Saturday, May 31, 2008

Israel ponders freeing Jihadi scum

Lebanese in Possible Prisoner Swap Vows Return to Jihad -Roni Shaked

Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar, whom Israel has agreed to free as part of a possible prisoner swap deal with Hizbullah, has vowed to continue engaging in terror after his release.

Kuntar, jailed 29 years ago after murdering Haran family members and a police officer during a terror attack on Nahariya, made the promise in a letter to Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.
(Ynet News)

Samir Kuntar's Bloody Deeds -Adam Kredo

A member of the Palestine Liberation Front, Samir Kuntar and four others sailed under cover of night from south Lebanon to Nahariya on April 22, 1979. The group murdered police officer Eliahu Shahar after he stumbled upon the gang.

The men then entered an apartment building and broke into the Haran family's apartment, taking them hostage. Kuntar shot Danny Haran at close range. He then bashed four-year-old Einat Haran's head on rocks and with the butt of his rifle, killing her instantly.

Haran's wife, Smadar, hid with her two-year-old daughter Yael in a crawl space above the couple's bedroom. Smadar tried to muffle the girl's cries, and accidentally smothered her.

In a 2003 article in the Washington Post, she recalled: "I will never forget the joy and the hatred in [the terrorists'] voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades....As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. 'This is just like what happened to my mother,' I thought."
(Jerusalem Post)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jihadists threaten to nuke America

al-Qaeda's dream vision for Washington, DC
Click graphic above for larger image

This is the apocalyptic scene terrorists hope to create if they ever get their hands on a nuclear bomb. The computer-generated image [above] was posted on an Islamic extremists' website yesterday.
[Daily Mail-UK]

Iran in Secret Talks with Al-Qaeda, U.S. Officials Say -Jonathan Karl, Sr

U.S. officials say that in recent months there have been secret contacts between the Iranian government and the leadership of al-Qaeda.
(ABC News)

Iran Must Not Get the Bomb -Editorial

A new UN report cites "serious" concerns about "possible military dimensions" to Iran's nuclear programs.

The U.S. presidential candidates should be demanding that the UN tighten the sanctions now. That might save the next president from taking tougher action later.
(Christian Science Monitor)

A new view of LBJ

LBJ's Newly Released Oval Office Recordings Disclose His Deep Feelings toward Israel

Tapes of Lyndon Johnson's Oval Office conversations, released to the public for the first time on Wednesday, reveal that the American president had a personal and often emotional connection to Israel. "I sure as hell want to be careful and not run out on little Israel," Johnson said in a March 1968 conversation with his ambassador to the United Nations, Arthur Goldberg.

In a taped conversation from June 25, 1967, three weeks after Israel defeated three Arab armies, Johnson relates a conversation with Soviet Premier Alexey Kosygin. "He couldn't understand why we'd want to support the Jews - 3 million people - when there are 100 million Arabs," the president said.

"I told him that numbers do not determine what was right. We tried to do what was right regardless of the numbers."
(AP/International Herald Tribune)

HonestReporting offers sophisticated resource offers a sophisticated media resource
called "The Big Lies"
which reviews media manipulation by the Palestinians
Click on the graphic to access

Palestinian Industry of Lies -Danny Seaman

Media manipulation has turned into a strategic Arab weapon used against the State of Israel as an equalizer vis-a-vis Israel's military advantages.
(Ynet News)

Hoopoe: Israel's new national bird

A stunning Hoopoe, Israel's new national bird.
Welcome to the family.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Saudi youth going Jewish? Or following Madonna & Britney?

Kabbalah-Inspired Fashion Reaches Saudi Youth -Iman al Khaddaf

Today it is common to see large numbers of young Saudi men sporting a piece of red string around their wrists.

