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

February 22, 2003

Who Is Who in the marching for peace

In case you were wondering, Daniel Henninger presents, in Friday's WSJ, a partial list of the organisations involved. Not many other publications thought it to be fit to print such a list.

The list includes, among others:

Academics For Justice
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
American Muslims for Jerusalem
Americans for Social Justice
Anti-Capitalist Convergence
The Arab-American Forum
Arizona Green Party
Black Radical Congress
Black Voices for Peace
Campus Greens
Coalition Against Global Exploitation (CAGE)
Code Pink for Peace
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
Ecological Options Network (EON)
Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC)
Green Party of the United States
House of The Goddess Center for Pagan Wombyn
International Socialist Organization
Jews for Racial & Economic Justice
Left Party
Left Turn
National Council of Churches
National Lawyers Guild, NYC Chapter
New York City Labor Against the War
Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Pax Christi USA
The PeaceMongers Society
PeaceRoots Alliance
Pride At Work, AFL-CIO
Ruckus Society
Socialist Party USA
Strategic Pastoral Action
Tikkun Community
TransAfrica Forum
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
United Students Against Sweatshops
War Resisters League

The space shuttle Columbia: conspiracy theories

The ADL supplies this list of various conspiracy theories that "account" for the Columbia space ship disaster. And naturally it is part of a Jewish/Zionist/Israeli plan. This would be amusing if such nonsense were not taken seriously by so many people

In the aftermath of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and speculation about possible Jewish or Israeli involvement in the shuttle's demise surfaced on the Internet in chat rooms, bulletin boards and Web sites frequented by anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers. The hatemongers noted that one of the crew members, Col. Ilan Ramon, was an Israeli national, and singled out this fact as evidence of Jewish complicity in the disaster.

Within hours of the disaster, the conspiracy theorists had noted Ramon's nationality, his religion, and the fact that as an Air Force pilot he was involved in the 1981 mission that bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor. They claimed it was no coincidence that wreckage from the Columbia fell on Palestine, Texas, calling it "Divine intervention." While Holocaust deniers made much of the fact that Ramon was the son of Holocaust survivors, claiming that his role in the mission was to "spy" for Israel, the leaders of Palestinian terror groups called the shuttle accident, "punishment from Allah."

Coming at a time of great tragedy for both the American and Israeli people, the conspiracy theories about Space Shuttle Columbia show how anti-Semites continue to use the Internet to spread hate, and are quick to use a national tragedy for their own purposes.

The Anti-Defamation League, which monitors and exposes anti-Semitism and hatred on the Internet, has compiled numerous examples of the conspiracy theories about the demise of Columbia. The theories demonstrate that, even in times of tragedy and sadness, the haters are hard at work. [more]
USF professors vow to stand by colleague

I can but hope, as a former member of the AAUP, that his "defense" is by the local chapter rather than the National organization. If so, we can blame this silliness on the heat and sun of the Tampa area. Let's see: the controversial professor taken out of the classroom and put on paid leave. Not fired. The AAUP supports him Then, recently, grabbed by the FBI and is to be he is indicted. Still not fired and I presume still collecting salary. But the AAUP will continue to support him. In what? Why not simply wait to see the outcome of the trial?

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The faculty union at the University of South Florida said Friday it will continue to defend Sami Al-Arian in his battle to save his job as computer science professor.

Al-Arian was arrested Thursday on charges he is the chief fundraiser of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization.

Roy Weatherford, chapter president of the American Association of University Professors, said the issue of Al-Arian's suspension by the university has been challenged by a grievance and the issue is up to the school.

Al-Arian has been under suspension since last year because of his alleged ties to terrorism.

"The faculty union regularly defends the contractual and constitutional rights of everybody in the bargaining unit," Weatherford told The Oracle, the campus newspaper.

Weatherford said he was well aware that could cause some resentment.

But he said if the government proves its case, Al-Arian deserves to be punished.

Much of the opinion on campus was to wait for the courts to decide the case.[more]

Rome Mayor Snubs Aziz After Anti-Israel Comment

Who says all politicians are lacking in ethics? I found this happy article at the American Kaiser
ROME (Reuters) - The mayor of Rome snubbed Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz Sunday, canceling their scheduled meeting after Aziz refused to answer a question from an Israeli journalist at a news conference.

Mayor Walter Veltroni, who was due to meet Aziz Sunday morning before the Iraqi left Italy to return to Baghdad, delivered the news in a stern letter.

"I'm writing to inform you that I find myself obliged to cancel our meeting," Veltroni wrote, according to a copy of the letter sent to Reuters.

"The reason is because of your refusal to answer a question posed to you by an Israeli journalist at a news conference held at the Foreign Press Association (on Friday)," it continued.

"Rome, Mr. deputy prime minister, has always had absolute respect for dialogue and the civil exchange of ideas, not to mention, obviously, freedom of opinion and free access to information," the center-left mayor wrote.

"I cannot accept that a public figure like yourself, the representative of another country, can set a veto and discriminate against someone, denying them the right to express themselves, no matter what position they may represent."[more]
Common Ground

The Common Ground News Service, "provides news, op-eds, features, and analysis by local and international experts on a broad range of Middle East issues." The service is part of an initiative looking for non-violent and cooperative means to resolve to the MidEast conflict. I've taken only a brief look at it thus far, and most of the articles posted to the CGN are optimistic, and appear to argue to these ends.

Are Jewish NeoCons Putting the Interests of Israel Before Those of the U.S.?

I find I never go wrong by going to Martin Kimel's blog where I find pieces like this
Are Jewish NeoCons Putting the Interests of Israel Before Those of the U.S.?
I think this is a ludicrous charge and I agree with Lawrence Kasdan's op-ed (see my 2/18 post, below). The NYT provides a nice new piece of anecdotal evidence that the Islamist terrorists Israel is fighting aren't all that different from the Islamic terrorists we're fighting: "The liquid crystal display on the phone of a bearded representative of Hamas showed a picture of Osama bin Laden beside an image of the Twin Towers."

The reporter in this piece also does something that I find done too seldom -- that is, he doesn't take Palestinian extremist terminology at face value:

They were all in their 20's, an age that might lead such a group to talk about soccer or romance. But as Israeli forces once again scoured the casbah for militants, representatives of the "military wings" of several main Palestinian factions relaxed on overstuffed sofas in a living room elsewhere in the city to talk strategy, politics and death.

The quotation marks around "military wings" are well deserved. People who send suicide bombers to blow up civilians are terrorists, not soldiers. Contrast the Times' example here with those discussed in the next item .
And by all means at this link read the piece that follows
[...]Israel, that even ceding the entire West Bank (including all of Jerusalem!) and all of Gaza would not placate it. But just two paragraphs later, Ward writes this:

Islamic Jihad is one of four main Palestinian militant groups that have used suicide bombers and other violent attacks against Israeli citizens, troops and settlers during the 29-month uprising against Israel's continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The other groups are the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas; the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (emphasis added).

But the article just said that Islamic Jihad is not reacting to the Israeli presence on the West Bank and Gaza Strip; it is acting against the very existence of the State of Israel. Is anyone at the Post's international news desk actually reading their reporters' copy before the paper publishes it? [more]
Jewish Agency: higher than expected number of new immigrants to Israel next week

Some good news reported in Jerusalem Post
Despite growing fears about a possible war in Iraq, new immigrants are still arriving in Israel.

This week the number of new immigrants is expected to be higher than usual.

The Jewish Agency reports that about 500 new immigrants from 19 countries are expected to arrive in Israel this week.

120 new immigrants are expected from Argentina, 82 from Ethiopia, 77 from Russia, and the rest from other countries, reports Army Radio.

Earlier this week I had posted a piece stating that some 20,000 Ethiopian Jews would be allowed into Israel soon. The Ethiopians have a difficulty proving they are Jews because many years ago their families had been forced to convert and thus records etc hard to obtain proving status as Jews.
Saddam's Deadly Subway Scheming

"Plans for a Baghdad subway were used instead to build underground tunnels to hide Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, says one of the Iraqi dictator’s former top scientists. Dr. Hussein Shahristani, once Iraq’s top nuclear scientist, speaks to Steve Kroft for a 60 Minutes report to be broadcast Sunday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. ET/PT."
Jihad says it will not target U.S.

This is the response from Islamic Jihad when they learned that their supporters in the Tampa area had been arrested by the FBI. Of interest is how, lacking tenure, the membership in such groups divides and splits and reconsitutes itself over a variety of issues
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The militant Islamic Jihad said Friday that it will not attack American targets to retaliate for the U.S. arrest of four alleged members and the indictment of four others on terrorism-related charges.

