Saturday, September 13, 2008

Russia seeks stronger ties with Syria

Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST
Russia announced Friday it was renovating a Syrian port for use by the Russian fleet in what signals an effort for a better foothold in the Mediterranean amid the rift with the United States over Georgia.
Syria was Moscow's strongest Middle East ally during the Cold War. The alliance largely waned after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, though Russia has continued some weapons sales to Damascus. Syrian President Bashar Assad has increasingly reached out to Russia recently, including seeking weapons and offering broader military cooperation.

Friday's announcement was the first tangible sign of any new cooperation. The Itar-Tass news agency said Friday that a vessel from Russia's Black Sea fleet had begun restoring facilities at Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus for use by the Russian military.

The two countries' naval chiefs also met in Moscow on Friday and discussed "further strengthening mutual trust and mutual understanding between the two states' fleets," a Russian naval official, Igor Dygalo, told Itar-Tass.

The Tartus renovations could signal an intention to have a long-term Russian naval presence there. In late August, Russia's ambassador to Damascus, Igor Belyev, said that Russian ships already patrol the area, but "a new development is that the Russian presence in the Mediterranean will become permanent."

The Russian navy's closest access to the Mediterranean is through the Black Sea, where they have strong naval presence. But that area has seen an increase in NATO naval activity after the Georgia conflict, prompting Russian complaints that NATO has exceeded ship numbers permitted there under international agreements.

The move comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Russia after last month's brief war in Georgia. The rift has raised concerns Moscow might start reaching out to US rivals around the world to beef up military alliances. Russian bombers this month arrived in Venezuela for training exercises and the two countries are to hold joint exercises in the Caribbean in November.

Syrian media made no mention of the Russian announcement Friday, and Syrian officials could not be reached for comment. In Syria, military activities are rarely discussed or divulged by authorities who keep a tight lid on state security matters.

Russian military experts said Tartus would be a considerable boost for operations in the Mediterranean.

"It is much more advantageous to have such a facility than to return ships patrolling the Mediterranean to their home bases," former Black Sea Fleet commander Adm. Eduard Baltin said, according to the Russian Interfax-AVN service.

The former first deputy commander the Russian Navy, Adm. Igor Kasatonov, said Tartus "is of great geopolitical significance considering that it is the only such Russian facility abroad."

The former Soviet Union had a maintenance and supply facility in Tartus under a 1971 agreement with Damascus, but the deal ended with the fall of the Communist regime in Moscow. Currently the facility at Tartus consists of three floating piers, one of which is currently operational, one floating repair shop, warehouses, barracks and other facilities, according to Russian press reports.

Security expert David Hartwell cautioned against reading too much into a connection between the Russia-Syria ties and the Georgia crisis.

"Talks about naval cooperation have been ongoing for several years. It would wrong to suggest this is a reaction to NATO's action in Georgia," said Hartwell, Middle East and North Africa editor for Jane's Country Risk in London.

The Tartus move may be as much aimed at placating Syria's appeals for greater cooperation. he said from London.

Assad made a visit to Moscow last month, and before the trip told the Russian business daily Kommersant that Syria was "ready to cooperate with Russia in any way," including discussing deploying missile defense systems on Syrian territory.

Assad also said Syria was ready to help Moscow respond to the planned US missile defense shield in Europe, although the Russians have not asked for such help, the newspaper said.

Syria's government later denied that Assad had made such an offer to host Russian missiles on Syrian land, or even discussed it with Russia - apparently wary of overly antagonizing the United States.

This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1221142460251&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The objective study of Islam and charges of Islamophobia: twins separated at birth

The importance of this story is highlighting how mere curiosity about Islam, followed by an objective inquiry, leads non-Muslims to the sorts of conclusions that are mainstays to this site. This man, like many before him, knew very little about Islam; after 9/11, he began educating himself. As a result, he acknowledges some of the problematic aspects of Islam. He concludes, “I’ve tried to keep this as objective as I can." Ironically, though, the more objective one is about Islam, the more open one becomes to accusations of "Islamophobe."

"McCrudden’s new book seeks to answer questions of Islam," South Coast Register, September 12:

RESEARCHING the origins of the Bible may seem an unusual way to start delving into the details of Islam, but that is the journey travelled by retired Nowra criminal lawyer Jim McCrudden.

And it led to the launch on Thursday of the book Islam FAQ.

Reverend Fred Nile officially launched the book, describing it as “a very valuable publication”.

Reverend Nile said Islam was “a major world religion” that was strong in areas close to Australia, including Indonesia.

“They’re right on our doorstep, so we need to know about them, and we need to know facts,” Rev Nile said.


But one thing common throughout the religion was the aim of changing Western society to have all people adopt Islamic customs and laws, he [McCrudden] claimed.

“It’s well worthwhile knowing that Islamists have a particular wish to have their customs made everyone’s customs,” Mr McCrudden said.

Those changes were already happening.

At Melbourne’s Monash University there were separate toilets for Muslims, Mr McCrudden said, and in England a small council that met around a table had abandoned having water and biscuits during meetings held during the holy month of Ramadan, at the request of two Islamic councillors.

Despite the concerns he raised, Mr McCrudden said he had no personal view on Islam as, “I’ve tried to keep this as objective as I can”.

Thanks Jihad Watch.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Seven Years After

Abe Greenwald Web Exclusive

Making it through the past seven years without a terrorist attack in the Unites States constitutes a miracle even if Democrats pretend it does not. Such a national security achievement is the result of smart initiatives and the judicious employment of military force, even if President Bush's critics treat it as sheer good luck. That such luck has selectively eluded Great Britain, Spain, Russia, China, Indonesia, and Turkey (to name but a few) during the same period of time is habitually ignored by those making the case against "the worst president in U.S. history."
While al Qaeda has managed to explode buses, trains and buildings in other world capitals, the United States--the terrorists' number-one enemy--has thwarted at least 19 terrorist plots and killed or captured thousands upon thousands of Islamist terrorists. Yet, we are supposed to lament the great squandering of world sympathy and national resources foolishly overseen by our President in his misguided War on Terror.

If by "world sympathy" critics are referring to the 24-hour cycle of weeping international headlines that followed the attacks of September 11 or to the cc's of Yasser Arafat's donated (and almost certainly infected) blood, then they're right: George W. Bush failed to put such valuable assets to work for America. And if by "resources" they mean American aid, then they are right there, too: Though Bush did increase international aid by an unprecedented 50 percent in three years, he failed to transform the U.S. - already the largest benefactor in world history - into a pure patron-state devoted to the health and well-being of its enemies. We will just have to live with the legacy of these missed opportunities.

But if by "world sympathy" one means the ethical self-interest of free countries in seeing that America remains the most powerful player on the globe, then President Bush has certainly made the most of a dwindling supply. At the time of the September 11 attacks, some key European countries were under the leadership of uniquely anti-American opportunists. To be sure, French President Jaques Chirac was more interested in the price of oil than the price of freedom, and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was adept at exploiting anti-American sentiment in order to consolidate popular support and cozy up to Russia. Even so, France, Germany and other NATO allies contributed to the coalition effort against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Bush even got Russia to provide the hospital in Kabul, used to treat coalition forces and Afghan civilians.

If Afghanistan is supposedly the "good war" and Iraq a disastrous war of choice, then Bush's critics need to explain why our coalition for the former was so similar to our coalition for the latter. The main difference is that the two most cynical partners in Afghanistan--Chirac's France and Schroeder's Germany--bailed out on Iraq for the most cynical reason: financial partnership with autocrats. Happily for everyone, we are prevailing in Iraq without the help of France and Germany, and those two nations can now boast of dynamically pro-American leaders who, for the most part, share our level of commitment to the War on Terror.

In terms of resources, there is no doubt that America has paid a heavy price in blood and treasure to ensure that our homeland has remained safe these seven years. It is this very sacrifice on the part of so many men and women that demands an honest accounting of America's progress against her enemies. For, even though Democrats use careful language in discussing our troops and they throw around terms like honor and duty, they imply in their every snicker and denouncement that American lives have also been squandered in Iraq. That brand of dishonest sanctimony is conveyed perfectly in something Nancy Pelosi said to Wolf Blitzer in February:

There haven't been gains, Wolf. The gains have not produced the desired effect, which is the reconciliation of Iraq. This is a failure. This is a failure. The troops have succeeded, God bless them. We owe them the greatest debt of gratitude for their sacrifice, their patriotism, and for their courage and to their families as well. But they deserve better than the policy of a war without end, a war that could be 20 years or longer.

In other words: The troops have succeeded wonderfully in their failure, and by the way God bless them. And if you don't yet grasp the pointlessness of the Iraq War, let me throw out an imaginary figure of 20 years and see if that does the trick.

The troops deserve better.

