|Palestinians say no agreement unless Olmert forfeits holiest site in Judaism|
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - August 17, 2007
JERUSALEM -- Palestinian negotiators drafting an agreement behind the scenes with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office have made clear they will not accept any final peace deal with Israel unless the Jewish state forfeits the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site, WND has learned.
According to a report in Israel's Yediot Aharonot daily yesterday, Olmert is willing to discuss joint Israeli- Palestinian control over the Temple Mount complex. The report didn't state the positions of the Palestinian side on the issue.
A chief Palestinian negotiator, speaking to WND on condition his name be withheld, said yesterday, "there can be no agreement with Israel unless we get complete sovereignty of the Mount. Once Palestinian control over the [Temple Mount] is fixed, then we will make assurances for Jewish visits to the site."
The chief negotiator said aides from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization have been hammering out the parameters of a final status agreement for presentation in November at a U.S.-backed international summit regarding the Middle East.
Issues already discussed between Israel and the Palestinians reportedly include the division of parts of Jerusalem and debates regarding permanent borders between Israel and the PA.
The November international conference and talk from the Bush administration the past few weeks has led many here to speculate the U.S. will push in the near future for intense Israeli-Palestinian negotiations leading to a Palestinian state.
With a year and a half left in office, President George Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have been urging meetings between Abbas and Olmert to establish a framework for momentum leading to a breakthrough at November's conference. Olmert and Abbas have been meeting bi-monthly in summits brokered by the U.S.
Asked by WND whether Olmert is willing to forfeit the Temple Mount in an agreement with the Palestinians, David Baker, a spokesman for the prime minister, had no comment.
Olmert allows Muslims to dig on Temple Mount
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - July 11, 2007
JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has quietly granted the Waqf - the Muslim custodians of the Temple Mount - permission to dig unsupervised on the sacred site, WND has learned.
The permission was granted in spite of longstanding fears from leading Israeli archeologists the Waqf might hide or dispose of Jewish Temple artifacts discovered during any Muslim digs.
The last time the Waqf conducted an unsupervised excavation on the Temple Mount, in 1997, the Muslim custodians ultimately were caught by Israeli authorities disposing truckloads of Mount dirt that contained Jewish Temple artifacts.
Most Palestinian leaders routinely deny well- documented Jewish ties to the Temple Mount - the holiest site in Judaism.
According to Palestinian sources, the Waqf last month requested permission from Israel to conduct what it said were needed excavations under the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount to install new electrical and telephone infrastructures in the mosque. Olmert's office at first turned down the Waqf request, but after petitioning by the Jordanian government, the prime minister acquiesced and has allowed the dig.
The Waqf this week quietly began digging a massive tunnel that snakes from the Al Aqsa Mosque to the nearby Dome of the Rock, bringing in heavy equipment for the work. - - - -
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Video: What Really Happened in the Middle East
Terrorism Awareness Project - A Production of the David Horowitz Freedom Center
Israeli cities included in cede-back proposal
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - August 13, 2007
JERUSALEM - Newly installed Israeli President Shimon Peres has quietly drafted a plan for the Jewish state to evacuate and transfer to the Palestinians nearly the entire West Bank and several Arab Israeli cities located within territory that is undisputedly Israel's according to the international community, WND has learned.
The West Bank is strategic territory that runs alongside Jerusalem and is within rocket range of Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport. It is home to many biblical Jewish communities and some of Judaism's holiest sites.
Peres has presented his initiative to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and to top aides for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas the past few weeks, after he took office as Israeli president last month, diplomatic sources in Jerusalem told WND.
The official role of president here is limited largely to ceremonial matters; the president does not create foreign policy.
Olmert is mulling over the plan and agrees with much of its contents, the diplomatic sources said.
Peres' plan calls for Israel to hand 97-percent of the West Bank over to Abbas, with Israel retaining a small number of the territory's Jewish communities. In exchange for Israel keeping some land, the Jewish state will give the PA control of Arab Israeli cities north of Tel Aviv which, together with the evacuated West Bank territory, would amount to the equivalent of 100 percent of the West Bank.
Diplomatic sources said aside from Abbas and Olmert, Peres has presented his plan to European Union officials. Top EU diplomats in recent days told the media they want a U.S.-sponsored international conference scheduled for November to lead to negotiations on a final agreement with the Palestinians.
Already Olmert during the meetings has granted a number of security concessions to Abbas regarding increased Palestinian control of the West Bank. - - -
As well, in a scantily-reported but major move, Israel last week started allowing armed Palestinian policemen to patrol areas in the West Bank that fall under Israeli security control according to the 1993 Oslo Accords. Security in the territory, referred to as Area B, is supposed to be ensured by the IDF, which still monitors the area but has allowed for an unprecedented stepped-up armed Palestinian security presence there. - - - -
Rabbis: 'Peres must repent'
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - July 19, 2007
TEL AVIV - A group of hundreds of prominent Israeli rabbis today urged veteran politician Shimon Peres to immediately "repent" for calling on the Jewish state to evacuate strategic territory the they fear will be used by terrorists to attack Israel.
Peres officially was installed as Israeli president earlier this week. Upon his inauguration, he immediately stated Israel must withdraw from the West Bank, which borders Jerusalem and is within rocket range of Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport. - - - -
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|Prime Minister Olmert orders razing of structure built so Jews can pray at Judaism's 3rd holiest site|
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - July 31, 2007
JERUSALEM - Security forces acting on orders from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday destroyed a synagogue used by Jews to worship near Joseph's Tomb, Judaism's third holiest site and the believed burial place of the biblical patriarch Joseph - the son of Jacob who was sold by his brothers into slavery and later became the viceroy of Egypt.
Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, which granted nearby strategic territory to the Palestinians, Joseph's Tomb was supposed to be accessible to Jews and Christians. But following repeated attacks against Jewish worshippers at the holy site by gunmen associated with then-PLO leader Yasser Arafat's militias, Prime Minister Ehud Barak in October 2000 ordered an Israeli unilateral retreat from the area. The tomb is located near the modern day West Bank city of Nablus, or biblical Shechem. - - -
Jewish students last year built a structure on the West Bank's Mount Gerizim, which is just outside the tomb area. The structure was used as a synagogue and was constructed on the Mount so Jews can pray and study Torah as close to the tomb site as possible. Dozens of Jewish students congregated daily at the makeshift synagogue.
But Olmert's office and Israeli government officials deemed the structure - which they refused to call a synagogue - illegal since it was built without a government permit. - - -
Just before the synagogue was bulldozed, one Jewish student told the Israel National News website, "If the synagogue is destroyed, it will be rebuilt." - - - -
|With hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in illegal outposts, PM directs forces against 2 families|
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - August 3, 2007
JERUSALEM - Fresh from ordering security forces to destroy a synagogue built by Jews to pray near Joseph's Tomb, Judaism's third holiest site, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert now has directed his forces to forcibly evict two families that moved into a market in Jewish sections of Hebron, the oldest Jewish community in the world.
