Thursday, August 31, 2006
The title says it all. Westbankmama blogs a blogger conference with former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe "Boogie" Yaalon. Go and read it.
Former 'collaborator' with Israel seeking asylum in the UKA 'Palestinian' Arab from Ramallah has successfully infiltrated the parking lot of the British embassy compound in Tel Aviv. The 'Palestinian,' who is armed, says that he is a former 'collaborator' with Israel and is seeking asylum in the United Kingdom. With all due respect, I don't think that's the country I would have chosen in his position.
The British embassy has removed all 'non-essential' personnel and has invited the Israeli police in to deal with the intruder.
The intruder, Nadim Injaz, 28, is apparently in financial difficulty. According to Haaretz, Injaz claims he will be killed if he returns to Ramallah, because he 'collaborated' with Israel. That is quite believeable.
"They will either take me out of here to Europe, or as a body," Injaz told Channel 2 television. He said he was forced to take the dramatic step after Israeli authorities rebuffed repeated demands for help. "Someone should come and help me. No one wants to help me."Nijaz got in by jumping the fence.
"If no one comes to help me soon to save my life, I will finish myself here," he said.
Injaz said militants in the West Bank told him that he would only be allowed to return to Ramallah if he carried out a suicide bombing. He said he chose this path instead.
"I don't want to kill children," he said in tears in a separate television interview with Channel 10 TV. "I want to be taken from here, I don't want to be here."
Injaz infiltrated the embassy in Tel Aviv by jumping a fence.
A negotiations unit from the Tel Aviv police is on the scene and is attempting to remove the man from the area unharmed.
Police were conducting negotiations with him and preparing to move in forcefully if needed, officials said.
The embassy, on the Tel Aviv seafront, is ringed by a fence and visitors are normally screened by security guards at the gate.
If I were him, I would not have chosen England, with its significant Muslim population as a place to seek asylum. I would choose the US, Australia, or possibly Canada.
I think that if he goes to England, he will be murdered. Ask Salman Rushdie.
If he really is a 'collaborator,' it's astounding that the Israelis won't help him.
LA Times: Israel Pegs Its Pullout to Release of Captives; JPost and Haaretz: MaybeThe Los Angeles Times is reporting that not only is Israel insisting on deployment of the 'international force' before it lifts its air and sea blockade on Lebanon; it is also insisting on the unconditional release of kidnapped IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. According to the Times, Hezbullah is saying that an unconditional release is not in the cards, and they can only be released in exchange for
But the Jerusalem Post is reporting that Lebanese
Nothing like keeping your bargaining chips in hand, is there?
Israel Says Syria, Not Just Iran, Supplied Missiles to HezbollahThe Los Angeles Times is reporting this morning that Syria supplied weapons directly to Hezbullah. It was previously thought by most non-Israeli sources that Syria acted only as a trans-shipment point for Iranian weapons heading for Hezbullah. Additionally, it turns out that Hezbullah had a lot more 'fighters' than previously thought, and that although Israel killed about 500 of them, that is only 15% and not the much higher numbers previously indicated.
New postwar intelligence indicates that the militant group Hezbollah had broader access to sophisticated weaponry than was publicly known — including large numbers of medium-range rockets made in Syria, said U.S. and Israeli government officials and military analysts.
The size of the Hezbollah arsenal and the direct role of Syria in supplying it will complicate the daunting task of keeping Hezbollah from rearming, the officials said.
Before the war, Hezbollah's access to weapons supplied by Iran and shipped through other countries was well documented. So was Syria's political support for Hezbollah and its role in allowing shipments of arms into Lebanon from Iran. But Washington thought Syria for the most part was not supplying munitions directly.
The new weapons data indicating a broader Syrian role were gathered by Israel largely by examining debris left by shells that hit the country during the conflict. The examination uncovered the serial numbers and other defining characteristics of the weapons. Israel's postwar forensics have shown some of the rockets were manufactured by the Syrian munitions industry, military sources said.
Syrian officials would not confirm or deny the reports.
"These are just accusations," said a spokesman for the Syrian Embassy in Washington, who requested anonymity because only the ambassador was allowed to discuss official Syrian policy. "If they have evidence, they should make it clear."
"There's a limit to what we can do in response to this," said Miri Eisen, a senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
The forensic evidence from shell debris bolstered what Israeli officials said they had long known about Syria's role in helping to arm Hezbollah.
"Syria has been a direct supplier of rockets, as well as a safe haven and weapons conduit," Eisen said.
"The short- to medium-range rockets that hit Tiberias and Haifa turned out to have been directly supplied by Syria — just as we said all along," Eisen said, referring to the northern Israeli cities targeted by Hezbollah.
Analysts said Syria's role in directly arming Hezbollah marked a shift in Damascus' strategy toward Lebanon. Syria was forced to withdraw its military from Lebanon last year after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
"I don't believe these kinds of technologies passed to Hezbollah under the regime of Hafez al Assad," Syria's longtime leader who died in 2000, said David Schenker, a former Pentagon official now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Referring to Assad's son and successor, Bashar Assad, Schenker said, "The father saw Hezbollah as a tool; Bashar sees them differently."
In addition to evidence of Syrian-made weapons, Israel also said it found evidence that Hezbollah used advanced, Russian-made Kornet antitank weapons. Israeli intelligence contends that serial numbers found on spent Kornets show they were originally supplied by Russia to Syria, although others may have come from Iran.
Russia has disputed the claims, saying it keeps tight restrictions on reshipments.
In addition to the 3,700 to 3,800 rockets fired by Hezbollah, the Israeli military said it destroyed about 1,600. Together, that would account for fewer than half of the rockets that Israeli and U.S. intelligence officials think Hezbollah had at the start of the conflict. [The claim that has been made all along in Israel is that most of Hezbullah's long-range capability was destroyed. No one has ever really claimed that the short-range capability was wiped out. CiJ].
Israel said it had underestimated the number of Hezbollah fighters. The military said it killed about 500 Hezbollah guerrillas, a figure that the militia has not confirmed. Some of the fighters who were killed or captured were using sophisticated equipment, including sniper rifles and night-vision goggles.
"At most, if you take the most dramatic claim we heard, they probably got about 15% of Hezbollah strength, and that includes wounded as well as killed in the forward area, which is not a decisive type of battle," said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a U.S. military analyst who recently returned from meetings with Israeli military and intelligence officials.
"If anything, you now have very large numbers of very experienced combat people who have spent more than six weeks in active engagement with the [Israeli military] and have, if not won, learned enough so they will be a far more serious problem in the future."
The media war against IsraelMelanie Phillips wonders why none of the mainstream media seems concerned by the instances of fraud that have recently been uncovered in Lebanon and Gaza. It's a good question. And Melanie's conclusion is one with which I wholeheartedly agree: ignore anything the MSM says about Israel.
In short, much of the most incendiary media coverage of this war seems to have been either staged or fabricated. The big question is why the western media would perpetrate such institutionalised mendacity. Many ancillary reasons come to mind. There is the reliance upon corrupted news and picture agencies which employ Arab propagandists as stringers and cameramen. There is the herd mentality of the media which decides collectively what the story is. There is the journalists’ fear for their personal safety if they report the truth about terrorist outfits. There is the difficulty of discovering the truth from undemocratic regimes and terrorist organisations. There is the language barrier; there is professional laziness; there is the naïve inability to acknowledge the depths of human evil and depravity; there is the moral inversion of the left which believes that western truth-tellers automatically tell lies, while third world liars automatically tell the truth.Read it all.
But the big answer is that the western media transmit the lies of Hezbollah because they want to believe them. And that’s because the Big Lie these media tell — and have themselves been told — about Israel and its place in history and in the world today has achieved the status of unchallengeable truth. The plain fact is that western journalists were sent to cover the war being waged against Israel from Lebanon as a war being waged by Israel against Lebanon. And that’s because that’s how editors think of the Middle East: that the whole ghastly mess is driven by Israel’s actions, and that therefore it is only Israel’s aggression which is the story to be covered. Thus history is inverted, half a century of Jewish victimisation is erased from public consciousness, victims are turned into aggressors and genocidal mass murderers turned into victims, and ignorance and prejudice stalk England’s once staunch and stalwart land. That’s why the fact that hundreds of thousands of refugees from the north of Israel fled to the shelter of strangers in the south; that within one third of Israel, those too poor or old or handicapped or disadvantaged to seek refuge elsewhere were forced to live in shelters for a month in great hardship; that the entire economy of northern Israel was effectively shut down for a month; that thousands of rockets were fired at northern Israel, hundreds every day, many times more than were daily fired at Britain during the Blitz — that’s why none of this was reported in Britain (where as a result such facts, when now related, are received with open-mouthed astonishment) because journalists were told to ignore it all since that wasn’t the story their editors wanted. Israel’s victimisation simply was not, could not, be the story. The only story was Israel’s aggression. But that story is a Big Lie. So a host of lies were transmitted to support it.
