Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sarah Palin responds to Barack Obama’s Health Care Speech

II Detroit News Commentary on the speech


After all the rhetoric is put aside, one principle ran through President Obama’s speech tonight: that increased government in health care can solve its problems. Many Americans fundamentally disagree with this idea. We know from long experience that the creation of a massive new bureaucracy will not provide us with “more stability and security,” but just the opposite. It's hard to believe the President when he says that this time he and his team of bureaucrats have finally figured out how to do things right if only we’ll take them at their word.

Our objections to the Democrats’ health care proposals are not mere “bickering” or “games.” They are not an attempt to “score short term political points.” And it’s hard to listen to the President lecture us not to use “scare tactics” when in the next breath he says that “more will die” if his proposals do not pass. In his speech the President directly responded to concerns I’ve raised about unelected bureaucrats being given power to make decisions affecting life or death health care matters. He called these concerns “bogus,” “irresponsible,” and “a lie” -- so much for civility. After all the name-calling, though, what he did not do is respond to the arguments we’ve made, arguments even some of his own supporters have agreed have merit.

In fact, after promising to “make sure that no government bureaucrat gets between you and the health care you need,” the President repeated his call for an Independent Medicare Advisory Council -- an unelected, largely unaccountable group of bureaucrats charged with containing Medicare costs. He did not disavow his own statement that such a group, working outside of “normal political channels,” should guide decisions regarding that “huge driver of cost ... the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives....” He did not disavow the statements of his health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, and continuing to pay his salary with taxpayer dollars proves a commitment to his beliefs. The President can keep making unsupported assertions, but until he directly responds to the arguments I’ve made, I’m going to call him out too.

It was heartening to hear the President finally recognize that tort reform is an important part of any solution. But, this concession shouldn’t lead us to take our eye off the ball: the Democrats’ proposals will not reduce costs, and they will not deliver better health care. It’s this kind of “healthy skepticism of government” that truly reflects a “concern and regard for the plight of others.” We can’t wait to hear the details on that; we look forward to working with you on tort reform.

Finally, President Obama delivered an offhand applause line tonight about the cost of the War on Terror. As we approach the anniversary of the September 11th attacks and honor those who died that day and those who have died since in the War on Terror, in order to secure our freedoms, we need to remember their sacrifices and not demonize them as having had too high a price tag.

Remember, Mr. President, elected officials work for the people. Forcing a conclusion in order to claim a “victory” is not healthy for our country. We hear you say government isn’t always the answer; now hear us -- that’s what we’ve been saying all along.

US Pressure – A Guide for the Perplexed

Yoram Ettinger, "News 1st Class,"

Fact: In 1950, the US Administration pressured Israel to refrain from Jewish construction in Jerusalem and from declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel – Prime Minister Ben Gurion built, relocated government agencies and thousands of immigrants to Jerusalem and declared Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish State.In 1967, the US Administration pressured against annexation of East Jerusalem – Prime Minister Eshkol annexed, reunited Jerusalem, and built the formidable Ramat Eshkol neighborhood. In 1970, the US Administration pressured Israel to relinquish control over parts of Jerusalem – Prime Minister Golda Meir constructed the neighborhoods of Gilo, Ramot and Neveh Yaakov (current population over 100,000!). The US Administration pressured, Israel constructed, Jerusalem expanded and the Jewish State earned strategic respect.

Fact: In 1948, the US Department of State, Pentagon and CIA pressured Ben Gurion to avoid a declaration of independence. In 1961, President Kennedy pressured to stop the construction of Israel's nuclear reactor. In 1967, President Johnson pressured against pre-empting the Egypt-Syria-Jordan military offensive. In 1977, President Carter pressured Prime Minister Begin to abstain from direct negotiation with President Sadat and participate – instead – in an international conference, focusing on the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem. In 1981, President Reagan pressured Prime Minister Begin against bombing Iraq's nuclear reactor. Defiance of pressure entails short-term cost but enhances long-term national security. Submission to pressure exacerbates pressure. Fending off pressure is required, in order to attain strategic goals. Avoiding pressure – through concessions - leads to departure from strategic goals.

Fact: US public and Congressional support of Israel is robust. "The Rasmussen Report" documents a 70% support (Aug. 10, 2009) and "Gallup" ranks Israel as the fourth-favored ally (March 3, 2009). 71 Senators signed an August 10, 2009 letter calling upon President Obama to shift pressure from Israel to Arab countries. The Democratic Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Howard Berman, called upon Obama to end his preoccupation with settlements. The Democratic Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer, resents Obama's opposition to Jewish construction in East Jerusalem. The strongest (Democratic) Senator, Daniel Inouye, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, is the most effective supporter of the US-Israel connection since 1948. Obama cannot get his legislative agenda without Inouye's support. While Congress has reservations about Israel's settlements policy, Congress opposes sanctions against Israel.

Fact: Following the 1991 Gulf War, Israel asked for emergency assistance, which Bush/Baker rejected, Congress supported and Israel received $650MN in cash and $700MN in military systems. In 1990, Bush/Baker attempted to cut 5% of the foreign aid to Israel, on account of Israel's settlements activity. Congress opposed and the initiative was rescinded. The Legislature and the Executive are equal-in-power and fully independent of each other. The US Congress has been a systematic bastion of support of the Jewish State since before 1948.

Fact: President Obama has been transformed from a coattail President to an anchor-chained President, taking a dive from a 65% approval rating in January to less than 50% in September, the sharpest decline in recent decades, other than President Ford's (due to his pardon of Nixon). Thus, Democratic House candidates/members are experiencing the lowest ebb in two years, while Republicans enjoy a systematic edge. Obama is confronted by an effective Blue Dog Democratic opposition.

Fact: President Obama exercises psychological pressure against Israel. He cannot exert an effective tangible pressure. He was not elected to uproot Jewish settlements and prevent Jewish construction in Jerusalem. His political future – and that of Democratic legislators – does not depend on these issues. The Arab-Israeli conflict is not among Obama's top priorities, and his position on Israel is not compatible with most Democrats. Obama needs the support of Israel's friends on Capitol Hill, in order to advance his primary domestic and national security/international agendas.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Supreme Court: Three in a Row

in a Row
by Hillel Fendel
A7 News

The Supreme Court issued three rulings this week that gladdened the hearts of the nationalist camp. The first one ordered the government to find a solution within 45 days ensuring that several dozen expelled Gush Katif residents not be expelled yet again. The next day, the Court ruled that the State must submit a schedule for the destruction of 77 illegal Arab structures in Jesha. Finally, on Friday, the High Court ruled that the police may not discriminate against religious Jews who wish to visit the Temple Mount.

“This is the best Temple Mount ruling that has ever been handed down by the Supreme Court. For the first time, the Court has given practical meaning to Jewish civil rights on the Temple Mount.”

Expellees Must Not Be Expelled Yet Again

The first case dealt with former residents of Elei Sinai and other destroyed Gush Katif towns who moved to Kibbutz Carmiya, just north of the Gaza Strip. The government’s Disengagement Authority, known as Sela, is responsible for ensuring that the residents have permanent housing – but today, more than four years later, for those living in Carmiya and elsewhere, this is still far from the case.

Over five months ago, fearing action by the kibbutz members, the Carmiya residents sued the government to make sure that they would not have to be relocated once again. The State had promised Kibbutz Carmiya that it would unfreeze lands, as well as give them benefits and loans, on condition that it allow the residents to live on their property for two years. The two years have passed, the State did not fulfill its promises, an agreement was reached for two more years, again the State did not fulfill its promises, and now the kibbutz wants the residents out.

“You should not be sleeping at night” and “Who prevented you from figuring out what to do until now?” were some of the harsh comments uttered by the Supreme Court justices to a Sela government representative during the hearing.

The State offered to pay for alternate housing for the Gush Katif residents, but the judges said no. “You have 45 days to find a solution for the residents to continue to live in Carmiya until you find them permanent housing,” the judges told the State.

Equal Enforcement of the Law

In the second ruling, handed down on Wednesday, the Supreme Court instructed the State to submit schedules for the razing of 77 illegal Arab structures in the villages of Yatma and Asawiya. Judges Rubenstein, Arbel and Meltzer sharply criticized the government for its blatant lack of enforcement of building laws against PA Arab violators.

Here, as well, the Court gave the State 45 days to comply. The original suit was filed by Regavim, an association that aims to preserve national lands.

No Temple Mount Discrimination Against Religious Jews

On Friday, the Court ordered the police to stop discriminating against religious Jews at the entrance to the Temple Mount. The ruling judges were Rubenstein, Meltzer, and Salim Jubran.

Yehuda Glick, a long-time Temple Mount activist, had filed a suit against the "special treatment" given to religious Jews who wish to visit the holy site. While other visitors are merely checked for weapons, religious Jews must show their identity cards, have the number entered into the police computer for tracking, and are not permitted to walk around the Mount without a police and Waqf escort. In addition, they are often not allowed to enter the site at all until other religious Jews who arrived earlier complete their visit.

Based on affidavits attesting to the above by various rabbis and other religious visitors, the judges ruled that the discrimination must stop. All evidence of discrimination must be shown to the authorities, and if the practice continues, the court will once again address the issue.

Glick’s counsel, Attorney Aviad Visouly, said, “This is the best Temple Mount ruling that has ever been handed down by the Supreme Court. For the first time, the Court has given practical meaning to Jewish civil rights on the Temple Mount.”

