Saturday, December 22, 2007

Peace Now Suspected of Financial Scam to Mask Backers

Ezra HaLevi and Gil Ronen

The Peace Now movement is suspected of setting up a financial scam to mask the European sources of its funding for its reconnaissance work against Israeli Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria. The Non Profit Associations Registrar suspects Peace Now of operating a front organization for improper collection of funds, according to a report on Channel 2 TV by reporter Amit Segal.

The radical left-wing Peace Now group allegedly used a non-profit organization (amuta) called Sha'al, which supposedly dealt with educational matters, to receive and disburse millions of shekels over a period of many years.

Some of the organization's donors were exposed in the course of the inquiry. They include the British government, which donated more that 500,000 shekels, Norway (800,000 shekels) and the European Union, which donated 451,000 shekels earmarked for Peace Now's ongoing "settlement hunting" activity: the documentation of construction activity by Jews in Judea and Samaria.

This is not the first time Peace Now has crossed the lines of legality. In 2004, journalist David Bedein revealed and later the Knesset Interior Committee confirmed that Peace Now had received a budget in the amount of 50,000 Euros from the government of Finland to conduct intelligence activities in Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, the Golan, Gaza and Jerusalem. The Israel Penal Code for Espionage was distributed to Knesset Interior Committees, with the third clause defining “photography of sensitive areas of Israel for any foreign power” as an act of espionage, punishable by ten years imprisonment if convicted.

It is not clear whether Segal's report was the result of a new investigative web site dedicated to researching and documenting the group's misdeeds.

The Non Profit Associations Registrar summoned 'Peace Now' to a hearing and instructed them to reply to the allegations by December 31.

Peace Now Calls on US to Talk to Iran
Americans for Peace Now, the Israeli leftist group’s fundraising arm that also engages in anti-Israel lobbying in the United States, urged US President George W. Bush “to open serious, determined and unconditional diplomacy with Iran,” according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Franklin Fisher and Debra DeLee, Chairman and President respectively of the group, sent a letter to Bush arguing that it is in the “best interests of both the US and Israel [to engage in] direct, sustained, and unconditional US-led diplomacy and engagement with Iran to resolve issues surrounding Iran’s nuclear program."

“The letter reflects Americans for Peace Now’s longstanding contention that a U.S. policy toward Iran consisting of sanctions and threats of force is insufficient and potentially harmful to the interests of both the United States and Israel,” JTA reported. The letter was sent to all members of the House and Senate, as well as all the US presidential candidates.

My Prayer for the Jewish People

Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi

As a Zionist Muslim clergyman and a friend of the Jewish people, I cannot keep silent. I feel a moral urge to declare that the nations of the world are once again preparing bad days for the Jewish people. A US Administration, which pays lip service to a supposed "war on terror," is ready to bow to Saudi-funded Islamist terror and to accept the Saudi diktat compelling Jews to withdraw from the Land of Israel. The Jewish people is at risk of getting restricted by order of its American "friends," ever closer to what Abba Eban used to call "the Auschwitz borders."

People are rarely satisfied with their politicians, and the case of contemporary Israelis is no different. Most of them feel betrayed by both leftist politicians who try to introduce surrender to Abu Mazen as a "step toward peace," and by reputed nationalist politicians who declare they oppose Jewish deportation from Judea and Samaria, but who do not move a inch to prevent it.

The more time passes, the more moral leadership of the Jewish people at home is restricted to a powerless minority. The nightmare of Oslo returned and became even darker in Annapolis. That was the reason for the recent creation in Jerusalem of the New Jewish Congress, a federation of different authentic Zionist groups and organizations, blessed by the New Sanhedrin and by the most authoritative Israeli rabbis, and supported by 30% of concerned secular Israelis. I regretted being unable to attend the founding session, held in Jerusalem, Israel, on November 27, but I was thankful to Allah the Most High for giving me the opportunity to thank Prof. Hillel Weiss for the honor of the invitation and to send the participants my greetings.

I was glad to have been given the opportunity to reiterate that the territories of Judea and Samaria are the home Allah granted to the Jewish people, and that any attempt to steal them from their legitimate owners is a declaration of war against a Divine decree. In my humble view, each of my Jewish brothers and sisters is morally obligated to struggle for the integrity of the Land of Israel, in order to ease the task of the Jewish people to be a "light unto the nations" and to pave the way for Redemption.

The oil lobbies are imposing the follow-up of Oslo, and compelling the whole civilized world to bow to a leader of kleptocracy like Abu Mazen and to again fund his anti-Jewish terror. In these tragic days, my heart is with the Jews in Israel, with all those Jewish families at risk of deportation from Judea and Samaria to appease oil-sultans and their Western counterparts.

I pray that hardship is overcome and defeated by a new Jewish leadership, which will prove that the Zionist dream is still alive. The dream of the Jewish people to live in peace and security in the Land of Israel was not crushed by strong governments in the past, and will not be crushed even today, despite the attempts of Arab dictators, the American politicians who cave in to their demands, and the corrupt Israeli politicians who bowed down in submission in Annapolis. One might easily envision that the nightmare that began in Oslo will now reach its most terrific level, with a possible ascendancy of Hamas gangsters over the areas to be vacated by Israel, including even Jerusalem.

President George Bush claims he reads the Bible daily, but seems to forget that it is written there that the Land of Israel is G-d's gift to the Children of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It was not given to anyone else, including the descendants of Ishmael, since they received plenty of territory in other locations. Even so, whoever attempts to steal any of the Divine inheritance of the Jewish people declares war not only on a particular nation, but on G-d and His decree. As long as the US stood up for the rights of Israel in her land, Allah rewarded them with a flow of abundance and blessings, while the Soviet Empire - which denied the national rights of the Jewish people - was canceled from maps. Now, the risk is that the US Administration wants to emulate the Soviet Union. I pray for a new US Administration, more respectful of the rights of the Jewish people over its land.

Sheikh Professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi is the Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community, Muslim Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of the Islam-Israel Fellowship, Root & Branch Association, Ltd.

Mark Steyn is Not Alone

There's a definite chill in the air and this cold front comes to us from Canada, where author Mark Steyn finds himself in trouble for speaking his mind. Steyn is a brilliant writer and many of us have been amused (he is often hilarious) and enriched by his commentaries upon our culture in general and, in particular, what awaits us if we don't face up to terrorism. He's written a book on that very subject, America Alone, and this book is a bestseller in America and number one in Canada - and it's also the number one reason he's being summoned for "hate crimes."

Steyn, by the way, is a passionate friend of Israel, and no, he is not Jewish.

Two "human rights" panels, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission, have him on trial for his alleged claim that Islam does not square with Western ideals. Whatever the outcome, we're all on notice that Big Brother is watching. The word "tribunal" itself reeks of an Orwellian nightmare and Soviet gulagism.

From my own days in Montreal, I remember singing these words from Canada's national anthem: "O' Canada, Glorious and Free."

Those words may have to be expunged.

But is Steyn alone? Can't happen here in the US? Well it has been happening here.

Conservative, pro-Western and pro Israel commentators like Robert Spencer (Religion of Peace? his latest), Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz consistently get shouted down from campus to campus. Some get physically roughed up and require bodyguards and double security when they dare to deliver a message that displeases peace-loving professors and students.

Some, like Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, are being sued in British courts. Ehrenfeld wrote the book Funding Evil: How Terrorism Is Financed - And How To Stop It, and though the book was not published in the UK, it's still being taken up by the courts over there for defamation. Ehrenfeld refuses to recognize British jurisdiction and is fighting back through America's court system.

If Canada is on the verge of being "glorious and free" no more, "America Alone" (as Steyn has it) is being asked to remember that it is still the "land of the free" and "home of the brave." That's Steyn's thesis in a nutshell. He's counting on America to save the world from a campaign of tyranny being waged against words spoken and words written.

Bangladeshi novelist Taslima Nasrin is another writer in jeopardy, and on the run somewhere in Europe, after her words provoked riots among jihadists. Recent reports had it that she was rewriting a novel for fear of her life, but according to a late posting on her web site, "Come what may, I will never be silenced."

This, then, is war, but it is not a war of words - it is a war against words.

Israel has its own laws and tribunals for those who "insult public officials." Israel's political and cultural leaders, who whimsically define the word "insult" to isolate dissent from "right-wing" Israelis, may wish to consult Hatikvah for the stanza that summons the people "to be a free nation in our own homeland."

All this - Steyn's Canadian fatwa and the attempts to muzzle all freedom of expression - is not quite the same as the short life of Theo Van Gogh after he produced the documentary Submission. Nor is it quite the same as the fate of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who scripted that film and was forced to escape the Netherlands. She has since moved to the United States, where, of course, she travels with bodyguards.

Not quite the same, but close enough to remind us that Mark Steyn is Not Alone.

Jack Engelhard's latest novel, the newsroom thriller The Bathsheba Deadline, is now ready in paperback and available from and other outlets. Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel Indecent Proposal, which was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore.

The Other Side of the News From Israel

Yoram ettinger

Israel is ranked as the top foreign source of deal-flow, ahead of Canada, China and India, by US VC fund managers. The survey, conducted by Delloite Touche, has also ranked Israel as the second (to Canada) most attractive source of entrepreneurs. 46% of US VC funds invest abroad (The Marker, December 6, 2007).

Standard & Poor's raised Israel's credit ratings, for the first time since 1995, to A (long-term foreign currency rating), to AA- (long-term local currency rating) and to A1+ (short-term domestic rating). S&P based its decision on Israel's economic indicators: GDP growth; a shrinking budget deficit; reduced public debt per GDP (2000 - 87%, 2001 - 92%, 2002 - 100%, 2003 - 102%, 2004 - 101%, 2005 - 97%, 2006 - 88%, 2007 - 80%); low inflation; balance of payment and balance of trade surplus; tax decrease; continued market reforms, etc. Improved rating is expected to attract more overseas investments and lower interest on loans (The Marker, November 28).

