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

November 02, 2002

US Ambassador slams conspiracy theorists

And still Egyptian media can not accept reality!
Issandr El Amrani

An editorial by US Ambassador David Welch published in Al Ahram of 20 September has irked Egypt’s journalists and highlighted US displeasure with repeated suggestions that someone other than Osama Bin Laden is behind last year’s attacks on America. The editorial, entitled "Time To Get The Facts Right," denounces the publishing of "incredible conspiracy theories without the slightest bit of evidence to back them up" in both state and opposition press.

"Leading Egyptian newspapers and magazines in the past two weeks alone have published columns by senior columnists who suggested governments or groups other than Al Qaeda were responsible," wrote Welch, urging editors to exercise better judgement. "Sadly, such disregard for the facts in such a serious matter can tarnish the reputation of the Egyptian media in the eyes of the world."

In his piece, Welch said that considering the "voluminous evidence" pointing to Al Qaeda involvement–including a confession by Al Qaeda members aired on Al Jazeera satellite channel–why Egyptian press reports continued to suggest that the US or Israel had staged the attacks were "difficult to fathom." Either Egyptian journalists are incredibly badly informed, he speculated, or they are "simply too upset with American policy on other issues to accept the reality on this one."

A riposte came quickly the next day, when a group of journalists, cartoonists and other "intellectuals" issued a joint statement calling Welch’s article "an American call for imposing restrictions on press freedom." They also asked the ambassador (whom they think the Bush administration should withdraw from Cairo) to "invite American mass media to seek facts and stop seeing the region through Israeli eyes only."

The US ambassador also took a swipe at AUC economics professor Galal Amin, although without naming him.

"A leading Egyptian professor of sociology, in a public lecture on September 11, spent nearly half an hour trying to cast doubt on Al Qaeda’s culpability and even went so far as to implicate the American government by asserting that America had benefited from the attacks," he wrote. Amin was the only "leading Egyptian professor of sociology" giving a lecture on the topic on that day.

The professor declined to comment to the Cairo Times, saying that he did not want the situation to "get any bigger."

Asked to clarify on why Welch chose this time to publish his editorial–after conspiracy theories are nothing new–US Embassy spokesperson Phil Frayne said that the ambassador had planned the article for a few weeks now, but that publishing it around 11 September seemed appropriate. He also denied that the lecture delivered by Amin, a respected (if occasionally quirky) academic, had sparked the idea.

"The Al Jazeera tapes should really put to rest all these conspiracy theories," Frayne said. "That’s seeing a camel where there’s only a donkey."
FBI Warns of Hizbullah Terrorism in America

Should Hizbullah terrorist strike the U.S., as suggested in this article, all hell will break out for countries supporting or housing this gang of butchers.
(IsraelNN.com) The FBI is warning that Islamic terror organizations, including Hamas and Hizbullah, are seeking out potential targets in the United States.

The US Senate Intelligence Committee has received a Justice Department report that Hizbullah operatives are already in America seeking out targets.
Can Palestinians govern a responsible state?

This is probably the wrong time to evict Yasser Arafat from Israel.

That concern seems to be a pivotal issue among Likud party-members as exemplified by Benjamin Netanyahu’s challenge to Ariel Sharon for Likud leader preceding the Jan. 28 elections to determine Israel’s next prime minister and the composition of the Knesset.

The question of whether Arafat should depart Israel pales in contrast to a deeper question: Are the Palestinians prepared to form and run their own independent state?

Two reasons cited for allowing Arafat to remain underscore the doubt over whether the Palestinians - as a group - are ready to take on the reins of
government.

Critics are concerned, and rightfully so, that Arafat will likely be replaced by someone just as bad if not worse, or Arafat’s ouster could incite even more reprisals by the Palestinians.

Either reason begs these questions: What kind of society is it that can’t produce someone better than Arafat as a leader? Why would any significant segment of Palestinian society rebel over the removal of a leader who betrayed his own people?

This is a society that engaged in a two-year war which left more than 600 Israelis and 1,800 of their own dead. What havoc would they wreak if they had their own organized entity?

More questions: How can the Palestinian people possibly be prepared for cooperative relations with Israel when many of their children are educated from birth to hate Israel and seek its destruction?

How can they devise an effective legal system when, during a trial of a suspected collaborator, a mob of onlookers rushed the defendant inside the courtroom and murdered him? When another mob broke into a prison and executed a Palestinian who was convicted of collaboration?

If a Palestinian state becomes a reality, will they continue to engage in blood feuds, a centuries-old personal form of vigilante justice?

What will become of honor killings, another centuries-old tradition when women can face execution from their own relatives for violating romantic mores such as having sexual relations outside of marriage, even if raped, or marrying without their father’s consent? Jordan’s Queen Rania, who is Palestinian, has made a priority of ending the honor killings in her country.

While Palestinian children starve, how can young terrorists afford to acquire cell phones?

If Arafat remains, what kind of leader will he prove to be? While his people continue to live in poverty, what did he do with money he received from foreign donors? As he has done on CNN at least twice, will he scream at reporters who dare pose legitimate questions?

Finally, how can Israel trust the Palestinians to end hostilities if a Palestinian state is formed?

Israel should remain open to the prospect of a Palestinian state, but its leaders have a responsibility to the Israeli people to confront their Palestinian counterparts with these questions and expect honest answers before taking any steps toward an independent state.

Contributed by Bruce S. Ticker, BRUCETIC@aol.com

Change in Government

M.J. Rosenberg in the Israel Policy Forum argues that the new Israeli government is a good thing rather than the chaotic mess that many believe a reconstituted government would bring about
The conventional wisdom has it that the collapse of Israel's national unity government is a setback to the peace process. The thinking goes that if negotiations were going nowhere with a government that included the moderate Labor party, they can only be utterly stymied when a right-wing government without Labor takes over.

Although this analysis sounds about right, one can make another case - that national unity governments smother opposing voices.

That is because the most powerful dissenters are in the government. Parties normally in opposition end up defending policies they do not really agree with, which has been the case with Labor since it joined Likud following Prime Minister Sharon's election in 2001. Labor ministers and backbenchers alike were constrained from action on issues like settlements and the lack of movement on the diplomatic track, leaving a large part of the populace without a voice in government. Anyone watching Foreign Minister Peres defend the government's handling of relations with the Palestinians understands this dynamic - even if Peres' presence in government may have had a moderating effect.

Then there were the deliberations over the budget. Prime Minister Sharon wanted to include $700 million in additional funding for the settlements. Labor opposed the measure, arguing that diverting funds to the settlers, when pensioners, students and others were hurting, was bad policy and nothing more than an attempt to buy off the settler vote in the next election. Sharon wouldn't back down, and the government fell.

This was the first time that the Israeli majority's view on settlements made a difference within the unity cabinet - and it was despite the fact that most Israelis are not fans of settlers or settlements. According to last week's Dahaf poll (and the other recent surveys), not only do most Israelis not want to spend more on settlements, most (78%) also are ready to "dismantle" them in the context of peace negotiations. But this majority was rarely heard within Israel or outside.
Suicide Bombing Attacks Against Israeli Civilians

This is the complete (172 pages) text of the Human Rights Watch report on terror attack upon Israeli civilians.

Hezbollah chief calls for more military operations against Israel

And since even before Balfour Day (see below) and till the present day, there are those who continue to seek the destruction of Jews and the state of Israel. Hezbollah may soon be in for a pounding when the Americans act against Iraq. Till such time Israel cooperative with the U.S. in order that Arab nations not be inflamed. And if Hezbollah truly believes the Palestinian peoples are better off now than they were when Intifada II began, then that group of murderers continues to live in make-believe world.
DAMASCUS (AFP) - The head of the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, called for armed operations against Israel to continue, during a rally at the Yarmuk refugee camp in Damascus.

Israel "wants to strike our will and our morale by murdering resistance fighters, but we will turn the blood into a cry of rage and of force" and carry out an "operation on the anniversary of the death of each martyr," he said.

Nasrallah, whose organization spearheaded a guerrilla campaign that drove Israeli troops out of southern Lebanon in 2000 after nearly two decades of occupation, was speaking at a joint rally with the radical Palestinian group Islamic Jihad.

Friday was the seventh anniversary of the death, attributed to Israel, of the late Islamic Jihad chief Fathi Shekaki and also the 17th anniversary of the creation of his group.

"The resistance in Palestine and Lebanon has made the murders costly" for Israel, Nasrallah continued.

Those murders "make us stronger," and "we should continue on the road of resistance," he said to an audience of around 1,000 people.

He said the Palestinian intifada which has been ongoing since September 2000 was "a victory for the Palestinian people and a defeat for the Zionists and their generals."

"The Lebanese should know that if they are drinking today water from the Wazzani (border spring), it is thanks to the youth who are carrying out martyrdom operations in occupied Palestine," said Nasrallah.

