Saturday, September 06, 2008

Saudi Arabians Back Obama

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Saudi Arabians, including expatriates, are backing Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama.

According to the Arab News, which describes itself as the Arab world's leading English daily newspaper, the reasons for Saudi support of the rookie senator range from his being black to his middle name being Hussein, which has led many Saudis to believe he is a Muslim. Sen. Obama was born in Kenya to a Muslim father, who had several wives, but the presidential candidate is Christian. Sen. Obama was born in Kenya to a Muslim father, who had several wives, but the presidential candidate is Christian.

Arab News quoted Pakistani expatriate Mohammed Yousuf as saying, "Some believed Obama is a Muslim because of his middle name. All the blacks so far in power at various levels have shown their commitment and determination to serve the country and the world without discrimination of color and religion. However, the track record of whites has been to side with Israel rather than with Muslim countries. We now have a ray of hope in Obama."

Arab and Muslim support for Sen. Obama is not universal but few Arab voices are encouraging voters to back Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain. Ali Alarabi, writing for the London-based AlArab web site, wrote last week that Arab and Muslim Americans should not vote for a third candidate instead of Sen. Obama.
He said that initial support for Sen. Obama waned after he made several public moves to remove his identification with Muslims and picked as his running mate Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, a non-Jew who defined himself as a "Zionist."

However, Sen. Obama still maintains a wide appeal among Muslims because of his father having been a Kenyan Muslim. "Many are those who will agree that his message of change and hope is destined for the African audience," wrote for Modern

In Israel, Arabs so far have generally remai
ned quiet about the presidential campaign, but Hamas leaders said several weeks ago they hope Sen. Obama wins. A group of pro-Obama Gaza students are conducting a telephone campaign aimed at American voters.

Gaza youth support Obama's presidential bid
Dozens of Palestinian students, professionals in Gaza take on new political agenda – getting Barack Obama elected next US president

The Media Line Published: 08.31.08, 15:02 / Israel News
"Hello, I'm calling from Gaza. I want some of your time. We are supporting Barack Obama…" For the past seven months, a group of 24 students and young professionals have gathered in the Gaza Strip nightly to phone random telephone numbers in the United States, urging the voices at the other end to "vote for Barack Obama."

Although only American citizens can actually cast a ballot in the election, this Gaza-based effort is a forceful demonstration of how Internet technology opens the door for anyone, anywhere to take an active role in US politics. Even if they have never even been to the USA.

Far from utilizing a state-of-the art call-center of the sort that have become a mainstay of American political marketing, the Gaza callers are amateur volunteers who meet in a local Internet café or in a stark room at a local youth center equipped with little more than desks, chairs and outlets for the personal computers through which they will make their calls. That – and the desire to see Barack Obama become president of the United States.

The bare-bones décor belies the fervor with which the callers go about their task. Organized and led by Ibrahim Abu Jayyeb, a 23-year old student of media at Al Aqsa University, the group's effort has taken on the flavor of a well-organized campaign – complete with title: "All This for Peace."

Ibrahim is a self-described political junkie who says he has been following events closely and hopes that Obama will win the presidency. He says he finds the Illinois senator "the kind of person who when he says 'I will change America' will do what he says."

All This for Peace
Ibrahim relies on his colleagues and friends to make the actual phone calls because he feels his own command of English is not up to the task. His knowledge of technology, however, very much is. Utilizing Voip and Skype, Ibrahim has crafted a system of politicking that runs on almost no cost in dollars (or shekels), but requires a great deal of patience and persistence.

According to Ibrahim, 19 out every 20 calls his group makes ends with an unceremonious "hang-up."
Ibrahim told The Media Line that during the past seven months his group has reached between 5,000 and 6,000 Americans. If his assertion of 1-out-of-20 completed calls is accurate, 120,000 calls have been placed. Asked how he could weather such mass rejection, he replied, "It's worth it."

When pressed about how a politician five thousand miles away who was relatively unknown to his own constituency before the campaign began is able to evoke such monumental dedication among people who can't even vote in the election, Ibrahim replies simply that, "I believe that Barack Obama will achieve peace in the area, in the Middle East and Palestine, between us, the Palestinian people, and the Jewish people."

Could such gargantuan efforts on Obama's behalf lend credence to accusations that he has closer ties to Islam than he is willing to let on? Ibrahim insists that, "Barack Obama is definitely not a Muslim. It had never even crossed my mind to support him because of his Muslim background – which I doubt even exists."

Independent efforts
Without exception, the Gaza phone-callers insisted that their efforts are "independent without ties to any organization or government." They say the Obama campaign has never contacted them, and they have not contacted the Obama organization. Sources in the Obama campaign confirmed to The Media Line that the group is unknown to them and that "no such group has been authorized to solicit on behalf of the campaign."

Moatz Twael, a Gaza pharmacist who makes phone calls with Ibrahim's group says that although he never visited America, he "visited Israel many times before 2001" and harbors no optimism on reconciliation between the two sides in the conflict.

"Some people don't believe in peace," Twael contends. "But these are the same people who are preventing it." He says that listening to Obama persuaded him to encourage Americans to vote for the Senator. "He's a good man to achieve the goal (of bringing peace between Israelis and Palestinians)."

Like all of Ibrahim's telephone volunteers, Moatz claims no affiliation with any Palestinian faction in Gaza. "We don't want to live in war, in siege. Many want peace," he said. "I think people in the world don't understand Gaza very well. They think that all the people here are terrorists; not educated. We want to persuade them that we can live like any other people in the world."

Twael claims that listening to English channels and watching American films is the basis of his love of the English language. It's also the reason that he is involved in Ibrahim's campaign to enlist voter support for Senator Obama. "From television and film, I learned to love democratic life."

Despite Twael's own involvement with American culture and democracy, he doubts there are many others like him who are able or inclined to become involved in the American campaign on either side. When asked whether there are Gazans who would do the same for Republican John McCain, Twael was quick to reply that, "If Gazans don't know about Barack Obama – and most Gazans don't know – how would they know about McCain?"

Asked whether he believed race is an issue in the American campaign, Twael was up front about what attracts him to Obama. "He's black. And he's better than (President George W.) Bush."

Ibrahim also sees a historic imperative inherent in American politics. He says , "historically, it was the Democrats who achieved peace between (Palestinians) and the Israelis," citing the Oslo Accords as his proof.

Despite the group's exercise in democracy, the specter of Hamas –declared terrorists by the United States and iron-fist rulers of the Gaza Strip – hangs over the callers' activities. Asked whether he worries that Hamas might put a stop to his efforts on behalf of Obama, Ibrahim replied, "Personally, I fear some about this."

Obama Had Close Ties to Top Saudi Adviser at Early Age

Kenneth R. Timmerman

New evidence has emerged that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was closely associated as early as age 25 to a key adviser to a Saudi billionaire who had mentored the founding members of the Black Panthers In a videotaped interview this year on New York's all news cable channel NY1, a prominent African-American businessman and political figure made the curious disclosures about Obama. (See Video Clip Below)

Percy Sutton, the former borough president of Manhattan, off-handedly revealed the unusual circumstances about his first encounter with the young Obama.

"I was introduced to (Obama) by a friend who was raising money for him," Sutton told NY1 city hall reporter Dominic Carter.

"The friend's name is Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, from Texas," Sutton said. "He is the principal adviser to one of the world's richest men. He told me about Obama."

Sutton, the founder of Inner City Broadcasting, said al-Mansour contacted him to ask a favor: Would Sutton write a letter in support of Obama's application to Harvard Law School?

"He wrote to me about him," Sutton recalled. "And his introduction was there is a young man that has applied to Harvard. I know that you have a few friends up there because you used to go up there to speak. Would you please write a letter in support of him?"

Sutton said he acted on his friend al-Mansour's advice.

"I wrote a letter of support of him to my friends at Harvard, saying to them I thought there was a genius that was going to be available and I certainly hoped they would treat him kindly," Sutton told NY1.

Sutton did not say why al-Mansour was helping Obama, how he discovered him, or from whom he was raising money on Obama's behalf.

A Sutton aide told Newsmax that Sutton, 88, is ailing and is unlikely to do additional TV interviews in the near future. The aide could not provide additional comment for this story.

As it turned out, Obama did attend Harvard Law School after graduating from Columbia University in New York and doing a stint as a community organizer in Chicago.

The New York Times described how transformative his Harvard experience became for the young Obama: "He arrived there as an unknown, Afro-wearing community organizer who had spent years searching for his identity; by the time he left, he had his first national news media exposure, a book contract and a shot of confidence from running the most powerful legal journal in the country."

The details of Obama's academic performance are well known: At Harvard, Obama rose to academic distinction becoming the editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduating magna cum laude.

Less known are the reasons al-Mansour, an activist African-American Muslim, would be a key backer for a young man from Hawaii seeking to attend the most Ivy of the Ivy League law schools.

Khalid al-Mansour a.k.a. Don Warden

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax from his home in San Antonio, Texas, al-Mansour said he would not comment specifically on the statement by Percy Sutton because he was afraid anything he said would get "distorted."