Israel was fifth in the world in GDP growth - 5.2% in 2006 (Globes, December 5). Israel's GDP grew 6.1% during the third quarter of 2007, the 17th quarter of straight growth since mid-2003, the longest growth streak since 1948 (2001 - minus 0.4%, 2002 - minus 0.6%, 2003 - 2.3%, 2004 - 2.5%, 2005 - 5.3%, 2006 - 5.2%, 2007 - projected 5.5%-6%). Overall investments rose 24% during the quarter (Globes, November 26).

And Israel leads the world in civilian Research & Development per GDP - 4.5%, compared to 3% expected by the EEC by 2010. SAP and McCaffee expand their R&D operations in Israel, with both hiring additional personnel and McCaffee constructing a new site (Globes, November 14).

Israel has the second largest concentration of startups per capital next to Silicon Valley. Israeli startups developed crucial flash drive, call center and instant messaging technologies.

According to Jon Medved, both Israel and Silicon Valley share energized entrepreneurial spirit, informal work atmosphere, pioneering risk-taking ethos and a large number of high-quality immigrants. 400 Israeli startups emerge annually, more than any European country. The number of funded startups has doubled since 2000.

Next to the US, Israel has more stocks traded on NASDAQ than any other country. High-tech (which is minimally vulnerable to terrorism and political instability) accounts for 50% of Israel's exports - about $15 billion annually. Israeli companies have easier access to Asian markets, since they are not perceived as a commercial threat (Washington Post, December 5, 2007).

Israel's Telematics was acquired by Singapore's St. Electronics (Globes, November 20). Israel's Esther Neuroscience was acquired by Britain's Amarin for $15 million and additional $17 million per milestones (Globes, December 6). Israel's Oridian was acquired by India's Ybrant for $15 million (Globes, December 5).

GE Medical participated in a $30 million round by Israel's InsighTech (November 30). US-based Radius Venture participated in a $27 million second round by Israel's Mendigo (Globes, November 21). Varburg-Pinkus participated in an $8 million third round by Israel's NuLens (Globes, November 21). Sequoia invested $8 million in the first round of private placement by Israel's DensBits (Globes, December 3). Taiwan's CIDC VC fund led a $6 million third round by Israel's AdvaSense (Globes, November 22).

May Israel's entrepreneurs and policy-makers heed the legacy of the Maccabees and of the Biblical Joseph: never compromise your dream-vision; especially when you're at the helm, besieged by temptations, pressure and public opinion polls.

Friday, December 21, 2007

They Never Had it So Good

Michal Nissenson / Omedia

The UN Committee on the Status of Women examined the status of women around the globe and declared that only one violated women’s rights: Israel. Millions of women in the Muslim world and elsewhere would be glad to hear that the committee thinks they are fine Fact can sometimes be stranger than fiction. At least that is what we learn from the official statement of the UN Committee on the Status of Women, which convened to examine the status of women across the globe. The committee is responsible for an issue of unrivalled importance—the repression and abuse of women across the world, mostly in non-western countries. However, when the committee convened and delivered its conclusions, it was impossible not to be startled by the incredible gap between what is happening in the world and the situation as the committee sees it. Out of all the UN member countries, the committee deemed it appropriate to accuse only one country of violating women’s rights and to call for measures to be taken against it. That country is Israel. Forty of the 42 member states of the committee that participated in the debate were in favor of singling out Israel as the only country in the world today found in violation of women’s rights, to be more precise, Palestinian women’s rights. The expression “UN shmu en” coined by Ben Gurion fifty years ago, still applies.

Judging by the conclusions of the UN Committee on the Status of Women, millions of women across the Muslim world, Africa, the Far East, and elsewhere do not suffer from officially sanctioned discrimination, discrimination with regard to inheritance, division of property, abuse by marriage and divorce laws, forced female circumcision, in fact they aren’t suffering one tiny bit. At any rate, not in a way that is worthy of the UN General Assembly’s attention. Ask Iran, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, China, and other countries famous for their liberal policies towards women—they are all committee members. Israel is the only country where women suffer from discrimination. In Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere, it’s not like that at all. The women there are free—to walk around behind a veil, to be beaten by their husband if they refuse to have sex with him, to leave the house only if he allows it. So to avoid throwing accusations around, here is a short survey of the status of women in the above countries so we can see how marvelous women’s personal circumstances are and how much they don’t need the attention of the UN committee on the status of women.

Afghanistan: The Patient Died After Being Forbidden to Be Treated by a Male Doctor

In her article “The Invisible Women of Afghanistan”, published in “Noga—A Feminist Journal”, writer Ariella Deor examined the status of women in Afghanistan since the Taliban came to power. Deor made contact with an Afghan feminist women’s organization called RAWA. Owing to the laws of the Taliban, RAWA could not operate in Afghanistan and so its members are exiled in Pakistan. Women from the organization described the rigid laws of the Taliban concerning Afghan women and the continuous oppression of women in the country. Although the Taliban regime was overthrown, a large part of what she says in her article still applies in Afghanistan. Among other things, the article describes the story of an Afghan woman who arrived at a hospital suffering from horrific burns to 80% of her body. The only doctor in the hospital at that hour was a man and the Taliban representative on the premises forbad him to treat the women, who died of her injuries.

RAWA has a website with particularly disturbing stories about women who were injured by their husbands or directly by the Afghan authorities and nothing was done to help them or punish their attackers. The following link (Warning: highly distressing images) tells the story of Golbar, a woman who was burned by her husband. Despite the injuries he caused, the Afghanistan authorities did see it necessary to arrest the abusing husband. This link (Warning: highly distressing images) contains the story of a young girl who was raped by the local police of the province where she lived and a report about the sale of young girls and children in Afghanistan. The price of a young child / girl is 50,000 afghanis, $1,000. Human trafficking is considered a serious crime. Despite the lively trade in women in another province of Afghanistan, the representatives of the UN committee on the status of women did not think it of any importance to come out strongly against the Afghan government which does not do enough to erase the problem.

For the information of the UN committee on the status of women, this is how liberated Afghan women are: by Taliban law, Afghan women are forbidden to work outside the home, actually, it is forbidden for them to leave the house at all without the close escort of a male relative. They are forbidden to attend school, and all the schools for girls in the country were closed down. It is forbidden for them to take part in any cultural or sports activities. Women may not receive legal protection, and are only allowed to turn to the courts through the mediation of a man and as in the tragic case described above, it is forbidden for women to receive medical treatment from a male doctor. Also, they may not have surgery if the surgical team includes men. This is a difficult problem because women are forbidden to work or study, which means there cannot be women doctors.

Iran: A Father Has the Right to Marry His Daughter to Whoever he Likes and At Any Age

The status of Iranian women is not as bad as Afghan women, but you would hardly call them “liberated”. For example, a father has the right to marry off his daughter at any age. The requirement that the bride must agree to her marriage is bypassed by a loophole in the law allowing a father to gain his daughter’s consent after the marriage, years later. A husband can divorce his wife without her consent, and have additional wives. A woman has no right to ask her husband for a divorce because he decided to have other wives. Moreover, despite all the conservative apparel, Iran has a bustling prostitution industry, some of it forced. Permission to commit rape is given with religious consent, and the prohibition on sexual relations outside marriage is solved by what the Koran calls “temporary marriage”. A man marries a woman and divorces her after several hours. The “temporary husband” does not have to support the woman who has no rights whatsoever. In addition, members of the “Revolutionary Guard” marry/ rape women who are imprisoned in Iranian jails and awaiting execution before the sentence is carried out. The justification is that according to the Muslim religion a virgin goes to paradise and rape ensures that the imprisoned regime opponents will go to hell.

Saudi Arabia: Cannot Leave the House without Permission

Saudi Arabian women are also liberated women, and can do what they like. On condition, of course, that it doesn’t involve extreme behavior like leaving the house semi-clothed, without their abaya and veil—they must never do that. They can’t leave their house without permission either, they cannot work in the same place as men. However, it is clear why the committee on the status of women decided not to come out strongly against Saudi Arabia and accuse it of using the law to violate women’s freedom of movement and employment: because this is a “relatively advanced” country and to solve the problem it has built industrial villages for women only. Nor was the committee bothered it seems by the fact that women are forced to divorce their husbands if their tribal pedigree is higher than that of their husband.

Omedia recently published the translation of a poem by Wajeha Al-Huwaider, a Saudi liberal, explaining how you know when you are in an Arab country. The following extracts relate to the status of women in Arab countries.

"When covering the woman's head is more important than financial and administrative corruption, embezzlement, and betrayal of the homeland - do not be astonished, you are in an Arab country…

"When you discover that a woman is worth half of what a man is worth, or less - do not be surprised, you are in an Arab country…

"When young women students are publicly flogged merely for exposing their eyes - you are in an Arab country…

"When women are [seen as] house ornaments which can be replaced at any time - bemoan your fate, you are in an Arab country.

"When birth control and family planning are perceived as a Western plot - place your trust in Allah, you are in an Arab country…


On consideration, it is difficult to understand why the committee chose to single Israel out as the only country in the world that violates women’s rights, and on top of that why only three years’ ago the UN committee on the status of women reported what great progress and improvement Arab countries have made regarding women’s rights. There is an internet video clip of an Iranian cleric placing restrictions on men who wish to beat their wives and forbidding them to hit their wife in front of the children or on her face (the rest of the body is permitted). Is this a sign of the progress in the status of women from Arab counties that the committee on the status of women was referring to?

It may be unpleasant to admit, but the only way to understand the shocking conclusions reached by UN committees, including the ones addressing meta-national issues like the status of women, is that it is pure aggression against Israel, never mind about the facts. Without sounding like a conspiracy theory nut, this current example certainly indicates a serious problem with the UN’s thinking and an inbuilt hostility to Israel in its committee structure. If nary a whisper of condemnation is heard against countries where women are forcibly circumcised, while a country in which women can run for president is condemned and scolded by a huge majority—then something is very, very wrong.

Comment: Can this get any more outrageous? I live in Israel and I can tell you how false this report is-fact of the matter, women have achieved a status in Israel that makes every other Western woman envious. This report should once and for all indicate how absurd the UN has become-how out of balance and how dangerous for Western countries. Even the most ardent of UN supporters has to cringe today reading this report that does nothing more than crown the UN the best liar in the univesre!

