Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shalit deal for immediate gratification but long term pain.

Ted Belman

The proper equation here is not how many prisoners should we release to get Shalit back but rather how many Israeli lives are we prepared to forfeit in the future to get Shalit back now. Based on past experience, it could run into the hundreds.

Israelis know this, yet support the short term gratification. Why would they do this? To my mind it is as a result of the constant drumbeat emanating from the Left made up of academia, media and politicians, for the last five years, arguing for his release. Israelis were easy prey so were the politicians that voted for the deal.

And thus to a large extent the Left is to blame for the long term pain which is sure to follow. The same goes for any concessions Israel makes in the peace process. The whole peace process brought upon us by the Left and continuously nurtured by them has been enormously detrimental to Israel. Although the public is steeling its spine, the left continues to weaken the resolve of Israelis to say “no”.

The present Government is all we have to protect us from this insanity. The government has a mandate to be tough even when the public has gone soft. Unfortunately it went soft when it supported this deal, knowing it was not in Israel’s best interest to do so. It also went soft when it accepted the the two state solution. It continues this path with its insistence in maintaining the negotiations. In both instance Bibi is to blame.

When Bibi turned his back on his right wing support when he formed his government, we saw the hand writing on the wall. He invited Labour to join his coalition and invited a know liberal, Dan Meridor, to join Likud. There is no question Bibi did this because he wanted to govern from the center.

Human rights groups go off the deep end

Elliott Abrams

Elliott Abrams is a senior fellow for Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. This piece is reprinted with permission and can be found on Abrams' blog “Pressure Points” here.

What does one make of organizations that wish to see former President George W. Bush behind bars, but have never expressed similar sentiments about Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin, Bashar Assad or Hassan Nasrallah?

Those organizations would be Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which just this week asked Canada to try to prosecute Bush “for his role in authorizing the torture of detainees.” They issued their statements now because Bush is soon to visit Canada again. The Human Rights Watch press release is entitled, “Canada: Don’t Let Bush Get Away With Torture.” The problem, you see, is the abject failure of the Obama administration, or perhaps more broadly, the problem is America. “The U.S. government’s refusal even to investigate Bush’s role in authorizing torture makes it all the more important that Canada take its obligation seriously,” HRW’s executive director said. Of course, Bush is not the only criminal: “Bush attended an unpublicized event in Canada in September, the same month former Vice President Dick Cheney also traveled to Canada. Prior to Cheney’s trip, Human Rights Watch urged the Canadian government to investigate his role in authorizing torture and the CIA secret detention program.” Like Americans, Canadians apparently require tutelage in respect for human rights from these self-appointed consciences of the democratic world.

But Amnesty and Human Rights Watch are outspoken only with respect to certain officials. Syrian President Bashar Assad visited Paris in 2008 and 2009: silence. Russia’s Putin hit Brussels this year: silence. When in good health Cuba’s Castro was a world traveler: silence. No calls for prosecution for the many killings such people have ordered. When it comes to enemies of the U.S. (recall Yasser Arafat as well) there may be an appeal to release a certain prisoner or a demand for more political rights, but there is no call to bar travel or to advance criminal charges. I am aware that heads of state have sovereign immunity, but why do these organizations not call for indictments by the International Criminal Court or at least demand that they be refused entry into decent countries altogether?

This is a sad development, for human rights violations are rampant in many countries and principled international human rights organizations are surely needed. What is not needed is the kind of “activism” that tries to bar our former president and vice president (and, similarly, Israeli officials) from traveling. This is a travesty of human rights activity, and an insult to democratic countries that live under the rule of law and must defend themselves from war and terror. When “human rights organizations” become merely a part of the trendy international Left, the cause of human rights is deeply damaged.

From “Pressure Points” by Elliott Abrams. Reprinted with permission from the Council on Foreign Relations.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What would Rabbi Meir say?

David Wilder
October 14, 2011

The Succot holiday has arrived. As we say in Hebrew – ‘Chag Sameach’ – Happy Holiday. Succot has a uniquely special characteristic – it is a time of great joy. It is considered to be the ‘happiest’ of the Jewish holidays, coming after the intense holy days of Rosh HaShana, the New Year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and the entire month preceding these, as a time of concentrated preparation.
Now, with those past, we can sing and dance, celebrating Eretz Yisrael, living in small ‘booths,’ while participating in joyous worship services. Yet this Succot, our festivity is somewhat dulled. The announcement that Gilad Shalit will soon be released is certainly a cause for overwhelming gratitude and happiness. But the price, release of 1,000 terrorists, of whom, according to past statistics, sixty percent will return to terror activities, is not a reason to celebrate. To the contrary.

The Shalit agreement is a done deal. There isn’t too much we can do to prevent it. Past experience shows that the courts will not stop the exchange. Next week, barring unforeseen circumstances, it will happen.

That being the case, I can only but express, in my opinion, a couple of elements missing from this disgraceful surrender by Israel to terrorists. If it has to be, at least is should include at least two other factors.

The first, I’ve already seen others speaking of. According to published reports, Interior minister Eli Yishai is demanding the release of Jewish ‘terrorists,’ that is, Jews who have been convicted of perpetrating crimes against Arabs. A list of such people has been prepared by my friend and neighbor, ‘Zangi’ Medad, the head of the Honenu organization, which works to defend Jews accused of any and all crimes under the sun.

Medad and Yishai are to be commended. It goes without saying: if hundreds of Arab terrorists, convicted of murdering, maiming and wounding hundreds and thousands of Jews, with the intent to destroy the State of Israel are being released from prison, so why not release a few Jews too?

Are they worse than the Arabs? Of course not. These people are not terrorists, nor are they ‘common criminals.’ These are people who, as a result of continued Jewish bloodshed, reacted. The manner in which they chose to react is not commonly accepted by Jews or Israelis; the fact is, the number of such ‘criminals’ is miniscule. If people really believed that this was the way to solve our dilemmas, ‘taking the law into their own hands,’ the numbers would be much much larger.

People do make mistakes. It certainly would be preferable that the Arab terrorists be left to rot in Israeli jails, or better yet, be executed for their deadly crimes. But being that Israel sees fit to release 1,000 for one, there’s no reason to leave Jewish Israelis in prison.

But this is only one side of the coin. There is another side, which I have yet to see mentioned.

What about Jonathan Pollard?

Pollard wasn’t convicted of murder. He didn’t harm anyone. He was convicted of ‘spying’ for a friendly ally of the United States. He has expressed regret for his actions. If Israel can release so many evil individuals, with blood on their hands, creatures who have committed the worst of crimes, how can the United States continue to hold Pollard in jail?

There shouldn’t be any mistake made. I’m not, in any way, shape or form, comparing Pollard to Arab terrorists, or to Jewish convicts. He doesn’t fit into these categories . But his release is no less humanitarian than that of Shalit’s. Were he being held by any other country in the world, the United States would be in the forefront of the attempts to have him released.

In truth, Pollard, similar to Gilad Shalit, is a Prisoner of War. Jonathan Pollard did not spy to get rich. He didn’t have any evil illusions about destroying the United States. He was a Jew, in a position to help Israel against deadly enemies, wishing to annihilate another few million Jews. His only concern was to help Israel survive. For that, he is paying an enormous price. Shalit has been in a Hamas dungeon for five years. And Pollard? In an American dungeon for almost 9,500 hundred days.