Visouly said the ruling certainly stems from the ongoing increase of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site in the world. In the past year, police statistics show that 7,000 religious Jews visited, up 30% from the year before. “Credit goes to the Temple Institute, the Movement for the Establishment of the Temple, El Har HaMor, Manhigut Yehudit, the Sanhedrin, and the political activities of MKs Urei Ariel, Aryeh Eldad, and Michael Ben-Ari, all of the National Union," Glick said.

Entry to the Temple Mount is a matter of controversy among Orthodox rabbis. Most frown upon it, but others permit it after precautions such as immersion in a ritual bath and study of the exact route, and more, are taken.

Egypt, Jordan Join Arab League in Resisting Normalization

Maayana Miskin
A7 News

Recently, the Arab League declared that Arab countries would not normalize ties with Israel until Israel gives in to Arab demands. Senior officials in Egypt and Jordan have made it clear that their countries – both of which have signed peace deals with Israel – would resist normalization as well.In Jordan, professional associations representing more than 150,000 Jordanians were thrown into turmoil by reports that a Jordanian media delegation had visited Jerusalem. Association heads accused the journalists of normalizing ties with Israel – a step that Arab League head Amr Moussa warned last week could be met with violence.

The Jordanian Committee for Anti-Normalization called to expel the journalists from the country's press association.

On Wednesday, the Jordan Press Association slammed critics of the visit, saying their worry was premature. “The visit is not an act of normalization at all,” said JPA President Abdul Zgheilat. The journalists were in Jerusalem to study Jordanian achievements in the city, including the preservation of Muslim and Christian holy sites, he said.

Egypt: 'No Cultural Exchange'

Also this week, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) made available an interview shown on Egyptian television in late July. In the interview, Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouq Husni states, “Our relationship with Israel is at a complete standstill as long as there is no lasting peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”

Husni further clarified that there can be “no cultural exchange” with Israel until Israel signs a final status agreement with the PA.

The interviewer then asked Husni how he could invite Daniel Barenboim - “the Israeli conductor Barenboim” - to visit Egypt. Barenboim holds Israeli citizenship, and the interviewer implied that his visit was a form of normalization with Israel.

While Barenboim holds Israeli citizenship, Husni said, he also holds a PA passport. As such, Barenboim was invited to Egypt “as a Palestinian,” he said, and not as an Israeli.

2 Katyusha rockets from Lebanon land near Nahariya

Sep. 11, 2009

Large forces of police, firefighters and Magen David Adom paramedics were dispatched on Friday afternoon, as two Katyusha rockets fired from southern Lebanon landed in open areas in the western Galilee.

No casualties or damage were reported in the incident, which marked the fourth such attack this year.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that one of the rockets was located near Nahariya, and the IDF said that the rockets were apparently 122 millimeters in diameter. A senior Lebanese military official said that the rockets were fired from the town of Qlaileh, near the Lebanese port city of Tyre.

Lebanese security officials said IDF troops promptly fired at least two rockets back, which landed near Qlaileh. Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported that nine Israeli artillery shells fell near the town, but there were no reports of casualties or damage.

The IDF said it fired artillery at the source of rocket fire. The military "views this incident very severely and we hold the government of Lebanon responsible," a statement said.

No group took immediate responsibility for the cross-border attack, which came after recent exchanges of threats between Israel and Hizbullah, though the guerrilla group was not believed to have been involved in the incident.
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1251804548485&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

No real quid pro quo

Cal Thomas

HBO showed the film "Schindler's List" last week. The 1993 Steven Spielberg movie never ceases to arouse my deepest emotions. The perennial question put forth in the film remains: How could people wantonly kill so many others as a matter of state policy? This is more than history, however. There are those who would gladly "finish the job" the Nazis started. The Obama administration -- like previous administrations -- is pressuring Israel in ways that, if the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu succumbs, will effectively give Israel's modern enemies the opportunity to destroy its people. Next time it is unlikely there will be an Oskar Schindler to save even a remnant.

There are other questions related to the pressure the Obama administration is applying to Israel to stop building settlements, which supposedly will persuade that nation's sworn enemies to stop killing Jews. They are linked to the false premise that it's only what Israel does, or doesn't do, that affects the so-called peace process. If peace doesn't happen, blame it on the Jews. It's always their fault.

Those questions include: What could the Jews have done seven decades ago to dissuade Adolf Hitler from his Final Solution? What can modern Israelis do today to keep from being murdered by those who continue to hate Jews simply for being Jews? The answer to both questions is: nothing. Jews were murdered then and now, not for anything they did, but simply for being Jewish.

The notion that modern Israel, which was created out of the ashes of the Holocaust precisely because much of the world (the Arab world excepted) did not want another Holocaust, could have done something to prevent the killings has been the fundamental flaw in American foreign policy for decades.

The Latin phrase "quid pro quo" means "something for something." Israel has given lots of quid, but has received little quo.
The Obama administration is again pressing Israel to stop building homes on its historic territory.

The political geniuses believe this will magically cause Israel's enemies to either reciprocate with a peaceful act, or at least suspend the terrorism for a while in order to give the administration political cover for another sellout of the Jews. But as Middle East commentator Yoram Ettinger writes on his Web site, "Israeli policy-makers and public opinion molders tend to accept U.S. administrations as top authorities on the Middle East."

Mr. Ettinger lists numerous instances -- beginning with the founding of Israel in 1948 -- that remind how they have been consistently wrong in their judgments.

George Mitchell, the administration's Middle East envoy, is visiting Israel this week to continue "negotiations." These are not real negotiations because only one side is expected to give anything and the other side is never held accountable for failing to live up to its promises.

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority, has conditioned any new peace talks on the cessation of Israeli settlements in the "occupied Palestinian territories." No one asks Mr. Abbas what he would give in return for putting Israeli construction on hold, other than more talks that would bring more empty promises.

As Israel is pressured to stop building, Palestinian construction continues unabated. A new Palestinian housing project has begun in Ramallah. It is expected to provide 2,000 housing units, accommodating 10,000 people. Thousands of Arabs are moving into Jewish areas of Jerusalem, but don't look for Mr. Mitchell to suggest they live elsewhere. Only Israel is not allowed to determine where it's own people live.

Can anyone doubt the goal? It is to overwhelm the Jewish population and eventually eliminate all Jews from the land, not just land that is in dispute and which Israel holds onto because of its legitimate fear that Arab and Muslim nations, having started five wars, might go for number six if they believe they can win the next one. Only a fool would believe otherwise, given their repeatedly stated intentions and behavior.

In the Middle East and in Washington, there is a surplus of fools.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist.

The Islamization of anti-Semitism

Micha Odenheimer

Anti-Semitism infiltrated the Islamic world in the 19th century as Muslims came into contact with the Christian West. The founding of the State of Israel intensified the power and importance of anti-Semitism ideas in the Middle East. The Oslo Accords, instead of diminishing anti-Semitism, actually seemed to have had the opposite effect. Israel had become the agent of Western imperialism Soon after the September 11 terror attack on the twin towers, Sheikh Muhammad al-Gamei'a, Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque of New York City suddenly decided to return to Egypt. In his role as a New York Imam, al- Gamei'a had participated in scores of interfaith meetings together with Christian and Jewish clergy, and had been a genteel presence, expressing moderate views. That is why, a few days after his hasty departure, friends and colleagues in New York City were astounded to hear of an interview with al-Gamei'a in which he accused "the Jews" of having engineered the September 11 attacks in order to discredit Islam.

The interview, which had been posted on the unofficial web-site of Al Azhar, the Islamic world's premier institute of higher learning, revealed a world view based on the notorious "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" read with Islamic-tinted glasses. Al-Gamei'a claimed that Americans "knew very well that the Jews were behind this ugly act," but could not talk about it openly because "the Zionists control everything, the political decision-making, the big media organizations, and the financial and economic institutions. The Jewish element is as Allah described it," he continued, "They disseminate corruption in the land..." They have always unjustly broken agreements, murdered the prophets and betrayed the faith... all the time, disseminating corruption, heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism, drugs. They do this to impose their hegemony and colonialism on the world."

For al-Gamei'a, anti-Semitism was not merely an intuitive distrust of Jews, but a fully fleshed out theory of history. "These people always seek out the superpower of the generation and develop a symbiotic relationship with it. Before this, they rode on the back of England and on the back of the French empire. After that, they rode on the back of Germany. But Hitler annihilated them, because they betrayed him and violated their contract with him."

Al-Gamei'a's "proof" that the Jews were behind the attacks was an odd mixture of Arab feelings of inferiority and inflated estimations of Jewish power: "If we look closely at the incident we find that only the Jews are capable of planning such an incident, because it was planned with great precision of which Osama bin Laden or any other Islamic organization or intelligence apparatus is incapable."

Al-Gamei'a's turn to a virulent form of anti-Semitism upon his return to Egypt is far from an isolated occurrence. In the wake of September 11, with the eyes of the media, perhaps for the first time, focused on the Islamic world, wild anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have been consistently reported as a staple component of public opinion. Israelis have long been vaguely aware of the existence of Arab anti-Semitism - most of us have seen reproductions of the Der Sturmer-like caricatures that are often published in Egyptian newspapers. But the intifada al-Aqsa (the second intifada), and perhaps even more so the September 11 attacks, have clarified for many of us the extent and danger of this phenomenon.

One important lesson of the past year is that Israel should have taken the Palestinian incitement to hatred seriously, and America should have paid more attention to bin Laden's declaration of war against the West. Words count. Portraying Jews as a demonic people aimed at destroying Islam and enslaving mankind may be a warning that the deployment of weapons of mass destruction against Israel is not an unimaginable next step.