"I was determined I was never going to be in that situation," he said. "Bloggers are saying this is the new Rev. Wright — in drag! — and he is a nationalist, racist, and worse than Rev. Wright. So any statement that I made would only further this activity which is not in the interest of Barack."

But in the lengthy interview, al-Mansour confirmed that he frequently spoke on university campuses, including Columbia, where Percy Sutton suggested he met Obama in the late 1980s, and confirmed his close relationship with Prince Alwaleed.

"I am not surprised to learn about this," said Niger Innis, spokesman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). "It is clear that Barack Obama's ties to the left are familial, generational, and have lasted for several years."

Although many Americans have never heard of Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour (his full name), he is well known within the black community as a lawyer, an orthodox Muslim, a black nationalist, an author, an international deal-maker, an educator, and an outspoken enemy of Israel.

A graduate of Howard University with a law degree from the University of California, al-Mansour sits on numerous corporate boards, including the Saudi African Bank and Chicago-based LaGray Chemical Co. LaGray, which was formed to do business in Africa, counts former Nigerian President General Abdusalam Abubakar on its advisory board.

He also sits on the board of the non-profit African Leadership Academy, along with top McCain for President adviser Carly Fiorina, and organized a tribute to the President of Ghana at the Clinton White House in 1995, along with pop star Michael Jackson.

But his writings and books are packed with anti-American rhetoric reminiscent of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's disgraced former pastor.

In a 1995 book, "The Lost Books of Africa Rediscovered," he alleged that the United States was plotting genocide against black Americans.

The first "genocide against the black man began 300 years ago," he told an audience in Harlem at a book-signing, while a second "genocide" was on the way "to remove 15 million Black people, considered disposable, of no relevance, value or benefit to the American society."

In the 1960s, when he founded the African American Association in the San Francisco Bay area, he was known as Donald Warden.

According to the Social Activism Project at the University of California at Berkley, Warden, a.k.a. Khalid al-Mansour, was the mentor of Black Panther Party founder Huey Newton and his cohort, Bobby Seale.

Newton later had a falling out with Warden, who was described in a 1994 book as "the most articulate spokesperson for black nationalism" at the time.

The falling out wasn't purely political, according to author Hugh Pearson.

"Sometimes Newton and the other members of (Warden's) security detail got into fights with young whites who didn't like what Warden had to say about whites. Rather than 'throw down' along with the security detail, Warden refused to fight," Pearson wrote in "Shadow of the Panther: Huey Newton and the Price of Black Power in America."

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee of California entered an official statement of appreciation of Warden and his Black Panther colleagues in the African-American Association in the Congressional Record on April 23, 2007.

"Among the founding members (of the Association) were community leaders such as Khalid Al-Mansour (known then as Don Warden); future Judges Henry Ramsey and Thelton Henderson; future Congressman and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, and future Black Panthers Huey Newton and Bobby Seale," the Democratic representative's statement said.

Al-Mansour's more recent videotaped speeches focus on Muslim themes, and abound with anti-Semitic theories and anti-Israel vitriol.

"Today, the Palestinians are being brutalized like savages," he told an audience in South Africa. "If you protest you will go to jail, and you may be killed. And they say they are the only democratic country in the Middle East. ... They are lying on God."

He accused the Jews of "stealing the land the same way the Christians stole the land from the Indians in America."

The Saudi Connection

But al-Mansour's sponsorship of Obama as a prospective Harvard law student is important for another reason beyond his Islamic and anti-American rhetoric and early Black Panther ties.

At the time Percy Sutton, a former lawyer for Malcolm X and a former business partner of al-Mansour, says he was raising money for Obama's graduate school education, al-Mansour was representing top members of the Saudi Royal family seeking to do business and exert influence in the United States.

In 1989, for example — just one year after Obama entered Harvard Law School — The Los Angeles Times revealed that al-Mansour had been advising Saudi billionaires Abdul Aziz and Khalid al-Ibrahim in their secret effort to acquire a major stake in prime oceanfront property in Marina del Rey, Calif., through "an elaborate network of corporate shells in California, the Caribbean and Europe."

At the same time, he was also advising Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in his U.S. investments, and sits on the board of his premier investment vehicle, Kingdom Holdings.

Prince Alwaleed, 53, is the nephew if King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia. Forbes magazine ranked him this year as the 19th richest person on the planet, with a fortune in excess of $23 billion. He owns large chunks of Citigroup and News Corp., the holding company that controls Fox News.

He is best known in the United States for his offer to donate $10 million to help rebuild downtown Manhattan after the 9/11 attacks. But after the prince made a public comment suggesting that U.S. policies had contributed to causing the attacks, Mayor Rudy Giuliani handed back his check.

"I entirely reject that statement," Giuliani said. "There is no moral equivalent for this (terrorist) act. There is no justification for it. The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification for it when they slaughtered 4,000 or 5,000 innocent people."

Since then, Prince Alwaleed's Kingdom Foundation has given millions of dollars to Muslim charities in the United States, including several whose leaders have been indicted on terrorism-related charges in federal courts.

He also has given tens of millions of dollars to Harvard and other major U.S. universities, to establish programs in Islamic studies.

The casual statement by Percy Sutton to NY1 is the first time anyone has hinted at a relationship between Obama and the Saudi royal family.

Although al-Mansour glosses over his ties to the Saudi mega-billionaire in some of his public talks, he has represented the Saudi's interests in the United States, in Britain, and in Africa for more than a quarter century, according to public records.

He told Newsmax that he has personally introduced Prince Alwaleed to "51 of the 53 leaders of Africa," traveling from country to country on the Saudi prince's private jet.

He knows virtually every black leader in America, from the business community, to community activists, to the worlds of politics and entertainment.

When Michael Jackson was on the ropes in the mid-1990s following a series of lawsuits by the parents of children accusing him of sexual abuse, al-Mansour introduced him to Prince Alwaleed, whose Kingdom Entertainment signed a joint venture with Jackson in 1996.

"Jackson and Alwaleed became pals in 1994, when a mutual friend from Alwaleed's college days in California arranged a lunch meeting aboard the prince's yacht in Cannes," Time magazine reported about the new partnership in 1997.

The mutual friend was al-Mansour.

"As a black American, I am exceedingly proud at the American people's response to Barack Obama's candidacy," said CORE's Niger Innis. "But to deny that he has long-standing ties to left-wing elements in our polity is to deny reality. If you want to be president of the United States, it is not racism if you ask these kind of questions, and he has to come up with an answer, hopefully the truth."

Sutton gives no clues as to why al-Mansour would be raising money to help Obama go to law school. Obama has said during his campaign that he paid his way through Harvard with student loans.

For Jesse Lee Peterson, founder of the Los Angeles-based Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND), these latest revelations about Obama's ties to Saudi financiers were an important wake-up call.

"To me, this opened up more questions about Barack Obama and his relationship to the Muslim world," Peterson told Newsmax.

"A lot of people are caught up with the emotional aspect of Barack Obama, the movie star aspect, the false promises that he's going to take care of everyone and their Mama."

But when the full story of Obama's ties to radical preachers such as Wright and to black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan comes out, Peterson believes that Obama's star power will fade.

"I think there's more to this story and to Barack Obama than we realize," Peterson said. "As all the truth comes out before the election, I don't think he has a chance. I can't see American's taking that kind of risk."

The Obama campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

Chatting with Obama

Bill O'Reilly
Saturday, September 06, 2008

Like him or not, you have to give Barack Obama credit for waging a smart, focused campaign. Destroying the Clinton machine was a major achievement, and so was putting together a successful convention in Denver. Obama is now firmly a part of U.S. history no matter what happens in the presidential election. The problem some Americans continue to have with the senator is that he is long on charisma, but short on detail. This frightens some voters. Who the heck is this guy, anyway? So, when Obama finally agreed to speak to me this week, specifics were on my mind.

First, the man. The Barack Obama I witnessed is self-confident, determined and driven. He was acutely aware of his surroundings from the moment he entered the room. He looks you in the eye and touches your shoulder. He understands how to connect one on one.

As far as philosophy goes, Obama is convinced that the federal government should be in control of income distribution and, to some extent, should regulate the free marketplace. That is a classic liberal position and he promotes it well.

The senator also believes that poor Americans have a basic right to free health care and monetary supplements from the government with no strings attached. The American substance abuser, for example, would derive the same benefits as would a hard-working, laid-off worker. Again, classic liberalism. No judgments made regarding entitlements.

So, if Obama does become president, there will definitely be change. His left-wing base will demand it, and he will come through. You can decide whether that's change we should believe in, but keep in mind that the unintended consequences of government interference in the marketplace are impossible to predict. Free markets have a way of chafing under government imposition.

On the foreign policy front, Obama has convinced me that he is tough but cautious. He rose quickly because he vehemently opposed the Iraq war. But now, I see a man who understands the victory that has taken place in Iraq. I don't believe he wants to screw that up. I could be wrong.

After going mano a mano with Obama on television, I am also persuaded that he is a sincere guy, that he wants the best for all Americans. He's an ideologue, but not a blind one. He understands that his story is incredible, and I have come to believe he is grateful to the American system for allowing it to happen.

