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

March 15, 2003

ZOA takes a sober look at the Bush appeasement of the PA

ZOA has been monitoring the non compliance of the PA in relation to Bush’s demand, as set out in his June, 2002 speech. In weekly reports, the ZOA has documented and proved clear non-compliance. Now that Bush has made yet another speech of appeasement (Friday, 14 March 2003), the ZOA has posted a protest which can be read at the IMRA site. The protest comes under the following five headings:

1. Embracing Mahmoud Abbas, Who Denies the Holocaust and Calls for the Murder of Israelis;
2. Adopting the "Road Map" to Palestinian Arab Statehood--even Before the Pa Has Met Bush's Own Conditions for Statehood;
3. Israeli "Settlements" must End as Soon as There Is Undefined "Progress"--and No Mention of Arab Settlements;
4. Creating a Palestinian Arab State Before There Is Any Evidence of Real Change by the Palestinian Arabs;
5. Moral Equivalency.
ZOA’s protest should be read in full.

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

Finlandization or Franco-Islamicized?

The reality is the problem

Ariel Natan Pasko writes in Arutz 7

[...]With upwards of 15 million Arabs and Muslims in Europe today, and 5-6 million of them in France alone - about 10% of the population - actively building mosques and missionizing Europeans, and with one eye focused on trade with the Arab-Islamic world, and another greedily eyeing the oil supply, France and others in Europe are succumbing to creeping Islamicization.

[...]Combined fear of terrorism at home, the consequences of war, and the fifth column of Islamists within, is leading France and others in Europe inextricably toward neutrality and Franco-Islamicization.

[...]The term ´War on Terror´ is an attempt to define the problem in the narrowest possible way, to ignore the cultural or religious implications of the issue. But until the equivalent of an Islamic Reformation takes place -and a dominant peaceful version of Islam emerges - ready to live with the rest of the world, discussion of democracy in the Arab-Islamic world will prove fruitless. Don´t forget that these Islamic radicals are generally supported financially and otherwise, in their communities, whether in Europe, America, or elsewhere. MORE
The Road Map

I have always hated the Road Map. And now that Bush has resorted to it I wonder if Israel is doomed.

Yet Sharon seems to be going along and there is very little outcry from Israel. Bibi is silent. What can this mean. Just when the momentum for negating a Palestinian state is growing Bush comes up with this.

I keep hoping for some kind of secret deal between Bush and Sharon made last fall will save the day. I just can't believe that Bush is throwing Israel to the Arab dogs. What does this say for his new ME. What does this say for his war on terror.

Either he did this to get France to support war at the UN , or he did it to support Blair in his party or he did this to get all kind of overflight rights in Saudi Arabia and G-d knows what else.

But the question remains, "What does this mean?. What has he done? How will he protect Israel? Does this mean a better deal for the Palestinians than Barak offered? What do Israel and the US see eye to eye on?

The call for and absurdity of "Evenhandedness" within the arab-Israeli conflict; a closer look



Those who call for "evenhandedness" in which the world reacts and treats the Arab-Israeli conflict are a large majority of the Western world more so in Europe than in the United States but even here a large number.

What is behind this frenetic call?

First let us dissect what exactly "evenhandedness" means in this respect. It seems most feel that the US favors a strategic ally, Israel, over the arab terrorists attacking them. Why would people expect evenhandedness in a situation like this? What is their motivation to request this? Clearly there is nothing even handed going on here how come people expect that sort of reaction? Israeli is a tiny country surrounded by 21 hostile countries and then some further beyond. They are clearly out moneyed, outnumbered, and outsized. The world distinctly favors the Arab terrorists over the Israeli defenders specifically since Charles De-Gaulle of France starting from the 1967 war.

Why do people call for being evenhanded when the fight isn't?

The reasons are a mixture of two things.

First, moral relativity by removed persons affords them the ability to not have to make a value judgment declaring clearly who is right and who is wrong. By calling for evenhandedness a person is saying out-loud they view both sides as equally egregious and therefore one is not better than the other. Everything is equal and therefore everything must be dealt with equally.

This is of course ridiculous to even pretend to believe.

There is nothing even between the worldwide support of the world center of Arab terrorists senior groups attacking Israel from within Israel's boundaries and Israeli defending themselves against them. There are 300 million arabs in 21 Arab countries surrounding Israel. The premier senior Arab terrorist group, the PLO, has international financial support and legitimacy as a equal and valid partner to Israel that Israel must meet their demands.

Moral relativity in this sort of obvious right and wrong situation also deserves further delving. Moral relativity as we all know is a intellectual cop-out. It allows people to not make a value judgment between two opposing sides and be free of both guilt and being seen as in cahoots with one over the other. This leads us to the second reasons for the call of evenhandedness within the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The second reason is that people around the world view this conflict from a faraway unconcerned vantage point. Two foreign groups battling each other is generally of no concern to most and they want that impartial view to remain that way from their faraway vantage point. There is also a fear among foreigners to the conflict of being targeted as compatriots to one side or another.

Of course no one would expect the United States to be evenhanded with its dealings with al-quaeda but in regards to Israel it is not only expected but required. The idea that being evenhanded will provide the terrorists a sense of hope and thus not need to murder children is fraught with disaster and clearly a removed viewpoint from the people being targeted daily.

When it comes down to it is really quite simple:
Why not throw someone else to the wolves if that is whom their blood lust is aimed at? At least it might deflect momentarily some of their blood taking from us, right!?

Beware the Ides of March

Never more true

Martin Kimel has a lot to say, as usual, about Blair's "evenhandedness" remark.

David Frum also has a lot to say about the release of the Road Map. (It will be online on Sunday)

They both are very upset and don't like it one bit. Me too.
A Root of Christian Support

If you need to answer why Israel has the support of so many so-called fundamentalist Christians, here is one of many answers for you to give. From the March 15 devotion in Streams in the Desert:
Do not be afraid, oh worm Jacob... I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. (Isaiah 41: 14-15)
Could any two things be in greater contrast than a worm and a threshing tool with sharp teeth? A worm is delicate and is easily bruised by a stone or crushed beneath a passing wheel. Yet a threshing tool with sharp teeth can cut through rock and not be broken, leaving its mark upon the rock. And almighty God can convert one into the other. He can take an individual or a nation, who has all the weakness of the worm, and through the energizing work of His own Spirit, endow that person or nation with strength enough to make a profound mark upon the history of their time.

"Best ex-President" Jimmy Carter, in his scribble for the New York Times a week ago, writes about the opposition to the imminent war on Saddam Hussein, "This is an almost universal conviction of religious leaders, with the most notable exception of a few spokesmen of the Southern Baptist Convention who are greatly influenced by their commitment to Israel.."
Over half of liberal PCUSA clergy and elders surveyed approve of fighting to enforce treaty obligations. Iraq signed the 1971 torture treaty and the rest is obvious.

He also writes, "[The war's] violence must be proportional to the injury we have suffered. Despite Saddam Hussein's other serious crimes, American efforts to tie Iraq to the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been unconvincing."
Very good, we wait to get hit and then we defend. 90-95% of liberal PCUSA clergy and elders now approve. Israel take note: you should have waited for Saddam to become nuclear ready before you hit Osirak, even if Iraq's other connections to terror (Salman Pak) have been convincing.

Cross-posted at PROLEGOMENA


Saudi Quid Pro Quo Behind White House Press Conference

So that's why Saudi Arabia has been cooperating so much

According to Stratfor
Although a March 14 announcement from the White House -- where U.S. President George W. Bush discussed a new "roadmap" for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- initially appeared to be a ploy to divert attention from plans to attack Iraq, Stratfor has learned that the announcement was part of an integral quid pro quo with Saudi Arabia that is very much related to the Iraq issue.
Ha'aretz reports
The U.S.-backed "road map" to Palestinian statehood that President George W. Bush plans to present will not stray from last year's draft even if parties lobby for changes, senior Palestinian officials said Saturday.

Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat said he spoke to U.S. Mideast envoy David Satterfield on Saturday, who vowed the road map would be the same as last year's draft and that the only thing left to discuss was how it was to be implemented.
One more thing. With Blair emphasizing "evenhandedness" I shudder to think what that could mean. Does that mean to consider both equally worthy and therefore close to the '67 borders. Or equal pressure on both. When "negotiations between the parties" which used to be the hallmark of US policy is replaced by evenhandedness, it can only mean abandoning the idea of negotiations and imposing an "evenhanded" solution. That's probably close to the Barak offer. Who said life was fair. It appears to be evenhanded.

Where is the Jewish cabal now? Or the Likudnicks or the Zionists? And I thought that we controlled Bush and US policy. I'll never learn.

Time will tell.
Bush Road Map

Not to worry

It appears obvious now that Bush’s decision to announce a road map on Monday was to assist Blair in the absence of a UN resolution approving war and to provide something to the Arabs. War is sure to follow immediately thereafter.

