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Saturday, February 28, 2004

The Good News Is

There is improvement in condition of Terror Victims of Sunday's bombing

Arutz Sheva: The condition of the young man who was very critically wounded in Sunday's bus bombing in Jerusalem has improved amazingly, his doctors say. Suffering from massive bleeding when he was brought to the hospital, the doctors first carried out "damage control," as they put it, and then went on to carry out "repairs." His life is no longer in danger. Two others of the 26 who are still hospitalized are still in serious condition.

A soldier who was seriously hurt while fighting terrorists in Bethlehem last week - David Yosef ben [son of] Ofrah Clara, a resident of Eli - is also making a recovery described as miraculous. Though shot in the head or neck area, and declared clinically dead when he arrived in the hospital, he has no spinal or brain damage, and is now able to get out of bed and walk around. He has a long recuperation period ahead of him.
We can send Purim Packages (shalach manos) to Terror Victims through NAVAH.

Or donate to this year's NAVAH seder for survivors (make sure to write "Passover Seder" in the comments section).

DEBKA: Middle East "Super Monday" in Washington

Monday, March 1, several hives of activity will focus on the Middle East’s most intractable conflict and the next stage of the Bush design to remake the region.

Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s two senior aides, Dov Weisglass and his new national security council director Giora Eiland, will be in Washington, officially to present the essentials of the prime minister’s initiative for Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Palestinians by means of the partial evacuation of Israeli dwellers from the Gaza Strip and from isolated locations in the West Bank and the construction of a fence - both for protection against terrorists and as a divider.

To ease acceptance, the fence was shortened by 80 km and underwent major surgery to straighten out loops curving into the West Bank. The biggest sacrifice is the section that was supposed to guard Israel’s international Ben Gurion airport, the densely populated Modi’in-Re’ut-Maccabim region, and highways linking it to Jerusalem, from terrorist attack. These vital areas will be denied the protection of a defense barrier separating next-door Palestinian areas.

The European Union’s foreign affairs executive Javier Solana will land in Washington on the same day as the Israeli delegation. He will be coming to hear arguments from secretary of state Colin Powell and the president’s national security adviser Condoleezza Rice in favor of Europe joining forces with the United States in the execution of a regional strategy and the Sharon plan.

All parties are aware that Israel will be at the receiving end of demands for further “adjustments” to make the Bush strategy attractive to the European Union.

Therefore, the fate of the Weisglass-Eiland presentation depends largely on the outcome of Solana’s talks with US leaders.

Not entirely by chance, Friday, February 27, Irish foreign minister Brian Cowan handed visiting foreign minister Silvan Shalom in Dublin with a plan that Solana will also discuss with his American hosts. Ireland is the present EU president. The plan centers on the deployment of NATO forces in areas evacuated by Israel, NATO being a euphemism for European troops. Long dreamed of by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and embodied in the Geneva proposals developed by Israeli dove Yossi Beilin and Palestinian Yasser Abd Rabbo, every Israeli government has rejected the notion in the past. Shalom explained to the Irish minister that the presence of foreign troops would hold Israel back from pursuing terrorists and prejudice its national security.

As he spoke, the subject was being thoroughly explored in the White House, according to DEBKAfile’s Washington sources, by President George W. Bush and German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder when they met to bury their pre-Iraq War hatchet.

Solana will almost certainly take up the American offer. He will not miss the opportunity to gradually forced Israel back, step by step, into a comprehensive withdrawal - not only from the Gaza Strip but also from the West Bank under the US-European aegis. Every peace proposal he ever initiated always hinged heavily on Israeli concessions to the Palestinians.

The erosion has begun. Sharon’s proposed removal of 17 of the 19 Gaza Strip Jewish settlements has morphed in diplomatic parlance to total withdrawal of settlers and troops alike. The most unobtrusive casualty of this projected stampede is the security strip along the Israel-Egyptian frontier that was enshrined in the 1979 peace treaty signed by the late Menahem Begin and Anwar Sadat, for which they shared a Nobel Prize and which holds up to the present day. Eliminating the border crossing at the southern tip of Rafah would push the Israeli frontier 70 km north almost up to the Mediterranean town of Ashkelon.

And that is just for starters. Continue . . .
We'd better hope Arik is not really comatose at the wheel, as some have suggested.
Are you ready for this?

Syria and Iran have signed a mutual defense pace

by Amir Taheri, NY Post, February 28, 2004 -- IN a reversal of its policy not to enter into military alliance with any foreign power, the Islamic Republic of Iran has just concluded a defense pact with Syria. Signed in Damascus yesterday, the pact commits Iran to Syria's defense against "the Zionist entity," which in the Iranian lexicon means Israel.

The idea of a pact was first raised by Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the immediate aftermath of the liberation of Iraq last April. The Syrian leader paid three visits to Tehran, pressing the Iranian leadership to come to the help of his beleaguered regime.

Sources in Tehran say the Iranians were at first reluctant to commit to a course that could make war with Israel almost inevitable. All changed sometime last November when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian "Supreme Guide," decided that the only way to deal with the perceived threat from America was to raise the cost of any attempt by Washington to implement further "regime changes" in the Middle East.

According to our sources, Iran's decision to strengthen its commitment to Syria is one of several factors behind President Assad's recent decision to adopt a tougher stance against both the United States and Israel.

Iran's defense minister, Rear Adm. Ali Shamkhani (who signed the pact with his Syrian counterpart, Lt.-Gen. Mustafa Tlas), told reporters in Damascus yesterday that its "arrangements" also extend to Lebanon, where Syria maintains an army of 30,000 and Iran supports the Hezbollah (Party of God).

From Damascus, Shamkhani went to Beirut, where he presided over a war council attended by the entire political and military leadership of the Hezbollah. Top of the agenda was closer coordination between Hezbollah and Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both of which are supported by Iran.

The pact has three sections. One spells out the strategic partnership of the two nations on "military and intelligence" issues, including a framework for joint staff conversations, exchange of information, joint planning and exercises, and reciprocal access to segments of each nation's weapons systems.

The second section provides mechanisms whereby Iran and Syria will assist one another against aggression by a third party. The full text of the section has not been released, but Shamkhani and Tlas made it clear that "mutual defense" includes the commitment of troops and materiel to deal with any clear and present danger against either nation.

The third section is a memorandum on technical and scientific cooperation that commits Iran to build a national defense industry for Syria. The text also commits Iran to supply Syria with a wide range of weapons, including fighter-bombers and theater-range missiles, on a lend-lease basis. Iran has also agreed to train an undisclosed number of Syrian officers and military technicians, especially in the use of a wide range of missiles.

In a Thursday speech in Damascus, Shamkhani explained that Iran and Syria felt threatened by U.S. and Israeli "aggression."

Continue . . .
See also AFP:Iranian defense minister threatens Israel in case of attack.

Israel takes out three senior terrorists in IAF helicopter missile strike in Gaza

JPost has the story, and Charles at LGF has the car swarm.

Israeli couple murdered Friday night in terrorist ambush on highway

Survived by 2-year-old daughter

A young couple, Eitan and Rima Kukui were killed yesterday by terrorist fire as they were returning to their settlement, Shani, in the south Hebron hills from a family visit in Ashdod. Both Ahmed Jibril’s Popular Front-General Command and the El Aksa Martyrs’ Brigade of the Palestinian mainstream Fatah movement claimed responsibility for the attack. Magen David Adom rescuers, who rushed to the scene of the attack, were unable to save the young couple.

The couple’s 2-year old daughter had been left in the care of her grandmother. On hearing of the deaths, Eitan Kukui’s sister, Tassia Levin, who also lives in Shani declared: “I'm going leave the settlement and move to Beersheba”.

The windscreen of the couple’s car was found shattered, and the entire vehicle perforated with bullet holes. Army radio reports that the terrorists probably fired first from a distance and then, when the car came to a halt, approached and shot the couple again at close range.

Air force planes joined army trackers in the search for the culprits and dropped flares in the area. Preliminary investigation points to two terrorists, who came from Shani's neighboring village of El Ramadin in southern Judea, crossed the Green Line and ambushed the couple as they were driving on the main Beersheba - Hebron road, between the Jewish settlement of Eshkolot and the Arab village of Sansana.

Southern District police chief, Commander Moshe Caradi said: “We knew that once the security barrier was constructed in the North and Center, there would be terrorist attacks in the South. This is a very grave attack and one we had feared would happen”.

Eitan Kukui’s family said that he had studied business management at Ben Gurion University and had worked in a kibbutz in the Negev. His wife, Rima Novikov, studied public administration at Sapir College. The couple had intended to leave the settlement and move to Beer Sheba. Kukui’s sister, Tassia, recounted that the couple were looking forward to celebrating their daughter’s second birthday.
A Google News search for [Kukui] yields one relevant result, but it's from Maariv, the Israeli newspaper.

Your search - "Michelle Kukui" - did not match any documents.

Friday, February 27, 2004

DEBKA: Two Murdered NE of Beersheba

Israel man and woman from Beersheba found shot dead in their car on highway near Eshkolot, NE of Beersheba Friday night. Car windows were smashed. Police suspect terrorist attack, hunt murderers.

