.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What a difference a day makes for Hamas

Yesterday:
Russia's foreign minister said on Tuesday the "obvious" progress achieved during recent talks between rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas warranted the lifting of the economic embargo on the Palestinians.

"Progress is obvious... We are convinced that the progress is enough to mitigate the economic restrictions imposed on the Palestinians," the minister, Sergei Lavrov, told a news conference in Moscow.

Lavrov, who earlier held talks with Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal, said the two sides "identified the aspects most important to paving the way for a settlement of the Middle East conflict," he said.

"The Mecca accord proved that consolidation of all Palestinians was possible. The Mecca accord is a move towards implementing the demands of the Quartet of international mediators," he said. He pledged to continue work on Hamas.

Speaking at a separate news conference, Lavrov said Hamas has pledged to stop missile attacks on Israel.

"Hamas must use all its authority on the Palestinian territories to stop firing Kassam rockets at Israel. We have been assured that such steps will be taken," he was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.
And today:
Earlier Wednesday, six rockets fell on southern Israel, causing no injuries but damaging a security fence. The rockets came despite promises by Hamas leaders to halt the attacks.

Also today:
Abu Obaida, the spokesman of the Qassam Brigades the armed wing of Hamas Movement, on Wednesday vowed an "earthshaking reprisal" to the Israeli occupation's crimes in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The spokesman affirmed that the Palestinian people never accepted "oppression", and stressed that the Palestinian resistance would "teach the enemy a bitter lesson".

He said that IOF practices in Nablus and Jenin, the murder, siege of hospitals, arrests, closure of schools, terrorizing and starving civilians were part of the "Zionist terrorism against the Palestinian people" that would entail devastation on the "Zionists themselves".

He charged that Israel wants to drench the Palestinian arena in a pool of blood and to create chaos in a bid to hamper the implementation of the Makkah agreement that brought calm back to that arena.
I wonder if Lavrov has withdrawn his recommendation to fund these lovely people yet.

One valuable lesson that Palestinian Arabs have learned very well: while lies repeated often enough do indeed become thought of as the truth, you only have to lie once to people who want to believe your lies.

Martyr matters at Ma'an

Palestinian Media Watch came out with a report yesterday comparing the reporting done by the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News in English and Arabic, and accusing Ma'an of using the terminology of terror in Arabic but not in English:
Ma'an releases in Arabic include the hate ideology espoused by the terror organizations that deny Israel's right to exist, express reverence for suicide terrorists and justify terrorist murder as "resistance." But when translated into English, the same stories go through a sterilization process to hide from the English readers – and possibly from the two Western countries, the Netherlands and Denmark, who give them funding – the terrorist ideology Ma'an is helping to propagate.
They go on to give two examples.

Ma'an News responded to the charges. One of the points they made was of interest:
When Ma'an was established at the beginning of 2005, Ma'an News Agency hosted media experts from all over the world, including Israel, in order to discuss the terminology. Among the guests were the Israeli journalists, Miron Ropot and Zvika Yehezkely, along with dozens of media professors from Britain, Iran, Europe and the United States. All agreed that each language has its own terminology and special meanings, and that Ma'an will not stop using terms such as "martyr", "resistance" and equivalent terms, in Arabic.

Philippa N., chief English editor, said: "We have never tried to hide the fact that we cater to a different audience and therefore need to employ a different language. The most important thing for us is to deliver the facts and to portray the full extent of the harsh reality of life for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, without causing incitement. The coverage is more important than the language. In regards to our choice of terminology, we aim to stick as close as possible to UN-accepted terms, while maintaining our Palestinian perspective."

Compared to every other PalArab media outlet, English or Arabic, Ma'an is the one that adheres closest to accepted journalistic standards. This is not to say that it has reached that level but within its own framework it is the fairest.

However, as can be seen in the quotes above, being better than the usual Arab media crap is not the same as being satisfactory.

The chief English editor admits that Ma'an has an agenda, and that agenda is not truth but propaganda -"to portray the full extent of the harsh reality of life for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation." So while Ma'an has more stories about Palestinian Arabs killing each other than any other PalArab media outlet, it will devote most of its stories on Israeli actions even though they have been resulting in far fewer deaths this year (the latest ratio is roughly 130 PalArabs killed by their own this year versus 23 killed by Israel, a ratio that is simply not reflected in Ma'an's articles.)

Beyond that is a more fundamental problem. They assert that
"each language has its own terminology and special meanings," and this is undoubtedly true. But when the terminology itself becomes a means of incitement, then it becomes problematic. The fact that a supposedly secular, neutral news source refers to dead PalArabs as "martyrs" and refers to suicide bombers as part of a "resistance" doesn't just mean it is reflecting normal use of the terms - it is influencing its readers to think that blowing themselves up is a noble deed. To hide behind the "everybody's doing it" defense is a cop-out.

The other statement that "the coverage is more important than the language" is simply false, for the same reasons. The language helps dictate the coverage.

Saying that these are "UN-accepted terms" is very interesting. I only found one case where a UN document referred to martyrs in English, and it was indeed a translation from an Arabic attachment to the report on the Jenin operation in 2002:
The present report contains a number of eyewitness accounts by casualties who survived the massacre and close relatives and friends of martyrs, inhabitants of the camp, volunteers who participated in the relief operations and journalists.
This seems to indicate that the UN itself may use the same terror terminology in its Arabic documents, which would be a much bigger story than just what a Palestinian Arab newspaper does.

PalArab "eyewitnesses" lie again

The wire services are reporting this morning on Israel's killing of three Islamic Jihad terrorists in Jenin, including a leader behind last weeks' aborted suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. This is from AFP:
The undercover force in Jenin opened fire on the car carrying the militants, killing Ashraf al-Saadi, 25, a senior Jihad leader in the West Bank, and Alaa Breiki, 26, Palestinian security sources said.

A third militant, Mohammad Abu Naasa, 22, was wounded in the shooting, but a soldier finished him off with a bullet to the head, witnesses said.

"The soldiers came to the car, opened the back door, saw that one of the guys was injured in the back. One of the soldiers took out his pistol and shot him in the head," said one witness, declining to be named.

Yet again, Palestinian "witnesses" and "security officials" who have a track record of lying are quoted, and Israel's account of the operation is either not mentioned or mentioned as a footnote later in the article.

The IDF says:
In a joint ISA, IDF and special Border Police force arrest operation earlier this morning in Jenin, two senior Islamic Jihad terrorists and their assistant were killed. Security forces arrived at the site of their location in order to arrest the wanted men when one of them, Ashraf Saadi, opened fire at the forces, lightly injuring a Border Policeman. In the ensuing exchanges of fire the three wanted men were killed.

Ashraf Mahmoud Nafaa Saadi, a 29-year old resident of the Jenin refugee camp, had been wanted by security forces for a significant period of time. Saadi was responsible for many shooting and bombing attacks in the region and cooperated with senior members of Islamic Jihad involved in the deadly suicide bombing attacks in Israel during 2005-2006.