Telegraph reports
Sources in Washington said that Mr Blair had argued passionately that a public attempt to be "even-handed" in the Israel-Palestinian conflict would help Arab allies in the region as well as his own difficulties with public opinion and Labour backbenchers.
I have been reviewing what is being said in the leading newspapers, and I can tell you that no one calls the plan to be released, the "Quartet Road Map” but rather “a road map” or “Bush’s Peace Plan”. Heretofore, all announcements regarding the Quartet’s Road Map were joint announcements of the Quartet. Not this time.

In last December when the Plan was delayed the People Daily of China said,
The bottom line is that the United States may want to implement Bush's Middle East peace plan on the basis of a "road map," either of its own or of the Quartet, at a time of its own chosen.

Professor Steinberg at JCPA makes absolutely clear that the Quartet’s Road Map would be a disaster for Israel mainly because of the involvement of the quartet and because of a timetable rather than stages.

In this regard, Bush said yesterday, the “The US has developed this plan over the last several months in close cooperation with Russia the EU and the UN.” And that “we will expect contributions from Israel and the Palestinians to this document.”.

Three things are of note, 1) it is a US plan not the Quartet’s plan, 2) it was prepared in cooperation but not necessarily with agreement and 3) it’s a work in progress.

The Boston Globe reports
Bush's announcement yesterday stunned diplomats at the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which has coordinated Middle East peace efforts. Minutes before Bush's 10 a.m. declaration, diplomats were asking each other if anyone knew the subject of the president's address. ''We had no idea whatsoever it was coming,'' said one diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Yet the NY Times reports
Mr. Bush's announcement was seen as a victory — a surprising one, in the view of many — for both Mr. Blair and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who has pushed for adoption of the plan since last fall. Mr. Powell also was said to feel strongly that it was necessary to put it forward to quell the anger toward the United States in the Muslim world.
This is just the usual spin by the NYT to support Powell. I do not believe for a moment that the NY Times is right in this. The announcement has nothing to do with the Arab street, it is quieter than the European street. And this is not a victory for Powell and the State Department, they were taken by surprise. It was worked out by the Elliot Abrams in the White House. Powell went along for the ride.

In Bush’s speech yesterday he said
This road map will set forth a sequence of steps towards the goals I set out in the June 24 speech, 2002”,
which are
Ultimately, Israelis and Palestinians must address the core issues that divide them if there is to be a real peace, resolving all claims and ending the conflict between them. This means that the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 will be ended through a settlement negotiated between the parties, based on UN resolutions 242 and 338, with Israeli withdrawal to secure and recognize borders.

We must also resolve questions concerning Jerusalem, the plight and future of Palestinian refugees, and a final peace between Israel and Lebanon, and Israel and a Syria that supports peace and fights terror.
He also set out the process. Israel accepts both the goal and the process set out therein but rejects most of the amendments to this speech by the Quartet. In this regard even Powell has reiterated stages and sequences will be as set out in the speech. My guess is that the Quartet will not have a role. Maybe Blair will.

In any event it remains for Abu Mazen to get full powers on Monday and for further contributions from Israel.

WaPo chimes in
Bush made his first substantive remarks on the crisis in months in a Feb. 26 speech, when he said the Palestinians must reduce terror before Israel will be expected to take "concrete steps to support the emergence of a viable and credible Palestinian state." Only "as progress is made toward peace," he said, must the Israelis end "settlement activity" in the occupied territories.

A senior European diplomat argued yesterday that one of the road map's chief strengths is the intention to muster international solidarity to command concessions.

"When we negotiated it," the diplomat said, "the idea was to impose the road map, not to put it on the table and say to our Palestinian and Israeli friends, 'Do what you want with it.' Because we know there are a hundred amendments coming from the Israeli side. If you don't impose it on both sides, it's a lose-lose situation.

"The Israelis will start changing the whole text, word by word, the Palestinians will do the same, and we'll have to go back to the next Quartet meeting and start all over again."
The Diplomat is not bashful is saying the intent was to impose the plan. If he is not happy and if he thinks that there will be endless wrangling, I am happy.

I know that many complain about Mazen’s views and past but he is the only one with enough stature to carry an agreement off. That ‘s why both Bush and Sharon have accepted him. No doubt they have talked to him enough to ascertain his present views. Furthermore if he gets all the needed powers to be free of Arafat, he will be invited to the White House to add to his stature.

Finally, the biggest objection to the creation of a state is that it will be a threat to Israel. Bush has clearly said that such a state must be peaceful. I do not believe that either he or Sharon will compromise on this. Assuming that they can make it a reality and end the conflict, who could object.
Call to Action - Boycott France

NewsMax has posted the following:

NewsMax Launches "Boycott France" Ad Campaign

NewsMax has launched – with the help of its readers – a nationwide campaign urging Americans to boycott French goods and products.

Already, NewsMax has sent out millions of emails urging a boycott.

On Wednesday, March 12, NewsMax launched its print ad for its "Boycott France" Campaign in the Washington Times, one of America's most influential papers.

Among the French companies we all know are:

Air France
Alcatel
BF Goodrich (owned by Michelin)
Dannon (yogurt and dairy foods)
Fina gas stations and Fina Oil
L'Oreal (health and beauty products)
Nissan (cars; majority owned by Renault)
Pierre Cardin
Renault (automobiles)
Total gas stations

For an expanded list, see Gabrielle Goldwater's site. Gabrielle also provides addresses to which one may send letters of protest.

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


Bloggers react to appointment of new PA minister Abu Mazen

Talking points writer Josh Marshall believes the appointment useful and perhaps helpful. Critics of the appointment, such as LGF state that Marshall is dead wrong.
[...]But the point isn't that Abbas is a good person, or has ugly beliefs. My issue is his role in the peace process over the last decade -- Abbas was one of the architects of the original Oslo Accords. In the Palestinian Authority I think there are various camps. There are those who really don't want a just peace with Israel, those who do, and others who aren't really particularly committed to either outcome. Unfortunately, I think Arafat is in that latter category. I think Arafat was open to the idea of peace and at various points truly pursued it. But for a variety of reasons both personal and political was unwilling or unable to actually make the deal.

I think Abbas is in that category of Palestinians who really do want a just peace. I think his role in the various negotiations over the last decade shows that. Now, I'm no expert on the peace process. But I know a bit about it. And that's my opinion. To me, that makes him "one of the good guys" in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even if he may have ugly beliefs and be an awful person.

(The proprietor of this website [Little Green Footballs] seems to say that I am a hypocrite for holding Trent Lott to one standard and Abbas to another. To this I would say, yes, I confess that I do hold the United States Senate Majority Leader to a rather higher standard than the capos of the Fatah faction of the PLO. But, you know, that's just me.)

Of course, many people in this country -- seemingly a lot of people on the web -- really don't believe in a two-state peace settlement; they think the whole Oslo Accord was just a con on the part of the Palestinians; and they prefer the stability and moral clarity of the on-going cycle of mutual death and destruction that has gripped the region for three years now. I guess we just disagree.

A rather odd way of justifying the arguement. If you are against the appointment it is because you DO NOT want a two-state settlement. Why not: I favor a two-state settlement BUT appointing a prime minister with questionable beliefs and little or no power is not the way to achieve this goal? And here is an extract from LGF
[...]And is Marshall unaware that this month Abu Mazen told anArabic newspaper he supports the continuation of the intifada and the murder of Jews in the disputed territories?

It would be nice if lefty bloggers like Marshall would apply one tenth of the effort they spend digging up dirt on Republican politicians to researching these so-called Palestinian “good guys.” This is a disgraceful comment. [more]
Some Arabs Show Disappoinment in Leaders

This Israel Daily article points to growing potholes in the Arab Street
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — As a possible war in Iraq nears, many Arabs feel they are watching the same bad movie, with the same predictable plot and most of the same cast.

An intransigent Arab leader taunts Washington and the United Nations. Spats at a summit meant to deal with the crisis underscore Arab disunity. And many say they expect it to end with more humiliation as they watch their leaders, shackled by the obligations to Washington that have kept them in power, helplessly agree to a war.

``It seems that the Arabs have died a while ago, and all that's left of them are ghosts looking for a place in the world of the living,'' wrote Saudi author Turki al-Hamad Sunday in an opinion piece for the Asharq al-Awsat paper.

There is a lot of pent-up anger among Arabs, and not all of it is directed against the traditional Arab foes: Israel and what many consider its backer, the United States.

Many are outraged at what they see as the inability of their leaders to come up with a stand on the Iraq crisis that would, for once in the region's 50 or so years of independence from colonial powers, allow them to hold their heads high.

