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

November 23, 2002

YMCA T-shirt offends Jews by including Palestine, not Israel

I wonder if the Village People will no longer sing YMCA, their classic number. In Germany shortly before the wars broke out (WWII) the word Christian in any organization's name was code for anti-semitic. When representatives from Amrica visited, I recall having read, the Germans were surprised to discover that the YMCA was not anti-semitic. Seems after all the Germans were right. O, Canada...Oy, Canada.
MONTREAL, Nov. 22 (JTA) — Members of the Jewish community here are incensed about a T-shirt that lists YMCAs around the world, except for one certain country.
On the front of the black YMCA shirt is a quote from Gandhi: “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” On the back is a list of countries that host the many Y’s worldwide.

Curiously, Palestine — a country that does not exist — is listed, while Israel is not.

The shirts, meant to promote world peace, have been handed out at YMCAs throughout Canada to mark World Peace Week, Nov. 17-23.

Sandy Kogut, a music instructor at the YMCA in the Montreal suburb of Westmount, and several colleagues have refused to wear the shirts.

“To go out of the way to eliminate Israel and include Palestine was over the top,” Kogut said. “How could someone not know that would be objectionable?”

The list is comprehensive enough to include countries like Madagascar, Malta and Zimbabwe, Kogut noted.

“The T-shirt could have mentioned Israel as a place trying to have peace,” Kogut said. “The International YMCA is located in Jerusalem.”

Besides that YMCA, located across from the King David Hotel in western Jerusalem, there are Y’s in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

A spokeswoman for the YMCA organization said that the decision was made to include “Palestine” because the Y’s in Palestinian-held areas identify themselves that way.

Silvana Anania, director of international development for the YMCA, said in a media statement that the Y in western Jerusalem is a branch of the YMCA movement in the United States.

Anania was unavailable for an interview with JTA on Friday.

“We’re not trying to make a political statement, except to say we are trying to promote peace, not conflict,” Anania said. She expressed surprise that people were offended.
[more]
Russian, Israeli hands tied in war on terror

Debka analysis points out what is already apparent. American strategy on Iraq shackles and shields terror money supliers and terror groups elsewhere
US President George W. Bush made a point of calling on Russian president Vladimir Putin directly after the NATO summit in Prague, to solicit his support for direct US military action against Iraq. However, Putin, who received his American visitor with pomp at the grand 18th century Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg, was not mollified by Bush’s reassurances about Russian interests in post-Saddam Iraq. Instead, he took the US President to task over the way the global war on terror was being handled, brushing aside the capture of al Qaeda’s Gulf operations chief, Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri, as marginal to the issue.

To underscore his point, Putin asked some tough questions.

Where had Osama bin Laden taken refuge? he asked rhetorically, adding in a pointed dig at Saudi Arabia: “We should not forget about those who finance terrorism.”

Putin went on to question if Pakistani President Musharraf had done enough to stabilize the area, noting: ”What can happen with armies, arms, weapons that exist in Pakistan, including weapons of mass destruction?”

What Putin was saying was that while America’s mind was on Iraq, the terrorists against whom they had solemnly declared war together after September 11, 2001,were getting away.

The allusion to the Saudis as financiers of al Qaeda (Read separate article: Saudi Interior Minister’s fund enriches al Qaeda’s war chest) was not lost on Bush; nor the suggestion that the Pakistan ruler is secretly promoting Islamic terrorist operations in Kashmir. Russian intelligence, like many other undercover agencies, including that of Israel, do not rule out the possibility of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, military strength and weapons falling into the hands of al Qaeda in certain circumstances. Putin’s query, translated in terms of the concerns in Jerusalem, would be: What if Saddam Hussein hands over weapons of mass destruction to al Qaeda or the Palestinians?

The Russian leader’s blunt words to Bush were undoubtedly aimed at making his war in Chechnya more acceptable to the West. He is also worried about the damaging effect of the Iraqi war to the frail Russian economy. At the same time, Putin put his finger on a disturbing point: The roots of terror are being allowed to flourish, especially in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, while America focuses on fighting Saddam Hussein – instead of coming to grips with both menaces.

In recent weeks, DEBKAfile and DEBKA-Net-Weekly have exposed certain developments in this regard:
[more]
News Updates

This link provides updates on Israeli/Palestinian news articles as well as providing photos for each story

Palestinian Suicide Bombers Hit Israeli Naval Boat

Then let them eat cake instead of fish. Stop the fishing boats till terrorists stop their killing
World - Reuters
GAZA (Reuters) - Two Palestinian suicide bombers blew up an explosives-laden fishing boat close to an Israeli patrol craft on Saturday, wounding four sailors, in the first such attack since the start of the Palestinian uprising.

The militant Islamic Jihad group said the two suicide bombers, aged 19 and 21, were killed in the overnight attack on the 20-meter Israeli patrol craft in waters near the Gaza Strip (news - web sites).

The Israeli army said four sailors were wounded, three moderately, when the fishing boat blew up as the patrol boat, armed with 20 mm cannon and 12.7 machine guns, approached to warn it to turn back.


The army imposed a complete ban on Palestinian fishing boats plying waters off the Gaza Strip coastline after the incident.

The attack was reminiscent of the USS Cole (news - web sites) bombing, which was blamed on Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s al Qaeda network. A boat loaded with explosives rammed the U.S. destroyer off the coastline of Yemen in October 2000, killing 17 crew.

The bombing was the latest in a surge of violence that has challenged U.S. efforts to seek regional calm ahead of a possible war on Iraq.
[more]
The World's Collective Amnesia

Joseph Farah writes about The Big Lie: Zionists pushed out the Palestinians and made them refugees.
Yasser Arafat may have lost some of his personal political clout of late, but the political movement he began – demanding justice for Palestinian Arabs expelled from their homes in 1948 – remains as strong as ever.

There's just one problem. There's not the slightest historical evidence to suggest Arabs were expelled in significant numbers – certainly not by Jews.

I know this statement is going to be met with gasps, guffaws and gnashing of teeth. Nevertheless, let me defend it, not with my own words, not with the words of Jews and Israelis, but with the words of Arabs closer to the time of the events.

"The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the act of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agree upon this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem."
– Emile Ghoury, secretary of the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee, in an interview with the Beirut Telegraph Sept. 6, 1948.

"The Arab state which had encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees."
– The Jordanian daily newspaper Falastin, Feb. 19, 1949.

"Who brought the Palestinians to Lebanon as refugees, suffering now from the malign attitude of newspapers and communal leaders, who have neither honor nor conscience? Who brought them over in dire straits and penniless, after they lost their honor? The Arab states, and Lebanon amongst them, did it."
– The Beirut Muslim weekly Kul-Shay, Aug. 19, 1951.

"The 15th May, 1948, arrived ... On that day the mufti of Jerusalem appealed to the Arabs of Palestine to leave the country, because the Arab armies were about to enter and fight in their stead."
– The Cairo daily Akhbar el Yom, Oct. 12, 1963.

"For the flight and fall of the other villages it is our leaders who are responsible because of their dissemination of rumors exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs ... By spreading rumors of Jewish atrocities, killings of women and children etc., they instilled fear and terror in the hearts of the Arabs in Palestine, until they fled leaving their homes and properties to the enemy."
– The Jordanian daily newspaper Al Urdun, April 9, 1953.

I could go on and on and on with this forgotten – or deliberately obscured – history. But you get the point. There was no Jewish conspiracy to chase Arabs out of their homes in 1948. It never happened. There are, instead, plenty of historical records showing the Jews pleading with their Arab neighbors to stay and live in peace and harmony. Yet, despite the clear, unambiguous words of the Arab observers at the time, history has been successfully rewritten to turn the Jews into the bad guys.

The truth is that 68 percent of the Arab Palestinians who left in 1948 – perhaps 300,000 to 400,000 of them – never saw an Israeli soldier.

Even more importantly, the revised history has given the guilty a free ride. The Arab states that initiated the hostilities have never accepted responsibility – despite their enormous wealth and their ability to assimilate tens of millions of refugees in their largely under-populated nations. And other states have failed to hold them accountable.

It's bad enough the Arab states created a small nation of refugees by their actions. It's worse that they have successfully blamed that international crime on the Jews.

Today, of course, this cruel charade continues. The suffering of millions of Arabs is perpetuated only for political purposes by the Arab states. They are merely pawns in the war to destroy Israel.

There were some 100 million refugees around the world following World War II. The Palestinian Arab group is the only one in the world not absorbed or integrated into their own people's lands. Since then, millions of Jewish refugees from around the world have been absorbed in the tiny nation of Israel.

