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

May 24, 2003

A brief comment about the RoachMap

In a write-up about the two-faced game that State is playing, AP writes today [24 May 2003] under the heading, Sharon Faces Challenge Selling 'Road Map':
Washington sent seemingly conflicting messages Friday to break the diplomatic deadlock, assuring Palestinians there would be no changes in the plan but also announcing that Israel's objections would be taken into account.
There is a Latin saying about those who conduct themselves in the manner Powell is behaving. It goes,

Video meliora, proboque, deteriora sequor.

Translated (whereupon the punch is diluted): "I see the better course and approve of it, yet I pursue the worst". The Romans must have known Powell.


Pastor J. Grant Swank, Jr., a prolific author of books and articles, sends us this article which we are happy to pass along to you.
Anti-tank explosive bang-big! slashes into Israeli bus on its jaunt from Karni to Netzarim today, Friday. Close to Rafah, border officials blow up 30-kil bomb in a controlled explosion setting. Nine Israelis are injured in the bus explosion, according to DEBKAfile.

Is this why Sharon and Cabinet are hesitant about signing onto the roadmap? It's full of holes and land mines and Palestinian militants hiding out in the pits.

A home in Hebron is guarded by Israeli militia to force out a known terrorist hooked up with the captured Egyptian boat. On board was the Hizballah bomb expert traveling toward to the Gaza Strip.

Is this why Israelis are not willing to pick up pen to sign on to present Middle East peace plans?

The roadmap demands that both sides lay down arms at the same time. Each balks. No wonder. Israel lays down its arms and the terrorists from Arafat's board room lunge forth for the last push of Jews into the Sea. Eh?

The Israeli navy this week got hold of a boat hiding Hizballah terrorists who were headed for big time blow-up trouble in Israel, all under orders from none other than Arafat-the-irrelevant, tee-hee.

Onboard that vessel was Hamad Amara, explosive expert for the Palestinians. He was carrying the formula for secret big-time tank-blow-up explosives. He was on his way to give them, with specific instructions, to Fatah, Hamas and Jihad Islamic militants in Gaza Strip.

The whole affair was overseen by deputy Palestinian navy commander Fathi Razem and Palestinian Authority procurements director Adel el Mughrabi. These were getting their cues from none other than, guess who, Mr. Arafat himself.

No wonder then that Israel will not agree to a 2005 date for Palestinian State realization. Israel will push for that date to be conditional, of course. The condition is that Palestinian terrorists are no more.

And as the world knows from Middle East this-n-that since May 14, 1948, a lot lot lot can happen between now and the year 2005. For sure. Israel is no fool, thank God.

June 1st protest in Central Park

Over 25,000 people are expected to gather in New York's Central Park to protest the US Mid-East road map proposal.

The demonstration is being coordinated by The Israel Concert in The Park Committee and the National Council of Young Israel.

The protest, which urges President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon to "say no to a PLO terror state"is scheduled for June 1 at 3 p.m.

Ronn Torossian, spokesperson for the demonstration, told the Jerusalem Post that the program will be dedicated to the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Torossian stated that honorary guests will include a number of New York elected officials and
leaders of the American Jewish community.

"As New Yorkers, we feel the need to stand up and let the world know on the 55th year of the Anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel that we will not sit silent as the Jewish homeland is in danger," said Dr. Joseph Frager, organizer of The Israel Concert in the Park.

I am hoping this conversation takes place.

I just received a copy of the McGill Report in which Douglas McGill imagines what George W Bush would like to say to the Saudis. It makes for great reading. Here's a couple of paragraphs,
"My fellow Americans, thank God we won in Iraq, because at long last we can begin to extricate ourselves from our lose-lose, co-dependent, morally degrading, and mutually destructive relationship with Saudi Arabia.

"How I hate those photo-op sessions with the Saudi royals. I have to clench my teeth and smile every time, because I know what they're really doing. They're using their billions in oil profits to protect and prolong their corrupt regime. They spend hundreds of millions each year to keep every member of the extended royal Saud family docile in their palaces and their yachts, instead of scheming to take down King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah. MORE

The Roadmap is a reward for terrorism

Reject it.

In a statement, Sharon said, "in view of the U.S. promise" to address Israel's concerns, "we are prepared to accept the steps set out in the road map."

All else is spin. Since this historic “agreement “ between Bush and Sharon, there has been a blizzard of propaganda, spin, and expressions of confidence that Israel would accept, all making it more difficult for Israel to refuse.

Nevertheless, Israel should not accept the Roadmap. Even accepting “the steps set out in the road map” is bad enough. What’s the difference?

The road map essentially is a document that is unfair to Israel and is being imposed on it to strengthen the Palestinian side of the negotiations. The Palestinians were at a great disadvantage in Oslo because they had no bargaining strength and couldn’t get what they wanted. As in labour strife, there always is an option for a strike or arbitration. Having given up the right to strike (violence) and not having the right to ask for arbitration, they opted to break the agreement after they got what they could, and resort to violence.

The road map makes the Quartet the arbitrator and guarantees the Palestinians, not only a state, which Oslo didn’t do, but one that is” viable and sovereign” . I am sure we will hear more about the significance of these words when Israel wants the state to be demilitarized or when the Palestinians want to be guaranteed the right to work in Israel or to there fair share of water. As their population increases faster than Israel’s, they will demand more and more water. This is what they get for giving up violence as a tool or at least saying they give it up. In Oslo, Israel was not committed to offering them a state.

So that is their first reward for terrorism.

The road map gives them two more things without the need to negotiate for them. One, Israel must immediately abandon illegal outposts and stop settlement activity. This is a huge imposition on Israel who wasn’t allowed to negotiate whether they would do it or on what terms. Keep in mind that the growth of settlements and the creation of facts on the ground was the only thing putting real pressure on the Palestinians to make a deal sooner rather than later. Two, the settlement of final borders has to take into account the Saudi Initiative which required ’67 borders, albeit with freely negotiated exchanges of equal value. Once more this is a huge concession being forced on Israel.

In other words two more rewards for terrorism.

Now there may be salvation in accepting the “steps set out” rather than the road map itself. It depends on your definition of steps. If that means “stages”, Israel can live with that even though the last stage is a Palestinian state. Such a limited acceptance keeps Israel free of the implications of the Saudi initiative and other parameters of the map and also of the power of the Quartet. But as I said it all depends if there is such a distinction and it accepts on the steps.

Israel has every right to reject this road map even with the assurances they received. It has every right to demand that the terms of the roadmap be negotiated. They shouldn’t be cowed by the “blizzard” above referred to. The worse that can happen is that Bush will be unhappy and the deal will have to be bettered for Israel.

The New York Times today in an article by Bennett entitled
Sharon Gives Plan for Mideast Peace Qualified Support picks up on the distinction.
The language in Mr. Sharon's announcement — explicitly accepting the "steps" of the plan, not the plan itself or its goals — was no accident, his allies said. Rather than the swift resolution of all disputes sought by the plan, Mr. Sharon wants a long-term "interim solution" before full Palestinian statehood, arguing that it will take many years for the two peoples to learn to live together peacefully.

Men at Work: Update

Over the last few days, IsraPundit has been under construction, in an attempt to speed up loading. By now, you should be able to load the current page within less than 30 seconds.

We are still experiencing problems in retrieving archived articles and linked articles.

We would appreciate readers' feedback on the technical matters noted, especially with regard to load time: has it improved, is it satisfactory, etc. If you write in with this info, please specify the type of connection (56K modem, cable, etc.). Contact me at

Special thanks to our colleague and contributor MICHAEL GLAZER on whose shoulders the burden lies.

Lest we forget

Personalizing the tragedy

Two and a half years ago lethal terror fueled by blind hatred was unleashed upon our people in this sparsely populated region of Northeastern Israel. After the past several weeks of relative calm we thought that the worst was behind us. This illusion was cruelly shattered.

Two dedicated and experienced surgeons; Dr. Doron Koppleman and Dr. Shmuel Yurfost, had worked together in Ha'Emek Medical Center's Surgical 'B' Department since the beginning of the intifada. Together with the accomplished physicians in Ha'Emek's Surgical 'A' Department (led by chief surgeon Dr. Yoel Syphon), as a team they saved countless lives and operated on many of the more than 700 victims who were senselessly struck down. Passing below their skilled hands on the operating tables have been innocent Jews and Arabs, women, children, men, soldiers, the elderly and even some terrorists. Beneath the sterile sheets all humanity is equal and our surgeon's mission in life is to heal.

Yesterday at noon Dr. Koppleman and Dr. Yurfost sat together planning the next day's surgeries. They parted with a handshake, a smile and an Israeli nod of the head. A few hours later, Dr. Yurfost himself was seriously wounded when another suicide murderer blew herself up at the entrance to a shopping mall in Afula - killing 3 and injuring scores of others. When the 48-year-old soft-spoken physician arrived in Ha'Emek's Emergency Room, covered in his own blood, nobody at first even recognized him. Only when he spoke and asked about his eyes did the horrible reality become apparent. Our beloved surgeon lost one eye and the fate of his other eye is in question.

