.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Faux pas trifecta (Diana West, Washington Times Op-Ed)

Interesting article about the incredibly naive "listening tour" that President Bush sent Karen Hughes on.

Faux pas trifecta

By Diana West
September 30, 2005

The president's confidante has been on a "listening tour" to "start a conversation with the rest of the world"—namely, the Muslim world, beginning with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — but there were too many times when she just didn't know what to say.
A Washington Post anecdote from Day One captures the disconnect. Asked in Egypt whether she was going to meet with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Mubarak-banned opposition party with deep roots in terrorism and the catchy motto — "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope" — Mrs. Hughes "turned uncertainly to an aide and indicated she was wasn't quite sure of the answer. The aide whisperedbackand Hughes replied,'We arerespectfulof Egypt's laws.' "
I guess that means no, but the non-denial denial is open to interpretation. Maybe she wanted to meet with the Muslim Brotherhood, but couldn't? Or maybe she didn't want to say something as harshly non-conversational as "no" because the popular MB might be elected one of these days. (This which would chalk one up for sharia-to-the-people — the Arab democracy doctrine of the Bush administration.) Or maybe she just didn't know.
But worse than not knowing what to say is saying too much. Or saying the wrong thing. Or even saying anything at all. Mrs. Hughes committed all of the above, a faux pas trifecta, after meeting with Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, the academic center of Sunni Islam. It was a "wonderful meeting," she explained, because the two of them were able to talk "about the common language of the heart."
Oh, brother. Is this an Undersecretary of State or a sorority sister? Mrs. Hughes burbled on about the leadership of Al-Azhar "in speaking out against extremism, against terrorism, [which] is not in keeping with the tenets of Islam" — natch. The sheikh "made the point that all divine religions are built on a spirit of love," she said, "and [that] it is important that all of us work together to fight extremism, to fight terrorism." What a guy. Hearing Mrs. Hughes talk about him, you could almost forget what he said in 2002, as translated from a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), when he called on Palestinian Muslims to "intensify the martyrdom operations [suicide attacks] against the Zionist enemy" — men, women, and children — and described the barbarous slaughter as "the highest form of Jihad operations," and "a legitimate act according to [Islamic] law." Maybe that's the "spirit of love" Mrs. Hughes was gushing about.
Then there was what Sheikh Tantawi said in 2003, also reported by MEMRI, when he called for jihad against U.S. forces in Iraq. "Jihad is an obligation for every Muslim when Muslim countries are subject to aggression," he explained. "The gates of Jihad are open until the Day of Judgment, and he who denies this is an infidel or one who abandons his religion." This he said during a sermon at — where else? — Al-Azhar. (Speaking of Al-Azhar, MEMRI reports that Sharia faculty chief Abd Al-Sabour Shahin just last month denied that "a single Arab or Muslim" had anything to do with destroying the Empire State Building [sic] on September 11. He blamed "dirty Zionists.")
I juxtapose Mrs. Hughes' hearts-and-flowers assessment with the hate-and-fanaticism reality for a reason. Obviously, the resources available to me — the invaluable MEMRI Web site — are available to the State Department. I find it difficult to believe that Mrs. Hughes or her advisors were unaware of the jihadist incitement Sheikh Tantawi is prone to, even though he's also on record with contradictory statements. Why did the Bush administration determine that this meeting was in the best interests of our nation? If the war on terror — always a PC-punch-pulling moniker — is turning into the accommodation of terror, maybe it makes sense to make nice. There is, actually, a long tradition of such accommodation between the non-Muslim world and the Muslim world, and it is contained within the blighted history of "dhimmitude." This is the term coined by historian Bat Ye'or to describe the institutionalized inferiority of non-Muslims (dhimmi) under Muslim rule. Mrs. Hughes' paying tribute to the likes of Sheikh Tantawi is dhimmi behavior. As is, frankly, the whole "listening tour" — an ill-conceived campaign to improve Uncle Sam's "image" with a Muslim world whose opposition to a viable Israel and a free Iraq is hardly skin-deep.
Me, I'd like to see a "like it or lump it tour." But that, of course, would mean keeping up the fight.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Best. Comment. Ever.

I was stunned at the sheer intellect and clarity of the comment put on my blog a few hours ago by a King Ubu. Best as I can tell, he was upset at something written here, and his blog has a Palestinian flag on it.

Here is his comment in its entirety:

Flock of bastards stupids! The Bin goes to eat the mother of all land of Sion!

A thing of beauty.

Bizarre algorithm rates this blog highly

The Truth Laid Bear has evidently started a "topic list" for blogs where you can see postings on specified topics, somewhat like Technorati's tags. TTLB also ranks blogs within a topic. For reasons I cannot quite fathom, here are the top 20 blogs that talk about Israel according to their algorithm:

1. blog details page Power Line
2. blog details page Marathon Pundit
3. blog details page Desde Sefarad
4. blog details page Apropos Of Nothing
5. blog details page Doug Ross @ Journal
6. blog details page Spartacus
7. blog details page Jewish Current Issues
8. blog details page The Politburo Diktat
9. blog details page Daniel in Brookline
10. blog details page GayandRight
11. blog details page Elder of Ziyon
12. blog details page Soccer Dad
13. blog details page Donklephant
14. blog details page Bird of Paradise
15. blog details page Doubting Thomas
16. blog details page This Blog Is Full Of Crap
17. blog details page PoliPundit.com
18. blog details page Drink this...
19. blog details page THE DAILY BLITZ
20. blog details page Der Blatt

So even though I rank pretty low in TTLB's general rankings, somehow I made it to number 11 in the Israel topic blogs (today.) Why blogs like Israpundit aren't mentioned at all, I have no idea.

Maybe I'll rank higher if I write ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL.

Worth a shot! :)

Letter to Palestinians (Yossi Klein HaLevi)

A long article from an iconoclastic Israeli journalist that is worth reading. I disagree with his still too-optimistic conclusion but it has some excellent parts. Excerpts:

During my journey into Islam in Gaza, I met General Nasser Youssef (who at the time of our meeting was head of one of the Palestinian security forces and is now the PA Interior Minister). At one point during our conversation, I asked the general to describe his vision of the relations between a Jewish state and a Palestinian state after we signed a peace agreement.

Let's assume, I said, that Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, uproots the settlements and redivides Jerusalem: What then? He replied that, once the refugees begin returning to the area, so many would gravitate to those areas in Israel where their families once lived, that eventually we would realize there was no need for an artificial border between Israel and Palestine.

The next step, continued the general, was that the two states would merge. "And then we'll invite Jordan to join our federation. And Iraq and Syria. Why not? We'll show the whole world what a beautiful country Jews and Arabs can create together."

But, I asked the general, aren't we negotiating today over a two-state solution? Yes, he replied, as an interim step. And then he added, "You aren't separate from us; you are part of us. Just as there are Muslim Arabs and Christian Arabs, you are Jewish Arabs."

This story is particularly relevant because General Youssef is widely known as a moderate, deeply opposed to terror as counter-productive to the Palestinian cause. And so what I learned in my journeys into your society is that moderation means one thing on the Israeli side and quite another on the Palestinian side.

AN ISRAELI moderate recognizes the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a struggle between two legitimate national narratives.

A Palestinian moderate, by contrast, tends to disagree with the extremists about method, not goal: He opposes the destruction of Israel through terror and war, perhaps because that option isn't realistic; yet he advocates the disappearance of Israel through more gradualist means, like demographic subversion. Like General Yusuf, he sees a two state solution as an interim agreement, a step toward Greater Palestine. When your moderates speak of peace and justice, then, they usually mean a one-state solution.

My journey into the faiths of my neighbors was part of a much broader attempt among Israelis, begun during the first intifada, to understand your narrative, how the conflict looks through your eyes.

Your society, on the other hand, has made virtually no effort to understand our narrative.

Instead, you have developed what can be called a "culture of denial," that denies the most basic truths of the Jewish story. According to this culture of denial, which is widespread not only among your people but throughout the Arab world, there was no Temple in Jerusalem, no ancient Jewish presence in the land, no Holocaust.

Nowhere is The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as popular as in the Arab world, which has also become the international center for Holocaust denial.
The real problem, then, is not terrorism, which is only a symptom for a deeper affront: your assault on my history and identity, your refusal to allow me to define myself, which is a form of intellectual terror.

IN YOUR society's official embrace, through media and schools and mosques, of the culture of denial, you have tried to reinvent us, to redefine us out of our national existence.

