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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

October 26, 2002

A Letter To President Putin From Shimon Peres
By Dr. Steven E. Plaut

To: Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
From: Shimon Peres, Israeli Foreign Minister and Peacemaker at Large
Re: Your Anti-Terror Actions

Dear Mr. President:

I feel obliged to write to you regarding the ending of the hostage standoff crisis at the Moscow theater in which 750 hostages were being held by a group of Chechen peace activists.

Mister President, I am horrified and shocked. Have you not learned anything at all from my own campaign to bring peace and stability to the Middle East? Have you learned nothing from how I led Israel into the era of peace? Mister President, you actually used FORCE to end the hostage crisis. Do you not realize that there is no military solution to the problems of terrorism? Are you still living in the past, in pre-history?

You simply made a complete mess of things. Instead of sending in those SWAT teams, you should have agreed to talks with the hostage-holders and agreed to meet the Chechen demands. You should have offered the Chechen control over half of Moscow as well as immediate removal of all Russian settlements from the Caucasus region. You should have offered to pay tribute to the Chechen militia involved. You should have offered them lands along the Volga.

Don't you realize that if you refuse to conduct good-faith negotiations with the Chechen militias that took over this theater, then REALLY radical Chechens will seize the leadership of the Chechen cause? the problem is that you are have been insensitive to the Other.

Here is how you must erect a New Middle Eurasia. You must agree at once to provide the Chechen peace activists with thousands of rifles and other weapons so that they can use these to suppress terrorism, without Greenpeace or human rights busybodies interfering. Never mind about those suggestions to get the Chechen militias to stop teaching that the Russian people must be annihilated by genocide in their schoolbooks. Then you must begin to teach the Chechen version of Caucasus history in Russian schools, and commemorate the catastrophe that befell Chechnya when Tsar Peter expanded into the Caucasus.

A Chechen Foreign Ministry office must be allowed to operate within the Kremlin walls. All vodka sales anywhere in Russia must be prohibited, lest this alcohol consumption offend Chechen sensitivities. You must arrest all those Russian inciters, including Orthodox priests, who express opposition to this peace plan. You must agree to a sharp reduction in the strength of the Russian military and its redeployment far away from the Caucasus. You must erect Potemkin cities of peace for the Chechens. And you must place any Russian soldiers or officers who exhibit insensitivity to Chechnya on trial for racism. If you follow this advice, you are guaranteed to get a Nobel Prize.

Mister President, you have committed unforgivable transgressions. You violated the human rights of the Chechen hijackers when you pumped knock-out gas into that theater. Then your people simply executed the peace activists in the theater, without reading them their rights or providing them with legal representation. Your troops made no attempt at all to distinguish the guilty Chechens in the theater from the innocent ones. Shame on you. I know that Yitzhak Rabin is looking down at you
from Heaven and sighing.

But if you adopt my ideas, a new Middle Eurasia will emerge. Give my ideas a try! What have you got to lose?

Sincerely yours,

Shimon Peres, Peacemaker at Large
The Rage and the Pride

Oriana Fallaci's new book is pro-American, belittles Eurpean contempt for America, and is anti-Muslim. So of course many want the book banned.
The Rage and the Pride
by Oriana Fallaci
Rizzoli, 168 pp., $14.95


ITALIAN JOURNALIST and professional provocateur Oriana Fallaci may once have embodied enlightened postwar Western Europe. But with the release of her new book, "The Rage and the Pride"--a biting polemic against anti-Americanism, political correctness, and Islam's "reverse crusade"--she has managed to become a pariah in European intellectual circles.

A self-declared "political refugee," Fallaci broke her ten-year refusal to comment on political issues after the terrorist atrocities committed by Islamic fundamentalists on September 11. Sick with cancer, the seventy-two-year-old Fallaci, who spends most of her time in New York City, let her fury erupt in an "anger that eliminates every detachment." Only days after the attacks, the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera published Fallaci's scathing essay entitled "La Rabbia e l'Orgoglio." The article was a sensation, igniting bitter controversy all over Europe. Soon after, the Italian publisher Rizzoli persuaded her to extend her essay into a small book, which has sold one million copies in Italy, and has now been translated into English by Fallaci herself.

Fallaci's antagonists have accused her of being a xenophobe and Islamophobe. In France, an anti-racist group has attempted to have her book banned. Two other groups demanded disclaimers that the book doesn't accurately portray Islam. The head of Editions Grasset, one of France's most prominent publishers, said: "It's a regressive book, which will be read by people with reptilian brains." Rana Kabbani wrote, "Fallaci's hatred and fear of Muslims is both visceral and hysterical."

Fallaci--an anti-Fascist resistance fighter as a teenager and a war correspondent for most of her career as a journalist--is unlikely to have been motivated by fear. "The Rage and the Pride" is unfocused, but it is not hysterical, and, though uncompromising, is certainly not visceral. "War you wanted, war you want?" she declares. "Good. As far as I am concerned, war is and war will be. Until the last breath."

Fallaci has always written with a self-regarding eye, seeing herself as a player, not bystander, of history--but the history she now takes up is Western civilization and Italy's sacred cultural heritage. "The Rage and the Pride" makes no pretense at constructing a disciplined case against Muslim fundamentalists or their European fellow travelers. Fallaci feigns no detachment or objectivity. The book is a spontaneous reaction to an almost inexpressible horror, and more important to Fallaci, a portent of horrors to come. It lectures and accuses and, despite some occasional drifting, is utterly convincing. "On every professional experience," Fallaci once said, "I leave shreds of my heart and soul; and I participate in what I see or hear as though the matter concerned me personally and were one on which I ought to take a stand (in fact I always take one, based on a specific moral choice)."

The leftists attacking the book have this much excuse: Fallaci's didactic posture can make her infuriating. The idiosyncratic translation, the scatological cursing, and the self-righteousness all sporadically undermine "The Rage and the Pride." But none of it undermines the emotional effect. And as Fallaci explains in her preface, the book was not meant for us. "My country, my Italy, is not the Italy of today," she writes--"The pleasure-loving, vulgar Italy of people who think only about retiring before they are fifty, the evil, stupid and cowardly Italy of the little hyenas who would send their daughter to a brothel in Beirut just to shake hands with a Hollywood star, but when the kamikaze of bin Laden reduce thousands of New Yorkers to mush, laugh and say it serves America right."

In the end, the unsympathetic candor is what makes "The Rage and the Pride" so refreshing. Fallaci's heartfelt defense of American culture may find much antipathy in Europe, but here it will be warmly embraced. Ted Morgan once wrote in the Washington Post that Fallaci "wants to be more than a brilliant interviewer, she wants to be an avenging angel." Finally, she has her chance.
Israel to let all MPs attend unveiling of cabinet: Palestinians

The boys are back in town. Will there be a treasurer's report?
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) - Israel has promised to allow all Palestinian MPs to attend a session of parliament where Yasser Arafat is to name his new cabinet, deputy speaker Ibrahim Abul Naja said.

"Israel has agreed to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) session in Ramallah Monday and will let all MPs attend that session, including those from Gaza who will be allowed to reach Ramallah," Abul Naja told AFP.

The PLC press office also issued a statement with Monday's agenda, saying all the MPs would attend thanks to European pressure on the Jewish state.

The MPs are to convene in Arafat's battered Ramallah headquarters and vote on a confidence motion on the new cabinet, it said.

But the spokesman for the European Union (EU) envoy to the region, Miguel Angel Moratinos, said the diplomat had only asked Israel to let Gazan MPs attend the landmark session and "obtained assurances that his request would be favorably reviewed."

No immediate confirmation was available from Israel, which banned 14 Gaza MPs from attending a previous session last month after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said all deputies implicated in "terrorist" activities would be barred from travelling across Israel to Ramallah.

The Palestinian leader's announcement of his new government line-up has been delayed since September 25, first by an Israeli siege of his headquarters here, then by wrangling between factions.

A previous cabinet announced after a reshuffle in June resigned three months later in the face of almost certain defeat in a mandatory confidence vote in parliament.

Arafat has come under enormous domestic and international pressure to reform his Palestinian Authority, which has been mired in allegations of corruption, incompetence, and collusion with militant groups.
The Crisis Within Islam

A lengthy amd very nice study of Islam, with focus upon historical factors that have led to the silence of the majority, thus making Islam seem a relgion of violence. Where are the moderates and why do we hear so little from the?
Islam is a religion of peace, President George Bush has declared. The imam at the local mosque has likely offered the same assurance, as has your Muslim neighbor or coworker. Yet many in the West remain suspicious that Islam is not at all a peaceful faith, and that the conflict sparked by the September 11 attacks is not just a war against terrorism but a "clash of civilizations."

It´s not hard to understand why. Osama bin Laden, who became the world´s best-known Muslim during the 1990s, declared that there is no path open to a believing Muslim except jihad, or holy war, against the United States. Islamic authorities who refuse to join him, bin Laden said, are betraying the faith. At the same time, the few prominent Muslims who have disowned the terrorism perpetrated in Islam´s name on September 11 and actively affirmed its peaceful character have been drowned out by the silence of the many others who have not, or who have in their confusion failed to condemn unequivocally bin Laden´s acts.