"I tell the Palestinians: those who will make your future are these youths," he said.

Nasrallah regularly makes fiery speeches to incite Palestinian armed groups to imitate his group's guerrilla tactics in their uprising against Israel, including "martyrdom operations," or suicide attacks.

Islamic Jihad secretary general Ramadan Abdallah Shalah also praised Nasrallah as the "master of victory" during the rally.

"The enemy thinks it can crush resistance movements by killing their leaders, but every time there are new leaders who appear," he said, adding: "the resistance has invented cloning, well before the United States."

Shalah said "the battle will continue ... and the Palestinian people will continue on the path of jihad (holy war) and martyrdom until victory."

He criticized Washington's foreign policy in the region "which has nothing humane," and said that "we cannot reconcile" with the United States.

He also denounced the recent formation of a new Palestinian government "when the (Palestinian) people are under an (Israeli) embargo and are drowning in blood."

Syria backs Lebanon's Hezbollah and a number of Palestinian groups which it considers liberation movements fighting against Israel's occupation of Arab territories.
November 2, 1917 - Balfour Declaration Day




"The establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish People"


The complete text of the Balfour Declaration is as follows:

His Majesty's Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.



Brief notes on the background to the Balfour Declaration

When the foreign minister of a major imperial power issues a major declaration, you can assume that preceding the declaration were endless disputes, discussions and considerations. The Balfour Declaration of Novermber 2, 1917, was no different.

An almost-comprehensive list of the British considerations that led to the Balfour Declaration is given in an essay posted by Ronald Stockton, Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan-Dearborn, from which the following quotation is extracted:
In America, President Wilson was reelected in 1916 on the slogan "He kept us out of war." Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan was an outspoken pacifist. American public opinion opposed entry into the war. The British wanted America in the war and were convinced that Jewish influence could make a difference.
In February 1917 the Russian Revolution occurred and the new government threatened to take Russia out of the war. (This was the first of two revolutions. The Second Revolution in November brought Communists to power). Russian neutrality would have allowed Germany to concentrate its armies on the Western Front, a disaster for the Allies. Many British leaders were convinced the Russian revolutionary government of Alexander Kerensky was run by Jews (Kerensky himself was Jewish) and that by appealing to them as Jews they could keep Russia in the war. They also feared Germany was about to declare support for a Jewish state.

In 1916, Britain began negotiating a deal with Zionists: British support for a Jewish homeland in exchange for Zionist support for the war. The Balfour Declaration was issued in November, 1917, pledging Britain to support a Jewish "homeland" in Palestine. What the word "homeland" meant was unclear since Britain also committed itself to protect the rights of non-Jewish inhabitants, including their "civil" rights, a term that implied the right to participate in political decisions.
Surely, considerations associated with WW I, which in 1917 was going very badly for the Allies, was the overriding consideration. But the picture is much more complicated, as detailed by David Fromkin in his book,

David Fromkin. A Peace to End All Peace. New York: Avon Books, 1989.

As told by Fromkin, there was a group among the British policy-makers who had genuine sympathy for the Jewish people and genuine empathy with the long history of suffering that the nations of the world inflicted on the Jews. Having become acquainted with the Zionist enterprise in Palestine, these policy-makers were impressed by its achievements and practitioners, a conspicuous example of a Jewish Palestinian Zionist being Aaron Aaronsohn: scientist, farmer and organizer of a spy-ring for the British.

This viewpoint of genuine sympathy gains credibility from the writings of Richard Meinertzhagen, a British intelligence officer on the staff of General Allenby, and later a London desk-officer with the British government (and a Christian of Danish origin).

As a public servant in the War Office, Meinertzhagen considered it his duty to execute the official British policy. At a meeting on February 7, 1918, he therefore queried Lord Balfour, the foreign minister, as to the meaning of the Balfour Declaration, which was issued only three months earlier. Meinhertzhagen recorded Balfour’s response and the subsequent discussion:

“[Balfour:] ‘Both the Prime Minister [David Lloyd George] and myself have been influenced by a desire to give the Jews their rightful place in the world; a great nation without a home is not right.' I said I was glad to hear that. I then asked, 'At the back of your mind do you regard this declaration as a charter for ultimate Jewish sovereignty in Palestine or are you trying to graft a Jewish population on to an Arab Palestine?' Balfour waited some time before he replied, choosing his words carefully. 'My personal hope is that the Jews will make good in Palestine and eventually found a Jewish State. It is up to them now; we have given them their great opportunity’.
[Quoted from p. 9 of:

Meinertzhagen, Colonel Richard. Middle East Diaries, 1917-1956. London: Crescent Press,1959.]

I emphasize this point because in the cynical world in which we live, not enough attention is paid to the small rivulets of genuine goodwill and support for the Zionist enterprise on the part of non-Jews. If channelled, these rivulets may amount to a mighty river.

No discussion of the Balfour Declaration, regardless of how brief, can conclude without reference to the anti-Zionist sentiments and obstruction on the part of certain segments of the Jewish population. Fromkin, p. 294, states:

[T]he proposal that Balfour should issue his pro-Zionist declaration suddenly encountered opposition that brought it to a halt. The opposition came from leading figures in the British Jewish community. Edwin Montagu, Secretary of State for India, led the opposition group within the Cabinet. He, along with his cousin, Herbert Samuel, and Rufus Isaacs (Lord Reading) had broken new ground for their co-religionists: they had been the first Jews to sit in a British Cabinet. The second son of a successful financier who had been ennobled, Montagu saw Zionism as a threat to the position in British society that he and his family had so recently, and with so much exertion, attained. Judaism, he argued, was a religion, not a nationality, and to say otherwise was to say that he was less than 100 percent British... It bothered Montagu that, despite his lack of religious faith, he could not avoid being categorized as a Jew. He was the millionaire son of an English lord, but was driven to lament that "I have been striving all my life to escape from the Ghetto.”

The evidence suggested that in his non-Zionism, Montagu was speaking for a majority of Jews. As of 1913, the last date for which there were figures, only about one percent of the world's Jews had signified their adherence to Zionism.
Eventually, Montagu’s opposition was overcome, but with a greatly watered-down version of the originally-drafted Declaration.

Nonetheless, the Balfour Declaration is a milestone in the process of the Jewish people rebuilding their nationhood. The Declaration was approved by the US government as well as by the governments of other principal countries. This meant that the movement of Jewish national revival was recognized internationally at the Paris Peace Talks, leading the way to the British Mandate over Palestine, and to the next phase of large-scale Jewish immigration to Palestine.

May Israel fourish.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland

November 01, 2002

HRW Report on Suicide Bombing

Available here. It's 170 pages, but I'll read it this weekend and post some comments next week.

Shaul Mofaz

Israel's newest proposed defense minister is former army head Shaul Mofaz. Not many countries have foreign born defense ministers but leave it to Israel to break down barriers. Mofaz was born in Iran and moved to Israel at 9 years of age. I assume therefore that he speaks Persian. It would be interesting for Israel to put him on the shortwave beaming to Tehran and have Mofaz in Persian introduce himself to the Iranian people. He could tell them about how he enjoys living in a free country and invite Iran to make peace with Israel. He could also throw in how the Iranians should rise up and throw off their shackles. Maybe a few hints at to what Israel will do to Iran if threatened would be instructive as well. All of this should probably get the Mullahs wound up a bit. I believe outgoing Defense Minister Ben Eliezer was born in Iraq, is N. Korea next?

Israel admits capture of Hizbullah man

Big fish caught some time ago but just now revealed
Militant was seized with fake passport in June 2001
Israel arrested a senior member of Hizbullah last summer who had entered the Jewish state on a forged American passport to plot attacks against Israeli civilians, the Israeli Army said in a statement Thursday.
Fawzi Ayoub, 38, was captured in Israel in June 2001 after entering the country from a European country on a fake US passport, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office confirmed.
“Ayoub’s mission to Israel is a new stage in the efforts which Hizbullah has invested in perpetrating terror attacks inside Israel,” the army said.
Contacted in Beirut, Hizbullah officials said they had no comment on the issue.
The Israeli Army described Ayoub as a Shiite Muslim from Lebanon and a veteran of Hizbullah, who “has taken part in various resistance operations and activities, and is responsible for numerous casualties among civilians.”
But the Jewish state did not say why news of the arrest was kept quiet until now.
Ayoub arrived in Israel in October 2000, shortly after the start of the Palestinian uprising, and spent time in Hebron in the southern West Bank where he made contact with at least one militant “who aided him in his missions,” which included scouting sites for hiding explosives, the army said.
Ayoub had spent several years in Canada as a Hizbullah operative before being transferred to Europe, where he received his forged documents to enter Israel, the army added.
­
Human Rights Watch: Suicide bombers guilty of war crimes

Finally!
GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Those who plan and carry out suicide bombings that deliberately target civilians are guilty of crimes against humanity and must be brought to justice, a leading humanitarian watchdog group said in a report released Friday.

