiting for another 9/11 (or Bali, or...) is no strategy for fighting terrorism.

Jihad draws European Muslims to Iraq

AP/Newsday - Iraq is becoming a magnet and proving ground for young Muslims from Europe.

"Since the end of the war, there has been a large movement of people motivated by Islamic extremism from Germany and the rest of Europe toward Iraq," said a German security official. "They're people who want to fight a jihad (holy war)," he said.

See also Britons Join Attacks on Allied Troops in Iraq (London Times; 4 Nov 03) - Handpicked groups of British Muslims are among the increasing number of foreign fighters slipping into Iraq to join terrorist attacks against coalition troops.

PA Finance Minister to Resign

Maariv (Hebrew) - Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayyad has resigned - according to sources close to Fayyad.

Fayyad said he might reconsider if Abu Ala forms a permanent government and receives authority over all the security services.

Fayyad's resignation could cause a crisis in relations between the PA and the U.S., Europe, and Arab states, since much overseas aid is dependent on the donors' trust in Fayyad's personal control over PA bank accounts.

Dhimmitude in Dearborn?

Imad Hamad of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) wanted the Crestwood Board of Education in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, to make Eid (Eid ul-Fitr, the Muslim holy day marking the end of Ramadan) a day off from school.

So Hamad wrote in a letter to school board president Ron Panetta: "We are urging you to thoroughly review this matter, and consider the various concerns, before making an ultimate decision. Rushing into decisions that involve such sensitive issues might bring serious ramifications and unexpected unhealthy consequences."
Read the rest at Dhimmi Watch.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

See Hootinan for story on North Korea (They've Got the Bomb)

and LittleGreenFootballs on the new anathrax scare in DC

Negotiating with terrorists

It's a terrible deal
By Caroline Glick, my hero at the Jerusalem Post.
The parameters of the deal are that Israel will release from our prisons former Hizbullah leader Abdel Karim Obeid, former Amal militia chief Mustafa Dirani, 17 other Hizbullah terrorists who killed IDF soldiers, and more than 400 Palestinian terrorists, some of whom were directly involved in the murder of Israelis. In exchange, Israel will receive the bodies of IDF soldiers Adi Avitan, Omar Sawayid and Benny Avraham who were kidnapped from their base in Israel and murdered by Hizbullah in October 2000 and Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum who the same month was abducted and brought to Lebanon by Hizbullah while carrying out legally dubious business dealings in a Gulf state.

. . . The fact that Israel is willing to give more than four hundred live terrorists for one live Israeli businessman means that now Hizbullah knows that every Israeli they can get their hands on is a prime target. If the government agrees to pay such a high price for Tannenbaum, the suspected felon, the lives of all Israelis everywhere are at risk. If his release costs Israel 400 terrorists, how much will Israel agree to pay to secure the release of an Israeli family abducted while on safari in Africa or a honeymooning couple kidnapped while trekking through South America? Today we are agreeing to play this game. Tomorrow we will see the price.

. . . It is impossible to envy the ministers, who will be called on Sunday to make a heartbreaking decision. Will they prefer the fortunes of four families who are suffering unspeakable sorrow over the well-being of every single Israeli citizen, and the lives of Coalition forces in Iraq even as the former is staring them in the face and the latter has yet to grasp the coming storm? David Bar Illan had the presence of mind and common sense that made him, as his son Jeremy eulogized yesterday, "a Jewish superhero." He would undoubtedly have seen this deal as the poison tipped spear it is. Can we not expect and demand that our government follow in his deep footsteps and use their common sense?

Amcha's diverse activities are inspired by the principle of Ahavat Yisrael, love of all Jews. Amcha, or "Grassroots" in Hebrew, was founded in 1992 by Rabbi Avi Weiss to promote a compassionate inclusive and proactive Jewish community. www.amchajc.org

AMCHA Going to Ohio State University This Weekend

We are taking a contingent of local college students from New York and holding a rally with students from around the United States to raise a voice of protest against the Palestinian terror conference.



2:00 PM — 3:30 PM

9:00 AM — 7:00 PM

12:00 PM — 2:00 PM

Continue to Phone, Email, & Write Ohio Officials To Demand That This Conference Be Cancelled…It’s Not Too Late!

UPDATE from Andrew Jaffee, posted at ISRAPUNDIT:
Representative Dixie Allen (Democrat - Dayton), Rabbi Hillel Fox of Congregation Beth Jacob, Dayton, and Andrew L. Jaffee, Publisher of netWMD.com, LLC held a press conference at Ohio's State House today at 4 PM. They presented a petition with 10,280 Ohio residents' signatures to Governor Taft.

The Dayton Daily News has provided fair coverage of the Palestine Solidarity Movement conference slated to start at Ohio State University tomorrow: See Event set for OSU raises protests and Andrew Jaffee's letter to the editor: Is OSU being responsible?

Look for more press coverage tonight on Columbus TV channels 4 and 10, and tomorrow in the Columbus Dispatch and Dayton Daily News.
Kol hakavod, Andrew! Awesome work.

Lech Lecha!

GO RIGHT NOW to http://www.acwitness.org/psalm83.html and read Psalm 83 as never before.

Make sure your speakers are on for this beautiful media presentation by A Christian Witness.


Masterful Propagandist gives Peace a bad name

Palestinian negotiator Dr Hanan Ashrawi smiles
after receiving the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize at
State Parliament in Sydney, Australia November 6,
2003. Dr Ashrawi was chosen by the Sydney Peace
Foundation to receive the Sydney Peace Prize for her
commitment to human rights, her commitment to the
peace process in the Middle East and for her courage
in speaking against oppression, corruption and for
justice, said foundation director Professor Stuart Rees.
REUTERS/Mick Tsikas/AAP/Pool

In honor of this event, and because I'm still in a mood nostalgic for just one year ago, I'm posting a letter I sent to the Boulder Weekly, but was never published. It was written just before Ashrawi's visit to Boulder in 2002.
Regarding “PLO’s former flack comes to Boulder” by Ron Bain (8/29/02 2002), let me add my comments to the “howls of protest from the local Jewish community.”

The imminent speaking engagement of Hanan Ashwari, former spokesperson for Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, not only falls between 9/11 and Yom Kippur, a solemn time to be sure, but is scheduled during the hours of the Jewish Sabbath. Okay, so the organizers are insensitive, observant Jews cannot attend, and the timing is an affront to the Jewish people. On a scale of 1 to 10 this is far less offensive than, say, a Palestinian suicide-bomb, or a crowd of thousands in Gaza streets celebrating the deaths of Jews or Americans.

