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October 05, 2002

Security Council machinations over Iraq are concealing a much broader UN power grab in the Middle East

For years, U.S. policy has been to keep the United Nations at bay and to insist on bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians as the only way forward to a durable peace. Negotiation would test recognition of Israel's permanency. It was the necessary alternative to violence, and it meant compromises that the parties determined they could and would live with.

The UN, on the other hand, with its automatic majorities favouring the Arab side of the equation, has continually pushed an imposed international solution. UN right answers, with resolutions galore, include Jerusalem as the capital city of a Palestinian state, and entitlements of massive numbers of refugees to return.

Then along came the Middle East "quartet": the UN, the United States, the European Union and Russia. On April 10 in Madrid, with Secretary of State Colin Powell representing Washington, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared that the quartet was "going to remain consistently seized of the problem."

Along with the quartet came U.S. reluctance to exercise its Security Council veto to save Israel from the usual one-sided resolutions on Palestinian suffering at the hands of Israeli aggressors, in the midst of a terrorist campaign directed at the viability of the Jewish state. Four Security Council resolutions were adopted between March 12 and April 19. U.S. strategists somehow believed that the insatiable appetite of UN members would be satisfied by a few Security Council resolutions.

The Arab group lasted two weeks before seeking the next Security Council resolution. With the U.S. in retreat over the falsely inspired hysteria over Jenin and the accompanying resolution, the Arab group reconvened an emergency session of the General Assembly in May, taunted the U.S. to vote against (which it did with a minute number of other countries), and then characterized America as anti-Arab once again. In all, more than 10 Israel-directed resolutions have been passed by various UN bodies since the quartet's April blossoming.

With Mr. Annan's foot firmly in the door, U.S. control over Middle East processes and outcomes has been steadily slipping away. Last Nov. 19, Mr. Powell said in a Louisville speech: "Palestinians must accept that they can only achieve their goals through negotiation. That was the essence of the agreements made between Israelis and Palestinians in Madrid and again in Oslo in 1993. There is no other way but direct negotiation in an atmosphere of stability and non-violence."

On April 24, Mr. Powell told a Senate subcommittee: "First, security and freedom from terror and violence . . .; second, serious accelerated negotiations; and third, economic humanitarian assistance."

On July 16, Mr. Annan and the EU's Danish president insisted that progress on all tracks be "side by side."

On Sept. 17, Mr. Annan, with Mr. Powell at his side, declared a three-phase program: "The first phase will see Palestinian security reform, Israeli withdrawals and . . . Palestinian elections; . . . the second phase . . . the option of creating a Palestinian state with provisional borders . . .; the third phase . . . Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."

The process has made a similar shift. The focus in late 2001 was American-Russian statements as "co-sponsors of the Middle East peace process." By April 29, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer was insisting that the quartet "stick together." Mr. Powell was calling for an international conference at the beginning of May. The summer has seen a proliferation of UN bureaucrats in working groups and task forces. And on Sept. 17, EU president Per Stig Moeller announced, while issuing the latest quartet communiqué, that "the quartet has to be the focal point."

Mr. Annan (along with the Europeans, who had been salivating on the sidelines for years) was on the move.

On Sept. 23 and 24, the UN played host to a conference at New York headquarters called "End the Occupation." It opened with a statement read on behalf of Mr. Annan by Undersecretary-General Kieran Prendergast, declaring that the purpose of the meeting was to "garner support for the Palestinian people." Israeli "non-Zionists" were invited to contribute papers, along with Arab League representatives who distributed literature -- pre-approved by the UN secretariat -- talking about Israeli "concentration camps."

At the same time this conference was going on downstairs, the U.S. fell back into the familiar trap of trying to mollify the Arab group by failing to veto another one-sided Security Council resolution (1435), adopted on Sept. 24.

Ceding control to the UN over the Middle East is a dangerous game.

Surely, efforts to obtain a Security Council resolution on Iraq provide an immediate lesson. U.S. negotiators obviously thought that serving up Israel via Resolution 1435 would smooth the way on Iraq. A week later, they are still bargaining, while clammering for the next condemnation of Israel over non-compliance with 1435 has only just begun.

When the Iraq issue is over, Mr. Annan's quartet will be a long way out of the starting block. Stage two and the declaration of a "provisional" Palestinian state, before serious negotiations get under way between the parties, is guaranteed to be followed by a rush to pile on the sovereign rewards of control over borders (and hence arms flow). It will be a reality before anyone in Washington has time to say "Oops."

The UN is not an honest broker in the Middle East, and never has been. Even after Sept. 11, it is unable to define terrorism. The Arab bloc, along with Russia, France and China from the permanent five on the Security Council, think blowing up Israelis is legitimate -- according to the UN Human Rights Commission resolution of April 15.

Multilateralism is not an end in itself. The UN does not deserve the responsibilities of peacemaking and democratization when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It should be shown the door before it's too late.

Anne Bayefsky is an international lawyer and professor of political science at York University. She is a member of the governing board of the Geneva-based UN Watch.

--Distributed by MidEastTruth

Nascent Nonviolence
Will Palestinians embrace an end to terror? And will anyone pay attention if they do?

Please note: When I post this or other articles, I do not necessarily endorse positions taken by the writers. . I post because it offers a glimpse of the wide variety of views on matters of concern for our readers. If you disagree with this or any other posting, express your convictions in the Comment section, beneath the article.

Eli Kintisch

Would someone please give this message to American Jews: We're seeing glimpses of a Palestinian partner these days. Don't screw it up.

Reassessment and nonviolence are in the air in the occupied territories. Recent protests in Nablus, Ramallah and Tulkarm have been largely peaceful -- whole cities openly disobeying curfews with candlelight vigils, pot banging and nighttime parades. A spate of surveys in the last month in the occupied territories, as well as Israel proper, have shown a surprising openness among Arabs toward embracing nonviolent means of resistance. And a number of influential mainstream leaders have criticized violence in the last month, opening an honest dialogue within Palestinian society about the state of the intifada, two years on.

There can be no doubt that, ironically enough, this opening is at least partially the result of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's strategy. By refusing to negotiate while violence raged, he has gambled that he could force the Palestinians to say "enough" before Israelis did -- therefore ensuring that whatever political situation eventually emerged out of the second intifada would come about on Israeli terms. In one respect, at least, the strategy is working: The increasing skepticism among Palestinians about suicide bombing has to be at least partially attributed to the realization that violence isn't getting them anywhere with Israel's hard-line prime minister, or the public who elected him. But if Sharon deserves some credit for prompting this reassessment, it must also be acknowledged that some of the questioning is arising organically from within Palestinian society -- much of it sparked by the courageous pronouncements of Sari Nusseibeh, the Palestinian Authority's representative in Jerusalem and the most prominent Palestinian moderate.

To see how Nusseibeh's thinking has gained a foothold, one need only compare recent statements by influential Palestinians to the saber rattling of the past two years: Nabil Amer, the former Palestinian Authority official and former editor of Al-Hayat Al-Jadedah -- the Palestinian Authority's official publication -- wrote in early September that the Palestinians, led by Yasir Arafat, had "failed in the management of the historical process," by choosing violence in the fall of 2000. Abdel Razek Yehiyeh, the moderate Palestinian interior minister, told a Reuters reporter that a new approach to the uprising was needed. "I am not saying this side is to blame, or that," Yehiyeh said. "I'm saying there is occupation, and dealing with occupation in this manner has harmed us. Therefore we have to find other ways to deal with it." Nusseibeh himself has been on a speaking tour in the United States during the last month to push for a new kind of Palestinian resistance. In March, Nusseibeh wrote in the London-based Al-Quds that "resorting to the strategy of nonviolence and its weapons by a primarily unarmed people can directly deprive the Israelis of the advantage of being the stronger military power."

Polls have provided another welcome surprise of late. In a recent survey of 600 Palestinians by the international peace organization Search for Common Ground, 80 percent of respondents said they would support a large-scale civil-disobedience movement. Administered in the territories by the Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, the poll showed six out of 10 Palestinians agreeing that there is "a need to try some new approaches" to the intifada. Roughly the same percentage of Israeli Jewish respondents said they would "approve" of a nonviolent Palestinian movement. Arab Israelis in the northern areas of Israel -- long feared to harbor simmering resentment that could easily boil over into extremism -- have also shown moderate attitudes of late. A recent poll conducted by the Yafa Research Institute in Nazareth showed that among Arab Israelis respondents in the so-called Triangle area of northern Israel, more than 80 percent wanted to see the violence of the intifada come to an end.

Israeli officials, rightly, don't put much credence in polls or statements -- they want action, usually toward halting suicide attacks against civilians. But the actions that Palestinians have taken in the last two weeks show that there might be something to the poll statistics. First, on Sept. 20, tanks laid siege to Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah and troops declared curfews in other Palestinian cities after two suicide bombings left six dead in 24 hours. The Palestinian response? Almost completely nonviolent protests in five Palestinian cities. In several places, residents banged pots and pans. Throughout the West Bank, school officials kept their classrooms open in defiance of curfew orders -- a further means of nonviolent resistance. Daoud Kuttab, director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al-Quds University, calls the movement the third intifada.