The 170-page report from New York-based Human Rights Watch assessed the suicide bombing operations of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the groups that have claimed responsibility for most recent suicide bombings. The report says the leaders of such groups should face criminal investigation.

Human Rights Watch also said the Palestinian Authority and its president, Yasser Arafat, have failed to do all they can to stop suicide attacks or bring the perpetrators to justice, thus contributing to "an atmosphere of impunity" for such crimes.

"The people who carry out suicide bombings are not martyrs, they're war criminals, and so are the people who help plan such attacks," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "The scale and systematic nature of these attacks sets them apart from other abuses committed in times of conflict. They clearly fall under the category of crimes against humanity."

. . . Specifically, the group said Hamas' Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Khalid Mish'al and Islamic Jihad's Ramadan Shalah must face criminal investigation for their roles in such crimes. Criminal investigation is also warranted for the PFLP and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, it said.
At least they’ve heard me

This posting consists of three parts. The first is an e-mail I sent to the British High Commissioner (i.e., the British ambassador) in Ottawa; the second reproduces the article in Ha’Aretz that prompted the letter, and the third is the response from the High Commissioner. All three are reproduced here without any changes.

The import of this letter exchange is to make it clear to the EU-niks that we are looking over their shoulder. I encourage everyone to inundate the EU legations with letters of protest: firm, polite, and documented.

My letter and the relevant news story:

Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002
From: "Joseph Alexander Norland"
Subject: Israel - For the attention of the High Commissioner
To: generalenquiries@BritaininCanada.org

Ottawa, 16 October 2002

For the attention of the High Commissioner:

Sir,

I am writing to request that you convey the contents of this letter to your government.

I call your attention to a news report dated October 15, which I am enclosing below with the corresponding web address. The report contends, inter alia, that:

The British ambassador to Israel, Sherard Cowper-Coles, says he is "proud" of his comments that were published Monday and in which he described the West Bank and Gaza Strip as "the biggest detention camp in the world."

In the report, Cowper-Coles is attributed with accusing Israel of contravening the Geneva Convention and the Israel Defense Forces of displaying a "lack of professionalism," during a leaked conversation last week with IDF Major General Amos Gilad, coordinator of government activities in the territories.”
Coming on the heels of Mr Blair’s comments, in which he drew a parallel between Israel and Iraq, and coming on the heels of a series of measures to harass Israel economically, and coming on the heels of a virtual British embargo on the sale of military goods to Israel, I must express my profound disgust with your government.

I underscore that I am neither an Israeli citizen nor Jewish, but as a Canadian, I regard Israel as our sister-democracy. In conjunction with the EU’s hostility to Israel, shameful anti-Israeli steps taken by Britain amount to ganging up on the one democratic republic in the entire area, to the great delight of Arab autocracies and terrorists.

Considering Britain’s conduct in Ireland, and considering Britain’s role in the 1938 Munich betrayal of Czechoslovakia, I just have to wonder how your government musters the temerity to criticise Israel in her war of self-defence. I am also old enough to remember such anti-Semitic British ministers as Ernest Bevin, who brought disgrace not on Britain alone, but on the entire commonwealth, Canada included. And I have scarcely mentioned Britain’s outrageous conduct in the “Exodus 1947" affair, the photographs of which appeared in the International press. More significant still is the fact that the
current situation in the Middle East was created by Britain, as explained in detail by the British officer, Col. Richard Meinertzhagen, in his book, “Middle East Diaries”.

As a matter of common courtesy, please acknowledge receipt of this e-mail.

Sincerely yours,

Joseph Alexander Norland
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

-------------------------------------

www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=219937


UK envoy `proud' of critical comments made against Israel

By Charlotte Halle

The British ambassador to Israel, Sherard Cowper-Coles, says he is "proud" of his comments that were published Monday and in which he described the West Bank and Gaza Strip as "the biggest detention camp in the world."

In the report, Cowper-Coles is attributed with accusing Israel of contravening the Geneva Convention and the Israel Defense Forces of displaying a "lack of professionalism," during a leaked conversation last week with IDF Major General Amos Gilad, coordinator of government activities in the territories.

Cowper-Coles told Ha'aretz Monday that the comments, reported in the Yedioth Ahronot daily, were "exaggerated, but broadly true."

The ambassador also criticized Israel for continuing to build settlements, for "the unnecessary humiliation and harassment" of the local civilian population at checkpoints, unnecessarily uprooting trees and making life difficult for the international welfare organizations, according to the report.

Cowper-Coles says he did not regret his comments, which were made "in the spirit of friendship." He said he was "very shocked" by what he has seen in the territories, "as anyone else who visited there would be."

"Anyone who is a friend of Israel would say what I said," he told Ha'aretz, "because [it is clear the situation] is certainly not good for the Palestinians, or for Israel."

The comments reported in Yedioth Ahronot were made during a "private conversation," with Gilad, on instructions from London, and followed an earlier meeting with the Israeli general in the British capital last month, says Cowper-Coles.

He added the source of the leak - "the Foreign Ministry or someone" - was "very selective" in what he chose to reveal of the conversation with Gilad that lasted for more than an hour.

Cowper-Coles says his many references to the suffering of Israelis due to terrorism, security pressures and difficulties relating to pulling out of the territories were not conveyed. "It's a pity because it's not the whole truth." If it emerges that someone in the Foreign Ministry leaked the story, Cowper-Coles said, "it certainly won't increase my respect" of the ministry. "We don't believe in
megaphone diplomacy."

The ambassador, who has learned to speak a competent level of Hebrew since arriving here just over a year ago, has been widely interviewed on Israeli television and radio.

He was recently praised for the sensitivity he displayed when dealing with Israeli terror victims and their families.

On Monday, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said the ministry had adopted a "serious view" of Cowper-Coles's remarks.

The response of the High Commissioner:

From: Andrew.Burns@fco.gov.uk
To: dt804@yahoo.ca
Subject: RE: ISRAEL
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 17:42:35 -0000

FROM THE HIGH COMMISSIONER

SIR ANDREW BURNS



Dear Mr Norland,

RE: ISRAEL

I am writing in response to your email of 16 October expressing concern about remarks attributed to the British Ambassador to the State of Israel.

Representatives of the British Government regularly hold private and constructive talks with their Israeli counterparts. The private conversation reported was part of that dialogue and a continuation of a discussion that General Gilad held in London. The British Ambassador was raising concerns on instruction from London about the situation faced by Palestinians in the region.

More generally, I believe you have an incorrect view of UK policy in the Middle East. You may wish to read in detail the Prime Minister's speech to the Labour Party Conference. It can be located through the No 10 website (http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page1.asp). As the Prime Minister said at the Conference "what is happening in the Middle East now is ugly and wrong. The Palestinians living in increasingly abject conditions, humiliated and hopeless; Israeli civilians brutally murdered. I agree UN resolutions should apply here as much as to Iraq. But they don't just apply to Israel. They apply to all parties. And there is only one answer. By this year's end, we must have revived final status negotiations and they must have explicitly as their aims: an Israeli state free from terror, recognised by the Arab world and a viable Palestinian state based on the boundaries of 1967. "

You may also wish to glance at the section on the Middle East on the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office website. This can be located at www.fco.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Burns
High Commissioner,
British High Commission, 80 Elgin St, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5K7, Canada
Tel: (00) 1 613 237 1542 ext. 2365 Fax: (00) 1 613 567 8045
email: andrew.burns@fco.gov.uk website: http://www.britainincanada.org
P.S. I don’t think that either I or the High Commissioner have changed our views as a consequence of this letter exchange, but as I said: At least they’ve heard me.

The comic epilogue to this exchange is my response to the High Commissioner, in which I thanked him for the links he provided, and suggested to him in return to read IsraPundit...

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland

October 31, 2002

Israel's unity over Palestine will not crumble

While terrorist leaders try to convince themselves they are making headway with the Intifada, they are once again wrong
For two long and bloody years, Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian leadership have been waiting for an Israeli prime minister - first Ehud Barak and then Ariel Sharon - to make a fatal mistake that would lead to internal splits within Israel and ultimately to inter- national intervention. Yet in spite of dozens of terrorist bombings, the Israeli response can only be described as measured, unity has been maintained and it is Mr Arafat who has become isolated in the world.

If the Palestinians expect the break-up this week of Israel's coalition government and the increased influence of Israel's fringe rightwing parties to "unleash the real Sharon" and reverse this outcome, they will be disappointed: Mr Sharon, like many Israelis, understands the Palestinian strategy and he is not about to fall into the trap now. With or without Labour, the most likely direction is continuity in implementing effective responses to terror attacks, while carefully avoiding policies that would lead to discord and isolation. Mr Sharon's approach began immediately after his huge election victory in February 2001, when he opted for a broad coalition with the Labour party instead of a Likud-dominated government with a narrow agenda. He even brought in Shimon Peres, his former arch-rival and the architect of the disastrous Oslo process, to serve as foreign minister. Mr Peres and the Labour party were a moderating influence on the government, arguing against calls to send Mr Arafat packing. The need for compromise led to cancellation of military operations, such as the reoccupation of Gaza, and to the removal of unauthorised settlement outposts, in spite of the anguish among settlers.

