Sunday, January 18, 2009
"Unilateral" -- Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Statement
at the Press Conference on January 17, 2009
Citizens of Israel,
Exactly three weeks ago as the Sabbath ended, we sat here before you – my friend Ehud Barak, the Vice Prime Minister Tzipi Livni and myself – and detailed the considerations and goals which guided us in launching a military operation in the Gaza Strip. Today, we face you again and can say that the conditions have been created so that our targets, as defined when we launched the operation, have been fully achieved, and more so:
· Hamas was badly stricken, both in terms of its military capabilities and in the infrastructure of its regime. Its leaders are in hiding. Many of its members have been killed. The factories in which its missiles were manufactured have been destroyed. The smuggling routes, through dozens of tunnels, have been bombed. The Hamas’s capabilities for conveying weapons within the Gaza Strip have been damaged. The scope of missile fire directed at the State of Israel has been reduced. The areas from which most of the missiles were launched are under the control of IDF forces. The estimate of all the security services is that the Hamas’s capabilities have been struck a heavy blow which will harm its ability to rule and its military capabilities for some time.
· The IDF and the General Security Services have succeeded in conducting an outstanding operation, utilizing all the elements of Israel’s force – on land, at sea and in the air. The military operation was characterized by determination, sophistication, courage and an impressive ability in intelligence and operations, which led to significant and numerous achievements. The current campaign proved again Israel’s force and strengthened its deterrence capability vis-à-vis those who threaten us.
· The reserves soldiers, who are the foundation for the IDF’s strength, proved that the spirit of volunteerism and a willingness to sacrifice still very much exist. These forces were made ready in a thorough manner, equipped with all they needed and thus could demonstrate their professionalism and fierceness of spirit.
· During all the days of fighting, the Israeli home front demonstrated its strength, despite hundreds of rockets and mortar shells indiscriminately fired at a population which numbers one million residents; it was the home front that created an unshakable foundation which strengthened us and gave us the ability to continue fighting. Two years of preparation on the home front proved that we learned our lessons and were properly organized. The Government and the heads of the regional local authorities under attack demonstrated the patience, endurance and that same strong spirit which allowed the political echelon to make the right decisions, knowing that the home front could withstand the consequences of those decisions.
· As a decision-making body, the Government of Israel demonstrated unity with regard to goals, and acted professionally and in coordination to achieve those goals. The decisions were all made in a responsible and educated manner, following clarification and in-depth discussions. As an executive branch, the Government met the demands and needs of the population and the fighting forces.
· Alongside the successes, we must also remember the fallen and those who sacrificed their lives to achieve a better reality in the South. The campaign claimed the lives of three residents of the South and ten of our soldiers. Tonight our hearts are with their families. We send our wishes for a speedy recovery to the residents of the South and to the IDF soldiers injured during the operation.
· Today, and in large part due to the success of the military operation, the entire international community is ready to mobilize in order to achieve maximum stability, and knows that, for this to occur, the process of Hamas’s strengthening must stop. To this end, we reached a number of understandings – the importance of which cannot be underestimated – which will ensure that the strengthening of Hamas will decrease. We formulated understandings with the Egyptian government with regard to a number of central issues, the realization of which will bring about a significant reduction in weapons smuggling from Iran and Syria to the Gaza Strip.
· On Friday we signed a memorandum of understanding with the American government, in the framework of which the United States will mobilize to take the necessary steps, together with the other members of the international community, to prevent weapons smuggling by terrorists in Gaza. I wish to thank and express my great appreciation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Prime Minister for her efforts to reach this agreement, for her contribution to the diplomatic steps and for the widespread diplomatic effort she made over the past several weeks, which were an important contribution to the international backing given to the Israeli effort against the terrorist organizations headed by Hamas.
· Today I received a letter from the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel and the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, in which all four expressed their profound commitment to assisting in any way in order to ensure that weapons will not succeed in reaching the murderous terrorist organizations in Gaza.
I have no doubt that were it not for the determined and successful military action, we would not have reached diplomatic understandings, which together create a full picture of impressive accomplishment.
Citizens of Israel,
The Government decided to launch the operation in Gaza only after long thought and great consideration, and only after all attempts through other means to stop the firing and other acts of terror by Hamas failed. Israel, which withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the last millimeter at the end of 2005 – with no intention of returning – found itself under a barrage of missiles. Hamas violently took control of the Gaza Strip and began attacking the communities in the South more intensely. Hamas’s methods are incomprehensible. It placed its military system in crowded residential neighborhoods, operated among a civilian population which served as a human shield and operated under the aegis of mosques, schools and hospitals, while making the Palestinian population a hostage to its terrorist activities, with the understanding that Israel – as a country with supreme values – would not act. The external Hamas leadership, which lives in comfort and quiet, continued to set extremist policies while ignoring the population’s ongoing suffering and out of a conspicuous unwillingness to ease its situation.
Hamas in Gaza was built by Iran as a foundation for power, and is backed through funding, through training and through the provision of advanced weapons. Iran, which strives for regional hegemony, tried to replicate the methods used by Hizbullah in Lebanon in the Gaza Strip as well. Iran and Hamas mistook the restraint Israel exercised as weakness. They were mistaken. They were surprised.
The State of Israel has proven to them that restraint is an expression of strength which was exercised in a determined and sophisticated manner when that which we had avoided became unavoidable.
During the operation, the State of Israel demonstrated great sensitivity in exercising its force in order to avoid, as much as possible, harming the civilian population not involved in terror. In cases where there was any doubt that striking at terrorists would lead to harming an innocent civilian population – we abstained from acting. There are not many countries which would act thusly.
We have no disagreement with the residents of Gaza. We consider the Gaza Strip a part of the future Palestinian state with which we hope to live a life of good neighborliness, and we wish for the day when the vision of two states is realized.
During the operation, we made widespread and concerted efforts to see to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population. We allowed for the transfer of equipment, food and medicine to prevent a humanitarian crisis. In addition, I appointed Minister Isaac Herzog, the Minister of Social Welfare and Social Affairs, to head up this effort, and tonight the Cabinet instructed him to invest all his efforts in preparing a comprehensive plan so that in the next few days, we will be able to provide an appropriate and comprehensive answer to the civilian population’s needs in the Gaza Strip. I wish to express my great appreciation to the international organizations which acted and continue to act tirelessly to assist us in providing the Palestinian population with appropriate living conditions. Israel will continue to cooperate with them, especially in the coming days and weeks on behalf of the Gazan population.
Citizens of Israel,
Today, before the Government meeting, I spoke with the President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, who presented Egypt’s initiative to me, along with his request for a ceasefire. I thanked the President for Egypt’s commitment to finding a solution to this crisis and for the important role it plays in the Middle East. I presented the President’s statement to the Cabinet, along with the totality of our achievements in the operation, as well as the completion of the goals. The Cabinet decided to accept my proposal to declare a ceasefire.
Beginning at 2:00 a.m., Israel will cease its actions against the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip and will remain deployed in the Gaza Strip and its environs.
It must be remembered that Hamas is not part of the arrangements we came to. These are agreements involving many countries, and a terrorist organization like Hamas is not and need not be a part of them. If our enemies decide that the blows they have already suffered are not enough and they wish to continue fighting, Israel will be ready for that scenario and will feel free to continue responding with force.
Hamas was surprised a number of times during the past several weeks. It did not predict the State of Israel’s determination or the seriousness of its intentions to bring about a change in the reality in the region. Hamas’s leaders did not believe that the State of Israel would launch a military operation on such a scale on the eve of elections; it did not predict the force of the military attack and moreover – it did not predict the outcome.
Hamas still does not fully appreciate the difficult blow it received. If Hamas decides to continue its wild terrorist attacks, it may find itself surprised again by the State of Israel’s determination. I do not suggest that it or any other terrorist organization test us.
This statement tonight would be incomplete if I did not mention the kidnapped soldier, Gilad Schalit. One hundred meters from here, there is a demonstration for his release, and I respect each and every one of the participants. The intensive efforts to secure Gilad’s release began long before the operation, continued during it and will continue after as well. The Government of Israel is working on many levels to bring him home, and during the operation we carried out various actions to bring us closer to this goal. Due to the sensitivity of the matter, I will not go into detail. I will only say that Gilad is at the top of our agenda, and we do not need any prodding or reminding in this matter. I am hopeful tonight as well that we will soon see him in his family’s embrace.
On a personal note:
For weeks I have been watching the people of Israel day and night as we make the unprecedented effort to fight for and realize our right of self-defense. I saw the brave soldiers, our dear and beloved sons; I saw their commanders and the spirit which buoyed them; I saw the residents of the South, their fierce sprit; and the leadership of the mayors who took care to provide for the needs of their residents; I also saw the actions of the Home Front Command, which quietly and efficiently coordinated the assistance campaign for the southern region; and I heard the bereaved families.
Dear families, the things you said, the pain you expressed, the fierce spirit you demonstrated – these are the foundation for the people of Israel’s strength. On behalf of the entire nation, on behalf of the Government of Israel, I share your profound pain and thank you for the encouragement, the strength and the inspiration your strong stance has granted the entire nation.
I also wish to say something to the people of Gaza: even before the military operation began, and during it, I appealed to you. We do not hate you; we did not want and do not want to harm you. We wanted to defend our children, their parents, their families. We feel the pain of every Palestinian child and family member who fell victim to the cruel reality created by Hamas which transformed you into victims.