Certain conclusions are now inescapable. First, hatred of Israel and the irrationality associated with that hatred have now reached unprecedented proportions within Britain and the west. Second, with a few honourable exceptions the mainstream media are no longer to be believed in anything they transmit, either in words or pictures, about the Middle East. It is only the blogosphere which is now performing the most elementary disciplines of journalism: to aspire to objectivity, to separate facts from prejudices, to apply basic checks to claims being made by partisans to a conflict, and to be particularly wary of those with a proven track record of lying. Third, the mainstream media must now be regarded as active accessories to the war being waged against the free world and therefore as a fifth column in that world – an enemy within. Fourth, the impact of the lies and distortions transmitted by the mainstream media in inflaming the already pathological hatred of the west within the Arab and Muslim world is incalculable. Fifth, the mainstream media’s vilification, demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel, based on outright fabrications and malevolent distortions, is imperilling the very existence of the country that is the front line of defence of the free world. Sixth, that vilification is also imperilling the safety and well-being of Jewish communities around the world, subject now to the double victimisation of attack by Islamists and attack by non-Muslims for belonging to a Jewish people that refuses to submit passively to a second attempt at genocidal slaughter and instead fights to defend itself.
To date, as far as I can determine, not one mainstream editor or proprietor has acknowledged this corruption of the western media. The scale of this corruption now threatens to have a lethal impact on the course of human history. Hatred now drives not just the jihadists but their western dupes, too. Truth and freedom are indivisible. The deconstruction of the former inevitably presages the destruction of the latter. This is the way a civilisation dies.
Global jihad group debuts in Gaza'Palestinians' in the Gaza Strip have a new team and spanking new uniforms in the 'Palestinian League of Terrorists.' WorldNetDaily is reporting that a new Palestinian terror group aligned with the ideology of al-Qaida has been formed in the Gaza Strip and may plan attacks not just against Israel but also aimed at other "enemies of Islam and their collaborators among Arab regimes." WorldNetDaily conducted an exclusive interview with the terror group's leader.
"For the moment, our attacks are concentrated against the occupation, but I am sure that there will come a day where the Jihad operations will reach all the enemies of Islam and their collaborators among Arab regimes. The U.S. seems to do everything in order to speed this evolution," said Abu Mohammed, leader of the Palestine Army of Islam.Read the whole thing.
The Army of Islam is a splinter of the Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The Army bills itself as the closest Palestinian organization ideologically to al-Qaida. It left the Committees earlier this year complaining the group was not "Muslim enough."
The Army of Islam is one of three terror groups that claimed responsibility for the kidnapping in June of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, prompting an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. It is led by Gaza's Dugmash clan, a family of strongmen that head several terror cells in Gaza, including the "Saladin resistance department" of the Popular Resistance Committees.
In his first-ever interview, Abu Muhammad, a senior member of the Dugmash clan, explained to WorldNetDaily why his group is different from other major Palestinian "resistance organizations."
"We believe that Muslims should participate in the jihad no matter how far the jihad field is from a geographic point of view," he said. "We are not limiting ourselves to the jihad in Palestine as the other Palestinian groups do, and we see that our duty obliges us to help Muslims and to participate in the jihad everywhere it is needed.
"For the moment, we are restricting ourselves to Palestine not because of ideological or strategic reasons, but just because Palestine is today the most important field of jihad in the world. If the situation changes, we easily see ourselves as soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere," said Abu Muhammad.
The terror leader warned attacks against U.S. interests may come soon.
Another Olmert scandal brewingEhud Olmert has more problems this morning.
A HaAretz investigation claims to have uncovered instances of 'favoritism' extended by Olmert to clients of his attorney, Uri Messer, during the time that Olmert was Minister of Industry and Trade.
In all the cases examined, then trade minister Olmert participated in meetings that involved entrepreneurs and attorney Messer, on the one hand, and officials of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on the other.Read the whole thing.
Notwithstanding the regulations regarding possible conflict of interests, Olmert did not recuse himself from discussions on requests to further business interests of associates of his close friend, Messer, who is also the prime minister's personal attorney.
In all the cases mentioned in the Haaretz investigation report, a bonus was promised to attorney Messer should his lobbying activities at the Ministry of Industry and Trade prove successful. In all instances, Olmert did not inform the State Comptroller's Office or the attorney general of a possible conflict of interest, as is required by the regulations of the committee for the prevention of conflicts of interest for ministers and deputy ministers. Furthermore, in none of the cases did Olmert opt to disqualify himself because of conflict of interest.
In response Messer said: "I do not recall that I asked any of the people in Olmert's office to further projects related to me."
A statement issued by Olmert's office notes that "members of the Prime Minister's Office never handled nor intervened in cases represented by Messer. We are not aware of any matter that Messer promoted at the Ministry of Industry and Trade."
This post from Chickenhawk Express seems to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that bodies of children at Qana were removed from the body bags for use in fauxtographs.
Read it all (and look at the pictures).
The Stockholm Syndrome comes to GazaAt IsraelInsider, Andrew Bostom discusses the recent forced conversion to Islam of two CNN reporters:
Forced conversions in Islamic history are not exceptional-they have been the norm, across three continents-Asia, Africa, and Europe-for over 13 centuries. Orders for conversion were decreed under all the early Islamic dynasties-Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, and Mamluks. Additional extensive examples of forced conversion were recorded under both Seljuk and Ottoman Turkish rule (the latter until its collapse in the 20th century), the Shi'ite Safavid and Qajar dynasties of Persia/Iran, and during the jihad ravages on the Indian subcontinent, beginning with the early 11th century campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazni, and recurring under the Delhi Sultanate, and Moghul dynasty until the collapse of Muslim suzerainty in the 18th century following the British conquest of India.Read it all.
Moreover, during jihad-even the jihad campaigns of the 20th century [i.e., the jihad genocide of the Armenians during World War I, the Moplah jihad in Southern India , the jihad against the Assyrians of Iraq [early 1930s], the jihads against the Chinese of Indonesia and the Christian Ibo of southern Nigeria in the 1960s, and the jihad against the Christians and Animists of the southern Sudan from 1983 to 2001], the (dubious) concept of "no compulsion" (Koran 2:256; which was cited with tragic irony during the Fox reporters "confessional"!), has always been meaningless. A consistent practice was to enslave populations taken from outside the boundaries of the "Dar al Islam", where Islamic rule (and Law) prevailed.
Inevitably fresh non-Muslim slaves, including children, were Islamized within a generation, their ethnic and linguistic origins erased. Two enduring and important mechanisms for this conversion were concubinage and the slave militias-practices still evident in the contemporary jihad waged by the Arab Muslim Khartoum government against the southern Sudanese Christians and Animists. And Julia Duin reported in early 2002 that murderous jihad terror campaigns-including, prominently, forced conversions to Islam-continued to be waged against the Christians of Indonesia's Moluccan Islands.
Given this enduring (and ignoble) historical legacy, it remains to be seen whether contemporary Muslim religious authorities-particularly those within Palestinian society, and affiliated with Hamas or Fatah-will condemn publicly the forced conversions of the kidnapped Fox reporters. Moreover, will they be joined by a chorus of authoritative voices representing the entire Muslim clerical hierarchy-Sunni and Shi'ite alike-from Mecca and Cairo, Qom and Najaf, to the Muslim advocacy groups in the West (such as CAIR in the United States, and the Muslim Council of Britain in England)-unanimous in their condemnation of this hideous practice, and formalized by a fatwa stating as much? Will such Muslim authorities at least recognize the acute predicament of Centanni and Wiig by issuing a fatwa stating that their "conversion", being under duress, was not bona fide, condemning in advance any Muslim who might now attack these journalists for "apostasy" from Islam?
Unfortunately, I'm using a computer without a sound system, but I saw the link to this video on IsraelInsider's web page, and thought it was too good not to pass along. Meir Kahane HY"D, the head of the Kach party was murdered by an Arab terrorist in New York in 1990 (a few blocks from where I worked at the time). In this Nightline segment, he debates a young Ehud Olmert.
Terrorists in trainingYNet reports on how Hezbullah educates Lebanon's future terrorists. This school has nothing to do with readin' and writin' and 'rithmetic all to the beat of a hickory stick....
Do you know who is "the most senior Lebanese prisoner jailed in the Israeli enemy's prisons"? And where did the aircraft of "the Zionist enemy" assassinate Sheikh Abbas Mussawi (who served as the Hizbullah secretary-general before Hassan Nasrallah), his wife and his toddler son?