Netanyahu has spoken at length over the past few days about leadership. He, today, following agreement to free terrorist murderers, must demand of the United States, to simultaneously release Jonathan Pollard from the pit in which he is being held captive. As Shalit crosses into Israel and terrorists are freed, so too, the United States must do its part, and let Jonathan come home too, to Israel. At least that. Not 1,027 for one, rather 1,027 for two.

Last night, coming home from my daughter’s home in Eshtamoa in the southern Hebron Hills, we were discussing the deal. One of my sons, who has also served in a combat unit, was resolute, exclaiming, ‘you would never do that because of me.’ In other words, he said, should I ever become a captive of the enemy (G-d forbid), I wouldn’t want you to demand the release of hundreds and thousands of murderers and terrorists, whose freedom would cost so many more Jewish lives.

I certainly hope and pray that I’m never put in a situation where I would have to face such a test. What I do know is that some seven hundred and twenty years ago, Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, one of the greatest Jewish scholars of his time, died in prison after being held captive for seven years. An enormous ransom was demanded for his release and according to tradition, some 23,000 silver marks were collected for his freedom. Yet he refused to allow this money to be paid, fearing it would result in further imprisonment of others, as a way to extort huge amounts of money from Jews. And today: what would Rabbi Meir say?

There will be many Israelis crying next week, as Shalit crosses the border. Not tears of joy, rather tears of anguish, seeing their loved-one's murderers go free. At the very least, the very very least, we should have some small sense of something positive, seeing not only Shalit, but also, Jonathan, coming home too.

Palestinian Claims and the "Arab Spring"

Fabio Rafael Fiallo

It has become fashionable to assert that the so-called Arab Spring will give a boost to the Palestinian claims against the State of Israel, based on the view, presumably, that the Arab-Muslim dictatorships being contested today had forsaken the Palestinian movement to reach an accommodation with Israel (as Egypt and Jordan did); whereas the Arab Spring, the argument runs, is giving birth to a political environment more responsive to the expectations of the Palestinian movement.[1]

This assertion is not supported by the facts: it is not true that the dictatorships of the Middle East and North Africa have been congenial to Israel; nor is it true that the Arab Spring is showing a clear empathy, at least yet, with the Palestinian people.. With a few exceptions, the region's dictatorships have served as megaphones for the Palestinian narrative. For these dictatorships, to inveigh against Israel on behalf of the "Palestinian cause" has always been a handy means of both playing a geopolitical role diplomatically, and of diverting public attention away from their own failures and crimes.

It was a dictatorship, that of Iran, that called for wiping Israel off the map; two other dictators, Libya's Muammar Qaddafi and Syria's Bashar al-Assad, never missed an opportunity to anathematize the Jewish State. Still another dictator, the President of Yemen, in power for 33 years, disingenuously qualified the Arab Spring as "a storm orchestrated from Tel-Aviv."

The dictatorships of North Africa and the Middle East have, in fact, been at the origin of all the resolutions condemning Israel at the UN Council on Human Rights and other UN and international forums.

It was autocrats and dictators who declared war on the incipient State of Israel in 1948; who were ready to try to destroy it again in 1967, and who launched a surprise attack on Israel in 1973. It was one of the secular tyrants of the region, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, who, after sending 39 scud missiles into Israeli territory during the first Iraq War, offered rewards amounting to thousands of dollars for any suicide attack on Israeli soil.

The Palestinian movement has thus been backed -- politically, militarily and financially - by most of the autocratic regimes that have today fallen - better late than never -- into disrepute.

This effective connivance between the region's dictatorships and the Palestinian movement might help to explain why the Arab Spring's protesters have kept their distance from the Palestinian question. With the exception of the assault on the Israeli embassy at Cairo, and the attack on the television journalist Lara Logan ,during which her rapists kept repeating "Jew! Jew! Jew!" (even though she is not one), anti-Israel slogans and the burning of Israeli flags have been absent since the beginning of the Arab Spring.

Although the recent application for Palestinian Statehood, addressed by Mahmoud Abbas to the UN General Assembly, was, as expected, greeted cheerfully in the streets of the West Bank, primarily for his having rebuffed the request of the United States and the West in general not to proceed with the proposal, it aroused no manifestation of support among the population of neighbouring countries -- an indifference all the more remarkable as, at nearly the same time, slogans of solidarity were being chanted in the streets of Yemen's capital, Sana'a, in favour of the Syrian people[2].

This does not mean that there are no risks ahead. The protest movement may be hijacked by Islamist organizations, not least the Muslim Brotherhood, whose entire reason for being is the destruction of the State of Israel. Moreover, the region's governments may continue to resort to their customary reflex of railing against Israel as a means of diverting attention away from their lack of interest in meeting their people's wishes to have a better life.

At the same time, however, the Arab Spring may have an impact of a radically different nature on the Palestinian question and induce Palestinians to settle scores with their own leadership -- a leadership that has proven to have, as its main priority, staying in command no matter what.

Conditions for such score-settling certainly exist. Elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip should have taken place a long time ago, but they are systematically put off. Palestinians are thereby prevented from choosing how they want to be ruled, and by whom. The mandate of Mahmoud Abbas, as president of the Palestinian Authority, expired two years ago. He therefore continues to exercise his

functions without the legitimacy that only the popular vote may confer -- or take away.

Not surprisingly, no one talks any longer about the elections that both Fatah and Hamas - in a short-lived show of unity mounted last April - promised to hold at the beginning of next year. Moreover, because of the internecine war between Fatah and Hamas, the Palestinian Parliament (Legislative Council), based in Ramallah, has been unable to vote one single law through during the past three years[3].

As for the Palestinians of the Diaspora, in particular the hundreds of thousands who live

in Lebanon, they are deprived of the right to acquire the nationality of the host country because the Palestinian leadership is keen on keeping them in the disgraceful condition of refugees so they can continue to request a "right of return," designed to making Jews a minority in their own country and thereby converting Israel into yet another Arab state.[4]

For all these reasons, Palestinians might soon be tempted to reproduce the Arab Spring by massively contesting those who pretend to represent their interests and speak on their behalf.

Mahmoud Abbas's petition for Palestinian Statehood was clearly an attempt to foreclose that possibility. But for how long?

Fabio Rafael Fiallo is an economist, writer and retired UN official. He writes on issues related to international relations and the world economy. His latest publication, "Ternes Eclats", or "Dimmed Lights" (Paris, L'Harmattan), presents a critique of international organizations, including of the anti-Israel bias that prevails in a number of international forums.


[1] See, for instance, "Israel's new problem with the Arab street", by David Ignatius, The Washington Post, 09/14/ 2011.
[2] Le Figaro (Paris), 10/1/2011.
[3] BBC News, "Will Arab revolt spread to Palestinian territories?", 02/23/2011.
[4]See "Abbas rules out naturalization of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon", The Daily Star, 02/28/2008.

Germany played key role in the Schalit talks

10/14/2011 01:14

Gerhard Konrad, who heads the foreign section of the intelligence service of BND, jump-started the Schalit mediation process in 2009.

BERLIN – While the diplomatic consensus, including Germany’s government, says Egypt played the critical role in mediating the agreement on Tuesday to secure Gilad Schalit’s release from Hamas captivity, a German intelligence officer helped lay the foundation for the deal.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday for her government’s “constant support,” likely a reference to her decision to assign intelligence officer Gerhard Konrad to negotiate for the tank gunner’s freedom. Konrad, who heads the foreign section of the intelligence service of the Federal Republic (BND), jump-started the Schalit mediation process in 2009. He is said to use multiple aliases and speak a number of languages, including Arabic. He was on the edges of this week’s process. The German government has long been tight-lipped about his activities in the region.

