Monday, September 29, 2008

Winning on the Al-Qaeda front

Muslims Reject al-Qaeda and Bin Laden -Simon Scott Plummer

Professor Audrey Cronin [pictured above] encourages Western nations to focus on the "plentiful weaknesses" of al-Qaeda.

Bin Laden has been weakened by allied military action in Afghanistan and tighter surveillance of international money transfers. More significant in the longer term is the criticism voiced within Islamic circles about the morality of what he is doing. Cronin argues that the best counter-terrorist policies are "those consciously synergistic with a group's natural tendency to implode."

A government's top priority should be "not to win people's hearts and minds, but rather to amplify the natural tendency of violent groups to lose them."

The eclipse of al-Qaeda does not mean that it is no longer a threat. Nevertheless, the Islamic world is turning against it.

UN: enabling jihad

Germany: Iran's UN Speech "Blatant Anti-Semitism"

Germany's foreign minister blasted the Iranian president's speech at the UN General Assembly as "blatant anti-Semitism" and urged member states to join in condemning it.

Israel to UN: Settlements are not the issue

During a UN Security Council meeting called at the request of Arab states to discuss Israeli settlement-building, Israeli UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev noted that a stranger visiting the UN might suppose from the debate that Hamas violence, missile attacks fired over Israel's border, the buildup of Hizbullah forces in Lebanon, and Iran's nuclear ambitions posed no problem to the Mideast peace process.

"While settlements remain a delicate issue, they are not the principal one," she said.
(AP/Jerusalem Post)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ahmadinejad's Rabbis

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb participated in a "dialogue" dinner
with Ahmadinejad last week

Anti-Zionist Neturei Karta Rabbi's
with Ahmadinejad in 2006

US rabbi dines with Ahmadinejad -Allison Hoffman

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb joined about 300 people - including Mennonite pastors and a radical Muslim cleric - for a traditional breaking of the Ramadan fast on Thursday evening before Iranian President Ahmadinejad left New York.

Outside, several hundred people gathered waving Israeli flags and signs reading
"No feast for the beast."

[T]he Iranian leader told the US General Assembly that Israel was on its way to collapse and could not escape from the "cesspool" of violence "created by itself and supporters."
[Jerusalem Post]

Guess who's coming to dinner -Leslie Palma-Simoncek

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League said, "breaking bread with President Ahmadinejad is a perversion of the search for peace and an appalling betrayal of religious values."
[Staten Island Live]

During the dinner with Ahmadinejad a New Jersey rally was held in front of Ten Thousand Villages, a store in Highland Park owned by the Menonnite Central Committe, one of the groups sponsoring the dinner.
[Speaking: Andrew Getraer, head of Rutgers University's Hillel]
[Photo: Andrew Miller/Courier News]

Christian Embassy blasts 'dialogue dinner' -Etgar Lefkovits & Allsion Hoffman

A prominent Christian organization blasted a group of Mennonite and Quaker leaders who are hosting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a dialogue dinner in New York City, and said that they would always be associated with "appeasement of the wicked."
[Jerusalem Post]

Teaching the MidEast to American children

Study: U.S. Textbooks Misrepresent Jews and Israel -Haviv Rettig

American elementary and high school textbooks contain many "gross misrepresentations" of Judaism, Christianity and Israel, according to a five-year study released this week by the San Francisco-based Institute for Jewish and Community Research.

In examining the 28 most widely-used history, geography and social studies textbooks in America, researchers Dr. Gary Tobin and Dennis Ybarra found some 500 instances of "errors, inaccuracies and even propaganda."

Among the "outrageous misrepresentations" was the statement in the textbook The World that "Christianity was started by a young Palestinian named Jesus." "Textbooks include negative stereotypes of Jews, Judaism and Israel," the authors write.

According to Tobin, "you're much more likely to learn about Jewish terrorism before the founding of Israel than about terrorism against Israel since that time."

Among the claims in the textbooks are that Arab countries never initiated wars against Israel, Arab nations desire peace while Israel does not, and that it was Israel that placed Palestinians in refugee camps in Arab lands, not Arab governments.

The publishers are not bigots, Tobin emphasizes. "I learned in graduate school that you should never try to explain something with conspiracy when you can account for it with incompetence."
(Jerusalem Post)

Bush holding Israel back?

