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captainccs
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« Reply #500 on: January 28, 2009, 06:35:53 PM »

With all due respect for Golda Meir, it is time to think outside the box.

The way to stop people from reproducing like rabbits is to make them rich. Rich people can't afford more than two or three kids. Poor people, on the other hand, must bred like rabbits to overcome infant mortality. People on the farm can afford lots of children because they are productive as farmhands. City children are a terrible expense.

Foreign aid never made anyone rich but if Israel could somehow kick-start Gazans into becoming profitable business people, like Lebanon was at one time, for example, Gazans would be too busy making money to lob rockets into Israel.

I know it's a pipe dram but continuous war is not an enticing idea. For a long time Sabras have though of Arabs as camel drivers, as an inferior people. Just yesterday I got another email detailing how Jews have 100 thousand Nobel Prizes vs. maybe about 5 for Arabs. This is supposed to make me proud of being Jewish and it is supposed to be proof of Arab inferiority. Maybe. But it certainly is fuel for more war. The same email stated that there are a huge number of Muslims. But there are only 1.5 million Gazans and those are the people we need to make rich. I think it's doable. 100 thousand Nobel Prize winning minds should be able to come up with a solution. No?

Let's shift gears!
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Denny Schlesinger
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #501 on: January 28, 2009, 07:10:15 PM »

Looking forward to the conversation on this  cool
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #502 on: January 28, 2009, 07:24:25 PM »

The Mood in Israel Now
MICHAEL J. TOTTEN - 01.26.2009 - 9:29 AM
The mood in Israel during the immediate aftermath of the Gaza war is markedly different from the mood in the wake of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Things felt precarious and vulnerable then. Confidence in both the government and the military disintegrated. When Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah declared his “divine victory,” many, if not most, Israelis shuddered and thought he might be correct. This time, by contrast, I didn’t meet a single Israeli who thinks Hamas defeated the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is nowhere near finished, and the problems in Gaza will endure for a long time, but the Israeli military and government spent two and a half years intensely studying what went wrong in Lebanon in 2006 and corrected nearly all those mistakes. Most Israelis I spoke to in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem last week feel a tremendous sense of relief and seem more at ease than they have been in years.

The results speak for themselves. The IDF wasn’t able to halt or even disrupt Hezbollah’s Katyusha rocket attacks on Israeli cities in July and August of 2006, but Hamas’s ability to fire its own crude rockets was reduced by almost 75 percent. According to Major General Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, Hamas fired 75 rockets per day at the beginning of the war, 35 rockets per day in the middle of the war, and only 20 rockets per day at the end. At the same time, Hamas was only able to inflict a tenth as many casualties on Israeli civilians and soldiers as Hezbollah did in 2006. During the final ten days of the war, again according to Ben-Eliyahu, Hamas did not kill a single Israeli. Ismail Haniyeh’s predictable declaration of “victory” could hardly sound more empty if he delivered his boast from inside a prison cell.

I wouldn’t characterize the mood in Israel as optimistic. That would be a mistake. Few people I know in any Middle Eastern country feel optimistic about the future of their country or the region in general. But confidence in the Israeli government and military has been restored. While a final peace with the Arabs and Palestinians is as elusive as ever, most Israelis expect a period of relative quiet now that deterrence has been established on its eastern border with the West Bank, on its northern border with Lebanon, and on its southwestern border with Gaza.

The status quo balance of terror between Israel, Hamas, and Hezbollah is less bad now than it was, and that’s as much as anyone should hope for in the Middle East. That may sound like a gloomy prognosis to Americans and Europeans, but it’s a relief to those who understand that no one knows how to map a way out.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/totten/52091
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HUSS
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« Reply #503 on: January 28, 2009, 07:31:57 PM »

With all due respect for Golda Meir, it is time to think outside the box.

The way to stop people from reproducing like rabbits is to make them rich. Rich people can't afford more than two or three kids. Poor people, on the other hand, must bred like rabbits to overcome infant mortality. People on the farm can afford lots of children because they are productive as farmhands. City children are a terrible expense.

Foreign aid never made anyone rich but if Israel could somehow kick-start Gazans into becoming profitable business people, like Lebanon was at one time, for example, Gazans would be too busy making money to lob rockets into Israel.

I know it's a pipe dram but continuous war is not an enticing idea. For a long time Sabras have though of Arabs as camel drivers, as an inferior people. Just yesterday I got another email detailing how Jews have 100 thousand Nobel Prizes vs. maybe about 5 for Arabs. This is supposed to make me proud of being Jewish and it is supposed to be proof of Arab inferiority. Maybe. But it certainly is fuel for more war. The same email stated that there are a huge number of Muslims. But there are only 1.5 million Gazans and those are the people we need to make rich. I think it's doable. 100 thousand Nobel Prize winning minds should be able to come up with a solution. No?

Let's shift gears!

I respectfully disagree.  Rich or poor muslims will always be looking to expand their empire.  If this were not true the ridiculously wealthy saudis would not be sponsoring terror in between trips to europe for episodes of drunken debauchery.  they would also not make available hate literature through their embassies to foreign based islamic schools.  Like it or not Islam is an imperialistic political system and will be that way until it experiences a massive reformation............. one i fear can never happen as it would require mohammed to be removed from the koran and hadith.  

I would also like to point out the millions of dollars in cash, medical supplies and projects Israel and the U.S give to the palistinians.  They use them to support terror.  When Israel began giving up their settlements they left fully intact infastructure that the palistinians could have utilized for their own betterment.  Instead they destroyed the place. The only periods in history where the world lived in peace with islam were after harsh, decisive, humiliating defeats.  The crusdaes, the moro uprising, the battle of tours........ the only way we will ever have peace with islam is to drop the hammer on them.  Let them know that the next massive attack will result in the leveling of one of their holy sites.  Put the onus on the "moderates (not that any exist)" to police their own.

Does a nation exist that is predominantly muslim that does not use their wealth to wage jihad?  look at north american muslims, how many muslim groups exist to say that Cair is not a good representation of what muslims stand for?Huh half of cairs founding members and current executives have been or will be indicted on terror charges;

Omar Ahmad
(Click Photo)

Co-Founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

President and CEO of Silicon Expert Technologies.
Former  Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) Officer.

Omar Ahmad was captured on FBI surveillance tapes at Hamas meetings in the U.S.A. during 1993 explaining that the IAP could not, for political reasons, admit its support for Hamas, and then
discussing how the Hamas agenda could be cloaked and advanced.  Omar Ahmad's airfare
and hotel bills for this meeting were paid for by the Holy Land Foundation


"Those who stay in America should be open to society without melting, keeping Mosques open so anyone can come and learn about Islam. If you choose to live here, you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam ... Islam isn't in America to be equal to
any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book
of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the
only accepted religion on Earth."

"Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam, that is not suicide," ...
"They kill themselves for Islam."
(Ahmad Praises Suicide Bombers)

"Registering an organization is easy. I can register 100 organizations
in 100 cities in one day ..."I mean, we don't really have available
people whom we could dedicate for the work we want to hide ..."

" Politics is a completion of War "

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




Nihad Awad
(Click Photo)

Executive Director

Former Public Relations Director for the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)
A Palestinian born in Jordan and now a U.S. citizen.
Identified participating at a 1993 Hamas meeting in the United States

"I am in support of the Hamas movement."

"We Should Not Blame The United States Alone For The 11 September 2001 Attacks"

"Our administration has the burden of proving otherwise.”
(Awad's response to muslim accusations that federal raids
were a War against Islam and Muslims)

"Address people according to their minds. When I speak with the American,
I speak with someone who doesn't know anything."


"If you love Israel, you're OK ... If that is the litmus test, no American Muslim
and no freedom-loving person is going to pass that test."

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


 

Ibrahim Hooper
(Click Photo)
CAIR Spokesperson
Former  Employee Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)

"CAIR does not support these groups publicly."
(Hooper comments on CAIR's record of supporting Hamas,
Hezbullah and other official terrorist groups)



"I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of
the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future...But I'm not going to
do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it through education."

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


Mousa Abu Marzook
 Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) Founder
Parent organization of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
Officially Designated Terrorist and Fugitive from Justice.
(IAP was found Liable for aiding and abetting Hamas in the murder of a 17-year-old American)

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it,
just as it obliterated others before it" -  Hamas Charter

Senior Hamas member Marzook conspired with Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad, and others to establish what the United States government has termed “front organizations” to support and advance the interests of Hamas and radical Islam in the United States. IAP provided the
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) with employees, funding, operational
expertise, and ideological guidance.

  " ... probable cause exists that Abu Marzook knew of Hamas's plan to carry out violent, murderous attacks, that he selected the leadership and supplied the money to enable the attacks to take place, and that such attacks were, therefore, a foreseeable consequence
of the conspiracy."  (Judge Kevin Duffy on Marzook)

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


Ahmed Rehab
(Click Photo)
CAIR National
Strategic Communications Director
"CAIR is not a front for Hamas, Hezbollah, or any other foreign group,
nor has it ever been. CAIR is an independent American institution,
established by Americans ..."

"Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad have never been members of
or associated with or tied to Hamas"

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


Corey Saylor
(Click Photo)
CAIR Director Of Government Affairs
"Some people try to hold us responsible for the actions of people that
are associated with our organization. That’s absolutely ludicrous …
you don’t hold all of Enron responsible for what Ken Lay did."

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


Ahmed Bedier
(Click Photo)
(Former) CAIR-Florida Communications Director
"We are to the American Muslim community what the NAACP is to blacks
in America. If you attack us, you are attacking the Muslim community
and the religion of Islam in this country." (Mpls Star-Trib -10/24/06)

"Catholic priests pose more of a terrorism threat by having sex with young
altar boys than those who flew planes into the World Trade Center."

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



   Ahmad Al-Akhras
(Click photo)
CAIR Vice-Chairman\
"Americans in general might be more supportive of targeted attacks on civilians,
as part of the war on terror, than U.S. Muslims"

"What has happened in Somalia, for the majority of Somalis inside
and those who are abroad, is a positive change."

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


Randall "Ismail" Royer
(Click Photo)
CAIR-National Civil Rights Coordinator
& Communications Specialist
*CONVICTED*
Committed Terrorist Crimes while working for CAIR
Pled guilty to using and discharging a firearm during, and in relation to,
a crime of violence; and with carrying an explosive during commission
of a felony ... admitted helping four people gain entry to a terrorist
training camp in Pakistan operated by Lashkar-e-Taiba.
[United States Of America V. Randall Todd Royer (pdf)]

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


Ghassan Elashi
(Click Photo)
Founder Of CAIR-Texas
Chairman of Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development
*CONVICTED*
Committed Terrorist Crimes while working for CAIR
Tried on 21 counts of conspiracy, money laundering and dealing
in property of a terrorist. Found guilty on all 21 counts.
[United States of America V. HLF (pdf)]


http://www.anti-cair-net.org/
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #504 on: January 28, 2009, 07:38:06 PM »

Second Post

The Mother of All Quagmires

MICHAEL J. TOTTEN
WEB ONLY
               
I've just returned from a week-long trip through Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Israel's border with Gaza, and I'm reminded all over again of what has been beaten into me during my many visits to the Middle East: there is no solution to the problems that vex that region right now. Most Americans are inherently optimistic and think just about any problem in the world can be solved. We put a man on the moon before I was born, but that was easy compared with securing peace between Israelis and Arabs.

The American Jewish Committee brought me and seven of my colleagues to Israel and set up interviews with Israeli military officers, politicians, academics, and journalists on the far-left, the far-right and at every point in between. One of my colleagues asked the eternal question during one of our meetings. “What is the solution to this problem?” He meant the Arab-Israeli conflict, of course, and the answer from our Israeli host was revealing in more ways than one. “You Americans are always asking us that,” he said and laughed darkly.

Americans aren't the only ones who have a hard time grasping the idea of an intractable problem. “Unfortunately we Westerners are impatient,” said an Israeli politician who preferred not to be named. “We want fast food and peace now. But it won't happen. We need a long strategy.” “Most of Israel's serious problems don't have a solution,” said Dr. Dan Schueftan, Director of National Security Studies at the University of Haifa. “Israelis have only recently understood this, and most foreign analysts still don't understand it.”

A clear majority of Israelis would instantly hand over the West Bank and its settlements along with Gaza for a real shot at peace with the Arabs, but that’s not an option. Most Arab governments at least implicitly say they will recognize Israel's right to exist inside its pre-1967 borders, but far too many Palestinians still won’t recognize Israel's right to exist even in its 1948 borders. Hamas doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist inside any borders at all.

“We will never recognize Israel,” senior Hamas leader Nizar Rayyan said before he was killed by an air strike in Gaza during the recent fighting. “There is nothing called Israel, neither in reality nor in the imagination.”

Hamas does not speak for all Palestinians. I’ve met Palestinians who sincerely despise Hamas and everything it stands for. But let’s not kid ourselves here. Hamas speaks for a genuinely enormous number of Palestinians, and peace is impossible as long as that’s true. An-Najah University conducted a poll of Palestinian public opinion a few months ago and found that 53.4 percent persist in their rejection of a two-state solution.

Far too many Westerners make the mistake of projecting their own views onto Palestinians without really understanding the Palestinian narrative. The “occupation” doesn’t refer to the West Bank and Gaza, and it never has. The “occupation” refers to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. A kibbutz in the center of Israel is “occupied Palestine” according to most. “It makes no sense to a Palestinian to think about a Palestinian state alongside Israel,” Martin Kramer from the Shalem Center in Jerusalem said to me a few days ago. “From the Palestinian perspective, Israel will always exist inside Palestine.”

“Making peace with the Palestinians is harder than making peace with other Arabs,” said Asher Susser, Senior Research Fellow at Tel Aviv University. “With the Palestinians we have a 1948 file as well as a 1967 file. With other Arabs we only have a 1967 file. The 1967 file relates to our size, but the 1948 file relates to our very being. It is nearly impossible to resolve because we cannot compromise on our being.”

The problem here isn't just with the worst of the violent rejectionists. Even the moderates on each side remain too far apart.

Fatah Party leader Mahmoud Abbas is clearly more moderate and reasonable than the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but even he can't compromise on the “right of return,” the so-far non-negotiable demand that all Palestinian refugees and their descendants from the 1948 war be allowed to return to settle in Israel. Israel would become an Arab-majority country if that were to happen, and most of the would-be arrivals have been radicalized in politically toxic refugee camps. The “right of return” would ignite a civil war worse than Lebanon’s.

Listen to Ran Cohen, Member of the Knesset for the left-wing Meretz Party and former leader of the Left Camp of Israel peace movement. “Even I refuse the right of return,” he said. “It's impossible. It's the opposite of a solution. Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] and the others know our position on the right of return. Who are they going [to] negotiate this with? Not me, not Meretz, not Peace Now. Who? The Communist Party? Not even the radical left supports this.”

Palestinian right-of-returners aren’t the only ones to contend with. “We cannot look at Israel-Syrian talks or Israeli-Palestinian talks without looking at how Iran influences these talks,” said an Israeli intelligence officer who asked not to be named. “Iran has its fingers all over these talks. The situation is much more difficult now than it was in 2000.”

