Thursday, May 31, 2007

SHOOTER OF JEWISH FEDERATION PLEADS INSANITY: Naveed Haq killed one and injured 5:
A man accused of opening fire at a Seattle Jewish charity last summer, killing one woman and wounding five others as he allegedly ranted about Jewish people, will raise an insanity defense in his trial in January.
Michelle Malkin has more, including links to earlier posts covering the initial reluctance of authorities to declare the shooting a hate crime, despite Haq's declaring "I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel," before shooting.

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FRED THOMPSON ON SDEROT: Fred Thompson on Israel and Sderot:
Living in Terror

Let me ask you a hypothetical question. What do you think America would do if Canadian soldiers were firing dozens of missiles every day into Buffalo, N.Y.? What do you think our response would be if Mexican troops for two years had launched daily rocket attacks on San Diego -- and bragged about it?

I can tell you, our response would look nothing like Israel's restrained and pinpoint reactions to daily missile attacks from Gaza. We would use whatever means necessary to win the war. There would likely be numerous casualties on our enemy's side, but we would rightfully hold those who attacked us responsible.

More than 1,300 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza since Palestinians were given control two years ago. Israelis, however, have gone to incredible lengths to stop the war against them without harming Palestinian non-combatants. But make no mistake, Israel is at war. The elected Hamas government regularly repeats its official promise to destroy Israel entirely and replace it with an Islamic state. Hamas openly took credit for killing one woman and wounding dozens more last week alone.

The Palestinian strategy is to purposely target and kill Israeli civilians. Then, when Israel goes after those launching the attacks, Palestinians claim to be the victims. If Palestinian civilians aren't hurt in the Israeli attacks, they stage injuries and deaths. Too often, they garner sympathy and support from a gullible or anti-Semitic media in the international community.

Israelis, themselves, are often incapable of facing the damage they inflict in self-defense. Knowing this, Islamic extremists are using their own populations as human shields.

I'm beginning to wonder how much longer this vicious plot will work though. International sympathy for Palestinians has diminished as the same Islamofascist extremists have brought havoc to Madrid, Bali, Somalia, London and elsewhere. More importantly, Israelis themselves are suffering so badly, they may be on the verge of losing their sympathy for the people who have sworn to kill them.

Imagine what it would be like to live, knowing that a rocket could fall on you or your children at any minute. Half of those who live nearest to Gaza have fled their homes. Those remaining are traumatized by daily warning sirens and explosions.

The irony is that Israel has the military might to easily win the war that is being waged against them today. They haven't used that might, in the past, out of compassion for Palestinian civilians and because it could trigger a wider regional conflict.

That balance of power is about to change, though. If Iran develops nuclear weapons, the very existence of this tiny nation of Israel will be threatened. The Iranian regime has left little doubt that it intends to see Israel "wiped off the map.” Hamas is using the same language, not coincidentally, and has announced it will begin launching missiles into Israel from the West Bank too.

If the world doesn't act to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, it must be prepared for the consequences of Israel defending itself.
Mr. Thompson is an optimist. He takes Israel's government more seriously than we--or her enemies--do.

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Fact Sheet
Remembering the Six Day War

June 5, 2007, marks the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War. It will be a time for reflection on all that happened during those critical days in 1967 and the consequences of the war that remain with us today. The following points are crucial to understanding the war and its implications.

Why are we talking today about the West Bank and the “Palestinian question”? How did Israel get into this situation where it is reviled as an “occupier” and accused of a refusal to trade “land for peace”?
Prior to June 1967, Israel did not “occupy” any Arab land and did not seek to expand its territory. Israelis were not talking about populating Judea and Samaria or establishing “Greater Israel.” Similarly, Palestinians were not calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, which was controlled by Jordan, or in the Gaza Strip, which was ruled by Egypt.

Since declaring independence in May 1948, Israelis have dreamed of living in peace with their neighbors and consistently expressed their desire to negotiate with the Arabs to resolve their differences. In an address to the UN General Assembly on October 10, 1960, Foreign Minister Golda Meir challenged Arab leaders to meet with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to negotiate a peace settlement. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser responded on October 15, claiming that Israel was trying to deceive the world, and reiterating that his country would never recognize the Jewish State.

Meanwhile, Syria used the Golan Heights, which tower 3,000 feet above the Galilee, to shell Israeli farms and villages. Syria’s attacks grew more frequent in 1965 and 1966, while Nasser’s rhetoric became increasingly belligerent: “We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand,” he said on March 8, 1965. “We shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood.”

While Nasser continued to make speeches threatening war, Arab terrorist attacks grew more frequent. In 1965, 35 raids were conducted against Israel. In 1966, the number increased to 41. In just the first four months of 1967, 37 attacks targeted Israel.

Meanwhile, Syria’s attacks on Israeli kibbutzim from the Golan Heights provoked a retaliatory strike on April 7, 1967, during which Israeli planes shot down six Syrian MiGs. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union — which had been providing military and economic aid to both Syria and Egypt — gave Damascus information alleging a massive Israeli military buildup in preparation for an attack. Despite Israeli denials, Syria decided to invoke its defense treaty with Egypt.

On May 15, Israel’s Independence Day, Egyptian troops began moving into the Sinai and massing near the Israeli border. By May 18, Syrian troops stationed along the Golan Heights were prepared for battle.

Nasser ordered the UN Emergency Force, stationed in the Sinai since 1956, to withdraw on May 16. Without bringing the matter to the attention of the General Assembly, as his predecessor had promised, Secretary-General U Thant complied with the demand. After the withdrawal of the UNEF, the Voice of the Arabs proclaimed (May 18, 1967):

As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.

An enthusiastic echo was heard on May 20 from Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad:

Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united....I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.

On May 22, Egyptclosed the Straits of Tiran to all Israeli shipping and all ships bound for Eilat. This blockade cut off Israel’s only supply route with Asia and stopped the flow of oil from its main supplier, Iran. The following day, President Johnson condemned the blockade and tried, unsuccessfully, to organize an international flotilla to test it.

Nasser was fully aware of the pressure he was exerting to force Israel’s hand. The day after the blockade was set up, he said defiantly: “The Jews threaten to make war. I reply: Welcome! We are ready for war.”

Nasser challenged Israel to fight almost daily. “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight,” he said on May 27. The following day, he added: “We will not accept any...coexistence with Israel...Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel....The war with Israel is in effect since 1948.”

King Hussein of Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt on May 30. Nasser then announced:

The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations.

President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq joined in the war of words: “The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear — to wipe Israel off the map.” On June 4, Iraq joined the military alliance with Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

The Arab rhetoric was matched by the mobilization of Arab forces. Approximately 250,000 troops (nearly half in Sinai), more than 2,000 tanks and 700 aircraft surrounded Israel.

By this time, Israeli forces had been on alert for three weeks. The country could not remain fully mobilized indefinitely, nor could it allow its sea-lane through the Gulf of Aqaba to be interdicted. Israel’s best option was to strike first. On June 5, the order was given to attack Egypt. Jordan then attacked the Israeli cities of Jerusalem and Netanya ignoring a personal message to King Hussein from Israeli Prime Minister Eshkol to refrain from hostilities.

The Soviet Union was supplying massive amounts of arms to the Arabs. Simultaneously, the armies of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Algeria were contributing troops and arms to the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian fronts. Israel’s principal arms supplier at the time, France, imposed an embargo on arms shipments. The United States, which had warned Israel that if it chose to fight it would have to go it alone, also stopped all arms deliveries to the region.