However, the wearing of the red string is practiced by followers of the Kabbalah, a school of thought that focuses on the mystical aspects of Judaism, prompting concern among some Saudi experts who are against what they consider a form of "cultural invasion."
(Asharq Alawsat-UK)

Egypt buries head in sand: Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil

The U.S.-Israel-Egypt Trilateral Relationship -David Makovsky

Israel views the lack of Egyptian action [against smuggling weapons] more as a result of deliberate policy and not as a lack of capacity. The Israelis do not believe the smuggling of rockets is the work of rogue elements in the Egyptian security services who are paid by local smugglers to turn a blind eye. Israel has provided Egypt with the names of 250 smugglers and asked that they be arrested, but knows of none that have been. Israel rejects the view that the problem is insufficient Egyptian troop levels along the Sinai-Egyptian border.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Carter's Hamas man speaks

Hamas Leader: We Will Never Recognize Israel

Hamas political chief Khalid Mashaal told a conference at Tehran University on "The Decline of the Zionist Regime" that "We will never recognize Israel."

"When the United States cannot even defend its own troops in Iraq, how does it propose to protect the Israeli regime from collapse?" he added.
(Tehran Times-Iran)

Extending tentacles: Iran as monster octopus

Egypt Eyes Iran's Overtures with Suspicion -Jeffrey Fleishman

Iran has made a series of overtures in recent months to restore full diplomatic relations with Egypt, while Cairo has remained coolly noncommittal.

"Iran wants Egypt to say that its peace treaty with Israel is dead," said Sadr Hussiani, founder of the Tehran-based Iran-Egypt Friendship Council.

Mohamed Abdel Salam, an expert with the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo [said], "Iran acts as if it was already in control of the Middle East; it has controlled Iraq, and it is about to control Lebanon."
(Los Angeles Times)

PA adopts Israeli narrative

PA Daily: Arabs Caused Refugee Problem -Itamar Marcus & Barbara Crook

The Arabs who became refugees in 1948 were not expelled by Israel but left on their own to facilitate the destruction of Israel, according to a senior Palestinian journalist writing in a Palestinian daily.

Jawad al-Bashiti wrote in Al-Ayyam: "The Arab Salvation Army came and told the Palestinians: 'We have come to you in order to liquidate the Zionists and their state. Leave your houses and villages, you will return to them in a few days safely. Leave them so we can fulfill our mission (destroy Israel) in the best way and so you won't be hurt.'"
(Palestinian Media Watch)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Who is surprised?

Hamas, Abbas Hold Surprise Meeting in Ramallah -Khaled Abu Toameh

In a surprise move, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met Monday in Ramallah with a senior Hamas delegation.
(Jerusalem Post)

Revenge for Israeli medical treatment?

Iraqi Mothers Laud Israeli Heart Operations But Fear Reaction at Home
-Ali Rifat and Uzi Mahnaimi

Aria, an 18-month-old baby from Kirkuk in northern Iraq [pictured above], underwent a successful operation at the Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Tel Aviv, where 11 Iraqi children are being treated.

The surgery is sponsored by Save a Child's Heart (SACH), a humanitarian organization founded in Israel in 1996. Aria's mother, Paiman, paid tribute to the clinic and the surgeon saying: "He saved little Aria's life."

The mother of Mustafa, 4, from Kirkuk, who has undergone two heart operations in six months, said: "My only fear, which spoils my joy at my son's escape from death, is the revenge my family can expect when we go back to Iraq."

The African-Jihad connection

Hezbollah in West Africa: Photos reveal the long-arm of Hezbollah
-W. Thomas Smith Jr.

Terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and Hizbullah are increasingly developing forward operating bases in many of Africa's poorly governed regions that are used as launching points for terrorist operations worldwide.

Sources have sent pictures of Hizbullah activities in Nigeria [see above]: Note the Hizbullah flags and the posters of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Iranian ayatollahs. The reviewing stand inscription reads: Peace to you, Hassan. an obvious reference to Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah.
(World Defense Review)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Iranian "Bear Hug"

Can Syria Break its Iranian Bear Hug? -Amos Harel & Avi Issacharoff

Iran's official response to the news of indirect talks between Syria and Israel suggests that Tehran was not in the loop. However, it is not readily obvious that Syria will rush to break ties with Iran.