For hundreds of years, the virulent form of anti-Semitism that is now endemic in the Islamic world has been the heritage of the Christian West. In Christianity, the Jews had a starring role: they were the killers of Christ, and some Christians believed that they reenacted this ultimate evil by drinking Christian blood every Passover. In Islam, the Jews were more like shlemeils than God-slayers: the Jewish tribes in Arabia opposed Muhammad, but he easily defeated them. Although the Koran contains numerous harsh statements about Jews, the bottom line in Islam was that Jews were protected under Islamic law as long as they accepted Islamic political authority and the social and political limitations this imposed. Prejudice against Jews existed, and at periods of turmoil this prejudice sometimes turned violent, but eras of cooperation and relative peace were also often characteristic of Jewish life under Islam.

Threatened and defensive

Anti-Semitic ideas infiltrated into the Arab world, according to Bernard Lewis, one of the greatest living scholars of Islamic history, as Islam expanded into the West. Christian converts to Islam and Greek Orthodox Christians who found themselves living under Islamic rule introduced anti-Semitism, including the notion of the blood libel, into the Middle East. In the first half of the 19th century, Christian Arabs, who were in continuous contact with Western Christians, brought numerous blood libel charges against Jews living in the Ottoman Empire. Often, money was at the root of this evil. In many cases, the Jews were the Christians' business competitors. Attempts to inflame Arab passions against the Jewish minority "were actively encouraged by Western emissaries of various kinds, consular, commercial, priests and missionaries," writes Lewis, in his book "Semites and anti-Semites", and blood libels were often accompanied by calls for commercial boycotts. In the 1840 Damascus blood libel, the most famous of such cases in the Arab world, it was Capuchin monks who made the false accusation, backed energetically and vociferously by the French consul. Interestingly, Islamic political authorities often attempted to quell the blood libel accusations, and Islamic intellectuals attacked Christian prejudice on the pages of newspapers and journals.

The translation of European anti-Semitic tracts into Arabic began in the second half of the 19th century. Most of the tracts were written in French; all were translated and published by members of the Christian Arab community. The first such translation, published in Beirut in 1869, was a forgery that purported to be the confessions of a Moldavian rabbi who had converted to Christianity; in the tract, he told of the horrors of the Jewish religion. In 1890, under the influence of the Dreyfus Affair, a Christian author named Habib Faris published a book in Cairo called "The Talmudic Human Sacrifices," an anthology of material culled from European sources. The notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion," concocted in 1895 in Paris apparently by the Russian Czar's secret police, was translated into Arabic for the first time by an Arab Christian, and published in the journal of the Latin community in Jerusalem in 1926. It was not until 1951, in Cairo, that a Muslim translated the Protocols, which, according to a journalist recently returned from Jordan, is now being sold in English translation in every hotel she stayed in.

From the beginning of the 20th century, pressures mounted that would eventually result in the creation of an authentically Islamic anti-Semitism. Large swathes of the Arab world were beginning to fall under the domination of European colonial powers; Islam began to feel threatened and defensive. When the secularizing Young Turks overthrew Sultan Abdul Hamid II, ruler of the Ottoman Empire, in 1908, their opponents accused the Young Turks of being supported by Jews.

Gradually, anti-Zionism became a major concern for some Arab writers and journalists, and ideas emerged that prepared the way for the merging of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic themes. As early as 1909, an influential Turkish journalist named Yunus Nadi published an article called "Down with Zionism Always and Forever" in which he claimed that Zionists were plotting to create "an Israelite Kingdom comprising the ancient states of Babel and Nineveh with Jerusalem at its center." At the apparent prompting of the French consul, he added that Jews were doing this to serve as the vanguard of German influence in the Middle East. As Bernard Lewis writes: "The theory that Zionism aimed not at a Jewish National Home but at a Jewish Empire was often repeated by later polemicists; the argument that Zionism and the Jewish National Homes were puppets or agents of one or the other imperial powers also became commonplace." First, the Zionists were accused of serving the Germans or the French, afterwards the British or the Soviets, and finally the Americans.

In the 1930s, nearly two decades after the Balfour declaration aroused further Arab suspicions and hostilities, a growing convergence of German and Arab enmities allowed Nazi-style anti-Semitism to penetrate the Arab world. Although technically the Arabs were also "Semites" disdained by the Nazis, both the Germans and Arabs had hatred of the British and the French in common. To the top of this list was added the Jews. Although early in the Third Reich, a Jewish homeland in Palestine was, in fact, thought of as a convenient dumping ground for Europe's Jews, soon, a covenant between anti-Zionist Arab leaders and the Nazis began to emerge. Leaders on both sides chose to finesse or ignore the implications of the kind of anti-Semitism featured in "Mein Kampf". An article in the Nazi Party newspaper, published in 1937, explained that Arabs had been at least partly "Aryanized" through mixing with Armenians and Circassians. While some Nazis even argued that "Mein Kampf" should be emended to make clear that only Jews and not Arabs were meant as objects of Hitler's rage and disdain, the sacred text did not bear emendation.

The Nazis used radio broadcasts to propagandize in the Arab world. Attacks on their common enemy, the Jews, were a major feature of these broadcasts. At the same time, Hajj Amin al Husayni, the mufti of Jerusalem and leader of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee, obsessively pursued links with fascist Italy and Nazi Germany and lived out the war years in the Axis countries. Amin's long term goal, he said, after preventing Jewish settlement of Palestine, was to lead, in alliance with Germany, a Holy War of Islam against world Jewry that would result in the final solution to the Jewish problem.

Murderous anti-Jewish riots in Iraq in 1941, in Egypt, Syria and Libya in 1945, and massacres in Aleppo and Aden in 1947 demonstrated how the anti-Semitic propaganda of the Nazis, the activism of the Mufti, and increasing tension over the emergence of a Jewish state in Palestine combined to completely erase the distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. New forms of Arab nationalism also left less room for the tolerance of minority groups than had existed in the Ottoman Empire. In addition, the odd relationship that had developed between the Nazis and some Arab countries continued after the war. Egypt, for one, became a magnet for ex-Nazis. Nazi war criminal Johannes von-Lirs, an expert in anti-Semitic literature, was one of a number of Nazis welcomed warmly by Egypt for their "expertise in Jewish affairs". Von-Lirs was greeted by none other than Mufti Hajj Amin al Husayni. In his speech welcoming Von-Lirs, Husayni remarked: "We thank you for venturing to take up the battle with the powers of darkness that have become incarnate in world Jewry."

Central trauma

After the formation of the State of Israel, the ongoing conflict with the Arab nations continued to produce a spate of anti-Semitic literature of many different kinds. With the Soviet penetration into the Middle East in the1950s, attacks on Zionism and Judaism in Arab countries in the Soviet sphere often focused on racism. Judaism was portrayed as a racist religion. Jews had always been "racists," learned tracts proved, perhaps even genetically so. But alongside the "secular" charge of Jewish racism, another trend had been quietly developing: the Islamization of anti-Semitism. The Koran and Hadith (Muhammad's oral teachings) were reread in a new light, in order to highlight and emphasize potential anti-Semitic themes. The conflict between Muhammad and the Jewish tribes, a minor incident in traditional Islamic teachings, was transformed by Islamic scholars in Egypt and elsewhere into a central trauma and an indication of the continuous Jewish attempts to undermine Islam which were to come.

Israel's humiliating defeat of the Arabs in 1956 and 1967 intensified Arab anti-Semitism. The defeats could only be explained by elevating the Jews, as some Christians had already done, to the status of representatives of cosmic evil. Thus, the appeal of the Protocols, which purports to reveal an international Jewish conspiracy already quite advanced, to take over the world. Starting in the 1950s, the Protocols began to be published in innumerable editions in the Arab world. Ironically enough, it was the PLO research center that often served as the voice of sanity during the 60s and 70s, castigating Arab writers for relying on known forgeries or distortions in attacking Judaism and the Jews.

An 'invented tradition'
For many years, Arab anti-Semitism was virtually ignored as a subject of serious research in Israel. Except for Yehoshafat Harkabi's groundbreaking work on Arab attitudes towards Israel, little was written about Arab anti-Semitism. Ten years ago, this lacuna was at least partly remedied by the opening of the Center for Research into Anti-Semitism at Tel Aviv University, which launched a special project on anti-Semitism in the Arab world. Esti Webman has been working on this project since its inception, and is collaborating with Dr. Meir Litvak of the Dayan Center in researching Arab Holocaust denial.

One of the startling things about the contemporary Arab world, according to both Webman and Litvak, is that the Oslo accords, instead of diminishing anti-Semitism, actually seemed to have the opposite effect. Although some leaders toned their anti-Semitic rhetoric down after Oslo, in Friday afternoon sermons in the mosque and in the popular press, Shimon Peres' vision of "a new Middle East" served to reinforce the idea that Israel was the spearhead of a drive for global Jewish domination. The growing reality of economic globalization in the 1990s also became a factor in the spread of anti-Semitism. Some Arab thinkers saw Israel as the regional policeman of an America bent on global economic control. Others saw things in reverse: it was the Jews who were using the United States in order to spread a Jewish-controlled economic order across the globe. Either way, economic globalization and global consumer culture was seen as a threat to Islam. Islamic feelings of anxiety at the notion of an Arab world opened to Western culture were directed against the peace process and against Jews. With the notion that the Jews controlled America's finances and media already deeply rooted in much of the Arab world, globalization was seen as proof that the Protocols were real, that Jews were indeed taking over the world.

For the Palestinians specifically, says Webman, the Oslo accords often meant decreased freedom of movement as the West Bank was cut up into areas A, B, and C. The average Palestinian saw no economic benefits from the accords, despite the hopes that had been raised. Oslo itself came to be viewed by many Palestinians as proof of a conspiratorial reality, where the truth was the opposite of what met the eye. In the guise of an historic peace treaty, Oslo was in actuality a form of surrender to Israel and the United States.

