Sunday, November 30, 2008

Touching Photos of the Holtzberg family in happier times

Rabbi Gavriel & Rivka Holtzberg, of blessed memory, with their son Moshe, before the attack on their Chabad House in Mumbai

Heartbreaking details -Yaakov Lappin

ZAKA officials believe that in a final act of love, the director of the Chabad House, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, wrapped the body of his wife Rivka in a tallit [prayer shawl] before succumbing to his own wounds during the final hours of the siege.

Based on observations of the bodies, ZAKA officials estimate that Rabbi Holtzberg was the last to die. Holtzberg's body was found close to the tallit-wrapped body of his wife, Rivka, ZAKA officials said, adding that he managed to hide and survive long enough to wrap his wife.
[Jerusalem Post]

UPDATE: link includes video of memorial service, etc

Thousands mourn as Mumbai Chabad attack victims laid to rest

Thousands of Israelis on Tuesday packed the funerals the six Jews killed by Islamist terrorists during the attack on Mumbai's Chabad House last week. The funeral of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his 28-year-old wife Rivka, began at Kfar Chabad.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

VideoBite: retrospective of the Mumbai Chabad attack

Video retrospective of the Mumbai Chabad attack, including footage of the Indian nanny emerging from the building

Details of the Mumbai Chabad attack emerge

Mumbai's Chabad House before the attack

The Chabad House after the attack

Terrorists 'deliberately targeted' Jews -Yaakov Lappin

[The] dramatic and drawn-out Indian commando raid on the [Mumbai Chabad] building, lasting over two days, came to a close. Israeli media reported that some of the victims were found wrapped in prayer shawls, speculat[ing] that one of the hostages had wrapped the bodies before he was killed.

[M]ost of the hostages were found bound and gagged by the commandos, and had been shot long before Indian forces landed on the roof from a helicopter on Thursday night.

The Indian commandos fought their way slowly down the multi-story building, as intermittent exchanges of fire and explosions were broadcast on Indian satellite news networks to the world.

Foreign Ministry official Haim Hoshen told the Post that there was no doubt the Chabad House was the target of a premeditated and planned assault.

There were unconfirmed reports suggesting that Chabad officials tried to negotiate with the terrorists inside the Chabad House, in several calls to Holtzberg's mobile phone - presumably after the victims had been killed.
[Jerusalem Post]

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Bombay Hero: Indian Nanny saves Chabad toddler

Sandra Samuel, the nanny who saved Moshe Holtzberg,
following their dramatic escape.

(Bottom photo: Amy Ginsburg)

Nanny saves toddler -Jason Koutsoukis

A nanny who saved a two-year-old toddler from Mumbai's Nariman House escaped from terrorists who opened fire in her direction by slamming the door in their face.

Sandra Samuel and another employee of the Chabad Jewish Centre had gone downstairs when they suddenly heard explosions. "The noise was very loud," Ms Samuel, 44, told the Israeli Yediot Ahronot daily. "We understood immediately that there was an attack and that there were terrorists." Before she and the male employee were able to hide, a gunman saw them and opened fire. "I don't know how I managed to react so quickly, but I closed the door in his face. We were saved. He must have thought we escaped through some back door."

The two hid in the room until late the next morning. "I was very scared, but I was even more scared for the baby," she said, adding she had put Moishe to bed earlier in the evening on the floor where the centre's living quarters are located.

"A lot of hours went by … then suddenly, I heard Moishe. He called me: 'Sandra! Sandra! Sandra!

"I decided to go upstairs despite the shooting and find him.

"When I got upstairs all the terrorists were apparently on the roof. I found Moishe standing next to his parents. Everything was full of blood. I grabbed him, went outside the room and ran outside," she said.
[Brisbane Times]

Sandra Samuel: A Heroine in Mumbai -Sara Esther Crispe

Sandra Samuel is a light amidst this darkness. Sandra is the proof that when people show their evil, others will show their beauty and greatness.