This strange silence does not reflect the attitude of traditional Islam but is a painful manifestation of a crisis of authority that has been building within Islam for a century. It is this crisis that allowed bin Laden, despite his lack of a formal religious education or an authoritative religious position, to assume the role of spokesman for the world´s Muslims. The crisis has undermined the traditional leaders who should be in a position to disqualify or overrule a man who does not speak--or act--for Islam.

Today´s crisis grows in part out of the structure of Islam itself--a faith without denominations, hierarchies, and centralized institutions. The absence of such structures has been a source of strength that has permitted the faith to adapt to local conditions and win converts around the world. But it is also a weakness that makes it difficult for Muslims to come together and speak with one voice on important issues--to say what is and what is not true Islam.

Islam´s structural weakness has been immeasurably magnified by a series of historical forces that have gradually compromised the authority of its traditional religious leaders in the Middle East and elsewhere. The imams and muftis (legal scholars) who once shaped the worldviews of ordinary Muslims and confidently articulated the meaning of the faith have been overshadowed by more innovative and often radical figures with much shallower roots in tradition. Hundreds of millions of ordinary Muslims feel that they understand their religion perfectly well, and that it provides no justification for the murderous crashing of airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But until Islam´s crisis of authority is resolved, these people will have no voice, and public confusion about what Islam really stands for will persist.
Fear Factor: Tim Blake Nelson has made the scariest Holocaust movie you'll ever see.
A film and a story not to be missed.
Tim Blake Nelson is a uniquely American artist. His body of work as a writer, director and actor is as eclectic as his origins. Like many New Yorkers, he is not from New York. A self-described "Jew from Tulsa," Oklahoma ("one of those folks from the Bible," he likes to say with a rural twang), Nelson's first film was the acclaimed Sundance favorite Eye of God. Set in a small Oklahoma town, the film was based on a play written by Nelson revolving around faith, fidelity and punishment and featured extraordinary performances from Martha Plimpton, Hal Holbrook and Kevin Anderson. As an actor, Nelson is perhaps best known for playing Delmar, the dingbat convict on the lam with George Clooney and John Turturro in the Coen brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou? As a director of material that is not his own, Nelson just saw the release of the long-delayed and controversial film O, a contemporary adaptation of Othello set in an all-white Southern prep school.

But Nelson considers The Grey Zone his most personal work to date. A reporter with Entertainment Weekly recently observed that Nelson's collection of antique wristwatches from all over the world numbers over 120, and that Nelson is "a man obsessed with time." The characters in The Grey Zone are also obsessed with time, knowing as they do how little of it they have left.

In the mid-90s, Nelson encountered an essay in Primo Levi's The Drowned and the Saved about the Sonderkommandos - Jews forced to become part of the Nazi extermination machine. When he read Levi's work, he recognized that these men had been forced to face the ultimate moral dilemma. The Sonderkommandos, prisoners in the death camps, were selected to ready their fellow Jews for death in the gas chambers, and then to process their corpses after gassings, stripping them of clothes, valuables and even hair and teeth before incineration, ensuring that the huge death machine operated as efficiently as possible.

Those who refused to perform their duties were shot on the spot, and many chose suicide over execution. Those who accepted the labor lived for an extra four months at most, before being slaughtered themselves.

In exchange for assisting in the extermination of their fellow Jews, the Sonderkommandos were granted privileges unheard of in the rest of the camp - larger quarters, better food, books, alcohol and cigarettes, and the right to loot the belongings of the transports just exterminated.

"At the time I began researching their lives, I was an able-bodied Jewish man in my early thirties, so it could have been my life, my predicament. To this day I cannot tell what I might have done if faced with their impossible choice. It became personal," Nelson told Jewsweek.

A year earlier, Nelson had written a play about the escape from Germany of his mother's family, which happened just before Kristallnacht, when the Nazis made clear to the world their intention to rid Germany, and then Europe, of its Jewish population. He decided that his play added nothing new to the spectrum of work that had already examined the Holocaust, and put it aside. In contrast, one of the considerations that drew him to tell the story of the Sonderkommandos was that their history had never been explored on stage or film. "I grew up attending synagogue and Hebrew school, and I had never heard of the Sonderkommandos," Nelson explains.
Quitting

Libya quits Arab League. Perhaps the AL not doing enough to eliminate Israel?
Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher expressed his confidence in Libya's role in the Arab world, saying that the request to withdraw from the Arab League (AL) was out of Libya's frustration with the Arab situation.
Meanwhile, Libya yesterday notified the AL of plans to leave the pan-Arab body, state news agency Jana quoted a government source as saying.
No reason was immediately given for the decision, but Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi asked Libyans in September to quit the league in protest against the 'Arab failure' in the face of Israel and the United States.
AL spokesman Hesham Youssef said that the Cairo-based body had not yet been notified officially.
In a further development, AL Secretary-General Amr Moussa said he would make an "urgent" visit to Libya, hours after Tripoli announced its intention to pull out of the 22-member pan-Arab group.
Moussa, who is currently on a visit to Portugal, said he was returning to Cairo and would go straight to Libya "to resolve this crisis."
Moussa, who enjoys wide respect among Libyan officials for his sharp criticism of Israel, travelled to Libya last month in an attempt to calm Gaddafi's anger.
Israel has right to statehood

Daniel Pipes seems to be everywhere. And here he addresses college students to help counter-balence the pro-Palestinian romatics at American campuses. And of course the disruptive Palestinian students.
Daily Northwestern

A Palestinian change of heart is key to resolving the Middle East conflict, an author and columnist said in a speech that attracted both Muslim and Jewish students to Annenberg Hall on Monday night.

About 80 students and Evanston residents gathered to hear Daniel Pipes, who completed his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral work at Harvard University, speak on the conflict in Israel and how U.S. foreign policy affects the volatile situation.

Pipes said the U.S. government has falsely assumed that Palestinians accept Israel's current geographical and ideological boundaries since Israel's victory in 1967's Six Day War. Before the Middle East situation can improve, Palestinians must accept Israel's right to exist, he said.

"The key is to achieve a Palestinian change of heart," he said.

Pipes continued his criticism of U.S. foreign policy by switching gears to the post-Sept. 11 "War on Terror." He said the war is "going astray," because its target really is not terror but what he called "militant Islam."

Pipes said militant Islam is "in the cast of fascism, communism, Nazism, Leninism."

It attempts to remake society by completely controlling people's lives, he said.

Pipes, once a professor at Harvard, also said control pervades some college campuses and prevents students from discussing their views on current foreign policy issues. To combat intolerance, misunderstanding and fears of expressing volatile viewpoints on campuses, Pipes helped create campuswatch.org, a Web site where students can express their views about the Middle East conflict.

One problem Pipes said he found on college campuses is some instructors impose their views on students. He said his Web site gives students the opportunity to express opinions without worrying about professors punishing them with bad grades.

"I have no coercive powers," he said. "Just the freedom of speech."

Many agreed that Pipes' pro-Israeli views were welcome additions to Northwestern's repertoire of Middle Eastern perspectives.

"Pipes' Web site has clearly opened a lively discussion on ... progress toward peace in the Middle East," said Eric Samuels, the fellow at Doppelt Jewish Campus Service Corps. "At NU I hope the discussion can continue."

Support of Technion vital to Israel says former IDF general

As this article so wisely points out, there is an impolrtant connection between a viable economy and security for Israel
In addition to the latest Middle East conflicts and a looming U.S.-Iraqi war, Israelis have another concern: their lagging economy. According to retired Israeli army Major General Amos Horev, the key to Israels economic future lies in Technion (The Israel Institute of Technology), known as the MIT of Israel.

At a speech on Oct. 19 to the Southern Chapter of the American Society for Technion in Jupiter, the former general explained the vital connection between Israels economic independence and Technion, the countrys leading center for technology and research. Horev, who served as president of Technion from 1973 to 1982, said the institutes technological advancements fuel the economy by providing high tech exports and growth within the country.

''Were second to the U.S. in technological sophistication- this little Israel. And its all because of this school,'' Horev said. ``Our economic posture has changed drastically. We were once agriculturally oriented, but not anymore. Israel cannot develop without the technological advancements that occur at Technion.''

Ninety of Israels 100 largest companies are managed by Technion graduates, and alumnae generate nearly a third of Israels $100 billion GDP.

Humanizing Israeli Victims

I am not as convinced as the author of this piece that there is a gradual shifting in the media toward a more sypathetic view of Israel. I do believe though that the bus bombing and the Bali massacre will increase the contempt for terrorism. Then too even a modest shift toward a more sympathetic view is a much-welcomed change from what has been up to this point.
HonestReporting encourages members to contact your local editors and recommend that they publish similar articles.

Thanks to journalist Tom Gross for the research.

----- (1) USA TODAY -----

A page one story from USA Today declares that "Israelis have discovered ways to live with everyday terror." Ellen Hale writes:

"Through small daily actions, deliberate public policies and subtle adjustments in the way they think, [Israelis] have found healthy methods of taking control of their lives and going about their business amid the chaos of war. Though they may have had to cut back on liberties they once enjoyed, most say they have learned to take pleasure in people and experiences they previously undervalued -- (small moments with their families and friends).

