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Saturday, April 17, 2004

Associated Press: They're just different

A Palestinian boy stands next to a burning tire signifying the mourning
near the house of the late Hamas leader in Gaza Dr. Abdel Aziz
following an Israeli missle strike in Gaza City, Saturday, April 17,
2004. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Your search - "burning tire signifying mourning period" - did not match any documents.

(L) Death and Bereavement Across Cultures
(R) Ethnic Variations in Dying, Death and Grief

I searched; no reference to tires.

Recovering Anthropologist that I am, I was able to find (in a 1996 ANC Daily News Briefing) a cultural reference to burning tires:
"At the height of anti-government protests in the mid-1986 Mrs.
Mandela issued what appeared to be a public endorsement of
"necklace" killings, in which township youths burned to death
colleagues they suspected of collaborating with apartheid.

De Klerk's National Party has said those responsible for
necklacings -- the placing of a burning tire around a victim's neck
-- should be hauled before the truth commission."
I don't think it was a mourning custom, but it probably did involve some deaths.

For any news agency to tell us that mobs of unruly Palestinian children burning tires in the streets has some ostensibly valuable cultural significance, goes beyond "the silly gospel of multiculturalism." Furthermore, I can't imagine they would say this were the tires being burned in the streets outside their own homes or offices.

CALL THEM ON IT at 212-621-1900 (Photos), 212-621-1663 (International Desk) or 212-621-1720 (Corporate Communications). You can also email info@ap.org and feedback@ap.org

For your reference, the url for this photo is

There are others, too - the captions of which say "Palestinian youths stand around burning tires to signify the mourning period" - to be found as follows:
Send copies to CAMERAletters@aol.com and action@HonestReporting.com.

I'm sure there is worse out there, but this is indicative of Something Very Wrong.


Jihad Stats from Dutch newspaper via LGF
Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad reports that in the period between September 11, 2001 and April 15, 2004, Islamic terrorists have killed at least 7,085 people and wounded 10,132 in 393 attacks around the world.
LGF's Charles Johnson notes that this does include attacks in Israel; he also cautions that some of the numbers include the terrorists as well. He links to a chart of the results of the study for more information.

ALSO NOTE Comment #8 by "jhs" brings our attention to this Reuters story about a gunbattle in Kosovo . . . between two Americans and a Jordanian . . . started as an argument over Iraq. . . The three, who were all shot dead, were members of the UN law enforcement mission there.

I wonder if these three will be counted in the moslimterreur study? It wasn't a terror attack per se, but it's not altogether unrelated, assuming the Jordanian was not an infidel. Definite grey area.


He should rot in hell.
It's all over the news; you'll find it. Also killed were his son and two bodyguards.
LGF has the "extravagant" car swarm.


Reading the coverage, I came across this from al Reuters:
"Israel tried to kill Rantissi, public face of a militant group that normally stays in the shadows, last June."

"a militant group that normally stays in the shadows"? Reuters lies.


"We will all die one day. . . If by Apache or by cardiac arrest, I prefer Apache"
JPost: Abdel Aziz Rantisi was one of the six founding members of the Hamas movement, which was established in 1987.

Born in Yibneh, Rantisi moved with his family to the Gaza Strip in 1948. He studied medicine in Alexandria, Egypt and in 1972, after completing his studies, he began working at a local hospital in Gaza and teaching at the local Islamic University.

In 1992, Rantisi was deported along with 416 Hamas and Islamic Jihad members to Lebanon. After returning to Israel in 1993, he was incarcerated until 1997.

Following the arrival of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in Israel 1997, Rantisi, together with Yassin, reestablished the Hamas leadership.

Rantissi was arrested numerous times by the Palestinian Authority due to his fierce opposition of Chairman Yasser Arafat and the Oslo Accords.

In 1999 Rantisi was released from a Palestinian prison and became Yassin's right hand man.

With the demise of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin last month in an Israeli targeted attack, Rantisi declared that he was the new leader of Hamas.

His leadership was contested by Khaled Masha'al, Hamas leader residing in Damascus, and it was decided that Rantisi would become the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip.

Recent quotes from Rantisi

"We knew that Bush is the enemy of God, the enemy of Islam and Muslims. America declared war against God. Sharon declared war against God and God declared war against America, Bush and Sharon. ... The war of God continues against them, and I can see the victory coming up from the land of Palestine by the hand of Hamas." - Last month, after the United States vetoed an UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for assassinating Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin.

"We will be unified in the trenches of resistance. We will not surrender, we will never surrender to Israeli terror." - Last month, after being selected Hamas leader in Gaza after Yassin was killed.

"Yassin is a man in a nation, and a nation in a man. And the retaliation of this nation will be of the size of this man. ... You will see deeds not words." - Last month, after Yassin's assassination.

"We will all die one day. Nothing will change. If by Apache or by cardiac arrest, I prefer Apache." - Last month, after Yassin's assassination.

"This operation, whoever is behind it, is a natural reaction for the bloody aggression against our people." - Last September, after deadly suicide bombings at a bus stop crowded with Israeli soldiers near Rishon Letzion and five hours later at a Jerusalem nightspot.

"They think that targeting leaders will stop Jihad (holy war). They are mistaken. ... All of us in Hamas from top to bottom are looking to become like Abu Shanab." - Last August, after Israel killed Yassin aide Ismail Abu Shanab.

"The word cease-fire is not in our dictionary. ... Resistance will continue until we uproot them from our homeland." - Last June, as Egypt tried to work out a truce.

"The Zionists will pay an expensive price for all of their crimes." - Last June, from his hospital bed after a deadly bus bombing in Jerusalem that followed Israel's attempt to kill him.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Shabbat Shalom


by Rabbi Menachem M. Pellin
June 26, 2003

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In these troubling times for the Jewish people, many may look at the situation in Israel as an endless tunnel of Jewish blood. Think about it. We tried "the peace process" - that didn't work. We tried "strategic incursions" - that didn't work. What is left?

Ah, but there is a solution left. There is something Israel has not tried. They did not try the Rebbe's Roadmap.

In a public gathering, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneersohn, addressed the issue of settlements and a peaceful Israel. This talk was on the eve of Shavuot in the year 5743 - 1983; twenty years ago. Let's listen in.....
“It's obvious... anyone that gives away land (settlements) to the gentiles is in direct defiance of Shulchan Aruch [the Code of Jewish Law]....

“...And even if there will be Jews that will be stubborn and want to give away settlements [of Israel] to the gentiles, since 'the word of G-d will stand forever,' G-d will see to it that the gentiles will not accept [the land]. This has happened many times in the past. They [Israel] sent ministers... [to negotiate the giving away land]. [They] stood in front of the gentiles like a pauper by the door begging them to take pieces of the land of Israel. The Gentiles spit in front of them and give them a slap in the face. [They say] they don't want to take any land from you... and they come back many times from the meetings very ashamed and embarrassed at their rejection.

“The gentile doesn't change his mission (set forth by G-d); therefore, when G-d doesn't want that the settlements of Israel to be given away to the non-Jews, even if the Jew will suggest to give the settlements to the gentile, the gentile will not be ready to accept... But he will 'clothe' [his reason for rejection] in a sensible excuse. He will say 'these settlements are not enough' because really he wants it all.

“But the true reason that the gentile is not accepting the settlements is because his mazal [divine source] feels that G-d doesn't want this to happen. And as I stated above - this has happened many times, and not only once, but many times. We already saw what the outcome of this was. Many sacrifices, many Jews were killed. Every single one of these [murdered] Jews is a complete world. Nevertheless, the fact of matter doesn't bother them enough to stop acting like this; i.e., asking the gentile to take more land.

“May it be G-d's will, since we are standing at the eve of Shavuot, a spirit from above should awaken them. From now on they should stand strong and straight, with the pride of being Jewish. In every matter which the Torah teaches us. It's not worthy to act in a way which is against the Torah - to run after a gentile and beg before him that he should agree to take settlements of [Israel]. This that they are doing will not help the situation at all. On the contrary! It causes that we should become shamed and disgraced. As was the case in the past.”
The Rebbe's solution:
“From now on [Jews] should behave in a way that is in accordance with the Torah.... Obviously, when you talk to a gentile, you should tell him that the land of Israel was given to us as our eternal inheritance to an eternal nation; i.e., the Jewish nation. Any Jew, even in another part of the world, in this generation and in every generation, has a connection to the land of Israel. Therefore, there is no [single] Jew who is authorized to give away settlements. Since the land of Israel belongs to every Jew, wherever he may be, in every generation.

