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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Democrats want 'Moore' than Kerry

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
On the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, from where I was broadcasting my radio show, I found myself sitting 10 feet from Michael Moore. He was chatting with journalists, so I decided to ask if he would agree to be a guest on my radio show. I wanted to debate him about his Bush-hating Fahrenheit 9/11. But when he saw me approaching, he dismissed me with a single, condescending flick of his finger as if I were a bug crawling up his arm.

I was initially offended by his arrogant gesture. And knowing of his hatred of Israel – he identified Israel as one of the three epicenters of evil in the world (New York Times, June 26, 2004) – I wondered if his attitude had something to do with my yarmulke and beard. But then I remembered a recent New Yorker profile of Moore that portrayed him as something of a monster who treats his employees like garbage.

I walked away. A moment later I was shocked to see president Jimmy Carter walk up to Moore in front of a gargantuan television audience and give him a warm handshake and then sit next to him for the duration of Bill Clinton's speech to the convention.

Here was a former president lending his stature to a man who wrote on his Web site last April that America brings immeasurable misery and sadness to the world. But then, Jimmy Carter, who rarely met a tyrant he didn't like, has been embarrassing the United States with irresponsible actions for decades.

Supporters of Israel need to question whether they wish to support a party that honors men like these – Moore was positively mobbed by the Democrats wherever he went – and whose presidential candidate, John Kerry, said last year that he might send Jimmy Carter to the Middle East as his personal envoy.

I fear that the increasing anti-war posture of the Democratic Party (notwithstanding that Kerry voted for the war) will ultimately turn against Israel.The delegates at the convention were Carter Democrats rather than John Kerry Democrats. Nine out of 10 delegates reportedly consider the war in Iraq a mistake and support a speedy troop withdrawal.

The most common refrain heard throughout the convention was that America needed to restore its respect and popularity in the world. What better way to do that than by ending its solid support for Israel?

Continue reading.

Bret Stephens on Kerry and his past

JPost: This column will have gone to press by the time Senator John Kerry accepts the nomination Thursday night. But at least this much can be confidently predicted:

  • Kerry will not remind voters of his participation in Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
  • He will say nothing about his 1971 congressional testimony that US soldiers in Vietnam had committed atrocities "in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan."
  • He will not dwell on his years of service as Michael Dukakis's lieutenant governor in Massachusetts.
  • He will elide any reference to his 1991 vote against the first Gulf War.
  • He will not lay stress on his vote for the Patriot Act, nor on his vote for making war on Iraq, nor on the one against the $87 billion in reconstruction aid.

What is almost certain is that Kerry will dwell – allusively, literally, and metaphorically – on his heroic service record in Vietnam. This is to emphasize that he's a fighter, a leader, a faithful comrade, a man who can sail the ship of state as well and as bravely as he navigated his swift boat in the Mekong river delta. And when he's done with the speech, it will be the "band of brothers," not Michael Moore, who will join him on stage.

It would, of course, be churlish to fault Kerry for touting his war record. True, in February 1992, he gave an impassioned speech in the well of the Senate (apropos the controversy over then-candidate Bill Clinton's non-service in Vietnam) arguing that

"we do not need to divide America over who served and how."

But set that aside. Kerry, as his wife put it, "earned his medals the old-fashioned way," and he's entitled to put them to whichever use suits him best.

The real question, however, is whether – and then to what extent – Kerry should be entitled to make selective use of his past. In George W. Bush's case, the past is not a problem: Aside from his tenures as governor and president, he has none to run on. But Kerry does have a past, rich in incident and ambiguous in meaning. He can honorably choose to distance himself from it; to ask voters to judge him entirely on his ideas for the future. That's what Clinton did in 1992. Or he can say, "this is where I'm from; this is all that I have done; this, then, is who I am."

. . . . Kerry does something else. For him, the past is not a seamless, indivisible, single thing, but a menu of alternative identities from which he chooses one thing one day, another thing the next. These identities are available to him because he's been, or assumed, each of them before: the war hero, the anti-war hero. The moderate, the liberal. The foreign policy hawk, the foreign policy dove. The Catholic, the secularist – even, it turns out, the Jew.

The point of all this is not actually to bamboozle the American voter into believing Kerry is something he's not. It's more subtle. Kerry is asking voters to join him in a very particular kind of lie. When he dons one identity – say, the politically moderate war hero – something in his expression seems to say to whichever constituency must presently be ignored: You know, this is not the real me. If I tack Leftward now, it's because these are the primaries; if I tack center-ward later, it's because this is the election. The effectiveness of the lie consists in its flattery: Everyone gets a special wink; everyone is in on the secret of who Kerry really is, even if that means different things to different people.

Up to a point, you might say it's no big deal. Of course politicians need to be all things to all people. Of course politicians have to tack this way and that. Of course they emphasize the strong points in their resume, not the weak ones. Of course voters understand the games politicians play. To no small extent, the measure of political fitness has become the deftness with which a candidate can package and repackage himself to suit the occasion.

. . . . As a matter of policy-making, the proper role of an executive is not to weigh issues or package them, but to decide them. Politics may be the art of keeping alternatives open, but policy-making ultimately involves shutting alternatives down. We will do this, and therefore not that. And "this" will have consequences, as will "not that," and those consequences are irrevocable.

The peril of candidates like Kerry lies in their deep reluctance, born of old habit, to postpone decisions, and therefore consequences, for as long as they can. But this has consequences of its own.

If you're interested in reading current opinions of VietNam vets, I found this one by Jeremiah Leigh at AirbornePress.com

C-SPAN is a good resource for information on the presidential candidates.

I also found at C-SPAN that you can ONLINE! No excuses.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Good Shabbos.

Associated Press, which side are you on?

