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Saturday, November 22, 2003

Findings showed Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups behind antisemitic attacks in Europe

So EU watchdog report will not be published
EU Business: The European Union's racism watchdog refrained from publishing a report on anti-Semitism that said Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many attacks, the Financial Times reported Saturday.

The Financial Times has obtained a copy of the 112-report report which the Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) had decided in February not to publish, the newspaper said on its Internet website.

It said the EUMC had clashed with the report's authors for defining anti-Semitism as also including some anti-Israel acts.

The EUMC officials felt the focus on Muslim and pro-Palestinian perpetrators was inflammatory.

There have been growing fears, expressed especially in the United States, over increased anti-Semitism in European Union countries.

Beate Winkler, an EUMC director, had in September warned in an Austrian newspaper interview against the rise in such racist and anti-Semitic incidents.

Only last week, a Jewish school building near Paris was the target of an apparent arson attack.

This attack came on the same day, November 15, that two synagogues in Turkey -- which hopes to join the EU -- were destroyed by suicide truck bombs that killed 25 and wounded 300.

The EUMC had commissioned the report from the Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism at Berlin's Technical University, which filed it in October last year.

One person familiar with the report said it had alleged that "there is a trend towards Muslim anti-Semitism, while on the left there is mobilisation against Israel that is not always free of prejudice."

"Merely saying the perpetrators are French, Belgian or Dutch does no justice to the full picture," this person said.

Some EUMC board members attacked part of the analysis ascribing anti-Semitic motives to leftwing and anti-globalisation groups, the person said, adding that "the decision not to publish was a political decision."

The board includes 18 members - one for each of the 15 EU member states as well as a member each from the European Commission, Parliament, and the Council of Europe. There are also 18 deputies.

One deputy, who declined to be named, confirmed the directors had seen the study as biased.

In July, Robert Wexler, a US congressman, had written to Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, demanding the release of the study, the Financial Times said.

It said Ole Espersen, law professor at Copenhagen University and board member for Denmark, said the study was "unsatisfactory" and that some members had felt anti-Islamic sentiment should be addressed too.

The EUMC, which was established in 1998, has published three reports on anti-Islamic attitudes in Europe since the September 11 attacks in the United States.
See also "Sharon has ignited the fire of anti-Semitism" at Gulf News and or Aljazeerah, but don't expect me to provide links.

Shavua tov. Blogging's going to be light ~ I'm sick :/


Friday, November 21, 2003

Good Shabbos



The Arabs are asked to compromise by offering peace in order to attain their objective -- land.

Israel is asked to compromise land in order to attain their objective -- peace.

Think about it.

The cornerstone of all negotiations has taken for granted that for Arabs, agreeing to peace would be a concession to their true goal . . . whereas for Israel, peace is the goal.

Special thanks to Elliot Mathias for this point well made.

See also Charles Krauthammer, 20 June 2002.

ISLAM: religion of peace?


$19.57 at Amazon.com

Larry Elder interviews author Robert Spencer
Investigative journalist Robert Spencer, in his new book "Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West," argues that what we call "Islamic extremism" stems from a straightforward reading of the Quran and interpretative Islamic texts.
Elder: You write, "Muslims must present non-Muslims with the three choices of Sura 9:29 of the [Quran]: conversion, submission with second-class status under Islamic rule, or death."

Spencer: Correct. This is a deeply rooted tradition in Islam. Islam is unique among religions in having a developed doctrine theology in law that mandates violence against non-believers. Not all Muslims take it seriously, but the radicals do, and they are working to recruit and motivate terrorists.

So ... whenever anybody says we want to institute Sharia Islamic law in a country, they mean these laws. They do not provide for the equality of rights and dignity of non-Muslims in a Muslim society ... [but] mandate just the opposite – that non-Muslims are not to be given equality of rights, but denied various jobs because they're not allowed to hold authority over Muslims.

They must pay a special tax called the jizya, which is referred to in the verse you mentioned ... Their humiliation and inferior status is enforced with numerous other regulations, still part of Islamic law, and liable to be enforced by radical Muslims and who want to gain power and institute Islamic law ... Anybody who is concerned about human rights would be resisting and be happy to join in the War on Terror.
Full interview at WorldNetDaily.

See also Dhimmitude: The Status of Non-Muslim Minorities Under Islamic Rule.

UPDATE: Plans for a French translation of Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions about the World's Fastest Growing Faith, also by Robert Spencer, have been cancelled due to death threats (made to both translator and publisher).

Read all about it and be glad you don't live in France. Unless you do, of course, in which case you should move to Israel :)

Don't be a dhimmi.

Congress passed Syria sanctions

AP/JPost: Congress has passed legislation to impose economic penalties against Syria, reflecting broad agreement among lawmakers that Syria has been a detriment to the fight against terrorism in the Middle East and Iraq.

President George W. Bush is expected to sign the bill even though he is not enthusiastic about such restraints on his foreign policy. The measure requires the president to act if Syria does not make significant steps to reverse its tolerance and support of anti-American forces.

The House on Thursday voted 408-8 in favor of a Senate-amended version of the legislation that, at the urging of the White House, gives the president greater leeway to waive the punishment on the basis of national security.

"The Syrian regime has the blood of Americans on their hands," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Administration officials agree, she said, that "Syria is on the wrong side of history and now it is time for it to suffer the consequences."

Syria has long been on the State Department's list, along with North Korea, Sudan, Cuba, Iran and Libya, of state sponsors of terrorism, but is the only country on that list to have full diplomatic relations with the United States.

Awarding normal relations to Syria never made any sense, said Rep. Eliot Engel, a lead sponsor of the bill. With the bill, he said, "we are saying to Syria that the time is up... we are not coddling you any more."

First Al Qaida attack on Israel escapes widespread notice

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
The Jordanian gunman who cut down a group of Ecuadorian pilgrims with automatic gunfire at the border crossing from Jordan to Israel north of Eilat on Wednesday, November 19, did much more than shatter the calm of a border terminal normally bustling with goods, tourist and business traffic between the Jewish state and Hashemite kingdom. The assault dashed any illusions about Osama bin Laden holding off from drawing blood in Israel. Five of the pilgrims were injured – one later died of her wounds - as they prepared to cross into Jordan, victims of al Qaeda’s first direct strike inside Israel.

The attack bore the fingerprints of Abu Musab Zarqawi, believed to be Al Qaeda’s top terror “contractor.”

A spokesman in Amman insisted the gunman acted on his own. His acknowledgement that the killer hailed from the Zarka area in the north of the kingdom let the cat out of the bag. According to DEBKAfile’s counter-terrorism sources, Zarqawi and Al Qaeda run a strong and well organized terrorist network out of the Zarqa area, Zarqawi’s home ground. It is hardly plausible that the gunman was not part of this setup.

Jordan’s King Abdullah is beset with trouble - no matter which way he looks In Saudi Arabia to the south, the government is reeling from a wave of Al Qaeda bombings. To the east in Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s guerrillas, aided by Arab fighters that include members of Al Qaeda, carry out daily attacks against US occupation forces. In Israel to the west, an Israeli-Palestinian war continues unabated. And Arab fighters continue to use Syria, to the north of Jordan, as their primary transit route into Iraq.

Nonetheless, up until the Eilat attack, Jordan had looked like an oasis of calm – thanks to the effective blackout the Jordanians and Americans have imposed on news of terrorist activities in the country.

But something was seriously amiss in the kingdom of the Hashemites. DEBKAfile’s intelligence and counter-intelligence sources have learned that US forces found a list of 120 Jordanians who were either on their way to fight Americans in the Sunni Triangle or already in place. The lists were turned up in recently mounted raids in the Iraqi cities of Tikrit and Fallujah.

Washington handed the roster to king Abdullah, who was profoundly shocked.

Continued . . .
See also the Jerusalem Post: "Source: Al Qaida behind Eilat border attack."

1 in 8 of Palestinian dead were killed by their own side









An ongoing study by the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya provides an in-depth look at the fatalities on both sides of the current Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Based on thorough research using Palestinian and Israeli open sources, the study provides a breakdown of those killed by age, gender, and combatant status.
WOMEN'S ISSUES

One learns from this study (as of 5/03), that while 116 Palestinian females were killed, more than twice that many Israeli females were killed.

Of Israeli non-combatants killed, 40% were female. Of Palestinian non-combatants killed, only 9% were female.

For more, including numbers of dead killed by their own side, see the Summary of Findings, updated May 21, 2003, and Breakdown of Fatalities, through November 3, 2003.