It is true that we don't know whether Obama has the ability to solve complex problems, but you can say that about all presidential contenders.

Like most politicians, Obama has used guile and good luck to accumulate his power. He can be ruthless, kind, unfair and generous. In short, he's a real person trying to achieve an unreal position, that of the most powerful person in the world.

God help him.

Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

Fitzgerald: The Syrian-Israeli "peace process"

The smug assumptions of the Syrians (reinforced by the idiotic behavior of the Olmert regime, and opposed by too few Israelis, possibly simply worn down and worn out by the continued idiocy of their political elites) need to be discussed yet again. Here are the basic points that need to be filed away, not least by Israel's political and media elites, who should be reminded of them at every pusillanimous turn of Israeli negotiators, so pleased and proud with their derriere-les coulisses peace-processing:

1. The Golan Heights were won by Israel in a war of self-defense for national survival. Syria went to war against Israel in 1967 (and in 1973) before Israel counter-attacked, and wrested control of the Golan Heights from Syria.

2. The Golan Heights were never part of an age-old entity called Syria or Sham. The Golan Heights were part of the Ottoman Empire. When that empire disintegrated, both the Zionist representatives at the League of Nations, and the non-Jewish members of the League of Nations' Mandates Commission, felt that the Golan Heights -- sparsely populated by neither Jews nor Arabs, bur rather a handful of Druse -- should most fittingly be assigned to the Mandate for Palestine.

3. The British decided, for their own Empire, that it would be good to have a Mesopotamia (Iraq) that consisted of three former Ottoman vilayets, those of Basra, Baghdad, and Mosul. In order to persuade the French, who were entrusted with the Mandate for Syria, to allow the vilayet of Mosul to be incorporated into British-ruled Iraq, the British decided to offer up the Golan Heights and areas around it -- areas that, while originally intended to be part of the Mandate for Palestine (which, in turn, was set up for the purpose of establishing "the Jewish National Home" and for no other purpose), they thought they could, with impunity, simply remove from the territory of the Mandate. Much attention has been focused on the way in which, at the Cairo Conference in 1921, the British thought they had a right as the Mandatory power, to dispose of territory originally intended to form part of the Mandate. They had no such right, and the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations was appalled at British actions.

4. Having won the Golan Heights in a war of self-defense, Israel realized that control of the heights -- from which Syrian forces had rained down fire on Israeli farmers on northern kibbutzes for years -- was essential, for he who controlled the Golan controlled both the north of Israel and the south of Syria, including the road to Damascus that lay down below. Furthermore, the Druse of the Golan are connected to the Druse in both Syria and Israel, and are likely to offer their loyalty to whichever country they believe will retain control, or ultimately assume control, of the Golan. If the Golan is given up by Israel, this will make local Druse -- some of whom have responded to Israel's decency and chosen to enlist in the Israeli military -- more likely to take Syria's side.

5. There are now Jewish villages all over the Golan, built up over forty years. There are Jewish enterprises of every kind, including the celebrated vineyards. The Golan is a tourist destination within Israel, a small country, surrounded by hostile neighbors whose lands are dangerous for Israelis in need of relaxation to visit. The Sinai, with the resort at Sharm al-Sheik that Israel had built, once was a place for Israeli tourists to visit, but was, in a fit of short-sightedness and under the cruel pressure from Carter and Brzezinski to which Begin succumbed, surrendered to Egypt. And now it is no longer a secure place for Israelis. The Golan offers one of the very few places inside Israel where Israelis on holiday can find close at hand the kind of domestic respite, for a week or two, that is so necessary for morale.

6. In 1981, Israel formally annexed the Golan. That ought to have been the end of the matter. It would have been, with any other country. But in Israel, apparently, no part of Israel's territory, declared to be such by the government of Israel and ratified by the members of the Knesset as the representatives of the people of Israel, is ever outside discussion. But if Israel is willing to discuss -- much less actually give up -- the Golan Heights, a precedent will have been set: if the annexed Golan can be given back, in whole or in part, why not the Old City of Jerusalem? If anyone says...but, but that was annexed, that can't be given back, the reply is...well, the reply is the laconic: "The Golan was annexed, and the Golan was given back."

7. Israelis keep confusing a "Peace Treaty" with Muslims with Peace. Peace treaties are regarded, by Muslims and by those who may not be full-fledged Muslims -- like the Alawites -- but who will in their foreign policy if not in their domestic rule, seek to accommodate Muslim ways and demands, and may even be more aggressively Muslim to prove themselves, and when making any treaty with Israel, will regard such a treaty as a useful instruments to obtain further, and then still further, concessions. The treaties made by Muslims with non-Muslims can never be"Peace Treaties" in the Western sense, but rather "Truce" treaties, and the Western principle of international law, of Pacta Sunt Servanda (Treaties are to be obeyed) has no meaning in Muslim jurisprudence. Treaties with the permanent Infidel enemy are regarded as breachable at any moment, when the Muslim side feels stronger. This is not a matter of opinion. It is clear Muslim doctrine. It is what Muhammad did with the Meccans in 628 A.D. at Hudaibiyya. Muhammad is the Model for Muslims For All Time: uswa hasana (the Model of Conduct), al-insan al-kamil (the Perfect Man). This is well understood by Muslim commentators, and by scholars of the subject of treaty-making under Islam. Is it possible, is it conceivable, that the officials now conducting negotiations for the Israeli government remain, at this point, unaware of this? Is it possible that nowhere can be found a copy of Majid Khadduri's War and Peace in the Law of Islam, which so clearly and usefully sets this out? Is it possible that the smug editorial writers and columnists for Ha'aretz and other Israeli papers think that they can forever ignore Islam, and what it teaches, and why it is not such a hot idea to continue to believe so credulously what their "'Palestinian' friends" tell them?

Is there a left-wing Israeli who doesn't have a "Palestinian" friend or two? Why, they are practically de rigueur these days, and the more secular, the more sweetly liquid brown-eyed, the more they can join their "Israeli friend" in common mockery of "Orthodox Jews." No, it is not what Sami Nuseibeh says, or others of that plausible (apparently plausible, but to some of us perfectly transparent) ilk, who are now beginning to promote "one-state solution" line. Because after all, what intelligent semi-secular Arab, having seen the effects of Lords of Muslim Misrule (whether Fast Jihadists or Slow Jihadists) among the Gazan Arabs and the "West Bank" Arabs, would not wish to enjoy the benefits of an Israeli polity? And never mind, for now, that “one-state solution.” If the State of Israel retained all of the "West Bank," while not extending the privilege of Israeli citizenship to local Arabs, it would allow them as much local autonomy as is consonant with Israeli security. Yet these secular and semi-secular Arabs support a “one-state solution” even while choosing to ignore what that phony “one-state solution" would in the end do in the Jewish state of Israel. It would ultimately bring about the very thing they, those secular advanced Arabs, would sensibly wish to avoid – a nice illustration of the famous tale of the Scorpion and the Frog.

8. Some people think Israel needs a “peace treaty” with Syria. No, it doesn’t. It needs only to preserve the conditions that will make Syrian mischief-making less likely not just this year or for the next few years, but unlikely because of the great damage that would be inflicted on Syria. Are the Syrians more or less likely, if they regain the Golan, to go to war, in ten years, or twenty, against Israel? Will Syria be so prosperous by then? Presumably the one thing really standing in the way of that is the continued Israeli hold on the Golan. And will the people of Syria then be so content with their lot that the Alawites, if they retain control, will no longer feel the need to establish their Muslim bonafides in the only way they or other Arabs know how, which is by joining in the war on Israel in any way they can? Or, if the Alawite despotism comes undone and Sunni Muslims take control, will they remain so permanently pleased with the Golan that they will, though Muslims, somehow manage never again to take to heart what Islam inculcates, which is that the whole world in the end belongs entirely to Allah and to his people, but on the To-Do List for Muslims, highest priority is given to recovering any land once possessed by Muslims?

The very idea that Muslim Arabs could ever be reconciled to the permanence of an Infidel nation-state, and one smack in the middle of Dar al-Islam and, what’s more, peopled by the once-despised Jews, requires from Infidels, from Israelis, a vast amount of willful ignorance. It is difficult to believe that this level of ignorance can continue to be maintained, but successive Israeli governments have proven equal to that task.

So it is up to others, outside the government, to learn about Islam on their own. It should not lead to despair, but to a salutary clearing of the air. Israel will exist as long as its military retains the ability to deter the enemy. That enemy wishes to eliminate the state of Israel. Some wish to do it, think it can best be done, by military means. Others think it will take different tactics, toward the same end, and that for now military means would not work. They prefer the slow chip-chipping away, by means of whatever reasonable-sounding furrowed-brow peace-processing can be offered. The Muslim Arab side always counts on the understandable clouding of Israeli minds that the very word, and the fata-morgana prospect, of “peace” always brings about.