Your political and spiritual leadership routinely insists that there is no Jewish people – only a Jewish faith, or an invented identity like General Yusuf's "Arab Jews," or an ersatz people descended from the Khazars. In so doing, you ignore how Jews have always defined themselves: as a people with a faith.

Your inability to understand who we are has been a disaster not only for us but also for you, because it has repeatedly led you to underestimate our vitality and ability to persevere. And now, it seems, you are once again about to disastrously misread the Israeli public.

According to polls, a majority of Palestinians believe that the decision to withdraw from Gaza was prompted by terror. And that conclusion may well lead you to the next round of terror.

In fact, we are leaving Gaza because a majority of Israelis concluded – already in the first intifada – that it is in our existential interest to minimize the demographic threat to a Jewish majority and the moral threat of permanent occupation to our souls. At the same time, we are strengthening our hold on those areas that we believe are essential for our well-being: the settlement blocs and greater Jerusalem.

Here, then, is the irony of what you call Al-Aksa Intifada: In choosing terror, you lost the Jerusalem capital you could have gained through negotiations.

The key to understanding the meaning of unilateral withdrawal – a point missed not only by your people but by the Israeli Right as well – is that "unilateral" is no less important than "withdrawal." Most Israelis have concluded that our Left was correct in its warnings against the moral and demographic dangers of occupation, and our Right was correct in its warnings that the Palestinian national movement had no intention of living in peace with a Jewish state in any borders. And so, if we cannot occupy you and we cannot make peace with you, the only option left to us is unilateral withdrawal and the fence – that is, determining our own borders in the absence of a negotiated peace.

The new Israeli determination to stop waiting for a nonexistent Palestinian partner and take our fate in our own hands is an Israeli, not a Palestinian, victory.

The Terror War has given Israeli society another crucial victory: a restored faith in the justness of our position. Aside from a vocal but fringe Left, most Israelis know that, at every crucial historic juncture in the last 70 years, when an offer to end the conflict was placed on the table, our side said yes and your side said no. That has given us the strength to withstand the current jihadist assault.

During the Oslo process, leaders of the Israeli peace camp assured the Israeli public, increasingly anxious over Palestinian incitement against our existence, that legitimacy would follow reconciliation – that is, first the occupation needed to end and the formal mechanics of peace implemented, and then the Palestinians would gradually accept Israel's right to exist. We now realize that the reverse is true: Legitimacy is the precondition for reconciliation.





More words of peace from the PA

When Hamas lies and pretends to be a tiny bit more moderate, headlines explode across the globe.

When the Palestinian Authority threatens war (and says that the Palestinians are preparing for war) against Israel, the media doesn't notice. This is the only article in Google News that mentions the name "Muhammad Ranaim."
Muhammad Ranaim, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and a Fatah leader, said a third intifada was very possible. "There could be a third intifada, which would be much more severe than its predecessor. This will be the intifada against the fence," he told Ynet.

Ranaim said Palestinians won't live in peace in a Palestinian state which has the settlements of Ariel and Gush Etzion "stuck in its heart," also mentioning Maaleh Adumim and the Jerusalem area.

"On this matter, we are preparing a difficult struggle for Israel. We'll go to the U.N., to the Security Council, and demand that the decisions of the court be applied regarding the separation fence. If we fail, we'll go to the General Assembly, and if we don't succeed, we have a third option, and that is more resistance, another intifada, and this will be a lot more severe than its predecessor," said Ranaim.

He added: "The resistance is a historic phenomenon created during these years, and it is created from the fact that there is no life with the occupation. If Abu Mazen does not succeed in the diplomatic path, the only option remaining is the resistance, the intifada. From my perspective, the bottom line is that Israel did not defeat the Palestinian resistance. Israel withdrew from Gaza and accepted the road map, so everyone should realize that this intifada achieved."

His words are virtually indistinguishable from those of Hamas, yet the world media still portrays the PA as being "moderate."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Plight of Jews from Arab lands highlighted

It always amazes me to see how much attention the world pays to Palestinian refugees and their descendents, and how little to the larger number of Jewish refugees, direct victims of bigotry by Arab nations.

It is equally amazing how the Arab countries, who pride themselves on their hospitality, have kept Palestinian Arabs in refugee camps for decades while Israel, which was extraordinarily poor in the late 40s and 50s, was able to absorb the Jewish refugees.
An international conference promoting the rights of Jews from Arab lands, held in London, is intended to be the springboard for a worldwide campaign to highlight the plight of Jews who fled or were pushed out of Arab lands.

It is Hosted by the British Board of Deputies, the umbrella group of British Jewry, this conference is intended to be the springboard for a worldwide campaign to highlight the plight of Jews who fled or were pushed out of Arab lands.

The conference, held last Sunday and Monday, was attended by Jews from 14 nations across the globe. Organised by the World Organization for Jews from Arab Countries and Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, Jewish representatives from 14 nations met to create the steering committee for the International Campaign for Rights and Redress.

The conference was hosted by the Board of Deputies, the umbrella group of British Jewry.

The Jews from Arab lands were expelled or fled when Israel was created. They came from all Arab lands, eg Libya, Egypt, Syria, Morrocco, Algeria, Lebanon.

Stanley Urman, Executive Director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries spoke about the importance of this first step. "It is a commitment by Jewish communities in 14 countries on five continents to once and for all document the historical injustice perpetrated against Jews in Arab countries," Urman said. "It is not just a theoretical and educational exercise, it is concrete."

The campaign will document and collate information about the Jews who were dispersed. Urman spoke of the need to create this campaign as attempts to collect information thus far had not been successful. "At the moment it is woefully inadequate and it will not allow anyone to assert the issue of Jewish refugees with credibility and efficiency."

Moroccan Jew craftsman

“When people speak of refugees, everyone thinks immediately of Palestinian refugees. It’s not well known that there were more Jews displaced from Arab countries (856,000) than Palestinian refugees (725,000) in 1948, according to UN estimates. It’s time for this issue to assume its rightful place on the international agenda,” Urman continued.

The displaced Jews were recognized as refugees by the United Nations, but there was virtually no international response to their plight. Palestinian refugees frequently cite UN General Assembly Resolution 181 as a justification for redress, but it is almost always forgotten that this resolution applies to Jewish refugee’s as well.

The Board of Deputies hosting this important event has given it an important stamp of approval and validation.

"We are delighted to play a key role in this crucial project," said Henry Grunwald, President of the Board of Deputies. "The plight of Jews from Arab countries is all too often a cause that we in the wider Jewish community forget, and we must act to educate and raise awareness of this important issue."

The International Campaign for Rights and Redress will launch officially in March with a special month of commemoration to highlight the torture, detention, loss of citizenship and seizure of property suffered by many Jewish refugees.

Hamas and Assad and Al Qaeda, oh my!

Today's news is more of the same - Palestinian Arab terror and lies, Arabs blaming Israel, and not a peep from Abbas.

Syrian leader Bashir Assad told Hamas and Islamic Jihad to escalate attacks so as to take pressure off of his adventures in Lebanon and Iraq.

The terrorists seems to have gladly done so, continuing to send rockets into Israel even after their "promise" to stop.

Meanwhile, the IDF Intelligence chief says "Al-Qaeda is in Gaza," and Hamas copied a method from Qaeda's playbook by releasing a video of the Israeli they kidnapped before he was murdered.

The IDF found a weapons factory near Jenin and also arrested a Jerusalem-based Hamas liaison to Saudi Arabia Hamas terrorists (Hamas has people in SA? Hmmmm.)

Of course, amidst all these peaceful Palestinian gestures, you can always count on Hosni Mubarak to blame Israel for the stall in the "peace process."

How will Abbas react to all this? The way he always does - by doing nothing but receive more money from idiotic world governments that will eventually filter to the terrorists.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The German who saved 7200 Jews

On September 28, 1943, two days before Rosh Hashanah, a German diplomat in Denmark, Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, warned the Danish political leaders (one of whom later became the Danish Prime Minister, as this article indicates) that the Germans were planning to deport all of Danish Jewry to Theresienstadt within days. Duckwitz, a maritime attache, arranged for Sweden to accept the Jewish refugees and delayed the German patrol boats that would have caught the escaping Jews by placing them in dry-dock.

The citizenry of Denmark immediately worked together en masse to arrange for the incredible logistics of transporting thousands of Jews safely to Sweden in only three days. It appears that the final number saved was 7220 Jews and 680 non-Jewish relatives. Of the 500 remaining Jews that were deported, only 51 died, mostly due to Danish pressure on Germany for the well-being of their citizens.