Instead, thanks to satellite television, every day Arabs are confronted by the sense the Arabs are doing much less than several Western leaders to avert a war. Add to that the embarrassment many felt when an Arab summit in Egypt last weekend made headlines for its display of deep political rifts.

``They never fail to let us down,'' Jordanian Firas Habaybeh, 24, a hotel employee, said. ``Even if they meet for a hundred times more, they'd come up with absolutely nothing.'' [more]
Rice holds out prospect of inviting new Palestinian prime minister to visit Bush

Associated Press item bound to leave many pro-Israelis wondering

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Once he is sworn in, the new Palestinian prime minister may be invited to the White House to meet with President Bush as the administration accelerates its drive for a Middle East settlement and a Palestinian state.

"I think there would be nothing better, at some point in time when it is appropriate, for a Palestinian prime minister to visit the White House," Condoleezza Rice, Bush's national security adviser, said Friday in an interview telecast to the Arab world.

After the appointment of Mahmoud Abbas, known also as Abu Mazen, as prime minister is confirmed, Bush plans to present Israel and the Palestinians with a "road map" for peace.

With his announcement Friday, Bush responded to European as well as Arab complaints of inaction.

He declared Israel could not have peace without accepting a Palestinian state on land held by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967.

"There can be no peace for either side in the Middle East unless there is freedom for both," Bush said. "The time has come to move beyond entrenched positions and to take concrete actions to achieve peace." [more]
Arafat Names Prime Minister, Will Continue Terror

DEBKA analizes appointment of a new PA prime minister and its ramifications
Nominating his most outspoken critic, Mahmoud Abbas, 68, the veteran PLO secretary general usually known as Abu Mazen, as first Palestinian prime minister certainly stuck in Yasser Arafat’s throat. Yet he went through with his presentation to the PLO Central Committee and the Central Council in Ramallah, on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday March 9.

To make sure the Palestinian leader did not back out at the last minute, Israel conveyed a hint that he may be closer to deportation than he thinks.

Monday, March 10, the Palestinian Legislative Council is due to determine what authority the new position will carry.

The showdown between Arafat and Abu Mazen over the division of authority between them is the focus of heated deliberations in these labyrinthine institutions. But a senior Palestinian source reported to DEBKAfile that at this stage, Abu Mazen has been neatly outmaneuvered. [more]

March 14, 2003

New Writer in TIME

Martin Kramer writes that " Time runs an article in the March 17 issue by one Azzam Tamimi, on why it would be better to capture and not kill the "agitator" and "spiritual leader" (the word "terrorist" is not used) named Osama bin Laden. What Time doesn't tell you is that Tamimi is a Hamas mole"

A Letter to My President



Dear President Bush

I thank you for your strong and courageous leadership of the American people in this time of crisis.

I heard about your speech praising the arab terrorists within Israel for pretending to "reform" and demanding Israel to listen to the Arab terrorists demands and concede their lives and security to them.

Do NOT use Israel as a pawn or carrot to the world in my name and please stop sending my taxed moneys to support Arab terrorism within Israel's territorial integrity.

In regards to working towards mideast peace forcing Israel to concede to the demands of the most senior Arab terrorists attacking from within Israel with US western tax dollars offends me as an American.

I think you need a new perspective, less Mr. Powell and the UN debating club. How about switching the onus from tiny democratic Israel to the 22 Arab states?

Options for the terminal arabs "refugees" within Israeli borders who publicly run, with worldwide support, the oldest, most legitimized group of terrorists in world history:

Options include:

An Israeli style reservation or commonwealth like the American Indians or American commonwealths like Puerto Rico etc...

Their Arab 'brothers' absorb them into their existing 21 Arabs states which dwarf Israel in size.
Large deportations of the terrorists groups and supporters within Israel's borders popularly known as "population transfer."

Before a 22nd Arab-run terrorists state is created within Israel's borders the world including all other 21 Arabs states must recognize Israel's right to exist.

Can a 22nd Arab state run by the world's senior and premier terrorists exist within Israel before Israel is allowed to exist?

At this point due to worldwide support of Arab terrorists within Israel's borders there are many well known and publicly established long-term terrorist groups within Israel's borders financed by western taxpayers and run by senior Arab terrorists.

These are the scumbags Israel is being forced to concede to their murderous demands by the western world.

First off, Israel and no one for that matter has any right to give up one inch of Gods land to the Arab terrorists for any reason and under any condition.

Secondly, no one including these Arab terrorists have accepted the right of Israel to exists so why would Israel accept the right for them to create a state within Israel's borders it makes no sense.

Just as the Arabs use the 'palestinians' as pawns so too does the West use Israel as a pawn.

Any terrorists demands that America forces Israel to concede to will be a travesty on many grounds.

There is no need to create a 22nd Arab terrorist run state within Israel's territorial integrity before Israel is allowed to exists unless you are a arab terrorist or a supporter of Arab terrorism.

President Bush, please stop using Israel as a pawn and a carrot to the world.

Thank You

Sincerely,

Michael Glazer
Michigan, USA

ANTI-ZIONIST “LOGIC”

In case anybody has missed it, the last item on today’s Best of the Web is a brilliant spoof of the logic used by the “anti-Zionists” in America today.


(Crossposted from Dissecting Leftism)

Bush Road Map

Bush said, "This road map will set forth a sequence of steps towards the goals I set out on June 24, 2002"

Six weeks ago I posted the following
Sharon/Bush Peace Plan Outline

Forget the Quartet Road Map

On Dec 27, DebkaFile Reports had this to say,

Last week, members of the Middle East Quartet - secretary of state Colin Powell, Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov, EU foreign affairs executive Javier Solana and UN secretary general Kofi Annan - on a visit to the White House, heard from President George W. Bush that their “road map” was incomplete. They were asked to delay its presentation.

Bush was impelled to make this request by his knowledge of the Sharon-Arafat channel.

What is the Israeli prime minister offering? DEBKAfile’s sources reveal some highlights of the still ongoing dialogue.

1. A Palestinian state consisting of West Bank Areas A and B. Israel would keep as sovereign territory Areas C plus around 10 percent of the land as well as the Jordan Rift Valley. The Palestinian state would thus rise on little more than 50 percent of the West Bank, leaving Israel just short of half.

2. Israel would likewise retain control of the main latitudinal highways running through the West Bank from the Israeli border in the West to the Jordan River in the East.

3. All the West Bank settlements, like the Jewish communities along these routes, such as Yitzhar and Tapuach, will remain in place under Israeli sovereignty.

4. A second road network would be tunneled underground at right angles to the first, providing territorial continuity between Palestinian locations under full Palestinian authority

5. This peace settlement would be implemented over 10 years. It would be contingent on the Palestinians calling off in the first stage all terrorist activity against Israel, disbanding the militias engaged in terror - including the al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the Hamas and the Jihad Islami and expunging all forms of anti-Israel agitation and incitement from Palestinian education programs and mass media.

6. Jerusalem is not under discussion. As far as Sharon is concerned Jerusalem’s fate is non-negotiable and the city will continue to be the undivided capital of Israel.

Bush and Sharon both seem to believe that this secret interchange can end positively, encouraged mainly by the fact that Arafat has not vetoed the Israeli proposals out of hand and has in fact sent Abu Mazen back with some of his own. They are:

1. The Palestinians must have 65 percent of the West Bank. [although this probably is for the initial provisional state.]

2. The West Bank’s lateral routes must also come under Palestinian sovereignty, but may be leased out to Israel for 25 years together with the roadside settlements.

3. The transitional period must be cut down from ten to two years.

4. Like Sharon, Arafat has not raised the Jerusalem issue. Abu Mazen is working on a compromise formula for transferring Temple Mount and some of Jerusalem’s Arab districts to Jordanian control. A joint Palestinian-Jordanian authority would be set up as a formality.

Sharon has advised Abu Mazen to withdraw his candidacy for prime minister in the reformed Palestinian Authority, believing that Arafat alone has the authority to negotiate a deal on behalf of the Palestinian people. DEBKAfile’s sources add that the prime minister obtained approval from the US president for this move, which also effectively recognizes the suspension of the Palestinian governmental reform program. In effect too, Sharon who once proclaimed Arafat irrelevant, has now restored his relevance.

Subsequent to this reports unfolding events have confirmed the following

1. Powell confirmed that performance is the key
2. Sharon announced that he is meeting with PA representatives with consent of Arafat.
3. Mofaz has aggressively been fighting terror with no opposition from the US or the EU.
4. New tactics have included going into heart of cities in Gaza and destroying all armament factories and invading a bank.
5. PA starting to fight terror.
6. Weisglass said that a new leader would be elected who will be in complete control of the entire Palestinian Authority infrastructure.
7. Serious reduction in terror
7. $60 million transferred to PA.
8. Mubarak has invited Sharon to a meeting.

