Monday, June 30, 2008

Israel sets a dangerous precedent

'We too can demand release of men with blood on their hands'

Hamas said it was emboldened by Israel's decision to trade Samir Kuntar for Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.

Gaza strongman Mahmoud Zahar said Hamas would take advantage of this decision "to release people Israel accused of having blood on their hands like Samir Kuntar."

Critics of the Lebanese prisoner swap deal have argued that swapping bodies for Kuntar would offer terror organizations an even greater incentive to capture soldiers and less of a reason to keep captives alive.

Government spokesman Mark Regev would not comment on Zahar's remarks.
[Associated Press]


Hamas Hardens Stance -Yaakov Katz, Khaled Abu Toameh, & Ben Sales

An Israeli defense official explained, "They see what price we are willing to pay for bodies and think they can now get more for Shalit, who is alive."
(Jerusalem Post)

PA Leaders: Quntar a Hero -Itamar Marcus & Barbara Crook

According to the Palestinian Authority leadership, Samir Quntar epitomizes the ideal. Quntar, who crushed the head of four-year-old Eynat Haran with his rifle, is serving four life sentences for murder in an Israeli prison, but is almost certain to be freed in a prisoner swap with Hizbullah.

PA TV, controlled by Mahmoud Abbas, broadcast a picture honoring Quntar, depicted beside a map of Israel completely covered by the Palestinian flag.

Recent comments by PA leaders include: "The brave warrior, Samir Quntar." "The Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership are standing behind you." "Your patience and strength are a lesson for us."
(Palestinian Media Watch)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hizbullah deal sealed: Live terrorist released for dead Israelis

Pisoners to be swapped for Goldwasser, Regev -Herb Keinon

[T]he cabinet overwhelmingly agreed to swap notorious Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar for the bodies of captured IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev...

Olmert's decision to back the swap came even as the head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Mossad advised against accepting the deal, and even though Olmert said that it was almost certain that Regev and Goldwasser were not alive, but were either killed during the kidnapping attempt or died shortly thereafter from their wounds.

The prime minister added that Hizbullah likely abducted the two soldiers precisely for the purpose of releasing Kuntar...
[Jerusalem Post]

'Decision shows Hizbullah's strength'

The decision to release Samir Kuntar reflected Hizbullah's strength, the group said.

"What happened is a proof that the word of the resistance is the most faithful, strongest and supreme," Hizbullah's Executive Council chief Hashem Safieddine [said].
[Jerusalem Post]

Not a personal affair -Caroline Glick

On April 21, 1979, Kuntar and four other terrorists infiltrated Israel from Lebanon. Kuntar entered the Nahariya apartment belonging to Danny and Smadar Haran and their daughters, two-year-old Yael and Einat, a four-month-old baby.

Kuntar forced Danny and Einat to the beach below. There he shot Danny in the head and then drowned him in the sea. He crushed Einat's skull on a rock with his rifle butt. Smadar evaded capture by hiding in a crawlspace of their apartment with Yael. While trying to keep Yael silent, Smadar inadvertently suffocated her.

Kuntar has pledged that if released, he will join Hizbullah and continue his quest to bring about the destruction of Israel. He has no regrets.

It is impossible to know precisely how many Israelis will be killed in the future if the deals now on the table are approved. But past experience shows that dozens of Israelis now innocently going about their business will be murdered by the terrorists Israel releases. That Israel will pay a price in blood if the deals go through is a certainty.

Israel's troubles will not end until our leaders and our media finally accept that Israel's collective fate is not the personal affair of any one of us.
[Jerusalem Post]

Friday, June 27, 2008

Google Attacks Israel

Google Earth Wiping Israel Off the Map -Andre Oboler

Virtual Israel, as represented by Google Earth, is littered with orange dots, many of which claim to represent "Palestinian localities evacuated and destroyed after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war."

Thus, Israel is depicted as a state born out of colonial conquest rather than the return of a people from exile. Each dot links to the "Palestine Remembered" site, where further information advancing this narrative can be obtained. [Thus,]those wishing to explore Israel in Google Earth are immediately taken to a politically motivated narrative unrelated to their quest.