His colleague and friend, Dr. Koppleman, was aware of the ensuing tragedy when he was operating on the young woman security guard who blocked the path of the murderer. For the next eleven hours Dr. Koppleman struggled to mend her broken body, working through the tears, tears for Dr.Yurfost, for the young woman and for our people.

She Knew What Questions to Ask

Ha'Emek Medical Center, Israel's Hospital of Peace, is still reeling from yet another terror atrocity what we have come to refer to as mass-casualty events. Yesterday afternoon a suicide killer struck at the entrance to Afula's shopping mall, taking with her 3 innocent lives and sending more than 70 injured to our hospital. One of the most critically injured was Hadar Gitlin, the 21-year-old female security guard who blocked the terrorist's path with her own body at the entrance to the mall. This is her story, as told to me by her mother.

It was Hadar's second day at her new job as a security guard. Having recently joined the swelling ranks of the unemployed, the young woman could not bear the thought of sitting at home doing nothing. The company responsible for the mall's security needed women as well as men and Hadar eagerly took the job. Her mother, Sarah, suggested that she look for something less threatening, but Hadar was confident and enthusiastic to work.

Hadar responsibly closed her mobile phone during work hours and she was to finish her shift at 16:00. When Sarah could not reach her earlier that day, she left Hadar a message saying that their car was parked close by and for her to drive it home. Hadar was to be relieved at 16:00 by another guard, but due to an unforeseen delay she needed to stay on for a while longer. At 17:00 the terrorist struck.

At 17:10 her mother heard on television the first report about an attack in Afula. Knowing that Hadar finished work at 16:00 she was not particularly worried. When there was no answer on her daughter's mobile phone she was sure that was due to weak batteries and that Hadar was on her way home. They live about twenty minutes from Afula. When at 18:00. Sarah had still not heard from her daughter, she asked a friend to see if their car was still parked in Afula. It was and just after that they heard on the radio that a female security guard was killed in the attack.

Mother and father were then together and desperately seeking information at the scene of the bombing. The special police task force set up at the mall had no definitive facts and someone then told them that they heard that 'a woman' had been rushed to Rambam hospital in Haifa. When they spoke with Rambam by phone they were told that their daughter was not there. That is when they came to Ha'Emek to face their fate.

A social worker accompanied the distraught parents to a private room and showed them a ring that was taken from a female victim who was the in surgery. It looked familiar but they could not be sure. Any identifying clothing or papers did not survive the blast. At 19:00 a friend escorted them to the waiting area outside the operating room and volunteered to go in and see if Hadar was there. When the chief surgeon, Dr. Doron Koppleman, heard that the parents had arrived he immediately went out to speak with them.

During the next 10 hours of surgery, Dr. Koppleman periodically came out to update Sarah and her husband as to Hadar's condition. Her mother seemed to know exactly what questions to ask and focused on the most critical aspects of her daughter's health. They trusted and believed in the gray haired surgeon with warm sympathetic eyes.

At 05:00 this morning with the highly complex operation completed, a tired Dr. Koppleman sat with them in the corridor. Hadar's condition was critical and she was on her way to our Intensive Care Unit. He was curious to know how Hadar's mother knew what questions to ask. Her unemotional answer was, "In 1995 Hadar's older sister, Mor, was critically wounded in the devastating double terrorist bombing at the Beit Lid intersection. You see, doctor, I've been here before".

Larry Rich, Ha'Emek Medical Center

Acceptance of Roadmap or of steps in Roadmap

Fog, smoke and mirrors

Many of us have written about the many faults of the Roadmap including its destination, (Palestine), its implementation, (Arafat will police Arafat), and its monitors, (no friends of Israel), and its premises, (the Saudi Initiative). Now its time to address the mechanism for making it acceptable.

The apparent deal between Bush and Sharon appears to be an amendment that is not an amendment and an agreement where there is no agreement. The Roadmap is beyond repair.

Dr Aaron Lerner of IMRA calls it a black day refering to Sunday when the Israeli Cabinet will be asked to approve it. His remarks are worth reading.

May 23, 2003

Wishful thinking Times?

According to the New York Times:
Mr. Sharon has told the Bush administration that he cannot take several of the steps the Americans want, particularly on endorsing the plan, without provoking a cabinet crisis. Many cabinet members are conservative opponents of anything that would create a Palestinian state.

A diplomat knowledgeable about the negotiations said some in the Bush administration think that it would be better for Mr. Sharon's cabinet to break apart so that he could then form a unity government with the Labor Party.
Of course the Times doesn't report if those hoping for a national unity government are senior officials or simply State Department professionals who consider the road map to be progress. However the Washington Post gave a slightly different view of things...
In an effort to avoid a deadlock in the Middle East peace process, the Bush administration has acceded to Israel's demands that a U.S.-backed peace plan be subjected to significant revisions as it is implemented, a move that quickly brought a public acceptance of the plan's broad outlines by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

In winning Sharon's support, the administration relented on its insistence of no changes in the peace plan, known as the "road map." The White House issued a statement today by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice saying the United States recognizes Israel's concerns and will seek to address them.

"The roadmap was presented to the Government of Israel with a request from the President that it respond with contributions to this document to advance true peace," Powell and Rice said. "The United States Government received a response from the Government of Israel, explaining its significant concerns about the roadmap.
Whereas the NY Times has it that the administration - or unnamed officials - wish to see a more pliant Israeli government; the Washington Post reports that the admistration is willing to consider the Sharon government's objections in order to keep the road map. I realize that these two views are not necessarily incompatible. But the emphasis of the Times article is telling.

Maybe I'm not being generous to the Times, accounts of the cabinet decision have Sharon saying that it was necessary to accept the road map in order to avoid friction with Washington.
Cross posted on the IsraPundit and David's Israel Blog
Where's the Muslim Debate?

Some Muslim groups in the U.S. have launched a campaign to block the appointment of Daniel Pipes to the board of the United States Institute of Peace. The USIP is a taxpayer-funded institution with a mandate to promote "peaceful resolutions of international conflicts." Mr. Pipes, a Bush administration nominee, is a scholar of Islam and the Middle East and an outspoken critic of militant Islamists.

Although the Washington Post, among others, has editorialized against his appointment, the controversy should be seen in the context of the civil war of ideas in the Muslim world -- between those who wish to reconcile adherence to their faith with modernity and those seeking the restoration of a mythical glorious past. The Pipes nomination has become a test of strength for those Islamists who wish to paint the war against terrorism as a war against Islam. If they can rally American Muslims to their cause, they would be able to limit the scope of debate about Islamic issues within parameters set by them. That objective doesn't serve the interests of the U.S. or of Muslims.

Many Islamic revivalists, or Islamists, have turned to terrorism in an effort to destroy the West's military, economic, cultural and technological domination. Above all, they resent and resist the free flow of ideas within the Muslim community and with the West. In dealing with terrorism, the U.S. cannot afford to ignore the ideas -- and the lack of openness in Muslim discourse -- that generate terrorist thinking. While his detractors label Mr. Pipes an "Islamophobe," the tussle is less about Daniel Pipes and more about the terms on which the U.S. should engage the world's Muslims, including many American citizens. Mr. Pipes is probably not always right in all his arguments. As a Muslim, I disagree with several of his policy prescriptions. But his views are neither racist nor extremist; they fall within the bounds of legitimate scholarly debate.

Muslims have suffered a great deal from their tendency to shun discussion of ideas, especially those relating to history and religion and their impact on politics. Hard-liners won't tolerate questioning of their views that Islam has nothing to learn from "unbelievers" or that Muslims have a right to subdue other faiths, by force if necessary. The notion of an Islamic polity and state -- supported by extremists, questioned by moderates -- is also an issue which must be aired. Promoting such debate should be an essential element of U.S. engagement with the Islamic world. That objective is better served by including and debating the ideas of intellectuals such as Mr. Pipes than by attacking them.

Americans are keen to understand why some people hate them enough to want to fly planes into buildings and blow themselves up while trying to kill civilians. But similar introspection is missing among Muslims. Shouldn't they be asking themselves why it's difficult for them to criticize terrorism without fearing that they'll be labeled anti-Islamic? Just as the U.S. needs to understand why Muslims resent its power, Muslims must figure out why they cannot win America's trust and respect.

Islam's external enemies, and their real and perceived conspiracies, are the focus of most discourse in the Muslim world. Colonial rule and, since then, injustices meted out to Muslims under non-Muslim occupation in several countries are real issues that need to be addressed. But the failure of Muslim societies -- in particular the leaders -- to embrace education, expand economies or to innovate cannot be attributed solely to outside factors. The root causes also lie in the fear of some Muslims to embrace reasoned debate and intellectual exchange, lest this openness somehow dilute the purity of their beliefs.

The campaign against Mr. Pipes is an example of this tendency to scuttle discussion. Muslims who disagree with his views should respond to him with arguments of their own. Slandering him might help polarize secular and Islamist Muslims, but it won't raise the level of discourse about Islamic issues. It's time for Muslim leaders in the U.S. to break the pattern of agitation that has characterized Muslim responses to the West.