Olmert Gov't Bows to US Pressure, Nixes J'lem Neighborhood

Ezra HaLevi

Wednesday's leak of a municipal plan to build a new Jerusalem neighborhood on land of a moshav destroyed in the War of Independence has caused the repudiation of the plan in the face of American pressure. The leak of the plan to build 10,000-15,000 housing units in Atarot, located in the northeastern part of the capital, was followed by hysterical headlines, outraged editorials and a dose of US pressure, resulting in its repudiation by the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Housing Minister.

Haaretz, who published the leaked plan, featured an editorial calling on Jerusalem to be built “up, not out.” The British Daily Telegraph innacurately titled its own piece: “Israel plans new town on seized land,” despite the fact that the area of Atarot is wholly owned by Jews and was even home to a Jewish community before the War of Independence, when it was destroyed by the Jordanians.

In a carefully-crafted, ambiguously worded Hebrew statement sent to Arutz-7, Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim said that there is no "plan/planning" (tichnun) to establish a neighborhood in Atarot.

A day earlier, Boim had defended the plan, saying Israel has the right to build within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries. The eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, including the Old City, ethnically cleansed of Jews in 1948 and liberated in the 1967 Six Day War, were annexed by the Knesset and are considered sovereign Israeli territory.

Boim's about-face followed statements from the Prime Minister's Office and Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni that the plan had not yet been authorized and would not be. Aides of both Olmert and Livni claimed their bosses had not been informed of the plans being drawn up for Atarot.

Boim's spokesman Eran Sidis tried to downplay the plan, telling the Hebrew daily newspaper Yediot Acharonot that the plan was but one of several proposals for expanding Jerusalem. “This one was obviously ruled out because of the sensitive nature of the peace talks. We wouldn't even dream of doing it '' the spokesman said.

Rice Pleased
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the AFP news agency, following Olmert, Livni and Boim’s statements, that Israel “Took a good step. I don't know the calculations that went into it, but obviously it's helpful that you don't have that decision to contend with.” Rice said new Jewish communities would “undermine confidence.

“I think that the Israelis understood that what had happened with Har Homa had had an effect of undermining the confidence in the very fragile and brand new peace process,” Rice she added.

Boim Looks West
Boim’s written statement said the Housing Minister was now examining the possibility of renewing the discussion of the Safdie Plan for expanding Jerusalem westward, “in order to provide a solution for the housing crisis in the city.”

Safdie’s plan was rejected by city planners and environmental groups as it entailed the destruction of large swathes of the Jerusalem Forest.

Municipality Looking Beyond Olmert
A common sentiment expressed by Jerusalem municipality members on the condition of anonymity is that building plans take a very long time to make it to the actual building stage.

“Olmert is not going to be prime minister forever,” said one insider. “We have to have plans ready for someone who is willing to solve the housing crunch in Jerusalem and respect Israeli law – which is that Jerusalem was annexed, end of story.”.

Saudi Arabia Doesn’t Consider Palestinian Arabs a Good Investment

Elder of Ziyon

The Independent (UK) notes:

Saudi Arabia has so far refused to commit to budget support for the emergency government set up by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a political move casting a shadow over Monday’s international donors’ conference in Paris. . The kingdom, along with the Gulf states which normally follow its lead, has declined ahead of the conference to promise around half the $1.4bn (£700m) a year needed to meet the Ramallah government’s annual deficit, according to diplomatic and Palestinian sources. One key reason is thought to be Saudi Arabia’s reluctance to be seen to be throwing all its weight behind one of the two parties to the coalition deal which it brokered and which then collapsed in bloody internal conflict and Hamas’s seizure of control in Gaza in June.

The pro-Hamas IMEMC adds:

Of $421 million in support pledged by Arab nations for this year’s Palestinian Authority budget, only $80 million has been delivered.

Arab nations have in the past pledged big and delivered little to their Pali brethren:

Many nations will be assembled at the Paris donor conference, but unfortunately the countries that could contribute the most — the Gulf states — have done the least. It will be interesting to see whether Paris marks a new departure for these countries. For all their statements on behalf of their Palestinian Arab brethren and how important the peace issue is to progress on other regional fronts, the Gulf Arabs have contributed very little financially to the Palestinians in recent years. According to World Bank officials, the annual Saudi contribution to the Palestinian Authority has been $84 million for most of this decade, while the other Gulf countries have given less or nothing at all. Despite their joint pledge of $660 million per year at an emergency Arab League summit in 2002, when oil prices were a fraction of what they are today, little has actually happened. Similarly, a Saudi promise last year to provide $300-$500 million was never fulfilled, according to U.S. and Arab officials.

The minute amount that Saudi Arabia gives is even more telling in light of its huge oil revenues. As the Washington Institute for Near East Policy notices:

The shortage of Gulf aid to the Palestinians certainly does not result from a lack of wealth, which has reached staggering proportions due to the quadrupling of oil prices since 2002. According to the U.S. Department of Energy and the IMF, oil revenue for the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain) should reach about $400 billion this year, half of it belonging to the Saudis. This would make their joint contribution to the Palestinians only 0.04 percent of their annual oil revenues. Adding to that wealth is their cumulative current account surplus since 2003, which will reach $700 billion this year.

And although this question is not meant to be rhetorical, it really is:

Do Gulf Arabs really think that the U.S. mortgage market and similar opportunities represent better investments than funding the economic infrastructure and future well being of the Palestinians, for whom they have campaigned for decades?

As Arabs who have watched the Palestinian Arabs whine and fritter away opportunities for peace and stability for decades, the Saudis know far better than the West how supremely bad an investment the Palis are. Money given to them has historically, invariably been thrown away. Decades of UNRWA aid as well as Western aid has not improved things one bit - their leaders still choose terror rather than peace, living in “camps” rather than permanent housing, and investing in weapons rather than infrastructure.

The Saudis know a bad investment when they see one. Too bad that today, in Paris, the West is likely to continue to throw out billions of dollars on a people whose leaders will use that money to fund death.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Regious hypocrisy

Top Catholic Clergyman Denounces Israel's "Jewish Identity" atin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the top Roman Catholic clergyman in Israel, has denounced the nation's Jewish identity in his annual Christmas address delivered in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Sabbah said non-Jewish religions are discriminated against and called on Israel to abandon its Jewish character and instead become a ''political, normal state for Christians, Muslims and Jews.'' Sabbah placed the blame for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict directly on Israel, asserting that, "If Israel decides for peace, there will be peace." He said there has been no peace until now "simply because of Israel's unwillingness to make it." Israeli officials denounced Sabbah's remarks, insisting that all religions enjoy equal rights in the Jewish state.

Gulf states are scared

Saudi invitation to Ahmadinejad marks recognition of Iran’s menacing presence, growing power It's a big week for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. For the first time in his life, the Iranian president joined millions of other Muslims in Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Images of a serious and unusually well-groomed Iranian president consulting the Koran in Iran before boarding his plane to Saudi Arabia have appeared in the world media. Yet this is not merely a story about a pilgrimage.

Ahmadinejad is the leader of the Shiite Islamic Republic, a country that has jolted the entire Middle East and frightened its Sunni neighbors in recent years with its push for Shiite political and religious superiority. That push is being accompanied by patient work on a nuclear program and ingenious deception and time-delay tactics to keep Western critics at bay.

Saudi Arabia, the leader of the Sunni bloc, is one of Iran's frightened neighbors. And yet, it was Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah who made the surprising friendly gesture, inviting Ahmadinejad to Mecca for the Hajj.

Even from a purely Sunni religious standpoint, the invitation of a Shiite leader to the Hajj is big news. Shiites are viewed by many Sunni clerics as infidels. It's easy to find evidence of that hatred, especially when one looks at the religious decrees originating in Saudi Arabia. One fatwa by Saudi sheikh Abdel-Rahman al-Barrak ruled last year that Shiites "in their entirety are the worst of the Islamic nation's sects. They bear all the characteristics of infidels. They are in truth polytheist infidels, though they hide this."

Shiites have long been rejected by Sunnis as fellow Muslims. The split dates back to the origins of Islam, when two camps were battling for the right to succeed Muhammad. In the end, the group that went on to become the Sunnis massacred Hussein, the martyr of the Shiites, along with his army, during a massive battle in Karbala (modern day Iraq).

Shiites will never forget that day, enshrined into their collective memory and relived annually through the festival of Ashura. But the Shiites haven't given up trying to take back what they view as their right for the throne of the Islamic world. Armed with a sword and a smile, Iran has been making offers that its cowered Sunni neighbors can't refuse.

"We propose the establishment of economical and security pacts and institutions among the seven states," Ahmadinejad told a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at the beginning of the month. Iran wants a regional set-up free from "foreign influence," Ahmadinejad said. Like the Hajj pilgrimage, Iran's presence at this event marks big changes. It is yet another signal of Iran's disturbing ascent. The invitations are nods from the Sunni states in recognition of Iran's menacing presence and growing power.

Sign of US retreat

The fact that Iran was invited to the GCC conference right after the US National Intelligence Estimate ruled that the Islamic Republic halted work on nuclear weapons in 2003 is no coincidence. The NIE is seen as a sign of an American retreat. The report is a cannon ball that has blown an irreparable hole in the ship sailing towards significantly tighter UN sanctions on Iran. As that ship sinks, the one behind it, carrying the US military option vis-à-vis Iran, has made a U-turn, in the eyes of Gulf states. Ahmadinejad has become a Gulf celebrity, invited to conferences and pilgrimages other Iranian leaders could only dream of attending; The Gulf states are scared.

As far as Iran's regime is concerned, this is just the beginning of things to come. Not long ago, a close associate of Iran's supreme leader, who edits the state-approved Iranian newspaper, Kahyan, said neighboring Bahrain is a actually a province of Iran. The comment triggered alarm and was later followed by a reassurance from the Iranian foreign minister, who said that Iran and Bahrain "respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity." Sometimes, Iranian officials speak too soon.