University for jihadic sciences launched on the internet

and other headlines from the Arab world, translated by MEMRI:
November 20, 2003
‘IL-QA’IDA UNIVERSITY’ FOR JIHADIC SCIENCES HAS BEEN LAUNCHED ON THE INTERNET. THE UNIVERSITY WILL BE OPEN TO ‘ZEALOTS AMONG THE CHILDREN OF ISLAM AND THOSE LOYAL TO THEIR UMMA (COMMUNITY) AND RELIGION.’ (AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT, LONDON, 11/20/03)

November 20, 2003
GERMAN INTELLIGENCE SAID ISLAMISTS ARE RECRUITING FIGHTERS IN EUROPE FOR FIGHTING IN IRAQ WITH THE INTENTION OF CREATING A SITUATION SIMILAR TO THE ONE IN AFGHANISTAN DURING THE SOVIET OCCUPATION. (AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT, LONDON, 11/20/03)

November 20, 2003
INTELLIGENCE REPORTS WERE RECEIVED BY COALITION FORCES ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS BEING USED IN THE CITY OF KUT IN SOUTHERN IRAQ AND ABOUT MORE SUICIDE ATTACKS AGAINST ITALIAN FORCES. (AL-ZAMAN, IRAQ, 11/20/03)

November 20, 2003
MEMBERS OF THE EGYPTIAN PARLIAMENT CALLED ON THEIR GOVERNMENT TO SEEK INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION ON THE ISRAELI CITY OF EILAT WHICH THEY CLAIM WAS AN EGYPTIAN TERRITORY KNOWN AS ‘UM AL-RISHRASH.’ (AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT, LONDON, 11/20/03)

November 19, 2003
ACCORDING TO TURKISH SECURITY SOURCES THE PERSON BEHIND THE ATTACKS ON TWO ISTANBUL SYNAGOGUES HAS ESCAPED TO SYRIA. (AL-BAYAN, UAE, 11/19/03)

November 19, 2003
HAND GRENADES PLACED BY ISLAMISTS IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AND CHRISTIAN INSTITUTIONS IN MOSUL WERE DISARMED WITHOUT DAMAGE. (AL-ZAMAN, IRAQ, 11/18/03)

Parades with grenades

Only in the Terror-tories

Masked Palestinian militants hold up hand grenades as they parade
in the Jabalya refugee camp in the northern part of Gaza Strip on
November 21, 2003. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is planning a package
of conciliatory steps towards Palestinians
to quiet Israeli dissent over
his hardline policies and bolster his new Palestinian counterpart, political
sources said on Friday. REUTERS/Oleg Popov

A Chilling Story and MUST-READ for feminists and other liberals

The Brownshirts of Our Time by Phyllis Chesler
On Saturday evening, November 8, 2003, the eve of Kristallnacht, I addressed a woman's "networking" conference of mainly African-American and Hispanic-American womanists and feminists at Barnard College. The conference was described as a grassroots, multi-cultural, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary organization for women in the arts.

. . . I had been asked to talk about what women can do, psychologically and ethically, in order to enact sisterhood and to work in productive, even radical ways. As I spoke, the women in the audience sighed, cheered, applauded, nodded in agreement, laughed, groaned, nudged each other--it was a half hour of good vibes.

And then my first questioner blew it all to Hell. All it took was The Question and it only required one Questioner. I could not see who was speaking. A disembodied voice demanded to know where I stood on the question of the women of Palestine. Her tone was forceful, hostile, relentless, and prepared.

Read it ALL.
Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D, is the author of twelve books, including the international bestseller WOMEN AND MADNESS. Her most recent book is The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It.

Thursday, November 20, 2003



T-shirt $15.95


The London Streets: Who are these anti-Bush people?

by Amir Taheri

A protester draped in a Palestinian flag
is stopped by police outside Buckingham
Palace in London. Wed Nov 19, 3:52 PM ET
(AP/PA, Chris Young)
via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

LONDON — George W. Bush's visit to London this week will be historic for at least two reasons. He will be the first U.S. president to come to Britain on a state visit. He will also observe a bizarre political marriage: one between the remnants of the Marxist-Leninist Left and militant Islamists. Negotiated over the past two years, the "wedding," will be celebrated in a mass demonstration against Bush's visit.

The demonstration is organized by a shadowy group called "Stop the War Coalition," part of the Hate-America-International, which has orchestrated a number of street "events" in support of the Taliban and the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein since 2001.

When I called the coalition to ask whether the idea was to stop all wars, a spokeswoman assured me that this was not the case.

She referred me to the first article of the coalition's charter that states: "The aim of the coalition is simple: to stop the war currently declared by the United States and its allies against 'terrorism.'"

"We really want to stop Bush and Blair from going around killing babies," she said. "Our objective is to force the U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan."

But what if a U.S. withdrawal means the return of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein?

"Anything would be better than American Imperialist rule," she snapped back.

Who are these nostalgics of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein?

The coalition has a steering committee of 33 members. Of these, 18 come from various hard left groups: Communists, Trotskyites, Maoists, and Castrists. Three others belong to the radical wing of the Labour party. There are also eight radical Islamists. The remaining four are leftist ecologists known as "Watermelons" (Green outside, red inside).

The chairman of the coalition is one Andrew Murray, a former employee of the Soviet Novosty Agency and leader in the British Communist party. Cochair is Muhammad Asalm Ijaz of the London Council of Mosques. Members include John Rees of the Socialist Workers' party and Ghayassudin Siddiqui of the Muslim Parliament. Tanja Salem of the Al-awdah (The Return) group, an outfit close to Yasser Arafat, is also a member along with Shahedah Vawda of "Just Peace," another militant Arab group, and Wolf Wayne of the "Green Socialist Network."

A prominent member is George Galloway, a Labour-party parliamentarian under investigation for the illegal receipt of funds from Saddam Hussein. In his memoirs, Galloway says that the day the Soviet Union collapsed was "the saddest day" of his life.

Galloway says the only terrorism in the world today comes from the United States, not from organizations such as al Qaeda or the remnants of the Iraqi Baath party.

The coalition was created in London in September 2001, at first as an exclusively leftist concoction bringing together the remnants of the Stalinist "peace movement" of the 1950s, diehard "no nukes" activists, and some fellow travellers.

The coalition has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of its founders. For the first time ever it has brought together all radical leftist and anarchist groups. Under its umbrella march such traditional former archenemies as Stalinists and Trotskyites.

But the coalition's biggest success is the alliance that it has forged between the extreme Left and militant Islamist groups. This would have been unthinkable even a couple of years ago. The Left always regarded Islam as a "relic of feudalism" and an instrument of reactionary Arab regimes. For their part, the Islamists regarded leftists as atheist enemies who had to be put to the sword.

The first to advocate a leftist-Islamist alliance against Western democracies was Ayman Al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's #2.

In a message to al Qaeda sympathizers in Britain in August 2002, he urged them to seek allies among "any movement that opposes America, even atheists."

The idea has received strong support from Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the Venezuelan terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal."

In his book Revolutionary Islam, published in Paris last month, Carlos, who says he has converted to Islam, says he has advised Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader, to forge an alliance with "all guerrilla, terrorist and other revolutionary groups throughout the world, regardless of their religious or ideological beliefs."

Carlos says Islam is the only force capable of persuading large numbers of people to become "volunteers" for suicide attacks against the U.S.

"Only a coalition of Marxists and Islamists can destroy the US," he says.


Anti-war demonstrators burn the U.S. flag in Trafalgar Square, London,
as part of a large protest over U.S. President George W. Bush's state
visit November 20, 2003. REUTERS/ David Bebber


This week's anti-Bush demonstration in London will mark the emergence of a coalition the hard core of which consists of the radical Left and militant Islamism. Around it we find other groups who hate the U.S. for different reasons. There are supporters of free abortion, opponents of capital punishment, anti-globalization fanatics, advocates of the Kyoto protocol on the environment, and anti-Semites who believe the Jews control the United States. But a good part of the planned demonstrations will, as always, consist of what Lenin called "the useful idiots", men and women of good faith whose political naiveté makes them natural targets for experts in agitprop.

But why are these people taking to the streets?

One reason is that the parties, groups, and individuals involved have consistently failed to find a place in the normal institutions of British democracy.

The 60 or so leftist and Islamist groups involved in this odd enterprise have never managed to win more than one half of one percent of the votes in any British general election. Nor have they succeeded in winning a single seat in parliament or a majority in a single municipal council.

Those who can never win elections, always take to the streets. Street politics enables them to escape debate on complex issues that cannot be reduced to a few simplistic slogans.

Britain's participation in the war against terrorism was the subject of four exhaustive debates in the House of Commons in 2001 and 2002, each followed by a vote that Prime Minister Tony Blair won.

Street politics is for those who wish to abolish individual political judgment, the cornerstone of democratic life. Street politics encourages the irrational tendencies of crowds that could turn into hunting packs or lynch mobs. Power won in the streets produces only ochlocracy (rule by the worst).

To make sure that no discordant voice is heard, the organizers of the demonstrations have announced that only "authorized" t-shirts, hats and other paraphernalia will be allowed. Only four slogans are permitted: "Stop Bush," "Stop Blair," " U.S. Out of Iraq and Afghanistan," and " Bush Go Home!"

The demonstration's security force, made up of muscular Marxists and Islamists, has instructions to prevent any sign of pro-American sentiments. A group that has said it wants to take part in the demonstrations with t-shirts saying "Bush-Cheney: Four More Years!" has been warned of "dire consequences."

The London demonstration is planned and will be supervised in the best Stalinist traditions still in force in North Korea.

In countries that suffer under despotism, the street is, at times, the only space available to the opposition. This is why we hear so much about the so-called "Arab street." But do we need a "British street" that disdains the institutions of democracy, including mainstream political parties, and the parliament?