Even before opposition to the Oslo accords, the Hamas Covenant had ruled out any compromise with Israel. At stake in the Middle East conflict was not just the future of Palestine, but the outcome of a cosmic battle between the Jews and Islam. Article 22 of the Hamas Charter, as quoted by Litvak in an article called "The Islamization of the Palestinian Israeli Conflict" is openly based on the Protocols. The Covenant describes how the Jews control the world media with their money and have established secret organizations throughout the world - such as the Freemasons and the Rotary Club "for the destruction of societies and the fulfillment of Zionism." They have "caused revolutions all over the world in order to fulfill their goal". But God, according to Hamas, has other plans. Ibrahim Quqa, one of the founders of Hamas, formulated God's plan in a most chilling way. God brought the Jews back to Palestine, Ququ contended, "not in order that it would be a home and land for them, but to serve as their graveyard, so that he would rid the whole world from this pest."

Reformulating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a religious war between good and evil also meant de-legitimizing any option of ultimate compromise. Palestine, according to Hamas, is a "waqf," a religious trust belonging to the entire nation of Islam until resurrection, which cannot be negotiated away by one generation or one part of the Islamic whole. This depiction of Palestine is "invented tradition", according to Litvak and has no basis in the Sharia (Islamic religious codex).

Another "discovery" of Arab anti-Semitism has been Holocaust denial. As early as 1945, representatives of the Arab League were claiming that "Jews had not suffered more than anyone else" during World War II. Holocaust denial has been a continuous feature of mainstream Arab culture since then, with major figures such as Gamal Abdul Nasser and King Faisal of Saudi Arabia taking an active part in disseminating that the Holocaust was a lie or a gross exaggeration. The Islamic movements among the Palestinians have alternated between applauding Hitler for killing the Jews and denying the Holocaust ever took place. The current mufti of Jerusalem made remarks along similar lines last year: "Six million died?" Let us desist from this fairy tale exploited by the Jews to buy international solidarity for Israel." The PLO - or at least some of its prominent members - has taken another kind of tack, arguing that the Zionists and the Nazis together planned the Holocaust. Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen), of Beilin - Abu Mazen; fame wrote his PhD thesis for the University of Moscow in 1982 on the Zionist collaboration with the Nazis in the extermination of European Jewry. Asked recently on a Palestinian TV talk show whether he wished to retract his views on this matter, he held fast to his thesis.

The myth has become reality
The September 11 attacks and their aftermath have melded Islam together with the most virulent, conspiratorial form of anti-Semitism as never before. The process which began with the translation of French anti-Semitic tracts into Arabic by Christian Arabs has now been completed. Bin Laden has succeeded in starting, in the mind of the Islamic masses, a war between Islam and the global forces of evil. In order to coat the West with the color of evil, and at the same time not to alienate potential sympathizers among European Christians, bin Laden's apologists have offered the explanation that this war of the worlds is not directed against the West, but against Western support for the Jewish state, and that it is the Jews, in fact, who are pushing the West to war. In other words, Islam, no longer impotent, is fighting against the Elders of Zion, who are riding the back of the United States. The myth has become reality.

What can one do in the face of the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the Arab world? First of all, it is important to remember that there have always been pockets of resistance to anti-Semitism within the Arab world. Secondly, it is comforting to remember the relative shallowness of the Islamic anti-Semitic tradition. If the right catalyst existed, memories of Islamic tolerance could conceivably replace the current poison, for rabid Islamic anti-Semitism is less than one hundred years old.

Perhaps most importantly, Israel and the Jews must stop being passive in the face of anti-Semitism. Words must be taken seriously, for they do matter. Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial must be combated aggressively and unashamedly. Anti-Semitic practices, like the Saudi Arabian denial of entry to all Jews, whichever passports they bear, are unacceptable and should be exposed as racist.


But all this, on its own, is not enough. The anti-Semitism that has infected much of the European and Third World Left, as well as the Arabs, is at least partly the result of a vacuum of meaning. Thus far, this vacuum has been filled by the fantastical imaginings of our worst enemies. The return of the Jews to the land of Israel is an historic act of great significance to the family of nations. That the people of the Bible has been resurrected as a sovereign country - a claim we make just by calling ourselves Israel - is something that resonates in the collective unconscious of humanity, demanding interpretation. If we do not provide an interpretation, if we don't fill Israel with a meaning for humanity, beyond our internal myth of Holocaust and redemption, we risk having the rich significance of Jewish return cannibalized by the forces of evil.

Rabbi Micha Odenheimer is a social activist and a contributing editor for Eretz Acheret Magazine

PM and Mitchell to discuss PA talks


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's scheduled meeting with US envoy George Mitchell on Monday will deal not only with the settlement issue, but also with a timeline and the parameters of talks that are expected to be launched with the Palestinians on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting later this month. Although no formal announcement has yet been made, Mitchell is expected to arrive in Israel either Saturday night or Sunday for another round of talks. It is not clear whether he will be going to other states in the region.

According to diplomatic officials in the US, President Barack Obama is keen on some kind of foreign policy success at what some - because of the intense debate surrounding his health care reform - are calling a "defining period" of his young presidency.

Among the issues expected to be discussed between Netanyahu and Mitchell, according to diplomatic sources, were the gestures that Israel could expect from the Arab world in exchange for a declaration of a temporary settlement moratorium. Netanyahu is expected to reiterate to Mitchell that a settlement construction moratorium is only sustainable if he can show the public that this time the diplomatic process is different and includes elements - such as significant regional participation from the outset - that have not been seen before.

What Netanyahu wants to discuss with Mitchell is what needs to be done to ensure that the next round of talks will be different from the previous ones, which all ended in failure. One idea that needed to be thrashed out, according to Israeli officials, was how to integrate the "bottom up" approach to peace making into the diplomatic process in such a way that economic and security progress would help move the process forward.

Regarding settlement construction, a number of outstanding issues still have to be dealt with.

The first is the length of the settlement construction moratorium, with Israel wanting to see a six month freeze that could be extended if the Arab world made significant normalization gestures.

Regardless of the length, however, it was clear that the moratorium would not be indefinite, so an "exit strategy" still had to be worked out. What this meant, according to Israeli officials, was to set out guidelines as to where and how building in the settlements could continue once the freeze ended.

In addition, discussion is still taking place on the nature of the freeze itself, with Israel wanting to halt approval for new private housing units, but not for construction of public buildings such as classrooms, health clinics and synagogues. Israel, in the talks, has made a clear distinction between urgent needs in the settlements that were needed to ensure a continuation of "normal life," such as the addition on new classrooms, and "long term" needs that could be put off until after a moratorium.

In a related development, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos cancelled a planned meeting Friday morning with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman because Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero wanted him at a meeting in Madrid with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Chavez arrived in Spain after he visited Iran, where he told Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Venezuela would be happy to supply Iran with gasoline in case international sanctions called for a halt to fuel exports to Iran.

Lieberman's office said Moratinos called him to apologize for the cancellation, and that the two would meet later in the month at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

MK Robert Tibayev, No. 20 on Kadima's list, said that "despite our differences with Lieberman, the fact that the Spanish foreign minister cancels a meeting with the Israeli foreign minister in order to be present at a meeting with the dictator from Venezuela, testifies first and foremost to the distorted priorities of the Spanish government."
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1251804542899&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

The Other Occupations

Seth Frantzman | Friday, September 11, 2009

In a little noticed incident during Libya’s 40th anniversary celebration of Muammar Gadaffi’s accession to power, the Moroccan delegation headed by Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi abruptly packed up and left. The reason was the inclusion of representatives of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in the events The SADR is a government in exile residing in Algeria that claims to represent the people of Western Sahara, a territory occupied by Morocco. The dispute highlights one of many ongoing “occupations” in the world where one country has taken control over territory that is disputed. Many of these occupations have much in common with what Israel confronts in the West Bank, including the annexation of territory and the settling of people in the disputed area. Yet, unlike Israel, these occupations have traditionally not garnered any international interest and certainly have not become a cause célèbre in Europe and the West.

The Western Sahara is an arid, inhospitable and mostly featureless desert, slightly larger than the U.K. When Spain abandoned its colony there were less than 100,000 residents who were primarily Sahrawi nomads who are of mixed Arab-Berber descent. Between 1976 and 1979 Morocco occupied most of the territory and effectively annexed it as a “Saharan province.” Since then the local Sahrawis, who had been fighting against Spain, have fought a thirty year war against Morocco. To defend itself Morocco has brought in as many as 150,000 settlers (in addition to 100,000 Moroccan troops) so that there are now as many of them as the local population. Meanwhile some 158,000 Sahrawi’s have become refugees in Algeria. To defend against armed attacks by the SADR, the Moroccan government also constructed a 2,700 km border wall, mostly a sand berm with guard-posts, between the area controlled by Morocco and a sliver of land controlled by the guerillas.

The area currently under the control of the SADR includes about 30,000 inhabitants and has diplomatic relations with 28 states (of which 13 have SADR embassies). Parallels between the conflict in the Western Sahara and the West Bank cannot be missed. They include no UN recognition of the claims of the occupying power, the introduction of settlers, a long running conflict and the construction of a security barrier. What they do not include, in Western Saharai, are any visits by foreign diplomats from the EU, any international protestors, or any media attention whatsoever.