Some now believe that Labour's exit from the coalition makes Mr Sharon dependent on the far-right parties to maintain a parliamentary majority. According to this view, pressure from the more confrontational members of his own Likud party (supporters of Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister) will also increase. Furthermore, the appointment of Shaul Mofaz, a former army chief, as defence minister is seen by some as presaging unconstrained military activity against Palestinian terror cells, confrontation with Hizbollah guerrillas and a pre-emptive strategy against Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. In political terms, so the argument goes, discussions of the "road map" towards resuming negotiations with the Palestinians, even without Mr Arafat, are now off the agenda.

While plausible, this theory is also highly improbable. Israelis are aware of the Palestinian expectation of a repetition of the events during the Lebanese war, in which domestic conflict forced a unilateral retreat. And, for this reason, Mr Sharon and other Israeli leaders are determined to prevent it from happening again.

In addition, Mr Sharon has recognised the importance of good relations with the US and has avoided policies that might endanger them. Meanwhile, Mr Arafat has become persona non grata in the White House and President George W. Bush, in his June 24 speech, demanded extensive Palestinian reform and the replacement of Mr Arafat before moving forward with any renewed peace efforts.
Lebanese police storm anti-Syrian student demo, injure 18

Oh, THAT occupation. I guess the university students have no pro-Israel folks to shout about.
Lebanese police storm anti-Syrian student demo, injure 18
BEIRUT (AFP) - Eighteen Lebanese students were injured near here and another 16 were in custody after riot police swept in to prevent hundreds of them from taking an anti-Syrian demonstration off a university campus and into the street, a student spokesman said.

The incident came as hundreds of students held sit-ins on campuses in and around Beirut against the Syrian military presence in their country and the closure of the opposition television channel, MTV.

Baton-wielding police attacked around 800 students at the science faculty of Lebanese University, in Fanar, who tried three times to move off campus to a waiting mass of dozens of police. They were joined by civil defense trucks firing water cannons.

"Eighteen students were hurt by baton blows, of whom three are still hospitalized -- two young women and a young man," said the spokesman on condition of anonymity.

The spokesman said police initially seized around 150 students at dozens of blockades at exits from the campus. By Thursday evening, he said, 16 were still in detention after being held for an hour or two.

Thursday's demonstrations were mainly by supporters of the former head of a military government, general Michel Aoun, and the banned Lebanese Forces party.

A separate demonstration took place within the precincts of Saint-Joseph University in Beirut.

Demonstrators chanted the rallying cry of anti-Syrian Christians: "Liberty, sovereignty, independence."
Ben-Eliezer Signs 51 Demolition Orders

(IsraelNN.com) Outgoing Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer today signed demolition orders for 51 Arab homes throughout Judea and Samaria that were built illegally.

Lets see how many yahoos who want outposts dismantled are happy about this equal treatment.


What goes around comes around
Blasts at Militant's Gaza Home Kills 3 - Witnesses
A series of explosions tore through the home of a Palestinian Hamas militant in the Gaza Strip (news - web sites) on Thursday, killing at least three people and wounding three, hospital officials and witnesses said.

The cause of the blasts, which rocked a densely populated residential neighborhood of Palestinian-ruled Gaza City, was not immediately known.

The two-story home belongs to Salah Nassar, a Hamas member {i.e. non militant part] whose brother, Wael Nassar, is a senior official in the military wing of the Islamic militant group, local residents said.
[Here is evidence showing that the non militant part of Hamas is involved in terrorism. So now the French should shut done donations to this group. But in fact it is not a matter of evidence. The French like to see dead Jews]

Salah Nassar survived the explosions but was burned along with his father. His brother was not in the house at the time.

"We heard two big explosions inside the building on the first floor followed by a series of explosions," one witness told Reuters.

Police said they were investigating the cause of the blasts, which engulfed the house in flames. [As, always, despite the pressence in the house of suicide belts, will report that the zionists did it]

Hamas members accosted news cameramen filming at the scene. A Reuters cameraman was struck and his camera was seized and broken.
[Hamas guy must not have know reporter was Reuters]

Hamas is the main group behind a series of suicide bombings that have killed scores [HUNDREDS] of Israelis since the start of a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation in September 2000.
Israel related sites

A nice collection of links to a wide variety of subjects about Israel.

The EU: "Israel must end its occupation to the Palestinian lands"

Question for EU: did the Germans in WWII leave your countries because you said they should leave? Occupation ended with a signed peace agreement between contending forces. No agreement as yet to meet the requirement for safe and secure borders for Israel. And where were thee guys when the land was 'occupied' by Jordan'.
Jericho July 5th 2002 Wafa; Meeting with Dr. Saeb Erekat the Palestinian Minister in Jericho yesterday, Mr. Miguel Angel Muratinos the European envoy to the peace process in the Middle East, reiterated the European stand towards the Middle East crisis of rejecting the Israeli occupation to the Palestinian Lands, demanding it to stop it.

Mr. Muratinos also stated that the EU does not refuse dealing with President Arafat, emphasizing the European positive position towards the peace process that will lead to establishing the independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its Capital according to the International legitimacy.
Harsh Lessons in Incivility

A magnificent article that addresses the charges and counter-charges of those who yell out Anti-Semitism and those who scream out about Palestinian rights and abuses. Dignified, well reasoned, Prof.AMITAI ETZIONI puts the harsh debates on American campuses into perspective and calms the troubled seas. Problem? Yes. He seems to ignore the simple fact that those in charge of Arab affairs do not seek the rational approach which he advocates.
This semester, the hottest class on campuses coast to coast is a course in incivility. Teaching it are thousands of professors involved in a vicious debate about Israel, the Palestinians, and anti-Semitism.

Any lessons one might hope to learn about rhetoric, logic, history, humility, or dignity won't intrude into this brawl, in which the sides demonize and attribute the worst possible motives to each other, and strike calculatedly provocative positions instead of making even halfhearted attempts to understand another point of view.

One camp charges Israel with apartheidlike oppression of Palestinians. The other says that such allegations are anti-Semitic. The first, exemplified by Elizabeth Spelke, a Harvard psychology professor, then claims that the anti-Semitism label is an attempt to suppress free speech.

Along those lines, critics of Israel, such as Michael Lerner, the editor of the left-liberal Tikkun, see themselves as subject to a new, Jewish McCarthyism. And, in turn, defenders of Israel, such as Ruth Wisse, a professor of comparative literature at Harvard, suggest that to acquiesce to anti-Israeli rhetoric is to prepare the ground for a new Hitler. And so it goes.

Stances in this debate are often so bereft of basic facts, and so grossly oversimplify the issues at hand, that scholars -- whatever their persuasion -- should be embarrassed to participate. Some of the confrontations take place in classrooms or op-ed pages, but many occur at campuswide meetings. The involvement at these meetings of faculty members, and not just student leaders, furthers the mis-educational impact.

Worst of all, death threats and other forms of intimidation have been directed against quite a few of the professors and student leaders involved. During Passover last year, a cinder block was thrown through the front door of the Hillel building at the University of California at Berkeley. Also last spring, pro-Israel demonstrators at San Francisco State University were surrounded by people who harassed them with chants like "Hitler didn't finish the job." When more than 300 college presidents signed a letter calling for intimidation-free campuses, rather than jumping to endorse the letter, both sides criticized it, saying it overplayed the intimidation suffered by one side and minimized that suffered by the other.

The situation could be studied by some group of neutral social scientists, except where would you find them? Surely not in Europe, where the venom on this issue is even more poisonous than in the United States, and where one hears references to the "Zionist SS" and calls for "Death to Jews," or stereotyping of all Muslims as followers of Osama bin Laden.