Confirmed: Rabbi & wife among the Mumbai dead

Rabbi & Rivka Holtzberg, of blessed memory

Rabbi & Rivka Holtzberg [far right & far left], of blessed memory, in a 2006 photo performing a wedding ceremony in Mumbai, India

Rabbi Holtzberg, wife killed in Mumbai terror attack

The Chabad-Lubavitch movement has confirmed that a New York rabbi and his wife are among the dead in the India terrorist attack.

A spokesman, Rabbi Zalman Schmotkin, said Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, have been killed in Mumbai. They ran the movement's local headquarters, which was one of 10 sites attacked.

The couple's toddler son, Moshe Holtzberg, [see other posts] was taken out of the center by an employee, and is now with his grandparents.
[Jerusalem Post]

Rescue attempt at Chabad in Bombay

Indian Commandos Storm Jewish Center in Rescue Attempt
-Somini Sengupta & Keith Bradsher

Indian commandos slid down ropes from a hovering army helicopter [pictured above] as they stormed a Jewish community center that had been seized by terrorists during bloody and widespread attacks on Mumbai, India’s commercial capital.

More than a hundred shots were heard from inside Nariman House, home to the Orthodox Jewish group Chabad Lubavitch, after a number of the blue-uniformed commandos landed on the roof and then made their way inside...
[New York Times]
[Photo at right: Indian troops assemble at a Nariman Chabad House entrance during the rescue attempt]


Video of Indian Rescue attempt

Hostages said dead in Mumbai Jewish center

Moshe Tzvi Holtzberg with his nanny, following their dramatic escape. The unnamed woman was able to escape with him prior to the rescue operation
(Photo: Amy Ginsburg)

-Hagai Einav
Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg, the parents of Rivka Holtzberg, arrived in the Indian city early Friday morning with a delegation of the Zaka organization.

Rabbi Yitzhak David Grossman told Ynet that the two were reunited with their two-year-old grandson, Moshe Tzvi [pictured above], who was rescued from the house by his Indian nanny the day before.

Moshe Tzvi was supposed to celebrate his second birthday today, but the family decided to postpone the celebration because of the difficult events.

Who are the Mumbai attackers? Part2

Mumbai Attacks Suggest Outside Help -Craig Whitlock & Karen DeYoung

Counterterrorism officials and experts said the scale, sophistication and targets involved in the Mumbai attacks were markedly different from previous terrorist plots in India and suggested the gunmen had received training from outside the country. "This is a new, horrific milestone in the global jihad," said Bruce Riedel, a former analyst for the CIA and National Security Council. "No indigenous Indian group has this level of capability."
(Washington Post)

India: Homegrown Terror or International Jihad? -Benedetta Berti

India is reeling from the worst series of terrorist attacks in its history.

The Mumbai operation was qualitatively more sophisticated and deadly and shared several characteristics of al-Qaeda's operational strategy: the choice of targets, the deliberate decision to kill the maximum number of Western citizens, the simultaneous use of suicide missions, as well as hostage-taking. Thus, it is clear that the terrorist organization has received assistance and backing from al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations and has adopted an international jihadist agenda.
[Jerusalem Post]

How Not to Deal with Militant Islam -Sadanand Dhume

India's failure to protect Mumbai offers a textbook example for fellow democracies on how not to deal with militant Islam. The country's antiterrorism effort is reactive and episodic rather than proactive and sustained. Its public discourse on Islam oscillates between crude, anti-Muslim bigotry and mindless sympathy for largely unjustified Muslim grievance-mongering.
(Wall Street Journal)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

VideoBite: Who are the Mumbai attackers?

Terror strikes Bombay on the eve of Thanksgiving: a message for America?

Indian Commandos Work to Free Hostages -Emily Wax & Debbi Wilgoren

[A] series of Attacks in Mumbai Leave at Least 125 People Dead.

