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G M
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« Reply #200 on: July 21, 2008, 09:57:31 PM »

As posted on another board, the right mindset needed:


I was asked in a couple of PM's to write up some examples of "spontaneous jihad".

Spontaneous jihad is when a lone muslim gets the idea to go and an act of murder as party of an isolated terrorism.

Case #1

In the first incident I was driving an unmarked jeep from Jerusalem to the north of Israel to teach a week long in service training for snipers. In Israel we have different colored license plates for our vehicles. Yellow and black plates for Israeli citizens both Arab and Jews, blue or green for Palestinians, red plates for police vehicles, Black with white letters for IDF and white with black letters for diplomatic vehicles. The jeep I was driving had yellow and black plates on it and inside the jeep I had green plates and also red plates that I could put on the Jeep if I saw the need. The jeep had a siren and pa system and a kojack blue light, along with two sets of radios law enforcement and IDF radios.

I left Jerusalem heading north through Ramallah in Samaria AKA northern part of the so called west bank. As I had a bunch of equipment related to the teaching of the course, I didn't want to be bothered by taking either my sniping rifle or my M16 rifle, so I was armed with a mini Uzi and a Glock 21 pistol which happened to be the first one that entered Israel.

Since I was going to be in for a long drive I was wearing the Glock in an IWB holster carried cross draw and was wearing the mini Uzi with the stock folded and the sling around my neck carried muzzle down between my legs. The Uzi had two mags in it and I carried four more if I remember correctly more in my left cargo pocket of my pants.

The weather was warm and while I drove I was drinking water to keep hydrated and about 30-45 minutes north of Ramallah I felt the need for a pit stop so I pulled the jeep over and walked away from the jeep which was parked along side the two lane country road. I walked away from the jeep into the brush as a means of concealment so if the jeep attracted unwanted attention I was away from it and hidden so I could then take the correct action if need be.

As I got ready to do my business I moved the Uzi from around my neck hanging down like a neck tie would, so I moved the weapon to my left shoulder, The reason being if it should happen to slide of my should it would not effect my aim, which could have resulted in wet pants.

I had just started when a Hamas looking Arab approached me from the right side asking me if I needed help. I replied that I was fine and he should freeze or suffer bad things to come. He kept walking towards me starting in on the usual BS we are family, we are cousins let me help you.

I told him that just because my forefather Avraham slept with some arab whore did not in my mind make us family and we all should learn that having sex with arab whores is not the thing to do.

My response was not what he thought he would get as it was far outside the norms of the middle east, which by the look on his face caused his thought process to short circuit which gave me time to finish and get myself together as it were. He then started to walk towards me again.

I told him he was either a terrorist looking for a victim or he was a fag but the end result would be the same that I would kill him where he stood. I then pivoted so he could see I was armed, which made him freeze.

He then got this grin on his face and said Yahud, Jew if every Jew was like you their would never be a Palestinian state but most Jews were week and they would get their state in the end and then he walked off.

He was latter found by the IDF and had a large knife.

Case #2

I was going to meet a friend from Sweden in the old city of Jerusalem for lunch and then to take him around the old city. I was dressed in civilian cloths i.e jeans t shirt and sandals and kippah on my head. I was armed with a micro Uzi and a Hi Power that I carried cocked and locked but under my t shirt.

I had just entered the old city via the Yaffo gate and was walking across the open area that is just inside the gate before you get to the maze that is the old city.

I was walking toward the east for those of you that have been in the old city and to the north was 3 or 4 members of the "blue" police civilian police and to my right was a group of 8-10 arab males aged 18-25.

One of the arabs walked away from the group and approached me asking if he could see the micro uzi, I told him he was insane and to get away from me. He again started with the family crap as he started to walk with me. I told him to get the hell away from me.

The arab the lunged at me grabbing for the Uzi, I gave him an elbow strike to the side of the head and grabbed him with my left arm wrapping him up and talking him down with me to the street while I drew the Hi Power from under my shirt.

I stuck the pistol into his face and thumbed the safety off, he was stunned by the blow to the head and before I could blow his head off out of my periphery vision I saw people running towards me. Thinking I was about to gt swarmed by his friends I raised the pistol towards the people running at me.

The people running towards me happened to be the police, I ordered them to grab the group of arab males and to get a pair of cuffs so we could cuff up the asshole I was sitting on.

The whole time I had in my right hand a cocked and unlocked Hi power which was loaded with hollowpoint ammo, at a time 99% of Israeli government and civilians were still using ball ammo.

We cuffed up the now bleeding arab and then I knew that virtue was the better part of valor so I removed the mag from my Hi Power and removed the round from the chamber and since I carried the `13 round mags down one round I just topped off the mag.

The cops were amazed at how fast I had been able to draw and chamber a round since at the time most of the people carried condition 3. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I carried with one up the tube and cocked and locked.

From the group of arabs we learned that when he saw me and the micro uzi he wanted to try to take it since with such a weapon he could murder a lot of Jews.


The thing that both incidents have in common is spontaneous jihad, since both attacks were unplanned and were done at the spur of the moment. The question is how can we identify those hadji's that might be leaning to spontaneous jihad, we can't.

So how do we defend against it?

By never letting your guard down and being ready to be as un PC as you can be if their is a verbal dialog leading up to their desired attack.

I have noticed that by being very crude about the family connection and other things tends to short circuit their thought process, it is the mental version of getting of the X.

Yoni

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G M
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« Reply #201 on: July 22, 2008, 11:31:06 AM »

http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=a6a9bbad-4eb6-4f77-b092-b96362aad330   
 
Dear Barack Obama
A letter from an anxious Israeli to the presidential candidate on the eve of his visit to Jerusalem.

Yossi Klein Halevi,  The New Republic  Published: Saturday, July 19, 2008



Barack Obama
Dear Senator Obama,

Welcome to Israel. When you arrive here on July 22, you will encounter a people intrigued by your candidacy and, given the current crisis of Israeli leadership, envious of your capacity to inspire. Issues that have worried some Americans about your background have scarcely been noted here. The whispering campaign labeling you a Muslim wasn't taken seriously by mainstream Israelis. Nor are we fazed by your middle name: Half of Israel's Jewish population has origins in Muslim cultures. Despite black-Jewish tensions in America, your color evokes little concern here; Israel rescued tens of thousands of African Jews and turned  their arrival into a national celebration. Even Rev. Wright didn't cause much of a stir, maybe because we're used to being embarrassed by our own religious leaders.

Still, as much as Israelis want to embrace you, there is anxiety here about your candidacy. Not that we doubt your friendship: Your description of Israeli security as "sacrosanct," and your passionate endorsement of Israel's cause at the annual AIPAC conference in Washington, were greeted with banner headlines in the Israeli press. Instead, Israelis worry that, as president, you might act too hastily in trying to solve the Palestinian problem, and not hastily enough in trying to solve the Iranian problem.

 

On the surface, the Israel you will encounter is thriving. The beaches and cafes are crowded, the shekel is one of the world's strongest currencies, our high-tech companies are dominating NASDAQ, our wineries are winning international medals, and we even export goat cheese to France.

But beneath the exuberance lies a desperate nation. The curse of Jewish history--the inability to take mere existence for granted--has returned to a country whose founding was intended to resolve that uncertainty. Even the most optimistic Israelis sense a dread we have felt only rarely--like in the weeks before the Six Day War, when Egyptian President Gammal Abdul Nasser shut down the Straits of Tiran, moved his army toward our border, and promised the imminent destruction of Israel. At the time, Lyndon Johnson, one of the best friends Israel ever had in the White House, was too preoccupied with an unpopular war to offer real assistance.

We feel our security unraveling. Terror enclaves have emerged on two of our borders, undoing a decades-long Israeli policy to deny terrorist bases easy reach to our population centers. The cease-fire with Hamas is widely seen here as a defeat--an admission that Israel couldn't defend its communities on the Gaza border from eight years of shelling, and an opportunity for Hamas to consolidate its rule and smuggle in upgraded missiles for the inevitable next round of fighting. The unthinkable has already happened: missiles on Haifa and Ashkelon, exploding buses in Jerusalem, hundreds of thousands of Israelis transformed into temporary refugees. During the first Gulf War in 1991, when Tel Aviv was hit with Scud missiles, residents fled to the Galilee. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, when the Galilee was hit with Katyushas, residents fled to Tel Aviv. In the next war, there will be nowhere to flee: The entire country is now within missile range of Iran and its terrorist proxies.

 

Above all else, we dread a nuclear Iran. With few exceptions, the consensus within the political and security establishment is that Israel cannot live with an Iranian bomb. In the U.S., a debate has begun over whether the Iranian regime is rational or apocalyptic. In truth no one knows whether the regime, or elements within it, would be mad enough to risk nuclear war. But precisely because no one knows, Israel will not place itself in a position to find out. As we contemplate the possibility of an Israeli military strike, we worry about the extent of support from you at what could be the most critical moment in our history. When Israelis discuss the timing of a possible attack, they often ask: If Obama wins the election, should we hit Iran before January?

True, you told AIPAC that "we should take no option, including military action, off the table." But that was the one moment in your speech that failed to convince. Last December you appeared to endorse the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which broadly hinted that Iran may not be seeking a nuclear bomb after all--a claim that may have soothed Americans worried about Dick Cheney launching another preemptive war, but appalled not only Israeli intelligence but also French and British intelligence (and that has since been at least partially retracted). In the Iowa debate, you responded to a question about the NIE by stating that "it's absolutely clear that this administration and President Bush continues to not let facts get in the way of his ideology...They should stop the saber-rattling, should have never started it, and they need now to aggressively move on the diplomatic front."

From where Israelis sit, it's clear that Iran temporarily suspended its weaponizations program--which is, in fact, the least important part of its effort to attain nuclear power--for the same reason that Muamar Qadaffi abandoned his nuclear program: fear of America after the Iraq invasion. A senior European Union official told me last year how grateful he was to America and Israel for raising the military threat against Iran. "You make our job easier," he said, referring to European-Iranian negotiations.

I am convinced that you regard a nuclear Iran as an intolerable threat, as you put it to AIPAC, and that, under your administration, negotiations with Iran would be coupled with a vigorous campaign of sanctions. And you've made the convincing argument that you could summon international goodwill far better than the current administration. No nation would be more relieved by an effective sanctions campaign than Israel. We know what the consequences are likely to be of an attack on Iran--retalitory missiles on Tel Aviv, terrorism against Jewish communities abroad, rising anti-semitism blaming the Jews for an increase in oil prices.

We worry, though, that the sanctions will be inadequate and that the Iranians will exploit American dialogue as cover to complete their nuclearization. Unless stopped, Iran's nuclear program will reach the point of no return within the early phases of the next administration. We need to hear that under no circumstances would an Obama administration allow the Iranian regime to go nuclear--that if sanctions and diplomacy fail, the U.S. will either attack or else support us if we do.

 

The rise of Hamas has only confirmed what Israelis have sensed since the violent collapse of the peace process in September 2000: that the Palestinian national movement is dysfunctional. The bitter joke here is that we're well within reach of a two-state solution--a Hamas state in Gaza and a Fatah state in the West Bank.

In your speech to AIPAC, you intuited an understanding of the Israeli psyche--hopes for peace, along with wariness. But our wariness isn't only a response to terrorism. More profoundly, we fear being deceived again by wishful thinking, by our desperation for peace, as we allowed ourselves to be during the years of the Oslo process. At that time, many Israelis began a painful, necessary process of self-reckoning, asking ourselves the crucial question of how Palestinians experienced this conflict, in effect borrowing Palestinian eyes. Many of us forced ourselves to confront the tragedy of a shattered people, one part dispersed, another part occupied, yet another uneasy citizens in a Jewish state.

Most of all, we allowed ourselves the vulnerability of hope. We lowered our guard and empowered Yasser Arafat, convincing ourselves that he had become a partner for peace. The subsequent betrayal wasn't Arafat's alone: Even now Fatah continues to convey to Palestinians the message that Israel is illegitimate and destined to disappear. Many Israelis have become so wary of being taken for fools again--which this generation of Jews had vowed would never happen to us--that talk of hope seems like unbearable naivete.

Most Israelis want a solution to the Palestinian problem as keenly as does the international community, and understand, no less than our critics abroad, that the occupation is a long-term disaster for Israel. The Israeli irony is that we have shifted from dreading the creation of a Palestinian state to dreading its failure. Fulfilling the classical Zionist hopes for a democratic Israel with a Jewish majority, at home in the Middle East and an equal member of the international community, ultimately depend on resolving the Palestinian tragedy. The Jewish return home will not be complete until we find our place in the Middle East.

But empowering the Palestinians requires renewing the trust of the Israeli public toward them. And that, in turn, requires some sign from Palestinian leaders that Israel's legitimacy is at least being debated within Palestinian society rather than systematically denigrated. Repeating a commitment to "peace" is meaningless: Peace, after all, can include a Middle East without a Jewish state.

For many years, Israelis denied the right of the Palestinians to define themselves as a nation, considering Palestinian nationalism an invention by the Arab world to undermine Israel. We experienced our conceptual breakthrough in the 1990s. Now it's the Palestinians' turn. Admittedly, Israelis, as the powerful protagonists, could more readily develop a nuanced understanding of the conflict. Psychologically, though, we too are the underdog: Israel may be Goliath to the Palestinian David, but we are David to the Arab world's (and Iran's) Goliath. We cannot empower the Palestinians while fearing our consequent diminishment.
You can be a crucial voice in encouraging the transformation of Palestinian consciousness. Perhaps parts of Palestinian society and of the broader Arab world would be able to hear from you what it cannot hear from us: that the Jews aren't colonialist invaders or crusaders but an indigenous people living in its land. Perhaps you can help the Middle East reconcile itself to our existence, and in so doing, help us complete our return home.

As you go through the requisite visits to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and the President's House, the Israeli public will be hoping to hear, beyond affirmations of your commitment to Israeli security, that America under President Obama will understand what maintaining that security involves. We hope that you will insist on a peace based on acceptance of the permanent legitimacy of a Jewish state, and on a Middle East free of the apocalyptic terror of a nuclear Iran. We, too, need the hope that you have promised America.

Yossi Klein Halevi is a contributing editor of The New Republic and a senior fellow at the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies of the Shalem Center in Jerualem. He is author of At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for Hope with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land.
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ccp
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« Reply #202 on: July 22, 2008, 06:21:17 PM »

Gm,

Here is my response to this guy.  Feel free to forward it on over to him:

***True, you told AIPAC that "we should take no option, including military action, off the table." But that was the one moment in your speech that failed to convince.***

***I am convinced that you regard a nuclear Iran as an intolerable threat,***

As you go through the requisite visits to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and the President's House, the Israeli public will be hoping to hear, beyond affirmations of your commitment to Israeli security, that America under President Obama will understand what maintaining that security involves***

Talk about hand wringing. sad

Pal, forgettaboutit.  BO ain't goin to be there for Jews.  Comprende?
You really want to trust your life and those of your family, friends, and countrymen to a man who has already shown he has no qualms about daily lying, waffling, wanting to sell out his *own*, country, and does whatever is politically expedient?

Why, instead of talking up *our* country abroad BO spends all of his time tearing us down in the eyes of the world.

Yossi, you want to trust your life with this guy?  What are you a nut job?  I hope the leadership of Israel has more fortitude than you.
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G M
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« Reply #203 on: July 23, 2008, 03:12:08 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/23/video-al-jazeera-throws-birthday-party-for-freed-hezbollah-child-killer/

Partyin' like it's 799!
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rachelg
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« Reply #204 on: July 24, 2008, 06:29:29 AM »

The Obama show lands in Israel
He got a rock-star reception here, but an intriguing question lingers: Which U.S. presidential candidate is better for this country?

By Aluf Benn
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/07/24/obama_in_israel/

Jul. 24, 2008 | The 2008 U.S. presidential race has been marked by several historical firsts, one of which is the globalization of the campaigning. Visits to Israel and the Palestinian Authority have become part of the trail to the White House this time around; never before have the nominees from both parties visited during an election year. But this is not a typical campaign -- it's a struggle between two visions of America and its place in the world.

John McCain visited back in March but did not make much of a splash. Barack Obama by contrast, touring Israel on Wednesday, received rock-star treatment from the media. Israel's top politicians, immersed as they are in political crisis and expecting a leadership change following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's corruption case, scrambled for a slot in Obama's 24-hour schedule.

Obama's itinerary included much of the usual for high-level foreign VIPs: visiting the Holocaust Memorial and the Western Wall in Jerusalem, calling on President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and making a quick visit to the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. He also took a helicopter trip to Sderot, the border town near Gaza that has been hit by thousands of Palestinian rockets in recent years. Now Sderot is quiet, thanks to a cease-fire with Hamas, but Obama had his own near encounter with local terrorism. Several hours before his arrival on Tuesday, a Palestinian bulldozer operator ran over passersby near Obama's hotel in Jerusalem. Two dozen people were wounded before the perpetrator was shot and killed.

As expected, Obama has said all the right things in terms of what the Israeli establishment wants to hear. Like any other American politician, he repeated his commitment to Israel's security and its special relationship with the United States, condemned terrorism, and pledged to prevent the Iranian nuclear threat. But while acknowledging his charm, his Israeli interlocutors seem to sense that Obama is not proficient in the nitty-gritty of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and does not expect any quick breakthrough toward peace. Clearly, he has more pressing issues on his foreign policy agenda; Israel's problems are way down his list, after Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and the economy and energy reform back home.

Nevertheless, Obama's high-profile visit here is no accident. Israel has played an arguably overblown role in the 2008 campaign, as Obama's rivals have sought to push falsehoods about his "Muslim background" (he is Christian) and his associations with known anti-Israel figures to scare away Jewish voters and other supporters. This tactic appears to have been effective. In many meetings with Jewish American visitors this year, I have heard strong doubts about voting for Obama in November. "I have never supported a Republican, but this time it's different," was a recurring theme I heard. "I have a dilemma," confided one young Jewish financier from New York. "McCain is more pro-Israel than Obama, but he will appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court, who may overturn Roe v. Wade." A tough choice for some, undoubtedly.

Mindful of the possible defection of Jewish voters to McCain, Obama's campaign has been at pains to convince the U.S. electorate that he is genuinely pro-Israel. He was pushing his message to the limits of political correctness when in June he announced his support for an "undivided Jerusalem" at the annual gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington. In the charged lingo of the conflict, this term is anathema to the Palestinians, and Obama backed away from it the next day. But he kept courting Israel (as well as American supporters) by writing an Op-Ed in Israel's largest newspaper, Yediot Aharonot, for the country's 60th anniversary. He even deemed appropriate Israel's bombing last year of Syria's suspected nuclear reactor -- you can't really go much further than that as a Democrat who campaigned on his opposition to the Iraq war.

Despite all the excitement and commentary this week, an intriguing question lingers here: Which candidate would be better for Israel? Taking into account that campaigning is not synonymous with political reality, there are several possible answers to this question.

Instinctively, the Israeli establishment is warmer to McCain. His gray hair, wrinkles and combat record are key elements of the Israeli concept of leadership. Think of David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Rabin or Ariel Sharon. We tend to be suspicious of young, TV-savvy leaders without experience in matters of war and peace, and prefer the tribal elders. Moreover, McCain appears to be more receptive to using force, which is the usual point of contention between Israeli and Western public opinion. For these reasons, he appears like a good uncle, a follow-up to Bush's supportive eight years.