British police officers lead anti-war and anti-Bush protesters
during a demonstration in London Thursday Nov. 20, 2003.
(AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)


Amir Taheri, and NRO contributor, is an Iranian author of ten books on the Middle East and Islam.
Taheri is reachable through www.benadorassociates.com.

Kol hakavod to Dale Sievers!

Letter in today's Daily Camera
BOOKMAN: Some omissions in Israel screed

Did I miss something, or did Jay Bookman (Commentary, Nov. 12) forget the second half of his article regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Mr. Bookman stated since 1978, "official U.S. and Israeli policy has been based on the expectation that land could be exchanged for peace. Palestinians would recognize Israel's right to exist and live in peace; in return, Israel would abandon settlements in the occupied territories and allow creation of a Palestinian state."

He then proceeds to state that Israel has not lived up to its part of the bargain. He forgot to mention that in 2000, Israel offered the Palestinians 95 percent of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (the so-called occupied territories) and a formation of a Palestinian state with part of Jerusalem as its capital. What did Israel get in return? The Palestinians responded with suicide bombings and escalating violence. He also forgot to mention that if they had truly wanted to live in peace, the Palestinians would have continued to negotiate with Israel. Instead, what did the Palestinians do? They started the murderous intifada.

Finally, he forgot to mention that when speaking to the West, Arafat states he wants peace, but in Arabic to the Palestinians and other Arabs, he consistently states that his aim is the destruction of the state of Israel. When the Palestinians are ready to truly live in peace with Israel and give up their goal to Israel's destruction, I am sure they will get their land-for-peace deal and their state. In the meantime, Israel must protect herself. I suggest next time Mr. Bookman writes a column discussing this issue, he examines both sides.

DALE SIEVERS, Louisville


Life of chief rabbi of Istanbul threatened

Must've been seen wearing a kippah
JPost: The life of Istanbul's chief rabbi is being threatened by the same terrorist organization, which claimed responsibility for the Istanbul bombings on Thursday and on Saturday.

The Islamic Great Eastern Raider's Front group said it looked forward to eating halva at the funeral of Rabbi Isak Haleva, in a communique released on Channel 2 News Thursday night. Halva is traditional mourning food in Turkey.

The message wished the "Dirty Jews a peaceful Shabbat." It blamed the Jews for destroying Islamic society, saying they have poisoned Muslim culture with corruption and prostitution.

The communique's release followed Thursday's attacks in Istanbul Thursday.

Haleva could not be reached for comment. Executive vice president of the Turkish Jewish Community Lina Filiba had not heard of the threatening message, but gasped when she heard of it from The Jerusalem Post by telephone.

Filiba said she is not surprised that an extremist group like the Eastern Raider's is anti-Semitic, but emphasized that they do not represent the larger Turkish community.

She had already called the Post earlier, upset about the way the Israeli media and officials have portrayed the twin synagogue bombings, particularly articles and comments talking about the need to bring Turkish Jews to Israel in light of the attack's anti-Semitic nature.

"We appreciate our ties with Israel but we are citizens of Turkey," Filiba said.

They welcome, Filiba said, the visits by Israeli officials and the assistance offered by groups like the Jewish Agency, but do not appreciate when their remarks crossed the line into exploitation.

She accused Israelis and the press of manipulating the situation. "They are using us as PR. We have the feeling – the very serious feeling – that we have been exploited. By making those remarks they are also raising anti-Semitic feelings in the Turkish population.

"By focusing overwhelmingly on the Jewish aspect of the tragedy, it separated the Jews out from an event that in Turkey was seen as joint tragedy. As people who have suffered from separatism we should not make same remarks," said Filiba.

From the start, the Jewish community in Istanbul accepted Saturday's twin synagogue bombings for what they were — an attack on Turkey's open and liberal society. Thursday's attacks only proves that their sentiments were correct, said Filiba.

"We are not downplaying it [anti-Semitism], but on the whole the majority of the country, does not have this kind of misinterpretation," Filiba said.
When synagogues are bombed, it is hard not to "focus overwhelmingly on the Jewish aspect." Besides, Al Qaida obviously and definitely had its evil eye on that "aspect" when it chose synagogues as targets.

I think Israel was completely right, and not necessarily exploitative, to call for Turkish aliyah. The question is, as always, do the people think of themselves as Jewish Turks - or Turkish Jews? It's an extremely relevant and provocative question that only they can answer. The same goes for American Jews ~ Jewish Americans . . . and all the rest.

Aliyah is inevitable.




Nice Jewish girl? among Yahoo's "Most Emailed Photos"



A Dutch barmaid wearing a traditional Scottish Glengarry hat
[and a Shield of David] poses for photographs
in Amsterdam, November 18, 2003. Scotland face the Netherlands
in the second leg of their Euro 2004 play-off match at the Ajax Arena
in Amsterdam on Wednesday. REUTERS/Jeff J Mitchell

Thanks to Gregory for the tip.

Death toll rises in Istanbul: 27 reported dead, more than 450 wounded

HonestReporting: Worries have already begun that Israel will once again be the scapegoat
Today's coordinated bombings against British targets in Istanbul, occurring just days after the dual bombings of Istanbul synagogues, make the Islamic terrorist message brutally clear - their targets are the Jewish people and Western democratic civilization. What most Americans recognized after 9/11, Europeans are now also beginning to see: radical Islamists threaten every Western citizen, and Israel is merely a convenient front line for their battle.

Given this, HonestReporting is concerned about the re-emergence of a trend we witnessed after 9/11 ¯ the media's shift of focus away from this stark reality, and onto Israeli policy as a scapegoat for Islamic terrorism. Recent examples:

(1) The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on the Istanbul synagogue bombings: "[T]he reaction of Arabs, Muslims and others to Israeli actions in the West Bank and Gaza is spilling over into anti-Semitism and violence directed against Jewish populations normally living in peace in countries like Turkey...The United States could help by returning to a credible policy of seeking a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians."

Comments to: editor@post-gazette.com

(2) In Germany, Wolfgang Guenter Lerch wrote in Frankfurter Allgemeine: "The criminal attacks on two synagogues in Istanbul were mainly directed against Israel...Even secular Turks are dismayed when the see what is happening in the Israeli occupied Palestinian territories."*

(3) Lerch is just one step short of the Egyptian newspaper, Al Wafd: "Why do we not say that the attack was plotted in order to improve Israel's image in the EU after the recent poll that showed it as the primary threat to global peace? Why do we exclude Turkish Jews as perpetrators?"*

(4) K Gajendra Singh, India's former ambassador to Turkey, writes in the Asian Times: "Many Turkish experts suspect that the twin bombings were a warning to Turkey, one of the few Muslim countries to have ties with Israel...The blasts could be an act of revenge for the daily killings of Palestinians and the Israelis building a much-opposed wall that encroaches on Palestinian land."

This media trend recasts the radical Islamic war against the Jewish people and the West as something else entirely ¯ an Israeli-specific disaster that now everyone's suffering from.

Coverage of President Bush's powerful speech on Tuesday in London further illustrates the problem. Bush, after pointed reference to the pre-WWII failure to confront Nazi tyranny, called for democratic reform in the Mideast:

As we work on the details of peace, we must look to the heart of the matter, which is the need for a viable Palestinian democracy. Peace will not be achieved by Palestinian rulers who intimidate opposition, who tolerate and profit from corruption, and maintain their ties to terrorist groups...The long-suffering Palestinian people deserve better. They deserve true leaders, capable of creating and governing a Palestinian states...Leaders in Europe should withdraw all favor and support from any Palestinian ruler who fails his people and betrays their cause. And Europe's leaders ¯ and all leaders ¯ should strongly oppose anti-Semitism, which poisons public debates over the future of the Middle East.

Though Bush himself called Palestinian reform "the heart of the matter" and warned of the dangerous new wave of anti-Semitism, these Reuters' headlines focused instead on Israeli policy:

- "Israel Defiant Over Barrier After Bush Criticism"

- "Bush Urges Israel Not to Prejudice Peace Talks"

- "Israel Spurns Bush Call Over West Bank Fence"

Comments to Reuters: editor@reuters.com

As the radical Islamic war against the innocent tragically expands, HonestReporting encourages subscribers to monitor your local media to ensure that Israel does not again emerge as a scapegoat for mass terror, and that the Western resolve to fight the terrorists themselves receives accurate coverage.

More bombing attacks in Istanbul

Early numbers are at least 25 killed, and more than 400 wounded
Just days after two synagogues were bombed in Istanbul, trucks packed with explosives blew up near the British Consulate, and another near the Turkish headquarters of HSBC, the world's second-largest international bank, based in London.


HSBC Bank building and its surrounding area is seen after
an explosion in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday Nov. 20, 2003.
FoxNews: A man calling the semiofficial Anatolia news agency claimed that Al Qaeda and the militant Islamic Great Eastern Raiders' Front, or IBDA-C, jointly claimed responsibility for attacks.

Currently, the U.S. State Department knows of no Americans killed or hurt in the blast. According to a Reuters report, Istanbul's government said 14 were killed at the British consulate.