After just six days of fighting, Israeli forces broke through the enemy lines and were in a position to march on Cairo, Damascus and Amman. A cease­fire was invoked on June 10. The speed with which Israel devastated the might of the entire Arab world shocked the world and humiliated the Arabs. The psychological impact was significant and lasting. Israelis came out of the war with a false sense of security and their military prowess that would come back to haunt them in 1973. The shame felt by the Arabs would compel their leaders to prepare for the chance to exact revenge and regain their honor.

Israel’s victory came at a very high cost. In storming the Golan Heights, 115 Israeli soldiers perished — roughly the number of Americans killed during Operation Desert Storm. Altogether, Israel lost twice as many men — 777 dead and 2,586 wounded — in proportion to her total population as the U.S. lost in eight years of fighting in Vietnam. Had Israel waited for the Arabs to strike first, as it did in 1973, the cost would certainly have been much higher and victory could not have been assured.

Following the cease-fire, the Israeli government immediately expressed a desire to negotiate a peace agreement with its neighbors. Arab leaders met in Khartoum and provided their answer, declaring there would be “no peace, no recognition and no negotiation with Israel.”

In the course of defending itself against Jordanian forces, Israeli troops reunited Jerusalem and captured the West Bank. Israel also gained control of the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. Overall, Israel’s territory grew by a factor of three and incorporated more than three-quarters of a million Palestinians — most of whom were hostile to the government. Ultimately, more than 60,000 Palestinians of the approximately 325,000 who fled during the fighting (these were Jordanian citizens who moved from one part of what they considered their country to another to avoid being caught in the cross fire) were allowed to return.

The war also had religious significance. Under Jordanian rule, Jews and many Christians were forbidden from entering the Old City of Jerusalem, which is the site of the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, and many Christian shrines. After capturing the city, Israel discovered the Jordanians had desecrated many holy places, synagogues and cemeteries. After the unification of Jerusalem, each religious group was granted administration over their holy sites and the city was made accessible to people of all faiths.

The unwillingness of any Arab state to make peace left Israel with no choice but to hold onto those territories it had captured until the Arabs were prepared to negotiate a settlement. In the meantime, the government made every effort to make their occupation as benign as possible, though it recognized that the nation’s security needs required that it restrict some Palestinian rights.

On November 22, 1967, the international community laid the foundation for future peace negotiations. The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 242, which called for Israeli withdrawal “from territories occupied” in 1967 in return for “the termination of all claims or states of belligerency.” The framers of Resolution 242 recognized that territorial adjustments were needed because the previous armistice lines had proven indefensible. Prior to the war, at its narrowest point, Israel was just 9 miles wide. Consequently, the framers of the resolution deliberately left open the question of how much territory Israel should relinquish in exchange for peace. By leaving out the words “all” or “the” when referring to the disputed territories, they acknowledged the need to make adjustments in the final borders that would allow Israel and the other states in the region “to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”

Every Arab leader who has subsequently been willing to make peace has received both land and peace from Israel. When Egyptian President Anwar Sadat demonstrated the courage and vision to accept Israel, the leaders of Israel responded by making peace and withdrawing from the vast Sinai desert that had provided a valuable strategic buffer. Israel also gave up military bases, oil fields and evacuated Jewish communities.

Israel also offered to grant autonomy to the Palestinians, which was less than the full independence they demanded, but a step that would likely have led to statehood. The Palestinians rejected the offer and continued to pursue a strategy based on terror.

Many Israelis hoped that an agreement could be reached to return control over most of the West Bank to Jordan, but King Hussein was too weak to make a deal and faced widespread opposition in the Arab world, which had never recognized his 19-year occupation of the area. When the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) became the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians,” negotiations over the fate of the West Bank and Gaza (which Egypt did not want back as part of the treaty with Israel) was separated from the relationship between Israel and Jordan. It took another 15 years after Egypt made peace with Israel before King Hussein was willing to negotiate an agreement. Israel again responded with concessions.

In 1993, Israel reached an apparent breakthrough with the Palestinians and was prepared to withdraw from most of the disputed territories and allow the Palestinians to establish a state in exchange for peace. The Oslo agreement collapsed, however, when the Palestinians failed to fulfill their obligation to stop terror attacks. Still, Israel withdrew from most of the Gaza Strip and nearly half of the West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak made another effort to trade land for peace when he met with President Bill Clinton and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat in 2000. Barak was prepared to give up all of Gaza, 97% of the West Bank, dismantle most settlements and allow the Palestinians to establish a state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But Arafat said no.

Israel gave the Palestinians yet another opportunity to prove they were interested in peace when it evacuated the entire Gaza Strip in 2005. Nothing has prevented the Palestinians from creating all of the trappings of a state in Gaza. Had they done so and demonstrated they were interested in coexistence with Israel by stopping the violence, Israelis undoubtedly would be interested in negotiating a compromise in the West Bank. Instead chaos and ongoing attacks against Israel have caused most Israelis to regret the disengagement and to resist calls for future concessions until a new Palestinian leadership emerges that is interested in peace.

Meanwhile, Israel has negotiated the outline of an agreement with the Syrians that would result in the return of most, if not all of the Golan Heights. Once again, the obstacle to an agreement is that Israel is offering land while Syria is unwilling to give peace in exchange.

Israel has given up approximately 94% of the territories won in the 1967 defensive war. So the dispute today is over only 6% of that territory and Israel has already said it is prepared to give up most of that.

After the victory in the Six-Day War, Israelis hoped they had convinced their neighbors that Israel was a permanent fixture in the Middle East. Now, 40 years and five wars later, many Israelis doubt they will ever be accepted in the region, especially as radical Islam grows stronger and its adherents explicitly call for Israel’s destruction and strive to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

Still, despite never enjoying a day of peace in the last four decades, the people of Israel continue to hope for “peace now” and to look forward to a day when Palestinian and other Arab leaders demonstrate the courage and vision of Anwar Sadat and King Hussein and heed the words of Isaiah: “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
Read this Fact Sheet with links.

Read all of Dr. Bard's Fact Sheets

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ARAFAT AND RICHARD III: IMPLICATIONS FOR ISRAEL. I have never found a description of the West's blindness to evil as compelling and unsettling as this article written in April 2002
Evil's Advantage Over Conscience
Why the West gives Yasser Arafat endless second chances.
by Norman Doidge

...When dealing with Arafat, even the foes of terror become inconsistent and incoherent.

The archetypal releaser of Arafat is a leader who has criticized him many times, has shown himself capable of the assertive use of deadly force in other situations, and, like Reagan, Bush, Begin, Sharon, Rabin, and Barak, has criticized others for letting terrorists go free. The typical, last-minute liberator is a reluctant and soon-to-be-regretful redeemer, who has often battled terror. Usually, he is utterly disquieted as he finds himself letting Arafat off, but he feels trapped by some force larger than himself. Something always seems to happen so that the knowledge that it is dangerous to let such men go unpunished is not translated into effective action. It is as though these leaders come under a spell.