In the final act of the Hajj, the masses of Muslim pilgrims circle the black stone in Mecca, known as the Kaaba, seven times. Iran's leader circled with them, representing the Shiite state's glaring presence.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Islamist in the Army

Joe Kaufman

In April of 2000, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) – the American arm of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan – launched a website to provide information about Islam to non-Muslims, appropriately called Why Islam? (WI). Since then, the website has been used, instead, to propagate support for overseas terrorist groups and to spread violent hatred against non-Muslims. One of the individuals that has been involved in both is currently located in Iraq. However, he is no Iraqi. He is an American and a member of the United States Army. The following exposes this individual, in hopes that a potential threat will be averted.

Dawah is the Arabic term for outreach (with the intent to convert non-Muslims to Islam). WI is ICNA’s program for just such outreach. For it, ICNA created a toll-free helpline and built an interactive website. One of the main functions of the website is a forum, where group members get together on-line to discuss numerous subjects regarding Islam and current events. Many times these discussions result in praise for terrorist organizations, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and extreme hateful statements aimed at non-Muslims, particularly members of the Jewish faith. This occurs from not only WI members, but from forum leaders, as well.

One of the forum members goes by the screen name “Deep Thought.” While he stated that he joined to “learn about Islam,” it didn’t take long for Mr. Thought (DT) to become a party to the hate fest. In March of 2006, less than a month after he signed up, he took aim at Jews, whites and Christians, saying that the reason for U.S. support for Israel was due to the fact that “Jews in America have money,” that he is “very cautious of white people,” and that “Christians are hypocrites” for thinking that beheadings by Muslims are any different than capital punishment in the U.S. He stated, “Personally I think I would rather a quick chop to the head then the electric chair.”

In time, the rhetoric would become much worse, leading towards his support of terrorist organizations, a violent obsession with Jews and Israel, and repeated assaults on President Bush.

Concerning Hamas, Hezbollah and Chechen militants, DT stated:

* “I cant believe Christians and Israel supporters condemn groups like Hamas and Hezbollah!!... Far in between I tell u brothers and sisters in Islam.... We will prevail... Allahu Akbar.” (August 9, 2006)
* “You choose to believe it because in your mind HAMAS CAN DO NO RIGHT... The article fits your perception of them.... as terroist.... I on the other hand see them as freedom fighters... FREE PALESTINE!!!!!!!” (May 1, 2006)
* “You mention Chechen rebels and Hezbollah... Unfair of you to call them terroist unless you know THEIR story... Believe me their cause is a worthy one.” (November 10, 2006)
* “I consider them [Hamas] freedom fighters... G-d bless them.” (May 5, 2006)

About Jews, DT wrote:

* “I would tell you face to face how I feel about you israel supporting ‘jews’... Likewise, If a Jew attacks me or my muslim brothers.....GAME OVER.” (July 20, 2006)
* “I have never personally met a Jew but if he is anything like you.. I'm gonna put my combat boots in his jew a**.” (July 20, 2006)
* “As if there is not enough of Pro-jewish/ christian crusader groups in the United States! Hell, the whole government for that matter.. Tell me that they are not!! I dare u, this is an argument or ‘debate’ that you CAN NOT win.” (August 9, 2006)
* “Jews own the American media.” (August 27, 2006)

Regarding President George W. Bush, DT stated:

* “Its all about money and strategic airfields to overun other countries we deem as a threat, or a threat to that international law biding ‘stat’ we call Israel... I say again... Bush has blood on his hands.” (June 8, 2006)
* “He wouldnt dare [bomb Iran] Bro... dont worry.... I would leave the Army if he did... I rather spend time in prison or [be] called a traitor to the U..S then to have a leader like Bush nuke someone.” (April 9, 2006)
* “Bush is an absolute idiot.... 2008 couldnt come sooner.” (April 21, 2006)
* “Bush created terroiSm in Iraq.. Before he invaded there were no terroist... jUST LIKE jEWS CREATED HAMAS.” (November 12, 2006)

DT associating himself with Palestinian violence:

* “I would kill if I was a Palestinian.” (July 14, 2006)
* “It seems everyone is against us... We are being killed off by the thousands and we get crap for fighting back... No one sees what Israel does.. They only see the things muslims do in Response to what Israel does are to stop them from taking homes of Palestinains... They want Palestine to accept and and just lie down to oppression... Yeah, just lay down while Israel kicks them in the face.” (July 29, 2006)
* “If it were me brother Fazz, I would fight until they kill me... It would be inhumane on every able bodied Palestinian man to NOT resist the Israeli Army... Sometimes you have to fight for something greater than yourself.” (July 14, 2006)
* “[F]or Palestinians to allow Israel to murder their people would be the biggest crime that the Palestinians can commit in my book.” (June 18, 2006)

Concerning Israel’s existence, DT said:

* “I dont just blame Zionist.. I blame ALL who had a hand in creating a Israeli state in a region dominated by Palestinains... People wonder why there are groups like HAMAS around?? Give me a break..... There is no way anyone on this forum can morally justify the creation of Israel.” (May 5, 2006)
* “Also, no one said that you are a racist if you dont believe in fighting Zionism to the death.. But then again, whats the problem with killing racism?” (August 30, 2006)
* “So what if there is a UN charter stated than Israel has a right to exist... Screw the UN resolutions.” (July 15, 2006)
* “‘Palestinians need to recognize the right of Israel to exist on its ancestral land. Israel is willing to start toward the two-state solution, but it can't be expected to negotiate if Israelis will remain targets of violence.’ What a load of crap.” (August 9, 2006)

He described an Israeli warship that suffered a July 2006 attack by Hezbollah as a “legitimate military target,” and he even called the United States an “enemy” for being allied with Israel, stating, “Wouldnt you dislike America too....? I have said it before... My enemies friend is my enemy.” Certainly the quotes are disturbing, but what is even more so is the source from which the quotes came from.

Who is Deep Thought? According to his WI profile, his “real name” is Lawrence, and his birthday is January 10, 1985. [Although, in March of 2006, he declared his age was 23.] He has posted that his hometown is Louisiana, that his wife’s name is Adrienne and that she is Christian, that he has four children, and that his mother died sometime in 2006. We find from his posts that he embraced Islam via the forum, proclaiming “Thank G-D I am a muslim,” and “took an oath of allegiance to Islam” around August of 2006, which he proudly displayed with his user icon stating, “my religion, ISLAM.” In at least one post, he signed his name as “Bilal,” which is a common Muslim name.

What’s most interesting, though, is that, within DT’s profile, under the section “occupation,” he put “military.”

Unless he created an elaborate fantasy world, it turns out that DT is a soldier in the United States Army. He has made a number of posts discussing this aspect of his life, including that he enlisted when he was 17 years old. He wrote that he created the screen name Deep Thought, because “I always find my self ‘zoning out’ thinking of life, family, being a soldier.” In fact, if we are to believe what he says in his posts, he is currently serving in Iraq.

In May of 2006, DT posted on the WI forum that he was stationed in South Korea. He wrote, “I am a soldier in South Korea... My job is to protect south korea from Kim Jong Il... I am 30 miles from the DMZ.” In November of 2006, he stated, “I have had cnversations with many muslims during my tour of duty in South Korea... Trust me... They hate our policy and our greedy government.”

On July 17, 2007, DT wrote, “[A]s u know I am a American soldier.. I will be in Baghdad in 45 Days.” On September 27, 2007, he posted, “I am actually in Kuwait for now.. I will be in Iraq in a couple of days.”

DT’s statements, regarding him going to Iraq, caused a riff in the WI forum. People that he considered his friends turned on him, even to the point where at least one said he wanted to cause DT bodily harm for even thinking about going. M.A.R.W.A.N is a moderator for WI. About DT going to Iraq, he stated, “I support you 100%. And since I'm far away, my support comes in the form of advice. If we were really good friends and trusted each other, my support would come in the form of breaking your limbs, including your trigger finger, before you made took regretable and unreversible actions.”

Islamway wrote to DT, “I'm sure that your intention are good but what you are going to do is completely wrong, and against Islam... there are at least 80 operation done daily by the Iraqi resistance against the amercian army .. are these people guilty for fighting the American? actually, according to ISLAM resisting the foreign invasion is not only recommended bur REQUIRED from anyone capable of it. And by fighting these people under the american flag you will be committing a grave sin.”

Ibn Abu Talib told DT, “[S]pare me the poignant drivel! you could have joined your brothers in Palestine, Chechnya or Kashmir. Instead, you want to go into Iraq and exacerbate the situation by joining the US army. Are you going to kill Mujahideen who solely target American soldiers?”

Another poster, Gothika, suggested to DT that he should not join his “infidel U.S. Army” and should, instead, “fight the Americans and get them out of Iraq! Once all the western infidels are gone, the sunni and shias will, Insha’Allah, engage in deliberations and restor peace in Iraq.”

Hearing these condemnations voiced from his once trusted colleagues shook Lawrence and caused him to question his newfound religion. However, that did not stop him from continuing to post on the forum – and from Iraq, yet.

On November 26, 2007, DT wrote, “Well, I have been in Iraq for 2 months now.. I have pretty much seen this entire country... I have takened some very nice pictures of Iraq which I will be posting on a later date.. I'll be sure to give a link to them when its complete.. Well, I hope all is well with EVERY member of this forum... I am sooo homesick and wish I was home now.... But, my life is here and now... In Iraq..... It feels good to finally have decent internet access.”

There are a number of problems with the abovementioned: 1. While he is wearing a United States military uniform, and while he is supposed to be fighting against terrorists in Iraq, Lawrence is writing on a forum that has many outspoken members that support terrorist groups (himself included) and that was founded by an organization, ICNA, that has been implicated in the financing of Hamas and Al-Qaeda; 2. The pictures and information he posts to WI may very well contain sensitive material that could put U.S. troops in harms way; and 3. Past statements of his show that Lawrence has a vehement distaste and disloyalty to the war in Iraq, to begin with.

