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

March 29, 2003

The New Anti-Semitism
by Melanie Phillips - March 22, 2003

"Want to make yourself really, really unpopular if you are a Jew? Try saying that the world is witnessing a terrifying firestorm of hatred directed at Israel and the Jewish people, in which the British and Europeans are deeply implicated. Since it is now a given in many circles that Israel is a threat to the world equal to North Korea, and that Ariel Sharon is a cross between Martin Bormann and Hendrik Verwoerd, you will find yourself accused of using the Holocaust to avoid any criticism of Israel?s behaviour. Because, well, you know, you Jews always stick together and are mighty quick to deal that persecution card.
Anyone who holds that view may as well skip what follows. More objective and fair-minded souls, however, might be deeply alarmed to learn of the evidence provided at a recent conference on anti-Semitism and the media at the Vidal Sassoon Centre for the Study of Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem.
This was scarcely a gathering of the Ariel Sharon fan club. Among academics and journalists from Israel, Europe, Britain and America were several left-wingers and liberals who were deeply hostile to Israel?s Likud government, believed that the settlements should be dismantled, and were troubled by the behaviour of some of Israel's military. There is no doubt that Israel is committing human-rights violations on the West Bank, said Professor Yehuda Bauer, the distinguished Holocaust expert.

But there was equally no doubt, from what he and others said, that anti-Zionism is now being used to cloak a terrifying nexus between genocidal Arab and Islamist hatred of the Jews and deep-seated European prejudices.

Anti-Semitism is protean, mutating over the centuries into new forms. Now it has changed again, into a shape which requires a new way of thinking and a new vocabulary. The new anti-Semitism does not discriminate against Jews as individuals on account of their race. Instead, it is centred on Israel, and the denial to the Jewish people alone of the right of self-determination.

This is nothing to do with the settlements or the West Bank. Indeed, the language being used exposes as a cruel delusion the common belief that the Middle East crisis would be solved by the creation of a Palestinian state.

The key motif is a kind of Holocaust inversion, with the Israelis being demonised as Nazis and the Palestinians being regarded as the new Jews. Israel and the Jews are being systematically delegitimised and dehumanised, a necessary prelude to their destruction, with both Islamists and the Western media using anti-Zionism as a fig-leaf for prejudices rooted in both medieval Christian and Nazi demonology".

Read this whole piece even if you think you already heard enough about the new antisemitism.


Odyssey of an Israeli journalist, By Caroline B. Glick

Antisemitism in Kuwait against Jewish journalists
[...]In the meantime, I received a call from Jim Moran at the US embassy. The State Department had worked out a compromise. The Kuwaitis would accredit me if I signed a paper promising not to report for any Israeli media outlet while in Kuwait. I thought immediately of the negative implications. I would sign away my freedom of expression. This made me extremely angry. For the first time in my life I began to see what it is like to live in a society without basic freedoms.

I called Bret in Jerusalem and asked for his thoughts. He saw the positive implications.
"Caroline, you'll be in Iraq soon with the greatest offensive force ever amassed. Covering that war and that force is why you are there. Sign the statement."

The next morning, before they gave me the statement, a Kuwaiti official (born and raised in Virginia) began interrogating me. He wanted me to agree not to write for the Israeli media not only in Kuwait, but in Iraq as well. I couldn't believe his nerve. I replied politely that I could only discuss with the Kuwaiti government my plans for while in Kuwait and that a decision where to place my articles was made by my company, not by me...

For me, the main lesson from this odyssey is that to refer to the Middle East conflict as the Palestinian Israeli conflict is to ignore the truth.

The truth is that at its root the conflict is about the Arab world's obsession with rejecting Israel. Kuwait hates the Palestinians. The Kuwaitis kicked the Palestinians out of their country.

The way I was treated had nothing to do with Beit El or Netzarim. It has to do with Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and the Bible.

As I joined the 2-7 mechanized infantry battalion on Tuesday night, I realized that it was the first time I had felt safe in 48 hours.

On Sunday afternoon, as I felt my body melting in the oppressive desert heat and its odor borne of five days in the heat and dust and wind without a shower wafted into my nostrils and shocked me, I understood how I would know when peace has come.

Peace will be upon us when I can feel as safe and welcome at a five-star Kuwaiti hotel as I felt in the Kuwaiti desert with the US army
Israel’s Leftists Kindled Arab Fire
By Steven Plaut

Originally appeared in the Jewish Press

The main motivating force behind the American left has always been anti-Americanism, and this has never been so apparent as during the current war against terrorism. While this is well recognized, what is far less commonly known is that Israel has its own analogue to these people. The Israeli left is as anti-Israel and anti-Jewish as the American left is anti-American.

The problem is that while the pro-Iraq American left is a marginal amusement on the U.S. political scene, the Israeli anti-Israel political left wields enormous power and indeed has dictated the country`s policies over much of the past decade. Israel`s left used to be strongly Zionist and patriotic, as strongly devoted to the defense of the nation as anyone else. Leftists everywhere, from the kibbutzim to the yuppie suburbs, enlisted in the elite units of the military and fought against Arab aggression and fascism. They might have entertained various naive ideas, but on the bread-and-butter issues of the Middle East conflict, they differed little from the rest of their countrymen.

At the margins of politics, there were anti-Israel (and anti-American) Stalinists in Israel`s various communist parties, as well as a handful of pro-terrorist Trotskyite and Maoist loonies. But the Zionist left always kept a safe distance from these groups.

All this changed following Israel`s 1982 "Peace for Galilee" incursion into Lebanon. That campaign radicalized the Israeli left in ways that recalled the radicalization of U.S. campuses during the Vietnam War. Suddenly, Israeli leftists hopped aboard the same Israel-bashing bandwagon pulled by anti-Zionists, anti-Semites, and Arab fascists all over the planet. Suddenly their country was, in their eyes, an evil, colonialist, militarist monstrosity. With Menachem Begin and the Likud in power at the time, they did not hesitate to take to the streets, Berkeley-style, to denounce the "war criminals" and "murderers" running their government.

What had begun as a radicalization of the leftist fringe in Israel quickly metastasized into the center. Gradually, factions of the Israeli Labor Party joined the leftist assault on the legitimacy of their own country. Eventually, "Post-Zionist" radicalism engulfed the entire Labor Party. This assault was led by Shimon Peres, Israel`s perennial electoral loser, who convinced his party that if peace had not yet been achieved, it was merely because Israelis, like Jiminy Cricket, had failed to wish for it hard enough.

More specifically, Peres insisted that if the PLO were granted its own state, it would use this state to promote the economic well being and social development of its civilians, and would never have time for irredentist adventures directed against Israel.

With Rabin as nominal prime minister after Labor’s victory in the 1992 elections, Peres imposed his delusion on the country, ignoring the fact that Labor had run on a platform pledging no deals with the PLO and no Palestinian state — ever.

In the minds of Peres and his leftist followers, the solution to the conflict was for the Jews to declare a unilateral cease-fire while the PLO continued to commit atrocities against them. They urged Israeli Jews to fight terror through self-abasement, self-humiliation, national self-denial, and cowardice. Every atrocity by the PLO was met with new offers of concessions by Israeli leftists. "Goodwill" gestures by the Israeli government — ranging from inserting Arab propaganda into school textbooks to considering de-Judaizing Israel’s flag and national emblems — abounded. Israelis were lectured incessantly by leftist leaders and the media about how the conflict was somehow their fault for trying to "rule over" another "people," for placing land above peace, and for being insensitive.

Israelis were told over and over that they must choose between land and peace. The only problem was that it was the Israeli leftist politicians who were telling them this, not the Arabs. The Palestinians and their supporters had never given Israelis the choice between land and peace.

The real choice Israelis faced was between war while retaining the "occupied territories" and war after relinquishing them. Peace was simply not an option, despite the desperately naive hopes of Shimon Peres and his followers.

The Israeli electorate first voted against the pipe dreamers in the 1996 elections, producing the Netanyahu government. Netanyahu, however, did not take effective measures to reverse the defeatist drift, whether because of American pressures or because the Likud has always been short on policy ideas and long on trying to be the Me-Too party.

In response, Israelis elected Ehud Barak in the belief that a genuine Oslo was preferable to Netanyahu`s "Oslo Lite." When Barak offered Arafat essentially the entire "occupied territories," together with East Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the rest of the PLO`s publicly-delineated wish list, Arafat spat on the outstretched hand and launched endless atrocities.

When the Israeli electorate finally had enough of the left and its pipe dreams, it elected Ariel Sharon in 2001, and by a huge margin. But Sharon preferred to govern through a "national unity government," meaning that the same Shimon Peres whose disastrous policies had placed Israel`s very existence in jeopardy and whose delusions had been roundly rejected by voters, would be second in command. Unbelievably, even under a Sharon administration, Peres was able to promote his Jiminy Cricket ideas in the name of the government.

