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Saturday, July 17, 2004

We report. You decide.

TIME Magazine: 9/11 Commission Finds Ties between al Qaeda and Iran
Next week's much anticipated final report by a bipartisan commission on the origins of the 9/11 attacks will contain new evidence of contacts between al-Qaeda and Iran—just weeks after the Administration has come under fire for overstating its claims of contacts between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

A senior U.S. official told TIME that the Commission has uncovered evidence suggesting that between eight and ten of the 14 "muscle" hijackers—that is, those involved in gaining control of the four 9/11 aircraft and subduing the crew and passengers—passed through Iran in the period from October 2000 to February 2001. Sources also tell TIME that Commission investigators found that Iran had a history of allowing al-Qaeda members to enter and exit Iran across the Afghan border. This practice dated back to October 2000, with Iranian officials issuing specific instructions to their border guards—in some cases not to put stamps in the passports of al-Qaeda personnel—and otherwise not harass them and to facilitate their travel across the frontier. The report does not, however, offer evidence that Iran was aware of the plans for the 9/11 attacks.

The senior official also told TIME that the report will note that Iranian officials approached the al-Qaeda leadership after the bombing of the USS Cole and proposed a collaborative relationship in future attacks on the U.S., but the offer was turned down by bin Laden because he did not want to alienate his supporters in Saudi Arabia.
Reuters: Bush, Kerry have different approaches to Iran
If re-elected, President Bush is expected to pursue more aggressive support for factions that want to topple hard-line leaders in Iran while Democratic challenger John Kerry is more inclined toward engaging the Islamic republic.

"I think you would see us continue a very hard line on the nonproliferation issue and support for dissident elements inside Iran would pick up," a senior administration official said. He ruled out military action. Added another Republican insider said, "My understanding is that this tough view is one that has been expressed by the president himself on a number of occasions lately."

Bush has taken a hard line, branding Iran part of an "axis of evil" with North Korea and prewar Iraq as it seeks to quash any nuclear weapons ambitions it may have. He also accuses the Islamic republic of supporting terrorism...

Reflecting a different approach, Kerry foreign policy adviser Rand Beers told Reuters in an interview: "Yes, we would be prepared to talk to Iran." He said the Democratic candidate is "not naive" and recognizes deep differences between the two countries. These include nuclear proliferation, the Arab-Israeli conflict and policy toward Iran's neighbor Iraq.

"But we do think there are some issues about which we can talk and can move forward and hopefully those issues would represent building blocks on which to base a broader degree of cooperation," Beers said.

"We have to find ways in which to engage with Iran" in a multi-party format that could also include direct U.S.-Iranian talks, he said.

Kerry "engaging" with Iran would be like the UN engaging with Arafat.  You wanna "play nice" with terrorists? Then vote for Kerry. I just can't.

One reason it doesn't bother me that much when Bush-haters say Bush is not all that bright, is that you don't have to be all that bright to figure out there's a bully in the sandbox.  More Americans may view Kerry as intelligent (83% vs Bush at 63%) but I can almost guarantee you, that man never took kids to the park.
  • If you bring your bike, you have to share it if you're not on it.
  • You have to ask your mom, dad or babysitter before you take snacks from strangers.
  • Hitting, spitting and sand-throwing will get you yanked out, and then scowled at, until you behave or go home.

Let me see if I can take the analogy a little further without it falling apart.  In my 59 years of parenting (29 + 19 + 11),  I never had to do this, but I suppose one could be forced by a bully to leave the park and go down the street or across town to another park.  In the fight against global jihad, we don't have that option. 

Global terrorism is on the rise and is likely to continue unabated for the next 100 years, according to Prof. Yonah Alexander, one of the world's leading analysts on the subject.

Alexander, director of the Inter-Universities Center for Terrorism Studies, also believes it is only a matter of time before groups like al-Qaida use non-coventional weapons as part of attempts to promulgate their ideology and undermine western society.

"In fact," said Alexander, "it represents the most threatening challenge to civilization in the 21st century. The question of survival will depend to a great extent on how civilized society tackles this threat."

In other words, the worst is yet to come.

I'll tell you one last thing. The mom (or dad) who got the bully out of the sandbox was not necessarily the most intelligent person at the park, but rather, the one who had the best combination of common sense, conviction and stamina.

If you don't think I'm right, then tell me why Arab-Americans are backing Kerry overwhelmingly. You think it's because he's so ...intelligent?

Friday, July 16, 2004

It's Friday

Victor Davis Hanson:
There are terrible costs to pay in any necessary war.
Charles Krauthammer:
The ICJ vs. Israel

Election politics

I wish it were over already

Kerry said "Never Again," but was referring to the 2000 election recount.

(Also to the NAACP), Kerry said Bush "may be too busy to talk to you, but I have news for you: He's going to have plenty of time after Nov. 2."

Yeah, and wouldn't Kerry have loved it if Bush had spoken to the NAACP? The headline would have been, "President Gets Booed." Well, John Edwards's brother is wanted on a 10-year-old Arapahoe County DUI warrant, so there.

And take this, all you Kerry folks:
Kerry and Bush are evenly matched on qualities like compassion, honesty and likability. But Bush has a 22-point edge over Kerry on the question of who is decisive. Two-thirds said Bush is decisive and fewer than half said that of Kerry. . .
"The quality I like about the president is he knows what he wants, and he focuses on what he wants to do. He's not wishy-washy," said Sam Werzberger, a 26-year-old independent from New York City, who hasn't decided for whom he will vote. "I've seen very little of Kerry, but he seems to say what people want to hear."
So what does Kerry think the African American community wants to hear? He ended his speech to the NAACP this way: "My friends, this is the most important election of our lifetime," he said. At stake, he said, are jobs, health care, the political composition of the Supreme Court and the country's standing in the world.

Get outta here. At stake are jobs? health care? What about terrorists threatening a bloodbath in Italy? Does Kerry not have anything to say about such things, or does he think that African Americans don't care about them? He should meet LaShawn Barber. She used to be a liberal too.

al Reuters: "Gunmen" seize three French citizens in Gaza

By Shahdi al-Kashif

GAZA (Reuters) - Masked Palestinian gunmen seized three French civilians in the Gaza Strip Friday to press President Yasser Arafat to reinstate them in jobs, Palestinian witnesses and security officials said.

The two women and a man had been sitting in a restaurant in the town of Khan Younis when the gunmen burst in and took them to the local Red Crescent headquarters, on a day in which a Palestinian police chief and an official were also abducted.

The gunmen, wielding automatic weapons, ordered workers to leave the headquarters and then fired shots from a window to ward off police who surrounded the building, witnesses said.
Palestinian security officials said the abduction was carried out by militants from the Abu al-Rish Brigades, which is linked to Arafat's mainstream Fatah group.

The officials, who identified those being held as French citizens, said the kidnappers had demanded to be reinstated in jobs Arafat had fired them from.

In Paris the French Foreign Ministry said it had no immediate information on the incident.

"A large number of masked men raided our building and called for us to leave. There were three foreigners with them, two women and one old man," said Haidar Shuber, who worked in the building.  [other sources say five kidnapped]

Earlier, gunmen kidnapped Gaza Strip police chief Ghazi al-Jabali for three hours in a challenge to Arafat, but conflicting accounts emerged over the circumstances of his release.
The shadowy Jenin Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for kidnapping Jabali in a road ambush, saying it had acted after years of inaction from Arafat's Palestinian Authority over what it called the police chief's mistakes.

A senior Palestinian official, who declined to be named, said Jabali was freed after Arafat agreed to put the police chief on trial for suspected corruption.

But after his release, Jabali was all smiles when he appeared before reporters in a fresh uniform at police headquarters in Gaza City. He declined comment, as did many other officials.

"Everything is alright and the problem is solved," said Ahmed Hilis, Fatah's head in Gaza, without elaborating. 
(Additional reporting by Cynthia Johnston in Gaza and Wafa Amr and Mohammed Assadi in Ramallah)


GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian militants released two French hostages after kidnapping four French civilians in Gaza in a bid to demand Palestinian President Yasser Arafat make reforms to his government, Palestinian witnesses said.

Gunmen stormed into a restaurant in the Gaza town of Khan Younis late Friday, abducted the four French civilians and held them hostage in a nearby Red Crescent building while dozens Palestinian security officers surrounded it for two hours.

The two female abductees were seen being helped by Palestinian security officers into an ambulance, which raced away from the scene. The remaining two male captives are still being held hostage in the building.