Muhammad Ibrahim Mahmoud Ahmad "Abu Nassa", a 34 year old resident of the Jenin refugee camp, was one of the senior commanders of Islamic Jihad in the Jenin refugee camp. Abu-Nassa was involved in the transferring of funds to Islamic Jihad terror cells. In the past Abu-Nassa served as a close assistant to Husam Jaradat, who headed Islamic Jihad's activities in Jenin until his death in August 2006.

Al'aa Rafik Da'ud Jabali served as an assistant of the two terrorists.

Last week this very infrastructure dispatched Ummar Abu Roub to carry out a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, an attack which was thwarted by security forces. The infrastructure continues to operate via different channels to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces.

Now, I don't know for certain that the IDF account is 100% accurate either (AFP reported that an Israeli source gave a somewhat different account.) There have been times that the IDF didn't have complete information, or made errors that were corrected later.

But the IDF track record is far, far better than these unnamed "witnesses" who invariably talk with Arab stringers or reporters with tales of horrid Israeli crimes that don't pan out. Wouldn't a "news" service take this into account when reporting - if they are interested in accuracy? Shouldn't the IDF account be given more weight to begin with, based on past history?

Previous EoZ stories on PalArab lies:
Pavlov and the Terrorists
"Soccer-playing" weapons smugglers
News flash: Palestinian leaders lie!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Arab terrorist rapists attack Jewish women

From The Jerusalem Post:
A gang of serial rapists has been prowling the North, raping Jewish women as revenge for IDF actions in the West Bank, police revealed Tuesday after arresting six suspects.

"We are raping Jews because of what the IDF is doing to the Palestinians in the territories," one of the six suspects told investigators from the Northern District Central Investigative Unit (CIU) during questioning. During their questioning and their brief appearance at the Nazareth Magistrate's Court Tuesday, none of the four main suspects indicated that they felt remorse for their actions.

Police said they were aware of four attacks carried out by the gang, but they believed there were probably other incidents that had gone unreported by the victims.

In all four cases, police said, the rapists' modus operandi were strikingly similar - all of the attacks were directed against young women who were waiting at bus stops or designated hitchhiking points in the western Galilee and the Haifa area.

...The suspects' arrests were released for publication by the Nazareth Magistrate's Court, which also extended the four key suspects' remands by 10 days. The remand of an additional suspect was extended by five days. A young woman from the village who is suspected of collaborating with the suspects was released on restricted terms.
A tiny silver lining - the Bedouin village that these animals came from seems genuinely upset:
Hasan Gadir, a village leader, said he called an urgent meeting with all northern local council representatives to be held Wednesday, in order to decide how to address the issue.

"We are shocked and horrified," he said. "This was a dark day for all of us and we cannot take its implications seriously enough. Our tribe is known for its good temper and spirit, and we denounce those youths' actions. We will never accept this sort of behavior. For us, this is worse than a murder."

Gadir said he spent the day Tuesday with Cmdr. Dan Ronen, Northern District Police chief, and at the detention center, where he met with the suspects and their parents.

"I don't know the suspects personally but I know their parents. They are all from good families, but none of us can even think why and how it happened," he said. "We are going to examine the cases more deeply and draw conclusions, so that this will never happen again. I took it personally and it made me sad and shocked. This village has made me proud in the past, and I hope I will be proud of it again."

Gadir's reaction was echoed by other members of the town.

"I read about it on the Internet and it made me upset," said Adel Hareb, manager of the Bir al-Maksur Education Department. "That doesn't add respect to our community and this kind of behavior is against our belief, culture and tradition as Beduins."

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Hareb said the village members "will support any punishment they receive, but I hope this turns out to be a mistake. I am sure that their family members denounce their actions just as we do," Hareb added.
While the crimes are reprehensible beyond belief, and perfectly consistent with Arab terrorism where the only morality is to be able to hurt Jews, it is refreshing to see condemnations of Arab terror acts by other Arabs that don't have that "but..." that is always attached when Palestinian Arabs or their supporters speak.

UPDATE: Sultan Knish puts it in perspective - and it isn't pretty.
Israel Matzav as well.

Two Gaza women murdered. But not by Israel, so who cares?

Maan News updates us on how well that unity government is working:
Gaza - Ma'an - The Gaza Strip witnessed a number of violent and suspicious incidents over the last 24 hours, Palestinian security sources told Ma'an News Agency. The police are currently investigating these incidents.

In one incident, the bullet-ridden body of a woman in her twenties was found in the Atatra area, west of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday. She had been shot at least ten times, the sources said. She is suspected to have been killed due to reasons of a family dispute.

Another female in her forties was found dead in Tunnel Street in the east of Gaza City, the sources said.

In a third case, the police were informed that a Palestinian man, Raed Qishtah, 25, was abducted in the Rafah area. The sources believe that the pro-Hamas Executive Force, the armed group under the command of the interior ministry, is responsible for the abduction.

While in the Rimal area of south Gaza City, an explosive device was planted outside the gate of the house of a university lecturer. It exploded but did not cause any casualties or injuries.

The police also learned that the car of Gen. Afif Sheikh was stolen on Tuesday morning.
Of course, no mainstream news source mentions this because everyone knows that Palestinian Arab women are expendable when they are killed by Arabs. "Honor killings" are not of interest.

I had already counted the first death last night, so our count of Palestinian Arabs violently killed by each other is now at 333 since late July and 128 since January 1.

UPDATE 1: A body of a 22-year old terrorist was found in a tunnel between Gaza and Egypt that collapsed three days ago. 334 and 129.

UPDATE 2: It was 3 women murdered in Gaza in 24 hours, according to PCHR. One was 31, one was 40 and the other was 45. All were shot multiple times. 335 and 130.

Qassam Rocket calendar - February

Here is my best shot at keeping track of when rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza so far this month. On the 8th, 10 were claimed to have been shot by Islamic Jihad but only four or so were recorded as having landed.

The numbers in parentheses are from Palestinian terror group claims, not from Israeli confirmed sources.

Remember that Israel still regards this as being "calm" and has only rarely responded to Gaza terror since the "cease fire" announced in November.


February 2007
Qassam attacks
Su
Mo
Tu
We
Th
Fr
Sa




1
2
3




3

4
5
6
7
8
9
10


4 4 (10) 4
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
1 5

3 2
2
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
(4)
(2)
(8)
4(9)

1(2)
25
26
27
28
1
2
3

(5)
(7)
5(4)
1
1+1


March calendar here.


Monday, February 26, 2007

The Cotton Market

As we mentioned last month, Palestinian Arabs are protesting a synagogue that is apparently being built on the site of the Cotton Market in the Old City.

I have not found any mention of this being built in any Jewish or Israeli sources, but it would be between the Kotel and the Kotel HaKatan and 50-100 meters away from the Western Wall of the Temple Mount.

