Saturday, November 03, 2007

US said to give 'green light' to wide-scale IDF operation in Gaza

The United States has given a "green light" to an IDF operation in the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese newspaper, Al-Akhbar reported Saturday morning. The report cites "credible diplomatic sources" as saying that American approval came after Israeli intelligence impressed on US officials the importance of a wide-scale operation as an answer to the unprecedented arms smuggling within Gaza.
According to the newspaper report, the intelligence was shared during Defense Minister Ehud Barak's last visit to Washington. Sources told Al-Akhbar that the intelligence depicted a worrying picture of an "arms race" between Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. In addition, Israel presented details of money transfers between the Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aksa's Martyrs Brigades.
In the past few days, Barak met a number of times with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to decide definitively on the timing of a wide-scale operation, Al-Akhbar cited the sources as saying. Further, the sources stated that despite the "green light," Israel was hesitating to launch an operation out of concerns that it would complicate preparations for the upcoming US-sponsored Mideast peace summit in Annapolis.
Until the timing of the operation is decided, IDF forces stationed on the Gaza border will continue training for a massive military operation in the Strip, the report said.
Meanwhile, IDF forces discovered seven weapons-smuggling tunnels in the southern Strip along the Egyptian border on Thursday.
The kilometer-long tunnels were discovered near Dahiniye by an elite Engineering Corps unit and troops from the Golani infantry's Battalion 51. The tunnels were found within two kilometers of the border with Israel and, according to the IDF, had been used intensively in recent months to smuggle weapons and explosives from Egypt into Gaza.
The troops destroyed the tunnels in controlled explosions. IDF sources said they had been large enough for people to pass through and were most probably used by terrorists to leave Gaza on their way to Iran or Syria for training.

Comment: First, I have not confirmed this report as accurate. Second, the timing is suspicious. Third,Israel's security is in the hands of an outside country, the USA. There was a time when we had strong leadership who told the West, "we will decide what and when we do something to protect our country. As we precede, we would like your support."

Saudis signal doubts over Middle East peace talks called by US

The Guardian

Saudi Arabia has signalled that it will not attend the Middle East peace conference scheduled by the US for this month unless there is significant agreement in advance on the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians.

But Prince Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister, also held out a vision of normalisation between the Arab world and Israel - "not just the absence of war" - if the conflict could be resolved.

"We need a successful meeting. To be successful it must deal with the main issues of peace in the Middle East: Jerusalem, borders, the return of the Palestinians," he told reporters at the end of the Saudi state visit to London yesterday.

The US and Britain have been working hard to persuade their Saudi allies to attend the event in Annapolis, Maryland, although no formal invitations have yet been issued and there are signs the timing may slip. Israeli and Palestinian officials have been trying to agree a joint document amid fears that failure could trigger new violence. Saudi Arabia has led an Arab League initiative calling peace with Israel "a strategic option". Its attendance is considered vital by the US and Israel to create a sense of wider legitimacy.

"We have been negotiating for 70 years and we are still at first base," said Prince Saud. "This is now the oldest conflict in the world. It is becoming more rather than less complicated over time. We need to move expeditiously in a reasonable amount of time."

In a measure of changing attitudes in the conservative heartland of the Arab world, he characterised the conflict merely as "a border dispute [with] two sides fighting over the same territory".

But Israel, said the prince, had not produced "an honest proposal" on how to resolve it. "The Arabs have come with one: total peace for a total withdrawal, with all the security necessary for both sides, with full recognition: a peace that is not just an absence of war but a peace of normalisation, of open borders, of exchanges between Israelis and their neighbours."

Israel, he insisted, had to stop building settlements on occupied land. "It would be foolhardy for the Palestinians to negotiate a return of their territories while the Israelis are building more settlements. How can they negotiate when there is a wall being built that takes away much of the West Bank?"
An effort was needed too to reunite the Palestinians - bitterly divided since the Islamist movement Hamas took over the Gaza Strip last summer. "Peace cannot be made by one man," - an apparent reference to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president and Fatah leader. "It cannot be made by even half a people. There must be some form of consensus among the Palestinians in this regard, as there must be among the Israelis who want peace."

Prince Saud revealed that his country and the other five members of the Gulf Cooperation Council had suggested setting up a consortium, possibly based in Switzerland, to provide enriched uranium to Iran to defuse its confrontation with the west over its nuclear plans. "They [Iran] have responded that it is an interesting idea and they will come back to us," he said. He warned that any US attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would further destabilise the Gulf. The only solution was for the whole region, including Israel, to be declared free of weapons of mass destruction.,,2203897,00.html

Cherie is ignorant of the face veil

Manal Alafrangi
Arab news source

The subject of women's role in world religion is an interesting but delicate one, and it should always be handled with commonsense and sensibility. It requires background knowledge and utmost understanding. It also entails personal experience or at least first-hand familiarity with whatever religion is being discussed.

To the dismay of many, Cherie Blair who is the wife of former British prime minister, Tony Blair, did just the opposite of that. In a high profile speech given at Chatham House in London on Wednesday night, Cherie's comments on the niqab or the full veil over a woman's face, made headlines, namely because of their ill-conceived nature.

Cherie argued that the niqab can be a barrier to integration - referring to the female Muslim population in Britain. Furthermore, she said, "If you get to the stage when a woman can't express her personality and you can't see her face then you have to ask if that is acknowledging a woman's right to be a person in her own right."

First of all, in order to speak about the Muslim veil and the niqab, Cherie needed to have had the necessary qualifications, which she doesn't. Instead, she comes across as insensitive, unenlightened and careless.

How does Cherie know that women wearing the niqab are denied the right to being their own persons? This sort of senseless generalisation never translates well beyond the immediate audience and Cherie should have known better.
After all, she has dedicated much of her career as a barrister to the field of human rights and has long campaigned for women's equality. Her profession and her experience should have taught her to stick to points of law instead of judgment.

Not to mention the fact that her husband was Britain's number one politician for a whole decade.

In fact, Cherie's comments come at a crucial time when her husband is the Quartet's Middle East peace envoy. His challenging task of trying to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can do without his wife's incautious comments on Muslim women and the veil.

Islam says Muslim women should dress modestly. That is, women's attire should not be form fitting or sheer so as to attract undue attention.

In a way, "Islamic dress" is one of many rights granted to Muslim women. Modest clothing is worn in obedience to God and contrary to popular Western beliefs, it has absolutely nothing to do with submissiveness to men. If anything, Muslim men and women have the same rights and obligations and they equally submit to God.

Has Cherie sat down with women wearing face veils and heard their views? Has she heard their stories? Has she asked them as she claimed whether or not they could fully exercise equal rights when their faces are covered in public?

While the face veil is not compulsory for Muslim women, it remains a personal expression of religion. Just as freedom of expression should be exercised by all, so too should freedom of outwear - amongst other things.

Having said that, Blair was right in criticising human rights advocates in the West who suggested that women's emancipation cannot be exported to the Middle East or parts of Asia and Africa because of so-called cultural and religious sensitivities. Indeed, women's rights are a "universal ethic" that transcend boundaries and cultures.

She also acknowledged that Britain and other Western nations had more to do to deliver equal pay and career opportunities to women.

But, alas, in making the sweeping statement on the face veil, Cherie's speech overshadowed what was largely a well-considered speech.

She applied the same logic to both, human rights and her claim that women who wear the face veil can't express their personalities. But the fact is they are two very different topics. Her personal judgment should remain personal.

Cherie should have known better because personal choice is a right which is fiercely upheld in the UK.

The fact remains that Cherie cannot speak on behalf of a people and of a society that she is not part of.

*Published in the UAE's GULF NEWS on November 02, 2007. Manal Alafrangi is a Staff Writer.

All rights reserved for © 2006-2007

Misha'al: Hamas’s only battle is with the occupation

Comment: The mantra plays on-it is the occupation! How bout speaking out against this andexposing it, time after time-once is not enough!

This is from Arab mediaHe also said, in a phone call to a commemoration ceremony held in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip in honour of policemen and Qassam fighters killed by the Israeli occupation on Tuesday: "We know that the situation in the Gaza Strip is difficult and complicated, your brothers in the West Bank are suffering the same, they are suffering [persecution] from both enemy and compatriot, their leaders have been arrested, their institutions were hit and they are being pursued. But whatever happens, our only battle is with the occupation, this is the real arena for heroism, but the internal differences, I pray to Allah that we avoid them and that unity of our homeland is restored once again. Our only right place is in the battle of dignity and honour in defence of our nation and land."
He renewed calls for internal dialogue without preconditions: "We open the door for national dialogue to solve the internal crisis because we believe it is essential and is required by all Palestinian people, but we do not beg for it."
He further expressed his puzzlement at the fact the Mahmoud Abbas rejects internal Palestinian talks, while he welcomes talks with Ehud Olmert at anytime.
He called on the wise within the Fatah movement to stop betting on the occupation and the US administration and to return to the lap of the Palestinian people.
Mishaal called on Fatah leaders to wake up and not be doped by Bush who aims from the Annapolis conference to extricate his administration from the mess they got themselves into in Iraq.
He accused Palestinian parties of collaborating with the occupation and foreign parties in keeping the siege of Gaza in place, but he added that the siege will fail and called on the people in Gaza to persevere.
He told the attendance that the Arab and Muslim people are with you and that they are proud of your heroism, even the official stand of the Arab governments is in favour of inter-Palestinian talks, but the USA pressures stop them from taking an active role in reuniting the Palestinian parties.
"The US [administration] thinks that it can crush Hamas and corner the Palestinian negotiator, and is preparing for its celebrations in the promised autumn conference, the leaves of which have fallen before time" Mishaal said, adding that Bush does not have peace in mind, all he has in mind is to achieve Arab normalisation with Israel and prepare for his next war against Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.
He also told the audience that an Arab official said to him "be patient, the truth will be very clear to see after the Annapolis conference."