Earlier this year Israeli voters repudiated the Israeli left even more thoroughly, and now Peres and his Osloniks are completely shut out of power. But the damage has been done. The follies of Israel’s left have not only produced more than a thousand Israeli deaths at the hands of Palestinian terrorists since the signing of the Oslo accords, but threaten to engulf the region in far greater instability and loodshed.

The Israeli left, with its defeatism and its assault on the national will to resist, has kindled a fire among the Arabs that will rage for some time to come.
More Syrian Threats

Following sharp on the heels of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s war threats, published yesterday in a Lebanese newspaper, Israeli officials are monitoring additional disturbing statements from Syrian leaders. The latest comes from the chief Shiite Mufti (religious leader) of Damascus, who has publicly urged Iraqi Shiites to resist the Western military advance by carrying out suicide attacks against US, UK and Australian ground forces. Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hizbullah leaders have made similar calls in recent days.

In Lebanon, one of the Shiite Hizbullah movement’s spiritual leaders, Sheik Muhammad Fadlallah, continues to call on all Iraqi Shiites (the largest religious community in Iraq) to confront coalition forces. He is known to have close ties to many Iraqi Shiite clerics, having studied at a Shiite university in the Iraqi holy town of Najaf—scene of heavy fighting this week. Reports say he has used his influence to block nascent contacts between Iraqi Shiite leaders and American officials.
Israel Offers to Send Iraq Humanitarian Aid
Israel, accused by Baghdad of aiding the U.S.-British invasion, offered to assist the Iraqi people with humanitarian aid if the United Nations requested it. The statement came from Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom after talks with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
First Iraqi suicide car bombing in war is reported to have killed 5 US soldiers at Highway 9 checkpoint north of Najaf. Soldiers of 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade were checking taxi when it blew up. DEBKAfile military sources: Iraqi Saddam’s Fedayeen are trained in suicide-terror tactics.

Rachel Corrie re-visited

Recall the peace activist group Rachel Corrie worked with ? Here is how they have memorialized her

JERUSALEM - Israeli troops raided the West Bank offices of the International Solidarity Movement on Thursday and seized a wanted member of the militant Islamic Jihad group, the army said.

The army said the man was being sheltered in the Jenin offices of the Palestinian-backed peace group whose members often act as human shields, placing themselves between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians.

An American activist with the group was killed on March 16 while trying to stop an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip (news - web sites). She fell in front of the machine, which ran over her and then backed up, witnesses said.

The group said it did not know the man was wanted. The army said the suspect was a senior member of Islamic Jihad who planned a number of attacks on Israelis which were foiled by Israeli security forces.

The army said two women with the group — one British and the other Canadian — tried to hide the man but the group's spokesman, Tom Wallace, said the two group members were not aware of the man's identity.

The army said that during a search of the four-story building — which also houses offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, international medical group Medicins Sans Frontieres and the Bank of Palestine — troops found a pistol in the International Solidarity Movement premises.

Wallace said the man was unarmed and that any weapon was recovered. [more]

March 28, 2003

Do you Imra?



Thursday, March 27, 2003

The Yesha Council released the following statement this evening:

"In anticipation of new Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom's meetings in the
United States, the Yesha Council reminds the Minister of his unequivocal
statements regarding the Palestinian Authority which turns assets entrusted
to it for civilian purposes into a machine for war and terror.

It is to be recalled that the Government of Israel has never decided to
support establishment of a Palestinian state and the Prime Minister's
position is not binding on the Government or the Knesset.

The Yesha Council wishes Minister Shalom success in repelling the Road Map
[plan] which can internationalize the conflict and impose upon Israel severe
conditions which can lead to its destruction."

COMMENTARY by Susie Dym, spokesperson for Cities of Israel (Mattot Arim), a
grassroots Israeli NGO working toward peace-for-peace since 1992:

In an unusual move, the Yesha Council authorized the above statement for
immediate release to the American general and Jewish press, before its
release to the Israeli press which is planned for tomorrow morning Israel
time. It is apparent that the Yesha Council is anxious to signal to Jewish
organizations abroad, as rapidly as possible, that any acquiescence on their
part with the Palestinian State element of the RoadMap plan would be
inappropriate because the Government of Israel has never decided to support
establishment of a Palestinian state.

The Yesha Council's statement regarding the Prime Minister's
pro-Palestinian-state position not being binding on Israel's Government is
correct and is based on Section 32 of Israel's Basic Law: The Government.
This Section empowers Israel's government, as a body, to act for the State
(rather than bestowing any such power on the Prime Minister, as an

The Yesha Council has traditionally been at the forefront of "peace for
peace" politics in Israel which rejects the notion that Israel can achieve
peace by relinquishing territory.

You can subscribe here to daily bulletin of Israel-related news .
France and Germany tied to slavery

The American Anti-Slavery Group expressed deep concern today over French and German policies of placing economic objectives ahead of the human rights of Southern Sudanese people forced into human bondage as part of the Sudanese government's genocidal jihad.

America haters at Columbia University:

A Columbia University professor told thousands of students and faculty that he would like to see "a million Mogadishus" _ referring to the 1993 ambush in Somalia that killed 18 Americans and inspired the movie "Black Hawk Down."

The professor, Nicholas De Genova, also called for the defeat of U.S. forces in Iraq and said, "The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military." And he asserted that Americans who call themselves "patriots" are white supremacists.

DEBKAfile headline update

DEBKAfile reports from US intelligence sources that Iraq has moved chemical and biological weapons to within missile-striking distance of Israel in western Iraq despite US-UK presence in region. Some of the WMD was taken out of hiding-places in Syria.

What to do with post-war Iraqi oil?

Two great articles:


The Bear's Lair: What to do with the oil

and while we're on the subject, also check out the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, focused on Energy Security.
Support the Movement of Iranian Students

Iranian students fighting for freedom.
How to support our troops

Winds of Change has a great list.

Not what you think it is has this light-hearted piece
License to thrill: I think we all need to calm down a little. With terror threats looming overhead, a group of Miami Jews are upset over the most ridiculous of subjects. South Florida's Gilbert Tabares Gomer, a Cuban Jew, will be allowed to proclaim his ethnic pride with the "JEWBAN" license plate on his convertible. originally, the DMV would not allow proud Jew to display this because other Jews thought it was an anti-Semitic slur. The word ''Jewban'' dates back to the late 1960s, when the Cuban Hebrew Congregation of Miami printed a monthly bulletin titled JEWBAN. The issue caused a flurry of letters to Miami newspapers, obviously in support of Gomer. "I really object to the increasing senseless loss of freedoms," wrote one Laura Mintz. "Would it be less offensive if Mr. TG painted an accent over the 'Jew' part of 'Jewban,' or changed the plate to 'Juban' (would the Cubans complain?) or would 'Cubish' be acceptable to all groups except perhaps mathematicians?"

This site aggregates news and thus the URL link is for everything posted today.
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel is staying on high alert against an Iraqi strike despite a British assertion that coalition forces have disabled Saddam Hussein's ability to launch missiles from western Iraq, an Israeli government official said Thursday.

Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the West Bank, pleading with Saddam Hussein to strike Israel with missiles and chemical weapons. In the 1991 Gulf War, the Jewish state was hit with 39 conventional Scud missiles, which caused heavy damage and hundreds of injuries but few deaths.

"We have disabled Iraq's ability to launch external aggression from the west," British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Thursday in a joint news conference with President Bush.

Western Iraq is the part of the country closest to Israel and the launching point of the missiles fired in the previous war.

But an Israeli government official who declined to be identified said Israel still could come under attack from elsewhere in Iraq and will remain under high alert until the threat of missiles or "other attacks" is removed completely.

Israelis have been told to keep gas masks with them and to prepare sealed rooms in case of a chemical or biological attack.

The war in Iraq, which began a week ago, has fueled anger in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, where Saddam has doled out $35 million to Palestinian families with relatives killed during the uprising against Israel.

Meanwhile, military raids continued Friday when Israeli army officials said troops operating in the Tulkarem refugee camp killed an armed Palestinian and wounded another.

On Thursday, an Israeli attack helicopter fired two missiles at a northern town in the Gaza Strip, killing two Palestinian policemen and injuring more than a dozen. Three Palestinians were captured, allegedly for firing homemade rockets at Israeli towns.

Also Thursday, Israeli troops raided the West Bank offices of the International Solidarity Movement, a Palstinian-backed peace group, and arrested a wanted member of the militant Islamic Jihad group, the army said. The group's spokesman, Tom Wallace, said the members did not know the man's identity.