It makes no sense to expect that same tiny Jewish state to solve a refugee crisis it did not create.
As Israeli elections approach, terrorists say ‘elect’ the winner

Politics and the Arab input.
NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (JTA) — It is barely a week into Israel’s election campaign season and Palestinian terrorists want their voices to be heard.
A suicide bombing aboard a crowded Jerusalem bus Thursday sent the apparent message that there will be no halt to terror as Israelis spend the next two months deciding who their next leader will be.

Eleven people were killed and about 50 wounded in Thursday’s bus attack. Many of the passengers were schoolchildren.

Ten of the victims were from Jerusalem: Hodaya Asaraf, 13; Marina Bazarski, 46; Yelena-Hadassah Ben-David, 32: Kira Perlman, 67, and her grandson Ilan Perlman, 8; Sima Novak, 56; Yafit Ravivo, 13; Ella Sharshevsky, 44, and her son Michael Sharshevsky, 16; and Dikla Zino, 20.

The 11th victim, Varga Mirsa, 25, was a tourist from Romania.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, but Palestinian sources reportedly said the bomber belonged to Islamic Jihad. Last week, after Palestinian snipers killed 11 Israelis in Hebron, the two groups also competed for “bragging rights.”

In the wake of the attack, a top Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, Abdel Aziz Rantissi, apparently decided to rub salt in Israel’s wounds, stating that Palestinian suicide bombings are an effective weapon, despite Israeli claims that the Jewish state will never bow to terror.

Rantissi said such attacks are what prompted the newly elected leader of Israel’s Labor Party, Amram Mitzna, to declare this week that he would uproot Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip immediately upon taking office.

Mitzna, in an interview with the Israeli daily Ha’aretz before he won the Labor Party’s leadership primary Tuesday, also said he would resume talks with the Palestinians without condition and would withdraw from most of the West Bank within a year of taking office.

Given Mitzna’s dovish stance, one might wonder why Rantissi said what he did, particularly since it was highly likely to make at least some Israeli voters question whether they would really want to support Mitzna.

Then there is another consideration: Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is squaring off against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon next week in a Likud leadership primary.

Rantissi’s comments — to say nothing of Thursday’s brutal bus bombing — could prompt Likud voters to back the more hawkish Netanyahu over Sharon.
[more]
PLO calls for end to attacks on civilians

Clearly a political move to get in place a peace maker and to oust Sharon. One of the many faces of Arafat.
Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) appealed on Friday for an immediate halt to attacks against Israeli civilians, and called for a dialogue with "peace-loving forces" in Israel.

"All military operations must be immediately stopped, especially those aimed at Israeli civilians," a statement published by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said following a meeting of the PLO's executive committee chaired by Arafat in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

The PLO also called for a halt to "all operations by the occupation forces in the Israeli colonies against Palestinian civilians."

Previous calls rejected

Radical Palestinian groups have previously rejected similar appeals from Arafat. Islamist movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for a suicide attack Thursday in Jerusalem that killed 11 people plus the bomber.

The PLO said the current situation "serves the extremist and aggressive forces in Israel" and denounced the "provocations, terrorism and killings carried out by occupation forces against the Palestinian people."

It also urged the "representives of peace-loving forces in Israel to open a dialogue to negotiate a detailed and global plan that would be submitted to the Palestinian and Israeli people."
Palestine: The Final Victim?

Aittle blame for everyone. Arafat losing any notion of statehood because of terroirsm. Sharon using terrorism to avoid a state for the Palestinians. Settlements grow. Terrorism flourish.
Bomb blasts that destroy Israeli schoolchildren and other "Zionist entity targets" bring significant harm to the Palestinian people as well. The war of terror against the Israelis now risks burying in its debris the hopes for an independent Palestinian state that will live in peace with Israel.

The need for such a Palestinian state has never had wider support from world leaders. It was offered to Yasser Arafat by Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton at Camp David in July 2000. George W. Bush has spelled out in greater detail his commitment to a Palestinian state than Clinton or Jimmy Carter ever did while they were in the White House.

But history is littered with inevitable moments that were sidetracked into oblivion. Ask the Kurds about the state they were promised eight decades ago. Or the Egyptians and Syrians about their plans for the United Arab Republic. Without a determined and focused international effort led by the United States, this fate could now overtake the Palestinian state that seemed in reach two long years ago.

Arafat refused the offer and turned to violence. And he cleared the way for Islamic extremist organizations that are not interested in any two-state solution, whether backed by Clinton, Bush or Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah. The bombers and their supporters want a no-state solution.

The destruction of Israel is their more obvious and immediate goal. But the nation-state itself is also a target of the jihad organizations that help stage the suicide attacks...[more]


DEMONSTRATORS HOLD PICTURES OF THE VICTIMS OF PALESTINIAN ATTACKS, OUTSIDE THE TEL AVIV DISTRICT COURT DURING THE MURDER TRIAL OF MARWAN BARGHOUTI, A PROMINENT PALESTINIAN UPRISING LEADER, IN TEL AVIV NOVEMBER 21, 2002. A PALESTINIAN MILITANT KILLED 11 PEOPLE AND INJURED 49 WHEN HE BLEW HIMSELF UP ON A CROWDED BUS IN JERUSALEM ON THURSDAY IN THE FIRST SUICIDE BOMBING IN ISRAEL SINCE THE START OF A GENERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN. PHOTO: HAVAKUK LEVISON

Young victim of Jerusalem bombing buried on dark day for Israel

This speaks for itself.
"I don't want her to be alone tonight," sobbed Shoulamit Asaraf at the funeral of her 13-year-old daughter Hodaya, killed a few hours earlier when a suicide bomber blew himself up on a Jerusalem bus.

The 200 to 300 people gathered at Jerusalem's largest cemetery broke out into tears as they watched Asaraf crying over her daughter.

An official from Israel's funeral services tried, without success, to console Asaraf, telling her that Hodaya was now under "divine protection".

"Why must children so pure die?" Hodaya's father asked the people gathered around him. But no one could find the words to alleviate his pain. All kept their heads down
[more]

November 22, 2002

Preview of the Israeli Elections: A Brookings Institution event on Monday in Washington, DC.

Participants: Martin Indyk, senior fellow, Foreign Policy Studies and Yaron Deckel, Washington bureau chief, Israeli Radio and TV Channel 1

Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW. 10 a.m. (November 25, 2002)

Contact: 202-797-6105; e-mail, communications@brookings.edu
Egyptian rights group criticizes state TV over show


Seems that the Left in Egypt can stand up for Jews! Four articles (click link)
Indoors, most Cairo residents replete with an evening meal after a hard day of fasting settle down to doze before their flickering TV sets, joining millions of viewers across the region in a pan-Arab Ramadan tradition with a modern twist. (3) For Arab television stations, Ramadan is sweeps month, when an all-night mishmash of programs from game shows to melodramatic soaps reward the faithful for their daytime abstinence. (3) Nasty controversies have an unwelcome way of hiking up viewership figures and by all accounts Fares Bela Gawwad has stirred up a formidable stink that has reeked across most of the Arab world into Israel and the United States. (3) In the first domestic criticism of its kind, an Egyptian human rights group has rebuked the state broadcasting authority for showing a television series widely criticised as anti- Semitic. (1) The Egyptian Human Rights Organisation urged all Arab television channels showing the series, Horseman without a Horse, to broadcast a warning that it contained lies about Jews. (1) The head of the human rights group, Hafez Abu Seida, told the BBC that spreading views hostile to Jews breeds hatred which in turn causes bloodshed. (1)
U.S. to deploy Aegis destroyer to guard Israel from Iraqi Scuds


Nice because would knock out scuds at sea before getting to Israel
The U.S. Navy plans to deploy an Aegis-class destroyer in the eastern Mediterranean by January to help guard Israel against an attack by Iraqi Scud missiles.

U.S. officials said a program of six tests of the Aegis will be conducted to develop an emergency deployment sea-based ballistic missile defense against short- to medium-range ballistic missiles.


An Aries target is seen seconds after lift-off from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, in Kauai, Hawaii, on Nov. 22. Three and one-half minutes later the target would be intercepted by a developmental Standard Missile-3, launched from the Pearl Harbor-based Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie.

The first test was successfully conducted Thursday in the Pacific Ocean.

The officials said in January the destroyer will participate in an exercise with Israeli air defense and its air force in an effort to bolster missile defense, Middle East Newsline reported.

They said the U.S. destroyer will remain off the Israeli coast to protect against any Iraqi medium-range missiles fired toward Tel Aviv and the surrounding area.
The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy said the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system successfully intercepted a ballistic missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. On Thursday, a developmental Standard Missile 3 [SM-3] was fired from the Aegis ballistic missile defense cruiser USS Lake Erie and acquired, tracked and diverted into the target.

"This was the third consecutive target intercept," a Defense Department statement said. "The primary objective of this test is to demonstrate the Aegis BMD [ballistic missile defense] system capability to engage the ballistic missile target in the ascent phase of flight."