Hamas lying in wait

Is radical Islamic group planning West Bank takeover? Security officials fear clandestine Hamas preparations for phase two of revolution; new IDF unit aims to uncover terror group’s giant financial apparatus, but is it too late? The new unit established by the IDF’s Central command has neither a name nor a number at this time. What they do have, for now, is a grey stone building packed with piles of crates filled with papers, waiting to be translated, reviewed, and classified. Meanwhile, the cabinets are packed with confiscated computer parts. All the material in this building was gathered at various West Bank offices during the nightly raids undertaken by IDF troops at least three of four times a week at Palestinian mosques, villages, and towns.

For now, there are 20 Arabic-Hebrew translators in this unit. But everyone knows this unit will be growing and hire dozens more. There is no other choice: Gaza was already overtaken by Hamas, and unless something drastic is done, a West Bank takeover is only a matter of time.

The amazing part of this story is that these materials, which are waiting to be translated, have been in the army’s hands for a while now - receipts, bank transfers, instruction manuals, and documents attesting to ties with worldwide organizations that engage in fundraising on behalf of Hamas. However, after they were collected, there was nobody out there to translate them and address the information. Most of this material simply piled up and collected dust.

Only now, IDF officials are starting to realize that we actually have no clue about the extent and depth of Hamas’ hold in the West Bank. Or as a senior military source characterized it this week: “We still don’t know how much we don’t know in all matters pertaining to Hamas’ true power in the West Bank.”

However, the initial examination of the seemingly innocent material, which was mostly confiscated at charity foundations and mosques, produces a scary picture: A giant octopus that controls hundreds of millions of dollars coming in from all over the world – an apparatus that looks exactly like the one that led to Hamas’ Gaza takeover within several days is also up and running in the West Bank.

‘You’re detaining the wrong people’
The new unit set up by the IDF is supposed to somehow map Hamas’ civilian infrastructure, attempt to monitor the flow of funds, and cut it off. Some of the incriminating material is meant to be presented to foreign governments so that they outlaw charity foundations operating in their territory. These things were already done in the past, but not at such intensity.

Hamas’ Gaza takeover was the first time IDF officers grasped the danger. Top security officials realized that if it happened there, it can also happen in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority structure in Gaza collapsed in a matter of days, following a rapid military blow, but the entire structure was unstable for many years before that. Hamas undermined the foundations consistently. Now, officials fear this is exactly what’s happening in the West Bank as well.

Only several weeks ago, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh declared in Gaza that soon he will be praying in the government compound in Ramallah, the Muqat’a. It’s hard to know the basis for such declarations, but Israeli officials who maintain regular ties with Palestinian Authority figures say the statement aroused grave fears among Fatah leaders.

As happened in the Gaza Strip, the lethargic approach to Hamas could exact a heavy price. For example, one of the things Israel may discover is that its “most wanted” lists are no longer relevant.

“The most amazing thing that happened to us on the morning of June 15th, the day Hamas took over Gaza, was that we discovered that the people running the show in Gaza are not people we were familiar with,” says a former senior Fatah official. “They were completely different people.”

“I had a neighbor, a miserable guy that nobody paid attention to. I saw him for years; he lived across from my house. He had nothing to eat. Today, he is one of those in charge of Hamas’ central interrogation facility. He didn’t appear on any list…nobody knew about him,” the former official says. “There are hundreds like this in the West Bank too, and they’re being quiet. You’re simply detaining the wrong people.”

Is Hamas planning attacks ahead of peace conference?
The new, quiet and anonymous activists may be the biggest problem Israel and the Palestinian Authority will have to face. “Who do you think were the Hamas fighters who carried out the Gaza revolution?” asks the former Fatah official. “They were 17, 18 and 19 year old guys. Hamas invested 10 years in these boys, while we were asleep.”

“It wasn’t the Izz al-Din al-Qasasm Brigades who raised the fighters,” he adds. “It was the charity apparatus that did it, using money that arrived from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Iran, and charity foundations from the US, England, Belgium, and Germany, with money transfers from Switzerland.”

“You examine a seemingly innocent foundation and monitor its moves,” says an Israeli security official, “and you discover money transfers from Switzerland – 20,000 euros here, another 10,000 euros there, and so forth. Such foundation handed out $5 million for various projects in the West Bank in 2005. How much of this money reached the poor people and how much reached terrorists? There’s a question mark there. Today, with field activists yearning for weapons…this money is oxygen. Hamas buys everything.”

“Izz al-Din al-Qassam is not operating in the West Bank…because it decided not to operate there,” says the security official. “They are sitting there quietly, organizing, rearming, and waiting.”

This wait is particularly worrisome, especially because of its similarity to the Hamas waiting period ahead of the huge eruption in Gaza. “We used to see them training at night,” says a former Palestinian security official. “We asked why, and they said they were preparing for the Israelis. As it turned out, they were not preparing for Israel – they were preparing to face Fatah. In the West Bank too, the preparations are first of all against Fatah.”

Publicly, the Fatah leadership shows contempt to Hamas’ power in the West Bank. In Israel too we can find observers who claim that there is a tendency to exaggerate Hamas’ strength within Palestinian society. Yet if tomorrow morning Hamas decides to embark on a military move to topple the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, will it succeed as it did in Gaza? There is not even one Israeli security official willing to take the risk of providing a clear answer. In the West Bank, Hamas has been building its military capabilities clandestinely. It has not disappeared. Rather, it’s waiting for the right time.

At this time, security officials estimate that ahead of the peace conference in Annapolis, Hamas will attempt to carry out painful terror attacks. Hamas military leader Muhammad Deif indeed spoke recently about painful attacks within Israel, but officials estimate that the attacks are actually planned against Israeli targets in the West Bank.

Israeli officials believe that Hamas is not yet ready for an all-out clash against the IDF in the West Bank. The arrests and manhunts are making it difficult for Hamas to operate. It’s not yet ready to come out of the woodwork. Yet it’s only a matter of time before it does.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Analysis: Israel bound to feel the heat ahead of Annapolis

This week, for the first time, word began filtering out that the US was starting to lean on Israel to take some steps to ensure a successful meeting at Annapolis. The US, according to diplomatic officials, sent a clear message that Washington has spent a great deal of time, energy and political capital on this event, and wants to make sure it succeeds. The message to Jerusalem was that Israel would have to start evacuating settlement outposts, obligations spelled out under the road map, if it expected the Palestinians to fulfill their own road map obligations.

With US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice due to arrive on Saturday night for her eighth visit this year, and the looming advance of the end of fall - the date by which the Americans have said the long-discussed Annapolis meeting would be held - crunch time is fast approaching.

And, as it approaches, Israelis should buck up for a degree of pressure from Washington that hasn't been felt for a long time.

Because while the Annapolis meeting is, on the surface, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and President George W. Bush's efforts in his last year in office to put his two-state vision on track, it is not solely - or even primarily - about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is also about American needs, and American interests in the Middle East.

With the US experiment in Middle East democracy-building not exactly a resounding success, its eyes now are set on creating an arc of moderate Arab regimes, from the Persian Gulf to North Africa, to act as a bulwark, when it withdraws from Iraq, against Iran and marching Shi'ite extremism.

The two major issues concerning the US in the region right now are Iraq and Iran - not necessarily in that order - and then Israel.

When Bush first broached the idea of a Mideast meeting in July, he seemed to be wagering that the "moderate" Arab countries - like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Morocco - would jump at the opportunity to attend and give a lending hand, if not out of a recognition that Israel was an established entity, then at least from their own domestic considerations. And these considerations were simple: a realization by these regimes that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fed the extremists in their own midst, and that it was in their own interest to deprive the extremists of this "nutrition."

The idea was that with Iran going after nukes, and terrorism and global jihad knocking at their own door, these moderate regimes would finally be willing to come out of the closet and give legitimacy to Israel-Palestinian negotiations.

But the moderate states did not jump on the bandwagon, partly because of concern about how attendance at the conference, which would be interpreted as endorsing Israel's right to exist, will be taken by the masses.

Now, just weeks prior to one of the dates being bandied about for this meeting, November 26, it is still not clear whether Saudi Arabia - a key in making Annapolis a success because of its unique standing in the Arab world - will even attend.

Hence the pressure on Israel from Washington. The Bush Administration simply cannot afford another Mideast failure.

If the US fails to pull off the Annapolis meeting, the ripple effects will extend to Iran. It will, first and foremost, be an indication that the Iranians now have more pull in the region then the US, because the Iranians are doing whatever they can to throttle the meeting.

Interestingly enough, as much as Washington is antipathetic toward Syria, it needs Syria in Annapolis because having it there would send a strong message to Iran. Syria is a test, and whether it can be lured to the conference will be an indication of whether it can be lured out of the Iranian orbit, or whether it is locked in with Teheran.

But part of the bait to lure Syria to the conference would obviously be something that Israel would be expected to pay - a willingness to talk about the Golan Heights. Israel will also be asked to pay for the bait needed to lure a reluctant Saudi Arabia to the table as well.