"Strike, strike Tel Aviv with chemicals!" more than 4,000 people chanted in the West Bank towns of Tulkarem and Tubas on Thursday. "Bush, the little one, you are a coward! The land of Iraq is not for you!"

Palestinians in the West Bank, holding posters of Saddam and waving Iraqi flags, stomped on Israeli and American flags.

The show of support for Saddam came as Bush and Blair stressed the importance of a "road map" to Palestinian statehood on Thursday.

The plan will be presented when Palestinian prime minister-designate, Mahmoud Abbas, is officially confirmed. Under intense international pressure, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat agreed to create the position of premier and introduce other key reforms.

Without a halt in violence, though, the road map cannot go forward, said Raanan Gissin, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. About 2,200 Palestinians have been killed during nearly 30 months of fighting -- about three times the Israeli toll.

"The first stage is the cessation of violence," Gissin said. "Israel is not afraid of the road map. It is a sequential process."

The Palestinian Authority has been careful to distance itself from the Iraqi leader.
Sgt. Striker

Sgt. Striker's Daily Briefing war news added to the blog role.
A clash of orthodoxies

While the coalition seeks to minimize civilian casualities, Islamists seek just the opposite, says this article in The Washington Times
[...] According to United Press International, Persian Gulf TV stations have organized fund-raisers for their Iraqi "brother heroes," while the Jordan Times writes that people "are fed up with everything American, including democracy." The Arab League has officially decried the invasion. And, a report from the London-based pan-Arab daily Al-Quds al-Arabi (via the Jerusalem Post) tells us the favorite name for Palestinian baby boys these days is Saddam.
This last bit is only to be expected, given the mass exaltations in the Palestinian Authority induced by this week's capture of American soldiers by Iraqi forces. "Everyone here was happy to see pictures of American soldiers in Iraqi custody," a policeman at Yasser Arafat's headquarters told the Jerusalem Post. "I felt like kissing people all around me," said another. "They have just shot down two Apache helicopters,' an excited merchant shouted hysterically as he ran out of his shop . . . . Oh beloved Saddam, bomb, bomb Tel Aviv,' [a group of about 50 schoolgirls] chanted as passersby and shopkeepers greeted them with the traditional Islamic battle cry of 'Allahu akbar' (God is great). As they marched through the streets, the girls, some younger than 10, urged Saddam to eliminate Israel. Oh Saddam, we love you, why don't you annihilate all the Jews?' "
This scene is not without its terrible irony. For as the United States and Britain throw their best men and armor at the terrorist-harboring, terrorist-supporting Iraqi dictatorship, they also prepare for what comes after: a reformed Iraq, minus Saddam Hussein, and . . . a Saddam-supporting Palestinian state. Or so British Prime Minister Tony Blair all-but-stated before meeting with President Bush this week at Camp David. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Mr. Blair told Parliament that he and Mr. Bush were determined to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, "calling it the one issue that most divides the pan-Muslim world from the West."
Not quite.
Palestinian Democracy is an Oxymoron

Barbra Lerner writing in NRO dismisses Palestinian democracy as a pipedream. She also dismisses the Palestinians as a people.
I think, to expect anything like democracy in the southern half of the Middle East any time soon — and a dangerous illusion to expect a Palestinian democracy ever.

They have no past to hearken back to. No past glories, no nation or people, no unique language or history or culture. And no wonder: Until the 1960s, they didn't exist. They are as much a product of the Sixties as slogans like "Make love, not war" or inventions like the kindly, democratic Uncle "Ho-Ho-Ho Chi Minh." Before the Sixties — when Arabs from what is now Jordan, Egypt, and Syria moved west of the Jordan River to take advantage of new economic opportunities opened up by the returning Jews — they took their nationality from their countries of origin, or from whichever Arab country claimed sovereignty over the land at the time. They were mostly Jordanians, but all three Arab states claimed the land, and each ruled it, or parts of it, at different times.

Intra-Arab rivalries notwithstanding, all Arab nations — the whole Arab world, 200 million strong — agreed from the start that the Jews would never get to keep any part of ancient Israel, that everything from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea was Arab land, and that Arabs would take back every inch of it. This played well to Arab audiences, but it made for ineffective public relations with the outside world. "Help 200 million Arabs drive a handful of Jews into the sea" was not a winning slogan in most parts of the world. And as the Israeli handful defeated the attacking Arab millions in war after war, it became a liability the united Arab rejectionist front could no longer afford.

Unable to win militarily, they resolved to attack diplomatically instead, with a relentless new propaganda war. Job One was to obscure the fact that the same old Arab Goliath was still bent on destroying the Israeli David. To do that, it needed an Arab rejectionist front in miniature — a few million dedicated Arab warriors to present a saleable image to the world, an ersatz victim image to compete with the all-too-real victim image of the Jews. And so they invented a new Arab people, "the Palestinians," whose entire raison d'etre is hatred of the Jews, based on a false claim that "their" land has been stolen from them by greedy, foreign Jewish oppressors.

This new national identity gave the re-named Arabs an instant claim to a separate new state of their own, and it gave every Arab dictator a cruel new cause to champion — a new and more effective way of redirecting the popular rage at real oppression at home into rage against manufactured oppression abroad. To give that rage a permanent base, all the Arab states together made pariahs of the so-called Palestinians — popular pariahs, but pariahs nonetheless. The Palestinians were unwelcome in every Arab state but Jordan, where they form the majority — and even there, the door is shut to further immigration. Consider: A million Jews who had lived in the Middle East since time immemorial were forced out of Arab lands and into Israel, but the Arabs in Israel were locked in, goaded with a constant stream of propaganda, supplied with clandestine weapons, and given large sums of money for murdering Jews.

These Arabs will never be at peace, will never know the blessings of democracy so long as they are encouraged to cling to a false and hateful identity as "Palestinians." They are not a separate people; they are part of the Arab nation and, with few exceptions, they need to be absorbed back into it. Until they are, there will never be peace in Israel or real and lasting progress toward democracy in the southern Arab states.

The biggest mistake America can make would be to keep this evil identity alive by giving it a U.S.-sponsored mini-state. The ancient land of Israel has already been divided between Arabs and Jews, into Jordan and Israel. It cannot be divided again to create another viable state.
What's the U.S. military doing about radical Muslim soldiers?

Not enough.
There is no substitute for Victory

John Derbyshire writing in the NRO has some telling points on the war.
Forget about democracy or freedom

We should, he [another writer]says, "use the coming war against Iraq to persuade Arab governments that they themselves have a compelling interest in putting Islamic radicals out of business. . . . What we should demand of Arab leaders is not ideological fealty, but simply responsible behavior." Exactly. There won't be any constitutional democracy in Iraq or Saudi Arabia in your lifetime or mine, and we are fools if we think we can bring this about. (And if we did bring it about, it would probably be a net plus for the Islamo-loonies.

Go for total absolute victory. Nothing else works.

The only true and proper objective of a war is to smash the enemy's armed forces to bits, kill all his best soldiers, humiliate his state ideology, and bring down his government. Anything less is just storing up trouble for yourself in the future.
And now we see what a vast and terrible blunder we made, not going on to Baghdad in 1991. Never, never let us make this mistake again. If we get into another war, let's fight it to the finish — defined to mean that the enemy is crushed, his leaders dead or in exile, his military smashed to pieces, his ideology discredited. Nothing else will do, nothing else works, anything else is just future trouble. And to hell with "international opinion."

(Editors note: The same goes for Israel)

Change strategy from “Win with little collateral damage” to “Win”

Are we being too nice? It is a point of pride for us, military and civilian alike, that we take the utmost care to avoid "collateral damage" — i.e. killing and maiming Iraqi civilians. Well, I am proud of that, too. Not so proud, though, as to forget that there is a calculus of casualties, in which being too punctilious about losses among enemy civilians costs lives among our own military. This is an ugly fact, but a fact just the same.
Remember “There is no substitute for victory.

Pakistan war protester.
[source: REUTERS/Mian Khursheed] found at

This war briefing from The Agonist

9:33 EST A report that Syria will open its borders to Syrians who wish to fight alongside Iraqi forces comes on the same day that Syria's highest religious authority, Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro, called on Muslims to conduct suicide missions against Western forces in the region.

The Syrian government to this point had tried to dissuade volunteers from carrying out attacks and had closed the border with Iraq, though there were reports that some people were sneaking across or bribing border guards. This latest report indicates the government has made the decision to open the border.
Middle eastern democracy

A discussion by some ME experts
Any mission to impose democracy would fail, and stoke further Arab resentment

The debate in the US over the nature of a post-Saddam Iraq pits democratisers (most often those of "neoconservative" views) against pragmatists (usually "realist" by school). Many realists, like Henry Kissinger, support the removal of Saddam's regime but oppose a protracted high-profile US-led occupation of an Arab capital and an attempt to impose democracy on peoples who do not know or want it. They believe that pressing autocratic regimes in Muslim-majority countries towards better government, if not genuine democracy, can be wise if done prudently, but that too much pressure and haste would lead to a disastrous backlash against the US.