The new rules of the game in Lebanon have granted Hizbullah de facto control over the country. Retaining Syrian influence in Lebanon is more important to Assad than regaining the Golan Heights. That is very hard to do without Iran and Hizbullah.

The Syrian Talks Aren't Serious -Barry Rubin

There isn't going to be a Syrian-Israeli deal. Both sides know it, yet have good reason to be seen talking.

If Syria is ready to move away from Iran, stop backing terrorist groups, be ready to make full peace with Israel and meet other conditions (limiting forces in the Golan Heights, early warning stations, etc.), the talks can advance. When this doesn't happen, the talks will either collapse or enter a long slow-motion process.

The idea that Syria wants real peace, will recognize Israel, move away from Iran, abandon Hamas or Hizbullah, and cease terrorist meddling in Iraq is the purest nonsense. All these steps are against the regime's vital interests.
(Jerusalem Post)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Optimistic look at the future

Why Time Is on Israel's Side -Efraim Inbar

Over time the power differential between Israel and its regional foes has grown. While Israel has become stronger, its enemies, with the exception of Iran, have become weaker. Moreover, the Jewish state is widely recognized as an entrenched reality even by Arab and Muslim states.

The common image of a deeply-torn Israel is inaccurate, as social cohesion is greater than before. The Ashkenazi/Sephardi social rift has become much less divisive than in the past, with an influx of Sephardi Jews into the middle class and into the ranks of the senior officers of the Israeli military. An analysis of the political, social and economic dynamics within Israel indicates that time is on Israel's side.

The ideological debate over the future of the territories acquired in 1967 is over. The Sinai was relinquished in 1979 and Gaza in 2005. Over two-thirds of Israelis oppose any territorial concessions in the Golan Heights. Concerning Judea and Samaria, there is a great majority in favor of partition and in favor of retaining the settlement blocs, Jerusalem (the Temple Mount), and the Jordan Rift Valley.

Expectations for peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians after the Oslo agreements have been replaced by a sober consensus that peace is not around the corner. The failures of the Palestinian national movement and the ascent of Hamas in Palestinian politics have elicited greater understanding for the Israeli predicament. 9/11 was an event that also sensitized much of the world to Israel's dilemmas in fighting Palestinian terrorism.

The only serious security challenge is a nuclear Iran. Possibly, Israel might be left alone to deal with the ayatollahs, but the obstruction of the Iranian nuclear program is not beyond the capabilities of Jerusalem.
(BESA/Bar-Ilan University)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Assessing the risk of action against Iran

Is an Attack on Iran a Big Risk? -Yossi Melman

Various experts outline doomsday scenarios in the event of a military attack by the U.S. or Israel to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Fearing the reaction of the ayatollahs has a paralyzing effect. Even before the first shot has been fired, Iran can credit itself with a success. It created an image of an omnipotent country that will not hesitate to use its power to respond and avenge a military operation against it. This is an impressive psychological achievement.

Most experts estimate that in the event of an attack, the Iranians will launch Shihab missiles at Israel. But Shihab missiles are not considered particularly reliable and the Shihab's guidance system is not very accurate. Israel's Arrow missile defense system would certainly intercept quite a few Shihab missiles. Moreover, Iran's firing missiles at Israel would enable Israel to respond in a decisive manner. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that Hizbullah will react automatically by firing rockets.

[C]ontrary to the impression that has been formed, Iran's options for responding are limited and weak.

U.S., Israel "Afraid" of Iran's Power

Maj.-Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said that the U.S. and the Zionist regime are "afraid of Iran's power, political and spiritual influence" in the Middle East.
(Press TV-Iran)

Wahid: stop appeasement


Abdurrahman Wahid [pictured above], the former Indonesian president and a leading Muslim scholar, gained prominence for his insistence on introducing Muslim nations to certain truths about the Jews. He has called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a "liar" for denying the Holocaust.

