WE'VE MOVED! IsraPundit has relocated to Click here to go there now.
News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

October 19, 2002

Palestinian security heads protest dismissal of chief

Oy vey! The boys are having differences
Commanders of the Palestinian Preventive
Security force met with President Yasser Arafat Saturday night to
discuss the dismissal of their chief Jibril Rajoub, Palestinian
sources said.
The six commanders represent a larger group of 600 West Bank
security force members who are unhappy with Arafat's decision to
replace Rajoub with the former governor of Jenin, Zuhair Manasra,
according to a DPA report.
The officers went to Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, intending to
tell him that they were opposed to Rajoub's dismissal but that if he
had to go he should be replaced by somebody from within the force.
Dozens of Preventive Security members met Saturday in the town of
Beitunia, southwest of Ramallah, during a brief lifting in the round-
the-clock curfew imposed on Ramallah for the past two weeks.
They discussed the changes in the leadership of their 4,000-strong
force, expressing dismay in Arafat's move and vowing to end
cooperation with the Palestinian leader unless he relents.
Rajoub accepted his dismissal after meeting with Arafat Thursday,
but said he would not take up another post. He also called on his men
not to challenge Arafat's decision.
Fabricated Indymedia quote blames Israel for Bali bombing?

Notorious anti-Israel site caught by blogger in Big Lie and Fakery!

An Indymedia post from Wednesday purportedly quotes an AFP article suggesting the C4 used in last week's Bali bombing originated in Israel:

(OCTOBER 16,2002) Police investigating the deadly bombing of a nightclub in the Indonesian island of Bali in which nearly 200 people died have found traces of plastic explosive manufactured in Israel at the site of the attack.
The discovery of the explosives suggests a sophisticated bombing operation. Reports from the French news agency AFP say that the head of Indonesian intelligence, Hendropriyono, has disclosed that the explosive was a type known as C4, tacked to manufacture in Israel.

- Indymedia, Israeli made C4 explosive used in Bali bombing.

However, the Indymedia post doesn't link to a copy of the full AFP article. A google search for various combinations of key words - Bali, C4, Hendropriyono, Israel - turns up nothing relevant other than the Indymedia article (which is syndicated on a number of regional Indymedia sites). e.g. Hendropriyono c4 israel. A search on the new Google News service, which indexes AFP articles via any number of affiliate news sites, finds zero hits.

The nearest AFP story I can find is this one, also from Wednesday. It quotes Hendropriyono, but the only C4 manufacturer mentioned is the US:

THE C4 plastic explosive used in the Bali bombing is a very powerful substance mainly manufactured in the United States but widely supplied to military forces around the world.
- AFP, C4 explosive a 'military issue'.

Tellingly, Indymedia's alleged AFP quote - indented to appear as a direct paste from a wire article - doesn't match the usual AFP style. AFP doesn't put the date in ledes, it puts the location, like this:

JAKARTA (AFP) Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri has signed two emergency decrees to combat terrorism following the devastating Bali bombing, Justice Minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra said.
- AFP, Indonesia president signs anti-terror decrees after Bali blast.

Nor does the upper-case date match AFP style.

Now, that's not proof that the quote was fabricated. Some news services have a policy of altering wire stories to match their own style - for example the News Corp copy quoted above, which includes neither the date nor location in the lede. But it seems more than a little suspicious - particularly given that it followed just a few days after this Indymedia story, reported here on Monday, that alleges Mossad involvement in the bombing:

BALI, Indonesia (Sun Oct 13, 2002) - Mossad Bombs ripped through a packed nightspot on Indonesia's traditionally tranquil tourist island of Bali overnight in a Israeli staged terror attack, killing at least 182 people, many of them Australians.
- Indymedia, Mossad Bombs Kill Almost 200 in Bali Tourist Nightspot.

As with the Wednesday C4 article, it includes an indented quote with the appearance of a wire story - but no link or reference. Indeed, the article includes no information at all other than unsubstantiated allegations. Even by Indymedia's low standards both articles are far from credible, as the comments following the posts show.

Israel, U.S. consider joining for operation

A joint effort proposed that would greatly lesson Israel's fears of a missle attack.
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is considering an Israeli proposal to send U.S. Special Forces into Iraq's western desert to knock out Iraqi missile sites in the event of war, a U.S. official said Friday.

In a joint operation, Israel would furnish the United States with intelligence about the sites and how to disarm them early in the conflict, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Israel's aim is to sharply reduce the risk of an Iraqi missile attack.

Israel presented the proposal during Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's talks this week in Washington with President Bush and senior White House, Pentagon and State Department officials.

He was given assurances the administration would make a maximum effort to neutralize any Iraqi missile threat.

Sharon vowed before his trip to Washington that Israel "will take the proper steps to defend its citizens" if Iraq should injure Israeli civilians.

In the 1991 Persian Gulf war Iraq hit Israel with 39 Scud missiles, but at the behest of the United States, Israel did not retaliate.

On Wednesday, Bush endorsed Israel's right to self-defense. Still, the prospect of Israel attacking Iraq could hamper U.S. efforts to attract Arab nations to support a U.S.-led war with Iraq.

Sharon did not get a response to the Special Forces proposal during his three-day visit, and it is under consideration, the official said.
Ex-aide condemns Arafat's handling of intifada

Arafat's mistakes detailed. Or is the former aide positioning himself politically should there be an election?
Yasser Arafat has been criticised by his former security chief for failing to grasp the chance to establish an independent state, even on unfavourable terms, and for the attacks on Israeli civilians.
Muhammad Dahlan, who resigned last week as Mr Arafat's national security adviser and returned to his base in Gaza, was quoted by the London-published Arabic daily Al-Hayat condemning the leadership for causing Palestinians to suffer for no perceivable gain.

It reported that Mr Dahlan spoke to a group of journalists on Sunday who were told not to take notes. Nevertheless, it said it had a written record of the conversation.

"The Palestinian leadership missed no opportunity to make mistakes," it quotes Mr Dahlan saying.

"There were two streams in the [Palestinian Authority]: those who say the people can suffer and [are] steadfast, and those who say the people has collapsed. Both are wrong. The people can suffer if its sacrifice will be politically rewarded."

Mr Dahlan describes the suicide bombings and attacks on Israeli civilians as a political disaster for the Palestinian cause, particularly after September 11. He is quoted as telling journalists that he opposed the "military strategy" and favoured popular resistance modelled on the first intifada, but Mr Arafat failed to act on the advice.
Palestinian poll: A husband may beat his wife if she hurts his manhood

Three cheers for democracy and equality!
A poll conducted in the Palestinian Authority by a Palestinian public opinion company shows that a majority of Palestinians are of the opinion that a husband may prevent his wife from working, that a woman should strive to devote herself to her husband and that a husband is entitled to beat his wife if he thinks that she "hurt his manhood". Nearly half the Palestinians believe that neither law enforcement nor social welfare agencies' intervention in husbands' violence towards the wife is warranted, while at the same time a the majority calls for tough punitive legislation for violence towards women. These two attitudes are, it seems, not viewed as contradictory. One possible explanation is that the support for punitive measures expressed by a majority of Palestinians does not apply to a husband's violence towards his wife.

The text:
“The Society for the Advancement of the Palestinian Working Woman, in conjunction with The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion Polls, conducted a poll under the supervision of Dr. Nabil Kokali, on the topic of violence against women..."
“56.9% of Palestinians feel that it is a husband’s right to hit his wife if he thinks she hurt his manhood...”
“59.1% of Palestinians feel that it is a husband’s right to prevent his wife from working outside the home..."
“66.4% of Palestinians declare that the crown of success of the Palestinian Woman is devoting herself to the care of her children and her husband above devotion to herself…"
“47.1% feel that there is no need for intervention of social or law enforcement agencies in instances of husbands attacking wives, because that is a family problem..."
“73.9% feel that a woman must think of how to become a mother and wife rather than engage in her economic and social freedom..."
"86% of Palestinians feel that the [Islamic] traditions and customs retard advancement of women..."
“68.5% of Palestinians feel that the [Palestinian] Authority should legislate firm punitive legislation for violence against women...."
[Al-Ayyam women’s supplement ‘The Woman’s Voice’, October 3, 2002]

Ambassador gets earful

At least in this instance the Israeli speaker was allowed to have his say. And the Palestinian student who wonders about the Palestinian people? Well guess who is encouraging the bombers and sending very young children out to throw stones.

There were some tense exchanges between Haim Divon, Israeli Ambassador to Canada, and about 50 Dalhousie University students who attended an hour-long lecture yesterday in an auditorium at the Sir Charles Tupper Building, under the watchful eyes of several plain-clothes security people.

Some students questioned Divon’s assertions there would be peace between Israel and Palestine if only the Palestinians would accept the Camp David accord worked out by former U.S. president Bill Clinton, and if they would recognize Israel as a bona fide country.

