IsraPundit

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

January 25, 2003

Turkey and Jordan, back on board. (Ted Belman)

Debka reports
American sources made it clear that the United States fully intended taking over Iraq’s oil fields, administering them in the long term and using Iraqi oil revenues to partly defray the costs of conducting war and maintaining a long-term military occupation of Iraq.

At the same time, the long-term, military-backed control over Iraq’s oil resources – on the spot rather than from outside the region – will make America the leading strategic-political-military force in the Middle East and Persian Gulf as well giving Washington a controlling interest in the global oil market.

The monarch (Jordan) also received reaffirmation through secret emissaries of Israel’s guarantee to defend Hashemite rule in Jordan, according to DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s sources in Washington and Jerusalem. This guarantee is embodied in the Jordan-Israel 1994 peace treaty and reinforced in secret bilateral military and intelligence pacts.

...a move by the Jordanian monarch to set himself up as the senior Arab arbiter of the destiny of the Palestinians after Saddam’s passing further diminishes his long-time ally, Yasser Arafat. Abdullah cherishes hopes of reclaiming the authority over the West Bank and Arab Jerusalem, which his father, Hussein, forfeited by losing the 1967 war.
Its coming together nicely. The last paragraph is key for what to do with the territories. The Jordinian track is alive and well and living in Jordan, Israel and the US. This could well mean that there will be no additional Palestinian State and that about half of territories will go to Jordan who will deal with the terror infrastructure. I'm on board too.

Blood culture: The heretic, vampire and the Jew

A lucid article that develops the connection between vampire myths, blood, and anti-semitism throughout the ages.
The vampire is now an archetypal figure, shrouded in cliché, but as a folk-belief one of its earliest incarnations was within Hebrew tales of Lilith and other demons. Ironically, it was an image which was to be turned against Judaism by the Christians of the middle ages, and used as a cipher for many monstrous desires and fears ever since.

"If any man whosoever of the house of Israel... eat blood, I will set my face against his soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
Because the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you, that you may make atonement with it upon the altar of your souls."
"Only beware of this, that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is for the soul. And therefore thou must not eat the soul with the flesh:
But thou shalt pour it on the earth as water." [1]

Long before the workings of the circulatory system were discovered, many of the world's cultures accorded blood mystical properties, implying a special status, and an association with ritual states of pollution or defilement. The quotation from Leviticus and Deuteronomy is part of the long series of regulatory laws given out to the nomadic Jews by Moses. With the inclusion of the Torah in the Christian Bible and as a result of the Jewish Diaspora, such ideas passed into the popular imagination and thus the cultural products of Europe.

Blood in Leviticus is sacred to God, humanity may not touch it and remain unpolluted; in Christian ritual, all the Church partakes of God's own sacred blood: it is seen by both as a holy substance imbued with miraculous power, forming the highest and best sacrificial offering. In tales of the saints, this power is reiterated ceaselessly. Blood, simply by issuing from and thus transgressing the margins of the body, demonstrates a disturbing fluidity.
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This CNN piece was brought to my attention at Instapundit, via Chris Kanis (Spoonsexperience), and indicates how reluctant Iraq is to allow UN instpectors to do their job properly and how wishy washy the inspectors are. On an issue this grave, the world needs to know what is taking place.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Three Iraqi scientists -- who Iraq said it had instructed to talk to arms inspectors -- have refused to hold private interviews with the U.N. team searching for weapons of mass destruction, Iraqi officials told CNN.

One of the three Iraqi scientists did undergo U.N. questioning, but in the presence of an Iraqi monitor, officials told CNN on Saturday.

The news came on the day two men -- one carrying three knives, the other a notebook and shouting "Save me!" -- tried to enter the U.N. inspectors' Baghdad compound in separate surprise incidents.
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Sharon/Bush Peace Plan (Ted Belman)

Its a go

Speech by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Herzliya Conference on December 4, 2002.
On June 24th this year, President Bush presented his plan for a true solution to our conflict with the Palestinians. The peace plan outlined in the President's speech is a reasonable, pragmatic and practicable one, which offers a real opportunity to achieve an agreement. We have accepted in principle the President's plan and the sequence presented therein. Our agreements with the Palestinians are based on the lessons the Americans learned from the Clinton-Barak plan, and my experience as one who has, for many years, participated in the security and political campaign in the Palestinian arena.

After concerted efforts, the U.S. Administration has understood and agreed that the only way to achieve a true peace agreement with the Palestinians is progress in phases, with the first phase being a complete cessation of terror. President Bush's speech is a fatal blow to Arafat's policy of terrorism and serves as proof of the failure of his attempt to achieve political gains by means of violence and terrorism. Only after a cessation of terror - and this is already agreed by most world leaders - will the commencement of peace negotiations between the parties be possible.

The American plan defines the parties' progress according to phases. The transition from one phase to the next will not be on the basis of a pre-determined timetable - which would have resulted in a build-up of heavy pressure on Israel towards the end of one phase and approaching the next phase. Rather, progress is determined on the basis of performance - only once a specific phase has been implemented, will progress into the next phase be possible.

On the basis of lessons learned from past agreements, it is clear to all that Israel can no longer be expected to make political concessions until there is proven calm and Palestinian governmental reforms.

In this context, it is important to remember that political concessions which will be made in the future - as those made in the past - are irreversible.

Even the current security reality, with the IDF operating freely inside Palestinian cities, arises from security needs and has not changed the political situation of two years ago. Israel will not re-control territories from which it withdrew as a result of political agreements. Therefore, the achievement of true and genuine coexistence must be a pre-condition to any discussion on political arrangements.MORE
Read this speech in its entirety. It sets out the path to peace agreed upon by Sharon and Bush. Forget about the Quartet. Sharon has dismissed it as "nothing". Forget about the Road Map. Sharon said he doesn't take it "seriously". Forget about Arafat. Once the Iraq war gets going so will Arafat with Israel's help. Forget about Powell and the State Department They aren't calling the shots.

Why am I so sure?

Sharon would never have said he sees "eye to eye" with the Americans if he didn't. Sharon would never have come out in favour of a state had he not had Bush's assurance that this plan would be followed. Take note, that although a State is a given depending on performance, the final borders aren't, nor is there anything on the right of return. Thus the Palestinians must change their govenment and leaders, decommision their weapons and stop incitement before the question of permanant borders comes up.

Look how many times he refers to agreements with the US or his acceptance of the American Plan.

Sharon also said that political consession are "irreversible" and Israel "will not recontrol territories from which it withdrew" as a result of political concessions. As a result, Sharon has agreed that the provisional state would be in area A only which is about 42% of the land. Sharon would never have made such a concession without first first being in agreement with the Americans on the plan. I also think that is why Netayahu did not make the creation of a Palestinian State the issue. I am sure Netanyahu has been told the whole picture.

I used to think that the US had committed itself to both the Arab countries and to the EU to do more for the Palestinians. But I no longer do. Look at the lack of support from all these Arab countries. Look at the opposition of France and Germany and Russia. The US owes them nothing. If anything the actions of these groups have made it all the clearer that trying to win them over is fruitless and a bad idea. So look for more unilateralism. Prosecuting the Iraq war will be simpler and so will solving the Palestinian problem be simpler. Too many crooks spoil the broth.

There is no way that after defeating one terrorist state, Iraq, is America going to create another. Mark my words.

State Dept. report questions PA's recognition of Israel

The State Department wakes up!
WASHINGTON - The latest semi-annual State Department report on the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian Liberation Organization explicitly states - for the first time - that the PA's failure to rein in terror raises questions about the Palestinians' recognition of the state of Israel's right to exist.

Based on this report, President George W. Bush determined last week that the PA is not meeting its commitment to fight terror.

The State Department report, compiled every six months under a congressional mandate (the PLO Commitments Compliance Act of 1989), reviews the activities of the PA and PLO to judge whether they are meeting the commitments undertaken in the Oslo Accords, including recognition of Israel's right to exist, acceptance of UN resolutions 242 and 338, a commitment to resolve conflict with Israel through negotiations and without violence, and a renunciation of terror.

"The PA has not taken sufficient steps to prevent violence by PA personnel," the report states, adding that "available evidence is that elements with varying degree of affiliation with the PLO and PA, specifically the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Tanzim and members of PA security forces, were frequently involved in acts of violence against Israelis."
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Israeli Astronaut Bombed Iraqi Nuclear Reactor in 1981
Jerusalem — Israel’s first astronaut, Col. Ilan Ramon, is a former Israeli fighter pilot who participated in the bombing of an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 — a feat for which he is now being praised as a hero.

The bombing of the primarily French-built Osiraq nuclear reactor near Baghdad brought world outrage and censure on Israel in 1981.

But 10 years later in 1991, when a U.S.-allied coalition faced Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein — who had no nuclear weapons — the West was forced to admit that Israel had done them a great favor.

“They built the reactor with French and Italian help. They were about to start the radioactive process there,” said Col. Yoash Tsiddon-Chatto, a member of the Israel Society of Aeronautics and Astronautics and former Chief of Planning and Operational Requirements in the Israel Air Force.

“If we were to bomb it after it became ‘hot’ it would been like a nuclear disaster [like in the Ukraine],” Tsiddon-Chatto said. “[Israel] tried to prevent nuclear fallout.”

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U.S. Troops stand guard under Israeli and American flags as U.S. Army Patriot battery is deployed

Two Bombs Hit Lebanon Palestinian Refugee Camp

Perhaps this was boot camp training for would-be anti-Israeli suicide bombers.
AIN EL-HILWEH, Lebanon (Reuters) - Two bombs ripped through a cafe and a shop in Lebanon's largest refugee camp on Saturday, Palestinian security sources said.

The sources said an unknown assailant threw a bomb at a cafe on the outskirts of the Ain el-Hilweh camp before dawn on Saturday, damaging the cafe and a car parked nearby. Shortly afterwards, another bomb ripped into a shop.

No one was injured in either attack, which the sources attributed to ongoing political tensions although neither shop owner had any known political affiliations. The bombings were the latest in a string of bombs in the camp near the southern port city of Sidon, where tensions have run high since Islamic militants clashed with fighters loyal to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction in August, leaving three people dead.

Lebanese politicians hostile to some 350,000 Palestinian refugees registered in about a dozen camps across Lebanon point to Ain el-Hilweh as a haven for militants and organized crime.
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This Draft of the PA Constitution shall make those PEACE NOW people think, and those who still believe in RIGHT OF RETURN.....
WAKE UP FOLKS .......


...and they slipped this in: "Article 32

The right of the Palestinian refugee to return to his home and the original
home of his ancestors is a natural right which cannot expire. Its exercise
may not be delegated nor surrendered."
Chapter One:

Foundations of the State and Rights and Duties

Section One: General Foundations of the State

Article 1

This constitution is based on the will of the Arab Palestinian people. It
shall be approved democratically.

