The Institute for Science and International Security reports that Syria has buried the suspected nuclear site that was bombed by Israel in September to ensure that no one will ever be able to gain access to any underground portions the site may have contained. This goes beyond previous reports that Syria was destroying the site.
Hat Tip: Masha via NY Nana
A further examination of the DigitalGlobe imagery featuring the suspected Syrian reactor construction site on October 24, 2007 reveals that in addition to dismantling and removing the building, (Figures 1 and 2). Syria bulldozed a section of a hill adjacent to the suspected reactor building and used the excavated dirt to cover over the site. Furthermore, Syria appears to have buried the foundationif Syria intended to conceal an underground portion to this building that had been subsequently exposed by bombing, burying it would have been easier than removing it. The excavated hill was brought to ISIS’s attention by two close readers of the imagery who noticed it.
Here are the before and after pictures:
Now Mr. ElBaradei can try convincing everyone there is no evidence. Because it's all been destroyed.
Hizbullah has succeeded in rearming itself and has obtained missiles with a range of 250 km., a UN report on the implementation of UN Resolution 1701 stated. Such missiles would be capable of striking areas south of Tel Aviv.
Weapons smuggling from Syria into Lebanon, in violation of 1701, is continuing as well.
According to the report, which was quoted by Army Radio, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called the continued arms smuggling "grave."
The report also noted that according to information provided by Israel, Hizbullah was rearming itself south of the Litani River, and that given this development, UNIFIL forces and the Lebanese army were increasing their efforts to patrol the area.
Further, Israeli intelligence passed on to the UN stated that the number of land-to-sea missiles in Hizbullah's stockpile has tripled.
The report also criticized Israel for not relaying details of its cluster bombing campaign during the Second Lebanon War, and for not ending continued IAF overflights in Lebanese airspace.
I have several comments about this post. First, the fact that it has now been verified that Hezbullah can strike Tel Aviv (and beyond) means that the government might actually consider doing something about it. I don't expect them to start a war over this, but unlike Sderot, Tel Aviv is InMyBackYard and you can bet that when the next war starts (and it will start some day) those missiles will be the first target for the IDF.
Second, I fail to understand why the weapons smuggling from Syria is allowed to continue. If the IAF could hit the Syrian nuclear plant, it can surely disrupt the supply line of weapons from Syria to Hezbullah. All it takes is a little creativity.
Third, this story puts the lie to the claims by Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert, and his foreign minister TzipiFeigele Livni that last summer's war and Resolution 1701 were a 'victory.' They clearly were not a victory for Israel.
Fourth, the number of land to sea missiles is a serious concern that will have to be dealt with promptly when another war starts.
Fifth, I believe Israel has relayed all information it has about the cluster bombs.
Sixth, if UNIFIL was doing it's job, Israel would not have to overfly Lebanon. Given what the rest of the report says, asking the IDF to stop the overflights is ridiculous.
Just last week the University of Delaware was in the news for excluding scholar Asaf Romirowsky from a panel because University of Delaware political scientist Muqtedar Khan refused to sit on a panel with someone who had served in the IDF. Now, there's more bad news from Delaware. It seems that they have a re-educationbrainwashing program for all students in their dormitories. The article doesn't mention Israel or the Middle East, but given the politically correct anti-Semitism that is prevalent on the left today, you can bet that they're not being educated to support Israel.
The University of Delaware subjects students in its residence halls to a shocking program of ideological reeducation that is referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The Orwellian program requires the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is calling for the total dismantling of the program, which is a flagrant violation of students’ rights to freedom of conscience and freedom from compelled speech.
“The University of Delaware’s residence life education program is a grave intrusion into students’ private beliefs,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “The university has decided that it is not enough to expose its students to the values it considers important; instead, it must coerce its students into accepting those values as their own. At a public university like Delaware, this is both unconscionable and unconstitutional.”
The university’s views are forced on students through a comprehensive manipulation of the residence hall environment, from mandatory training sessions to “sustainability” door decorations. Students living in the university’s eight housing complexes are required to attend training sessions, floor meetings, and one-on-one meetings with their Resident Assistants (RAs). The RAs who facilitate these meetings have received their own intensive training from the university, including a “diversity facilitation training” session at which RAs were taught, among other things, that “[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”
Does the same thing go on at Israeli campuses? I doubt it. Being racist (against Jews of Sphardic origin) is accepted here, and being sexist is much more accepted here than it is in the US. On the other hand, university campuses here educate students to support the 'Palestinians.'
We have brainwashing on campuses here too. It's just different.
US pressuring Israel to expel more Jews from their homes
US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has ordered Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert to prop up the terrorist regime of 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud AbbasAbu Mazen (whose 'Palestinian people' are responsible for calling Rice a snake in the TV picture at top left - somehow I think the wrong party called her that) by expelling more Jews from their homes in the weeks between now and the Annapolis conferencemugging.
The U.S. has renewed pressure on Israel to evacuate illegal outposts in the West Bank and has asked Jerusalem to broaden efforts to help West Bank Palestinians in the run-up to the Annapolis peace summit next month.
During talks in Jerusalem late last week, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said the U.S. expects Israel to take measures that will assist Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Hadley's message was that if Israel wants to delay the discussions on the core issues - refugees, Jerusalem and borders - it must help the Palestinians change the situation on the ground and evacuate the outposts.
And no one should expect President Bush to come to the rescue either:
Hadley also made it clear that the White House is fully coordinated with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, dismissing any impression that Rice is acting independently and that her efforts do not enjoy the backing of President George W. Bush.
So far, at least, Rice is not puling Olmert's strings hard enough.
A political source in Jerusalem said yesterday that Olmert will not remove outposts before the Annapolis summit.
"He will not light a fire or [cause] internal disputes and then take off for Annapolis," the source said.
In other words, even Olmert understands that Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu may be forced to resign from his coalition if the police start beating heads in like they did at Amona last year. On the other hand, if Feigele were in charge, the police would already be beating heads in:
However, Foreign Minister Livni has said that "we will have to do something about the outposts."
Livni and her aides believe that the years of backpedaling on the issue of outposts offers the Palestinians a negotiating advantage vis-a-vis Israel's security demands.
Olmert and Barak discussed the outposts in one of their meetings recently, and agreed to continue, for the time being, discussions with the Yesha Council on evacuating by accord. To date, the discussions with Yesha, which represents settlers, have come to naught.
"We will not wait for the settlers forever," a political source said. "Evacuation by accord will be the least painful, but if this doesn't work, we will evacuate them without accord."
But Olmert is preparing more 'gestures' to the 'Palestinians,' including freeing more terrorists from prisons and removing roadblocks so that the terrorists can travel freely from place to place. And all for Condi Rice's legacy.