Note: This AP article at ABC is titled "Bush attacks Kerry's Senate achievements." If you don't mind my saying so, it might more neutrally have said "Bush attacks Kerry's Senate record." Whether there are "achievements" in his record -or not- should be up to the voters to decide.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. July 30, 2004 — President Bush attacked John Kerry's 19-year record in the Senate on Friday, answering the Democratic convention mantra "America can do better" with a new GOP refrain of his own: "Results matter."

Bush repeated the slogan to crowds here and in Springfield, Mo., the first two stops on a swing through four key election states. He also is campaigning in Ohio and Pennsylvania, wrapping up his latest tour with a rally Saturday in Pittsburgh, just hours after Kerry speaks in a nearby suburb.

"After 19 years in the U.S. Senate, my opponent has had thousands of votes, but few signature achievements," Bush told supporters who waved large blue and red "Ws"for the president's middle initial.

"During eight years on the Senate intelligence committee, he voted to cut the intelligence budget, yet he had no record of reforming America's intelligence capability," said Bush, whose advisers are combing the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations to revamp the nation's intelligence-gathering ability.

"He's had no significant record for reforming education or health care," Bush continued. "In fact, he and his running mate consistently opposed reforms that limit the power of Washington reforms that would leave more power in the hands of the people."

Bush, who continued to portray the Massachusetts Democrat as a tax-and-spend liberal, is seeking to limit Kerry's post-convention bounce to a dribble. Bush summed up the Democratic convention in Boston as four days of "clever speeches" and "some big promises."

Kerry, who left the convention on a two-week cross-country trip by bus, train, boat and plane, defended his record during an interview with The Associated Press in New York state.
"Look, I'm running a positive campaign for the country and I'll stand on my 19-year record pages of legislation and long lists ranging from 100,000 cops on the street to health care for children to agent orange legislation to fisheries. I mean, it's a long list. I'm not going to quibble about that. They don't have a record to run on, so all they can do is attack. They're running away from their own record."
Bush is calling his latest campaign drive the "Heart and Soul of America" tour, a subtle jab at Kerry, who at a Democratic fund-raiser called some of his Hollywood friends the "heart and soul" of America. He sprinkled throughout his speeches another new campaign slogan: "We're turning the corner and we're not turning back."
If you'd like to read a transcript of the President's remarks without AP editing or interspersed Kerry remarks, click here.

Palestinian Militants Abduct Foreign Activists

AP: NABLUS, West Bank - Palestinian gunmen abducted three foreign church volunteers, including an American, in Nablus late Friday, Palestinian security officials said.

Five gunmen seized the foreigners as they were returning to the home where they were staying around midnight, the officials said. The volunteers were citizens of the United States, Britian and Ireland, the officials said. Their identities were not released. Several foreign women accompanying them were allowed to go free.

The officials said the hostages apparently were taken to the Balata refugee camp near Nablus. No reason for the abduction was immediately given.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, which is affiliated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, said the kidnappers could belong to a splinter group of Al Aqsa. He said the group was helping authorities in the search for the hostages.

UPDATE: Hostages were released unharmed a couple of hours later. The whole thing is ridiculous.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem

Sweet little 90-second movie showing the Kotel, or western wall -- from Aish.com

Kerry gets Democratic nomination

Help is on the way?

"Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response."

A "swift and certain response". . . after an attack. . .if the UN says it's okay. . .

Leah Guildenstern has political commentary here.
Kerry's Israel Problem is FRANCE
"Kerry can choose to be a friend of France, or he can choose to be a friend of Israel. But this is one area where he can't have it both ways."
-- Caroline Glick. My hero.

Muslims & the Democratic Party

Jewish World Review:
The number of Muslim delegates to this year's Democratic National Convention has grown by 60 percent.

In this context, it should be noted that the Democratic National Convention had the Muslim imam, Yahya Hendi, give the benediction Tuesday night.  (See Dhimmi Watch.)

According to the 9/11 Commission public hearings, Hendi has testified as a character witness for Sami al Arian.   Some of you will remember that al Arian, a tenured professor at the University of South Florida, was arrested by the FBI last year on a 50-count, 121-page,  indictment for heading Palestinian Islamic Jihad in North America.  

The Democrats are unquestionably more inclusive than the Republicans.   I can't imagine that George Bush would have a terror-related imam give the benediction at his convention, but we'll see, won't we?

Victor Davis Hanson

". . . the U.N. scolds Israel about its fence to keep out suicide murderers to the applause of the European and Arab worlds. Yet both sit mostly powerless while Arabs in turn systematically mass murder black Africans in the Sudan. Can we at least drop the falsity: In the new global CNN media circus, an Arab must kill 1,000 innocents deliberately to warrant the condemnation that the world allots to a Jew who kills one Arab inadvertently."

National Review Online

Oy vey, enter the worldwide Anglican church

Archbishop of Canterbury will comfort "beleaguered" Muslims
news.com.au via Kesher Talk

THE head of the worldwide Anglican Church, the archbishop of Canterbury, will reportedly mark the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks by praising Islam in an address from the pulpit of an Egyptian mosque.

Rowan Williams had accepted an invitation to speak at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, considered by many to be the Muslim world's most important centre of learning, Britain's Sunday Times said today. . . .

"The Muslims throughout the world feel beleaguered and a comforting word from Archbishop Williams will assure our people they are not alone."

