IsraPundit

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

March 08, 2003



Mourners with a mother at the funeral in Haifa of her son and former husband who died in Wednesday's suicide bombing of a bus in the Israeli town
ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS IN CANADA UP BY OVER 60%

O, Canada! Must you emulate Europe?
Friday, March 7, 2003
ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS IN CANADA UP BY OVER 60%

Toronto, March 6, 2003 - The League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada has just released the 2002 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, its annual study of patterns of prejudice in this country. The Audit indicates that antisemitic activity in Canada is on the rise, with a 60.48% increase country-wide compared to 2001. In total, 459 incidents were reported which is the highest number in the twenty-year history of the Audit. In the past five years alone, the number of incidents has more than doubled. In 2002, 282 (62%) of these incidents were classed as harassment, 148 (32%) as vandalism and 29 (6%) as violence. While incidents were reported across the country, the most significant statistics were collected in Quebec and Ontario, areas of residence for the majority of Canadian Jews. In Ontario asa whole there were 329 incidents, 217 of which took place in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In Quebec there were 89 incidents, of which 87 took place in Greater Montreal.

Rochelle Wilner, National President of B'nai Brith Canada, commented: "The findings of the 2002 Audit are alarming. In addition to the marked rise in incidents, there is a disquieting trend towards violence. 29 cases of physical assault is 29 cases too many. We want to know why the anti-racist community in Canada remains so silent about antisemitism."

Frank Dimant, Executive Vice President, noted: "The first important step is to understand the reality and not to sink into a denial mode. The Jewishcommunity must call on its friends to ensure that antisemitic remarks and actions are simply not tolerated in any segment of Canadian society, be itin parliament, the media , academia or on the streets. In order to
effectively fight all forms of antisemitism, community members should come forward to report all incidents by calling B'nai Brith's confidential Anti-Hate Hotline at 1-800-892-BNAI (2624)."

ADDITIONAL DATA ON THE 2002 AUDIT
In regional Ontario outside the GTA and Ottawa, there were 69 cases compared to 46 in 2001. This represents a 50% increase in antisemitic incidents These incidents included serious acts of harassment, distribution of that propaganda, acts of vandalism and physical assaults. There were 217 incidents in the GTA, including death threats, bomb threats, physical assaults, anthrax scares with a hate/bias orientation, serious acts of vandalism and cemetery desecrations. This marked a 87% increase in reported antisemitic incidents in the GTA over the 2001 figure of 116. There were 43 reported antisemitic incidents in Ottawa, including graffiti, vandalism and threatening e-mails and two cases of physical assault. This represents an increase of 79% compared to the 2001 figures. The League received reports of 87 antisemitic incidents in Greater Montreal, which represents an increase of 11.5% over the 2001 figures. Although the percentage increase is less marked than in other areas of the country, 14% of the total incidents in the Montreal area were violent acts, compared to 6% for all of Canada. An additional 2 incidents were reported in regional Quebec in 2002, including the firebombing of Quebec City's only synagogue, representing an increase of 7.2%. In Winnipeg, 23 incidents were reported compared to 6 in 2001. 5 incidents were reported in British Columbia, 4 in Vancouver and 1 in Victoria. This is the same level of activity as in 2001. There were 6 incidents reported in Alberta and 4 in Saskatchewan, whereas in 2001 there were 5 reports antisemitic incidents in 2001 for both provinces combined. There were 3 reported antisemitic incidents in the Maritimes in 2002, compared to just 1 in the previous year. One involved Right wing activities
in Prince Edward Island, the others took place in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.
Hamas vows to target Israeli leaders

This BBC report, though deadly serious, has this that is in an odd way funny: Hamas says it will up the ante now. As though this group of rabid dogs had believed in moderation and restraint.
Ibrahim al-Maqadma was one of four Hamas members killed in the Gaza strike which came hours after two Israelis were shot dead by Palestinians who infiltrated the settlement of Kiryat Arba, near Hebron in the West Bank.

The military wing of Hamas said it carried out the settlement raid late on Friday - another attack in an upsurge in violence between Palestinians and Israelis.

In an interview with Qatar-based al-Jazeera TV, Hamas official Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi said: "I appeal to all unit commanders to target Jewish politicians... in parliament, in political parties and in the government.

"Every so-called Jewish political leader is wanted because they are declaring war against God and Islam." [more]
Homegrown Terrorists

U.S. News: How a Hezbollah Cell Made Millions in Sleepy Charlotte, N.C.
Moonlighting from his job as a deputy sheriff, Sgt. Bob Fromme was working security one day at JR Discount, a tobacco wholesaler in Statesville, N.C., when he saw three Arabic-speaking men buying a huge stash of cigarettes--300 cartons apiece. But what really caught Fromme's eye was how the men paid. They reached into shopping bags and pulled out wads of cash, bound in rubber bands. The men soon became regular customers at JR, shoving pallets of Marlboros and Winstons into waiting vans.

That was back in 1995. Over the next four years, Fromme worked with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in tracking the men. His suspicions would ultimately prove dead-on. The investigation revealed a multimillion-dollar tobacco smuggling ring. Copying an old Mafia scam, the men ran truckloads of North Carolina smokes--taxed at only 50 cents a carton--to Michigan, where the tax was $7.50 a carton, and illegally pocketed the difference.

The case fell to Ken Bell, a veteran prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in Charlotte. In tobacco-friendly North Carolina, Bell says, he wondered if he could even find a jury that would convict. Then came an unexpected visit from two FBI agents. They insisted that Bell and his boss sign non-disclosure agreements before they talked. Bell's investigators, it turned out, had stumbled onto a top U.S. cell of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization. The FBI already had national security wiretaps up on two of the suspects.

Anytown, U.S.A. Bell was stunned. Charlotte, a fast-growing city of half a million, had few Muslims and even fewer Shiites, the sect followed by most Hezbollah backers. Yet, somehow, one of the world's most formidable terrorist organizations had set up shop in his backyard. Its leader, Mohamad Hammoud, lived in a middle-class neighborhood just 15 minutes from Bell's home.

Last week, Hammoud and five others were sentenced in one of the most significant terrorism prosecutions in recent years; Hammoud received an extraordinary 155 years in prison for racketeering and "material support" of Hezbollah. Begun before 9/11, Bell's investigation has helped transform the way U.S. law enforcement is tackling terrorism at home. The case also offers an inside look at the U.S. operations of Hezbollah--the Iranian-backed militia that until 9/11 had killed more Americans than any other terrorist group. The Charlotte gang is one of a dozen Hezbollah cells across the United States, law enforcement officials say. Those cells include a hard core of several dozen militants--a number with military training in Hezbollah camps--plus hundreds of supporters. Over the years, Hezbollah's U.S. backers are believed to have raised millions of dollars for the group, money often derived from criminal acts. "They are involved in a lot of different crimes here," says a top FBI official. "Copyright violations, cigarette tax violations, counterfeit violations." [more]
Death by Honor

Newsday.com book review reads like a soap opera, but with murderous consequences
At age 26, Dalia, a Muslim woman in Amman, Jordan, fell in love with a handsome officer of the Royal Guard. She secretly held his hand, and twice they even kissed.

Dalia's father learned only part of the truth: that his daughter had slipped his constant surveillance to meet a man on her own. But that was enough. He took a kitchen knife, stabbed Dalia 12 times in the chest and forbade anyone to call an ambulance until she lay dead in their home.

Minutes later, Dalia's best friend, Norma Khouri, arrived. The two had been like sisters since childhood, attending school and then working together. Dalia's father, still enraged, roared at her: "How long has she been shaming me and dishonoring my good name?"

Seven years later, Khouri has fled Jordan to avenge her friend's death. Speaking softly in a quiet corner of the Millennium Broadway Hotel off Times Square last month, she is giving her 20th interview of the day to publicize the book in which she tells the story of Dalia's murder. Khouri is campaigning to change the laws and tribal customs that - in Jordan and many Middle Eastern countries - permit men to commit such "honor killings."

Khouri's book, "Honor Lost" (Simon & Schuster, $24), is possibly the most explicit, dramatic account in print of one of these killings, which are protected by a code of silence. Simply telling the story is an act for which Khouri is sure her own father would kill her, and for which Arab men are now e-mailing her death threats. [more]
DEBKA headlines

Israel kills Ibrahim Maqadma, top Hamas operations commander in Gaza Strip, with three operatives early Saturday. Missiles fired from helicopter struck their car.