Abdallah Shami, the Gaza leader of the Palestinian group, condemned the arrests but said Islamic Jihad will continue to focus on its fight against Israel.

"We are not going to open any new fronts," Shami said.

Earlier Friday, Israeli troops killed two Islamic Jihad members who attacked a Jewish settlement and an army post in Gaza.

In the West Bank, near the town of Tulkarem, Israeli soldiers shot and killed an unidentified Palestinian who they said was running toward an army checkpoint and failed to stop after repeated calls and warning shots, an army spokeswoman said.

A 50-count indictment was unsealed Thursday in Washington against eight alleged members of Islamic Jihad, including computer engineering professor Sami Al-Arian, the alleged U.S. leader of the group who is on paid leave from the University of South Florida.

Four of the eight, including Al-Arian, were arrested in the United States. Four others are abroad, including Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shallah, who is in Damascus, and Abd Al Aziz Awda, 52, a founder of the group, who lives in the Gaza town of Beit Lahia.

Awda was not available for comment Friday. Shami said Awda left the group a decade ago after falling out with other members and that he has withdrawn from public life. Awda is a member of the Palestine National Council, the Palestinians' parliament-in-exile, and in 1997 voted in favor of revoking sections of the PLO founding charter that call for Israel's destruction.

Another Islamic Jihad leader, Khaled Batsh, said that of the eight men indicted, all except Shallah "either left the movement or the movement froze their membership more than 10 years ago." [more]
And of course all who knew the members of the arrested group are quick to point out what nice people and good American citizens they are. [more]
Professor identified as militant in '94

Some schools get a reputation for great teachers and education; others for successful sports teams. But for the University of South Florida it is its pro-terrorist faculty that makes headlines. The recent arrest is not the first faculty member to be exposed as a friend to terror
TAMPA -- It read like a plot twist from a John le Carre novel: A quiet, barely noticed economics professor suddenly quits his job at the University of South Florida, then emerges two months later as the leader of a murderous terrorist group in the Middle East.

It wasn't fiction, of course. It was fact. And the USF connection quickly drew the rapt attention of the FBI and Israeli intelligence when it happened back in 1995.

Eight years and a 50-count federal indictment later, Palestinian Islamic Jihad boss Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, who taught economics and Middle Eastern history at USF, continues to cast a long shadow across the school.

Shallah was one of eight men indicted Thursday along with USF professor Sami Al-Arian and USF Arabic teacher Sameeh Hammoudeh. Attorney General John Ashcroft alleges Al-Arian is the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's North American boss and the secretary of its international governing council.

The indictment alleged that from 1984 to 2002 Al-Arian and the seven others supported terrorism by providing material and money in a conspiracy to kill and maim Israelis. Each defendant faces life in prison if convicted.

Federal prosecutors say the group used the quiet, rambling campus of the Tampa commuter school as a cover while raising money to support terrorism, including a series of suicide bombings that killed dozens of people in Israel.

Besides Al-Arian, Shallah and Hammoudeh, two other alleged conspirators have ties to USF.

Bashir Musa Mohammed Nafi, a professor in London, and Mohammed Tasir Hassan Al-Khatib, now living in Beirut, were involved with Tampa nonprofit Islamic groups organized at USF by Al-Arian in the late '80s and early '90s.

In London, Nafi, a lecturer at the University of London's Birkbeck College, vehemently denied the charges. "I'm not associated with any political organization anywhere. I've been in this country since 1983. It's absolute nonsense," he told Press Association, a British news agency.

To be noted: the professor's salary not very high for his field, and the university, alerted by previous complaints about this turkey, had put him on leave at full salary. Now, before a trial, they are willing it seems to fire him.[more] and howAlleged terrorist met with Bush adviser shows how this guy turned up in good company.

Universities must be allowed tradtional academic freedoms even in light of potential terrorism and ought not stifle dissent or punish those suspect so long as there is no evidence of criminal misdoing, as noted in these remarks on academic freeom regarding the charges brought against the Tampa-based computer engineer.

There is nothing new in this article, but we are beginning increasingly to get remarks of this kind from those opposed to a war with Iraq when they try to explain why the Bush administration is doing what it does.
February 22, 2003 -- A city councilman found himself in a firestorm yesterday by suggesting an anti-war resolution hasn't been passed by the council because many Jews feel it's "not in the best interests" of Israel.
Councilman Robert Jackson (D-Manhattan) made the comment during an interview Thursday on Brian Lehrer's popular WNYC radio show.

"New York City is the home away from home for most Jews," Jackson responded when Lehrer asked why the council was lagging behind municipalities around the country in opposing a war against Iraq.

"And this is seen by many members of the Jewish community as a resolution that will go against Bush and, in the long run, will not be in the best interests of the state of Israel."

Lehrer announced on the air that irate Jewish listeners were lighting up his phone lines minutes after those remarks were uttered. [more]

February 21, 2003


The end is near for these murderers
Ghassan Tueni Raises 3 Alternatives to a U.S. Invasion of Iraq

This short piece is a good index to the worry confronting Arab states in the region should the U.S. attack Iraq.
Naharnet -Ghassan Tueni suggested on Monday three alternatives to a U.S. invasion of Iraq that would destabilize the existing Arab regimes and plunge the entire region into turmoil.

Tueni, in his weekly front-page editorial in An Nahar, said the silence of Arab leaders toward regional developments stemmed from "fear" and "a lack of courage" to face the prospects of their turns coming up after Saddam Hussein's.

He concurred with the legendary historian, the late Costantine Zreik, who had lamented the neutralization of "Arab intellectuals" - ostracized by their societies and lured by the ruling regimes.

Tueni zeroed in on three new factors influencing the standoff between the United States and Iraq, which could be exploited by the Arabs and Muslims, to revoke what is widely perceived as an inescapable war path.

Washington has failed to lure the Arab and Muslim masses with promised war dividends, given its history of failing to support alternative regimes it created, Tueni suggested. The prophecies of a "new order" in the Middle East, where "Americanized democracies would replace oppressive tyrannies," remain unconvincing.

Another point Tueni raised was the possibility of mounting support for "force without the use of force" - a Henry Kissinger concept that gambles on the intimidation of rogue regimes with the formidable muscle flexing of the fighting powers coupled with dramatic hit-and-run adventures, which would encourage "revolutions" from within.

A third, face-saving solution to the crisis, he said, would be for the U.N. Security Council to adopt a European-Russian resolution authorizing the intervention of an "international force," morally supported by Kissinger's "force without the use of force," to end Saddam Hussein's rule.

Only one of these tree options would spare the world, and the Middle East in particular, a rapid slide into total chaos, Tueni wrote.

As for the Arabs, and in order to make their voices heard, it is time to solicit the support of Washington's rivals at the Security Council - such as Russia, China and France - for an international peace conference to address the Iraq and Palestine issues, Tueni noted.

Such a parley would be held before any military adventure in the Gulf, he said, ridiculing Arab league plans to convene its annual summit on March 15, "to be briefed on the results of the war," rather than actively engaging in reshaping the future. "What's the rush?" Tueni sarcastically noted
Some good news:

It looks like MAFDAL and SHINUI have been able to reach understanding on several issues, including military service for yeshiva students, civil marriages, and subsidies for large families. Historically, MAFDAL has been the most progressive religious party in Israel. The party was led for many years by Yosef Burg (father of Avraham Burg, member of the Labor party), who was one of the most admirable figures in Israeli public life.

Hopefully, this will signify the beginning of new understanding between the moderates on both sides. (IBA radio)

Syria Works to Polish Its Image

Martin Kimel points to this article. Seems Syria now getting post-Iraq war jitters.
DAMASCUS, Syria -- If there's any Middle Eastern government with reason to feel nervous about a U.S. invasion of Iraq — besides Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's — it is probably here in Syria.

War next door could bring not only sharp economic pain — Syria could lose its sweetheart deal for cheap Iraqi oil — but also the risk of social unrest, waves of refugees and a chance that biological or chemical releases could spill across the border, analysts here say.

Beyond that, the government here knows that some influential Western opinion-makers and politicians think of Syria as little more than Iraq II, painting it as a dictatorship bent on supporting terrorism, suppressing human rights and acquiring weapons of mass destruction. The fear is that hawks in the West on the issue of Iraq would not mind someday leaning on Syria too.

But rather than retreat into a defensive shell, Syrian President Bashar Assad has been laboring to shore up his nation's image, renew friendships in Europe and Russia and mount a diplomatic offensive to solidify the Arab consensus against military action.

