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Saturday, February 14, 2004

Will Israel's President wear a kippah in France?


Israeli President Moshe Katzav (C) kicks off a four-day state
visit to France on Monday seeking to strengthen bilateral ties
strained over differences on Middle East peace and the issue
of anti-Semitism.(AFP/Pool/File/Ralf Hirschberger)

Shavua Tov


A man walks in heavy snowfall outside Jerusalem's
Old City February 14, 2004. A rare heavy snow storm
hit the Israeli capital, causing severe traffic jams.
REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

Friday, February 13, 2004

Clinton magic in Doha

from Martin Kramer's Sandbox
Did I mention that I was in Qatar three weeks ago, for the U.S.-Islamic World Forum? Well, I was. Ralph Peters, conservative commentator in the New York Post, perfectly described how Bill Clinton mesmerized and captivated his Muslim audience. "Clinton just may have been the only American who could have reached that unforgiving crowd," wrote Peters. "

After a weekend of complaining about all things American, that Middle Eastern audience rose to its feet with evangelical enthusiasm—after being told precisely what they did not want to hear by a Scripture-quoting former president." It was a tremendous performance, and I can testify to its effect on one man: Qazi Hussein Ahmed, leader of the Pakistani Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami.

After Clinton's speech, I found myself in an elevator with him (and his entourage). So how did you like the President's speech? I asked him. "Excellent!" he beamed. "Excellent!" Magical.

Tue, Feb 10 2004 3:51 pm
See also Clinton's Triumph, wherein Ralph Peters suggests "a good-cop, bad-cop approach in American foreign policy" -- with Clinton playing the good cop.

"It won't happen in an election year, of course," but can you imagine the effects of an orchestrated, synergistic Clinton and Bush duo? Hmmm...... does the President read the Post? I have to admit, it could be a very smart move. Like they always say, keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.
To the Editor:

''Gaza First'' (editorial, Feb. 4) points out Israel's historical shortcomings and current requirements regarding Gaza and an overall peace settlement. Conspicuously absent is any mention of Palestinian responsibility.

You say that for a Palestinian state to be viable, it must ''be made up of the entire West Bank and Gaza, with small adjustments.''

I would have thought that for a Palestinian state to be viable, it would need to confront and defeat terrorism, have transparent financial dealings, stop hate-mongering against Israel and Jews, and have democratically elected leaders.

Dealing with geography alone is not enough.

DAVID TWERSKY
Elizabeth, N.J., Feb. 4, 2004

Moroccan king invites American Jewish delegation

JPost: King Mohammed VI of Morocco will meet early next week with a leadership delegation of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, his first such meeting since ascending the throne in 1999.

Morocco closed down its Tel Aviv liaison office and severed diplomatic ties with Israel in October 2000, following the outbreak of Palestinian violence.

The Conference of Presidents credited the Moroccan-Jewish community, and its president Serge Berdugo, for aid in arranging its first visit to the country. "Mr. Berdugo has worked assiduously together with the Moroccan government," it said in a statement, declaring that the visit "will allow for an exploration of vital issues of common concern." The statement added: "We are also appreciative of the support of the United States government for this mission."

Official Israeli sources said that the visit should be viewed more in the context of Morocco's desire to maintain its warm ties with Washington than as a sign of change in its relationship with Israel.

Mohammed VI's father, King Hassan II, was known for his close contacts with the Moroccan-Jewish community, which today numbers some 6,000, and a relatively moderate view of Israel compared with other Arab leaders.

Mohammed VI has been cited as one of the US's strongest allies in the Arab world in the war of terror since 9/11.

A Jewish center in Casablanca was among the targets in a bombing spree by Islamic terrorists last May that killed two dozen people. Morocco reacted strongly to the attack, rounding up hundreds of suspected Muslim extremists and last September handing down heavy prison sentences to 18 men linked to terror cells.

Antisemitism in England

excerpt from letter from Sheila Raviv,
editorial writer for Current Viewpoint

Uri Geller and his wife Hanna live in the most glorious place on earth. Sonning-on-Thames is a small village in Berkshire which boasts some of the finest restaurants and hotels in the area. Their garden runs down to the River Thames and one would think their lives are complete. I know it well because we used to live a few miles up river from their home. Yesterday morning, Uri Geller took his dogs for a walk in the village as he does every day. Closing the gate behind him he saw, scrawled in huge red letters across his garden fence the word "Jew". He called the police who took the matter very seriously, never having seen anti-Semitism of this nature, and then he spoke on Israeli television:
"This type of anti-Semitism is now rife in the world. We are seriously considering returning to Israel. It is the only place where a Jew can hold his head up and not be afraid."

Gaza Jews dispatch children to help make salad


A group of children and youths help prepare a huge salad as a show of support for the Israeli troops guarding in the Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim in the central Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2004. More than 500 people took part in preparing the salad with vegetables produced in Gaza settlements.

Palestinian terrorists dispatch children on reconnaissance missions

JPost: IDF soldiers deployed near Rafah spotted three suspects walking in a restricted area attempting to cross from the Palestinian-controlled area into Egypt early Thursday morning. The soldiers opened fire towards the suspects, wounding one lightly. Reaching the site, the soldiers were amazed to discover that the suspects were three Palestinian children aged seven, eight, and 10. Army medics treated the wounded child and then handed the three over for questioning.

IDF officers stressed that it was not the first time terror organizations took advantage of young children and teens, dispatching them to compile information on routes into Egypt or details on IDF troop movements.



The IDF said it was the third time this week that soldiers had spotted suspects attempting to cross into Egypt in the same area. However, Palestinian media reported a different story, claiming IDF forces "kidnapped two children south of Khan Yunis and took them to an unknown destination."

Fences, fences, everywhere

The Saudi Separation Fence
MEMRI has a new Inquiry & Analysis piece on the fence being built by the Saudi government along its border with Yemen.
Saudi officials told the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that the "barrier of pipes and concrete" could in no way be called a "separation fence." Saudi Border Police Commander Talal 'Anqawi said: "What is being built within our borders is a barrier of pipes full of concrete, aimed at deterring infiltration and smuggling… This barrier does not in any way resemble a fence. The site chosen to establish it is located within sovereign Saudi territory."

The Saudi prince of Najran, Mash'al bin Abd Al-'Aziz, also denied that the barrier was a separation fence. According to him, Saudi authorities built a barrier of pipes 95 km-long in an open area between two mountains to block smugglers in cars from infiltrating Saudi lands, north of the region of the agreed upon 20 km-wide strip. According to the Saudis, most of the explosives and weapons captured by Saudi security forces in recent months have been smuggled in by Islamists from Yemen.
India continues security fence to prevent attacks by militants from Pakistani-administered Kashmir
BBC: 18 January 2004 - India will keep building a security fence to prevent attacks by militants from Pakistani-administered Kashmir, the country's top army officer says. India has already built a section of the security fence, which will eventually stretch hundreds of kilometres.

Pakistan has repeatedly criticised its construction.

The move comes as two gun battles in Indian-administered Kashmir left at least six suspected Islamic separatist militants and two Indian soldiers dead on Saturday.
JPost: India has decided not to present arguments at the Hague against the Israeli fence.

Snow Expected in Jerusalem


Last year, February 25th

Arutz Sheva: Jerusalem is bracing for snow, beginning tomorrow night.
The storm is expected to be brief, but heavy.
Most of my page views today are in search of the Dirty Kuffar, so I thought I'd re-post to make the search easier:

Jihad rap video a hit in UK

A music video glorifying al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and containing images of the September 11 attacks in the United States has become a big hit amongst Britains' young Muslims, AFP news agency reported.

The song "Dirty Kuffar" (non-believer) by a young British rapper who calls himself Sheikh Terra rails against Prime Minister Tony Blair and the US President George W. Bush, calling on believers to "throw them to the fire."

"I do not know of any young Muslims who have not either seen or got this video," Muhammed al-Massari, an exiled Saudi dissident, told the Observer British weekly on Sunday.

"It is selling everywhere; Everyone I meet at the mosque is asking for it," he added.

The video starts with images of US troops in Iraq cheering as they wound an Iraqi lying on the floor. It also shows the execution of a Russian soldier in Chechnya, where Islamic separatists are fighting the Russian army.

The video finishes with images of the collapse of New York's World Trade Center, with laughing in the background.
To view "Dirty Kuffar" video:

click here for Hi-Res (requires Broadband connection)

click here for Low-Res (dial-up connection)

TGIF: Krauthammer, Jacoby and Hanson

Charles Krauthammer asks the question no one has dared to say: "Why have we not been attacked again?"

Jeff Jacoby accuses John Kerry of expedience and "shifty opportunism." (Along these same lines, see JTA's report on Kerry's appeals to Jewish and Arab voters.)

Victor Davis Hanson takes on the fantasy world of a variety of American, Middle Eastern and European pundits: "what many people are writing and saying is not quite plausible - or even what they themselves privately believe to be true" -- and knocks it all out with one sentence . . . of reality.