This "spell" is part of a dynamic that operates when the evil being confronted is brazen and relentless, and it occurred when the first President Bush let Saddam Hussein off at the end of the Gulf War. The fact that Bush allowed Saddam to escape a just defeat when he was all but conquered is crucial: The person who decides on the ill-advised release does not act from a position of relative weakness. Neville Chamberlain and the others who released Hitler--another representative of brazen evil--at Munich did so before the Fuhrer perfected his war machine. It is as though there were an unwritten psychological law that evil at its most shameless--the most barbaric murder of children and civilians, the most outrageous claims and lies--is somehow, in the minute before midnight, to be treated as an exception worthy of reprieve.

In each historical instance, there is of course a political imperative that is cited to justify snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. In Arafat's case, the political imperative has turned out each time to be based on a flawed calculus. In March, U.S. pressure on Israel to loosen its hold on Arafat was justified in the name of shoring up Arab support for Washington's new effort to topple Saddam. That Arab support did not materialize, any more than Oslo's promise had. In fact, Washington's Arab "friends" declared at the Beirut Arab summit that any attack on Iraq was an attack on them. To which Secretary of State Powell replied that Arafat, a man who had boasted of killing the American ambassador and his assistant in Khartoum, was no terrorist.

THE STUDENT of human nature who seems best to have recognized the importance of this bizarre dynamic, in which a conscientious hero proves unable to finish off a foe he knows to be evil, was none other than Shakespeare. Indeed, the Bard was obsessed with understanding the phenomenon. Hamlet hesitated to bring Claudius to justice, and he paid with his life and the lives of those he loved. But it is in "Richard III" that one can learn most from characters who see evil, yet freeze at the key moment. The principal characters are fully aware of Richard's undeniable evil, yet they let him have his way despite themselves. Richard is the most systematically evil character in all of Shakespeare's plays. "I can smile, and murder while I smile," he says, swearing that he will outdo all the villains of history "and set the murderous Machiavel to school."

The most important thing Richard knows is that while conscience allows us to understand ordinary crimes, it actually blinds us before the most extraordinary ones.
The idea that conscience blinds us, making us less able to oppose evil's most brazen forms, is deeply disturbing, for conscience is the sine qua non of civil society. Conscience is supposed to be the faculty that helps us become aware of our effects on others and our motives towards them, notably our baser motives. In Elizabethan English, "conscience" is an equivocal word that can mean either that faculty that allows us to feel guilt or "awareness," as in "consciousness." When Hamlet says, "Conscience does make cowards of us all," he means consciousness, by making us aware of the possibility of death, makes us cowardly.

But conscience, designed to ferret out evil within, can also actually narrow our awareness of evil. This happens, according to Freud, because the person with a conscience learns to repress automatically his own most destructive inclinations so as not to act on them. He becomes ignorant, for example, of the thrill of evil that a sadist like Richard III feels when he plays God and exercises the freedom to kill whomever he pleases. But the cost of repressing one's most destructive feelings is an inability to understand, without significant effort, those who give these feelings free rein.

This is seen over and over in "Richard III," especially in Richard's seduction of Lady Anne, whose husband he has murdered, and it is seen over and over in our dealings with terrorists. Richard actually gets Anne to drop her sword when she's about to kill him. Anne, although she knows Richard is evil, cannot see that he has no conscience. She tells him he should hang himself for what he has done. She keeps missing the point. He feels no guilt. Eventually, she marries him, and he murders her.

Conscience, when it is functioning well--automatically and without the intervention of reason, so that we do the right thing without thinking--is not simply rational. It is a force, a blunt instrument before which the conscientious person is guilty until proven innocent. As the preventive agency in the mind, conscience blocks first, thinks later. Men like Arafat and Richard know this. That is why both men constantly charge others with crimes--to paralyze them. Both know it doesn't matter whether the charges are false. Richard brazenly accuses Anne of inspiring the murder of her husband, as Arafat accuses the West of causing terrorism.

...Law, in the democracies, is like a civic conscience, and like conscience, it is the bluntest of instruments. Because law, in democracies, is made by the people, it has their respect. Democratic citizens are prone to the illusory hope that the law can be applied successfully in international affairs between regimes regardless of whether they are democracies or tyrannies, strong or weak. The name for this hope is "international law." But because the law in tyrannies is ultimately the product of one man's whim, a mere vehicle of the preeminent will and power, it cannot restrain the preeminent will and power. Conscientiousness in no way attaches to the law in tyrannies. International agreements with tyrants are meaningless, yet pursuit of such agreements is precisely what the State Department is now endorsing by trying to get Israel to sit at the table with Arafat.

...It is interesting that the person who finally defeats Richard III in Shakespeare's play, Richmond, is the one key character who never talks to Richard or gives him a hearing, and thus never comes under his spell. To talk to Arafat, which is what all pundits say must be done to bring peace to the Middle East, is precisely the wrong move, for there is no dialogue with a man without a conscience. Another wrong move is the game of decriminalizing Arafat. By refusing to punish him for horrendous crimes, as a serious nation would, Israel leaves the world, the Arabs, and itself with the sense that maybe his crimes can be justified, and its own attempts to restrain him from further criminal acts are criminal excesses in themselves. Israel would do better to relentlessly show the world pictures of Arafat's victims, including the American ambassador he assassinated. [Emphasis added]
Many of the Sichos Mussar of Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz tz"l were translated by ArtScroll. In The Ability to Adapt, Reb Chaim writes about the importance of adapting--and when it is a danger that drains you of the ability to take decisive action:
The Gemara (Sotah 13a) tells of Esav contesting the title to Yaakov’s burial plot, the Cave of Machpelah. When Yaakov died and was brought to Canaan for burial, Esav came and protested that the plot of land belonged to him. A debate ensued and it was decided that Naphtali would return to Egypt to retrieve the deed certifying Yaakov’s purchase of the plot. A deaf grandson, Chushim the son of Dan, who was present at this scene, inquired as to the cause of the delay. When they told him, he exclaimed, “What? And until the deed is brought, grandfather is to lie in degradation?” Whereupon he killed Esav.

Why was it that Chushim, a grandson, was more concerned about Yaakov’s honor that Yaakov’s own children? The answer is hinted at in the Gemara by its reference to Chushim’s deafness. All the brothers had been slowly drawn into the argument with Esav, gradually dulling their sensitivity to their father’s shame. Chushim, being deaf, was completely unaware of the litigation. When he was abruptly informed of the situation he cold not contain his wrath, and killed Esav instantly. [p. 62-3]
There is a time when that wrath is justified. Whether we are dealing with listening to Esav, talking with King Richard III, or diplomatic negotiations with Iran, Syria, and Hamas--the results of talk have been the same.

Doidge writes:
Not all criminals are equally brazen. Arafat seems to have the power to neutralize the very foes who see him as most evil, perhaps because they, by virtue of seeing him as virtually the devil incarnate, attribute to him a kind supernatural indestructibility. Such superstition has made many who are far more powerful than Arafat hesitate to end his career.
Arafat's career ended with a whimper instead of a bang. Israel cannot afford to assume the same will be true of all of her enemies.

The irony of course is that blogging about the situation, the danger, is nothing more than continuing the conversation that has outlived its usefulness.It is not the blogging that is necessary, it is action.

Along these lines of not being derailed by false morality and conscience, this is the lens through which to view what is being proposed by former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu to Olmert:
Eliyahu ruled that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings.

The letter, published in Olam Katan [Small World], a weekly pamphlet to be distributed in synagogues nationwide this Friday, cited the biblical story of the Shechem massacre (Genesis 34) and Maimonides' commentary (Laws of Kings 9, 14) on the story as proof texts for his legal decision.