After September 11, it became clear that the forces of clerical barbarism in the Muslim world had to be destroyed to the best of our ability. Draining the swamp of theocrats would give Muslims a chance to improve their lot in this lifeand decrease the sick desire to atomize themselves into the next. The troops deployed in Iraq have not only succeeded in deposing Saddam's Ba'athist regime, but also in defeating jihadists whose ideology poses a singular threat to American existence. Over the course of the war that Nancy Pelosi calls a failure, support for jihad has plummeted all over the Muslim world. Every major poll indicates popular Muslim disillusionment with Osama bin Laden and his nihilistic tactics. As soldiers and Marines, the men and women fighting in Iraq have done nothing less than ensure the continued existence of the free world. As civilians, we're obligated to let them know we owe them everything.

Every criticism of President Bush's national security record begins rightly with the charge that Osama bin Laden has not been captured or confirmed dead. Any honest defense of Bush must reckon with this fact. The story goes that in 2003 U.S. forces abandoned the hunt for bin Laden in eastern Afghanistan and shifted their focus onto Iraq, giving the al Qaeda leader a free pass so that we could take up arms against a regime unconnected to the attacks of September 11. Let's put aside the fact that this is a false choice. And let's put aside questions about the claim's legitimacy regarding timelines, intelligence agencies, roaming fighters, Iraq's terrorist ties, and the dynamics of force deployment, and simply accept the accusation at its most damning. To wit: Bush lost bin Laden by going into Iraq. Okay: If I were offered the choice of taking out one al Qaeda mastermind who had recently been reduced to the status of cave-dwelling spoken-word artist or more than a thousand senior al Qaeda operatives and tens of thousands of armed Islamist soldiers, I would choose the latter a thousand out of a thousand times.

And the proof is in the pudding. Consider the decimated state of al Qaeda and related organizations since they've come up against overwhelming American force in Iraq. As CIA director Michael Hayden recently put it, we've seen "Near strategic defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat for al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Significant setbacks for al-Qaeda globally." Would the hunt for one man in the caves of Afghanistan and Pakistan have yielded better results? In answering, don't forget the debilitating caution employed by the U.S. inside Pakistani territory (at least until recently) so as not to upset Islamabad.

Again, it's not a real choice, but if the Democrats want to peddle the bin Laden or Iraq line, they should be prepared to say why Bush chose wrong. No, it's not acceptable that Osama bin Laden hasn't been killed or captured, but his evasion of American forces has not occurred in a vacuum. What the U.S. has accomplished apart from the failure to get one man has undoubtedly saved countless American lives, freed millions in the Muslim world, and mobilized anti-radical sentiment throughout global Islam.

The truth is something vital has been squandered in the years since we were attacked. It's not the world's sympathy or money or American lives. I fear we've squandered the chance to remember and relearn what it means to be a part of the longest-running and most honorable revolution in world history. To appreciate not just the fruits of American democracy, but the frustrations and sacrifices that were endured in creating and defending it. Instead of excoriating our president for his blunders and setbacks, we should have been rallying, as a nation, recalling in our history the many times we triumphed in the face of determined and evil adversaries. We're told we've forgotten about the principles of our Constitution, but as Americans sit around and freely describe our elected leaders as fascists and our soldiers as indiscriminate killers, it's clear we've forgotten what it takes to keep those principles alive.

Seven years ago, we all went out and bought American flags and covered everything in red, white, and blue, knowing perfectly well we were heading into years of war. Today, our Democratic nominee for president is at pains to admit to an American victory. Something has indeed been wasted in seven years. But luckily, much as been saved. This is George W. Bush's last September 11 in the White House, and I'd like to take the opportunity to say, "Thank you, Mr. President."

About the Author

Abe Greenwald is assistant online editor of COMMENTARY and writes regularly for its blog CONTENTIONS.



Slavery, Terrorism, and Islam

The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat
By Dr. Peter Hammond

Islam is more than a religion, more than a cult, though it has aspects of both. In its full form, Islam is a total way of life. It has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components governing every aspect of daily conduct. The religious component is merely a front for all the other components.
Islamicization begins when there is sufficient Muslim population within a country to agitate for 'religious privilege.' When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to accede to Muslim demands for 'religious privilege,' the other components creep in as well.

Here's how it works:

As long as the Muslim population in any given country remains below 2% they will for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not a threat to other citizens.

This is the case in:

United States -- Muslim 0.6%
Australia -- Muslim 1.5%
Canada -- Muslim 1.9%
China -- Muslim 1.8%
Italy -- Muslim 1.5%
Norway -- Muslim 1.8%

At 2% to 5% they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting efforts in jails and prisons, and among criminal street gangs. This is happening in:

Denmark -- Muslim 2%
Germany -- Muslim 3.7%
United Kingdom -- Muslim 2.7%
Spain -- Muslim 4%
Thailand -- Muslim 4.6%

From 5% on up, Muslims exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves -- along with threats for failure to comply.

This is occurring in:

France -- Muslim 8%
Philippines -- Muslim 5%
Sweden -- Muslim 5%
Switzerland -- Muslim 4.3%
The Netherlands -- Muslim 5.5%
Trinidad & Tobago -- Muslim 5.8%

At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves within their own Islamic enclaves. Under Sharia, the Islamic Law. the ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia Law over the entire world.

When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of intimidating the government. The purpose of course is to advance the Islamic cause. In Paris , we are already seeing car-burnings.

Any action by non-Muslims "offends" Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam , with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam.

Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections, in:
Guyana -- Muslim 10%
India -- Muslim 13.4%
Israel -- Muslim 16%
Kenya -- Muslim 10%
Russia -- Muslim 15%
From 60% upward, nations experience unfettered persecution of all other religions(including non-conforming Muslims) sporadic ethnic cleansing, (genocide) use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on "infidels" such as in:

Albania -- Muslim 70%
Malaysia -- Muslim 60.4%
Qatar -- Muslim 77.5%
Sudan -- Muslim 70%

Above 80% expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some state-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward a 100% Muslim population. This has been experienced, and in some ways is going on in:
Bangladesh -- Muslim 83%
Egypt -- Muslim 90%
Gaza -- Muslim 98.7%
Indonesia -- Muslim 86.1%
Iran -- Muslim 98%
Iraq -- Muslim 97%
Jordan -- Muslim 92%
Morocco -- Muslim 98.7%
Pakistan -- Muslim 97%
Palestine [sic] -- Muslim 99%
Syria -- Muslim 90%
Tajikistan -- Muslim 90%
Turkey -- Muslim 99.8%
United Arab Emirates -- Muslim 96%
100% will usher in the peace of 'Dar-es-Salaam' -- the Islamic House of Peace. Here, there's supposed to be peace, because everybody is Muslim, the Madrassas are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in:

Afghanistan -- Muslim 100%
Saudi Arabia -- Muslim 100%
Somalia -- Muslim 100%
Yemen -- Muslim 100%

Unfortunately, peace is never achieved in these 100% Muslim states as the most radical Muslims dominate, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims for a variety of reasons.

It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under 100% Muslim populations, such as France, the minority Muslim populations live in enclaves, within which they are 100% Muslim, and within which they live by Sharia Law. The national police do not even enter these ghettos. There are no national courts nor schools nor non-Muslim religious facilities. In such situations, Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. The children attend madrassas. They learn only the Koran. To even associate with an infidel is a crime punishable with death. Therefore, in some areas of certain nations, Muslim Imams and extremists exercise more power than the national average would indicate.

Today's 1.5 billion Muslims make up 22% of the world's population; but their birth rate dwarfs the birth rates of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and all other population groups. Muslims will exceed 50% of the world's population by the end of this century.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Comedian: Why Jews Vote Democrat

Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel

Jackie Mason is no stranger to controversy. The Jewish-American comedian is known for his stand -up act which he started in the 1960s in his fast paced, thick Brooklyn, New York Jewish accent. He has acted in several movies and TV shows. His most recent work is a video blog and CD called The Ultimate Jew in which he comments on current events. The veteran Jewish-American comedian spoke recently on A Light Unto the Nations with Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel. The discussion included the United State presidential elections and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Ari Abramowitz: Why is it that Jews in America insist on voting Democrat, especially for this guy Barack Obama?
Since the days of Roosevelt the Jews have been told that the Republicans are for big business and not for the underdog.

Jackie Mason: I'll tell you the truth. Barack Obama isn't only fooling the Jews. He's fooling all the people of America. Right now people are determined to prove they can vote for a Black person because they were told they're racists all their lives. The White man is walking around feeling guilty thinking if they don't vote for Barack Obama they're a racist.