The Cotton Market was originally built in the 14th century and was for a time an important commercial center. But it fell into disuse and was abandoned for centuries, through Ottoman rule and through Jordanian rule.

Here's a picture of the market from National Geographic in 1917:

It was rebuilt only after Israel ruled the area, possibly as late as 1995, by the Waqf and paid for by the UN.

The Cotton Market mirrors the history of Jerusalem as a whole: when no Jews were there, no one cared about it or its historic value. Even when Jordan ruled Jerusalem nothing was done to rebuild this area. Only under Jewish rule was Arab interest rekindled in the Cotton Market and Jerusalem as a whole.

Remember this whenever you read an article about how sacred every stone of Jerusalem is to Muslims. The Cotton Market is undeniably a beautiful piece of architecture, ending in an impressive gate to the Temple Mount - but even so, it was abandoned and ignored by the very people who claim to love it the most today.

As with Palestine altogether, Arab and Muslim interest has traditionally been not so much in a homeland for Palestinian Arabs as in a place where infidels and dhimmis must not have any influence.

Here's a small experiment. Right now, the number of Palestinian websites that mention the Cotton Market (al-Qattanin) is relatively small. If in fact a synagogue will be built there, Google it in a few years and see how many websites will extol the supreme importance the Cotton Market has to Islamic history, all the while complaining about how the wicked "Zionists" have been working overtime to "Judaize" the city and threaten the mosques there.

The murder of Erez Levanon, HY'D


Erez Levanon was a 42-year old devout Breslover chassid from Bat Ayin. He was the father of three, played the guitar and even released a CD - you can hear him here:

An intensely spiritual man, he had spent much time in India speaking to Israeli backpackers there about their own religion.

Levanon would go out in the fields near his home and pray for an hour every day. Yesterday, his routine was watched by two Palestinian Arabs who, during his prayers, brutally stabbed him many times.

The Palestinian Arab press is treating the murder of a man praying in the field as some sort of great victory, happening in a "well guarded" area, and it characterizes Israel's subsequent search and arrest of the two murderers as a heinous crime. Originally the PalArabs claimed that Palestinian Arabs found him and informed Israeli authorities; that people in their town of Beit Ummar were punished in retaliation, that Israel arrested two 17-year old "children." In fact, he was found by his neighbors who were looking for him and it is remarkable that the IDF found the apparent murderers so quickly.

The Israeli press is reporting that the youths were 18 and that they confessed to the crime, although they claimed that they did not belong to a terror organization.

Yet Islamic Jihad has taken responsibility for the murder.

(Even if you take the PalArab press at face value, it means that Islamic Jihad has trained "children" to be murderers and encourages them to kill any Jew they can find. )

Another peaceful PalArab weekend

The latest, all from Sunday:
At approximately 20:30 on Sunday, 25 February 2007, the body of Khalil Sufian El-Mathloum (16-year old resident of Sabra Quarter in Gaza City) was brought to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The boy was killed by a bullet to the chest which was accidentally fired from a firearm mishandled by one of his friends in Remal Quarter in the city.

At approximately 19:30 on the same day, Mohammad Abdel Rahman Ali (6) from Zaitoon Quarter in Gaza City was injured by a bullet in the right thigh. The boy was walking with his father; and was injured when a bullet was accidentally fired from a firearm mishandled by a friend of the boy’s father. He was taken to Shifa Hospital for treatment, where the injury was listed as moderate.

At approximately 13:00 on the same day, Basel Fathi Dawoud, a 24-year old resident of Beit Lahia in the north of the Gaza Strip, was seriously injured by a bullet in the head. The bullet was accidentally fired by a friend of the victim who mishandled his weapon.
There sure do seem to be a lot of people in the PA playing with guns and accidentally shooting their friends. Perhaps the NRA should go there and teach some basic gun safety tips?

And, as mentioned before, there were 6 other deaths since Friday morning, making this another wild weekend in the PA, although most of the killings seemed to be more clan clash rather than Fatah/Hamas murders. (It gets hard to tell because some families identify with one of the terrorist sides.)

Oh, and another three were injured when a terror tunnel collapsed between Gaza and Egypt.

So our count of Palestinian Arabs violently killed by each other since Operation Summer Rains is now up to 331 and the number killed this year is at 126.

UPDATE (Monday): Maan News (Arabic only so far) has news of an apparent honor killing. A young woman was found in northern Gaza, dead with 10 bullet holes in her body. We are now at 332 and 127, and for those who are counting all of the Israeli casualties in Operation Hot Winter and want to compare, the score is now 2 killed by PalArabs and one killed by the IDF.

It's only a big deal when Jews do it

Two posts on the same theme from Life in Israel and My Right Word.

2500 posts

This is post number 2500.

Which makes me wonder - if I want to help Israel, is this the most effective use of my free time? Am I only preaching to the choir?

This poll made it sound like blogging is somewhat useful, and I try not to repeat what others are doing.

But I still wonder.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hungry PalArab update

I mentioned last week a UN study that claimed that many Palestinian Arabs are not getting the nutrition they need.

Today, in Maan News (Arabic only) I see that vegetable prices in the PA have plummeted due to lack of demand and too much supply.

Something is not adding up....

Review of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East

I am finally (almost) finished with Michael Oren's Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present.

It is an important book, and one that would be difficult for me to do justice to. Oren uncovers a rich and complicated relationship between the United States and the Middle East that is older than the US itself. From the Barbary Wars through the first adventurers and missionaries who visited the area in the 19th century, on through American involvement in Egypt's early bids for independence and on to the American influence on Zionism, it is truly an encyclopedic work.

Meticulously researched, almost any random sentence could become an entire blog entry here. This is both a strength and a weakness as the sheer volume of facts is close to overwhelming. As a reference book it is stellar; as an enjoyable read it is somewhat less appealing, but for students of American history it is invaluable.

Oren shows how the Constitution itself was influenced by events in the Middle East, as our founding fathers realized that a strong central government rather than a loose confederation was the only way to build a centralized army and navy to fight the Muslim pirates of the Mediterranean, even as early American policy zigzagged between paying the North African states "tribute" and threatening them.

It was personally gratifying to see that my recent interest in what I termed Christian proto-Zionism was a large part of this book. Early Americans always looked upon themselves as Jews in the promised land, and the faith that Americans had over the past two centuries influenced US Mideast policy tremendously.

One of the important themes of the book was the influence of American missionaries on the Middle East - and vice versa. Their original intentions of converting Muslims and Jews to Christianity were spectacular failures even as more and more congregations raised money to send more missionaries to try. But when the missionaries changed their tactics and started creating schools that were more oriented to teaching basic skills and American ideology, the reverberations are still being felt today.