Officials said the Pentagon has collected extensive engineering evaluation data for analyses in preparation for future flight tests. They said this data will be evaluated to incorporate changes any changes in the system.

"There are no problems with interoperability," a defense official said. "But there are problems with the Aegis radar and its ability to distinguish between a Scud warhead and missile debris. This is a major challenge that the system faces."
[more]
Palestinian Art Exhibit Glorifies Terror

Art mirrors the dreams of hate and murder

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims, and there are many Arab cultural events taking place around the world in honor of the occasion. In New York, one of the largest events is an art exhibit in the mostly Jewish neighborhood of Williamsburg.

The works of 46 Palestinian artists are on display to showcase Palestinian culture. Almost every item has an anti-Israel slant. One item shows an Arab kafiyah (headdress) trapped in a Magen David made of barbed wire. Others are more graphic in depicting Arab suffering at the hands of their “oppressors”.

There are also ample displays of violence that the artists claim are showing the proud Arab masses standing up to the advanced ammunition of the Israeli invaders using only stones. An ammunition box that would normally hold bullets for an M-16 rifle is filled with rocks.

Another painting shows a group of people on a horse throwing rocks. One item shows the Hamas symbol of a raised fist holding a rifle.

Another piece that had not arrived in time for display depicts pipe bombs used to kill Israelis in terror attacks. The sign at the missing display says that the exhibit was delayed in transit, taking 29 days to arrive by mail, hinting at attempts of censorship.

The concept of peace is absent from the exhibit. There are no declarations of peace with Israel, no signs of hopeful coexistence. At the table where craft items are for sale, they have the usual kafiyahs, postcards and posters, but the largest number of items are hats and T-shirts depicting the Palestinian flag. Emblazoned on the flag is a map of the hoped for Palestinian state. This map consists of all the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
[more]
Archeologists find artifacts from Bar Kochba revolt

Findings show the long history of a people determined to be free
A cave survey in Israel's Judean Desert has uncovered papyrus scrolls, coins and arrow heads from the period of the Jewish rebellion against the Romans in the second century, archeologists said Tuesday.

The scrolls, while believed to be less significant than the Dead Sea Scrolls found in the region in 1947, will shed light on the time of the revolt led by Simon Bar Kochba, said Zvika Tzuk, an archaeologist for the National Parks Authority.

The artifacts were found in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, near the Dead Sea, by a team of archeologists headed by Professor Hanan Eshel from Bar Ilan University and Amos Frumkin of Jerusalem's Hebrew University.

Historians believe the rebels fled to the desert after the Romans crushed the revolt, hiding out in hillside caves dotted throughout the rugged terrain.

Rappelling into a cave, archaeologists found the papyrus scrolls as well as coins bearing the name "Shimon," a reference to Bar Kochba, the leader of a 132-135 rebellion, the parks authority said. Archeologists also found a dozen wooden arrows and metal arrowheads, and scraps of cloth.

The scrolls, as yet unopened, have been given to the Israel Museum, where they will be researched.

Between 1947-65, archeologists discovered hundreds of ancient Jewish documents at Qumran, the area where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Decades later, archeologists believed all the scrolls in the area had been found until the discovery of a number of documents near Jericho between 1986-93.

"After two generations where we didn't discover anything, this find is very important," Tzuk said.
Syria helps Iran
arm Hezbollah
Rockets supplied for possible attacks on northern Israel


And another threat to Israel in the making
Syria is supplying Iranian-backed Hezbollah with hundreds of new short-range rockets for attacks on northern Israel, reports Geostrategy, the global intelligence news agency.

The rocket was first offered to Hezbollah nearly two years ago. It has a range of 75 kilometers and is said to be a product of Syria's defense industry.

Military sources say Syria's new rocket is not very accurate. Damascus has reportedly been working on improving the launcher and developing a more stable version.

''Syria is developing Hezbollah into a military force that can fight Israel from Lebanon,'' a senior Israeli military official said.

For nearly 20 years, Hezbollah has been armed and trained solely by Iran, while Syria provided the group a haven in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley.

According to the report, this is the first time Syria has directly supplied Hezbollah with significant weaponry. It marks a new policy toward the Shi'ite group, which is on the U.S. State Department list of terrorist organizations.

''This opens a potential second front against Israel in the north and also allows Syria to effectively use a proxy rather than fight us directly,'' said the official.
[more]
Israel sees worse to come in suicide bomb campaign

When you're losing the game, change the rules
JERUSALEM - Israeli security officials warned that as the country approaches elections in January, militant Palestinians may accelerate the pace of suicide bombings, like the one on a Jerusalem bus early yesterday that killed 11 people and wounded dozens of others, including youngsters.

The alert was sounded as Israelis reeled from the third major attack in less than two weeks and as soldiers and tanks surrounded the West Bank town of Bethlehem, where the bus bomber came from. Early this morning, the Israeli force moved into Bethlehem, taking up positions at key sites.

The militant Hamas group, which opposes any conciliation with Israel, claimed responsibility for the Jerusalem attack and vowed to continue targeting Israelis, even as the new leader of the Labor Party pledged to take a softer line against Palestinians.
[more]
Israel Eyes Up to $10B in U.S. Aid

Can you spare some change?
JERUSALEM –– Israel will ask the United States for loan guarantees aimed at jump-strating its economy which has been damaged by two years of violence and the request will total between $8 billion and $10 billion, a senior government official said Thursday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that the Finance and Defense ministries are finalizing the request and would forward it to the United States in the coming days.

The request for guarantees on foreign bank loans would be in addition to the $2.9 million in direct loans and grants that Israel receives annually from the United States, the official said.

Israel, which receives the largest U.S. aid package of any country, relies on the loan guarantees to borrow at lower interest rates.

There is no cost to the United States if Israel repays the loans and Israel has never defaulted on a loan, the official said.
[more]
Israelis troops raid Bethlehem

Payback: but is this sufficient?
Israeli troops and armoured vehicles entered the West Bank city of Bethlehem before dawn on Friday, following a suicide bombing that killed 11 in Jerusalem a day earlier.
Soldiers have been conducting house-to-house searches for 30 suspected militants. Nine people had been held by daybreak, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.

Troops surrounded the Dheisheh refugee camp and blocked off Bethlehem's Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity to prevent Palestinian gunmen seeking refuge there.

The suspected Jerusalem bomber, whom Israeli police identified as 23-year-old Nael Abu Hilail, was believed to have come from Bethlehem.


The alleged bomber's father expressed pride

Israeli military spokesperson Sharon Feingold told the BBC that Palestinian militants had set up a "terror infrastructure" in Bethlehem since Israeli troops pulled out in August as part of a confidence-building security deal.
[more]
More Dead, More Orphans, More Mangled

More dead, more orphans, more mangled children, more blood on the hands of the leftist collaborators. We are reaping the harvest of Ben-Eliezer’s treachery (who ironically lost the Labor Party race to the radical leftist Mitzna despite these crass political maneuverings). Let there be no mistake as to the price of the "peace" being offered by the leftist commissars and the anti-Semites in the "Quartet". While European mobs chant for Jewish blood and the hypocrites in the White House make plans to sacrifice the Jewish homeland on the altar of big oil, the lunatic left makes every attempt possible to aid and support the terrorist murderers. Meanwhile Jewish children die in the streets of the Promised Land.
(Arutz Sheva) Today's numbers: Eleven dead, including eight girls and women, and 49 wounded, including nine in serious condition. An Arab human-bomb murderer from Bethlehem blew himself up aboard a bus in the Kiryat Menachem neighborhood of southwestern Jerusalem. Egged bus #20 was headed north towards the center of town at about 7:15 AM when the bomber boarded the bus and detonated his device in the front section of the cabin on Mexico Ave. The bus was packed with commuters heading to work and children on their way to school.

The victims, almost all of them from the same Jerusalem neighborhood of Ir Ganim, are:
Bella Sharshevsky and her 16-year-old son Michael
Kira Perlman, 67, and her 8-year-old grandson Ilan
Hodayah Asaraf, 13, buried today in Givat Sha'ul in Jerusalem
Yafit Rebibo, 13, who will be buried this evening
Sima Novick, 56
Hadassah Ben-David, 32
Diklah Zino, 20
Marina Bizarsky, 46
Varga Mirsa, 25, a Romanian tourist who had been here for five weeks.

The Education Ministry sent teams of psychologists and educational advisors to schools near the site of the attack. The schools have been instructed to take careful note of which children are not present, and to maintain contact with the Education Ministry.

This attack was the first deadly bombing in the capital since an Israeli-Arab terror cell detonated a bomb inside a Hebrew University cafeteria on July 31, killing nine. The last bus bombing in Jerusalem took place in June, when a suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus near the Pat junction, murdering 19.