"The day it re-opened, Cafe Moment [where 12 Israelis were killed on March 9] was packed with the families of those killed, as well as those injured in the blast, in a robust show of survival that someone called 'non-violent revenge.' Moment bomb victim Joseph Cohen, 50, spent two months recuperating in a hospital. He now walks with a cane, is partially blind and has pitted scars over his back from nails planted in the bomb. Yet, he returns to the cafe every day for a drink. Says Cohen: 'I made myself do it. You have to. You live, or not.'"

Online at:
http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20021017/4542206s.htm

Comments to:
editor@usatoday.com

----- (2) TIMES OF LONDON -----

As the war against Iraq gathers steam, The Times of London published a profile of the Iraqi Jewish community. ("Iraq's last Jews Wait in Fear for War" - Oct. 18)

Writer Ian Cobain makes mention of the often-forgotten Jewish refugees who were forced to flee Arab countries in the wake of Israel's independence:

"Fifty years ago, there were about 350,000 Jewish people in Iraq. When the British marched into Baghdad at the end of the First World War a fifth of its citizens were estimated to be Jewish... After the creation of the state of Israel hundreds of thousands of Jews fled Iraq, at first slipping across the borders in small numbers, then joining airlifts organised by the Israeli Government."

The Times reports on the remnants of the community today: "Today 38 [Jews] remain in the capital. In Basra, the once prosperous port in the south, there is just one old woman. In Mosul and Amarah, and other Iraqi cities where Jews had lived for more than two millennia, their communities have vanished without trace." In Baghdad, the guardian of the only functioning synagogue said that he required "written permission from the Ministry of Information before I can talk to you, and then they will send one of their minders to sit in on the interview."

Online at:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-450465,00.html

Comments to:
worldnews.editor@the-times.co.uk
Muslim cleric held under anti-terror law

This guy a Palestinian, wanted by Jordan too, operating out of Egypt at one time

Anti-terrorist police in London have arrested a Muslim cleric accused by France and Spain of being an influential figure in the al-Qaeda terrorist network in Europe.

Abu Qatada was arrested at 7.30pm on Wednesday and is being held at Belmarsh prison in south London. He is only the 12th person to be held under the Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act introduced in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the US, after which Mr Qatada and his family disappeared from their west Lon don home.

Spanish and French investigators believe Mr Qatada, a Palestinian who preached at the Baker Street prayer group in London, has been an important figure in the al-Qaeda network. Baltasar Garzon, Spain's chief investigative magistrate, has accused Mr Qatada of directing the activities of Islamic extremists in Europe. According to US court records he is also accused of being a member of al-Qaeda's fatwa committee, which issues religious rulings.

Terrorism experts say he is a member of an Egyptian Islamist group, Takfir wal-Hijra, headed by Ayman al-Zawhari, the deputy leader of al-Qaeda. He is wanted in Jordan for his alleged role in a series of bombings in the capital Amman in 1998.

Following his disappearance last December, the British security service MI5 was accused in the US media and by European terrorism investigators of hiding Mr Qatada and using him as an informer. MI5 denied the accusation.

Security sources have said that a decision was taken to allow Mr Qatada a degree of liberty while he was on the run, in the hope that under surveillance he would give terrorism investigators clues. It is not known how much has been learned since he disappeared last December, though security sources have said that the surveillance strategy was co-ordinated with Spanish and French security services.

Mr Qatada has not been charged, but the legislation under which he is being held allows for the indefinite detention of non-British citizens if they are considered a danger to national security.

The Court of Appeal is to decide this morning whether the law is discriminatory according to the European convention on human rights, as it applies only to non-British citizens. It is not known whether Mr Qatada's arrest was timed to take place before the appeal court judgment.
Hate Drives Jews Back to Spain

A small peek at a small Jewish community but one mirroring the rise in world-wide anti-semitism. But to Spain?
Growing anti-Semitism and poor economic prospects are threatening to extinguish two Jewish communities on the North African coast.

After the expulsion from Spain in 1492, a small number of Jews escaped across the Strait of Gibraltar to two fortress cities that Spanish kings were establishing as beachheads in North Africa. Despite the Inquisition on the Iberian mainland, the Jewish inhabitants of Ceuta and Melilla were largely left alone for the next five centuries. They were joined by other Sephardic Jews over the centuries.

Their descendants now are leaving the enclaves, which are surrounded by Moroccan territory, and returning to Spain.

"In 10 years, perhaps there will be no one here," said Mesod Bengio, a Jewish perfume merchant in Ceuta.

Ceuta and slightly smaller Melilla are unlike any other part of Spain, where no Jews lived — at least not openly — until religious freedom was reinstated in the 19th century. Jews in Ceuta and Melilla, which measure about 8 and 5 square miles, respectively, have lived cheek by jowl, but largely in peace, with Christians, Muslims and a small minority of Hindus.
14 people hurt in riots at Ketziot detention center

Palestinian troublemakers still cause trouble even after being arrested, as prison population grows.
Fourteen people, including two soldiers, were lightly injured after suffering smoke inhalation Thursday night in riots that broke out at the Ketziot detention center in the western Negev.

Ketziot serves as a detention center for Palestinian prisoners before they are handed over to the Prison Service. More than 1,000 Palestinians are currently detained there, most of them under administrative arrest.

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners set fire to their tents and hurled rocks at the warders. In response, security forces hurled gas and stun grenades at the rioters.

Security sources said that the riots erupted after the warders tried to transfer three prisoners to a jail under the jurisdiction of the Prison Service. One of the prisoners forcibly resisted and incited other detainees to riot
PA intelligence officer arrested with IDF uniforms

A task that seems endless: rounding up terrorists and potential murderers

IDF uniforms, two guns, and documents were found by police in the home of a Palestinian intelligence officer arrested in Akaba, in Samaria, early Thursday morning.

According to officials, the two guns have been sent for ballistic tests to determine whether they were involved in terrorist attacks.

Meanwhile, the IDF wound up a large-scale operation in Kalkilya on Thursday morning, arresting 12 fugitives affiliated with the Tanzim and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
In other operations in the West Bank, security forces arrested a Hamas activist in Beit Jala, two fugitives in Salfit, and another in Katana southwest of Ramallah.

Palestinians reported, meanwhile, that IDF forces shot and killed a 16-year-old in Jenin early Thursday evening. According to the IDF, the youth attempted to climb up a tank and throw an explosive device inside it when soldiers nearby shot him.
Iron Lady Speaks

Friends don't forget friends and speak out for Israel
Former prime minister Lady Thatcher urged the world not to forget that “Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East” in a rare address at the Commonwealth Jewish Council (CJC) annual awards dinner this week.

The 77-year-old, who suffered a series of strokes earlier this year that forced her to limit public engagements, spoke to more than 150 ambassadors and Jewish leaders at the event in central London.

She said: “The security of the State of Israel affects our security. Israel may be in the front line of terror, but the west is not far behind.

“After what happened on September 11 last year and the tragedy in Bali, it is clear that the forces of evil have everyone of us in their sight.”

Praising the work of the CJC, which she helped established 20 years ago, Lady Thatcher added: “Because Jewish people now live in so many different countries, this international organisation is vital to their well being –particularly with the consequences of extremism which falsely cloaks itself in religion.”

The baroness also praised the Jewish community of Gibraltar, which received the CJC’s annual award for their “generosity of spirit” in a year fraught with political uncertainty.

She also urged Britain to stand by the Rock, like Israel’s friends have stood by her.

Lady Thatcher, once described as the Iron Lady by political opponents, said: “Governments talk a great deal about democracy, but if neither Spain nor Britain allow the people of Gibraltar to decide their own future, it will be a sorry reflection on what we owe the people of the Rock.”
Anti-Semitic 'Elders of Zion' Gets New Life on Egypt TV


When this old nugget of anti-semitism is heard among citizens of a country, you can dismiss the few who believe this stuff as plain stupid. But when it becomes TV fare over state-controlled media, then you know that even a country that has in theory made peace with Israel is still to be viewed as dangerous , an enemy willing to incite its poverty-stricken religious zealots to take up arms against Jews and Israelis


AIRO, Oct. 25 — The images flash quickly across the television screen. They show a bloody face, Victorian men and women in a drawing room, soldiers wielding rifle butts. And a man in black hat with side curls and long beard.

An Egyptian satellite television channel has begun teasers for its blockbuster Ramadan series that its producers acknowledge incorporates ideas from the infamous czarist forgery "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." That document, a pillar of anti-Semitic hatred for about a century, appears to be gaining a new foothold in parts of the Arab world, some scholars and observers say.

The series, "Horse Without a Horseman," traces the history of the Middle East from 1855 to 1917 through the eyes of an Egyptian who fought British occupiers and the Zionist movement.

It is divided into 41 episodes and will be shown nightly through the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins in about two weeks and guarantees maximum viewership because many Muslims congregate at home after breaking the daily fast.

