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

February 07, 2003

Man [nut] Throws Bomb at Nut Vendors in Yemen

Here's a country that doesn't mess around calling the police. Everyman's right to have a bomb or two.
SAN`A, Yemen - A Yemeni man irritated by noisy nut sellers outside his house threw a bomb at them Friday, seriously wounding four of the peddlers, security officials said.

The blast rocked a crowded marketplace in downtown San`a, near the headquarters of the country's intelligence services.

According to security officials in the capital, the bomb-thrower was arrested and said he was angered by the noise being made outside his house by the nut sellers, whose business had increased ahead of the coming Islamic holiday.
8 Saudis arrested in January shooting

Our friends, the Saudis, have problems too. Not with militants or terrorists but with people afflicted with deviant ideas

RIYADH - Saudi authorities have arrested eight men in connection with a shooting here January 24 that left one dead and three wounded, including two police officers, the interior ministry said Friday.
"An interrogation, as well as their own statements, revealed that they were influenced by erroneous and deviant ideas," a ministry official said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

The statement did not identify the suspects - all Saudis - and did not say when they had been taken into custody.

Some of the men were apprehended by security forces while others turned themselves in to police, the official said.

The shooting erupted when Saudi investigators went to an apartment complex in the Al-Nasif district of Riyadh to check the identity of four men suspected of drug trafficking, the ministry said.

The man killed was a Kuwaiti soldier on a private visit, according to Al-Riyadh newspaper.

Deputy Interior Minister Ahmed bin Abdel Aziz later said police had been looking for four people but added that authorities did not know if they had links to the al-Qaeda network operated by Osama bin Laden, accused by the United States in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

A spokesman for the London-based Islamic Movement for Reform in Arabia, Saad al-Faqih, said earlier this week that recent acts of violence on Saudi territory - some of which targeted police - were the work of armed al-Qaeda sympathizers.
Militant Islamic Leader Freed in Egypt

Our friends in Egypt
CAIRO, Egypt - A founding member of al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya, Egypt's most militant Islamic group, has been freed after spending seven months in prison, his lawyer said Friday.

Salah Hashem was released Thursday, a day before a scheduled court appearance to decide on renewing his detention, according to his lawyer, Montasser al-Zayat.

Another al-Gamaa figure, lawyer Ali Rady, also was freed.

Al-Zayat said he had no details on why they were released, and there was no immediate confirmation from authorities.

Hashem helped found Al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya, Arabic for the Islamic Group, in the 1970s, and was tried in absentia for an alleged role in assassinating President Anwar Sadat in 1981.

Rady was also tried in absentia on several counts, including trying to revive the group. Neither man was ever convicted. [more]
PETA to Arafat: Do What You Want With The Jews, Just Stop Hurting Those Precious Donkeys!

From the life is much, much stranger than fiction department.
You really CAN'T make this stuff up:
Animal rights campaigners have complained to Yasser Arafat after a donkey was blown up in a bomb attack in the West Bank. Ms Newkirk says she has not asked Mr Arafat to try to stop suicide bombings that kill people. "It's not my business to inject myself into human wars," she told the Washington Post.

And people wonder why Jews who legitmately support "liberal" or "humanitarian" causes are beginning to feel a little alienated!

Israel braces for Iraqi "earthquake", fears more Palestinian attacks

Article from MiddleEastTimes reports expectations of increased terror activities against Israel
Israel was bracing for what its army chief predicted Friday will be an "earthquake" in the region if the United States attacks Iraq, amid fears of more Palestinian attacks inside Israel.

As the US administration was banging the drums of war louder by the day, General Moshe Yaalon warned that a US offensive on Iraq would drastically reshape the region whatever the outcome.

"In the coming weeks, a US attack in Iraq will trigger a regional earthquake, which will reshape" the Middle East, Yaalon said in an interview with the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily published Friday.

"A successful US offensive will have positive consequences, by strengthening the pragmatic elements in the region," he explained.

"However, if it is perceived as a failure, it will have negative consequences for us," Yaalon said in reference to Israel's conflict with the Palestinians. [more]
Israel and the United Nations

We have repeatedly been been told that Israel cannot be a member of the Security council and has always been excluded from the numerous bodies of the UN and can never be a president of the general assembly. She is one of the oldest members of the UN.
I asked the question of the "cyberschoolbus" - a site set up by the UN and have received a response, copied below in full. Secondly, Israel, in it's own UN web site deals with the issue in even more detail. The linked site is easy to read, and relatively brief. My suggestion is that our respective governments be lobbied with direct information, to correct a grievous anomaly.
The five Permanent Members of the Security Council as I'm sure you know are USA, UK, China, France, and the Russian Federation. There are ten revolving seats which each have a two-tear term. This is a list of the
current Member States on the Security Council (click down to MEMBERS):

The Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN's interptetation of events is excerpted below, from Israel's UN web site.

Prior to May 2000, Israel was the only UN Member State excluded from a UN regional grouping. This state of affairs stemmed primarily from a rejection by Arab states of Israel's membership in the Asian group. As a result, Israel was denied membership in a number of important UN bodies, including the Security Council in violation of the principle of sovereign equality enshrined in the UN Charter. Israel also could not be elected to the vast majority of bodies in the UN system, where voting is based on membership in a regional group. Thus, Israel was unable to serve as the President of the General Assembly, or as a member of any bureau in the GA and its main committees.

As of May 2000, Israel was accepted as a temporary member of the Western European and Other States Group (WEOG). This elopment helps to rectify an anomaly,which hs affected no other nation in the world and marks an important first step towards the full ntegration of Israel into the United Nations system. Israel has agreed to continue to seek membership in its natural grouping in the Asian group.

While Israel's admission into WEOG signified an important development, it remains excluded from the regional groups system in international organizations and conferences outside New York. For this discriminatory anomaly to be fully rectified Israel must be included in the regional groups system outside New York so that it can be fairly represented and participated in all international organizations and conferences, on an equal basis with all other states.

It is unclear to me whether it is a rule that a Member State cannot be a Member of the Security Council simply because it did not belong to a geographical grouping.

I am copying my good colleague Lydia Ramos on this email. She works for the Department of Public Inquiries, the last word on all things UN. Perhaps she can clear things up on this most perplexing issue.

Thanks for writing.


Colleen Werthmann
Research Editor
United Nations Cyberschoolbus

Under siege

An outstanding photo gallery by Lefteris Pitarakis that chronicles "a year of violence and pain in the Middle East. Pitarakis, an Associated Press news photographer from Greece, has documented the Palestinian intifada against Israeli occupation that erupted on Sept. 30, 2000, and Israel's response."
In Labor’s loss, some analysts
see signs of historic power shift

This article suggests that the recent election has changed Israeli politics for some time to come
JERUSALEM, Feb. 4 (JTA) — “Historic” may be a term that is used too often, but respected Israeli political analysts believe the Labor Party’s electoral debacle last month was a watershed in the balance of power between left and right in Israel.
Labor Party Chairman Amram Mitzna believes the decision to join Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s previous national unity government was one of the main reasons for the crushing defeat Labor suffered at the polls on Jan. 28.

Mitzna hopes that leading Labor into opposition will allow him to rebuild the party and quickly turn it into a credible government alternative.

“Our stay in opposition will be short,” he promised party faithful in his concession speech.

But experts aren’t so sure. Ephraim Ya’ar, head of Tel Aviv University’s Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, argues that the decline in support for the Labor Party and the left in general stems from deep and possibly irreversible changes in Israeli voting patterns. [more]
At least 31 Palestinian women murdered in 'honor killings' in 2002

Love, kindness, respect, affection--all part of Islamic beliefs? Not acording to this article in The Jerusalem Post
At least 31 Palestinian women have been murdered in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2002 in what is known as "honor killings", where a female is executed by a male member of her family for perceived misuse of her sexuality.

Most of the victims were under the age of 18 and some had been sexually abused or raped by male relatives, according to statistics released by Palestinian police Thursday.

The latest murder was perpetrated earlier this week when a woman from a village near Ramallah strangled to death her 17-year-old daughter for staying away from home for a few days. The mother has been arrested, but her family is employing heavy pressure on the Palestinian Authority to release her "so she can attend to her other children."

"It's a very serious problem," said Dr. Azmi Shuaibi, member of the Legal Committee of the Palestinian Legislative Council. "The entire society bears the responsibility in combating this phenomenon. The first step should be to recognize that the problem exists"

Ok. now you know it exists. What's next? Blame the Jews?[more]

Maybe the US should stop US Aid to Egypt... NOW

The always helpful Gabrielle Goldwater has this piece that is but another indication of how the Arab world plays a double game with the U.S.