The bombings, which occurred five minutes apart, at about 11 a.m., came days after two synagogue bombings there and coincided with President Bush's visit to London. Television reports initially said up to five blasts, but Turkish authorities later confirmed only two.

"We see their utter contempt for innocent life. The terrorists hope to intimidate, they hope to demoralize. They are not going to succeed," Bush said at a news conference with Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Sky Turk reporter Mustafa Azizoglu told Fox News "this is not an ordinary attack," and said "this is the eleventh of September for Istanbul."


A wounded woman is helped after an explosion outside of the
British Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday Nov. 20, 2003.


Azizoglu added that the explosions were "trying to target Western financial institutions."

New York Times: Analysts seized on the timing of strikes on British targets when Blair was at Bush's side.

"Someone wants to convey a very clear message that will go out not only to Britain but to the United States,'' said Gustav Lindstrom at the Institute of Security Studies in Paris.

"Many people will read into this a connection with Britain's effort in Iraq and its special relationship to the United States.''

But Blair insisted his close alliance with Bush was not to blame.

A statement purportedly by a unit of al Qaeda published in a London-based Arabic newspaper on Monday said the organization planned to target "the criminal Bush and his Arab and Western tails -- especially Britain, Italy, Australia and Japan.''

Bush's entourage was speeding toward London's Westminster Abbey for a solemn wreath-laying ceremony as the first pictures of bodies and mangled wreckage on the streets of Istanbul appeared on television. After the ceremony, he met relatives of some of the 53 British soldiers killed in Iraq.

The attacks overshadowed political talks that left the British prime minister again open to criticism that his unflagging support for Bush has won few benefits for Britain.

Blair failed to win breakthroughs on the two most contentious issues -- the treatment of British detainees at the U.S. prison colony at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and U.S. tariffs on steel that the World Trade Organization has ruled illegal.

Amid the tightest security ever seen in the British capital, thousands of anti-war protesters took to the streets to express anger over the Iraq war, which divided Britain.

The Istanbul attacks did not dampen the protests.

"We said before the war that these sorts of attacks would increase as Britain and America were potential targets,'' said Stop the War Coalition's Lindsey German.

"The only way to stop this is not by bombing people but by finding a political solution.''


Protestors gather for an anti-Bush protest
in central London, Thursday Nov. 20, 2003.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The President's Speech at Whitehall Palace in London

Except for that bit about Israel has to stop "humiliating" the Arabs - which I suppose is part of appearing 'fair and balanced' - this is a wonderful speech. Read it all.

Who the hell is Roman Bronfman, and why was he elected?

And how can he possibly blame the Jews for antisemitism?
Sometimes I get discouraged about making aliyah to Israel, like when I read this, written by a Minister of the Knesset. "Fanning the flames of hatred,"- published at Haaretz -
Another day of Jewish victims somewhere in the world, and this time in a terrible attack on synagogues in Istanbul. The number of violent incidents worldwide against anything identified with the State of Israel and the Jewish people no longer leaves any doubt that this is a real wave.

Even a quick glance at the newspapers in recent weeks indicates the worrisome change in world public opinion: Israel as a symbol - and Jews, in general - have been transformed from the helpless victims of the Nazi extermination machine into "the most dangerous country to world peace," as defined by the latest European Union Commission survey. This was a problematic survey from a structural point of view, so I shall reword the statement - Israel has become the most hated nation in the world.

How can this hatred toward us be explained, particularly in the developed European states? And why is it being expressed specifically now, and with such intensity? At first, Israel officially assumed that these were only marginal expressions of radicalization toward Israel. But when the waves of hatred spread and appeared on all the media networks around the world and penetrated every home, the new-old answer surfaced: anti-Semitism.

After all, anti-Semitism has always been the Jews' trump card because it is easy to quote some crazy figure from history and seek cover. This time, too, the anti-Semitism card has been pulled from the sleeve of explanations by the Israeli government and its most faithful spokespeople have been sent to wave it. But the time has come for the Israeli public to wake up from the fairy tale being told by its elected government.

The rhetoric of the perpetual victim is not a sufficient answer for the question of the timing. Why all of a sudden have all the anti-Semites, or haters of Israel, raised their heads and begun chanting hate slogans? Enough of our whining, "The whole world is against us."

After all, every country first takes care of its national interests and no other country has to be included among the fans of the Zionist effort. The time has come to look at the facts and admit the simple but bitter truth - Israel has lost its legitimacy in the eyes of the world and we are guilty for what has happened. This generalization is a bit harsh for me, so I will be more precise - not all of us, but our government. Even though I am absolutely certain that each one of its ministers really wants what is best for the country, the government is mistaken and is bringing calamity upon us.

The government is mistaken because it is conducting a destructive policy. No government in Israel has succeeded in solving the tragedy of the two peoples - the occupier and the occupied. Governments have had 36 years to do this, and no government has figured out how to be rid of the territories.

But this government, which Prime Minister Ariel Sharon heads, has brought the Palestinians' despair to new depths. Considering the criticism of the international community, there is only one nation left that insists on believing in the government's path - the Jewish nation, which backs up the government's actions time after time.

Where do we get our pretentiousness for such sympathy at a time when the Sharon government is conducting an unethical and inhumane policy? This is the answer to all the surveys that have been published around the world lately. This is the answer to all those "anti-Semitic" statements that have been voiced lately. This is the answer to all the arsons, the murders and the terror attacks we have suffered.

The Jewish people, who went through a Holocaust just decades ago - a short moment in historical terms - must not oppress another people and deny them their rights and any shadow of hope for a future. We must not be blinded by the unrestrained support from "Uncle Sam" - even the United States is being run by a radical, aggressive government that is, therefore, also failing.

It is this government that entangled the "leader of the free world" in an unnecessary and painful war, and this government is responsible for the erosion of America's status in the world.

True, the roots of anti-Semitism are planted very deeply in the culture and history of Christian Europe. It is also reasonable to assume that even the ideas of the liberals, who wanted to sever ties with traditional nationalism, will be unable to pull out these roots. But if anti-Semitism was until now found exclusively in the extreme political fringes, Israel's continued policy of the cruel occupation will only encourage and fan the spread of anti-Semitic sentiments.

From this, I conclude that if Israel wants to be embraced by the family of nations as a full member, it must learn how to behave according to the accepted rules around the world - rules of ethics, fairness and justice.

If you are an enemy of Israel, you call it "the Zionist entity." If you are a lefty Euro-appeasement groupie, you call it "the Sharon government." (Jimmy Carter did that constantly in his interview with Charlie Rose.) It's a transparent effort to delegitimize that government by pointing up its transience, and separating it from that which it represents. I am ashamed for this author. Bronfman should take off his kippah, if he owns one, and move to France. And take Haaretz.com with him.

Voice of Judea Commentary

Bush position on Israel in today's speech
US President George Bush has called upon Israel to cease all construction in Yesha (Judea, Samaria & Gaza) communities, dismantle illegal outposts and to stop degrading the 'Palestinian people.'
Cute George. On the same day that America is dropping tons of bombs on Iraq, showing ultimate sensitivity, he calls upon Israel to conduct more acts of love and kindness to the poor "Palestinians". A day after a "Palestinian" terrorist snuck up to a Israeli checkpoint, brutally murdering 2 Israeli soldiers, President Bush urges Israel to permit non-degrading freedom of movement for Arabs at Israeli checkpoints. Perhaps Bush is unaware of the fact that thousands of Arab terrorists seek to pass through roadblocks with bombs and guns to murder Jews. The roadblocks and checkpoints are there so that Israel could detect the bombs and the guns before they are smuggled into major Israeli cities.

If Israel expels the hostile Arab population they will not need to "degrade" the Arabs at checkpoints.
Makes sense to me.


French rabbi's call: Jewboy, take off that Kipah
French Jewish children should wear regular hats, instead of yarmulkes, to avoid anti-Semites, France's chief rabbi said. On Tuesday, Joseph Sitruk told Radio Shalom, a Jewish community radio station, that he didn't want young people "isolated in the metro or on suburban trains to risk becoming a target for aggressors any more than I want our young Jews to respond and become the aggressors themselves." Sitruk's comments followed a new outbreak of anti-Semitic incidents in France. JTA
Rabbi Joseph Sitruk appears to have been stricken with the same disease that has plagued Jewish leaders in the exile from time immemorial. Rabbi Sitruk equates anti semitic attacks against Jews with logical Jewish self defense. Is it any surprise that French Jew haters equate I.D.F. defense operations with Islamic terrorism? Once again the Jewish leadership; the blind leading the blind calls upon Jews to run away lest they provoke Jew haters.

Rabbi Sitruk's call for appeasement is reminiscent of Golda Meir's ingenious remark that she can forgive the Egyptians for killing our soldiers but she can never forgive them for turning our soldiers into killers.

If the good Rabbi is so concerned about Jewish Kipah donning kids being beaten for looking too Jewish, then perhaps he should begin to organize Z.E.E.R.O.F. Zionist Emergency Evacuation Relief Organization of France.