According to Jewish war ethics, wrote Eliyahu, an entire city holds collective responsibility for the immoral behavior of individuals. In Gaza, the entire populace is responsible because they do nothing to stop the firing of Kassam rockets.

The former chief rabbi also said it was forbidden to risk the lives of Jews in Sderot or the lives of IDF soldiers for fear of injuring or killing Palestinian noncombatants living in Gaza.

Eliyahu could not be reached for an interview. However, Eliyahu's son, Shmuel Eliyahu, who is chief rabbi of Safed, said his father opposed a ground troop incursion into Gaza that would endanger IDF soldiers. Rather, he advocated carpet bombing the general area from which the Kassams were launched, regardless of the price in Palestinian life.

"If they don't stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand," said Shmuel Eliyahu. "And if they do not stop after 1,000 then we must kill 10,000. If they still don't stop we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop."

In the letter, Eliyahu quoted from Psalms. "I will pursue my enemies and apprehend them and I will not desist until I have eradicated them."

Eliyahu wrote that "This is a message to all leaders of the Jewish people not to be compassionate with those who shoot [rockets] at civilians in their houses." [emphasis added]
It's time.

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The Moshe Skier Band is playing Summerfest again this year!
July 1st (Sunday), 3pm Classic Rock Stage
This year he opens for George Thorogood (Dada-DA Dada-DUH)!
Jewish Blogmeister also has video of backstage footage from last year when Psychotoddler opened for Foreigner.

And of course check out Psychotoddler's own blog for links.
LONG ISLAND COMMUNITY BEING TERRORIZED: Jewish Blogmeister has a post warning about thieves who
take advantage of your kindness i.e. they come with a kid who must use your bathroom, you let him in and they ransack your place from the back or front.
BLOGGING THE CONFLICT: Israellycool has an ongoing post on the Kassams being fired at Israel.

Check it out.

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THE PRICE OF ADMISSION: Boker Tov, Boulder thinks recent admissions by the Israeli government are Too Little, Too Late. Maybe it depends on where Israel's leaders stand now in the Stages of Grief:
• Shock
• Denial
• Bargaining
• Guilt
• Anger
• Depression
• Resignation
• Acceptance and Hope
My only problem is that I'm not quite sure how Decisive Military Action would fit in with Acceptance and Hope.

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WHY WOULD A PRO-PALESTINIAN REPORTER BE ABDUCTED: Media Backspin finds that there are times that being Pro-Palestinian is not enough--not it is a matter of which Palestinians.

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FRANCE GETTING COZY WITH SARKOZY: The Astute Bloggers finds that France approves of the steps Sarkozy is taking.

I wish such leadership were contagious.

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HOW TO HELP IN SDEROT: From Aliyah! Step-by-Step:
Right, volunteers are being called for to come to the aid of citizens in Sderot. Below I’m going to append the information so that folks around and about can get involved if they so wish in the many ways they can help out. I’m particularly interested in going down to help fix up the shelters –really a most critical need or helping with the damaged homes. Anyone else up for dedicating a Shabbat to helping out down there?
Go to her post to get the details.

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REQUIRED READING: Rafi G finds that the Israeli government has been proposing ideas that he suggested first--including its latest idea.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

On October 15, 2003, a convoy of clearly identified United States diplomatic vehicles was attacked by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza resulting in the deaths of John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde, and the injury of a fourth American.
Check out Israel Matzav for details of the murder and what has not been done.
The progress of HR 2293 can be tracked on here.
The page tracks the 5 stages of a Bill:
  • Introduced
  • Scheduled for Debate
  • Voted on in House
  • Voted on in Senate
  • Signed by President
So far, only the first stage has taken place--on May 14th.

HR 2293 addresses the murder of Americans that has been forgotten--and that senior officials within the PA said they knew who the murderers were and that despite the assurances of Abbas, those murderers of Americans are still at large. The Bill also suggests measures to take to apply pressure on the PA

This Bill bears watching.

Here is the entire text of the Bill:

HR 2293 IH

1st Session
H. R. 2293

To require the Secretary of State to submit to Congress a report on efforts to bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who killed John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde.


May 14, 2007

Mr. ACKERMAN (for himself, Mr. PENCE, and Mr. LANTOS) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


To require the Secretary of State to submit to Congress a report on efforts to bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who killed John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    (a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) On October 15, 2003, a convoy of clearly identified United States diplomatic vehicles was attacked by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza resulting in the deaths of John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde, and the injury of a fourth American.

      (2) John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde were contract employees providing security to United States diplomatic personnel who were visiting Gaza in order to identify potential Palestinian candidates for scholarships under the Fulbright Program.

      (3) Senior officials of the Palestinian Authority have stated that they were aware of the identities of the Palestinian terrorists who killed John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde.

      (4) Following her visit to Israel and the West Bank on February 7, 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that she had been `assured by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority's intention to bring justice to those who murdered three American personnel in the Gaza in 2003'.

      (5) Since the bombing on October 15, 2003, United States Government personnel have been prohibited from all travel in Gaza.

      (6) The United States Rewards for Justice program is offering a reward of up to $5,000,000 for information leading to the arrest or conviction of any persons involved in the murders of John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde.

      (7) The Palestinian terrorists who killed John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde have still not been brought to justice.

    (b) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--

      (1) the continued inability or unwillingness of the Palestinian Authority to actively and aggressively pursue the Palestinian terrorists who killed John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde and bring them to justice calls into question the Palestinian Authority's suitability as a partner for the United States in diplomatic efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict;

      (2) future United States assistance to the Palestinian Authority may be suspended or conditioned, and the continued operation of the PLO Representative Office in Washington may be jeopardized, if the Palestinian Authority does not fully and effectively cooperate in bringing to justice the Palestinian terrorists who killed John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde; and

      (3) it is in the vital national security interest of the United States to safeguard, to the greatest extent possible consistent with their mission, United States diplomats and all embassy and consulate personnel, and to use the full power of the United States to bring to justice any individual or entity that threatens, jeopardizes, or harms them.

    (c) Report- Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 120 days thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit a report, on a classified basis if necessary, to the appropriate congressional committees describing--

      (1) efforts by the United States to bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who killed John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde;

      (2) a detailed assessment of efforts by the Palestinian Authority to bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who killed John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde, including--

        (A) the number of arrests, interrogations, and interviews by Palestinian Authority officials related to the case;

        (B) the number of Palestinian security personnel and man-hours assigned to the case;

        (C) the extent of personal supervision or involvement by the President and Ministers of the Palestinian Authority; and

        (D) the degree of cooperation between the United States and the Palestinian Authority in regards to this case;

      (3) a specific assessment by the Secretary of whether the Palestinian efforts described in paragraph (2) constitute the best possible effort by the Palestinian Authority; and

      (4) any additional steps or initiatives requested or recommended by the United States that were not pursued by the Palestinian Authority.

    (d) Certification- The requirement to submit a report under subsection (c) shall no longer apply if the Secretary of State certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Palestinian terrorists who killed John Branchizio, Mark Parson, and John Marin Linde have been identified, arrested, and brought to justice.

    (e) Definition- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--

      (1) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and

      (2) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.

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USS LIBERTY INCIDENT IN THE NEWS AGAIN--AND THE FACTS. Tim Fischer, former Australian politician, has dredged up the disproven claim that the attack was deliberate--see HonestReporting on Fischer's article.