“When you speak to a gentile with the correct stance, we will merit to receive the lineage of true respect. And all the gentiles themselves will want to help us. They will even consider it as respect for themselves.”

[This Sicha was not edited by the Rebbe. The sole responsibility for the translation of the above Sicha is that of the translators of Torahs Menachem. For the full Sicha, refer to Torahs Menachem - 5743, at the conclusion of the Sicha for Erev Shavuos]

MUST READ: Victor Davis Hanson

Our Present Chaos

Apparently a new exegesis has arisen that goes something like the following: The United States was wrong to go to war to take out a monster who deserved to be taken out but nevertheless should stay to ensure stability in a country that it has no right to be in.

Is there any general explanation for all these contradictions? I think very little other than the general lesson that we can draw about a rather humane, affluent, and leisured society after September 11 finding itself confused and in a baffling war against medieval enemies it thought were not supposed to be around in the 21st century. Who, after all, wishes to relax on the sofa to watch The Apprentice or Extreme Makeover — and then channel surf to images of barbarians promising to roast and eat Japanese aid workers or scenes of charred bodies being dissected by Attila's modern-day spiritual successors?
VDH is my new hero (Banagor's been out-of-town since forever); read it all at NationalReviewOnline.

Language from another planet or just diplo-babble?

Prime Minister Tony Blair said he saw no disruption
to the Middle East 'roadmap' for peace despite the
latest Israeli plans for a unilateral withdrawal from
some Palestinian territory.(AFP/Stan Honda)

I know I've said this before (and I'll probably say it again), but this is the craziest thing I ever read!

Blair sees no disruption to the roadmap DESPITE Israel's willingness to make Gaza Jew-free and give it to the Palestinians? Despite? huh? what? For the life of me, I cannot figure this out.

Palestinian terrorist caught in Ariel with 25 kg of explosives

Claims she was only smuggling explosives into Israel, not intending to carry out attack
Maariv: Israeli security forces managed to thwart a large-scale terror attack slated to take place tonight (Thursday) at the Israeli city of Ariel in Samaria. A Palestinian woman was apprehended a short time ago at the entrance to the city with a bag containing an estimated 25 kg. of explosives.

Pinpoint intelligence received on Wednesday indicated a 30 year-old woman is planning to carry out an attack. IDF soldiers spotted a woman tonight carrying a large bag on her back. Suspecting she was the woman that the intelligence had pointed out to, they called her to stop. The woman then tossed the bag and fled only to be quickly apprehended by the troops who discovered the contents of the bag. IDF sappers are currenly dismantling the charge.

In her initial interrogation, the woman claimed she did not intend to carry out a suicide attack but only to smuggle the explosives into Israel.

The woman was later identified as Fatem Kaid Samur Bararame, a 30 year-old mother of six from the village of Loven a-Sharkia near Nablus. Fatah and Hamas claimed joint responsibility for the failed terror attack.

Appeal for Help and Prayers

from Binyamin L. Jolkovsky
Editor in Chief, JewishWorldReview.com

On March 31, I included a message atop the daily update about a young mother of 5 -- ages 4-14 -- that is in DIRE need of a double lung transplant. She is a neighbor of mine.

Numerous readers have continued to inquire about her situation. While doctors are often wrong about these sorts of things, they are now giving her about 48 hours to live. PLEASE read the info that follows below just in case there is SOMETHING you can do.

(Prayers are priceless and if you have a spare moment PLEASE pray for her as "Naava bas [daughter of] Frumah Leah")

Naava Katlowitz is blood type AB+, and a Universal Acceptor. The donor, a patient who is declared legally dead but Currently on life support, must be within four flying hours of Pittsburgh. Individuals who suffered a traumatic head injury fit this criteria best.

If you know ANYBODY who might come in contact with these sorts of patients, PLEASE contact them IMMEDIATELY.

If you personally know anybody who could be a potential donor, PLEASE call 1-800-728-3254 (800) SAVE-A-LIFE or email savemymommyslife@aol.com

THANKS for taking the time to read and SPREAD this MESSAGE in any way you can!
(If, Heaven forbid, we were in this situation, we would want everything to be done for us!)

Binyamin L. Jolkovsky
Editor in Chief, JewishWorldReview.com

Sunday, April 18
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Humanities Building Room 150
CU Campus, Boulder

Two Jews - Two Views:


The Patriarch, The People, The Religion, The Land

Chasid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, ZT"L, and Rabbis Meir and Binyamin Kahane, HY"D


Profesor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado - Boulder

brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Center for Religious Zionism: KOL HAMACABEE
for information, call Moshe -before or after Shabbos- 303.570.1038

Saudi Student's Trial Opens in Idaho

"well-liked leader of the university's Muslim Student Association" was sponsoring jihad on the internet
A Saudi doctoral candidate at the University of Idaho hid his true agenda as webmaster and "money man" for a worldwide Internet network that sought to finance and recruit fighters for violent holy war abroad, prosecutors charged Wednesday in opening their case against Sami Omar al-Hussayen. He is accused of conspiracy and providing support to terrorists in Chechnya and Israel, and of conspiracy to raise funds for the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. The Saudi Embassy has pressed for Hussayen's release and is paying for his top-flight legal defense team, which includes Joshua Dratel, who represented Wadih Hage, a former aide to Osama bin Laden.

More in the Washington Post.

Idaho USA, for crying out loud! And what's funny/not funny, is that this student was in a computer science program sponsored by the National Security Agency.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

The NY Times. You have to see it to believe it:

"A Palestinian Clings to His Dream of Going Back Home" by Greg Myre
It is getting late and I'm tired. If I think about this tonight, I will write only a string of curse words.
"Mustafa Ghwaleh, 66, has lived in the same tidy house for more than half a century, building it with his own sweat to accommodate his 8 children and 10 grandchildren, several of them still living at home. Despite a house that reflects decades of loving care, Mr. Ghwaleh still describes himself as a refugee in a temporary camp.On Thursday, he settled into his living room couch with a cup of sweetened tea and scolded President Bush for suggesting that Palestinian refugees should prepare for a future in a truncated Palestinian state and give up the notion of returning to their old land, which is now part of Israel."
Here's the link.

See also William Safire's Op-Ed: The Sharon Plan of Disengagement.

Argh, it's that pesky bias thing again

Washington Post: Arabs Outraged at Bush's Stance on Israel

Paragraph 8:
Palestinians want an independent state in all the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. The so-called road map peace plan backed by Bush says they should have that state by next year. Sharon, though, has told Israelis his Gaza pullout plan could set back Palestinian statehood indefinitely.
This says "...all the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war." From whom? Though the writer is content to leave us with the impression that it was territory taken from the Palestinians, it wasn't. (They weren't even calling themselves that back then.) The 1967 war, forced on Israel by a number of Arab nations, was ended at a point where Israel commanded the terrority it now holds in the West Bank and Gaza. The land in the West Bank was captured, not from the Palestinians, but from Jordan; the land known as the Gaza strip was captured from Egypt.

Next point. "The. . . roadmap peace plan. . .says they should have that state by next year." The road map is actually titled, "A Performance-Based Roadmap" - Line One of Paragraph Two clearly states:
"A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty. . . "
In order to merit U.S. and other foreign (Quartet) support for the creation of a Palestinian Arab state, the Palestinians agreed to the following stipulations:
"In Phase I, the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence."
In the 49 weeks since the Palestinians signed onto the roadmap, have you noticed one single week when they didn't perpetrate violent attacks against Israelis? There have been, in these 49 weeks, a total of at least 1,121 Palestinian Arab attacks or attempted attacks, in which 176 people have been murdered and almost a thousand wounded.

On January 15, 2004, PA Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath said the PA "is capable to stop all anti-Israeli attacks provided the Israelis reciprocate in kind." In point of fact, the PA committed themselves -by virtue of agreement to the roadmap- to stopping all attacks, regardless of any so-called "reciprocation."

The roadmap also obligates the Palestinians
to "issue an unequivocal statement reiterating Israel's right to exist in peace and security";

to "undertake visible efforts on the gound to arrest, disrupt and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere;"

"to commence confiscation of illegal weapons" and dismantle "terrorist capabilities and infrastructure" and

"to end incitement against Israel"

to undertake "consolidation of security authority, free of association with terror and corruption"

to undertake steps to transform their governing authority into a full-fledged democracy including "action on a credible process to draft constitution for Palestinian statehood" and the holding of "free open and fair elections."
They have done none of this. They haven't even attempted any of it.