Today is 21 Shevat 5764

On this day in 1657 CE, Oliver Cromwell granted the right of residence in England to a Jew (one Luis Carvajal). (Some historians say that this is the earliest official British act of tolerance in favor of the Jews. [One wonders if this is supposed to be a source of pride.]

On this day in 1775 CE, Jewish homes on the outskirts of Warsaw, in a settlement known as "New Jerusalem", were demolished and the Jews of Warsaw were expelled.

Based on the book, Day by Day in Jewish History by Rabbi Abraham P. Bloch, z"l, and provided by OU.org

ISRAELI PRESIDENT TO VISIT FRANCE

"While Muslim schoolgirls in France are being ordered to remove their headscarves,
flags emblazoned with the Star of David are being hoisted in the streets of Paris"

Haaretz: If you are planning to visit Paris next week, maybe you should reconsider. Because of the "rising tide of anti-Semitism"? On the contrary. Because of the "I love Israel" parade. Next Monday, President Moshe Katsav will be arriving in Paris for a state visit. His counterpart, Jacques Chirac, intends to greet him with a big bear hug and even halt all the traffic in the busy downtown area.

In the 16th century, the Protestant King Henri IV declared that "Paris is well worth a Mass" (i.e., conversion to Catholicism). The sovereign sitting in the capital today believes that warmer relations with Israel are well worth giving irritable Parisian drivers a nervous breakdown.

Israeli officials who flew to Paris recently to handle the logistics of the visit say that the French carpet has never been redder, and it's been a long while since the smiles of their colleagues have been so broad and their handshakes so firm. Chirac is apparently anxious to play the role of Jacques I, the leader of a monarchy that wants to show its esteem for the Jewish state. The president-king has sent for his royal horsemen, ordered the Israeli flag to be flown on the Champs Elysees and placed his private jet at the guest's disposal. The entire French leadership will take part in this rare display of hugs and smiles.

Proportionally speaking, there are fewer anti-Semitic incidents in France than in the United States, Britain and other European countries. But this has not made France any less determined to fight the phenomenon, Chirac will say. A special interministerial committee that was established in November meets every month to discuss the issue from three angles: punishing offenders; promoting education and awareness of the Holocaust; and international cooperation.

Katsav's visit will not spur France into changing its policies on Israel and the Middle East. In the long run, the future of French-Israel relations will be determined by the peace process. But the powerful message that the Chirac administration is trying to pass on to the people of Israel is one that is hard to ignore. While Muslim women in France are being ordered to remove their head scarves, flags emblazoned with the Star of David are being hoisted in the streets of Paris. And symbols, as we all know, have a tendency to penetrate deeply.
See also "Antisemitism in France," below, for a slightly less rosy picture.

Could this be the BBC?

The Secret war against al Qaeda by Peter Taylor

BBC News Magazine: The West has never encountered an enemy like al-Qaeda before.

The problem for the world's intelligence agencies is that it is not a unified organisation with an identifiable structure, like the IRA, but an amalgam of groups around the world whose members embrace Osama bin Laden's ideology of global jihad, or holy war.

These Jihadi warriors share the belief that they have an obligation to fight the oppressors of their Muslim brothers, from Palestinians in the Middle East to Muslims in Chechnya. And to all Jihadis, the chief oppressor is the United States, a nation they regard as the "Great Satan".

A detailed examination of the Algerian terror network in Europe illustrates the enormity of the intelligence task.

The initial breakthrough came over Christmas 2000 when the German equivalent of the SAS burst in on a flat in Frankfurt. They arrested four men and uncovered an arsenal with bomb-making chemicals, weapons, cloned credit cards and false documents.

The men were all finally convicted of plotting to bomb Strasbourg. What was believed to be a reconnaissance video was found in the flat, its most prominent feature a lingering sequence on that city's famous Christmas market. That, investigators believed, was the intended target. If the bomb had gone off, there would have been carnage.

Jihad warrior in the UK

The four prisoners were Algerians whom German investigators refer to as unaligned mujahideen, rather than al-Qaeda members. Nevertheless, according to David Veness, the head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism unit, this Algerian network has been "a key dimension of the al-Qaeda agenda within western Europe".

When I interviewed the Frankfurt cell's alleged ringleader, Salim Boukari, in a German top security prison, he said he did not want to talk about the 11 September attacks or Osama bin Laden.

He said he was a Mujad - a holy warrior. Boukari had been living in England on and off for almost 10 years and another of the plotters, Lamine Maroni, had been living in Sheffield as an asylum seeker. MI5 and Special Branch appeared to know next to nothing about them and both had got under the wire.

Working closely together, Europe's intelligence agencies began to piece the complex network together.

The French had bitter experience of Algerian Islamic extremists, and had fought them for many years after their offshoots had carried out a series of bombings in Paris and Lille in the mid-90s.

The intelligence built up over this period by the French proved invaluable. The role of the UK's MI5 and Special Branch was also crucial since many Algerian extremists had sought refuge in London after the crackdown in France. The centre of the network was believed to be in London.

Investigators were even more alarmed when they discovered that its tentacles crossed the Atlantic to Canada and the US, where cells had been planning to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on Millennium Eve, 1999. The would-be bomber, another Algerian, Ahmed Ressam, who trained in Afghanistan, was arrested and the plot was foiled just in time.

But was the hand of al-Qaeda behind the network?

Use the link above to continue reading.
Peter Taylor's report, Third World War: al-Qaeda, was broadcast in the UK on BBC Two on Tuesday 10 February at 2100 GMT.

ISRAELI SECURITY FORCES ARREST
LADY HEZ B'ALLAH AGENT IN JERUSALEM

Maariv News Service: Security forces have arrested Fa’ada Said Abdullah, 28-year old divorced Palestinian nurse on suspicion of being a Hezbollah agent.

The suspect, who works for the Red Crescent has confirmed that she has, over the past several months, acted as a liaison with Hezbollah on behalf of Haled Shwaish, a wanted terrorist who is a senior commander in the Tanzim, a terrorist organization that is affiliated with Arafat’s Fatah party. Shwaish is based in the muk’ata, Arafat’s presidential compound in Ramallah.

She used her Red Crescent credentials to travel abroad, including Lebanon, where she would meet with Hezbollah personnel, acting as a courier between the Lebanese terrorist organization and Ramallah.

Security forces have evidence supporting their suspicions that Arafat knew about these activities, and approved them.

During her interrogation she said that Shwaish is trying to organize a mega suicide bombing attack, similar to the ones Hezbollah has carried out in Lebanon in the past.

NATIONAL GUARDSMAN ARRESTED
FOR TRYING TO PASS INFORMATION TO AL QAEDA


Anderson's 1995 high school year book photograph

CNN reveals (paragraph No. 13, if you get that far) soldier is convert to Islam

CNN --A National Guard soldier at Fort Lewis, Washington, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of trying to pass information about military capabilities to the al Qaeda terrorist organization, military officials said.

Spc. Ryan G. Anderson, 26, was taken into custody following an internal sting operation, said Lt. Col. Stephen Barger, post spokesman.

He will be charged with "aiding the enemy by wrongfully attempting to communicate and give intelligence to the al Qaeda terrorist network," Barger said.

Barger said the investigation involved the Army, the FBI and the Justice Department . . .
[skip to final paragraphs] . . . When asked if Anderson is a Muslim, Barger said, "Religious preferences are an individual right and responsibility, and I really can't get into it."

Sources said Anderson converted to Islam several years ago.
According to DEBKA, Anderson's unit is preparing to leave for Iraq.
UPDATE: See what Michelle Malkin found out -about Ryan Anderson, or Amir Talhah, as he called himself- on the innernut.

RESULTS of yesterday's Poll at Toronto Globe and Mail

"In order to spur parties to a peace settment in the Middle East, would you:
Cut off aid to Israel 39% (9511 votes)

Cut off aid to the Palestinians 30% (7180 votes)

Cut off aid to both 24% (5924 votes)

Continue the present course 7% (1617 votes)

Voice of Judea:
POLL SHOWS MAJORITY OF ISRAELIS SUPPORT SURRENDER OF GAZA


According to a poll published in Yediot Achronot a majority of Israelis support the surrender of Gaza.

In another survey published in Yediot Achronot, a majority of Israelis feel that Israel is self destructing and that Israel is on the verge of economic and social collapse.
Voice of Judea Commentary:

Yes, the social, economic and security fabric of the state of Israel is rapidly unraveling. Only a society that is fully corrupt socially could support the expulsion of thousands of fellow citizens. The answer to Israel's economic and social woes is not to expel fellow Jews. The answer is to expel the Arab enemies.

By doing so, Israel will restore security to the land. By restoring domestic peace and security, Israel will gain billions of dollars annually that are now wasted building walls and deploying troops. Not to mention the billions that Israel will gain when tourists return to Israel and regain their confidence in Israel. Much of the internal strife and stress created by constant fear of Arab terrorism would be extinguished. And the security pressure-cooker that causes so much domestic violence would be replaced with a calm and normal social climate.

