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

April 19, 2003

More Corrie

In Context links to the NGO Monitor's report on Rachel Corrie's death:
The IDF has completed an exhaustive investigation of the death of Rachel Corrie, and as the findings hardly matched the original "eyewitness reports" of fellow ISM protestors, NGO Monitor thought it would be beneficial to provide a brief follow up. As one may recall, Rachel Corrie, a 23 year old American woman, was serving as an international peace protestor/human shield with the Palestinian International Solidarity Movement when she was allegedly killed by being run over by an IDF bulldozer.

First, it has been determined the "eyewitness report" that the world received following the death of Corrie was fictional. The IDF performed a complete and exhaustive investigation of the death and discovered the following: 1) Corrie was not sitting in front of the bulldozer, but was obstructed from it by a mound of earth; 2) She died not from being hit by the bulldozer - apparently there was no contact between her and the machine - but rather was hit by heavy building debris that the vehicle was moving; 3) the bulldozer was not demolishing homes at all, but was flattening out an area frequently used as a staging ground for terrorism and arms smuggling, in order to increase Israel's ability to maintain security control of the area. Judy Lash Balint of the Jerusalem Diaries prepared informative article documenting the discrepancies in the account. www.jerusalemdiaries.com/article/83%20

Rachel Corrie, like so many other self-proclaimed peace activists and human shields, had a very strong ideological "agenda" of hostility and anger. Myles Kantor, a columnist for FrontPageMagazine.com and Director of the Center for Free Emigration, a human rights organization dedicated to the abolition of state enslavement, also provided an enlightening assessment of the situation. He summed up Corrie's anti-American upbringing, including her attendance at the leftist Evergreen college complete with a main area called Red Square. He also noted that the ISM's online photo album includes a member shaking hands with Yasser Arafat, and members leading protests in the Middle East with signs such as "America, Stop Supporting Apartheid" and "Ethnic Cleansing in Progress." http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=6966

Israel has continually confronted ISM members over their cooperation with terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Kantor emphasized the bias and hypocrisy of this community, noting that while various NGO's condemned the death of Corrie and called for an investigation in spite of her controversial, flag burning ways, that murder of 24 year old Hebrew University student Marla Bennett, also an American, at the hands of a Hamas terrorist , went almost unnoticed among the same people.
Some of the IDF's conclsions correspond to those intitially reached by a number of bloggers (remember that the photos the ISM published on their website were intentionally misleading). However, that hasn't stopped the ISM from continuing to capitalize on her death - todays Harford Courant contains a longwinded, formulaic whine (scroll to the end) from someone claiming to represent the "Middle East Crisis Committe." He calls the IDF investigation a "farce," but his arguments are the same old ISM rhetoric. I urge all of Israpundit's Connecticut readers to contact the Courant and help set the matter straight.

Calling on US citizens

Today, April 19, 2003, Ha’Aretz ran the following piece under the heading, ”Senators, Congressmen put pro-Israel stance in writing”:

For the past two weeks, a letter initiated by supporters of Israel and explicitly calling on the administration not to make demands of Israel in the framework of the road map has been doing the rounds among members of both houses of Congress.

The letter, already bearing the signatures of 75 senators and 250 members of the House of Representatives, will be sent to President George W. Bush in the coming weeks, as soon as the administration's intentions vis-a-vis the peace plan are made clear.

Such letters have no binding validity...

While the letter has been making its rounds, a more official process has also been kicked off: Last week, Senator Richard Lugar (Republican from Indiana) added an amendment to the State Department Authorization Bill that would anchor in legislation demands of the Palestinians prior to U.S. recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

The amendment includes the following demands: A promise that the Palestinian Authority will not be tainted by terror; a call for the Palestinians to demonstrate an ongoing and active commitment to the war against terror; dismantling of the terrorist infrastructure; collection of illegal arms; and the establishment of a security mechanism that will cooperate with the Israeli defense establishment.

Although Lugar's move is a legislative step, it, too, has no practical significance...

An additional stage in the action on Capitol Hill against the road map could come in the next few weeks, in the framework of direct legislation that will stipulate non-recognition of an independent Palestinian state without it first meeting a series of conditions or, alternatively, legislation that will be tied to the Budget Bill and hence be of a more binding nature.
The US Congress is one of the very few institutions of significance that supports Israel. If the RoachMap is to be defeated, it is vital that US citizens contact their elected representatives to encourage them to support Israel at this time. This applies to congresspersons who support Israel already (in which case they need to know that the populace is behind them) as well as to those who do not (in which case they should be urged to change tack). The important point is to be heard continually, lest CAIR be the only body whose voice is heard.

Another point to remember: we can say what Sharon cannot, at least what he cannot say openly.



When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt
did the Exodus have a
"Road Map"?

U.S. tells Abu Mazen to stand up to Arafat's pressure

How this plays out will determine a lot. If Arafat "wins," he loses. If Mazen wins, Arafat is history and the US will move further to pave The Road (two-state solution)
Senior United States sources have relayed messages to newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in recent days, urging him to stand up to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's pressure on appointments in the Palestinian cabinet, Israel Radio reported on Saturday. The cabinet is expected to be announced in the coming days.

The Americans clarified to Abu Mazen that his current mission has historic proportions and stressed to the new prime minister that he should use the wide-spread international support that he now has.

According to reports received in Jerusalem, the U.S. administration strongly supports Abu Mazen due to his political stance and his intention to take action to end the intifada, but the administration has reservations as to Abu Mazen's ability to contend with Arafat.

Palestinian sources said that a meeting scheduled for Friday between Abu Mazen, Arafat, and senior Fatah officials was cancelled due to differences of opinion over Abu Mazen's intention to appoint former Gaza security chief Mohammed Dahlan as a minister without portfolio on security matters in his new cabinet, Israel Radio reported on Saturday. Arafat wants Dahlan kept away from any security portfolio.

Abu Mazen could well take office by next week. He and Arafat reached agreement on almost all of the ministers who will make up the new cabinet at a lengthy meeting late Thursday night.

Arafat had opposed the initial cabinet proposed by Abu Mazen because it would have sidelined a number of his loyalists, and the remaining point of dispute is the role that Dahlan will play
Palestinians protect Turkish Embassy in Baghdad

You never know where these Palestinians will turn up.
Palestinians are protecting the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad, Anatolia news agency reported.

Suheyb Hasan, who has been working at the embassy for ten years, their relatives and friends are protecting the embassy 24 hours a day.

Hasan only wants to become a Turkish citizen together with his family in return for his service.

Hasan also armed houses surrounding the embassy against thieves and looters and he supplies electricity to the entire neighborhood using the embassy's generator.

Some 40 people who settled in the embassy building are protecting it 24 hours a day. Hasan said five of these people used to work at the Embassy and three of them were his brothers and the rest were his relatives.

"We need 300-400 bullets a day. We obtain these bullets from a very dangerous region, Saddam City. There were many attacks in the first days of the war. We do not allow anybody to approach the embassy building. We only fire warning shots when somebody approaches," Hasan said.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News

April 18, 2003

Out with weakness, in with strength (Ted Belman)

William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, friend of George W. from Yale student days and mouthpiece for the neo-cons writes
AMERICA WAS ATTACKED a little over a year and a half ago. This assault was the product of two decades of American weakness in the face of terror and three decades of American fecklessness in the Middle East. From the barely-responded-to bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 to the host of subsequent, little-noticed or quickly forgotten attacks in the later 1980s and in the 1990s, we came to be seen as a "weak horse." That characterization was Osama bin Laden's, and he made it with reason.

Similarly, from the oil embargo of 1973 through the destruction of a free and democratic Lebanon in the mid-1970s by the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Syrians, to the Khomeini revolution in Iran, the accelerated Saudi export of violent Wahhabi Islam to America and the world, and Saddam Hussein's brutalities in the 1980s and 1990s, the United States rolled with the punches. Saddam, to cite an egregious example, was allowed to stay in power after being routed in the Gulf War, then held accountable only on rare occasions for continually violating the ceasefire he signed. Along the way, the United States decided its proper response to Middle East tyranny and brutality should be not to punish our enemies and stand up for our principles, but rather to focus on a "peace process" between democratic Israel and the master-terrorist Yasser Arafat.

But that era--in which the American stance was one of doubt, weakness, and retreat, in which we failed to affirm our most cherished principles or even stand up for ourselves--came to an end on September 11, 2001.

The United States committed itself to defeating terror around the world. We committed ourselves to reshaping the Middle East, so the region would no longer be a hotbed of terrorism, extremism, anti-Americanism, and weapons of mass destruction.