Wahid says moderate Islam stands a greater chance of triumphing over Islamic radicalism once Western leaders stop trying to accommodate Islamic extremists.
(San Francisco Sentinel)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Making the [Indian] Desert Bloom

A Million Israeli Olive Trees to Make Indian Desert Bloom -Rhys Blakely

The desert of Rajasthan in the north of India is to be planted with a million olive trees grown in Israel in an effort to transform the landscape and the fortunes of its struggling farmers. Diplomacy has also paved the way for dates and grapes from Israel to be grown in Maharashtra, a state in western India.

The next generation

Anti-Semitic Hate Speech in the Name of Islam -Matthias Kuntzel

According to a 2007 study by the German Interior Ministry "anti-Semitic attitudes were found among young Muslims far more often than among non-Muslims."

Teachers in Berlin are sometimes confronted with Muslim students who refuse to take part in school trips to concentration camp memorials.
(Der Spiegel-Germany)

Islam's History of Anti-Semitism -Raymond Ibrahim

The historical documents make clear that, from day one, Jews and Christians have been systematically treated as second-class citizens, "dhimmis," in the regions conquered by Islam.

Even if there were some sort of Andalusian "golden age" - as academics are fond of reminiscing and insisting - that's exactly all it was, an "age," an "aberration."

Far from being a by-product of Western anti-Semitism or the creation of Israel, animosity toward the Jews has a firm doctrinal base tracing back to Islam's most authoritative texts.
(Washington Times)

National Homicide...National Suicide

Tehran University to Host Conference on "Israel's End"

Iranian students are sponsoring an International Conference on Israel's End to discuss "supporting the Palestinian nation's righteous liberation movement and signs of the illegitimate Zionist regime's upcoming downfall."

The Phenomenon of Islamist National Suicide -Amnon Rubinstein

[C]ases of Islamist national suicide are not uncommon...

[P]rolonged war, death, destruction and national suicide were preferable to peaceful solutions. Dying is preferable to negotiating with infidels. The same conclusion is applicable to the Palestinians voting for Hamas, and to Iran's decision to confront the Security Council on acquiring nuclear weapons.

Suicide in the struggle against Israel has acquired a degree of legitimacy the West cannot even fathom. Israel, as well as the West, should be prepared for a long, irrational and costly war, unlike any other fought in the past.
(Jerusalem Post)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pop the jihadist balloon

The Universal War on Terror: The Cancer of Suicide Bombing -Leslie Sacks

The most effective, attainable and inexpensive way to pop the Jihadist balloon may not be the obvious solution utilizing military and security means.

[A]s in Biblical times, we must shout out from the hilltops to the very end of every valley and proclaim, without compromise, without dilution, exactly who these nations are, these individuals are, and enjoin all by every political, economic and social means at our disposal, to eradicate this evil

This cancer, if denied its bloodlust, its martyrdom, its perverted Jihadist energy, will wilt and with it the heartbeat of Islamic Radicalism.

The cure is simple. Stop support for suicide bombing, marginalize its adherents, its educators, its handlers; and the Jihadist fervor will dissipate, the martyrs fascination will wilt. It will go the ignoble way of communism and of fascism and of much of the rest of history's most devastating experiments.
[The Investigative Project on Terrorism]

Sderot videobite

bin Laden in retreat?

Is Bin Laden Moving on from Iraq? -Paul Reynolds

The two latest messages believed to be from Osama Bin Laden emphasize the centrality of a struggle against Israel and raise the question as to why he did not concentrate on Iraq.

Perhaps the shift from Iraq to the "Palestinian question" is meant to attract support, leading to a theory among some Western intelligence analysts that al-Qaeda accepts that it is in trouble in Iraq.

