Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Groucho Quizzes the Leaders by Israel Zwick
Compiled by Israel Zwick
On March 24, 2006, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported an exclusive interview with Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas. The same day, the Israeli website, Ynet News, reported an exclusive interview with Kadima leader, Ehud Olmert. The next day, the two Middle East leaders were invited to participate in the TV quiz show, “You Bet Your Life.” This show, hosted by comedian Groucho Marx, was aired on television from 1950 to 1961. The popularity and longevity of the program were attributed to the humorous interactions between Groucho Marx and the contestants. Grouch Marx died in 1977.
Announcer: Welcome to “You Bet Your Life.” The secret word tonight is “RELOCATION.” If any of the contestants say this word during the show, they will receive a bonus prize. Now let’s bring up tonight’s contestants, Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas. Gentlemen, meet Groucho Marx.
Groucho: Welcome to our show, Mr. Olmert and Mr. Abbas. The secret word for tonight is a proposed solution for resolving ethnic conflict. If any of you say the secret word during the show, a rubber duck will come down and give each of you 1000 Shekel. We can no longer use a real duck because of concerns over avian flu. At my age, there’s one thing I always wanted to do before I quit…retire! So Ehud, tell us a little about yourself. What do you do?
Ehud: You mean that you don’t know who I am?
Groucho: Well, I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.
Ehud: I am the Acting Prime Minister of the State of Israel.
Groucho: So, you’re an actor.
Ehud: No, I’m not an actor.
Groucho: I already figured that out for myself. You should seriously consider finding another profession. You could become a decoy for duck hunters. What about you, Mahmoud, are you also an actor?
Mahmoud: No, Groucho. I take my job very seriously; I am the democratically elected President of the Palestinian Authority.
Groucho: So you must be the one responsible for bringing the Palestinians up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.
Mahmoud: I have devoted my life to the plight of the Palestinian people. I am one of those who signed the Oslo agreement and was a patron of the negotiations that were conducted prior to it in secret for eight months. I supported, and continue to support, a clear peace plan, based on the legitimacy of international law, to which we all agreed, and on the road map. I have called ceaselessly for a hudna [cease-fire] in order to enable the continuation of negotiations, and I achieved a period of calm when I was prime minister. I have often swum against the current, but when our public hears from Israel that there is no Palestinian partner- that is something that I cannot explain.
Groucho: I can see that time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana. Ehud, what about you? Are you impressed by Mahmoud’s self-assessment?
Ehud: I know him and we were very friendly, but I cannot base my attitude toward the PA on the sympathy I may have for a certain individual. Abbas failed in the biggest challenge that he faced from the get go – the war on terror. As a result of his government’s failure, Hamas rose to a very influential position.
Groucho: It seems that time wounds all heels. Mahmoud, do you accept the blame for the rise of Hamas?
Mahmoud: That is the price of democracy. The Palestinian people elected this government, but the PLO Executive and all the organizations stated that they reject the Hamas platform. Fatah made mistakes in a few places, and the election system helped Hamas win. But 51 percent of the Palestinians support Fatah’s political plan. I prefer to moderate Hamas and not to push it to extremes.
Groucho: What is this political plan that you are referring to?
Mahmoud: Our solution is based on the Beirut declaration of 2002, which was the biggest gift Israel received since its establishment. It has a special importance because its origin is Saudi Arabia, the land of the Islamic holy places, and because all the Arab states and all the Muslim states at the conference declared their readiness for normalization with Israel after the occupation of the territories ends.
Groucho: Mahmoud, it seems that you learned that the secret of life is honesty and fair dealing, and if you can fake that you’ve got it made. Could you explain that Saudi plan?
Mahmoud: I accept the right of every Israeli citizen to live in security and within agreed borders, which are the borders of 1967. I know well the meaning of life in a situation of unstable security. On the other hand, we, too, have the right to live in an independent state in the 1967 borders, without fences, without settlements, and without military attacks. You should know that not a day passes without a funeral here, without people being wounded and without arrests.
Groucho: Now there’s a man with an open mind – you can feel the breeze from here! Ehud, what do you think about Mahmoud’s plan?
Ehud: I can promise them a state, without giving up on the settlement blocks, but only if they accept the basic conditions set by the international community as they appear in the Road Map for peace initiative, any government that recognizes this will be legitimate.
Groucho: So Mahmoud, can you make Ehud happy and accept the Road Map?
Mahmoud: The negotiations with Israel will be conducted by the PLO’s negotiations unit on the basis of international legitimacy and the Saudi initiative. I am unreservedly committed to the Road Map, to which Israel appended 14 reservations. If we reach and agreement, I will be the one to sign it. If needed, I will put it to a referendum.
Groucho: Does that satisfy you, Ehud?
Ehud: The PA Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, is an enemy according to his own definition. He does not recognize Israel or the agreements signed with us; he also does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Groucho: So Ehud, do you have an alternative plan?
Ehud: When I speak of gathering inside permanent borders, the unilateral issue is insignificant. In lieu of negotiations, first of all I want to reach via domestic dialogue a position that represents the Israeli consensus regarding the country’s permanent borders. Then I said I would negotiate with the US and the International community with the objective of convincing them of the logic behind such a move. If it will be conducted in such a manner – it is not unilateralism but a coordinated process. Then a Palestinian state could be established within the same borders we will set after we decide to evacuate, with internal agreement and international support – without relinquishing the military options we will have in all of the West Bank to protect ourselves from terror.
Groucho: A child of five would understand this. George, send someone to fetch a child of five. Mahmoud, do you understand Ehud’s plan?
Mahmoud: Olmert’s plan may bring about a 10-year hudna and a state with temporary borders, but it will not bring peace. Plans like that leave the problem open, but do not resolve it. We saw what happened when the end of the conflict is postponed. According to Oslo, we were supposed to reach a final-status agreement by 1999, and we saw what happened. Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, Shimon Peres lost the elections, and Benjamin Netanyahu destroyed everything. I am proposing to sit now and discuss the end of the conflict. I proposed to Peres and the Americans to open a back channel of talks, far from the spotlight, and I am convinced that within less than a year, we will be able to sign an agreemnent.
Groucho: Ehud, do you share Mahmoud’s optimism?
Ehud: Only a Palestinian Authority that is committed to the agreements and is not involved in terror may be a partner for negotiations and an agreement. After Hamas rose to power, the hope of holding substantial negotiations was dashed.
Groucho: Ehud, I understand that allegations were made about your honesty, integrity, and worthiness to become Prime Minister.
Ehud: Have you heard any complaints against me on these issues in the past four years? No! Why? Because I was not a candidate. People are not stupid and realize that this is part of the elections campaign and the smear campaign.
Groucho: I have always said that there is one way to find out if a man is honest –ask him. If he says “yes,” then you know he’s a crook. Mahmoud, do you have anything to say to Ehud?
Mahmoud: We must come to the negotiating table in good faith and with a genuine and true desire to end the conflict. I have to put myself in your shoes and you will put yourselves in my shoes. When each side understands the rights of the other, there is a chance that we will reach a solution. It will not happen if you ambush me into a corner in order to grab a slice here and a slice there.