Another long running occupation is that of Northern Cyprus. In 1974, following a series of ethnic clashes between Greek-Orthodox Cypriots and Muslim Cypriots, and a coup on the island, the Turkish army invaded Cyprus with the supposed goal of defending the Muslim citizens. Turkey proceeded to occupy 35% of the island, an act condemned by UN resolution 3212. Around 142,000 Christian Cypriots were driven from the Turkish-occupied part of the island and only 600 Christians remained. In the 35 years of Turkish rule an estimated 115,000 Turks have arrived in northern Cyprus as settlers so that they now outnumber the local Muslim Cypriots. Northern Cyprus has officially become the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which “declared independence” in 1983. It is only recognized by Turkey. Cyprus, like the Western Sahara, now includes a settler population that is greater than the indigenous one. It includes large number of refugees forced to flee by the occupying power and it includes a militarized border fence which separates it from the rest of Cyprus. It receives almost no international attention, except during Turkish negotiations to join the EU. There are no protests on behalf of the Greek Cypriot refugees and there are no groups monitoring the Turkish settlers, their products or their demographic growth. When they build a few new homes no one cares to count them.

Another occupied territory is Pakistani administered Kashmir. When India was being partitioned by the British in 1947, the territory of Jammu and Kashmir was ruled by a cranky Maharaja named Hari Singh, a Hindu, who ruled a multi-religious area that was majority Muslim with a large Hindu minority and was disputed by Pakistan and India. Initially, he played coy -- before faced with an invasion by Pashtun Muslim guerillas from Pakistan. He requested Indian assistance and agreed to make his state part of India. A war ensued between India and Pakistan for control of Kashmir during which the territory was effectively partitioned. UN resolution 47 demanded Pakistani withdrawal and a referendum. Neither was ever carried out and Pakistan currently occupies the area and has used it as a base to launch terrorist raids on India.

These are not the only occupied areas in the world whose status remain unresolved. Russian controlled Kaliningrad, South Ossetia and Abkhazia are contested, as is Armenian occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. Some disputed territories have received international attention, such as Southern Sudan and Tibet. East Timor successfully became independent after decades of occupation by Indonesia. However, the examples of Cyprus and Western Sahara stand out as conflicts with many similarities to what Israel faces in the West Bank. The difference is that they are not cause célèbres. Why they are not seems to say much about the double standard Israel faces and less about the relative injustice of those occupations.
Seth Frantzman is doing his doctorate in Jerusalem at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His articles have appeared in the Jerusalem Post, Middle East Quarterly and the Tucson Weekly. He lives in Jerusalem.

Right of Reply: Netanyahu doesn't have to say a word


Jeff Barak takes Netanyahu to task in his Jerusalem Post op-ed Netanyahu's loud silence
(September 7) for not telling Israelis "where he's going" with regard to Judea and Samaria. He asks how Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu can claim to be serious about peace with the Palestinians without making clear to the Israeli public that settlements have to go. If Jeff Barak had his way, Netanyahu would echo Tzipi Livni pre-elections and Barack Obama, lecturing Israelis about the sacrifices they have to make for peace. I don't know how Netanyahu can claim to be serious about peace, even though he's repeated the terms of his June 14 speech at Bar Ilan University several times. Right now, few people can envision a peace agreement based on the terms Netanyahu outlined. Israel's Right and Left agree that his temporary settlement freeze will likely prove useless in advancing any kind of peace process.

But Netanyahu would be a fool to accept Jeff Barak's advice. Netanyahu is now the most popular politician in the country. His popularity increased, at the opposition's expense, after he gave his Bar Ilan speech. His policy reflects the sentiments of a broad consensus of the Israeli public. Sixteen years after Oslo, the peace issue is dead as a doornail. Few Israelis now believe there are genuine prospects for peace, and they blame the Palestinians.

WASHINGTON DOESN'T share this Israeli consensus, so shouting it from the rooftops would be unwise. But Netanyahu doesn't need to lecture his people about anything. He, his chief cabinet members from Ehud Barak to Bennie Begin, and the broad Israeli mainstream are all in tacit agreement. As long as Barack Obama is in the White House they're all willing to pay lip service to a Palestinian state, just so long as nobody seriously contemplates creating one. If Israelis didn't share this view, they would have elected Tzipi Livni in February.

According to in-depth polls taken by the Israel Policy Center, the public's attitude to the peace process changed on the morrow of the 2nd Lebanon War. The public widely interpreted that war as showing that Arab radicals interpreted Israel's retreat from Lebanon and Gaza as evidence of a loss of nerve. Other events - Hamas' electoral victory in 2006, its coup in Gaza in 2007, and the missile attacks leading up to Operation Cast Lead - reinforced the public's skepticism. At the time of the much-hyped Annapolis Conference in 2007, another poll showed that a solid majority of Israelis rejected the policy of the Olmert government - a fact that only this newspaper had the integrity to publish at the time. Most Israelis think territorial compromise will lead to missiles in their backyard.

Moderate Israeli leftists agree that Mahmoud Abbas's refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state or to yield an inch on the Right of Return means that, for now at least, there is nothing to talk about and nobody to discuss it with. Even Abbas's weak and corrupt regime will settle for nothing less than the elimination of Israel. Peace is simply not about to happen. As far as most Israelis are concerned, inflicting further damage on Israeli society of the kind incurred during disengagement would be pointless masochism.

JEFF BARAK praises President Obama's posturing on peace and settlements. Alas for the president, Obama's initial positions on this and other foreign policy issues, such as Iran, aren't surviving in the real world very well. Support for the president's foreign policy is eroding within his own party. Obama's anti-settlement policy is likely to fade out quietly before too long.

That would be a good thing. Israelis have a serious problem with the Palestinians, and the kind of policy advocated by Jeff Barak and Barack Obama is not going to solve it. The real obstacle to peace is Palestinian intransigence on Israel's very right to exist. That's the issue that's holding up progress, and nothing can happen until it's resolved.

What's really needed is to apply pressure on the Palestinians to change. That's not going to happen until they feel that continued intransigence causes them irretrievable political harm and they become, in fact, eager to conclude a reasonable settlement. The last time this happened was in the final year of Yitzhak Shamir's government, when Ariel Sharon built 10,000 housing units in the West Bank. It's time everyone got used to the fact that there is no reasonable vision of the future without a large and growing Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinians, having seized the opportunity to miss every opportunity, will simply have to adjust.

The writer heads the Israel Policy Center, whose mission includes reinforcing Israel's character as a Jewish, democratic state.
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1251804531144&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Former Netanyahu Official: Bibi Agreed to Give Up Golan Heights

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
A7 News

Danny Yatom, Mossad director during Binyamin’s Netanyahu’s term as Prime Minister a decade ago, claims the Likud leader agreed in1998 to give up the Golan Heights. Prime Minister Netanyahu’ office denied the claim, and Yatom stated Thursday morning that the alleged document in Netanyahu’s name does not obligate him to the future. Israeli media spotlighted Yatom's claim, included in his new book in which he states that a letter presented to former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1998 states that Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to hand over the strategic Golan Heights to Syria in return for a security treaty. The Prime Minister stated during his campaign last year that he would not surrender the Golan, a position he has maintained since then, but he has not stated categorically that he would not give up parts of the area.

Israeli media, most of which promote an agenda for surrendering much of Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, omitted Yatom’s background in the former Netanyahu administration.

Yatom, who was a Knesset Member for the Labor party in the previous government, resigned his position as head of the Mossad because of a critical report of the intelligence agency’s botched attempt to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal following suicide bombings in Jerusalem.

Yatom also has a long-time partnership with Israeli diamond mogul Lev Levayev. This connection played a part in the letter to President Clinton by Ron Lauder, an American businessman who also deals in diamonds. He traveled to Syria to talk about Netanyahu’s readiness to withdraw from the Golan and reported to former President Clinton.

Yatom’s claims are not the first time the story has been reported. Clinton’s autobiography published three months ago also refers to Netanyahu and Syria. He wrote that Netanyahu suggested a security treaty based on giving up the Golan, but it was not specified how much of the area was involved.

When Syria asked for specifics, Netanyahu said Israel would retain part of the Golan bordering the Kinneret, according to Clinton and Yatom.

Netanyahu previously denied any agreement and said in one interview, "I never agreed to withdraw from the Golan Heights in any situation or in any talks. The negotiations were unsuccessful because I insisted that the final international border be located miles eastward of the current border."

Another letter that the Israeli media failed to mention was written by Lauder, who wrote in 2004, "Prime Minister Netanyahu never approved a retreat to 1967 borders. None of the documents that were drafted during these talks was official, and no document was approved by Prime Minister Netanyahu."

Israel will continue to build schoolsin West Bank, Sa'ar tells British MPs


Israel will continue to build schools and add classrooms in the West Bank, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar told a group of visiting Conservative British parliamentarians on Wednesday. "Israel will continue to build schools, kindergartens and classrooms in Judea and Samaria schools as they're needed," he said.

"There's a need for a response to the natural growth occurring in Judea and Samaria, and by building the schools and classrooms we will allow the pupils better learning conditions," he added.

In July, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown backed the call for a freeze on construction in Jewish communities in the West Bank, telling a group of politicians that he thought it could restart the peace process.

"The deadlock has to be broken in some way," Brown said at the time. "I feel that if the Israelis were prepared to freeze settlement construction, there would be a response in the Arab world. And I think that is a way that you can see that movement forward could happen.

"All of us are putting pressure [on Israel], recognizing, of course, that Israel must have guarantees about its security, recognizing that a Palestinian state cannot be viable unless it is economically viable."

The British Embassy in Israel responded on Wednesday by echoing Brown's remarks, telling The Jerusalem Post that, "What the prime minister has said [regarding settlements in the past] still stands.