But as far as the Jews are concerned, they are still wedded to the Democratic party when the Democratic party is not interested in Israel. The Democratic party has voted very often against Israel on major issues. The Republican party is determined to help Israel almost more then the Jews are. Even the Hasidic Jews. I don't care how religious you are. They're not as willing to fight for Israel as the Evangelical Goyim. But since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt the Jews have been told that the Republicans are for big business and not for the underdog. The Jews feel the Democrats are helping the struggling people. And they still believe it. The Jews are more willing to
feel guilty for not helping a poor person then anybody else is. Because a Jew has to feel that he's always compassionate and always helping the underdog.

Ari Abramowitz: I don't understand this guilt. Aren't Jews aware that Israel is the only country that imported Blacks to be brothers and not to be slaves? Where is this white guilt? We're not the White people in the South. We were in the shtetles.

Jackie Mason: The White man's guilt is not so much the reason for the Jews' guilt. But the Jews have a big complex about Democrats because the Jews have this sickness that somehow the Republicans are the selfish party and the Democrats are the compassionate party. They've bought it since Roosevelt because at one time it was true. In the days of Roosevelt, the Republicans really were the big business party and Roosevelt came and revolutionized this country with a great compassionate concern for the underdog. He supposedly cared about the helpless and fought somehow to protect people who aren't doing so hot and about the minorities. In retrospect when you look back at history, Roosevelt himself was an anti-Semite.

Ari Anbramowitz: He turned away the Jews.

Jackie Mason: He not only turned away the Jews when they had 900 Jews get killed on that ship.[the S.S. St. Louis in 1939 ed.] but he didn't care about the Jewish plight in Germany. Every time he was reminded to do something about it, he either ignored it or got mad if you mentioned it. Not only did he not care, I think subconsciously he was hoping the Jews get wiped out.

Ari Abramowitz: So what would it look like if Obama was elected? Would he be Jimmy Carter Part II? Israel is the apartheid state?

Jackie Mason: They talk about how much money McCain is raising versus Obama. Its a pitance compared to the huge amount of press publicity he gets. He's a fraud. Like this pastor thing [Obama's former outspoken pastor Jeremiah Wright]. First thing he says this guy is his mentor, his teacher his philosopher, I learned everything for him. Then they ask, did you ever listen to him? Never. I was in the church but I never heard him. He was talking, but I didn't know I should be listening. And besides, whatever he said he didn't say it on the days that I was there. He said it on Tuesday. I came on Thursdays. Then when he saw his polls started to go down a little he said: he was always my mentor but he wasn't a close mentor. I saw him, but not very often. I heard him, but only maybe once in a while. Then he said: I never even liked him. I never got involved with him. Then he said: whatever he said was disgusting to me and if I knew he was saying these things, I would have hated him a long time ago. And he sounded like he just found out about him 20 years later when he wasn't in the church. He was in the church 20 years and he never heard anything. Now that he's out of the church for a year, he suddenly found out what he said in church when he wasn't actually there.

The full interview can be heard on A Light unto the Nations.

YeshaCouncil Castigates B'Tselem

The Yesha Council attacks the latest report by Israel's radical left-wing B'Tselem organization, which calls for the eviction of all Jews from Yesha. The report, released this morning, states that "settlers" took over tens of thousands of dunams (one dunam = 1/4 acre) from "Palestinian areas." The report also accuses Israel of blocking Arab access to lands around Jewish towns.

The Yesha Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria responded sharply: "B'Tselem's objective is solely to expel the 300,000 Jews of Judea and Samaria, and to this end it is willing to lie, deceive and incite."

"This report, even more than its predecessors, reveals B'Tselem to be a nationalistic Palestinian group camouflaged as a civil rights organization," the Yesha Council stated. "This time, they go so far as to demand an end to the security measures decided upon by the IDF around the Jewish towns - even though B'Tselem knows that this will make it easier to murder Jews."

B'Tselem says the settlers use violence to take over Arab lands, sometimes with the protection of army forces. Cases like the recent house arrest and expulsion of three residents of Asael, which appear to belie these claims, were not mentioned in the report.

B'Tselem does note the Israelis' security concerns, mentioning that 31 Jews were murdered, and many more were wounded, in the settlements between 2002 and 2004. It then proceeds to say that the entire Yesha settlement enterprise must be destroyed: "Since it is illegal, Israel must empty out all the settlements... All security actions must be taken in the framework of a process to evict all the settlers and return them to Israel."

Orit Strook, who heads the Hevron-based Yesha Civil Rights Organization, said, "This report, like others by B'Tselem, calls for ethnic cleansing. A group making this call cannot call itself a civil rights organization."

"The report ignores the Jews' most basic right," Strook said, "namely, the right to live."


Hezbollah’s Terror Camps for Kids

P. David Hornik | 9/11/2008

A new report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) looks at Hezbollah’s annual summer camps for Shiite teenagers and children in southern Lebanon.

The kids—tens of thousands strong—come from Hezbollah’s Imam al-Mahdi Scouts movement and other youth groups. An earlier ITIC report noted that the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts received a permit from the Lebanese Education Ministry back in 1992; yet calendars distributed by the organization that were captured by the Israeli army in the summer 2006 war gave short shrift to Lebanese identity.
The summer camps, along with the regular activities of such places, are centers for inculcating kids with Iranian radical Islamic ideology, anti-Israeli hatred, the personality cult of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, and the glorification of Hezbollah “martyrs” like Abbas Mussawi (Nasrallah’s predecessor, assassinated by Israel in 1992) and master terrorist Imad Mughniyah (assassinated last February with no one taking credit and Hezbollah blaming Israel).

One youth group with a summer camp of its own, Al-Shabab, is for children under the age of 10. Last August 21 Al-Akhbar, a Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese newspaper, reported that Al-Shabab was founded in 2000 in villages near the Israeli border and that Hezbollah has a massive presence in those villages. The camp itself is in a Hezbollah compound south of the Litani River.

According to UN Security Council Resolution 1701, on whose basis the 2006 war was ended before Israel had time to beat Hezbollah, it was precisely the area between the border and the Litani that was supposed to remain “free of any [forces] other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL….”

How do the Al-Shabab kids spend their time at the camp? Along with normal fare of sports and entertainment, the Al-Akhbar reporter saw a Hezbollah operative (dubbed a “resistance officer”) walking among the kids in military uniform and gear including an M-16 rifle slung over his shoulder (see the first page of the above-linked report). The operative preached to the kids about Israel as “an absolute evil and enemy” and fired questions to them about Israel’s “ideology” and “aggression.” He then treated them to a Hezbollah-produced film, The Victory Generation.

This opus appears to be a classic case of projection: it purports to show Israeli children training with weapons from the age of five as part of the “culture of hatred and murder they absorb, in order to send gift rockets to Lebanon [during the summer 2006 war].”

As the ITIC notes, “by demonizing Israel and portraying it as the root of all evil, Hezbollah seeks to…motivate [children and teenagers] to take part in the violent struggle for its elimination.”

The implications for Israel are grim but worth taking note of.

1. The camps are stark evidence that Hezbollah’s threat to Israel goes beyond terrorism and warfare in the present and encompasses turning Lebanon, or a significant part of it, into an actively hostile country for generations to come. The Shiites, among whom Hezbollah carries out its indoctrination and cultivates its future cadres, may already constitute half the population as the generally better-educated Christian and Sunni communities emigrate in considerable numbers.

2. Nevertheless, Lebanon as a state is fully complicitous with Hezbollah even though Hezbollah’s real allegiance—as in the small above-noted example of the captured calendars—is clearly not to Lebanon but rather to Iran and its program of global Shiite revolution. That as far back as 1992, when Hezbollah’s political and military power in Lebanon was still considerably less than today, the Lebanese Education Ministry gave approval for a youth organization like the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts is, again, a small illustration of the fact that Lebanon has been harboring Hezbollah all along and allowing it to grow.

3. Israel now stands alone against Hezbollah and should have no further illusions that it has any allies in trying to check its power. The upshot of the international community’s supposed concern about the situation, as formalized most recently in Resolution 1701, is a situation where Hezbollah has not only fully reestablished its military presence between the Litani and the border but is free to run Hitler-Jugend-type camps there with no interference from the largely-European UNIFIL force let alone the Lebanese army.

4. Although Israel, as a cautious, conflict-averse democracy, is not likely to initiate preemptive action against Hezbollah at least in the near future, in the case of a broader conflict with the Iranian-led axis it would be wise to use the opportunity to act decisively against Hezbollah—and, as much as necessary, Lebanon—as it failed to do in 2006.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Tel Aviv. He blogs at He can be reached at .