Dr. Mitchell Bard sums up the evidence that debunks this myth.
MYTH #265 [revised #106]

"During the 1967 War, Israel deliberately attacked the USS Liberty.."


The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was a grievous error, largely attributable to the fact that it occurred in the midst of the confusion of a full-scale war in 1967. Ten official United States investigations and three official Israeli inquiries have all conclusively established the attack was a tragic mistake.
On June 8, 1967, the fourth day of the Six-Day War, the Israeli high command received reports that Israeli troops in El Arish were being fired upon from the sea, presumably by an Egyptian vessel, as they had a day before. The United States had earlier announced at the UN that it had no naval forces within hundreds of miles of the battle front on the floor of the United Nations a few days earlier; however, the USS Liberty, an American intelligence ship assigned to monitor the fighting, sailed into the arrived in the area. Following a series of United States communication failures, whereby messages directing the ship not to approach within 100 miles were not received by the Liberty,the ship moved within 14 miles of the Sinai coast , as a result of a series of United States communication failures, whereby messages directing the ship not to approach within 100 miles were not received by the Liberty. The Israelis mistakenly thought this was the ship doing the shelling their soldiers and directed war planes and torpedo boats to attack the ship. Thirty-four members of the Liberty’s crew were killed and 171 were wounded.

Tapes of the radio transmissions made prior, during and after the attack do not contain any statement suggesting the pilots saw a U.S. flag before the attack on the ship. During the raid, a pilot specifically says, “there is no flag on her!” The recordings also indicate that once the pilots became concerned about the identity of the ship, by virtue of reading its hull number, they terminated the attack and they were given an order to leave the area. 27 Critics claimed the Israeli tape was doctored, but the National Security Agency of the United States released formerly top secret transcripts in July 2003 that confirmed the Israeli version.

Numerous mistakes were made by both the United States and Israel. For example, the Liberty was first reported — incorrectly, as it turned out — to be cruising at 30 knots (it was later recalculated to be 28 knots). Under Israeli (and U.S.) naval doctrine at the time, a ship proceeding at that speed was presumed to be a warship. The sea was calm and the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry found that the Liberty’s flag was very likely drooped and not discernible; moreover, members of the crew, including the Captain, Commander William McGonagle, testified that the flag was knocked down after the first or second assault.

According to Israeli Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin’smemoirs, there were standing orders to attack any unidentified vessel near the shore. 28 The day fighting began, Israel had asked that American ships be removed from its coast or that it be notified of the precise location of U.S. vessels. 29 The Sixth Fleet was moved because President Johnson feared being drawn into a confrontation with the Soviet Union. He also ordered that no aircraft be sent near Sinai.

A CIA report on the incident issued June 13, 1967, also found that an overzealous pilot could mistake the Liberty for an Egyptian ship, the El Quseir. After the air raid, Israeli torpedo boats identified the Liberty as an Egyptian naval vessel. When the Liberty began shooting at the Israelis, they responded with the torpedo attack, which killed 28 of the sailors.

Initially, the Israelis were terrified that they had attacked a Soviet ship and might have provoked the Soviets to join the fighting. 30 Once the Israelis were sure what had happened, they reported the incident to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and offered to provide a helicopter for the Americans to fly out to the ship and to any help they required to evacuate the injured and salvage the ship. The offer was accepted and a U.S. naval attaché was flown to the Liberty.

The Israelis were “obviously shocked” by the error they made in attacking the ship, according to the U.S. Ambassador in Tel Aviv. In fact, according to a secret report on the 1967 war, the immediate concern was that the Arabs might see the proximity of the Liberty to the conflict as evidence of U.S.-Israel collusion. 31

A U.S. spy plane was sent to the area as soon as the NSA learned of the attack on the Liberty and recorded the conversations of two Israeli Air Force helicopter pilots, which took place between 2:30 and 3:37 p.m. on June 8. The orders radioed to the pilots by their supervisor at the Hatzor base instructing them to search for Egyptian survivors from the “Egyptian warship” that had just been bombed were also recorded by the NSA. “Pay attention. The ship is now identified as Egyptian,” the pilots were informed. Nine minutes later, Hatzor told the pilots the ship was believed to be an Egyptian cargo ship. At 3:07, the pilots were first told the ship might not be Egyptian and were instructed to search for survivors and inform the base immediately the nationality of the first person they rescued. It was not until 3:12 that one of the pilots reported that he saw an American flag flying over the ship at which point he was instructed to verify if it was indeed a U.S. vessel. 32

In October 2003, the first Israeli pilot to reach the ship broke his 36-year silence on the attack. Brig.-Gen. Yiftah Spector said he had been told an Egyptian ship was off the Gaza coast. “This ship positively did not have any symbol or flag that I could see. What I was concerned with was that it was not one of ours. I looked for the symbol of our navy, which was a large white cross on its deck. This was not there, so it wasn’t one of ours.” The Jerusalem Post obtained a recording of Spector’s radio transmission in which he said, “I can’t identify it, but in any case it’s a military ship.” 33

Many of the survivors of the Liberty remain bitter, and are convinced the attack was deliberate. None of Israel’s accusers, however, can explain why Israel would deliberately attack an American ship at a time when the United States was Israel’s only friend and supporter in the world. Confusion in a long line of communications, which occurred in a tense atmosphere on both the American and Israeli sides is a more probable explanation.

Accidents caused by “friendly fire” are common in wartime. In 1988, the U.S. Navy mistakenly downed an Iranian passenger plane, killing 290 civilians. During the Gulf War, 35 of the 148 Americans who died in battle were killed by “friendly fire.” In April 1994, two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters with large U.S. flags painted on each side were shot down by U.S. Air Force F-15s on a clear day in the “no fly” zone of Iraq, killing 26 people. In April 2002, an American F-16 dropped a bomb that killed four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. In fact, the day before the Liberty was attacked, Israeli pilots accidentally bombed one of their own armored columns. 34

Retired Admiral, Shlomo Erell, who was Chief of the Navy in Israel in June 1967, told the Associated Press (June 5, 1977): “No one would ever have dreamt that an American ship would be there. Even the United States didn’t know where its ship was. We were advised by the proper authorities that there was no American ship within 100 miles.”

Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told Congress on July 26, 1967: “It was the conclusion of the investigatory body, headed by an admiral of the Navy in whom we have great confidence, that the attack was not intentional.” Twenty years later, he repeated his belief that the attack was a mistake, telling a caller on the “Larry King Show” that he had seen nothing in the 20 years since to change his mind that there had been no “cover­up.” 35

In January 2004, the State Department held a conference on the Liberty incident and also released new documents, including CIA memos dated June 13 and June 21, 1967, that1967, which say that Israel did not know it was striking an American vessel. The historian for the National Security Agency, David Hatch, said the available evidence “strongly suggested” Israel did not know it was attacking a U.S. ship. Two former U.S. officials, Ernest Castle, the United States Naval Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv in June 1967, who received the first report of the attack from Israel, and John Hadden, then CIA Chief of Station in Tel Aviv, also agreed with the assessment that the attack on the Liberty was a mistake. 36

Israel apologized for the tragedy and paid nearly $13 million in humanitarian reparations to the United States and to the families of the victims in amounts established by the U.S. State Department. The matter was officially closed between the two governments by an exchange of diplomatic notes on December 17, 1987.