Obama offers a more exciting -- albeit more challenging -- vision to Israelis. If he can bring about a change of perception that America is once again optimistic in its strength, more accepted in the world and less dependent on oil, it would boost Israel's strategic position. But in order to get there, Obama wants -- and needs -- to be friendlier with the Europeans, Arabs and Iranians, all of whom are less friendly to Israel in various degrees. The inference, then, is that an Obama administration would pressure Israel to change its behavior and withdraw from the occupied territories and the settlements. To Israel's right wing, this amounts to an unacceptable sellout. To the left, it's fulfilling the old dream of "strong American intervention" to impose peace.

What will Obama actually do in this region, if elected? He (and perhaps even McCain) will likely try to appear more involved in Israeli-Arab peacemaking, if only to show a change from the Bush years. Dennis Ross and Daniel Kurtzer, veterans of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, are part of Obama's entourage for this visit. Both are known supporters of active American mediation in the Middle East. But realistically, they have little room to maneuver. If they seek a potential agreement quickly under a next administration, they might try the Syrian track first. If they want to show compassion to the Palestinians, which could give America more credit across the Middle East and elsewhere abroad, they risk the usual long and frustrating path.

Ultimately, many Israelis see little difference between American presidents in terms of the U.S. relationship with Israel. Over and above personal chemistry, U.S. policy has tended to follow a basic set of rules: Whenever a key American interest is at stake -- say, when Israel is selling arms to China -- then declarations of close friendship are set aside and brutal arm-twisting is applied until Israel falls into line. If a vital Israeli interest is involved -- as in, say, the Palestinian issue, American military aid, or Israel's nuclear deterrent -- then Washington tends to follow Jerusalem's lead. When any issue falls in between, like the Iranian question, there is some give and take, but the American side essentially has the final word. Note how the Bush administration decided to talk to the Iranians recently, shattering Israeli hopes (or illusions) of an impending U.S. military attack.

This is why Israelis in general pay relatively little attention to the American campaign, and why, once the traveling Obama show moves on, the excitement will dissipate. Few here who aren't politics buffs see much difference between Democrats and Republicans, or understand the subtleties of congressional vs. presidential power. And pre-election expectations tend to be wrong: Neither Bill Clinton or George W. Bush were favorites of Israel's leaders, although both turned out to be among the friendliest presidents ever to Israel. This time, too, despite all the media attention and commentary, we will have to wait until after Election Day to really find out what lies ahead, even if the next U.S. president is the candidate who brought his historic campaign to our shores this week.

Aluf Benn is the diplomatic editor of the Israeli daily Haaretz and has been a regular contributor to Salon since 2001.
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ccp
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« Reply #205 on: July 24, 2008, 07:26:12 AM »

***"I have never supported a Republican, but this time it's different," was a recurring theme I heard.***

Really?  I don't believe for even a nanosecond that hardly any, if any Democrat American Jews will vote for McCain or any Republican.
All the ones I know are Democrats to the death.  To them Republicans are worse than Nazis.


***once the traveling Obama show moves on, the excitement will dissipate. Few here who aren't politics buffs see much difference between Democrats and Republicans, or understand the subtleties of congressional vs. presidential power***

Fact - the show isn't for Israelis - the show is for Americans, and particularly American Jews.  I guess they truly think that when it comes time to pull the lever that Jewish crats will either vote for McCain or not vote.  I can tell you that will never happen. 

***Note how the Bush administration decided to talk to the Iranians recently, shattering Israeli hopes (or illusions) of an impending U.S. military attack.***

This may be true but the reason is because American will is weak.  The Iranians will have nuclear bombs and eventually they will put them atop missles. The only way out of this that I see is for there to be a true regime and political philisophy change in Iran's leadership.
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G M
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« Reply #206 on: July 24, 2008, 08:46:37 AM »

I'm still hoping that the talks with Iran are being done for political cover before President Bush orders a strike on Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

The realist in me says that neither the US or Israel will do anything until it's too late.
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G M
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« Reply #207 on: July 24, 2008, 09:01:31 AM »

http://counterterrorismblog.org/2008/07/print/winning_the_war_with_islamic_f.php

Counterterrorism Blog

Winning the War with Islamic Fanaticism

By Andrew Cochran

I am pleased to post the views of Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker, Chairman of "Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East," on this topic, and to associate myself with and assent to his views in this post.
-------------
American-Israeli analyst and news commentator Micah D. Halpern wrote an interesting column last week for his blog—The Micah Report—entitled “The Qualitative Edge” , in which he suggested that Israeli deterrence of enemies has been accomplished through maintaining superior military power: better equipment, better training, better intelligence and greater motivation than its enemies. Halpern states that this doctrine has worked for the past 60 years against Israel’s adversaries, but notes that now Israel is confronted by enemies that are motivated by fervent religious ideology that includes a willingness to die for the cause, putting Israel’s superior military power at bay. In effect, Halpern is asking: how does a military power confront the true-believing enemy that is not only willing to die, but actively seeks death as a way of psychologically defeating the superior power it faces? Halpern suggests that Israel and the West need to find a new model to confront this “new” type of enemy.

With due respect to Dr. Halpern whose article essentially is correct otherwise, a new model is not needed. However, what is needed is the resolve to fight relentlessly against those that use terrorism—especially against innocent non-combatants—as a method of gaining an advantage in the psychological aspect of war. Although the daily missile and rocket attacks from Gaza have been terrorizing Sderot and its environs, as well as Ashkelon with the Grad missile attacks, Israel’s retaliatory attacks on the Hamas leadership were having a pronounced effect on that terrorist organization. The same can be said about Hizballah. Whereas the rank and file may be willing to become shahadin (self-sacrificing homicidal murderers), Hassan Nasrallah and his fellow leaders of Hizballah have been very careful to seek protection when the bullets fly and the bombs fall. In a similar manner, much of the Iranian leadership has displayed no desire to become martyrs for a greater Shiite caliphate—their life is too sweet to be sacrificed—besides, they always send proxies in their stead.

The answer to terrorism—whether it is perpetuated by Palestinian Sunni Islamic fundamentalists, Lebanese Iranian-inspired Shiite fundamentalists, or the fanatic Iranian ayatollahs themselves—is to fight it vigorously, just like we fought the Japanese kamikaze pilots at the end of World War II. The allies didn’t flinch when attacked by the kamikazes—we didn’t call for, or agree to, a truce at that point. We fought with one goal in mind: total defeat of the enemy. Whereas we don’t wish to harm the civilian populations of our adversaries, we should be seeking an overwhelming defeat of those who not only wish, but also actively seek, our destruction. We are in a war, and we need to remember that fact at all times. Truces called by the other side are meant for their advantage; we should not give in to the temptation for a cease-fire when we have our enemies on the ropes. The time for magnanimity is when the enemy has been utterly crushed, and not before.

We need to understand the mentality of our fanatic fundamentalist enemies. Life is totally black or white for them—there are no shades of grey. Surviving a battle with the superior forces of their enemy is seen as a victory by them—proof that we in the West are too soft to defeat them ultimately. Hizballah thus views the 2006 Lebanon War as a victory since the superior military might of Israel was incapable of crushing the Iranians’ Lebanese proxy. So too, Hamas looks at the current cease-fire as a proof that Israel cannot destroy the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood. For that matter, every time that we agree to talk to the Iranians in Iraq, they see it as proof that they are capable of eventually driving us out of the region. And it goes without saying that every time the West offers the Islamic Republic of Iran a bigger incentive to stop its nuclear program, the more adamant Khameneí and his spokesman Ahmadinejad become in their insistence that Iran will never back down ultimately from its “national rights”.

If Israel and the West are to succeed in defeating Islamic fundamentalism, which seeks to return the world to an era long before the Enlightenment—to an era of misogyny and wars of religion—we must realize that our fundamentalist enemies mean to defeat us and subjugate us or put us to the sword. They are fighting as if the future status of heaven and earth are hanging in the balance; it is high time that we learn to take this battle seriously. The fate of Western civilization, indeed of this planet, will be determined by our response to the threats we face today emanating from the Middle East. If we fail to deal with the threat today, by tomorrow the battle will be at our doorstep. .

Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker is founder and Chairman of the Board of "Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East," a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching government officials and the public of the dangers posed by Islamic fundamentalism and the need to establish genuine democratic institutions in the Middle-East as an antidote to the venom of such fundamentalism.

By Andrew Cochran on July 23, 2008 10:30 AM
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G M
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« Reply #208 on: July 24, 2008, 09:15:47 AM »

**Training the next generation of Israel's "partners in peace".**


news
Pictured: The TV rabbit preaching hatred and telling  young Muslims to 'kill and eat Jews'
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:38 PM on 23rd July 2008

An Islamic TV station using a Bugs Bunny lookalike to preach hatred to children has been slammed by religious leaders in the UK who fear it could brainwash vulnerable British children.

Assud the rabbit, who vows to 'kill and eat Jews' and glorifies the maiming of 'infidels' appears on Palestinian children's show, Tomorrow's Pioneers.

The rabbit is a number of characters who is punished by viewer's vote when he breaches Sharia law.

In one episode, Assud admits stealing money and is seen begging for mercy after young viewers and parents phone in demanding his hands are cut off as punishment.


Assud the rabbit is threatened with punishment for stealing on Palestinian children's show Tomorrow's Pioneers

At that point the 11-year-old presenter intervenes - and rules that the bunny should only have his ears severed because he has repented.

The rabbit is played by an actor in fancy dress and is one of the main characters on the show broadcast in Gaza by the al-Aqsa channel - known as Hamas TV.

Religious leaders across the UK have today spoken out against the controversial show which can be viewed via satellite.

The programme is also easily viewed on internet sites such as YouTube, sparking fears that British children could be subjected to the radical Islamic message.

The Association of Muslim Schools, which represents the UK's 143 Muslim schools, said it was opposed to any shows that incite violence.

Spokesman Dr Mohamed Mukadam said: 'It goes without saying that any programme which promotes the killing or injuring of human beings is wrong.


Assud encourages children to 'eat and kill Jews' and preaches hatred

'Regardless of religion, shows that incite or inspire others to inflict violence of any kind should be condemned.

'Such shows are against the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, and we would urge people of all ages not to watch them.' 

Set up as a regional station prior to the Palestinian elections in January 2006, al-Aqsa TV now airs on a satellite slot.

It broadcasts what many call a mixture of news of Islamic propaganda, but has picked up a substantial following across the Arabic-speaking world.

Tomorrow's Pioneers was first aired in April 2007, and features young host Saraa Barhoum and her co-host, a large costumed animal.

The show originally featured a Mickey Mouse-style character called Farfur who urged children to fight against the Jewish community and form a world Islamic state.

Farfur was later replaced by a bumble bee called Nahoul, who told viewers to 'follow the path of Islam, of martyrdom and of the Mujahideen'.

He was 'martyred' earlier this year and replaced by Assud, who tells children in his first episode: 'I, Assud, will get rid of the jews, Allah willing, and I will eat them up.' 


UK religious leaders fear young British children could be subjected to the rabbit's hate teachings

In a discussion with 11-year-old host Saraa Barhoum, the young viewers are referred to as 'soldiers'.   

Assud asks Saraa: 'We are all martyrdom-seekers, are we not?'.

To which she replies: 'Yes, we are all ready to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our homeland.'

The phone-in show accepts calls from children as young as nine on topics about life in Palestine.

During one show broadcast in February, Assud vows to kill and eat all Danish people over the cartoon images of the Prophet Muhammad which appeared in a newspaper.

He also pledges to assassinate the illustrator and Saraa also agrees that she would martyr herself for the cause of Palestine.

Saraa, who has seven brothers and sisters, was invited to host the show after entering a singing competition.

But speaking last year, she defended the programme - and insisted it was not responsible for spreading extremism.

She said: 'We are not terrorists. We do not support terrorism. We are normal people, but we are defending our homeland.

'The Israelis hit next door to my house with a shell. I was wounded on my feet and my little brother Youssef was wounded in the legs.

'We, as Muslims, are against suicide bombers. We are against the death of civilians on all sides. We are only the enemy of those who took our land and kill us every day.'

The show is regularly translated and posted online by The Middle East Media Research Institute, an independent media monitoring group based in the United States.

Al-Aqsa was today was unavailable for comment.

Find this story at www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1037512/Pictured-The-TV-rabbit-preaching-hatred-telling-young-Muslims-kill-eat-Jews.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #209 on: August 03, 2008, 11:07:57 AM »

150 Fatah supporters enter Israel after Hamas takes over east Gaza

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- About 150 pro-Fatah Palestinians seeking refuge from a Hamas crackdown in eastern Gaza City were allowed into Israel on Saturday, an Israel Defense Forces spokesman told CNN.

They were let in at the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after Hamas took control of a neighborhood in eastern Gaza City on Saturday.

The Palestinians entered through a security checkpoint in Nahal Oz in the Gaza Strip's northern region Saturday afternoon, the spokesman said.
"They were asking to enter the state of Israel after being threatened by Hamas gunmen," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said the Palestinians, some of whom were wounded, were allowed to cross the border after they disarmed. He also said they would be asked about the events leading them to seek refuge in Israel.
Those who suffered injuries were taken to a facility to receive medical treatment.

It was a rare act that could be interpreted as a sign of Israel's support of the Fatah party, which is led by Abbas.

"It was a sort of humane gesture," the IDF spokesman said.

Hamas forces took control of the al-Shojaeya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City late Saturday, ending several hours of deadly fighting.
The Hamas forces were battling a family suspected of harboring Fatah members wanted in last week's Gaza beach bombing.

Hamas police surrounded the clan, and a battle began with rocket-propelled grenades, rockets and rifles, sources said.
The violence in the large neighborhood left four people dead, including two police officers, and wounded at least 60 others. Watch a report on the violence »

The IDF confirmed that some of the Palestinians who entered Israel on Saturday were members of the clan.

Hamas Interior Minister Said Salam said in a news conference that bomb-making materials were found. He asked why so many people would have fled to Israel if they weren't guilty.

Hamas forces began raiding houses in the 15-block neighborhood after the fighting died down, arresting at least 12 men Saturday night.
Earlier, the Hilles clan, a family known to support Fatah, refused Hamas police demands to hand over 20 activists suspected in the bomb attack, sources said.

Hamas security forces in Gaza had already detained hundreds of people affiliated with Fatah since five Hamas militants and a child died in the July 25 beach bombing. Fatah sources say about 450 were apprehended.
Among the dead in the beach attack was Amar Musubah, a Hamas military commander, who has been the target of Israeli military assassination attempts.

Fatah denied responsibility for the attack.
Hamas sources said Saturday the group will release 10 Fatah members arrested earlier in Gaza.

In addition, Hamas released Fatah spokesman Ibrahim Abu-Naja.
Hamas also shut down a radio station, accusing it of airing pro-Fatah broadcasts.

The two Palestinian factions have been bitterly divided since Hamas drove Abbas' security forces from Gaza last year.
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G M
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« Reply #210 on: August 03, 2008, 11:12:20 AM »

There is a long history of the "palestinians" seeking shelter in Israel when needed. Of course they'll be back to terrorism as soon as they get on their feet.
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« Reply #211 on: August 05, 2008, 07:06:15 PM »

http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2008/08/04/gaza-anomalies-blow-pcps-circuits-result-the-sounds-of-silence/

Israel and the "palestinians" and p.c. myths.
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« Reply #212 on: August 12, 2008, 09:51:16 AM »

On other posts GM and others have discussed the inherit evils and dangers of a Theocracy and their rejection of democracy; obviously Islamic countries were used as an example.  Yet I think Israel too is facing a crossroad;

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20080810gd.html

The Palestinian population is growing by leaps and bounds; "Olmert was absolutely clear; They (Palestinians) will demand the vote - Israel will have to choose between granting them their demand and ceasing to be a Jewish State or rejecting it and ceasing to be a democracy."

It is an interesting conundrum. 
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rachelg
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« Reply #213 on: August 13, 2008, 07:11:29 PM »

Analysis: An uncompromising voice for Israel's transience
Aug. 13, 2008
JONATHAN SPYER , THE JERUSALEM POST
 http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1218446195852&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

This week, the body of leading Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish was flown by Jordanian military helicopter from Amman to burial in Ramallah. The funeral in the PA's main city was headline news in much of the Palestinian media.

"Every good intelligence officer must read poetry," Israeli poet Haim Gouri wrote when profiling Darwish in Ha'aretz five years ago, quoting Egyptian intellectual Dr. Hussein Fawzi.

Fawzi's point was that had Israeli officials read Egyptian poetry following the Six Day War, they would have known that another war was inevitable. This sage advice applies equally to the example of Darwish.

Those who correctly predicted the failure of the peace process of the 1990s found Darwish's verse invaluable in reaching their assessment. His words should be examined equally closely today.

There is no better or more articulate representation of the prism through which Fatah-type Palestinian nationalism views itself, its enemies and the nature of the struggle between them.

In 1988, Darwish wrote a poem that became the anthem of the first intifada. The poem shocked Israelis who hoped for historic compromise with the Palestinians. In it, Darwish expressed a fundamental tenet of Palestinian nationalism - namely, the absence of any moral content whatsoever to Israel's claim to existence.

The poem contains the following lines:

"You who pass through the sea of transient words/ Take your names and leave. Steal what you want/ of the blue of the sea and the sands of memory... from you the steel and the fire and from us our flesh. From you another tank and from us a stone/ From you another gas bomb and from us the rain

"Take your portion from our blood and just leave... because we have in this land what you do not have - a motherland."

These lines describe a clash of existential proportions, between a force of nature and a force of anti-nature. On the one hand - the rain and the motherland and the sky and the sea. On the other, an artificial entity made up of transient words, gas bombs, tanks and theft.

Palestinian nationalism contains, of course, many political perspectives. But all tendencies are united in the fundamental article of faith that Jewish claims to connection with the land are fictitious, fraudulent and lacking in moral or factual basis.

It was for this reason that Darwish, when questioned on the poetry of Yehuda Amichai, said that while he regarded Amichai as a talented writer, he felt himself engaged in a "competition: with the Israeli.

Darwish described this competition in the following terms: "Amichai wants to use the landscape and history for his own benefit, based on my destroyed identity. So we have a competition: Who is the owner of the language of this land?"

Note well - not a competition between poets of rival nations. Rather, an argument between destroyer and destroyed. The idea - to which Amichai was committed - that both Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab/Muslim identities might contain genuine cultural roots and content did not feature as a possibility.

From this basic understanding follows the conclusion that the artificial construct must inevitably disappear, worn away by the natural forces represented by its adversary. As Darwish has it: "Remember my son, Crusader fortresses, that were gnawed by the weeds of Nissan/ after the soldiers left."

Darwish gave up his Israeli citizenship to make his physical and spiritual home among the intellectual supporters of the PLO. He was far more than a spectator. He authored the Palestinian "Declaration of Independence" of 1988. He scripted Yasser Arafat's famous speech before the UN General Assembly in 1974. His funeral took place in the mukata compound in Ramallah, wrapped in the flag, with a rifle salute, at a site close to the grave of Arafat.

In a long poem written in Ramallah at the height of the second intifada in 2002, "State of Siege," Darwish expressed once more what he regarded as the inevitable fate of Israel. In a line evoking the memory of Moshe Dayan, he wrote: "Here is a general/ searching for an old state/beneath the ruins of the future Troy."

Troy - the ancient kingdom depicted in Greek mythology, whose fate was to be destroyed without trace at the end of its long war with Greece.

Yet despite this seeming self-confidence in his people's ultimate victory, Darwish ended his life a disillusioned man. He was horrified at the Hamas coup in Gaza of 2007, and the seeming fragmentation of the Palestinian national movement whose identity he had spent his life helping to build.

He described his anguish at the "monochrome flag" of Hamas "doing away" with the "four-color flag of Palestine."