Looking good.
What is interesting to note is how good it appears for Israel. Abbu Mazen was doing the negotiations. He is the intended Prime Minister. Debka was wrong as to why he was told to withdraw when they suggested that Arafat was the man. It now seems that it was intended to force Arafat to give him all the power.

This plan has been under negotiation for a long time. Wasn't it Mazen who worked out a tentative deal with Yossi Beilin prior to Camp David which was much more favourable to Israel than Barak's offer. We'll see.

Its the Bush road map not the quartet road map

Ha'aretz reports on Bush's speech as follows.

Basically we see eye-to-eye with President Bush, we share his vision, and like President Bush we believe that only when there is a (Palestinian) prime minister fully empowered and committed to fighting terror will Israel be able to consider negotiations," said Jonathan Peled, the Israeli government spokesman

"To be a credible and responsible partner, the new Palestinian prime minister must hold a postion of real authority," Bush said. "We expect that such a ... prime minister will be confirmed soon. Immediately upon confirmation, the road map for peace will be given to the Palestinians and the Israelis."

A senior administration official said that if the appointee was deemed credible by the U.S., Bush would move quickly to unveil his plan.

The government of Israel, as the terror threat is removed and security improves, must take concrete steps to support the emergence of a viable and credible Palestinian state and to work as quickly as possible toward a final status agreement," he said.

"As progress is made toward peace, settlement activity in the occupied territories must end," he declared.

"And the Arab states must oppose terrorism, support the emergence of a peaceful and democratic Palestine and state clearly that they will live in peace with Israel."
This not the Quartet Road Map. It is the Bush Road Map. This is not a joint announcement by Bush and the Quartet. All Bush's guidlines are there. New leadership, first an end to terror then an end to settlements but not withdrawal of settlements. And once again we hear Israel and Bush see "eye to eye".

One more thing. I predict that a deal has been done. The Quartet will approve the War on Iraq and they will get some influence on the Pal/ Israel solution.

Debka: Arafat Given Ultimatum; Has the War Against Iraq Begun?

From DebkaFile

In special Middle East statement Friday, President Bush declared Palestinian prime minister must have real authority to be a credible negotiating partner.

Upon his confirmation, the Middle East road map pledging peace, security and dignity will be presented immediately to both sides. Before any progress, Palestinians must renounce terror. At later stage, Israel will be required to end settlement of activity.

DEBKAfile's Palestinian sources: US and EU ultimatum has been presented to Arafat without spelling out sanction: Put back eroded premiership authority in full by Monday March 17. This is also the deadline day laid down for Saddam. The timing of Bush statement signifies linkage in his perception of the two leaders

Over weekend, US president will meet British and Spanish prime ministers in Azores to discuss UN Security Council stalemate on their ultimatum resolution for Saddam. Strong tendency in Washington to avoid putting motion to vote

Israeli security and intelligence sources: No Scud missiles batteries detected in West Iraq which is under constant surveillance.

DEBKAfile’s military sources: US special forces have crossed the Kuwait-Iraq frontier and occupied some of the southern oil fields. US-British special forces have moved in to western Iraq. US warplanes are up to 600 sorties a day.

Earlier, Iraqi combat forces pulled out of West Iraq and Kuwait border region in South Iraq to join build-up in central Iraq around Baghdad and Tikrit.

Elite Special Republican Forces fighting division Tewekalna (Trust in Allah) brought over from southern oil fields.

The threat to Israel does not come from West Iraq but long-range missiles and aircraft positioned in central region – all capable of delivering biological and chemical substances.

They are: Al-Hussein and Samoud-2 whose range Russian A2 rocket engines have extended to 600 km; Mirage F-1, Mig-21 and Mig-25 fighter craft; Czech L29 trainers and guided drones of Czech and German manufacture.
The New York Times and Israel

All The News That’s Fit to Print?


The paper downplays Israeli suffering, and de-emphasizes Yasser Arafat's responsibility for the suffering of Israelis and ordinary Palestinians alike...

The New York Times has taken its statistics for its "Death Toll" chart from the Palestinian Red Crescent, which it should know is a highly politicized and sometimes militant organization — Red Crescent ambulances have on more than one occasion been caught smuggling suicide bombers into Israel. At least one Red Crescent medic became a suicide bomber herself, killing or injuring over 150 Israeli civilians at a west Jerusalem shopping arcade last year...

When the Times has sympathetically profiled women who have died in this conflict, it has more often been the suicide bombers than their Israeli victims..The Times's distorted presentation of events is especially troubling given the very high respect in which the paper is generally held by its readership, policymakers, and other members of the media. The Times's framing of the conflict has for years contributed to bad diplomacy at the State Department and elsewhere, and has fueled negative images of Israel among the public at large...

The slants and omissions in the Times extend well beyond basic reporting. For example, in last year's "Year in Review" calendar (December 29, 2002), the Times highlighted the most important events of the year. The entry for March 28 read: "Arab world agrees to relations with Israel if land is returned" (this is hardly news; it is a claim some Arabs have made for decades) — followed directly by, on March 29, "Israel invades Yasser Arafat's headquarters, 5 Palestinians, 1 Israeli die." The reader is left with the impression that Israel's only response to the supposed Arab peace offer was violence. In fact, on March 27 (on which only the death of comedian Milton Berle was marked by the Times), 29 Israelis — including an 89-year-old Auschwitz survivor, Sarah Levy-Hoffman — were blown up while celebrating a Passover seder at a Netanya hotel, something the Times did not list in its calendar. (The Times does mention the Passover bomb in a footnote to its calendar, but says only that "more than a dozen people died," an odd way to characterize a group of 29 people. Incidentally, six Israelis — not one — were killed by Palestinians on March 29.)...

Indeed, the New York Times's idea of balance almost seems to be to run alternating pieces — first by Palestinians and others condemning Israel, then by far-left Jews condemning Israel. When an outside op-ed writer, the noted international human-rights expert Prof. Anne Bayefsky, included a sentence sympathetic to Israel in her article (May 22, 2002), the Times tried to muzzle her. Only through dogged persistence, Bayefsky says, did she manage to persuade the Times to restore a sentence criticizing the U.N. Human Rights Commission for directing a full 30 percent of its resolutions against Israel.

The Times also likes to devote ample publicity to anti-Zionist Jews. Last March and April, for example — in a period when it ran almost no stories on the hundreds of Israeli victims and survivors of suicide bombs (which were then occurring at a record rate) — the Times carried at least four stories quoting Adam Shapiro, an American Jew who entered Ramallah to protect and assist Yasser Arafat when Israel responded...

Over the last year, the New York Times has devoted hundreds of thousands of words to both Arafat and Saddam Hussein. Yet you would be hard-pressed to find any reference to Arafat's continuing support for Saddam...


Why do France and Russia love Saddam?

"How much oil could Iraq potentially pump? The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) says Iraq--planning ahead for the end of U.N. sanctions someday--has signed several deals with oil companies such as TotalFinaElf (nyse: TOT - news - people ) and Taftneft in Russia worth an estimated $38 billion that in theory could push Iraq's daily production capacity to 4.7 million barrels per day. But those deals will not likely bear fruit. "

Ah, money maybe? Not much other info in the Forbes article the quote is from.
Anger over PLO's grip on power

Bank heist shows challenges facing Arafat and his new prime minister.
Update:Text of item against Abu Mazen erased from IDF website on 12 March

IDF states that the govt, not IDF, responsible for this censorship of important information.
Peace Initiative

Israeli Guy blog discusses a plan developed by at Israeli and Palestinian universities. See, too, the links provided.
You probably already heard about the joint peace initiative of Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al Quds University and the PLO member, and Ami Ayalon, the former head of Israel's Shabak internal security service and former admiral of the navy.

The two have reached an agreement on how to end the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. Now their goal is to sign one million people on both sides that will support their initiative. By that they want to generate pressure on the Israeli and on the Palestinian governments to accept the Ayalon – Nusseibeh agreement.

Okay I know it sounds totally naïve, but lets give it a go.

Here are the basic points of the agreement:[more]
Peace Isn't Possible in Evil's Face

Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate, writes why he believes we must fight Saddam.
Is Saddam planning a pre-emptive strike on Israel?

Fox News reports SCUD missiles being moved to Western desert. Haaretz article.

Symposium: Anti-Semitism - The New Call of the Left

FrontPage Magazine's latest symposium is titled:
Symposium: Anti-Semitism - The New Call of the Left
The symposium members are: Michael Lerner, Judith Klinghoffer, Leonard Dinnerstein and Jonathan Kay. It is an interesting discussion which attempts to present both sides of the issue and makes frequent reference to Israel. It makes for an interesting read, to see the different opinions/ideas/attitudes presented; and is also an interesting examination.