Frankly, it is my impression that to the extent that Muslim students in the United States are intimidated, it usually is not by Jews and not related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but rather by a variety of Americans hostile to a religion they don't understand and with which they associate Islamist terrorism.
The Swastika & the Crescent

This author makes an interesting connection bgetween Hitler's fascists during the Nazi period of WWII and Islam and the ongoing connection even unto today.
[....] Perhaps the best contemporary snapshot of this Nazi-Islamist extremist axis comes in the person of one Ahmed Huber, a neo-Nazi whose home in a suburb of Berne was raided by Swiss police on Nov. 8, after U.S. officials had identified him as a linchpin in the financial machinations of Osama bin Laden. The raid was part of a coordinated law enforcement dragnet that seized records from the offices of Al Taqwa, an international banking group. Al Taqwa, which literally means "Fear of God," had been channeling funds to Muslim extremist organizations around the world, including Hamas, a group active in the Israeli-occupied territories.
Huber, a former journalist who converted to Islam and changed his first name from Albert, served on the board of Nada Management, a component of Al Taqwa. After Swiss authorities froze the firm's assets and questioned Huber, the 74-year-old denounced Washington for doing the bidding of "Jew Zionists" who "rule America." In January, Nada Management announced that it had gone into liquidation.
A well-known figure in European neofascist circles, Huber "sees himself as a mediator between Islam and right-wing groups," according to Germany's Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Portraits of Hitler and SS chief Heinrich Himmler adorn the walls of Huber's office, alongside photos of Islamic political leaders and a picture of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the present-day boss of the French Front National.
In accordance with his self-proclaimed mission to unite Muslim fundamentalists and extreme right-wing forces in Europe and North America, Huber has traveled widely and proselytized at numerous gatherings. In Germany, he speaks often at events hosted by the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party, which publicly welcomed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Huber also befriended British author David Irving and other Holocaust deniers while frequenting "revisionist" conclaves.
The West Duped: Iraq, Korea, “Palestine”

The case of Iraq is straightforward: using deception and obstruction, Iraq has violated the conditions under which the 1991 War was halted. Even though the events of 1991-1998 (when the UN inspectors were compelled to leave Iraq) are well known, the following brief review may be useful for documentation purposes; the review is extracted from the GlobalSecurity site.

Under UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 687 (April 1991), which set out the cease-fire terms for ending the Gulf War, Iraq is obliged to: (a) accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless of all its - nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and ballistic missiles with a range over 150 kilometers; and - research, development, and manufacturing facilities associated with the above; and (b) undertake not to develop such weapons in the future. The United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) oversees these processes. Iraq must give full cooperation, in particular immediate, unrestricted access to any site UNSCOM needs to inspect.

Iraq has consistently tried to evade its responsibilities. Its required full disclosure document on missiles was not produced until July 1996, five years after it was demanded. It has so far produced three versions on chemical weapons and four on biological weapons, all shown to be seriously inaccurate.

Iraq consistently denied UNSCOM inspectors the access they need to follow up these and other concerns and locate both WMD capabilities and documentation which might reveal more about Iraq's WMD programmes. Documents and material have been removed from and destroyed inside sites while UNSCOM inspectors have been held outside prevented from entering. The pattern of defiance worsened over time.

1998 -- The tensions that began in October 1997 continue. In February, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan works out an agreement with Iraq that resumes weapons inspections. In turn, Iraq receives promises the United Nations will consider removing its economic sanctions. Inspections continue into August, when Iraq cuts ties with weapons inspectors, claiming it has seen no U.N. move toward lifting sanctions.
October 31, 1998 -- Iraq cuts off all work by U.N. monitors. The United States and Great Britain warn of possible military strikes to force compliance. A renewed military build-up in the Persian Gulf begins.
November 5, 1998 -- The U.N. Security Council condemns Iraq for violating agreements signed after the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
November 11, 1998 -- The United Nations withdraws most of its staff from Iraq.
November 14, 1998 -- With B-52 bombers in the air and within about 20 minutes of attack, Saddam Hussein agrees to allow U.N. monitors back in. The bombers are recalled before an attack occurs. Weapons inspectors return to Iraq a few days later.
December 8, 1998 -- Chief U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler reports that Iraq is still impeding inspections. U.N. teams begin departing Iraq.
December 15, 1998 – A formal U.N. report accuses Iraq of a repeated pattern of obstructing weapons inspections by not allowing access to records and inspections sites, and by moving equipment records and equipment from one to site another.
December 16, 1998 -- The United States and Great Britain begin a massive air campaign against key military targets in Iraq.
There have been no inspectors in Iraq since then. In retrospect, having ever assumed that Iraq would abide by the cease fire agreement was utterly naive; Iraq has deceived the UN inspectors all along.

By now, anyone who is not hopelessly naive also knows that North Korea pulled the wool over the eyes of the US administration for many a year.

The story broke on October 17, with news stories such as the following one, cited from the BBC:

American officials said the North Koreans told a visiting US delegation earlier this month that they no longer felt bound by a 1994 accord, under which they agreed to halt their suspected weapons programme in return for American aid.

The North Korean confession made the US administration conclude that negotiations with Pyongyang were impossible for the moment, US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.
The awakening was immediate. For example, a National Review article by Victor Davis Hansen, entitled, A Funny Morality - North Korea as metaphor of the times and dated October 25, 2002, opens with the lines,

The disclosures of North Korean duplicity in acquiring nuclear weapons were disturbing for a variety of reasons, involving more than our national security. That Pyongyang had been lying and cheating all along since President Clinton's accords of summer 1994 was most galling because it seemed to discredit a number of the comfortable American assumptions that lay behind our past bewildering trust in compliance, inspections, dialogue, and safeguard agreements. The current efforts to spin the frightening revelations — perhaps the accords prevented even more nukes being produced, perhaps otherwise we would have had a million dead in a war in 1994, perhaps President Bush knew about this for months, perhaps we should now try the same diplomatic means with Saddam Hussein that we are using to salvage the situation in Korea — only show that we have learned nothing from the past.
James Baker III wrote in a Washington Post editorial:

North Korea signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1985. That treaty required Pyongyang within 18 months to sign a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency and allow inspection of its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon. Instead, North Korea secretly escalated its nuclear weapons development program.

Little-noticed but intensive diplomacy by the first Bush administration forced the North Koreans on Dec. 26, 1991, to end six years of intransigence on signing the safeguards agreement and allowing inspections. In a follow-up meeting in January, the United States bluntly warned Pyongyang that it either had to live up to the international agreements it had just signed or face further isolation and economic deprivation.

Pyongyang then refused to live up to the agreements it had signed and -- after a change of U.S. administrations -- threatened to withdraw from the nonproliferation treaty and, worse, to turn Seoul into a "sea of fire." That's when the Clinton administration signed the 1994 Framework Agreement. "This agreement will help achieve a longstanding and vital American objective," President Clinton said at the time, "an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula."

But in reality, our policy of carrots and sticks had given way overnight to one of carrots only -- fuel oil to help run North Korea's beleaguered economy, two new nuclear reactors and diplomatic ties. Moreover, Pyongyang was given another five years to do what it had already agreed to do in 1991 -- allow a full inspection of its nuclear facilities.

This agreement was an abrupt policy flip-flop, and in the end has, in my view, proved to be a mistake that has made stability on the Korean peninsula less, not more, likely.

Given their track record before 1994, there was substantial reason to question whether the North Koreans would ever keep their side of the Framework Agreement. The worst part is that it sent this dangerous message to other would-be proliferators in capitals such as Tehran and Baghdad: "Sometimes crime pays."
With these comments in mind, consider the attempts by the Quartet to impose on Israel a second Palestinian-Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (“Yesha”). The history of the PA since the Oslo Accords is the history of deception and violating agreements in the best tradition of Iraq and North Korea. The Accords called for disarming terrorists and keeping the “legal” armed Palestinian police to an agreed-upon level. Instead, the PA has been smuggling heavy arms, as the case of the arms ship Karine A proved. As to terrorism, the PA used the terrorist gangs affiliated with it (Force 17, Al Aqsa Brigades, etc) to augment the terrorism of the PA rivals (Hamas and Islamic Jihad). The deception and agreement violation of Iraq and North Korea are at least met with a measure of verbal opposition on the part of the West, even if action is a wee difficult to discern. But in the equivalent case of the PA, the Quartet, with US support, wishes to reward the rogue regime with a sovereign state, and one that is sure to spell the demise of the one democracy in the entire region. Not only have we not learnt a thing from the past, we don’t even learn a lesson from the present: even as our hands are getting burnt, we still shove them into the oven!

How can we possibly teach our children that we live in a rational world?

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland

Chechen Terrorists To Be Buried In Pigskin

This made me smile.
(Arutz Sheva) According to the Moskovski Komsomol newspaper, Russian security forces have decided to bury the terrorists from last's week's hostage siege wrapped in pig's skin. The aim is to deter potential Islamic terrorists from future attacks.

Shahidi (Jihad martyrs) believe by their nefarious acts that they ascend immediately to heaven. Using their beliefs against them, wrapping their corpses in 'unclean' pigskin prevents them from entering heaven for eternity.

October 30, 2002

Israel holds Canadian as terror suspect

Aren't there sufficient terrorists in the ME without these folks flying over to take a vacation and blow up innocents?
A Canadian man is being held without charge in Israel, suspected of teaching Palestinian extremists bomb-making techniques, Israel Radio reported Wednesday.

The Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet is said to have arrested the man — who goes variously by Fawzi Ayoub and Abu Achmed — during a raid in the West Bank city of Hebron four months ago.