Many of the claims staked out in Google Earth present misinformation, and sites known to be ruins in 1946 are claimed to be villages destroyed in 1948. Arab villages which still exist today are listed as sites of destruction.

Google Earth is creating a falsification of history.

Google should remove the narrative and treat Israel as it treats every other country on the globe. Google Earth should be ideology free and not serve as a platform for indoctrination or a campaign to wipe Israel off the virtual map.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)


Google Earth View of Israel Highlights Palestinian "Nakba" -Stephanie Rubenstein

On Google Earth, the message "Nakba - The Palestinian Catastrophe" appears when users scroll over the orange dots that speckle locations across the entire map of Israel. "Israel is being specifically targeted.
(Jerusalem Post)

GOOD NEWS [August 31, '08]:

Anti-Israel Markings on Google Earth Now Filtered -Haviv Rettig

The default map of Israel on Google Earth no longer displays anti-Israel markings. Google was criticized in recent months for a series of orange markings overlaying the satellite map of Israel that were labeled "Nakba - The Palestinian Catastrophe." Clicking on them led to the anti-Israel website Palestine Remembered.
(Jerusalem Post)

Gaza: Iran's investment in the future

The Gaza Lull -Alex Fishman

Hamas is no longer smuggling huge amounts of weapons into Gaza. It simply doesn't need to. Since the Gaza pullout in 2005, more than 120 tons of explosives have made their way in; more than 1,000 machine guns, 32,000 Kalashnikovs, 4,000 RPG launchers, hundreds of rockets, dozens of anti-aircraft missiles, and several hundred mortar shells.

These are astronomical quantities for a military organization which has only 11,000 people who can operate weapons.

Today, weapon smuggling in Gaza is a professional, state-run business, sponsored largely by Iran. Tehran sees Hamas as a long-term investment - much like Hizbullah.
(Ynet News)

IDF: "If Hamas Wanted, Fire Would Cease" -Roni Sofer

[O]ne [Israel Defense Force] official said that "if they wanted to, they would stop them. Hamas has previously proven its total control over Gaza."
(Ynet News)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Israel asleep at the wheel? How many rockets does it take?

The Gaza truce was violated again on Thursday as terrorists fired a Kassam rocket at the western Negev. It was the third time the cease-fire was broken by Palestinians since it went into effect...
[Jerusalem Post]

PA Breaks Pledge to Israel -Avi Issacharoff

The Palestinian Authority has in recent days released at least three Hamas prisoners imprisoned in the West Bank for attempting to attack Israelis, despite a PA promise to Israel.


Gaza truce broken yet again

The Gaza truce was broken yet again on Friday morning as terrorists fired two mortar shells at southern Israel.

[The] attack prompted Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to issue an uncharacteristically sharp demand for an immediate military response and Deputy Premier Haim Ramon urged the cabinet to convene to discuss the truce agreement.
[Jerusalem Post]

A living sage on warfare

People tend to ignore the reality of evil

War is, in general, a horrible, ugly thing. Still, it may sometimes be necessary, and therefore justified and just.

There are two cases in which a war may be just:
1) Self-defense - a natural, inborn right of any living creature, and
2) Fighting against evil.

People tend to ignore the reality of evil. It is not just a relative and imaginary power; evil does exist, in many ways, and ignoring it or disapproving of it will never make it disappear.

There is a time to fight evil by any means, including war. Another very important consideration, even if it is a just war, is how effective will that particular war be. It may happen that a just war does not achieve its purpose, and will therefore cast a doubt about how it is conducted. These are the practical, or what one may call tactical, problems of war.
Even so, there are certainly times when war is just because the only way to fight a force of evil is to destroy it.
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Palestinian's break ceasefire; Israel stands passive

Palestinians in Gaza Fire Mortar at Israel Despite Cease-Fire -Shmulik Hadad

Palestinian gunmen in Gaza fired a mortar at Israel on Tuesday, in a breach of last Thursday's cease-fire agreement.
(Ynet News)

End of truce? Three Rockets hit Negev

Three Kassam rockets hit the western Negev in a second violation of a cease-fire since it went into effect last Thursday.