Divon, who described Israel as having 7,000 missiles pointed at it, said security is, and must be, its top priority.

“Every day, an Israeli meets and confronts a very hostile environment,” he said.

Israel has tried “everything” to live peacefully with Palestinians, Divon said, but nothing has worked, and that is why they have turned to reprisal attacks on refugee camps to counter suicide bombers.

“If there’s another way, tell us about it,” he said.

“No one is holding (Palestinian chairman Yasser) Arafat accountable. I think Israel is the only country in the world where there are mortar and missile attacks daily. Where else in the world would you tolerate such attacks from neighbours?”

Divon said that until the “Iraq issue” is solved, there won’t be a major breakthrough between Israel and Palestine, and charged Iraq has been funding Arafat.

“No one wants to live in such a crazy situation. The international community shouldn’t be so soft on Arafat,” he said.

Divon said there are so many Palestinians living in refugee camps because the Palestinian government wants to use them “to better bash Israel.”

He said that since the Second World War, there have been 50 million refugees and most have been resettled, “except the Palestinians.”

“We didn’t keep Holocaust survivors in a refugee camp to say: ‘Look at what they did to us,’” he said.

An Egyptian student in the audience asked Divon why he kept on “pointing the finger” at Palestine for the problems.

“I’ve been living here seven years and every time I put on the TV, all I hear is suicide bombers ... What about the Palestinian people who are dying every day from bullets?”

Divon said Israel is pointing the finger at one person, Arafat, “but the Palestinian people have to point the finger, too.”

“So, you’re pointing the finger again,” replied the student
Lebanon accuses Israel of 'state terrorism'

At this gathering of hypocrites, you get to pick who is worse, the French that arte "denounced" or the Lebanese who talk about Israeli and neglect to mention they are a client state, occupied by Syrian troops, and allowing Hezbollah to use their territory to continue nearly daily attacks against Israel.
BEIRUT -- Israel has long been accustomed to being attacked at meetings of international organizations, but the summit of francophone nations was not prominent among them. That changed yesterday.

Israel was a favourite target as more than 50 leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, began their summit in Beirut. The host of the conference, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, began the day with a scorching attack on Israel, accusing it of "odious massacres" of Palestinians.

Meanwhile, a tense scene was developing in the media centre between Lebanese journalists and a French reporter, whom they accused of broadcasting to Israel, in violation of Lebanese law
Israelis swoop as U.S. calls for calm

Ah, Reuters. US calls for calm and those nasty Israelis go after "militants"--ie, terrorists. And, oh, yes, buried at the bottom of the article, the paper notes that soldiers attacked and killed a Palestinian who had attacked them with bombs. Wish those soldier could show some restraint!
NABLUS, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli troops have raided houses in the West Bank and arrested at least eight suspected militants, continuing their crackdown on a Palestinian uprising despite calls for calm from Washington.

The pre-dawn swoops centred on the city of Nablus and the men who were detained belonged to President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction and the militant Islamic group Hamas, the army and Palestinian witnesses said on Saturday

Witnesses said troops searched six houses whose occupants had already fled. Four soldiers were injured as they blew up the door of a wanted man's house in the city's Balata refugee camp.

The sweep came a day after Israel announced it would ease its hold on two restive West Bank cities, as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon returned from Washington talks and a U.S. envoy set off to the Middle East with a peace plan in pocket.

Washington, Israel's closest ally, is keen to see Israel ease its curfews and closures as it tries to rally Arab support for a possible war against Iraq.

Israeli military and security sources said the army suspended its curfew indefinitely in Jenin, a militant bastion like Nablus. It would also minimise troop presence in Hebron ahead of talks on a potential withdrawal.

Israel Under Siege, Part I

Sharon’s talks with Bush may have ended with hugs and kisses, but the substance of the news stands as a stark contrast. At the moment, US-Israel relations display at the very least four areas for concern; the problematic Israel-EU relationship is a separate chapter, and the topic for tomorrow’s article (Israel Under Siege, Part II).

The First problem area concerns the impending calamity known as “two states living side-by-side”. In his statement dated October 16, 2002, about his talks with Sharon, Bush said at a press conference:

We talked about the framework for peace, the idea of working toward peace, the idea of two states living side-by-side in peace as a part of our vision. And to this end, Bill Burns, Ambassador from the State Department, is going back to the Middle East to continue to work on the process; continue to work toward achieving concrete, real, objective and measurable reforms, so that there's a peaceful future for the region.

It would appear that Israel was compelled to swallow this “vision”; a strong emetic is recommended.

Second, the ambiguous situation with regard to retaliation, should Iraq once again attack Israel.

In the foregoing press conference,
PRESIDENT BUSH: If Iraq were to attack Israel tomorrow, I'm sure
there would be appropriate response.

Q: How should Israel respond? How should you respond --

PRESIDENT BUSH: If Iraq attacks Israel tomorrow, I would assume the Prime Minister would respond. He's got a desire to defend himself.

As pundits pointed out: and supposing Iraq did not “attack Israel tomorrow ” but attacked in the context of a US war against Iraq - what then?

The AP story answers:

Bush and American diplomats are trying to line up Arab and other nations to support the United States in the event of war against Iraq.

Only a few Arab nations are prepared to make that commitment, and their support might melt away if Israel retaliated against an Iraqi attack.

Aware of that risk, administration officials quickly followed Bush's remarks by trying to draw a line between an unprovoked Iraqi attack on Israel and an attack in the event of war.

Well, there you have it: yes; and no; and maybe. And Israel is squeezed among the three.

Third, the fund transfer to the PA. The joint US-Israel statement announced:

As part of the effort to further Palestinian reform, the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel agreed that the Government of Israel would consider favorably the gradual return and scheduled transfer of all PA tax funds collected by Israel on the unequivocal condition that there would be full U.S.-led monitoring to ensure that these funds will only be used for the economic and civil activities of the Palestinian community and to prevent the use of these funds for terrorist activity of any kind.

Of course, the “unequivocal condition” is a farce, since any of the transferred funds used by the PA for salaries, will free up other PA funds for terrorist activities. Furthermore, the transferred funds would certainly be used to finance the bloated bureaucracy that Arafat has developed in order to ensure that a large proportion of the Palestinians depend on the PA for their livelihood.

Here again, Israel was compelled by the US to cave in.

Fourth, the weakening of Israel’s resolve and response. The Wazzani dispute, the dismantling of settlements and the impending withdrawal from Hebron with no guarantees for the security of Israeli citizens, are all examples of the weakening that is apparent to any observer. The weakness is surely apparent to Hizbullah and other terrorists, and it is surely a consequence of US pressure.

There is a bitter, ironic epilogue to this tale of pressure-and-cave. The “World” section of the Ottawa Citizen today [October 18] is headlined, “US caves in to pressure on Iraq war”. On the Web, the Sydney Morning Herald reports: “US forced to back down on Iraq strike threat”; and the AP heaedline reads, “U.S. Backs Off on U.N.-Iraq Threat”. The irony is, tht when Israel had to back down in the face of US pressure, Israel yielded to a lion; when the US backed down in the face of Franco-Russian pressure, it yielded to mosquitoes.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland

October 18, 2002

Rabin's stock takes deserved dive

Rabin: then and now:

KIRIYAT ARBA, WEST BANK, ISRAEL - At Elitzur's cafe, just off Rabbi Kahane Park, some very hard men ushered in Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Day by discussing their feelings. The topic was the assassination of Rabin nearly seven years ago.
"I've felt guilty for the past six years," said Elitzur. "But not after what Oslo has done to us."

Elitzur, who wears a large skull cap and sports an untamed beard, is the father of 11. In 1995, he told a reporter that the way to stop the accords - a Palestinian state in return for peace - was to put a bullet into the prime minister. A few days later, Yigal Amir did just that. Overnight, Elitzur became a symbol of extremist violence.

"I had mixed feelings after the murder," he told me. "I felt my words contributed to bloodshed." He shook his head. "But since the intifadeh, I'm mad at Rabin all over again."

"You are not planning to commemorate memorial day," I guessed.

"I'll recite psalms," Elitzur said. Then he added, "The truth is, I recite psalms every day."

A loud boom shook the cafe. Dubak, a local activist, cocked an ear. "Nothing," he pronounced. Two years of the post-Oslo intifadeh have given him perfect pitch for lethal explosions. Dubak wears a smaller skull cap and a shorter beard than Elitzur - signs, in settler's circles, of relative moderation. But he, too, intended to skip Rabin Memorial Day.

"In Oslo, he gave Arafat 70,000 Kalishnikovs," Dubak said.