Israel Sought U.S. Nod to Bomb Iran Nukes -Jonathan Steele

Israel gave serious thought this spring to launching a military strike on Iran's nuclear sites but was told by President Bush that he would not support it and did not expect to revise that view for the rest of his presidency, senior European diplomatic sources have told the Guardian.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Memorial video tribute to Paul Newman

Fighting jihad online

Anti-Israel Facebook Groups Infiltrated -Paul Lungen

A group calling itself the Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) took control of an Arabic-language Facebook group which set a goal of finding one million people who hate Israel within 90 days. The JIDF deleted more than 55,000 group members.

Another Facebook group, "Eliminate Israel from Being," saw more than 5,000 members deleted after JIDF took it over.

Facebook later returned control of the site to its administrators.

JIDF said it took the action after Facebook staff ignored requests to remove the groups, which had published content the JIDF said violated Facebook's own terms of service which prohibit content deemed threatening or hateful.
(Canadian Jewish News)

Palestinians would rather swim in their own, than cooperate with Israel

Palestinian Sewage Endangers Reservoirs -Assaf Shmueli

Raw wastewater from the West Bank cities of Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin and their adjacent villages are pumped either to sewage pits or local treatment facilities, where they undergo little to no treatment before being pumped out to major West Bank streams.

The West Bank cities have several treatment infrastructure plans in the works, but most are still only on paper. Creating an infrastructure which could both remedy the existing situation and avert future pollution is expected to cost $200 million, and Israel, international environmental groups and the World Bank are willing to foot the bill. The problem is that the Palestinians see any cooperation on this issue as "collaboration" with Israel.
(Ynet News)

Terrorist with a BMW?

Jerusalem's Latest Suicidal Driver -Tim McGirk

Jerusalem over the past year has witnessed an Arab who went on a shooting spree in a Jewish religious school, two others who ran amok with bulldozers in heavy traffic, and this week a 19-year-old Arab slammed his BMW into a cluster of Israeli soldiers, injuring over a dozen.

Here's an Arab youth with a death wish, and he's driving a BMW? We can scratch economic hardship off the list as a possible motive.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Professional Video from Paul McCartney's Tel Aviv concert

Concert Review: Paul McCartney in Israel

Paul McCartney, Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv -Donald Macintyre

The Hebrew was on the basic side but no less appreciated for that by the crowd of 45,000 in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park last night. "Shalom Tel Aviv, shana tova," ("happy new year"), Sir Paul McCartney told them before wheeling into "Hello Goodbye".

But as one of the great audience wooers of modern times he kept at it, striking a special chord with "ha shir haze mukdash le Linda" ("This song is for Linda") before sitting at the piano on a huge stage to pay a widower's homage to his first wife with "My Love".

But by the time he got to "Here Comes The Sun" and "Back In Ihe USSR", an hour into the set, the crowd were warmed up – with even the paramedics dancing on the grass. They joined in with "Let It Be" and "Get Back" and when he exhorted them to "ashiru iti Alan Jude" ("sing with me Hey Jude") they were well up for it.

By the time he got to "I Saw Her Standing There" they were rocking. "You're so cool tonight," he told them appreciatively.
[The Independent-UK]

Amateur video of Paul in Tel Aviv

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Paul McCartney Israel concert: first photos, initial song

Paul's historic performance in Tel Aviv

McCartney's concert kicks off in Tel Aviv -David Brinn

Over 40,000 were in attendance when former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney's concert kicked off in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park Thursday night with "Hello Goodbye."

McCartney greeted over 40,000 eager fans in attendance with a hearty "Shana Tova [Happy New Year]."
[Jerusalem Post]

McCartneymania: Paul McCartney thrills Israel


For the past week, McCartney has topped news bulletins across Israel, almost crowding out reports on the Kadima Party primaries or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's predictably anti-Semitic speech at the U.N.

Radio stations have been blasting Beatles marathons.
[All photos Associated Press]
[Below, Paul with fans while touring Jerusalem; Above & below, Paul in Dan Hotel lobby, Tel Aviv]


Good Day Sunshine! -Editorial

Promoter Dudu Zarzevsky's assertion that this is the "biggest cultural event that Israel has ever seen" is not just hyperbole.