Groucho: Gentlemen, our time is up. I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it. I am now convinced that politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies. Since neither of the contestants said the secret word, our next contestants will get a chance to get the bonus prize. George, who are our next contestants?
Announcer: Bibi Netanyahu and Ismail Haniyeh.
The Morning After Elections by Sara Layah Shomron
The Morning After Elections
By Sara Layah Shomron
Nitzan Caravilla Site
29 Adar 5765 (29 March 2006)
There is no getting around the fact that the majority of the Israeli electorate want to give half of Jerusalem and the overwhelming majority of Judea and Samaria to the Arabs. They want to set permanent borders to the State of Israel incorporating the fewest number of Arabs as possible. They want separation from the Arabs but fail to realize that while the Land is truncated the Arab population remains. The result of this will be the expulsion of more than 100,000 Jews from their homes and our Land within the next few years. I mourn the intended loss of our Land and the tragedy to be inflicted upon my fellow Jews by a Jewish government. This election was definitely a referendum for the future of Judea and Samaria.
It's not only about ideology. The voting electorate also made it clear that they voted their pocketbooks. The elderly, large familes, and the Sephardim were hard hit by Netanyahu's austere economic plan and voted for the Labor, Pensioner and Shas political parties.
Clearly a truncated Israel will be no easy feat for Ehud Olmert to carry out. The religious Zionist is not a lemming cooperating with National suicide. It will be met with demonstration after demonstration and no doubt further bloody Amonas. The cost in human blood and a disconnected Jewish minority may lead to a path of civil war. And if we don't destroy ourselves from within, Hamas has made it clear it will continue to destroy us from without.
Sure the Arabs have rocked, bombed, mortared, rocketed, kassamed, ketushed us – and the large majority of the Israeli electorate still don't get it; thinking the Arabs can be appeased by throwing more and more Land at them. Ethnocentric Western thinking prevents them from seeing that they are only showing weakness and whetting the Arab enemy's appetite.
Yet perhaps it is from Hamas G-d will work his miracles in transcending the Jewish majority from their deep and Pollyanna stupor. After all, our history has shown us that it is through external adversity that we have found our strength and fortitude to survive.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
from the Tuckers: A Farewell Letter to the People of the Golan Heights
It is now seven months since the expulsion and we are packing our suitcases again, to move south and open a new page in our lives and the life of the Netser Hazani community.
We should have gone from house to house in the Golan Heights, to embrace each and every one of you and say farewell. So many good people there deserve our thanks for the warmth and love you gave us.
We came to you in days of destruction, betrayal and disappointment, with heavy hearts and tired eyes, broken from what had happened to us: an evil government expelled us from our lands and destroyed our homes, but did not bother to help us once we were over the Kisufim crossing. But God in His mercy brought us here, to the Paradise, a place of beauty and good, pure-hearted people.
You, dear people, in your simple and honest way knew how to hold out your hands to us without giving us the feeling that we were needy; you treated us so gently and sensitively that today we are able again to raise our heads and look forward. For this and so much more you have our heartfelt thanks.
We shall never forget the evil people who destroyed our world, but we shall also never forget the people of grace and truth who helped us in our most difficult moments.
Dear people, we want to tell you that you live in a truly wonderful place, where the enchanted countryside fits the enchanted people who live there (there used to be another place like this, but evil people destroyed it). We hope you will be able to continue building and flourishing for many generations.
We are now leaving on a long journey; we hope we shall reach its end soon, and leave with you some of us who have chosen to share your journey. We are confident that you will help them in future, too, so that they can fulfill their dreams as well.
Let us pray that the Lord will give us all the strength to withstand the tribulations of Geula,Redemption and keep our faith strong.
With God’s help we shall live to see the coming of the Messiah.
In the name of all the people of Netser Hazani who did not have time to say good-bye,
Osnat and Aviel Tucker, and the Tucker families.
Netzer Hazani will be rebuilt again soon with God’s help!
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Subject: post-purim update by Anita Tucker
by Anita Tucker
The obstacles that our government place in our way of building our homes and businesses anew continue.
The lawyers tell us that the Gov't representatives have now insisted that their own essayers, who had come into Gush Katif weeks before our expulsion to essay our homes , must, now, lower the figures they presented (which were based on what they saw and measured on our homes in Gush Katif then).
The Gov't wants lower numbers than the already much lower numbers of the gov't essayers. The gov't reps are apparantly disturbed by the fact that their figures are too similar to the figures presented by the private essayers that we each had privately hired before the expulsion(the most reliable, experienced and known realty essayers in country).
The result is that the gov't refuses to reach a settlement until their own essayers lower their numbers (based on nothing but crumbles -that even that they can't get in to see.) This is to assure that the final bargained down price will be very low and not enable building anew (In the law there is an option of not accepting the absolute fee /per meter which is unfairly low but because of improvements in the homes that in fact had involved much higher sums to accept a total sum based on gov't essayers fee on each individual home)
So meanwhile most of us are unable to receive compensation for our homes and thus build our homes anew in the seeable future.
Why is this illogical thing being done ???? This new obstacle ,as the others before, of course, causes much suffering, pain and aggravation, not to mention slow crumbling of our communities, that we have struggled with such conviction to hold together .
Our community has been our so important sanity maintaining factor that we succeeded in taking out with us of the destruction of Gush Katif, as well as being our motivation to build anew.
I hope your Purim was joyful. Ours was outstanding. We were privilaged to feel the warmth of many individual caring Jews. Several Jews from NY-NJ area individually went to all the communities of people fromGush K Atif to deliver Mishloach Manot packages to each family.
Other generous individuals donated costumes to share Purim happiness with each child here in GK communities. In addition we felt really pure Purim Joy this year. We were not joyful because we have a beautiful house today, nor because we have a successful business today. However we were trully joyful because we so tried with all our hearts and spirits that we have left, to feel the light of help,the joy, the happiness that the Jews of Shushan and of all over those places where Jews lived there felt in those very special times when all was salvaged with God's help and Mordechai's , Esther's and all the Jews courage. The Jews then were able to continue their lives as they were used to.
We rejoiced sincerely and purely in this joy of Purim and prayed that we too, will soon ,God willing ,be able to feel this joy in our communities anew every day ,not only on Purim!
Thanks so much for caring,
caring gives strength.
A note from Anita Tucker, formerly of Nezer Chazani
...if you want to be nice and help her help herself. It is, in my opinion, also very important to not let the powers in charge get away with such idiocracy. I just went out to look again they cannot possibly agree to move into the site as is
--if it rains they'll have to float out of their caravillas as their are no paths or anything yet.
In our caravillot the defects in the construction are absolutely unbelievable -as if their is no quality control whatsoever in the prefab factories that made them . The whole site was divided into different contractors that provide the finished caravilla complete with everything . Ours is one of 9 that the contracted for them is the Settlement Dept. All nine caravillot have a door and a frame that have no connection between them and cannot possibly ever be closed properly.