"If Rabin had lived, he'd never have let this happen," said a visitor from Jerusalem. "He was an honest man. He would have admitted his mistake." The hard men nodded. Later that day, Knesset member Zvi Hendel echoed this thought when he introduced an (unsuccessful) bill to annul the accords. If Rabin were still alive, Hendel argued, he'd be the first to vote for it.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres - Rabin's partner in Oslo - took heated exception. "I'm proud of [the Oslo Accords]," he told the Knesset. "And Rabin would have stood here the same way I do."

Maybe. But Rabin had a premonition that Oslo might turn into a fiasco. "I'm afraid I made a terrible mistake," he confided to an American acquaintance shortly before his assassination.

Death spared Rabin confirmation of his hunch. The deal is on a political respirator and slipping fast. If and when it goes, most Israelis won't mourn it, any more than the hard men at Elitzur's cafe mourn the death of Yitzhak Rabin.

The anti-Adam Shapiro

We post the news, and the news generalizes all too often about conflicts between groups of people. Here is a story about a man and his family and Faith, Religion, Roots, Discovery, Love, Family, Marriage that will gladden your heart.
This spring, Adam Shapiro, the former Jewish Brooklynite who spent the night at Yasser Arafat's compound when the P.A. leader was under "house arrest," made headlines around the world for many reasons. Among them, obviously, were the "man-bites-dog" element of a Jew embracing the "Palestinian" cause, including, reportedly, calls for violence against his co-religionists.

Then, there was his engagement -- and, later marriage -- to an Arab woman.

"How odd," commentators opined. Well, actually, not. Though certainly not at the rate Jews and Christians intermarry in America, Arab-Jewish unions are far from rare in the Jewish State.

Below, we present the amazing but true story of the product of one such union. And a even more surprising ending.

To say that Salah Abdel Manam has yichus, or distinguished lineage, would be an understatement.

On his maternal side, his great-grandfather was a famous Safed mystic (mekubal). And his first cousin died heading a distinguished combat division in Lebanon while heroically defending Israel.

On his paternal side, his great-grandfather was a famous Moslem cleric. And a first cousin is one of Arafat's close advisors, who this spring was holed-up with him at the Mukta compound.

Although Jewish activist organizations helped Salah's mother escape twice from her Arab village and her husband, she ultimately decided to cast her lot with them. While Salah's father was willing to marry a Jewish woman, he nevertheless continued to affiliate with the strictest strain of Islam. In time, 9 children were born to the couple. Each was raised a devout Muslim.

Salah became proficient in the Koran at a young age, and knew large parts of it by heart. Adopting religious dress, he even wore a jalabiya.

Hatred of Jews was a recurring topic in his home and at school. Though married to a Jew, Salah's father wasn't reluctant to proclaim openly his hated of all things Jewish.

His parents intermarriage impacted Salah's day to day interaction with the world around him. "Because my mother was a Jew, I had to show that I was more extreme than everyone else. I knew I was always being watched," Salah explains, matter-of-factly.

But while going through the motions of being an "extremeist," Salah would at once be troubled by contradictions he found in the Koran.

And then politics began to intrude into his life. He lived, after all, in the Middle East.

When the first wave of suicide bombings began, friends tried to draft Salah into the Al Aksa Brigades. The Koran, he was told, "requires me to become a shahid." But being proficient in the Muslim holy book, Salah challenged the recruiters to find the source of this "teaching."

They couldn't.
"It was easy for them to convince the young and the ignorant, but they couldn't seduce me since I knew the Koran inside out. … I also knew that the Koran calls on believers to honor the Jewish people and not to scheme against them. They couldn't fool me," Salah recounts, proudly.

As Salah was finishing high school, he was becoming more and more troubled by the way of life he had known since birth. Eventually, he joined his friends in search of work in Israel proper.

At the time, Salah recalls, "I didn't know I was a Jew, according to Halacha," or Jewish law. "But whenever I would pass a synagogue, I felt a certain warmth emanating from inside. It was as if G-d was calling to me: 'Return my son.' I identified with my Jewish side. I'm not sure why."

Salah's parents soon began to notice the gradual change taking place in their son. They tried to convince him to join his 3 brothers -- including his twin -- who were studying Islam at a Mecca seminary, which propounds extreme Islamic views. They hoped that sending Salah there would put a speedy end to his interest in Judaism.

But Salah refused. He continued working in Israel.

Salah's first encounter with religious Jews was at a Tel Aviv construction company where he found employment. But whenever he would attempt to ask questions about Judaism, his co-workers were evasive. When he eventually confided in them that his mother was a Jew -- which renders him 100% Jewish -- Salah was advised to enroll in classes at a school ("yeshiva") for those seeking to become observant.

He did, but did not reveal his secret.

One day -- almost two years ago -- Salah returned home to his Arab village near Carmiel and packed his few belongings. He has not returned since and intends never to step foot in the region again.

All's well, that ends well? Not exactly.


Salah discovered that despite his sacrifice, his problems were only beginning.

Initially, he decided to move to an Israeli city with a large religious population. But with suicide bombings and terror attacks escalating, Salah, who began to wear a yarmulke and other distinct Jewish garb, was regularly viewed by residents with deep suspicion due to his Arabic name and his orange Palestinian identity card.

(In recent months, suicide bombers have donned Jewish garb in attempts infiltrate secure areas.)

Worse, his return to Judaism was literally threatening his life. During a police sweep, Salah would be picked up and expelled to the West Bank. Israeli authorities would not believe that he wanted to become a Jew, thinking it was a ruse. Yet were he was returned to the Palestinian Authority, he knew he would be hanged and murdered for being a "collaborator" with Israel.

"I was going out of mind," Salah confides. "I was afraid to walk in the streets. I was afraid to go to offices. I was afraid to go to the Ministry of the Interior to change my status because my parents might find out where I was living and someone with a knife or a weapon might come after me."

In the end, he finally decided to open-up to the dean ("rosh yeshiva") of his Judaic studies school. Once the sage verified Salah's astounding story, he took the truth seeker under his wing. The easiest way to solve Salah's problems, it was decided, was to have him officially be converted by the Rabbinate, who ruled that he had to undergo a Halachic circumcision.

To his amazement, Salah found out that he had been circumcised according to Jewish law.

"When I was born, there were no local Arab mohelim," Salah explains. "There was no Intifada, and Jews freely entered Arab towns without fear. There was a mohel in one of the settlements near the village where my parents lived, and he did the circumcisions for our family. Afterwards, I understood why. My Jewish mother wanted her children's circumcisions to be authentically Jewish. She specifically asked the mohel to perform these rites quietly and make sure that no one heard or saw. He knew that my mother was Jewish and he gladly fulfilled her will. Who knows if I returned to Judaism in the merit of this."

In the past year and a half, Salah has been vigorously pursuing his studies in a yeshiva. His Arab accent has completely disappeared, and sidelocks and a beard now frame his face. He has also worked unceasingly on his pronunciation of Hebrew, and today it is flawless.


Salah has reconnected with his mother's Jewish relatives, who received him warmly like a lost son. He has taken the same last name as his illustrious great-grandfather, and says he is doing everything possible to forget his Moslem past.

Now 24, Salah, who uses the name "Yehudah," is recently married to an Italian-born Jewish woman who recently returned to her Jewish roots, although in a much more conventional manner. A chessed (benevolence) organization undertook to help pay for his wedding.


Yehudah says that there are hundreds of Jewish women like his mother who remain in Arab villages -- not because they have such a good life; many, in fact, are abused -- they stay because they feel they have nowhere to return to. Their families have already sat "shiva" (mourned) for them.

He believes that if the Jewish people would open their hearts to these unfortunate women, they could save many of them.

Israeli Pre-emptive Action

I'm pleased about this notation of Israeli activity in Iraq in preparation for the war:
The administration's pledge [to send SOF to western Iraq to destory SCUDS threatening Israel], which was conveyed during this week's visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, follows an undisclosed reconnaissance mission in western Iraq this summer by Israeli special forces, according to a former U.S. defense official. The covert Israeli operation was aimed at determining whether Iraq had the capability to launch drone aircraft, in addition to Scud missiles, from its desert air bases.

This is good news not only b/c it confirms that Israel is getting ready for the war, but also b/c it confirms that the intifada, in which policing activities can be a drain on standard military operations, has not eroded the IDF's long-range special operations capabilities. The Karine-A naval commando operation was also good evidence of the IDF's continuing SOF capability.

This operation was not "previously undisclosed," however. Jane's Foreign Report, a weekly publication, wrote about it a while ago and was picked up in some mainstream publications. I was dubious at the time, however, b/c Foreign Report not entirely reliable. But this is one where they apparently got it right.
The Universities Will Not be Turned Into Centers for Anti-Semitism

While the self-righteous Left at American universities proclaim solidarity with the Palestinians and their hatred Israelis, the Left in Iran, ironically, protests in the direct opposite manner, demanding that Israel be left alone to live in peace alongside a Palestinian state.
Students and Great Nation of Iran:

Although the enraged Iranian Nation, pursuant to its many demonstrations, has cried the unmistakable slogan of “Leave Palestine Alone, Give Thought to our Plight,” once again in our country the founders of the order of atrocity and lunacy, totally disregarding regional and world-wide realities and necessities, pursuing their own sickly fascist doctrine of expansionism, are toying with the national integrity and interests of Iran.