Hamas, firmly entrenched in Gaza, paid only the most minimal of lip service to the passing of the "national poet."

A survey of movement's Web sites on Wednesday revealed that none even mentioned Darwish's funeral on their front page (it was covered reverentially on the sites of the West Bank PA).

For all his association of the party he supported with nature itself, it appears that history and time may have a different view than Darwish regarding which forces are transient, and which firmly rooted.

Perhaps they may also differ with him on which local political projects seem closest to the verdict of Troy that he called down upon his enemies with such assurance.

Jonathan Spyer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya.
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rachelg
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« Reply #214 on: August 19, 2008, 07:54:33 PM »

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1218710396756&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
The Bolsheviks of Gaza
Aug. 18, 2008
Sam Ser , THE JERUSALEM POST

Anna Geifman's cappuccino is getting cold as she talks about Hamas and its motives. The energetic professor makes one point that leads to another, and then to four more.

"I can talk about terrorism from today until doomsday," Geifman says with a laugh, catching her breath and then adding, more seriously, "or until they stop."

In Jerusalem, discussions of Palestinian terrorism do seem as if they'll go on until doomsday, and the academics doing the talking are a dime a dozen. What makes Geifman different is that her expertise lies in another field, even in another era: revolutionary Russia. It's a subject she teaches her students at Boston University and one that, she says, is strikingly similar to modern times.

"Everything you see today - every single aspect of terrorism - you can see it in the Russia of a century ago," she says.

Before our lives were changed by the likes of Hamas and Hizbullah, Geifman notes, Russian society was devastated by rampant violence, from the turmoil leading up to the peasant revolt of 1905, through the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and the establishment of the Soviet Union. Political violence in Russia - what we call terrorism today - developed primarily in Moscow and was perpetrated by "combat organizations" whose first targets were government officials.

"This was old-time, traditional terrorism - targeting people very carefully, assassinating people who were senior members of the government, people who affected policy," Geifman says. "But then, they basically killed whoever they could attack, and very often there was no connection. Anyone who wore a uniform became a target - being a mailman was a very dangerous occupation, for example."

Think attacks on police recruitment centers in Iraq are unique? Think again, says Geifman, noting that a quarter of the police in Riga were gunned down.

Think al-Qaida's informal, decentralized network of cells and spinoffs is an innovation? Not so, she continues, saying that Moscow's combat organizations spawned acolyte groups in outlying areas that often operated independently from the headquarters that, sometimes, were totally unaware of their existence.

As the bloodshed increased, Geifman says, "the violence descended into indiscriminate killing. They were no longer attacking people in uniform, but anyone who 'looked bourgeois.' If you had glasses, or a watch, or an umbrella, then obviously you were too rich to be a proletarian. That is where the descent into sheer terror begins."

At some points in the early part of the 20th century, Geifman says, as many as 18 terrorist acts were carried out in Russia every day. That rivals the murderous activity here in 2002, for example, or more recently in Iraq. Likewise, the terrorism was similar.

"They would blow up train stations, they would blow up cafés," Geifman says. "One such bombing was justified with the remark, 'We just wanted to see how the bourgeois squirm in death.'"

Not only were the targets of the attacks indiscriminate, but so were the attackers. Every other person, it seemed, was declaring himself a "revolutionary terrorist" and joining one of myriad groups, with fanciful names like "The League of the Red Fuse," in a hodgepodge of violent orders that blurred together.

Like the mind-numbing proliferation of Palestinian terrorist groups (that was so brilliantly lampooned by Monty Python) and the endless permutations of jihadi militias, Russian revolutionary terrorists' claims of ideological affiliation and aims became so convoluted that they often even confused themselves. Terrorists testifying at their trials, Geifman notes, were often unable to explain what they believed - or, sometimes, to even accurately recall the full name of their organization.

"Some were honest enough to say, 'Who the hell cares about ideology? The main thing is to kill.'"

SUCH SIMILARITIES between Russian terrorists and those on Israel's doorstep are the subject of much of Geifman's work these days. Since making aliya earlier this year - she plans to divide her time between teaching in Boston and writing in Jerusalem - Geifman has spent extended weekends in Sderot, meeting the people of the bombarded city and trying to raise awareness of their plight. Knowledge of Russian history, she believes, will provide valuable insight on the situation in Gaza City.

"Israelis know all about Hamas," she says, "but they don't know anything about the Russian precedent. People have no clue that the origins of the war on terrorism are in Russia."

Geifman took a circuitous route to that knowledge herself. After moving from the Soviet Union to Boston with her family in 1976, the teenager "felt so un-American" that she took to studying Russian history as something of a refuge. It led to her eventually writing a biography of Viktor Chernov, leader of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party for which terror was a chief strategy, as well as Thou Shalt Kill: Revolutionary Terrorism in Russia and other works.

Since a sabbatical visit to Israel in 2000, Geifman has focused on modern parallels to political violence in revolutionary Russia, especially in the Middle East. She has also become more Zionistic and more religiously observant.

Mostly, though, Geifman tries to sound the alarm about the dangers of thinking that Hamas is moderated by its control of the Gaza Strip.

"Whenever I hear someone suggest that Hamas might become a more responsible movement now that it is in charge, I think, 'Why don't you read a little about the Bolsheviks and see if you still believe that?'" she says.

It bothers her to hear speculation about Hamas being more open to negotiating with Israel and softening its radical positions, when history suggests otherwise.

"You want to know what happens when terrorists come to power? As soon as terrorists come to power, they begin building on what they did to get there. Look at the Bolsheviks, who were terrorists before they came to power in 1917. They used this terror-based revolution to build a terror-based state."

It's no surprise, for example, that Hamas is so heavily invested in its "security forces," considering that the Bolsheviks established the forerunner to the KGB less than a month after taking over. Terror states, Geifman says, are based on a legacy, an ideology and a practice - specifically, the legacy, ideology and practice of terrorism.

So when anyone suggests that seeing a terrorist group like Hamas come to power in Gaza might actually be a positive development, Geifman says, "It scares me like you can't imagine."

If her analogy of Hamas as the Bolsheviks of Gaza is accurate, then there is "no way that Hamas will turn away from terrorism. No way! They will remain an organization committed to terror," she says. "And the first victims of Hamas rule will not be the Israelis, but the Palestinians themselves - just as the the Bolsheviks' primary victims were not the Poles, nor the Czechs, nor the Americans, nor anyone else, but the Russians and the Ukrainians."

Avoiding this comparison, Geifman believes, turning to psychology, is an effect of the terrorism with which Western society is bombarded.

"I think we suffer - I think the whole world now suffers - from a collective Stockholm syndrome," she says. "Our problem is that we so want to believe in the goodness of people that we can't see how bad some people are. [There are people who] don't want to call these people terrorists. Well, you can call them pussycats, if you want. But they're not going to stop killing."

Geifman draws on the Beslan school massacre for comparison with the Gaza terrorist groups' missile barrages on Sderot and the Western Negev, noting that "they often fire their rockets in the morning, as children are going to school, and in the afternoon, as they are on their way home from school." Children, she notes, are symbols of life, and as such serve as particularly attractive targets for groups whose culture is "death-based."

At this, Geifman turns to thoughts from her growing religious observance, recalling the Torah's directive to "choose life."

"As Jews, we have an obligation to choose life, and to defend it. Otherwise," she says, "death takes over." In spite of this bleak view, though, Geifman says she is "very optimistic" that Hamas will eventually fade away.

Why? "Because," she says, "in history, not a single death cult survives."

Furthermore, how they meet their end is instructive.

"One of the basic characteristics of violence in culture is that it is like a living organism, in that it is mobile, and it must remain in motion in order to survive," Geifman explains. "So long as the violence is directed externally, it can maintain its momentum - but once it is prevented from that goal, if you wall it off, it can't stop. Like any organism, it must keep moving. So the violence turns on [its originators]. Consider the Nazis: When they could no longer kill others, they killed themselves."

If history is a guide, she says, Hamas ought to pay attention.

"[Terrorist] leaders think that they control death, but in reality they are merely agents of death," she says. "That is why every revolution ultimately swallows itself."
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #215 on: August 29, 2008, 07:56:48 AM »

'Israel reaches strategic decision not to let Iran go nuclear'
Aug. 29, 2008

JPost.com Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST

Israel will not agree to allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons and if the grains start running out in the proverbial egg timer, Jerusalem will not hesitate to take whatever means necessary to prevent Iran from achieving its nuclear goals, the government has recently decided in a special discussion.

According to the Israeli daily Ma'ariv, whether the United States and Western countries will succeed in toppling the ayatollah regime diplomatically, through sanctions, or whether an American strike on Iran will eventually be decided upon, Jerusalem has put preparations for a separate, independent military strike by Israel in high gear.

So far, Israel has not received American authorization to use US-controlled Iraqi airspace, nor has the defense establishment been successful in securing the purchase of advanced US-made warplanes which could facilitate an Israeli strike.

The Americans have offered Israel permission to use a global early warning radar system, implying that the US is pushing Israel to settle for defensive measures only.

Because of Israel's lack of strategic depth, Jerusalem has consistently warned over the past years it will not settle for a 'wait and see' approach and retaliate in case of attack, but rather use preemption to prevent any risk of being hit in the first place.

Ephraim Sneh a veteran Labor MK which has left the party recently, has sent a document to both US presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama. The eight-point document states that "there is no government in Jerusalem that would ever reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran. When it is clear Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, an Israeli military strike to prevent this will be seriously considered."

According to Ma'ariv, Sneh offered the two candidates the "sane, cheap and the only option that does not necessitate bloodshed." To prevent Iran's nuclear aspirations, Sneh wrote, "real" sanctions applied in concert by the US and Europe is necessary. A total embargo in spare parts for the oil industry and a total boycott of Iranian banks will topple, within a short time, the regime which is already pressured by a sloping economy and would be toppled by the Iranian people if they would have outside assistance.

The window of opportunity Sneh suggests is a year and a half to two years, until 2010.

Sneh also visited Switzerland and Austria last week in an attempt to lobby those two states. Both countries have announced massive long-term investments in Iranian gas and oil fields for the next decade.

"Talk of the Jewish Holocaust and Israel's security doesn't impress these guys," Sneh said wryly.

Hearing his hosts speak of their future investments, Sneh replied quietly "it's a shame, because Ido will light all this up." He was referring to Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, the recently appointed commander of the Israeli Air Force and the man most likely to be the one to orchestrate Israel's attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, should this become the necessity.

"Investing in Iran in 2008," Sneh told his Austrian hosts, "is like investing in Krups Steelworks in 1938, it's a high risk investment." The Austrians, according to Sneh, turned pale.

In related news, Israel Radio reported that Iran has finished installing an additional 4,000 centrifuges in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility. The Islamic Republic also announced it will install an additional 3,000 centrifuges in coming months.

The pan-Arabic Al Kuds al Arabi reported Friday that Iran has equipped Hizbullah with longer range missiles than those it had before the Second Lebanon War and also improved the terror group's targeting capabilities.

According to the report, which The Jerusalem Post could not verify independently, Hizbullah would begin a massive rocket onslaught on targets reaching deep into Israel's civilian underbelly in case the Jewish State would launch an attack on Iran.

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1219913194872&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #216 on: September 05, 2008, 09:00:17 AM »

The use of Georgian airfields adds an interesting angle.


NATO guarantees that an attack against one member country is an attack against all are no longer what they used to be. Had Georgia been inside NATO, a number of European countries would no longer be willing to consider it an attack against their own soil.

For Russia, the geopolitical stars were in perfect alignment. The U.S. was badly overstretched and had no plausible way to talk tough without coming across as empty rhetoric. American resources have been drained by the Iraq and Afghan wars, and the war on terror. The European Union is still a military dwarf that swings no weight in the Kremlin. And the ineptitude of Georgia's leadership gave Russian leaders a huge new window of opportunity.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili evidently thought the U.S. would come to his side militarily if Russian troops pushed him back into Georgia after ordering an attack last Aug. 8 on the breakaway province of South Ossetia. And when his forces were mauled by Russia's counterattack, bitter disappointment turned to anger. Along with Abkhazia, Georgia lost two provinces.

Georgia also had a special relationship with Israel that was mostly under the radar. Georgia's Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili is a former Israeli who moved things along by facilitating Israeli arms sales with U.S. aid. "We are now in a fight against the great Russia," he was quoted as saying, "and our hope is to receive assistance from the White House because Georgia cannot survive on its own."

The Jerusalem Post on Aug. 12 reported, "Georgian Prime Minister Vladimir Gurgenidze made a special call to Israel Tuesday morning to receive a blessing from one of the Haredi community's most important rabbis and spiritual leaders, Rabbi Aaron Leib Steinman. "I want him to pray for us and our state," he was quoted.

Israel began selling arms to Georgia seven years ago. U.S. grants facilitated these purchases. From Israel came former minister and former mayor of Tel Aviv Roni Milo, representing Elbit Systems, and his brother Shlomo, former director-general of Military Industries. Israeli UAV spy drones, made by Elbit Maarahot Systems, conducted recon flights over southern Russia, as well as into nearby Iran.

In a secret agreement between Israel and Georgia, two military airfields in southern Georgia had been earmarked for the use of Israeli fighter bombers in the event of preemptive attacks against Iranian nuclear installations. This would sharply reduce the distance Israeli fighter bombers would have to fly to hit targets in Iran. And to reach Georgian airstrips, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) would fly over Turkey.

At a Moscow news conference, Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, Russia's deputy chief of staff, said the extent of Israeli aid to Georgia included, "eight types of military vehicles, explosives, landmines and special explosives for clearing minefields." Estimated numbers of Israeli trainers attached to the Georgian army range from 100 to 1,000. There were also 110 U.S. military personnel on training assignments in Georgia. Last July 2,000 U.S. troops were flown in for "Immediate Response 2008," a joint exercise with Georgian forces.

Details of Israel's involvement were largely ignored by Israeli media lest they be interpreted as another blow to Israel's legendary military prowess, which took a bad hit in the Lebanese war against Hezbollah two years ago. Georgia's top diplomat in Tel Aviv complained about Israel's "lackluster" response to his country's military predicament, and called for "diplomatic pressure on Moscow." According to the Jerusalem Post, the Georgian was told "the address for that type of pressure is Washington."

The daily Haaretz reported Georgian Minister Temur Yakobashvili - who is Jewish, the newspaper said - told Israeli Army radio that "Israel should be proud of its military, which trained Georgian soldiers" because he explained rather implausibly, "a small group of our soldiers were able to wipe out an entire Russian military division, thanks to Israeli training."

The Tel Aviv-Tbilisi military axis was agreed at the highest levels with the approval of the Bush administration. The official liaison between the two entities was Reserve Brig. Gen. Gal Hirsch, who commanded Israeli forces on the Lebanese border in July 2006. He resigned from the army after the Winograd commission flayed Israel's conduct of its Second Lebanon War.

That Russia assessed these Israeli training missions as U.S.-approved is a given. The U.S. was also handicapped by a shortage of spy-in-the-sky satellite capability, already overextended by the Iraq and Afghan wars. Neither U.S. nor Georgian intelligence knew Russian forces were ready with an immediate and massive response to the Georgian attack Moscow knew was coming. Russian double agents ostensibly working for Georgia most probably egged on the military fantasies of the impetuous President Saakashvili's "surprise attack" plans.

Mr. Saakashvili was convinced that by sending 2,000 of his soldiers to serve in Iraq (that were immediately flown home by the U.S. when Russia launched a massive counterattack into Georgia), he would be rewarded for his loyalty. He could not believe Mr. Bush, a personal friend, would leave him in the lurch. Georgia, as Mr. Saakashvili saw his country's role, was "Israel of the Caucasus."

The Tel Aviv-Tbilisi military axis appears to have been cemented at the highest levels, according to YNet, the Israeli electronic daily. But whether the IAF can still count on those air bases to launch bombing missions against Iran's nuke facilities is now in doubt.

Iran comes out ahead in the wake of the Georgian crisis. Neither Russia nor China is willing to respond to a Western request for more and tougher sanctions against the mullahs. Iran's European trading partners are also loath to squeeze Iran. The Russian-built, 1,000-megawatt Iranian reactor in Bushehr is scheduled to go on line early next year.

A combination of Vladimir Putin and oil has put Russia back on the geopolitical map of the world. Moscow's oil and gas revenue this year is projected at $201 billion, a 13-fold increase since Mr. Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin eight years ago.

The Bush administration's global democracy crusade, as seen by the men in the Kremlin, and not an insignificant number of friends, is code for imperial hubris. The Putin-Medvedev tandem's response is a new five-point doctrine that told the U.S. to butt out of what was once the Soviet empire, not only former Soviet republics, but also former satellites and client states.

Only superannuated cold warriors saw a rebirth of the Cold War's Brezhnev Doctrine, or the right to intervene in the internal affairs of other "socialist states," e.g., the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. But it does mean the Russian bear cannot be baited with impunity - a la Georgia.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large for The Washington Times and for United Press International.
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« Reply #217 on: September 07, 2008, 03:01:55 AM »

Pasted from the Obama thread:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote from: JDN on September 05, 2008, 10:19:28 PM
GM; It seems odd for me to be defending Islam and "criticizing Christianity since I am a practicing Christian, truly believe in God's power and attend Church on most Sundays.That said, I beg to differ with your conclusions/questions/comments.

To ignore God's (Christian God) Law and make your own is also not acceptable is classic Christian theology.

I am not a theologian, but I'll try to express my opinion.  However, I think if your read the Bible, a theocratic state is thought to be ideal.  Israel is a theocratic state; while perhaps not Christians,

**Israel is a parliamentary democracy, not a theocracy. Most Israelis are secular Jews.**

 the Old Testament has a strong influence.  The Catholic Church (I am not Catholic) at one time and I bet even today if asked privately would support a Christian theocratic state.  Our founding fathers decided not to be a Christian Nation, but rather a nation for all religions; rather wise of them. 

And "go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing  them..." has nothing to do with feeding the poor, tending to the sick, etc.
albeit all good.  It is very clear, MAKE DISCIPLES all nations, i.e. convert them to Christianity period.  That is the sole objective of missionary work; feeding the poor, educating them, tending to the sick gives them the inside track to conversion, but their objective is to convert people.  The rest is just a means to an end.

**I disagree. I've spoken to more than a few that have gone on missions and they tend to cite such things as:

"On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me." Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me." These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"**

Yes, Jesus resisted earthly power; he looked upon his power as absolute far greater than any earthly power.  As for material things, they simply are not needed if you have the Lord in your heart and look forward to heaven; your final reward.  Live a good life, fight for the Lord, make disciples of all nations and you will be rewarded in heaven; is that much different than Islam?

**Yes, Mohammed created a political-theological entity with the mandate to make all submit to islam.**

I am not an expert on the Qu'ran (I read it a long time ago and need to do again), but then again, the Bible, especially the Old Testament is full of versus and chapters telling how God punished the disbelieving.  Actually, especially in the Old Testament, God is Love, but God is also a God of wrath; don't mess with him or oppose him or thousands will die and not a tear will be shed.

**The key difference being that in Christianity (at least modern christianity), humans are not tasked with being direct agents of god's wrath. If god chooses to unleash biblical plagues, christians aren't expected to brew up bioweapons to fulfill god's desires. Reading the qu'ran without reading the sunna and ahadith and commentaries doesn't lend to getting a good grasp of islamic theology.**

The Bible has become watered down.  But if you simply read the Bible, it's a "you are with Me or against Me" story; period; it is very black and white. Those that are not with Me and don't believe in Me and/or have a false God are condemned to Hell.  And no tears are to be shed for them.  And if one city after another of non believers is destroyed, well, that's their fault for not believing and following God's word.  And in the Bible a lot of cities of non believers were destroyed by the Lord.