The evictions are scheduled for Monday. Israel says the occupation of market by the two families is illegal since their arrival wasn't coordinated with the Israeli military.
The market in question, now converted to small, two- story apartments, was built in 1929 after Arab riots temporarily forced Jews from Hebron - the first time the city was without a Jewish presence in over 2,500 years. For more than 30 years, a sign was posted on the market boasting in Arabic that the structure was built on stolen Jewish property.
Arab merchants illegally set up shop at the market but were asked by the Israel Defense Forces to leave after a series of clashes broke out in the mid-1990s. Even though the market was stolen by the Arabs, Hebron's Jewish community purchased the market from its original Arab occupants in 2001.
In January 2006, Jewish families took up occupancy to strengthen Jewish ties to the area following the murder of an infant by a Palestinian sniper, yards away from the market.
The market, integrated within the Hebron Jewish community, is adjacent to several Jewish apartments and Jewish municipal buildings. It is not located in an Arab neighborhood. It doesn't require any original additional protection from IDF soldiers already patrolling the area.
Despite the original property owners' recent signing over of the market to Hebron's Jewish community, as well as Israel's Supreme Court ruling that the structure was Jewish-owned, the government considers the occupancy of the marketplace illegal, saying families living inside did not negotiate their arrival with the IDF. - - - -
| Ed. Note: Photo compares Gaza refugee's (top photos) to Katrina refugee's in the US (bottom photos)|
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - August 16, 2007
TEL AVIV - Two years after Jewish residents of the Gaza Strip were evacuated by Israel, the uprooted Jews are preparing to make small trailer communities - which were supposed to be temporary living quarters until Israel found them long-term solutions - into permanent homes, according to a report released this month.
The report, by the Gush Katif Committee, the main humanitarian organization representing the Gaza Jewish refugees, also cited a near double increase in heart disease, high blood pressure and other major health problems among evacuated Jews the past two years and found the uprooted youth are suffering from a wealth of emotional problems.
"The situation is extremely grave," said Dror Vanunu, a former Gaza resident and the international coordinator for the Gush Katif Committee.
Israel in August 2005 evacuated its nearly 10,000 Jewish citizens from Gaza's Gush Katif slate of Jewish communities. Successive Israeli governments over the years had urged thousands of Israelis to move to Gaza and build communities there. Israel pledged the expelled residents compensation packages and new permanent communities.
Prior to the Gaza evacuation, the vast majority of Gush Katif residents lived in large homes in landscaped communities. Israel promised to find the uprooted Katif Jews permanent housing solutions within two years.
Exactly two years later, about 92 percent of the Gush Katif refugees out of the 1,667 evacuated families still live in temporary housing, mostly in the Israeli Negev desert in small, government-built prefabricated "trailer villas." The other 7 percent have set out on their own to begin building houses, but of those, only 12 homes have been constructed.
Residents in the Negev trailer communities live there in crowded conditions, in many cases lacking enough bedroom space to accommodate their families. Some families used shipping containers as improvised additional bedroom space. - - - -
'For Sale: Arabs Only' in J'lem Neighborhood
ARUTZ SHEVA - By Ezra HaLevi - July 11, 2007
Arabs living in Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood will only sell their homes to other Arabs, going so far as placing signs in the post-'67 Jewish neighborhood - named after Ze'ev Jabotinsky.
One sign, on a building at 15 Shlomo Street, reads: "For Sale/Rent to Arabs Only." Next door, at 17 Shlomo Street, lives the family of Sasson Nuriel, who was kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in September, 2005.
Contacted by Arutz-7, the home's owner at first denied speaking or understanding Hebrew or English, though eventually admitted, in fluent Hebrew, that he had placed the sign. "In the State of Israel, Arabs and Jews live equally. We want to be equals and we can therefore sell the house to whoever we want," he said. He declined to give his name, but insisted that his right to sell to "Arabs only" would even stand up in court.
Aryeh King, who conducted a survey of Arabs moving into Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhoods due to the construction of the Partition Wall says at least 120 Arab families had moved into Pisgat Ze'ev as of December, 2006.
French Hill as well has become the new home of hundreds of Arabs from Ramallah-area villages such as A-Ram and Hizme. "They lived there because it was cheaper and they could travel freely through checkpoints with Israeli ID cards," King says. "Now they are concerned that the wall will keep them from entering Jerusalem, so there is a migration."
Families from Abu Dis and the Bethlehem area have been settling in the Armon HaNetziv neighborhood as well, King says.
In 2000, Israel's Supreme Court required the Jewish town of Katzir, in the Galilee, to allow Muslim Arabs to move in and build their homes there, ruling that limiting who can purchase land there would constitute discrimination.
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|ARUTZ SHEVA - By Hillel Fendel - August 25, 2007|
The Knesset has taken the first step towards legislating the establishment of a new national authority that will preserve, rebuild and protect the ancient Mt. of Olives cemetery. The bill has passed its preliminary reading, and is being prepared for its additional readings.
The legislation is sponsored by MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union). "Mt. of Olives has been a national site of the Jewish People since the days of the First Holy Temple [which was destroyed 2,500 years ago - ed.]," Eldad explained, "and continues now to be a historic and holy site of primary importance."
Without a national body coordinating efforts on the site's behalf, "there is no one to preserve it, and no one to prevent illegal construction and vandalism there."
Mt. of Olives overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, and its summit is crowned by the Intercontinental Hotel. An estimated 20,000 gravesites remain in the ancient cemetery, out of some 70,000 - according to the lower estimates - that were there before the Jordanians took control of the site in 1948. - - -
Many Jews through the ages have sought burial there, because the site is mentioned in the Bible as the first spot from which the dead will be brought to life.
See Full Report below for list of of famous Jewish people buried on the Mt. of Olives.
It is interesting how the resurrection is coming up as a topic more often in Jewish journalism. Hmmnn... Is the Spirit of the LORD moving?
Life After Death
FORWARD - By Miriam Shaviv - May 25, 2007
Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life
By Jon D. Levenson
Yale University Press, 274 pages, $40.
For many non-Orthodox Jews, the concept of the physical resurrection of the dead has always been difficult. Prayers mentioning the doctrine - including such central texts as the second paragraph of the Amidah, in which God is addressed as "the one who revives the dead--- and restores life" - have been translated in Reform and Conservative prayer books either very vaguely or completely misleadingly. In Abraham Geiger's 19th-century German translation, for example, God simply "bestows life here or there"; in the Reform movement's 1975 Gates of Prayer siddur, resurrection becomes "power over [one's] own life."
