Thursday, March 31, 2005
This is the type of idiot that is teaching at US colleges.
And, as LGF reports, her final exam reeks of bias. Can you imagine a student passing the course if he or she disagrees with this moron's ridiculous conspiracy-minded premises?
DUBAI — Education authorities here have promised to review a book taught in an international private school that features a photograph of two Jewish children sporting plaited hair and yarmulke.
Dr Obaid Butti Al Mohiri, the Director of Curriculums Centre at the Ministry of Education, said he would order the withdrawal of the book for primary Class I of the Dubai International School if the complaints raised were found genuine.
Several teachers of the school telephoned Khaleej Times, complaining against the picture, captioned ‘We play together; we stick together’, featured in the book Friends Forever. The teachers said that of all the pictures in the book, the students reacted sharply to only this picture.[...]
When contacted, Dr Mohiri expressed anger that the matter was brought to him. “What should we do when we do not have enough staff to review textbooks in more than 400 schools countrywide?”
Hat tip to Dave at Israellycool.
Internal Columbia investigation clears Columbia profs; blames Zionist students. NY Times colludes in whitewash.
Update: Noted liberal columnist Nat Hentoff wrote an excellent article about the bias that the investigating committee had.
Columbia University, after a months-long investigation, has determined that only a small fraction of complaints from Jewish students against anti-Israel professors constituted intimidation.
The faculty committee appointed by Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger, to investigate a series of student allegations against professors in the Middle Eastern studies department issued a report yesterday largely clearing the accused scholars of blame. At the same time, committee members described a polarized classroom environment in which pro-Israel students disturbed lectures and seminars with inappropriate interruptions.
In an effort to manage favorable coverage of its investigation into the complaints, the university disclosed a summary of the committee's report only to the Columbia Spectator, the campus newspaper, and the New York Times. Those newspapers, sources indicated to The New York Sun last night, made an agreement with the central administration that they would not speak to the students who made the complaints against the professors.
One of the incidents not mentioned by the report involves assistant professor Joseph Massad, who allegedly told a class that it was Israelis - not Germans or Palestinians - who shot to death the Israeli Olympic athletes in the 1972 Munich Massacre, according to one of Mr. Massad's former students.
Mr. Massad's alleged interpretation of events is sharply contradicted by historians, who say the 11 Olympic athletes were murdered by their Palestinian hostage-takers in a botched rescue operation conducted by German authorities. Historians have debated whether some of the athletes died in the crossfire between German police and the kidnappers, but the notion that the athletes were killed by Israeli gunfire has not been given credence.
The committee gently criticized Mr. Massad in its report for purportedly threatening to expel a female Jewish student, Deena Shanker, from his classroom in 2002 when she asked him whether the Israeli military warned Palestinian Arab civilians of the West Bank before launching military strikes there. "That provoked him to start screaming, 'If you're going to deny the atrocities being committed against the Palestinians then you could leave the class,'" Ms. Shanker told the Sun last fall.
Mr. Massad has denied threatening the student, whose account of the incident has been backed by at least one another student, and said he treats his students fairly and with respect.
The committee said Mr. Massad had no real intention of expelling Ms. Shanker from the class, but he lost his temper and "exceeded commonly accepted bounds by conveying that her question merited harsh public criticism."
The committee, however, did not come to a conclusion on guilt in a separate incident involving Mr. Massad. In an incident that occurred in spring 2002, Mr. Massad is alleged to have refused to answer a question posted by a student, Tomy Schoenfeld, at an on-campus lecture until the student, an Israeli army veteran, told the professor how many Palestinians he killed.
The committee reported that although another student corroborated the incident, "It is conceivable that Professor Massad did not know that Mr. Schoenfeld was a student," and said the incident seemed to "fall into a challenging grey zone."
The committee did not investigate issues of professorial bias in the classroom, stating that it "judged that our charge did not encompass the examination of such matters."
On the issue of anti-Semitism, the committee concluded: "We found no evidence of any statements made by the faculty that could reasonably be construed as anti-Semitic. Professor Massad, for one, has been categorical in his classes concerning the unacceptability of anti-semitic views."