Maqadma was top Hamas terror mastermind and senior decision-maker, directly responsible for dozens of bloody terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers since 1984. Hamas spokesman: All Israeli leaders now open targets
Middle East News Roundup

This link provides a summary of the news in compact form and links to some 17articles.
Israeli raids in Gaza focus on reducing Hamas' strength
JABALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip In the most intense battle in Gaza in months, an Israeli army raid left 11 Palestinians dead Thursday, including eight who witnesses said were hit by an Israeli tank shell fired at a crowd. (10) Two Palestinian gunmen dressed as seminary students attacked a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on Friday the Jewish sabbath killing at least two Israelis and injuring six before being shot and killed, police and army officials said. (17) The Gaza operation? aimed at preventing Palestinians from firing small, homemade Qassam rockets at Israeli border towns? began before dawn. (3) Israeli troops hunting Islamic militants stormed this refugee camp Thursday a raid that left 11 Palestinians dead and more than 110 hurt and came a day after a bus bombing killed 14 Israelis and an American teenager. (8) Israeli soldiers shot and killed three Palestinians on Tuesday as an Israeli security official said a raid on a Hamas founder's home did not signal that Israel is targeting leaders of that group for arrest. (7) A suicide bomber blew himself up aboard a crowded bus in the northern city of Haifa on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and injuring dozens in the first terrorist attack in two months, officials said. (14) click heree for links to articles
Does Bush “intend to pressure Israel”?

On March 6, my colleague Ted Belman posted an article entitled, Bush doesn't intend to pressure Israel on concessions . Ted’s post was based on an article run by Asia Times, and included this declaration about Bush’s recent speech at the AEI:

“This is a complete alignment of the president along the lines of Likud principles," according to Rashid Khalidi, an historian and Middle East specialist at the University of Chicago. "It's the most important shift in US policy since the 1967 war. It's really major."
In the first place, as one reads the Asia Times article, one finds its tenor to be no different from the tenor of an article published recently in the Washington Post, about which I commented in an IsraPundit post on February 9. To me, the tone of the Asia Times article is clearly of the “Jews control the universe” variety.

More significantly, however, the AEI speech has very little in it to comfort Israel’s supporters, notwithstanding those who try to lull us into complacency. The view of the Asia Times is more than counterbalanced by an article printed March 5, 2003, in the Jerusalem Post, and now available at Israel Insider. Under the heading, Beware, Pax Americana ahead , Michael Freund begins by analysing Bush’s speech at the AEI meeting, quoting the President:

"It is the commitment of our government and my personal commitment to implement the road map and to reach that goal."

Now, whatever one may think of Bush, there is no questioning the fact that he is a man of his word. Unlike many politicians, when he says something, he usually means it.

And that is what makes this latest speech so downright terrifying. For Bush went beyond the usual diplomatic jargon, using the phrase "personal commitment" to indicate that he is absolutely serious about bringing about the creation of Palestine.
...
The victory in Iraq will likely usher in a period of unprecedented American dominance in world affairs, akin only to the Pax Romana inaugurated by Augustus Caesar, Rome's first emperor, in the year 27 BCE.
...
The Arabs will be livid with rage, the Europeans will again feel slighted, and Russia will no doubt be irritated. The easiest way for Bush to patch up America's relations with the world, and bring down the price of oil, will be to impose a peace settlement on Israel and the Palestinians, bringing about an end to the century-old Middle East conflict.
Between Michael Freund and Asia Times, whose view do I subscribe to? Well, I’ve never met a pessimist I didn’t believe.

The conclusion is the same one I’ve been advocating for a very long time: supporters of Israel must mobilize to derail the impending calamity of the Roadmap to Israel’s destruction.

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

March 07, 2003

Identification with the aggressor?

"George Orwell made a comment that in the 1930s everybody he knew--including his Jewish friends--were anti-Semites... What is it about the Jewish people that produces such a huge number of self-haters"(?) Permutter wonders in the opening of his letter which reproduces an article dealing with the movie The Pianist.

In fact, two interesting presentations of this film appeared in the very publication he refers to, and both approach their subject from basically the same angle. Must be the moment for this question.The earlier one is by Cheryl Kupfer.The one this mailing borrowed is by Louis Rene beres and it can be read in the March 3 issue of The Jewish Press.

"Certainly", Perlmutter writes, "I talk to a lot of Jewish humanities and social science academics who are well classified by Lenin's term "useful idiots,"that is, for the enemies of America and of Judeo-Christian civilization. (My friend Victor Sharpe infiltrated a Muslim Palestinian group and this was also the term they used for both Christians and Jews who supported their"struggle.")."

"So most Jewish academics are caught in the "liberal humanitarian" trap that does not allow them to see evil for what it is, and thus end up serving or slobbering up to that evil. In contrast, the Jewish medical doctors, lawyers and engineers I correspond with are brilliant observers and realistic analysts of current events!"

"In short, no people in history have worked so hard against their own self-interest. I think this proves the Nazi/Saudi "Jewish conquest conspiracy" theory wrong, but it's a hollow triumph indeed!""

This is how Perlmutter finishes his presentation of Beres' The Pianist. A burning subject, without a doubt.

College peace protest turns violent

O, Canada. World Net Daily posts this story. I am old enough to recall my time in the early days of the Korean War, sent there 5 months after the war started. And I recall being a part of the protests against Viet Nam. But in our college protests (Rutgers) we had teach-ins, gatherings for faculty to lecture us on what they believed in. Outside the building, protests by American Legion folks. But despite yells etc all remained civil and both sides of the issue got to say and hear what they wanted. Alas, not at York University.
[...] It was when the line passed a booth set up by the Young Zionist Partnership and the Canadian Alliance that a confrontation occurred. Students who ran the booth claim protesters shouted insults before charging them.

"Hundreds of people basically swarmed three people," said Paul Cooper, president of the Zionist group. He said only a few people were confrontational, but everyone else "watched and did nothing to stop it."

Duff said his group did not instigate the incident, saying it began with name-calling from the booth. "We attempted to keep moving. Our message was we shouldn't be distracted, but the goal of those people who set up the booth was to disrupt and distract us today."

Another Jewish student claims protesters singled him out because of his faith.

Said Yaakou Rath [sic. Typo: should be Roth], campus president of the Canadian Alliance: "They chose to attack me, and I'm identifiably Jewish, but they didn't attack Paul [Cooper], who's not, and that's scary."

He said the group also stole the booth's U.S. flag and tried to set it on fire. [more]
A different strategy for dealing with the biased press

Since letters to the editor of many commercial news outlets writing biased pro-Muslim terrorist propaganda, such as CNN Europe, does not seem to be working, thinking laterally, the best place to hit them is what we here in Australia call "the hip pocket nerve".

Letters to their ADVERTISERS, informing them that while ever they continue to advertise with the particular entity, their products will be boycotted. Of course, a copy should go to the editor of the news outlet as well.

CNN-AOL Time-Warner is particularly vulnerable at this time. I re-iterate that the CNN coverage in North America comes out of Atlanta and is a very different animal to that which the rest of the world sees and which comes out of London. North American readers may therefore not realise just how bad and damaging this worldwide agency may be. As example, their latest coverage of the action in Jabaliya, where the terrorists blew themselves and a hundred others up, was covered entirely from the Pal side and blamed on a tank shell. There is. of course, no way that a single tank shell would cause that much damage. They simply do not pack sufficient explosive punch. Shades of Jenin all over again!
Muslims AGAIN

I recevied the following piece from DENMARK of all places. Again, action is required by writing to the Danish consular people in your own countries

OPEN MUSLIM CALL TO KILL DANES !!!

An open letter to Danish MP's, European MP's, the Danish and foreign press and defenders of freedom everywhere:

Gangs of muslim immigrants demostrated openly in the streets of Copenhagen yesterday to kill DANISH JEWS!!

Believe it: An open call to violence and terror in the streets of Copenhagen, confronting Danes with a call to terror against Danish citizens!!! This is not a hoax. It is horribly real.

The question remains if political responsibility and will still exists amongst Parliamentarians and the Courts to stop this here and now!!!

Now Denmark is saddled with a problem of radical, fundamentalist activity by a growing group of young muslims. They are being bred, fed, co-ordinated and inspired by foreign terror and hate cells in the Middle East and in other European cities. With birth rates that far exceed that of the Danish population, and an hostile ideology of world conquest and essentially "religious imperialism" this radical population now open calls for killing Danish Jews - a group they outnumber by 40 to 1.

Their overwhelming numbers and a suspended sentence of 3 months in jail for a radical Hizb-ut-Tahrir fundamentalist hate calls to "kill Jews where you find them" on their website, seems to encourage even more activity and calls for violence, terror and death in Denmark!!

Danes have to be able to walk their streets without feeling intimidated. Parents should not have to have their children see this kind of violence, hatred and sociopathy in the streets of Copenhagen. PArents shouldn't have to worry about their children's safety.

Danish politicians have to take upon themselves the responsibility of dealing with this! Without regard to consequences, a foreign population with a hostile ideology is being allowed to create a slow acceptance of violence and change in the Danish society.

The evidence is overwhelming of a growing violence in schools, a lower educational level, hostility and crime on the streets, an explosion of gang rape against Danish girls, economic crime and tax and toll evasion in the kiosk's and vegetable shops muslims have all but taken over, along with open calls of violence toward Jews is the result of a Danish invitation to a new chance, and a new life, in democratic Denmark.

This abuse of freedom must be stopped before lives and liberty are lost. Before Denmark is changed irreparably.

Legislators in Denmark have to do something NOW, before someone is killed and injured.
Oh My!