"It's about time," says Mubarak Awad, a nonviolent activist who organized tax strikes and civil disobedience during the first intifada. (Awad, who recently said it was "impossible" for a Jewish state to exist in the Middle East, was expelled from Israel in 1998 on charges that he broke Israeli law by organizing large-scale civil disobedience.)

To be sure, no one believes that the conflict is nearing a close. There can be little doubt that the work of the Israeli Defense Forces -- and not a newfound Palestinian introspection -- is the most important factor contributing to the recent decline in suicide bombings. And the polls could certainly be misleading. "So a guy named Abdullah comes to your house, maybe he's a member of Hamas, maybe a member of Islamic Jihad, and he tells you what to say . . . The whole notion that you would take seriously a poll coming out of a nondemocratic society is crazy," says Yoram Ettinger, a longtime activist on the Israeli right. Ettinger does have a point: Polls aren't necessarily reliable, and it's no doubt more difficult to get an accurate read of popular opinion in a highly disorganized, authoritarian society. Nevertheless, when taken together with the dramatic drop-off in suicide bombings of the last several months and the increasing boldness of Palestinian peaceniks, the poll results may mean something indeed.

And how has the Jewish world stateside reacted to these glimmers of hope? For the most part, disappointingly. The big story in the American Jewish community this week was a protest last night against a speech by Nusseibeh at B'nai Jeshurun, a Reform synagogue known for its left-leaning, Zabar's-shopping congregants. The protests, which aimed to prevent Nusseibeh from speaking, were organized by the Zionist Organization of America and Americans For a Safe Israel, two of the most hawkish players in an pro-Israel movement that has, of course, moved far to the right during the last two years. "He's a very evil person," Helen Freedman, executive director of AFSI, told me when asked about Nusseibeh, adding that he should be "sentenced to death maybe." (Officials at Americans for Peace Now, which organized the event, said that the protestors were for the most part peaceful and that Nusseibeh received a standing ovation.)

This link provides a typical attack on Nusseibeh from the Israeli right. The most serious of the charges -- these days, especially -- is that Nusseibeh gave information to the Iraqis in 1991 to help them direct missile attacks at Israel. But it's a charge that has been proven false by efforts such as this one.

Nusseibeh historically has been one of the most outspoken proponents of a two-state solution, and his calls for Palestinians to give up their claim to a "right of return" to Israel have drawn ire throughout the Arab world. In fact it is Nusseibeh's moderation that truly scares his detractors. Nusseibeh's main foil in Israel has been right-wing Knesset stalwart Uzi Landau, who has repeatedly shut down his offices in Jerusalem and accused him of being a "Trojan horse" for Palestinian extremists.

To their credit, the large Jewish groups that carry the most weight in Washington -- the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, to name a few -- are staying out of the B'nai Jeshurun embarrassment. "We didn't invite them. The mainstream Jewish organizations are too politically correct and they never take strong positions anyway," Freedman told me contemptuously. (The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, a national Jewish umbrella group, has criticized some of Nusseibeh's more aggressive quotes in the past, but wasn't behind last night's protests.)

In a period of so much uncertainty for Israel, and with a U.S. war against Iraq looming, it's time American Jews recognized the few glimmers of hope that are out there. A handful of terrorists got through, but September was a quiet month for the most part in Israel. Along with the polls and some new nonviolent approaches, the Palestinian people recently called on Arafat to overhaul his government -- a modest exercise of democratic muscle unprecedented in any Arab nation. And, warts and all, Nusseibeh remains the kind of Palestinian whom Israel can deal with -- a man who has sparred with Israel's most dangerous enemies for years in the pursuit of peace. Maybe for some American Jews, when the enemy of their enemy happens to be Palestinian, it's difficult to see him for the potential partner that he is. But if American Jews and Israelis can't talk to Nusseibeh, then the glimmers of hope are for nothing at all.

source: [link[

UN panel faults Israel for treatment of minority, Palestinian children

But for all the complaints, this article notes that the UN is at long last beginning to realize that suicide bombers are not nice people!

GENEVA - UN human rights experts said Friday that Israel must stop discrimination against minority children within the country.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child said it also was concerned about Israeli treatment of Palestinian children in the occupied territories even though it recognizes there is a "climate of fear" resulting from "continuing acts of terror."

Israeli Ambassador Ya'akov Levy said he had objections to some of the committee's findings, but he praised the panel for being the first UN body to use the term "Palestinian suicide bombers" in its condemnation of terrorism.

The committee of 10 independent experts was commenting after its review of Israel's compliance with the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. The panel periodically reviews the performance of all 191 countries that have signed the treaty.

It said it was concerned that Israel lacks a constitutional guarantee of nondiscrimination, and urged the government to carry out public education campaigns "to ensure that all children enjoy all the rights set out in the convention without discrimination."

It said it was concerned about "inequalities" in access to education, health care and social services for Israeli Arabs, Bedouins, Ethiopians and other minorities as well as disabled and foreign children.

The committee urged Israel "to take all possible measures to reconcile the interpretation of religious laws with fundamental human rights" to make sure boys and girls are treated equally.

It noted Israel's efforts to address the rights and special needs of children with disabilities. "However, it remains concerned at the large gap between the needs and services provided, and the gap between services provided to Jewish and Israeli-Arab children."

In presenting Israel's report, Levy had told the panel that the Israeli government had undertaken a number of reforms in children's rights and was still trying to raise public awareness to enhance their well-being, irrespective of their ethnic, geographic or religious background.

The panel said it "deeply regrets" that Israel failed to provide any information about the situation of children in occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli government says it has transferred the responsibility for reporting on the territories to the Palestinian authority, but the panel rejected this argument.

"It's the opinion of this committee that the State of Israel is responsible for all children within its jurisdiction and 'within its jurisdiction' means including the Palestinian territory," said Committee Chairman Jacob Doek of the Netherlands.

Doek said the panel objected to the way the Israeli government defines children in the occupied territories as being under 16 while children in Israel are defined as under 18.

"This is discriminatory" because it leads to such results as the jailing of 16-year-old Palestinian stone throwers with adult inmates, Doek said.

The committee said it "deeply regrets the killings and injuries of all children" in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and urged all responsible to end the violence.

The climate of fear results from "acts of terror on both sides, especially the deliberate and indiscriminate targeting and killing of Israeli civilians, including children, by Palestinian suicide-bombers," it said.

It said it recognized Israel's right to live in peace and security, but that "the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, the bombing of civilian areas (and) extrajudicial killings ... continue to contribute to the cycle of violence."

It said it was "seriously concerned" about the allegations of "inhuman and degrading practices, torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children by police officers during arrest, interrogation and in detention."

Levy said the Israeli government disagreed with the committees "characterizations of Israeli defensive action against terror, definitions that are not within the purview of the committees mandate."

source: LINK

P.A. Birth Rate Down

The Oslo War has had far-ranging demographic effects on the Arab population of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The Palestinian Authority Statistical Office shows that the birth rate has dropped 18% in the past two years - from 7 births per woman in the previous decade to 5.75 births since the beginning of 2001. Marriage rates, too, have dropped almost 4%. Some 3.3 million Arabs live in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and 60% of them have lost half their income over the past two years.

source: url

Israeli police enter al-Aqsa compound

The Temple Mount is often a scene of tension

Israeli police entered the Muslim mosque compound on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem - known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif.
The police threw stun grenades

Israeli police entered the Muslim mosque compound on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem - known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif.
The police threw stun grenades at Palestinian youths after rocks hit Jewish worshippers at the Western or Wailing Wall below the compound. Jewish worshippers were briefly evacuated.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage at the compound. The situation seems to have calmed and police have withdrawn.

Police officials said they acted after Palestinian youths began throwing rocks at Israeli officers at an entrance to the mosque compound and some rocks fell on Jewish worshippers.

"It was thought they were intending to throw rocks into the plaza where [Jewish] worshippers were, so police entered the compound and fired a few stun grenades," a police spokesman said.

"People were told to leave the Wall plaza below, and the Waqf [Islamic religious authority] then helped calmed the situation down."

The incident occurred at the end of Friday prayers at the two mosques at the Haram al-Sharif - often a tense time in East Jerusalem.

The Western Wall is the most sacred site in Judaism, while the al-Aqsa mosque above is the third holiest site in Islam.

The Temple Mount has been a flashpoint for tensions in the past.

A visit there by the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, two years ago - when he was opposition leader - is widely seen as one of the sparks that ignited the current Palestinian uprising.

source: url

A bulldozer works to clear rubble in Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Oct. 1 as two Palestinian men inspect damaged buildings.