WASHINGTON [MENL] -- Egypt has rejected a U.S. request to interview Egyptian engineers and scientists employed in Iraq's nuclear program.

U.S. officials said the regime of President Hosni Mubarak failed to respond to Washington's appeals for information of and access to Egyptian nationals employed in Iraq's nuclear program.

The officials said after repeated U.S. efforts the Cairo government responded that it viewed Egyptian nationals
who work in Iraq as private citizens.

"They said they would not get involved and refused to help us locate them or provide information so we could reach them ourselves," a U.S. official said.

Officials said that late last year the U.S. intelligence community received information of the employment of dozens of Egyptian engineers and scientistsin Iraq's nuclear program.

Some of the names of the Egyptians matched a list provided by Iraq to the United Nations of more than 500 scientists who worked in Baghdad's nuclear program.
[note: not full article; subscription required]
Palestinians Rally in Support of Saddam

Why do the Palestinians always manage to align themselves with losers and make world-class asses of themselves? Even anti-war folks despise Saddam.
RAMALLAH, West Bank — “Saddam, Saddam!” a hot-eyed young Palestinian shouted through his bullhorn as the latest pro-Iraq march was winding its way through the streets of this town Thursday. “Strike with chemical weapons!”

Another of the rally’s leaders, mindful of the TV cameras closing in, swiftly turned on him. “Shut up now,” he snapped. “Don’t be saying that.”

It was a telling moment. As the prospect of war looms ever larger, Palestinians are venting their anger at the United States, which on Wednesday laid out its case for military action against Saddam Hussein, and at Israel, which could find itself an Iraqi target.

But they don’t want to take it too far.

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, many ordinary Palestinians — beaten down by Israeli military curfews and checkpoints, midnight arrests and grinding low-level violence — feel that, these days, they have little to lose.

In 1991’s Persian Gulf War, which took place before the start of the peace process that eventually led to the Oslo accords, the Palestinian public — and leaders — were squarely on the side of Saddam, the enemy of their enemy, Israel.[more]
Police Say Find Explosives Belt in Mosque in Israel

We are sure to soon hear from the Left and pro-Palestinians about religious freedom and human rights, but recall that ambulances have also been used to conceal weapons. This find in a mosque is a first
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police said Friday they had found a suicide bomber's explosives belt hidden in a mosque in Israel, and said it was the first such discovery since the Palestinian uprising began more than two years ago.

The army said the belt was discovered Thursday as a result of "precise intelligence information" from two members of the militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad who were captured by Israeli forces in the West Bank.
Packed with about 30 pounds of explosives, the belt had been placed in the washroom of a mosque in the Israeli Arab town of Taybeh near the West Bank, police spokeswoman Shira Lieberman said.

Taybeh is along a route that suicide bombers have used in the past when infiltrating into Israel. Islamic Jihad has
killed dozens of Israelis in suicide bombings during the 28-month-old Palestinian uprising for statehood.

Taybeh mayor Salah Jabara condemned the use of the mosque as a hiding place for explosives. "In the final analysis, bombs harm Arabs and Jews alike," Jabara told Israeli Army Radio.[more]
Sect caught in the middle

The chaos that is the ME affects not only the Isralis and Palestinians but also the Samarians , a small group caught in the middle
The high priest of the biblical Samaritan sect on this holy mount is a member of the Palestinian legislature. Yet most Samaritans are also Israeli citizens who voted in Israel's election.

The tiny, dwindling Samaritan community, caught between warring Israelis and Palestinians, got another reminder Thursday of how stuck in the middle it is: Samaritans were confined to their hamlet on Mount Gerizim by Israeli troops after a nearby gunbattle left two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinians dead.

Samaritans trace their past to an ancient tribe. Jesus mentioned a Samaritan in a parable - the only traveler who stopped to care for a man who was robbed, beaten and left for dead along the side of a road, the Good Samaritan bandaged and salved the man's wounds with wine and oil (Luke 10:25-37).

Samaritans claim descent from the people of the northern kingdom of Israel, which separated from the southern kingdom of Judea after the death of King Solomon, about 3,000 years ago.

Today, the identity of this hilltop tribe is a strange mosaic. Many Samaritans carry both Israeli and Palestinian ID cards. They speak an ancient Hebrew dialect as well as modern Hebrew and Arabic. Their high priest, Saloum Cohen, is a member of the Palestinian legislature, filling a seat reserved for the sect, while most community members are also eligible to vote in Israel. [more]
Israel Envoy: Expelling Palestinians Not an Option

Reuters article.
AMMAN, Jordan (Reuters) - Israel's ambassador to Amman said Wednesday the idea of expelling Palestinians en masse from the occupied territories to Jordan was morally repellent and contrary to his country's interests.

Jordanian leaders have in the past voiced fears that Israel might take advantage of a U.S.-led war on Iraq to "transfer" large numbers of Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan.

"It can't happen," Israeli Ambassador David Dadonn told Reuters in an interview. "I can't imagine any Israeli government ordering the transfer of population."

Besides this, he said, the international community would not tolerate any such action.

"At the bottom of their hearts, I believe the Jordanians understand that," Dadonn said.

Some Israeli right-wingers have publicly flirted with the idea that Palestinians from the West Bank could find a home in Jordan. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has in the past declared that "Jordan is Palestine," but not while prime minister. [more]
Anger over donkey bomb attack

As for intended target, Israelis, seems unimportant.
Animal rights campaigners have complained to Yasser Arafat after a donkey was blown up in a bomb attack in the West Bank.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has sent a letter to the Palestinian leader to protest at last month's blast near Jerusalem.

No humans were killed when the donkey was strapped with explosives and detonated, but the attack narrowly missed an Israeli bus carrying soldiers.

"We have received many calls and letters from people shocked at the bombing," Peta president Ingrid Newkirk wrote.

Politics and Terrorism in Israel

As a computer programmer and a student of history I often draw patterns from previous experiences to form truisms.

In comparing the past two years within Israel a glaring and sad fact comes to the fore.

Comparing the terrorists that murdered hundreds of Israelis with over 15,000 terrorist attacks in the past two years sheds light on an ongoing issue within Israeli politics.
In the past two years there have been two Defense Ministers of Israel. The first was from the Labor (Left) and the second from the Likud (Right). Americans may not understand but in parliamentary systems, similar to Europe such as in Israel, even though a political party such as the right-wing may have a majority of the voters they still may need to appoint high-level cabinet ministers from the opposing political parties and ideologies.

It has been known for a long time that the greatest internal threat to Israelis security is saboteurs, those willing to weaken the security of Israel from within. Even as of late there have been many high-level Israeli politicians and military officials, affiliated with left-wing political movements, that have been accused and or prosecuted of aiding and abetting if not hindering military security from terrorists.

The alignment of the Left-wing in Israel to weaken Israeli security can be seen as purely political and not heinous by some quarters. Yet, there is one undeniable truth when comparing arab terrorism in Israel under the Labor Defense Minister and the Likud Defense minister; the rates of terrorism against Israelis have dropped precipitously.

One can come up with many reasons outside of the political affiliations of the two ministers to excuse the differences. But one thing is again clear, when there was massacre after massacre last year and everyone said "why isn't Israel doing anything?" and this year where the number of successful terrorists attacks have been hindered and the IDF is constantly within Yesha fighting the terrorists on their side the level of Israelis murdered have noticeably dropped since a Likud Defense Minister became in charge.

So what does this all mean?

Israel is in fact able to fight terrorism within its own borders just like its supporters have begged it to do for years. But it seems those affiliated with the Israeli Left do not want it to do so at the high cost of more Israeli lives.

I compare the political Leftist (neo-Fascist) movements throughout the world to "suicidal teenagers."
They hate their freedoms at home more than they hate foreign Despotism and Tyrants.
They have an identity crisis, they don't know who they are, and hate what they represent; self-hating (e.g. Michael Jackson being Black).
They have low self-esteem, a lack of conviction, and confidence. They aren't for anything but are they are most definitely against everything.

In a word they are ungrateful of their birthright and lot in life.

If I was an Israeli - voting for the Left - would be like voting my life away.
Whither the Road Map

Here today, gone tomorrow.

According to Herb Keinon in JPost, Powell advised the Senate yesterday that they will release the Road Map “in the not too distant future” and that President George W. Bush soon "intends to take a more active role in finding a way forward with the Middle East peace process.” Israeli insiders advise Israel is not worried and suggest that Powell is just giving assurances to the EU and the Arabs that the Road Map has not been forgotten. Is there cause for concern.

In November I wrote The New Road Map in which I traced the progression of plans starting with Res.242, to achieve agreement and warned Israel to refuse to travel down it. I also registered concern that negotiations on the Road Map were linked to negotiations on Res 1441

With each new plan Israel had to forgo rights in favour of the Palestinians. The US and Israel always took the position that peace had to be negotiated between the parties and that is what Oslo required. Now, among the many problematic aspects of it, the most problematic of all, is that it probable involves an imposed solution.