More details can be seen in this article, with additional information here and here.

Two Haaretz op-eds that actually make sense

Moshe Arens used to be my favorite Israeli politician before he withdrew from politics (and before Natan Sharansky emerged from the Gulag.) His stuff is worth reading.
One mistake after another
By Moshe Arens

Author and columnist Hillel Halkin, who initially had not been critical of the Oslo accords, writes in the September issue of Commentary: "It has long been obvious to all but the incurably or willfully blind that the 1993 agreement signed in Oslo between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization was a horrendous blunder on Israel's part. Rarely in history has a country so foolishly opened its gates to a Trojan horse as Israel did when it welcomed Yasser Arafat and his PLO brigades, handed over to them most of the Gaza Strip and much of the West Bank, and gave them the arms to impose their rule on the local inhabitants. How could such a mistake have been made by experienced political and military leaders?"

This probably expresses the view of most Israelis today - those who saw the Oslo accords as a major error right from the start, as well as those who supported them at the time they were signed.

After 45 years of war, belligerency and terror, and after the first intifada, one could perhaps excuse the impatience the Yitzhak Rabin government displayed with the ongoing and seemingly endless conflict - an impatience that led to caution being thrown to the wind, and the subsequent haste and disorderly process that led to the Oslo accords. The enthusiasm with which the agreement with Yasser Arafat was greeted throughout the world, together with the Nobel peace prize awarded to Rabin, Shimon Peres and Arafat, were seen by many as confirmation that the Israeli government under Rabin's leadership had finally taken a bold and courageous step toward the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It took Arafat's erratic behavior, his dictatorial and corrupt rule over the Palestinians under his control, and a quantum leap in the level of Palestinian terror directed against the population of Israel for most Israelis to begin to come to a more sober assessment of these ill-fated accords.

Seven years after the Oslo accords, then prime minister Ehud Barak announced he was going to put an end to the intractable conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. This time, under the watchful eye of the president of the United States at Camp David, and by now presumably knowing full well with whom he was dealing, Barak made Arafat an offer he thought Arafat would not be able to refuse. Arafat was offered major concessions, which had never even been discussed in public, in return for an agreement that would "end the conflict once and for all."

When Arafat, nevertheless, turned down Barak's offer, the latter did not call it quits. With his government by now in tatters and having no mandate for the concessions he had offered, and with an election in the offing, Barak delegated his ministers to offer further concessions in a desperate attempt to reach an agreement before Israelis went to the polls. It didn't work - and not only did it fail, it turned out to be the prelude to Palestinian acts of terror against the Israeli population that set new heights in violence and brutality. It was a major blunder that, in history, will no doubt take its place alongside the Oslo accords. And again, one might ask the question: How could an experienced military leader like Barak commit such foolishness?

But, as is well known, Israelis do not give up easily. If we cannot reach an agreement with the Palestinians, we are just going to solve the problem ourselves - unilaterally. We are going to put some space between us and the Palestinians or, in other words, disengage - even if creating that space means pulling Israeli citizens out of their homes by force. It is almost incomprehensible that this ludicrous idea - that in this tiny country, in which Jews and Arabs live cheek by jowl, we can separate the peoples so as to avoid all contact - has been promoted by another experienced military man and politician, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and has seized the imagination of many Israelis.

The fortuitous demise of Arafat, the arrival of Mahmoud Abbas as elected leader of the Palestinians, has given another boost to this idea, now embellishing it with the anticipation that disengagement will not only get Jews and Palestinians out of each others' hair, but will actually lead to peace between Israel and a Palestinian state.

As happened after the Oslo adventure, and again at the time of Barak's egregious offers to Arafat at Camp David, Sharon's disengagement plan is being praised as a bold and courageous move in much of the world, and the Nobel peace price committee is probably already preparing next year's award. But if, as seems likely at the moment, the Palestinian mini-state in Gaza turns out to be a nest of terrorist activity against Israel, the Noble prize will have to be mothballed and Israel, sobered up for the nth time, will have to go back to meeting the challenge of handing the Palestinian terrorists a decisive defeat, in the realization that this is the necessary condition for progress toward peace in the area.
Hat tip to Israpundit.

In an amazing turn of events, Haaretz also publishes a second op-ed that doesn't suffer from liberal wishful thinking:

If you lie down with missiles
By Yoel Marcus

I wonder how many times we can go on quoting Abba Eban's immortal observation that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity without boring the reader. But what can you do? It still fits. The Palestinians haven't learned a damn thing. They have a morbid knack for making the biggest, most stupid mistakes whenever the door opens a crack and a chance comes their way to establish a state alongside Israel.

What prompted them, after the Oslo accords were signed with such pomp and circumstance, to send suicide bombers into the heart of Israeli cities? Why, the moment the Barak, Arafat and Clinton summit ended at Camp David, did they kick off the Al-Aqsa Intifada that left 4,000 people dead on both sides? What is the sense in holding a victory parade in Gaza and then firing a massive volley of Qassam rockets into territories that Israel left of its own will? What is the logic in choosing a critical time, when Sharon is fighting for his political life against rebels in his own party, to bombard Israel with 40 Qassams in one night? What do they want? An Israel led by Bibi and Uzi Landau?

For a moment, it seemed that Hamas was abiding by Abu Mazen's request to silence the guns while the disengagement was under way, when Sharon made it clear there would be no withdrawal under fire. But the instant the last Israeli soldier left Gaza, the Hamas chiefs couldn't wait to take credit for "chasing out" the Israel Defense Forces and knocking down the settlements. In a bid to grab the reins when the Palestinian Authority goes to the polls in January, they've been stirring up the crowds as only they know how - until the Qassam explosion that killed 19 Palestinians and wounded 200. Hamas couldn't sell the lie that Israel was behind the blast, even to al-Jazeera.

Forty Qassams launched in one night was bad news for Abu Mazen on the eve of his summit with Sharon. Condoleezza Rice raked him over the coals and demanded that he disarm Hamas. Establishing a democracy with armed militias is out of the question, he was told. An analogy would be Lehi and Etzel, Israel's pre-state militias, taking over the country by force after the establishment of the state. David Ben-Gurion, aware of this danger, not only took away the weapons of these militias, but disbanded the Palmach. Those who keep monsters at home shouldn't be surprised when their appetite grows with the eating.

The goal of the Hamas leadership is to rule the PA roost. Abu Mazen appears to be too weak to enforce the one government-one army rule. He knows very well that Mussa Arafat, bumped off by Hamas, lived 200 meters from his home in Gaza. Hamas derives its power from the Palestinian street. It would be a strategic error on its part to do anything to bring Israeli artillery, tanks and planes back into firing range, now that the IDF has left the Gaza Strip and the inhabitants have been given a chance to rebuild their lives, free of the shackles of occupation. Put it this way: He who goes to bed with Qassams should not be surprised if he wakes up with a boom.

Both Abu Mazen and his interior minister denounced Hamas. When its leaders tried to shift the blame on Israel, it was Abu Mazen who didn't let them get away with it: "Those who brought in combustible materials should have considered the possibility of a match being struck." Nice words, but not sufficient.

The president of the Palestinian Authority has enough army and police units, and all the international backing he needs, to deploy them in Gaza in a display of strength against Hamas. Hamas has not only been lambasted by the ministers of the European Union but defined by the Bush administration as a terror organization.

For Israel to make more painful concessions for the sake of an agreement, it will take more than the shameful goings-on at the convention of the Likud Central Committee, and more than last night's vote and its consequences. What is needed more than anything is a leader on the other side who is no less forceful than Sharon - a man who is prepared to fight against the extremists and the enemies of peace, and be more than a partner on paper.


Monday, September 26, 2005

January 22, 1933: Arabs protest Jews leasing land in Transjordan

This small story from 1933 illustrates, more than anything else, the root of the "conflict" between Israel and the Arab countries.

Arabs do not want Jews to own or control land in the Middle East.

Everything else - pretending to care about Palestinian refugees, or about "war crimes", or "international law" or "UN resolutions" - are all lies, window dressing to cover the naked bigotry that stands behind all the bluster. Arab Muslims cannot stomach the weak dhimmi Jews owning any tiny bit of land that was ever under Muslim control. No matter how legally it is acquired, Arabs would be just as livid at the thought of Jews owning land as they are today about "occupation."