"Al-Qaeda could now be preparing its followers for a strategic failure in Iraq. It therefore needs a rallying cry and Palestine is a no-brainer," said Nigel Inkster, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"There is some evidence that support for Osama Bin Laden has been dropping in the Arab world because of revulsion about al-Qaeda behavior and especially the killing of Muslims."

"On the other hand, there is still an appetite and ambition to engage in terrorism spectaculars in Western Europe and the U.S., though the capacity might not match the ambition. But they only have to be lucky once."
(BBC News)

Brewing storm: Hamas gathers the tools

The Development of Hamas Rocket Capabilities

In 2002, Hamas began firing Kassam I rockets at Jewish settlements in Gaza and into southern Israel. By 2003, there was the Kassam II, with a range of 8 km. The Kassam III has a range of 10 km.

By June 2004, about 200 Kassams had been fired into southern Israel. By the end of 2005, over 400 Kassams had been fired at Israeli targets. In the next six months, another 600 rockets were fired. About a thousand Kassams were fired into Israel during 2006. This doubled, to two thousand in 2007, and during the first four months of 2008, another 2,000 were fired.

For every 30-40 Kassams fired, an Israeli is killed or wounded. Hamas has hopes that someday soon they will attack in conjunction with Hizbullah firing rockets into northern Israel, and Iran firing rockets into Tel Aviv.
(Strategy Page)

Statehood is not a Palestinian goal

Palestinians Have Avoided Opportunities for Statehood -Yossi Alpher

The Palestinians, backed and at times manipulated by the Arab world, have done nearly everything possible to avoid setting up their own state. They:

*rejected UN Resolution 181 in 1947 and attacked Israel, thereby precipitating war and exile.

*avoided creating a state in the West Bank and Gaza between 1949 and 1967

*created UNRWA which perpetuated rather than solved their refugee problem

*rejected Egypt and Israel's offer of autonomy in 1978

*failed at state-building under Oslo after 1993

*invoked suicide terrorism that alienated some of their most ardent Israeli supporters

*failed at consolidating the territorial foundations of a state after Israel withdrew unilaterally from Gaza in 2005.
The writer is former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Masochistic Palestinians

Self-Made Nakba -Barry Rubin

It has become fashionable to match the celebration of Israel's founding with Palestinians' marking of their 1948 "nakba," or catastrophe. Yet whose fault is it that they didn't use those six decades constructively? And who killed the independent Palestinian state alongside Israel that was part of the partition plan?

Answer: In rejecting partition, in demanding everything and starting a war it could not win, the Arab side ensured endless conflict, the Palestinian refugee issue, and no Palestine. Yet 60 years later, the Arab side has the hutzpa to complain - and a good part of the Western media echo - that they were Israel's victims in 1948.
(Jerusalem Post)

Monday, May 19, 2008

The impossible deal with "moderates"

Abbas shakes hands with Hamas leader...
Arafat smiles approvingly in the background

Palestinians Demand Regular Army for New State -Roni Sofer

Despite previous understandings that a future Palestinian state would be demilitarized, in talks held behind closed doors, the top negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, Ahmed Qureia, is demanding the establishment of a regular army, high-level Israeli and Palestinian officials confirmed.
(Ynet News)

Palestinians Reject Hamas Recognizing Israel

63 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza oppose Hamas recognizing the legitimacy of Israel...
(Angus Reid Global Monitor)

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Shelf" agreement: false logic

Road Map to Nowhere -Daniel Levy

[T]he fundamentally flawed logic of the [Annapolis peace] process initiated last year is increasingly transparent. The logic of Annapolis - that an agreement on paper creates the conditions for its own implementation - is flawed.