Reuters gives Hizbollah, you know the 'militia', a big huge wet kiss.
Hizbollah's Greatest Prophet Hospital is one of many charities, schools and rehabilitation centers run by the guerrilla group in poor, mainly Shi'ite areas like Beirut's southern suburbs, Baalbeck and south Lebanon.

The charities, which have found a ready customer base in a country where public services are often inadequate and private treatment fiercely expensive, have become a cornerstone of support for Hizbollah

Greatest Prophet Hospital -- like other Hizbollah charities -- will treat anyone, whatever their political or religious persuasion, alongside Hizbollah members. One of the doctors, Marwan Saleeba, is Christian.

"I don't feel out of place to work here...I find medical satisfaction in this place more than others," said Saleeba, a pathologist.

"It's not my (religious) beliefs that make me work here...I find respect for my education and position," he added.

One Hizbollah charity, Jihad al-Bina, rebuilt more than 6,000 homes destroyed by Israeli strikes in the 1990s, mostly in the South. Today, it also teaches poor farmers how to take care of their land and livestock.

Another, the Islamic Emdad Charitable Committee, gives food, health care and education to the poor, the elderly, the disabled and orphans. It supports 5,000 families.

"We didn't feel any effect at all from the American accusations. We noticed that...after the accusations, people were more zealous in giving donations," said Adnan Qasir, media director for the Martyrs Foundation, which helps the families of people killed in conflict with Israel.

In addition to its charities, which help build support for the group, Hizbollah has 10 deputies in parliament and operates al-Manar television, which attracts Arab viewers in Lebanon and abroad.

"We still see great support and aid for the resistance," said Hashem Safieddin, a member of Hizbollah's consultative council. "Political support and backing still exists...Iran and Syria have a great role in supporting the resistance."

Some Lebanese, including some Shi'ites, may disagree with Hizbollah's politics that include sporadic attacks on Israeli army positions in the disputed Shebaa Farms border area, but it is hard to find people who oppose the charities.

"Hizbollah proved that a political Islamic party could give a lot to its society," said Nizar Hamza, a professor of political science at the American University in Beirut.

Analysts said the charities showed Hizbollah had entered the fabric of Lebanese society and was more than just a militia.
The Great Israeli Snow Storm of Adar Aleph 5763

By Ariel Natan Pasko.

Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at: www.geocities.com/ariel_natan_pasko

"When cooped up with the kids for 3 days, one begins to think about things that one normally let's slide right by, not giving them a second thought in better times. Such is the 'Snow Storm' or more aptly put, the 'deeper' 'inner' meanings of it. Looking out my living room window, watching the alternating sunny blue skies and clear roads; then pounding flash of white flurries, sometimes actually settling; then blue skies again, I contemplated the meaning of the fog, flurries, and raging storm.

Simple 'outer' meanings are below us to meditate on, 'they' were even broadcast on the radio. Surely it was sent (by G-D) to help PM Ariel Sharon apply pressure in his coalition negotiations. Or, at least that's the angle his Likud colleagues took, accusing him of using the Snow Storm as an excuse not to meet with them on Tuesday. It must have been called in by PM Sharon, like an air strike, just before some important meeting with the Palestinians, to anger and humiliate them, and divert the world's attention from the going nowhere talks. OK, I declare it openly right now, "The Snow Storm is Ariel Sharon's fault." I told you I've been cooped up to long!

But that is only an external view of events, not really worthy of our thought. Deeper contemplation yields deeper layers of meaning. As the storm raged on, and 'finally' some accumulation became noticeable, other insights came upon me like a brilliant flash of wisdom, the way army flares light up the night sky in search of terrorists, infiltrating a Kibbutz or 'settlement'. Now's a good time for Saddam Hussein to attack us, I thought. Let him use his chemical or biological weapons, "It doesn't scare me." The joke would be on him, we're all in our 'sealed rooms' already. His timing hasn't been too good recently, anyway. Besides, after 3 days indoors, one needs a little 'action'.

I debated and debated, and then finally blurted out to my wife, "With all the rain and snow, it would wash the gas right out of the sky." That must be the Snow Storm's inner meaning. It's a hint of what's going to happen. Then I started pondering the imponderable, heavy under the influence of the white flurries swirling around my window. Did you ever notice that suicide bomb attacks; in fact all types of terrorist attack, slack off in bad weather. I 'understood'! It was as clear as a sunny day in June. They simply aren't as committed to killing and maiming us as we think. Or is it in their 'work contract' that they can take off for inclement weather. I guess even suicide bombers don't want to go out in cold, rainy or snowy weather just to blow up, better to wait for a sunny warm day. No one wants to be the 'Palestinian' version of a FRYER - Israeli slang - for a sucker. It wouldn't be too cool, arriving at heaven's gate, soaking wet!

It hit me like a rock on the windshield. With all the concern about the weather, closed roads and schools; no one was concerned about the possible War with Iraq or the 'situation' with the 'Palestinians' or the Economy, for a moment. The Economy. Funny, how in the United States or Russia, life went on all winter long with 20-40 cm of snow on the ground. People went to work, children went to school, and somebody went shopping for groceries; that were delivered to the stores, I might add. Not in Israel, the country with one of the highest levels of strike-days and lowest productivity in the Western World. Israel it seems 'Closes Down' at the fall of a flurry. It makes you think they're just looking for an excuse to take a vacation.

When I mentioned this to some people on Sunday - the day before the Snow Storm - they just shrugged and said, "Well, they're used to snow there." I pointed out that Israel gets a moderate level of snow every 2-3 years and a more serious storm every 5-8 years. That for the average adult in their 30's and up, they've experienced 15 or more snowy winters and quite a few serious storms. Israeli society, can 'get used to' over 700 people killed and thousands injured in 2 1/2 years of terrorist warfare, but a little snow, and hysteria sets in.

Speaking of deaths and injuries, another 400-600 are killed in traffic accidents every year, generally more, than from terror and crime. With 2002's 459 Oslo War victims, terror is catching up quickly. But guess what I realized as I stared out the window, looking down on the white unused road? No traffic equals no traffic accidents, or at least substantially fewer. As this realization overtook me with delight, at the thought of reducing the road carnage in Israel, I told my wife, "What if we called off driving, closed the roads, a couple times a week, say Tuesdays and Thursdays. Imagine how many lives we could save?" She just chuckled, knowing I've been in the house too long.

I told her, "I read about 27 women giving birth during the storm. They had to tell us how many, I commented." She replied, "Yah, think about how many women 'postponed' it...even babies don't want to come out in cold, stormy weather, like this." She, in her almost infinite wisdom, pointed out that the electric company workers are probably complaining about being overworked during the storm. But don't worry, she continued, "They'd probably demand and get extra compensation for the work." It doesn't matter that they're the highest paid public sector employees in the country, averaging 11,500 Shekels a month, plus getting free electricity, i.e. extra heat. This, at a time of pending government budget cuts and public sector lay-offs. As she said, "It doesn't mean they have to work any harder."

Taking one last look out the window, reflecting on the vastness of the Snow Storm and the current problems hitting Israel, I comfort myself with the thought, PURIM IS COMING!

In the Purim story, everything looks gloomy; the 'Snow Storm' of hatred rages against the Jewish people, the Jews are about to get it...and then...HAFOOCH - everything is turned upside down. Haman - the combined Arafat and Saddam Hussein - of his time, ends up on the gallows instead. I remember that the last Gulf War ended just before Purim, without Saddam Hussein's threat to, "Burn half of Israel" carried out. I ponder the 'coincidence' of this threatened war happening about Purim time. PURIM IS COMING!

Then again, by Pesach - Passover - springtime will be upon us. All this 'big tragedy' of the Snow Storm, will just be a distant blurry memory. Clear blue sunny skies will return, and with it, all our 'regular' troubles, like terrorism and traffic accidents. It makes you kind of miss being cooped up with the kids and the Snow Storm. But for now, PURIM IS COMING! "

PUT ARAFAT ON TRIAL

By Alan M. Dershowitz

The rule of law requires that murderers be brought to justice. Yasser Arafat is a cold-blooded, premeditated murderer. It would seem to follow that he should be brought to trial. The incontrovertible evidence of Arafat's complicity in murder goes back to 1973, when Palestinian terrorists invaded a diplomatic reception at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan and kidnapped two American diplomats and a Belgian diplomat.

The U.S. National Security Agency intercepted a communication between Yasser Arafat in Beirut and Khalil al-Wazir in the Khartoum office of Fatah. According to James Welch, an American security agent who overheard the intercept, Arafat was directly involved in the operation, which was code-named Nahr al-Bard, or Cold River.

The U.S. government has hard evidence that when the Americans refused the demands of the Palestinian terrorists - to free Sirhan Sirhan, the murderer of Robert Kennedy - Yasser Arafat personally ordered the murder of the three diplomats, one of whom was then the highest ranking African-American in the foreign service. The diplomats were taken to the basement of the embassy and tortured to death so brutally that "authorities couldn't tell which was black and which was white."