If the US cannot get Israel and the Palestinians at Annapolis to agree on a paper that will be endorsed by the moderate Arab world, then the Saudis won't come, and the Iranians - who oppose the conference - will emerge as the winners. Surely not a prospect Israel relishes.

But if the Saudis do show up at Annapolis, and if the Syrians decide to come as well, Israel will be expected to pay the price for getting them there. And that price will be paid to a Palestinian leader, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who represents - at best - only half the Palestinians.

As Rice comes to shepherd Israel and the Palestinians down the final stretch toward Annapolis, neither option looks overly appealing.

Abbas meets with three Hamas officials in West Bank

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with Hamas officials on Friday for the first time since the organization's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June of this year Abbas's office confirmed that he had met with three Hamas West Bank officials: Faraj Rumaneh, Hussein Abu Quaik and Nasser a-Din al-Shaar, who served in the past as the deputy prime minister and education minister in the Hamas-led unity government.

But Abbas adviser Ahmed Abdel Rahman said that it was not an official meeting and denied that Abbas had invited the three.

Abu Quaik, however, said the three had been invited to prayers by Abbas.

"Everybody in Hamas knew about this," Abu Quaik said. "This will contribute to strengthening our relationship, and lay the basis for national unity, God willing."

Al-Shaar said the group discussed "internal affairs in an open atmosphere" with Abbas, but added that the visit was "not a meeting between Hamas and the president."

According to an Israel Radio report, the four conducted Friday prayers together at a mosque in Abbas's Mukata headquarters in Ramallah. Abbas reiterated to them his previous statements that he would only resume talks with Hamas once it relinquishes control of the Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, Abbas said that Hamas was planning to overthrow the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank with the help of external forces.

In a press conference earlier this week, Rumaneh and Abu Quaik had distanced themselves from a Gaza counterpart who bragged that the group would eventually take over the West Bank.

The Hamas men met with Abbas to express their "rejection" of their counterparts in Gaza, Abdel Rahman said.

"The members expressed their commitment to the legitimacy and the authority of Abbas...and reiterated their respect for law and order," he continued.

Hamas members in the West Bank have been increasingly cowed since their movement's June takeover in Gaza. After his forces were routed in Gaza, Abbas ordered a clampdown on Hamas in the West Bank, arresting hundreds of members, closing Hamas-linked charities and issuing an anti-money laundering decree meant to dry up donations to the group.

Israeli government spokesman David Baker said Israel objected to any contacts with Hamas.

"It's Israel's position that Hamas should be sidelined and kept out of the game until it accepts the conditions placed upon it by the international community," Baker said. Those conditions are recognizing Israel, renouncing violence, and agreeing to respect past peace agreements. Hamas has refused to meet any of the conditions.

Israel has said that if Abbas renews ties with the group, it will break off peace talks with the Palestinians.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

Diplomatic source: We’ll evacuate outposts through dialogue

Prime minister's aides stress Israel will meet all its obligations according to Road Map, including evacuation of illegal West Bank outposts. Defense Minister Barak tells High Court outposts won't be evacuated before January. Foreign Minister Livni says, 'Timetables may lead to frustration which will encourage terror'
Roni Sofer
Published: 11.02.07, 00:20 / Israel News
Israel will meet all its obligations according to the Road Map peace plan, including the evacuation of illegal West Bank outposts, sources in the Prime Minister's Office stresses Thursday evening.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, however, has yet to issue an order to launch operative negotiations for the outpost evacuations. Sources in the defense establishment and sources involved in the negotiations believe that this process will last way beyond the Annapolis peace conference.

Jerusalem has conditioned the evacuation of illegal outposts on firm actions by the Palestinian against terror, according to the Road Map's first stage.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, however, said that Israel would not be tied to timetables.

"According to the experience in our region, timetables may lead to frustration and bitterness which will encourage terror," she stressed in a meeting with German Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

A senior diplomatic source in Jerusalem clarified that Israel would not renounce its commitment to evacuate the illegal outposts. According to the source, the government is holding quiet negotiations with the settlers in a bid to prevent an unnecessary conflict.

He quoted the prime minister, who recently told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, "We prefer talks over horses," referring to the violent evacuation of the illegal outpost in Amona about a year and a half ago.

"We will work to utilize the internal negotiations in Israel to the fullest," the source said.

Knesset Member Otniel Schneller (Kadima), who has been negotiating with the settler leaders with the prime minister's knowledge, told Ynet that "the negotiations have matured from a professional-principle point of view. Now we are left with the operative negotiations, according to practicable solutions for each outpost. All the options have been resolved in negotiations with the relevant sources."

According to Schneller, the ball is not in the hands of the decision makers, the defense minister and prime minister. "If the political echelon makes the decisions, we can reach agreements with the settlers in the foreseeable future," he said.

'We must not commit to timetables'
MK Schneller, however, is also careful not to set a timetable.

"If the diplomatic decision is made, there are outposts which we will be able to evacuate within one week and others within two years. In any event, the guiding principle of the quiet talks with the settler leaders is that the Amona incident and the uprooting of the Gush Katif communities will not repeat themselves.

"We must find a separate solution for each of the 63 outposts, for each family and for each resident," he said.

"This is an extremely complex situation, which must not be defined with a timetable. The diplomatic elements know that it is possible to reach an agreement and that there is no plan to enter a violent conflict.

"I believe that setting a timetable is irrelevant… The most significant issue is to operate according to the Israeli law and according to the experience we have acquired from the disengagement and the Amona evacuation."

Sources in Jerusalem rejected the claims that the Americans are pressuring Israel to advance the evacuation of the illegal outposts. Security sources, who are in charge of the outpost issue, have raised the possibility that such reports were aimed at thwarting the quiet agreements reached with the settler leaders.

"We must find out who prompted these reports and what they are aimed at," security sources said. "It is clear to us that the goal is not to promote a solution, but to anger the settler leaders. We are continuing with our quiet work. No one should expect us to evacuate illegal outposts before the Annapolis conference or during the next two months."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

IDF uncovers 7 smuggling tunnels in the Gaza Strip

The IDF has stepped up its efforts against the terror infrastructure in Gaza and, in a 36-hour operation that ended Thursday, discovered seven weapons-smuggling tunnels in the southern Strip along the Egyptian border. The kilometer-long tunnels were discovered near Dahiniye by an elite Engineering Corps unit and troops from the Golani infantry's Battalion 51. The tunnels were found within two kilometers of the border with Israel and, according to the IDF, had been used intensively in recent months to smuggle weapons and explosives from Egypt into Gaza.

The troops destroyed the tunnels in controlled explosions. IDF sources said they had been large enough for people to pass through and were most probably used by terrorists to leave Gaza on their way to Iran or Syria for training.

The army estimates that terrorists have dug dozens of tunnels over the past year. Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday terrorists had smuggled more than 112 tons of explosives into Gaza since Israel's disengagement from the Strip in 2005.

Noting the difficulty in obtaining intelligence on the tunnels' locations, defense officials said Israel expected Egypt to step up its efforts to thwart the weapons smuggling by clamping down on the tunnel industry in Sinai.

"The Egyptians can do more with the military force they have along the border," a defense official said. "We hope that this discovery [of the tunnels] will motivate them to act."

Earlier Thursday, nine Kassam rockets were launched into the western Negev, including four that struck Sderot. In response, the IDF bombed two Kassam launchers in northern Gaza.

The Home Front Command placed eight concrete bunkers around the town Thursday morning. It was not clear if the move was directly connected to the rocket attacks. Another 43 will be placed in Sderot by the end of the month, the Defense Ministry said.

Also Thursday, the IDF shot and killed five terrorists who were spotted planting bombs along the Gaza security fence.

In response, the Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades threatened to fire hundreds of rockets at Israel. The group announced the commencement of "Operation Gaza Autumn," to include an escalation in rocket fire. In a flyer distributed Thursday morning it said it had "not tired of the resistance."

"Autumn 2007 is arriving without a national unity government. We hear talk of summits here and there. We are marking 90 years since the evil Balfour Declaration, continuing IDF operations into Gaza, killings of Palestinians and destruction of houses," the flyer read.

In the West Bank, an elite IDF unit nabbed the top Hamas commander in Nablus's Balata refugee camp, thought responsible for dozens of attacks against soldiers and civilians. Omar Isa was caught in a home together with an M-16 rifle and a pistol.

And a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was caught at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus with four bombs hidden on his body. The devices were destroyed by Border Police sappers.