Cross posted at Israpundit, Brandeis Vanguard and JawsBlog


March 13, 2003

ISRANET DAILY BRIEFING

I recommend joining this e-mail list for daily articles.

ISRANET
A Service of CIJR
Canadian Institute for Jewish Research

Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director
P.O. Box 175, Station H
Montreal, Quebec H3G 2K7
E-Mail: cijradmin@isranet.org
Internet: http://www.isranet.org/


"I'm very worried about the party's future"

Laborites call for Mitzna to resign


No Middle East Peace Without Victory

Someone earlier today mentioned that Rush Limbaugh mentioned his ideas for a Mid-East "Peace Plan"...well here it is...he touches on topics such as a "Palestinian State", the failures of the Oslo Process, Israel defending herself, etc. (I also suggest listening to the audio clip). Here's an excerpt:

Let's just cut to the chase on this, can we, folks? It's time to remind you of the Limbaugh Doctrine when it comes to the Palestinians, the Israelis, and the Middle East. You can give the Palestinians a state all you want, but it isn't going to lead to peace in the Middle East. You can give them a state, but it's not going to be a traditional state or a country, in the sense that we or other nations are – and it's not because they "can't handle democracy," as you can hear me explain below.

There isn't going to be peace in that region just like there's not going to be peace with Iraq or North Korea until there's victory. Peace comes after victory. One of these two sides, Iraq or the United States, will have to lose and then there will be peace. One of these two sides, Israelis or Palestinians, will have to lose. And until that happens, there isn't going to be peace. It's a hard, cold reality. Some of you may not wish to face it. Some of you may choose not to look at it that way, but history says otherwise.
Intel's Haifa Team Builds a Groundbreaking Processor for Wireless Technology

Intel officially launched Centrino, a group of chips
designed by the
company's Haifa facility team made specifically for
wireless computing on
Wednesday, GLOBES reported. The chipmaker launched
Centrino at an event
at Manhattan's Hammerstein Ballroom, in what was part
of a $300 million
promotional campaign for Centrino, which is being
aggressively marketed
around the world, including the U.S., UK, France,
Germany, Australia
and South Korea. David Perlmutter, Vice President of
Intel's Mobile
Platform Group, told Globes that one of the most
important advantages of the
Centrino processor, when compared with the performance
of its
competitors, is its low electricity consumption and
ease of wireless access. The
Centrino processor will enable the development of
thinner, faster and
lighter mobile computers.
Intel, the world's largest chip maker, has been
operating in Israel
since 1974, and has 5,200 employees at its four main
development centers
in Jerusalem, Haifa, Kiryat Gat and Petah Tikva. "All
of the Centrino
mobile technology and all the products, not just the
chip, were developed
in Israel," Intel's Israel spokesman Koby Bahar, said.
During the
chips' development, utter secrecy was maintained. The
code name for the
project was "Banias", the name of a tributary to the
Jordan River.
Arafat's appointment of Abu Mazen does not meet any test.

The Media is fullsome in praise of this "breakthrough".

HonestReporting takes them to task
"ARAFAT'S PRIME MINISTER"

This week, Yasser Arafat appointed Mahmoud Abbas ("Abu Mazen") as prime minister to run the day-to-day affairs of the Palestinians.

On Wednesday, Arafat then met in his Ramallah office with representatives of Russia, the EU, and the UN, and demanded they put pressure on Israel -- now that he has agreed to share powers with a prime minister.

As BBC reports on Arafat: "The Palestinian leader has thrown his weight behind the reform process."
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2833739.stm), and that "Mr Arafat has been told that easing his grip on power is a key condition to restart peace talks." (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2838419.stm)

Actually, since Arafat hand-picked Abbas, it does not satisfy the world's demand for the introduction of democratic reforms into the Palestinian system.

And since it turns out that Arafat is maintaining control of two crucial portfolios -- security and peace negotiations -- the Abbas appointment does not satisfy President Bush's demand for "new leadership not compromised by terror."

As the Jerusalem Post writes: "The whole American-European-Israeli idea was to transform Yasser Arafat into a figurehead and transfer power to a more palatable replacement. That, so far, is clearly not what is happening." http://honestreporting.com/a/r/360.asp

---- Media Spin ----

Let's look at how the media is spinning this one.

For starters, The Guardian's Conal Urquhart (his real name) writes: "Mr Abbas has the stature and ability to sign a peace deal independently..." http://guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,910006,00.html

This assertion should come as quite a surprise to Arafat, who gave Abbas no such "ability." (Comments to: letters@guardian.co.uk)

And The Independent (UK) trumpets this headline: "Palestinians Vote for Powerful Premier" - http://honestreporting.com/a/r/361.asp

"Powerful"?! (Comments to: newseditor@independent.co.uk)

By contrast, the Chicago Tribune's headline spoke the plain truth:

"Arafat remains boss in deal to appoint prime minister: PLO chief keeps reins on police, talks for peace"
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0303100178mar10,1,3749240.story?coll=chi%2Dnewsnationworld%2Dhed

---- Background: Who is Abbas? ----

Mahmoud Abbas holds a Ph.D. in history from Moscow's Oriental College, where his doctoral thesis served as a basis for his 1984 book, "The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism." In this book, Abbas raised doubts that gas chambers were used for extermination of Jews, and suggested that the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust was "less than a million."

Abbas also proposed the sickening, bizarre claim that the Holocaust was a joint Zionist-Nazi plot. He wrote: "The Zionist movement led a broad campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule, in order to arouse the government's hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them, and to expand the mass extermination."

It was this type of talk that led Austrian Freedom Party leader Jorg Haider and French politician Jean Marie Le Pen to be ostracized by the international community.

So how does BBC profile Abbas?

"A highly intellectual man, Abu Mazen [Abbas] studied law in Egypt before doing a PhD in Moscow. He is the author of several books." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1933453.stm

BBC offers no details of the appalling contents of Abbas' writings.

Meanwhile, much of the media is praising Abbas as a "moderate" for having criticized the use of armed attacks against Israelis. The same BBC profile reports: "Referring to the current intifada, Abu Mazen has called for a halt to armed attacks on Israeli targets to avoid giving Israel a pretext to destroy the last vestiges of Palestinian autonomy."

Note that Abbas does not oppose killing Israeli civilians from a moral standpoint; he just finds it strategically ineffective.

Further, in a March 3 interview with the London-based "A-Sharq al-Awsat," Abbas called for the continuation of armed struggle, and seemed only to rule out suicide missions inside the Green Line.

Comments to BBC at: newsonline.complaints@bbc.co.uk

See a full report on Abbas' Holocaust revisionism at:
http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA9502

---- Palestinian Denial of the Holocaust ---

Yasser Arafat and the PA have systematically dismissed the horrors of the Holocaust -- in speeches, television appearances, interviews and books -- both before and after the Oslo accords were signed.

The PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeedah, featured an article by Palestinian author Nabil Salam, declaring:

"Since its establishment, the racist Zionist entity has been implementing various forms of terrorism on a daily basis which are a repetition of the Nazi terror. This proves the shared roots of Nazi and Zionist thought. This also explains the cooperation between the Jews and Nazis during World War II, through which was revealed the forged claims of the Zionists regarding the alleged acts of slaughter perpetrated against the Jews during the same period." (September 3, 1997)

A PA television moderator declared: "It is well-known that every year the Jews exaggerate what the Nazis did to them. They claim there were 6 million killed, but precise scientific research demonstrates that there were no more than 400,000." (August 25, 1997)

Hassan al-Agha, a professor at the Islamic University in Gaza City, declared on PA television in 1997:

"The Jews view it [the Holocaust] as a profitable activity so they inflate the number of victims all the time. In another ten years, I do not know what number they will reach... As you know, when it comes to economics and investments, the Jews have been very experienced ever since the days of The Merchant of Venice."

Seif Ali Al-Jarwan, writing in the Palestinian newspaper Al Hayat Al-Jadeeda, declared:

"They concocted horrible stories of gas chambers which Hitler, they claimed, used to burn them alive. The press overflowed with pictures of Jews being gunned down... or being pushed into gas chambers... The truth is that such persecution was a malicious fabrication by the Jews." (July 2, 1998)

Furthermore, Palestinians have refused to incorporate any aspect of the Holocaust into their educational curricula, fearing it might strengthen Zionist claims to Palestine. Hatem Abd Al-Qader, a Hamas leader, explained that such instruction would represent "a great danger for the formation of a Palestinian consciousness"; it would directly threaten Palestinian political dreams and religious aspirations, such as the promise by Allah that the whole of Palestine was a sacred possession to the Arabs. (Al-Risala, Apr. 13, 2000)

And finally, The New York Times (April 6, 1989) reports that Fuzi Salim Ali Madi, one of the leaders of Arafat's elite unit, Fatah Force 17, selected the moniker "Abu Hitler" and named his two sons "Eichmann" and "Hitler."