All wars end, and this mother of all quagmires will eventually end like the others. But the Middle East will have to change before it is solvable. President Barack Obama no doubt will pull out all the stops to broker a peace agreement no matter how bleak the prospects may look. There is something to be said for struggling against long odds, and an excessively negative attitude can be self-defeating. Perhaps it's even worth sponsoring a doomed peace process just to keep up appearances so the United States won’t be blamed when it continues to fail. But President Obama should take care to proceed as though failure – through no fault of his own – is the most likely outcome right now.

Jeffrey Goldberg wrote a cautionary note to Israelis in the New York Times that applies just as well to the Obama Administration. “There is a fixed idea among some Israeli leaders that Hamas can be bombed into moderation,” he wrote. “This is a false and dangerous notion. It is true that Hamas can be deterred militarily for a time, but tanks cannot defeat deeply felt belief. The reverse is also true: Hamas cannot be cajoled into moderation. Neither position credits Hamas with sincerity, or seriousness.”

Dan Schueftan made a similar point much more bluntly when I met him last week in Israel. “Ariel Sharon believed we could change the world by force,” he said. “Shimon Peres believed we could change it by being nice and stupid. They are both megalomaniacs.”

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/the-mother-of-all-quagmires-14423
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G M
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« Reply #505 on: January 28, 2009, 07:59:44 PM »

With all due respect for Golda Meir, it is time to think outside the box.

**IMHO, HUSS already hit this out of the park.**

The way to stop people from reproducing like rabbits is to make them rich. Rich people can't afford more than two or three kids. Poor people, on the other hand, must bred like rabbits to overcome infant mortality. People on the farm can afford lots of children because they are productive as farmhands. City children are a terrible expense.

Foreign aid never made anyone rich but if Israel could somehow kick-start Gazans into becoming profitable business people, like Lebanon was at one time, for example, Gazans would be too busy making money to lob rockets into Israel.

I know it's a pipe dram but continuous war is not an enticing idea. For a long time Sabras have though of Arabs as camel drivers, as an inferior people. Just yesterday I got another email detailing how Jews have 100 thousand Nobel Prizes vs. maybe about 5 for Arabs. This is supposed to make me proud of being Jewish and it is supposed to be proof of Arab inferiority.

**Lots of shared DNA between the Nobel prize winning Jews and the terror-loving Arabs. It's not a matter of ethnicity or "race" but of culture shaped by religion. Thus Israel produces many good things while the "Palestinians" create new and exciting ways to convince their children to slaughter others.**

Maybe. But it certainly is fuel for more war. The same email stated that there are a huge number of Muslims. But there are only 1.5 million Gazans and those are the people we need to make rich. I think it's doable. 100 thousand Nobel Prize winning minds should be able to come up with a solution. No?

Let's shift gears!

**Until we shatter the global jihad, there will be no "Kumbaya" moments.**
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 09:23:54 PM by G M » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #506 on: January 28, 2009, 09:18:41 PM »

This is a really important question, so lets make sure we aren't missing anything.

a) Concerning the seemingly pertinent example that Huss uses of the House of Saud, as Stratfor commented earlier today (or was it yesterday?) on the intel thread, SA has kicked AQ's ass in SA.  WHY IS THAT?  Once we removed our troops from SA (their presence no longer being necessary to defend it from SH in Iraq) their motivations changed.  WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?

b) As noted in many posts made by several of us, there has been a lot of one handed clapping in support of Hamas/Gaza.  WHY IS THAT?  Indeed, many felt that during Lebanon 2 a lot of the Arab world was silently wishing for Israeli success.  WHY?

c) As noted in the Iraq thread by my friend in Iraq, who originally opposed the decision to go to Iraq, he sees the Iraqis themselves as having rejected the AQ whackos.  WHAT DOES THAT TELL US? 

Capt raises an important question.  Certainly HUSS answered well, but let us be careful that we do not answer too quickly.
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G M
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« Reply #507 on: January 28, 2009, 09:31:50 PM »

This is a really important question, so lets make sure we aren't missing anything.

a) Concerning the seemingly pertinent example that Huss uses of the House of Saud, as Stratfor commented earlier today (or was it yesterday?) on the intel thread, SA has kicked AQ's ass in SA.  WHY IS THAT?  Once we removed our troops from SA (their presence no longer being necessary to defend it from SH in Iraq) their motivations changed.  WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?

**The Saudis support and fund the global jihad. The ojection they have with AQ is not the jihad, just AQ rejection of the house of Saud.**

b) As noted in many posts made by several of us, there has been a lot of one handed clapping in support of Hamas/Gaza.  WHY IS THAT?  Indeed, many felt that during Lebanon 2 a lot of the Arab world was silently wishing for Israeli success.  WHY?

**Because HAMAS is a pawn of Iran. The Sunni arab states fear the growing power of the Iranian sponsored shia revolution.**

c) As noted in the Iraq thread by my friend in Iraq, who originally opposed the decision to go to Iraq, he sees the Iraqis themselves as having rejected the AQ whackos.  WHAT DOES THAT TELL US? 

**That Iraq, being one of the most secular arab nations was more willing to accept our well intentioned mistakes rather than be tortured and butchered by AQ.**

Capt raises an important question.  Certainly HUSS answered well, but let us be careful that we do not answer too quickly.
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nonkosherdog
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« Reply #508 on: January 29, 2009, 06:29:37 AM »

Fair enough cheesy

The point I am trying to raise though, and lets use the Lebanese invasion of a year or so ago as an example, is the possibility that this approach simply innoculates/immunizes the enemy.

When Israel went into Lebanon it had as green a light as I can remember from the US govt.  I was praying for Israel to go all the way through the Bekkaa Valley (sp?) and clean out that nest of vipers for once and for all.  Instead, having triggered the regretable civilian casualites, you guys quit before you finished.

Net result: Hez gets bragging rights AND doubles/triples the number of missiles it has.

Arguably a similar dynamic in play now with Gaza-- except that Iran now has fronts on both your north and south borders.  As soon as they can reach your nuclear reactor, what happens to your Osirak option for Iran's incipient nukes?

PS:  My apologies for President Bush vetoing your request to go after Iran.  I fear this was a historic error.

The last Lebanon battle was carried out in haste and with a defense minister that had no place being a minister of any kind (and isnt anymore)

Regarding the Iranians, many foreign governments, including the United States, condemned the Osirak operation, and the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed UN Resolution 487, which “strongly condemns the military attack by Israel in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct."  So I have a feeling that we may have to fend for ourselves yet again  wink
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HUSS
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« Reply #509 on: January 29, 2009, 08:43:16 AM »

This is a really important question, so lets make sure we aren't missing anything.

a) Concerning the seemingly pertinent example that Huss uses of the House of Saud, as Stratfor commented earlier today (or was it yesterday?) on the intel thread, SA has kicked AQ's ass in SA.  WHY IS THAT?  Once we removed our troops from SA (their presence no longer being necessary to defend it from SH in Iraq) their motivations changed.  WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?

Its a battle between Shite and Sunni in some cases, also keep in mind that OBL offered his men to the Saudis prior to the first gulf war.  The house od Saud rejected his offer and let the infidels help instead.  Since that time OBL has been at war with the royals.  the royals still support terror, via other outlets.


b) As noted in many posts made by several of us, there has been a lot of one handed clapping in support of Hamas/Gaza.  WHY IS THAT?  Indeed, many felt that during Lebanon 2 a lot of the Arab world was silently wishing for Israeli success.  WHY?
Simply lookng at the Arabs treatment of the palistinians shows their hate for them.  the palistinians are a rabid dog who has gotten off its leash and is not running around biting everyone.  I think the Arabs see them as a tool for getting back at Israel and nothing more.  If they really sympathized with the palistinians the US and Israel would not be the two single largest aid donors to the palistinians and Israel would not be the sole source of power and water for Gaza and the West Bank.

c) As noted in the Iraq thread by my friend in Iraq, who originally opposed the decision to go to Iraq, he sees the Iraqis themselves as having rejected the AQ whackos.  WHAT DOES THAT TELL US? 
The Iraqis still chose to base thier constiution on Sharia law.  We all know how good shria has worked out for us infidels in the past.  When Muslims fight, its always over what method is best to subjegate the infidel.  In the hotory of islam, not one single nation has ever worked as a democracy.  Turkey is different because they have a secualr constitution that demands a coup every time the sitting govt gets all religious.  We should have helped them start up a monarchy, which appears to be the most stable form of govt in the region as seen in the UAE, Qatar.......etc

Capt raises an important question.  Certainly HUSS answered well, but let us be careful that we do not answer too quickly.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #510 on: January 29, 2009, 11:09:08 AM »

@all:

Many good points being made.  I would add the example of the green houses that Israel left behind in Gaza being destroyed.

@ Huss:

I submit Turkey as an example of Islamic culture and democracy co-existing.  Indonesia too-- at least for now.

@ NKD:

I fear I have not succeeded in conveying my point-- I supported and support the Osirak operation.  My concern is that by placing missiles and rockets of ever greater efficacy on Israel's northern and southwestern borders that Iran is creating a situation wherein if Israel goes Osirak on Iran that Iran will be in a position to blow up Israel's reactor and contaminate Israel.
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nonkosherdog
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« Reply #511 on: January 29, 2009, 11:57:04 AM »

@ NKD:

I fear I have not succeeded in conveying my point-- I supported and support the Osirak operation.  My concern is that by placing missiles and rockets of ever greater efficacy on Israel's northern and southwestern borders that Iran is creating a situation wherein if Israel goes Osirak on Iran that Iran will be in a position to blow up Israel's reactor and contaminate Israel.

OK I get it now  embarassed
As far as we've seen so far these rockets/missiles dont have very big payloads and arent accurate in any sense of the word - they are wonderful to lob into a highly populated areas for terrors effect but I (and this is just my otherwise uniformed opinion) doubt they would have any real damaging ability even if they somehow scored a direct hit on any reactor that Israel may or may not have  cool

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #512 on: January 29, 2009, 12:21:44 PM »

AT PRESENT that may be true, but over time the trend line is unfavorable.
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HUSS
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« Reply #513 on: January 29, 2009, 03:33:50 PM »

@all:

Many good points being made.  I would add the example of the green houses that Israel left behind in Gaza being destroyed.

@ Huss:

I submit Turkey as an example of Islamic culture and democracy co-existing.  Indonesia too-- at least for now.

@ NKD:

I fear I have not succeeded in conveying my point-- I supported and support the Osirak operation.  My concern is that by placing missiles and rockets of ever greater efficacy on Israel's northern and southwestern borders that Iran is creating a situation wherein if Israel goes Osirak on Iran that Iran will be in a position to blow up Israel's reactor and contaminate Israel.

I agree, but turkey has a secular based consitution
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #514 on: January 29, 2009, 09:41:08 PM »

I can't verify this letter, but it has the ring of truth and sentiments that seem heartfelt.

Open Letter to A citizen Of Gaza: I Am the Soldier Who Slept In Your Home

via email

An Open Letter to A citizen Of Gaza:
I Am the Soldier Who Slept In Your Home:
By: Yishai G (reserve soldier)

Hello,

While the world watches the ruins in Gaza, you return to your home which remains standing. However, I am sure that it is clear to you that someone was in your home while you were away.

I am that someone.

I spent long hours imagining how you would react when you walked into your home. How you would feel when you understood that IDF soldiers had slept on your mattresses and used your blankets to keep warm.

I knew that it would make you angry and sad and that you would feel this violation of the most intimate areas of your life by those defined as your enemies, with stinging humiliation. I am convinced that you hate me with unbridled hatred, and you do not have even the tiniest desire to hear what I have to say. At the same time, it is important for me to say the following in the hope that there is even the minutest chance that you will hear me.

I spent many days in your home. You and your family's presence was felt in every corner. I saw your family portraits on the wall, and I thought of my family. I saw your wife's perfume bottles on the bureau, and I thought of my wife. I saw your children's toys and their English language schoolbooks. I saw your personal computer and how you set up the modem and wireless phone next to the screen, just as I do.

I wanted you to know that despite the immense disorder you found in your house that was created during a search for explosives and tunnels (which were indeed found in other homes), we did our best to treat your possessions with respect. When I moved the computer table, I disconnected the cables and lay them down neatly on the floor, as I would do with my own computer. I even covered the computer from dust with a piece of cloth. I tried to put back the clothes that fell when we moved the closet although not the same as you would have done, but at least in such a way that nothing would get lost.

I know that the devastation, the bullet holes in your walls and the destruction of those homes near you place my descriptions in a ridiculous light. Still, I need you to understand me, us, and hope that you will channel your anger and criticism to the right places. I decided to write you this letter specifically because I stayed in your home.

I can surmise that you are intelligent and educated and there are those in your household that are university students. Your children learn English, and you are connected to the Internet. You are not ignorant; you know what is going on around you.

Therefore, I am sure you know that Qassam rockets were launched from your neighborhood into Israeli towns and cities.

How could you see these weekly launches and not think that one day we would say "enough"?! Did you ever consider that it is perhaps wrong to launch rockets at innocent civilians trying to lead a normal life, much like you? How long did you think we would sit back without reacting?

I can hear you saying "it's not me, it's Hamas". My intuition tells me you are not their most avid supporter. If you look closely at the sad reality in which your people live, and you do not try to deceive yourself or make excuses about "occupation", you must certainly reach the conclusion that the Hamas is your real enemy.

The reality is so simple, even a seven year old can understand: Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip, removing military bases and its citizens from Gush Katif. Nonetheless, we continued to provide you with electricity, water, and goods (and this I know very well as during my reserve duty I guarded the border crossings more than once, and witnessed hundreds of trucks full of goods entering a blockade- free Gaza every day).

Despite all this, for reasons that cannot be understood and with a lack of any rational logic, Hamas launched missiles on Israeli towns. For three years we clenched our teeth and restrained ourselves. In the end, we could not take it anymore and entered the Gaza strip, into your neighborhood, in order to remove those who want to kill us. A reality that is painful but very easy to explain.

As soon as you agree with me that Hamas is your enemy and because of them, your people are miserable, you will also understand that the change must come from within. I am acutely aware of the fact that what I say is easier to write than to do, but I do not see any other way. You, who are connected to the world and concerned about your children's education, must lead, together with your friends, a civil uprising against Hamas.

I swear to you, that if the citizens of Gaza were busy paving roads, building schools, opening factories and cultural institutions instead of dwelling in self pity, arms smuggling and nurturing a hatred to your Israeli neighbors, your homes would not be in ruins right now. If your leaders were not corrupt and motivated by hatred, your home would not have been harmed. If someone would have stood up and shouted that there is no point in launching missiles on innocent civilians, I would not have to stand in your kitchen as a soldier. You don't have money, you tell me? You have more than you can imagine. Even before Hamas took control of Gaza, during the time of Yasser Arafat, millions if not billions of dollars donated by the world community to the Palestinians was used for purchasing arms or taken directly to your leaders bank accounts. Gulf States, the emirates - your brothers, your flesh and blood, are some of the richest nations in the world. If there was even a small feeling of solidarity between Arab nations, if these nations had but the smallest interest in reconstructing the Palestinian people – your situation would be very different.