Article 2

The Arab Palestinian people believe in the principles of justice, liberty,
equality, human dignity, and their right to practice self-determination and
sovereignty over their land.

Article 3

The Palestinian people are a part of the Arab and Islamic nations.

Article 4

Palestine is an independent state with complete sovereignty that cannot be
conceded. Its system shall be republican and its lands are unitary and
indivisible.

Article 5

Arabic shall be the official language.

Article 6

Islam shall be the official religion of the state. The monotheistic
religions shall be respected.
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Who are the Palestinians?
November 18, 2002 -- If you are so sure that "Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history", I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine:

When was it founded and by whom?

What were its borders?

What was its capital?

What were its major cities?

What constituted the basis of its economy?

What was its form of government?

Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

What was the language of the country of Palestine?

What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?

What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.

And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?

You are lamenting the "low sinking" of "once proud" nation. Please tell me, when exactly was that "nation" proud and what was it so proud of?

And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call "Palestinians" are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over -- or thrown out of -- the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War?

I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day "Palestinians" to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology* for history won't work here. The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it "Palestinian people" and installed it in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the "West Bank" and Gaza, respectively?
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Pro-Saddam t-shirts about to hit streets of Jakarta

Hang on to those shirts. Soon they will be collectors' items and can be sold on E-Bay
Sporting his trademark beret, Saddam Hussein peers out from dozens of freshly-made t-shirts at a garment workshop in Indonesia's capital Jakarta.

With war looming in Iraq, shop owner Syahrul Arief has tapped into growing anti-American sentiment and opposition to an attack on Baghdad across the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Should war break out, sales of the shirts bearing the Iraqi leader's face and the words "Ready for War" and "We Support You", could take off, Mr Arief predicts.

Workers finished the first batch of 50 on Thursday, and a few orders have begun coming in.
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Muslim cleric "promised boys virgins for martyrdom"

Promises, promises
LONDON (Reuters) - A London-based Muslim cleric accused of urging his followers to murder non-believers, promised teenage Muslim boys 72 virgins in paradise if they died as religious martyrs, a court has heard.

Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal, 39, denies five charges of incitement to murder by encouraging others to kill "enemies of Islam". He could face life imprisonment if convicted.

Faisal, based in central London, is also charged with stirring up racial hatred through use of threatening and abusive words and with video and audio tapes in the four years before his arrest by anti-terrorist police last year.

Prosecutor David Perry told the jury at London`s Old Bailey that Faisal urged followers to wage a Jihad, or Holy War, against non believers -- specifically Americans, Hindus, Jews, Britons and other Europeans -- by terrorising and killing them.
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Israeli Forces Blow Up Bridges in Gaza

Deconstructing a bridge over troubled waters.
Israeli forces blew up four bridges in the northern Gaza Strip today (Saturday) in an area where several short-range Palestinian rockets were fired into Israel on Friday.

One Palestinian man was shot dead and 20 others were wounded in the raid. Israeli forces have now withdrawn.

The Israeli military says the overpasses in the town of Beit Hanoun were used by Palestinian militants to carry out the rocket attacks. An army statement says more than 30 of the home-made (Qassam) rockets have been launched at Israeli targets from the area in the past year.

Officials says one of the rockets fired Friday damaged a home in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, but did not hurt anyone. The Palestinian militant group Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
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WHY DO PALESTINIANS NEED A STATE?

BY BRUCE S. TICKER,

Philadelphia

In the nearly 36 years since Israel seized the West Bank, a basic question has never seemed to be posed, much less answered: Why can't the Palistinians live under Israeli rule?

Sure, an independent Palestinian state may one day become a reality, and for practical purposes such a state would serve Israel's needs as much as that of the Palestinians.

This is more than a rhetorical question. If the Arabs scoff at living among Israelis, will they be content to live next door to them?

So, it is important to understand why the Palestinians need their own state.

It doesn't make sense. After all, Jews comprise 2.4 percent of America's population against a Christian spread of at least 80 percent.

However, we're satisfied living here. We vote and participate in the political process. Many Jews succeed beyond their wildest imaginations; there are poor Jews; and probably most of us are part of the struggling middle class.

We face prejudice, but there are also legal avenues to combat discrimination.

The majority religion - Christianity - does possess a heavy influence here and one month a year we can get ennerved with near-constant public reminders of our religious differences. But at the same time, most Christians and Americans of other religions or no religion are fair with us.

In fact, our Christian neighbors often come to our aid in times of need. On one occasion when a synagogue was vandalized in a Philadelphia suburb, many nonJews were out in force to clean up the mess. When a Jewish family was terrorized during Hannukah in another Philadelphia burb, their neighbors bought menorahs and placed them by their windows in a show of solidarity.

Arabs and Muslims who live in America participate in the system.

Surely, Israel must govern all its citizens equitably and with justice - whether they are Jews, Muslims, Christians or part of any other group. In fact, some Israeli officials have been aware that they need to reassess their treatment of Arabs living in Israel proper.

And clearly, the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank should not be living under such deplorable conditions. However, the Palestinians as a group create many of the circumstances which lead to such a tragic situation.

Do other groups living in Israel and its territories seek their own state? I haven't heard of that from the Druse or Greek Orthodox.

Israel was not founded for the sake of hosting any particular religion. Jews as a people needed a homeland as a refuge from 2000 years of all forms of abuse that culminated in the murder of six million of our brethren. Yes, it is a Jewish state, but wholly in an ethnic sense - not a religious one.

There are already 22 Arab states which occupy a large chunk of the modern world while Israel and its territories comprise a tiny piece of real estate. Jews who lived in Arab states were exiled in 1948 and many were absorbed by Israel, yet the Palestinians have been treated as pawns by the rest of the Arab world.

If Palestinians are any different from the rest of the Arabs, why did Yasir Arafat say during the 2000 negotiations that he represented 1 billion Muslims? What distinguishes the Palestinians from the rest of the Arabs?

For demographic reasons alone, Israel may eventually need to enter into a two-state arrangement.

Yet on the basis of pure merit, I honestly don't get it. The question must still be answered: Why do the Palestinians need an independent state?
Ticker can be reached at Brucetic@aol.com
Estimating The Seismic Impact Of Hussein's Overthrow

The ramifications go well beyond the Israeli/Palestinian chaos.
Today we confront Saddam Hussein again. The centrality of the Palestinian issue is still uppermost in Arab minds, but there is no similar, unspoken commitment to do anything about it in Washington.

There is no Arab coalition or consensus against Saddam this time around to be rewarded. George W. Bush has called for a Palestinian state but has done nothing to challenge Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's premise that the Palestinians must be beaten into submission or to contradict Sharon's vision of Palestinian statehood as nothing more than the Bantustans that the old, white supremacist government of South Africa called states.

The seismic impact that the new imperialists in the Bush administration are looking for is aimed at our Arab allies — the theory being that a democratic Iraq will bring about democracy in other Arab regimes, displacing the present Arab regimes deemed corrupt and dictatorial. It is a noble long-term goal, but the old adage of be careful what you wish for comes into play in the short run.

Too sudden modernization in traditional societies is what brought the shah of Iran to grief, and wide-open democracy today would bring Islamic fundamentalists to power in much of the Middle East...
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Miracles never cease

Emperor’s Clothes is a left-wing site that has undergone a miraculous transformation. But let the protagonist “say it” in his own words:
Until last spring I held what people call a pro-Palestinian position.

Like many intellectuals I had adopted Arafat’s cause, taking what I believed was a principled stand that blamed Israel for the conflict in the Middle East, and especially for the suffering of Palestinians. Because I come from a Catholic background, and because there is a long and violent history of Catholic anti-Semitism (though not in my amily), I always made clear that I supported the right of the State of Israel to exist, and that my position had nothing to do with animosity against Jews.

In April 2002, I noticed that media coverage of the fighting in Jenin was manifestly one-sided (against Israel). I began to look into this and also into the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This work made me realize that my sympathy for Mr. Arafat was based on false information.
From this point on, the piece continues as a scholarly article, well documented and footnoted. It is no “true confessions” and it should be read. And please forgive the author that it took him until April 2002 “to notice”.

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

January 24, 2003

And the ones discussed here live in New York. The Jews of the Arab world: A Community Unto Itself
They speak Arabic. They listen to Arabic music. They eat Arabic food. Were you to pass by an Arab Jewish synagogue during prayer, you would hear strains of music by Om Kolthoum, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, and Sayed Darwiche. And yet, here in New York, they are not considered a part of the Arab American community – by Arab Christians, Arab Muslims, or even by themselves (for the most part). Why not?

In an effort to understand another fragmented community of people from Arab lands here in New York, we have chosen to delve into a subject matter that, for many members of this community, is very sensitive and provocative. It is not our intent to provoke, rather, to illuminate so as to satisfy our own curiosity and, in so doing, provide our readers with food for thought.

Locating statistics which detail Arab Jewish immigration to New York proved extremely difficult, so much so that even the individuals we interviewed could not give us figures as to how large this community is. We know that approximately 800,000 Arab Jews lived in the Middle East prior to 1948 and that, today, there are approximately 8,000 Arab Jews left in those countries.

We know that there was an Arab Jewish community in New York prior to the establishment of Israel and that the Arab Jews who managed to emigrate here from Israel were absorbed by that community. These two groups, however, have completely different experiences and memories of their lives in Arab countries prior to coming to New York.
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Two Articles on Election Politics

These talk about Labor's unpopularlity and how the dynamics for a governing coalition are affected. Even Likud is concerned b/c a national unity gov't might be difficult to put together, and Shinui might become the linchpin for building a coalition. That bothers me, as a religious person, but I can't help being happy that Labor is destroying itself. I bet Mitzna will have to resign by January 29th.

Labor's drop in polls also worries Likud

Will Shinui change the balance of power?


Sharon meets Abu Mazen
As the conference for the Middle East opened in London this week, Israeli sources revealed that Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, was preparing himself secretly for future negotiations with the Palestinians. The sources claim that Sharon is convinced that this year - most probably after a war with Iraq - the Americans will turn to Israel and will force any Israeli government to reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians.

The sources said Sharon met recently with top Palestinian officials including Mahmoud Abbas, better known by his nom de guerre of Abu Mazen, who is the deputy of President Yasser Arafat of the Palestinian Authority.

The meeting took place at Sharon's farm in the Negev desert. Sharon told the Palestinians he was willing to talk with anyone except Arafat.

According to a well-placed Middle Eastern informant Sharon "knows very well that after the war with Iraq the USA will have to 'compensate' the Arabs and Israel will have to pay at least some of the price."
What doesn't alarm the Arabs? Microsoft deal with Israel alarms Arabs

TEL AVIV — Israel has signed a $20 million contract with Microsoft Corp. in a move that has alarmed Arab states.

Microsoft Israel, a subsidiary, signed a 100 million shekel [$20.2 million] contract for the supply of services, programs and support for computers in the Defense Ministry and military.