Thanks to its unwise, inexperienced, and manna-less politicians, the regime of the Islamic Republic blows the trumpet of support for the Palestinian people anytime it encounters disgrace and disregard internationally, or encounters formidable difficulties domestically. With the daily escalation of public discontent and the intensification of the people’s struggle, the regime is drumming the noise of the decennial of the Intifada and the martyrs of the anti-Zionist battles which it has pulled out of the proverbial sleeve of a committee by the name of “Palestine and the University” located at the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology. Along this line, on the tenth of the month of Mehr [October 2] they intend to convert the hallowed premise of the University to a place for spreading violence in the name of supporting the Intifada. As to what the existing purpose of this committee is within the Ministry of Science, and what scientific, technological, or research service it provides to our universities, there is much to be said. The Ministry of Science should have displayed this committee’s report card to the public so that everyone would realize the racketeering that goes on for stealing from the honorable nation- in appearance to support the Palestinians and in practice for filling their own coffers.

These usurpers of political power-- who from the very beginning, pursuant to spreading the “Islamic Revolution,” turned our country to a haven for religious terrorists and the supporters of religious violence in the region-- by announcing the so-called “Decennial of Defending the Intifada,” and by observing the memorial of one of the Lebanese Hezbollah leaders, have taken another step toward dragging Iran into a strategic and political abyss. With this anti-national act of theirs, they have once again shown the world that the religious tyranny ruling Iran is not only disregarding the country’s national interests, but that also with their ludicrous acts of openly defending terrorism, religious fundamentalism, and warmongering movements in the region, they are moving along the path of destroying Iran and the Iranians.
Cola wars as Islam shuns the real thing

Our Saudi friends punish us by depriving Arabs on their pilgrimage to Mecca of....Coke and Pepsi. Perhaps our Lefty college students can get on this camel bandwagon.
AMERICA may be girding for war with Iraq but it is already fighting “cola wars” throughout the Middle East.
As a boycott against US products spreads across the Islamic world, Muslim manufacturers are taking on America’s biggest brand names by producing their own fizzy drinks.

Factories in Iran making Zam Zam Cola are struggling to keep up with demand for their slightly sickly version of Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

Ten million bottles of Zam Zam have been exported to Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries in the past four months and the Iranians are working overtime to churn out enough of their cola to slake the thirsts of the two million Muslims expected in Saudi Arabia for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

This cola has been so successful that others are racing to get in on the act. Tawfiq Mathlouthi, a French Muslim entrepreneur, will launch Mecca Cola in Paris next month. No superstar is being paid millions to sing its jingle but there will be an advertising campaign promising that 10 per cent of the profits will go to a Palestinian children’s charity
On the anti-Israel bias in the media

Anti-Israel bias in the media is omnipresent to the point that one hardly needs to quote examples to substantiate this statement. Those who do need proof can check out any of the zillion examples quoted in CAMERA, or Honest Reporting, two of the numerous sites that provide ample proof. Even the Economist, the mag that recently published “a balanced” article on Israel ( IsraPundit ) is not immune from egregious anti-Israeli bias (Jerusalem Post).

With all this in mind, it is instructive to read about an interview with Danny Seaman, a PR professional working for the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO); the interview was posted recently on the website of Israel News Agency (INA) .

To explain the negative way in which Israel is portrayed in reports coming from Israel, Danny Seaman states:

At the direct instruction of the Palestinian Authority... the offices of the foreign networks in Jerusalem are compelled to hire Palestinian directors and producers. Those people determine what is broadcast. The journalists will certainly deny that, but that is reality.

Seaman then continues to describe the PA’s strategy to control the foreign press:

Four years ago began the threats on the Israeli staffers, including Arabs from East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians let the foreign journalists understand: if you don't work with our people we'll sever contact with you, you won't have access to sources of information and you won't get interviews.

Seaman gives an example of press manipulation:

The IDF announces that it is going in to demolish an empty house, but somehow afterwards you see a picture of a crying child sitting on the rubble. There is an economic level to that. The Palestinian photographers receive from the foreign agencies 300 dollars for good pictures; that is why they deliberately create provocation with the soldiers. They've degraded photography to prostitution.

One could dismiss Seaman as a biassed Israeli official, but his statements echo what another journalist, Thomas Friedman of the NYT, wrote about the way the press was manipulated in Lebanon by the Arabs - PLO, Syrians, Lebanese militias. Here are Thomas Friedman’s words (see reference below):

There wasn't a single reporter in West Beirut who did not feel intimidated, constrained, or worried at one time or another about something he had learned, considered writing, or had written involving the Syrians, the PLO, the Phalangists, or any of the other forty-odd militias in Lebanon...

How many serious stories were written from Beirut about the well-known corruption in the PLO leadership, the misuse of funds, and the way in which the organization had become as much a corporation full of bureaucratic hacks as a guerrilla outfit? These traits were precisely the causes of the rebellion against Arafat after the summer of '82, but it would be hard to find any hint of them in Beirut reporting before the Israeli invasion. The truth is, the Western press coddled the PLO and never judged it with anywhere near the scrutiny that it judged Israeli, Phalangist, or American behavior. For any Beirut-based correspondent, the name of the game was keeping on good terms with the PLO, because without it you would not get the interview with Arafat you wanted when your foreign editor came to town. The overfocusing by reporters on the PLO and its perception of events also led them to ignore the Lebanese Shiites and their simmering wrath at the Palestinians for turning their villages in south Lebanon into battlefields.

One may learn more about “press freedom” in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) by reading the report issued by the International Press Institute (IPI), which is no friend of Israel. A typical excerpt from the IPI report:

Palestinian Authority Security officials arrested Palestinian television cameraman Majdi Arbid for filming the execution of Majdi Makawi in Gaza on 20 January. Arbid sold the film to Channel 2 of Israel, which broadcasted the execution, according to a Reuters report.

Palestinian security forces ordered the closure of Al-Jazeera TV’s office in Ramallah on 20 March. The Palestinian security service had allegedly been offended by an image of Lebanese guerrilla soldiers holding up a picture of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat with a shoe hanging from it in a preview for a documentary on the 1975-90 Lebanese civil war. Al-Jazeera’s correspondent in Ramallah, Walid Al-Omari, said in a broadcast that members of a Palestinian security service entered the office and demanded that part of the preview for the documentary be removed.

In a letter to the PA, the IPI wrote, inter alia:

According to IPI’s sources, five journalists working for the news organisations Reuters, Associated Press Television, the Abu Dhabi Satellite Television Station and Agence-France Presse, were briefly arrested on 14 September. Four days later, on 18 September, new restrictive regulations for Palestinian broadcasters were introduced. As a result, the media were instructed by the Palestinian police not to broadcast news items concerning calls for a general strike, nationalist activities, demonstrations or security news without the permission of the police or national security services.

Furthermore, in a series of incidents on 8 October, at least four journalists were beaten during demonstrations in Gaza, a cameraman with French television station TF 1 was briefly arrested and a BBC reporter’s cassette was confiscated in the West Bank. On the same day, other journalists in Gaza were prevented from covering the demonstrations against US bombings of Afghanistan. Access to Gaza has been forbidden to foreigners, including foreign journalists, since 9 October; allegedly because the Palestinian Authority is unable to guarantee their safety.

The brief excerpts quoted in this article outline three of the elements of the PA’s strategy to control the media: infiltration, intimidation, bribes (“access to information”). In combatting the PA on this front, Israel is indeed faced with an uphill battle.


Friedman, Thomas L. From Beirut to Jerusalem. New York: Doubleday, 1995. Quotation is from pp. 70-74.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland

October 17, 2002

One media org blames Israel for everything from the DC sniper to the Bali bombings.

Honest Reporting has a number of items worth reviewing, including this remarkable piece by idiots who want to blame Israel for the Bali bombing. Don't they realize that even those sympathetic to their cause might well be embarrassed by such total nonsense?
At the risk of giving publicity to a web-rag, here's something so wacko that we can't let it pass. reports that the Israeli Mossad is a prime suspect behind the string of sniper killings in the Washington, D.C. area.

Another "report" on claims that the bombing of the Bali nightclub was "a Mossad terror operation."

Indymedia describes itself as "a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, objective, and passionate tellings of the truth."

Perhaps the consumer public could be a better judge of that.