**There is a big difference between the old testament and the new theologically. And again, modern christianity does not teach that christianity should be spread at swordpoint. Islam has been spread at swordpoint since it's inception and is being spread around the world by violence, as we speak.**

That being said, I am truly grateful for the wisdom of our founding fathers not to make the U.S. a Christian Nation, but rather a nation that welcomes and tolerates all faiths.  I do not think any state should be a theocratic state, yet like Israel, I understand the attraction.

**Again, Israel is a secular parliamentary democracy, not a theocracy. A core element of christian theology that allows for freedom of religion is the concept of free will. God gives free will and thus humans are free to accept or reject him. Allah does not grant free will.**

========
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Quote from: G M on September 05, 2008, 10:52:08 PM
[
**Israel is a parliamentary democracy, not a theocracy. Most Israelis are secular Jews.**

**I disagree. I've spoken to more than a few that have gone on missions and they tend to cite such things as:

"On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me." Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me." These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"**

I disagree: I think you misunderstood.  While food is nice and so is water/wine, and that may help conversions, however, the Kingdom of heaven is for those who believe; period.  How "nice" you are is just frosting on the cake, but "believe in me and you will be saved".  And so you can do all the good works you want, but if you don't truly believe and follow the Lord, you are damned.  It is very cut and dried; there is no grey.  That being said, if you truly believe, then you will help the hungry and thirsty and those that are fed and given water may be more prone to believe.  But the point is without belief, regardless of all your good works, you are going to hell.  Nobody gets invited to heaven without belief regardless of what good works they did.

As for Israel, is it truly a parliamentary democracy"?  hmmm I am a big fan of Israel, I only wish them well, but a true "democracy" it is not. If that was true, then the Palestinians should soon be in charge; one man one vote?  Isn't that a democracy?  And while "most Israelis are secular Jews" they are still Jews. It is a Jewish State.  I think most Israelis would admit they are a Jewish State and be proud of it.

===========
I've known more than a few Americans that were Jewish and supporters of Israel, but Jewish only in a secular manner with very little religious observance, if any.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Israel

Wikipedia isn't a great source, but it's quick.
==========
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I mentioned this article a month or two ago but no one seemed interested;
but it does make some good points about "democracy" in Israel. 

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20071206gd.html 
 
 
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« Reply #218 on: September 07, 2008, 08:49:49 AM »

Israel has the right to restrict the so-called "palestinians" from it's lands, just as Indian tribes can restrict you from their lands. And you don't get to vote in tribal elections either.
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« Reply #219 on: September 07, 2008, 09:25:16 AM »

Come on GM you can do better than that...
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« Reply #220 on: September 07, 2008, 09:25:39 AM »

Target of Jihad   
By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wafa Sultan appeared on Al-Jazeera again earlier this month, and the shock waves are still reverberating throughout the Islamic world. The day after her appearance Al-Jazeera issued a public apology for her “offensive” remarks, but did not specify what exactly she said that was so terrible. Last week, however, the influential Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi was not so circumspect. Qaradawi, whom Saudi-funded academic John Esposito has praised as a “reformist,” in 2006 exhorted Muslims to fight against Israel by invoking the notorious genocidal hadith in which Muhammad says that on the Day of Judgment “even the stones and the trees will speak, with or without words, and say: ‘Oh servant of Allah, oh Muslim, there’s a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” But now he has directed his rage against Sultan, a fifty-year-old Syrian-American psychologist: “She said unbearable, ghastly things that made my hair stand on end.” Specifically, “she had the audacity to publicly curse Allah, His Prophet, the Koran, the history of Islam, and the Islamic nation.” He repeated that she “leveled accusations against Islam and the Muslims, and cursed Allah, His Prophet, the Islamic nation, the shari’a, and the Islamic faith and culture.”
These are serious charges, and Qaradawi states them in terms that his jihadist minions will understand as meaning that she must be killed. Given that Qaradawi has justified suicide attacks against Israeli civilians and American soldiers in Iraq, it is clear that he has no distaste for violence, and thus law enforcement officials should take his latest fulminations against Wafa Sultan very seriously indeed.

But for Sultan herself, of course, they are nothing new. This courageous woman has been a target of jihadist outrage ever since she burst onto the international scene with an interview also on Al-Jazeera on February 21, 2006. The video of this interview has now been viewed over a million times, and led to Sultan’s receiving numerous death threats. In it, she excoriated the violence that all too many Muslims have committed in the name of Islam, and the tendency of all too many others, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to justify that violence by pointing to mistreatment that Muslims have allegedly suffered:

The Jews have come from the tragedy [of the Holocaust], and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. Fifteen million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.

Reasonable enough. And so was what Sultan said on Al-Jazeera this month. Defending the notorious Danish cartoons of Muhammad that continue to roil the Islamic world, she pointed out:

But if Islam were not the way it is, those cartoons would never have appeared. They did not appear out of the blue, and the cartoonist did not dig them out of his imagination. Rather, they are a reflection of his knowledge. Westerners who read the words of the Prophet Muhammad ‘Allah has given me sustenance under the shadow of my sword’ cannot imagine Muhammad's turban in the shape of a dove of peace rather than in the shape of a bomb. The Muslims must learn how to listen to the criticism of others, and maybe then they will reexamine their terrorist teachings.

Qaradawi, however, was in no mood to reexamine anything. Sultan’s statements were “all based on ignorance,” he complained. “If only she had some knowledge... But she doesn’t have any knowledge. She doesn't know the Koran or the Sunna. When she cited a hadith to back up her statements, she used a hadith that scholars consider unreliable.” Which unreliable hadith? Muhammad’s statement that “Allah has given me sustenance under the shadow of my sword.” Qaradawi asserted: “This hadith is unreliable. The Prophet did not get sustenance by the sword. If she had read the Koran, she would have known that it forbids killing people: ‘Anyone who kills another person for any reason other than manslaughter or spreading corruption in the land – it is as if he has killed all of mankind.’”

Of course, anyone can see that “other than manslaughter or spreading corruption in the land [fasaad]” is a rather large exception, and the next verse makes Qaradawi’s claim that the Qur’an “forbids killing people” even more questionable. He quoted Qur’an 5:32, which immediately precedes a verse directing Muslims to crucify or amputate a hand and a foot on opposite sides from someone who fights against Allah and Muhammad or spreads “corruption in the land.”

And as for the unreliability of the hadith about the shadow of Muhammad’s sword, Qaradawi doesn’t bother to tell us that a hadith in which Muhammad says “Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords” appears in Bukhari, the hadith collection that Muslims consider most reliable, and in which only a very few ahadith are considered unreliable by any Islamic scholars. Not only does it appear, but it appears in three different places in Bukhari and in two places in Sahih Muslim, the hadith collection considered second most reliable. This repetition is further attestation of its authenticity from a Muslim standpoint, since the multiple renderings are considered to have come from different narrators, indicating that many people heard Muhammad say this.

Qaradawi made even wilder charges, falsely claiming (with stinging irony in light of his support for suicide attacks) that Sultan “sanctions the killing of Muslims in Gaza and elsewhere, claiming that they deserve to be killed.” Such charges, and Qaradawi’s claim that Sultan “had the audacity to affront all that is sacred – the entire Islamic nation, its past, its present, and its future.” Yet as we have seen, it was she who was telling the truth, not this renowned “reformist” Sheikh, and thus it is she who has yet again shown up the hollowness of the denial, obfuscation, and finger-pointing that all too many Islamic leaders engage in rather than embarking upon the searching self-reflection urged upon them by Wafa Sultan and other defenders of universal human rights and human dignity.

Wafa Sultan is a national and international treasure. The American government should be rushing to protect her against any who might be motivated to act by the distortions of the thuggish Qaradawi. Is that happening?
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« Reply #221 on: September 07, 2008, 09:29:31 AM »

JDN,

What's the flaw in my point? As an American, you do not have the right to travel onto an Indian reservation with intact borders if they do not wish to allow you to do so. Even if you own property and dwell within the boundaries of a "checkerboard" reservation, you cannot vote in tribal elections unless you are a tribal member.
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« Reply #222 on: September 07, 2008, 10:17:47 AM »

I will reply more later, but but the American Indian's rights were granted by the US Government and can be taken away.  To complete the analogy in essence you are saying that the Palestinians granted Israel their rights and has the right to enter at will as do representatives of the US Government, i.e. a Sheriff, etc.  Further, Indian reservations are under the control of the US Government and therefore you are saying the Palestinians control Israel?

I think your analogy is one of the tail wagging the dog.
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« Reply #223 on: September 07, 2008, 10:41:13 AM »

I will reply more later, but but the American Indian's rights were granted by the US Government and can be taken away. 

**The Indian tribes that have a treaty with the US gov't are known as federally recognized tribes. The USG recognizes the tribes as sovereign nations within the US. The USG retains federal jurisdiction over tribal lands, but other governmental entities like states have no legal jurisdiction.**

To complete the analogy in essence you are saying that the Palestinians granted Israel their rights and has the right to enter at will as do representatives of the US Government, i.e. a Sheriff, etc. 

**First of all, there is no such thing as a "palestinian". There are arabs that lived in that area, but there is no distinct "palestinian" ethnicity. It's a made up psyop that dates back to the 60's, if I recall correctly. Thus far, the Israelis have been able to successfully fight to maintain their existence. The "palestinians" have made it clear that they will kill every last Israeli, given the opportunity.

Secondly, only federal law enforcement, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs special agents/police and the FBI have jurisdiction in Indian Country aside from tribal police. Sheriffs are county level, and don't have jurisdiction, even if they reservation lands are within the county. If I recall correctly, California has some strange deviation from this standard, but this is true elsewhere.**



 Further, Indian reservations are under the control of the US Government and therefore you are saying the Palestinians control Israel?

**No, if the "palestinians" ever had the upper hand, then we have the next holocaust.**

I think your analogy is one of the tail wagging the dog.

**I think you are missing the point. If Israel can't preserve it's "tribal sovereignty", then why do Indian tribes get to here? With tribal casinos and oil and gas leases, some tribes are becoming very wealthy. I know of one where every tribal member is a millionaire on paper. Should non-indians be able to flood into their lands and vote themselves shares of the tribal wealth?**
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« Reply #224 on: September 08, 2008, 11:35:46 AM »

I understand Indian Reservations are "sovereign nations"; but only at the "generosity" of the USG.  This sovereignty can be easily restricted, changed, or taken away and further, as you pointed out, "the USG retains federal jurisdiction of tribal lands."  As for the State of CA it seems to regulate their ability to gamble (number of machines, etc.) and also the sheriff's contend (although debateable) that they have "free and unrestricted access".  At minimum, Sheriff's do have the right to investigate crime, arrest, etc.  That being said, I have dealt with Indian Tribes before and it is a pain in the ass legally speaking.  But that is another subject.

But Israel?  It is hardly a good analogy.  No one has jurisdiction over them, rather Israel is the one with jurisdiction.  Your analogy is contrary to the situation in the Middle East.

A better analogy is the one pointed out in the article.  Prime Minister Olmert himself used the comparison to the South African-style struggle.  He implied that Israel is like South Africa and is in essence now imposing an apartheid system.  Morally, most would say that is wrong and as even Olmert states that it is wrong and the world will one day turn against Israel as it did turn against South Africa. 

Now, Israel has direct control over four million Palestinians in the occupied territories.  They have been under Israel's military rule for 40 years!  Much of the world has already turned against Israel for subjecting the Palestinians to being second class people.  The analogy to apartheid is real and repulsive to most people in a democracy.  And as the article points out, the Palestinian population is growing; soon they will be the majority.

If they say, as the article points out, let us have one country and demand equal rights and are the majority,  the Palestinians will control and Israel will change from being a "Jewish democracy" to a multiethnic post Zionist democratic state.  That is a true democracy, everyone's desire, but I understand your point, it would be disastrous for the Jews of Israel.

The article's point; Israel is between a rock and a hard place with no easy way out.  Not today, not next year, but the time will come.  But it will come and I bet the the world with vote "democracy" (one cannot vote in good conscience for apartheid) and not for the Jews.   Hopefully, a solution can be found before the Palestinians become a democratic majority.

PS as for the use of the term "Palestinians" note Israel Prime Minister Olmert uses the term himself therefore I assume it has come in to common usage.

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« Reply #225 on: September 08, 2008, 05:23:23 PM »

Another serious read from Stratfor:


ISRAELI STRATEGY AFTER THE RUSSO-GEORGIAN WAR

By George Friedman

The Russo-Georgian war continues to resonate, and it is time to expand our view of
it. The primary players in Georgia, apart from the Georgians, were the Russians and
Americans. On the margins were the Europeans, providing advice and admonitions but
carrying little weight. Another player, carrying out a murkier role, was Israel.
Israeli advisers were present in Georgia alongside American advisers, and Israeli
businessmen were doing business there. The Israelis had a degree of influence but
were minor players compared to the Americans.

More interesting, perhaps, was the decision, publicly announced by the Israelis, to
end weapons sales to Georgia the week before the Georgians attacked South Ossetia.
Clearly the Israelis knew what was coming and wanted no part of it. Afterward,
unlike the Americans, the Israelis did everything they could to placate the
Russians, including having Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert travel to Moscow to
offer reassurances. Whatever the Israelis were doing in Georgia, they did not want a
confrontation with the Russians.

It is impossible to explain the Israeli reasoning for being in Georgia outside the
context of a careful review of Israeli strategy in general. From that, we can begin
to understand why the Israelis are involved in affairs far outside their immediate
area of responsibility, and why they responded the way they did in Georgia.

We need to divide Israeli strategic interests into four separate but interacting
pieces:

The Palestinians living inside Israel's post-1967 borders.
The so-called "confrontation states" that border Israel, including Lebanon, Syria,
Jordan and especially Egypt.
The Muslim world beyond this region.
The great powers able to influence and project power into these first three regions.

The Palestinian Issue
The most important thing to understand about the first interest, the Palestinian
issue, is that the Palestinians do not represent a strategic threat to the Israelis.
Their ability to inflict casualties is an irritant to the Israelis (if a tragedy to
the victims and their families), but they cannot threaten the existence of the
Israeli state. The Palestinians can impose a level of irritation that can affect
Israeli morale, inducing the Israelis to make concessions based on the realistic
assessment that the Palestinians by themselves cannot in any conceivable time frame
threaten Israel's core interests, regardless of political arrangements. At the same
time, the argument goes, given that the Palestinians cannot threaten Israeli
interests, what is the value of making concessions that will not change the threat
of terrorist attacks? Given the structure of Israeli politics, this matter is both
substrategic and gridlocked.

The matter is compounded by the fact that the Palestinians are deeply divided among
themselves. For Israel, this is a benefit, as it creates a de facto civil war among
Palestinians and reduces the threat from them. But it also reduces pressure and
opportunities to negotiate. There is no one on the Palestinian side who speaks
authoritatively for all Palestinians. Any agreement reached with the Palestinians
would, from the Israeli point of view, have to include guarantees on the cessation
of terrorism. No one has ever been in a position to guarantee that -- and certainly
Fatah does not today speak for Hamas. Therefore, a settlement on a Palestinian state
remains gridlocked because it does not deliver any meaningful advantages to the
Israelis.

The Confrontation States
The second area involves the confrontation states. Israel has formal peace treaties
with Egypt and Jordan. It has had informal understandings with Damascus on things
like Lebanon, but Israel has no permanent understanding with Syria. The Lebanese are
too deeply divided to allow state-to-state understandings, but Israel has had
understandings with different Lebanese factions at different times (and particularly
close relations with some of the Christian factions).

Jordan is effectively an ally of Israel. It has been hostile to the Palestinians at
least since 1970, when the Palestine Liberation Organization attempted to overthrow
the Hashemite regime, and the Jordanians regard the Israelis and Americans as
guarantors of their national security. Israel's relationship with Egypt is publicly
cooler but quite cooperative. The only group that poses any serious challenge to the
Egyptian state is The Muslim Brotherhood, and hence Cairo views Hamas -- a
derivative of that organization -- as a potential threat. The Egyptians and Israelis
have maintained peaceful relations for more than 30 years, regardless of the state
of Israeli-Palestinian relations. The Syrians by themselves cannot go to war with
Israel and survive. Their primary interest lies in Lebanon, and when they work
against Israel, they work with surrogates like Hezbollah. But their own view on an
independent Palestinian state is murky, since they claim all of Palestine as part of
a greater Syria -- a view not particularly relevant at the moment. Therefore,
Israel's only threat on its border comes from Syria via surrogates in Lebanon and
the possibility of Syria's acquiring weaponry that would threaten Israel, such as
chemical or nuclear weapons.

The Wider Muslim World
As to the third area, Israel's position in the Muslim world beyond the confrontation
states is much more secure than either it or its enemies would like to admit. Israel
has close, formal strategic relations with Turkey as well as with Morocco. Turkey
and Egypt are the giants of the region, and being aligned with them provides Israel
with the foundations of regional security. But Israel also has excellent relations
with countries where formal relations do not exist, particularly in the Arabian
Peninsula.

The conservative monarchies of the region deeply distrust the Palestinians,
particularly Fatah. As part of the Nasserite Pan-Arab socialist movement, Fatah on
several occasions directly threatened these monarchies. Several times in the 1970s
and 1980s, Israeli intelligence provided these monarchies with information that
prevented assassinations or uprisings.

Saudi Arabia, for one, has never engaged in anti-Israeli activities beyond rhetoric.
In the aftermath of the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, Saudi Arabia and Israel
forged close behind-the-scenes relations, especially because of an assertive Iran --
a common foe of both the Saudis and the Israelis. Saudi Arabia has close relations
with Hamas, but these have as much to do with maintaining a defensive position --
keeping Hamas and its Saudi backers off Riyadh's back -- as they do with government
policy. The Saudis are cautious regarding Hamas, and the other monarchies are even
more so.

More to the point, Israel does extensive business with these regimes, particularly
in the defense area. Israeli companies, working formally through American or
European subsidiaries, carry out extensive business throughout the Arabian
Peninsula. The nature of these subsidiaries is well-known on all sides, though no
one is eager to trumpet this. The governments of both Israel and the Arabian
Peninsula would have internal political problems if they publicized it, but a visit
to Dubai, the business capital of the region, would find many Israelis doing
extensive business under third-party passports. Add to this that the states of the
Arabian Peninsula are afraid of Iran, and the relationship becomes even more
important to all sides.

There is an interesting idea that if Israel were to withdraw from the occupied
territories and create an independent Palestinian state, then perceptions of Israel
in the Islamic world would shift. This is a commonplace view in Europe. The fact is
that we can divide the Muslim world into three groups.

First, there are those countries that already have formal ties to Israel. Second are
those that have close working relations with Israel and where formal ties would
complicate rather than deepen relations. Pakistan and Indonesia, among others, fit
into this class. Third are those that are absolutely hostile to Israel, such as
Iran. It is very difficult to identify a state that has no informal or formal
relations with Israel but would adopt these relations if there were a Palestinian
state. Those states that are hostile to Israel would remain hostile after a
withdrawal from the Palestinian territories, since their issue is with the existence
of Israel, not its borders. 

The point of all this is that Israeli security is much better than it might appear
if one listened only to the rhetoric. The Palestinians are divided and at war with
each other. Under the best of circumstances, they cannot threaten Israel's survival.
The only bordering countries with which the Israelis have no formal agreements are
Syria and Lebanon, and neither can threaten Israel's security. Israel has close ties
to Turkey, the most powerful Muslim country in the region. It also has much closer
commercial and intelligence ties with the Arabian Peninsula than is generally
acknowledged, although the degree of cooperation is well-known in the region. From a
security standpoint, Israel is doing well.