"War against Iraq would have a direct impact on our economy," Assad argued in December while visiting London. "It would widen the gap between the Arabs and the West, set us back decades and greatly stimulate terrorism."

The most visible symbol of Syria's cooperation with the West was its surprising vote on the U.N. Security Council in November to support a tough new round of Iraqi arms inspections. [more]
Palestinian Islamic Jihad shadowy group strictly military

This Chicago Tribune article notes that there is not even the disguise of "social concerns."
Secretive, militant and deadly, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad exists solely to strike at Israel. Unlike the Islamic Resistance Movement, better known as Hamas, Islamic Jihad operates no health clinics in the West Bank and Gaza. It runs no orphanages, funds no vocational training centers and has never backed candidates in municipal elections.

Instead, Islamic Jihad works underground, forming small armed cells that carry out missions against Israeli targets, usually military ones, but also civilian. Most of its members remain unknown, according to Middle East experts.

"Islamic Jihad is very military, very tightly organized and very underground," said Khalid Rashidi, director for the Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago.

Formed by disgruntled members of the Egypt-based Islamist group Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s, Islamic Jihad carried out attacks against Israelis in the Gaza Strip until its leaders were expelled to Damascus, Syria, in 1988, shortly after the beginning of the first Palestinian intifada.

Ideologically, the organization draws its inspiration from the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the teachings of the Muslim Brotherhood's founders, but its members emphasize the need to concentrate on ending Israeli control of all the lands they consider Palestine. Since its founding, it has never consisted of more than a few hundred militants and sympathizers, analysts said.

Operationally, it has been very hard to track, according to experts. Members of each cell rarely know each other or anyone in the organization's hierarchy, so if one is captured, he cannot tell interrogators who else belongs to the group. In this respect, Israeli intelligence sources compare Islamic Jihad to the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

In January 1995, Islamic Jihad carried out one of its most spectacular operations against Israel when it dispatched two suicide bombers to a bus stop in Beit Lid in northern Israel, where dozens of Israeli soldiers were waiting to return to their military bases after weekend leave. Twenty-one soldiers and civilians were killed.

Shortly afterward, Fathi Shqaqi, the Islamic Jihad leader based in Damascus, praised the attack in a rare public appearance. Nine months later, he was assassinated by unknown assailants while visiting Malta. Many analysts suspected Israel was behind the attack.
Extremists joining forces, CSIS warns

Do these Canadian hate mongers expect 72 virgins too?
White supremacist groups are working to expand their support in Canada, according to a top-secret intelligence document released yesterday as federal authorities tried to figure out what to do with Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel.

"We do have, unfortunately, our share of homegrown problems. By way of an example is the white supremacist movement," said the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) document, dated last Nov. 22.

The briefing report, obtained by the National Post under the Access to Information Act, cites efforts by hate groups "to increase their support and criticize the immigration policies of the Canadian government.

"In addition, over the past year, the firebombing of a Jewish community centre in Saskatoon and threats against the Jewish community in Ottawa have been troubling events."

The document did not present evidence of a link between these incidents and white supremacists.

Experts say Canada's extreme right has been largely in disarray since the 1994 collapse of the Heritage Front, a Toronto-based white supremacist group that united the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations and a U.S. criminal terrorist group called The Order.[more]
Israel's 'six-hour US warning'

Not much time but better than no warning at all
The Israeli army expects no more than six hours' notice from the United States before the launch of an offensive in Iraq, the daily Haaretz said, quoting Israeli defence sources.

"A number of Israel Defence Forces units are preparing for the attack on Iraq under the assumption that they will enjoy only a six-hour warning prior to the start of the offensive," the newspaper said.
"In spite of extensive talks on the subject, Israel has still not received an American commitment to provide an early warning prior to its attack on Iraq," it added.

AFP could not obtain any US or Israeli confirmation of the information.

Israel has obtained an US commitment to destroy Iraqi firepower in the western provinces closest to the Jewish state in the early stages of any offensive.

During the 1991 Gulf war, Iraq retaliated for the US offensive by firing 39 Scuds on Israel, killing two and wounding hundreds.

General Charles Simpson, who was recently appointed chief US liaison officer in Israel, will arrive in Tel Aviv this weekend for an indefinite stay, in what the newspaper said signalled the beginning of the countdown to the US offensive.
The Belgians as true Europeans
An article in israelinsider that had first appeared in Jerusalem Post, written by former Belgian.
Feb. 20, 2003.

My grandparents and many members of my family in Belgium were deported and gassed in Auschwitz. As in most Nazi occupied countries in Europe, the state bureaucracy and Belgian collaborators cooperated with the Nazis in apprehending Jewish citizens. I was fortunate to arrive in Australia as an infant with my parents on the last boat to leave Antwerp on the eve of the war.

When the World Jewish Congress held a meeting in Brussels last April, I insisted on the right to address Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt who was scheduled to speak but cancelled his acceptance at the last moment. He was substituted by the president of the Belgian Senate but the prime minister did subsequently respond to my remarks by correspondence.

I spoke at a luncheon in the presence of delegates and guests. Suspending diplomatic niceties I confessed to the Belgians that I had strongly opposed holding a World Jewish Congress meeting in a city which had become the capital of the new anti-Semitism in Europe.

Here is what I said: "Your government, and particularly your foreign minister, Louis Michel, have employed such outrageous double standards against Israel that they warrant being described as anti-Semitic."

"Some of the allegations of atrocities against Israel were so outlandish that they were reminiscent of the Middle Ages when Jews were being accused of poisoning the wells and utilizing the blood of Christian children to make unleavened bread." [more]
NYTimes Puff Piece on Palestinian Murderers

You may have to register. Of course only softball questions. The New York Times tries to humanize baby killers.
And guess who here is seen pals with Saddam?

Mon Ami Saddam Hussein at a nuclear reactor in France in 1975. Jacques Chirac is at right in the glasses. Saddam wanted a nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons. France supplied its Osiris reactor which was named Osirak (Osiris + Iraq]. It was being erected when it was destroyed in a Sunday strike [June 7, 1981] by the Israelis, timed to save the lives of the French scientists helping with the construction.
A short cut

I read the other day or heard on CNN that if a deal isn't made between Turkey and the US that the U S has alternate ways they can deal with the problem of having no troups for a northern invasion. One of which was to send the ships waiting in the Mediteranean through the Suez Canel and into the Persian Gulf. A very long dangerous and time consuming trip.

It makes more sense to me to unload them at Haifa and drive them through Jordan into Western Iraq and then to the North. A distance of 500 miles in all. Sounds like a plan.

February 20, 2003

Blood Stained Belgium

A very personal j'accuse by a former Belgian Jew: The Belgians as true Europeans, By Isi Leibler

I spoke at a luncheon in the presence of delegates and guests. Suspending diplomatic niceties I confessed to the Belgians that I had strongly opposed holding a World Jewish Congress meeting in a city which had become the capital of the new anti-Semitism in Europe.

Here is what I said: "Your government, and particularly your foreign minister, Louis Michel, have employed such outrageous double standards against Israel that they warrant being described as anti-Semitic.

"Some of the allegations of atrocities against Israel were so outlandish that they were reminiscent of the Middle Ages when Jews were being accused of poisoning the wells and utilizing the blood of Christian children to make unleavened bread.

"Would you tolerate a neighboring territory orchestrating, funding, and blessing as 'holy martyrs' suicide murderers targeting your civilian population? Would you tolerate a situation in which Belgian women and children were terrified at being blown to pieces in your cafes and shopping centers? Would you tolerate street side celebrations by your neighbors sometimes just a few kilometers away, frequently displayed on your TV screens, rejoicing at the carnage that they had inflicted on your people?"

.."It is a mark of shame," I said "for your country - most of whose Jews were exterminated by the Nazis - to now stand at the forefront of actions designed to undermine the only democratic state in the Middle East; the state which also provided a haven to survivors of the Holocaust.

..THE RELATIONSHIP with Belgium has deteriorated considerably since the meeting described above. But the Ariel Sharon issue was the last straw. For a government whose predecessors were responsible for the murder of literally millions of Congolese citizens, to give the green light for a court to sit in judgment on Sharon is simply beyond belief.

Only a fool or a charlatan would suggest that this initiative was motivated by a na ve desire to promote human rights, especially having regard to the fact that this act was initiated 20 years after the events and conducted without reference to the Phalangists who actually carried out the massacres.

And of course this action must be seen in the context of a country which has effectively been leading the pack in demonizing Sharon while simultaneously defending Palestinian terror and extolling Yasser Arafat as a noble statesman fighting for human rights.
Keep reading.