Al-Azhar is considered the most important religious uiniversity in the Muslim world and is attended by 90,000 students.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Arab press on our presidential election:

The choice between the two is like "choosing between cholera and the plague"

The Iranian press has been particularly active in monitoring the elections. The editor of the Egyptian Al-Gil newspaper, Nagi Al Shihabi, was interviewed by the Iranian Al-Alam TV on June 13, and said:

"The U.S. wants to eradicate our religious and Islamic identity. Bush declared a Crusader war following the events of 9/11…The U.S. established its country over the body parts of 120 million Indians. We must first define the enemy. The no. 1 enemy of the Arab and Islamic peoples is the U.S. and not only Israel…Bush, Allah willing, will go to hell in this coming November."
Writing in the Tehran Times on June 17, Kian Nader Mokhtari praised Senator Kerry, and hoped that he would triumph over the "neo-Nazis" of the Bush administration:

"It has long been a tradition in U.S. politics for irresponsible gun-toting Republican presidents to pass on unresolved dilemmas to their Democratic replacements, and Bush will be no exception…Kerry is exactly what the U.S. needs… Kerry's sensible and methodical approach will no doubt go some distance in solving the stinking heap of a mess left over by Bush and his neo-conservatives — for a minute there I was going to type neo-Nazis!..."
The Saudi-owned Iqra TV hosted a political debate on March 24. The moderator asked the panel their opinions on voting for Mr. Kerry or Mr. Bush, "Sir, do you believe the American voter will vote for Kerry as a reaction to the position of Bush junior, who always supports Sharon? "A Palestinian politician and writer, Abd Al-Qader Yassin, said:

"We need to choose between cholera and the plague."

More in the Jewish World Review.


After tonight's Kerry speech, a reader at Instapundit recommended:

McCain-Lieberman 2004

Whaddya think? Does it beat the cholera and the plague?

from Imshin's mailbox

Dear sir or madam,

I would be extremely grateful if you could make your readers aware of the following petition. Palestine Solidarity Movement--the American student wing of the International Solidarity Movement--is attempting to hold its National Conference at Duke University on October 15-17, 2004.

We do not want this group, which supports destruction of Israel "by any means necessary," to be given the privilege of using our campus. We are therefore sending a petition to our new president, Richard Brodhead, asking him to keep ISM out.

Petition to President Richard Brodhead to deny use of the Duke University Campus to Supporters of Terrorism

Andrew Gerst
Duke University junior
Newton, MA

I vaguely remember writing numerous letters to the University of Michigan and Reuters. . .
Good luck, Andrew.


Islamophobia? Internet Haganah is on the case

Aaron at IH has an amazing post in three parts 
  1. July 16: "Man charged after device found in SUV"
  2. July 27: "Driver tells troopers of terror plans"
  3. July 28: "Sniper's kit found in search on I-80"

...Iowa State Patrol Trooper Kenneth Haas found a gun, three bulletproof vests, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a flight simulator and a bag of flight manuals dating to 2001.

Haas testified at a federal court hearing Tuesday that he also found a 5-foot telescope hooked to camera equipment, night-vision goggles and a night-vision rifle scope when searching Wagner's sport utility vehicle on July 14 on Interstate 80 near Council Bluffs. . . .

Books written in Arabic, including the Koran, along with hundreds of pages printed from the Internet on the Iraq war and terrorism, were found in Wagner's vehicle. . . .

His attorney, Angela Campbell, said the items found in Wagner's vehicle weren't illegal for average citizens to own and suggested that Wagner and his wife, Linda Maguire, were targeted because they are Muslim.

Iowa. Read it all here and follow all the links.

Gd help us

I've had a bad day, dealing with my own multiple personal points of polarization (otherwise known as friends and family), e.g.:

"I honestly think the only reason you support right wing views (shared by Evangelicals and fundamental Christians who are as scary as fundamental Islamists) is because you feel it's in Israel's best interests if Bush and the neocons continue their radical path."
Thus,  I am so tired and discouraged that all the cow manure in the world (see below) can't cheer me up.   Plus, I feel obligated to watch John Kerry at the convention.

I would highly recommend to you two things this evening, both from LGF

One is this quote from Tom Junod in Esquire

As easy as it is to say that we can’t abide the president because of the gulf between what he espouses and what he actually does, what haunts me is the possibility that we can’t abide him because of us—because of the gulf between his will and our willingness. What haunts me is the possibility that we have become so accustomed to ambiguity and inaction in the face of evil that we find his call for decisive action an insult to our sense of nuance and proportion.

The people who dislike George W. Bush have convinced themselves that opposition to his presidency is the most compelling moral issue of the day. Well, it’s not. The most compelling moral issue of the day is exactly what he says it is, when he’s not saying it’s gay marriage. The reason he will be difficult to unseat in November—no matter what his approval ratings are in the summer—is that his opponents operate out of the moral certainty that he is the bad guy and needs to be replaced, while he operates out of the moral certainty that terrorists are the bad guys and need to be defeated. The first will always sound merely convenient when compared with the second. Worse, the gulf between the two kinds of certainty lends credence to the conservative notion that liberals have settled for the conviction that Bush is distasteful as a substitute for conviction—because it’s easier than conviction.

Junod is a thinking and thoughtful person and excellent writer. My opinions would differ from his, but he asks excellent and important questions of himself and his readers. You can't ask for more.  Please read it all: "The Case for George W. Bush - i.e. what if he's right?"

For full benefit, read the Junod piece in conjunction with viewing this new LGF slideshow, which Charles has paired with the words, "We sleep at our own peril."

It's true.  I agree.  Gd help us.  Amen.

Moor(e) manure in Crawford TX

Kudos to American farmer

BJ Christian, a Crawford City employee, cleans up bags of cow
manure that were dropped off near the White House press corps
media area to protest the showing of the Michael Moore movie
'Fahrenheit 9/11' in Crawford, Texas.(AFP/Stephen Jaffe)

According to something I read, and now cannot find, the Crawford TX area farmer (or rancher?) who made this delivery, left a note for Michael Moore: "One pile of sh*t deserves another."

Reuters:  Filmmaker Michael Moore abruptly canceled plans to turn up for a screening of his scathing anti-Bush documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11," in the president's local town on Wednesday without offering any explanation.

HAVANA (AFP) - American filmmaker Michael Moore's Bush-bashing "Fahrenheit 9/11" will play on Cuban public television, potentially increasing the temperature of Havana's feverish media offensive against President George W. Bush and his policies. 

The film is already being screened to great critical acclaim in 120 movie theaters across the island, but television will bring it directly to Cuban living rooms.