Israeli bulldozer is more feared than tanks

ZIF, West Bank -- Hamad Shatat knew what was coming the moment he heard the deafening roar of the engines. Moments later, he saw two bulldozers operated by the Israeli army maneuver past a herd of goats and crash into the walls of his house.
These were not ordinary bulldozers. The mammoth machines nicknamed "the Beast" are only slightly smaller than a tank but are more feared. The smallest of their interchangeable blades is taller than the average adult and wide enough to clear a two-lane highway with one swipe.
"In a matter of hours," Shatat said, ãthey destroyed our dreams in front of our eyes."
For Palestinians, the American-made Caterpillar D9 bulldozers -- and their even larger cousins, the D10 and D11 -- have become hated symbols of Israel's military might and further evidence of U.S. complicity in Israeli's actions.
On the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians talk of the 104,000-pound D9 in the same angry breath as an F-16 warplane and an Apache helicopter gunship. Children who throw stones at Israeli tanks run from the D9.
The Israeli army has used bulldozers to demolish homes of militants and suicide bombers, uproot olive groves, clear land for roads to Jewish settlements and pile rocks to block roads used by Palestinians. It has also deployed the machines as offensive weapons. When soldiers were pinned down last April in the Jenin refugee camp, army D9s leveled homes in an area the size of two football fields and quickly brought the battle to an end.
And in Ramallah, the bulldozers played a prominent role in laying siege to and destroying most of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's compound, reducing the symbol of Palestinian self-rule into little more than a rock quarry. Buildings erected by Great Britain during the 1930s tumbled under the weight of the D9s, which shoved stories-high piles of concrete into evenly spaced mounds with efficient ease.
The walls of the one building occupied by Arafat and his aides cracked and shook. A tank barrel was pointed at Arafat's window, but his aides feared the demolition signaled the true end.
An Israeli army commander stood amid the ruins 100 yards from Arafat's office and concurred that guns would not force anyone inside to surrender. "The real pressure," he said, "comes from bulldozers."
Each bulky, snub-nosed D9 is 13 feet high and has a blade 6 feet, 4 inches high and 14 feet long. The machine costs $500,000, and the Israeli army spends another $120,000 to add armor and a bulletproof cage for the driver, who has to climb a ladder to reach the seat. The blade on the newer D11s, which cost $1.1 million, is 11 feet high and 24 feet wide.
Representatives from Caterpillar, the world's largest supplier of heavy construction and mining equipment, acknowledge that the Israeli's unusual use of the machines has created controversy for the company.
"Caterpillar shares the world's concern over unrest in the Middle East, and we certainly have compassion for all those affected by the political strife," company spokesman Benjamin S. Cordani said, reading from a prepared statement. "However, more than 2 million Caterpillar machines and engines are at work in virtually every country and region of the world each day.
"We have neither the legal right nor the means to police individual use of that equipment."
Army spokesmen declined to say how many bulldozers the army owns and how many it uses under contract from private companies. Nor would the army allow interviews of any drivers.
Israeli newspapers have written about the commander of the bulldozing unit at Arafat's compound, a 23-year-old female lieutenant identified only as Talia. Depicted as a small, smiling girl, she described the work as a model of precise engineering, and not wanton destruction.
But the lore of the D9 was solidified, at least in the minds of human-rights groups and the Palestinians, when Army reservist Moshe Nissim spoke to the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in May and told of driving the bulldozer in Jenin, with only two hours of training.
"For three days, I just erased and erased," the 40-year-old told the paper, describing how he downed whiskey to stay awake for 75 hours. "I entered Jenin driven by madness, by desperation. I didn't give a damn about demolishing all the houses I've demolished, and I have demolished plenty. I made them a stadium in the middle of the camp. If I'm sorry for anything, it is for not tearing the whole camp down."
The army dismisses Nissim's story as the exaggerated bravado of a drunkard and poor soldier. But for military critics, his widely circulated account typifies the type of personality recruited to sit atop a D9.
Hamad Shatat could see the man driving the D9 that destroyed his home. He was wearing civilian clothes but was protected in a bulletproof cage high above the ground.
Shatat and his brother, Musa, 42, saved for 30 years to build the house, in an area south of Hebron under Israeli control. They didn't obtain a construction permit -- which they said would be nearly impossible to get because of travel restrictions -- but also said that Israeli authorities didn't warn them that their home was to be demolished, and thus they had no chance to appeal in court.
The bulldozers came the morning of Sept. 2, accompanied by dozens of soldiers. What remains are the concrete outlines of the foundations, a pile of metal connecting rods and the decorative slabs of limestone that used to surround the front door.
"We felt very handicapped, very weak," said Musa, wearing a baseball cap adorned with the American flag, and walking on the ground where his house once stood. "The D9 is more frightening than the tank. When it comes, you know it's coming to destroy you."

source: URL

Anti-Semitism now couched in Israel bashing

A few months ago at San Francisco State University, Jewish students, holding a peace rally, were attacked by an angry mob of Palestinians. Many of the Jewish students were wearing yellow T-shirts embossed with the words ''Peace, Shalom, Sallam.'' The Palestinians threatened and taunted the Jewish students shouting, ''Get out or we'll kill you'' and ``Hitler did not finish the job.''

Professor Laurie Zoloth, Director of the Jewish Studies Department and the Director of Hillel were the only faculty members to come to aid the Jewish students.

Zoloth said, ``Not one administrator came to stand with us. I knew if a crowd of Palestinians or black students had been there, surrounded by a crowd of white racists screaming racist threats shielded by police, the faculty and staff would have no trouble deciding which side to stand on.''

What happened at San Francisco State is not an isolated incident. Jews on campuses all over this country are frightened to express pro-Israel views. What is happening on American campuses is part of a worldwide campaign to criminalize and isolate Israel. However, this anti-Israel campaign has deeper and more sinister implications for the Jewish people as a whole. It is a new and virulent form of anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism is now acceptable in Europe, as long as it is couched in anti-Israel rhetoric. The day after the deadly Palestinian attack at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, The Guardian, a left-leaning British newspaper, published an editorial criticizing Israel for what it called ''random, vengeful acts of terror'' against Palestinians in the West Bank town of Jenin last spring. This after a U.N. report had dismissed Palestinian claims that the Israelis had carried out a massacre there.

Anti-Semitism after World War II was driven underground of the European subconscious. But it has resurfaced in the form of anti-Zionism.

European intellectuals who have not come to terms with anti-Semitic feelings pour their anti-Jewish venom into anti-Israel diatribes. Responsibility for the growing number of attacks on synagogues and Jewish institutions all over Europe can be traced to the anti-Israel hysteria in academic and media circles.

The link between anti-Israel rhetoric and anti-Semitism was made abundantly clear at the UN sponsored conference on racism in Durban, South Africa, where Israeli delegates were denied credentials and participation on key committees. Israelis and also Americans representing Jewish organizations were denied participation on the basis that they could not be objective about Israeli policies. Syrian, Palestinian and Saudi representatives, however, were considered objective and allowed to participate.

Jews were harassed, insulted and even threatened with physical harm throughout the conference. A resolution calling Holocaust denial a form of anti-Semitism, was overwhelmingly voted down.

The time has come to confront the anti-Israel anti-Semitism in American academia. The time has come to hold European intellectuals responsible for creating an atmosphere in which people are frightened to be identified as Jews in the streets of Paris, Oslo and Frankfurt. The time has come to root out anti-Semitism in the UN. Anti-Semitism is nothing new. What is new, however, are anti-Semites who hide behind the veil of anti-Zionism. The time has come to unmask these artful dodgers and reveal them for the anti-Semites they are.


Temple Beth El
Hollywood [Florida]

source: link

October 04, 2002

Barghouthi rejects Israel's right to try him

Marwan Barghouthi, the imprisoned West Bank chief of President Yasser Arafat's Fateh movement, raises his handcuffed hands as he enters a Tel Aviv courtroom. Barghouthi's trial reopened Thursday (Photo by Eitan Hess Ashkenazi/AP)

UPRISING LEADER Marwan Barghouthi was back in court Thursday on “terrorism” charges, rejecting in a turbulent hearing the Israeli occupation authorities' right to try him, and backed by a Jewish lawyer who compared him to Moses.

An Israeli source, meanwhile, confirmed that occupation army commandos have practised expelling Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, and the military is ready to spirit the Palestinian leader out of the country if the government gives the green light.

Meanwhile, an Israeli tank in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin fired at a vegetable market where Palestinians were breaking the curfew on Thursday, killing a 45-year-old vendor with machinegun fire, witnesses said.

In Tel Aviv, Barghouthi used his trial to attack Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, setting off fistfights among spectators as his team distributed a mock indictment of Israel.

Barghouthi, a key West Bank leader of Arafat's Fateh movement, is the highest-ranking Palestinian figure to be put on trial in Israel. His third court appearance was light on legal content but heavy with staging, tension and drama.

Israel accuses Barghouthi of orchestrating “terror” attacks that killed 26 Israelis. Barghouthi insists that he is a politician and is not connected with anti-occupation attacks.

In the legal proceedings, the judge gave the two sides six weeks to prepare arguments about the court's jurisdiction — which Barghouthi has challenged — and set the next court session for Nov. 21.

Defying howls of derision from relatives of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks, Barghouthi made clenched fist and V-for-Victory signs as he entered the courtroom, shackled and handcuffed.