Belgium refused to investigate suspected Nazi war criminals

Belgium, whose Supreme Court ruled that after he leaves office Prime Minister Ariel Sharon can be tried for war crimes stemming from the Sabra and Shatilla massacre in 1982, turned down requests to investigate alleged Nazi criminals in 1990 because of a statute of limitations.

Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Israel office, said that in 1990 he submitted a list of 14 suspected Nazi war criminals who emigrated to Belgium after World War II, most of them from the Baltic states, to the Belgian Justice Ministry.

..The list of suspected Nazi war criminals Zuroff gave the Belgian authorities included Petras Kazlauskas, Jonas Vosylius, and Antanas Laurinavicius, who according to the Wiesenthal Center served in the 12th Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalion which murdered thousands of Jews in Byelorussia. They left for Belgium in 1947.

In addition, the list included Jurgis Deksnis, who "played an active role in the murder of the Jews of Vilkaviskis [Lithuania]"; Jonas Kuzmickas, who "played an active role in the murder of the Jews of Alytus [Lithuania]"; Vaclovas Meskauskas, who "participated in the murder of the Jews of Kelme [Lithuania]"; Bronius Sprindys, who was a "participant in the murder of the Jews of Ukmerge [Lithuania]"; and Antanas Taujauskis, who "participated in persecution and murder of civilians in the Kaunas district [Lithuania]."

According to the Encyclopedia Judaica, when the Germans invaded Belgium on May 10, 1940, between 90,000 and 110,000 Jews lived there, of whom some 20,000 were German Jewish refugees; 25,631 of them were deported to extermination camps during the war, and only 1,244 returned.
Info on the 8 Islamic Jihad Men Indicted in US Court on Terrorism Charges

Eight people, including four U.S. residents, were charged today in a 50-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Tampa, Fla. with supporting, financing and relaying messages for the Islamic Jihad.

Those arrested in the United States today were reportedly setting up a terrorist cell at the University of South Florida. They are:

- Al-Arian, the Florida college professor running the Islamic Jihad's U.S. operations. Al-Arian is a native of Kuwait and teaches engineering.

- Sameeh Hammoudeh, 42, born in the West Bank, now a resident of Temple Terrace, Fla. He also is an instructor at the University of South Florida and administrator at the Islamic Academy of Florida.

-Hatim Naji Fariz, 30, born in Puerto Rico and now living in Spring Hill, Fla. He is a manager at a medical clinic.

-Ghassan Zayed Ballut, 41, a West Bank native now living in Tinley Park, Ill., and owner of a small business.

Four men who live abroad were also charged. It is not clear as yet whether they have been arrested as well. They are:

-Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, 45, a Gaza Strip native and now resident of Damascas, Syria. He is described as the worldwide leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and is a former instructor at the University of South Florida.

-Bashir Musa Mohammed Nafi, 50, originally from Egypt and now living in Oxfordshire, England. The indictment describes him as the United Kingdom leader of the group.

-Mohammed Tasir Hassan Al-Khatib, 46, originally from the Gaza Strip and now living in Beirut; described as the treasurer of the organization.

-Abd AL Aziz Awda, 52, born in Israel and now imam of the Al Qassam Mosque in Gaza Strip. The indictment calls him the founder and "spiritual leader" of the group.

Background Information on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad

Brief Overview: The Palestinian Islamic Jihad originated among militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the 1970’s. It is committed to Jihad for the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel. The United States - which included the PIJ on its list of terrorist organizations - has been identified as an enemy of the PIJ. The PIJ also opposes moderate Arab governments that it believes have been influenced by Western secularism. The PIJ has killed approximately 150 people in past eight years, and has carried out hundreds of attacks, including the August 9th, 2002 Sbarro pizzeria suicide bombing in Jerusalem which killed 15 and injured 130 people.

The PIJ's headquarters are based in Damascus, Syria. Until the IDF Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002, the PIJ's infrastructure in Jenin was the strongest in the Palestinian Authority territories, mostly due to the massive financial aid it received for its activities from the PIJ leadership in Syria. The PIJ infrastructure suffered a severe blow with the death of the head of the military infrastructure in Jenin, Mahmud Tu'albe (who was involved in multiple terrorist attacks inside Israel), and the arrest of senior operatives.

List of Terror Attacks Carried Out by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad

History: The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Harakat al-Jihad al-Islami al-Filastini) was founded in 1979-80 by Palestinian students in Egypt, who had split from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza Strip. The founders were highly influenced by the Islamic revolution in Iran on the one and hand, and the radicalization and militancy of Egyptian Islamic student organizations, on the other.

The founders - Fathi Shqaqi, `Abd al-`Aziz `Odah and Bashir Musa - were disappointed by the supposed moderation of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and what they considered the neglect by the Egyptian Islamists of the priority that should be given to the Palestinian problem. Shqaqi and Musa, therefore, proposed a new ideological program, which became the basis for the new organization. They claimed that the unity of the Islamic world was not a precondition for the liberation of Palestine, but on the contrary, the liberation of Palestine by the Islamic movements was the key to the unification of the Arab and Islamic world. In other words: the Jihad for the liberation of Palestine by Islamic movements will bring upon the expected Jihad for the reconstruction of the greater and one Islamic state.

The admiration of the three Palestinian militants for the Islamic revolution in Iran was at that time unique of its kind in the Arab world and among the Islamic Sunni movements. Not only did they consider the Iranian revolution as a model for the Arab world, but they accepted the principle of "the leadership of the men of religion" (vilayet-i-faqih) although it was a Shi'ite concept. Shqaqi was also the first in the Arab Sunni world to write, already in March 1979, a book glorifying Khomeini and the Iranian revolution, which was banned by the Egyptian authorities.

This group of Palestinian students maintained close relations with radical Islamic Egyptian students, some of whom were involved in the assassination of president Sadat, in October 1981. As a result, the Palestinian Islamic radicals were expelled from Egypt and returned to the Gaza Strip, where they formally began their activity as an Islamic Jihad organization.

The faction was involved in subversive and terrorist activity in the Territories in the 1980s. During the year 1987, prior to the Intifada, it carried out several terrorist attacks in the Gaza Strip. In August 1988 the two faction`s leaders, Shqaqi and `Odah, were expelled to Lebanon, where Shqaqi reorganized the faction, maintaining close contacts with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards unit stationed in Lebanon and with Hizballah. Shqaqi expanded the political connections of the faction and became a prominent member of the new Rejection Front which emerged after the Israeli- Palestinian Oslo agreement, under Syrian influence.

Shqaqi was killed in October 1995 in Malta, allegedly by Israeli agents. His successor is Dr. Ramadan `Abdallah Shalah, who has resided several years in Florida, U.S.A, and moved to Damascus at the beginning of 1996. Shalah has not the charisma and the intellectual and organizational skills as Fathi Shqaqi and this has influenced the organization's position and activity.

The group has been active on the political scene in the Territories, mainly in the Gaza Strip, among students and intellectuals. Until the foundation of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, the Islamic Jihad groups did not have connections to Hamas, and were regarded even as rivals in the Gaza Strip. Since then, and mainly after Hamas switched to the strategy of suicide terrorist bombings, there was some operational cooperation between the two organizations in carrying out attacks like the one in Beit-Lyd, in February 1995, or in coordinating simultaneous terrorist attacks. Shqaqi 's death undermined the PIJ's position in the Territories and Hamas no longer sees it as a threatening rival.

The group has offices in Beirut, Damascus, Tehran and Khartoum, but its activity is focused in Lebanon, where there are several tens of Palestinian members. It has some influence in the Gaza Strip, mainly in the Islamic University, but not in a way that can endanger the dominant position of Hamas as the leading Islamic Palestinian organization.

During the 1980s several other groups of Palestinian Islamic Jihad were formed, but the main faction which has survived is the group founded by Shqaqi.

(Source: The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the The Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya)

Additional background Information

The Islamic Jihad Terror Infrastructure in Jenin and the Role of its Damascus Office

The Islamic Jihad:The Imperative of Holy War (An in-depth analysis of the terrorist group by Boaz Ganor, Excecutive Director of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the The Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.)
..... (O)fficial lists of the UN secretariat from July 2002 count 24 Israelis and 27 from "Palestine."

The above is the least fantastic fact emerging from Anne Bayefsky’s expert analysis of the Alice in Wonderland world of the (dis)United Nations.

The post-Sep.11 world cannot be understood with the pre-Sep.11 mindset. To think our present world requires a new intellectual paradigm. Forging such a new paradigm entails learning to look anew at practically everything. The workings of the UN may be as good a place to start as any. Bayefsky is as good a guide here as you can find on the net.