We live in a democracy, after all, where we tolerate disparate points of view. Whoever invited Ashwari is allowed to do so, and those who choose to listen to her may decide for themselves if what she says is the truth, and what it means. So what if some of the $8000 speaker’s fee came from mandatory student activity fees paid by Jewish students? Chalk it up to the price one pays for living in a democratic society.

It’s just lucky for us we don’t live in the Palestinian territories, where disparate views can cost people their lives. Only last week, a 39-year-old Palestinian mother of seven and her 18-year-old niece, were “executed” in the West Bank town of Tulkarem for allegedly collaborating with Israel. Members of Arafat’s Al Aqsa Brigade, part of his Fatah movement,” claimed responsibility for the killings. (Where are those UN investigators when you need them?)

Back in Boulder, those who organized the visit of Arafat’s spokesperson to our fair town are saying that they worry for her safety, and expect a hostile reaction from local Jews. Not to worry; chances are very slim that she will meet a fate like that of her Palestinian sisters in the West Bank. Boulder will allow and protect Ashwari’s presence.

Many will hear her speak, and no doubt will shed tears over the suffering of the Palestinian people under “occupation.” The emotional pitch will be high, and the logic muddied, when Ms. Ashwari describes how “the Israeli occupation continues unabated, with a multitude of expressions of direct oppression and authority ranging from military assaults and incursions, to a stifling siege and apartheid-like separation, to home demolitions and assassinations, to abductions and curfews."

Ashwari is an academic, from a wealthy aristocratic Christian family. Rather like Arafat’s wife who lives quite well in Paris, she does not share in the actual hardships that fuel her cause, and fill her purse.

The Flatirons Theatre engagement [The theatre cancelled; she spoke instead to a standing-room-only crowd at the Grand Ballroom, UC-Boulder] will no doubt feature Ashwari’s typical barrage of quasi-Marxist rhetoric, distorted international laws and legalities, as well as a totally mangled version of Middle East history. She will reel off UN Resolution numbers and Articles of the Geneva Conventions until your head spins. She will identify the victims: “The Palestinians, like many victims, became doubly victimized because they were blamed for their victimization.” You get the point?

In case you miss it, she will delineate “the multiple dimensions and compound aspects” of the essential human tragedy, that of the Palestinians, tragically vulnerable, exposed, helpless, captive and defenseless. She will then juxtapose the State of Israel as a rogue state, a powerful oppressor, committing systematic negation, dispossession, dispersion and expulsion of the Palestinians through fear, humiliation and intimidation. Worse still, she will allude to apartheid, ethnic cleansing and “many unknown massacres.”

She will most assuredly speak of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a war criminal, if not a butcher, who has transformed Israeli policy into “officially sanctioned state terrorism.” She will tell you of the Israeli soldier “who aims at Palestinian children’s heads and etches a notch on his gun barrel with every kill.”

She is a masterful propagandist.

I happen to abhor the terrorist regime Ashwari represented, as well as the lack of democracy from whence she comes. It is significant for those who will hear her, and illustrative for us all, that the Palestinian journalists’ union last week declared that news photographers are “absolutely forbidden” from taking pictures of Palestinian children carrying weapons or taking part in militant activities, saying that such pictures harm the Palestinian cause (AP). Note that the concern is for the image, not the children. Hanan Ashwari’s propaganda is of this same ilk.

I assume that in Boulder as elsewhere, she will lie, seek to confuse and deceive, and will endeavor to incite public sentiment against Israel. Not only do I protest this, but I have the following to say to those of you who would listen to her:

· When Ashwari starts spewing “apartheid,” remember that 20% of Israelis are Arabs, with citizenship in the State of Israel. Muslim Arab representatives sit in the Knesset, and the government provides a mosque there for their use.

· When she accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” I want you to ask yourself, who is it that calls for the abolishment of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza so that those territories might be free of Jews?

· If she speaks of “the bulldozer of death and destruction,” consider the restraint exercised by Israel in choosing bulldozers, of all things, from among an awesome and variegated military arsenal. Imagine what any other nation might do in like circumstance.

· When Ashwari tosses off references to the Geneva Conventions, know that the Fourth Convention expressly forbids armed militants to pose as civilians and to hide among civilians for protection from attack.

· When she touts UN Resolution 194 as the basis for Palestinian refugees’ right of return (to Israel), you should know that all the Arab states voted against this Resolution.

· Lastly, when she cries “Victim,” put yourself in the booties of an Israeli baby, out for a stroll, for an afternoon of ice cream or pizza.

You who attend her presentation will have to tell me, but there is one thing I can almost guarantee that Ashwari will not say, that she would likely deny, but nevertheless is posted on her website. After noting that “the current tactics have not yielded encouraging results,” it says, and I quote,
“. . . the struggle must be conducted in a noble manner that can be supported by all Palestinians, we must steal the higher moral ground.”
Pay attention. This means that 1) Ashwari doesn’t believe that the Palestinians occupy the moral high ground; 2) Israel does occupy the moral high ground (from whom else would they steal it?); 3) the moral high ground is something that can be achieved by stealing; and 4) despite her extensive political vocabulary in English, Ashwari does not understand the oxymoronic nature of her strategy.

In other words, Hanan Ashwari wouldn’t know the moral high ground if she tripped over it.
Don’t let her fool you.

Postscript: She came, she fooled many, the courtyard of the Ballroom was a sea of angry and aggressive college students in kefiyahs, and she went away. In her wake, the National Alliance (a neo-Nazi, white supremacy organization) blanketed the campus with antisemitic flyers, swastikas were scrawled on the sukkah at CU and antisemitic grafitti was painted on the predominantly Jewish fraternity house. She certainly made an impression; Boulder has never been the same since.

I wonder . . . if CU and other reputable American institutions hadn't sought out this woman, hadn't welcomed her with red carpets and green dollars, hadn't lent their legitimacy to enhance her stature, would she have received this prize in Sydney? Perhaps if Boulder had listened more attentively, and been kinder, to its Jewish community a year ago . . . the world would have become "a different place."

File it under Lost Opportunity.

Arab woman gets life sentence for luring Israeli teenager to his death

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli military court on Thursday sentenced to life in prison a Palestinian woman who used an Internet chatroom and promises of sex to lure an Israeli teenager to his death almost three years ago.

Amana Mona convinced the 16-year-old Israeli, who bragged to friends of a relationship with an older woman, to meet her in Jerusalem and drive with her to the West Bank city of Ramallah, where he was shot and killed.

Mona was 24 at the time of the January 2001 killing of Ofir Rahum by militants linked to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction. During an earlier court appearance she expressed pride about her role in his death.

"We have to say, without hesitation, that the defendant's enthusiasm for bloodshed has brought her down to the lowest form of humanity with absolutely no morals," the three-judge panel said in its sentencing.