No, the answer is not to reward the terrorists by surrendering more land to them and by expelling our brothers and sisters. The answer is to unite and fight our common enemies.
Amen.

POWELL BLAMES ARAFAT

Voice of America: [Secretary of State Colin] Powell told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
"I put the blame squarely on Chairman Arafat for his unwillingness to speak out, use the moral authority as a leader that everybody says he has, not just to occasionally give a statement condemning this, not only to condemn this kind of activity, but take action against those organizations that he knows is committing those acts."
Powell said he understood the frustration among Palestinians about Israeli policies, but these cannot be allowed to "serve as an excuse" for suicide attacks or other acts of terror.
"The problem is the same problem that has been there for the three years that I have been working in this account. And that is terrorism, terrorism that still emanates from Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other organizations that are not interested in peace, not interested in a state for the Palestinian people. They're interested in the destruction of Israel."

Hey, bravo. It's about time.

NPR'S ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS

by Daniel Doron, Jerusalem Post
... IT IS to undermine this moral status of Israel, indeed its very legitimacy, that its enemies in America are striving. Leading the onslaught is National Public Radio, the BBC's ideological partner.

For a decade, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) has been meticulously documenting its charge of "false and inflammatory reporting on Israel" by NPR. CAMERA has exposed many instances of bias, fabrications, and lies employed by NPR and its correspondents.

A recent example of NPR's bias is its seven-part report on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict "The Mideast: A Century of Conflict." This report pretends to represent a pluralistic viewpoint, a narrative woven around the views of experts. But these "experts" are anything but impartial. They were carefully selected and deployed to back up NPR's biased narrative. They include eight harsh critics of Israel – four Arab radicals, such as the late Edward Said and an unofficial spokesperson of the PLO (a fact NPR hides) Phillip Mattar, plus four extreme left-wing Israelis who want to see Israel denuded of its Jewish nature.

To create an appearance of even-handedness, the panel also includes one American, a former pro-Arab official from the State Department , and three Jews sympathetic to Israel. The researcher and moderator of the series is Mike Shuster, known for his anti-Israel reporting.

The experts' views are cleverly manipulated to fit NPR's historical viewpoint that reflects the Arab propaganda line.

Zionism is condemned as a mere by-product of European imperialist nationalism. NPR takes great pains to establish this false claim by asserting that the founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, was an utterly secular Jew disinterested in Judaism and in its abiding and deep historical roots in the Holy Land. This despite many explicit statements by Herzl to the contrary, especially after he had evolved from an assimilationist to a nationalist and a man of faith.

NPR insinuates that Zionism lacked any valid historical claim to the Holy Land. It portrays the Zionist settlement effort as an imperialist-sponsored land grab that violated its native population's basic rights. NPR hides the fact that the Balfour Declaration guaranteed precisely such rights.

The program also hides the fact that not only the Jewish national home was sanctioned by the League of Nations but that every Arab state came into being the same way... As usual, NPR omits and twists facts to build a case against Israel's legitimacy and to promote the position of the Palestinians.
The writer is president of The Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress, an independent pro-market policy think tank.

PALESTINIANS AROUND THE WORLD


ABU ALA MEETS WITH POPE IN ROME
Pope John Paul met with Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Alla on Thursday. The Pope spoke out against Israel’s counter-terrorism barrier:
"No one must yield to the temptation of discouragement, let alone to hatred or retaliation. It is reconciliation that the Holy Land needs: forgiveness not revenge, bridges not walls”, the pope told the Palestinian Prime Minister.
Abu Ala is on a tour of Arab countries in Europe. Next on the agenda: London, Paris and Brussels.

According to Cleveland Jewish News (JTA), Abu Ala has denied reports that his family's cemet company is providing materials to build Israel's security barrier. A Palestinian Authority parliamentary committee is said to be investigating.
SEEKING YEN: PALESTINIAN FOREIGN AND FINANCE MINISTERS IN JAPAN
Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, left, smiles as he shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at Koizumi's official residence in Tokyo Friday, Feb. 13, 2004. Shaath was in Tokyo for annual ministerial consultations to discuss matters including Japanese financial aid to the Palestinians. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, POOL)

The Japan Times says that Nabil Shaath, who is in Tokyo for talks with Japanese officials, said he appreciated Japan's financial contributions to the Palestinians over the years, but felt it was time for Tokyo to take a larger role in resolving the conflict... Shaath suggested that Japanese monitors could be posted in Palestinian territories as a means of contributing...

The Palestinians are also looking for more financial help from the Japanese. Japan has contributed $650 million to the Palestinians over the past decade, though annual donations have dropped in recent years, Shaath said.
SUHA ARAFAT -IN PARIS- SUBJECT TO PROBE OF BANK ACCOUNTS
Reuters: French prosecutors said Tuesday they had opened an inquiry into transfers totaling $11.5 million into bank accounts held in France by Suha Arafat, the wife of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat...

With her uncovered hair and expensive, Western-style clothes, she cut an unlikely figure during visits to Gaza. Her visits appear to have become rarer in recent years...

Antisemitism in France

"What's wrong with my pen? It's a Jew."
IHT: ... While the public discussion focuses on France's vaunted secularism, on women's rights and the definitions of Frenchness, racism is a silent but powerful undercurrent propelling the debate.

It is an undercurrent that Sarah Aguado, a precocious 13-year-old, knows well. As the only Jew in a school with a large Muslim minority, she was repeatedly insulted and attacked and finally forced to flee.

Classmates called her a "dirty Jew." One student slapped her and made a racist remark. Another asked whether her family in Israel "owned guns and killed Palestinians." Sarah stopped eating and had nightmares, her mother said. Five weeks ago, mother and daughter moved to the south of France, where Sarah enrolled in a new school, relieved to exit the "catastrophic" situation.

As France's National Assembly passed a law Tuesday banning head scarves and other religious symbols from the classroom, teachers and Jewish groups said that the larger problem of anti-Semitism in French schools remains deeply ingrained and would not be solved simply by banning religious headgear.

Anti-Semitism is so prevalent in some of the housing projects that ring Paris and other major French cities that "it's become infused into the language," according to Barbara Lefebvre, a history teacher at a French public school.

"Just about every week I see students in my class - where there are no Jews - insulting each other by saying, 'Stop it, you Jew.' Or 'No, you can't borrow my pen, it's not yours, Jew.' Or if their pen is broken they'll say: 'What's wrong with my pen? It's a Jew.'

"When you point it out, they say, 'This is just a way of speaking.'"...

Thursday, February 12, 2004

LGF: Daniel Pipes at UC Berkeley


Charles Johnson has the most mind-blowing story at LGF. You have to read it. . . it strains the imagination. A man like Daniel Pipes cannot even be heard at a public university in America. There was apparently "jeering, giggling, hissing, booing, and finally the orchestrated chanting of "racist" and "Zionist," (among other things). . . a shouting and clapping match between Muslims and Jews."

Comments #27 and #28 from people who were there:
"Observer" - I was at the event. Many people could not get in because the auditorium was full with those whose main purpose was to disrupt the lecture and eventually leave.

Pipes handled himself beautifully, never lost his composure in the face of this uncivilized behavior and just mocked their hypocricy. When a speaker gets booed for criticizing militant Islam, you know there's something wrong. I expected this reaction going into the event, having spent a lot of time on campus, but the circus put on by these clowns exceeded my expectations. One 'liberal' began interupting before Pipes said one word, and this continued till the vast majority of them left the lecture hall.

"TempestMan" - Well, I was there, too, and here is an excerpt of some of a long essay I wrote to send to my friends and family about the affair who wanted to know what I had seen:

Without discussing Mr. Pipes' talk too much, I do feel a need to comment on the audience. As one might expect, the protestors could not control themselves and there were numerous outbursts and other such disruptions. Whenever the word "Islam" was spoken by Mr. Pipes for any reason, the protestors were set off to chant various cliched slogans or calling Mr. Pipes a racist. Slogans included such gems as, "Zionism is racism," "Death to Zionism," "Israel out of Palestine," and even one exclamation that Orthodox Judaism was the equivalent of Nazism. The last time I checked and as silly as I personally think Orthodox Judaism is, the sect is not violent nor does it seek to force its will on others by violent means. Supporters consistently tried to calm the disruptors down through mild admonishments such as, "Let him speak," or "Please be quiet." or "Please sit down." Usually and expectedly, this did not work and one of more protestors had to be escorted out.

