Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Saudis' New Man in Congress

Paul Sperry

When the Saudi Embassy earlier this year asked officials to renew the lease of a radical school it runs in Alexandria, Va., local residents strenuously objected. They argued the school teaches hatred toward Jews and Christians, and has become a breeding ground for terrorists. Gerry Connolly, at the time the Democrat chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, gave a full-throated defense of the Islamic Saudi Academy, even smearing protesters as anti-Islamic "bigots."
All the while, Connolly was running for U.S. Congress and according to the latest FEC records, accepting thousands of dollars in donations from Saudi bagmen -- including some whose homes and offices were raided after 9/11 on suspicion of terror financing (and whose donations to other Democrats have been quietly returned in shame).
Their investment appears to have paid off. The Saudi madrassa got its lease and is still in operation; and Connolly is in a more powerful position on the Hill. Last month, he easily beat GOP challenger Keith Fimian to take retiring Republican Rep. Tom Davis' old seat representing Virginia's 11th Congressional District.
Critics would be forgiven for questioning Connolly's motives for defending the Saudi madrassa in light of what appears to be an orchestrated outpouring of donations from Islamists with Saudi connections.
FEC records show that on Jan. 12, 2008, Yaqub Mirza gave Connolly $1,000, followed 12 days later by Nihad Awad, who chipped in $500. That same day -- Jan. 24 -- Hisham al-Talib donated $1,000 to Connolly's campaign, along with Omar Ashraf, who gave $500.
Then in May, Esam Omeish donated $250 to the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, which held receptions for Connolly and helped him raise money. And in June, Mirza gave another $1,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which also helped get Connolly elected.
Investigators say Mirza is a Saudi bagman, acting on behalf of Saudi millionaire and al-Qaida financier Yassin al-Qadi. He along with al-Talib and Ashraf run a Virginia-based network of Saudi-funded fronts called the Safa group, which is still the subject of an active federal investigation into terror-financing. All three Connolly donors' homes and-or offices were raided by federal agents after the 9/11 attacks.
Omeish is a violent jihad advocate who helps run a Saudi-backed mosque in Falls Church, Va., that ministered to some of the Saudi hijackers before 9/11. As I first reported in my book, "Infiltration," Omeish in 2004 used his home to bond out a terrorist suspect jailed for allegedly casing the Chesapeake Bay bridge. The suspect, Ismail Elbarasse, is also an accused Hamas money man who was employed by the Islamic Saudi Academy as comptroller. His college roommate, Hamas leader and fugitive Mousa Abu Marzook, sent his kids to ISA.
Awad, meanwhile, is a Hamas supporter who has personally accepted large checks from Saudis on behalf of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington. (He filed his donation to Connolly under the alias, "Nehad Hammad.")
These Islamist donors and their families support the Islamic Saudi Academy, an arm of the Saudi embassy. This spring, ISA's lease came up for renewal, and the Saudis knew they'd face resistance in the local community. The school had made national headlines since their last request for renewal.
Former school valedictorian Ahmed Omar Abu Ali was convicted of joining al-Qaida after leaving the school and plotting to assassinate President Bush. His ISA classmates voted him "Most Likely to Be a Martyr." His father works for the Saudi embassy.
Also, reports had detailed numerous hateful passages from academy textbooks, including a 12th-grade text teaching students that it's permissible for Muslims to kill adulterers and apostates who leave Islam. Other passages in the school's texts state that Muslims are permitted to take the lives and property of Jews and those deemed "polytheists," or Christians.
Connolly shrugged off the complaints and accused critics of "slander" before rubberstamping the school's lease and accepting a rent check from the Saudi Embassy for $2.2 million.
"I find no evidence, no grounds, to do anything but renew the lease of an institution that has been a good neighbor," Connolly declared at the board's May 19 meeting.
The very next month, the head of the Saudi-controlled Islamic school was arrested and charged with failing to report a sex-abuse allegation brought to him by a young student. ISA director Abdalla Al-Shabnan, who also was charged with obstruction of justice, "stated he did not believe the girl's complaint," according to court documents.
Of course not. As in Saudi Arabia, a woman's testimony is not valid. Thanks to Connolly, the Saudis have been allowed to maintain a beachhead in the nation's capital from which to spread their misogynistic Wahhabism and indoctrinate youth into jihad.
Meanwhile, a federal grand jury in northern Virginia has been hearing evidence regarding alleged terror-financing by the Safa group, aka the SAAR Foundation, which was founded by Saudi patriarch Sulaiman Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi. Connolly donor Mirza is one of the original ringleaders of the group, and has been at the center of the federal investigation.
Though he's not been charged with a crime, Mirza is bad news -- bad enough that several other politicians, including even Muslim Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., have returned his terror-tainted cash. Why hasn't Connolly?
Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington. He can be conacted at

Bush: Two-state solution will be realized

US president sums up eight years of Mideast affairs with optimism: 'Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs recognize creation of peaceful, democratic Palestinian state is in their interests' though Iran, Syria still sponsoring terror, he says
Yitzhak Benhorin

WASHINGTON – US President George W. Bush summed up eight years of his administration's affairs in the Middle East on Friday, and said he still believed that "the day will come when the map of the Middle East shows a peaceful, secure Israel beside a peaceful and democratic Palestine." st. In his speech to the annual Saban Forum, a gathering on Middle East policy sponsored by the Brookings Institution, Bush described his achievements in the region over the two terms he has served.

"I was the first American President to call for a Palestinian state, and building support for the two-state solution has been one of the highest priorities of my Presidency. To earn the trust of Israeli leaders, we made it clear that no Palestinian state would be born of terror," he said.

"We backed Prime Minister Sharon’s courageous withdrawal from Gaza, and we supported his decision to build a security fence, not as a political border but to protect his people from terror."

Regarding the Palestinian demands Bush said, "To help the Palestinian people achieve the state they deserve, we insisted on a Palestinian leadership that rejects terror and recognizes Israel’s right to exist. Now that this leadership has emerged, we are strongly supporting its efforts to build the institutions of a vibrant democratic state."

He added, "The Palestinians are making progress toward capable security forces, a functioning legal system, government ministries that deliver services without corruption, and a market economy.

"In all our efforts to promote a two-state solution, we have included Arab leaders from across the region, because their support will be essential for a lasting peace."

Bush said there was now an international consensus on the issues that plague the region. "Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs recognize that the creation of a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state is in their interests.

"And through the Annapolis process, they have started down a path that will end with the two-state solution finally realized," he said.

'Iran, Syria still sponsor terror'

However, Bush warned, two factors still threatened peace in the Middle East. "Iran and Syria continue to sponsor terror, Iran’s uranium enrichment remains a major threat to peace, and many in the region still live under oppression," he said.

"Yet the changes of the past eight years herald the beginning of something historic and new. At long last, the Middle East is closing a chapter of darkness and fear, and opening a new one written in the language of possibility and hope."

He added, "A free and peaceful Middle East will represent a source of promise, a home of opportunity, and a vital contributor to the prosperity of the world."

Bush ended the speech on an optimistic note: "The day will come when people from Cairo and Riyadh to Baghdad and Beirut to Damascus and Tehran live in free and independent societies, bound together by ties of diplomacy, tourism, and trade."

"The day will come when al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas are marginalized and then wither away, as Muslims across the region realize the emptiness of the terrorists’ vision and the injustice of their cause," he said.

"If we lead, and we persevere, and we keep faith in our ideals, it is a vision that will become reality," the president concluded.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Obama: Islamic Speech in First 100 Days

Jim Meyers Article Font Size

Barack Obama is considering making a major foreign policy speech in an Islamic capital during his first 100 days as president in an effort to mend rifts between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

Helene Cooper of The New York Times spoke to several sources, including diplomats, about which Islamic capital Obama might choose, and the consensus was Cairo, Egypt.

The reason: Process of elimination. A speech in Baghdad would appear to validate the Iraq war, which Obama opposed. A visit to Damascus, the Syrian capital, “would look as if he was rewarding the Syrians and it’s too soon for that,” Ziad Asali, president of the American Task Force on Palestine, told Cooper.

Asali also ruled out:

# Ramallah on the West Bank, noting that “Palestinians seek Jerusalem as their capital.”

# Tehran in Iran. “Too soon for that.” Amman, Jordan. “Been there, done that.”

# Islamabad, Pakistan. “Too dangerous.”

# Ankara, Turkey. “Too safe.”

# As for Jakarta, Indonesia, where Obama spent part of his youth, “people would yawn about that,” said Asali.

One of Obama’s foreign policy advisers ruled out Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and other capitals around the Persian Gulf.

Cooper concluded: “It’s got to be Cairo. Egypt is perfect. It’s certainly Muslim enough, populous enough and relevant enough. It’s an American ally, but there are enough tensions in the relationship that the choice will feel bold.”