Instead of issuing threats and calling for boycotts of the show, why doesn't the Arab world organize concerts in which friendship and harmony are the main themes? What if tens of thousands of Palestinians or Syrians gathered in Ramallah or Gaza City or Damascus, and sang along to songs like "All You Need is Love" and "Let it Be"?


[Jerusalem Post]

McCartney warms up in Tel Aviv -David Brinn

Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney gave strollers in Yarkon Park a treat when he took to the stage at the site of his Thursday night concert and performed a short sound check.

[P]assersby could hear the former Beatle run through a number of songs including 'Get Back,' 'Let it Be' and 'Here, There and Everywhere.'

"According to The Jerusalem Post this morning, I may not be the real Paul McCartney, so I just wanted to let you know that it really is me," he said with a smile on his face. McCartney was referring to the story in Wednesday's Post about the 40-year-old rumor that he died in a car accident in 1966.

McCartney will be accompanied by his personal chef/dietitian, who will team up with the hotel's executive chef Ovad Alfia to prepare [vegetarian] meals.

Reshet Bet and 88 FM will broadcast the show live.
[Jerusalem Post]
[this article includes video link; click on title bar above]

Top Palestinian threatens violence; who's surprised?

Ahmed Qureia: Violence "Legitimate"

Palestinian chief negotiator Ahmed Qureia [said] "[i]f the talks reached a dead end, what do we do? Capitulate? Resistance in all its forms is a legitimate right."

Asked whether he was saying the Palestinians might resume suicide bombings and attacks inside Israel, Qureia responded: "All forms of resistance."
(Reuters/Ynet News)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Paul McCartney arrives in Israel [with video link]

Paul McCartney strolls along Tel Aviv's
oceanside promenade

Speaking Words of Wisdom - Interview with Paul McCartney -David Horovitz

Q: How worried have you been about the Islamists' threats - saying you shouldn't come and play here?

McCartney: You have to realize that any high profile event brings with it some worries. But...I think that most people understand that I'm quite apolitical and that my message is a global one and that it is a peaceful one.
(Jerusalem Post)
[Photo at right: Paul jokes with press in his hotel's lobby]

See video: McCartney Arrives in Israel for Concert
(BBC News)

Reflections on Iran

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Triumph -Bret Stephens

A decade ago, it was former president Rafsanjani [pictured above with Ahmandinejad] who personified the Iranian hard line.

He green-lighted terrorist attacks on Jewish targets in Argentina; he refused to revoke the death sentence on novelist Salman Rushdie; a German court fingered him in the assassinations of Iranian-Kurdish dissidents in a Berlin restaurant.

Now Rafsanjani is often spoken of as a "pragmatist" and a "moderate" compared to Ahmadinejad.
(Wall Street Journal)

Remember Iran? -Editorial

We don't know if any mix of sanctions and rewards can persuade Iran's leaders to abandon their nuclear program. But without such an effort, we are certain that Tehran will keep pressing ahead, while the voices arguing for military action will only get louder.
(New York Times)

Egyptian dissident speaks out

Egyptian Dissident Lobbies for Conditions on U.S. Aid -Nora Boustany

Saad Eddin Ibrahim [pictured above], Egypt's most prominent exiled dissident, is lobbying members of Congress to attach conditions to America's $1.5 billion annual aid to Egypt to force the Cairo government to foster greater political and media freedoms and a more independent judiciary.

In December, Congress passed a bill to withhold $100 million in military aid until Egypt stopped the smuggling of weapons into Gaza from Sinai, implemented judicial reforms and curbed torture by the state police.
President Hosni Mubarak was enraged by the conditions.
(Washington Post)

Building peace on a firm foundation

A Peace from the Bottom Up -Jackson Diehl

The Bush administration's attempt to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal has quietly expired. Nor is it likely to revive anytime soon.

This isn't an argument for the next administration to write off Middle East diplomacy, but to try a different approach, one that focuses on building a foundation for peace from the ground up...