The Israeli government suspects the man of having been recruited by the Canadian wing of the armed group Hezbollah. If true, revelations that a Canadian was recruited on his home soil by Hezbollah could seriously embarrass the federal government, which has refused to ban the group outright on the grounds that it has nonviolent wings that perform important social and charity work.
Labor Quits Government - What Happens Now

Contrary to press reports which have been indicating while discussing this Labor Party created war time crisis that election will occur, this is probably not so.

Sharon will probably form a narrower right wing coalition government and there will not be elections. Although, if there are elections now, Likud and the right wing parties are estimated to pick up a bunch of seats and Labor lose seats. I think Sharon will form a new government but may go for elections if this would stave off an attack from Netanyahu.

Sharon is still the Prime Minister so now he can do what he wants politically. The budget that Labor resigned over passed anyway 67 to 45 which is an indication that Sharon will be able to form a new government. He needs parties representing 60 knesset members supporting him. I find the Haaretz and Jpost reporting very weak in that none give party numbers and discuss scenarios on forming a more narrow coalition. Ben Eliezer is pulling this stunt to try to reinvigorate his image since he is currently third in polls for head of the Labor Party behind Mitzna and Ramon.

Current parties:
One Israel 25, Likud Party 19*, Shas 17*, MERETZ 10, National Unity Israel Beitenu 7*, Shinui 6, Center Party 6*, National Religious Party 5*, United Torah Judaism 5*, Yisra'el Ba'Aliya 4*, Democratic Front 3 (arab), Hadash 3 (arab), Democratic Choice 2* , Gesher 2*, One Nation 2, National Arab Party 2, Arab Movement 1, Heirut 1*, National Democratic Allliance 1 (arab).
* indicates parties which could be used to form a new coaltition



Labor Quits Government
(Arutz Sheva) The national unity government was dismantled this evening - Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer submitted his resignation just before 6 PM this evening - but the national budget passed its first reading in the Knesset tonight, 67-45. The Labor Party MKs voted against it, leaving them no way back to return to the government. This is due to the fact that Prime Minister Sharon made it clear that a nay vote against the budget by coalition members is akin to leaving the government. In order to avoid being fired, the Labor ministers handed in their resignations this evening. The government still stands, but no longer as a "unity" government, as one of the two major parties is not a member.

Both Likud and Labor blamed the other for refusing to agree on just "one word" in a final agreement between the two. Ben-Eliezer demanded that the final agreement stipulate that funds be transferred from "settlements" to other sectors - while Sharon refused to agree to this formulation. Though it appeared that Shimon Peres and other Labor leaders were willing to cede this point and write instead "equality among sectors," Binyamin Ben-Eliezer refused.

Prime Minister Sharon began his Knesset speech this evening by angrily expressing his "tremendous shame" at being involved in discussing "such nonsense" on a day when two teenage girls were being buried after having been murdered by a terrorist. He also noted that the formulation that Ben-Eliezer refused to sign was "almost exactly the wording of the national unity government guidelines." Banging on the rostrum, Sharon asked Ben-Eliezer, "For what are you dismantling this national unity government? For what?!"

MK Michael Eitan (Likud), speaking at the Knesset rostrum this afternoon, said, "It is being said that the government was toppled over one word - and that's true. But the word is not 'settlements,' but rather something else: 'Primaries!'" Eitan thus accused Ben-Eliezer of toppling the national unity government because of his personal interest in winning the upcoming primaries race for Labor Party leader against MK Chaim Ramon and Amram Mitzna. Ben-Eliezer later responded to this charge by saying that all his advisors had recommended that he go to the primaries as Defense Minister (and not as leader of the opposition). Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg, also of Labor, then said, "You should switch your advisors."

President Moshe Katzav and Oded Tira, President of the Industrialists Association, were two of many who had called upon Labor to remain in the government at this time of national need. Tira warned that a budget crisis could put Israel's economy into enter a period of total chaos.

The Labor ministers' resignations will go into effect 48 hours after they were submitted. Culture Minister Matan Vilnai, who is not a Knesset Member, will have no official title at all, while the other ministers will retain their status as Knesset Members. Ben-Eliezer will replace Meretz MK Yossi Sarid as opposition leader, as Labor is larger than Meretz. Prime Minister Sharon will have to decide whether to form a narrow right-wing government, or to call new elections.
A Joke, But Just Barely

Not that the UN needs parody, but the Onion this week does a pretty good job, with UN Criticizes U.S. Detention Policy

With one in 25 students currently in detention, on suspension, or otherwise held after school on charges, the U.S. leads the world in disciplinary action against schoolchildren, the U.N. Human Rights Commission reported Monday...The American educational justice system is deeply flawed, perhaps beyond repair," said Roberta Leigh of Amnesty International. "Fifteen percent of U.S. students are African-American, but they make up more than half of all detained students. The U.S. expulsion rate is six times that of Canada and 15 times that of Japan. How can we call ourselves the world's leading democracy in the face of those figures?"

I'm pretty sure the UN is actually planning such a report...
A friend in need - Revised

The following is quoted from the Jerusalem Post, 27 October, 2002:
The leadership of the US Christian Coalition is heading to Israel for its first-ever solidarity mission at the invitation of the Tourism Ministry, the group announced over the weekend.

The five-day mission will be headed by Christian Coalition president Roberta Combs. According to Combs, the group decided to schedule the mission after thousands of supporters turned out for a pro-Israel rally in Washington on October 11.

"We urge all friends of Israel to visit and stand with Israel during these difficult times," she said.

The group plans to meet Israeli officials and terror victims and visit holy sites and Jewish communities in the West Bank.
But, of course, support for Israel among North American non-Jews is not confined to “the Christian Right”. Jean Kirkpatrick is another staunch supporter of democratic Israel. (For four years, 1981-85, Jean Kirkpatrick was US Ambassador to the UN under Ronald Reagan.)

The Jerusalem Post, October 28, 2002,reports:
"The United Nations hasn't really improved much in the years since I was there, and it hasn't really improved much at all with respect to Israel," said Kirkpatrick. She said that when she first began attending Security Council and General Assembly sessions as America's ambassador, "I was very deeply shocked by the simple anti-Semitism that pervaded the place." The anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment she was exposed to at the world body was "mysterious," and "very, very strange," she said.

"We need to speak out about the calumny spoken at the UN," she said, noting that in addition to condemning anti-Jewish hatred emanating from Arab countries, Western European nations, such as France, should be taken to task for failing to halt anti-Semitism at home.

"We must tell the truth. We must tell the world about what happens that is dangerous to the people of Israel and the Jews of the world." Kirkpatrick praised Israel for taking risks for peace numerous times during its half-century history. "The state of Israel has taken more risks for peace than any state in the world, and has received very few rewards for those risks for peace," she said.
...
Kirkpatrick noted that she had doubted the effectiveness of the Oslo Accords in bringing peace to Israel from the time of their singing, in 1993. Oslo, she said, entailed "large risks from the people of Israel and little promise. Really, nothing occurred to make Israel stronger or better situated to face the future," she said.

She urged the hundreds of guests who turned out for the dinner to continue their support for Israel.

"With peace, the whole area could enjoy a better life. That should be our hope, that should be our prayer, and that should be our American policy wherever we can make that our policy."
Many non-Jewish organizations support Israel, and the web sites of these organizations are loaded with vital information relevant to pro-Israel advocacy. Examples include:

Christian Action For Israel (CAFI), Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), Empower America (whose board includes Jean Kirkpatrick, Jack Kemp and Bill Bennett), and the International Christian Zionist Center (ICZC), located in Jerusalem.

Israel also enjoys the support of certain non-Jewish web-based news outlets, a category in which WorldNetDaily , and particularly Joseph Farah’s articles, are conspicuous.

Similarly, there are many non-Jewish bloggers who support Israel. Noteworthy in this category is my colleague Dawson Jackson, A BISI member, who not only runs a pro-Israel web site, but who also opened his site to me for posting before the creation of IsraPundit.

Why do all these non-Jewish individuals and organizations rush to support Israel? There may be, of course, reasons specific to each individual and organization, including religious reasons. But polls indicate that the overarching consideration is solidarity with a republic whose values of democracy and freedom are identical with ours. In fact, after July 2000 (when Arafat walked away from Barak’s peace proposal), as I first got involved in a close examination of the Israel-Arab conflict, this was the principal consideration that ultimately led me to support pro-Israel advocacy.

May Israel flourish.

Addendum, 11:00 am, EST:

Subsequent to posting the article above earlier today, I came across a Jerusalem Post article by Yechiel Eckstein, dated 29 October, 2002, and bearing the title Friends in Deed. Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and Stand for Israel, writes, inter alia:

On October 20, more than five million people across America stood in solidarity with the beleaguered State of Israel and prayed for peace in the Holy Land. Most remarkably, this massive show of support was made not by Jews, but by Christians.

I led prayers for Israel at Mount Paran church in suburban Atlanta, together with thousands of Christians who chose to dedicate their Sunday prayers to this lofty - and I believe, most noble - cause.