In April of 2006, DT stated, “[The] federal government is a JOKE... After the lies of Iraq, I dont believe anything this administration says... 2 years left in the Army and I'M DONE.. I hate our foreign policy and its not worth dying for... 7 years of my life went to this country... I owe the American government NOTHING.” And in July of 2006, he said, “What the hell did Iraq had to do with 9/11... Iraq and 9/11 had NO TIES, NO WMD... The whole war is bull... period... I for one didnt join the Army to fight an unjust war... Bottom line... This war is garbage and we shouldnt be there.”

So why is he there?

On Sunday, March 23, 2003, Sgt. Asan Akbar, a soldier in the 326th Engineer Battalion of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division stationed in Iraq, rolled a grenade into each of three tents of his fellow sleeping officers and shot at least two of the soldiers as they fled the tents. The attack left one dead and 15 wounded. According to survivors, after Akbar, a convert to Islam, was apprehended, he shouted anti-American statements. [Ironically, Akbar’s Los Angeles mosque bears the same name as DT’s Muslim alias, Masjid Bilal Islamic Center.]

Is DT or Bilal in Iraq to help bring peace and stability to the area, or is he there, like Sgt. Akbar before him, for something entirely different? Or maybe, to him, the two things are one and the same.

“I am for peace.. I would die for any muslim.”

- Deep Thought, March 2, 2007

“‘The life of this world is no more than an illusion.’ Allah (swt) will be my final judge... If I am wrong in my actions I pray that he shows me mercy... Nevertheless, Allah (swt) knows best.”

- Deep Thought, September 1, 2007

“Allah (swt) will give us justice in this life or the next. Be patient brothers and sisters.. either way we will prevail over those who mistreat us.. I firmly believe this.... Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!”

- Deep Thought, August 9, 2006

A potential disaster should be averted. If anyone has any information regarding Deep Thought, a.k.a. Lawrence, a.k.a. Bilal, please contact the U.S. Army immediately. Or, if you wish, you can send an e-mail to, and the information will be forwarded to the proper authorities.
Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate, the founder of CAIR Watch, and the spokesman for Terror-Free Oil Initiative

Gov't official: Road map duties not morally equal

Herb Keinon

With the world increasingly putting Israel's obligation under the road map to stop settlement activity on par with the Palestinian obligation to uproot the terrorist infrastructure, Israeli officials have begun taking the offensive, with one official saying Monday that the two obligations are not "morally equivalent." Construction on Har Homa, the official said, doesn't kill anyone.
Building in the Jerusalem neighborhood, which was approved in 1997 and planned as a community of 6,500 units, will continue, he said.

The official said 4,500 housing units in Har Homa had been built, meaning that in addition to the 300 units for which tenders were just issued, another 1,700 are in the pipeline.

The official indicated that neither the fate of Har Homa, nor any of the other settlements, would be determined by the construction of another 300 units.

"If Har Homa will not be part of Israel, it doesn't matter if Har Homa is 5,000 units or 6,000 units - Har Homa will be dismantled," the official said.

It was clarified afterward that the official was not putting Har Homa on the negotiating table, but rather speaking in theoretical terms; that if the government decides to dismantle a settlement, it will do so, and an addition of a few hundred units would not tip the balance.

The official reiterated Israel's long-standing position that it will allow construction in existing settlements within the built-up construction lines, but would not build any new settlements or allow the expansion beyond the built-up areas of existing settlements.

When asked if the US approves of this definition, the official said, "America doesn't have to approve if we are doing something that we think, as a sovereign state, we have to do."

Nevertheless, Israeli officials took some comfort when US President George W. Bush spoke at Annapolis about the need for Israel to end settlement activity, saying there should be no more settlement "expansion," but saying nothing of ending all construction.

The official said Israel would not build new settlements, confiscate land in the West Bank or give financial incentives to people to move to the settlements, as has been done in the past.

But, he said, this didn't mean that the government would prohibit people from moving to empty flats in existing settlements.

Also, he said, "If somebody bought an empty lot in one of the settlements 10 years ago and he owns it, and he decides now in the year 2007, 10 or 15 years after he purchased it, to build on it, the government of Israel cannot do anything about it."

Regarding the settlement outposts, of the 108 that were set up since March 2001, and which Israel has said it will dismantle, 82 have been taken down, leaving another 26, the official said. While he did not give a timetable for their removal, he said Israel was committed to doing so.

Vice Premier Haim Ramon, meanwhile, said Tuesday almost all current construction over the Green Line was in the large settlement blocs that Israel has indicated it will retain in any agreement.

"The Palestinians won't say that this is good, but there is no doubt that the Palestinians understand that in the end of the peace process the settlement blocs will be under Israeli sovereignty in return for an exchange of territory," he told Army Radio.

Ramon, advocating an eventual territory swap, said Israel should reach an agreement with the Palestinians "over the principle of settlement blocs under Israeli sovereignty, and in return an exchange of territory."

The Failure of Western Feminists to Address Islamist Abuse

Adrian Morgan

Women Harmed By Muslim Men

This year, women have been killed in Basra, Iraq, by fanatical Islamists. Their bodies are subsequently dumped among refuse, with notes saying they were killed for "un-Islamic behavior". Such "behavior" is actually the mere fact that these women did not wear the hijab or Muslim headscarf. . One mother who did not wear a veil was murdered with her children, who were aged 6 to 11 years. In September, the headless bodies of a woman and her six-year-old son were among those found. In fact, between July and September this year, 42 women had been killed in this manner in Basra.

In Basra, Christian women who wear no head coverings have been warned by Shia militants that if they do not wear the hijab, they will be killed. This month 41-year old Maison Marzouq, a Christian woman, was killed with her 31-year old brother. Their bodies were dumped in a Basra refuse tip. The killings have continued , bringing the number of "un-Islamic" Basran women murdered over the past six months to 48.

In June this year, Hamas took control of Gaza by force. Sheikh Abu Saqer, who runs the Islamist group called Jihadia Salafiya, warned that Christian women living in Gaza should wear the hijab if they wished to live free from attack: "All women, including non-Muslims, need to understand they must be covered at all times while in public."

In Sudan in 2004, a Christian woman was given a sentence of 40 lashes and a fine, for the "crime" of standing near a garden at night, and not wearing a headscarf. She was beaten by police and denied the right to speak in her defense at her Sharia trial. The sentence of whipping was carried out immediately after her conviction.

The issue of Muslim men forcing women to wear the hijab continues. In September 2007 British dentist Omer Butt - brother of former radical Hassan Butt - faced a tribunal, accused of misconduct. He had told a woman patient that he would grant her free government-sponsored dental care only if she wore a headscarf. If she refused, she would have to seek dental treatment elsewhere. Butt was found guilty but received only an admonishment.

Last week, a 16-year old girl was murdered in Missauga, Toronto. Aqsa Parvez was strangled, and died on Monday, December 10, after a brief struggle for life in hospital. Her father was arrested and on Tuesday, he was charged with her murder. Her 26-year old brother Waqas was charged with obstruction of justice.

Aqsa's school friends claimed that she would leave home dressed in a hijab, but would change into Western clothes before arriving in class. At the time she was killed, she had left home and had apparently only returned to collect some possessions. Classmate Ebonie Mitchell said: "She just wanted to dress like we do. Last year she wore like the Islamic stuff and everything, the hijab, and this year she's all Western. She just wanted to look like everyone else. And I guess her dad had a problem with that." Her family, and her father in particular, had apparently forced her to wear the Muslim headscarf.

Muslim groups, such as CAIR naturally rushed to defend their religion, maintaining that: "Teen rebellion is something that exists in all households in Canada and is not unique to any culture or background." The Islamic Social Services Association said that the death was a case of domestic violence, and was a problem across Canada's society.

Such less-than-honest assessments do not take into consideration the cultural and religious factors behind the case. Not wearing Islamic dress is a motivation for other so-called honor-killings. In Pakistan, from which Aqsa's family came, an estimated 1,500 women die as a result of honor-killings every year.

In Britain, numerous honor killings have taken place, particularly amongst Muslim immigrants of Pakistani and Kurdish backgrounds. On November 1, 2006, Pakistani immigrant Mohammed Riaz burned his wife and four daughters (aged 3 to 16) to death because they had become too "Westernized". Before the murders, he had destroyed "Western clothes" belonging to the girls.

It is frequently argued that honor-killings, like female genital mutilation (FGM) have nothing to do with Islam. This does not explain why such abuses of women take place predominantly in Muslim societies. In today's climate of cultural relativism where Westerners do not wish to find fault with abuses of women under Islam, the voices of famous so-called feminists are either quiet, or even refuse to acknowledge that such abuse has anything to do with them.

Where were the voices of Western feminists when several girls and young women died in a fire in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on March 11, 2002? The girls were students, staying in a dormitory when the fire broke out. When they tried to flee the building, those who were not Islamically "covered" were beaten back into the flames by the muttawa or "religious policemen."

Australian-born Germaine Greer was an icon of the feminist movement. Her seminal book " The Female Eunuch" was first published in America in 1970, a radical response to Betty Friedan's 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique .

In 1999, Greer published The Whole Woman. Here, she attempted to compare FGM - which is forced upon young girls who have no rights of refusal - with breast enhancement, which is an adult woman's choice. For Greer, an operation that robs a woman of the right to enjoy sex is justifiable as it is a part of "culture".

In 2004, Greer wrote: "I get a bit worried about certain heavily veiled ladies driving because they have no peripheral vision at all. You can understand why in some countries they are not allowed to drive." In Saudi Arabia where women are banned from driving, they are given no choice about wearing the veil. In the West, only a few women, such as the Floridian former child-batterer Sultaana Freeman demand the right to drive while wearing a face veil (niqab).

Greer has previously suggested that as a protest against the (Afghan) war, women should wear burkas - even though in Afghanistan the burka was forced upon women by men who would use sticks and electrical cable to beat those who did not comply. Most recently, Greer showed her self-centered contempt for the plight of abused Muslim women during a talk in Melbourne this month.

Pamela Bone asked Greer why Western feminists did not speak out against "honor killings". Greer mentioned the subject of Darfur, Sudan, and its rape-victims ( thousands of women and young girls have been raped during the conflict). Greer said: "I can talk to rape victims here. Why should I go to Darfur to talk to rape victims?" When Bone responded that the situation for such women in Darfur was worse than in the West, Greer tried to hedge the issue. She said: "Who says it is?"