So you see, when this yahoo-impersonating-a-journalist says that they should be given a state next year, as if it's being withheld for some politically manipulative or cruel reason, they are way off the mark, and as ignorant as the day is long.

Oh, and the part about Sharon volunteering to expel all 8,000 Jews from Gaza simply to thwart a Palestinian state? Why would he bother? Haven't the Palestinians fully seen to it that no such entity can be born? To insinuate such a thing about Sharon is beneath contempt; it sounds like the rest of the BS coming out of the PA. Let's not even go there (tonight).

From Stefan at Shark Blog

In my neighborhood coffee house this morning, three wizened Seattle peace activists were reading the newspaper and lamenting the war in Iraq. They were pointing to a page in today's Seattle Times that has pictures of both Shi'ite gangster/preacher Muqtada al-Sadr and Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy chief of U.S. military operations in Iraq.

Muqtada al-Sadr Brig.Gen. Mark Kimmitt

The conversation went something like this:
Look at that guy.

Yeah, he's one mean looking dude.

God, I hate that guy. I just hate the way he looks.

Fucking Kimmitt.

I hate that guy.

Have you ever heard him speak?

No, but the way he looks. It just makes me want to kill him.

HonestReporting hits 100,000 subscribers

Mazal Tov!
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MEDIA ALERT: Daily Camera perpetuates misinformation

The Boulder Daily Camera used a Newsday story to describe to us what happened yesterday, when President Bush affirmed Israel's right to settlements in the disputed territories and negated the Palestinians' so-called "right of return."

Here's the first line of that "news story" -
WASHINGTON - In a historic change of position, the United States said Wednesday that Israel should not have to withdraw completely from the West Bank or allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes inside Israel.
Did the United States ever say that Israel had to withdraw completely from the West Bank?

Did the United States ever say that Israel had to accept Palestinian refugees from the territories into its country?

These are merely things the Palestinians have said they want! Yet they have been so legitimized through endless repetition, that people now believe they are part of "history."

"Historic change of position," my ass.
Send your letter to openforum@dailycamera.com

Newsday's wording bears a noticeable similarity to that of Abed Rabbo, writing at the Palestine Media Center (an official news outlet of the Palestinian National Authority), who says that the U.S. assurances represent "a historic shift" in U.S. policy on the Middle East.

Who's getting their news from whom? Hmmmm?

Media is Disgraceful

Just look at what they've dredged up

Picture dated 1969 shows an elderly Palestinian woman
refugee crying after she lost her tent in a storm at the Baqa'a
Agency camp in Jordan. US President George W. Bush said that
Palestinian refugees must settle in an eventual Palestinian state,
essentially saying they must give up the right of return to lands
in Israel (AFP/File)

How does one find this photo? Simply search Yahoo News Photos for "Palestinian".

This is so lame. Not only is the woman in Jordan, but she's crying because her tent blew away in a storm!
Israel couldn't have caused the storm . . . could it?

Oy Vey! The PoorPalestinians! They have to settle in their own state. But, wait, isn't that what they wanted?

UC-Berkeley professor in San Francisco: "It's about time that we have an intifada in this country"

Academic freedom or incitement?

FrontPageMagazine: A Catholic priest gave pronouncements “in the name of Allah.” Signs were sold proclaiming “Support Armed Resistence [sic.] in Iraq and Everywhere,” next to tomes of Marx, Trotsky and Che Guevara. A smiling student marched carried a sign saying “Long Live Fallujah,” and another held a Bush effigy aloft on a noose. Such was the scene at the latest anti-war rally that occurred April 10 in San Francisco, where Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer in Islamic studies at Berkeley called for an “intifada” in America.

As reported by LittleGreenFootballs.com, (and viewable here) Bazian declared to the cheering crowd, “we’re sitting here and watching the world pass by, people being bombed, and it’s about time that we have an intifada in this country that change(s) fundamentally the political dynamics in here.” He placed his opposition to U.S. forces upfront: “(Y)ou know, the occupation is a source of tremendous violence against Iraqis. I think we've got to support the resistance; we've got to say that we support attacks against the occupying forces.”

He continued, “(W)e in this movement (should) support the resistance against American imperialism by any means necessary.” The Berkeley-trained Ph.D. concluded his call to violence with a promise of more to come: “They’re gonna say, ‘some Palestinian being too radical’ — well, you haven’t seen radicalism yet!”

This call to violence in the U.S. may seem extreme, but it is certainly not the first time for radicalism from Bazian; it has long been a hallmark of his career. A native Palestinian, Bazian has made a name for himself being an outspoken anti-Zionist.

More . . .

Yes, of course you should worry about your children. Note that Bazian also speaks at high schools.

Purported bin Laden tape offers Europe truce

al Reuters brings you bin Laden, via "Arab TV"
"I offer a truce to them (Europe) with a commitment to stop operations against any state which vows to stop attacking Muslims or interfere in their affairs," the voice said on the tape aired by Dubai-based Al Arabiya and Qatar-based Al Jazeera channels.

MEMRI has obtained and translated a copy of the most recent speech by Osama bin Laden, purportedly offering a peace ["sulh"] treaty to European countries that withdraw soldiers from Arab countries, while still maintaining the United States as a legitimate target. Read excerpts here.

Jewish Current Issues makes a clear case for Bush

Bush LIED!! Bush knew! Bush won’t apologize.
Bush didn’t do anything before 9/11. Bush did too much after 9/11. Bush didn’t get an 18th resolution.
Bush was selected. Pilot stunt! Fake turkey!
Bush is arrogant. Bush talks to God. Bush talks about God.
Bush was AWOL. Bush deserted. Bring . . .It . . .On-n-n-n.
Unnamed foreign leaders don’t like Bush.
Bush is stupid. Bush can’t speak English.


"Now is the time, and Iraq is the place, in which the enemies of the civilized world are testing the will of the civilized world. We must not waver.

The violence we are seeing in Iraq is familiar. The terrorist who takes hostages, or plants a roadside bomb near Baghdad is serving the same ideology of murder that kills innocent people on trains in Madrid, and murders children on buses in Jerusalem, and blows up a nightclub in Bali, and cuts the throat of a young reporter for being a Jew. . . .

The servants of this ideology seek tyranny in the Middle East and beyond. They seek to oppress and persecute women. They seek the death of Jews and Christians, and every Muslim who desires peace over theocratic terror. . . . And they seek weapons of mass destruction. . . .

We will succeed in Iraq. We're carrying out a decision that has already been made and will not change: Iraq will be a free, independent country, and America and the Middle East will be safer because of it. . . . We serve the cause of liberty, and that is, always and everywhere, a cause worth serving."

There's more, but this would have been enough. Dayenu.

Andrea Levin: EYE ON THE MEDIA

Washington Post panders to Palestinian violence
As always, Levin provides valuable evidence of media bias. Problem is, no one listens.

While it's important to read this, I would suggest that it's even more important to do what we can to force the Washington Post to confront such valid criticism, and respond to Levin's evidence and the charge of pandering.

Please go to the article and avail yourself of the option to "Email This Article". The email address you'll be wanting is letters@washpost.com.

Only takes a minute, and just think . . . what if hundreds of people were to do the same?

Jerusalem Post Editorial

"Forward to square one"

Yesterday, Bush said "it seems clear" that the Palestinian refugee issue will have to be addressed "through the establishment of a Palestinian state and the settling of Palestinian refugees there rather than Israel." This is a monumental and positive advance on the Clinton parameters because it negates the principle of an asymmetrical Palestinian claim on Israeli sovereignty. No one suggests that Israelis have a right to live in Palestine. Why should Palestinians have a right to live in Israel?

The "right of return" to Israel not only negates a two-state solution, but Israel's right to exist. It would be nice if, over time, Bush said so, in so many words. But however carefully phrased, the commitment has been made, thereby turning the tide of history back to when a costly gamble was made.

It is clear now that Israel must go through with Sharon's disengagement plan, as painful as it will be to implement. In a way, the plan is another terrible gamble, this time on the word of the United States that it will continue to condition Palestinian statehood on an end to terror and the establishment of a truly free and peaceful Palestinian society.

In this regard, Bush's reiteration of the need for Palestinian democracy and his renewed calls on the Palestinians to change their leadership should not be overlooked. This too was an important result of the summit, not just for Israel, but for Palestinians, the region, and the US.

At yesterday's summit, President Bush once again came through for Israel at a crucial hour. What remains to be seen is whether his State Department will come through on the follow-up.


Arafat calls emergency meeting; Abu Ala threatens to resign
JPost : US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday called Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei in an attempt to clarify President George W. Bush's announcements at the joint press conference with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the White House Wednesday night.