With Egyptian state television and other Arab channels also broadcasting the series, the potential audience numbers in the tens of millions
Israel army reoccupies Jenin as U.S. mission ends


Burns concludes US mission. Israel begins its mission to root out terrorists responsible for deadly bus bombing.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel is tightening its grip on Jenin, scouring the battered West Bank city for Palestinian militants responsible for suicide bombings as a U.S. peace mission wound down indecisively.

The Israeli army said on Saturday it detained six Palestinians in and near Jenin.

Hundreds of troops backed by heavy armour rolled into Jenin on Friday, commandeering buildings, searching homes and imposing curfews. The army drew fire from gunmen and also on the diplomatic front from the European Union, which urged restraint.

Israeli military chiefs said the Jenin operation -- dubbed "Vanguard" -- would last as long as necessary to flush out militants waging a Palestinian uprising for independence with suicide bombings such as one which killed 14 Israelis on Monday.

Palestinian medics said six people were seriously wounded in clashes with the army -- violence which overshadowed the end of a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories by U.S. envoy William Burns.

Burns came with a "roadmap" for peace based on a Middle East policy speech last June by President George W. Bush, who has been seeking to lower Israeli-Palestinian tensions as Washington prepares for possible war on Iraq.
debka.com headlines

NATO, Israeli fleets mount massive Mediterranean-Aegean hunt for cargo vessel suspected of carrying al Qaeda terrorists

US, Israel intelligence call terror alert for possible al Qaeda landing in Israel

Ship is Tonga-Flagged 1,600-ton “Cristi” owned by Greek shipper Dimitris Kokkos and Pakistani-American Rifat Muhammed – Al Qaeda shippers based at Constanza, Rumania.
Shades of June, 1967

Belligerent Egyptian statements, Egyptian troop movements, and terrorist acts from Egyptian territory were part of the prelude to the 1967 War. I was reminded of the atmosphere during the weeks leading to that War when I encountered the following news stories.

First, this story from IMRA, October 23, 2002, under the heading, “Israel complains to Egypt for ignoring terror from Egypt - including Egyptian Army post”:

Israel Radio reported today that IDF Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Moshe Yaalon told the Knesset Foreign and Defense Affairs Committee today that Israel has complained to Egypt for ignoring terror activities originating from its territory.

Yaalon reported that in a recent incident when the IDF exploded a tunnel for smuggling weapons, ammunition and terrorists from the Egyptian Sinai to Palestinian controlled Rafah, the smoke created by the explosion could be seen rising from an Egyptian Army position on the Egyptian side of the border.

It should be noted that Israel typically does not give public expression to the ongoing lack of Egyptian cooperation in preventing terror activities originating from Egypt - even though this constitutes a flagrant violation of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. This issue, for example, was not raised when Egypt offered to "contribute" to the situation by training Palestinian security forces.

The second relevant story comes from Arutz 7, October 23, and is equally as ominous, if not more so:
Egypt has concluded what it called a "major military exercise" in the Sinai Peninsula. Middle East News Line (MENL) reports that the 10-day exercise was conducted by the Third Army in southern Sinai, and was meant to determine combat skills and integrate new weaponry and systems for Egypt's ground forces. The exercise, the second in the Sinai peninsula over the last three months, was attended by Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi and other senior Egyptian officials. Tantawi said Egypt requires a powerful military to safeguard the country and regional peace.

Dr. Aryeh Stav, Director of the Ariel Center for Policy Research, told Arutz-7 several months ago, "I head a center that takes a long-range, strategic view. Egypt is one of the poorest nations in the world, yet it spends 20% of its budget on re-arming. It has one of the largest armies in the world, with 450,000 soldiers, and another 400,000 in auxiliary frameworks, and is outfitted with some of the most modern weaponry. It has no viable enemies anywhere else, and therefore the conclusion is that this army is being built up to fight a war against Israel. They announce this openly: Tantawi said recently that the army is preparing for the fight with the 'Zionist enemy.'"

[This story was also reported in part by IMRA on October 22, 2002.]

Fanning the flames of wars is always aided by first demonizing the intended enemy, and even this universal element is not missing from Egypt’s repertoire. The Jerusalem Post reports:

Egyptian state television will broadcast a 30-part series based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an infamous anti-Semitic tract the show's creator and star says "reveals the Zionist schemes to seize Palestine."

This week, Egyptian television began advertising "Horseman Without a Horse," which it said will be broadcast during the first half of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month and traditionally prime time for serialized television specials. Ramadan starts in early November.

I sure hope I’m wrong, but my experience has taught me that when I forecast the worst and multiply it by one thousand, I am still proved an optimist.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland

October 25, 2002

Top Lebanon Shia Cleric Compares U.S. to Nazis

Another demented cleric using the by now time-worn "indictment" that compares Israel or the U.S. to Nazi Germany. This simpleton used to be the spiritual advisor to Hizbollah (spiritual advice to mass murderers?), and now he spews his venom against America, ignoring the simple fact that some 30 thousand Syrian troops control his very country, allowing Lebanon to be used as a base for Hizbollah. Why is it that so many of these people are unable to do a bit of self-examination? Note too that the article appears in an Iranian paper, and it is Iran that funds Hizbollah.
BEIRUT --Top Lebanon's Shia Muslim cleric compared the United States to Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler on Friday, urging "oppressed peoples" to confront Washington.

"Oppressed peoples, must confront the development of this new arrogance that is transforming the biggest superpower into something resembling a new Nazism in the image of Hitler with an American nationality," Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah said in his Friday sermon.

"It threatens every opponent of its policy of superiority, in the name of civilization and freedom, with destructive war," he told worshipers in Beirut's southern suburbs.

Anti-American feeling has been running high in the Arab world because of U.S. support for Israel as it tries to crush a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, Reuters reported.

U.S. threats to attack Iraq, which Washington accuses of seeking weapons of mass destruction, have heightened those sentiments in recent months.

Fadlallah, a former spiritual mentor to Lebanon's anti-Israel Hizbollah guerrillas and an implacable foe of U.S. policy in the Middle East, has previously issued religious edicts banning Muslims from helping in any attack on Iraq.

"America has reached megalomaniacal levels with its threats to negate (the role of) the United Nations if it does not accept the American resolution to legitimize automatic war against Iraq according to American rules," he said.

Lebanon and its political powerbroker Syria are staunch opponents of a U.S. attack on Iraq.

Baghdad denies it has weapons of
Amish Tech Gives it to CNN

Amish Tech makes light of CNN's news pimp Eason Jordan.

The Easiest Way to Stop Suicide Attacks (on busses at least)

I usual view has been that the best way and most bloodless way to stop suicide bombings is to kill the families of the last few suicide bombers. Adults only, Israel denies responsibility, etc.

But I was reading an article concerning the partying (and I believe anti-Israel attitude, although I never finished the article) of the many young foreign government and non governmental workers in Israel and a thought occurred to me.

There are hundreds of young UN, non governmental organizations (NGOs, frequently so called human rights orgs which are biased against Israel) and embassy staffers in Israel. Many of these people are Europeans.

All Israel has to do is order that all of these people are only allowed to use one form of transportation. Public busses. No cars, limos or taxes. Only public busses. Some of these people, with an unquenchable urge to express sympathy for the pals, would high tail it out of the country but some would stay which would force their governments to actually start pressuring the arabs to stop blowing people up.

Jenin has become "terrorism capital": Ben Eliezer

I find this piece interesting because it is the lead article for Arabia.com, a heavily used on-line site. If memopry serves me correctly I believe this site used to refer to items from Jerusalem as "Occupied Jerusalem." Wonder why the change.
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer called the northern West Bank town of Jenin a "capital of terrorism," as hundreds of soldiers combed the city in a hunt for about 20 wanted militants.

"Jenin has become the capital of terrorism, where male and female bombers leave to commit attacks in Israel," Ben Eliezer said on public radio.

"It is impossible to go ahead with the easing of sanctions (against the civilian population) when we are obliged to defend our homes from attacks by suicide bombers and car bombs," he added.

Hundreds of Israeli soldiers and armored vehicles swooped down on the area Friday hunting around 20 men wanted in connection with a suicide bombing earlier this week whose two authors were from Jenin and who killed 14 Israelis.

Two 15-year-old boys were hit by Israeli machine-gun fire Friday morning, hospital and security sources said, as armoured vehicle patrolled the Jenin refugee camp hunting the masterminds of the suicide bomb.

The boys, listed in serious condition, were outside their homes doing nothing when an armoured vehicle opened fire, the sources said.

A two-year-old boy was also lightly wounded by a bullet to the shoulder, they added.
Israel seeks revenge in Jenin

I had thought Israeli was going to wait till the U.S. attacked Iraq but once again, tit for tat. Is there an end in sight?
Hundreds of soldiers backed by scores of heavy military vehicles have entered the West Bank city of Jenin as Israel retaliated for a suicide car bombing that killed 14 Israelis earlier this week.

A senior Israeli commander said the operation, dubbed "Vanguard," was aimed at rooting out some 20 militants in the city of some 250,000.

He said it was the largest such operation since August, when Israel responded to a Jerusalem university bombing that killed seven by sending tanks into Nablus, killing three Palestinians.