Will you help me send a message to the governments and people of France, Germany, and Belgium? I'm sure you are as angry as I am at the reaction of these "allies" to our call for enforcement of the United Nations resolution for Iraq to disarm.

It appears that the French, Germans and Belgians have forgotten the blood Americans spilled to liberate them from the murderous Nazi regime

The've forgotten economic burden America shouldered to rebuild their continent following that war and the steadfast defense, again at great economic cost, we provided to fend off and eventually defeat another barbarous oppressor, the Soviet Union.

Now we are facing down another regime headed by another madman! And despite all of the evidence Secretary of State Colin Powell laid out proving
Saddam Hussein's defiance of the United Nations and the threat he represents to the civilized world, the French, Germans, and Belgians have abandoned us!
They have forsaken us at a critical time, and have chosen to appease the maniacal Saddam Hussein!

You and I must take action now to let them know -- from their leadership to their business owners -- that we will not be taken for granted! Join me now and let's strike back! Take this important step with me today!

  • Click here to sign the linked e-petition -- NATIONWIDE BOYCOTT OF "OLD" EUROPE GOODS! Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld rightly referred to France and Germany as "the old Europe." While the newly democratized countries of Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Hungary have rallied to our side, "old Europe" has turned its back on us.

    A boycott of French, German and Belgian goods -- wines, beers, chocolates, art, automobiles, to name just a few -- will strike a blow to their economies! America is the largest importer of French and German consumables, and more Americans visit Paris and Berlin than visitors from any other nation.

Our boycott will continue until these countries reverse their
positions and support the United States' effort to disarm Saddam Hussein and end his horrific rule over Iraq.

Our goal is to deliver 500,000 signed petitions to the Ambassadors of the three countries ten days from now -- on March 3. It's time to make our voice heard in Europe! Please click here to sign our NATIONWIDE BOYCOTT OF "OLD" EUROPE GOODS now and let these "allies" know we will not be taken for granted! Thank you and God bless America!

David Horowitz

Sami Al-Arian Videos

via John Loftus

John Loftus is a former Justice Department prosecutor and is the lawyer suing the Saudis for 3,000 American victims families from 9.11 for 1
Trillion dollars, so each family can get 300 million dollars which is an approximation of how much the Saudis spent to kill each person 9.11
Human Nature

I am reading a book now by William Stevenson, entitled "A Man Called Intrepid" about his role as an intelligence officer (spy) in the Second World War. I came upon the following,
We failed to face that critical question prior to 1939. Not one of the democracies honestly confronted the obvious threats to its survival. They would not unite, rearm or consider sacrifices for individual or collective security. There were those who argued that the sacrifices were not necessary.
The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Israel: The Most Disputed strip of Real Estate on Planet Earth!

From Naomi Ragen: Maps Don't Lie (unless Arab maps) this easy-to-understand portrayal of what is at stake.

The Jig Is Up!!!!
I don't have some long eloquent piece to post, but right now, John Ashcroft is reporting on the closure of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad cell that we all know has been centered around Tampa and South Florida university for years. Note that some inplicated are currently in (shock) Syria.

All the News That's Fit to Spin
Who caused the explosion that killed six Hamas terrorists this past Sunday? It's an interesting question that's still not entirely clear. The Washington Post, for example, noted in an article "6 Palestinians Die in Gaza Blast; 3 Killed in West Bank " that:
The Israeli army has killed numerous Palestinian militants by rigging cars, telephone booths and cellular telephones with explosives. But many other Palestinian militants have died while trying to build or transport often unstable homemade bombs.
Similarly in a New York Times article, "Hamas Says Israel Killed at Least 6 in Gaza Blast" the reporter notes:
Hamas blamed Israel for the blast today, suggesting that the men were killed by a booby-trapped toy plane. But the Israeli government did not comment on the deaths. Israel has tracked down and killed scores of militants, often without claiming responsibility. Many have also died by accidentally triggering bombs they were assembling.
James Bennet of the New York Times does all he can to suggest that the Israeli government was responsible for the explosion. For example, in the above paragraph, he uses the Israeli government's silence on the explosion as support for his belief.
Still the Washington Post reports:
It was unclear tonight which scenario was more likely the cause of today's deaths, which occurred in the al-Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza City, a Hamas stronghold.
The Jerusalem Post, on the other hand, makes it clear that it believes that the explosion was the result of a work accident: Six Hamas men killed while packing drone with explosives The JPost seems to be focusing on a Hamas statement:
Hours after the incident Hamas released a statement declaring the six were planning to pack an unmanned drone with explosives to blow up inside Israel in a mega-attack.
Still the JPost doesn't clarify that the terrrorists were actually working on rigging the plane at the time. The NY Times on the other hand even plays down the Hamas statement:
Later, in a statement, Hamas said the men had been working on a small remote-controlled plane, which they evidently planned to use in an attack. Hamas said the men had received the plane today, implying that it had been booby-trapped by Israel.
"[E]vidently?" Both the JPost and Ha'aretz reported that Hamas claimed that the terrorists were planning to use a remote-controlled plane in an attack on Israel. Evidently the confirmation by Hamas is not enough for the Times. The Washington Post also seems to have missed something here:
In the Gaza Strip, the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, identified the six dead men as its members and said in a statement that they were killed in an explosion that occurred while the group was examining an item in the trunk of a car.
What that object might be isn't explained by the Washington Post. And the WPost is the only story of the four that doesn't mention that the terrorists were working with remotely controlled plane. The only drone the WPost mentions is the Israeli one that Hamas claimed triggered the explosion.
The report with the most details was the one from Ha'aretz:
Palestinian sources said the six had purchased the drone not long ago and that it had apparently come with a bomb hidden inside. Yesterday, the six were standing in a courtyard as the drone carried out a test flight overhead when the bomb exploded. Hamas' military wing is now trying to figure out how and from whom the six purchased the drone.
Army sources said that Hamas first showed an interest in pilotless drones, both as a means of collecting intelligence and as a means of carrying out attacks, about a year ago.
There seems to be a disconnect here: the suggestion in the first paragraph the drone was rigged by Israel; the second says that Hamas has been eyeing drones for an attack for awhile. (Of course, it's possible that Israel, aware of the new threat, boobytrapped a prototype. But there's no suggestion, except from Ha'aretz that that may have been the case. The American papers mostly consider the possibility that the killing of the six terrorists was revenge for the deadly attack by Hamas.)
Eric Silver of the Indpendent takes the Hamas line, pretty much uncritically, in his account of the explosion:
Hamas accused Israel last night of detonating a car bomb that killed six of the Islamic movement's activists and wounded three in a farm south of Gaza City yesterday.
The dead included Nidal Farkhat, a leading militant, whose brother killed five Jewish students in a Gaza settlement a year ago.
Palestinian witnesses said Sunday's blast was set off by remote control from a pilotless drone flying overhead. An Israeli spokesman lent credence to the report by declining to confirm or deny it. The explosion came as Israel was burying four soldiers killed on Saturday in the Gaza Strip after a roadside bomb, planted by Hamas, blew up their tank.
Israeli tanks entered Gaza City in the early hours of this morning, surrounded the house of a leading militant.Witnesses said about 35 tanks moved into position around a five-storey building in Gaza City where Ahmed Ghandour and his family live. Palestinians said Mr Ghandour is an aide to Hamas' bombmaker, Adnan al-Roul, believed responsible for planning the attack on the tank.
The war of revenge and counter-revenge is escalating. Abdul-Aziz Rantissi, a Hamas spokesman, said last night: "We will retaliate for this new crime, for Israel's new act of terror. They will pay a very expensive price."
By associating the explosion with the blockade of Ahmed Ghandour, Silver is attempting linkage. Even if Israel was responsible for knocking off the six terrorists, it seems unlikely it had anything to do with tank attack. Finally, it's worth mentioning that on January 14, 2003, DebkaFiles reported on, "Arafat’s New Terror Weapon: Exploding Toy Planes."
The Palestinian leader’s daily routine, as revealed by our intelligence data, is particularly revealing.
He is fully occupied in arranging the funding and deployment of new weapons, tricks, ruses and devices for the coming cycle of terrorist operations, that bank heavily on the effectiveness of… a toy: Model planes packed with explosives and operated by remote control .
Last month, Palestinian toy importers in Jerusalem and Ramallah were told to order hundreds of these toys for distribution to Palestinian children in hospitals. Subsidies from European Union member-governments could legitimately be allocated to this humanitarian purpose.
The model airplanes were purchased in Europe and shipped quite openly to the Palestinian shopkeepers.
According to our sources, not a single toy reached an injured Palestinian child. The model planes were sent to Palestinian workshops for conversion into miniature air bombers with explosive payloads. Tanzim militiamen from Arafat’s Fatah, sent out to open areas near Jericho to test the new weapons, discovered they could fly to a distance of 1 kilometer and an altitude of 300 meters. The only problem was how to guide the plane to target inside an Israeli built-up area when it was no longer visible to the remote control holder. A small adjustment was made in the engine enabling him to cut it out from a distance, so that it dropped to the ground and blew up.
Ha'aretz, pretty much confirms the gist - though not the particulars - of this report. For the papers - Washington Post and Independent - that ignored the reports that the PA is attempting to use remote control planes for terror attacks, it's one more example of how the media - wittingly or unwittingly - covers for Arafat & co. While I shed no tears for the six who were killed, I am no more convinced now that Israel killed them than I was when I started. The New York Times was wrong for (echoing Eric Silver and ) slyly supporting the view that Israel arranged the explosion. I know that the Baltimore Jewish Times carries Eric Silver from Israel. I've never been a fan, but after reading this piece, I'm even more disgusted. How can any Jewish publication carry reports from a guy who openly sides with the enemy? This isn't my being upset over balance. Silver will say that I have blinders on for Israel. He clearly has blinders on for Hamas as he uncritically carries that organization's account in his report.
Cross-posted on David's Israel Blog.