Powell told Qurei the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the beginning of the dismantling of settlements are [more?] important than any of the other issues in debate.

Earlier Thursday, Qurei said was considering resignation from his position Bush's endorsement of Sharon's disengagement plan.

Qurei said that President Bush legitimized the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which according to international law are illegal and have been condemned in the past by the United Nations.

The options that Qurei faces are a sole resignation, a partial resignation of Ministers or a resignation of his whole government.

The Organization of Islamic Conference on Thursday agreed to a request made by PA Chairman Yasser Arafat to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict following the meeting between Sharon and Bush.

Minutes after Bush's joint press conference with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Qurei had already expressed harsh criticism against the US president's stand.

"He is the first president who has legitimized the settlements in the Palestinian territories when he said that there will be no return to the borders of 1967," he said. "We as Palestinians reject that, we cannot accept that, we reject it and we refuse it."

Qurei said the Palestinians cannot be left out of the process.

"These issues can be determined only through negotiations and cannot be determined through promises from the leader of this or that country," he said. "This can be decided only by the Palestinian leadership."

Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat also dismissed Bush's statement. "This is like someone giving a part of Texas' land to China," he told The Associated Press. He said that over the years, US administrations have assured the Palestinians that issues like borders and settlements would be handled in negotiations between the two sides.

A couple of things: the settlements are not, in fact, illegal - no matter what Abu Ala says - and secondly, since when did the Palestinians have any interest in negotiations?

For further news of Eurabian sputtering and seething, see

JPost: "Arafat: Palestinian 'resistance' will continue"
Israel cannot gain security, said Arafat, until there is an independent Palestinian homeland "free from occupation, free from settlements, free from the Israeli siege." [that is, free of Jews]
al Reuters: "Palestinians Urge World to Challenge Bush Policy":
"U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan criticized Bush for ignoring the wishes of Palestinians . . ."
International Herald Tribune: "EU rejects U.S.-Israel move on Mideast borders"
"The European Union will not recognize any change to the pre-1967 borders other than those arrived at by agreement between the parties," the Irish foreign minister, Brian Cowen, said in a statement on behalf of the EU presidency. Cowen said the current international peace efforrt - in which the EU is a partner with the United States, Russia and the United Nations - emphasized that any settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "must include an agreed, just, fair and realistic solution to the refugee issue."

". . . American policy violates the basic conditions for peace," said Hanan Ashrawi . .
The BBC quotes commentary in Al-Hayat al-Jadidah:
Bush's statements are strange, bewildering and dangerous. . . The agreement that Bush and Sharon will sign will blow up all peace agreements and drag us back to the age of degeneration and oblivion.


French President Jacques Chirac answers journalists' questions
during a press conference, in Algiers. Israel's unilateral plan to
reshape its borders by withdrawing from the Gaza Strip but
keeping West Bank settlements was 'dangerous,' French Pres.
Jacques Chirac said.

(AFP/Thomas Coex)

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, left, shakes hands with EU
peace envoy to the Middle East Marc Otte
during a meeting with a
European Union delegation at his office in the West Bank village of
Abu Dis Thursday April 15, 2004. Palestinians rejected President Bush's
pledge to Israel on Wednesday that it could keep parts of the West
Bank. Qureia complained that Bush 'is the first president who has
legitimized the settlements in Palestinian territories.'
(AP Photo/Baz Ratner)

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


The Fruits of Appeasement

Imagine a different November 4, 1979, in Teheran. Shortly after Iranian terrorists storm the American embassy and take some 90 American hostages, President Jimmy Carter announces that Islamic fundamentalism is not a legitimate response to the excess of the Shah but a new and dangerous fascism that threatens all that liberal society holds dear. And then he issues an ultimatum to Teheran?s leaders: Release the captives or face a devastating military response.

When that demand is not met, instead of freezing Iran's assets, stopping the importation of its oil, or seeking support at the UN, Carter orders an immediate blockade of the country, followed by promises to bomb, first, all of its major military assets, and then its main government buildings and residences of its ruling mullocracy. The Ayatollah Khomeini may well have called his bluff; we may well have tragically lost the hostages (151 fewer American lives than the Iranian-backed Hezbollah would take four years later in a single day in Lebanon). And there may well have been the sort of chaos in Teheran that we now witness in Baghdad. But we would have seen it all in 1979 - and not in 2001, after almost a quarter-century of continuous Middle East terrorism, culminating in the mass murder of 3,000 Americans and the leveling of the World Trade Center.

Read it all.
Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a professor of Classics at CSU-Fresno, weekly columnist for NationalReviewOnline, and serves on the editorial board of City Journal. His website, Private Papers, is found at www.VictorHanson.com.

Abu Ala Responds

"We as Palestinians reject that. We cannot accept that. We reject it and we refuse it."

"These issues can be determined only through negotiations and cannot be determined through promises from the leader of this or that country," he said. "This can be decided only by the Palestinian leadership."

UPDATE: CNN has Letter from Bush to Sharon online.


"Who do you think terrorists would prefer to see become President of the United States?"
With 6028 votes cast, John Kerry is ahead at 81.8%.

Vote at little green footballs, on the left, in the margin.

Bush calls Sharon plan "historic and courageous" (((YES!)))

Palestinian refugees to go to new Palestinian state, "not Israel" (((YES!)))

"If the Palestinians want a state, they must fight terror, they must be resolute in fighting terror" (((YES!)))

Full remarks by both Pres. Bush and PM Sharon are available online at the Jerusalem Post:

President George W. Bush:

I'm pleased to welcome Prime Minister Sharon back to the White House. For more than 50 years, Israel has been a vital ally and a true friend of America. I've been proud to call the prime minister my friend. I really appreciate our discussions today.

The policy of the United States is to help bring peace to the Middle East and to hope -- bring hope to the people of that region. On June 24th, 2002, I laid out a vision to make this goal a reality. We then drafted the road map as the route to get us there. At the heart of this vision is the responsibility of all parties - of Israel, of the Palestinian people, of the Arab states - to fight terror, to embrace democracy and reform, and to take the necessary steps for peace.

Today the prime minister told me of his decision to take such a step. Israel plans to remove certain military installations and all settlements from Gaza, and certain military installations and settlements from the West Bank.

These are historic and courageous actions. If all parties choose to embrace this moment, they can open the door to progress and put an end to one of the world's longest- running conflicts.

Success will require the active efforts of many nations. Two days ago, I held important discussions with President Mubarak of Egypt, and I will soon meet with King Abdullah of Jordan. We're consulting closely with other key leaders in the region, in Europe and with our Quartet partners - the EU, Russia and the United Nations.

These steps can open the door to progress toward a peaceful, democratic, viable Palestinian state. Working together we can help build democratic Palestinian institutions, as well as strong capabilities dedicated to fighting terror so that the Palestinian people can meet their obligations under the road map on the path to peace.

This opportunity holds great promise for the Palestinian people to build a modern economy that will lift millions out of poverty, create the institutions and habits of liberty and renounce the terror and violence that impede their aspirations and take a terrible toll on innocent life. The Palestinian people must insist on change and on a leadership that is committed to reform and progress and peace. We will help. But the most difficult work is theirs.

The United States is strongly committed and I am strongly committed to the security of Israel as a vibrant Jewish state. I reiterate our steadfast commitment to Israel's security and to preserving and strengthening Israel's self-defense capability, including its right to defend itself against terror.

The barrier being erected by Israel as a part of that security effort should, as your government has stated, be a security rather than political barrier. It should be temporary rather than permanent, and therefore not prejudice any final status issues, including final borders. And its route should take into account, consistent with security needs, its impact on Palestinians not engaged in terrorist activities.

In an exchange of letters today and in a statement I will release later today, I am repeating to the prime minister my commitment to Israel's security. The United States will not prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations. That matter is for the parties.

But the realities on the ground and in the region have changed greatly over the last several decades. And any final settlement must take into account those realities and be agreeable to the parties. The goal of two independent states has repeatedly been recognized in international resolutions and agreements. And it remains the key to resolving this conflict. The United States is strongly committed to Israel's security and well-being as a Jewish state.

It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state and the settling of Palestinian refugees there rather than Israel.

As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.

I commend Prime Minister Sharon for his bold and courageous decision to withdraw from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. I call on the Palestinians and their Arab neighbors to match that boldness and that courage. All of us must show the wisdom and the will to bring lasting peace to that region.

Mr. Prime Minister, welcome to the White House.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon:

Thank you. Thank you very much, sir.

I want to thank you, Mr. President, for your warm welcome and your strong support and friendship for the state of Israel.