The committee made no mention of an article that an Iranian professor at Columbia, Hamid Dabashi wrote for an Egyptian newspaper, Al-Ahram, last fall in which he wrote that Israelis suffer from "a vulgarity of character that is bone-deep and structural to the skeletal vertebrae of its culture."
In an admonishment to students, the committee stated, "There is a thin line between participating fully and enthusiastically in a discussion, and intervening in a fashion which significantly disrupts the class."
The panel also essentially cleared the professors who on April 17, 2002, canceled classes on the day of an anti-Israel rally on campus and encouraged students to attend the demonstration.
This speech probably dooms his papal chances, but it is still nice to see.
A cardinal considered a candidate to succeed Pope John Paul II delivered a strong message in favor of Jewish settlement in the Holy Land on Wednesday night, rejecting the claim that European Christians' support for the State of Israel is based on Holocaust guilt and saying that all Christians should affirm Zionism as a biblical imperative for the Jewish people.
Archbishop of Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, part of a visiting Austrian delegation, made the remarks in an address at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the topic of 'God's chosen land.'
After asking, 'What does Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel] mean to us,' Schoenborn answered by stressing the doctrinal importance to Christians of not only recognizing Jews' connection to the land, but also ensuring that Christian identification with the Jewish Bible not lead to a 'usurpation' of Jewish uniqueness.
'Only once in human history did God take a country as an inheritance and give it to His chosen people,' Schoenborn said, adding that Pope John Paul II had himself declared the biblical commandment for Jews to live in Israel an everlasting covenant that remained valid today. Christians, Schoenborn said, should rejoice in the return of Jews to the Holy Land as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
A Palestinian priest challenged the cardinal on that point, asking how he could preach to his Palestinian congregation that the establishment of the modern Jewish state was not a 'catastrophe,' as they called it, or the result of European powers' guilty conscience following World War II.
Schoenborn responded by saying that "I am myself a refugee" – at the end of World War II, when he was an infant, Schoenborn's parents fled to Austria from Czechoslovakia – and that he felt pained at the unrecognized injustice that thousands of Czechs had suffered. However, he said, both that case and the Arab-Israeli conflict were matters of international law, whereas the chosenness of the Jewish people and their inheritance in the Holy Land were matters of faith that date back to the Bible itself.
Schoenborn also said he hoped the conflict here would be resolved in accordance with international law, and with respect to justice for the Palestinian people. "We are all longing for that solution," he said. "Yet I am not naive. Conflicts are part of [both sides'] love of the land, and always have been... There is no simple solution."
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
March 29, 2005"Shocked" is how Aisha Sherazi, principal of the Abraar Islamic school in Ottawa, described the reaction of the school's administration and board on learning last week that two of its teachers had incited hatred of Jews.
And "shocked" was how Mumtaz Akhtar, president of the Muslim-Community Council of Ottawa-Gatineau, described his own reaction to the front-page news about the Abraar school.
But they may have been the only two persons on the planet to be "shocked" to learn that teachers at an Islamic school are promoting anti-Semitism or other aspects of the Islamist agenda. The fact is, inquiries into Islamic schools repeatedly discover just such a radical Islamic outlook. Some examples:
New York City: An investigation by the New York Daily News in 2003 found that books used in the city's Muslim schools "are rife with inaccuracies, sweeping condemnations of Jews and Christians, and triumphalist declarations of Islam's supremacy."
Los Angeles: The Omar Ibn Khattab Foundation donated 300 Korans (titled The Meaning of the Holy Quran) to the city school district in 2001 that within months had to be pulled from school libraries because of its anti-Semitic commentaries. One footnote reads: "The Jews in their arrogance claimed that all wisdom and all knowledge of Allah was enclosed in their hearts. … Their claim was not only arrogance but blasphemy."
Ajax, Ontario, 50 kilometers east of Toronto: The Institute of Islamic Learning is a Canadian emulation of the extremist Deobandi madrassahs of Pakistan. It focuses exclusively on religious topics, has students memorize the Koran, demands total segregation from the Canadian milieu, and requires complete gender separation. Former students complained about the school's cult-like devotion to its head, Abdul Majid Khan, and complained that it is a "twisted religion."
