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Saturday, May 29, 2004

Palestinian Mom Surrenders Stolen IDF Vehicle

not really

The mother of Palestinian militant Imad Akkobeh, a local leader
of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, tries to stop an Israeli military
vehicle before she was arrested during a military incursion in
Nablus.(AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)

(and only one bystander)

followed by Palestinian Car Motorcycle Swarm

Palestinians gather next to the remains of a motorcycle after it was hit [by] an Israeli helicopter at Zaitoon neighborhood in Gaza city, Sunday May 30, 2004. An explosion ripped apart a motorcycle in Gaza City early Sunday, residents said, killing three people -including a senior Hamas commander and his assistant. Hamas charged that Israel was responsible for what it called a 'dirty assassination crime' killing Wael Nassar, 38, a top Hamas commander, and his assistant, Mohammed Sarsour, 31, his assistant,and a bystander. The two Hamas leaders were on the motorcycle when it exploded, witnesses said. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

What was a 1568 Venetian chumash (Jewish bible)
doing in Iraqi secret police headquarters?

Iraqi Jewish treasures in Limbo (sic; they're in the US)
JTA: Rare Jewish artifacts unearthed during the Iraq war remain in limbo. A centuries-old Bible from 1568 Venice and other Jewish books, pamphlets and scrolls discovered by U.S. officials in the bombed-out headquarters of the Iraqi secret police face questions of ownership and who will pay to save them, the Associated Press reported. The documents, many water-logged and later dried and packed into 27 trunks, are now housed in a National Archives laboratory after being freeze-dried to prevent further deterioration. The papers remain of great interest in part because they could tell much about Baghdad’s Jews, who numbered 100,000 after World War II but have dwindled to a handful today.
More on this at The Art Newspaper .com,

and photos here.

Israel went into Gaza for no reason to preempt arms delivery

Haaretz: The current Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza was sparked by an impending large delivery of antitank rockets, Katyushas and perhaps even shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles that could be a strategic threat to Israeli aircraft, military sources said yesterday.

The delivery was waiting on the Egyptian side of the border for an available tunnel to send the materiel through to Rafah, forcing the army to take action to shut down the tunnels, the sources said.

The IDF reckons that the large amount of high-quality weapons is a gift from Hezbollah and Iran, both of which are devoting much effort to disrupting any possible Israeli withdrawal from Gaza or any attempts at normalization that would enable a diplomatic process. . . .

A key factor in the arms smuggling problem - whose name is hardly mentioned, at least by the army - is Egypt, a sovereign state with powerful and effective security services that, practically speaking, are doing almost nothing to prevent weapons shipments that are upsetting the balance of power and could drag Israel and the Palestinians into intensive, long-lasting combat.

The main reason for Egypt's inaction is the low quality of its border patrols along the border with Gaza. The military appendix to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty prohibits the Egyptians from sending military forces into Sinai, so, say Israelis in the name of the Egyptians, Cairo does not have the right forces in place to halt the smuggling. . . .

The exact opposite of the Egyptian approach can be found in Jordan, which conducts extensive, intensive and aggressive activity against smuggling and infiltrations along the Israeli-Jordanian border. Amman has made its border with Israel a closed military zone, and IDF officers serving in the area say that they have watched as Jordanian soldiers took out terrorist cells.

Matters of Palestinian Children

A Palestinian boy sells cigarettes in a damaged street in the
Tel Sultan area of the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip,
Monday, May 24, 2004. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

PALESTINIAN CHILD ABUSE: Guess Who Digs the Rafah Tunnels?

Imshin found this in a Mideast: On Target newsletter:
[Gaza] tunnels were dug deeper, some reaching depths of 10 meters and more (over 30 feet), children were employed to dig around the clock, and when poor conditions led to tunnel collapse and the death of a child, there were plenty more to take his place.
Excellent blogger that she is, Imshin contacted the author, and he confirmed the information.
"I spent some six weeks in Gaza during 'Homat Magen' in April-May 2002 as a reserve officer. . . I had the opportunity to deal directly with the issue of the tunnels then and my experiences are firsthand.”
Do you think UNICEF might be upset about this? Might worry about those kids? As it happens, the executive director is there this very day.
UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy to visit Gaza City and Israel

GAZA CITY, 28 May 2004— In her first visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Israel, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy will spend most of her time interacting with children who have been impacted by the long-running conflict.

Ms. Bellamy, the head of the world's largest children's right organization will have the chance to listen, to observe, and to express solidarity with children for whom living in conflict has become part of their daily lives. The children in Gaza City and those living in Israel have all lost relatives either during military operations or terror attacks.

The two-and-a-half day visit – which starts 29 May 2004, Saturday - will also be a chance to boost UNICEF's advocacy efforts on both Palestinian and Israeli sides. In meetings with Israeli officials, Ms. Bellamy is expected to bring up access problems - whether its children and teachers not able to get to class on time because of checkpoints or curfews, or whether its UNICEF staff not being able to access the worst affected areas. Palestinian officials will be reminded of the importance of mainstream resources towards such things as education and child protection. . . .

Of course Ms. Bellamy will have a chance to see UNICEF programmatic interventions in OPT. This includes a girl's school in Gaza City (UNICEF's work in education touches almost a million Palestinian school children), the Gaza City Children's Municipal Council (CMC) and members of UNICEF-supported Palestinian group that conducts peer-to-peer counseling activities for adolescents.
It didn't take Bellamy long to slam Israel for its detention of Palestinian teens:
JPost/AP: Israel should uphold international standards on the detention of children and ease travel restrictions that prevent thousands of Palestinian youths from getting an education, the head of the United Nations children's fund said Saturday at the start of a Middle East visit.

Human rights groups have raised concerns about the treatment of several hundred Palestinian teens held in Israeli detention centers and prisons, and UNICEF has called for the abolition of "administrative detention" - without charge or trial - for minors.

UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy called on Israeli authorities "to comply with the international norms that are in place for purposes of detention of young people."
She still has a day and a half to come across the issue of Palestinians risking their children's lives by having them dig tunnels through which terrorists smuggle in weaponry from Egypt. For the purposeful murder of Israeli children.