When we tried to find out how could such a caravilla been accepted at site?
-Answer we were told it came that way
--and we accepted it because Sela wanted homes on site immediately
-so when asked how will it be fixed ? The manufacturer of house will have to do it
-So why doesn't he get him to do it?
Will they have to take caravilla back to factory to fix it?????
It goes on and on and all pass the buck endlessly
---it is Chelm but also much worse
-it is evil that a person who does a job on every level doesn't care at all about the fact that a fellow human being will have to live in that house.
Something so sick is happening here in our country!
It is true it always was Chelmy but this is just so bad and so worse than ever
--that those people responsible don't seem to care about others at all, and this atmosphere and message goes down the line to he simplest worker below!
(personally, I refuse to waste my time chasing after evil-and try to fill the voids with good)
I sent car from Neve dekalim man to pick up rugs-for fee----hope they will be here and in Neve dekalim shortly!
Thanks for all your efforts .
Monday, March 20, 2006
Meet NU-NRP before the elections
TOGETHER IT WILL BE טב ToV
COME HEAR & MEET THE LEADERS
THAT WILL ENSURE THAT WHAT YOU
BELIEVE IN MOST WILL BE PROTECTED
COME AND ASK YOUR QUESTIONS
MK BENNY ELON
#1 HaIchud Haleumi-Mafdal List
MK GILA FINKELSTEIN
#10 HaIchud HaLeumi-Mafdal List
MK SHAUL YAHALOM
#11 HaIchud HaLeumi-Mafdal List
HARAV SHOLOM GOLD
Rav, Kehillat Zichron Yosef, Har Nof
Date: Wednesday March 22nd, 2006
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Prima Kings Hotel, Jerusalem
60 King George St. Jerusalem
next to Kikar Tzarfat
For further information:
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Havel Havelim #62, Specially for You!
There's supposed to be a picture here, but blogger isn't cooperating, must be in kahoots with Haman, so if at a later date it gets "done," you'll, see it, but in the meantime...
“Havel Havelim,” ”Vanity of Vanities” is the Jewish-Israeli blogging carnival consisting of posts from blogs all over the world. It’s hosted by a different blogger each week and coordinated by Soccer Dad. The term “Havel Havelim” is from Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, which was written by King Solomon, who built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other “excesses” and finally realized that it was nothing but norishkeit, “havel” or in English “vanities.”
You're only seeing this edition of HAVEL HAVELIM, now that it's finished, but for me this is a rushed one, since it's already Wednesday, Shushan Purim and I'm only beginning. It usually takes me a full week. I've already heard three out of four Megillah readings, one of the advantages/disadvantages of living in Shiloh, and I've had enough sugar and other diet "no no's" to ice a wedding cake for a thousand.
Posts are pouring in, thank G-d, and yes, some bloggers are multiply represented. I'd rather include all the posts than have the thankless task of choosing "the best from each," since it's like choosing which of your children you love the most. I remember reading an interview with one of Israel's greatest song writers, the late Naomi Shemer, in which she was asked which was her favorite song, and she answered that she always loved her most recent one the most. I'm not presumptuous enough to consider my varied posts as having the artistic merits of Naomi Shemer's songs, but I'm certain that I'm not alone in feeling, undoubtedly more than once a week, that I've written something that should be included in Havel Havelim.
Obviously, I'll start with Purim posts…
Instead of Havel Havelim,
The Muqata is the place to be
For innumerable Purim Parodies!
Decide which is best in your eyes
Then vote for the CRIB First Prize!
And if you want to know what to sing
Click Yitz's Purim niggunim!
Just not too loud
Or I won't join the crowd.
Yaakov hates firecrackers;
I can't stand the noise,
But for some "boys will be boys."
Purim by the bloggers
Like a bunch of groggers
From Ya'aqov Ben Yehuda
Sing this louder than a tuba
Have we forgotten
What happened in ancient Shushan?
And if you want to feel better
Read the Purim Arutz 7
Here are some wise sayings
From Chavie Willig Levy
And the Sin of Expulsion
Asks Howdy Doody's help
In deciding the election
This rabbi may be velveteen,
But she sure knows about Purim.
Listen to this
Monkey speaking Yiddish!
Menorah—News and Views
All about Purim, "venahafoch hu!"
About that perfect Purim poster
Not Quite Perfect's confidence needs a bolster
This is no Purim spiel;
It's actually for real.
From a Balloon Twister's Aliya Saga
A first Purim which sounds rather gaga
All about Adar
From Miri, who lives afar
The Cos' returns only to announce
His plans to drink every ounce
Whether he did,
or whether he didn't
Next morning he threw everyone out of bed
To hear the Megillah!
See psychotoddler's Purim
It's great photo-journalism
A Simple Jew and a Space Cadet
From the Pillage Idiot, good news
For Irish Jews
Though not written for Purim,
It's a good'n
Purim, no doubt.
Thinking of Haman inspires Irina to tell a moving a moving story about a small resistance cell against the Nazis.
LIFE IN ISRAEL
Treppenwitz reminds us that the Jewish heart and values can't be judged by the external, or more simply put, that there's strong Jewish feeling in many Israelis who don't appear "religious." And he later explains the background to the Jericho army operation.
Carl sees the Jericho Operation this way. And he also writes about the inflated PA demographics.
Look at the beautiful, early spring flowers from Elms in the Yard.
Katif.net is still reporting and updating, but now the Arabs are attacking the Negev.
It's hard to tell if my husband's taxi story is uniquely Israeli, or is it the type of thing that happens wherever there are taxi drivers.
Over six months after Disengagement, the condition of the refugees no longer gets its own heading. There's more in The Sin of Expulsion.
My Ober Dicta writes about the importance of Mishpat Ivri, Judaic Law.
The olah chadash From French Hill tells us why she's so tired, and it's not from cooking.
Moze knits across Greece. OK, it doesn't really belong in this section, but she did say that Greeks are like Israelis.
POLITICS and MEDIA
My Eye tells us why Israel is not a democracy.
Adloyada gives us the scoop on the media.
Westbankmama brings up some interesting points about democracy and voting.
Don's "On the Contrary…" discusses Bibi's failed attempt to form a coalition, pre-elections.
"It's Almost Supernatural" has a series of posts defending Israel, which was accused of being an apartheid state.
Daled Amos explains the importance of Jewish blogging.
Ze'ev's perspective about Israeli Arabs is very clear.
Outside Esther tells us what she thinks of the raid on Jericho.
Robin writes of virtual mishloach manot.
Meryl Yourish complains of A.P. media bias, though I was reasonably pleased with the A.P. article I was interviewed for.
Here's an excellent, comprehensive article about media bias from Soccer Dad.
Shaister wrote that MK Naomi Blumental's jail sentence is justified. Personally I think that it's out of proportion to the punishments given to much more serious offenders. It's sort of like the income tax paid by multi-millionaire business men, who write off "business failures" and hardly pay any tax.