Your suffering is terrible. Your cries of pain touch each of our hearts. On behalf of the Government of Israel, I wish to convey my regret for the harming of uninvolved civilians, for the pain we caused them, for the suffering they and their families suffered as a result of the intolerable situation created by Hamas.
The understandings we reached with Egypt, the international backing of the United States and the European countries – all these do not ensure that the firing by Hamas will stop. If it completely stops – the IDF will consider withdrawing from Gaza at a time which it deems right. If not, the IDF will continue to act in defense of our residents.
This is the time to convey our appreciation and gratitude, first and foremost to you, Mr. Minister of Defense, for your work, for the tremendous effort you made, for your skill, professionalism and the understanding you demonstrated throughout he operation – thank you very much. I wish to thank the soldiers of the IDF, their commanders, the Head of the Southern Command Yoav Galant, and the Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi; to the General Security Services, its fighters and its head, Yuval Diskin; to the Mossad and its hidden fighters, headed by Meir Dagan; to the Israel Police and the emergency services, Magan David Adom and the Fire Department.
Blessed is the nation with such an army and such security and rescue services.
I wish to express my hope that tonight the first step towards a different reality, one of security and quiet for the residents of Israel, will be taken. From the bottom of my heart, I thank the people of Israel, its fighters and their commanders for the fierceness of spirit and the social solidarity they demonstrated over these past weeks.
This is the secret of our strength – it is the foundation for our power and it is the hope of our future.
Friday, March 23, 2007
for more up-to-date posts...
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Ehud -Teflon- Olmert
More Investigations Against Olmert
23:15 Oct 24, '06 / 2 Cheshvan 5767
by Hillel Fendel
AG Menachem Mazuz is investigating new criminal allegations against PM Ehud Olmert. The PM is is suspected of accepting bribes in the state's sale of Bank Leumi and illegal political appointments.
The Bank Leumi deal is the fifth in a series of criminal investigations against Olmert which NFC, the website of investigative journalist Yoav Yitzchak, has led in researching and reporting.
The latest case involves suspicions that in 2005, when Olmert served as Acting Finance Minister, he advanced the interests of two wealthy men who wished to purchase controlling interest in Bank Leumi. One of them had contributed large sums to Olmert's campaign for Mayor of Jerusalem, and the other one is a client of Olmert's father-in-law's law firm.
NFC reports that the investigation is being waged secretly, "despite Olmert's status, and despite the importance of publicizing this information at this time when Olmert is seeking the Knesset's support in expanding his government."
At this stage of the Bank Leumi investigation, a comprehensive review is underway by two senior State Prosecution attorneys, under the auspices of Deputy State Prosecutor Shuki Lemberger. They are investigating evidence of bribery, and the next stage, NFC reports, is the "near-certain public announcement of a full criminal investigation."
The financial department of the police detective department will run the investigation. Headed by Yoav Segelovitz, the top detective in the President Katzav case, the department will designate its top men to investigate the Olmert-Leumi case within the coming days, when the Katzav investigation is completed.
NFC quotes a "senior Justice Ministry source" as saying that activities are underway that cannot be revealed, both because of their great sensitivity and because of the danger that certain aspects of the investigation would be put at risk.
In response to a query from Arutz-7, the Justice Ministry's spokesman responded:
"A number of weeks ago, the State Comptroller's Office submitted to the Attorney General materials regarding the tender for the sale of the controlling interest in Bank Leumi. The Attorney General submitted these materials, as is customary, to the State Prosecutor for Prosecution review and the preparation of an opinion as to how to proceed with them. At this stage, no decisions have yet been made, no criminal proceeding is underway on the issue, and the police are not involved in the matter."
Political Appointments, Too
In a separate development, an official in the State Comptroller's Office told the Knesset Control Committee Tuesday about material linking Olmert with political appointments in the Small Business Authority. Former police official Yaakov Borovsky, who oversees a campaign against government corruption, says the findings raise suspicions of criminal acts.
Knesset Control Committee Chairperson MK Esterina Tartman (Yisrael Beiteinu) strongly censured Prime Minister Olmert for not showing up to the session. She said that the timing of the session was specifically coordinated in advance with Olmert's office, and that a few days ago he said he could not appear because of an important security meeting. She said that such security meetings are usually held on Sundays, and that Olmert's behavior was "disgraceful" and a "mockery of the Knesset, the Committee, and the nation."
After it was reported that evidence against Olmert regarding his political appointments had been submitted to the Attorney General, MK Avshalom Vilan (Meretz) said to Tartman, "Now you understand why he didn't show up today."
Yoav Yitzchak has reported in the past on investigations by the State Comptroller and/or Attorney General against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Among them are the German Colony building sale, currently under investigation by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss; the Kaf-Tet B'November Street house sale; and the "expensive pens" gifts. NFC notes that other Israeli media have been ignoring most of the allegations against the Prime Minister, "thus not fulfilling their public mission."
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Free JJ Pollard!
Justice for Jonathan Pollard
The following tables indicate how grossly disproportionate Pollard's life sentence is when compared to the sentences of others who spied for allied nations.
Pollard's life sentence is also disproportionate even when compared to the sentences of those who committed far more serious offences by spying for enemy nations!
Table I: American Allies
Jonathan Pollard is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for spying for an American ally.
On November 21, 2005, Pollard entered the 21th year of his life sentence, with no end in sight.
The maximum sentence today for such an offence is 10 years.
The median sentence for this offence is 2 to 4 years.
Name Country Spied For Sentence/Punishment Time Served
Jonathan Pollard Israel Life imprisonment
Michael Schwartz Saudi Arabia Discharged from Navy No time served.
Peter Lee China 1 year in halfway house No jail time.
Samuel Morison Great Britain 2 years 3 months
Phillip Selden El Salvador 2 years
Steven Baba South Africa 8 years; reduced to 2 years 5 months
Sharon Scranage Ghana 5 years; reduced to 2 years 8 months
Jean Baynes Phillipines 41 months 15 months
Abdul Kader Helmy Egypt 4 years 2 years
Geneva Jones Liberia 37 months
Frederick Hamilton Ecuador 37 months
Joseph Brown Phillipines 6 years
Michael Allen Phillipines 8 years
Robert Kim South Korea 9 years 7 years
Thomas Dolce South Africa 10 years 5.2 years
Steven Lalas Greece 14 years
* Time served before release is shown where known. Other cases of early release exist.
Table II: American Enemies
Jonathan Pollard spied for an American ally. This chart shows that Pollard's life sentence is far harsher than most of the sentences received by those who spied for enemies, and thereby committed much more serious offences and treason.
Name Country Spied For Sentence Time Served
James Wood Soviet Union 2 years
Sahag Dedyan Soviet Union 3 years
Randy Jeffries Soviet Union 3-9 years
Amarylis Santos Cuba 3½ years
Joseph Santos Cuba 4 years
Mariano Faget Cuba 5 years
Brian Horton Soviet Union 6 years
Alejandro Alonso Cuba 7 years
William Bell Poland 8 years
Alfred Zoho East Germany 8 years
Nikolay Ogarodnikova Soviet Union 8 years
Francis X. Pizzo Soviet Union 10 years
Daniel Richardson Soviet Union 10 years
Ernst Forbich East Germany 15 years
William Whalen Soviet Union 15 years
Edwin Moore Soviet Union 15 years
Troung Dinh Ung North Vietnam 15 years
Ronald Humphrey North Vietnam 15 years
Kurt Alan Stand East Germany 17½ years
Robert Lipka Soviet Union 18 years
David Barnett Soviet Union 18 years
Svetlana Ogarodnikova Soviet Union 18 years
Albert Sombolay Iraq & Jordan 19 years
Richard Miller Soviet Union 20 years 6 years
Theresa Maria Squillacote East Germany 21.8 years
Sarkis Paskallan Soviet Union 22 years
Harold Nicholson Soviet Union 23 years
David Boone Soviet Union 24 years
Ana Belen Montes Cuba 25 years
Clayton Lonetree Soviet Union 25 years 9 years
Michael Walker Soviet Union 25 years 15 years
Bruce Ott Soviet Union 25 years
Kelly Warren Hungary &
Czechoslovakia 25 years
Earl Pitts Soviet Union 27 years
H.W. Boachanhaupi Soviet Union 30 years
Roderick Ramsay Hungary &
Czechoslovakia 36 years
James Hall Soviet Union
& East Germany 40 years
Christopher Boyce Soviet Union 40 years
William Kampiles Soviet Union 40 years 19 years
Veldik Enger Soviet Union 50 years
R.P. Charnyayev Soviet Union 50 years
Marian Zacharski Poland Life 4 years
Aldrich Ames Soviet Union Life
Robert Hanssen Soviet Union Life
* Time served before release is shown where known. Other cases of early release exist.
Aldrich Ames: A Case In Point
Aldrich Ames who spied for an enemy nation (the Soviet Union), committed treason, and was responsible for the deaths of at least 11 American agents, received the same sentence as Jonathan Pollard. Pollard's only indictment was one count of passing classified information to an ally. Pollard spent 7 years in solitary confinement, in the harshest unit of the harshest prison in the Federal system - FCI Marion.
Aldrich Ames' treatment was far more benign, and (except for a relatively short period of time during debriefing) did not include the rigours of long years of solitary; nor was he ever subjected to the harsh conditions of "K" Unit at Marion - even though his offence was far more serious.