Hirsh Goodman, “Messrs. Errors and No Facts,” Jerusalem Report, (November 21, 1991); Arieh O’ Sullivan, “Exclusive: Liberty attack tapes revealed,” Jerusalem Post, (June 3, 2004) .
28 For the most comprehensive analysis, see A. Jay Cristol, The Liberty IncidenThe Rabin Memoirs, (CA: University of California Press, 1996), pp. 108-109
29 Rabin, p. 110.
30 Dan Kurzman, Soldier of Peace: The Life of Yitzhak Rabin, (NY: HarperCollins, 1998), pp. 224-227; Rabin, p. 108-109.
31 Washington Post, (November 6, 1991)
32 Nathan Guttman, “Memos show Liberty attack was an error,” Ha’aretz, (July 9, 2003).
33 Jerusalem Post (October 10, 2003).
34 Hirsh Goodman and Zeev Schiff, “The Attack on the Liberty,” Atlantic Monthly, (September 1984).
35 The Larry King Show” (radio), (February 5, 1987).
36 Jerusalem Post, (January 13, 2004); Washington Times, (January 13, 2004).
This article can be found at

Source: Myths & Facts Online -- A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Mitchell G. Bard.

UPDATE: Fred Fry International links to this post and gives links to web sites that claim the Israel attack is deliberate (scroll down). Another article about the incident is The 'USS Liberty': Case Closed by historian Michael Oren, written in 2000. He writes:
Refuting this accusation was difficult if not impossible in the past, when the official records on the Liberty were designated top-secret and closed to the general public. With the recent declassification of these documents in the United States and Israel, however, researchers have gained access to a wealth of primary sources--Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and U.S. military records, Israeli diplomatic correspondence, and memoranda from both the State Department and the White House. With the aid of these materials, the attack on the Liberty can now be reconstructed virtually minute-by-minute and with remarkable detail. The picture that emerges is not one of crime at all, nor even of criminal negligence, but of a string of failed communications, human errors, unfortunate coincidences and equipment failures on both the American and Israeli sides--the kind of tragic, senseless mistake that is all too common in the thick of war.

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SIGN UP FOR OTZAR HAARETZ: Jameel writes about the upcoming Shmitta Year and the 3 standard options--and the problems associated with them.

He also writes about a new 4th option:
Otzar Haaretz (Treasure of the Land):

The Torah and Land Institute, which used to operate in Gush Katif up until the disengagement, has set up a system called Otzar Haaretz (treasure of the land), which offers kosher marketing of fruits and vegetables during a shnat shmita [and does not rely on Heter Mechira]
and about the problem:
For this to be successful, enough people need to sign up in advance, guaranteeing enough Otzar Haaretz produce for those that want to observe Shmitta in this matter. If this as important to you, and you would like to be able to buy Otzar Haaretz produce during the Shmitta year, please call them at 08-684-7325 or 1-700-709-177, or by e-mail otzarhaaretz at
Read Jameel's post for all the details.
[Hat tip: West Bank Mama]

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10 PART SERIES ON THE WORST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY: Investor's Business Daily is in the middle of a 10-part series on Jimmy Carter, entitled Profile in Incompetence.
Part One: Look Who's Talking

Leadership: So Jimmy Carter calls the Bush administration "the worst in history." This from the man who wrecked the world's greatest economy and made a nuclear Iran and North Korea possible.

Part Two: 'Malaise' Maestro

Leadership: When it comes to economic performance, there's no contest: Apart from the early years of the Depression, Jimmy Carter's brief tenure as president was the worst in the 20th century.

Part Three: Carter Planted Seeds Of Al-Qaida

Leadership: After being told over and over by President Jimmy Carter that America's ability to influence world events was "very limited," the Soviet Union believed him and invaded Afghanistan. And al-Qaida was born.

Part Four: Iran: Carter's Habitat For Inhumanity

Leadership: In the name of human rights, Jimmy Carter gave rise to one of the worst rights violators in history — the Ayatollah Khomeini. And now Khomeini's successor is preparing for nuclear war with Israel and the West.

Part Five: Carter's Red Carpet

Leadership: On President Jimmy Carter's watch, more territory was lost to tyranny than at any other time since Yalta. And he'd have us return to those thrilling days of yesteryear.

Part Six: A Feeble President

Leadership: When men of strength are presented with difficult problems, their responses are firm and decisive. Jimmy Carter spent four years as president of the United States responding with weakness.
And 4 more to come.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Red Cross-issued passport used by high-ranking Nazi Aldolf Eichmann as he escaped to Argentina after World War II has been turned over to the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires after a judge stumbled up it in a musty court file.
To be fair, keep in mind that it's not as if the passport read: Adolf Eichmann, Genocidal Killer...
The passport, on a single page of cardboard fold in three parts, bears the photograph of Eichmann and the neatly hand-lettered alias Ricardo Klement. It also bears the French words Comite International De la Croix-Rouge and a stamp of its Genova, Italy, delegation.
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WHEN PALESTINIANS ARE CALLED TERRORISTS: And then they turn around and defend Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians without skipping a beat.
Last week, the Lebanese army attacked a squalid Palestinian refugee camp that's become infested with Islamist suicide terrorists and guerilla fighters. On May 20, government troops surrounded the camp, with tanks and artillery pieces shelling it at close range. Army snipers gunned down anything that moved. At least 18 civilians were killed, and dozens more injured. Water and electricity were cut off. By week's end, much of the camp had been turned into deserted rubble. Thousands of terrified residents fleeing the camp reported harrowing stories of famished, parched families trapped in their basements.

How did the rest of the world react? The Arab League quickly condemned "the criminal and terrorist acts carried out by the terrorist group known as Fatah al-Islam," and vowed to "give its full support to the efforts of the army and the Lebanese government." EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana also condemned Fatah al-Islam, and declared Europe's "support" for Lebanon. And the UN Security Council called the actions of Fatah al-Islam "an unacceptable attack" on Lebanon's sovereignty. As for the Western media, most outlets ignored the story following the first flurry of news reports.

At this point, please indulge me by re-reading the first paragraph of this column -- except this time, substitute the world "Israeli" for "Lebanese" in the first sentence.
But of course--in the end the condemnations will go no further than that. The world supports a different side, but it's all talk.

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CARTER DOES FOR CBS WHAT HE DID FOR THE US: Apparently Carter has not lost his touch.
Carter Publisher May Be Accused Of Damaging CBS's Reputation

President Carter has recently been a hot topic at the White House, but today his name is expected to be mentioned before news executives and owners at the CBS stockholders annual meeting at the Equitable Center in Midtown Manhattan.

A CBS subsidiary, Simon & Schuster, will be accused of damaging the reputation of its parent company by publishing Mr. Carter's book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." Carol Greenwald, the treasurer of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, a CBS shareholder, plans to criticize the publisher at the meeting.

According to a statement shown to The New York Sun, Ms. Greenwald, who calls Mr. Carter's book "error-filled," plans to ask that a fact-checking system be set up to prevent material errors in books Simon & Schuster publishes and that a code of ethics be adopted for its publishing division.
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THE CLOTHES MAKE THE IMAM: Take a look at this post at The Spectator Blog that compares the Before and After pictures of an Islamist as he is dressed before being deported from Great Britain and after he arrives in Jamaica:
On the right is a picture of Sheik el-Faisal, the Islamofascist who was finally sent back to his native Jamaica last weekend after serving time in Britain. Here, he dressed in a Muslim skullcap and robe – but as soon as he stepped off the plane in his native Jamaica, he was down to tracksuit bottoms and a shirt. Why? Because his real name is Trevor Forrest, and people like him seldom get away with their mad mullah act in their native countries. [emphasis added]
He explanation on the difference between England and Jamaica is right on target.