Attack on Jewish graves in New Zeland

Cemetery dates back to the 1880s
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Vandals have smashed headstones and gouged swastikas and Nazi slogans in a Jewish cemetery in New Zealand, a day after Wellington froze ties with Israel  . . . .
Vandals attacked 16 graves in the Jewish part of a cemetery in Wellington that dates to the 1880s, a day after Uriel Zoshe Kelman and Eli Cara were jailed for six months for trying to obtain fraudulently a New Zealand passport by assuming the identity of a wheelchair-bound cerebral palsy victim.

"Someone's used some sort of stick or tool to gouge swastikas into the grass around the graves. Words like 'Sieg Heil' have been scratched into the footpath," a city council spokesman said.
Oh, and get this . . . "New Zealand has small Jewish communities but no history of anti-Semitic behaviour, with only occasional acts of vandalism of Jewish buildings." 
That's  like, "no racial hatred, just occasional cross-burnings on the lawns of Black folks."  No biggie, right?

Pretty funny

Even as the UN is busy condemning Israel,  a study by their Development Program
 finds Israel the best country to live in -  in the Middle East
Reuters/International Herald Tribune:      According to the UN Development Program's annual Human Development Index, released Thursday, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands ranked as the best five countries to live in.
The United States was ranked in eighth place, a drop of one position from 2003 in the report that rates not only per-capita income but also educational levels, health care and life expectancy in measuring a nation’s well-being.
In the Middle East, Israel led the list in 22nd place, followed by Cyprus in 30th place, Bahrain, 40; Kuwait, 44; Qatar, 47; UAE, 49; Libya, 58; Oman 74; Saudi Arabia, 77; Lebanon, 80; Jordan, 90; Tunisia, 92; Palestinian territories 102; Syria, 106; Algeria, 108; Egypt, 120; Morocco, 125, and Yemen, 149.

Who would have imagined that the Palestinian terrortories were not the worst place in the world to live?  Tell that to James Bennet;  the second installment of his "People Adrift" is published in today's New York Times --  3,918 words in addition to the 3,752  from yesterday - almost 8,000 total -  about Palestinian suffering.  Notice that the sequel article, at least in the online version, is accompanied by this photo and caption.

MARTYRS: Nidal Farahat at her
home, where a lighted poster is a
memorial to two of her sons who
died in suicide missions against
Israelis. Such posters are common
 throughout the Gaza Strip.

Pardon me, but those "suicide missions" were not simple suicides; they were  missions of mass murder. And her sons didn't just "die"  . . .   they didn't quietly pass away from heart disease or cancer ... they blew themselves up, on purpose, to murder as many Jews as possible.  They did so voluntarily and no doubt, ecstatically. 
I guess the New York Times in general, and James Bennet is particular, are reluctant to make value judgements about other peoples' ethics, or so they must think.  But in taking such a "relative" position, they do make a value judgement:  

Jewish lives are not worth mentioning
 even in the context of their own murders.



Update - Not really an update so much as a postscript.
I just have to point out that, near the end of this article, Bennet has the nerve (and or the ignorance or stupidity)  to quote a Palestinian quoting "a Koranic verse that he said explained why, after escaping Egypt, the Jews wandered in the desert for forty years before reaching the land of Israel."
Do you see the crazy incongruity, the veritable irony, of this? 
You have a Palestinian,  the Koran,  and Bennet,  all referring to the Jews "reaching the land of Israel"  3000 years ago  . . . as truth, a fact, a fait accompli. . .  
And yet, we're supposed to believe that the Jewish presence there today constitutes an "occupation" of someone else's land.  (Bennet must use the term "occupation" a dozen times in the two parts of this article.)
Some twist of logic, eh?
NB: According to CAMERA,
The New York Times, one of the most influential newspapers in the world, affects not only its readership's perception of world events (daily circulation is about 1.6 million), but also has  significant impact on the news judgement and editorial perspective of other media. The caliber of accuracy, balance and thoroughness in this publication are, therefore, of particular importance.

Daniel Okrent, ombudsman or "public editor," for the NY Times
James Bennet, Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the NY Times

Terror in the skies, again?

by Annie Jacobsen, in WomensWallStreet

Note from the Editors: You are about to read an account of what happened during a domestic flight that one of our writers, Annie Jacobsen, took from Detroit to Los Angeles. The WWS Editorial Team debated long and hard about how to handle this information and ultimately we decided it was something that should be shared. What does it have to do with finances? Nothing, and everything. Here is Annie's story.
On June 29, 2004, at 12:28 p.m., I flew on Northwest Airlines flight #327 from Detroit to Los Angeles with my husband and our young son.  Also on our flight were 14 Middle Eastern men between the ages of approximately 20 and 50 years old.  What I experienced during that flight has caused me to question whether the United States of America can realistically uphold the civil liberties of every individual, even non-citizens, and protect its citizens from terrorist threats.

On that Tuesday, our journey began uneventfully. Starting out that morning in Providence, Rhode Island, we went through security screening, flew to Detroit, and passed the time waiting for our connecting flight to Los Angeles by shopping at the airport stores and eating lunch at an airport diner. With no second security check required in Detroit we headed to our gate and waited for the pre-boarding announcement. Standing near us, also waiting to pre-board, was a group of six Middle Eastern men. They were carrying blue passports with Arabic writing. Two men wore tracksuits with Arabic writing across the back. Two carried musical instrument cases - thin, flat, 18 long. One wore a yellow T-shirt and held a McDonald's bag. And the sixth man had a bad leg -- he wore an orthopedic shoe and limped.  When the pre-boarding announcement was made, we handed our tickets to the Northwest Airlines agent, and walked down the jetway with the group of men directly behind us.
My four-year-old son was determined to wheel his carry-on bag himself, so I turned to the men behind me and said, You go ahead, this could be awhile. No, you go ahead, one of the men replied. He smiled pleasantly and extended his arm for me to pass. He was young, maybe late 20's and had a goatee.   I thanked him and we boarded the plan.

Once on the plane, we took our seats in coach (seats 17A, 17B and 17C). The man with the yellow shirt and the McDonald's bag sat across the aisle from us (in seat 17E). The pleasant man with the goatee sat a few rows back and across the aisle from us (in seat 21E).  The rest of the men were seated throughout the plane, and several made their way to the back. 
As we sat waiting for the plane to finish boarding, we noticed another large group of Middle Eastern men boarding.  The first man wore a dark suit and sunglasses. He sat in first class in seat 1A, the seat second-closet to the cockpit door.  The other seven men walked into the coach cabin.  As aware Americans, my husband and I exchanged glances, and then continued to get comfortable.  I noticed some of the other passengers paying attention to the situation as well.  As boarding continued, we watched as, one by one, most of the Middle Eastern men made eye contact with each other.  They continued to look at each other and nod, as if they were all in agreement about something. I could tell that my husband was beginning to feel anxious.
The take-off was uneventful.  But once we were in the air and the seatbelt sign was turned off, the unusual activity began. The man in the yellow T-shirt got out of his seat and went to the lavatory at the front of coach -- taking his full McDonald's bag with him.  When he came out of the lavatory he still had the McDonald's bag, but it was now almost empty. He walked down the aisle to the back of the plane, still holding the bag.  When he passed two of the men sitting mid-cabin, he gave a thumbs-up sign.  When he returned to his seat, he no longer had the McDonald's bag.

Then another man from the group stood up and took something from his carry-on in the overhead bin. It was about a foot long and was rolled in cloth.  He headed toward the back of the cabin with the object.  Five minutes later, several more of the Middle Eastern men began using the forward lavatory consecutively. In the back, several of the men stood up and used the back lavatory consecutively as well.

For the next hour, the men congregated in groups of two and three at the back of the plane for varying periods of time. Meanwhile, in the first class cabin, just a foot or so from the cockpit door, the man with the dark suit - still wearing sunglasses - was also standing.  Not one of the flight crew members suggested that any of these men take their seats.

Watching all of this, my husband was now beyond anxious.  I decided to try to reassure my husband (and maybe myself) by walking to the back bathroom.  I knew the goateed-man I had exchanged friendly words with as we boarded the plane was seated only a few rows back, so  I thought I would say hello to the man to get some reassurance that everything was fine. As I stood up and turned around, I glanced in his direction and we made eye contact.  I threw out my friendliest remember-me-we-had-a-nice-exchange-just-a-short-time-ago smile. The man did not  smile back.