"This operation is an outgrowth of this week's suicide car bombing," said the commander. On Monday a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 14 when he detonated explosives packed into a car next to a bus on a road between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Israel initially held back retaliation, apparently at the request of the United States, which is seeking to avoid a flare-up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict out of concern it could jeopardise Arab support for any strike in Iraq.

The raid into Jenin came just hours after U.S. envoy William Burns met with Palestinian and Israeli officials in what seemed to be an almost futile attempt to halt violence which has raged since the Palestinian uprising for independence started in September 2000. He is due to hold more talks on Friday.

"Our intelligence indicates that the bombing encouraged the terrorist cell in Jenin, which is now rearming and winning new recruits," a senior Israeli commander told reporters.
Palestinian Attackers Put Israeli Buses on Front Line of Mideast Battle

An earlier post at this sitenoted how it is the poor who must use busses. Here, additional discussion of buses as targets.
KIRYAT ATA, Israel Oct. 25 — Behind a garage, buses splintered by suicide bombers are lined up, a row of crumpled tombs. Ghosts seem to linger, as if still sitting in the shredded seats.

Mechanics sift through the latest wreckage in this junk yard, finding a charred Bible, a melted comb and a camera beside bus No. 841 a blackened metal skeleton where 14 people died, torn and burnt, on Monday.

"They are pieces of lives," said mechanic Avraham Weinberg, holding a young woman's burnt job resume. He hopes to return it to her family.

Palestinian militants have put drivers and passengers on the front line in two years of battles following collapsed peace talks. Eighteen shooting and bombing attacks on buses have killed 120 people. In June, the militant Hamas group declared a "war on the buses."

In Monday's attack, two teenage Palestinians sent by the Islamic Jihad group rammed a car packed with about 220 pounds of explosives into the back of the bus, igniting the fuel tank and setting a roaring fire that charred bodies.

In a similar attack June 5, an Islamic Jihad bomber in an explosives-laden car destroyed a bus on the same highway in northern Israel, killing 16 passengers.

"I'm scared, but what can I do?" said Gila Shriki as she waited for bus No. 841, the same line that was hit Monday.

She was relieved when a driver said he would take her in a small taxi van for the same price, a mode of travel she reckoned was safer.

One driver on this route, Micky Harel, has survived four attacks. He's still off the job, recovering from injuries from the last one in June.
44 Overseas Filipino Workers in Saudi face execution

Why not replace these executed and /or stranded workers with Palestinians as a show of Arab solidarity?
The militant group Migrante International said yesterday that 44 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia are scheduled to be beheaded after being convicted of various crimes.

At the same time, Migrante revealed some 1,500 other OFWs who escaped from their employers are stranded in the country since their passports have been withheld.

"We urge the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to actively monitor and intervene in the cases of the imprisoned OFWs, especially those on Death Row," said Poe Gratela, Migrante secretary general.

Gratela cited the cases of three OFWs recently declared innocent of murder charges but who still remain jailed.

Lito Alejo of Bulacan, Romeo Cordova of Cavite and Ramiro Esmero of Laguna, charged with killing a Saudi Arabian policeman and imprisoned for almost six years, were all declared innocent last July, Gratela said.

He said still they remain behind bars, waiting for the Saudi court to process their release papers.

Gratela said President Arroyo even visited Alejo’s wife and promised he would be home in five weeks.

"That was 13 weeks ago," he added.

Another group of Filipino migrants aching to go home are the stranded workers. Gratela said there are around 1,500 stranded workers in Saudi Arabia, 200 of them in Riyadh.

To be able to return to the Philippines, Gratela said, the stranded workers need release papers from their former employers, as well as their passports and plane tickets which are often also kept by the employers.

In some cases, even when the employers have given the documents, the OFWs still could not return because they did not have money for plane tickets.

"The plight of Filipino migrants in Saudi Arabia is ironic given the Philippine government’s statements about its contingency plans for the OFWs when the United States attacks Iraq," said Gratela.

He urged that in addition to intervening in the legal cases of the imprisoned OFWs, the Arroyo administration should also focus its resources toward bringing home these Filipino migrants.

For this, the government need not wait for the outbreak of war," he said.
Top Israeli General: Iran Behind Terror Attacks

A top general's assessement of why Arafat must go and what will happen should the U.S. attack Iraq
Thursday October 24, 2002
On February 14th, Ya’aser Arafat met with leaders from Fatah, Hezbollah, and representatives from Iran. He asked them why there were not more Jewish casualties. He told them, "You know what to do." It was then that the Palestinian Authority became a terrorist organization.
That information was provided by Lt. Gen. General Shaul Mofaz (ret.), former Israel Defense Forces Chief of General Staff, at a briefing today sponsored by the Friends of the IDF (israelsoldiers.org).

That meeting took place during the time U.S. negotiator General Zinni was in Israel, pressing for peace, and the Palestinians ostensibly wanted to participate. Privately, the Palestinians had no such wishes, he told those at the gathering. What they really wanted was to join with Iran in destroying Israel through terror.

[See out Inside Cover, Arafat Tried to Assassinate Powell]

Hezbollah, Ya’aser Arafat's Palestinian Authority and Iran are the architects of the homicide bombing spree in Israel, Mofaz says, and they have abandoned the peace process to try to attain their political goals by violence and bloodshed. They feel that Israel is weak, and cannot withstand these kinds of violent attacks.

The Israelis found boxes of documents in the town of Jenin linking the PA, Hezbollah and Iran to terror financing.

Even so, the general believes that Israel is "a country that believes, hopes and prays” for peace, albeit a secure peace.

Mofaz wants to get the Palestinians back to the negotiating table, but only if the following two stringent requirements are met:

1) Ya’aser Arafat must be exiled, and the Palestinians must choose another leader. There can be no more negotiations with Arafat, and other representation must be found.

When asked who might replace Arafat, i.e. who might have enough political clout in the Arab community, Gen. Mofaz said Israel should not be involved in naming names, presumably lest the Arab world think that one named individual or other would be considered hand-picked by the Israelis. He said Israel should be involved in exiling terrorist leaders.

2) No more terror attacks. There can be no negotiations until the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist, and only then will Israel know that they have admitted they have no basis for their terror attacks, and stop them.
Sharon Agrees To US Surrender Terms

Sharon announced today that he has agreed to the surrender terms negotiated by the US and the European collaborators by which Israel will reward the terrorists for their efficiency in murdering Jews with a state of their own in Eretz Israel. Of course the surrender is unconditional as the PLO terrorists will be subject to no conditions which they obviously would be unable to fulfill (like ceasing to slaughter Jewish children). You probably remember a similar surrender deal was signed in 1993, but the terrorists were unhappy with the terms as it still allowed a small Jewish presence in the Middle East. Not to worry as we are quite certain by the time the "Quartet" is done negotiating, Eretz Israel will officially be Judenfrei. We were hoping to negotiate access to Jewish holy sites, but the French Foreign Minister announced that Jews would only be allowed to worship in the newly constructed “synagogue” at Auschwitz. Of course we will be provided with a shower first.
(Ha'aretz) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has given his seal of approval, "in principle," to the latest American peace plan presented by U.S. envoy William Burns, Army Radio reported. The two met Thursday evening in Jerusalem as part of Burns' visit to the region aimed at rallying support for the plan.

Among other things, the roadmap calls for the dismantling of illegal Jewish settlement outposts and a thorough reform of the Palestinian ruling bodies. The plan aims toward the creation of a Palestinian state by 2004-5.

The radio quoted sources in the Prime Minister's office as saying Thursday that the principles set out in the roadmap had mostly been accepted by Israel, but added that there were several elements to the plan, in particular matters related to security, which needed to be changed.

In Tel Aviv, a meeting between Israel and Palestinian officials, headed by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PA minister Saeb Erekat respectively, also drew to a close. The two sides discussed a further easing of the sanctions on the Palestinians. The Palestinians put forth several requests and Peres promised that they would be looked on favorably.

Burns: PA must fight terror if it wants a state
Palestinians must take decisive action against militants and get serious about internal reform if they want to embark on the road to statehood, as outlined in the plan, Burns told senior Palestinian officials Thursday.

"It is only through decisive action to end terror and violence, and decisive action to reform in preparation for Palestinian statehood, that we are going to be able to move ahead on a practical pathway to end occupation and this terrible conflict," Burns said at the meeting in Jericho.

Spekaing after the meeting, Burns called on both Israelis and Palestinians to fulfill their obligations in order "to end the occupation that began in 1967."

"In this process all sides have obligations and that it's only through all sides fulfilling their obligations that we're going to be able to move ahead together to end the occupation that began in 1967," he said.

He added that it was "in the interests of both Palestinians and Israelis, to end the very real suffering and humiliation the Palestinians experience under occupation every day and to end the terror and violence which have done so much to undermine the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians." [Read More]
The Judicial Billy Club Of The Left
By Dr. Steven E. Plaut

Israel's Attorney General continues to serve as the billy club of the Israeli Left. In case after case, the Attorney General opens "investigations" of Israeli Rightists for exercising their free rights of free speech, but never gets around to indicting Arabs openly calling for violence, genocide, and the destruction of the country or for assisting terrorists.