A statement from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office has condemned the attack as a "gross violation" of the truce, but did not say whether it would retaliate.
[Jerusalem Post]

Monday, June 23, 2008

For Palestinians, it ain't the economy

Lessons of the Second Intifada -Sever Plocker

The second Intifada, which started in 2000 and ended in 2004, disproved two commonly accepted assumptions: that economic prosperity brings peace, and that terrorism cannot be defeated by force. The second Intifada broke out at the zenith of Palestinian economy prosperity...

There is no arguing that Israel scored an overwhelming win in the second Intifada.
(Ynet News)

Hamas transforms & emerges

Hamas Acquires Secure Radio Technology

Israel Radio reported that Hamas has acquired new wireless technology to improve stealth communications in Gaza and that the Hamas force is being transformed into a regular army.
Hamas: Negotiations with Israel Out of the Question

A spokesman for Hamas said negotiations with Israel are out of the question and the Islamic movement will never recognize "the enemy."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ignoring the storm

The brewing storm -Editorial

[T]he Israeli cabinet meets to approve a renewal of the cease-fire in Gaza, which has proven so successful. There have been no rocket, mortar or shooting attacks into Israel since the tahadiyeh was proclaimed by Hamas six months ago.

The border crossings [are] functioning smoothly under the watchful eyes of Egyptian officials...

Thanks to intensified Egyptian efforts, the flow of illicit weaponry into the Strip has been reduced to a trickle.

The Islamist government has never been more unpopular... Polls indicate that in elections, a reformist-oriented Fatah ticket is expected to capture a majority in the Palestinian parliament.

Meanwhile, Gilad Schalit's book, In Hamas Captivity, tops the best-seller lists.

This scenario is not, sadly, the way events are likely to play out.

[I]t is far from clear that Israel's dysfunctional cabinet exhausted a long list of measures that could have been pursued. These measures might have included ongoing large-scale military incursions and relentless pursuit of Hamas leaders so as to diminish their capacity to govern.

Instead, we may be witnessing the establishment of a nascent Palestinian state uncompromisingly committed to the destruction of Israel. With Gaza in its grip, the Islamists will turn their full attention to the West Bank.

Israeli decision-makers have purchased temporary calm...that comes at the cost of a devastating storm brewing over the horizon.
[Jerusalem Post]

Glick: "Israel's darkest week"

Israel's darkest week -Caroline Glick

The government's liquidation sale of Israel's strategic assets opened officially this week. Iran's proxies have pounced on the merchandise. Israel is discarding its strategic assets in the face of the burgeoning threat of nuclear annihilation.

When it has built up its forces, or when its Iranian overlords give the order, Hamas will again attack southern Israel. And when it reengages, it can be assumed that it will do so with a vastly expanded missile range.

The agreement also divests Israel of its former ability to isolate Hamas diplomatically. [T]he direct consequence of Israel's capitulation to Hamas is that no one in either the Arab world or the West today will agree to isolate or boycott Hamas.

Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas - who cannot even travel to Nablus without IDF protection - is not approaching Hamas as an equal, but as a supplicant.

If Hamas holds its fire for six months, then Israel will be obliged to end its counter-terror operations in [the West Bank]. [I]f Hamas keeps its powder dry until January, Israel will effectively enable it to assert its control over Judea and Samaria and so place Iran in control of the outskirts of Jerusalem and Netanya.

Rather than acknowledge that they have likely signed [Gilad Schalit's] death warrant, the government insists that it's not done capitulating. It will begin begging Hamas to accept hundreds of Palestinian murderers jailed in Israeli prisons in exchange for Schalit next Tuesday.

In Israel's 60-year history, there is no precedent for the government's actions this week. Olmert enjoy[s] the distinction of being the worst prime minister in Israeli history.
[Jerusalem Post]

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jimmy Carter's dream come tru[c]e

Siege Versus Catapults -Amir Oren

Both in theory and in practice, this cease-fire accords Hamas equal status and international validity.

Israel flinched from engagement and settled for a stalemate - a stalemate that is a defeat. In the past few months, a biblical-style war was waged around Gaza: siege versus catapults. The catapults won.

Israel's siege was intended to avert a large-scale crisis reaching the point of hunger, while at the same time denying Hamas the possibility of showing economic development. The operation succeeded, the patient did not die, but the physician was the first to get tired, before the population in Gaza got fed up with Hamas and blamed the organization for its plight.