Juife it is time to come home to Eretz Yisrael!
Rabbi Sitruk should have called on ALL Jews to wear their kippot in public, until such time as they make aliyah, and should have asked the non-Jews of France to wear them as well, in a show of solidarity. The pope wears one; why not his flock?

TELL IT TO THE TERRORISTS



An anti-war demonstrator, with slogans pasted on his face,
stage a protest outside Buckingham Palace in London,
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2003 during President Bush's state visit.
(AP Photo/Richard Lewis)

None of this is helping

DEBKA headlines:
Palestinian PM Qureia meets Hamas and Jihad Islami terrorist leaders in Gaza Wednesday, pledges not to try and disarm them or use force against their organizations.


Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, left, sits with Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin during a meeting at the leader's home in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2003. The Palestinian Prime Minister and Egyptian mediators traveled to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday to try to persuade militants to halt attacks on Israel, while Israel signaled a willngness to scale back military operations in Gaza and the West Bank. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

In foreign policy speech in London, Bush said Israel should free settlement construction, dismantle unauthorized outposts, end daily humiliation of Palestinian people and not prejudice final talks with walls and fences. Arabs should stop incitement and establish normal ties with Israel. Europeans should fight anti-Semitism and stop sponsoring undemocratic Palestinian leaders. US president reaffirmed pledge of viable Palestinian democracy amid security for Israel.
How do you like this juxtaposition? Abu Ala meets with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and says he will not dismantle terrorist infrastructure by force, while our President reaffirms his pledge of a Palestinian state.

Okay, now you're prepped for this one: With the road map long dead in the water, the United Nations Security Council today unanimously passed a resolution to endorse it.

The Security Council at United Nations Headquarters in New York voted unanimously to adopt a resolution Wednesday endorsing the road map to a permanent two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2003 (AP Photo/David Karp)
This is definitely the wrong world.

Geneva Initiative: To Burn or Not to Burn?

Arutz Sheva: As Israeli homes throughout the country began to receive copies of the so-called "Geneva Initiative", some people have elected to, as the mailing requests, "tell us your opinion". But they have done so in a very public way.

In Kiryat Malachi yesterday (Tuesday), a group of yeshiva students belonging to the Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic sect gathered several copies of the "Geneva Initiative" document together and set them alight.

Chabad spokesman Menachem Brod stated that, while the booklet belongs in the trash, there were no instructions given to burn the pamphlets, nor does the Chabad leadership approve of or endorse the actions of the Kiryat Malachi students.

However, Kiryat Motzkin Chief Rabbi David Druckman announced shortly thereafter that the "Geneva Initiative" booklets should indeed be burned. Rabbi Druckman, a distinguished Chabad rabbi in Israel, said that his statement is in accordance with Torah law, such pamphlets are backed and supported by the "anti-Semites of the world."

Furthermore, Rabbi Druckman drew a parallel to calls by former Chief Rabbi Herzog, who "did not hesitate to publicly rend the British White Paper document [limiting Jewish immigration during the pre-State Mandate period]."

Hundreds of other Israeli citizens are taking part in a grass-roots initiative of their own and have marked the "Geneva Initiative" booklet mailed to their homes with the words, "Junk Mail - Return to Sender". One eyewitness from Ginot Shomron described a huge sack of booklets so marked waiting to be delivered back to the "Geneva Initiative" Headquarters at Beit Amot Mishpat, a central Tel Aviv office building that also houses the offices of former prime ministers Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir.

Chief Rabbi of France: Avoid wearing yarmulke in public

from the Local/Region section of the Kansas City Star
Obviously, I have woken up in the wrong world. There's been some mistake. Rabbis don't ask you not to wear a yarmulke, they show you how to do it. And if there were such a story, it would be in the International Herald Tribune or the New York Times, not the Local/Region section of the Kansas City Star.

Maybe a second cup of coffee will set the world straight again. While I'm gone, you can read all about it. When you're finished, go to Mazel Tops and get a new kippah for yourself, or someone you love.


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

The Anti-Bush London Maelstrom

by the Editor of JewishComment.com (UK)
[Editors' Note: As of this writing President Bush has now had to cancel his visit to the Memorial to 9/11 in Grosvenor Square, due to security concerns, as well as his address to the British Parliament due to the 'embarrassment factor' should he have been drowned out by enraged MPs...]



Any sort of incitement and extremism worries me, and at the risk of seeming overly neurotic, I find the current hysteria in London revolving around the visit of President Bush out of proportion to the threat he poses. The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has said he will refuse to shake the American President’s hand and adds that Bush is the world’s biggest threat. A compilation of sixty letters from prominent people in Britain that range from calling him vile to ignorant hick to loathsome sounds like the rhetoric in Israel before the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

The difference, of course, is that Rabin was a Nobel Peace Prize winner and was seeking peace in our time whereas Bush and Blair have chosen war to quell despots and terrorists.

In Turkey this past weekend two murderous bombings took place outside major shuls in Istanbul on Shabbat morning. This during Ramadan, not to mention the upsurge in murders in Iraq during the Holy Month. Today in Italy a day of mourning was declared and hundreds of thousands of citizens and Italian leaders flocked to Rome for the State funerals of the nineteen countrymen killed in the cold-blooded attack on their relief headquarters in Iraq.

But no, in London and other major British cities hundreds of thousands of people will be pouring onto the streets to demand that George Bush go home. Some of their placards contain unrepeatable epithets and resemble those displayed across Israel before Rabin was killed. I was one of those who despaired when the United States Supreme Court declared George Bush the winner in the 2000 election debacle. Since then 9/11 has made some of us put aside our resentment of a non-elected leader; unlike Michael Moore and Ken Livingstone I do not waste time fulminating about the threat Dubya poses to my life. How many people can say their lives are ruined since he entered the White House? Are Britons suffering because George W Bush has been President of the United States since January 2001?

Many will say that the prisoners in Guantanemo Bay are suffering, as are senior citizens and the poor across America since Bush came to office. This is a valid point, but tonight I watched a chilling interview with Dr Imram Taheed of Hizbut Tareer, a London-based (natch) Islamic group that produces scary leaflets handed out in my high street, Edgware Road. The host, the BBC’s Tim Sebastian (no friend of Israel or of the USA from his seething demeanour when hapless Israelis or Americans are his on-air victims) was fuming at Dr Taheed. This spokesman for a freely-operating Muslim activist group had appalling things to say about Israel and refused over and over again -- until Sebastian was nearly apoplectic -- to repudiate the Istanbul synagogue bombings of November 15. Would I be happy if this utterly terrifying character spent years in Gitmo ? Yes.

So why are the Brits protesting? Here is one reason: millions of people around the world think Israel is the biggest threat to world peace. I cannot bring myself to join the anti-Bush, anti-war crowd because I have yet to meet a European anti-war activist who does not have some venomous pronouncement to make about Israel. The anti-war groups like to say that the Iraq War was staged ‘to help Israel.’ Mikis Theodorakis, the eminent Greek composer and Bush-hater, last week is reported to have said in a speech that Israel is at the root of all evil and that Jews have contributed little to world culture despite constant boasting of that achievement.

So the British are out in the streets accusing Bush of every imaginable misdemeanour. This past weekend, the Queen Mary 2, the new British luxury liner, suffered a terrible accident in which sixteen people died when its gangplank collapsed whilst docked in France.

Why was the ship docked in France? Well, that is because years ago Britain ceased being the world’s greatest producer of ships. This magnificent liner has not one jot of work done in the UK, not one nut or bolt that has been produced by British hands. Is that Bush’s fault, too? This week the various trade unions to which I belong have been sending me exhortations -- virtual orders -- to assemble this week (during working hours) and protest on the streets of London against the visit by President Bush. We cannot produce a ship anymore but we can whinge about ‘a poxy Yank’ -- to quote a taxi driver of mine this week -- costing British taxpayers millions of Pounds visiting these shores.

Our Mayor will not shake the US President’s hand. Letters to the Editor refer time and again to the way Brits ‘hate’ Bush. Osama and his followers hate Americans, Jews, Israel and Bush too. So, what wonderful company is kept by the demonstrators and the British letter-writers. (They like to go on TV saying they only hate Bush but they love Americans. A few months ago the British novelist Margaret Drabble was given a massive half-page in ’The Daily Telegraph’ to inform us all how much she ’Loathes Americans and America’ , so?…)

How many American mayors would insult a visiting head of state, even if it were Chirac who turned up in New York or Los Angeles? I do not believe the anti-Bush movement is simply a reaction to a Texan ne-er do well; the rhetoric I hear stinks of Jew-hatred and pathological loathing of American culture, topped by a breathtaking disapproval of the very existence of the State of Israel.

I will not be joining the anti-Bush crowds but pondering the ugliness of a city that cannot even clear autumn leaves (three feet high in my neighbourhood and clogging our benighted old Victorian drains ) or get its buses to run on time. This is a city that houses radical clerics calling for death to our own Prime Minister and -- of course -- to Jews and Israel.

Bush is not so stupid: he has already called for American businesses to leave Britain and relocate back to the USA. Imagine that! If the multitude of Yankee companies was to up-sticks and go lock, stock and barrel back to America all at once what impact it would have on the economy and the Pound. All of the Brits who rail at me about American ‘globalisation ruining Britain’ would be gleeful, and would no longer have anything to moan about, but would they still have jobs?