“Murderer,” one of the protesters shouted. “You killed my son,” shouted another.

“I am a freedom fighter,” Barghouthi retorted. “Peace will win.”

Outside, Barghouthi's aide distributed a document presented as a 54-count “indictment,” listing Israeli crimes against humanity in general and the Palestinians in particular, as Israelis and Palestinians scuffled.

Barghouthi's newest lawyer, Shamai Leibowitz, told the court that the prosecution of Barghouthi is a violation of Jewish law and morality. Leibowitz, an Israeli Orthodox Jew, is a grandson of Yeshayahu Leibowitz, the famous Torah scholar who spoke out stridently against Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

He submitted in evidence a page from the book of Exodus and told the judge that Barghouthi was acting like Moses, when the biblical figure killed an Egyptian because he was beating a Jewish slave. This was an act of resistance to the Egyptian occupation, Leibowitz said.

“Yes, but Moses didn't kill two other Egyptians,” said Judge Zvi Gurfinkel, alluding to Palestinian bombing and shooting attacks on Jewish “civilians.”

While Barghouthi is the defendant, the Israeli indictment charges that Arafat was aware of his activities, setting Arafat up as the real Israeli target.

Security sources confirmed for the first time Thursday that the Israeli military has practised expelling Arafat to a neighbouring country, a move the Israeli government believes would encourage emergence of what they call “a moderate leadership,” but critics warn would set off violence, hand power to Palestinian resistance fighters, cause chaos in the West Bank and Gaza and diplomatically isolate Israel.

The security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said commando units practised a scenario of bursting into Arafat's office, abducting him, stuffing him into a helicopter and whisking him off to a remote part of an unnamed Arab country.

Arafat has pledged to resist deportation, even if he is killed in battle.

In a 10-day siege that ended Sunday under intense US pressure, Israeli bulldozers knocked down many of the buildings in the city block-sized compound, trapping Arafat inside part of his office. Though the security sources did not make the connection, the destruction of the other buildings would make it easier for Israeli commandos to find Arafat and spirit him away.

The sources said the commando unit had been placed on standby three times in recent months, including after a suicide bombing attack that killed 29 people celebrating the Jewish holiday of Passover in March, triggering a large-scale Israeli aggression on the West Bank.

Sharon is said to support expelling Arafat, but would be hesitant to move while the United States is trying to focus attention on Iraq. Israeli officials said that was the reason the US forced Israel to back away from Arafat's office on Sunday.

Also Thursday, a Palestinian vendor was shot and killed in the West Bank town of Jenin by Israeli troops enforcing a curfew, and in Gaza, soldiers tore down the house of a Palestinian activist who carried out a shooting attack on a Jewish settlement several months ago.

In the Jenin incident, Israeli military sources alleged an occupation army patrol came under fire from Palestinian freedom fighters and fired back towards the source of the shooting. The occupation army was investigating, they claimed.

Palestinian witnesses and medics said Ahmed Hassan Steiti, 45, was shot in the head when the outdoor market in Jenin came under machinegun fire from a tank, and died in a local hospital.

They said there was no fighting in the district when the vendor was shot and that people had gone to the market in the morning assuming the curfew would be eased during the day. An army spokesman said the curfew remained in place.

Israel has lifted curfews during daytime hours or relaxed its enforcement of them in some of the six West Bank cities it has reoccupied since June in response to Palestinian suicide bombings.

Israel says the curfews help stop suicide bombers. Palestinians complain of collective punishment because hundreds of thousands of people have been confined to their homes for long periods, unable to work or get essential supplies.

Curfew violations, born of desperation or defiance, have been frequent. Two Palestinian boys and a Palestinian municipal official were killed in Jenin in June when tanks fired towards a crowd on a downtown street during curfew.

An army spokesman said troops rounded up 35 more suspected Palestinian resistance fighters in overnight raids across the West Bank.

In Washington meanwhile, the US administration tried to calm Arab tempers after a congressional funding bill signed into law by US President George W. Bush this week demanded that the US embassy in Tel Aviv be transferred to the occupied Palestinian city of Jerusalem.

The move would implicitly recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, whose 1967 annexation of the Arab eastern sector of the disputed city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians has never been acknowledged by the international community.

Most states have their embassies in Tel Aviv to avoid adding weight to Israel's declaration of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, which clashes directly with the Palestinians' aspirations to have the capital of their future state in the eastern part.

The move caused a storm of protest across the region, while Israel itself has kept quiet on the issue.

Worried that the furore could further hamper efforts to build an anti-Iraqi coalition in the region, the State Department insisted US policy on Jerusalem was unchanged and Washington still believed its status should be settled between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Our policy on Jerusalem has not changed,” department spokesman Philip Reeker said. “I can't make it any plainer than that.”

But Arafat called on Christians to join Muslims in rejecting Congress's demand.

“No one can touch Jerusalem,” he said in Ramallah.

Source: URL

Palestinians Stone Police Guarding Western Wall

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Palestinians threw stones on Friday at Israeli police guarding Jerusalem's Western Wall plaza which is holy to Jews, and worshippers there had to be temporarily evacuated, police and witnesses said.

The incident occurred after Palestinians finished Friday prayers on the Temple Mount, the site of two mosques holy to Islam that looms above the Western Wall.

Israeli police said about 30 Palestinian youths began throwing stones at police stationed at the entrance of a pathway leading from the side of the plaza up to the Temple Mount compound. "It was thought they were intending to throw rocks into the plaza where (Jewish) worshippers were, so police entered the (Temple Mount) compound and fired a few stun grenades," a spokesman said.

"People were told to leave the Wall plaza below, and the Waqf (Islamic religious authority) then helped calmed the situation down. It is quiet now. Worshippers have returned."

Police had withdrawn from the Temple Mount compound, he added.

Source: LINK

America between Chomsky and Friedman

This Saudi article thinks Chomsky=Good. He is against Israel. Friedman=Bad and Jewish because he does not hate Israel:
Saudi Arabia is currently the target of a bitter media campaign in the United States. The campaign is as powerful and effective as if it were official. It betrays the US intention to Americanize, or impose America’s will upon, the rest of the world. For the past sixty years, the Kingdom has been a strategic partner of the US while, at the same time, holding fast to its own views on Palestine and other regional, Arab and Muslim issues.

When approaching the present problem we should try to begin from within ourselves. It is, however, becoming increasingly evident that we are facing an America very different from what we have known in the past. It has changed totally. It is looking for an enemy and is behaving like a wounded lion. The Americans now believe that “whoever is not with us is against us.”

There are nonetheless two strong currents of thought struggling to dominate American politics. One is espoused by Noam Chomsky, a remarkable US political thinker. He demands radical changes in US foreign policy or the country will face a “revolution from within.” He has advised successive US governments since the Carter administration of the need to change the colonialist and supercilious approach to the rest of the world.

Chomsky’s views are not as strong as those represented by Thomas Friedman, who is firmly rooted in both his Americanism and Jewishness. Disagreeing with Chomsky, he argues that the US has always been in the right. When I asked Friedman during a recent visit to the Kingdom about his differences with Chomsky, he replied, “Just as you regard Osama Bin Laden as an extremist, we in the US regard Chomsky as an extremist.”

Source: url

Canada Customs detains pro-Israel papers

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency was accused of censorship last night after confiscating newsletters defending "Israel's moral right to exist" that were destined for the University of Toronto.

The agency said the goods were being detained to determine whether they constitute hate propaganda.

"I think it's a clear case of censorship. It is Canada censoring intellectual material. It is harmful to free speech," said Dr. Yaron Brook, president of the California-based Ayn Rand Institute, which published the newsletter.

Copies of the 10-page newsletter, In Moral Defense of Israel, were being delivered to the University of Toronto Objectivist Club so they could be handed out at a meeting on Sunday at which Dr. Brook is speaking.

for full article, click here: [url]
Unfortunetely, these people are still breathing

Here is a list of professors in Israel who have signed the Harvard MIT petition to boycott Israel

Emmanuel Farjoun, MIT PhD in Math, now professor at Hebrew University
Yosef Grodzinsky, MIT Postdoc in Linguistics, now profssor at Tel Aviv University
Idan Landau, MIT PhD in Linguistics, now lecturer at Ben Gurion University
Tanya Reinhart, MIT PhD in Linguistics, now professor at Tel-Aviv University
Nomi Shir, MIT PhD in Linguistics, now professor at Ben Gurion University

I hope we have some readers in Israel who see this.
Divestiture From Israel.

As many have pointed out, it smacks of anti-Semitism when Israel is singled out for divestiture. In good things (rights, voting, etc.), Israel surpasses almost all countries in the world including every Arab and Muslim country. In terms of bad things (violation of rights, inequality, etc.) it is surpassed by almost all countries in the world including every Arab and Muslim country.