Quoting heavily from Sharon’s speech at the Herzeliya conference in Sharon/Bush Road Map I argued forcefully that Sharon and Bush had made a deal that the Road Map would be based on Bush’s vision speech of June ’02. I advised,
Read this speech in its entirety. It sets out the path to peace agreed upon by Sharon and Bush. Forget about the Quartet. Sharon has dismissed it as "nothing". Forget about the Road Map. Sharon said he doesn't take it "seriously". Forget about Arafat. Once the Iraq war gets going so will Arafat with Israel's help. Forget about Powell and the State Department, they aren't calling the shots.
Finally, I concluded,
I used to think that the US had committed itself to both the Arab countries and to the EU to do more for the Palestinians. But I no longer do. Look at the lack of support from all these Arab countries. Look at the opposition of France and Germany and Russia. The US owes them nothing. If anything the actions of these groups have made it all the clearer that trying to win them over is fruitless and a bad idea. So look for more unilateralism. Prosecuting the Iraq war will be simpler and so will solving the Palestinian problem be simpler. Too many crooks spoil the broth.

There is no way that after taking a lot of trouble to defeat one terrorist state, Iraq, is America going to create another. Mark my words.

Fortunately Keinon reports that Powell added “But you're not going to get there in 100 years unless there is a different kind of performance on the Palestinian side with respect to ending terror," he said. "So performance is required." This reflects one of Sharon’s key demands.

I stand by my words in bold above. After Powell and the US have laboured so hard with the EU and the UN to get consensus and action on Iraq, I doubt that they are anxious to repeat the process on the Israel/Palestinian conflict. These parties, the US has learnt if they didn’t always know, are more of a hindrance then a help. Secondly, it is one thing to negotiate a Road Map with the EU and the Arabs when they are feeling strong and we need their support in Iraq, it is an entirely different matter when Iraq has been defeated without France’s help and the Arabs are worried about their own regimes. Finally, the US has its hands full with the impending war on Iraq and the brewing problem with N. Korea. So, I can't see them taking time out, any time soon, to solve this problem .

This plan will take its place in the dustbin of failed plans along with Oslo, Mitchell and Tenent.

Reinstate Ahenakew, native elders say

O, Canada Canadian tribal elder, outspoken anti-semite, welcomed home
Regina — The Saskatchewan council of native elders that banished one of its members for his anti-Semitic tirade last year has quietly suggested inviting the disgraced leader back into the fold.

Senators for the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations voted 20 to 1 in favour of reinstating David Ahenakew during their two-day meeting in Prince Albert, Sask., earlier this week.

"I was shocked that this unexpected decision was made," said Rochelle Wilner, president of B'nai Brith Canada.

"This sends a message that anybody in Canada can just climb on a soapbox and spew hate," she said.

Mr. Ahenakew, who is a former leader of the Assembly of First Nations and who has been admitted to the Order of Canada, caused a national furor in December when he said that killing millions of Jews during the Holocaust had been a good idea.[more]
Saddam Hussein. Pol Pot. Idi Amin.

On Feb 5, 2003, the NYT carried an article by Barham A. Salih (“co-prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Goverment in Iraq") under the tilte, Give Us a Chance to Build a Democratic Iraq . In his article, Salih writes:
Most of my Iraqi compatriots — Shiite and Sunni Arab, Turkmen and Assyrian, Muslim, Christian and Yazidi — have been united by what they have endured under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. They want the overthrow of a regime that used chemical weapons against the Kurds and wasted a nation's natural resources on wars rather than schools. They want democracy in Iraq. These are goals worthy of the world's support.
We have watched demonstrators in Washington and other cities chant, "No to war." But the Baathist dictatorship has been waging war for decades. It has inflicted hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties. Every day, Iraqis of all ethnic and religious groups are tortured in horrible ways. The regime even now is waging a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing in the parts of Iraqi Kurdistan it still controls.

Iraq has many dedicated apologists, including some who defend or deny the Hussein regime's use of chemical weapons on Kurds. They ignore captured Iraqi documents that tell of inhuman attacks on my people, among them an audiotape of Saddam Hussein's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid boasting of his plans to use chemical weapons against the Kurds. We know from samples collected by Human Rights Watch at the village of Birjinni and tested by the British defense ministry that the regime used mustard gas and the nerve agent sarin against our people.
Subsequent to World War I, the Kurdish people were the victims of outrageous conduct on the part of the Allies. The same 1921 “Cairo Conference” in which Churchill gave away Eastern Palestine to Abdullah (son of Hussein, King of the Hejaz), also decided that a considerable portion of the Kurd’s homeland would become part of Iraq. As the World War I agreements were being finalized, “independence or autonomy for the Kurds, which had been on the agenda in 1921, somehow disappeared from the agenda in 1922, so there was to be no Kurdistan” (quoted from p. 560 of

Fromkin, David. A peace to end all peace. New York: Avon Books, 1989).

Today, the Kurdish people are divided among four countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. (See Kurdish Online Encyclopaedia).

Now the Kurds are hoping to rid themselves of the tyrant who rules Iraq, but the “antiwar” bleeding hearts are standing in the way. One of their slogans, heard repeatedly on radio and TV shows, is “war and violence solve nothing”. Tell that to the nations who fell under the Axis occupation during World War II. Tell that to the people of Cambodia under Pol Pot, a murderer who was removed only when Vietnam's troops overthrew him. Or, tell that to the Ugandans during Idi Amin’s rule of terror, people who were not liberated from the terror until the Tanzanian army came to the rescue.

The story of Uganda and her liberation from Amin is particularly noteworthy because it highlights several recurring themes. First, as in the case of Iraq, the UN proved itself utterly irrelevant. Second, again as in the case of Iraq, it showed how selective the bleeding heart’s vision is, seeing Israel’s sins where they don’t exist, but blind to the Idi Amin’s of the world while they proceed on their murderous path. Third, also in parallel to the Iraq situation, because of misguided loyalties, the bleeding hearts stand in the way of peoples’ liberation. And finally, as in the case of Iraq, tyranny, opposing Israel and support for terrorism go hand in hand. For all these reasons, it is useful to review the story of Uganda in the 1970's, where an entire community - Ugandan Asians - was expelled, and several tribes were slaughtered, while the UN turned a blind eye.

The facts about Idi Amin's dictatorship, 1971-1979, may be found, inter alia, in the web sources given at the end of this article. In a nutshell, the data culled from these sources reveal as follows:

On January 25, 1971, while President Obote was outside of Uganda, Idi Amin staged a coup.

On March 30, 1972, Amin won the distinction of being the first African leader to break diplomatic relations with Israel and expel Israeli technicians who were in Uganda to assist its economy.

Hot on the heels of this achievement, on August 5, 1972, Idi Amin began expelling the Asian population that constituted the backbone of the merchant class. Estimates of the number expelled vary from 50,000 to 80,000. The Asians expelled ended up in many countries, including Canada, but mostly in Britain.

On December 18, 1972, Idi Amin nationalized 41 foreign-owned farms and tea estates, of which 34 were British. This trend continued later with the expulsion of all foreign business interests from Uganda.

On June 27, 1976, an Air France plane with some 100 Israeli citizens was hijacked and flown eventually to the Entebbe airport. On July 5, 1976, in an outstanding feat of courage and skill, the IDF landed in Entebbe, killed the hijacking terrorists and flew the freed hostages to Israel.

On November 1, 1978, Idi Amin attacked his neighbour, Tanzania. The Tanzanian army fought back, and on April 11, 1979 reached Kampalla, the capital of Uganda. Idi Amin found refuge in Saudi Arabia, where, according to the available information, he continues to live in luxury to this very day. Born in 1925, Idi Amin is now 78 years old.

Idi Amin’s reign of terror cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of his countrymen. The estimated number of those murdered varies from 100,000 to 400,000, mostly Christians.

Throughout the eight-year period reviewed above, the Security Council (SC) did not find it appropriate to condemn Idi Amin even once. In the view of this august organization, Amin’s assault on Tanzania warranted no attention under the peace and security mandate of the SC, nor did his expulsion of the Asians warrant denunciation.

In general, Amin was treated with kid gloves by “the international community”, as summarized by the following quote from Encarta (see link below):

The United States government did not pass a trade embargo until 1978. In an unsuccessful effort to encourage Amin to moderate his policies, the rulers of other African states elected him chair of the Organization of African Unity for a one-year term in 1975.
Sounds familiar?

Sources Regarding Uganda:

A compact chronology was posted by the BBC site.