It said she had confessed and taken responsibility for the murder. "The only thing we can do in light of this horror is to order the removal of the defendant from human society forever."
Amen to that.

According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the victim was not aware the woman was Palestinian, having been led to believe that she was an American living in Jerusalem. She drove him toward Ramallah, and at some prearranged location, bolted from the car. Another vehicle drove up and the three Arab gunmen inside shot Ofir Rahum more than 15 times. One terrorist drove off with his body and dumped it, while the others fled in a second vehicle.

Before handing over his body to Israel, the Palestinian authorities claimed it was that of a Palestinian who had been shot by Israeli security officials.

Ofir Rahum is survived by his parents and three sisters. May they be comforted . . .

Who's Being Realistic?

ISRAPUNDIT's Ted Belman has an article at Arutz Sheva, excerpted here:

The Left say they are only being realistic in agreeing to the ‘48 lines. Nothing else they say will get the agreement from the Arabs and it is necessary to avoid the demographic time bomb. That is probably so, but they are not being realistic in thinking it will bring peace or security for Israel.

The Right, on the other hand, say they are being realistic in arguing that peace and security are not achievable for generations and that the best policy is not to make any concessions until then.

The ultra-Right is being even more realistic in saying that the only way to bring peace and security to Israel for generations is to remove the Arabs from the territories, because there is not enough room for two states between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, to make certain that Israel remain a Jewish State, and not a state like any other, and to promote Arab emigration and resist Arab immigration.
Read it all, and click on his byline or at top right, to read more of his work: "The Cart Before the Horse" and "The Handwriting on the Wall." NOW the Israelis will know about the pro-Israel blogosphere!

Well done (and well-written), Ted. Kol hakavod.

Europe apologizes to Israel for poll

The European Commission has apologised to Israel for a new opinion poll that shows that Israel is the country most regarded as a threat to world peace by ordinary Europeans.

The telephone poll, part of ongoing surveys by the European Union, sampled 7500 respondents in all 15 EU states.

Presented with the names of 14 countries, respondents were asked if they regarded each in turn as a threat to world peace. The results, released on Monday, showed that 59 per cent agreed that Israel was a threat to world peace. The US came equal second on 53 per cent with Iran and North Korea.

Iraq came next on 52 per cent, followed by Afghanistan on 50. Libya, Saudi Arabia, China, India, Somalia, Russia, Syria and Pakistan all scored less than 50 per cent. Palestine was not listed because, the EU says, it is not a country.
How ridiculous to apologize for results of a poll. These countries - except for Italy which was almost evenly split on Israel - host large majorities of people who believe that Israel is a threat to world peace. Apologize for the hatefulness and ignorance of your people, perhaps, but not for the revelation of it.

Not that I expect any Europeans to be reading this blog, but I think it must be addressed that such popular beliefs are based on a misguided notion of Israel as a colonial, imperialist state, forced on the Arabs by powerful external entities:
"[A Jewish state in Palestine] could only emerge as the bastard child of imperialist powers, and it could only come into existence by displacing the greater part of the Palestinian population, by incorporating them into an apartheid state, or through some combination of the two. In addition, once created, Israel could only survive as a militarist, expansionist, and hegemonic state, constantly at war with its neighbors." - M. Shahid Alam, professor of economics at Northeastern University (quoted by Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 10/16/02)
In his book, The Case for Israel, Alan Dershowitz answers this accusation, with the following points.

Israel is a state comprised primarily of refugees! Those who immigrated to Israel in the 1880s -to join the Jews who had lived in Palestine for generations [mostly Sephardic, expelled from Spain in the 15th century]- were fleeing oppressive regimes, pogroms and religious discrimination in Europe (heh) and the Muslim states of the Middle East and North Africa.

What drew these Jews to Palestine was its Jewish significance, at once religious, historical and familial.

Moreover, Palestine had had a significant and well-documented Jewish presence for the previous thousand years at least, and an original presence dating back to the second millennium BCE. It wasn't until the 7th century CE that the army of Mohammed forbade (by sword) Jewish existence on the Arabian peninsula, according to the prophet's command: "Never do two religions exist in Arabia."

In modern times, the first significant wave of Jewish return to the Holy Land took place 1882-1903 and saw 10,000 Eastern European Jews move to Palestine. At the same time, nearly a million Jews were immigrating to the United States. Both groups consisted of refugees looking for a place to live in peace, without violent discrimination. The political movement advocating a Jewish state didn't arise until late in this period - it wasn't until 1897 that Herzl organized the first Zionist Congress.

Jewish refugees had, in fact, to overcome imperialist (Turkish, British and pan-Arab) forces in order to settle in Palestine. The colonial powers of the time did "everything possible to thwart the establishment of a Jewish homeland."

Dershowitz quotes Martin Buber (1939), a strong supporter of Palestinian rights:
"Our settlers do not come here as do the colonists from the Occident, to have natives do their work for them; they themselves set their shoulders to the plow and they spend their strength and their blood to make the land fruitful."
The land they settled was fairly worthless, i.e. without natural resources or strategic position, and the Jews neither stole nor confiscated land, but purchased it from absentee landlords and real estate speculators, at fair to exhorbitant prices.

Even years later, when Jewish land purchases were increasing, it was found that "the quantity of Arab land offered for sale was far in excess of the Jewish ability to purchase." Dershowitz challenges anyone to produce objective data that contradicts this historical reality. "No one will be able to do so."

Jewish cultivation of the land then attracted (an unknown number of) Muslims to the jobs it made available:
A study of the Jewish settlement of Rishon L'Tzion, first established in 1882, showed that the 40 Jewish families who settled there had attracted "more than 400 Arab families," many of whom were Bedouin and Egyptian.

A British official reported in 1937 that "the growth in [the numbers of Arab fellahin] had been largely due to the health services combating malaria, reducing infant death rates, improving water supply and sanitation."
These improvements, Dershowitz points out, were introduced into Palestine by the Jewish refugees from Europe.

The rest, as they say, is history.
Contemporary Europeans have some chutzpah, complaining about Israel. If their countries had been more hospitable and their ancestors less thirsty for the blood of Jews, Israel's existence might not have become the moral imperative -and pain in their collective ass- that it is today.

Political Alignment in the Blogosphere

Entertainment if nothing else
Tim Lambert has an interesting exercise at his Deltoid blog: a Political Compass Test, which attempts to measure your political leanings on a two-dimensional scale, with a Left/Right axis and a Libertarian/Authoritarian axis.

Before you get too excited, note that Lambert cautions: "I don't think the results of the tests should be taken too seriously - I found several questions that were rather ambiguous and my results might have been different if I had interpreted them differently."