Besides fighting these biased proposals directly, I think another tact to take might be to start mirror divestiture drives replacing the word Israel with the word "undemocratic". We should start a drive to have the universities divest themselves of all investments in and in companies that do business with undemocratic countries - i.e., all Muslim and Arab countries.
Chomsky at UPenn - as if West Philly isn't dirty enough

The Insta and constant pundit points us to this article in the U Penn newspaper explaining why Chomsky is a scumbag.

Rumor has it that Instapundit has undergone surgery top allow his eyes to move independently. This ability, along with advanced intelligence, allows him to read two computer screens at once thereby doubling his posts.
The Shark

The Shark has a good post on some criticisms of, the group set up to monitor apologists for islamo Fascism and anti-Israel bias on America's campuses.
I'm Shocked, Shocked...

JTA reports on a biased NPR series about Zionism.

Read or listen to the series here

The CAMERA reports on the series are here, here, and here.

I'll post my thoughts on the series on Sunday.
On the dark side: The fear factor

Nations once feared to oppose Soviet might. Today they fear opposing Islamic might. They fear opposing terrorism. They fear opposing Iraq. So George W. Bush had to try to shame the United Nations into doing so.

Which makes him contemptible to them. For he exposes their cowardice. Every day that he shows no fear, he highlights theirs.

Evil always seems more formidable than does good. Some even scoff at the very notion of its existence, subconsciously preempting accusations that they might be enabling or siding with any such thing. If one doesn't delineate the world in terms of good and evil, one never has to admit that he is supporting the wrong camp, or why. Fear is masked, and the hunt to collect moral justification for one's position commences.

Why Doesn't He Keep His Mouth Shut

Labor party head and aspiring (and perspiring) prime minster candidate and current defense minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer aannounced that the US will attack Irack before the end of November.

Speaking at a meeting of Labor Party ministers on Thursday, Defense Minister and Party Chairman Benjamin Ben-Eliezer estimated that a U.S. military attack against Iraq would begin at the end of November.

Sources close to Ben-Eliezer said that the initial assessment of the defense ministry was that an assault on Iraq would commence in the middle of December. They said that the defense minister's remarks Thursday were based on new information received by the intelligence establishment.

Steven Plaut's Thoughts - emailed to me (and many others, I assume).

1. The Far Leftist shyster representing arch-terrorist Marwan Barghout,
Shammai Leibovitch - grandson of Yeshayahu Leibovitch, thinks his client
is the moral equivalent of Moses, or so he said in court yesterday. I
mean, did not Moses kill the Egyptian oppressor and occupier as a
statement about social justice? Barghouti ordered the murders of hundreds
of people including many children.

Meanwhile Barghouti's court strategy is to declare the court itself
illegitimate - I guess because all of Israel is illegal. And other
Palestinian terrorists are following his lead and basing their "defense"
on the illegality of the Israeli courts.

I have a modest suggestion to make. Whenever a Palestinian terrorist
challenges the legality of an Israeli court, Israel should just agree to
accept his position and then take him out back to face a firing squad.

Meanwhile, if Moses had a grave anyone could locate, I bet we'd see him
rolling over in it.

2. Meanwhile, the latest on Ilan Pappe. Pappe is a political scientist
at the University of Haifa and a vintage anti-Jewish "New Historian". He
is Israel's most extremist anti-Semitic tenured red. His academic record
consists mostly of Israel-bashing tirades published in the PLO's own
"Journal of Palestine Studies", and on that basis the University saw fit
to grant him tenure, a matter you should bring to the attention of any
potential donor to the school. He has openly called for Israel to be
destroyed. He fabricated the "Tantura Massacre", a make-believe massacre
of Arabs by the Hagana in 1948 that never took place. His anti-Jewish
ravings appear on Islamist fundamentalist papers and web sites, and
neonazi ones as well. And he appears at anti-Israel and anti-Jewish
rallies all over the world. He will be the star at the upcoming Nuremberg
Rally at the University of Michigan.

All of which will make you enjoy the following take on Pappe even more
so. I think it might even make your whole week:

3. Leftist McCarthyism in Israel is still alive and doing quite well
under the Sharon government. The Attorney General has just decided to
prosecute the Chief Rabbi of Safed, Shmuel Eliyahu, for "incitement to
racism". The Rabbi had denounced some of the anti-Jewish Arab Knesset
Members and had said of Arab students studying in Safed that they are an
"alien element who endanger the town's people from both a security and a
moral perspective." He said this right after a wave of suicide bombings.
He also said he favors population transfers that involve emigration of

Now whether or not you happen to agree with the Rabbi's opinions,
surely nothing he has said comes anywhere near the dozens of calls by Arab
leaders in Israel to murder Jews and destroy Israel, nor the countless
cheers from Israeli leftists every time a "settler" is murdered, nor the
comparison of a mass murdering terrorist to Moses by a leftist shyster,
nor a Haifa University faculty member promoting anti-Semitism at the
University of Michigan. But of course all of THESE would be protected
speech in post-democratic Israel.

In another act of Sharonite democracy, the government just put out an
writ of "administrative arrest", ordinarily used against Palestinian
terrorists, but this time against Kahanist activist Noam Federman.
Federman will be under indefinite house arrest. Federman is not charged
with any actual crime, although without a doubt is guilty of political
incorrectness and unruly behavior and possibly even graffiti composition.
It is not clear if Federman's brother, a national hero who killed a
terrorist trying to ram a pickup truck into a dance club, will be able to
go visit the inciter.

. . .6. A Hebrew University Arab teaching assistant in the Department of
Statistics, one Wisam Abu-Ahmed, had an interesting grading policy. He
automatically raised all the grades for all the Arabs in his class
sections. As a protest against mistreatment of Arabs by Jews. Some
unhappy racist insensitive Jews however complained about this affirmative
action policy to the police. The university authorities are not amused.

But this is all the height of hypocrisy. Abu-Ahmed is not doing
anything that Israel's entire university system did not decide to do long
ago. Israeli universities ALL have affirmative action preferences for
Arab students and admit them with dumbed-down standards or with none at
all. And most also have a long policy of exempting Arab students from
inconvenient things like having to obey the law on campus or university
rules. SO what is any different about Abu-Ahmed's actions? He is just
following the lead of the Ivory Cartel. I know I would testify in his

Some Headlines from JCPA

Anti-Israel Voices Muted In New Congress
Several leading anti-Israel voices no longer will be heard in the Capitol’s halls because a number of representatives whom Jewish activists have deemed anything from “not a friend of Israel” to “anti-Israel” are not returning to their jobs. Some lost primaries and some are aiming at higher office, but the departure of these lawmakers - together with the expected victory this fall of dozens of strong supporters of Israel - signals the advent of a particularly pro-Israel Congress for the next two years.

U.S. Rejects Comparisons between Iraq and Israel
The U.S. Thursday rejected every comparison between Iraq and Israel, in regard to weapons of mass destruction, reports Israel Radio. Senior State Department official Richard Haass, visiting in Cairo, said one cannot draw a comparison between Iraq and Israel, because Iraq has used weapons of mass destruction twice - once against Iran and once against its own people [Iraqi Kurds]. Haass said that Iraq is a violent nation that cannot be permitted to possess such weapons.

Scuffles Mar Opening of Barghouti Trial
A Tel Aviv District Court hearing about whether the State of Israel has the legal authority to put Marwan Barghouti on trial descended into an outright riot before and after the court session. With masses of foreign press on the scene, both the angry relatives of terror victims and peace activists jockeyed for media attention.
The West Bank Fatah movement's secretary general and leader of the Tanzim, Barghouti is accused of murder and attempted murder. In a new public opinion poll by east Jerusalem's Jerusalem Media Institute, only three percent of Palestinians regard Barghouti as the best possible leader. Yasser Arafat won 26.7% support, and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin of Hamas won 10.3%.

Palestinian Homicide Bombers Plotted to Strike Druze Holy Site
A Palestinian terrorist cell plotted to send homicide bombers to Nebi Shuweib, a site holy to Druze near the Kinneret, according to an indictment presented at Salam Junction Military Court.

Poll: 60% of Israelis Say They are Fighting for their Survival
Sixty percent of Israelis believe Israel is fighting for its existence in the now two-year-old Palestinian war, according to a poll conducted by Smith Research and Consulting. Only 11% of Israelis believe that the war is being fought over the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

President Bush to Push Palestinian Reforms (second part of the story)
Officials in Washington believe that the strengthening of Arafat's status as a result of the Muqata siege is a transient phenomenon. They believe the IDF withdrawal from Arafat's Ramallah compound created a "window of opportunity" for the resumption of PA reforms. The U.S. wants Egypt, Syria, and Jordan to lobby for the appointment of a Palestinian prime minister.

Iran: Shihab Missile Designed to Target Israel
Ahmed Wahid, head of Iran's missile development program, revealed Thursday in an interview with the London-based Al-Hayat that the Shihab rocket had been developed to have a range of 1,500 km. because the primary aim was to "hit Israeli targets in the event that Israel fires missiles at Iran." He also revealed that Iran intends to soon conduct an experimental launch of a satellite, using the Shihab rocket, which would be used for civilian as well as military intelligence purposes.