Comments to:


This week, Muhammed Abayet of the Palestinian terrorist group al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, was killed when the public telephone he was using exploded. During Abayet's funeral the next day, Palestinians attacked Reuters photographer Mahfouz Abu Turk, who had to be treated for head and back injuries. Another photographer had his camera smashed. See the Jerusalem Post report at:

Many major news agencies noted the funeral but omitted mention of the attack. Associated Press presents the funeral as peaceful: "Unlike many funerals for Palestinian militants, there were no cries for revenge or gunmen shooting in the air at Abayat's funeral."

Even the victimized news agency, Reuters, itself makes scant mention of the Palestinian attack:

Comments to:

In the past, journalists have been threatened with violence for covering stories that are unflattering of Palestinian groups. Recall the Sept. 11 street celebrations, which prompted the (Israeli) Foreign Press Association to declare:

"We call on the PA to ensure freedom of the press and the free flow of information, and to prevent elements operating within PA jurisdiction from making or carrying out threats that aim to impede this and effectively impose censorship. We hold the PA fully responsible for the safety of each and every journalist operating within their areas..."

HonestReporting wonders: Where is the outcry this week from the Foreign Press Association and other media rights groups like Reporters Without Borders


Here's a piece of diligent media monitoring from HonestReporting member Mike S. of Cincinnati:

BBC published a piece on the decreased Palestinian olive harvest, placing the blame squarely on Israel. The article's main photo caption read: "Olive groves have been bulldozed to build settlements." This accusation does not appear in the article itself; it is only in the caption without any source cited.

Mike wrote to complain, and received the following reply from Bob Trevelyan, duty editor of BBC News Online:

"Thanks for your email concerning our story on the Palestinian olive harvest. I regret that you found the picture caption unsatisfactory. I accept that it is ambiguous and have changed it."

The caption now reads "Olive groves have been bulldozed by the Israeli army." Though factually accurate, this BBC caption gives no context for the idea that Palestinian snipers have frequently used olive groves to conduct ambushes of Israeli citizens.

See the article and caption at:

Comments to:
Exclusive to IsraPundit: Jonathan Lichterman responds to
Terje Roed-Larsen’s article, Before it's too late

A fundamental concept has defined all peacemaking attempts between Israelis and Palestinians. It is called the two-state solution.

Yes, two states, Palestine and Jordan.

Would-be Middle East peacemakers have long determined that justice, security and peace between the two peoples is best achieved by creating two sovereign states west of the Jordan River: Israel and Palestine. That includes me, as one of the facilitators of the 1993 Oslo Accords and now the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

Are you actually arguing that Oslo was successful, Terje? So long as you keep enabling and appeasing the Palestinians, you will never be anything but a would-be peacemaker.

A viable, independent Palestine alongside Israel is still possible. But perhaps not for much longer, given four undeniable trends at work today.

Boy, is it still possible?, we’d better hurry up and declare that state, lest we miss the chance to have another autocratic repressive Arab regime hell-bent on killing Jews right next door. How much do you want to bet that Israel gets blamed for these four “undeniable trends?”

The first two are readily apparent - a deteriorating security situation fueled by vicious terror attacks and widespread violence against civilians, and an unprecedented Palestinian humanitarian crisis.

Yep, old terj-boy doesn’t fail. When describing the deteriorating security situation he doesn’t mention who is perpetrating the terrorist attacks and widespread violence against civilians. Who wants to bet that some moral equivalence is on the way?

And of course the “unprecedented” Palestinian humanitarian crisis is the culprit. I am sure the explanation of this will include the loss of humanity in Palestinian education, and the billions embezzled by the Palestinians’ leaders, and of course the necessity of Israel’s actions in response to the unprecedented level of terror attacks. I am sure that is what he means.

The other two, while less visceral, have serious long-term implications: The gradual destruction of the Palestinian Authority and Israel's expansion of its West Bank settlements.

The gradual destruction by Israel of the PA and of course the settlements. Yep so far all four blamed on Israel.

These trends force me, and I am far from alone, to ask two very troubling questions. Are we nearing the death of the two-state solution, the bedrock for all our peacemaking efforts?

You missed the funeral long ago on that one.

And if so, are we prepared for the consequences?

I.e., are we prepared to let Israel defend itself?

If indeed we are at a critical juncture, it is most vividly seen in the growing chasm between the diplomatic efforts to forge a peace agreement and the catastrophic situation on the ground. Diplomatically, an unprecedented international consensus has been formed around a three-year, three-phase road map by the Quartet (the United States, European Union, Russia and UN) that would lead to a comprehensive peace.

Yes, a universal consensus, including the UN, we all know that this will be an offer Israel cannot refuse. Get this Israel, the quartet has decided that you have three years until you are forced into a suicide pact.

The roadmap builds on major diplomatic initiatives from last spring's Arab League announcement to fully recognize Israel based on the two-state solution to U.S.

Yes, the Arabs will recognize the right of its co-member in the UN’s right to exist. Wow, what a concession. Maybe they will recognize Michael Jackson as the King of Pop as well, to really sweeten the deal.

The recognition of Israel’s right to exist is not a negotiating chip, it is a non-starter.

President George Bush's Rose Garden speech last June (reinforced recently in statements by British Prime Minister Tony Blair) which clearly outlined the vision of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

I happened to be standing next to Roed-Larsen as he listened to Bush’s speech. Here is how he heard it: “na-na-na-na-na-na-na we’re not listening na-na-na-na-na-na, . . . Palestinian State in three years . . . na-na-na-na-na we’re not listening.”

Moreover, the UN Security Council unanimously endorsed the Quartet Plan, which was unveiled in detail on September 17. The bottom line - we have a way forward.

I can't even comment on the hilarity of citing the UN as the source of approval when it comes to Israel.

But these promising diplomatic moves clash foursquare with the disastrous situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip today.

Of course, not about the disastrous situation in Jewish Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or Netanya.

To understand this better, consider two competing views found on both sides of the conflict - the constructionist and the destructionist. In simple terms, the constructionists believe in a two-state solution and the destructionists do not.

It’s all ball bearings these days. C’mon guys its so simple maybe you need a refresher course.

Israeli and Palestinian constructionists have similar outlooks.

Yes, they both think that it is all Israel’s fault.

They say the best way to foster peace, security and prosperity for both sides is through the creation of a democratic Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This state would work for the benefit of its people, and in the process control and stop violence against Israel. In this scenario, both sides win.

And they will all live in gumdrop houses on al-Lollipop lane.

Israeli and Palestinian destructionists both seek total control of the land at the expense of their adversaries, and are in a kind of unholy embrace that is fueling today's downward spiral. For them, only one state can emerge west of the Jordan River: Israel or Palestine. It is a zero-sum game.

Translation: "imperialist Sharon war-criminal humiliating and oppressing Israelis" are locked with the small minority of marginalized Palestinians who want to destroy Israel.

Today's trends show that the destructionists control the day.
First, major bloodletting over the past two years has killed more than 600 Israelis and 2,000 Palestinians. This death toll has sown deep grief and massive distrust on both sides, making negotiations difficult to begin, much less conclude.

Whew, finally. I never thought he would get to the numbers game of moral equivalence, where score is kept by the number dead.

Second, the Palestinian humanitarian situation is almost unfathomable. Hundreds of thousands remain under 24-hour curfew and the economy is in ruins.

Almost unfathomable, we will be able to fathom it with this wise sage's guidance. Context???? IF THEY WOULD STOP KILLING THEY WOULD NOT BE UNDER CURFEW!!! Who started the war, and why is the economy in ruins? Could the corruption rampant from those receiving the funds be responsible? These are the tough questions to which Roed-Larsen does not have the answers.

International aid is the primary factor in preventing total societal and economic collapse, and the anarchy, hunger and disease that would follow.

Is he talking about the international aid in the form of the bounty for the heads of Jews, or Europe's blood money which has been nothing more than mad-money for Arafat. Yep, that money is really going to good use.

It is a good thing they are preventing the anarchy with international money. Boy we wouldn’t want anarchy, whew, disaster avoided. What their was a murder of some collaborators? What, there was a murder of a PA police chief? Whew, thank Allah there was no anarchy.

Third, Israel has, through military action, come very close to destroying the institutions of the Palestinian Authority, and with them any semblance of a central government. These institutions took nearly a decade to build, and are essential for building a peaceful and prosperous Palestine.

Yes they took nearly a decade to build up their arsenal to kill Jews. Of course Israel has destroyed them with military action. Of course, no context for that military action, just soldiers on a lark. Of course Arafat’s corrupt and terror steeped regime had no role in destroying PA institutions.

The fourth trend is perhaps the most significant of all: Israel's continued expansion of West Bank settlements, and the land confiscation that goes with it. Even as the world repeatedly calls for a freeze to all such activity, it continues apace. The settlements, and the highways that serve them, could soon envelop East Jerusalem, cutting it off from the rest of the West Bank, which would then also be split in half. Other settlement projects will bisect the northern West Bank and encircle Bethlehem and Hebron to the south.