Recent BBC stories about Uganda and Idi Amin may be found in this site.

Encylopaedia resources may be found at, or at the Encarta site.

Other informative sites include this page.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.

February 06, 2003

Hamas leader: Islamic group is ready to take over from Arafat

At least with Hamas there is no duplicity about their goals
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Hamas is prepared to assume leadership of the Palestinian people, a senior Hamas official said Thursday in a rare expression of the goal of the violent Islamic movement.

Hamas has avoided direct conflicts with Yasser Arafat's leadership, although from time to time, clashes between the groups have erupted.

Mahmoud Zahar, a leader of the Hamas political wing, told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that his group is "absolutely" prepared to lead the Palestinian people now.

He said Hamas has the infrastructure to take over leadership "politically, financially (and) socially."

Polls have shown consistently that Arafat's Fatah movement is more popular than Hamas among Palestinians, but Arafat has not visited Gaza in more than a year. He has been confined to his Ramallah West Bank headquarters by the Israeli military presence.

Hamas has moved into the vacuum in Gaza, stepping up social services in the crowded, poverty-stricken territory. Also, its frequent attacks against Israel have bolstered its backing.
I have to say this:

I just heard on the radio Geula Cohen, for whom I have the greatest respect (although at times she tends to be a bit too emotional for my taste). Geula is not religious, or, at least as far as I know, not an orthodox. She said: "I think that the ultra-orthodox,...are desecrating God's name [by their hatred of Zionism], and people like Lapid are desecrating God's name by their hatred of the Jewish religion". I could not agree more. The most important point, in my view, is: does Lapid hate the Jewish religion? I don't think so. If anyone can prove me wrong, I will withdraw all my support for him (not that my support is relevant at all right now, mind you).

Why one should oppose a second Palestinian-Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza - Part 20 of 23

This piece continues a series of which the first 19 parts were posted on September 8, 9, 11, 17, 20, 22, 23; October 7, 24, 28, 29; November 6, and 26; and December 5, and 13, 2002, and January 7, 10, 21, and 27, 2003. (Alternatively, the previous articles may be found in the IsraPundit archives as follows: September 8, 9, 11, 17, 20, 22, 23; October 7, 24, 28, 29; and November 6 and 26; December 5, and 13, 2002; and January 7, 10, 21, and 27, 2003). The object of the series is to provide a database that is not only reliable and well-documented but also one for which documents are easily accessible, preferably from web resources. The term "second Palestinian-Arab state" is used in order to underscore that one Palestinian-Arab state already exists: it's called Jordan, and it is located in that part of Eastern Palestine that was originally to have been part of the Jewish National Home.

Recapitulation: The first nine parts of this series dealt with arguments based on fundamentals and principles: the historical right of the Jewish people to a home in their ancestral land, which has had a Jewish population continuously for millenia; the international acceptance of the Balfour declaration and the British Mandate to ensure the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine; the fact that Israel is in possession of Yesha as a consequence of a defensive war; the argument that the current Arab population of Palestine consists mainly of immigrants who came to Palestine as a consequence of the development brought about by the Jewish pioneers since the 1880's; and the fact that the Arabs of Palestine have rejected numerous opportunities to establish a state by peaceful means, indicating that their real objective is to destroy Israel.

The second group of nine parts dealt with arguments based on Middle East realities. The points made include the assessment that a sovereign Palestinian State would obviate Israel’s ability to defend herself; that such a state, by the admission of the Palestinian Arabs themselves, would not solve their grievances; that violence within and among Arab states has a long history, and adding another Arab state will not pacify the region; and the economic base of Yesha, as well as the water resources in the area, do not permit the creation of an additional, viable state.

The present Part 20 continues the third group of five articles, which deal with such issues of the disputed territories, Jerusalem, the Arab refugees, and an alternative to Palestinian-Arab sovereignty. Strictly speaking, these are not arguments against the creation of a Palestinian-Arab state, but they are intrinsically linked to these arguments.

20. An undivided Jerusalem rightfully belongs to Israel. Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish state but of secondary importance to the Palestinian Arabs, except as a propaganda tool.

The literature on Jerusalem is vast, as any library or web search will prove. For example, a Google search under “Jerusalem and history” or “Jerusalem and status” yields hundreds of thousands of links. Jerusalem-related topics also occupy a considerable portion of sources on Israel in general. This is illustrated, for example, by Mitchell Bard’s Myths and Facts - A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict (also see other material on Jerusalem at the site of the Jewish Virtual Library. In connection with Israel’s right to sovereignty over Jerusalem, there are, however, a few ways in which the essence of this vast literature may be captured in a relatively short document. One such way is to refer to the US Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, as posted by the Mideast Web. Section 2 of the Act states as follows:
Sec. 2. FINDINGS. (1-17)

The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital.

(2) Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.

(3) The city of Jerusalem is the seat of Israel s President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions.

(4) The city of Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Judaism, and is also considered a holy city by the members of other religious faiths.

(5) From 1948-1967, Jerusalem was a divided city and Israeli citizens of all faiths as well as Jewish citizens of all states were denied access to holy sites in the area controlled by Jordan.

(6) In 1967, the city of Jerusalem was reunited during the conflict known as the Six Day War.

(7) Since 1967, Jerusalem has been a united city administered by Israel, and persons of all religious faiths have been guaranteed full access to holy sites within the city.

(8) This year marks the 28th consecutive year that Jerusalem has been administered as a unified city in which the rights of all faiths have been respected and protected.

(9) In 1990, the congress unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 106, which declares that the Congress "strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected".

(17) In 1996, the State of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King David s entry.
Paraphrased, these Findings affirm that Israel’s claim on Jerusalem is based on: (i) the Jewish historical connection with the city; (ii) the continuous presence of a Jewish population in Jerusalem, except for short periods when Jews were prohibited from living in the city; (iii) the fact that the city is the heart of the Jewish state; (iv) the lack of justification for dividing a city united; (v) the exemplary administration of the city as a holy place accessible to adherents of all religions, as opposed to the administration of the city by the Jordanians, which deprived Jews as well as non-Jewish Israelis of any access to their holy places; (vi) the capture of a portion of the city in a defensive war.

Part 19 of this series attempted to establish that at the very least, Israel has as strong a claim to the disputed territories of Yesha as any other party. In the case of Jerusalem, this argument is even stronger. For example, it may be argued that most areas within Yesha were not inhabited by Jews at the time of the 1948 War and for long periods before that date. But in the case of Jerusalem, a Jewish plurality was evident in the first half of the 19th century, and a Jewish majority was evident since 1896; by 1948, Jerusalem’s Jews outnumbered Moslems and Christians combined by a ratio of almost 2:1 (a statistical table to that effect is given at the site Myths and Facts which was cited previously).

One point warrants special emphasis. The “International Community” has supported unification of divided cities (and, for that matter, of divided countries like Germany before the 1990s). Divided cities (currently or within living memory) include Nicosia, Beirut, Berlin and Sarajevo, as well as many other cities and towns in the former Yugoslavia.

For all these places, the literature laments the division and supports unification. In the case of Jerusalem alone, efforts are made to re-divide a city that is functioning better than it ever did as a divided entity. When Israel’s enemies contend, “we are not antisemitic, only anti-Israeli”, this evidence is sufficient to unmask the true feelings behind the hypocritical facade.

Here is a brief example of how divided cities are assessed. A CBC post under the heading, Mitrovica - A City Divided , reads:
Jerusalem, Berlin, Beirut, Sarajevo. All of these cities were divided by war and its aftermath. All became symbols of conflicts that tore them in two. It is a daunting list and now there is another city to add to it -- Mitrovica.
Well, from the cities listed, Berlin and Jerusalem have been united, why must Jerusalem alone be singled out to be re-divided?

But what, one may ask, about the Moslem claim to Jerusalem?

To answer this question suffice it to refer to the pronouncements of Abdul Hadi Palazzi. (Shaykh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi holds a Ph.D in Islamic Sciences by decree of the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He served as a lecturer in the Department of the History of Religion at the University of Velletri in Rome, Italy and he is also an Imam who serves as secretary general of the Italian Muslim Association in Rome.) In an essay excerpted from Palazzi's address to the Third International Seminar on The Sources of Contemporary Law, Jerusalem, July, 1996 Palazzi stated:
As opposed to what "Islamic" fundamentalists continuously claim, the Book of Islam -- as we have just now seen -- recognizes Jerusalem as the Jewish direction of prayer. Some Moslem exegetes also quote the Book of Daniel as proof of this (Daniel 6:10).