The position of Israel does not worsen if its people, and its government, begin to study and to understand the texts, tenets, attitudes, and atmospherics of Islam. Israel is not harmed if those who presume to protect and instruct the people of Israel actually learn a great deal about what Islam inculcates, and how many Muslims receive what they are taught, and the full extent of the Total Belief-System of Islam. Israel is not harmed if the people and government of that permanently beleaguered state learn about the 1350-year history of Islamic conquest.

It is only thus that realism -- overcoming the steady Fool-of-Chelm hum, whether from a Simple Simon, or a political leader attempting to buy a little temporary popularity so that investigators lay off him (Olmert) or his son (Sharon) -- will become the basis of Israel’s policy. And then will come the necessary embrace of Deterrence, not of further surrenders of Israeli assets and rights -- legal, historic and moral -- to bits of land that long ago should have been annexed (round about late June 1967 would have been just right). The annexation should have been accompanied by a detailed State Paper explaining those legal, moral, and historic rights, and why, given the doctrines of Islam, no faith could be put in treaties, or for that matter in that idiotically, and therefore aptly, named, deceitful undertaking known as “the Peace Process.”

And whatever objections might have been raised, again and again and again, Israeli leaders should refer to Islamic doctrine, refer to the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya, and by dint of such repetition, demand from howling Muslims that they explain what the Islamic view of things is, that they explain where Majid Khadduri, or Antoine Fattal, or Arthur Jeffery, or Samuel Zwemer, or Henri Lammens, had things wrong. Yes, give them a chance to explain what Islam teaches, and keep the discussion right on that subject – forever.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Mass Student Strike Planned for the Land & People of Israel!

In response to the silence of the Jewish leadership on the planned expulsion of 300,000 Jews from Judea and Samaria, the division of Jerusalem and the abandonment of the holy Temple Mount, Jewish students across North America are saying, "No More!" Numerous dedicated Jewish students in yeshiva/high schools, girls schools and elementary schools in states including New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois and California, and in Canada, have been working to mobilize their fellow students in preparation for mass walkouts to protest the silence of the Jewish leadership.

There will be a telephone conference call on Sunday September 7th at 6 PM New York time (EDST). It is very important that all interested students participate in this telephone meeting.

Conference Dial-in Number: (218) 339-4300
Participant Access Code: 119403#

If you'd like to voice your opinion at this meeting, please send an email to and include your name, school and city. I will send you back a number. When we are ready to take questions, I will call your number. We are doing this so that you can remain anonymous.

As the representative of the protest group to the establishment, I will present the following demand on behalf of the student leaders:

The Jewish establishment must set into motion a serious plan to protest the expulsion by Tuesday, September 16th 12:00pm. The protest plan of the Jewish Establishment will have to be submitted for review to no later than Friday September, 12th at 11:00am.

This campaign is very serious and the youth involved have been working hard to make it a reality. After the expulsion from Gush Katif 3 years ago many youth in America were shocked by what happened, and they have vowed not to remain silent in the face of another expulsion.

Date, Time & Place for the Strikes:

Date - Thursday, September 18th

Time - Starting 9:00am - TBD
Place - Yeshivas/High Schools, Girls Schools and Day Schools across North America (list of schools growing daily)

The ball is now in your court,

Yosef Rabin - Representative of the Student strike leaders

Ted Belman

'June 4, 1967 lines non-negotiable' Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST

Israel's withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 lines is non-negotiable and is the basis for the start of direct talks between Israel and Syria, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Friday. Muallem told A-Sharq Alawsat that the next round of indirect talks would be "decisive and important" and would deal with border issues.

He stressed that Damascus was prepared to continue the indirect talks for the moment, since his country had "stamina."

Meanwhile, Druse leader Walid Jumblatt accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of using the talks with Israel to buy time and claimed the Syrian president was not really interested in the Golan Heights, but in restoring ties between Damascus and Washington.

Speaking to the London-based newspaper, Jumblatt attacked Assad and said that Thursday's four-way summit in Damascus involving the leaders of Syria, France, Turkey and Qatar was inconsistent with the Arab initiative for peace with Israel.

Meanwhile, Pensioners Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan said that neither he nor other ministers had received any information on the peace talks and that he was not aware of a detailed Israeli offer to the Syrians.

"We, as cabinet ministers, have not received any information on the subject," he told Israel Radio.

Eitan went on to say that the Israeli public must be allowed to decide on issues like the future of the Golan, which he said was of "utmost importance."

He added that he would ask Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for updates on developments and that he would tell him that Syria could not be a peace partner as long as it preserved its ties with terror groups and Iran.
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1220526716693&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


Yes, hope. I didn't realize how hungry for it I was, how bereft of it I felt, until today...

I sit here, along with many others, and I watch how the world has been turning, and how the bad guys are gaining traction, and there is a small wedge of terror in my heart. I go about my business as if it weren't there. But the flicker of hope that rose up in me today reminded me of its presence, and of how serious are the issues we all face. Many Americans are also hungry for hope. That's why they've latched on to Barack Obama with such passion. He promises hope. But his promises are cheap and without substance. Many facts have been presented in these postings -- carefully documented facts -- that demonstrate his weaknesses and the problems inherent in his candidacy.

But now it must be said outright: The hope Obama promises is no more than vacuous, elitist egotism. There's no substance, no constancy to the man, and certainly no ability to stand strong before our enemies. ("Our" enemies: the enemies of Israel and the US are one and the same.) Barack Obama terrifies me.


So, why do I feel a flicker of hope now?

Because I listened to Gov. Sarah Palin's speech accepting the Republican nomination as vice president -- found on the Internet at And I was blown away. Because she's genuine and gusty, and she has values. And she talks about putting the country first.

So, I say to myself, maybe a McCain-Palin win is a possibility. Maybe the US won't implode into a shivering mass of appeasement after all. Maybe there will be a US administration that will stop pressuring us to give away half our land to a bunch of terrorists, and will mean what it says to Iran. Maybe... There is my hope.


Let us move for a moment from the usual topics discussed here to abortion -- since many people seem to think that McCain-Palin are unacceptable because of their pro-life stand. Liberals -- who are Obama supporters -- are pro-choice. But a solid case can be made for the position that "choice" is not a valid option -- a women cannot blithely dispose of the growing life inside her just because it doesn't suit her to have a baby. Jewish law (halachha) certainly does not acknowledge a woman's right in this respect. There are situations in which abortions are appropriate -- cases of rape, incest, emotional or physical inability of the mother to cope (and indeed the rabbis find ways to address these instances).

What is being said is that the McCain-Palin stand permits no abortions at all. But that beats Obama's position by a great deal. It was Michael Gerson, writing in The Washington Post a few months ago who called Obama's abortion stand "extreme." Obama opposed the legal ban on partial-birth abortions. Imagine: partially delivering a fetus -- a fetus close to being or perhaps already viable -- and then inserting something sharp into its brain to destroy it. This is OK so that a woman can have a choice? Forgive me, this is a moral obscenity. Saying it's very rarely done excuses nothing.

"And in the Illinois State Senate, [Obama] opposed a bill similar to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which prevents the killing of infants mistakenly left alive by abortion." How close to infanticide does it get?

It moved me today, to see Sarah Palin's husband cradling their baby son, while Sarah spoke about the unique joys and challenges of their special needs (Downs) child, the child she refused to abort . This speaks to me of character. Just as it speaks to me of character that John and Cindy McCain adopted a Bengali baby with a severe cleft palate from Mother Theresa's orphanage.

Maybe that's another source of my hope. There's been such a paucity of character in our leaders.

Please, see Jeff Jacoby's piece, "A stark choice on abortion":


More about Obama.

Journalist Kenneth Timmerman has just written that as a young man Obama was assisted by Khalid al-Mansour, who is "well known within the black community as a lawyer, an orthodox Muslim, a black nationalist, an author, an international deal-maker, an educator, and an outspoken enemy of Israel."

At the time that al-Mansour sought to give a boost to Obama, he was serving as an advisor to Saudi billionaires Abdul Aziz and Khalid al-Ibrahim, as well as to Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the nephew of King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia.

Why would al-Mansour have been interested promoting Barack Hussein Obama? I suggest that most Americans haven't a clue who Obama really is or what he stands for.


It's another flicker of hope I felt on reading news about Olmert today. This is a negative hope (is there such a thing?): The hope that we may soon be done with him, at long last. Things have dragged on so long that the end, when it comes, will be almost anti-climactic.

The evidence on Olmert with regard to at least three different cases -- it's not just the Talansky case -- are being consolidated by the police in the National Fraud Unit, who met today to discuss it. Within a week the decision as to whether to indict will be sent to the State Prosecutor, though it seems an indictment wouldn't actually be filed until late October, after the Holidays

It is my impression that if he were indicted he would be expected to step down -- even if a new government had not yet been formulated.


Syria's President Assad has announced that talks with Israel have been postponed because Olmert's aide, Yoram Turbowitz, who was heading up the indirect negotiations with Syria has resigned. A strange story here: he resigned but has offered to continue to do the negotiations on a volunteer basis. No, says Attorney General Mazuz, he has to be paid. Why does it matter? A volunteer has less accountability. Need more be said?