The German Foreign Ministry and the Merkel administration declined to issue comments on Konrad to The Jerusalem Post. A BND spokeswoman said on Wednesday that she “cannot and is not allowed” to speak about Konrad.

Der Spiegel online only refers to him as “Gehard C.,” apparently to protect his identity. His surname has been spelled as Conrad. It is unclear if it is his real name.

The Israeli Embassy, however, did cite the German representative in its statement that was sent to the Post and other news organizations on Wednesday.

“The ambassador of the State of Israel, Yoram Ben-Zeev, expressed the gratitude of Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel for the support of the federal government in the negotiation for the release of Gilad Schalit,” the embassy wrote.

“In the next few days, a telephone conversation is planned between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chancellor Merkel. Israel is very thankful for the central mediation role of the German representative during the entire time of Gilad Schalit's captivity and for the help, which contributed to the agreement leading to the release of Gilad Schalit.”

Asked about Konrad and Germany’s involvement in the Schalit deal, a German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman wrote the Post on Wednesday: “The federal government and German foreign minister have always repeatedly called for the release of Gilad Schalit and campaigned for his release.”

The spokeswoman cited Foreign Minister’s Guido Westerwelle’s visit to Gaza, in which he called for the release of Schalit. She continued that “for the federal government, what is most important in the current situation is that the release of Gilad Schalit, in fact, successfully takes place.”

According to reports over the years, Conrad has been involved in crunching numbers and shaping the outlines of the deal, including the total number of terrorists to be released. His shuttle diplomacy has spanned Egypt, Israel, the Gaza Strip, and other locations in the region and Europe.

Who is Konrad? He has earned the moniker “Mr. Hezbollah” within German intelligence circles because of his talks to secure prisoner swaps with the Lebanese-based terrorist group. Some accused Konrad of shedding his meditator’s neutrality in 2009 when he sealed a deal gaining the release of the bodies of two IDF reservists, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, for the freedom of five terrorists, including the child-murderer Samir Kuntar.

The Schalit process has been a rocky bargaining process for Konrad. Fox News reported in late 2009 that an Israeli source close to the Netanyahu government and the Schalit talks said that Konrad “seems to be more favorable to Hamas, possibly because of Germany’s economic ties with Iran, known to be Hamas’s financial and ideological backer.”

Some critics of Konrad in Germany even coined the phrase “Mr. Hamas” to describe his pro-Hamas tendencies.

Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, however, sharply criticized Konrad in May and June for siding with Israeli positions. Marzouk said Konrad had “endorsed the unfair and unjust positions of the Zionist government.”

Berlin previously awarded Konrad the Federal Cross of Merit for his efforts in the Middle East. He is a great source of pride in the German media and among German politicians.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shalit deal wrong move

Op-ed: We must adhere to Jewish rule, not redeem captives for more than their value

Yitzhak Tessler

At this time we can and must declare decisively that a significant part of the religion public, just like the rabbis, objects to the Shalit deal (there are other objectors as well.) There are religious reasons for it, as well as ideological and practical grounds. Before proceeding to offer the explanations, we must first respond to the banal but required question: “And if it was your son, would you agree to free terrorists?” The real answer is that in order to save the life of one of my children I would obviously agree to free terrorists. I would also agree to hand over Temple Mount, take a Palestinian refugee family into my home in Haifa, and possibly accept the death of some innocents. Yet this is not the collective vision.

The prime minister is not Gilad Shalit’s father, but rather, “the father of all of us.” The time has come to stop addressing this affair in familial terms and remove my family and the Shalit family from the equation – which sets 1,000 prisoners free.

Benjamin Netanyahu and the entire government of Israel must clearly declare: We are aware that former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan admitted that the terrorists released in the Elhanan Tenenbaum deal caused the death of 231 Israelis, and we are willing to take the risk of hundreds of additional Israeli fatalities in exchange for Gilad Shalit’s release – among other things as result of media and popular pressure.

Seek military solutions

The objection has a religious dimension: Rabbi Meir Ben Baruch, known as the “Maharam from Rotenberg,” lived in Germany in the 13th Century. When he attempted to move to the Land of Israel, he was detained by authorities, yet surprisingly he ordered the Jewish community not to secure his release, given the inflated ransom demands. As result, he died in captivity, not before mentioning the rule articulated by our sages: Do not redeem captives for more than their value.

That is, the Jewish and humane desire to save a prisoner must take into account future deals, which may be much pricier. Hence, the expression “we must pay any price” is simply unthinkable.

We must therefore admit that a significant part of the religious public opposes a Shalit deal that includes the release of terrorists. Worshippers at almost all synagogues prayed for Gilad Shalit (and for Jonathan Pollard) on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Rabbis, preachers and singers mention the desire and hope to see Shalit released at almost every turn. However, we can assume that some of those praying would not like to see his release secured this way.

We are now dealing with a terrible, fateful moment where government members must internalize the rule articulated by “Baal HaTanya,” Shneur Zalman of Liadi – the mind rules the heart.

That is, on this sensitive and painful issue, the mind should overcome emotion, and we must therefore reject the Shalit deal. At the same time, we must also convene all our security experts in order to produce military solutions to bring Gilad Shalit back home, and the sooner the better.

The writer is an editor in the Yedioth Communication chain

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The wrong deal, but Shalit is coming home!


As everyone knows by now, Israel signed a deal with Hamas, and the Cabinet signed on, to trade 1000 prisoners in Israeli jails for Gilad Shalit.

All the details, particularly whether some of the worst terrorists are on the list, are not clear. There are conflicting reports about whether Marwan Barghouti (5 life sentences) or his cousin, Hamas bomb-maker Abdallah Barghouti (67 life sentences) are included. There are also reports (and denials) that Shalit is now in Cairo.

At this point, all that can be reported for certain is that there is a deal for 1000 prisoners. Many of them are murderers. As the father of three children who served in the IDF, I know what it is to worry about a soldier. I cannot know what the Shalit family has suffered. I’m sure my nightmares, vivid as they were, did not compare to their reality. I understand this. I know that if my son were in their Gilad’s place I would do absolutely anything, no matter how irrational, to bring him home. I admit it, even if I thought it would bring down the state, I would do it. That’s the way parents are.

But the Prime Minister of the State of Israel can’t act irrationally. He has the responsibility to protect all Israelis. Like a military commander who sometimes gives orders that he knows will result in the death of some of his soldiers, he must make choices — even when there is no acceptable choice.

But the choice the PM and his government have made is the wrong one. The deal will:

1. Encourage more kidnappings.
2. Eliminate fear of imprisonment as a deterrent to terrorism.
3. Give Hamas a huge political victory (they are already claiming it).
4. Boost Hamas morale and recruitment.
5. Wreck the morale of our security people, who risked their lives to capture these terrorists.
6. Free vicious terrorists who will kill again.*

Some say there is a Jewish moral imperative to rescue captives. But like most moral problems, this is one of conflicting imperatives. The deal is a trade: one young man’s life today for the lives of future terror victims — and we may not have to wait long for that future.

Others argue that terror organizations are always trying to kidnap soldiers (and other Israelis) and this won’t change. But it’s reasonable to think that the striking success of this kidnapping — one of the major Palestinian goals enunciated by Mahmoud Abbas in his recent speech to the UN was to free prisoners — will result in more resources being devoted to this tactic.