There is much, much more.  In fact, it's probably so long that you should print it out to read it all. But do read it all.
Michelle Malkin confirms:
"Dave Adams of the Federal Air Marshals Service (FAM)...  confirmed that he spoke to Annie Jacobsen, was quoted accurately in her story, and confirmed some of the basic facts outlined in her article (there were 14 Syrians on the flight; they were questioned by the Los Angeles Police Department, FBI, FAM, and so on;"
while maintaining some healthy skepticism:
Building a bomb in mid-air using 14 operatives to take down one plane seems like a rather inefficient means of terrorism.

Make of it what you will.  Thanks to Katy for bringing this to our attention.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

"Who will help David Hatuel to fold up all his memories into suitcases?"

Excerpts from a speech delivered by MK Gila Finkelstein (National Religious Party) in the Knesset, on July 7, 2004
The subject we are dealing with is very painful, perhaps the most painful in the history of the State of Israel: the uprooting of thousands of Jews from their homes and the land on which they built their lives and families over the course of decades.  How symbolic it is that this session is taking place as we begin the "Three Weeks" mourning period during which we grieve over the Destruction of the Temple and the onset of the Exile...
Fellow Knesset Members, it is only natural that a tense argument also rages around the question of who will carry out this dreadful evacuation [- the police, or the army]? Who will be the ones to enter the homes and remove their inhabitants?
Who will lift up the three Cohen family children - those heroic youngsters from Kfar Darom who lost legs [in a murderous Palestinian terror attack on a school bus - ed.] - and take them out of their house, the house to which they returned after the attack when they made a courageous decision to show that terrorism had not won?
Who will knock on the door of Chana Bart - that gentle but determined woman who defeated terrorism, who managed to give birth even after she was so seriously wounded - and ask her to wheel herself over in her wheelchair to the special bus waiting for her outside?
Who will help David Hatuel [whose pregnant wife and four children were murdered by Palestinian terrorists] to fold up all his memories into his suitcases?  And who will pile on to the evacuation trucks all those men, women and children, our brothers and sisters, the flesh of our flesh?  This will be an impossible psychological burden, one that is liable, Heaven forbid, to be the lot of both the evacuees and the evacuators!
I shake as I imagine the unit that will come to remove the dead from their graves, including the victims of murderous Arab terrorism.  On whom is it possible to place such a terrible mission, accompanied by its psychological tensions and eternal scars?
I'm unable to find an answer to this question: On whom can the mission of emptying the homes be placed?  Of taking the pictures down from the walls, and of removing the mezuzuot from the doorposts? What about the Torah scrolls and the synagogues?  Who will make the final check to ensure that nothing was left behind, before the bulldozers come in and turn the life and vitality that was there into a pile of ruins?
The Defense Minister says that the soldiers are unable to bear such a burden.  He is right!  The job of IDF soldiers is to wage war against the country's enemies, and to maintain security and peace for Israel's citizens.  How can we give them the job of evacuating and removing pioneer settlers?
The Minister of Public Security declares: The police are also unable to bear this load.  And he too is right! Policemen are not made of different human material than anyone else.  They too will not be able to withstand the emotional and psychological pressure.
Both of them are right! Because neither the soldiers, nor the police, nor any Israeli could stand up to this job without having its sights and sound pursuing him for the rest of his life!
I have been informed that a special unit is being established for this evacuation mission.  The hidden and not-hidden assumption is that if we train a special force, and provide it with "mental preparation," and guide and train it for a few months - in the end, this unit will be able to carry out this mission without batting an eyelash.  These soldiers or police will be able to separate absolutely between their emotions and the beliefs on which they were raised, and the mission they must carry out.
To this naive and problematic idea, I say the following, as one who has been involved in education for many years:
Do not destroy the souls of our youth!  Don't destroy the souls of our soldiers and our policemen, don't try to turn them into unfeeling robots, and don't teach them how to evacuate Jews from their homes without emotion.  If you do this, you will destroy their souls from within - the souls of the soldiers and policemen, and the soul of the entire society.
I am sure that my words are not foreign to those on the Left.  They have said... countless times, "The occupation corrupts." ...  
I would like to say, "The expulsion corrupts," at least to the same extent, if not more.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I propose that the task of evacuating the residents be placed neither on the police nor on the soldiers. It should instead be buried altogether.
We must not forget that the government has not yet decided to evacuate Jewish communities.  The opposite is true: the decision specifically states that it does not include the evacuation of communities.  I therefore propose that these towns not be evacuated, that blossoming locations not be turned into ruins, and that our security forces not be turned into a force of destruction.
Thank you.


This week's parshah, or "portion" of Torah

from Azamra.org
The Boundaries of the Land are given as a COMMANDMENT (Numbers 34:2). While nobody doubts that the true Land of Israel includes all the territories west of the River Jordan, few are aware of where the southern and northern borders of the biblical Promised Land actually are.

The final settlement of Israel as prophesied by Ezekiel completely defies all present-day conceptions in the mass media of the settlement Israel should accept, showing that the true boundaries of the Land stretch from the eastern arm of the Nile delta up north to the Turkish city of Antakya (Antiochia) north of 36 degrees Lat. N. The mountain spur above Antakya is HOR HA-HAR, Mount Hor mentioned in Numbers 34:8 as the northern point of Israel's Mediterranean border.

Any "settlement" that does not take this into account is doomed to ultimate failure, for "the G-d's counsel is what will stand" (Proverbs 19:21). Of course the Land will only become Israel's without contest when Israel will fulfill its part of the Conditions of G-d's Covenant to give them the Land.

There's lots more good stuff at Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum's Universal Torah. Feel free to avail yourself of this antidote for the poisons in our lives.

It's almost Shabbos . . .

A Stop-the-Wall kinda gal

Communications Coordinator for "Colorado Jews for a Just Peace"
writes to Kerry:  "the wall must be interpreted as a provocation and a land grab"

This was sent to me by a member of CJJP who wishes to remain anonymous.
Dear Candidate Kerry: 

 Colorado Jews for a Just Peace is an organization of Jews largely in the Boulder/Denver area of Colorado that advocates a mutually negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Like many Jewish Americans – the majority, according to some polls -- we oppose Sharon’s militaristic, unilateralist policies because we believe his actions undermine Israel’s security. We do not consider criticism of the Sharon government to be anti-Israel. Rather, we believe that for Israel to secure a safe and prosperous future for itself it must come to an agreement with the Palestinians that will result in a Palestinian state which is also safe, secure, and prosperous.  
We believe that American leaders must take an active role to help bring about a negotiated, mutually accepted settlement. For instance, the U.S. government might offer support to the negotiators of the Geneva Accords.  
Regarding the current Sharon plan of unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, Sharon’s policies of wholesale demolition of homes and continuing assassinations demonstrate that there is no intention here to allow any kind of viable, independent Palestinian entity. For this policy to have any positive impact at all, it must be seen as MERELY A FIRST STEP in what will ultimately be PART OF A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS that will define the ultimate borders of each state.  Unilateral action will fail to bring lasting peace and security to Israel or create a Palestinian State, unless there is a negotiated agreement between the two principals to create a "two-state solution."  UNILATERAL WITHDRAWAL IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A NEGOTIATED FINAL SETTLEMENT.  
Further, the “barrier” that the Sharon government is building must be interpreted as a provocation and a land grab, rather than as a measure to enhance Israeli security. If the purpose of the wall was really security, it could have been built along the “Green Line,” on Israeli land, and neither the international community nor the Palestinians would have had any legal or moral grounds for objection. As it is, the wall may perhaps prevent some act of terrorism against Israelis, but at the cost of further inflaming and prolonging the hatred that produces more terrorism.  
For negotiations to progress, the Palestinian leadership must again renounce violence, and the United States or the international community must assist the Palestinians in their efforts to prevent terrorism against Israelis. But Israelis must also eliminate "totally ending violence by Palestinians" as a precondition for entering negotiations, as this condition has the effect of holding the negotiation process hostage to extremists. Israel must recognize that the Palestinian leadership, which in reality is symbolized by and unquestionably includes President Arafat, needs tangible gains to bring to the Palestinian majority, who also want to live in peace, in order to undermine the appeal of both religious and secular militants.    
The last five years have seen the growth of several national Jewish organizations and numerous local groups in cities and towns all over this country that share these views. (Within Israel, there are many more.) We believe that the Democratic presidential candidate could inspire these Jewish-American voters by supporting a truly pro-Israel policy that is a clear alternative to the Bush/Sharon deadend strategy of simple military force. The Geneva Accords and other non-official initiatives demonstrate that peace is possible between Israelis and Palestinians, if only those holding positions of power would foster reconciliation rather than provocation and hostility. We urge you, as a candidate and as president, to take the historic, courageous, and creative path that will end this bloody conflict, bring security to both Israelis and Palestinians, and restore U.S. credibility and stable relations with the Arab world.  
Leslie Lomas,
Communications Coordinator
Colorado Jews for a Just Peace

CJJP has come a long way.  Only a year or so ago, they were holding a public vigil in memory of Rachel Corrie.