Read Daled Amos' post about the Jericho Operation.
Some of the Israeli bloggers are not just observing the political scene; they're actively involved, like The Path to the Knesset, which is supporting Yisrael Beitenu.
Many of the NU-NRP supporters are disappointed in the campaign ads. Read what my husband wrote about them.
The Sin of Expulsion reminds Israelis to vote.
And soon we'll know, are the vegetablepundits right in their election prediction?
Barak of IRIS Blog explains that the Dubai Port Capitulation Likely Fraudulent.
Rachel Ann has a very clear idea of what a hero is. And she also writes about how the nearby Arab kids are being "educated."
Dry Bones gives us more in a small cartoon than most op-ed writers find to fill a full page.
Blog Free! presents: The Campaign Speech That We Didn’t Hear by Israel Zwick.
What's a monitor? Israpundit explains.
And Smooth tells us what's an Islamaphobe.
The police brutality in Amona is still strongly affecting us. My husband's blog offers a link to one of the better videos shot there.
Thoughts about Parah Adumah, the Red Heffer… and its opposite.
And more about that ruste taurus from Reb Chaim HaQoton.
Sarah's hosting the pre-Passover Kosher Cooking Carnival! Send in your recipes, menus, food stories and traditions, "anything kosher!"
Elie's Expositions announces: A Tzedaka Fund for Aaron.
Irina writes about the role of women and race from her very special perspective.
A Simple Jew fits a piece in a "puzzle." And he also posts some beautiful paintings.
Different River describes a strange kind of "art."
On Cross-Currents, there's an article about easing conversion to Judaism.
Who remembers John Falotico?
May he RIP.
AbbaGav presents his very own: Hollywood Squares!
This post on Judeopundit reminds me why I'm happy to live in Israel.
From the Aliya Blog we learn about kosher toilet paper, which reminds me of the old "crepe toilet paper" which could be used to scrub pots.
Read all about the YU Alumni Shabbaton.
Irina tells us what she misses about her grandmother.
Here's the Canonist's view
Ben's in love;
The clown picture is one of Fred's; thanks, Fred! (I hope that I get blogger to load it.)
Send your links for the next edition of Havel Havelim via Conservative Cat’s handy form or the blog carnival one, and at the same time you may discover other “carnivals” to visit and enter. You can also use those forms to send kosher recipes and other kosher food posts to the Kosher Cooking Carnival.
Thanks to Soccer Dad for his hard work keeping this going, and if you want to host, please let him know at dhgerstman at hotmail dot com.
This appears in the UberCarnival.
Please put up a blurb on your site alerting readers to Havel Havelim
This will be cross-posted to my other blogs; each has different templates and different "viewing pleasures." I guess at some point I'm going to have to repair the templates or switch, so if anyone can help....
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Suicide terror for children glorified on Hamas children's web site
Suicide terror for children glorified on Hamas children's web site
By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Suicide terror for children is now being actively promoted on the Hamas children's web site al-fateh.net. The new material posted yesterday is a short fictional story for children, glorifying a young girl's suicide terror attack. It describes how she calmly progresses, step by step, planning and executing her death in a suicide terror attack. The girl heroically leads "Zionist soldiers" to their death, all the while knowing she will be killed along with them. In death she is said to be "smiling, lying on the grass, because she died as a Shahida (Martyr for Allah) for Palestine." The story is entitled "A Palestinian Girl's Heroism."
The illustration with the story on the web shows a young smiling girl with four candles. The image of a living, smiling child in a story about the death of a child appears to echo a familiar message in PA children's education, that those who die as Shahids (Martyrs for Allah) are not really dead. (Click here to see PA TV broadcasts of Shahada promotion for children.)
The Jerusalem Post reports today on Hamas's attempt to deny responsibility for this and other web sites administered from its Beirut office. The Jerusalem Post article is reprinted below, following the translation of the short story from the web site. It should be noted that after PMW publicized that the Hamas children's website was encouraging children to seek martyrdom, the Russian server (CORBINA TELECOM Network Operations) immediately closed down the website on March 9, 2006. However, the site reopened a couple of days later and is now being hosted by a Malaysian webhoster (Eastgate;Telekom Multimedia of Telekom Malaysia Berhad;Telekom Exchange II, Jalan Lingkaran Fauna).
The following is the new short story on the web site:
A Palestinian Girl's Heroism
"Suad, the bright Palestinian girl, remembered what the Zionist criminals did, when they killed her father and mother.
One day while Suad was walking, she heard a voice from the trees. She turned and saw three men planting land-mines on the road leading to the Zionist camp.
Suad kept on walking. After a while, she saw a car with some Zionists, and an idea popped into her mind. She walked to the officer who was in the car, and told him: "I'll lead you to Palestinian Fida'yon (literally: self sacrificing fighters) in return for food, because I am hungry".
The officer was afraid of the Fida'yon's reputation, and didn't believe what Suad told him. He then said to his soldiers: "Take her to the camp so we will clarify her story".
In the camp, the soldiers brought food to Suad, so she would lead them to the Fida'yon. She told them: "Before I taste any food, I must lead you to the Fida'yon".
The officer was very happy and told his soldiers: "Let's go fast".
On the way, Suad got ready to carry out her plan. She decided to cause the car to ride over the land-mines, so that all of the soldiers would die.
Suad sat next to the driver, to direct him, and she led him to the land-mines. Then the [car] blew-up and all of the soldiers were killed. As for Suad, well she became a Shahida (Martyr for Allah) on the grass, while smiling, because she died as a Shahida for Palestine".[Al-Fateh - Hamas Website, March 15, 2006].
From The Jerusalem Post, March 16, 2006
Hamas denies running kids' suicide Web site
By Orly Halpern
Hamas has denied charges by two Israeli organizations that a cartoon-style Web site for kids that praises suicide bombings belongs to the militant Islamic movement.
The al-fateh.net site encourages children to commit suicide in order to kill Israeli soldiers and civilians. On Wednesday the site had an item telling a short story about a young girl who knowingly leads Israeli soldiers to a bomb and dies with them. The story said that "Suhad became a shahida (martyr) lying on the grass and smiling because she was a shahida for Palestine."
Itamar Marcus, Director of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an Israeli organization which monitors and translates Palestinian Arabic language media, said that the site, along with palestine-info.com and palestinegallery.com are official Hamas sites.
"A man by the name of Nizar Hussein who sits in Lebanon runs those site and he runs the children's Hamas Web site from the same server," said Marcus.
According to Dr. Reuven Ehrlich, a former army general who now directs an organization called the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center said Hussein works in the same office as leading Hamas official in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan.
"We know and assume that they are working together," said Ehrlich. "I checked it out with my Israelis sources and they confirmed this. I can't reveal who they are."
According to a Hamas official in Ramallah, Hamas has long been falsely accused of running the palestine-info.com Web site.
"You should ask [the Israelis] where they have this information from," Farhat Abu-Assad, a Hamas official in Ramallah, told The Jerusalem Post.