In GAZA, Israeli troops uncover secret 60 meter-long tunnel from Gaza opening out on Israeli side of Erez checkpoint. It is thought to have served two Palestinian terrorists who shot Sgt. Maj. Amir Zimmerman dead Thursday. Qassam missile destroyed Neve Dekalim house. Palestinian cyclist blew himself up near Kfar Darom. No one hurt in both Gaza Strip incidents.
A Google News search for [Gibson + movie] yields 4,130 results.

One of these is "Mel Gibson's Lethal Weapon: The Worship of Blood" by Leon Wieseltier, in the New Republic:
In its representation of its Jewish characters, The Passion of the Christ is without any doubt an anti-Semitic movie, and anybody who says otherwise knows nothing, or chooses to know nothing, about the visual history of anti-Semitism, in art and in film. What is so shocking about Gibson's Jews is how unreconstructed they are in their stereotypical appearances and actions. These are not merely anti-Semitic images; these are classically anti-Semitic images. In this regard, Gibson is most certainly a traditionalist.

Now that Gibson has made the mistake of allowing people to see The Passion of the Christ--the film was much more interesting before it was released--it is plain that the controversy about its inclusion of Matthew 27:25, the infamous cry of the Jews that "his blood be on us and our children," the imprecation that served through the centuries as the warrant for the Christian assault on the Jews, was a fake, a cynical game. When Jewish groups objected to this passage in the script, Gibson expediently deleted the English translation of it. I say expediently, because decency would have prevented him from including it, from shooting it, at all. But he may as well have kept it in, because it is entirely of a piece with the Jews whom he has invented.

The figure of Caiaphas, played with disgusting relish by an actor named Mattia Sbragia, is straight out of Oberammergau. Like his fellow priests, he has a graying rabbinical beard and speaks with a gravelly sneer and moves cunningly beneath a tallit-like shawl streaked with threads the color of money. He is gold and cold. All he does is demand an execution. He and his sinister colleagues manipulate the ethically delicate Pilate into acquiescing to the crucifixion. (You would think that Rome was a colony of Judea.) Meanwhile the Jewish mob is regularly braying for blood.

It is the Romans who torture Jesus, but it is the Jews who conspire to make them do so. The Romans are brutish, but the Jews are evil.

"Wounded" in a Pigua

From Aish.com via Smooth Stone
You probably heard about the suicide bombing that brutally claimed the lives of eleven Israeli bus passengers two weeks ago. One of the victims was a young woman with whom I worked until just a few weeks ago. Her name was Dana Itach. She was completely blown to pieces. They identified her by her teeth.

There were dozens more who were pulverized, crushed, scalded and sliced open but who managed to survive. One of them is a friend with whom I only recently became acquainted. His is a story you may not have heard.

I visited him in the hospital the day after the bombing. Very weak, eyebrows singed off entirely, face splattered with blackened blood stains and red lacerations, he opened his eyes just after I walked into the hospital room.

When I saw him I tried to put on an appropriate expression that would hide my fear at seeing his wounds. And I had no idea what to say. But by the time I was by his bed, he relieved me of my inability to start a dialogue. He managed to focus his rolling, glassy, morphine-intoxicated eyes and, in a barely audible and scratchy voice, his words slowly leaked out.

"There was a great, bright, searing, yellow light. And the sound, it's something I can't describe. And then I was lying there and I realized it was a pigua (terror attack). And then I looked down and I thought, 'Oh no, my leg is gone from the knee down'. But it was just a piece of someone else's bloody flesh that had wrapped around my leg. And I thought 'Maybe I should finally leave this country.' You're lying there in absolute agony and there's no one there to help you. All these thoughts were going through my head. And I thought, 'If I leave it's a victory for the enemy.'"

For the next six months he will be recovering from a shattered knee cap, a severed vein in his leg, shrapnel wounds, severe internal contusions and a number of surgeries. In addition, he will be dealing with the psychological wounds as well. Two weeks after the bombing, he is notably stronger. He has taken several steps with a walker and he is actually able to move himself, very gingerly, within his bed in order to find a position which is a little less painful. But he is exhausted and mentally tormented. He confided, "Every day I'm fighting to keep my sanity... I'm not sleeping; the dreams keep me from sleeping."

Let's Play "What are the facts?"

From Efraim Karsh, Commentary Jul-Aug 2002, with some additions
At the inception of the occupation [1967], conditions in the territories were quite dire. Life expectancy was low; malnutrition, infectious diseases, and child mortality were rife; and the level of education was very poor. Prior to the 1967 war, fewer than 60 percent of all male adults had been employed, with unemployment among refugees running as high as 83 percent.

Within a brief period after the war, Israeli occupation had led to dramatic improvements in general well-being, placing the population of the territories ahead of most of their Arab neighbors.

In the economic sphere, most of this progress was the result of access to the far larger and more advanced Israeli economy: the number of Palestinians working in Israel rose from zero in 1967 to 66,000 in 1975 and 109,000 by 1986, accounting for 35 percent of the employed population of the West Bank and 45 percent in Gaza.

Close to 2,000 industrial plants, employing almost half of the work force, were established in the territories under Israeli rule.

During the 1970's, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world -- ahead of such "wonders" as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself.

Although GNP per capita grew somewhat more slowly, the rate was still high by international standards, with per-capita GNP expanding tenfold between 1968 and 1991 from $165 to $1,715 (compared with Jordan's $1,050, Egypt's $600, Turkey's $1,630, and Tunisia's $1,440).

By 1999, Palestinian per-capita income was nearly double Syria's, more than four times Yemen's, and 10 percent higher than Jordan's (one of the better off Arab states). Only the oil-rich Gulf states and Lebanon were more affluent.

Under Israeli rule, the Palestinians also made vast progress in social welfare. Perhaps most significantly, mortality rates in the West Bank and Gaza fell by more than two-thirds between 1970 and 1990, while life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 in 2000 (compared with an average of 68 years for all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa).

Israeli medical programs reduced the infant-mortality rate of 60 per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 15 per 1,000 in 2000 (in Iraq the rate is 64, in Egypt 40, in Jordan 23, in Syria 22).

And under a systematic program of inoculation, childhood diseases like polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles were eradicated.

No less remarkable were advances in the Palestinians' standard of living. By 1986, 92.8 percent of the population in the West Bank and Gaza had electricity around the clock, as compared to 20.5 percent in 1967; 85 percent had running water in dwellings, as compared to 16 percent in 1967; 83.5 percent had electric or gas ranges for cooking, as compared to 4 percent in 1967; and so on for refrigerators, televisions, and cars.

Finally, and perhaps most strikingly, during the two decades preceding the intifada of the late 1980's, the number of schoolchildren in the territories grew by 102 percent, and the number of classes by 99 percent, though the population itself had grown by only 28 percent.

Even more dramatic was the progress in higher education. At the time of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, not a single university existed in these territories. By the early 1990's, there were seven such institutions, boasting some 16,500 students.

Illiteracy rates dropped to 14 percent of adults over age 15, compared with 69 percent in Morocco, 61 percent in Egypt, 45 percent in Tunisia, and 44 percent in Syria.

* * *

The declaration signed on the White House lawn in 1993 by the PLO and the Israeli government provided for Palestinian self-rule in the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip for a transitional period not to exceed five years, during which Israel and the Palestinians would negotiate a permanent peace settlement.

During this interim period the territories would be administered by a Palestinian Council, to be freely and democratically elected after the withdrawal of Israeli military forces both from the Gaza Strip and from the populated areas of the West Bank.

Suicide bombings . . . were introduced in the atmosphere of euphoria only a few months after the historic Rabin-Arafat handshake on the White House lawn:
eight people were murdered in April 1994 while riding a bus in the town of Afula.

Six months later, 21 Israelis were murdered on a bus in Tel Aviv.

In the following year, five bombings took the lives of a further 38 Israelis.
By May 1994, Israel had completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip (apart from a small stretch of territory containing Israeli settlements) and the Jericho area of the West Bank.

On July 1, 1994, Yasir Arafat made his triumphant entry into Gaza.

On September 28, 1995, despite Arafat's abysmal failure to clamp down on terrorist activities in the territories now under his control, the two parties signed an interim agreement, and by the end of the year Israeli forces had been withdrawn from the West Bank's populated areas with the exception of Hebron (where redeployment was completed in early 1997).

On January 20, 1996, elections to the Palestinian Council were held, and shortly afterward both the Israeli civil administration and military government were dissolved.

During the short-lived government of the dovish Shimon Peres (November 1995-May 1996), after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, 58 Israelis were murdered within the span of one week in three suicide bombings in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv:
25 February 1996 - In a Palestinian suicide bombing of bus No. 18 near the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem, 26 were killed (17 civilians and 9 soldiers).

03 March 1996 - In a Palestinian suicide bombing of bus No. 18 on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem, 19 Israelis were killed (16 civilians and 3 soldiers).

04 March 1996 - Outside Dizengoff Center in Tel-Aviv, a suicide bomber detonated a 20-kilogram nail bomb, killing 13 Israelis (12 civilians and one soldier).
The geographical scope of the Israeli withdrawals was relatively limited; the surrendered land amounted to some 30 percent of the West Bank's overall territory. But its impact on the Palestinian population was nothing short of revolutionary. At one fell swoop, Israel relinquished control over virtually all of the West Bank's 1.4 million residents.

Since that time, nearly 60 percent of them-in the Jericho area and in the seven main cities of Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Hebron-have lived entirely under Palestinian jurisdiction.