After exhibiting the most relevant Koranic passages in this connection, one easily concludes that, as no one wishes to deny Moslems complete sovereignty over Mecca, from an Islamic point of view there is no sound theological reason to deny the Jews the same right over Jerusalem.
(A longer quotation is given in the Appendix; I urge readers to review the complete article at the link given above.)

Comparing the claims of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, Daniel Pipes wrote in an article dated September 2001:
What about Muslims? Where does Jerusalem fit in Islam and Muslim history? It is not the place to which they pray, is not once mentioned by name in prayers, and it is connected to no mundane events in Muhammadìs life. The city never served as capital of a sovereign Muslim state, and it never became a cultural or scholarly center. Little of political import by Muslims was initiated there.

One comparison makes this point most clearly: Jerusalem appears in the Jewish Bible 669 times and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem, sometimes the Land of Israel) 154 times, or 823 times in all. The Christian Bible mentions Jerusalem 154 times and Zion 7 times. In contrast, the columnist Moshe Kohn notes, Jerusalem and Zion appear as frequently in the Qurìan "as they do in the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, the Taoist Tao-Te Ching, the Buddhist Dhamapada and the Zoroastrian Zend Avesta"—which is to say, not once.
Other authors have noted that the holiness of Jerusalem to Moslems is confined to the Dome of the Rock (a point implied in the foregoing citation from Palazi’s essay), while for the Jewish people, the entire city of Jerusalem is holy.

Just as Arafat invented the notions of “Palestine”, “Arab lands” and “Palestinian People”, so he has attempted to invent new Islamic claims to Jerusalem, accompanied by an attempt to dismiss the central role of Jerusalem to the Israel. These issues are discussed in detail in the Daniel Pipes’ article cited above.

Finally, as the US Congress did, one should take into consideration the administration under Moslem rule (1948-1967), as compared with the Israeli administration. The process of ethnic cleansing conducted by the Jordanians when they captured East Jerusalem is described at the site United Jerusalem as follows:
On May 28, the Arab Legion completed the capture of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, including the Western Wall (the major remnant of the Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans over 2000 years ago, and the holiest sites in the Jewish religion.) The Legion's commander, Abdallah el-Tal, recalled that "The operations of calculated destruction were set in motion....Only four days after our entry into Jerusalem the Jewish Quarter had become a graveyard" (Abdallah el-Tal, Disaster of Palestine, Cairo 1959).
After the Arab Legion captured the Jewish Quarter, the destruction, desecration, and systematic looting of Jewish sites continued. 57 ancient synagogues, libraries and centers of religious study were ransacked and 12 were totally and deliberately destroyed. Those that remained standing were defaced, used for housing of both people and animals. Appeals were made to the United Nations and in the international community to declare the Old City to be an 'open city' and stop this destruction, but there was no response.
In addition, thousands of tombstones from the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives were used as paving stones for roads and as construction material in Jordanian army camps. Parts of the cemetery were converted into parking lots, a filling station, and an asphalt road was built to cut through it. The Intercontinental Hotel was built at the top of the cemetery...These acts of deliberate desecration and destruction, designed to obliterate the long history of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem, were also blatant violations of the Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement, signed on 3 April 1949. Article VIII of this agreement stipulated the establishment of a Special Committee, "composed of two representatives of each Party...for the purpose of formulating agreed plans" including "free access to the Holy Places and cultural institutions and use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives"...This did not take place, and these clauses of the Armistice Agreement were never honored... The United Nations was of no assistance in this issue, and ignored the discrimination and violations of the Armistice Agreement. In presentations before UN bodies, Abba Eban pointed out that although the Christian and Moslem Holy Places were freely accessible to Moslem and Christian worshippers, "the Wailing Wall, the most hallowed sanctuary of Judaism and the most ancient shrine in the entire city is barred to all access by worshippers despite solemn agreements and undertakings."
Israeli administration of East Jerusalem stands as a sharp contrast. Israel did not re-establish control of the single holiest Jewish site. To the contrary, in an act of generosity and tolerance, Israel handed over control of the site to the Wakf, the Moslem Religious Trust. This fact is recorded, inter alia, on p. 307 of a recent book,

Oren, Michael B. Six days of War. New York: Oxford U Press, 2002:

Palestinian community and religious leaders were, for the most part, retained in their prewar positions, including the Muslim wakf atop the Temple Mount.
Israel has more than earned the right to sovereignty over Jerusalem.

Appendix - Excerpt from an essay by the Islamic cleric Shaykh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, concerning Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem

“The most common argument against Islamic acknowledgement of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is that, since al-Quds is a holy place for Moslems, they cannot accept its being ruled by non-Moslems, because such acceptance would be a betrayal of Islam.

Before expressing our point of view about this question, we must reflect upon the reason that Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque hold such a sacred position in Islam. As everyone knows, the definition of Jerusalem as an Islamic holy place depends on al-Mi'raj, the ascension of the prophet Muhammad to heaven, which began from the Holy Rock.

While remembering this, we must admit that there is no real link between al-Mi'raj and sovereign rights over Jerusalem, since when al-Mi'raj took place the city was not under Islamic, but under Byzantine administration. Moreover, the Koran expressly recognizes that Jerusalem plays the same role for Jews that Mecca has for Moslems.

We read:

...They would not follow thy direction of prayer (qibla), nor art thou to follow their direction of prayer; nor indeed will they follow each other's direction of prayer... (Koran, Sura 2:145, "The Cow")
All Koranic commentators explain that "thy qibla" is obviously the Kaba of Mecca, while "their qibla" refers to the Temple Area in Jerusalem...

As opposed to what "Islamic" fundamentalists continuously claim, the Book of Islam -- as we have just now seen -- recognizes Jerusalem as the Jewish direction of prayer. Some Moslem exegetes also quote the Book of Daniel as proof of this (Daniel 6:10).

After exhibiting the most relevant Koranic passages in this connection, one easily concludes that, as no one wishes to deny Moslems complete sovereignty over Mecca, from an Islamic point of view there is no sound theological reason to deny the Jews the same right over Jerusalem.

If we consider ourselves as religious men, we must necessarily include justice among our qualities. As regards the argument, we have to admit that the same idea of justice requires that we treat Jews, Christians and Moslems equally. No community can demand for itself privileges that it is not ready to recognize to others.

We know that Roman Catholics consider Rome their own capital, and the fact that city has the largest mosque in Europe and an ancient Jewish community does not alter its role as the center of Catholicism.

Even more can be said of Mecca: It is the main religious center for Moslems the world over and is completely under Islamic administration.

Respecting this principle of fair-mindedness, we necessarily conclude that the Israelis as a nation and the Jews as a religion must have their own political and ethnic capital, under their sole administration, even though it contains certain places regarded as sacred by the other two Abrahamic faiths.

To my mind, this is the only realistic ground for any discussion of the future of the Holy City. The other parties must understand that Jews will never agree to have less rights than the other religions, and that Israelis will never agree to see David's City divided into two parts.

If everyone was happy to see the Berlin Wall destroyed, it was because the very idea of forced separation within a single city is something offensive to human sensitivity. We cannot even think of creating another Berlin in the heart of the Middle East.”

Palazzi’s message has been the topic of several articles, noteworthy among which are the articles by Robert Fulford (National Post of Canada, May 4, 2002) and John Dougherty (WorldNetDaily, April 17, 2001).

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.

Bir Zeit-on-Hudson.

Martin Kramer in this piece shows us what is taking place at what has been considered a major university.
Two weekends ago, Columbia University hosted a Palestinian film festival. I have nothing against such festivals, which have been held over the past year in Seattle and Chicago. Some of the films are worthy examples of the art. But of course, Columbia's faculty can be counted upon to give a legitimate exercise the flavor of a hate-fest. This time, it was the turn of Joseph Massad, an assistant professor in the department that sponsored the festival. According to the Columbia Daily Spectator, Massad, speaking on a festival panel, praised the films as "weapons" and "likened Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's cultural views to those of Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels."

All this is standard procedure for Massad, who throws out Nazi analogies with reckless abandon. (When the Campus Watch website named him, presumably for doing just that sort of thing, he called it "a Gestapo file.") This week, Massad has cropped up on the pages of Al-Ahram Weekly, and he has outdone himself. The article is a rant against the anti-Israel left in Europe (e.g., Derrida, Bourdieu), for not being anti-Israel enough. Alas, too many of the left's culture heroes only demand an end to Israeli occupation. They fail to see that Israel itself, in any borders, is a racist entity. The Jews, not being a nation by (Massad's) definition, cannot have nationalism. They have only racism, implemented through colonialism. In this one op-ed, Massad manages to repeat the words "racist" and "racism" twenty-two times. Talk about Goebbels.