EMAIL: media@unicef.org

See also (Israel Says) Children Are Used to Recruit Bombers in the New York Times.

Imshin's Premonition

Losing the Big One
Maybe this is God’s way of saying, “Life sucks. Get over it. Who the @$%! do you think you are?”

And why should we win? Where is it written that people deserve to be happy, and fulfilled, and safe, and well fed, and dry? And alive? Where is it written that life on Earth just has to get better and better for all of mankind?

If people are too dense to grasp that there can be alternative ways of thinking, and that not everyone is interested in Compromise, and in Diversity, and in Openness, and in Peace In Our Time, and in Equality, and in Human Rights, and in the Personal Freedom to kill ourselves with overeating and overconsuming and overthinking and overbeing, and that mankind is perhaps not yet ripe to be just one happy family, then maybe they should be conquered by people with less benevolent and less idyllic ways of thinking, and be forced to forfeit their values and happiness and security and satiety, if not their lives. (Phew! I think that was the longest sentence I’ve ever written!)

Of course it’s not a matter of good and bad. Life and death aren’t good and bad. They just are. The same goes for lightness and darkness; wisdom and ignorance; love and hate. So if Western Civilization is destroyed by Islamic fundamentalism, and by the West’s smug and pompous refusal to see this destruction in the making, it wouldn’t be a bad thing. It would just be a thing. Where is it written that life on Earth just has to get better and better for all of mankind?

Yes, it would be extremely unpleasant for tens of millions of people, at least, should Western Civilization be destroyed by Islamic fundamentalism, but so what? Where is it written that people deserve to be happy, and safe, and well fed, and dry? And alive?

Why oh why didn't Arafat accept Barak's offer at Camp David? Or at least say he'd think about it? Or even try to haggle for a bit more? Why did he say NO? I have this crazy gut feeling that it would have changed everything, and not just for Israelis and Palestinians.

Perhaps this feeling is just something akin to nostalgia, a naive yearning for something that never was, and maybe never will be.

Because I've got this horrible feeling that we're going to lose. Not enough people get it, and we're going to lose, all of us.

what's that called? A premonition?

Go and read the rest. Thank Gd, Imshin's husband Bish says it's not a Premonition, but just Anxiety. I love Imshin's blog and I think she's right ("Not enough people get it"). But I'm very glad she's got Bish around. For all our sakes.

Omar at The Iraq Model
translates opinions of Iraqis about their daily lives

posted at bbc.arabic.com
Omar says "about 70% were positive. Here are some examples"

What happens these days in Iraq is a natural process as a result from the transfer from dictatorship to democracy. Ali Ahmed-Baghdad.

I'm an Iraqi citizen and I want to thank president GWB from all my heart for the great service he's done to the Iraqi people by freeing us from one of the worst tyrants in history. This liberation didn't suit the enemies of humanity and freedom, thus we see them committing terrorist acts claiming to resist occupation by killing their own people, but that will not affect the Iraqis lust for freedom. Thanks again GWB. Kamal-Adhamya-Baghdad.

I won't forget the day when I saw one of Saddam's tanks crushing the heads of 40 She'at Iraqis who were among others arrested for no obvious reason in 1991. Their hands were tied and put on the street for the tank to pass over their heads. The words" No She'at after today" where written on that tank.

I was one of those people. My hands were tied to the back and a grenade was put between them and the safety pin removed. It was positioned in a way that it should explode if I was to make any move, and I was left a lone in a deserted area that was at least 5 Km. from any life. If it wasn't for the kindness of one of the soldiers who came back and rescued me, I would've certainly died soon. Ihsan Al-Shimmari-Sweeden.

We lived our worst years under Saddam regime, a regime that many Arabs still believe in!We don't know why don't they leave us in peace, especially the Arab media that turns liberation into occupation and criminals into resistant. We, Iraqis, know the truth very well. The situation is much better now for the vast majority of Iraqis. Most of the people are government employees who used to get paid 4 or 6 thousand Iraqi dinars. Now the lowest salary is 100 thousand Iraqi Dinar. We feel free and we don't fear prisons and torture. The Arab media, as expected, made a huge fuss about the prisoners abuse in Abu-Gharib. Shame on them. Where were they when Saddam put explosives around a bunch of young men and blasted their bodies and they all saw that on TV? Where were they? Saman-Iraq.

I had to leave Iraq because I didn't want to be one of Saddam's slaves. After so many years, I'm back to my country and I saw that people are not as nervous as they used to be. I saw hope in their eyes despite the security problems. All I have to say to our Arab brothers is,"We are practicing democracy. You keep enjoying dictatorship." Ilham Hussain-Baghdad.

I'm from an area not so far from Shat Al-Arab, still at Saddam's time we never had clean water supply. Now the situation is better and the British are very gentle and kind. I no longer fear for my life or my family's. The only problems we have are the thieves and some shortage in power supply. Kadim Jabbar-Al-Zubair-Basra.

The daily life in Basra is not that different from other parts of Iraq; It's very hot, the water and power supply are not Continueous, still I prefer to live a year in these conditions than one hour like those we lived under Saddam. Abbas Mahir Tahir-Basra.

- posted by Omar @ 22:20

Friday, May 28, 2004

Attempt to car-bomb Israeli Ports Authority Bus miraculously failed

An Israeli soldier inspects a damaged bus following an attack on the
Egypt-Gaza border May 28, 2004. A Palestinian militant was killed in
a suicide car bombing against an Israeli convoy in an army-patrolled
corridor on Friday, officials and witnesses said. Photo by Nir Elias
Arutz Sheva: In a carefully planned but miraculously-failed attack, a Palestinian terrorist driving a car-bomb towards an Israeli bus in southern Gaza was killed in the explosion he caused; two Israelis were lightly injured as an indirect consequence.