HonestReporting members can reader more about "Palestinian Holocaust Denial" in a fine article by Robert S. Wistrich: http://www.ajc.org/InTheMedia/Publications.asp?did=503&pid=1203
War

I got this from an e-mail list sent out by a Chabad rabbi. Not sure where it originated.

War
By Yanki Taube

To love one's fellow as oneself, the Talmud tells us, is the entire Torah; the rest is commentary. "There is no service like the service of love" declares the Zohar. "Peace" is not just a word, says another Talmudic adage -- it is the very name of G-d; indeed, "the Torah was given only to make peace in the world." To again cite the Talmud, "Three traits distinguish the people of Israel: they are compassionate, bashful and charitable"; if someone lacks these traits, we are led to doubt their Jewishness. Even when we are compelled, as a society, to punish criminals or wage wars, we do so reluctantly, without passion, certainly without hate.

Love is the hallmark of Judaism. Some of us even claim that we taught that word to the world.

Once a year, on the Shabbat before Purim - this Shabbat we open our Torah scrolls to the special reading of Zachor (Deuteronomy 25:17-19). "Remember what Amalek did to you..." we read. "Eradicate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens; do not forget!"

Amalek was not the only nation to attack us; in the course of our 4,000 year history, there were many others who did the same, and worse. Yet Amalek is singled out as the very essence of evil. There was no rational reason for Amalek's attack on us, no conceivable gain in doing so. Amalek simply hates goodness and seeks to destroy it wherever it flourishes in G-d's world.

Yes, we are enjoined to love all G-d's creatures and creations, including the less loveable ones amongst them. But when pure hatred rears its head, it must be destroyed. Because if you love G-d's world, you don't feed love to the forces that would destroy it.

In the wise words of our sages: "He who is compassionate to the cruel, ends up being cruel to the compassionate.

US House Majority leader blasts 'road map'

US House Majority Leader, Representative Tom DeLay (R-Texas) adressed the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (the OU) yesterday and during his speech, he blasted the ideas of appeasement and the so called "Road Map".

There are too many great quotes from his speech, so I suggest reading the speech in its entirety.

Cross posted at Israpundit and JawsBlog
Three on the Moran Affair

Chafets, Tobin, Chavez having their say, in JWR, on critical aspects of an ominous by-product of these troubled times.

Christian Fundamentalists and the "cause of peace"

"Christian fundamentalists' support in a hostile world may be welcome, but their contribution to the Middle East conflict is a negative one. They have already been mobilized by some Israelis to pressure President Bush into retracting his statement of last week calling for the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state once the war with Iraq has finished.

If Bush truly wants to advance the cause of peace in this region, it is incumbent upon him to break away from the Evangelicals' influence. Equally, our own politicians can thank them for their support of Israel, but they should refrain from cynically manipulating this support into an advocacy of right-wing policies that only make peace even more difficult to achieve."

This from the pen of an israeli prof. of geopolitics in today' s JPOST . Do you have an opinion on this newly heated up problemtic? And, by the way, did you hear this morning Rush Limbaugh stating his" theory" about preconditions for peace in the Middle East?

Pacifism is Suicide

Oriana Fallaci speaks her mind

Thus, the dilemma remains.

It remains for the reasons I will try to state. And the first one is that, contrary to the pacifists who never yell against Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden and only yell against George W. Bush and Tony Blair, (but in their Rome march they also yelled against me and raised posters wishing that I'd blow up with the next shuttle, I'm told), I know war very well. I know what it means to live in terror, to run under air strikes and cannonades, to see people killed and houses destroyed, to starve and dream of a piece of bread, to miss even a glass of drinking water. And (which is worse) to be or to feel responsible for someone else's death. I know it because I belong to the Second World War generation and because, as a member of the Resistance, I was myself a soldier. I also know it because for a good deal of my life I have been a war correspondent. Beginning with Vietnam, I have experienced horrors that those who see war only through TV or the movies where blood is tomato ketchup don't even imagine. As a consequence, I hate it as the pacifists in bad or good faith never will. I loathe it. Every book I have written overflows with that loathing, and I cannot bear the sight of guns. At the same time, however, I don't accept the principle, or should I say the slogan, that "All wars are unjust, illegitimate." The war against Hitler and Mussolini and Hirohito was just, was legitimate. The Risorgimento wars that my ancestors fought against the invaders of Italy were just, were legitimate. And so was the war of independence that Americans fought against Britain. So are the wars (or revolutions) which happen to regain dignity, freedom. I do not believe in vile acquittals, phony appeasements, easy forgiveness. Even less, in the exploitation or the blackmail of the word Peace. When peace stands for surrender, fear, loss of dignity and freedom, it is no longer peace. It's suicide. MORE
Powell rejects notion that US policy driven by Jewish interests

JPost reports

Secretary of State Colin Powell flatly rejected on Thursday any suggestion that the US confrontation with Iraq was engineered by Israel or American Jews.

Powell told a House Appropriations Subcommittee that the drive to compel Iraq to disarm stretches back over two administrations and 12 years of United Nations resolutions.

"It is driven by our own national interest," Powell said under questioning by the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Jim Kolbe, who said he wanted to clear up media suggestions that American supporters of Israel - and Israel itself - were driving US strategy.
Secret State Dept. Report Disputing Bush Claim on Arab 'Domino Effect'

Forward runs this interesting piece
WASHINGTON — The State Department is circulating a classified report dismissing the White House claim that a regime change in Iraq would trigger a push for democracy throughout the Arab world.

The report strongly criticizes the controversial prediction of a post-Saddam Hussein democratic "domino effect" in the Middle East, the Forward has learned. It was put together by the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, an agency that produces independent intelligence assessment reports. Officials at the State Department have taken the unusual step of sending the secret report to a select group of legislators on Capitol Hill.

Congressional staffers confirmed the existence of the report, but refused to disclose any details, citing the document's classified status.

The report appears to contradict a nationally televised speech delivered by President Bush February 26, in which he argued that "a new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region." In addition to undermining a chief administration argument in favor of invasion, the report could also signal a new round of policy battles between the State and Defense departments.

In recent weeks, Secretary of State Colin Powell has increasingly aligned himself publicly with the views of leading Pentagon hawks on the question of whether to invade Iraq. But observers predicted that this inter-agency truce is likely to collapse over the post-war question of whether to launch a wider democratization campaign.

Administration supporters of a democratization campaign are getting advice from several respected scholars of Middle Eastern affairs, including Bernard Lewis of Princeton University and Fuad Ajami of Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, veteran diplomats and analysts at the State Department are rejecting the idea of a democratization push as a risky and even misguided campaign, ideologically propelled by neo-conservatives in key positions at the White House and the Pentagon.

Several State Department officials and congressional staffers, speaking on condition of anonymity, predicted that the question of how to encourage democratization in the Middle East would become a hotly debated issue within the administration and on Capitol Hill after an Iraq war. "At the moment, legislators view this as a secondary matter that is not germane to the actual cause of war," said a staffer for a senior House Democrat. "But Democrats — and some Republicans as well — will surely want to tackle this."
I note the idea that State is suspicious of "neoconservatives in high places"--does this mean Jews? Seems "neocons" is the new polite way of pointing out Jews--newly arrived as opposed to well established conservatives.[more]
Outrage of the Day

LGF rightfully cites this outrage and the need for letters to be sent to the YMCA
Yesterday Saddam Hussein distributed 260 grand in blood money to the families of Palestinian mass murderers, rewarding and reinforcing their debased culture of Islamic death worship.

That’s not our outrage of the day, although it should be. Saddam has done this before; in fact, as this AP story points out, he’s funded these psychotic freaks to the tune of $35 million in toto. (Of course, we all know Iraq has not been proven to support terrorism.)

Here’s the AP’s description of the festivities:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Saddam Hussein has distributed $260,000 to 26 families of Palestinians killed in 29 months of fighting with Israel, including a $10,000 check to the family of a Hamas suicide bomber.

In a packed banquet hall on Wednesday, the families came one-by-one to receive $10,000 checks. A large banner said: "The Arab Baath Party Welcomes the Families of the Martyrs for the Distribution of Blessings of Saddam Hussein."
And there’s the outrage.

The banquet hall.

Because it wasn’t just any “banquet hall” where this celebration of genocidal mass murder took place. It was the Gaza YMCA.

Sheik Yassim Jamasi said he was grateful for the $25,000 cheque he received from Saddam Hussein, but it did not change his attitude towards the Iraqi president.

Along with the money, the old man yesterday received a certificate from President Saddam in recognition of his son's futile suicide attack on an Israeli gunboat. In January, Mahmoud Jamasi strapped explosives to a raft and guided it towards the vessel off the Gaza coast, but was blown to bits by Israeli gunfire before he could do harm to anyone else.