A Deal with the Devil -Sever Plocker

Without making any diplomatic-ideological-strategic concession, Hamas was recognized by Israel as the legitimate master of the Gaza Strip, the authentic representative of the Palestinian people...

This is a priceless gift for Hamas. Without it, it would have capitulated. We were within reach of this.
(Ynet News)

Remaking Anne Frank as terrorist

Exploiting Anne Frank -Alvin H. Rosenfeld

In January, a stenciled image of a smiling Anne Frank wearing a red and white kaffiyeh appeared on the walls of buildings in Amsterdam. Soon after, an enterprising Dutch firm transferred this image to designer T-shirts and postcards.

The face of Amsterdam's most famous martyr was made over to look like Yasser Arafat's daughter. In an age of resurgent anti-Semitism, respect for even the Jewish dead has become a dwindling commodity.
(Weekly Standard)

Nun fights for Israel

Nun Rises to Israel's Defense -Samuel G. Freedman

Three years ago, Sister Ruth Lautt [pictured above] founded Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East, vociferously speaking out for Israel's right to self-defense and security. Fair Witness has specialized in behind-the-scenes infighting at religious denominational meetings. A former litigator with a Manhattan law firm, Sister Ruth works the floor at religious conventions, helping opponents of divestment draft motions...

"We are informed by the Christian mandate to stand for justice and to raise our voices when we see someone being falsely accused," said Sister Ruth, 44. "The issue isn't divestment. Divestment is a symptom, a symptom of bias against the State of Israel and an attempt to lay the blame on the shoulders of Israel."

"I need to question how people feel they have the right in the name of peace and justice, to tell other people not to try to preserve their own lives," she says. "You're not obligated to lay down and die."
(New York Times)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Reflections on "truce" with Hamas

Joyful young Hamas supporter flashes the 'victory' sign
and plays the victim [see chain]

Trying a Truce First -Ari Shavit

According to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Israel and Hamas are on a collision course and apparently, in the end, there will be no getting around a military operation in Gaza. However, since the repercussions of an operation could be grave, it is necessary first to try the other alternative - so that every mother of an Israeli soldier, every Israeli civilian in the Gaza envelope, and Egyptian President Mubarak will know that Israel did not choose a military move before giving a chance to a diplomatic move. The Israeli leadership had to try the truce before opening fire.

Israel's Truce with Hamas Is a Victory for Iran -Michael B. Oren

The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas represents a historic accomplishment for the jihadist forces most opposed to peace...

Israel never mounted the rolling, multi-month operation in Gaza that the IDF had planned. Like Hizbullah in 2006, Hamas won because it did not lose. Its leaders still walked Gaza's streets freely while children in Sderot and other Israeli border towns cowered in bomb shelters.

In exchange for giving its word to halt rocket attacks and weapons smuggling, Hamas receives the right to monitor the main border crossings into Gaza and to enforce a truce in the West Bank. If quiet is maintained, then Israel will be required to accept a cease-fire in the West Bank as well.

Hamas initiated a vicious war against Israel, destroyed and disrupted myriad Israeli lives, and has been rewarded with economic salvation and international prestige. Tellingly, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will soon travel to Gaza for reconciliation talks. Abbas' move signifies the degree to which Hamas now dominates Palestinian politics. It testifies, moreover, to another Iranian triumph as the primary sponsor of Hamas.
(Wall Street Journal)

The Hamas Interest in the Tahdiya with Israel -Jonathan Dahoah Halevy

The tahdiya agreement for a lull is an important achievement for Hamas. Hamas will gain the recognition it wants as the legitimate ruler of Gaza.

Another important objective for Hamas is winning the Palestinian presidential election, which will be held when Mahmoud Abbas finishes his term of office in December. The cease-fire grants Hamas a golden opportunity to expand its military build-up for the next round of terror and violence.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Israeli government elevates Hamas; Ramon speaks out

Vice Premier Haim Ramon reacted harshly to reports of an imminent Gaza cease-fire, calling it a victory for radical Islam.