The first two battles of this new era are now over. The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have been won decisively and honorably. But these are only two battles. We are only at the end of the beginning in the war on terror and terrorist states. MORE
When Kristol writes, we read.

Exclusive Interview With Sheikh Abdul Palazzi (Ted Belman)

The Koran Says The Jews Would Return To Their Land`:

By Naomi Klass Mauer, Editor, Jewish Press

Sheikh Abdul Palazzi, professor at the Research Institute for Anthropological Studies in Rome, was in the United States recently guest lecturing at Yale University on the possibility of bringing democracy to the Arab world. Having read numerous items about the sheikh, we were interested in meeting him. We caught up with him in New York as he was preparing to return to Italy.

Jewish Press: Tell our readers a little about yourself.

Palazzi: I was born in Rome 42 years ago to a Syrian mother and an Italian father. In addition to teaching at the Research Institute, I also teach a post-doctoral course on Middle East studies, I'm the secretary general for the Italian Muslim Association and the Muslim chair of Islam-Israel Fellowship at the Root and Branch Association.

Do you think democracy can ever come to the Arab world?

The United States has a real opportunity now to accomplish just that. The best proof is Afghanistan. Things are really turning around there and they can do the same thing in Iraq. After the first Gulf war ended the Emir was left in place in Kuwait. Slavery is rampant in Kuwait, but no one tried to replace the Emir with a real democracy, or to abolish slavery. Everything was left in place. But this time if the U.S. proves that it wants the globalization of democracy, it has a real chance to accomplish it in Arab countries. When you show the Arab world that you side with Arab leaders who kill them or enslave them, they lose all hope of change. An example is Arafat. When you build him up and the people know who he is, they have no hope of a change. I am terribly concerned that President Bush speaks of a Palestinian state.

I am afraid that once this war with Iraq is won, the pressure on Israel to create a Palestinian state will be enormous. You cannot get rid of one terrorist state and then create a new one. And the Palestinian Authority will be worse, because they are the true allies of Saddam Hussein.

You know the terrorists always claim to be followers of the Koran.

The Koran is being misread. The Koran forbids mistreatment of Jews and the state is obligated to protect them. At the time of the Ottoman Empire Jews held positions in the government. The Koran says before the end of days the Jews will return to their land. At the end of World War One, Sharif Al Hussein, the leader of the Hashemite family and governor of Mecca said, when he saw the Jews returning to Palestine, "We are seeing what was foretold in the Koran. When others settled there the land stayed barren, but now the land recognizes its original sons and it is producing."

It's too bad the Palestinian Arabs don't know that.

They can't know it because these passages have been removed from their books. The PA selected only certain sources for their books. All of the proofs are deleted. But in other Islamic countries you do find all proofs in the Koran. You know, before 1967, Islamists referred to the Jews as Palestinians and the present-day Palestinians were called Jordanians. In Jerusalem, Imam Tabari, an important cleric, wrote an important book, "Lives of Prophets and Kings" He described the life of King Solomon and the Temple he built. Anyone who denies this not only denies history, but denies Islamic sources.

The Palestinian Arabs even deny that the Holy Temple ever stood on the Temple Mount.

I was part of an international delegation that visited Israel in 2000. The Wakf took us to visit Al Aksa. Right outside of the Dome of the Rock is a small chapel on the eastern side. "What is this place?" I asked. "It is the place where Solomon stood to dedicate the Temple," was the reply. "Then why do you deny this?" I asked. With a smile I was told, "For political reasons." Mecca and Medina are the holiest places for Islam. Jerusalem is shared with Jews and Christians. Why, according to Islam, did Mohammed go to Jerusalem? To meet all the prophets from other religions who worshiped there. Islam is faith in monotheism, faith in prophets, faith in humanity. The basic distinction is monotheism versus idolatry. And this concept it shares with Judaism.

This is just one of many instances of historical revisionism on the part of the Arabs.

Another example of history being forgotten concerns the 1919 agreement between Chaim Weizmann and King Faisel of Jordan and Iraq. The agreement said that the Jordan River was the border between the Jewish state and the Arab state. The Arabs did not oppose this. Then the British came and created Saudi Arabia, taking land from Jordan. So they told them to take some of the land back from the Jews. When the kingdom of Saudi Arabia was created, control of Mecca and Medina was thereby given to Wahabbism, the most primitive tribe of all. Islamic scholars were horrified. Then oil was discovered and they became all powerful and forced everyone to believe in Wahabbism and killed whoever didn't. With the passing of years they became more sophisticated. Wahabbism in its original form is still practiced in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It is their official religion.

Regarding the situation in Iraq, are you surprised by the way the French have acted?

Unfortunately, no. France has reached a new low level. They want the regime of Saddam to survive because they have a financial interest in him.

What about the Vatican?

Tariq Aziz was warmly welcomed by the Vatican and the Franciscan Monks prayed with him for Bush to repent. The pope approved the war against Milosevic - was he worse than Saddam Hussein?

We recall that the pope didn't condemn the Arab gunmen who took over the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem last year.

No voice of dissent is heard inside the Catholic church. In the past there were many instances where bishops and cardinals voiced an opposite point of view. But not this time. The Franciscan priest inside the Church of the Nativity acted as if the Arabs were just seeking refuge from the Israelis. He is now visiting Italy and has such deep-rooted anti-Semitism that he is speaking out against Israel wherever he goes.

The Arab bishops who depend on their dictators for appointments are increasing inside the Vatican. The best bishops and cardinals are retiring, leaving a terrible vacuum. Cardinal Martini was an honorable and brilliant scholar from Milano. He said you cannot accept opinions of dictators in religious matters.

After his retirement he was sent to Jerusalem. He was accepted by the Latin Patriarchate only because the pope sent him, but they don't like him and refer to him as "the Zionist."

What is your view of the now discredited Oslo peace process?
Oslo was a basic mistake, and unless Israel takes steps to end it and publicly renounce it, we cannot expect the rest of the world to do so. When we in Italy try to stop the European Union from transferring money to Arafat, they answer us that even Israel is doing so. And why shouldn't Bin Laden hope to be forgiven like Arafat was? Oslo abolished one of the basic principles of international law. If you are a terrorist, your crimes will not be forgiven. The world needs to be reminded of that.

* * * * *
The day after our interview a suicidal Arab terrorist blew up a bus in Haifa. A protest was immediately organized outside the PLO mission in New York by Rabbi Avi Weiss. Sheikh Palazzi, about to leave the country, joined Rabbi Weiss at that protest. It was the first time a Moslem sheikh took part in such a protest.
Bush ready to fight war on two fronts (Ted Belman)

Defeat of Saddam does not end US ambitions in the Middle East. The friends of President Bush have grand plans to create an American Imperium - and to consolidate their power at home

Ed Vulliamy in Washington, Sunday April 13, 2003, The Observer

The last shot of the war in Iraq will be the starting pistol for two further campaigns by the administration of President George W Bush. One will be fought in the region: no one really believes America's project is confined to Iraq. The toppling of Saddam is first base in what Michael Ledeen, leading thinker among the neo-conservatives driving foreign policy, calls 'a war to remake the world'.

The second front will be the home one: unlike his father - who lost an election the year after driving Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait - President George Bush junior has also to win what former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal promises to be a resumption of 'partisan warfare' at home.

If he succeeds in both campaigns, he will have become the most powerful President in US history, both at home and across the new Imperium of which victory in Iraq is the first footprint.

America's continuing 'war on terrorism' aims to secure Iraq, but then focus on fresh enemies: Syria and Iran. When an aide told Bush last week that Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had fired a verbal warning shot at Syria, the President said: 'Good'.

William Kristol, a long-time friend of Bush from Yale days, wrote in a book he co-authored: 'The mission begins in Baghdad, but it does not end there. We stand at the cusp of a new historical era. It is so clearly about more than Iraq. It is about more even than the future of the Middle East. It is about what sort of role the United States intends to play in the twenty-first century.'

When the US was preparing for war, the then director of the semi-official Defence Policy Board, Richard Perle, said one of its advantages would be 'that we could deliver a short message, a two-word message: "You're Next."'

Grand plans for continuing war are devised by neo-conservatives on the edges of the administration, but the group includes key players, not least Vice-President Dick Cheney and eputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, regarded as the real architects of war and its aftermath. 'There will have to be change in Syria,' said Wolfowitz last week. And John Bolton, number three at the State Department, warned countries the US has accused of pursuing weapons of mass destruction - including Iran and Syria - to 'draw the appropriate lesson from Iraq'.