The massive protests in London will culminate in the symbolic toppling of an eighteen-foot papier-mache statue of President Bush in Trafalgar Square on Thursday 20 November. Everyone will have a lot of fun. Al Qaeda and other terror groups will see how much the world sides with them about the Satan USA. The anti-war groups say they are targeting Bush and not America. The 9/11 hijackers did not care who they killed, nor do al Qaeda care that they killed, during Ramadan, more Muslims than Jews in Istanbul on Saturday. I really do fear for the world and am sad that my city, London, will be seen worldwide as a haven of misguided USA-bashing when the real villains are the unelected dictators who do not care whom their bombers kill.

We are hearing tonight that terrorists are travelling the world funded by Iran and Syria. Where are the street protests against Assad and the Ayatollahs? I fear the people who are lining the streets of London with their angry placards could not care less if Assad or the Ayatollahs eradicated Israel.

An elderly Scotsman said to a cheering audience at a recent TV debate I attended, ‘I hope America really gets it in the neck when the next 9/11 happens.’ He did not say ‘Bush,’ he said ‘America.’

OK, so America will be wrecked next time. Fine. Will those of us left behind be able to salvage the rest of the world when that happens?

As if two synagogues in Istanbul bombed and a Jewish school in Paris torched weren't enough for this week . . .

INDIANA (USA) HOLOCAUST MUSEUM DESTROYED BY FIRE EARLY TUESDAY - ARSON SUSPECTED

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) -- A fire destroyed a museum founded by a Holocaust survivor early Tuesday and arson is suspected, a museum official said.

The fire was reported at the CANDLES Museum just after midnight and gutted the building, a former printing plant south of the city's downtown.

CANDLES stands for Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Experiments Survivors. The museum was founded in 1995 by Holocaust survivor Eva Kor. It houses artifacts from Auschwitz and documents relating to Dr. Josef Mengele. Kor and an identical twin sister, Miriam Mozes Zeiger, were subjected to Mengele's genetic experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Her sister died of cancer in 1993.

Kor did not return phone messages left Tuesday at her home and office.

"The police said there was a brick that had broken the main glass door, and they threw something in there that was an accelerant," said Mary Wright, the museum's education director. "Even the display cases were practically burned down to the ground."

Someone also wrote "Remember Timmy McVeigh" on a wall. McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, was executed at a federal prison outside Terre Haute in 2001.

Terre Haute police referred calls to the Fire Department, which did not return messages.

Doug Garrison, a spokesman for the FBI in Indianapolis, said his agency is not involved in the fire investigation, but could be asked to assist.

Wright said the museum had never received any threats.

"People think this doesn't happen in nice little places like Terre Haute, Indiana," she said.
G-d help us.

Kol hakavod, Yaakov Har-Oz

Haaretz publisher demonstrates "breathtaking arrogance"
Letter to the editor, Washington Post 11/12/03
The publisher of Haaretz, Yoel Esteron, demonstrated breathtaking arrogance by dismissing the Ariel Sharon government as "represent[ing] the Israel of the settlers" [op-ed, Nov. 3].

About 3.5 percent of Israelis live in settlements over the Green Line. In contrast, in the most recent Knesset elections, parties of the right (including religious parties) received 57.5 percent of the vote, a secular centrist party that is now part of the Sharon government received 15 percent and parties of the left (including Arab parties) received 27.5 percent.

The Sharon government does not represent the Israel of the settlers -- it represents the Israeli mainstream. It represents those of us who are willing to compromise for a real peace, but who are unwilling to surrender for an ephemeral one.

YAAKOV HAR-OZ
Beit Shemesh, Israel

Yes, ZAKA went to Istanbul

Relatives and friends of Berta Ozdogan mourn next to her casket drapped with the Turkish flag at the Ashkenazi Jewish Cemetery in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday Nov. 18, 2003. Berta Ozdogan, a 35-year old Turkish Jew, pregnant with her Muslim husband, was one six Jewish victims of the Saturday's synagogue bombings in Istanbul. Her husband Ahmet Ozdogan also died during the attacks. Counting the suicide drivers of the explosives-crammed pickup trucks that were exploded two minutes apart outside snagogues intwo neighborhoods during Sabbath services, the overall death toll was 25 [23]. (AP Photo/Murad Sezer)



Classmates of Annette Rubinstein Talu, hold a wreath with her picture as they stand next to her casket during a funeral ceremony at the Ashkenazi Jewish Cemetery in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday Nov. 18, 2003. Annette Rubinstein Talu an eight-year old girl, was one six Turkish Jewish victims of Saturday's synagogue bombings in Istanbul. Her grandmother 85-year-old Anna Rubinstein also died during the attacks.

Ancient Jewish village uncovered at northern edge of Jerusalem

The remains of a heretofore-unknown ancient Jewish village dating back nearly two thousand years has been uncovered on the northern rim of Jerusalem, the Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.

The first century Jewish community was stumbled upon in late May near the entrance to the present day Shuafat refugee camp, in the wake of infrastructure work which the city was carrying out at the site for the Jerusalem's light rail-system, which is still under construction.

The archaeologist estimates that the entire well-planned village was built around 60-70 CE (the second temple period) and abandoned about seventy years later in 130-135 CE, ostensibly due to the Bar Kochba Jewish revolt against the Romans. A three-month long archaeological excavation at the site uncovered the remains of homes made of ashlar stone, courtyards and three bathhouses. Some of the walls of the well-constructed homes were found intact a meter and a half high.

Fragments of a red, green and black fresco which were used to decorate the houses were also found at the site.
I can hear it now, an ancient Palestinian flag . . .

Reuters romanticizes Arab "martyrs" killed in Iraq

"Syria Palestinian" Lifestyle
This one Reuters article is so fraught with crap that I can't even begin to dissect it. Note that it's found under the heading, "Lifestyle" -- sub-heading, "Community."
He was a casualty of the Palestinian cause, but he died on a battlefield in Iraq. Thirty-year-old Muhammad -- memorialized at his father's house in a photo holding a rifle -- was one of many Palestinian refugees in Syria who believed their struggle for their land extended to Iraq.


. . . No one can say how many left and came back, how many died fighting there, or how many are still unaccounted for. But if they are unsure about the figures, there is no doubt in their minds about the motivation of men like Muhammad -- killed in Basra during the war -- and what he hoped to achieve by taking up arms there. "I am the father of the martyr Muhammad from Palestine," said Mahmoud Saleh Hadrous, choking back tears.
Oh, blech. Tell it to editor@reuters.com

MOSSAD: 40 terrorist alerts on Jewish targets abroad

Haaretz: The Mossad has received some 40 alerts of terror attacks planned against Jewish and Israeli targets in various places in the world, Mossad head Meir Dagan said Monday.

Dagan spoke to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Security Committee plenum in the first appearance of the Mossad chief before this forum in 18 years.

Refusing to give the names of possible terrorist targets, Dagan said that authorized bodies like the Foreign Ministry and the prime minister's advisor for terror affairs could issue warnings to the public on the basis of intelligence tips, when necessary.

Speaking about the terror attacks on two synagogues in Istanbul, in which 20 people, six of them Jews, were killed, Dagan said Israel had no specific alert of a plan to attack Jewish institutions in Istanbul, only general alerts of possible attacks in Turkey.

Dagan said the attacks in Istanbul are believed to have been perpetrated by organizations belonging to the Global Jihad and Al-Qaida. He said the synagogues were guarded by the Turkish police and by a private security company, and that no flaws had been found in the security.

He said this was clearly not some ephemeral group, because attacks on such a scale require careful planning, a large amount of explosives and exact timing to coordinate the arrival of the vehicles carrying the bombs at the target site.

Dagan gave a slide presentation of the development of the Global Jihad, a world movement of radical Sunni groups spread all over the world, especially in large Moslem populations. All the groups share the ideology of enforcing fundamental Islam on the entire world by waging an all-out war on Western civilization.

Dagan added that Al-Qaida is only one of the organizations espousing war against the west. The dozens of organizations who believe in Global Jihad are dispersed all over the world, he explained, so striking against one organization would not impair the action potential of the others. The Mossad chief told the committee that these organizations have no inhibitions, so if they lay their hands on non-conventional weapons they would not hesitate to use them. The international intelligence community has been unable to identify which state or states support the organizations, he added. On the contrary, some Moslem states see them as a threat to their regime and try to act against them.

Dagan said Global Jihad cells operate in Britain, Spain, Italy and the Balkan states, as well as in Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Others operate in the Horn of Africa, as well as Kenya, Somalia, Mauritania, Sudan, Morocco, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

Geneva agreement funding to be investigated


Homes throughout Israel have begun receiving their private copies of the Geneva agreement - that controversial document formulated by Yossi Beilin and comrades that calls for a near-complete Israeli retreat from all of Yesha (Judea, Samaria, and Gaza), the Old City, and the Temple Mount. Private donors, including European Union sources, are funding a three-million-shekel campaign to mail the 70-page booklet to every home in Israel. MK Yuri Stern, National Union party Knesset whip, has asked the Non-Profit Associations Registrar to investigate the source of funding for the Geneva agreement.