Condi’s Fatal Error

Arlene Kushner

There has been, for some time, more than ample reason to question the judgment of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with regard to her attempts to “foster” a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which attempts lead us now towards the dubious possibility of a conference in Annapolis.
Word has it that the conference was her brainchild, although it was originally announced by the president. In fact, she seems to be supplying the steam behind this entire effort. Her statements frequently have an “other worldly” tone to them. She speaks about the window of opportunity open to us now, insisting that the establishment of a Palestinian state will bring peace to the area. As half of the projected Palestinian state is run by Hamas, and Abbas – who has his own terrorist connections – has never been weaker, one is forced to ponder exactly what she is thinking. It is eminently clear that she has no grasp of the Arab mentality. Reports have surfaced recently describing her comparison, in private conversation, between the plight of the Palestinians and the fight for equality of African Americans in the US; she is said to have compared Mahmoud Abbas to Martin Luther King Jr.
All of this would seem to disqualify her for her self-appointed task. But what she has done this past week exceeds all the rest and provides prima facie grounds for challenging her role as mediator in the Middle East, and indeed her role as promoter of that conference as well.
This past week Condoleezza Rice consulted former president Jimmy Carter on the matter of negotiations with Israel, ostensibly because of his experience in 1978 with Prime Minister Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at Camp David during negotiations that led to the peace accords between Israel and Egypt. Rice is an historian, we are being told, and wishes to profit from guidance that the past might provide.
But Jimmy Carter is so virulently anti-Israel that he must be immediately and totally disqualified as someone who has the capacity to provide Rice with clear-eyed advice.
This is what former aide Kenneth Stein (who resigned from the Carter Center out of refusal to be associated with what Carter had written) said in the spring 2007 issue of Middle East Quarterly about Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, released last year (emphasis added):
“[Carter] does what no non-fiction author should ever do: He allows ideology or opinion to get in the way of facts…the narrative aims its attack toward Israel, Israeli politicians, and Israel's supporters. It contains egregious errors of both commission and omission. To suit his desired ends, he manipulates information, redefines facts, and exaggerates conclusions. Falsehoods, when repeated and backed by the prestige of Carter's credentials, can comprise an erroneous baseline for shaping and reinforcing attitudes and policymaking. Rather than bring peace, they can further fuel hostilities, encourage retrenchment, and hamper peacemaking.
“…Carter's grievance list against Israel is long… Carter believes that if the U.S. government reduces or stops its support for Israel, then the Jewish state will be weakened and become more malleable in negotiations… By adopting so completely the Palestinian historical narrative, Carter may hamper diplomatic efforts enshrined in the ‘Road Map’ and elsewhere that attempt to compel the Palestinian leadership to accept accountability for its actions.”
What is startling here is that Carter allowed his bias against Israel to thoroughly weaken the credibility of his book, which was put out replete with distortions of fact. (Where were his editors?) His bias against Israel is not news, however.
That bias was exposed at least as early as 1990. It was then that Douglas Brinkley, author of Unfinished Presidency, revealed that after meeting Yasser Arafat, Carter:
“…drafted on his home computer the strategy and wording for a generic speech Arafat was to deliver soon for Western ears…”
Explained Carter to Arafat:
“The audience is not the Security Council, but the world community. The objective of the speech should be to secure maximum sympathy and support of other world leaders…”
Carter advised Arafat to present himself as a peacemaker victimized by Israeli belligerence, advice that was clearly taken to heart by Arafat.
Then in 1996, Carter, heading a delegation from his Carter Center in Atlanta, served as a monitor for the Palestinian Authority elections; he pronounced them “democratic,” “open,” “fair,” and “well organized.” About these very same elections, former CIA director Jim Woolsey wrote: “Arafat was essentially ‘elected’ the same way Stalin was, but not nearly as democratically as Hitler, who at least had actual opponents.”
The Carter Center in Atlanta is highly relevant to all of this, and may provide the underlying rationale for Carter’s blatant anti-Israel bias, for it has consistently received its major support from Arab sources. Many millions of dollars have come from the Saudi royal family, and from Oman. But it is Carter’s association with the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow Up, located in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Republics, that requires the closest attention. Founded in 1999, ostensibly as a “think tank” for the Arab League, it took its name from UAE president-for-life Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, now deceased. When Carter received the Center’s Zayed International Prize for the Environment in 2001, he gushed that it had special meaning to him because “it is named for my personal friend, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan al-Nahyan.”
Harvard’s School of Divinity, however, has been decidedly less enthusiastic about the Zayad Center. The school in 2004 returned a $2.5 million donation awarded to underwrite an Islamic chair, after research by divinity school student Rachel Fish exposed the Islamo-Fascist agenda and the blatant anti-Semitism of the Center. The Center has underwritten a book that claims the Americans themselves masterminded September 11, has hosted Holocaust deniers, and sponsored a talk by a Saudi professor who maintained that Jews use gentile blood in holiday baked goods.
Although the incident with Harvard University was well publicized in the US, Carter has never disavowed his connection to the Zayad Center or leveled any criticism of it. When he accepted his award, Carter – who consistently castigates Israel – referred to the UAE as an “almost completely open and free society.” He has not publicly revised his assessment since.
Condoleezza Rice, in seeking counsel from Carter, has moved beyond the pale of what is acceptable.
One must hope that all those who are offended by Rice’s move will give voice to their outrage and their sense that she is not qualified for her task. We are playing with fire here, as no less than Israel’s rights, security and very existence are on the line.

American-born Arlene Kushner is an investigative writer and author in Jerusalem. UNRWA is a frequent topic of investigation for her. She has done major reports on this subject for the Center for Near East Policy Research, and has written articles on UNRWA for Azure Magazine, The Jerusalem Post, and Front Page Magazine.

Islamo-Fascism Controversy

LeAnne Matlach
Temple News

"College kids are living in a fantasy world," former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum told an audience at the Student Center last Wednesday
"The world is changing, but you don't see it because you don't feel it here, you don't believe it's real. The enemy gets up everyday thinking about you, despising you," Santorum said.

The former Republican senator tried to break the bubble of this fantasy world when he spoke at Temple during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. He stressed the point that America needs to wake up and see who they are fighting. Santorum was invited to speak at the university by the Temple College Republicans.

Temple College Republicans President Ryan McCool introduced the former senator and said that it was Santorum who inspired him to hold the event.

"If there's one thing that the senator has taught me, it's that you should always speak your mind," said McCool, a junior political science major. "People are always going to be critical and you shouldn't let that hinder your views because it's easy to say what's popular. It's easy to not rock the boat, but it takes true courage to stand up for what you believe in."

Not all in attendance were as receptive to the former senator as McCool. Outside in the rain, groups of protestors clustered for cover around the Student Center, but the poor weather conditions did not deter them. They yelled their message loud and explained to passersby what was going on.

Temple College Democrats Vice President Vicki Moore, a senior history and political science major, said she is against Santorum's policies. She was protesting his views on homosexuality, reproductive rights and hate speech.

"We are not here to say that Rick Santorum does not have a right to be here. This is a public university that receives public funds, he should be allowed to come here," Moore said

Clarissa Marks, a sophomore sociology major, said she was protesting because Islamo-Fascism week is inherently hateful against Muslims.

During the senator's speech, he said he was not speaking out against all followers of Islam.

"Islamo-Fascism is not describing any group of people. What it describes is an ideology," Santorum said. "Like not all Germans were Nazi's, not all Muslims are fascists."

The former senator said, "When I talk about this term and am referring to the enemy, I'm not talking about all of Islam. I am talking about people who are using the Muslim faith and see themselves as faithful, holy Muslims, and see people who do not share their views as not true Muslims."

The predominantly male crowd was divided on Santorum's views. Roughly half of the group was supportive while the rest questioned much of what he said.

Ed Furman is one of Santorum's supporters.

Furman, the president of St. Joseph's University College Republicans, said while he is more moderate on social issues than Santorum, in most cases, he agrees with the former senator.

"His ideas, while they can be conservative for some people, are in step with the evangelical Christian right," said Furman, a sophomore political science and history major.

Santorum's speech did not just reach out to the Christian right, he made many references to the left and said they should be more supportive of the fight against Islamo-Fascism.

"If there is any group of people who should be opposed to this virulent strain of Islam, it should be the American left. Radical Islam is 110 percent opposite of what the American left stands for," Santorum said. "Everything they believe, the secular left abhor. Yet they are the greatest opponents to fighting it."

After the senator's speech, he fielded questions from the crowd. Many of the questions were related to the current war in Iraq. Santorum said he thinks the U.S. is going to lose because Americans are losing heart, and they don't understand the struggle.

"We're alone in this fight and the rest of the world will not be with us," he said.

Santorum's opponents asked tough questions but were respectful. Liz Hanson, a sophomore communications major, said it was a really great thing that he was here.

"I don't agree with Rick Santorum, but I respect that he came to such a liberal school," Hanson said.

McCool said he thought the crowd was respectful to Santorum.

"I was really impressed," McCool said. "I think Sen. Santorum is a really well-spoken man and can articulate better than anyone."

LeAnne Matlach can be reached at


New York -- A senior Hamas leader, Nizar Rayyan, has stated that Hamas will soon control the Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority (PA) by taking over the PA-controlled parts of Judea and Samaria, saying at a rally in Gaza, "In the autumn Hamas supporters will be praying in the Muqata compound in Ramallah [site of Abbas' presidential office]. We are now praying at the Presidential compound in Gaza, just as we said we would. Abbas' regime will fall like a leaf come autumn … in the fall the man who kills his own people will be exposed, and we will annihilate him just as we have annihilated others like him" ( Yediot Ahronot, October 30, 2007).

Hamas already controls Gaza, which it seized from Fatah in a bloody coup in June, forcibly taking over PA offices. Since winning Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006, Hamas has continued to adhere to the terms of it Charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "It is a mistake that Israel and the U.S. are proceeding with preparations for a peace conference with Mahmoud Abbas' PA despite the fact that part of the PA, Gaza, has already been seized by Hamas. Now we discover that Hamas is saying openly that it is planning to take over the PA-controlled parts of Judea and Samaria in the next few months. Quite apart from the folly of treating Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah terrorist organization as moderates and peace-makers, where is the logic of Israel offering major concessions to a PA that in a matter of weeks or months could be entirely in the hands of the genocidal Hamas organization?

"In the past, both Israel and the U.S. armed Abbas' PA. Not only have such weapons been shown to have been used to murder Israelis in subsequent terror attacks but weapons given to Abbas' PA also fell into Hamas' hands when it seized Gaza. Yet today we witness both the Bush Administration and the Olmert government rushing headlong towards creating a Palestinian state which, bad enough as it would be under Abbas and Fatah, would be even worse under Hamas.