'I think we're going to be obliged to fight a regional war, whether we want to or not,' says Ledeen, a pivotal thinker within the neo-conservative group. The logic of the global war on terrorism - and a conviction that a democratic revolution can be encouraged to sweep across the Middle East will take the US into confrontation with other countries, argues Ledeen, since 'we are going to face the whole terrorist network' and 'the terror masters', Syria, Iran and even Saudi Arabia.

Briefings at the Pentagon now mention the Palestinian Hamas and Shia Hizbollah militias, based in Lebanon, far more than they do al-Qaeda. Hizbollah is the cover under which America would act against Syria, described by the Pentagon's number three, Douglas Feith, as 'one of the key international terrorist networks, supported by the Syrians and the Iranians'.

The Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, argued last week that moving against Syria would be a way of cutting off aid to Hizbollah, which he called 'the A team' of world terrorism.

But Saudi Arabia - with its hold over oil prices - is also coming within America's sights. 'After Hussein is removed, there will be an earthquake through the region,' predicts Max Singer, co-founder of the Hudson Institute think-tank, which recommends a dismantling of the Saudi kingdom by encouraging breakaway republics in the oil-rich eastern provinces.

State Department sources tell The Observer, Israel is integral to plans to attack Syria. They say a guarantee to remove Hizbollah and its sponsorship is a secret ingredient to the Middle East 'road map', agreed between Washington and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.More
Rhetoric Matters (Ted Belman)

Dennis Prager says inAmerica the Good
President George W. Bush often speaks about the "goodness" of America and about the "evil" of various world tyrannies. Is this language meaningful -- or is it, as many critics both at home and abroad contend, empty and sanctimonious rhetoric?

A strong case can be made that the very fact that an American president refers to America as a good country and speaks about a standard of good and evil is itself a compelling argument on behalf of America's essential goodness.

How so? Isn't such rhetoric just mere words?

Not at all. The rhetoric that leaders use to describe their nations tells you a great deal about those nations. And no other nation's leaders use this goodness terminology nearly as often as American leaders (of both political parties) do.

That this rhetoric is largely confined to American leaders may be surprising to most Americans, as they probably believe that other national leaders use similar rhetoric. But it does not surprise foreigners. A leading French political scientist, quoted in The New York Times, accused Americans of speaking in terms of good and evil, something, he said, Europeans just don't do. And a German adviser to political leaders in his country told me the same thing on my radio show.

But if other leaders don't use such rhetoric, what language do they use?

The answer depends, of course, on which leaders and nations we are talking about. But whichever they are, their national self-description rarely includes the goodness rhetoric used by American leaders.

This is true regarding both tyrants and elected leaders.

Adolf Hitler did not speak about the German people's goodness, but about the racial superiority of the deutsche volk . Joseph Stalin spoke about economic and social "progress," about moving toward a communist utopia. Saddam Hussein spoke about Iraqi and Islamic "greatness," and increasingly relied on the religious language of "sacrifice for Allah." Many European national leaders rarely laud their countries, but instead speak of international law and European unity. And when they do express pride in their country, Europeans rarely invoke moral criteria. The French, for example, express pride in their culture -- their arts, museums, cuisine, etc. And, along with Germany, Belgium and the Scandinavian countries, they regularly boast of their commitment to peace. But not to goodness or to fighting evil.

That is America's self-image. As it has long been. We Americans regard ourselves as a nation with a moral mission; a nation that is, in Abraham Lincoln's words, "The last best hope of mankind." Europe, on the other hand, identifies a sense of national mission with fanaticism and chauvinism.

In America itself, there are many who eschew this self-image. Like Western Europeans, the American Left does not use goodness rhetoric; it prefers the language of "fairness," "rights" and "equality" to the language of morality. Thus, the Left divides the world into rich and poor, the haves and the have-nots, the strong and the weak, the white and the non-white, not good and evil. The Left dismisses that division as "simplistic," "being judgmental," and seeing a gray world in black and white. Some on the American Right, too -- as exemplified by Pat Buchanan and his supporters -- also reject a moral mission for America. They divide the world between Americans and non-Americans, not between good and evil.

This preoccupation with good and evil is a primary reason America is hated. If people demonstrating against the American-led war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq cared about peace or about good and evil, they would have been rioting against China, against Sudan, against North Korea, against Iran's mullahs, and against Saddam. But America, precisely because it is good, and precisely because it fights evil, shames all these people. And you never hate anyone as much as he who forces you to stare at evil and at your acceptance of it.

Because America talks about good and evil and does something about it, those nations and individuals, including many Americans, that have other priorities resent this America, and some even wish it "a million Mogadishus."

Rhetoric matters. May we long believe that we are a good people and strive to prove it.


William F. Buckley Jr. weighs in on the Road Map (Ted Belman)

But makes no sense or compelling argument
[...] All this said, what can't be disputed is that Israel is, if not the cause of perpetual friction in the Mideast, an unimaginative agent of it. In analyzing the so-called road map, which is an attempt at strategic deciphering of a plan designed to diminish tension and create a Palestinian state, one has to begin with an absolute given, which is the survival of the Israeli state. But, immediately, one founders on the question: What are the borders of the Israeli state we are determined should survive?

And we bump immediately into the question of the Israeli settlements. Keen students of the conflict, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times an example, have said it quite simply: Unless Israel retreats from the settlements, a coherent Palestinian state cannot evolve to the endurance of enclave states. (Does anyone know what that means?) But the Israeli settlements are a pullulating sore, attracting terrorists, requiring Israeli security, and seeking always, expansion. (He accepts that settlements are a sore which attracts terrorism but latter acknowledges that elimination of Israel is Arafat's goal.So terrorism has the ultimate goal of eliminating israel and are focussed on the settlements as a stage in the process) Israeli leaders are always promising to check increases in the settlements, but only Amram Mitzna, and he was soundly defeated at the last Israeli election, has spoken of the dissolution of some of the settlements. There is too much pride invested in those settlements, and 250,000 settlers directly involved in any proposal to dissolve them. (He's got that right but it is a lot more than protecting our pride)

"But what would the Israelis get in return?" the British historian Alistair Horne commented when the proposal was ventilated at a forum. That isn't easy to answer, because although Israel is well protected against massive military aggression, its fear, today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow, is of individual terrorists working havoc on Israeli men, women, and children, robbing the state of any wholesome security of life. (Notice, he doesn't answer this question except to say more terror. So why should Israel give up the settlements?)

The new Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas is struggling to put together an imaginative cabinet, but suffers from the authority of old man Arafat to disband that government, lest it jeopardize Arafat's predilection for terrorism and the implied goal of the elimination of Israel.

But President Bush's road map has to put it this way to Tel Aviv: We cannot promise that the Palestinians will stop their suicide attacks, but we can tell you that the settlements are disruptive of any approach to a strategic arrangement. The settlements are impassable road blocks on the road map. (But why remove the impediment to the Road Map, if the terror will continue? Once again, what's in it for Israel? Nothing.)

Although the liberation of Iraq was not undertaken merely to guarantee Israel's survival ( It is a calumny to suggest that America went to war to guarantee Israel's survival, among other reasons. No way, no how. America didn't do it for Israel although Israel is a beneficiary.), that liberation removes a potential military aggressor and so fortifies Israeli security. The time then comes to establish that the United States government is not a creature of parliamentary coalitions in Israel, which have given to minority parties unbalanced leverage over government policies. (Whoever said it was? Once again, after advising that Mitzna lost office because he proposed dismantling settlements, he ignores that and suggest Israel's policy is dictated by minority parties. The truth is that the present government has the support of a large majority in the country.) The sooner Mr. Bush brings up this point, the sooner we can progress to making policy in that part of the world that earns the respect of the broader community. (This is simply an argument for doing what the world wants rather than the right thing to do. In other words fighting for Israel settlements is hurting our relationships so force Israel to abandon the settlements even knowing that Israel will still be subject to terrorism and other existential threats.)
U.S.-Israel Differences Deepen on Peace 'Map'

This piece in Forward is a clear indication of the differing views about the Roadmap and how various views are shifting, discussing, and perhaps compromising.
[...] But less than an hour before the Rice-Weisglass meeting, the White House publicly made clear that it rejects Israel's approach. Rice laid out the White House position in a speech before a large crowd at a conference sponsored by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel think tank, just before meeting Weisglass, participants said.

Weisglass reportedly told Rice that Israel will make significant concessions only after the Palestinians have proved, for an extended period of time, that they have suppressed terrorism, destroyed the terrorists' infrastructure and taken measures to stop incitement to violence against Israel. He reportedly also said that the Palestinians will have to declare that they have relinquished their demand for the refugees' "right of return."