The Broader World
Israel is also doing extremely well in the broader world, the fourth and final area.
Israel always has needed a foreign source of weapons and technology, since its
national security needs outstrip its domestic industrial capacity. Its first patron
was the Soviet Union, which hoped to gain a foothold in the Middle East. This was
quickly followed by France, which saw Israel as an ally in Algeria and against
Egypt. Finally, after 1967, the United States came to support Israel. Washington saw
Israel as a threat to Syria, which could threaten Turkey from the rear at a time
when the Soviets were threatening Turkey from the north. Turkey was the doorway to
the Mediterranean, and Syria was a threat to Turkey. Egypt was also aligned with the
Soviets from 1956 onward, long before the United States had developed a close
working relationship with Israel.

That relationship has declined in importance for the Israelis. Over the years the
amount of U.S. aid -- roughly $2.5 billion annually -- has remained relatively
constant. It was never adjusted upward for inflation, and so shrunk as a percentage
of Israeli gross domestic product from roughly 20 percent in 1974 to under 2 percent
today. Israel's dependence on the United States has plummeted. The dependence that
once existed has become a marginal convenience. Israel holds onto the aid less for
economic reasons than to maintain the concept in the United States of Israeli
dependence and U.S. responsibility for Israeli security. In other words, it is more
psychological and political from Israel's point of view than an economic or security
requirement.

Israel therefore has no threats or serious dependencies, save two. The first is the
acquisition of nuclear weapons by a power that cannot be deterred -- in other words,
a nation prepared to commit suicide to destroy Israel. Given Iranian rhetoric, Iran
would appear at times to be such a nation. But given that the Iranians are far from
having a deliverable weapon, and that in the Middle East no one's rhetoric should be
taken all that seriously, the Iranian threat is not one the Israelis are compelled
to deal with right now.

The second threat would come from the emergence of a major power prepared to
intervene overtly or covertly in the region for its own interests, and in the course
of doing so, redefine the regional threat to Israel. The major candidate for this
role is Russia.

During the Cold War, the Soviets pursued a strategy to undermine American interests
in the region. In the course of this, the Soviets activated states and groups that
could directly threaten Israel. There is no significant conventional military threat
to Israel on its borders unless Egypt is willing and well-armed. Since the
mid-1970s, Egypt has been neither. Even if Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were to
die and be replaced by a regime hostile to Israel, Cairo could do nothing unless it
had a patron capable of training and arming its military. The same is true of Syria
and Iran to a great extent. Without access to outside military technology, Iran is a
nation merely of frightening press conferences. With access, the entire regional
equation shifts.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, no one was prepared to intervene in the Middle
East the way the Soviets had. The Chinese have absolutely no interest in struggling
with the United States in the Middle East, which accounts for a similar percentage
of Chinese and U.S. oil consumption. It is far cheaper to buy oil in the Middle East
than to engage in a geopolitical struggle with China's major trade partner, the
United States. Even if there was interest, no European powers can play this role
given their individual military weakness, and Europe as a whole is a geopolitical
myth. The only country that can threaten the balance of power in the Israeli
geopolitical firmament is Russia.

Israel fears that if Russia gets involved in a struggle with the United States,
Moscow will aid Middle Eastern regimes that are hostile to the United States as one
of its levers, beginning with Syria and Iran. Far more frightening to the Israelis
is the idea of the Russians once again playing a covert role in Egypt, toppling the
tired Mubarak regime, installing one friendlier to their own interests, and arming
it. Israel's fundamental fear is not Iran. It is a rearmed, motivated and hostile
Egypt backed by a great power. 

The Russians are not after Israel, which is a sideshow for them. But in the course
of finding ways to threaten American interests in the Middle East -- seeking to
force the Americans out of their desired sphere of influence in the former Soviet
region -- the Russians could undermine what at the moment is a quite secure position
in the Middle East for the United States.

This brings us back to what the Israelis were doing in Georgia. They were not trying
to acquire airbases from which to bomb Iran. That would take thousands of Israeli
personnel in Georgia for maintenance, munitions management, air traffic control and
so on. And it would take Ankara allowing the use of Turkish airspace, which isn't
very likely. Plus, if that were the plan, then stopping the Georgians from attacking
South Ossetia would have been a logical move.

The Israelis were in Georgia in an attempt, in parallel with the United States, to
prevent Russia's re-emergence as a great power. The nuts and bolts of that effort
involves shoring up states in the former Soviet region that are hostile to  Russia,
as well as supporting individuals in Russia who oppose Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin's direction. The Israeli presence in Georgia, like the American one, was
designed to block the re-emergence of Russia.

As soon as the Israelis got wind of a coming clash in South Ossetia, they -- unlike
the United States -- switched policies dramatically. Where the United States
increased its hostility toward Russia, the Israelis ended weapons sales to Georgia
before the war. After the war, the Israelis initiated diplomacy designed to calm
Russian fears. Indeed, at the moment the Israelis have a greater interest in keeping
the Russians from seeing Israel as an enemy than they have in keeping the Americans
happy. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney may be uttering vague threats to the
Russians. But Olmert was reassuring Moscow it has nothing to fear from Israel, and
therefore should not sell weapons to Syria, Iran, Hezbollah or anyone else hostile
to Israel.

Interestingly, the Americans have started pumping out information that the Russians
are selling weapons to Hezbollah and Syria. The Israelis have avoided that issue
carefully. They can live with some weapons in Hezbollah's hands a lot more easily
than they can live with a coup in Egypt followed by the introduction of Russian
military advisers. One is a nuisance; the other is an existential threat. Russia may
not be in a position to act yet, but the Israelis aren't waiting for the situation
to get out of hand.

Israel is in control of the Palestinian situation and relations with the countries
along its borders. Its position in the wider Muslim world is much better than it
might appear. Its only enemy there is Iran, and that threat is much less clear than
the Israelis say publicly. But the threat of Russia intervening in the Muslim world
-- particularly in Syria and Egypt -- is terrifying to the Israelis. It is a risk
they won't live with if they don't have to. So the Israelis switched their policy in
Georgia with lightning speed. This could create frictions with the United States,
but the Israeli-American relationship isn't what it used to be.

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G M
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« Reply #226 on: September 09, 2008, 12:05:50 AM »

I understand Indian Reservations are "sovereign nations"; but only at the "generosity" of the USG.  This sovereignty can be easily restricted, changed, or taken away and further, as you pointed out, "the USG retains federal jurisdiction of tribal lands." 

**Would you support the elimination of reservations in the interest of "democracy"?**

As for the State of CA it seems to regulate their ability to gamble (number of machines, etc.) and also the sheriff's contend (although debateable) that they have "free and unrestricted access".  At minimum, Sheriff's do have the right to investigate crime, arrest, etc.  That being said, I have dealt with Indian Tribes before and it is a pain in the ass legally speaking.  But that is another subject.

http://www.9-1-1magazine.com/magazine/1997/0997/features/mentzer.html
**The article gives a good overview of the jurisdictional issues involved.**


But Israel?  It is hardly a good analogy.  No one has jurisdiction over them, rather Israel is the one with jurisdiction.  Your analogy is contrary to the situation in the Middle East.

A better analogy is the one pointed out in the article.  Prime Minister Olmert himself used the comparison to the South African-style struggle.  He implied that Israel is like South Africa and is in essence now imposing an apartheid system.  Morally, most would say that is wrong and as even Olmert states that it is wrong and the world will one day turn against Israel as it did turn against South Africa. 

**So suicide is moral? How about the moral outrage on how jews, christians and other non-muslims are treated in the middle east? There is no "right of return" for the once thriving Jewish population centers in middle eastern countries. Much like Saddam killing masses, the "world opinion" is silent. Mass murder and oppressions is ignored, unless the US or Israel can somehow be blamed for it.**

Now, Israel has direct control over four million Palestinians in the occupied territories. 

**No it doesn't. They have the Gaza strip and the West bank under the PA.**

They have been under Israel's military rule for 40 years!  Much of the world has already turned against Israel for subjecting the Palestinians to being second class people. 

**The "world opinion" is the result of two things: The onslaught of propaganda and stealth anti-semitism covered as "anti-zionism".**

The analogy to apartheid is real and repulsive to most people in a democracy.  And as the article points out, the Palestinian population is growing; soon they will be the majority.

**The "palestinians" are nothing but a tool for the surrounding arab nations to use against Israel. If they really cared about the "palestinian plight" they wouldn't have warehoused them in "refugee camps" for decades.**

If they say, as the article points out, let us have one country and demand equal rights and are the majority,  the Palestinians will control and Israel will change from being a "Jewish democracy" to a multiethnic post Zionist democratic state.  That is a true democracy, everyone's desire, but I understand your point, it would be disastrous for the Jews of Israel.

The article's point; Israel is between a rock and a hard place with no easy way out.  Not today, not next year, but the time will come.  But it will come and I bet the the world with vote "democracy" (one cannot vote in good conscience for apartheid) and not for the Jews.   Hopefully, a solution can be found before the Palestinians become a democratic majority.

PS as for the use of the term "Palestinians" note Israel Prime Minister Olmert uses the term himself therefore I assume it has come in to common usage.

**It's come into common usage, it doesn't make it right, though.**
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #227 on: September 11, 2008, 03:19:29 AM »

Strategic Forecasting, Inc.
---------------------------

 

GEOPOLITICAL DIARY: OLMERT’S CANCELED TRIP TO MOSCOW, THE BROADER PICTURE

The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert canceled
his trip to Moscow scheduled for Sept. 14. The trip was apparently canceled because
of a recommendation made Sept. 7 by the Israeli police to indict Olmert on bribery
charges. While the explanation seems plausible, it is unlikely. If Olmert was unable
to go because of political heat at home, a high-level Israeli official could have
gone in his place or the visit could been rescheduled.

Instead, the cancellation seems to indicate that Israel is switching its strategy on
how to handle a resurgent Russia, from a policy of accommodation to one of potential
confrontation.

The relationship between Russia and Israel has had its fair share of ups and downs,
beginning with a close alliance between the nascent Jewish state and the Soviet
Union in the late 1940s. This was followed by a period of Soviet patronage of
Israel's enemies, mainly Egypt and Syria, which was designed primarily to strike at
U.S. interests in the Middle East but which also threatened Israel as an ancillary
effect. But with the end of the Cold War, Moscow's influence receded from the Middle
East.

Israel's biggest existential threat is not from its Arab neighbors but rather from a
global power seeking to establish its own interests in the Middle East. In other
words, Israel's neighbors only become a threat once they obtain outside patronage
making them bold, organized and armed enough to strike at Israel from all sides.

While Israel has made peace with Egypt and Jordan and is eyeing a similar
relationship with Syria, there is no guarantee that an emergent global power would
not offer alternatives to Israel's neighbors -- alternatives that have been lacking
in the post-Cold War world.

Russia is exactly such a power. A resurgent Russia once again looking for potential
allies in the Middle East (such as Iran, Syria or perhaps in a highly hypothetical
scenario even Egypt) that would challenge the United States has always been one of
Israel's main concerns. Therefore, Israel actively engaged in checking Russian power
by selling weapons to Georgia. The idea was to contain Moscow and force it to deal
with challenges on its periphery, thus keeping it from mucking about in the Middle
East. 

Israel got wind of Moscow's plans for Georgia before the Aug. 8 intervention and
decided that a confrontation with the Kremlin was not a wise strategy, precisely
because Israel understands the danger in Russian support of Syria and Iran. Hence, a
week before Russian tanks rolled into South Ossetia, Israel announced that it would
end all weapon sales to Georgia. This was followed by a general acquiescent attitude
toward Moscow after the Georgian intervention, to the obvious chagrin of the
Americans who were looking for a concerted effort against the Kremlin. The
subsequent Olmert visit on Sept. 14 was supposed to affirm an accommodating policy
toward Moscow and to secure guarantees from the Kremlin that Iran and Syria would
not be emboldened to threaten Israel.

However Russia has not fallen into line with Israel's overtures. This is not because
Moscow is hoping for open confrontation with Israel, but rather because Russia's
current priority is to keep Americans embroiled in the Middle East. To do that, from
the Kremlin perspective, Iran has to remain a threat and -- if possible -- Syria
ought to re-emerge as a threat. Russian actions, designed to allow Moscow room to
maneuver in the Caucasus and Europe, have therefore -- as an ancillary consequence
-- threatened Israel's national security.

Specifically, a resurgent Russia supporting Iran with nuclear technology and
advanced strategic air-defense systems, like the late-model variants of the S-300,
is a direct threat to Israel even though Moscow's actual intention is to embolden
Tehran against the United States. A particularly nightmarish scenario for Israel
would be a refocused and reorganized Syria (or a hypothetical post-coup Egypt) with
renewed Russian patronage.

This changes the strategic calculus that Israel has had since the end of the Cold
War. For the past 18 years Israel's biggest concern was not the strength of the Arab
states, but rather their weakness -- the fear that if there was a war with its
neighbors Israel's military superiority would be so catastrophic that it would
destroy the enemy to the point where the resulting chaos would usher in not another
secular state but an Islamist one that would sponsor waves of terror attacks against
Israel.

Israel therefore found itself in the odd position of wanting (and often overtly
trying) to keep various Arab secular dictators in power in order to avoid having to
deal with a worse alternative. With Russia back in the game, a secular regime backed
by the Kremlin is much worse than an unaligned Islamist regime from Israel's
perspective. Therefore, Israel may still have a few cards to play should Russia jump
back into the sandbox, starting with destabilizing neighbors that choose to side
with Moscow.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #228 on: September 11, 2008, 10:01:44 AM »

second article of the morning:

Israel asks U.S. for arms, air corridor to attack Iran

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Israel asks U.S. for arms, air corridor to attack Iran  By Amos Harel and Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondents  Tags: U.S., bunker buster, Iran 
The security aid package the United States has refused to give Israel for the past few months out of concern that Israel would use it to attack nuclear facilities in Iran included a large number of "bunker-buster" bombs, permission to use an air corridor to Iran, an advanced technological system and refueling planes.

Officials from both countries have been discussing the Israeli requests over the past few months. Their rejection would make it very difficult for Israel to attack Iran, if such a decision is made.

About a month ago, Haaretz reported that the Bush administration had turned down an Israeli request for certain security items that could upgrade Israel's capability to attack Iran. The U.S. administration reportedly saw the request as a sign preparations were moving ahead for an Israeli attack on Iran.
Diplomatic and security sources indicated to Haaretz that the list of components Israel included:

Bunker-buster GBU-28 bombs: In 2005, the U.S. said it was supplying these bombs to Israel. In August 2006, The New York Times reported that the U.S. had expedited the dispatch of additional bombs at the height of the Second Lebanon War. The bombs, which weigh 2.2 tons each, can penetrate six meters of reinforced concrete. Israel appears to have asked for a relatively large number of additional bunker-busters, and was turned down.

Air-space authorization: An attack on Iran would apparently require passage through Iraqi air space. For this to occur, an air corridor would be needed that Israeli fighter jets could cross without being targeted by American planes or anti-aircraft missiles. The Americans also turned down this request. According to one account, to avoid the issue, the Americans told the Israelis to ask Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for permission, along the lines of "If you want, coordinate with him."

Refueling planes. An air attack on Iran would require refueling of fighter jets on the way back. According to a report on Channel 10 a few weeks ago, the U.S. rejected an Israeli request for more advanced refueling tankers, of the Boeing 767 model.

The refueling craft the Israel Air Force now uses are very outmoded, something that make it difficult to operate at long distances from Israel. Even if the Americans were to respond favorably to such a request, the process could take a few years.

The IDF recently reported that it is overhauling a Boeing 707 that previously served as the prime minister's plane to serve as a refueling aircraft.

Advanced technological systems. The Israeli sources declined to give any details on this point.

The Israeli requests were discussed during President George W. Bush's visit to Israel in May, as well as during Defense Minister Ehud Barak's visit to Washington in July. In a series of meetings at a very senior level, following Bush's visit, the Americans made clear to the Israelis that for now they are sticking to the diplomatic option to halt the Iranian nuclear project and that Jerusalem does not have a green light from Washington for an attack on Iran.

However, it appears that in compensation for turning down Israel's "offensive" requests, the U.S. has agreed to strengthen its defensive systems.

During the Barak visit, it was agreed that an advanced U.S. radar system would be stationed in the Negev, and the order to send it was made at that time. The system would double to 2,000 kilometers the range of identification of missiles launched from the direction of Iran, and would be connected to an American early warning system.

The system is to be operated by American civilians as well as two American soldiers. This would be the first permanent U.S. force on Israeli soil.

A senior security official said the Americans were preparing "with the greatest speed" to make good on their promise, and the systems could be installed within a month.

The Israeli security source said he believed Washington was moving ahead quickly on the request because it considered it very important to restrain Israel at this time.

At the beginning of the year, the Israeli leadership still considered it a reasonable possibility that Bush would decide to attack Iran before the end of his term.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in private discussions, even raised the possibility that the U.S. was considering an attack in the transition period between the election in November and the inauguration of the new president in January 2009.

However, Jerusalem now assumes that likelihood of this possibility is close to nil, and that Bush will use the rest of his time in office to strengthen what he defines as the Iraqi achievement, following the relative success of American efforts there over the past year and a half.

http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1019989.html
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rachelg
Guest
« Reply #229 on: September 13, 2008, 09:41:09 AM »

Editor's Notes: A losing battle, so far
Sep. 4, 2008
David Horovitz , THE JERUSALEM POST
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1220526712951&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

In August 2007, because certain intelligence agencies were not convinced of Israeli claims that President Bashar Assad was engaged in the construction of a nuclear weapons facility, Israel sent sent 12 members of the Sayeret Matkal commando unit into Syria in two helicopters to collect soil samples outside the site in question.

Needless to say, this was a highly dangerous operation. And it very nearly went wrong. The commandos were almost exposed when a Syrian patrol drove past the landing site where the helicopters were parked.

But it was well worth it. The results provided "clear-cut proof" of the nuclear project," investigative journalist Ronen Bergman writes in his new book, The Secret War with Iran.

A month later, Israel bombed the site, and in so doing reemphasized the Begin Doctrine - Israel's insistence that, for the sake of its own survival, it will not allow the deployment by hostile neighbors of weapons that might be used to destroy it.

Bergman's book, which will be published next week in the United States, is an expanded, updated version of his Hebrew-language The Point of No Return, which was Israel's best-selling non-fiction work in 2007.

The new volume is anything but a mere translation. For one thing, the world has moved on, or more accurately, moved closer to confrontation, in the intervening period. For another, Bergman has added further revelatory content to the 2007 book's disclosures.

Plainly, the author has been allowed access to a range of material hitherto kept classified by various intelligence services. Plainly, too, what he is publishing is material that Israel is content to have widely disseminated and some of which cannot be independently verified. The book was submitted to censorship, and not all of its content was approved, he told me when he dropped off a copy a few days ago, though it did sometimes seem as though he had run into the censor on a relatively benign day.

Most notable, perhaps, in this context, is the fact that the guardians of Israel's military secrets have allowed Bergman to provide a fairly extensive account of that September 6, 2007, raid on Syria's nuclear facility - whose purpose he states unambiguously was "the production of plutonium for the manufacture of atomic bombs" and whose construction, he reports, was a tripartite endeavor: "At a series of secret meetings between representatives of the three sides, held mainly in Teheran, it was decided that Syria would supply the territory, Iran the money [$1 billion-$2b.], and North Korea the expertise..."