Abu-Assad said that many Islamic sites sympathize with Hamas "but that does not make them Hamas Web sites. The [people who run these sites] are private individuals that might sympathize with Hamas, but Hamas does not recognize these Web sites."
Marcus said the proof is in the content. "The fact is that they use these sites to publicize their announcements," said Marcus. "That is their way of getting their messages out to the world."
But Abu-Assad said the announcements are available to all and appear in many Palestinian media agencies including the official Palestinian news agency WAFA and in Maan, an Internet news Web site.
Marcus added that palestinegallery.com has materials that could not be available to others. "There is no way in the world that they can get these films of suicide bombings on these Web sites."
The children's site, which is in Arabic, has a "Shahid of the Week" on its homepage.
PMW believes that the reason Hamas does not have a declared official Web site is because it might be closed down for political reasons. Indeed, in an interview with UPI on October 10, Osama Hamdan said that Hamas did not have its own Internet site and that political pressure caused down its former site to be shut down three years ago.
However PMW noted that some countries which host servers, such as Malaysia, would not close a Hamas Web site.
This promotion of Shahada death for children is not new in the PA. The Palestinian Authority through its televised videos and children's textbooks has taught children to see death through Shahada as "sweet", desirable, and something to aspire.
[Hamas website, February 21, 2006]
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006
The Campaign Speech That We Didn’t Hear by Israel Zwick
by Israel Zwick
The major candidates involved in Israel’s upcoming elections have been busy giving interviews to the media and making speeches. However, the speech below went unnoticed by the popular media. It is the speech that we really need to hear.
My Dear Friends:
Our beloved and beleaguered State of Israel is approaching a critical juncture in its brief, but turbulent history. Our Prime Minister continues to lie gravely ill, never again to return to public life. While his policies in public office have always been controversial, he has made significant contributions to the security and welfare of our state. He has risked and devoted his life to building a strong and secure state for the Jewish people. For this we owe him our respect, admiration, and gratitude. We extend our consolation to his family and pray that the final days allotted to him will be spent in peace and comfort.
In a short time, the citizens of Israel will be going to the polls to elect a new government and Prime Minister. We will be electing a new generation of leaders, raised after our country achieved its independence. The new leaders will have to learn to navigate the turbulent sea that our nation has entered. As we chart our course for the future, we cannot forget the lessons of the past, lest we are condemned to repeat the same mistakes.
In May, 1967, our tiny nation of only 22,000 sq. km. was threatened with annihilation by our much larger and more populous Arab neighbors. So in June, 1967, our military forces were compelled to launch a pre-emptive strike to ensure our survival. In the ensuing battles, we not only defeated our enemies, but we liberated our historic lands that were illegally occupied by Jordan and Egypt from 1948 to 1967. During that time, Jews were evicted from lands where they lived for thousands of years. Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, and historic sites in Judea and Samaria were intentionally desecrated and destroyed by the Arab occupiers. Jews were denied access to our holiest sites in the environs of Jerusalem and Hebron. During that period, while Jewish rights were so blatantly violated, there was not one word of protest from the international organizations that today express so much concern for the rights of Arabs living in Judea and Samaria.
After our victory in June, 1967, we proclaimed liberty throughout the land for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The liberation of the land also gave us control over a population of about 2 million Arab Muslims and Christians. We gave the Christians and Muslims control of their respective houses of worship and holy sites. At the same time, people of all faiths were able to visit all the religious and historic sites found throughout Judea and Samaria. Outdoor concerts in Bethlehem were attended by large numbers of people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds. In contrast to the oppressive occupation by Jordan and Egypt, the lands of Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and Sinai, were now open to tourism, settlement, and economic development to people of all faiths. Religious freedom for all was guaranteed and welcome.
Unfortunately, the halcyon days were short-lived. Though the Arab population in the territories received health, economic, and social benefits from their association with the State of Israel, they refused to live under the flag of Israel. They proclaimed that they were “victims of Israeli aggression’’ and perpetrated numerous, barbaric terrorist attacks against the Jewish population in the guise of “waging a battle of liberation from the harsh, Israeli military occupation.” The other Arab and Muslim countries supported their “struggle for liberation” and the international community refused to recognize Israeli control of the territories. Even our sovereignty in our capital city of Jerusalem was questioned. Despite all efforts by the State of Israel to live in peace with our Arab neighbors and accommodate their demands, they continued to wage a relentless war of virulent hatred and horrific terrorism against our people.
Today, as we approach elections in our free and democratic society, we again are facing an existential dilemma. We would like to maintain the identity and character of a small, Jewish state without controlling the lives of 3 million Arabs. It would be nice if we could separate from the Arab population, but that is not a viable option. It is impossible to effect a complete separation in such a small territory. Any land that we relinquish would be prohibited for Jewish settlement and would be used for hostile actions that would jeopardize our existence.
It should not be necessary to carve up our historic lands into inaccessible parcels in order to achieve peaceful coexistence with the Arab population. The State of Israel should maintain control of Judea and Samaria as well as regain control of Gaza. To the Arab population, we make the following offer: “We extend our hand to you and say ‘Sholem Aleichem.’ We invite you to share in the peace and prosperity of the State of Israel. Let us put down our weapons and combine our efforts to build a land of freedom, equality, security, and economic opportunities. We offer you a commonwealth government modeled after Puerto Rico, or some other form of non-sovereign governmental arrangement. We can build joint institutions of peace that would promote tourism, develop commercial enterprises, develop natural resources, explore alternative energy sources, and share health facilities. Together, we can build a free, and prosperous nation that would benefit all its inhabitants, of all faiths and ethnic identification.
However, if you still refuse to live under the blue and white flag of the State of Israel, we will still try to accommodate your nationalistic aspirations and preferences. That does not mean that we will tolerate your violence or allow you to threaten the existence of the Jewish state. Instead, we will assist you in your decision to live under another flag of your choice. We will provide your family with compensation for your property, transportation to a country of your choice, and a financial stipend to help your family get started in your new home in another country. Under no circumstances will we tolerate incitement and violence against the peaceful inhabitants of the State of Israel and its commonwealth territories.”
My dear friends, we will not achieve peace and security by abandoning, relinquishing, and retreating from our historic and religious homelands. Of what value is peace, if it costs us our pride? How can our hearts be at peace if our ancestral lands must become Judenrein, prohibited to Jews but open to people of other faiths? Of what value is security if it costs us our dignity? Security doesn’t mean traveling in bulletproof vehicles on special roads that are lined with tall concrete barriers. Security means that our children will be free to follow in the footsteps of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, without fear of reprisal.
So my friends, when you go the polls next week, don’t vote for the illusion of peace and security that will only lead to more violence and bloodshed. Vote instead for true peace with Jewish pride, and security with dignity. Cast your ballot for retaining the YESHA territories, establishing an Arab commonwealth government in the territories, and encouraging emigration of Arabs who refuse to accept peaceful coexistence.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Purim in The New York Times
March 14, 2006
The Ghost of Purim Past
By JEFFREY GOLDBERG
THREE years ago, while visiting Tehran, I was introduced to a charmless man named Muhammad Ali Samadi, who, I was told, would parse for me the Iranian theocracy's peculiar understanding of Judaism and Zionism. Mr. Samadi said that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, held no brief for anti-Semitism. Then, a moment later, he deployed an epidemiological metaphor to explain the role of Jews in history.