Arab diplomatic sources said the contract has sparked rumors that Microsoft is helping Israel crack the computer systems of the militaries of its neighbors. An estimated 50 million people use Microsoft in the Middle East and the company has 29 offices in the region, according to Middle East Newsline.

The contract will last three years and was financed by U.S. military aid to Israel.
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O, Canada Daniel Pipes' appearance at York blocked

A student-run centre at York University in Toronto has blocked a pro-Israeli academic from speaking at its facility, fearing that it may lead to Concordia University-style protests.

But the university administration said Thursday it is considering whether it can find another place on campus for Daniel Pipes, who has been invited by the Jewish Student Federation at York, to speak at an open event next week.

Mr. Pipes, a Middle East expert and director of the Middle East Forum, is described in his biography as "one of the few analysts who understood the threat of militant Islam." He is the creator of Campus Watch, a controversial Web site that details what he calls pervasive anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiments on college campuses across the United States.
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You gotta have heart; miles and miles of heart. (Ted B)

If you will it, it will be.

Someone far cleverer than I, said that the Israelis are strong on power and weak on will, whereas the Palestinians are weak on power but strong on will. As a result, the Palestinians are going to win.

Not what you would expect but history proves the theory time and again. The Soviet Union collapsed because the leaders lost their passion for the cause or the will to survive. This was their death sentence. Sure, they were overwhelmed economically by the West but if they had the will they would have adjusted.

In revolutions, such as the overthrow of the Csar in Russia and the overthrow of the Shah in Iran, the fierce determination of the people overcame a far greater force. In the end, it is a test of wills.

Britain would not have survived the Battle for Britain in Second World War, but for the leadership of Winston Churchill. His fiery oratory gave the Brits the will and the courage to overcome all odds.

Theodor Herzel in his 1896 treatise on “The Jewish State”, emphasized the need for passion, to succeed, “Although I speak of reason, I am fully aware that reason alone will not suffice. Old prisoners do not willingly leave their cells. We shall see whether the youth whom we need are at our command--the youth, who irresistibly draw on the old, carry them forward on strong arms, and transform rational motives into enthusiasm.” and “Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews who wish for a State will have it.” One need only will it.

Dr Viktor Frankl in his famous book, Man's Search for Meaning, postulated that man's stongest life force was "the will to meaning". The stonger one's passion for a cause, the more likely he or she would survive.

In 1948 Israel had to fight for its life only months after coming into being. And they had only a ragtag assembly of Holocaust survivors barely out of the refugee camps, in some cases right off the boat, some pioneers and volunteers and few arms or friends. Opposing them were the armies of eight Arab countries. Yet their will to win, to survive, overcame all odds and they were victorious. Ein Brerah. There was no other way.

This courage and determination served us well until our energy was sapped in the aftermath of Lebanese War. In its wake, we lost our belief in ourselves and in the rightness of our cause and the Post Zionists and the secular rationalists rose to ascendancy. This failure of will on the part of Israeli society gave rise to the Oslo Accords and our retreat from Lebanon. We no longer joyously sang the tune, ”Give me the old time religion, its good enough for me.” Instead the passion for the religion of Zionism gave way to an acceptance of the religion of secularism and multiculturalism and the siren call of affluence and modernity.

Today once again we find ourselves in a fight for our existence. The forces arrayed against us include the Islamic world with its intense hatred, the EU with its renewed anti-Semitism, the Left with its desire to discredit Israel and America, and the UN and the NGOs who are partial to the Third World and anti-Israel. Only America stands at our side.

We know we have the might to survive but do we have the will. Throughout history, the more we were attacked, the more we banded together. The terrorism of the last two years has awakened the old time religion and we are moving to the right and are no longer willing to settle for a mess of pottage. Post-Zionism is dead as is the belief that we have a partner in peace to negotiate with.

In this regard, the Arabs have miscalculated. They thought their terrorism would break our backs whereas the opposite happened, it steeled our resolve. It gave us the will. As a result, it is they who are losing the will.

Oriana Fallaci, in her Sermon for the West, accused the West “of another crime; the loss of passion”. While acknowledging that the Arabs “have so much passion that they can die for it.”, she concludes by exclaiming, “Well I have not [lost it]. I boil with passion. I, too, am ready to die for my passion.”

So it is with Oriana, so it is with the Jews.

DEBKA File Headlines

Mofaz: Israel will employ drastic measures to root out Palestinian Qassam rocket bases in Gaza Strip and halt fire on Israeli towns and targets.

IDF operation begins in N. Gaza town of Beit Hanoun Friday, hours after five Qassam rockets land in south Israeli town of Sderot

Twenty-one al Qaeda operatives detained in Europe in last 24 hours with explosives and chemicals

In Catalonia, 150 Spanish anti-terror agents rounded up 16 militants, most Algerian, in Catalonia.

Earlier, Italian police detained 5 Moroccan men near Venice with explosives, maps of central London, plans to hit NATO base in Verona and Padua Cathedral

Spanish, Italian roundups linked to French and British security probes into Al Qaeda poison plots

Daniel Pipes write about The Enemy Within

Here is an extract from an article in which Pipes addresses the issue of "profiling."
...Does singling out Muslims for additional scrutiny serve a purpose? And if so, is it legally and morally acceptable?

In reply to the first question - yes, enhanced scrutiny of Muslims makes good sense, for several reasons:

In the course of their assaults on Americans, Islamists - the supporters of militant Islam - have killed nearly 4,000 people since 1979. No other enemy has remotely the same record.

Islamists are plotting to kill many more Americans, as shown by the more than one-group-a-month arrests of them since 9/11.

While most Muslims are not Islamists and most Islamists are not terrorists, all Islamist terrorists are Muslims.
Islamist terrorists do not appear spontaneously, but emerge from a milieu of religious sanction, intellectual justification, financial support and organizational planning.
These circumstances - and this is the unpleasant part - point to the imperative of focusing on Muslims. There is no escaping the unfortunate fact that Muslim government employees in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps need to be watched for connections to terrorism, as do Muslim chaplains in prisons and the armed forces. Muslim visitors and immigrants must undergo additional background checks. Mosques require a scrutiny beyond that applied to churches and temples....
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Hectic. Some corruption. Lots of name calling. But still a real democracy, the only one in the area. Welcome to IsraelVotes2003!

This site offers you the unique opportunity to voice your opinion in the upcoming Israeli elections! With Israelis going to the polls on January 28th in order to shape the future of their country at a crucial time in history, Israel-supporters on campuses across North America are now able to be included. In addition to allowing you to vote, this site also offers a vast amount of information about Israel's political system, the wide-range of political parties and individuals involved in the election, the issues that Israeli voters are contemplating, as well as up to date election headlines and news. VOTING CENTER
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The Holocaust — still crucial to our identity
On Sunday, the third Holocaust Memorial Day will take place, with the theme of children. Gaby Wine asked young people how they felt about the greatest human atrocity of our time.

Jo Elias, aged 20, Cambridge Theology student:

“The Holocaust is an essential part of our Jewish identity. The [1961] Eichmann Trial in Israel was one of the most important moments for the Jewish people. Those he had wanted to destroy now had self-determination and were able to prosecute him under their own judiciary system.”

“We are now in a new era in terms of how Jews are perceived. During the Holocaust, we were seen as lambs to the slaughter. We are no longer seen as a weak nation and have our own land. Israel and the Holocaust are inseparable. We owe it to the people who died, to support the state
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Can't happen soon enough! Sharon aims to exile Arafat after offensive against Saddam

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is planning to expel Palestinian Authority head Yasser Arafat as soon as the anticipated American attack on Iraq is over, The Report has been told.

Hours after the January 5 double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, Sharon came under pressure at a late night "kitchen cabinet" meeting to eject the Palestinian leader from the West Bank and Gaza forthwith, because of what ministers called Arafat’s deep complicity in ongoing Palestinian terror. Sharon, wary of American wrath, withstood the pressure. But he made it clear he would reconsider immediately after the American offensive against Saddam.

The three ministers at the meeting, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Silvan Shalom all argue that as long as Arafat is in the territories, terror will not stop. Sharon agrees in principle, but sees a problem with the timing, noting that in the run-up to the anticipated attack on Iraq, the Americans are urging maximal restraint, and don’t want Israel to do anything that might inflame the Arab world. But after the American offensive, aides say Sharon expects Washington will allow Israel far more leeway in responding to Palestinian terror, and that would be the time to expel Arafat.

Appearing before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on January 6, Mofaz virtually confirmed the plan, saying that the day Arafat would no longer be around was "getting closer." Defense Ministry sources told The Report that in the coming year Israel aims to engage the Palestinians in serious peace talks, and that, in Mofaz’s view, "can only happen without Arafat."
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Israel's Humanitarian Aid Continues in the Palestinian Territories

It is truly staggering to think of this when what they have been given in return is hatred and murder.
Israel's Humanitarian Aid Continues in the Palestinian Territories
23 January 2003 IDF Spokesperson
Alongside the IDF's operations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip aimed to prevent terrorism, the IDF is continuing its policy of providing humanitarian aid and easing the restrictions on the innocent Palestinian population living in the territories.

Below is a list of the restrictions which were lifted (as of 17 January 2003):

In Ramallah, a Palestinian truck bearing innoculations passed through the IDF security checkpoints. In Tul Karem, Red Cross representatives distributed food to the Palestinian population. In Bethlehem, a vehicle carrying gas canisters passed through IDF security checkpoints. Five buses carrying Palestinians on their way to be Baptised, travelled from Bethlehem to Jericho.
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Will this new "state" use Hamas as it national police force? Officials: U.S., Israel Readying Call for Palestinian Statehood

Note, though, that no cessation of terror, no statehood.
JERUSALEM — Israel and the United States are preparing a new joint peace initiative for possible release following Israel's January 28 general election, the Forward has learned.

The initiative, details of which are still being ironed out in high-level, behind-the-scenes talks, would reportedly include a joint American-Israeli call for the establishment of a "demilitarized Palestinian state with temporary borders," according to several sources familiar with the talks. A unilateral Israeli announcement of the establishment of such a Palestinian state is being considered. The new state reportedly would be led by an appointed prime minister, with Yasser Arafat barred from playing any role.

Senior officials have confirmed that such plans are under discussion. Several sources cautioned against expectations of an early breakthrough, however, insisting that such plans would not be activated until after the Iraq crisis has been resolved.

Any explicit declaration relating to the establishment of Palestinian statehood, one senior government source told the Forward, would be part of a "second phase," following Palestinian economic and political reform and the cessation of terrorism.
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Allah's annointed preaches love and the brotherhood of man Preacher ’called on Muslims to murder Jews’
A Muslim preacher accused of inciting murder and fostering racial hatred urged his followers to kill non-believers and told
them: "The way forward is the bullet," a jury at the Old Bailey heard yesterday. Abdullah el-Faisal, 39, endorsed the use of nuclear and chemical weapons and told audiences that the proper definition of jihad was to wage war on non-Muslims - whom he compared to cockroaches - the court heard. "It is Islam versus democracy. It is Allah versus Satan. It is Muslims versus unbelievers," he is alleged to have said in a sermon.