"I am against a truce, because it is another triumph for radical Islam. It won in Lebanon and now it is about to win in Gaza. So what is the point of being moderate? Why would Hamas be interested in a resolution?" said Ramon at a Haifa University conference.

Zevulun Orlev called the agreement "a balloon that will burst" and added that "[a] ceasefire agreement without Gilad Schalit is a moral crime that conveys the message of abandoning the kidnapped soldier to his fate."
[Jerusalem Post]

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Hamas is Fatah with beards"

A Year Reshapes Hamas and Gaza -Ethan Bronner

The notion of Gaza as an enduringly separate entity is solidifying, making it less likely that Palestinians might agree on peace with Israel.

Jawad Tibi, a health minister under the Fatah government, said, "Hamas is Fatah with beards."
(New York Times)

Working with nice guys?

U.S.-Trained Weapons Expert Teaching Hamas Forces

Captain Fares al-Ashi, a weapons expert who once received training in South Carolina, is teaching a group of Hamas-controlled policemen about explosives.
(People's Daily-China)

US Trained Forces Not Fighting Terror -Yaakov Katz

[T]op Israeli defense officials and officers slammed two American-backed initiatives to deploy additional Palestinian forces in the West Bank, saying they are allowing terrorism to flourish.

Defense officials say that since 600 PA soldiers trained by U.S. defense contractors in Jordan were allowed to deploy in Jenin last month, there has been an increase in terrorist activity in the city...

Terror suspects arrested by PA forces were usually released in a few days or just hours later...
(Jerusalem Post)

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Linkage" is a Middle East myth

The Myth of Linkage -Martin Kramer [pictured below]

I have identified nine clusters of Middle Eastern conflicts. [T]hey are independent symptoms; one conflict does not cause another, and its "resolution" cannot resolve another.

Why are there still people who see one particular conflict as "the Middle East conflict," and who believe that in seeking to resolve it, they are pursuing "the Middle East peace process"?

The concept of linkage requires the belief that the Middle East is a system, like Europe, and that its conflicts are related to one another.

By any objective reading, the Middle East is not analogous to Europe, it has multiple sources of conflict, and even as one conflict moves to resolution, another may be inflamed. This is because the Middle East is not a single system of interlocking parts.
(Middle East Strategy at Harvard)

Glick declares "strategic victory"

Peace with friends -Caroline Glick

There's one thing you have to admire about the Iranians - they always tell you just what they think of you.

[T]he day after Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki completed his three-day visit to Iran, his envoy to the Islamic Republic received a care package - delivered to his front door. When [the] Iraqi Ambassador's driver opened the package, he discovered it was a bomb. In their best Farsi imitation of the Godfather, Iranian police spokesmen claimed that the package was not a bomb - but aquarium equipment.

Media reports of the visit included no details of what Maliki told his Iranian hosts. But given their attempt to assassinate his ambassador the day after he left, it can be assumed that the Iranians were uninterested in a rational settlement of any differences. And indeed, it can be assumed that Maliki didn't mince any words as he discussed the war Iran is waging against his people.

The Iranians were absolutely clear that from their perspective, if the Iraqis sign an accord on the long-term deployment of US forces in Iraq, there will be hell to pay.

While in its coverage of the negotiations, the Western media has concentrated on statements by Iranian-backed Iraqi lawmakers voicing their staunch opposition to the agreement, most Iraqis support it. They simply want to ensure that the agreement that is eventually signed protects their interests as a country. [T]his is why the Iraqi government has sent delegations to Germany, Japan and South Korea to listen to what they have to say about their experience with long-term US troop presence on their soil.

The strategic agreement now being negotiated between the US and the Iraqi government is a watershed event. Five years after Saddam Hussein's regime was brought down by the US-led coalition, a democratically elected Iraqi government has emerged that views its strategic interests as aligned with the US's. Its forces are fighting side by side with US forces toward the shared goal of routing al-Qaida and Iranian-backed terror militias in Iraq. Indeed Maliki himself led the Iraqi assault on the Iranian controlled militias in Basra. Two months later, Iran had been routed not only in Basra, but in Sadr City in Baghdad where Iraqi and American forces fought side-by-side in street after street.