The terrorist came from Bethlehem, which was recently transferred to PA control in the framework of ex-Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer's "Judea First" plan. IDF sources said that the transfer of Bethlehem to PA security control was that which enabled the attack to be prepared and the terrorist to enter Kiryat Menachem, only a few hilltops away.

IDF Col. (res.) Moshe Hager told Arutz-7 today that Israel's anti-terrorism fight was "weakened by our departure from the cities. If we don't stay in the places where we can run after terrorists, they run away from us. When we left Bethlehem and stayed in Hevron for a few weeks, the terrorists ran to Bethlehem... 70% of the weapons are still in their hands, and they can and must be collected."
(Emphasis added)

November 21, 2002

Double Standard For Israel

We were attacked by al Qaeda and have made destroying al Qaeda our main foreign policy goal. Why should Israel not be allowed to destroy Islamic Jihad and Hamas? The only reason they are not is because of us. It's time to take the chains off Israel and let them destroy the organizations that threaten their existence.
In a statement released November 21, Secretary of State Colin Powell condemned the suicide bombing on a bus in Jerusalem and extended his condolences to the Israeli government and to the victims' families.

"There can be no excuse for this despicable attack, and we call on the Palestinians to take immediate and sustained steps to eradicate the infrastructure of terrorism and violence that has wrought such tragic bloodshed," said Powell.
Militants admit Israel bus blast

How would you respond to this? Post comment.
The military wing of the Islamic movement Hamas has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Jerusalem which killed 11 other people and injured more than 40 during the morning rush hour.

The bus, travelling towards the centre of the city, was full when the passenger blew himself up at 0715 local time (0515 GMT).

In a statement, the group said the bombing was in response to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the killing of Palestinians, pledging that more such deadly attacks would follow.

Hamas, whose immediate aim is to secure an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, has claimed responsibility for the majority of attacks against Israeli targets since the Palestinian uprising against occupation began two years ago.

Israeli officials have said the country is planning a rapid response.

BBC Jerusalem correspondent Jeremy Cooke says Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is under intense pressure to take a hard line against Palestinian extremists as he seeks re-election in a January poll.

'Bloodshed agenda'

One of those killed in the blast was a 13-year-old girl, while as many as half of the injured are reported to be under the age of 18.

Local resident Ariel Gino told Reuters news agency the explosion was so loud he thought his roof had come off.

"I rushed out and saw people lying on the street. Some were screaming, some were crying.

"There were about five or six people still in the bus. They weren't moving. Some on the street had blood on their faces, others had burns," he said.

An Israeli radio reporter said schoolbooks lay scattered by the charred remains of the bus.

The attack on Thursday was the first fatal bombing in Jerusalem since 31 July, when seven people were killed at the Hebrew University. It is the deadliest since June 18, when 19 civilians died in a suicide attack.

It came just two days after Israeli troops shot dead six Palestinians, including a teenager, during a raid on the West Bank town of Tulkarm.

Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority condemned the bus blast, but said that Israel was responsible for continued violence due to its army's behaviour in Palestinian towns and cities.
"Syria is not interested in direct conflict with Israel"

Egypt and Syria sued for peace. Why lose so many men? But other Arab states avoid war and support terror so that it seems a show of Arab solidarity and the only ones to die are the Palestinians. And who cares about them?
A senior Israeli military source interviewed yesterday (18th November 2002) said that there was intelligence information showing that Syria was not interested in direct conflict with Israel, but preferred instead to fight Israel "from a distance" through the Hizballah organization. The senior military source emphasized that the Syrian army trained regularly and possessed an arsenal of ground to ground missiles positioned deep inside Syria, and was well capable of launching an attack on Israel.
The Syrian government, headed by Bashar Al Assad, makes no secret of its relationship with the Hizballah organization. The head of the Hizballah organization, Hassan Nasrallah, has been the personal guest of the Syrian president many times.

The Hizballah organization is the arm of Iran for exporting the ideology of the "revolution". It is situated on Israel's northern front, in South Lebanon. The organization is aware of constrictions imposed on it by its three masters: Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. The organization maintains strong links with Iran, and its members train on Iranian soil. The Hizballah numbers 1000 active fighters, and thousands of reservists. It is a fast growing organization, especially in Southern Lebanon where it is becoming a sort of semi-military organization.

The Hizballah has an arsenal of 220mm rockets, manufactured in Syria, with a range of 75 km. The rocket launchers have been placed at a number of locations along Lebanon's southern border, meaning that rockets can be fired deep into Israeli territory. The senior military source added that Hizballah is known to be working on a modern and longer ranging type of rocket.

The senior military source said that over the past two years the Hizballah had been building up its military strength and infrastructure by a "drill" method. According to this method the Hizballah pushes Israel to the limits of its restraint daily, without pushing past a point that would bring certain retaliatory action from Israel. In this way (by firing anti aircraft missiles along Israel's northern border) the organization keeps with its hard-line "Jihad" image, without going so far as to cause an outright war. "We are observing a lot of covert activity by the Hizballah" said the source.

The Hizballah has claimed many times that it is willing to fight for "every last Palestinian". It is known that the Hizballah is a very focused organization which likes to use shock tactics whenever possible. The military source emphasized that the September 11th attacks had drawn the line for terrorist organizations worldwide, including the Hizballah, which they dare not cross. The abduction of three IDF soldiers from Mount Dov by Hizballah was an incident that severely tested the limits of Israeli restraint, as was the terrorist attack at kibbutz Matsuba. In the attack on Matsuba, the Hizballah employed "trick" tactics such as keeping a low profile, and not taking responsibility for the attack, to prevent Israel from being able to retaliate. The source added that the guiding principle of the Hizballah was that, for the time being, "They are not interested in crossing the line".
Revised "road map" asks for immediate Israeli acceptance of Palestinian state

Let me first begin by saying I am probably much more to the Left than many pro-Israeli bloggers. But I am not by any stretch of the imagination naive enough to think that turning over all lands taken in war will end terror. Second, I firmly believe that what is taken in a war is not (never) given back without having a peace accord in advance. Nations simply do not reocgnize a time cap that says you must after X nuymber of years return all lands taken for which your people died in an attempt to survive. Next, while the Road discussed here sounds like a not-bad idea, there are no assurances that terror will stop. In fact, I would insist that the leaders of all terror groups pledge that they too would end their murdering of innocents before any recognition is put into place. Simply put: no full agreement on terms, no accepting a roadmap that goes to no destination other than having a Palestinian state.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan al-Muasher said the revised "road map" to Middle East peace would be presented on December 20.
A road map that leads straight back to Oslo
Natan Sharansky

Sharon criticizes provisions of American peace "road map"

The revised "road map" to Middle East peace being prepared by the United States and other members of the so-called Quartet reportedly calls on Israel to immediately announce its recognition of a Palestinian state, which would be established already in 2003. Israel would also be required to freeze settlement activities while the Palestinians would unconditionally cease all terror activities.

Israeli officials have yet to receive a copy of the revised document, which was originally presented to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on his recent visit to Washington. Even so, copies of the revised "road map" leaked to the Arab media and were received in Jerusalem. American officials told Israel that this was not a new draft, but rather an "evolving" document that was constantly changing. The Americans said the plan could still change after consideration of Israeli reservations over its conditions, Yediot Aharonot reported.

Housing Minister Natan Sharansky told U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage yesterday in Washington that the American-led peace plan should wait until after the Israeli general elections on January 28, 2003. "We feel that it's better to, with all the reservations which we have... postpone this discussion [until] after elections in Israel. The political campaign... will make it almost impossible to have deep, rational... discussions," he said.
[more]
Speech by former Israeli prime minister spurs protest at Cal

Oy! and I had gone to this school. But Barak handled himself with dignity and restraint.
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Speaking in the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak took some heckling in stride as he talked about the prospects of peace in the Middle East.

About 200 people gathered at the University of California, Berkeley to protest Barak's speech Tuesday night, although a strong police presence kept them well away from the campus theater where the event took place.

Some critics did get into the auditorium, briefly interrupting Barak as he talked about a failed attempt in 2000 to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

``All you're giving us is excuses,'' shouted one man. Someone else shouted, ``Liar!''

As the protesters were ushered out by some of the scores of police officers monitoring the auditorium, Barak attempted to negotiate a truce with his critics.

``I am suggesting to you that instead of shouting now, ask questions later and I will answer all the questions,'' he said, winning a round of applause from most in the audience of about 1,500.

Middle East issues have dominated the protest scene on the Berkeley campus in recent months. Thirty-two students are presently facing disciplinary hearings over an April sit-in organized by Students for Justice in Palestine in support of a campaign demanding that UC divest from companies doing business with Israel.

Barak's appearance drew a number of demonstrators, including a teach-in led by Students for Justice in Palestine. Also on hand was an anti-war coalition and a smaller group who held up a banner reading ``A Jewish Voice for Peace.'' Steve Leeds, one of the people behind the banner, said he was there to register his contention that Barak did not make a genuine effort to negotiate with the Palestinians during his term in office.