Jews are OK as long as they subject themselves to living as second-class citizens in Arab countries, paying their jizya. But once they actually try to act as if they have any real rights, well, that is not acceptable to the mentality of the vast majority of Arabs.

The root of the conflict is pure bigotry against Jews.

It is not even clear if any Jews were interested in leasing (not buying!) the land mentioned in this article, or if it was only a rumor. This doesn't slow down the vitriol, as thousands of Arabs rally against the possibility of Jews controlling any land in sacred Muslim territory.

Notice how at that time the Arabs are not shy in saying their opposition is to Jews, not Zionists; that they call the legal transfer of land "robbery" when it is to Jews; and the now familiar method of subtly threatening the West (in this case, Britain) if they don't cave to the Arab demands.

To understand the Middle East today, read this article from 72 years ago very carefully.



In an ironic footnote, one can find one other mention of Ghor Al Kabad in Transjordan in 1939, where Jews help out the Emir who owns land in the controversial area:


Yes, it truly is awful to let Jews touch "sacred Arab land."

Jerusalem man kidnapped, killed by Hamas

A Jewish resident of Jerusalem was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and murdered, police said Monday.

The body of Sasson Nuriel, 50, of the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev, who was kidnapped earlier this week was found Monday morning in the Beitunia industrial zone.

Nuriel's body was discovered following a four-day Shin Bet and Israel Police manhunt which resulted in the capture of one of the suspected members of Hamas cell believed responsible for the killing, police said.

Nuriel, who worked as a sweets salesman in the nearby West Bank industrial area of Mishor Adumim, east of Ma'aleh Adumim, went missing on September 21. After police received notification, a massive manhunt was initiated in the area around Jerusalem for Nuriel's whereabouts.

According to the Shin Bet investigation, Nuriel was kidnapped by a Hamas cell active in the Ramallah area on the afternoon of September 21. The arrest of one of the suspected members of the cell Monday morning and subsequent interrogation led police to the victim's body.

Channel Two news reported that a Palestinian worker at the sweets plant was suspected of involvement in the kidnapping, and possibly enticed Nuriel to drive his truck towards the Ramallah area.

The terror supporters that get upset when Israel arrests Palestinians rarely mention incidents like this - pure terror against the innocent.

Iranian 'news' gets its scare-quotes mixed up

It used to be that Iranian "news" sources would "report" about news from Israel and "Palestine" with a liberal use of "scare-quotes" around the word "Israel," usually referring to it as the "Zionist regime."

Today, for some strange reason, I am seeing that they are scare-quoting "Zionist" and not Israel.

Maybe next they'll start getting rid of the vowels of anything vaguely Jewish, so we'll be reading about "Z**n*sts" and "*sr**l".
LONDON, September 26 (IranMania) - Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi deplored new wave of extensive air raids of 'Zionist' regime against innocent Palestinian people, IRNA reported.

He condemned Israeli air raids against Palestinian activists and said that the extensive air attacks against defenseless Palestinians indicated that (Ariel) Sharon cannot abandon its nature of warmongering and murder.

"The Zionist regime's announcement of withdrawal from Gaza with US green light was a ploy to misuse inattention of the international community, especially those Islamic states which resumed diplomatic relations with the 'Zionists' to pave the way for new round of repressive moves against the Palestinians," Asefi said.


The media's love affair with Hamas

As a followup to yesterday's media circus, with hundreds of articles breathlessly reporting Hamas' latest lie that they will stop all attacks from Gaza, there was another statement from a Hamas spokesman yesterday:
“We decided to participate in the elections as part of our legitimate struggle against the occupation”, Al Masry said, “Resistance is a legitimate and strategic right, Hamas will not disarm
Even more explicitly, Hamas' leader Mahmoud A-Zahhar described in a recent interview the true goals of Hamas, going way beyond the destruction of Israel to the establishment of a pan-Muslim state throughout, presumably, the entire areas ever occupied my Muslims (probably including Spain):
TML: What is the final goal of Hamas?
A-Z: If you ask any Palestinian or Muslim, wherever he lives – in America or in Britain or in Indonesia – he would tell you that according to the religious point of view, this land is part of the Arab and Muslim nations. This means, that there is no other option but to reunify this land once again.

TML: What is 'this land' that you are talking about? Are you talking about the whole of Israel?
A-Z: I understand where you are headed, and I will answer you. First of all this Palestinian land, and all the Arabic nation, is all part of the same area. In the past, there was no independent Palestinian state; there was no independent Jordanian state; and so on. There were regions called Iraq or Egypt, but they were all part of one country. That is why it is not permitted to [agree to] establish separate countries, which was the case after the Sykes-Picot Agreement [1916]. Our main goal is to establish a great Islamic state, be it pan-Arabic or pan-Islamic. Therefore, it is not allowed to establish an Arabic state over the land of Palestine alone. Also, remember this land is still occupied. To sum up, the Islamic and traditional views reject the notion of establishing an independent Palestinian state. The European example is clear. Europe's history is filled with wars and blood. Its races are varied, its languages are varied, and nevertheless it established the European Union. The Islamists' view, which Hamas adheres to, is that a great Muslim state must be established, with Palestine being a part of it. Within this state, Israel has no place – its history is different, its language is different, its religion is different, its culture is different, and its security and political affiliations are different. This is the view of Hamas movement.

Why will the mainstream media never place as much importance on Hamas' aggressive statements as on its lies?

There are a couple of possibilities:
1. "Man bites dog" - it is not news when Hamas acts like terrorists, so their statements are not "newsworthy." This would be true, if the media indeed makes it clear in their other articles mentioning Hamas what kind of a record Hamas has in terror and breaking previous "promises" The media's failure to mention this context in Hamas-related article shows that this is not the reason.

2. Liberalism. The liberal media cannot philosophically accept the existence of evil third-world people, and holds that everyone is inherently good, and only circumstances make them do bad things. (Somehow, evil capitalists and Republicans are a given.) So naturally they will trumpet the news that fits their worldview and softpedal the news that contradicts it.

3. Wishful thinking. Related to #2, this is that the media reports the news that they hope is true, rather than the news that is true.

Either way, we are stuck with MSM that will report the news through their less-than-truthful filters, and this results in casual news consumers thinking that a liberal, open, democratic Israel is the aggressor and that Hamas and Fatah are legitimate freedom fighters.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Media reports Hamas lies; ignores facts

Many hundreds of media outlets picked up on this story earlier Sunday:
GAZA (Reuters) - A senior Hamas leader said on Sunday that his militant group would stop launching rocket and other attacks against Israel, hours after Israel killed a top Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza in an air strike.

'The movement declares an end to its operations from the Gaza Strip against the Israeli occupation, which came ... in response to the assaults by the enemy,' Hamas's most senior leader, Mahmoud al-Zahar, told reporters in Gaza.
How many bother to report these stories that came afterwards?
A mortar shell landed in the orchards of Kibbutz Erez near the border fence with the northern Gaza Strip Sunday after midnight.

Earlier Sunday night, a Kassam fell in an open area in the western Negev.
Of course, the media doesn't consider such attacks to be "news" when no one is killed, but how many times has the mainstream media mentioned that Hamas' promises are consistently broken?

On the contrary, despite the many violations of the "cease fire" by Hamas and other Palestinian Arab terrorist groups, the press keeps acting as if they are still abiding by it. See this example as well as this one from AP.

George Galloway blames Zionists for Hitler

The wacky ramblings of George Galloway plummeted to new depth a couple of weeks ago, in this little reported interview with an obscure far-left blog.. It is hard, however, to distinguish between what is a paraphrase of Galloway and what are the editorial comments of the bizarre blog that interviewed him.(Hat tip to WW4 Report.)
Of course, the past masters of government sponsored terrorism were the Zionists, who created the condition in the Arab countries, and in some European countries to stampede the Jewish populations out of the countries they had been living in for many hundreds years and get them into a Zionist state. Galloway comments:

"Suddenly Jewish people who had been the victims of Christian persecution suddenly saw their Synagogues being blown up, their countries being attacked and all kinds of provocations being staged so packed their bags and moved to occupied Palestine, then to be called Israel."

It's well documented that the United States has adopted such provocation "dirty tricks" before and during the Vietnam war and ever since.