Then there are four leading Islamic schools in the Washington, D.C. area:
The Muslim Community School in Potomac, Md., imbues in its students a sense of alienation from their own country. Seventh-grader Miriam told a Washington Post reporter in 2001, "Being American is just being born in this country." Eighth-grader Ibrahim announced that "Being an American means nothing to me."
A textbook used at the Islamic Saudi Academy of Alexandria, Va., in 2004, authored and published by the Saudi Ministry of Education, teaches first graders that "all religions, other than Islam, are false, including that of the Jews [and] Christians." An ISA class valedictorian, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, was recently indicted for plotting to assassinate President Bush.
The U.S. government revoked the visas in 2004 of sixteen people affiliated with the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America, of Fairfax, Va. In the words of the Washington Post, "That decision followed accusations that the institute, a satellite campus of al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, was promoting a brand of Islam that critics say is intolerant of other strains of the religion as well as Christianity and Judaism." In addition, the IIASA is under investigation for ties to terrorism.
The Graduate School of Islamic Social Sciences of Ashburn, Va., referred to as a "purported" educational institution in an affidavit justifying a raid on the school, had its financial records seized in 2002 on suspicions of links to terrorism.
Nor are schools the exception among Islamic institutions in North America. A recent study by Freedom House found a parallel problem of venomous anti-Jewish and anti-Christian materials in U.S. mosques. The most prominent American Muslim organizations, especially the Council on American-Islamic Relations, spew antisemitism and host a neo-Nazi. The same applies in Canada, where the head of the Canadian Islamic Congress, Mohamed Elmasry, publicly endorsed the murder of all Israelis over the age of eighteen.
So long as Muslim leaders simply declare themselves, in the spirit of Capt. Renault in the movie Casablanca "shocked, shocked" whenever news of Islamist supremacism leaks out, this cancer will continue unabated. The Islamic schools, the mosques, and other Muslim organizations like CAIR and CIC will continue their cat-and-mouse game so long as it works.
It won't work only when outside pressure is brought to bear on them by politicians, journalists, researchers, moderate Muslims, and others. They must state clearly and frequently the unacceptability of Islamist venom. Only then will today's fraudulent "shocked" reaction finally become sincere.
Once again, an egregious example of intolerance from Islam. This story is buried because it only happened to a Jewish holy site - imagine the world outrage if a similar incident happened in Mecca? Wars have been fought over less.
Notice also the absence of any response from the Arab world, the Waqf, and the Palestinian Authority.
The double standard is alive and well, and it is time for Jews to take control over Jewish holy sites. The Waqf has shown itself to be irresponsible time and time again, and Jews will protect Muslim holy sites fat better than any Muslim will protect Jewish holy sites. Some things are more important than the mythical "peace process", and when Jews willingly give up their holiest sites to the control of those who want to destroy them, they are giving up their major claim to the land of Israel.
The word "Allah" in Arabic was found hewn into the eastern wall of Jerusalem's Temple Mount, in one of the worst acts of vandalism at the history-rich site in the last several years, archaeologists and eyewitnesses said Wednesday.
The vandalism was discovered late Tuesday night on a half-meter section of the 2,000 year old wall, which is undergoing repair by a team of Jordanian engineers.
Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said that police suspect that one of the Arab workers repairing the wall was behind the vandalism, adding that police had opened an investigation into the incident.
"This vandalism, coupled with Israel's lack of archaeological supervision at Judaism's holiest site is simply lawlessness of the first order on the part of the Government," said Temple Mount expert and Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar.
Mazar's non-partisan 'Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount,' which has been decrying the lack of archaeological supervision at the site for five years now, launched a complaint with police against the vandalism, which
police said would be removed by mid-morning.
Israel's Antiquities Authority had no immediate comment Wednesday.
According to decades-old arrangements in place at the site, Israel maintains overall security control of the Temple Mount while the Wakf or Islamic Trust is in charge of the day-to-day maintenance of the compound.
In the late 1990's, following the construction of an underground mosque at the site, Islamic Wakf officials dumped more than 12,000 tons of earth, with history-rich artifacts, at a garbage dump outside the Old City, an action which Israeli archaeologists called "an unprecedented archaeological crime."