``I think he's here as part of a PR campaign to refurbish his reputation and make a legacy for himself,'' he said.

Barak served as prime minister of Israel from 1999 to 2001.

In his speech, Barak said he made every effort to achieve peace, including accepting as a basis for negotiations conditions that he said were closer to Palestinian than Israeli demands. He said the problem was that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ``does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.''

Two years ago, a speech at the Berkeley Community Theater by another Israeli leader, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was canceled because the protest presence was so strong.

Tuesday, Barak spoke at length about his military career fighting terrorism and said he does not see any quick solution to the world's present troubles.

``After 9/11 nothing about terrorism can ever be taken for granted or regarded as inconceivable,'' he said. ``It is clear to me that we are just in the opening phase of a tough struggle.''
Netanyahu not invited to security cabinet meeting on Jerusalem suicide bombing

Politics in a time of crisis.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did not invite Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to a security Cabinet meeting that was called to work out a response to a suicide bombing on a Jerusalem bus that killed 11 passengers.

Raanan Gissin, an aide to Sharon, said it was not unusual for the foreign minister not to attend such a meeting.

However, the Israeli media reported that Sharon did not want Netanyahu at the meeting because he did not want the foreign minister to relaunch the debate on expelling Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a plan opposed by Israeli security forces.

Sharon is harshly critical of Arafat, but says he has promised the United States not to harm the Palestinian leader.
Hamas leader reiterates suicide attack policy, hints at shift in tactics

Hamas Loud and clear...Destroy Israel.
CAIRO (AFP) — Hamas political chief Khaled Mishaal reiterated his resistance group's policy of carrying out suicide attacks on Israeli targets, but hinted at a possible shift in tactics, in remarks published Wednesday.
Mishaal, in an interview with the Arab-language daily Al Hayat, was asked if Hamas would continue suicide attacks.

“Of course,” he said, “it is our legitimate right.”

Hamas, which rejects the right of the Jewish state to exist on Palestinian lands, “can resort to all forms of resistance (against Israeli occupation), and suicide attacks are part of that,” he said.

“But Hamas can modify its tactics according to its interests,” he added, without elaborating.

Even so, he insisted there is “currently no change in the movement's policy, which is based on the pursuit of resistance in all its forms, including suicide attacks.”

On Nov. 16, Mishaal denied Hamas was considering halting suicide attacks and accused Israel of rejecting “initiatives” to arrive at a truce on the issue.

In an interview published in the Arabic-language daily Asharq Al Awsat, he said “Hamas' position has not changed and it consists of continuing the resistance until the end of the (Israeli) occupation.
[more]
Harvard shifts stance on speaker

The disinvited Irish poet re-invited as Harvard English Dept argues Free Speech issue. Would make Exra Pound, well -known nut anti-semite poet pleased.
arvard University's English department, in a surprising reversal, has reinvited writer Tom Paulin to give a poetry reading on campus, one week after English professors and Paulin canceled the event because of complaints over Paulin's statements that Brooklyn-born Jewish settlers in Israel were ''Nazis'' who ''should be shot dead.''

After an intense two-hour discussion Tuesday evening that Harvard poet Jorie Graham said was marked by ''profound, acute scrutiny and self-scrutiny,'' English professors voted overwhelmingly to ask Paulin again to deliver Harvard's prestigious Morris Gray Lecture, and thereby defend the department against charges it had damaged free speech at Harvard.

''Free speech was a principle that needed upholding here,'' English professor Peter Sacks said yesterday. ''This was a clear reaffirmation that the department stood strongly by the First Amendment.''
[more]
DEBKA headlines

DEBKAfile sources: Hospitals report unfamiliar types of burns suffered by Israeli victims of Jerusalem bus bombing Thursday. Palestinians terrorist suspected of using new type of explosive which exacerbates injuries

Palestinian suicide bombing in early Thursday rush hour left 11 Israelis dead, injured 47 - 8 seriously - on packed Jerusalem Bus No. 20 on Mexico Street in residential neighborhood of Kiryat Menahem.

Many blast victims were children traveling to school.

In last twelve days, 29 Israelis have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists.

Bush phones Sharon with condolences, promises to continue working for Middle East peace.

Jerusalem bomber identified as Nail Azmi Bin Hilal, 26, from al Khader near Bethlehem. Almost daily terror alerts continue. Scores foiled since last Jerusalem terror attack nearly four months ago.

Emergency hospital telephone nos. for public inquiries: Hadassah, Ain Karem: 12-55-122; Shearei Tzedek: 12-55-125; Hadassah Mt. Scopus: 122-55-121: Immigration Ministry emergency line: 02-621-4521.

Two US Marines seriously wounded in shooting attack Thursday north of Kuwait City.

In Lebanese town of Sidon, an American woman missionary is murdered outside her clinic Thursday.
Jerusalem bus blast kills 11

How to break this cycle?
A suicide bomber has killed at least 11 people and injured more than 40 in an attack on an Israeli bus in west Jerusalem.

Some on the street had blood on their faces, others had burns.

Eyewitness Ariel Gino

Rescue workers are still working at the scene of the blast, which occurred in the Kiryat Menahem sector during the morning rush hour.

The bus, travelling towards the centre of the city, was full when the explosion occurred at 0715 local time (0515 GMT). Many of the passengers were children, officials said.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Israel would "respond rapidly to stem a wave of terrorist attacks".

Spokesman Raanan Gissin told the French news agency, AFP, that Mr Sharon had met the defence minister and "adequate orders had been given to the army".

The attack on Thursday was the first fatal bombing in Jerusalem since 31 July, when seven people were killed at the Hebrew University. It is the deadliest since June 18, when 19 civilians died in a sucide attack.

'Bloodshed agenda'

According to local media, one of the victims is a 13-year-old girl.
[more]

November 20, 2002

Statement on Anti-Israel Divestment Movements and Counter-Movements

I think that the anti-Israel craze going on at some American universities is in part the work of young people who would under other circumstances be shouting against America's war on terrorism . But that is such a losing issue that instead they have turn their attention to the Palestinian cause. Thus far there has not been one school that has disinvested, and I doubt we are likely to see this take place.
Campus Watch has issued the following statement regarding Anti-Israel Divestment Movements and Counter-Movements

Several campus campaigns have recently emerged intending to pressure university administrations to divest from Israeli companies or companies that do business with Israel. A counter-movement of anti-divestment activism has followed suit.

Those in favor of divestment argue that the political situation in the State of Israel is equitable to South Africa's historical Apartheid, which provoked a partially successful divestment movement among universities during the late 1970's and early 1980's.

According to the United Nation's International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid:

"Apartheid consists of a set of state policies that meet the following criteria: (a) "Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups the right to liberty of person." (b) "Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or part." (c) "Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country -- in particular denying of members of a racial group basic human rights and freedoms." (d) "Any measures -- designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos -- [including] the expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group."

Says Campus Watch managing editor, Jonathan Calt Harris, "It is clear that Israel, which offers its Arab citizens participation in the government, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and other rights only afforded by democracy, cannot be placed under this rubric."

Though we see the importance of dealing with the divestment movement, as its mission statement explains, Campus Watch focuses on Middle East studies. Accordingly, Campus Watch will monitor and engage Middle East specialists who join in this brand of activism. However, direct involvement in divestment campaigns and other Israel-related campus activism fall outside of our scope.
PCPO Poll of Palestinians November 11-16,2002

I am not sure how accurate this poll is but it does provide some interesting views by polled Palestinians in he West Bank.
IMRA: If you only have time to read one poll of Palestinians this is the
one.
- support for Arafat plunged to 38.3%:37.8%
- only 18.7% say militias should hand over their weapons for confiscation if
ordered to
- only 28.7% say vilence would be alleviated if Israel takes serious and
sincere measures to lift the siege and security belt on the Palestinian
territories]

A poll carried out by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) and
prepared by President Dr. Nabil Kukali.

· 61.2% Would to varying degrees support Iraq if the United
States struck it.
· 48.9% See no difference between a labor-led or Likud-led
Israeli government
· 38.1% Believe that the 1996 general elections law must be
Amended.
· 41.7% Believe to varying degrees that the Al-Aqsa Intifada was
in favor of the Palestinian interests.
· 60.8% Evaluate the general economical conditions in the
Palestinian territories as bad.
· 50.5% Worried to varying degrees for their means of
Subsistence.
· 56.8% Pessimistic about the future
· 62.4% Believe that the PA is incapable of creating job
Opportunities for the Palestinians workers in Israel
[more]
Washington calls Israel to stop sorties over Lebanon; Damascus refuses closure of al-Jihad offices

We pay. You stay. So what if Lebanon under Syrian occupation allows mortars to be fired into Israel land?
The US Administration had asked Israel, through its under secretary of state David Satterfield, to stop the sorties of its warplanes over the Lebanese airspace very soon.