Pro-Israel lobbyists who listened to Rice's off-the-record speech reacted with concern to what they described as her open, public rejection of Israel's "sequential" approach to implementing the road map, and to her making clear that President Bush favors a "parallel approach." The Bush view reportedly calls for Israelis and Palestinians to act simultaneously, rather than in reaction to steps taken by the other side. The lobbyists said that Rice's remarks seemed to confirm a stance previously expressed only in private conversations by senior administration officials, that Washington does not accept Israel's approach, which would have Israel take steps only after specific Palestinian steps are taken.

While the United States accepts Israel's view that it is key to have a serious effort on the terrorism front early on, it does not accept the concept of Israel's taking conciliatory measures only in reaction to Palestinian steps.

Several Israeli officials and American analysts with close ties to the administration insisted that the differences over sequentiality versus parallelism can still be finessed. According to one senior Israeli official, that was what Weisglass attempted to do in his three-hour Monday meeting with Rice. According to American and Israeli sources, Israel might reward Palestinian anti-terrorism measures with measures that are of relatively minor political weight — mainly humanitarian gestures — while deferring politically sensitive concessions, such as freezing settlement activity, to a later phase following tougher Palestinian anti-terrorist actions.

One senior Israeli official, Ephraim Halevy, Sharon's national security adviser, suggested to the Forward that Israel may narrowly apply its sequential approach solely to Palestinian progress on terrorism. "Clearly, as long as terrorism is not uprooted, you can't proceed," Halevy said. "That is sequentiality, isn't it?"

According to Israeli press reports, Halevy, a former Mossad chief, opposes the road map on principle, believing Israel should always insist on direct negotiations with its neighbors, rather than accepting internationally prescribed solutions.[more]
Sects, lies, and videotape

Wonderful interview in Jewsweek with film "Guerilla filmmaker Evan Coyne Maloney. He is not Jewish, but from his hilarious documentary expose of anti-Semitism you'd think he was a card-carrying member of the tribe."
[...] What kind of response have you gotten to your anti-Semitism video, and how has it been similar or different to that which you received from your other videos?
I received less hate mail about the anti-Semitism video than either of my previous two. I'm not really sure why that is; I would have expected more.

The audience may be self-selecting; the readers of my site are familiar with my position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, which are outlined in the article " A Durable Peace? Not with Arafat!"

Plus, the people who might have disagreed with the message in this video have probably already become fed up with me after watching the previous two videos.

What makes you so pro-Israel?
I'm appalled by the tactics being used against Israeli civilians.

You've seen how anti-Semitism breeds in these quarters -- what do you think can be done to stop it?
I'm hopeful that exposing it will lead to its eventual decline. But for that to work, there needs to be a large enough platform. People need to see what's really going on. If the message is propagated only by talk radio, cable news and the Internet, we may only be talking to ourselves. [more]

Arab media article

U.S.Presses Syria To Kill Anti-Israel Resistance


A view from The Palestine Chronicle
CAIRO - The current American and Zionist pressures on Syria are aimed at bringing to a cessation all forms of support rendered by Syria to Arab movements resisting the Israeli occupation, particularly Hezbollah, said Nayeef Hawatma.

Speaking to IslamOnline.net over the phone from Syria, Hawatma, the Secretary General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, condemned the latest series of U.S. and Israeli accusations against Syria of harboring Palestinian "terrorist organizations."

"Palestinian organizations and powers (in Syria) are located in refugee camps that house four million Palestinian refugees," he said.

"All over the past years, the Palestinian democratic and national factions have got used to cope with different environments and developments, since their first and foremost goal is to liberate the (Palestinian) land and establish the Palestinian state. They will never give up this goal no matter how strong pressures are."

Hawatma recalled that Syria has been shouldering the burden of Palestinian refugees, who should come back to the occupied Palestinian territories in conformity with U.N. Security Council resolution 194 of 1948.

"The blame, in effect, should be heaped over this country (Israel) which rebuffs all relevant UNSC resolutions and the return of those refugees, who were coerced into leaving their motherland more than 50 years ago," he said.

"Israel is fully aware that they (Syrians) are the ones who have been supporting the Palestinian resistance for 40 years and wants to strip them of their weapons and morale to put an end to their uphill struggle against it," the Palestinian official said.Hawatma also expected that the U.S.-led war on Iraq would have its dramatic changes on the Palestinian cause, especially on the struggle of the Palestinian people to gain independence and freedom.

"The U.S. pressures will push for killing this struggle once and for all and entrenching other alternatives that suit fine (U.S. President George W.) Bush and (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) [more]

Just reported

Sharon plans to meet Abu Mazen

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will meet with the new Palestinian Prime Minister once the latter has officially been sworn in. The meeting will be part of Israel's efforts to implement several confidence-building measures it has told the United States it is planning, Israel Radio reported Friday.

Israel presented the United States with a list of measures it intends to implement after the swearing-in of Abu Mazen's new government.

According to the report, the list of measures was presented to administration officials in Washington this week during the visit of an Israeli delegation headed by Sharon's bureau chief. The steps include the gradual withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces from PA territory, the release of Palestinian prisoners and the expedited transfer of funds belonging to the Palestinian Authority.
Iraq: the aftermath

Analyses of the rapid, total defeat of Iraq and the impact of the defeat upon the Arab world, abound. As so frequently happpens in the social sciences, many hypotheses are presented to explain the defeat and its impact, but most explanations can never be verified or refuted. One analysis that at least has its roots in common sense and verifiable data is given by Hal Lindsey (WorldNetDaily, April 17, 2003), in an article entitled, “Impact of Iraqi defeat on Islam”. Don’t expect anything like Bernard Lewis' articles, but you can expect a good dose of plausible statements and a coherent conclusion. The last paragraphs of the article read:

In the hundreds of interviews of Muslims throughout the Islamic world, one thing came across loud and clear. It was much more important to them that the Iraqis defeat the U.S.-UK infidel invaders than it was for a ruthless tyrant to be removed and the horribly oppressed Muslim brothers of Iraq liberated.

To me, there is something very sick about a religion that produces such an attitude. Their "macho"-type pride and their hatred of Israel and the West seems to overrule even common wisdom that would be in their own best interest.

It is worth noting that Israel sat out both Persian Gulf War I and II. But the Arab world can overlook all that and somehow see Israel's hand in their humiliation. In an article entitled, "I Am An Arab" in Dar al Hayat this week, author Jihad al Khazen writes, "Iraq is now ruled by the representative of the Jewish Institute For National Security Affairs."

And the Muslim escape from reason plunges onward, in spite of the facts to the contrary.
Recommended.

April 17, 2003

NO “ROADMAP” TO PEACE POSSIBLE

In this review of Palestinian history, the author points out that all the evidence shows that the vast majority of Palestinians want nothing less than the total destruction of Israel and that they have held Jews in contempt for generations. So there is just no basis for our Western ideas of compromise there. I think the present Israeli policy of simply walling off the Palestinians from the Jewish areas is in fact the only viable solution. Excerpt:

I have come away from my examination of the history of the conflict with a sense of the instinctive rejectionism that runs like a dark thread through Palestinian history- a rejection, to the point of absurdity, of the history of the Jewish link to the land of Israel; a rejection of the legitimacy of Jewish claims to Palestine; a rejection of the right of the Jewish state to exist. And, worse, this rejectionism has over the decades been leavened by a healthy dose of anti-Semitism, a perception of the Jew as God's and humanity's unchosen
(This item crosposted on Dissecting Leftism and Israpundit.)

British agents conducted illegal, secret war on IRA
An intelligence community that saw itself as above the law and free to indulge in extensive illegality, not excluding murder, was depicted yesterday in a damning report by Britain's most senior policeman.

Files on 26 Northern Ireland murders were examined by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir John Stevens, as part of his inquiry into collusion between intelligence agencies and loyalist killer gangs.
Hmmm. Mr. Blair, given your grave concern about Israel's fight against terrorists I'm sure you would agree that your own government's tactics vis a vis the IRA were unhelpful. Perhaps we should set up a roadmap to peace in the British Isles. Now let's see, who shall we choose as the quartet? You of course, will not be invited as a participant, we'll learn from your example of keeping the country most affected by the process out of the picture.

UPDATE:
In this article, we have a most interesting bit of information:
Among those already identified as involved in collusion is Gordon Kerr, former director of a secretive British army intelligence arm called the Force Research Unit that sought to plant agents within the ranks of all Northern Ireland paramilitary groups.