So five years after the fall of Saddam, a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional democracy in Iraq has emerged that views the US as its primary ally.

This is what a strategic victory looks like.

[T]he meaning of developments in Iraq, the most significant in our neighborhood since the Six Day War, has escaped the notice of most Americans.
[Jerusalem Post]

Returning to Joseph's Tomb

Joseph's Tomb Should Be on Agenda -Nadav Shragai

Israeli negotiators should tell the Palestinians that Jews should be able to return to Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai told the Knesset. [I]n September 2000, the Palestinians demolished and looted the site, removing any sign of Jewish presence and turning it into a refuse dump.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Stranger than fiction

In Europe, Debate Over Islam and Virginity -Elaine Sciolino & Souad Mekhennet

[F]or the patient, a 23-year-old French student of Moroccan descent, the 30-minute procedure represented the key to a new life: the illusion of virginity.

Like an increasing number of Muslim women in Europe, she had a hymenoplasty, a restoration of her hymen, the vaginal membrane that normally breaks in the first act of intercourse. The service is widely advertised on the Internet; medical tourism packages are available to countries like Tunisia where it is less expensive.

The French College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians opposes the procedure on moral, cultural and health grounds.
[New York Times]

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"From oranges to software"

People vs. Dinosaurs -Thomas L. Friedman

The [Israeli] economy is exploding from the bottom up. It has a business culture that strongly encourages individual imagination and adaptation, where being a nonconformist is the norm.

While you were sleeping, Israel has gone from oranges to software. Israel, with 7 million people, attracted almost as much venture capital as China: 1.3 billion.

Ahmadinejad predict[s] that Israel will disappear. But Iran's economic and military clout today is largely dependent on extracting oil from the ground. Israel's economic and military power today is entirely dependent on extracting intelligence from its people.

Israel's economic power is endlessly renewable. Iran's is a dwindling resource based on fossil fuels made from dead dinosaurs. So who will be here in 20 years? I'll bet on the people who bet on their people - not the people who bet on dead dinosaurs.
(New York Times)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Will Israel blow it again?

Gaza Going Wrong -Elliot Chodoff

Israel['s] leadership is contemplating a “medium-size” military operation against the terrorists in Gaza, to be followed by a cease fire. [I]t will be the wrong operation, for the wrong objectives, and will result in a predictable failure.

Having decided to accept a cease fire with Hamas, the Israeli leadership needs to demonstrate that this decision was made out of strength, not weakness. So a “medium-size’ military operation will precede the truce, showing that we are not afraid to fight a few half-hearted battles. This “strategy” is strongly reminiscent of that of the failed war in Lebanon in 2006...

Of course, when the operation is concluded, and the IDF returns to its bases, Hamas will declare victory regardless of the kill ratios, since it will have survived the experience.

A simple fact seems to have eluded the Israeli leadership: when you actually win, you don’t have to convince the other side of the fact, and you don’t have to make excuses, either.

[T]he Israeli government is apparently incapable of making the difficult decision to do what it must to provide security for the thousands of citizens who have been suffering under sustained rocket attacks out of Gaza for the past seven years. What is required is a full-scale military ground operation, whose objective is to disrupt Hamas’ terrorism, kill many terrorists with as few IDF and noncombatant casualties as possible, and get the forces back, prepared to do it again if the message wasn’t understood.

This may not be the clean, neat kind of war that Western society prefers, but it is the only way to secure Southern Israel against an armed organization that is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish State.
[Mideast: On Target]

Saturday, June 07, 2008

G*d in the details...and rested on the seventh day

Soviet Weapons Proved Ineffective in Arab Hands -Andrei Murtazin

Why did the Arabs suffer such an overwhelming defeat in the Six-Day War that broke out on June 5, 1967? In the early hours of June 5, an Israeli attack destroyed 400 aircraft of the Egyptian Air Force in one go.

Communications is another major reason for the Egyptian Army's defeat. At the lowest level, it had Soviet communication equipment, whereas the general headquarters and the command had bought communication systems in the West, and they were completely under U.S. control.