Meantime, the Israeli foreign ministry was informed by the US administration that it had called on Syria to close the offices of the Islamic Jihad movement on its territory, for which Damascus refused and reminded Washington that these offices are for media activities and that the operations are planned and carried out from inside occupied Palestine.

The Israeli publication Yediot Ahronot said that the US administration conveyed by the end of the week a protest against Israel on that its planes resumed during the two past weeks their sorties at a low altitude over the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

According to the paper Satterfield conveyed this protest during the talks he had held with official in the Israeli security departments. Satterfield said that it is not possible to justify their air sorties over Beirut, that they are for intelligence purposes, and it will be better that if Israel end them that very soon.

Meantime, the Syrian foreign ministry said that it had informed the US Department of State that the Palestinian offices in Damascus are just media offices and that the operations ( against Israel ) are not decided from Damascus.

The advisor for the foreign minister and the official responsible for the media at the foreign ministry, Butheina Shaaban, said that the ministry informed the Americans that these "offices are press offices to express its will since Israel has been (doing so) by all means, including terrorist means, had forced the Palestinians to leave their houses and live in tents in the Arab states." Shaaban said that "the operations are planned for and executed inside the occupied lands and not at instructions given to it from press offices that exist in certain Arab states."

The answer of the Syrian foreign ministry came at an American request to close the offices of the Islamic Jihad movement in Damascus.
Canada accused of failing to fight anti-Semitism

Whatever goes around...
OTTAWA - Leftist and liberal academics and intellectuals are joining forces with Islamic extremists in an "unholy alliance" to delegitimize the state of Israel and promote anti-Semitism, says the head of a leading international Jewish organization.

Avi Beker, secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), said yesterday the anti-Semitic campaign is spreading throughout university campuses across North America. He said the evidence is in such events as the riot that occurred at Montreal's Concordia University this year, which prevented former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu from speaking.
[more]
U.S., Israel to test missile-defense system
2-tiered technology meant to protect Jewish state during Iraq war


Good friends look out for each other
The United States and Israel are planning joint exercises of the Jewish state's two-tiered missile-defense system by the first part of the year, ahead of potential military action against Iraq, according to various reports.

The January exercises, says the Beirut, Lebanon, Daily Star newspaper, will involve a test of Israel's two-tiered missile-defense system comprising the U.S.-made Patriot Advanced Capability, or PAC-III, anti-missile system and the longer-range Israeli Arrow system, which was developed by Israel with U.S. assistance.

Iraq recently has threatened to retaliate against Israel with its limited supply of SCUD ballistic missiles if attacked by the U.S. During the 1990-91 Gulf War, Baghdad launched 39 missiles at Israel; the early Patriot systems were unable to intercept most of them.

Israel is stepping up its missile-defense preparations in anticipation of conflict between Washington and Baghdad. Earlier this month, Israeli defense officials even gave a rare public demonstration of the Arrow system to international media, according to the Nov. 13 issue of Missile Defense Briefing Report, published by the American Foreign Policy Council
[more]

November 19, 2002

PLO Endorses Mitzna's Plan For A Second Holocaust

The PLO has announced that it supports the election of commissar Mitzna to the leadership of what was once the Labor Party. The party that gave us the Oslo War is now steadily marching even further left in an apparent attempt to officially merge with the Palestinian Authority. These criminals are not satisfied with the disaster they have already created and continue to conspire to destroy Israel and the Jewish people.
(Ha'aretz) Palestinian officials cautiously welcomed the apparent election victory Tuesday of dovish Haifa Mayor Amram Mitzna as Labor chairman and as the party's prime ministerial candidate in January 28 general elections.

Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Abu Ala said that Mitzna "had succeeded in his short time on the political scene to deliever clear and important messages on the need to set up a true peace."

According to Abu Ala, statements by Mitznas calling for the evacuation of Israeli settlements in the territories testifies to a real desire to achieve peace.

Nabil Abu Rdeinah, a senior aide to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, said, "We are concerned to find leaders who are committed to work with us for peace."

"Therefore we welcome any Israeli leader who is going to be committed to make peace with us and work according to the signed agreements," he added. [Read More]
Gripping Eyewitness Accounts of Hebron Attack

Here is an interview Ben R. sent in on a New York Jewish morning show by the main host in Hebron with people who witnessed the attack. Click here, it will open up your real player. Then click on the bar on top the button "play" and go to "seek to" and then type in 1:18 to hear the interview which is one hour eighteen minutes in. At the the end they speak about some equipment they would like to buy to stop such attacks. You can donate at this page which contains info on Hebron. Here you can see pictures of the armored car that was shot and then driven out of the fire.
Israel Labor Party Picks New Leader
Israel's Labor Party chose a former general and newcomer to national politics as their leader Tuesday, an exit poll showed, hoping he can bring the party back to power in the general elections.

The exit poll gave Amram Mitzna, the liberal mayor of the coastal city of Haifa, 57 percent of the vote, compared to 35 for the current Labor party leader, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer. Legislator Haim Ramon was a distant third with 8 percent, the poll of 1,000 people showed.

On this site you will find a lot of info on Mitzna. Unless the sun burns out, Mitzna will loose to the Likud candidate.
Anti-Semitism in Israel spurs call to tighten Russian immigration to Israel
A growing number of incidents, including verbal and physical abuse, swastikas daubed on walls and the desecration of a Jewish cemetery, has led to calls for a rethinking of Israel's aggressive immigration policies.
Yuli Edelstein, an Israeli government minister responsible for settling immigrants, on Saturday became the first senior government figure to call openly for the immigration system to be changed.
In an interview, he said he was concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism and its apparent connection with the "overzealous" policies of the Jewish Agency, which is responsible for bringing immigrants to Israel.
He said he had met heads of the agency to press for more stringent measures to filter out "undesirable" immigrants who have no intention of adopting Jewish customs.
A survey of recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union found that 70 percent did not qualify as "Jewish" according to religious law.

In the Brother Daniel case the Israel supreme court held that the law of return applied to Jews as defined by the man on the street and therefore a Jew who became a monk was not considered a Jew for the purposes of the right of return. Someone with some Jewish blood who is an anti-Semite should likewise not be allowed to emigrate to Israel as a Jew.
Cold Turkey

In depth article from the Jerusalem Post regarding the relationship with Turkey in light of the recent election there of an Islamist party.
Galilee Arab rally calls for replacing Arab MKs

Might be significant?
Arabs are fed up with their representatives in the Knesset and believe that the time has come to replace them, according to Rifat Assadi, a folklore poet from the Galilee village of Deir al-Assad.

He accused the Arab MKs of destroying the Arab minority's relations with the state through incitement and identification with outside political forces and countries.

Speaking Monday at a rally in his village, Assadi said: "It's time to change our leadership, especially because of its role in the October 2000 events, when 13 of our best young men were killed. The incitement [by the Arab MKs] has seriously damaged the interests and reputation of the Arab community." . . .
DANIEL PIPES : Say the name of the enemy
Has anyone noticed the difference in the way America's two wars are approached?

When the subject is Iraq, the US government is proactive, articulate, and specific. But when it comes to militant Islam, officialdom is reactive, awkward, and vague.

Take the issue of preventive security. To stop Iraqi sabotage and terrorism, the New York Times recently reported, Washington tracks thousands of Iraqi citizens and Iraqi-Americans who might pose a domestic risk. It even has plans in place to arrest Saddam Hussein's sympathizers suspected of planning terrorist operations.
. . .
A war cannot be won without identifying the enemy. If the US government intends to prevail in the current conflict, it must start talking about the war against militant Islam. This will then make it possible for others - the media, Hollywood, even academics - to do likewise. At that point, both war efforts will be on the right footing.
70 US medical professors coming to protest divestment

Looks like the divestment campaign is actually bringing more business to Israel.
Some 70 prominent US professors of medicine - 12 from Harvard University Medical School alone - will hold an international medical conference in Jerusalem next week to protest the divestment campaign and other anti-Israel activities on American campuses. The US-Israel Solidarity Medical Conference is sponsored jointly by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston and the Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization.