The attack occurred around 8:40 this morning. A bulletproof bus carrying guards and workers of the Israeli Ports Authority made its way along the Philadelphi Route, on the Israeli-Egyptian border. An Arab jeep suddenly emerged from a side road - an area permitted to P.A. travel - and careened towards the bus. The terrorist driver, however, did not count on a large dirt hill that was just built three weeks ago, and it prevented him from advancing towards the bus. He or another passenger got out and shot towards the bus, and seconds later, the car bomb exploded. No one on the bus was hurt, but the bus driver's short stop caused the army jeep in back of him to crash into him, and two soldiers were lightly hurt.

A Palestinian terrorist group called the Popular Resistance Committees - apparently associated with Hamas - claimed responsibility for the attack.

A bus passenger said afterwards, "Suddenly we saw a white jeep, and the guards realized that it was coming towards us too quickly. There were shots, and then people in the bus started screaming and saying Shma Yisrael [the 'Hear O Israel... G-d is One' prayer]. After a short while there was a big explosion. We saw bullet marks on the windows... The first thing we did when we got off the bus was to hug each other; some people cried."

Compare and Contrast this with the following al-Reuters headline and article
Palestinian Killed in Suicide Car Bombing in Gaza

GAZA (Reuters) - A Palestinian militant was killed in a suicide car bombing against an Israeli convoy in an army-patrolled corridor on the Egypt-Gaza border on Friday, officials and witnesses said.

Two soldiers were slightly injured when their vehicle hit another during the ambush, the army said, in the latest violence following an Israeli siege in Gaza that claimed more than 40 Palestinian lives and drew international condemnation.

Three factions, Islamic Jihad, al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Popular Resistance Committees, took joint responsibility for the attack, saying it was to avenge "crimes by the Zionist enemy" during six days of fighting in the nearby Rafah refugee camp.

A videotape left behind by the 22-year-old militant, Ahmed Abu Jamous, showed him in combat fatigues saying his attack was also in revenge for Israel's killing of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in a missile strike in Gaza City last month. . . .

Violence has surged in Gaza since Sharon introduced a plan to evacuate all 21 Jewish settlements on occupied land in the territory. Militants want to claim victory in any withdrawal, but Sharon is determined to smash them first.
What kind of crap is that?!
cont'd: The border attack was carried out in a four-wheel-drive vehicle packed with explosives that targeted a busload of Israeli workers headed for a crossing point with Egypt.

The army said the car hit a dirt mound and the driver jumped out and opened fire. "As he was shooting, his vehicle exploded, killing him," an army statement said.

The dead militant's father said he lost another son in an attack on Israeli forces earlier during the Palestinian uprising, which began 3-1/2 years ago.

Friday's attack occurred on the "Philadelphia Road," an Israeli-controlled border corridor frequently targeted by militants from the adjacent Rafah camp.

Israeli troops ended a six-day raid, the deadliest in the Gaza Strip in years, earlier this week after demolishing dozens of homes in Rafah.

The army said it was looking for tunnels used to smuggle arms from Egypt in an offensive spurred by the ambush killings of 13 soldiers -- the biggest blow to the army in two years.

The Real Story of Fallujah

by Robert D. Kaplan in the Wall Street Journal
Whenever the Marines with whom I was attached crossed the path of a mosque, we were fired upon. Mosques in Fallujah were used by snipers and other gunmen, and to store weapons and explosives. Time and again the insurgents forfeited the protective status granted these religious structures as stipulated by Geneva Conventions. By the standards of most wars, some mosques in Fallujah deserved to be leveled. But only after repeated aggressions was any mosque targeted, and then sometimes for hits so small in scope that they often had little effect. The news photos of holes in mosque domes did not indicate the callousness of the American military; rather the reverse. As their own casualties mounted, the only time I saw angry or depressed Marines was when an Iraqi civilian was accidentally hit in the crossfire - usually perpetrated by the enemy.

Iran's Suicide Bomber Unit to Strike Israel

Iran has a suicide bomber unit?

"We know how to hit them"

From ArabYnet (in Hebrew, via JCPA's Daily Alert):

Iranian intelligence has established a unit charged with recruiting suicide bombers to be sent to Israel, Iraq, and Lebanon, the London-based Arab newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Friday.

The newspaper received a video cassette of the speech of a senior Iranian intelligence official speaking to students at al-Hussein University, where Revolutionary Guards are trained.

In it, he warns that Iran has the capability to strike the U.S. and other Western countries: "We've looked at 29 sensitive sites in the West and we know how to hit them."

"Whoah -- that's like the bloke on the telly!"

"He (Osama) is a very nice man, but I only
met him for a short time ... just outside Kandahar,"
Roche testified. "I mean his people are very nice ...
it sounds a strange thing to say."

I'm posting this article in its entirety because it describes a phenomenon that should cause us great concern. Beyond the plot itself, it is the successful recruitment of individuals in the free world to make war on their own, that is so chilling.
CNN: PERTH, Australia -- British-born terror suspect Jack Roche has pleaded guilty to an al Qaeda-linked plot to blow up the Israeli embassy in Canberra, the Australian capital.

Roche, an Australian citizen, initially pleaded innocent at the start of his trial in the Western Australian city of Perth, but on Friday changed his plea to guilty.

The sudden change in plea ended the trial, with sentencing scheduled for Tuesday.

Roche, 50, has admitted to meeting al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, during a trip to Afghanistan in 2000 when he received training in terrorist techniques.

Prosecutors accused him of joining a plot by members of al Qaeda's arm in Southeast Asia, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), to bomb the Israeli embassy.

Roche, who was born in Hull, northern England, confessed his involvement in the plot during the trial but said he had a change of heart about carrying it out.

While in Afghanistan, Roche was ordered to set up a terror cell in Australia and to target Israeli interests in the country, he said.

But after returning to Australia, Roche said he realized he was out of his depth when he looked up the FBI's Most Wanted List and saw on the Web site at least five people he had met in Afghanistan.

"I was shocked, I was taken aback," Roche told the court on Thursday. "I thought: This is too much. This is really deep."

However, he admitted carrying out surveillance of possible Australian targets for attack, including the embassy in Canberra, and that he tried unsuccessfully to recruit militants to carry out attacks in Australia.