More from Yesterday

A Stop-the-Wall kinda guy


Gotta get the hard copy

Not only did we make the cover of the Colorado Daily, but we got another photo inside

Left to right, behind Bninski, are J.J., me and Jessie.

And please, don't miss the article, "Another brick in the wall". It couldn't be better. Paul Danish's eloquent remarks are quoted extensively.
Boulder County Commissioner Paul Danish . . . characterized the fences as a defense mechanism in the war against terrorism.

"What they ("Stop the Wall") are taking is an attempt by the government of Israel to fight a war in a very humane way, and trying to demonize it," said Danish. "And I think that is utterly contemptible."

"When people who are supposedly pacifists are asking one party in the war to take down their defenses and show their throats to their enemy, that shows to me that they are neither pacifists nor neutral in the struggle," said Danish.

"If I had to characterize their (RMPJC) views, it would be that they have functioned for the last three years as ideological enablers of terrorism," Danish said.
Kol hakavod, and Gd bless you, Mr. Danish.

While I'm gushing, I'd like to thank Dr. Neil Dobro, director of Americans Against Terrorism, for his dedication to Am Yisrael and his calm, cool and collected leadership in the face(s) of "ideological enablers of terrorism." He's pictured here, at the far right

with one of my press packets in hand (which, btw, we'd be happy to share with other communities assaulted by the StopTheWall.org Tour).

Final thanks go to Mr. Guildenstern for his photos, to my wonderful husband for cheerfully helping me with pictures and computers, to Raz for showing up at CU, to Matt for having the best sign (photo to follow), and to Jessie for being The Best.

Don't you bet the folks at RMPJC wish they had never even heard of the StopTheWall Tour? One can always hope that they will "take this lemon and turn it into lemonade" - it's a great opportunity for self-examination and reevaluation :)

And should Carolyn Bninski have any complaints, I would take this opportunity to remind her of her own words, published in the Colorado Daily last week:
". . . people should be able to exercise their free speech."

3,752 words romanticizing Palestinian Victimhood

"In Chaos, Palestinians Struggle for a Way Out"

THE MARTYRS Along a road in
Jenin, on the West Bank, a
billboard celebrates residents who
have died fighting or killing
Bennet has a real knack for turning what shoulda/woulda/coulda been damning criticism, into a heart-wrenching pity party for the ProfessionallyPoorPalestinians. Some choice bits:
"I am the highest authority," Mr. Zubeidah said, echoing a view widely held in Jenin. A slender man with an easy smile, he sat in white tennis shoes, blue jeans and a brown T-shirt on a torn couch in a home in the camp.

* * * *

For Palestinians, it is a mocking contradiction: President Bush and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon speak of a state of Palestine as almost a historical inevitability. But on the ground, after years of Israeli military raids and blockades and Palestinian political paralysis, the economy is growing more dependent on foreign donors, and institutions of statehood are crumbling.

* * * *

"Israel destroyed all forms of authority. Everyone has their own weapon. This is the problem of Jenin: We have an absolute state of chaos."

* * * *

Private investment has all but vanished. But donors stepped in, doubling their contributions, to a billion dollars a year, an amount equal to one-third the Palestinian gross national product last year of $3.1 billion. That works out to roughly $310 a person, more aid per capita than any country has received since World War II, the World Bank says.

* * * *

Like Palestinian society in general, Jenin is losing ground, but it is enduring. It is muddling through. This is a story of decay, not of sudden collapse; of the corrosion of an educated, relatively affluent society that Palestinian and Israeli officials say may still have the makings of a model democracy. The Palestinian national dream has not died. There are still people fighting to hold life together, to pick up the garbage, light the streets and salvage a chance at better days.

* * * *

"Just running, running, running. Because we have no choice."

* * * *

In Israeli cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa, it is possible now to forget about the conflict, at least for a time. But on this side of the barrier, the conflict suffuses life.

* * * *

Jamilah Nubani, 58, goes every evening to the Martyrs' Cemetery to mourn two sons and a son-in-law buried there. All were fighters or members of the security services. "God, we ask you for your mercy," she said, gripping one son's headstone to pull herself to her feet, before making her way to her other son's grave.

* * * *

Jenin is also place where, in spite of the conflict, life goes on. Along Faisal Hussein Street through the middle of town, men gather in the evenings to play cards for hours and drink glasses of sweet tea for a shekel apiece. (A shekel is worth about 22 cents.) People with a little more money may go to the Gardens restaurant at the edge of town, to sip tea for three shekels a glass. The Gardens also has a pool, and at 10:45 one recent night, a swimmer did a back flip off the high dive. But in a sign of the times, the Gardens has established a separate seating area for the shebab, the rowdy young men and fighters who unnerve the other guests. By midnight, the card-players and tea drinkers return home, abandoning the dark streets to the fighters, who cruise in the stolen Israeli cars that somehow still manage to make it past the barrier and into Jenin. Gunfire rings out most nights.

* * * *

At the Jenin driving school, Abdul Karim Jarrar, 40, cannot pay his modest electricity bill. The police do not enforce traffic laws, so few new drivers bother to get licenses or instruction, he said.

* * * *

The city owes millions of dollars for electricity and water supplied by Israeli companies. The mayor says that without a new infusion of foreign aid, the municipality will shut its doors later this year. Already, it has had to stop repaving the Palestinian-American Friendship Road, a rutted track around the city.

* * * *

Mr. Nashrati, 47, spent his own money to dig a cistern beneath a courtyard in his new house, built by the United Nations. Above it, he set a fountain clad in blue tile, a safe place for his children to play. Behind the fountain, in the wall, he installed an enlarged version of his United Nations refugee card, certifying that his family was dispossessed in the Israeli-Arab war of 1948.

* * * *

Rukon, 10 years old, said he wanted to grow up to be a fighter like Mahmoud Tawalbe, an Islamic Jihad leader killed in the raid two years ago. "I'm disturbed when I hear my son say that," Mr. Nashrati said. "This is a general problem for us, that we don't feel we can control our children." Asked if he thought he could be friends with an Israeli boy his age, Rukon drew a hand across his throat. "I want only to stab him," he said. Mr. Nashrati hastily said Rukon was young and ignorant. "This son is old enough to understand," he said, indicating Munir, 20. Asked if he could be friends with an Israeli his age, Munir Nashrati said, "It's impossible."

* * * *

This reporter first interviewed Mr. Zubeidah in the fall of 2001, when he was a low-ranking gunman walking through Jenin's market. Mr. Zubeidah had just been wounded when a bomb he was preparing blew up in his face, scorching it black. He rejected any talk of peace. "I lost my face!" he said at the time. "What did I achieve? I'm a refugee still."

* * * *

Mr. Mousa spoke while sitting by a grape arbor in his garden above Jenin, watching the sun sink beyond the barrier, behind the Carmel hills. He said the conflict had set Jenin back 20 years. But that did not matter, he continued. "We still have people living in tents in other places," he said.

* * * *

"The Palestinian Authority should stand in front of the people and say, 'We are defeated,' " Mr. Mousa said over dinner one evening. 'But this is not the end of the world. This is a new stage of our life.' And then you say to the world, 'Please help us.'"

While you're waiting for the sequel, or between bouts of vomiting, you might want to catch Bennet's Special Web Report - PALESTINE LOST - an interactive feature.

It's special, alright, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to interact with it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Today in Boulder, Colorado

And coming soon to a town near you?


I'm surprised. Not so good in the Rocky Mountain News, where reporter Berny Morson gives the last word to the Palestinians:
Aref Nammari, a University of Colorado research assistant, said the fence cannot stop terrorism for long. Eventually, Palestinians will launch rockets over the fence, he said. "What are you going to do - build a roof? This isn't the solution," said Nammari, who is Palestinian.
I am reminded of a proposed bumper sticker I saw at DANEgerus.com:
"Have you ever considered that maybe you're not a victim, just a loser?"


As of 11:38 pm (I don't know what the website will look like in the morning),Yehudit is on the front page of the Colorado Daily, holding up the excellent banner painted by Jessie, our good friend (who has surprisingly good handwriting with spray paint!).