Another 40 percent live in towns, villages, refugee camps, and hamlets where the Palestinian Authority exercises civil authority but, in line with the Oslo accords, Israel has maintained "overriding responsibility for security."

Some two percent of the West Bank's population -tens of thousands of Palestinians-continue to live in areas where Israel has complete control, but even there the Palestinian Authority maintains "functional jurisdiction."

In short, since the beginning of 1996, and certainly following the completion of the redeployment from Hebron in January 1997, 99 percent of the Palestinian population of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have not lived under Israeli occupation.
21 March 1997 - Three Israelis were killed and 48 wounded when a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated a bomb on the terrace of a Tel Aviv cafe.

30 July 1997 - 16 Israelis were killed and 178 wounded in two consecutive Palestinian suicide bombings in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.

04 September 1997 - Five Israelis were killed and 181 wounded in three Palestinian suicide bombings on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall in Jerusalem.

Since we're on a surrealistic roll, begun this morning by Caroline Glick (see below), check out this piece in the Feb. 24, 2004 Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Sharon Accuses Palestinians of 'Murder' (gasp!)

Palestinian Day of Rage in its fifth day

Concrete rage by Khaled Abu Toameh: Only a few journalists this week noticed the 12-year-old Palestinian boy at the anti-security fence rally organized by the Palestinian Authority in Abu Dis. The boy, who identified himself as Zuhair Rajabi, was carrying a red placard in English reading, "The Wall will Fall."

Asked what he was doing at the rally, Rajabi explained: "We came here to tell the Jews that they must leave our homeland. We want to kill the Jews because they are killing our people every day. Palestine belongs to the Palestinian people and the Jews must go back to where they came from."

Asked about the eight-meter-high concrete slabs that separate Abu Dis from Jerusalem, Rajabi said: "We will destroy this racist wall. We will liberate Jerusalem and expel all the Jews who are trying to take over the Aksa mosque. This is an intifada against the wall."

Rajabi was among dozens of schoolchildren who were let out early on Monday to participate in the "Day of Rage" organized by the Palestinian leadership against the ongoing construction of the "apartheid wall." One of his classmates, Imad, said he was happy to leave school "on the instructions of President (Yasser) Arafat. Today there is a general strike in Palestine because the Jews are building a wall in our country. We must fight the Jews wherever they are. We want more martyrdom (suicide) operations."
See also Friday's news of Palestinian riots after Friday prayers in the mosques on the Temple Mount.

According to Maariv, three policemen were slightly injured and some 500 Jews had to be evacuated from the Western Wall area.

(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

KEEPER: Surrealism vs. Reality

by Caroline Glick
The events of this week, which opened with eight Israeli terror victims being buried at the same time as Israel was placed on trial at The Hague for trying to defend itself from terror, have about as much in common with reality as a painting by Salvador Dali.

There is something surreal in the spectacle of thousands of Israelis and our supporters marching through the streets of a Dutch city holding pictures of our terror victims as Israel is libeled in a show trial produced and directed by our murderers.

There is something surreal about the picture of gowned judges marching into a courtroom to hear arguments about how a law is broken when Israel attempts to prevent more of its citizens from being murdered by terrorist armies.

There is something surreal about the televised footage of Avi Ohayon – whose two small sons Ohad and Matan and ex-wife Revital were gunned down in their home by a Fatah terrorist – begging cameramen to take his picture with their photographs.

And there is something grotesque about the fact that the British and Swedish governments are paying the salaries of the Palestinian "lawyers" who stand before a kangaroo court and claim that Israel is breaking a law, any law, in trying to prevent more children and mothers from sharing this fate.

Given the surrealism of the show at The Hague, it is difficult to take the proceedings seriously. How can we be expected to believe that such an evil, crude and disgusting lie can actually have any impact on our lives? But of course it does impact us.

The International Court of Justice will no doubt soon hand down an opinion saying that Israel is wrong to defend itself against the wanton murder of its citizens, killed for the crime of being Jews.

In the aftermath of the ICJ's expected opinion, Israel will come under ever-increasing international pressure to allow in foreign troops who will be tasked with protecting our murderers from our defenders.

How have we arrived at this point? How is it that after three and a half years of absorbing massacre after massacre that Israel now finds itself on trial?

The answer to this question is found in part in the latest State Department Human Rights Report. Released Wednesday, the report finds both Israel and the Palestinian Authority guilty of countless human rights abuses. Of course, it is balanced.

Of course, it duly notes that the PA security services have themselves conducted terror attacks against Israeli civilians. Yet aside from condemning every action Israel has taken to combat terrorism and thereby equating actions aimed at protecting Israeli citizens with terrorism, the report does something even more offensive.

The report very sensitively gives the names of a dozen or so Palestinian children who died during Israeli assaults against Palestinian terrorists who used these children for cover.

Yet, grotesquely, while the names of Palestinian children are listed, the report provides not one name of any Israeli victim of Palestinian terrorism.

Continue . . .
It comes up again in this column that Israel transfers 130 million shekels to the Palestinian Authority every month. What could be more surreal than that? And how are we supposed to provide hasbara for a country that seems so hell-bent on self-destruction?

For more surrealism, see Haaretz coverage of US and EU reactions to Sharon's disengagement plan:
A White House official said the Sharon plan is a chance for "an enormous and historical change" in Israeli-Arab relations. But the reports also said the Americans will only accept the plan if it is executed in coordination with the Palestinians.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

My heartfelt thanks to "Uriah58"

This message was posted at the Channel 7 discussion forum regarding the infamous Denver Sign (see earlier posts, below below below)
Uriah58 02-25-2004, 11:45 PM

I am a member of Lovingway UPCI. I have been a member for 27 years. In all of the years that I have known Pastor Gordon, I have never seen him offend anybody on purpose. I do not agree with everthing he has done over the years and he is human like the rest of us and he makes mistakes. I think it was a mistake that he put up the message that is causing so much pain. I hope the pastor will take the necessary steps to fix the problem. I am sorry to anyone who was offended by the sign.

Israeli security forces confiscated $8.3 million in RamAllah bank raid

U.S. State Department "would rather that Israel cooperate with the PA legal authorities"
Arutz Sheva: In a 14-hour raid on four banks in Ramallah yesterday, Israeli security forces confiscated some 37 million shekels ($8.3 million) used to fund terrorism. Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz announced that the money, taken from close to 400 different accounts, would be returned to the Palestinian Authority for such uses as health services, school transportation, food supply and infrastructure improvements at crossings and checkpoints.

Large IDF, Shabak (General Security Service) and police forces swooped down on and around the banks in mid-morning yesterday. Local Arabs began attacking them with rocks; some 20 of the assailants were injured - including between one and three in serious condition - when the Israelis responded with rubber bullets and tear gas.

The money confiscated yesterday is only a small fraction of that used annually by the terrorist organizations. Hamas, which is chiefly funded by Iranian sources, is estimated to receive some $70-90 million each year. The money is used for its educational system, in which children learn the ideals of jihad and potential terrorists are identified; funding the military and terrorist arms; and funding for indirect terrorist infrastructures.

Among those whose bank accounts were confiscated were Naaf U-Sharah, a Tanzim leader in Shechem, who organized at least three terror attacks that killed a total of 32 Israelis; Yamen Frej, head of the Popular Front in Shechem, who was involved in a suicide attack in Tel Aviv two months ago in which four Israelis were murdered, and many others.

The Shabak has learned that set rates exist for organizing various types of attacks. For instance, those who set up the bus attack in Meiron in August 2002 received $10,000 each, while those involved in the double suicide attack in Jerusalem received three times that amount.

The United States' response to yesterday's raid? "The action is liable to endanger the Palestinian banking system. We would rather that Israel cooperate with the PA legal authorities with the goal of stopping the funding for terror organizations." So said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher last night.
DEBKAfile’s Washington sources reveal the US was under heavy pressure to have Israel’s “armed robbers” pulled out of the banks - not only from Fayed, but from international banking heavyweight Palestinian-born Abdul Majid Shuman, head of the Arab Bank of Amman, one of the biggest in the Middle East, whose two Ramallah branches were stormed Wednesday together with the Cairo Amman Bank.

Shuman called every head of government and international bank he could find, including the World Bank and Jordan’s King Abdullah II who is on a visit in Malaysia, to insist that they intercede with the Bush administration to stop the Israeli operation. He warned the king that the Jordan-based institution’s business reputation would suffer if Israeli troops could march in at will and examine confidential accounts.

Nonetheless, for 13 hours, no one interrupted Israeli police computer experts as they logged onto banking networks and examined accounts, or the officers stuffing up to $8 million into large holdalls in amounts corresponding to the targeted accounts.

Statement by Daniel Taub
of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Hague, 23 February 2004
I reprint this from the MFA via Shark Blog - in its entirety - because to me it's just so incredibly reasonable!
The suicide bomber who blew up the number 14 bus in Jerusalem yesterday, murdering 8 people, and wounding more than 50, was a member of Yasser Arafat's own Al Aksa martyrs brigade.

Could anything be more shameful than recruiting, inciting, and paying the murderer of 8 children - students, parents, the brother-in-law of Israel's commercial attache here in the Hague? Could anything be more shameful than that?