The good people of Mount Paran were far from alone. Theirs was one of nearly 20,000 churches across the United States that joined in this very special Day of Prayer and Solidarity with Israel, sponsored by the Stand for Israel project of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
...
This remarkable national effort, slated to be an annual event on the American Christian calendar, came on the heels of a new poll we commissioned that sought to understand Evangelicals' motivation for supporting Israel...

Among Evangelicals who expressed support for Israel, well over half attributed their support to non-theological factors such as Israel's democratic system of government and the value it places on freedom, the country's status as a long-standing ally of the US in the war against terror, or the fact that Jews have been persecuted for centuries and need a homeland.
...
Far more Evangelicals support Israel because of its role in advancing freedom and democracy in the world today than because of any theological reasons. And even when they cite the chief theological basis for supporting Israel, nearly twice as many cited the book of Genesis as opposed to the book of Revelation.
Heartening news indeed.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland

Slide Show on PA Plans for Destruction of Israel

From Frontpage Magazine


Divest from Europe

A new petition:

To: U.S. Congress
The multi-governmental entity known as the European Union (EU) has a long track record of supporting the terrorist organization known as the Palestinian Authority (PA) and defense of the terrorist leader Yasser Arafat. In its latest outrage, it has pledged 29 million Euros (approx. $28.5 million) to the PA. History has shown us that the money sent to the PA will largely be spent either in the pursuit and/or encouragement of terror or to personally enrich Arafat and his cronies.

With the United States having declared war upon global terror, it is inappropriate for citizens of the United States to support a group that supports terror. We hereby urge corporations headquartered in the USA to divest themselves of their holdings in the nations of the EU and for the United States government to use all political pressure to force the EU to abandon its terrorist ally.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

From UN Watch

UN Watch is an excellent organization. This is from their weekly report, and I recommend e-mailing it around to anyone interested in Israel issues:


THE WEDNESDAY WATCH
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY FROM UN WATCH IN GENEVA
Wednesday, 30 October 2002
Issue 89

NEWS:
UN Special Rapporteurs are mandated to conduct fact-finding missions and
bring to the United Nations informed and independent judgments. On November
5, Mr. John Dugard, the UN's Special Rapporteur for issues of human rights
in the West Bank and Gaza, will present to the UN General Assembly a report
that omits crucial and obvious facts and contradicts UN reporting policy on
terrorism.

ANALYSIS:
One day before the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the United
Nations' Policy Working Group on the United Nations and Terrorism issued a
report that included the following statement: "In its public pronouncements,
the United Nations should project a clear and principled message,
underscoring the unacceptability of terrorism ... These messages must be
targeted to key audiences -- particularly to achieve a greater impact in
dissuading would-be supporters of terrorist acts."

An advance copy of Mr. Dugard's report shows utter disregard for UN policy
as well as common sense. He demonstrates such willful ignorance of the
threat and motivation of Palestinian terrorist organizations that the report
could only have been written in bad faith.

Mr. Dugard's most recent trip to Israel and the West Bank took place August
25-30. Four days before he arrived, two car bombs were intercepted by
Israeli soldiers near Jenin. This security operation was reported in The
Jerusalem Post, a leading English-language Israeli newspaper. Four days
after Mr. Dugard left, a car bomb containing 600 kg of explosives was
stopped at a roadblock. This incident was reported by the BBC. Ignoring
these incidents, Mr. Dugard describes Israeli closures as "so
disproportionate, so remote from the interests of security, that one is led
to ask whether they are not in part designed to punish, humiliate, and
subjugate the Palestinian people." As for the roadblocks themselves, he
fails to make even one mention of the fact that they have thwarted dozens of
suicide bombings this year, though media reports to substantiate these facts
are easily accessible in English for anyone inclined to look. Instead Mr.
Dugard offers only three sentences, written more in the style of an aspiring
novelist than a fact-finder: "A group of young soldiers, with the arrogance
of adolescence or its immediate aftermath, in dusty uniforms with ominous
rifles over their shoulders, entrusted with arbitrary power over the
movement of the people of Palestine. Long lines of vehicles or people
presenting papers to soldiers behind concrete blocks, all aware that their
movement is completely in the hands of these young foreign soldiers. The
arrogance of the occupier and the humiliation of the occupied." That's all.

To explain and excuse Palestinian terror, Mr. Dugard postulates that it is
"the hopelessness of despair which leads inexorably to suicide bombings."
While the admittedly miserable situation of the Palestinians may generate
more recruits for Islamic terror organizations, clearly the ideology of
jihad is the motive of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Again Mr. Dugard ignores
readily available documents and statements of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the
main perpetrators of suicide bombings. Easily found on terrorism-related web
sites, the English translation of the Hamas Charter states: "To face the
usurpation of Palestine by Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner
of Jihad." Mr. Dugard also managed to overlook a Hamas statement, after the
Hebrew University bombing on August 1, that Jews should leave Israel and
"return to where they came from." And this statement was reported in the
English-language press. Only gross incompetence or willful ignorance can
explain Mr. Dugard's omission of these facts.

Mr. Dugard's report is a disgrace to the institution of UN Special
Rapporteurs. In addition, his "see no evil" approach to Palestinian terror
contradicts each of the UN Policy Working Group's criteria for UN statements
on terror: clarity, principle, unacceptability of terrorism, and dissuasion.
Mr. Dugard should resign without delay.
The Temple Mount

Here is a good post from In Context pointed out by the musical Tonecluster on the immanent collapse of part of the Temple Mount

Excerpts from the New Hamas Comic; Praising Terrorism To Children

No Batman and Robin for these kids. Getting the children ready for meeting virgins soon.
Hamas has launched a new comic for children, al-Fateh (http://www.al-fateh.net). The second edition, (Oct. 2002) as published on the Internet site of the Hamas movement, lashes out against the "Jewish enemy" and the other countries that assist it against the Palestinians.

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

One of the children seeks justification for his claims from within Islamic tradition. "Our expectations will not be fulfilled until we fight and kill the Jews, especially as we are standing east of the river [of Jordan] with the Jews still standing west of the river of Jordan; and until the rock and the tree says, 'woe Muslim, woe subjects of Allah, here is a Jew [hiding] behind me. Come and kill him…' "
A Suicide Bomber Was Caught En Route To An Attack After His Name Was Accidentally Published

Seems an endless supply of scum looking to hook up with virgins in the afterlife
In its announcement taking responsibility for the terrorist attack at Ariel (27 October 2002), the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade mistakenly indicated that its operative Muhammad Shakir had carried out the attack at Ariel. It turns out that Shakir was not the suicide bomber involved in the Ariel attack, but he was planning to commit a different suicide attack in Israel. The erroneous announcement exposed Shakir, and early this morning IDF forces arrested him in Nablus.

Early this morning, IDF forces operating in Nablus arrested Muhammad Shakir, an activist in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade who planned to carry out a suicide bombing. Shakir's name was published by accident when the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack at Ariel. The Al-Aqsa operatives mistakenly believed that Shakir had carried out the attack at Ariel, and their blunder exposed him. The security forces conducted a manhunt after him, and early this morning he was arrested together with 13 other wanted individuals.

The IDF arrested 14 wanted individuals during the night (28 October 2002)
Why Arafat Should be Killed

Arafat is the Svengali of the Palestinian people. His bug eyed, glassy gaze puts the Palestinian people in his total control. They melt in his arms like a young lover in the arms of Don Juan.

If Arafat was a constructive leader, this control would be a good thing. Unfortunately, Arafat is a cancer for his people. He is not a nation or institution builder, he is a perpetual revolutionary, a destroyer of nations and institutions.

The Palestinians are once again in the position to have a state. This is a great accomplishment for the newest ‘people’ on the earth who they themselves did not know were a ‘people’ not very long ago.

But Arafat, and therefore the Palestinians, are pathologically unable to grab this offering. Such a grasp causes Arafat’s raison d’etre and therefore Arafat to disappear. As a matter of self preservation, Arafat is unable to extend his hand.

It would be best for the Palestinian people, if Arafat did not have this destructive power over the Palestinians. The only way to break Arafat’s strangle hold is to kill him. Exiling him would just cause him to exert this power from abroad. He needs to be killed.
There Should be No Easing of Restrictions on the Palestinians

The world cries for the plight of the Palestinians, locked in their homes, road blocks, etc. At the same time we here that Arafat is the legitimate leader of the Palestinians (even though his term of office expired a few years ago.

Well, Arafat, as leader of the Palestinians, has declared war on Israel and most often undertakes that war with means which violate international law such as suicide bombing.

As a result of this war declared by the Palestinians, the Israelis suffer. This is the goal of the Palestinians, to make the Israelis suffer so much that they will give in and move.