One such question is "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth - agree or disagree?" This phrase is commonly interpreted as a call for revenge, but some are aware of a deeper meaning having to do with measure, i.e. an eye is much more significant than a tooth . . . (it really should have come down to us as "an eye for an eye BUT a tooth for a tooth") . . . so this sort of thing will skew results a bit.

Much of it is more straightforward, though, and the test is fun. Lambert has graphed results from the blogosphere. Enjoy.


Rabbi Danny Cohen lives a short walk from the Cave of the Patriarchs, in Hebron, Israel, where he welcomes visitors. The cave is discussed at length in the Bible as the burial place of Abraham, who was father to both the Jewish and Islamic religions.

Hebron is also a primary center for Arab terror attacks.

In his presentation, Rabbi Cohen will discuss his first hand experience living with the brave settlers who established the modern Jewish community in Hebron and show a short film about them.


Date: Wednesday, November 12
Place: HEA · Time: 7:15 p.m.
3600 South Ivanhoe St., Denver
Co-sponsored by HEA

Date: Thursday, November 13
Place: BMH-BJ · Time: 1:00 p.m.
560 South Monaco Pkwy., Denver
Co-sponsored by BMH-BJ

Date: Thursday, November 13
Place: EDOS · Time: 7:15 p.m.
198 South Holly St., Denver

This program is sponsored and organized by AMERICANS AGAINST TERRORISM.

Please e-mail AmericansAgainstTerrorism@juno.com for more information.


Wednesday, November 05, 2003

If only we could be left in peace

Banagor's piece (directly below) has made me think about waiting, and about the affects of prolonged waiting. I wrote this next bit a year ago; it was published in the Boulder Weekly.

At that time, I thought that if people had the facts, knew the history, they would be open to learning, to changing their minds. I don't think so anymore. (At least it's only happened once that I know of during the intervening year.)

I am more discouraged now than I was then. I am more likely to shake my head than to gasp when Israel is accused of anything evil under the sun. It is deeply disturbing that I see myself becoming acclimated to antisemitism.

So I'm posting this piece because it marks a year for me, because I miss that freshness in my outrage that seems young and naive in retrospect and because with so much talk now about the Holocaust, we forget the rest of it.

Besides, it's my blog, and I can if I want to.
Atmara Nareem accuses me of supporting apartheid, segregation and ethnic cleansing ("Of Zionists and Jews," Letters, Oct. 10). The writer insinuates that there are logical and apparently compelling reasons for anti-Semitism. S/he cites Zionists "promoting themselves as Jews" and makes the especially repugnant statement that "Zionism is about Jews being a chosen people, a master race."

Charges of apartheid and segregation are meant to associate Israel's treatment of the Palestinians with the official racial segregation formerly practiced in South Africa. Blacks were a majority in that country yet had neither citizenship nor voting rights. In striking contrast, Israel's citizens are from more than 100 countries, of all colors and races, and include Jews (80 percent), Muslims and Christians. All Israeli citizens have equal rights by law. The Palestinians are not citizens of Israel, but live in disputed territories won by Israel in a war forced upon her in 1967. Israel has not annexed those territories, but has repeatedly offered land for peace, graduated independence and negotiation of boundaries. The Palestinian Authority's response has been to increasingly foment terrorist violence. The situation tragically remains unresolved, but it is not apartheid and not analogous to South Africa.

Ethnic cleansing is too serious a charge to be casually asserted. Ethnic cleansing means genocide, and genocide means the murder of an entire people or ethnic group. It is insanely fraudulent to accuse Israel of this. When Israeli forces go into disputed territories to take out terrorists, their arms and explosives, non-combatants are sometimes injured or killed. That's not ethnic cleansing, that's war. And if the Palestinians don't want war, Israel would be glad to hear them say so.

Nareem's thinking about anti-Semitism is disturbing. While I have nothing new to offer in this centuries-old conversation, I strongly object to the idea, likewise ancient, that anti-Semitism stems from the attitudes, philosophies or behaviors of the Jews.

Anti-Semitism is the hatred and persecution of Jews as a group, simply because they are Jews. I can give here only a tiny glimpse of the extent of it in time and space.

The earliest occasion of which I am aware is the forcible deportation of Jews from the land of Israel to Babylonia in 597 Before the Common Era (BCE). These were the first homesick, the first Zionists ("By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion"-Psalm 137).

In 627 BCE, Islamists publicly beheaded some 800 Jewish men in Medina and enslaved the women and children. We were expelled from Rome by the emperor Claudius in 49 CE, from the Holy Land by the Romans in 137. The Byzantine Empire forbade study of the Torah in 553, and Jews were kicked out of Spain for the first time in 694. We've been expelled from France probably six times, and Switzerland four.

When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem, they herded the city's Jews into a synagogue and set it ablaze. In 1190, hundreds of Jews killed themselves at York rather than submit to forced baptism. Twenty-four wagonloads of Talmud and other sacred texts were burned in Paris in 1242. King Louis IX of France decreed that Jews wear a distinctive yellow badge-seven centuries before the Holocaust. The Jews of Basle were burned alive in wooden houses especially constructed for that purpose.

In 1492, we were expelled from Sicily, Sardinia, Lithuania and Spain. There was not another native Jewish child born in Spain until 1966.

During the 15th century, we were expelled from Arles, Italy, Carinthia, Austria, Portugal and Nuremberg. The 16th century saw Jews burned at the stake in Berlin and our sacred texts burned in Venice. In 1521, Arabs blamed Jewish use of wine for a severe water shortage in Jerusalem. The Jews of Barbados were forbidden to engage in retail trade. The Russian Cossack Chmielnicki, may he rot in hell, died in 1675 with the blood of more than 300,000 Jews on his hands.

In the 18th century, we were expelled from Brussels, the Ukraine, Little Russia, Great Russia, Prague, Bohemia, Moravia and Warsaw. Believe it or not, in 1862 Ulysses S. Grant expelled the Jews from what is today northern Mississippi, Kentucky and western Tennessee.

Arabs attacked a Jewish enclave called Petach Tikvah in 1866, the same Petach Tikvah where there was a suicide bombing in May of this year. The Jews of Tel Aviv were expelled by the Turks in 1914 and 1917. Jews were slaughtered during Arab riots in 1920, 1921, 1929 and 1936-39 in what Nareem must want to call "Palestine."

Then came the Holocaust, and the world closed its doors to Jews who sought to escape it.

Kristallnacht, Nov. 10, 1938, a coordinated Nazi attack on the Jews of all Germany, saw Jewish homes attacked, synagogues burned, bonfires of our holy books. The windows of all Jewish businesses and stores were smashed, covering the streets with the film of broken glass that gave the night its name.

Thirty-seven years later to the day, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution that "Zionism is a form of racism."