And the answer is yes, there is something more shameful: To do all this and then come to the city of The Hague, to ask the United Nation's Court of Justice to censure the victims of terror for trying to defend themselves. To come to the 'Palace of Peace', to the 'Court of Justice', on the very morning that the victims are being buried and mourned, murdered by Arafat's own henchman, to attack Israel for building a fence which might have saved their lives.

That is why Israel is not in the Court today. Because along with the states of the Quartet, with the host state Holland, and with the bulk of the democratic world which has urged the Court not to hear the case, we know that ultimately this issue, like all the other tough issues between us and the Palestinians, will have to be resolved through compromise and negotiation. It certainly won't be resolved by sending one-sided questions to the Court that seek to put those defending themselves from terrorism on trial, but not the terrorists. And when we see the list of states that have chosen to play along - those champions of human rights: Sudan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia - itself building a massive fence to stop infiltration from Yemen, we know we were right to stay away.

We did not want to build this fence. It's ugly, it's expensive - even though its temporary, and it causes genuine hardship to many Palestinians which we must take every measure to ease. That's why we did not build it for over two and half years of Palestinian violence, why we waited while 935 Israelis were killed. Until we could wait no longer. Until March 2002, a month in which 37 terrorist attacks in 31 days murdered 137 people, including the Passover night massacre. We could wait no longer because the fence works. Not a single suicide bomber has succeeded in crossing the fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip. In those areas of the West Bank where it has been constructed, the fence has already brought down suicide attacks by some 30%. We recently caught two suicide bombers on their way to blow up a High School in the north of Israel, only because of the fence. The simple truth is that the fence is saving lives.

But it has a humanitarian impact. In the Palestinian presentation before the Court there were so many factual distortions that, tragically, they disguised the fact that there is genuine hardship caused by the fence. And it's our responsibility to do everything we can to ease this - even if it means creating over 40 agricultural gates, building underpasses to connect Palestinian areas, running buses to help the 61 kids who are separated from their schools, replanting tens of thousands of olive trees, and building new infrastructure for the Palestinians where this can't be included in the fence, like the kidney dialysis center we have just built at Mukassat hospital. But in our concern for the quality of life of the Palestinians, we cannot forget the right to life of Israelis. The fence, and the hardship it causes, is reversible. Lives lost to terrorism are not.

The aim of the fence is simply that; to save lives. In fact it is to slow down the terrorists by up to 15 minutes, to enable the defence forces to stop them. And a fence along the Green Line, which runs through villages and valleys with high ground on either side, would simply not do that. Which is why the fence diverts at points on both sides of the Green Line.

We're not trying to establish a border. If anything, it's the Palestinians, who insist the fence be built on the 1967 line who are trying to do that. We know that the future border between us has to be negotiated. That's what it says in all our agreements, in United Nations resolutions 242 and 338, and in the Road Map. The Palestinians can't have it both ways. They can't not fight terrorism and insist that we accept their maximalist position on the border negotiations.

At this very moment we know that terrorists are putting together the next suicide bomber belt aimed at the heart of one of our cities, at a restaurant, a mall, a bus. With a Palestinian leadership doing nothing to stop them, the fence is the only thing standing between those terrorists and our families. But there is a better way. For the Palestinians to do what they've promised to do again and again. Not to send questions to the Court that ignore their obligations, but to fulfill them. But nowhere in the three hours of Palestinian statements before the Court today, was there any mention of any Palestinian responsibility. Not a mention of the Israeli-Palestinian agreements in which they undertook to arrest terrorists, stop incitement, collect illegal weapons. Not a whisper about the first line of the first phase of the Road Map, which requires them to take immediate action to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.

Because ultimately, Court or no Court, no leadership can evade responsibility. And as soon as there is a Palestinian leadership which accepts its responsibility, which talks to its own people about the need for painful concessions, as every Israeli leader for the past decade has done, a leadership like President Sadat of Egypt, like King Hussein of Jordan, then we will be able to stop building fences and start building bridges.
Kol hakavod, Mr. Taub, kol hakavod.

Roger Simon saw Gibson movie,
and I don't think he liked it

"the theatrical equivalent of ten years of root canal"
Read it all, but here's a clue:
Instead of adapting one of the magnificent spiritual works of world literature, the Gospels, Mr. Gibson has tossed them aside and made two hours of virtually unremitting gore, taking the “Son of Man,” ripping him, shredding him, flaying him, smashing him, bashing him, beating him, mauling him, hammering nails in him, and then starting all over again. And again. And then again. No known human being—of divine origin or not—would have survived even a fiftieth of this. It’s the theatrical equivalent of ten years of root canal work.

And it all adds up to nothing, because the movie gives you little or no insight into what Jesus was all about.

I can't wait :/

Surprise: Germany among highest contributors to Palestinian Authority

Abu Ala with German president, chancellor
40 Million Euros last year, to be increased this year
via IMRA: The Palestinian Authority and the Government of Germany have ended February 20 talks on how and where to spend about 40 million euros Germany has allocated to the Palestinian people for projects during 2004. The two sides signed an agreement of understanding on this at the Ministry of Planning but the official final agreement will be signed between the two governments in Germany in July.

According to a statement released by the German Representative Office in Ramallah, an official German delegation from the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development held talks with Palestinian officials regarding what projects this aid will go for. The delegation, said the statement, visited several German-financed projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

While German aid last year amounted to 40 million euros, the aid is expected to be higher this year, said the statement without giving any final figure. German aid goes mainly to projects in water and wastewater and supports private sector projects as well and for institution building.

The Palestinians are the highest recipients of German international aid per capita and are among the highest contributors to the Palestinian people through European Union institutions and non-governmental organizations.
See also this AP article about Germany welcoming Sharon's proposal to dismantle Jewish settlements in Gaza, and urging Israel to make "substantive" changes to the route of the fence/wall/barrier.

NEW POLL: 73% of Americans agree -

JPost: More than half the American public would be more likely to support a presidential candidate who is in favor of a united Jerusalem and defensible borders for Israel, according to a recent poll.

The poll, conducted among 1000 respondents by McLaughlin& Associates for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, found that 52 percent of the respondents would be more likely to support such a candidate, while 13% said these positions would make them less likely to support such a candidate. Twenty-one percent said a candidate's position on these issues would make no difference to them.

On another issue, 73% of the respondents agreed with the following statement: "Under a future Arab-Israeli peace agreement, Jerusalem should remain under Israeli sovereignty with freedom of religion for Christians, Muslim, Jews and all other faiths." Only nine percent of the respondents disagreed.

Reminded that the tomb of Joseph in Nablus, the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, and the ancient synagogue in Jericho were "ransacked or desecrated" by the Palestinians since the start of the current violence, 60 % of the respondents said these events have made them "less trusting" of giving Jerusalem's Christian holy sites to the Palestinians.

Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said the results showing wide support for continued Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is especially significant since the Clinton plan and the Geneva initiative all spoke of dividing the capital. "One might have thought that there has been a significant erosion on the Jerusalem issue," he said.

"The most astounding element of the survey is the massive, across the board support for Jerusalem remaining united under Israeli sovereignty when the question makes reference to religious freedom," Gold said. "Most Americans probably feel that were Israel to give up holy sites to the Palestinians it would be like turning it over to the Taliban."

The Buddhas of Bamiyan, destroyed by the Taliban
The poll also shows massive support for a peace agreement that would give Israel "defensible borders," rather than force it back to the 1967 lines.

Who's listening? Arik? George? Mr. Kerry, sir? Yasser!

Mass terror attack thwarted,
One Israeli Soldier Killed

IDF reservist, Sgt.-Maj. Amir Zimmerman, 25,
from Kfar Monash, will be laid to rest Friday.
Arutz Sheva: Two Arab terrorists, on their way to a mass shooting attack on the Ashkelon-Yad Mordechai highway this morning, were thwarted by an Israeli Army force before they could reach their target. The force killed both terrorists, but not before the latter killed one soldier.

Brig.-Gen. Gadi Shamni, Commander of the IDF Forces in Gaza, told reporters this morning that word had been received of an Arab attempt to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack from Gaza. The terrorists planned to pass through the Erez Crossing in northern Gaza, and from there proceed to an area where many Israeli motorists passed by. Precautions were initiated a few hours before dawn, including the closing of the Erez industrial zone and the dispatching of forces to seek out the terrorists.

When the terrorists were discovered, they fired a single shot, and shortly afterwards fired again, this time killing a soldier and wounding two others. Reinforcements then arrived, overcoming and killing the attackers.

It is still not clear how the terrorists arrived at the Crossing. Popular wisdom in the IDF at present is that the terrorists arrived in the area via a five-meter tunnel they dug under the Gaza perimeter fence.

The Al-Aksa Brigades of Fatah, whose most recent attack was the #14 bus bombing in Jerusalem this week, took responsibility for this morning's attack. A Kalachnikov rifle and grenades were found on the terrorists' bodies. MK Ehud Yatom (Likud) said that the terrorists are encouraged by Sharon's plan to retreat from Gaza, and wish to encourage it further.
Also, three Palestinians killed in village of Bidu, west of Jerusalem, during a violent protest against construction of the security fence. These are the first fatalties in the now four days of Palestinian demonstrations. The first day was Monday, Arafat having declared a "Day of Rage" (right after Sunday's bombing, which I guess wasn't an official day-of-rage thing?)