And yet, not only is the expectation of resurrection of the dead central to rabbinic Judaism, but, according to Harvard University professor Jon D. Levenson, it also has roots going back to biblical times. In Levenson's new study, "Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel," he overturns the conventional wisdom that resurrection was a doctrine that emerged suddenly around the time of the Second Temple and is tangential to Judaism. He argues that it developed "slowly and unevenly" over the preceding centuries. The result is a fascinating portrait of the evolution of one theological concept over more than 3,000 years, one that many modern Jews will find deeply unsettling. - - - -
|FORWARD - By Orly Halpern - June 6, 2007|
Neve Daniel, West Bank - The Kwalbrun family mansion stands four floors high and boasts five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a Jacuzzi, a fireplace and a manicured lawn. It's just like the home the Kwalbruns left behind in Teaneck, N.J., except that this residence is in a Jewish settlement surrounded by Arab villages in the West Bank.
Enticed by the prospect of an affordable suburban lifestyle, the Kwalbruns and a growing number of religious American immigrants are settling down in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Concentrated in areas such as the region south of Jerusalem known as Gush Etzion, they have helped small settlements like Neve Daniel nearly double in size in only the past few years.
Forty years after the Six Day War gave birth to the Israeli settlement movement, a wave of American religious Jewish immigrants are deciding to call the West Bank home. While many of those who moved across the Green Line before them dreamed of a Greater Israel, these new residents of the West Bank are driven by a decidedly different sort of dream. - - -
Settlements near Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have become a suburban paradise for North American religious Jews. They offer large homes with yards, lawns and swimming pools, and prices are low compared with those of the cramped apartments not only of Israel's main population centers but also of such smaller cities as Beit Shemesh and Modi'in. - - -
Safety is another attraction of the settlements. While the West Bank is viewed around the world as a dangerous place for Jews to live, many of the settlements' residents cite the unusual security the communities provide their residents.
"In the States, we didn't let our kids ride their bikes down the block," Marc Gottlieb said. "Here, they go everywhere." - - - -
|WORLD TRIBUNE [East West Services] - August 23, 2007|
JERUSALEM - Iran and the United States could sign a strategic agreement that would exclude Israel and ignore its interests.
A report by the Reut Institute warned that Washington and Teheran were quietly negotiating in an effort to reach a strategic accord. Entitled "A Libya Scenario in Iran: the United States Goes It Alone," the report said the Bush administration could ignore Israel's interests in any U.S. reconcilitation with Iran.
"Israel must consider raising the matter of a deal with Iran in its talks with the United States," the report said. "The more Israel offers creative alternatives to blocking Iran's nuclear ambitions, the greater the chances that the United States will include it in its decision-making."
The study urged Israel to discuss with the United States a joint strategy toward Iran. Reut, established in 2004 to study national security issues, raised the prospect that Washington might reach a deal that would enable Iran to retain its nuclear capabilities, particularly uranium enrichment.
"This would present Israel with a strategic surprise," the report said.
Israel has favored a military option against Iran and regards the country as a strategic threat, the report said. In contrast, the United States has set the military withdrawal from Iraq as a priority. - - - -
|Plan drafted by veteran politician would forfeit strategic West Bank|
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - August 27, 2007
JAFFA, Israel - Newly installed Israeli President Shimon Peres hopes to achieve the outline of a final status deal with the Palestinians before an international conference in November, the veteran politician said.
Israeli diplomatic sources told WND earlier this month Peres quietly drafted a plan for the Jewish state to evacuate and transfer to the Palestinians nearly the entire West Bank and several Arab Israeli cities located within territory that undisputedly is Israel's according to the international community.
The official role of president here is limited largely to ceremonial matters; the president is not allowed to lead foreign policy.
The diplomatic sources also said earlier this U.S.- brokered month biweekly meetings between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are being utilized to draft the outline of a permanent status deal ultimately yielding a Palestinian state scheduled to be aired in public at the November summit, which is being organized by the U.S.
Confirming the plan, Peres told Tokyo's Nikkei business daily newspaper he believes the outline of a final deal can be achieved before November.
"To work out the details (of the political if not the geographical outline of a future Palestinian state) will take more time, but (as for) principles, yes, we can achieve an agreement" before the autumn peace conference, he said.
Peres said improved economic conditions for the Palestinians will lead to "peaceful coexistence."
"We shall go in a policy of two tracks, economic development and political negotiations, one complementary to the other but not dependent upon it," he said.
Last week the Arab media reported Peres held a secret meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at his official residence in Jerusalem.
Israeli diplomatic sources told WND during the meeting Peres presented Fayyad with his plan for Israel to evacuate the West Bank, which borders Jerusalem and is within rocket range of Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport. The West Bank is home to many biblical Jewish communities and some of Judaism's holiest sites.
Peres also presented his initiative to top European Union officials, Olmert and to top aides for Abbas in the past few weeks, after he took office as Israeli president last month, diplomatic sources in Jerusalem told WND.
Olmert, Abbas, Fayad and the EU are mulling over the plan, said the diplomatic sources, who stated Olmert agrees with much of the plan's contents.
Peres' plan calls for Israel to hand 97 percent of the West Bank over to Abbas, with Israel retaining a small number of the territory's Jewish communities. In exchange for Israel keeping some land, the Jewish state will give the PA control of Arab Israeli cities north of Tel Aviv which, together with the evacuated West Bank territory, would amount to the equivalent of 100 percent of the West Bank.
Yesterday, Abbas said the PA would not consent to population exchanges as part of a permanent agreement that would leave some West Bank Jewish communities with Israel.
Top EU diplomats in recent days told the media they want the U.S.-sponsored international conference scheduled for November to lead to negotiations on a final agreement with the Palestinians.
That international conference and talk from the Bush administration the past few weeks has led many here to speculate the U.S. will push in the near future for intense Israeli-Palestinian negotiations leading to a Palestinian state. - - - -
Bush to Bolster Abbas and Seek Peace Talks
Calls Israeli presence in the West Bank "Occupation"
NEW YORK TIMES - By Helene Cooper - July 17, 2007
WASHINGTON, July 16 - President Bush announced an initiative on Monday to shore up the Palestinian president and to begin building a Palestinian state, signaling that his administration will use its remaining months to make a major push for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Mr. Bush called for a regional peace conference this fall to be led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that would include high-level Arab envoys and their counterparts from Israel and the Palestinian West Bank. He exhorted Israel's Arab neighbors to open talks with Israel and to show leadership by "ending the fiction that Israel does not exist" and "stopping the incitement of hatred in their official media."
He also urged them to send cabinet-level visitors to Israel, a request directed implicitly at America's closest Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, which has refused to do so.
"With all these steps, today's Arab leaders can show themselves to be the equals of peacemakers like Anwar Sadat and King Hussein of Jordan," Mr. Bush said.
He even took a rare jab at Israel, using the word "occupation" to refer to the Israeli presence in the West Bank. - - - -
Read Full Report
Sources: Amnesty granted to entire terrorist group
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - July 17, 2007
JERUSALEM - Officials from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office told Palestinian negotiators the entire leadership of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group is now immune from Israeli anti-terror operations, senior Palestinian officials told WND.