Arabs who were taught in these schools ended up becoming the leaders of the Arab nationalist movements - heavily influenced by American ideals of anti-colonialism. Conversely, many of the children of these missionaries who spent so much time in Arab countries gravitated to work in the State Department, whose pro-Arab tilt continues to this day.

Oren goes on to describe America's rising global power after World War I and its part in British policy in Palestine, on through the growing Zionist lobby, America in North Africa against Germany as well as against British and French colonialism and continuing on with FDR's ambivalence towards the idea of a Jewish state.

Oren's last chapter about US policy after Israel was born is much less detailed because, as the author admits, he has little new to add to the huge literature that already exists. Even so, it is a very good hundred page summary with plenty of facts I was not aware of or had forgotten about. (Everyone knows about Israel's accidental firing on the USS Liberty in 1967; how many know about Iraq's accidental firing on the USS Stark in 1987, killing 37 sailors?) He also effectively analyzes every US President's thinking and psyche on Middle East matters.

This book fills in a huge gap in our knowledge of American history and is a very worthwhile read.

(Also check out Pajamas Media's Michael Totten interview with Michael Oren for much more detail.)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

2000 British Islamist terrorists

From AP:
The threat of homegrown terrorists attacking Britain is greater now than any time since the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States, a British Sunday newspaper reported, citing a leaked intelligence document.

More than 2,000 British-based Islamic terrorists are believed to be plotting attacks, according to a government threat assessment prepared this month, which The Sunday Telegraph said it had seen.

"The scale of al-Qaeda's ambitions towards attacking the UK and the number of UK extremists prepared to participate in attacks are even greater than we previously judged," the newspaper quoted the document as saying.

The newspaper said the document was being circulated between the Home Office, defense ministry, M15 intelligence agency and Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist Branch.

The Home Office declined to comment on the report, but said in a statement that security arrangements are under constant review.
But not to worry: 2000 is still only a tiny minority of all British Muslims, so all is well.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Shahid inflation

One of the interesting things about the PalArab infighting is watching how the word "shahid" (martyr) is used.

It used to be easy - if you were killed while trying to murder Jews, you were in the exclusive Martyr's Club with not only large sexual benefits in Paradise but also your families would be paid handsomely by Arab regimes and the Western-supported moderate Palestinian Authority. Even blowing yourself up accidentally while only trying to build a bomb to kill Jews was plenty good enough to join the Club.

But now, what about all these hundreds of PalArabs killed by other Palestinian Arabs? Do they go to Paradise and get to screw lots of virgins? More importantly, do their families get the cash?

Pro-Fatah news sources routinely refer to their people murdered by Hamas as shahids, and I suppose that Hamas does the same to those killed by Fatah. And it appears that the definition just got expanded again:
Clashes broke out in Ramallah on Thursday afternoon after Palestinian security officers accidentally killed a Palestinian youth.

The incident began when a Palestinian military intelligence forces instructed a vehicle traveling in the West Bank city to stop. The driver refused and continued driving. The force opened fire at the vehicle, missed, and accidentally killed a teenager standing next to the vehicle.

The boy, Ahmed Abu Nefisa, was killed on the spot. In response to the killing, the boy's family members began attacking Palestinian Authority security officers and vehicle and set fire to police vehicles.

The rioters also vandalized several shops in the city and vandalized them. Almost all businesses in Ramallah were shut down in response for fear the clashes would continue.

Several hours later, senior members of the security organizations reached an agreement with the family members after promising them that the dead youth would be declared a "shahid" (martyr) and his family members would be compensated by the PA.

You see, it is getting easier and easier to be declared a Shahid. Just raise a stink, attack some police and - you're in, baby!

PalArab self-death update

Things have certainly calmed down in the territories, although not as much as you might think.

While Fatah and Hamas are not as successful in killing each other as beforehand, their efforts to kill Jews continue unabated (as yesterday's foiled terror attack shows.)

Yesterday, a Gaza man blew himself up while working on a bomb, making the counts of PalArabs who have been killed violently by each other go up to 322 since Operation Summer Rains and 117 so far this year.

UPDATE: PCHR mentions a number of incidents Wednesday, including two guys in Gaza who were messing around with a gun. One ended up dead.

Meanwhile:
At approximately 13:00 on Wednesday, 21 February 2007, Nahda Sa’di Hasanein, a 20-year old female resident of Sheja’eya Quarter in Gaza City was admitted to Shifa Hospital suffering from a gunshot wound in the abdomen. She was injured while inside her house; and the source of the shot was not determined. When members of the young woman’s clan were inside the hospital, a verbal dispute broke out when they refused to give information about the injured woman to the Executive Force station in the hospital. At approximately 19:30 on the same day, the Executive Force prevented members from Hasanein clan from entering the hospital because they were armed. An gunfight broke out between both sides in the hospital compound, and led to the injury of 10 people (including a 3-year old.)
Also a bomb set off outside the house of the Director of Police Security.

We are now at 323 and 118.

UPDATE 2: A PalArab policeman, chasing a car that didn't stop at a Palestinian Arab checkpoint (we never hear about those, do we?), fired his gun - and killed a bystander. 324 and 119.

UPDATE 3:Two more killed in Gaza (one shot many times, one stabbed.) 326 and 121.
During this week, 6 PalArab were killed by each other, and one was killed by Israel - and that one was responsible for attempting to kill many, many people.

UPDATE 4: 3 more dead as things are flaring up again. 329 and 124.

UPDATE 5: Apparently, the three killed on Saturday were in retaliation for a "militant" killed late Friday who I didn't count. So we are at 330 and 125.

UPDATE 6: For those of you visiting from LGF or Digg, there are plenty more where these came from. Here is a link to the next installment. And here is one to our last count update.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Arab family in Ramle has honor-murdered 8 of its women

A simply horrendous story in Haaretz:
The murder of Hamda Abu-Ghanem, whose bullet-riddled body was found in mid-January at her parents' house in Ramle, surprised nobody.

As police set about their investigation, everyone was aware that the victim's brother had been threatening to kill her, and that long before the murder, she had taken refuge in a battered women's shelter.

It was a typical "honor killing," meant to remove some perceived stain on the family's reputation.

The perpetrators of most honor killings in the Arab community are not apprehended. Hamda's murder, however, was one too many for the women in the Abu-Ghanem family. She was the eighth woman to be murdered in the extended family in the last six and a half years. All her predecessors also lost their lives in "honor killings."

This time, instead of keeping mum when the police questioned them, the Abu- Ghanem women gave detailed testimonies of everything they knew. One said she had seen Rashad enter the house where Hamda was. Shortly afterward she heard shots and seconds later saw Rashad, the key suspect, fleeing from the building.

The victim's mother told the police that Rashad had forbidden his sister to leave
the house after some men had called her a "prostitute."

"It was a women's revolt against the men of the family. While the men refused to cooperate with the police and forbade the women to speak, the women revealed all. They decided to put an end to the bloody circle of silence," Chief Inspector Haim Shreibhand, who was in charge of the investigation, told Haaretz.