You must be familiar with Singapore. The land mass there is not much larger than the Gaza strip and it is considered to be the second most populated country in the world. Yet, Singapore is a successful, prospering, and well managed country. Why not the same for you? My friend, I would like to call you by name, but I will not do so publicly. I want you to know that I am 100% at peace with what my country did, what my army did, and what I did. However, I feel your pain. I am sorry for the destruction you are finding in your neighborhood at this moment. On a personal level, I did what I could to minimize the damage to your home as much as possible.

In my opinion, we have a lot more in common than you might imagine. I am a civilian, not a soldier, and in my private life I have nothing to do with the military. However, I have an obligation to leave my home, put on a uniform, and protect my family every time we are attacked. I have no desire to be in your home wearing a uniform again and I would be more than happy to sit with you as a guest on your beautiful balcony, drinking sweet tea seasoned with the sage growing in your garden.

The only person who could make that dream a reality is you. Take responsibility for yourself, your family, your people, and start to take control of your destiny. How? I do not know. Maybe there is something to be learned from the Jewish people who rose up from the most destructive human tragedy of the 20th century, and instead of sinking into self-pity, built a flourishing and prospering country. It is possible, and it is in your hands. I am ready to be there to provide a shoulder of support and help to you.

But only you can move the wheels of history."

Regards,
Yishai, (Reserve Soldier)
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« Reply #515 on: January 30, 2009, 03:21:17 PM »

How Can the World Be Blind to Israel’s Existential Threats?
Posted By Michael Yon On January 30, 2009 @ 12:05 am In . Feature 01, . Positioning, Iran, Israel, Middle East, World News | 59 Comments

I heard Benjamin Netanyahu, the person who could soon become Israel’s new prime minister, speak this week at the Jerusalem Conference. The most pressing point that he talked about was that under no circumstances should Jerusalem be divided. Many believe that if Jerusalem were to divide, the terrorist group Hamas would set up a headquarters here, which would result in Iranian agents — who also wish to see genocide against the Israelis — setting up shop within the confines of Jerusalem.

It is amazing to me, as an American who travels the world on a near-constant basis, that there is so much confusion over who the terrorists are. Hamas is a terrorist organization that condones and facilitates suicide bombings and will kill every Jew on the planet if they have the chance. Meanwhile, Israel is an energetic democracy with a vibrant press. I could sit right here in Jerusalem and write bad things about Israel and Jews, and nothing would happen. Maybe I wouldn’t get invited somewhere or would be called an anti-Semite, but that would be it. Neither the Jews nor the Israelis would harm me, though they likely would write bad things about me. I came to Israel with no press accreditation and at the airport they knew that I was a writer. Yet they let me in and have allowed me to freely roam the country. Today I was in very close proximity to Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Netanyahu talked about how, in this very hotel, Rehavam Ze’evi had been murdered just a few floors above our heads. The security seemed incredibly lax by American standards. Bernard Lewis and other extremely smart people were there.

Israel is a free country that abides by the rule of law. By contrast, if a writer were to go to Gaza or Iran, for instance, and start writing bad words, he might wind up on the news, dead. Israel allows Christians and Arab Muslims to worship freely, while Hamas wants to see us all at the bottom of the sea. Hamas, supported by Iran, is clear about their goals: they want to wipe out Israel completely, utterly, with finality. But it’s not just Israel that Hamas wants to kill; they want to kill all Jews everywhere. Complete genocide.

And when Iran has the capacity to launch rockets over to Europe or the United States, one can count on it happening. If they can manage to hatch nuclear weapons, we could see Israeli cities annihilated, leaving Israelis with little choice other than to respond with nuclear weapons, which could leave millions dead. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, Iraq will want them, as will other nations who are threatened by Iran. I’ve lived in Europe for about six years, and it is easy to imagine Europe being engulfed in a massive religious and race war. America is relatively sedate on the racial front, but Europe could explode if a serious terrorism wave were to sweep through.

It is simply astounding that many foreign governments do not see this for what it is. Good Muslims are murdered by Muslim extremists in probably dozens of countries, yet certain European governments insist that there is some sort of moral equivalence between Hamas and the democracy called Israel. At this conference, I hear incredulous Jews who are concerned that their soldiers and political leaders might be charged with war crimes and arrested if they travel to Europe. This is just one example of the racism that vexes Europe and keeps it behind where it could be. Imagine for a moment that Cuba were launching missiles at Florida. We would sink their navy, shoot down their air force, wipe out their army, and kill Castro. Yet thousands of rockets have been raining down on Israel, while many members of the international community demand that Israel do nothing. These rockets are advertised to be small and not much of a nuisance, but each one carries about 15 times more explosives than a hand grenade. Hamas favors launching the rockets when kids are going to or coming from school. Clearly they are trying to murder the children who are growing up under attack. The Israelis have proven time and again that they will choose peace if given a chance. Hamas, when given a chance, chooses war.

I hear great concern that our new administration will turn its back on Israel, leaving Israelis to fend for themselves. But these feelings are not limited to the Israelis. Concern comes from numerous allies that the United States might go cold. I’m hearing these concerns from Iraqis, British, Lithuanians, and Israelis, to name a few.

I can safely be called anti-war. But being anti-war does not mean we can hide our heads in the sand in regard to the proximate and growing threat from Iran. If you want to see World War III unfold, just sit quietly about Iran. Iran could be the opening chapter of an apocalyptic era.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/how-can-the-world-be-blind-to-israels-existential-threats/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #516 on: January 30, 2009, 05:49:39 PM »

Michael Yon is a truly great American who background, intelligence, courage, and integrity make him one of the great war correspondents.  IMHO America's weak link is our clarity about the nature of this war and our knowledge about how we are doing.

Dog Brothers Martial Arts makes a substantial monthly donation to Michael Yon.

Do you?
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nonkosherdog
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« Reply #517 on: January 31, 2009, 11:59:07 PM »

AT PRESENT that may be true, but over time the trend line is unfavorable.

Youd think they'd take the time to lick their wounds & reload....
but nooooo
Its been 6 rockets so far in the last few days, including this morning as people are taking kids to school

keep your eyes on CNN... round # 37243 seems inevitable

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« Reply #518 on: February 01, 2009, 12:20:43 AM »

"Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."
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« Reply #519 on: February 02, 2009, 11:19:57 AM »

A stirring piece.

January 28, 2009
How I Survived Gaza
By Joshua Eastman


Eleven days ago today, Israel terminated an operation after having reached a state of cease-fire with a cowardly and murderous foe. We pulled out of Gaza. I pulled out of Gaza.

We were first called up on a Shabbat, right at the end of ten months of regular training and an extra two months of specialized training with the whole brigade in the Golan Heights. We were told that Israel was preparing for a possible conflict with Gaza. We were allowed to stay in phone contact at the beginning, and we listened for news from our families, always better informed than the army. We heard the bombs falling near the Strip, and readied our gear. And we waited. And waited. Every day another rumor came in.

"We're going today"

"We're going today"

We waited a week.

We were sent the following Shabbat.

The first time we came back out, after twenty four hours, our unit was under the impression that all the other units would be coming out as well. A little R & R, and then back in. But only our soldiers arrived at the base. The others were in till the very end.

The next two weeks we were deployed over and over again into neighborhoods whose names are ingrained as if from childhood memory, and we were told to ready ourselves for the final operational steps the army was preparing.

Thank God, for us, those steps never came. After fighting through less densely packed urban neighborhoods and villages, as an army, we never had to enter the tightly packed urban nightmares of the inner cities.

"The world is already trying to fault Israel, telling everyone that civilians died, and Israelis murdered. But I was there. I saw the twelve year olds with missiles and RPGs strapped to their backs. We watched in anger as our bombs, so as not to fall on large civilian centers, fell on our own troops."A cease-fire was signed, and we pulled out with hatches open on our vehicles, waving flags and flashing the peace symbol even though no one was there to photograph it. After all, we were one of hundreds of squads returning. There was no way to record every tank and APC that came home. But it was cathartic, and made it official.

I saw many things. I heard things. While I was in Gaza.

I saw soldiers who were virulently anti-religious don tzitit under their bullet-proof armor. As one soldier said, "Why do I put it on now, if I never wore it before? When do you ask your father for help? When you need it."

I saw heroes. Boys just out of high-school, young men who should have been playing sports or starting families or going to college, loading weapons and placing armor on their fragile frames, securing helmets, and checking gear. They suppressed the fear that lurked at the edges of their minds, and as a unit swept across the fence and planted unwavering lines of boots in the soil of Gaza. I watched them fight like grown men against evil.

The first night we went in, we were unable to wear bullet-proof armor in my unit, and had to settle for flak vests (we couldn't wear armor when we first went in because, due to the weight we were carrying, it would have hampered our movements, creating a safety hazard). My young commander, who had an easy load to carry that wouldn't interfere with his vest, still left without bulletproof armor. "If my men don't, I don't". I told him the next day, I would have followed him through the entire Arab world if need be, my respect for him was so great. I saw my brave wife, Chana, who came down to volunteer, just to be close to me, braving rockets and missiles, and watched her help soldiers by handing out desperately needed winter gear and food. I watched Chabadniks who came to us every day and inspired the soldiers with song and mitzvot. I saw heroes praying for our safety, and feeding us, and caring for us.

I saw pain. Just today, I ran into yet another friend from another unit, who tells me, when asked how he is, "I am fine from the neck down." Sixteen of his friends were injured in a blast on the first night. He lost many more before the end. He is still sweet, still charming, but his laugh is more weary, and his eyes are sadder. Another friend in a different unit lost two-thirds of his whole platoon when a bomb destroyed their house. He says he walked in, and he saw limbs moving or laying still, and bodies unattached to them, hurting, dead. He still hasn't pulled back completely. A former commander of mine died, and a friend lost his arm and use of his legs, and is still in a coma.

I saw lies. The world is already trying to fault Israel, telling everyone that civilians died, and Israelis murdered. But I was there. My feet were on the ground and I saw the truth. I saw that warnings were given, I saw the enemy that fought us. I saw the twelve year olds with missiles and RPGs strapped to their backs. I saw that it was with sadness and great anger Israeli troops recognized the need to fire on people who crossed the red line, the danger zone which meant they saw us, and knew where we were. Old people mined with bombs, children armed with detonators, tunnels that opened in the ground to swallow our soldiers. I watched my commanders passing out all of our food to the children who were taken prisoner. I received the commands "closed to fire on the right" if our intelligence had reported civilians in the area. I watched us, more often then not, taking cover when supposed civilian positions fired on us from “the right”. Yet the world thinks it can bend the truth. We were not allowed to fire on schools. We were told not to loot. We watched in anger as our bombs, so as not to fall on large civilian centers, fell on our own troops, so that we could tell the world we were attempting to scare the enemy while limiting civilian losses. Yet they won't say that in the press.

You are the reason we returned. You are the reason I am alive.I saw cowardice. We listened with concern when Hamas threatened to use snipers and bombs on us, to fight us every step of the way with their fifteen thousand man army, and we watched videos of full brigades parading, waving their weapons and threatening Israel. But as we invaded, they fled. They would attack in small groups, hit us with missiles and sniper fire, and then flee. The 'warriors' of Hamas were brave when their rockets fell unanswered on the schools of children and the homes of elderly, but they did not stand when the enemy called them up to answer for their crimes.

I saw miracles. Rockets that blazed past our houses, bullets that scarred the outside of windows we were watching from. A unit near ours that was walking in to Gaza had RPGs pass straight between their ranks without hitting a single soldier. Mines that didn't explode, mortar rounds that landed next to friends that didn't explode. RPGs that blazed into the earthen barrier directly in front of our APC, detonating before penetration. The night walk through a neighborhood that wasn't on the map, that was full of snipers and mines according to reports, that we walked through unawares, by accident, without harm or incident. And that was just what we knew.

I felt fear. Every time I entered, every time I squeezed the trigger, every time a missile landed nearby, I was struck with fear. It is a deep fear, hard to explain. Your body shivers as if you are frozen to the core. You find yourself staring at the ground, trying to adjust to the ringing in your ears. You freeze, and unless someone slaps you, or you manage to shake yourself, your eyes stay downcast, and you lay numb on the earth, waiting without realizing. Eventually, your training pulls you out and forces you to stay alert, your gun snaps up, and adrenaline masks the fear and hurt. You roll on seemingly fearless, with adrenaline telling you that you are invincible.

I have felt weakness. I have felt my supposedly mighty muscles shudder, felt my devastatingly powerful weapon shake in my hands, felt my heart hammer against my armor, felt my soul and mind search for some way to avoid pain and the nightmares that were becoming real.

I felt strength. I would have been lost, but for the words of my Rebbe. "Ein od Milvado" There is no one but Him. The mere utterance strengthened limbs, and a surge of faith and hope carried me through the invasion, through the detonations and whistling of ricocheting rounds and falling bombs. For I knew, for once KNEW and understood absolutely that I was in the hands of the greatest general on earth. A veteran of every war and every conflict, the ultimate warrior and defender of His people. I remember the joy that swept through the lines when they said the head commander was entering the field, because of his experience and strategies, everyone felt safer. It reminded me that an even greater Commander had been there all along. I understood the words of Tehilim 147, "Not in the strength of the horse does He desire, and not in the legs of man does He favor. God favors those who fear Him, those who hope for His kindness." My strength had failed me, yet when I begged God to allow me to be a conduit for His strength, to be His shield and a sword for His people, I was able to stand and fight. Those nights, my body was there, but God fought on that field.

I am not free of sin, and was by no means worthy of the miracles that befell me. That God aided me; that my entire battalion walked out, against all odds, while every other unit suffered losses, without serious casualty or mental scarring, was a miracle beyond any. That I was able to feel His strength replace mine, a gift for which I was undeserving.

My strength lay in the thousands of people who prayed for me, who prayed for the wellbeing of the army, who cried for the return of the fragile and precious Jewish youth who fought like lions where men twice their age would have fled. You are the reason we returned. You are the reason I am alive. You, the people who pray and cry and feel you are not the front lines, are truly the army of Hashem. The IDF, as people should see, is merely the physical arm of what your prayers accomplish. You are the ones in the battle. We are the holding action, delaying the physical evil while you battle to clear the path for Moshiach. Never again will I feel a yeshiva student who learns all day is not brave for not being with us on this field. Because I watched the words and letters that he learned and prayed march ahead of us, thousands deep, and millions strong, absorbing the bullets and metal meant for me. I thank you, humbly, warriors of my heart and faith. You let me come home to my wife.

During this war, we received a tremendous outpouring of love and support; letters, donations, food, and clothing. In specific, because I know them, although without diminishing the greatness of all the people I don’t know, I want to thank my mother and her tireless blogging efforts, my family for their support and letters, my wife for being brave beyond any woman or man I have ever known.

I want to thank Congregation Tiferes Yisroel for remembering an old neighborhood kid, and multiplying that to help all my brothers in uniform. I want to thank all of the community in Baltimore for the davening and love that we felt even in the heart of darkness.

I want to thank the little six-year old who wrote, "Dear IDF, I am proud of you." I cried over that letter, my tears running through the pain and stress as we recovered from Gaza.