Going Dutch

The history and the changes in Dutch attitudes towards Jews and Israel discussed in Jewsweek
"The Palestinians have made their propaganda work for Dutch people. They are very good at using propaganda in a horrific way, showing atrocities, blood, and burials," says Rosa van der Wieken. "Until a few months ago Israel kept from doing this, showing the carnage of Palestinian terror. They found that it didn't work, people don't get the real feel of how brutal such onslaughts are otherwise."

Changing perceptions of Israel is not the only goal of CIDI. One of their main objectives has also been to fight anti-Semitism in Europe and the Netherlands, which has seen an upturn in recent years, putting a further strain on Israeli/Dutch ties.

"We don't argue with anti-Israel criticism; CIDI has no problems with that," says Hirschfeld. "If people say Ariel Sharon is a murderer, it is not anti-Semitic, but if people write about Adolf Sharon; that's anti-Semitism."

The Van der Wiekens feel that people in Holland are being misled by what they see on the news and in the print media. A new phenomenon that both have had to tackle in recent years is the increasing numbers of Jews and non-Jews who insist on radical changes in Israel. What Israel's critics in Holland and abroad may be surprised to learn is how much the Van der Wiekens agree with them, and feel that Israel has made many mistakes. They do feel, however, that groups such as AJV go too far[more]
Washington Post Bias Watch

Martin Kimel posts this succinct note

Can you catch the problem in the paragraph below from John Ward Anderson's story, "Palestinians Strike Back With Rocket Attack?"

The crackdown on Hamas in the Gaza Strip came as senior officials from Israel and the Palestinian Authority continued talks with international mediators and aid groups in London over Palestinian reforms, economic assistance and reviving cease-fire negotiations to end the 29-month Palestinian uprising against continuing Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank.

Although the story focuses on Israel's battle with Hamas, it states that the Palestinian uprising is against "continuing Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank" when, in fact, Hamas's goal is the destruction of the Jewish state and its replacement by an Islamic one. It should be obvious to news editors that this is a major point because it casts doubt on the ability of Israelis to ever reach a peaceful accommodation with Hamas. Yet WaPo, National Public Radio and other major American media outlets make this mistake over and over again -- despite repeated efforts to bring the issue to their attention.

The point is illustrated more subtly in an NPR report yesterday by Linda Gradstein. Here's the statement from the NPR transcript:

GRADSTEIN: More and more Palestinians in Gaza say they support Hamas' resistance to the Israeli occupation.

In the eyes of Hamas, the "Israeli occupation" refers to the existence of the State of Israel. But by uncritically parroting the language of radical Palestinians, many of the major media outlets help create the false impression that Israel could have peace if only it would abandon its settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. (The above statement also should have been qualified by inserting "what they call" before "Hamas' resistance . . . .")

Here's a simple suggestion for international news-desk editors: Whenever a reporter identifies Hamas in a story, make sure that he or she notes Hamas' avowed aim of destroying Israel. Had WaPo's reporter done so in the above story, it would have been clear to the editor (and readers) that the paragraph in question had to be changed.

This is what the Palestinians mean when they say "End the Occupation

This slide show presentation has been seen before but is worth repeating
I'd like to reform, too!

The London conference, which discussed possible reforms in the Palestinian Authority, came to a close today. The participants have agreed to transfer 700 million dollars to the PA. (IDF radio).

Activist Addresses Palestinian Condition

Here is what Edward Said had to say at Berkeley. You can see that he really believes that Saddam is doing merely what Israel has done right along--gassing people, invading countries, paying money out for suicide bombers, etc. Ah, enough Said

Edward Said, a leading Palestinian intellectual and activist, spoke about the ongoing violation of Palestinian human rights to an overflowing crowd at UC Berkeley last night.

Greeted with a standing ovation, Said told audience members in Zellerbach Auditorium that Saddam Hussein's human rights abuses have "been the stock and trade of every Israeli government since 1948."

The event was sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Chancellor's Middle East Fund.

In an analysis of human rights and the Palestinian experience, Said argued that Israel has attempted to wipe out any trace of Palestinian existence. [more]
And he also had this to say:
The only really plausible solution for Israel and Palestine is for Israelis and Palestinians to join together in one country -- dedicated to justice, equality and human rights for all, he said.
after noting that the US wants war really for Iraq's oil. But then Said, a teacher of literature, is listed in the headline as an "expert" rather than another propagandist who is oddly possessed if he truly believes there will be one state with a huge and growing body of Palestinians, in addition to those who would flood into this new state from Lebanon, Jordan, the camps, etc--if only to takeovber what was voted as a homeland for Jews. [more]

FBI arrests professor with suspected terrorist ties

Will the tenure issue be raised once again to defend this guy?
TAMPA, Florida (CNN) -- Federal agents Thursday arrested a Palestinian college professor who previously had been accused of having terrorist ties, federal law enforcement sources said, charging him with raising money in the United States to support the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

One law enforcement source said that University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian and two others were arrested.

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is expected to announce the charges at a news conference Thursday afternoon, at which time the indictment will be unsealed.

The FBI confirmed that Al-Arian was in federal custody and a court hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon. [more]
The War Should Be Complete and for One Purpose Only Otherwise it Is Better If it Does Not Occur

There are many "reasons" given for why the U.S will attack Saddam's Iraqand what needs to be done afterwards. Here is a blunt assessement of what needs to be done and why
The war in the Gulf is apparently now a final decision. The U.S. and British armies will lead a military coalition to put an end for the Iraqi regime. However, this war will not be completed if the allies do not consider the fact that a new map for the Middle-East should be redrawn. A map that allows the creation of new countries where the human being is

Therefore, if a war should occur, the following steps should be

1. The partition of Iraq into three countries, Suni, Shiite, and Kurdish.

2. The dismantling of the Palestinian authority and the arrest of Yasser Arafat so that he can be judged for crimes of war against the Israeli and the Lebanese people.

3. The destruction of the terrorist military infrastructure in Lebanon and Syria.

These three steps are interrelated whether we want it or not. The danger does not come from Iraq only but all terrorist countries of the Arab regions. If Iraq is accused of possessing dangerous weapons, what can we say about Syria which actually is more powerful than Iraq? In fact, Syria possesses: Mobil rockets launchers, Russian made Scud B's that can reach a range of 280 km and targeted at Tel-Aviv, Scud C's with a range of 550 km oriented to the nuclear center of Dimona in Israel. Syria can launch 36 rockets simultaneously.

Syria now has the capability to launch nuclear or biological missiles from anywhere within its borders to anywhere within Israel, thanks to Communist North Korea's help. In April 2000, Syria successfully carried out its first test launch of the new, longer-range Scud D surface-to-surface ballistic missile. It took place in northeastern Syria.

Its significance is that the Scud D's long range - 660 to 772 km enables the Syrians to do two things they could not do with their Scud C model's shorter range of 550 km. First, they can strike anywhere inside Israel from anywhere inside Syria. Second, they can place their Scud batteries in sites that are most difficult for Israel to find and to strike.
Belgium's Dangerous Interference

Lebanon Foundation for Peace has this to say to the arrogant government of Belgium.
By taking side in a case like Sabra & Chatilla, Belgium is playing with fire by allowing this affair to take place on its soil and blaming Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. It is important for all to understand that if Belgium is opening this effort for political purposes, and is making a dangerous move at a wrong time of history, at the wrong place, with the wrong victim .