Arafat took credit for these murders during a private dinner with Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu two months later. The dinner was attended by General Ion Mihai Pacepa, a high-ranking Romanian intelligence officer who later defected to the United States. Pacepa wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal earlier this year in which he stated that "Arafat excitedly bragged about his Khartoum operation." According to General Pacepa, Arafat also claimed credit for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

These are just some of the thousands of victims - American, Israeli, and others - of the godfather of Palestinian terrorism. Arafat, like Osama bin Laden, has also targeted Jews, just because they are Jews. These targets have included people at prayer in synagogues throughout Europe as well as children in nurseries and school buses. His killing continues up to the present time, as do his false denials.

One can only imagine how many innocent civilians would have been killed by the boatload of Iranian arms captured by the Israelis earlier this year. As General Pacepa wrote in the Wall Street Journal: "Yasser Arafat remains the same bloody terrorist I knew so well during my years at the top of Romania's Foreign Intelligence Service." This conclusion has been confirmed by many documents discovered by the Israel Defense Forces during Operation Defensive Shield.

Any experienced prosecutor, given access to the evidence - some of which is currently secreted in American, Israeli, and European intelligence files - could present an open-and-shut first-degree murder case against Yasser Arafat. In considering the various options available to Israel - exile of Arafat, continued negotiation with him, and even targeted assassination - scant consideration has been given to the most obvious legal option: arresting Arafat for murder and placing him on trial in a public courtroom with lawyers and witnesses of his choice.

The reason this option has not been seriously considered is the practical fear that a trial of Arafat would cause more terrorism and more hostage-taking by Palestinians determined to free him. In addition, putting him on trial could make him a martyr among Palestinians, and perhaps even among some Europeans.

In the end, the Israeli government must make the tough decision whether or not to bring Arafat to trial, weighing the claims of public accountability against the practical difficulties of achieving justice. Were I an Israeli, I would recommend a public trial, despite the risks. The world should see the hard evidence that terrorism has become the tactic of choice for the Palestinian Authority and that Yasser Arafat is personally responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilians. This is especially important today, when so many Europeans and American academics seem unwilling to see Arafat as a racist murderer.

Whether or not Israel chooses this option, one conclusion remains crystal clear: a fair and open trial of Yasser Arafat on charges of first-degree murder would definitely produce a verdict of guilty.

The 'Horned' Prince of Darkness

The National Review has an interesting interview with Richard Perle - head of the Defense Policy Board and set to be very influential with the administration. Some anti- Americans call him the Prince of Darkness and along with Wolfowitz and Feith he seems to be frequently accuse of having duel loyalties since he is Jewish. He throws out some good barbs.

Taheri: Does this mean the U.S. will ignore a French veto?

Perle: Certainly. If a veto can dictate our policy then France would be regarded as the master of the world. In any case, there will be no French veto. The French know that if they veto we shall ignore them. They would also know that Saddam Hussein couldn't win. So, what would be the sense of antagonizing a victorious U.S. to please a losing Saddam?

Taheri: I don't know. But I can tell you that President Jacques Chirac seems determined to make life as hard as he can for you. He cannot accept that the U.S. should have the power to go around changing regimes it does not like…

Perle: I don't agree with your analysis. Just before the war starts France will jump on our side. It has happened all the time, most recently in Afghanistan. The French behaved in exactly the same way last time when Saddam had invaded Kuwait. Let me tell you something more important: The French attitude makes war more likely. It gives Saddam false hope that things can be dragged on and on until the next American presidential election. Thus Saddam sees no reason why he should really show his weapons to the inspectors. That gives us the clear reason we need for attacking him. Thus, Chirac's policy will, in the final analysis, lead to Saddam's destruction.
LINK

Put Arafat On Trial Like Eichmann

Great idea.

Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at: www.geocities.com/ariel_natan_pasko . He makes the following argument.

"Recently, Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Yasser Arafat should be treated like Saddam Hussein. Speaking in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said the guiding principle of both Israel, in its war against Palestinian terror, and the United States in its campaign against Iraq, is "no tolerance for terror and no tolerance for regimes that spawn terror."

Netanyahu stated, "I think what applies in Iraq should apply here as well. What applies in Iraq, that a brutal terrorist should be removed and democratization should be introduced, should be applied in the Palestinian dictatorship as well." Netanyahu said that in order to begin a process of democratization in regimes that foster terrorism, as was done in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan; the existing terror-supporting regimes must be totally defeated and tossed out. It does no good he said to replace one dictator with another.

But in response to Netanyahu's earlier call for Arafat's expulsion in November 2002, Arafat retorted, "No one has the right to deport me from my homeland." I take issue with the last two words, 'my homeland'. As I recall, his 'official biography'
(www.nobel.se/peace/laureates/1994/arafat-bio.htm) states he was born in Cairo, so he's an Egyptian like his father, not a 'Palestinian'. But, on the first part of his statement I couldn't agree with him more.

I ask you, what's all the debate in Israel about expelling or not expelling Arafat? Have we all gone mad? How will expelling him solve the problem (him)?

As I recall, Arafat was in 'exile' till 1993, where he was able to lead a terrorist organization and plan attacks on Jews, Israelis, and others, around the world and in Israel. Don't forget, he managed to ally himself with Syria and its occupation of Lebanon (which continues), creating a 'PLO state' with-in a state, brutalizing Lebanese along the way. He also allied himself with Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War of 1991. Oh yes, he also managed to hobnob with the rich, famous, and powerful, lobbying for a 'Palestinian State' in his spare time.

Can someone tell me what expelling Arafat will accomplish other than turning him into a 'victim' again? A roll he plays so well.

The debate shouldn't be about expelling or not expelling Arafat, either way we're still stuck with his 'leadership' of the Palestinians. Do you really think they're going to pick a new leader? And who would that be, Arafat's second-in-command Mohammed Abbas? Abbas is the head of the Iraqi-supported Palestine Liberation Front faction of the PLO. In 1968, Abbas was in Vietnam fighting alongside the Viet Cong against US forces and learning guerrilla tactics. In 1985 he was directing the take-over of the Achille Lauro. The real debate that has yet to begin in earnest, in Israel, is over trying Yasser Arafat for crimes against humanity, i.e. the Jewish People, Lebanese, Americans, and others.

The only decent question for decent people to debate, is whether he should receive life in prison, or the death penalty?

I believe an Eichmann-like War Crimes Trial in Israel, would educate a generation of Israelis and others world-wide who might still think of Arafat as a 'peacenik' (he won the Nobel Peace Prize didn't he?), about his murderous criminal activities. It would teach the world how to deal lawfully with terrorism and how not to appease it. Some might say that Arafat, as head of state is immune to prosecution. Well, guess what? He's not the head of any state yet!

Let's say for the sake of argument, that since 1993 as head of the Palestinian Authority Arafat's wanted peace with Israel, and he just hasn't been able to stop those nasty Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, Tanzim, and Al-Aksa Brigade terrorists (as head of Fatah, he's officially the leader of the last two groups). Do you really believe that? Well, if so, why should Israel negotiate with him? Either he's in charge, in which case he is culpable for their crimes, or he's not in charge in which case Israel should start discussing who is and talk to them. But if he's not responsible for all those bombings and killings since returning in 1993, on what could Israel try him?

How about for starters, trying him for his involvement in the murder of Americans. For example, Cleo Noel and George Curtis Moore, the two US diplomats killed in Khartoum, Sudan in 1973. He's already admitted publicly to it years ago. And throwing wheel chair bound Leon Klinghoffer off the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro, at high sea, in 1985. Arafat's henchmen killed them and many more over the years. The world might not care much about Israelis and Jews killed around the world from the 1960's till 1993 (when his 'immunity' began), but Americans care about the murder of their citizens overseas. And, don't forget the PLO's murderous activities in Lebanon. Arafat should be tried for the massacres in Damour, Beit Mullat and elsewhere also (see Mordechai Nissan's "The Palestinian Strategy for Destroying Lebanon and Israel" at FreeLebanon.org). Lebanese also want to see justice done.

Let me tell you, Israel should care about those Jews and Israelis killed even if others don't, and try him for those crimes as well. Bringing their murderer's leader to justice would teach the world a moral lesson for years to come.

In most democracies, there is no statute of limitations on the crime of murder, or accomplice to murder. Not long ago, a Connecticut court found the nephew of the late Ethel Kennedy (RFK's widow); guilty of a murder he committed in 1975 at the age of 15, and gave him 20 years to life, in prison. Connections to the Kennedy family didn't seem to help him escape justice. Why should Arafat, a serial murderer of the worst kind, be allowed to escape justice, just because he's become a 'respectable politician'?

Many of you may now raise the issue of 'world outcry'. Well, Israel seemed to deal with it during the Eichmann trial in 1961 and the Demaniuk trial during the 1980's (for their Nazi past), and the cries of massacre at Jenin. One lesson to learn is no matter how much the world condemns Israel; in 2 weeks there are new headlines. Israel only needs the political strength to stand up for itself. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and others, showed a glimmer of that during Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002, by resisting the UN desire to investigate the 'Jenin Massacre'. Which turned out to be nothing but PLO propaganda, again.