As the talk progressed to the Arab-Israeli conflict, various audience members would rise up to denounce Mr. Pipes. Again, they chanted "Racist," "Zionist," etc. Mr. Pipes claimed (and I agree with him) that diplomacy in this situation has failed and should no longer even be attempted as it will only be counterproductive. He correctly placed the onus of the failure of The Oslo accords of 1993 completely on Arafat and the "Palestinans" (the protestors did not like hearing that). The documented facts show that Israel made concession after concession in accordance with the agreement while the "Palestinians" ignored their obligations (namely to recognize Israel's right to exist and to stop attacking it) and used the agreement to rearm themselves and begin an indoctrination of hate and suicide into their culture directed at destroying Israel. Again, many of the protestors could not handle these truths and once again took to disruptive chants, and many were escorted out.

Also, I observed that about 90% of the protestors were young adults probably between 21-25 years of age. What does this say about our young adult population I wonder? I particularly focused on one young man seated 2 rows in front of me. I am unsure of his origins...he appeared to be a mixed type, perhaps from an interracial marriage. He was wearing the typical "Palestinian" scarf and was quite vocal throughout the talk, although it was mainly a reactionary, automated response to anything that he perceived as inflammatory. He mainly screamed "Death to Zionism" and "Zionism is racism" many times as Mr. Pipes was speaking, and called Mr. Pipes a racist over and over again. What occurred to me as I watched him was that this is the sort of person who ensures that this conflict will continue. He is so consumed with hate, racism, and a sheer ignorance that he cannot be changed. The saddest part is that the very racism that he accuses Mr. Pipes (and others no doubt) of harboring describes his very own mindset, but he will never understand that simple truth. How he came to be this way, I cannot say having not known him or how he was raised, but it was quite evident that nothing and no one would ever be able to help him. He will continue to develop into a person who irrationally hates Jews, Israel, and all other ways of life that do not conform to his own narrow views until he mercifully expires. While there is no guarantee, it is certainly within reason to believe that he may one day take up arms against innocent people whose only "crime" is being Jewish or otherwise non-Muslim.
Let this, at the very least, inspire you to subscribe to Daniel Pipes's free weekly email list - top left, above "New Postings." It will give Pipes a lift to see the surge after such a dismal experience, and it will manifest our further determination not to succumb to fear, fascism or dhimmitude.

UPDATE /FRIDAY:
[Comment] #86 quesnay 2/12/2004 07:35PM PST

My friend Jeff & I were actually at the lecture. We were not at all visibly shaken, as this sort of behaviour was to be expected. What the press did not report was the chanting of "Seig Heil" by the radicals. In fact, I don't think that any of the protesters had actually read Pipes. In fact most of the radicals do not even attend Berkeley. Pipes was great as he did not lose his cool and was very dignified in his responses. In fact, most of the students that we observed on campus seemed more worried about their course load and grades than small cadre of "Brownshirts" that gets more attention than they deserve.

ED KOCH IS ONE AWESOME YID

THE FORMER NYC MAYOR RESPONDS TO THOS FRIEDMAN:
Of all the anti-Semitic slurs, one of the most outrageous is that Jews secretly control the world.

This false and foolish accusation has been heard many times. In March, 1997, the black Muslim cleric, Louis Farrakhan, said on CNN's "Evans and Novak" that Jews "meet once a year or so in Hollywood or in Park Avenue to look at the trends of America and the world. And if there are trends they do not like, then they write scripts, they write movies, they write books. They do things to influence the trends. And that is why I intend to stay on this path until there's some change made. Black people are going to be free of Jewish control."

Farrakhan's fabrication about Jewish power and secret conspiracies is an updated version of the infamous "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a forgery created by the Russian Czar's secret police to incite pogroms — organized massacres against Jews. Even Henry Ford used the "Protocols" to support his well-financed rant against Jews during the days when he was rising to prominence through the production and sale of his Model-T Ford.

A comparable attack on Jews was made by Pat Buchanan in 1990, when he referred to Capitol Hill as "Israeli-occupied territory." On "The McLaughlin Group," Buchanan said, "There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East — the Israeli defense ministry and its 'amen corner' in the United States" with a litany of Jewish names.

Last week we heard yet another version of the same old lie, this time from Tom Friedman in his February 5th column in The New York Times. Friedman, alleging that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are secretly controlled by Jews, wrote, "...Mr. Sharon has the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat under house arrest in his office in Ramallah, and he's had George Bush under house arrest in the Oval Office. Mr. Sharon has Mr. Arafat surrounded by tanks, and Mr. Bush surrounded by Jewish and Christian pro-Israel lobbyists, by a vice president, Dick Cheney, who's ready to do whatever Mr. Sharon dictates…"

There are those who say it's paranoid to accuse a fellow Jew of an anti-Semitic remark. I don't think so.

Continue reading at Jewish World Review.

Why isn't this a New York Times Op-Ed? Don't tell me things have gotten so bad that the former Mayor has no clout at the Times!

UPDATE: Today's Friedman column makes this correction: "My Feb. 5 column erred in saying Ariel Sharon had released no Palestinian prisoners to Mahmoud Abbas. He did. It was just too limited a release to have any impact."

What were the numbers of the July and August '03 prisoner releases? In the hundreds, as I remember. And the Palestinians did what in response? They whined that it was not enough and questioned the motivations behind it, and blamed Israel for the lack of peace. They continued to attack innocent men, women and children.

Israel can release prisoners, but they cannot control the "impact" of their goodwill gestures -- and besides, if releasing hundreds of prisoners has no impact, what's the point? They're just going to go kill more Jews, anyway, first chance they get . . . ARGH

CAMERA Alert:

The Washington Post: "Israel vs. Jerusalem"
A long and extensively-illustrated article by correspondent John Ward Anderson deploring Israeli policy in Jerusalem dominated the National and World News "A" section of the February 10 edition of the Washington Post ("Israel Hems In a Sacred City; Encircling of Jerusalem Complicates Prospects for Peace").

The feature, including eight color photographs and three maps, spilled onto a full two inside pages. The play given Anderson's report is extraordinary and the report itself is consistently misleading. "Israel Hems In a Sacred City" epitomizes journalist malpractice.

Major flaws:

1) Anderson's story omits essential information, suggesting throughout that Israel's malign policies in and around Jerusalem have crippled Arab population and community growth while Israel advances inexorably.

Statistics showing the burgeoning of the Arab population would have cast the story in a dramatically different light. Thus, whereas in 1967, the non-Jewish population of Jerusalem was 26.6%, by December 2002, the percentage had grown to 34% in a total population of 680,400.

2) Anderson says "projects to cut off access to Jerusalem to Palestinians living in the West Bank, which borders the city on three sides, have accelerated since the start of the current Palestinian uprising in September 2000."

This language highlights the reporter's inversion of cause-and-effect, which implies Israeli bad faith and mistreatment of the Arabs. The projects are not "to cut off access to Jerusalem" but to control it, excluding terrorists like those who have murdered nearly 900 Israelis and wounded -- in many cases maiming for life (see "Suicide Bomb Survivors Face Worlds Blown Apart," by Keith Richburg, Washington Post Foreign Service, January 31) -- more than 5,000.

3) Anderson does not report that Israel offered the Palestinian Arabs a West Bank and Gaza Strip state, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, in exchange for peace during negotiations at Camp David in 2000.

Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority rejected the proposal and walked out without making a counter-offer. Two months later they launched their continuing terror war against Israel, which includes repeated mass murders in predominantly Jewish western Jerusalem. Only after hundreds of casualties in its capital did Israel begin construction of the barrier. By emphasizing the latter over the former, however, the reporter inverts cause-and-effect.

4) Anderson's point of departure, that Israel denies Arab access, seems to follow a central allegation of one of his sources, Jeff Halper. The reporter misidentifies Halper as "an Israeli human rights activist" and quotes him to support the claim that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's goals probably are "to foreclose the possibility of any viable Palestinian state emerging ...."

Halper's position on Israel’s anti-Zionist fringe is well-known. He advocates a bi-national "one-state solution" amounting to the destruction of the Jewish state. Inappropriately mainstreaming Halper and quoting his anti-Sharon dig without properly informing readers of Halper's radical views, sets up another manipulative omission:

Sharon has announced his willingness to negotiate establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that would exist in peace with Israel. He has warned of "painful concessions” by Israel, including withdrawal from nearly all of Gaza, provoking opposition within his governing coalition and his own Likud Party. Had the Palestinians kept their 1993 Oslo promises -- including an end to violence, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement, and dismantling the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure -- they already would have the state Halper insinuates Sharon means to prevent.

5) Anderson reiterates that the security barrier under construction "is designed to cordon off the West Bank [and] has split some Palestinian neighborhoods and separated many Palestinians from their schools, jobs, families and lands."

The reporter does note that "Israeli officials say that several of the measures are designed to deter the movement of Palestinian terrorists ...." Deter terrorists, not "cordon off the territories"; numerous controlled crossing points are planned.

6) Palestinian allegations that Israel means to "break their religious, economic, political and cultural ties to the city and preempt negotiations over its final status" are repeated.