Yes, a massacre took place in 1982, and it is a matter of public record who were the instigators and perpetrators. This was not the first massacre in Lebanon and probably not the last.

That same Palestinian side that filed a complaint against Ariel Sharon in a Belgium Court is to blame for murders, distortion, and massacres, in Lebanon. A Lebanon that welcomed the Palestinians with open arms ended up a victim of the Palestinian gun and Palestinian terror.

It is the PLO, and all the Palestinians armed gangs that started the killings in Lebanon, establishing roadblocks, killing Christians during confession in Beirut, raping young girls in the fallen Christian town of Damour, Beirut, and Mount Lebanon. Where was the Belgium Court then? Why was the BBC not covering Arafat and his murderers slaughtering Lebanese Christians, women and children? The whole world was silent in witnessing the massacre of the Christians in Lebanon. No one stood with them, not France, not the Vatican, not even Israel in general; however, the late Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon did so on a personal, courageous base. The Christian Lebanese are not murderers, they reacted to extreme violence perpetrated upon them by the Palestinians, supposedly peaceful guests in a country that welcomed them in 1948. This was a time when the Christian militias acted independently of the Lebanese State in order to protect the existence of the Christian community in Lebanon. Why did the Belgium Court not defend the Christian community in Lebanon from Palestinian gangsterism? [more]
Seeing Eye to Eye

Aluf Benn gives us an update in Ha'aretz on US - Israel relations that's worth reading,
In conversations with Sharon's representatives, the Americans don't even put on a show of pressure. The settlements aren't mentioned. The Israeli-Arab portfolio in the White House has been handed over to Elliott Abrams, a right-wing Jew close to the Pentagon hawks. His deputy, Flint Evert, who had been promoting the "road map," was thrown out after failing in a report on the preparations for the January conference in London, to which the British sent invitations through Yasser Arafat. State department officials who backed pressure on Israel were worn down on bureaucratic struggles.

In the eyes of the prime minister, the war in Iraq is an opportunity to change the balance of power in the area. Sharon proposes a division of labor: Israel will take care of Arafat. America will smash the sources of Arab power: terrorism, missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Sharon reminds U.S. visitors that a victory in Iraq won't solve all the problems in the region and that Syria, Libya and Iran have to be dealt with. This week, Undersecretary of State John Bolton visited Jerusalem. He's an administration hawk. There was no sign of any difference of views in the conversations he had with his Jerusalem hosts.

But the Israeli optimism is not only about the future. It's also about the present. There are already cheers of victory over the Palestinians ("the worst is behind us"). The signs are encouraging: Mubarak is courting Sharon, Arafat announces he'll appoint a prime minister, European and UN diplomats are ready to "waste" Arafat, their former protege, and admit privately that Sharon has beaten his veteran rival.
Not home free, but almost there.

PETITION JUSTICE FOR SHARON = Truth About Sabra & Shatilla

View Current Signatures   -   Sign the Petition

To:  King Albert II and Belgian Government --
copies to, President Bush,The US Congress, Prime Minister Blair

To: King Albert II. and the Belgian Government.

We the undersigned, express our outrage, ridicule and opposition to the ILLEGAL decision of the Belgian Supreme Court, which has arrogantly appointed itself as the world’s highest authority on War Crimes – and arbitrarily presumes to wrongfully try Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (together with a handful of decorated Israeli Army Officers) for alleged war crimes at Sabra & Shatilla in 1982.

Whether we agree with P.M. Ariel Sharon’s current political policies or not is certainly irrelevant at this stage.

This travesty of justice must be prevented, and now!

Who knows? This could set a dangerous precedent for US President Bush and P.M. Tony Blair to be brought in front of the same Belgian tribunal one day on charges of attacking Iraq?

A terrible atrocity was committed at Sabra & Shatilla, but it is a well known historical fact that Ariel Sharon and the Israeli army were NOT the GUILTY PARTY.

These crimes were committed by the Lebanese Phalangist Militia under the command of Elias Hobeika, as REVENGE for the assassination of their leader, Bashir Gemayel - the then newly elected President of Lebanon, who, together with a number of his close followers, was murdered by a powerful bomb blast in his office. The cruel assassination followed by the Sabra and Shatilla retaliation and had the blessing of Syria – whose aim was twofold: to prevent a Christian Governed Free Lebanon making peace with Israel, and to discredit Israel at the same time !

This devious plot was sadly successful on both counts.

Who was Elias Hobeika?

The distinguished Lebanese dignitary Mr. Nagi N. Najjar – Director of the Lebanon Foundation for Peace, recently published an article just prior to the elimination of Elie Hobeika at the behest of the Syrians (to ensure his silence regarding these and other criminal activities, for which they feared he could have incriminated Syria for it’s participation). There could hardly be a more objective source for the information Mr. Najjar provided in response to the Palestinians having cleverly and strategically filed this grossly groundless complaint against Ariel Sharon with your Belgian court:

"(The) Sabra and Shatilla (massacre) was instigated and perpetrated by Elias Hobeika, a ruthless murderer working for Syrian Intelligence. Today his profession is giving Scuba lessons in a little seaport called Dbayeh 20 miles north of Beirut. If the Palestinians really want to see justice, the road within Lebanon is a much shorter road than the one of Brussels. Hobeika is responsible for a long list of massacres and murders against the Christians in Lebanon, the Muslims, the Druze and even the Palestinians themselves. Yet, he does not fear justice as he is under the protection of his Syrian friends. The KAHANE REPORT details his involvement."

Considering the facts, this ludicrous ruling passed by your "Justice system" makes one wonder what exactly is Belgium’s ulterior motive ??

One also wonders on what grounds the Belgian Justice system dares to posture as the Moral Superiors of the World!? Maybe they should first be seeking culprits of war crimes in their very own backyard? Maybe it is time for the world to recognize Belgium’s own atrocities carried out in the Congo - Katanga, in the 1950's & 60's and in Rwanda, Somalia, as recently as the 1990's (far more recent than the Sabra & Shatilla case) as well as violent assaults on asylum-seekers just 5 years ago in 1998 in Belgium! For the documented historical details - read this article:

In view of Belgium’s own ignominious history, justice like charity, should certainly start at home. It should also be applied equally rather than selectively.

The turbulent History of the Middle East is filled by massacres, and either you bring all those cases to justice or you bring none. Deal with Saddam Hussein murdering and gassing Iraqi Kurds, the perpetrators of the massacre of Hama by Syria in 1982, the massacres of Black September in Jordan, and the terrorist activities of Yasser Arafat up to and including his support and encouragement of the Palestinian Suicide Bombers up to these very days are but just a few in a very long list

"By taking sides in a case like Sabra and Shatilla, Belgium is playing with fire, by allowing this affair to take place on its soil and blaming Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. It is important for all to understand that if Belgium is opening this effort for political purposes, then it is making a dangerous move at the wrong time of history, at the wrong place, with the wrong victim. Taking issue with one massacre that took place in Lebanon at the expense of another is a dishonest action and is a dangerous political stand for Belgium, with dangerous consequences and repercussions that might precipitate unpredictable, negative reactions both for Belgium itself, and throughout the world.

Further information about this petition is available through WWW.HASBARA.US ; see also

We the undersigned, the citizens of the world, hereby request His Majesty King Albert II and the Government of Belgium to reconsider Belgium's path in History, and by any means available, to eject/ correct/ eliminate this unjustifiable, historical mistake.

Presented Respectfully, by Director, Hasbara.US.


The Undersigned

View Current Signatures

February 19, 2003

New at IsraPundit

In case you missed it:

1. The links (left-hand column) now have "Columnists" separated from "Bloggers". If your favourite columnist is missing, please let me know at

2. To the "Information" group of links we have added a link to Pizza IDF.

Gallup Poll Findings: Encouraging, but...

Findings from a recent Gallup Poll on Americans’ views concerning Israel (posted today, 19 Feb 2003) are summarize by this heading:

Americans' Views of Israel More Positive Than Last Year Sympathy with Israel highest since Persian Gulf War
Specifically, the February, 2003, poll indicates the following findings, based on the question, “is your overall opinion of Israe: very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable, or very unfavorable?”

Very favourable plus mostly favourable - 64%;
Mostly unfavourable plus very unfavourable - 29%;
No opinion - 7%.

Considering that the US is Israel’s only nation-ally (in addition to the readers of IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks...), and considering that Israel is now asking for an additional aid package, this is a welcome piece of news.