So here are the highlights. Israel is "a racist Jewish state," the "offspring" of "the foundational racism of Zionism." The "European Jew is a colonizer who has used racist colonial violence for the last century against the Palestinian people." Israel was founded "by armed colonial settlers." "Zionist Jewish colonialism" was a "commitment to European white supremacy in Jewish guise." "Jewish colonists were part of the British colonial death squads that murdered Palestinian revolutionaries between 1936 and 1939." There has been an "ideological and practical collusion between Zionism and anti-Semitism since the inception of the movement." Zionism "has always been predicated on anti-Semitism and on an alliance between Zionists and anti-Semitic imperialists." Zionism itself had an "anti-Semitic project of destroying Jewish cultures and languages in the diaspora."

Heard enough? Too bad. "Israeli colonialism and racism operate with the same force, albeit with different means, inside the Jewish state as they do in the territories Israel occupies." Israel's racism manifests itself in "the racist curricula of Israeli Jewish schools, the racist Israeli Jewish media representations of Palestinians, the racist declarations of Israeli Jewish leaders on the right and on the left, and the Jewish supremacist rights and privileges guiding Zionism and Israeli state laws and policies." "The ultimate achievement of Israel," concludes Massad, is "the transformation of the Jew into the anti-Semite, and the Palestinian into the Jew." [more]
Some news from IBA radio:

Rashid abu Shark, who is the head of the Palestinian preventative security forces, says that PA will put more forces into preventing the shooting of missiles from its territory into Israel. He says such shootings are damaging to the Palestinians' interests.

Abu Allah, who is the chair of the PA parliament, says that PA has to come up with a political initiative aimed at resolving the Conflict, without waiting for the war in Iraq. He also calls for deeds, rather than words, from the PA leadership, when it comes to preventing Palestinian violence, and for reforms, and for admitting mistakes, etc.

Two Sharon's advisors are on their way to Jordan. They were invited by Jordan's foreign minister, but the visit is said to have been postponed until after the elections in Israel.

Israel's FM Netanyahu and his Egyptian counterpart had a phone conversation. This report was very short, and then I did not hear all of it:-)

Now, is it just me, or are our cousins getting nervous?

The New Middle East

Bring it on

Here is your complimentary Stratfor Weekly, written by our Chairman and Founder, Dr. George Friedman.


Desert Storm was about restoring the status quo ante. The 2003 war with Iraq will be about redefining the status quo in the region. Geopolitically, it will leave countries like Syria and Saudi Arabia completely surrounded by U.S. military forces and Iran partially surrounded. It is therefore no surprise that the regional powers, regardless of their hostility to Saddam Hussein, oppose the war: They do not want to live in a post-war world in which their own power is diluted. Nor is it a surprise, after last week's events in Europe indicating that war is coming, that the regional powers -- and particularly Saudi Arabia -- are now redefining their private and public positions to the war. If the United States cannot be stopped from redefining the region, an accommodation will have to be reached.


Last week, the focus was on Europe -- where heavy U.S. pressure, coupled with the internal dynamics, generated a deep division. From the U.S. point of view, regardless of what France and Germany ultimately say about the war, these two countries no longer can claim to speak for Europe. Ultimately, for the Americans, that is sufficient.

This week, U.S. attention must shift to a much more difficult target -- the Islamic world. More precisely, it must shift to the countries bordering Iraq and others in the region as well. In many ways, this is a far more important issue than Europe. The Europeans, via multinational organizations, can provide diplomatic sanction for the invasion of Iraq. The countries around Iraq constitute an essential part of the theater of operations, potentially influencing the course of the war and even more certainly, the course of history after the war. What they have to say and, more important, what they will do, is of direct significance to the war.

As it stands at this moment, the U.S. position in the region, at the most obvious level, is tenuous at best. Six nations border Iraq: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Iran. Of the six, only one -- Kuwait -- is unambiguously allied with the United States. The rest continue to behave ambiguously. All have flirted with the United States and provided varying degrees of overt and covert cooperation, but they have not made peace with the idea of invasion and U.S. occupation.

Of the remaining five, Turkey is by far the most cooperative. It will permit U.S. forces to continue to fly combat missions against Iraq from bases in Turkey as well as allow them to pass through Turkey and maintain some bases there. However, there is a split between the relatively new Islamist government of Turkey, which continues to be uneasy about the war, and the secular Turkish military, which is committed to extensive cooperation. And apart from Kuwait, Turkey is the best case. Each of the other countries is even more conflicted and negative toward an invasion.

Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Iran are very different countries and have different reasons for arriving at their positions. They each have had very different experiences with Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Iran fought a brutal war with Iraq during the 1980s -- a war initiated by the Iraqis and ruinous to Iran. Hussein is despised by Iranians, who continue to support anti-Hussein exiles. Tehran certainly is tempted by the idea of a defeated Iraq. It also is tempted by the idea of a dismembered Iraq that never again could threaten Iran, and where Iran could gain dominance over its Shiite regions. Tehran certainly has flirted with Washington and particularly with London on various levels of cooperation, and clearly has provided some covert intelligence cooperation to the United States and Britain. In the end, though -- however attractive the collapse of Iraq might be -- internal politics and strategic calculations have caused Iranian leaders to refuse to sanction the war or to fully participate. Iran might be prepared to pick up some of the spoils, but only after the war is fought.

Syria stands in a similar relation to Iraq. The Assad family despises the Husseins, ideologically, politically and personally. Syria sided openly with the United States in 1991. Hussein's demise would cause no grief in Damascus. Yet, in spite of a flirtation with Britain in particular -- including a visit with both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles for Syrian President Assad -- Syria has not opted in for the war.

Nor have the Jordanians -- at least not publicly. There are constant reports of U.S. (and Israeli) special operations troops operating out of Jordan. U.S. Marines have trained during the past month in Jordan, but the government remains officially opposed to the war -- and what support it will give, it will give only covertly.

Finally, there is Saudi Arabia, which has been one of the pillars of U.S. power in the region since the 1950s and which has, in turn, depended on Washington for survival against both Arab radicals and Iraq itself. The Saudis have been playing the most complex game of all, cooperating on some levels openly, cooperating on other levels covertly, while opposing the war publicly.

For all of the diversity in the region, there is a common geopolitical theme. If the U.S. invasion is successful, Washington intends to occupy Iraq militarily, and it officially expects to remain there for at least 18 months -- or to be more honest, indefinitely. The United States will build air bases and deploy substantial ground forces -- and, rather than permit the disintegration of Iraq, will create a puppet government underwritten by U.S. power.

On the day the war ends, and if the United States is victorious, then the entire geopolitics of the region will be redefined. Every country bordering Iraq will find not the weakest formations of the Iraqi army along their frontiers, but U.S. and British troops. The United States will be able to reach into any country in the region with covert forces based in Iraq, and Washington could threaten overt interventions as well. It would need no permission from regional hosts for the use of facilities, so long as either Turkey or Kuwait will permit trans-shipment into Iraq.

In short, a U.S. victory will change the entire balance of power in the region, from a situation in which the United States must negotiate its way to war, to a situation where the United States is free to act as it will.

Consider the condition of Syria. It might not have good relations with Hussein's Iraq, but a U.S.-occupied Iraq would be Syria's worst nightmare. It would be surrounded on all sides by real or potential enemies -- Israel, Turkey, Jordan and the United States and, in the Mediterranean, by the U.S. Sixth Fleet. Syria -- which traditionally has played a subtle, complex balancing game between various powers -- would find itself in a vise, no longer able to guarantee its national security except through accommodating the United States.

A similar situation is shaping up for Saudi Arabia. The United States is operating extensively in Yemen; it also has air force facilities in Qatar and naval facilities in Bahrain. U.S. B-1 bombers and some personnel are going to be based in Oman. The United States has established itself along the littoral of the Arabian peninsula. With U.S. forces deployed along the Saudi-Iraqi border, and with U.S. domination of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, the Saudis will be in essence surrounded.

The same basic problem exists for Iran, although on a less threatening scale. Iran is larger, more populated and more difficult to intimidate. Nevertheless, with at least some U.S. forces in Afghanistan -- and the option for introducing more always open -- and U.S. forces in Iraq and the Persian Gulf, the Iranians too find themselves surrounded, albeit far less overwhelmingly than would be the case for Syria or Saudi Arabia.

The only probable winners would be Turkey, which would lay claim to the oil fields around Mosul and Kirkuk; Jordan, whose security would be enhanced by U.S. forces to the east; and Kuwait, which is betting heavily on a quick U.S. victory and a prolonged presence in the region.

If we consider the post-Iraq war world, it is no surprise that the regional response ranges from publicly opposed ad privately not displeased to absolute opposition. Certainly, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran have nothing to gain from a war that will be shaped entirely by the United States. Each understands that the pressure from the United States to cooperate in the war against al Qaeda will be overwhelming, potentially irresistible and olitically destabilizing. This is not the world in which they want to live.