In his latest salvo against his northern neighbor, President Fidel Castro dedicated an hour and a half of a speech Monday to Bush's past alcohol consumption and his "hot-headed, fundamentalist mind."

And the beat goes on . . .

A Dreadful Letter in today's paper - Israel has ignored her (1967) border,
"pushing settlements further and further into Palestinian territory, slicing and dicing villages and farmlands with a network of {gasp} concrete roads and checkpoints . . . "
It's the old "Zionist aggression" routine - those evil settlers, how dare they live where Arabs don't want them? 

I heard an interview once with a lady "settler" (how often does that happen?) in which the reporter asked, "Why do you want to be here, where you're not wanted?" 

She replied, "We're not wanted anywhere." 

Good point.

What I don't understand, for the life of me,  is what Jews living in the terror-tories has to do with borders.  Why does everyone seem to accept from the get-go that whatever land is or becomes "Palestinian" land - has to be Jew-free?   Does no one else see that as, well, racist?

It is verboten, not to mention politically incorrect, to mention the possibility that Palestinian Arabs might limit themselves to living in Arab countries.  Jordan, after all,  was created from 76% of the original British Mandate for Palestine, from which the "national Jewish homeland" was to be created. 

Arabs can live wherever they want to in the world; Jews cannot.  That doesn't bother  pro-Palestinian activists like Juliet Wittman.  At the very least, they are inconsistent; at worst, antisemitic.

And speaking of such things as antisemitism and borders, check out this map, appearing in a new Palestinian textbook. Titled "The Arab countries neighboring Palestine,"  it fails to mention Israel.

PA textbooks: Israel is Palestine

by Margot Dudkevitch, in the Jerusalem Post 

Palestinian schoolbooks for the first time delineate the borders of the West Bank and Gaza Strip on maps but the entire territory encompassed by Israel, the West Bank and Gaza is referred to as Palestine, according to an Israeli government report.

These are the two most significant changes in textbooks published by the Palestinian Authority's Education Ministry for the 2003-2004 school year. The PA textbooks continue to deny Israel's right to exist and claim that the only solution to the current conflict is violence, according to a report by the coordinator of government activities in the territories.

The report, which was obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post, says Palestine, not Israel, appears on all of the books' maps and all the village, cities, and towns located in Israel are referred to by their Arabic names.

The PA does not teach pupils about co-existence or peace and the overall policy "appears to be one of delegitimization of the State of Israel and Zionists," the document stated.

While Israel is not formally recognized, it is mentioned as a party to peace agreements and Camp David Accords. Jews and Judaism are portrayed negatively, but martyrdom is depicted as a positive national trend, according to the report.

The Israeli document is based on a study of 26 textbooks ranging from history, geography, economics, civic studies, and language books currently used by grade 4 and junior high students in Palestinian schools. The PA Education Ministry has been gradually replacing antiquated textbooks since the Oslo Accords came into effect in the 1990s.

Certain maps and topics refer to "Historical Palestine" and later as Palestine where the map of Israel and the West Bank and Gaza appear.  Other maps portray the defined borders of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip under the heading of the Palestinian Authority.

Read it all - and if you'd like to respond to Wittman's outrage over Jewish "slicing and dicing" of the Land of Professional Refugees, then write to OpenForum@DailyCamera.com

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

al Qaeda suspect arrested in McAllen, Texas

I was just in that airport last month. My daughter and son-in-law live nearby.

FederalNewsRadio.com via WTOP:  A South African woman picked up in Texas almost 10 days ago may turn out to be a key, high-level al-Qaida operative.

Her name is Farida Goolam Mohamed Ahmed. She was stopped at McAllen Miller International Airport on July 19 headed to New York.

Eddie Flores of the U.S. Border Patrol office in McAllen, Texas tells FederalNewsRadio.com that a review of her papers raised some concerns.

"In looking at her documents, they did not find any entry documents in her passport where she was legally admitted into the United States," says Flores.

Ahmed produced a South African passport to the agents with four pages torn out, and with no U.S. entry stamps. Ahmed reportedly later confessed to investigators that she entered the country illegally by crossing the Rio Grande River. Ahmed was carrying travel itineraries showing a July 8 flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to London. Six days later, Ahmed traveled from London to Mexico City before attempting to travel from McAllen to New York.

Government sources tell FederalNewsRadio.com that capturing this woman could be comparable to the arrest of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11. It was revealed in court Tuesday that she was on a watch list and had entered the U.S. possibly as many as 250 times.

Tuesday, the South African government issued a warning that Al-Qaida militants and other terrorists traveling through Europe had obtained South African passports, and authorities believe they got them from crime syndicates operating inside the government agency that issues the documents.



While I'm ranting at NPR (see below) --and at a certain liberal  whom I love and who shall remain nameless-- the tireless Charles Johnson is blogging up a storm over at LGF.  More power to him.

You should go read about the Islamic chaplain who gave last night's closing benediction at the Democratic National Convention

. . . and the U.S. giving citizenship to 7000 Russian Muslims (in addition to free housing and life-long pensions).

Oh, and this is funny

Yasser Arafat's revamp of the myriad Palestinian 
security services has failed to clear confusion over
fundamental questions such as who is at their helm and
the scope of their powers.(AFP/Jamal Aruri)

... except for the fact that Arafat is smarter than the journalists who cover him.

I'm going to bed. Maybe when I wake up, I won't be completely overwhelmed. I may even blog again one day, you never know. 

National Palestinian Radio strikes again

From: Anne Lieberman
To: NPR CEO Kevin Klose ; NPROmbudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 8:06 AM
Subject: Eleanor Beardsley on antisemitism in France 7/26/04

Dear Sirs,

I heard the report referenced above and was amazed that the only antisemitic attack specifically mentioned was one, the only one, that turned out to be a hoax. Also strange was the fact that, in a story about rising antisemitism in France, not a single French Jew was interviewed. No numbers of attacks were given, no figures showing the extent of the rise, no numbers of French Jews moving to Israel.