I come to you from a peace-seeking country. Despite the repeated terror attacks against us, the people of Israel continues to wish for the achievement of a viable peace in accordance with our Jewish tradition as outlined by Israel's prophets. Our people desires to be known for its achievements in the fields of culture, science and technology rather than in the battlefield. We are committed to make any effort to develop our country and society for our own benefit and for the benefit of the peoples of the region.

In our meeting today, I presented to you the outlines of my disengagement plan. It will improve Israel's security and economy and will reduce friction and tension between Israelis and Palestinians. My plan will create a new and better reality for the state of Israel. And it also has the potential to create the right conditions to resume negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

I was encouraged by your positive response and your support for my plan. In that context, you handed me a letter that includes very important statements regarding Israel's security and its well-being as a Jewish state. You have proven, Mr. President, your ongoing deep and sincere friendship to the state of Israel and to the Jewish people.

I believe that my plan can be an important contribution to advancing your vision, which is the only viable way to achieve the peace and security in the Middle East.

I wish to end with a personal note. I myself have been fighting terror for many years and understand the threats and costs from terrorism. In all these years, I have never met a leader as committed as you are, Mr. President, to the struggle for freedom and the need to confront terrorism wherever it exists. I want to express my appreciation to you, for your courageous leadership in the war against global terror and your commitment and vision to bring peace to the Middle East.

Thank you, Mr. President.


I'm really happy with Bush's support; it's much more than I expected. I wouldn't be surprised now if the Likud gets in line when presented with a vote on the disengagement plan.

Of course, after this moment of great relief, there will be all hell to pay. The Arabs will seethe, and the Victimization press corps will come out in full force, but for the moment, I'm glad, so glad.

UPDATE: The White House has the Q&A afterward online now:
THE PRESIDENT: We will answer two questions aside, starting with the American side. The Prime Minister will call on somebody from the Israeli press at the appropriate moment.

THE PRIME MINISTER: If there will be any, there's no --

THE PRESIDENT: There may not be any questions from the Israeli press, is that what you're saying? (Laughter.) It's not the case from the American press.

Terry Hunt.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like to go back to your opening statement and ask you, does the United States recognize Israel's right to retain some Jewish settlements in the West Bank? And, if so, how does that fit with the U.S. policy that settlements are an obstacle to peace?

THE PRESIDENT: First, let us recognize that the Prime Minister has made the decision to dismantle some settlements. In other words, he is beginning to implement a vision that allows for contiguous territories so that a Palestinian state can emerge.

And this is an important step today. It accelerates the process. See, I view it as creating an opportunity, an opportunity for those of us who believe that a Palestinian state should emerge; a peaceful Palestinian state to work to put a framework for such a state to exist, so that the institutions of such state are bigger than the people. See, when you have a government where the person is bigger than the institutions, that government will inevitably fail. It's when the institutions are bigger than the people that you're able to have continuity and people's hopes and aspirations realized, and peace.

It is very important for a Palestinian state to emerge in which we have confidence, in which any Prime Minister of Israel has confidence, in which the United States has confidence, that will be a peaceful partner. And so what the Prime Minister has done is he started the process of removing settlements from the West Bank.

Your question to me is about the final status agreements. I said that the conditions on the ground have changed over time, and obviously, that must be recognized during any final status negotiations.

You know, I look forward to the moment when we're actually discussing final status negotiations. There's a lot of work to be done prior to getting there. And what the Prime Minister has done is started the process. And now it's up for responsible Palestinians, caring Europeans, Americans, the United Nations to step in and help develop such a state that will be a peaceful state, one in which money will actually end up helping the people of the Palestinian -- Palestinians to be able to grow their businesses and grow their -- find wealth for their families.

And then we can worry about the final status negotiations. In other words, there's a lot of work to do. What the Prime Minister has done is started the work, and we're prepared to help with the work.

THE PRIME MINISTER: Thank you. The same question for me?

THE PRESIDENT: Right over here.

THE PRIME MINISTER: Oh, there's another question?

THE PRESIDENT: You ask for one of the Israeli press. You don't have to answer their questions if you don't want to. (Laughter.) I'm sorry, you didn't ask him one. No, it's too late. I'm protecting my friend here from the appetite of the American press.

THE PRIME MINISTER: I'm afraid we have the same problem. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: It's not a problem, it's an opportunity, Mr. Prime Minister. (Laughter.) Go ahead and ask a question from your press corps.


Q Mr. President, may I ask a question, please?

THE PRESIDENT: It's up to the Prime Minister, but if it was up to me, of course you can.

Q I would like to ask you, please, first.

THE PRESIDENT: Please, what is it?

Q Sharon's political future depends largely on the Americans quid pro quo, so still I'm asking on this issue, could you clarify the ambiguity surrounding few key issues, as the settlements, for example. In your eyes, Ariel is going to be on the Israeli side of the fence. I wanted to ask about the right of return, but your answer was quite clear there.

(Speaking Hebrew.)

THE PRESIDENT: Let me say this to you, his future doesn't depend upon me. His future depends upon his capacity to convince the Israeli people he's doing the right thing, and I think he is. He's a bold leader. That's what people want. They want leadership.

There is a process that got stuck, and the Prime Minister steps up and leads. And I'm confident the Israeli people appreciate that kind of leadership.

You can answer the question if you care to, but I don't buy the premise that what I say helps him get elected. What he says helps him get elected. It's his vision of Israel that the people of Israel will be looking toward.

THE PRIME MINISTER: Thank you. First, I will answer in Hebrew.

(Speaking Hebrew.)

The question was, did I take a risky decision. So my answer is that when the issue is the security of the state of Israel, which I am fully responsible to, and political and economic future of the state of Israel, I believe that personal issues like personal security is not to be taken in consideration; this is not the issue.

And I would say that what I have learned from my visit here, that the plan, disengagement plan, contributes to the security of Israel, contributes to the political situation of Israel in the world, and helps our economy. Therefore, I think that those questions of personal risk has not been taken into consideration. We have to look into the interests of the state of Israel.


Q Thank you, sir --

PRESIDENT BUSH: Trudy, I'm sorry, I've got to call on the wire services, I'm sorry.

Q Former President Jimmy Carter said last week that he feels U.S. Middle East policy is tilted too much toward Israel. Is that a fair criticism?

PRESIDENT BUSH: U.S. Middle East policy is tilted toward peace. And the best way to achieve peace is to fight terror. And I'm the first American President ever to have articulated the creation of a Palestinian state. And the reason I did so is because I believe a Palestinian state, when properly done, will be -- provide enough hope for people, provide a peaceful avenue for those who aspire for a better future. And I also believe it's in Israel's interest that there be a Palestinian state which develops in a peaceful way.

Every statement I've said, I said all parties must assume responsibilities. The Palestinians have got to assume the responsibility of fighting off terror. If they want a state which provides a hopeful future for their people, they must fight terror. They must be resolute in the fighting of terror.

Israel has responsibilities. Today the Prime Minister stepped up to those responsibilities. He started a process that I believe can be a hopeful process. The Arab world has got responsibilities to help not only fight terror, but to provide hope for a peaceful Palestinian people. Those are responsibilities. America is assuming responsibilities. My position on Middle East peace is quite clear.

Final question, from the Israeli press.

Q (Speaking Hebrew.)

And Mr. President, if I may, is what you said about the Palestinian refugee mean that you deny unconditionally the -- what's it called -- the right of return of Palestinian refugee to the state of Israel?

PRESIDENT BUSH: My statement -- refer back to my statement that I said, and also look at the letter that I sent the Prime Minister. It will clarify my position on the issue.


I mentioned first that I got from you, Mr. President, a letter. And I sent you a letter. And in these letters, all those issues, all those details are very clearly described in those letters. And I suggested also on your behalf that they will read the letters.


PRIME MINISTER SHARON: That's the first thing. I was asked by the Israeli media if I would say the things they held here, or were discussed here, or have been concluded here, will provide me a weapon against my colleagues in the government or the members of my party in Israel.

So my answer was that I was never looking for weapons to use against my colleagues in the government or against the members of my party. I agree that I've been using weapons for many years, being a soldier for many years, against the enemies of the state of Israel. And I never hesitated, and I will not hesitate also in the future, to use weapons if it will be needed in order to defend the citizens of Israel, their life, their normal life, their development, and so on.

And, therefore, I say that I don't need for that. I believe that our discussion today providing the needed security and hope for the future of the state of Israel and the future, I would say, of the region.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, sir.


THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all, very much.

THE PRIME MINISTER: Thank you so much.