According to Assad, the up-coming fifth round of indirect talks, with Turkey as go-between, is supposed to lead to direct talks. He says he has now submitted proposals for peace to Israel.

There's a trap here, though. Assad is eager for international involvement in and support on these talks because then the international community would "make sure" that Olmert's successor followed down the same negotiating path. Allegedly, Olmert has agreed to give up the Golan Heights for peace. This man cannot be gone fast enough.


When MKs questioned him yesterday about Olmert's legitimate use of power -- since he has already committed to resigning -- Attorney General Mazuz replied that the government has characteristic in common with a transitional government.

The government is not formally transitional, as a new government is not being formed nor are we in the period before [announced] elections. However, decisions from the High Court regarding transitional governments elections should serve as guidelines here:

" the one hand, the government must provide stability and continuity so that there is no government vacuum. On the other hand, it must show restraint in applying its powers...[and] the government and its ministers must show restraint in applying their prerogatives regarding matters where there is no special, urgent need for taking action during the transitional period."

At this time, Olmert certainly has no business making promises to Syria that might have the effect of pushing his successor in a particular direction.


Olmert is allowing himself to be used by Assad, who is seeking a way out of his isolation.

Mere hours after making statements about peace with Israel, Assad was interviewed on Al Manar TV in Lebanon. He said:

"Syria has no interest in relinquishing its ties with Hezbollah. The Syrian stance towards Hezbollah remains unchanged.... Our attitude towards the resistance is clear wherever it may be; against the occupation in Iraq, Lebanon or Palestine."

As to negotiations with Israel, well, that was being done "in order to serve our own interests and not in order to give away any gifts."

If the present government moves to do any further negotiating with Syria, with Turbowitz or anyone else, it's even more obtuse and destructive than it has currently shown itself to be.


In a press conference yesterday, Riad al-Malki, PA Foreign Minister, declared that there has been no agreement between Israel and the PA on the smaller issues, never mind the core issues. He says not a word has been committed to paper.

see my website

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Blair in Nablus: Israeli checkpoints harming Palestinian economy

Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli checkpoints are hindering the economy of the city of Nablus, Quartet Envoy Tony Blair said during a surprise visit to the city on Thursday.
The former British prime minister also said that up to two billion dollars in investment could result from a follow-up economic conference that is planned to take place in the city this coming November.

During a press conference at An-Najah university, Blair also praised the work of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, who were charged with restoring order to the notoriously rebellious city last year.

Blair was joined by Nablus Governor Jamal Muhesein, University President Rami Al-Hamdallah, multimillionaire Munib Al-Masri, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University Salah Al-Masri.

Blair said that investors are prepared to put their money in the city, and to demand freedom of movement in the metropolis, which is virtually surrounded by the Israeli military.

Asked about Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, Blair said that he is optimistic, and that his presence in Nablus is a sign of progress.

Al-Hamdallah said the November investment conference, a sequel to a major investor’s meeting in May, will aim to raise funds for industrial, commercial, and agricultural projects in Nablus. The meeting will be held at An-Najah University.

Al-Hamdallah thanked Blair for his efforts exerted towards removing the so-called Checkpoint 17, to the north of Nablus, and the Shafi Shamron checkpoint to the south of the city, urging him to continue to pressure Israel to remove closures from around the city.

Munib Al-Masri said that 400 to 500 Palestinian, International and Arab investors are expected to attend the conference, which is backed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Earlier Blair met with the governor of Nablus along with seventeen Palestinian businessmen from the northern West Bank including Munib Al-Masri, Ziad Anabtawi and Salah Al-Masri.

Police to Recommend Indicting Olmert

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Police negotiators will meet Thursday and Sunday to wrap up recommendations that the government indict Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for crimes in three different cases, police sources said. The suggested indictments cover alleged fraud and breach of trust in the probes involving American businessman Morris Talansky, Rishon Tours and private investments Chief investigators and the head of the fraud squad also will decide whether to question him again. The Hebrew website NFC, which has been in the forefront in exposing the probes against him, said that police planned to question Prime Minister Olmert again on Friday, but that he refused because he does not feel well and has a heavy work load.

Amir Dan, spokesman for the Prime Minister, dismissed the reports of the recommendation of charges as "superfluous," as the police have already made it known they want to recommend indicting him.

The timing of the police recommendations is significant because Prime Minister Olmert intends to bring to the Cabinet on Sunday the issue of compensation for Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria who agree to leave their homes. Ministers from the entire political spectrum have denounced the planned discussions as poorly timed, and the Prime Minister said he will not ask the Cabinet to vote on the proposal.

The possible indictments involve some $150,000 in cash that Talansky transferred to Olmert, to be used simultaneously for Likud campaigns and for his own campaign in the mayoral race in Jerusalem. The Rishon Tours probe centers on allegations of double billing for trips Olmert took abroad. The system earned Olmert an extra $110,000 that his family is suspected of having used for private trips.

The police may also recommend indicting the Prime Minister for interfering in investm

PA minister: No agreement on any issue


Not a single word has been set on paper and there is no real agreement on the smaller points, let alone the core issues, of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said on Wednesday.
Negotiations between the two sides continue on almost a daily basis in an effort to reach a deal by the end of 2008, Malki told the Israel Council on Foreign Relations in Jerusalem.

He struck a pessimistic note when he added that "until this moment," with four months left to go until that deadline, "they [the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators] did not start writing one single word on paper. The reason for this is that they do not really agree on any issue or sub-issue yet.

"But they are trying very hard and they have exchanged positions, ideas and maps," Malki said.

His words were echoed by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad, who had been originally scheduled to address the council but at the last moment sent Malki in his stead.

In a statement that was read by Malki to the council, Fayad said, "I fear that the two-state solution is losing currency among both our peoples and with the world community beyond."

Extremists could take over the institutions of both sides, he said.

Their words followed a meeting on Sunday between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that was likely their last face-to-face exchange before the Kadima primary on September 17.

Israeli officials discounted Malki's pessimism, saying that progress had been made on important issues such as final borders and that it was logical that nothing had yet been formally set in writing, although clearly there were portions of negotiations' contents that had been written down.

In what is seen as a sign of significant progress toward resolving the issue of settlement expansion, the cabinet is set to discuss an evacuation-compensation plan for settlers in Judea and Samaria on Sunday, according to the Prime Minister's Office.

The initiative, first proposed by Labor and Meretz politicians years ago and being handled at the cabinet level by Vice Premier Haim Ramon, would compensate settlers who move within the Green Line.

Sources in Kadima said the decision to discuss the initiative was politically motivated.

"This government's days are numbered and there is no place for [discussing Ramon's initiative] before the diplomatic process has developed. This move seems to [have been] planned by someone who wants to prevent Olmert's successor from forming a coalition with Shas or other nationalist parties.

"The discussion comes too soon, and [the] political aim and timing, on the Ramon-Olmert axis, is not coincidental," the sources said.

This is the first time that the proposal has reached the cabinet level. According to left-wing groups that have worked on this issue, such as One House, thousands of settlers would be willing to evacuate peacefully in return for compensation.

The main opposition to Ramon's plan is expected to come from Shas and other hawkish coalition partners who believe that no decision on the issue should be made less then two weeks before the primary after which the prime minister is expected to make good on his word and resign.

The plan is also expected to be fiercely opposed by the Likud, National Union-National Religious Party and Israel Beiteinu.

The Prime Minister's Office said, however, that there was no intention of making a decision on the subject right away and that no vote would be held on the issue at the present time.

"The prime minister wants to hear what his ministers have to say," Olmert's staff said in a statement.

The spokesman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip said, "The only evacuation pending is the evacuation of the government for the failures it has brought the citizens of Israel."

Foreign minister Tzipi Livni, at a Kadima primary campaign event in Tel Aviv on Wednesday evening, came out against dealing with the evacuation and compensation bill now, saying it would be possible to push it forward only after "we know what the borders will be."

"Only after the road map [peace plan] is implemented will it be possible to be move to the next level," she said.

Livni's main rival in the Kadima race, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, came out "adamantly" against the proposal. "This is a law that weakens Israel, and weakens its position in the negotiations, and I will not support it," he said.

Sources close to Mofaz said the timing of bringing the bill to the cabinet now was odd, and indicated some discussions in the negotiations with the PA that Livni was heading were being kept from the public.

The sources said Livni should let the public know what was being discussed and "stop talking in two voices."

The cabinet discussion comes amidst harsh criticism by the Palestinians on Wednesday, including from Fayad and Malki, of settlement construction, which they say has increased sharply since the latest round of talks began in November 2007 in Annapolis, Maryland, contrary to Israel's agreement to refrain from such activity.

Such building destroyed the viability of a future Palestinians state, so "we understand by such actions that Israel does not want a viable state to be created," Malki said.

He declined to say what options the PA would consider should the idea of a two-state solution fall apart. But despite the dire warnings from Palestinian leaders that the two-state solution would soon be doomed, "We have to believe that a two-state solution is possible, but it depends on the attitude and the behavior of the Israeli government," Malki said.