I want to thank the people who donated money for the vests that saved our lives, the people that gave us clothes to warm our bodies, candy to warm our hearts, and letters to warm our souls. You cannot know what one pair of socks, one chocolate bar, or one hastily written sentence can do to save the minds and hearts of your children from despair.

I am not as gifted with words as my mother, nor a hero as great as those who marched beside me or filled the air with prayer around me, but I hope from this letter, from my fumbling thoughts you can draw for yourself the love and hope I am trying to convey.

I have seen this people, my people, at its best and at its worst. I can see why Redemption will come soon. As a nation, we drew together. Disunity, differences in Kippot or sects fell away, and everyone reached out to help as best they could. No one said, "I have no part" or "This isn't my war". May Hashem see the greatness of His holy, beautiful people, and allow me to sing that old song to my child, with absolute truth and great joy: "I promise, my little one, that this is the last war."


Joshua Eastman made aliyah from Baltimore in 2005. He met his wife, Chana, on a trip back to Baltimore; and the two of them live in Givat Ze'ev. Joshua is currently a full-time soldier in the Golani Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces. When he can get near a computer, he blogs about his life in Israel at "Through Josh-Colored Glasses," http://hashkeofthedevonshire.blogspot.com/.

http://www.ou.org/index.php/shabbat_shalom/article/48967/
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« Reply #520 on: February 02, 2009, 06:15:53 PM »

UN Admits: IDF Didn't Hit School
 
by Maayana Miskin


(IsraelNN.com) During the Cast Lead operation in Gaza, IDF tank fire near a United Nations school in Gaza was blamed for the deaths of dozens of civilians who had taken refuge in the building. The incident became one of the most highly publicized attacks in the war, and led to heavy international criticism.

Recent reports suggest that the incident was not accurately portrayed by senior U.N. officials. John Ging, the director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, spoke to the Toronto Globe and Mail last week and agreed that no shell had actually struck the school building. Ging said he had never claimed that the school itself was hit, and he blamed Israel for confusion over where the strike took place.

Shortly after the alleged attack, Ging harshly criticized Israel for firing near the school, saying he had given the exact coordinates of the compound to the IDF. He charged that the IDF had failed to avoid hitting the building.

While admitting that Israeli fire had not hit the school compound, Ging insisted it made little difference. “Forty-one innocent people were killed in the street... The State of Israel still has to answer for that,” he said.

While many Israel news outlets reported that the strike had taken place near the school, several international media networks reported that the UN school building itself was hit. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs may have added to the confusion by releasing a report stating that Israeli fire “directly hit two UNRWA schools.”

Almost all reports said that the victims were primarily civilians who had fled to the school for shelter – a version of events cast into suspicion by the Globe and Mail report.

A teacher who was in the school at the time of the shelling reported that several people within the compound were injured, but that none were killed. Those killed were all outside in the street as the shells were fired, he said. Only three of those killed were students at the school, he added.

The teacher did not give his name, explaining that U.N .officials had told staff not to talk to the media.

The IDF responded to criticism over the attack by explaining that soldiers were simply responding to terrorist fire and did not mean to hit a civilian area.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/129696
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HUSS
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« Reply #521 on: February 02, 2009, 06:17:53 PM »

Gazans tell Israeli investigators of Hamas abuses
By YAAKOV KATZ

Nuaf Atar spoke about the use of Gazan schools to shoot rockets at Israel. Zabhi Atar revealed that Hamas used food coupons to entice Palestinians to join its ranks and Hamad Zalah said Hamas took control of UNRWA food supplies transferred to Gaza and refused to distribute them to people affiliated with Fatah.


More than 100 Palestinians were captured during the three-week operation but most were released and only a few dozen - members of Hamas and other terrorist factions - are still being held by Israel, officials said. Some of them may be used as bargaining chips in negotiations for abducted soldier Gilad Schalit.

Nuaf Atar, 25, lives in Atatra, in the northwest Gaza Strip, and was captured by paratroopers on January 11. In his interrogation by the Shin Bet, Atar said Hamas government officials "took over" humanitarian aid Israel allowed in to the Strip and sold it, when it is supposed to be distributed for free.

Hamas set up rocket launchers and fired rockets into Israel from within school compounds since the operatives knew that the Israel Air Force would not bomb the schools, he said.

Palestinians who opposed Hamas's use of their land and homes as launch pads were shot in the legs, Atar added.

 

"Atar's testimony is evidence of Hamas's cynical use of public institutions, such as schools, to attack Israel," the Shin Bet said.

Another fascinating account was provided by Raji Abed Rabo, a 22-year-old member of Islamic Jihad and resident of the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. Abed Rabo told interrogators he was recruited into the organization at the age of 17 and began by distributing anti-Israel propaganda.

In 2006, he joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and underwent military training. In 2007 he returned to Islamic Jihad and was recruited to the Jabalya cell. His job was to conduct reconnaissance and gather intelligence on IDF movements along the Gaza border.

He stored weaponry in his house, including roadside bombs, and was knew of a number of tunnels that were to be used to kidnap and surprise IDF soldiers. He also told the Shin Bet about a large bunker that was built under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and was used as a hideout for a number of senior Hamas operatives during the recent Israeli offensive.

Hamad Zalah, 29, is also a resident of Jabalya and was captured by the IDF on January 12. During his interrogation, he revealed that together with his brother, he was tortured by Hamas at a headquarters in Jabalya for his affiliation with Fatah and his intention to light a memorial candle for Yasser Arafat.

He said that he was whipped and beaten with electrical cords. In 2007, Hamas operatives shot and killed his brother, who was a security guard at the home of a Palestinian Authority official in Gaza.

Since June 2007, when Hamas took over Gaza, the terror group, Zalah said, also took control of all humanitarian aid sent into the Strip and refused to distribute it to Palestinians affiliated with Fatah.

Amad Hamed, 35, resides in Beit Hanun, and was arrested by the IDF on January 5. In his interrogation he told the Shin Bet that in 2006 he started conducting surveillance for Hamas and training to perpetrate a suicide attack against Israel.

Two of Hamed's brothers were killed by the IDF in Gaza in 2006 and 2007. Hamed told his interrogators about a Hamas training camp in a sports club next to a mosque in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, and another camp opposite the Beit Hanun municipal building.

Three months ago, Hamed gave his approval to place barrels of explosives, rockets and launchers in land that belongs to his family in Beit Hanun.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1233304655613
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captainccs
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« Reply #522 on: February 04, 2009, 08:56:42 AM »

I really like the excuse given by Hamas for the theft.

Quote
Ahmad Kurd, the Hamas Minister of Social Affairs, did not deny the aid had been seized, but countered that the U.N. had been handing out relief to groups tied to Hamas' opponents.

"UNRWA did not do what it said it would do, and began distributing its aid to groups that tie their activities to political activism," Kurd said Wednesday.

In other words, political "enemies" should be starved to death. Hamas is truly barbaric and should be swept from the face of the earth.



UN says Hamas seized food aid, blankets in Gaza
By DIAA HADID, Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM – Hamas police seized thousands of blankets and food parcels meant for the needy in Gaza, the U.N. said Wednesday, a move that could threaten the provision of aid that is essential for more than half of Gaza's impoverished residents.

Hamas policemen broke into an aid warehouse in Gaza City on Tuesday evening and confiscated 3,500 blankets and more than 4,000 food parcels, said Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Gunness said the incident was "absolutely unacceptable."

He said police confiscated aid meant for 500 families after U.N. officials refused to voluntarily hand it over to the Hamas-run Ministry of Social Affairs. Similar U.N. aid packages had already been distributed to 70,000 residents over the past two weeks.

Ahmad Kurd, the Hamas Minister of Social Affairs, did not deny the aid had been seized, but countered that the U.N. had been handing out relief to groups tied to Hamas' opponents.

"UNRWA did not do what it said it would do, and began distributing its aid to groups that tie their activities to political activism," Kurd said Wednesday.

Israeli officials have accused the militant group of routinely confiscating aid meant for needy Gazans. Gunness said this was the first time Hamas had seized its goods since it took control of the territory in 2007.

The U.N. agency provides food, education and health care services to more than half of Gaza's 1.4 million residents.
Hamas is under pressure to provide aid to Gazans, who are facing more hardship than ever since Israel's devastating three-week military offensive that ended Jan. 18. The operation, aimed at halting rocket fire from the territory, killed hundreds of civilians and left thousands destitute after their homes were damaged or destroyed.

Tensions between Hamas and the U.N. could make it difficult for the international agency to continue providing desperately needed services.

Some international donors have expressed concern that funds intended to help rebuild Gaza could be misused if they fall into Hamas' hands, and the U.N. had been trying to assuage those concerns.
The United Nations is expected to take a leading role in rebuilding Gaza, because Israel and the international community will not deal with Hamas.

The rival Palestinian administration in the West Bank said it will donate $600 million to help Gaza residents rebuild their homes. In an effort to bypass Hamas, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the money from Western donors would be channeled through commercial banks directly to recipients.

The moderate government of Fayyad and President Mahmoud Abbas lost control of Gaza to Hamas in 2007 but is eager to regain a role there.

___
With reporting by Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City and Aron Heller in Jerusalem.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090204/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

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« Reply #523 on: February 09, 2009, 08:56:59 AM »

Long piece with lots of photos documenting the history, logistics, and other issues associated with the Palestinian missile and mortar attacks against Israel:

http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2009/02/a-dispatch-from.php
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« Reply #524 on: February 11, 2009, 10:37:47 AM »

Israeli Complications
By the Editors

The political scene in Israel is a riddle. In part, this derives from the complications of the Israeli system of proportional representation—34 parties stood in the recent election, guaranteeing fragmentation. And in part, this reflects uncertainty about how to proceed in what, contrary to all evidence, is still widely described as “the peace process.”

Tzipi Livni and her center-left Kadima party hold that concessions to the Palestinians will bring peace, while Benjamin Netanyahu and the center-right Likud believe that any such concessions only endanger security. In the elections, these two mainstream parties won a more or less equivalent number of seats, allowing both to claim victory. There’s not that much point in doing so, however, because neither holds anything like the number of seats necessary for a parliamentary majority and the formation of a government. So both have to assemble a coalition, and this involves turning to the minority parties, who thus find themselves kingmakers. Four such parties have a total of 44 seats in a house of 120, but of course they differ among themselves in their objectives, so no coherent bloc is imaginable.

What happens next seems a mixture of Lewis Carroll at his wildest and the practices of ancient Byzantium. Shimon Peres, the octogenarian president, has to decide whom to call upon to form a government, and this has to be done within time limits. Peres has the right to ask whoever he thinks has the best prospect. For Peres, peace with the Palestinians has always been just around the corner, and his heart is surely with Livni. For the minority parties, however, national security is a top consideration, and they are not eager to collaborate with Livni. Netanyahu may have his chance, after all.

The next few weeks, then, will reveal who is willing to compromise proclaimed beliefs and ideals, and what the price will be for doing so. Secret horse-trading in backrooms is inevitable in the circumstances. Informed commentators in Israel are predicting that Livni and Netanyahu may be willing to participate in a joint government, and in that case enough minority parties might be persuaded to throw their lots in, too. However, Livni has been trying to persuade Netanyahu into just such a coalition these past months and has failed to do so; hence these elections. Any attempt to make Kadima and Likud ideologically compatible is virtually certain to lead to yet another election.

Israel wants peace, but has no better idea than anyone else how to obtain it. That aspect of the riddle, at least, never changes.

 

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTZiZmU3Mzk5OWFmNDFmY2JkNjZlOTFkM2M0NDhjNGQ=
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« Reply #525 on: February 11, 2009, 12:46:06 PM »

Israeli Sense of Humor at UN

An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly which made the world community smile.

A representative from Israel began: 'Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Moses. When he struck the rock and it brought forth water, he thought, 'What a good opportunity to have a bath!'

He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water.

When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Palestinian had stolen them.'

The Palestinian representative jumped up furiously and shouted, 'What are you talking about? The Palestinians weren't there then.'

The Israeli representative smiled and said, 'And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech

stolen from:
http://forum.pafoa.org/lounge-108/48...-humor-un.html
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« Reply #526 on: February 11, 2009, 03:11:55 PM »



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« Reply #527 on: February 13, 2009, 02:02:36 PM »

By ARTHUR HERMAN
Will Jimmy Carter be President Barack Obama's role model on how to bring peace to the Middle East?

Some, especially in Israel, view that prospect with apprehension. Others, like Ralph Nader, have greeted the possibility with enthusiasm, urging Mr. Obama to rely on Mr. Carter's "wise and seasoned counsel" in dealings with the volatile region. After all, Mr. Carter is renowned as the master craftsman of the historic accord between Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Menachem Begin at Camp David in September 1978, which opened the way for a formal peace agreement three months later.


The myth of Camp David hangs heavy over American foreign policy, and it's easy to see why. Of all the attempts to forge a Middle East peace, the 1978 treaty between Egypt and Israel has proved the most durable. Mr. Carter's admirers extol Camp David as an example of how one man's vision and negotiating skill brought former enemies together at the peace table, and as proof that a president can guide America toward a kinder, humbler foreign policy. Camp David was indeed Mr. Carter's one major foreign policy accomplishment amid a string of disasters including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the rise of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and Ayatollah Khomeini's ascent in Iran.

But the truth about Camp David belies this myth. The truth is that Mr. Carter never wanted an Egyptian-Israeli agreement, fought hard against it, and only agreed to go along with the process when it became clear that the rest of his foreign policy was in a shambles and he desperately needed to log a success.

As presidential candidate, Jimmy Carter was sharply critical of the kind of step-by-step personal diplomacy which had been practiced by his predecessors Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. President Carter's preferred Middle East policy was to insist on a comprehensive settlement among all concerned parties -- including the Arab states' leading patron, the Soviet Union -- and to disparage Nixonian incrementalism.

Mr. Carter and his advisers all assumed that the key to peace in the region was to make Israel pull back to its pre-1967 borders and accept the principle of Palestinian self-determination in exchange for a guarantee of Israel's security. Nothing less than a comprehensive settlement, it was argued, could ward off future wars -- and there could be no agreement without the Soviets at the bargaining table. This was a policy that, if implemented, would have thrust the Cold War directly into the heart of Middle East politics. Nixon and Mr. Kissinger had strained to achieve the opposite.

Interestingly, the man who ultimately prevented this Carter-led calamity from unfolding was Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

After the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Sadat decided that Egypt needed to start from scratch in its relationship with Israel. Sadat found natural allies in Nixon and Mr. Kissinger after throwing out his Soviet patrons in 1972. With American support, he came to a disengagement agreement with Israel in 1973, and again in 1975. The culmination of this process was Sadat's historic trip to Jerusalem in November 1977, where he discussed a separate peace between Egypt and Israel, and forestalled Mr. Carter's plan for a Geneva peace conference.

It was this trip -- not Camp David -- that marked the true seismic shift in Middle East relations since Israel's founding. It came as an unwelcome surprise to the Carter foreign policy team, who still wanted their grandiose Geneva conference. In fact, for the better part of 1977, as Israel and Egypt negotiated, the White House persisted in acting as if nothing had happened. Even after Sadat's trip to Jerusalem, Mr. Carter announced that "a separate peace agreement between Egypt and Israel is not desirable."