The detectives gathered testimonies from 20 Abu-Ghanem women and assembled the pieces of the puzzle together into an indictment, he said.

Kamal Rashad Abu-Ghanem, 30, was arraigned in Tel Aviv's District Court yesterday for murder. His cousin Mahmoud, who was also arrested, was released for lack of sufficient evidence to file charges.

Rashad Abu-Ghanem was charged with entering the family's home, in Ramle's Juarish neighborhood. His sister was alone in the house, lying on her bed. She probably knew she was about to die. He went up the stairs with a loaded 9-mm. handgun, entered his sister's room and fired nine bullets at her.

Before Hamda, the other women of the Abu-Ghanem family who lost their lives for honor were Naifa, Suzan, Zinat, Sabrin, Amira, Reem and Shirihan.

Like some of the other victims, Hamda had spent the last few years in a shelter, hiding from her brother. Her "crime" was apparently her numerous telephone conversations, and being seen talking to her cousin once.

About a year ago, she asked to move back to her parents' house in Ramle. A few months later, she filed a police complaint against her brother, who had assaulted her. He was arrested, but later released by the court.

"The hardest thing at these murder scenes is the awful silence," said Yifrah Duchovny, Coastal Plain police commander. "Nobody cries, nobody speaks."

"We held everyone who was in the neighborhood at the time of the murder for questioning, and started collecting testimonies. The first one who cooperated with us, perhaps without meaning to, was a relative who said the murder wasn't justified, that Hamda had not breached any honor. Then a female relative agreed with him," Shreibhand said.

The detectives told Hamda's mother, sisters and cousins what the first two relatives had said and asked for their opinion. "Gradually they started to speak. Each one started by saying she had had enough, that she didn't want this situation to continue. The mother, who had first stood behind her son, suddenly started speaking against him, sharing things she knew with us. She said she was angry that he had murdered her daughter."

Hamda's sisters went further. When they confronted Rashad at the police station they spat out at him: "You're a dog," and "Sit in prison for life, murderer." One of them asked him, "Why don't you try to murder me too? I'm not scared of you any more."

The men, on the other hand, hardly said a word to the police. "After the women began to talk, they found themselves receiving threats," said Shreibhand.

The witnesses have been put in safe houses, for fear the men would try to harm them. However, several women were not comfortable in the safe houses and are returning to the neighborhood. "The relations between the men and women in the family have become really tense. We've had special meetings about how to protect the women after they testify and we have a plan," the inspector said.

However, Aida Touma-Suleiman, director of the Women Against Violence group in the Arab sector, said she has grave fears for the women's lives. "I support these brave women. They finally broke the circle of blood and silence. But I'm also afraid they will be hurt. As long as there is no witness protection program, these women will be abandoned after they testify. They may have been courageous, but they have also sentenced themselves to death," she said.
It took eight murders for the Arabs to finally cooperate with the police and even so, the remaining women are in grave danger.

All in the name of Arab "honor."

And this is the same "honor" that means that Arabs will never truly accept Israel's existence and will always try to destroy it - because Israel, by not being destroyed in 1948, has shamed the entire Arab nation.

The case for a larger Israel

Smooth Stone points to an interesting website with a PDF of an entire book, "The Case for a Larger Israel," by David Naggar. He argues that for lasting peace, Israel should expand. Naggar also has a blog that makes some interesting points.

Now, I am way too much of a realist to think that, no matter how compelling the argument, it would ever amount to much. But there is much value in making such an argument anyway, even if the idea itself is doomed before it can get started (not the least by the present Israeli "leadership.")

In the very first Mishna in the Talmudic tractate Bava Metzia a famous case is given. Translated into English:
If two persons hold a cloak, one says, "I found it," and the other says, I found it," one says, "All of it is mine," and the other says, "All of it is mine," the first one shall swear that not less than one half of it belongs to him, the other one shall swear that not less than one half of it belongs to him, and they shall divide it. If one says, "All of it is mine," and the other says, "Half of it is mine," the one who says "All of it is mine" shall swear that not less than three-quarters of it belongs to him, and the one who says "Half of it, is mine” shall swear that not less than one-quarter of it belongs to him; the former shall take three-quarters and the latter shall take one-quarter.
Israel has always been in the position of claiming only half, while the PalArabs always claim all. To the judgmental world, Israel's attempts to solve the problem peacefully by offering to share is interpreted as one side claiming all and the other side claiming half.

This is not the way to negotiate if you want to end up in the most advantageous position. And negotiators are expected to shore up their cases, not to give them away.

Arabs are fond to say that Israel's territorial ambitions stretch from the Nile to the Euphrates. Although the idea is absurd in today's political climate, Israel's claim to the land it has would be immeasurably strengthened if it consistently provided a maximalist negotiating position, rather than the minimalist one it has for the past decade.

The book argues, probably correctly, that an Israel that is much larger would benefit Arabs as well as the world. One only has to compare how Gaza is today with how it was under "occupation" and it isn't hard to see that Israel's rule at its "worst" is better than most Arab rule at its best. But the plausibility of the argument is not as important as the fact that it should be made and made often - because that is how one negotiates.

In the context of the Arab world, people like Abbas (as well as Arafat and Nasser) are considered "moderate." Now, in absolute terms, they are far from moderate - their positions are far more extreme than Israeli "extremists'" positions. But compared to the Muslim Brotherhood cadre of groups, they seem comparatively moderate. Repeat the "moderate" mantra enough, while Jews who feel that they should be able to live where Abraham lived are considered "extremist," and you have a formula for losing the bargain.

But if even some Jews would be putting forth the arguments that there are parts of Jordan and Syria that should be under Israeli control (parts of which were in biblical Israel,) and all of a sudden the Jewish residents of Hebron do not look quite as crazy.

For better of worse, the Arabs have turned Middle East negotiations into a bazaar, a souk where land and "refugees" and paper promises are the coins of the realm. It is way past time for Israel to play the game the way it is meant to be played.

Part of the game, by the way, involves walking away when there is no deal to be made.

Hungry Palestinian Arabs

  • How does one reconcile this:
Around 46 per cent of Gaza and West Bank households are "food insecure" or in danger of becoming so, according to a UN report on the impact of conflict and the global boycott of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

The unpublished draft report, the first of its kind since the boycott was imposed when the Hamas government took office last March, says bluntly that the problem "is primarily a function of restricted economic access to food resulting from ongoing political conditions".
With this:
As the United Nations under-secretary general for political affairs reported on the recent anniversary of Hamas' election victory, international aid to the Palestinians increased in 2006 by nearly 10 percent, amounting to a staggering $1.2 billion. Indeed, Palestinians are today the largest per capita recipients of foreign aid in the world.
How can people who are getting more aid that is specifically earmarked for humanitarian issues like food be getting less food?