Take the latest manifestation of the participation of the leaders of Israel's Arabs in treason and terrorism. This week, an Arab Knesset Member from one of the Stalinist-Fascist Arab political parties was caught smuggling four cellular phones into a prison for jailed terrorists (Haaretz Oct 24). The Knesset Member is Abd Al-Malak Dahamshe, head of the "United Arab List". He was accompanying the head of the Islamic fundamentalist movement of Israeli Arabs, in essence the Israeli chapter of al-Qaida, to visit the heroic jailed terrorists.

Daroushe and his friends will NOT be indicted by the Attorney General for treason or for assisting terrorists for this felony.

So if they are not to be indicted, who is?

Well, first the Attorney General just issued orders to investigate for indictment the managers of a web site that seeks to assist Jews find jobs. The site is called "Hebrew Labor" and lists jobs and Jewish job seekers, Jews only. The Attorney General thinks this is "racist", in contrast with Arab leaders screaming that all the Jews need to be annihilated, or in contrast with Jewish leftists screaming that settlers should be murdered, or in contrast with the Haaretz banner headline on its Op-Ed page last week "Skinheads with tzitziyot - tallis fringes" (referring to Jewish settlers), or in contrast with the expression "Israel's Explosive Belt" (Meretz commissar Yossi Sarid's term for settlers). Oh,and when Israel's universities open affirmative action programs for Arabs only, THAT is NOT racism.

And finally, it looks like the Attorney General is planning to investigate and maybe indict various people who participated in a ceremony yesterday marking the anniversary of the death of Rabbi Meir Kahane, the head of JDL and Kach who was gunned down by an Arab terrorist in New York. Yossi Sarid petitioned for the indictments. Among those present at the "Yahrzeit" were Moshe Feiglin, head of a Likud faction, Effi Eitam, head of the National Religious Party, several Rabbis, including the son of ex-Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, and others. Why investigate these people for attending a ceremony for a dead, if controversial, person? Because the same Attorney General who does not think that Dahamshe did anything worth indicting has also banned and criminalized the Kahanist groups for expressing opinions with which he disagrees. The Kahanist groups have been declared by him not only "racist" but "terrorist organizations", unlike the Israeli Arab al-Qaida fronts.

And so Israel's dual justice system, one for leftists and one for everyone else, continues to operate - even under the Sharon administration.
The Real Roots of Arab Anti-Americanism

This article from Foreign Affairs argues that it is really Muslim leaders who use anti-Americanism to distract their people from real problems at home.
DAMN YANKEES

Since last year's attacks on New York and Washington, the conventional wisdom about the motivation behind such deadly terrorism has gelled. The violence, we are often told, was a reaction to misguided U.S. policies. For years, certain American actions -- such as the country's support for Israel and for unpopular, oppressive Arab regimes -- had supposedly produced profound grievances throughout the Middle East. Those grievances came to a boil over time, and finally spilled over on September 11. The result was more than 3,000 American deaths.

Although anti-Americanism is genuinely widespread among Arab governments and peoples, however, there is something seriously misleading in this account. Arab and Muslim hatred of the United States is not just, or even mainly, a response to actual U.S. policies -- policies that, if anything, have been remarkably pro-Arab and pro-Muslim over the years. Rather, such animus is largely the product of self-interested manipulation by various groups within Arab society, groups that use anti-Americanism as a foil to distract public attention from other, far more serious problems within those societies.

This distinction should have a profound impact on American policymakers. If Arab anti-Americanism turns out to be grounded in domestic maneuvering rather than American misdeeds, neither launching a public relations campaign nor changing Washington's policies will affect it. In fact, if the United States tries to prove to the Arab world that its intentions are nonthreatening, it could end up making matters even worse. New American attempts at appeasement would only show radicals in the Middle East that their anti-American strategy has succeeded and is the best way to win concessions from the world's sole superpower.

THE BLAME GAME

For years now, anti-Americanism has served as a means of last resort by which failed political systems and movements in the Middle East try to improve their standing. The United States is blamed for much that is bad in the Arab world, and it is used as an excuse for political and social oppression and economic stagnation. By assigning responsibility for their own shortcomings to Washington, Arab leaders distract their subjects' attention from the internal weaknesses that are their real problems. And thus rather than pushing for greater privatization, equality for women, democracy, civil society, freedom of speech, due process of law, or other similar developments sorely needed in the Arab world, the public focuses instead on hating the United States.
That was inevitable

The danger of going wobbly stems, of course, from the encouragement it offers terrorists, and from the incentive it offers them to escalate their Chutzpah.

A sad example has just been set with Israel’s non-response to Wazzani diversion. On October 23, 2002, WorldNetDaily reported:

A major potential military clash is building between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, controlled by the terrorist organization, which gets its support from Syria and Iran. The latest conflict is over water rights.

Nasrallah said the fact that Israel has not yet attacked the Wazzani water pumps is because of the Jewish state's fear of the "Islamic resistance's retaliation."

Nasrallah said that the suicide attack in Israel last Monday "was a clear statement that this nation will continue its resistance."

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is a leader of the terrorist group Hezbollah; he attended the recent Francophone gathering in Lebanon, and, according to CNN “took a front-row seat alongside Lebanese religious leaders”.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland

Now, that’s irony

The God of Irony must be operating in overdrive these days.

Russia is never absent among the nations rushing to condemn Israel with each steps she takes to defend herself from terrorists. Nor does Russia spare efforts to oppose the US regarding Iraq, or to support a second Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (“Yesha”).

Today’s [October 24, 2002] headline in the Ottawa Citizen reads, “Terrorists seize Moscow theatre, threaten to kill hundreds inside” (concerning the incident that began on October 23, 2002, see also AP report).

France is Russia’s prime competitor in denouncing Israel’s war on terrorism, in opposing the US on Iraq, and in supporting the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state in “Yesha”. A fortnight ago, (on October 6 - see Arab News) terrorists bombed the French ship Limburg in Yemen.

Talk about Irony.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland

October 24, 2002

The Pride

A strong show of support for Israel and what it is undergoing. A look at the clash of civilizations, suggested by Oriana Fallaci's new book.
I'd spent ten days in Israel, and there had not been a (successful) suicide bombing since I arrived. In fact, there hadn't been a successful bombing since September 19. Peaceful times, you might say. Until, that is, rush hour at roughly 8 a.m. on a Thursday, when a driver stopped his bus and--with a medic who happened to be nearby--ran to help a man who'd fallen from the vehicle's back entrance and hit his head on the street. It wasn't until they loosened the man's clothes to help him breathe that they saw the belt strapped with explosives. The medic and the driver pinned the bomber to the ground and shouted for everyone to run. Finally, once the passengers and the crowd had largely dispersed, these two everyday heroes let him go ... to paradise, I suppose. (You can read about the incident in riveting--and affecting--detail in an article by TNR alum James Bennet in The New York Times, October 11.)

It's difficult to imagine a people more practically alert to danger or a people more determined to triumph over it than the Israelis. For years, U.S. editorialists and talking heads have been prophesying that Israel would be sundered by pressure from without and differences from within. Instead, the country has never been more united. And what most galls those critics who ring their hands over Israel's inner soul--but care not a fig for its defense--is that this unity is to a large extent the work of the man they hate most, Ariel Sharon. The intifada seems to have summoned in him the capacity to govern from Israel's emotional center, which means he is--like the country--fierce when necessary, accommodating when possible, sober always. When the time is right, I suspect he will surprise his enemies again by proposing a reasonable political and territorial peace.

Ehud Barak was no pushover either. But he misjudged not only the Palestinian leadership but Israel's Lebanese neighbors as well. When he withdrew Israeli troops from a narrow security zone in southern Lebanon 29 months ago, he assumed that Beirut would reassert its sovereignty. That hasn't happened. Look across Israel's northern border, as I did last week, and you see Hezbollah rather than Lebanese government flags. Abutting two Hezbollah encampments were two utterly passive platoons of Ghanaian troops attached to the mostly "avert-your-eyes" UNIFIL units--whose handling of the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli soldiers just after Barak's withdrawal is another stain on Kofi Annan's resume, a resumé already tarnished by his shameful inaction in Bosnia and Rwanda.

Is there a border anywhere like that between Lebanon and Israel? There is no no-man's-land between the two countries, no protective zone. The children of Misgav Am, Manara, Metzuba, Metullah, and Margalit--legendary kibbutzim and moshavim of the northern Galilee--now face, up close, the barbarous killers of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards besides. When I came to the border, militiamen photographed me from the other side--something they do every time a strange face appears on the Israeli side. Huge billboards with photographs advertise the savagery across the border. One showed a Hezbollah recruit carrying the decapitated head of an Israeli soldier.