Add to this the obvious fact of oil, and the dilemma becomes clear. The United States is not invading Iraq for oil: If oil was on Washington's mind, it would invade Venezuela, whose crisis has posed a more serious oil problem for the United States than Iraq could. Nevertheless, Washington expects to pay for the reconstruction of Iraq from oil revenues, and there will be no reason to limit Iraqi production. This cannot make either Riyadh or Tehran happy, since it will drive prices down and increase competition for market share.

Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria have every reason to oppose a war in Iraq. The consequences of such a war will undermine their national interests. They were depending on Europe's ability to block the war, but that strategy has failed. The Saudis and Syrians then launched into an attempt to find a political solution that would prevent a U.S. occupation of Iraq. That centered around either Hussein's voluntary resignation and exile, or a coup in Baghdad that would produce a new government -- one that would cooperate fully with weapons inspectors, and remove the U.S. justification for occupation.

This attempt, in collaboration with other regional powers and countries like Germany and Russia, is still under way. The problem is that Hussein has little motivation to resign, and his security forces remain effective. Hussein apparently still is not convinced that the United States will invade, or that he will be defeated. He seems to assume that, if his troops can inflict some casualties on U.S. forces, then the United States will accept a cease-fire without toppling him. He will not abdicate, nor will his followers overthrow him, until those two assumptions are falsified. What that means is that the United States still would occupy Iraq militarily, even if there was a coup or resignation as the campaign unfolded.

If you can't beat them, join them. The European split -- and the real possibility that France and Germany ultimately will endorse war in some way -- mean that war cannot be prevented. Hussein will not abdicate or be overthrown until the war is well under way. Therefore, it is highly likely that the war will take place, the United States will occupy Iraq and that the map of the Middle East will change profoundly.

Continued opposition to the war, particularly from Riyadh's standpoint, makes little sense. The issue until now has been to cope with the internal political challenges that have arisen in the kingdom since Sept. 11, 2001. hAfter the Iraq war, this issue will be supplemented by the question of how the United States regards the kingdom. It is not prudent for a nation surrounded by a much more powerful nation to allow itself to be regarded as an enemy. Therefore, we are witnessing a shift in the Saudi position that might evolve to reluctant, public support for the war by the time an attack is launched.

Iranian leaders do not feel themselves to be quite in such desperate straits -- since they are not. However, the presence of U.S. power on Iran's borders will create an urgent need to settle the internal disputes that divide the country. The need to do so, however, does not guarantee a successful outcome. The division between those who feel that an opening to the United States is essential and those who feel that protecting Iran against the United States is paramount might become exacerbated and destabilize the country. However, there is no immediate, overt threat to Iran, although the possibilities for covert operations increase dramatically.

Jordan will do well, but Syria's future is cloudier. Washington has concerns about Syria's long-term commitment to U.S. interests, and Damascus might find itself squeezed unbearably. Turkey will fatten on oil and manage the Kurds as it has done in the past. But nothing will be the same after this war. Unlike Desert Storm, which was about restoring the status quo ante, this war is about establishing an entirely new reality.

The United States is, of course, well-aware that its increased presence in the region will result in greater hostility and increased paramilitary activity against U.S. forces there. However, the U.S. view is that this rising cost is acceptable so long as Washington is able to redefine the behavior of countries neighboring Iraq. In the long run, the Bush administration believes, geopolitical power will improve U.S. security interests in spite of growing threats. To be more precise, the United States sees Islamic hostility at a certain level as a given, and does not regard an increase in that hostility as materially affecting its interests.

The conquest of Iraq will not be a minor event in history: It will represent the introduction of a new imperial power to the Middle East and a redefinition of regional geopolitics based on that power. The United States will have from being an outside power influencing events through coalitions, to a regional power that is able to operate effectively on its own. Most significant, countries like Saudi Arabia and Syria will be living in a new and quite unpleasant world.

Therefore, it is not difficult to understand why the regional powers are behaving as they are. The disintegration of the European bloc has, however, left them in an untenable position. The United States will occupy Iraq, and each regional power is now facing that reality. Unable to block the process, they are reluctantly and unhappily finding ways to accustom themselves to it.

MEPs accuse Palestinian Authority of using aid for terrorism

At long last and after much letter writing, protests, presentation of evidence, misappropriation of funds to be examined.
The future of Europe's multimillion-euro aid package to the Palestinian Authority was in question yesterday as MEPs pressed for an investigation into claims that EU cash may have been siphoned into terrorist causes. With a quarter of the European Parliament backing calls for a formal investigation, MEPs are heading for confrontation with Chris Patten, the European commissioner for external relations, who says there is no evidence of serious problems.

At stake is the future of the European Commission's €10m (£6.6m) monthly payment to support the authority. Brussels is its most important single contributor. Mr Patten says the authority is the only credible interlocutor for the Israeli government and sees its survival as vital to prospects of peace in the region.

Brussels officials admit they cannot account for every penny spent by the authority, but say there is no evidence of significant malpractice.

Last year, the Israeli government submitted a dossier that claimed 10 per cent of the Palestinian Authority's budget was spent on activities that were not transparent. The documentation also claims to show that Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the authority, had signed bank transfers to activists involved in terrorism.

Other factors have fuelled the call for an investigation. Salam Fayyad, the respected Palestinian Finance Minister, has admitted the system is open to corruption. And assurances from Mr Patten that the EU's funding arrangements are supervised by the International Monetary Fund have begun to look less convincing.[more]
Arab Media Reactions to the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster

In some cases, articles printed in the Arab press concerning the diaster of the American space ship did contain sympathy and consolation for an event that had an impact on all peoples, but overall, the typical Arab (a religion of peace and love) naturally enough used the event to spew hatred.
(...)In Al-Dustour, columnist Arib Al-Rantawi wrote about the displays of joy which appeared on Islamic websites. "Only the sick and mentally feeble dance with
joy at the Columbia space shuttle disaster. This is not an occasion for gloating. After all, the American space program is part of the scientific heritage of humanity..."

"The rejection of the 'nationalist terrorism' theory behind the Columbia disaster apparently did not please some, and they hastened to develop a theory of 'divine retribution' against the arrogant infidels... Once again, the Arab mind was revealed as an unfathomable storehouse of 'illogic,' as if we were a nation that does not learn from its defeats and catastrophes and hastens to bring up myths at every juncture. This is what happened in 1967; it recurred, tragically, in the Gulf War... and here we are, repeating the
same tales now."

The Death of Israeli Astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon "Is Enough to Arouse Joy in Every Heart that Beats Arabism and Islam"

Most of the comments on the disaster mentioned Col. Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut. However, choosing not to mention him at all was Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Reza Asafi, who expressed "sorrow about the explosion of the Columbia space shuttle in the skies of the U.S. and
condolences [for] the American and Indian crew members. Iran distinguishes between Iran-U.S. political differences and scientific and human issues, and hopes that events of this kind will not prevent the information centers from continuing their struggle to discover the secrets of the universe."

In an article titled "Ramon Can Go to Hell," Hamed Salamin, a columnist for the UAE daily Al-Bayan, wrote: "Feelings of sadness and joy intermingle at the sight of the fragments of the American space shuttle Columbia scattering in the skies of Texas. These conflicting feelings make those feeling them
probe the obscurity of their souls to seek out the reasons for the sadness and the joy... An atmosphere of sadness and shock overcame the Israelis two days ago when NASA announced [Ramon's] death... This is enough to arouse joy in every heart that beats Arabism and Islam..."

"Perhaps the sight of the Columbia shuttle's crashing in the town of Palestine, Texas reminds the Israeli people of the daily tragedy of the Palestinians - of the sorrow, the blood, and the massacres that the army of the [Zionist] entity carries out on the occupied lands. But it would not appear that the vast majority of Israelis have feelings for others... The Columbia disaster is a loss to all, even though emotions are conflicting. Sincerest condolences to the American people and to the families of the six
American astronauts, and Ramon should go to hell. There is no sorrow for himwhatsoever."
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Member of Qatari royal family supports al-Qaeda notes in this New York Times article support for terrorists from our "friends."
A section from the Times report on Powells presentation to the UN that caught my eye
Mr. Powell withheld some critical details today, like the discovery by the intelligence agencies that a member of the royal family in Qatar, an important ally providing air bases and a command headquarters for the American military, operated a safe house for Mr. Zarqawi when he transited the country going in and out of Afghanistan.

If you look at a map, there are a few other countries that Zarqawi would have had to gone through or over to get from Afghanistan to Qater, the only question is did he go through Iran, or via Pakistan?