The Islamic World Looks at Obama

Robert Spencer
Human Events

Barack Obama caused another stir over his ties to Islam on Sunday when he noted that “John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith” in an interview with George Stephanopoulos. Stephanopoulos immediately corrected him, and Obama backtracked to say, “my Christian faith…What I’m saying is that he hasn’t suggested that I’m a Muslim.” A few pundits tried to make something of this, attempting to revive the “Obama is a Secret Muslim” rumors, but there really wasn’t anything more to it than a verbal stumble. Obama is not a Muslim, and there is enough to question about training, experience, ideology, core values, and judgment without endlessly parsing the slip of the tongue of a tired man.

It is noteworthy, however, that just as this tongue-slip was making the rounds, Menashe Amir of Radio Israel’s Persian language service noted that “one of the Iranian religious leaders said if Obama will enter the White House, then Islam will conquer the heart of the American nation.” Amir, who was born in Iran, said the Iranian mullahs favor Obama “mainly because he is a Muslim.”

This recalled the words last June of Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddhafi, who characterized Obama as “a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia.” Gaddhafi declared that “all the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man. They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency.” He called on Obama -- whom he referred to as “this black man” -- to “take pride in his African and Islamic identity, and in his faith,” and “change America from evil to good” so that America would “establish relations that will serve it well with other peoples, especially the Arabs.”

Qaddhafi is famously loony, but there is no doubt that the Obama campaign has generated enormous enthusiasm in the Islamic world. Some of it is probably generated for propaganda value, and some is quite real.

Egyptian journalist Yasser Khalil declared recently that “Barack Obama represents a phenomenon that has drawn global attention and captivated the minds of Muslims around the world.” Writing from Cairo, he said that “in spite of the campaign's heated debate and some controversial rhetoric regarding Islam, large segments of the Muslim population here remain fascinated with the election and have become big fans of Senator Obama.” He explained this fascination as a manifestation of Muslim “hope in the political approach of Obama and his advisers. His apparent eagerness to rally more international support for US policy, and even talk to America’s ‘enemies,’ is cause for optimism. Imagine what global politics might look like in Iraq, or Sudan, or Afghanistan, if Obama-like vision had influenced US leadership earlier.”

We can imagine that all too easily -- and that’s the problem. The Iranian mullahs and Qaddhafi, among others in the Islamic world, are hoping that Obama will talk to our enemies the way Europe -- still suffering the horrors of World War I’s aftermath -- hoped that Neville Chamberlain would fly to Munich to talk to Adolf Hitler in 1938. And Obama, naïve and supremely self-confident, will be all too eager to oblige.

Since Obama would be talking to our enemies from the standpoint of the common liberal “blame America first” assumptions, he is likely to come away from such talks with results similar to those obtained by Neville Chamberlain. He will obtain Peace In Our Time, yes: but that time will last only until the next attack against Americans or our allies. Like Chamberlain’s, it will be a supremely fragile, evanescent peace that will render us weaker -- both militarily and in terms of national will. And when it is reached, in the face of the global jihad threat, it will have made it easier for Islam to “conquer the heart of the American nation,” and nothing will be done seriously to impede its global advance.

The millions who suffer under the oppression of the Iranian mullahcracy deserve better -- as do our allies in Israel and everywhere that free people are threatened by the jihad and Islamic supremacism. Barack Obama is not a Muslim. But the enthusiasm he has inspired among those who would like to see America brought to her knees indicates that they, at least, know exactly what he really is.

Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)" , "The Truth About Muhammad" and "Religion of Peace?" (all from Regnery -- a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).


Wednesday, September 10, 2008



A new Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll has shown that only 13% of Palestinians support educating Palestinian children for peace in the event of a peace agreement being signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). The poll, conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, between Aug. 25 and Sept. 1, 2008, also found that nearly three-quarters of Palestinians – 74% – support the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers in order to compel Israel to release jailed Palestinian terrorists in exchange for their return. The poll, of 1270 Palestinian adults has a margin of error is 3 percent (Joint Israeli-Palestinian Poll, September 2008, Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research).

This latest poll finding majority Palestinian support for kidnapping of Israel soldiers mirrors findings in September 2006 by the same pollsters two years ago, following the Lebanon war, in which 75% of Palestinians were then found to support the same practice in a bid to obtain the release of jailed Palestinians terrorists and in which 63% said they were inspired by the Lebanese Islamist terror group Hizballah and seek to emulate it (Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) poll, September 2006).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "What could be a more telling indication of the lack of interest in peace and reconciliation with Israel on the Palestinian side than the fact that only 13% of Palestinians support the idea of Palestinian youth being educated for peace, rather than for suicide terrorism and 'martyrdom' as they are currently by all the organs of the PA?

"This poll result clearly renders it indisputable that incitement to hatred and murder within the PA via the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps has molded Palestinian society to eternally reject peace with and acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state. The indoctrination of hatred and violence through textbooks, video games, television programs, sermons, speeches and all the other organs of society have produced a result that is plain for all to see.

"This poll, in addition to clearly confirming findings from two years ago that three-quarters of Palestinians favor the kidnapping of Israelis in order to bring about the release of jailed Palestinian terrorists, simply underscores the fact that concessions to Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority (PA), especially concessions leading to Palestinian statehood, would only help to produce the world's newest terrorist state. It would be folly for either Israel or the United States to support the establishment of a Palestinian state under such conditions and it is noteworthy that the former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, former CIA director R. James Woolsey and pre-eminent Middle East historian Bernard Lewis have all come out in opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state."

Abbas Spins Good Will as 'Weak'

Hana Levi Julian

The government’s release of almost 200 Palestinian Authority terrorists, two of whom had “blood on their hands” from the actual murders of Jews, backfired, according to a report by media watchdog organization, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

The latest “good will gesture” by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, meant to “strengthen the negotiations” in final status talks, simply led to an enhanced image of a weakened Jewish State, said PMW.

In its September 2 bulletin, the organization said PA Arabs are being fed media images that released terrorists, many of whom attempted to murder Jews, are heroes. Their release was seen as a sign of submission, rather than a gesture of good will, said PMW, adding that it was also seen as a precedent for the future release of all PA terrorists held in Israeli jails – including 3,450 terrorists who were convicted of murder.

It noted that the chairman of the Palestinian National Council said on PA TV on August 25, “The Palestinian leadership has managed to secure a Palestinian victory for the Palestinian people by breaking down Israeli conditions and by forcing Israel to abandon the idea it has attempted to entrench according to which some prisoners have blood on their hands… [ie: sentenced to life for murder]”

A day later, the Al-Ayyam newspaper wrote, “Hajj Mahmoud Issa Amaira, who is nearing 60, said: ‘The entire people should welcome al-Utbah and Abu Ali Yatta [released terrorist murderers] today, for they are proof to us that prison walls do not close forever on anyone.’ …

“Bethlehem resident al-Uzzah, who was herself released from prison a year ago, said, ‘There is no comparison to our celebration today, following the release of Sa’id al-Utbah and Abu Ali Yattah. Israel’s so-called red lines are imaginary and a thing of the past.’”

Mixed Messages and Outright Lies
The messages to the PA public from Mahmoud Abbas that negate the viability of negotiations with Israel as a legitimate peace partner are not new, nor for that matter are his messages that negate the very existence of the Jewish State itself.

As far back as 2006, Abbas lied to the international world in his courteous English-language speeches, while delivering fiery anti-Israel rhetoric in his native Arabic.

A PMW video clip of a speech by Abbas on October 3, 2006 documents one such instance in which Abbas told the Arab world on Al-Arabiya satellite TV that not only did the Hamas terror organization not have to recognize the State of Israel – neither did his own Fatah faction.

The next day he told U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice he had demanded that Hamas recognize Israel.


Police Say Indict Olmert's Aides

Hana Levi Julian

Police investigators from the National Fraud Unit recommended on Monday morning that the Attorney General indict attorney Uri Messer and former Olmert bureau chief Shula Zaken, in addition to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in several of the corruption cases involving the prime minister.
Messer, a long-time friend, former law partner and attorney for Olmert, is suspected of helping the prime minister receive bribes in cash-stuffed envelopes in a case which has been dubbed the 'Talansky affair'.

Police provided the state prosecution with a detailed account of how Messer managed the funds given to Olmert by American businessman and philanthropist Moshe (Morris) Talansky, most of which came in the form of cash-stuffed envelopes.

The flow of information stopped abruptly approximately three months ago when Messer suddenly stopped cooperating with police, angry about leaks to the media. His attorney, Tzvi Agmon, said he respected the investigators and their efforts but denied the allegations, saying "they sometimes err, as in this case," according to Voice of Israel government radio.

Zaken's attorney, Micha Fetman, also denied any guilt on the part of his client, saying there was no evidence to support any charges that might be filed. However, the attorney did not rule out a possibility that Zaken might consider turning state's witness in exchange for a plea bargain deal.