There is an asymmetry in this battle though that makes it very difficult for Israel to ever win. While the Israelis are made to suffer, and most of the world does not have much of a problem with this, the world at the same time screams that the Palestinians can not be made to suffer, the U.S. pushes this point and even Sharon seems to pay lip serves to this idea.

If the Palestinians are not made to suffer very much, why should they end the hostilities? Their standard of living has decreased at a faster rate than it had been decreasing but such decrease was expected and their standard of living should decrease to the levels of other backward non-oiled Arabs. meanwhile, foreign aid is flowing in which allows the people to drop the much abhorred physical labor and set hours and other manifestations of modernity.

The Palestinians understand the if the Israelis are made to suffer enough, the Israelis will through in the towel. The Israelis, unfortunately, have not realized the same thing. Israel needs to cause the situation of the Palestinians to be as bad as possible so that they will be incentivised to force their leadership to end the war. So long as their living situation is tolerable (and it currently is as they demonstrate), and it has not been getting worse recently, their is no reason for them to oppose the killing of Israelis.

Israel need to reintroduce symmetry into the equation. Israel needs to cause the Palestinian populace to feel the ill effects of its 'chosen' leadership.

Israel should stop the flow of humanitarian aid and all other aid into the area since it supports the enemies of Israel. No Palestinian workers should be allowed into Israel. All phone lines, etc to the area should be cut as well as travel.

To the extent that it can be argued that the people have no say in th matter, the leaders who have robbed the people blind, should also be specifically targetted. All of the huge villas built by Arafat's cronies should be levelled, their businesses destroyed, etc.

Until Israel acts like it is in a war as opposed to just in an inturlude before peace appears, it will not be able to stop the violence.

Arafat's 'reform' Cabinet: more of the same

The more things alter the more they stay the same. Even more so

JERUSALEM — Turning aside calls for a shake-up of his government, Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat named a new Cabinet yesterday that closely resembles his old one.
"I'm proud of the Palestinian democratic process. This is a victory for the Palestinian people," Arafat said. "It is a step toward reform."

At the same time, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was embroiled in a political battle within his ruling coalition that could lead to its dissolution and bring about early elections. But intense maneuvering was taking place in advance of a showdown vote scheduled today on the national budget.

Palestinian legislators, meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, approved the new Cabinet lineup by a 56-18 vote. Dissenters complained that by retaining several ministers accused of corruption, Arafat showed he was not serious about reforms or willing to accept curbs on his own powers
Arafat Wins Parliament Approval, Faces Critics

The challenge: read this entire article--it is short--and ask yourself what the hell Arafat is saying in the concluding paragraph. Talk about Orwellian "doublespeak."

RAMALLAH, West Bank (PINA) - “Today was a promising day for Palestinian democracy,” unnamed Palestinian Parliament member commented after a vote of confidence that approved Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat’s new cabinet on Tuesday.

Last month, the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), or Parliament refused to ratify a cabinet, selected by Arafat in what was seen as the Palestinian leader’s greatest political setbacks for years.

The PLC’s action had then strengthened the Israeli and American efforts to sideline the Palestinian President, although the PLC’s rejection of the cabinet was provoked by complaints of corruption, and by Arafat’s alleged failure to share power. Both Israel and the United States however are seeking a cabinet that would “guarantee the security of Israel” and subsequently end a two-year-old uprising against the Israeli occupation.

Today however, triumphant Arafat regained some of his old status and once again emerged on top. With a 56-18 vote, a new Palestinian cabinet was approved. Cheering members of the council sang a national song, as others clapped and some embraced. But the critics, who maintain that the new cabinet is hardly up to the challenge was also loud.


500 engineers turn out for anti-normalisation committee meeting


And this is what is going on in an Arab country that has signed a peace agreement with Israel. Is there any end to Arab hatred of Israel?



AMMAN — More than 500 engineers attending the first meeting of the expanded Jordanian Engineers Association's (JEA) anti-normalisation committee pledged to continue the anti-normalisation with Israel drive, saying it protects the Kingdom from “Zionist threats.”
In a statement made available to The Jordan Times, JEA President Azzam Hneidi said those present at the meeting announced they would not succumb to pressure and rescind the professional associations' campaign to counter normal relations with the Jewish state.

Last week, the JEA announced plans to open the door for membership to those interested in joining its anti-normalisation committee.

The association said it intends to reach a minimum of 500 members, with former committee membership standing at 25.
Rabbis for Olive's Rights? Terrorist Exploits Olive Trees To Murder Three

More blood on the hands of the anti-Israel left.
(IMRA) Israel Radio reported this morning that the terrorist who murdered two girls (12 and 14) and a woman in Hermesh exploited the olive trees that reach up to the community located between Mevo Dotan and Baka al-Gharbiya some 6 kilometers west of the Green Line in northern Samaria.

The trees provided cover to approach the community and made it possible for the terrorist to reconnoiter the area in advance, as an olive harvester. The terrorist slipped under a small gap that the terrorist located at a point in the security fence between the fence and the ground.

It should be noted that many Jewish communities have warned that the olive tree harvest campaign sponsored by the Israeli Left that includes harvesting in "off limit" areas up to the edge of Jewish communities endangers those communities by providing a framework within which terrorists can scout the Jewish communities and prepare for terrorist attacks.

It remains to be seen if Rabbis for Human Rights and the other Leftist organizations associated with the olive harvest campaign will make any remarks about the murder of the Israelis. It also remains unclear if any politicians from the Left will publicly take Yasser Arafat and the PA to task for declining to restrict terror attacks against Israelis beyond the Green Line.

October 29, 2002



A Vision For Israel

Since this will be my first post as a member of Bloggers In Support of Israel (BISI), I thought it would be best to start with my views on Israel.

Unlike other countries in the region, Israel is a liberal democracy like America and we have many shared values. They have taken a barren desert and turned it into thriving country, especially in comparison to the Arab countries that surround Israel. Through their industry they have created an economy with a per capita GDP around $18,000 as compared to an average of $2500 per capita in other Arab states. They don't wallow in misfortune or blame others for problems of their own making. They solve problems. Recently I blogged about some new technology they developed for desalinization that they expect to deploy in the next couple of years. That's a single example of Israeli industry that has amazingly managed to thrive in an environment of terror.

Their opponents are clearly terrorists. They don't wear uniforms and target civilians in their suicide bombings. The fact that they don't wear uniforms especially irks me. Soldiers wear uniforms to protect civilians. It identifies them for their opponents -- they know who to shoot -- and therefore protects civilians. Recently Kofi Annan "deplored" civilian deaths when Israel went after a known terrorist leader. My response was that I'll "deplore" Israel's accidental killing of civilians when the terrorists start wearing uniforms and quit holing up with civilians.

As for a solution to the violence, I don't have one other than building a wall around the West Bank. I do have a vision for what the area should look like when all of the disputes have been settled. There would be two states that are contiguous on land and in the air. That means Israel would get Gaza, not because they would want it but because it would remove a source of irritation and put them closer to a real solution. A like amount of land would be provided to the Palestinians to augment the West Bank.

A wall would be built around this new Palestinian state, draped in razor wire if need be, to prevent bombers from being able to enter Israel. This might not prevent any violence between Israel and the new Palestinian state but it would bring the violence out into the open. There would be points of ingress and egress that allowed Palestinians through that included explosives detectors.

Jerusalem would be the capitol of the Israeli state. No shared sovereignty but with Israel making accomodations to Muslims in the same way they have made accomodations to Christians. Muslims would manage their holy places as Christians manage the churches in Jerusalem. As for places that are holy to both Jews and Muslims, I don't know and am open to suggestions.

There you have it. I have no idea how to get from where we are now to this solution but it seems optimal given everything I've been able to learn about the Arab-Israeli conflict over the years. I'm, of course, open to suggestions and look forward to posting on Israpundit many times in the future.

Gas the Jews - Hitler Did Not FINNISH the Job

Finland will not export gas detection equipment to Israel. The email address given does not seem to work. Israel should announce patents on items which are refused to Israel will not be valid in Israel and Israel will copy such products (unless it would damage Israel too much).
FINLAND REFUSES TO SELL GAS KITS TO ISRAEL
Finland refuses to sell to Israel what are considered to be the best
gas-detection kits in the world, despite widespread evaluations that Iraq
may attack Israel with poison chemical weapons. The computerized kits
accurately identify chemical warfare materials, but Finland claims that the
European Union forbids the export of dual-use equipment to countries in
conflict. A speech by Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuominioja provides
some "background" to the decision, however. "I am appalled at the Israeli
policy of suppression, humiliation, subordination and impoverishment
towards the Palestinians," he said, revealing what could be Finland's true
feelings about Israel. Tuominioja's e-mail address is
"Erkki.Tuominioja@formin.fi".
Correction [by JA Norland]: The name of the Finnish FM is actually Erkki Tuomioja, and not as shown above. His e-mail address is Erkki.Tuomioja@formin.fi.