Besides, fighting terrorism is in, and a strong Israel leading the way, would return its image that others looked up to in the past. "We don't compromise with terrorists," was a phrase that previously earned Israel respect in many quarters. It also set an example that others followed. Israel in the full light of day, through a legitimate judicial process, could try and when found guilty, execute a mass murderer of innocent men, women, children, and babies.

Although I don't feel the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to Judea, Samaria (the West Bank), and Gaza. There is an interesting point to think about for those who prefer expelling Arafat. While Part 3, Section 3, Article 49 forbids individual or mass transfers from occupied territories (and is likely to raise many cries worldwide that we are violating International Law). Articles 64, 66, 67, and 68 (of Section 3), allow the Occupying Power to bring to trial and impose the death penalty on a person guilty of espionage, serious acts of sabotage against the military installations of the Occupying Power, or of intentional offences which have caused the death of one or more persons. Israel would be on firmer legal ground trying Arafat (and any others), than expelling him.

Which leads to the last issue many might bring up. What's after Arafat? Won't Hamas or who knows what take over? Well friends, with over 700 killed and 1,000's injured since Arafat started the 'Oslo War' in September 2001, tell me how it could get worse. Either Arafat is in charge and encouraging the terror, or he's in charge but not doing anything to stop the murder, or he's not really in charge and can't control the terrorist groups. Either way he's politically irrelevant, as the Israeli government has declared. Israel just needs to follow through with the next logical step. Try and execute him! As I said earlier, educationally, he's a great opportunity waiting for us to take.

What many need to begin to understand is that behind Arafat, the PA and its leaders are Sheikh Yassin, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaida and Hizbollah operatives, and others. Maybe Israel should start thinking of negotiating with Sheikh Yassin already. Or, maybe it has other ways to deal with them also.

You see Netanyahu only got it partially right. When referring to the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Netanyahu (and those in America who have called for Saddam Hussein's expulsion) forget that those wartime leaders weren't 'exiled'; they were tried for war crimes. Many were hung!

At a recent Arab League meeting, the United Arab Emirates' President called on Saddam to leave Iraq in exchange for 'immunity' from prosecution. Why should Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein, with personal fortunes estimated by Forbes, at $300 million and $2 billion respectively, be sent into 'exile', immune from prosecution? They should be brought to justice for their crimes. And so should other dictators in the region, such as Bashar Assad of Syria.

Recently, victims of Arafat's terror have filed claims against him and the Palestinian Authority, with courts in Belgium, in Paris, and in Tel Aviv. But why should it be up to individuals to chase after him? Why doesn't the Israeli government itself take the lead?

The real debate over what to do with Yasser Arafat hasn't yet begun in Israel. The only decent question for decent people to debate is, whether he should receive life in prison, or the death penalty? If there's a referendum, you know my vote. "

Canada's Liberal Government and anti-Semitism

Mark Dubowitz writes to Dr. Bennett, his MP

It is with a heavy heart that I write this message. I live in your riding of St. Paul's and I have been a supporter of the Liberal party for a number of years including doing volunteer work for the provincial Liberal Party in the 1980's and 1990's. I am an immigrant from South Africa, a proud Canadian for the past 26 years, with a degree in law and an MBA from the University of Toronto, and a career today in high technology and venture capital. I speak English, French, and Hebrew, I've lived in France and Israel, and traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. I am also Jewish.

I never thought it would come to this. This past weekend, my wife and I had a long and painful discussion about whether there was a future in Canada for the Jewish community and for us and our children and grandchildren.

I don't want to lay out in great detail the foundation for our fears because I'm sure you're familiar with the general areas of concern as we watch the rising anti-Semitism in this country: the vitriol and violence on university campuses and in the public discourse, the threats against Jewish targets necessitating police and security guards at synagogues and other Jewish institutions, and the stridently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic positions emanating from different and sometimes surprising quarters.

Dr. Bennett, to be clear, I feel that the Liberal Party and this government has let down the Jewish community. Examples abound: the government attempt to legitimize the "political wing" of Hezbollah which, despite its self-admitted record of intentionally murdering Jewish and non-Jewish civilians for years, was being praised by our government recently for the great work it does in Lebanon; the reluctance of senior government officials to speak out forcefully and clearly against suicide bombings and other terrorist acts against Israelis and Jews worldwide; a reticence to condemn in clear and unambiguous language the violence and intolerance towards Jews and pro-Israel supporters on Canadian campuses and in the public domain; the government supported and tax-funded CBC's significantly biased reporting on all issues relating to Israel and the Jewish world; and the government's tolerance of the Lebanese ambassador to Canada's recent anti-Semitic rantings. As if an apology for hatred should ever suffice! Today, Ernst Zundel is trying to get back into our country and, last I heard, David Ahenakew still has his Order of Canada. (What a laundry list.)

I could go on with other examples and I know that, in response, you and your party have answers to all of these concerns and criticisms. Nevertheless, the point remains clear. Amongst many of my Jewish friends and family members, there is a strong feeling that Canada is becoming a more dangerous place for Jews.

Our fear is that Canada is not dangerous today but that it is heading in that direction. Many will say I'm being too paranoid or too sensitive but unfortunately, through painful historical experience, we are conditioned as Jews to try and read the signs and the trend lines before it's too late. And we've been wrong or waited too long or remained silent too many times before. Today, when we look at the experience of our friends and family in countries like France, we wonder whether their experience there does not portend frightening developments for us here.

Let me be clear. I am not someone who sees an anti-Semite behind every tree. I have friends from all backgrounds and love the cultural and religious diversity of this country. I always had hoped that Canada would be a safe haven for the Jews and that my grandchildren and great grandchildren would live here as proud and safe Canadians. I never ever thought that I would actually be thinking of one day leaving my home in Canada because I was a Jew.

I thank you for being the representative for our riding and for the hard work you do. I ask only that you consider this one voice along with the thousands you hear everyday. It is a voice of fear and anguish that someday the Jews may have to leave this great country to seek refuge elsewhere yet again.

Bookmark this one

As we all know by now, President Bush gave a national press conference yesterday (March 6, 2003). It included such gems as:

We are determined to confront threats wherever they arise. I will not leave the American people at the mercy of the Iraqi dictator and his weapons.
and
[ W]hen it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission.
The complete, official transcript is available at the White House site. If President Bush matches acts to words, commentators of the future will surely refer to the statements made in this conference as the epitome of resolve, reminiscent of Pierre Trudeau's stance when the FLQ terrorists tried "their thing" in Canada (1970). If the words are not followed by congruent acts, this press conference will be recorded as the mother of all braggadocio shows. Either way, the text should be bookmarked for future reference.

Another reason to bookmark the statements made by President Bush is to quote them anytime the US administration resumes its pressure on Israel, in her war of self-defence.

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


Reader Jennifer asks in a comment to this post:
What to you constitutes antisemitism?? I'm really not being silly... I guess let me sort of try to explain. To me there are degrees of antisemitism, or any other form of bigotry or prejudice... for instance, to me obvious antisemitism would be painting swastikas on the Israeli flag... or defacing or destroying a Synagogue... Then you have other things that aren't so obvious.... maybe even things that could go either way... For instance, there are some who insist that even criticizing policies of the Israeli government and/or military constitutes antisemitism/antijewish sentiment... Me, I don't agree... but as a Jew do you see it that way?

There are degrees of antisemitism, and there are degrees to which it manifests itself in people’s actions. Jennifer is talking about its manifestations, and that is what counts in real life. In the Western world there is no thought police, (not yet, anyway), so no one can tell a person that they are not allowed to dislike Jews, or Blacks, or anyone else. But they are not allowed to discriminate against them. What counts is the actions, not the thoughts or the feelings. But often it is also important to understand the real motives behind people’s actions, especially when their actions can be interpreted either way.

If we leave out the obvious manifestations of antisemitism, like painting swastikas on Jewish graves, or burning synagogues, we are left with actions that can be interpreted either way. In those cases the logical and fair thing to do is to give a person all the benefit of a doubt. Just as someone might not hire a black person for reasons other than their race, someone may criticize Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians, for example, and it does not automatically mean that they are antisemitic.

However, if an employer chooses a white candidate who is obviously less qualified than a black one, and the white candidate is not his relative or friend, one has to wonder. If a representative of a European country, in fact most representatives of most European countries, (not to mention those of most European media and academia, and the Vatican) are constantly citing Israel for human rights violations, while constantly ignoring far more severe human rights violations by Israel’s neighbors (not to mention those committed by their own countries), one has to wonder as well.

Furthermore, if something like that happens once, or twice, one might still wonder whether it might be a coincidence.
When it happens over and over and over again, even while not taking into account the long history of antisemitism in Europe, isn’t it time to stop wondering?