Still, the Hamas fighter was the absent star of yesterday's gathering at the Gaza YMCA as the only suicide bomber to be honoured by President Saddam's envoys, who handed out $245,000 to the relatives of those who died recently in the intifada, or suffered other losses such as having their homes destroyed by Israeli forces.
Please note: this YMCA is run by the Geneva-based World Alliance of YMCAs, who apparently have no problem with their facilities being used for such purposes. Damian Penny emailed about this; as a YMCA board member he’s appalled, and he’s written to tell them. If you’d like to do the same (I have), here’s the email address for the World Alliance of YMCAs: office@ymca.int
Roundup of Middle East News

Provides some 12 links to articles and a summary:

An Israeli soldier and a Palestinian gunman were killed in a gun battle near the West Bank city of Tulkarm on Wednesday in what the army said was an ongoing series of Israeli raids in pursuit of militants. (10) In nearby Qalqilya, Palestinians said soldiers shot and wounded six people, including two members of the mainstream Fatah faction said by the army to have resisted arrest. (10) Israeli troops raided a suspected militant group's hideout Wednesday, sparking a gunbattle that killed an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian, while Palestinian President Yasser Arafat met with top officials to map out leadership changes in the Palestinian Authority. (3) A family of a Palestinian suicide bomber received a check for $25,000 and 22 families of militants killed in fighting or of civilians killed during Israeli army offensives, incursions or air strikes got $10,000 each. (11) Officials of the Palestinian Arab Liberation Front staging the ceremony said Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had now paid $35 million to support the kin of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip and West Bank since militants rose up against Israel there 29 months ago. (11) Arafat will retain control of security forces and peace negotiations even after his deputy Mahmoud Abbas is appointed prime minister, a senior Palestinian official said Sunday. (2) [links to articles: click here]

Who will the US lean on; Palestinians or Israelis Ted Belman

In this exchange of views we have been having as to what the US will do, most of you are of the mind, that because the US has put the blocks to Israel for the last fifty years, they will do it again. I am of a different opinion.

As they say, 9/11 changed everything.

For the last fifty years, the US has been driven by a policy of cooperation with the rulers of the countries that had oil. So up until the Iranian revolution the US was allied with the Shah of Iran and King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. During this period of time, the USSR was aligned with Egypt, Syria and Iraq. These were socialist secular regimes.

The first shock to the system came with the oil embargo of ’73. After that, Sadat made peace with Israel and the US replaced the USSR as the patron of Egypt. The second shock came with the fall of the Shah and the Islamic revolution in Iran. Shortly thereafter, Iraq attacked Iran with American backing. America was happy to see these two countries expend their energies and wealth in an eight-year war. The next shock to the system came with the Gulf War just after the fall of the USSR. Yet the basic principal of American policy in the ME remained the same namely curry favour with dictators who are friendly.

Throughout the last twenty years, America was subject to many terrorist attacks that took hundreds of American lives. Yet they did nothing. Libya, Syria, Iran, all taking their cue from Arafat’s PLO, created, financed and controlled terrorist groups as their proxies to challenge the US and Israel when it suited their purposes. America made no effort to stop the growth and power of these new groups other than to rail against them.

The ME was becoming unstable and anti-Americanism was growing. The US was not willing to do anything about it, as oil prices were stable.

Then came 9/11.

The US had had it. It put its head out the window and shouted “I am mad as hell and ain’t gonna take it any more.” (a la the movie, Network) And so began a reassessment of its geopolitical strategy. A power struggle began between the State Department who favour business as usual and the White House that favoured a new paradigm. Slowly the power shifted from the former to the latter.

In my article entitled The Greatness of George W Bush, Jan 28, I traced the speeches he made which articulated and advanced the new policy. America was going on the offensive. No longer would it tolerate attacks or duplicitous governments. Rather than live with the situation and watch their power erode they decided to change the situation. No longer would nations be allowed to aid and abet terrorists. No longer would America coddle dictators but would work to create a democratic ME.

In my article American Foreign Policy the day later I covered this change and wrote,
A few years ago the neo cons started to question this policy and suggested a different one was needed. One, where America abandoned the pretence of an honest broker and of even-handedness and where they clearly sided with Israel. Such a policy would, they argued, dash any hopes the Arabs had of getting America’s help in destroying Israel and would as a result force the Arabs to accept Israel.
In a Stratfor Analysis entitled The New Middle East Stratfor summarized as follows,
On the day the war ends, and if the United States is victorious, then the entire geopolitics of the region will be redefined. Every country bordering Iraq will find not the weakest formations of the Iraqi army along their frontiers, but U.S. and British troops. The United States will be able to reach into any country in the region with covert forces based in Iraq, and Washington could threaten overt interventions as well. It would need no permission from regional hosts for the use of facilities, so long as either Turkey or Kuwait will permit trans-shipment into Iraq.

In short, a U.S. victory will change the entire balance of power in the region, from a situation in which the United States must negotiate its way to war, to a situation where the United States is free to act, as it will.
So how does Israel fit into this new strategic policy?

Sharon made a very famous speech at the Herzelia Conference in November in which he laid out his plans. I covered the implications of this speech in an article dated Feb 1 entitled Sharon/Bush Peace Plan: it’s a go and later updated it (Feb 7)in Whither The Road Map and concluded
After Powell and the US have laboured so hard with the EU and the UN to get consensus and action on Iraq, I doubt that they are anxious to repeat the process on the Israel/Palestinian conflict. These parties, the US has learnt if they didn’t always know, are more of a hindrance then a help. Secondly, it is one thing to negotiate a Road Map with the EU and the Arabs when they are feeling strong and we need their support in Iraq, it is an entirely different matter when Iraq has been defeated without France’s help and the Arabs are worried about their own regimes
I recommend you read these posts because they make a very strong case for my conclusions.

On Feb 9, I followed this up with Sharon/Bush Peace Plan Outline; forget the quartet and set out what Sharon is reputably offering the Palestinians.

On Feb 12, I posted Old Europe vs US; good or bad for the Jews and quoted Ze’ev Shiff
The crisis between the U.S. and Europe will have profound implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, undermining the Quartet's effort to impose a solution to the conflict on Israel, and strengthening the Sharon government's opposition to the Quartet "road map" and the prime minister's view that the "Bush framework" is the only relevant diplomatic arena for a political peace process.
In Seeing Eye to Eye (Feb 20), I quote Aluf Benn
In conversations with Sharon's representatives, the Americans don't even put on a show of pressure. The settlements aren't mentioned. The Israeli-Arab portfolio in the White House has been handed over to Elliott Abrams, a right-wing Jew close to the Pentagon hawks. His deputy, Flint Evert, who had been promoting the "road map," was thrown out after failing in a report on the preparations for the January conference in London, to which the British sent invitations through Yasser Arafat. State department officials who backed pressure on Israel were worn down on bureaucratic struggles
On February 26, Ha’aretz announced that the Herzelia Speech was part of the Government’s guidelines. Here is a quote from the speech,
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.
and I concluded
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 subject to performance, the final borders aren't, nor is there anything on the right of return. Thus the Palestinians must change their government and leaders, decommision their weapons and stop incitement before the question of permanent borders comes up.
Around this time Bush delivered a speech to the American Enterprise Institute where he reiterated the preconditions to a state set out in his June speech and said settlement activity will have to end only after progress on the preconditions.

Bush and Sharon continue to look like they are reading from the same page just as I predicted in the first article on the Sharon Bush Peace Plan above.

Even if Bush said he was “personally committed” to a Palestinian State, it remains subject to his preconditions.

If you accept that Bush is committed to win the “war on terror”, as I am, you must accept that he will never create a Palestinian state that flies in the face of that war.
Where's My Reward for Appointing a Prime Minister, Arafat Asks Quartet

It looks like Yassir Arafat is somewhat dissapointed that he's not getting anything in return for appointing a puppet PM...

As Khaled Abu Toameh reports in the Jerusalem Post (Free Registration Required):
Meeting with Terje Roed-Larsen of the UN, Miguel Moratinos of the EU, and Andrei Vdovin of Russia in Ramallah on Wednesday, Yasser Arafat demanded that they put pressure on Israel, now that he has agreed to share powers with a prime minister. A senior Palestinian official said, "The people are demanding to know what kind of compensation we are going to get after President Arafat agreed to give up some of his powers." [more]
A Road Map to Nowhere

From US News and World Report: a piece by Mortimer B. Zuckerman

The road map the president drew in his Middle East speech last June 24, with the objective of two states living side by side in peace, dignity, and freedom, was tenanted on a fundamental assumption: that Palestinians should not expect anything - not a state, not a provisional state, not an Israeli withdrawal, not American support - until they get rid of their corrupt leaders and select new ones untainted by terrorism.