In contravention of the law, Israeli archaeologists from the Antiquities Authority have not been carrying out supervision for more than four years now at the bitterly contested site due to their concern about renewed Palestinian violence.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
For an administration that bills itself as having a groundbreaking new doctrine when it comes to the Middle East, the Bush administration is starting to look a bit too close for our taste to the Clinton administration, at least on the question of Israel's rights in Jerusalem. Reading Secretary of State Rice's comments in an interview Thursday with the Los Angeles Times, we were hard-pressed to tell if it was Ms. Rice or President Clinton.
Here is Ms. Rice, commenting on Israel's plans to add 3,500 housing units in Maale Adumim, a suburb that is four and a half miles east of Jerusalem: "We've noted our concern to the Israelis," she said. "We will continue to note that this is at odds with the - of American policy." She said of Israel's reply to the concerns: "anything that raises the prospect that you're going to have an expansion of settlements in this way, particularly in a sensitive area, is not really a satisfactory response." And here is President Clinton, answering a question in 1997 about Israel's plans to build in the Har Homa area of Jerusalem: "I would have preferred the decision not have been made, because I don't think it builds confidence, I think it builds mistrust. And I wish that it had not been made."
Israel is planning to build houses in a suburb of its capital, a capital that, according to the Jerusalem Embassy Act passed by Congress in 1995 by a vote of 93 to 5 in the Senate and 347 to 37 in the House, "should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel" and "should remain an undivided city." This decision to build houses in a suburb of the capital is deemed not satisfactory by Ms. Rice. It is deemed by the editorialists of the New York Times to be "a slap in the face of the new Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas" and evidence that "Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel doesn't quite get it yet." The Washington Post used an entire editorial of its own over the weekend to call on President Bush to press Mr. Sharon to freeze the plan.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Arabs engage in genuine outrage after genuine outrage with hardly a peep out of Ms. Rice or the liberal editorial writers. Mr. Abbas has failed in his obligation to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. Abu Musab, a leader of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, a Palestinian Arab terrorist group, told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, "What's happening now isn't considered a calm. It's merely a warrior's rest." The Palestinians were recently caught smuggling anti-aircraft missiles into Gaza.
Mr. Abbas has announced plans to release from prison Ahmed Saadat and Fuad Shubaki. Mr. Saadat is the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which our State Department lists as a terrorist group responsible for the assassination in 2001 of Israel's tourism minister and for airline hijackings that have killed at least 20 American citizens. Mr. Shubaki is an aide to Yasser Arafat who documents show made the deal to buy the arms from Iran that Arafat was smuggling in aboard the ship the Karine-A. Mr. Abbas's response when asked by Time magazine who was responsible for the February 25 suicide bombing that killed five Israelis in Tel Aviv: "If you ask me who is responsible, the Israelis are responsible." The Palestinian Authority-controlled press praised the suicide bomber as a martyr.
It is nothing less than warped to look at this situation and see Israeli home-building as the unsatisfactory part of it. There is no question where the logic leads. As Norman Podhoretz writes in the April number of Commentary, the whole world "takes as axiomatic the Arab position that a Palestinian state must be judenrein." Therefore, the 30,000 current residents of Maale Adumim "face the prospect of being dragged out of their homes by the Israeli army and packed off to 'Israel proper.' " As Mr. Podhoretz paraphrases his Israeli daughter telling him indignantly, if any such thing "were to be done to Palestinians, or to anyone else, it would be called 'transfer' or 'ethnic cleansing' and would be condemned as a crime against humanity. But with Jews as the victims, it is being transmuted by a malignant political alchemy into nothing less than an act of justice." Such is the Arab position. Alas, the Bush administration and Ms. Rice, like the Democratic administration that preceded them, do not yet appear to have fully broken free of it.
Saudi religious police have destroyed a clandestine makeshift Hindu temple in an old district of Riyadh and deported three worshippers found there, a newspaper reported yesterday.
Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or religious police, on Thursday stumbled across a room converted into a temple while raiding a number of apartments suspected of being used to manufacture alcohol and distribute pornographic videos, pan-Arab Al-Hayat said.
"They were surprised to find that one room had been converted into a Hindu temple," the newspaper said.