Kerr, who until recently was Britain's military attache to China, today holds the rank of brigadier—equivalent to a one-star general—and is currently in Iraq.

In 1992 Kerr testified in court on behalf of Brian Nelson, who had been exposed by Stevens' first collusion probe as a British agent working undercover as the Belfast UDA's top intelligence officer—the person primarily responsible for identifying who should be shot and scouting where they would be most vulnerable.

Kerr testified at the time that Nelson saved scores of lives by passing on details of impending UDA attacks that the agent had helped plan.

Nelson was convicted of conspiring to murder several Catholics, but won an early parole from prison in 1997 and received a secret "safe house" in England. He died last week of a brain hemorrhage.
Let's see, the heat is turned up and someone who is quite important to the investigation dies of a brain hemorrhage. Now, am I the only one who finds this a bit too coincidental?
Four Questions

Why is it that if one tries to address the "root causes" of terrorism - poverty, and opression - he is accused of colonial imperialism ?

Why shouldn't the Middle East be a "safe" place for Israel, Israelis and the Jewish People?

Why can't I eat humous in Damascus and golf in Dubai?

Why is it that the "Human Rights" movement supports those that violate mine?

Why do people teach their children to hate me...they don't even know me.

The Oslo Dayenu by Steven Plaut -

* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz supporters assured us that Arafat would pursue peace.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz supporters assured us that Hamas would be more of a threat to the PLO than to Israel.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz supporters assured us that Arafat would fight the Hamas and Islamic Jihad "with no Supreme Court or Betselem" (in Rabins words).
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz supporters assured us that terrorism would decrease.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz supporters assured us that hostility to Jews in the Arab and the Western media would decrease.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz supporters assured us that trade between Israel and Arab countries would flourish.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz supporters assured us that the Palestinian Authority would be disarmed.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz supporters assured us that the PLO would cooperate strategically with the Israel Defense Forces.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that there would be an economic peace dividend.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that Israeli Arabs would demonstrate increasing moderation due to the "peace process".
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the Hamas and Jihad would be persecuted and suppressed by the PLO.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that PLO arms would never again be used against Jews.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the PLO leadership would speak in terms of peace with the Jews.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the PLO would cease its efforts to delegitimize Zionism and Israel.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the PLO would denounce and renounce anti-Semitism.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the PLO would encourage normalization and daily peaceful commerce between Arabs and Jews.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the PLO would introduce democracy in the Palestinian zones.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the PLO would be forced to spend all its energies on resolving domestic social and economic problems.
-But they were ever so wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the PLO would have so many internal troubles that it would not have the time or ability to pursue confrontation with Israel.
-G-d, but they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the US would back Israel if the PLO reneged on its obligations or displayed duplicity.
-What a joke, they were so wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the US would cease to pressure Israel to endanger its security and fundamental interests.
-But they were mega-wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the Europeans would rush forward to support Israel.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the Japanese and Saudis would pour money into regional investments, including into Israel.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the Egyptians would end all animosity towards Israel, Zionism and Jews.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the non-Arab Moslem countries would gush friendship for Israel.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that Arab military expenditure would drop significantly.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that Arab verbal threats against Israel would end.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that Nazi-like propaganda in Arab countries would end.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the Israeli Left would lead the retreat from the Oslo experiment it if proved to be not working.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the PLO would never show itself as a tin cup Third-World kleptocracy if granted power.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that Jews remaining in Moslem countries would see their treatment dramatically improved.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that Russia would act as a stabilizing force for peace.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that liberals and leftists around the world would congratulate Israel for taking risks for peace and rush forward with goodwill and support.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that the majority of Palestinians would denounce all violence and terror.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that Israel Arabs would cease to support political parties dedicated to eliminating Israel.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that Palestinian and Israeli Arab chants of "Death to the Jews" and "Massacre the Jews" would end.
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.
* When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Labor/Meretz lemmings assured us that no longer would the Israeli Arab chant be "In blood and fire we shall redeem thee Palestine."
-But they were wrong. It should have been enough.


Syria will not allow arms inspections


This has to be so off the wall that you would think they would not make such stupid statements.You show me yours but I won't show you mine. This sounds a bit like the now disappeared Minister of Information from Iraq. See Ted's post just below this to see the grand design!
Syria has asked the 15-nation UN Security Council to help transform the Middle East into a zone free of weapons of mass destruction. It has circulated a draft welcoming initiatives to rid the region of such arms. However Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara speaking in Cairo said that Syria would refuse to accept outside arms inspections. He and counterparts from other states neighbouring Iraq are due to meet in Saudi Arabia on Friday for their first talks on Iraq's future and what the defeat of Saddam's regime means for the region. Although the countries did not actively support Saddam most were opposed the war which they say has left Iraq in chaos and in danger of destabilising ethnic and sectarian fragmentation.
Don't you believe it

Barry Shaw writes to us from The View from Here.

Subject: Arabs lie.

They make a profession of it. They have ministries, media, mosques, mass producing it. They are in denial, unable to face the modern world of freedom and democracy. So, they cloak themselves in medieval crusades of religious and phony nationalistic fervor. They deconstruct history, then try to reconstruct it in their favor - by lying. They fantasize instead of facing truth. They are boastful to the point of losing touch with reality. They make wild claims under the influence of hysteria, or passionate persuasion. Don't believe me? Prove me wrong! Just look at recent Arab history. Examine what is coming out of the Arab world today.

Remember the Arab claims in 1948? Remember them telling their fellow Arabs that they were coming to slaughter the Jews living in the fledgling Jewish state? They were already in denial about the establishment of Israel. And when their invading armies were beaten back, causing a refugee problem, instead of resolving the situation they persisted in maintaining their fellow Arabs is stateless misery, with the boundless assistance of the UN. Again, with boastful fervor, they vowed that they would return to drive the Jews into the sea.

Then, in 1967, when combined Arab armies, once again, attacked Israel they made boastful claims to an incredulous world that Israel had been crushed. In fact, two days into the war, Israel, almost apologetically, announced that it had destroyed the Egyptian air force. This claim was the truth, and the war was over in six days.

And so to last year. Lies. More lies, created by the Palestinian Ministry of Information headed by Saeb Erekat, were taken at face value by a willing media, ably abetted by Teres Larsson of the UN. Their libels have included 'massacres' in Jenin, the filmed death of a young boy, killed by Palestinian gunmen, but blamed on Israeli soldiers, desecration of Christian holy sites which, in reality were attacked and trashed by Palestinian terrorists.

And on to Iraq where you witnessed the ridiculous claims of the Iraqi Information Minister, the horrendous tactics of Arab fighters, the bomb factories in schools and hospitals, civilians used as human shields, shootings from private apartments and mosques (Allah forbid that you should do the same!). They accuse you of being the aggressor, even while you are liberating them from a reign of terror. They blame you - and the Jews- for their miserable condition. Now we see the Syrians denying that they are sheltering top Iraqi officials and weapons of mass destruction. We know for a fact that this is a lie. Look in Damascus, and in the Mediterranean coastal resort of Latakia and you will find them there. The truth will soon be exposed.

Arabs speak emotionally of their suffering, yet reject any proposal that may solve their suffering. The prime examples of this are the Palestinians. Why is this? Because they still live the a deluded world that will permit them, on day, to rise up and destroy our world.

Any solution imposed from the outside is perceived by them as a way station to their ultimate domination.

This has been a reference point, in frequent occasions, by Yasser Arafat. They are deluded, but let us be clear-sighted to the truth. No more rose-tinted glasses of Oslo. No more liberal, lefty, pretence that a hand of friendship will be greeted by a warm embrace. Our extended hand of friendship has left us with a bleeding stump.

They haven't shown us their humanity, or their truth. They may say the same about us (and do) but, after Oslo and Camp David and Taba, they proved to us that they have no humanity. If their truth is "Death to the Jews" or their stated ambition of a Palestinian nation stretching 'From the River to the Sea', then we will offer no concessions, we will give no quarter, for our very survival is on the line.

We have seen too clearly the lack of humanity, the rabid ambition, the corrupt regime, that is Palestine. If they want progress it is they, not us, that must change. They, not us, that must show evidence that they have become a lawful people. They, not us, that must prove to the world that they have eradicated the incitement in their schools, the hatred in their mosques, the terror throughout their society.

Then, and only then, can we consider trusting these people with our lives.

Their recent blood libels have extended to the lie that we make our matzoh bread from the blood of Palestinian children. Only last year, at the Passover Seder in Netanya, matzot were soaked with Jewish blood, spilt by a murderous, lying Arab who thought he was a holy martyr on his way to paradise.