The unpublished report notes that the food situation has not really changed since the last time they checked, in 2003. Just that since the population is growing, there are more people who have problems getting proper nutrition, but the ratios are roughly the same.

The report links the lack of food to lack of money in the average PalArab household. Yet somehow Hamas and Fatah are finding the money to purchase new weapons and ammunition smuggled in daily from Egypt.

The amount of oversight of the moneys channeled through NGOs and the UN has been reduced sharply since the security situation in the territories (especially Gaza) is so bad.

It seems highly likely that the Fatah and Hamas terrorists have found ways to get part of the $1.2 billion welfare check the world pays the poor, hungry Palestinian Arabs and to use the money for their own purposes.

The irony is that reports like these will be used as instruments to guilt the West into increasing aid - which will end up back in terrorist pockets.

And there will remain unanswered questions:
  • Why, in the face of an apparent pressing need for food, is there no major Arab initiative to feed their fellow Arabs? (h/t Yid with Lid)
  • What responsibility does the PA have for this situation, and how come the world gives them a free pass? To wit:
    • The Gaza greenhouses that generated tens of millions in revenue for Israel have been mostly inactive since Israel left, because there is no security.
    • Gaza borders the Mediterranean - why hasn't a fishing industry blossomed?
    • Why aren't there farms growing grain and raising animals that can feed the population? Gaza has plenty of open space, despite how the press spins it.
Palestinian Arab unemployment and economic problems are a direct result of PA policies of terror and corruption. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that fixing those problems will solve the apparent problem of poverty.

The subtext of this report, and others like it, is that Palestinian Arabs have no ability to take care of themselves; that they are unable to restrain their corruption and their seemingly genetic desire to shoot everything that moves. When the international community starts treating Palestinian Arabs like adults who need to solve their own problems without relying on the blank checks that they have received for decades, they will grow up.

There are plenty of genuinely hungry and poor people in this world who truly do not have the ability to improve their own lot. Palestinian Arabs do not fit in that category.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Breaking news:Rumor of Israeli abducted in Nablus (updated)

Maan News has this blurb:
"Unconfirmed reports of Israeli settler from Elon Moreh settlement abducted in Nablus"

No confirmation from any Israeli or other source. Let's hope it isn't true.

UPDATE: Maan no longer reports it so, thankfully, it appears to have been a false report.

Poor Ziopedia Jew-haters

Ziopedia is the virulently Jew-hating website that Eric Hunt wrote an article for bragging about trying to kidnap and assault Elie Wiesel.

Fellow lunatic site Al-Jazeerah.info published a short whiny piece by Ziopedia's publisher that is simply hilarious:
Due to obscene political pressure by the Zionist Mafia, both PayPal and StormPay were forced to suspend our donations accounts. Your generous financial support is needed for ZioPedia.org to survive and remain the fastest growing anti-Zionist voice on the web.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the obscene attempt of the Kosher Nostra to destroy ZioPedia.org by bullying online payment services PayPal and StormPay into suspending their donations accounts, is the silence of fellow dissident sites on the matter. Is is because they are afraid of receiving the same treatment? Or do they see ZioPedia.org as a competitor rather than an ally in the war against a common enemy?

The number of pledges is an even bigger disappointment. Instead of the expected surge in solidarity, ZioPedia.org is now facing the real prospect of having to shut down.

Unless we are able to raise at least $5,000 before the end of February, ZioPedia.org will be forced to close its doors .

Please send the details of your pledge to donations@ziopedia.org and we will get back to you with payment options.

Andrew Winkler

Editor/Publisher ZioPedia - All There Is To Know About Zionism
This is classic stuff - the paranoia, the Judeophobia, the digs at fellow "dissident" sites who haven't all fallen into goose-stepping to Ziopedia's monetary aid, and the utter cluelessness as to why a company like PayPal may not want to be associated with an upstanding website like ZP.

Poor, poor Andrew. This couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Olmert says he'll respond to Qassams - eventually

Ehud Olmert today re-affirmed his vision of an independent Palestinian Arab state - and then said something even dumber:
Olmert said that if the Kassam rocket attacks on Israel continue, Israel would have to retaliate. "We are not going to restrain ourselves forever," he said. "The continued attacks challenge Israel's patience. In the end, if the attacks continue, we will respond."
Funny...where have we heard that before?

In late November, when the "cease fire" was new:
Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday morning that any attempt to fire into Israeli territories would be considered a breach of the cease-fire and treated with severity.

According to Peretz, Israel is interested in quiet, but would not accept attacks on its citizens.
A couple of days later, Olmert admitted that he was "a little disappointed" that Qassams were still being shot daily into Israel.

In late December, after a month of straight Qassam attacks in the wake of Olmert's "cease fire", he asked the UN to intervene. Yeah, that really worked.
------------------------------------------

Here is my best shot at keeping track of when rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza so far this month. On the 8th, 10 were claimed to have been shot by Islamic Jihad but only four or so were recorded as having landed. Most of the rest of these numbers were rockets that actually landed in Israel, with links back to the news stories. Numbers in parentheses are Arab claims.

Remember that Israel still regards this as being "calm" and has only rarely responded to Gaza terror since the "cease fire" announced in November.

February 2007
Qassam attacks
Su
Mo
Tu
We
Th
Fr
Sa




1
2
3




3

4
5
6
7
8
9
10


4 4 (10) 4
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
1 5

3 2
2
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
(4)
(2)
(8)
4(9)

1(2)
25
26
27
28




(5)
(2)





A magical place where terrorism always pays

Hadi Saud had a problem.

Last year he was shot in the leg and he never got proper treatment. He was also unemployed and he was jealous of all those Palestinian Arabs who manage to get jobs doing nothing. Even though he was a long-standing member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group, the pay was apparently not very good.

So he hatched a plan.

He kidnapped three American women aid workers who were in Nablus, called up the AP and said that he would release them in exchange for medical treatment and a job.

Nablus' district governor negotiated with Saud and they did what Arabs are famous for - they bargained.

In the end, Saud released the women. In exchange, he will get medical treatment and will not be prosecuted for the kidnapping.

The PA: where terrorists always win.

AP's misleading headline

It seems that the wire services send out their articles with a default, suggested headline thatmost newspapers will copy verbatim. So it is interesting to see dozens of headlines in Google News that say:


The article slowly clarifies exactly who this "Palestinian"was:
Israeli troops on Wednesday fatally shot a West Bank leader of the Islamic Jihad militant group who was involved in an attempted bombing near Tel Aviv, the army said.

Mahmoud Abu Obeid, 24, was traveling in a car in the center of Jenin when undercover Israeli troops shot and killed him, Palestinian witnesses said. An Israeli combat helicopter was seen in the area at the time, they said.

Abu Obeid had fired in the air with an M-16 rifle and then pointed it at troops when they shot at him, said a commander in the Jenin area, Col. Hertzi Halevy.