"It's always the case that in a big and complex State machine, there are all sorts of elements, they don't have to be endorsed by all of the political leadership, they can be people representing a trend in the political leadership." Galloway states. He went on to once again lambaste the disgusting Neo-Conservative war crazed movement that had recently attempted to falsify documents to implicate Mr Galloway in the very corruption that they consistently revel in:
[...]
Returning to staged terrorism and Zionism Mr Galloway pointed out that Zionism has nothing to do with Jewishness. The Zionist movement, as it is well documented, funded Hitler before World War Two and many of the figurehead of Zionism were not and are not Jews.

"The reality is these people have used Jewish people, and they have used them with this ideology of Zionism, to create this little Hitler State on the Mediterranean, to act as an advance guard for their own interests in the Arab world, and we're all paying for it, the Palestinians have paid for it, the Arabs have paid for it, and now the American people are paying for it, and why should we? We don't want to live our lives in a permanent state of warfare and division."

The danger in the Arab world is that the people their know we are not evil and corrupt like our governments are, but they also know that we democratically elect our governments, Galloway goes on to decree. They are supposed to act on our behalf and that's why this corrupt version of "democracy" is being flatly rejected across the Arab world.

Catchy group title

This article makes clear that the sudden pretense of thawing in relations between Israel and some Muslim countries is more the results of US arm-twisting than any real change in attitudes.

But ya gotta love the name of the anti-Israeli group in Bahrain:
At the demand of the US, the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain has announced the removal of its boycott of Israelis goods. The US made canceling the boycott and closing down the boycott offices in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, a condition for a US-Bahrain free trade agreement. The significance of Bahrain’s announcement, however, is unclear.

The Society for Resisting Normalization with the Zionist Enemy in Bahrain criticized the announcement, saying that it was “a strategic decision that requires preliminary discussion in parliament."

I'd love to see a membership card of that "society." Maybe the logo has a hook-nosed Jew killing a dove.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Gaza greenhouse looting continues unabated

Poor Mort Zuckerman. Imagine what Israel could have done with $14 million.
A week after they descended like locusts on the greenhouses that Jewish settlers nurtured in Gaza, looters continue to pillage what should be a prize asset for a fledgling Palestinian state.

And the Palestinian Authority, which took over Gaza after the Israelis evacuated the territory, appears powerless to stop them.

When a Daily News correspondent visited abandoned Jewish settlements in Gaza, he found brazen vandals dismantling farms that once produced some of the world's finest tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.

The now-gutted greenhouses were gifts to the Palestinian people from U.S. philanthropists, who raised $14 million to buy them from departing settlers.

Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Tawfiq Abu Qusa insisted the damage was limited to 30% of the 4,000 or so greenhouses - and blamed most of the vandalism on spiteful Jewish settlers. 'The Palestinians damaged so little you can't even count it,' he said. (As we've noted, AFP reported those claims as facts.)

One of the philanthropists, Daily News Chairman and Publisher Mortimer B. Zuckerman, called that assertion 'ridiculous.'

'We thought it was a chance to show the Palestinians that there were more benefits from cooperation than confrontation,' Zuckerman said. 'I'm just sad that they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. ... It's almost inexplicable.'

The World Bank reported 90% of the greenhouses were intact when the Israelis left. Facts on the ground reveal that much of that bounty is now gone.

"All over Gush Katif the greenhouses have been damaged and a lot was stolen from them," Karim said, referring to former Jewish settlements in southwest Gaza. In Gadid, much of the expensive equipment used to tend the crops was stolen. So were the water pumps, irrigation lines and all the fuse boxes.

At the former Katif settlement, a Palestinian soldier, Pvt. Mohamed Cidawi, said looters made off with most of the metal support beams and even stole the plastic and canvas coverings that protected the vegetables from the hot sun.

"Go away," Cidawi shouted when he spied a boy with a sledge hammer preparing to smash a fuse box. "If I see you here another time, I'll kick your ass!"

In the nearby Neveh Dekalim settlement, there were no soldiers to stop 29-year-old Samir Al-Najar and his eight-man crew from demolishing a half-acre greenhouse. Al-Najar insisted the land was his family's before Israel occupied it in 1967 and that he was reclaiming it.

"I want to reorganize the land so we're clearing it out for now," Al-Najar said as two workers carried off a stack of tall metal support beams. Asked whether he intended to sell the materials, Al-Najar shook his head. "We'll probably rebuild with them, but I want the greenhouses to be our own, not Jewish ones," he said.

Sounds like it is time to give them even more money!

Hezbollah met with Fatah while Egypt border was open

From Maariv-Hebrew, via Daily Alert:
While the Gaza-Egypt border was open last week, senior Hizballah official Kais Obeid flew from Beirut to Egypt where he met in El Arish in northern Sinai with leaders of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades from Gaza, a Palestinian news agency reported.
Obeid is considered by the Israeli security services as responsible for the group's operations in the territories; he was directly involved in kidnapping IDF officer Elhanan Tannenbaum.">Israel News - Daily News Alert from Israel: "While the Gaza-Egypt border was open last week, senior Hizballah official Kais Obeid flew from Beirut to Egypt where he met in El Arish in northern Sinai with leaders of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades from Gaza, a Palestinian news agency reported.
Obeid is considered by the Israeli security services as responsible for the group's operations in the territories; he was directly involved in kidnapping IDF officer Elhanan Tannenbaum.

More evidence of the direction Gaza is going, despite the glowing reviews from wishful thinkers.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Get ready for "Moderate Hamas"

Dr. Mohammed Ghazal, a Hamas leader in the West Bank, speaks during a news conference in the West Bank city of Nablus on March 12, 2005. Hamas could one day amend a charter calling for the destruction of Israel and hold negotiations with the Jewish state, Ghazal said. (Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters)
One of the favorite Arab games in trying to destroy Israel is starting again.

NABLUS, West Bank (Reuters) - Hamas could one day amend a charter calling for the destruction of Israel and hold negotiations with the Jewish state, a political leader of the Islamic militant group in the West Bank said.

"The charter is not the Koran," Mohammed Ghazal told Reuters in an interview in Nablus on Tuesday.

"Historically, we believe all Palestine belongs to Palestinians, but we're talking now about reality, about political solutions ... The realities are different."

The unprecedented comments by Mohammed Ghazal clashed with recent pronouncements of more senior Hamas officials in Gaza.

But they reflected an apparent shift in Hamas toward the political mainstream and to winning greater world acceptance in the run-up to Palestinian parliamentary elections and after Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip.
Here's the game:
  • Kill Jews. The more, the better. Loudly advocate terror, proudly.
  • While killing Jews, have a few "leaders" make statements that don't sound quite as genocidal as their true intent. Put them in jackets and ties. Trim their beards. The best ones are doctors - always a nice touch.
  • Look at all those microphones! All that media attention just for saying what they want to hear!
  • Have the world start to recognize and reward the meaningless, slightly less terroristic statements.
  • Ensure that there are still groups that still explicitly call for the genocide of Jews and worldwide terror, so you can look better by comparison.
  • Do a few more symbolic gestures with no substance whatsoever to solidify your newfound status as a "realist."
  • Never, ever criticize the "more radical" groups. They might believe you and then kill you.
  • Bask in your new political power, achieved with no real concessions whatsoever.
  • Get money from gullible Europeans and others aimed at encouraging "moderate voices" and dutifully send the money to your terrorist friends.
It worked (and is still working) for the PLO, and for a while it was working well for Hamas (remember it's "political wing" and "military wing" that the world believed was separate?) Now Hamas is playing the same game again, a terrorist implementation of "good cop, bad cop" where the Western world is playing its part to the hilt.

Using these methods, Holocaust deniers can become "president," suicide bombers can be heroes, children can be taught to hate an entire religion, women can be subjugated, lies can become the official language of the "government," agreements never need to be honored, and you can stil rest assured that the world pressure will not be on you, but on the people you want to destroy. Because you are now moderate, and the "dangerous extremists" are the Jewish teenagers who dare to wear the color orange.

Muslim scholars slam Egyptian Imam for allowing relations with Israel

This article from Egypt is interesting from a couple of angles.

It shows how Israel's existence is still not accepted, and never will be accepted, by religious leaders of Israel's "peace partner."

It also shows how the famous Al Azhar university, possibly the most influential Muslim institution in the world, will change its religious rulings to be in sync with the Egyptian government. (Read the entire article for more examples of that; this is just the beginning.)
Last week's Israeli withdrawal from Gaza appears to have received the approval of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Mohamed Sayed Tantawi, who was quick to rule that normalisation with Israel was religiously acceptable.