The Center for Security Policy will begin running television advertisements starting with the FoxNews Sunday program this weekend urging that an end to Palestinian violence be a precondition to U.S. recognition of a Palestinian state. This is, of course, precisely what President Bush had in mind when he unveiled his vision for Mideast peace on 24 June 2002. On that occasion, he declared: "The United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure." (Emphasis added.)

Unfortunately, this eminently sensible precondition was not part of the so-called "Roadmap" Mr. Bush was induced to adopt at the urging of four entities with long records of hostility towards Israel -- the United Nations, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the U.S. State Department. That plan, formally presented to the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority on 1 May, would establish by the end of 2003 "provisional boundaries for a Palestinian State" -- whether or not its leaders had "engage[d] in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle[d] their infrastructure"!

The Center's ad campaign is especially timely in light of developments today. Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice issued an unusual joint statement announcing that, in light of "significant concerns" the Israeli government has expressed about the Roadmap, "the United States shares the view of the Government of Israel that these are real concerns, and will address them fully and seriously in the implementation of the Roadmap to fulfill the President's vision of June 24, 2002."

A similar message was evidently imparted by President Bush himself in a phone conversation to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Apparently moved by these assurances, Mr. Sharon said, according to the New York Times web-site, that "he was 'prepared to accept' the Road map...and would present it to his cabinet for approval on Sunday." The Times made clear the Bush Administration's view that "The carefully worded [Powell-Rice] statement is a result of a negotiated agreement [between the Israelis and] Washington and is considered a significant step forward in the Middle East peace effort."

In the wake of these developments, Center President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. observed: "It is hard to believe that Prime Minister Sharon would embrace this clearly defective Roadmap in the absence of an explicit commitment from the President to change its central defect - the elimination of Mr. Bush's visionary precondition of an end to terror before a Palestinian state could be recognized. Yet, it would appear that he has done so under intense U.S. pressure since the New York Times reports that Secretary of State Powell insisted in Paris today that, notwithstanding his joint statement with Dr. Rice and the President's promises to Mr. Sharon, 'This does not require us to change the road map.'"

Gaffney added: "The Center for Security believes that the Roadmap does need to be changed - to ensure that it conforms with the President's stated vision for peace in the Mideast and, more importantly, to give it any hope of actually advancing that goal. The Center's television ads will point out the inconsistency between what Mr. Bush seeks and what is being done in his name so as to prevent this Roadmap from becoming a formula for an assisted suicide for the Jewish State, and a disaster for vital American interests in Israel's survival as a secure and self-reliant strategic outpost for freedom."

A contribution to the PR debate, by Celia

In connection with our debate on Israel's PR (see articles posted on Tursday and today), I received the submission below by e-mail. The letter is particular important because it highlights one of the major problems with pro-Israel advocacy: Israel fails to make her principal arguments known. The fate of the Jewish people who fled Arab lands should never have left the consciousness of people, and the same can be said for hundreds of similar points, big and small. Just the other day Israel captured yet another arms ship - the item has disappeared from the news even before it was reported; and who remembers the Karine A, or the sister-ship that was caught after the Karine A, as reported by ha'Aretz on May 17, 2002?

And now, Celia's letter:

I do feel that Israel has allowed the Palestinians to set the agenda and dictate the terminology of the conflict. The only way we will get out of this box is by shifting the focus to the plight of the Jews from Arab countries. This issue is hardly raised at all by Israel advocates. The following three main myths, peddled by the left and Palestinian sympathisers, can be quite easily exploded with reference to the plight of the Jews from Arab lands.

MYTH 1. That Israel is a state overwhelmingly made up of European and American Jews who moved into Palestine and displaced Middle Eastern natives.

The truth:

*More than half Israel's Jewish population are refugees from the Arab world and their descendants.

*Israel absorbed a number of Jewish refugees equal to, or in excess of, the Pal refugees. Some 900,000 refugees in all never received international recognition; nor did they get any compensation for their confiscated property. The Jewish refugees were displaced, not by war, but by a deliberate policy of harassment, intimidation and persecution.

*The Jews are the authentic natives of the Middle East, some communities going back 2,500 years. The Arabs are the interlopers, conquering the region as late as the 7th century. The loss of the Jews' rich heritage is immeasurable. Until their expulsion they made a huge contribution to the Arab world, culturally, economically and to scholarship.

*The 'right of return' for Palestinian refugees can only be considered in the context of the rights of the Jewish refugees. Since these Jews have no desire to return to despotisms where they were oppressed, the Palestinian demand is a non-starter. The world must recognise that what took place was an exchange of refugee
populations, as has taken place in countless other conflict situations.

MYTH 2. Historically Jews were well-treated in the Arab world. The current Arab hostility stems from the current conflict.

The truth:

*Although the Ottoman empire welcomed the Jews and many flourished in a tolerant atmosphere, there were sporadic outbreaks of violence against the Jews. Many regimes sympathised with the Nazis and consequently mistreated their Jews. For instance, a Nazi-inspired riot in 1941 against the Jews of Baghdad resulted in the deaths of 169 Jews.

*However successful the Jews were always 'dhimmi' - second class citizens before Islamic law. They were at the mercy of their rulers.

MYTH 3. Israel derives its moral legitimacy solely from the European persecution of the Jews, namely the Holocaust. The Arabs have been 'made to pay the price' for European antisemitism because Israel was created 'at their expense'.

The truth:

*Israel is just as much a by-product of Arab persecution. (Arguably, such is the treatment of ethnic and religious minorities in Muslim Arab states since they achieved independence, that, even without the conflict over Israel, the Jews would sooner or later have been driven out). Arab antisemitism has as much created the need for a haven for the Jews as has European antisemitism. The Arabs must face up to their responsibilities towards their Jews and admit that their appalling treatment of their Jews has created the need for a Jewish haven. It is entirely natural for this Jewish haven to be in the Middle East where the Jews have always lived.

Conclusion: The real tragedy or 'Naqba' of the Middle East is the 'ethnic cleansing' of the Arab world of its Jews.

Virtual March On The White House

The National Unity Coalition for Israel has launched a campaign to stop the current course of the so-called roadmap.


1. Read the press release below.

2. Send a fax (or letter or email) to President Bush expressing your views on the "road map". Israel should not be asked to take any steps that compromise its security in any way until the Palestinian Authority has taken at least two concrete steps: (1) disarmed and arrested Palestinian Arab terrorists and (2) ended incitement to violence against Israelis, Jews, and Americans.

A "cease fire", which only allows terrorists to prepare for future attacks and can be reversed at any time, is totally inadequate. Under Oslo, Israel undertook concrete steps and got only violence in return. This mistake must not be repeated.

President George W. Bush
Fax: 202-456-2461, 202-456-2883
Voice: 202-456-1111 (comments, M-F, 9 AM - 5 PM) 202-456-1414 (switchboard)

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500


President Bush, Please Stop the Road Map!


A Virtual March On The White House - A Grassroots Blitz to Washington

The National Unity Coalition for Israel announced on Sunday, May 18, 2003, at an Interfaith Zionist Summit in Washington, D.C., A Virtual March on the White House. At the Summit, organized by Zionist House and co-sponsored by the Coalition, participants expressed their frustration that there has been no organized opportunity for grassroots Americans to express their apprehension about important elements of the Road Map that would alter US policy toward Israel. In response to the "railroad tactics" being used, the National Unity Coalition for Israel has begun an organized information initiative, termed A Virtual March on the White House to express the concerns and objections of the President's core conservative constituency.

Leaders of the Summit expressed their view that the devastating toll of terrorism by 5 separate terrorist attacks over the weekend is proof positive that Palestinian-Arabs do not want real peace. Esther Levens, CEO & Founder of the Coalition, said, "The Road Map is one more deceptive "agreement" toward the basic Arab and Palestinian-Arab goal of eradicating Israel. Now, with more deaths, the Road Map has been deferred, at least for a short time while the dead are buried. If the Road Map is implemented by US endorsement, the next step will be to bury all of Israel."

The suicide attacks in Israel occurred at the same time the Summit was being held. As Christian and Jewish world leaders were seeking to unify support for the preservation of the biblical and historical rights of Israel, radical Islamic Jihad continued to wreak death and destruction on the ancient Jewish homeland.

Levens said today, "We simply must gain our President's attention by bombarding the White House with our concerns about the obvious negative effect of the Road Map on genuine peace in the Middle East."

National Unity Coalition for Israel, Founded in 1991, is the largest worldwide coalition of Jewish and Christian organizations, with more than 200 groups representing millions of people dedicated to Israel. Though we have many different backgrounds, we have one
common goal: A Safe and Secure Israel.

Israel is not just a Jewish issue. Millions of Christians resolutely endorse the principle of peace with security for the state of Israel. Because we work closely together and speak with a united voice, our message is being heard!