MK Ephraim Sneh of Labor has strong criticism of the agreement, saying it leaves Israel with "defenseless borders."

Transportation Minister Avigdor Lieberman (National Union) said today that the agreement is "reminiscent of the Munich Pact [a document signed in 1938 by Hitler, Chamberlain, and Mussolini, in which it was agreed that the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia would be ceded to Germany and evacuated within 12 days of the signing] and the Communist Manifesto...

More at Arutz Sheva

Did anyone else see Jimmy Carter on Charlie Rose last night? Despicable. Apparently, he's up to his eyeballs in this agreement, and will be present when it is "revealed to the world" early next month. He had the audacity to claim that Oslo, at least initially, brought peace. He criticized the Bush administration for taking the side of Israel instead of being more "balanced" as American presidents had always been. And he was "glad to see" Thomas Friedman's piece in the NYTimes in support of "the moderate" Yossi Beilin.

I'll look for a transcript.

Two Israeli soldiers killed, shot at point blank range

Arab gunman had AK 47 hidden in prayer mat
JPost: The army has released the names of two soldiers killed Tuesday morning on the tunnel road which links the Bethlehem-area Gush Etzion communities to Jerusalem.


The two were St.-Sgt. Shaul Lahav, 20, from Kibbutz Shomrat in the north, (L) and Sgt.-Maj. Shlomi Belski, 23, from Haifa (R) .

The shooting attack took place at 6am when Palestinian terrorists in a car stopped several meters from the roadblock. A gunman got out and approached the roadblock with his rifle - an AK 47 - concealed in a prayer mat, then shot the soldiers from point-blank range. Lahav, who wore a ceramics flack jacket, was shot in the neck, while Belski, who was sitting a jeep, was critically wounded from a bullet that managed to pierce his regular flack jacket.

Magen David Adom medics arrived at the scene and attempted to stabiliize their conditions. MADA transferred them to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Israel handed over security control of the Bethlehem region to the Palestinian Authority on July 3 of this year in return for promises that it would combat terrorism and assume security control of the area. Today's attack was the third in the area since the security handover.

The IDF has imposed a new curfew on El Khader, Bethlehem and the region, and forces are conducting house-to-house searches for the murderers.

It's 'peace' psychosis in a nut's hell

a really good one by Mark Steyn
If you're so inclined, you can spend the week listening to long speeches by George Galloway and Harold Pinter. Or you can cut to the chase and get the message from Maulana Inyadullah. In late September 2001 Mr Inyadullah was holed up in Peshawar awaiting the call to arms against the Great Satan and offered this pithy soundbite to the Telegraph's David Blair:

"The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death."

That's it in a nutshell - or in a nut's hell. And, like Mr Inyadullah, if it's Pepsi or death, the fellows on the streets of London this week choose death - at least for the Iraqis. If it's a choice between letting some carbonated-beverage crony of Dick Cheney get a piece of the Nasariyah soft-drinks market or allowing Saddam to go on feeding his subjects feet-first into the industrial shredder for another decade or three, then the "peace" activists will take the lesser of two evils - ie, crank up the shredder. Better yet, end UN sanctions so Saddam can replace the older, less reliable shredders, the ones with too many bits of bone tissue jammed in the cogs.

Well, Saddam's gone, on the run with no Grecian 2000 and all out of Quality Street. But it's a measure of the intensity of this psychosis that the "Stop The War" crowd may well manage to turn out more people this week than they did during the war. The war stopped six months ago, some 80 per cent of Iraq is peaceful and well governed, and the overwhelming majority of Iraqis I spoke to when I was there want the Americans to stay, rather than cut and run like the UN, Oxfam and co. But screw the Iraqi people; the "peace" crowd know better than the ignorant natives what's good for them.

So this week they'll be splashing red paint hither and yon to symbolise all the Iraqi blood spilled by Bush. In yesterday's Independent , Dr David Lowry noted that Medact, a respected NGO of British medical chappies, has decided that, since the start of the Iraq war in March, between 7,800 and 9,600 civilians have died. This is presumably the same Medact that a year ago predicted that in the Iraq war and the three months following 260,000 would die, with a further 200,000 succumbing to disease and famine, and another 20,000 getting killed in the ensuing civil war.

Given that they've now revised their figures downwards by 98 per cent, it would be nice to think the protesters might reduce their budget for gallons of Dulux Mesopotamian Burgundy Gloss by a commensurate amount.

Read on . . .

Monday, November 17, 2003

Rick Richman has the latest

Tony Judt asserts that when he asked "what if there were no place for a Jewish state?" he was just "posing a question"

Jewish Current Issues covers Michael Walzer on Tony Judt and Tony Judt's lame response, with useful links to other interested parties to the conversation.

I think Judt's piece in the New York Review of Books may have been the beginning of the end.


You've gotta see this


Read Fred Lapides posting on General Black Jack Pershing at Israpundit.

Wow, forty-two years. Let's see, that would be the year 2045. I would be . . . gosh, I would be old. My kids would be old!

UPDATE: Someone said the link wasn't working. Try again, I think it's fixed.

Roger L. Simon's "Sleeping with the Enemy"

Yesterday I went somewhere that if you told me I would be five years ago, I would have stared back at you as if you had just called me the most vicious name (that is if I didn’t think you were joking). I attended a panel at the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown L. A. given by the Jewish Policy Center—one of the intellectual homes of the neocon movement. Although I am Jewish, I think some will understand when I say I felt as if I were entering the synagogue of an entirely different religion. But apparently I was far from the only still registered Democrat on hand. Judging by the tenor of the questions from the remarkably large audience (several hundred) for such a serious discussion, the Democratic Party has got a real problem with one of its most reliable and important constituencies—the Jews.
Read the rest of Simon's commentary, and consult his blog on a regular basis. I don't think he means to be, but I find him so terribly reassuring.

Headline: Italian group backs Iraq fighters


LGF's Charles Johnson: "Try not to get cognitive whiplash from the BBC’s subheading on this article. I dare you."
A group of Italian anti-war militants is raising funds to support the armed Iraqi resistance, the BBC has learned.
Ouch!

See for yourself, and oh yeah, read the article.
Message from Istanbul

"We are not really safe."

Emails from someone's friend in Turkey - via Little Green Footballs - please distribute widely.

Part 1
Hi, It is really hard to explain our sorrow and the situation we are in. first of all, I came from Israel a month ago but I could not send any e-mail to you because I was sick.

nevertheless, now there are things that are worse here. we all- I mean all jewish community - feel so bad right now. saturday, the biggest synagogue that is Neve Salom in Beyoglu and the other synogogue that is in Sisli was ruined by the bombs exploded on the tracks an the street. I mean the bombs exploded at the streets. first bomb exploded in a track at the morning in Sisli at 09.29 in the morning. the people at the streets died both Jews and others. and 5 people died because of the glasses that fell down with the power of the bombs inside the synogogue. at 09.30 second bomb exploded at the street of the Neve Salom synogogue and a guy who was the brother of my good friend aged 19 died when doing security for the community. we are Ok but there are lots of deaths and injuries.... we feel unsafe and do not know what to do right now.... most of my friends' families got injured and they are in surgery. most popular two synogogues were exploded and these were really crowded on Saturday because there were Bar-misva ceremonies in both of them... It is really like a second 11th september that you faced in USA for us. we are in great danger just because of the fact that we are jewish.

I really can not find any words to express my hate and anger. those people who died did not have any fault and they were there only to attend the ceremony.... the son of the rabbi injured too....I do not know what will happen next. I do not also trust Turkish polices... we are not really safe. they say that these attacks will increase. but life is going on here. we are all fine. some relatives who are not close injured but not so serious. thank you for asking..... but I do not know how the psychological damage of these attacks will end....please tell about you too and say all to your family that we are OK.

Tina
Part 2
Maybe I was so upset that I could not really express what I was feeling. first of all; Jews here have good relations with the rest of the Turkish people. we ( Jewish community ) do not blame Turks and we do not want to move of course. most of the Muslims died too. what I meant in that mail was, we really felt the terror inside our hearts and it was done because of our religion or Judaism. but I did not mean that we will not have good relations with the Non-jews. we accept each other, we are proud to live together and we respect each other. you felt this when you came here. and you can understand what I mean because you are married to a Turkish girl. most of the muslim police died when they were trying to protect the synogogues and we are getting sorry for them too... ( of course... ) most of our non-jew friends called us to ask how we were that is why we can not blame non-jews.