No hint is given that before they rejected the Camp David offer and returned to violence, in violation of their 1993 Oslo Accords commitments, Palestinians exercised "religious, economic, and cultural," if not political, ties to the city. No mention is made of an epidemic of illegal Arab construction in the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, documented by Justus Reid Weiner for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. This has taken place despite authorization of enough permits for new housing to more than meet the need. Anderson makes no mention that this illegal building has been subsidized by the Palestinian Authority and Arab governments as a political move to counter or deny Jewish claims in the city. Post readers do not learn that Arab housing construction in Jerusalem outpaced Jewish building after the city’s reunification, growing at a rate of 122 percent compared to 113.5 percent ("Arab Building in Jerusalem: 1967 - 1997," by Israel Kimhi).

Anderson also ignores that Jews were denied their own ties to much of the city during Jordan's illegal occupation of eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City, from 1948 to 1967. Unmentioned is the fact that Palestinian Muslim religious authorities have been busy, since the mid-1990s, physically destroying archaeological evidence of Jewish religious and cultural ties by unauthorized excavations on Temple Mount.

7) Anderson writes that "under the agreements that ended British rule in Palestine in 1948 and divided the region into Arab and Jewish areas, Jerusalem was to be an international city. But Israel's war for independence ended the following year with Israel in possession of the western part of the city ...."

This is historical revisionism. No agreements "ended British rule in Palestine in 1948 and divided the region into Arab and Jewish areas." The 1947 U.N. partition plan would have done so, but the Arabs rejected it and went to war to abort the new Jewish state. That is, rather than accept a second Arab country in what had been British Mandatory Palestine (Jordan was the first) in exchange for a tiny Jewish state confined to the eastern Galilee, coastal plain and part of the Negev, Palestinian Arabs and the Arab League rejected the proposed division. The Jews accepted it. The Jews ended up "in possession of the western part of the city" partly because they had built most of it and were already there, and partly because they successfully defeated Arab attempts to conquer them and force them out -- as happened in the Jewish quarter of the Old City.

8) Anderson writes that "in the 1967 Middle East war, Israel captured the West Bank, including East Jerusalem ...."

The reporter does not mention that Israel acted only after informing Jordan it would not attack unless the latter joined Egypt and Syria in war against it; Jordan replied by shelling Jewish west Jerusalem. He does not mention that Jordan renamed Judea and Samaria "the West Bank" after illegally occupying it in 1948.

9) Anderson writes of the Camp David talks in 2000 that "Ehud Barak [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon's predecessor, appeared to accept a U.S. proposal that would have given Palestinians control over the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, but the negotiations collapsed. Angered at his concessions, several partners in Barak's government bolted, and the coalition fell apart."

More revisionism. Barak did not "appear to accept." It was afterall an Israeli-U.S. proposal; Barak therefore "offered" a proposal. As noted above, the negotiations did not inexplicably collapse -- Arafat and the PA rejected the deal and walked out, making no counter-offer. Barak's coalition had fractured before the Camp David talks, after cabinet members from parties other than Barak's Labor party warned the prime minister against conceding not just control of the Temple Mount but nearly all the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But responsibility for failure at Camp David rests with the Palestinians.

Summary

Palestinian inconveniences, difficulties, and losses brought on by Israel's security barrier are detailed and personalized. No similar treatment is given Jewish settlers or officials, who appear bureaucratic, conniving, or unfeeling. In these cases, cause-and-effect are not so much inverted as ignored altogether. Nevertheless, it must be noted that had the Palestinians met their 1993 Oslo obligations they would have been able to negotiate a West Bank and Gaza Strip state by the envisioned 1998 settlement date; if they had accepted the 2000 Camp David offer they would have had a state on virtually all the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital. Contrary to The Post's presentation, the Palestinians' problems are of their own making.

No news occasioned this extraordinary article. Unless timed to appear in conjunction with an Israeli Supreme Court case and pending consideration of Israel's security barrier by the U.N.'s International Court of Justice -- neither are mentioned -- the piece must be considered a feature. Even so, corrupted by the errors, omissions, and apparent sympathies noted above, it probably should have appeared -- if at all -- as a commentary in The Post's Sunday "Outlook" section.

Thank you to Rodney Brooks and Barbara Leber, of EyeOnThePost, Inc., for first pointing out several of the above flaws.
ACTION ITEMS

Write The Post: letters@washpost.com
Send a copy to Michael Getler, ombudsman: ombudsman@washpost.com
and Foreign Editor David Hoffman: hoffmand@washpost.com.
Please send CAMERA a blind copy: cameraletters@aol.com
Point out the omissions, the inversion of cause-and-effect, the repeated skewing that stacks the deck in favor of sympathy for the Palestinians, exempting them from responsibility. Question why basic history, recent and post-Mandate, has been ignored or falsified. Stress that its fundamental flaws make "Israel Hems In a Sacred City" an epitome of journalistic malpractice.

Please use this Action Alert as background. Do not forward it to the news media or anyone you do not know.

With thanks,

Eric Rozenman
Washington Director
CAMERA Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
To receive alerts such as this on a regular basis, join CAMERA for a minimum $50/year contribution ($30 for seniors and students).

VOTE at the Globe and Mail

from Joseph Norland at ISRAPUNDIT

The Toronto Globe and Mail has posted a poll, asking,
In order to spur parties to a peace settlement in the Middle East, would you:

Cut off aid to Israel ....................... (30%)
Cut off aid to the Palestinians ......... (19%)
Cut off aid to both .......................... (41%)
Continue the present course............ (10%)

At the moment, 10:00 am EST, there are 1,010 votes with the percentages I indicated in parentheses. Please vote! The poll is in the rt-hand column of the G&M.
The last G&M poll asked, "Should all financial and political aid to Israel be cut off until a just peace with the Palestinians is in place?" 62% answered YES.

UPDATE: HonestReporting is on the case
The Toronto Globe & Mail had the following poll question on the homepage of its website earlier today (Feb. 12):
Should all financial and political aid to Israel be cut off until a just peace with the Palestinians is in place?
After immediate protest from HonestReporting and other media monitors that the question itself contains blatant anti-Israel bias, the Globe & Mail changed the question to include the option of cutting off aid to Palestinians.

That's a far more reasonable proposal - a halt in PA funding is precisely what the EU's Anti-Fraud Office is presently considering, after evidence emerged that the PA has directly funneled EU 'political aid' funds to terror organizations.
See also this about Suha Arafat and her accommodations at the Bristol Paris Hotel (@ $16,000/night)...


Hillary (L) and Suha (R)

DENVER POST seeking Guest Columnists

for three-month term
The Denver Post is seeking a new group of guest columnists to write every other week for a three-month term in exchange for a modest honorarium.

Applicants should send two sample columns (700 words each) and explain their interest and summarize their background to: Colorado Voices, Editorial Page, The Denver Post, 1560 Broadway, Denver 80202.

Include day and evening phone numbers and e-mail address. Applications also may be sent by e- mail to voices@denverpost.com - Do not send faxes or more than one copy of your entry. Column samples will not be returned or published without your permission.

Deadlines: E-mail, 5 p.m., Feb. 17; regular mail, Feb. 17 postmark.
For more information, see Cohen Peart's Feb. 1 column at the Denver Post.
I applied last year, and in spite of the positive comments I received, and my bogus assertion that my Uncle Joe would really like it if I were selected, they didn't want me :(

Kol hakavod to Cal Thomas


Imagine . . . if Thomas could replace Sharon!

The Gaza Pullout
... A Palestinian state without proof that Palestinian intentions have changed would assure an unprecedented base for terrorism that currently does not exist. It would be a threat not only to the entire Middle East and U.S. objectives to democratize the region, but to the United States itself. Such a nation-state would serve as a breeding ground and launching pad for terrorism worldwide. As a sovereign nation, a Palestinian state would be difficult for the United States and the toothless United Nations to control as it exports terror throughout the world. The Palestinian Authority (PA) already is the largest anti-American terrorist entity and enjoys diplomatic protection from much of the world. Imagine what it would be like as a full-fledged state, absent a change in purpose and direction. These people are playing for keeps because they claim a mandate from their "god." "Infidel" diplomats are not likely to deter such fanatics from their divinely ordained rounds.

President Bush is right in his assertion that the United States is fighting a war with worldwide terrorism. The Palestinian Authority is part of that war. The PA's allies have included Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein (whom Yasser Arafat praised for sending Scud missiles into Israel during the Persian Gulf War), the late Ayatollah Khomeini and other rogue nations in the region and beyond. Ideological mentors of the PA allied themselves with the Nazis and their goal of exterminating Jews (a goal that remains unchanged if one considers sermons, Palestinian TV and textbooks that are training a new generation of haters and terrorists). Arafat was trained by the Soviet Union's KGB.

Any progress toward peace and stability in the Middle East begins with abandoning the fantasy that what America and Israel do or don't do affects the actions and goals of Arafat and company.

Read it all at Townhall.com.