Whatever capital Obama might choose, press reports don’t explain why the new president feels it necessary to give a speech so early in his new administration.

During the presidential campaign Obama indicated U.S. foreign policy was too skewed in favor of Israel and that he would seek to balance that approach in his administration.

He was also dogged with claims that he was a secret Muslim, an accusation he denied.

In fact, Obama had been raised a Muslim and converted to Christianity after meeting the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in his 20s after he moved to Chicago.

Obama was born to a Kenyan father who was a Muslim. His mother divorced this man and later remarried an Indonesian muslim who became Obama’s stepfather.

The couple moved to Indonesia with the young Obama. There he was registered at two schools as a Muslim student.

Earlier this year, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs claimed: "Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian."

But in his autobiography, "Dreams From My Father," Obama mentions studying the Koran and describes the public school as "a Muslim school." Obama’s campaign web site later removed the claim made by Gibbs that Obama was never a Muslim.

© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Governmet created a mess

Our leaders hesitated instead of resolving Hebron house case easily a year ago
Ron Ben-Yishai

The case of the house in Hebron should not have made it to the High court of Justices. It is the State and the government that should decide whether expanding the Jewish settlement enterprise in Hebron is a national interest of the State of Israel, or an act that contradicts this interest.. Had the government taken a clear decision on the matter a year ago or so, and ordered its enforcement agencies to act upon it, we would have avoided the violent confrontation we witnessed.

However, the weakness of mind and hesitation displayed by Olmert, Barak, and Dichter prompted the case to reach the legal establishment. This gave the radicals among Judea and Samaria settlers known as the “hilltop youth” time to build up anger and motivation, while preparing action plans. Ultimately, the High Court justices were forced to make a decision instead of the government.

As opposed to what some Judea and Samaria settlers claimed, the court’s decision was clear: It required the government to evacuate the Hebron house within a few days, or else it would be directly responsible for showing contempt to the court and undermining Israeli democracy. And so, Olmert, Barak, and Dichter were forced to do something – under the worst conditions and in the midst of an election campaign – that could have been done more than a year ago without being entangled in a wide-scale violent confrontation that threatens to boil over well beyond the limits of Hebron.

However, the decision was taken. On Thursday it was time for the police, IDF, and Shin Bet to deal with the mess cooked up by the politicians. The evacuation of the home in and of itself was not a particularly complicated operation. The real danger stems not from what was to happen at the house and its immediate surroundings during the evacuation, but rather, from the “price tag” strategy adopted by the radical camp of Judea and Samaria settlers.

Bleeding trauma

We should stress that this radical camp includes not only a relatively small group of several dozen law-breaking youths, but rather, also hundreds of calculated and wise adults, whose declared objective is to turn every confrontation between them and security and law enforcement forces into a bleeding trauma. Such trauma is meant to be etched into the consciousness of the Israeli public, the Palestinians, and world public opinion. The accumulated effect of several such traumas is ultimately meant to deter the Israeli government from undertaking a major move in Judea and Samaria in the framework of a final-status agreement.

These Jewish radicals concluded that in order to create this kind of trauma it is not enough to emotionally stir the Israeli public, which will be outraged by the serious violence against “our finest men and sons.” In their view, a substantive and genuine threat to the security of the State of Israel and to its international standing must be created. In their estimate, this is the only way to deter the governments and public in Israel from undertaking far-reaching diplomatic moves that require the handing over of territory.

Therefore, the “price tag” strategy includes not only violence resistance to the evacuation itself and violent protests, but also the creation of a volatile situation in the territories via physical attacks on the Palestinians, vandalizing Palestinian properly, and showing contempt to the values of Islam.

Just like the second Intifada buried the Oslo process in Israeli public opinion, another conflagration in the territories was meant to put an end to the prospects of a future two-state agreement. The evacuation of the house in Hebron is a golden opportunity for Jewish radicals to implement this strategy. Therefore, security forces were required not only to prepare for the evacuation of the house, but also for containing and thwarting “trauma-inducing acts” that these radicals could attempt to carry out during the evacuation.

The recent clashes between Jewish and Palestinian youths in Hebron are a mere sample of what may happen in the wake of the evacuation. The Yesha Council and the silent majority among Judea and Samaria settlers understand well the kind of damage caused to them by the violence of the radicals. They also know that they will be the first ones to sustain the violent Palestinian response. Therefore, they spoke up and attempted to reach a last-moment compromise. However, the sane people missed their opportunity – their influence is minor in the face of incitement by a handful of rabbis and fanatic political activists, such as Daniela Weiss for example.

Yet by ensuring the right proportion between police officers and evacuees, while using the appropriate equipment, we can assume that the evacuation did not create the trauma which the law-breakers so much wanted to see. Perhaps this time around there will be no need for commissions of inquiry.


Is worst yet to come?

Evacuating Hebron house was easy; containing violence of Jewish radicals a tougher task
Ron Ben-Yishai

It is not over yet. The disputed house in Hebron was indeed evacuated, yet the struggle is far from being over. The dangerous and volatile part is still ahead of us. Hundreds of members of the radical settler camp have spread around the hills in Judea and Samaria and from there they are infiltrating Palestinian communities and roads in order to exact what they euphemistically refer to as a “price tag.” The meaning of this term in less euphemistic terms is pogroms against the Palestinians, and possibly harassment of Israeli security forces, at as many sites as possible, with the declared aim of creating major conflagration in Judea and Samaria.

Jews storm Palestinian home in Hebron / Efrat Weiss
Palestinian residing near Federman Farm outpost says rightists set fire to his fields in protest of disputed house eviction. 'I fear it will end in disaster,' he says
Full story
This mayhem is meant to create the kind of trauma in Israeli public opinion that would prevent further evacuations in the future. Security forces are tasked with a complex mission in the coming hours and days: Curbing the “Jewish Intifada” at its outset, before the Palestinians respond, before blood is spilled, before we see casualties on both sides, and before Israel is isolated in international public opinion because of the helplessness it displays in handling the rioters. This mission is much more complicated than the evacuation of the house in Hebron.

The relatively smooth evacuation of the house can be credited to the fact that the IDF and police learned and applied the lessons of previous evacuation operations. Therefore, they designated a huge number of forces for the mission, which created a situation whereby the law-breakers were facing an inferior position. The huge number of troops also prevented police officers and soldiers from finding themselves in distressful situations that could have prompted them to resort to unreasonable violence. Meanwhile, using special police forces and Border Guard troops while keeping the IDF away from the physical confrontation was also a wise move. And most importantly – the element of surprise.

The Yesha Council leadership and several politicians are accusing the defense minister of deceit that enabled him to embark on a surprise operation. They say that the dialogue Barak engaged in with them in the morning was only meant to lull them and the people barricaded in the Hebron house. The settlers claim that Barak, who appeared to be trying to buy some more time, in fact decided at that point already that the evacuation operation will start around noon.

However, this argument is baseless, because Barak said in advance that the proposals of settler leaders which he was aware of were unacceptable. Even those who are upset about the “deceit” must admit that the secrecy and element of surprise made the clashes between those barricaded in the house and security forces less violent than expected. We should also note that one of the reasons for the relatively low number of people barricaded in the house was the fact that the youngsters who arrived at the site recently and carried out “mini-pogroms” against the Palestinians in the days ahead of the evacuation caused disgust among the Yesha leadership, as well as among the silent majority of the settlers – and even among right-wing politicians. These people isolated themselves and even their supporters distanced themselves from them.

Averting civil war

However, all of the above does not guarantee that security forces will be successful later on as well. We should assume that the anger and frustration caused by the evacuation among the settlers, and particularly among radical rightists and the “hilltop youths,” will prompt hundreds of them to get out there. Some of them already vowed to return to the building that was the focal point of the confrontation.

The IDF and police have indeed reinforced their presence across Judea and Samaria. They are also making sure to closely monitor, through intelligence means, developments in the area and have prepared reserve forces and even helicopters that would transport them quickly to friction points. However, the mountainous topographical conditions, as well as the wadis and orchards, enable small groups of rioters to secretly infiltrate Palestinian communities and carry out their intentions. Pursuing them would be a difficult and complex mission, and could prompt unplanned clashes with Palestinian gunmen who may take advantage of the opportunity. In addition, we should keep in mind that the forces designated for curbing Jewish rioters would not be available to carry out anti-terror operations against the Palestinians.

These are difficult days for the Israeli government, for security forces, and also for the established leaderships of the settlers in Judea and Samaria. If they are unable, through cooperation, to contain the riots and curb them, not only will Israeli democracy be undermined; the whole State of Israel could end up facing chaos and possibly, heaven forbid, a civil war.