Terj-boy finally got around to the settlements. Arafat was so concerned with the settlements that they were made the corner-piece of the Oslo accord, you designed. Oh, they weren't the cornerstone of that agreement, you mean they just became important because it plays well in currying rage against Israel? “Land confiscation?” Whose land is being confiscated? What about the land that was sold to the Jews by the Arabs?

Of course Roed-Larsen being so intimately familiar with the Palestinians is well aware of the PLO's charter position regarding the settlements: The settlements in Tel Aviv and Netanya and Haifa are all obstacles to peace.

Israelis and Palestinians are warning that these trends will soon make it impossible to create a viable Palestinian state in control of its own land, borders and resources. The result: the death of the two-state solution.

Translation. Israel has made it impossible to create another Arab thugocracy hell bent on its destruction.

What does that mean? Let's be frank.

Have you not been frank with us before this. Thank you for finally being frank.

If Israel retains overall control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, it will be faced with a difficult choice, given the sheer presence of the Palestinian population. Palestinians could soon be left living in a string of unconnected homelands run by local warlords, which will not give them the freedom they covet and would almost certainly guarantee continued insecurity for Israel.

Oh, more on the settlements.

“Freedom they covet?” A bunch of Thomas Paine’s they are. Israel will have "continued insecurity?" You mean, unlike the security of a hostile neighbor with the freedom to import heavy weapons?

The other option is Israel controlling the land, but without the people. That is known as "transfer."

Ack, the T word. Of course there is no mention of something in the middle, an autonomous but non-sovereign Yesha. That would not fit the paradigm, because it is too logical.

We have not yet reached the death of the two-state solution.

Faster please!

But it will take immediate and steadfast efforts from Israelis and Palestinians, backed by the international community, to take us off the destructionists' path.

Translation: The international community can hasten the demise of Israel if they really hurry.

In this I have confidence, recently bolstered by two polls conducted last August, which show that a majority of Israelis support the creation of a Palestinian state, provided Palestinians follow a policy of non-violence.

I was lucky, because I happened to be next to Roed-Larsen when he read the poll. Terje: "Look, a majority of Israelis want a Palestinian State, . . . and something about violence"

Moreover, one of the polls says that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians approve of using non-violent means to establish their state.

Was that the same poll that found 80% support for continued suicide bombing? Oh, that says violins, not violence.

We all know what must be done.

A segue to Reed-Larsen’s Final Solution to the Jewish Question.

To the Israeli people, I ask - are you prepared to ask your government to go back immediately to the negotiating table, to stop all settlement activity and work together with Palestinians and the international community to build a peaceful and viable Palestine?

Are you prepared to call in Dr. Kevorkian to help you?

If not, are you prepared to deal with the outcome?

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

To the Palestinian people, I ask - are you prepared to stop not just terror, but all forms of violence, whether you consider them legitimate or not? Do you recognize, as many of your leaders now do, that violence and terror have only served to undermine your national ambitions and create a crisis for your people unmatched for more than two generations?

I actually have to give him some credit on this one. He did not ask Israel if they are willing to stop their endless genocide of the Arabs like I thought he would. He directs the violence question squarely on the Palestinians in this Final Solution section. Of course straight from the Asrawi hand-book he is not saying that it is wrong, it just hurts the cause.

To the international community, I say - it is time to move decisively to put this peace process back on track and reach a two-state solution. Otherwise we must be prepared to address the consequences of its death.

Yes we must avoid the situation where Israel is allowed to fight its battles. Open those wallets and start sending more money and putting more pressure on Israel. A boycott or two may be nice. What are these consequences of the death of the two state solution he keeps talking about?

The writer was one of the facilitators of the 1993 Oslo Accords and now serves as the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

This is a little like taking credit for being one of the architects of the Edsel or the Titanic.

Contributed by Jonathan Lichterman

Freedom Fighters
Israeli leaders such as David Ben-Gurion, Menahem Begin, and Ariel Sharon were not and are not terrorists. Rather, these individuals were, and have always been, freedom fighters.

Iran Denies Policy Shift on Mideast

Just in case you believe that giving up the territories would resolve issues and end up in a two-state solution, here is the Iranian position.
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran denied Wednesday that it had shifted its policy toward acceptance of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told the official news agency IRNA that Iran still believed in a "one-state solution in the Palestinian land and does not recognize the Zionist regime."

"The only solution to the Palestine crisis is the formation of a Palestinian state in that land," state radio quoted him as saying.

Asefi told Reuters Tuesday that Iran advocated a single Palestinian state, but would "not hamper" a two-state solution if that was what Israelis and Palestinians wanted.

That apparent softening of Iran's stance drew fire from the militant Palestinian Islamist group Hamas Wednesday.

"This position contradicts the Islamic program which does not recognize any rights for the Jews to own an inch of Palestinian soil," senior Hamas political official Mahmoud al-Zahar told Reuters in the Gaza Strip.

Iran has never recognized Israel's right to exist. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution it has called for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Iran bitterly criticized the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1988 when it declared a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that would co-exist with Israel within its 1948 borders.


Israel still occupies much of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where Palestinians have been waging a two-year-old uprising.

The Palestinian Authority, led by President Yasser Arafat, remains committed to a peace based on two states living side by side, a vision rejected by Hamas and other Islamist organizations.

"I'm afraid Iran is taking some steps which are not acceptable in Islamic terms," said Zahar, speaking before Iran's denial that its policy had changed.

"They (the Iranians) have no ability to hinder anything. But we as Palestinians, as Islamists, we do not accept the two-state solution. Even if two states were established, our goal and our dream will remain alive in one great Islamic state in Palestine.

Britain gave a cautious and qualified welcome to Asefi's remarks.
Maybe an Imposter?

The below picture is captioned:
A Palestinian woman carries a AK-47 during demonstration in Gaza City, Monday, Oct. 14, 2002. Thousands of supporters of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (news - web sites)'s Fatah (news - web sites) movement gathered for the rally. Demonstrators carrying Arafat's picture and Palestinian flags are in background. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Funny but she does not look very 'palestinian' to me. What do you all think? This just goes to prove Joan Peter's thesis in From Time Immemorial - that claims that so-called 'palestinians' lived in the Land for a thousand years are not true. Many are people who were imported by the British as laborers, especially from Sudan and Iraq. I think this lovely lady is probably descended from imported Sudanese laborers. Arafat, who was born in Cairo (as in Egypt) had a least one Sudanese grandparent.

Here is another supposed 'palestinian' on the left:

Bush promises Israel one-week notice before Iraq attack

How much notice will the US give to UN Security Council?
WASHINGTON — Israeli sources said the Bush administration has pledged to provide a general warning of one week of any U.S. military offensive. The warning would be specific three days before the war.

Washington has also pledged that the United States would make the tracking and destruction of Iraqi Scud-class missiles in western Iraq a priority. Iraq is believed to have up to 80 Al Hussein medium-range missiles.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met President George Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to discuss prospective scenarios regarding a U.S.-led war against Iraq and received pledges of advance warning of any U.S.-led war against Iraq.

Bush and Sharon also discussed the Middle East after the fall of the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Middle East Newsline reported.
Israel hopes the United States will offer to deploy the PAC-3 missile defense system in the Jewish state.
Israel Killed and Wounded a Decent Number of Arabs Today.

In response to attacks with guns and anti-tank rockets on its forces by the Arabs, Israel responded and killed and wounded a high number of Arabs including civilians. Israel stated that the attackers were hiding among civilians. According to Israel hiding among civilians is a common occurrence.

So, why doesn't Israel film such incidents of using civilians as shields and release the films to the press? More Israeli stupidity.

Counterpunch's Anti-Semitism

The Left Wing rag, Counterpunch, has posted Amira Baraka's anti-Semitic poem "Somebody Blew Up America" as a featured piece. No comments are made concerning lines such as:
Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed
Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers
To stay home that day
Why did Sharon stay away?"

Yaacov 'Zeev' Farkas, doyen of Israeli editorial cartoonists, dies

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Yaacov "Zeev" Farkas, called the founder of the political cartoonist's art in Israel, died Tuesday, hospital officials said Wednesday. He was 79.

In the years before television came to Israel, politicians and other public figures vied with each other to appear on his full-page spread in the weekly supplement of the newspaper Haaretz. "Anyone who appeared in the middle of that page, not on the margins, knew that he had arrived, that he was really somebody," his colleague Benny Zipper wrote in Haaretz.

The weekly cartoon, an intricate mixture of dozens of characters, objects and symbols around a central theme, appeared for decades, always including an oval-faced, jug-eared self portrait. After the weekly page was discontinued in the 1980s, Farkas continued drawing daily editorial cartoons.