It is up to them to prove that they have stopped their lies, their deceit, their hatred, and make their way back to humanity.
Arabian Fables II

More fanciful Arab myths to sway world opinion.

Earlier this year, we,FLAME, published our message, "Arabian Fables (I)", in which we made clear how the Arab propaganda machine creates myths and lies with which to misinform the world. We discussed the myths of the "Palestinians" and of the "West Bank" and the mythical concept of "occupied territories". In today's message, we shall address three more of these myths.

Jerusalem ("Arab East Jerusalem")

The Arabs have assiduously propagated the myths that Jerusalem is an Arab capital, that (after Mecca and Medina) Jerusalem is their third holy city, and that it is intolerable to them that infidels (Jews) are in possession of it. The reality of course is that Jerusalem was never an Arab capital and that it was, until the Jews revitalized it, a dusty provincial city that hardly played any economic, social, or political role.
Jerusalem is mentioned hundreds of times in the Jewish Bible and has been the center of the Jewish faith and the focus of Jewish longing ever since the Romans destroyed the Temple in the early years of the first millennium. Not once is Jerusalem mentioned in the Koran.

As to "East Jerusalem":

There is East Saint Louis, there is East Hampton, and there used to be East Berlin, but, until the Arab propaganda machine created the concept, there was never in 'history an "East Jerusalem", let alone an "Arab East Jerusalem". Arabs now predominantly inhabit the eastern part of Jerusalem, though their proportion is decreasing. But what is the reason for this? It is because the Jordanians destroyed all traces of Jewish presence from the eastern part of the city and drove all the Jews out during the 19 years (between 1948 and 1967) in which they were in occupation of the eastern part of the city. The world, informed by Arab propaganda, considers those Jews who wish to return to the eastern part of the city to be troublemakers or worse.

The concept of Jerusalem being a holy Arab city and the capital of whatever political entity the "Palestinians" may eventually form is a myth and so of course is the concept of "Arab East Jerusalem".

"Settlements"

When Jordan came into possession of Judea/Samaria and the eastern part of Jerusalem, following the invasion of the newly-formed Jewish state, and stayed in occupation for 19 years, it systematically obliterated all Jewish villages in the area under their occupation, drove out the Jewish inhabitants, and left the area "judenrein" (free of Jews) — the first time that concept had been applied since the Nazis created it during their short and bloody reign in Germany. When the Israelis recovered these territories, they rebuilt these villages, created new ones, and built new towns and suburbs to existing cities, especially Jerusalem. The Arabs decided to call these towns and villages "settlements", with their connotation of illegitimacy and impermanence.

The world, including the United States, is much agitated over these population centers and, goaded by the Arabs, declares them to be impediments to peace. What nonsense! Nobody considers the tens of thousands of Arabs who continue to stream to these territories as impediments to peace. The term "settlements", too, is a propaganda myth created by the Arabs.

"Refugees"

In 1948, when six Arab armies invaded the Jewish state in order to destroy it on the very day of its birth, broadcasts by the advancing Arab armies appealed to the resident Arabs to leave their homes so as not to be in the way of the invaders. As soon as the "quick victory" was won, they could return to their homes and would also enjoy the loot from the Jews, who would have been driven into the sea. It didn't turn out quite that way. Those Arabs, who, despite the urgings of the Jews to stay and to remain calm, foolishly left, became refugees. Those who decided not to yield to those blandishments are now, and have been for over 50 years, citizens of Israel, with all the same rights and privileges as their Jewish fellows.

But what happened to those refugees - by best estimates about 600,000 of them? Did their "Arab brethren" allow them to settle in their countries, to work, and to become productive citizens and useful members of their societies? No! They kept and still keep them, their children, their grandchildren, and in some cases even their great-grandchildren, in miserable "refugee camps", so that they can be used as political and military pawns in order to keep the burning hatred against Israel alive and in order to supply the manpower for the unremitting fight against Israel.

During those more than fifty years, Israel has taken in more than three million Jewish immigrants from all parts of the world and has integrated them productively into its society. According to the "Palestinians", the Arab "refugees" have now marvelously increased to five million (!). It is the intent and fervent desire of the Arabs that all of them should return to Israel so as to destroy the country without the necessity of war

The "refugees" are a red herring and another myth created by the Arab propaganda machine. The Arab propaganda machine, aided by the most high-powered public relations firms in the United States and all over, has created myths that, by dint of constant repetition, have been accepted as truth by much of the world. No sensible discussion, no peace in the Middle East, is possible until those Arab myths have been exposed for what they are.

Authored by FLAME – Facts and Logic about the Middle East PO Box 590359, San Francisco, CA 94149, Gerardo Joffe, President
US citizens: Let these congressmen know where YOU stand

AP reports in a dispatch dated April 17, 2003:
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - A U.S. congressional delegation met Yasser Arafat on Thursday in the first high-level American visit since Washington effectively boycotted the Palestinian leader last year.
...
The congressmen also met with Abbas. On Sunday, the delegation would meet with Syrian President Basher Assad. Senior U.S. officials have accused Syria of providing Iraq with war material and harboring terrorists.

"We had a very good meeting with Arafat, and he is fully committed to the peace process," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. "There is a road map that has been worked out ... and we should now pursue peace."

Jeffery Feltman, a spokesman for U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, said the State Department did not sanction the visit.

"The administration does not believe that Mr. Arafat is an interlocutor for peace," he said.

Issa was joined by Reps. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y.
I urge US citizens in general, and the constituents of the three congressmen listed above in particular, to contact these people.

Books Against Hate project


We're pleased to report that "Books Against Hate: Minnesota's Middle East Library Initiative," the campaign supported by Minnesotans Against Terrorism (“M.A.T.”) to put 18 books about terrorism and the Middle East into 30 Saint Paul and Minneapolis public libraries, has been a tremendous success . . . and you're invited to read any or all of the "18 Essential Books about Terrorism and Israel" that are being donated throughout the Twin Cities.

We hope that all M.A.T. supporters will visit the Barnes & Noble stores in St. Paul's Highland Village on Ford Parkway or in downtown Minneapolis on the Nicollet Mall this April to visit the tables displaying these 18 Essential Books -- the more books sold, the longer Barnes & Noble will feature the books, from Alan Dershowitz' "Why Terrorism Works" and Mitchell Bard's "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Middle East Conflict" to Dore Gold's new "Hatred's Kingdom" and Daniel Gordis' "If A Place Can Make You Cry."

The Books Against Hate campaign was inspired when Minnesotans Against Terrorism members learned that Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal had donated $500,000 to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to help finance a $2.5 million dollar book drive to put Islamic instructional materials in America's 16,000 public libraries. Curious, M.A.T. Conducted an online search -- and discovered that there was only one copy of Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's book, "A Durable Peace: Israel and Its Place Among Nations", in all of the Minneapolis and St. Paul libraries combined. And what of Paul Williams’ extraordinary book on Osama bin Laden’s terror organization, "Al Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror"? Incredibly, just one copy of "Al Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror" was available for loan from Minnesota's 450 public libraries, and you'd have to go to St. Cloud to find it! Thanks to Minnesotans Against Terrorism, this situation is now changing -- and we applaud the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public Libraries and Barnes & Noble for working with us.

For a complete list of M.A.T.'s 18 "Essential" books on terrorism and the Middle East, visit our Web site at http://www.minnesotansagainstterrorism.org/books.html

Thank you for your support,

Paul and Leora Maccabee, MAT Co-team Leader-"Books Against Hate" Project

To become a Team Leader or Team Member of a MAT project, please request an MAT Project Participation Form from Ilan Sharon at MinnesotansAgainstTerrorism@yahoo.com. For more information on MAT please visit our website at www.MinnesotansAgainstTerrorism.org.