A caretaker who was found in the worshiping area ignored the religious police orders to stop performing his religious rituals, the paper added.
He was deported along with two other men who arrived on the scene to worship.
All forms of non-Muslim worship are banned in ultraconservative Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam's holiest shrines.
Monday, March 28, 2005
But we know that Abbas will crack down on the terrorists in his own organization, right? If we close our eyes and wish real hard, Palestinians will be very happy about disengagement and quietly build a new Hong Kong in Gaza, asking the Israelis to move in and help them build an infrastructure. Everything will be great as long as Israel keeps acting like she needs to give Palestinian terrorists more and more and more to appease them.
And remember, when right-wing Israelis say that the current calm is false, they are hate-mongering; when Palestinians say it; they are just posturing. At no point must you believe it. And when fighting breaks out again, it will be because of an Israeli provocation, and have nothing to do with people like Abu Musab.
GAZA - The current lull in fighting is a false calm, used by terrorists to gather strength ahead of the next round of violence, senior al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades figure Abu-Musab told Ynet Saturday.
“What’s happening now isn’t considered a calm. It’s merely a warrior’s rest,” he says. “When the confrontation renews, we’ll be back with methods and tools never before seen.”
Moreover, the current lull in violence does not signal a genuine chance for peace, as Jews should not be believed, Abu-Musab says.
“In our religion, in the Koran, it says you should not believe the Jews,” he says. “The Jews won’t accept us until we join them, their religion, and until we stop demanding our rights.”
Abu-Musab, who is the Brigades commander in the northern Gaza Strip, also warns that talk by Jewish far right activists regarding attacks on the al-Aqsa mosque, as well settlement expansion, ensure the current lull would not last long.
“It must be clear, every attack or attempt to target al-Aqsa means not only the end of the calm, but a renewed, much more serious eruption (of violence,)” he says."
Israel's defense minister said Sunday that Palestinian security agents recently smuggled anti-aircraft missiles into the Gaza Strip from Egypt, according to officials a development that would threaten a recent cease-fire between the two sides.
Defense Minister Shaul told a closed Cabinet meeting that Palestinian intelligence agents were involved in bringing the Strella missiles into Gaza through smuggling tunnels under the Egyptian border, participants in the meeting said.
'Last week, several Strellas were smuggled in by Palestinian military intelligence. If the Palestinians don't get a hold of the Strellas, we will,' Mofaz was quoted as saying.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Terror organizations are advancing their recruitment and public relations methods: Internet surfers who enter the word “Hamas” in Arabic in the Google search engine, will view, in addition to the search results, an AdWord message that links directly to the website of the organization’s military faction Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.The link also appears in a search of several other words, such as the “Gaza,” “Palestine,” “Jihad.”
This indicates that a Hamas source has paid Google, the most popular search engine on the web, for the advertisement.
The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website holds updated and diverse information: Along with news updates stories from the news agencies, the site also publishes interviews with the organization’s leaders.
In one such interview, Hamas member Said Badarna, who is imprisoned in Israel, says, “abductions are the only way to release prisoners being held in Israel.”
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Hamas terrorist leaders have said they intend to make a museum out of the house of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas leader whom Israel killed last year.
The museum will consist of five rooms, including the room where Yassin received guests and a waiting room where he sat with guards. The focus of the museum will be some of his writings, gifts that he received and parts of his wheelchair.
Ken Roth and Human Rights Watch have employed Lucy Mair as a researcher in Israel/Occupied Territories. Ms. Mair's qualifications include writing for the "Electronic Intifada" and work with Grassroots International, a radical pro-Palestinian political organization. (Since HRW's employment process is secret, and not subject to independent review, we are unable to compare her credentials and expertise on universal human rights issues with the other candidates.) Her descriptions of Life in Palestine, and articles for "Palestine Now" etc., focus exclusively on Palestinian "fear and the loss and the humiliation and the despair", with no mention of terror, suicide bombings, and the human rights of Israelis. References to Israeli soldiers "protected by arrogance and hatred" are hostile stereotypes, and she echoes the false massacre claims in referring to Palestinians "killed in their homes in Jenin when the tanks and the bulldozers ate up their camp". In this extreme biased approach to Israel that extends far beyond legitimate criticism, she joins the other members of HRW's Middle East team, including Sarah Leah Whitson (from MADRE) and Joe Stork (from MERIP).