Contact: Esther Levens, National Unity Coalition for Israel, 913-432-7900, (also available for interviews)

US Intellegence had a conflict of interest

John Loftus' new article on Jonathan Pollard in Moment Magazine, has implications for the Saudi lawsuit which he is presently pursuing on behalf of the victims of 9/11. Mr. Loftus would appreciate our help in distributing the following

Classified Pollard file supports 9/11 coverup of Saudi ties to Usama bin Laden

Noted terrorism expert, John Loftus, will publish an article in the forthcoming edition of Moment Magazine which reveals highly classified information about Jonathan Pollard, a US Naval intelligence analyst who spied for Israel and who is now in prison serving a life sentence.

Loftus's article proves that Pollard was completely innocent of the major charges against him, namely, that Pollard leaked the names of US spies behind the Iron Curtain. The second, and most controversial part of the article explains, that, if the Government knows he is innocent, why is Pollard still in prison. Pollard gave Israel the 1984 "blue book" listing Arab intelligence agents, including Usama Bin Laden.

Pollard's file shows that, contrary to what Congress was told, US intelligence knew perfectly well that they, the US intelligence agents were laundering money through Saudi Arabia to fund known terrorists in their drive to oust the Russians from Afghanistan. To protect themselves from charges of negligence, senior members of US intelligence covered up the Saudi-Al Qaeda connection right up to 9/11.

These revelations will add fuel to Senator Graham's campaign to make public the report of the Senate Intelligence Committee on 9/11. Loftus' article supplies many of the missing links that explain why we knew so much and did so little about Islamic terrorism.

Atty. John J. Loftus, 727-821-5227, fax 727-894-1801, email, website:

Terrorists sure know how to hurt their own people and further damage an economy

Terror fears force Baz blockbuster out

Well, Nicole is after all from Australia, so this too is good for the home folks. This story found via Instapundit at timblair The recent Morocco attack brought this venue change about
Fears that terrorists could target Nicole Kidman and Leonardo DiCaprio in Morocco have forced Baz Luhrmann to move his big budget epic Alexander the Great to Australia.

The shift in locations is huge news for the Australian film industry and economy as Alexander the Great's budget is reportedly worth more than $US200 million ($A306.16 million).

Thousands of jobs would be created as the film requires huge sets and thousands of extras.

"Unless the situation changes in five or six months any important American actor could be a target," Alexander the Great's producer Dino De Laurentiis (Laurentiis) told today's edition of Daily Variety.

"That is a risk I cannot take."

The Australian film industry could benefit more from unrest in Africa and the Middle East.

Numerous epics are also scheduled to shoot in Morocco but could now be looking elsewhere, including Gladiator 2, Tripoli and director Oliver Stone's rival Alexander the Great film.

The next instalment of Star Wars and Indiana Jones were to be shot in Morocco but the Hollywood studios are examining new locations.

Luhrmann and Laurentiis had built a studio in Morocco to house their film but the location was just 500km away from the city of Casablanca where 41 civilians were killed in suicide attacks last week.

Luhrmann plans to start shooting digital footage of the film in November and begin rehearsals with DiCaprio in January.

While Kidman would obviously be pleased with the shift from Morocco to her homeland, DiCaprio also likely wouldn't mind spending months in Australia.

Last year in an interview with AAP to promote his film Catch Me If You Can, DiCaprio scolded his director Steven Spielberg and co-star Tom Hanks when they admitted they have never been to Australia.

"I can't believe you guys haven't been to Australia," DiCaprio said to Spielberg and Hanks.

"I've been there twice. I just can't believe you've never been there."
This story was found at:
Will Israel accept the Roadmap?

Read all news articles carefully. A statement released by Sharon's office said:
"Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has informed the United States that the state of Israel is prepared to accept the steps prescribed in the road map and that the matter will be brought before the Cabinet for approval."
This is a far cry from saying they will accept the Roadmap. Watch for the difference. Most news articles miss the distinction and assume they are the same.

To my mind, the steps are mere technicalities. What I didn't like were the parameters within which the final issues must be settled. They included the Saudi "Peace Plan".

Now that Israel is being forced to "accept " the Plan, I haven't noticed that Mazen's cabinet has accepted the Plan. We are just told that the "Palestinians" have accepted the Plan with reservations.

Hamas rebuffs Abbas, vows to continue terrorism

There will be, I suspect, a power struggle both within the PA and Hamas v. PA
Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip have rejected a request by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) to suspend terrorist attacks on Israel.

Abbas met in his office in Gaza City Thursday night with a number of Hamas leaders including Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Mahmoud Zahhar, and Ismail Haniyeh and urged them to accept a temporary cease-fire. It was Abbas's first meeting with representatives of Hamas since he took office three weeks ago.

The meeting was attended by PA Minister for Security Affairs Muhammad Dahlan and other senior PA security officials in the Gaza Strip.
Abbas said he summoned the Hamas leaders to persuade them to suspend terrorist attacks against Israel. But the Hamas officials quickly announced that they had turned down the request. [more]

Instapundit sums up Ajami's perceptive piece, the entirety of which can be found at
It may be the proper thing for America to take up the matter of Israel and the Palestinians; it may be a debt owed the stalwart British Prime Minister Tony Blair. But we should know the Arab world for what it is today and entertain no grand illusions about the gratitude the road map would deliver in Palestinian and Arab streets. We buy no friendship in Arab lands with pro-Palestinian diplomacy; we ward off no anti-American terrorism. There is no possibility the rancid anti-Americanism of Hosni Mubarak's Egypt would be assuaged with a big push for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement. The highest religious authority of that land, Sheik al Azhar Muhammad Tantawi, recently called the American-led coalition's effort against Saddam a "crusading war" and said that Muslims everywhere were obliged to take up arms against the "invaders." This kind of sentiment can never be stilled with a diplomatic effort on behalf of the Palestinians.

The Palestinian issue has always been an exuse -- or a tool -- for distraction, not the real key to settling down the region. We may have to wait until the last dictator is strangled with the entrails of the last mullah for that
The “Cycle of Violence” Fallacy

The Arab-Israeli conflict is often framed as a "cycle of violence." A strong Israeli policy against Palestinian terrorism will only spawn more attacks against Israel, goes the logic. Conversely, if only Israel made unilateral concessions to the Palestinians, it would find a partner for peace. This is the conventional wisdom. And it is wrong.

This past weekend, for example, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon met with his Palestinian counterpart Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) for the highest-ranking talks between Israel and the Palestinians since the second Intifada began almost three years ago. Sharon pledged to improve the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian-dominated West Bank and Gaza, at which point Mazen declared, "Palestinians promise to make a genuine and real effort to stop terror." This is precisely the type of peaceful chain reaction that the prevailing "cycle of violence" formula envisages.

Or is it? Just a few hours later, a Hamas terrorist blew himself up on an Israeli commuter bus, killing seven, wounding 20, and throwing this theory on its head. The terrorist attack was a response not to an Israeli incursion into Palestinian territory, as the "cycle of violence" theory hypothesizes, but to the kind of Israeli overtures that terrorism apologists repeatedly champion. In fact, for rejectionist terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the timing of the blast could not have been better. In addition to his get-together with Mazen, Sharon was slated in the coming days to meet with President Bush to discuss implementing the road map. According to Bush-administration officials, Israel had hinted that it was prepared to ease up on closures, checkpoints, work permits, and other restrictions on Palestinians, as well as release large numbers of Palestinian prisoners and detainees. The meeting was being billed as the most important between Israel and the U.S. since the July 2000 Camp David conference.

Of course, it was Camp David that demonstrated the speciousness of the "cycle of violence" theory. For a combination of political and strategic reasons, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the house to Yasser Arafat: Israel would withdraw from 100 percent of the Gaza Strip and 97 percent of the West Bank, dismantle 63 isolated settlements, and make Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem the capital of a new Palestinian state, with the Palestinians maintaining control over their holy places and having "religious sovereignty" over the contested Temple Mount. Revisionist claims to the contrary, Israel offered to create a "viable" Palestinian state that was contiguous, and not a series of cantons. "Cycle of violence" believers predicted a commensurate Palestinian reduction of terror.[more]
U.S. Says Sharon Is Set to Endorse Bush's Peace Plan

Though this may startle some readers, note the words " qualified endorsement"
WASHINGTON, May 22 — The White House has reached a tentative agreement for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel to make, for the first time, a qualified endorsement of the Bush administration's phased plan for the creation of a Palestinian state, administration officials said today.

White House officials also said today that President Bush planned to meet next month in the Middle East with Mr. Sharon and the Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas.

The endorsement, which could be a breakthrough in the Middle East peace effort, was hammered out on Tuesday with Mr. Sharon's chief of staff, Dov Weisglass.

The wording of Mr. Sharon's endorsement of the peace plan, known as the road map, was not disclosed. Mr. Weisglass, Mr. Sharon's top aide, was due in Israel today for meetings on how to present the endorsement to the Israeli cabinet, American officials said.[more]

We Do Not Do Anything Without His Approval

TROUBLE IN THE HOLY LAND: New PM says Arafat still in charge
Despite being sidelined by the U.S. and Israel, Yasser Arafat is still very much in charge, according to the Palestinian Authority's new Prime Minister.