Roche said he had to be seen doing his task, in case someone from al Qaeda or JI were watching.

"I suspected that they would kill me, whether it was someone from al Qaeda or Jemmah Islamiyah," he told the court.

Roche admitted to being a member of JI and said he worked to create problems within the group in an effort to have his mission canceled.

He said that eventually Indonesian Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir called him and ordered him to scupper the plans. Roche named Ba'asyir as the head of JI.

Ba'asyir is in Indonesian custody and is suspected of terror links. However, the cleric denies heading the terror group and has said that JI doesn't even exist.

Roche said he had also met with suspected Bali bombing mastermind Hambali, as well al Qaeda leaders bin Laden, Abu Hafs and Mukhtar during his trips to Malaysia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"He (Osama) is a very nice man, but I only met him for a short time ... just outside Kandahar," Roche testified. "I mean his people are very nice ... it sounds a strange thing to say.

"I sat down for a meal and I had just started eating, and I looked across and I said whoah -- that's like the bloke on the telly (television)."

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Kudos to Jon Sanford

I created this website because it seemed to me important that Americans said thank you to Prime Minister Tony Blair and the British people.

When the call came to stand and be counted, the United Kingdom came to our side.

Names and addresses provided to this website shall not be used for any purpose other than those stated.

Jon Sanford
P.O. Box 663
West Falmouth, MA 02574

35,264 people have sent their messages of thanks to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Messages are printed on paper and shipped weekly to the Prime Minister's office at 10 Downing Street in London. Here's the link for you to participate in this worthy project if you'd like.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other NGOs
advance a highly politicized anti-Israel agenda

Exploiting the Rhetoric of Human Rights and International Law
NGO Monitor: In their highly politicized assessments, HRW and Amnesty use the rhetoric of international law selectively, failing to note that private property used by armed combatants loses its protected status within a war zone. Although Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the destruction of private homes by military forces, it also includes the very significant caveat: "except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations." Israel's understanding of its rights and responsibilities under international humanitarian law have been scrutinized by the Israeli Supreme Court, which refused a petition filed by a number of NGOs asking to halt the Rafiah operation.

Nevertheless, Amnesty International’s 18 May report, "Israel and the Occupied Territories. Under the rubble: House demolition and destruction of land and property", claims: "The grounds invoked by Israel to justify the destruction are overly broad and based on discriminatory policies and practices." Amnesty went on to accuse Israel of "war crimes".

Similarly, in a press statement of May 20, Human Rights Watch declared Israel’s actions as "part of the IDF’s policy of collective punishment, which international humanitarian law strictly forbids." Unless the interpretations of international law by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch undergo judicial review in a manner parallel to the Israeli interpretation, such claims are unsupported.

Furthermore, in both cases, the demonization of Israeli policy, without including the context of the Israeli actions, highlights the continued political exploitation of the rhetoric of human rights and the terminology of international law. It is also consistent with the active role of these groups at the 2001 Durban conference, and in other cases since then.

In the case of Gaza, as before, the NGOs fail to offer realistic alternatives to respond to the intelligence information regarding a shipment of Katyusha rockets and shoulder-launched missiles being prepared on the Egyptian side for smuggling into the tunnels. Should Israel tolerate the shipment of weapons to terrorist groups — like Hamas and Islamic Jihad — that are used to kill innocent Israeli civilians as well as Israeli soldiers? If so, HRW and Amnesty would be denying Israelis the most basic of human rights – the right to life.

See also this report on the use of UNRWA vehicles to smuggle terrorists, this photograph, and this further bit in Haaretz about Palestinian respect for the sanctity of life status of ambulances.

"A Lot of Smoke" - New Evidence of a Link between Iraq and al Qaeda

In the Wall Street Journal
One thing we've learned about Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein is that the former dictator was a diligent record keeper. Coalition forces have found--literally--millions of documents. These papers are still being sorted, translated and absorbed, but they are already turning up new facts about Saddam's links to terrorism. . . .

One striking bit of new evidence is that the name Ahmed Hikmat Shakir appears on three captured rosters of officers in Saddam Fedayeen, the elite paramilitary group run by Saddam's son Uday and entrusted with doing much of the regime's dirty work. Our government sources, who have seen translations of the documents, say Shakir is listed with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

This matters because if Shakir was an officer in the Fedayeen, it would establish a direct link between Iraq and the al Qaeda operatives who planned 9/11. Shakir was present at the January 2000 al Qaeda "summit" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at which the 9/11 attacks were planned. The U.S. has never been sure whether he was there on behalf of the Iraqi regime or whether he was an Iraqi Islamicist who hooked up with al Qaeda on his own.

It is possible that the Ahmed Hikmat Shakir listed on the Fedayeen rosters is a different man from the Iraqi of the same name with the proven al Qaeda connections. His identity awaits confirmation. . . .

As others have reported, at the time of the summit Shakir was working at the Kuala Lumpur airport, having obtained the job through an Iraqi intelligence agent at the Iraqi embassy. The four-day al Qaeda meeting was attended by Khalid al Midhar and Nawaz al Hamzi, who were at the controls of American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon. Also on hand were Ramzi bin al Shibh, the operational planner of the 9/11 attacks, and Tawfiz al Atash, a high-ranking Osama bin Laden lieutenant and mastermind of the USS Cole bombing. Shakir left Malaysia on January 13, four days after the summit concluded.

That's not the only connection between Shakir and al Qaeda. The Iraqi next turned up in Qatar, where he was arrested on September 17, 2001, four days after the attacks in the U.S. A search of his pockets and apartment uncovered such information as the phone numbers of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers' safe houses and contacts. Also found was information pertaining to a 1995 al Qaeda plot to blow up a dozen commercial airliners over the Pacific. . . .

One of the mysteries of postwar Iraq is why the Bush Administration and our $40-billion-a-year intelligence services haven't devoted more resources to probing the links between Saddam's regime and al Qaeda. In his new book, "The Connection," Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard puts together all of the many strands of intriguing evidence that the two did do business together. There's no single "smoking gun," but there sure is a lot of smoke.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


Al Gore retched up an absolutely disgraceful speech today,
looking like a raging lunatic as he addressed far left group
MoveOn.Org — who have proudly posted a transcript of his
nightmarish moral inversions.