Fayad said in the statement that Israel had to choose between settlements and a two-state solution.

The Palestinians, Malki said, were committed to reaching a peace accord by the end of 2008. It was possible, he said, if there was a desire on the Israeli side, that negotiations could continue in 2009 if that deadline was not met.

"I need the same assurances from the Israeli side and the international community. I do not know if the international community will maintain its interest in pursuing peace in 2009 as it did in 2008, he said.

He worried in particular that with the recent world events such as Russia's entry into Georgia, that the international community would lose its interest in solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

"We do need them here [the international community] he told The Jerusalem Post after the meeting. "We cannot progress in any way without them."

The Palestinians, Malki told the council, were committed to working for peace now, 10 years from now and 100 years from now, because peace between them and the Israelis was in everyone's interest.

"We will do our utmost to achieve it," he said, adding, "The sooner the better."

For the Palestinians, he said, that solution means a withdrawal to the pre-1967 border. When it came to Jerusalem, where that border ran through the city, Malki said he respected Israel's decision to make Jerusalem its capital just as he hoped that Israel would likewise respect the Palestinians' decision that it was their capital as well.

"I do believe that Jerusalem is so important and so holy for all of us. You know that we could share [it]," he said.

Gaza was also an important part of the future Palestinian state, Malki said. "We have said it very clearly from the beginning that the problem in Gaza is a problem that we are determined to solve and we will solve it in due time."

Should a final-status agreement be reached with Israel, it would be the PA's responsibility to bring Gaza back under the PA's control, he said.

As an initial step in that direction, Abbas called in June for the start of a national dialogue among all the Palestinians factions, including Hamas. The PA had asked Egypt to create the "positive conditions and atmosphere" for such a dialogue, Malki said.

Even today, Egypt was working on a bilateral level with the representatives of the various factions to see if a national dialogue could be held under the umbrella of the Arab League.

"We are hopeful that all the factions will adhere to such an initiative and that this initiative will result in ending the separation between Gaza and the West Bank and will bring Gaza back under the full authority of the government leadership," Malki said.

Once Gaza and the West Bank were reunited, one of the first steps would be the creation of a coalition government that was not partisan and not factional, he said.

At that time the PA security services would be restructured.

It would also be helpful to have a pan-Arab force deployed in Gaza to help ensure order. It is an idea, said Malki, which has the support both of the PA and of Egypt.

He said he planned to raise the matter at the September 8 meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, should Egypt fail to open a debate on the issue.

"We will assess then exactly if this idea is possible and practical and under what conditions," Malki said.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1220444320861&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Ancient Jerusalem Walls Uncovered

Jerusalem ( – Archeologists have unearthed a section of the ancient wall that surrounded Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. They've also unearthed another wall built above it that surrounded the city when Christians ruled Jerusalem some 400 years later.
The finds shed light on how the city defended itself in ancient times.

The excavations, which are being conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority, a governmental body, are not open to the public. Journalists were given a look at the site for the first time on Wednesday.

Located on the biblical Mount Zion are the remains a 10-foot tower that was part of the outer wall of Jerusalem from the Second Temple period, which includes the time when Jesus was in Jerusalem, until the Romans captured and destroyed the Second Jewish Temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Above it, following a similar line, are the remains of the wall that surrounded Jerusalem from the Byzantine Period (324-660 A.D.), when Byzantine Christians ruled the city.

IAA archeologist Yehiel Zelinger, who is directing the excavation, said both walls were part of the city when Jerusalem had reached its largest size – which was about two times the size of today's walled Old City.

"In the Second Temple period, the city, with the Temple at its center, was a focal point for Jewish pilgrimage from all over the ancient world," Zelinger said. In the Byzantine period it attracted Christian pilgrims who came to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, he said.

The exposure of the two walls, the second of which was built 400 years after the first in the same location, "prove that this is [the] most advantageous topographic location for the defense of the city," said Zelinger.

The lines of the wall that delineate Mount Zion on the southern and western sides were first discovered and excavated by the British Palestine Exploration Fund. But the archeologists used excavation shafts and subterranean tunnels so the walls were never actually exposed.

When Zelinger and his team began excavating the area a year and a half ago, they found a number of "souvenirs" left behind from that first archeological expedition, including a 110-year-old shoe and beer and wine bottles from that era.

The IAA has dozens of archeological excavations in Jerusalem and throughout Israel, a spokeswoman said.

IAA archeologist Jon Seligman said eventually, the excavations here will be included in a planned promenade for tourists that will go around Mt. Zion all the way to the Dung Gate in the current Old City walls, which is just outside the Western Wall plaza and Temple Mount.

Visitors will be able to walk along the path and see the ancient walls of Jerusalem on one side and the Hinnom Valley and present day Jerusalem on the other, Seligman told

Sarah Palin mesmerizes Israeli filmmaker,7340,L-3591532,00.html

Los Angeles-based director Elan Frank met Alaska's governor, Republican vice-presidential hopeful several months ago while filming documentary about extraordinary women, and was hooked
Dana Zimmerman

"Sarah Palin is a very special woman. She has a tranquility about her, no matter what the situation is," this is how Elan Frank, a California-based Israeli filmmaker, chooses to describe the Republican Party's newly chosen vice-presidential hopeful. Frank shadowed Palin, who is the presiding governor of Alaska, for three days some three months ago, as part of a documentary he made about extraordinary women around the world.


Congressman: Choosing Palin an insult to Jews / Yitzhak Benhorin

Democratic Congressman Wexler blasts McCain's decision to choose Palin as running mate, slams her support for 'Nazi sympathizer' Buchanan; However, Jewish sources endorse move, praise Alaska governor as friend of Jewish community
Full story

Frank, 52, has been living in Los Angeles for the past 12 years. He first visited Alaska in 1983, when he was given a year's leave from the Israeli Air Force, where he served as a fighter pilot.

"I made it a point to come back to Alaska every three years or so, since. It's a very hard country. The real final frontier. They have seven men for every woman, so I thought about making a film about women in Alaska. I did some research, and then I thought – 'well, why focus only on Alaska? Why not focus on women worldwide and make a film about women empowerment?'"

Frank sent film crews to Nepal and the Negev, to follow two extraordinary women, and decided to follow three Alaskan women himself – a teacher, a pilot and the new governor.

"I wasn't planning on focusing on famous characters, but Palin's story is so unique I decided to include her. She is the first woman of Alaska, which isn't something to be treated lightly; not to mention a former beauty queen, basketball player, fisherwoman and hunter – and a mother of four (Frank's film followed Palin before she has her fifth child). I saw something amazing there," he said.

Everyday intimacies

He contacted Palin four months ago, and according to him she found his idea riveting. He was in the midst of planning his trip to Alaska when he got a phone call from Palin, who was in LA and wanted to meet him.

"I met her in my Hollywood office and we talked for over an hour… we instantaneously clicked and we had a blast. The funny thing is," he added, "that a few days later I got an email from a friend in Alaska telling me she was seven months pregnant. I didn't notice a thing until later, when we were filming.

"I guess she's one of those women you can't really when they're pregnant, and she was probably dressing to hide it a little. You wouldn't know to look for it."

About a month after the meeting in Los Angeles, Frank and his video camera showed up on Palin's doorstep. "I went by myself because I wanted to have the chance to create real intimacy," he said. he ended up following Palin around for three days, filming nearly five hours of raw footage.

Striking woman. Palin with Frank (photo courtesy of the Governor of Alaska Press Office)

"I would get up in the morning, drive to her office and just follow her around all day. The amazing thing was that she never asked me to stop filming. I was there for everything – the phone calls and the meetings – and she would answer any question I had, she was very cooperative."

Frank also recorded Palin at home. "I have her with her family, making sandwiches for her daughter after school, watching television. I spoke to her husband and asked him about how it feels to be married to such a dominant woman. I have the two of them talking about private matters. I was able to catch very intimate moments on film. She even played the flute for me."

Palin is charming, he continued. "She struck me as an honest, direct person. She's under a lot of pressure but she always has time for everyone."


When asked about Palin's past support of Pat Buchanan, whose anti-Israeli views are common knowledge, Frank said that Palin's support of Buchanan stemmed from his positions in other issues, and that she did not agree with his views of Israel.

"She had an Israeli flag, of all the things, mounted on her office wall, and I have that on film" he said. "I was very surprised to see that and when I asked her about it, she said that she loves Israel and the she had friends who visited the country and brought her the flag."

Palin, according to Frank, has clear political aspiration, but he did not dwell on them on the movie. "I didn't ask about politics because I didn't want to stir away from my (movie) plan, but she definitely struck me as someone who wants to move ahead. She's the over-achiever type."

The announcement that Republican presidential hopeful John McCain chose the little-known Alaska governor for his running mate came as a surprise to Frank. "I knew she was shortlisted but her name wasn't the one that came popping up. all of a sudden, I turn on the TV and see her photo. I was elated, it's like my best friend was picked for the job."

Frank is now looking into the possibility of filing a second documentary, shadowing Palin until election day. in light of the nomination, he added, he has also been approached by various media groups, which are interested in the footage he already has.