Jews with Guns

Israeli border policemen take position to disperse Palestinian
demonstrators during clashes in the West Bank as residents
have been trying to prevent the construction of a new section
of the Israeli controversial 'security' barrier.(AFP/Pedro Ugarte)

Return of the old hatred

by Melanie Phillips, in The Guardian
Let us all agree on one thing at least. The more Jews warn that anti-Semitism has come roaring out of the closet, the more people don't like the Jews. Which is a bit of a problem if you believe, as I do, that the oldest hatred has indeed alarmingly resurfaced but is hiding under the respectable skirts of hostility to Israel.

This week, the European Union finally admitted there was a problem with rising Jew-hatred. While there was no comparison with the Holocaust, said European Commission President Romano Prodi, some criticism of Israel was 'inspired by what amounts to anti-Semitic sentiments and prejudice'. Yesterday, the Community Security Trust, a Jewish charity, reported the second largest rise in 20 years in attacks on synagogues, cemeteries and Jewish people in Britain.

Yet there were immediate moans in the press of 'grossly exaggerated' warnings about rising anti-Semitism. In an Economist debate at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts last week, those issuing such warnings were accused of being the 'new McCarthyites', waving the shroud of the Holocaust to stifle legitimate criticism of Israel.

So when a woman said to me one evening, 'I hate the Jews', I should have dismissed my shock as a 'grossly exaggerated' response. When I was listed in a newspaper as one of the Jews exercising sinister control over public debate in Britain, I should have said I brought this on myself by writing anything at all.

When I heard claims by a radio reporter that the Jews might have 'poisoned the water wells of Egypt' in 1947, I should not have wondered why one of the stock libels of medieval Jew-hatred was being broadcast as if it were true, since my concern was obviously shroud-waving.

And when in the ICA debate Tory MP Robert Jackson accused British Jews of dual loyalty, saying their Britishness was conditional on their explicit repudiation of the policies of Sharon, it was obvious the reason he was singling out the Jews as second-class citizens in this startling way was because they are McCarthyites.

Read it all.

One lady had fatal heart attack watching Gibson's graphic crucifixion scene, but movie likely a box office smash

NY Post: "The Passion of The Christ" opened to huge crowds yesterday - but the premier was marred by tragedy when Peggy Scott had a fatal heart attack while watching the graphic crucifixion scene at a theater in Kansas.

In New York, moviegoers streamed into the more than 30 theaters across the city where Mel Gibson's film was being shown, while movie houses throughout the country were packed capacity.

Observers predicted a box office smash. Alan Nierob, Gibson's publicist, said, "The New York box office was brisk. "Today is going to be a very successful day at the box office for this film," he added.

In Wichita, Kans., 57-year-old Scott was attending a 9:30 a.m. screening of the graphically violent film when she suffered the heart attack 20 minutes before the end of the film - during the gory crucifixion scene, witnesses said.

"It was the highest emotional part of the movie," a spokesman for the radio station where Scott worked told Reuters. . .

Gibson has said he made the film so violent because he wanted to shock people. "It's very violent and if you don't like it don't go," Gibson said in an interview last month.

But the violence, and charges of anti-Semitism, didn't keep people away from theaters, with box office analysts predicting the movie would post huge numbers for its opening day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Follow-up on Denver sign

Protest went well
The protest against the sign at the Loveway Pentecostal Church in Denver was slightly anticlimactic -- by the time we all got there, some heroic Jewish lady had gone and gotten herself a ladder, climbed up and took the word "JEW" off the sign. By the time the protest began, the sign said

The crowd of about 150 seemed equally Jewish and Christian. It was peaceful, and the Christians who spoke were very supportive of the Jewish people. The whole thing was short and sweet, and there was lots of media attention. My friend Raz Telchai, director of Boulder's Jewish Identity Center, was there, and they just showed him on the local FoxNews channel tonight, saying, "I will not be silent." That's the bottom line.

I understand from the news that after we left, the church changed the wording on their sign to something much more innocuous. If it happens in your town, don't be silent. Hate (and hateful signs) are not acceptable . . . no matter what's playin' at the movies.
Kol hakavod to Jeff Auerbach and Neil Dobro in Denver for immediately organizing an opportunity for our voices to be heard, and Gd bless that lady for taking direct action!

The ADL et al should learn from this that they can (and should) trust the Jewish community they are meant to represent. I'm glad they issued statements and were interviewed by the New York Times, but it was a caring, outraged and courageous individual Jew who took the sign down. One person can make a difference. And 150 Jews and Christians, gathered togethered, also made a difference. That rally was very much "in the best interests of the Jewish community"... and the Christian community, and Denver in general. My 18-year-old son said it made him feel so much better to know that we are not alone. My deep gratitude to everyone who showed up there tonight.


"We ask you to consider refraining from participating" in a protest
We are all aware of the incredibly offensive and divisive message posted by the Lovingway United Pentacostal Church blaming Jews for the death of Jesus. In response, we are aware that some concerned Jews are planning a protest rally outside the Lovingway Church this evening. ADL, THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN RABBINICAL COUNCIL, THE ALLIED JEWISH FEDERATION AND THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE ARE NOT SPONSORING, SUPPORTING OR PARTICIPATING IN THE RALLY TONIGHT.

Bruce DeBoskey of ADL, Rabbi Bruce Dollin of the Rabbinical Council, and Gale Kahn the American Jewish Committee have been active all day speaking to Christian leaders and the media expressing our outrage at the sign. The Colorado Council of Churches has condemned the sign, asserting that the Lovingway Church does not speak for the Christian community. (See ADL Press Release and Statement of the Council of Churches on pages 2 and 3.)

In light of the response from the organized Christian community in support of our concerns, we do not believe that a protest rally is in the best interests of the Jewish community. As offensive as it is, the sign is the message of one small church. We should remember that the vast majority of local Christian leaders do not blame Jews for Jesus' death and a rally could only fuel a media circus looking for a "story" and/or the potential for conflict, which will distract from our message of concern about anti-Semitism and Gibson's "The Passion of Christ."

For these reasons, we ask you to consider refraining from participating in this rally. If you choose otherwise please do so peacefully and in the spirit of the messages contained in both the ADL press release and that of the Council of Churches.

Contact: Bruce H. DeBoskey 303-830-7177
The incident is being covered by WorldNetDaily in addition to local television news. I'm going to the protest, and will let you know how it goes . . . stay tuned.



When asked to remove the sign, Pastor has so far refused

The Lovingway Pentecostal Church on Colorado Blvd in Denver has posted a sign that says: "Jews Killed the Lord Jesus," apparently a quote from the New Testament. I just spoke with Jeff Auerbach in Denver, who has both seen the sign and spoken at length with the pastor of the church. Jeff asked him to please take the sign down; he has so far refused.

Local ABC Channel 7 is already covering the issue, with an update posted at 1:28 MST: Bruce DeBoskey of the local ADL spoke with the pastor, but the church only amended the billboard slightly by removing the word, "settled," and adding the attribution to First Thessolonians. The Colorado Council of Churches is also trying to convince the man to take the sign down, but he has refused to answer his phone and door.

Protest Tonight

Jews (and Christian friends) plan a protest tonight at 7 pm in front of the church - on Colorado Blvd (west side) and Mississippi in Denver. Rabbi Daniel Alter of EDOS and Dr. Neil Dobro of Colorado Jews for Jewish Identity will speak.

For more information on the protest, contact the project coordinator, Jeff Auerbach 720-838-0938
UPDATE: Phone number for the "Lovingway" Pentecostal church is 303 777 8888

The State Dept's Favorite Islamist Organizations

from Daniel Pipes's Weblog
Not only does the U.S. government build mosques but it posts official pages on the Department of State website celebrating "Muslim Life in America" - something no other religion in the United States benefits from. In addition to the predictable feel-good writing and photography, the website also has a bibliography with select readings, Internet sites, and nongovernmental organizations. All of the sections hold interest, but the organizational one does most of all. A close look finds that the State Department provides links to and thereby endorses groups that the federal government has either effectively shut down (the American Muslim Council), is currently investigating (Islamic Society of North America), or has arrested multiple employees of (Council on American-Islamic Relations). Additionally, other organizations on the list (Council on Islamic Education, Islamic Institute, Muslim Public Affairs Council) were long ago exposed as sympathetic to militant Islam.

It's hard to win a war, you know, when one's foreign ministry publicly endorses the enemy's friends and agents. It's dispiriting and confusing. So, how about it, State Department, and take down the offending web pages?

Latest on the Hague

from various -mostly Israeli- sources
Excerpt from an exchange outside the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague this week, broadcast on Israel's Channel Two Television News:

Anti-Israel Protestor: "I'm not really excited about Israel. I don't like it."

Interviewer: "Why not? I mean, how much do you know about it?"

Anti-Israel Protestor: "Israel is really, uh, racist, and um, I don't know exactly..."
Fifteen representatives have spoken against the wall. Inside the hall yesterday, a representative from Belize spoke against it. Other delegates who spoke yesterday were from Cuba and Jordan. The Cuban railed against the "occupying force" without mentioning Israel by name, while Jordan's Ambassador to the UN said that Israel's anti-terror partition was a danger to the stability of King Abdullah's regime. Employing impressive audio-visual materials, he said that a "new wave of refugees [from Judea/Samaria] is threatening my country."