The Brigades - the declared military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization - took responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the past three years. Statistically, the Brigades carried out more anti-Israel terror attacks emanating from the West Bank since 2005 than any other group, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Earlier this week, Olmert granted amnesty to a list of 178 Fatah militants that WND reported comprise the senior leadership of Fatah's declared military wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
There are still about 206 Fatah fighters, mostly Brigades members, who haven't yet officially received amnesty. Some of the 206 are senior Brigades commanders, but most are mid-level militants. - - - -
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|Comes as U.S. training, aiding Abbas' militias|
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - August 27, 2007
JAFFA, Israel - Hamas and members of the so-called military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization have been carrying out joint attacks against Israel and recently formed a new terror group to conduct operations against the Jewish state, top Fatah militants told WND.
The information comes as the U.S. recently announced large sums of aid to Fatah and initiated military training programs for West Bank Fatah militias purportedly to back Abbas' group against Hamas and to isolate Hamas in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
Top leaders of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group told WND their organization the past few weeks carried out a series of joint attacks with Hamas against Israeli soldiers operating in the northern West Bank.
They said the Brigades and Hamas formed a new organization called the Fire Belt to attack Israel, and that this past weekend the new Fire Belt group worked together to lob grenades at Israeli forces operating in the vicinity of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
The Brigades, Fatah's declared "military wing," took credit along with the Islamic Jihad terror group for every suicide bombing in Israel in 2005 and 2006. One-hundred-seventy-eight members of the Brigades were granted amnesty last month by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a gesture to bolster Abbas against Hamas and build up Fatah forces in the West Bank.
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leaders in Nablus told WND the new Fire Belt group consists of Brigades members mostly from Nablus who are not on Olmert's official amnesty list.
Abu Nasser, a leader of the Brigades in Nablus and a self-declared top commander of the Fire Belt group with Hamas, told WND yesterday Fatah militants are "unified" with Hamas and that the two would attack Israel together. - - - -
Israeli cabinet warned: Hamas on West Bank is ordered from its Damascus HQ to prepare large-scale suicide attack in Israel
DEBKAFILE - August 26, 2007
The deputy security service chief told the ministers Sunday, Aug. 26, that since Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip two months ago, Palestinian terrorist groups had managed to smuggle in 40 tons of explosives - and, most recently, 150 recoilless propelled grenade launchers, RPGs.
Read Full Report
|Olmert instructs forces to limit actions near border for fear of sending wrong signals|
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - August 15, 2007
TEL AVIV - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday directed Israel's military against taking actions on the country's border with Syria that could be misinterpreted by Damascus as signaling the start of a major confrontation.
Olmert is said to be concerned a war could break out due to Syrian misunderstandings of Israel's intentions. He has been holding closed-door meetings of his security cabinet - composed of the country's top ministers - deemed "very sensitive" to plan for the possibility of war with Syria.
"Israel is not interested in war with Syria," said Olmert yesterday touring military installations at the north near Syria. "But we are preparing for any possibility."
Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin was quoted as telling Olmert Syria is not inclined towards initiating a war, "but we are still left with the miscalculation scenario." - - -
According to Israeli security officials, Olmert's cabinet the past few weeks were briefed by the IDF military intelligence unit on recent Syrian military movements and Damascus' acquisition of missiles and rockets capable of hitting civilian population centers, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The ministers were told Syria recently stepped up the pace of its own rocket production and moved some rockets close to the Israeli border. - - - -
Israel: Syrian war preparations serious
Israeli security officials say Syria boosted its military near the Syrian side of the Golan Heights with strengthened forces after carrying out increased training the past few months.
The Syrian army has improved its fortifications, according to the Israeli security officials, and has received modern, Russian-made anti-tank missiles similar to the missiles that devastated Israeli tanks during the last Lebanon war, causing the highest number of Israeli troop casualties during the 34 days of military confrontations. Syria also received from Russia advanced anti-aircraft missiles.
The security officials said any conflict with Syria could degenerate into a larger war involving Hezbollah along Israel's northern border and Palestinian terror groups launching attacks from Gaza in the south and the West Bank toward the center of Israel. - - -
Baath official: Syria prepping for war
In a recent WND interview, a top official from Bashar Assad's Baath party warned if Israel doesn't vacate the strategic Golan Heights by August or September, Syrian groups might launch guerrilla attacks against Jewish communities there that could lead to a larger confrontation with Israel.
"More and more of our units have undergone intensive trainings starting at 6 a.m. and finishing late into the evening. If the need arises, we are ready for a war," said the official.
The Baath official warned that in the opening salvo of any conflict, Syria has the capabilities of firing "hundreds" of missiles at Tel Aviv. - - - -
Israeli Defense Minister Barak discerns ebb in war tensions with Syria, reports massive expansion of Hizballah arsenal
DEBKAFILE - August 27, 2007
In his first briefing to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Monday, Aug. 27, defense minister Ehud Barak reported that Iranian missiles for Hizballah were being unloaded at Syria's Latakia port. They consist of many times more long-range and short-range rockets than Hizballah had in its arsenal when it went to war with Israel in 2006.
The Lebanese army, albeit bound to disarm Hizballah by UN Security Council resolution 1701 which ended the war, is in fact helping the Shiite extremists unload their arms deliveries. The minister concluded that the UN resolution must be considered a dead letter. - - - -
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|ASSOCIATED PRESS - August 18, 2007|
TEHRAN, Iran - Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that Israel was the standard bearer of Satan and the Jewish state would soon fall apart, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
The agency quoted Ahmadinejad as he spoke at a religious conference and did not elaborate on what he meant by Satan. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, however, Iran has regularly referred to the United States as "the Great Satan."
"The Zionist regime is the standard bearer of invasion, occupation and Satan," he said, predicting Israel's eventual demise. "When the philosophy behind the establishment of a regime is in question, it is not unlikely that it will find itself on a course of decline and dissolution."
Israel condemned Ahmadinejad's statements as harmful to international peace and stability.
"The Iranian president's comments are typical of his vociferous animosity towards Israel," said David Baker, an Israeli government spokesman. "He threatens not only Israel but poses a clear and present danger to the international community as well."
Ahmadinejad has made anti-Israel comments in the past. In October he caused outrage in the West when he said in a speech that Israel's "Zionist regime should be wiped off the map."
His supporters have argued that Ahmadinejad's words were mistranslated and should have been better translated as "vanish from the pages of time"- implying Israel would vanish on its own rather be destroyed.
IDF: Iran May Go Nuclear in 6 Months; NATO: Go It Alone
ARUTZ SHEVA - By Ezra HaLevi - July 11, 2007
According to the IDF, Iran will be able to produce nuclear weapons within six months. NATO says Israel must 'go it alone' according to Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
The IDF Military Intelligence (MI) assessment was reported Tuesday to the Knesset and included a concrete assessment determining that Iran could cross the technological threshold required to produce nuclear weapons in the next 6-12 months and possess an operational warhead by the middle of 2009.