Police declare high state of alert after Hebron riots

Violent disturbances following eviction of disputed house in West Bank city prompt police to order mass forces be deployed, Jerusalem
Efrat Weiss

Police have declared a heightened state of alert across Israel on Friday in the wake of the violent events which followed Thursday's eviction of the disputed house in the West Bank city of Hebron. Fearing right-wing activists will continue to block roads, as well as Palestinian riots, large police forces will deploy in Hebron and Jerusalem, especially in the vicinity of the Temple Mount.

Right-wing activists have called on their supporters to embark on a week-long retaliatory spree in wake of the eviction. "We will choose the time and place to retaliate," they told Ynet. The activists also urged people to continue arriving at the house.

Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen held a conference call with his top brass on Thursday night and instructed them to deploy mass forces in various "hotspots" and intersections across the country, in preparation for possible riots.

The police also decided to restrict prayer on the Temple Mount, limiting worshipers' entrance to the compound to men 45-years-old and over, who carry Israeli IDs. No restrictions have been placed on women worshipers.

The department said that they would not be lenient on anyone trying to disturb the peace.

Hebron gearing for tense night

Frictions in Hebron seemed to temper in the early hours of the night, after security forces finished sealing off the disputed house. Border Guard officers have been stationed on the premises in order to ensure right-wing activists will not break into the house.

Commander Avshalom Peled, of the Hebron Subdistrict Police, told Ynet that police, Border Guard and Central Control Unit (CCU) forces would be deployed in the area, and that IDF and Border Guard troops would be deployed around the city's mosques.

"We will counteract any riots which may be prompted by Jews against Palestinians in Hebron," he said. Peled included the Cave of Patriarchs and the Hazon David and Federman Farm outposts as such areas. A Palestinian house adjacent to the latter was stormed by Jews earlier in the night.

Summing up the day's events, extreme right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir told Ynet that "we knew that going up against the Border Guard, CCU and SWAT teams and all of the other security forces' elite units won't be easy, but we wanted to get our message through – evicting Jews from their homes will bring about chaos."


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

So Why Kill The Rabbi?

Michael Danby
Wednesday December 3, 2008

Mr Danby (Melbourne Ports) (9.36a.m.)- London's Times asks today: "So why kill the rabbi?" Indeed, why kill any rabbi? All Australians were outraged at the murder of our countrymen Brett Taylor and Doug Markell and the other mainly Indian citizens murdered in Mumbai a few days ago. I cannot surpass the insights of the columnist from the London Times David Aaronovitch about the people he calls "explanists", who make excuses for those who, with murderous ideologies, single out people who are Australian or British or American, or who are Jewish. Mr. Aaronovitch says that we cannot equivocate the heinous crimes committed by the terrorists with their struggle against Hindu aggression or Indian oppression. He says that there is no justification in killing innocent people, Christian, Hindu or Jew, or British, American or Australian.

The fact that nine people died in a synagogue, an outreach centre called the Chabad house in Mumbai is a particular tragedy for many Australian Jews. It is especially tragic for those who knew the couple who ran the centre, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivkah, both of whom were murdered there. Terrible reports on various international news wires indicate that some of the victims were all tortured before they were killed. This kind of bestiality is hard to face up to but we must because it is being discussed in the international press. This young religious couple were a paradigm of kind-hearted and dedicated Chabad emissaries serving the tiny Jewish community in Mumbai, and helping people who were suffering from drug addiction and poverty. They offered their hospitality to Israeli backpackers and Jewish visitors, and treated them with uplifting spiritual experiences. Their Chabad house, their synagogue, served as a safe haven and an island for yiddishkeit for Jewish people travelling through Mumbai and India. They could stay at the centre and were offered free kosher meals, and could participate in services over Shabbat. Reb Gavriel and Rebbetzin Rivka represented the ultimate in human kindness and selflessness. Their presence in Mumbai and on earth will be sadly missed.

Also killed in the Chabad House were Yocheved Orpaz, Rabbi Aryeh Leibish Teitelbaum and Rabbi Bentzion Chroman. Rabbi Teitelbaum was murdered as he was studying in the synagogue a book of Jewish learning. He was found slumped over an open Talmud. Norma Shvarzblat-Rabinovich was also killed in those terrible events.It is important to remember the names of all of these individuals. Sherri Mandell, mother of 14 year old Koby, murdered by Palestinian terrorists, argued in the Jerusalem Post:Don't let others tell you that your loved ones died for nothing. They died because they were innocent victims of ... Islamic hatred. They died because this ideology is vicious and evil and worships destruction ... It is paramount that you seek justice - but do not seek revenge. Revenge embitters you while justice elevates you. Justice is motivated by love; revenge is motivated by hatred ...Keep speaking about the evil that was perpetrated against your loved one. Don't allow the media or others to call the murderers militants or freedom fighters.Insist that your loved one's murder be remembered.I repeat her wisdom and raise my voice in this national Parliament and praise the memory of those innocent kedoshim who were killed in the Chabad house in Mumbai, only because they were Jews.As these innocents were being buried in Israel, her president Shimon Peres lamented the plight of the Holtzberg's young two-year old son, who was orphaned from the attack.

In Melbourne last night, a memorial function was held at Bnai Brith for Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg. Rabbi Mendy Groner told people that all of the murdered victims, be they Indian, Australian, British, American, Christian, Jewish or Hindu, were equal in their merit and innocence. He explained that when we know people, when they are part of our family or our community, we naturally grieve more intensely.

No one has put it better than a member of the professional staff at RMIT, Isaac Balbin, who led the davening at my shul, Elwood Shule, during the recent Yamim Noraim. He said of Gabi and Rivki in a moving essay on his recollections of India and these two martyred shlichim:

"They were not small-minded, slogan-bearing chanters or flag-wavers. Like Chassidim of old, yet under 30, they were involved in doing; not chanting. They loved and were loved. They didn't estrange."

Jews across the world mourn all the victims of the attacks on Mumbai. The murdered Brett Taylor and Doug Markell of Australia and Rabbi Gavriel and Rebbetzin Rivki Holtzberg and all other victims of terror will be in our hearts and minds forever.

Link to article by David Aronovitch in The Australian 3 December 2008

Tom Gross: If this isn’t terrorism, what is?

Last week, in Mumbai, India, we witnessed as clear a case of carefully planned mass terrorism as we are ever likely to see. The seven-venue atrocity was coordinated in a highly sophisticated way. The terrorists used BlackBerrys to stay in touch with each other during their three-and-half-day rampage, outwitting the authorities by monitoring international reaction to the attacks on British, Urdu and Arabic websites. They followed news updates and live TV streams, using them to their advantage so as to maximize causalities.

It was a meticulously organized operation aimed exclusively at civilian targets: two hospitals, a train station, two hotels, a leading tourist restaurant, and a Jewish center.

There was nothing remotely random about it. This was no hostage standoff. The terrorists didn’t want to negotiate. They wanted to murder as many Hindus, Christians, Jews, atheists and other “infidels” as they could, and in as spectacular a manner as possible. In the Jewish center, some of the female victims even appear to have been tortured before being killed.

So why are so many prominent Western media reluctant to call the perpetrators terrorists? Why did Jon Snow, one of Britain’s most respected TV journalists, use the word “practitioners” when referring to the Mumbai terrorists? Was he perhaps confusing them with doctors? Why did Reuters describe the motivation of the terrorists, which it preferred to call “gunmen,” as “unknown”? Were we meant to suppose that it might have been just anything – that to paraphrase Mark Steyn, they were perhaps disgruntled former employees of Lehman Bros embarking on an exciting midlife career change?

Again, why did Britain’s highly regarded Channel 4 News state that the “militants” showed a “wanton disregard for race or creed” when exactly the opposite was true: Targets and victims were very carefully selected.

Why did the “experts” invited to discuss the Mumbai attacks in one show on the state-funded Radio France Internationale, the voice of France around the world, harp on about Baruch Goldstein (who carried out the Hebron shootings in 1994), virtually the sole case of a Jewish terrorist in living memory?

Unfortunately in recent years we have become used to leftist media burying their heads in the sand about the threat that Islamic fundamentalism poses, in much the same way as they once refused to report accurately on Communist atrocities. But what are we to think when even such a renowned publication as The Times of London feels the need to refer to terrorists as “militants”, rather than calling them by their right name? “Militant”, after all, can be a neutral term in many contexts, and a favorable one in others. What is the motivation of journalists in trying to mangle language? Do they somehow wish to express sympathy for these murderers, or perhaps make their crimes seem almost acceptable? How are we going to effectively confront terrorists when we can’t even identify them as such?

But then the terrorists in Mumbai didn’t need to make any public announcements. They knew that many deluded Western journalists and academics will do that job for them, explaining that the West is to blame, especially the Zionists.

We have started seeing this already on the BBC – the world’s largest TV and radio network, which broadcasts in dozens of different languages around the world, and is lavishly funded by the British taxpayer.