But Hezbollah does not limit itself to one-on-one killing. It now possesses an estimated 10,000 rockets, many long-range--these provided not by Iran via Damascus, as in the past, but by Syria itself. In other words, they are the direct work of Dr. Bashar Assad, the "new generation" leader who was supposed to bring moderation to Syria. The rockets are capable of hitting Haifa and thus seriously damaging Israeli industry. This is the shield behind which Hezbollah, in one of its rare joint ventures with the Lebanese government, has now embarked on a scheme of diverting the waters of the Wazzani River from the reservoirs of Israel. Hezbollah wants to provoke Israel in advance of the impending U.S.-U.K. war on Iraq. For now, Sharon will likely exercise restraint. But only for now.
Explosive Belt

Here is a picture of an explosive belt found by the IDF in a house being demolished becase a person who lived there murdered people. Under New Oslo these demolitions will have to cease. Under New Oslo, this bomb belt will be in the hands of the terrorists not the IDF.

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Hizbollah - We Want to Kill ALL the Jews

In a Lebanese paper:
Nasrallah [the head of Hizbollah] added, “if they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

He also made fun of the sniper situation in the DC area, accused the U.S. of trying to destroy Islam, attacked Christian Zionists and said Israel was afraid to do anything to Lebanon for fear of Hizbollah.

Good thing the EU allows donations to go to this murderer.
Road Map to Peace Hell

The new road map being pushed by the Quartet is a shameful document. It is warmed over Oslo but now with four 'honest brokers' (US, EU, UN and Russia), three of which are anti-Israel, ignoring palestinian violations as opposed to just the US being responsible for ignoring violations as was the case with Oslo. Although it should be mentioned that the Israelis were pretty damn stupid for ignoring most of these violations themselves. The mess they are in is their own fault. It is no wonder that Jews have been abused for two millennia.

The largest problem is that the roadblocks which caused Oslo to fail are still going to be there except Arafat. Basically this is a redo of Oslo with Arafat in ‘only’ a symbolic role this time.

THIS ROAD MAP IS DOOMED TO FAILURE AND MORE DEAD ISRAELIS FOR THE SAME REASON OSLO FAILED.

Nothing more here is asked of the pals but more is asked of Israel of course.

A fisking of some points (many are left out) of the plan listed in order they appear in the map, the text of which is given by IMRA.
PLC appoints Commission charged with drafting of Palestinian constitution for Palestinian statehood.

Of course Clinton, Peres and Arafat patted themselves on the back and praised themselves up and down that they had made a great accomplishment by finally having this thing changed years ago and of course it was never done. So here we go again. They are going to study it and don’t have to change it until Israel again is forced to sacrifice its young for Freedom.
Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel's right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate end to the armed Intifada and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All
Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.

Just issues a statement, maybe even in Arabic. No action of course expected here.
GOI implements recommendations of the Bertini [?] report to improve humanitarian conditions, including lifting curfews and easing movement between Palestinian areas.

No action by the Palestinians against terror but Israel is forced to create conditions allowing for it.
GOI [Government of Israel] ends actions undermining trust, including attacks in civilian areas, and confiscation/demolition of Palestinian homes/property, deportations, as a punitive measure or to facilitate Israeli construction.

Ok so Israel is undermining trust but the Palestinian Leadership was not conducting terrorism. They were not called on to stop it, see above, just to call for it to stop. So already we have the pals not being made to stand up for their actions. Does this bode well? If the pals are not even held accountable in the organizing peace document what are the chances they will be held accountable for their responsibilities under the plan? I will answer that – NONE – ZERO ZIP ZILCH. Also, it always annoys me when in all these ‘peace’ docs ‘Israel’ is not used – just Government of Israel. Anyone know why? Other countries are referred to by their names. Is this an effort to put Israel on the same footing as the philistines? Israel should not allow it and stand on principal.

After this the pal terrorists will be able to operate freely in civilian areas and Israel can not demolish the homes of terrorists.
Arab states move decisively to cut off public/private funding of extremist groups, channel financial support for Palestinians through Palestinian Ministry of Finance.

This of course will not happen but you can not punish the poor phallic-stinians for it.
GOI dismantles settlement outposts erected since establishment of the present Israeli government and in contravention of current Israeli government guidelines .

More action by Israel, no action by the pals.
GOI freezes all settlement activity consistent with the Mitchell report, including natural growth of settlements.

Still no security action by the pals but more by Israel. Of course, Mitchell called for an end to all violence first, but not here. No very one sided Mitchell report demand more of the pals than this plan does. If the pals can’t act like anything but dogs, just lower the bar again and again to finally include them, by such standard lowering, into the family of humans.

No natural growth. This spells the end to the settlements and foretells what we will get to that the map is a map to full removal of Jews from the West Bank and Gaza come hell or high water.

By the way – by settlements they mean East Jerusalem so that is 450,000 Jews who need to be transported. Who it is OK to transport. But it is not ok to transfer Arabs.
Regional support: Upon completion of security steps and IDF withdrawal to September 28, 2000 positions, Egypt and Jordan return ambassadors to Israel.

Wonderful, condones both countries’ positions even though Egypt’s is clearly in violation of its treaty with Israel. Notice no Government of Egypt, Government of Jordan. These two dictatorships will be richly rewarded for this great action on their part. Does this mean that these countries will have to stop incitement? Does it mean that Egypt will have to close the weapons and explosive smuggling tunnels into Gaza from its army bases?
Progress into Phase II will be based upon the judgment of the Quartet, facilitated by establishment of a permanent monitoring mechanism on the ground, whether conditions are appropriate to move on -- taking into account performance of all parties and Quartet monitoring. Phase II starts after Palestinian elections and ends with possible creation of a Palestinian state with provisional borders by end of 2003..

What are the chances that the pals will be held to this. They turned to violence in Sept 2000 and now, not only are they being given another chance, but are being offered more than then. The possible creation language is nonsense, it certainly will be created. There of course is no mechanism if the pals do not live up to their bargain. Only the word ‘possible’. There are no mechanism included as to what happens if there is a violation. There is no punishment for breaching Oslo.

This plan clearly goes against many of the provisions of President Bush’s speech but it probably will be pushed down Israel’s throat. Israel should from day one stake out the position: It will only agree to this if a provision is added signed by the quartet that if the pals violate the map then the quartet will agree that there will not be a Palestinian state. Period. And that they will support transfer of the population out of the West Bank. If they are so sure the plan will work then they should agree to this because they will know that transfer will never come about. If they do not agree to this, it is clear that they are just trading the possibility of dead Jews on the alter of muslim ambitions embodied in pal nationalism.
Such a meeting would be inclusive, based on the goal of a comprehensive Middle East peace (including between Israel and Syria, and Israel and Lebanon), and based on the principles described in the preamble to this document.

Maybe I am crazy but you would think that comprehensive included these two countries minimally and also Iraq, Libya, Arabia and Iran.
. . Israeli-Palestinian negotiation aimed at creation of a state with provisional borders. Implementation of prior agreements to enhance maximum territorial contiguity.

There it is. The starting point is Camp David and Taba. Barak is such a hero for making the offer– a hero of the pals that is. If I saw him, I would rip that big fat mole right off his face. Get ready for more concessions GOI.
Second International Conference: Convened by the Quartet, with agreement of the parties, at beginning of 2004 to endorse agreement reached on state with provisional borders and to launch negotiations between Israel and Palestine toward a final, permanent status resolution in 2005, including on borders, Jerusalem, refugees and settlements; and, to support progress toward a comprehensive Middle East settlement between Israel and Lebanon and Syria, to be achieved as soon as possible. . . . Arab state acceptance of normal relations with Israel and security for all the states of the region, consistent with Beirut Arab Summit initiative.

So they you have it, back at Taba. 97% of the West Bank, 100% Gaza, old city of Jerusalem. Israel is like the Giving Tree but it has nothing left to give so they chop it down.

The refugee issue not even off the table like the Settlements. We are right back were we were but now there is another terrorist arab state and the insurmountable refugee issue has not even been taken off the table. Unbelievable. Last time Egypt and Arabia did called for the pals not to accept – what is different here. Another reason for them not to have a real peace. 600 dead Jews and back right where they left off. Every mistake forgiven. If Israel makes one mistake it is off the map.

An International conference, that is what Israel needs, the nations of the world who have historically been so friendly to Jews and have such Jew friendly countries now, to tell Israel what to do.

No real accountability for the Arabs. No disarmed state. Treaties with Iran and North Korea OK. NO problem if radical groups under take terrorism as long as it can’t be linked too closely to the new government. The Arabs suffer no detriment from the war they started but have actually improved their position. They start from what Israel has last offered but now Israel has to give up the settlements. All this will do is embolden these dirty bastards. They know that they will not be punished for violence but in fact rewarded.

It makes me cry.

The reality is this, unless there is a sea change in attitude on the part of the Arabs, this new state will be another nail in the coffin of Israel and I would not expect the state to be around into the next millennia. The world is on a collision course with this state and it will happen unless Israel changes the facts on the ground so drastically that no one will consider a state. Better to be a pariah then part of a dead civilizations museum exhibit.

WAKE UP ISRAEL BEFORE YOU DIE


Burns: PA must take action against terror if it wants a state

Not much of an insight here but useful to confront the Palestinians and let them know face to face that they can choose their destiny but they can not have both terror and statehood.
Palestinians must take decisive action against militants and get serious about internal reform if they want to embark on the road to statehood, as outlined in a new Mideast peace plan, U.S. special envoy William Burns told senior Palestinian officials Thursday. Click here for extracts from the U.S. 'road map'.