The assessment is at odds with US estimates that put the date between 2010 and 2013. Both agree, however, that military strikes could set back the technology for years. - - -
Lieberman: NATO Says 'Go It Alone'
Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu party), whose government portfolio was created specifically to deal with the Iranian threat, met with NATO's Assistant Secretary-General Alexandro Minoto Rizo and the European Union's representative Franco Partini earlier this week. Lieberman reported that NATO's senior officials said Israel should not assume that the international community will stop Iran just to help Israel. - - -
Lieberman said that although Europe or the US could not be relied upon to attack Iran on Israel's behalf, they would support Israel's actions. "If we start military operations against Iran alone, then Europe and the US will support us," he said. - - -
Another Lieberman in Favor of Iran Strike
US Senator Joseph Lieberman has been publicly calling for US strikes on Iran.
He repeated the call last week, saying the Islamic Republic "has declared war on the US" and is waging a "proxy war" against coalition forces in Iraq.
The Connecticut Senator and former Vice-Presidential candidate said intelligence reports proved Iran was behind much of the terrorism in Iraq and must be confronted directly. "Although no one desires a conflict with Iran, the fact is that the Iranian government by its actions has declared war on us."
Read Full Report
Iran, Venezuela in "axis of unity" against U.S.
REUTERS - By Parisa Hafezi - July 2, 2007
ASSALOUYEH, Iran - The presidents of Iran and Venezuela launched construction of a joint petrochemical plant on Monday, strengthening an "axis of unity" between two oil-rich nations staunchly opposed to the United States. - - -
The two presidents -- whose countries are members of the OPEC oil producing cartel -- earlier attended the ceremony to start building a methanol facility with an annual capacity of 1.65 million tons on the Islamic Republic's Gulf coast. - - - -
Read Full Report
|ASSOCIATED PRESS - August 6, 2007|
JERUSALEM - Israeli security officials on Monday warned citizens traveling in Egypt, Jordan and other Muslim countries to leave immediately due to a "concrete and severe" threat of terror attacks.
Israelis anywhere in the world should also be alert to the danger of being kidnapped by operatives from Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, according to the announcement from Israel's National Security Council.
Israeli tourists are allowed to visit Egypt and Jordan, which have peace agreements with Israel. But the council said any Israeli citizens in those countries should cut their trips short.
The council also warned against travel to Morocco, where Israelis can visit with special permission from that country's government, and to Tunisia. But those warnings were less urgent than the "severe" warning for other Muslim states.
The announcement on the council's Web site, a renewal of a travel advisory issued twice a year, also warned Israelis not to travel to Mideastern countries like Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states, as well as African nations like Somalia, Djibouti and Chad.
|DEBKAfile Military Report and Analysis|
DEBKAFILE - August 21, 2007
Since the beginning of the week, Israel's top military commanders have been poring over the situation of the Israeli Defense Forces in a workshop called by Ehud Barak who took over as defense minister two months ago. Some of their most alarming findings were presented by Barak at his first news conference in Tel Aviv Monday, Aug. 21 in advance of the ministry's presentation of its budget requirements.
Not all of the findings were news after disastrous deficiencies were brought to light in the ill-managed 2006 Lebanon War against Hizballah. But the negligence was now frankly traced to 1994 and 13 years of budget slashes by one government after another, including the one headed by the defense minister himself. They have left Israel's armed forces deprived of the three security capabilities which Barak deems essential to Israel's survival in a hostile environment: deterrence, early warning and victory.
To restore these capabilities, Barak outlined a program, the highlights of which are to reconstitute two disbanded reservist divisions, improve tank armor to withstand armor-piercing missiles and effective, active interception measures to protect the population against enemy rocket fire.
DEBKAfile's analysts note that, for the present, the IDF offers early warning - but not deterrence; the burning drive to prevail over the enemy was seen wanting in the Lebanon War and missing in dealing with the plague of missile and mortar attacks from Gaza, the daily fare of the neighboring Israeli population.
Senior officers told our sources: "The IDF is not only short of funds to meet its objectives, but also lacks sufficient manpower. It would take at least 10 years to rebuild and retrain the armed forces. The question is: what do we do in the meantime?" - - -
DEBKAfile's military sources point to four factors which need to be taken into account in the immediate future:
1. The rapid arming of the Iranian, Syrian and Hizballah armed forces financed by war budgets estimated as threefold or four times that allocated the IDF.
2. The danger of a simultaneous war flare-up on three of Israel's borders. The IDF is better prepared for a multi-front conflict than it was a year ago, but the population remains defenseless against possible rocket attacks.
3. Israel's policy-makers have not kept up with the rapid development of weapons technologies in the world, which is drawing on experience in the Iraq War and other conflicts. - - -
4. The long neglect of Israel's military capabilities must be attributed largely to unrealistic fixations at the top of Israeli governments on peace prospects with the Palestinians and Syria and their failure to factor in Iran's creeping domination over the military and diplomatic strategies of its allies and protégés. - - - -
Israeli home front unprepared for war
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - July 31, 2007
TEL AVIV - One year after the Lebanese Hezbollah militia fired more than 3,000 rockets into northern Israeli population centers, the Jewish state's home front - especially Jerusalem and Tel Aviv - are largely unprepared for the event of war, say officials.
The concern comes amid threats from Hezbollah it has replenished its rocket arsenal and statements from officials in Syria the country has thousands of rockets and missiles capable of hitting the entire Jewish state.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office recently released statistics stating about $1 billion was needed for construction of new civilian bomb shelters and renovation of older ones. But officials admitted even if the money is allotted, the country will not have enough shelters for about two years. - - - -
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200 American AMRAAM air-to-air missiles on sale to Israel
Designed for F-15 and F-16 warplanes in IAF use
DEBKAFILE - August 26, 2007
The most advanced medium-range air-to-air weapon of its kind, a single burst can be directed at several targets, DEBKAfile's military sources report. Their sale was announced by the Pentagon along with 30 Harpoon anti-ship missiles and 500 AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles in a transaction worth $334 million. Congress has 30 days to negative the sales. The Pentagon also announced the possible sale to Israel of $308 million worth of JP-8 aviation fuel for its aircraft and diesel fuel for its ground forces.
DEBKAfile's sources add: This is the first American sale of fuel for supplementing the strategic reserves of the Israeli air force and armored divisions against any war contingency. Israeli military planners estimate that in the event of hostilities erupting between Israel and Iran and Syria, the IAF, its missile and air defense units will bear the brunt of combat. The prices of the fuel offered by Washington are substantially below world levels. - - - -
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|ARUTZ SHEVA - By Hillel Fendel - July 11, 2007|
The UN has all but decided that the Shab'a Farms in the Mt. Hermon region between Israel, Lebanon and Syria should be assigned to Lebanon. Italy may have flubbed a chance to free the captive soldiers, and France has no demands on its Lebanese visitors.