"Islam does not prohibit normalisation with other countries, especially Israel, as long as this normalisation is in non- religious domains and serves some worldly interests," Tantawi told a gathering at a festival held to mark the national day of Al-Sharqiya governorate.

Tantawi's statement immediately provoked heated debate inside and outside the Sunni world's most prestigious seat of Islamic learning.

Prominent Palestinian Islamic scholar Sheikh Hamed Al-Beitawi, who is also head of the Palestinian Scholars League (PSL), was quick to denounce the fatwa on the grounds that it "greatly serves the Israeli occupation, which is unacceptable in Islam," and urged the Grand Imam to retract it.

"It is obvious that the fatwa was issued following increased American and Israeli pressure on Arab leaders who already have relations with the Zionist state," El-Beitawi said in a PSL statement. He condemned the fatwa as contradictory to Islamic tenets "because it is the religious duty of all Muslims to help their brothers in driving the enemy out of their lands."

Tantawi's ruling seems to have created rifts within Al-Azhar where many scholars criticised the edict, saying it only reflected the personal opinion of the Grand Imam and not Al-Azhar as an institution.

Sayed Khodeir, former head of the research and translation section at the Islamic Research Academy (IRA), said Tantawi's ruling "was political rather than religious. "It is religiously correct to normalise relations with a country you have peace with but not when this country is usurping Muslim lands and killing Muslim brothers and children," Khodeir explained, saying it would perhaps be in the interest of Egypt to have peace and economic ties with Israel but from a religious viewpoint. "Those who don't care about the affairs of their Muslim brothers do not actually belong to them," Khodeir said.

"As Muslims we consider ourselves in a state of conflict with Israel so long as it insists on occupying Muslim lands, desecrating Al-Aqsa Mosque and Islamic shrines and massacring Muslims," Khodeir said. "Egypt cannot be regarded as separate from what is going on in neighbouring Palestinian lands."

Prominent Al-Azhar scholar Abdel-Azim El-Mataani added that normalising relations with Israel "is not religiously -- or even logically -- acceptable at this particular time when it is using all sorts of aggression and tyranny against Muslims and posing a threat to Arab national security."

El-Mataani said the IRA had formerly issued an edict condemning normalisation with Israel. Former IRA member Sheikh Ali Abul-Hassan had previously issued a fatwa forbidding an Israeli judo team from playing in Egypt or any other Arab and Muslim country. He described such an invitation as an acceptance of what Israel has done and is still doing to Muslims, including usurping land, money and honour.

"This IRA fatwa sounds more logical because we should never accept the Israeli humiliation of Arab and Muslim nations," El-Mataani said.

It doesn't take much reading between the lines to see that Israel's very existence, no matter how much land is given to Arabs, is a major affront to Islam as interpreted by most "scholars."

Poor terrorists don't get paid enough

The US and the EU are falling over themselves to give more money to the PA.

Secretary Rice is a little uneasy over the PA's foot-dragging on disarming Fatah, but not enough to actually stop sending them more money:
"Now, I think it would be a good start for the Palestinians, by the way, if they would disarm the militias of Fatah. That would be a good start. They have a roadmap obligation to disarm terrorist organizations and militias. But as a starting point, because I understand that there are complications with Hamas and there are questions about how capable they would be of actually insisting on disarmament of Hamas."
Abbas has other ideas:
The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday rejected an appeal from the Quartet to dismantle armed militias and called on the international community to stop meddling in the Palestinians' internal affairs.

Ministers of the Quartet – the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union – said in a joint statement Tuesday that following Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip, Palestinians needed to "dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructures."

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the appeal, saying the Palestinians knew how to handle their own affairs.

And where exactly is this money going? A little factoid buried in another article about Palestinian infighting may give us a glimpse:
Hani al-Hassan, a former interior minister in the Palestinian Authority, escaped an assassination attempt on his life Tuesday night when a group of masked men fired several shots at him during a visit to Nablus.

Hassan, who is a member of the Fatah central committee, was not hurt. Sources in the city said the assailants belonged to Fatah's armed wing, Aksa Martyrs Brigades.

The Aksa Martyrs Brigades have issued several threats against Hassan in the past, accusing him of suspending their salaries when he served as interior minister under Yasser Arafat.

Isn't this interesting? Members of the terror group are angry because their salaries were suspended by the PA interior minister?

Maybe I'm crazy, but this seems to imply to me that there is still a relatively consistent funding source directly from the PA to the Fatah terrorists that neither Abbas nor Condi are bothering to address in public. So many "observers" are supposedly watching how the PA is spending its money and no one is uncovering the fact that terrorists are still getting funding straight from the PA?

Gaza is paradise for Egyptians, hell for Reuters

How many stories have we read that mentioned how terrible the conditions are in Gaza, how overpopulated and destitute it is, how Arabs who live there are in such desperate straits that they have no choice but to turn to terror?

Evidently, Egyptians have a much different picture of Gaza.

Many Palestinian men who flocked into Egypt after the IDF evacuated the Philadelphi corridor have seized the opportunity to search for brides. Palestinian sources estimated on Tuesday that at least 100 Egyptian brides were smuggled into the Gaza Strip in the past week.

One of the brides, who identified herself as Samira, said she agreed to marry the man she met only hours earlier "because this was an opportunity that should not be missed." Samira, 28, lived with her family in Al-Arish.

"In Egypt, it's very difficult for a woman my age to get married because I'm considered too old," she said. "Moreover, the economic situation in Egypt is not as good as in the Gaza Strip."

Another bride from Al-Arish said that she always been dreaming of marrying a Palestinian. "Palestinian men are better than Egyptian men," the 27-year-old said. "They know how to look after their wives and provide for them a decent living."

So it appears that the horrible consitions that Israel forced Gazans to live in is preferable to the everyday conditions of the leading "moderate" Arab country
Meanwhile, Reuters publishes a bald faced lie about Gaza to add to the myth of how unbearable it is to live there:
Palestinians would build 3,000 homes for poor families in southern Gaza at Morag, once a stronghold of settler resistance to the Israeli pullout that Washington praised as a potential spur to renewed peacemaking.

The remainder of the housing will be erected elsewhere across the coastal Gaza Strip, the most densely populated place on earth and home to 1.4 million Palestinians.

As we have shown, this is not even close to true.

Hamas converts synagogue to terror museum

Another Palestinian peace gesture.
The destroyed synagogue in the evacuated Gaza settlement of Netzarim is expected to be converted into a temporary Hamas museum in the next few days.

On Saturday members of Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades , Hamas’ military wing, plan to set up an exhibit of the terror group’s “military industry” in what used to be a synagogue.

The exhibit is set to be on display for three days, and will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The group said in a statement that “all of the tools used by Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades to abolish the Gaza occupation will be on display.”

Hamas promises that visitors will be able to see all of the weapons, “from stones to instruments used in suicide attacks and the ‘tunnel war.’” Missiles and rockets will also be on display, the groups said.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Jihad Unspun - Muslims should be proud of 9/11 and 7/7

One of the many racist "news" sources indexed by Google News is Jihad Unspun, a Canadian website that unapologetically supports terror. It is always nice to check in with this site once in a while to see what many Muslims really think, not filtered by the smokescreens eretced by CAIR or similar groups.

In the middle of an incoherent article that seems to support Al Qaeda's declaration of war against Shiites comes this beauty:

Muslims as a whole have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that Muslims carried out 911 or 7/7 for that matter. In the West, the Muslims blame the CIA and in the East they blame Mossad. This blame mentality is a means in which they can distance themselves from the Mujahideen and continue to live in a make believe world that the Muslims are victims who have something to prove to the Kufr who will ultimately accept them. In addition to the fact that this blame game gives both intelligence agencies way more credit than they are due, it speaks to the very heart of the problem within the Muslim Ummah which is that most do not know that the Muslim faith is based on “justice” not peace and that Muslims have been systematically targeted in the roots of this current conflict for over a century. Saying “La Illaha Illalah” is not a pledge of peace but of obedience. And when the Mujahideen rise to defend the Ummah as required, the weak Muslims apologize for it!....Muslims will never live peacefully with the Kufr unless we abandon our religion or alternately remove them from our lands.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A good way to evaluate Simon Wiesenthal's life

A quick look at Google finds that the harshest critics of Simon Wiesenthal are Holocaust deniers, neo Nazis, bigots and supporters of Arab terror.

He must have been doing something right.

Baruch Dayan ha-emet.