"It is only through decisive action to end terror and violence, and decisive action to reform in preparation for Palestinian statehood, that we are going to be able to move ahead on a practical pathway to end occupation and this terrible conflict," Burns said.

Burns also held separate talks with Hani al-Hassan, expected to be named by Arafat in the coming days as interior minister. In the job, al-Hassan will be asked to oversee the restructuring of the Palestinian security services - a key element of the reforms sought by the United States.

Burns also called on both Israelis and Palestinians to fulfill their obligations in order "to end the occupation that began in 1967" after meeting with Palestinian Authority officials in the West Bank city of Jericho.

No "occupation" began in 1967. Israel just reconquered parts of its traditional homeland.

Chechens Kill Female Moscow Hostage - Take 700 Prisoners - Wire the Place to Explode.

Chechens have demanded a Russian withdrawal from Chechnya in return for release for the hostages.

Russia can solve the problem by beginning to carpet bomb Chechen population centers in Chechnya and agree to stop the bombing when the hostages are released.

I do not know what to think here. Russia supports palestinian statehood - so why don't they give it to the Chechens. It is a well known fact, Muslims can rule other people but can not be ruled by other people.

The Cossacks Are Coming!

I have become more and more aware recently of the post–Zionist mentality that has become epidemic in Israeli intellectual circles. The primary components of this mentality are that Zionism is an outmoded ideal and that the State of Israel is simply a democratic state and should relinquish its role as a Jewish state and the Jewish homeland. This mentality stems from the standard leftist notion that man has suddenly become “enlightened” and that the horrors of the “distant” past will never be repeated in the new “age of reason.” This is the same mistake that was made by European Jews in the early 1900’s. One of the logical extensions of this mentality is that Diaspora Jews should have no input into the affairs of Israel and should mind their own business as Israeli internal affairs have nothing to do with the Diaspora. Obviously, the post-Zionists are ignoring 2000 years of history as well as the founding principles of the State of Israel. The survival of Israel is as much my concern in Brooklyn as it is someone else’s concern in Tel Aviv. The survival of my family and my people depends on the survival of the Jewish homeland. Jews are currently under attack worldwide whether they live in New York, Moscow, Kiev, Paris or Tel Aviv. The notion that Diaspora Jews have no stake in Israel’s survival is dangerously naïve. The idea that pogroms and anti-Semitism are the relics of the past are contradicted by daily news reports of the rekindling of centuries old hatreds against Jews throughout the world. While leftist Israeli Jews clamor about “peace” and show their disdain for meddling Diaspora Jews, synagogues are burning and Jews are being beaten and murdered around the globe. At a time when we should be coming together to support Israel and all Jews against the anti-Semite savages, the left would prefer to denigrate any Jews who do not support their vision of appeasement and surrender. The Cossacks are marching and I am being told to keep my mouth shut and let Peres and Ben-Eliezer destroy the Jewish homeland. These are the same cries that we heard from the “enlightenment” Jews in the 1930’s. Just keep your mouth shut, pretend you are not Jewish and maybe the savages will leave us alone. I say Never Again!
(Jerusalem Post) Anti-Semitism is surging in the Ukrainian city of Uman, site of the Tomb of Reb Nachman of Bratslav, where Bratslavers have been increasingly harassed and even brutally beaten, say local Bratslav authorities in Israel who have filed complaints with Israel Police and the Ukrainian Embassy.

Uman is the site of an annual pilgrimage of up to 15,000 Jews on Rosh Hashana.

The first major incident occurred two weeks ago Friday when a group of Uman police officers entered an apartment owned by the Israeli pilgrims and beat them "almost to death," eye witnesses told the Jerusalem Post. Six of them were then transported to the local police station were they were interrogated and again beaten for six hours without being told the reasons for their detainment. Finally, a few minutes before the Sabbath the Ultra-Orthodox pilgrims were released.

This incident followed a scuffle between a drunken guard at the site and Brestlav Yeshiva students bathing in the Mikve [Ritual bath].

The following Wednesday, with the tension rising in the Ukrainian city, a group of local guards hired by the World Committee of Braslov Hasidim to maintain order at the site, caught and again severely beat a pilgrim with clubs fracturing his nose, breaking his teeth and causing him spinal injury.

He is currently being treated at Hadassah Ein Karm. They also attacked two Bratslavers that came to the victim's aid.

Throughout the assault claim the victims, who fear publishing their names, the guards and locals screamed anti-Semitic taunts, including "Heil Hitler." [Read More]
Excerpts from the New Hamas Comic - Praising Terrorism To Children
(IDF) Hamas has launched a new comic for children, al-Fateh (http://www.al-fateh.net). The second edition, (Oct. 2002) as published on the Internet site of the Hamas movement, lashes out against the "Jewish enemy" and the other countries that assist it against the Palestinians.

The newspaper also attacks those assisting the "Jewish enemy" from within the Palestinian population, portraying them as traitors who sell themselves to the Jews. The newspaper connects the Jihad and the religion of Islam. It calls upon children to educate themselves according to Islam, in order for them to become Jihad fighters and assist the Palestinians. Below the headline, "Why is Darer Furious?" - Darer is the name of one of the children - is a dialogue between two Palestinian children. The dialogue indicates that children are integral participants in the Palestinian Intifada. The children complain of the silence of the Arab world regarding the current events in the region and they mention their own never tiring activity on behalf of the Intifada: "We, the children of Palestine, take part in the national struggle and encourage our heroes. We observe the actions of the settlers and of the soldiers of the occupation, and report it to our heroes."

One of the children seeks justification for his claims from within Islamic tradition. "Our expectations will not be fulfilled until we fight and kill the Jews, especially as we are standing east of the river [of Jordan] with the Jews still standing west of the river of Jordan; and until the rock and the tree says, 'woe Muslim, woe subjects of Allah, here is a Jew [hiding] behind me. Come and kill him.' "

Also mentioned is the story of the children who were allowed to take part in the battle of Dar by the prophet Muhammad. It was at Dar, when Muhammad defeated the heretics and the Kuriyesh tribe on his way from Meca to Medina in 624CE. During the battle the children stabbed Abu-Jahal to death. As part of its non-compromising and militant nature, the comic quotes the Syrian poet, Omer Bhaa-Dein, resident in the Persian Gulf. Bhaa-Dein claims that his heart goes out to the Palestinian people, but that he is unable to help them. In addition he wishes that Palestinian children grow to become soldiers of Muhammad. This continues a theme that the comic started in its first edition, when it idolized the legacy of Abde-Alqadar Alhusseini, who was the head of the Nationalist-Palestinian movement in the years before the creation of the Jewish State in 1948. In addition the newspaper dedicates a special corner to the martyr Ismayal el-Muassabi, who blew himself up in 2001 in a car bomb in the northern Gaza strip.
Faces of American Islam

We in the West have tradionally associated Islam with the Middle East, its birthplace, but now we see Islam spread world-wide and there is a need to study this demographic change, which may have all sorts of implications as Muslim believers increasingly settle in America and in other countries.
Our respective bookshelves groan under the weight of books bearing titles like Islam and the West, The Future of Islam and the West, and The Islamic World and the West. What is striking about these books - all quite recently written and published - is the anachronism of their geographic premise. With millions of Muslims now living in the West, especially in North America and Western Europe, the old dichotomy of Islam and the West exists no more. This presence of Muslims in the West has profound importance for both civilizations involved, the Western and the Islamic, and has a potential for both good and ill. Indeed, looking ahead, it is hard to see any other cultural interaction quite so fraught with implications as this one.

As has become evident of late, a vast number of Muslims, those living in Europe and the Americas no less than those elsewhere, harbor an intense hostility to the West. For most Muslims, this mix of envy and resentment remains a latent sentiment, but for some it acquires operational significance. Merely to conjure the names of Ayatollah Khomeini, Muammar Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and Osama bin Laden is to convey the power of this hatred, its diverse ideological roots, and its power to threaten. Their counterparts also live in the West, where they have a unique inclination not just to disrupt through violence but also to challenge the existing order. Will this challenge be contained or will it bring yet greater problems, including violence?

This essay focuses on just one portion of Western Islam, namely those Muslims who live in the United States and who are either immigrants or their descendants (hereafter referred to as "Muslim immigrants"). It does not deal with the other major component, the converts, nor does it deal with other Western countries.


Demography and Geography

The first challenge in studying Muslim immigrants in the United States is counting them. By law, the official census cannot count adherents of a religion, and Muslims are too few to show up reliably in most survey research. In addition, there are questions about whom to count (do Ahmadis, legally not considered Muslims in Pakistan, count as Muslims in the United States?). Taking these and other complications into account, a statistical picture is emerging that points to a total Muslim population in the United States of about 3 million, of which immigrants make up two-thirds to three-fourths. Accepting that this number is necessarily rough, it does point to somewhat over 2 million Muslim immigrants, or slightly less than 1 percent of the U.S. national population.