I said we do not feel safe because they can do it in every where. It is the fact about our situation. I mean that I do not trust to our government or country. Turkey does not have enough power to protect us ( not only Jews but all of us). this is my thought that I do not trust Turkey to protect its people. we felt it when the earthquake happened... ( sorry for my English again ). I do not trust to our security or hospitals. when something unusual happens, we are all in a panic and the government stays inadequate for the unusual event.

our rabbi said that if the security on that time was worse ; - both Jews and non jews were protecting the synogogues- there would be 800 deaths. none of the people who were inside the synogogue died. he says that the synogogues were really well protected. they died because of the crash, glass parts or if they were trying to enter the synogogue. mostly people who were walking on the street of the synogogue, or who was outside the synogogue for the security died. my friend died because he tried to stop the truck that had the bombs inside and then it exploded.

lastly; i should say we have hate for the international terror, and EL-Kaide of course. and I mean everyone is dying around the world and we are unsafe in everywhere. but we are united right now with both jews and non-jews in Turkey. also Jews inside themselves become more united too.

thank you for your concern and interest. tell me whatever you have in your mind and stay in touch. say hi to all your family and say that we will try to live our daily lives even if it seems harder......

Tina
Part 3
hello; these are just my views about the situation we are in. but I read and talk to people a lot that is why these issues are so deep... of course you can post my e-mails... I will be happy to tell to those people about our feelings, and thoughts.... thank you for asking... I will be really proud if you all read my e-mails and have better ideas about urkey ... these are my individual reflections and critisicsms but I live it like this and people will take these as personal experience....

there is also one more news. today, all the counselors and psychologists (jews) will come together to decide how we can do to help to our community, and families. people are psychologically hurt and there will be group threapies in a week or two. I will go to the meeting now and will join to the group.. we will learn how to behave for this crisis situations and help others... this will be a service for our community. that is all for now...

please take care and stay in contact....
Tina

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers flash presentation:

Why does Israel need a security fence?


It didn't work very well on my computer, but check it out at www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/fence.html

I wish the folks over at Christian Witness, who came up with A Prayer for Israel would lend a hand. Then we might have something we could forward to
The Press Office
Vatican
Of the Holy Father
vis@pressva-vis.va
Tel: 0039-066982
Fax: 0039 - 069 88 53 78
What the heck, send both links to the Pope. Couldn't hurt. (see below)

Pope condemns Israel's security fence



Pope John Paul II meets with unidentified Christian delegates of the Palestinian Liberation Organization during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 10, 2003. The pontiff told the delegation that terrorism must be condemned in all its forms, saying it could not lay the groundwork for people's freedom. The pope also asked the delegation to convey his 'greetings and good wishes' to President Yasser Arafat. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano)
Nov. 16, 2003: Pope John Paul II condemned Israel's security fence as a new obstacle to peace in the region. "The Holy Land needs bridges, not walls," the BBC reported him saying.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon landed in Italy Monday. He is to meet with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, and the heads of the local Jewish community. "As a result of the recent developments, a great deal of time will obviously be spent dealing with the issue of anti-Semitism," a senior diplomatic official said. More at JPost.

Keeping the faith

The Eurobarometer poll continues to astound and inform me. 55% in France, 65% in Germany, 69% in Austria and 74% in the Netherlands -- believe that Israel is now a threat to world peace.

It's amazing to me that the very countries who hosted the Holocaust now have the chutzpah to condemn Israel! (Keep in mind the definitive example of chutzpah: the man who kills his mother and father and then begs the court for mercy because he is an orphan.) Were it not for these Europeans and their antecedents, the dire necessity for a Jewish state wouldn't have arisen in the first place; it is precisely because they sacrificed the Jews within their borders sixty years ago, that the existence and survival of a Jewish state became such an urgent moral imperative.

Left to our own devices, I think we Jews would have disappeared as a people long ago through our own inclinations to assimilate. It has been the sequential hatred of others over the millennia that has kept us separate, identifiable and intact. The great irony is that if any of our enemies really wanted to do away with the Jews, all they would have to do - or have to have done - is simply leave us alone. But they either will not, or cannot.

"In every generation they rise up against us." I almost deleted that line from our Passover seder a few years ago! I thought antisemitism was an anachronism, dead and buried with the Six Million, redeemed by the rebirth of the state of Israel, firmly and irrevocably ensconced in The Past. Then a suicide bomber walked into a seder in a hotel in Netanya and blew himself up to kill the Jews there. At that moment, I don't know why, my world turned inside out. That suicide bomber pushed me over the edge, forced me to engage in a war I did not seek.

As some are compelled to seek the personal and national destruction of my people, so I am compelled to seek the faith I need to sustain me as a Jew in dark times. As surely as European hatred propelled the state of Israel into existence, that suicide bomber drove me both outward to engage against him, and inward to look for guidance in the fight. The reverberations of his explosion propelled me right into the faith of my people, into the very arms of the G-d of Israel.

In this I am not alone. Holocaust survivor Leah Fuchs Chayen writes of her experience:
I did not know the Rosh HaShanah prayers by heart, but remembered a few outstanding things like Avinu Malkeinuand Min Hameitzar Karati ("I called upon the Lord in distress"). When I came to the words "You have chosen us from all the nations, You have loved us and wanted us," I looked up at the flames consuming the children -- I was bewildered and I said it with a question mark at the end. But, I said it again at minchah and maariv. I thought a lot about what was happening around me, and about the prayers, and decided I did not understand -- but the Lord was mine and I was His, and I was a Jew and was desperately trying to cling to my religion. I spoke to the Lord and sometimes asked Him what He was doing, even if He knew what He was doing. He was there for me, and I clung to him with desperation.


See also: German Parliamentarian Call Jews "Race of Perpetrators" - at DW-World.DE

A Danger to the Peace of the World

By Moshe Feiglin
Thousands of Europeans, in an unambiguous poll, have declared that Israel is the major danger to the peace of the world. They are right.

One can, of course, say cynically that if there were no Jews in Istanbul (or Eretz Israel) the Arabs would not have killed them, together with several Turks. In other words, the Jews (whom Israel represents) are the inevitable cause of international violence. If they did not exist the world would remain quiet and peaceful.

It is somewhat cynical to accuse the girl instead of the rapist, but only to a certain extent. In some cases the girl is really guilty. This is true in Israel's case. Let's consider the most outstanding and publicized case of violence in the last decade: the affair of the WTC. The twin towers collapsed on thousands of innocent Gentiles because of Islamic suicide bombers. But who invented the phenomenon of Arab suicide bombers? The Israelis, of course.

No, this isn't a joke. This crazy Islamic mutation did not exist anywhere in the world until the Israelis came up with their Oslo process. There had previously been cases of soldiers who committed suicide on the battlefield, or in situations where they had no alternative. However, a terrorist who blew himself up near the homes of innocent children who went to buy pizza could have triggered the bomb with a delay mechanism and escaped unharmed. Furthermore, these children were not fighting him nor did they put him with his back against a wall. This is a case of a death wish unprecedented in human history, the exact opposite of any human value. The fact cannot be ignored that it first appeared when the Jews decided to recognize the justification of the Arabs' claims and gave them what they wanted.

After the Six Day War the Jews in the world were full of pride. Anti-Semitism became marginal, and aliyah from prosperous countries increased tremendously. The Jews stood up for themselves and proved that they believed that they were in the right and were ready to fight for this, and that the Almighty was on their side.

The Oslo process was a trend in the opposite direction – the Jews admitted that their enemies were in the right.

Continue . . .


Sharansky: On Hating the Jews

The inextricable link between antisemitism and anti-Americanism
Appearing in today's Wall Street Journal, this lengthy treatise is a MUST READ. Print out and save.
To be sure, the anti-Semitism now pervasive in Western Europe is very different from the anti-Semitism I encountered a generation ago in the Soviet Union. In the latter, it was nurtured by systematic, government-imposed discrimination against Jews. In the former, it has largely been condemned and opposed by governments (though far less vigilantly than it should be). But this only makes anti-Semitism in the democracies more disturbing, shattering the illusion--which was hardly mine alone--that representative governance is an infallible antidote to active hatred of Jews.

Another shattered illusion is even more pertinent to our search. Shocked by the visceral anti-Semitism he witnessed at the Dreyfus trial in supposedly enlightened France, Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, became convinced that the primary cause of anti-Semitism was the anomalous condition of the Jews: a people without a polity of its own. In his seminal work, "The Jewish State" (1896), published two years after the trial, Herzl envisioned the creation of such a Jewish polity and predicted that a mass emigration to it of European Jews would spell the end of anti-Semitism.

Although his seemingly utopian political treatise would turn out to be one of the 20th century's most prescient books, on this point history has not been kind to Herzl; no one would seriously argue today that anti-Semitism came to a halt with the founding of the state of Israel. To the contrary, this particular illusion has come full circle: while Herzl and most Zionists after him believed that the emergence of a Jewish state would end anti-Semitism, an increasing number of people today, including some Jews, are convinced that anti-Semitism will end only with the disappearance of the Jewish state.
Too bad he's preaching to the choir . . . as are we all. If our enemies were open-minded enough to read Natan Sharansky, we wouldn't have enemies.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Massive show of (Israel's) strength

DEBKAfile Reveals Exclusively
Israeli warplanes stage massive show of strength in Lebanese skies. For several hours Sunday, 30-40 fighter-bombers made low passes in quartets across length and breadth of country buzzing key locations.

Israel staged exercise to daunt Hizballah from executing plan to inflame border violence on or before Shiite “Jerusalem Day” next Friday.
Wanna hear that again? MASSIVE SHOW OF STRENGTH.