In addition, they recommended that Zaken be charged for her part in helping Olmert receive the bribes and transferring the money back and forth from the vault and from Messer. Charges against her would include conspiracy to commit bribery and fraud, breach of public trust and money-laundering.

Police also recommended Messer be indicted in connection with the Rishon Tours affair, in which Olmert is suspected of double-billing the travel agency for private trips for his family. Investigators allege that the prime minister had double-billed charities and at least one government ministry for airline flights and other travel expenses, using false receipts to pay for private family travel expenses.

The organizations allegedly defrauded by the prime minister included:

Soldiers' Welfare Association

Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum

National Association for the Rehabilitation of the Mentally Handicapped in Israel

Aleh (organization which cares for disabled children in Israel)

Investigators included Zaken in recommendations for indictment in the Rishon Tours affairs as well, saying she should also be charged for her role in the fraudulent receipt of goods under aggravated circumstances and breach of public trust.

A third investigation into a case known as the "Investment Center allegations" is not yet complete. Zaken and Messer have both been implicated, said police, but recommendations for charges against them in this case have not yet been submitted. Olmert is suspected of having invested large state investment funds with a company represented by Messer.

The police findings are to be transferred to the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office. Eli Abarbanel, district attorney for criminal affairs, is expected to review the material and submit his recommendation as to whether to indict the prime minister, and/or attorney Messer, to State's Attorney Moshe Lador.

Lador will submit his final recommendation to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz as to whether or not to indict Olmert, Messer and/or Zaken. The final decision on all three will be made by Mazuz.


The Beautiful People just won't let up on Sarah Palin.

It's become a regular "60 Minutes"/Texas Air National Guard feeding frenzy of bogus reporting out there. The whoppers about Palin are piled up so high in the moribund mainstream media that the wrinkly newsreaders have taken to blaming their most scurrilous, sexist screw-ups on those nefarious unnamed left-wing "bloggers" - you know, like Brian Williams. And here is the rest of it.

Israeli Salaries & Employment Up

The average gross national salary rose to NIS 8,448 (about $2,350) per month in June from NIS 8,072 in May, according to a Central Bureau of Statistics report on Sunday. For the first half of the year, the average gross national salary was NIS 8,120, up 1.4% as compared to the first half of 2007 Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) and Mekorot water company employees topped the salary rankings in June, with an average salary of NIS 19,573. The average salary of financial sector employees rose by 4.6% in the first half, compared with the second half of 2007 - the highest gain of any sector.

The number of Israeli wage-earners rose by 0.7% in the first half of 2008, with the financial sector again recording the largest increase, with a rise in employment by 3.4%.

The average monthly household expenditure was NIS 11,584 in 2007, 3.5 percent more than in 2006, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday. A quarter of household expenditure by the poorest 20 percent of the population is for food, while a quarter of household expenditure by the top 20 percent of the population is for transportation and communications.

More Israelis own mobile phones than landlines, according to the Monday report. Between 1997 and 2007, the proportion of households with an Internet connection rose from 5% to 59%, and the proportion of households with at least two mobile telephones rose from 7% to 64%.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"Warming That Molasses"

Yesterday I wrote that the process of removing Olmert from the government is as "slow as molasses." But what I'm seeing now might -- ,just might, no guarantees -- push things ahead more quickly. There is heat being generated:

Quite simply, there are people in the government who are weary of the thought of having him at the helm, and people in his own Kadima party who are getting worried about the liability he represents. A prime minister, making major decisions, who is about to be indicted? Not a great scene. Members of the opposition in the Knesset called a special session today to address what they called the "illegitimate conduct of government regarding political affairs."

MK Aryeh Eldad (NU/NRP) has always been outspoken and direct, and today was no exception. What he said was:

"How do we know what is behind this man's decisions? Maybe tomorrow, Olmert will want to give away land to the Arab enemy...Maybe someone paid him to change his mind and give away land that belongs to my people, to my heritage. A man suspected of receiving bribes cannot be Israel's prime minister since we don't know what motivates him."

And I salute him for this honesty. He is not saying that Olmert has been bribed already to negotiate with the PA, but that Olmert cannot be trusted.

When one considers the notion of "bribes" broadly, it becomes even more disconcerting. For there can be financial gain via investments that motivates decisions as well -- even though this has nothing to do with what is good for the nation.


Within Kadima there are individuals decidedly not happy with the very convoluted scenario I described yesterday in which Olmert would head a transitional government even if he had been indicted. In some quarters there is a push to have him really step down so that the new head of Kadima -- who will be elected next week -- can head that transitional government.

Others are declaring with confidence that the winner of the primary (most likely Livni) will be able to form a new coalition so quickly that this would not be an issue.

So... for now we'll keep waiting and seeing.


Olmert had been scheduled to visit Russian next week, where he was going to be lobbying against arms for Syria, but that trip has been cancelled because of his tenuous position.

Similarly, there is speculation that there will not be any more indirect negotiations with Syria, either. Which, in my book, would be the best thing that could happen. The next round was due to take place on the 18th.


There are Israeli officials lamenting that Assad may feel he already got what he wanted -- an end to international isolation -- and that he didn't "need" Israel any longer.

When French president Nicholas Sarkozy came to Syria last week, and then was joined by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Qatari emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, some high level Israelis were lamenting that these people were giving Assad too much recognition. I found this highly ironic, because it was the fools in Israel who broke Syria's isolation and started the process. Who were they to criticize?

Assad had been making a bid for US involvement in direct talks with Israel -- he had said that the talks would only work with US participation. But the US is none too keen to be involved here. One guess is that this is because it would tie Olmert's successor into this prematurely. But the fact is that the American administration has shown no desire to promote this in any event.


Gen. James Jones, the US security advisor on the Israeli-Palestinian talks, is due here tomorrow in an attempt to define Israel's vital security needs that would have to be addressed in any Israeli-PA agreement.

As a last ditch effort, it seems, the Americans are hoping to draft a "security document" -- a document defining Israel's security needs that would be acceptable to Israel and the US -- even if a diplomatic agreement isn't reached. Israel, however, isn't keen on putting anything in writing in this regard without that diplomatic progress.

What infuriates me considerably is the audacity of suggesting that the US has to pass on -- or voice acceptance of -- our defined security needs. No one, but no one, should sign off on this except Israeli security and military experts. We tell them what we insist upon. And if the rest of the world doesn't like it, tough. The US thinks it has a say in whether we need certain areas of Judea and Samaria to be secure? Or whether it's safe for our citizens if we allow PA security personnel carrying guns to locate in such and such a region?

It was Secretary of State Rice who coerced Israel into leaving the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, when we were supposed to have stayed there. She did this in spite of Israeli security objections (and were those objections correct!) because her priority was moving a process, not protecting Israel.


Interesting: Like clockwork, every so often there is a bid to release Fatah terrorist Marwan Barghouti. Sometimes this is from the Palestinians, but sometimes it comes from our side. There are Israelis convinced that if Barghouti were released he would have such charisma, such impact on the street, that he could move forward a peace agreement and help cool the tensions with Hamas.

Foolish, foolish thinking in any event, I believe. For if the "best" we can find as PA leader is a convicted terrorist, these are not really people we want to deal with. Never mind that because of the Israeli lives he has taken, he should never be free again.

Now the Israel Radio Arab affairs correspondent has reported on a study by our security forces that indicates that Barghouti's popularity in the street has been severely over-rated. In fact, the last time there were Legislative Council elections, no one who had connections with Barghouti won.

Good. Can we stop talking about letting him go now?


The taskforce, headed by Haim Ramon, charged with coming up with the names of 450 Hamas prisoners we would be willing to exchange for Shalit, has completed its work. This is a list --with new guidelines on who can be released -- that Israel decided to submit to Hamas, with initiative coming from our side. This is not in response to specific Hamas demands.

But Hamas is now asking for 1,500 prisoners, so this is not going to play.

And there's more that is deeply disturbing:

Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who has been acting as go-between on negotiations, has been unable to get those negotiations started again. Hamas is playing hardball. And so, according to Haaretz, Suleiman told Yossi Beilin in meetings in Cairo on Sunday that he's working on a new approach. This would include extending the "ceasefire" and securing guarantees from Israel that we would not harm Hamas leaders.

This is what follows from what has been our foolish acquiescence to terrorist demands We have been acting too hungry and too eager.

I much prefer the suggestion of some defense officials -- including Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin -- that we increase pressure on Hamas instead, even if it means limited military action against Hamas that threatens the "ceasefire." Our message then changes from "Oh, please, tell us what else we have to do for you to make you happy?" to "Let us tell you what we've going to do to you if you don't act as we want you to."