But by the autumn of 1978, the rest of Mr. Carter's foreign policy had crumbled. He had pushed through an unpopular giveaway of the Panama Canal, allowed the Sandinistas to take power in Nicaragua as proxies of Cuba, and stood by while chaos grew in the Shah's Iran. Desperate for some kind of foreign policy success in order to bolster his chances for re-election in 1980, Mr. Carter finally decided to elbow his way into the game by setting up a meeting between Sadat and Begin at Camp David.

The rest of the story is now the stuff of legend: For 13 days Mr. Carter acted as the go-between for the two leaders. Yet for all their bluster and intransigence in public, Begin and Sadat were more than ready for a deal once they understood that the U.S. would do whatever was necessary to stop the Soviet Union and its Arab allies, such as the PLO, from derailing a peace. An agreement was hammered out for an Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai, coupled with vague language about Palestinian "autonomy." The item Mr. Carter had really wanted on the agenda -- a Palestinian state -- was kept at arm's length.

Camp David worked because it avoided all of Mr. Carter's usual foreign policy mistakes, particularly his insistence on a comprehensive solution. Instead, Sadat and Begin pursued limited goals. The agreement stressed a step-by-step process instead of insisting on immediate dramatic results. It excluded noncooperative entities like Syria and the PLO, rather than trying to accommodate their demands. And for once, Mr. Carter chose to operate behind the scenes à la Mr. Kissinger, instead of waging a media war through public statements and gestures. (The press were barred from the Camp David proceedings).

Above all and most significantly, Camp David sought peace instead of "justice." Liberals say there can be no peace without justice. But to many justice means the end of Israel or the creation of a separate Palestinian state. Sadat and Begin, in the teeth of Mr.Carter's own instincts both then and now, established at Camp David a sounder principle for negotiating peace. The chaos and violence in today's Gaza proves just how fatal trying to advance other formulations can be.

The true story of Camp David is one of two ironies. The first is that, far from being a symbol of a more modest foreign policy, Camp David rested on an assertion of go-it-alone American power. Both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush would be bitterly criticized later for following this winning technique. The second irony is that if any one man deserves credit for Camp David, it is not Jimmy Carter but Anwar Sadat. It was Sadat who managed to save Mr. Carter from himself and revealed the true secret about forging peace in the Middle East: The Palestinian issue is the doom, not the starting point, for lasting stability in the region.

Mr. Herman is the author of "Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age" (Bantam, 2008).
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« Reply #528 on: February 17, 2009, 08:21:32 AM »

The first casualty of war: Truth
Jerusalem Post | 2-19-09


Which is the greater factor in getting consumers of news to believe that "1,300 Palestinians, most of them civilians" were killed during Operation Cast Lead? Intrinsic anti-Israel bias - or a high degree of gullibility to manipulative international media coverage?


Anas Naim, a nephew of Hamas Health Minister Bassem Naim, who was killed on Jan. 4 in Gaza City, was described in Palestinian reports as a 'medic.' Photo: Courtesy

Put another way, do you have to be anti-Israel to believe Palestinian lies, or is Palestinian mendacity so well-constructed, so plausible, and so well disseminated by collaborative media outlets like Al Jazeera that even well-meaning people can't help but believe the worst of Israel?

These questions are prompted by some significant reporting in Monday's Jerusalem Post ("Int'l community was duped by Hamas's false civilian death toll figures, IDF claims").

Even well-regarded Palestinian pressure groups have been claiming that Israel killed 895 civilians in the Gaza fighting. Operating on the basis of such "data," coupled with a poisoned wellspring of antipathy against the Jewish state, Mahmoud Abbas has been making the case for indicting Israeli cabinet ministers and military officers for international war crimes.

RELATED UN to compile Gaza war casualty figure amid dispute over civilian deaths Pro-Palestinian campaigners allege that two-thirds of the Arab fatalities were civilian. The IDF insists that no more than a third of the dead were civilians - and not a one was targeted intentionally. So instead of "1,300 killed, most of them civilians," we now have reason to believe, based on the IDF's methodical analysis of 1,200 of the Palestinian fatalities thus far identified by name, that 580 were combatants and 300 non-combatants.

Of these 300, two were female suicide bombers, and some others were related to terrorists such as Nizar Rayyan, a top Hamas gunman who insisted that his family join him in the hereafter.

"The first casualty when war comes is truth," said US senator Hiram Warren Johnson.

Take, for instance, Arab eyewitness accounts of the number killed at the Jabalya UN School on January 6 - some 40 dead, maybe 15 of them women and children. The IDF says the actual figure is 12 killed, nine of them Hamas operatives.

With time, perhaps, the names and true identities of each and every one of the Gaza dead - including the 320 as yet unclassified - will be determined.

One point is indisputable: Despite the best efforts of both sides, the IDF wound up killing more Palestinians unintentionally than the Palestinians killed Israeli civilians on purpose. This is known as "disproportionality."

Israeli officials, given bitter experiences such as Jenin in 2002, when a grossly false narrative of massacre and massed killing was disseminated by Palestinian officials, should have long since internalized the imperative to try to ascertain the number and nature of Palestinian dead in real time.

But while the figure "1,300 Palestinians killed, most/many of them civilians" is now embedded in the public consciousness, it is emphatically not too late to try to set the record straight.

Atrocity stories are nothing new. The British have been charged with using them to create popular outrage during the Boer War. The allies used them against Germany during World War I - which, incidentally, allowed the real Nazi atrocities during WWII to be dismissed long into the Holocaust.

Nowadays, it matters what masses of uninformed or ill-informed people far removed from the Arab-Israel conflict think. Dry statistics released so belatedly will win Israel no PR credit in a world of 24/7 satellite news channels and real-time blogging. Nevertheless, the fact that an Israeli narrative is finally out there is significant. Perhaps responsible news outlets will want to reexamine some of their original reporting, along with the assumption that "most" of the dead were non-combatants.

Palestinian propaganda is insidious because those being manipulated are oblivious to what is happening. Chaotic images of casualties being hurried to hospitals, gut-wrenching funerals and swaths of shattered buildings create an overarching "reality." Against this, Israel's pleadings that the Palestinians are culpable for the destruction, and that the above images lack context, scarcely resonate.

Despite six decades of intransigence and a virtual copyright on airline hijackings and suicide bombings, the Palestinians have created a popular "brand" for themselves by parlaying their self-inflicted victimization into a battering ram against Israel.

Disseminators of news should have learned better than to take Palestinian death-toll claims at face value, least of all when sourced directly or indirectly from the Hamas-run government of Gaza.


Anas Naim, a nephew of Hamas Health Minister Bassem Naim, who was killed on Jan. 4 in Gaza City, was described in Palestinian reports as a 'medic.'

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304799578&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
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« Reply #529 on: February 24, 2009, 04:24:13 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/02/24/official-provide-substantial-aid-gaza-reconstruction/

Looks like BO-Clinton are going to give $.9 Billion to Hamas/Gaza.   shocked angry cry

The madness continues , , ,  cry
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« Reply #530 on: February 25, 2009, 01:48:41 PM »

Geopolitical Diary: Public Divisions Among the Palestinians
February 24, 2009

Hamas said on Monday that a delegation led by the group’s No. 2 official, Moussa Abu Marzouk, would attend Egyptian-sponsored talks with rival group Fatah in Cairo on Tuesday. In addition to the Hamas-Fatah negotiations, Cairo will be hosting a conference of 13 Palestinian factions who will discuss the future of the Fatah-dominated Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Even as Hamas and Fatah prepared for the talks, relations between the two remained tense, with Hamas accusing the Fatah-dominated Palestinian National Authority of collaborating with Israel during the recent Gaza offensive.

There has been, in effect, a civil war within the Palestinian community for years, pitting two radically different visions of Palestine against each other. The older tradition represented by Fatah was secular and socialist, and above all, pan-Arab. Islam was incidental to what it believed, and in some ways it was hostile to Islam, and to Islamic states like Saudi Arabia. Fatah derived its existence from Egypt under Gamal Abdul Nasser and was part of his historic alignment with the Soviet Union. Indeed, during the 1970s in particular, Fatah itself was closely aligned with the Soviet Union. It represented a very different Palestine from the one Hamas has in mind.

Hamas’ roots run to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest opposition movement in Egypt. Hamas is not in any way secular or socialist or pan-Arab. It sees itself as religious, supporting traditional society, and celebrating an Islamism that goes beyond the Arab world. It sees the traditional enemies of Fatah — the conservative monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula — as its friends.

Apart from sharing a Palestinian identity and hostility to Israel, Hamas and Fatah have little in common and much to divide them. For Fatah, the struggle for statehood is part of a secular ideological imperative. Therefore, there is an element of flexibility built into its attitude. In the end, its mission does not come from Allah. Hamas’ mission does come from Allah, and this limits what they can concede and bargain away.

But more than that, Hamas is a movement in Gaza; Fatah now dominates the West Bank. These are two utterly different environments. Gaza is a city, not a region. It is a vast slum which has a minimal economy and which, in the end, survives on charity and foreign aid. The Palestinians in Gaza have little room to maneuver, little room for compromise and less to lose. They are trapped in an untenable position, and surrounded by two enemies: Israel and Egypt. Gaza is a natural fit for Hamas.

The West Bank, for all of its shortcomings, is a very different place. It is a region with distinct towns and villages, many with diverse outlooks and interest. There is a vast chasm between Hebron’s militancy and Jericho’s relative quiet. Governing the West Bank is a complex balancing act with multiple players that need to be satisfied. It would be wrong to say that the region is inherently moderate; it isn’t. But it is a region whose politics are sufficiently complex that it can be governed only with flexibility. It is also a region that is not devoid of options with regard to Israel or its other enemy, Jordan.

Therefore, the difference between Hamas and Fatah is partly a difference in ideology but also a difference in geography. It is ironic to think of Fatah as moderate, given its role from Munich to Beirut. But at the same time, Fatah was never locked into a position the way Hamas is.

The current tensions between Fatah and Hamas are not new; the two sides have been at war for years. Though a stalemate of sorts exists between them, Hamas wants to supplant Fatah. It is unlikely that Hamas can do that. Hamas is at home in Gaza. It is far less at home in the West Bank. What Hamas has done, however, is give Israel precisely what it wanted. There is now a very public civil war between the two Palestinian regions and factions. Hamas clearly thinks it has an opening, given the aging leadership of Fatah and the movement’s lack of charisma. But Fatah is a mature and wily entity. It won’t go gently into that good night — and it has the support, ironically, of Israel and many Arab countries worried about the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood-type Islamism.

Hamas will not defeat Fatah quickly — and the longer the struggle continues, the more Israel benefits.
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« Reply #531 on: February 25, 2009, 01:57:52 PM »

Hamas 'happy' with Obama's $900 million pledge
Funds earmarked for U.N. agency that openly employs terrorists
Posted: February 24, 2009
11:16 pm Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily



Fawzi Barhoum
TEL AVIV, Israel – Hamas is "very happy" with a pledge this week from the Obama administration to provide $900 million in aid for rebuilding the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, a spokesman from the Islamist organization told WND.

"We are very happy with this decision," said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, speaking by cell phone from Gaza. "In the first place, this money will go toward reconstructing efforts."

Barhoum said he expects the money to be tightly controlled. He said the funds are likely to be delineated to the Palestinian Authority and to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency, or UNWRA, which administers aid to millions of Palestinian "refugees" in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Hamas has a close relationship with UNWRA; the agency openly employs a large number of Hamas members, including some of the group's most senior terrorists.


The U.S. aid has not yet been officially approved by Congress. The package is expected to be formally announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she attends an international Gaza donors conference in Egypt next week. A U.S. official reported the money will not reach Hamas but will go instead to nongovernmental organizations, most notably UNWRA. Still, the terrorist organization controls the Gaza Strip. Any reconstruction efforts in the territory are likely to bolster Hamas.

Hamas, UNWRA closely linked

From 1990 until today, teachers affiliated with the Islamic Bloc, which is formally associated with Hamas, have won elections as representatives of the teachers' section of the UNRWA union. By 2003, they held all seats and fully constituted the executive committee of this section of the union. The publication of UNWRA school books in Gaza is coordinated with Hamas.

Saeed Siam, Hamas former interior minister and one of the leaders of the group's so-called military wing, taught in UNRWA schools from 1980 to 2003 and served as a representative to the UNWRA union. He was killed during an Israeli air strike last month.

Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the man who founded Hamas and has been immortalized by it, worked as a UNRWA teacher from 1967 to 1994.

On July 6, 2001, Hamas convened a conference in the UNRWA school in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, with students, teachers and school administrators in attendance. Yassin presented his ideology, and then an official named Saheil Alhinadi, who represented the teaching sector of UNRWA, praised students who had recently carried out suicide attacks against Israel, declaring "the road to Palestine passes through the blood of the fallen, and these fallen have written history with parts of their flesh and their bodies."

A 2002 report from the Intelligence and Terrorism Center at Israel's Center for Special Studies, a think tank associated with Israeli intelligence, documented how a number of wanted terrorists were found hiding inside schools run by UNRWA.

"A large number of youth clubs operated by UNRWA in the refugee camps were discovered to be meeting places for terrorists," said the report.

Muhammad Ali Hassan, a Hamas terrorist arrested in February 2002, confessed he had carried out a sniper shooting from the school run by UNRWA in the al-Ayn refugee camp near Nablus, or biblical Shechem. He also reportedly told his interrogators that bombs intended for terrorist attacks were being manufactured inside the school's facilities.

Nidal Abd al-Fattah Abdallah Nazzal, a Hamas activist from Kalkilya, was arrested in August 2002. He had been employed as an ambulance driver by UNRWA. He confessed during his interrogation that he had transported weapons and explosives in an UNRWA ambulance to terrorists.

Additional information about arrests of UNRWA employees by Israel came in 2003 from the U.S. General Accounting Office, which was charged with conducting an investigation of UNRWA operations. The office found that in three instances Israeli military courts convicted UNRWA employees of involvement with explosives.

More recently, in the time leading up to and since the Hamas takeover of Gaza in the summer of 2007, there has been concern in Jerusalem about UNRWA camps being used for the manufacture, storage, and launching of rockets and mortars into Israel. Also, camp residents have been suspected of active involvement in launching missiles and infiltrating shooters and suicide bombers into Israel.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #532 on: February 25, 2009, 02:11:49 PM »

This guy is going to make Jimmy Carter look like a warmongering genius.  We just threw away everything Israel just accomplished.    cry cry cry
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« Reply #533 on: February 25, 2009, 02:14:42 PM »

I'm sure Obama will make sure all the funds are used in a responsible manner, just like the rest of the US taxpayer's money he's spending.
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« Reply #534 on: February 26, 2009, 02:54:04 PM »

February 26, 2009
No Surprises Here

Richard N. Weltz
Although the New York Times and other MSM either ignored of played down the story, today's New York Post lays it right on the line:   

'Israel is not making enough effort to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza.' - Senior US official

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sent angry messages to Israel in the past week, complaining that humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip is being blocked by officials in Jerusalem, Israeli media reported yesterday.