"I have a lot of authentic footage that shows who she really is. You can tell a lot about her from that. She really is one of us."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Police Round Up Dozens of Would-be Protestors, Use Violence

Hillel Fendel
( Dozens of concerned citizens who wished to protest against the banning of three young men from their homes in Yesha for 3-4 months were detained - and some were beaten - before they could start protesting. In addition to accusing them of "planning to take part in an illegal demonstration," the police used violence on several occasions against youths and adults before and after the protest rally.
Complaints have been filed with the police against some of the officers involved in the arrests and violence (see below).

The story began last week when the IDF issued orders to three young fathers living in Jewish towns in Samaria (Shomron), banning them from their homes, or from anywhere in Judea and Samaria, for the next 3-4 months. This, despite the harm caused to their family situations, jobs, and agricultural plans for the coming months.

The orders state that they are perceived as a "security threat." One of the three, Akiva HaCohen, said he thought he was being targeted because of his involvement in an initiative to organize public protests when police or soldiers attempt to evict Jews from hilltops.

"Police Do Our Work for Us"
Incensed activists of Women in Green, the Givatayim Settlers, Homesh First, Saving the Land and People, and other nationalist groups organized a protest vigil for Tuesday evening outside the home of IDF Central Commander Gen. Gad Shamni. As one organizer - Mati Barnea, of the Givatayim Settlers - later told Arutz-7, "We never dreamt that we would get such great publicity, but the police did the work for us. They turned it into a major event."

What they did was to detain at least two busloads of would-be demonstrators and beat several detainees who were already in the police station. In addition, Barnea said, "they blocked the entrances to Reut [where Gen. Shamni lives], deployed detectives all around the town, and even had a large presence on Route 443 [a main Jerusalem-Modiin highway]."
Click here for a Hebrew-language video of the events.

Informed that the police later claimed that the protestors wished to block Route 443, Barnea - and other participants - said they knew of no one who had such plans.

Elderly Broadcaster Detained
One protestor, Moshe D. of Jerusalem, said, "We were about 15 people in a van from Jerusalem, and we arrived at the parking lot at Shilat Junction to wait for the others. Suddenly, some policemen came up to us, accused us of wanting to take part in an illegal demonstration, and rounded up some. One of those arrested was Walter Bingham, 85-year-old showhost on IsraelNationalRadio. They put him into a police van for about 15 minutes, ignoring his protests."

Lamenting the police violence, Barnea said, "The police wanted to show what they could do - even though just about a kilometer from the same site, at Naalin [where anarchists, Arabs and leftists demonstrate against police and soldiers every week], the same police allow the demonstrators to throw things at them, spit at them, and the like - and do nothing in response."

"In addition, protests take place outside the home of Education Minister Yuli Tamir, and the police don't take action, and just recently there was one - without a permit - outside the home of Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The police allow the left-wingers to demonstrate, but not those who stand up for the true values that keep this country alive: The People of Israel and the Land of Israel."

Matar's Story
Nadia Matar, co-chair of Women in Green, was detained in the Modiin police station until close to 2 AM. She said, "When three policemen first surrounded my car, they asked me where I was going. I said I was going to see some friends. They asked me for their names and phone numbes, and I said, 'That is too much already. I'm not under arrest.' So they said, 'We are detaining you on suspicion of wanting to participate in an illegal protest.' I asked them if they were mind-readers..."
"They had me follow them to the police station, where they actually had an investigator test my car like they do on the annual inspection. Within a few minutes, a whole bunch of people werer brought in, on the same charges; they had been in the bus in front of me, from the Kiryat Arba-Gush Etzion area. Later, we heard that the other bus, from Jerusalem, was also stopped, and the passengers taken to the police station in Ramle."
The police detained at least one of the buses with the excuse that the tires were suspected of being low on air.

Police Protect "Illegal" Protest
Ironically, the purportedly illegal demonstration was actually held, with dozens of people who were not arrested holding signs outside Shamni's house. The signs read, 'Shamni expels Jewish pioneers,' 'Shamni is a political general,' and the like. Policemen stood guard nearby, but witnesses said they used violence to remove the last of the demonstrators.

After the vigil was over, many of the protestors came to the police station to show solidarity with the detainees. Matar recounted:

"The protestors stood outside the station, making noise, blowing whistles and the like, protesting against our detention merely for wanting to stand up for justice in this country - and suddenly a whole bunch of policemen swooped down on them very violently. One girl in particular was treated very brutally - she was dragged with her army behind her back, her shirt was pulled down, and she cried out... We all started to surround the policeman who was doing this, yelling at him to stop - and suddenly the policemen started hitting us! Myself, Daniella Weiss, the photographer Miriam Tzachi - not young girls...
15 Remain Under Arrest
"After a few minutes, calm was restored. Each of us was then put through a mini-interrogation, but we essentially said that we refused to answer because this was a political interrogation. Finally, towards 2AM, they left most of us go - but another 15 or so remained under arrest. We didn't want to leave until they were released, but finally around 4:30 they took them away to a prison cell."

The 15 youths were in fact held until Wednesday afternoon, released after paying a bond of 250 shekels each and being ordered to stay out of the Modiin-Reut area for the next 30 days.
Shmuel Medad, head of the Honenu legal rights organization which helps nationalist-camp members who are arrested during the course of their activities, told at around 5 PM, "The last of the 15, Itamar Ben-Gvir, is having his hour in court right now. He is demanding to know why he was arrested in the first place." Ben-Gvir is a veteran of legal struggles in these matters, and is said to know his way around the court system better than many lawyers.

Complaints Filed Against Violent Policemen
Honenu's sister organization, Yesha Civil Rights, headed by Orit Strook of Hevron, has submitted complaints to the Department for Complaints Against Policemen of Israel Police. A complaint was filed against the officer who made the decision to detain and arrest citizens with no crime having been committed, "violating their freedom of movement based only on suspicions, as if the police were a 'thought police.'"
Other complaints were filed against the officer commanding the Modiin Police Station on Tuesday night, under whose watch the citizens were beaten inside the station, and against the police officer who ordered the whistling demonstrators to disperse - but gave them no time to do so before ordering his men to swoop down on them and beat them with clubs.

Not Only Shamni
"The police hysteria shows that they want to keep this whole thing of the eviction orders quiet," Barnea said. "But it boomeranged on them. We will now redouble our efforts. I can just say that Shamni is not the only one whose home has to be 'visited' in this manner. Let his neighbors, and those of the others involved in this travesty, know exactly what they did."

Let Them Live!
Summing up the night, Barnea said, "It can't be that when we fight for the country's most important values, the authorities utilise clauses from the Turkish law, or from laws that were specifically enacted so that Israel could fight its enemies, to detain or arrest or banish them without trial or explanation. Olmert has not been banished from his home in Jerusalem even though he is suspected of many crimes, and the same has to be true for Land of Israel supporters as well. If they are suspected of a crime, let them be indicted - otherwise, let them live."

MK Eldad to Screen 'Fitna' in Jerusalem

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Knesset Member Arieh Eldad (NU-NRP) will screen a section of the controversial short film Fitna, as part of a press conference announcing the formation of a new coalition of European lawmakers on Wednesday. In the conference, Eldad will also
The expansion of Islam poses a severe threat to Western civilization.
announce "a first-of-its-kind summit in Jerusalem for the establishment of a defensive coalition of European legislators." The new coalition, Eldad explained, is geared towards those European Parliament members who recognize that the expansion of Islam poses a severe threat to Western civilization. He plans to host a summit of like-minded European legislators in Jerusalem towards the end of 2008. "The jihad must be stopped," Eldad said. "If Jerusalem capitulates, Europe is next."

By way of introduction to the theme of his proposed coalition, MK Eldad will screen scenes from the 15-minute March 2008 film Fitna, produced by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. The film portrays the Koranic verses and teachings that inspire jihadist terrorism and Muslim triumphalism today. Release of the video on the Internet was accompanied by threats and boycotts from Muslims aimed at the Netherlands and Dutch assets abroad.

Wilders called his mini-film "a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization."

Fitna: The Movie
The movie displays explicit texts from the Koran, as well as Muslim clerics, calling for murder and violence towards non-believers.

One frenzied Muslim cleric is seen calling for the murder of Jews; he unsheathes a sword and cries out, "By Allah, we shall cut off the Jew's head! Allah is great! Allah is great! Jihad for the sake of Allah!" The audience, in a similar frenzy, cheers him on.

One of the Koranic verses quoted in the movie reads, "Those who have disbelieved our signs, we shall roast them in fire. Whenever their skins are cooked to a turn, we shall substitute new skins for them, that they may feel the punishment. Verily, Allah is sublime and wise." This is followed by scenes of enemies of Islam being dragged through the streets, a bombed-out bus in London, an imam (Muslim preacher) calling for death to all Jews, and signs at Muslim rallies reading, "Be prepared for the real Holocaust," "God bless Hitler," and "Islam will dominate the world."