"Britain, along with the rest of the international community, view the settlements as illegal, and we call on Israel to abide by its commitments under the road map," said British Embassy spokeswoman Karen Kaufman.

"Britain would want to see a complete freeze to settlements, and that includes the natural growth that the education minister spoke about."
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1251804531963&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Mashaal: We produce, smuggle arms

Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal visiting Sudan on Wednesday said that his group produces and smuggles weapons despite the blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip. "Your brothers in Palestine, despite the blockade and the closing of border passages ... despite the fleets from east and west, despite all of this, we buy arms, we manage to produce arms and we smuggle arms," AFP quoted Masshal as saying in a recording of a speech to young members of Sudan's ruling party.

According to the report, Mashaal, who arrived in Khartoum on Tuesday, did not elaborate on the type of arms produced or the suppliers of weapons.

In May, foreign media outlets reported an Israeli air strike in January on a convoy of trucks in Sudan, which was carrying weapons bound for Gaza.

American news station ABC reported at the time that the airstrike that destroyed the trucks and killed at least 39 people was not an isolated incident, but was rather one of at least three attacks. According to the report, a US official told the station that two of the strikes took place in the Sudan, while a third occurred in the Red Sea.

Israel has yet to offer an official response to the allegations.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

B'Tselem Backs Hamas Casualty Report

Maayana Miskin
A7 News

The B'Tselem organization has issued a report contradicting IDF casualty reports from Gaza. The group claims that 773 civilians were killed in Operation Cast Lead earlier this year, while only 330 of the dead were involved in fighting. A second report, from the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, backs the IDF.The IDF, on the other hand, has reported that 1,166 Gaza residents were killed in Cast Lead, 709 of whom were involved in fighting. The IDF counted 295 civilian casualties, and an additional 162 men who may or may not have been involved in fighting.

In writing its report, B'Tselem considered 248 Hamas “policemen” who were killed in Cast Lead to be non-combatants, because, having been killed at the beginning of the operation, they took no part in combat during the three weeks of fighting. The IDF listed any armed member of Hamas as a combatant, including police.

B'Tselem's figures are similar to those issued by Hamas, which claims that over 1,350 Gaza residents were killed during the operation, most of them civilians.

The IDF and B'Tselem reports diverged dramatically when it came to women and children killed. The IDF counted 89 children under the age of 16 and 49 women as having been killed in fighting, while B'Tselem said that 290 children under the age of 16 and 111 women were killed.

In compiling its report, B'Tselem relied on testimony from Gaza Arabs and on documents provided by Gaza hospitals and the de facto Hamas government, primarily birth and death certificates. The report did not make use of IDF data. According to B'Tselem, the IDF refused to share its information.

B'Tselem counted nine Israeli casualties, ignoring four soldiers who died as a result of IDF “friendly fire.” No Arab casualties were attributed to “friendly fire.”

The B'Tselem report criticized Gaza-based terrorist groups for firing from within civilian areas, in violation of international law. By doing so, Gaza terrorists “demonstrate not only an intent to harm Israeli civilians, but also apathy to the safety of Palestinian civilians,” the group noted.


While B'Tselem has thrown its weight behind Hamas's claims of widespread civilian casualties, the IDF has support from the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya. In April, the IITC published a report using data gathered from Gaza organizations that concluded that most Cast Lead casualties were in fact terrorists.

The IITC report relied on demographic data. Based on the assumption that the names of casualties passed along by Gaza groups are accurate, the IITC did a demographic analysis and discovered that a highly disproportionate number of the “civilians” killed were men and teenage boys.

Further investigation showed that over 500 of the men and boys could not conclusively be determined to be non-combatants. Some of the “civilian casualties” claimed by Gaza human rights groups were also claimed by Hamas as martyrs who died for the sake of jihad (holy war).

Other civilians were found to be Fatah terrorists killed by Hamas during the fighting.

The report slammed the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in particular, for research claiming most of the deaths as civilian casualties. “Any black-and-white categorization scheme like theirs is bound to be ludicrously inadequate in characterizing a conflict where fighters do not wear uniforms, where combatants are intimately (and deliberately) commingled with noncombatant civilians, and where many unaffiliated civilians become actively involved in confronting invading forces and thus become 'ad hoc combatants',” IITC researchers wrote.

"Closing In?"

I want to begin by calling your attention to the URL below. I recommend that you read this, especially if you are American, even if you read nothing else here today.

This piece, "Disarming America: The Obama Administration in the Shadow of 9/11" is alarming precisely because it is written in a reasoned, carefully thought-out style. Its author, Dr. Joel Fishman, is an historian and fellow with a major Jerusalem think tank. This piece first appeared in Hebrew and has been translated by Dr. Fishman. I put it up on my website with his permission. If you agree with its thesis, and are also alarmed, please share it widely, including on lists and blogs.


We seem to be coming closer to a definition of the "freeze" on settlement building that is anticipated:

According to a "senior political official" who, according to the Post, was briefed by Netanyahu, there will be a six-month "moratorium" in Judea and Samaria. This is said to exclude Jerusalem and provide latitude for public building construction (a school or clinic, for example) that would enable "normal life" to continue.

We may be closing in here, but this is still off the record, unofficial. Mitchell is due here after Shabbat for two days of meetings, and it is only following this that official announcements will presumably be made.


What caught my eye and made me snort with derision was the statement by the official that, in return, Israel expected an end to incitement against Israel in the media and educational system. If this were not forthcoming the moratorium would end.

Dr. Aaron Lerner ( expresses cynicism because the official indicated that "a way of measuring this still needed to be worked out." This provides the specter of a huge amount of wiggle room, with the possibility that Netanyahu, if pressured, might extend the moratorium based on pathetically small steps against incitement.

Lerner says there has never been an agreed-upon definition of "incitement." He says this is unenforceable and everyone knows it. Perhaps he's correct.

I certainly know what he's talking about. A couple of years ago, I had extensive communication with someone in the Home Office of the British government regarding incitement in Palestinian school books. I provided him with what I thought were examples that offered clear evidence of incitement, only to find that he -- loath to finger the PA -- explained that these were probably instances of "study of war literature." We're talking about such material as this from a seventh grade text: “Hearing weapons clash is pleasant to my ears. And the flow of blood gladdens my soul.” The promotion of martyrdom and jihad is fairly ubiquitous in these texts. But OK, this is study of war literature.

But what about textbooks that routinely fail to identify Israel in their maps -- labeling everything from the river to the sea as "Palestine"? What about census figures for "Palestine" in PA texts that simply leave out the Jewish population, as if it doesn't exist? What about PA-TV kids shows that identify Israeli cities as "Palestinian"? Or the PA’s Chief Islamic Judge, Sheikh Taysir Rajab al-Tamimi, who just last month declared that "Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic city and it always has been so...[for there is no archeological evidence] that Jews ever had a history or presence in Jerusalem, or that their ostensible temple had ever existed"?

There is a Palestinian generation that simply has not been educated to accept the legitimacy of Israel or of a Jewish population in this part of the world. Do we let this stand as acceptable?

I would suggest that Israeli stringency in pushing how incitement is defined will play a significant role here. If we cut the PA slack, it all comes to nothing.


PA president Mahmoud Abbas paid a visit to Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the week. According to Saeb Erekat, PA negotiator, the Saudi king Abdullah advised Abbas to "make sacrifices" to put an end to Palestinian division. Translation: Cave in to Hamas demands so there can be a unity government. Abdullah expressed the opinion that this would help the Palestinian cause. This is the Saudi contribution to "the peace process," I guess.

Abbas replied that the Egyptians were working hard to bring the division to an end.

And indeed, an Egyptian plan for unity was leaked to an Egyptian newspaper. It would not require that the parties recognize Israel.

see my website

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What Carter Missed in the Middle East

Elliott Abrams
Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In an op-ed on Sunday ["The Elders' View of the Middle East"], former president Jimmy Carter, speaking on behalf of a self-appointed group of "Elders," described a rapacious Israel facing long-suffering, blameless Palestinians, who are contemplating a "nonviolent civil rights struggle" in which "their examples would be Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela." As with most of Carter's recent statements about Israel and the Palestinians, instead of facts we get vignettes from recent Carter travels. And while he finds "a growing sense of concern and despair" among "increasingly desperate" Palestinians, polls do not sustain this view. The most recent survey by the leading Palestinian pollster, Khalil Shikaki (done in August, the same month Carter visited), shows "considerable improvement in public perception of personal and family security and safety in the West Bank and a noticeable decrease in public perception of the existence of corruption in [Palestinian Authority] institutions." This does not sound like despair. In fact, positive views of personal and family safety and security in the West Bank stood at 25 percent four years ago, 35 percent two years ago and 43 percent a year ago, and they have risen to 58 percent in the past year, Shikaki reports. There are other ways to measure quality of life in the West Bank: The International Monetary Fund recently stated that "macroeconomic conditions in the West Bank have improved" largely because "Israeli restrictions on internal trade and the passage of people have been relaxed significantly."

The IMF predicts that "continuation of the relaxation of restrictions could result in real GDP growth of 7% for 2009 as a whole," a rate of growth that would be far in excess of ours -- or Israel's.

Carter's efforts to portray life among the Palestinians as unbearable and getting worse are belied by data. His efforts to blame Israel for all the problems that do exist are equally unpersuasive, and the best example is Gaza.

Carter states that Gaza is a "walled-in ghetto" and that "Israel prevents any cement, lumber, seeds, fertilizer and hundreds of other needed materials from entering through Gaza's gates." But Gaza is not an enclave surrounded by Israel; it has a border with Egypt. Every commodity that Carter says is needed can be supplied by Egypt, a point he overlooks in his efforts to blame Palestinian problems exclusively on the Jewish state.