Write to Mr. Thomas, thank him, bless him, kiss his feet. Distribute this article far and wide; it is exactly what needs to said, over and over again, until Americans "get it." Americans and Israelis.

Planeloads of Israelis to go to the Hague

JPost: Amidst Israel's formal preparations for the International Court of justice's hearings on the security fence, a private committee is offering Israelis cheap tickets to The Hague, with the purpose of sending planeloads of demonstrators to the legal proceedings.

The committee, a non-profit organization by the name of "Civil Coalition", announced it intentions of forming a group of hundreds of Israelis to attend the mass demonstrations outside the court.

"On Wednesday, a day our story was published in the Yediot Ahronot daily, our phone system was flooded with over 500 calls from Israelis eager to participate," committee chairman Ervin Shahar told the Jerusalem Post. "We are now considering to expand the program so all those who want to go and protest will have the opportunity of doing so."

POLL: Majority of Americans support Israel's security fence

JPost: An overwhelming majority of Americans back Israel's right to build a security fence to halt terrorism inside Israel, according to a new opinion poll released by the Washington-based Alliance for Research on National Security Issues.

The poll, which was conducted Jan. 23-25 by Ipsos-Public Affairs, found that 68% of respondents agreed, and 22% disagreed, that Israel has the right to build the fence "even if many other countries disagree."

In addition, 57% said Israel has the right to proceed with construction of the fence "even if the international court opposes it," and 51% say the fence is justified even if it encroaches on Palestinian land (sic), compared to 32% who say it is not justified.

bin Laden has a "terrorist navy"

According to the Mirror (UK), al Qaeda has reportedly taken possession of 15 ships. Scotland Yard has warned that "one could sail up the Thames to attack Parliament...

The ships fly the flags of Yemen and Somalia where they are registered - and are capable of carrying lethal cargoes of chemicals or a dirty bomb."
Armed police are already routinely patrolling the Thames to protect Parliament, MI6, and other possible targets. The Royal Navy, Special Forces and the Yard's anti-terrorism squad are looking for unusual" shipping movements near Britain's oilfields and oil refineries...

US intelligence experts believe an al-Qaeda ship carried explosives used to bomb two US embassies in Africa in 1998. The explosives used in the Bali nightclub were brought in by ship.

US officials have captured al-Qaeda's chief of naval operations, Abdulrahim Mohammed Abda Al-Nasheri, who is known as the Prince of the Sea. They believe he masterminded the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden which killed 17 sailors and wounded 40 others.

Newt Gingrich on Fox last night

I'm astounded that I agreed with his reasoning
In an interview with O'Reilly, Gingrich pointed out that Britain, France, Germany and Russia thought that Saddam had WMD. The UN thought Saddam had WMD. David Kay and others have stated unequivocally that Saddam thought he had weapons of mass destruction, as did his top generals. To expect our intelligence agencies to ascertain information from within a dictatorship, that even the dictator himself did not know, is... simply ridiculous.

To my mind, criticism of our intelligence -and or the President- for not knowing otherwise is especially unwelcome coming from Senators (like Kerry) or Representatives who voted against increased funding for those intelligence services!

I love Rumsfeld

Israel "would prefer not to get put in the sea"
Moderator: One last question.

Q [Palestinian general]: Mr. Secretary, You talked about countries that were trying to produce weapons of mass destruction. You talked about Iraq and you talked about Iran and North Korea. I have a question, a direct question to you. What are you doing with Israel? As far as Israel is concerned, Israel has more atomic weapons in the region than any other country. Why do you remain silent in regard to Israel? I think it’s important to answer this question because this has to do with the world, the strategy that we are pursuing today. I think that if the position towards Israel were different then the situation would be different in the Near East, and this is a great problem.

Rumsfeld: You know the answer before I give it, I’m sure. The world knows the answer. We take the world like you find it; and Israel is a small state with a small population. It’s a democracy and it exists in a neighborhood that in many -- over a period of time has opined from time to time that they’d prefer it not be there and they’d like it to be put in the sea. And Israel has opined that it would prefer not to get put in the sea, and as a result, over a period of decades, it has arranged itself so it hasn’t been put in the sea.
It's worth reading the entire (Dept. of Defense) transcript of this Q&A period at the Munich Conference on Security Policy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

This is unbelievable

Intellectual, journalistic (and editorial) integrity of the New York Times cannot be taken for granted
New York Times editorial, February 9 2004:

"Mr. Bush said repeatedly that he went to the United Nations seeking a diplomatic alternative to war. In fact, the United States rejected all diplomatic alternatives at the time, severely damaging relations with some of its most important and loyal allies."

New York Times editorial, November 9, 2002:

"Yesterday's unanimous vote at the United Nations Security Council sends the strongest possible message to Baghdad...This is a well-deserved triumph for President Bush, a tribute to eight weeks of patient but determined and coercive American diplomacy…Only if the council fails to approve the serious consequences it now invokes -- generally understood to be military measures -- should Washington consider acting alone."
from Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish. WOW.
Write to:
editorial@nytimes.com
president@nytimes.com
publisher@NYTimes.com
executive-editor@nytimes.com
managing-editor@nytimes.com
letters@nytimes.com

Cc: public@nytimes.com

Michael Freund:

A CALL TO PSALMS

Jerusalem Post

Enough is enough. For the past 11 years, we have watched in dismay as Israel hurtled toward disaster. Defying all logic, the Jewish state proceeded to arm its enemies, turn over territory to their control, and undermine the security of its own citizens.

Israelis began to die in unprecedented numbers. Buses were bombed, cafes were attacked, yet our leaders forged ahead, plunging headfirst into the abyss.

It made no sense. Our foes broke every promise, violated every commitment, and continued to kill. But the more they did so, the more Israel continued to withdraw.

Throughout this period, we took to the streets, shouting and pleading for the madness to end. Protests were held, meetings were convened, and petitions were signed. We lobbied our representatives, urging and cajoling them to take action.

Faxes and e-mails and ads in the newspaper; articles and editorials, speeches and parlor meetings – what didn't we try, as we sought to save Israel, the Land and the people, from impending catastrophe?

And now, after so much effort, and sacrifice, and suffering, when at last it seemed clear that Israel might finally prevail, along comes Ariel Sharon and declares defeat. The man who built his reputation by building Jewish settlements now wishes to uproot them.

And so, after 11 years of Oslo, after hundreds of Jews have been killed and thousands of others wounded, we find ourselves once again facing the prospect of further withdrawal and retreat.

The irony of it is too cruel to contemplate. It cannot be that the Jewish people withstood years of Palestinian terror only to be driven from their homes by their very own government.

It cannot be that the self-sacrifice and determination which the Jewish people have displayed in reclaiming their land will all be for naught.

It simply cannot be.

And yet, here we are, all of our options seemingly exhausted. Diplomacy has failed us, politics has disappointed us, and the world still hates us, even more so than before.
In the past two elections, a majority of Israelis voted for parties who pledged to stop the capitulation, who vowed they would fight the terror, not its victims. They promised us firmness, but instead delivered frailty.
We did what the world wanted, withdrawing from parts of our ancestral homeland, turning over places where our forefathers were buried and where the prophets of Israel once walked.

WE PUT our faith in men, and that perhaps was our greatest mistake. Right is Left, Left is wrong, and the Palestinians continue to spill Jewish blood.
It seems as though we have nowhere left to turn, as there is no one in whom we can place our trust.

No one, that is, except for God.

It might sound silly, or even naive. But all of our high-tech know-how and military prowess, our scientific advances and wireless technologies, have not succeeded in extricating Israel from its current mess. Our modern solutions have failed us, so why not turn to the wisdom of yesteryear?

Indeed, throughout history, the Jewish people have always looked to their Father in Heaven as a source of strength and support. During the darkest days of the Exile, the power of prayer was our most potent of weapons. It is time we deploy it once more.

Friends and supporters of Israel should launch an international campaign, a Call to Psalms, which would unite Jews, Christians and others to pray on the country's behalf. Synagogues, churches and other houses of worship should recite selections from King David's Book of Psalms, whose power and beauty remain unequaled despite the passage of thousands of years.

Rabbis and cantors, pastors and priests, should call upon their flock each week to pray for Israel. Collectively we must storm the Heavens, voices raised, in this, the Jewish people's hour of need.

As more congregations join in, the Call to Psalms would culminate with an International Day of Prayer in Jerusalem, one devoted solely to pleading for mercy from Above.

Just imagine the impact it would have if millions of people around the world were to unite simultaneously in prayer. The reverberations could not possibly be ignored. They would be felt from Washington to Tokyo, and beyond.

So many people wonder how they can play a role in changing things. Each of us wants to make a difference, to influence the course of events, yet often we feel powerless to do so.

But that is precisely why prayer is so important, especially in this case, because it empowers every individual, rich or poor, saint or sinner, and enables us to forge a common bond as we transcend our differences on behalf of the Jewish state.