The timeline for success would be measured in years and the goal would be the construction of a healthy and vibrant Palestinian civil society - that is, independent media, courts, political parties and nongovernmental organizations that could stand behind a settlement with Israel. Natan Sharansky has been proposing this course for years.
(Washington Post)

Palestinians greet new Israeli government with a cartoon

PA Daily Portrays Upcoming Prime Minister with Blood-Stained Knife
-Itamar Marcus & Barbara Crook

The PA's official newspaper published a caricature showing Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni with a dagger and blood-stained hands next to a white peace dove with its head in a noose.
(Palestinian Media Watch/IMRA)

Monday, September 22, 2008

New York: Ahmadinejad go home

Everyone Needs to Worry About Iran
-Richard Holbrooke, R. James Woolsey, Dennis B. Ross, & Mark D. Wallace

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the United Nations in New York this week. The challenge Iran poses is very real and not a partisan matter. We share a common concern - Iran's drive to be a nuclear state. A nuclear-armed Iran would pose a direct threat to America's national security.

Facing such a threat, Americans must put aside their political differences and send a clear and united message that a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable.
(Wall Street Journal)
Mr. Holbrooke is a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Mr. Woolsey is a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Ross was a special Middle East coordinator for President Clinton. Mr. Wallace was a representative of the U.S. to the UN for management and reform.

UN protestors: Stop Iran -Dana Zimmerman

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Manhattan to protest Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s participation in the United Nations General Assembly. The rally was attended by Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, Natan Sharnasky, and Elie Wiesel [pictured above].

In his speech, Wiesel [a] Holocaust survivor and acclaimed author said Iran’s president should be treated as a “persona non grata” worldwide. Wiesel also urged all UN delegations to leave the room the moment Ahmadinejad takes the podium.
[YNet News]

Friday, September 19, 2008

Iran's jihad exhibition: deadly art

Iran Displays Salman Rushdie's Coffin -Tom Gross

Author Salman Rushdie's coffin was displayed at the "International Exhibition of the Koran" at the Grand Mosque in central Tehran this week. There is a coffin for the State of Israel as well.

There is also an exhibit glorifying Palestinian suicide bombers. Visitors have been paying their respects beside large portraits of these murderers while reading prayers for the destruction of Israel.
(Mideast Dispatch)
Photo Credit: Fars-Iran

British jihad exposed in new documentary

Britain's Jihad Industry Exposed -Mike McNally

"Undercover Mosque: The Return," part of UK Channel 4's "Dispatches" series, was a follow-up to an investigation last year in which preachers in a number of British mosques were filmed making anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks, and extolling the virtues of terrorism.

The new investigation focused on one of the mosques featured in the 2007 program, the Regent's Park Mosque [pictured above] in central London. It found that, despite promises by the mosque authorities to take action against the extremists, nothing much had changed. An undercover reporter - herself a Muslim - filmed female preachers calling on worshippers to kill non-believers and Jews, and ordering them not to associate with people from other religions.

It's one thing listening to male preachers spouting hatred - those raving madmen with their Rasputin beards. It's something else to hear soft-spoken teenage girls with London accents debating whether a homosexual should simply be stoned to death, or be thrown off a cliff and then stoned to death.

If this is what's going on in the ladies' wing, you have to wonder what the men are up to.
(Pajamas Media)
Watch the Program (YouTube)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shopping in a concentration camp? British Hamas supporter makes a fool of herself

Lauren Booth, Tony Blair's sister-in-law, shopping in
Gaza's "concentration camp"

Scenes from "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Lauren Booth [pictured above], sister-in-law of former British premier Tony Blair, entered Gaza aboard a protest boat on August 23. While most of her fellow protesters left on the same boat they arrived on, she and several other activists chose to remain behind.

In an interview with Ynet News, Booth described Gaza as "the largest concentration camp in the world today" and a "humanitarian crisis on the scale of Darfur."

Booth was later photographed at a well-stocked grocery store in the so-called "concentration camp."
(Honest Reporting-BBC News)

Place Onus for Peace Where It Belongs - on Palestinians -David A. Harris

In Gaza, Israel has shown remarkable restraint in the face of endless provocation. I don't know of many other nations that would have endured daily barrages without a robust military response.

The real reasons for the absence of peace lie elsewhere. Too many in the Arab world have been fed a steady diet of Israel as an illegitimate nation, a colonial project of the West that must be eliminated.