A prospective terrorist can contemplate murder, even multiple murders, knowing that if he escapes from the scene of the crime, he can expect at most a few years imprisonment (under relatively good conditions), until the next ‘swap’. Then he will be a hero of the Palestinian people.

I spoke to a person who was a member of the security forces that stopped hundreds of potential terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada, intercepting terrorists on their way to their targets. He personally arrested some of those who may be freed, including one of those responsible for the Hebrew University bombing. He said “you work for years to accomplish something, and then it all disappears.”

Ahlam Tamimi, the woman who drove the Sbarro restaurant bomber to his target, is one who will be released (all women prisoners are included). She received 16 life sentences. She said “I’m not sorry for what I did. I will get out of prison and I refuse to recognize Israel’s existence.” Another female prisoner is Amna Muna, who lured an Israeli teenager to his death by computer chat. She isn’t sorry either.

Nevertheless, it is important that we keep our perspective about who is responsible for the enormous evil that has transpired here: the evils of past and future terrorism, and the evil done against Gilad Shalit, his family and all of Israel and the Jewish people. The Palestinian terror movements (not just Hamas) are responsible, and should be made to pay in the strongest possible way.

I’ve often called for a death penalty for terrorist murders. There is a downside: every execution will become an international crisis. But there may be no other way to deter it (not all terrorists are suicidal, after all, especially the ones who plan and order the attacks).

There has been criticism of the Shalit family for the pressure that led to this deal, even talk of demonstrating outside of their home when the inevitable consequences of it come to pass. The criticism is misdirected and the idea of demonstrating reprehensible. They have suffered far more than enough.

I have had a banner hanging above my front door for some time with a picture of Gilad Shalit, calling for his freedom. We also have placed his picture at our Passover seder table for several years. We will remove the banner with great happiness, along with trepidation.
* I posted this list of reasons on an email list, and I see that some other bloggers have used it. That’s fine, but I want to make clear that I didn’t copy it from anyone.


If this isn’t enough to secure the border, I’m not sure what will be. The Justice Department announced this week officials within the department and the FBI have foiled an Iranian plot to kill a Saudi Ambassador in the United States. A member of a Mexican drug cartel was also reportedly involved in the plot and was planning to help deliver explosives to Washington D.C. It is important to note this wasn’t a plot developed by a terrorist organization operating in multiple countries, this was a plot developed by a sovereign country, and therefore could be considered an act of war.

(below is the article referenced above 'foiled an Iranian plot' which I accessed for convenience. Know that Hamas and Hezbollah, two terrorist groups in the Middle East on Israel's northern and southern borders, armed by Iran, are involved with the Mexican cartel.

For some time I have been saying that Israel is at the forefront of the same international conflict that is engulfing the rest of the world; we just got a head start. This was difficult for many to accept but the reality is beginning to sink in. CG) APNews

US ties Iran to plot to assassinate Saudi diplomat

The Obama administration accused Iranian government agents Tuesday of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in the United States and immediately used the thwarted plot to ratchet up sanctions and recruit international allies to try to further isolate Tehran.

Two men, including a member of Iran's special foreign actions unit known as the Quds Force, were charged in New York federal court with conspiring to kill the Saudi diplomat, Adel Al-Jubeir. Justice Department officials say the men tried to hire a purported member of a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the assassination with a bomb attack while Al-Jubeir dined at his favorite restaurant.

"The idea that they would attempt to go to a Mexican drug cartel to solicit murder-for-hire to kill the Saudi ambassador, nobody could make that up, right?" Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Clinton was blunt in saying the United States would use the case as leverage with other countries that have been reluctant to apply harsh sanctions or penalties against Iran. Clinton said she and President Barack Obama called world leaders to tell them of the developments.

"This really, in the minds of many diplomats and government officials, crosses a line that Iran needs to be held to account for," Clinton said. She said she and Obama want to "enlist more countries in working together against what is becoming a clearer and clearer threat" from Iran.

The U.S. criminal complaint said the Iranian plotters hired a would-be assassin in Mexico who was a paid informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and told U.S. authorities all about their plot, which they code-named "Chevrolet."

FBI Director Robert Mueller said many lives could have been lost. But Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said no explosives were actually placed and no one was in any danger because of the informant's cooperation with authorities.

Attorney General Eric Holder, appearing at a news conference with Mueller and Bharara, declared, "The United States is committed to holding Iran responsible for its actions."

Shortly afterward, the Treasury Department announced economic penalties against Arbabsiar and four Quds Force officers it says were involved.

Asked whether the plot was blessed by the very top echelons of the Iranian government, Holder said the Justice Department was not making that accusation. But he said the conspiracy was conceived, sponsored and directed from Tehran. The U.S. describes the Quds Force as Iran's primary foreign action arm for supporting terrorists and extremists around the world.

The White House said Obama told al-Jubeir in a phone call that the foiled plot to assassinate him is a "flagrant" violation of U.S. and international law. Obama also told al-Jubeir he is committed to ensuring the security of diplomats in the United States, the White House said, and met with his national security team to thank them for disrupting the plot.

The Obama administration has often said that no option is off the table with Iran, a position that a U.S. official said had not changed Tuesday. But the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the policy publicly, said the emphasis now is on increasing diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran.

The State Department is warning Americans around the world of the potential for terrorist attacks against U.S. interests following the exposure of an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

The alleged target was Al-Jubeir, a commoner educated at University of North Texas and Georgetown who was foreign affairs adviser to Saudi King Abdullah when he was crown prince. A month after the 2001 attacks, in which 15 of the 19 Arab hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, Abdullah sent al-Jubeir to the United States to rebuild Saudi Arabia's image in the United States. He was appointed ambassador in 2007.

Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are the Mideast's two most powerful countries and have long vied for power and influence across the region. Saudi Arabia and other countries like Bahrain have accused Iran of trying to create dissent in their countries this year, during democracy movements across the region.

The Saudi Embassy said in a statement that it appreciated the U.S. efforts to prevent the crime. "The attempted plot is a despicable violation of international norms, standards and conventions and is not in accord with the principles of humanity," the statement read.

Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old U.S. citizen who also holds an Iranian passport, was charged along with Gholam Shakuri, who authorities said was a Quds Force member and is still at large in Iran. The Treasury Department listed addresses for Arbabsiar in two Texas cities _ the Austin suburb of Round Rock and the Gulf city of Corpus Christi _ and prosecutors say he frequently traveled to Mexico for business.

The complaint filed in federal court says Arbabsiar confessed that his cousin Abdul Reza Shahlai was a high-ranking member of the Quds Force who told him to hire someone in the narcotics business to target Al-Jubeir. U.S. authorities described Shakuri as Shahlai's deputy who helped provide funding for the plot. Shahlai was identified by the Treasury Department in 2008, during George W. Bush's administration, as a Quds deputy commander who planned the Jan. 20, 2007, attack in Karbala, Iraq, that killed five American soldiers and wounded three others.

Arbabsiar, Shakuri and Shahlai and two others _ Qasem Soleimani, a Quds commander who allegedly oversaw the plot, and Hamed Abdollahi, a senior Quds officer who helped coordinate _ were sanctioned Tuesday by the Treasury Department for their alleged involvement. The department described all except Arbabsiar as Quds officers.

The complaint alleges this past spring that Arbabsiar approached the DEA informant, who he believed was associated with a well-known Mexican drug cartel with access to military-grade weapons and explosives and has a history of assassinations. Justice Department officials say Arbabsiar initially asked the informant about his knowledge of plastic explosives for a plot to blow up a Saudi embassy. But through subsequent meetings in Mexico over the past six months in which they spoke English, secretly recorded for U.S. authorities, Arbabsiar offered $1.5 million for the death of the ambassador. He eventually wired nearly $100,000 to an account number that the informant provided, authorities said.