Gabriela Shalev, Israel's first female ambassador to the UN, submitted her credentials Monday to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. She was at one time a professor of law at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

see my website

Fitzgerald: Christian groups in the Muslim world

There is a sliding scale among the various Christian groups in the Islamic world: a scale of fear (and absence of fear) that depends on such things as both absolute numbers, and numbers relative to Muslims who live in the same country, or who live in the same neighborhood, and on the ability of outside non-Muslim powers to bring pressure to bear. This last was more important once. Its effects can be seen in the efforts to force the Ottoman government to treat non-Muslims better, even to treat them nearly as equal to Muslims -- and this was hard to do, for at the local level Muslims were unwilling to obey. And France, for a long while, was the protector of Maronites in Lebanon. In 1871, the French National Assembly simply passed the loi Crevier that conferred on Jews in Algeria the legal status of Frenchmen, and thus no longer to be treated, according to the Shari'a, as dhimmis. While Lord Cromer and his administration were in Egypt -- see "Memoirs of an Egyptian Official" by Lord Edward Cecil -- the status of non-Muslims improved dramatically. That improvement continued under the regime of Farouk until Nasser and his fellow colonels (Naguib, et al.) arrived on the scene to see Egyptian, Arab, Muslim (they all blended, they all overlapped) justice done.

On that sliding scale, the Maronites were the most self-confident, and some, not all, Greek Orthodox in Lebanon as well. Charles Malik, though born Greek Orthodox, seems to be the quintessential protector of Maronite interests. Christians in Syria, though protected -- out of self-interest -- by the Alawite dictatorship, are keenly aware that the absence of real persecution depends on the continuation of Alawite rule. Assyrians and Chaldeans kept their heads down, and never uttered a word against the rule of Saddam Hussein who, they knew, was their protector. Or rather, they were the unintended beneficiaries of Sadddam Hussein's attempt to curtail mosque-based or Islam-based opposition to his rule.

And the Copts can always cling to one or two members who have risen high -- there was Boutros Boutros Ghali, whose grandfather of the same name had served in an important post. They have tried to avoid Muslim fury ever since their British protectors left, and they have been left, alone, with Islam, which becomes more like full-bodied Islam every day.

The least "Christian" of Christians in the Middle East are the "islamochristians" who include so many of those "Palestinian" Arabs -- not so much the Gazan Arabs as the "West Bank" Arabs -- who, from Naim Ateek and Hanan Ashrawi, to Michel Sabbah and gun-running icon-stealing Archbishop Cappucci, have identified wholeheartedly with the Lesser Jihad against Israel. And they continue to do so despite the persecution of Arab Christians in both Gaza and in such centers as Bethlehem.

One wonders if, as with the Copts, the Assyrians and Chaldeans who may be permitted to settle here will, after a while, begin to express their resentment of those they call "the turbans" -- meaning the Shi'a, whom they have come to regard as the only threat, choosing to overlook what Sunni Muslims have shown themselves to be, choosing to pretend that if only Saddam Hussein were still in power, all manner of things should be well. One wonders also if they will go even farther, beginning to analyze Islam and the most uncertain, unsettled, and unpleasant position of Christians in Muslim-dominated lands. As for the "Palestinian" Arab islamochristians, they are the least likely to emerge, after years abroad, from the deep mental and emotional freeze of dhimmitude.

Those Christians who, because they speak and use Arabic, and may even possess Arab names, have been convinced that they too are Arabs, often take pride in that ethnic identity, that Arabness, that 'Uruba. They allow that identity to make them loyal, despite being "Christians," to Islam, and to accept the Muslim worldview, for Islam and Arabness are mutually reinforcing.

Compare them to Pakistani Christians, or Indonesian Christians. Once they have sloughed off Islam, and no longer have any ethnic identity that links them still to Islam, they show themselves to be far more critical of it, far less likely to adopt or persist in accepting the Muslim worldview, than do many Arab Christians whose "Arabness" brings Islam along with it -- just as islamization so often brought arabization, over 1350 years, to so many non-Arab and non-Muslim peoples of the Middle East and North Africa.
Thanks Dhimmi Watch

Barack Obama — Magna Cum Saudi?

INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, September 05, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Election '08: Does Barack Obama owe his meteoric rise to an Israeli-hating adviser to a Saudi billionaire? Why did a race-baiting mentor to the Black Panthers favor this yet unknown community organizer?

In her stunning national political debut as the Republican candidate for vice president, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin described Obama as a man who had written two memoirs but no significant laws or reforms. So how did this unaccomplished community organizer rise to fame and fortune? He had some interesting help. . We know he's a Harvard graduate and was editor of the Harvard Law Review. Less known is the story of how he got into the prestigious Ivy League university. As Newsmax's Kenneth Timmerman reports, he was helped by a letter written by Percy Sutton, former Manhattan borough president and a credible candidate for mayor of New York in 1977.

In an interview earlier this year on New York's all-news cable channel NY1, the 88-year-old Sutton made some interesting revelations about his relationship with the young Obama. He told NY1 reporter Dominic Carter on "Inside City Hall" that he was introduced to Obama by a friend raising money for him. The friend asked Sutton to write a letter in support of Obama's application to Harvard law school.

"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 recalled that al-Mansour said, "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 did.

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

One of those Saudi royals was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of Saudi King Abdullah. He was the Saudi prince who offered to donate $10 million to help New York rebuild after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. After the prince publicly suggested (as Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, did recently) that U.S. policies brought on the attacks, then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Prince Alwaleed where he could deposit his check.

Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour, born Donald Warden, is another interesting fellow from Obama's past. He himself is a graduate of Harvard and has been a guest lecturer there. His writings and statements reveal him to be an ideological clone of the Rev. Wright, who married Barack and Michelle and baptized their children.

In his 1995 book, "The Lost Books of Africa Rediscovered," al-Monsour alleged that America was plotting genocide against black Americans. The first "genocide against the black man began 300 years ago," he said at a book-signing in Harlem, 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."

Al-Mansour told an audience in South Africa that "the Palestinians are treated like savages," something our worst ex-president, Jimmy Carter, as well as Wright might agree with. He has accused Israeli Jews of "stealing the land the same way the Christians stole the land from the Indians in America."

When he was known as Donald Warden, according to the Social Activism Project at the University of California at Berkeley, al-Monsour was the mentor of Black Panther Party founder Huey Newton and his associate, Bobby Seale.

California Congresswoman Barbara Lee entered an official statement of appreciation of Warden and his Black Panther colleagues for their role in founding a radical group known as the African-American Association into the Congressional Record of April 23, 2007.

What did this radical extremist see in young Barack Obama that he would seek to sponsor and perhaps finance Obama's education? Obama says he paid his way solely through student loans. How did they meet? Where did the money he raised come from? Now that we know who the father of Bristol Palin's baby is, maybe the mainstream media will have time to find out.

"Slow Like Molasses"

Arlene Kushner

Getting rid of Olmert is that slow. At long last, after months of investigation, the police on Sunday evening recommended that Olmert be indicted on charges of bribery, breach of public trust, violation of anti-money laundering laws and fraudulent receipt of goods.

The two cases involved -- that will generate these charges -- are the Talansky affair, in which he is alleged to have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally in exchange for promises to promote Talansky's business interests, and the Rishon Tours affair, in which he allegedly double billed non-profit organizations for trips, thereby amassing for himself considerable excess funds.

And this is not the end of what he may yet be charged with.


But the process is hardly complete. Material collected in the two cases mentioned will be turned over to the Jerusalem District Attorney's office, where Eli Abarnel, district attorney for criminal affairs will assume the investigation. He will submit his recommendations on indictment to State Attorney Moshe Lador, who will present his recommendation to State Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, who will render a final decision on indicting.


The indictment is now not expected before December. And there's more: Olmert's associates are saying that he will stay in office even after indictment, and until a new government is formed.

My assumption, based on standard form and expectations, was that a head of government under indictment would step down. Just a few months ago, in early May, Olmert himself had declared that he would step down if there were an indictment against him. A deputy premier would then take over.

But following this, in July, he declared that he would resign after a new head of Kadima was elected in the primary due to take place this month. And in that instance he would stay in place until the new government was formed.

Now what is being said is that if he is indicted in December, and a new government is not in place by that point, then Olmert -- who would already have resigned in principle -- would remain at the head of the transitional government until such time as the new permanent government was in place, rather than allowing a deputy premier to become prime minister until the new government was established.

Do not be disturbed if this is confusing to you. It's possible that there would be something wrong with you if you were not just a bit confused, actually. For this is a convoluted scenario filled with "if's" and "maybe's."

Part of what remains to be seen is whether the new head of Kadima is able to put together a coalition, which might happen before December. Or if an election is called, which would mean everything would not be finalized by December. Livni, who is riding high in the polls these days, was said to be thinking of calling for a national election if elected head of Kadima, but is now talking about establishing an emergency government. Mofaz, who is running second in the polls, is also talking about forming a new coalition quickly.