Clinton aides made it clear she would make the supposed Israeli foot-dragging a central issue next week when she makes her first trip to the region as secretary of state, the newspaper Haaretz reported.

"Israel is not making enough effort to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza," a senior US official was quoted as telling Israeli authorities.

Gilad Shalit, the Israeli solider captured by Hamas in 2006, is apparently, in the view of Hillary and her boss, not a human being, as they've said not one word about his humanitarian plight, although the Post also notes that:

Israel refuses to reopen its crossing points into Gaza unless Hamas releases a soldier kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists two years ago.

Hamas rejects the quid pro quo.

In other news, some of which has been reported here in other message threads,

The Obama administration has decided not to boycott but to join in the Durban II anti-Israel hate fest
Obama has appointed Susan Rice, no friend of Israel, as US ambassador to the United Nations
Obama has offered $900 billion in aid to Gaza as a "reward" for suffering the repercussion of their own aggressive war on Israel
Obama has made Samantha Power, another Israel foe, a top foreign policy advisor
Charles Freeman, an Israel-hater and former Arab lobbyist responsible for publication of vicious anti-Israel propaganda is moving into the post of head of the Nationational Intelligence Council, the top intelligence advisory agency to the president
Obama continues to surround himself with advisers antipathetic to the Israeli cause such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and Robert Malley
Obama chose to make his first TV interview appearance on the al-Arabiya network where he essentially apologized for America, and reminisced about the good old days -- which happen to be the ones of Islamist bombing American sites in New York, Lebanon, Africa, and attacking our navy in Yemen
Obama has soft-pedaled Iran's nuclear efforts, for which that country slapped him in the face for his naïveté by stepping up their program, including an operational test this week and a promise to redouble enrichment efforts -- leaving Israel on its way under the infamous Obama bus
All this in a mere six weeks or so in office, and not counting the disastrous economic policies being foisted on the nation without due consideration or debate, nor the fool's game into which he has been suckered by Russia's Vladimir Putin regarding our essential supply lines for troops fighting in Afghanistan.

And, of course, thee is much more which time and space do not permit mentioneing here, but which have been amply covered by a plethora of analysts, commentators, columnists, and bloggers.

But whatever there may be, there is no cause for surprise. Not among the left-leaning cultists who were swept up in Obamania, and especially not among the 70%+ of the Jewish electorate who deliberately put their brains into neutral and voted for The One.  Everything the Obama administration has done and is in the process of doing, whether it is abandoning our longstanding support of Israel or driving the US economy into a quasisocialist format, were clearly promised and presaged by his campaign statements, his cohort of advisers, the organizations who backed him, and the parts of his past history that came to light -- despite massive efforts to seal and cover up important records of his college and political records.

Yes, no surprises here. But there is plenty to answer for the segment of the electorate who were plainly and repeatedly warned and yet out of venality or ignorance chose put their misguided utopian "ideals" above the interests of their country and their people. For shame!


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/02/no_surprises_here.html at February 26, 2009 - 03:52:48 PM EST
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« Reply #535 on: February 26, 2009, 03:14:51 PM »

***Obama has soft-pedaled Iran's nuclear efforts, for which that country slapped him in the face for his naïveté by stepping up their program, including an operational test this week and a promise to redouble enrichment efforts***

What would anyone with a brain expect?  The only surprising thing is that Iran is open about its intentions.  IF they were really wise they'd pretend they want to dance with the BO.

He may have been brought up a Christian but his middle name is still Hussain.
The Blacks he hung out with hate Jews.  Many of my co Jews like to explain that we have a lot in common with Blacks and all being both groups have been oppressed.  Yet they fail to see that Blacks don't see it that way - bieng Jews are so successful, well to do and educated etc and they are not.  Many Jews had blacks clean their homes, due their gardening etc.   Wasn't Joe Louis and many other famous blacks in the entertainment industry robbed totally blind by their Jewish managers?  Remember Spike Lee said Hollywood is controlled by the Jews?

Blacks do not see the similarities with the Jews as the liberal Jews see with them.

So all my Jewish friends who love BO - you are being taken.

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« Reply #536 on: February 26, 2009, 03:31:09 PM »

In a closely related vein, see my post on the Intel Matters thread about the new head of the powerful NIE  shocked cry
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« Reply #537 on: February 26, 2009, 09:26:48 PM »

http://wcbstv.com/national/hillary.clinton.israel.2.945238.html

Jewish Leaders Blast Clinton Over Israel Criticism
Zuckerman, Lawmakers, Local Jews Say Secretary Of State Not The Hillary Clinton They Used To Know

Hillary Pressuring Israel To Speed Up Aid To Gaza
Reporting
Marcia Kramer
NEW YORK (CBS) ?

Transition To A New Government
In a swift about face from her views as New York's senator, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now hammering Israel over its treatment of Palestinians in Gaza.

As First Lady, Clinton raised eyebrows when she kissed Suha Arafat.

Since she was then seeking a Senate seat the resulting brouhaha caused her to "re-think" her positions.

"I'm a very strong supporter of Israel," Clinton said back in February 2000.

On Thursday, as Secretary of State she had yet another about face in the form of angry messages demanding Israel speed up aid to Gaza. Jewish leaders are furious.

"I am very surprised, frankly, at this statement from the United States government and from the secretary of state," said Mortimer Zuckerman, publisher of the New York Daily News and member of the NYC Jewish Community Relations Council.

"I liked her a lot more as a senator from New York," Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, said. "Now, I wonder as I used to wonder who the real Hillary Clinton is."

Clinton's decision to hammer Israel comes as the Clintons and President Barack Obama are planning to give the Palestinians $900 million toward the rebuilding of Gaza in the wake of the Israeli offensive that was sparked by Hamas rocket fire.

"We are working across the government to see what our approach will be," Clinton said.

"I don't believe that we should be in a position at this point to do anything to strengthen Hamas," Zuckerman said. "We surely know what Hamas stands for as I say they are the forward battalions of Iran."

For some, Clinton's change of position is upsetting.

"I feel it's unfortunate that they don't continue the policy of the Bush administration, which was much more pro-Israel," said Akiva Homnick of Jerusalem.

"I happen to have a lot of family who live in Israel and I feel, personally, when you are dealing with people who are very strong against you, you have to stand up to them," said Tami Davudoff of Kew Gardens.

"Hillary had Mrs. Arafat here and she invited Mrs. Arafat for lunch when she was the first lady," added Babak Chafe of Great Neck. "She is pro-Palestinian 100 percent, really. Of course, we always knew it."

"The easy way to make a peace agreement is to pressure Israel because you can't pressure the Arabs," said Solomon Loewi of Monsey, N.Y.

All this could lead to a chilly reception when Mrs. Clinton arrives in the Middle East next week.

The new U.S. envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, arrived in Israel on Thursday with a mission to inject new life into peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
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ccp
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« Reply #538 on: February 27, 2009, 08:54:18 AM »

Only one question.
Why are they blasting Hillary?
The anger should be directed at the source - BO.
Are they afraid to go after him?  Politically incorrect?
Because he is black?
Because he is otherwise the liberal socialist they dreamed of for decades?
I don't recall ever hearing a black express sadness by the Jewish holocaust.  Yet I hear about the "Black holocaust".
I happen to agree the blacks did have a form of holocaust and this deserves the recognition but I say Jews and Blacks are not as aligned as the liberal Jews run around spouting for whatever their motives in so doing.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #539 on: February 27, 2009, 01:07:35 PM »

"Why are they blasting Hillary? The anger should be directed at the source - BO."  - More convenient and less controversial to attack HRC.  They want to influence the Pres. not damage or destroy him, or even being seen undermining him.

"Jews and Blacks are not as aligned..."  - It's a strange coalition that makes up the Democrat power base.  Blacks and Jews are aligned by a common political enemy - Republicans.  Far left extremists are the most anti-Israel of any voters in the country, yet share a party with most Jewish voters.  Non-Jewish far-righters are the strongest defenders of Israel in this country, for not for religious reasons.  Meanwhile Blacks love school vouchers and school choice, directly at odds with another huge money and power base of the party - the education unions.  But no matter how much they all hate or disagree with each other, they will not jump parties. 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but liberal American Jews would rather stand quiet while Israel is destroyed before they would ever support a moose hunting, peace through strength, conservative for Commander in Chief, just as Catholics pull the lever for for abortionist supporting candidates at the same rate as the rest of the country because of other liberal priorities. 
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #540 on: February 27, 2009, 01:22:51 PM »

February 27, 2009
Mubarak is the Only One Who Got it Right

By Dan Gordon
It's been four weeks since I've been home from Israel and the fighting in Gaza. Three weeks since I turned in my helmet, body amour and M-16 and exchanged the olive drab fatigues for the jeans and a t-shirt which is my daily uniform in civilian life. The story of that conflict has been pushed to the back burners. But during the fighting itself, it generated millions of words and literally hundreds of hours of media coverage and yet, it seems, to this day no one but Hosni Mubarak the President of Egypt has gotten the story right.

There may be a lot of things that one can say about President Mubarak, not all of them complimentary, but one thing that cannot be said is that he is either a newcomer or naïve in the nuances, strategies and politics of the Middle East. Here is what President Mubarak said in a speech last week: 

"Why did (Hamas) object to our attempts to prolong the cease fire? And why did they not heed our warnings that their positions constitute an open invitation for an Israeli assault? Was this planned and deliberate? For whose benefit?... the recent crisis has exposed an attempt to exploit the Israeli aggression in order to impose a new reality on the Palestinian and Arab arena -- a new reality that will stack the cards in favor of a well known regional force, Iran, for the benefit of its plans and agenda."

Well, that's an interesting take and it didn't come from the Israeli Foreign Ministry or any Zionist advocacy group. It came from the President of the largest Arab country in the world. What he was referring to when he stated that Hamas had objected "to our attempts to prolong the cease fire" was the period just prior to Israel's incursion into Gaza. There had been a five month long tahadya or lull in Hamas' rocket attacks against Israel and Israel's reprisal raids against Hamas. This lull had been painstakingly negotiated by the Egyptians with a good deal of behind the scenes help from the Palestinian Authority, the Jordanians, the European Union and the United States. In December of 2008, however, Hamas unilaterally announced that the lull was over and they would resume their attacks against Israel.

They did so to the tune of seventy to eighty rocket attacks a day aimed exclusively against a civilian population of almost a million people in Southern Israel. It should be noted that most of these attacks were timed to coincide with when people dropped their children off at schools, kindergartens, pre-schools, and when they picked them up. These rocket attacks were terror attacks, pure and simple. That Israeli children were not killed is a testament to the effectiveness of Israel's civil defense program in Southern Israel.

I walked the streets of Sderot with a former US Marine Captain who noted that literally every single street corner had a bus stop that had been converted into a blast proof shelter while every other block had at least one "life shield" bunker. Every school, every playground, had the same type of reinforced steel and concrete shelters. He looked around incredulously, "Camp Faluja is the only place I've ever seen with such force protection in place." And yet, he noted "Sderot has no rocket launching pads or artillery equipment. Not only is there no offensive military presence but there is no mechanism to return fire either. If you told marines that they would be living in a place that received regular mortar and rocket fire, had no counter fire capability... they would tell you that you were completely insane... among other things." He said quite simply for civilians living in Sderot, "Israel is Iraq without the body armor."

When the five month tahadya ended Israel did everything humanly possible to extend the cease fire. It made it clear that it did not want to have to go into Gaza. Israel worked with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, King Abdullah of Jordan, President Mubarak of Egypt, leaders of the European Union and the American Secretary of State, trying to extend the cease fire indefinitely. Hamas' response? Seventy to eighty rocket attacks a day. Israel's Prime Minister finally went on Arabic language television and literally almost begged the people of Gaza to get their leaders to extend the cease fire. He stated again that Israel had withdrawn from all of Gaza three years ago to give peace a chance and hopefully never to return. He warned that if Israel had to invade it was stronger and it would prevail and there would be needless loss of civilian life as is the case in any war.

Hamas' reply was more vollies of rockets and mortars.

So like President Mubarak, any objective observer would have to ask the question why? "Was this planned and deliberate? For whose benefit?"

The answer is yes of course it was planned and deliberate. What major news outlets have completely missed is not the fact that Israel invaded. The story they have missed is that Hamas knowingly provoked Israel's incursion because this was to be their offensive. It had been planned and prepared for months. It was their strategy, their tactics, their battlefield, prepared according to their doctrine, to be fought at the time of their choosing.

I first put on the uniform of the Israel Defense Forces over 35 years ago. I have been involved in four wars and countless training exercises preparing for war. I have watched Israel's doctrine change and adapt to almost every new eventuality and the one thing I can say with absolute clarity and certainty is that Israel never goes to war in the winter time of its own accord. Never. When Israel can choose, its offensives take place in the spring and summer. It is as if there is a line drawn across the calendar that says from mid autumn and until well into the spring Israeli doctrine precludes offensive action.

The reason is quite simple, the cloud cover and rain of winter time can neutralize Israel's advantage in air and armor. Even with the most advanced avionics, aircraft have a tough time taking out targets which they cannot see because of cloud cover. Rain can turn the terrain of southern Israel into a soupy mud that can bog down Israel's tanks and armored personnel carriers making them sitting ducks for anti tank rockets and missiles. Israel has never gone to war in the winter of its own choosing, which is precisely why Hamas chose the dead of winter for its offensive.

The villages of the Gaza strip were crisscrossed with tunnels dug underneath the houses. Not weapons smuggling tunnels, mind you, these were kidnapping tunnels. They were communication tunnels through which Hamas militants could go unseen from house to house and carry out combat in a civilian environment disappearing from one house, as it came under fire, to pop up in another. Those tunnels were not dug after Israel invaded as a response to that invasion. No one in Hamas said "Quick let's dig these tunnels because the Israelis are coming!"

This was their battlefield and they prepared it according to a doctrine that said they would launch rockets from civilian areas in order to draw Israeli troops into those areas. They would turn whole villages into booby trapped battlefields while the villagers were still in them. Their hope was to kill two to three hundred Israeli soldiers and kidnap and take prisoner as many as fifty.

At the same time, because they were fighting in civilian areas, their plan was to maximize civilian casualties amongst their own people. In this way, any action Israel took against Hamas fighters would become a war crime. Photos of innocent Palestinians killed in an Israeli onslaught would arouse public sympathy and that sympathy in turn could be translated into political pressure to effectuate a cease fire advantageous to Hamas. In that way, they could at one and the same time, wear the mantle of victimhood and victor.

Here is what the New York Times reported on January 16th, 2009, when one of its reporters was imbedded with Israeli forces in the northern Gaza strip,

"The scene was one of rusting green houses and blown up houses that had been booby trapped with mannequins, explosive devices and tunnels. The area was a major site for Hamas launchers."

The reporter was briefed by an Israeli paratroop brigade commander who began his comments by stating that he hated war and that he did not want to be here, but that this operation was necessary to limit Hamas' abilities to launch rockets against Southern Israel. Here once again is the reporter from the New York Times:

"The rocket launchers, which sent deadly projectiles into Ashdod and Ashkelon, Israeli cities due north, were placed amongst the potatoes and peppers, explosive devices around them to prevent their dismantling... the soldiers found improvised explosive devices in the houses and, on Wednesday, in a mosque. The typical ruse for the houses was a mannequin with an explosive near by and a hole or tunnel covered by a rug. I can say that one third of the houses are booby trapped. ....