You would be hard pressed to find any talk of radical Islam on the BBC in recent days, or mention of the fact that Islamists think India should be a Muslim country. Instead the BBC continues to try to persuade its massive global audience that “it is a local Indian problem,” that “the subcontinent has a history of unrest,” and so on.

Even the Pakistani angle has been presented as some kind of local Pakistan-India dispute rather than as a problem with radical Islam – this despite the fact that according to numerous reports the Mumbai terrorists themselves were screaming “Allah Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest) as they murdered “the Jews and the infidels” in line with Bin Ladenist ideology.

For some time, many have argued that an element of anti-Semitism has distorted the way the BBC covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But now, following the Mumbai events, we can perhaps see that anti-Semitism may even be at work in the way BBC covers foreign news in general.

For most of the Mumbai siege, the BBC went out of its way to avoid reporting that the Jewish community center was one of the seven targets. At one point viewers were told that “an office building” had been targeted (referring to the Jewish center as such).

Then on Friday morning, TV pictures of Indian commandos storming the besieged Jewish center were broadcast by networks around the world. Heavily armed commandos, their faces covered by balaclavas, rappelled from helicopters onto the roof while Indian sharpshooters in buildings opposite opened fire as a helicopter circled overhead. Huge crowds of onlookers could be seen looking aghast as they watched from nearby streets. While Sky News and other channels were gripped by these dramatic pictures, BBC World was not, almost pretending there was no siege at the Jewish center – even though by then it was one of only two sites that remained under attack in Mumbai. Had the terrorists chosen to besiege a church or mosque instead can you imagine the BBC ignoring it this way?

Meanwhile – perhaps even more disgracefully – a New York Times report on the last day of the siege stated: “It is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen, or if it was an accidental hostage scene.”

Has The New York Times learned anything since the Holocaust when, even after the war ended in the spring of 1945, the paper infamously refused to report that the Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Germans and so on killed in the camps had been Jews, and killed as Jews?

Dozens of eyewitness accounts by local Indians said the gunmen shouted “Allah Akbar” from the Jewish center. It is housed in a non-descript block and is not obviously marked from the outside as a Jewish center. It is the one Jewish building in a densely crowded city of millions. And the Times, the self-proclaimed paper of record, wants to let readers think it might have been an accidental target?

Even The Times’s British equivalent, The Guardian, began its news story: “The inclusion of the headquarters of an ultra-orthodox Jewish group was obviously intended to send its own message.”

Does The New York Times think that the seeking out and murder by Muslim terrorists of the only New York rabbi in Mumbai and his wife was “an accidental target”?

Indeed, there was nothing accidental about any of the seven sites that the terrorists attacked. And it was no accident that Mumbai was hit. It is the most multi-religious city in India – with Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsees and Jews living in relative harmony.

Tom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph. This article first appeared in the Wall Street Journal Europe.

Tags: bbc, mumbai, new york times, security, terrorism, terrorist attacks, tom gross

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"A Painful World"

Arlene Kushner

Today Moshe's parents were buried here in Israel, along with the other four Jews killed in the Mumbai Chabad House. Thousands attended the funeral held at Kfar Chabad -- including political figures. It was revealed then that Rivka was five months pregnant when she died.

Rivka Holtzberg's parents, Rabbi Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg, have said that their family will take responsibility for continuing the Holtzberg's work in Mumbai, at the least until a permanent replacement is found.


I want to share the thoughts of Steve Emerson with regard to this attack. For those who may not know, Emerson is a pre-eminent anti-terrorist in the US. Writing a piece called "They're Winning," he said:

"It is time to stop caving in to the PC crowd. If we refuse to use the term Islamic terrorist, we conveniently take away any onus of responsibility for Islamic groups to halt the murderous ideology they propagate...The real truth is that there is war against the West and the Jews by Islamic jihadists. And no amount of territorial withdrawal or peace negotiations will assuage them.

"...The Mumbai massacre was a heavily planned plot carried out by Islamic terrorists. Period. Memo to Obama: Until the onus of responsibility is put on Islamic 'civil rights' groups that want to ban free speech and claim that anyone who uses the term Islamic terrorist is a racist, there is no hope of winning the battle."


Then there is the JINSA commentary on the situation (Report #832):

"...We are reminded that in July, the NYPD published a report about the potential for homegrown terrorism in the United States and for the radicalization of segments of the American Muslim population. They were most concerned about the use of the Internet to spread radical ideology in private, along with local radical leaders who could find susceptible young people to send abroad to be steeped in the ideology of the swamp.

"Mumbai was not about politics or political grievances. It was about carefully honed hatred coupled with the means to kill. And that is what we in the progressive world - including and particularly the progressive Muslim world - have to worry about. Hatred taught and nurtured."

As I said yesterday, Wake up, World!


Please see my latest piece, "Rockets Fly, the UN Lies," in Frontpage Magazine:


A great deal more to follow tomorrow.

see my website And here is the rest of it.

Olmert's Obsession

Outgoing prime minister has irrational obsession with Palestinian prisoner releases
Frimet Roth

The world is reeling from the Islamist terror attacks that struck India this week. But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will not let that interfere with his plans. In just a few days he will beef up terrorist ranks with another of his prisoner releases.

Trying to fathom Mr. Olmert's conduct has become a favorite pastime of the pundits. Some say he is drafting his page in future history books. Others claim he is simply hell-bent on wooing the radical leftists. Still others swear he aims to be the next Israeli come-back kid and is preparing for a future term as prime minister. But no theory explicates his irrational obsession with Palestinian prisoner releases. He is drawn to them like a mouse to cheese.

Three months ago Olmert gave PA President Mahmoud Abbas, a Ramadan release. Now he will hand Abbas 250 more prisoners ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival on 8 December. Olmert is unfazed by the thankless reaction to his last release: "We will not rest until all the prisoners are freed and the jails are empty," Abbas told a cheering crowd in August on the day those 198 prisoners were welcomed home.

Abbas' statements and conduct are never factored in to the equation.

The day before Olmert announced the upcoming release, Abbas said of his "partner for peace":

"I would like to draw the attention of the international community to the tragedy that our people are enduring in Gaza and I call on them to intervene to end the unfair siege... which constitutes a war crime."

Hamas' renewed and intensive Qassam attacks that week on Israeli civilians apparently did not interest him.

Abbas responded to the announcement of a fresh release with fresh demands: He instructed Olmert to include convicted murderer Marwan Barghouti along with Popular Front Secretary General Ahmad Sadat and Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker and Hamas member Aziz al-Dweik.

The PA president's rhetoric has never softened towards Israel. In September, for instance, during a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Abbas was still adamant that "Palestinian refugees must have the right to return to their homeland," one of the "inalienable Palestinian rights." Everyone knows that a call for the return of the tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees is a thinly-veiled call for the destruction of the Jewish state. Yet today Olmert's office dubbed Abbas' party "the pragmatist Palestinian camp."

Equally immaterial to Olmert is that Abbas is politically crippled beyond the lame duck stage. He is unlikely to survive as president past 9 January, 2009. Nor does it matter to him that Hamas – against whom Olmert claims to be propping up the PA - is never weakened by these releases.

Israel's terror victims are always incensed by these releases. After all, we, the bereaved, live with the dread that one day our own child's murderer will return home to a hero's welcome.

A terror victims organization called Almagor reminded everyone that no less than one third of released terrorists return to terror and that they have murdered 180 Israelis. Once the new list of prisoners is published, Almagor can be expected to appeal to the High Court – and to lose its case, as it has consistently.

An Israeli spokesman insisted that: "the prisoners slated for release would not be aligned with Islamist movements," and that they will sign vows never to return to terror activities. But he was paid no heed.

Olmert’s immense ego

Why should he be? One of the two prisoners with blood on their hands who were among those freed in August was Mohammed Abu Ali, a lawmaker from Abbas' Fatah party. Abu Ali was jailed in 1980 for murdering a 20-year-old Israeli. He was later convicted of killing a jailed Palestinian whom he accused of collaborating with Israel. So much for the claim that these prisoners have all been rehabilitated.

What about the Palestinian man-on-the-street? Surely he appreciates Olmert's largess.

Not quite. In August, prior to the Ramadan release, Khaled Abu Toameh reported: "It's hard these days to find one Palestinian who regards Israel's decision to release some 200 Palestinian prisoners as a "goodwill gesture." He added: "The argument that (releases) strengthen the 'moderates' has never proven to be correct."

Of the hundreds of prisoners released after the Oslo Accord, Abu Toameh wrote, many soon became involved "in various criminal activities ranging from armed robberies, extortion, theft and arms trafficking…Others later joined Hamas and other radical groups and became actively involved in armed attacks on Israel during the second Intifada."

Orit Adato, a former head of the Israel Prisons Service and the first international vice president of the International Correction and Prison Association has issued clear and reasoned expert recommendations regarding prisoner releases.