Last year's raid was the subject of some of the heaviest military censorship that I have encountered in the past 25 years: Israel was desperate to take no official responsibility for the attack, and in this way to allow Damascus plausible deniability, to avoid a deterioration into war. There was no official confirmation of the raid, and for a long time after it, all references in the Israeli media had to include conditioning phrases such as the "reported" Israeli strike.

Apparently such concerns no longer apply. Bergman has been freed to describe, without the censor's usual required attribution to "foreign sources," the entire process by which the Syrian facility was built - with details of the shipments of material from North Korea and the dispatch of Korean scientists. He sets out the circumstances of that high-risk August fact-finding mission by Sayeret Matkal. And he is allowed to note that "a number of North Koreans" were killed in the Israeli attack.

Although destroying the site was an Israeli operation, Bergman makes clear further that "the Israelis and the Americans decided to act," and that the two countries coordinated on the official silence policy after the raid was successfully completed. "Prime Minister Olmert and President Bush decided that both countries would maintain a policy of total nonreaction, without exceptions, and without winks or nods. If the Syrians had not been in a hurry to issue their own statements, the whole matter might not have been disclosed at all."

If the sanctioning of these details about last year's raid on Syria is interesting, given the immensely sensitive nature of Israeli-Syrian relations and the continued potential for both diplomatic breakthrough and bitter conflict, then the sanctioning of some of Bergman's disclosures about the Iranian nuclear project, and notably the Bush administration's attitude to it, seems potentially incendiary.

A few weeks ago, the White House took the unusual step of issuing a specific denial of a report on Army Radio, picked up by the Post, which claimed that a Bush official recently told his Israeli counterparts that the president is planning to strike Iran's nuclear facilities before leaving office. Only this week, a newspaper in The Netherlands claimed that Dutch intelligence has abruptly halted an "extremely successful" ongoing operation to sabotage Iran's nuclear program because of an assessment that such an American strike is indeed just weeks away.

In his book, Israel's military censor has allowed Bergman to add two highly significant revelations in this context: The first is that after the American intelligence community issued its controversial National Intelligence Estimate late last year that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program, Vice President Richard Cheney sent a message to Olmert stating that despite this conclusion, "the possibility of an American military operation against Iranian nuclear targets and military infrastructure had not been discarded."

The second is that, as of May 2008, "the Mossad's estimate" is that Bush, "out of religious and ideological motives, will order a strike."

FOR ALL the behind-the-scenes Israeli access granted Bergman, and the censor's apparent generosity, his account of what he calls "the 30-year clandestine struggle against the world's most dangerous terrorist power" overflows with tales of incompetence and outright failure in the battle against Iran - some narrow and specific, some more fundamental - many of which reflect terribly on Israel.

He reminds readers who might prefer to forget the uncomfortable truth that Israel supplied arms to Ayatollah Khomeini's regime at the turn of the 1980s, in an operation codenamed "Seashell," which was critical in "turning the tide of the war" against Iraq in Iran's favor.

In one illustration of the disastrous consequences for the seller of misguided arms dealing, he points out that one of the machine guns sold by Israel to Iran at that time, a Browning, later transferred to Hizbullah's arsenal, was used to murderous effect in the July 12, 2006, attack on the IDF Humvees patrolling the Lebanon border in which three soldiers were killed and Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev fatally wounded and captured - the attack that sparked the Second Lebanon War. (A senior Iranian official who helped broker those arms deals, Bergman further reveals, later became a top Iranian representative in Lebanon and a Hizbullah founder, and pushed for the 2006 abduction-attack on Teheran's orders. Some of the Hizbullah gunmen who carried out that attack, he also writes, were trained in Iran.)

He reports how Israel has insistently failed to acknowledge that a November 1982 car bombing by the nascent Hizbullah at Israel's military government headquarters in Tyre, southern Lebanon, in which 75 Israeli security personnel and 27 Lebanese were killed, was an Iranian-sponsored suicide bombing. Indeed, it was the first such suicide attack - "the bomb that spawned a movement,' as he calls it.

More Israelis were killed in that blast, which reduced a seven-story building to rubble, than in any since. The car used in the attack, a Peugeot, was identified. The bomber's identity is known: Ahmad Qassir has a monument to his memory in his home village near Baalbek. Yet "to this day," Bergman notes, "Israeli intelligence claims that there was no intelligence failure; that there was not even a terror attack, just a problem with gas cylinders."

The refusal to grapple with the reality of the suicide-bomb challenge right away left Israel more vulnerable than it need have been to the relentless series of such bombings that have followed - beginning with another attack in the very same city a year later, in which 28 more Israelis were killed.

"This thing has been burning inside me for years," Bergman quotes Haifa Judge Yitzhak Dar as saying. Dar was on a team that investigated the blast for the IDF, concluded it was a car bombing, but saw its report buried. "Despite the conclusions we reached, everybody wanted to believe that it was negligence about gas cylinders, and not a terror attack," laments Dar. "Thus, they wasted a very valuable year of preparations for the next attack, one which could have been prevented with a little awareness of the potential for the use of car bombs."

Bergman reports that IDF Military Intelligence got wind in advance of Hizbullah plans to kidnap "a very senior American intelligence officer a week before the CIA station chief in Beirut, Col. William Buckley, was indeed seized (and tortured and killed) in March 1984 in an Imad Mughniyeh-led Hizbullah operation, but that the Mossad doubted the information and didn't bother to pass it on to the CIA.

He summarizes Israeli intelligence's grave, ongoing failure to penetrate Hizbullah by reporting that a Mossad man, who for years served in the unit that sought to recruit spies inside the organization, held up his hands, without all the fingers extended, to indicate the number of successes over 24 full years.

By contrast, he discusses Hizbullah's staggering penetration of Israeli security circles... and the sometimes ridiculous ease with which this is sometimes achieved. During the Second Lebanon War, for instance, he notes, "militiamen who had learned Hebrew at the so-called Cultural Center of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut listened in to IDF radio networks, using advanced communications equipment and codes supplied to them by IDF members who were working with them in drug trafficking." (My emphasis added.)

Hizbullah knew far, far more about Israel's military planning and capabilities for that war than Israel remotely conceived, in short, while Israel knew far, far less than it thought it did about Hizbullah. "In truth," says Bergman, "Israel had gone to war in almost total darkness."

One small, very specific illustration: The spacious bunker from which the attack on the Goldwasser-Regev patrol was planned, which had been established over many weeks right under Israel's nose across the border, and which was connected by a fiberoptic cable network to Hizbullah's command headquarters in Beirut, did not merely remain undiscovered before the attack, thus facilitating it. It remained undiscovered "throughout the entire war, even though Israeli soldiers controlled the area from the first day. It was a miracle that Hizbullah guerrillas never took advantage of it to strike at Israeli troops again after the abduction on July 12."

The debilitating underestimation of Hizbullah is mirrored, in Bergman's narrative, by other basic failures in trying to grapple with Hizbullah's state sponsor, Iran.

Most centrally, he charges, Israel, along with the US and the rest of the West, only recognized relatively recently how far Iran has progressed toward its nuclear goal because for years everybody was looking the wrong way: Most eyes were focused on Russia, which was deemed to be the main potential international maverick that might enable Teheran to attain the bomb. But the real threat - the player that gave Iran the vital resources to stride forward - was Pakistan, via its notorious nuclear salesman Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan.

THE SAGA Bergman recounts is not unremittingly bleak. The raid on Syria marked an important reassertion of Israeli military capability. The killing of Hizbullah terror chief Mughniyeh in the heart of the Syrian capital in February - for which no party has claimed responsibility - should also have sent a certain deterrent message. The defection to the CIA of top Iranian intelligence adviser Gen. Ali Reza Askari last year was another success.

Bergman also lists a series of sabotage operations that have prevented Iran from being even closer still to the bomb: A leading expert on electromagnetics who worked at Iran's Isfahan enrichment facility found dead at his home last year, and reports of an explosion at his laboratory; three or four planes crashing inside Iran in 2006 and 2007 with personnel connected to the security of the nuclear project on board; insulation units for the centrifuge enrichment process discovered to be unusable; various explosions caused by faulty equipment at the main Natanz facility and at Isfahan, including the wrecking of 50 centrifuges when two transformers blew up at Natanz in 2006. In language presumably negotiated painstakingly with the censor, the last of these incidents is attributed to "efforts implemented jointly with the United States."

Overall, Bergman writes, "Since Meir Dagan became Mossad director in 2002, Israel has significantly improved its knowledge about goings-on inside Iran, and has even taken certain preemptive actions."

Nonetheless, it seems that Iran has essentially cleared its technical hurdles now, and is into the home stretch - racing against the clock to get the bomb before international pressure, of whatever kind, forces a halt.

The latest information, according to Bergman's Mossad sources, is that some 3,000 centrifuges, in 18 cascades, are now enriching uranium, "under great technical difficulties," at Natanz. Nearby, the Iranians are building a plant to hold another 30,000 to 50,000 centrifuges - and building it underground to ensure no repeat of Israel's successful raid on Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor at Osirak. Already, Natanz is protected by no fewer than 26 anti-aircraft missile batteries, and this and other of its nuclear facilities, he writes (despite others' claims to the contrary), already have the advanced Russian-made S-300 missiles among their defenses.

Meanwhile, at the Parchin military complex, notwithstanding the complacent conclusion of the NIE last year, the Iranians are hard at work on the final phase of the journey to the bomb - having made "considerable progress" in mastering the process of emplacing enriched uranium into the device that starts the devastating chain reaction. They are also making headway, Bergman writes, "in acquiring the expertise required to manufacture nuclear warheads that can be fitted to their missiles."

Satellite images of Parchin, he notes, show the erection of structures that can be used for the assembly of explosives needed in nuclear warheads. "Identical structures had over the years been spotted close to the installations where the Soviet Union developed and manufactured its nuclear warheads."

Why, given all this, did the NIE draw the opposite conclusions about Iran's nuclear weapons program? In part, Bergman asserts, because Iran outfoxed the American intelligence services by means that included the calculated leaking of bogus material purporting to indicate that the effort had been frozen in 2003.

BERGMAN'S COMBINATION of overview and revelation makes for a horrifying read. Essentially, his book demonstrates an ongoing incapacity - by Israel, the US and the rest of the free world, but, critically, featuring Israel as the first potential casualty - to internalize the extent of the Iranian threat and act effectively to thwart it. The powers that are faced off against expansionist Islam have consistently underestimated the cunning, viciousness and determination of the chief state sponsor of that ideology, Iran, and its various offshoots, proxies and allies, notably including Hizbullah and Hamas.

Time and again, Western weakness, capitulation and inaction has emboldened Islamic extremism. Between 1980 and 1997, for instance, Iran assassinated close to 200 "dissidents" in attack after attack across Europe, and European nations, on the whole, barely lifted a finger to stop them. Why would Iran not be emboldened?

A relentless campaign of kidnappings, murders and suicide bombings forced the US out of Lebanon, forced the French out of Lebanon, forced Israel out of Lebanon, and ultimately led to Hizbullah's increasingly dominant status in Lebanon. (Among the often forgotten victims were 12 members of Lebanon's tiny lingering Jewish community, who were kidnapped and killed by the nascent Hizbullah from West Beirut, in 1985 and 1986.) Right now, Iran and Hizbullah are plotting to "avenge" Mughniyeh's death with kidnappings of Israeli businessmen, and they are free to act because they have operatives ready and waiting in countries all around the world. Why wouldn't it? The tactic has worked so well over the decades.

As Bergman writes in a sober concluding chapter, "Iran and Hizbullah are more sophisticated, effective and determined adversaries than Israel and the United States have previously encountered in the Middle East. These new enemies, the Shi'ites of Iran and Lebanon, have repeatedly outwitted Israel and the West, beating them across the board in politics, in intelligence gathering and in war."

Now Iran is on the brink of attaining the ultimate tool for expanding the Islamic Revolution, the nuclear bomb, and still the international community hesitates and bickers and even undermines its own ineffectual trade sanctions.

Ten years ago, Dr. Iftikhar Khan Chaudry, a former research officer in Pakistan's nuclear project, sought political asylum in the United States, claiming he would be killed if he returned home. In his affidavit, which was found to be credible and led to his being granted the refuge he sought, he detailed how A.Q. Khan had marketed Pakistan's nuclear expertise and materials to clients including Libya, Iraq and North Korea, exposing the clandestine network for the first time. Outrageously, it took the US until September 2003 to confront Pakistan about Khan's activities.

Chaudry also specified how Khan had set up Pakistan's nuclear channel to Iran, having himself been present when five Iranian scientists visited Pakistan at the start of the partnership. The Iranians were "introduced to the method in which uranium is processed for the purpose of creating a nuclear bomb," Chaudry told the Americans. And he added, "It is also apparent that Iran intends to utilize a nuclear weapon - in the future, when a nuclear weapon would be operational - against the State of Israel."

"The Secret War with Iran, as waged since the fall of the shah and the arrival of Khomeini, has been a tale of ruthless single-mindedness on their side and confused laxity on ours.

Read it and weep?

No. Read it and work - before it's too late.

("The Secret War with Iran" will be published in the US next week by Free Press.)

I took a little break from this forum because among other reason  I was having difficulties controlling my temper.
 
I personally feel anger is a selfish emotion. It is caused by person thinking is some sense how can they say that to "ME" or how can they do to "ME" .   I don't mean I am against self defense, standing up for what I believe in, fighting evil and injustice,  or vehemently disagreeing with someone but that anger is not the proper emotion or response for handling any of those situations.   GM,  I am sorry for my anger.
 
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« Reply #230 on: September 13, 2008, 09:50:14 AM »

No worries Rachel. Everyone wants to choke me sooner or later, some more often than not.
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« Reply #231 on: September 13, 2008, 06:28:03 PM »

We are glad to have you with us once again. 
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rachelg
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« Reply #232 on: September 14, 2008, 05:06:54 PM »

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1221142470441&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter
Israel slated to buy 1,000 'bunker-buster' bombs from US
Sep. 14, 2008
Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST

The US Department of Defense has notified Congress of a potential sale to Israel of 1,000 smart bombs capable of penetrating underground bunkers, which would likely be used in the event of a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

The notification to Congress was made over the weekend by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the branch of the Pentagon responsible for evaluating foreign military sales. Congress has 30 days to object to the deal.

The deal is valued at $77 million and the principal contractor would be Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.

The bomb Israel wants is the GBU-39, developed in recent years by the US as a small-diameter bomb for low-cost, high-precision and low-collateral damage strikes.

Israel has also asked for 150 mounting carriages, 30 guided test vehicles and two instructors to train the air force in loading the bombs on its aircraft.

The GPS-guided GBU-39 is said to be one of the most accurate bombs in the world. The 113 kg. bomb has the same penetration capabilities as a normal 900 kg. bomb, although it has only 22.7 kg. of explosives. At just 1.75 meters long, its small size increases the number of bombs an aircraft can carry and the number of targets it can attack in a sortie.

Tests conducted in the US have proven that the bomb is capable of penetrating at least 90 cm. of steel-reinforced concrete. The GBU-39 can be used in adverse weather conditions and has a standoff range of more than 110 km. due to pop-out wings.

In its recommendation to Congress, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency wrote that Israel's strategic position was "vital to the United States' interests throughout the Middle East."

"It is vital to the US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives," the statement read.

The agency's announcement came amid growing concern that the Pentagon was not willing to sell Israel advanced military platforms such as bunker-buster missiles in an effort to dissuade Jerusalem from attacking Iran's nuclear facilities.

Bunker-buster missiles would be a fundamental component of an air strike against Iran, since many of the nuclear facilities, such as the Natanz uranium enrichment complex, have been built in underground, heavily fortified bunkers.

During the Second Lebanon War, Israel reportedly received an emergency shipment of bunker-buster missiles from the US to use against underground Hizbullah facilities.

Yiftah Shapir, from the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, said the GBU-39 is one of the most advanced in the world and would improve Israel's standoff fire capabilities.

"The bomb is extremely accurate," he said. "All you have to do is punch in the coordinates, fire and forget."

He said they could be used to attack Iranian underground facilities like Natanz but that they could only penetrate a few meters.

"Hundreds of these would have to be used in an attack on Natanz for it to be successful," Shapir said.


GM/ Marc Thank you
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« Reply #233 on: September 15, 2008, 03:51:16 PM »

This contradicts a report in the JP a few days back that the US refused to deliver the bunker bustin bombs to the Israelis.

I wonder how much of a success this could be if Israel goes alone?

If only we were more energy "independent" we wouldn't have to be concerned as much about the "backlash".  We can thank the greens and their accomplices in the Democratic party (and some Cans) who refused to let us drill offshore and to pursue nuclear energy for this predicament at least in part.
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« Reply #234 on: September 18, 2008, 04:08:31 PM »

http://mideastoutpost.com/archives/000121.html

December 31, 2004
BOYCOTT ISRAEL? DO IT PROPERLY..

Ed Weiss

(Editor's Note: Now that doing economic damage to Israel is the moral fashion, with European groups organizing boycotts, the Presbyterian Church voting to "selectively" divest from companies doing business in Israel and the Episcopal Church suggesting it may follow suit, the following article is a welcome reminder of the damage the boycotters, if they were -- perish the thought -- consistent, would do to themselves.)

O.K. So I understand that you are ticked off at Israel, and in love with the Palestinians. That's fine with me, as long as you have truly weighed up all the facts.

So, you want to boycott Israel? I'll be sorry to miss you, but if you are doing it—do it properly. Let me help you.

Check all your medications. Make sure that you do not have tablets, drops, lotions, etc., made by Abic or Teva. It may mean that you will suffer from colds and flu this winter but, hey, that's a small price for you to pay in your campaign against Israel, isn't it?

While we are on the subject of your Israeli boycott, and the medical contributions to the world made by Israeli doctors and scientists, how about telling your pals to boycott the following.....

An Israeli company has developed a simple blood test that distinguishes between mild and more severe cases of Multiple Sclerosis. So, if you know anyone suffering from MS, tell them to ignore the Israeli patent that may, more accurately, diagnose their symptoms.

An Israeli-made device helps restore the use of paralyzed hands. This device electrically stimulates the hand muscles, providing hope to millions of stroke sufferers and victims of spinal injuries. If you wish to remove this hope of a better quality of life to these people, go ahead and boycott Israel.

Young children with breathing problems will soon be sleeping more soundly, thanks to a new Israeli device called the Child Hood. This innovation replaces the inhalation mask with an improved drug delivery system that provides relief for child and parent. Please tell anxious mothers that they shouldn't use this device because of your passionate cause.

These are just a few examples of how people have benefited medically from the Israeli know-how you wish to block.

Boycotts often affect research. A new research center in Israel hopes to throw light on brain disorders such as depression and Alzheimer's disease. The Joseph Sangol Neuroscience Center in the Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer Hospital aims to bring thousands of scientists and doctors to focus on brain research.

A researcher at Israel's Ben Gurion University has succeeded in creating human monoclonal antibodies which can neutralize the highly contagious smallpox virus without inducing the dangerous side effects of the existing vaccine.

Two Israelis received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Doctors Ciechanover and Hershko's research and discovery of one of the human cells most important cyclical processes will lead the way to DNA repair, control of newly produced proteins, and immune defense systems.

The Movement Disorder Surgery program at Israel's Hadassah Medical Center has successfully eliminated the physical manifestations of Parkinson's disease in a select group of patients with a deep brain stimulation technique.

For women who undergo hysterectomies each year for uterine fibroids, the development in Israel of the ExAblate 2000 System offers a non-invasive alternative to surgery.

Israel is developing a nose drop that will provide a five year flu vaccine.

These are just a few of the projects that you can help stop with your Israeli boycott.