END 1:29 P.M. EDT
Yes, thank you. Thank you, thank you.

And now, we brace ourselves for the inevitable backlash. Did someone say, "Bring it on"?

Meanwhile, back in the Holy Land

A Jewish settler boy is carried away by Israeli border police officers at the site
of a makeshift synagogue at an outpost outside the southern West Bank
Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, adjacent to the Palestinian city of Hebron,
Wednesday, April 14, 2004. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is scheduled
to meet with US President Bush in Washington on Wednesday and hoped
to secure a U.S. endorsement for his disengagement plan, under which Israel
would withdraw from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements.
(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Sharon's in Washington meeting with Pres. Bush,
and Arafat gets the headlines

Associated Press: Arafat: Israel Must Not Keep Settlements

New York Times: Arafat Says U.S. Backing of Sharon Could End Peace Plan

al Reuters: Arafat Warns U.S. Could Kill Middle East Peace

CBC (Canada): Supporting Sharon's plan will end peace hopes: Arafat

If you really search, you can also find stories about Arafat having personally approved ("in concept") the attack on the U.S. convoy last year in Gaza that killed three Americans (Washington Times)

. . . and one about how the Palestinians expect a large aid package from the U.S. "to help rebuild the Gaza Strip after an Israeli withdrawal." Ya gotta love it . . . Daniel Pipes does :)

"Illiberal Crap"
The continuing story of ethical disintegration on the Left

Michael J. Totten somewhat reluctantly gets into the "Kos Affair."
Colin Powell is an “Uncle Tom” because he’s a Republican. And here’s what’s racist about it.

I don’t know of anyone who thinks a white person can’t choose his or her political party. It’s fine if you’re a white Republican. And it’s fine if you’re a white Democrat. But a certain kind of person thinks a black man can only belong to one political party. White people can choose. Black people cannot. White people can have a range of opinions. Black people need to have their opinions and associations dictated to them by someone else.

Markos Zúniga is himself an ethnic minority. He, of all people, ought to know better than to peddle this condescending, anti-democratic, illiberal crap.
See also The Deranged Left Gets Worse at little green footballs, and (via Roger L. Simon), this fromAmerican Digest:
In a way, what the Democratic party is now is somewhat like a first wife thought about at a safe distance from the divorce. You know you loved her at some point but you can't really remember why. You know she was beautiful to you then, but now you can only see the ruins of that beauty, and you are glad you got the best years. You know that, yes, you must have been happy with her and had a lot of good times. But now you can't remember where or when. In fact, when you think about her now you can't really believe you wasted all those declining years with here just because you believed that somehow, some time, she would grow sane, beautiful, and young again.

Life and politics though don't run backwards. One the hardest things to learn in life is when to leave, that's why we're always leaving late. It's not that the Republicans are running the most decent game in town. It is only that lately they seem to be the only game in town, at least the only one that puts America first. That's why I'm getting on their train. At least to the next stop.


Was there a time when reporters were journalists?
Or was that my imagination/denial/ignorance?

Leading US dailies said US President George W. Bush showed
determination to stay the course in Iraq but offered no new
into how he plans to convert the country to democracy

IF YOU MISSED THE NEWS CONFERENCE LAST NIGHT, the White House has an online transcript. I was very encouraged by the President's inclusion of Israel in his description of global terror:
"The violence we are seeing in Iraq is familiar. The terrorist who takes hostages, or plants a roadside bomb near Baghdad is serving the same ideology of murder that kills innocent people on trains in Madrid, and murders children on buses in Jerusalem, and blows up a nightclub in Bali, and cuts the throat of a young reporter for being a Jew."
The reporters were, in general, disgraceful. They made no attempt to hide their political agenda to cast the President in the most negative light possible.

For what it's worth, I found him believable, terribly earnest and in possession of the courage of his convictions. I was satisfied with the information he presented, and feel like I understand what he intends.

I watched the FoxNews aftermath, and couldn't believe that Susan Estrich sat there and questioned the connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq. For her, and anyone else who still doesn't get it, the connection is TERRORISM. As explained by the President last night:
The servants of this ideology seek tyranny in the Middle East and beyond. They seek to oppress and persecute women. They seek the death of Jews and Christians, and every Muslim who desires peace over theocratic terror. They seek to intimidate America into panic and retreat, and to set free nations against each other. And they seek weapons of mass destruction, to blackmail and murder on a massive scale.
Think of it like the mafia: there may be different "families," but they are interrelated and their goal is held in concert.
Polls show that support for your policy is declining and that fewer than half Americans now support it. What does that say to you and how do you answer the Vietnam comparison?

How do you explain to Americans how you got that so wrong? And how do you answer your opponents, who say that you took this nation to war on the basis of what have turned out to be a series a false premises?

Two-and-a-half years later, do you feel any sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?

. . . you never admit a mistake. Is that a fair criticism? And do you believe there were any errors in judgment that you made . . . ?

. . . Richard Clarke, offered an unequivocal apology to the American people for failing them prior to 9/11. Do you believe the American people deserve a similar apology from you, and would you be prepared to give them one?

Your critics . . . say. . . your coalition is window dressing. How would you answer those critics?

You have been accused of letting the 9/11 threat mature too far, but not letting the Iraq threat mature far enough. . . could you respond to that general criticism?

Will it have been worth it, even if you lose your job because of it?

After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?

. . . with public support for your policies in Iraq falling off the way they have -- quite significantly over the past couple of months -- I guess I'd like to know if you feel in any way that you've failed as a communicator on this topic?

. . . you deliver a lot of speeches and a lot of them contain similar phrases, and they vary very little from one to the next . . . guess I just wonder if you feel that you have failed in any way? You don't have many of these press conferences, where you engage in this kind of exchange. Have you failed in any way to really make the case to the American public?
And yet, Gd bless him, the President ended on a high note:
"I feel strongly about what we're doing. I feel strongly that the course this administration has taken will make America more secure and the world more free, and, therefore, the world more peaceful. It's a conviction that's deep in my soul. And I will say it as best as I possibly can to the American people.

I look forward to the debate and the campaign. I look forward to helping -- for the American people to hear, what is a proper use of American power; do we have an obligation to lead, or should we shirk responsibility. That's how I view this debate. And I look forward to making it, Don. I'll do it the best I possibly can. I'll give it the best shot. I'll speak as plainly as I can.

One thing is for certain, though, about me -- and the world has learned this -- when I say something, I mean it. And the credibility of the United States is incredibly important for keeping world peace and freedom.

Thank you all very much."
Maybe it's the press that needs to come up with some "new insight."


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has a key meeting with President Bush in Washington today (Apr. 14) to discuss US support for Sharon's 'disengagement plan.' Here are the main actions Sharon has proposed:
Complete Israeli withdraw from the Gaza Strip, with the probable exception of the 'Philadelphia corridor' along the Egyptian border. This would include abandoning 21 Jewish Gaza settlements - home to over 7,000 Israelis.

In the West Bank: 1) immediate Israeli withdraw from four small northern settlements, and 2) retaining five blocks of Israeli West Bank communities, protected by the new security fence: Givat Ze'ev, Gush Etzion, Ariel, Maale Adumim and Kiryat Arba/Hebron.
It is important to note that Sharon's disengagement plan has yet to be approved by even his own Likud party (which votes on it in two weeks), let alone the entire Israeli government. Jerusalem Post notes that these upcoming, fiercely-debated decisions will make this month 'one of the most politically contentious in Israel's history.'

Rather than report these developments straight, many news outlets are misrepresenting Sharon's plan and Washington visit as a cynical, unilateral 'abandoning' of the road map to a two-state solution. Some examples (emphases added):
USA Today: 'a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to junk the Bush administration's "road map" for Middle East peace...'

Comments to USA Today: editor@usatoday.com

Washington Post's Jackson Diehl: The 'audacious' Sharon 'aims to abandon a decade of efforts to arrange a negotiated settlement between Israel and a new Palestinian state...to overturn the apple cart of the Middle East peace process.'

Comments to Washington Post: letters@washpost.com

Boston Globe: 'Bush...would be contradicting not only longstanding US policy but his own commitment to the road map for Mideast peace if he gives Sharon the guarantees he seeks.'

Comments to Boston Globe: letter@globe.com
These media outlets somehow manage to remove Sharon's plan from the bloody context it springs from - three and a half years of relentless Palestinian terror that has taken 957 Israeli lives and destroyed any hope for the road map to be implemented in the near future. To blame Sharon for 'junking' the road map - while exonerating the terrorists and their PA supporters - simply defies reality.