In principle Adato believes they can be utilized to bolster Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. However, even she maintains that releases should be made only after specific preparatory steps have been carried out by Israelis, Palestinians and the international community.

She condemns capricious releases, a la Olmert, made in the context of stalled and aimless negotiations between Israel and the PA.

But even if they could be otherwise condoned, Olmert's prisoner releases are objectionable in his circumstances. As he contends with a looming indictment and with strident calls for his resignation, Olmert is no longer an empowered leader.

Nevertheless, this week a passive cabinet voted to give Olmert the green light. True, several ministers were opposed. Minister Jacob Edery (Kadima) slammed the move prior to the meeting, saying Israel "has made enough gestures to the Palestinians without having received anything in return. You don't have to free terrorists so long as there is no progress in the effort to free Gilad Shalit or the peace talks."

And last week Likud MK Reuven Rivlin expressed those sentiments even more bluntly: "Olmert is not relevant to the political process and he does not need to make promises in Israel's name," adding: "We're tired of him and his political mischief."

But Sunday’s vote proved that even this wide spectrum of protesters is impotent. Olmert's immense and indomitable ego is just too formidable a foe. Several days ago it reared its ugly head in these telling comments:

"I talk with Abbas nearly every week. Never has any Israeli prime minister held such extensive negotiations with a Palestinian leader like this…This is a time for decisions. I am ready to make that decision…You don't need months to make a decision," said Olmert.

On the last score he is right. Olmert can and must still make one crucial decision: to forgo the tempting cheese and cancel this prisoner release before the mouse trap slams shut – on us. Otherwise the painful consequences of Olmert's folly will be with us long after he has scampered back through his hole to safety.

Police heighten alert in Tel Aviv area

Roadblocks set up in entrances to Tel Aviv, police detain illegal Palestinian workers for questioning following warning received. Massive forces patrol southern part of city
Avi Cohen

Police raised their alert level in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area following a warning. Roadblocks were set up in the entrances to and exits from Tel Aviv, causing traffic jams. Police arrested illegal workers in the Geha Road area and detained Palestinians with stay permits for questioning. Palestinians were also detained near Tel Aviv's central bus station.

At first the police blocked traffic to the city completely, but for fear of heavy traffic jams they decided to selectively check the entering vehicles.

Recently, a source in the al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing, threatened to resume suicide bombings in Israel.

"The past few months have made the Israelis forget the suicide attacks," the man told Ynet, "and if they think the fence in the Gaza Strip or in the West Bank will prevent the attacks, we promise we have ways to remind the Israelis that the attacks will return to the heart of Israel and that the killing will not only take place in the Strip."

Sources in the Palestinian Authority hinted recently that Hamas was interested in escalating the situation in order to affect the election results in Israel.

Monday, December 01, 2008

MK: Use Hamas Captives as Shield

Gil Ronen MK: Use Hamas Captives as Shield

MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) suggested Sunday that Israel use prisoners from Hamas and Islamic Jihad that it is holding as human shields to deter rocket fire on Israel. Erdan said that he has suggested that an internment facility for Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners be created in the Gaza belt area. The facility, he said, should be of a temporary nature and it should be unfortified.

"There is no reason why the terrorists who are imprisoned in Israel should be safe," he said.

Same crazy process

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's plan to release Arab terror prisoners as a gesture for Eid el-Adha, the Muslims' Feast of the Sacrifice, is "a continuation of that same crazy process of surrendering to terror," Erdan added.

He said that in view of the Olmert government's temporary status as elections near, it is not proper that Olmert make decisions on a controversial matter like the proposed prisoner release.

Still, Erdan said, the government could take a decision to launch a military operation in Gaza because there is a broad consensus in support of such an action. The Likud, he said, would support such a move. Erdan accused Kadima leader Tzipi Livni of weakness and of "wanting the whole world to like her at all times." He said Livni could not decide to launch a military offensive because she is afraid of international pressure that will end the negotiations with the PA – a project she has a stake in.

Primaries in the Likud are scheduled for this month and Erdan is among those vying for the top spots on the Likud list.

Hamas-Israeli Arabs Forge Ties

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu Hamas-Israeli Arabs Forge Ties

Hamas and the Galilee branch of the Islamic Movement have forged ties as Hamas upgrades its media empire to spread stories of Jewish adultery and drug use at Temple Mount. Hamas recently launched its second television channel, named Al Quds, with prayers held at the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and an interview with Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Raad Salah.

It is the second Hamas satellite channel, following Al Aqsa television. The terrorist organization that has a tight hold on Gaza also runs several newspapers, a website and online forums in eight languages, according to The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

"Hamas places considerable significance on the development of its media empire as a central tool in the battle for hearts and minds, spending considerable resources on it despite its financial difficulties," the Center's researchers reported.

During test broadcasts, the channel repeatedly aired speeches by Sheikh Salah, the head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. After launching the first broadcast, the Al Quds channel featured Syrian-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal who repeated the claim that Yasser Arafat "was poisoned by 'Zionists and their proxies.'"

The satellite broadcasts can also be viewed in several southern European countries where local Arab communities live. The Al-Quds channel, whose offices are located in Lebanon, claims to broadcast "from the heart of Jerusalem." Its logo is the Dome of the Rock.

In addition, Hamas has upgraded its own website with constant articles of incitement against Israel and videos and visual effects to document suicide bombings. An audio section contains such music albums as “Suicide Bombers."

The current English-language site, under the headline "The holy city is being judize [si on large scale," quotes the head of the Jerusalem Committee in the Palestinian Legislative Council and the president of the Jerusalem institution, Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya, as saying that "the Zionist enemy is deploying large quantities of drug[ within the city of Jerusalem."

The interviewer asked, "What are the latest threats against the city of Jerusalem by Zionist forces, especially as we heard that they were committing adultery and drinking alcohol within the Al-Aqsa Mosque?

He answered, "The Zionist enemy aims to Judaize [si the holy city and obliterating the Islamic and Christian features in the city."

Traveling new cities on-the-fly with Trip Touch

Karin Kloosterman
Israel 21C

Leaving home for college or a long trip abroad can be exciting, but after the bags are unpacked -- even if temporarily -- the basic need for comfort and familiarity sets in. Where are the health food stores, the best restaurants, or the pubs that the locals go to? Should we pack the umbrella tonight, or prepare the toque for tomorrow's snow? Normally, finding exactly how to behave and what you need in a new city or town takes a lot of time and trial and error -- or hours of planning beforehand, along with dozens of guidebooks and trusted friends.

Not if you have Israel's TripTouch on your web browser. The destination site has partnered with the Web's best services and travel companies to help the newbie explore a city like it's an old haunt.

Sort through the travel advice maze

Founded in 2007 by Gil Ruda and Ron Mertens, with seed money from a small group of angel investors, the company is based in Tel Aviv. "But like our users, we yearn for the skies!" writes its website, which offers a blog on new site features. "We thought that what we should integrate destination information with travel services by location," Ruda tells ISRAEL21c.

"There are many travel websites out there, but you get lost. We've developed a technology that aggregates the best sources of the web from 5,000 worldwide destinations, and about 15 content providers," he says, noting that along with the basic up-to-the-minute travel information and services, users get to explore a rich online traveling community, replete with personal travel logs for uploading and sharing experiences and photos. And of course, there's information about the local weather.

Travel guides like Foder's or Lonely Planet can't compare. They serve a purpose, but are often out of date by the time the book gets used. TripTouch, on the other hand, "It's more for travelers who take longer trips and those who use the Internet," says Ruda. "We believe that resources like Lonely Planet are good as a publishing resource, but as a website it's not useful," he notes.

Based on local experts, and real travelers

TripTouch's content, therefore, is collected from local sources, and travelers, not just guide writers who are passing through a country for a short time. "Travel guide books can't do what we do," says Ruda, whose company is looking for funding. "They are not up to date. TripTouch is great for college students, and even for people who want to travel within their own country."

Keeping TripTouch vibrant are content partners who include WikiTravel, Eventful in San Diego for events, Kayak for transportation advice, and Priceline for hotels. Working on commissions from booking, and advertising, the five-person company hopes to expand its services into the cellular market. Launched in February this year, and still in beta mode, several thousands of people are already and traveling with TripTouch at their fingertips. Will you be next?

© 2001-2008 All rights reserved.

The UN's obsession with demonizing Israel

Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | November 30, 2008

THE PRESIDENT of the UN General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, last week denounced the policies of a certain Middle Eastern nation. They are "so similar to the apartheid of an earlier era," he said, "that the world must unite against them, demanding an "end to this massive abuse of human rights" and isolating the offending nation as it once isolated South Africa: with a punishing "campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions." Of which country was he speaking?

Was it Saudi Arabia, where public facilities are segregated by sex, and where a pervasive system of gender apartheid denies women the right to drive, to dress as they choose, to freely marry or divorce, to vote, to appear in public without a male "guardian," or to give testimony on an equal basis with men?