The DEA informant is no stranger to criminal activity _ the criminal complaint reveals he was charged with violating drug laws in the United States but the charges were dismissed when the informant cooperated with several drug investigations. The complaint said the informant has continued to provide reliable information that has led to numerous drug seizures and is paid for his work.

According to transcripts of their recorded conversations cited in the complaint, the informant told Arbabsiar he would kill the ambassador however he wanted _ "blow him up or shoot him" _ and Arbabsiar responded he should use whatever method is easiest. The plot eventually centered on targeting Al-Jubeir in his favorite restaurant and Arbabsiar was quoted as saying killing him alone would be better, "but sometime, you know, you have no choice." Arbabsiar dismisses the possibility that 100-150 others in the restaurant could be killed along with the ambassador as "no problem" and "no big deal."

Arbabsiar was arrested Sept. 29 at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and was ordered held without bail during his brief first court appearance Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors said he faces up to life in prison if convicted.

The complaint said that after his arrest, Arbabsiar made several calls to Shakuri in which they discussed the purchase of their "Chevrolet," and Shakuri urged Arbabsiar to "just do it quickly."

No one answered the door Tuesday at Arbabsiar's two-story home, decorated for Halloween, at the end of a cul-de-sac in the Austin suburb of Round Rock. A neighbor said he frequently saw Arbabsiar walking around smoking cigarettes and talking on a cellphone in a language the neighbor didn't understand. Public records show Arbabsiar has been married at least twice and has a history of arrests in Texas for offenses that include evading arrest and theft.

David Tomscha told The Associated Press in an interview that he and Arbabsiar once owned a used car lot together in Corpus Christi, Texas. Tomscha said Arbabsiar was likable, but a bit lazy, and "sort of a hustler."

Iran called the accusation both false and baseless. In a statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mihman-parast condemned such acts and said "such worn-out tricks which are upon old and hostile policies of the U.S. and the Zionist regime is a comic show in direction of making special scenarios with the aim of sowing discord."

Members of Congress were quick to condemn Iran over the plot. Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul said if it was indeed sponsored by the Iranian government, "this would constitute an act of war not only against the Saudis and Israelis but against the United States as well."

"This is dangerous new territory for Iran," said Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. "It is the latest in a series of aggressive actions _ from their nuclear program to state sponsorship of terrorism, from complicity in killing our soldiers in Iraq to now plotting hostile acts on U.S. soil."


Associated Press writers Matthew Lee and Desmond Butler in Washington, Will Weissert in Round Rock, Texas, Danny Robbins in Dallas, and Karen Matthews in New York contributed to this report.

"A Word on Shalit"

Arlene Kushner

Just a word. I am without the time to write, but cannot go into the Chag without a comment to my readers.

Suffice it to say that I, too, want to see Gilad Shalit home, and I, too, hurt for his parents. But I am deeply distressed by this deal that has been announced.

My first thought is: Why now? Why did Netanyahu cave on parameters he had held strong on until now? What's going on behind the scenes that we're not aware of? What are the political parameters. I will not speculate here.

One Israeli involved with this who was quoted said, "Israel probably could have gotten a better deal, but it was time to bring Shalit home." Really? The problems:

[] The deal releases over 1,000 prisoners, some terrorists, some of whom were serving life sentences. They will, as a Hamas leader has already declared, "return to the resistance." Oi!

[] Originally it was being said that none released would be allowed to return to Judea and Samaria. But within the parameters of this deal some will. Some will even return to eastern Jerusalem. Oi!

It is being said that some of these will be restricted in their movement, but I'm not clear as to who will do the restricting -- besides which, they can organize, plot and plan even if restricted.

[] This provides increased motivation on the part of Hamas to do further capturing of Israelis in order to secure the release of more prisoners.

So... it must be asked who -- and how many -- will pay for Shalit's release.

[] In addition, those in the Israeli security forces who do a magnificent job of capturing terrorists will find this reduces their motivation and serves as a disincentive to their efforts. Why should they work so hard and even risk their lives, if these bastards may be released down the road? It likely aggrieves them, that their work is being undone. Not good.

[] But speaking of being aggrieved, think of the families of those who have been killed by the terrorists who will now be released. What a bitterness this must be for them, what a sense of justice undone they must feel. Justice undone.

[] Lastly, and not insignificantly (although there may be more going on than has been made public), I see nothing about Shalit's condition and verification of that condition before the deal is begun. As I read it, 450 terrorists will be released before we get him back. May he be in health that can be repaired, and reasonably coherent in his mind, when he returns. May he be breathing!


There should have -- there could have -- been other ways of bringing Shalit home.

Professor Gerald Steinberg of NGO-Monitor notes what a condemnation this situation is with regard to the so-called human rights organizations, who never acted on Shalit's behalf.


The holiday continues to call to me.

Chag Sameach!


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

See my website at Contact Arlene at

This material is transmitted by Arlene only to persons who have requested it or agreed to receive it. If you are on the list and wish to be removed, contact Arlene and include your name in the text of the message.

Gilad Shalit and a World Full of Crazy

Norma Zager

“We are especially not going to tolerate these attacks from outlaw states run by the strangest collection of misfits, Looney Tunes and squalid criminals since the advent of the Third Reich.” President Ronald Reagan

Opportunity knocks. At times it is at a moment when it can be used for great advantage. The release of Gilad Shalit is one such moment. What most fail to realize is there are two great lessons to be learned from this so-called exchange of prisoners. First and foremost the Gazans wouldn’t dare show the world their true colors right now when they have stood before the UN, the circus of evil, and claimed to be such deserving people of a state.

A state where Jews and Christians would never be tolerated within its borders, but that is an issue for another time.

Their fear of exposing their true colors is the best guarantee Israel now has to secure the return of its young soldier.

The second lesson to be learned is that despite the fact there is more anti-Semitism in the world at this moment than ever before in history, one Jewish life is still worth 450 murderous, terrorist crazies. A thousand in fact. 550 more will be released subsequent to Shalit’s return.

The world can put that in their pipe and smoke it, no matter how distasteful it may be to choke on.

Gilad Shalit is not a terrorist; he is a soldier who was captured patrolling his own border, guarding a post inside his own country.

The terrorists, who are being released from Israeli jails, murdered children, killed for the lust of blood and have some warped idea that murder and mayhem is an E-ticket into Jihad heaven.

One Jewish life is still worth hundreds of insane, barbaric crazies in this Jew-hating world. Interesting. Maybe it does portend some hope for mankind? Perhaps not at all?

Today the United States foiled an Iranian plot against Israel and the Saudis on American soil. Talk about Chutzpah!

I am reminded of a skit on numerous shows where someone would be talking or singing some high-class song and behind them unbeknownst to the singer, a comic would perform all types of ridiculous gestures to incite laughter.

I can’t help but believe that as President Obama speaks, the Iranian leader is behind him making faces to get laughs.

Yet, there is nothing funny here.

Nothing funny at all when the United States is no safer than the most corrupt and disgusting alleys of the world’s most degraded and evil cities and ports.

When diplomats are not safe on U.S. streets.

And now we say we are holding Iran responsible.

I am sure the Mullahs are making funny faces at the TV while laughing and mocking our leaders. Certain they will bear no grief for their actions.