In particular, many point to the history of modernisation in the west, and to what we know of contemporary Muslim societies, to show that terrorism tends to arise from those rudely uprooted from rapidly changing societies. The biographies of contemporary Islamist terrorists show the majority to be well-educated, semi-westernised young men on the periphery of traditional societies. Force rapid change on such societies with revolutionary ideas like liberal democracy and globe-spanning market economics, and the result will be an accelerated dislocation that will produce more terrorists, not fewer.

Realists favour improving Iraqi political life, even if the result is still short of democracy-and if a good example there spreads, so much the better. They recognise, too, that a US-led international presence may be necessary for months; no one proposes to bomb, inspect for weapons of mass destruction and then leave others holding the nation-building bag. But realists seek the minimum necessary American symbolic profile, lest the US inherit the heavy baggage of the European colonial legacy, and centuries of Christian-Muslim conflict before that.

Democratisers, by contrast, believe that the US should promote, even impose, liberal democracy in the middle east, certainly on its adversaries and, some say, even on its authoritarian "friends." This we must do to eliminate the sources of rage and frustration that give rise to mass-casualty terrorism. (Poverty elimination alone, they argue, is futile, for the sources of poverty lie in the economic logic of autocracy.) [more]

March 27, 2003

Who Killed Rachel Corrie?
Still confused? You should be

By Judy Lash Balint

According to a fellow Evergreen State College student, Joseph Smith, 21, who was at the site, Corrie dropped her bullhorn and sat down in front of one of the bulldozers. She fully expected that the driver would stop just in front of her. “We were horribly surprised,” Smith told me by phone from Rafah the day after the incident. “They had been careful not to hurt us. They’d always stopped before,” he said.

As the bulldozer plowed forward heaping up a pile of dirt and sand, Corrie scrambled up the pile to sit on the top, screaming slogans at the driver. Smith says she lost her footing as the bulldozer made the earth move beneath her feet. “She got pulled down,” he says. “The driver lost sight of her and continued forward. Then, without lifting the blade he reversed and Rachel was underneath the mid-section of the bulldozer--she wasn’t run over by the tread.”

...I ask about the series of photos printed in an Arab newspaper I picked up that morning in Jerusalem’s Old City. “They aren’t of the actual incident,” he states firmly. “We’d been there for three hours already, we were tired: we already had a lot of pictures.”

Yet these are the pictures used on the ISM website, to document the before and after of Rachel’s interaction with the bulldozer. The same pictures are featured as a photo-essay on the site of Electronic Intifada, where they’re even attributed to Joseph Smith.
Even Michael Shaikh, the ISM media coordinator, won’t confirm that these are pictures of Corrie taken the day she died. “I’m fairly sure—they’re of the incident,” he tells me by phone from his Bethlehem office. In the same conversation, Shaikh asks me not to contact Joe, Greg or Tom, the Rafah ISM eyewitnesses again directly: “They’re still in traumatized.”

Where is the mound of earth Rachel clambered up and was buried in? The woman shown lying bleeding from her nose and mouth is lying on a flat piece of ground, and she’s not covered in sand.

...was Rachel alive when she was taken by Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance to Martyr Mohammed Yousef An Najar Hospital? In other words, where did she die? Were adequate efforts made to save her in the hospital?

Again, there are conflicting stories. Joseph Smith tells me in a telephone interview the day after the tragedy, “She died in the hospital or on the way to the hospital.” CNN also reported that Rachel died there.

In his account posted on, ISMer Tom Dale has a slightly different story. On March 17 he writes: “I ran for an ambulance, she was gasping and her face was covered in blood from a gash cutting her face from lip to cheek. She was showing signs of brain hemorrhaging. She died in the ambulance a few minutes later of massive internal injuries.”

But Dr. Ali Mussa, director of Martyr Mohammed Yousef An Najar Hospital where Corrie was taken isn’t so clear. On the day of the event, Dr. Mussa tells AP Gaza reporter Ibrahim Barzak that Rachel died in the hospital.

One week later, in a telephone interview with me, Dr. Mussa states definitively that Rachel died at the scene, “in the soil,” as he puts it. “The main cause of death was suffocation,” Mussa asserts. There were no signs of life, no heartbeat or pulse when she arrived at the hospital, he says. Mussa states that Rachel’s ribs were fractured, a fact determined by X-rays. (Is it normal procedure to X-ray a dead body?)

Doesn’t quite jive with the photo essay on the pages of the Electronic Intifada website for March 16, 2003.

A caption under one photo of doctors leaning over a female patient reads: “Rachel arrived in the Emergency Room at 5:05 p.m and doctors scrambled to save her. By 5:20 p.m, she was gone. Ha’aretz newspaper reported that Dr. Ali Mussa, a doctor at Al Najar, stated that the cause of death was “skull and chest fractures.” Dr. Mussa told me he was one of the treating physicians--yet he alone maintains that Rachel was dead before she was put into the ambulance. To further complicate matters, on that same website, a report from the Palestine Monitor is cited. Here, the writer says that Rachel fractured “both her arms, legs and skull. She was transferred to hospital, where she later died.”

...Just who is Dr. Ali Mussa? Clearly a man in favor with the Palestine Authority hierarchy. Dr. Mussa’s views are aired on the official website of the PA’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation: (January 27, 2003)

A few days after the incident, ISM Media Coordinator Michael Shaikh tells me by phone from Rafah that three ISMers, Tom, Alice and Greg were in the ambulance with Rachel. “She died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital,” says Michael. But Greg Schnabel, 28, who is quoted in numerous wire service and newspaper stories, never says he witnessed the death of his comrade in the ambulance. In his account published a few days later on the ISM website, he carefully states that she died twenty minutes after arriving at the hospital.

What happened to Rachel’s body after her death? Depends who you ask. Dr. Mussa says it was kept for 24 hours at the hospital before a Red Crescent ambulance transported it “to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv,” via the border where an Israeli ambulance took over. Michael Shaikh says “we lost track of it (her body) after she died.” Three ISMers tried to escort the body, but only one was permitted on the ambulance on the Israeli side. According to his account, the ambulance drove straight to the Israeli Forensic Institute at Abu Kabir, where an autopsy was performed. “The Israelis are trying to say she died from a blow to the head by a rock,” Shaikh recounts.

...Confusion and obfuscation seem to be a trademark of the ISM.

...So, while the memorial services laud and remember Rachel Corrie as a 'peace activist' 'murdered by Israeli occupation forces,' the truth lies elsewhere.

An Israeli bulldozer injured Corrie as she tried to prevent it doing its job of protecting Israeli civilians, but she was alive when she was taken to An Najar Hospital, according to at least three eyewitnesses. Only Dr. Mussa, a man intent on accusing Israel of child killing, claims otherwise. None of Rachel's comrades have stated they were with her in the hospital when she died.

"Bring on the inquiry," writes Jerusalem Diaries founder Judy Lash Balint.
Letter to an Australian Labor party politician

The backbencher addressed in my letter is from the Australian opposition party (thank G-D). ((spelled correctly above)). She is quoted as saying that the late unlamented Corrie should receive the Nobel Peace prize. This is not her first foray into matters about which she knows nothing. She IS in an electorate where there are a lot of "people of Middle Eastern appearance" to use a catchy term used by our police or on the local news. The photograph sent to her was that from
Dear Ms. Irwin

I see that you believe Ms. Corrie, killed by an Israeli military bulldozer, should receive the Nobel prize for peace.

The photograph above shows the real Rachel Corrie. Do please note her hate-filled face and the adoring Palestinians looking on as she burns her nation's flag.

She died defending members of the same "civilisation" that destroyed ABC cameraman Paul Moran and injured reporter Eric Campbell. You will of course note that the method of the murder was identical to that routinely employed by the "people" Rachel Corrie was defending.

70%+ Palestinians support Suicide mass murder, including their brethren in this country. The Arab Muslim leaders in the Middle East are publicly calling for more attacks similar to that on the journalists to attack OUR forces as well as those of the USA and Britain.

Ms. Irwin, If you support terror, you are equally guilty of it. Terrorists use their own civilians as cover for their inhuman murder. So, yes, Israel may be destroying structures and homes of those not directly shooting at them or bombing them. However, those structures would almost certainly be hindering effective military response to these inhuman beasts.

Corrie, put herself in harms way voluntarily and FAR worse, placed Israeli servicemen's life at risk by her actions which were entirely irresponsible. To protest properly, she should have joined a USA based neo -Nazi group, which is where her sympathies actually lay.