Was it Jordan, where the law explicitly bars Jews from citizenship and where the sale of land to a Jew was for decades not only illegal, but punishable by death?

Was it Iran, where homosexuality is a capital crime - at least 200 Iranian gays were executed last year - and whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asserted at Columbia University that there are no homosexuals in Iran?

Was it Sudan, where tens of thousands of black Africans in the country's southern region, most of them Christians or animists, have been abducted and sold into slavery by Arab militias backed by the Islamist regime in Khartoum?

It was none of these. The General Assembly president, a radical Maryknoll priest who served as Nicaragua's foreign minister during the Sandinista regime in the 1980s, was not referring to any of the Middle East's Muslim autocracies and dictatorships, virtually all of which discriminate against ethnic and religious minorities. He was speaking of the Jewish state of Israel, the region's lone democracy, and the only one that guarantees the legal equality of all its citizens - one-fifth of whom are Muslim and Christian Arabs.

D'Escoto's call for Israel to be shunned as a pariah and strangled economically came on the UN's Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, an annual occasion devoted to lamenting the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in the 20th century, denouncing the national liberation movement - Zionism - that made that rebirth possible, and championing the cause of the Palestinian Arabs. The event occurs on or about Nov. 29, the anniversary of the UN vote in 1947 to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. There are impassioned speeches, in which Israel's sins are enumerated and condemned, and the statelessness of the Palestinians is bewailed. Unmentioned is the fact that Palestine's Arabs would have had their state 60 years ago had they and the Arab League not rejected the UN's decision and chosen instead to declare war on the new Jewish state.

Like so much of what takes place at the UN, the obsession with demonizing Israel and extolling the Palestinians is grotesque and Orwellian. More than 1 million Israeli Arabs enjoy civil and political rights unmatched in the Arab world - yet Israel is accused of repression and human-rights abuse. Successive Israeli governments have endorsed a "two-state solution" - yet Israel is blasted as the obstacle to peace. The Palestinian Authority oversees the vilest culture of Jew-hatred since the Third Reich, and wants all Jews expelled from the land it claims for itself - yet Israel is labeled an "apartheid state" and singled out for condemnation and ostracism.

Make no mistake: In likening Israel to apartheid-era South Africa, the UN is engaged not in anti-racism but in anti-Semitism. In the 1930s, the world's foremost anti-Semites demanded a boycott of Jewish businesses. Today they demand a boycott of the Jewish state.

"No good German is still buying from a Jew," announced Hitler's Nazi Party in March 1933. "The boycott must be a universal one . . . and must hit Jewry where it is most vulnerable." Seventy-five years later, the president of the General Assembly urges the world to throttle Israel's 6 million Jews with "boycott, divestment, and sanctions." There is no significant difference between the two cases -- or the animus underlying them.

When the UN adopted its odious "Zionism is racism resolution" in 1975, US Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan minced no words. "The United States," he declared, "does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act." Where is such a voice of moral outrage today?

Jeff Jacoby can be reached at

Who do you mean Mr. Assad?

Assad urges France, EU to help lift Gaza blockade

Syrian leader tells chief diplomatic advisor to President Sarkozy that Israeli siege 'worsens humanitarian situation' in Hamas-controlled territory; Israel says keeping crossings closed due to Qassam fire
AFP and Ynet

Syrian President Bashar Assad held talks with two French envoys on Sunday and urged Paris and the European Union, currently headed by France, to work to lift the Israeli blockade of Gaza Claude Gueant, secretary-general of the French presidency, and Jean-David Levitte, chief diplomatic advisor to President Nicolas Sarkozy, arrived in Damascus earlier in the day and discussed "Franco-Syrian cooperation and the situation in the Middle East," said the official Syrian news agency SANA.

Assad praised the "efforts made by France with countries in the region, aimed at finding solutions to different problems."

He urged Paris and the European Union to "work to lift the blockade imposed on the Palestinian people in Gaza which worsens the humanitarian situation" in the Hamas-controlled territory.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has instructed thhe security establishment to keep the Gaza goods crossings closed on Monday as well, in light of the ongoing rocket fire emanating from the Strip.

Barak made the decision following a nightly security assessment.

Comment: Of course it is common knowledge over here that Egypt, Gaza's southern border country has had in place a blockade far longer than Israel's temporary one. To demonstrate the insincerity, the obtuse arguments, the hypocritical request of Assad and other Arab leaders clearly they must mean for the international community to get Egypt to lift its permanent blockade? Even the local media knows this is true so when you read about the "horrors" of the temporary blockade by Israel, know that the media decided long ago to MISREPRESENT the truth about "blockades". Know also that if "others" were really concerned about Gaza they would mention in every speech, every interview and in every article that Israel does temporary blockades in response to ongoing rocket fire into Israel proper, a sovereign nation, maiming, and killing civilians. These same "others" are held responsible for all actions by Hamas!

Lt. General Moshe Ya'alon‏

Caroline Glick

Dear Friends,

I know that you all share my deep concern for Israel's security. And as you know, the threats Israel faces from Iran and Syria and from their Palestinian and Lebanese terror proxies increase every day. Then too, the rising tide of Islamic totalitarianism throughout the Arab world raises the specter of future Islamic takeovers of Egypt and Jordan.

Israel has the military capabilities to weather this storm and even emerge victorious. Unfortunately, for too long now, it has been led by failed leaders who lack both the moral courage and the strategic wisdom to defend the country, to instruct the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the coming wars, or to prepare the public for the challenges the country must face. On February 10, the Israeli people will have a chance to change this situation. Likud under Binyamin Netanyahu is currently leading all other parties in the polls and today seems poised to form the next government.

Recently, a great leader, who has both the strategic wisdom and the moral fiber to take on and meet Israel's massive security challenges threw his hat into the political ring and joined Likud. Former IDF Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon announced his intention to run in this month's Likud Knesset primaries. Those primaries will determine Likud's candidate slate in the elections. Depending on how Lt. Gen. Ya'alon places in those primaries, he will either be relegated to the Knesset's back benches or he will be appointed Israel's next Defense Minister.

Given the stakes, in my view it is absolutely imperative that Lt. Gen. Ya'alon place in the top five in the Likud's primaries. As you all know, running a successful campaign requires funding. Lt. Gen. Ya'alon, who only joined Likud a few weeks ago, finds himself at a severe deficit in that department in comparison to his fellow candidates, who have been planning their primary bids for several months. He needs to raise about $200,000 to run the type of campaign he'll need and the primary day operation required to gain a top spot.

According to Israeli campaign finance laws, it is legal for foreign nationals to donate up to $2400 per household to primary election campaigns if the money is received by the deadline set by the electoral commission. The deadline for Likud fundraising for the current primary is December 6.

I just made my first political contribution and pledged that amount – or NIS 10,000, for Israelis -- and believe me, I'm not a wealthy lady. I just think that Israel's survival may well depend on Lt. Gen. Ya'alon becoming defense minister.

I strongly urge you all to contribute to his campaign to the extent you are able in the short time remaining. He is an extraordinary man and a true Israeli patriot.

His campaign's website has set up the following link to send wire transfers to his campaign. Please take a few moments to fill out the form and help out.

If you have any further questions, please contact Guy Seeman, his campaign's international coordinator. Guy's email is He is available to take your calls as well. You may contact him directly on his mobile phone: 972-54-724-4172 if you have any questions about contributing.

I am sorry for sending out this request in such a massive and urgent way. As you know, I have never done anything like this before. And I would never consider taking your time for something that I didn't believe was anything other than critical for the future of Israel.

Below you will find a column that I wrote about the Lt. Gen. Ya'alon in September. Perhaps after reading it, you will understand why I feel as strongly as I feel about his candidacy and will be moved, as I am, to help him.

Thank you all for your support for the State of Israel and for taking the time to consider this request.

All the best,

Caroline Glick

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Column One: A road paved on reality
Sep. 25, 2008

Listening to the news in Israel these days, it is hard to escape the feeling that the Israeli political discourse has become dangerously irrelevant.

Take Iran for example. On Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the heads of UN member states, "The dignity, integrity and rights of the European and American people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are a minuscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner."

Ahmadinejad then promised that Israel will soon be destroyed - for the benefit of humanity.

For these remarks, he received enthusiastic applause from the world leaders gathered at the UN General Assembly.

And how has Israel responded? It hasn't done anything in particular. And it has no intention of doing anything in particular.

This point was made clear to the public on Wednesday when Israel's new UN ambassador, Gavriela Shalev, gave an interview to Army Radio. While bemoaning Ahmadinejad's warm reception, she said that the world leaders were probably just being diplomatic. She noted that many of their ambassadors say nice things about Israel to her in private.