There was no mention of the 12-year-old Jewish girl who was attacked on her way home from school in Paris in the springtime; her attackers carved a swastika into her face with a boxcutter.  There was no mention of the 17-year-old student stabbed almost to death. There was no mention of the Holocaust-era mural in Rivesaltes being chiseled off the wall (you know, the one painted by Jewish children held in a transit camp before being sent to Nazi death camps). There was no mention of the hundreds of Jewish graves desecrated or synagogues or community centers being torched . ..  You get my point.

Airtime was given instead to several French Arab Muslims; how many were interviewed? Four? Five?  They didn't do it. They're not responsible. France does not do enough to integrate Arab Muslim youth into their society. Israel is bad.

NPR's coverage of antisemitism in France makes excuses for antisemitism in France, and omits any actual facts about the extent of its threat. You should be ashamed, trotting out agenda-driven drivel such as this under the guise of "news." 

Anne Lieberman
Boulder, CO


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Federal Grand Jury hands down 42-count indictment of Muslim charity and 7 of its leaders

Charges include providing  support to the Hamas
DOJ:  The indictment, which was unsealed earlier today, alleges the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (“HLF”), of Dallas, Texas, was an organization created by, among others, defendants Shukri Abu-Baker, Mohammed El-Mezain, and Ghassan Elashi to provide financial and material support to the HAMAS movement.

It is also alleged that, since 1995, HLF and its members have illegally sent $12.4 million to support HAMAS and its goal of creating an Islamic Palestinian state by eliminating the State of Israel through violent jihad.

In addition to the charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, the 42-count indictment also charges the defendants with engaging in prohibited financial transactions with a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, money laundering, conspiracy and filing false tax returns. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $12.4 million in HAMAS assets.

Besides the organization itself, the other defendants charged are: Shukri Abu Baker, the Secretary and Chief Executive Officer; Mohammed El-Mezain, the Director of Endowments; Ghassan Elashi, the Chairman of the Board; Haitham Maghawri, the Executive Director; Akram Mishal, the projects and grants director; Mufid Abdulqater, one of the HLF’s top fundraisers; and Abdulraham Odeh, the HLF’s New Jersey representative. Shurkri Abu Baker, Mohammed El-Mezain, Ghassan Elashi, Mufid Abdulqater and Abdulraham Odeh were arrested this morning. Haitham Maghawri and Akram Mishal are not in the United States and are considered to be fugitives from justice.

Today’s charges are the result of a three-year investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, involving agents from federal, state, and local agencies including: the FBI, IRS, BICE, Department of State, Secret Service, U.S. Army CID, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the police departments of Dallas, Plano, Garland, and Richardson, Texas. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Dallas, Texas, along with the Counterterrorism Section of the United States Department of Justice.
Kol hakavod to all of the above.

Robert Spencer comments at Jihad Watch:
"And note:  Hamas got $12.4 million from this one source alone. Remember that the next time you hear about desperately poor Palestinians having to blow themselves up on buses because they have no money to buy weapons and wage conventional warfare."

Question is, why are Abu Ammar and Abu Ala so very, very happy?

Some Lamentations 

Haaretz: Jews banned from Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av

Iran's Spiritual Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday he believed the United States and Israel, rather than Muslims, were responsible for the kidnappings and killings of foreigners in Iraq, Reuters reported.

"We seriously suspect the Americans and Israelis in conducting such horrendous terrorist moves," the official IRNA news agency quoted Khamenei as saying in a meeting with visiting Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong of Singapore.

"(We) cannot believe that the people who kidnap Philippine nationals, for instance, or beheaded US nationals are Muslims."

AFP: Iran threatens to wipe Israel "off the face of the earth."

The Telegraph: Iran starts atom tests in defiance of EU and UN

Boston Globe: IRAQ refuses to normalize relations with Israel

IHT:  Spain considering plan to subsidize mosques

Sheik Yousef al Qaradhawi, banned from entering the US since 1999, visited London this month to convene the European Council for Fatwa and Research and announce the establishment of the International Council of Clerics. On his weekly al Jazeera TV show, "Sharia and Life," he said July 13: 
"There is no dialogue between us and the Jews except by the sword and the rifle." --



Amir Taheri via Melanie Phillips

'This enemy does not want to give and take, to compromise, or to triangulate. He wants you to obey him in every detail or he will kill you...

He will not be happy even if, in the spirit of liberal generosity, you gave him half of your power and wealth. Nor would he settle for a total American withdrawal from the world. Nor would he be satisfied if you helped wipe Israel off the map.

This enemy's conflict with the United States, and alongside it other democracies, not to mention those Muslims who also aspire after democracy, is not political but existential.

He wants to rule you because he thinks he is the holder of a "the highest form of truth." This enemy wants you, the whole world in fact, to convert to Islam because he believes the advent of Islam abrogated all other religions. Anyone who is not a Muslim is not a full human being.

"Our struggle is not about land or water," the late Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini said in 1980. "It is about bringing, by force if necessary, the whole of mankind onto the right path."

* * * *

Rev. David van Horne, D.D. in Tent and Saddle Life in the Holy Land, 1885:

 On the Friday afternoon during our stay in Jerusalem we went to what is known as the "Wailing-place of the Jews." This place is on the west side of Mount Moriah, in the Tyropoeon Valley, where the large bevelled-edge stones in the ancient wall indicate the substructions of the temple of Solomon. Thirty men and twenty women were present on that occasion to lament over the loss of their temple and kiss the stones in the wall. The men read aloud in Hebrew from a service-book, in a kind of chanting tone, while waving the body to and fro, and indulging in loud lamentations.   

According to our sages, many tragic events occurred on this, the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av. 