The Unequal Justice Page
The Attorneys' Comparative Sentence Chart
Return to home page
Oct. 9, 2006 23:57 Updated Oct. 10, 2006 5:15
Right of Reply: Why I oppose 'house arrest' for my husband
By ESTHER POLLARD
House arrest for Jonathan Pollard - as advocated by attorney Eric Sherby in his October 6 Post op-ed - in light of the profound injustice of this case is an absurd proposal.
It is an open secret in Washington that Jonathan is serving a life sentence not because of what he did, but because of what he represents - the State of Israel.
Conventional wisdom holds that Jonathan has had his day in court. In point of fact, every legal appeal to uphold Jonathan's constitutional right to a fair hearing has been summarily rejected on one technicality or another. In layman's terms, the case has never been heard.
Even in spite of the endorsements of such august organizations as the ACLU, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, and a host of top legal experts, the merits of the case for the release of Jonathan Pollard have never been heard in an American court of law.
According to top US officials, Jonathan Pollard is a political hostage.
Dennis Ross, former US special envoy to the Middle East, explicitly acknowledged that Jonathan deserved to be freed unconditionally, but was being held by the US because of his value as a bargaining chip. In his book The Missing Peace, Ross wrote that he advised president Bill Clinton at Wye to save Jonathan as a bargaining chip in the final status negotiations with the Palestinians.
Jonathan's use as a political tool was also confirmed in a 2002 interview with the late secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger, who is "credited" with driving Jonathan's life sentence. Weinberger admitted that "the Pollard matter was comparatively minor. It was made far bigger than its actual importance" to serve another political agenda.
It is inescapably apparent that there is a correlation between the US's handling of spy cases and American foreign policy. The recent sentencing of former Pentagon analyst Ronald Montaperto to a three-month sentence for years of passing highly classified information to the Chinese illustrates how the American justice system bent over backward so as not to antagonize the Chinese.
On the other hand, the unduly harsh treatment of Jonathan Pollard and the perpetuation of his grossly disproportionate life sentence leave no doubt about successive administrations' unrelenting covert hostility towards the Jewish state.
Montaperto's spying for more than a decade reportedly damaged America's ability to monitor China's covert sales of arms to nation-sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran and Syria. Nevertheless, in deference to China, prosecutors downgraded the charges against Montaperto to "mishandling of classified information," which carries no more than a four-year sentence. Letters to the judge from Montaperto's colleagues pared his punishment down to a mere three months!
IN JONATHAN'S case, prosecutors railroaded him into a accepting a plea-bargain agreement, which he honored and the US violated, sentencing him to life in prison. The median sentence for the offense Jonathan committed - one count of passing classified information to an ally with no intent to harm the US - is two to four years, not life!
Senior American legislators who have reportedly seen the classified portions of the Pollard file - Sen. Charles Schumer, Rep. Anthony Weiner and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani - are on record that there is no evidence to justify a life sentence. Appellate Court Judge Stephen Williams, in a dissenting minority opinion, called this case "a fundamental miscarriage of justice."
Although the Justice Department allows access to the classified portions of Jonathan's file to officials who are interested in maintaining Jonathan's incarceration (24 such instances of access are part of the court record), it refuses to allow Jonathan's security-cleared attorneys access. The courts, in lock-step fashion, have upheld the government's assertion that Jonathan's attorneys "have no need to know" what is in their client's file.
However, and notwithstanding all of the foregoing, the single most cogent factor in the ongoing persecution of Jonathan Pollard is the failure of the government of Israel to step up to the plate and demand his release. Israel officially recognized Jonathan as its agent in 1998, but has never acted to secure his release.
In point of fact, Israel has already "paid" for Jonathan's release several times over (including freeing 750 murderers and terrorists with blood on their hands as part of the Wye Accords), but has never collected its due.
Instead, since Wye successive Israeli governments have cravenly wiped Jonathan from the agenda for fear of antagonizing the US. The more Israel tries to duck responsibility for its agent, the more this gives aid and comfort to elements in the Justice, intelligence and Defense departments who continue to exploit the Pollard case to the detriment of Israel and the Jews.
House arrest would be a boon to these elements. It would not end the injustice nor grant Jonathan the freedom to which he is entitled. Additionally, it would bode ill for the rest of Israel's captives.
Israel now has three new captives, Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. Their very lives may depend on Israel's willingness finally to stand up for its rights. If Israel is incapable of dealing forthrightly with her American ally for the release of an agent in captivity, what hope is there for the captives in the hands of Israel's enemies?
Next month, two weeks before Jonathan enters his 22nd year of a life sentence, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet with President George W. Bush. It is up to Olmert, to demand an end to this travesty of justice and bring Jonathan home.
It is precisely for cases such as this, in which the justice system has failed, that the US Constitution grants the president unlimited powers of clemency.
There is no other solution.
Let the Customer Decide!
Why should Moslems be exempt?
But the good side is, that one will be able to avoid the Moslem drivers if they want. What's fair is fair.
Don't Bring That Booze into My Taxi
by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
October 10, 2006
A minor issue at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) has potentially major implications for the future of Islam in the United States.
Starting about a decade ago, some Muslim taxi drivers serving the airport declared, that they would not transport passengers visibly carrying alcohol, in transparent duty-free shopping bags, for example. This stance stemmed from their understanding of the Koran's ban on alcohol. A driver named Fuad Omar explained: "This is our religion. We could be punished in the afterlife if we agree to [transport alcohol]. This is a Koran issue. This came from heaven." Another driver, Muhamed Mursal, echoed his words: "It is forbidden in Islam to carry alcohol."
The issue emerged publicly in 2000. On one occasion, 16 drivers in a row refused a passenger with bottles of alcohol. This left the passenger - who had done nothing legally wrong - feeling like a criminal. For their part, the 16 cabbies lost income. As Josh L. Dickey of the Associated Press put it, when drivers at MSP refuse a fare for any reason, "they go to the back of the line. Waaaay back. Past the terminal, down a long service road, and into a sprawling parking lot jammed with cabs in Bloomington, where drivers sit idle for hours, waiting to be called again."
To avoid this predicament, Muslim taxi drivers asked the Metropolitan Airports Commission for permission to refuse passengers carrying liquor - or even suspected of carrying liquor - without being banished to the end of the line. MAC rejected this appeal, worried that drivers might offer religion as an excuse to refuse short-distance passengers.
The number of Muslim drivers has by now increased, to the point that they reportedly make up three-quarters of MSP's 900 cabdrivers. By September 2006, Muslims turned down an estimated three fares a day based on their religious objection to alcohol, an airport spokesman, Patrick Hogan, told the Associated Press, adding that this issue has "slowly grown over the years to the point that it's become a significant customer service issue."
"Travelers often feel surprised and insulted," Mr. Hogan told USA Today.
With this in mind, MAC proposed a pragmatic solution: drivers unwilling to carry alcohol could get a special color light on their car roofs, signaling their views on alcohol to taxi starters and customers alike. From the airport's point of view, this scheme offers a sensible and efficient mechanism to resolve a minor irritant, leaving no passenger insulted and no driver losing business. "Airport authorities are not in the business of interpreting sacred texts or dictating anyone's religious choices," Hogan points out. "Our goal is simply to ensure travelers at [the airport] are well served." Awaiting approval only from the airport's taxi advisory committee, the two-light proposal will likely be in operation by the end of 2006.
But on a societal level, the proposed solution has massive and worrisome implications. Namely, the two-light plan intrudes the Shari‘a, or Islamic law, with state sanction, into a mundane commercial transaction in Minnesota. A government authority thus sanctions a signal as to who does or does not follow Islamic law.
What of taxi drivers beyond those at MSP? Other Muslims in Minneapolis-St. Paul and across the country could well demand the same privilege. Bus conductors might follow suit. The whole transport system could be divided between those Islamically observant and those not so.
Why stop with alcohol? Muslim taxi drivers in several countries already balk at allowing seeing-eye dogs in their cars. Future demands could include not transporting women with exposed arms or hair, homosexuals, and unmarried couples. For that matter, they could ban men wearing kippas, as well as Hindus, atheists, bartenders, croupiers, astrologers, bankers, and quarterbacks.
MAC has consulted on the taxi issue with the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society, an organization the Chicago Tribune has established is devoted to turning the United States into a country run be Islamic law. The wife of a former head of the organization, for example, has explained that its goal is "to educate everyone about Islam and to follow the teachings of Islam with the hope of establishing an Islamic state."
It is precisely the innocuous nature of the two-light taxi solution that makes it so insidious - and why the Metropolitan Airports Commission should reconsider its wrong-headed decision. Readers who wish to make their views known to the MAC can write it at email@example.com.
Oct. 10, 2006 update: I provide additional information on this topic at More on Those Minnesota Taxi Drivers
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Detailed review of Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman's proposal to change government structure
Remember that my background is the United States, and Avigdor Lieberman is from the USSR. What's normal for me isn't normal for him, and what he considers normal, I consider totalitarian.
It's funny that I've had a "gut," yes, my kishkes again, feeling that he wouldn't be the type of leader I'd want, and I feel that his plan has proven my kishkes right. Remember, I was correct about Uzi Landau not being a true leader, and recently I said that Moshe Ya'alon is not the reliably right-wing leader we're yearning for. And again, after friends tried to convince me that I was wrong, they apologized saying that I read it correctly. In an interview he freely admitted that he does not treasure the Land for the Land's sake. Everything can be negotiated. Also, Sharansky has said that for the right promises, he'll give away our Land. Lieberman has said the same thing.
We're in a very dangerous situation, where in almost total desperation many will support just about anybody in the hope that they'll do a good job when in power.