But let's not get too obsessed with medical research, there are other ways you can make a personal sacrifice with your anti-Israel boycott.

Most of Windows operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel. So, set a personal example. Throw away your computer!

The Pentium NMX Chip technology was designed at Intel in Israel. Both the Pentium 4 microprocessor and the Centrium processor were entirely designed, developed, and produced in Israel. Voice mail technology was developed in Israel. The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 in Israel by four young Israeli whiz kids. Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R.& D. facilities outside the US in Israel.

So, due to your complete boycott of anything Israeli, you now have poor health and no computer. But your bad news does not end there. Get rid of your cellular phone!

Cell phone technology was also developed in Israel by Motorola, which has its biggest development center in Israel. Most of the latest technology in your mobile phone was developed by Israeli scientists.

Feeling unsettled? You should be. Part of your personal security rests with Israeli inventiveness, borne out of our urgent necessity to protect and defend our lives from the terrorists you support.

A phone can remotely activate a bomb, or be used for tactical communications by terrorists, bank robbers, or hostage-takers. It is vital that official security and law enforcement authorities have access to cellular jamming and detection solutions. Enter Israel's Netline Communications Technologies with their security expertise to help the fight against terror.

A joint, non-profit, venture between Israel and Maryland will result in a five day Business Development and Planning Conference in March. Selected Israeli companies will partner with Maryland firms to provide innovations for homeland security.

I also want you to know that Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world. Israel produces more scientific papers per capita -- 109 per 10,000 -- than any other nation. Israel has the highest number of start-up companies per capita and in absolute terms, the highest number, except for the U.S. Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies outside of Silicon Valley. Israel is ranked second in the world for venture capital funds, behind the U.S. Israel has the second highest publication of new books per capita.

Relative to population, Israel is the largest immigrant absorbing nation on earth. These immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom or expression, economic opportunity, and quality of life.

Believe it or not, Israel is the only country in the world which had a net gain in the number of trees last year.

So, you can vilify and demonize the State of Israel. You can continue your silly boycott, if you wish. But I wish you would consider the consequences, and the truth.

Think of the massive contribution that Israel is giving to the world—and to you—in science, medicine, communications, security. In relation to our population we are making a greater contribution than any other nation on earth.

Ed Weiss lives in Ra'anana, Israel
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« Reply #235 on: September 18, 2008, 04:13:08 PM »

http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/article/107

DESPITE REJECTION AND ISOLATION, ISRAEL KEEPS GIVING

by Richard Baehr
inFocus
Spring 2008

In 60 short years as a modern state, Israel has become a nation of remarkable achievements. Over 2.9 million Jews have moved to Israel since 1948 from Africa, Arab nations, Europe, India, Latin America, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, not to mention 1.1 million persons from the former Soviet Union. Over the years, the Israeli population has grown from an estimated 750,000 to over 7 million. This includes a Christian and Muslim Arab population that comprises nearly 20 percent of the current population. Thanks to basic laws that defend democratic principles, all of these peoples and religions are provided the opportunity to join the Israeli "melting pot," similar to that of the United States.

The unlikely story of Israel does not end there. Israeli entrepreneurship and research have improved the lives of people in a variety of areas: medicine, agriculture and irrigation, communications, computer technology, security, aviation safety, alternative energy development, business services, and disaster relief and rescue, to name just a few. This has been accomplished by a nation with barely 0.1percent of the world's population, which has been forced, due to the unremitting enmity of its neighbors, to devote an astronomical 10 percent of its GDP to defense.

Despite these amazing achievements, no country in the world is more roundly rejected by the community of nations.

Location, Location, Location

It is Israel's misfortune to be the only non-Muslim state located in the center of the Arab world. Reborn in war in 1948, Israel has never since been free from the threat of war or terror directed against its population from surrounding state and non-state actors.

Despite repeated attempts (some successful) to make peace with its neighbors, Israel is treated as a pariah state. While most of the criticism is focused on the measures that Israel takes to prevent its citizens from being harmed by terrorism, the scorn can be traced back to the very founding of the state. Indeed, the anger at Israel persists, not because of its policies, which have shifted dramatically over the years, but because many of Israel's Arab neighbors still do not want to recognize it. This is the case despite peace agreements with two of its neighbors - Egypt and Jordan - in addition to intermittent peace negotiations with the Palestinians for 15 years. In fact, the isolation and hostility have, if anything, worsened.

International Isolation

Israel's isolation is not only regional. Approximately 40 percent of all resolutions passed by the United Nations at the behest of Arab nations have condemned Israel for its security policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians or Arab nations. Human rights commissions, and international courts have convicted Israel of all kinds of alleged violations of international law and international human rights standards, while ignoring truly atrocious human rights violations, including suicide bombings, and the indiscriminate firing of rockets and mortars at Israelis. They also neglect to mention the continued threats to "wipe Israel off the map" (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) or "drive the Israelis into the sea" (Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar).

While Israel fights for its survival, the international community routinely calls Israel's very legitimacy as a nation into question. Entire international conferences such as those at Durban in 2001, and the upcoming "Durban 2" are devoted to the "scourge" of Zionism.

In the face of this constant drubbing, Israel has repeatedly sought to explain itself to the world. Efforts at hasbara, or public relations, have repeatedly failed. The Palestinians have cornered the "victim" market, making it nearly impossible for Israel to gain world sympathy. Israel has thus taken upon itself to create a "rebranding" program, to attempt to communicate its achievements and contributions, instead of the steady and unrelenting coverage of war, terrorism, and the rebuke from other nations and international bodies that issue most reports on the country.

Business and Technology

For 60 years, Israel has given the world the products of its high tech society. These are innovations to make life better for billions of people on the planet. Quietly, Israel has become one of the world's leading technology, science, and medical research centers.

Much of Israel's innovation can be traced to an unusually well-educated workforce. Israel has the highest number of university degrees per capita in the world, with a high concentration of them in science, medicine, and engineering. Half of Israelis with degrees also hold advanced degrees. This commitment to higher education occurs in a country where most students do not even begin university study until after their military service is completed, usually at age 22. Israel's science and technology universities - including the Technion, Weizmann Institute, and Talpiot program of the Israel Defense Forces - graduate some of the best-trained scientists and engineers in the world.

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation in the world, and has one of the highest rates of per capita patents filed. Israel is the nation with the highest number of scientists and technicians per 1,000 in the workforce, with far higher levels than in the U.S., Japan, and Germany. Over 25 percent of Israel's workforce is employed in technical professions, putting Israel first in the world in this category, too.

Thus, it is not by accident that Israel trails only the United States in the number of startup technology companies. In fact, Israel ranks behind only the United States and Canada in NASDAQ-listed companies. It is also number two in the world in the allocation of venture capital funds, after the United States. Israel is the only country outside the United States where Cisco Systems and Microsoft have located R & D facilities. Google, IBM, and Intel all have large operations in Israel.

In the area of software and communications, products that are a part of every day life around the world owe their development to Israel's high tech industry. These include: voice mail technology, AOL's Instant Messenger, Intel's Pentium 4 microprocessor and Centrino chipsets, most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems, the original cell phone made by Motorola, the first PC anti-virus software, the first key-chain storage system, the largest communications router in the world from Cisco, and other advanced computerized security systems.

Thanks to these innovations, Israel has achieved remarkable and consistent economic growth, with a current per capita income of approximately $20,000 per resident, and a GDP approaching $150 billion. Indeed, Israel has become a developed country, much like many of the nations in Western Europe.

Tikkun Olam

Israel's relative wealth is only one part of the picture. One of the bedrocks of the Jewish faith is a concept known as tikkun olam, or repairing the world. As such, Israel has emerged as a leader in the field of medicine and medical research. Indeed, Israel has been on the cutting edge of embryonic and adult stem cell research, including research in neurodegenerative disease, such as ALS, and the regeneration of heart tissue.

Israeli researchers developed the first instrumentation to diagnose breast cancer without radiation, the first ingestible video camera inside a pill to view the small intestine for cancer and digestive disorders, and a computerized system to ensure proper administration of medications in institutional settings. They also developed the Ex-Press shunt to treat glaucoma, and were in the forefront of the introduction of both bare metal and drug-eluting stents.

Israelis developed a device that helps the heart pump blood, a blood test for MS, a new acne treatment that causes bacteria to self-destruct without damaging skin or tissue, a vaccine against mosquito-borne West Nile virus, a new painless device to allow diabetics to inject themselves with insulin, a device for monitoring coronary disease inside a cell phone, a bone "glue" for faster recovery from injuries, a DNA nano-computer to detect cancer and release drugs to treat the disease, and a nose drop that serves as a five-year flu vaccine.

Due, in part, to its innovations in medicine and, in part, to the fact that Israel has too much experience with disaster resulting from war, Israelis are on the cutting edge of search and rescue. Israeli teams are often called on to help locate and rescue victims after earthquakes and other natural disasters. The experience and knowledge gained in rescuing Israelis from buildings and buses blown apart by terrorists, have been applied to save victims of natural disasters in Turkey, Greece, Mexico, Cameroon, India, El Salvador, Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, and Sri Lanka, as well as victims of violence in Bosnia, Romania, Kenya, Kosovo, Rwanda, Argentina, and Cambodia.

Green Machines

Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, had a dream of "turning the desert green." While Ben Gurion was dreaming of expanding Israeli agriculture to arid environments, subsequent generations of Israelis had different visions of "green." Israel is now a leader in environmentally-friendly technologies.

Israel is the only country in the world that is rapidly increasing its number of trees. Israelis developed and installed (in California) the first large-scale solar powered and fully functional electricity generating plant. Israeli scientists have developed sensors that pick up signs of stress in plants, the technology for an all electric bus for urban use, an engineless nano remote-piloted vehicle, the world's first jellyfish repellent, a toilet system with small and large flushes that saves billions of gallons of water per year, and a nano-lubricant that could end the need to change car oil.

All the while, Israel continues to chase Ben Gurion's dream. With the help of science, Israelis have made vast desert areas of their country bloom. They have done so through special drip irrigation and water desalination systems that Israeli scientists and agronomists have since introduced on all five continents, including projects in India, China, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, and Jordan.

Looking Back

What is particularly remarkable about these achievements is that Israel has created all of it amidst a constant barrage of terrorist attacks, not to mention full-scale wars every few years. As such, Israel has shown that it is a resilient nation; it will not be brought to its knees by war, terror, boycotts, and international isolation. Unfortunately, this success is one more source of intense envy and resentment for Israel's Arab neighbors; Israel is a key innovator in modern science and technology, and they are not.

As Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary in May 2008, the Palestinians will expectedly mark the day as al-Naqba, the disaster. To the continued amazement of those who understand Israel's achievements in recent decades, much of the world will offer its condolences to the Palestinians, and share the Palestinian belief that the world might have been better without Israel's creation in 1948.

For the foreseeable future, most of the world (with the United States as the principal exception) will continue to enjoy the innovations that Israel produces while simultaneously berating the Jewish state for defending itself. For its part, Israel will continue to provide the world with the fruits of its labor with the ironic hope that, one day, the Jewish state will simply be seen as one state among many.

Richard Baehr is a visting fellow at the Jewish Policy Center, and co-founder and political director of The American Thinker, a web-based policy journal.

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G M
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« Reply #236 on: September 18, 2008, 04:17:18 PM »

Ok, so aside from new and exciting forms of terrorism, let's see this list of "palestinian" contributions to humanity.

The floor is yours, JDN.


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« Reply #237 on: September 19, 2008, 12:18:17 PM »

Don't look for an argument from me; my hat is off to Israel and frankly to most Jewish people as a group; I find most of them to be warm, hardworking, intelligent, entreprenurial and quite successful.

As for Israel specifically, I think they have accomplished a lot and I have the highest respect for their achievements and economic success; I cheer for them.  However, given their success, I do wonder why Israel is and has been for many many years our number one recipient of foreign aid?  This year they are due almost 2.5 billion dollars, more than 10 percent of our total foreign aid budget yet as you point out, they are a very successful, rich and thriving nation.  Plus they get numerous special financial perks.  Yet the world is going hungry and disease is rampant.  Given Israel's wealth, perhaps there is a more appropriate use of the money? Also, to be fair, one has to wonder if our budget and support, plus private funds had not propped up Israel these many many years how successful they would have been. Sort of like the rich kid in college who takes daddy's advice, money, and protection to start his business and then says "look at me; I'm successful" versus the blue collar guy who never got a handout and became a success.  I respect both, but...

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« Reply #238 on: September 20, 2008, 06:38:06 PM »

http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3362402,00.html   

Israel still top recipient of US foreign aid

President Bush's administration to submit proposed budget for US foreign aid in 2008 to Congress; requests over 12 percent increase in foreign aid from 2007; Lebanon to receive some USD 52 million, Israel to get USD 2.4 billion
Yitzhak Benhorin

WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush's administration will submit its proposed budget for US foreign aid in 2008 to Congress on Wednesday, requesting USD 20.27 billion - a more than 12 percent increase in foreign aid from 2007.
 
However America's foreign aid budget composes only a small portion of its overall budget of USD 2.9 trillion.
 
Israel, long since the US' top recipient of foreign aid, will receive USD 2.4 billion. Since 1979 and the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, Israel has annually received up to USD 3 billion in aid.
 
As part of with an initiative by then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the civilian aid has been steadily decreased over the course of the past 10 years, going from USD 1.2 million to being completely cancelled this year. At the same time military aid to Israel has increased from USD 1.8 billion to USD 2.4 billion.
 
Egypt received the second largest aid package from the US and will receive USD 1.3 billion in military aid as well as USD 415 million in civilian aid. Jordan will receive USD 264 million in economic aid as well as USD 200 million in military aid.
 
Aid to the Palestinian Authority has been frozen following Hamas' victory in the recent PA elections. Despite this President Bush has asked Congress to authorize the transfer of USD 63.6 million in aid to the Palestinians, to be appropriated by the United States Agency for International Development.
 
Lebanon is expected to receive some USD 52 million in aid in 2008, this in addition to the special aid the administration already sought for Lebanon in 2007 – totaling at USD 580 million.
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« Reply #239 on: September 20, 2008, 06:41:28 PM »

We give lots of money to those entities surrounding Israel too. So where is all of the accomplishments from the neighboring arab nations? Why the difference in outcomes?
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« Reply #240 on: September 21, 2008, 12:01:15 AM »

Egypt's population in over 10 times that of Israel; yet the aid given is less than half...  And the money buys off Egypt..., but you know that.  As for the rest of the Middle East, they are given crumbs...

But that is not my point.  You said, and I agree, Israel is a rich and successful country; soooo my question is why are we giving them "up to three billion dollars" of foreign aid???  Israel is rich, and I admire their success, but... how would they have done on their own without our money and UN votes???  Frankly, I wonder...  Taking nothing away, but their success is slightly tainted; sort of like my analogy of the rich guy and the poor guy I gave above.  I admire them, both, but...  I mean you said America is the most charitable nation on earth.  So why not to give the aid to countries that really need aid; countries with hunger and disease issues, etc.?  That's what giving" and "charity" is all about, isn't it?  Giving to the needy?  Versus giving to the rich?
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« Reply #241 on: September 21, 2008, 12:49:37 AM »

JDN,

You are avoiding the point. We aren't the only country that gives out money, and many arab nations are far from poor, so why the difference in outcomes?

__________________________________________________________________

ARAB BANK PAYS OUT BLOOD MONEY
Life Insurance for Palestinian Suicide Bombers

By Christoph Schult, Britta Sandberg and Ansgar Mertin
An Arab bank pays a type of life insurance to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. But now it could soon face a lawsuit from American lawyers representing the victims.


REUTERS
Palestinian suicide bomber Bassam Takruri killed seven people when he blew himself up on a Jersualem bus on May 18, 2003. His family then received $200 a month for over a year, after opening an Arab Bank account.

On the morning of the day before he planned to blow himself up, Bassam Takruri wore a freshly ironed shirt, a blazer and polished shoes. At 10 a.m., the student said goodbye to his father, who gave him ten shekels in pocket money. It was a beautiful Saturday in May in the Palestinian town of Hebron.

Everything seemed normal, at least for the rest of the family. The 18-year-old Bassam, a boy with dark, earnest eyes, was ambitious. He wanted to become an engineer. His father called him his best son. But he spent the last night of his life away from this family -- something many suicide bombers do so as not to lose their nerve at the last moment.

On the Sunday morning of the day Bassam picked for his terror attack, Steve Averbach strapped on his pistol in a Jerusalem suburb just as he had been doing for years. Averbach was a police officer. It was early, not even 6 a.m. and his two small sons Sean and Adam and his wife Julie were still sleeping. At a stop in the northern part of Jerusalem, he boarded the No. 6 bus, a green accordion-stretch model. At around 5:45 a.m. it reached the stop at French Hill.

Averbach scrutinized each new passenger. After serving in the anti-terrorist unit of the Jerusalem police department, he was now teaching the police, civilians and private security how to handle a weapon. His colleagues even called him "Weapon Steve."

As the bus began to pull away, a man ran up to the side and the bus driver stopped and opened the door. The man was wearing the black suit and skullcap of an observant Jew. But his beard was too thin. Seeing a bulge underneath the man's jacket, Averbach quickly stood up and headed toward the stranger. But Bassam, disguised as a devout Jew, was quicker than Averbach and he ignited his belt of explosives.

Bassam died and Averbach survived seriously injured for life.

A few weeks after the suicide bombing, the phone at the home of Bassam Takruri's parents rang. On the other end of the line was a representative of Muassafat Usar al Shuhada, or "The Organization of Martyr Families." He told Bassam's mother that the family had received money, but that they would have to open an account at the Arab Bank in order to withdraw the first deposit. The Takruris were puzzled, but they did what the man said. Shortly thereafter money was transferred to the new account. From then on, Bassam's family received $200 (€152) each month for more than a year.

The Arab Bank is one of the largest and most important financial institutions in the Arab world. The Jordan-based private bank, of which 40 percent is still held by the founding Schuman family, is active in 28 countries. The Jordanian monarchy even awarded Abd al Hamid Schuman a medal for his achievements and services to the country.

But the bank has long been suspected of directing money used to finance terrorism in the Palestinian Territories. And accounts at its Palestinian branches are also supposedly used to pay a type of life insurance to the families of youthful suicide bombers, who blow themselves up with the aim of killing as many Israelis as possible. The blood money paid for a son turned murderer is 20,000 Saudi riyal -- roughly €4,000 or $5,000. The funds take a circuitous route to the accounts of those families that prove the death of their son by showing a death certificate at the Arab Bank branch in the Palestinian Territories. Then monthly deposits are made just like in Takruri's case.

Suicide bombers with foresight can take care of all the necessary paperwork before they blow themselves to smithereens. A so-called Martyr Kit includes everything from a death certificate from the Palestinian Authority to an account card at the Arab Bank.

The attack carried out by the student Bassam Takruri on May 18, 2003 was one of the worst at the time. He had several kilograms of explosives strapped around his waist and the power or the blast was so strong that the bus was catapulted from the street. Seven people died and 20 were injured.

As the police found Steve Averbach's body inside the bus, his finger was still on the trigger of his pistol. He told them they should be careful since the weapon's safety was off. Then he lost consciousness. He spent five weeks in intensive care. Shards of glass had punctured his lungs and a ball bearing had penetrated his neck to become lodged between his third and fourth vertebrae. Since that day, Averbach has been paralyzed from the neck down.