  • The sin of the spies caused Hashem to decree that the Children of Israel who left Egypt would not be permitted to enter the land of Israel;
  • The first Temple was destroyed;
  • The second Temple was destroyed;
  • Betar, the last fortress to hold out against the Romans during the Bar Kochba revolt in the year 135, fell, sealing the fate of the Jewish people.
  • One year after the fall of Betar, the Temple area was plowed.
  • In 1492, King Ferdinand of Spain issued the expulsion decree, setting Tisha B'Av as the final date by which not a single Jew would be allowed to walk on Spanish soil.
  • World War I – which began the downward slide to the Holocaust – began on Tisha B’av.

We are taught that those who mourn over Jerusalem will merit the future vision of her joy.

 On the day that the Holy Temple was destroyed, a Jew was plowing his field when his cow suddenly called out. An Arab was passing by and heard the call of the cow. Said the Arab to the Jew: "Son of Judah! Unyoke your cow, free the stake of your plow, for your Holy Temple has now been destroyed.''

The cow then called a second time. Said the Arab to the Jew: "Son of Judah! Yoke your cow, reset the stake of your plow, for Moshiach has now been born.''  — Jerusalem Talmud, Berachot 2;4


Read Eichah, the lamentations of Jeremiah. 


"The media want Kerry to win.  They’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic, and this glow is going to be worth maybe 15 points."-- Newsweek Editor Evan Thomas
The national liberal “news” media are participating in a campaign of partisan viciousness not seen since the days of Ronald Reagan, tossing any pretense of objectivity aside, distorting the truth, and simply refusing to report real news that doesn’t fit their political agenda.  This must stop. It’s time to demand that the news media “Tell the Truth!”   -- President of Media Research Center Brent Bozell
Get your "combat kit" now :)

Monday, July 26, 2004

Kol hakavod to Jessica Sandler

Letter in today's Daily Camera
ISRAEL:  Border question far from settled

So John Kaluza thinks Israel should build its security fence along "established borders" ("Wall violates what should be the border," Open Forum, July 22).

Which borders would those be? The ones that five Arab armies attacked shortly after the United Nations established the Jewish state in 1948? The ones from which the Arabs pledged to drive the Jews into the sea in 1967? The ones that 11 Arab countries attacked in 1973? Or the borders that Israel offered to create in 2000, when Yasser Arafat walked away from the negotiating table and launched yet another war of terror?

The reason Israel has no internationally recognized border is the refusal of the Arab world (whose countries compose some 10 percent of the world's land surface) to accept a Jewish entity the size of New Jersey in its midst. And of course there's the perpetual Arab refusal to accept responsibility for its actions: "Ooops, never mind that we attacked you — now give us back every inch we lost each time we tried to annihilate you and you fought back."


of solidarity and love for The Land

130,000 - 200,000 Israelis linked arms in a 56-mile continuous human chain from Gaza to the Kotel in Jerusalem.

At 6:45 PM the thousands of participants clasped one another’s hands and prepared for the singing of ‘Hatikva’ – ‘The Hope’, Israel’s national anthem.  At seven, ram’s horns were blown at some points in the chain and the words of Hatikva echoed across the country.

Benny Elon:

“This chain is a form of prayer . . . on the eve of Tisha B’Av the Jewish people have come together to cry out to heaven against the latest attempt to expel us from our land.”

My friend Shirl in Jerusalem writes me that, not only was the chain unbroken all the way from Jerusalem to Gush Katif, but this child seen next to the Kotel is the 6-year-old granddaughter of the two people at the very other end of the human chain.  The grandparents have lived in Gaza since the early 1940s.  As everyone began to sing the national anthem, Hatikva, this girl placed a note in the Wall,  as is our custom when seeking Divine intervention. According to the Jerusalem Post, the note said, "Don't evacuate us."

Also present at the Kotel was bereaved father and husband David Hatuel, whose pregnant wife and four daughters were murdered in their car in Gush Katif just a few months ago.  He told reporters that he was overwhelmed by the unprecedented event: 

"Sadly, I came alone, but the connection I felt from everyone here on erev Tisha B'Av is quite amazing. This will broadcast to everyone that we have the will to continue to pursue our lives in all parts of the land of Israel," he said.

American Al Nachom, who flew to Israel for the event:  

“The incredible event we just witnessed is an inspiration not only to the Jews of Gush Katif but to Jews in all of Israel and all of the world – reminding us that our people are alive and well.”

“I called my synagogue, the West Coast Torah Center in Beverly Hills and could hear the crying on the other end of the line as those assembled heard thousands of their brothers here in Israel singing the Jewish national anthem.”

Judy Lash Balint:

"For those who stood together singing The Hope, it was the successful conclusion of yet another battle in the war to preserve Israel's integrity."



In the Jewish heart

A Jewish spirit still sings,

And the eyes look east

Toward Zion.

Our hope is not lost,

Our hope of two thousand years,

To be a free nation in our land,

In the land of Zion and Jerusalem.

Am Yisrael Chai!


BBC headline: "Israeli chain fails to impress" - based on Israeli editorials - MUST READ to believe.

Coverage at Al Jazeera was more positive.

The New York Times falls somewhere in between the two. They seem to appreciate the anti-Sharon spin they can put on it, but they don't want to give too much to the "settlers," either. 

 "The size of the demonstration - organizers estimated that 200,000 Israelis took part, though the police put the number at 70,000 -  represented perhaps the gravest challenge yet to Mr. Sharon's disengagement plan . . . "

"The chain . . . was far from complete . . . "

The Times did include this map, however, which cannot fail to impress.



JPost /   As a secular, fun-loving Israeli, Sharar admits that he doesn't exactly fit the stereotype of an activist. Sitting near Jerusalem's Central Bus Station, with sunglasses hanging from his half-opened button-down black shirt, Sharar said he would rather be out dancing or telling a woman he loves her than getting ready to stand in the human chain that ran from Gush Katif to the Western Wall on Sunday.

But it would be irresponsible not to participate in an action that could prevent leaders from making a terrible blunder, said Sharar, who organized 40 other secular young adults to join him in the human chain.

As a soldier in the IDF, said Sharar, "I saw a lot of terrible things. I lost three of my friends. I had no fear, no emotions. I put a wall inside my heart."