But here's the problem. Whereas post 9-11 Giuliani was generally considered a competent, nice-guy keen to roll up his sleeves in order to put his city to rights, in recent months the mask has come off. In short, Giuliani is no benign patriotic do-gooder. He's a hawkish, sabre-rattling, pro-Israel, nationalistic neocon.
A clue to Giuliani's leanings emerged during the visit of Prince Al Walid Bin Talal to Ground Zero in October 2001. Bearing a $10 million donation for disaster relief, the Saudi prince suggested the US reexamine its Middle East policies and adopt a balanced stance towards Palestinian aspirations. Giuliani's response was to hand back the cheque.
Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has joked President Giuliani would be like President Bush on steroids. Unfortunately, this is no joke.
Giuliani makes no bones about the fact he would use military force to set-back Iran's nuclear programme. In September, he promised to use America's military might to prevent Iran pursuing its nuclear ambitions should he be elected president.
His senior foreign policy adviser Norman Podhoretz has spelled out this message, advising that Iran be bombed with cruise missiles and bunker busters. "None of the alternatives to military action - negotiations, sanctions, provoking an internal insurrection - can possibly work," he told The Daily Telegraph.
Giuliani is talking tough when it comes to Pakistan, too. He recently urged the president to be more aggressive in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden within Pakistan even if such a move would result in alienating the Pakistani government.
On Iraq, Giuliani has been consistently gung ho. He supported the war from the outset, backed the so-called surge and believes American troops should stay in Iraq for the foreseeable future.
And if my worst fears are realised and Giuliani moves into the White House there will be no Palestinian state for the foreseeable future either. He has declared in no uncertain terms his antipathy towards a two-state solution because a Palestinian entity would "support terrorism" and threaten US security.
Sounds great already, but there's more: Rudy G. has a history of this stuff:
It's also worth recalling that in 1995, he banned the former Palestinian president Yasser Arafat from attending events held in New York to celebrate the UN's 50th anniversary and ordered his removal from a concert held at the Lincoln Centre. It's not surprising that a panel of eight Israeli experts assembled by the daily Ha'aretz determined Giuliani is the best presidential candidate for Israel. [Keep in mind that Haaretz is our most left-leaning daily newspaper. CiJ]
A recent article on the front page of the New York Times titled "Mid-east hawks help to develop Giuliani's policy" enlightens us as to the former mayor's new best friends. "Mr Giuliani is consulting with, among others, a particularly hawkish group of advisers and neoconservative thinkers," the article reads.
In the Middle East, my enemy's enemy is my friend. But my friend is also my friend. Rudy Giuliani is our friend here in Israel.Israel's friends should support him.
Soccer Dad is now reporting that Google is blocking details from Israel - at least partially and at least in some views - although there appear to be indications that the blockage is temporary and may be quietly re-opened in the future:
So when I saw this item, I thought, "Oh good, Google has responded to the concerns."
A tipster to Newsbusters shares the following info: A search of Google maps under "Israel" reveals a map that is completely devoid of any detail. Yet, neighboring Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and even Turkey all have cities and roads noted.
And indeed, if you click on the link, Israel is devoid of any details, unlike the surrounding countries. However, in the upper right hand corner you'll see a box divided into three sections with links to Map, Satellite and Hybrid. If you choose the latter two you can get some details. but if you zoom in too close you get the following message "We are sorry but we don't have at this zoom level for this region." (Whoops, in other cases it looks like you can zoom in all the way.)
So it does appear that for some reason, Google is blocking some but not all detailed information on Israel.
I suspect that what's going on here is that Google has woken up and realized that they are exposing themselves to legal liability by making that level of detail available on the Internet. I think a US court would be more than willing to hear a lawsuit from a resident of Sderot - for example - claiming that Google recklessly endangered him by posting tools on the Internet that would allow 'Palestinian' terrorists to target his home. Especially now that everyone knows that the 'Palestinians' are using Google Earth.
Also, as you might suspect, Google has operations here in Israel, and this kind of news does not help them to recruit Israeli employees, but it does give a reason for the Israeli security authorities to pressure Google to make the information disappear.
Lefty blogger Think Progress attacks Giuliani foreign policy adviser Norman Podhoretz for his appearance on the PBS News Hour last night.
On the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer last night, Commentary Magazine editor-at-large Norman Podhoretz, who is also a foreign policy adviser to Rudy Giuliani, repeated his claim that there is “only one terrible choice” left with Iran, which is to “bomb” their “facilities” and “retard” their nuclear program.
PODHORETZ: First, I want to say that I think the attitude expressed by Fareed Zakaria represents an irresponsible complacency that I think is comparable to the denial in the early ’30s of the intentions of Hitler that led to what Churchill called an unnecessary war involving millions and millions of deaths that might have been averted if the West had acted early enough. […]
Let me respond to that. You know, similar arguments were made about Hitler in the early ’30s, and it appalls me that this kind of attitude can still prevail after what we should have learned from the words of despots.
After Zakaria suggested that “we do not need to launch a third unilateral invasion” to “contain the problem of Iran,” Podhoretz reacted incredulously, muttering “God help us if we follow that counsel.” Watch it:
[Sorry, I was unsuccessful at embedding it. Go here to watch. CiJ]
Instead of resorting to “calling names” like Podhoretz, Zakaria responded to the substance of his argument, pointing out that “the idea that” Iran is “not going to be deterred by Israel’s 200 nuclear weapons, including a second strike capacity on submarines, is just fantasy.”
Podhoretz is right - Zakaria and Matt at Thinking Progress are wrong.
Obviously, Israel doesn't believe its purported "200 nuclear weapons, including a second strike capacity on submarines" are sufficient defense against Iran. So it continues to push to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb.
Moreover, Ahmadinejad is neither the Soviet Union or North Korea. The difference between Ahmadinejad and those countries is that he believes that by causing the death of his own countrymen in order to destroy Israel, he can bring about the coming of the 12th Imam, the Muslim messiah if you will. A second-strike capability will not restrain Ahmadinejad at all.
And that is the biggest difference between Iran on the one hand and the Soviet and North Korean government on other other hand. Mutually Assured Destruction worked as a deterrent between the US and the Soviet Union in the 70's and 80's because both sides were rational actors who wished to prevent the death of their own people, even if it meant that they could not attack their rivals. Mahmadinejad's Iran is indifferent to the death of its own people.
A madman's words have to be taken at face value. The world made the mistake of not believing a madman's rantings and ravings in the 1930's. Six million Jews paid the price. We cannot let it happen again.
I had planned to write a post today calling for the cancellation of the Annapolis conference. It seemed like a no-brainer. With the 'Palestinians' threatening violence if the conference (inevitably) failed, the parties far apart on every issue, and even President Bush himself supposedly questioning whether it should be convened, there seemed to be no rationale for Condi Rice beating her head against the wall trying to pull the conference off. Until I saw this report by David Bedein.