Today's ME news roundup

Some 20 links provided (hit link) after this summary:
Israeli Strike Kills 11 Palestinians in Gaza Refugee Camp
Israeli tanks and troops stormed a Gaza Strip refugee camp, carrying out raids in which 11 Palestinians were killed a day after a suicide bomber killed 15 people on an Israeli bus. (6) Palestinian witnesses said eight people were killed when an Israeli tank fired a shell at a crowd, but Israel's army denied firing on civilians and said most deaths were caused when Palestinian militants detonated bombs meant for Israeli forces. (6) Israeli soldiers shot and killed three Palestinians on Tuesday as a senior Israeli security official said a raid on the home of a founder of Hamas did not signal that Israel is targeting political leaders of the group for arrest. (17) Witnesses said the explosion occurred just after the bus stopped in the hilltop neighborhood Carmelia at about 2:17 p.m. Officials said because of the hour, the bus would have been packed with students from the nearby University of Haifa. (9) A suicide bomber blew himself up aboard a crowded bus in the northern city of Haifa on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and injuring dozens in the first terrorist attack in two months, officials said. (10) Backed by attack helicopters and tanks, troops blew up Mohammed Taha's home and three others in the Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. (19) click for links to articles
French Ban Fireworks

France announced today that it plans to permanently ban fireworks at EuroDisney following last night's fireworks display that caused soldiers at a nearby French army garrison to surrender.

Not directly related to Israel but I cannot pass up a gratuitous shot at Our Friends the French (TM). From Thatsrich.com.
CBS is having an unprecedented program this Sun., Mar. 9, at 9:00 am.
The entire half-hour will be devoted to telling stories of Israel Defense Forces soldiers, from their point of view.

Watch it, or tape it, if you can.

Just as important, call the TV station afterwards, to compliment them on their coverage. We know that they will get tons of calls and emails criticizing the program, so it's VERY important to balance the feedback!!

Please forward this to all your friends.

Various

The New York Times sucks as usual, as many other writers have pointed out below. No matter how many times the palistinains lie about things, whatever they say is always reported as true. Israel should get smart and start having statements prepared more quickly. Also, whenever any one is killed they should not reply "we will check" but say they believe the person was under aking actions that were threatening peoples' lives. Since the army only shoots people in that situation, it is a correct belief. Also, Israel should make much more use of video tape. A video of gunman hiding behind school children would be very valuable. Two further notes on the Gaza Massacre. Israel killed eleven people - 8 supposedly innocent people. Many of the reports did mentioned that Israel was fighting hundreds of gunman with tanks and helicopters. Are we to believe that Israel only killed 3 of these hundreds of gunman? This does not make much sense. Two - they papers always quote doctors or hospitals for numbers of people killed and for WHO KILLED THEM AND HOW AND WHAT THEY WERE DOING WHEN THEY WERE KILLED. This is obviously poor journalistic practice since the doctors and hospitals may have some knowledge of how many were killed and maybe some information as to how but they only have second hand knowledge of who did it and what the people were doing. The press makes an assumption that doctors are honest that just may be so in the US but it is obvious not so among the arabs. Many of the heads of terrorist groups are medical doctors.

Who said Nazis are no good.

There has been much talk about links between the extreme Left and Right and the anti Americanism of both groups. Well it seems one white supremacist may not have known this since one of these guys attacked Jihad Johnny Walker in jail. I think this calls for an early release - of the nazi.

Human Shields Yield
Well it seems all the human shields are returning from Iraq. What a bunch of bozos. The US ones should not be let back in. When they experienced a bit of Saddam's totalitarianism they turned tail and fled. They wanted to shield orphanages. Saddam said we do not care about orphanages and do not think American's will attack them. We want you to shield duel use facilities like fuel dumps. What a bunch of dumb putzes.
U.S. Reportedly Has OKd Israeli Retaliation if Iraq Attacks

This news items seems to signal a new attitude out of the Bush administration
WASHINGTON -- In a marked departure from the U.S. approach during the Persian Gulf War, the Bush administration has signaled that it would accept an Israeli retaliation against a devastating Iraqi missile attack, U.S. officials say.

In 1991, the United States successfully pressured Israel not to retaliate against Iraqi missile strikes even if the Jewish state faced heavy losses, fearing that such a move would alienate Arab countries and rupture the international coalition against Baghdad. If war comes again, U.S. officials say, they still would prefer that Israel stay on the sidelines if damage is limited. However, they would not stand in the way of a counterstrike if an Iraqi attack inflicted many casualties.

President Bush has said that the U.S. recognizes Israel's right to defend itself. And Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said that although his nation would retaliate against strikes that inflicted mass casualties or involved chemical or biological weapons, there would be no need to retaliate if missiles fell harmlessly.

In private, there has been agreement that if an attack is not catastrophic but still significant, the two sides would consider the specifics and discuss whether Israel or the U.S. should respond, officials say. Such a formulation, they acknowledge, still leaves room for disagreements between the two countries.[more]
'Israelis got what was coming to them'

The "neighbors" in East Jerusalem, according to this report by Danny Rubenstein after the recent bus bombing.
Satisfaction among Palestinians following Wednesday's suicide bus bombing was far greater than after previous attacks, according to a group of Palestinian journalists who interviewed West Bank and Gaza Strip residents.

A youth enrolled in a computer course in East Jerusalem said that when he arrived at class yesterday afternoon, everyone welcomed him saying, "Finally! The Israelis got what was coming to them!"

"We have 40 killed every week, so don't expect us to sit in silence," an Al-Aqsa Brigades member told reporters in Ramallah.

Even senior Palestinian Authority officials who condemned the attack said that it was only to be expected considering Israel's "daily slaughter," as indicated by a PLO spokesman in Ramallah.

Palestinian spokesmen noted the high number of Palestinian deaths during the intifada and particularly the number killed over the last few days.

According to Dr. Moussa Barghouti, a human rights activist from Ramallah, about 85 percent of the Palestinians killed since the start of the intifada have been civilians.

Other Palestinian sources said that since the last suicide bombing - on January 6 at Tel Aviv's old central bus station - 156 Palestinians, including 17 children, have been killed; only 40 of those were armed.

During the past few days, for example, a pregnant woman and a 75-year-old man were killed in the Gaza Strip and a deaf youth was killed in Tul Karm.

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesmen were furious with the PA's condemnation of the attack. "They are speaking as if they had autonomy," Hamas members said. Making reference to the IDF's damaging a Rafah mosque earlier this week, they added that "it was clear that the IDF would have to pay for this." [more]
Buneul is Right

I was going to write this anyway, so I'm adding my voice to Bunuel's below. The New York Times ran the story, "Israelis Storm Gaza Camp; 11 Palestinians Are Killed" in yesterday's paper. After the headline and three paragraphs either asserting or implying that Israel killed all eleven James Bennet wrote:
The Israeli Army rejected that account. It said a tank had fired a shell from a spot near the crowd, but in another direction, toward a Palestinian who was firing a rocket-propelled grenade at the retreating Israelis. It said the casualties had been caused by a Palestinian explosive.
I give Bennet a little credit for at least acknowledging that the Israeli army disputed the PA view. But no more than a little. The Arab accounts he cites were more specific. But it isn't as if there wasn't a readily available Israeli account:
"The IDF forces were right next to a store. It is obvious that we would not fire at the store point blank with tanks shells. The control over the firing of the shells belongs solely to the commander and we know how to react in every situation, what to fire upon with shells and when. A tank commander will only fire if he receives an order from the battalion commander or if his life is in danger and firing is the only way to combat the danger. I was the battalion commander at that moment," noted Lt. Col. Moshe.

"We fired a shell a moment later, after the explosion, into an adjacent ally where an RPG rocket was threatening the tank. However this was only done after the incident where the bomb detonated inside the store. It was a powerful bomb that created a great blaze in the store and even, in our opinion, caused the walls to collapse and the ceiling to cave in," said Lt. Col. Moshe.

He added: "I imagine that many civilians were injured from that."
"As the ground commander I can say with certainty that the tank shell was fired at a lone terrorist armed with an RPG rocket, from a distance of 150-200 meters within the ally."
I've noted previously that Bennet strikes me as lazy. He doesn't make much of an effort. It's also interesting that in the earlier story that I commented on, Bennet noted that Israeli silence on the deaths of several ranking members of Hamas was an indication that Israel probably did it. I'm not convinced that he was correct there. But wouldn't the converse of that observation be that if Israel denies participation in violence it probably was not involved? So why not attach greater significance to Israel's version?

If over here, Bennet implicitly belittles Israel's version of events; elsewhere, he's not so subtle:
That is the approach Israel has taken in the West Bank, where soldiers have seized back territory ceded under the Oslo peace accords in what the army says is an effort to stop suicide bombers.
"...in what the army says is an effort to stop suicide bombers!" Qualifying it in this way implies that the only the army would draw such a conclusion. Hmm. How about this?
During the months of January-February 2003, 122 terror attacks against Israeli citizens were prevented.
That seems successful by any standard!!! Unfortunately, Wednesday, we saw that the Israeli tactics are not perfect.
Cross Posted to Israpundit and David's Israel Blog.