Similarly, he says that "[s]ome additional goods from Egypt reach Gaza through underground tunnels," phrasing that suggests the "additional goods" may help reduce shortages. In fact, they include missiles and rockets, thousands of which have been fired into Israel since its troops left Gaza in 2005. While Carter warns that a Palestinian "civil rights struggle" is in the offing, he says nothing about Palestinian violence in the real world -- in which Palestinian terrorist groups continue to attack Israel and where all of Gaza is, of course, in the hands of one such group, Hamas.

Carter claims that the expansion of Israeli settlements is "rapidly" taking Palestinian land. Yet four years ago Israel gave up the Gaza Strip and all the settlements there (plus four small West Bank settlements); moreover, Carter presents no data suggesting that Israel's West Bank settlements are actually expanding physically. Their population is growing, but new construction is almost all "up and in," meaning that the impact on Palestinians is limited -- and that the picture Carter paints of a rapidly disappearing Palestine is inaccurate.

Most inaccurate of all, and most bizarre, is Carter's claim that "a total freeze of settlement expansion is the key" to a peace agreement. Not a halt to terrorism, not the building of Palestinian institutions, not the rule of law in the West Bank, not the end of Hamas rule in Gaza -- no, the sole "key" is Israeli settlements. Such a conclusion fits with Carter's general approach, in which there are no real Palestinians, just victims of Israel. The century of struggle between moderate and radical Palestinians, and the victories of terrorists from Haj Amin al-Husseini to Yasser Arafat, are forgotten; the Hamas coup in Gaza is unmentioned; indeed the words "Hamas" and "terrorism" do not appear in Carter's column. Instead of appealing for support for the serious and practical work of institution-building that the Palestinian Authority has begun, Carter fantasizes about a "nonviolent civil rights struggle" that bears no relationship to the terrorist violence that has plagued Palestinian society, and killed Israelis, for decades. Carter's portrait demonizes Israelis and, not coincidentally, it infantilizes Palestinians, who are accorded no real responsibility for their fate or future. If this is "the Elders' view of the Middle East," we and our friends in that region are fortunate that this group of former officials is no longer in power.

The writer, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, served as a deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration.

The Legends of Lies

Steven Shamrak (part1)

Most people of this planet do not care or even know about Israel and Jews. Many of them receive glimpses of information about the Arab-Israel conflict from the accidental reports they hear on radio, TV or newspaper headlines. AUnfortunately, under bombardment from the modern media, some of them have adopted the main stream 'understanding' of the issue, but still they do not care about the factual truth behind reports. Even many members of the Jewish tribe, who are still suffering from the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) inflicted on Jewish people during two millennia of living in exile and persecution by Christians and Muslims, have become believers of these opinions, continuously propagated by the world press and Western governments who are oblivious to danger of Islamic expansion. Strangely, the fake opinions about the Arab-Israel conflict have not been refuted by the string of Israel's governments or the Jewish leadership of the Diaspora.

The term "legend" would be more appropriate than "opinion" in relation to the world attitude toward the Arab-Israel conflict! Quite often, legends are based on deliberate lies and created through distortion of the details of historical facts which with time people have forgotten and/or do not care about. Most often legends are deliberately created to support a political agenda. In the case of the Arab-Israel conflict it is the destruction of Israel. Enemies of Jews, not just Arabs, through distortion of public memory of factual historic reality, have managed to forge a fake nation and generate doubt about Israel' s legitimacy.

As the evil Nazi, but at the same time talented propagandist, Joseph Goebbels said, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." That is what the enemies of the Jews and of the Jewish state have been doing quite consistently and successfully for many decades. They have done it so skilfully that even some Jewish Zionists started using some of their terminology or began to resign to the artificially created illegal status quo - ugly and unfair to Jews reality!

There are three major lies about the Arab-Israel conflict. Throughout the years they have gone through many metamorphoses and became first legends and later were transformed into a commonly known 'truth':

Israel was created due to European guilt because of Holocaust:

The modern Zionist movement emerged at the end of the 19th century with the goal of creating Eretz-Israel, the Land of Israel - a Jewish state on the Jewish ancestral land. In July 1922 the League of Nations entrusted Great Britain with the Palestine Mandate, recognizing "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine ."

The Palestine Mandate was created exclusively for the benefit of the Jewish People, just the same as other mandates were intended for the creation of Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. (part2 below)

Just 4% of Israelis think Obama is pro-Israel!

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Netanyahu has to remember the second rule of political survival: "One must be re-elected!" Israeli voters have chosen change in the political direction of the country and elected a Jewish national block, lead by Likud, to implement it.

Dozens of Arabs set fire to wooden structures on Friday morning in the Nofei Yarden outpost, in the Binyamin area north of Jerusalem . Two young women who were there at the time managed to escape, but the outpost was completely destroyed.

Words are not Enough - It Is Action Time. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said: "I was in Berlin last week and we saw the price that we paid when we were without strength and without ability. And here we are, back in our country, our homeland, and it is our duty to deepen our hold upon it and to maintain our independence and defensive ability." (Just good defence is not sufficient. It must be complimented by vision and the Jewish national unification plan!)

Where the Money Come from? To mark the Ramadan holiday, the Palestinian Authority will distribute a supplement of one million shekels, or $250,000, to PA members or Arab Israelis being held in Israeli prisons. Imprisoned terrorists already receive a monthly allocation of from 1000 to 4000 shekels a month, $250 to $1000, from the PA. (International bigots, by injecting billions, are subsidising terror infrastructure!)

Genuine Refugees vs Fake Palestinian Ones. Somalis forced to flee war and drought are living in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. About 8,000 Somali refugees flock into the Dadaab camp in northern Kenya every month. The camp, which has facilities for about 90,000 - has 280,000 refugees, who have no access to basic necessities including clean water. About 1.4 million people have been displaced in Somalia and 500,000 more have fled to countries in the region. (And yet the world is preoccupied mostly with the fake refugees who are used as leverage to facilitate the destruction of the Jewish state!)

Discrimination of Jews in IDF. The IDF has reportedly rejected the petition of a Jewish inductee to the army who requested serving in the IDF trackers (gashash) course saying it is for Bedouin only. The soldier, who lives in Yesha, was placed in another unit and told that if he did not agree to the move he would be placed in military prison.

Denial of the Holocaust is Criminal Act. Hamas slammed the United Nations for plans to teach children in the Gaza Strip about the Holocaust and asked to take out all references to the Shoah. The Islamic rulers of Gaza called the genocide of Jews by the Nazis ''a lie invented by the Zionists.'' (The UN must stop subsidizing terrorists and Israel must remove them from Jewish land!)

Quote of the Week: "Stop crying and acting like cowards. In the Middle East , there is no pity for the weak and those who do not defend themselves do not get a second chance.'' - Israel Defense minister Ehud Barak (Leader of Labor party) - It was stupid of him to make a comment like this to students at a secondary school. Why doesn't he follow his own advice but instead persists with dismantling Jewish settlements and not freeing Jewish land from enemy occupation?

Reward for Traitor. Since leaving office only five months ago, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has earned NIS 2.5 million via a consulting firm he set up. Most of the profits are from abroad. Last week, the attorney general indicted Olmert in three separate criminal affairs. (They are paid later for what they have or have not done! It would be interesting to see what 'consulting' he provides and who is paying for his service? Would they pay him if he cleared Gaza of enemies and reunited it with Israel?)

Political Gutlessness and Disloyalty of Israeli Arabs. Education minister Gideon Saar has decided that Arab school children do not have to sing the Hatikva, the national anthem. The idea provoked anger in the Arab sector.

Self-hating Media Mum after Druze Israeli Violence. MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) attacked the Israeli media Wednesday for downplaying a violent attack Tuesday by Druze hooligans against the police station in Usfiyeh, on mount Carmel: "Yesterday, fire bombs were thrown at the police station in Usfiyeh and the station was closed down for renovation," he said. "Imagine that settlers or hareidis would burn down a police station. What would happen in the media?"

Was It in the News? Not long ago: 1) Nearly 120,000 people from various districts in Yemens northern province of Saada fled their homes to safer areas on the border with Saudi Arabia as renewed clashes between the army and Houthi rebels escalated. 2) Police in northern Nigeria arrested 3,950 members of the strictly Islamic community Darul Islam, claiming the group were feared to become violent. (Only news about 'poor Palestinians' is!)

The Legends of Lies.

by Steven Shamrak (part2)

1. Palestinians are a nation.

Since Jews were dispersed from Judea and Samaria by the Romans 2000 years ago, there were no kingdom or an independent country established in the land of Israel. As the Jews came back and drained the swamps, made the deserts bloom and developed industries - Arabs, Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cherkesians, Turkmenians and Egyptians followed. They came for jobs, for prosperity and were encouraged to migrate by the region's controlling powers, Ottoman and British, in order to prevent the creation of the Jewish state. For a political reason, they began identifying themselves as Palestinian people only in 1964 , on the initiative of Egyptian-born Yasser Arafat.

2. Israel is the occupier of Palestinian land.

The Palestinian Mandate (Article 5) clearly stipulated that "no Palestine territory (designated for the Jewish state) shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power."

This means that the United Kingdom had illegally ceded the Trans-Jordan to the refugees from the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. And the United Nation's partition plan of the remaining parts of Palestine in 1947 was also illegal. In addition, in spite of the fact that the partition plan was devised to sabotage the creation of the Jewish homeland (the creation of two states on six ugly triangles - a completely unworkable political map). Te Arabs rejected it! Therefore, they lost any legal standing on the land. They knew it and that is one reason why seven Muslim states declared the war on Israel in 1948!