A United Nations team of map experts has all but decided that the Shab'a Farms in the Mt. Hermon region should be assigned to Lebanon and not Israel. Israel has long contended that when the original border was drawn between Lebanon and Syria after World War I, the area was placed on the Syrian side. This would render it currently under Israeli sovereignty, following Israel's capture and annexation of the Golan in 1967 and 1981, respectively.
Lebanon, however, claims the area as its own - and the United Nations cartographic experts are apparently siding with the Lebanese. Israel persuaded the UN not to publicize this position, for fear that it would lead to renewed Hizbullah hostilities against Israel, but publication now appears inevitable within two months.
Haaretz reports that Israel turned down a proposal to internationalize the Mt. Dov area, as it is known in Israel. Israel instead would rather officially retreat from the region within the framework of a "new and improved" Second Lebanon War ceasefire agreement.
Europe Lets Captives Down
Meanwhile, the two Israeli soldiers being held captive in Lebanon by Hizbullah - Eldad (ben Tova) Regev and Ehud (ben Malka) Goldwasser - are still in the news, though their release seems no closer than before. No word has been heard from them since their capture in June 2006.
The captives' families were utterly frustrated to hear on Monday of a vague Italian report accusing the Italian government of missing a chance to free their sons. Le Stampa reported that the ex-chief of Italy's intelligence agency, Nicolai Polari, said the two Israelis could have been released, but that the Italian government did not act appropriately. "The intelligence services were very close to a situation in which they could have freed the two, but it didn't happen," Polari said.
Italian President Romano Prodi said he could not confirm the report, as he does not have the full details. "I am not aware that we ever had knowledge of the whereabouts of the captives," he said. - - - -
|Replaces Mickey Mouse look-alike who was 'martyred'|
WORLDNETDAILY - July 16, 2007
Hamas' Al-Aqsa television has replaced the "martyred" Mickey Mouse look-alike on the children's program "Tomorrow's Pioneers" with a bee that wants to pursue "the path of the jihad warriors."
The new character was reported by Palestinian Media Watch, an Israel-based monitor that previously revealed the TV program's promotion of anti-Israeli propaganda through the mouse character "Farfur." The show recently had the mouse die at the hands of an Israeli character.
Farfur told children they must pray five times a day until there is "world leadership under Islamic leadership."
"We, tomorrow's pioneers, will restore to this nation its glory, and we will liberate Al-Aqsa, with Allah's will, and we will liberate Iraq, with Allah's will, and we will liberate the Muslim countries, invaded by murderers," the mouse character said.
"It is now clear that these messages will continue through the new Nahool character," PMW commented.
The PMW report said the new character announced he is Farfur's cousin and that he wishes to "continue the path of Farfur --- the path of martyrdom, the path of the jihad warriors --- and in his name we shall take revenge upon the enemies of Allah, the murderers of the prophets. ---"
The media monitor said the expression, "murderers of the prophets" is an Islamic expression used by Palestinian Authority leaders to refer to Jews, and defining Jews as the enemies of God is routine on PA religious broadcasting. - - -
According to PMW, the new children's programming featured this exchange:
Hostess Saraa': Who are you? And where did you come from?
Nahool: I am Nahool (the bee), Farfur's cousin.
Saraa': And what do you want?
Nahool: I want to continue the path of Farfur, the path of "Islam is the solution." The path of heroism, the path of martyrdom, the path of the Jihad warriors. Me and my friends shall continue the path of Farfur. And in his name we shall take revenge upon the enemies of Allah, the murderers of the prophets, the murderers of innocent children, until Al-Aqsa will be liberated from their filth.
Saraa': Welcome! Welcome Nahool. - - - -
Hamas' Mickey Mouse lookalike 'martyred'
WORLDNETDAILY - June 29, 2007
Palestinian children who have been entertained and indoctrinated on television by a Mickey Mouse-knockoff who teaches them to fight for Israel's destruction and Islam's domination over the entire world will have to seek a new leader: the character has been martyred.
Al-Aqsa TV, run by the Palestinian Territories ruling party Hamas, has featured a squeaky-voiced Mickey Mouse look-alike named Farfur in the weekly children's program "Tomorrow's Pioneers."
However, the show's final episode had the character being beaten to death.
"Farfur was martyred while defending his land," said a teen hostess of the program. The mouse character had called the Israeli a "terrorist" and the hostess said he died at the hands of the "killers of children." - - - -
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|ARUTZ SHEVA - By Hillel Fendel - July 11, 2007|
The Palestinian Authority's Mickey Mouse - Farfur, in Arabic - may be dead, but his message of violence against Jews continues on Hamas children's television, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports.
For over two months this year, Farfur appeared on a weekly Hamas TV program, teaching children throughout the Palestinian Authority and the entire Arab world to hate and kill Jews. The squeaky-voiced Mickey Mouse clone starred on a show called Tomorrow's Pioneers, broadcast by satellite from Gaza on the official Hamas TV station, Al-Aqsa TV. Farfur told the young viewers to pray in the mosque five times a day until the arrival of "world leadership under Islamic leadership," and referred to Israel as "the oppressive invading Zionist occupation" that the children must "resist" [a popular PA euphemism for terrorism - ed.].
Following a strong international protest, Farfur was recently removed from the show. In a clip that can be viewed here, he was shown being beaten to death at the hands of an Israeli to whom he refused to sell his land. The young TV hostess then said, "Yes, we have lost our dear friend Farfur, who became a martyr while protecting his land, at the hands of the criminals and murderers of innocent children." A three-year-old caller then said, "We don't like the Jews because they are dogs. We will fight them," to which the narrator responded with a smile, "The Jews are criminals and enemies, we must expel them from our land."
Message Still Shines Forth
But even after his death, Farfur's message lives on. The most recent show, this past Friday, continued to preach hatred and praise shehada, martyr's death for Allah. The messages came from the young viewers themselves, who phoned in and expressed their views to the smiling and veil-clad child host named Saraa'.
PMW's Barbara Crook and Itamar Marcus report that one young caller proclaimed: "Awake o children, awake to action, your destiny is one, and it is to become a Shahid [Martyr] for Allah." - - - -
Palestinian Artists Find Venezuelan Ally
FORWARD - Nathan Guttman - June 6, 2007
Washington - Pro-Palestinian activists, seeking ways to commemorate the 40th anniversary of 1967's Six Day War, have found a new ally in Washington: the Venezuelan Embassy. An art exhibit titled "Made in Palestine," launched Monday under the embassy's auspices, depicts life in the occupied territories through the eyes of Palestinian artists.