Date: 8 October, 2006
A spokesperson for Israel Beiteinu has provided IMRA with the complete text
of the legislation that Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman plans to
propose at the start of the upcoming winter Knesset session.
The main feature of the law is that under no circumstances can early
elections take place for the prime minister unless the serving prime
minister wants the elections to take place. If he dies or is removed from
office he is replaced by his deputy who serves the rest of the term. Under
previous direct election law this would lead to new elections. Those
familiar with American political history might term the provision that
removing the prime minister leaves the control of the government in the
hands of the deputy a "Spiro T. Agnew" provision. During the Nixon
administration's first term posters featuring a photo of vice president
Agnew were popular with the line "Keep Nixon Alive". Agnew resigned in 1973
following evidence of tax evasion.
The prime minister appoints ministers who then cannot serve in the Knesset.
The Knesset does not approve the appointments.
The other key feature is that any party that gets less than 10% of the valid
votes (the equivalent of 12 Knesset seats) would not be represented in the
Knesset. While the religious parties could possibly unite to insure that
they pass this minimum threshold the Arab parties combined might not make
this cut nor would smaller parties such as Meretz. It is noteworthy that
other countries with high minimums have experienced unexpected results (for
example Turkey) when major moderate parties competing for the same votes
found themselves below the threshold.
The following is a review of details of changes from the current law:
The prime minister is elected in direct elections [3. (B)]
The prime minister appoints the ministers - Knesset approval of the
appointments is not required (currently it is required) ministers [3. (C)]
Prime minister has to be at least 35 years old [last direct elections was
30] [8. (A)(1)
70,000 voters can nominate a candidate for PM (who is running at the head of
a list running for the Knesset) - up from 50,000 [9. (A)(1)]
If a nominated candidate for PM dies or is unable to be a candidate for
health reasons after nominations are closed this does not delay elections
(under previous direct election law it would postpone elections 4 weeks from
this incident) [12.(A)]
Ministers do not serve in the Knesset [16. (E)]
If the prime minister resigns he is replaced by his deputy who serves the
rest of the term (under previous direct election law this would lead to new
elections) [21. (C)]
The new law does not set what crimes would justify removal of the prime
minister, only saying that "it will be set in the law". Previous laws
referred to offenses involving "moral turpitude" and "moral turpitude" still
appears in the proposed law for ministers. A prime minister removed for
criminal activity is replaced by his deputy who serves the rest of the term
(under previous direct election law this would lead to new elections) [24.]
The prime minister can be removed by a vote of 80 MKs and is then replaced
by his deputy who serves the rest of the term (under previous direct
election law this would lead to new elections) [25 (E)]
If the prime minister dies or is permanently unable to serve he is replaced
by his deputy who serves the rest of the term (under previous direct
election law this would lead to new elections) [26.]
The new law leaves open how the prime minister can remove a minister
("details will be set in the law") while the current law addresses this is
detail [30. (A)]
Only parties that get at least 10% of the valid votes in the Knesset
elections get seats in the Knesset (minimum of 12 MKs) [41. (A)]
No president [43.]
Authority of the president transferred to the prime minister [44. (C)]
This includes pardoning criminals.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA
The antechamber to genocide by Francisco Gil-White
Historical and Investigative Research
- 9 October 2006
by Francisco Gil-White
Russia is energetically giving support to Israel's genocidal enemies. So is the United States. Worldwide antisemitism is growing dramatically and fast. A rational human being should be able to put two and two together. Will the Jews reason before it is too late again?
On October 6 Caroline Glick, who often writes for the Jerusalem Post, penned an article entitled “As the Storm of War Approaches,” where she defends the view that soon there will be war in Israel because the Russians are getting ever more involved militarily on the side of the Iranians, the Syrians, and the Lebanese. Russian “engineers” and troops have landed in Beirut, which is of “disturbing significance” because “according to Jane’s Defense Weekly the Russian listening post on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights provided Hizbullah with a continuous supply of intelligence throughout the conflict,” and because “the majority of IDF casualties in the fighting were caused by Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missiles that made their way to Hizbullah fighters through Syria.” Russia has also been making a series of diplomatic attacks against Israel, and “then there is Russia’s unstinting support for Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”
In all this, Caroline Glick never mentions the United States.
Now, during the Cold War, when the Russians took one side, the United States could be expected to take the opposite one. Given that recently the US and Russia have been increasingly at public loggerheads in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and given that the US government loudly states in public that it is Israel’s best friend (a claim the media repeats constantly as if it were obviously true), the mind of Caroline Glick’s reader will naturally assume that, against the Russian threat, the United States will take a countervailing position of support for Israel.
This is why it pays to study history.
In 1977, Jimmy Carter began pushing the idea of a PLO state even before the PLO did, and then Carter tried to saddle Israel with a PLO terrorist state next door. At this time the PLO was based in Lebanon, and was directing terrorist attacks from its bases there against Israeli civilians in the Galilee (like Hezbollah now does). The very next year, in 1978, the PLO terrorism got so bad that Israel launched an invasion of southern Lebanon to stop it, but Jimmy Carter forced the Israelis out of Lebanon.[1a] This context should be kept in mind when evaluating Carter’s 1977 diplomatic efforts on behalf of a PLO state: he was trying to empower people who right there and then were killing Israeli civilians. But the most important piece of information, here, is that in 1977 the Carter administration explicitly teamed up with the Soviet Russians behind Israel's back in an attempt to force a PLO state on Israel’s flank. You may read the documentation on that here:
What does this mean? That, although the United States and the Soviet Union obviously disagreed about many things, they could agree on one thing: attacking Israel.
It is silly to make predictions about the political future without studying the political past. HIR has examined the entire history of US foreign policy towards the Jewish state and found that, contrary to the fiction propounded by US officials and the media, the United States has almost invariably been allied with Israel’s Arab enemies (the same Arab enemies the Russians have also supported) to the detriment of Israeli security. With this context in mind, the safe prediction is not that Washington will now take a position against Moscow’s attack on Israel, but that the United States government will once again team up with the Russian government in a joint attempt to destroy the Jewish state.
What is the latest data?
Two days ago, 5 October 2006, Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook from Palestinian Media Watch, which specializes in translating Arab media into English (so that those of us who do not speak Arabic can find out what Arab leaders are saying to their followers), wrote an article with the title: “Abbas Dupes U.S.” It begins with the following paragraph:
“Abbas: Hamas must recognize Israel,” announced the headline on the lead story in today’s Jerusalem Post. The article went on to report that ‘PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas vowed to fire the Hamas-led government before the end of the month unless... they accepted Israel’s right to exist. Abbas made his pledge in a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who expressed Washington’s full support for the PA chairman and his Fatah party in their confrontation with Hamas.’”
This corresponds nicely to the prediction HIR made during Israel’s war with Hezbollah (which war was in part provoked by a Hamas attack). We predicted that after the US had successfully sabotaged Israeli self-defense (as it now has), the following would happen:
“Hamas and Hezbollah will be thoroughly demonized, but neither organization will be destroyed and if there is a NATO intervention it will protect Hezbollah, and the Hezbollification of Lebanon. The PLO will burnish its image as the ‘partner for peace’ by being on its ‘best’ behavior during this crisis, and if the Oslo process can be revived it will be, with the PLO but without Hamas (at least formally).
Get ready...for the rebirth of the PLO.”
What Marcus and Crook now tell us is that PLO leader “Mahmoud Abbas has just vowed to fire the Hamas-led government...unless they accepted Israel’s right to exist,” and the US Secretary of State has rushed to express “Washington’s full support for the PA chairman and his Fatah party in their confrontation with Hamas.” Abbas is indeed on his ‘best behavior,’ and the US government appears quite keen on reviving Fatah, the controlling core of the PLO.
But what is Abbas saying to the Arabs, in Arabic, in the Arab media? Marcus and Crook explain:
“Only the day before, however, Abbas said on PA [Palestinian Authority] TV that Hamas does not have to recognize Israel -- nor does his own Fatah faction: ‘Hamas is not required to recognize Israel… It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel.’”
This may appear confusing. If Abbas said to the Western press that “Hamas must recognize Israel,” why was he saying on Palestinian Authority TV that “Hamas is not required to recognize Israel”? Did he lose his mind? No. To his Arab audience Mahmoud Abbas made a careful distinction. He said:
“I do not demand of Hamas nor any other to recognize Israel. But from the government that works with Israelis in day to day life, yes.” (emphasis mine)
In other words, there is a Palestinian Authority government with Mahmoud Abbas (alias Abu Mazen) as president but otherwise controlled by Hamas. Now, just as the Republican Party is bigger than the current US administration, the Hamas organization is bigger than the set of Hamas officials currently running the Palestinian Authority government. So what Abbas said is that, although neither Hamas “nor any other” need recognize Israel -- certainly not Abbas’s own Fatah (PLO) or the Popular Front -- that part of Hamas which currently controls the Palestinian Authority and is therefore in a position to have official contacts with the Israelis, they certainly should recognize Israel.
What is the translation?
Translation: No genocidal antisemites should abandon their goal to kill every last living Jew, but the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority must say in public that it recognizes Israel so that the political theater called “the Oslo Peace Process” can be revived and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) can finally be wrested from the Israelis, cleansed of its Jews by Ariel Sharon’s protégé Ehud Olmert, and by Dan Halutz, the man who failed to defend Israel from Hezbollah and who, under Ariel Sharon, used the IDF to cleanse the Jews living in the Gaza Strip, giving full control of this strategic territory to antisemitic terrorists pledged to the destruction, via genocide, of the Jewish state. (He also gave control of the Gaza-Egypt border to Egypt).