"It is clear that neither the Olmert government nor the Bush Administration have learned from the Oslo process and from President Clinton's efforts to broker peace in 2000 that the Palestinians and their leadership are not interested in accepting the permanence of Israel as a Jewish state and support terror against Israel. As a result, efforts to proceed towards a peace agreement as though these facts did not exist will simply result in failure and more bloodshed, just as it did in 2000. Both governments should heed these developments and note the possibility of a Hamas take-over of the PA, which will make this state of affairs only clearer."

No fence money left in 2007 budget

Ten contractors preparing to start work on new sections of the West Bank security fence have been told by the Defense Ministry to stop for lack of funds, according to Dudi Barrel, director-general of the Israel Infrastructure Contractor's Association. Initially he thought the problem was localized to three contractors, he told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday.
But upon further inspection, he discovered the problem was more widespread and that 10 contractors had received such instructions, including in the area of Jerusalem considered one of the major entry points for suicide bombers.
Barrel said he believed these were all the contractors involved in new fence projects. Therefore, he said, there had been no new work on the fence.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said it did not know about the instructions to the contractors, but after delving further into the issue, it did agree that the 2007 coffer for the barrier was empty.
Initially it had believed that NIS 500 million remained, but that proved not to be the case, it said.
"The 2007 budget [for the security fence] is finished, and therefore the work is subsiding." Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i said in the Knesset Wednesday
So far this year, the Defense Ministry has completed only 48 kilometers of the fence, compared with 102 km. last year. It has now scaled back its intention to finish an additional 50 km. this year.
With two months left in the year, it cannot say how many kilometers it can complete this year. In the last four months, it has not finished a single kilometer of the fence.
This means that since July, only 56.9 percent, or 450 km., of the fence has been completed. Out of the 790-km. route, 100 km. are tied up in court and another 160 km. are in the planning stages.
But there are some 80 km. on which work has already started and for which there is no barrier to completion, except for the budget.
The Defense Ministry was not available to comment on Barrel's remark that all contractors had been told to halt new work on the fence. Construction was ongoing on older sections of the barrier that had not been completed, Barrel said.
For the last week, the Defense Ministry has refused to answer queries regarding a shortfall in the budget.
According to the PMO, some NIS 800m. had been allocated to the Defense Ministry for fence construction this year, compared to NIS 1.3 billion in 2006.
The ministry did not receive the full NIS 1.3b. sum in 2007, because NIS 500m. was diverted to other security priorities, the PMO said.
Discussions are ongoing between the Treasury, the Defense Ministry and the PMO as to whether the NIS 500m. would be restored in the 2008 budget, jacking it up to 1.8b, the PMO said.
At a cost of NIS 9m. to NIS 13m. per kilometer, the Defense Ministry this year should have been able to complete 100 km. of the security fence instead of 48 km. if it had received the full allocation of NIS 1.3b.
This would have left only 36.71% of the barrier undone.

Still following the 'Road Map'

Louis René Beres
World Net Daily

All people, Jews or gentiles, who dare not defend themselves when they know they are in the right, who submit to punishment not because of what they have done but because of who they are, are already dead by their own decision; and whether or not they survive physically depends on chance A. If circumstances are not favorable, they end up in gas chambers.
– Bruno Bettelheim, "Freud's Vienna and Other Essays"

Bettelheim, like the Greek poet Homer, understands that the force that does not kill – that does not kill just yet – can turn a human being into stone, into a thing, while it is still alive. Merely hanging ominously over the head of the vulnerable creature, it can choose to kill at any moment, poised lasciviously to destroy breath in what it has "graciously" allowed, if only for a few more moments, to breathe, this force mocks the fragile life it intends to consume. The pitiable human being that stands helplessly before this force has already become a corpse.

Israel, this pitiable human being in macrocosm, is now in a final process of becoming a "thing." Called upon incessantly by our "civilized" world to negotiate with unrepentant terrorists, every prime minister from Rabin to Olmert has proudly agreed to assorted policies of national defeat (arguably, Menachem Begin as well, when one considers the one-sided Sinai surrender – a first example of "land for nothing"). Current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's idea for Middle East peace is more of the same. Prodded by Washington, which vainly seeks a single American foreign policy success amidst a sea of constant failure, Olmert's best plan has been to ratify another humiliating scheme of national auto-desecration.

The urbane prime minister generously accepts President Bush's proposal for a two-state solution. The only problem is that the Palestinian side does not.

Years ago, in an early burst of strategic ingenuity, Israel decided to arm Hamas and its various Islamic fundamentalist antecedents against Fatah. Now, the leadership in Jerusalem operates on the understanding that the opposite orientation is more sensible. In both cases, Israel's leaders have missed the point: Both Hamas and Fatah are fully committed to Israel's annihilation. Neither terror organization can ever be expected to serve Israel's security interests.

It might seem that the Arab world would at least be grateful to Olmert for continuing to be so actively complicit in Israel's eradication. Surely the Arab world must be pleased that no words from the prime minister curse Fatah's unceasing support of genocide against Jewish Israel. In appreciation, one would surmise, this world should now be prepared to offer some significant quid pro quo.

The Arab world does not willingly play the gentleman. It is, at least in this respect, a distinctly honest world. Even today, even while Olmert slavishly follows the "Road Map," the official Palestinian authority map of "Palestine" remains undisguised. On this revealing piece of genocidal cartography, Palestine includes all of Israel. There are no two-states on Abbas' maps, only one.

One might expect that Israel, after all the horror it has suffered at the hands of Arab terrorists, would betray itself no longer. When Priam enters the tent of Achilles, stops, clasps Achilles' knees, and kisses his hands, he has already reduced himself to a hapless and unworthy victim, one to be disposed of without ceremony and in very short order. Realizing this, a gracious Achilles takes the old man's arm, pushing him away. As long as he is clasping Achilles' knees, Priam is an inert object. Only by lifting him up off his knees can Achilles restore him to a position of self-respect and to a living manhood.

Here Israel and Priam part company. Israel's frenzied foes, twisted by jihad, will never act in the manner of Achilles. Their aim is not the high-minded revitalization of a respected enemy, but rather the literal "liquidation" of an inert "thing."

Israel has come to accept a deformed image of itself that was spawned not in Jerusalem or Hebron, but in Cairo, London, Damascus, Paris, Baghdad, Washington, Teheran, Hamburg, Jericho and Gaza. Degraded and debased, this is the view not of a strong and righteous people, determined to remain alive in its own land, but of a conspicuous corpse-in-waiting. Large majorities of Israelis have fought courageously against such an intolerable view – against the endlessly hapless visions of "disengagements" and "realignments" – but this defiling image is still very much in force.

The moral confusion of many Jewish "intellectuals" sustains Israel's enemies. Writing several years ago about Israel's Oslo agreements, precursor of the road map, Israeli novelist Aharon Megged observed: "We have witnessed a phenomenon which probably has no parallel in history; an emotional and moral identification by the majority of Israel's intelligentsia with people openly committed to our annihilation." This unique identification has taken poisonous root in a ceaseless succession of Israeli governments. Unless it is finally ended with Ehud Olmert, this prime minister could bring an end to Israel.
Oct 31

Why education won't stop the jihad

What have George W Bush, Oskar Lafontaine, Al Gore and Gerhard Schröder in common? All of them believe that poverty and lack of education are the cause of terrorism. All of them are wrong.

The perceptive observer might look at the professors’ and pastors’ children who joined the Red Army Faction and get the idea that a terraced house and A-levels could shield you from the temptation to become a terrorist.

The Americans seem to be wedded to the idea that there is a connection between an individual’s economic condition and the tendency to get sucked into terrorism. Homeland Defense chief Michael Chertoff has been quoted as saying that the 7/7 bombings in London show that Europeans have special problems with their Muslims. They are generally better integrated in the USA, therefore there is hardly any home grown terrorism there.

The good news for the Americans is that Muslims in the US are indeed better integrated. And the vast majority of them naturally want the same thing as their co-religionists in Germany, the UK, Spain, etc.: a good job and a better future for their children.

The bad news is that terrorism experts like Marc Sageman, Edwin Bakker, Alan Krueger and Robert Leiken have found that most Islamist terrorists have an above-average education and come from the middle classes, just like the majority of Muslims in the US.

Mohammad Atta’s al Qaeda cell in Hamburg consisted mainly of students with grants. All four bombers who hit London in 2005 came from the British middle class. And the suitcase bombers who set out to kill the rail passengers last year in revenge for insults to the Prophet were engineering students and, like German terror suspects Fritz G. and Daniel S., from good homes.

The medics who tried to set off car bombs at nightclubs in London and at Glasgow Airport were not from the lower classes.

It is the same in the US. The "Lackwanna Group" were a group of all-American footballing teenagers who were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment for supporting al Qaeda and attending terror-training camps. In May of this year the FBI arrested six men who planned to bomb the Fort Dix US Army base with rocket launchers and machine guns in order to kill as many service and civilian personnel as possible. Two of the suspects owned a middle-class workshop and others worked in the service sector.

Other failed terrorist attacks in the past few years were aimed at John F Kennedy Airport and the subway in New York, and at Los Angeles International Airport and the ears Tower in Chicago.

A survey by the Pew Institute in May this year revealed that 36 per cent of US Muslims were worried about the rise of Islamism in their country. 13 per cent said that suicide attacks could be justified in the defense of Islam, and 5 per cent had a positive opinion of al Qaeda.