"Arafat is at the top of the [Palestinian] Authority. He's the man to whom we refer, regardless of the American or Israeli view of him," said Mahmoud Abbas in an interview with Egypt's semi-official al Mussawar weekly, according to Reuters.

Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, said Arafat's stamp of approval should precede any political action.

Abu Mazen, appointed by Arafat last month, is regarded by the "quartet" facilitating the "road map" to peace as a moderate reformer in contrast to Arafat, who is viewed as unwilling to stop terrorism.

The road map is a phased plan drafted by the U.S., European Union, United Nations and Russia that requires the PA in the first stage to implement administrative reforms and fight terror. The plan calls eventually for a Palestinian state followed by a final-status agreement addressing issues such as borders, Jerusalem and refugees.

In the interview, Mazen said he "will not allow any serious differences between Arafat and me."

"There may be day-to-day differences," he told the Egyptian weekly, according to Reuters, "but there will be no serious problems that lead to 'divorce.'"

Noting most Palestinians and Arabs regard Arafat as the symbol of the struggle for independence, Abu Mazen vowed he would not travel abroad until Arafat also was allowed full freedom of movement.

Meanwhile, Arafat has issued a "presidential decree" removing the regional governors from the authority of the Interior Ministry to his own office, reported the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.

PA sources, according to Ha'aretz, say the decision Wednesday was aimed at undermining Abu Mazen and Security Affairs Minister Muhammad Dahlan, the de facto interior minister in the new PA cabinet.

Most of the 14 governors are Arafat loyalists who returned with him from Tunis in 1994, Ha'aretz said.

"Arafat wants to make sure that his men will not be thrown out by Abbas and Dahlan," one source told the Israeli paper. "By retaining control over the governors, Arafat is actually sending a message to Dahlan and Abbas to the effect that he is still the boss."

There is a spectre haunting Europe: Israel might apply for admission to the EU

Israel in the EU

This piece presents a fuller exploration of a recent post which suggested that Israel might apply for admission to the EU. What are the ramifications? The pros and cons of such a course of action? How will an anti-semitic, arab-filled Europe react to a request to join?
Israel hasn't actually submitted an application to the European Union, or made any formal declarations demonstrating their intent. What this amounts to is the high-level gossip one picks up from the ambassador cocktail parties that journalists are now and again privy to. Nonetheless it makes for a good story.

Since there has been no official statement of interest, there is of course no official EU reaction either, although some members of the largely uninfluential and unimportant European Parliament have signalled reciprocal interest in the idea. According to the article, the Italian minister who was most vocally interested was a member of the Transnational Radical Party, clearly not representative of the opinions of the powerful or influential.

The largest concern for the European Union, obviously, would be security. Admission of Israel would amount to an acceptance of some level of collective responsibility in protecting Israel, and brokering peace between Israel and its neighbors in the event of renewed conflict. This is an area that Europe has been loathe to get into, letting the US assume the responsibility for forcing peace accords between its 'client state' and the Arab states.
....I heard the Russian ambassador to the UK speaking at the London School of Economics, and someone asked him about the prospects of Russia joining the EU. An old Cold Warrior, he laughed and said that for this to happen 'it would be like the EU swallowing the whale.' Israel, while small, modern, and economically advanced, comes with such a large raft of problems the same expression might well apply to their potential accession. But if the prospect of EU membership could transform Eastern Europe in ten years, perhaps the gamble of granting membership would be worth the peace it's capable of creating.[more]

May 22, 2003


Here's a recent article on my blog about Nightline's recent propaganda on the intifada.

Your unbridled opinion is welcomed and appreciated.

Another contribution to the PR discussion

A reader who requested that his/her name be withheld, has sent the following contribution to the PR discussion. It is being posted with the reader's permission, of course.

I am writing you in response to your recent post on the IsraPundit blog, in which you invite discussion on improving the efficacy of blogosphere leaders in assisting pro-Israel advocacy.

First, I would like to express my appreciation for your initiative in this endeavour. I am a law student at [deleted] and during the past three years, I have been witness to some of the inflammatory anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic rhetoric that has been bandied about not only by the openly partisan Arab/Muslim student groups, but also by
organizations such as the Amnesty and ACLU student outreach groups. In response to one particularly distasteful all-day student-organized symposium on "How Palestine was Stolen", a number of law students -myself included - set up a pro-Israel advocacy group at the law school (the existing Jewish student group declined to deal with
political issues). And yet it feels like slicing water - or rolling a boulder up a hill, only to see it roll back down time and again.

I am glad people like you are exploring new ways of shaping public opinion, because the existing methods do not seem to be working effectively.

Turning to your questions:

1. - What is your assessment of the current status of pro-Israel advocacy?
2. - What can we, bloggers, e-mailers, and blog readers, do to help in the immediate and short term?
3. - What can we do to improve co-ordination and co-operation among bloggers with the object of getting the word out?
4. - What can we do to include non-bloggers, such as organizations and institutions?

1. My assessment of the current status of pro-Israel advocacy is that it is very effective among the top political circles (Senate, House, White House), unimaginative with respect to "John Q Public", and totally lacking in traction among the liberal intelligentsia. The importance of this last group is that it supplies many of the civil servants who play a crucial role in shaping the information and policy-setting tools of top political decision-makers; witness the impact of State department civil servants on Secretary Powell's worldview. In addition, this group plays an important part in establishing the norms of public discourse, as reflected in the media, in academia and among prominent NGOs.

What causes the problem?

I believe the problem stems from hijacked rhetoric. It's a psychological linkage. I say "copy machine", you think "Xerox". "Intifada" - "liberation struggle". "West Bank" - "occupied territory". "Settlements" - "illegal". Of course the rhetoric is a fraud, and top politicians are paid to have long conversations with pro-Israel advocates, who explain to them the real situation and ultimately undo the damage done by the rhetoric. Unfortunately, most Americans do not devote a lot of thinking time to world affairs - so
first impressions are critical. The hijacked rhetoric is damaging precisely there - in first impressions. The stark picture of Israeli tank and Palestinian youth. The context explains why Israel is justified in sending in the tanks, but most Americans don't stick around to listen to the context.

This does not explain the intellectuals, however, since they do spend time thinking about these issues. Here, I think the matter is more one of cognitive dissonance - refusal to accept facts that contradict one's pre-existing world view. I think intellectuals are more vulnerable to cognitive dissonance for a number of socio-psychological reasons having to do with status and hierarchy in the academic world and which I won't go into here.

2. Response: shift the rhetoric. Remember how some folks tried to insert the term "homicide bomber" into mainstream discourse (and reaped ridicule for their trouble)? That is the right instinct, but it has to be done consistently across platforms. Pick terms that mislead or deceive, replace them with neutral terms, use the neutral terms ubiquitously, especially in well-written articles that get published in mainstream publications. At the moment, if someone talks to me about the "occupied territories", I don't uusually bother to correct the person (technically, "occupation" refers to territory taken from another state, but neither Egypt nor Jordan had legitimate claims to the disputed territories in the first place, so they are in an anomalous legal status best referred to as "disputed territories"). However, if I constantly encountered the term "disputed territories" in reading blogs, the use of the term "occupied territories" might be sufficiently jarring to cause me to do a doubletake, and correct the speaker. More importantly, it is vital to get the message across to the "average American" that there is a legitimate alternative rhetoric that is used consistently by a large and well-educated "minority" (that would be us, even though on actual numbers we may well be a majority), and that doesn't just crop up occasionally in one of Secretary Rumsfeld's off-the-cuff remarks. We need to embolden people to object to the use of misleading terms, or at least to question their use. Injecting the proper terms into the public discourse is the best way to accomplish this.

(I can point you to a number of studies showing how silent majorities are often cowed into accepting the opinions of a minority, thinking that the minority really represents a near-consensus; but once a couple of vocal constituencies speak out, the spell is broken and the majority asserts itself. I'm not sure how much you want or need this social-science academic validation, but let me know if you want me to send you the details).

Orwell was brilliantly right about the importance of language in shaping political discussion. It is easy for many Americans to feel a knee-jerk resentment at Israel for failing to "freeze" "illegal settlements" in the "occupied territories" when these threaten "Palestinian self-determination". Recast the issue as pressuring the Israeli government to prevent population growth in Israeli towns and villages on the 20% of the disputed territories that would not be an obstacle to the viability of a Palestinian state, and maybe Israel's position doesn't seem so unreasonable.

3. Improving cooperation/coordination: Obviously, frequent communication is key. How about an e-mail list circulating among the main pro-Israel bloggers? Or perhaps a bloggers' blog - on which only the accredited bloggers would post and comment but which, if you are feeling generous, the public at large would be able to read. (The Protocols of the Elders of pro-Zionist Blogs?). You could start by initiating threads for different propaganda terms, and use those threads to reach a consensus on proper terms. E.g. "Palestinians" in scare quotes, or Palestinian Arabs, or just leave it as plain Palestinians? West Bank, or Judea and Samaria? Consistency is very, very important. Using different terms for the same concept undermines the credibility of an "alternative" rhetoric.