The exhibit, one of a variety of events scheduled this week to mark the anniversary of the war, is the only one to receive diplomatic sponsorship. Venezuela is among the few non-Arab countries represented in Washington that maintain a pro-Palestinian policy and that routinely attack Israel's conduct. - - - -
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|THE JERUSALEM POST - By Rory Kress - August 16, 2007|
A plan to build an international airport on a man-made island off the coast of north Tel Aviv has been given a significant boost, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
A feasibility proposal approved at a meeting of the government-appointed National Planning Committee in Jerusalem last Tuesday calls for the construction of several islands 400 meters off shore.
Under the plan, Sde Dov Airport in Ramat Aviv would be replaced by the island airport.
On and off the table for more than a decade, these artificial islands were deemed feasible for the first time, and a source close to the committee said further research was under way.
A panel chaired by the Interior Ministry's head of building and planning, Shamay Assif, drafted a general proposal for a chain of artificial islands stretching from Bat Yam to Netanya, the largest of which would hold a new international airport.
"We are a growing economy. We are a small state. We need more power plants, more storage facilities for fuel, more harbor and airport facilities - things that usually take up a lot of space," Assif told the Post. - - -
Environmentalists say that the construction of artificial islands would disrupt the sedimentary flow along the coast, damaging the local ecosystem, and destroy the tourism industry on the Tel Aviv waterfront.
Environmental watchdog organizations urge the Interior Ministry to investigate construction of an airport in the Negev, an option that Assif called "very complicated." - - -
Man-made islands are found across the world, including in Hong Kong and Dubai. However, none exist in open-sea conditions similar to those off the coast of Tel Aviv.
"Our sea is not calm," Danny Kaiser, who was Tel Aviv's city engineer from 2000 to 2005, told the Post. The Mediterranean coast experiences high winds and waves, and reaches great depths, he said. "To build an artificial island, one must have a very good reason."
An airport "is the one and only reason to build these islands. Otherwise, we are not yet at that point where we need artificial islands for people to live on... If the pros outweigh the cons, they will build it," he said.
|Powerful clans also top donors to leftist groups petitioning for withdrawals|
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - July 19, 2007
TEL AVIV - Nineteen families control one-third of Israel's economy, including much of the Jewish state's news media, according to a study released today.
The families all have given campaign contributions to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and foundations associated with newly installed Israeli President Shimon Peres, WND has learned. Most of the families support major leftist Israeli organizations.
The Concentration Index, which measures the wealth of families who control companies that affect all aspects of the lives of regular Israeli citizens, published its annual study today reporting 19 families take in one-third of the revenues of the 500 leading Israeli companies. The leading companies own most of Israel's news media.
The top five families on the list, including U.S. media mogul Haim Saban, control 61 percent of the income of these 19 families - up from 54 percent in 2005.
Saban is a top supporter of Peres and of major Israeli and international organizations petitioning for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, Gaza Strip and sections of Jerusalem. Israel evacuated Gaza in 2005; since then rockets have been regularly launched into nearby Jewish population centers. The West Bank is within rocket-firing range of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport.
Today's Concentration Index study follows a Forbes Magazine report from last year revealing 12 business groups control more than 60 percent of Israel's economy, making it among the most concentrated in the world.
The 12 groups include Saban's organization and a group controlled by Matthew Bronfman, who was recently installed as leader of the World Jewish Congress, a major Jewish organization.
Forbes contended the groups constructed their empires, which own about 60 percent of the aggregate market value of all Israeli public companies, using organizational methods that were abolished in the Western world in the 1930s.
The groups reportedly achieved tight economic ownership by structuring their companies in pyramid- style, putting top holding companies in charge of smaller companies that all are beholden ultimately to the 12 groups. The U.S. largely eliminated this style of privatized influence nearly 80 years ago through a series of restrictions on ownership and the implementation of double taxation of dividends paid by a company to its parent organization.
The Forbes article stated the 12 groups have a disproportionately large amount of control over Israel's economy and the country's media through ownership of many of Israel's top banks and large media companies.
|Researchers say time is approaching for damaging event|
And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
WORLDNETDAILY - July 18, 2007
Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev are warning residents of Israel to prepare for a major earthquake that could damage one out of every six buildings in Jerusalem that date to the nation's founding.
The last significant quake to strike the region hit in the northern Dead Sea area on July 11, 1927, and left almost 300 people dead. Now Dr. Ron Avni, who specializes in the study of quakes, said statistically another earthquake would be expected in 2011, 84 years after the previous one. - - -
The last major quake hit 6.25 on the Richter scale, and killed victims both inside what now is Israel and across the Jordan River.
Researchers at the university say about 17 percent of Jerusalem's buildings built around the time of the founding of the nation likely would be damaged, and in Tel Aviv, about one in 10 of such buildings would be damaged. - - -
Officials report the three most destructive earthquakes in Israel since the 18th century happened in 1759, 1837 and 1927. The 1837 event "obliterated" Safed and caused more than 5,000 fatalities, officials said.
The government, meanwhile, has appointed a committee to work on preparing the public for a quake.
According to a report from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency at the time of the 1927 quake, there was "not a house in Jerusalem or Hebron" that did not sustain some damage. - - -
Historical research indicates there have been hundreds of earthquakes across the region, peaking at 20 during the 6th Century. There had been 11 in the 4th Century and 10 in the 5th.
Two quakes were reported during the 17th Century, seven in the 18th and four in the 19th Century.
Another organization, called Becoming Jewish, noted that earthquakes damaged or destroyed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in 746 A.D., 1033 A.D., 1546 A.D. and in the 1927 event.
|FORWARD - By Marc Perelman - June 6, 2007|
While some Western European governments have made strides in tackling increasingly violent expressions of antisemitism, a number of European nations - notably former Soviet bloc countries - have failed to monitor and prosecute hate crimes, according to a new study released this week by a human rights group.
"A few countries - the United Kingdom, France, Germany - have done much more in recent years," said Michael Posner, president of Human Rights First, which authored the report. "But in many countries, the governments are not paying attention to this problem of antisemitism."
Posner cited Russia and Ukraine as prime examples. He also said that Scandinavian countries - often praised for their human rights records - have failed to break down hate crime statistics and thus have not monitored antisemitic violence closely.
By contrast, he said that the United States remained a model at the federal level, even though he raised some concerns over the uneven focus of state and local authorities.
Still, "anti-Semitic incidents in Europe and North America - including acts of violence - remain at historically high levels," the report said. "Throughout much of Europe, anti-Semitic hate crimes occur at a much greater frequency than in the 1990s. Even where the reported number of incidents has declined from one year to another as it has in some countries, the proportion of incidents involving personal attacks on Jews has risen precipitously when compared to attacks on property." - - - -
Jews 'partly responsible' for their troubles: Churchill
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - March 10, 2007
The Second World War prime minister Winston Churchill argued that Jews were "partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer" in an article publicised for the first time Sunday.
Churchill made the claim in an article entitled "How The Jews Can Combat Persecution" written in 1937, three years before he started leading the country.
He outlined a new wave of anti-Semitism sweeping across Europe and the United States, which was followed by the deaths of millions of Jews in the Holocaust under the German Nazi regime.