When Bone said that she had been to Darfur, Greer argued that changing another culture was hard. "We haven't got it right in our own courts. What good would it do for me to go over there and try to tell them what to do? I am just part of decadent Western culture and they think we're all going to hell fast and maybe we are all going to hell fast." Greer said that she cared, and was wearing a white ribbon to show she cared.

Greer's shamefully hollow sympathies are symptomatic of the malaise of Western feminism, whose modern luminaries bask in the limelight of publicity, live lives of middle class privilege yet ignore those who are denied such privileges. A hundred years ago, women in America and Britain had not been granted universal suffrage. The vote for all U.S. women only came in 1920, and it was not until 1928 that British women were allowed equal rights to men at the polling booth. Their struggles had begun decades earlier.

In Britain, suffragettes were imprisoned for their beliefs and their hunger strikes were addressed by force-feeding. On June 4, 1913, one British suffragette martyred herself at the annual Derby races. Emily Wilding Davison threw herself under the king's horse, dying days later from a fractured skull (video HERE ).

Modern Western feminists have been brought up with the luxuries of higher education, something that has been denied to many women in the Muslim world. The Taliban refused to allow women to work, and denied girls the right to schooling. Even now, the Taliban continue to deny education to girls, killing those who do try to teach them. I should here mention one Western feminist who - shortly after the Taliban usurped power on September 27, 1996 - had been an outspoken critic of their oppression of women. Mavis Nicholson Leno - wife of talk show host Jay Leno - is on the board of the Feminist Majority Foundation, and from February 1997 was national chair of the group's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan.

One of the problems associated with the issue of women's rights in Muslim countries is the false notion that headscarves and face-veils have always been intrinsically a part of Islam. Look at the photograph above. It shows girl students in Tehran, Iran, in the 1970s, shortly before the Islamist revolution. These girls would have thought of themselves as modern, but still Muslim. When the revolution came, Ayatollah Khomeini enforced strict dress codes upon women. As well as introducing primitive and barbaric punishments of stoning for adultery, he lowered the age of adulthood of women - at which a girl could be executed for a crime - to nine years old.

Though the age of adulthood for a woman has been subsequently raised, modern day Iran still punishes women for not covering themselves in the headscarf or chador - the Iranian equivalent of the burka. Iranian women are still sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery - often on spurious grounds.

Muslim Feminism

Writing on the recent case of murdered schoolgirl Aqsa Parvez in Canada's National Post, Tarek Fatah and Farzana Hassan argue that there is nothing in the Koran to justify wearing of a hijab. Both writers are members of the Canadian Muslim Congress, and claim that extremists have made the veil issue the "sixth pillar of Islam". They cite one Montreal mosque which had carried a notice on its website stating: "By removing your hijab, you have destroyed your faith. Islam means submission to Allah in all our actions." In October 2006 the door of Farzana Hassan's home was pelted with eggs. She claimed that her comments about there being no Koranic justification for the hijab had prompted the attack.

The most extreme Islamist known to us is Osama bin Laden. In the photograph above, he is shown second from the right, aged 14. The picture is of the entire bin Laden family, taken by their father on a holiday in Falun, Sweden. Though some of Osama's sisters have headscarves, most are unafraid to show their hair to the world.

The veil has been known at least since the time of the Assyrians, whose empire flourished around northern Iraq from 2400 BC to 612 BC. In Assyria, a woman had to wear the veil outside the house , and prostitutes were forbidden to wear it. It has been argued that only as Islam expanded did the veil become incorporated into Muslim codes of dress. Around the 10th century AD, it became part of general Islamic tradition. In the 14th century, Arab traveler Ibn Battuta was shocked to find Turkish women in Anatolia who went about uncovered.

The last Caliphate was that of the Ottomans, and it was officially abolished by the newly-created Turkish government on March 3, 2004. The wife of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, was Latife Hanim Usaklgil (1898 to 1975). She led campaigns for women to throw away the headscarf and to become modern citizens.

After the demise of the Caliphate, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Hassan al-Banna in Egypt in March, 1928. This group would globally become influential among Islamists, including the ideologues of Al Qaeda, and since the 1980s has been predominantly responsible for the rise of the wearing of the hijab. One woman within the Muslim Brotherhood extolled the notion of feminism within Islam. Zainab al Ghazali was born in 1917. She joined the Egyptian Feminist Union in 1935, but initially refused to join the Brotherhood. She joined the Brotherhood only in 1948, at a time when the group was committing acts of terrorism and sending fighters against Israel. She would be imprisoned by President Nasser in 1965. She was tortured in prison, and was finally released in August 1971.

Ghazali declared that: "Islam has provided everything for both men and women. It gave women everything--freedom, economic rights, political rights, social rights, public and private rights. Islam gave women rights in the family granted by no other society. Women may talk of liberation in Christian society, Jewish society, or pagan society, but in Islamic society it is a grave error to speak of the liberation of women. The Muslim woman must study Islam so she will know that it is Islam that has given her all her rights." Ghazali believed women could enter all areas of commerce and politics. She died in 2005, but despite her efforts, Mahdi Akef, the current leader of the Brotherhood, recently stated: "It is the Muslim Brotherhood's opinion that a woman cannot be president [of Egypt]." So much for feminism and women's equality within the Muslim Brotherhood.

There are aspects of Islam that always will be used by extremists to undermine Muslim women's emancipation, such as the Sharia concept that legally, a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man. Muslim "feminists" must fight against such entrenched positions if they really want full equality. There are no Muslim spiritual leaders who are women. Some women may teach, but few are imams.

Amina Wudud broke with traditions and led Islamic prayers in New York on March 18, 2005. The Islamic Friday prayers were held in an Episcopalian church under tight security. Three mosques had refused to let her lead prayers. She attended the first European conference on Islamic Feminism held at Barcelona, Spain, in October 2005 . The conference ran smoothly, attended by 300 delegates from the Muslim world.

In Morocco, women are now allowed to act as Islamic "guides", known as morchidat. In April 2006 the first batch of these female chaplains graduated. One of these "guides" said: "The imamate in Islam is restricted solely to men who are apt at leading prayers, notably those on Friday. The Morchidat will be in charge of leading religious discussions, give courses in Islam, give moral support to people in difficulty and guide the faithful towards a tolerant Islam."

There are many sincere and intelligent Muslim women who argue that the original Islam of the Koran is a source of women's emancipation, such as Asma Barlas , and Mahsa Sherkarloo. In Malaysia, the daughter of a former president has campaigned for women's rights. Marina Mahathir is still a Muslim, but has condemned Islamist legislation in her country.

Also in Malaysia, the women's group Sisters in Islam argues that the Koran should be used for the emancipation of women. In neighboring Indonesia, Lily Zakiyah Munir similarly maintains that despite 1,400 years of patriarchal Islamic jurisprudence, Islam as described in the Koran promotes the rights of women. She argues that a genuine form of Sharia law should promote justice for women.

The efforts of these Muslim women who struggle to find a message of equality and liberation in the Koran should be applauded. If there is any hope for a genuine reformation in Islam, it may come from the arguments presented by scholars such as these. However, even these women must concede that Sura 4:34 of the Koran grants a man permission to beat his wife.

The existing schools of Islam are not going to give women equal legal and religious status in a hurry. Ghada Jamshir is a woman's rights activist living in Bahrain. She is a Muslim, but refuses to let patriarchal clerics silence her criticisms of their methods. When Muslim woman doctor Taslima Nasreen wrote a newspaper article describing how in her native Bangladesh a Muslim cleric had organized the illegal stoning to death of a woman, reactions against her were swift and hostile. A death fatwa was put on her head, and she was forced to flee the country. 14 years later, she is still subject to persecution.

In Germany, Seyran Ates is a 44-year old lawyer who was born in Turkey. She has campaigned for two decades against forced marriages and so-called honor killings amongst Germany's Muslim communities. For her pains, she was once shot at by the enraged husband of a client. In 2005 Ates was named "German Woman of the Year", but in September 2006 she announced that she was to retire. She claimed that the constant death threats against her and her daughter were getting too much to bear. Later, she did gain some support, and returned to work under tighter security.

Seyran Ates sums up the problems created by well-meaning "liberals" who hide behind cultural relativism when gross abuses of Muslim women take place. She has said: " I want to know, and many thousands of Muslim girls and women have a right to know, why understanding and infinite tolerance is practiced with particular cultural traditions that are clearly oppressive of women. Human rights are universal and unconditional. And that goes most certainly for religious objectives. It is only girls and women who are forced to wear head-scarves. And it's also a majority of girls and women who are affected by forced marriage. " If only Western-born feminists could be so forthright.

The Failures of Western Feminism

Britain's first mainstream "feminist" magazine was called Spare Rib, founded in 1971. Some of its articles became mere rants against men, who were dubbed "phallocrats". Such vitriol was not dissimilar to that promoted by American Valerie Solanas, author of the Scum Manifesto, where Scum stood for the "Society of Cutting Up Men".

The term "feminist" is now viewed by 75% of working American women as an insult. The fault for this lies not in the drive for full economic, legislative, and social equality of women, but in the arrogant and vainglorious personalities of many of feminism's leading icons. There have always been great and remarkable women who stood up for their rights as human beings in patriarchal environments, from Lysistrata and Sappho to Boudicca, Hildegard of Bingen, Elizabeth Fry, Mary Woollstonecraft, Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt, but these women never saw themselves as "feminists".

Gloria Steinem said in December 2005 of Hugh Hefner: "He's such a jerk. He's so pathetic. ... Now's he's going around with four young women in their 20s instead of just one. It's sort of Moslem, actually." Her comments raised the temperature of CAIR, but did little to enhance the situation of Muslim women trapped in patriarchal societies. I can find little else by Steinem that actually criticizes Islamism, a palpable threat to women.

Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon are known for their stance against pornography, but this crusade apparently masks a deeper grudge against sensuality in general. Gloria Steinem, who joined the pair in their legal attempts to gain damages against the makers of the notorious porn movie "Deep Throat", has claimed that Dworkin is among the elite few who have helped the human race to evolve.

Dworkin, who died on April 9, 2005, had been sexually abused as a child, had engaged in prostitution and was a battered wife. Dworkin has stated: "Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice," and "Men are distinguished from women by their commitment to do violence rather than to be victimized by it."

MacKinnon is a sharp lawyer from a comfortable Minnesota background. She now lectures in law at the University of Michigan. An important and commendable point in her career came in 1993, when she employed a little-known U.S. law, the Alien Tort Statute to seek redress for Muslim and Croatian women who had been raped by Serbs in Bosnia. This allows for jurisdiction to be maintained in the U.S. court for crimes committed abroad, but only if the defendant is personally handed the charges on U.S. soil. The target of the suit was Radovan Karadzic, who supervised campaigns of rape during the Bosnian war. When he appeared in New York in March 1993, he was served with a lawsuit. Karadzic has been named in other indictments , including one for the Srebrenica genocide of 8,000 Muslim males, but since 1995 his whereabouts are unknown.

MacKinnon's failings, in my view, stem not from commission but from omission. To wish to see a mass murderer and supervisor of rapes charged is commendable. Yet I wonder what deeper motives prevent MacKinnon, who has loudly attacked pornography, from employing the Alien Tort Statute against visiting Islamists and religious officials who have committed atrocities against women in their own countries. In my research for this article, I have found no condemnation from MacKinnon or Dworkin against Islamist abuses of women in Muslim societies. I hope I am wrong, and wish that either individual has used her influence to voice disapproval.

There are certainly no shortages of horrific acts to condemn. On March 24, 2006 a 16-year old girl who had been raped in northern Bangladesh by two men was sentenced to 57 lashes. Her two rapists were given the same punishment by two clerics from a local madrassa. The rapists had fled after being given 27 lashes, but the girl received 51 lashes before she passed out.

From February 10, 1979 to November 17, 2006, Pakistan had legislation called the Hudood Ordinances. This had been introduced by Islamists during the rule of dictator Zia ul-Haq. Any woman who complained that she had been raped was obliged to provide four witnesses to the act. Failure to do so meant she would be charged with adultery, for which the maximum sentence was the death penalty and lashes. Though no woman was executed under the Hudood Laws, thousands of women were detained in prisons across Pakistan for contravening these laws.

In November 2006, a Saudi court sentenced a victim of gang rape to 90 lashes. The woman had been raped by five men but was given a severe punishment because, before the attack, she had been alone in a car with a man who was not a relative by blood or marriage. This is the Islamic crime of "khalwat'. The woman's lawyer appealed, but last month a court in Qatif increased her sentence to 200 lashes, accompanied by six months' imprisonment.

This barbaric judgment has been condemned by the U.S. State Department, and 35 German lawyers also wrote to condemn the action. To her credit, Hillary Clinton described the ruling as an "outrage". Barack Obama and other Democrat nominees followed suit, with Obama saying the decision was "beyond unjust". One thing surprised me. When CNN reported on the Saudi ruling on its website , many of the comments (since removed) by American women maintained that it was no one's business but the Saudis.

If an injustice is committed, a moral person has a duty to condemn it - be it forcible abortions in China, rapes in Darfur or state-sponsored oppression carried out in Saudi Arabia. Wearing white ribbons is not enough, despite Germaine Greer's protestations. It should be noted that according to Salman Rushdie , Greer refused to sign a petition condemning the 1989 fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini, which was in effect a death sentence against the author. Greer's form of feminism is the antithesis of that promoted by MacKinnon or the late Dworkin - in 1969 Greer co-founded Suck, Europe's "first sex newspaper", and had no qualms about opening her legs for the camera.

The amoral individuals who complain that Saudi punishments have nothing to do with them should think each time they fill their cars with gasoline about how they financially support such injustice. Some Western feminists have been well aware of the dangers of Islamism, both to women in Muslim countries and to the West at large. Camille Paglia is one such woman. Oriana Fallaci was an Italian journalist who had no problems confronting Islamism. Her forceful rhetoric extended to condemning Muslims for "breeding like rats", comments which have undermined her reputation. When she died on September 15, 2006 aged 77, she was facing defamation charges for passages she had written against Islam.

Naomi Wolf is another famous feminist. She has condemned Islamist terrorism, but seems more concerned to promote her theories that America is becoming a fascist state than to champion the causes of women stuck in patriarchal Islamist societies. When the "celebrities" of feminism could use their fame to ignite discussions of such issues in a complacent media ridden with torpor and lassitude, but fail to do so, the true failings of Western feminism become self-evident.

In Britain, the feminist movement is now a sick joke. With an estimated 109 cases of honor killings committed on their own doorstep, and at least 250 young British Muslim girls annually sent off to be forced into arranged marriages against their wills, there are plenty of local causes to champion. Instead of decrying these abuses, British feminists have bought into the myth that women in veils and headscarfs who submit themselves to arranged marriages are actually "liberated".

Such nonsense has been promoted by the ludicrous figure of Yvonne Ridley. A former Sunday school teacher, "feminist" and journalist for the Sunday Express newspaper, Ridley went to Afghanistan in late September 2001. She had entered the country in secret, and was wearing a burka. She was arrested by the Taliban, who thought she was a spy. She was imprisoned for 10 days, and was freed on the condition that she read the Koran and study Islam. She became a convert in 2004.

Upon her release by the Taliban, Ridley began to make bizarre claims that MI6 (Britain's offshore intelligence agency) and the CIA had wanted her to be killed while in prison. She wrote of this in her book "In the Hands of the Taliban", and claimed that the hotel in Pakistan where she went after her release had been searched. In London, the locks on her Soho apartment had, she asserted, been tampered with.

Shortly after her contract with the Sunday Express expired in February 2003, Ridley became employed by the Qatar-based Al Jazeera media group. She was fired on November 12, 2003. No reason was given at the time, but the station later claimed that her "overly-vocal and argumentative style" had led to her sacking. In 2004, she said of the Koran : "I was absolutely blown away by what I was reading - not one dot or squiggle had been changed in 1,400 years. I have joined what I consider to be the biggest and best family in the world. When we stick together we are absolutely invincible."

Her initial support after conversion came in a phone call from the notorious Abu Hamza al-Masri hook-handed preacher of Finsbury Park mosque. She said: "I explained I hadn't yet taken my final vows and he said, 'Don't be pressured or pushed, the whole community is there for you if you need any help, just call one of the sisters.' I thought, I can't believe it, this is the fire and brimstone cleric from Finsbury Park mosque and he is quite sweet really. I was just about to hang up when he said, 'But there is just one thing I want you to remember. Tomorrow, if you have an accident and die, you will go straight to hellfire'."

Hamza was jailed on February 7, 2006 for inciting murder and racial hatred. Ridley became a member of the Stop the War coalition, a grouping of leftists and Islamists. In 2005, she stood as a prospective parliamentary candidate for George Galloway's Respect party in Leicester. Though Muslim leaders from around the world supported her , with one claiming her win "would be an honor for Islam," she failed to be elected.

After the 7/7 bombings killed 52 innocent people in London, Ridley appeared on the BBC wearing a black robe, headscarf and face-veil, claiming that Islam was a religion of peace, even though the four bombers were perhaps better versed in Islamic Hadiths than herself. She claims the hijab and niqab are liberating, and that wearing such items means a woman is "judged on your character and intelligence". She said: "How liberating is it to be judged for your mind and not the size of your bust or length of your legs." I may be a Philistine, but I treat a woman who dresses like a tent as a woman dressed like a tent. As such a costume is a political statement of "separateness" from Western values, I do not want to know any more about her.

Ridley worked on the Islam Channel, a cable TV show, but her show was suspended earlier this year. In June 2006 Ridley urged Muslims living in London not to cooperate with the police. In January 2007, she had few good words to say about her fellow political Muslims, writing on her website : "I feel very low at the moment ... in total despair at the appeasing stance being adopted by some of our self-important Muslim leaders. Instead of standing up to the Establishment they are scuttling around like Uriah Heep characters without dignity or self respect."

Ridley has also called Israel "a vile little state," and has said that any Zionists in the Respect party would be "hunted down".

Ridley, a former Western "feminist" is the public voice of British Islamic feminism - even though her views are attention-seeking, contradictory and inflammatory, a far cry from those of authentic Muslim women who go unnoticed. When the Stop the War coalition had one rally in 2005 one of the Leftist organizers urged the non-Muslim women to cover their heads to "show respect" to the Muslim women attending.

In Britain, and in an increasing number in North America, there are Muslim women who live in fear of their families. A friend of mine, who is now an apostate from Islam, was once thrown out of a moving car by her husband for not wearing her "hijab". She still fears her own family's reprisals. I personally have known Muslim women who live in dread of their families, because they have had relationships with Hindus or Sikhs.

Even though some women proudly proclaim themselves as feminists, where are the feminist voices to stand up for the rights of these women who live in fear?

With feminists like this, who needs enemies?

The War on Zionism

Ted Belman

Post Annapolis, the Palestinian Authority made it crystal clear that it will never recognize Israel as a “Jewish state”. Furthermore, it made it crystal clear that it will not compromise on Jerusalem making it a capital offense to do so. Yet negotiations continue. Either Olmert doesn’t believe the PA or what is more likely, he will still cut a deal where Israel is denied that recognition and will divide Jerusalem according to Arab demands. Do not think for a moment that these entrenched Arab positions are negotiable. They aren’t and never have been.

Ever since Theodor Herzl wrote The Jewish State in 1896, the Arabs, with one exception, Faisal ibn Hussein, have opposed it.

Bat Ye’or wrote in her monumental study, The Dhimmi,

In the historical Arab context, Israel represents the successful national liberation of a dhimmi civilization. On a territory formerly Arabized by the jihad and the dhimma, a pre-Islamic language, culture, topographical geography (biblical towns), and national institutions have been restored to life. This reversed the process of centuries in which the cultural, social and political structures of the indigenous Jewish population of Palestine were destroyed. In 1974, Abu Iyad, second-in-command to Arafat in the Fatah hierarchy, announced: “We intend to struggle so that our Palestinian homeland does not become a new Andalusia.” The comparison of Andalusia to Palestine was not fortuitous since both countries were Arabized, and then de-Arabized by a pre-Arabic culture.