I've seen a lot of pictures of our President, the supposed hate- and war-monger, and I have never, ever, seen him look anything near this hateful or disturbed.

You know how the Democrats say they feel so sick about Abu Graib, how they feel squeamish about being associated with America? Well, that's how I feel about this. I am ashamed of the Democrats; I can't believe I was one for thirty years.

I actually voted for Gore in 2000, the same man who now, in the middle of a war, accuses our president of
bringing "deep dishonor to our country,"

being "the most dishonest President since Richard Nixon,"

not "honoring" the Geneva Convention, the United Nations, international treaties, opinions of our allies, the role of Congress, the role of the courts, the military, our fallen dead. . .

seeking to "radically destroy" foreign policy consensus,

asserting a "unique and unilateral" right to "ignore international law,"

asserting that same right to take military action against any nation, "even where there was no imminent threat,"

frequently using the word "dominance,"

"striking a Faustian bargain" and giving up their soul,

failing to recognize the existence of souls in Iraqi prisoners,

following a policy that "has made war on America's checks and balances,"

abusing the truth,

abusing our trust,

making the threat of terrorism "infinitely worse,"

making us "less safe,"

creating "more anger and righteous indignation against us as Americans than any leader of our country in the 228 years of our existence as a nation -- because of his

[having an] attitude of contempt for any person, institution or nation who disagrees with him,"

exposing Americans to "a greater danger of attack by terrorists because of his

[having] arrogance and willfulness,

"bungling at stirring up hornets' nests that pose no threat,"

"insulting the religion and culture and tradition of people in other countries,"

"pursuing policies that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women and children"

doing so in our name,

being utterly incompetent,

making the world "a far more dangerous place,"

"dramatically" increasing the threat of terrorism against the United States,

incompetently rejecting advice from military professionals,

disgracing families of soldiers such that they have to hold bake sales to buy their loved ones body armor,

And that, my friends, is the first quarter of Gore's screed (actually, 22% - I counted the words).

I've been intending to vote for President Bush for some time now, but I think this "speech" has just pushed me over the edge . . . . I need to disassociate from this nightmare, and reinvent myself as a

Republican? Independent?

but Democrat.


Terrorists believed deployed inside US for major summer attack against high profile target - possibly using chemical, biological or radiological weapon.

DEBKAfile reveals wanted al Qaeda terrorists include Pakistani woman, doctor of neurology Aafaya Siddiqui in Boston and Adnan G. Al Shukrijmah, last reported in Florida. More in Exclusive Report.

Keep these quotes handy

Send them to your lefty friends who think Bush is the enemy
"In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force."
--Islamic scholar Ibn Khaldun, 14th century.

"It is a duty incumbent on every Muslim to struggle towards the aim of making every people Muslim and the whole world Islamic, so that the banner of Islam can flutter over the earth..."
--Founder of Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, 1934.

"Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males . . . to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the write of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world."
--Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran 1979.

"By God's grace, we have formed with many other Islamic groups and organizations in the Islamic world a front called the International Islamic Front to do jihad against the crusaders and Jews.... And by God's grace [we're] going to have a successful result in killing Americans and getting rid of them."
--Osama bin Laden, 1998.

"Islam will return once more to Europe as a conqueror and as a victorious power after it was expelled twice from the continent.... The expansion of Islam will reach all the areas where the sun shines and the moon appears."
--Sheik Yusaf al Qaradaw, 2003.

"We don't make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity."
--Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammed, in London, in an interview with Lisbon's Publica Magazine, 2004.

If I still lived in NYC, I would buy the Sun, not the Times


al Qaeda's threat to attack America and "Hit Us Hard" ?
OR Abuse of Prisoners "More Widespread" ?

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Leah Guildenstern on The Kabbalah of the Blogosphere

poster $12.99 at AllPosters.com

Has she got me pegged? Gevurah?
Gevurah is might, severity and restriction. Gevurah places boundaries and sets limits on things. On the negative it is the source of anger, on the positive it is what keeps order. Gevurah is also associated with Fear and Awe. The Gevurah Blogs include:
Kim du Toit
Aaron's Rant Blog
Boker Tov Boulder

In spite of my visceral reaction against being called a gevurah blog, I do think it's correct. There is an urgent need for gevurah.

The liberal background in which I grew up has gone too far. Hard as it is to imagine, there is such a thing as too much kindness, too much chesed. It is too kind to continue to allow the PoorPalestinians to maim and kill Jews.

It's like rain: rain is a beautiful, nourishing event . . . UNLESS AND UNTIL (enter gevurah) it goes too far and causes a flood. Then the lovely rain becomes destructive.

Just remember, gevurah both comes from, and results in, chesed. Isn't that right, Rabbi?
to be continued . . . after Shavuos.

DEBKA's scoop on Iraqi "wedding massacre"

US Iraqi administration spokesman Senor reported discovery [at purported Iraqi wedding scene near Syrian border] of
false ID kits
Sudanese passports
Syrian currency
satphones with Taliban and al Qaeda numbers in Afghanistan

Earlier, US Brig. Kimmit said of video run by Arabic TV stations: We know the enemy’s ability to manipulate media, but stand by foreign fighters safe house claim.
Of course terrorists have the right to get married, same as anybody else.
After all, Iraq's a free country now.

They just can't count on not being interrupted.