Thus, HRW has hired someone whose experience in 'human rights' is based upon a history of promoting the Palestinian cause with absolutely no regard for the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the rights of Israelis to defend themselves from Palestinian terror. Kenneth Roth has once again demonstrated his policy of filling HRW's Middle East department with like-minded politicized individuals whose priorities are not in keeping with the promotion of universal human rights values.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Human rights groups in Ireland are calling on Irish national soccer team supporters to boycott a World Cup qualifying match against the Israeli national team.And another progressive brain surgeon/father weighs in:
The organizations asked fans to refrain from making the trip to Israel for the May 26 match, and have also asked the Irish Football Association
to boycott the game entirely due to the political situation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
France's national soccer team top goalie slammed Israel on Thursday, saying he refused to travel with his teammates to a planned match with Israel’s national team next week because of the the Israeli army's actions against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.Apparently, Jewish kids blown up by bombs or from Kassam rockets do not have any fathers.
“When I see all the suffering in the world, I don’t understand why they would want to play in Israel,” Fabien Barthez told a news conference in Paris.
The French goalie also slammed Israel’s operations in the Palestinian territories, saying: “I don’t like it at all. I am speaking as a father and not as a soccer player.”
Should Barthez not arrive in Israel with the rest of the French squad for the planned match on Wednesday, Coach Raymond Domenech would need to use his second-string goalie.
Hat tip to Hatshepsut.
This disturbing practice of deadly child abuse is on the rise in Muslim societies all over the world, most notably in the Palestinian areas and in Pakistan as also in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). While the average Israeli or Indian citizen does not usually make the connection, there are striking similarities between the threats that face their two countries. Muslim terrorist organizations that recruit – sometimes forcibly – these teenagers, justify this illegal and immoral practice by noting that children, much like females, are less likely to be intercepted by security forces before they carry out their missions of death. In both conflicts, the value of a child’s life (not to mention the lives of those unfortunates who find themselves within the radius of death and destruction when the bomb is detonated) has become subordinate to the aspirations of militant Islam and militant nationalism. And while the recruitment and indoctrination of Muslim children to engage in terrorism and armed conflict in Indian Kashmir has not reached the unprecedented levels of the current Intifada that targets Israel; concerned Indian citizens (indeed persons living in any region where militant Islam has declared a Jihad) should be aware of the threat that the cult of martyrdom directs at democracies worldwide.8
Many of this Journal’s readers live in India and the surrounding region. While generally familiar with the problems emanating from Jammu and Kashmir, they remain largely unaware of the highly troubling direction taken by wide-scale Palestinian recruitment and training of children to engage in terrorist violence. This paper attempts to address the following vexing questions, in the hope that the lessons learned will be relevant to those facing similar threats in South Asia and elsewhere: How pervasive is this form of child abuse in the present Israeli–Palestinian conflict? How is it inspired?
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Arab countries, including Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf emirates are among the recipients of medical equipment exported by 24 Israeli companies in 2004, Globes reported. Israeli exports of medical equipment rose by 7.2% in 2004 to $1.09 billion. The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute predicts that medical equipment exports will rise by another 5-7% this year. Export Institute director Yechiel Assia said medical equipment exports to Europe rose by 10% to $318 million, and exports to North America rose by 17% to $471 million. 400 companies currently export medical equipment to the US, 212 to Germany, 150 to France, 100 to Australia, 135 to Italy, 70 to Hong Kong, and 185 to the UK. This year, the Export Institute plans to send three delegations of medical equipment companies to the UK, France, and Turkey, and to participate in national pavilions in two exhibitions in Germany.
A new version of a biomolecular computer developed at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology - composed entirely of DNA molecules and enzymes - outdoes even the fastest of its kind, performing as many as a billion different programs simultaneously.
Previous biomolecular computers, such as the one built by a joint team from the Technion and the Weizmann Institute of Science three years ago, were limited to just 765 simultaneous programs.