Israel can no more end the violence by making a deal with Abbas than the U.S. can end the hostilities in Afghanistan by reaching an agreement with President Hamid Karzai. And that is why what we have now is a make-believe process.
The writer is director of the Prospects for Peace Initiative at The Century Foundation and director of the Middle East Initiative at the New America Foundation
(International Herald Tribune)
Photo: "Shelf Life" by James Hopkins

Christians targeted again

Students at Zahwa Rosary School in Gaza

Bomb Explodes at Christian School in Gaza

Unknown assailants detonated a bomb outside a Christian school in Gaza City before dawn Friday, the latest in a string of attacks on Christian institutions in Gaza.

The Zahwa Rosary School, which is run by Catholic nuns, caters mainly to Muslim students. The school had been ransacked in June 2007, along with the nuns' adjacent convent...
(AP/Jerusalem Post)

Reflections on the miracle of Israel

An Aboriginal People -Irwin Cotler

Israel, rooted in the Jewish people, is a prototypical aboriginal people, just as the Jewish religion is a prototypical aboriginal religion, the first of the Abrahamic religions. The Jewish people is the only people that still inhabits the same land, embraces the same religion, studies the same Torah, hearkens to the same prophets, speaks the same aboriginal language - Hebrew - and bears the same aboriginal name, Israel, as it did 3,500 years ago.

It is not the case, as it is sometimes said, that if there had been no Holocaust, there would not have been a State of Israel, as if a state could somehow even compensate for the murder of six million Jews. It is the other way around: If there had been an Israel, there would not have been a Holocaust.
The writer is a member of the Canadian Parliament and the former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada.
(Jerusalem Post)

The Miracle, at 60 -Charles Krauthammer

This week marks the 60th anniversary of the return and restoration of the remaining two tribes of Israel - Judah and Benjamin, later known as the Jews - to their ancient homeland. Besides restoring Jewish sovereignty, the establishment of the State of Israel embodied many subsidiary miracles, from the creation of the first Jewish army since Roman times to the only recorded instance of the resurrection of a dead language - Hebrew, now the daily tongue of a vibrant nation of 7 million.

As historian Barbara Tuchman once wrote, Israel is "the only nation in the world that is governing itself in the same territory, under the same name, and with the same religion and same language as it did 3,000 years ago."

Palestinian suffering is, of course, real and heart-wrenching, but what the Arab narrative deliberately distorts is the cause of its own tragedy: the folly of its own fanatical leadership - from Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem (Nazi collaborator, who spent World War II in Berlin), to Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser to Yasser Arafat to Hamas of today - that repeatedly chose war rather than compromise and conciliation.

Palestinian dispossession is a direct result of the Arab rejection, then and now, of a Jewish state of any size on any part of the vast lands the Arabs claim as their exclusive patrimony.

Israeli losses during its War of Independence were staggering: 6,373 dead. One percent of the population. Yet you rarely hear about Israel's terrible suffering in that 1948-49 war.

Israel's crime is not its policies but its insistence on living. On the day the Arabs - and the Palestinians in particular - make a collective decision to accept the Jewish state, there will be peace, as Israel proved with its treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Until that day, every "peace process," however well meaning, will come to nothing.
(Washington Post)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rudderless ship...armed to the teeth

Void of Leadership, Palestinian Movement Loses Momentum -Joshua Mitnick

[T]he Palestinian national movement finds itself in a deteriorating state of paralysis. "There's almost no Palestinian leadership," said Kadoura Fares, a former Palestinian cabinet minister.

A [serious] mistake, says Fares, was the failure to build an effective government in the 1990s when the Palestinians were offered autonomy under the Oslo peace accords. "It's like you demand a palace but get three rooms as a test before you get the palace," he said. "The world gave us a chance to establish an authority. We could have used the authority as a good model to show we are a modern people, an educated people. We failed."
(Washington Times)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tom Friedman: cold war with Iran

The New Cold War with Iran -Thomas L. Friedman

The next president is going to be a cold-war president - but this cold war is with Iran.

That is the real story in the Middle East today - the struggle for influence across the region, with America and its Sunni Arab allies (and Israel) versus Iran, Syria and their non-state allies, Hamas and Hizbullah.