The Amazing Innernut

American Soldier writes to Iraqi Blogger before deployment to Iraq

from Iraq the Model
:: I received this e-mail from an American soldier yesterday. After getting his approval, I decided to publish it because I wanted you to share his great words with me. I can't express how I felt when I first read the message but all I can say about it is that I felt grateful beyond words, it gave me hope, courage and more confidence in that we're on the right path.
" Hello,

First of all I want to congradulate you on your web site, Its always good to hear good things coming from Iraq.
I am an American Soldier, I will be going to Iraq in the next few months, so you can understand why the current situation there is a concern of mine.
I am not Happy to leave my wife and 5 year old son for a year, but I'm hopeful in helping the Iraqi people stabalize the security situation so you guys can get on with daily life and a future full of prosperity.
I believe in our mission to restore Iraq, so much, that I am willing to give my life towards its accomplishment,(OF COURSE MY WIFE IN NEVER HAPPY TO HEAR ME SAY THAT).
I want to appoligize for the actions of a few of us in the prison system, I am ashamed because of it, but they dont represent the majority of us, they didnt display the values we live by -
Selfless Service
Defense of the opressed -

I do recieve e-mails from fellow soldiers in Mosul, they tell me About the good things that are being acomplished, but they also tell me about the mistrust from local residents, why is that?
I know that generally Westerners are viewed with suspiscion and not trusted in the Arab world, Politics aside, I want you to know that WE (the soldiers ) have good intentions, we want to help people progress towards freedom and prosperity, we dont want to stay there as occupiers, we all have families and lives we want to come back to, is there any advice you can give me? I know that many mis-understandings come from our lack of knowledge about Arab customs and courtesies, we do get classes from CA (civil affairs) teams all the time, but I would rather get advice from someone who knows, we DO really mean well.
If there is any advice you can give me, I would really appreciate it.


An American Soldier"

So tell me again. This guy is an occupier and wants to kill our children, rape our women..oil..blah blah blah.

- posted by Omar @ 19:04

Monday, May 24, 2004

Big Four Broadcast Networks not televising Bush's Speech Tonight!

How often do I get to link to the Hollywood Reporter?
The broadcast networks are not expected to carry President Bush's primetime speech tonight, in which he will lay out a "clear strategy" for the future of Iraq.

It will be on FoxNews.

It's a Big News Day for Hamas

Jihad Unspun, which boasts "A Clear View of the U.S. War on 'Terrorism,'"
reports from Hamas that
"Rafah's steadfastness conquered the terrorist enemy"
Herewith, that Hamas pep talk in all its gory glory:

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has said that the Zionist incursion in Rafah was in fact a war of annihilation and racial cleansing.

Hamas said that the Zionist army was launching a bloody revenge campaign to retaliate to the killing of seven of its soldiers in Rafah and six others in the Zaitun suburb in Gaza city.

The Movement warned that the Zionist terrorist offensive on the Tal Al-Sultan suburb in Rafah might herald a larger incursion into other suburbs in the city that would result in greater pogroms.

Hamas, in a statement yesterday a copy of which was faxed to PIC, said that the deterrent response to the Zionist terrorists would be escalating all forms of resistance in all areas of occupied Palestine.

It urged all Mujahideen and resistance fighters to remain on the alert and to re-arrange their lines and to ask for Allah's help to deter the invaders.

The statement also asked the Arab and Muslim countries to immediately interfere to salvage the victims in Rafah or else Arab and Muslim silence would encourage Sharon's lust for blood.

Hamas appealed to Arab and Muslim masses to pressure their governments into checking the Zionist crimes and bloodbaths.

It asked the Palestinian Authority to extend all possible medical and relief material to the victims of the Rafah incursion.

The Movement called on Palestinians to organize solidarity rallies and sit-ins and to extend all forms of material and moral assistance to the people of Rafah.

Hamas finally asked the media to expose the Zionist nazi crimes before the world public opinion.
Palestinian sit-ins . . . it's all the rage.

Hamas "blows it"

Terrorists mistakenly blow themselves up without any Jews around

The headlines uniformly and conveniently do not name any perpetrators, just in case some might want to assume it was Israel whodunnit . . .
"Explosion kills three Hamas members"
Chicago Sun-Times

"Blast Kills 3 Hamas Members"
Channel 6 (ABC), Philadelphia

"Explosion in West Bank city kills three Hamas members"
San Diego Union Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle
Boston.com World News
CBC (Canada) News

"West Bank Blast Kills Three Hamas Members"
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscription)
New York Newsday
The Guardian (UK)

"Three Hamas men killed in West Bank Blast"
Independent Online, South Africa

KUDOS to the lone WJXX First Coast News in Florida, for their more accurate headline:
"3 Militants Killed By Own Explosives"

It's the little things . . .

Official Count: 56 Palestinian Houses Destroyed

An Israeli soldier gives instructions to the drivers of a line of
armored vehicles as they pass next to the Rafiah Yam settlement in
the Gush Katish block of settlements in the soutern Gaza Strip after
pulling out of the nearby Palestinian town of Rafah Monday May 24,
2004. [I'll spare you the rest of the caption] AP Photo/Oded Balilty

DEBKA: Israeli commander of Gaza Strip Brig. Zakkai announces 56 Palestinian houses destroyed according to official final count of seven-day Operation Rainbow in Rafah. Denies reports of hundreds of demolitions.

See also this DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis:
Palestinians Plot "North Korean Tunnels" to Erase Israel-Egypt Peace Frontier
Documents Israeli troops found at the outset of Operation Rainbow expose Palestinian determination to push Israel out of its positions on this international border and sabotage a key clause in the first peace accord Israel signed with an Arab nation.

This ambition is confirmed in one of particular documents revealed here by DEBKAfile’s exclusive military sources. It displays the avid study by Palestinian planners of the huge tunnels the North Koreans built in the 1970s under the fortified line dividing the two Koreas. This interest makes the current Israeli drive into Rafah all the more urgent and the problems still ahead daunting . . . .

According to one detailed document, which Israeli commanders suspect may have been left behind to instill fear and demoralize the troops, Palestinian policy-makers ask: why expend man hours and funds on small tunnels? Instead, think big and go for the invasion tunnels the North Koreans built in the seventies and eighties for the purpose of nullifying the defensive value of the heavily fortified frontier running through the demilitarized zone dividing the Koreas.

Our military experts recall that, while the South Koreans and Americans were building the most heavily fortified frontier on earth, the North Koreans were burrowing deep beneath these defenses – between 70 and 160 meters - to build at least four subterranean passageways large enough to carry an invading regiment with field artillery. Some experts calculated that, if 30,000 troops could traverse each tunnel in one hour, all four hidden conduits could channel a horde of 120,000 North Korean combatants over to the other side.