Abu Obeid was wanted for recruiting a Palestinian from the Jenin area who was caught by Israeli security in Tel Aviv on Tuesday trying to carry out a suicide bombing, the army said. Abu Obeid also had supplied the bomber with the explosives, the army said.

Abu Obeid oversaw the preparation of bombs for the militant group, and the car he was driving was full of explosives, Halevy said. Troops tracked down Abu Obeid due in part with information given to security forces during the interrogation of the bomber caught on Tuesday, Halevy said.
But people glancing at the paper or website will only see that Israel has killed yet another innocent Palestinian Arab for no reason.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bahrain's hot new club

Bahrain was the site of yet another protest against Israel. But I got a kick out of the name of the organization that organized the protest:
"We are against any interference at one of the most holy places for Muslims and we strongly condemn what Israel is doing," said chairman of the Bahraini Society Against Normalisation of Relations with the Zionist Enemy, Mohammed Al Aradi, who led the protest.

Demonstrators condemned the demolition of some portions of Al Aqsa Mosque by the Israeli occupation forces and said Israel should be immediately stopped from digging tunnels around it. "This is a direct affront to Muslims," said Mr Al Aradi.

"This is damaging the foundations of the historic structure and the whole action smells of a Jewish conspiracy."

He said any damage to Al Aqsa Mosque would hurt the feelings of Muslims around the globe and called on the UN to intervene.
The BSANoRwtZE is definitely the "in" place to be in Bahrain.

This is not the first time Mr. Al Aradi has been in the news. Previously, his organization's name was slightly different:
Mohammed Al-Aradi, head of the Society for Resisting Normalization with the Zionist Enemy in Bahrain, expressed outrage at the government decision and said bilateral agreements could not override Arab League decision, according to a report by Arab News.

Obviously, the SfRNwtZE name does not have nearly the pizazz as BSANoRwtZE.

It appears that Mr. Al Aradi also has a government job in Bahrain, as a public prosecutor where he prosecutes fairly petty cases.

Sounds like a very hip dude.

How Israel treats Muslim archaeological finds

As I've mentioned before, the major issue that the Muslims have with any archaeological digs in Jerusalem is the possibility that Jewish items and buildings will be found, and hence the digs will end up "Judaizing" Jerusalem.

What they refuse to admit is that many of the digs have uncovered critical periods of Islamic history as well.

There was a recent report claiming that Israeli archaeologists had found an ancient Islamic prayer room three years ago and had covered it up. In response, the Israeli authorities pointed out that they had not determined what the find was yet, and if it was found to be an important Islamic find then they would preserve it. Of course, the Muslims accused Israel of being more nefarious:
Adnan Husseini, chairman of the Muslim council that oversees affairs at the holy site, expressed anger that Israel withheld news of the discovery for three years. "We didn't hear anything about this," he said. "They are always hiding things."


Let's see whether that argument has any merit.

When the Israeli archaeologists started digging at the southern part of the Temple Mount, they found the remains of an Omayyad palace as well as other finds that illuminated early Muslim life in Jerusalem. Rather than destroy this palace as the Muslims would have you think, they shared the information with the local Islamic authorities - who appreciated the gesture and allowed the Israelis to dig in other areas near the Temple Mount.

This story illuminates how Muslims have traditionally tried to politicize archaeology as much as possible:
(Meir) Ben-Dov (field director of southern Mount dig) tells the story of a visit to the excavation by Rafiq Dajani, the deputy director of the Jordanian Department of Antiquities. Dajani remarked to Ben-Dov, “If we could leave politics to the politicians, I would heartily congratulate you on your work, revealing finds of which we knew very little up until now. The finds from the early Moslem period are thrilling, and frankly I’m surprised the Israeli scholars made them public.”

A foreign correspondent overheard Dajani’s remarks and included them in his story.

Two weeks later Dajani was summarily dismissed and later died in the prime of life.
And how did the hated Zionists sweep the discovery of this palace under the rug?

By placing it on a stamp, of course.

Contrast this with how the Waqf treats Jewish archaeological finds on the Temple Mount, and you can see yet another example of Muslim projection of their own attitudes and actions onto the Jews.

Hamas/Fatah truce update

Just because the Western media hasn't been reporting any fighting between Hamas and Fatah doesn't mean that they are playing happily together:
Ramallah - Ma'an - The Fatah movement warned on Tuesday that several "atrocities" had taken place in the Gaza Strip in order to gain "extra time". Since Sunday, there have been four violent assaults on various civilian targets in the Gaza Strip, the Fatah spokesperson, Jamal Nazzal, said, adding that the perpetrators have all been either the pro-Hamas Executive Force or still-unidentified armed men. Fatah has condemned all the attacks.

In one incident, 200 armed men, allegedly from the Executive Force, took control of a farm belonging to Ishaq Hassan. 20 of his family members were forced out of their homes and his 15-dunum farm, located in the Al-Mughraqa neighbourhood close to the evacuated Israeli settlement of Netsarim in the central Gaza Strip, was set ablaze.

In a separate incident, unidentified gunmen stole a car belonging to Palestine TV in Gaza City and brutally beat the car's occupants. The car was reportedly transporting Palestine TV employees in Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood in central Gaza City on Tuesday.

A day before, three unarmed Fatah members were also attacked by unknown gunmen in Gaza City.

Fatah also condemned the recent attack on "The Youth House for Culture and Arts" in the northern Gaza Strip where a children's library containing 7,000 books was set ablaze. The library was reportedly attacked because it was "contradictory to Palestinian traditions". In this regard, Nazzal added that the offices of dozens of publications and websites have been closed down in the Gaza Strip following frequent threats by the Executive Force against employees, particularly women.
This must be the PalArab definition of "peace."

Which is something to keep in mind when people talk about the "peace process."

Mecca accord lies

Maan News reports:
Ramallah - Ma'an - The head of the Fatah bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) has assured that all the demands of the Quartet are found in the Mecca deal.

The Quartet – comprising of the UN, EU, US and Russia – has stipulated that any new Palestinian government must renounce violence, accept the state of Israel's right to exist and adopt the previously signed peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The head of the Fatah bloc, Azzam Al-Ahmad, was speaking with PLC member Qais Abdul-Karim of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), in the West Bank city of Ramallah during a meeting with the press in the ministry of information. He added that great efforts had been taken to reach the Mecca deal and called on all parties to show more commitment to the agreement.

It seems that Fatah assumes, with good reason, that EUdiots and other liberals are so keen on pouring money back into the terrorist PA that they will accept any assurances that the Mecca agreement is the exact opposite of what it states.