4. On including non-bloggers: There are a number of wonderful NGOs out there, ranging from MEMRI to CAMERA to the ICT to the various elements of the pro-Israeli lobby in the US and many more. Don't ask how they can help you - ask how you can help them. You can help them by providing free publicity, so they can use their all-too-few
dollars on research rather than marketing. You took exactly the right position by decrying the lack of publicity for the Zionist Leadership Summit.

Gather the main bloggers; establish websites for different regions/cities; invite pro-Israel NGOs to submit their events to those single-purpose websites (e.g. the Zionist Leadership Summit would be submitted to the Washington website); and have the "regular" blogs provide blurbs and links to the specialized event-announcement websites (as well as the websites of the sponsoring NGO) prior to the event.

Have the regional websites set up so they can register e-mails into a mailing list (for economy of scale purposes; we don't want every "regular" blog to set up its own mailing lists of Washington-residents, NY-residents, SF-residents, etc.). Have room for comments on the regional websites - maybe even set them up as blogs - so people who go to the event can discuss it later, generating "buzz" and perhaps motivating other people to join the mailing list.

There is another type of non-blogger out there you should open channels to: authors. This means media columnists, sympathetic academics, and other pro-Israel public persons who shape language (umm, William Safire? :)); people who testify before Congress, and whose words are permanently scribed in the public record. If people like Joseph Farah, David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, etc., buy in to your attempt to shift the terms of discourse, and start publishing using uniform terminology, the campaign to un-hijack our political language from pro-Arab distortions will be boosted immensely.

I don't think these suggestions will fix everything that is wrong with Israeli PR, but I do think they represent what blogs are best suited for. You all have day jobs - unlike an NGO's salaried employee or full-time volunteer, you aren't going to go to Gaza to do some hard-line investigative journalism. You aren't going to film documentaries of interviews with IDF soldiers or victims of terror. Your main tool is your ability to communicate with a lot of people; that means you can influence language, and you can provide links to information that other people gather.

Ping-Pong Undiplomacy

James Taranto notes with his usual wry humor

"Both Saudi and Yemeni table tennis players forfeited their matches rather than compete against an Israeli at the world championships in Paris, a sporting snub that might turn out to be just the first of many," the Associated Press reports.

What a brilliant synecdoche. It sums up beautifully more than half a century of history, during which Arab rulers have seized almost every available occasion to forfeit their own people's peace, freedom, prosperity, self-respect and lives--all to spite Israel. for full story, see
If the Palestinians Want a State, Let Them Earn It."

Michael Harty writing in FrontPageMag, resents how the US keeps funding the Palestinians and keeps helping them yet are being repaid in abuse and terror. It is time to let them suffer the consequences of their choices.
That’s gratitude for you. We’ve provided over six billion American dollars to the Palestinians, yet they continue to insult us after all that assistance. And where is the money? They take our money in one hand, and then give us the finger with the other?

ZOA Petition Against the "Roadmap"

Dear President Bush:

We are deeply troubled by the proposal, in your 'Road Map' plan, to create a Palestinian Arab state.

Since the Palestinian Authority actively promotes a culture of anti-Jewish and anti-American hatred and violence in its media, schools, summer camps, religious sermons, and speeches, a Palestinian Arab state will inevitably be a terrorist state.

The Palestinian Authority's new Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is continuing Yasir Arafat's policies. Mazen has not outlawed terrorist groups, disarmed them, or extradited them to Israel for prosecution. He has not even ordered the changing of the names of the many streets and squares that are named after terrorists--including the main square in Jenin, which is named after Ali Na'amani, the Iraqi suicide bomber who recently murdered four Americans.

To give the Palestinian Arabs a sovereign state would endanger America's ally, Israel. It will also undermine America's war against terrorism, by sending a message to terrorists everywhere that their violence will reap political and territorial concessions.

Sign the Petition

Perhaps these terrorists thought the road excluded the sea

Israel grabs arms boat; Palestinian PM meets Hamas

TEL AVIV, May 22 (Reuters) - Israel said on Thursday it had seized a boat off its Mediterranean coast carrying equipment for "terror attacks", and security sources said two Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas were among eight arms smugglers arrested.

The army announced the seizure of the boat as Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas held his first talks since he took office with leaders of the militant group Hamas in an apparent effort to persuade them to halt attacks on Israelis.

The talks could raise hopes for an international peace plan called the road map. But the seizure of the arms would undermine the plan if it turns out the weapons were bound for Palestinian militants fighting for an independent state.

In a potential boost for peace hopes, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said U.S. President George W. Bush may hold his first summit with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Abbas.

"It is possible there will be a summit like that," Shalom told Israeli television following telephone calls by Bush this week to Abbas and Sharon to try to salvage the peace plan.

He gave no details and did not say where and when the summit might take place.

The army said in a statement the boat had been captured in the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday near the port city of Haifa, about 35 km (21 miles) south of the border with Lebanon.

"On the vessel the forces found suspicious objects and evidence of the transfer of know-how and directives for carrying out terror attacks," the statement said.
Note: DEBKA has this to say:Israeli navy Wednesday intercepted boat smuggling Hizballah terrorists into Gaza Strip at Arafat’s request.

DEBKAfile reports exclusively: Captured aboard was Hizballah bomb specialist Hamad Amara bringing formula for secret super-powerful tank-busting explosive for handing over with special instruction to Fatah, Hamas and Jihad Islami terrorists in Gaza Strip.

Captured boat was Egyptian “Abu Hassan”. It was boarded by Hizballah fighters from Lebanese boat when two craft rendezvoused at sea.

Operation instigated by Arafat was directed by two aides: deputy Palestinian navy commander Fathi Razem and Palestinian Authority procurements director Adel el Mughrabi
Muslim moderate speaks out

A professor from the University of Western Ontario makes a call to arms so to speak for moderate muslims.
India's startling change of axis
By Sultan Shahin
Asia Times/Archives

India's national security adviser Brajesh Mishra outlined the proposal for a US-Israel-India axis against Islamic fundamentalism in Washington last Thursday. Mishra is perhaps the most trusted aide of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and served for several years as the head of the BJP's foreign affairs cell before the party came to power five years ago.

In an address to a meeting of the American Jewish Committee, Mishra argued that democratic countries that are the prime targets of international terrorism should form a "viable alliance" and develop multilateral mechanisms to counter the menace. He identified India, the US and Israel as countries fitting that description. "Such an alliance would have the political will and moral authority to take bold decisions in extreme cases of terrorist provocation. It would not get bogged down in definitional and causal arguments about terrorism," he maintained.

Speaking after a meeting with his American counterpart Condoleezza Rice, Mishra hit out at the Pakistani bid to characterize Kashmiri militants as freedom fighters. The talk that terrorism can be eradicated only by addressing its root causes is "nonsense" he said amid applause. He said that preventive measures like blocking financial supplies, disrupting networks, sharing intelligence and simplifying extradition procedures can be effective only through international cooperation "based on trust and shared values".
(All emphases added)

God's road map

Check out my latest column, up on It discusses where the cardinal blame lies for the failure of peace in the Middle East -- Israel. Why? Because Israel is based on a secular Zionist foundation which inherently means seeking world approval instead of taking measures to protect Israeli citizens. The solution: Israel needs to start become a Jewish State, not just a state full of Jews.

[This has been cross-posted at Ben Shapiro Online.]

Al Qaeda Mega-Strike against Israel Thwarted

Attemp to crash Saudi plane into major Israeli city.

The terrorist mega-attack against which Israeli security - like the US, Britain, Australia and other western powers – has been on high alert since Tuesday, May 20, almost happened this week.

On Monday, May 19, Saudi authorities detained three Moroccan al Qaeda suspects at Jeddah international airport just as they were preparing to board a Saudi national airlines plane bound for Sudan. While “Saudi security sources” claimed the next day that the men planned to hijack the Saudi plane and crash it over Jeddah, DEBKAfile’s exclusive counter-terror sources reveal that, under interrogation, the suspected al Qaeda terrorists admitted they had intended flying the captive Saudi airliner over Israel and crashing it over an Israeli city.

That first Saudi announcement claimed the suspects carried knives and their last testaments. The Saudis make it a habit never to mention Israel in the context of al Qaeda’s attacks – even one which they thwarted. Then, Wednesday evening, May 21, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef denied there had been any hijack plot. He said two not three Moroccans had been detained in connection with “previous security cases”.

According to DEBKAfile’s sources, neither Saudi version is correct. The terrorists were not just armed with knives but were loaded with explosives, and there were three of them, not two.

The high alert declared in Israel Tuesday also placed the Israeli Air Force on round–the-clock patrol to guard against hijackers reaching Israeli skies to attack Israeli towns.
U.S. demanding Israel formally accept road map

Shocking. This a complete about face.

By Aluf Benn and Nathan Guttman, Haaretz Correspondents
The U.S. administration is demanding Israel formally accept the road map to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so that it does not appear to be recalcitrant trying to delay advancing the political process.

As reported Wednesday night by Channel Two news, the U.S. administration has reversed its position in the last two days. Until now, the Americans have been saying there is no importance to a formal acceptance of the plan, and that the important thing is to start its implementation on the ground.