A whole army would then spring out of the earth. . .
Read it all.

B"H, Major Jerusalem Attack Thwarted

115 Palestinian Arab Suicide Attacks in 3.5 years,
yet 80%+ have been thwarted
Israeli security officials thwarted a major Palestinian suicide bombing that was planned to take place last week in Jerusalem, police announced Monday.

The bombing, which was slated to take place last Sunday night or Monday morning in Jerusalem's haredi Meah Shearim neighborhood, was thwarted after police and the Shin Bet received pinpoint intelligence information late last Sunday that Hamas was planning on carrying out an imminent bombing in the city.

Following the red alert, police had set up spot checks at the northern entrances to Jerusalem and carried out a series of other security measures that night in a last-ditch effort to intercept the bomber and thwart the planned attack.

Concomitantly, acting on further intelligence information provided by the shin Bet, Jerusalem border police arrested an 38-year-old Arab resident of the Old City, Hussam Nabulsi, that very night on suspicion of involvement in the planned attack.

During his interrogation, Nabulsi, who carries an Israeli id card, told the Shin Bet that he was supposed to receive a 15-20 kilogram bomb and pass it on to the intended Palestinian bomber, who was slated to come to Jerusalem from the West Bank city of Nablus.

Police said that Nabulsi confessed that he was enlisted in the Hamas operation by his Palestinian cousin, Said Tabanja, who himself comes from Nablus, a city long considered a hotbed of Palestinian terrorism.

36 hours later, IDF forces operating in Nablus arrested Tabanja.

During his interrogation, Tabanja said that he had enlisted his Jerusalem cousin for the planned bombing on orders of the head of the Hamas in Nablus, Said Qutab, police said. In the wake of newly acquired information, two other Palestinian accomplices were arrested in the northern West Bank city.

Then, this past weekend a major breakthrough came in the investigation.

Two Palestinian residents of Nablus, Amin Surchagi and Allah Maurauf, who had been residing of late in northern Jerusalem, were arrested by police on Saturday on suspicion of involvement in the planned bombing, police said.

During their interrogation, the two, who are fruit and vegetable merchants, told police that they had smuggled the bomb intended to be used in the Jerusalem attack inside a vegetable cart last Sunday. The two told their interrogators that the bomb was intended to be used by a suicide bomber, but in case the bomber was arrested, the device could also be operated by afar via a cellular phone, police said.

When the bomb had reached northern Jerusalem last Sunday, the two men contacted Nabulsi in an effort to give it to him, but the massive police activity in the area thwarted their efforts. Realizing the hand-off was not going according to plan, the two men then hid the bomb that night in one of their homes in the A-Ram village, on the border with Jerusalem.

After a meeting the next day with the chief Hamas operator in Nablus failed to produce a viable alternate plan, the men then concealed the bomb near Jerusalem's northern Beit Hanina neighborhood.

After their arrest this weekend, the two men led police and the Shin Bet to the place where they hid the bomb, police said. A bag, packed with the 15 kilo bomb, was found at the site, and safely detonated by police sappers.

In a bizarre twist to the plan, Qutab, the Hamas bomber who planned the bombing in Nablus, was killed Sunday night with two other men in a explosion in Nablus. The cause of the blast remains unclear, police said.

The intended bomber, however, remains at large.

Security officials estimate that upwards of 80% of all planned Palestinian bombing are actually thwarted by Israel. There have been 115 Palestinians suicide bombing over the last three and a half years of violence.
C'mon, JPost . . . "violence"?

Let's call a war, a WAR.

Am Yisrael Chai

In Hebrew . . . and Arabic

"The Jewish Nation Lives"
at top: in Arabic, Ummat Yis'reel Hayya
underneath: in Hebrew, Am Yisrael Chai

Large and X-Large $12.99 XX-Large $14.99
Order from Rokem Needle Arts / ProudZionist

In Najaf: "So far I have not killed, but God willing, I soon will"

from the Telegraph (UK), via Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch
In the large, dusty market of Najaf, people began to panic.

By now men, women and children were running for cover. But for 20-year-old Taha, an English-speaking student of engineering, the fighting was music to his ears.

Dressed in a long, grey shirt with a black headscarf covering everything except his eyes, he was panting from the exertion of the battle.

"We have blown up an American tank," he said triumphantly, as a pall of smoke began to spiral into the sky.

"I have been fighting for a month now against the American infidels. They are murderers and have given us nothing. So far I have not killed but, God willing, I soon will."

Another former student, Hussein, 26, came running over to join him.

"We have damaged five American vehicles," he said. "Do not believe what the Americans tell you. They kill two or three of our men and say they have killed 30."

Some of the claims the Mahdi army made yesterday were certainly exaggerated. One man said he had killed 32 Americans and destroyed several tanks. . . . There was no credible word on American casualties.

The Israeli Left, a "Lonely Crowd"

by Martin Peretz at Jewish World Review
el Aviv's Rabin Square is an iconic site. It is where, after an exuberant peace rally in 1995, the prime minister was murdered and where, on perhaps a dozen occasions since, Israelis have gathered to rekindle the dewy sentiments about relations with the Palestinians that he so awkwardly— and so late in life— appeared to embody. But, by now, almost everyone understands that his faith in a viable Palestinian negotiating partner was, to say the least, naïve. And no one at last Saturday night's rally so much as mentioned Yitzhak Rabin's name. Instead, there was plenty of schwarmerei folk music, beginning with "We Shall Overcome."

Another era, another language, another issue, another country. Rather pathetic at a time when, among the young, in hot clubs and cafés everywhere, there is a revival of old romantic and confident Zionist songs. They are not, to be sure, doing wild circle dances. But they are reinventing the kumsitz with a nostalgic repertoire— indicating, I believe, that post-Zionism has come and gone, pace Tony Judt. Good riddance.