If you know the answers you have a good chance of winning the children's quiz written by Hizbullah members. However, this is not a simple quiz examining the general knowledge of the children and youth of Lebanon . Hizbullah is attempting to recruit them to the organization at an early age.
Material collected by Israel Defense Forces soldiers in southern Lebanon – alongside the weapons, rockets and explosives – reveals a complex and rare picture of Hizbullah's contents and activities among children and youth, mainly in southern Lebanon villages which are considered its stronghold.
A special document of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (CSS), which was distributed this week, sheds light on the issue. It appears that one of the organization's goals is to assimilate its values among the younger generation.Read it all.
A special kit for children was found at the village of Aita al-Shaab. It includes an award-bearing quiz titled "the 2006 competition of victory youngsters," alongside a possibility of donating money to Hizbullah.
The kit was produced by the "aid authority for the Islamic resistance." Alongside the questions presented to the infants in southern Lebanon, there are also quizzes presented as a multiple-choice test. Alongside answers to questions like "the Risk game, Playstation or Atari," one can find answers like "Nissim Nasser, Samir Kuntar or Yahya Sahef" (the three prisoners which Hizbullah wants to see released).
The document writers say that through a "simple" quiz, Hizbullah is assimilating its messages among the youth, in order to recruit its future terrorists. The quiz stresses a series of messages: The importance of the struggle against the Israeli enemy based on Hizbullah's "war heritage"; commemorating the Abbas Mussawi and suicide terrorist Asad Baru; the importance of the organization's political demands which legitimize its struggle against Israel and its refusal to disarm; and the demand to release prisoners, particularly Samir Kuntar, and "free the Shebaa Farms."
This institution raises large sums of money in private homes and public places in Lebanon: Businesses, mosques, education institution, petrol stations, shopping centers, roadblocks and more. It uses thousands of "charity boxes" spread among populations, as well as national fund raising campaigns.
Part of the activity is carried out in cooperation with other Hizbullah social-economic institutions.
For example, IDF soldiers captured in Hizbullah members' houses at the village of Aita al-Shaab leaflets distributed in homes, schools and stores, encouraging people to raise funds for the organization.
The leaflets feature a drawing with the message that the donations are aimed at purchasing weapons for the destruction of the State of Israel. The leaflets read: "In order for all of our houses to become part of the resistance (Hizbullah) – this is the resistance box – place it in your home."
The picture shows a charity box designed as the Dome of the Rock with a photo of the former Hizbullah secretary-general. Coins inserted into the box turn into bullets when they emerge from the box and smash a Star of David symbolizing Israel.
Egeland denounces Israel's late-stage shelling of Lebanon as 'immoral'UN 'Human Rughts' chief Jan Egeland has a strange view of war. Egeland believes that as soon as a
The UN humanitarian chief on Wednesday accused Israel of "shocking" and "completely immoral" behavior in its war against Hizbullah for dropping large numbers of cluster bombs when a ceasefire was in sight.
Jan Egeland told a news briefing that that Israel had either made a "terribly wrong decision" or had "started thinking afterwards." The remarks were unusually harsh even for Egeland, who often violates an unwritten rule that UN officials should not criticize member states too severely.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Prank caller on IsraelDo you answer every prank caller who calls your house? Or do you slam down your phone in disgust? Personally, I hang up the phone (as I just did to someone before I started writing this post).
In today's Washington Post, Kathleen Peratis acts as a prank caller on the State of Israel. Peratis, an attorney and board member of the discredited (at least when it comes to anything having to do with Israel) Human Rights Watch organization, says that Israel's and its supporters' ignoring Human Rights Watch's accusations against it because of the organization's proven and obvious bias against the Jewish state just isn't good enough.
No one expected the Anti-Defamation League and others to applaud the Human Rights Watch report, but one is entitled to expect something more serious by way of a response. "You're biased" is not a rebuttal.Sorry, but no. Human Rights Watch's record when it comes to Israel is so poor and so biased, that it has no right to expect anything other than "you're biased" in response. And for that purpose, it doesn't matter whether Ken Roth's father was Simon Wiesenthal, Elie Wiesel, Jesus Christ or David Duke (none of whom I am comparing to each other - Peratis attempts to answer accusations that the organization is biased by pointing to Roth's father having fled Nazi Germany).
Take Human Rights Watch's acceptance of everything Hezbullah claimed about Qana. Take its distortions regarding the explosion on the Gaza Beach in June that the 'Palestinians' caused themselves. And those are only two of the most recent examples.
Human Rights Watch has forfeited the right to have any of its accusations regarding Israel taken seriously. There is no reason that Israeli government resources - or even those of pro-Israel organizations - should be wasted on attempting to answer its trumped up charges.
When a prank caller - or a 'telemarketer' - calls your house, you don't waste time on them. You hang up the phone. Human Rights Watch is nothing but a prank caller or a 'telemarketer' when it comes to Israel. It doesn't deserve any better treatment.
Baron Bodissey does a great job of debunking Lebanon's alleged claim to Shebaa Farms, which is currently Hezbullah's ostensible raison d'etre. It would be worth your while to read the whole thing.
And you thought the Norwegians and the Swedes were the Scandanavian moonbatsUntil today, I thought that the Danes were the 'normal' Scandanavians, and that it was the Norwegians and the Swedes who were moonbats. Now, I think the Danes have caught the disease.
A left-wing lawmaker wanted Israel's foreign minister detained during her visit in Denmark Monday, saying that as an Israeli Cabinet member, she is partly responsible for alleged war crimes in Lebanon.Fear not, my friends. Aean is an equal opportunity terrorist pursuer:
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni arrived in Denmark Monday and met Tuesday with Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller.
Frank Aaen of the small, left-wing opposition Red-Green Alliance said Livni should be detained upon arrival. He said he had reported Livni to Danish police.
"I believe the minister should be detained while it is being investigated whether she can be charged for war crimes," he said in a statement.
Aaen cited an Amnesty International report last week that accused Israel of war crimes, saying Israel broke international law by deliberately targeting Lebanon's civilian infrastructure during its 34-day war with Hezbollah guerrillas.
The Danish government did not comment on Aaen's statement and police were unlikely to detain the Israeli official.
Aaen said he would also demand that Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah be detained if he were to travel to Denmark.Someone please call the Fjordman....
"Hezbollah's war crimes can not be measured with those of Israel, but all war criminals must be prosecuted," he said.
To understand what went wrong in the war, look at Wadi SalukiFor those of you who want to understand what went wrong in the recent war in a microcosm, you may want to look at the battle of Wadi Saluki:
By early morning on August 13, 24 hours before the cease-fire was scheduled to go into effect, the soldiers succeeded in crossing the wadi and climbing the hill, at a heavy price. Twelve soldiers were killed - eight tankists and four infantrymen. Some 80 Hizbullah gunmen were killed.Read the whole thing.
Then orders came to halt the advance, leaving Kidor and his men wondering why they had been sent in the first place. Why were they ordered to cross the Saluki when it was clear that the cease-fire would be approved? What did these 12 soldiers die for?
The Battle of the Saluki was a microcosm of all the mistakes that were made during the war in Lebanon. Soldiers waited for a week, like sitting ducks, for orders that were twice received and twice canceled, reflecting a total lack of clarity and confidence within the General Staff, and perhaps the political echelon.
When the orders finally came, they made no sense; why push to the Litani hours before the UN was set to approve a cease-fire? What was the point of the brief, bloody operation, the soldiers asked, especially given the fact that two days after crossing the Saluki, they crossed it again - this time heading home?
Sinai Peninsula has become terror hubRemember the story I ran yesterday from the JPost about how Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin had told the Knesset that the Gaza Strip had become a terror hub full of weapons? Well, the Post apparently corrected the story on which my story was based. Although Diskin has said many times before that the Gaza Strip is a weapons Paradise, he wasn't talking about Gaza this time. He was talking about the Sinai. Yes, the Sinai. The area that Israel gave between 1979 and 1982, to the country that is now the third largest recipient of US foreign aid. Menachem Begin must be rolling over in his grave. Does anyone think the US or Israel will take this up with Egypt and its
The Sinai Peninsula has become a "Garden of Eden" for terrorists smuggling arms into the Gaza Strip, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin warned on Tuesday during his half-yearly review to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.The real question is, with all the terror warnings in Egypt and the Egyptians' hostility to Israel, why do thousands of Israelis insist on continuing to pump up the Egyptian economy with tourism. I have no answers to that question, but if anyone else feels like taking a shot, feel free to do so.
In a related move, the Counter-terror department in the Prime Minister's Office reissued a stern advisory against Israelis travelling to Sinai, and urged all those there to return home.
Thousands of Israelis are currently said to be at beach resorts in Sinai for their summer vacation, ahead of the new school year next week.