This is absolute rubbish. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, based on the conviction that we are entitled to live in freedom and security in our own homeland, like any other people. Zionism is simply our will to live.

"If we could only be left in peace.
But I think we shall not be left in peace"-
Theodor Herzl, 1896

I still wait for the outrage

Banagor's most excellent blog is consistently a MUST READ, and the perfect attitudinal antidote to my last post (directly below).
And so what do we have? A leader of the Hizzbullah who openly swears for the killing of Jews on a daily basis from his own TV station of hate based in Lebanon. An Arafat calling for millions of dead Israelis so that a Palestinian flag can be hoisted over Jerusalem once and for all. A Syrian Minister of Defense whose bestseller book blames the Jews for killing non-Jews in ritualistic murders. The best selling books in the Middle East are the Czarist forgeries known as "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and that other infamous book of love poems towards the Jewish people known as "Mein Kampf". In Egypt, a country supposedly at peace with Israel, we are treated with an epic series, shown in prime time, based on the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" which was later broadcast around the Arab world for hundreds of millions to see. We have in Jordan a law which still states that it is on pain of death that a Jew ever own land in that nation. Jews may never enter Saudi Arabia - even if there ever were to be a peace with Israel - because the Prophet Muhammed said that this was to be so. Iran's President threatens nuclear annihilation of Israel, a literal genocide, every six months or so. Bin Laden calls for the death of all Jews and Christians in the world. Bombs target not only Jews in Israel but around the world. Children watch shows in Arabic calling for the extermination of all Jews for the sake of some greater idol of a god named Allah who happens to legitimize human sacrifice. And then, to crown it all, the now former Prime Minister of Malaysia stands up before the entire world, surrounded by the entire Islamic world, and declares that Jews should be defeated; Jews are evil; Jews are hated; Jews must lose. And then, without any encouragement whatsoever, that entire Muslim world - every single leader there, all their aides and lackeys and cronies - stand up together in solidarity and understanding and give him a standing ovation.

Hitler himself could not have made a more direct statement and choreographed that response.

Read it all
I am a Jew and I am waiting. Is that too long for a mantra?


Accidentally fell into pool of antisemitism
I saw a small news item at Jewsweek about a Jewish man being convicted in Paris for inciting racial hatred against (other) Jews, whom he had branded "anti-Israeli" on his website. It wasn't much information, so I googled the man's name to see if I could find out more.

Got only one hit, This Week's Jewish News, and man, oh man, is it yuck. Calls the ADL the "grandaddy of Totalitarian Thought Control" and exhorts Jews to "Stop reckless Judeocentric insanity."

Funny how a Jew in Paris can be convicted for racial hatred for calling other Jews "anti-Israel" and this guy, whoever he is, has free rein (reign?). I won't link to the site, but if you want to find it, just google Alexander Attali in quote marks. You'll be sad you did.

The Day Israel Abandoned Appeasement

by Stephen Plaut, at ISRAPUNDIT
The new head of state in Israel took office some time after his earlier mentor was assassinated. He initiated at once a policy of appeasement. Appeasement was openly advocated and declared, especially regarding the brutal dictator in Syria. The Israeli head of state offered the Syrian dictator everything imaginable and then some. When he was criticized by people opposed to his policies, he had them arrested for incitement. The Syrian dictator refused to be satisfied with the terms of the appeasement. He demanded more and more, including rights to the very capital of Israel.

The above passage is NOT referring to Ehud Barak and his policies, nor to Shimon Peres nor Yossi Beilin and his Geneva Boondoggle. It is not referring to the Assads of Syria. It is not the appeasement policy of Ariel Sharon being discussed, nor his offer to release hundreds of murderers from prison in exchange for the Hizbollah releasing three bodies of murdered Israeli POWs and perhaps also a captive Israeli drug smuggler. It is not the parody of Dunkirk perpetrated by Ehud Barak in Lebanon.

It is a summary of the events describes in the First Book of Kings, Chapter 20.

Continue reading

Israel Eases Restrictions for Arabs in West Bank and Gaza

IDF: As per an assessment of the situation, the IDF removed the encirclement around all Palestinian cities except for Nablus and Jenin.

In addition, permission was granted for the passage of private vehicles on an individual basis - upon prior approval by the DCO. Permission was also granted for public transportation throughout the area.

A bottleneck of Palestinian cars wait at an
Israeli checkpoint near the West Bank city
of Ramallah. Israel has decided to ease its
blockade of Palestinian towns in the West
Bank with the exception of Nablus and Jenin.
(AFP/File/Thomas Coex)

The IDF will continue to ease restrictions for the Palestinian population, while simultaneously waging an uncompromising battle against terror, according to the volume of terror in each sector.

It should also be noted that this past week:

-Permission was granted to 10,000 workers and to 1,000 traders from the Gaza Strip to work inside Israel.

-Permission was granted to 3,000 traders from the West Bank to work inside Israel.

-Permission was granted to 1,500 workers (age 21 and over) from the West Bank to work in the 'Atarot' industrial area.

-Permission was granted for the back to back exchange of goods in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

When is it tomorrow in Australia?

Ashrawi to receive Sydney Peace Prize Thursday
Referred to as a "Palestinian legislator," even though the PA has failed to pull together a government under their new prime minister, Hanan Ashrawi was recently quoted as saying,
"[Israeli Prime Minister Sharon] is systematically implementing his vision to destroy the Palestinian national identity . . . It's a sure recipe for anger, desperation and hostility."

In her Sydney Peace Prize Lecture last night in Sydney, Ashrawi blamed Islamic and Jewish fundamentalists, Christian evangelicals and ideological neoconservatives, for disrupting the "Middle East peace process" at the expense of moderate Palestinians.

Ashrawi will be awarded the Sydney Peace Prize tomorrow. The Sydney City Council and the Lord Mayor of Sydney will boycott the event.

Romanticizing the Anti-World

Terrorists "Pose" for the Camera

Palestinian militants of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement pose during a rally in Gaza City. The launch of a new Middle East peace plan by Palestinians and left-wing Israelis has been delayed for an undetermined amount of time, a spokesman for the Swiss foreign ministry said.(AFP/File/Mohammed Saber)

Headlines from the Middle East Media

Courtesy of the MEMRI News Ticker
November 4, 2003


November 3, 2003








Funny, the Palestinians didn't mind Saddam's rewards$$$$ for the families of suicide bombers!

Hezbollah TV

Arutz Sheva: Hizbullah's Al-Manar television station has begin broadcasting a virulently anti-Semitic documentary entitled "The Diaspora," purporting to depict the history of Zionism and the State of Israel.

The 26-part series, produced in Syria, shows actors, dressed mostly in black Hassidic-looking garb, plotting and scheming to steal lands and murder Arabs. The first chapter shows the patriarch of the Rothschild family "dividing up" the various nations for his sons to rule.