It was a large crowd, perhaps 150,000 people, but a generally listless one. Perhaps it was the lingering pall of the 13 dead soldiers in Gaza over the previous week, some of whose body parts, including an intact brain, were displayed on television by Palestine's holy warriors. But mostly, I think, the pall reflected the crowd's recognition that they were not the majority some of their tribunes told them they were. "Get out of Gaza, Start Talking" was their slogan. The slogan, however, papered over important differences among the varied constituencies, and so it is not a political program at all. It's rather like "Peace Now," the slogan that has named a loose touchy-feely movement in Israel for years, or the Vietnam War-era incantation "Give Peace a Chance." Just words, and meaningless ones, at that.
Planning a trip to Israel this summer?

Take a Class in Kosher Cooking at the new
Kosher Culinary Academy in Jerusalem

The Kosher Culinary Academy, which opened in Jerusalem in January of this year, offers a one-year Professional Kosher Chef Course (so far, for men only), as well short summer courses for both men and women, ages 17+.

The Academy is the first Kosher L'Mehadrin cooking school in the world! There is nowhere else for Jewish people to learn to become kosher chefs (or caterers, maitres d'hotel, mashgichim or restrauranteurs). With kosher cuisine one of the fastest growing markets in the world, and kosher quality standards constantly rising, there is plenty of good, kosher work to be found in the burgeoning kosher food and hospitality industry.

Or, just for fun, while visiting Israel this summer, take a course in The Secrets of Shabbat Cooking, Israeli Cuisine, Healthy Asian Cooking, Simple French (or Chinese or Italian), and even the newly popular Low Carb Cooking!

All courses are taught in English and are Glatt Mehadrin under Rabbanut Yerushalayim.
My dear friend, Shirley Weiss Karsevar -formerly sous chef at the Bay Club in Margate, NJ, and owner of Arizona Cafe & Catering in Philadelphia- teaches the new Culinary Arts Course for Women, and I can personally testify to her expertise! All the staff has impeccable credentials; it makes your mouth water just to read where they've worked.

Visit their website, or email Info@KosherCulinaryAcademy.com for more information. And, please, spread the word so that this endeavor might prosper.

Jewish gravestones desecrated in Kiev

Interior Ministry: Graves destroyed "because they were too old"
JPost: More than 50 Jewish gravestones at a cemetery in the Ukrainian capital were vandalized over the weekend in what the local Jewish community described Monday as an organized anti-Semitic action.

The plaques were destroyed early Sunday at a cemetery in a Kiev residential neighborhood, said Moshe-Reuven Asman, the chief rabbi of Kiev and the Kiev region.

"Headstones were broken, heavy old stones were thrown about _ all that testifies to the fact that the crime was committed by a large group," he said. "It was an awful picture."

Eduard Doks, spokesman for the Sokhnut Jewish community in Kiev, also described it an anti-Semitic act.

Interior Ministry spokesman Viktor Korchinsky, however, denied any acts of vandalism, saying the graves were destroyed "all by themselves, because they were too old."
Aside from this article in the Jerusalem Post, the story rated three sentences from the Russian Itar-Tass News Agency, and well, that's it, according to my Google News Search.

No Big Deal, I guess. You think that if the New York Times doesn't notice tens of thousands of people marching down Fifth Avenue in support of Israel, they're going to notice a desecrated cemetery on the other side of the world?
"Your search for kiev / today returned 1 articles."

My search of Yahoo! News Photos was only slightly more fruitful:

Workers rebuild a vandalized headstone at a cemetery in Kiev,
Ukraine, Monday, May 24, 2004. More than 50 Jewish gravestones
at a cemetery in Kiev were vandalized late Saturday in what
the local Jewish community Monday described as an organized
anti-Semitic action. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

If I still lived in NYC, I would buy the Sun, not the Times

Story from the NY Post
May 24, 2004 -- Tens of thousands of people marched yesterday in the Salute to Israel Parade - which drew rival groups of protesters as tensions in the Middle East spilled onto Fifth Avenue.

"New York has a lot in common with Israel. We both are living in a state or terror. We have to support for each other," said David Stern, 25, of Queens.

"This parade shows what's good about Israel. People need to go there to see that it's not just about war and terrorism. It's a beautiful country," said another parade participant, Mark Rabinowitz, of Manhattan.

Donald Trump, one of the marshals, said, "I don't happen to be Jewish but I'm a great fan of Israel."

Mayor Bloomberg said, "we have to support Israel. I've always thought that as goes Israel, goes America."

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión said he and a delegation of black and Hispanic clergy were set to go to Israel last night to show support.

Protesters gathered along the route. "At the same time that Israel is carrying on its own atrocities in the Gaza Strip, here New York City is throwing a party for them," said Ahmad Hawri, of Queens.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Supporting the Troops (Literally)

Arutz Sheva: A group of women from the Negev town of Meitar, in cooperation with the Soldier's Welfare Committee and the local Education Administration, organized a convoy of vehicles today to bring snacks, underwear, letters from Meitar schoolchildren and other items to soldiers serving in Gaza. The objective of the convoy, according to organizers, is to "encourage and thank our [soldiers]". "This is totally non-political," leading participant Leah Wolf said, "[we're] just women who want to show our love for our brave chayalim [soldiers] and our disdain for the traitors who try to weaken their morale."
If she had left out that part about "disdain for the traitors," she might have gotten away with the claim of being "totally non-political." And while I admire and am grateful for this act, I think it's a shame to potentially diminish the mitzvah in this way.
Another initiative aimed at supporting Israeli troops serving in Rafiach was organized recently by Chabad-Lubavitch of Gaza. The "operation" involved the distribution of the Torah, Psalms and the seminal Chabad work, known as Tanya, to soldiers on the front lines. The "security kits", as Chabad Hassidim referred to them, were given out to every soldier in Rafiach, along with leaflets published by the Lubavitch Youth Organization. Chabad emissaries also brought tefilin (phylacteries) for those soldiers who wished to don them.

Chabad's philosophy, is conveyed by this quote on their website:
"No Jew should ever be lost to the Jewish people, no Jew must ever be lonely."
Amen. As the entire world is busy condemning Israel, I hate to see Jew against Jew, on any level. It's the last thing we need right now.