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THE LONG HISTORY OF ISLAMIC ANTI-SEMITISM: Andrew G. Bostom, the author of The Legacy of Jihad, is coming out with a new book in November: The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism. More information on the book is available at Bostom's web site.

According to the book jacket
This comprehensive, meticulously documented collection of scholarly articles presents indisputable evidence that a readily discernible, uniquely Islamic antisemitism—a specific Muslim hatred of Jews—has been expressed continuously since the advent of Islam. Debunking the conventional wisdom, which continues to assert that Muslim animosity toward Jews is entirely a 20th-century phenomenon fueled mainly by the protracted Arab-Israeli conflict, leading scholars provide example after example of antisemitic motifs in Muslim documents reaching back to the beginnings of Islam. The contributors show that the Koran itself is a significant source of hostility toward Jews, as well as other foundational Muslim texts including the hadith (the words and deeds of Muhammad as recorded by pious Muslim transmitters) and the sira (the earliest Muslim biographies of Muhammad). Many other examples are adduced in the writings of influential Muslim jurists, theologians, and scholars, from the Middle Ages through the contemporary era. These primary sources, and seminal secondary analyses translated here for the first time into English—such as Hartwig Hirschfeld’s mid-1880s essays on Muhammad’s subjugation of the Jews of Medina and George Vajda’s elegant, comprehensive 1937 study of the hadith—detail the sacralized rationale for Islam’s anti-Jewish bigotry. Numerous complementary historical accounts illustrate the resulting plight of Jewish communities in the Muslim world across space and time, culminating in the genocidal threat posed to the Jews of Israel today. Scholars, educators, and interested lay readers will find this collection an invaluable resource for understanding the phenomenon of Muslim antisemitism, past and present. [emphasis added]
The foreword to the book, by Ibn Warraq details the persecution that Maimonides suffered in Muslim lands. He then details Antisemitism as reveal in the Quran, Islamic commentaries on the Quran--and as practiced in Islamic countries:
Here are examples of the persecution of Jews in Islamic lands: the massacre of more than 6000 Jews in Fez (Morocco) in 1033; of the hundreds of Jews killed between 1010 and 1013 near Cordoba, and other parts of Muslim Spain; of the massacre of the entire Jewish community of roughly 4000 in Granada during the Muslim riots of 1066. Referring to the latter massacre, Robert Wistrich writes: “This was a disaster, as serious as that which overtook the Rhineland Jews thirty years later during the First Crusade, yet it has rarely received much scholarly attention.”
Following on the heels of busted myths about the Palestinian population in Israel and Muslim population of the US--it becomes clear that Islamic Antisemitism is a homemade phenomenon and not something that can be blamed on Christians or the West.

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THE REAL PALESTINIAN NAQBA: Hamas utilizes its newfound expertise in murdering fellow Palestinians, blames Israel for the massacre--and then fires rockets in supposed retaliation: a sign of what Al-Naqba is really all about.
The Real Palestinian 'Catastrophe'

by Cameron S. Brown and Asaf Romirowsky
Philadelphia Daily News
May 29, 2007

On May 15, the Palestinians commemorated the 59th anniversary of al-Naqba ("the Catastrophe"), a day of "mourning" the establishment of the modern state of Israel on May 15, 1948.

In a sense, al-Naqba is the quintessential event that separates the Palestinians' historical experience from that of other Arab Muslim groups and forges their unique national identity.

It is worth noting that the Palestinians use the same day Israel declared its independence to mark their national day. As is the case with so much of Palestinian society and culture, it is the actions of their Jewish neighbors - not anything of their own doing - that's the constant focus of their attention.
Read the whole thing.

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NETANYAHU ON IRAN: The Wall Street Journal had a weekend interview with Netanyahu on divesting from Iran.

And then there is that other question:
Is a political comeback in his future? "I hope that we can get to elections as soon as possible," he says. "But that's a decision for 61 out of 120 Knesset members to make, and they're not going to readily part with their jobs."
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WHY SDEROT MATTERS: Israel Perspectives quotes Haaretz:
It should not have been like this. Sderot is not Gush Katif. There is no debate. On the contrary: Sderot is a "Green Line" city. Sderot is a post-withdrawal city. Sderot is the righteous Israeli city after the occupation. Sderot is the future.
The question is what that future will bring.

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LABOR: LEFT AND CENTER. Yoni the Blogger has a post about the early results of the Labor party leadership race:
Too bad the winner will be a left leaning person willing to sell Israel's future in order to chance the fantasy of peace. [emphasis added]
But never fear, the AP assures us that the Labor Party is centrist.

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This video can be viewed with English subtitles at: The Maish Cave is a unique local landmark in the Zichron Yaakov area of Israel. This video was created by elementary students as part of a school project to preserve the cave and its surrounding area.

There are also 2 videos on Hebrew vocabulary here and here.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

...TO THE CAMPS OF TRIPOLI: In some places, support of the Palestinian cause is considered a good PR move. And then there is Lebanon:
Of the 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, about 250,000 live in twelve camps scattered across the country. The camps are mainly ruled by militias, because the Lebanese army cannot enter under a 1969 agreement ceding control of the camps to the Palestine Liberation Organization. Inside the camps, where living conditions are miserable, regional players hustle for power. Some groups are loyal to Damascus; others to Palestinian parties like Hamas and Fatah; some even span the Sunni-Shia divide and lean toward Hezbollah (most Muslim Palestinians are Sunni, not Shia). What makes this mix of influences particularly volatile is the danger that trouble could spread to other camps as the fighting drags on.

...Loyalty to the Palestinian cause has always been a reliable way to boost your Arab nationalist credentials; this is why Saddam Hussein donated money to families of Palestinian suicide bombers. So attacking Palestinian civilians is generally not a good p.r. move in the Arab world.

But there's deep resentment of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, and they're often an easy scapegoat for the country's problems. When we ask Abu Saqr if he knows about civilian casualties inside the camp, he answers by referring to the Palestinians as "Jews," and the camp as "Tel Aviv."
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ROBERT SPENCER STARTS BLOGGING THE QURAN: Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and writer on Islam has started blogging about the Quran on Michelle Malkin's Hot Air:
So over the course of the next few months, I’m going to read it, and discuss it in a series of columns. All of it. Not “cherry-picked” or “out of context.” The whole thing, beginning to end. Some of you may be familiar with David Plotz’s series on Slate, “Blogging the Bible.” This series will be similar to that one, but rather than just write about what I think or feel about a certain passage, I will, unlike Plotz, refer to commentaries – all Muslim ones – on the Qur’an. I’ll try to explain how mainstream Muslims who study the Qur’an will understand any given passage, and what its import might be for non-Muslims.

...I’ll refer to Islamic traditions when necessary, as well as to traditional commentaries, to shed light on various passages. And by the end of this journey, I believe we will see more clearly what makes the jihadists tick – and also perhaps understand what we can and must do to resist them.

...Next week: chapter one, the Fatiha, the most important prayer in Islam.
CAIR keeps complaining that we should all learn the Quran and become more sensitized to and understanding of Islam--they will be so pleased!