"We're saying NO! to the European boycotts and to the university divestment campaigns and we're showing support for Israel," said Harvard's Prof.
Bush pledges to help Lebanon lower its debt

Anyone know why? Payoff for Syria vote on UN Security Council Resolution 1441?
US President George W. Bush told Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafik Hariri during a hastily arranged White House meeting Monday that the US would dispatch Assistant Secretary of State William Burns to a Paris conference Saturday, where Lebanon hopes to win up to $5 billion in low-interest loans from the international community to help service its $29 billion in crippling debt. . . .
Sources briefed on the 15-minute meeting said Bush and Hariri spoke generally about the Middle East situation, but that Bush did not ask Hariri to try to rein in Hizbullah or to deploy troops on Lebanon's border with Israel, something the US has urged since Israel withdrew its troops from south Lebanon in May 2000.
Kuwait resumes financial aid to Palestinians

To the extent that Nusseibeh is supposed to be a moderate, this may be an interesting development.
Kuwait has agreed to pay $1 million to help solve the financial crisis at Al-Kuds University in Jerusalem, Palestinian sources said Tuesday.

The sources told The Jerusalem Post Kuwait made the decision during a visit on Monday by Al-Kuds University president Sari Nusseibeh, who is also the PLO's representative in Jerusalem. Nusseibeh met with Kuwaiti Education Minister Musaed al-Haroon, who informed him of the decision to give the grant.

This is the first time in many years that Kuwait has decided to provide financial assistance to the Palestinians. Relations between the two sides were strained in the early 1990s when the PLO supported Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
Egyptian rights group rebukes TV over 'Protocols' show
In the first domestic criticism of its kind, an Egyptian rights group has rebuked the state television service for broadcasting a series based in part on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an anti-Semitic work known to be a forgery.

The series Horseman without a Horse has been appearing nightly for the past two weeks, provoking condemnation from the US, Israel, and Jewish groups.

Information Minister Safwat el-Sherif has denied the series is anti-Semitic and defended it as a case of free expression. But the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said in a statement that "different forms of expression should not be abused to propagate events that might incite hatred."
Israeli Army Kills 5 Palestinians in Clash
Israeli troops backed by armor killed a Palestinian militant and four passers-by during a clash in the West Bank city of Tulkarm on Tuesday, Palestinian witnesses and hospital officials said.

The Israeli army did not immediately comment. Israeli television broadcast a slightly different account [yes, that three of the dead were not merely passersby]

The Palestinian witnesses and officials said troops pursuing a wanted man, Tareq al-Zaghal, exchanged fire with comrades of his from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed group linked to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat 's Fatah movement.

Israeli machinegun fire killed Zaghal as well as a 13-year-old boy, a civilian security guard and two other local people who were passing in a car, the witnesses and hospital officials said. At least 15 other Palestinians were wounded.

In any case, what is the point of complaining when while Reuters says that Israel also exchanged fire with "comrades of his from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed group linked to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat 's Fatah movement. " the mighty mouth of Yassir Arafat, Ha'aretz describes these same fighting men as "activists". My that is very active.
Smart Money on Likud, with Sharon as PM

JTA says Likud is way ahead, and Sharon has 20-point lead over Netanyahu, but don't count Bibi out.

Winner of Likud primary seen as clear favorite for prime minister
By Leslie Susser
JERUSALEM, Nov, 18 (JTA) — The smart money says Israelis won’t have to wait until next January’s general election to know who their next prime minister will be: Nearly all the pundits agree it will be the winner of the Nov. 28 Likud Party leadership primary between Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu. The reasoning is that the Likud is so far ahead of Labor — and the right wing-religious bloc’s lead over the center-left is so great — that it would take a major political upheaval for anyone but the Likud leader to form the next government....
Australian denies anti-Israeli plot

Surprise! a convert to Islam
Australian police have charged a British-born man with planning to blow up Israeli diplomatic premises in Australia.

Roche: defended Osama Bin Laden as "innocent until proven guilty"

Jack Roche, 49, appeared in court in Perth on Tuesday to deny any connection with the alleged plot.

The man's arrest on Monday night follows an earlier raid on his home - one of a series by Australian police in the wake of the 12 October bombings in the Indonesian resort of Bali, in which nearly 200 people died.

A police spokesman said the arrest was not connected with the attack in Indonesia.

In interviews after the raids, Mr Roche said that after converting to Islam 10 years ago, he had been sent to Afghanistan to learn to make bombs.

He also said he was a supporter of Indonesian Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir - the alleged spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah, a militant group that has been linked to the Bali bombing.

Mr Roche also defended Osama Bin Laden who was "innocent until proven guilty".
[....]
Syria Brushes Off U.S. Call to Close Jihad Office

Perhaps once in the sky to strike at Iraq, the US might "lose" a few smart bombs over Syria in key spots.
DAMASCUS - Syria Tuesday rebuffed a U.S. request to close the Damascus office of Islamic Jihad, which claimed responsibility for killing 12 Israelis in a Hebron ambush last week.

It said the office had nothing to do with the attack in the West Bank city.

The move marked the latest round of sparring between Washington and Damascus over its backing of Palestinian militant groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which the U.S. administration calls "terrorist" but Syria backs as legitimate resistance to Israel.

Syria's Foreign Ministry said Secretary of State Colin Powell made the request in a letter at the weekend, but said the Hebron attack, which killed nine soldiers and three Jewish settlers, was the product of Israel's occupation, not the work of Jihad in Damascus.
[....]
Israel's Labor Party to choose leader

Some party position, like them or not, given in this piece
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Haifa mayor Amran Mitzna is favored to lead the Labor Party into Israel's January parliamentary election, according to a poll released the day before the vote.

Mitzna and Knesset member Haim Ramon are challenging former defense minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer.

But a poll published Monday in Israel's largest daily newspaper, Yediot Aharonot, showed 52 percent of Labor Party voters said they planned to vote for Mitzna compared to 29 percent for Ben-Eliezer and 11 percent for Knesset member Haim Ramon. The winner must get 40 percent of the vote.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will face off with Israeli Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later this month in Likud party primaries for that party's nomination for prime minister. The latest polls show Sharon continues to lead Netanyahu in that contest.
[....]
Sharon Urges Enlarging Hebron Settlements

9 articles on this issue. See link for articles
Summary:
As Israeli soldiers return to Hebron in force, details are emerging about the Palestinian ambush in which 12 Israelis were killed on Friday. An overnight raid on the main Palestinian security compound in Gaza turned up anti - tank missiles, grenades and equipment to make other weapons, proving Palestinian security forces were supplying arms to militant groups, the Israeli army said Monday. Israeli helicopters Sunday attacked targets in the village of Tal el Hawa, just south of Gaza City, Palestinian sources and the Israeli military said. Israeli soldiers retook this divided city Saturday, imposed a curfew and herded dozens of blindfolded Palestinians into buses - a first response to a Palestinian ambush that killed 12 members of the security forces in a dead - end alley. With elections here just over two months away, a firm Israeli military response to Friday's Hebron attack seems inevitable.
Palestinian security accused of arming terrorists

.Wow! This comes as a surprise. Not.
Palestinian security forces were accused of supplying arms to militant groups to attack Israelis, after anti-tank missiles, grenades, a bomb laboratory and a weapons workshop were found in a raid on a security compound in Gaza.

After yesterday’s three-hour overnight raid left the compound in ruins, Palestinians denied the claim by the Israeli army, saying the base was evacuated a year ago and had stood empty since.

Israeli forces struck again last night, with helicopters and tanks targeting a building in a sparsely-populated part of Gaza City. Witnesses and security officials said helicopters and tanks fired at the area. There was no word of casualties.

The raids came as Israel’s dovish Labour Party, trailing badly in polls ahead of a January 28 general election, prepared to vote tomorrow to choose a leader. The party has lost considerable support in the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks it pioneered and two years of bloody violence.

Also yesterday, an Israeli woman was shot dead by a Palestinian gunman near the West Bank settlement of Rimmonim, north east of Jerusalem.

In the Gaza raid, Israeli helicopters and tanks fired on the Palestinian Preventive Security force complex for the first time in the current conflict, demolishing several of the 11 buildings in the compound. No serious injuries were reported.

Troops moved in and found dozens of mortar shells and grenades, three rocket propelled grenades, several anti-tank missiles and a Palestinian-manufactured Qassam missile in the complex, along with welding equipment and intelligence materials, said a senior Israeli officer in Gaza, Brig Gen Israel Ziv.

Defence minister Shaul Mofaz said the raid showed the ”tight connection between the security forces of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian terror groups”.
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Arafat slams Hebron plan as 'big crime'
You just have to love it when Arafat takes the high road and denounces crime, immorality. And then funds the terrorists.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat is voicing alarm over Israel's plan to tighten its grip on Hebron by building corridors for Jewish settlers that would snake through the West Bank city.

"This is a big crime," Arafat said on Monday about the proposal, raised by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon after Palestinian gunmen killed 12 soldiers and security men on Friday on an open route settlers use to reach a holy site in the city centre.

Building walled-in passages could entail razing Palestinian homes and heighten tensions, threatening U.S. efforts to keep the region calm as Washington prepares for possible war on Iraq.

In another sign that Sharon would make security his first line of offence with a Likud party election looming against hawkish Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli forces attacked a Palestinian security agency's headquarters in Gaza.