Many public figures, past and present, have caricatures of themselves, drawn by Farkas, framed and hanging on their walls, Zipper wrote.

Born in Hungary in 1923, Farkas survived a Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, where thousands of Jews were killed during World War II. In 1947 he came to what was then British Mandatory Palestine and in 1952 became the editorial cartoonist for the newspaper Omer. He began drawing political cartoons for Haaretz in 1962.

He always signed his cartoons "Zeev," with a tiny oval-faced, jug-eared portrait of himself holding a huge artist's brush dripping with black paint.

His kindness was legendary. "He was never mean to anyone," Zipper wrote. In 1972 Richard Nixon wrote him a letter of thanks for a cartoon in Haaretz showing the beleaguered U.S. president carrying a cross and surrounded by enemies.

One of Farkas' most famous cartoons, published in 1979 at the time of the Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt, showed the dove of peace posing as a magician and producing three tiny figures out of a hat -- Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin and President Carter.

In 1993 Farkas was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize for Journalism. His last cartoon appeared a year ago.

Farkas is survived at a daughter.
Kofi Annan: Why are you criticizing only Israel?

Enough, already, with the hypocrisy of the United Nations!

By Harry Reicher October 17, 2002

His Excellency
The Honorable Kofi Annan
Secretary General
United Nations Organization
New York, NY 10017

BY FAX: 212 963 4879

Dear Secretary General:

Very regrettably, I feel constrained to record my deep disappointment at your statement in criticism of Israel's action in the Gaza town of Khan Yunis.

I looked in vain to find in your statement some reference to a central - indeed critical - fact, namely the continuing strategy, pursued by the leadership of the Palestinians, of locating terrorists, as well as caches of their arms, in heavily populated civilian areas. That this is quite deliberate is long past the point of denial, as is the reprehensible object accomplished thereby, namely the use of civilian men, women and children as human shields.

What is also obvious is that, as long as the international community especially per medium of the United Nations allows, and even encourages, this practice to continue, it is utterly inevitable that Palestinian civilians will continue to be exposed to risk, as a direct consequence of the policies of their own cynical and uncaring leaders. What, one may wonder, could be more guaranteed to encourage those policies than the certain knowledge that, if Palestinian civilians are tragically killed, it is Israel that will be blamed by the United Nations?

The point gathers even more force, when it is recalled that you yourself have gone on record as expressing abhorrence at the very same practice, albeit when occurring in other parts of the world. Your own report, S/2001/33 1, of March 30 of last year, contained particularly strong language in condemnation of the failure to "separate armed elements from civilians," which has "led to devastating situations." Speaking of West Timor (Indonesia), you point out that:

"[N]ot separating combatants from civilians allows armed groups to take control of a camp and its population, politicizing their situations and, gradually establishing a military culture within the camp. The impact on the safety and security of both the refugees and the neighboring local population is severe. Entire camp populations can be held hostage by militias that operate freely in the camps, spread terror, press gang civilians, including children, into serving [in] their forces, sexually assault and exploit women, and deliberately prevent displaced people from returning home. In addition, humanitarian aid and supplies are often diverted to these armed elements, depriving the intended civilian beneficiaries. Finally, blurred lines between the civilian and militia character of camps expose civilians inside to the risk of attack by opposing forces where camps are perceived to serve as launching pads for renewed fighting." (p7, para 30, emphasis supplied).

The recent history of the West Bank and Gaza bears out, all too tragically, the force of your own assessment. I trust you will therefore appreciate my concern at the silence of your Khan Yunis statement on this very matter.

At the same time, it is a source of continuing bewilderment to witness the ongoing double standard that is applied, so far as Israel is concerned, and which is so clearly evident in this case.

I trust that future statements will be directed at the heart of the problem, so that the dangers thereby posed to the civilian population in Palestinian areas are removed once and for all.
Saudis seen funding AL Qaeda

If fundamentalists are helping the terrorists, you can well believe they are helping to support terror groups within the Arab community who seek the destruction of Israel. Time for the U.S. to send a message loud and clear to what little there is of the Saudi government.
WASHINGTON - For years, Saudi Arabian officials have ignored Saudi-based individuals and charities that have been the main sources of financing for Al Qaeda, an independent task force reported yesterday.

The report, written by a task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, also said that the Bush administration's current efforts to curtail financing for international terrorism are ''strategically inadequate'' to ensure sustained results.

The report, released last night, urged the administration to designate a special assistant to the president with a mandate to compel government agencies to coordinate their activities.

It added that the administration must pressure other countries to replace their ''woefully inadequate'' antiterrorism programs with more vigorous efforts.

The report said US government spokesmen have systematically refused to acknowledge the ties of Saudi charities and individuals with Al Qaeda.
Time Warp

If you saw a headline on the front page of the Washington Post that said something in the vein of "White House Supports French Retaliation in the Face of German Invasion", your reaction would probably be, "Why does the white house need to affirm France's right not to be invaded, and why is this a headline, let alone even news."

And yet, on the front page of today's New York Times we read that, "Bush Backs Retaliation by Israelis if Iraq Attacks". I'm appalled by the fact that this even needs to be said. I'm just waiting for the day that the headline says, "Bush tells Israel not to respond in the face of Iraq attack". Oh, wait, ...

On whose side are they, anyway?

Over the last months, I posted several articles about Israel’s advocacy campaign, becuase I am deeply concerned about the state of Israeli PR and about the consequences - loss of public support in the West, and ultimately, loss of the support from foreign governments (see, for example, article 1, article 2, article 3, article 4, and article 5.)

Because of these concers, I consider the following story from the Jerusalem post, October 15, 2002, to be such a serious matter:

A private donor provided unlimited funding for 48 Israeli students to visit college campuses, churches, synagogues, and high schools across the US to defend Israel.

Israeli consulates were asked to set up the speaking engagements, and judging from glowing articles in dozens of student newspapers and local media, feedback on Web sites, and interviews with the participants, the visit was a success.

So why is a group of students accusing the consulate in Los Angeles of turning their visit into a nightmare?

"They treated us with such disrespect," said Joey Low, the businessman who funded the 12-day tour through a non-partisan, non-profit group called Israel at Heart. "As far as the consulate was concerned, it seemed like the whole idea was for me to spend money flying the students somewhere so they could have a sightseeing trip."

But according to students who were sent to cities and towns in the LA consulate's jurisdiction, officials set up few meetings for them, forgot to make sleeping arrangements in some cases, and an official who accompanied one group repeatedly tried to upstage them on the podium.

Low noted that officials at various consulates accused him of being stingy when he asked that the visitors be housed in dorms or students' apartments instead of hotels. The students described their dealings with the consulate as "disappointing" and "horrifying," and accuse it of sabotaging their effort.

From this point on, the article provides specific details about the conduct of the Israeli officials, each detail more disturbing than the previous one. It makes you wonder on whose side these officials really are.

Read and weep; there is probably much rejoicing among Israel’s numerous foes.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland
Coalition Crisis Flares Over Oslo Vote

The Oslo criminals continue to defend their duplicity with the terrorists even as the full magnitude of the disaster they have created becomes clear to us all. G-d willing the day will come when they will be prosecuted for their crimes against the Jewish people. Meanwhile the few politicians with the courage to stand up to the appeasement cabal are shouted down with insults in the Knesset. We can only hope that the Labor traitors will carry through on their incessant threats to leave the coalition. Only then will we be able to start to reverse the irreparable damage done by these vermin. Almost as if he realizes his time is short, Ben Eliezer is speeding up his efforts to return Yesha to the PLO.
(Ha'aretz) A coalition crisis erupted between Labor and Likud on Wednesday after two Likud MKs voted for a proposal to annul the Oslo Accords.

Labor charged that the two, Abraham Hirchson and Eli Cohen, had thereby violated the Labor-Likud coalition agreement, which included a pledge to abide by the accords. Labor whip Effi Oshaya even informed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that his party was ending all cooperation with Likud in the Knesset as of that moment.

Oshaya said that Labor was also outraged by the fact that two senior Likud MKs, Communications Minister Reuven Rivlin and coalition chairman Ze'ev Boim, had failed to vote even though they were present in the plenum.

The Likud defections, however, did not affect the outcome of the vote: The motion, submitted by MK Zvi Hendel (National Union), was defeated 29-13.

The debate that preceded the vote was stormy, featuring vociferous exchanges of insults between Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and right-wing MKs. Peres told the plenum that "the Oslo Accords are alive and well according to the coalition agreement, and therefore there is no place for discussing their annulment - unless you also want to annul the government and the coalition." He added that he was sure that if the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin were still alive, he would have no regrets about having signed the accords.