Reuters reports that "The Arab League and Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which represent about 20 percent of the world population and include some of Israel's fiercest foes, testified last in one of the highest profile cases in the court's 58-year history."

Some 2,000 supporters of Israel demonstrated outside the Court yesterday morning, and were replaced in the afternoon by about 1,000 people expressing the opposite stand. Marching hand in hand with leaders of the Palestinian Authority against Israel's self-defense measure were none other than Arab Knesset Members Ahmed Tibi, Muhammed Barakeh, and Azmi Bishara.

It was announced last night that the Court would grant a hearing this afternoon to Israeli terror victims. The hearing will take place between the morning and afternoon sessions. Today's session was to be the last before the judges retire to prepare their decision on Israel's counter-terrorism fence. They will decide if they are authorized to rule, and if so, whether the fence is legal according to international law.

The European Union collectively (on behalf of 25 nations), and Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the United States individually, among others, have specifically asked the ICJ to abstain from rendering an opinion.

Contrary to public perception, "Israel is not boycotting the session," [international law professor Ruth] Lapidot said, "and has in fact sent a 100-page document outlining its stand. Israel is simply not appearing in order not to create the impression that we agree that the Court is authorized to deal with this issue..."

George Will: The anti-Semitism of the intellectuals

Proof of the Jews' potent menace is that there are so few of them -- just 13 million of the planet's 6 billion people -- yet they cause so many political, economic and cultural ills.
townhall.com: Wednesday's release of Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ'' has catalyzed fears of resurgent anti-Semitism. Some critics say the movie portrays the governor of Judea -- Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect responsible for the crucifixion -- as more benign and less in control than he actually was, and ascribes too much power and malignity to Jerusalem's Jewish elite. . .

Fears about the movie exacerbating religiously motivated anti-Semitism are missing the larger menace -- the upsurge of political anti-Semitism. Like traditional anti-Semitism, but with secular sources and motives, the political version, which condemns Jews as a social element, is becoming mainstream, and chic among political and cultural elites, mostly in Europe. Consider:
-- A cartoon in a mainstream Italian newspaper depicts the infant Jesus in a manger, menaced by an Israeli tank and saying "Don't tell me they want to kill me again.'' This expresses animus against Israel rather than twisted Christian zeal.

-- The European Union has suppressed a study it commissioned, because the study blamed the upsurge in anti-Jewish acts on European Muslims -- and the European left.

-- An EU poll reveals that a European majority believes the greatest threat to world peace is Israel.

-- Nineteen percent of Germans believe what a best-selling German book asserts: the CIA and Israel's Mossad organized the Sept. 11 attacks.

-- On French television, a comedian wearing a Jewish skullcap gives a Nazi salute while yelling "Isra-Heil!''

-- If Israel is not the Great Satan, it is allied with him -- America. European anti-American demonstrations often include Israel's blue and while flag with a swastika replacing the star of David, and signs perpetuating the myth, concocted by Palestinians and cooperative Western journalists, of an Israeli massacre in Jenin: "1943: Warsaw / 2002: Jenin.''

-- Omer Bartov, historian at Brown University, writes in The New Republic that much of what Hitler said "can be found today in innumerable places: on Internet sites, propaganda brochures, political speeches, protest placards, academic publications, religious sermons, you name it.''
The appallingly brief eclipse of anti-Semitism after Auschwitz demonstrates how beguiling is the simplicity of pure stupidity. All of the left's prescriptions for curing what ails society -- socialism, communism, psychoanalysis, "progressive'' education, etc. -- have been discarded, so now the left is reduced to adapting that hardy perennial of the right, anti-Semitism.

This is a new twist to the left's recipe for salvation through elimination: All will be well if we eliminate capitalists, or private property, or the ruling class, or "special interests,'' or neuroses, or inhibitions. Now, let's try eliminating a people, starting with their nation, which is obnoxiously pro-American and insufferably Spartan.

Europe's susceptibility to political lunacy, and the Arab world's addiction to it, is not news. And the paranoid style is a political constant. Those who believe a vast conspiracy assassinated President Kennedy say: Proof of the conspiracy's diabolical subtlety is that no evidence of it remains. Today's anti-Semites say: Proof of the Jews' potent menace is that there are so few of them -- just 13 million of the planet's 6 billion people -- yet they cause so many political, economic and cultural ills.

Gosh. Imagine if they were, say, 1 percent of Earth's population -- 63 million.
I disagree with Will on one small point. I don't think those who fear the effects of this movie are "missing the larger menace." We fear the effects of this movie precisely because we are painfully aware of the larger menace(s).

The world to Israel: ROLL OVER AND DIE

For goodness' sake, there is even a border fence stretching for some 10 miles between England and Scotland, and they haven't fought a war against each other for centuries
by Michael Freund, in the Jerusalem Post
South Korea has one. So does Kuwait, Lithuania, Namibia, South Africa and India, not to mention Spain, Slovakia, and even the US.

What these disparate nations all have in common is that each one has built, or is in the process of building, a security fence along one of its borders, either to keep out smugglers, thwart infiltrators or simply control the flow of people and goods across its boundaries.

But unlike Israel they also share another conspicuous trait: none of their barriers has been threatened with condemnation by the International Court of Justice; nor have they received round-the-clock coverage on CNN. Each of these countries erected a fence for the simple reason that that is what states tend to do when they feel their interests are being threatened. . .

Shortly after the Palestinians launched the present terror campaign in September 2000, Annan ascended the podium at the UN Security Council and called on Israel "to use non-lethal methods" when quelling outbreaks of Palestinian unrest.

And yet, when Israel proceeded to do just that by initiating construction of the security fence, Annan decided to lead the charge against it. In a report submitted to the UN General Assembly on November 24, 2003, he berated Israel for erecting the barrier, calling it "a deeply unproductive act."

So if Israel's use of military means against Palestinian terror is unacceptable to Annan, and he considers nonmilitary means such as the fence to be "unproductive" – how exactly does the secretary-general expect the Jewish state to protect its citizens?

Now don't get me wrong; I think the construction of the security fence is a pitiful substitute for an effective counterterrorism policy on Israel's part. Indeed, rather than encircling the perpetrators of terror, the government is fencing in their intended victims.

But that in no way gives the nations of the world the right to stand in judgment on the Jewish state. Were they to find themselves in a similar situation they would no doubt act to ensure the safety and security of their citizens.

In truth, it is not that the fence incorporates parts of Judea and Samaria that troubles our accusers, nor do they really care about the inconvenience it might cause to some Palestinians.

What truly seems to disturb them is that it just might save some Jewish lives.

Antisemitism in 3D

Demonization - Double Standards - Delegitimation

by Natan Sharansky, in the Jerusalem Post
I propose the following test for differentiating legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism. The 3D test, as I call it, is not a new one. It merely applies to the new anti-Semitism the same criteria that for centuries identified the different dimensions of classical anti-Semitism.

The first D is the test of demonization. Whether it came in the theological form of a collective accusation of deicide or in the literary depiction of Shakespeare's Shylock, Jews were demonized for centuries as the embodiment of evil. Therefore, today we must be wary of whether the Jewish state is being demonized by having its actions blown out of all sensible proportion.

For example, the comparisons of Israelis to Nazis and of the Palestinian refugee camps to Auschwitz – comparisons heard practically every day within the "enlightened" quarters of Europe – can only be considered anti-Semitic.

Those who draw such analogies either do not know anything about Nazi Germany or, more plausibly, are deliberately trying to paint modern-day Israel as the embodiment of evil.

The second D is the test of double standards. For thousands of years a clear sign of anti-Semitism was treating Jews differently than other peoples, from the discriminatory laws many nations enacted against them to the tendency to judge their behavior by a different yardstick.

Similarly, today we must ask whether criticism of Israel is being applied selectively. In other words, do similar policies by other governments engender the same criticism, or is there a double standard at work?

It is anti-Semitism, for instance, when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while tried and true abusers like China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria are ignored.

Likewise, it is anti-Semitism when Israel's Magen David Adom, alone among the world's ambulance services, is denied admission to the International Red Cross.

The third D is the test of deligitimation. In the past, anti-Semites tried to deny the legitimacy of the Jewish religion, the Jewish people, or both. Today, they are trying to deny the legitimacy of the Jewish state, presenting it, among other things, as the last vestige of colonialism.

While criticism of an Israeli policy may not be anti-Semitic, the denial of Israel's right to exist is always anti-Semitic. If other peoples have a right to live securely in their homelands, then the Jewish people have a right to live securely in their homeland.

"They will hug a foot if that is all there is"

NY Times profiles Israeli pathologist

Just when I said the Times is rotten to the core, they come up with this moving description of the work of a pathologist who must identify the dead and inform their relatives . . .
JAFFA, Israel, Feb. 23 — After the suicide bombing on Sunday, the flesh and the bones were collected from the bus and the street, and delivered here to Israel's lone forensic center. As always, Dr. Jehuda Hiss, the director, carried out his grim duty of piecing together the broken bodies and tending to the raw emotions of the living.

The Palestinian who blew himself up on a Jerusalem bus had a relatively small explosive, yet it tore apart some bodies so completely that it was not clear how many people had been killed. The police announced seven dead, plus the bomber. But when Dr. Hiss and his team had developed genetic profiles on the remains, they discovered an eighth.