Now, how should we interpret the behavior of the United States government? The interpretation that Marcus and Crook give is spilled all over the title to their piece: “Abbas Dupes U.S.” And they restate it in the body of the article: “It appears that Rice has been duped into believing that this is a sincere recognition of Israel.” Is this possible? Is it possible that Condoleeza Rice, the foreign minister of the most powerful state in history, with global reach and a vast intelligence service at her disposal chock-full of Arab specialists, has been duped? Is it possible that she knows less than Marcus and Crook? Is it possible that she doesn’t know what Abbas is saying in public on Palestinian Authority TV?
I think this is unlikely.
Moreover, I should point out that Condoleeza Rice did not merely express support for Mahmoud Abbas, she blew him kisses. As Marcus and Crook report, Rice said to Abbas: “We have great admiration for you and [your] leadership.” This is an extreme diplomatic behavior. Great admiration? In other words, Washington has “great admiration” for a terrorist organization responsible for the murders of multitudes of innocent people?
As HIR has documented, Al Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas’s organization (the outfit that controls the PLO), was created by a leader of Adolf Hitler’s Final Solution: Hajj Amin al Husseini, who, according to one of Adolf Eichmann’s lieutenants was more important as an architect of the WWII extermination of the European Jews than Eichmann himself. Is it possible that the United States government does not know this?
I think this is impossible.
I was fired from the University of Pennsylvania (one of the best known universities in the world, and an ‘Ivy League’ school) for making public the documentation that establishes precisely this: that Al Fatah was created by the top leader of Adolf Hitler’s Final Solution. My firing created such a scandal that it was reported in the mainstream media, and one thing Condoleeza Rice’s subordinates certainly do is keep track of the mainstream media. It is hard to believe, for example, that my interview in the top-rated political interview show on TV -- Hannity & Colmes on FOX-NEWS -- can have escaped their attention. But if that were not enough, it turns out that the man responsible for getting me fired, political science professor Ian Lustick (a defender of the PLO), puts it on his CV that he works for US Intelligence. So Condoleeza Rice expressed “great admiration” for an organization that she simply has to know is a continuation of the Final Solution, even as Fatah’s leader was denying in the Arabic media that there was any need to recognize Israel, and was therefore saying that the project to exterminate the Israeli Jews is still on.
I should also point out that, according to the London Sunday Times:
“America is going to have to learn to live with a nuclear Iran, US intelligence analysts have concluded at a secret meeting near Washington.
Senior operatives and outside experts from the intelligence community were almost unanimous in their view that little could be done to stop Iran acquiring the components for a nuclear bomb, The Sunday Times has learnt.”
This also agrees with HIR predictions, for we said (back in February 2006) that the United States was not really opposed to Iranian nuclear ambitions, and if there was any real diplomatic push to prevent Iran from getting them it would be only in the context of also stripping Israel of its nukes. In any case, we predicted that the United States would not attack Iran.
It appears, therefore, that United States policy is allied with Russia’s policy: they both support the enemies of the Israelis, the same enemies who have explained with great clarity that they mean to kill all the Jews.
The last time the great powers were agreed to attack the Jews in the context of a worldwide surge of antisemitism (such as we are experiencing right now) over five million Jews were slaughtered, and this was only the latest installment in a slaughter series that repeats itself almost every century for over two millennia. Can anything be done? Yes: the Jewish people can defend themselves. They can inform their allies among ordinary Americans, who will defend them if they know the truth -- like they did, for example, in 1948, when they came out in large numbers to protest in the streets their own government’s antisemitic policies and forced this government to back down. And the Israeli Jews can take their destiny in their own hands and defend themselves from the Israeli ruling elite, which is leading them down the path to another genocide.
But unless the Jews choose to defend themselves, HIR is predicting another great mass killing of Jews. And very soon. Our readers should take this seriously because the track record of our predictions shows that our model is not a bad one for anticipating future geopolitical events. So spread the word: we can still stop this.
Immoderate Fatah by Arlene Kushner
A responsible Palestinian representative would be helpful, but there just isn’t one.
By Arlene Kushner
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is currently in the Middle East. As has been the case in the past, one of her goals is to “strengthen” the “moderate” Mahmoud Abbas. Her desire to do so is all part of a complex scenario;
The State Department has let it be known on more than one occasion that putting together a coalition of moderate Arab states that will stand against Iran requires signs of progress with regard to “peace negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinians. Why this should be the case is not altogether clear, for it is in best the interest of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, et al., to participate in such a coalition whether Israel negotiates peace with the Palestinians or not: the radicalism of Iran threatens them. Yet this condition has been asserted in certain quarters.
If Israel is going to negotiate with the Palestinians, it must be with Abbas of Fatah. Clearly, Hamas will not do. And so, Abbas must be transformed into a “moderate,” in spite of his willingness to sign on to the Prisoners’ Document with Hamas: a document that doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist and seeks “right of return.” He must be seen as an acceptable “partner for peace.”
As it happens, recent news concerning the “moderation” of Fatah makes the stipulations of the Prisoners’ Document suddenly appear modest.
Back in 2000, the wily Yasser Arafat, who founded Fatah along with deputy Mahmoud Abbas, had a need, as head of the Palestinian Authority, to appear anti-terrorist, if not exactly pacific. He thus fostered a spin-off from Fatah: The Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. This enabled him to play the good cop-bad cop routine he so excelled at: “Who me? I’m against terrorism; it’s that other independent group that commits those terrorist acts.”
Over time, however, fairly irrefutable proof emerged that Al Aqsa was linked to Fatah:
In 2002, Brigades leader Maslama Thabet declared. “The truth is, we are Fatah itself, but we don’t operate under the name Fatah. We are the armed wing of the organization. We receive our instructions from Fatah.”
In 2003, a payment of $50,000 from Fatah to Al Aqsa was uncovered. Just a little over two years ago, the anchorman of the official PA station “Voice of Palestine,” Nizar al-Ghul, referred to “the Brigades of the Martyrs of Al Aksa that is part of the Fatah movement” (translation by Michael Widlanski).
Then, shortly after that, Ahmed Qurei, as Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, stated in an interview with London’s Asharq al-Awsat: “We have clearly declared that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades are part of Fatah. We are committed to them and Fatah bears full responsibility for the group.”
Now Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily has released an interview he held with a leader of Al Aqsa Brigades, Abu Ahmed, who told him, “We are turning Gaza into south Lebanon. We learned from Hezbollah’s victory that Israel can be defeated if we know how to hit them and if we are well prepared. We are importing rockets and the knowledge to launch them and we are also making many plans for battle.”
And that’s not all Abu Ahmed said. He explained, as well, “We have warm relations with Hezbollah, which helps with some of the training programs…The Sinai (where he explained that Hezbollah has cells) is an excellent ground for training, the exchange of information and weapons and for meetings on how to turn every piece of land into usable territory for a confrontation with Israel.” Hezbollah assistance, it seems, includes development of bunkers inside of Gaza similar to those used by Hezbollah in Lebanon.
So the questions must be asked:
Is the Secretary of State aware that an arm of the Fatah party, which she seeks to promote as moderate, is being assisted by the proxy for Iran?
Might it be that she is genuinely unaware of what Al Aqsa Brigades is doing these days?
And, as she proceeds in building that anti-Iran coalition (oh irony of ironies), would it truly matter to her if she did know? Would she find the courage and integrity to call a halt to the refashioning of Abbas as a “moderate”?
That would require putting it straight to the projected members of the coalition: The threat of Iran and its proxy is even greater than we had imagined. Forget that illusionary “peace process” and let us proceed with what is most important to all of us before it is too late.
Arlene Kushner, who was born in America, lives now in Jerusalem, where she works as an investigative journalist and author. She has written Disclosed: Inside the Palestinian Authority and the PLO, as well as several reports on UNRWA for the Center for Near East Policy Research.
More from Brigitte Gabriel
Message from the President and Founder of American Congress for Truth, Brigitte Gabriel
Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America
by Brigitte Gabriel
Welcome and thank you for taking the time to visit our website, American Congress for Truth. Evil prevails when good people do nothing. With the spread of radical Islamic fundamentalism throughout the world, it is important for the people of the western world to know and understand what
to expect and what to do about it.
We are faced with a war that has been declared on Christians and Jews in America and the world. Citizens of the most powerful country on earth watched in horror on 9/11, 2001 as a handful of men brought the United States of America to its knees. Wall Street froze, the stock market tumbled, and national air traffic ground to a halt. The West faces a threat more menacing today than the past goals of communist world domination.
We are facing an enemy that uses children as human bombs, mothers as suicide bombers, and men driven by the glory of death and the promise of eternal sexual bliss in heaven. We are fighting an enemy that loves death more than we love life. I am a victim of the Lebanese civil war, which was the first front in the worldwide Jihad of militant Islam against the only Christian country in the Middle East. My family’s home was shelled and destroyed leaving me wounded. I lived underground in a bomb shelter from age 10 to 17 without electricity and very little food. I had to crawl under sniper bullets to a spring to fetch water for my elderly parents. I was betrayed by my country, rescued by my enemy Israel, the Jewish State that is under attack for its existence today.