The conference is still going to fail and we will probably have another round of violence when it does, as we did after Camp David in 2000. But that won't happen until Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert, like his predecessors, undermines Israel's position yet again by creating concessions that he hopes will lock in his successors.
Olmert’s spokespeople emphasized that the Israeli government did not expect to reach any agreement with the Palestinians at the summit, that the “only thing that would happen there would be declarations,” adding that “Israel will announce its recognition of a Palestinian Arab National state, alongside an Israeli Jewish national state, with Israel formally accepting the road map.”
That road map was presented by then - US Secretary of State Colin Powell and then- White House National Security Advisor Condeleeza Rice to Israel and the Palestinians in May 2003, and adopted by the Israeli cabinet underthen- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
However, this reporter asked Olmert’s cabinet secretary about the 14 reservations that the Israeli cabinet had tacked on as conditions to the road map, one week after the Israeli government had ratified the plan, in May 2003. How quickly people forget.
The cabinet secretary repeated himself, reading Olmert’s statement once again that Israel was accepting the road map. The cabinet secretary indicated that there were no conditions in Olmert’s statement.
The fourteen reservations - which the US promised to 'seriously address' - may be found here. Among them are the following:
1. Both at the commencement of, and during the process, and as a condition to its continuance, calm will be maintained. The Palestinians will dismantle the existing security organizations and implement security reforms during the course of which new organizations will be formed and act to combat terror, violence and incitement (incitement must cease immediately and the Palestinian Authority must educate for peace).
These organizations will engage in genuine prevention of terror and violence through arrests, interrogations, prevention and the enforcement of the legal groundwork for investigations, prosecution and punishment. In the first phase of the plan and as a condition for progress to the second phase, the Palestinians will complete the dismantling of terrorist organizations (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front, the Democratic Front, Al-Aqsa Brigades and other apparatuses) and their infrastructure; collection of all illegal weapons and their transfer to a third party for the sake of being removed from the area and destroyed; cessation of weapons smuggling and weapons production inside the Palestinian Authority; activation of the full prevention apparatus and cessation of incitement.
There will be no progress to the second phase without the fulfillment of all above-mentioned conditions relating to the war against terror. The security plans to be implemented are the Tenet and Zinni plans. [As in the other mutual frameworks, the road map will not state that Israel must cease violence and incitement against the Palestinians].
5. The character of the provisional Palestinian state will be determined through negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The provisional state will have provisional borders and certain aspects of sovereignty, be fully demilitarized with no military forces, but only with police and internal security forces of limited scope and armaments, be without the authority to undertake defense alliances or military cooperation, and Israeli control over the entry and exit of all persons and cargo, as well as of its air space and electromagnetic spectrum.
6. In connection to both the introductory statements and the final settlement, declared references must be made to Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel.
7. End of the process will lead to the end of all claims and not only the end of the conflict.
9. There will be no involvement with issues pertaining to the final settlement. Among issues not to be discussed: settlement in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (excluding a settlement freeze and illegal outposts); the status of the Palestinian Authority and its institutions in Jerusalem; and all other matters whose substance relates to the final settlement.
10. The removal of references other than 242 and 338 (1397, the Saudi Initiative and the Arab Initiative adopted in Beirut). A settlement based upon the road map will be an autonomous settlement that derives its validity therefrom. The only possible reference should be to Resolutions 242 and 338, and then only as an outline for the conduct of future negotiations on a permanent settlement.
12. The deployment of IDF forces along the September 2000 lines will be subject to the stipulation of Article 4 (absolute quiet) and will be carried out in keeping with changes to be required by the nature of the new circumstances and needs created thereby. Emphasis will be placed on the division of responsibilities and civilian authority as in September 2000, and not on the position of forces on the ground at that time.
With a wave of the hand, Olmert has dismissed all of the above and more:
In other words, the Olmert administration plans to use the Annapolis Middle East Summit to announce to the world that it will recognize an independent, sovereign and armed foreign nation state in the hills of Judea, Samaria (the West Bank) and on the coastline of Gaza and, perhaps, in some of Jerusalem without a prerequisite that the Palestinian leadership dismantle terrorist organizations.
This reporter also asked if the Israeli government would specifically demand that Yassir Arafat’s successor, Machmud Abbas, AKA Abu Mazen, would be required to dismantle the Al Aksa Brigades of the Fatah organization, which work under the direct command of Abbas, who is also the Chairman of the Fatah.The answer from Olmert’s cabinet secretary was that the Israeli government had not taken a stand on that subject.
This reporter also asked Olmert’s cabinet secretary if the Israeli government would ask that Abbas order the cancellation of the Palestinian educational curriculum that is based on Israel’s destruction.The answer from Olmert’s cabinet secretary was that the Israeli government had not taken a stand on that subject.
In other words, when the Israeli government cabinet secretary innocuously says that, at Annapolis, “Israel will announce its recognition of a Palestinian Arab National state,” that means that Israel accepts a “state of Palestine” contiguous to Israel without any formal requirement that this new nation state crush terrorist organizations that pose a threat to the lives of Israel’s citizens.
Olmert is now giving up Israel's positions on dismantling terrorist organizations (not required by Olmert), the 'right of return' (conceded by Olmert), the conflict being declared finished upon the conclusion of an agreement (new demands can start the day after any agreement is implemented), and the 'Saudi initiative' (calling for return to the 1967 borders and allowing 'refugees' into Israel, to be as much a starting point as UN Resolution 242 - which requires much less - according to Olmert), among others.
The Annapolis Plan is a disaster for Israel and its future. It must be stopped.
During the World Series, I linked to a video posted by a lefty blogger that complained that Fox Sports had designated George Bush throwing out the first pitch in Game 3 of the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium one of the top ten World Series moments. Over at Gateway Pundit, my friend Midwest Jim headlined that video Bush Derangement Syndrome hits the World Series.
Rudy Giuliani has not even won the Republican nomination for President yet, and already Giuliani Derangement Syndrome is coming to the forefront.
In today's Washington Post, columnist E.J. Dionne, whose history of rooting for the Red Sox sounds remarkably like mine (I also became a fan in the Monbouquette, (Chuck) Schilling, Malzone, Stuart era of the early 60's), all but accuses Giuliani of showing disloyalty by rooting for the Red Sox in a Series in which his regular team - the Hated Yankees - was not involved. He also accuses Giuliani of rooting for the Red Sox to gain votes - it's been pointed out that the New England states have more electoral votes than Colorado. Here's the key passage:
Many non-sports people think team loyalties are irrational, trivial and a waste of time. Loyalty itself is an uneasy virtue for my fellow liberals, who rightly prize justice without favoritism and view tribalism (that's what sports loyalties are) with disdain.
In fact, loyalty is a greatly underrated virtue. That's why I honestly respected Giuliani's stubborn and unwavering faithfulness to his New York Yankees and appreciated the generous words he spoke upon Joe Torre's departure this month as the Yankees' manager.