Yegorin recalls: "At the X-hour, the Americans (their ships were located in the Mediterranean) switched off all communication lines linking the general headquarters with the Sinai-based troops." In other words, the U.S. paralyzed the Egyptian forces at the right moment.
(RIA Novosti-Russia)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Mofaz spits fire at Iran

Israel will attack -Associated Press

Israel will attack Iran if it doesn't abandon its nuclear program, Minister Shaul Mofaz was quoted as saying. The remarks were much more explicit than anything [Prime Minister] Olmert himself has said.

Mofaz also said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "will disappear before Israel does."
[Jerusalem Post]

Jerusalem Day

Jerusalem Day celebrations held June 2nd including a float featuring the head of Israel's founding father,
David Ben-Gurion, and a giant model map of Israel

First strike against America

Palestinian Terror Stretches Back to RFK Killing -Paul Kujawsky

June 5 is the 40th anniversary of the first act of Palestinian terrorism against America - the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by Sirhan Sirhan [pictured above]. While Kennedy's 1968 murder is a defining moment in American history, his killer's motive has faded from memory.

The war [of Independence] drove Sirhan's family into the Jordanian-occupied Old City of Jerusalem. The child was deeply affected by the war. He grew up with a bitter hatred of Israel and Zionists.

Sirhan hated America for its support of Israel. His anger gradually fixed on Robert Kennedy, who promised to send 50 fighter jets to Israel if elected president. He wrote in his notebook: "Kennedy must die by June 5th" -- the first anniversary of the Six-Day War.

After his arrest, Sirhan said: "I can explain it. I did it for my country."

Palestinian terrorists recognized Sirhan as one of them. On March 1, 1973, with Sirhan serving a life sentence (California having invalidated [the] death penalty in 1972), PLO terrorists invaded the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, taking [three western] hostages. The terrorists demanded a prisoner exchange: They wanted the release of Sirhan. When President Richard Nixon refused to negotiate, PLO chief Yasser Arafat personally ordered the murder of the three diplomats.

Today, Sirhan is 64 years old. Kennedy would have been 83.
(Los Angeles Jewish Journal)

"New Face" on Islam

The New Face of Islam -Christopher Dickey & Owen Matthews

Important Muslim thinkers, including some on whom bin Laden depended for support, have rejected his vision of jihad.

[A] new vision of Islam is taking shape. Momentum is building within the Muslim world to re-examine what had seemed immutable tenets of the faith...and to open wide the doors of interpretation that some schools of Islam tried to close centuries ago.

Intellectually and theologically, the most ambitious work is being done by a group of scholars based in Ankara, Turkey, who expect to publish new editions of the Hadith before the end of the year.

Muslim Seminary in India Issues Fatwa Against Terror -Bappa Majumdar

The ultra-conservative Darool-Uloom Deoband Muslim seminary in New Delhi, India, issued a fatwa against terrorism. Thousands of clerics and students cheered as rector Habibur Rehman read out a statement: "The religion of Islam has come to wipe out all kinds of terrorism."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Jordanian option re-emerges

Jordan's Palestinian Queen Rania and King Abdullah

Time for Radical Pragmatism -Thomas L. Friedman

Israel cannot cede control over any part of the West Bank without being assured that someone credible is in charge. Rockets from the West Bank could hit, and close, Israel's international airport. That is an intolerable risk.

The only way to balance the Palestinians' need for sovereignty now with Israel's need for a withdrawal now, but without creating a security vacuum, is to enlist a trusted third party - Jordan - to help the Palestinians control whatever West Bank land is ceded to them.
(New York Times)

Abbas' about face: addicted to breaking promises

Abbas calls for dialogue with Hamas despite previous position -Associated Press

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday called for renewed dialogue with Hamas, in an about-face after insisting for a year he would talk to the group only if they give up control of Gaza.

Hamas, which seized Gaza by force last year, immediately welcomed Abbas' offer...
[Jerusalem Post]

VideoBite: stunning Daniel Pipes interview

A wonderful 7 minute interview with Daniel Pipes...ok, it's not exactly a soundbite, but it's worth the investment.
Click on the graphic above

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Glick hails Pope & Catholic Church

Our World -Caroline Glick

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suffered a humiliating setback this week in his quest for international legitimacy. Ahmadinejad is expected to arrive in Rome this week to participate in a UN summit.