EU rewarding Palestinians for acting like animals

Since the Palestinian Arabs did such a good job over the past couple of weeks in destroying Gaza's economy and future prospects, smuggling weapons and drugs in from Egypt, burning synagogues, looting, pillaging, creating complete chaos and threatening Israeli Jews with genocide, the EU has decided that they deserve more money.
Brussels - The European Union on Monday announced an increase in aid for the Palestinians this year, saying help is crucial to maintain the peace momentum triggered by Israel's withdrawal from Gaza.

The European Commission, executive arm of the EU which has long been the biggest aid contributor to the Palestinians, (not any Arab country! -EoZ) said it will provide some €280m in aid, bigger than the €250m previously announced.

"Only Israel and Palestine can make peace, but Europe is playing its part in the international quartet to create the environment in which peace can take root," said EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

'We are taking very practical action to regenerate Gaza, and help prepare the Palestinians for statehood,' she said.

"Having led the way in support for reform efforts in the Palestinian Authority, we are now helping to lay the foundations for a viable Palestinian economy."

And look how successful their previous outlays of money have been!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Arabs getting nervous with Israeli diplomatic success

In the wake of Israel's seeming diplomatic victories that accompanied the Gaza withdrawal, notably the overtures from Pakistan, it is interesting to see how isolated some Arabs are feeling from their Muslim counterparts.

In this funny screed published in the "Arab American News", Ramzy Baroud writes an article titled "The risks of normalizing relations with Israel." As part of his "historical overview" showing the supposed centrality of Palestine to Arab thinking, he offers this whopper:
Israel exploited the mostly sentimental relationship Arabs and Muslims held toward Palestine. While the tangible and perpetual conflict was in fact taking place between Israel, a newly forged entity with further colonial ambitions, and a fragmented and displaced Palestinian refugee population, Israel labored to elate a different interpretation, that of a tiny little country struggling for survival amongst hordes of hostile Arabs and Muslims, who were up in arms to erase this little stretch of land from the face of the earth. Considering the political and military positioning of most Arab and Muslim countries, the Israeli claim is almost comical.

One would almost think that the wars in 1948, 1967, and 1973 initiated by Arab countries against Israel never happened!

But the fact that articles like this are even being written betrays the nervousness that is rippling through the Arab world since Musharraf made his overtures to Israel, and especially since he shook hands with Sharon last week.

Israel has also increased ties with Tunisia, Bahrain is making overtures, Israel made diplomatic contact with Qatar as well as with Indonesia.

How much of these efforts are honest reappraisals from the Muslim world of Israel, and how much is the result of diplomatic arm-twisting by the US, is unclear. Equally unclear is whether the apparent diplomatic gains offset the problems with the Gaza withdrawal. But it is fun to watch the Arabs squirm as it becomes more apparent that their unified front of Muslim anti-Israelism is crumbling, and that their pretense of solidarity with Palestinian Arabs has shown no solid results over the decades.

"Canada must stop funding Palestinian terrorism" - Canadian Coalition of Democracies

by Alastair Gordon, President, Canadian Coalition for Democracies
Monday, September 19, 2005

Toronto, Canada - Saturday, 17 September 2005 - On September 15, Prime Minister Paul Martin announced from New York that Canada will give another $24.5 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA). This past May, Mr. Martin announced $12.2 million in aid during the visit to Canada of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, bringing the total Canadian aid to the Palestinians to $310 million since 1993.

“President Abbas came to office promising (1) to disarm Palestinian militants, (2) to end incitement in schools and media, and (3) to end glorification of suicide bombing,” said Alastair Gordon, President of the Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD). “On that understanding, Prime Minister Martin promised another $12.2 million in May of this year.'

Since receiving Canadian tax dollars, President Abbas has reneged on all his commitments. Specifically, (1) PA Foreign Minister Nasser al-Kidwa publicly declared in June that the PA will not disarm Hamas and other terrorist groups under its jurisdiction; (2) Not a single textbook denying the existence of Israel and preaching the destruction of “the Zionist entity” has been removed or revised; and (3) Abbas himself, speaking to a group of high school students and educators in Gaza, glorified suicide bombing when he declared, “What has been achieved here [in Gaza] is due to the martyrs.”

“When money is given on the understanding that certain commitments to peace will be undertaken, the open declaration by the recipient that those commitments will not he honoured should mean, at a minimum, that funding would stop,” said Gordon. “Instead, our Prime Minister rewards bad faith with another $24.5 million from Canadian taxpayers.”

“It is not enough to pretend that the money is allocated to specific projects, because money is fungible,” added Gordon. “If Canadians are paying to build a highway, those funds are now freed up for war against Israel, in keeping with the PA’s constitutional governing charter and repeated declarations by PA spokespeople.”

On behalf of Canadians, CCD is urging Paul Martin to inform President Abbas that he will receive no more Canadian funding until he meets his commitments. Canadians expect that the Palestinian Charter will finally be amended to remove Article 9 that declares “Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine”, Article 20 that states “Jews [do not] constitute a single nation with an identity of its own”, and other articles that call for the destruction of Israel through violence (See PLO Charter below).

“The constitutional Charter of the PA is available on the web for Paul Martin to read,” concluded Gordon. “Instead, our Prime Minister has chosen to purchase international approval with the blood of Israelis, while refusing to tell Canadians what benefit has been derived from nearly one third of a billion tax dollars paid to Arafat and Abbas.”

Today's Palestinian Police Phunnies


Palestinian Authority policemen went on a rampage in Nablus on Saturday night, setting a car and a house on fire and shooting indiscriminately in one of the city's main squares.

The policemen were protesting against the killing of one of their colleagues, Khalil Kharmah, by a security officer from the PA's National Security Forces. Kharmah, 35, was shot to death while he was sitting inside a police station. The motive for the killing was unknown.

Following the incident, scores of policemen torched the house and car of the assailant. Later, they drove through the center of the city, shooting into the air and burning tires, forcing shopkeepers to close their businesses.

Grand slam: Police phunnies, Palestinian rampages, AFP bigotry and lies

This story has it all!


NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip (AFP) - Once the epitome of high-tech and worth millions in desperately needed trade, the greenhouses of Gaza have been stripped bare by their former Jewish owners and pillaged by the Palestinians.

Fitted out with sophisticated, computer-programmed irrigation systems, rich New York Jews forked out 14 million dollars to buy the hothouses from former Israeli settlers and donate them to the Palestinians.

Under the deal negotiated by James Wolfensohn, the international special envoy for the pullout, the glass houses and their annual crops of 75 million dollars, were to be handed over in good state to the Palestinian Authority

But pillagers, taking advantage of the chaos reigning over some evacuated settlements in the days since Israel left and ceded control of Gaza to the Palestinians, made a bee-line for greenhouses seen as gold dust.

According to Palestinian authorities, who have since ordered police and civilians to stop the ransacking of money-making structures so crucial to the future of impoverished Gaza, around 800 of the 4,000 greenhouses are unusable.

"Repairs cost 10,000 dollars per greenhouse," said Osama al-Farra, mayor of the closest Palestinian town, Khan Yunis.

"Part of the electrical circuits, irrigators and computers were taken by settlers, the rest by looters," he said.

Taking a quick tour of the ruins of the largest Jewish settlement bloc, Gush Katif, is enough to ascertain that if most of the greenhouses' metal frames are still in place, they are cavernous shells.

Electricity sub-stations have been gouged open and their wires yanked out, impossible to know whether it's the handiwork of settlers or looters.

Few greenhouses have even a pipe left as ripped tarpaulin flaps in the wind.

Next to one, a peasant from near Gaza City and three of his cousins bundle water pipes and tarpaulin into a pick-up van.

"An Israeli tank destroyed our farm," Hani offers by way of excuse.

"The Palestinian Authority talks but does nothing. The intifada ruined us: with this we can build again," he adds.

Outside Neve Dekalim, once the largest Jewish settlement in Gaza, Abdelaziz Ali Otman, 53, and colleagues drink tea. For 20 years they were employed in the enclave by a wealthy Jewish settler.

"It was us who did everything here so we know how to take care of it!" According to him, some owners stopped watering flowers, fruits and vegetables two months before the withdrawal, others carried on until the last day.

Otman and five colleagues were sitting down, unarmed, to protect the hundreds of hectares and put off looters. One civilian car skidded in front of them: "Guys, guys, come quickly, some lads are cutting the fence!"

Palestinian forces are now installed outside most of the greenhouses, but that doesn't stop the looters from continuing to carve out treasures.