"There are always infections and diseases in man," he said. "In the world there is an infection called international Jewry."
A year later, Mr. Samadi became the spokesman for the Esteshadion, or Seekers of Martyrdom, a group that has as its mission the training of young Iranians to kill Salman Rushdie, commit acts of suicide terrorism against Americans in Iraq and blow up Jews everywhere.
"The Zionists should know that they aren't safe so long as they are an affront to God," he said. I asked him if, by "Zionists," he meant Israelis or, more generally, Jews. "Jews, Zionists, Israelis," he said, only semi-ambiguously.
I was not visiting Iran in order to collect the anti-Semitic leavings of second-tier terrorists, though I did buy a knapsack's worth of Jew-obsessed pamphlets and books, including a copy of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in Persian. I was in Iran mainly to cross over into Iraq, whose dictator was about to be deposed by the United States Army. Saddam Hussein had once promised to "make fire burn half of Israel" — and he tried, ineffectually, to do so in the 1991 gulf war.
As chance would have it, it was on Purim that I tried to cross from Iran to Iraq. Purim is the famously disorderly holiday, celebrated today, that commemorates the hairbreadth escape of Persia's Jews from annihilation at the hands of the evil vizier Haman. The Purim story is recounted in the Scroll of Esther, which was read last night, Purim eve, in synagogues all over the world — including those in Iran, which is home to a remnant of a great and exceedingly old Jewish community. Judaism predates Islam in Iran by 1,000 years.
Purim is the ne plus ultra of the "They Tried to Murder Us, They Failed, Let's Eat" subcategory of Jewish holidays, and it is a self-consciously raucous day, a Jewish Mardi Gras when even rabbis are expected to drink themselves oblivious. It is possible to imagine, though, that Iran's intermittently persecuted Jews, living today under a president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denies the historical truth of the European Holocaust while threatening a new Middle Eastern one, might see Purim not as a story of tragedy averted but as one of tragedy foretold.
The Purim story is suspenseful, ribald, comic and almost certainly false, a fantasy of revenge and redemption. Scholars generally agree that it is a pseudo-history introduced into Judaism about 2,400 years ago, at a time when the memory of Jerusalem's conquest by the Babylonians was still laying Jews low. In the story, the supercilious King Ahasuerus chooses the beautiful Esther to be his queen. Esther, who keeps her Jewishness hidden, has an uncle, the stoic and brave-hearted Mordechai, who does not conceal his faith, and who earns the wrath of Haman when he refuses to bow down before him.
Haman, in his anger, decides to visit his retribution not only on Mordechai but on all his tribe. "There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of thy kingdom," Haman tells Ahasuerus. "It is not for the king's profit to suffer them." The king agrees to have his Jewish subjects exterminated.
To save her people, Esther reveals to him that she is Jewish. Shocked into understanding, the king orders Haman hanged on the gallows originally built for Mordechai. But he is powerless to reverse his genocidal edict, so instead he allows the Jews to arm themselves in self-defense, and, on the day of the planned extermination, they do the slaying.
It is an outlandish story on several counts, not least of which is that ancient Persian kings tended to tolerate other gods and the men who worshipped them. Such tolerance, it must be said, is one of the main attributes of polytheism; Jews were not seen as threats to the theological order of pre-Islamic Persia.
The Muslim Middle East of today, alas, is a more plausible backdrop for the sort of anti-Jewish plot outlined in the Scroll of Esther than was the Persia of antiquity, the story's actual setting. The Iranian regime, after all, parades Shahab-3 missiles through Tehran draped in banners that declare, "We will wipe Israel from the map." The head of one of Iran's leading clerical councils, Hashemi Rafsanjani, said in December 2001 that the "application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would produce minor damages in the Muslim world." And the supreme leader himself, Ayatollah Khamenei, said of Israel in 2000, "We have repeatedly said that this cancerous tumor of a state should be removed from the region."
There are multiple tragedies here. Persian civilization, pre-Islamic and otherwise, has not been notably hostile to Jews. In fact, one of the great heroes of Jewish history is Cyrus, the Persian king who restored the Jews to Israel after the fall of the First Temple.
And the Islamic Republic of Iran, though no Semitic utopia, has not been Poland, either. Even today, the febrile ranting about Jews one hears among the intelligentsia in Beirut and Cairo is mostly absent in Tehran, except among the clerical elite, who understand the utility of anti-Semitism in their effort to gain favor with Arab Muslims.
Which is not to say that the clerics don't believe what they say. This brings us back to Mr. Samadi's unfortunate metaphor. The terminology of disease control has now thoroughly infiltrated anti-Semitic discourse in the Middle East. Four years ago, a Hezbollah leader in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley named Hussein Haj Hassan told me that Jews function "in a way that lets them act as parasites in the nations that give them shelter." The leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad speak in much the same manner.
One worries about overreacting, but such language echoes the passage of "Mein Kampf" in which the Austrian Haman compares the Jew to "a sponger who like a noxious bacillus keeps spreading as soon as a favorable medium invites him."
I still assume that the Jews, and the Jewish state, will survive their encounter with the Iran of Mr. Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei. Iran's leaders don't yet have the bomb, and eschatologically minded though they are, they might not be entirely immune to the charms of rational deterrence theory. And, of course, both parable and history teach that Jews somehow always manage to survive.
Nevertheless, a great many people, in Iran and beyond, believe that the Jewish state is a cancer, and it is foolish to believe that this is an idea without consequences. As one Islamic Jihad leader told me not long ago, "Everyone knows that the cure for cancer is radiation."
Jeffrey Goldberg, a staff writer for The New Yorker, is the author of the forthcoming "Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide."
Copyright 2006The New York Times Company
Saturday, March 11, 2006
A Brave Woman
The Saturday Profile
For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats
By JOHN M. BRODER
Published: March 11, 2006
LOS ANGELES, March 10
Three weeks ago, Dr. Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.
“I have no choice. I am questioning every single teaching of our holy book.” - DR. WAFA SULTAN
Video: Dr. Wafa Sultan on Al Jazeera (memritv.org)
Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die.
In the interview, which has been viewed on the Internet more than a million times and has reached the e-mail of hundreds of thousands around the world, Dr. Sultan bitterly criticized the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries.
She said the world's Muslims, whom she compares unfavorably with the Jews, have descended into a vortex of self-pity and violence.
Dr. Sultan said the world was not witnessing a clash of religions or cultures, but a battle between modernity and barbarism, a battle that the forces of violent, reactionary Islam are destined to lose.