As the Sharon-Bush meeting takes place, HonestReporting encourages subscribers to be on the lookout for local media misrepresentation of Sharon's plan as 'junking negotiation' and the road map.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Palestinian Moms Demonstrate Against Terror Organizations Abusing Their Children

Not Really

Palestinian women shout anti-American slogans while they hold
posters of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Monday, April 12,
2004, during a demonstration against the U.S.-led war in Iraq in
Gaza city. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)

Sharon: Maale Adumim, Gush Etzion, Ariel and Hebron "will remain in Israeli control and will continue to be strengthened and developed"

"Disengagement allows us a free hand to act against terror"

israelinsider: Speaking on the eve of his departure for talks in Washington on the disengagement plan, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon detailed last night for the first time his intentions to strengthen the settlement blocs of Maale Adumim, Gush Etzion, Ariel, Givat Ze'ev, Kiryat Arba and Hebron.

Ariel, population 16,500 (2003), founded 1978

"Only an Israeli initiative will assure the future of the large settlement blocs and the security zones," Sharon said during a visit to Maale Adumim to mark the Mimouna festivities.

Sharon's remarks came at the head of his campaign to convince the public, and in particular the rank and file members of his Likud Party, to support the plan for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Sharon hopes statements of support issued by U.S. President George W. Bush and other American officials will help persuade Likud members, who will vote in a referendum on the plan on April 29, to back the plan.

"To our dismay, there is no leadership on the Palestinian side that is willing to fight terror, as it is committed (in the road map peace initiative)," Sharon said. The diplomatic process is in a "frozen state, and in light of the many dangerous plans that are sprouting like mushrooms after the rain, including the Geneva and Saudi plans, I reached a conclusion that we need a different plan, a plan of disengagement," Sharon said.

The disengagement plan calls for the evacuation of the Jewish settlements of the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the northern West Bank, but according to Sharon, it would strengthen the largest settlement blocs and security areas. "Places like a strong Maale Adumim, a strong Ariel, a strong Givat Ze'ev, a strong Gush Etzion. I would add a strong Jewish community of Hebron and a strong Kiryat Arba. These places will remain in Israeli control and will continue to be strengthened and developed," Sharon said.

"Only support for the disengagement plan will allow us to continue to manage a relentless battle against terror," Sharon said. "Disengagement allows us a free hand to act against terror."

Sharon also said for the first time that he would make sure that Maale Adumim would be included inside the security fence built around Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Sharon's bureau chief attorney Dov Weisglass, National Security Adviser Giora Eiland, and foreign policy adviser Shalom Turjeman have been in Washington consulting with their American counterparts on the final wording of American statements in support of the disengagement plan.

The Israeli team had originally hoped that the U.S. would recognize continued Israeli sovereignty over the large settlement blocs. In the end, however, it is likely that the Americans will state that the determination of borders in a final status accord between Israel and the Palestinians will take into consideration "demographic realities" on the ground, which would be considered a nod to the settlements mentioned by Sharon in his speech.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) responded to Sharon's statements by saying any Israeli intention to retain and develop West Bank settlement blocs "could ruin the entire peace process." Abu Ala said, "We will not accept settlement blocs or any decision to which the Palestinians are not partner."

PM Sharon in DC - Abdullah and PA ministers en route

Maariv: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon landed today (Tuesday) at 5:30 p.m. Israel time at Washington's Andrews Air Force Base and will be seeing National Security advisor Condoleezza Rice before meeting President Bush on Wednesday.. A meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell is scheduled for Thursday.

Sharon's visit is one of a plethora of calls by Middle Eastern leaders. Yesterday Bush hosted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at his Texas ranch, where the two welcomed Sharon's disrengagement plan but demanded that it be implemented as part of the American-sponsored road map to peace.

King Abdullah of Jordan wiill be arriving in the US capital close on Sharon's heels, as will PA Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath and Finance Minister Salam Fayyad. sources close to Sharon said there is no plan to hold a summit meeting of all these leaders in Washington.

Israel expects President Bush to recognize its right for self-defense, so that the IDF can continue its counter-terrorism operations inside the Gaza Strip even after the withdrawal. In addition, Jerusalem hopes Bush will express American opposition to a Palestinian refugee right of return to Israeli territory and declare that Palestinian refugees could only return to a future Palestinian state.

Bush, on the other hand, is expected to demand that Israel’s possible withdrawal from the Gaza Strip will mark the beginning of the implementation of his Road Map program and not an alternative to a West Bank evacuation. The US President will also ask Sharon to insure that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza be coordinated with Egypt and the PA, and allow for the continuation of humanitarian and economic aid to the Palestinians.

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Thursday, April 22, 7:30 pm
Dairy Center for The Arts
2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
For more details, call 303-494-5511 ext. 110 or go to the website of the Boulder Weekly and follow the Relentless link on the right.

Speaking of "on the right," when you go to the website, just disregard the ubiquitous Bush-Bashing. The publisher of the Weekly is my friend Shayah; he's a very nice person, pro-Israel as can be, but WRONG about who to vote for :/

A portion of the proceeds from this event will provide assistance to Israeli victims of terror.

New York Times Editorial:

"A withdrawal from Gaza must start a process, not end it"

. . . But Mr. Sharon's idea of unilateral withdrawal is not really unilateral. In exchange, he wants the United States to give him a free hand in the West Bank. His plan includes dismantling some token settlements in that area and that would be it ? the end of the process, with Israel's security wall as the final border.

This is something the United States cannot endorse. A dramatic Israeli pullout in Gaza would be a welcome election-year counterbalance to the chaos in Iraq, and the Israeli leader will undoubtedly argue that without an American quid pro quo, Israelis are unlikely to support the Gaza withdrawal in the referendum that Mr. Sharon has promised to hold. But yesterday in Crawford, Tex., Mr. Bush heard counterarguments from President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and he will hear them from Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and the Palestinian foreign minister, Nabil Shaath, who are also coming to Washington soon.

While there is no effective Palestinian Authority to deal with right now, ultimately there can be no realistic substitute for a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. That will never happen without Israeli withdrawal of most of its settlements. The United States cannot allow Mr. Sharon to maneuver it into sanctioning an indefinite Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

No wonder Jessie doesn't read the NY Times! (Todah)

NOW LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT, there can be no "substitute for a negotiated settlement." Never mind that the Palestinian terrorists won't negotiate, that's just because "there is no effective Palestinian Authority to deal with right now." But it's just around the corner, I'm sure. Lots of moderates to choose from. Maybe in the next Palestinian election....

And there will be no negotiated settlement without "Israeli withdrawal of most of its settlements." Hmmm, why is that? Oh yeah, the Arabs don't want Jews around them. They won't sink so low as to accept territory that has nasty Jews (make that nasty settler Jews) living in it, breathing in it, soiling the atmosphere with their Yiddishkeit. Any territory they accept must be Jew-free (can you say "ethnic cleansing"?) - and the New York Times agrees. This is all just because the Arabs want it.

The Jews want to stop getting murdered, but who cares about that? Certainly not the Arabs nor the New York Times. What Jews want is not important. Look, put the two concerns on a scale: Arabs don't want Jews around vs. Jews don't want to be killed. What is the more weighty issue? the more urgent? what are the moral implications of each?

What's that? Oh yes, your scale (and your compass) are broken. That's too bad.

UPDATE: This editorial is mentioned in an article at Arutz Sheva: "U.S. Officials Not Forthcoming for Sharon"
Difficulties in formulating the exact extent of American support for Sharon's positions even led to a several-hour delay in his departure for the U.S. last night. A senior Israeli official explained his consternation with Sharon to the Maariv daily, saying, "It would have been better if we requested things that the US is able to provide. The Americans will not be able to provide the requested political declarations regarding annexation of settlements."

Contrary to Sharon's hopes, it appears that the two leaders will not hold a joint press conference after their meeting, but will rather suffice with "diplomatic statements."

That's pretty offensive, eh? especially given that Bush just shared a press conference with Mubarak after their meetings. C'mon, W, don't let us down....

Michael Kelly's Collected Writings:

Highly recommended by Rick Richman at Jewish Current Issues

I always listen to Rick's book recommendations, and have never been disappointed. He says this one is "a treasure."

Read his his blog for more, and note especially this quote from Kelly, written on 9/11 and published the following day -
Of all the uses of terror, none in the past several decades has been more faddishly popular . . . than that of the Palestinians. Yes, Palestinian terrorists and terrorists on behalf of the Palestinian cause murdered innocents -- but that was understandable, the argument went. The Palestinians had been wronged. They were oppressed. They were weak. What else could they do?