Hamas Trying to Set Up Bomb Labs Inside Israel

Hamas has been actively trying to set up weapons labs in Arab villages inside Israel in recent months, security sources say.

A Dangerous UN Game - Anne Bayefsky

U.S. negotiators at the UN thought that serving up Israel via Resolution 1435 would smooth the way on Iraq. A week later, they are still bargaining, while the clamoring for condemnation of Israel over non-compliance with 1435 has only just begun.
When the Iraq issue is over, stage two - the declaration of a "provisional" Palestinian state, before serious negotiations get under way between the parties - is guaranteed to follow.
    The UN is not an honest broker in the Middle East, and never has been. The Arab bloc, along with Russia, France, and China, think blowing up Israelis is legitimate - according to the UN Human Rights Commission resolution of April 15.

A New Synagogue in the Old City

The Hurva synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City is the story of modern Israel in microcosm. In 1948, when Israel declared independence, the Hurva, built in 1864, was the main synagogue in the Old City. The Jordanians kicked out all the Jews and blew up the Hurva synagogue, just for the hell of it. When the Israelis recovered Jerusalem in 1967, they rebuilt a single arch in the ruins of the Hurva, intending it as a temporary memorial. Now, at last, they have plans in hand to rebuild the synagogue itself.

North Americans in the IDF

According to Jewish Agency official Akiva Werber, North Americans in the IDF are "a highly motivated group." Yehuda Weinraub of the Jewish Agency and former lieutenant colonel at the IDF Spokesman's unit, concurs: "In my personal experience with North American soldiers, they were highly motivated, many were highly educated, and many made a positive contribution."

And I thought the Amish were pacifists.

Amish Tech Support gives it to Edverd Said for saying that Arafat is a holocaust victim.

Sharon unwavering in his determination to oust Arafat, Israeli army practices for expelling Arafat

Ariel Sharon's troops are practicing bundling Yasser Arafat into a helicopter and whisking him into exile, a drill that underscores the Israeli leader's determination to get rid of his longtime nemesis.

Thus far, Sharon has been restrained by opposition from his own security advisers and political pressure from the United States. Still, Sharon's systematic campaign to sideline the Palestinian leader is unlikely to abate even though such moves boost Arafat's popularity.

Sharon's latest assault on Arafat -- a tank siege of his compound, abandoned this week under U.S. pressure -- is widely viewed in Israel as a fiasco. Critics note that the siege restored some of Arafat's luster by again making him the symbol of Palestinian suffering and aborted efforts by Palestinians to get Arafat to cede some powers.

In a recurring scenario, Palestinian suicide bombings have prompted Sharon to blame Arafat for failing to stop the attacks, and the Israeli leader has sent troops to the doorsteps of Arafat's sandbagged office building three times in six months.

In heated Cabinet debates, Sharon has favored expelling Arafat, or in lieu of that, making his presence in the region as uncomfortable as possible.

Israeli security sources, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said troops who would carry out an order to expel Arafat have been placed on standby three times in recent months, including after a Passover suicide attack that killed 29 people in March and triggered a major Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants.

The Maariv newspaper said that as part of the preparations, commandos scouted locations where Arafat could be dumped. It did not name the country, but Israeli television said several weeks ago that Libya was chosen as the place of exile.

Israeli government spokesman Raanan Gissin declined to comment on the report.

Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and security officials -- including the heads of the Mossad and Shin Bet spy agencies -- have argued against Arafat's expulsion, saying he is confined and isolated at present, and would cause greater problems for Israel if he were abroad, jetting among capitals to promote the Palestinian quest for statehood.

The United States, while strongly backing Israel in the 2-year-old conflict, has criticized Israel's chokehold on Arafat and stepped in at key moments to demand that Sharon ease up.

About a week into the most recent siege, Sharon's top aide Dov Weisglass was in Washington, where he received an earful about the Bush administration's displeasure, according to Infrastructure Minister Effie Eitam. U.S. officials complained it was interfering with the campaign to get Arab backing for a U.S. move on Iraq.

Israeli troops pulled back the next day.

"It's true that Israel miscalculated. We were doing what we thought the United States had given us permission to do, but it wasn't the case," said Efraim Inbar, head of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a Sharon supporter.

With the United States preparing for possible military action against Iraq, Washington doesn't want to be distracted by new eruptions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that is likely to keep on hold any Israeli plans to expel Arafat.

Since coming to power 20 months ago, Sharon has greatly eroded Arafat's power, though each time the Palestinian leader emerges from his shell-scorched office to flash the victory sign, he enjoys a brief surge in his otherwise flagging popularity.

Any Israeli move against Arafat is seen by Palestinians as an attack on the man who symbolizes their quest for statehood, and even Palestinians who are critical of Arafat tend to rally around him when he is besieged by the Israelis.

The latest siege appears to have sidelined a serious effort by Arafat's Fatah Party to persuade him to share some powers by appointing his longtime No. 2, Mahmoud Abbas, as prime minister to handle day-to-day affairs. In a sign of how badly Arafat's authority had eroded, the Palestinian Parliament forced the resignation of his entire Cabinet about a week before the siege.

But the crisis put the internal Palestinian debate on hold. If the Palestinians go ahead with elections in January as planned, Arafat will be the overwhelming favorite, bolstered in part because the Israelis have tried so hard to oust him.

But Inbar said the upswing in Arafat's popularity is likely to be temporary, and Sharon was taking a longer-term view.

"The endgame is to try to get a new Palestinian leadership that can tackle the extremists," said Inbar. "We are afraid of a backlash if we expel Arafat now. But it's a cautious game, and it hasn't ended."

Sharon's personal battle with Arafat goes back to Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, when Sharon was defense minister and Arafat was using Lebanon as a base for his PLO. Sharon's army drove Arafat and his guerrillas from Lebanon and scattered them in the Mideast.

Sharon opposed the Israel-PLO accords of 1993, and Palestinians are convinced his goal today is to reverse their results by destroying the Palestinian Authority and perpetuating a heavy Israeli military presence in the Palestinian areas.

They say Sharon has called on the Palestinian government to reform, but has smashed institutions capable of carrying out such changes.

Sharon "couldn't care less about reform, or anything that goes on in Palestinian society," said Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator.

Referring to the latest siege, Erekat said, "Sharon thought he could get away with it, and he could not. It was a misjudgment of the international reaction. He couldn't care less if the Palestinians are ruled by the Boy Scouts or Atilla the Hun."

[ZB- Reporter forgot to give the Israeli's equal time on this point. Normally the reporter would at least quote a left wing self-hating Israeli like Yossi Sarid agreeing with Erakat's lies. The reporter also forgot to mention that Sharon has not repudiated Oslo and has repeatedly and publicly supported the eventual creation of a Palestinian and stated that he is willing to make painful compromises for peace]

Sharon's approach has been to steadily turn up the heat on Arafat, occasionally pulling back when he encounters too much resistance from the United States or the international community.

Sharon himself noted that when Israeli troops first advanced several hundred yards into Palestinian-controlled fields in the Gaza Strip in April 2001, there was an international outcry. Now, after dozens of Israeli incursions into Palestinian cities and towns, they have become routine.

"Therefore, this gradual approach in my view is the proper one," Sharon told the Jerusalem Post
source: [url]

October 03, 2002

Falwell on 60 Minutes this Sunday to call Mohammed a terrorist. Warns Bush of not supporting Israel

Falwell sent a personal protest to President Bush, and the White House received 100,000 e-mail protests from Christians when Bush urged Israel to remove its forces from Palestinian towns earlier this year. Falwell believes Bush is well aware of the Christian constituency. “There are 70 million of us…[and] there’s nothing that would bring the wrath of the Christian public in this country down on this government like abandoning or opposing Israel on a critical matter,” Falwell tells Simon.

Falwell and conservative Christians support the Israelis and condemn their enemies because they believe the triumph of Israel is God’s will. The Jews’ return to their ancient homeland – and sole ownership of the territories Arabs and Israelis both lay claim to -- is a precondition for the second coming of Christ, according to the Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians’ interpretation of the Bible. The Biblical scenario is not a savory one for many Jews, however. “God save us from these people,” says Israeli political analyst Yossi Alpher. “When you see what these people are encouraging Israel and the U.S. to do…ignore the Palestinians, kick them out…they are leading us into a scenario of out-and-out disaster,” he tells Simon.

But disaster is part of the scenario. Many Fundamentalist Evangelicals believe there will be catastrophic events on earth, some occurring already, including the turmoil in the Middle East, culminating in the Battle of Armageddon in which Christ will triumph and begin ruling the earth. At this point, they believe, non-believers will be destroyed, good Christians saved and any remaining Jews converted to Christianity.

Says Ed McAteer, a founder of the Moral Majority and known as the godfather of the Christian Right, “I believe that we are seeing prophecy unfold so rapidly and dramatically and wonderfully, and, without exaggeration, [it] makes me breathless.”

Source: note: story unfolding at this time atURL

Pals Helping Iraq?
Zbarbera links to an article about the Pal's embassy in Iraq being a storage facility for weapons of mass destruction.