The United States complained to the governments of Lebanon and Syria, as it did last year to the Egyptian government when a similar series played there, but to no avail. The State Department explained that the documentary is objectionable because it incorporates elements of the "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," an infamous 19th-century anti-Semitic forgery.

The promotional literature for the series says that it "shows us how Jews don't refrain from... committing the worst crimes against all those, Jews or non-Jews, who stand in the way of the Jewish dream and their project."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said the airing of the program was "yet another chapter in the campaign to de-legitimize Jews," and fears that it is meant to stoke hatred toward Jews among its viewers.

FBI has new suspect in 9/11 terrorist attack

USA TODAY - WASHINGTON — The FBI has identified an al-Qaeda operative who agents believe tried as late as August 2001 to join the 9/11 terrorist plot as the "20th hijacker," a top federal law enforcement official said Tuesday.

"We are fairly confident we know who No. 20 is," said the official, who is involved in the 9/11 probe and asked not to be identified. The official said the unidentified al-Qaeda operative got into the USA but "had to leave" the country shortly before 19 hijackers carried out the attacks that killed more than 3,000 people. The official would not say why the operative left, whether he is alive or whether he is in U.S. custody.

A top Justice Department official confirmed that FBI agents believe they have identified the 20th hijacker. Both officials said the FBI does not believe the would-be terrorist was accused al-Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui or Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, an alleged 9/11 paymaster who tried to get into the USA at least four times before the attacks.

If the FBI's theory is correct, one of the enduring mysteries of the 9/11 attacks would be solved: why United Flight 93 had four hijackers on board when it crashed in Pennsylvania, and the three other hijacked jets each carried five terrorists. Examinations of immigration records and the movements of the 19 hijackers have led the FBI to zero in on the man it believes was supposed to have been the fifth hijacker on Flight 93, the law enforcement official said.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Andrew Sullivan's Antisemitism Watch II (see also I)

From the Daily Dish: Another email sends chills down my spine
I attended a doctor's party the other night with my partner. A film-maker myself, I always find this other world interesting to say the least - another "bubble."

I settled into a chat with a young doctor, born in the US of Egyptian parents. He was charming and very 'LA' - well-coiffured, soft-spoken and well-dressed. We chatted a while about his world in the forensics department at LAPD which I found interesting as a film-maker. We started chatting a little about the Middle East. I assumed he knew I was Jewish. And I thought, wow, what a great place America is - I can chat with an Egyptian as a Jew without any of the sorry overtones of the current crisis in the mid-East; Jew and Arab are bonded by our common Western upbringing.

I expressed reasons why I supported Israel, we both agreed Arafat was a bandit, but he explained why the Palestinian cause had such support in Arab countries. It was a very civil, pleasant conversation despite our differences...

And then it started coming out... I listened, because I wanted to hear what anti-Semitism was about, and also because I was in a situation where my partner's professional colleagues were involved and I didn't want to cause a scene... Clearly, this doctor was fooled by my South African accent, and didn't conceive of the fact I could be Jewish.

The diatribe began with the stuff about how Jews truly control the American government and society - how policy in the mid-East was completely driven by Jewish American interests - this was the same man who had agreed with me moments before how many of the problems in the Mideast were the result of Islamic fundamentalism and corrupt Mideast governments. But, of course, the US intervenes there because of a Jewish plot. OK, my feathers were ruffling, but I realized what a great opportunity this was to be a fly on the wall of what people were saying when they didn't know I was Jewish.

And then came the clincher... this educated doctor, a US citizen, told me in all seriousness how there was a detailed Jewish plot that if Al Gore had become president, he would have been assasinated so that Joseph Lieberman could assume the presidency of the United States. Since the Jews knew they would never get a Jewish president elected directly, the Lieberman VP bid was a Jewish conspiracy to gain control of the presidency by underhanded means.

I felt sick in the pit of my stomach. What was really worrying was he felt safe to say what he did in a gathering of middle class physicians in a wealthy neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Andrew Sullivan comments: "It's real. Nazi ideology is alive and well and in the minds of many even in this country. Now just imagine what they're saying in polite company in Paris." 12:00:07 AM

Jerusalem Terror Attack Averted

After searching all day, Jerusalem police Tuesday night captured 16-year old Palestinian girl from Jericho who took bus to Jerusalem to blow up city target.

A 16-year-old girl who was willing to blow herself up to kill Jews. What have these people done to their children? Hard to believe that there is such an international uproar over the security fence/wall, that the UN votes overwhelmingly to spare Arafat from harm, yet there is no outcry on behalf of these children who are too willing to kill and to die.

Thank G-d this one's life was saved, at least temporarily, and she found no victims for her hatred.

War in the Absence of Strategic Clarity

by Mark Helprin, published by the Claremont Institute
It's long, about five pages. My advice is to go to this link and print it out. Read slowly, at your leisure, fully savoring this man's vast knowledge, absolute clarity and beautiful command of the English language:
America has approached the war on terrorism as if from two dreamworlds. The liberal, in which an absurd understanding of cause and effect, the habit of capitulation to foreign influence, a mild and perpetual anti-Americanism, reflex allergies to military spending, and a theological aversion to self-defense all lead to policies that are hard to differentiate from surrender. And the conservative, in which everything must be all right as long as a self-declared conservative is in the White House—no matter how badly the war is run; no matter that a Republican administration in electoral fear leans left and breaks its promise to restore the military; and no matter that because the Secretary of Defense decided that he need not be able to fight two wars at once, an adequate reserve does not exist to deal with, for example, North Korea. And in between these dreamworlds of paralysis and incompetence lies the seam, in French military terminology la soudure, through which al-Qaeda, uninterested in our parochialisms, will make its next attack.

The war is waged as if accidentally, and no wonder. For domestic political reasons and to preserve its marginal relations with the Arab World, the United States has declined to identify the enemy precisely. He is so formless, opportunistic, and shadowy that apparently we cannot conceive of him accurately enough to declare war against him, although he has declared war against us. Attribute this to Karl Rove's sensitivity to the electoral calculus in key states with heavy Arab-American voting, to a contemporary aversion to ethnic generalities, to the desire not to offend the Arab World lest it attack us even more ferociously, to the fear of speaking truth to oil, to apprehension about the taking of hostages and attacks upon embassies, and to a certain muddledness of mind that is the result both of submitting to polite and obsequious blackmail and of having been throughout the course of one's life a stranger to rigorous thought. Reluctance to identify the enemy makes it rather difficult to assess his weaknesses and strengths. Thus, for want of a minimum of political courage, our soldiers are dispatched to far-flung battlefields to fight an ad hoc, disorganized war, and, just as it did in the Vietnam War, Washington explains its lack of a lucid strategy by referring to the supposed incoherence of its opponent. From the beginning, America has been told that this is a new kind of war that cannot be waged with strategic clarity, that strategy and its attendant metaphysics no longer apply. And because we cannot sufficiently study the nature of an insufficiently defined enemy, our actions are mechanistic, ill-conceived, and a function of conflicting philosophies within our bureaucracies, which proceed as if their war plans were modeled on a to-do list magnetized to some suburban refrigerator.