Once a region has been conquered for Islam, it is always Islamic and must be re-conquered from the infidel, regardless of the passage of time.

This is the core of the conflict. Palestine “must be re-conquered from the infidel, regardless of the passage of time”. Thus Israel must be destroyed.

In pursuance of this goal, the Arabs rejected the Partition Plan and the creation of Israel, they went to war numerous times to destroy Israel, they rejected Res 242 and shortly thereafter they decided at the Khartoum Conference to have “no recognition, no negotiations, no peace” with Israel.

In 1968, the Arab states founded the PLO with a Charter that specifically calls for “the liquidation of the Zionist presence.”

Shortly thereafter, the PLO was taken over by Arafat’s Nazi trained Fatah, whose Charter was and is similar. Its goals,

Article (12) Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.

Article (13) Establishing an independent democratic state with complete sovereignty on all Palestinian lands, and Jerusalem is its capital city, and protecting the citizens’ legal and equal rights without any racial or religious discrimination.

Nothing could be clearer. It refers to “all Palestinian lands”.

Then in 1975 with Soviet support the UN General Assembly passed the infamous resolution (3379), “Zionism is Racism”, by a vote of 75 to 32 with 35 abstentions with the operative words,

DETERMINES that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.

Though the US, lead by the great Ambassador Patrick Moynihan, vehemently objected, a month later it did not veto a proposal to seat the PLO as observers in the UN Security Council. No non-state had ever been accorded such recognition.

According to the website Anti-Zionism,

The Cold War Soviet Union doctrine of Zionology was sponsored by the Department of propaganda of the Communist Party and by the KGB. It stated that Zionism was a form of Racism and Similar to Nazism. As communism was against Racism, and Zionism was largely formed under strong leftist and socialist influences this presented some difficulties for the Soviet Union. They solved this by misrepresenting Zionism, and focussing on its links with America. Much anti-Zionist propaganda was produced by the Soviet Union, much of it was antisemitic and in cases Nazi propaganda and old Tsarist antisemitic material was reproduced. The UN also started producing anti-Zionist propaganda. Using resolution 3379 as a moral basis, UN educational publications spread anti-Zionist dogma throughout the world.

In 1991, with the fall of the Soviet Union, the UN General Assembly revoked resolution 3379, admitting it had been mistaken to label Zionism as racism. The motion to revoke 3379 ( General Assembly Resolution 4686) is one of the shortest in history and passed with 111 for and only 25 against.

Nevertheless, this odious charge persists like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

In the negotiations prior to the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Fatah Charter became an obstacle. Arafat agreed to amend it. This was a precondition. Yet no such amendment was effected necessitating this letter from Arafat to President Clinton in 1998.

In the mutual recognition letters between myself and the late Prime Minister Itzhaq Rabbin of September 9/10, 1993, the PLO committed to recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security, to accept UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides. The PLO also agreed to secure the necessary changes in the Palestinian Covenant to reflect these commitments.

Accordingly, the P.N.C. was held in Gaza city between 22-25 of April 1996, and in an extraordinary session decided that the “Palestine National Charter is hereby amended by cancelling the articles that are contrary to the letters exchanged between the P.L.O and the Government of Israel on 9/10 September 1993″.

Yet the Charter is still not amended.

More recently Judea Pearl, father of Daniel Pearl, penned an essay, Anti-Zionism is Racism in which he wrote, “anti-Zionism is a form of racism more dangerous than classical anti-Semitism”. Could be.

In the run up to Annapolis, House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced H.Res.758 jointly with Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV). This resolution calls on PA and Mahmoud Abbas, also chairman of his Fatah Party, to officially renounce ten articles in the Fatah Constitution that call for Israel’s destruction and acts of terrorism against the Jews.

The Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued a statement to the effect that if Abbas is serious about making peace with Israel, he must officially and publicly amend the Fatah charter as a “confidence-building measure which would help to create a better environment to achieve progress in the peace talks.”

While AIPAC supports the Blunt resolution, it also supports increasing aid to the PA without regard to the Charter. Having it both ways I guess. Doesn’t it know, you can’t suck and blow at the same time.

The Donor’s Conference in Paris pledged $7.4 billion to the PA for the next three years. No one demanded that the Charter be amended, that terror stop or that there be accountability for the funds. And everyone knows that Fatah is about to reconcile with Hamas on Hamas’ terms.

And what are those terms?

First of all, the Hamas Charter is virulently anti-Semitic and uncompromising in its goal of ridding Palestine of the Jews. It declares that

“all Palestine is Islamic trust land, can never be surrendered to non-Muslims and is an integral part of Muslim world.”

“ initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion;”

On Dec 7th, Ismail Haniyeh speaking for Hamas said “We will never recognise the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem,”

Everyone is determined to ignore this, or worse, to live with it.

At Annapolis, Bush said

“The United States will help Palestinian leaders build these free institutions. And the United States will keep its commitment to the security of Israel as a Jewish state and homeland for the Jewish people.”

Yet Tony Blair, who recently visited Israel, refused to answer a question directed at him about PLO/PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ recently reiterated refusal to recognize Israel as a JEWISH state. This cannot be ignored by Israel, yet it is.

Normally this refusal on the part of the PA should be a deal breaker but negotiations continue. The same goes for Jerusalem. This is very ominous.

But the bottom line is that the Arabs want Palestine to replace Israel. This goal is reiterated by all boycott movements, by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and Muslim Student Association (MSA), by Iran when it calls for Israel to be “wiped off the map”, by the PA which publishes books with maps showing Palestine in place of Israel, by Hamas and by many UN agencies and NGO’s.

And they are not alone. The idea of a Jewish state is considered by the Jewish left as an anachronism, retrograd and even racist.

The endorsement of the two-state solution is a sham for western consumption. The demand for a “just solution to the Palestinian Refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194″, otherwise known as the right of return, vitiates any recognition of the two-state solution because it effectively is intended to destroy the state of Israel.

The enemies of Israel recently coined two new terms, “Zion-Cons” and “Zionofascism”. You can imagine why.

The war on Zionism continues.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gaza Terrorists Killed as $7.4B Is Pledged to Palestinians

December 18, 2007

UNITED NATIONS — As donors gathered in Paris yesterday to pledge $7.4 billion to help build a Palestinian Arab state, Israel answered the latest rocket attack from Gaza into its southern towns by killing at least six terrorist leaders, including a high-ranking member of Islamic Jihad and another man said to be the leader of the group's rocket-launching unit. Israel's air force — cooperating with its internal intelligence service, Shabak — conducted at least two separate air attacks in Gaza, which were reported to be narrowly targeted, directed strictly at leaders of the rocket-shooting campaign.

The first Gaza City air attack killed the top Islamic Jihad leader in the Strip and the West Bank, Majed Harazin, and two associates. Harazin had rarely traveled by car for fear of such air raids, according to the Associated Press, and was reportedly on Israel's most-wanted list for a decade. A few hours later, according to Ynet, as activists poured into Gaza's streets to display outrage over the initial killing, an air attack hit another prized target, which identified him as the commander of the organization's rocket-launching unit, Karim Dahdouh. Two of his associates were also killed.

Yesterday's Gaza action followed the much-anticipated one-day Paris conference of potential international donors to the future Palestinian state, which was envisioned as an economic follow-up to last month's gathering at Annapolis, Md. The conference's pledges exceeded even the best hopes of the Palestinian Arabs, who said on the eve of the meeting that they expected $5.6 billion in donations to support their economy for the next three years.

At the end of the conference, according to France's foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, the pledges reached $2.9 billion for 2008 alone, and $7.4 billion altogether for the three-year period. Israel's foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, specifically praised pledges from a group of Arab Gulf states, which she said showed their commitment to the Annapolis process.

"The political negotiations were launched at Annapolis," while yesterday's Paris gathering launched "the capacity-building phase, which again I just want to underscore is every bit as important as the political track," Secretary of State Rice told reporters yesterday, referring to the Bush administration's vision of building a Palestinian Arab state by the end of next year. But Ms. Livni, who has stressed that the core negotiations should be conducted bilaterally, with little international involvement, reportedly responded coolly yesterday to a sketchy plan to add a third leg to the international involvement in the diplomacy. "We were at Annapolis, and now we are in Paris," she said, according to Ynet, as she was speaking of a proposed international gathering in Moscow early next year. "Now is the time to start working between the two sides — Israel and the Palestinians."

She also said that the while the world attention's is focused on improving life in the Palestinian territories, Israel security should not be overlooked.

In a pattern that seems to follow the high-profile internationally guided diplomatic process, yesterday's Paris conference was greeted Sunday by a barrage of rockets from Gaza, injuring a toddler in Kibbutz Zikim in southern Israel. A recent study of the use of rockets as weapons shows a significant rise in Palestinian Arab attacks in the aftermath of Israeli peace gestures, such as the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza.

The in-depth study published over the weekend on the Web site of the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center — — documents and analyzes the use of rockets, "an asymmetric weapon" that provides "the Palestinian terrorist organizations with a response to Israel's military superiority." Launches rose steadily since such rockets first appeared as weapons in 2000, as Israel and the Palestinian Arab started the Oslo peace negotiations. In 2004, a record number of 281 rockets were launched from Gaza, while the number diminished the following year, when Israel announced its intention to evacuate Gaza of all troops and settlers.

Once the so-called 2005 separation plan was completed and Hamas took over Gaza, however, the most significant increase in the scope of use of this terror weapon occurred, according to the study. There were 946 launches in 2006 and 783 launches so far in 2007 — not including the latest round over the weekend.

"The rocket attacks are a deliberate attempt by the enemies of peace, like Hamas, to derail the peace process," an Israeli U.N. ambassador, Daniel Carmon, wrote to Secretary-General Ban and to the president of the Security Council yesterday.