Here is where we end up, with murder on a mass scale of people . . . .

If it is morally acceptable to murder, in the name of a necessary blow for freedom, a woman on a Tel Aviv street, or to blow up a disco full of teenagers, or to bomb a family restaurant -- then it must be morally acceptable to drive two jetliners into a place where 50,000 people work.

In moral logic, what is the difference? If the murder of innocent people is for whatever reason excusable, it is excusable; if it is legitimate, it is legitimate. If acceptable on a small scale, so too on a grand. . . . Is not a great good better than a small good?

Other than wanting to change the book title to "Things Worth Fighting Back For," I have no argument.

Read Rick's insightful sifting of Kelly's writings, and then go buy the book. If you can, please take the time to write your own review at Amazon.com, where the latest is from a reader in Los Angeles:
The state of the world is in no small part due to the simplsistic jingoistic ramblings that Kelly epitimized. The next time you see something about how terrible things in Iraq are, remember that Kelly was cheering the parade and deliberately urging ignorance over rational thought as we debated the wisdom of war.

I'd say more, but I don't like condemning the dead all that much, and unfortunately, there will be a lot of ealy graves because Americans took Kelly's advice.

Doesn't like condemning the dead all that much . . .

Palestinian Journalist Rants about "Cycle of Violence" in the WASHINGTON POST

Calls for Foreign -i.e. UN, NATO or US- Military Intervention

Guess what? He blames Israel . . .
This cycle of violence has gotten worse as the Israeli prime minister has indicated a willingness to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza. Israel worries that such a withdrawal would be viewed as a sign of weakness. Therefore Israelis have escalated their violence against Palestinians, an escalation that climaxed recently with the assassination of the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin.

A foreign military intervention is seen by many as the only way to end this fatal embrace. The military force could be a U.N. multinational one, a NATO force or even a U.S. one. While Israel has repeatedly refused to consider such an idea, many in that country believe their government would have a hard time refusing to allow a U.S.-led force to act as a buffer between Palestinians and Israelis.

Such a force should be temporary and be deployed as part of a cease-fire agreement between both sides. It should be part of a plan that encourages both sides to sit down and hold serious political negotiations without the constant interference of violence by this party or that, this radical group or that right-wing ideologue.

The presence of such an international peacekeeping force could also provide a chance for the Palestinian people to carry out overdue elections: local, parliamentary and presidential. The last time Palestinians chose their mayors and city council members was in 1982. Legislative and presidential elections were held in 1995.

The siege on Palestinian territories and the security situation have made it impossible to hold elections.
You can read it all if you like. Just keep in mind the stories below about attacks thwarted by Israeli security forces during Pesach: a Balata woman forced to carry out a suicide attack to "cleanse her name" for cheating on her husband, a triple attack planned for a major Israeli city where the terrorists were to be disguised as Israeli soldiers, and last but not least, the Fatah-Tanzim (read, Arafat) plan to launch a suicide attack in Israel with a bomb tainted with AIDS-infected blood.

And this guy has the chutzpah to say in the Washington Post that "Israelis have escalated their violence against Palestinians . . ."

For a bit of context, the author has previously written (in the Jerusalem Post) that
"It is the [Israeli] lust for Palestinian lands . . . that has made it difficult for the Israelis to be able to accept clearly and unequivocally Palestinians rights to create their independent state on these lands alongside the state of Israel."
He is, btw, Daoud Kuttab, a Palestinian journalist and the director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds Universityin Ramallah.

While I don't agree with his assessment of the Arab war on Israel, I can still appreciate his efforts to advocate for a free media in the Arab world.

His e-mail address is info@daoudkuttab.com, as provided by the Washington Post.

Bush: "There will never be a Palestinian state, in my judgment, if terrorists are willing to kill"

At a press conference yesterday at Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, TX, Pres. Bush and Pres. Mubarak of Egypt met with reporters. Here's an exerpt:
Q Thank you, sir. If I could ask both of you -- are both of you prepared to endorse the Israeli withdrawal plan?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Steve, I welcome -- first of all, let's not prejudge what Prime Minister Sharon is going to tell me. So I don't want to put words in his mouth until he actually comes to America on Wednesday. We discussed the rumors of such a withdrawal. And we discussed it in the context of the two-state solution and the roadmap.

In other words, we both are in agreement that if Israel makes the decision to withdraw, it doesn't replace the road map, it is a part of the road map, so that we can continue progress toward the two-state solution. And I really welcomed my friend's advice. He is -- he knows the area well. And he's been in touch with the parties and he has got good judgment on this matter. Let's wait until the Prime Minister comes. But if he were to decide to withdraw from the Gaza, it would be a positive development.

Q Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT BUSH: He wanted to know your -- just a second, excuse me. He wanted to have your reaction to a possible withdrawal, if you'd like to share that. You don't have to, if you don't want to. He's a kind fellow --

PRESIDENT MUBARAK: I have discussed this with the President, the withdrawal from Gaza. I think any withdrawal from the occupied territory is very highly appreciated. But I would like the withdrawal to coincide with the road map, which is very important, because withdrawing from Gaza alone, without connecting it with the road map, we never know it will be Gaza alone. It will be very difficult. It will not be accepted by the public opinion in the area. So the withdrawal from Gaza, if it is a part from the road map, I think it will be very highly appreciated.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, the point is that the decision doesn't replace the path toward the establishment of a Palestinian state that will provide hope for the Palestinian people and provide continuity, and put the institutions in place necessary for a state to evolve. I'm confident there will be ample willingness of people in Europe or the United States government to enact economic -- to take economic measures necessary to provide a hopeful future. And we're in accord on this issue. And I look forward to meeting with the Prime Minister and hear what he has to say.

Final question, if you'd like to call on somebody.

Q Thank you very much. My question is for you, Mr. Excellency Bush, and Mr. Excellency Mubarak. But let me first tell you, happy Easter, before asking about the peace process. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you. We had a great Easter. I'm sorry it's so chilly here. It's usually warmer.

Q Thank you very much. So you announced your vision of a two-state solution almost three years ago --


Q Do you think this vision can be realized in spite of the Israeli policy of expanding settlements and establishment of the separate wall, which violates the green line?

And for you, Mr. President Mubarak, how can Egypt help the Palestinians to take their responsibilities after the Israeli withdrawal?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Great question. Yes, I think we can achieve a two-state solution. You're right, I think I made the speech at the United Nations in 2001, if I'm not mistaken -- September of 2001 -- the first American President to do so, to make that public declaration a policy. And the reason I did is because I believe it's in the Palestinians' interest to have their own state, and I believe it's in Israel's interest that the Palestinians develop a peaceful state.

Mon Apr 12 - A masked Palestinian militant takes
part in a mass rally in the West Bank city of Nablus.
(AFP/File/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)
The reason why -- we've made some progress, by the way. There is what they call the road map, a strategy to achieve that, which is good. The problem is, is that there's terrorists who will kill people in order to stop the process. And that's why it is essential that we work together to stop terrorist killing. There will never be a Palestinian state, in my judgment, if terrorists are willing to kill. And so the first step we've got to do is to work on the mutual security concerns of the region. And we can't let people blow up a process. But that's what happened, as you might recall. And there's been suiciders and killers and -- you know -- and it's essential that we work together to stop that kind of terror.

It will be much easier for the Palestinians to assume their responsibilities -- and there are responsibilities for the Palestinians, particularly when it comes to developing a state that is a peaceful state -- it will make it a lot easier if we can continue to keep the pressure on the terrorists, make it a lot easier for them to assume their responsibilities.

PRESIDENT MUBARAK: The problem of the Middle East has --nearly about to be 50 years now. It's a very complicated problem, and if we keep it, more and more, it will be much more complicated than ever before. It could have been solved several years ago, but now it's very difficult. But in this context, I really thank President Bush, the first President of the United States who could say that, I'm ready to agree on establishing two states beside each other, independent states -- Palestinian state and the Israeli state. This is the first time we could hear it. We have to build on it.

Concerning Gaza, I think we could help a lot in Gaza by training the police, by giving them advice, by sending them some groups to make plans for them how to work. And in that regard, we are ready to do. We have contacts with them, we have contact with the different factions which could create problems now and then. And you remember they convened in Cairo several times. We are ready to invite them again to us to help stability in Gaza for a continuation for more withdrawal.

Thank you.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, sir.

By the way, tomorrow night I'm interested in answering more questions for you all. So if you pick out a red or blue tie --

Q: A news conference?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Why not. See you at the East Room.

END 12:15 P.M. CDT