Yet another verse quoted in the film said, "Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks, and when ye have caused a bloodbath among them, bind a bond firmly on them." Another Muslim preacher is then seen saying calmly, "Throats must be slit and skulls must be shattered - this is the path to victory."

Imams and Moslem leaders are shown preaching, "Islam is a religion that wants to rule the world. It has done so before, and eventually will rule it again.... By Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again! The day will come when we will rule America! The day will come when we will rule Britain! ...You will take over the USA! You will defeat them all! You will get victory!"

Fitna ends with a call by Wilders for Europe to defeat Islamist ideology, just as it defeated the threats of Nazism and Communism in the past.

EU Legislator: Money for PA Obstacle to Peace

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Increased European Union (EU) aid to Hamas workers for the Palestinian Authority (PA) is illegal and is an obstacle to peace, EU Member of Parliament Daniel Hannan wrote in the London Telegraph. The EU has approved giving the PA another $80 million in addition to $500 million it already has received from the EU this year. Hannan stated that "a welfare state is…the perfect terrorist habitat."

"The EU's generosity with our money…creates two problems," he wrote. "First, the PA is run by Hamas, which is on the EU's list of designated terrorist operations. Under Brussels rules, funding such an organization is a criminal offence. Euro-lawyers have sought to circumvent the letter of the law by funneling aid money through NGOs, but this is sheer sophistry. Many of the PA's officials are Hamas militants, whose salaries are being paid while they serve their sentences in Israeli jails."
Many of the PA's officials are Hamas militants, whose salaries are being paid while they serve their sentences in Israeli jails.

"Second, it is becoming increasingly clear that overseas aid is arresting a political settlement in the region. Palestinians receive more assistance, per capita, than any other people on Earth, and live in one of its most violent spaces. The two facts are connected.

Hannan, a journalist from London, wrote that the idea "aggression can be buried under a landslide" of money is based on an illusion that poverty causes violence. "People who are worried about food and shelter have little time to go on demos," he asserted. "It is when they have time to sit and brood that their thoughts turn to bloodshed."

Hannan proposed that a PA society based on capitalism would be more stable than today's reality and would increase civil order. However, "None of this will happen as long as Palestinians remain trapped in the squalor of dependency. The EU, in its well-intentioned but doltish way, is fuelling the conflict," he concluded.

Jerusalem concerned as Egypt halts gas supply to Israel

Avi Bar-Eli

The supply of natural gas from Egypt to Israel was halted on Friday and has yet to be resumed. Concern is mounting in Jerusalem: Sources there believe Egypt is struggling to supply all its clients, and has chosen to cut back its supply for its neighbors, including Israel, some of which pay especially low prices for the fuel. Israel receives Egyptian gas through Egyptian-Israeli consortium EMG.

The Israel Electric Corporation, which is the main consumer of the Egyptian gas, has resorted to buying larger amounts from the Tethys Sea group through spot deals that are significantly more expensive. The outcome could well be higher electricity bills for Israel's consumers as the IEC rolls over the higher cost onto them.
In 2001, EMG won a tender issued by the IEC to supply gas at an attractive price of $2.75 per million BTU (British thermal units). The commercial contract with the IEC was signed in 2005, after the governments in Cairo and Jerusalem signed an umbrella agreement guaranteeing the supply of gas.

The contract locks in a 15-year supply of gas, at a pace of 1.7 billion cubic meters (BCM) a year, with the options of increasing the supply by 25% and extending the deal by five years.

In 2006 EMG began laying down a 100-kilometer undersea pipeline to bring the gas from El-Arish in Egypt to Ashkelon, at a cost of $470 million. The works ended in 2007 and gas began to flow on May 1, 2008.

But the pipeline's operation has been anything but smooth, sometimes halting because of problems with the quality of the gas. Also, only about a third of the promised amount has been forthcoming.

Meanwhile, opposition has been rising in Egypt, partially against the sale of gas to Israel, but mainly against the relatively low price set in the contract. Officials from both countries have held a series of dramatic, top-secret meetings regarding the volume of supply and change to the contract signed between EMG and the IEC.

Egyptian sources strongly implied that they want to reopen the deal. Talks have broken down since then.

EMG has frozen talks to sell Egyptian gas to other Israeli consumers, until the relations between the two countries clear up. However, EMG did place a bid in another IEC tender, for the supply of 5 BCM more.

Sources in Israel's energy market say that Egypt simply doesn't have the production capacity to supply its own consumption of gas and its contractual obligations to clients. That is why Cairo has had to decide on cutbacks in the gas it supplies - and it decided to start with the countries to which it supplies gas at subsidized prices - Jordan and Syria, or at a discount - Israel.

Meanwhile, in any case, voices of opposition to the deal with Israel have been growing stronger. Foreign news agencies have been reporting that a Cairo court will be discussing a petition by opposition politicians in Egypt, challenging the legality of the agreement between Israel and Egypt.

"The commercial agreement between the Israel Electric Corporation and EMG rests on the agreement between the two nations to supply gas to consumers in Israel," the IEC stated. "We are handling the day-to-day issues, while the government is handling the strategic issues. Based on the information we have at hand, we believe that the gas supply problems will be resolved shortly."

The National Infrastructures Ministry commented that it was aware of the technical difficulties in supplying gas from Egypt to Israel, but stressed that it has faith in the agreement between the two countries.

"We have no doubt that Egypt will stand by the agreement it signed with the government in Israel, including the commercial agreement signed between EMG and Israeli customers. The ministry is in constant contact with government officials in Cairo and in parallel is making great effort to assure additional sources of gas, including Russia and Azerbaijan," the ministry stated.

Teva drug slows progression of Parkinson's

Israel 21c

New findings show a drug developed by Israel's pharma giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, has been proven to slow the progression of the illness. Patients who took Teva's Azilect 1mg pill once a day at the start of a late-stage Phase III 18-month trial showed "significant improvement" over patients who began taking the pill nine months later, Petah Tikva based Teva announced in a statement yesterday.

In the early part of the trial, called Adagio, patients experienced slower disease progression and in the last part, saw a steadying of symptoms. They also experienced a smaller decrease in baseline function, Teva announced.

Nearly one million people in the US, and four million worldwide suffer from Parkinson's, a progressive neurodegenerative condition that destroys a patient's nerve functions. The chronic disease occurs when a group of cells in the brain responsible for producing the hormone dopamine, begin to die.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that sends information to the parts of the brain that control movement and coordination. When levels of dopamine decrease it affects the way a person can control movement leading to tremors, difficulty in speaking and walking, posture problems and depression.

Azilect is a joint development by Teva and two professors from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology ? Prof. Moussa Youdim, who began work on the drug in the 1970s, and Prof. John Finberg. The once-a-day pill was approved as a treatment for Parkinson's in 2005.

It inhibits the production of the enzyme that destroys dopamine, thereby increasing levels of the hormone in the brain. It often prescribed in combination with levodopa, a drug which converts into dopamine in the body.

Teva claims that Azilect, which is known as rasagiline in its generic form, is the first drug on the market to slow the progression of Parkinson's.

"Delaying disease progression is the most important unmet need in the management of Parkinson's disease," stated Prof. C. Warren Olanow, professor and chairman of the department of neurology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and Adagio co-principal investigator.

"Results of the study show that early treatment with once-daily rasagiline 1mg tablets provided significant clinical benefits that were not obtained by those patients where initiation of Azilect therapy was delayed by nine months," he continued.

"Its fantastic that we have developed this in Israel in a small laboratory - that we have competed with major drug companies, and have beaten them at their own game," Youdim told ISRAEL21c in an interview in 2006.

The Teva Azilect trial was one of the largest studies conducted on Parkinson's, and included 1,176 patients with early-stage symptoms at 129 medical centers in 14 countries around the world. The results were presented at the 12th congress of the
European Federation of Neurological Societies in Madrid.

Sales of the medicine are expected to leap dramatically in the wake of this news, with Teva anticipating a rise to sales of at least $1 billion a year. Total sales of drugs for Parkinson's worldwide stands at $33.7 billion annually. Teva hopes US and European regulators to expand the official labeling of Azilect's approved uses.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Israel asks checkpoint soldiers to stop eating in front of fasting Palestinians during Ramadan

Maan News

Bethlehem – Ma’an – With the Monday morning start of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, Israeli forces gave directives to soldiers manning 470 checkpoints in the west Bank to avoid eating in front of Palestinian citizens when they pass through checkpoints. The directives also instructed soldiers to avoid smoking and drinking in front of Palestinians as a sign of respect for those who fast as a religious act.

The Israeli civil administration further decided to allow Palestinians living in Israel access to the West Bank (what they called “Palestinian Authority areas”) in order to visit their families. Money will also be permitted to be transferred to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, so they can buy the appropriate foods for breaking their fast.

Israeli authorities also promised to coordinate with the Palestinian ministry of endowment about increasing number of permits given to Palestinian Muslims to enter Jerusalem so they can perform their Ramadan prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Several international organizations have urged Israel to issue an additional directive during this holy month: to remove the checkpoints that humiliate, disrupt and create suffering to the daily travels of Palestinians between work, home and family