Current computers consist of metal, plastic, wires and transistors. The manner in which they process information is called linear because they conduct one computation at a time. In the latest generation of computers, biological molecules replace all the components. One advantage of these biomolecular computers over linear computers is their ability to simultaneously carry out an enormous number of complex operations.
This new biological computer is also autonomous; it processes calculations from beginning to end without any human assistance. Other biomolecular computers require humans to analyze and decipher results and perform intermediate tasks at different points in the process before the computer can complete the operation.
'A final innovation is the incorporation of a gold-coated chip, which allows simple, real-time readout of the results,' said lead researcher Professor Ehud Keinan of the Technion Faculty of Chemistry. He explained that results produced by current biomolecular computers can only be
analyzed by using elaborate techniques that include separating and sorting molecules according to size and the use of radioactive materials.
The development of the Technion's biomolecular computer is reported in the March 2005 Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
There are other Arabic media watchdogs as well, like Palestine Media Watch, and MEMRI now has an entire section devoted to TV shows, but the original MEMRI is invaluable and has already shown many times the differences between the smooth Western face of Arab propaganda and the way many Arabs really think.
Hamas, the Islamic group that combines philanthropy and militancy, confirmed publicly on Saturday that it would take part in Palestinian legislative elections scheduled for July 17.....They sound just like the Boy Scouts!
And check out the Washington Post:
Hezbollah, an armed Shiite Muslim political movement that operates in the south (of Lebanon).Is it any wonder that the mainstream media is becoming more and more irrelevant?
Hat tip to Daniel Pipes.
Last Summer, the Israeli company Tadiran Spectalink revealed one of the more successful information tools used in recent Israeli counter-terrorist operations. The system, called V-Rambo (Video Receiver And Monitor for Battlefield Operations), is a 3x3 inch color video screen, with a wireless communications link to overhead UAVs. The battery powered system is worn on the wrist and provides the user with live video (at 30 frames a second) from the UAV overhead. The receiver, battery and antenna are carried on the soldiers web equipment or jacket. V-Rambo can also display digital maps. The Israeli manufacturer is trying to sell the system to foreign armed forces, most likely American. V-Rambo proved very useful in counter-terrorist operations, allowing small groups of soldiers to be led by officers or NCOs equipped with a real time video of the surrounding terrain. This put enemy fighters at a big disadvantage, and reduced the risk of friendly fire incidents. A vehicle version of V-Rambo uses a five inch color screen. V-Rambo can, of course, accept video feeds from any ground or air based source.
According to the London newspaper al-Quds al-Arabiya, Palestinian Minister of Interior Nasser Yousef has been asking armed terrorists to sign contracts that would limit their use of weapons. Yousef has issued orders barring unlicensed weapons and carrying weapons in public. (Maariv-Hebrew)
I wonder whether we'll see any "peace" groups condemn the unambiguous words of war from the mouths of these Palestinian leaders?
Palestinian militant groups, weakened by more than four years of fighting against Israel, are capitalising on the relative calm of an informal truce to strengthen their political and military clout.
Representatives of the 13 main Palestinian factions agreed last Thursday to observe a period of calm until the end of the year at talks in Cairo, provided Israel ends all forms of aggression and releases prisoners.
What Palestinian representatives in Cairo did not sanction was an end to armed resistance nor the dismantling of armed factions as demanded by Israel.
"This calm is not a gift to the occupation. We will work on and prepare ourselves. Disbanding the armed wing of Hamas is absolutely out of the question," said Abu Ubada, spokesman for the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades.
The faction agreed to extend the informal truce, not out of love for Israel but "to put Palestinian affairs in order and to ensure a period of calm conducive to holding elections", he said.
Palestinian parliamentary elections are scheduled for July and Hamas has declared its intention to contest the legislative ballot for the first time.
Abu Ubada refused to countenance any idea of Palestinian disarmament.
"Our rifles are aimed at the occupiers. Weapons that have to be collected up will be used to unleash chaos," he added.
A spokesman for Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, loosely affiliated to the mainstream Fatah party, said its militants would integrate into Palestinian Authority security forces without sacrificing the "resistance".