Annan worried about Israeli treatment of 'Palestinians'UN Secretary General
"More than 200 Palestinians have been killed since the end of June. That has to stop immediately," said Annan.Annan the terror facilitator is going to meet with Haniyeh the terrorist leader. How perfect. He's within his own element.
"The closure on Gaza has to be lifted and passages need to be reopened, not only for commercial activity but also to enable Palestinians to leave," continued the UN secretary-general following his meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. [To where does he think they will leave? We would be happy if Egypt will take them. Maybe Annan should go meet with Mubarak and ask him for 'humanitarian assistance.' CiJ]
Annan called for the establishment of a Palestinian state which he called "the only solution to the problems on the region and added that although much attention has been turned to the recent war in Lebanon "the suffering of the Palestinian people should not be forgotten." [Yes, of course. Establishing a 'Palestinian'
statereichlet will solve all their problems. Then they will let Israel live in 'peace.' Just like they have done in Gaza. CiJ]
He urged the Palestinian Authority to establish a unity government, "If the Palestinians can unify around a realistic joint plan and can bring the security situation under control, it will be a positive development and the UN will do all within its power to support it," adding that he was scheduled to meet going PA Prime Minister Ismail Hamiyeh later in the Gaza Strip.
New kidnapping threat for IDF troopsAl-AP reports that a previously unknown Syrian terror group has threatened to kidnap IDF troops for purposes of exchanging them for sixteen Syrians some of whom have allegedly have been held in Israel for 22 years.
In a statement faxed to foreign news agencies in Damascus, a group calling itself the Men of the National Syrian Resistance threatened to "take the necessary measures" to secure the release of 16 Syrians jailed in Israel.Olmert's weakness continues to give rise to new threats to Israelis' security.
It listed the names of four men it said have been detained in Israel for 22 years. The group said the men had been charged with "resisting Israeli occupation in the Golan."
"The continuing detention of our comrades makes us exert all-out efforts to secure their release," the statement said. The group called theirs a "humanitarian and just demand."
Referring to Hizbullah guerrillas, whose July 12 capture of two IDF soldiers sparked a 34-day war with Israel, the statement said: "The Lebanese model, the model of Hizbullah, is not so far from us concerning implementation and preparations to release our detainees."
'Palestinians' in Gaza try it again: Israel foils tunnel attackThe 'Palestinians' in Gaza haven't had enough pounding from Israeli troops since they kidnapped IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit and killed two other soldiers on June 25. Today, the IDF disclosed that the 'Palestinians' tried to dig yet another tunnel into Israel. This time, the IDF stopped it.
The IDF and the Shin Bet thwarted a terrorist attack that Palestinians had planned to carry out via a terror tunnel, it was revealed on Wednesday.Imagine if they spent all the resources that they spend trying to dig tunnels and attack Israel trying to improve their people's lives instead. And these 'people' want a
IDF troops discovered an underground tunnel earlier this week that had been dug by terror operatives on the outskirts of the Shajaiyeh neighborhood in Gaza City.
The opening of the 13-meter-deep, 150-meter-long tunnel was found inside a building at least one kilometer away from the Gaza security fence. It was believed that the target of the attack was the nearby Karni Crossing.
It was as yet unclear whether the tunnel - similar to the one used by Palestinians in June's attack on the IDF outpost at Kerem Shalom in which Cpl. Gilad Shalit was abducted - was intended as a means of infiltrating Israeli territory, or whether it was meant to be rigged with explosives.
Siniora won't talk to Israel; Annan cannot confirm troops aliveLebanese President Fuad Siniora continues to allow his strings to be pulled by Hezbullah, as he rejected an overture for talks from lame-duck Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert:
"Let it be clear, we are not seeking any agreement until there is just and comprehensive peace based on the Arab initiative," he said.Lebanon is Hezbullah and Hezbullah is Lebanon.
Saniora was responding to comments made earlier by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in which he expressed hope that the UN cease-fire deal would be the "cornerstone of the start of new relations with Lebanon."
"We hope conditions would rapidly change to enable direct contacts with the government of Lebanon," Olmert said during a press conference with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan after the two met in the prime minister's Jerusalem office.
In the meantime, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (whose name means - as someone pointed out to me this week - "I am a monkey" in Aramaic), cannot even confirm that Israel's captured soldiers are alive, leaving us to depend on Jesse Jackson, whose history with the Jews leaves a lot to be desired.
Annan told reporters that he was under the impression that kidnapped IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were alive, but stopped short of confirming it. He was referring to a statement by US civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, who met Syrian and Hamas leaders in Damascus and said that the soldiers were "alive and well."I don't find Annan's 'impressions' very reassuring. If Hezbullah were really 'serious' about solving the problem, it could be solved already.
According to Annan, during his meeting with Lebanese leaders in Beirut, he demanded an immediate and unconditional release of the kidnapped troops held by Hizbullah. The UN chief commented that he was of the impression that they were serious about solving the problem.
Annan also continues to try to shirk what the US intended from resolution 1701:
After meeting the prime minister, Annan also said that there could be some flexibility in the issue of supervising Lebanon's entry points to prevent the transfer of arms to Hizbullah, primarily from Syria. The deployment of international troops at those points is not the only solution, he said.Even Olmert
Annan called on Israel to lift its blockade of Lebanon, saying it was necessary to help Lebanon's economy recover from the war. He said that the Lebanese authorities had assured him they were taking measures to stop the flow of weapons into the country, and that he believed Israel's security concerns could be addressed.
Olmert rejected the plea, saying only that he expected a full implementation of the cease-fire.And Annan's next stop is Iran....
Israel has said it would not lift its blockade unless international forces, along with Lebanese troops, were deployed on the Lebanon-Syria border to prevent the transfer of weapons from Syria to Hizbullah guerrillas. Lebanon has said it would deploy its own forces there, but not international troops, and Annan has backed that approach.
Asked by a reporter why he was going to Iran, a country whose leader has called for the destruction of Israel, Annan replied, "As the secretary-general of the UN, it is my responsibility to speak with anybody who can help us improve the situation. If I can't have a discussion with Ahmandinejad, how else could I relay the message that what he is saying is wrong."How about from a fighter bomber?
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Italy: Hezbullah, Hamas not al-QaedaAnd these are the idiots we are entrusting to keep the peace in Lebanon.
Italian foreign minister Massimo D'Alema said in an interview with Corriere della Sera published Tuesday that Hezbullah and Hamas are not terror organizations like al-Qaeda.
"Besides their well-known responsibilities for terrorist actions, they have a political side, they are engaged in assistance."
"IRA and ETA have become political movements from (being) terror groups," D'Alema said, referring to groups that have carried out terrorist attacks in Northern Ireland and in Spain. "We must encourage this metamorphosis in the Middle East," D'Alema said.
"Instead, organizations that are purely dedicated to terror must be fought and defeated," he told Corriere, the country's leading newspaper.
Both Hizbullah and Hamas are on a US list of terror organizations. The European Union considers Hamas a terrorist organization but does not list Hizbullah.
Olmert in dispute with state comptrollerState comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said today that an 'order' from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that Lindenstrauss investigate the (un)readiness for war on the home front was 'illegal' and would compromise the comptroller's independence. Olmert is 'astounded.'
The Prime Minister's Office said Tuesday that it was "astounded" to hear of complaints by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss over a plan for him to investigate the wartime readiness of Israel's home front.This all may not be an issue. It sounds like Olmert's whitewash plan may not even make it through his own cabinet. People are starting to be more concerned with their own political futures than with saving Olmert's job.
The PMO added that the law explicitly states that the State Comptroller is bound to write an opinion when requested to do so by the cabinet.
Lindenstrauss earlier Tuesday reprimanded Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for having announced that the government would ask him to carry out the investigation, saying that the proposal was against the law and would compromise the independence of the Comptroller's office.
The exchange also followed a flap in which senior officials in the Labor Party, the key partner in Ehud Olmert's coalition government, openly expressed opposition to Olmert's announced intention to appoint a number of investigative committees rather than a full state inquiry into the conduct of the war.
Olmert decided that the issue of the preparedness of the home front would not be included within the brief of the governmental panel of inquiry, and asked that the investigation be handled by the comptroller.
Lindenstrauss issued a statement Tuesday saying that under the law, only the comptroller and his office were authorized to decide on the investigations they undertake. It was important that the cabinet be scrupulous regarding the independence of the comptroller's office, the statement said.
The Prime Minister's Office responded that it was "astounded to hear from the media of the comptroller's complaints."
The PMO cited a clause of the Comptroller's Law stating that "the Comptroller is obligated to the prepare a ruling on every issue within his purview, whether asked to do so by the Knesset or by the cabinet."