Sharpshooters and Indian Army commandos launched dramatic raids Thursday into two of India's most luxurious hotels, attempting to root out gunmen whose deadly attacks have transformed parts of India's commercial capital into smoldering war zones.

More than 325 people were reported injured.

Closed-circuit television cameras that recorded some scenes of the attack showed college-aged men roaming the streets with automatic assault rifles and backpacks apparently filled with ammunition and explosives [image at right]. In one video still, one of the gunmen appears almost giddy as he walks down the street with an AK-47 assault rifle.

In a speech on national television Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made the first official assertion that the attackers were from outside India, statements usually taken here to point to Pakistan. "The well-planned and well-orchestrated attacks, probably with external linkages, were intended to create a sense of panic, by choosing high profile targets and indiscriminately killing foreigners," Singh said.

As the sun set, some hostages unfurled "Save Us" banners from the windows of the Taj hotel, across from the Gateway of India monument and Mumbai's waterfront. Others emerged from upper-story windows using bed sheets tied together as ladders.

Eight Israelis were being held hostage at the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish center, officials said, including a young rabbi and his wife. Their condition was not known. At the Jewish center, five rounds of shooting were heard Thursday and a grenade was thrown, said army officials who were surrounding the site and launching a rescue effort.

It remained unclear who was behind the attacks [use link at left for video report]. Wire services and Indian media reported that the gunmen sought out British and American citizens to be taken as hostages.

According to Chabad's Web site, the center is run by Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka [pictured at right].

The couple's two-year-old son was escorted out of the building several hours after the attack, his clothing soaked in blood. The toddler was accompanied by a cook and another employee of the center.
[Washington Post]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Convicted: Terrorists with suits on; Holy Land Foundation goes down

Ghassan Elashi [left] and Shukri Abu-Baker, two of the five leaders of the Holy Land Foundation convicted on Monday

Five Convicted in Terrorism Financing Trial -Gretel C. Kovach

On their second try, federal prosecutors won sweeping convictions against leaders of a Muslim charity in a retrial of the largest terrorism-financing case in the United States since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Money is the lifeblood of terrorism,” Richard B. Roper, the US attorney whose office prosecuted the case, said in a statement. “The jury’s decision demonstrates that U.S. citizens will not tolerate those who provide financial support to terrorist organizations.”
[New York Times]

The New Piracy

'Barbary Pirates,' a 1681 painting by William van de Velde

Armed pirates on a Somali beach

How to Deal With Pirates -Michael Oren

[E]scalating assaults by pirates from Somalia [have] result[ed] in the capture of 14 ships and 250 of their crew members. Over 90 such attacks have occurred this year alone -- a three-fold increase since 2007.

Among their prizes, the pirates have seized a Ukrainian freighter crammed with Soviet-made battle tanks and, most recently, the tanker Sirius Star with $100 million worth of Saudi crude in its holds. These shipments are now being held off the Somali coast where the pirates are bargaining for their return.

21st-century piracy threatens international trade and confronts the U.S. with complex questions. Should the U.S. Navy, for example, actively combat the pirates, emulating the Indian warship that destroyed a Somali speedboat earlier this week? Can the U.S., which is already overstretched militarily in two conflicts, afford to assume responsibility for another open-ended operation in the same area? Or should America follow the example now being set by Saudi Arabia and various [other] states which have paid $25 million to $30 million in ransoms to the pirates this year alone?

America would be ill-advised to act unilaterally against the pirates. The good news is: It does not have to. In contrast to the refusal to unite with America during the Iraq War, the European states today share America's interest in restoring peace to the seas. Moreover, they have expressed a willingness to cooperate with American military measures against the Somali bandits.

Somali pirates will be emboldened by a lack of forceful response. Any attempt to bargain with them and to pay the modern equivalent of tribute will beget more piracy. [T]he only effective response to piracy is a coercive one.