Israel's woman at the UN devoted most of her interview to defending the UN. In fact, she said she believes it is her duty not simply to defend Israel to the world body, but to defend the UN to Israelis. As she put it, her job is "correcting the UN's image in the eyes of the people of Israel."

Shalev's appointment to the UN was the work of Foreign Minister - and would-be prime minister - Tzipi Livni. And her view of her role as Israel's ambassador is strictly in keeping with what Livni perceives as the job of Israel's top diplomats. They are the world's emissaries to Israel.

Livni has spent the better part of the past three years at the Foreign Ministry telling us that the UN is our friend, the Europeans are our friends and that the Americans and Europeans and the UN will take care of Iran for us. The Palestinians are also our friends.

As anti-Semitic forces grow throughout the world, Livni has not communicated one single policy for defending Israel abroad that doesn't involve the kindness of strangers. Her response to Ahmadinejad's speech was a case in point.

The one thing the woman who believes that she has the right to lead the country without being elected by anyone thinks that Israel should do in response to Ahmadinejad's call for our physical destruction is to object to Iran's bid to join the UN Security Council. Livni's only concrete response to Ahmadinejad's promise to annihilate us was to issue a directive to Israel's embassies telling our diplomats to ask their host governments not to support Iran's bid for Security Council membership.

Livni doesn't actually think Iran is Israel's greatest challenge. The Palestinians are. And as far as she is concerned, giving the Palestinians a state by handing over Judea and Samaria (and Jerusalem, although she never says it outright), as quickly as possible is Israel's most urgent task. We need a two-state solution and we need it NOW, she says.

Neither Livni nor her colleagues in Kadima, Labor and Meretz, nor her supporters in the Israeli media ever bother to acknowledge the troublesome, inconvenient fact that the Palestinians don't want a state. They want to destroy our state.

This basic fact was made clear - yet again - on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Livni took time out of her busy schedule of political meetings with Labor, Shas and Meretz leaders with whom she is attempting to build a government without being elected by anyone, to meet with Fatah's chief negotiator Ahmed Qurei. Although Livni refused to tell us what she talked about, she promised that progress was made toward the urgent imperative of forming a Palestinian state.

But Qurei was not so enthusiastic. In fact, he was contemptuous of Livni and of the very notion of peaceful coexistence between the Palestinians and Israel. After the negotiating session, Qurei told Reuters that if the talks toward an Israeli surrender of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem collapse, the Palestinians will renew their terror war against Israel. In his words, "If the talks reached a dead end, what do we do? Capitulate? Resistance in all its forms is a legitimate right."

Just to make sure he understood Qurei properly, the reporter asked whether that meant that the Palestinians would renew their suicide bombing campaign against Israelis. Qurei responded, "All forms of resistance."

We have been here, of course, a million times before. This is the same threat that Yassir Arafat and his men have made - and implemented - repeatedly since signing the Oslo Accords with Israel 15 years ago. They use terror and negotiations in tandem to squeeze Israel into giving away more and more of its land. And it works.

When Livni heard about Qurei's remarks, she called him and reportedly told him that they were unacceptable. So he said he was taken out of context. No skin off his back.

He knew Livni wouldn't do anything. At the same time that Livni said his remarks were unacceptable, she pledged to continue negotiating Israel's surrender of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem with him for as long as she remains in power.

Today, Livni and her colleagues in Kadima, Labor, Meretz and Shas are working fervently toward forming a new government that will continue holding irrelevant but dangerous negotiations with the Palestinians and the Syrians, and pretending that Iran's nuclear weapons are not going to be used against Israel. They argue that we need the "political stability" that they can provide us in this dangerous time.

The Israeli media gives these fantasies their full support. Indeed, anyone who notices that the world is sitting back and allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons or points out that the Palestinians don't want a state is immediately shot down as an alarmist and an extremist.

This national discourse - which has been the only one permitted in the country since the advent of the "peace process" with the PLO 15 years ago - is Israel's Achilles' heel. Until the general public is set clear on the reality of the world confronting the country, there is no chance that Israel will take the necessary steps to defend itself and ensure that it survives.

Understanding this basic fact, former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon has taken it upon himself to tell the Israeli public the truth about the world we live in. Ya'alon is a rare bird among Israel's current pantheon of luminaries. He is an honest man who lives by his principles, and he doesn't bend them, ever.

Last week Ya'alon published a book called The Longer Shorter Road in Hebrew. Ya'alon, whose tour of duty as Chief of Staff was unceremoniously cut short by former prime minister Ariel Sharon in June 2005 due to his trenchant opposition to Sharon's planned withdrawal of IDF forces and Israeli civilians from the Gaza Strip, has written a book that sets out the facts of life clearly, credibly and passionately.

The book's title is derived from a speech that Ya'alon's commander, Yoram Ya'ir, gave to his officers during the First Lebanon War. Ya'ir explained that short-cuts are not necessarily better than long roads. In fact, it is often better to take the longest route. As Ya'ir put it, "There is a long road that is short and there are short roads that are long."

Ya'alon uses Ya'ir's point to demonstrate that the Israeli Left's insistence on peace "now" and a solution to the Arab-Israel conflict "now" has placed Israel on a strategic trajectory that has brought it, and will continue to bring it only bloodshed and danger. Israel's enemies in the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Syria and Iran view Israel's insistence on finding immediate solutions to the threats it faces as a sign that Israeli society is collapsing.

As a consequence, every step that Israel has made toward appeasing its neighbors - from recognizing the PLO and bringing Arafat and his legions into Judea, Samaria and Gaza; to retreating from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005; to failing to properly prosecute the Second Lebanon War in 2006; to doing nothing to combat Hamas's regime in Gaza since 2007; to embracing the false paradigm of peace at Annapolis last November - has strengthened their conviction that Israel can and will be destroyed.

Ya'alon also dwells on the moral collapse of Israel's political and media elite and that collapse's adverse impact on the senior command echelons of the IDF. The abandonment of Zionist values and public and private integrity by our politicians and media has cast and kept Israel on a path of self-delusion, where the only thing that matters is immediate gratification. Politicians promise the public "hope" based on illusions of peace-around-the-corner to win their votes. The media support the politicians' lies both because of the media's post-Zionist ideological uniformity and due to their refusal to acknowledge that their populist demands for peace "now" have brought Israel only war and danger.

Ya'alon's book is part memoir and part polemic. He reminds Israelis of what it is about us that makes us a great people, worthy of our land and privileged to defend it. At the same time, he chastises our failed leaders who have tricked the public into following a strategic path that endangers us. His book's greatest contribution is not in providing a set path forward, but in courageously and unrelentingly explaining the reality that surrounds us today and in showing the public how it is that we have arrived in our current predicament.

In exposing himself, his values and his beliefs to the public, and juxtaposing his own leadership experience and personal integrity with the corruption and weakness of our political and intellectual leaders, Ya'alon is telling the public in a very clear way that there is an alternative to defeatism and self-delusion, and that he - and we the public - represent that alternative, that "longer shorter road."

Livni, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and their colleagues on the Left in the Knesset and the media insist that we not take that longer road to security and peace. In fact, they deny that it even exists. They attempt to convince us that elections are unnecessary by arguing that there is no difference between political parties today, because their short cut to defeat is the only path available to us.

It must be fervently hoped that Ya'alon will soon enter the political fray. Like the Likud under Binyamin Netanyahu, Ya'alon is proof positive that Livni and her cronies are lying. There are great differences between those that would lead us and the paths they would take.

And the only road to safety is the long road that is paved on reality.

Caroline Glick

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Terror here, terror there

Arlene Kushner

On Friday night, terrorists in Gaza fired mortar shells at an IDF base near Nachal Oz, wounding eight soldiers -- two seriously. One soldier -- Sgt. Noam Nakash, 21, of Beersheva -- has lost his leg as a result of the attack and doctors are working to save the other leg. Two other soldiers were moderately to seriously wounded. First the Popular Resistance Committees and then Hamas's military wing, Izzadin Al-Kassam, claimed responsibility.

According to Voice of Israel radio this morning, Hamas has acquired 120-mm mortar shells that are more accurate and lethal than previous models they had used.


In a classic instance of trying to have your cake and eat it too, Hamas announced by Saturday that this attack didn't signal the end of the "ceasefire."

Spokesman Ismail Radwan said that the attack was "a natural reaction to the enemy's crimes, to the blockade and the closing of the Gaza crossings...[It] was not meant to violate the ceasefire. We are simply responding to the enemy's violations."

In fact, explained Radwan, various Palestinian factions will be meeting soon to discuss an extension of the "ceasefire" past December 19. A pre-condition for an extension would be an Israeli commitment to keep all crossings open.


The question now is how long the government is prepared to continue to make fools of us by playing along with this.