Minnesotans Against Terrorism is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

© 2003 Minnesotans Against Terrorism

Disaffected Muslim

hat tip to Instapundit for this blog that is all its title suggests--and feminist perspective from American Muslim.
Iraq smuggling strategic materials through Syria

This doesn't come as a surprise, you say. But note that this was published by Geostrategy in Jan, 2002!
Iraq is secretly shipping components for military systems and weapons of mass destruction through Syria to the regime of President Saddam Hussein.
Western intelligence sources said Iraq is acquiring components for tanks, armored systems and anti-aircraft batteries as well as material for WMD through Syria. The sources said the smuggling began more than a year ago and has increased over the last few months.
The main Syrian port employed for the shipments is Tartous where the Iraqi smuggling route has led to a sharp increase in traffic.
The regime of President Bashar Assad has launched a project to expand the ports of Latakia and Tartous, and Japan has approved a $70 million loan for the project.
Meanwhile Syria, in what was described as a surprise move, has replaced its military chief of staff.
Syrian President Bashar Assad dismissed Gen. Ali Aslan, who has served since 1998 as the military's chief of staff. Assad replaced Aslan with his deputy, Gen. Hassan Turkamani.
U.S. officials said Assad appears to be ignorant of Syria's strategic weapons program, believed controlled by Aslan, Geostrategy-Direct reported in its Jan. 29 edition.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jan. 29: Syria's Assad seems unaware of his nation's
growing strategic ties with North Korea

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Jan. 29, the London-based Al Hayat daily reported that the U.S. Sixth Fleet stopped two Syrian merchant ships in the Mediterranean over the last week. The daily said the ships were taken to Cyprus and searched for unspecified weapons and materials. Nothing was confiscated from the Syrian ships.
"This [Syria] has become the main route for Iraqi smuggling of weapons and WMD," a senior Western intelligence official said. "In this way, Syria has replaced such countries as Jordan and Turkey."
Aslan is expected to go into retirement. He is a member both of the Alawite sect and of the Kalibya tribe, to which the Assad family belongs. For years, Aslan was regarded as the most trustworthy commander of the military.
The chief of staff was given a reception to commemorate his departure. The London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat said the reception on Tuesday was attended by Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlas. Tlas recently survived a Cabinet shakeup ordered by Assad.
The outgoing chief of staff was said to have urged a change in Syria's military doctrine away from the Soviet defensive model. Aslan urged his commanders to show greater initiative and tried to stop the deterioration of the military amid budget woes and a shortage of spare parts. On late Monday, Jan. 28, Saddam met his air force commanders. The official Iraqi news agency said Saddam discussed the improvement of the nation's air defense system.
The sources said the volume of smuggling through Syria to Iraq has expanded as relations have improved. Trade between the two countries resumed in 1997 and by last year the volume of commerce had reached $1 billion. The amount is expected to reach $2 billion in 2002.
Syrian exports to Iraq are reported at $500 million a year. The sources said Syria exports to Iraq its own produce as well as goods ordered by the regime in Baghdad. In return, Iraq pumps to Syria around 200,000 barrels of oil per day in violation of United Nations sanctions.
The unauthorized Iraqi oil exports to Syria were raised for the first time in the UN Security Council on Jan. 28. Syria, which joined the council earlier this month, has not yet formally responded.
Since 1995, Syrian authorities said, commerce at the Tartous port has increased by 47 percent in tonnage and 108 percent in income. In 2001, income produced by the port amounted to $19.2 million based on 5.7 million tons of imports.
Andrew Sullivan: Can't Help Myself

This passage from the BBC about Abu Abbas simply defies belief. No use of the term "terrorist," of course: A wanted Palestinian fugitive, Abu Abbas, has been detained by US forces in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. He led the Palestinian Liberation Front, which hijacked a US cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, in 1985. During the hijack, an elderly American passenger died. Abu Abbas had been mentioned by US President George W Bush as an example of the kind of figure given refuge by the former regime of Saddam Hussein.

In subsequent versions, the BBC seems to have substituted the term "was killed" for "died." I guess even they have their limits in terrorism apologetics.


It's a Haleva job: 56-year-old Jerry Haleva has been getting a lot of press lately. The Jewish contract lobbyist has a very interesting side job -- he plays Saddam Hussein on television and in the movies. The California Haleva bears an uncanny resemblance to the mass murderer and has appeared as Hussein in such movies at Hot Shots!, The Big Lebowski, and most recently Live from Baghdad. The media just can't seem to get enough of Haleva, who actually does pro-Israel work with AIPAC in his spare time. Articles about the Jewish Saddam lookalike have cropped up in local Jewish papers as well as Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times. "Being active in the Jewish community, I thought it was humorous that I might double as an Arab dictator," he says. However, it appears the novelty is wearing off a bit and beginning to take its toll. Haleva told Jewsweek last week that he is doing less press and, ever since the onset of war with Iraq, had become weary of the spotlight. After all, he pointed out, is it really a good thing?

found at yadayadayablog.
Abbas May Be Straw That Breaks Arafat

The capture of Abul Abbas, leader of the Palestine Liberation Front, in Baghdad may turn into one of the biggest stories to come out of the Iraq war -- and it will serve as powerful proof of the operation's value for the war against terrorism.

What's more, if he is brought back to the United States and prosecuted, it could make for the most spectacular international terrorist trial ever held in America.

By now, most people know that Abbas was wanted in the United States for his involvement in the murder of a 69-year-old wheelchair-bound U.S. citizen, Leon Klinghoffer, aboard the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985. Many also know that as a longtime client of the Iraqi regime, he knows more about Saddam Hussein's involvement in international terrorism than any other non-Iraqi.

But fewer people know that Abbas is in a position to implicate Yasser Arafat in detail on the Palestinian leader's involvement in terrorism. The PLF hijackers told hostages on the Achille Lauro, "We came on behalf of Yasser Arafat." For at least 20 years, Abbas was one of Arafat's most important allies in the Palestine Liberation Organization and a frequent go-between for Arafat and Hussein. In Tunis, Abbas' office was a few feet from that of the PLO chief, who paid the PLF's bills.

When Abbas launched a 1990 attack on Israel in boats, the terrorists were killed or captured just before they landed on the beach. I have vivid memories of that day because I was standing at the place where they would have landed if soldiers had not arrived minutes before to evacuate everyone. One of those captured by Israel that day, the operation's deputy commander, told journalists that the attack's target was Tel Aviv's beachfront hotel district and that his orders were: "Don't leave anyone alive. Kill them all ... children, women and elderly people."

Arafat protected Abbas at that time. Breaking his own promise to the United States, Arafat refused to denounce the attack as terrorism and thus lost his chance -- for the moment -- to open a dialogue with Washington. At the time, Arafat had an added incentive to support Abbas: He was jumping on the bandwagon of the PLF leader's master, Hussein, who was mobilizing for his invasion of Kuwait.

Today, at a time when Arafat is under unprecedented pressure from Palestinian reformers and the U.S., Abbas could be the one to break Arafat's hold on power if he turns state's evidence with what he knows about terrorism, corruption and deals with Hussein.

So how would the Palestinian leadership react if there were to be a trial? Would it denounce the United States? Would Arafat remain silent when one of his colleagues -- whom he refused to extradite -- was being prosecuted in the United States? Would some Palestinians threaten terrorist acts to free him? Would others, perhaps with European help, suggest that putting Abbas on trial would hurt efforts to restart peace negotiations with Israel?

The last time I saw Abbas in person was in 1988 when we physically collided in Tunis while scrambling for copies of the resolutions just passed by the PLO parliament. A few minutes earlier, it had passed a resolution declaring an independent Palestinian state.

Fifteen years later -- as a result of the terrorist actions of Abbas and the terrorism-supporting policies of his mentor, Arafat -- no such state exists and thousands more people are dead. Perhaps Abbas involuntarily will do more to bring peace and Palestinian independence in paying for his crimes than he ever did committing them.
EU says Middle East peace plan to be published unchanged

Roadmap, we learn here, to remain unchanged! Why doesn't the EU tell Arafat: accept minister's cabinet or no money.
[...]
EU tells Arafat to back Palestinian cabinet
EU leaders concluded their two-day summit Thursday with a call for a "successful conclusion" of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process through the implementation of the "roadmap."

The EU also said Thursday the UN must play a "central" role in rebuilding Iraq and urged the United States to maintain law and order in the country.

In a one-page EU statement, the 15 leaders asked Arafat to give an "early endorsement" to a Cabinet being put together by the new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, otherwise known as Abu Mazen.

The summit statement revealed a desire to find common ground in Europe after months of acrimony over the U.S.-led war in Iraq [more]

PLF leader Abu Abbas faces charges and a life sentence in Italy. (AP)

U.S.: Abu Abbas not immune under Israeli-Palestinian deal

Haaretz.com article says captured teror leader not immune from justice. Note arab response the usual crazed denials

WASHINGTON - The United States said Wednesday that a 1995 agreement between Israel and the Palestinians did not give immunity to Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Abbas, who was detained by U.S. forces in Baghdad this week.

Later Wednesday, Sky News reported that Italy would request the extradition of Abu Abbas for masterminding the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985 and the murder of Leon Klinghoffer.

Under the agreement, members of the Palestine Liberation Organization may not be detained or tried for matters they committed before the 1993 Oslo peace accords, said Palestinian minister Saeb Erekat, who demanded the U.S. set Abu Abbas free.