El-Faisal denies five charges of soliciting a person or persons unknown to murder Jews, Hindus, Americans and other non-believers.

He also denies two charges of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour to stir up racial hatred, and one charge each of distributing and possessing recordings of such speeches. "He was preaching intolerance, but worse than that, preaching murder," David Perry told the court, opening the prosecution case. "The message he was conveying is clear: to kill a kaffir [non-believer] is good."

He added that the prosecution could not say what effect the speeches had on audiences. What mattered was what the defendant said and his aim in saying it.
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note: The original poster intersperses commentary between paragraphs. I have cut these remarks.
The Problem Of Muslim Anti-Semitism
If you raise the issue of Arab or Muslim anti-Semitism with the average Arab/Muslim leader, you will, with just a few exceptions, get a predictable set of responses. Some of them will shamefacedly acknowledge that the problem exists, and having done so, will then abruptly change the subject to racial profiling, American imperialism, or the evils of Israel. Others will admit the existence of the problem, but insist that it survives only on the "fringes" of Arab/Muslim society, and is thus an issue of marginal concern. Some will simply fall silent. And others will tell you with disarming candor that the "problem" of anti-Semitism is no "problem" at all, because the Jews are after all a scheming and diabolical race who deserve all the abuse that can be directed at them. Multiply such leaders by the hundreds, and do so over the course of decades, and you will get some sense of why the problem of anti-Semitism has assumed the proportions it currently has in the Arab-Muslim community.
So how big a problem is Arab/Muslim anti-Semitism? Reasonable people may reasonably disagree about its scope, but no reasonable person, I think, can claim that the problem is a marginal one. As Bernard Lewis of Princeton put the point in his book Semites and Anti-Semites (1986):

"The volume of anti-Semitic books and articles published, the size and number of editions and impressions, the eminence and authority of those who write, publish and sponsor them, their place in school and college curricula, their role in the mass media, would all seem to suggest that classical anti-Semitism is an essential part of Arab [and I would add, Muslim] intellectual life at the present time…"

Lewis's assessment tallies well with my own personal experience. Contempt for Jews was a ubiquitous and inescapable phenomenon in the Arab/Muslim community in which I grew up in New Jersey in the 1970s and 1980s; the bigotry there was such that my brother jokingly referred to the community as "The Fourth Reich." And such attitudes remain in place today. Recently, The Arab Voice, an Arab-language newspaper in Paterson, N.J., was discovered serializing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (a notorious anti-Semitic forgery) in its pages. To the best of my knowledge, not a single local Arab/Muslim leader condemned them for it. To make matters worse, local leaders not only defended the newspaper, but openly affirmed their belief in the Protocols! A depressing example, but not a unique one: I could multiply such examples further if I had the space
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Israeli Helicopters Fire Missiles in Gaza
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli attack helicopters fired 11 missiles at Gaza City early Friday, hitting a hospital chapel and several metal workshops. Islamic militants retaliated by firing three crude rockets at an Israeli desert town.

In the West Bank on Friday, troops killed a Palestinian mother and her son as they hiked along a dirt path to avoid a military checkpoint between their village and the city of Nablus, neighbors said. An army spokesman said the two opened fire on an army outpost with a handgun and were found carrying hand grenades.

Hours earlier, Palestinian gunmen killed three Israeli soldiers in a West Bank ambush.

The latest flareup came just five days before Israel's general election, which is expected to give hardline Prime Minister Ariel Sharon another term.
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Israel or Palestine, our land or theirs?
I read in the news recently something that caught my eye. A headline - "Breslov Hassidim arrested on the way to Joseph's Tomb." I can't praise them for 'breaking the law.' They violated a military order barring Israeli citizens from entering PA autonomous areas. But I just can't help myself from thinking Kol HaKavod (congratulations) for keeping the issue in the news. Since Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002, groups of Breslov Hassidim have repeatedly tried to get to Joseph's Tomb in Nablus to pray.

Why have they had to try and out fox the Israeli Army, to sneak into Nablus? Why does the Israeli government have to protect its citizens from themselves, when they want to pray at a Jewish holy site?

The answer is that Joseph's Tomb was supposed to be under Israeli control according to the Oslo Agreement. Jews were supposed to be free to study Torah and pray there. The Od Yosef Chai (Joseph Lives) Yeshiva was there. But on October 7th, 2000, three days after Channel Two television reported Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz saying he would pull the Israeli forces from Joseph's Tomb if the situation worsens, PA mobs overran the site, killed a soldier, and stole our heritage again.

The Palestinians quickly ransacked the place, burning Torah books, and repainting the white dome roof Muslim Green, transforming the Biblical Joseph's resting place into a Muslim holy site. The Israeli government, under the leadership of Ehud Barak, didn't think the tomb was worth fighting over. Jewish holy sites, our connection to our past and to our Land, didn't matter. And that gets to the heart of the problem. Whose land is it? Whose Holy Sites are they? Who cares more?
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Giving into Tyrants

While the news media are playing up the objections to America's war effort against Iraq, it's worth noting what happens when virtuous nations fail to stand up to aggressive tyrants. Read Caroline Glick's latest column, "Rejecting false realities." Glick argues (correctly) that:
"For their part, the Palestinians themselves have stated repeatedly since the withdrawal that the perception that Hizbullah forced Israel to surrender in Lebanon was the major inspiration for their terrorist war against Israel. According to Ya'alon, 'The withdrawal from Lebanon is perceived in the region as a major victory of the Islamic revolution. For this we are paying a strategic price.
It impacted the Palestinian situation and in the long run it has implications for the Syrians.'
In other words, the decision to withdraw unilaterally from Lebanon was a mistake in every respect Yet, rather than learning the lessons of Lebanon, Israel's Left, again with media support, has for the past two years been attempting to repeat its policy prescriptions with the Palestinians."
And how did Israel reach the point that it had to withdraw from Lebanon?
"In the days and weeks after the crash, the media gave almost uninterrupted coverage to defeatist voices telling the public that there was no reason for the IDF to be in south Lebanon.
Statements by security officials such as then-head of IDF Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon who explained that such remarks played into the hands of Hizbullah and obfuscated the fact that the soldiers were in Lebanon in order to protect Israel's towns and villages in the north were either given cursory attention or dismissed as opportunistic opining of officers trying to defuse legitimate criticism of the IDF.
So overwhelming was the media's coverage and backing of the campaign for defeatism, and so successful was the manipulation of national grief, that a poll taken a week and a half after the accident showed that 74 percent of Israelis favored a unilateral pullout from Lebanon."
So the media (and political) focus on the supposed failure of military force created a climate where the government chose to retreat rather than hold its ground; with awful consequences.
Of course there were quite a few experts who figured that Israel would benefit greatly from withdrawing from Lebanon; notably Thomas Friedman. In a hypothetical column "How Bibi Got Re-elected"
Friedman supposes that by withdrawing from Lebanon, Netanyahu would beat Barak. Of course Netanyahu didn't withdraw from Lebanon; but Barak who defeated him did. Still Friedman supposed:
"The Israeli move has totally unnerved the Syrians, the Hezbollah guerrillas and Iran "They are all now in a quandary," said the Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen. "The Hezbollah guerrillas are saying to themselves: 'Now that we have liberated Lebanon, do we want to use that as leverage to rule Lebanon? Or do we want to use that as a springboard to move on to Jerusalem?'
If they want to do the latter, now they're really going to have to pay for it."
Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are still ensconced in Lebanon and even have their hooks into the PA. They do want to move onto Jerusalem; and they haven't paid a cent. Despite the fact that Hezbollah hasn't changed; the NY Times still gets misty eyed for these Al Qaeda allied Islamacist terrorists as Friedman did in "Lebanon and the Goblet of Fire" or Neil MacFarquhar did here in "To U.S., a Terrorist Group;
to Lebanese, a Social Agency.
"
Another parallel between the efforts to encourage an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and the antiwar folks now is that the defeatism is something that is encouraged by Europe! Glick writes how Israel's domestic proponents of a withdrawal from Lebanon were often funded by the EU. The efforts to stop the war against Iraq also are heartily endorsed by France and Germany.
Maybe Daniel Pipes is correct in Europe vs. America.
Cross Posted to Doubting Thomas

Faces of the Victims


Click a picture to learn more about each victim or to send a condolence note to their family.

Letters and donations are delivered to families on a quarterly basis.
Is the lion awakening?

While the anti-Israeli, pro-Saddam lobby has been out in the streets in force, those who oppose appeasement have been silent and side-tracked. This applies in particular to the While House, but also to “the American street” and to Israel’s supporters - no rallies to oppose appeasement, no clergy summoning the press, and no retired generals issuing press releases. All you hear is “where’s the smoking gun”, as though the warheads that have already been found and the Iraqi prohibited equipment that has been unaccounted for, are not enough of a “smoking gun”.

On January 21, the White House released at long last a document related to Saddam’s conduct, 1990-2003. Below, just to whet one’s appetite, is the table of contents:

Crafting Tragedy:
Iraqi Co-Locations of Military and Civilians. Then...And Now.
Case Study: The Amiriyah Bunker-Shelter

Exploiting Suffering
Blaming Sanctions for Regime Failure
Case Study: Baby Funerals
Depleted Uranium Scare

Medical Facts on Iraqi Chemical Weapons Exposure

Exploiting Islam
The Hajj Shakedowns
Oppression of Shi’a Muslims
The Gulf War: Lies About Non-Muslim Militaries in the Middle East

The Gulf War: Lies About Conflicts between Muslim and Western Allies

Corrupting the Public Record
Self-inflicted Damage
False Man-in-the-Street Interview
Censorship
Covert Placement
Case Study: The Al-Fahd Forgery
The Gulf War: False Claims of Victory

Conclusion: The Lies Continue

Also included are an executive summary and bibliography.

No sooner was this document released, when Condoleezza Rice published her article in the NYT. Among other things, she spelled out these specifics:

[I]nstead of full cooperation and transparency, Iraq has filed a false declaration to the United Nations that amounts to a 12,200-page lie.

For example, the declaration fails to account for or explain Iraq's efforts to get uranium from abroad, its manufacture of specific fuel for ballistic missiles it claims not to have, and the gaps previously identified by the United Nations in Iraq's accounting for more than two tons of the raw materials needed to produce thousands of gallons of anthrax and other biological weapons.

Iraq's declaration even resorted to unabashed plagiarism, with lengthy passages of United Nations reports copied word-for-word (or edited to remove any criticism of Iraq) and presented as original text. Far from informing, the declaration is intended to cloud and confuse the true picture of Iraq's arsenal. It is a reflection of the regime's well-earned reputation for dishonesty and constitutes a material breach of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, which set up the current inspections program.
...
Unlike other nations that have voluntarily disarmed — and in defiance of Resolution 1441 — Iraq is not allowing inspectors "immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted access" to facilities and people involved in its weapons program. As a recent inspection at the home of an Iraqi nuclear scientist demonstrated, and other sources confirm, material and documents are still being moved around in farcical shell games. The regime has blocked free and unrestricted use of aerial reconnaissance...