George P. Fletcher, a Columbia University law professor, wrote a brilliant book called "Loyalty" in 1993 and once argued in a radio interview that loyalty "creates a certain stability in personal relationships, and I think that it creates, in the people who are loyal, a sense of integrity and continuity." Or, as he put it in the book, "In the way we draw the lines of our loyalties, we define ourselves as persons."
"People bring their histories to their loyalties," Fletcher argues, "which implies that the reasons for attachment to a friend, family or country" -- I'd add sports team -- "invariably transcend the particular characteristics of the object of loyalty." No kidding. I was a Red Sox fan in the days of Frank Malzone, Chuck Schilling and Bill Monbouquette, when the Washington Senators often were the only team between us and the cellar. I loved those guys.
My Red Sox loyalty is, in part, to family (my dad raised me a Red Sox fan) and to place (my native New England) and is thus very much about Fletcher's sense of "integrity and continuity."
Yes, yes, this is way too grand. But please remember that I'm trying to convince those people who see us sports loyalists as dangerous idiots. Mostly, I'll just be irrationally happy for the next several months. And Rudy, please go back to despising the Red Sox, as you're supposed to. In sports, an honest hatred is always better than a convenient dalliance.
Dionne's claims to being able to read Giuliani's mind aside, during the 1986 World Series between the Red Sox and the Mets, a lot of New Yorkers I knew were rooting for the Red Sox. They were Yankee fans and hated the Mets even more than they hated the Red Sox.
I know it's hard for a lot of people to believe this, but baseball is a game, not life. And if Giuliani decides that from time to time he'd like to root for the Israelis of baseball, I'm cool with that. But there are a lot of good reasons for abandoning the Yankees right now. What they did to Joe Torre - a consummate professional and an Italian American like Giuliani - is one of them. So if Rudy decides to stop rooting for the Yankees altogether and root for the Red Sox or the Dodgers (whom Torre will apparently manage next year), I see no reason to blast him for that decision. Unless one is afflicted with Giuliani Derangement Syndrome.
YouTube has a new user: The International Solidarity Movement. Operating under the user name Free Palestine, the user has some forty-five videos that were put up over the last four months. Curiously, two of them are called Free Palestine: Zionist Jews killing Orthodox Jews. Many of the videos appear to be old and are part of the ISM collection (I saw one from the aftermath of Rachel Corrie's flattening).
Given YouTube's history of supporting the Jihadis, this should not come as a surprise.
I actually didn't realize that Hilary Leila Kreiger is a former Bostonian, but now that I think about it, if I'm not mistaken, her husband or brother may have been the head sports counselor at the camp I attended in New Hampshire forty years ago. If so (and memories are fuzzy here because there was another counselor involved), he may have been partly responsible for my spot on the camp softball team (as a pitcher!) and my one and only appearance that summer (two thirds of an inning - a single, a long fly ball and a ground out) in a game we won about 11-0. Of course, she's now writing from Washington....
On their way to a masterful four-game World Series sweep which culminated in a 4-3 besting of the Colorado Rockies Sunday night, one thing about the Boston Red Sox became clear: they have become the Israelis of baseball.
Their long years (86 to be exact) in World Series exile - decades filled with yearning, struggling, anxiety and, most importantly, keeping the faith - had established the underdog Red Sox as the Jews of baseball.
Their perseverance in the face of adversity, both as a team and throughout the wide-flung diaspora of Red Sox Nation, was then rewarded in their miraculous comeback three years ago. After the aching post-season losses of 1948, 1967, 1975 and 1986 when victory seemed so close, in October 2004 they clawed their way out of a three-game deficit against their arch-rival New York Yankees with four straight wins to take the American League Championship Series. It was a hole from which no other team had ever managed to climb out, and it presaged their sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals for their first world series since 1918.
Finally, the Red Sox had made it to the Promised Land.
Everywhere I looked, the signs were clear. The Red Sox were described as the dominant team, were favored to win in Vegas by 2-1 odds, and - horror of horrors - were being compared to the Yankees.
And that's when it became apparent. The Red Sox had gone from being Israelites to being Israelis. Though the Jews had been homeless, oppressed and persecuted for two millennia, Israel had only to be in existence for a few decades before it was considered the dominant regional power - the turning point coming in 1967, the year of the Red Sox Impossible Dream team that made a heart-breaking come-from-behind run for the World Series.
International opinion generally depicts the Jewish state as having one of the world's best militaries, as well as the upper hand in its struggles with the Palestinians and other Arab states. Perhaps the most common criticism of Israel in the war with Lebanon last summer was its use of "disproportionate force" with its air and infantry attacks in spite of the hundreds of rockets raining down in the north; that conception assumes that Israel is the more powerful actor.
Despite the insecurities that lurk in the psychological make-up of the populace, Israelis also see themselves as strong and undefeated. Sometimes Israelis evince frustration in being perceived as the card-holder when they are exponentially outnumbered by surrounding Arab and Muslim countries. But they also take pride in that circumstance for good reason.
And so the Red Sox, both grudgingly and gladly, came to wear the same mantle this fall. I have to admit it: In the days leading up to the playoffs, I expected to win. Never once before in 20-plus years of ardent baseball fandom had I expected the Red Sox to win the World Series - hoped, yes, prayed, when necessary - but never expected.
I wasn't alone. Hall-of-fame bound pitcher Curt Schilling said that even when the Red Sox were one game away from elimination by the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS, he knew they would make it to the World Series. In contrast to 2004, he said, "This year, down 3-1, I don't ever remember for a day thinking we weren't going to be here. I don't know if that's right or wrong, fair or foul. But I don't think anybody in that clubhouse thought our season was going to end before we got here."
Schilling acknowledged as much. "It's a different organization now" than it was in 2004. "It's different. Nobody feels sorry for us anymore. And they shouldn't. We're not the little guy on the block anymore. We're not David to Goliath." Maybe not. Maybe Israel isn't either. And maybe it's better that way.
Here is a picture of a self-destructing 'Palestinian' house.
Guess whom they blamed? Well, here's the caption:
Palestinians inspect the rubble of a house after an explosion in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007. A powerful explosion went off in a house in southern Gaza on Saturday, killing two women and a 4-year-old girl, Palestinian medics and witnesses said. The cause of the blast in the town of Khan Younis was not immediately clear. The Israeli military said it was not carrying out any operations in the area at the time.(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
For more details on this magical house and what really happened to it, go here.
The television network run by the 'moderate' terrorists from Fatah has a new song out that calls for Israel's destruction. For those who understand the distinction, this time it isn't coming from Hamas' al-Aqsa network - it's coming from the network controlled by 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud AbbasAbu Mazen's Fatah organization. The same group that US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert plan to give our country to at the Annapolis conferencemugging next month. The same group Condi promised $410 million last week. The same group that's paying terrorists to fire Kassam rockets at Israel from Hamas-controlled territory. Here's more from Palestinian Media Watch.