Diskin: Weapons smuggling into Gaza has skyrocketedWe've heard these kinds of warnings from the Gaza Strip before and we heard them for six years from Lebanon and no one did anything about them. Will the government act? I doubt it. If this government were to act, it would be admitting that the unilateral surrender of the Gaza Strip and expulsion of its Jews last summer was a mistake. The question is, how quickly Olmert can be replaced and a more effective Prime Minister installed in his stead.
Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin reiterated on Tuesday at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Palestinian terrorist organizations were studying the Lebanese-Israeli war to learn how to play on Israel's weaker points.Keep in mind that it was the anti-tank missiles that inflicted most of the casualties in Lebanon. Why doesn't anyone raise this issue with Egypt, the number three recipient of US foreign aid?
Diskin said the West Bank has become increasingly violent, especially in the area of Samaria. Following last summer's withdrawal from the four communities in northern Samaria, the intelligence community has found it difficult to control the area and gather information.
"Samaria has become the land of Islamic Jihad following the disengagement," he said.
Weapons smuggling through the Rafah crossing has gone up exponentially since the pullout, Diskin warned, adding that "Rafah will soon be the garden of Eden of weapons smuggling."
He estimated that approximately 15,000 guns, 4 million bullets, 2,300 pistols, 38 rockets, dozens of anti-tank missiles, 15 tons of TNT, 400 RPGs, and 10-15 Katyushas like those used in Lebanon had been smuggled into Gaza from Egypt so far - and, he said, those are just the ones we know about.
After three to five years of this kind of weapons transfer, he warned, Israel will face a situation similar to south Lebanon.
"At this point, anybody who wants to smuggle something through the Philadelphi route can apparently do so," Diskin said. "You can smuggle anything through Philadelphi except maybe a tank or plane."
MK Natan Sharansky (Likud) responded to Diskin's report, saying, "For ten years, we've been hearing these types of reports, but there has never been such an immediate need for action. Every kind of weapon is getting into the Gaza Strip, and Hamas is establishing a terrorist army. It is no longer possible to say they didn't warn us."
The first scene of Ehud Olmert's last actThe curtains are beginning to come down around Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Today, Olmert agreed to appoint an
Olmert is fooling no one.
Olmert, who spoke to northern community leaders in Haifa, said the investigating team, which would be charged with examining the political echelon, would be headed by former head of the Mossad Nahum Admoni.
He will be joined by former Navy commander, Maj.-Gen. (res) Yedidyah Ya'ari, Law Professor Ruth Gavison and Political Science Professor Yehezkel Dror. The name of the fifth member of the inquiry has yet to be released although he was described as
a senior defense official.
The prime minister dismissed calls to form a state inquiry commission [which would have real powers. CiJ], arguing it "would not prepare for the future, which is to deal with the Iranian threat."
According to Olmert, "A state inquiry commission headed by a judge would paralyze the entire system. Everyone would then get a lawyer and concentrate on how to pin the blame on someone else." [As if this is not what is happening now. CiJ]This, he argued, would not fix what needs to be fixed. "We do not have the luxury to sink into investigations of the past, we need to focus on the future and the Iranian threat," he stressed.
Olmert said that aside from the track headed by Admoni, another sub-committee would probe the handling of the military, while the state comptroller would be charged with examining the home front.
It is still unclear whether the military track would be headed by former IDF chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. (res) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who was appointed by Defense Minister Amir Peretz earlier this month to probe the army.
Lior Dimanez, one of the leaders of the reservists' protest movement, said the new investigation was not sufficient. "It's unthinkable that those to be questioned will appoint the interrogators," he told Israel TV. "It's simply a continuation of the spin, the spin that started with the war and is continuing now."Here's a sampling of Tuesday's opinion columns:
According to Channel 10, Prof. Amnon Rubinstein refused an offer by Olmert to head the commission because, the report stated, it signals the prime minister's unwillingness to provide the commission with extensive powers since it is not headed by a judge.
A governmental inquiry commission is headed by a senior public figure and its members are appointed by the prime minister, who also defines its powers.
The prime minister refused to establish a state (judicial) inquiry commission, which is considered the only commission that has "teeth," since it has the authority to subpoena witnesses and order the disclosure of documents.
Dan Izenberg, Jerusalem Post:
The Movement for Quality Government and the head of the army reservists protest movement have already declared they will continue their campaign for an independent state committee of inquiry headed by a judge. Meanwhile, University of Haifa law professor Emmanuel Gross described Olmert's proposal as a "cover-up committee." There will be many critics, and not only from the political opposition, that will agree.Ze'ev Segal, HaAretz
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has pulled out of his hat committees without any real foundation, lacking in public trust, just like hot balloons. Even were these to do their job properly, they would not win the confidence of the public, no matter what their findings might be.YNet
The Olmert lab instead created all kinds of "home-made" committees of an internal nature, with members who come even from outside the system. Even if such committees were granted some type of investigative powers, the government's control of the appointment of their members and of the publication of their reports makes the probe a national farce.
Olmert did not gain anything from setting up the committees. He did not even buy himself time-out. The High Court of Justice is due to rule on the establishment of a state commission of inquiry. In the past, such petitions have been rejected but it was made clear that court intervention might be possible "in unusual and extraordinary" cases. The second Lebanon war appears to be such a case.
The Movement for Quality Government in Israel (MQG), whose members began a hunger strike to demand a state commission of inquiry, called Olmert’s suggested committees “a joke” and announced that their protests would continue until a state commission is established.
Meretz party chairman Yossi Beilin censured Olmert’s decision saying that it was handled “in the same stammering manner in which he handled the war.” Beilin called on the heads of the two committees to refuse to accept the position they were given because they wouldn’t be able to do their job.
“Anyone called to testify before the committee should not do so because he risks being framed. In a state commission of inquiry, such a scenario does not exist,” he added.
MK Ami Ayalon (Labor) declared similar opinions and called on government ministers to reject Olmert’s proposed investigative committees. “The Israeli public is developing a feeling of alienation and losing faith in the system. Restoring the public’s faith is no less important than examining failures – and anything less than a state commission of inquiry will not achieve this,” he stated.
Fellow Labor member Dani Yatom explained the importance of a state commission: “The only obligatory committee is a state commission of inquiry, which is the only one that can see the big picture, examine the reciprocal relationship between the political and military echelons and evaluate this important aspect,” he said.
Voices on the right side of the political spectrum expressed similar disapprobation for Olmert’s choice of investigative committee. MK Effie Eitam (National Union-NRP), like Yatom, censured the commissions’ separation of the military and political echelons.
“Tonight the government created one commission to allow foot-dragging and escaping of responsibility for the politicians and a second committee to lay all of the blame on the military. The purpose of having two separate commissions is to stab the IDF in the back, an ugly attempt by the government to escape its responsibility for the failures of this war, which manifests itself by its self-righteousness and hypocrisy towards the military,” he elaborated.
Fellow party member Zevulun Orlev echoed these sentiments, saying “the government did not allow the military to win and now they are covering their asses. The government abandoned the home front as well as its obligations to fulfill the war’s objectives, foremost among them the return of the kidnapped soldiers and the disarmament of Hizbullah.”
“The government’s attempts to plaster over its enormous failures by avoiding a state commission of inquiry hurts the already unstable faith of the Israeli civilians and reservists in the nation’s leadership,” he added.
Among the waves of criticism, one voice of support for Olmert was heard. MK Ruhama Avraham (Kadima) said that “the prime minister made a brave and correct decision. Such an investigation will spare Israel a process at the expense of state security…The decision allows Israel to prepare for confrontations in the future.”
Monday, August 28, 2006
What to do with your children on the upcoming Succot holiday: A Katyusha tourLooking for something to do with your kids during the upcoming Succot holiday? How about a Katyusha tour! No, I'm not kidding:
The tours, offered through the Kibbutz Gonen Holiday Village, have provided an opportunity for Israelis outside the Katyusha strike zone to see firsthand some of the key sites of the summer's war.
Beginning at Moshav Avivim, the scene of bloody fights between IDF special forces and crack Hizbullah squads, the tour winds through the hills of the Upper Galilee, stopping to view UNIFIL posts, overlook key Lebanese villages such as Maoun a-Ras, and view the damage caused by Katyusha rockets to both forests and houses.
At Kibbutz Kfar Giladi, tours visit the improvised memorial at the place where 15 reservists were killed when a rocket hit the parking lot in which they were standing.
"By the third day of the war, we were already trying to design a plan for the 'day after'" said Ori Alon, the marketing director for the holiday village. "I asked around at the tour agencies that we work with and received the answer that people wanted to see the damage from the war. I was shocked, and decided to ignore the requests at first, but then more requests kept coming."
Since the end of the war, tourists have paid NIS 100 per vehicle to participate in the tours, and while Alon is certain that the excitement will drop off, more tourists keep coming.
Alon said the desire to see the sites connected with the war is natural. "It is one thing to see things on television, or on radio, and another thing to see it," he said.