The list of people involved with weapons of mass destruction programs, which the United Nations required Iraq to provide, ends with those who worked in 1991 — even though the United Nations had previously established that the programs continued after that date. Interviews with scientists and weapons officials identified by inspectors have taken place only in the watchful presence of the regime's agents. Given the duplicitous record of the regime, its recent promises to do better can only be seen as an attempt to stall for time.

Last week's finding by inspectors of 12 chemical warheads not included in Iraq's declaration was particularly troubling. In the past, Iraq has filled this type of warhead with sarin — a deadly nerve agent used by Japanese terrorists in 1995 to kill 12 Tokyo subway passengers and sicken thousands of others. Richard Butler, the former chief United Nations arms inspector, estimates that if a larger type of warhead that Iraq has made and used in the past were filled with VX (an even deadlier nerve agent) and launched at a major city, it could kill up to one million people. Iraq has also failed to provide United Nations inspectors with documentation of its claim to have destroyed its VX stockpiles.
More of a smoking gun than these?

Let’s hope that the White House document and Rice’s article represents the beginning of a serious US offensive to win over the hearts and minds of the people. And let’s also hope that the Israeli government and Israel’s supporters start a parallel campaign against the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state.

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

January 23, 2003

Of course no surprise here but some interesting facts Sponsoring Terrorism: Syria and Islamic Jihad

On November 15, not long after Palestinian gunmen killed twelve Israelis in the West Bank town of Hebron, the Al-Jazeera satellite television station broadcast a telephone interview from Damascus with Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Abdullah Shallah. "I extend congratulations to our heroic mujahideen . . . who were able to carry out this remarkable operation. It included members of the Jerusalem Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad in Palestine," he boasted.1

After American officials once again called upon Syria to close down Islamic Jihad's headquarters, the foreign ministry in Damascus replied that "the Syrian government has more than once made clear the informational character of these offices, whose work is limited to expressing their viewpoint," adding that "operations are planned and carried out in the occupied territories . . . not based on instructions issued by the media offices that are found in some Arab capitals." For good measure, the statement accused the United States of being "responsible for the current bloodletting" because of its policies in the Middle East.2

In fact, the evidence linking Islamic Jihad operations to its operational headquarters in Damascus is overwhelming.
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If these countries and terror groups have one thing in common it is that they have nothing in common. Palestinian talks in Cairo scrapped

CAIRO, January 23 -- Talks between Palestinian factions in Cairo aimed at halting attacks inside Israel were called off yesterday due to a dispute over which groups would attend, officials from two factions said.

"Egypt cancelled the meeting after Syria refused to allow Palestinian factions based in Damascus to go to Egypt for the dialogue," a Palestinian official in Cairo, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

But Palestinian sources said in Beirut that Egypt had not invited several factions and was making unacceptable demands for a complete halt to violence in a 27-month-old uprising against Israeli occupation.

"The Egyptians want a dialogue with some of the parties, and are asking for a halt to operations inside (Israel) with no programme and nothing in return," said one of the sources, representing another leading faction.

"No Palestinian can accept these two points, and the dialogue is as good as over." Asked about the meetings, an Egyptian government source said: "There has been no official cancellation yet," but declined to give further details.
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A Dutch treat. Fools. Parents shocked after scout camp features Nazis chasing Jews

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Parents of more than 100 Danish scouts were outraged over a game of tag at a scout camp in which children acted as Jews wearing yellow Stars of David and tried to escape from adults pretending to be Nazis.

The group of about 160 scouts, aged 11-14, included a dozen teenagers from the Danish-speaking minority in northern Germany. The school yard was turned into a concentration camp with swastikas on the windows.

"I was shocked," Johanna Christiansen, a German woman, told the Ekstra Bladet newspaper on Thursday.

"It's wrong to expose children to this," said Christiansen, whose two daughters took part.

The local branch of the Danish Christian FDF scout organization organized the game last weekend at the Kongeaadal school, 260 kilometers (160 miles) southwest of Copenhagen.

Jes Imer of the local FDF chapter told the tabloid B.T. that they "may have crossed the line this time with a night game where Nazis chase Jews."

The school yard included a sign with the German words "Arbeit macht frei," or "Work will set you free," the infamous inscription over the entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

"I don't know whether I should apologize," Imer told B.T., adding "I didn't want the game to hurt anyone."

None of those involved could be reached for further comment.
Three Israelis are shot to death on a highway south of Hebron. (IBA radio)

Oriana Fallaci is the greatest

Sermon for the West
From Afghanistan to Sudan, from Palestine to Pakistan, from Malaysia to Iran, from Egypt to Iraq, from Algeria to Senegal, from Syria to Kenya, from Libya to Chad, from Lebanon to Morocco, from Indonesia to Yemen, from Saudi Arabia to Somalia, the hate for the West swells like a fire fed by the wind. And the followers of Islamic fundamentalism multiply like a protozoa of a cell which splits to become two cells then four then eight then sixteen then thirty-two to infinity.
“The clash between us and them is not a military clash. Oh, no. It is a cultural one, a religious one. And our military victories do not solve the offensive of Islamic terrorism. On the contrary, they encourage it. They exacerbate it, they multiply it. The worst is still to come.”

People are afraid to speak against the Islamic world. Afraid to offend, and to be punished for offending, the sons of Allah. You can insult the Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Jews. You can slander the Catholics, you can spit on the Madonna and Jesus Christ. But, woe betide the citizen who pronounces a word against the Islamic religion.

To accuse us of cowardice, hypocrisy, demagogy, laziness, moral misery, and of all that comes with that. The stupidity of the unbearable fad of political correctness, for instance.

I accuse ourselves also of another crime: the loss of passion. Haven’t you understood what drives our enemies? What permits them to fight this war against us? The passion! They have passion! They have so much passion that they can die for it!
Who's kidding whom

Which is the bigger fantasy; the Arabs accepting Israel in any borders or Israel keeping the territories and transfering the Arabs. Which has the greater chance of being realized.

Boris Shusteff of the Freeman Centre examines the issues. Here's are some tid bits.
It appears that Sharon´s constant refrain that "the President´s [Bush] peace plan is a reasonable, realistic and feasible one" has become so engraved in people´s minds that they have lost the ability to think critically. They are apparently unable to notice that Sharon´s approach can never lead to a decisive victory. To the contrary, by following along the road of self-destruction towards a "Palestinian state" in Yesha, Israel will continue counting dead and wounded citizens and will never know a day of respite.

In a statement to the Egyptian daily al-Akhbar Mousa affirmed that, ".....Arabs would not sign any final peace with Israel prior to the liberation of every inch of the occupied land."

We are talking about irreconcilable ideologies. The Arabs are not going to change their position. They have proven this by stubbornly sticking to it for over thirty-six years.

Mohammad Haikal explained the fruitlessness of these sorts of Israeli "peace moves" in an editorial in al-Ahram as early as February 25, 1971, when he candidly wrote that, "There are only two well-defined goals on the Arab scene: erasing the traces of the 1967 aggression, by Israel´s withdrawal from all areas occupied by it in that year, and erasing the aggression of 1948, by Israel´s total and absolute annihilation. This is not really a well defined goal, but an oversimplified one; and the mistake of some of us is starting off with the last step before beginning the first." (This is known as victory in stages.)

It should be obvious to any student of elementary logic that by voluntarily embarking on the "first step," (following Mitzna/Beilin/Sarid) Israel will make it much easier for the Arabs to take the "last step." MORE
Even Sharon Cries

In an interview, Oriana Fallaci humanizes the prime minister:
Last April, she said, Ariel Sharon phoned her to praise an article she had written in the weekly Italian publication Panorama about the problem of European and Arab anti-Semitism.

She said she answered the phone and said, "‘Hey, Sharon! How are you? Are you as fat?’ Because I know him. Sharon said, ‘Oriana, I called you to say, "Damn, you have guts; damn, you are courageous; damn, do I thank you."’ I said, ‘Ariel, you thank me—I apologize with you. I was too tough to you 20 years ago.’ And he was, as usual, a gentleman."

The night before the phone call, there had been an attack on a kibbutz.

"I said, ‘Listen, dear, I know what happened last night in that kibbutz. Will you please permit me to express to you and to your people my condolences?’ Sharon started crying. I don’t know, I didn’t see the tears. But the voice was of a crying man, and he started to shout: ‘Oriana! You are the only one who says the word condolences! Do you know, these bloody heads of states, I just spoke with the British and the Americans’—meaning Blair and Bush—‘they did not say that word to me.’ And then with broken voice he said, ‘Do you know who were the dead last night? One was the grandmother who was in Dachau and who still had the number on her arm. The second one was her daughter, who was seven months pregnant. And the third one was the child of the daughter, who was 5 years old. And they are all dead! All dead! All dead!’ He was crying."
Link via Michael J. Totten, who runs a excellent weblog you should check out (he wrote "A Liberal's Case for Bush's War").

Lebanese Foundation for Peace supports Ariel Sharon

worth reading
If the Saddam Hussein regime falls, Syria and Iran know they are next on the list of terrorist states and they will take steps to ensure that Hezbollah will "vanish," to protect themselves from the wrath of the United States. Over many years, Syria, an ally of Iran, who is flirting with the United States and is supposedly helping to achieve world and Middle East peace, has been a nation of double standards, destabilizing the US-backed peace process for the Middle East. While pretending it is supporting the war against terrorism, Syria is allowing the headquarters of Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Damascus to torpedo any hope of peace by suicide bombing any peace initiative on the Palestinian and Lebanese tracks. While pretending to support UN Resolution 1441 against Iraq, Syria is transferring chemical and biological weapon from Iraq, hiding them in Syria, and transferring some of them to Hezbollah. MORE
The Jewish Case Against Joe Lieberman

Wherein Joe's hypocrisies and changes of postions in an attempt to be all things to all people is clearly revealed.
2003 should be an interesting year.

Defense Minister S. Mofaz speaks out in Ha'aretz.

Now Mofaz is carefully examining the calendar, and he sees at the year's end the upcoming election campaign for U.S. president, which will begin in November. Until then, the Americans have a busy agenda in the region. First of all the attack in Iraq, which will last until the end of spring or the beginning of summer, and which will conclude with an effort to prevent chaos and to stabilize the new regime in Baghdad. Then the agenda will include the problems of North Korea and Iran, the other members of the "axis of evil," and the end of 2003 will already have arrived. The defense minister's conclusion: The United States is the motivating force for change in the region, and it has the will and the capability, but the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not be of high priority in the coming months. It's doubtful whether later on, during an election year, the U.S. Administration will make an effort to change the regional environment.