911 changed most American lives forever, but it struck an especially sensitive chord with me. It reminded me that the entire world is threatened by the same radical Islamic theology that succeeded in annihilating the “infidels” in Lebanon. That’s why I created American Congress for Truth. ACT was formed in June 2002 to inform, inspire and motivate Jews and Christians throughout society in ways to act and fight for our western ways of life and the values we cherish. Our members include Jews, Arabs and Christians from all background both secular and religious, liberals and conservatives. People who have put their differences aside to combat both anti American and anti Israel propaganda masquerading as anti Imperialism and anti Zionism wherever it exists; in the western media, among the intellectual elite, and on American college Campuses.
So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. I urge you to become an ACT activist and join a growing network of Americans concerned about securing their nation from acts of terrorism. Through American Congress for Truth you can be a voice effecting the future of your community and your nation.
Thank you for your support. You are the heroes who make all our work possible. And I especially thank you for helping me protect the country that has blessed me so much, America, the dream that became my address.
RECENT ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES
Received from Voice of the Martyrs (VOM)
7th of October, 2006
RECENT ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES
NIGERIA : Muslim Rioters Destroy 18 Churches
Nearly 5,000 Christians were displaced and six were injured on September 20th, when Muslim rioters destroyed at least 18 churches, 20 Christian homes, and 40 Christian shops in Dutse, Jigawa state. After a young Muslim man made several unsuccessful advances on a Christian woman, he angrily reacted by calling her a "fake Christian" who follows a "useless Jesus." She responded by telling the boy he followed "a useless prophet." Furious, the boy raised the alarm throughout the town, proclaiming that a Christian lady blasphemed Mohammed. She was taken to the local police station and kept in custody to diffuse the potentially volatile situation.
INDONESIA : Muslim Mob Reduces Church to Ashes
Infuriated by reports that Christians were scheduling revival meetings at the Indonesia Evangelical Mission Church in Aceh province, a militant Islamic mob set the worship center ablaze on September 1st. Local Muslims from the town of Siompi, which was the first in Indonesia to implement Shariah law, reduced the building to ashes in an attempt to wipe out those in their province not bowing down to Allah. Church members have moved their worship services to a local house, as they refuse to buckle under Muslim attacks.
PAKISTAN : Teenage Christian Jailed on False Charges
A young Pakistani Christian, Shahid Masih age 17, was jailed last week on suspicion of ripping book pages containing Quranic verses. He appealed to Punjabi police because the sole evidence against him was the testimony of a Muslim man already accused of the same crime. If convicted, Masih will serve a life sentence.
SAUDI ARABIA (from compassdirect .org)
Saudi Arabia deported four East African Christians last month after they were detained while leading a prayer service in Jeddah. Arrested on June 9th, the church leaders were beaten and imprisoned for more than a month in torturous conditions.
AND IN A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY
PARIS : A French teacher hiding from Islamist death threats
(by Tom Heneghan, Reuters News Agency, abridged)
Robert Redeker went underground after publishing an attack on Islam on Sept. 19 in which he called the Quran "a book of incredible violence" and Islam's prophet Muhammad "a merciless warlord, a looter, a butcher of Jews and a polytheist. [...] Islam”, Mr. Redeker said, "exalts violence and hate."
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said the threats against Mr. Redeker, who teaches philosophy in a suburban Toulouse highschool, were intolerable and showed that "we live in a dangerous world that is often marked by intolerance."
The threats came amid widespread criticism of Pope Benedict XVI by Muslims who accused him of implying in a speech that Islam was violent. And they coincided with the cancellation of a Mozart opera in Berlin out of fear of Muslim protests.
Speaking from an undisclosed location last week, Mr.Redeker, 52, told Europe 1 Radio he had no regrets and that asking critical questions was his job as a philosophy teacher.
French Muslim Council head Dalil Boubakeur denounced the threats and said, "Nobody can take the law into his own hands." Two large teachers unions issued statements supporting Mr. Redeker and free speech. One stressed it did so "even though we do not share his convictions."
The press-watchdog group, Reporters Without Borders, said Mr. Redeker's article may have been shocking, but added, "If Le Figaro (a major French newspaper) had chosen not to publish this text [...] it would have been a defeat for the freedom of thought."
According to judicial sources, Paris police have undertaken an investigation into a possible terrorist link behind the threats.
Mr. Redeker said his wife was in hiding with him under protection by police and the DST domestic intelligence agency. "My security is assured, but the logistics are not," he said. "I have to find myself a place to sleep at night and live for a day or two [at a time]."
In a separate interview, Mr. Redeker told Le Figaro the threats included "a map showing how to get to my home, with pictures of me and where I work and my telephone numbers."
He said he could not imagine coming out of hiding and resuming his teaching job any time soon. "I will have to move homes and live somewhere else, where I will be forced to remain anonymous in my own country. The Islamists have succeeded in punishing me on French territory as if I were [found] guilty of a crime of opinion."
COMMENT : Radical fundamentalist Muslims, among the millions of Muslims who immigrated to Europe, present an imminent danger to European Democracy. Their number may be small, but their influence is disproportional. Witness the Danish Cartoon riots, the murder in the Netherlands of an anti-terrorist movie producer, and the recent demonstrations against Pope Benedict XVI for exercising his right to Freedom of Speech. There is no evidence of any Imams who, in their weekly Friday sermons, broadcast hatred against “infidels” having been forced to live in hiding.
Bad News--Olmert & Lieberman unite
Saturday, October 7, 2006
Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: It is important to see what the details of the
plan actually are. The current law does not require that ministers today be
members of Knesset (Shaul Mofaz, for example, served as DM when he was not
an MK). Instead of encouraging future prime ministers to nominate
appropriate candidates by expanding the role of the Knesset's oversight
function and subjecting the candidates to hearings before a Knesset
committee it sounds as if under the proposal there would be no Knesset
Basic question: Has Israel's problem been that it has had fantastic prime
ministers with tremendous plans who were held back from executing them by
the limitations of the political system or, alternatively, has Israeli
suffered from a series of prime ministers who have pursued half-baked ideas
shot from the hip who at best were only slightly slowed down from
implementing their destructive programs by the few checks and balances the
Israeli political system now has?
It will be particularly important to read the fine print. Avigdor
Lieberman's claim to fame is a plan to redraw the borders for a "we are here
they are there" solution. He wrote a book describing his plan but, in the
Israeli tradition of not reading anything, both journalists and politicians
relate only to what he offers in thumbnail sketches rather than going to the
trouble of actually going through the text. If they did they would find the
gaping holes in his presentation.
Olmert, Lieberman to promote presidential form for gov't
Gil Hoffman and jpost staff, THE JERUSALEM POST Oct. 7, 2006
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman
agreed on Friday to uphold changes in the structure of the next government.
The meeting may also signal that Yisrael Beiteinu is on its way to joining
From the start of the upcoming winter Knesset session, the two parties,
Israel Beiteinu and Kadima, would promote legislation to change the system
of government in Israel and to create a constitution for the state.
Olmert and Lieberman discussed the creation of a presidential system.
According to the proposed model, the prime minister will have the power to
nominate ministers based on their qualifications, without having to receive
permission from the Knesset.
These ministers will not have to act as Knesset members.
Science and Sport Minister Ophir Pines-Paz rejected the proposed change,
saying that "direct elections were a big failure and its results were the
opposite of its goals. The problem isn't the governmental system but the
political culture in Israel. A presidential system without a constitution
can be dangerous."
I can't promise you that everything listed is really 100% true, but most are for sure. It's Chag Succot, the Succot Holiday and time to be happy. I hope that this adds to your enjoyment of the week!
1. The Roosevelt 's were Jewish Dutch, arriving in NYC in 1682 (originally named Claes Rosenvelt before name change to Nicholas Roosevelt) Sarah Delano, FDR's mother, was descended from Sephardic Jews.
2. Joseph Stalin was originally named Joseph David Djugashvili (translating into "son of a Jew".) As well, all 3 of the women he married were Jewish.
3. Dwight Eisenhower's father was a Swedish Jew and was so identified in the West Point Yearbook of 1915.
INTERESTING JEWISH FACTS
1. Lillian Friedman married Cruz Rivera. They named their baby Geraldo Miguel Rivera.(Funny, it doesn't sound Jewish.) Since, according to Jewish law, anyone born to a Jewish mother is Jewish, Geraldo Rivera is Jewish. As were, among others: Fiorella Laguardia, Winston Churchill and Cary Grant, as explained below.
2. Fiorella Laguardia's mother's name was Jacobson. His father was not Jewish. Laguardia spoke seven languages - including Hebrew and Yiddish - fluently.
3. Winston Churchill's mother's name was Jenny Jerome.
4. Cary Grant's mother, Elsie, was Jewish. His father, Elias Leach, was not. Grant's original name was Archibald Alexander Leach. (Robin Leach is his first cousin).
5. Peter Sellers' mother, Margaret Marks, was Jewish. His father, Bill Sellers, was Protestant. Peter's real name is Richard Henry Sellers. 6
6. David Bowie's mother is Jewish, his father is not. One of Bowie 's album covers discusses his Jewish ancestry. His real name: David Stenton Haywood Jones. 7. Robert DeNiro's mother is Jewish; his father is not.
8. Shari Belafonte's mother is Jewish. Her father, Harry, has a Jewish grandfather.
9. Olivia Newton John's Jewish grandfather was a Nobel Prize winning physicist.
10. Harrison Ford's mother is Russian Jewish, his father is Irish Catholic.
ALWAYS GOOD TO KNOW AND REMEMBER!
1. Fact: The first theatre to be used solely for the showing of motion pictures was built by a Jew (Adolf Zukor).
2. Fact: The first full-length sound picture, The Jazz Singer was produced by the Jewish Samuel L. Goldwyn &Louis B. Mayer (MGM).