And the article is good press for our side.

Boulder County Commissioner Paul Danish gets the last word:
"If I had to characterize their (RMPJC) [Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center] views, it would be that they have functioned for the last three years as ideological enablers of terrorism."
Ahhhh, a day well spent after all.

Now what?

Muslim-Christian "Riot" near Bethlehem

A Christian Palestinian youth throws stones at a burning car
during clashes with Muslim residents of Beit Sahour, near
Bethlehem, July 14, 2004. Hundreds of Muslims and Christians
fought each other with metal rods and stones in clashes that
were sparked after a man photographed a woman in the changing
room of a clothes shop. (Magnus Johansson/Reuters)

al Reuters has the story, and as usual, the best part gets tucked in at the end:
Inter-religious tension has been brewing for some time in the Bethlehem area, where Christians number only around 20 percent of the population, despite making up a majority of the population less than a century ago.

The exodus of more affluent Christians has grown since a Palestinian uprising began in September 2000.

Many Christians say they feel uneasy at a rise of Islamic radicalism during nearly four years of conflict with Israel . . . "
It goes on to blame Israel, of course. Please note: Additional reporting by Mohammed Assadi in Ramallah. I betcha Mohammed Assadi in RamAllah would never blame his Arab brothers for nothin' - no way - no how. Nope, it's those evil Joooos every time.

More (Gross) on al Reuters, in case you missed it:
The increased speed of the Internet and the demand for instant, 24-hour TV news coverage means that the world’s news outlets rely heavily on Reuters and the AP, which in turn rely on a network of local Palestinian “stringers.” Virtually all breaking news (and much of the non-breaking news) on CNN, the BBC, Fox, and other networks comes from these stringers.

Such stringers are hired for speed, to save money (there is no need to pay drivers and translators), and for their local knowledge. But in many cases, in hiring them, their connections to Arafat’s regime and Hamas count for more than their journalistic abilities. All too often the information they provide, and the supposed eyewitnesses they interview, are undependable. Yet, because of Reuters’s prestige, American and international news outlets simply take their copy as fact. Thus non-massacres become massacres; death tolls are exaggerated; and gunmen are written about as if they were civilians.

Jerusalem Diarist

Anniversary Present by Martin Peretz
The New Republic: The founder of modern political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, died at the age of 44 on July 3, exactly a century ago. It is not a date marked ostentatiously in Israel. After all, his achievement is taken for granted by most Israelis, and it would be odd if it were not--given that the Jewish state has turned out to be almost precisely the secular success Herzl envisioned. But many Europeans still can't absorb this reality. In fact, it rather sticks in their craw. A few weeks ago, for example, Michel Rocard, a former prime minister of France, pronounced the very creation of Israel a "mistake," although he apparently doesn't think that of any of the piteously failed states surrounding it. And, perhaps from the French perspective, Israel has indeed been a mistake--it has certainly been an impediment to French neocolonial interests among the Arabs.

Great Britain was, for a time, Zionism's essential partner, through the Balfour Declaration, which was confirmed by the League of Nations, and in the early years of the Mandate, conferred on the United Kingdom by the League. But, long before the Brits started appeasing the Nazis, they were already appeasing the most intransigent Arabs. (The Arabs didn't yet term--or even imagine--themselves Palestinians until 1967, when they fell under Israeli rule, which explains why Jordan was able to rule the West Bank and Egypt the Gaza Strip almost without indigenous Arab challenge during the 18 years before they lost the Six Day War. By contrast, the Palestinian nomenclature was used by and about the Jews until they achieved independence in 1948. An old ditty from my childhood went: "If you like salami, join the Jewish army; fight, fight, fight for Palestine.")

Now, many Brits feign concern that Israel is not really the Zionist utopia some Jews--but certainly not they--hoped it would be. It is especially odd to read, on the centenary of Herzl's death, a lament for the eroded utopian vision of Labor and kibbutz Zionism (a dream Herzl did not share) in an article by Harvey Morris in the July 3 edition of the echt capitalist, ergo non-Edenic Financial Times of London. After all, a quintessential lesson of the modern era is that utopianism is, itself, a mortal danger to the good society.

In his essay, Morris is struck not by the normal variety of life in Israel, but by three extreme representations: a politically alienated leftish painter, a messianic West Bank settler, and an idiosyncratic workman who calls himself a Palestinian Jew. Altogether, these may represent 5 percent of the Israeli population, probably less. He also writes about the usual "social tensions--between rich and poor, secular and religious, Ashkenazi and Sephardi," which he says are expressions of the "follies" of Zionism rather than instances of quotidian differences everywhere. But the greatest folly of the Zionists, according to Morris, is "the failure to recognize the rights of the other nation that exists in their midst."

continue . . .
Martin Peretz is editor-in-chief of TNR.

Green Light for Terror

Buried deep in the ICJ "advisory opinion" on the fence is new proviso:
Sovereign states may only defend themselves against attacks from other sovereign states
Leanne Piggott opinion in The Australian:

THE advisory opinion brought down by the International Court of Justice last Friday in relation to Israel's separation barrier has implications far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Buried deep in the text of its opinion is a bombshell that purports to radically rewrite the rules of international law governing the inherent right of states to defend themselves and their citizens.

The ICJ recognises that this right is enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. But the ICJ then says that this right is limited to self-defence in the case of armed attack "by one state against another state". That limitation does not appear anywhere in the text of Article 51 itself. Article 51 recognises that states have an inherent right of self-defence "if an armed attack occurs". It does not say that the armed attack must have been carried out by, or be attributable to, another state.

The distinction is critical in the on-going struggle against international terrorism. Although every act of terrorism necessarily originates in territory (or aboard a ship or aircraft) that is owned or occupied by a sovereign state, it does not follow that every such act of terrorism is supported by that state, and attributable to it in a legal sense.

The ICJ is now saying that if terrorists based in the territory of state A attack state B without the passive or active support of state A, state B may not have the right to defend itself from future attack by striking back at the terrorist base – despite Article 51. This is best illustrated by a concrete example....

read on

Watch out, folks. The UN General Assembly is convening an
(((( Emergency Special Session ))))
"on the question of Palestine"
this Friday, according to the UN News Center.
Sorry, that should be News . . . Centre.


World Muslim Brotherhood declares war on Sharon's disengagement plan

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report: At 78, the fiery Egyptian preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi is a household name in the Muslim Arab world, commanding great respect as a leading theologian and star status for his religious phone-in program over Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based Arabic television station. Jailed repeatedly in his home country for inciting religious violence, he operates out of Qatar as a member of the supreme Shura council of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in most Middle East countries, and heads a European Islamic canonical law council. In his broadcasts, the radical preacher publicly champions suicide terrorism against Israeli civilians. All the same, British law enforcement authorities saw no need to hamper Qaradawi’s activities when he landed in Britain this week.

The business that brought him to London is revealed here exclusively by DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources. The preacher placed before a World Muslim Brotherhood conference a working document drawn up at “a secret meeting of the movement” somewhere in the Middle East, calling on all brethren in the Muslim world to rise up and foil Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and, most of all, to combat any potential Egyptian or Jordanian role in its implementation. The Brotherhood was exhorted to resort “to all means available.”

The London conference endorsed the resolution and stressed its importance by adding: “No power can prevent the Brotherhood from thwarting this scheme, even if it entails direct and open confrontation with the governments of Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. The struggle will be uncompromising.”

This is the first time in many years that the Muslim Brotherhood, ideological soul-mates of al Qaeda and other Islamic fundamentalist organizations in the Middle East and Europe, has crossed the line between radical doctrinal rhetoric and operational violence, threatening Israel, the Palestinian areas - and Arab governments too - with a campaign of terror.
Hullo? Is anybody home out there? Sharon offers part of the Holy Land to Arabs, offers to get all the Jews out beforehand, but will leave their homes and farms intact for the taking . . . . and these guys declare war in response?

Here are their reasons:
1. Withdrawal from the Gaza Strip will relieve the Israeli government of a heavy burden.

2. It will thrust the Palestinian leadership to the sidelines of government in the two territories. Already Arafat is forced to pretend to kowtow to Egyptian intelligence minister Gen. Omar Suleiman.

3. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak offered Sharon guarantees to preserve calm in the Gaza Strip after Israel’s withdrawal.

4. Instead of opening the way to further major Israeli withdrawals on the West Bank, Sharon’s disengagement will slow the process down.

5. The West Bank’s future will be up for grabs and Israel will have a free hand to exercise its will in the territory including finishing the construction of its defense barrier.

6. Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip would turn the clock back to the discredited solution-in-stages resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

7. The disengagement plan would reduce any Palestinian state that does emerge to the status of Arab protectorate rather than independent state.

8. Political or government changes in Israel could cause the plan to be ditched at any moment before or during execution.

9. Egypt was refused guarantees specifying Israeli political and military conduct in return for Cairo’s assistance in implementing disengagement.

10. All these considerations lay bare the perils inherent in Sharon’s plan and underline the urgency of thwarting it any price.

I especially enjoyed reading Reason #3 for declaring a war: the threat of "calm."

Funny how people freely call Bush a warmonger, but never these mullahs, or whatever they are. (I'm starting to resent having to learn so many Arabic terms and names - mullahs, imams, fatwas, jihad, shahada . . . Abu Dis and Abu Dat...)

Sorry, but today I have seen the enemy and the supporters and worshippers of the enemy. If you go out into the world, at least the lefty pro-Palestinian protest world, and you openly condemn the random blowing up of pregnant ladies and babies and little children, you'll have an argument on your hands.

Think about that; it's very crazy. People should be alarmed.

the protest and the counter-protest

Well, it was hot. It was really hot. And they put up this huge canvas-and-metal-frame "wall" that said something like, the Berlin Wall came down and the Israeli wall should fall... They had their speakers, droning on about the PoorPalestinians and how they suffer from the "apartheid" wall and the occupation, yadda yadda yadda.

We had at least an equivalent presence and really made our point, I think. We had a banner that said "Fence Out Terrorism," and signs: "Stop the Wall! The Bombers Can't Get Through!" and "RMPJC (RockyMtnPeaceandJusticeCenter) = Racist Malicious Propaganda Against Jews and Christians" - we really pissed them off.

The Colorado Daily, Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post all had reporters there. We'll see what they say tomorrow. My press packets came in handy and were well received.

We did what we could. We held our tongues, for the most part, while they diminished the vital need for Israeli security, enumerated the exquisite suffering of the Palestinians, and blamed the Jews and Israel for absolutely everything that ails them.

I'm hoping people will send me photos, and will post them as soon as I can.

I must mention the nachas I got, watching my 11-year-old Yehudit marching back and forth in front of their "wall" in an Am Yisrael Chai tshirt, and carrying an Israeli flag. She is an awesome Jew.

I wish more people had shown up.

It was hot. It was really hot.



in Exposing

Support for Terrorism in Colorado

:: TODAY ::

Leftist and Islamist supporters of Palestinian terror are bringing their “Stop the Wall Tour” to Boulder this Wednesday July 14 and to Denver on Thursday July 15. They are falsely portraying Israel’s highly effective security barrier as an “apartheid wall”.

Stop-the-Wall in Seattle, Nov. 2003

AMERICANS AGAINST TERRORISM (AAT) is asking you as a supporter of the fight against terror to join in telling the press, onlookers, and even our opponents who might listen, the truth: Israel needs, and has a right to, a security fence to save lives until true peace comes.

Dr. Neil Dobro states that AAT plans to "have a presence for the purpose of telling the truth about the security fence. . . . for Israel's sake we will be non-disruptive, non-inflammatory, non-confrontational and focus on getting out truthful information to the press and bystanders."

Benyamin Netanyahu, Israel's finance minister and former prime minister:

"Instead of placing Palestinian terrorists and those who send them on trial, the United Nations-sponsored international court placed the Jewish state in the dock, on the charge that Israel is harming the Palestinians' quality of life. But saving lives is more important than preserving the quality of life. Quality of life is always amenable to improvement. Death is permanent.

The Palestinians complain that their children are late to school because of the fence. But too many of our children never get to school — they are blown to pieces by terrorists who pass into Israel where there is still no fence."

"I have placed before you today the life and the good, the death and the evil.
You shall choose life." --Parshat Nitzavim 30


Please join us at 11:30 AM in Boulder on Wednesday at the courthouse on the Pearl Street Mall for our opponents noontime press conference. We will continue until 3 PM with them on the Mall. We will have information kits for the press, and leaflets for everyone.

At 7 PM we will also leaflet their supporters at their presentation that night at 7 PM at University of Colorado at Boulder- Humanities Building Room 150. PLEASE CALL MATT TO SIGN UP FOR BOTH: (303) 570-1038


On Thursday at 4:15 PM at the Lincoln Street Park across from the Capitol Building in Denver. They plan a moving demonstration until 5:30 PM. We will assemble near them with our banner, press kits, and leaflets. We will also be leafletting their presentation at 7pm at The Mercury Cafe, 2199 California. PLEASE CALL PHIL TO SIGN UP FOR BOTH: 303-431-5355

For further information on Israel's security barrier project, see this Ministry of Foreign Affairs site and or Stand With Us.

'Stop the Wall' hits town today

by Bronson Hilliard, Colorado Daily Managing Editor

So this is what we're up against.
Colorado Daily: A group opposing the wall being built by Israel to sequester Palestinian areas in the West Bank will bring a symbolic sample of the wall to Boulder today to stop what the activists say is American taxpayer support of a divisive tool of "terrorism."

"The Stop the Wall" Tour will host a rally and press conference at noon at the Boulder County Courthouse and display a symbolic section of the wall until 3 p.m. The visit is sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, the International Women's peace Service and the Coalition for Justice in Palestine.

Israel began erecting the wall in August 2003, it said, to provide security against terrorist attacks and suicide bombers. The wall extends into areas in and around the West Bank of the Jordan river - areas housing thousands of Palestinian refugees.

Critics like John Reese of Seattle, a hydro-geologist and co-coordinator of the "Stop the Wall" campaign, say the wall is designed to both subdivide and subjugate the Palestinian communities it surrounds.

"Approximately 25 percent of the groundwater (in Palestinian areas) is being cut off by the Israeli wall. It's an agricultural region, so this is a life-threatening effect. People are dying as a result already of the occupation practices - food is scarce, water problems are rampant. It exacerbates an already severe situation."

Reese said American taxpayers support Israel to the tune of "$6 billion a year - $10 billion if you count loan guarantees," and his group's campaign is designed to "educate" them about what their tax dollars support.

The group's demonstration will include a trailer exhibit, a cloth sample of the 26-foot-high wall, guest speakers and available literature.

Reese says Boulder is the fifth city on the "Stop the Wall" tour and that at each stop the display has prompted questions and dialogue more than discord.

Most Americans, he said, don't realize the wall's impact on Palestinian resources, nor do they recognize the level of financial support the U.S. provides to Israel.

Most Americans also do not recognize that Israel provides a staggering 45% of the Palestinian budget, through the transfer of taxes. How about,


That would freak 'em out. Too bad I already made my sign.....

Who are the Victims?

Who is Humiliating Whom? by Eli E. Hertz
Palestinians say they feel humiliated and harassed when Israeli authorities search them and their belongings, when they are prevented from traveling freely because of checkpoints, roadblocks, closures and curfews. They say they feel “corralled” behind security fences and ugly concrete walls.

Israel is criticized for these measures even by those who understand the causal relationship that make such security steps necessary. The cynical use of the movement of innocent Palestinians, including people in need of urgent medical treatment(1) and Palestinian day laborers crossing to work in Israel is used as a convenient cover for the perpetration of terrorist acts.

Palestinians take advantage of Israel’s sensitivity to Arab female honor to mobilize women as live bombs. The two latest - a 40 year-old mother of seven – who carried a suicide belt across army checkpoints and the second, Reem Salah Riashi 21, a mother of two young children who dreamed of "becoming a martyr" since she was 13.

Riashi, approaching a checkpoint, claimed a medical disability; she said she had a metal pin in her leg and was escorted to an examination room to be checked by a female security officer. She then blew herself up, murdering four Israelis and wounding 12. As a result, Palestinian women and patients who appear to be in obvious pain will no longer be exempt from thorough physical scrutiny, to ensure that they, too, are not human bombs. This increased hardship for innocent Palestinians has been caused by their own leadership, which cynically continues to claim that the Israelis humiliate their citizens.

Strangely, no media outlets and not a single human rights organization has fully and objectively reported or protested the daily humiliation and harassment Israelis suffer because of the Palestinian Authority’s ‘factory of terror.’

In Israel, every Israeli is searched numerous times during the course of a day. Israelis are asked to open their bags and purses for inspection. In most cases they are subjected to body searches with a metal detector every time they enter a bank or a post office, pick up a bottle of milk at the supermarket, enter a mall or train station, or visit a hospital or medical clinic. Young Israeli men and women are physically frisked in search of suicide belts before they enter crowded nightclubs.