While the Palestinian Authority announces in English its demand for a two-state solution, to its own people in Arabic it continues to define all of Israel as "Palestine," and to promise Israel's destruction. A new video clip, broadcast numerous times daily since it first appeared on Fatah-controlled TV last week, passionately promises "Mother" that every Israeli city will be "liberated" because its "identity is Arab" and "Palestinian”:
"We will liberate the Land… [which] is Arab in history and identity, Palestine is Arab in history and identity."
And to ensure that no one limits the land of the future "liberated Palestine," the song defines the scope of Palestinian cities, which include all of Israel:
"From Jerusalem and Acre and from Haifa and Jericho and Gaza and Ramallah From Bethlehem and Jaffa and Be'er Sheva and Ramle And from Nablus to the Galilee, and from Tiberias to Hebron”
This is significant not only because it was broadcast on Fatah TV, but because the constant repetition of this clip promising Israel's destruction comes at the very time that the world is preparing for a peace conference.
Arafat's Palestinian Authority was notorious for this duplicity. It signaled its real beliefs and intentions only in Arabic, while in English it said what the West and Israel needed to hear to sustain what is widely recognized today as a deceptive peace process. Arafat was successful, with Israel repeatedly giving in to his demands. Israel paid dearly for its trust in Arafat's English pronouncements, with more than 1,000 killed and tens of thousands wounded in the Palestinian Authority-led terror war.
Today's leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, was Arafat's right hand man and partner during the first duplicity period. To Israel and the U.S. in English, he is talking peace. To his people in Arabic, through his TV and schoolbooks [Click for PMW report on PA schoolbooks], he is promoting hatred and promising the destruction of Israel. Is Abbas following Arafat's successful duplicity tactic? It is incumbent upon Israel and the world to verify this before going further.
Here's the video clip:
The following is from the text of the song:
“Oh mother, they destroyed our house The house of my brother and my neighbor [2X] Do not be angry, oh mother, we got more stones [2X] We are Palestinians, we are not terrorists [2X]
We have the right, oh mother, we want to bring our home back Hand in hand, and arm in arm, we will protect your land, Palestine We will pray in Al-Aqsa and the [Church] of the Nativity, Islam and Christians [2X] We will liberate [Palestine] the Land of Religions. And we will build Jerusalem of the homelands. We are the sons of glory, oh mother …
We are Palestinians we are not terrorists We are the students of freedom we are not terrorists
Oh Arab, oh noble son, your blood is in my blood and your business is my business Peace will be achieved through unity, oh my brother and cousin The land is Arab in history and identity Palestine is Arab in history and identity We will live in peace, oh mother, and our lives will not be wasted … Oh mother, they destroyed our house The house of my brother and my neighbor [2X] Do not be angry, oh mother, our rocks increased [in number]
From Jerusalem and Acre, from Haifa and Jericho and Gaza and Ramallah [2X] From Bethlehem and Jaffa, from Be’er Sheva and Ramla, [2X] from Nablus to the Galilee, from Tiberias to Hebron [2x]
[Images of all these Israeli cities are broadcast] [PA TV, October 23, 2007]
Convicted terrorist Abdelhaleem Ashqar, who was convicted of obstructing justice in a Chicago Federal court and is facing sentencing next week, is introducing passages from Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby into his sentencing brief. Ashqar's conviction is based upon his refusal to appear before a grand jury investigating Hamas connections (including funding) in the United States.
"Every person in this court has been influenced by perception and mythology and kept ignorant through the hegemonical myth that Israel is the victim, defending itself against the barbaric Palestinians," Ashqar's attorney, William Moffitt, wrote before launching into a five-page synopsis of assertions in "The Israel Lobby" that American support for Israel is based on erroneous beliefs about the relationship between that nation and the Palestinians.
"There was no choice for Dr. Ashqar when subpoenaed in front of the grand jury. He could either join with his oppressors, reject his countrymen, forsake everything he believes, and never return to his beloved Palestine, or he could be labeled a terrorist. There is a special nobility in such a choice," the lawyer wrote.
Mr. Moffitt quotes the claim by Messrs. Mearsheimer and Walt that Arabs in Israel "are de facto treated as second-class citizens." The attorney also turns to the two professors' book for quotes in which an Israeli prime minister, Menachem Begin, called Palestinians "beasts walking on two legs" and an Israeli general, Rafael Eitan, said, "The only good Arab is a dead Arab."
Ashqar's filing goes on, with support from "The Israel Lobby," to accuse Israel of relentless expansionism, ethnic cleansing, deliberate violence toward women and children, and killing of military prisoners. Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza "was founded on brute force, repression and fear, collaboration and treachery, beatings and torture chambers, and daily intimidation, humiliation and manipulation," the brief says, quoting the Harvard and Chicago professors.
Luckily, sentencing is done by a judge and not by a jury in the Federal courts. Ashqar should be going away to a cold, stony place for a long time.
It's been a great weekend sports fans. Not only did the Sox sweep the Rocks and the Pats flay the Skins, but Dhimmi Carter's 'documentary' about promoting his venomous lies previewed in theaters this weekend and was a complete flop. This is from Allahpundit and the picture at top left is from David A. Lunde.
On its first weekend, the film did a whopping 10 grand at the box office in 7 theatres. That works out to about $1500 per theater, not enough to cover a single screening fee.
How surprising. Who wouldn’t want to sit through two hours watching an old man dodge questions about plagiarism, his book’s extreme anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian bias, his illogical equation of Israel with South African apartheid, and his repeat offenses of snuggling with anti-American tinpots? Who wouldn’t want to see the self-righteous man who helped usher in the Iranian mullahcracy hug his Nobel and chastise the president who is having to clean up the mess that Carter left for all of his successors?
Let's see him try to blame the Dersh for this one.
'Palestinian' soccer team misses World Cup qualifier
Get out the world's smallest violin.
The 'Palestinian' soccer team missed its World Cup soccer tournament qualifier in Singapore on Sunday, allegedly because of Israeli travel restrictions. Eighteen of the team's players live in Gaza.
The team didn't show for Sunday's game because 18 of its players and officials live in the Gaza Strip, according to Jamal Abu Hasheesh, spokesman for the Palestinian soccer federation.
The Gaza Strip has been under tight control since the Islamic militant Hamas took power by force in June. Last month, Israel declared Gaza hostile territory and said it would only permit humanitarian hardship cases to leave.
Abu Hasheesh said the 18 team members didn't receive Israeli permits to leave Gaza for the game.
The federation has asked FIFA to reschedule the match. FIFA officials were not immediately available for comment.
Shadi Yassin, a spokesman for the Israeli military's office in charge of coordination with Gaza, said he was looking into the matter.