[W]hile it is true that U.S. forces are deeply committed elsewhere in the region, addressing the threat of Somali pirates must be made a national priority while there is still time. Much like terrorism, piracy, unless uprooted, will mushroom.
[The Wall Street Journal]

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Carols attack Israel

London Concert to Feature Anti-Israel Christmas Carols -Jonathan Petre

Anti-Israeli campaigners organizing a Christmas carol concert to be held at St. James Church in London have been condemned for rewriting traditional verses to attack Israel.

Far from bringing tidings of comfort and joy, the participants will instead sing about "war crimes" and the "oppression" of Palestinians. Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said that the rewriting of much-loved traditional carols for such partisan political purposes was deeply offensive.
(Daily Mail-UK)

Frustrated, Rice kicks sand at Israel

Rice: Israeli politics preventing peace -Hilary Leila Krieger

The fact that Israel and the Palestinians have not reached a peace agreement and will likely fail to do so by the end of 2008 is "largely due to" political turmoil in Israel, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said.

"Even though there was not an agreement by the end of the year, it is really largely because of the political situation in Israel," Rice told reporters.
[Jerusalem Post]

Advice piles high for Obama's Arab-Israeli Policy

Divisions Make Peace Agreement Impossible -Aaron David Miller

A conflict-ending agreement between Israelis and Palestinians may no longer be possible. Varying kinds of accommodations, cease fires, informal cooperation and temporary arrangements may still be possible. But the current situation on the ground between Israelis and Palestinians makes it impossible for leaders to reach an agreement.

The divisions between Hamas (itself divided) and Fatah (even more divided) are now geographic, political and hard to bridge. Until the Palestinian national movement finds a way to impose a monopoly over the forces of violence in Palestinian society, it cannot move to statehood.

The hallmark of any state's credibility is its control over all the guns. What Israeli prime minister could ever make concessions to a Palestinian leader who doesn't control all of the guns?

I would respectfully suggest to President-elect Obama, that he recognize there's no deal in this negotiation now. Manage it as best you can: but don't think you can solve it; you can't.
(Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian Civil War Casts Shadow Over Peace Talks -Jonathan Schanzer

When President-elect Obama sets out to rekindle Palestinian-Israeli peace, he will be faced with a vexing problem: Which Palestinian faction/non-state represents the Palestinians? With whom should Washington negotiate?

If it is Abbas' Fatah West Bank faction, Obama will be working with an unelected government while effectively ignoring the Hamas regime in Gaza. If the president negotiates with Hamas, he would be negotiating with terrorists - something that would fly in the face of U.S. policy dating back to the Nixon administration.

If Obama and his advisers fail to confront this critical issue, we risk engaging in yet another failed round of diplomacy.

Obama Security Adviser Wants NATO Force in West Bank -Aluf Benn

General James Jones, [pictured above] who is expected to become Obama's national security adviser, supports the deployment of an international force in the West Bank instead of the Israel Defense Forces. He also opposes Israel's demand to retain extensive security control over the territories even after a Palestinian state is established.

Israel has [said] that security control of the Jordan Valley is essential to prevent weapons from being smuggled into the West Bank. Israel also demands complete demilitarization of the future Palestinian state, Israeli control of border crossings, and Israeli early warning stations in the mountains.


IDF Opposes Plan for NATO in West Bank -Yaakov Katz

Israeli defense officials said they were opposed to the deployment of a NATO force in the West Bank following an Israeli withdrawal, a plan supported by president-elect Obama's choice for U.S. national security adviser, Gen. James Jones. A top IDF officer said, "NATO is a very bad idea....No other country in the world has successfully dealt with terror like Israel has. There is a need for continuous combat; NATO will not want to endanger its soldiers on behalf of Israeli citizens."
(Jerusalem Post)

UN stands mute

Hizbullah Holds Exercises in Southern Lebanon -Roee Nahmias

Hizbullah troops conducted a series of military maneuvers in southern Lebanon, the Al-Arabiya television network reported. The exercises were carried out in defiance of UN Resolution 1701, which determined that the region south of the Litani River would be demilitarized.
(Ynet News)