U.S. President George W. Bush told Sharon on Tuesday that it is important to proceed with the political process according to the road map. American officials told senior Israeli officials that they are under heavy pressure from Arab countries to make Israel accept the road map. They made clear that the issue of "acceptance" not become an obstacle to its implementation, giving the Palestinians an excuse not to act against the terror groups. The administration has also rejected Israel's distinction between Bush's June 24 speech and the road map meant to implement it.

The road map puts the refugee issue in the third phase of the process, during the final status negotiations. Israel is also against the road map's predication on the Saudi Arabian initiative, which calls for an Israeli withdrawal from all the territories captured in 1967. Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom have told the Americans that the road map, in its current form, could not pass the current government coalition.

The administration is also demanding that Sharon dismantle the illegal outposts in the West Bank, in a move that is clearly seen by the world, immediately after the next meeting between Sharon and Bush. But the administration has accepted an Israeli distinction being drawn between "illegal" outposts and "legal" ones. For Washington, the issue has become a matter of Sharon meeting his commitments.
Acceptance is a huge issue. To my mind, the US won't allow ammendments that are sure to sour the Arabs. Removal of the reference to the Saudi Plan will scuttle the whole idea of getting the Arab countries to make peace with Israel. By the way the Roadmap doesn't refer to Illegal settlements, so it appears the US admin is willing to accept a cessation of only "illegal" settlements. These are recent settlements that under Israeli law are illegal. They are small and not significant.

Why is the pressure always on Israel? Why aren't the Palestinians forced to accept our position. Once Israel accepts even if the process aborts, Israel in effect would have agreed to the Saudi Peace Plan. This is a horror.

Herb Keinon of JPost has a different take
With the road map stalled because of the recent terror wave, the US is trying to get Israel to begin implementing part of the diplomatic plan without completely endorsing it, according to diplomatic officials.

According to these officials, the US is aware that the road map as it stands now, without incorporating into it any of Israel's 15 objections, would have little chance of gaining Israeli cabinet approval.

As such, the US is calling on Israel to make some steps along the road map without fully endorsing it. The US, according to these sources, does not believe Israel's reservations to the plan are enough of a reason not to move forward on the plan, but also realizes that without Palestinian action against the terrorism, Israel can not be expected to make any dramatic gesture to the Palestinians.

Right now, one official said, "the Americans are thinking hard on how to get this whole thing unstuck.

Israeli officials said one possible way to bridge the gap between the Israel demand that its reservations be taken into account, and a US reluctance to open the whole plan for renegotiation, is to add side-letters or rephrase parts of the document. Both the Palestinians and the EU are adamantly opposed to changes in the document, and are demanding Israeli acceptance as is.

The US, according to diplomatic officials, is trying to extract a formula from Sharon beyond his oft-repeated expression that Israel accepts Bush's June 24th speech and vision of two states. In American eyes the problem with this statement is that it implies a vast difference between the road map and the Bush vision, something Bush Administration spokesman have repeatedly denied.

The New York Times puts it this way
A focus of the discussions, administration officials said, was a plea by the Bush administration for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel to drop his refusal to endorse the administration's peace plan, known as the "road map."

The administration was said to be looking for some artful language that would allow Mr. Sharon to endorse the plan, but somewhat ambiguously, making it possible for him to tell his fractious cabinet that he had not really endorsed it in its entirety.

Israel defies Powell to close Gaza

Israel has closed off the Gaza Strip to foreign nationals for the first time, as well as to Palestinians, only hours after pledging to visiting US secretary of state Colin Powell to improve relations with Palestinians.

The army said in a statement that security considerations made the pre-dawn closure neccessary, and banned all movement. According to military sources, the intelligence division had revealed planned Palestinian attacks inside Israel.

Israeli military sources said the new travel restriction was linked to the fact that a suicide bombing which killed three people plus the bomber on April 30 was carried out by a British citizen who entered from the Gaza Strip.

15,000 Palestinian workers only yesterday had received authorisation to return to work in Israel as Mr Powell pressed for an easing of restrictions on the Palestinians.

Mr Powell is on a Middle East tour seeking support for the American -backed "roadmap" to peace, which was given to Israelis and Palestinians after Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas took office last month.

He met Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak today and is now travelling to Jordan on the third leg of his tour.
American aid to Middle East

According to the June 2003 issue of Reader's Digest, our good old USA doles out to Middle East Countries the following:

Bahrain $29 Million (military)
Egypt $659 million (economic), $1.3 billion (military)
Iran none
Iraq none before the war
Israel $748 million (economic), $2 billion (military)
Jordan $253 million (economic), $1.3 billion (military)
Kuwait none
Lebanon $37 million (economic), $568 million (military)
Libya none
Oman $515K (economic), $25 million (military)
Qatar none
Saudi Arabia $30,000 (economic), $24,000 (military)
Sudan $71 million (economic)
Syria none
UAE $350,000 (economic)
Yemen $9 million (economic), $20 million (military)
The Right Man, Part III

The crunch is on, as expected. Forgotten is The Right Man's speech about democracy and "leadership not compromised by terror" as pre-conditions for a "Palestinian" state. The Right Man is now thoroughly involved in the old US game of bullying its one Middle East ally, Israel.

Here are the facts. Ha'Aretz reports today (21 May 2003, story post-dated to 22 May 2003) that [bold font and comments in brackets, added]:

U.S. demanding Israel formally accept road map

The U.S. administration is demanding Israel formally accept the road map to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so that it does not appear to be recalcitrant trying to delay advancing the political process. [What happened to a discussion on Israel's 15 comments???]
American officials told senior Israeli officials that they are under heavy pressure from Arab countries to make Israel accept the road map. [These are the 22 Arab countries who unanimously opposed the liberation of Iraq by the US!] They made clear that the issue of "acceptance" not become an obstacle to its implementation, giving
the Palestinians an excuse not to act against the terror groups. The administration has also rejected Israel's distinction between Bush's June 24 speech and the road map meant to implement it.
Meantime, on the Arab side, there is little other than intransigence and terrorism. Shortly after Tuesday's phone conversation with The Right Man, this is what AP had to report about Abu Mazen, in a May 21 story entitled "Sharon's Chief of Staff to Talk to Bush" :
In an Arab television interview, however, Abbas reaffirmed his support for Arafat as the Palestinians' legitimate leader and accused Israel of trying to make Arafat a scapegoat.

From the outset, Bush dismissed Arafat as both ineffective and involved in terror. While Bush never invited Arafat to the White House, a contrast to the attention lavished on the Palestinian by Bush's predecessor, Bill Clinton, Abbas is expected to be invited to Washington to see Bush in the months ahead.
Bush "will not be deterred by the current terrorist bombings," Fleischer said. "He understands it will present a slowdown, a delay in this meeting, a bump on the road, but it will not deter him because he thinks there is no other choice."
Of course The Right Man "will not be deterred" - those who are blown to pieces are not his people, they are Sharon's people! And so, as David Warren observed today, The Right Man has given the terrorists a license to murder with impunity - with no penalty at all.

It did not take long for the terrorists and the one who sends them to get back on the job. Thus, JPost reported today (story post dated to May 22) as follows:
Firebomb thrown at car on Efrat-Tekoa road near Jerusalem

A firebomb was thrown at an Israeli vehicle on the Efrat - Tekoa road near Jerusalem late Wednesday night [May 21, 2003].

The firebomb exploded on the car and set it alight, reports Israel Radio.

The driver managed to stop the car and make his way out safely, suffering only minor burns.
In an additional story, JPost reports on even more terrorism:
Two large bombs discovered near Jewish community in Gaza Strip

An IDF force uncovered two large explosive devices north of the Dugit settlement in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening.

The bombs, weighing 100 kg and 150 kg respectively, were found hidden close to the separation fence between Jewish settlements in the northern Gaza Strip and the Gaza city.

Additional reports in this vein from IMRA, May 21, 2003:
IDF Forces Uncover Explosives Laboratory Used to Manufacture Material for Suicide Bombings

During IDF operations in the Nablus Casbah overnight (May 20, 2003), IDF forces uncovered an explosives laboratory that manufactured material for use in suicide bombings against Israeli civilians and security forces.

The laboratory contained 6 explosive belts, (3 of which were ready for use), 25kg of T.A.T.P explosives material, and additional chemicals intended for use in explosive devices. IDF forces also found a suitcase filled with explosives and ball bearings.

IDF forces along the Israel-Egypt border, near Rafah, were fired at last night.

Anti-aircraft shells were fired at the western sector of the Israel-Lebanon border overnight.
... And I strongly suspect that we only receive a fraction of the news dished out to Israelis on a daily basis. Of course, the US president ""will not be deterred by the current terrorist bombings", for he is The Right Man, isn't he? Isn't he?

Or should we start facing reality for what it is?