Anti-Semitism in any form is despicable, and it would seem, from this and previous utterances of yours, that you may be heading that way. I sincerely trust that you will consider your actions, and not merely go out and try to grab the Arab vote by this and your previous utterances. Anti-Semitic attacks in this country are increasing, and as an elected member of parliament in a secular democratic country, your DUTY is to avoid making the problem worse, and you should, in fact be doing everything possible to prevent it.

I am afraid that "humanitarian" activity demands that those you are being active in support of, are "human". I don't think that suicide for ideological reasons is a "human" reaction. Further, deliberate mass murder is far from a normal "human" reaction. When the two are combined, I think that you put yourself outside the Species normally regarded as "Homo Sapiens". I suppose that in the circumstances a new species has evolved - "Homo Terrorist". Like any deadly plague, they need to be treated like any infestation likely to destroy human life as we know it.

No, I don't mourn Ms. Corrie. She should have stayed home, and burnt her flags in her own country instead of supporting vermin. She would be alive today.
Off again, on again, Road Map (Ted Belman)

Where will it take us?

In my February 1st post Sharon/Bush Peace Plan I confidently wrote
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.
In my March 1st post Who will the US lean on? I concluded
If you accept that Bush is committed to win the “war on terror”, as I am, you must accept that he will never create a Palestinian state that flies in the face of that war.
Much to my chagrin, Bush in reaction to the difficulty he was having at the UN and in response to the pleas and pressure from Blair and who knows who else, announced on March 11th that the Road Map would be released soon. Many questions were raised and discussed subsequently. Would it be the Dec 20th Map or an amended one, would it be open to changes, how would Sharon react and so on. In the last week Blair and Straw made a number of remarks to give great cause for concern among supporters of Israel.

Will Bush try to mend fences with the EU?

I think not. Bush is not about to carry on with business as usually and he is certainly not going to allow France and Russia to have a say in the resolution of the conflict. He doesn’t need them and it is they who will be trying to make amends with him in order to participate in Iraq reconstruction. The US does not want to strengthen the EU so that it can oppose the US. It will prefer to deal with a coalition of the willing for future problems.

Will Bush open the door for the UN?

No way. The UN is out of control or at least out of the control of the US and the US will not be beholding to it. The UN will have to change in order to get the support of the US.

Will Bush wish to curry favour with the Arabs to win them back?

This is the real question. On the one hand, all the monarchies are supportive of the war on Iraq. Has he given them any promises with respect to Israel? If he hasn’t, I don’t see why he would have to after. As I have said before, it is the Arab world that needs to adjust to the new reality and not Israel. The US has yet to come down hard on Saudi Arabia (some say because of the Bush connections) but at the same time there is a growing awareness on both sides that the Saudi support for terror and Wahabism has got to stop.

Syria already knows their days are numbered. They will have no choice but to give in. They will be surrounded by hostile forces and will no longer have Iraq as an ally. They know that the US has a score to settle with Hezbollah and that Hezbollah is finished. Thus Syria will make peace with Israel and get as much of the Golan back as they can and will go on the American dole just as Egypt did. Iran, which is not Arab, will also have to adjust and the Mullahs will eventually be overthrown.

So I don’t accept that the US feels a need to pacify the Arabs with concessions from Israel.

Can the Palestinians make progress toward a state without putting a stop to terror?

Once again, why would the US tolerate this when they themselves are fighting terror. Abu Mazem still does not have sufficient authority to deal with terror nor to make peace. The fact that Mazem and Dahlan are now fair haired boys in the eyes of the US tells me that they are both committed to work toward a deal that is acceptable to the US and maybe to Israel. The US is not buying a pig in a poke.

If there is to be a state, subject to the end of terror, where will the borders be?

There are two competing considerations. First the new borders should result in the least dislocation of people, both Jews and Arabs. Thus many more settlements will be on Israel’s side than what Barak had proposed. The separation wall is presently taking a major detour to the east to include 40,000 settlers in Ariel and surrounding areas as one example.

Second the Arabs need to save face and the borders need to be as close as possible to the ’67 lines. The circle can only be squared if the Arabs are given something in return like an equal amount of land in the south or a concession on Jerusalem. I for one would like the Jerusalem Arabs to not have Israel citizenship ever even if this complicates the resolution of Jerusalem as an issue.

How will Bush solve this problem? If he makes the deal bad for Israel, he will have to stand up to great pressure from the pro-Israel lobby in an election year. On the other hand, Bush wants the Arab countries to make peace with Israel once and for all and to help on the war against terror. That’s his conundrum.

UPDATE from todays JPost after Blair met with Bush
With Blair - who recently has staked out a position as champion of the road map - standing at his side, Bush essentially repeated his prior position on the roadmap.

"Last June 24th I outlined a vision of two states, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security," Bush said at the joint press conference at Camp David. "Soon we will release a road map that is designed to help turn that vision into a reality, and both America and Great Britain are strongly committed to implementing that road map."
Seems to support what I wrote above. Bush reiterated the principles of his June 24th speech.

How can the BBC be impartial between tyranny and democracy?

Barbara Amiel writing in the Daily Telegraph has a way with words
This raises a further difficulty. To be impartial between the Ba'athist dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, the Wahhabi theocracy of Saudi Arabia and the Islamist terror of the late, unlamented Taliban on one hand and Israel, the single functioning democracy of the Middle East and the West on the other is in the same ballpark as being impartial between any of the totalitarian systems of the 20th century and liberal democracy.
And on the question of refusing to call a terrorist a terrorist
Mr Asserson objected to the BBC's refusal to use the word "terrorist" to describe a number of organisations.

Sambrook's reply (on behalf of the BBC) emphasised the need to "rely on neutral language where the political legitimacy of particular actions is hotly and widely contested". He told Mr Asserson that "just as you complain when we do not describe groups such as Hamas as terrorists, pro-Palestinian sources complain that to describe them (as we do) as 'militants' is derogatory and evidence of an anti-Palestine bias".

Sambrook's problem goes beyond the sophistry that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. The BBC expects us to be grateful when it doesn't call terrorists freedom fighters.

But, inadvertently, the BBC has discovered one bit of truth: if you try to use euphemisms such as the BBC's preferred word "militants" for terrorists, the language boomerangs on you. By now weasel words such as "militants" are simply regarded as synonyms for terrorists. Language has this marvellous quality of being hostile to cant.

This will never be discussed on the "impartial" world of the BBC Arabic Service. There, the Director of News appears to believe that objections to its failure to describe people who deliberately blow up civilians in buses as "terrorists" and objections to its describing such people as "militants" carry the same weight and ought to be balanced on some scale of equity known only to the BBC.

And, indeed, such a mindset illustrates the fundamental problem of that organisation better than any argument I can ever make.


French Synagogues are regularly attacked and individual Jews are regularly assaulted. And the French government response? They acknowledge verbal assaults only and pretend a booklet will cure it!

France's education ministry last month launched a campaign to stamp out anti-Semitism and other types of racism in schools. Education Minister Luc Ferry acknowledged that verbal insults are becoming common..... He introduced 10 measures to combat the problem, including the creation of a monitoring committee in Paris, the appointment of a team of mediators for the worst cases and the publication of a booklet

The "worst cases" get only mediation? As Cronaca says: "Apparently protecting the victims and punishing their attackers would be an unacceptably simplistic approach.

But I am sure they will publish a most tasteful booklet! And a monitoring committee in Paris will certainly be good for some long lunches if nothing else.

Just for contrast let us see what Jacques Chirac says about SMOKING in schools:

"I want to insist on one priority: the war on tobacco. The law will be applied without exception, notably in public places. We have got to ensure respect for the principle of tobacco-free schools," the president said.

Summary: You can beat up Jews but don’t DARE smoke!

(Crossposted from Dissecting Leftism)

The PA Leaves it Citizens Behind the Times

On the lighter side of things, here's a short AFP item:
JERUSALEM, March 27 (AFP) - Israel is to move the clocks ahead by one hour,to GMT +3, early Friday, the Interior Ministry said Thursday.

At 1:00 am local time on Friday (2300 GMT Thursday), clocks in Israel will go forward by one hour to enter into daylight-saving time, or summertime.

The West Bank and Gaza Strip, however, will remain in wintertime, GMT +2, until the Palestinian Authority decides to change the clocks. Since the beginning of the first intifada, or Palestinian uprising which started in 1987, the Palestinians have refused to change their clocks at the same time as the Israelis.

Now this is cool.

Despite the War Iraq and the volatile situation in the Middle East, WU-TANG CLAN, one of the world's biggest rap groups, are heading out to tour Israel.