The Temple Mount
Israeli Blogger Tal G [who does not link to us] quotes an Arab engineer admitting that the wall of the Temple Mount (said also to be holy to Muslims) is in danger of collapse, although, of course he blames it on the hymies.

The Next Threat - Iran's nuclear pursuit
Iranian leaders have said that once they have the bomb they will use it on Israel.

The forthcoming war to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction has diverted international attention from Iran, which is actively pursuing nuclear arms. Russia has elected to honor the nuclear deals it signed with the Iranian regime, rebuffing calls from the United States and Israel to shut down the technological pipeline. The Putin government has tightened up relations with the Bush administration, and in many areas has toed the American line. Only on the Iranian file are the Russians adamant about retaining freedom of action.

Jewish group angry over bookstore's button policy

TORONTO - A feminist bookstore has angered the Canadian Jewish Congress by refusing to distribute buttons calling for an end to suicide bombings in Israel, even as it sells buttons protesting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

''We're trying to digest the information that the Toronto Women's Bookstore is somehow averse to a button that says Stop the killings or Stop the bombings. I would think that no Canadians want to see suicide bombings killing innocent civilians,'' said Ed Morgan, chair of the CJC for the Ontario region.

The CJC was told this summer that the bookstore was selling $2 buttons bearing slogans such as Free Palestine -- Time for Peace Time for Women and End the Occupation Now.

In response, the CJC offered to produce buttons for free distribution featuring the slogan Stop the Homicide Bombings superimposed on an image of the Star of David. The CJC approached the bookstore on Thursday with the buttons, but the store declined to accept them. According to Mr. Morgan, no explanation was given.

''Everybody's allowed to come up with whatever political slogan they want and give away whatever buttons they want, but an honest and evenhanded approach to peace in the region would require them to give away our buttons as well,'' he said.

A spokeswoman for the Toronto Women's Bookstore declined to comment on the decision not to carry the CJC buttons. However, in a previous statement, the store's staff and board said selling the pro-Palestinian buttons is ''consistent with our mandate.''

''The mandate of the Toronto Women's Bookstore includes working in an anti-oppression framework that supports liberation struggles, anti-racist movements, struggles against anti-Semitism and human rights work.''

The statement also detailed the bookstore's position on the Middle East.

''We work with individuals and groups within the Jewish, Palestinian, and social activist communities, such as Women Against the Occupation, Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation, Creative Response and the Coalition for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine. We support the right to self-determination for Palestinians, and we support the right for Jews and Palestinians to live in peace. We believe that ending the occupation is the first step in order to realize that goal.''

The statement also criticized its critics.

''We are dismayed by the attempts to silence dissent in this issue in Toronto. Those criticizing the bookstore have equated criticism of Israel with being anti-Jewish. We believe an end to the occupation is part of the struggle against anti-Semitism.''

Mr. Morgan suggested carrying the CJC's buttons should fall within the written mandate of the bookstore.

''They purport to be advocates of peace as a matter of principle. As a matter of principle our view is they should be against the bombings,'' he said.

He said the CJC is not currently planning to call for a boycott of the store or other similar actions.


Israel 'disturbed' by Blair speech

Blair's comments came in a speech to his party

Israeli cabinet ministers have expressed concern at a speech by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in which he said that the obligation to observe United Nations resolutions applies to Israel "as much as it does to Iraq".

Negotiations must have explicitly as their aims: an Israeli state free from terror, recognised by the Arab world, and a viable Palestinian state based on the boundaries of 1967
In an address to his ruling Labour party, Mr Blair also said that he supported a viable Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, alongside a secure and recognised Israeli state.

Israeli cabinet minister Danny Naveh, a member of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's right-wing Likud party, said Wednesday that he was "disturbed" by the speech.

Shimon Peres, the Israeli foreign minister, said Mr Blair's remarks had to be understood in their context - an attempt to gain support within his party for his policy on Iraq.

Tony Blair was speaking to the annual meeting of the Labour Party, which refuses to support his policy toward Iraq

Another minister, Dan Meridor, said Israel was ready to abide by all UN resolutions as long as they established the "secure and recognised borders of Israel before proceeding to a withdrawal".

Senior Palestinian minister Saeb Erekat criticised the UK prime minister's words as too vague.

"I think it's good for Prime Minister Blair to say that even Israel needs to implement Security Council resolutions," Mr Erekat said.

"What we need to see from Mr Blair is to specify the mechanism and timeline [for an Israeli withdrawal]."

Reviving talks

At the British Labour Party's annual conference, Mr Blair said: "I agree UN resolutions should apply here [to Israel] as much as to Iraq. But they don't just apply to Israel, they apply to all parties."

Mr Blair committed his government to trying to revive final-status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians by the end of this year.

"What is happening in the Middle East now is ugly and wrong - the Palestinians living in increasingly abject conditions, humiliated and hopeless, and Israeli civilians brutally murdered.

"[The negotiations] must have explicitly as their aims: an Israeli state free from terror, recognised by the Arab world, and a viable Palestinian state based on the boundaries of 1967," the prime minister said.

The UK Government's current position is that any Mid-East talks would take place under the auspices of "the quartet" - officials from US, the EU, Russia and the UN - which meets regularly and recently proposed a "road map" for peace.

However, there is speculation in the British press that Mr Blair is ready to take a far more prominent role in the search for Middle East peace and that he might even try to host a conference

source: [url]
The booming field of online education
Here in the civilized world, thousands of people are pursuing their higher education via internet courses. I don't think I could possibly emphasize our differences with the uncivilized any more clearly. We pursue our MBAs, they sign up for classes on suicide bombing.
The Hamas organization has launched an Internet course in the production and assembly of explosives.

Israeli and Palestinian sources said Hamas, which claims responsibility for the lion's share of Palestinian suicide bombing attacks, has established an Internet site that offers Muslims instructions in the production of bombs, rockets and light aircraft. They said the news of the site has spread throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The instructions can be found on the web site of Hamas's Izzedin Kassam military wing, Middle East Newsline reported. The site, called "Military Academy," offers 14 lessons in bomb-making as part of what the Islamic group said is a campaign to expand the pool of bomb-makers.

The courses include lessons on the production of a belt filled with explosives that can be worn by a suicide bomber. Other courses demonstrated how to manufacture RDX plastic explosives, material that is said to be difficult to detect. The Hamas online course also provides instructions on preparing regular bombs as well as methods to identify targets.

Gee, I wonder why their society is a complete failure.
[cross posted to Rumination]
Another Adam Shapiro

The Jerusalem Post reported that a Jew is representing Barghouti at trial, one Shamai Leibowitz, grandson of Yeshayahu Liebowitz, the leftist who coined the phrase "Judeo-Nazis." It runs in the family, apparently.

But Shamai is also giving the "closing lecture" at the University of Michigan Israel divestment conference (listed under "speakers" on the left of the screen), along with Ilan Pappe, of course.

The conference supports:

a. the full decolonization of all Palestinian land, including settlements, which are illegal under international law;
b. the end of the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem and all Arab lands;
c. the recognition and implementation of the right of return and repatriation for all Palestinian refugees to their original homes and properties; and
d. an end to the Israeli system of Apartheid and discrimination against the indigenous Palestinian population.

condemns the racism and discrimination inherent in Zionism underlying the policies and laws of the state of Israel

and says that

As a solidarity movement, it is not our place to dictate the strategies or tactics adopted by the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation.

i.e., terrorism is okay by them.

Arafat calls on Bush to block attempts to move U.S. Embassy

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat appealed Wednesday to one of his toughest critics -- President Bush -- to block a U.S. law that calls for moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to disputed Jerusalem.

"It is a catastrophe. We can't stay silent," Arafat said of the measure passed by the U.S. Congress.

Bush signed the bill into law, but views it as advisory rather than mandatory, and says he has no plans to move the embassy to Jerusalem, where Palestinians seek to establish a capital in the eastern part of the city.

In another development, Arafat's Fatah movement has dropped the idea of prodding the Palestinian leader to relinquish some power by appointing a prime minister. The Fatah campaign had been the most serious political challenge to Arafat in years, but the effort was sidetracked during Israel's 10-day siege of Arafat's compound, which ended earlier this week.

Fatah had been pushing for a prime minister who would run the day-to-day affairs of government.

Palestinian Planning Minister Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah member, said that at a Tuesday meeting of the Fatah Central Committee "the consensus of the members is that the prime minister should be appointed after the establishment of a Palestinian state and drafting a constitution."

The sensitive issue of moving the U.S. embassy arises periodically, invariably drawing a sharp Palestinian response.

If the United States relocated the embassy to Jerusalem, it would be seen as recognition of Israel's claim to the entire city and would challenge Palestinian aspirations to set up the capital in the Arab part of the city as part of a future state.

"It can't be accepted at all, for the Christians and for all the Muslims," Arafat said at his battered compound in Ramallah, just a few miles north of Jerusalem.

Bush has been consistently critical of Arafat, saying he has failed to show leadership and crack down on Palestinian militants over two years of violence. However, Bush said he would maintain the long-standing U.S. policy on Jerusalem.