Ahmadinejad was hoping that while in the Italian capital he would be able to have a photo-op with Pope Benedict XVI. To secure the meeting, Ahmadinejad - who has called for all nations to convert to Islam or be destroyed - has been sweet talking the Vatican for months.

In his latest move, during a meeting in April with Archbishop Jean-Paul Gobel, the Vatican's representative in Iran, Ahmadinejad referred to the Vatican as a "positive force for justice and peace."

But Benedict was unmoved by Ahmadinejad's flattery. His request for an audience with the pontiff was unceremoniously rejected.
[Jerusalem Post]

William Shakespeare invoked against UN

UN Targets World Union for Progressive Judaism -Anne Bayefsky

More than 3,000 non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, are officially accredited by the UN, entitling these groups to enter UN premises, get access to meetings and decision-makers, and speak at UN bodies like the Human Rights Council. However, the UN is poised to revoke these basic access rights from the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), which represents more than 1.7 million reform, progressive, liberal and reconstructionist Jews all over the world. The WUPJ offers a rare but tenacious voice that confronts Islamic human rights abuses at the UN at every turn.

Bureaucrats at the UN trace the problem back to a Jan. 24, 2008, session of the Human Rights Council. As the council conducted its predetermined witch hunt against Israel, WUPJ representative David Littman referred to Hamas' genocidal charter. He began three times, quoting the charter's words that "Israel will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it," and calling upon the council to invoke the Genocide Convention.

Each time, the council president interrupted and warned him to "focus on the issue." Littman stood his ground: "The issue is what Hamas and the government in Gaza wishes to do to Israel." Bang, bang, bang went the gavel. Stymied, Littman recalled his Shakespeare and said: "There is a general malaise in the air. A feeling that something is rotten in the state of this council." Those words were "disrespectful" to the Human Rights Council, the diplomats from the Muslim world declared.
(New York Daily News)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Palestinian psychiatrist praises Israel

The Gaza Breakdown -Mark Matthews

Psychiatrist Eyad el-Sarraj [pictured above], director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, speaks with admiration approaching awe of Israelis' kindness during his bone marrow treatment two years ago at Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv. Other Palestinians there got similar attention, he says, adding, "This is something I will never forget."

El-Sarraj compares how he was treated in an Israeli hospital with the "viciousness" displayed in Gaza during factional fighting a year ago. In the heat of battle, wounded fighters were pursued inside hospitals and killed, he said.
(Baltimore Sun)

Militant Islam infects young Israeli Arabs

Israeli Arabs Charged with Planning to Kidnap, Kill Soldier -Yuval Azoulay

The Israel Security Agency arrested three Israeli Arabs on suspicion that they planned to kidnap an IDF soldier, murder him, and demand the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the body.

The men are Amir Nafar, 20, who studies sharia [Islamic religious law] at a Jordanian university, Iman Kadura, 26, and Yassin Hinawi, 19.

Four Arab Israeli Men Indicted for Burning Home of Independence Day Torch-Lighter

-Mijal Grinberg

Four Bedouin men were indicted Monday in the Beersheba District Court for setting fire to the house of Sana Elbaz, on the day after the Bedouin woman took part in the Israel Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony. While Sana was at home with her two children when her house was set on fire, they managed to escape unharmed.


Being Christian in Gaza

Assailants Beat Guards, Steal Bus from Christian School in Gaza

Assailants beat up guards and stole a bus from a Christian school in Gaza run by the Baptist Church, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said.

Since Hamas came to power a year ago, attacks on Gaza's 3,000 Christians have increased.
(AP/International Herald Tribune)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

New York's Grand Parade for Israel's 60th

New York Celebrates Israel's 60th Birthday -Benjamin Sarlin

Thousands of New Yorkers turned out today to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday at the Salute to Israel Parade along Fifth Avenue.

Folk dancers, high school marching bands, and singers entertained the crowd. One performance that drew particular attention came from the dozens of shofar blowers who filled the air with trumpetlike blasts from their instruments, made from rams' horns.
[The Sun-NY]
[Above photo credits: Enid Alvarez [top] & Konrad Fiedler]
[Photo credit below: Bruce with technological assistance from Danielle VB]