All I can promise is to do my level best to keep you informed as this unfolds.


Mahmoud Abbas, who was in Cairo on Saturday, told Egyptian president Mubarak that he doubted an agreement could be reached with the Israelis by the end of this year. He reiterated his desire for a total agreement:

"The solution that we Palestinians want must include all matters, and not defer on any. Both Jerusalem and the right of return are Palestinian rights."

Now, it actually is not the case -- there is no "right of return" in international law. Yet certainly the Arabs have been claiming it for over 60 years, drawing on UN Resolution 194 (which was only a vague recommendation without legal teeth).

But it would be interesting to see how Abbas and company would demonstrate -- legally, historically -- the claim to Jerusalem as a "Palestinian right." They've got a good part of the world believing this, without a basis for it at all.


Top Israeli defense officials, cited by The Jerusalem Post, are now saying that Iran is consolidating its hold on Hezbollah, so that Nasrallah is no longer in exclusive control.

Reportedly a delegation of high level Iranian Revolutionary Guards visited Beirut last week to coordinate the incorporation of Hezbollah into its forces.

According to a Syrian opposition newspaper, this was being done in case Syria were to establish relations with Israel and back off on its involvement with Hezbollah (something that seems extremely unlikely from this vantage point).

What seems to make more sense is the speculation that Iran is seeking to control Hezbollah sufficiently so that it would be able to order it to attack Israel, were Israel to attack Iran.


Iran continues to head the list of major international concerns:

A Russian state-run company that -- in return for $1 billion -- has been helping Iran build its first light-water nuclear reactor in Bushehr says that it should be launched by the end of the year. In theory, this plant is in line with international agreements. The US withdrew objections when Iran agreed to return spent nuclear fuel to Russia so it could not be used for weaponry.


David Kay, who headed the UN inspection program that uncovered the Iraqi nuclear program, writing in The Washington Post, estimated that Iran is two to four years away from developing some five nuclear weapons (a more modest estimate than what Israeli intelligence predicts). He had this to say:

"My humble best guess is that Iran is pushing toward a nuclear-weapons capability as rapidly as it can. But if Tehran were to believe that American - not Israeli - military action is imminent, it might slow work on the elements of its program that it thinks the world can observe."


Ileana Ross-Lehtinen, one of the very best friends we have in Congress, offered this in a piece she wrote for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:
"The best way to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities is to impose a cost so high that it threatens the Iranian regime's survival unless that regime changes course. U.S. sanctions have hindered Iran's ability to attract capital, materials, and technical support, and have created extensive and growing financial difficulties for the regime. Yet although Congress has repeatedly passed sanctions legislation which has been signed into law, its implementation has been watered down or ignored by successive administrations.

"The latest U.S. response has been to join the European Union's efforts to bribe the mullahs into suspending uranium enrichment, while failing to apply U.S. sanctions...

"We must impose immediate, comprehensive, tough economic sanctions, along with every other source of pressure that we can muster, in coordination with as many countries as we can persuade to do so...

"The United States should make a moral statement that we will not deal with pariah states and will not help such states to fortify themselves and thereby endanger our own national interests and the interests of our allies, such as Israel.

"The Iranian regime's expanding political and military involvement across the Middle East and South Asia is a force to be reckoned with. We need to wake up and understand the implications of this matter...History has taught us that failing to act when threatened by a deadly foe like Iran usually ends in an avoidable tragedy. We ignore Iran's growing hegemony at our own peril."


Monday, September 08, 2008

Rabbi's comment on V.P.Palin

Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin, a relative unknown to most Americans until she was named McCain's running mate this Friday, enjoys wide popularity in her home state and
the respect of the broader Jewish community there, Rabbi Yossi Greenberg, Chabad's representative to Alaska's Jewish community told 'She's established a great relationship with the Jewish community over recent years, and has attended
several of our Jewish cultural gala events,' he said.

Palin has shown solidarity with Israel by signing a State of Alaska Resolution recognizing Israel's 60th
Anniversary and its relationship with Alaska. In the resolution, Governor Palin pointed to Alaska's special connection to Israel dating back to Alaska Airlines' participation in the rescue of 40,000 Yemenite Jews when it airlifted them from Yemen to Tel Aviv during
1948 and 1949.

Drafted by members of the Alaska Legislation and heavily supported by Speaker of the House, Representative John Harris, Governor Palin signed the resolution in the
presence of Alaska's Jewish community leaders this June.

According to Greenberg, Governor Palin had plans to visit Israel with members of the Jewish community,
which did not happen yet because of scheduling conflicts.

On a personal level, Greenberg was 'impressed by Governor Palin's remarks of hope and faith when she gave birth to a child with special needs.' Her words, he observed, were
completely aligned with Judaism's traditional views on embracing the birth of child with special needs as a gift of G-d, no less than is the birth of any baby.

Though Greenberg was unequivocal in stating that Chabad representatives do not endorse political candidates, and as spiritual leaders reach out to anyone regardless of
political affiliation, he did say, 'We all feel that the Governor is a remarkable, energetic, and good person.'

Fitzgerald: Fleeing into Israel

The latest “Palestinian” complaint is about Israel not allowing out every single “Palestinian” who wants – for god’s sake, practically demands – first-class treatment in….Israeli hospitals. That is, they want to be treated, they demand to be treated, in the hospitals of the very people against whom are lobbed thousands of rockets, and who would, if the Gazan Arabs have their way, be destroyed, and unavailable to treat those same Arabs. They have no sense of irony, those Gazan Arabs.

Here’s a recent sob story designed to tug at your NGO or EU or UN heartstrings:

Ahmed Hisham Abu Shawish is forty-six, but he looks older. His skin is tinged with grey and he sits slumped forward in his chair. He used to work full time at the Islamic University doing logistical support, but these days is confined to his home in the Al Daraj district of northern Gaza city. He has an aggressive carcinogenic tumour, and suffers from serious hematuria, or blood in his urine. He has to attend hospital every two or three days in order to receive regular blood transfusions. 'I go to the European Hospital in Khan Yunis for my treatment' he says. This involves a painful journey by shared public taxi several times a week, as the hospital is 30 kilometres away, and the family cannot afford to pay for a private taxi to and from their home.

Ahmed Abu Shawish urgently needs an operation to remove his cancer and repair the internal damage. 'The [Palestinian] Ministry of Health referred me to Echelof Hospital in Tel Aviv for specialist treatment' he says. "But of course I need a permit to leave Gaza, and my permit was denied. So I applied again with the help of human rights organizations.' The Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights and the Gaza city based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) worked together to try to secure a permit for Ahmed Abu Shawish to be able to travel to Echelof hospital. But on 18 August he was denied a permit once again. PCHR has just submitted a formal complaint to the Israeli State Attorney, outlining the urgency of Ahmed Abu Shawish's case, and asking he be immediately issued a permit by Israel in order to travel to Echelof hospital for his treatment. In the meantime, Ahmed Abu Shawish is confined to his home, where he lives, and waits, in pain, discomfort and uncertainty.

If Ahmed Abu Shawish does not receive a permit enabling him to travel to Echelof hospital in Tel Aviv very soon, he will have to resort to having his surgery inside Gaza. 'The doctors at the European hospital advised me to go to Israel for my treatment' he says. 'The risks of being treated here are much bigger - and I tell you, I am frightened at the prospect of having surgery for my cancer here. How do you think I feel when even my own doctors are telling me that, for my own sake, I need to go and have my surgery in hospital in Israel?'

That’s the tale which, I trust, has left not a wet eye in your house.

Of course what this points up is also Israel’s idiocy. Why did it ever allow such people to think they had any right to be treated in Israeli hospitals in the first place? And I’m sure the treatment is delivered for free, by the way. Those who are making war on you, who are trying to wipe you out, should not be offered the courtesy of a place in your hospitals, and access to advanced Western medicine. They have their own hospitals. They have their hundreds of millions of dollars that they receive annually from the Infidels. They have access to Egyptian hospitals if need be. Or are they all like Edward Said’s parents, who even in the 1930s went to Jerusalem in order to take advantage of the superior hygiene and treatment that the Jewish hospitals could offer?

Recently also, the "Palestinian" Authority asked Israel, which gave refuge to nearly 200, and gave free medical care to two dozen wounded, members or supporters of Fatah who had fled Gaza, not to keep them, nor to transfer them to the Arab-occupied "West Bank," but to send them back to Gaza.

The reason, as given by a "Palestinian" member of the Slow Jihad (Fatah) quoted in a Jerusalem Post article, is this: "Everyone knows that if we allow people to leave the Gaza Strip, almost all the residents living there would try to cross the border into Israel. We don't want to leave the Gaza Strip to Hamas."