3. Fact: A Jew (Dr. Abraham Waksman) coined the term antibiotics.
4. Fact: A Polish Jew (Casimir Funk) who pioneered a new field of medical research gave us a word now common in our language - vitamins.
5. Fact: The first successful operation for appendicitis was performed by a Jewish surgeon (Dr. Simon Baruch)
6. Fact: The doctor (Dr. Abraham Jacobi) hailed as America 's father of pediatrics was a Jew.
7. Fact: Until a Jewish doctor (Dr. Siccary) showed differently, Americans believed the tomato was poisonous.
8. Fact: Jewish Levi "Levi's" Strauss (inventor of jeans) is the largest clothing retailer in the world.
9. Fact: In 1909, four Jews were among the 60 multi cultural signers of the call to the National Action, which resulted in the creation of the NAACP.
10. Fact: A Jew (Emile Berliner) is the man who developed the modern day phonograph. While Thomas Edison was working out a type of phonograph thatused a cylinder as a record, Berliner invented a machine that would play a disc. The machine he patented was called the gramophone, and the famous RCA trademark is a picture of a dog listening to "his master's voice" on it.
11. Berliner's device. The gramaphone was superior to Edison 's machine. In short, Emile Berliner made possible the modern record industry. His company was eventually absorbed by the Victor Talking Machine Company, now known as RCA.
12. Fact: Jewish Louis B. Mayer (MGM) created the idea for the Oscar.
13. Fact: European Jews are the founding fathers of all the Hollywood Studios.
14. Fact: Jews comprise a mere 1/4 of 1% (13 million) of the population (6 billion).
15. Fact: 99% of the world is non Jewish. 16. Fact: Three of greatest &most influential thinkers dominating the 20th century were Jewish - Einstein, Freud, and Marx.
17. Fact: The most popular selling Christmas song ("White Christmas") was written by a Jew. (Irving Berlin)
18. Fact: Of the 660 Nobel prizes from 1901 - 1990, 160 have been won by Jews. In the end, Jews win more Nobel prizes than any other ethnicity. They win 40x more than should be expected of them, based upon their small population numbers.
19. Fact: A Jew (Dr. Jonas Salk) is the creator of the first Polio Vaccine.
20. Fact: Jews (Hayam Solomon & Isaac Moses) are responsible for creating the first modern banking institutions.
21. Fact: Jews also created the first department stores of the 19th century: The Altmans, Gimbels, Kaufmanns, Lazaruses, Magnins, Mays, Strausses became leaders of major department stores. Julius Rosenwald revolutionized the way Americans purchased goods by improving Sears Roebuck's mail order merchandising. Hart, Schaffner, Marx, Kuppenheimer and Levi Strauss became household names in mens' clothing. (Let's not forget EJ Korvets -Eight Jewish Korean (war) Veterans.)
22. Fact: Jewish Marc Chagall (born Segal , Russia ) is one of the great 20th century painters.
23. Fact: English Jewish financiers such as Isaac Goldsmid, Nathan Rothschild, David Salomons, and Moses Montefiore, whose fortunes helped England become an empire.
24. Fact: In 1918, Detroit , a Jew (Max Goldberg) opened the "first" commercial parking lot.
25. Fact: In 1910, a Jew (Louis Blaustein) and his son opened the "first" gas station, eventually founding AMOCO OIL. One of the richest oil families in the world.
26. Fact: A Jew (Dr. Albert Sabin) developed the first "oral polio vaccine."
27. Fact: A Jew (Steven Spielberg) is the most successful filmmaker since the advent of film.
28. Fact: A Jewish poet's (Emma Lazarus) famous poem, ."give me your tired .. your poor .. your huddled masses," appears as the inscription on the Statue Of Liberty.
29. Fact: Jewish Harry Houdini (Weiss) is the father of Magic/Illusion.
30. Fact: Dr. Sigmund Freud (Jew) is the father of psychiatry.
31. Fact: Jewish Abraham is the father of the world's 3 major religions: Judaism, Christianity & Islam (ancestors of the Hebrew & Arabic peoples). Jesus (formerly known as "sweet Jewish Jesus") is still worshipped by billions.
32. Fact: Jews are the oldest of any people on earth still around with their national identity and cultural heritage intact.
33. Fact: George & Ira Gershwin & Irving Berlin (Jews) are three of the most prolific composers of the 20th century.
34. Fact: Isadore & Nathan Straus (Jews) - "Abraham & Straus," eventually became sole owners of Macy's (world's largest department store) in 1896.
35. Fact: Dr. Paul "magic bullet" Ehrlich (Jew) - physician, Nobel Prize in 1908 for curing syphilis.
36. Fact: Armand Hammer (Jew) - "Arm & Hammer," physician &businessman who originated the largest trade between U. S. and Russia .
37. Fact: Louis Santanel (Jew) was the financier who provided the funds for Columbus ' voyage to America .
38. Fact: Sherry Lansing (Jew) of Paramount Pictures, became the first woman president of a major Hollywood studio.
39. Fact: Flo Zigfield (Jew) of "Zigfield Follies," is the creator of American burlesque.
40. Fact: Jews were the brains behind the Confederacy:
41. Maj. Adolph Proskauer led the unit at Gettysburg .
42. Judah P. Benjamin held 4 cabinet positions: Attorney General, February 25 to September 17, 1861; Secretary of War, September 17, 1861, to March 18, 1862; acting Secretary of War, March 18 to 23, 1862; Secretary of State, March 18, 1862, until the end of the war) and was referred to as "the brains of the confederacy."
43. Rabbi Max Michelbacher was a confidant and spiritual advisor to General Robert E. Lee.
44. A great many Jews fought for the Confederacy, and the overwhelming were recent immigrants from Germany & East Europe who felt they were fighting for Democracy. They fought far out of proportion to their numbers.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Court Orders Renegotiation of Museum of Tolerance Dispute
18:38 Oct 05, '06 / 13 Tishrei 5767
by Gil Zohar
Supreme Court Justices David Heshin, Ayala Procaccia and Edna Arbel Tuesday ordered the parties in the disputed Museum of Tolerance to sit together for 21 more days to try to reach an agreement.
At issue is whether or not build a $200-million facility promoting tolerance on the site of the historic but deconsecrated Ma'man Allah cemetery. The three-acre site adjoins Independence Park on Hillel Street in downtown Jerusalem and is part of an area known as Mamilla.
The judges said two principles are at issue: that bones should be treated with the utmost dignity; and that too many years have gone by since the cemetery was decommissioned, whence the Court cannot turn back the clock.
Islam permits moving graves which are declared mundras (abandoned), said Benny Cohen, spokesman for the museum. There are various "technical solutions" to the relocation of the disturbed graves, he said.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, director of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (pictured above) which is behind the controversial project designed by architect superstar Frank Gehry, was pleased that there was "no suggestion by any of the judges to relocate the site."
A 30-day cease work order was issued in February after lawyers for two Muslim organizations petitioned Israel's High Court of Justice, asserting that thousands of mujahadin (holy warriors) who died during the Crusades of the 12th and 13th centuries were buried at the site where the center is being built – which continued in use as Jerusalem's main Muslim cemetery until the 1930s. Mediation by former Chief Justice Meir Shamgar failed to achieve a compromise. In recent decades the site had served as a parking lot.
The delay has cost "way into seven figures," Rabbi Hier said, adding that $114-million has been raised to date from 17 donors without even beginning the fundraising campaign.
The Al Aqsa Foundation issued a statement Tuesday saying, "American Jews, clergymen and representatives of the American companies that support building the Museum of Tolerance arrived from America especially to attend sessions of the Israeli Supreme Court regarding the cemetery in an attempt to influence the decision and give the museum heightened significance. Building this museum is absolutely racist."
At Tuesday's hearing Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement inside the Green Line, outlined Israel's usage of Islamic holy sites and gave a brief history of the Mamilla area dispute. In letters to the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Mousa, he called upon the international organizations to help save the Ma'man Allah cemetery.
Jerusalem conservationist and architect David Kroyanker views Muslim opposition to building of the Museum of Tolerance as a matter of great hypocrisy and political opportunism.
"The whole matter is political. They're using the graves to show how Israel treats the Palestinians. It's an issue of political and financial haggling."
Kroyanker noted that in 1923 the Supreme Muslim Council, then headed by Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, drew up ambitious plans to build the al-Aqsa University on the cemetery site to counter-balance the newly-established Hebrew University of Jerusalem on remote Mount Scopus.
The project was finally halted by a failure to raise the funds.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Where's the money going to?
Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI;
1623 Third Ave., Suite 205,
NewYork, N.Y. 10128;
AMERICANS SHOCKED TO LEARN THAT ONE-THIRD OF UJC EMERGENCY DOLLARS DESIGNATED FOR ARABS
By: Helen Freedman
So you thought your money was going to the Jewish children and their parents who spent the past summer in bomb shelters. Or you believed that your donation was going to rebuild homes in the north of Israel that had been destroyed by Hezbollah rockets. Or perhaps you were thinking of the elderly, or school and camp programs. Whatever your thoughts might have been, did you think that a huge part of your donation would be given to the very Arabs who supported Hezbollah and danced on their rooftops in celebration whenever word came of Jewish soldiers or civilians killed? Probably not. Therefore, the following information should be of interest to you.