But a State Department official, who asked not to be identified, said: "The 1995 interim agreement concerns arrangements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority for the detention and prosecution of certain persons. It does not apply to the legal status of persons detained in a third country."

Bashar Assad:The evil moron who's running Syria.

A Slate article on the nutter running Terror R Us (Syria)
[...]While Assad's Syria isn't as repressive as Saddam's Iraq, it's still the kind of place where democratic dissidents get jailed. Assad has also proven to be wildly and vocally anti-Semitic. Less than a year after coming to power, he declared that Israelis "try to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality with which they betrayed Jesus Christ and in the same way they tried to kill the prophet Muhammad." He also said the election of Ariel Sharon proved that Israel was "a racist society, even more racist than the Nazis." When he came under international criticism for the remarks, he remarked, "I was talking about Israelis, not Jews."

Comments like those create the worry that Assad is not just pandering when he attacks the war in Iraq as a Zionist plot: He may actually believe it. Recently, the Jerusalem Post floated two other possibilities to explain Assad's head-scratching decision to support Saddam: Either Bashar is "not rational," or his plan is "designed not only to eventually tighten his grip on power in Damascus, but ensure the U.S. will not turn their smart bombs and bunker-busters on him next." In other words, Assad is either insane, or he's a genius. But there's a third possibility: He's rational, but he's also an idiot. Meaning, Assad believes he is acting in his own self-interest, but he's badly misjudged what his self-interest is.

Saddam, after all, surely thought he was acting in his own self-interest all the time, too. But if he had been better at gauging what was actually his best course of action, he might not have invited two catastrophic wars with the United States upon his country and his regime.

So, in the short run, you can see why Assad could think his gamble has paid off. His anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric has endeared him to both Arab nationalists and Islamic radicals in his country and in the region. "He's now the most important Arab leader," says Amatzia Baram, a professor of Middle East history at the University of Haifa.

But if Assad is now the most popular figure in the Middle East among Arabs of an anti-American stripe, it's worth noting that before Assad, that figure was Saddam. For Assad's sake, and for ours[more]

April 16, 2003

Happy Passover!
More Passover info here, here and here.

Dayenu 2003
by Artemis


This piece comes from my correspondent Artemis, definitely funny and appropriate enough to share. In every age they rise up to destroy us. But the Holy One, Blessed be he, delivers us from their hands...

"How many levels of favors has the Omnipresent One bestowed upon us:

If He had destroyed the Ba'ath party, and had not carried out judgments against their allies the French, the Germans and the Russians, Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had carried out judgments against their allies the French, the Germans and the Russians, and not against the Ba'ath party idols, Dayenu!

If He had destroyed the Ba'ath party idols, and had not smitten Uday and Qusay, Dayenu!

If He had smitten Uday and Qusay, and had not delivered to us their plunder, Dayenu!

If He had delivered to us their plunder, and had not made the victory swift and sure, Dayenu!

If He had made the victory swift and sure, and had not made Baghdad fall like a drunk in a whorehouse, Dayenu!

If He made Baghdad fall like a drunk in a whorehouse, and had not created the stupidest antiwar movement ever, Dayenu!

If He had created the stupidest antiwar movement ever, and had not freed our POWs, Dayenu!

If He had freed our POWs, and had not exposed the UN as an empty bankrupt parliament of frauds, Dayenu!

If he exposed the UN as an empty bankrupt parliament of frauds, and had not nabbed Abu Abbas, Dayenu!

If He nabbed Abu Abbas and had not cut off the oil pipeline from Iraq to Syria, Dayenu!

If He had cut off the oil pipeline from Iraq to Syria, and had not freed the prisoners from the Iraqi torture chambers, Dayenu!

If He freed the prisoners from the Iraqi torture chambers, and had not exposed Jacques Chirac for the prize a--hole he is, Dayenu,!

If He had exposed Jacques Chirac for the prize a--hole he is, and had not given the Iraqi people a chance to create a democracy, Dayenu!

Thus how much more so should we be grateful to the Omnipresent One for the doubled and redoubled goodness that He has bestowed upon us; for He has destroyed the Ba'ath party, carried out judgments against their allies the French, the Germans and the Russians, smote Uday and Qusay, delivered us their plunder, made the victory swift and sure, made Baghdad melt like a drunk in a whorehouse, created the stupidest antiwar movement ever, freed our POWs, exposed Jacques Chirac for the prize a--hole he is, and has given the Iraqi people a chance to create a democracy to atone for all our sins.

Dayenu!"
Palestinian reformers drawing lessons from Saddam's fall


Winds of change at last possible in ME? See Jerusalem Post piece. With the downfall of Saddam, reform-minded arabs may seek changes
For more than a decade, Saddam Hussein was a hero for most Palestinians, who described him as one of the great modern Arab leaders.

But the swift collapse of his regime has prompted many to change their mind and to finally admit that their erstwhile champion was nothing but a ruthless and corrupt dictator responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the destruction of his country.

Since the fall of Baghdad last week, many Palestinians have joined the increasingly growing chorus of Arab writers, intellectuals, and politicians who argue that other Arab dictators should draw conclusions from his downfall.

The war in Iraq has bolstered Arab and Palestinian reformers who believe that the time has come for real change in the Arab world.

The change, they say, should begin by getting rid of the Arab despots and their corrupt regimes. In the words of one Palestinian analyst, "It's time for the Arab world to turn over the page of repression." [more]
Why "Palestine" but no Kurdistan?

Gerald A. Honigman in a guest column in the Jewish Internet Assn writes,
Some 30 million proud, abused, and beleaguered people, still not in possession of one state let alone 22 others, are thus simply disregarded in a grotesque display of moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy by the very same circles promoting an Arafatian state...

Just imagine if Israel was to say that under no circumstances would a another Palestinian Arab state be permitted to be created. Could you envision the outcry around the world? Yet this is precisely what our friends, the Turks, have stated over and over again regarding the Kurds. And this was echoed in Thomas Friedman's March 28th article in the New York Times as well. Friedman advises that the Kurds should be told point blank, "what part of 'no' don't you understand? ...You Kurds are not breaking away." Nauseating. This is the same Friedman who has written volumes espousing the creation of a 23rd Arab state, and second Arab one in the original. MORE
He goes on to show it is just as wrong to deny the Kurds a state as it is wrong to give one to the Pals.
We hear from the folks at the State Department that Iraq must not be dismembered because it will lead to instability in the region. Funny, that these same folks don't think twice about what the creation of a second Palestinian Arab state will do to both a miniscule, 9-mile wide Israel and a Jordan whose majority population is Palestinian Arab. Repeated partitions are legitimate for Palestine, but not even one is permissible for Mesopotamia/Iraq. What's wrong with this picture?

The real reasons for our State Department not wanting this, of course, are quite different. One of the main ones is the same one that Britain had when it aborted an independent Kurdistan in the first place: fear of angering the Arab world. But think of what could happen if Mosul and Kirkuk's oil became part of a long overdue, friendly Kurdish State with America as its main ally...
This fear of angering the Arabs results in the hapless condition of both the Kurds and the Israelis.


Put a Road Block on the Road Map

Bernice Sacks Lipkin, a new contributor to IsraPundit has written a thirteen page thesis on the "situation', how we got here and where are we going.

It is entitled "When Bush Comes to Shove". This document is extremely thorough, very readable and very enlightening.

Bottom line is "Don't travel the Road Map. Do yourself a favour, wade through it.
Trust the Guardian?

The Guardian, of all places in an article entitled Don't Hold Your Breath , offers reason for hope.

The 10 Plagues of Iraq


Passover begins tonight. Family and food. The first great joyous festival of freedom, echoing through the ages. Bound up in Jewish history, in Christian culture and even in the Negro spirituals of the American south:
"Go down Moses,
Way down in Egypt land,
Tell old Pharoh,
Let my people go."
Every year we gather together at our Seders, links in the chain of a long and proud story. This year, that story has special relevance. Again. In freedom and liberation, yes. And in the Passover wine, drops spilled from the cup as we mourn the blood spilled by the heaven-sent plagues that eventually ended Pharaoh's rule.

Iraqi dissident and human rights activist Kanan Makiya wrote on April 9th: "Baathism died in Iraq yesterday". Beyond all hope comes the force of a mighty hand, and Pharaoh is fallen at last. Along the way, however, the Iraqis too have suffered their own version of the 10 plagues. This Passover, as we sit at our Seders, let us spare a thought for them... and for the difficult post-exodus portions of the Passover story their society has yet to travel. (read the rest)