To make matters worse, Israel has damaged the self-image and self-respect of the Arab world by refusing to be defeated in battle. How can it be that this tiny nation, deprived of any significant natural resources, has withstood the Arab onslaught for six decades and emerged not only as the strongest military power in the region, but also the most politically and economically advanced?
(Philadelphia Jewish Exponent)

Christians jab Iran's President

Evangelicals to UN: Indict Ahmadinejad -Etgar Lefkovits

A prominent Jerusalem-based evangelical organization will deliver a petition to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week signed by tens of thousands of Christians from around the world demanding that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad be indicted for incitement to genocide against Israel.

The petition, which was initiated by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem and signed by more than 55,000 people from 128 countries, comes ahead of the Iranian leader's planned visit to New York, where he is scheduled address the opening of the UN General Assembly next week.

"The silence of most Christian clergy in the face of Germany's horrific bid to annihilate European Jewry left a deep stain on the churches. Yet from it, has arisen a sense among multitudes of Christians today, that we have an inescapable moral duty to speak out whenever another genocidal campaign threatens the Jewish people," said Rev. Malcolm Hedding, the organization's executive director.

The petition expresses "extreme disappointment" at the "resounding" failure of the UN to take any serious measures to redress the Islamic Republic's "hostile campaign."

Hedding blasted leaders [of] the Mennonite and Quaker movements [who] will be hosting Ahmadinejad at a "dialogue" reception during his US visit. "These Christian leaders will forever be associated with the appeasement of wickedness."
[Jerusalem Post]

Livni will try to form a government; Mofaz resigns!

Palestinian Politics More Important than Kadima Primary -Herb Keinon

The question of whether Hamas manages to wrangle control of the PA from Fatah or whether Fatah succeeds in wresting back control in Gaza is more important in the long run for the peace process than whether Tzipi Livni becomes Kadima's leader and - possibly - the prime minister for a few months.
(Jerusalem Post)

Shock over Mofaz's resignation -Gil Hoffman

Labor MK Ophir Paz-Pines commented on Mofaz's surprising announcement and said "Kadima will find it difficult to recover."

"This is probably the beginning of the end for Kadima, as the faction is disintegrating before our eyes," Pines added.
[Jerusalem Post]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Palestinian terrorists: who are the Beatles?

Paul McCartney Death Threats Evaluated

Aaron Klein, terrorism expert and author of the book, Schmoozing with Terrorists, said he called senior leaders from every major Palestinian terror organization, and not one had heard of McCartney or the Beatles.

Klein said he proceeded to sing to the terrorists top Beatles songs, including "Yesterday," "Let It Be" and "She Loves You," but the tunes didn't ring a bell for a single one.

"I don't know any of this," said Muhammad Abdel-Al, spokesman and senior leader of the Popular Resistance Committees terror group.

Abu Ahmed, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, told Klein, "We don't know these Beatles."
[Market Watch]

Jordan slips out of orbit

Jordan's King & Queen

Jordan's Outreach to Hamas: The Politics of Distress -Pinhas Inbari

Israel's regional policies have thrown Jordan off balance.

The tahdiya (calm) agreement with Hamas caused great embarrassment to moderate Arab countries and exploded the policy of isolating Hamas. In addition, in its prisoner deal with Hizbullah, Israel agreed to hand over to Hizbullah the bodies of Jordanians. If Israel, for pragmatic reasons, finds it appropriate to engage with Hamas, why shouldn't Jordan do the same?

[T]he U.S. and its Western allies failed to protect their Georgian ally. Following the Russian invasion of Georgia, King Abdullah II flew to Moscow and indicated an interest in buying Russian weapons, with all of the implications such a move entails.

Hamas influence in Jordan and the West Bank is rising. Iran and Russia are moving to reshape the Middle East. At the same time, Jordan fears it cannot trust the political will of its traditional allies as Israel has diplomatically engaged Jordan's adversaries - Syria and Hamas.