Even if 95 per cent of Muslims are patriotic Americans, that leaves enough Islamists to join the jihad for a crude melange of reasons.

The insistence on the idea that personal poverty and lack of education are the causes of terrorism does not have to mean that US homeland policy needs to concentrate on travel restrictions on Britons of Pakistani origin or the fortification of the Mexican border. The American dream itself could well become the American nightmare.
oct 31


Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East Analyst & Commentator

I was reminded by several incoming Emails that we Jews have been thrown a bone to distract us and it’s called "Jerusalem" for the coming International Conference for "Peace In Our Times" at the Annapolis Naval Academy in Maryland of my postIt’s not that they wouldn’t like to divide Jerusalem at this time but, for their purposes it’s something they can use for negotiations but then give up the JERUSALEM PLOY to get what they really want. It was vital in their planning to get Jewish and Christian supporters of Israel to ignore the planned main take-over and have us focus primarily on Jerusalem.

The "Theys" are (among others) President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and, especially former Secretary of State James Baker III. Baker learned a lot about us from his State Department Jew-Boys, Dennis Ross, Aaron Miller and Daniel Kurtzer (later joined by Martin Indyk). Baker learned how we think! Jews tend to focus on humanitarian goals and, therefore, are easily misled on other issues. This may be a weakness which our adversaries will take advantage of for the Annapolis Conference.

The Nazis similarly also understood our weakness and our desire to believe the best about other people - even those who were endangering our existence. This inner knowledge of our naivet facilitated their plans for their "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". Therefore, please start to use your Jewish "Sechel" (smarts) to re-construct the meetings and plannings of Rice and her co-conspirators to recruit the Jews to assist in their own demise. The Germans at Wannsee under Heydrich and Eichmann similarly used their understanding of Jewish wishful thinking that people were well-intentioned to ease the way to death camps.

The Annapolis Conference for "Peace in Our Time" is the American version of the infamous Wannsee Conference. The main goal of Rice, Bush - and others - is to divide Israel and build another Palestinian state out of what’s left.

Manipulating us to dwell only on the vital issue of Jerusalem, we would leave the rest of Israel to fall into Muslim Arab hands. Weakening Israel by dividing an already minuscule and vulnerable nation is a definitive obsession for those who have been invited to what amounts to a pre-execution ceremony.

Now that they’ve turned what was once a veritable Garden of Eden in Gush Katif/Gaza into a Global Terror Base, they wish to "move on" to their primary goal of eliminating a militarily strong, democratic non-Muslim nation. Once they have Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights, it’s just a matter of time before Jerusalem would fall into their hands like a ripe apple.

Who would be clever enough to understand our psychology so well as to lure us into another Nazi-style sucker play? IF we could get the planners under subpoena, we might start to get at the truth. Who understands us? Who studies us? Who are part of us to understand how to manipulate us? The answers to these five questions is a mix of special interests but, all have the same goal.

We could go back to Baker’s Jew-Boys: Dennis Ross, Aaron Miller, Daniel Kurtzer and Martin Indyk. Then there is always Baker himself, presently advising C. Rice and the group dedicated to dismembering Israel. Here we also find former President Jimmy Carter as a selected advisor to C. Rice who brings to the table his pathological hatred of the Jewish nation. Carter is currently making millions by promoting his virulently anti-Semitic, anti-Israel book, which makes him an ideal advisor to Rice for the Annapolis Conference.

We cannot forget the wicked machinations of those un-Jews of Israel: Ehud Olmert, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak - among others who wish to de-judaize the Jewish nation while they retain political power. As is said, they know what makes us tick! Rice has also been consulting with the Saudis and Mubarak of Egypt as to how to get Israeli and American Jews to negotiate their fate away at the Annapolis Conference.

This unholy gaggle of people have wanted to divide, if not eliminate Israel since her first days. The Jews of the Left never grasped that they too were slated to be eliminated, as indicative of their mind-set. They opened themselves, all Jews and Israel, up for elimination when they ruled that there could be no praise of G-d for the miracle of winning the 1967 Six Day War against three powerful armies. The word: "G-d" could not be mentioned in any official documents.

By waving the danger of losing Jerusalem in our faces, they trick us into ignoring their Greater Plan. They want Israel to be divided into a reservation for Palestinian Muslim Arabs with the unworkable thought they can pacify the Arab Muslims and eliminate terror against the Free West from other Muslim Arab nations. With Hamas and Fatah as heirs to Arafat’s Terror, once Judea and Samaria are in their hands, 3 to 5 million Arab Muslim Palestinian, supposedly the descendants from the 460,000 who left in 1948, will be pushed into those areas by the surrounding Arab nations who now house them in squalid refugee camps. They will ignore any agreements promising not to permit the flooding of what was Israel with 5 million immigrants.

Anyone who believes that the Iranians, Syrians, Saudis, Egyptians, ‘et al’ give a damn about Palestinian Arab Muslims had better start re-thinking their position. To them, the Palestinians were good for one thing only which was/is to keep the Arab Muslim and International pressure on Israel. They want Israel gone - along with the Palestinians. This kind of planning that is doomed to fail is typical of the Arabist U.S. State Department, particularly if it is only Israel who must pay the ultimate price.

The Annapolis International Conference meeting has only one purpose and one purpose only. It is to establish a space to gather Palestinian Arabs, now spuriously said to be in the millions, with a sovereignty and civil rights that heretofore have been refused to them by their brethren and co-religionists in the Arab Muslim nations. No Arab Muslim or Muslim Arab nation has permitted the Palestinians to have passports and citizenship in the country where they’ve settled. Only Israel has offered the Arab Muslim Palestinians more civil rights then they’ve received anywhere else. But, the world and the Muslims spat on the Jews for being generous. Now, Israel is foolishly offering herself on a silver platter as a human sacrifice - just to be divided up at the Annapolis Naval Academy, a name and a place that will become synonymous with Wannsee and the planning of the "Final Jewish Solution".

But, first Jews and Christians must be led to expend their energies on only saving Jerusalem at the expense saving Israel’s heartland, eastern security border and Heights as their primary goals. At the moment, Jerusalem has been decided to be one of the temporary "give-aways".

Any businessman or honest diplomat can tell you, they always come to a negotiation with a few intended "give-aways". The other side thinks they have won points when, in fact, they lost the larger issue, sometimes called the "Trojan Horse". At Annapolis, Jerusalem will be one of those "give-aways" during negotiations to lubricate the transfer of Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights - all of which includes two-thirds of Israel’s fresh water resources. Once those are in hand, they will come back shortly for Jerusalem and the 1947 borders. (Not the 1948 after the War of Independence in which Israel gained more ground than what had been pre-planned by the State Department and United Nations. The 1947 borders were intended to create a vulnerable Jewish State, surrounded by a hostile Muslim Arab state - including the heartland of Judea and Samaria.) Abba Eban called those the "Auschwitz borders".

Rice has invited every enemy nation and organization who want Israel dead and gone. This includes the Olmert-led Israeli contingent who will offer all the most holy parts of Israel’s Jewish sites as a gift for "confidence-building measures" to Abu Mazen’s Fatah who are presently discussing a merger with Hamas. Whose confidence are they trying to build up? Certainly not Israel’s.

We have been set up like country bumpkins who just came to the Big City. But, we Jews have been set up before. Remember the sign over the entrance of Auschwitz: "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Will Make You Free). We were led to believe what they wanted us to believe. You know the rest.

We are being led like the proverbial sacrificial goat - Azazel - into the Annapolis trap. The Arab Muslim Palestinians and the Muslim Arab nations want most of Israel first and can wait a little while for Jerusalem. In the end, they get all (IF) we let them. The maps in their schools, TV, uniforms, stationary, etc. show the new, second state of Palestine covering ALL of Israel with ALL of Jerusalem as the capital for the second state of Palestine.

We’ve been lied to by experts but, worst of all, we have lied to ourselves. We usually know what’s coming and pretend it’s not. We Jews have died in the millions - throughout generations by ignoring reality. Rice tells us there will be peace after we evacuate the Land G-d gave us. She ought to know better. She should know how G-d gave Israel to the Jewish people from being raised as a pastor’s daughter. But, her childhood has molded her into a powerful woman who, despite her brilliant intellect, still sees things through a black and white perspective. In her childhood psyche the Muslim Arab Palestinians are her oppressed "blacks" and the Jews are her "whites". How comforting it is for we Jews to be advised by such friends! We know that Rice, Bush and Baker wish us well (ill). We know that Arafat and now Abbas want the best for us. The Saudi Kings, Bashar Assad of Syria, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt - all want us to succeed. Yes, indeed, it’s good to have such supporters - especially the U.S. State Department.

Every country or nation who has mistreated, exiled or killed their Jews has suffered a decline and fall. However, that did not help the Jews already dead or exiled by the those nations. They say we are a stiff-necked people. If not, we would have fragmented eons ago instead of trekking onward. We do not have to crumble because the nations have gathered - again - to deliver their "Final Solution" for the "coup de grace" (deathblow) in Annapolis!

Get the word out! Fight hard for Jerusalem but, save most of your energy and contributed protest organizing funds to insure that Israel does not disappear in a deal (hidden or open) at Annapolis. We have proven ourselves by contributing disproportionately to mankind and have no apologies to make. We have given more to the people of the world than most others and yet, we are hated. Now a new generation of Nazi-style Islamo-Fascists wants to destroy one of the miraculous and productive civilizations on this planet while their contribution is ceaseless destruction.