Mofaz is not enthusiastic about the U.S. "road map," but neither is he especially worried about it. The Israeli security apparatus believes the existing drafts are American lip service, meant to placate the Europeans and the Arabs on the road to Iraq. He thinks Israel should stick to three principles: a refusal to negotiate under fire, replacement of the Palestinian leadership and progress dictated by actions rather than dates. In any case, the process will be a long one. Confidence between Israel and the Palestinians has been destroyed, and it will take many stages and interim agreements in order to restore it. In the coming year, Mofaz sees a chance for the beginning of a change, but no more than that. The sun will not suddenly break through in a dramatic change of the situation or an agreement.
Thank G-d

Even after Israeli election,‘road map’ likely to be off course

In Washington, the road map is viewed as a nonstarter, essentially dead until other foreign policy priorities, especially U.S. military action against Iraq, are completed.

“The road map is not American policy,” said Scott Lasensky, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “It’s a big question mark.”
Typical. Muslim cleric take moral highroad and then quickly uses platform to denounce the West, even the country he is living in, and warns of retribution from Muslims.Muslim Cleric Denounces Detective’s Murder

Here is a key extract:
...There are many people in the Muslim world who have been pressing for the imposing of sanctions against British products, just as American and Israeli products are boycotted. But the majority of scholars have so far refuted this, but if Britain goes to war with Iraq Britain would have to be boycotted too.”

The sheikh told the 100 or so gathered for the conference that he condemned extremists who claim to be Muslims.

But he criticised the police for their raid on the Finsbury Park mosque. He said: “This does not justify the police to desecrate the sanctity of the mosque, the house of God should not be stormed in this way.

“Have the police in Britain ever stormed into a church?”

The sheikh said extremist Muslims were being betrayed as the voice of Islam leading to a “demonisation” of the religion in Britain.

“We would never have known about Abu Hamza had it not been for the betrayal of his pictures and statements in the British press. They were treated as leaders by the authorities and that is deliberately to demonise Islam...
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Polls: Dilemma facing Sharon

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's party is expected to easily win the most seats in parliament in next week's election, but new polls show he could face a daunting dilemma in forming a new government.

The makeup of the next Israeli government will be crucial in determining how Israel responds to the 28-month-old Palestinian intifada -- and to a road map from the Madrid Quartet calling for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Sharon has said he needs a national unity government to push through his policies, but that option seems highly unlikely.

Sharon said in October when his unity government fell apart that an election was the last thing Israel needed.
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Israel Arrests Wife of PFLP Leader - Palestinians

GAZA - Israeli security forces have arrested the wife of Ahmed Sa'adat, leader of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the militant group and human rights activists said Thursday.

They said Abla Sa'adat was detained Tuesday at the Allenby Bridge border crossing with Jordan, from where she was traveling to Brazil for a conference.

Israeli officials declined to comment on the report.

"Abla Sa'adat was going to speak on the Israeli policy of political detention and she fell victim herself to that policy," said Khalil Abu Shammala, director of the Ad-Dameer Association for Human Rights in the Gaza Strip.

Abu Shammala said Abla Sa'adat had asked a Palestinian who was at Allenby Bridge to inform her family and his rights group that she was being held by the Israeli security services.

"We hold the Israeli government fully responsible for the safety of Abla Sa'adat and we demand that they immediately give information on her detention and free her," he told Reuters.

Sa'adat, general-secretary of the PFLP, has been in a Palestinian jail in the desert town of Jericho since last May. He was arrested by the Palestinian Authority at the request of Israel after the PFLP killed an Israeli minister and his incarceration is being supervised by British and U.S. guards.

Israel accuses the PFLP of being behind numerous bombings and other attacks since a Palestinian uprising for statehood began in September 2000 after peace talks stalled.
Elections Arafat Style - Cont.

In a previous article (see Dawson Speaks or IsraPundit), I commented on the elections the PA was supposed to have held on January 20, 2003, recalling the 1996 experience. Just in case anyone (such as the EU-niks) believed that “this time - whenever that is - it will be different”, the Jerusalem Post, January 22, 2003, reports as follows:
Palestinian professor Abdel Sattar Kassem, who has announced his intention to run against Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in the next Palestinian general elections, said Tuesday he was being subjected to a campaign of intimidation by the PA’s security forces.

Kassem, who teaches political science at an-Najah University in Nablus, said, “Intimidating the Palestinian electorate by the Palestinian security service is already in action. Security men have been watching my activities very closely in an attempt to hinder my efforts to mobilize supporters.”

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Kassem said Palestinian security forces and senior PA officials are waging a campaign of intimidation against the local media, especially in Nablus and Jenin, aiming to stop the publication of interviews with him on different issues. “They have been partially successful,” he noted, referring to Palestinian newspapers' refusal refused [sic] to cover his activities and statements in recent weeks.
...
This is not the first time that Kassem is targeted by the PA security forces. A few years ago he was shot and injured by a lone gunman outside his house. The attack came shortly after Kassem and several Palestinian academics and politicans signed a petition calling for reforms in the PA and condemning the systematic abuse of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
What are the chances that Neil Macdonald will report about Kassem? About the same chances that the the EU/Powell will learn from experience. For, that is the nature of anti-Israel sentiment: facts don’t matter.

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

Remembering Daniel



"January 23, 2003 marks one year since the brutal kidnapping of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi, Pakistan by Islamic terrorists. Less than one month later he was murdered by his captors. The vicious interrogations of Daniel and his 'execution' were even videotaped and distributed by his captors. The murderers were proud of their heinous crime and hoped to incite others to follow in their bloody footsteps.

Why was Daniel murdered? Because he was a Jew!"



WINSTON MID EAST ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY January 14, 2003 Email: gwinston@interaccess.com Please disseminate & re-post. If you publish, send us a copy. Please see our web sites at http://www.gamla.org.il/english & http://www.freeman.org

ISLAM HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH ALL NON-BELIEVERS by Emanuel A. Winston, a Middle East analyst & commentator

Depending on their strength at any given time, the forces of Islam have a flexible advantage over their selected adversaries. When they are weak or in the minority, Muslims will be friendly, accommodating and accepting of "the others" religion(s).

When they are strong and have assembled a critical mass, they will demand obedience, subservience and conversion to Islam.

The Koran is a versatile handbook on how Muslims are to deal with the ‘infidel’ (non-believer), primarily Jews and Christians. For the uninformed, it is difficult to know which Muslim you are facing, depending upon the circumstances. He can be your devoted friend, eat at your table as a family member but, in a day or a year that same Muslim may hate you with sufficient fervor to kill you. Often that friendly Muslim does not know himself that he is capable of becoming a vengeful, hate-filled killer.

In order to understand the variables and switch of character, I urge you to read the attached, entitled: "The Muslim Disinformation Campaign" by Robert Spencer as published by Israeli & Global News. (1)

The book by Joan Peters is essential reading to understand the issues in even greater depth: "From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine". (2)

###

1. "Muslim Disinformation Campaign" by Robert Spencer FrontPageMagazine.com Jan. 13, 2003

Israeli & Global News
Muslim Disinformation Campaign
By Robert Spencer FrontPageMagazine.com | January 13, 2003
Islam has an image problem, and American Muslim organizations know it.

If you ask them, this problem comes from people lying about Islam. Irresponsible, hate-filled Christian preachers and others decry Islam as a violent religion, Muslim spokesmen claim, and this bigotry gives rise to acts of violence against Muslims. The Council on American Islamic Relations and other Muslim groups have dedicated themselves to heading off such attacks by setting the record straight. On its website CAIR says that it was established in order to "promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America," and declares that "we believe misrepresentations of Islam are most often the result of ignorance on the part of non-Muslims and reluctance on the part of Muslims to articulate their case."

Laudable —— but the cure offered by American Muslim groups may be worse than the disease. Instead of taking the post-September 11 interest in Islam as an opportunity for a thorough and searching examination of the root causes of Islamic terrorism and the hatred that fomented the terrorist attacks, all too often these groups have constructed a "positive image of Islam" out of smoke and mirrors. Instead of dealing forthrightly and constructively with the concerns and questions that non-Muslims have had since the attacks, CAIR, the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and others seem interested in what one ex-Muslim termed "throwing sand in our eyes."

Sand in hand, the IIIT recently sponsored general mailing of a flyer entitled "Q & A on Islam and Arab Americans." Virtually everything about this little flyer is misleading, starting with the title itself: although it purports to be about "Arab Americans," in fact it is solely about Islam. Several times the author of the flyer does what American Muslim groups in other contexts scold non-Muslims for doing: equating Muslims and Arabs. In one place it states that American Muslims come "from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and national origins," yet in the very next column it poses the question, "What is an appropriate way to greet an Arab-American?," and explains in the answer that "some Muslims feel it is inappropriate for unrelated men and women to shake hands." While it acknowledges that "most Arab-Americans grew up in the USA and do not require special greetings," it makes no mention of the main reason why for most American Arabs, it’s completely irrelevant what Muslims feel about shaking hands or anything else: the vast majority of Arab Americans are Christians.

This confusion is common; it even appears at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). This organization lists boxer Muhammad Ali as a member of its Advisory Board. Ali is a famous American convert to Islam, but does that make him an Arab? The ADC does acknowledge that most Arab Americans aren’t Muslims, but the boxer’s inclusion raises an intriguing question about the group’s overall agenda: it "welcomes people of all backgrounds, faiths and ethnicities as members," but is it welcoming them into an Arab group or a Muslim group? Perhaps the blurring of the distinction between a racial group (Arabs) and a religious group (Muslims) is in service of efforts to portray Muslims as a racial group subject to discrimination in the United States, and thus entitled to privileged victim status.

In any case, the distortions and inaccuracies of this flyer are indicative of the half-truths and untruths that American Muslim groups are propagating today:

1. Islam means peace. The flyer notes that "the Arabic word for ‘Islam’ means ‘submission,’ and it derives from a word meaning ‘peace.’" Indeed, in Arabic, Islam and salaam ("peace") share the same linguistic root, but this in itself is virtually meaningless. All sorts of words share the same roots, and can still have quite divergent meanings —— such as the English word love and the related Sanskrit word lubh (lust). Noting the derivation of the word Islam in this brief information flyer can only be an attempt to lend credibility to the currently fashionable idea that Islam is a religion of peace. But that idea glosses over some troubling facts.

2. "Jihad does not mean ‘holy war,’" says the IIIT flyer, which originally ran in USA Today. "Literally, jihad in Arabic means to strive, struggle and exert effort. It is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self defense or fighting against tyranny or oppression."

This is the prevailing notion in academic circles today. Articulating the currently accepted orthodoxy, Duke University professor of Islamic studies Bruce Lawrence agreed that jihad doesn’t mean "holy war": he defines this all-important Islamic concept as "being a better student, a better colleague, a better business partner. Above all, to control one’s anger." To its credit, the flyer’s explanation goes farther than Lawrence by mentioning the battlefield, and in this it is more accurate than the professor’s preposterously innocuous farrago. Islamic theology distinguishes between the "greater jihad," which involves "struggle against evil inclinations within oneself," and the "lesser jihad," which is hinted at here as "struggle in the battlefield for self defense or fighting against tyranny or oppression."