Jordan's current policy can best be categorized as a "distress call" - one that should be heeded by Israel and the West before it is too late.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Assad pockets gains; remains the same

Cartoon reads:
"What's there not to love about a good MidEast
fireworks display, eh, Bashir"
Note the chair's shadow in the shape of a skull and
the obvious visual reference to 'nuclear winter'

Assad: Syria won't cut ties with Iran

Syrian President Bashar Assad said during an interview, "Syria will stand with Iran on all the major strategic issues."

"Only one situation would distance Syria from Iran, and that is if Tehran sided with Israel," he said, laughing.

Commenting on negotiations with Israel, Assad said, "What's happening today is not negotiations, but they are called 'negotiations' in the media."
(Jerusalem Post)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hitting Iran secretly

The Secret War with Iran -Eli Lake

Israel and America are intensifying a clandestine war against Iran, claims Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman [pictured at right] in The Secret War with Iran.

He suggests that the West has had some successes in the war to stop the Iranian bomb, reporting that in January 2007 Iran determined that some of its nuclear suppliers in Europe were fronts for Britain's MI6 intelligence service.

Between 2006 and 2007, at least three planes "belonging to the Revolutionary Guards crashed in Iran, while carrying personnel connected with the security of the nuclear project." Specialized pipes for centrifuges sold to Iran have been modified, and specialized computers sold to Iran for its nuclear laboratories contained viruses that sabotaged the code.
(New York Sun)


U.S., Israel Work to Hinder Iran Nuclear Plans -Yossi Melman

Straw companies were established that sold defective equipment to Iran, thus "poisoning" its nuclear program. The companies first sold Iran proper equipment to establish trust, and then supplied equipment fitted with listening devices or Trojan horses.

Some Swiss businessmen who played a major role in the smuggling network led by Dr. Abdul Khader Khan, the Pakistani who sold Iran the centrifuge diagrams, were actually CIA agents. This is only the tip of the iceberg of Israeli and Western efforts to block Iran's nuclear program.

Frayed Palestinian movement

Divided Palestinian Entity Unlikely to Become Viable State

[T]he split between Fatah and Hamas as well as between the West Bank and Gaza seem destined to endure and deepen. Some Gazans have gone so far as to speak nostalgically about the days of Israeli occupation when their economic and medical needs were better met, and they could move in and out of Gaza with relative ease.

A divided Palestinian movement is unlikely to be in a position to make bold decisions. A weak Palestinian counterpart is unlikely to gain Israel's trust or encourage it to compromise. A segregated Palestinian entity is unlikely to become a viable state.

Under current conditions, prospects for a genuine and sustainable peace process are bad and getting worse.
(International Crisis Group)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Islamists threaten to kill Paul McCartney for Israel concert

Sir Paul: Terror Target -Dennis Rice

[Islamist] preacher of hate Omar Bakri [below, right] claimed the former Beatle’s decision to take part in the Jewish state’s 60th anniversary celebrations had made him an enemy of all Muslims. Sources said Sir Paul was shocked but refused to be intimidated.

Yesterday a number of websites described him as an infidel...

Explaining his comments, Bakri told the Sunday Express: “Our enemy’s friend is our enemy. Thus Paul McCartney is the enemy of every Muslim. We have what we call ‘sacrifice’ operatives who will not stand by while he joins in a celebration of oppression."

If he values his life Mr. McCartney must not come to Israel. He will not be safe there. The[y] will be waiting for him.”
[Daily Express-UK]

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Who calls the shots in Iran?

When dictatorships end with a whisper -Caroline Glick

With its nuclear weapons program, its control of Lebanon, Gaza and Syria, its massive influence in Iraq and Afghanistan and its messianic, global ambitions, Iran is rightly viewed as the greatest threat to global security today.

Those who preach appeasement towards Iran claim that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not reflective of the regime. They argue that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei [pictured above] is far more moderate than Ahmadinejad, and it is Khamenei, not Ahmadinejad who calls the shots.

While it is true that Khamenei calls the shots, it is not true that he is moderate. Khamenei is just as radical as Ahmadinejad. On Tuesday, he exhorted Iranian judges and members of parliament to patiently await Islam's defeat of the West and not accept calls to embrace "rationality and moderation" or agree to peacefully coexist with "the global arrogance."
[Jerusalem Post]

Friday, September 12, 2008

Paul McCartney stands firm: I'm comin' to Tel Aviv!