I contacted United Jewish Communities through email and requested a breakdown of the millions of dollars raised in the Emergency Campaign. I received a copy, with three pages of detailed programs, activities, beneficiaries, allocations and monies paid so far. The very first item is: Activities for non-Jew sector in confrontation area. The organization designated for this concern is JAFI – the Jewish Agency for Israel. The "activity" is: Support to non-Jewish children in community centers. The allocation is $3,300,000.
Community Center – Emergency Outreach Programs is the next item – The organization in charge is the Joint Distribution Committee/JDC. The money allocated is $3,000,000 and 25,299 Arab children are the beneficiaries.
The School Readiness Day Camp Program, solely for non-Jewish children, received $2,640,000 and the Summer camp for kids, including 10,000 non-Jews, received $17,300,000. The list goes on and on, but it is clear that Arabs are benefiting substantially from the generosity of Jews.
What's to be done about this? There are those who will take the high road, declaring that Israel is a "democracy" and must treat all its citizens the same; therefore funds for restoring the north should be handed out in a "democratic" fashion. That is undoubtedly the argument you would get from the UJC. Indeed, on their website:
www.ujc.org, they write the following:
Is there a fundraising goal?
A half billion dollars or more may be required and we are currently assessing the needs.
Do donations go only to Jews?
No: we are helping all vulnerable populations, including Israeli Arabs, Druze and Jews.
So there you are folks. One question and a one-line answer, where Jews, Druze and Arabs are all in the same category of "vulnerable populations."
When examining errors of commission, there are also errors of omission. NO WHERE, in the projected expenditures of the UJC is there any recognition of the 10,000 Jewish refugees from Gush Katif/Gaza, who were forcibly expelled from their homes by the Israeli government in August, 2005. More than one year later, NONE of them have received their full compensation for their destroyed homes and businesses, ALL of them are still in temporary homes, FEW of them have found employment, ALL of the youngsters have been shifted from one school to another, often expected to adjust to six or seven different schools in this one year period, ALL of them are desperately in need of money to try to do for themselves what the government has failed to do. If the United Jewish Communities doesn't respond from their projected half-billion dollar fund-raising campaign, who will?
AND – to rub further salt into the wounds- a Y-net report tells us that the Israeli government is now promising a third of their aid to the north to the Arabs. The Y-Net report by Sharon Roffe-Ofir tells us that an additional $343.3 million will be added by donations raised by the JDC and the Jewish Agency. That's your money, folks –
and please note that the government money takes no note of the needs of the Gush Katif refugees who don't even have homes and businesses to be rebuilt. Their communities were totally destroyed and must be re-created, in new locations, from scratch. That includes schools, synagogues, shops, farms, hothouses, and homes.
How can the Israeli government, and the Joint, and the Jewish Agency, and the Federations that make up the United Jewish Communities turn their backs on needy Jews while they placate Arabs who are part of the plot to destroy Israel? It makes no sense. PLEASE make your voice heard in loud protest to such actions.
Write to Howard Rieger, President and Chief Executive Officer of UJC: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at: 212-284-6500. Insist that money donated by Jews to help the Jews of Israel be used for that purpose. At the very least, there must be full disclosure, up front, that donations to the Emergency Campaign go to Arabs and Druze as well as Jews. At least then, Jews can determine whether to continue donating their money to UJC, or to give it more specifically to individual Jewish causes where the money goes directly to help Jewish needs. Information about direct giving to needy Jews can be secured by contacting Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI, 212-828-2424; email@example.com; www.afsi.org.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
So why did we agree to UIFIL if...
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
IMRA Interview: UNIFIL Spokesman Alexander Ivanko: Our role is not to disarm
IMRA Interview: UNIFIL Spokesman Alexander Ivanko: Our role is not to disarm
Dr. Aaron Lerner - 4 October, 2006
IMRA interviewed UNIFIL Spokesman Alexander Ivanko, in English, on 4
IMRA: I had some questions about the UNIFIL press statement (see full text
". in situations where the LAF are not in a position to do so, UNIFIL will
do everything necessary to fulfill its mandate"
Now this whole story about "taking action" - does this relate only during
the movement of unauthorized weapons?
Ivanko: I am not going to second judge the commanders on the ground. They
are the ones that have to make a decision with the concrete situation that
they are dealing with.
IMRA: But let's put it a different way. This talks about having
"information" about the "movement of unauthorized weapons".
IMRA: The weapons have moved. Now you knew that there was a movement of
"unauthorized weapons". Can you act after the movement has been completed?
Ivanko: As our statement makes it very clear. It is our first priority to
inform the Lebanese Army about it. About whatever we think is the movement
of unauthorized materials.
IMRA: Well, it says ", in situations where the LAF are not in a position to
Ivanko: Well then as I said then we have all the necessary means to take
IMRA: Now the "LAD are not in a position" in some circumstances because the
Lebanese Government hasn't given it instructions to disarm the Hezbollah.
Ivanko: We are not talking about disarmament. We are talking about movement
of unauthorized weapon and material.
IMRA: That's what I am confused about. There are weapons - they are
moving. Now they have completed the movement. Once they have completed the
movement they are no longer relevant?
Ivanko: No. They are as long as there is a cache of weapons that we come
across - it doesn't matter if it is moving or it is static.
IMRA: So if there is a cache of weapons that you come across and the LAF
isn't in a position to act because they don't have instruction to act
against them - then UNIFIL would pick up the weapons?
Ivanko: UNIFIL has the rules that allow it to act but in every case it is a
decision of the commander in the concrete situation.
IMRA: By the way, the area of UNIFIL operations includes the refugee camps?
Ivanko: The area includes the south of the Litani River up to the Blue
IMRA: There isn't an exception then for the refugee camps?
Ivanko: I am not aware of an exception of the rules of operation to the
south of the Litani.
IMRA: I am just trying to make sure I understand. Resolution 1701 does
include UNIFIL having a role in disarming.
Ivanko: When you go to 1701 it pretty clearly says that this is a priority
for the Lebanese. The Secretary-General has said on several occasions that
this is something that is expected of the Lebanese Army and in his view this
should be done through a political process.
IMRA: So, if you are aware that there is a cache of weapons someplace then
at what stage would UNIFIL act on that?
Ivanko: Well I am not going to answer that question because it is a
hypothetical question. And we are not going to be pinned down at to what in
an exact situation what action we would take because then everyone would
know exactly what our steps are. I am not going to get pinned down on
this. Is there any military commander who is going to tell you exactly what
he is going to do?
IMRA: Well a military commander could say that if he is aware of a cache of
Ivanko: We may take action - we may use "all necessary means". That's a
long list - it includes negotiations.
IMRA: I will just end with this. The concept of the "LAF are not in a
position to do so" - is this only in terms of technical capability or can it
extend to that they don't have orders to do something.
Ivanko: It depends, again, on the commander on the ground. His assessment
of the situation.
IMRA: So if the LAF is not in a position to do so because of instructions
above them it is conceivable that UNIFIL would act?
Ivanko: Again - you are giving me a hypothetical situation. In every
concrete situation the commander on the ground assesses what is the reason
etc. etc. If he wishes to consult he then consults with the force
commander and then the decision is made on the ground how UNIFIL will act.
IMRA: Under the terms of the ceasefire the Israelis are prohibited from
carrying out over flights of drones and other observation equipment?
Ivanko: Any over flights we monitor and report to the headquarters in New
IMRA: Is there some problem for UNIFIL to use information that was provided
by Israel that was derived from this activity that you would consider a
Ivanko: Anything involving the use of intelligence information is not
something we will discuss. Period.
IMRA: I understand. Thank you sir.
Ivanko: No problem. Take care/
UNITED NATIONS INTERIM FORCE IN LEBANON (UNIFIL) Naqoura, 3 October 2006
UNIFIL Press Statement www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/PS3oct.pdf
UNIFIL is steadily enhancing its operational capabilities in order to
fulfill its responsibilities under Security Council resolution 1701 (2006).
More than 3,000 additional troops, for a current total of around 5,200, plus
an Interim Maritime Task Force, have been deployed so far. UNIFIL personnel
are patrolling the area of operations, monitoring the cessation of the
hostilities, and assisting the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), which have
already deployed five brigades in the south. Yesterday, UNIFIL confirmed the
withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to south of the Blue Line,
except in the area around Ghajar, and ensured a seamless and smooth takeover
by the LAF.
Should the situation present any risk of resumption of hostile activities,
UNIFIL rules of engagement allow UN forces to respond as required. UNIFIL
commanders have sufficient authority to act forcefully when confronted with
hostile activity of any kind. UNIFIL has set up temporary checkpoints at key
locations within its area of operations. Permanent checkpoints are being
established by the LAF to stop and search passing vehicles. In case specific
information is available regarding movement of unauthorized weapons or
equipment, the LAF will take required action. However, in situations where
the LAF are not in a position to do so, UNIFIL will do everything necessary
to fulfill its mandate in accordance with Security Council resolution 1701.
In implementing their mandate, all UNIFIL personnel may exercise the
inherent right of self-defense. In addition, the use of force beyond
self-defense may be applied to ensure that UNIFIL's area of operations is
not utilized for hostile activities; to resist attempts by forceful means to
prevent UNIFIL from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security
Council; to protect UN personnel, facilities, installations and equipment;
to ensure the security and freedom of movement of UN personnel and
humanitarian workers; and to protect civilians under imminent threat of
physical violence in its areas of deployment, within its capabilities.
For further information, Please contact Alexander Ivanko, UNIFIL Spokesman,
at (+961) 70 910064.