The tour hit its emotional climax at Kibbutz Kfar Giladi, where tour participants joined with cars full of other tourists who had come to visit a makeshift memorial where the reservists were killed.
They bent over and touched the burned, twisted pieces of the deadly Katyusha, tangled together with blackened branches and chunks of the vehicles that were near the point of impact. A mother and daughter stood silent, arms linked across each others' backs, looking at small placards with the faces of the people placed at the spots where there bodies were recovered. After long minutes of contemplation, group members walked back down the hill, and got back into their cars to drive to a nearby Italian restaurant for lunch.
"Kfar Giladi is a place where you see before your own eyes something that could happen to anyone. I didn't believe the force that the Katyushas have. I saw what was left of the trees, the cars, and realized that it didn't matter where you stood, you had no chance," said Oded, a tour participant from Kibbutz Tzuba, near Jerusalem. "It makes you sad, it makes you angry."
Alon said this emotional reaction to the visit was part of the goal in beginning the tours. "It wasn't so much to earn money as to give answers to people who wanted to know about what happened," he said.
After lunch, the tour concluded with a visit to nearby Kiryat Shmona, where the members saw two heavily-damaged houses as well as the damage to one of the city's two shopping malls. Then they got back into their cars, with some spending the night at Gonen and others beginning the drive back southward, back to the center and far away from the Katyusha-scarred buildings and hills.
Have to ask my kids if they want to go....
The Lebanese army and HezbullahI have noted before on several occasions that Lebanon's army is largely Shiite. Many Israelis feared that the Lebanese army would be unhelpful because of its ethnic makeup, but hoped otherwise. I am afraid that hope is false.
In a lengthy article about why the Lebanese government never challenged Hezbullah's dominance of the south in the six years since Israel withdrew from Lebanon, I found the following paragraphs towards the end. We knew that the Lebanese army did not intend to confiscate arms from Hezbullah; this goes much further:
Further, one of Hizbullah's websites has recently published an internal Lebanese army statement, circulated among forces in the past week, which calls for troops to "stand alongside your resistance and your people who astonished the world with its steadfastness and destroyed the prestige of the so-called invincible army after it was defeated."
The issue has also been discussed widely in the studio of Hizbullah's TV channel, Al-Manar. Its journalists repeatedly say that there is an understanding between the "resistance fighters" and the army over searching houses and fields for arms and confiscating them.
IDF uncovers massive Hezbullah bunker just north of Rosh HaNikraThe IDF has uncovered a massive Hezbullah bunker, some 400 meters north of the security fence at Rosh HaNikra, on the Mediterranean, just a "stone's throw" from a UNIFIL outpost. Did UNIFIL know about it? No one is even asking the question.
The bunker is two kilometers long and forty meters wide. The IDF spent all of Saturday night blowing it up. Here are some more details:
According to Lt.-Col. Jassem Elian, a senior officer in the Golani Brigade, "Hizbullah dug a 40-meter by two-kilometer pit, in which they built dozens of outposts."HaAretz adds:
Elian added that the bunker had "shooting positions of poured concrete," and that the combat posts inside were equipped with phone lines, showers, toilets, air ducts, and emergency exits, as well as logistical paraphernalia for Hizbullah.
A Golani officer told the Jerusalem Post that among the force's findings was a Katyusha rocket launcher, most likely used in rocket attacks against northern Israel during the war.
He also mentioned that Golani forces had initiated the move to uncover the bunker after the same battalion, in an earlier operation, had discovered maps specifying certain areas where Hizbullah had planned such tunnels in south Lebanon.
The IDF blasts caused concern among nearby residents, who thought the loud explosions were rocket fire.
According to Elian, the network was not visible from the air, nor from ground-level observation posts.
"You can't see it until you're 10-15 meters from the site," he said. He estimated that the position was abandoned hastily when fighting began.
PA gov't spokesman: 'Palestinian' People are to blame for situationAt least one 'Palestinian' has had a mild epiphany. If I could do pictures here, this would be a flying pigs moment:
Dr Ghazi Hamad, the spokesperson of the Palestinian government, waged scathing criticism against the Palestinian public on Sunday, blaming the Palestinians for turning the Gaza Strip into a lawless and violent place.Read the whole thing.
"Have mercy on Gaza," he wrote in an op-ed published on Sunday.
"After the withdrawal from Gaza, we hoped for a bright future, we thought that this year we will reap the fruits of our sacrifices. But I ask myself today – why did the occupation return to Gaza. The occupation – wise men and commentators will say – is responsible. I am not defending the occupation, but I want to stop at our mistakes, which we are accustomed to blame on others."
"Anarchy, wanton killing, land steeling, thuggery … is the occupation responsible for all?," he asked, saying that the Palestinians should stop espousing conspiracy theories which "limit our thinking."
Hamad appeals to leaders of Palestinian factions saying that resistance against Israel is worthless when "the land is full with anarchy, corruption, thuggery, and gang killings. Isn't building the homeland part of the resistance?"
He also criticized the phenomenon of kidnapping foreigners in Gaza. Two Fox News journalists kidnapped almost two weeks ago by Palestinian gunmen were released on Sunday.
Hamad said the phenomenon has become a "profitable business," charging that kidnappers of innocent foreigners apathetic to the harm their deeds cause to the Palestinian cause.
"Let's admit to our mistakes, let's do some logical soul searching and place the interest of our people before us and say honestly – We were right here and we erred there. Only then will we see that the faces of Gaza and the homeland changes," he concluded.
al-Qaeda and Hezbullah compete for the right to kill JewsYNet is reporting that a speech allegedly made by Sheikh Abu Abdul Rahman has surfaced on a jihadi pro al-Qaeda website in which Rahman is cited as condemning the "infidel Hizbullah" and "the most corrupted regimes of Syria and Iran."
The speech was posted on the Islamist Muntada internet forum, frequently used by British Muslim al-Qaeda sympathizers, and was described as being a "summary of an address by Sheikh Abu Abdul Rahman speaking from Lebanon."Read the whole thing.
It is unclear whether the speaker identified as Rahman on the forum is a reference to al-Qaeda's second in command in Iraq, Abu Abdul Rahman al-Iraqi, and whether the senior al-Qaeda figure actually delivered the message from Lebanon.
The statement does, however, represent the seething resentment of Sunni al-Qaeda, directed at what it sees as an attempted Shiite takeover of the jihad campaign in the Middle East.
In the speech, Rahman espoused anti-Semitic conspiracy theories inspired by the Russian forgery, the protocols of the elders of Zion: "We know very well from our history that the Jews target to occupy Lebanon, Syria and even the north of the Arabian peninsula even up to Iraq to the river of Furaat (Euphrates)."
However, he then turns his wrath to Hizbullah, Iran, and Syria, calling them "infidel entities," and arguing that they are preventing Sunni jihadis from attacking Israel.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
In any normal country Olmert and Peretz and Livni would have resigned a long time ago. But the Israeli culture has no concept of accepting responsibility. None whatsoever. The various fact finding commissions generally are CYA commissons and whatever is appointed over here for Olmert's folly will be as well.Read it all.
Sharon turned to the left due to the allegations of corruption and bribery that they were going to arrest him on. In truth it isnt any different than any other politician over here BUT the differing factor was that Sharon was hated by the left and media. So he cut the deal to turn to the left to save himself and his sons. Omri Sharon is serving or scheduled to serve a puff sentence.
One man one vote does not exist over here.
And essentially that is the problem. The people were behind the war rightly or wrongly they were behind it. The government chose not to prosecute the war since it really didn't fit with the government agenda. TO prosecute the war properly would be to admit that Oslo and Barak's withdrawal and Olmert/Sharon's withdrawal were all wrong and this they cannot do.
Georgetown: Islam okay, Protestantism notGeorgetown University, which just seven months ago hosted the Fifth Annual Student Palestine Solidarity Conference, and which eight months ago accepted a $20 million donation from Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud to expand its Islamic studies department, has now ejected Protestant groups that have been ministering to Georgetown students for 'years,' according to an article in today's Washington Post. At least they're consistent. The next thing will be to impose a quota on Jewish students....
Georgetown's Protestant chaplaincy, part of the office of Campus Ministry, told the six outside Protestant groups Aug. 17 that they would no longer be allowed to reserve rooms for weekly meetings, use Georgetown's name or organize on campus without an invitation from a student. Between 100 and 300 students are active in the groups, which include Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, national organizations.I guess the Protestant chaplaincy knows its (dhimmi) place a bit better than the 'outside' groups.
Georgetown spokesman Erik Smulson said yesterday that the Protestant chaplaincy had recently been reorganized -- including making one of its three part-time chaplains full time -- and wants more control over its on-campus ministries.