Before anyone becomes overjoyed, I’d like to interject a few words of caution.

First, the aforementioned Gallup site also provides a time series going back to 1989. Even if one takes sampling error into consideration, one sees that the “positive ratings” fluctuate over time, the conclusion being that unless one constantly nourishes those who currently give “positive ratings”, the figures may change for the worse in the future.

Secondly, there is a 7% segment of the population that was classified as “no opinion” - it is incumbent upon the pro-Israel forces to reach this 7% with information, before Israel’s enemies reach them with distortions.

Third, the group classified as “very favourable” is small: only 22% (“mostly favourable account for 42%). Again, information is necessary to shift the “mostly” to “very”.

On the one hand, it is quite an achievement for the people of the US, that in spite of the constant distortions propagated by Reuters, NYT et al, most of the people in the US can still see the light through the fog. But on the other hand, we must recall that in assessing Israel, the people of the US are assessing a democratic republic like their own, as compared to Arafat’s corrupt, murderous tyranny, so asking for better ratings than observed is not asking for the moon.

These conclusions are even more relevant when one considers another question of the poll: “In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinian Arabs?“ The results:

Israelis - 58%
Palestinian Arabs, 13%
Both - 6%;
Neither - 11%
No opinion - 12%

Note that 29% of US respondents are sitting on the fence - “both”, “neither” and “no opinion”. These are the people we have to reach!

Are the findings encouraging? Yes, indeed. But they have to be improved.

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

Leading Palestinian intellectual to talk in Berkeley: Edward Said expects statehood by 'end of the decade'

For me the key sentence in this chatter by Edward Said is this reference to The Right of Return, always a deal breaker
[...]Said, also an accomplished pianist and music critic, was one of the first prominent critics of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which promised "autonomy" for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, prior to an independent state. He has been equally critical of negotiations since then, saying they have done little to address the right of return for Palestinian refugees, or address the status of Jerusalem, the eastern half of which the Palestinians want as their future capital. [more]
Support necessary for Israel; transcends faith, nationality

Pro-Israel ad in Stanford Daily college newspaper draws many signatures and a nice editorial on the subject.
Tuesday’s Stanford Daily featured a full-page advertisement containing the names of more than 1,500 Stanford students. These students willingly signed a petition supporting Israel’s right to a peaceful and secure future and condemning worldwide terrorism.
Many students, when signing the petition, asked “I agree with this, but why are you bothering to do this right now?” Anyone who follows the events in the Middle East knows that this is a very chaotic time for the whole region. Whatever happens, it is imperative that we, as Americans or as students in America, stand up for the values we believe in: freedom, democracy and peace.

The people of the Middle East deserve a fair voice in their government. They deserve civil rights for people of different religions and ethnicities. They deserve a fair chance to improve their lives.

There is one country in the entire region that stands for these democratic principles: Israel. And today, many Stanford students join students from dozens of universities across the country in declaring, loud and clear, “We stand for Israel, and we stand for peace!” Never will we allow the Middle East’s only democratic state to fall at the hands of those who wish little more than its total destruction. [more]
Finance Ministry budgets NIS 3m to register claims by Jews from Arab countries

Seems Palestinians were not the only ones who lost out in the chaos begun when arab nations attacked the new state of Israel in '47. And no, these Jewish refugees are not seeking The Right of Return! "Jewish communal property abandoned by immigrants from Middle East countries is estimated to be worth $30 billion."
[...] The claims will be filed by immigrants from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen who immigrated to Israel since 1940. The office will collect documents and legal material pertaining to damage to Jewish property and persecution of Jews in these countries, including confiscation of property and bodily harm. The purpose is to provide a foundation for claims against these countries and international institutions to counter claims by Palestinian refugees.

A partial registration of claims, mainly by immigrants from Egypt and Iraq, was carried out in the 1950s. These claims covered about $1 billion. The registration was ordered resumed in the 1970s, but nothing was done. The current registration is based on a cabinet decision of March 2002.

“Globes” investigations in recent years discovered that the real value of confiscated Jewish property in Iraq, Egypt and Syria totals $8-10 billion. The World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC) estimates the total value of property, including communal property, at $30 billion. [more]
Something Wicked This Way Comes

Via Damian Penny,, this strange story in The Independent:
Three giant cargo ships are being tracked by US and British intelligence on suspicion that they might be carrying Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Each with a deadweight of 35,000 to 40,000 tonnes, the ships have been sailing around the world's oceans for the past three months while maintaining radio silence in clear violation of international maritime law, say authoritative shipping industry sources.

The vessels left port in late November, just a few days after UN weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix began their search for the alleged Iraqi arsenal on their return to the country.
There's more. It's certainly mysterious. And if it turns out to be true, it would give weight to Israel's assertion that Iraq tranferred it's WMD's through Syria or Iran.

Two Birds with One Stone

Is President Bush a genius!?

By taking the long and patient road President Bush has set into cycle a grand win-win strategy for everyone.

Whatever the outcome within one-two weeks we will all see;

1. Iraq disarmed and moving towards a democratic change in the region,

2. The relevancy of the U.N.

The balance of the future of the UN is what is being gained by Conservatives.

Conservatives have long argued, specifically since the UN debackle over Kosovo, that the UN is irrelevant and a forloned international organization that the USA should extricate itself from.

With this brilliant move by President Bush not only will we be able to extricate ourselves but also go down on the record as the one who gave it a last shot at being purposefull.

This does a couple of things, importantly though, it will lay our place in history properly.
Poll shows support for Israel up in US

Internet Jerusalm Post poll offers some good news.
A poll released Wednesday [this week shows that support for Israel among the American public rose in the last year with a majority of Americans feeling more sympathy for Israelis than with the Palestinians.

The Gallup poll that forms part of Gallup's annual poll on world affairs. On some
measures, Israel's ratings are the most positive they have been since the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Overall favorable ratings of Israel are up from last year, although similar to 2001 levels. However, the percentage that rates Israel "very favorably" is the highest it has been since 1991.

Additionally, the level of expressed sympathy for the Israelis, as opposed to the Palestinians, is also the highest since 1991. Conservatives and
Republicans, typically among the most supportive of Israel, show even stronger support now than in 2002.

The poll, conducted Feb. 3-6, shows Israel's favorable rating is at 64%, up from 58% last year, but about where it had been in 2001. The highest rating to date, 79%, came in 1991 during the Persian Gulf War. [more]
What witch-hunts say about Europe

This article explores the hypocrisy behind Belgium's plan to try Sharon for alleged "crimes."
In light of the Belgian legal system's decision that action may proceed against Ariel Sharon over the Sabra and Shatilla massacre, much has been made of Belgian hypocrisy and over whether or not Belgium (or any other state) has the right to try foreign citizens for crimes committed outside their jurisdiction.

I believe that attention to these details, while somewhat valid, is a distraction and harmful to Israel.

The very real hypocrisy of the Belgians - whose complicity in the genocide in Rwanda and snail-pace on action against Yasser Arafat compromise their credibility - aside, Belgium - and all other liberal democracies - should have the right to try foreign citizens for crimes committed outside their jurisdiction (for example, Israel's trial of Adolf Eichmann). The interests of justice dictate this.

Yet, these issues are a sideshow.

The real issue is that the Belgian Sabra and Shatilla trial has nothing to do with justice. It's a witch hunt. If the Belgians were serious about bringing to account those responsible for the Sabra and Shatilla Massacre, they would be knocking on doors in Beirut, Jounieh and Damascus, not in Jerusalem.

Let us be perfectly frank about the issue here: Christian Maronites massacred approximately 800 Palestinian Arabs in two Palestinian suburbs in Beirut. And the Europeans want to crucify a Jew over it. [more]
Our neighbor to the North.

A very interesting Lebanese anti-Syrian and anti-terrorist site. The site is a joint effort by The Middle East Forum, and the USCFL. I am not familiar with the latter, but the former has people like Daniel Pipes and Bat Ye'or on its staff, a fact that lends the site at least some credibility.

Lebanon is a very interesting and unusual country, especially against the backdrop of the Middle East. It is probably the most religiously and culturally diverse in the Arab world, and it has managed to stay diverse against all odds. Although its diversity brought it much trouble, it also is, as it was in the past, very conducive to development. It is probably one of the major reasons that made it possible for some of its citizens to support Israel, although at this point in time I seriously doubt they can do so openly in Lebanon. Still, this is one of the Arab countries with the greatest potential for development and democratization. Hopefully, after the domino effect of the war in Iraq finally reaches Syria, this potential will finally get a chance of being realized.