Regrettably, we can do nothing to please the nations except to disappear and this WE WILL NOT DO! If, as G-d had intended, we are to live alone and follow His commandments - So be it! May G-d forgive them, for I cannot.

Israel's peace strategy

Earlier, I warned that the peace offensive was dangerous for Israel: dangerous if we did not take the initiative and use the peace process in our favor. The mention of "peace talks" however, justifiably sends shivers up the spines of Israeli politicians and Zionist advocates. Visions of the nightmare of the failed Camp David and Washington talks and of the "Land for terror" paradigm that characterized the Oslo negotiations. Therefore, it is not surprising that the mention of "peace talks" sent Israeli politicians scurrying to their burrows.

Make no mistake, these negotiations are fraught with peril for Israel, and they have, objectively, little chance of real success. Mahmoud Abbas can scarcely control 50 square meters of territory in the West Bank, and may well be overthrown by the Hamas at any moment, yet he is demanding a strict timetable for a Palestinian state. He announces that his "negotiations" will consist of making "no concessions" on his demands for right of return of refugees and obliteration of any memory of Jewish national rights in the old city of Jerusalem.

Abbas insists on discussion of core issues, and he promptly outlines the core issues from his point of view: Israeli surrender in Jerusalem, Israeli surrender regarding refugee rights and Israeli surrender regarding the 1967 borders. From his point of view it is a correct strategy. By refusing to discuss core issues, the Israeli government has presented Abbas with a double victory. The Palestinians are perceived as wanting "peace" and the Israelis are perceived as "obstructionist." Moreover, the perception is instilled in the consciousness of world opinion that all of Abbas's demands are legitimate, that only if Israel meets these demands can there be peace, and that it is Israel's failure to address these core issues by surrendering to Abbas that is preventing a settlement. Abbas, with the help of the Israeli government, is creating new "facts on the ground" in the peace process.

The problem is, that if Israel discusses "core issues," then Israel has to admit that it must give up some territory in the West Bank in order to allow formation of a Palestinian state. If we say "no" to 1967 borders, then we have to supply a different map. A very strong lobby of well meaning Zionists in Israel and the United States is lobbying against any such concessions and any cooperation in the Annapolis peace conference. M.J. Rosenberg has argued, and I have to agree, that this line is not helpful to Israel. It ties the hands of the Israeli government, and it portrays Zionists as warmongers who do not want peace. We can't say "no" to a Palestinian state. It closes the window on a possible opportunity for peace. How will these very same Zionists who oppose a Palestinian state, argue in the future that it is always the Palestinians who miss every opportunity for peace? Their argument is that the Arabs do not want peace, and would never recognize Jewish rights in Israel, and that a Palestinian state would be a terrorist state. But if the Arabs would never recognize Jewish rights in Israel, there could be no peace agreement and no Palestinian state of any kind.

Mahmoud Abbas understands very well that Israel will not agree to return of the refugees or to giving up the Wailing Wall, the Jewish quarter or the Hebrew University in East Jerusalem. We can be sure that he understands that Israeli is not about to give go back to the borders of 1967, complete with noman's land, and replace the barbed wire in the Mandelbaum gate. But he is using the publicity of the pre-conference period to establish the "legitimacy" and acceptability of these atrocious demands, and impressing on the world his desire for "peace." The Palestinians bought this right by making a "concession" - they gave up what is not theirs anyhow. Officially, they have "compromised" and given up claims on land in Israel proper. This is the "historic compromise." In fact, it is empty of content, since the return of the refugees would create two Arab states between the river Jordan and the sea. Abbas knows this too, and his Palestinian authority television station, funded by American and European money, sings it to the children of his people in Arabic, explaining the meaning of "peace" in graphic terms. can see the video of this song by clicking here. Here are some of the charming and peaceloving words:
Palestine is Arab in history and identity
We will live in peace, oh mother, and our lives will not be wasted
Oh mother, they destroyed our house
The house of my brother and my neighbor [2X]
Do not be angry, oh mother, our rocks increased [in number]

From Jerusalem and Acre, from Haifa and Jericho and Gaza and Ramallah [2X]
From Bethlehem and Jaffa, from Be'er Sheva and Ramla, [2X]
from Nablus to the Galilee, from Tiberias to Hebron [2x]
All the cities and places in bold face type are in green line Israel. So "peace" for Abbas and the PLO seems to mean destruction of Israel, but in the context of the diplomatic game played with the United States, we have to make believe it is not so. This "peace" has a very "rocky" future it seems. The truth is, apparently, that all the talk about a Palestinian state hides a grim reality. Among Palestinian leaders, the only one who seems to really want a state and to know how to run a state in a responsible way is Salem Fayyad. Everyone else talks about a state, but they don't want a state. They have been running after this state their whole lives, living from the business of "liberating" "Palestine." That is their trade. If they ever got a state, one suspects that they would be like the dog who chased trucks and finally caught one. They are using the Annapolis conference as another opportunity for an event in the charade of "liberating" "Palestine."

In response, Israel is silent, as it must be, unless it too makes a compromise, and says "we are ready to recognize the Palestinian right to self determination and to form a state in the territories of the West Bank and Gaza." This declaration has been made informally. It is time to embody it in a proposed declaration dealing with "core issues" That declaration would give Israel the right to present its own "core issues:"

Liquidation of the refugee problem - This was deliberately created and is artificially maintained as a tool for destroying Israel. This was explicitly stated at a Fateh Web site until not long ago in so many words: "The refugee issue is the winning card that will mean the end of the state of Israel." Everyone knows it is so, yet the UN, including the EU and the United States, continue to support the UNRWA, which perpetuates the refugee problem, and treats Arab refugees from Palestine differently from every other refugee population in the world. Termination of this situation is a key requirement for peace.

Recognition of the right of the Jewish people to self-determination and the right of Israel to exist as the state of the Jewish people. - Until today, this right has never been recognized by any Arab country including those who made peace with Israel, and it was not recognized by the Palestinians either. The right of Israel to exist was recognized, but this recognition was a cover for the plan to flood Israel with Arab "refugees."

Recognition that the Jewish people and the State of Israel have historic rights in Jerusalem - The internationalization of Jerusalem must come off the international agenda. Jerusalem is holy to many religions, but in all history, except for the short-lived crusader state, Jerusalem was only the capital city of one nation - the Jewish nation. We cannot expect that the Palestinians will recognize any Jewish rights in East Jerusalem if the United States doesn't recognize any Jewish rights in any part of Jerusalem.

A declaration that wanton murder of civilians is illegitimate - The Palestinians agreed to an end to violence in the Oslo accords, but did not keep their word.

The above conditions must be met if there is to be peace. They must be implemented by declarations in Arabic as well as in English for the benefit of foreigners, and more important, by sincere actions. These must include a total cessation of the systematic incitement and racism that is rife in Palestinian society and the Arab world. No more Nakba commemoration parades with posters reading "Haifa," "Beisan," "Birsaba," "Yaffo." No more maps that show all of Israel as Palestine. No more kiddie shows of children willing to blow themselves up to "liberate" Jerusalem. No more TV shows and newspaper articles about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Jews baking Matzot from the blood of Christian children. No more sermons about God destroying the Jewish sons of dogs and monkeys.

We must be absolutely uncompromising about our rights, but we can only do so successfully if we follow an active policy of pursuing peace and present our rights, at every possible opportunity, in the context of the pursuit of peace. Those in the Arab world who oppose the peace process and insist that it is a "Zionist plot" are correct from their point of view. Peace with our neighbors and a secure Jewish state have always been the aim of Zionism, and we must never obscure that goal.

We must never lose sight of the unltimate goal, not only of Zionism, but of Jewish national and cultural aspirations for over 2000 years:
...and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Pursuit of peace has always been a goal of the "Zionist conspiracy."

Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2007. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

Mufti: No Jewish prayers in Palestines Jerusalem

Stan Goodenough
Jerusalem Newswire

If Jerusalem is divided, and it's eastern part made the capital of "Palestine" - world Jewry will be forever cut off from the hope it has held onto for 2000 years, and be once and for all prohibited from ascending the Temple Mount and even from praying at the Western Wall.
This warning was clearly sounded in an interview the former PLO-appointed mufti of Jerusalem gave to The Jerusalem Post this week, excerpts of which were published Thursday.

Ikrema Sabri emphatically told the Post that no Israelite temple had ever stood on the Temple Mount.

What's more, the cleric insisted, the Western Wall - whose massive stones the entire world knows to have been laid by Herod the Great during the Roman occupation of the Land of Israel - had nothing to do with any temple either.

"The wall is not part of the Jewish temple. It is just the western wall of the mosque. There is not a single stone with any relation at all to the history of the Hebrews.

"It was always only a mosque - all 144 dunams, the entire area," Sabri said.

"No Jews have the right to pray there. ... No Jewish prayer. If the Jews want real peace, they must not do anything to try to pray on Al-Aqsa. Everyone knows that."

The Mufti's ranting underscored how the Muslim Arab effort to wrest Israel's holiest site from the Jewish people and entrench it under irreversible Islamic control is intensifying in the run-up to next-month's US-sponsored Middle East conference.

Washington is pushing for this conference, fully aware that the Arab side’s intent is to steal great chunks of Israel’s historic homeland for the creation of a juden-rein Palestinian state that will never tolerate Jewish and Christian worship on or near the Temple Mount – or at any other site deemed sacred to Islam.
Oct 31

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Great work UN; Thanks for your "help"

UN: Hizbullah has replenished missiles.