May 21, 2003

A Syrian ploy on weapons of mass destruction

This letter which ran in Ha'aretz simply speaks volumes, and debunks the claims of Arab states "needing" WMD as a deterrent to Israel

Fearing a similar fate to that of Saddam Hussein, key Arab leaders redoubled their efforts to deceive America and the world, rather than come clean about their own weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Thus, the first Syrian reaction to U.S. complaints about its chemical weapons was to focus on Israel's arsenal. Not only is Syria allegedly devoid of any chemical or biological weapons, but it is also entitled to such means in order to counterbalance Israel's nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, many in the West rushed to embrace the theory that the Middle East's arms race has been fueled by Israel's nuclear effort. Yet, even a cursory glance at the record will suffice to debunk this falsehood.

The introduction of WMD into the Middle East wars was first recorded in 1963 when Egypt employed chemical weapons in attacks against royalist forces in the Yemen civil war. The Egyptians used Soviet-built AOKh-25 aerial bombs to deliver phosgene, and Soviet-built KHAB-200 R5 aerial bombs to deliver mustard gas. Artillery shells were reportedly also used.

This was well before the Israeli nuclear program supposedly reached maturity, and in fact has only strengthened Israeli incentives to acquire a strategic deterrent. The fear was that Arab countries would not hesitate to unleash such weapons against Israel, given that they used them against their brethren.

In 1982, Syria used lethal cyanide gas to suppress a revolt by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the city of Hama, in Syria itself. Amnesty International reported that the attack killed 18,000 of the city's inhabitants. That same year Syria suffered a humiliating defeat by the Israel Air Force over Lebanon, losing 90 planes to none of Israel's. Syrian President Hafez Assad then decided to abandon his efforts to achieve "military equality" with the Israel Defense Forces. Instead he opted for a force of surface-to-surface missiles armed with chemical warheads, or, as he called them, "special weapons," to threaten Israel. Thus, the Syrian effort to acquire WMD came in response to Israel's conventional superiority, not its alleged nuclear arsenal.

In general, the notion that the Arabs have sought WMD to deter an Israeli resort to nuclear weapons is ludicrous. Why would Israel turn to such weapons given that its conventional military forces have proved more than adequate to defeat Arab armies on the battlefield time and again?

As early as in 1983, if not before, Iraq had begun using chemical weapons systematically in its war with Iran. On March 17, 1984 it became the first nation in history to use nerve gas, in this instance tabun, on the battlefield. By 1988 chemical weapons, including simultaneously blister and nerve agents, served as an integral part of Iraqi offensive battlefield operations. For its part, Iran sought to counter the devastating effect of the Iraqi chemical warfare by acquiring and using its own poison gases. Moreover, Iraq's efforts to get the bomb spurred Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

It is well-documented that Libya employed Iranian-supplied mustard gas bombs against Chad, its southern neighbor, in 1987. Elsewhere, the government of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was accused of using mustard gas by opposition forces. The opposition Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and Sudanese National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and Ugandan security officials repeatedly asserted, especially after 1995, that the Sudanese government produced chemical weapons with Iranian and/or Iraqi assistance, and used mustard gas in attacks on civilians and SPLA forces in the Nubian region of Sudan.

Even this brief history reveals that Arab search for weapons of mass destruction had little to do with Israel. Indeed, Arabs resorted to WMD most often against each other. The reason they have so far eschewed using them against their foremost enemy is their belief that the latter possesses a strategic deterrent. But given that all Arab and Muslim countries in possession of poison weapons actually used them, for Israel to give up its last-resort weapons could be suicidal. The draft resolution introduced by Syria to the United Nations Security Council on April 14, which called for the establishment of a "zone free of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons," in the Middle East must be seen as a sinister ploy. But given the sorry record of arms inspections in Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell's call for "the entire region [to] be free" of such weapons, was also ill-advised. Indeed the price of any Israeli-Palestinian and/or Israeli-Syrian peace agreement could well be to increase Israel's reliance on its strategic deterrent, given that any territorial concessions would aggravate Israel's vulnerability to conventional attack.

Avigdor Haselkorn,
Palo Alto, California

Palestinians protest against Hamas

A good sign

Hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip erupted in angry protest at an unusual target yesterday: Islamic militants, whom they blamed for bringing military incursions upon their town by firing rockets into Israel.

The townspeople of Beit Hanoun blocked a main road and burned tires just hours after Israeli tanks and troops pulled out. During their five-day incursion into the town, the forces demolished 15 homes, flattened orchards and tore up streets in what Israeli spokesmen said was an effort to deprive Palestinian militants of launching points.

"They claim they are heroes," farmer Mohammed Zaaneen complained, referring to the militants. "They brought us only destruction and made us homeless. They used our farms, our houses and our children to hide."

It was a rare sign of Arab popular support for a ceasefire. Palestinian, Israeli and U.S. leaders struggled to keep peace talks alive yesterday, after the deadly suicide bombings of recent days.

Pro-Israel Advocacy

Ted Belman speaks out.

The Problem

Not enough people understand the facts
Not enough people care who's right
People embrace panaceas such as "peace now".
People are tired of the conflict.
Some people are biased against Jews, Israel or the US
Arab lies travel half way around the world before Israel's truth gets out of bed.


Most media in the US and to a greater extend in Europe and to an even greater extent in the Islamic world, knowingly or unknowingly misrepresent the facts.

They also put a spin on the facts and stress issues inimical to Israel's interest. e.g. I watched BBC the other day . They were covering the bombing and the efforts Israel was taking such as tightening movement. Then they stressed the hardship on the Palestinians as a result of Israeli actions rather than the hardship on Israelis as a result of Palestinian actions. This is always the bottom line for them.

Governments also ignore or misrepresent the facts in pursuit of their own interests. Governments also misrepresent the facts knowingly and otherwise when adding spin that serves their interest.

People in general just want to live their lives. They take a passing interest in Israel but having nothing invested in its survival. They just want peace.

Then there are those who are anti-Israel either from the Left or the Right and the Arabs. They all want to harm Israel.

Then there are the lovers of Israel who really care that it survives and prospers. Even this group must be separated into those who worry about the rights of the Palestinians and their suffering and just want to make a deal to end the problem, not realizing that it will exacerbate the problem and those who think a strong stand must be taken. I just read a poll on IMRA in which it appeared that 36% of Israelis including Israeli Arabs, were for the roadmap, 26% against it and 35% didn't know enough about it. If so many people are out of it in Israel, what can you expect of the world.

The Moslems vastly out number the Jews. There are 22 Arab countries against one Israel. Each with their newspapers and politicians speaking to the media and to the UN. They are much richer and devote far more resources to the propaganda. Israel wants to live and prosper whereas the Arabs are focused on destroying Israel rather than prospering.

For all the world, appeasement is the name of the game as it was before the Second World War.

Israel's strengths.

The facts and the law support Israel
Israel has a strong military.
Many journalists support pro-Israel views and positions on the Right and certain media outlets likewise.
Certain organizations, as represented in the Summit recently held, support the cause.
Congress and the Senate are overwhelmingly support Israel.
AIPAC is a powerful lobby.
Pro-Israel blogs are many and serve to educate a small number (relatively) of people to be more informed of arguments and facts that support Israel. These people are already in the camp but there is a ripple effect as a result of their efforts with important results.


There are many important watchdogs focussed on the media. CAMERA, MEMRI, and Honest Reporting to name a few. The latter has 65,000 members that they keep informed and encourage to take their local media to task when the reporting warrants it.

There are important initiatives on Campus headed by Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz and others. They are beginning to have an effect and student supporters of Israel are reclaiming lost ground and alumnae are also weighing in on the Universities.

AIPAC continues to do a great job and it is supported by the significant efforts of the Christian Right who are more committed than liberal Jews. AIPAC has been so successful in the past because they have activists in all states and who are constituents of each and every Congressman. Their lobbying starts at the grass roots level.
The leadership of the Christian Right are influential within the Republican Party. They mobilize their members and advocate within the party on behalf of Israel.

It seems to me that we have two groups to target in our efforts.
1. Those that care about Israel's survival but think another Oslo is the way to go ( They must be educated as to the threat to Israel) and
2. those who are open minded but don't have anything invested in its survival. As they get to understand the justice of Israel's cause or the threat to it they will be more supportive.

What can we, the blogging community, do to help?
1. We can put our shoulder to the wheel by individually writing to the press and encouraging others to do so.
2. We can individually lobby our political representatives.
3. We can support the efforts of groups like Campus Watch and David Horowitz and encourage others to pitch in.
4. We can continue to legitimize Right Wing ideas and to make them more acceptable and mainstream. We must continue our efforts to destroy the myths. We must not accept the idea that there is no military solution.
5. We can encourage our readers to sign petitions and generally support any initiative we learn about which supports Israel.


Joseph's idea of mobilizing all the bloggers to lend a hand is not going to work. Bloggers are individuals and who like to do their own thing. They will each promote something when the spirit moves them. Your idea is a lot like centralized government. I prefer free enterprise. The more pro Israel bloggers out there doing there own thing is the best way to go. I don't believe in efforts to bring them all together. I do believe in notifying them of events and other ideas etc and encourage them to help but that's all we can do.

I have no grandiose ideas but do believe that every bit helps.