The Poor Palestinians

Keep your priorities straight.

Dominic Nutt of Christian Aid writes in the Guardian about the "poor Palestinians". He writes of their hunger and fear. To my mind this is obscene coming as it does 48 hours after another Palestinian mass murderer blew up a bus in Israel killing 15 and maiming perhaps for life another 50. One would think that he would at least allow Israel to bury its dead before wringing his hands over the Palestinians.

While acknowledging that Israelis are entitled to security, he avers that "such security will never come without justice for Palestinians.". He assumes of course that Arafat wants justice, as opposed to the destruction of Israel or that, given the conduct of the Palestinians to promote hatred and violence, they are entitled to justice, or finally that there is agreement on what constitutes justice when there are competing claims for it.

He goes on to identify the hunger and poverty of the Palestinians and blames it on the
The Israeli policy of closing down the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, of denying Palestinians the ability to travel into Israel to work and to sell their goods means in some areas as many as 80% of the Palestinian population are unemployed.
Not a word about the fact that whenever Israel lifts the closure, there are more terrorist attacks.

He then compares the poverty of a particular Palestinian woman with the abundance of the Israelis and notes that her husband is not around because he is too "depressed and humiliated". Finally,
Lyla is not a terrorist. And neither are all but a few Palestinians. She is just a poor woman trying to survive and feed her family. But poverty can be a fertile ground for violence and gives further cause to the minority.
Let's get a few things straight here. Israel is responsible for its citizens and Arafat and the PA are responsible for the Palestinians. If they are hungry and living in fear it is a result of their leadership and not Israeli self defense. The moment they stop the violence these problems will cease. He cannot minimize the problem by saying "Neither are all but a few Palestinians," [terrorists]. Regardless of whether there are few or many, a majority of Palestinians support the blowing up of buses and honours the killers. Their depravation is a direct result of the policies they support. It is the Israelis that are entitled to the sympathy as they are the victims. It is the Palestinians that must reap the whirlwind. He argues that "poverty can be fertile ground for violence" which, if it were true, would result in a lot more violence in the world. To the contrary, violence can be the cause of poverty.

He ends the article by comparing the hypocrisy of forcing Iraq to follow UN resolutions, while not enforcing
[...] a tranche of UN resolutions, which apply to Israel, requiring Israeli troops to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza and for the government to dismantle the illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.
His assertions are totally false. The resolutions naming Iraq are Chapter VII resolutions requiring Iraq to do something. The resolutions affecting Israel are Chapter VI resolutions which don't have the same force or effect. Secondly, the settlements are not illegal and Kofi Annan has acknowledged this. Nor has the UN ordered that they be dismantled. Finally Resolution 242 of the UN Security Council authorized Israel to remain in the territories until secure and agreed borders are agreed upon. So even the occupation is legal.

All this is beside the point. Israelis are being deliberately murdered and the Guardian and Dominic Nutt are worried about the "poor Palestinians". They are condoning terror rather than condemning terror.

Updates on the I3 alliance

(News) - Trade between Israel and India reached the $1 billion mark and looks poised for further growth, and India touts its refreshing lack of anti-Semitism..
Israel also has provided India with military assistance during its wars with Pakistan. Additionally, the Indians have always taken pride that their country is one of the only places in the world that has no experience with anti-Semitism. There is no history of persecution or discrimination of the Jewish community, which dates back some 2,000 years. Some Indians like to compare this record to their neighbor, Pakistan, and its support for the Taliban and Al Qaida. In recent years, India has become one of Israel's largest trading partners. At a time when Israel's economy has been devastated by more than two years of Palestinian violence, trade with India has reached $1 billion per year.

( .. )

Last year, more than 60,000 Israelis visited India, constituting five percent of the total number of tourists..

I should clarify one point though.. the similarities between Israel and India that the author extols are mostly due to exigencies of history, and due to remarkable structural similarities between Judaism and Hinduism. Ready examples would be the non-proselytizing nature of both religions, and the ability of Indian Jews to find high positions in the caste system. The relative lack of anti-Semitism amongst Hindus in India is not necessarily reflective of a some sort of superior Hindu moral fiber.

For now the reality is this: These are two countries, two civilizations, both under siege by the same enemy. It makes them natural bedfellows, even close allies. But we should keep in mind that relationships between the two are still fragile even as they grow. Many events could stall this process.. the upcoming war against Saddam's regime, increase in sectarian violence in India, where exactly the 800-lb American gorilla decides to park it's considerable ass, are but a few examples.

Regardless, I view any improvement in relations between India and Israel, whatever the expedient reasons be, as welcome news for two striving and weary nations.

March 06, 2003

Explain this to me

Israel Foreign Ministry officials are irked at media portrayal of last night's IDF counter-terrorism actions in Gaza as a massacre, a retaliation for yesterday's terrorist attack, or both. IDF sources say that there is a wave of disinformation regarding the killing of 11 Arabs in Gaza last night. It is being said that the 11 were killed when IDF troops fired at a terrorist engaged in firing a missile at them - but the commander at the scene said that he "knows for sure that the only casualty was the man firing the rocket." The army says that eight of the 11 were killed when an Arab-built bomb went off inside a store, causing a fire and an explosion that had been aimed for an IDF vehicle parked outside. The vehicle and its crew were not hurt. Others of the dead Arabs were armed terrorists engaged in battle with the troops.

Does not this remind you of the Jenin Massacre and other great successes in what may be called terrorism by media? The important question here is: how is it that so many in the truth-seeking profession lend themselves so docily to such debasement?

A Deepening Fissure

PATRICK E. TYLER writing in the NY Times

The declaration issued today by Germany, Russia and France against war in Iraq now — with its implicit threat of veto — may go down as the loudest "No!" shouted across the Atlantic in a half century or more.

The nine-paragraph statement may not have slowed the seemingly inexorable drive by the Bush administration to commence military operations as early as next week.
Why liberating Iraq is crucial to beating terrorism.

James Taranto of the WSJ in his speech this week to the Fabian Society of New York made a compelling argument. It is well worth reading.

COMING IRAQ FIGHT TIES HANDS OF SHARON

The New York Post notes that Israel will limit reprisals against terrorists so as not to intefere with American planned attack on Iraq.
JERUSALEM - Israel will not carry out any major military reprisals for yesterday's deadly terrorist attack because of concern that it will interfere with the U.S.-planned war in Iraq.

That's the consensus of high-ranking officials, who believe the imminent military confrontation with Saddam Hussein is vital to Israel's security and the prospects for long-term peace in the Mideast.

One official who went on the record was the new justice minister, Yosef "Tommy" Lapid.

"This attack cannot go without our reaction," he said of the bombing that killed 16 people. "But we have to do it in a way that will not interrupt the Americans."

Lapid is one of the highest-ranking members of the new government formed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last week - a coalition that has been described as packed with right-wing hawks no longer restrained by dovish partners from the Labor Party.

But one telling fact of last night's meeting of Sharon's defense Cabinet is that, in hours of discussion, no one suggested expelling Yasser Arafat from the West Bank.

summer camp
Row erupts over Gaza killings

This BBC report strikes me as odd. The Palestinians blame Israel for deliberately targeting civilians as revenge for yesterday's suicide bombing. The Israelis deny this charge. But the Paelstinian slaughter in the bus bombing was deliberate and seems, somehow, not to be noted by the Arabs. Only their losses matter.
Palestinians accused the Israeli army of targeting Jabaliya in revenge for a suicide bombing on a bus hours earlier in Haifa which killed at least 15 people and injured 40 others.

They said an Israeli tank fired a shell into a crowd of civilians, killing at least eight people and injuring scores more.

But Israel said the operation was part of its ongoing campaign against militants and claimed most of the Palestinian deaths were caused by a bomb aimed at its troops.

Mark Sofer, a senior Israeli foreign ministry official, told the BBC that the raid was "absolutely and utterly not" a revenge attack.

He said Israel always took precautions to avoid civilian casualties in army operations, which he added were necessary because Palestinian security officials were not stopping attacks.

Israel believed all 11 Palestinians killed to have been militants, he said. [more]
Call to Action

I received the following e-mail from Shirley Anne Haber, and I join her in a call to act.

Friends:

I only very rarely send out e-petitions like this. However, the Wiesenthal Center (source of the enclosed) is a world-class organization, promoting freedom, tolerance, and justice around the globe. After you have read the enclosed, I hope you will agree that we must respond with a deafening SCREAM to protest the BLASPHEMOUS
attempt by professional hate-monger and Holocaust-revisionist Ernst Zundel to claim refugee status. The US ejected him, Canada must do the same, NOW. But WE MUST MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.

*** PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH OTHERS ***

Please act now by clicking here to sign the petition. http://www.wiesenthal.com/social/press/pet1.cfm?petid=61
________________________________________________________



German Holocaust Denier, Ernst Zundel - A refugee in Canada? Never!

http://www.wiesenthal.com/mailings_swc/swc_mar03.html

For decades, German-born, Toronto resident Ernst Zundel, has been a leading voice for Holocaust deniers and antisemites. From his home in Canada, Zundel distributed Nazi, neo-Nazi, and Holocaust denial materials throughout the world. In 1996, he was declared a national security threat by Canada's intelligence agency.