Protestant students make up about a fifth of the student body at Georgetown, and there had been "communication and coordination problems" with some members of the private ministries, Smulson said. "It was hard for Campus Ministry to keep track of them," he said.
Although other campus faith communities have affiliations with private groups, such as the Catholic group Knights of Columbus or the Jewish group Hillel, Smulson said each of them is overseen by a Georgetown faculty member.
But leaders and student members of the Protestant groups were angry yesterday and met at a Capitol Hill home to trade complaints.
They said various private Protestant ministry groups have been welcomed on campus on and off for decades, and only in the past couple of years -- with new leadership in the Protestant chaplaincy -- has their goodwill been called into question.
Lantos: Withhold aid to Lebanon until troops secure borderAl-AP is reporting that US Congressman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) has pledged to block any aid package to Lebanon until Lebanon agrees to the deployment of international troops on the Lebanese - Syrian border. Syria regards the deployment of international troops on its border with Lebanon as a 'hostile act,' and Lebanon has said that it does not want troops deployed there. The troops would act to prevent the transfer of arms from Syria and Iran to Hezbullah.
U.S. Representative Tom Lantos said Sunday that he would ask the U.S. administration to freeze the U.S. $230 million aid package to Lebanon proposed by President George W. Bush until the Lebanese government takes control of its borders with Syria and prevent arms smuggling to Hezbollah guerrillas.
Lantos, the top Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, spoke after meeting with senior officials, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Lantos, from California, said he told Olmert that the U.S. aid package to Lebanon was important, "but that this package should be withheld until the Lebanese government displays responsibility," he said. "A porous Syrian-Lebanon border will only invite the repetition of Hezbollah attacks in the future. Hezbollah must not be allowed to rearm again."
... the cease-fire resolution only called on the Lebanese government to secure the border with Syria, saying the UN force could help, but only if asked by Lebanon. Defense Minister Amir Peretz told the Cabinet on Sunday that Israel expects the international community to control Lebanon's border crossings.
Lantos said he aimed to put a temporary hold on the aid package until the Syrian border was secured.
"My purpose is not to withhold aid from Lebanon, but to persuade the government of Lebanon that the closing of the Lebanon-Syria border to arm smuggling from Iran and Syria is in the prime national interest of the Lebanese," Lantos said. "My hold is a friendly hold. It is to persuade the Lebanese government that it is the time to do what it should have done five years ago."
Lantos also said he planned to propose legislation to get American aid for Israel as well.
Iran test fires sub-to-surface missileBased on a report from Iranian television, YNet and al-AP are reporting that Iran test fired a 'top speed' sub-to-surface missile today during a military exercise in the Persian Gulf.
“The army successfully test-fired a top speed long-range sub-to-surface missile off the Persian Gulf,” The Army’s Navy commander, Gen. Sajjad Kouchaki, said on television. A brief video clip showed the missile, fired from a submarine, exiting the water and hitting a target on the surface of the water within a kilometer.And if you believe they have 'peaceful' intentions, I have a bridge to sell you....
Kouchaki said the missile, called Thaqeb or Jupitar, was built based on domestic know-how, although outside experts say much of the country’s missile technology originated from other countries such as Russia and China. “The guided missile can be fired from all vessels,” he said.
Nazm Jalali, a spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the Iranian Parliament said that Iran does not intend to attack Israel.
"Iran is not looking to harm innocent people, not even in Tel Aviv. There is no place in the Iranian combat doctrine for the use of nuclear arms. The only thing that stands in the center of its strategy is the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes," said Jalali in an interview with reporters.
When Muslims kill MuslimsIn the Toronto Sun, Salim Mansour points out Muslim hypocrisy:
Hat Tip: Dave in Pa.
There has been no organized protest within the Arab-Muslim world or in the West against the daily toll of Iraqi deaths due to this hate-driven insurgency.Read it all.
Nor is Iraq the only place where Muslim violence against Muslims rages unabated. There is Darfur in Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Algeria until recently, and hotspots in Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Palestine, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
How, then, might we explain why Muslim deaths seem only to matter to Arabs and Muslims -- and to apologists of Arab-Muslim politics in the West -- when they occur as a result of conflicts with the U.S. or Israel?
In witnessing worldwide protests over Lebanese deaths resulting from the recent Hezbollah-Israeli fighting, we might conclude it is politically acceptable when Muslims murder untold numbers of Muslims, but entirely unacceptable when they are collateral casualties of Israeli bombings.
This is the Orwellian reality of much of the Arab-Muslim world today, where Muslim and non-Muslim lives are too often seen as readily and contemptuously disposable -- except when they become handy tools of propaganda against Jews, Hindus and Americans.
Fox reporters released from captivityAfter a video was released this morning indicating that they were well and claiming that they had 'voluntarily' converted to Islam, two Fox news reporters were released this morning by their Hamas/Fatah kidnappers. Yes, Hamas/Fatah. Forget about 'unknown organizations':
The two Fox News journalists kidnapped in the Gaza Strip on Aug. 14 were released Sunday afternoon.Give them a
Earlier Sunday morning, Palestinian Authority Interior Ministry spokesman Khaled Abu Hilal, said the two hostages, cameraman Olaf Wiig of New Zealand and correspondent Steve Centanni of the US, would be released "within hours" unharmed.
Also Sunday monring a video was released by the kidnappers showing the two prisoners in good health. During the recording, the journalists claim that they have converted to Islam, a decision that they say was made without any coercion. Sitting on the floor in a traditional Islamic robe, they also condemn Israel for their military operations in the Gaza Strip.
It is the second such video to be released since the ordeal began.
On Saturday, PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said he had personally received assurances from the kidnappers that the two reporters would be released unharmed and unconditionally.
PA Interior Minister Said Siam, who is in charge of part of the PA security forces, announced on Saturday that significant progress had been achieved in efforts to secure the release of the men.
"There are encouraging indications that the two will be released soon," he said, refusing to elaborate.
Ghazi Hamad, a spokesman for the Hamas-controlled PA government, also said on Saturday that he was "very encouraged" that the two would be released soon. "I believe they will be released soon because of a breakthrough in the negotiations with the kidnappers," he said.
A previously unknown group calling itself the Holy Jihad Brigades claimed responsibility last week for the abduction and issued a three-day ultimatum to the US to release all Muslim prisoners held in America.
However, Hamas officials told The Jerusalem Post that the kidnappers belonged to one of the armed wings of PA President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party. [Is this true, or did they really belong to Hamas, which just wanted to embarass 'moderate' Palestinian President
Mahmoud AbbasAbu Mazen? CiJ]
Update 8:17 AM (US Eastern time)
The two Fox reporters have now been released and there are more details on their kidnapping from an interview with them. Note the political correctness regarding the 'religion of
The two Fox News journalists kidnapped in the Gaza Strip on Aug. 14 were released Sunday afternoon. They were dropped off at Gaza City's Beach Hotel, dressed in Western-style clothing, and quickly walked through the lobby and rushed upstairs.
Immediately after entering the hotel, a tearful Centanni briefly embraced a Palestinian journalist. Wiig briefly turned and appeared to yell at Palestinian security guards before heading upstairs.
In an interview with Fox News shortly after being released, Centanni discussed the kidnapping and the two weeks that followed.
"We were driving down a narrow side-street in Gaza City, dropping off our security guide, when a car stopped in front of us. Then, before we realized it, the [kidnappers] swarmed our car, yanked us out, stuffed us in a car, and put a black hood on our head," he said.
"I remember thinking, oh god, I'm toast. They could shoot me in head and nobody would hear it," he continued. "But in my good nature I thought that I'm no good to them dead."
Under the fear of death, Centanni was forced to comply with the demands of his captors. "There was a lot of writing," he said, telling of being forced to give written statements of his work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kashmir.
He was also forced to convert to Islam.
"Don't get me wrong, I have the highest respect for Islam. We learned a lot of great things about it," he explained, "but it was something we felt we had to do, because they had the gun."
"There were times that I thought 'I'm dead,' and now…I'm not.
Let the reservists eat cake!The Olmert government met today, and with the echo of protesters against Olmert's conduct of the recent war outside the window, King Ehud II decided to postpone any decision on a national commission of inquiry, refusing to even discuss the matter.
The prime minister has so far not decided which type of committee would be formed - a state commission of inquiry or a government commission -and has opted to discuss the matter further with advisors.Some of you may recall that not too long ago I had a discussion of "the C word." If Olmert keeps going like this, I wouldn't rule that out.
According to Israel Radio, Olmert has also postponed his appearance at the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, scheduled for this Monday, to the following week.
Some political analysts argue that both are an attempt by Olmert to "buy time", hoping that public pressure to form a state inquiry commission would die down. [This is all the more reason for the pressure to continue and intensify. CiJ]
Dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the Prime Minister's office Sunday morning, demanding that the government authorize a state committee.