They would -- "almost all" of them, "try to cross the border into Israel."

You know -- into Israel, to which every Arab flees when he can, whenever faced with Arab enemies. The members of Black September did this when Jordanian King Hussein’s men pursued them. They waded crossed the Jordan, their hands raised, knowing that the Israelis would not harm them but would take them in.) They fled into the country routinely denounced as "Nazi-like" or even "worse than the Nazis." We all remember how the Nazis offered free medical care to Jews and other benefits, so that they would always flee to Nazi-held territory whenever they could.

Don't forget this kind of telling display, and the even more telling comment by a Fatah official. Don't forget it, and don't forget to remind others, when they go into their Guardian-or-BBC or World-Council-of-Churches or Amnesty-International or Human-Rights-Watch or United-Nations slander-and-rant against Israel. Remember not to forget.

Olmert could go to prison

Legal expert says police indictment recommendation serious, but says past experience shows State Prosecution may decide to ignore it

Aviad Glickman
Israel News

"The police recommendation regarding the indictment isn't binding. The police's role is to investigate, and that's why this is just a recommendation, and experience shows us that recommendations aren't always taken into account," Professor Ariel Bendor of the Bar-Ilan University Law Department told Ynet on Sunday evening. Earlier in the day police recommend the State Prosecution indict Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over the Morris Talansky and Rishontours affairs on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

The final decision regarding whether an indictment will be filed, and its nature, lies with Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.

Professor Bendor said the offenses Olmert may be tried on are "very grave. If the prime minister is convicted on these charges, they carry a sentence of active prison time and will most likely bear moral turpitude."

However, Bendor noted, past attorneys general have ignored police indictment recommendations against former prime ministers such as Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon.

"The considerations about whether (Olmert) should be indicted should be the same as those taken into account in the case of Joe Citizen. Nevertheless, experience shows that attorneys general have shown exceptional prudence when it comes to these decisions," said Bendor.

"It's important to note that in Olmert's case, he's already announced he intends to step down, so the attorney general's decision won't be about pressuring him to leave office."

Of mountains and mice

The State Prosecution tried to project a business-as-usual demeanor after the police statement was issued.

"Unlike the police, we make decisions, not recommendations," a source within the Prosecution told Ynet.

"There were a number of cases in the past wherein the police recommended indicting prime ministers on various offenses – and when the case got here everything changed," recalled the official in an apparent reference to corruption allegations against Ariel Sharon.

Another Prosecution source told Ynet the police may have gone too far by recommending Olmert be indicted on bribery charges. "The way I see it, if there is an indictment – bribery won't be one of the counts," said the source.

Most in the Prosecution believe the prime minister will indeed eventually be indicted, and the answer is expected in a number of weeks, likely towards the end of the holiday season.

There were those in the State Prosecution on Sunday who sharply criticized the police's decision to go public with its recommendation. "It could have been done quietly, without the media hoopla. We all remember other cases where something the police made a lot of noise about ended up being tiny when it reached the Prosecution and attorney general - the mountain gave birth to a mouse," said one official.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

'Supreme Court is Too Powerful'

Hillel Fendel

Controversy in the Cabinet abounds. In addition to the proposal to attempt to entice Jews to leave Judea and Samaria, the government will also discuss this morning (Sunday) an attempt by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann to restrict the Supreme Court's authorities. Friedmann wishes to allow the Court to void only Knesset laws that, in the opinion of a two-thirds majority of the nine Court justices considering the matter, negate a Basic Law. The Knesset would then be able to re-pass the law with an absolute majority of the legislature (61 MKs). The Court would then be able to re-consider the law only five years later.

Sentiments on both sides of the issue are running high.

The Supreme Court has often been accused of runnning a judicial dictatorship, especially in light of former Chief Justice Aharon Barak's determination that "the land is filled with the law," implying that everything is justiciable. Columnist Evelyn Gordon summed up much of the public criticism heaped upon Barak over the years by writing two years ago that he makes decisions "not by interpreting the law, but by creating new laws in the Knesset's stead."

"The question is whether every issue has to be in the purview of the Supreme Court," Minister Friedmann has explained. "I believe that for everything to be justiciable, with no oversight, is destructive."

On the other hand, Labor Party ministers Yitzchak Herzog and Shalom Simchon have asked that Friedmann's proposal be removed from the Cabinet agenda. At least two Kadima Party ministers - Bar-On and Sheetrit - also oppose the debate, saying that it should not be raised at this juncture. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has expressed guarded support for Friedmann's proposal.

Muslims Defile Patriarchs' Cave

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Muslims converged on the Cave of Patriarchs in Hevron Friday for Ramadan prayers, urinated next to Torah scrolls and left behind Hamas flags. The Cave of the Patriarchs is the tomb of the biblical founders of the Jewish faith, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their wives, Sarah, Rivka, and Leah.

The desecration occurred on one of the 10 days during the year that the holy site is open only to Muslims and is closed to Jews. The same arrangement also is accorded to Jews on 10 holy Jewish days.

Uri Karzen, a Hevron resident, reported that a Kohen, who recites the priestly blessings during the Sabbath morning service, told him he smelled urine next to the Holy Ark containing Torah scrolls. Karzen and other worshippers moved the table, where the Torah scrolls are placed during the reciting of the portion of the week, in order to avoid the foul smell.

The Hamas flags were discovered in the windows that mark the burial sites of Abraham and Isaac and the matriarchs, Sarah, Rivka and Leah.
The Hamas flags were discovered in the windows that mark the burial sites of Abraham and Isaac and the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca and Leah.

Hevron resident Asher Horowitz explained that he and others spotted the flags when they were returning holy books, which had been taken into safe storage before the prohibition from Jews entering the Cave of the Patriarchs went into effect. He used a stick to pull one of the flags from the marker of the burial site of Avraham and friends told him they found flags at other markers.

Ever since Muslims destroyed Torah scrolls in the Cave of the Patriarchs in the 1980s, Jews always remove holy books and lock the Holy Ark when they are prohibited from entering.

Noam Arnon, spokesman for the Jewish community in Hevron, said there is always some sort of damage discovered upon their return every time Jews are prohibited from entering the holy site.

"It is not all the Muslims," he said. "But there always are a few who in the past have ripped mezuzot off the entrances to the rooms of worship or simply leave behind vandalism. Complaints have been filed with the police in the past, but no one ever has been arrested."

He added that two policemen are always on guard when Jews pray, especially when Arabs are prohibited from entering, but there are no policemen present when Jews are excluded.

Surveillance cameras are mounted, but Karzen said the place where urine was smelled may have been out of range of the cameras. The cameras should have caught on film the placement of Hamas flags, according to Horowitz.

Hevron police said they know nothing about the incidents and that an official complaint may not have been filed yet out of respect for the Sabbath.

Enticement to Abandon Yesha

Hillel Fendel

Today's weekly Cabinet meeting features two controversial items: The offer to compensate Jews for abandoning their homes in Judea and Samaria, and a proposal to restrict Supreme Court powers. The first item will center around a proposal by Vice Premier Chaim Ramon to offer compensation to Jews who wish to leave their homes in "isolated" Yesha communities. Ramon, formerly of Labor and now of Kadima, has been accused of adopting policies of the far-left Meretz party.

Many ministers have expressed opposition to the very discussion of voluntary evacuation, and criticism has been raised that this is the beginning of "Disengagement II." Shas leader Eli Yishai, Minister of Industry and Trade, said last week, "The proposal lacks public, legal and humane legitimacy."

No vote is scheduled for the proposal today.

Yesha Chief to Ministers: Watch Out for Meretz Data
Danny Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, warned the Cabinet ministers that Ramon plans to present them with data compiled by a Meretz member. The findings purportedly show that 40% of the Jews living in Yesha are interested in leaving even before an agreement is reached with the PA, in exchange for compensation.

The data was compiled by Ruby Nathanson, a member of the Meretz party directorate, Dayan says. "Ramon granted Nathanson the contract to carry out this poll without a public tender," Dayan said. "Nathanson is well known for his hostility towards the Jewish settelment enterprise in Yesha, and has publicized in the past exaggerated and baseless figures regarding the cost of Israel's presence in Yesha."

The daily Yediot Acharonot newspaper reported that Ramon's plan offers one million shekels ($280,000) to each family that agrees to leave - plus more for agricultural or commercial land, and more if it moves to the Negev or the Galilee. Only some 62,000 residents of the 290,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria (not including greater Jerusalem, which boasts another 250,000) are included in Ramon's proposal.

No Basis in Reality
Dayan said that the 40% figure to be presented today by Ramon similarly has no basis in reality. "The ministers of the Government of Israel would be well advised to know that the Deputy Prime Minister is toying with them, and they should relate to his figures accordingly," Dayan added.