A year after the attack he got himself an attorney, an American named Gary Osen from New Jersey. He now wants to sue the Arab Bank on the basis of a 1996 anti-terrorism law making it illegal to support terrorists financially. The 37-year-old Osen has a neat haircut, a sonorous voice, a sober demeanor -- and plenty of experience in damage compensation cases. In Germany, he represented the heirs of the Wertheim family against major retailer KarstadtQuelle. "In our suit we accuse the Arab Bank of supporting the funding of extremist Palestinian groups," says Osen. "Our goal is to make it much more difficult for them to access the money."

His law office represents 200 US clients who lost relatives in Israel in terrorist attacks. The law firm of US star attorney Ron Motley, who led a class-action lawsuit for the families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, is representing another 700 people seeking compensation. The lawyers are optimistic they can at least reduce the flow of money coming predominately from Saudi Arabia via Arab Bank accounts into the Palestinian Territories.

According to the lawsuit complaint, the blood money was often collected in Saudi Arabia and then sent via the Arab Bank's New York branch in US dollars to either the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. Much financial support is thought to come from the Saudi Committee for the Al-Quds Intifada, a charity headed by Saudi Interior Minster Prince Nayef. "This committee," says Osen, "is nothing more than a fundraising organization to support the Palestinian resistance." But a spokesman for the group in the Saudi capital Riyadh denies supporting the families of suicide bombers, claiming the committee only works with official Palestinian organizations and ministries.

But an ad published in the Palestinian daily newspaper Al Quds in November 2001 supports the theory of the US attorneys. The committee placed an advertisement listing the names of injured and imprisoned Palestinians, as well as the names of a few suicide bombers. Their families were instructed to go to a local branch of the Arab Bank in order to receive donations from the committee.

In February 2002, a similar ad was placed in another publication, Al Hayat Al Jadeeda, again asking families of "martyrs" to go to the Arab Bank in order "to receive the tenth payment, totaling $5,316 for each family, donated by the Saudi committee." The generous donors ended up giving $1,594,980 to some 300 families in the occupied territories via the Arab Bank.

Representatives of the financial institution deny that the bank knowingly takes part in such transactions. "Our bank has nothing to do with terror financing," says Bob Chlopak, the Arab Bank's spokesman in the United States. "But a bank isn't a law-enforcement agency. It can't google every single one of its clients before they make a transfer. And no bank is perfect."

Apparently not the Arab Bank either, which had its New York branch on Madison Avenue essentially shut down by the US banking authorities for not having sufficient internal controls on money transfers. In 2005, a unit of the US Treasury Department also slapped a $24 million fine on the bank, which can no longer carry out dollar-denominated transactions and international transfers.

The Israeli army also found documents during searches in the West Bank years ago that allegedly substantiate charges that the Arab Bank has been used by Saudi organizations to finance terrorism. Funds supposedly were transferred to both Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Confiscated Arab Bank documents from 2003 intimate that fund transfers via the New York branch ended up with the Tulkarm Charitable Society, which has ties to Hamas.

The 40-year-old bombing survivor Steve Averbach now lives in Ganei Tikva, "the garden of hope," in a quiet street in a quiet suburb of Tel Aviv. In front of his house is a silver van with a blue wheelchair sticker on the back window. Averbach now needs care 24 hours a day. He can't talk on the telephone without help, nor can he feed himself. He can speak, nod his head, laugh and cry. When he cries his caregiver has to wipe away his tears. Every day he has to swallow 40 different pills and his body slumps in his wheelchair.

"I'm not the victim of terrorism," says Averbach looking at his wife Julie. "The victims are my wife and my children." Julie quit her job as an accountant and the Averbachs are living on his meager police pension. If his lawsuit against the Arab Bank is successful he could end up getting a few million dollars in three or four years.

The father of the bomber lives in the Ras al Jura part of Hebron. Jamal Takruri sits on his yellow sofa, a small man with a friendly face. Behind him on the wall hangs a photograph of his son Bassam. The likeness is unmistakable -- the big eyes, the high forehead, the bushy eyebrows. Since their son blew himself up, the family has been living in a small apartment. Israeli bulldozers flattened their house a few weeks after the attack. The apartment that is now their home belongs to the Organization of Martyr Families -- the very group that suddenly offered them the generous financial payments.

Bassam's father has never questioned whether he should accept the funds sent to his Arab Bank account. "We needed the money," he says lighting up a smoke. "We suddenly no longer had a house."

Correction notice: The headline text of this story has been changed to reflect the original German version. In English, it read: "An important Arab bank in the Arab world offers accounts paying a type of life insurance to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers." However, in the original German version of the article it read: An Arab bank pays a type of life insurance to the families of suicide bombers." The text has been corrected to reflect this inconsistency.


URL:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,465438,00.html
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G M
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« Reply #242 on: September 21, 2008, 12:59:48 AM »

**All the oil wealth, and where does it go?**

Saudi Charity Begins...Nowhere   
By Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, July 07, 2006


Upon hearing Warren Buffett’s announcement on June 25, 2006, of giving $37 billion to charitable foundations, mostly to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Nihad Awad, declared that Muslim organizations “are lagging behind,” only because of intimidation by the West. The Muslims, he said, are in “the cycle of fear,” [of] “being accused of funding suspicious organizations that fall under the scrutiny of anti-terrorism investigations.” One wonders why they are funding “suspicious organizations” in the first place.
Instead of blaming America and the West, as CAIR constantly does, it could initiate the establishment of a new Muslim foundation with a similar mission to that of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This new Muslim foundation could supply immunization, HIV and anti-malarial medication, and medical means to reduce cervical cancer incidence and deaths in poor Muslim countries, feed millions of refugees from Muslim atrocities in Darfur, and generally “bring innovations in health” to Third World Muslim countries. Indeed, Awad himself pointed out that, “We in the Muslim world are lagging behind when we should be pioneers as per our Islamic beliefs.”
 
To be sure, there is no shortage in oil billionaires in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. According to Forbes Magazine 2006 list of the World’s Richest People, Saudi and Gulf billionaires are worth at least $134 billion. Muslim billionaires in Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon are worth additional $29.4 billion. This is not taking into account Muslim billionaires and millionaires in Asia and elsewhere. Moreover, the oil boom in the Middle East generated at least 300,000, new wealthy millionaires in the region.
 
According to the Department of Energy, Saudi Arabia is estimated to gain $154 billion in oil revenues in 2006, alone, and has at least $110 billion in foreign assets.
 
Yet, despite all this wealth, Muslim charities do not focus on alleviating the suffering of millions of poor Muslims and provide for their economic development the way the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) does. Instead, Muslim charities, led by the Saudis, continue to pour billions into madrassas to spread Wahhabism and hatred of the West around the globe – and not only in the Muslim world.
 
Testifying before the House International Relations Committee on June 29, 2006, Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer stated, “Saudi Arabia has become a leading financier of the Islamic takeover of Somalia.” And in the Middle East, Saudi and Gulf cash, smuggled into Gaza under the watchful eyes of the Egyptians, helped Hamas pay the salaries of at least 130, 000 employees of the Palestinian Authority, according to Middle Eastern sources. And more money is coming. On July 5, The Arab League announced in Cairo the transfer of $50 million to the West Bank and Gaza, and $15 million to pay for o Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and to employees and diplomats in Palestinian embassies and Palestinian representative. In addition, the U.S. “good ally,” Saudi Arabia, “also provided $50 million.” This is at the time that President George W. Bush, declared: "In order for there to be peace, Hamas must be dismantled."
 
Two years ago, the Saudi government gave at least $12 billion per year to Muslim charities. In light of their growing oil revenues, it is reasonable to assume that they are contributing more now.
 
According to testimony  given before the Senate Banking Committee by Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey on on April 4, Saudi money “is going to Iraq. And it's going to Southeast Asia and it's going to any other place where there are terrorists.” He added Saudi promises to stop the financing of terrorism “haven't been uniformly implemented.”
 
While the Saudis work hard to fight domestic terrorism, they have yet to turn off the flow of money from wealthy Saudis and their charities that continue to fuel terrorism against the West. Instead, the Kingdom increased its public relations offensive in the U.S., spending tens of millions of dollars on Washington lobbyist, and in contributions to U.S.-based Muslim organizations such as CAIR, who oppose the government’s condemnation of Palestinian terrorism and Hamas.
 
Last month, CAIR announced that it was “launching a massive $50 million media campaign involving television, radio, and newspapers as part of its five-year program to create a better understanding of Islam and Muslims in the U.S.” Following their Saudi paymaster’s lead, CAIR now orchestrates a media offensive demanding that President Bush come to Hamas’s rescue and condemn Israel.
Clearly, the idea that the $50 million CAIR spends to promote Hamas’ culture of death can instead help millions of Muslims to live better, just did not cross Awad’s mind.



Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed—and How to Stop It, Director of American Center for Democracy and a member of the Committee on the Present Danger. She is the world’s leading expert on Narco-Terrorism and a noteworthy authority on international terrorism, political corruption, money laundering, drug trafficking, and organized crime. Most recently, she was a consult for the Department of Defense’s Threat Reduction Strategy.
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« Reply #243 on: September 21, 2008, 10:41:03 AM »

GM, as Marc has pointed out, you are able to access a great number/quantity of articles; good for you.  Some are interesting and perhaps poignant, but often, none are relevant.  It drives me crazy; you don' like that I pointed out that you were wrong about British Law so you print numerous unrelated articles, mind you, recently as to the WSJ piece adverse to McCain, you don't challenge the WSJ accusations or overall article, rather you point out Cafferty got a traffic ticket - again does this answer the question?  Is it even relevant?  I mean Cafferty didn't even write the article; the WSJ staff wrote the article and who frankly cares if Cafferty got a traffic ticket.  It reminds me of an old boss of mine when I got out of school; to paraphrase, he said, "If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bu$%^*&.  Quantity, obfuscating the issues is not an answer.

In this instance, you stated that Israel is a rich and successful notion; you noted their numerous individual successes and contributions to science, etc.; I agreed, we both admire the country.  However, I inquired that given Israel is such a wealthy and successful nation, why are they the number one (1) beneficiary of our foreign aid; far and above anyone else?  As your articles pointed out we have been giving close to 3 billion dollars per year to Israel, year after year plus special perks and other benefits; this is more than 10% almost 15% of our total foreign aid budget.  Money, as you indirectly pointed out that could be spent funding projects elsewhere like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing. The world is hungry, the world has disease, we need to help.  So I am still waiting... given that Israel is so successful, why are we giving them so much foreign aid?  It's a simple question; please don't post articles on non related issues.  Just answer the question or if you cannot, simply say "I don't know", or "I agree, it's not right", or "I think we should give them money because many people in Israel are hungry" or "yeah, maybe Israel's success is partially due to our money and support" or ?  But please address the issue rather than avoiding the subject or pointing fingers elsewhere.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 12:28:32 PM by JDN » Logged
G M
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« Reply #244 on: September 21, 2008, 01:14:32 PM »

GM, as Marc has pointed out, you are able to access a great number/quantity of articles; good for you.  Some are interesting and perhaps poignant, but often, none are relevant. 

**I think sometimes you sometimes miss the point.**


It drives me crazy; you don' like that I pointed out that you were wrong about British Law so you print numerous unrelated articles,

**In an attempt to educate you about sharia law. As for me being wrong, time will tell.**

mind you, recently as to the WSJ piece adverse to McCain, you don't challenge the WSJ accusations or overall article, rather you point out Cafferty got a traffic ticket - again does this answer the question?  Is it even relevant?  I mean Cafferty didn't even write the article; the WSJ staff wrote the article and who frankly cares if Cafferty got a traffic ticket. 

**You were trying to float the "McCain was confused" meme, and posted a link to Cafferty's blog. I pointed out that Obama has concerns about his mental competency due to his history of hard drug use.**


It reminds me of an old boss of mine when I got out of school; to paraphrase, he said, "If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bu$%^*&.  Quantity, obfuscating the issues is not an answer.

**I've asked you to explain why the muslim world has so little in the way of accomplishments. You don't seem to want to address this question. There is an immense amount of oil wealth in the arab world, while Israel has none. So what have the arabs done with it?.**

In this instance, you stated that Israel is a rich and successful notion; you noted their numerous individual successes and contributions to science, etc.; I agreed, we both admire the country.  However, I inquired that given Israel is such a wealthy and successful nation, why are they the number one (1) beneficiary of our foreign aid; far and above anyone else?  As your articles pointed out we have been giving close to 3 billion dollars per year to Israel, year after year plus special perks and other benefits; this is more than 10% almost 15% of our total foreign aid budget.  Money, as you indirectly pointed out that could be spent funding projects elsewhere like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing. The world is hungry, the world has disease, we need to help.  So I am still waiting... given that Israel is so successful, why are we giving them so much foreign aid?

**Israel is a friend in a region filled with barbarism. We should support them for sound geopolitical reasons and because it's the right thing to do.** 

It's a simple question; please don't post articles on non related issues.  Just answer the question or if you cannot, simply say "I don't know", or "I agree, it's not right", or "I think we should give them money because many people in Israel are hungry" or "yeah, maybe Israel's success is partially due to our money and support" or ?  But please address the issue rather than avoiding the subject or pointing fingers elsewhere.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #245 on: September 21, 2008, 02:00:06 PM »

Woof GM:

We have here Exhibit A as to why it is a good idea to put in an explanatory sentence or three as to WHY you are posting articles cheesy  If you had included the descriptions you include here with the original post, all would have been clear to JDN.

Yio!
Marc/CD

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« Reply #246 on: September 21, 2008, 03:47:19 PM »

GM, perhaps sometime I am missing the point; please make one... rather than posting irrelevant articles.

Regarding English Law, "As for me being wrong, time will tell."  Maybe yes, maybe no, but you are WRONG today and therefore your post was wrong today.  Simply admit you are WRONG; period. Just follow the simple logic...

As for McCain being "confused" I was not referring to any mental disease (I find the man competent albeit not brilliant) simply that he does not seem to have an answer and that he wildly fluctuates on his response to the economic issues of today.  Even the WSJ agreed.  Nothing sinister.  Trying to smear the messenger, yet it was a WSJ article, you posted a lengthy post on Cafferty receiving a traffic ticket; so?  A post on a traffic ticket ... that was just plain silly and inane.

And I doubt "that Obama has concerns about his mental competency due to his history of hard drug use" or if anyone else has a concern; his brain worked well enough to get through Harvard and Harvard Law; he could lose a few brain cells and still be far ahead of McCain.

I can't tell you why the muslim world has so little in the way of accomplishment; I don't know.  I  think many problems contribute to their lack of success; money is not the only answer.  But then by your definition, Africa has achieved nothing, Central and Latin America have achieved nothing, nor has most of Asia and frankly, much of Europe.  They are all "failures" by your "success" definition.  Yet in many of these places, the people are very happy.

And I am glad Israel is a friend, but then I am happy Canada, England, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Korea, etc. are friends too; they are all successful yet they don't demand billions of dollars in aid each year; they are successful and they pay their own way.  These successful countries give money to the needy, they don't beg for money for themselves. As for it being "the right thing to do" I am not sure I know what that means.  Isn't it also the right thing to do to give these billions to education, poverty and disease like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in areas where it is really needed?  Giving and charity is not giving to the rich and successful; it's giving to the needy, isn't it?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #247 on: September 21, 2008, 03:59:13 PM »

"his brain worked well enough to get through Harvard and Harvard Law"

Actually his undergrad was Columbia. smiley
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JDN
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« Reply #248 on: September 21, 2008, 04:08:47 PM »

But as someone once said, "Columbia is not too shabby either".   smiley
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G M
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« Reply #249 on: September 21, 2008, 05:51:59 PM »

GM, perhaps sometime I am missing the point; please make one... rather than posting irrelevant articles.

Regarding English Law, "As for me being wrong, time will tell."  Maybe yes, maybe no, but you are WRONG today and therefore your post was wrong today.  Simply admit you are WRONG; period. Just follow the simple logic...

**Let me help you on this. Does current law in the UK explicitly allow for dv? No. Let's move a step or two beyond your simple thinking and look at how the introduction of sharia law places muslim women in greater jeopardy, a group in theory whom you care for deeply.
As sharia law holds women (and non-muslims) in a much lower legal status than muslim men and does not recognize domestic violence as a wrong when a muslim man uses it to keep his wife in a state of submission (A common theme you'll find in islamic thought, not a shock given that "islam" most closely translates to "submission"). So, if a woman that wishes to divorce a husband that beats her, that is pressured by her familiy/community to go before a sharia court will be as protected as if she went to a british civil court? Do you think that abusive husbands who see wife-beating as an activity blessed by allah will be more or less likely to do so now?

I believe in that post, I used the phrase "woo-hoo". To assist you, I will explain that this was something called sarcasm.

sarcasm

A form of irony in which apparent praise conceals another, scornful meaning. For example, a sarcastic remark directed at a person who consistently arrives fifteen minutes late for appointments might be, “Oh, you've arrived exactly on time!”


In the future, when I use sarcasm or irony or other non-literal statements, I'll be sure to label them as such so there is no confusion.**




As for McCain being "confused" I was not referring to any mental disease (I find the man competent albeit not brilliant) simply that he does not seem to have an answer and that he wildly fluctuates on his response to the economic issues of today.  Even the WSJ agreed.  Nothing sinister.  Trying to smear the messenger, yet it was a WSJ article, you posted a lengthy post on Cafferty receiving a traffic ticket; so?  A post on a traffic ticket ... that was just plain silly and inane.

**A common theme from you has been McCain's age. Given that the presidency does not involve heavy lifting or a six minute mile, the implication is his mental abilities are imparied due to his age. Cafferty striking a cyclist then driving through at least 2 red lights while dragging the bicycle underneath his car says a lot about his capacity. Try to minimize it, as you will.**

And I doubt "that Obama has concerns about his mental competency due to his history of hard drug use" or if anyone else has a concern; his brain worked well enough to get through Harvard and Harvard Law; he could lose a few brain cells and still be far ahead of McCain.

**Obama has never released his medical records or his grades from his undergrad/postgrad. Why? What does he have to hide? If Barry-O is as smart as you insist he is, then he should proudly display his academic accomplishments. It would help his otherwise wafer thin resume. He should disclose his medical records, including his usage of hard drugs and any drug treatment he obtained. It would be nice to know he's not using coke now.**

I can't tell you why the muslim world has so little in the way of accomplishment; I don't know.  I  think many problems contribute to their lack of success; money is not the only answer.  But then by your definition, Africa has achieved nothing, Central and Latin America have achieved nothing, nor has most of Asia and frankly, much of Europe.  They are all "failures" by your "success" definition.  Yet in many of these places, the people are very happy.

**Actually, you can't lump all the countries into successful or not successful by region or continent. Examine the "Four Tigers" of asia, as well the the gains made by mainland China, India and Japan being the 2nd. largest economy on the planet and you'll see the core elements that contribute to economic growth. Examine the muslim world, especially the arab nations and I think the contrast will make things clear.**

And I am glad Israel is a friend, but then I am happy Canada, England, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Korea, etc. are friends too; they are all successful yet they don't demand billions of dollars in aid each year; they are successful and they pay their own way. 

**Not exactly. Though they may not receive direct financial aid, they all have profited from the "pax americana", especially in the area of defense spending. Crunch the numbers since WWII and you'll see just how much they've glided along in our wake.**

These successful countries give money to the needy, they don't beg for money for themselves. As for it being "the right thing to do" I am not sure I know what that means.  Isn't it also the right thing to do to give these billions to education, poverty and disease like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in areas where it is really needed?  Giving and charity is not giving to the rich and successful; it's giving to the needy, isn't it?

**Israel exists on a war footing, as they have from the first moments of their existence. Blind giving can only do some much, while contributing to science and technology enriches us all collectively. Frankly, the fact that Israel has accomplished so much while under such constant threat is nothing short of miraculous.**
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