New Addition to the Blog Roll - Blogs Of War

Up to the minute war news.
Check this out!!, a website created to help arm the liberty-loving Silent Majority with ammo -- ammo that strikes at the intellectual solar plexus of the Left.
We Don't Need No Damn Fatwa

Islam (Is Lame) on line writes "U.S. Failed To Get A Fatwa Legalizing War On Iraq". Nuttier then you thought they were.
Is the Saudi funded Islamic Society of North America going down?

I think in time.

BORDEAUX, France Vandals in this southwest Bordeaux torched a replica of the Statue of Liberty and cracked the pedestal of a plaque honoring victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Making Nice to the Quartet
By Gary Rosenblatt - March 26, 2003

"One Israeli official told me not to worry. The U.S., he said, has learned its lesson and will not get burned again on the Mideast situation. "The silver lining for us," he said, "is that Washington is so upset with the EU, UN and Russia that after the war, the Quartet will be finished." "

Want to bet?

Interrogation 101: Israel willing to train U.S. military

JERUSALEM — Israel has offered to train U.S. military and intelligence personnel in the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners of war.

Israeli government sources said the Israeli Security Agency has been authorized by the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to offer training in the interrogation of Arabic-speaking prisoners regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

The United States reports that allied forces have captured more than 4,000 Iraqi soldiers, Middle East Newsline reported. Many of them have surrendered without a fight.

The Israeli offer is meant to train U.S. interrogators to acquire immediate information of both tactical and strategic importance. Currently, the sources said, the U.S. military requires data on Iraqi WMD bunkers and soon interrogators will need information on Saddam's military deployment in Baghdad.

"I can only say that Israel has offered this service and the United States has expressed appreciation," a government source said. "I can't go beyond that."

The training techniques offered to the United States were developed during Israel's Operation Defensive Shield, the capture of Palestinian cities in the West Bank in April 2002. The ISA interviewed thousands of Palestinians during and after the month-long military campaign, which focused on heavy fighting in urban areas.

Israel has offered a range of services and military systems for the U.S.-led against Iraq. This has included the sale of motorized air decoys, unmanned air vehicles, air navigation pods as well as training of U.S. special operations forces in urban warfare.
headlines from DEBKA:
2,500 Lebanese Hizballah volunteers for Saddam’s army are on their way to Baghdad through Syria in a convoy organized by Syrian Army

DEBKAfile reported earlier that a Syrian bus hit by a US missile was part of the flow of Syrian-sponsored volunteers to Baghdad
An Open Letter to Robin Cook

"On March 17 you made the decision to resign from Tony Blair´s government. Your statement on this occasion in the House of Commons was used as a platform to misinform the House and the British public. You stated that you "have heard" that "Iraq has not had months but 12 years in which to complete [compliance with UN resolutions]... Yet it is over 30 years since resolution 242 called on Israel to withdraw from the "occupied territories." This analogy between Iraq and Israel is not only wrong, it is a premeditated attempt to mislead on your part."

Read this entire "open letter" by Yoram Halberstam . It reviews the main reasons for which the notorious "road map"should be understood as yet another immoral attempt to appease those forces which must instead be decisively faught.

British bank firebombed in Ramallah in Iraq war

In addition to the article (see link), there are these importat links and references
(8) Beyond these examples is a deeper, more formal connection:
Intifada" (, the popular pro-Palestinian
website catering to English-speaking audiences, is also the publisher of
the pro-Saddam "Electronic Iraq" (

* * *

HonestReporting salutes news agencies for publishing some of these
reports. In the aggregate, however, while worldwide "peace protests"
continue to receive broad coverage, Palestinian demonstrations have
received far less attention.

HonestReporting encourages members to monitor your local media to ensure
full coverage of Palestinians' pro-Saddam/anti-American activities.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.


Palestinian support for dictators whom Western democracies battle to
uproot is by no means new. Recall:

- The warm brotherhood between Hitler and the most influential
leader, Amin Al Husseini, who lived in Germany during World War Two and
organized Nazi Muslim troops. (see

- The 1991 Gulf War, when Yasser Arafat stood almost alone among world
leaders in supporting Saddam Hussein. (see

- Celebrations throughout the West Bank and Gaza in the wake of
11. (see, and photos at
Failed Experiments

This extract from The New Republic sums up the gist of the Peretz piece as it pertains to the Palestinian and Israeli pot-hole roadmap.
In fact, a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza won't conciliate even the Palestinians. Most of them will still want Israel. Which is why the obsession of the "peace processors" with stopping new Israeli settlements in the contentious territories is largely irrelevant. In the context of a realistic agreement, I'd favor such a cessation (and the withdrawal from some settlements, too). But such an agreement won't emerge until Muslim would-be martyrs stop targeting random Jews. And, besides, what does any of this have to do with Iraq? Israel, after all, does not use biological or chemical weapons, and its wars are wars of defense. If anyone in the conflict has affinities with Saddam, it is the Palestinians. The main difference between the Palestinian leadership and the Iraqi leadership is that the Palestinians don't have a state through which to pursue their frightening ambitions.

The road map is a product of something called the Quartet, a fictional musical group comprising the European Union, the U.N. secretariat, Russia, and the United States. Its sounds are discordant. Everybody save the United States puts the burden on Israel to start the process. But that is not President Bush's view, and it certainly isn't Ariel Sharon's. One of the prerequisites of the futuristic plan is that the Palestinian leadership become more accountable and even democratic. And, under duress, Yasir Arafat has now designated a prime minister, Abu Mazen, with whom Israel is ready to try doing diplomatic business. But only if he has real power, which, as of now, we cannot be sure. In an article in the March 17 Weekly Standard, Robert Satloff notes that no Arab country, with the exception of Lebanon, has a prime minister who means anything. Not one is the leader of a parliamentary majority, not one supervises the army or intelligence service, and not one directs his nation's foreign policy. Maybe Abu Mazen will be the first; I wouldn't bet on it. Unfortunately, Blair already has. After his Azores reunion with Bush, both Blair and the Spanish premier saluted Abu Mazen as if he already held substantial powers. That enthusiasm may turn out to be an embarrassment.

And there is one more problem: The Quartet has no standing with Israel. Neither the Russians nor the Europeans nor Kofi Annan has ever produced a meaningful concession from the Palestinians or from an abutting Arab state. Especially in light of their behavior over Iraq during the last half-year, they should have no standing with us either. What would President Vladimir Putin or Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin actually bring to the Mideast negotiating table? OK, give Tony Blair a seat at the table. He deserves this medal for bravery. But he should be careful about what he says: He is too eager to please, when pleasing also misleads. [note: full article available only by subscription]
Assad: Syria fears becoming next coalition target

Courtesy of Ha'aretz

Syrian President Bashar Assad was quoted in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir Thursday as hinting that Syria expects to be the next target of coalition forces
As long as the state of Israel exists, Assad was quoted as saying, Syria remains threatened. He also said there's no chance that U.S. President George W. Bush's road map would put an end to the Palestinian intifada.

In addition, Assad criticized Arab countries that are trying to stop the violence between Israel and the Palestinians, saying, "There are Arab nations that contribute to the suppression of the intifada even more than Israel itself does."

Assad said a long-promised "roadmap" for an Israeli-Palestinian peace would fail.

"It is like the Mitchell and Tenet plans. All of them are
plans destined for failure because they do not meet the
aspirations and restore the rights of the Palestinian people," Assad said, referring to earlier proposals to end the conflict proposed by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell and CIA Director George Tenet. [more]

Hamas militants challenge Palestinian Authority

Article from Reuters reproduced at GreenScreen News (hence, the URL for entire day) reveals further the growing conflict between PLO and Terror group(s)

JABALYA, Gaza Strip, March 27 (Reuters) - Murals of the Palestinian uprising vie for attention on the shrapnel-scarred walls of refugee camps. Yasser Arafat looms large, but images of a machinegun mounted on a mosque turn more heads.

The murals trumpet the Islamic militant group Hamas, which is flourishing while Arafat's Palestinian Authority is withering in much of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank after two-and-a-half years of conflict with Israel.

A recent poll by independent Palestinian university researchers found Hamas and its smaller radical ally Islamic Jihad are favoured by 34 percent of Palestinians compared to 30 percent for Fatah, the Palestinian president's secular national movement.

Islamists had never topped 20 percent in surveys before the conflict but have risen over the shambles of a Fatah-led Palestinian Authority weakened by Israeli army incursions and discredited by what many Palestinians see as corruption and remoteness.