Cynics will no doubt mock the idea, chuckling with derision at such simplistic beliefs. But we should pay them no heed. After all, it is thanks to their progressive agenda that Israel finds itself in its current predicament.

The fact of the matter is that no prayer goes to waste. As King David himself wrote, "God is near to all those who call to Him, to all those who call out to Him in truth." (Psalms 145:18). Now, more than ever, is the time for us to do so.

For, unlike our leaders, He will never disappoint.

I smell a lie


The downtown streets of the West Bank town of Ramallah fill with traffic
Wednesday Feb. 4, 2004. Frustrated and frightened over lawlessness,
Palestinians have begun sticking close to home after dark and increasingly
look to militia leaders for protection or to settle scores. Government
officials have been beaten and kidnapped, rival gangs wage gunfights
in the streets, and increasingly deadly family feuds rage unchecked _
while police officers barred by Israel from carrying arms remain
on the sidelines
. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Barred by Israel from carrying arms?! Somehow, I don't think so. Last I heard, Israel armed thousands of Palestinian police during the Oslo years.

I'll check it out. If you find anything that dis/proves this, please let me know:
zioneocon at comcast dot net.
UPDATE:

Dear Anne,

You were right to question the caption. Palestinian police have been free to
wear their uniforms and display arms since Jan. 27. See the relevant New
York Times story
... According to the story, Palestinian security
officials said they reached an agreement with the Israelis on Jan. 27
concerning uniforms and firearms following several months of negotiations.

Please write to info@ap.org to point out that their caption has updated
information. We will also make contact with AP, but it is good if they hear
from individual news consumers as well.

Thanks again for bringing this to CAMERA's attention.

Sincerely,

Tamar Sternthal
Senior Research Analyst
CAMERA

What is it with soccer fans?

Mexican crowd chants 'Usama!' at U.S. soccer team
FoxNews/AP: GUADALAJARA, Mexico —The boos nearly drowned out "The Star-Spangled Banner," and a few dozen fans chanted "Usama! Usama!" as the United States was eliminated by Mexico in Olympic men's soccer qualifying.

A loud anti-American crowd yelled the first name of Usama bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks, as Mexico beat the United States 4-0 Tuesday night in the under-23 tournament, claiming a berth in the Athens Olympics.

As U.S. players left the stadium for their bus, several fans -- some clutching beers -- chanted "Usama! Usama!"

Police in riot gear held back the crowd and urged people to calm down.
Not much difference between this and the Belgian soccer fans chanting "Hamas, Hamas, gas all the Jews". It's just a matter of degree.

Send Misloach Manot to your family and friends in Israel, to active duty IDF or to YESHA children


via ComeToYesha.com
The ComeToYesha.org Mishloach Manot Project is an all Yesha project. We want to give you a small insight into the people and personalities involved. We have tried this year to include as much as possible the "small" people rather than the larger corporations in Yesha.

For example, one successful business was started by a lady following high-tech economic downturn when here husband was retrenched in his comapny's downsizing.

ComeToYesha.org was conceived and is run by Menachem Kuchar who has lived in Efrat for nineteen years. An Oleh from Australia, Menachem is responsible for many internet sites including whichCAREER.com, PizzaIDF.org, TreesToIsrael.org, and Beged Ivri.

Our graphic artist, Shelley Nako, lives in Bet-El and our delivery manager, Avi Rosenberg, has been in Rosh Tzurim for over thirty years. Packing the manot is Menachem Perlman of Patit, with grocery stores in Efrat and Neve Daniel. And Avi Nadel from Cochav haShachar makes sure our advertizing goes out.

Our products include:
Pri Katif fruit juices are produced in Gush Katif

Gillie's Goodies by Gail Ehrlich who lives in Efrat and bakes in Rosh Zurim

Sara's Muffins are prepared by Sara Tropper in Efrat

Honey and Olive Oil for the Yishuv of Negohot, which has been left as a Jewish enclave completely surounded by a sea of Arabs and where 2 people were murdered last Rosh haShana by Arab terrorists

Maya Sweets and candies from Mishor Adumim
Our children living in YESHA are on the front line every day, on their way to and from school, playing with friends after school and well, just in general. You can send them Mishloach Manot with your messages of support. These manot contain a Purim toy.

As you are aware, the people under the greatest pressure at this time are the families living on the so-called hill-tops, the machazim, and in the various communities in Aza (Gaza). The Sharon Government has decided to start implementing its policy of dismantling our communities at these small outposts and in Azza. You can send encouragement to the families on the government's hit-list by sending them Mishlaoch Manot with your messages of support and gratitude.

YESHA children's package
only $12.99

Isralert on the Earthquake in Israel

Experts have been warning for years that Israel is due for another major earthquake in the coming years or decades. Earthquake scholar Dr. Ron Avni of Be'er Sheva University told Arutz-7's Moshe Priel that the feared quake could reach 7 on the Richter scale - releasing well over 900 times more energy than today's shake. "It's true," Avni said, "that Israel started, a few years ago, to prepare for a quake, including plans to strengthen threatened buildings, but unfortunately the work has stopped."

The prophet Zechariah foretells a cataclysmic earthquake in the Land of Israel when the Messiah comes to the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem. The mountain shall be split down the middle from east to west, forming an enormous valley to which people shall flee.
And this from Imshin in Israel:
You know, in the first split second you can't quite grasp it. Is my desk MOVING? And then you start to realize you aren't imagining things, and it's not the rabbi, in the office on the floor above you, moving furniture. Your desk really is moving. Moving?! Shaking like nobody's business! And your computer, and the walls, and the windows, and the floor. And shaking, and shaking, and shaking. They said it was only few seconds but it felt like about two minutes. It went on and on. I actually had time to ring Bish and discuss the situation with his secretary, before she got hysterical and dived under the table (they're on the twelfth floor). You suddenly know exactly what it's like to be living your whole life on the back of a sleeping monster that is just starting to wake up. I mean, if even the ground under your feet isn't stable any more, what the hell is?
Yeah, really.

Good maps of Israel at Perry-Castaneda Library

University of Texas at Austin

... and lots more

Today is 19 Shevat 5764

On this day in 1349, the Jews of Basle were burned alive,
in wooden houses constructed for that purpose.

Based on the book, Day by Day in Jewish History by Rabbi Abraham P. Bloch, z"l, and provided by OU.org

Earthquake in Israel this morning

5 on Richter Scale - No Injuries

KNESSET CRACKED
Haaretz: Near the epicenter of the quake at the northern tip of the Dead Sea, Shmuel Ba'agon of Kibbutz Kalia said, "The feeling was as though the earth had opened up its mouth and we were sliding into the Dead Sea."

Telegraph (UK): Headline: "Israelis flee earthquake"
An tremor has shaken buildings in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. People fled into the streets...
Reuters suddenly gets religion! Headline: Earth tremor shakes Holy Land:
JERUSALEM - An earth tremor has shaken the Holy Land, scattering Israelis and Arabs in panic and sending a reminder of the potential for a destructive quake foreseen by seismologists and biblical prophets.
NOW it's "the Holy Land"
SwissInfo, ABS/CBN News, Phillipines, The Age (Australia)...

JNW News: According to Israel Radio, staff in the Israeli Knesset thought a large bomb had gone off, and left their meeting rooms to gather in the building's corridors.

The station reported that an engineering crew discovered a crack in the ceiling of the Knesset plenum, "directly above the table at which cabinet ministers sit." The quake occurred half an hour before they were scheduled to take their seats.

At the top of the Cabinet's agenda right now is the question of unilaterally pulling all Jews out of the Gaza Strip and handing it over to the Palestinians


VOICE OF JUDEA:

After a minor earthquake registering 5 on the Richter scale, was felt throughout the land of Israel, the only visible damage that has thus been reported are cracks in the Knesset wall and foundation. The most visible cracks are in Sharon's office.
Sharon hears not the warnings of his military experts. Sharon does not pay much attention to public opinion or to the basic security needs of Israel. Sharon ignores the Biblical prohibition against surrendering G-d given Jewish land. The Rabbis and the people of Israel remain silent.

Instead of us shaking the Knesset and shaking the heavens to rid us of the tyrants who continue to sell out Israel, we wait for miracles and signs from Heaven. Well, here is a sign for the mystical nation that waits for Divine signs. The walls and very foundation of the Knesset were exclusively singled out in this rare earthquake. Will this shake up Sharon? Will this shake up the nation of Israel?

Every Jew in the Holy Land felt the earth shake under their feet. Let us remember and not forget that feeling. Wake up and do something now. It is in our hands to stop Sharon from implementing his political earthquake that threatens the very foundation and existence of the Jewish state.

We propose here a simple and modest program of survival for the land of Israel.

"No to surrendering Jewish land! No to expelling Jews from their homes."

Expel the Arabs instead so that we can restore peace and internal security. Expel the Arab enemies so that our economy can recover from the billions of dollars lost due to Arab terrorism. Expel the Arabs - so that we could live as free Jews in a Jewish state.