For now, [we are] losing on just about every front. How come? The short answer is that Iran is smart and ruthless, America is dumb and weak, and the Sunni Arab world is feckless and divided.

The outrage of the week is the Iranian-Syrian-Hizbullah attempt to take over Lebanon. The Shiite militia Hizbullah emerged supposedly to protect Lebanon from Israel. Having done that, it has now turned around and sold Lebanon to Syria and Iran.
[New York Times]

Physicians for Human Rights show their true colors

"Dead Gaza Cancer Patient" Alive and Kicking -Meital Yasur-Beit Or

Muhammad al-Harrani, a Gaza cancer patient who reportedly died while waiting for a permit to enter Israel, miraculously came back to life."The sick man could not withstand the wait for the permit," claimed Ran Yaron of Physicians for Human Rights.

However, the next day, [it was] discovered that al-Harrani was still alive.
(Ynet News)

Social Worker & Saint

Irena Sendler, who died [May 12th, at] age 98, is credited with having saved the lives of 2,500 Jewish children in the Warsaw ghetto during the Second World War.

Irena Sendler [pictured above] was a Polish Roman Catholic social worker who had links with Zegota, the code name for the Council for Aid to Jews. [T]he ultimate destination of the Jews was to be the Treblinka death camp and Zegota decided to try to save as many children as possible. Using the codename "Jolanta" Irena Sendler [led] this escape network.

One baby was spirited away in a mechanic's toolbox. Some children were transported in coffins, suitcases and sacks; others escaped through the sewer system beneath the city.

In later life Irena Sendler recalled the heartbreak of Jewish mothers having to part from their children: "We witnessed terrible scenes. Father agreed, but mother didn't. We sometimes had to leave those unfortunate families without taking their children from them. I'd go back there the next day and often found that everyone had been taken to the railway for transport to the death camps."

[In] 1943, her house was raided by the Gestapo and the Nazis took Sendler to the prison, where she was tortured; although her legs and feet were broken, and her body left permanently scarred, she refused to betray her network of helpers or the children whom she had saved. Sentenced to death, she escaped thanks to Zegota, who bribed a guard to set her free. She immediately returned to her work using a new identity.

In her later years Irena Sendler was cared for in a Warsaw nursing home by Elzbieta Ficowska, who - in 1942, at six months old - had been smuggled out of the ghetto by Irena in a carpenter's workbox.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Settlements are not the issue

Palestinian missles aimed at Israel from the Gaza Strip, an area that Israel pulled all of its settlements out of

Jihadists Unfazed By Israel's Attempts to Make Peace -Robert Fulford

The jihadists don't want a nicer Israel, they want no Israel at all. Closing the settlements would make conversation more agreeable at thousands of dinner parties. But it would contribute nothing to Israel's security.

Fatah, the likeliest peace partner, is a chaotic parody of a government, without popular support.
(National Post-Canada)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Coup attempt in Lebanon: reflections

Fouad Siniora, Lebanon's impotent leader

Hizbullah Beats Lebanese Government Challenge -Daniel Williams

Hizbullah handed sections of Beirut to the Lebanese army after forcing pro-Western Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to abandon efforts to curb its military activities.

Siniora had instructed the army to shut down Hizbullah's electronic surveillance operation at Beirut's international airport and a vast land-line telephone network it controlled. By occupying parts of the Lebanese capital for five days, Hizbullah forced Siniora to back down.

Hizbullah Redrawing Mideast Map -Joshua Mitnick

Hizbullah's dramatic gains in Lebanon are just part of a regional process that began last year in Gaza and will continue in Jordan and Egypt, Sheikh Yazeeb Khader, a Hamas political activist said in an interview.

"What happened in Gaza in 2007 is an achievement; now it is happening in 2008 in Lebanon. It's going to happen in 2009 in Jordan and it's going to happen in 2010 in Egypt." "We are seeing a redrawing of the map of the Middle East where the forces of resistance are the ones moving the things on the ground."