Kol hakavod to Mr. Helprin, who btw, wrote the Introduction to a book of my husband's (pre-9/11) photographs
of New York: Manhattan Lightscape

$31.50 at Amazon.com
Highly recommended :)

AFP having a heyday vilifying U.S. and Israel

The AFP apparently had a caption they wanted to circulate, so they dug up this lame file photo to be its vehicle. Despicable.

The United States denied
being a menace to world peace
after Europeans ranked the US
and ISrael as the world's most
pernicious nations(AFP/File)

As if it's not enough to say that the US and Israel are considered threats to world peace, AFP has to elaborate, flexing their vocabulary: pernicious? Defined as "ruinous; highly hurtful . . . deadly; fatal . . . evil or wicked."

And do you think it's accidental that Israel is written "ISrael" ? Is that a typo or is someone trying to tell us something?

Go to the Source: Pg. 80 of the EUROBAROMETER Poll

The actual poll did not ask which were the most pernicious nations. The stated question was
"For each of the following countries, tell me if in your opinion, it presents or not a threat to peace in the world."
Palestine, frequently touted as an actual place and or entity, is not on the list, "because it's not a country." (Have your cake and eat it too.)

Israel RANKS No. 1 in the poll at 59% of those Europeans polled answering YES, it is a threat to world peace.

Iran, North Korea and the United States are tied at second place with 53%.

At the very bottom of the heap we find the European Union at 8%: "In the opinion of its citizens the EU poses little, if any threat to peace in the world."

There's more. Page 83: "In all Member States the majority of citizens believe that Israel presents a threat to peace in the world with 'yes' results as high as 74% in the Netherlands and 69% in Austria."

Italy is the only country were (sic) opinions are divided with 48% of respondents confirming that they perceive Israel as a threat to peace in the world and 46% of the opposite opinion.

AAAAAHHHH! Get this!
"The one socio-demographic characteristic that stands out is education: the more highly educated respondents are more likely to perceive Israel as a threat to world peace than those who ceased their studies at an earlier age."

Other bits, as I can bear it:

The French rate Israel and Iran as equal threats to peace at 55% each, followed by Pakistan at 53% and the United States a close third at 52%.

Only 44% of French respondents consider Syria or Saudi Arabia a threat to peace.

Israel's marks by country:
Netherlands 74%

Austria 69%

Luxemborg 66%

Germany 65%

Denmark 64%

Belgium 63%

Ireland 62%

Greece 61%

UK 60%

Finland 60%

----------------- 59% overall

Spain 56%

France 55%

Portugal 55%

Sweden 52%

Italy 48%
America's marks by country:
Greece 88%

Netherlands 64%

Austria 63%

Finland 63%

Spain 61%

Ireland 60%

Belgium 59%

UK 55%

Luxemborg 55%

Sweden 54%

Portugal 53% ----------------- 53% overall

France 52%

Denmark 52%

Germany 45%

Italy 43%
Enough for now. I have to go to a job interview. Blogging is great, but generates nothing in the way of income. Waaaahhhh, I need a Sugar Zaide (or Bubbie). Any volunteers? Quick, before I become a receptionist!

Sharon in Russia: Putin a "true friend of Israel"

Hard to believe, but hey, any friend of Israel is a friend of mine
From The MoscowTimes.com
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday praised friendly ties with Russia and called President Vladimir Putin a "true friend of Israel."

Welcoming Sharon to the Kremlin, Putin said Russia would continue trying to help the Middle East peace settlement and added that recent violence in Israel had caused much concern in Russia for former citizens who have emigrated to Israel.

"We know Israel is striving for peace," Putin said. "The Jewish people have suffered a lot over the last decades."

Sharon, who arrived in Moscow on Sunday on his third visit as prime minister, answered in kind. He said Israel highly values friendly ties with Moscow.

"President Putin is a true friend of Israel," he said at the start of talks. "We highly appreciate Putin's attitude, and his repeated personal safety guarantees for the state of Israel."

Sharon said Israel was ready to compromise for the sake of peace.

"I have repeatedly said during our meetings with President Putin that Israel was ready to make concessions in exchange for a real peace," Sharon said. "Israel is probably the only state in the world that is ready to make concessions even though it hasn't lost a single war."
AFP (Agence France-Presse) has a different take: "Russia rebuffs Israel's Sharon over Mideast roadmap"
You can read the French gloom and doom version here.

Unbelievable! Israel offering its first-ever Resolution in the UN

"It's time to stop being passive"
UNITED NATIONS — Israel which has seen hundreds of U.N. resolutions passed against its policies over the years, circulated its first resolution ever Monday, saying the outcome will show whether the organization is taking a balanced approach to the Mideast.

The Israeli resolution, a copy of which was given to The Associated Press, calls for the protection of Israeli children victimized by Palestinian terrorism. It closely mirrors a similar draft submitted by Egypt last week highlighting the plight of Palestinian children affected by more than three years of bloody conflict in the region.

Israeli diplomats said they'd be happy if the General Assembly decided to drop the two drafts or adopt them both.

"The test will be if they pass the Palestinian one but not ours," said deputy Israeli Ambassador Arye Meckel.

For years, Israel has refused to take seriously the hundreds of resolutions Arab states sponsor, all of which condemn Israel's actions against the Palestinians while making little, if any, mention of Palestinian attacks against Jews.

But Meckel said the pattern of dismissal only led to mounting anti-Israel resolutions. Twenty such resolutions passed in the General Assembly in 2002. The United States vetoed several that were brought to the Security Council, arguing that they were unbalanced and didn't condemn Palestinian groups taking credit for homicide bombings against Israelis.

"It's time to stop being passive," Meckel said in an interview with The Associated Press.
I'd say it's way past time, but then that's just me. Read the rest at FoxNews.

Terrorist in VIRGINIA linked to money laundering, transfer

Story from the Washington Times
According to law enforcement officials and court records, Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, 51, founder of the American Muslim Council and the American Muslim Foundation, was involved in or knew about the transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars to companies and organizations tied to international terrorists, including Hamas and al-Qaeda.