"This person must have been sitting next to the bomber," Dr. Hiss, Israel's chief pathologist for 16 years, said in his matter-of-fact tone. "We could not have identified him without DNA tests."

Israel has seen more than 100 suicide bombings in three years, accounting for roughly half of the more than 900 Israelis killed in the violence. The country has developed a vast response network in which Dr. Hiss plays a unique role. All the dead are brought here to the National Center of Forensic Medicine. He has missed only one bombing, while traveling in the United States, and has been intimately involved in dealing with the dismembered victims and the shattered families in every other attack.

After the dead are identified, Dr. Hiss's job is tougher still. He informs the relatives, who can be angry and irrational in their grief.

"With bombings, it is necessary to do this because someone leaves home at 8 a.m. and is killed a half-hour later," he said. "The families want to know if they suffered. They want to know exactly how they died. I'm always surprised that they ask so many detailed questions."

The families wait, sometimes through the night, at the center, which was not built for the crowds of 200 or more that descend after major attacks. The relatives once spilled out onto the grounds. Today, a center for families has been built next to the morgue, easing the crowding, if not the trauma.

The most awkward moment comes when families ask to see the victim. "I say it is better to remember them when they were living," Dr. Hiss said.

About a quarter of the families insist. "I explain it's only part of the body. Still, they will hug a foot if that is all there is," he said.

He used to reject such requests, but psychologists recommended otherwise. "The families want to touch the body one last time to prepare for the separation. If they don't see them, it is like a virtual death. They are right to ask for this," he said.
Writer Greg Myre finds it necessary to insert the number of Palestinian dead, no matter how awkward it may be to do so:
Few Israelis refer to the institute by its formal name. Most call it Abu Kabir, a reference to the wealthy family that lived on the grounds until the Middle East war that erupted in 1948 at Israel's founding.

On the Palestinian side, where more than 2,600 have been killed in the past three years, the dead are delivered to morgues at local hospitals, and there is no central forensic institute.

"This is not traditional, straightforward, forensic medicine," Dr. Yoram Blachar, head of the Israel Medical Association, said of the Israeli center. "The suicide bombings are very emotional and upsetting. The families have extreme reactions and have to be treated in a most sensitive manner."
Is it worthwhile to write to the Times to point out that almost 10% of the Palestinian dead were killed by other Palestinians? That his figure includes the suicide bombers themselves, bomb-makers who had accidents, and Palestinians killed by gangs of terrorists for being suspected of collaborating with Israel?

I'm sure they at least count the number of emails. Write to Daniel Okrent, NYTimes Public Editor, at public@nytimes.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Bush calls for constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages

One-Issue Democrats-for-Bush Recoil
A transcript of today's controversial remarks by President Bush, calling for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages, is found at CNN.

A terrific post and thread of (158) comments is found at Roger Simon's blog.
Promise me you'll read and think before your knee jerks.

Banagor on The Wall

If only the world were listening to him instead of CNN

You should read it all, but here's an excerpt:
Okay, let's cut to the real commentary here instead of some two-bit fucking sob story about how farmers can't reach their groves in time for the harvest. It seems like the only thing that the Media knows how to do correctly is to write "passionate" articles about how people feel deep down inside, without actually doing any research. Every time I read, hear, or see one of their stories broadcast on this subject, I feel as if I am being subjected to a romantic sob novel which is selling for $5.95 on the Wallgreens paperback stand. That isn't reporting - there simply aren't any facts there. I can write up tons of sob stories for the other side, but I don't because it's pretty damned obvious that tons of Israelis are sad when a mad bomber decides to end his "humiliated" Muslim life and take twenty other people with him so that he can go to his version of "paradise".

The wall is there to save Israeli lives. Quite frankly, the other side is the enemy. My enemy. Maybe you're on the enemy's side, and that's your right in this country - heck, it's your right anywhere in the world - but then don't come crying to me about how your side is suffering when we're fighting a war against you. The whole point of the war is to make you suffer, bleed, and die until you cry uncle. And then maybe, for good measure, to make you bleed a little more until we decide that it's time for peace. That's the unfortunate way of war.

I have a hard time believing that the Palestinians want anything other than war. If they didn't, they wouldn't be opposed to this wall. The less suicide bombers get through, the less likely the Israeli forces will have to respond to them. If Palestinians really care about that, then they'd support the barrier as well. The fact is that it not only cuts into Judea and Samaria, but also into "Israel Proper" as well - on an equal basis in most cases. So what's the fucking complaint? You lose 20 yards here, you get 20 yards there. You're gonna fight over 20 yards? Why? What's your fucking point?

I'll tell you what their fucking point is: they want to destroy Israel - all of it. They don't want Israel to exist at all.

No kidding. Read Banagor, pass it along, get the word out: They don't want Israel to exist at all. They never hesitate to say so; it's easy to find quotes to support this. Just last month the Associated Press quoted HAMAS leader Mahmoud Zahar:
"... the march of resistance will continue until the Islamic flag is raised, not only over the minarets of Jerusalem, but over the whole universe."
Get it?

Monday, February 23, 2004

Imshin's got it right

A message from one Israeli mother to the esteemed members of the International Court in the Hague:
We have every right to defend ourselves.

You have no right to tell us not to.

Kol hakavod, Imshin.

See the contact information for the ICJ at this general information page if you, too, would like to (respectfully) let the Court know your thoughts (thanks to LGF for the link).

Why We Support Israeli Settlements

by Daniel Kaganovich & Michael Butler, in the Stanford Review
An old joke tells of two men sitting together, complaining about the many problems in the world. Unable to contain the frustration any longer, one of them bursts out "It's all the fault of the Jews and the plumbers!" The other one looks at him, bewildered, and asks "Why the plumbers??"
So too today, the most striking aspect of the discourse on Israel and the Middle East is not the irrationality and malice of the accusations routinely leveled against the Jewish people, but the extent to which an absurd double standard towards Jews is so thoroughly taken for granted that accusing the Jews is seen as the normal course of things. Consider the astonishing asymmetry that dominates the debate of Jewish versus Arab rights in the Middle East. The right of Arabs to worship at the Muslim Holy site in Jerusalem, the Noble Sanctuary, is considered sacred (and perhaps rightly so). Yet an affirmation of the equally valid religious desire of a Jew to pray at the same site which also happens to be important to the Jewish faith is looked down upon as an outdated, almost infantile expression of religious backwardness. An Arab walking on the Temple Mount is religious freedom personified. A Jew walking on the Temple Mount is considered a dangerous provocation.

Nowhere is this asymmetry more profound than in the discourse on Israeli "settlements" in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank of the Jordan River). The word "settlement" itself has acquired negative connotations and when used in the familiar formula "Israeli settlements on Arab land" automatically concedes the superiority of the Arab claim to the West Bank. We do not concede this claim; neither does the State of Israel. Thus, we would like to engage in the Middle Eastern debate by attempting to tackle one of its most contentious and serious aspects  the issue of settlements.

The claim of the Jewish people to the entire land of Israel, including the West Bank, is certainly as strong, and arguably much stronger, than the corresponding Arab claim.That some Israeli governments have deemed it politically expedient to propose relinquishing the West Bank and Gaza does not change this. The Jews have a historic claim to the land as there have been Jewish communities in much of Israel (including Hebron, Zfat, Jerusalem, and Shehem) for the past 3,300 years. The land of Israel is also central to the Jewish religion - for the past two thousand years Jews face Jerusalem during prayer, and every year at Passover say: "next year in Jerusalem." The Jews have a military claim as well to land they won in defensive war - the single most common justification of possession by any people of any land.

Yet, whereas Arab settlement in the West Bank is considered perfectly legitimate, Jewish communities there are slandered as a "threat to peace," "provocation to violence," "occupation," and many things worse. Often these accusations are constructed with a deliberately evasive or passive reference to the "violence" that the settlements "provoke," in order to deflect attention from the actual perpetrators of the violence. Most Jewish communities in the West Bank are there to do nothing more than cultivate and reclaim the ancient land of the Jewish people. Why is this an affront to Arab dignity? Why is it permissible to advocate the removal of Jews living in the Judea and Samaria settlements? Would it be equally acceptable to call for the eviction of all Arabs living in areas of Jewish majority in Israel for solely ethnic reason? Let us examine for a moment why "the settlements" are such a threat to peace and to their Arab neighbors.

Surely the fact that Arabs lay claim to a particular piece of land is not reason enough to evict every non-Arab (the fact that many Middle Eastern Arabs and most of their leaders claim the entire world for Islam makes this approach difficult if not impossible). Furthermore, given that Arabs have 22 countries on 99.8% of the land in the Middle East while Jews only claim one very small slice of land, any Arab demands for land in Israel, even if they were legitimate, must necessarily be viewed in the context of this significant asymmetry.

Continue reading this, the appearance of which is so encouraging.
Kudos to the Daniel Kaganovich dkagan@stanford.edu, a doctoral student in Biological Sciences, and Michael Butler uniho@stanford.edu, a senior in Anthropological Sciences.

Chomsky in today's New York Times

Anti-Israel screed published before we've even buried all the victims of yesterday's attack

From: Anne Lieberman
To: public@nytimes.com
Subject: Re: NYT coverage of terrorist bombing reprehensible
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 14:33:44 -0700

Dear Mr. Bovino,

I am sure you and Mr. Okrent have your hands full. You needn't make any further effort to answer my earlier concern about the anti-Israel bias of an article in the Times January 15th.