"He said. "You get into the houses and you see many IEDs..."

The reporter went on to state,

"The idea behind the set ups... was that Israeli soldiers would shoot the mannequin mistaking it for a man, an explosion would occur, and soldiers would be driven or pulled into the hole where they could be taken prisoner." The ruse failed, in part, the reporter went on to state because "the soldiers had found a hand drawn map with the booby traps laid out."

I was with that reporter in Gaza. We went in the same armored personnel carrier. Hamas' plan was to fire from civilian houses, draw infantry into those houses which were booby trapped, and then kill and wound soldiers inside. There were kidnapping teams standing by in the tunnels to pop up from under a false floor and drag the wounded soldiers or the bodies of the dead into those tunnels which criss crossed the whole village. Once inside the tunnels, the dead and wounded Israeli soldiers could be whisked off and taken prisoner. I held the map the reporter referred to of the village and studied it with an intelligence officer. The entire village is laid out as a battlefield... with the villagers still in it, sometimes unaware that their own houses or the houses of neighbors have been rigged. This plan was duplicated throughout Gaza.

This was Hamas' offensive and at least one part of it failed. Only ten Israeli soldiers were killed and none were taken captive. The part of their plan, however, which did not fail was making this war on the backs of their own innocent civilians. There is an old saying in journalism "if it bleeds it leads." Networks will go with the most sensational stories, without much investigation. The picture will speak more than a thousand words and Hamas knew that and counted on it. But there are other pictures. I have linked footage taken of  Hamas' so called "militants" machine gunning Palestinians whom they felt were of rival factions during their bloody coup and take over of Gaza in 2007. This picture tells exactly who Hamas is and what Israel faces on its southern border. Moreover, in the weeks since the fighting ended many of the charges against Israel have been refuted not just by Israel but International Aid Agencies.

One of the most sensational charges was that Israeli targeted a UN school and killed 43 Palestinian civilians who were hiding inside it. Israel maintained that it returned fire to a Hamas mortar launching site outside the school. On Tuesday, the UN office for Humanitarian Affairs stated categorically, "The shelling and all the fatalities took place outside rather than inside the school."

Separately, Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict stated that the organization would investigate the use of children as human shields by Hamas during the recent fighting. The head of the International Red Cross has stated that there was no evidence to suggest that Israel had used any weapons, including white phosphorous, in any manner banned by International Law.

The Italian newspaper Courierre Della Sera quoted a Palestinian doctor in Schifa hospital as saying that contrary to reports of 1300 people killed he estimated that there were only seven to eight hundred killed and of them the vast majority were males between the age of 17 and 23. It should be noted that by the second or third day of fighting Hamas militants had taken off their uniforms and were fighting exclusively in civilian clothes and most of them of course were young males between the ages of 17 and 23.

In the words of Presidnet Mubarak

" I have stressed this before and I'll say it again (Hamas) must face the cost benefit test... of the benefits it has brought for their problems along side the casualties, the pain, and the destruction it has caused... For how long will Arab blood be shed, only to listen to those who admit their mistakes later... and who wave resistance slogans over the corpses of casualties, the ruins and the destruction."

One wonders when some in the Western media will begin asking the same question and demanding the same answers.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/02/mubarak_is_the_only_one_who_go.html at February 27, 2009 - 02:20:54 PM EST
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ccp
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« Reply #541 on: February 27, 2009, 04:17:04 PM »

***Correct me if I'm wrong, but liberal American Jews would rather stand quiet while Israel is destroyed before they would ever support a moose hunting, peace through strength, conservative for Commander in Chief, just as Catholics pull the lever for for abortionist supporting candidates at the same rate as the rest of the country because of other liberal priorities.***

I am afraid so.  Republicans are worse than Nazis to the far left liberal Jews.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #542 on: February 27, 2009, 04:27:10 PM »

Good find BBG.

The liberal Jewish mindset is the one in which I was raised in Manhattan NYC.  It is now a mystery to me-- and I to them.

Crafty Dog--Infidel Dog of the Never Again Brigades!
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rachelg
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« Reply #543 on: March 08, 2009, 01:42:41 PM »

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Congressmen try to restrict Gaza funds
Mar. 5, 2009
ALLISON HOFFMAN, JPost correspondent , THE JERUSALEM POST

US lawmakers are seeking restrictions on US funding for $900 million in proposed reconstruction and humanitarian aid for the Palestinians over concerns that the money might wind up in the hands of terrorist groups.

Sources on Capitol Hill told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that negotiations over restrictions could complicate the process and potentially delay getting aid to organizations on the ground.

"In general, there will be a desire on the part of Congress to work with the administration and give them the flexibility they need to conduct foreign policy," said one Congressional staffer.

The sticking point, he said, would be to ensure that none of those funds end up helping terrorists. "I'm sure there will be questions - as there always are with regard to this kind of aid - about transparency, vetting, and auditing to make sure money doesn't fall into the wrong hands."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged the American assistance to Gaza last weekend at an international donors' conference in Sharm e-Sheikh, Egypt. But as much as $745 million of the promised aid would have to be approved by Congress.

Jewish Democratic congresswoman Shelley Berkley, who represents Las Vegas, sent a letter to Clinton asking for conditions to be placed on the funds. Her spokesman David Cherry refused to confirm or deny reports that the conditions included the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

Berkley has signed on to resolutions in the past calling for Shalit's release.

Clinton spokesman Robert Wood said earlier in the week that the $600 in development aid would go directly to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. The other $300 million would be earmarked for relief in Gaza.

Meanwhile, nearly two dozen members of the House of Representatives have signed on to a resolution, sponsored by New Jersey Democrat Steve Rothman, calling for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza (UNRWA) to publish lists of its employees in order to assure donors that it does not employ terrorists.

He said at a press conference Thursday that he introduced the resolution "to ensure that not one cent of US taxpayer dollars provided to UNRWA is redirected to terrorists, or to activities that support terror or promote a culture of hatred." The resolution has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

It came as a former attorney for the UN agency published a report saying it does little to check whether its staff or clients are linked to terrorist groups. UNRWA has repeatedly denied allegations that its facilities have been used to store or transport materiel for terrorist groups.

A spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon declined to comment on the US negotiations over funding. Ban has traveled to member states in the past month soliciting aid for Gaza and has repeatedly appealed to large funders to continue their assistance via a UN "flash appeal" for Gaza.

The United States provides more than 20 percent of UNRWA's annual budget.
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rachelg
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« Reply #544 on: March 08, 2009, 01:45:07 PM »

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1236269356568&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

US Affairs: Losing the lobby on the Hill?
Mar. 5, 2009
Hilary Leila Krieger , THE JERUSALEM POST

Last month, three members of Congress made an usual trip, visiting Gaza for the first time since both the 2003 killing of three American security personnel by Palestinian militants, and the 2007 takeover of the coastal strip by Hamas, that prompted Israel and the United States to stay away.

That the visit by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) and, separately, Congressmen Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) and Brian Baird (D-Washington) took place at all might have been its most newsworthy aspect. But it was not its only atypical one. Ellison and Baird both made comments conspicuously critical of Israel, and then organized a briefing for members of Congress to share what they saw, in an effort to push for change in American policies. They would like to see the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip opened, and well as a rethinking of the ways America supports Israel.

Briefings of these sorts, particularly by members of Congress themselves, are rare. Though some observers downplay the significance of a few congressmen making such statements, and note they aren't unprecedented, others think these views could be spreading and receiving more traction as the Left gains power in America, and the administration puts itself firmly on the side of pushing for peace. While both groups agree it's too early in the session to jump to any broad conclusions, some already maintain that there is more space now for different perspectives on Israel, and more initiatives that aren't originating from the mainstream pro-Israel lobbies.

Already resolutions and letters to the administration have emphasized support for its peace and mediation efforts, most recently in a letter by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, calling on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to demonstrate her commitment to the peace process during her current trip to the region as events there "underscore the importance of tenacious American leadership and engagement, now and in the future."

More boldly, Democratic Congressman Gary Ackerman, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Middle East subcommittee, and represents heavily Jewish areas of New York's Long Island, issued a scathing critique of Israel at his first hearing of the session.

He declared that the situation in the region was "spiraling downward," and blamed both Israelis and Palestinians.

"The downward pressure comes from terrorism and the march of settlements and outposts, from the firing of rockets and the perpetration of settler pogroms … It comes from tunnels in Gaza and from digging in Jerusalem, as well. There is no moral equivalence between these acts, but they are part of the same destructive dynamic."

And he also alluded to seeming inconsistencies in Israel's own policies, particularly in Gaza. "Start with Hamas, a terrorist organization, an entity beyond the pale. They are the enemy, and no one can talk to them until they accept the Quartet's conditions of recognizing Israel, repudiating violence, and accepting the PLO's agreements with Israel," he said. "Except that for years, Israel has been talking to Hamas through Egypt, and directly to the Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails."

"I thought it was quite surprising that he went that far," one Jewish organizational official said of Ackerman's remarks. "That was very significant, because of who Ackerman is, and where his district is, and where he comes from. For someone like him, it requires real balls."

The official, who works for a left-wing organization and was therefore pleased by these developments, noted that it's too early to make any determination about where the new Congress is headed.

"But there are some indications so far that show there's a different atmosphere, that Congress is more willing to entertain perspectives that are more dovish," he said. "There's definitely a sense that there's an air of independence, and that people are more emboldened in their approach to this issue in general."

He explained that difference as stemming partly from groups like the self-described "pro-Israel, pro-peace" J Street, which started last year, making it clear that "AIPAC is not the only voice that's out there, that there are strong voices with different views."

But more important, he maintained, was that US President Barack Obama was squarely behind a peace deal. His early moves appointing George Mitchell as a Middle East envoy and reaching out to the Arab world "reverberated in the region, but it also reverberated on Capitol Hill," where members of Congress "feel more emboldened" to speak out on the issue.

ONE CAPITOL Hill staffer said having a new president with a new Middle East agenda made a difference in how members felt about engaging on the issue. But he added that a greater factor was Israel's own leadership - or lack thereof.

"It's not clear what Israel's policy is," he said, noting the unsettled state of its elections, but also its attitudes toward the Palestinians. He pointed to Israel's decision not to overthrow Hamas, yet also not willing to engage with it, as well as talking about a peace process at the same time that it says no deal is possible.

"There's a bit of a vacuum, which invites people to step into the vacuum," he said.

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi of The Israel Project, though, fingered the American political system. She pointed to gerrymandering which has increasingly made seats "safe" for Republicans or Democrats, meaning that the real fight for them takes place in the primaries, where party views are more extreme.

"You see that we have more of these very liberal members of Congress," she said. "You have people who are now in Congress who don't feel accountable to voters of a wider political spectrum, and that's bad for Israel, because support for Israel is much stronger among centrists and conservatives than among liberals."

At the same time, she said the latter were more likely to be swayed toward the Jewish state by the supportive messages for Israel coming from Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with whom they would identify politically.

She also said the current activity on Capitol Hill didn't represent a serious blow.

"As much as we might be upset about what two Congressmen say about the situation in Gaza," she said, "Israel will weather the storm."

And Morrie Amitay, a former executive director of AIPAC, who now heads his own pro-Israel political action committee, dismissed the activity altogether, saying there have always been members of Congress with different views.

"I don't see it as a new thing that there are some people in the Congress who are critical of Israel. And there have always been some in the American Jewish community who are part of what I call 'the blame Israel first crowd,'" he said. "It's a small minority, thankfully."

His bottom line: "I don't see any reason why support of Israel would diminish."

Doug Bloomfield, who once served as a legislative director of AIPAC, also thought that not much had happened - yet.

"Right now you're having a few people talking, but I don't see this as a big sea change," he said.

He added, though, that waves could be on the way, particularly as the US sees Israel moving to the Right at the same time that it itself is moving to the Left.

"There is a foundation there for a shift to a more activist peace policy," he said of Congress. "The foundation has already been laid by the administration."



http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1236269366086&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter


The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Unhelpful reprimand
Mar. 7, 2009
, THE JERUSALEM POST

During her visit here last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chided Israel for the Jerusalem Municipality's plans to demolish some 80 buildings illegally constructed by Arabs in east Jerusalem's Emek Hamelech.

Israel, according to Clinton, thereby violates "obligations entered into under the road map," proving itself "unhelpful" in furthering peace prospects.

But Clinton's comments during her first official foray into this region's diplomatic minefields were themselves unhelpful.

We're used to overseas critics of Israel championing, with little reflection, the Arab position. Yet since Clinton is new to her role, and represents Israel's most important ally, her every statement is scrutinized to divine what Israel can expect from the Obama administration.

What we heard, therefore, generated unease. The importance attached to Clinton's rebuke by outside diplomatic observers and the media makes it all the more unsettling.

We are concerned by the linkage she made between the road map and the operations of Jerusalem's municipal administration. If Israelis were to follow such a linkage to its logical conclusion, then any local authority here could at any time be accused of overstepping arbitrary bounds imposed by outside powers. This infringes on Israeli sovereignty at the most elementary level.

The Jerusalem Municipality, moreover, has acted with utmost care and in legally airtight fashion. It has, if anything, conducted this affair with greater circumspection, moderation, tolerance and restraint than would any American municipality given similar circumstances.

Not that the circumstances anywhere else can compare to those of Emek Hamelech (King's Valley or Silwan). This area, part of a First Temple royal enclave, perhaps King David's own, is of matchless historical significance and includes sites holy to all three monotheistic religions.

"Because of its importance to three billion people of faith around the world," observed a municipal spokesman, "Emek Hamelech is not intended for residential development but as an open public space. This position is concurrent with positions taken during the British Mandate and going back to Ottoman control of the area."

Residents of the unlawful buildings in question, continued the spokesman, had "turned to the District [Planning] Commission of the Interior Ministry, which rejected their petitions and did not [retroactively] approve the illegal construction of the buildings, due to the fact that the Emek Hamelech area is intended for public recreational use."

WHAT THE spokesman did not specify is that the area is a prime archeological site and that the illegal construction, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority, has already wrought considerable, often irreversible damage to some of the world's most unique biblical-era relics.

Paradoxically, Arab illegal construction in this particular area is recent and wouldn't have been possible without Israeli technological improvements. King's Valley was regularly flooded each winter, until the municipality devised means to drain it some 20 years ago. Since then, Arab squatters flocked to the reclaimed land and illegally constructed a variety of structures on what was earmarked as an archeological park.

There were 88 illegal buildings in all, of which seven were demolished over the years. Legal proceedings are under way to pull down the remaining structures.

Various advocacy groups appealed to the District Planning Commission. Their failure to secure retroactive approval for the land-seizure left the squatters legally vulnerable.

Thereupon, Hamas sympathizer Sheikh Raed Sallah of the Northern Branch Islamic Movement sounded the rallying cry and organized protests that culminated in an Arab general strike. As expected, this extremist garnered instant support abroad. We are, however, perturbed that even the American secretary of state has seen fit to amplify Sallah's incendiary propaganda.