Israel: UN Downplaying Hizbullah Buildup - Herb Keinon
The UN has an interest in downplaying Hizbullah's rearmament and activities in southern Lebanon because it wants "industrial quiet" there, a senior Israeli diplomatic official said Wednesday. "The UN is denying any Hizbullah activity south of the Litani, even though Hizbullah admits to it," the official said.
(Jerusalem Post)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Muslim Druze emerge as Israeli leaders

Atlanta Consul General an Arab Who Represents Israel Well -John Christensen

Reda Mansour [pictured above], who arrived two years ago as the Israeli consul general in Atlanta, is an Arab and a Muslim. He is also a Druze, a sect which broke away from mainstream Islam 1,000 years ago and has often been persecuted by other Muslims since.

He is also an award-winning poet who mourns violence, hatred and death. Although Arabic is his first language - he speaks five in all - he writes poetry in Hebrew.

"Ambassador Mansour is one of the most thoughtful, passionate and eloquent representatives of the State of Israel that I've ever met. He's respected, appreciated and admired," says Steven A. Rakitt, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.

There is now a Druze general in the Israeli army, Druze in the intelligence service, and ten Druze in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - including the deputy foreign minister.
(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Michael Jackson morphs into a Muslim

The way you Mecca me feel -Neil Syson

Michael Jackson has become a Muslim — and changed his name to Mikaeel.

The superstar, 50, donned Islamic garb to pledge allegiance to the Koran in a ceremony at a pal’s mansion in Los Angeles.

Brit singer [and Hamas supporter] Yousef Islam [pictured below], 60 — who was called Cat Stevens until he famously converted — turned up to help Jacko celebrate.
[The Sun-UK]

Pressing Obama on Israel begins before he takes office

Obama and Arab-Israel Peace
-Brent Scowcroft & Zbigniew Brzezinski [pictured above]

We believe that the Arab-Israeli peace process is one issue that requires priority attention.
Brent Scowcroft was national security adviser to Presidents Ford and Bush, Sr.
Zbigniew Brzezinski was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter.

(Washington Post

Obama Will Find Middle East Peace Elusive -Con Coughlin

Already expectations are running high that Obama will dive headlong into negotiating a final settlement of the poisonous Arab-Israeli dispute.

President Clinton expended an enormous amount of energy and political capital on trying to reach a deal, starting with the signing of the Oslo Accords at the White House in 1993 and ending at Camp David at his presidency's end. The whole process fell into abeyance during the Bush presidency, not least because Bush was loath to expend his energy on the unattainable.

There is a general expectation that Obama will try to pick up where Clinton left off. Al-Qaeda developed its capability to conduct acts of mass terrorism on Clinton's watch, while Iran made significant strides in the development of its nuclear programs. Clinton failed to take effective action against either of these emerging threats because of his preoccupation with securing a Middle East peace deal. Consequently, the international environment in which Obama will find himself operating will be very different from that of 2000, and he will no longer be able to ignore the threats posed by al-Qaeda and Iran, however much he might want to achieve a historic peace deal.

Trailblazing: Israel's Eco-garbage Park

Israel Turns 2,000-Acre Trash Dump into a Park -Brian Merchant

Hiriya, Tel Aviv's 2,000-acre garbage dump, was an ecological and aesthetic blight, a massive 230-foot mound of waste at its center.

But after an intensive national revitalization effort, the eyesore has reemerged as Ayalon Park [photos above], an eco-tourism attraction and one of the largest metropolitan parks in the world. At its base is a Recycling Center that uses the most innovative technologies.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Al-Qaeda's tantrum

Al-Qaeda Declares War on Obama -Judith Miller

Al-Qaeda has officially added President-elect Barack Obama to its enemies list. In a new video message, Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's number two, calls Obama a "House Negro" who "claims" to be Christian.