"He couldn't stand you!" interjected Hendel. "You're destroying the country!" "You brought us to this disaster!" added Michael Kleiner (Herut)."Get rid of your blinkers!" put in Haim Druckman (National Religious Party) Peres responded by attacking settler rabbis, calling them "those terrible politicians from Yesha [the Hebrew acronym for Judea, Samaria and Gaza]."
Minister Landau Against Selective Law Enforcement
(Arutz Sheva) Public Security Minister Uzi Landau, who oversees the police department and law enforcement, had very strong words against his colleague Ben-Eliezer for his "selective" attitude towards illegal construction. "The law must be enforced, of course, but only if it is done equally. Can you imagine a policeman walking up and down the street and giving tickets only to Labor Party parking violators? It is unacceptable that the government does not enforce building regulations against the massive illegal Arab construction... [Former Prime Minister] Barak also wanted to take the Jewish outposts down, but he gave in because he saw their importance - and also because he didn’t have primaries coming up… Ben-Eliezer's decision is influenced by his political motivations..."

Minister Landau said that the "illegality" of the outposts is merely in that "some of them have not completed their approval process - but this is how many things have been done in Yesha for many years; if they want to start changing things, then it must be done across the board." [Read More]

October 16, 2002

Can There Be Democracy in the Arab Middle East?

In a well-thought out speech, the writer argues that it is a matter of attitudes rather than mere voting that makes for a democracy. And those attitudes can not be imposed by outsiders.
Martin Kramer
Address to the 2002 Weinberg Founders Conference
Landsdowne Conference Center, Leesburg, Virginia, October 5, 2002

Can there be a liberal, democratic Middle East? This is very much a loaded question. It reminds me a bit of the famous exchange between a journalist and Mahatma Gandhi. The journalist asked Gandhi: what do you think of Western civilization? To which he replied: I think it would be a good idea. Gandhi's point was that the modern West had failed to live up to the promise of the rich legacy of its civilization.

If I were asked today what I think of modern Arab civilization, I would probably answer the same: it would be a good idea. Here, too, there is a great legacy that the contemporary Arab world has been unable to renew. And nowhere has that been more apparent than in the failure of the Arab world to create the climate of free inquiry without which modern civilization is impossible. In our times, it is difficult to create such a climate without democracy.

If the 20th century has left us with a lesson, it is that the civilizations that will flourish in the 21st will rest on democracy. Every form of dictatorship, from communism to fascism, was discredited in the 20th century. We are approaching the point in human history where democracy will be deemed a prerequisite of modern civilization itself, and its absence, the most obvious symptom of modern barbarism. If that becomes so, then there is little doubt which side of the divide the Arab world will occupy. Freedom House ranks it as the least free part of the globe. And certainly there is a high correlation between the prevalence of despotism and a whole range of barbaric outrages, from the gassing of Kurds to 9/11. We know from experience that despotism generates terror. And has there ever been a form of despotism in modern times that did not encourage and even nurture anti-Semitism?

Since 9/11, many commentators have looked at the Arab world, made similar observations, and then drawn a conclusion. The conclusion is this: the United States should use its vast power to promote democracy in the Middle East. Not only should it plan to replace hostile despotisms, like Iraq's, with democratic regimes. It should compel our allies, such as the Egyptians and the Saudis, to open up their politics. The theory is that if these were more open systems, this would drain away the intolerance and hatred that pervade these societies, including the hatred of America and the desire to eradicate Israel
Peres meets with Erakat for talks: Palestinian official

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres met with a senior Palestinian delegation headed by chief negotiator Saeb Erakat in Jerusalem.

At the meeting, which took place at an unnamed location in west Jerusalem, Peres and Erekat discussed the humanitarian disaster facing the Palestinian people and the transfer of Palestinian funds frozen by Israel, a senior Palestinian official said on condition of anonymity.

Another Israeli official who was not named was at the meeting, along with the Palestinian economy minister Maher al-Masri.

"The two delegations agreed to hold a big meeting early next week, the official said.

Among the subjects discussed were "an Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian cities which have been reoccupied since September 28 2000, the removal of the closure and the siege and the transfer of money owed to the Palestinian Authority," he said.

The two delegations also spoke about the "humanitarian disaster" facing the Palestinian people and the ongoing settlement activity in the Palestinian territories, he added.

Israeli radio reported that Peres and the right-wing Communications Minister Reuven Rivlin were set to meet with a senior Palestinian delegation led by chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat at some point during the week but the date of the meeting was not specified.
Bush: Israel to respond if attacked

This response should it be called for will strengthen the ties between the US and Israel.
WASHINGTON –– President Bush, calling Saddam Hussein a dangerous man, said Wednesday after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that he was certain Sharon would retaliate if Iraq attacked Israel.

Bush gave no indication in an Oval Office news conference that he had tried to restrain Sharon, who already has said his country could not stand by if attacked.

"If Iraq were to attack, I am sure the prime minister will respond," Bush said.
Bush, Sharon to consult on protecting Israel

Israel is of course likely to get hit by missiles from Iraq should the U.S. attack Saddam. And Israelis worry about what support they may get from the United States. And that in turn is what Sharon seems to be discussing with President Bush this week.
Washington --- President Bush meets today at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for talks on options for protecting Israel from attack in the event of U.S.-led military strikes against Iraq.

Possible strategies range from rapid U.S. strikes targeting Iraq's offensive missiles to improved early-warning data should Iraq launch missiles toward Israel, less than 250 miles from the Iraqi border.

The Iraq issue has taken precedence, though Bush is expected to remind Sharon about U.S. concerns over Israeli military action in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Raanan Gissin, a Sharon aide, said the aim of today's talks was to coordinate plans for a possible war in Iraq.

"The United States is about to make a major strategic move in the region that's going to affect security in Israel, the Middle East and the rest of the world," Gissin said. "It's important for allies and friends to consult each other."

Sharon is seeking a commitment from Bush that, should he decide to attack Iraq, Israel would be notified two or three days in advance.
Top pollsters called in to gauge ‘anti-Israel’ mood

Given what appears to be a serious rise in anti-Israeli sentiment world-wide, many Jews are concerned and are trying to take action to defuse it. Here is an example how Israel's supporters are responding.
JEWISH community leaders are considering launching a major PR campaign — with the help of America’s top political strategists — amid concerns that media hostility to Israel is growing.

Bicom, the body set up last year to help put Israel’s message across, has called on Stanley Greenberg — the Democratic Party pollster who has advised former US President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Israeli Premier Ehud Barak; and Republican strategist Frank Lunz, whose CV includes work with George W. Bush, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Bicom’s acting director, Lee Petar, told the JC the pair was conducting “quantitative and qualitative” research to see how Israel’s message was getting across. While their work was “in the early stages and there is no point going off half-cocked,” he said it was already evident there was hostility towards Israel.

Though he declined to give further details, another Bicom source said that one early “focus group” meeting had found “particular hostility” towards Israel’s message among “professionals, like academics.”

“We are looking at ways to sharpen the message and to choose the right people to do it,” Mr Petar said.

He acknowledged that the research initiative represented a major investment. “To get the world’s best professionals — and these are the world’s best professionals — you have to pay the top price,” he said.

Thomas Friedman Sucks as Usual

I began reading Thomas Friedman's most recent piece (also see Fred's post below) optimistically as a result of the title "Campus Hypocrisy" but deep down I knew that the ghosts would be there. Friedman can not write a piece about the Middle East, and practically on any subject, without smacking around Sharon and the settlements. He could be talking about the human rights situation in China and he will somehow analogize it to the settlements.

He began the article well basically blasting the divestiture from Israel campaigns in the first six paragraphs
You are also hypocrites. How is it that Egypt imprisons the leading democracy advocate in the Arab world, after a phony trial, and not a single student group in America calls for divestiture from Egypt? (I'm not calling for it, but the silence is telling.) How is it that Syria occupies Lebanon for 25 years, chokes the life out of its democracy, and not a single student group calls for divestiture from Syria? How is it that Saudi Arabia denies its women the most basic human rights, and bans any other religion from being practiced publicly on its soil, and not a single student group calls for divestiture from Saudi Arabia?

Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction — out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East — is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.

But, of course, in the third paragraph he throws in a gratuitous crack at Sharon. After he finished with the students who seem to have been reading Friedman's columns too literally over the last ten years as he demonized Israel, Friedman has some extra column space so he lobs four paragraphs at the settlements, beginning with some total bull:
The settlement policy Israel has been pursuing is going to lead to the demise of the Jewish state. No, settlements are not the reason for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but to think they do not exacerbate it, and are not locking Israel into a permanent occupation, is also dishonest.

Why Friedman can not talk about any subject without always turning to the settlements and Sharon needs to be analyzed. The simplest explanation would be that Sharon or someone looking like him sodomized Friedman (against his will, in this case) in a settlement and Friedman is getting back at his villains. Perhaps more work needs to be done on this theory.