It would have been better had she noted that of 28 court-ordered demolitions already implemented during 2009 in Jerusalem, 11 were in west Jerusalem. The municipality, furthermore, went out of its way to offer brazen offenders compensation and substitute holdings, as if their claim to the archeological site was bona fide.

Looking to the future, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat needs to honor his campaign promise to invest more city resources in Arab neighborhoods and make it easier for Arab residents to obtain necessary building permits.

Yet in the case of Emek Hamelech, Barkat is right to say that Clinton has been misled by Palestinian Arab "disinformation."
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rachelg
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« Reply #545 on: March 08, 2009, 02:03:09 PM »

I have certainly been one of the chief defenders of President  Obama's relationship to Israel here so  it it would be inconsistent  not to criticize him when there  is cause. 

I am deeply disturbed by recent comments from the Hill especially some of Hillary Clinton's comments(clearly  a member of the Obama administration so he would bear the blame as well) Taking to Iran is useless.

I am not a fan of giving Hamas money  and I fully support  Shelley Berkley wanting to put conditions on the money
 
However  addressing your complaints about President  Obama giving the Palestinians money. Do you really think Senator  McCain would have watched the Palestinians starve to death on the front page on the NYT? It is a politically untenable situation.  The fact that it would  be better if we didn't hear about Palestinians is a different story.  No one deserves to starve to death but I would  put those who didn't provide so much  succor to mass murder higher  on the list to help. Gaza is a  million welfare victims who do  you think has been paying for them all along. I notice you specifically didn't mention Israeli aid is being doubled.  Do you really expect Obama to be to the right of Aipac and JPOST on Aid?


When the conversation is intelligent, respectful, and about ideas I actually really  enjoy arguing. I would have picked another site if I was  always  looking for agreement.  I think arguing about ideas gives them a strength that agreeing about ideas does not.  It does get exhausting though.  Thank you all for many intelligent conversations.
 
However, Lately  for a variety of reasons that  I am not interested in discussing further  every time I visit this forum I have a negative response. Every time I go to post all I seem capable of writing is snarky comments or a harangue. I deleted these kind of  comments before they were posted.  I'm sure you all  could handle my negatively but that is not the person I want to be.    Normally when I get upset I calm down eventually.  However it has been  over a month and I haven't calmed down. If and when  I feel capable of posting like a reasonable human being I will return.   I will be taking a vacation until then. I have a lot of reading  and other projects I want to catch up  on anyway.  This forum needs to enhance and not detract from the rest of my life. As Long as it is still being read  I will continue to post in in  The Power of the Word Thread.

I  do understand that I started   lot of these fights and I didn't mean to start fights I couldn't handle. I apologize for that and for any pain any  my comment caused to anyone.    I am not looking to stir up  trouble right now.  I am NOT fishing for compliments or looking to be persuaded. Usually reasoning with a crazy person doesn't work anyway. I had  originally planned on just doing a slow fade out but I am fan of closure. My Mother refers to this  place as the forum I can't leave so....

Best Wishes,
Rachel
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 02:06:08 PM by Rachel » Logged
G M
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« Reply #546 on: March 08, 2009, 03:48:53 PM »

I have certainly been one of the chief defenders of President  Obama's relationship to Israel here so  it it would be inconsistent  not to criticize him when there  is cause. 

**Agreed.**

I am deeply disturbed by recent comments from the Hill especially some of Hillary Clinton's comments(clearly  a member of the Obama administration so he would bear the blame as well) Taking to Iran is useless.

**Yup.**

I am not a fan of giving Hamas money  and I fully support  Shelley Berkley wanting to put conditions on the money

**How about NO MONEY? Would you give money to fund a local KKK chapter, hoping it would moderate their hatred?**
 
However  addressing your complaints about President  Obama giving the Palestinians money. Do you really think Senator  McCain would have watched the Palestinians starve to death on the front page on the NYT?

**I gurantee that the "Palestinians" would not starve if we didn't so much as one cent.**

It is a politically untenable situation.  The fact that it would  be better if we didn't hear about Palestinians is a different story.  No one deserves to starve to death but I would  put those who didn't provide so much  succor to mass murder higher  on the list to help. Gaza is a  million welfare victims who do  you think has been paying for them all along. I notice you specifically didn't mention Israeli aid is being doubled.  Do you really expect Obama to be to the right of Aipac and JPOST on Aid?


**I expect Obama to look out for our (America's) best interests. Funding HAMAS isn't part of that.**

When the conversation is intelligent, respectful, and about ideas I actually really  enjoy arguing. I would have picked another site if I was  always  looking for agreement.  I think arguing about ideas gives them a strength that agreeing about ideas does not.  It does get exhausting though.  Thank you all for many intelligent conversations.
 
However, Lately  for a variety of reasons that  I am not interested in discussing further  every time I visit this forum I have a negative response. Every time I go to post all I seem capable of writing is snarky comments or a harangue. I deleted these kind of  comments before they were posted.  I'm sure you all  could handle my negatively but that is not the person I want to be.    Normally when I get upset I calm down eventually.  However it has been  over a month and I haven't calmed down. If and when  I feel capable of posting like a reasonable human being I will return.   I will be taking a vacation until then. I have a lot of reading  and other projects I want to catch up  on anyway.  This forum needs to enhance and not detract from the rest of my life. As Long as it is still being read  I will continue to post in in  The Power of the Word Thread.

I  do understand that I started   lot of these fights and I didn't mean to start fights I couldn't handle. I apologize for that and for any pain any  my comment caused to anyone.    I am not looking to stir up  trouble right now.  I am NOT fishing for compliments or looking to be persuaded. Usually reasoning with a crazy person doesn't work anyway. I had  originally planned on just doing a slow fade out but I am fan of closure. My Mother refers to this  place as the forum I can't leave so....

Best Wishes,
Rachel

**I look forward to your return when you are ready.**
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G M
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« Reply #547 on: March 08, 2009, 04:08:48 PM »

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/2009/03/025130print.html

March 6, 2009

Egyptian cleric: The Jews "are enemies not because they occupied Palestine. They would have been enemies even if they did not occupy a thing."

They keep telling us that it isn't about "stolen land," and that land concessions and even the creation of a Palestinian state will not end the conflict. And we keep refusing to believe it.

"Egyptian Cleric Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub: The Jews Are the Enemies of Muslims Regardless of the Occupation of Palestine," from MEMRI TV, January 17 (just posted), with thanks to Sr. Soph:

Following are excerpts from a speech delivered by Egyptian cleric Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub, which aired on Al-Rahma TV on January 17, 2009.
Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub: If the Jews left Palestine to us, would we start loving them? Of course not. We will never love them. Absolutely not. The Jews are infidels – not because I say so, and not because they are killing Muslims, but because Allah said: “The Jews say that Uzair is the son of Allah, and the Christians say that Christ is the son of Allah. These are the words from their mouths. They imitate the sayings of the disbelievers before. May Allah fight them. How deluded they are.” It is Allah who said that they are infidels.

That's Qur'an 9:30.

Your belief regarding the Jews should be, first, that they are infidels, and second, that they are enemies. They are enemies not because they occupied Palestine. They would have been enemies even if they did not occupy a thing. Allah said: “You shall find the strongest men in enmity to the disbelievers [sic] to be the Jews and the polytheists.”
Qur'an 5:82.

Third, you must believe that the Jews will never stop fighting and killing us. They [fight] not for the sake of land and security, as they claim, but for the sake of their religion: “And they will not cease fighting you until they turn you back you’re your religion, if they can.”
Qur'an 2:217.

This is it. We must believe that our fighting with the Jews is eternal, and it will not end until the final battle – and this is the fourth point. You must believe that we will fight, defeat, and annihilate them, until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth.
It is not me who says so. The Prophet said: “Judgment Day will not come until you fight the Jews and kill them. The Jews will hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and tree will call: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him – except for the Gharqad tree, which is the tree of the Jews.” I have heard that they are planting many of these trees now. [...]

That Hadith can be found at Sahih Muslim 6985.

As for you Jews – the curse of Allah upon you. The curse of Allah upon you, whose ancestors were apes and pigs.
That's Qur'an 2:62-65; 5:59-60; and 7:166.

You Jews have sown hatred in our hearts, and we have bequeathed it to our children and grandchildren. You will not survive as long as a single one of us remains.
[...]

Oh Jews, may the curse of Allah be upon you. Oh Jews... Oh Allah, bring Your wrath, punishment, and torment down upon them. Allah, we pray that you transform them again, and make the Muslims rejoice again in seeing them as apes and pigs. You pigs of the earth! You pigs of the earth! You kill the Muslims with that cold pig [blood] of yours.

And now the learned analysts will turn to one another and repeat once again that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has nothing to do with theology, nothing to do with Islam.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #548 on: March 19, 2009, 07:52:50 AM »

Well, the NY Slimes is at it as usual, particularly virulent form this time.  Poor Israel.

====================

JERUSALEM — Israel, whose founding idea was branded as racism by the United Nations General Assembly in 1975 and which faced an Arab boycott for decades, is no stranger to isolation. But in the weeks since its Gaza war, and as it prepares to inaugurate a hawkish right-wing government, it is facing its worst diplomatic crisis in two decades.

Examples abound. Its sports teams have met hostility and violent protests in Sweden, Spain and Turkey. Mauritania has closed Israel’s embassy.

Relations with Turkey, an important Muslim ally, have suffered severely. A group of top international judges and human rights investigators recently called for an inquiry into Israel’s actions in Gaza. “Israel Apartheid Week” drew participants in 54 cities around the world this month, twice the number of last year, according to its organizers. And even in the American Jewish community, albeit in its liberal wing, there is a chill.

The issue has not gone unnoticed here, but it has generated two distinct and somewhat contradictory reactions. On one hand, there is real concern. Global opinion surveys are being closely examined and the Foreign Ministry has been granted an extra $2 million to improve Israel’s image through cultural and information diplomacy.

“We will send well-known novelists and writers overseas, theater companies, exhibits,” said Arye Mekel, the ministry’s deputy director general for cultural affairs. “This way you show Israel’s prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war.”

But there is also a growing sense that outsiders do not understand Israel’s predicament, so criticism is dismissed.

“People here feel that no matter what you do you are going to be blamed for all the problems in the Middle East,” said Eytan Gilboa, a professor of politics and international communication at Bar Ilan University. “Even suicide bombings by Palestinians are seen as our fault for not establishing a Palestinian state.”

Of course, for Israel’s critics, including those who firmly support the existence of a Jewish state, the problem is not one of image but of policy. They point to four decades of occupation, the settling of half a million Israeli Jews on land captured in 1967, the economic strangling of Gaza for the past few years and the society’s growing indifference toward the creation of a Palestinian state as reasons Israel has lost favor abroad, and they say that no amount of image buffing will change that.

Israel’s use of enormous force in the Gaza war in January crystallized much of this criticism.

The issue of a Palestinian state is central to Israel’s reputation abroad, because so many governments and international organizations favor its establishment in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. And while the departing government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert negotiated for such a state, the incoming one of Benjamin Netanyahu says that item is not on its immediate agenda.

Javier Solana, foreign policy chief for the European Union, said in Brussels on Monday that the group would reconsider its relationship with Israel if it did not remain committed to establishing a Palestinian state.

Moreover, Mr. Netanyahu is expected to appoint Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, as his foreign minister. This alone has Israelis and their allies in Europe and the United States worried because of Mr. Lieberman’s views of Israeli Arabs that some have called racist.

Mr. Lieberman had campaigned on the need for a loyalty oath in Israel so that those who did not support a Jewish democratic state would lose their citizenship. One-fifth of Israeli citizens are Arabs, and many do not support defining the state as Jewish.

Mr. Lieberman also has few fans in Egypt, which has acted as an intermediary for Israel in several matters. Some months ago Mr. Lieberman complained that President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt had not agreed to come to Israel. “If he doesn’t want to, he can go to hell,” he added.

“Imagine that Hossein Mousavi wins the Iranian presidency this spring and he names Mohammad Khatami as his foreign minister,” said Meir Javedanfar, an Iran analyst in Israel, referring to two Iranian leaders widely viewed as in the pragmatist camp. “With Lieberman as foreign minister here, Israel will have a much harder time demonstrating to the world that Iran is the destabilizing factor in the region.”

Of course, all of this is being seen in the context of a new, Democratic administration in the United States that has announced a desire to press for a two-state solution. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has already criticized Israeli plans to demolish Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, and her department has criticized Israel’s banning of certain goods from Gaza.

This represents a distinct shift in tone from the Bush era. An internal Israeli Foreign Ministry report during the Gaza war noted that compared with others in the United States, “liberals and Democrats show far less enthusiasm for Israel and its leadership.”

The gap between Israelis and many liberal American Jews could be seen Tuesday in a blog by Bradley Burston, who writes on the Web site of the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz. He said that while visiting Los Angeles he faced many questions that amounted to “What is wrong with these people, your friends, the Israelis?”

He quoted an article by Anne Roiphe, an American Jewish liberal, which said that witnessing the popularity of Mr. Lieberman in Israel made her feel “as if my spouse had cheated on me with Mussolini.”

She added: “We here in America are waiting as of this writing for a government to emerge in Jerusalem, and most of us keep on hoping that its shape will not preclude the peace process, will not doom a two-state solution, will not destroy the hope that our new president brings to the table.”

Mr. Burston pointed to the thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into Sderot and other Israeli cities and towns and titled his piece “The Racist Israeli Fascist in Me.”

Some Israeli officials say they believe that what the country needs is to “rebrand” itself. They say Israel spends far too much time defending actions against its enemies. By doing so, they say, the narrative is always about conflict.

“When we show Sderot, others also see Gaza,” said Ido Aharoni, manager of a rebranding team at the Foreign Ministry. “Everything is twinned when seen through the conflict. The country needs to position itself as an attractive personality, to make outsiders see it in all its reality. Instead, we are focusing on crisis management. And that is never going to get us where we need to go over the long term.”

Mr. Gilboa, the political scientist, said branding was not enough.

“We need to do much more to educate the world about our situation,” he said. Regarding the extra $2 million budgeted for this, he said: “We need 50 million. We need 100 million.”
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ccp
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« Reply #549 on: March 19, 2009, 10:17:22 AM »

Yes I saw this.
The article suggests that if only Israel would agree to a two state solution the problems would all go away.
OVer decades Israel has agreed to this in principal and only asked for a guarantee of its existence in return.
They have never been able to secure one from the Palestinians.

Did you FareeK Zakaria last weekend?  With his guest discussing the Israeli lobby, conspiracy, the radical right Jews who are controlling the US foreign policy?
Ot his later guests, one Indian who worked in the past for the UN, one from Pakistan and another Muslim and the one Jew from the NYT?  They all smuggly downed past US policy as creating all the ills in the Muslim world and agreed that wwe must work with Iran which is positioning itself the regional power in the Middle East.  While the Jewish guy from the times was all for blaming W for everything wrong in the middle east he at the end did wrap up the talk with we should not give in to Iran who is a thirld world country is not any kind of power in the Middle East.  The smug grins all disappeared off Fareed and his other Israel hating guests.
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