The video says that because Obama has chosen to support Israel and has threatened to strike Pakistan and send more troops to Afghanistan, he has decided to continue "the crimes of the American crusade."

Zawahiri also says that by choosing to abandon the faith of his Muslim father in favor of Christianity and to continue waging America's War on Terror, Obama has agreed to "pray the prayer of the Jews."

In case anyone misses the point of this diatribe (widely distributed on Arab television networks), the video portrays Obama wearing a yarmulke - a Jewish skullcap.
(FOX News)

Intelligence Expects Al-Qaeda's Appeal to Falter -Scott Shane

A new study by American intelligence agencies suggests that al-Qaeda could soon be on the decline, having alienated Muslim supporters with indiscriminate killing. The report says that the group "may decay sooner" than many experts have assumed because of severe weaknesses...
(New York Times)

Iran: close to the nuclear edge

Iran has Nuclear Fuel for One Weapon -William J. Broad & David E. Sanger

Iran has now produced enough nuclear material to make a single atom bomb, according to nuclear experts analyzing the latest report from global atomic inspectors.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been conducting inspections of Iran's main nuclear plant at Natanz, reported that as of early November, Iran had made 630 kilograms of uranium.
(New York Times)

Livni points to ceasefire farce, but does nothing

Israel Demands World Stop Ignoring Attacks

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni demanded in a telephone conversation with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, that the world stop ignoring attacks on Israel by Gaza militants.

Livni "demanded that the international community stop applying a policy of ignoring acts of terror aimed at hurting innocent people," her office said in a statement. "There is no way where the rocket fire against Israeli citizens can continue without retaliation from the Israeli government," Livni said.

Inside Gaza's Rocket Factories -Janis Mackey Frayer

There are rocket "factories" and storage facilities tucked in alleys across the Gaza Strip, empty rooms or garages in concrete block buildings. The room we were shown bristled with rockets in varying sizes and stages of readiness. We were also shown drum-like roadside bombs stuffed with ball bearings and shrapnel.

Abu Abir, a leader in the Al-Nasser Brigades explained, "We show you this to send a message to the Israelis that we are getting stronger."
(CTV News-Canada)

Military Consequences of a Gaza Ceasefire Collapse -Jeffrey White

Hamas used the period after Israel's August 2005 withdrawal to expand its forces to the point where it could prevail over Fatah and emerge as the only serious military and political power in Gaza. With Israel gone and Fatah defeated, Hamas gained control of Gaza's military and intelligence resources and infrastructure once controlled by the PA.

The subsequent ceasefire agreement created even better conditions for Hamas' military ambitions by freeing the organization from the threat of Israeli raids and incursions.

Hamas aspires to emulate the military capabilities of Hizbullah.

In future clashes, the IDF would be confronted with a better organized and trained force with more sophisticated arms, especially antitank weapons, and improved defenses.

Despite its military improvements and ambitions, Hamas could not stand up to the IDF in an all-out fight. But there is little likelihood of such a direct conflict.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

Hezbollah Scouts: with chilling photos

Hezbollah Marshals the Young via Scout Troops -Robert F. Worth

This is the vanguard of Hezbollah’s youth movement, the Mahdi Scouts.

Some of the graduates gathered at this ceremony will go on to join Hezbollah’s guerrilla army, fighting Israel in the hills of southern Lebanon. Others will work in the party’s bureaucracy. The rest will probably join the fast-growing and passionately loyal base of support that has made Hezbollah the most powerful political, military and social force in Lebanon.
[New York Times]

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Saddam's Uranium?

U.S. Removes 550 Tons of Nuclear Precursor from Iraq -Carter Andress

[I]n a significant development on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) inexplicably not well-covered by the media - the U.S. military removed from Iraq 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium, a necessary precursor to the development of nuclear weapons. With this radioactive material, all that was needed to create up to 140 nuclear bombs was the centrifuge equipment.
(Washington Times)

Straight talk from Peres

Peres: "Let the Palestinians Stop Shooting and They Won't Suffer"

Israeli President Shimon Peres [pictured at left] told a news conference in London that trade restrictions on goods made in Jewish settlements hurt Palestinian workers in the settlements and if they were fired due to a crackdown on exports it would increase unemployment.