So is the headline this evening in Israel. Please no one, ever again, tell me how useful the UN is for Middle East peace. Please, no one tell me "yeah, but you can trust the Hizzbollah, they gave their word, they agreed to the UN 1701-I guess we now know the truth. Do not trust the UN, the Hizzbollah or any other enemy group! Those of you who think otherwise, get your heads out of ... and grow up! Hizbullah has succeeded in rearming itself and has obtained missiles with a range of 250 km., a UN report on the implementation of UN Resolution 1701 stated. Such missiles would be capable of striking areas south of Tel Aviv.

Weapons smuggling from Syria into Lebanon, in violation of 1701, is continuing as well.

According to the report, which was quoted by Army Radio, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called the continued arms smuggling "grave."

The report also noted that according to information provided by Israel, Hizbullah was rearming itself south of the Litani River, and that given this development, UNIFIL forces and the Lebanese army were increasing their efforts to patrol the area.

Further, Israeli intelligence passed on to the UN stated that the number of land-to-sea missiles in Hizbullah's stockpile has tripled.

The report also criticized Israel for not relaying details of its cluster bombing campaign during the Second Lebanon War, and for not ending continued IAF overflights in Lebanese airspace.

Kilometers of W. Bank security fence completed since July: 0

Not a single kilometer of the West Bank security fence has been completed in the past four months, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Comment: This is not about money-we have it set aside. this is politics and Olmert is with holding valuable information from us-what is it?

This week, the Defense Ministry told three contractors with signed agreements worth NIS 100 million not to begin scheduled work on the fence in the South Hebron Hills - due to lack of funds, according to Dudi Barrel, director-general of the Israel Infrastructure Contractor's Association.

In spite of that claim, as well as media allegations that the Defense Ministry lacks money in its fence budget for this year, the Prime Minister's Office told the Post that NIS 500m. of the 2007 budget for the barrier remains in the Defense Ministry's coffer.

Both the Prime Minister's Office and the Defense Ministry said they could not comment on the delay in the work on the South Hebron Hills portion of the fence.
In general, work on the West Bank barrier, which has earned Israel international condemnation even as it has contributed to a significant decrease in terrorist attacks, has slowed to a trickle.

Last year, the Defense Ministry completed 102 km. of the fence. Some 10 months into 2007, however, only an additional 48 km. - just 6 percent of the entire planned route of the fence - have been completed. Another 80 km. are under construction. Of those 80 km. the Defense Ministry had hoped to complete 50 km. this year, but it now expects to fall short of that goal. It would not say how much the shortfall would be.
Earlier this year, the estimated target date for the project's completion was moved from 2008 to 2010 - meaning it will take the government eight years to build the fence which was first approved by the cabinet in 2002.

As of this week only 56.9%, or 450 km. of the 790-km. route, has been completed, the Defense Ministry told the Post. This response exactly mirrors information given the Post in the beginning of July, when it made the same query.

Of the remaining 260 km. of the planned route of the fence, some 100 km. are tied up in petitions before the High Court of Justice. An additional 160 km., the Defense Ministry said, are still in the planning phase.

The Defense Ministry, so far, has offered no explanation as to why work on the fence has slowed down in 2007 compared with 2006.

Work on the fence has historically not progressed evenly; particularly in light of the more than 176 court cases that have been filed against the fence. To date, according to the Defense Ministry there are some 45 active cases.

It took the Defense Ministry only a year to construct 144 km. of fence from 2002 to 2003. But it took it another two and a half years, from August 2003 to December 2005 to complete another 150 km. of the barrier.

With an eye to 2008, officials from the Treasury, Defense and Prime Minister's Office have already been meeting to argue about funding for the project.

The Defense Ministry has been allocated NIS 1.3 billion for construction of the fence in 2008, exactly the same figure that it was given in 2007. But it has sought to raise the fence budget to NIS 1.8b.

The Defense Ministry has not explained why it needs that sum, which would allow for the construction of anywhere from 138 km. to 200 km. of fence, given the slow rate of progress this year.

At an average cost of NIS 9m. to NIS 13m. per km., the ministry should have spent in 2007 from NIS 432m. to NIS 625m. on the fence. That does not take into account money spent on the 80 km. currently under construction. According to the Prime Minister's Office NIS 800m. has been spent on the fence so far this year.

According to a spokesman for Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the cabinet this Sunday is likely to discuss the issue.

But already on Wednesday, MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) said he plans to speak in front of the plenum on the matter.

He told the Post he plans to ask that work be halted on the fence altogether because those funds should be used on security matters that are more critical such as anti-missile defense systems.

"If it is a security project then there are things that are more important," he said. "If its objective is diplomatic, then in light of the ongoing dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians, those matters should be worked on in agreement between the two parties."

Initially, Schneller said, when he thought that the fence's objective was purely for security, he supported it. But over time, he said, he has come to understand that its intention is more diplomatic.

Still the Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry have continued to speak in support of the structure.

Barrel, who is among the initial supporters of the fence, said, "Leaving holes in the structure is the stupidest thing that one could do."

He added that the situation in the West Bank could change any time and Israel could find itself once more before a new wave of terror attacks.

"The fence has proved that it saves lives," said Barrel. He hoped, he said, that it would not take the loss of more lives to renew the drive to complete the fence.

Al Qaeda declares Cyber Jihad on the West

In a special Internet announcement in Arabic, picked up DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources, Osama bin Laden’s followers announced Monday, Oct. 29, the launching of Electronic Jihad On Sunday, Nov. 11, al Qaeda’s electronic experts will start attacking Western, Jewish, Israeli, Muslim apostate and Shiite Web sites. On Day One, they will test their skills against 15 targeted sites expand the operation from day to day thereafter until hundreds of thousands of Islamist hackers are in action against untold numbers of anti-Muslim sites.
DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report that, shortly after the first announcement, some of al Qaeda’s own Web sites went blank, apparently crashed by the American intelligence computer experts tracking them.
The next day, Oct. 30, they were up again, claiming their Islamic fire walls were proof against infidel assault.
They also boasted an impenetrable e-mail network for volunteers wishing to join up with the cyber jihad to contact and receive instructions undetected by the security agencies in their respective countries.
Our sources say the instructions come in simple language and are organized in sections according to target. They offer would-be martyrs, who for one reason or another are unable to fight in the field, to fulfill their jihad obligations on the Net. These virtual martyrs are assured of the same thrill and sense of elation as a jihadi on the “battlefield.”
In effect, say DEBKAfile’s counter-terror experts, al Qaeda is retaliating against Western intelligence agencies’ tactics, which detect new terrorist sites and zap them as soon as they appear. Until now, the jihadists kept dodging the assault by throwing up dozens of new sites simultaneously. This kept the trackers busy and ensured that some of the sites survived, while empty pages were promptly replaced. But as al Qaeda’s cyber wizards got better at keeping its presence on the Net for longer periods, so too did Western counter-attackers at knocking them down. Now Bin Laden’s cyber legions are fighting back. The electronic war they have declared could cause considerable trouble on the world’s Internet.

Lebanons parliament majority leader Syria wants me dead

The leader of Lebanon's parliamentary majority Saad Hariri claimed Tuesday there is a plot to assassinate him and the country's US-backed prime minister ahead of crucial presidential elections next month, and alleged that Syria was behind it. Hariri made the remarks to reporters after a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during a one-day visit to Egypt.
"The assassination is not only of me but of (Lebanese) Prime Minister Fuad Saniora also," said Hariri, whose father, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, was assassinated in a massive Beirut 2005 truck bombing that was widely blamed on Syria.
Hariri did not elaborate on the plot but when asked about reports that Syrian officials were behind it, he said, "We have information about this (assassination plans) and it is correct."
Syrian officials in Damascus could not be immediately reached for comment.
Lebanon's anti-Syrian groups that dominate the government claim Damascus is behind a two-year killing spree that has claimed the lives of several anti-Syrian politicians and public figures. The latest was the Sept. 19 slaying of lawmaker Antoine Ghanem in a Beirut car bombing, a week before Parliament was to meet to start electing a new president.
Syrian President Bashar Assad has rejected accusations that Syria orchestrated any of the killings.
Hariri on Tuesday also accused Syria of trying to stall the election of a new Lebanese president by "influencing recent developments in Lebanon which have negatively affected reconciliation" between the country's rival factions.
Hariri is in Cairo for talks with Mubarak and other officials amid Egyptian efforts to help resolve the Lebanese political deadlock over choosing a new president. Media here say Cairo is trying to convince rival Lebanese factions to accept Lebanese army commander Michael Suleiman as a compromise presidential candidate. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit visited Beirut last Thursday to offer his country's mediation.
Last week, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri postponed the parliamentary session to elect a new president until Nov. 12, to give rival factions more time to find a compromise. The 128-member parliament, dominated by anti-Syrian legislators, failed to meet two times to choose a successor to pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, who steps down Nov. 24.
There had been hopes that the presidential vote could break a 10-month political deadlock between Lebanon's US-backed government and pro-Syrian opposition factions led by the militant Hezbollah.
Under Lebanon's complex sectarian-based political system in place since independence won in 1943, the president traditionally hails from the Maronite community which makes up the largest sect among minority Christians.
The election of a consensus president is certain to ease the political power struggle taking place since last year. The parliament majority is hoping to put one of its own in the post, but the opposition has rejected a president they don't endorse. Over 15 declared or undeclared candidates are vying for the post.
Many Lebanese fear divisions over the presidency could lead to the creation of two rival governments _ a grim prospect for Lebanon, which suffered through a 15-year civil war that ended in 1990.