Simply, because they won’t.

There is too much crazy in the world.

Syria and Iran the most evil, corrupt nations on earth are still thriving and killing, while the U.S. helps oust the more moderate regimes.

What is going on here?

Am I in a parallel universe?

As crazy as the world has been, as Al Jolson so succinctly put it, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Gilad Shalit will be home.

The crazies will retain the knowledge that by grabbing an innocent Israeli soldier they can save their evil brethren.

Great lesson there.

Iran can continue to send terrorists to our shores secure in the knowledge they will bear no consequences for their actions.

The President didn’t even stand up and tell the world, “Iran is now on the U.S. enemy list, and I intend to personally deal with them as I did Bin Laden; so look out we are coming.”

Where the heck is John Wayne when we need him?

There is too much crazy and not enough butterfly nets to go around.

So, what should we do?

The time to talk is over. The time to appease is over. The time to act is now.

How shall we act?

Stop giving the United Nations money. Even twenty-five cents is much more than they deserve.

Two: put Iran on notice that we are coming after them.

Three: Stop vilifying Israel and accept the fact Israel is not the aggressor, and if the Arabs put down their weapons and abate their hatred, there would be peace in the Middle East.

Four: Stop caring more about political correctness than human life. War is war and it kills people. Whether or not you call someone a terrorist does not change the fact they are.

Five: Get on the right side of the battle. Stop aligning ourselves and paying out huge sums of American money (that we don’t even have) to evil dictators and rogue nations who will ultimately turn against us.

Everyone is free to add to these ideas, as there are many more to be listed here.

For now I will say this:

May Gilad Shalit be returned safely to his homeland, his home and his family, and may Israel continue to care and respect human life and fight to save every one. No matter how crazy it may be.

The series “Postcards from America—Postcards from Israel” by Ari Bussel and Norma Zager is a compilation of articles capturing the essence of life in America and Israel during the first two decades of the 21st Century.

The writers invite readers to view and experience an Israel and her politics through their eyes, Israel visitors rarely discover and Israelis often ignore.

This point—and often—counter-point presentation is sprinkled with humor and sadness and attempts to tackle serious and relevant issues of the day. The series began in 2008, appears both in print in the USA and on numerous websites and is followed regularly by readership from around the world.

Zager and Bussel can be heard on live radio in conversation on the program “Conversations Eye to Eye between Norma and Ari.”

© “Postcards from America — Postcards from Israel,” October, 2011


Deal Reached for Kidnapped Israeli Soldier's Freedom

IPT News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that a deal has been reached with the Hamas terrorist organization to bring home kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. The two-stage arrangement would exchange a total of 1,027 Palestinian militants for the soldier that had been kidnapped in June 2006. "There was great tension between bringing Schalit home...and maintaining the security of Israeli citizens," Netanyahu said on Israeli television. He was also quoted saying "the window has been opened for a historic deal," following a show of flexibility in negotiations by both sides.

Schalit's freedom is a matter of days, Netanyahu said.

"We are waiting here like everyone else," Schalit's father Noam Schalit said Tuesday. "We are receiving updates, but we don't really know anything new other than what has been published."

As part of the deal, Israel agreed to first release roughly 450 terrorists, with another 550 to follow at a later date. Netanyahu convened a cabinet meeting to approve of the plan, with various reports attributing the breakthrough to German or Egyptian intervention.

Hamas reacted jubilantly to the plan, with a celebratory graphic posted on the home page of the Izz al-Deen Qassam Brigade, Hamas's military wing.

"This is a national achievement for the Palestinian people, we tried to include all Palestinian detainees in the Israeli jails, and we promise the rest of the Palestinian detainees to liberate them," said Khaled Meshaal, the head of the Hamas Political Bureau. "My Appreciations to Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades and the Palestinian factions which managed to capture the Israeli soldier Shalit, My thanks to the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip and the West Bank for their steadfastness against the Israeli siege, also my thanks to the Egyptian role in accomplishing this deal."

Comment: Living here in Israel one has a personal perspective as we live this every day for the past 5 years. We also understand the Shalit family's anguish and are pleased that their struggle may be over. However, as PM, Bibi is damned if he does and damned if he does not. This is the position of any PM in Israel given this situation.The research and of course the above statement in English by Hamas demonstrates the major concerns we have-the terrorist patient as they are, have been rewarded. The end result is known and the degree to which our military now has carte blanche to operate inside Gaza will be forth coming soon-wait!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hedy Epstein's European media sex appeal

BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JPost correspondent in Berlin
Post first in 2010

Analysis Hedy Epsteins

There is a tried-and-true Jewish method in Europe to garner instant media coverage and awards of recognition: Scream the trendy anti-Israeli slogans equating the Jewish state with Nazi Germany and the former apartheid regime in South Africa, while highlighting one's background as a Holocaust survivor. According to seasoned media observers in Germany, the formula of Shoah survivor coupled with anti-Israeli activism helps to explain the public relations coup of Hedy Epstein, an anti-Zionist 85-year-old German Jew who fled the Nazis in 1939, and is now promoting her hunger strike in Egypt to advance the so-called "Free Gaza Movement." Epstein declared her hunger strike on Monday, as part of a campaign involving 1,400 activists from 42 countries in Egypt hoping to enter Gaza, in a bid to compel Israel to end its restrictions on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. She has attracted widespread press coverage in Europe. Prompting the activists, many of whom are from organizations affiliated with Hamas, to march into Gaza, is the one-year anniversary of the start of Operation Cast Lead to stop Hamas rocket attacks on Israel's southern periphery. The European laws of supply and demand (similar ones apply on many American college campuses) show an endless demand for Jewish senior citizens willing to invoke anti-Israeli language that meets the definitions of contemporary anti-Semitism. According to a Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs report, Epstein had "compared Israel to a Nazi state and Israeli soldiers to Nazis" during a lecture at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Writing this past week from Beirut, the liberal Huffington Post site reported that Epstein said, "The issue for Israeli Jews and the American Jewish community is the Holocaust, and everything is due to the Holocaust. But Israel is not being persecuted now. Israel is the persecutor." The US State Department and the European Union both define parallels between Nazi Germany and Israel as a form of modern anti-Semitism. To circumvent the unsavory Nazi-equals-Israel comparison, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli groups in Europe frequently outsource the new anti-Semitism to a minuscule group of anti-Zionist Jews who seek to strip Israel's legitimacy as a nation. A Holocaust survivor as spokesperson helps to insulate the "Free Gaza Movement" from charges of anti-Semitism. The problem, however, for the anti-Zionist market is more a question of supply than demand. The fringe group of anti-Zionist Jews who fled the Hitler movement or survived the extermination camps are passing out of existence because of their age. Within the European Union, anti-Zionist Holocaust survivors hold enormous media and political currency. Telling examples are the 85-year-old Hajo Meyer, who argues that "the earliest cause for anti-Semitism is situated in Jewry," and equates IDF checkpoints with Nazi actions. German President Horst Köhler last year awarded his country's most important award, the Federal Cross of Merit, to 80-year-old hard-core anti-Zionist attorney Felicia Langer, a dual German-Israeli citizen who is widely sought as a lecturer in Germany and Austria because of her Israel-equals-apartheid views.