After inciting hate in Canada for 43 years, he relocated to the United States in 2001. Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies in Canada, together with other groups, were responsible for obtaining a ruling from the Canadian Human Rights Commission prohibiting Zundel from operating any hate sites in Canada. Thus, his
move to the U.S. Recently, he was arrested by U.S. immigration authorities for overstaying his U.S. visitors' visa and was deported back to Canada.

Zundel is now seeking 'refugee' status in Canada because if he is deported to his native Germany, he awaits possible prosecution for illegal distribution of Holocaust denial materials into Germany.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies in Canada are urging authorities in Berlin to suspend pending charges against Zundel. This would remove any foundation for his claim of refugee status and would enable his swift removal from Canada. It would not block prosecution for any future hate activity. At the same time, the Center is also urging Canadian authorities to act swiftly to bar Zundel from re-entering Canada.

Join the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies' campaign to banish Zundel from North America forever by joining us in urging Canadian and German authorities to work together to deny his outrageous attempt to renew his hate activities by gaining refugee status.

Please act now by clicking here to sign the petition.

http://www.wiesenthal.com/social/press/pet1.cfm?petid=61

Crucial decisions could be only days away.


We need your support to continue our work. Please click here to support the work of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

https://www.wiesenthal.com/social/press/pet1b.cfm?sp=1&petitionid=61

A pop-up

window will show up whenever you click a link in this message. Please use it to forward this important message to your family and friends to add their voices!

http://www.wiesenthal.com

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international organization with 400,000 members, promoting tolerance and combating antisemitism worldwide.
Canadians, in particular, should feel a moral obligation to sign this petition.

The Dead Shall Be Raised

Here is a report via Goldwater's Mideast reality that refers back to the "killing" of the young Palestinian boy, a shooting that aroused and encouraged the anti-Israelis to babble on about Israeli murderers etc etc. Well it seems that the picture was staged!
Mohammed al-Dura may remain one of the symbols of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but not for the reasons believed by the Israel-bashers. Mohammed al-Dura is the little boy caught in a firefight begun by PLO stormtroopers in the Gaza Strip a couple of years back, "fortuitously" filmed by a camera crew. His photo then became an icon for the Israel-bashers, the child martyr murdered by the blood-thirsty Jews, a story right out of the Middle Ages. Never mind that assorted people and media brought evidence that - if anything - he was shot by the PLO.

Well, Mohammed al-Dura is back in the news. Risen from the dead in the Palestinian version of the New Testament? It seems that there are reports that Mohammed al-Dura was never killed, but it was all a PLO stage show: [more]
Bush doesn't intend to pressure Israel on concessions

Asia Times comments on the "roadmap" and concludes that it is dead.
[...]In a major address last Wednesday, Bush aligned US policy even more closely with the right-wing Likud Party of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon by, for the first time, conditioning an end to Jewish settlement activity in the occupied territories on progress in a new peace process. Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Washington had insisted - largely ineffectively - that Israel halt all settlement activity unilaterally and unconditionally.

"This is a complete alignment of the president along the lines of Likud principles," according to Rashid Khalidi, an historian and Middle East specialist at the University of Chicago. "It's the most important shift in US policy since the 1967 war. It's really major."

The fact that Bush delivered the address before the American Enterprise Institute, the hub of a very effective network of pro-Likud organizations in Washington, was also significant. Members of the audience included not only prominent neoconservatives who have argued for years that Israel has a right to settle anywhere in the occupied territories, but also several who had prepared a memorandum for then Likud prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu six years ago that called for a regional strategy, including the removal of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a "complete break" with the Oslo peace process and steps to "secure the realm" by building a new strategic axis in the Middle East consisting of Israel, Turkey, Jordan and a pro-Western government in Baghdad

"This administration has about as much interest in the road map seeing the light of day as it does in holding bilateral talks with North Korea," one official said this week. A similar conclusion appears to have been reached in Israel itself, where Sharon has already rejected the road map out of hand. "The Quartet is nothing. Don't take it seriously," he told Newsweek magazine just before the elections. "I don't think the United States takes it seriously." MORE
The Iranian-Election Revolt

Michael Ledeen writing in FrontPageMag reports
The Iranian people rejected the regime in the most unmistakable way, yet the "story" you read in our newspapers is that the hard liners routed the reformers in something resembling a real election. As if the Iranian people, after years of mass demonstrations against the mullahcracy, after thousands of freedom fighters had sacrificed their lives in protest against Islamic oppression, had suddenly seen the darkness and decided they preferred tyranny to freedom. Or perhaps they had heard the shameful nonsense emanating from the mouth of Deputy Secretary of State Armitage ("Iran is a democracy") and decided that since the Supreme Leader was a confirmed democrat, the best path to liberty was to give the regime a huge vote of confidence.

No way. The elections were a protest non-vote, pure and simple. The pathetic Khatami and his apologists at the BBC and elsewhere in the Western media are now crying that "the system" is being undermined and chances for reform have been weakened, but they have totally missed the point. Chances for reform are nil so long as Khamenei and Rafsanjani are in command, and the Iranian people are disgusted with Khatami's failed promises and empty gestures. He's not only ineffectual, but a coward to boot. He's threatened to resign with monotonous regularity, but never does it. He promised reforms but has produced none at all, and there is manifestly less freedom today than when he came to office. MORE
Bastards

Al Qaeda,Hezbollah and Arafat; Connect the dots

DebkaFile reports

Fifteen Israelis – mostly high school pupils and Haifa university students – were murdered in a powerful blast generated by a Palestinian homicidal suicide while riding on a Haifa base on Wednesday, March 5. Only two had lived to see their 45th year. The killer, a Palestinian aged 20 from the West Bank town of Hebron, was identified as Mahmoud Hamdan Selim Kawasme, member of a big Hebron clan and kinsman of a former mayor.

A note found on his body praised to heaven the al Qaeda perpetrators of the September 11 atrocities in New York, in which more than 3000 people died.

The young killer was in fact a disciple of Fawzi Ayoub, the high-ranking Lebanese Hizballah officer who infiltrated Israel as a Canadian tourist at the end of 2001and went to ground in Palestinian-controlled territory.

The note found on the body of Mahmoud Kawasme, protégé of a Hizballah officer, epitomizes the murky operational collaboration that DEBKAfile first exposed two years ago between Arafat’s Palestinian movement, the Lebanese Hizballah and al Qaeda. MORE

India and Israel

From conflict to convergence

Martin Sherman writing in JPost reports on the growing importance of the strategic value of this relationship to the US. India and Israel, with Turkey's help, serve to contain the radical forces located between them. A strong India is also a countervailing force to the growing influence of China in the Far East. Well worth the reading.

Middle East News Roundup--17 links to articles

Summary:
Israel Denies Latest Campaign Targets Hamas Political Leaders
Israeli soldiers shot and killed three Palestinians on Tuesday as a senior Israeli security official said a raid on the home of a founder of Hamas did not signal that Israel is targeting political leaders of the group for arrest. (9) A suicide bomber blew himself up aboard a crowded bus in the northern city of Haifa on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and injuring dozens in the first terrorist attack in two months, officials said. (4) Witnesses said the explosion occurred just after the bus stopped in the hilltop neighborhood Carmelia at about 2:17 p.m. Officials said because of the hour, the bus would have been packed with students from the nearby University of Haifa. (3) Israeli tanks stormed into a Gaza Strip refugee camp on Thursday and at least two Palestinians were killed amid heavy fighting with militants after a Palestinian suicide bomber in Israel killed 15 people. (7) A World Bank report published Wednesday said almost 2 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip live on less than $2 a day, triple the number before violence erupted in September 2000. (8) Palestinians said at least two of those killed were civilians a 14-year-old boy shot dead and a woman whose house collapsed from the force of the blast next door. (14) click here for article links
Dissent in Arab ranks

How refreshing to see the Iraqi minster and the Kuwaiti flinging insults at each other! A breath of fresh air. May there be more of it. Perhaps the Mossad and the CIA should be working on precipitating another inter-Muslim war? Certainly while Iran/Iraq was on things in the civilised parts of the world were pretty quiet.

Another war of this type would save numerous American and Israeli lives. They would be sorting the problem out for us.
Petition against Belgium

Folks, I have previously posted to the effect that protest letters and boycotts of Belgium and her one-sided (Anti-Semitic) and arrogant policy of suddenly policing international crimes and particularly that alleged against Ariel Sharon are immediately and urgently called for.

Write directly to the Belgian ambassador in your own country. Belgium is itself guilty of war crimes going back to the second world war, having supplied an SS unit and deported her own Jews and then providing refuge for fleeing NAZI'S. She also has a history in the Congo Katanga region of Africa and in Rwanda which is hardly covered in glory.

The above petition needs lots more signatures and needs to be widely distributed on your lists.