In response, clerics throughout the Muslim world have condemned her, and her telephone answering machine has filled with dark threats. But Islamic reformers have praised her for saying out loud, in Arabic and on the most widely seen television network in the Arab world, what few Muslims dare to say even in private.
"I believe our people are hostages to our own beliefs and teachings," she said in an interview this week in her home in a Los Angeles suburb.
Dr. Sultan, who is 47, wears a prim sweater and skirt, with fleece-lined slippers and heavy stockings. Her eyes and hair are jet black and her modest manner belies her intense words: "Knowledge has released me from this backward thinking. Somebody has to help free the Muslim people from these wrong beliefs."
Perhaps her most provocative words on Al Jazeera were those comparing how the Jews and Muslims have reacted to adversity. Speaking of the Holocaust, she said, "The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling."
She went on, "We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people."
She concluded, "Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them."
Her views caught the ear of the American Jewish Congress, which has invited her to speak in May at a conference in Israel. "We have been discussing with her the importance of her message and trying to devise the right venue for her to address Jewish leaders," said Neil B. Goldstein, executive director of the organization.
She is probably more welcome in Tel Aviv than she would be in Damascus. Shortly after the broadcast, clerics in Syria denounced her as an infidel. One said she had done Islam more damage than the Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad, a wire service reported.
DR. SULTAN is "working on a book that — if it is published — it's going to turn the Islamic world upside down."
"I have reached the point that doesn't allow any U-turn. I have no choice. I am questioning every single teaching of our holy book."
The working title is, "The Escaped Prisoner: When God Is a Monster."
Dr. Sultan grew up in a large traditional Muslim family in Banias, Syria, a small city on the Mediterranean about a two-hour drive north of Beirut. Her father was a grain trader and a devout Muslim, and she followed the faith's strictures into adulthood.
But, she said, her life changed in 1979 when she was a medical student at the University of Aleppo, in northern Syria. At that time, the radical Muslim Brotherhood was using terrorism to try to undermine the government of President Hafez al-Assad. Gunmen of the Muslim Brotherhood burst into a classroom at the university and killed her professor as she watched, she said.
"They shot hundreds of bullets into him, shouting, 'God is great!' " she said. "At that point, I lost my trust in their god and began to question all our teachings. It was the turning point of my life, and it has led me to this present point. I had to leave. I had to look for another god."
She and her husband, who now goes by the Americanized name of David, laid plans to leave for the United States. Their visas finally came in 1989, and the Sultans and their two children (they have since had a third) settled in with friends in Cerritos, Calif., a prosperous bedroom community on the edge of Los Angeles County.
Video: Dr. Wafa Sultan on Al Jazeera (memritv.org)
After a succession of jobs and struggles with language, Dr. Sultan has completed her American medical licensing, with the exception of a hospital residency program, which she hopes to do within a year. David operates an automotive-smog-check station. They bought a home in the Los Angeles area and put their children through local public schools. All are now American citizens.
BUT even as she settled into a comfortable middle-class American life, Dr. Sultan's anger burned within. She took to writing, first for herself, then for an Islamic reform Web site called Annaqed (The Critic), run by a Syrian expatriate in Phoenix.
An angry essay on that site by Dr. Sultan about the Muslim Brotherhood caught the attention of Al Jazeera, which invited her to debate an Algerian cleric on the air last July.
In the debate, she questioned the religious teachings that prompt young people to commit suicide in the name of God. "Why does a young Muslim man, in the prime of life, with a full life ahead, go and blow himself up?" she asked. "In our countries, religion is the sole source of education and is the only spring from which that terrorist drank until his thirst was quenched."
Her remarks set off debates around the globe and her name began appearing in Arabic newspapers and Web sites. But her fame grew exponentially when she appeared on Al Jazeera again on Feb. 21, an appearance that was translated and widely distributed by the Middle East Media Research Institute, known as Memri.
Memri said the clip of her February appearance had been viewed more than a million times.
"The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions or a clash of civilizations," Dr. Sultan said. "It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality."
She said she no longer practiced Islam. "I am a secular human being," she said.
The other guest on the program, identified as an Egyptian professor of religious studies, Dr. Ibrahim al-Khouli, asked, "Are you a heretic?" He then said there was no point in rebuking or debating her, because she had blasphemed against Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and the Koran.
Dr. Sultan said she took those words as a formal fatwa, a religious condemnation. Since then, she said, she has received numerous death threats on her answering machine and by e-mail.
One message said: "Oh, you are still alive? Wait and see." She received an e-mail message the other day, in Arabic, that said, "If someone were to kill you, it would be me."
Dr. Sultan said her mother, who still lives in Syria, is afraid to contact her directly, speaking only through a sister who lives in Qatar. She said she worried more about the safety of family members here and in Syria than she did for her own.
"I have no fear," she said. "I believe in my message. It is like a million-mile journey, and I believe I have walked the first and hardest 10 miles."
Friday, March 10, 2006
Handler of Pollard says information obtained was essential to Israel's security
Handler of Pollard says information obtained was essential to Israel's security
By Associated Press - March 5, 2006
The Israeli handler of Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel two decades ago, defended the risky operation that tarnished Israel-U.S. relations in an interview published Friday, saying Pollard's information was too good to resist and would have made a great difference in the event of war with Arab countries."
I asked myself over and over again what more information could be gained, what and who could be saved by it. The desire to get more material overcame me," Rafi Eitan told the Yediot Ahronot daily, in his first published remarks regarding the espionage affair, which severely strained relations between Israel and its strongest ally.
Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy when he copied massive amounts of classified documents and handed them to Israeli agents. He was caught in November 1985 and arrested after unsuccessfully seeking refuge at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. He was sentenced to life in prison, and has spent the past 20 years in a series of U.S. correctional facilities.
Pollard, 51, remains incarcerated at a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina.
Israel says it has banned espionage in the United States after the Pollard scandal.
Eitan, 79, resigned from Israel's Mossad spy agency shortly after the Pollard affair. He is now seeking election to Israel's parliament leading a small party fighting for the interests of retirees.
In the comprehensive interview, Eitan said he alone bore responsibility for the affair and its fallout. But he said he believes he made the right decision, despite the personal cost to Pollard.
"I decided that it was better to take the risk and get the information, which I never doubted for a moment was essential to the security of Israel. I understood the risk, although I did not foresee that the affair would blow up to such proportions," he said."
In intelligence, like in war, you go to battle, and when you go to battle you make mistakes, too," he added. "I am convinced I did the right thing for the security of Israel, but that doesn't change the fact that it is very hard for me with the understanding that an American Jew lost his freedom, his future and most of his life."
Eitan didn't specify what sort of information was obtained, but said the material was extremely valuable. "I would definitely say if a war had broken out, the information Pollard provided would have strengthened the Israeli army and greatly influenced the results on the battlefield," he said.
Eitan said he met Pollard twice in Israel and the American made an "exceptional impression in his intellectual ability, his ability to remember details, his understanding of the situation in the Middle East and his commitment to help Israel. There is no doubt he put himself at great risk and he understood that completely, even without our explanations."