Federal authorities said money was forwarded to terrorist groups from offices in Alexandria that housed a number of companies and foundations in which al-Amoudi is listed as an officer, founder, director, or board member. At least $160,000 went to an organization implicated in al-Qaeda's December 1999 plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) affidavit noted that al-Amoudi had access to substantial amounts of cash, including $2.2 million in four separate accounts, though he did not report the cash on his federal tax returns.

AFP violates journalistic ethics

HonestReporting Communique exposes photographic distortion
and bias by omission

A Palestinian woman expresses her anger after Israeli
Defence Forces detonated an explosive belt they found in
her house, destroying the ground and first floor of the
building, in the village of Hizmeh near Jerusalem
(AFP/Atta Hussein)

Remember this photo?
The photographer used a wide-angle (fisheye) lens to generate an effect of broad, exaggerated destruction ¯ note the distorted length of the woman's hands and the "stretched" background buildings. While a wide-angle lens may be fitting for landscape photos, it was clearly neither necessary nor appropriate here. Nikon describes use of its fisheye lenses in this way: "In normal photography these lenses are employed to achieve dramatic effects due to their 'unreal' distortion."

When a photojournalist distorts a picture in this manner, he distorts the event he is purportedly conveying in an objective manner - a violation of journalistic ethics.
What's the real story behind the photo? The one AFP omitted?
Acting on intelligence, the IDF captured this woman's husband, who then admitted that he had planned to carry out a suicide bombing with an explosive belt that he had hidden under his baby daughter's bed.

Soldiers rushed to the house, evacuated its inhabitants, and safely detonated the explosives. The blast caused the first story of the house to fall - testimony to the force of its impact that was intended to massacre Israeli civilians. See the full story in the Jerusalem Post.
According to HonestReporting, "IDF spokeswoman Sharon Finegold recently stated that fully 90% of the news pictures coming out of the Palestinian areas are taken by Palestinian photographers (such as Atta Hussein of the AFP, above). Finegold believes this plays an important role in the overall media distortion of the conflict."

No one says just why that is, but I would suspect the Palestinian Authority controls that. at gunpoint. Big surprise.

Write to Agence France-Presse at contact@afp.com

UPDATE: I'm honored that "FrenchAreVichy" linked back to my rendition of this piece in a forum at F-ckFrance.com

Monday, November 03, 2003

A Jew in Baghdad - Jonathan D. Zagdanski

from FrontPageMagazine via the UK site Jewish Comment
The writer is a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
I recently returned from Baghdad, Iraq, where I served as an infantry platoon leader of 26 men during nearly 6 months of combat operations. We were part of the 3rd Infantry Division, the unit that led the invasion into Iraq and captured Baghdad. Our political and military leaders told us before the invasion that we were key players in the War on Terrorism. However, as a Jew and an American having fought the war, I came to realize that we are not just fighting terrorism. Rather, we are engaged in a war against something much more fundamental.

Shortly after we breached the city limits of Baghdad on that fateful day of April 9th, it was obvious that the Iraqi Army was not going to fight us in the city. The U.S. Military was caught by surprise at the lack of opposition and was rather unprepared to transition to nation-building so rapidly. Thus, Military commanders hastily assigned each Platoon Leader, including myself, a section of Baghdad to oversee.

The neighborhood under my control was roughly 3 square miles in northwest Baghdad with approximately three thousand Iraqi citizens, most of whom were Shia Muslims. My initial responsibility was to find heavy conventional weapons and ammunition, arrest looters, identify destroyed power lines and restore order in the neighborhood by conducting day and night street patrols. This was a very difficult task but it gave me the opportunity to interact with many Iraqis during these unstable times.

While patrolling the streets of Baghdad, I often got involved in political conversations with secular, educated, and "moderate" Iraqis about the war against Iraq, Israel, the Jews, and America. To my surprise, most of them held wildly irrational beliefs about the world. For example, most of them would swear that Ariel Sharon pressured a reluctant President Bush to go to war against Iraq [or] that the CIA put Saddam Hussein, a CIA agent, in power to allow U.S. forces to take Iraqi oil and impoverish Iraq.

Finally, they were convinced that the CIA is an organization controlled by the Mossad and that powerful Zionists dominate Washington, D.C.! In fact, most Arabs in the world believe these absurdities. These beliefs are the product of years of intense brainwashing by their education[al] system, mass media and political and religious leaders. These beliefs turn educated, intelligent Arab family men into hijackers that slam passenger planes into buildings and homicide bombers that murder as may Jews as possible on Israeli buses.

We are not at war against terrorism; we are at war against an ideology. I consider this ideology to be the product of a dangerous mental disease. It is a disease that has infected millions of Arabs into believing that by destroying the enemy -- the Jew, the State of Israel, and the "Great Satan" America -- past Arab pride and glory [will] be restored. This mental illness is slowly but deliberately plunging the world into World War III.

In the 1930s, a similar disease threw the world into World War II. It was a disease that infected millions of Germans into believing that by obliterating the Jews and conquering non- Aryan nations, Germany would attain unsurpassed glory and freedom. Fortunately, America and its allies mustered all their efforts, resources and determination to crush and eradicate the German disease.

Unlike the Germans during WWII, the Arab world is fighting a multidimensional war against America and Israel. First, Arab nations are using the United Nations as a powerful tool to discredit Israel and the United States. Second, oil-producing Arab nations use oil as a means to pressure the United States and Europe to adopt biased foreign policies against Israel. In addition, oil is used to deter many nations from trading with Israel. Third, Arab governments ensure that Arab children are fed anti-Semitic and anti-American material in their schools, thereby assuring a constant supply of future terrorists. Fourth, Arab public relation spreads lies and twisted facts to Western media, thereby fueling anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli sentiment in the West. Finally, Arab nations promote, finance or condone terrorist activity and organizations.

Unfortunately, most of us in America and Israel believe that we are at war with terrorism. We therefore concentrate all our attention and effort against terrorism only. To do so is to wear blinders and not grasp the big picture. To worsen matters, we commit troops and equipment to fight the enemy precisely where he wants to fight--that is, in his backyard using guerrilla tactics. We fail to understand that terrorism is only one of the many weapons used by our enemies. Every American and every Jew is under attack in some shape or form.

It does not take a gun or a bomb to be under attack. A negative and biased article about Israel in the New York Times is a bomb directed against the Jewish community. We must fight back! Every one of us has the ability and the weaponry to contribute to the war effort. One does not need to join the U.S. Army and patrol downtown Baghdad in 120-degree weather. We can fight with our computers, our telephone, our money, our time, and our voice. Inaction is not an alternative. Should we decide not to fight, our enemies will bring the battle to us, as they have done on September 11th and as they do daily in Israel. We have paid too often with our blood the price of passiveness and nonresistance.

It is time to stand up, fight and shout, "Never Again!" May God help us.

Kol hakavod, Lieutenant, and thank you.