McCartney Resists Pressure to Scrap Israel Concert

Legendary Beatles star Paul McCartney said he was pressed to cancel his upcoming performance in Israel, but reassured Israeli fans he would go ahead with the planned concert.

"I was approached by different groups and political bodies who asked me not to come here. I refused. I do what I think, and I have many friends who support Israel," McCartney said.

McCartney said he looks forward to this chance to perform in Israel. "I've heard so many great things about Tel Aviv and Israel, but hearing is one thing and experiencing it for yourself is another," he said.

McCartney will perform on September 25 in Tel Aviv.
(Reuters/Washington Post)

YouTube finally does the right thing

YouTube Bans Terrorism Training Videos -Eileen Sullivan

You won't find terrorist training videos on YouTube anymore. Google's popular video-sharing site now bans this footage that advertises terrorism or extremist causes.

After pressure from Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, the Internet search engine revised its community guidelines for posting videos on YouTube. The guidelines include bans on: videos that incite others to commit violent acts; videos on things like how to make bombs; and footage of sniper attacks.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cyber tribute to 9/11

Seven Years after 9/11 -Jonathan Spyer

One prominent observer of al-Qaeda depicts it as having been reduced to a core of 200-300 operatives. Yet al-Qaeda as an idea and as a franchise remains healthy and is still a threat.
(Jerusalem Post)

Al-Qaeda Is Still Gunning for the West -Sebastian Rotella

Al-Qaeda remains determined to strike on American soil, anti-terrorism officials say. But it has run up against aggressive surveillance, tough border security and a lack of extremist communities in which to operate.

Instead, officials say, it appears to have focused on using Europe to hit targets such as the flights bound for the U.S. from Britain.
(Los Angeles Times)

Iraqi hero

Iraqi MP Visits Israel, Calls for Stronger Ties -Yoav Stern

Iraqi parliament member Mithal al-Alousi [pictured above] spoke at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya and called for stronger relations between Iraq and Israel. Al-Alousi also called for stronger cooperation between Iraq and Israel in fighting terror, and issued a harsh condemnation of Iran, which he accused of meddling in Iraqi affairs.

After his visit to Israel in 2004, several attacks were launched against him including one that left his two sons dead.

Iraq to Prosecute Legislator for Israel Trip -Waleed Ibrahim

Iraq said it would prosecute secular Sunni parliament member Mithal al-Alusi who made a trip to Israel for a conference on terrorism and security.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jihad going to the dogs? Recruitment problems

Seven years after 9/11, it may well be that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of suicide terrorism and a shift toward advanced technologies that will enable jihadist bombers to carry out attacks and live to fight another day.

[W]e have failed miserably in finding a solution to the “poor man’s smart bomb.” Now, however, attrition may achieve what the experts have not: Al Qaeda’s suicide-recruitment mechanisms are beginning to wear out.

[M]ilitary blows against Al Qaeda’s training structure since 2001 have meant that the number of extremists with combat experience is decreasing, and that new recruits are harder to train.

Al Qaeda’s technical experts [are] seeking technical solutions, that would render suicide unnecessary. These solutions revolve around remote controls — vehicles, robots and model airplanes loaded with explosives and directed toward their targets from a safe distance. One extremist pointed out the ease with which such robots can be acquired commercially.

[I]n a document posted at Maarek, [a] jihadist forum for discussing explosives manufacturing, a prolific technical expert suggested training dogs to recognize American troops’ uniforms, then releasing dogs carrying improvised explosive devices toward American soldiers so the bombs can be detonated from a safe distance.
[New York Times]

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower

Muslims Attack Jewish Teens in Paris

Three young Parisian Jews were treated for fractures and bruises after what France's interior minister described as an anti-Semitic attack in northern Paris.

The three – aged 17 and 18 – were wearing skullcaps and walking in Paris on Saturday when another group of youths threw a walnut at them. One of the Jewish youths approached the other group to ask for an explanation and was encircled and beaten. The other two Jewish youths went to help their friend and were also beaten.

One of the youths suffered a broken nose and another a fractured cheekbone...

The three boys were assaulted in a street in northern Paris where another Jewish teenager was beaten in June.

France has western Europe's largest population of both Jews and Muslims.