"It would be easy to ascribe it to the wickedness of the persecutors, but that does not fit all the facts," the article read.
"It exists even in lands, like Great Britain and the United States, where Jew and Gentile are equal in the eyes of the law and where large numbers of Jews have found not only asylum, but opportunity. "These facts must be faced in any analysis of anti- Semitism. They should be pondered especially by the Jews themselves.
"For it may be that, unwittingly, they are inviting persecution -- that they have been partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer."
The article adds: "The central fact which dominates the relations of Jew and non-Jew is that the Jew is 'different'. - - - -
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Amnesty accuses Israel of 'serious rights abuses'
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - May 23, 2007
Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers committed "serious human rights abuses" against the Palestinians in 2006, mostly with impunity, Amnesty International said in its annual report issued Wednesday.
It also said civilians bore the brunt of rising violence last year between Israelis and Palestinians that saw a three-fold jump in Palestinians killed, although the number of Israelis killed fell by half.
During the 34-day Lebanon conflict last summer "both Hezbollah and Israel committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes," said the report.
"In particular Israeli forces carried out indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on a large scale."
"Israeli forces also appear to have carried out direct attacks on civilian infrastructure intended to inflict a form of collective punishment on Lebanon's people."
Meanwhile "Hezbollah's rocket attacks on northern Israel amounted to deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian objects, as well as indiscriminate attacks. - - - -
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Bubble gum with Nazi sticker sold in Israel
REUTERS - August 14, 2007
An Israeli woman was astounded to find a tattoo- sticker of a Nazi soldier inside a pack of bubble gum she had bought at her local store, Maariv daily reported recently.
"A surprise awaits you," said the "Roll Bubble Gum" pack, showing a picture of a pink wrapper alongside what it said was the sticker, which showed a Nazi officer in uniform and wearing a swastika armband.
Some suggested that the sticker was of "Red Skull", which is the name of a Marvel Comics villain, who is the enemy of Captain America. - - -
The newspaper quoted Orna Gutman, 23, as telling its website the pack's label was in Arabic and English and stated the gum was made in China but did not name the importer.
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Rally Against Occupation Draws Sparse Crowd in D.C.
FORWARD - By Daniel Treiman - June 13, 2007
The rally's sponsors, UFPJ and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, placed the number of attendees at "more than 5,000." The U.S. Campaign labeled the rally a "huge success." But pro-Israel activists and bloggers who observed the rally said there were far fewer in attendance, some placing the number at about 1,000. Right-wing blogs ridiculed the gathering, posting photos that suggested a sparse crowd. The Jerusalem Post put the number of attendees at "upwards of 2,000." Mainstream news outlets largely ignored the rally. - - - -
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|THE EVENING STANDARD of LONDON [DMGT] - July 13, 2007|
Secondary schools will strip back the traditional curriculum in favour of lessons on debt management, the environment and healthy eating, ministers revealed.
Even Winston Churchill no longer merits a mention after a drastic slimming-down of the syllabus to create more space for "modern" issues.
Along with Hitler, Gandhi, Stalin and Martin Luther King, the former prime minister has been dropped from a list of key figures to be mentioned in history teaching.
This means pupils may no longer hear about his stirring speeches during the Second World War, when he told Parliament that defeating Hitler would be Britain's "finest hour".
The only individuals now named in guidance accompanying the curriculum are anti-slavery campaigners Olaudah Equiano and William Wilberforce.
The omission of Churchill added to a growing row over Labour reforms to secondary education - the most radical since the national curriculum was introduced in 1988.
Critics warned traditional subject disciplines were being stripped of key content and used to promote fashionable causes and poorly-defined "life skills".
They said that while the two World Wars remain on the curriculum as broad topics the failure to specify teaching on Churchill - while naming other individuals - downgraded his importance.
The move was called "madness" by his grandson Nicholas Soames, the Tory MP. - - - -
|Politically Correct Madness: Is Israel Now Revising Their Own History?|
NEW YORK TIMES - By Isabel Kershner - July 23, 2007
JERUSALEM, July 22 - Israel's Education Ministry announced Sunday that it had approved a textbook for use in the state's Arab schools that for the first time described Israel's 1948 war of independence as a "catastrophe" for the Arab population.
The action, addressing longstanding concerns of the country's Arab population, immediately prompted criticism from right-wing Jewish politicians and calls for the education minister's dismissal.
The Arabic version of a new book for a third-grade course on homeland, society and citizenship, states that "some of the Palestinians fled and some were expelled following the War of Independence" and that "many Arab-owned lands were confiscated," said an Education Ministry official, Dalia Fenig. It refers to the establishment of Israel as a catastrophe for the Palestinians.
The book also reflects the Jewish version of the establishment of the state, as have previous books for the Arab curriculum, including the fact that the Arab parties rejected the 1947 United Nations partition plan for Palestine while the Jews were willing to accept it. About 700,000 Arabs who lived in what is now Israel left during 1948 and 1949. About 20 percent of the current population of just over seven million are Arabs. - - - -
|Former Knesset member urges Israelis to obtain foreign passports|
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - July 6, 2007
TEL AVIV - A former Knesset member, international leftist Jewish leader and senior activist of Israel's "peace camp," which seeks Israeli retreats from strategic territory, wants Israel to cease being a Jewish state and encourages all Israelis to obtain foreign passports.
"To define the state of Israel as a Jewish state is the key to its end. A Jewish state is explosive. It's dynamite," said Avraham Burg, an activist in the "Peace Now" movement and a former Knesset member from Israel's leftist Labor party.
Burg, speaking to Israel's Haaretz newspaper, also served as chairman of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, both of which are major Jewish organizations.
The leftist Israeli leader said Israel should learn from the assimilation and inter-marriage of Jews in the U.S., where Jewish individuals marrying non-Jews has become a major phenomenon. - - - -
The Israeli left unmasked
WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - June 11, 2007
JERUSALEM - Much has been said here and abroad about controversial statements made in recent weeks by a yarmulke-wearing, prominent international leftist Jewish leader and senior activist of Israel's "peace camp" who called on Israel to cease being a Jewish state and instead model itself after Europe. But I think most people are missing the point. - - - -
Read Full Report Posted on the Be Alert! Blog
|Ed. Note: Funny how no one seems to complain when Israel is there to help.|
ARUTZ SHEVA - By Hana Levi Julian - August 28, 2007
A group of 25 Israeli firefighters were on the first plane to Greece on Monday after a desperate appeal by the Greek government for assistance in fighting one of the worst outbreaks of wildfire ever to hit the country. The Israeli contingent is the largest of those sent by a total of eight nations. - - -
Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Norway and Slovenia have also said they will send firefighting aircraft, although each has limited its contribution to one or two helicopters. Serbia is expected to send four firefighting planes, and Spain has said it will send two. Switzerland and Iceland also reportedly offered to assist in the effort.