Asked how he justified the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, Peres said: "Why should they suffer? Let them stop shooting and they won't suffer."


Israeli President Knighted by British Queen -Anshel Pfeffer

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II awarded President Shimon Peres honorary knighthood on Thursday in an official ceremony in Buckingham Palace in London.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jordanian option resurrected...again

"New" Mideast Plan -Oakland Ross

Giora Eiland [pictured at right], former head of Israel's National Security Council, [proposed] a complex arrangement involving three-way land swaps, an enlarged Gaza Strip, and the direct involvement of both Jordan and Egypt in a peace deal that would look very different from any under consideration today.

Regarding the West Bank, Jordan might consider reclaiming the sovereignty it exerted between 1948 and 1967, in order to head off the likely alternative - an eventual Hamas takeover. Under this arrangement, Palestinians there would be granted autonomy in all areas except foreign affairs and state security, which would be administered by Amman.
(Toronto Star-Canada)


Olmert, Barak on Secret Visit to Jordan

Prime Minister Olmert and Defense Minister Barak paid a secret visit to King Abdullah in Jordan, Israel Radio reported. They told the king that Israel could not sit back for long while Gaza militants continued to fire rockets and mortars at Israel.

Blogger ceased by Iranian regime

Iranian Blogger Arrested in Tehran -Dudi Cohen

An Iranian blogger who recently visited Israel was arrested in Tehran, an Iranian website reported. The blogger, Hossein Derakhshan [pictured above], who runs one of the most popular blogs in his country, returned to Iran several weeks ago after a long stay in Canada.

[H]e attended a seminar on blog writing held at the Ben Gurion University in Beersheba. During that trip he told Ynet that the main objective of his visit was to "break the taboo" of Israeli-Iranian relations.

For many Iranians Derakhshan symbolized the model for a successful, well-known blogger who travels around the world promoting democracy and human rights in his country. He has also done a lot to promote the Iranian blogosphere and even wrote a manual for blog writing in Farsi.
(Ynet News)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Making Palestinian victimization: blame the real victim for defending herself

Don't Compare Israel's Security Fence to Nazi Ghettoes -Deborah Lipstadt

In the Emory Wheel [Emory University's student newspaper] of Nov. 14 there was a disturbing cartoon [pictured above] comparing the Nazi ghettoes with the separation fence the Israelis have erected on the West Bank. This equation is historically spurious and highly prejudicial. The Germans put Jews from throughout Europe in ghettoes to either die a slow death of starvation, deprivation and disease or a faster death with a bullet or poison gas.

Irrespective of what one thinks of the fence/wall (most of it is a fence), it was not built for this purpose. It was built as a defensive mechanism. Even if one opposes it, one cannot ignore the fact that it has tremendously reduced bombings of Israeli targets. There was no fence/wall before there were these bombings of busses, schools and other civilian targets. It was built in response to them.

Whatever one thinks of Israeli policy, to describe it as akin to the Nazi policy of murdering all of European Jewry is to engage in anti-Semitism and a form of Holocaust denial.
(Emory Wheel)

Israel ready to crush Iranian nukes

All Options Are on the Table

In order to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb, "We are ready to do whatever is demanded of us," Israeli Air Force General Ido Nehushtan told Der Spiegel in an interview.

"The Iranian regime is not only a problem for the Air Force or the State of Israel. It is a problem for the entire free world. It is shameful that 70 years after the Reichskristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) there are still heads of state who call for the destruction of our people."

Question: Iran's nuclear facilities are spread around the country and are partly located underground. Is it even technically possible to destroy them?

Nehushtan: "I can only say this: It is not a technical or logistical question."
(Der Spiegel-Germany)