First, I thought that the World Cup tournament only involved states. How can a statereichlet that doesn't exist have an entry in the World Cup?
Second, with all the poor, starving 'Palestinians,' why is the 'Palestinian Authority' spending money to field a soccer soccer team when it could use that money to feed its 'people.'
Third, why are they blaming Israel for this? Why can't they go out through Egypt? They have a border with Egypt that is not policed by Israel! (Of course, if they weren't terrorists, they might still have an airport in Gaza, but that's a separate issue).
French Defense Minister Herve Morin contradicted the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency and said his government has evidence Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, Agence France-Presse reported.
The UN agency has said there was no evidence Iran was developing an atomic bomb, AFP said.
I'm not a big believer in solving the crisis over Iran's pursuit of nuclear power through sanctions. I don't believe the Iranian people will wake up tomorrow morning and overthrow their government because they don't have enough breakfast cereal or beef. I don't believe that sanctions can be airtight even if everyone agrees on the necessity of imposing them and everyone agrees to abide by them, which unfortunately is not the case with Iran. We have already seen instances - particularly in Europe - in which governments agree to sanction Iran and private companies circumvent them.
Now, there is a new reason to believe that sanctions will not be effective against Iran. The Washington Post reports this morning that Iran has shifted its trade to the East, principally to Russia and China, with the result that sanctions imposed by the United States and Western Europe will have less of an impact. As a result, 'analysts' believe that Iran will be able to withstand even 'severe' sanctions.
China, a permanent member of the Security Council that can veto any U.N. resolution, is expected to overtake Germany as Iran's biggest trading partner this year. Germany and other European countries had consistently been Iran's largest trading partners for more than a decade, according to the Iran Investment Monthly.
The U.S. Treasury said that more than 40 banks, mostly in Europe, have curbed business with Iran as a result of U.S. pressure, but smaller banks, Islamic financial institutions and Asian banks are likely to step in and replace the Western financial institutions through which Iran has long sold oil on the international market. Oil traders said that Iran does an increasing portion of its petroleum sales in euros and yen, instead of U.S. dollars, and often through third parties, to help its customers circumvent U.S. financial sanctions.
"Given particularly the price and demand for oil, Iran clearly has leverage with countries that need Iran's oil," said Shaul Bakhash, a George Mason University historian and author of "The Reign of the Ayatollahs." In addition, he said, "Iran has a huge cushion of foreign-exchange reserves."
Iran's oil revenue this year will far exceed the government's budget forecasts, which had assumed an average oil price of $60 a barrel. On Friday, oil settled above $90. The extra revenue will make it easier for the government to maintain social-services payments designed to bolster its popularity amid economic problems.
Iran has also moved to protect what Leo Drollas, chief economist of the Center for Global Energy Studies in London, calls its Achilles' heel -- gasoline imports. Because of its limited refining capacity, Iran last year imported 200,000 barrels a day of gasoline, about a third of its consumption. But the government has trimmed gasoline subsidies, which has curtailed consumption and smuggling, cutting imports of gasoline in half.
This does not mean that the current round of sanctions, announced by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice last week, is having no impact:
Lukoil, a Russian company with an extensive gasoline marketing network in the United States, announced last Monday that its exploration work in Iran's big Anaran oil field "is currently impeded because of the U.S. sanctions," which bar investments of more than $20 million in Iran.
The U.S. sanctions, announced Thursday, complicate new oil projects by targeting Iran's main oil-field engineering firms. The firms are controlled by the Revolutionary Guard, which the Bush administration has accused of supporting terrorism and aiding nuclear proliferation. One of the firms sanctioned Thursday, Khatam al-Anbiya, is the rough equivalent of the Army Corps of Engineers, according to Karim Sadjadpour, an associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Treasury Department said the firm had $7 billion of contracts in the oil, natural gas and transportation sectors.
European oil companies are holding off on exploration and production deals in Iran. Royal Dutch Shell, Total of France and Italy's ENI have held talks or reached preliminary agreements for new oil and gas projects in Iran in recent years. But now they say they are unlikely to move ahead, in large part because of the commercial terms Iran is offering.
Chinese oil companies have not signed contracts yet for commercial reasons, according to Julia Nanay, a Caspian region expert at PFC Energy, a Washington consulting firm.
The picture on the financial front is similar. The United Arab Emirates, a key transit point for Iranian imports and a major financial center for Iran, had closed 42 firms doing business with Iran before the new sanctions list, said an official there.
He said it remained unclear how the new U.S. measures would affect Iran's Bank Melli, targeted by Treasury for allegedly facilitating ballistic and nuclear equipment purchases. The bank, Iran's largest, had nearly $1.4 billion in assets in its U.A.E. branches at the end of 2005, according to its Web site. Bank Melli also has branches in London, Paris and Hamburg.
Sanctions are not effective against a totalitarian regime that does not expose itself to its people's will. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khameini could care less how much the people of Iran suffer from shortages of basic staples. The average Iranian may hate his government - we have seen enough student demonstrations to confirm that. But he would rather stay alive than rise up against it because he believes that an uprising is unlikely to be effective.
If Iran wants to go ahead and build nuclear weapons it will. Unless the United States and/or Israel stops it.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The chief 'Palestinian' negotiator Ahmed QureiaAbu Alathreatened Israel with war if it does not accede to 'Palestinian' demands at the Annapolis conferencemugging.
The top negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala), warned on Sunday that the region would suffer greatly in the event that the upcoming Annapolis peace conference failed.
"If the summit fails – frustration will win out over everything else and it will have a negative affect on the region. I cannot predict exactly what will happen, but it may lead to more wars.
"I warn now against failure there, which will open the door for extremists and extremism – and that door will be very difficult to close," said Qureia at a conference held by Meretz activists.
Qureia said that the key to the success of the conference lay in reaching an agreement that would serve as the basis for any final accords, including a clear timetable.
His adamant insistence on the establishment of a timetable came in response to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's comments earlier on Sunday in which he said no detailed timetable would be made for the negotiations.
The Palestinians, Qureia said, will not settle for an agreement they deemed unfair. "We are not as weak as some in Israel would like to think....
"But we need support from Israel, not with kisses but with the evacuation of settlements. That is the real challenge."
First of all, I have to admit that I am having trouble distinguishing the 'extremists' from the 'moderates' these days, especially since the 'moderates' have an 'armed wing' that is terrorizing Sderot with Kassam rockets for which 'Mr. Moderate' - Abu Mazen - is paying.
Second, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert told everyone just yesterday that there would be no timetable and that the 'Palestinians' know it. Somehow, someone forgot to tell Abu Ala.
Third, note that the useful idiots from Meretz continue to host our murderous enemies and no one in the government (or outside of it for that matter) has anything to say in response.
Fourth, how do you hold a 'peace conference' with someone who threatens to kill you if you don't give them what they want? Doesn't sound like much of a 'conference.'