As Petra Marquardt-Bigman points out concerning an article that Khaled Mahaal wrote in the Guardian:
Mashaal had all the reasons to present Palestinian demands and threats with the utmost confidence. He knows all too well that in Europe, quite a few people would rather join a demonstration shouting "We are all Hizbullah" than be accused of "blind support" for Israel. Moreover, a Europe that has to contend with Islamic extremists in its midst has become quite receptive to the "linkage" theory that blames Muslim radicalization on the unsolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which, in turn, is often blamed on Israeli intransigence, made possible by US support.
Most of the Western media did not reprint the actual text of the Mecca agreement. There were two parts - the letter where Abbas calls on Haniyeh to "respect" (but not abide or adhere to) past PLO agreements, and then the actual agreement itself:
Based on the generous initiative announced by Saudi King Abdullah Ben Abdul Aziz and under the sponsorship of his majesty, Fatah and Hamas Movements held in the period February 6-8, 2007 in Holy Mecca the dialogues of Palestinian conciliation and agreement and these dialogues, thanks to God, ended with success and an agreement was reached on the following:

First: to stress on banning the shedding of the Palestinian blood and to take all measures and arrangements to prevent the shedding of the Palestinian blood and to stress on the importance of national unity as basis for national steadfastness and confronting the occupation and to achieve the legitimate national goals of the Palestinian people and adopt the language of dialogue as the sole basis for solving the political disagreements on the Palestinian arena.

Within this context, we offer gratitude to the brothers in Egypt and the Egyptian security delegation in Gaza who exerted tremendous efforts to calm the conditions in Gaza Strip in the past period.

Second: Final agreement to form a Palestinian national unity government according to a detailed agreement ratified by both sides and to start on an urgent basis to take the constitutional measures to form this government.

Third: to move ahead in measures to activate and reform the PLO and accelerate the work of the preparatory committee based on the Cairo and Damascus Understandings.

It has been agreed also on detailed steps between both sides on this issue.

Fourth: to stress on the principle of political partnership on the basis of the effective laws in the PNA and on the basis of political pluralism according to an agreement ratified between both parties.

We gladly announce this agreement to our Palestinian masses and to the Arab and Islamic nation and to all our friends in the world. We stress on our commitment to this agreement in text and spirit so that we can devote our time to achieve our national goals and get rid of the occupation and regain our rights and devote work to the main files, mainly Jerusalem, the refugees, the Aqsa Mosque, the prisoners and detainees and to confront the wall and settlements.
So the true agreement says nothing about even respecting past PA commitments and the only peaceful dialogue it calls for are between Hamas and Fatah.

Anyone who says that the Mecca accords address the Quartet demands, let alone fulfill them, is simply a liar. And a letter that Abbas sends Haniyeh is not an accord saying that Haniyeh even agrees with the murky "respect" clause - we would need a letter from Haniyeh to even imply that.

The fact that the world is so willing to accept an internal Palestinian Arab political power-sharing agreement as anything other than a complete capitulation by Abbas to Hamas is more testament to the power of wishful thinking over reality.

And as the rockets continue to rain down on Israel from the unified Palestinian Arabs without a single word of protest by any Palestinian Arab group, the idea that PalArabs have accepted the Quartet demands goes beyond absurd.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ten years ago: Empire State Building PalArab terror attack

Ten years ago this week, a Palestinian Arab man shot seven people on the observation deck of the Empire State Building and killed one of them before killing himself.

At the time, his family and the US media all tried to paint this as the act of a deranged loner who was depressed over money problems and they did everything they could to distance this attack from terror. Initial reports said he was Egyptian, not a Palestinian Arab.

A few days later it was revealed that he was carrying a note blaming Israel, the US, France and England for Palestinian Arab troubles, but by then the news cycle had turned and the attack was almost forgotten:
NEW YORK -- The Palestinian teacher who went on a fatal shooting rampage atop the Empire State Building carried a note blaming the United States for using Israel as "an instrument" against his people.

The note found in Ali Hassan Abu Kamal's pocket contains "rambling, angry stuff," and appears to contradict claims by the man's family that the shooting had nothing to do with politics, a high-ranking police source said last night.

The letter also expressed anger at France and England for using Israel as "an instrument" against Palestinians, and indicated that Mr. Abu Kamal planned to vent his anger at the Empire State Building, the source said.

Seven tourists were shot Sunday, one fatally, on the 86th-floor observation deck of the famous landmark, long a symbol of romance and tourism. Mr. Abu Kamal then killed himself.

That Mr. Abu Kamal -- a 69-year-old Palestinian in the country only two months -- could buy a Beretta semiautomatic handgun "is totally insane," Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said at a news conference.

Police Commissioner Howard Safir described Mr. Abu Kamal as "one deranged individual working on his own."

An anti-terrorist task force was still part of the investigation, Mr. Safir said, but so far it had found no evidence that Mr. Abu Kamal was aligned with any terrorist group.

In Mr. Abu Kamal's hometown of Gaza City, relatives said he had been distraught over losing his life savings of more than $300,000 and had no ties to Palestinian radical groups. Mr. Abu Kamal called home Sunday and said he could not send tuition money to one of his sons, who is studying civil engineering in Russia, a son-in-law said.

The letter in Mr. Abu Kamal's pocket discussed personal issues but did not mention the loss of his life savings, the police source said. How he lost the money is a mystery.
Now it is revealed that the family lied the whole time - under pressure of the Palestinian Authority:
(IsraelNN.com) The family of Ali Abu Kamal, who opened fire on the observation deck of the Empire State Building a decade ago, now admits that his attack was politically motivated. The family had claimed for years that the attack, in which one person was killed and six were injured, was due to a mental breakdown which Kamal suffered after losing his life’s savings.

A letter found on Kamal’s body at the time pointed to a political motivation for the attack. However, sources in the Palestinian Authority worried that publicizing Kamal’s true motivation would erode Israeli and American trust in the Oslo Accords. So PA officials invented the story about Kamal’s supposed loss of savings and convinced his family to repeat it.

Kamal’s daughter, a UN worker in Gaza, said that at first “we didn’t know he was martyred for patriotic motivations.” Even after becoming convinced that Kamal was in fact a terrorist, the family covered up that fact and destroyed evidence out of fear. Family members say they are now admitting the truth because they are tired of lying.
If the PA would successfully pressure families to lie ten years ago, what percentage of news stories out of Gaza and the West Bank about supposed Israeli crimes are lies as well?

When the acting "government" of a people cannot be trusted to tell simple truths - if in fact they go out of their way to mislead and lie to the world - how can negotiators today trust a word that they say?

A true Arab terror attack occurred in a New York City skyscraper ten years ago, right between the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, and because of a combination of the PA's lies, wishful thinking on the part of the New York police and politicians, and the desire to downplay anything that could derail the Oslo "peace" process, the media and the local governments all agreed that this was not a story that was worth pursuing.

And the PA was behind a massive cover-up that can only be learned about today.

Once again there are lessons to be learned from history. Yet it seems unlikely that history's truths will outweigh the wishful thinking agendas of the US, EU and Kadima.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin ties this case to other cases of "lone gunmen" who happen to be Muslims and whose terrorist motivations are consistently downplayed. (hat tip One Jerusalem)