After reading Noam Chomsky's anti-Israel screed (published as an Op-Ed) in the Times today, just one day after the mass murder of Israelis on a public bus, I simply give up on the New York Times.

It is rotten to the core.

Anne Lieberman

----- Original Message -----
From: Public
To: Anne Lieberman
Sent: Sunday, February 22, 2004 3:32 PM
Subject: Re: NYT coverage of terrorist bombing reprehensible

Dear Ms. Lieberman,

Did you hear back regarding your concern?

Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor

Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 20:04:33 -0500
To: Anne Lieberman
From: public@nytimes.com
Subject: Re: NYT coverage of terrorist bombing reprehensible

Dear Ms. Lieberman,

I apologize for the delay but the foreign editor and deputy editor positions have changed hands in the past month.
I am relaying your message to Mr. Okrent.

Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times

At 10:24 AM 2/12/2004, you wrote:

Dear Messrs. Okrent and Bovino,

It's been almost a month, and I've heard nothing. I didn't really expect to, but let's go through the motions anyway, shall we?

Anne Lieberman

At 10:57 PM 1/15/2004, you wrote:

Dear Mr. Bovino,

Thank you very much for your response and for your efforts. I look forward to hearing from someone within two weeks.

Anne Lieberman

----- Original Message -----
From: Public
To: Anne Lieberman
Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 4:32 PM
Subject: Re: NYT coverage of terrorist bombing reprehensible

Dear Ms. Lieberman,

Thank you for your message.

I have forwarded your concerns to Alison Smale, acting foreign editor.
If you have not heard anything from us within two weeks please let me know.


Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor

At 12:27 PM 1/15/2004 -0700, you wrote:

Dear Daniel Okrent:

I find the New York Times coverage of the recent terrorist bombing in Israel reprehensible. I refer specifically to
"Gaza Mother, 22, Kills Four Israelis in Suicide Bombing" by Greg Myre www.nytimes.com/2004/01/15/international/middleeast/15MIDE.html

While it is deemed newsworthy that "After the bombing, her husband was seen crying outside the family home," there is no mention made whatsoever of even just the names of those who were murdered. As an American Jew with relatives in Israel, nothing is more important to me than WHO was killed.

And if the Times covers who is crying and where, regarding the murderer, please explain to me why the grief of the innocent victims of the terror attack is omitted. This appears to be continuation of the perpetual bias of the New York Times against Israel, Israeli sovereignty, Israeli people, Jewish existence, sanity and civilization in general.

I'd like to point out also that this story omitted important facts:

1. that four of the seven wounded were Palestinians,

2. that the bombing damaged the Palestinian economy by causing thousands of Palestinians to be prevented from going to work in Israel, and

3. that Abu Ala, the prime minister of the PA, did not condemn the bombing

Nor do I see any coverage of the fact that this attack represents a new twist in terrorist relations: both Fatah and Hamass claimed responsibility. Might this this new collaboration be significant? What are the implications?

Finally, I would like to juxtapose these criticisms with the fact that the Times ran an entire article on a rabbi who defends blocking Israeli bulldozers (see http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-Rabbis-Protest.html).

Such bias against Israel is despicable and inexcusable. There was a time when I would have expected much more balance from the New York Times; that was a long time ago.


Anne Lieberman
Boulder, Colorado

Read this


Is Israel a legitimate, autonomous state with the right to protect its citizens and ensure its survival?
Yesterday was a normal Sunday – the beginning of the week. In Israel we live a five and a half to six day work week which begins on Sunday and ends Friday afternoon. We have a one-day weekend.

Sunday morning – the kids go to school, the parents to work. Nothing out of the ordinary. Sitting at the computer, drinking coffee, running a tour, the same old stuff. Listening to the radio, half-watching the beeper, everyday events. Sirens screeching, ambulance-lights flashing, news bulletins, blood on the street, twisted metal, crushed cars, a bus exploded. Nu, so what’s new? Identifying murdered family members at Abu Kabir, bodies wrapped in a tallis, funerals, cemeteries, weeping and wailing, mourning. Nothing out of the ordinary. Soft, quiet music broadcast on Kol Yisrael radio, a blood-stained text book -“How to be an Israeli citizen,” strewn on the ground amongst body parts. The fate of every good school book, right?

Gruesome? Nauseating? No, no!! This is the mundane existence of every Israeli, the way it’s been now for years. Within two hours after the 14A bus exploded near the Inbal Hotel, across the street from Liberty Bell Park, life had returned to normal. The bus had been towed away and the street cleaned of the wretched remains of a bus-bombing. Israel radio announcers dutifully broadcast the chronology of the day. Reports from the hospitals, how many injured, their condition, identification of the dead, their names, time of the funerals, which cemetery. Pictures in the newspapers, stories of their lives – and a new, added attraction: others from the same family wounded or killed in previous terror attacks. For example, among yesterday’s victi! ms was Lior Azulai, an 18 year-old 12th grader, whose aunt Iris Azulai was killed in a terror attack in Jerusalem 12 years ago. Thirty one year old Yuval Ozana’s uncle was killed four years ago during a Yesha terror attack. Two of his nephews were seriously wounded in the Ben Yehuda bombing two years ago.

Hours later, news headlines: no major reaction expected to morning terror attack; Parts of security fence dismantled. This morning: Sharon in the Knesset: ‘I will take my ‘disengagement plan’ to Washington and present it to President Bush in March.’ And only days ago, “the "Disengagement Plan" is a security measure and not a political one.” “We must be realistic, and prepare for the option that the current situation, in which the Palestinians do not implement their part of the President's vision, will continue. This will create a security and political vacuum. In that case, Israel will take the unilateral security step of disengagement from the Palestinians...This will include the redeployment of IDF forces along new security lines and a relocation of some settlements. Security will be provided by IDF deployment, the security fence and other physical obstacles. These steps will increase the security of the citizens of Israel and make it easier for the IDF and security forces to do their difficult work…Obviously, the "Disengagement Plan" will leave the Palestinians with much less than they would have if they had followed the requirements of the Roadmap.”

In other words, Israel’s present surrender to Arab-Arafat terror is being forced on us. If only the terrorists would cooperate, Israel is prepared to give them more!

This is one side of the coin: Israel vs. Israel. Our own stupid blunders. At the same time there is the other side: Israel vs. the world.

A few days a foreign journalist, interviewing me, scoffed when I remarked that Arabs desiring to leave Israel (including Yesha) have somewhere to go – there are 22 Arab states surrounding us. Yet there is only one Jewish state – we have no where else to go. This is it. She claimed that we all have somewhere to go. “After all,” she said, “you came from New Jersey.” I asked her about my wife, who was born here, or my children and she shrugged it off, saying, “you all came from somewhere.” My response: “you know, sixty years ago, when six million Jews were slaughtered during the holocaust, the world sat and watched. The Europeans and the Americans knew exactly what was happening, yet they did nothing to stop it. They could have bombed the railways or the crematoriums, but preferred not to. As far as I’m concerned, that says only one thing. Jews were being told, “We, the rest of the world, don’t want you living with us. Leave.” So we tried to leave, to come back to Israel. Yet we were told then, and still today, “Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel really doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to someone else, the Arabs, the ‘palestinians.’” So I ask: the world tells us not to assimilate into their cultures, but we have no right to live in our own land. So where would the world like us to go? To disappear into the sea?

Months ago (in truth, years ago) the Israeli government has decided that the best offense is a good defense. This is, of course, an illogical philosophy, in direct contradiction to rational strategic policy which says that the best defense is a good offence. So much for Ariel Sharon’s legendary military genius.

One of the results of this policy was the decision to build a ‘fence,’ ‘separating’ us from the ‘palestinians.’ The Arabs, fearing that the fence will be the border of a ‘palestinian state’ are fighting its construction and have taken their cause to the nations of the world.

The present ‘Hague Hearings’ are allegedly ‘the case against the fence.’ In reality, the fence question is a smokescreen for a much broader topic: is Israel a legitimate, autonomous state with the right to protect its citizens and ensure its survival, or not? This is the real issue.

Israel decided, rightfully so, not to officially participate in the Hague hearings, claiming that the international court has no jurisdiction over internal security measures implemented by a sovereign state. However, the number 19 Egged bus, bombed a month ago in the heart of Jerusalem, is adorning the street adjacent to the court proceedings. This, a living (or better termed, dead) example of the terrorist war declared against Israel by Arafat three and a half years ago. The terrorist representing Arafat, Nasser al-Kidwa, said this morning that he hoped a decision by the court would result in international sanctions against Israel.

Let there be no mistake – in my opinion the fence is a dreadful mistake. It is not the way to stop terrorism and will be an appalling failure. However, that is a mistake we should be free to make on our own, without international intervention. Our security must be in our hands, not controlled by others. An Arab victory in the Hague is only the first step towards establishment of an ‘international observer force’ stationed in Yesha, resulting in a serious abridgement of Israel’s ability to defend itself against continuing terror. And of course, this is only the beginning.

The Hague Hearings are not about the fence, rather, the State of Israel is on trial.

With blessings from Hebron.
David Wilder
The Jewish Community of Hebron