Haaretz is reporting that Israel has allowed a 'shipment of money' (presumably cash) to enter the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing so that 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen can pay the 'salaries' of "PA workers and Fatah activists." The amount transferred was "tens of millions of Shekels."
Israel continues to allow money into the Gaza Strip from the West Bank despite increased sanctions, including fuel reductions, on the Strip. Israel agreed last week to another shipment of funds into Gaza via the Erez crossing.
Security forces said the money was intended for salaries Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has committed to pay.
The tens of millions of shekels will pay tens of thousands of PA workers and Fatah activists' salaries. Hamas has thus far not blocked the transfer.
Some of the salaries that Abu Mazen is paying in the Gaza Strip are undoubtedly those of Fatah's 'armed wing,' the 'al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade.' During the past week, I ran a report indicating that terrorists from the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade have been using Google Earth to choose targets for Kassam attacks from Gaza to Sderot and other towns that abut the Gaza Strip.
Isn't that brilliant? Israel is making sure that the Kassam shooters get paid! In cash!
The German Focus Magazine will report on Monday that intercepted conversations among terrorists this past September indicate that the Israeli embassy in Berlin was to have been one of the targets of the September 11, 2007 attacks.
"If we succeed in carrying out (the attack) on 9/11, at the same exact hour…they will go mad if, inshallah, it will happen during the same month – September," 28-year-old Adam Yalmaz is quoted as saying.
His partner, Rritz Glovitch, the son of doctor from southern Germany, is heard saying "we need three major targets." Among the possible targets mentioned in the conversation were local pubs, an American military base, discotheques, McDonald's restaurants, airports and the Israeli embassy.
According to the report, Yalmaz wanted to create panic by activating a fire alarm in a crowded area, at which point Glovitch was supposed to drive a car bomb into the crowd and set it off.
The third suspect named was Daniel Schneider.
"It's a good tactic–the moment they come out, we can enter and then–boom," Yalmaz said.
"Yes, that would be cool," Glovitch responded. "Most of the people will die from the shrapnel."
The tapes of the conversations also provide a possible explanation for the suspects' motives. They apparently planned to target not only the US, but also Germany for its involvement in the war in Afghanistan.
It's not yet clear whether the terrorists acted independently or under the auspices of a group like al-Qaeda. But keep admitting those Muslim immigrants into Europe. We'll see the Caliphate soon.
On several occasions, I have discussed Ariel Sharon's 2001 "Czechoslovakia speech" in which he stated that this is not 1938 and Israel will not play the role of Czechoslovakia and be the sacrifice to appease Islamic terror. It was a speech that greatly annoyed George Bush in the few weeks after 9/11, but I believe that President Bush now gets it. Unfortunately, other people don't.
In The Corner, Michael Ledeen reports on a Newsweek piece by one Michael Hirsh, who seems genuinely willing to sacrifice another six million Jews to attain 'peace in our time.' This is Hirsh:
Let's think about all this for a moment. World War III? Is that really what would result if Iran gained the "knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon"? Not if you listen to one of Bush's former top generals, recently retired CENTCOM commander Gen. John Abizaid. "There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran," Abizaid said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies last month. "I believe nuclear deterrence will work with the Iranians," Abizaid said. "I mean, Iran is not a suicide nation. They may have some people in charge that don't appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon … Let's face it: we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we've lived with a nuclear China, and we're living with [other] nuclear powers, as well."
But that's the realist line, and Bush is taking the Israeli line. For the Israelis, angered by Ahmadinejad's lunatic rhetoric about wiping them off the map, an Iranian bomb would seem to portend World War III. And indeed, an Iranian bomb, followed perhaps by several Arab bombs, would put Israel in mortal danger. But the same isn't true of the United States. Even many Israelis know that what Israel needs most to survive is a strong United States, not an overzealous friend in the White House. "Israel benefits when America performs well, when it is respected and succeeds in the world," Uzi Arad, Likudnik Bibi Netanyahu's adviser, told me. "If on the other hand the U.S. is in trouble, is in distress, it is little consolation the president has tremendous sympathies for Israel. President Bush by predisposition is clearly such a man, but the fact that he is in such difficulties is affecting the substance of the relationship."
Here's Ledeen on Hirsh:
If you parse it, you'd conclude that Hirsh doesn't even think that an Iranian bomb would, by itself, be a mortal threat to Israel, which seems nuts to me. But the "realists" don't much care about such details, since the question of Israel's survival is a matter of indifference to them. Like Neville Chamberlain, who wasn't going to let minor matters such as Czechoslovakia's survival get in the way of Peace in Our Time, guys like Hirsh act as if we shouldn't bother with Iran unless the mullahs attack us directly.
Lots of people believe that, and I might even welcome an honest debate with them if only they were willing to look reality in the face. But they don't.
To say that Bush is "taking the Israeli line" is false, ignorant and disgraceful, and it reeks of the same stench as the recent writings of senior professors at prestigious American universities, who have also "blamed" American foreign policy on Israel and pro-Israeli American Jews.
It only confirms the wisdom of my policy of generally ignoring such rags as Newsweek.
Ledeen got that one right. We've already seen the results of trying to appease maniacs. They should not be repeated. Appeasement does not work.
ElBaradei condemns Israel; Mossad and CIA find smoking gun
The feckless Mohamed ElBaradei - whose IAEA has not prevented a single instance of nuclear proliferation - condemned Israel today for its September strike against Syria's nuclear reactor (Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs). Meanwhile, DEBKA reports that the Mossad and the CIA have 'smoking gun' evidence implicating Assad personally in the attempt to obtain nuclear weapons (Hat Tip: Pajamas Media). Here's ElBaradei:
Neither Israel nor the United States has furnished "any evidence at all" to prove that the Syrian site bombed last month was a secret nuclear facility, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency told CNN.
"That, to me, is very distressful because we have a system; if countries have information that the country is working on a nuclear-related program, they should come to us. We have the authority to go out and investigate," he said.
"But to bomb first and then ask questions later, I think it undermines the system and it doesn't lead to any solution to any suspicion, because we are the eyes and ears of the international community."
Israel bombed first and asked questions later because of the Iran experience where despite years of evidence as to what is going on, the IAEA and the international community have done nothing to stop the mullahs.
ElBaradei said he had been told by Syria that the site was a military facility and "has nothing to do with nuclear."
"I would hope if anybody has information, before they take the law into their own hands, to come and pass the information on," he said.
Meanwhile, DEBKA is telling a very different story:
The following sequence of events unfolds from the garnered documents:
Damascus and Pyongyang settled between them that the nuclear transaction would be masked as a joint venture to build a cement factory in northern Syria; meanwhile, North Korea would sell Syria cement for its development projects.