"Hamas, by stressing its rectitude, fights against Israeli occupation after the failure of Arafat's statehood negotiations with Israel, and its charitable work for the soaring number of Palestinian poor, has gained popularity at the Authority's expense," said Ziad Abu Amr, a Fatah legislator and analyst.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants, sworn to destroying Israel in contrast with Arafat who publicly backs a negotiated "two-state solution," have led a campaign of suicide bombings and guerrilla-style ambushes in pursuit of independence.[more]
And little children shall lead them

This extract illustrates what American marines now confronting. Israel has faced this for years.
[...]Garvin said some of the Iraqi fighters were using women as shields and had given guns to children.

"Unfortunately some of the children have been firing at our Marines and our Marines have been forced to defend themselves," he said.

The wounded appeared to be in addition to 15 Lejeune Marines who have been reported injured during the Iraqi conflict. Eleven Lejeune Marines have died, nine in combat in the An Nasiriyah area and two in accidents.[more]
Friday Sermon on Palestinian Authority Television
The following are excerpts from a Friday sermon which was delivered at the Sheikh 'Ijlin Mosque in Gaza by Palestinian Authority preacher Sheikh Ibrahim Madeiris and was broadcast live on Palestinian Authority TV:(1)
"...Allah drowned Pharaoh and those who were with him. Allah drowns the Pharaohs of every generation. Allah will drown the little Pharaoh, the dwarf, the Pharaoh of all times, of our time, the American President. Allah will drown America in our seas, in our skies, in our land. America will drown and all the oppressors will drown."

"Oh, people of Palestine, Oh, people of Iraq. The Crusader, Zionist America has started an attack against our Iraq, the Iraq of Islam and Arabism, the Iraq of civilization and history. It opened a Crusader Zionist war against Iraq. If Iraq is defeated, if the nation [of Islam] is defeated in Iraq - this will be our last breath of life... It was only natural that America would invade Iraq. When Afghanistan was devoured we said that if Afghanistan would be devoured, Iraq too would be devoured and I warned that if Iraq is devoured, south Lebanon will be devoured too and Syria should also start preparing because the rest of the Arab world fell without war. This is a Zionist Crusader war. It is not I who say this, it was the little Pharaoh [Bush] who announced it when he stated that this was a Crusader attack. Hasn't he said this? I'm amazed at some of the clerics of the nation [of Islam] who cooperate with their [treachery]... I am amazed that they are trying to keep the nation away from Jihad... and they issue Fatwas according to which this war is not against Islam, but against Iraq, as though the people of Iraq are calf worshippers or fire worshippers. Aren't they Muslims?... I am speaking about the people not about the regime..."

"Why Iraq? Why precisely Iraq? Is it because it is in possession of weapons of mass destruction as they claim? No. The U.N. has proven that this claim is not true but despite this America wants to wage war against Iraq. Why Iraq, Oh Muslims? Wake up. You're being attacked because of your religion. Iraq is being attacked for a number of reasons: There are economic and security reasons. There are reasons stemming from personal vendetta, there are historical reasons, and there are religious reasons."

"You all know that America is enduring now an economic crisis that nearly finishes it. Hence it has no choice but to start a war... there should be war in order to raise the American standard of living. Iraq is the only Gulf state whose oil is not controlled by America..."

"And there are personal reasons. You all know about the slap in the face which Iraq gave America at the time of the first invasion, when Iraq gave a knock out [punch] to America, the result of which was that Pharaoh the father [George Bush, Sr.] lost the presidency. This is a mark of shame on this family and therefore Pharaoh the son returned to power in order to take revenge. The only way to remove the shame is to topple down the Iraqi regime..."

"This is also a religious war. What is the connection between Iraq and the Crusaders' wars?"

"Just as Palestine is sacred so is also the land of Iraq, because the Prophet said so..."

"America will be destroyed, Allah willing, and Palestine, Iraq, and the Middle East will become a cemetery for oppressors..."(2)

(1) For videos and transcripts of sermons on Palestinian Authority TV, visit
(2) Palestinian Authority TV, March 21, 2003.
Potholes in the Roadmap

Earlier Fred Lapides commented on Sunday's James Bennett article in the NYT's Week in Review section. There's a lot about the article that calls for comment. Here goes:
The reasoning is that President Bush cannot hope to stabilize the region, much less democratize Arab states, so long as the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians endures as a propaganda tool for the likes of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. After the war with Iraq, Arab leaders will demand that President Bush "prove what he can do for peace," Dennis Ross, the former Clinton administration negotiator, wrote last week in The Wall Street Journal.
First Bennett starts off with the reasoning why President Bush would push the Road Map right now. Then ...
But there is a flaw in all this analysis: The Bush administration has never accepted it. It has never regarded peace between Israelis and Palestinians as a goal as central to American interests as, say, getting rid of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
Now Bennett's saying that Bush doesn't accept the Road Map because he "has never regarded peace between Israelis and Palestinians as a goal as central to American interests." Now Bush has often expressed his support for a Palestinian state so this doesn't quite wash.

Worse than that, Bennett attributes Bush's (and apparently *any*) objection to the Road Map simply in terms of his being unconcerned. There's a better reason, backed up by historical precedent, for saying that American participation in the Quartet's Road Map won't help bring peace in the Middle East: because American support for peace hasn't worked until now.

Go back to 2000. What happened?

1) President Clinton, representing PM Barak went to Geneva offering over 90% of the Golan to the President Hafez Assad of Syria.

2) PM Barak unilaterally withdrew Israeli troops from southern Lebanon.

3) PM Barak offered Arafat over 90% of the land Arafat demanded at Camp David.

What were the results?

1) Assad went to his grave refusing the Israeli offer.

2) Hezbollah still maintains a hostile posture towards Israel and claims (along with the Arab League) that Israel still occupies Lebanon.

3) Arafat refused the offer and two months later launched a new intifada.

Since the United States backed two of these efforts we can hardly say that American involvement was missing. The problem is that the Arab world refuses to change. Refuses to accept 1948.

Bennett continues:
The administration clearly recognizes there is a problem here, and it may truly want to help. But with rebuilding Iraq, confronting North Korea and addressing the American economy already on its agenda, this conflict may never rise to the level of a top priority, certainly not enough of one to justify the political risks involved in dragging the antagonists along the route outlined by the road
map — particularly during the coming presidential election year.

It would be much easier, some experts say, for the White House simply to create the impression that it is trying.

"You have a whole menu of diplomatic activity that doesn't force you to take political risks," said Robert Malley, a former Clinton negotiator who is the Middle East program director of the International Crisis Group, a non-governmental conflict prevention organization. "You don't have to look too far to find the pieces that will fill the diplomatic vacuum that Blair and others
have been complaining about."

For example, he said, "an international conference would be seen by Arab countries as a major step, even if didn't change that much" on the ground. Such a move, he said, would eat up time and score the administration political points, without risking a confrontation with Israel.
Now we're getting the real story. The problem are the political risks involved with pursuing peace. What might those risks be? Ah, I have it "...a confrontation with Israel." Left unsaid, of course, is that risk comes from the all powerful Jewish lobby that is well known to oppose peace. (Actually, we elders of Zion, oppose stupid risks that are unlikely to bring peace.) And quoting Malley without identifying him as the person who rewrote the history of Camp David (ie Barak wasn't really as generous as portrayed, all parties - including the US and Israel - were at fault for botching Camp David) is negligent.
The fundamental question is whether the two sides are expected to make their concessions at the same time or in sequence.

The plan now calls for action "in parallel," including, for example, an immediate halt to incitement by both sides. As the Palestinians crack down on violence, the Israelis are supposed to stop all punitive demolition of Palestinian homes and dismantle all settlement outposts built in the last two years.

In addressing the United Nations Security Council recently, Terje Roed-Larsen, the special envoy here, called parallelism "a key guiding principle" of the new plan.

"Critically, and as we have seen so many times, no cease-fire can take hold without also simultaneously addressing political progress and the economic suffering," he said.

But Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says the Palestinians must act first.
This is the core of the problem. Arafat took upon himself the obligation to fight and prevent terror. He has never done this completely. Even when his security forces were more involved in stopping Hamas and Islamic Jihad, his schools were teaching hatred and his channels were broadcasting it. To condition the PA's obligation on any Israeli behavior at all is to make a mockery of the idea of peace. The whole peace process was predicated on Arafat's supposed change. To say Israel is now obligated to withdraw from any area in return for Arafat (or the PA) fulfilling the premise of the whole process is to condone the past ten years of PA sponsored and incited terror. It's the reporters job to provide context and Bennett, again, has come up woefully short. Worse, in order to buttress the faulty premise he quotes Roed-Larsen - who in Bennett's mind and the mind of many diplomats is an unbiased referee but in reality is a pro-Palestinian agitator who helped promote the blood libel of a Jenin massacre last year - along with Roed-Larsen's rationale. In contrast he mentions PM Sharon but provides no reason. Clearly Bennett is taking sides and not offering a balanced analysis.
For example, the Bush administration has repeatedly called for Yasir Arafat to be sidelined. It largely left it to its Quartet allies and the Palestinians to make that happen — and last week, they achieved the appointment of the Americans' candidate, Mahmoud Abbas, to the new position of prime minister. It is still not clear how much authority Mr. Abbas will have.