As a matter of routine, Israelis’ car trunks are searched every time they enter a well-trafficked parking lot. Daily, their cars pass through roadblocks that cause massive traffic jams when security forces are in hot pursuit of suicide bombers believed to have entered Israel. Far from a rare occasion, in the two and a half months of relative quiet between the October 4, 2003 bombing of the Maxsim Restaurant, a popular Christian-Jewish owned eatery in Haifa (which left 22 dead and more than a hundred injured) and Christmas, a Christian day of peace, 24 suicide bombers headed for Israel proper and another 15 with West Bank targets were apprehended before they could reach their destinations.

Israelis are searched not only when they go out for a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks or Pizza Hut, not only when they go to the movies or the theater or a concert, where the term “dressed to kill” has an entirely different meaning.

These ‘ordinary’ daily humiliations now extend to similar searches when Israelis go to a wedding or a bar mitzvah. No one abroad talks about the humiliation Jews in Israel are subjected to, having to write at the bottom of wedding invitations and other life cycle events, “The site will be secured [by armed guards]” - to ensure relatives and friends will attend and share their joyous occasion.

. . . . The latest source of criticism is the security fence – designed to serve as a barrier against Palestinian suicide bombers, a measure critics brand as a form of ghettoization and another form of Israeli harassment.

To date, no one protests the fact that, since the 1970s, Jewish school children in Israel are surrounded by perimeter fences, with armed guards at the schoolyard gates, as if their schools were the domiciles of Mafiosi. Not one Arab village in Israel or the Territories has a perimeter fence around it. Guards are not required at Arabic shops, cafes, restaurants, movie theaters, wedding halls or schools - either in Israel in or the Territories. Palestinians also do not need armed guards to accompany every school trip, youth movement hike or campout. They are not targets of terrorism.

Arab children have never been willfully attacked by Jews, while Arabs have purposefully murdered Jewish youngsters at boarding schools; junior high school students on overnight trips and teens on a nature hike. Arab Palestinians attacked Jewish school buses carrying elementary school children (twice), murdered two children playing in a cave near their homes, killed a toddler in a nursery and murdered small children hiding under their beds - all in addition to wave after wave of suicide bombings.

Continue reading at www.MEfacts.com.
This article can be freely distributed with attribution.
Eli E. Hertz

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Day By Day(c) by Chris Muir

I don't know what to make of this

French woman tells police she made up anti-Semitic attack
A French woman who claimed last week she had been the victim of a vicious anti-Semitic attack admitted to police that she had made up the entire incident, and was detained for falsely reporting a crime.

After being questioned for a second time by investigators about the alleged incident on July 9, which shocked France and shed a negative light on government efforts to stamp out anti-Semitism, the woman admitted she had lied.

The 23-year-old had initially told police that a gang of six youths had accosted her on a Paris suburban train, slashing her clothes and drawing swastikas on her stomach after mistaking her for a Jew.

On Tuesday, she first changed her story to say that she and her 13-month-old child had been assaulted outside the train, but finally admitted that she had totally invented the attack, police said.

The woman -- identified in the French press as Marie-Leonie L. -- said she had drawn the swastikas on her own stomach with the help of her boyfriend, according to police.

The woman has been placed in preventive detention for falsely reporting a crime, state prosecutor Xavier Salvat told AFP. She could face up to six months in prison and a 7,500-euro (9,200-dollar) fine if tried and convicted.

Her boyfriend has also been detained, police said.

Doubts had mounted Tuesday over the woman's claim after no one had come forward to corroborate her story, despite the fact that she said some 20 people had witnessed the alleged incident.

"There are elements that have cast a large shadow of doubt on her statements," Paris police chief Jean-Paul Proust said earlier.

President Jacques Chirac, who had strongly condemned the alleged incident, was sure to face questions about the case on Wednesday, when he was to participate in his traditional Bastille Day live televised interview.

Last week, Chirac called for perpetrators of anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic acts to face tough punishment, and has excluded racist crimes from his annual July 14 clemency for prisoners.

"The explosion in the number of racist and anti-Semitic acts committed in our country these past few years is a reality that we must fight," government spokesman Jean-Francois Cope said Tuesday.

The number of such incidents recorded in France -- home to Europe's largest Jewish and Muslim communities -- soared in the first half of the year, according to interior ministry figures.

The woman had testified that her alleged attackers -- whom she described as black and Arab North Africans -- believed her to be Jewish after discovering that she had once lived in the French capital's upmarket 16th district.

"Only Jews live in the 16th district," one of the men was quoted as saying when the group purportedly assaulted the woman, swiped her bag and tipped over the baby carriage with her baby inside.

But investigators said closed-circuit cameras at the station north of Paris where the woman said the attackers had left the train did not show the six youths.

Railway personnel at the ticket office where the woman said she reported the affair could remember nothing about it, investigators said.

A 28-year-old man told AFP he had seen the woman on the platform of the station where she said she boarded the train before the attack.

He said her clothes were already torn and she was crying, adding: "I asked her if she wanted help and she said no."

A police source told AFP on Tuesday that the woman had filed six prior complaints in recent years -- one for theft and one for sexual assault -- but that the alleged criminals had never been found.

Mouloud Aounit, president of the Movement against Racism and for Friendship among Peoples (MRAP), demanded a public apology over the incident.

"We can't fight against one racism by making statements that advocate another kind of racism," he said.

I don't know what to make of this. It's possible she was or felt threatened, or maybe it really was a hoax. Crazy, either way.


Questions and Answers for the Truly Concerned
What is the reason for establishing the Security Fence Area?
The Security Fence is being built with the sole purpose of saving lives of Israeli citizens who continue to be targeted by the Palestinian Arab terrorist campaign that began in 2000. Ehud Barak, former Israeli prime minister, said in an interview with The Telegraph (UK) that “We have over 900 reasons to build the fence between Israel and the West Bank. You can count the reasons in our graveyards. . .” The State of Israel has not only the right but also the obligation to do everything in its power to lessen the impact and scope of terrorism on the citizens of Israel.

Does the Security Fence constitute a permanent political border?
No, it is only a temporary security barrier which can always be moved. Recently Israel removed 12 miles of the fence to ease Palestinian daily life, and last month, Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the government to reroute 20 more miles of the fence for that same purpose.

Will it be possible to cross the Security Fence Area?
Yes. Israel is establishing gates to allow free passage across the Area. The security fence will provide security, but will not seal off the West Bank. Special arrangements have been made for Palestinian farmers separated from their land. Special gates for agricultural purposes only, separate from the passage of regular pedestrians and cars, are being included in the barrier.

How was the path of the Security Fence determined?
The path of the Security Fence was planned in accordance with (Israeli) security and (Palestinian) humanitarian concerns. In order to include about 80% of the Jews and only 1% of the Palestinians living in the disputed territories, the Fence will run into less than 12% of the West Bank. The Fence is designed to provide maximum security for Israelis with a minimum of negative impact for Palestinians.

Why wasn’t it built along the “Green Line”?
The Green Line has never represented an international boundary. As there was never a recognized and legitimate sovereign in the West Bank, the legal status of these areas remains that of disputed territory, to be resolved through negotiations - as specifically called for by UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. A barrier along the Green Line would have conveyed a political statement, which was not Israel’s intention.

What is the legal status of the land?
The land used in building the Security Fence is seized for military purposes; it is not confiscated and remains the property of the owner. Legal procedures are already in place in Israel to allow owners to file an objection to the seizure of the land. Moreover, Israel offers compensation to property owners for the use of their land and for damage to their trees.

Is the Fence effective?
According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, a comparative analysis of the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Palestinian terrorist infrastructures based in the northern West Bank indicates a drastic decrease (approx. 90%) in the number of terrorist attacks perpetrated in Israel since the construction of the Security Fence. The analysis also shows a drop of over 70% in the number of fatalities and over 85% in the number of wounded.
source: www.intelligence.org.il/eng/c_t/fence/fence_b.htm
The basis for most of this information comes from StandWithUs. Other sources include this Netanyahu OpEd in the New York Times and www.intelligence.org.il.

My deep gratitude to all those who work hard to see that Israel gets a fair chance... in Boulder, in Israel, in the press, and among "the nations." You know who you are. Gd should bless your efforts and renew your strength.