But something inside him snapped when he read about the Hatuel family. He imagined how the terrorist gunned them down as Tali was driving.

"For the first time I started to cry."

On a whim, he and a friend drove down to Gush Katif, to pay Tali's husband David a shiva call. "Without thinking about the political implications I knew I had to go down there," said Sharar.He was struck by how noble and strong David Hatuel seemed. "I felt I was receiving power from him. It shows you what kind of people live there."

When Hatuel shook their hands and thanked them for coming, it dawned on Sharar that he could make a difference. 

"I tried to bring some comfort and the whole thing snowballed," said Sharar.


Sunday, July 25, 2004

Spanish police found car used by  3/11 terrorist bombers

FOX NEWS:  Three months after the Madrid train bombings, Spanish police found a rental car used by the terrorists containing personal effects, including tapes of Quranic verses and chants praising jihad, an official said Saturday.

Police found the car on June 13 in the town of Alcala de Henares, the departure point of three of the four trains bombed in the March 11 attack, a police spokeswoman said on anonymity.

She said that investigators believe the bombers used the car, a Skoda Fabia, to transport some of the explosives used in the blasts, which killed 191 people and injured 2,000.

DNA tests on clothes found in the trunk confirmed that it was used by two suspected Islamic terrorists, one of whom later committed suicide to evade capture, she said.

"Apart from clothes, an alarm clock, an agenda and a Palestinian headscarf, police spotted two cassettes with calls to jihad and martyrdom," the spokeswoman said. . . .

Lots of people wear Palestinian headscarves. It's all the rage.


DEBKA: Israel takes out 6 terrorists in Tulkarm

Israeli Border Police special unit kills 6 wanted Jihad Islami and Tanzim terrorists resisting arrest after day-long operation in West Bank town of Tulkarm. One of the dead men was Mahdi Tambuz local terrorist group liaison man with Lebanese Hizballah.

DEBKAfile reports exclusively: Six were links in chain from Hizballah to Palestinian terror organization. Their targeting followed liquidation in Beirut last week of senior Hizballah operative Ghaleb Awali. S hiite terrorist group dismayed by exposure of 8 [years of] Iran-Hizballah-Palestinian collaboration in terror.

The Worst, A New Low, Despiscable, Contemptible . . .

All the appropriate words and phrases have been used up, overused, have no meaning anymore. So what do you do when this appears in your local paper? under the title, Dare to dream of peace in Israel, no less.

Ever notice how the most vicious attacks on Jews appear these days in and around the word "peace"?

By Annette Langley  July 24, 2004

Recent United Nations data cited in The New York Times count 3,437 Palestinians killed and 33,776 wounded since renewal of violence in 2000. In the same four years, more than 864 Israelis also have died, and 6,399 have been wounded.

Both sides nourish and escalate ancient and new hatreds daily in a vastly uneven conflict. In half a century of violence, it's hard to conceive that there can be a single family that has not been touched. The crisis is now extremely personal and complex.

It was against this bleak political backdrop that Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi, an elder of the Jewish Renewal Movement and a religious studies professor at Naropa University, and Imam Ibrahim Kazarooni of the Islamic Center of Ahl Al-Beit in Denver presented "Peace in the Middle East" on Sunday at the Chautauqua Forum Series.

While anyone would say the concept hasn't got a prayer, Boulder's favorite rabbi and the imam prayed together, not for division or separate states, but that Palestinians and Israelis would live together with each other in harmony.

The crowd was not completely sympathetic. One member of the audience called out repeatedly to Kazarooni: "Do you understand what a Jewish state means to our people?"

"Palestinians are dying four-to-one to Israelis," he said. "What does that mean? There is no answer in that."

Kazarooni does not speak lightly. He began religious studies in Najaf, Iraq, where he was born. After being repeatedly imprisoned and tortured for his beliefs by the Baathist regime that killed his brother, uncle and cousin, he fled the country at age 15.

Subsequently, he lived and traveled throughout the Middle East, continuing theological studies in Iran. His journeys took him to England and Canada. He holds a degree in mining and petroleum engineering, and an MBA.

This experienced and educated man told us that peace could not prevail in the Middle East without trust. Without mutual confidence between the sides, winning and losing are the only options, he said. Zalman, himself a Polish Jew and a Nazi refugee, concurred.

The ensuing dialogue between the two religious leaders touched on commonalities in beliefs instead of differences, and focused on ways people rebuild their faith in each other.

The rabbi and the imam ironed out a formula for rebuilding trust:

Know what the other needs. Do the little things that recognize and respect the dignity of the other. Honor the other as a divinity. Be kind. Practice these things with "patience, diligence and persistence."

These ideas may be easier to practice in the intimacy of our own families, but are they too simplistic for international situations? Among the complications for applying these principles in the Middle East, on July 17, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its foreign operations bill for 2005.

Our country's largest appropriations next year, more than 13 percent of the total, $2.56 billion, will be made to Israel. The bulk of that sum, $2.2 billion, is earmarked for military financing.

Monday's program was convened by Barry Erdman, a local psychotherapist and president of Interface, a community forum dedicated to studying the connections between spiritual and mental health. Erdman said that we all care about the conflict in the Middle East and came to the idea for the evening when he asked himself: "What can we do about it from comfortable Boulder?"

Our tax dollars provide much of the muscle sustaining this conflict, but could influence a different process. Yet at every violation in the region, our country's representatives fail to stand for peace and fail to uphold human rights, disregarding the constitutional principles we claim to live by.

The United States was among only six dissenters against 150 world powers, when on Tuesday the U.N. General Assembly voted for Israel to obey a World Court order to dismantle the wall it is building on the West Bank. Earlier this year, following targeted assassinations of Palestinian leaders by Israel, the United States was silent and repeatedly failed to condemn the murders.

What are we to think when the United States leaders will not stand up and call for law? Have we the courage of our convictions?