Then, on Thursday, Palestinian security forces killed a Hamas militant in a renewed campaign to stop Hamas rocket fire at Israel.

"You see the little magnets getting in line with the new American power grid," said Dr. Eran Lerman, director of the Israel-Middle East office of the American Jewish Committee.
While I don't know that Abbas was the American's choice, Bennett makes no mention of any reason he might be controversial - like his Holocaust denial, his support of murdering Jewish civilians in Judea, Samaria and Azza, or his role in financing the Olympic massacre 31 years ago. Still even if we accept that this is a positive change and look at it along with the PA's action against the Hamas rocket launchers, did these things happen because of concessions or because America and Israel were steadfast in demanding change? Take the pressure off the PA and the situation will deteriorate again. Stand firm and maybe the PA will realize it has to change or be relegated to oblivion. Only the thoughts of irrelevance will force the PA to act in good faith. Incidentally, Dr. Lerman has written a number of good articles for the Jerusalem Post; I wonder if this is a full quote from him.

Cross Posted at David's Israel Blog and IsraPundit.

March 26, 2003

Take the trouble to show your support for America and its troops.

It takes 10 seconds to go to this site and sign the petition.

The compiled list of names will be sent out to our soldiers at the end of the month. So far, there are only about 3.2 million names .. from a national population of over 250 million. What a shame. The entire exercise takes 10 seconds...literally. Please pass it on to your e-mail friends.

Report: Anti-Semitic Acts Up on Campuses

An ADLreport in the Washington Post
A new report from the Anti-Defamation League says anger over the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians caused a jump in anti-Semitic incidents last year in the United States, particularly on college campuses.

An annual audit by the New York-based ADL found 106 acts of anti-Semitism on campuses in 2002, a 24 percent increase from the 85 a year before. The total number of anti-Jewish incidents increased by 8 percent, from 1,432 in 2001 to 1,559 last year.

The ADL said the anti-Semitism acts on campuses included name-calling and damage to buildings housing Jewish fraternal organizations. Anti-Israel rallies that didn't lead to overt episodes of anti-Semitism were not included in the audit.

"The unfortunate irony is that you would hope and believe that on a college campus the exchange of ideas would be tolerant and people would listen to other people," said Abraham Foxman, the national director of the ADL, which works to combat anti-Semitism[more]
Teach Your Children Well

Here are two pictures from the AP of Arab children with the captions provided. Is it hard to figure from which area the children are going to have more of a future.

"A Palestinian girl holds a toy gun next to Iraqi flags during a march in Beit Hanoun in the Gaza strip (news - web sites) Tuesday March 25, 2003 in protest against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq (news - web sites). (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo) "

"A yound boy is all smiles after receiving water from US and British Civil Affairs troops in Umm Qsar, Iraq (news - web sites) Wednesday March 26, 2003. The water came from Kuwait in tankers. (AP Photo/The Times/Simon Walker,Pool) "

Does the little girl in the first picture realize that she is protesting to protect the situation which will cause the boy to have a life bereft of smiles? The little girl's people were provided with freedom and an offer of their own state. Their insurmountable hatred for Jews and the Jews' right to a homeland has created a situation in which this little girl and her people do not value freedom or know it and seek to prevent the smiling boy from knowing it.
Palestinians Shoot Blanks, part 2
The New York Times SUCKS, part 2,179

The nyt reports in a story entitle ''Israeli Troops Kill 3 Gunmen and 2 Children in the West Bank":
In Bethlehem, the plainclothes Israeli forces had just arrived to search for militants from the Hamas movement when they came under fire and shot back, a military source said.

Three gunmen in the car were killed, the source said. But soldiers also hit four family members in a second car that drove into the middle of the shootout.

A 10-year-old girl was killed, while her parents and a teenage sister were wounded, Palestinian witnesses said. The girl's father was in serious condition with a neck wound, while her mother and sister were slightly wounded, according to Hadassah Hospital in nearby Jerusalem.

So lets go over this. The Arabs start shooting at the Israelis. The Israelis shot back. A car drove into the middle of the shoot out. Four people in the car were hit by bullets from the shootout. They were only hit by Jew bullets. The witnesses, possessing bionic eyesite and no animosity to Israel, were able to definitively determine that it was Jew bullets that hit their people.

Notice that in nyt reports, whenever there is collateral injuries during a shootout it is always attributed to the Israelis. Why is this? Because Palestinians shoot blanks.

Who's Smarter?

by Cindy Osborne

The Hollywood group is at it again. Holding anti-war rallies, screaming about the Bush Administration, running ads in major newspapers, defaming the President and his Cabinet every chance they get, to anyone and everyone who will listen. They publicly defile them and call them names like "stupid", "morons", and "idiots". Jessica Lange went so far as to tell a crowd in Spain that she hates President Bush and is embarrassed to be an American.

So, just how ignorant are these people who are running the country? Let's look at the biographies of these "stupid", "ignorant", "moronic" leaders, and then at the celebrities who are castigating them... Keep reading.

Free Iraq, Screw Israel

So as penance for liberating Iraq, the West will now create a Palestinian terrorist state. We free a people, the only free people of 22 arab countries and to apologize we punish the Jews. The Brits are really and truly full of crap on the Israel issue. The fact they link to two together demonstrates and overbearing dislike of Israel. Perhaps they are still smarting from the creation of the State of Israel which was against their will and contrary to their efforts. Someone should really fisk these brit shit quotes.

My view - the correct view- is that the West's pandering to the arabs on the Israel issue has empowered the arabs into thinking that the west is self destructive (willing to destroy a western outpost, Israel) and therefore could be pushed around and treated petulantly.

2. The Coalition should drop food appropriately labelled food and water packs over Iraqi cities

3. One more piece of the war plan. We should knock out Iraq TV then put our own look alike up on the air with a fuzzy picture saying that his family has been killed, the regime is in ruins, etc., and that he has agreed to go into exile and has agreed to surrender so everyone should immediately put down their arms etc. Allah Akba, etc.

Islam is a weapon of mass-murder

.. that we cannot pretend is not a clear and present danger in it of itself.

Second Serviceman Dies From Grenade Attack

Sgt. Asan Akbar is in custody in the attack. He was shipped to a military jail in Germany on Tuesday after a judge found probable cause to try him for the crime. Akbar, an American Muslim who told family members he was wary of going to war in Iraq, has not been charged.

"My son died to allow the guy who killed him to believe what he believed," his father, Richard Stone of Riggins, Idaho, told television station KIVI.

Eugene Fidell, a Washington lawyer and founder of the National Institute of Military Justice, said the crime could warrant the death penalty, which is rare in the military.

There are six people on the military's death row, but there have been no military executions since 1961.

"End of Occupation" But what the Palestinians actually mean is "End of Israel".
Muslim cleric guilty of soliciting murder

Remember this crazy? UPI sums up his trial
LONDON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The first Muslim cleric to face trial in a British criminal court has been convicted of soliciting the murder of "non-believers," including Jews, Hindus and Americans.

A jury at London's Old Bailey court also found Abdullah el Faisal guilty of racial hatred in a series of sermons against non-Muslims that he preached on videotapes and in personal appearances around the country.

El Faisal faces sentencing March 7 and faces a maximum term of life imprisonment on the soliciting to murder charge. Government authorities also said he is likely to be deported to his native Jamaica -- where he was born 39 years ago as William Forest -- after his sentence.

The case marked the first time in more than a century that anyone had been charged under Britain's 1861 Offenses Against the Person Act of soliciting murder without a specific victim.

The bearded cleric pleaded not guilty to a total of nine charges, claiming his words had been "misrepresented." But Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorism branch, said Britain's Muslim community was "appalled by his lectures, which were deliberately targeted at impressionable young people."

During his trial, video tapes were played showing el Faisal urging teenaged Muslim boys to train with AK47 Kalashnikov assault rifles, told them they should prepare from age 15 to sacrifice their lives for jihad -- "holy war" -- and promised each of them 72 virgins in paradise if they died as religious martyrs.

In the tapes, he insisted that "every Muslim hates the unbeliever" and that "we want to see their extermination. One of the truths about Islam is that Allah said 'Kill them.' You can use anything -- even chemical weapons."

El Faisal said Jews "are rotten to the core" and "should be killed very soon, as by Hitler." He added that: "if you see a Hindu walking down the road, you are allowed to kill him and take his money."[more]