Tom Gross Slams al-Reuters in the National Review

"A news agency that will not call a terrorist a terrorist"

The following will appear July 26, 2004 -in a special issue of the National Review made possible by the Media Research Center- but is available now online.
Many people still think of Reuters as the Rolls-Royce of news agencies. Just as the House of Morgan was once synonymous with good banking, Reuters has long been synonymous with good news-gathering. In 1940, there was even a Hollywood film about Paul Julius Reuter, the German-Jewish immigrant to London who as early as1851 began transmitting stock-market quotes between London and Paris via the new Calais-Dover cable. (Two years earlier he had ingeniously used pigeons to fly stock prices between Aachen and Brussels.)

His agency quickly established a reputation in Europe for being the first to report scoops from abroad, such as news of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Today, almost every major news outlet in the world subscribes. Operating in 200 cities in 94 countries, Reuters produces text in 19 languages, as well as photos and television footage from around the world.

Though it may report in a largely neutral way on many issues, Reuters's coverage of the Middle East is deeply flawed. It is symptomatic, for instance, that Reuters's global head of news, Stephen Jukes, banned the use of the word "terrorist" to describe the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks. Even so, such is the aura still surrounding Reuters that news editors from Los Angeles to Auckland automatically assume that text, photos, and film footage provided by Reuters will be fair and objective. Reuters and Associated Press copy is simply inserted into many correspondents' reports - even in papers such as the New York Times and Washington Post - without, it often seems, so much as a second thought given to its accuracy.

This has led to some misleading reporting from Iraq, and still worse coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The newswires are much more influential in setting the news (and hence diplomatic) agenda of that struggle than most people realize.

One veteran American newspaper correspondent in Jerusalem, eager to maintain anonymity so as not to jeopardize relations with his anti-Israel colleagues, points out that "whereas foreign correspondents still write features, they rarely cover the actual breaking news that dominates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In terms of written copy on the conflict, I would estimate that 50 percent of all reporting, and 90 percent of the attitude, is formed by these news agencies. The important thing about Reuters is that it sets the tone, and here spin is everything."

"If, for example, a Reuters headline and introduction say that Israelis killed Palestinian, instead of saying that a Palestinian gunman was killed as he oened fire on Israeli civilians, this inevitably leaves a different impression of who was attacking, and who defending."

In a study last year, the media watchdog HonestReporting found that in "100 percent of headlines" when Reuters wrote about Israeli acts of violence, Israel was emphasized as the first word; also, an active voice was used, often without explaining that the "victim" may have been a gunman. A typical headline was: "Israeli Troops Shoot Dead Palestinian in W. Bank" (July 3, 2003). By contrast, when Palestinians attacked Israelis (almost always civilians), Reuters usually avoided naming the perpetrator. For example: "New West Bank Shooting Mars Truce" (July 1, 2003). In many cases, the headline was also couched in a passive voice.

Often it is a question of emphasis: Important and relevant information is actually contained in Reuters text, but buried deep down in the story. Many newspaper readers, however, never get beyond the headlines, and for space reasons many papers carry only the first few paragraphs of a report - often inserted into their own correspondents' stories. When the TV networks run only brief headlines, or Reuters news ribbon at the foot of the screen, the full text is never shown.

Sometimes, Reuters presents unreliable information as though it were undoubtedly true. Most people are unlikely to notice this. For example, Reuters will note that "a doctor at the hospital said the injured Palestinian was unarmed" - when in fact the doctor couldn't possibly have known this, since he wasn't present at the gunfight. But because he is a doctor, Reuters is suggesting to readers that his word is necessarily authoritative. Yet, Reuters headlines and text are used unchanged by newspaper editors because they assume it is professional, balanced copy, which doesn't need any further editing.

Reporters of course can't be everywhere at once. The increased speed of the Internet and the demand for instant, 24-hour TV news coverage means that the world's news outlets rely heavily on Reuters and the AP, which in turn rely on a network of local Palestinian "stringers." Virtually all breaking news (and much of the non-breaking news) on CNN, the BBC, Fox, and other networks comes from these stringers.

Such stringers are hired for speed, to save money (there is no need to pay drivers and translators), and for their local knowledge. But in many cases, in hiring them, their connections to Arafat's regime and Hamas count for more than their journalistic abilities. All too often the information they provide, and the supposed eyewitnesses they interview, are undependable. Yet, because of Reuters's prestige, American and international news outlets simply take their copy as fact. Thus non-massacres become massacres; death tolls are exaggerated; and gunmen are written about as if they were civilians.

As Ehud Ya'ari, Israeli television's foremost expert on Palestinian affairs, put it:
"The vast majority of information of every type coming out of the area is being filtered through Palestinian eyes. Cameras are angled to show a tainted view of the Israeli army's actions and never focus on Palestinian gunmen. Written reports focus on the Palestinian version of events. And even those Palestinians who don't support the intifada dare not show or describe anything embarrassing to the Palestinian Authority, for fear they may provoke the wrath of Arafat's security forces."
One Palestinian journalist told me that "the worst the Israelis can do is take away our press cards. But if we irritate Arafat, or Hamas, you don't know who might be waiting in your kitchen when you come home at night."

Some of Reuters's Palestinian stringers are honest and courageous. But, according to several ex-Reuters staffers, they feel the intimidating presence of Wafa Amr, Reuters's "Senior Palestinian Correspondent." Amr - who is a cousin of former Palestinian minister Nabil Amr, and whose father is said to be close to Arafat - had this title specially created for her (there is no "Senior Israeli Correspondent," or the equivalent in any other Arab country) so that her close ties to the Palestinian Authority could be exploited.

As one former Reuters journalist put it: "She occupies this position in spite of lacking a basic command of English grammar. The information passed through her is controlled, orchestrated. . . . "

Continue reading The Case of Reuters.
Tom Gross is a former Jerusalem correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph of London.


Sky News Correspondent witnessed children recruited/learning to kill Israelis
Sky News: Children as young as 10 are being recruited to fight for the Palestinian cause.

Sky News has gained access to a young people's camp in Gaza, where the only lesson taught is how to kill Israelis.

Sky's Middle East Correspondent Emma Hurd said the camp, at an undisclosed location, had been set up to drill children in the ways of war.

The recruits, some of whom are dwarfed by their AK-47 assault rifles, are taught how to carry out ambushes.

They are also made to do an obstacle course, crawling under barbed wire and leaping through hoops of fire while their instructors fire live bullets overhead.

Hurd witnessed one training session in which a militant, dressed as a Jewish settler complete with yarmulke skull cap, was ambushed in his car. Gunmen pulled the "settler" from his vehicle and Hurd was told if this had been real he would have been killed.

She spoke to two 10-year-old recruits.

One of them, Mustafa, said he wanted to shoot down Israeli aircraft and blow up tanks.

The camp is run by a group called the Popular Resistance Committee, which said the next generation of Palestinians needed to know how to fight the Israeli "occupation".

The boys even "graduate" at the end of their training, receiving a certificate from the camp commander.

Monday, July 12, 2004

UN and World Court opinions notwithstanding,
Israel remains a hyperactive LIGHT UNTO THE WORLD

from Israel 21c
An Israeli company is developing a unique, portable "through-wall imaging micro-power radar," which will enable disaster rescue forces and military units to operate more effectively in saving victims' lives - while protecting their own lives. More...

Using a combination of motors and sensors, a new medical device being developed in Israel called ReWalk could enable more than 2 million Americans with lower limb disabilities to stand, walk and climb stairs again. More...

Bomb-resistant trash bins in New York and unmanned ariel vehicles in Arizona are just two clear examples of how Israeli technology is increasingly being harnessed by U.S. government bodies and American companies to protect U.S. interests and citizens. More...

Israeli technology unravels the 'babel' of computer translation

Israel helps to make Georgia a nanotech world center

Israeli company first to launch UWB chipset

Israeli scientists help vultures spread their wings

Israeli device redefines colonoscopy

Patenting Israeli ingenuity

Israeli device increases efficiency of lung biopsies using bronchoscopes

U.S. Marines select Israeli communication devices for forces in Iraq

Israeli study: Tuna fishing still killing dolphins

Graphic breakthrough for the blind developed in Israel

Israeli company offers an office in your palm

Israel's Pluristem holds out the promise of life
Intel Israel's breakthrough revolutionizes chip development

Israeli technology powers American library systems

Israeli scientists sharing vital information with U.S. security organizations

IBM Israel's R&D labs justify their prestige

Israel's Emblaze introduces world's first customized multimedia handset

These advances are in Technology only . See also other sections --Home, Health, Global Democracy, Culture, Personal Profiles etc.-- at Israel 21c: A Focus Beyond the Conflict.