Three pillagers were slicing through the fence when a police patrol orders them off the premises.

Suddenly a guard comes out from behind the bushes. Carrying pliers, he was helping the looters.

Where to begin?
  • AFP explicitly blames Jews for some of the equipment missing from Gaza without the slightest fact to back it up.
  • AFP twice refers to Jews as "rich" or "wealthy". While in the case of the stupid American Jews who decided to throw away millions on Palestinians, they were in fact rich, the story could have easily said "by members of the American Jewish community" rather than bring up the stereotype of influential New York Jews. And what purpose is served by calling the Gaza greenhouse owner "wealthy" if not to again promote a stereotype?
  • If it costs $10,000 to fix each of 800 greenhouses, that means that out of the $14 million gift, $8 million is already wasted. It also means that the true value of the greenhouses far exceeded $14 million (especially if the annual crop is $75 million) - a fact never mentioned in the media.
  • Palestinian "police" joining in the looting is always a nice touch to any story from the territories!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Tehran newspaper accidentally supports Jews' rights to Jerusalem

The "Islamic Republic News Agency", based in Iran, quotes from Iranian newspapers about various topics. One recent article quotes a "Kayhan International" editorial with the usual blather about Zionists usurping etenal Muslim lands and how disgusting it is for any Muslim to even think of having cordial relationships with "the Zionist entity."

But then comes this interesting paragraph, referring to Jerusalem:
Press blast Sharon for irrelevant words at UN on Beit ul-Moqaddas - Irna: "The daily concluded its editorial by stressing that 'It is an irony that those heads of Muslim states who shamelessly shook hands at the UN with the head of the usurper Zionist entity that lacks any legitimacy to exist on the map of the Middle East, felt no concern of either the Palestinian cause or the issue of Bait ul-Moqaddas which houses Islam's first qibla of Muslims, and which Sharon insolently referred to as the 'Temple Mount.''


Anyone witrh a passing knowledge of Hebrew would see an amazing resemblance between the word "Bait ul-Moqaddas" and the Hebrew words "Beit ha-Mikdash", which use the exact same Semitic root letters. The Beit ha-Mikdash is the Jewish Holy Temple, and the term pre-dates Islam by many centuries. Clearly Islam took the term, translated it (or possibly transliterated it) to Arabic, and now refers to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount by a variant of the Hebrew term.

Which means that in the early history of Islam (and, in fact, much more recently), Muslims freely admitted that the Jewish Holy Temple stood at the site of the Temple Mount, even though they absurdly try so hard nowadays to deny any Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

The term seems only to be used by Iranians; Arabs all seem to refer to the Temple Mount as "Haram al-Sharif" and to Jerusalem usually as Jerusalem, sometimes as Al-Quds (notice also the similarity of roots between Quds and the Hebrew Qodesh, "Holy." Jerusalem was known in antiquity as "Ir haQodesh", the Holy City, by Jews.)

It would be fun to ask an Iranian the etymology of "Bait ul-Moqaddas" and watch them try to spin it as an original Arabic or Persian term. Yet every time they use it, they are reinforcing the Jewish claim to the city that they try so hard to minimize.

Today's Palestinian Police Phunnies

About 60 members of rival Palestinian security units engaged in a shootout in the center of the West Bank town of Ramallah after two officers feuded over a parking space, security officials said. No one was hurt.

We have seen quite a few stories like this, where there are huge shootouts involving Palestinian "security" forces and no one getting injured. Is their aim that bad, or are they just not willing to admit to any casualties?

Either way, the idea that the finest of Palestinian Arab society along with dozens of their supporters shoot guns over a parking space speaks more about the prospects for peace than any number of pontificating pretend "Prime Ministers".

Haveil Havalim #37 is up

SoccerDad hosts this weeks' Best of the Jewish Blogosphere, this week misspelled in his title (though not in the content) as "Haveil Havlim."

Oh, and he very nicely mentions this article of mine, along with a unusually large number of other excellent posts from around the JBlogosphere. Check it out!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Best article on Palestinian demography 1880-1948

This article is, hands down, the best attempt by anyone to nail down the facts about how many people lived in Palestine before 1948. The group that wrote this has no political agenda I could detect on either side - many articles on the site are clearly not pro-Israel.

The major conclusions were:

1. The nature of the data do not permit precise conclusions about the Arab population of Palestine in Ottoman and British times,

2. Palestine was not an empty land when Zionist immigration began.

3. Zionist settlement between 1880 and 1948 did not displace or dispossess Palestinians.

4. Historic population data in Palestine during Ottoman times and during Mandatory times show significant discrepancies.

5. It is not possible to estimate illegal Arab immigration directly, but apparently there was some immigration.

5. There are large discrepancies between official population figures and the number of Palestinian refugees

6. There are serious discrepancies in reporting of the number of refugees by UNRWA.

7. The city of Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority since about 1896


I found this article while trying to find out the facts about land ownership before 1948. So many times, anti-Zionists point out that Jews only owned 6-8% of the land in Palestine, implying that Arabs owned 92-94%. I was wondering how much of the land was privately owned by Arabs, how much by the British (and Ottomans beforehand), and what other categories there were.

Here is what I found out from this article:
Population and Land Ownership prior to the UN Partition Resolution

An Anglo-American commission of inquiry in 1945 and 1946 examined the status of Palestine. No official census figures were available, as no census had been conducted in Palestine in 1940, so all their surmises and figures are based on extrapolations and surmises. According to the report, at the end of 1946, About 1,220,000 Arabs and 608,000 Jews resided within the borders of Mandate Palestine. Jews had purchased 6 to 8 percent of the total land area of Palestine. This was about 20% of the land that could be settled and cultivated. About 46% of the land was registered in the tax registers to Arab villages, to Arabs living on the land, or absentee owners, and about the same amount was government land. However, most of this land was not privately owned. The Arabs of Palestine had received much of their land in leases conditional upon cultivation or used land that was part of village commons.

So based on this, it appears that Arabs privately owned somewhere between 1% and 22% of the land in Palestine before 1948, depending on the meaning of the word "most" in the sentence above. The other "Arab" land was not owned by them, but was leased conditionally from the British.

In other worlds, it is even possible that Jews owned more land than Arabs did before the 1948 war!

This discounts the fact that the British tried very hard to stop Jews from buying and privatizing land - if it wasn't for that, Jews would undoubtably have come to privately own much more. Even so, it is an illuminating fact amongst the rhetoric.

Must-read article on Palestinian Arabs in 1961

Via Oceanguy comes this amazing article from neo-neocon.

An article in Atlantic Monthly from 1961 shows how the Palestinian Arabs were being exploited mercilessly by the Arab nations, blaming Israel and the West for all their problems - exactly like they still do.

A tiny excerpt:
Although no one knows exactly how many refugees are scattered everywhere over the globe, it is estimated that since World War II, and only since then, at least thirty-nine million non-Arab men, women, and children have become homeless refugees, through no choice of their own....The world could be far more generous to these unwilling wanderers, but at least the world has never thought of exploiting them. They are recognized as people, not pawns. By their own efforts, and with help from those devoted to their service, all but some six million of the thirty-nine million have made a place for themselves, found work and another chance for the future. To be a refugee is not necessarily a life sentence.

The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war. Alarming signs, from Egypt, warn us that the Palestinian refugees may develop into more than a justification for cold war against Israel...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad.
And the author's conclusion:

I had appreciated and admired individual refugees but realized I had felt no blanket empathy for the Palestinian refugees, and finally I knew why...It is hard to sorrow for those who only sorrow over themselves. It is difficult to pity the pitiless. To wring the heart past all doubt, those who cry aloud for justice must be innocent. They cannot have wished for a victorious rewarding war, blame everyone else for their defeat, and remain guiltless....

Arabs gorge on hate, they roll in it, they breathe it. Jews top the hate list, but any foreigners are hateful enough. Arabs also hate each other, separately and, en masse. Their politicians change the direction of their hate as they would change their shirts. Their press is vulgarly base with hate-filled cartoons; their reporting describes whatever hate is now uppermost and convenient. Their radio is a long scream of hate, a call to hate. They teach their children hate in school. They must love the taste of hate; it is their daily bread. And what good has it done them?

There is no future in spending UN money to breed hate. There is no future in nagging or bullying Israel to commit suicide by the admission of a fatal locust swarm of enemies. There is no future in Nasser's solution, the Holy War against Israel; and we had better make this very clear, very quickly.