The United States, like most of the international community, has never recognized Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, which it captured from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast War. The United States says Jerusalem's ultimate status should be determined in peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

But the Jerusalem clause in the U.S. spending bill signed by Bush states that no money could be spent on official U.S. documents that listed Israel without identifying Jerusalem as the capital.

Also Wednesday, Israeli officials dismissed a rebuke by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said U.N. resolutions have to be respected, whether they apply to Iraq or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinians have long complained about Israel's refusal to comply with resolutions calling on it to withdraw from land captured in the 1967 war. Blair on Tuesday expressed support for the creation of a Palestinian state "based on the boundaries of 1967."

Responding to Blair, Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said that while Palestinian statehood is inevitable, only negotiations will lead to its creation. "No amount of international pressure will bring about the formation of a Palestinian state," Ben-Eliezer said.

source: [url]
Rabbi Meir Kahane

A new Kach movement seems to be forming in the U.S., called appropriately New Kach. I believe the old one, at the instigation of Israel, is listed by the State Department as a terrorist group. The new group says that it does not support violence. It does have a section defending Dr. Baruch Goldstein who it says only acted to prevent a massacre of Jews by Arabs (and not just to kill people). There are local chapters in NY, NY and Teaneck, NJ among other places.
Israel and the Laws of Armed Conflict

Take a look at this report from the Federalist Society, A Legal Analysis of the Attacks on Civilians and Infliction of Collateral Damage in the Middle East Conflict.

It's a good primer on the basic principles of the laws of armed conflict and shows how Israel has respected them--trying to minimize civilian deaths--while the Palestinians have violated them--i.e., intentionally attacking civilians. It points out that there is no justification in international law for distinguishing the validity of attacking civilians based on the alleged justness of the cause, a claim that the Palestinians and their supporters have made, such as saying that the Palestinians have no other way of "resisting occupation" except deliberately killing civilians. It also points out that Israel has applied the basic principles of distinction (attacking only military targets intentionally) and proportionality (try to avoid killing more civilians unintentionally than the military target is worth), even in the case of Shahedah, the HAMAS terrorist whose apartment was hit by a heavy bomb dropped by an IAF F-16. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it establishes that Israel's targetted killings are entirely legal under international law b/c any military target is fair game at all times during a war, and, in fact, targetted killings are far more discriminate and proportional than any other action.

Also, along the way, the report gets in a few good digs at NGOs such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch for presenting "international law" as what they want it to be, not what it actually is.

A must read.
The Battle of Jerusalem - Editorial (New York Sun), summary from JCPA

Blair's speech calling for Israel to return to the 1967 boundaries is all the more ironic in light of the fact that it was Lord Caradon, envoy of Mr. Blair's own Labor Party, who drafted Security Council Resolution 242 which specifically did not require such a move. Caradon explained later, "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial."

The Jewish connection to Jerusalem goes back 3,000 years. Israel has administered the city since 1967 in a way that has allowed free access to holy sites to people of all faiths. This stands in marked contrast to the last time the Arabs held the city, from 1948 to 1967, during which time synagogues were leveled and Jewish tombstones were used for Jordanian army latrines.

The American Congress has overwhelmingly and repeatedly recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and recognized the need to maintain it as an undivided city. This is enshrined in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.

While a presidential waiver applies to the financial penalties for not moving the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, the requirement to move the embassy and the policy on Jerusalem as Israel's capital are not subject to waiver.

Dividing a free and democratic country's capital and handing half of it to the terrorists is no way for a great nation like America to treat its friends or to do anything other than whet the appetite of the terrorists whose defeat we seek.

Senior Palestinian leader arrives in Moscow after Sharon visit

MOSCOW (AP) -- A top Palestinian leader arrived in Moscow on Wednesday, a day after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wrapped up a visit to the Russian capital.

Mahmoud Abbas, the deputy head of the Palestine Liberation Organization and a leading peace negotiator, said he had come to exchange opinions on the settlement of the conflict in the Middle East, according to the Interfax news agency.

Abbas was to meet with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and other ministry officials.

A Russian news report quoted Abbas as denying he had held secret talks with the Israeli leadership in the Gulf state of Qatar. However, he said Palestinians would welcome such talks, according to the Interfax news agency.

An Israeli government official said on condition of anonymity Wednesday that Sharon adviser Ephraim Halevy had met with a senior Palestinian leader in Qatar. Abbas was in Qatar a few days ago and one Israeli newspaper said he was the official who met with Halevy.

Sharon met with Russian officials Monday and Tuesday. An aide said he presented his view of a phased approach to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, calling for Palestinians first to stop attacks on Israelis then reform their political system before negotiating for a final settlement.

Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that U.S. legislation encouraging recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital could complicate peace efforts.

"We call on all sides to refrain from unilateral moves that anticipate the results of talks on the final status" of Jerusalem, the Foreign Ministry said.

Jerusalem is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians, and Moscow said the city's final status "must be resolved in the framework of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations" and on the basis of U.N. resolutions.

Moscow noted, however, that President Bush had also expressed strong reservations when he signed the spending bill from Congress that urged his administration to shift the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Bush said the clauses calling for the shift had no force because they violate his constitutional authority to conduct foreign policy.

Russia is part of the so-called quartet of Middle East peacemakers, which also includes the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.

source: url

How to bomb thy neighbor: Hamas offers on-line course

RAMALLAH — The Hamas organization has launched an Internet course in the production and assembly of explosives.

Israeli and Palestinian sources said Hamas, which claims responsibility for the lion's share of Palestinian suicide bombing attacks, has established an Internet site that offers Muslims instructions in the production of bombs, rockets and light aircraft. They said the news of the site has spread throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The instructions can be found on the web site of Hamas's Izzedin Kassam military wing, Middle East Newsline reported. The site, called "Military Academy," offers 14 lessons in bomb-making as part of what the Islamic group said is a campaign to expand the pool of bomb-makers.
The courses include lessons on the production of a belt filled with explosives that can be worn by a suicide bomber. Other courses demonstrated how to manufacture RDX plastic explosives, material that is said to be difficult to detect.
The Hamas online course also provides instructions on preparing regular bombs as well as methods to identify targets.

Izzedin Kassam said the process of producing suicide bombs requires three people. They are a bomb expert, an electrician and a tailor to sew the belt to the proportions of the suicide attacker.

The Hamas site is interactive and those taking the course can correspond with the movement's bomb instructors. But the military wing warned that those who miss one lesson will not be allowed to continue the course.

The site said those who ask a question about a lesson that already was given would be removed from the course. Those taking the course would also be required to take tests after each stage.

Hamas has made extensive use of the Internet to relay instructions and transfer funds.
Last month, Israeli authorities arrested three Palestinians who had been corresponding with Hamas in their attempt to poison patrols of a popular Jerusalem cafe. Officials said the Palestinian recruits failed to understand the instructions relayed over the Internet.

Israeli sources said Hamas has used the Internet as part of its drive to restore its infrastructure in the West Bank. They said some 100 Hamas agents have been arrested in the West Bank since April.

Hamas and the Lebanese-based Hizbullah have cooperated in recruiting suicide bombers. The mothers of some of the Hamas suicide bombers have appeared on Hizbullah's Al Manar television, widely viewed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and praised the decision of their children to kill themselves in attacks on Israel.

But one would-be suicide bomber surrendered to Israeli military authorities outside the northern West Bank of Nablus on Tuesday. Palestinian sources said the young man had been pressured by his mother to abandon plans for a suicide mission.

source: [url]

Here's a collection of articles written about Sgt. Ari Weiss, a close friend of my brother's, who was killed Monday in Shechem (Nablus) while serving his people. Please take a little time to read about this hero.
NY Rally Backing Israel's War On Terrorism October 6th, At 1:00 PM

Please join us in showing your support for Israel.
Thousands upon thousands will be joining together on
Sunday, October 6th, at 1:00 PM
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
(47th Street at Second Ave)

* Voice your support for the Israeli Soldiers

* Urge the White House to pursue Saudi and Palestinian links to Al Qaeda

* Tell the Media: There is no moral equivalency between cold-blooded murder and self defense

* America & Israel have the right to defend their citizens

* Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism on the campus and around the world

Sponsored by the Interdenominational Rabbinic Committee for Israel

Rabbi Bruce Block
Rabbi Neal Borovitz
Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin
Rabbi David Kalb
Rabbi Norman Patz
Rabbi Harlan Wechsler
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Organizational Co-sponsors:
Anti-Defamation League-Long Island Regional Chapter,
Americans for a Safe Israel, Five Towns Jewish Council,
JCRC of the UJA Federation of Bergen County & North Hudson,
Long Island Board of Rabbis, New York Board of Rabbis,
Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council, Mothers Against Terrorism,
Rockland Jewish Community Relations Council,
Tagar Zionist Student Organization, Union for Traditional Judaism
-Organizational committees in formation-

Please join us with your friends & family
For additional information please call:
(718) 796 4730.