But he said Pollard hasn't helped his cause from prison with his harsh verbal attacks of Israeli and American officials.
Eitan also emphatically denied American claims that Pollard's information exposed American agents in China, the Soviet Union and elsewhere.
"Nothing of what Pollard handed us ever leaked outside the Israeli intelligence community. Nothing," he said.
Israel's Supreme Court in January rejected a petition by Pollard to be declared a Prisoner of Zion - a status that would have required the Israeli government to do all it can to get him released.
Israeli agent: Soviet mole framed Pollard
United Press International - March 2, 2006
TEL AVIV, Israel, March 2 (UPI) --
A former agent for Israel's intelligence service says that convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard was framed by a Soviet agent.
Ravi Eitan told Ynetnews.com that Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer, did pass on information to Israel. But he said that claims that Pollard exposed the identities of 11 CIA agents were responsible for the life sentence in a U.S. prison he received and were fabricated by Aldrich Ames, a CIA officer who was working for the Soviet Union.
"I'm willing to put my hand in fire and swear in everything dear to me that those charges are a blatant lie," Eitan said. "Nothing from what Pollard delivered leaked out of the Israeli intelligence community, nothing. Besides, he never provided us with information that could have exposed American agents in the Soviet Union or anywhere else."
Eitan, who worked for Israeli intelligence for many years, said that he has an obligation to be open about his past because he is now in politics as head of the Pensioners Party.
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Thursday, March 09, 2006
*Mossad Agents, Arab Undercover Operatives, Hamas Trials, Front-Line IDF Positions*
Following the overwhelming successes of our nine prior "Ultimate Missions To Israel," Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center will host another high-impact tour of Israel in early June 2006.
The Ultimate Mission is a first hand investigation of the challenges of the terrorist threat to Israel's survival.
The Ultimate Mission will be held on Monday, June 5 thru Monday, June 12, 2006.
Registration has now begun!
Shurat HaDin is inviting doctors, attorneys, accountants, programmers and other professionals from around the world to participate in an intensive and action-packed series of briefings and field tours with Israeli security, military and intelligence officials. The Mission will explore the
strategic dangers to the Jewish state from Arab violence and Islamic extremism.
Participants will experience a dynamic, hands-on and intensive eight day investigation of Israel's struggle for security and survival in the Middle East today.
See first-hand the threat the HAMAS election victory has leved against Israel.
Mission participants will receive briefings from senior commanders of Israel's intelligence and security services, as well as the other strategic decision-makers who shape and lead Israel's multifaceted war on terrorism.
Moreover, attorneys will be able to receive Continuing Legal Education credits for the trip if they register by May 1, 2006.
The Mission will also present a rich program of exciting recreational and cultural events. The eight day program will include the following highlights:
* Briefings by present and past officers in the IDF Intelligence and Operations branches, including the senior commanders of the Shin Bet security service and Mossad.
* An exhibition by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) undercover soldiers who carry out targeted killings of Palestinian terrorists and deep penetration raids in Arab territory.
* Observing the trial of Hamas terrorists in an IDF military court.
* Discussions with Israel's Arab agents who infiltrate the terrorist groups and provide real-time
* A first hand investigation of the controversial "security fence" that has enraged the world.
* Intensive, hands-on tours of the front line military positions, the border check-points and
* Small airplane tour of the Galil, water activities on Lake Kinneret, a cook-out barbecue and a Shabbat enjoying the rich religious and historic wonders of Jerusalem's Old City.
According to Shurat HaDin Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner:
"The briefings by the Mossad, Shin Bet and IDF officials amazed our earlier groups and clearly exhibited the extreme challenges Israel is facing in the war against the terrorists. No other tour has ever presented the hard-core realities of Israel's struggle for survival like the Ultimate Mission."
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about a visit to the Disengagement Victims
Monday, March 06, 2006
I honestly can't believe that the Kadima opportunists are surprised that Omri and Olmert have been handing all the goodies to their cronies.
For awhile I've had this idea for a demonstration. Show up in small groups to wherever the powerful politicians will be and just laugh at them. That's right; point and laugh. I think it's the most effective for shaking up the most egotistical selfish creatures.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Excerpts from Dr Israel Eldad by Shifra Shomron
Excerpts from Dr Israel Eldad's article, "Sulam" magazine, Cheshvan 5711 (1951).
Translated by Shifra Shomron, 2 Adar 5766 (2006).
"…And only fools are able to talk about the need to distinguish between loyal peace-seeking citizen Arabs and terrorists.
Only fools – I repeat the _expression. Because there is not a single Arab FROM THE RIGHT WING TO THE LEFT WING, who does not carry a lust for revenge in his heart in addition to the lust for power and the murder and robbery against us that he bore even before his lust for revenge was born. And all this being much more than that which existed in the years of Hevron and in the years 1936 – 1939.
But the similarities go even deeper.
ALSO THE HAVLAGA [the restraint – translator's note] WITH ALL ITS CHARACTERISTICS EXISTS.
With all its characteristics such as:
* First of all we search for the UN representatives in order to deliver a sharp protest (then it was the Head secretary and the High Commissioner).
* We go out to the area (like in the Wingate days) in order to purify the surroundings.
* We search for the "truly" guilty.
* (And this is the most distinctive) The headlines in the newspapers, practically a literal copy from then. "Until when?" and "We will not continue to the days agenda!" and "The criminal hand shall be severed" and "The end to prevocational deeds" etc etc.
AND THEY MURDER civilians and soldiers, with guns and with mines and with knives.
And if there is a change from the Havlaga days, then it isn't in our favor, rather it is to our shame. Because then there was still a scapegoat: the British rulers. Today there is a state, there is an army and terrorists murder in the streets and in the villages as in those days.
But if it's an Israeli DEFENSE [Hagana in Hebrew] Forces, and if its commanders are those that were the "Hagana" commanders and those that sanctified the "Havlaga" for decades – then it isn't puzzling:
The HAVLAGA in its entirety and with its numerous explanations including additional "state" explanations – still exists.
With all the victims, with all the disgrace and with all the reproof:
There has not been any change in the thought, there has not been any change in the soul, there has not been any change in the phrase.
Uniforms and dimensions still do not turn a "Yishuv" to a "state" nor a "Hagana" to an "army"."--
A collection of farewell videos made by Hamas and Fatah terrorists
By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
The romanticized view of suicide terrorists in the Oscar-nominated Palestinian film Paradise Now bears little resemblance to the real world of suicide bombers, whose actual farewell videos include the following vows:
"We are a nation that drinks blood, and we know that there is no blood better than the blood of Jews."
"My dear mother ... wipe your tears... Don't let me see you sad on my wedding day with the Maidens of Paradise."
"Escort our souls to Heaven after we fulfill this duty of crushing the descendents of monkeys and pigs."
"I hoped that the shredded limbs of my body would be shrapnel, tearing the Zionists to pieces, knocking on Heavens door with the skulls of Zionists... My blood shall be my path to march to Heaven."
continued on the Palestinian Media Watch website.