The Qatari royal family member was Abdul Karim al-Thani, the coalition official said. The official added that Mr. al-Thani provided Qatari passports and more than $1 million in a special bank account to finance the network.

Mr. al-Thani, who has no government position, is, according to officials in the gulf, a deeply religious member of the royal family who has provided charitable support for militant causes for years and has denied knowing that his contributions went toward terrorist operations.

Private support from prominent Qataris to Al Qaeda is a sensitive issue that is said to infuriate George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence. After the Sept. 11 attacks, another senior Qaeda operative, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who may have been the principal planner of the assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, was said by Saudi intelligence officials to have spent two weeks in late 2001 hiding in Qatar, with the help of prominent patrons, after he escaped from Kuwait.
Pakistanis fear revolt against Christians

This article suggests the typical warning that if the U.S. attacks Iraq, Muslims in Pakistan will counter by attacking Christians. As though all was peaceful in that land of freedom
Since Sept. 11, 2001, Christians in Pakistan have been attacked and killed, and churches have been vandalized.

Persecution of Christians will increase if the United States attacks Iraq, said the Rev. Majid Abel, a minister from Pakistan who is visiting this month at Lincoln's Eastridge Presbyterian Church.

Islamic extremists identify the United States as Christian, and therefore lash out against Christians in retaliation for attacks against Muslims, said Abel and his wife, Hina, who came to Lincoln with their two-year-old son, Obed.

The extremist reaction will go beyond the Christians in Pakistan, Hina Abel said. "Wherever Christians are living in a Muslim country, there will be a backlash."

Both said they have experienced discrimination all their lives because of their Christian faith. The nation of 145 million people is 95 percent Muslim and only 2percent to 3 percent Christian.

Although the government officially protects churches, Christians face discrimination in employment, housing and education, they said. In addition, Christians are afraid to profess their faith openly for fear of being found in violation of the blasphemy law, which makes it a capital offense to say or do things that "offend the Muslim faith." [more]
BUSH: We'll Finish The Job That Israeli Hero Started

This short piece says a lot.
JERUSALEM - President Bush consoled the children of Israel's first astronaut by telling them he would finish the job begun by their father - who bombed Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor.
During a memorial service in Houston on Tuesday, Bush praised Ilan Ramon, an Israeli Air Force colonel, along with the six other Columbia crew members who perished.

Afterward, the president embraced some of four Ramon's children and asked them to "tell me about your father," Israeli newspapers reported yesterday.

The children told Bush their father was a jet-fighter pilot who destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981 when Israel feared it would be used to develop atomic weapons.

"Your father started the job," Bush told them. "And I am going to finish it."

During the ceremony, Bush hailed Ramon as "a patriot" and son of Holocaust survivors who fought in two wars.

He said Ramon, 48, had spoken about the peace he would encounter in space.

"I only hope that the quiet can one day spread to my country," Bush quoted him as saying.

Although Ramon's role in the 1981 raid had been rumored for years, Israel never confirmed it until the day of Columbia's final launch last month.

U.S. officials condemned the bombing of the Osirak reactor near Baghdad at the time but later said it had set back Saddam's covert bid for atomic weapons.

Ramon recalled the raid during an Israeli interview that was conducted shortly after the attack and aired for the first time Sunday.

Ramon, dressed in his pilot's jumpsuit, also spoke of the dangers of his profession.

"In the field, there are so many different things that can go wrong, you have no way of knowing what will happen," he said.
Inequality before the law (Ted Belman)

Liberals' double standard

As kids, we have all considered what would happen if an unstoppable object hit an unmovable wall. We never found out. A similar conundrum exists in determining the supremacy of values between two mutually exclusive ones.

When Salmon Rushdie published Satanic Verses, the Mullahs of Iran issued a fatwa against him, putting a price on his head for allegedly impugning Islam. The West was outraged but not so much as to do anything about it. In the ensuing debate, the West argued that free speech was important and must as a result not be curtailed. Islam argued that free speech was important (because of its power) and therefore must be curtailed and controlled. Both societies recognized the importance of words.

In liberal societies where nothing is sacred except free speech, the courts have allowed flags to be burned and religious symbols to be denigrated all in the name of the sacred right of free speech. Many argue that this outcome is due to the liberal’S destain for patriotism and Christianity.

Just recently in Cincinnati, a tour of a play, entitled “Paradise”, was cancelled after complaints by CAIR. It seems that the play follows the lives of Ayat al-Akhras, a character modeled on the 18-year-old Palestinian suicide bomber who blew herself up in Jerusalem last March, and one of her victims Rachel Levy, a 17-year-old Israeli high-school senior.

According to the New York Times, Dabdoub (who attended the Play) alleged that the play stereotyped Muslims when it showed the Palestinian girl putting on a head covering (a hijab) before she set out to explode herself. "Why are we focusing on this? What is the message? To promote hatred?" he told the Times.

Laura Ingraham in an article entitled First Amendment Fraud in Cincinnati contrasted this with what happened three years ago when the Brooklyn Museum of Art showed a painting of a black Virgin Mary smeared in elephant dung
When then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani clashed with the Museum over funding, Manhattan's cultural elite rushed to the museum's defence. First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams stepped in on behalf of the museum and immediately enlisted the support of groups like the New York chapter of the ACLU, activists like actress Susan Sarandon, and the editorial boards of most national newspapers. "There's a simple solution for those who object to the exhibition: Don't go to see it," sniffed an editorial in the Los Angeles Times”.

[In this instance] There was nothing like the outrage expressed when the Brooklyn Museum was under fire. Where is Floyd Abrams? Where is the ACLU? Where is Sarandon?

Of course theirs [liberals outrage] is a transparently selective outrage. Artistic expression that denigrates American symbols (the flag dunked in a toilet) or Christianity (the crucifix dipped in urine) is celebrated, protected and paid for by taxpayers. But artistic expression that sheds light on modern day evil (suicide bombing) by a politically trendy group (Palestinians) is trampled upon. First Amendment crusaders are either absent or offer only a mild rebuke to Cincinnati for caving in to outside pressure. More to the point, in Brooklyn Museum case, Giuliani did not try to shut down the exhibit entirely. He just didn't want the taxpayers to pay for it. In Cincinnati, we see a case of what most liberals would consider real-life censorship.

Message to Christians: if you're offended, get over it. Message to Muslims: we feel your pain, and we'll make you feel better, even it requires censorship.
When the police raided the Finsbury Mosque in London, the Muslims were concerned to know whether they took their shoes off when inside. Can you even imagine a church being raided and Christians showing concern whether the police took their hats off. And I'm not kidding.

Oriani Falacci in her Sermon for the West put it this way
the West does live in fear. People are afraid to speak against the Islamic world. Afraid to offend, and to be punished for offending, the sons of Allah. You can insult the Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Jews. You can slander the Catholics, you can spit on the Madonna and Jesus Christ. But, woe betide the citizen who pronounces a word against the Islamic religion.
Why? Why? Why?

While fear is a part of it, I rather think that the Left prefers to give American institutions or the establishment, a hard time and gets no pleasure from doing it to the third world. The Left always attacks America and supports the enemies of America.

At least we know that the First Amendment Right is subservient to the inviolability of Islam. The unstoppable right gives way to the unmovable Islam.

February 05, 2003

Guardian article requiring a response

Article from the Guardian how snide can you be? My letter to the editor follows.
To the Editor

The snide article datelined February 3 by Chris McGreal refers to Israel as a "Democratic nation standing firm with the US against the barbarians".

HOW TRUE. ALL the despotic dictatorial Muslim Arab states in one or another way support terrorism. The ONLY sane Western country in the Middle East is Israel, and the sooner You Europeans realise that the less chance of you being taken over by Islam there will be. At present, Islam is successfully infiltrating ALL your countries. Soon they will attack in the most brutal and inhuman way possible (much like Hitler only far worse). Saddam and Arafat have already proved that. Remember - the Jews always were the canaries in the mine!! You will then all regret your antisemitism and the warnings you were repeatedly given.

Thank God Ramon DID bomb the reactor. A pity they did not also blow Saddam to the devil where he belongs. Of course Ramon is a hero. Thank God for the only state in the world with some guts to stand up to the Muslim murdering terrorist beasts - the USA. Tony Blair at least is prepared to support the USA - he may not be such a bad bloke after all. Australia, from where I write, of course has by far the most guts of all the countries supporting the USA - on the opposite hemisphere and with the largest Muslim nation on earth breathing down our necks. We are also very small (pop. 19 million).

Needless to say Israel also virtually on her own has faced down 250 million of the barbarians for far too long


THE 1930'S ARE HERE AGAIN BUT THIS TIME YOU MAY WELL NOT WIN!!!!! May God have mercy on your souls.

Dr David Bornstein