The president recognized that Palestinian suffering and violence are not the product of Israeli "occupation" but the result of an occupation by a thugocracy of Palestinian leaders who came from Tunisia to Gaza and the West Bank a decade ago.

Instead of focusing on what the Palestinians must do to end terrorism once and for all, the Quartet's Road Map would allow the Palestinians to begin the process without first having made any meaningful commitment to peace. Israel would find itself obligated to make irrevocable concessions without concrete evidence that the Palestinians really had renounced terrorism, really had accepted the permanence of the Jewish state, really had reformed.

The Quartet buys into the sham parallelism between the conduct of Israel and that of the Palestinians. Israel has to pledge an immediate end to "attacks" against Palestinians everywhere. Once again, terrorism and retaliation to terrorism are treated as morally equivalent, as if the arsonist and the firefighter are one and the same.

Within the Quartet, the UN, the EU, and Russia are the very entities that have so signally failed to monitor and implement the terms of the Iraq disarmament Resolution 1441. Rather than make hard assessments, they have made political judgments to serve their own interests, which are contrary to America's most vital security interests. Wonder what kind of treatment little Israel would get under the proposed Road Map from this trio?
Terror Rules at NPR


CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) has just put out another report indicating a pro-Palestinan bias over at NPR titled: Terror Rules at NPR


An Islamic extremist explodes a bomb amidst a crowd of civilians on March 4th, killing more than 20, including himself. Less than a day later another Islamic extremist explodes a bomb on a civilian bus, killing more than 15, including himself.

Parallel stories, but not covered in a parallel way on National Public Radio. In consecutive news segments on the March 5th broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition, the first attack was described as a "terrorist bombing," with "Muslim insurgents" the likely perpetrators. The report offered no explanation why the attack might have occurred, and in particular nothing that might have been construed as justification.

The second attack was reported without using any form of the word terror, and included nothing about who the likely perpetrators might have been, describing them only as “militants.” Moreover, the attack, and similar attacks in the past, were implicitly justified as a “campaign against ... occupation.”

Why the gross disparity, with straight news reporting in the first case, and clear advocacy in the second? Of course, the answer is that the first attack was in the Philippines, and was carried out by the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, while the second attack was in Israel, targeted Israeli civilians, and was carried out by Palestinians. [more]

March 12, 2003

Washington Post's Hypocrisy

The Washington Post ran a pretty good editorial today on Jim Moran, "Blaming the Jews"
"The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should." The comment perpetuates a stereotype of Jews as a unified bloc steering the world in their interest and against everyone else's. Over the centuries anti-Semites have used this libel to distract attention from their own failings and to instigate violence and discrimination against Jews. In the United States today, though anti-Semitism is far from eradicated, such violence may seem a mercifully distant danger.
There is a mistake here; one that's honest though. According to the FBI in 2000 hate crimes against Jews were committed at a higher rate than against any other ethnic group. However, the rest of this is reasonably solid from a historical standpoint. The problem with the editorial is that the Post kicks Rep. Moran when he's down. He's an easy target. As the editorial noted at the beginning:
OUR VIEW THAT Rep. James P. Moran Jr. is unfit to serve in Congress is not new. Last July, citing Mr. Moran's ethical obtuseness, we urged Democrats in Alexandria and surrounding neighborhoods to find another candidate for the fall election. Now, by blaming American Jews for an Iraq policy he opposes, the seven-term congressman has confirmed our opinion about him.
One gets the impression that they may not have taken such a strong stand against unless his behavior "confirmed" their previous impression of Moran.

Why the cynicism? Because last month, Robert Kaiser, the managing editor of the Washington Post wrote in "Bush and Sharon Nearly Identical On Mideast Policy":
Over the past dozen years or more, supporters of Sharon's Likud Party have moved into leadership roles in most of the American Jewish organizations that provide financial and political support for Israel.
True the article doesn't use the inflammatory language of Rep. Moran. Still the undercurrent of the article is that the rising prominence of right-wing Jews who are loyal to Israel has had an effect on the administration in terms of the Middle East generally and Israel and Iraq specifically.

The interesting thing is that despite this thesis, Kaiser even undermines his premise:
The State Department pressed for continued negotiations and pressure on Sharon to limit the scope of his military response to Palestinian suicide bombers, while the Pentagon and the vice president's office favored more encouragement for the Israelis, and less concern for a peace process which, they said, was going nowhere anyhow.
and
Neumann agreed that Abrams's appointment was symbolically important, not least because Abrams's views were shared by his boss, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, by Vice President Cheney and by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. "It's a strong lineup," he said.
So the tough line against Arafat and Saddam came from Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld. Not exactly Likudniks. It's true that Rumsfeld has always had a reputation for being pro-Israel. But Cheney and Rice didn't. Read "Broken Covenant" by Moshe Arens. During the Gulf War Defense Secretary Cheney did not come across as pro-Israel. Rice is a protege of Brent Scowcroft whose hostility towards Israel is well-known. (For more on possible expectations of W's orientation toward Israel see "Reorient" by Lawrence Kaplan and Sarah Wildman, originally published in The New Republic. I thought that Kaplan and Wildman didn't give W enough credit, and I think that my instincts have been confirmed.) Instead of attributing the change of policy direction in the current Bush administration to the influence of Jewish supporters of Israel, why doesn't Kaiser try to uncover the reason that Rice and Cheney seem to have changed their views? Even if unintentional, Kaiser's approach was damaging. No matter how dispassionately he wrote his article, the message of overly influential Jews comes through quite clearly.

Certainly Pat Buchanan got the message.
In a Feb. 9 front-page article in the Washington Post, Robert Kaiser quotes a senior U.S. official as saying, “The Likudniks are really in charge now.” Kaiser names Perle, Wolfowitz, and Feith as members of a pro-Israel network inside the administration and adds David Wurmser of the Defense Department and Elliott Abrams of the National Security Council.
For the Post to criticize Moran while giving a platform to Kaiser strikes me as a case of cognitive dissonance.

There are ways to make Kaiser's point but not do it in the same manner. In a recent issue of the New Yorker, Nicholas Lehmann did just that in an article "After Iraq." (No longer available on the Web.)
Yet another argument for war, which has emerged during the last few months, is that removing Saddam could help bring about a wholesale change for the better in the political, cultural, and economic climate of the Arab Middle East. To give one of many possible examples, Fouad Ajami, an expert on the Arab world who is highly respected inside the Bush Administration, proposes in the current issue of Foreign Affairs that the United States might lead "a reformist project that seeks to modernize and transform the Arab landscape. Iraq would be the starting point, and beyond Iraq lies an Arab political and economic tradition and a culture whose agonies have been on cruel display." The Administration's main public proponent of this view is Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, who often speaks about the possibility that war in Iraq could help bring democracy to the Arab Middle East. President Bush appeared to be making the same point in the State of the Union address when he remarked that "all people have a right to choose their own government, and determine their own destiny—and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom."
There may be support for the approach of democratizing the Arab world, but it is not exclusively the province of the pro-Israel crowd, or Likudniks. Lehmann credits Fouad Ajami with promoting this idea. But what makes Lehmann's article superior to Kaiser's is that he gives Feith a chance to elaborate on what he's thinking. Lehmann seems impressed with the thought that goes into Feith's ideas even if he doesn't seem to accept them. (Feith declined to be interviewed for Kaiser's article; did he refuse to speak because he thought there was a chance of being misrepresented?)

As I suggested above, perhaps the Bush adminstration took a more supportive view of Israel because of new information not due to the nefarious influence of Likudniks. This is something that David Frum seems to have picked up on:
Then Arafat made what may someday be reckoned as the most fateful miscalculation of his career. On January 5, 2002, Israeli naval forces intercepted a Gaza-bound merchant ship loaded with fifty tonnes of arms from Iran. Arafat hastily sent Bush a letter denying any involvement in the shipment. Probably Arafat did not even intend his denial to be interpreted literally; he may have written it as a social form, like the phrase I regret in a letter declining an invitation to a wedding or a dinner party. If so, Arafat sorely misunderstood his man. Bush does not lie to you. You had better not lie to him.

The Karine A. incident finished off Arafat in Bush's eyes. In conversation, Bush ceased to conceal either his contempt for the thuggish Palestinian or his irritation with the thug's European protectors. "They just luuuuuve Arafat," he would say with elongated wonder.
In other words Bush found Arafat's dishonesty so offensive that he re-thought his views on the Middle East. Why is it so hard to believe that other members of his adminstration were swayed by similarly weighing the evidence in front of them? Why is Kaiser intent on painting the Likud worldview as superstition not as something an open-minded person could conclude when weighing all the evidence. Why did the Washington Post give Kaiser a pass but not Moran?
Cross-posted on "IsraPundit" and "David's Israel Blog."