One good thing has come of Sharon's suicidal unilateral surrender plan. Nobody can call the Kahanists and Israeli realists "racist" anymore for advocating the expulsion of our Arab enemies. If it is kosher for Sharon to babble about expelling and displacing Jews from their homes then it is no less kosher to speak of throwing out the modern day Nazis who thrive on Jewish blood.

It is these simple words of sanity, perhaps the only blueprint of survival for Israel that needs to be plastered up throughout the land. Everyone who felt the shaking of the ground under their feet needs to read these words and to hear the only proposal that could save Israel today.

To support the printing and distribution of this message in millions of copies, to every mailbox and billboard in Israel, please send a generous contribution to Homeland Initiative - 1403 44th Street PMB 29, Brooklyn NY 11219

Oy Vey, Habitat International Coalition is Anti-Israel?


Read this analysis of HIC's anti-Israel agenda at the NGO Monitor. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It's ironic that this comes to our attention at a time when Israel is experiencing homelessness for the first time in its history, due to the Oslo War, the Terror War, the stupidfada, whatever you want to call it....


If you can bear it, also see Ford Funds the Palestinian Left by Lee Kaplan at FrontPageMagazine:
A review of all of Ford’s current and past funding on its website shows a litany of Palestinian “human rights” groups being funded such as the following:

- “The National Committee of the Heads of Arab Local Authority in Israel” ($150,000 to be at loggerheads with the Israeli government over every issue);

- “The Arab Commission on Human Rights” ($100,000 to try and indict Israel in the International Criminal Court, but not Arafat the terrorist);

- “The Al-Mezan Center For Human Rights And Community Involvement” ($150,000 for an advocacy group in that human rights Mecca, Gaza, where Hamas rules the roost in cooperation with Arafat);

- “The Al-Dameer Association For Human Rights” ($50,000 again for an advocacy group specializing in “human rights” in Gaza);

- “The Women’s Center-Shu’fat Refugee Camp” ($80,000 in East Jerusalem to “strengthen community participation and study the peace agenda.” Of course, “peace” to the Palestinians now means dismantling all of Israel);

- The Jerusalem Media and Communications Center ($140,000 for a media project which provides highly trained PLO propaganda spokespeople so that biased reporting against Israel can be encouraged among overseas correspondents);

- “The Palestine Consultancy Group” in East Jerusalem, ($100,000 to set up a “legal task force” to support “Palestinian rights” in the city of Jerusalem by endlessly suing the democratic government of Israel which, unlike the Palestine Authority, still runs by the rule of law);

- “The Palestine Center For Policy Survey Research” ($140,000 to inform internationals of the “peace process” and “disseminate data on refugees preferences” in a controlled military dictatorship under Arafat. Do you think those preferences will be for flooding Israel with “Palestinian refugees” like Arafat insists on?);

- Bir Zeit Univeristy in the West Bank (granted $50,000 for “Palestinian scholars” and NGO leaders to travel to South Africa on a “learning and speaking tour,” no doubt with the intention to compare Israel to South Africa as an “apartheid” state.);

- The “International Peace and Cooperation Center” ($80,000 for “advocacy and public education for training and dialogue” on the community level in Jerusalem. Will such advocacy be for “peace” or is this program to train better speaking propagandists to call for Israel’s dismantlement yet again?)

This is but a sampling of the many groups the Ford Foundation has financed in the name of “peace.” The top agenda item for the Palestinian “peace” groups today is dismantling Israel by the Right of Return, flooding the country with Arab terrorists after running Israelis out of the West Bank and Gaza. And the Ford Foundation foots the bill to advance these groups' goals.

Cal Thomas on Kerry flip-flops

Townhall.com: ... Just last June 15 on "ABC's This Week" program, Kerry said he thought "it would be irresponsible for me at this point to draw conclusions (about whether intelligence was hyped) prior to all the evidence being on the table."

On NPR's "All Things Considered" last March 19, Kerry said, "I think Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction are a threat, and that's why I voted to hold him accountable and to make certain that we disarm him. I think we need to.." Since Kerry had access to some of the same intelligence passed on to the White House, why shouldn't he admit his wrong decision if he now wants to criticize the president for what Kerry regards as Bush's mistakes?

Kerry told USA Today (Feb. 12, 2003) that leaving Saddam "unfettered with nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction is unacceptable."

As far back as 1990, Kerry warned in a Senate speech, "Iraq has developed a chemical weapons capability" (Oct. 2, 1990, Congressional Record, p.S14330).

In January, 1991, Kerry said Saddam had been working on WMD "for years" (Congressional Record 1/12/91, p.S369).

In addition to noting Kerry's flip-flops, the president should roll out an even more powerful political weapon. He should invite to visit America some Iraqi men, women and children who could publicly thank this country for its commitment and sacrifice on their behalf. They would tell their stories of life under Saddam and how things have improved since his ouster. These personal stories of murdered relatives, rape, torture and imprisonment would touch many hearts.

Then the president could ask, "Do any of those who want my job wish to tell these people they would have been better off if America and our allies had chosen to stay home?"

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Brace yourself. Here it comes

Newsweek headline on Gibson's 'The Passion':
WHO KILLED JESUS?


"Mel Gibson's powerful but troubling new movie, 'The Passion of the Christ,' is reviving one of the most explosive questions ever."
He could have said controversial, he could have said provocative, but no, he just had to use the word, explosive. Like we don't already have suicide bombers hunting us down.

Gd help us.

Banagor's back

and he's done his homework
Banagor's latest, Proof Positive has a real shocker in the intro:
Enter the hijab. Used as a scarf covering the head of Muslim girls, it is meant simply as a sign of devotion towards their faith. Or so we would be led to believe. The reality is that the hijab was created by a Lebanese Muslim cleric during the 1970's, the idea which he derived from paintings of Christian nuns in monasteries. The purpose was to distinguish the local Muslim women from Christian ones, so that Arafat's Fatah terrorists would not rape "the faithful". After the Iranian revolution, it picked up steam as the perfect way to separate the Men from the Women in the population. Only since then have women been wearing it as a form of devotion.
That completely knocks me out.

Banagor's point, his plea in fact,
it is time for Jews and Christians to stand up and denounce - constantly - the open religious segregation in Islamic countries today.
is optimistic or maybe futuristic, but right on. Just for fun, call the State Department or your local Israeli consulate and get the scoop on Jews visiting (owning homes in, or becoming citizens of) Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, etc. Talk about apartheid!

CAMERA obtains correction at NPR


Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America:
Error (NPR, “All Things Considered,” Peter Kenyon, 1/26/04): In a crushing display of military might, the world’s fourth-largest army swept back into the West Bank cities it had vacated during peace talks with the Palestinians.

Correction (2/5/04): In a story that aired January 26th on the strategy of Israel’s military to head off Palestinian attacks, we said that Israel’s army was the world’s fourth-largest. There are various measures of military strength, but, measured by manpower, Israel ranks 13th according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.
Well done! (If you've ever written to NPR, you know what I mean.)

I learned lots of interesting things wandering around the CAMERA website. For instance, this piece by Lee Green, about media glorification of the mom bomb who killed four Israelis at a Gaza checkpoint on January 14, connects some dots that most of us failed to see.
Smiling at times in a videotape that showed her cradling a rifle, Al-Raiyshi said she had dreamed since she was 13 of “becoming a martyr” and dying for her people.

“It was always my wish to turn my body into deadly shrapnel against the Zionists and to knock on the doors of heaven with the skulls of Zionists,” said Raiyshi, wearing combat fatigues with a Hamas sash across her chest. (Fox News)


If Raiyshi dreamed of “becoming a martyr” since she was 13, that means that she dreamed of murdering Israelis in approximately 1995 (reports vary as to whether Raiyshi was 21 or 22), when Israel and the Palestinians were engaged in the Oslo peace process, and Gaza was under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.

Her statement highlights the likelihood that it is not any action of Israel's that provokes terrorism, but the pervasive incitement/indoctrination against Israel that Palestinians have been subjected to since 1993, when the Palestinian Authority came into existence.
Good work, Lee Green. It never even occurred to me.... See too CAMERA's BACKGROUNDER: Geneva Accords - it's an incredible resource.

Please consider joining or contributing to CAMERA. Membership is $50 for one year, $30 for seniors and students.

Mark Steyn on Bush vs. Kerry

... the reality is simple:
George W Bush's America has won two swift wars and overthrown two enemy regimes; John Kerry was heroic in a war that America lost and whose loss he celebrated. Since then he's been a model lack-of-conviction politician.

The question for anyone who thinks Kerry has "credibility" on national security is a simple one: who do you think Iran, North Korea, Syria, al-Qa'eda's Saudi paymasters and the rogue elements in Pakistan's ISI would prefer to see elected this November?
Read it all.

Then go read Rick Richman's new post on "The Strategic President."