But no one is interested in facts nowadays or ever, especially where Jews are concerned. After 60 years of anti-Israel propaganda, facts are forgotten and distorted, legality is brushed a side and a new reality is forged, the same old ugliness only with a new 'politically correct' phoney face. Where is the Jewish leadership with the courage to dispel those ugly legends?

Jihad Watch reader asks journalist/propagandist Michael Kruse an uncomfortable question

Journalistic standards, anyone? Not when it comes to covering for stealth jihadists and their allies. Jihad Watch reader B.A. forwarded me this exchange he had with the relentlessly unfair pseudo-journalistic ideologue Michael Kruse of the St. Petersburg Times: 1. B. A. to Michael Kruse:

Did you misattribute Robert Spencer's quotation of Omar Achmed's words to Mr. Spencer on purpose, with malice in your heart, as part of some Alinskyite activist-journalist mission? Or was that just sloppy journalistic notetaking and not paying close attention to what people standing next to you are actually saying?

I had to ask you the above two-part question after seeing what Mr. Spencer wrote in his defence about your distortions here .

If it was the former, I suggest you move to Cuba. If the latter, I suggest you keep sober more often.

If I were your boss, I would not give you any further chances to wreck havoc, but would fire you as a reporter if your excuse was the first, or put you on medical leave until you were well enough to do your job properly if your answer was the latter.

2. Michael Kruse to B. A.:

Omar Ahmad has denied again and again ever having said that. At this point Robert Spencer and those who share his beliefs are the ones perpetuating this idea. It's not CAIR saying this -- it's Robert Spencer.

3. B. A. to Michael Kruse:

Thank you for your reply, Mr. Kruse, and thank you for the spelling correction of the name of the person Mr. Spencer had been quoting.

Regardless of his denials, Omar Ahmad said it in 1998, according to Lisa Gardiner, then of the Fremont Argus (of California). To this day, Ms. Gardiner stands by her assertion and the Argus has not posted any retraction.

Are you saying that you believe, as Ahmad asserts, that Lisa Gardiner fabricated it? That would be worse journalism on her part than your misquoting of Robert Spencer was! On what basis would a journalist fabricate such a thing? Or do you think she misheard him? If so, what could he have been saying in reality that would be a reasonable variation that is not Islamic supremist?

Are you familiar with the Islamic tactics of taqqiya and kitman (similar to the Moonies' "Heavenly Deception")?

Omar Ahmad is a muslim, and as such, according to his religion, entitled to lie to you and anyone else outside of the "community of believers in Islam", ie. the "Ummah", in order to protect Islam and its sometimes surreptitious and sometimes overt totalitarian goals.

If I had been in your shoes, and under the obligation to present a fair and balanced report, I would not have messed with Robert Spencer's quotation of Omar Ahmad, but would have added a line about Ahmad's denial. I'd also point out that his denial could very well be taqqiya (and personally, I very much believe it is).

Both Hamas and Fatah refuse to teach Holocaust to Palestinian kids

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Hamas's demand that the UN not include Holocaust education in schools in Gaza drew widespread international criticism last week. But the refusal to educate children about the Holocaust is not unique to Hamas. It follows the Holocaust-denying precedent set by the Palestinian Authority under Fatah and articulated by numerous PA religious and political leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas. n the latest news, Hamas demanded that the Jewish Holocaust be deleted from the UN-prepared human rights curriculum for 8th grade, according to the PA daily Al-Ayyam. The next day, PA TV reported that a UN representative "strongly denied rumors that UNRWA will be teaching the subject of the Holocaust as part of its curriculum." [PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 1, 2009]

But Holocaust denial and distortion are already common components of Palestinian ideology. In the newest Palestinian schoolbooks produced by the Palestinian Ministry of Education, there is no mention of the Holocaust or of racial discrimination against Jews, although the subject of the Second World War is treated in detail.

For PMW's report on the lack of Holocaust education in PA schoolbooks, click here.
For PMW's latest report on Palestinian schoolbooks, click here.
As well, Fatah political and religious leaders have either denied or minimized the Holocaust on official Fatah-controlled television and in official PA daily newspapers. And PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas wrote his doctoral thesis on "the secret relationship between Nazism and Zionism."

To see excerpts from Abbas's thesis, click here and here.

Examples from the PMW archives of Palestinian Holocaust denial and distortion follow the news items below.

The following is an excerpt from the PA daily Al-Ayyam on Hamas's opposition to teaching the Holocaust:

Headline: "Gaza: Activists accuse UNRWA of attempting to teach about Jewish Holocaust in curriculum for human rights"
"Director of the education department of the aid agency [UNRWA], Mahmoud Al-Hamdiat, denied that there was any intention on the part of the agency to teach material on the subject of the Holocaust...
Activists protecting the rights of Palestinian refugees accused UNRWA of an attempt to teach about the Jewish Holocaust in the human rights curriculum. The activists, representing the Hamas people's committees of the various districts of the Gaza Strip, expressed their anger in the face of this development. They demanded the removal of this material from the 8th grade human rights curriculum.
Coordinator of the people's committees in the Gaza Strip, Hussam Ahmad, told Al-Ayyam that the scientific material included in the curriculum was formulated in a manner favorable towards the Jews... Ahmad warned of a trend towards creating a generation that shows sympathy towards the Jews and towards [concerning] the Holocaust. He stated that the refugees' committees would continue to carry out various activities to deter the agency from its decision.
It should be noted that the peoples' committees of the refugees in the Gaza Strip sent a memorandum to [director of UNRWA operations, John] Ging, demanding the deletion of the subject of the Jewish Holocaust from the human rights study material for 8th grade."
[Al-Ayyam, Aug. 31, 2009]

The following is the transcript of the PA TV news item reporting on UN's assurance that there is no Holocaust material in the human rights curriculum:

"UNRWA Commissioner-General, Karen Abu Zayd, strongly denied rumors that UNRWA will be teaching the subject of the Holocaust as part of its curriculum. At a press conference held in Gaza today, she stated that the human rights curriculum will not be altered. Abu Zayd, who accompanied Christian Berger, the European Commission Representative, on a tour of the fishing harbor in Gaza, said that UNRWA is developing the human rights curriculum [in its institutions] and is developing study material dealing with the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights..." [PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 1, 2009]

The following are examples of Palestinian Holocaust denial and distortion from the PMW archives:

Abd Al-Rahman Abbad, Secretary General of the [Palestinian] Organization of Clerics and Disseminators of Islam:
"[The Israeli separation fence is a symptom of] the Jewish mindset, a mindset controlled by the [idea of the] ghetto. The ghetto means living in an isolated neighborhood only for Jews. That's why they cannot live with other groups because they believe that their culture and religion obligate them to have contacts only among themselves, based on an attitude of superiority towards others. That's why they did not live, for example, in the West, in separate neighborhoods, but lived in what is called 'a ghetto.' The ghetto was not forced upon them, as is thought, rather, they were the ones who forced it upon themselves. This [separation] fence is not just one fence, there are many fences. Look at the [Israeli] city Lod, for example, or Ramle. There is no mixing between different population groups who are all Israeli citizens. There is separation. The reason for this is the Israeli mentality, the ghetto mentality, the mentality of rejection of 'the other', and refusal to coexist with him...
[Jews] exaggerate every action that other [nations] do against any Jew in the world. In this context is the Holocaust issue, which the whole world still [deals with]. There is a place [in Israel] called 'Memorial for Holocaust and Heroism,' which tells of the killing of 6 million Jews, but it is known that in all of Europe there weren't 6 million Jews." [PA TV (Fatah), July 17, 2009]
Note: The Organization of Clerics and Disseminators of Islam is headed by Ikrima Sabri, former Palestinian Authority Mufti under Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.
Click here to view

"Various groups in Israel expressed their disappointment at the speech delivered yesterday by Pope Benedict XVI at the Yad Vashem Institute for the commemoration of the so-called memory of those who died in the Nazi Holocaust." [PA TV (Fatah), May 12, 2009]

Najat Abu-Bakr, Fatah member of Palestinian Legislative Council (PA Parliament):
"This enemy [Israel] constantly commits new holocausts, everywhere and at all times." [PA TV (Fatah), March 3, 2008]
Click here to view

Narrator: "'The disabled and handicapped are a heavy burden on the state,' said the terrorist leader, Ben Gurion [Israel's first PM]. The Satanic Jews thought up an evil plot [the Holocaust] to be rid of the burden of the disabled and handicapped, in twisted criminal ways. While they accuse the Nazis or others so that the Jews would seem persecuted, and try to benefit from international sympathy, they were the first to invent the methods of evil and oppression."
Amin Dabur, head of the Palestinian "Center for Strategic Research":
"About the Israeli Holocaust - the whole thing was a joke, and part of the perfect show that Ben Gurion put on, focusing on [bringing] strong and energetic youth [to Israel], while the rest - the disabled, the handicapped, and people with special needs - they were sent [to die]... if it can be proven historically. They were sent [to die] so there would be a Holocaust, so Israel could 'play' it for world sympathy."
Narrator: "The alleged numbers of Jews [killed in the Holocaust] were merely for propaganda." [Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), April 18, 2008]
Click here to view

Ibrahim Mudayris, Official, PA Ministry of Religious Trusts and Religious Affairs:
"In the Nazi war, possibly some [Jews] were killed, possibly some were burned, but they're exaggerating [the Holocaust] in order to win over world media, and world sympathy." [PA TV (Fatah), May 13, 2005]
Click here to view