Still, left unmentioned is the fact that throughout history, Muslims have not stopped at self-defense or fighting against tyranny. "In premodern times," observes the noted scholar of Islam Daniel Pipes, "jihad meant mainly one thing among Sunni Muslims, then as now the Islamic majority. It meant the legal, compulsory, communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims (known in Arabic as dar al-Islam) at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims (dar al-harb). In this prevailing conception, the purpose of jihad is political, not religious. It aims not so much to spread the Islamic faith as to extend sovereign Muslim power (though the former has often followed the latter). The goal is boldly offensive, and its ultimate intent is nothing less than to achieve Muslim dominion over the entire world."

Pipes adds: "Jihad was no abstract obligation through the centuries, but a key aspect of Muslim life. . . . Within a century after the prophet’s death in 632, Muslim armies had reached as far as India in the east and Spain in the west. Though such a dramatic single expansion was never again to be repeated, important victories in subsequent centuries included the seventeen Indian campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazna (r. 998-1030), the battle of Manzikert opening Anatolia (1071), the conquest of Constantinople (1453), and the triumphs of Uthman dan Fodio in West Africa (1804-17). In brief, jihad was part of the warp and woof not only of premodern Muslim doctrine but of premodern Muslim life."

Has this changed? Certainly it’s quite different from the idea of jihad purveyed by Muslim groups and the major media today. But this older idea of jihad is alive and well in the Islamic world. One manual of Islamic law —— said to conform "to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community" by Al-Azhar University of Cairo, Egypt, the oldest and most prestigious university in the Islamic world —— calls jihad "a communal obligation" to "war against non-Muslims. . . . The caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians . . . until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax . . . The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim."

Some Muslims assert that because there is no caliph today (the caliphate was abolished by the secular state of Turkey in 1924), there can be no jihad. That’s one reason why some radical Muslims urge that the caliphate must be restored. Says Britain’s Sheikh Omar Bakri: "The Muslim Ummah [worldwide Muslim community] has never before been in a position where we are divided into over 55 nations each with its own oppressive kufr [infidel] regime ruling above us. There is no doubt therefore that the vital issue for the Muslims today is to establish the Khilafah [caliphate]."

Unfortunately, Osama bin Laden isn’t waiting for this restoration to declare jihad, and he is by no means isolated in this perspective in the Islamic world —— witness the many terrorist groups around the world that rally under the name of jihad. Pipes asks, "And what about all the Muslims waging violent and aggressive jihads, under that very name and at this very moment, in Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Chechnya, Kashmir, Mindanao, Ambon, and other places around the world? Have they not heard that jihad is a matter of controlling one’s anger?"

3. Islam condemns terrorism. The "Q & A" asserts that "Islam does not support terrorism under any circumstances. Terrorism goes against every principle in Islam. If a Muslim engages in terrorism, he is not following Islam. He may be wrongly using the name of Islam for political or financial gain."

This assertion is closely allied to the differing explanations of the meaning of jihad. There is no necessary connection between jihad and terrorism, and indeed, many moderate Muslims declare that their extremist brethren who justify terrorism on Islamic grounds only do so by distorting the concept of jihad. "Jihad is misused," says an expert in PBS’s documentary, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet. "There is absolutely nothing in Islam that justifies, uh, the claim of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda or other similar groups to kill innocent civilians. That is unequivocally a crime under Islamic law. Acts of terror violence that have occurred in the name of Islam are not only wrong, they are contrary to Islam."

Once again, this is not as much of an open-and-shut case as these authorities would like us to believe. After all, no less an authority than George Bush’s "imam of peace," Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi of Al-Azhar University, disagrees. Bush quoted him in late 2001 at the United Nations as saying that "terrorism is a disease, and that Islam prohibits killing innocent civilians." But evidently his definition of terrorism would differ from that of the average American: according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), last spring Tantawi called suicide bombing "the highest form of Jihad operations," and added that "every martyrdom operation against any Israeli, including children, women, and teenagers, is a legitimate act according to [Islamic] religious law, and an Islamic commandment."

Tantawi is no isolated crank. He holds his position at Al-Azhar by the grace of the Egyptian government, and he uses that position to wield enormous influence in the Islamic world: the New York Times called Al-Azhar the "revered mosque, the distinguished university, the leading voice of the Sunni Muslim establishment. . . . It has sought to advise Muslims around the world that those who kill in the name of Islam are nothing more than heretics. It has sought to guide, to reassure Westerners against any clash of civilizations."

Nor is Tantawi singular in his opinions. Abu Bakar Bashir, suspected mastermind of the 2002 terrorist bombings in Bali as well as bombings of churches in 2000, declared that "martyrs’ bombs are a noble thing, a jihad of high value if you are forced to do it. For instance, in Palestine there is no other way to defend yourself and defend Islam. All Ulamas [Muslim leaders] agree with martyrs’ bombs because we are forced to do it. There is no other way to defend ourselves and to defend Islam. . . . We are obliged to defend ourselves and attack people who attack Islam. In Islam there is no word for hands up, there is no word for surrender, there are only two things, win or die . . . if infidels do want to attack Islam, fight Islam, so we are instructed to fight them."

Instructed by whom? Does Abu Bakar Bashir read the same Qur’an that moderate Muslims say condemns terrorism?
After a shooting at a church in Pakistan, police detained another Muslim cleric, Mohammed Afzal, who is alleged to have told his people that "it is the duty of every good Muslim to kill Christians . . . You should attack Christians and not even have food until you have seen their dead bodies."

Presumably Afzal would not consider Christians "innocent civilians." Osama and other Muslim extremists have maintained that the people killed in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were not innocent, but complicit in what they imagine to be the American government’s worldwide oppression of Muslims. Consequently, they argue that they were fitting victims of jihad —— even envisioned only as a struggle against "tyranny or oppression."

Disquieting evidence indicates that such ideas are not restricted to obscure covens of ranting radicals, shunned by decent Muslims everywhere. According to MEMRI, "Mahmoud Al ­Zahhar, a Hamas leader in Gaza, told the Israeli Arab weekly Kul Al ­Arab, ‘Two days ago, in Alexandria, enrolment began for volunteers for martyrdom [operations]. Two thousand students from the University of Alexandria signed up to die a martyr’s death. This is the real Egyptian people.’"

Two thousand students from one university? Didn’t these two thousand students know that "those who kill in the name of Islam are nothing more than heretics"? Didn’t they know that "terrorism goes against every principle in Islam"?

The point is not that the moderates who wrote the flyer are wrong and that these radicals are right. The point is that these radical Muslims use the Qur’an and other core Islamic sources to justify their actions, and their exegesis is compelling enough to win over large numbers of Muslims. Moderate Muslims have thus far not been remotely successful in reading the radicals out of Islam. Certainly terrorism is not universally accepted in the Islamic world, but with terrorist groups rallying under the banner of jihad in all corners of the globe today, IIIT might have performed a valuable service by explaining how this violation of "every principle in Islam" came to be so widely accepted in the Muslim world.

4. "Islam is a religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness." This assertion is stated but left unsupported in the IIIT flyer; elsewhere it is often buttressed with quotations from the Qur’an. One verse in particular is often invoked to make the claim that Islam teaches peace and mercy: "That was why We laid it down for the Israelites that whoever killed a human being, except as a punishment for murder or other villainy in the land, shall be looked upon as though he had killed all mankind; and that whoever saved a human life shall be regarded as though he had saved all mankind" (Sura 5:32).

There are exceptions in this verse, however —— "murder or other villainy in the land" —— and these are particularly troubling in light of other teachings of the sacred book of Islam:

"Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another" (Sura 48:29).

"Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate" (Sura 9:73).

"The true believers fight for the cause of Allah, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan" (Sura 4:76).

"When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly" (Sura 47:4).

"Fight for the sake of Allah those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. Allah does not love the aggressors. Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage." (Sura 2:190-191). The part of this passage that forbids striking first explains why Osama and other terrorists couch their self-justifications in the terminology of self-defense.

"When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, & lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent & take to prayer & render the alms levy [i.e., the jizya, the special tax on non-Muslims], allow them to go their way. Allah is forgiving & merciful" (Sura 9:5).
"Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given [i.e., Jews and Christians] as believe neither in Allah nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what Allah and His Apostle have forbidden, and do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued" (Sura 9:29).

"Permission to fight (against disbelievers) is given to those (believers) who are fought against, because they have been wronged and surely, Allah is able to give them (believers) victory" (Sura 22:39).

Muslim apologists today condemn virtually any quotation of such verses as quoting "out of context." One Islamic information website cautions against this and notes that "it should be emphasized that so many revelations in the Holy Quran came down to provide guidance to Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims based on what they were confronting at that time. Therefore, it is important to understand and know the historic context of the revelations for a proper understanding of these verses." Muslims have declared that the violent verses above were revealed to Muhammad at a time when the infant Islamic community was in danger of being exterminated altogether by powerful external enemies, and that these verses have no force unless Muslims find themselves in similar circumstances.

However, in November 2002, Dr. Sheikh Bakr Abed Al-Razzaq Al-Samaraai said in a Ramadan sermon at Mother of All Battles Mosque in Iraq that "jihad has become an obligation of every individual Muslim. Anyone who does not comply, will find himself lost in [hell], side by side with Haman, Pharaoh and their soldiers. These are not just words of a sermon delivered from the pulpit of a mosque with enthusiasm, they are religious law. Ask the jurisprudents, if you don’t know that."

How could the good doctor issue such a challenge if he knew that Islam was a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and that anyone who investigated his claim would find that out?

Also speaking of fighting during Ramadan was Dr. Fuad Mukheimar, whom MEMRI identifies as "an Al-Azhar University lecturer and secretary-general of the Egyptian Shari’a Association." According to Mukheimar, throughout history Muslims have waged "a number of honorable battles during the month of Ramadan —— to the point where this month came to be called ‘The Month of Jihad.’ The nation of Islam came to be called ‘the Jihad-fighting nation,’ and its moral values came to be called ‘the values of warfare.’"

Was this cleric referring merely to self-control and the like, as explained in Bruce Lawrence’s concept of jihad? Unfortunately, no. He assumes that jihad involves fighting for Islamic society: "Fasting is a continuous commandment, until Judgment Day . . . and the same is true for Jihad, because Muslim society needs it to defend [its] faith, honor, and homeland."

Similarly, the November 2002 letter purporting to be from Osama bin Laden and offering a sweeping justification for terrorism invoked several of the verses quoted above as well as many other Qur’anic texts. After issuing a series of demands to America and the West, the letter warns: "If you fail to respond to all these conditions, then prepare for fight with the Islamic Nation. . . . The Nation which is addressed by its Quran with the words: ‘Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him if you are believers. Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of believing people. And remove the anger of their (believers’) hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise’ [Quran 9:13-15]."