According to DEBKAfile’s sources, North Korean freighters, which began putting in at Syria’s Latakia and Tartus ports in January 2007, unloaded cargoes of cement in which nuclear reactor components and materials were concealed.
The North Korean traffic at these ports and the Durham wheat transaction attracted the attention of US and Israeli secret services.
During the next eight months – up until the Israeli attack on Syria’s North Korean installation - wheat prices shot up on international markets. Indeed the price of Durham wheat doubled. Had this been a normal commercial transaction, Syria would have claimed additional North Korean goods in compensation. In fact, when import-export officials in Damascus, who knew nothing of the nuclear reactor tradeoff, pointed Assad’s office to the price fluctuations on the wheat market, they were told that the contracts signed by the president in person must go through without changes.
When later, the Syrian wheat crop fell short of expectations, Syrian officials were again told to fill the North Korean orders in full.
On Sept. 3, the North Korean “cement ship” Al Hamed docked at Tartus. The freight it unloaded was trucked directly to the “cement factory” at Al Tibnah in the Syrian Desert, east of the Euphrates River. The Israeli attack took place three days later.
Last Tuesday, Oct. 23, the Syrian ambassador to Washington Imad Mustapha was invited to address the prestigious Institute on Religion and Public Policy. In answer to a question, he acknowledged, “Syria gives North Korea wheat, oil and other products.”
He declined to disclose what Syria got in return. When pressed on this point, Mustapha said in exasperation: “Stuff. We get stuff.”
Thursday, Oct. 25, a number of leading American media simultaneously ran satellite images of a nuclear installation standing at Al Tibnah in August 2007 and the same site in the second half of September, after it had been cleared of the debris left by the Israeli attack.
This time, Damascus found nothing to say – although Syrian officials had commented on former leaks related to the episode. DEBKAfile’s Syrian sources report that this and other symptoms indicate that Assad finds himself in a tight corner. He is at a loss to explain to the Syrian public and, worse, to most of his colleagues in the political and military leadership who were kept ignorant of the nuclear transaction with North Korea, how he came to entangle the country in this ill-fated adventure.
In the view of DEBKAfile’s Western intelligence source, the Syrian president’s internal and international plight is more acute than that of the Iranian regime or Saddam Hussein in the days leading up to the 2003 US invasion. No incontrovertible proof has so far been shown to demonstrate that Iran has attained the capacity to produce nuclear or radioactive weapons, any more than the Iraqi ruler was positively shown to have weapons of mass destruction. Assad’s case is more unfortunate; it is now supported by solid evidence in American and Israeli hands.
So why does ElBaradei continue to defend the Syrians? Consider how the UN has handled the Iranian attempt to obtain nuclear arms, and the answer becomes obvious: For the IAEA, nuclear proliferation is okay when it results in an Arab or Muslim country obtaining nuclear weapons.
The IAEA first reported that Tehran had failed to comply with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003.
980 days later, on March 29, 2006, the Security Council finally became seized of the matter of Iran's nuclear ambitions. Since then we have watched how long it will take the Security Council to live up to its UN Charter obligations to (a) determine Iran's behavior constitutes a threat to international peace and security, and (b) take serious action to maintain peace and security.
On July 31, 2006, the Security Council adopted a resolution under the Charter's Chapter VII, by implication connecting Iranian misdeeds to a threat to international peace and security. But the only action the Council could muster was another time extension and report due in August 2006. The IAEA reported Iran's continued non-compliance and August came and went.
On December 23, 2006, the Security Council adopted a resolution under Article 41 of Chapter VII - this time involving a sanction scheme so weak that even Iran's reaction has been muted. In order to gain Chinese and Russian votes on the Council, the scheme gutted earlier European and American drafts. The resolution gave Iran this ultimatum for continued non-compliance of UN pronouncements and resolutions about Iran's nuclear program: "further decisions will be required."
On March 24, 2007 the further decision date rolled around. The slap on the wrist with this latest Security Council resolution: (a) introduces an Israel diversion in the form of a reference to "a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction," (b) fails to adopt a mandatory travel ban and instead merely "calls upon all states to exercise vigilance and restraint regarding the entry into or transit" of a limited list of individuals, (c) refuses to ban items and technology and instead merely "calls upon all states to exercise vigilance and restraint in the supply"of these items, and (d) fails to impose a mandatory asset freeze but instead "calls upon all states and international financial institutions not to enter new commitments for grants, financial assistance, and concessional loans, to...Iran, except for humanitarian and developmental purposes." In its one "shall not" it bans only the country's arms exports - refusing to impose an arms embargo prohibiting the sale of weapons to Iran.
So the clock keeps ticking while Iran pursues nuclear weapons and the UN has yet to get serious about sanctions that pose any prospect of stopping them before it's too late.
Is it any wonder why Israel cannot rely on the UN for anything?
Three British ISM tools caught destroying grape vines
The 'Palestinians' are constantly complaining that the 'settlers' destroy their olive harvest. As a result, the olive harvest, which is going on now, has become an event in which hundreds of 'peace activists' participate. While they're at it, they destroy as much Jewish property as they can.
Overnight between Thursday and Friday a 'mysterious' fire destroyed a synagogue for the third time in the Samarian town of Dolev. Shortly after the synagogue fire was discovered, revenants discovered that some 3000 grapevines in a nearby vineyard were destroyed. Then the Jews saw Arabs and 'internationals' running towards an additional plot of Jewish agricultural land. They called in the IDF.
The group fled, but three female activists from the United Kingdom were slower and were caught by police.
Residents say the vandalism occurred under cover of the much-publicized PA Arab olive harvest. Local Arabs, joined by leftists – many foreign nationals – focus their harvest activities on trees abutting Jewish communities. This year, the IDF has been tasked with ensuring that Jewish residents do not leave their communities while the harvest activities are going on, citing fears of clashes. Two administrative orders have distanced two Jewish residents from all of Judea and Samaria for the duration of the harvest.
Adi Mintz, an area resident and member of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) who is running for mayor of the region, said that the Yesha's Jewish residents have now received “a clear warning sign. Today it is synagogues and vineyards that are destroyed - tomorrow it will be the lives of human beings. The army must send in more forces to defend the residents of this area,” he said.
The owner of the destroyed vineyard, Shlomi Cohen, said the attack had caused NIS 60,000 of direct damage and would cost him an additional NIS 120,000 in lost produce. The damage was particularly severe because the attack took place during the shemittah (sabbatical) year, when Jews are forbidden to work the land.
The three British women who were apprehended by police are accused of responsibility for the destruction Friday. Police also have evidence, however, that the women were part of the group that destroyed farm equipment in the nearby town of Neria in an earlier incident as well.
The women were ISM tools just like their hero (may she rot in hell).
May they be expelled from the country real soon never to return.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-five years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 12 to 33 years and eight grandchildren. Three of our children are married and a fourth is engaged! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com