Earlier, senior sources in the Prime Minister's Office had said that if a decision were made, it would be brought to the cabinet on Sunday. The three options under discussion were a state commission of inquiry, a government commission, or a parliamentary one.
Olmert told the cabinet last Sunday that he was discussing the matter with Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz and would inform the cabinet of his decision within a matter of days.
A state committee of inquiry, which has been set up in the past following the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the massacres in Sabra and Shatila in 1982, and the October 2000 riots in the Galilee, has the widest statutory powers and is headed by a Supreme Court Justice.
El Salvador moving embassy to Tel AvivEl Salvador announced on Friday that it would be following Costa Rica and moving its Israeli embassy out of the capital city of Jerusalem, to Tel Aviv. El Salvador was the last country remaining whose embassy was located in Jerusalem.
"Considering the current situation in the Middle East, El Salvador has decided to move its diplomatic representation in the State of Israel…With the decision announced today, El Salvador seeks to contribute through diplomatic means to peace between all the parties involved," El Salvador’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said, adding that it would continue to “recognize and guarantee the right of Israel to exist and live in peace within internationally-recognized borders." [What a.... CiJ]Regarding that last paragraph: Huh? This has been out since Friday (I pulled it off Arutz Sheva's web site where it appeared late Saturday night) and there has apparently been no denial from Olmert's office since then. Olmert is telling diplomats to move out of Jerusalem? What's that all about?
El Salvador’s President Tony Saca, is descended from Christian Arabs who emigrated before the founding of the State of Israel.
As recently as August 22nd, following Costa Rica’s decision to improve ties with Arab states by moving its embassy, El Salvador has claimed it had no intention of relocating its embassy.
El Salvador said it had made the decision to move the embassy in consultation with the Israeli government, led by former Jerusalem mayor, Ehud Olmert.
Netanyahu on proportionalityThis is priceless. It came from The American Thinker:
Ah yes, another case of disproportionality. A few weeks ago, Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, reminded a British interviewer of proportion in defense, placing the whole subject in total proportion. Questioned, yet again about Israel’s careful targeting of terrorist hideouts and neighborhoods, many deliberately located in civilian neighborhoods which did cause death and destruction, Netanyahu reminded the interviewer of some British history.Question for those of you who - like me - spend a disproportionate amount of time hanging around LGF: Could the writer be the one and only Ethel (as in "Hat Tip: Ethel")?“Because in World War II more Germans were killed than British and Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the war was caused by Germany’s aggression. And in response to the German blitz on London, the British wiped out the entire city of Dresden, burning to death more German civilians than the number of people killed in Hiroshima.Ah yes, British understated disproportion.
Moreover, I could remind you that in 1944, when the R.A.F. tried to bomb the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen, some of the bombs missed their target and fell on a Danish children’s hospital, killing 83 little
Ethel C. Fenig 8 25 06
We have seen the enemy and he is... al-ReutersNo, the IAF did not finally discover that Israel's real enemy is al-Reuters. But this morning, an IAF helicopter fired missiles at a car that was driving suspiciously that turned out to be full of 'Palestinian' stringers in the service of the
Palestinian witnesses and hospital officials said that an Israeli aircraft fired two missiles east of Gaza City early Sunday at an armored car belonging to the Reuters news agency, moderately wounding five people, including two cameramen.I suspect that there is a lot more to this story and that a lot of it isn't quite true. Note that it's all based on 'Palestinian' 'witnesses.'
The Israeli army said it did not realize the car’s passengers were journalists and only attacked because the vehicle was driving in a suspicious manner near Israeli troops in the middle of a combat zone. A Hamas militant was killed in another air strike, hospital officials reported.
The violence came as Israeli soldiers - backed by two dozen tanks, two bulldozers, helicopters and drone planes - moved into an area just inside the Gaza Strip near the Karni crossing, witnesses and Palestinian security officials said.
The army said the troops were searching for explosives planted by Palestinian militants alongside the border fence and for tunnels under the border. After the operation began, groups of militants repeatedly gathered to try to attack the soldiers, the army and witnesses said.
The Reuters cameraman, Fadel Shama’a, 23, and Sabah Hamida, 25, who worked for a local television company, opened the doors of their armored vehicle and were about to get out in the nearby Shajaiyeh neighborhood to film the raid when it was struck by the missiles, according to Shamas Odeh, chief of Reuters TV in Gaza.
The cameramen, along with three bystanders, were moderately injured with shrapnel wounds and all five were sent for surgery, hospital officials said. The front seats of the car were covered in blood and shrapnel had ripped up much of the inside of the vehicle. One of the bulletproof windows was completely destroyed. The white sports utility vehicle was emblazoned with the Reuters logo and had “TV” And “Press” Written on it in English, Arabic and Hebrew. [I wonder if it was as well marked as the Red Cross ambulance a couple of weeks ago. CiJ]
“This is a cold-blooded crime,” said Mohammed Dawdi, head of the local journalists union. Capt. Noa Meir, an army spokeswoman, said the vehicle was the only one in the combat area, was driving suspiciously and came near Israeli forces during the nighttime raid. “That’s why it was targeted. It was seen as a threat,” she said. “There were no clear TV marks (on the car). At least we didn’t see one.”
“It’s unfortunate when journalists get hurt, but that is not the intention,” Meir said.
However, the area was an active battlefield and the reporters should not have been there, she said, adding that three Hamas militants attacked soldiers from the same spot 10 minutes after the air strike.
During the raid early Sunday, aircraft repeatedly fired missiles into fields where Palestinian militants were gathering on the edge of Shajaiyeh, killing a Hamas militant, rescue officials said.
Ambulance drivers reported coming under fire from Israeli helicopters as they tried to retrieve the body. The army said it was checking the report. [I'm not sure why this is an issue. They shoot at our ambulances when we're rescuing civilians. They were rescuing a terrorist. CiJ]
The army also told residents in three nearby buildings to evacuate their houses as bulldozers cleared land near the border, witnesses said. Soldiers also took over some rooftops and searched several houses, they said.
What did you do in the war, UNIFIL?We've already seen that the Red Cross helped Hezbullah in the recent war in Lebanon. Now, we see that UNIFIL did it too. And they complained when the Israelis accidentally hit one of their posts?
Hat Tip: New York Nana
Read the whole thing.
DURING THE RECENT month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel, U.N. peacekeeping" forces made a startling contribution: They openly published daily real-time intelligence, of obvious usefulness to Hezbollah, on the location, equipment, and force structure of Israeli troops in Lebanon.
UNIFIL--the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a nearly 2,000-man blue-helmet contingent that has been present on the Lebanon-Israel border since 1978--is officially neutral. Yet, throughout the recent war, it posted on its website for all to see precise information about the movements of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and the nature of their weaponry and materiel, even specifying the placement of IDF safety structures within hours of their construction. New information was sometimes only 30 minutes old when it was posted, and never more than 24 hours old.
Meanwhile, UNIFIL posted not a single item of specific intelligence regarding Hezbollah forces. Statements on the order of Hezbollah "fired rockets in large numbers from various locations" and Hezbollah's rockets "were fired in significantly larger numbers from various locations" are as precise as its coverage of the other side ever got.
This war was fought on cable television and the Internet, and a lot of official information was available in real time. But the specific military intelligence UNIFIL posted could not be had from any non-U.N. source. The Israeli press--always eager to push the envelope--did not publish the details of troop movements and logistics. Neither the European press nor the rest of the world media, though hardly bastions of concern for the safety of Israeli troops, provided the IDF intelligence details that UNIFIL did. A search of Israeli government websites failed to turn up the details published to the world each day by the U.N.
Inquiries made of various Israeli military and government representatives and analysts yielded near unanimous agreement that at least some of UNIFIL's postings, in the words of one retired senior military analyst, "could have exposed Israeli soldiers to grave danger." These analysts, including a current high ranking military official, noted that the same intelligence would not have been provided by the U.N. about Israel's enemies.
Sure enough, a review of every single UNIFIL web posting during the war shows that, while UNIFIL was daily revealing the towns where Israeli soldiers were located, the positions from which they were firing, and when and how they had entered Lebanese territory, it never described Hezbollah movements or locations with any specificity whatsoever.
Compare the vague "various locations" language with this UNIFIL posting from July 25:
Yesterday and during last night, the IDF moved significant reinforcements, including a number of tanks, armored personnel carriers, bulldozers and infantry, to the area of Marun Al Ras inside Lebanese territory. The IDF advanced from that area north toward Bint Jubayl, and south towards Yarun.
Or with the posting on July 24, in which UNIFIL revealed that the IDF stationed between Marun Al Ras and Bint Jubayl were "significantly reinforced during the night and this morning with a number of tanks and armored personnel carriers."
This partiality is inconsistent not only with UNIFIL's mission but also with its own stated policies.