German critics argue that anti-Zionist Jews such as Epstein, Langer and Meyer have cornered the European media and speaking-tour markets because they sanitize guilt in countries which are plagued by their complicity during the Holocaust. Epstein contributes, according to the social-psychology of post-Holocaust anti-Semitism, to depicting Israelis as the new Nazis and Palestinians as the new European Jews. The cottage industry of anti-Zionist Jews pushing, wittingly or unwittingly, a modern anti-Semitic agenda serves to cleanse the guilt pangs of a non-Jewish audience and turn Israel's democracy into a pariah state. The "Gaza Freedom March" Web site in Switzerland wrote that in contrast to most Holocaust survivors, "Hedy Epstein is an advocate for the Palestinians."

The Shoah as a cynical form of moral shock therapy for Diaspora Jewry and Israelis remains a ubiquitous bully club to pit a clique of anti-Israeli Jews against the mainstream European Jewish community. Epstein told The Jerusalem Post last week that "when people are suffering it comes upon the rest of us to do whatever we can." The pressing question for the critics of Epstein's human rights activism is, why are she and other activists not engaging in a hunger strike for persecuted Iranians risking their lives for democracy on the streets of the Islamic Republic?

Where are the hunger strikes opposing the Islamist Sudanese government-sponsored genocide against its black population in the Darfur region? The media appeal of catapulting Epstein into a poster girl for criticizing Israel's right to self-defense in Gaza resonates with a European audience starved for moral exoneration because of its complicity in the crimes of the Holocaust.

Netanyahu seeks to legalize outposts built on private Palestinian land

Instruction issued under pressure from the right in response to state's decision to demolish several outposts built on private Palestinian land.

By Chaim Levinson

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to set up a task force to explore ways to legalize houses in the settlements that were built on private Palestinian land.

The instruction was issued under heavy pressure from settlers and others on the right in response to the state's decision to demolish several outposts built on private Palestinian land over the next half year. In February, Netanyahu and three other senior ministers - Ehud Barak, Moshe Ya'alon and Benny Begin - met with the attorney general and other senior legal officials. The product of that meeting was a decision to demolish all outposts built on private Palestinian land, but to try to retroactively legalize any illegal construction in settlements or outposts that took place on state land. The state subsequently submitted affidavits to the High Court of Justice detailing the timetable for the demolitions.

Inter alia, the affidavits said that by the end of this year, the Givat Assaf outpost would be razed in its entirety, as would parts of the outposts of Givat Haro'eh, Ramat Gilad and Bnei Adam. In addition, by May 2012, 30 houses and caravans in Jebel Artis, near Beit El, will be demolished, while Migron, which is home to 45 families, is due to go by the end of March 2012.

The demolition of three houses in Migron on September 5 convinced the settlers that the government was serious. Ever since, they have been exerting heavy pressure on Knesset members, ministers and Netanyahu himself over this issue. Minister Daniel Hershkowitz (Habayit Hayehudi ) has hinted that he will quit the government if no solution is found, while MK Yariv Levin (Likud ) plans this winter in the Knesset to submit a bill under which Palestinians would instead be compensated with money or alternate land for any building erected on private Palestinian land with help from government ministries.

On Sunday, Netanyahu bowed to this pressure: At a meeting with ministers from his Likud party, he said he would order Neeman to explore ways to legalize the buildings in question. Any such solution would require new legislation.

Ever since 1979, when the High Court overturned an attempt to use the pretext of "security reasons" to expropriate private Palestinian land for settlements, successive attorney generals have all ruled that there is no legal way to build houses for settlers on private Palestinian land.

The settlers, however, claim that there are solutions: In some cases, the land's ownership can be challenged; in others, the owner could be compensated generously; and in others still, the owners could be declared absentees, enabling their land to be used, as is the case vis-a-vis land inside Israel.

While the task force's members have not yet been appointed, it seems they will not come from either the state prosecution or the military prosecution.

Culture Minister Limor Livnat, one of those who pushed for the task force, told Arutz Sheva radio on Monday that the goal was to examine the issue "without fear of what leftist groups will say. As the government, we need to govern."

Another politician said that even if the task force produced no solutions, its work would take several months and could provide a pretext for postponing the demolitions.

Haaretz has reported in the past that parts of two veteran settlements, Ofra and Eli, are also built on private Palestinian land. So far, no legal solution has been found for these settlements, so the task force will presumably be asked to deal with this issue as well.

Meanwhile, the government is also working energetically to legalize everything that has been built on state land, but without proper master plans or building permits, in both settlements and outposts. At stake is much of what has been built in the settlements over the last 20 years. Based on the state's submissions to the High Court, it seems it plans to legalize 326 permanent houses and 344 caravans.

However, various government legal officials say that certain outposts cannot be legalized without a cabinet decision to establish a new settlement - something the government wants to avoid due to the diplomatic ramification of such a moves. The government is seeking to declare these outposts neighborhoods of nearby settlements.

"Israel's policy regarding construction in Judea and Samaria has not changed," a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said in response to this report.

Haaretz - And the Concept of a Free Press

My Right Word


Well, free from Zionism, patriotism and even elementary ethics.

A mosque was daubed with slogans - settlers did it.

A mosque was torched - settlers did it.

A Muslim cemetery was vandalized - settlers did it.

But yesterday, other violent events happpened and?

Well, here's the headline:

Stones hurled at Jerusalem light rail, bus; police suspect nationalist motives
Bus driver lightly injured after rocks cause him to crash bus into wall; Jerusalem Police searching for perpetrators.

a) 'Arabs' is not mentioned. After all, it could have Jews, right? Alright, stop smirking. After all, those who know know that "nationalist motives" or a "nationalist crime" are euphemisms for Arabs. But it didn't prevent them earlier from pointing an accusatory finger at Jews, did it?

b) To be fair, the paper does note the dangerousness of such acts:

Rock throwing took the lives of two Israelis last month, Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan, who were killed in an incident in which rocks are believed to have been thrown from a passing car. Two Palestinians were arrested last week on suspicion of carrying out the act.

But "Palestinians" could be only Arabs? Jews can't be "Palestinians"? Has the paper adopted the racist apartheid policy of the PA to permit only Arabs in their new "Palestine"?

c) Again, to be fair - to Haaretz, that is - the Jerusalem Post headline was perhaps even more vague:-

J'lem: 2 stone throwing incidents damage bus, light rail

That was even more nebulous, almost as if the rocks were thrown anonymously.

God forbid we should mention the possibel (or probable) identity of the stonethrowers.

d) Ynet/Yedioth also were sparse on facts or credible assumptions:

Jerusalem: Stones hurled at Light Rail, bus

e) Of course, it seems the police also were reluctant to be accused of any "racist" approach and probably did not mention ethnic origin but, on the other hand, that did not stop the media in the previous 'price-tag' incidents when all were positive about the identity of the criminals.

Israel's so free a press.

Free from responsibility, free from fairness.

(I've dealt with this, too, at my JPost blog - Green-Lined)

Monday, October 10, 2011


Chana G.

The outside world is constantly fed propaganda regarding Israeli discrimination against Arabs, that they are not permitted to travel on certain roads. The truth is that they have access to most main thoroughfares. While they may travel all others there are a mere 57 KM of roads to which the Arabs have not access - for security reasons. In contrast, Jews are forbidden from peaceful access to holy sites like Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem. Another example is the Muslim decree against Jews uttering a prayer when visiting the Temple Mount, the site of our two ancient Temples. Here are two examples: A 76-year-old religious Jewish man touring the site needed to drink water and, before taking a sip, he said the blessing, at which point he was arrested!! Another recent incident took place when a bearded Jew preparing to ascend was forced to leave his water bottle behind lest he dare say a prayer before drinking!!