We — each of us — are the United States. No better time exists to exert the influence each of us can wield — some more than others — than in these months prior to November.

Real change, the kind of heart change that Zalman and Kazarooni talk about, often comes to individuals only prompted by grave and serious loss. In regard to the Holocaust, we heard "never again," only to witness at least five genocides since, in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Burundi and Srebrenica.

We have suffered the losses of 9/11. What more will we have to endure as a nation, what more will we inflict on others, before we unbend, and as a nation place our principles before our economic self interest?

Can trust exist between Palestine and Israel?

Zalman says: "Allow yourself a dream."

Annette Langley lives in Boulder.


I should have known when I saw references to the UN and the NY Times right there in the first sentence. . . By the second paragraph, my blood pressure was through the roof: "a vastly uneven conflict". . .   

Would Ms. Langley suggest that Palestinians should have some nukes, to make the conflict more evenHey, give 'em state! and some nukes to go with! 

Or perhaps she would suggest that Israelis disguise themselves as religious Muslims, go into a falafel joint in the terror-tories, and blow themselves up next to  baby carriages?  

I know, how about Israelis bursting into Palestinian homes and shooting five-year-olds in the head

Then it would be a "vastly uneven conflict" no more.


Berger took classified Mideast 'peace' docs, too?
WND: Former National Security Adviser Samuel Berger, who this week admitted to taking classified terrorism documents from the National Archives, also was found in possession of a small number of classified papers containing his handwritten notes from Middle East peace talks during the Clinton administration, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Although the Mideast notes are not the main focus of the current criminal probe, the source says their removal may shed further light on Berger's intentions. The Mideast notes were allegedly taken from the National Archives along with classified documents that officials say may paint the Clinton administration's handling of the al-Qaida threat in a negative way.

"Berger was heavily involved in several Israeli-Palestinian initiatives in the 1990s, and in Clinton's seeing Arafat and the Palestinians as negotiating partners, all leading to Camp David, which many now regard as a huge policy mistake that culminated in the violence still raging," said the source.

Many American and Israeli political experts have in recent years blasted Clinton's approach to Mideast peacemaking, and some have openly blamed his administration's policies -- seeking major Israeli territorial concessions in exchange for promises of peace by the Palestinian Authority -- as factors in Arafat's decision to launch the Intifada.

Clinton also famously helped turn Arafat's image from guerilla leader to statesman, inviting the PLO president to the White House more times than he did any other world leader. Bush and Sharon have been trying to isolate Arafat, saying he is directly involved in terrorism.

Berger, a close confidante of former President Bill Clinton, was designated as the official from the Clinton administration who would review documents relevant to the 9-11 commission's probe.

The source told WND, "I can't see how notes regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives in the 1990s would be at all relevant to the 9-11 commission. We now have to question why he would have taken these, and in doing so, it could shed light on why he would take the documents that are the current focus of the probe."

The Justice Department is investigating whether Berger committed a crime by removing anti-terror-related documents, which discuss a 1999 plot to attack U.S. millennium celebrations and offer more than two dozen recommendations for improving the response to al-Qaida.

Berger had been an informal adviser to John Kerry's presidential campaign, but he quit Tuesday.

Kerry said later, "Sandy Berger is my friend, and he has tirelessly served this nation with honor and distinction. I respect his decision to step aside as an adviser to this campaign until this matter is resolved objectively and fairly.''

Berger told reporters he was not guilty of criminal wrongdoing.

"Last year, when I was in the archives reviewing documents, I made an honest mistake. It's one that I deeply regret,'' Berger said. ''I dealt with this issue in October 2003 fully and completely. Everything that I have done all along in this process has been for the purpose of aiding and supporting the work of the 9/11 commission, and any suggestion to the contrary is simply, absolutely wrong."

Andrew Sullivan led me to Instapundit led me to Newsfeed led me to the BBC:

May 1999 - Clinton defended Sandy Berger over alleged theft of nuclear secrets

President Clinton has defended his National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, against demands for him to resign over the alleged theft by China of US nuclear secrets.
Eighty opposition Republicans earlier wrote to Mr Clinton saying they wanted Mr Berger to resign.

"Mr Berger has failed in his responsibility as this nation's national security advisor by not properly informing you of the most serious espionage ever committed against the United States," the lawmakers said in the letter.

They said he knew of concerns about Chinese espionage, but delayed taking action.

Berger: 'We acted appropriately'

In his first public appearance since the publication of the damning congressional report, Mr Berger said he was not considering resigning.

"I believe that personally and within the White House, we acted appropriately when this information was brought to our attention," he said.

And on Thursday President Clinton said he had full confidence in his security adviser.

Mr Berger, who has been a strong advocate of expanding trade ties with China, is a long-standing ally of the president.

Mark Steyn in today's Chicago Sun-Times

We can nitpick forever, but what's changed?
A frivolous uncivil civil war is draining all the energy away from the real war. We warmongers didn't start the nitpicking, but somehow the entire landscape of U.S. politics has tilted so that a nation supposedly at war is spending most of its time looking through the rear window sniping about what was said and done in 2002, 2001, 2000, like the falling calendar leaves in a Hollywood flashback.

The Democrats will always win on this playing field because, like some third-rate soap opera, their characters are not required to have any internal consistency.
On Sandy Berger:
By his own words, he's guilty of acts that any other American would go to jail for. He "inadvertently" shoved 30-page classified documents down his pants and then "inadvertently" lost them at home and then "inadvertently" returned to the National Archives to "inadvertently" take another draft of the same 30-page document and "inadvertently" lost that, too. He "inadvertently" made forbidden cell phone calls from the room with the classified documents, and he "inadvertently" took more suspicious bathroom breaks while in the Archives than that Syrian band took on that L.A. flight that was in the news last week. If the former national security adviser has an incontinence problem, that at least explains where he was during the '90s when Osama bin Laden was growing bolder and bolder on his watch.

Read it all.