His remarks highlight a growing alliance linking Hamas, Iran and Hizbullah. The notion of new countries falling under Islamist influence reflects a goal of Hamas' parent group, the Muslim Brotherhood, of replacing secular Arab regimes with Islamist governments.
(Washington Times)

Showdown between Hizbullah and Beirut -David Schenker

Sadly, for Washington, there are few realistic policy options to reverse the Hizbullah coup.

With so much at stake, now is the time for Washington to use whatever leverage it might have to encourage the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to fulfill its national responsibility to protect Lebanese institutions. If the LAF does not act soon, Lebanese sovereignty may become a thing of the past.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

The Lesson of Lebanon -Noah Pollak

The crisis in Lebanon teaches us the same lesson we learned from Hamas when it took Gaza: Islamic supremacist groups such as Hizbullah and Hamas cannot be integrated into states or democratic political systems.

In the streets of Beirut, Hizbullah is making it abundantly clear that its participation in Lebanese politics ends when it is asked to submit to the state's authority.

Life & Death in the danger zone

The body of Jimmy Kedoshim
lies next to the garden he was tending

Kibbutz Man Killed in Hamas Mortar Attack -Yuval Azoulay & Or Kashti

Jimmy Kedoshim, 48, a father of three, was killed in a Palestinian mortar attack as he was tending the garden of his home on Kibbutz Kfar Aza.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

80 years of Arab Rejectionism

The father of Arab rejectionism:
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Al-Husseini

From Dove to Hawk -Benny Morris

Studying the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict - in particular the pronouncements and positions of the Palestinian leadership from the 1920s on - left me chilled. Their rejection of any compromise was deep-seated, consensual and consistent. The Palestinian Arab "street" chanted "Idbah al-Yahud" (slaughter the Jews).

So when Arafat rejected Israeli Prime Minister Barak's two-state proposals at Camp David in July 2000, my surprise was not excessive.

Arafat's rejectionism and the election of Hamas persuaded me that no two-state solution was in the offing and that the Palestinians, as a people, were bent, as they had been throughout their history, on "recovering" all of Palestine.

It has become clear to me that from its start the struggle against the Zionist enterprise wasn't merely a national conflict between two peoples over a piece of territory, but a religious crusade against an infidel usurper.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Just say "no"

Condi, George Marshall and Israel -Editorial

It appears that President Bush and Secretary of State Rice have decided to ramp up the pressure on Israel to make life-and-death concessions to Mahmoud Abbas, a man whose serial incompetence got him run out of Gaza by Hamas.

Sixty years ago, Secretary of State George Marshall waged a last-gasp bureaucratic battle in an unsuccessful effort to dissuade President Truman from recognizing the coming State of Israel.

Fast forward to today, and Secretary Rice seems determined to pound the Israeli government into a series of untenable security concessions. It's a State Department tradition that no one should be proud of.
(Washington Times)

Canada gets it

Canadian Prime Minister Condemns Anti-Semitism -Mike De Souza

Prime Minister Stephen Harper [pictured above] warned: "anti-Israeli sentiment, [is] really just a thinly disguised veil for good old-fashioned anti-Semitism, which is completely unacceptable."

Harper said in an interview."We learned in the Second World War that those who would hate and destroy the Jewish people would ultimately hate and destroy the rest of us as well, and the same holds today."
(Ottawa Citizen-Canada)

Iran's birthday present for Israel

An Israeli urban artist belittles Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad: Israel a 'stinking corpse'

Iranian President Ahmadinejad said that the state of Israel is a "stinking corpse" that is destined to disappear...

"Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as having said [referring to Independence Day].

Ahmadinejad further stated that Israel "has reached the end like a dead rat after being slapped by the Lebanese" - referring to the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.
[Jerusalem Post]