I'm no fan of Haim Ramon, but when he's right, he's right. And he was on the mark yesterday when he said:

"The agreement for calm [tahadiya] in Gaza was a mistake. Hamas was on the verge of collapse and by entering into the agreement, we helped stabilize it. We have been and will continue to pay, with compounded interest, for every day of this calm."

He noted that the agreement had been the idea of Hamas, "which couldn't get control of Gaza because of our daily attacks. No other country in the world lets terrorists fire rockets on its electric power plant, which provides electricity to the people firing the rockets."


I rather like the creative thinking of MK Gilad Erdan (Likud), who said the defense minister should set up a temporary detention facility in the Gaza vicinity and jail Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners there.

"If they [members of Hamas] don't work to stop the fire, they should take into account that the rockets may hurt their men as well. When the government fails to fortify the south's residents, there's no reason to protect terrorists jailed in Israel."

Of course it will never happen. Our government hasn't the guts. Can you imagine the international furor that would ensue if we put prisoners in range of rockets and mortars from Gaza? A furor -- fueled by Arab PR -- much greater than the international concern for our innocents who are within that range. Such is the nature of the world.


Meanwhile yesterday Deputy Minister of Defense Matan Vilnai said,

"There's no doubt we're getting closer to a wide-scale operation in Gaza, but it will be different from what took place in the past...The truce is important to us and to them, as we control the crossings and the other side is afraid of the IDF's strength. But we must find the right time for an operation. Their provocations are not leaving us with much choice."

Heaven help us! More saber rattling. He also wants to have his cake and eat it too. What does it mean, "The truce is important to us"? What truce? Time this was said forthrightly. Sounds like he expects "a different sort of operation" that will ostensibly keep the "truce" in place.


For the record, what we're dealing with is a tahadiya, which is an informal agreement to cease firing, as compared to a hudna, which is a formal ceasefire with written terms.


Back to Mumbai:

The story as it continues to unfold is a heartbreaker in one respect after another.

In all it is now said nine bodies were found in the Chabad House, seven of which were Israeli. Rabbi Gavriel Herzberg, along with kashrut inspector Aryeh Teitelbaum were found in the Chabad library with holy texts before them. Rivka Herzberg was found covered by a tallit (prayer shawl), it is being speculated that was placed over her by her husband before he was killed.

Rivka Herzberg's parents, Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg, who have been in Mumbai since Thursday night, are eager to facilitate movement of the bodies back to Israel as quickly as possible. Jewish law requires a speedy burial.

They are also seeking to cut through the red tape so that Sandra Samuel, the Indian nanny for the Herzberg's little boy, Moshe, might be granted a visa to come with them. She is the only one the child -- who calls constantly for his mother -- is responding to. Samuel -- who saved the boy by running out of the building carrying him -- is currently with him, along with his grandparents, at the home of Ehud Raz, the top security officer at the Israeli Consulate in Mumbai. The Rosenbergs had last seen their grandson about the time of the high holidays.
Photo: Chabad Info

What I have learned is that Gavriel and Rivka Herzberg lost a child to a degenerative disease, and that another child, who is ill, is in the care of relatives in Israel.


Members of ZAKA -- an Israeli volunteer body rescue and identification group that does selfless work with immeasurable devotion -- are on the scene. They will be present, watching over the bodies, until all have been identified and brought out. They described a horrendous situation in which some victims were tied with phone cords, holy books were strewn about, blood was smeared over walls and floors, and live grenades remained.

The ZAKA people protested any handling of the bodies, which must be treated with maximum respect, and any autopsies.

An Israeli forensic expert will be doing some final identification.


News regarding the broader picture of the terror in Mumbai is, as would be expected, a bit fuzzy at this early stage.

An unprecedented four-nation intelligence investigation has been launched to uncover what happened: There will be cooperation between India, the US, the UK and Israel in this matter.

What I am getting is that there were 10 terrorists, nine of whom were killed, who came from the sea. The one captured alive, Azam Amir Kasab, is Pakistani. He says it was intended that thousands would die in this multi-pronged attack, and that the Chabad House was targeted because of Israeli treatment of Arabs.

UK security is investigating the possibility that British citizens may have been involved in the attack. Some sources are saying that two British-born Pakistani were among the terrorists but this is not confirmed.

There are other sources that suggest an Al-Qaida connection, also unconfirmed at present.


According to Roee Nachmias, writing in YNet, some Arab columnists are saying that the Mumbai attack constitutes a warning to Obama:

"The Mumbai operation is a message to President-elect Barack Obama to say: you have dreams of a better world but this is the real world that you must deal with. In spite of how you have arranged your priorities, terrorism will always be at the top of the list."

The really big question, of course, is how Obama will handle terrorism.


Speaking of Obama, and his ostensibly pro-Israel appointments:

Do you remember the Geneva Initiative? It was a private, not a gov't initiative, that aimed at "solving" the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It called for return to pre-'67 borders, the sharing of Jerusalem, and the return of some refugees based on an obscure formula. It was one of those plans that, if implemented, would have brought slow but sure destruction to Israel.

Well, I have just learned that Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, supported this. We need to be a lot clearer on what "pro-Israel" means.

I've just seen a JTA article that identifies Obama team member Daniel Kurtzer being "well regarded in most of the pro-Israel community." Not so. Unless you call Peace Now "pro-Israel." I don't.


A matter of considerable importance: This may be the last chance to secure the release of Jonathan Pollard, who has been held in US prison for far too long: 24 years. An outgoing president traditionally offers pardons. Flood the White House with demands that Pollard be let go.

202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414.


see my website

Likud Runner: 'Annex Yesha'

Hillel Fendel Likud Runner: 'Annex Yesha'

Judea and Samaria activist Yechiel Leiter is hoping to be a Likud Knesset member – but is facing a strong challenge from other elements in the pro-Land of Israel movement. What has raised the ire of some Yesha (Judea and Samaria) opponents is his diplomatic plan that calls for immediate steps that will lead to the annexation of some 50% of Judea and Samaria. “There are those who fear talking about annexing 50%, because that means giving up the other 50%,” he told “But that’s not how I look at it. Annexation is a long process that means first building up strong support within Israel for the settlement enterprise and for these areas, making major changes in how these areas are regulated and governed, moving the checkpoints, which are not supposed to be border points - and only then will we be able to annex the areas. It also means offering Israeli citizenship to possibly 100,000 Arabs – though not 1.5 million… It could take 10 years, or even 25 years. Once that works, then we’ll take it from there.”

The former Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Education and top aide to both Ariel Sharon and Binyamin Netanyahu has spent much of the past three decades working on behalf of a strong Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. He lived in Hevron for eight years, where he served as the head of the Jewish Community, and now lives in Eli in southern Shomron with his wife and eight children. As aide to then-Housing Minister Ariel Sharon, Leiter says, “there are countless number of buildings in Judea and Samaria that have my fingerprints on them.”

Leiter has plans for all but 11 Jewish towns, such as Yitzhar and Nachliel, which he admits might have to be given up. “But there are some elements within the Likud who are concentrating on that to accuse me of being a ‘so-called settler’ who wants to destroy communities in Judea and Samaria,” Leiter said, “despite all I have done and do to build up Yesha.”

Leiter’s plan - which he calls Hitgabshut [Blending Togethe, as opposed to the Hitnatkut [Disengagemen of Ariel Sharon and the Hitkansut [Inward Convergen of Ehud Olmert - calls for a de-facto annexation of the Jordan Valley, the western Shomron, and other large areas of Judea and Samaria.

“If we don’t form our own borders,” Leiter says, “others will do it for us, such as with the Saudi plan, which calls for a return to the pre-1967 borders. If we continue along the path of negotiations without taking pre-emptive action, we will end up giving up 100% of the area. If I have to choose between receiving 0% and receiving 50%, I choose the latter.”

Unilateral Annexation, Not Withdrawal

Leiter does not negate a unilateral move by Israel – but it must be one of annexation, not of withdrawal. “The original Disengagement plan was supposed to also include annexation of parts of Yesha,” he says, “but that part was never done. The fact that the withdrawal part failed doesn’t mean that the plan’s other part, the annexation, would also have failed. We must unilaterally set borders from which we will not retreat in any future negotiations.”

“Unless the Jordan Valley is a sovereign part of Israel, it will become a newer and much longer version of the Philadelphi Route – along 200 kilometers of Israel’s eastern flank. Iranian weapons of all types will flow into Judea and Samaria with no interference.”

Leiter is confident that the world will accept his plan for Israel to determine its own borders “after an Israeli consensus is formed around it. Generally, whenever we agree on something among ourselves, we are able to explain that position to the outside world. We did not do that with the Bush administration. We did not take advantage of the neo-conservatives there.”

Primaries on Dec. 8

Leiter is among 146 candidates running for a spot on the Likud list of Knesset candidates. The primaries will be held on Dec. 8; every registered Likud member will be able to choose up to 10 candidate that s/he wishes to see running for Knesset on the Likud list.