Israel said it found and destroyed an explosives factory in the Palestinian Preventive Security Service building it attacked with tanks and helicopters. Palestinian officials denied weapons were being made there.
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Labor On The Precipice

The once mighty Labor Party hangs on the precipice of total destruction as it careens blindly towards embracing the hysterical delusions of the radical left. After this election the remaining Labor Party commissars will be nothing but a sad remnant of the once glorious socialist dream, stumbling around like a drunk Bolshevik on the streets of Moscow muttering about the glory days of Koba Stalin.
(Ha'aretz) Labor Party members will cast their ballots for their prime ministerial candidate Tuesday, with the polls currently showing Haifa Mayor Amram Mitzna as the clear frontrunner in the race.

The 268 polling booths will open at 10:00 A.M. and will remain open until 21:00 P.M., and initial results will be released Tuesday night. The number of party members who have the right to vote in the primaries is 110,405.

However, supporters of current party chairman Benjamin Ben-Eliezer are still hoping that a low voter turnout - under 50 percent - will combine with their candidate's legendary party machine to produce a surprise victory.

Ben-Eliezer himself continued to predict victory Monday night, saying, "I circulate in the field, and the field is broadcasting a lot of [support for] Fuad," his nickname. Even Mitzna's campaign staff, while confident of the Haifa mayor's victory, expects the actual gap between the two candidates to be smaller than the polls are currently showing.

MK Haim Ramon, the third candidate in the race, is running far behind the other two. He made a last-ditch appeal to voters last night not to worry about tactical considerations - such as fear of splitting the party's dovish vote between himself and Mitzna - "but to vote for the person they think is the best candidate to take on the Likud. If the voters do this, the results will yet surprise everyone," he said. [Read More]

November 18, 2002

The truly extremist side of divestment

James Kirchick has sent us this article he and Daniel Fichter have written for Yale's Daily News:

The Israel divestment campaign, which Columbia University President Lee Bollinger has called "grotesque and offensive," is one of the anti-Israel movement's most specious efforts in recent memory. Constantly distorting the complex nature of the Middle East conflict, divestment advocates are trying to persuade members of the Yale community that the Jewish state is a pariah that deserves nothing less than our utmost condemnation. With this heated debate erupting on college campuses across the nation, an assessment of the rationale behind the movement to induce Yale's divestment of its financial holdings in Israel is in order.

What should be of concern to those without any personal attachment to the Middle East conflict is that the national divestment movement has embraced terrorist elements. Just last month, a leader of Yale's very own divestment crusade attended the movement's national conference held at the University of Michigan. Among the organizations sponsoring the conference was the Islamic Association for Palestine, which has solicited money for the families of suicide bombers. A keynote speaker at the conference was the notorious Sami Al-Arian, currently being investigated by the federal government for his alleged work on behalf of Islamic Jihad and who has publicly stated that Jews are "the sons and daughters of monkeys and pigs." According to a student at the event, a group of activists chanted "Death to the Jews" in Arabic.

Members of the Yale divestment campaign have yet to denounce publicly the hate rhetoric that epitomizes the national movement, which has officially condoned terrorism. The fifth "guiding principle" of the National Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement states, "As a solidarity movement, it is not our place to dictate the strategies or tactics adopted by the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation." In addition, the Yale divestment campaign has ranked the Jewish state with Nazi Germany by daringly alleging that Israel is "very possibly" guilty of "crimes of genocide." Before deigning to sign the divestment petition, one should seriously consider whose company he will be keeping.

SITES OF THE WEEK

The Sites of the Week this week features one information site and five blogs. On the left is a section linking to these sites. Visit them, they are worth the read.

The Best of the Web. The Best (except that it has never linked to this site (yet)).

Here are some very good (and popular) blogs I like. If you have time after reading Israpundit, these are some of the sites you should be looking at.

Asparagirl
Oxford’s Oxblog
Solly Ezekiel’s GedankenPundit
Natalie Solent
Jay Zilber’s Mind Over What Matters
Palestinian Preventative Security Service (PSS) and its role in Terror activity.

A report from IDF
IDF forces and Border police operated in the Tel Al Hawa neighborhood in southern Gaza City last night, concentrating mainly on the PSS headquarters. Within the PSS headquarters, soldiers uncovered explosive and weapons making facilities, a Qassam rocket, ammunition and a large quantity of intelligence information. When the operation was completed, the IDF pulled out of the Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood.


The IDF's Division Commander in the Gaza strip, Brigadier General Israel Ziv said in an interview on army radio: "The goal of the operation was very precise. We focused on the destruction of the PSS's means of manufacturing weapons. Palestinian terrorists used these weapons to attack Israeli citizens". Brigadier General Ziv also said that thanks to this operation, and others like it in the area, the IDF had managed to uncover materials indicating that over the past two years, the PSS had been not only supporting, but sponsoring terror.

According to Brigadier General Ziv, the main emphasis in the Gaza strip had been on the manufacture of weapons and terrorist attacks against Israeli communities in and outside the Gaza Strip.


PSS: Generates, initiates, backs and protects terrorists.

The Palestinian Preventative Security Service (PSS) in the Gaza Strip, headed by Rashid Abu Shoubac and Samir Mashrahawi, has changed over the past two years from an organization whose purpose it was to thwart terror, into one that blatantly supports and assists it. The PSS has itself become a terrorist organization, generating, initiating, backing and giving protection to a great number of terrorists and a long line of terror attacks, both against IDF forces and Israeli communities in the Gaza Strip.

Even half a year before the outbreak of the current violence, senior members of the PSS had begun to clandestinely induce terror. As an example, the series of roadside bomb attacks on the Karni-Netzarim road throughout the year 2000, in which an Israeli soldier was killed, received support and logistical backing from operatives within the organization, including senior PSS officers.

Since the outbreak of the current violence, The PSS headquarters in Tel Al-Hawa converted itself into the main center for the manufacturing of weapons, and a safe haven for terrorists planning to carry out terror attacks in the Gaza Strip. Within the Headquarters, and with full knowledge and consent from senior members of the PSS, a huge amount of weapons were manufactured and stockpiled. These included: Mortar bombs, explosives, large numbers of grenades, anti tank missiles and much more.

These weapons were handed out freely to terrorist cells belonging to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and The Fatah who used them to carry out daily bomb and shooting attacks in the Gaza strip.
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Jewish settlers vow to take all of Hebron

When will the Arabs, the ones who say little but endure the suffering , demand that their terrorist brothers stop their murdering of Jews?
HEBRON, West Bank (AFP) - An unlikely symbol of revenge, the tiny two-man tent marks the first sign of the new Jewish settlement being built just outside the West Bank town of Hebron as a response to a Palestinian shooting which killed 12 Israelis.

Moves to claim the land started early Sunday, less than two days after three Palestinian gunmen ambushed soldiers and border police just outside the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, mowing down nine soldiers and police and three settler security guards.

In response, dozens of Jewish youths, armed with prayer books, mattresses and sleeping bags, moved down to the sandy plot, setting up home in a burnt-out shell of an armoured bus and erecting a makeshift synagogue to remember the dead.

"We have created a new settlement outpost, and it would have been a historic sin not to have made use of this occasion," said Kiryat Arba's mayor Zvi Katsover.

"The young people have moved into tents to create territorial continuity between Kiryat Arba, on the edge of Hebron, and the Tomb of the Patriarchs" in a Jewish enclave in the city centre itself, he said, referring to the shrine of Abraham which is sacred to both Jews and Muslims.

The move was, in principal, approved by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who said Sunday the army must ensure territorial continuity between Kiryat Arba and Jewish enclaves in the city centre around the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
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New Mideast peace draft addresses key Palestinian concerns

More tilting at windmills
JERUSALEM -- The latest version of a plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict answers some key Palestinian concerns and shows that the peace process remains under negotiation despite Mideast violence and the sudden Israeli election campaign.

The draft, obtained by The Associated Press, plays down a call in the original document to name a prime minister to take over many of the duties of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The effort to reduce Arafat's power, backed by President Bush and Israel, has provoked anger among many Palestinians, who note that Arafat is their elected leader.

The peace plan remains under discussion, and a final version is expected later this month. It calls for creating a Palestinian state next to Israel within three years.

The draft emphasizes the need for support for an agreement from Arab states and leaves open the possibility that the process could be accelerated if the sides to the conflict make progress.

Changes to the document are mostly in nuance but they do give the Palestinian leadership more room to maneuver in negotiations, said a diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another diplomat described the peace plan as a work in progress, likely to undergo further change before the final draft is presented in mid-December to the quartet of Middle East negotiators: the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union.

An adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Friday that Israel would not be able to give a formal response to the initiative until after the Jan. 28 elections and the installation of a new government, a process that could take at least a month after the voting.
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