Muslim terrorists either blithely ignore the context that moderate Muslims use to hedge the Qur’an’s violent verses, or claim that the believers today face the same sort of challenge that they did at the time the verses were revealed, and so the verses are applicable to the present situation.

Again: this is not to say that the extremists are right and the moderates are wrong, but only that the extremist view is based on ample Qur’anic support that moderate elements have not yet effectively refuted.

What’s more, the Islamic theory of abrogation (naskh) also cuts against the idea of Islam as a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness. This is the doctrine that Allah cancels certain verses of the Qur’an and replaces them with other ones. Curious as it may seem, the doctrine of abrogation is founded upon the Qur’an itself: "None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?" (Sura 2:106).

Devised by Muslim divines in order to explain away contradictions in the Qur’an, this theory holds that the cancelled verses remain in the Qur’anic text, but without any binding force for believers. The scholars who have advanced this doctrine, which is generally accepted in the Islamic world, work from simple chronology: verses that were revealed later in Muhammad’s prophetic career cancel contradictory verses from earlier.

There is no universally accepted chronology of the revelations of the Qur’an, but the broad outlines of the prophet’s life make it clear that the bellicose verses were revealed later than the peaceful ones. His more conciliatory revelations come from his early prophetic career in Mecca, when he still had high hopes of winning over Arabian Jews and Christians. Later, however, when it became abundantly clear that Jews and Christians would not accept him as a prophet, Allah’s messenger became bellicose: revelations from the latter part of his career in Medina are considerably more hard-edged. Hence, according to the idea of naskh, the peaceful verses are abrogated but the violent ones are still in effect. Muslim extremists are fully aware of this. It is another reason why they feel free to quote the Qur’an in support of their violent actions today: they clearly believe that when they do so, they are using the book properly and "in context."

No refutation of such ideas is included in the IIIT’s information flyer or from virtually any American Islamic source. Unfortunately, this is the sort of reading of the Qur’an that they decline even to discuss.

5. Islam is tolerant of other beliefs. Moderate Muslims like to quote Sura 2:256, "There is no compulsion in religion," in support of the idea that Islam is a broadly tolerant faith. It has become a commonplace of discussions about Islam today that the great Islamic empires of old were tolerant of Jews and Christians to an extent that non-Christians were never tolerated in medieval Christendom. "It is a function of Islamic law," says the IIIT flyer, "to protect the privileged status of minorities. Islamic law also permits non-Muslims to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by minorities themselves."

Once again, there is some truth to this, but it is neither wholly true nor the whole truth. It is true that Islamic law, the Sharia, allows Jews and Christians to practice their religious beliefs in an Islamic state; however, other religions are not accorded the same privilege: while Islamic states can according to the Sharia make "a formal agreement of protection" with Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, "such an agreement may not be effected with those who are idol worshipers," that is, Hindus, Buddhists, and others.

Also, the "tolerance" granted to Jews and Christians is severely circumscribed. Jews and Christians are termed "People of the Book" in the Qur’an —— that is, communities that have received a genuine revelation from Allah. That’s why they’re offered this "protection" in an Islamic state. However, the Qur’an also teaches that both Jews and Christians have incurred the curse of Allah (cf. Sura 5:60 and many others) for their refusal to receive Muhammad as a legitimate prophet and his Qur’an as a book from Allah. Consequently, the tolerance they enjoy is nothing like that of a modern-day secular state, although Muslim apologists often succeed in equating the two in the face of the general Western ignorance of Islamic history and theology.

In fact, the Sharia dictates that such a "protection" agreement between Muslim rulers and Jewish and Christian subjects "is only valid when the subject peoples: follow the rules of Islam . . . (those involving public behavior and dress, though in acts of worship and their private lives, the subject communities have their own laws, judges, and courts, enforcing the rules of their own religion among themselves); and pay the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya)."

The jizya is a special levy on non-Muslims, whose higher tax rates contributed much to the magnificent Islamic empires of old. It is not the Sharia’s only restriction on non-Muslims: according to classic Islamic law, non-Muslims in an Islamic state "are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar); are not greeted with "as-Salamu ‘alaykum" [the standard Muslim greeting, "Peace be with you"]; must keep to the side of the street; may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims’ buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed; are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, . . . recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays; and are forbidden to build new churches."

There is indeed no "compulsion" in any of this: Jews and Christians are not forced to become Muslims. But there is also precious little dignity and respect.

Such humiliating laws are rarely enforced today even where the Sharia is the law of the land, although they have not disappeared entirely from the Islamic world. Nor have they been renounced or rejected by Islamic clerics of any sect. There is no mufti or imam in the world today apologizing for the abject status of the dhimmis, the Jews and Christians under Islamic rule, as the Pope and many Protestant groups have apologized for the Crusades and other perceived enormities of Christendom. These laws could be revived by any Muslim ruler who wants to restore the pure observance of Islam —— and such reformers have not been rare in Islamic history.

Even if this never happens, however, such laws should be borne in mind by anyone who wants a true and accurate picture of Islamic "tolerance."

6. Islam respects Christianity. The IIIT flyer correctly informs readers that "Islam teaches that Christians and Muslims are both ‘people of the book.’ By that it means that the two religions share the same basic beliefs articulated through the Bible and the Koran. The main difference between Christians and Muslims is that Muslims do not believe that Jesus was the Son of God."

It is debatable whether or not much is left of the "basic beliefs articulated through the Bible," or at least of the New Testament, once the idea of Jesus’ divine Sonship is removed. Although the Qur’an states that "nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, ‘We are Christians,’" (Sura 5:82), it also claims that Christians are under Allah’s curse: "The Jews call ‘Uzair [Ezra] a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!" (Sura 9:30).

Once again, this is no dead letter. Anti-Christian Muslims point to the fact that the Qur’an even undercuts its own assertion that Christians will be "nearest in love" to Muslims: "O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust" (Sura 5:51).

In a recent Friday khutba (sermon) at a mosque in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abd Al-Muhsin Al-Qadhi, in a decidedly un-ecumenical mood, called Christianity "one of the distorted religions," and "a faith that deviates from the path of righteousness." He also labeled it a "false faith" and a "distorted and deformed religion." The Sheikh decried the present-day situation, in which "many Muslims . . . know about Christianity only what the Christians claim about love, tolerance, devoting life to serving the needy, and other distorted slogans. . . . After all this, we still find people who promote the idea of bringing our religion and theirs closer, as if the differences were miniscule and could be eliminated by arranging all those [interreligous] conferences, whose goal is political
. . ."
Another Saudi imam, Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, preached in a similar vein: "Muslims must . . . educate their children to Jihad. This is the greatest benefit of the situation: educating the children to Jihad and to hatred of the Jews, the Christians, and the infidels."

Of course, these Wahhabi sheikhs are no more representative of Islam as a whole than are the moderates who claim that Islam respects Christianity. But they have read the Qur’an as well as the moderates, and their conclusions about Islam and Christianity are quite different. The irenic vision of the IIIT flyer is anything but a full or adequate description of the real Muslim perspective on Christianity.

7. Islam respects Judaism. In its treatment of Judaism, the IIIT flyer replicates its language regarding Christianity: "Islam teaches that Jews and Muslims are both ‘people of the book.’ By that it means that the two religions share the same basic beliefs articulated through the Torah and the Koran. The main difference between Jews and Muslims is that Jews do not believe in prophets after the Jewish prophets, including Muhammad and his teachings."

Jews and Muslims may share basic beliefs, but we have already seen that the Qur’an places Jews under Allah’s curse. This idea recurs in the Qur’an, which also says that Allah turned the Jews into detested beasts: "Say: ‘O people of the Book! Do ye disapprove of us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah, and the revelation that hath come to us and that which came before (us), and (perhaps) that most of you are rebellious and disobedient?’ Say: ‘Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil; these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!’" (Sura 5:60).

Muslim radicals today routinely echo this language. Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi of the Palestinian Authority declared recently that Jews are "the enemies of Allah, the nation accursed in Allah’s book. Allah described [them] as apes and pigs."

Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi was clearly referring to the Qur’an. Is it then remiss to trace at least some of the impetus for the anti-Semitism that is rampant in the House of Islam today to the core beliefs of Muslims? But again, the IIIT flyer gives readers no inkling that this problem even exists.

8. Muhammad was a man of peace. "This is his message," says the American convert to Islam Hamza Yusuf in PBS’s documentary, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet: "spread peace, feed people food, and do some devotional practice and you will enter paradise without any trouble."

Spread peace? Perhaps, but radical Muslims might add that this must be done by the force of arms. After all, this is the example of the prophet himself. "According to one calculation," notes Daniel Pipes, "Muhammad himself engaged in 78 battles, of which just one (the Battle of the Ditch) was defensive."

The prophet was a man of principle: he not only engaged in these battles, but his teachings were consistent with them. Says a Muslim tradition about Muhammad: "A man came to Allah’s Messenger and said, ‘Guide me to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).’ He replied, ‘I do not find such a deed.’" How would Hamza Yusuf explain this? There’s no way to tell —— evidently he would prefer to ignore it.

As the American people learn more and more about Islam, Islam’s image problem is getting worse, not better. One principal reason for this may be the dissonance between the loud and repeated claims of Islamic spokesmen in the United States and the facts that Americans are learning about Islam. If the International Institute of Islamic Thought and other Muslim groups really want to educate the American people about Islam, they would acknowledge and deal squarely with the questions that are really in people’s minds: does Islam provide a justification for terrorism? Have the dozens of groups that preach and perpetrate violence in the name of Islam all around the world really "hijacked" the religion? If they are using the Qur’an to justify their actions, what are moderate Muslims doing to forestall this kind of interpretation of the sacred book of Islam?

It isn’t enough to say, as Muslim spokesmen never tire of repeating, that there are kooks of every creed and that every creed can be used to justify violence. This still leaves unanswered the question of why there are so many more terrorist groups worldwide invoking Islam than there are terrorist Christian groups.

By ignoring such questions, Muslim advocacy groups in the United States have only made matters worse, giving non-Muslims good reason to suspect their intentions and honesty. The next time American Muslim spokesmen decry Islam’s image problem, in all fairness they should point fingers not at Christian fundamentalist preachers or at scholars who raise uncomfortable questions, but at themselves.

This essay is available in print form from the Free Congress Foundation.

Robert Spencer is an adjunct fellow of the Free Congress Foundation and a Board member of the Christian-Islamic Forum. He is the author of Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter Books), as well as the monographs "An Introduction to the Qur’an," "Women and Islam," "Islam and the West," and "An Islamic Primer," which are available from the Free Congress Foundation.
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2. "From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine" by Joan Peters Harper & Rowe NY 1984