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WILL HAMAS GO THE WAY OF SINN FEIN? We can only hope. In Ireland:
The good news from last week's election in the Irish Republic is that Sinn Féin, the party of terrorism, bank robbery, and cop-killing, garnished with half-baked sub-Marxist economic theories, achieved only a 0.4 percent increase in its first-preference votes, and actually lost one of its seats in the Irish parliament. Gerry Adams, the Sinn Féin leader, had predicted a doubling of their number of parliamentary seats, from 5 to 10; instead they have gone from 5 to 4. The "boost" for SF from all the publicity about their participation in the new power-sharing arrangement in Northern Ireland failed to happen, confirming the view of us cynics that hardly anyone in the Republic gives a fig about Ulster.
But how long will it take for Palestinians to really wise up?

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

SIMPLETOREMEMBER.COM: There is a new website, with a wide collection of articles on Judaism:
This website was created as a result of my search into Judaism. I was inspired by the many incredible people I had come into contact with and started e-mailing friends their material. After a while, I thought, why not compile what I had found into one website and just send a link? The website turned into a hobby with which I am still very involved. Your feedback has helped improve the site, so please don't hesitate to send me your comments and suggestions. I hope you enjoy the site as much as I do!
Check it out.
[Hat tip: Life in Israel]

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BLUEGRASS' LEADING BAAL TESHUVA: That would be Andy Statman, wearing a plain black kippa, while playing "Rawhide" in a performance with other Bluegrass greats. Lazer Beams has the video.

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A JEWISH SOLDIER KILLED IN IRAQ: Kesher Talk has a post about Marine Private First Class Colin Joseph Wolfe of Manassas who was killed in action last year in Iraq. KT has a segment of what appears to be a documentary with Hebrew subtitles. There is more information about Joseph Wolfe here.

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AHMADINEJAD CHANNELS "MY FAIR LADY": Judeopundit gives a Middle Eastern turn to the classic musical in Why can't a Zionist be more like Iran?

Funny. I never pictured Ahmadinejad as the Rex Harrison type before...

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DEALING WITH ANTI-ZIONISM HEAD ON: The Joshuapundit approach:
That, in a nutshell is how you cure `anti-Zionism' - by refusing to tolerate it, by treating it like the blatant bigotry it is, and by responding appropriately....whether it's via a lawsuit, a boycott, or a little guerilla street theater. And by making it a lot more trouble than it's worth for it's enablers to give it a pass.
Sounds like someone's been sneeking a peak in the CAIR handbook...

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ISRAEL HAS A CASE OF BAD GAS: Israel Perspectives writes about a deal that Israel is ready to enter into that that will get the Palestinians $1 billion.

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LAST ONE TO THE PALESTINIAN PROTEST BRINGS THE SOCCER BALL: Israel Matzav has a post with a picture of a protest that you are unlikely to find in the news.

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DOES ANYONE CARE HOW SMALL CAIR'S CONSTITUENCY REALLY IS? Now that the PEW study has revealed that there are only 2.35 million Muslims in the US--only 1.5 of whom are actually of voting age--will anyone care?

Not according to David Harris, Executive Director of the AJC:
Will the Pew estimate of 2.35 million now take hold? Don’t hold your breath.

In the late 1990s, AJC began approaching several mainstream media outlets to ask why they routinely cited numbers that appeared grossly exaggerated, often came from groups with dubious political agendas, and surely couldn’t withstand closer scrutiny.

Most answers fell into one of three categories: (i) lazy journalism; (ii) fear of risking a confrontation with Muslim groups; or (iii) an inquiry from a Jewish group, no matter how the issue was framed, was deemed dead on arrival.

Bottom line: we had zero impact.

In 2001, we went the next step, knowing full well that, as a Jewish organization and notwithstanding our longstanding reputation for solid research, we’d be potentially vulnerable to attack. But no other institution stepped forward, so we forged ahead.

We approached an academic heavyweight, Dr. Tom W. Smith, the director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago, whose scholarly integrity and impartiality were beyond dispute. He was asked to examine the available literature on the US Muslim population.

In October 2001, he reported his findings: “Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the media have used estimates of the Muslim population in the United States of 5-8 million, with an average of 6.7 million or 2.4 percent of the population.” In the previous five years, 1996-2001, he looked at 20 estimates and they averaged out to 5.65 million.

After thoroughly studying all available data and the methodologies used, Dr. Smith concluded: “The best, adjusted, survey-based estimates put the adult Muslim population in 2000 at 0.67 percent, or 1,401,000, and the total Muslim population at 1,886,000. Even if high-side estimates based on local surveys, figures from mosques, and ancestry and immigration statistics are given more weight than survey-based numbers, it is hard to accept estimates that Muslims constitute more than 1 percent of the population (2,090,000 adults or 2,814,000 total).”

Unbeknownst to AJC at the time, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) was completing its 2001 omnibus American Religious Identification Survey. The results were strikingly similar to those of Dr. Smith. The survey found 1,104,000 adult Muslims in the U.S. Allowing for undercounting or sampling error, the survey suggested that the uppermost range would be 2.2 million to just under 3 million.

The studies were widely reported on at the time, including major stories by the New York Times and Washington Post.

The assault from those invested in the higher numbers was immediate.

The American Muslim Council accused Smith of trying to “deny the existence of four-and-a-half million American Muslims” and “tearing at the heart of America,” while claiming that its own figure of 7 million Muslims emerged from the most recent U.S. Census—an impossibility since the Census does not ask about religious affiliation. Meanwhile, CAIR described the Smith study as a “desperate attempt to discount the role of American Muslims.” Its spokesman went on to declare that, “Very often the representatives of the extremist wing of the pro-Israel lobby, such as the American Jewish Committee, seek to block Muslim political participation.”

The AJC-sponsored and CUNY studies couldn’t easily be attacked on scientific grounds. That didn’t stop others, though, from continuing to repeat the outlandishly exaggerated numbers ad nauseum, or wielding the “Islamophobia” charge against anyone who dared use the reports’ figures.

To a large degree, those twin strategies worked. Look again at the examples cited above from 2002 onward, after the studies appeared.

Now a third study has been released. Pew has a well-earned reputation for quality research. Will its findings change things?

What will the New York Times, National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting System, USA Today, Encyclopedia Brittanica, elected officials, and scholars at Georgetown and Harvard universities, among others, say the next time they’re in need of US Muslim population numbers?

Will they now cite the three authoritative and convergent studies on the subject? Or the exaggerated and politically-motivated numbers afloat out there? Or simply split the difference, convincing themselves that this is the “fairest” approach?

Stay tuned. [emphasis added]
[Hat tip: Elder of Ziyon]

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JPIX #8 IS UP: This is the Eretz Yisrael edition hosted by Rafi G at Life In Israel with lots of great photos. The next edition will be hosted by Mottel of Letters Of Thought in 2 weeks. If you have any photo posts be sure to submit them to be included in JPix.

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SECRET MEMO SHOWS ISRAEL KNEW SIX DAY WAR WAS ILLEGAL: No, of course not--but that is the online headline of an article in the Independent. Media Backspin demonstrates how badly mangled the headline actually is.

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US TV FEATURING HOLOCAUST DENIAL; Aliyah! Step-by-Step writes about a US TV Channel in the Middle East, led by people who don't know Arabic, that features programs that are pro-Terror and deny the Holocaust.

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HAVEIL HAVALIM #118 IS UP! Esser Agaroth hosts the 118th edition of Haveil Havalim, featuring a wide variety of posts on a variety of topics--including:
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