One might ask who is doing the arresting? In order to maintain 'peace' and to prevent any incidents, Israeli police are stationed on the Temple Mount. Two are on guard - to prevent the utterance of a blessing by Jews!! Should anyone ( G-d forbid - oh! maybe one is not even permitted to say that !) of the Jewish faith dare to speak the name of the Creator, his/her 'crime' is arrest-worthy. A less modestly dressed non-Jew would not be treated in this way. This is beyond shameful - that the Israeli government yields to such Muslim racism.

While Israel is constantly pressured to 'make concessions to the PA -like removing roadblocks in the interest of peace", little attention is given to the reason for the restrictions in the first place.

Here is a report of but one of the nearly daily 'incidents' that have taken a toll on the lives of Jews - long before 1948. Young families are torn apart, children lose parents, parents lose children, and the nation grieves for each and carries on.

These 'incidents' are hardly reported outside of Israel. Several years ago, Tali Hatuel - nine months pregnant with a son - was driving her car, accompanied by her four young daughters, when she was shot by Arabs terrorists who then approached her car and, to make sure that they had accomplished their goal, repeatedly shot Tali and each of her children in the head. Tali's husband, David, lost his whole family in a split second.

Earlier this year, five members of the Fogel family - parents, two of their sons. and their three month old infant daughter were slaughtered on a Friday evening, leaving orphaned a pre-teen daughter and two small sons. The two Arab murderers were caught and expressed regret at not knowing that there were two additional little boys in the house who might have shared the fate of their three siblings and their parents! This is terrorism!!

Add the following to the list:

From Arutz 7 - Oct.7, 2011

6. ISA, IDF Capture Palmer Murderers
by Elad Benari ISA, IDF Capture Palmer Murderers

It was cleared for publication on Thursday that the Israel Security Agency (ISA) and the IDF have arrested two Arab terrorists from the Halhoul area, north of Hevron, who admitted to having thrown the rock at the vehicle driven by Asher Palmer on September 23.

The car overturned from the impact of the rock, killing Palmer and his infant son Yonatan.

At first, it was reported that the two were killed in a car accident caused by human error and not by a terror attack. This determination was made despite evidence that at first failed, for unknown reasons, to convince police that terrorists may have been involved: a hole in the front windshield of the car, a massive rock found in the front seat with human blood on it, a tear in fabric of the steeling wheel cover and dust indicating a blow from the rock, and damage to Asher Palmer's face suggesting an impact unrelated to the crash.

An autopsy and a CT scan of Asher Palmer’s face showed evidence of facial fractures caused by a rock, causing authorities to determine that the accident was a terror attack.

The Palmers were subsequently recognized by the Defense Ministry as victims of terror.

As part of the investigation, three other Palestinians Authority Arabs were arrested, and admitted that after the attack they approached the car and stole Asher Palmer’s handgun. The gun was seized by the authorities during the investigation.

The ISA said on Thursday that the investigation is still under way and put a gag order prohibiting publication of the identity of the detainees, as well as any other details of the investigation.

MKs Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz and Uri Ariel of the National Union party welcomed the news of the terrorists’ capture and said: “We praise the security forces for the quick action to capture these vile murderers.”

“This is proof that the phenomenon of rock throwing that has recently overtaken roads in Judea and Samaria is not negligible acts by Arab children, but rather Arab terrorism whose declared aim is murder of Jews,” they added.

“This new and lethal operation system requires the IDF to act to eradicate this phenomenon with all its might, and even consider a ban on Arab travel on some roads in order to ensure the safety of Jewish residents,” concluded Katz and Ariel.

Sunday, October 09, 2011


Moshe Feiglin
The Jewish Press
Posted Sep 14 2011

The frustration that grasped me over Shabbat reminded me of the man who told me how, at his bar mitzvah, ghosts suddenly entered the synagogue in Budapest. It was scary, with a stench of smoke and death. The ghost ascended to the stage of the synagogue and began to shout, ‘Jews, I have escaped Auschwitz to warn you that they will burn you. Run away now!’ “

“The synagogue managers,” the man continued, “dragged him off the stage and threw him out of the synagogue. I was sitting next to my father, in an aisle seat, and the man touched me. Until this very day, I can remember his smell. One month later, I was in Auschwitz.” That is what happens when the public is not willing to deal with the significance of what it hears. That is what happens when leadership is captive to the existing pre-conceptions. No facts, proofs or evidence will help. They will not listen to you. They will throw you out of the synagogue, they will say that you are an extremist and are crazy. They will do anything to save themselves from dealing with the significance of what you are saying.

I didn’t really want to write about what is happening in Israel’s south as a direct result of the Gaza withdrawal and an ongoing horrendous government misconceptions. What can I say, “I told you so?” There is nothing taking place now that I have not warned about in tens of columns. What good will come out of writing the same things again? Why should anybody listen now?

What can I write? Blame Begin, who surrendered the Sinai desert? Blame Rabin and Peres, who surrendered Gaza and injected Arafat’s army of terrorists into its streets and alleys? Or blame Sharon, who destroyed Gush Katif?
I hear the “experts” on the radio. The broadcasters are not interviewing those who tried to warn us. Instead, they interview the “synagogue managers,” those people who held senior positions and those who cooperated with the liars. They will go to great lengths to preserve the lie and the mentality that defends it.

“Feiglin, tell me what we can do,” a senior worker in the Ashkelon municipality shouted to me after a Grad missile landed in her yard. ”First of all, change all the names of the streets, plazas and boulevards here back from ‘Rabin’ to their original names,” I answered her. She, totally shocked, turned around and walked away, not comprehending what I had just said to her.

Remember Rabin. It is impossible to get through to a public that is captive to a misconception. From at least the time of Oslo, (Infamous handshake on White House lawn with Clinton, Rabin, Peres and Arafat and may this incident live in the infamy it deserves – jsk)

Israel has been captive. Instead of freeing itself from the Oslo mentality and the name Rabin that symbolizes it, they changed the names of the Katyusha missiles. Rabin promised they wouldn’t fly from Gaza into Israel. They do, but never fear. In the north, where Rabin never promised we would not be hit by Katyushas, we are still attacked by Katyushas. But in the south, where he scoffed at the thought, we are attacked by Grads.

Just a short while after the recent murderous rampage (a.k.a. terror attack) in the south, Israel’s Air Force eliminated five senior terrorists in Gaza. The news broadcasts also mentioned that they were behind Gilad Shalit’s abduction. Why didn’t they kill them earlier and prevent the murders? Because Israel has no goal other than to survive.

Its leadership cannot initiate anything because there is no national goal for which it is legitimate to fight – other than simple existence. If Israel had killed the terrorists before their rampage, tensions here would have escalated and the media that continues to pump Oslo into our bloodstream would have blamed our leaders. In other words, when there is no destiny beyond mere existence, we cannot initiate. All we can do is react. So now we have more murdered Jews – and an escalation of tensions, as well.

All that we wanted was to realize the Zionist goal of “being a normal nation like all other nations.” We tried to create an artificial reality that would replace the heavy burden of destiny that the Jewish nation carries on its back. But reality, of course, cannot be changed. We have lost eye contact with our destiny and now, even though we are stronger than ever, we cannot defend ourselves. Without destiny, all we can do is react. And he who only reacts will ultimately fall.

I am a great believer in the nation of Israel. I believe that ultimately, we will return to our destiny. When that happens, our enemies will evaporate. I just pray that the process of reclaiming our destiny will not be too painful.