"A large number of our fighters already belong to the security services. Joining the security services does not at all signify the end of resistance against the occupation," said the spokesman, calling himself Abu Qussay.
He cautioned Israel against violating the period of calm.
"We are ready to fight back at any moment," the Al-Aqsa spokesman warned. "Weapons will remain in the hands of the resistance and we will direct them only against the Israeli enemy."
Abu al-Walid from the leadership of Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, said the faction aimed to take advantage of the lull "to prepare our military apparatus to confront any eventuality".
Support for the calm depends on concessions from Israel, particularly over its withdrawal from Gaza, the release of the more than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails and an end to aggression, he stressed.
Israeli-developed armor that has been installed on American armored personnel carriers (APCs) in Iraq has saved 'many lives', according to a letter of recognition the US Army has sent to Rafael, the Israel Armament Development Authority.
The Bradley and 7AV APCs in the service of the US Army and the Marines, which play a central role in the armed operations in Iraq, have been fitted over the last year with armor by Rafael in partial cooperation with the American General Dynamics company, based in Burlington, Vermont.
A source in the company told ISRAEL21c that the letter stated, 'When the fighting in Iraq was tough, and your product was urgently needed, you did everything you could to expedite production and delivery.'
The rush deliveries were part of the US military's effort to slow the damage done by roadside mines, explosive charges and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), which have killed more than 150 U.S. troops in Iraq.
According to the Israeli paper Ma'ariv, one of the senior officials in the American defense establishment said explicitly: the Bradley is the best protected vehicle in Iraq.
"They were trying to find American-made armor not something that comes from abroad," said the Rafael source, but after much research found that Rafael's was the most reliable.
According to Rafael's web site, with the new reactive armor, the Bradley is better able to withstand a direct hit from a variety of anti-armor munitions, including shoulder-fired rocket propelled grenades, which are in abundant supply in many of today's regional conflicts.
The armor is of the most advanced in the world: it is made up of passive protection, which is constructed of strong material that diverts the rocket, and of reactive protection, which is comprised of plates that contain explosives. The minute the rocket jet stream hits one of those plates the explosives go off, preventing the rocket from penetrating the APC.
The add-on armor consists of 105 tiles that attach to the sides, the turret and the front of each Bradley. The tiles, which look like small boxes, contain a special explosive charge that detonates when hit by a missile or rocket with a shaped-charge warhead. The resulting explosion disrupts the incoming, armor-penetrating gas jet produced by a RPG, for example, so the Bradley remains unharmed.
"The armor has minimal effect on the vehicle, it's lightweight and easy to enter. Crews in the field can handle it easily," the Rafael source told ISRAEL21c. "The active armor is also easy to handle - it can operate in extreme conditions and temperatures."
"The idea is to apply chemical energy against chemical energy," an official within Rafael told Defense News.. "These tiles contain a very special, insensitive explosive that is detonated only when hit by a missile or a rocket. For safety reasons, our armor does not react to other heat sources such as small arms or other fragments. When it detonates, the action of the elements inside the tiles interact with the incoming jet of the warhead, and defeats it."
The US Army is thrilled with the results, according a release from the US Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO-GCS).
"Reactive armor has functioned very well. The soldiers in these (Bradley) units are excited about the product because it is providing a level of survivability that they previously didn't have," said Maj. John Conway, assistant product manager of Bradley systems for the PEO-GCS.
"All you have to do is read the news about the kinds of threats our soldiers are encountering and you immediately realize that these tiles are saving lives because they are defeating the threats they were designed to defeat," Conway said, adding "for the foreseeable future, reactive armor is one of the best ways to defeat these kinds of threats."
"The Bradley program manager told us he had no doubt that the Rafael reactive armor was saving lives in Iraq," Rafael Chairman Jacob Toren told Defense News. "This is a proven capability; it's not theoretical. It's in full production at GDATP and here at Rafael."
Arab leaders arrived Monday in the Algerian capital for a summit meeting that will include a statement of solidarity with Syria and a rejection of any further 'foreign intervention' in that country's promised pullout from Lebanon.
The proposal, which was completed Sunday and is expected to be ratified by the Arab League during its meeting, which opens Tuesday, is the most definitive stand yet by Arab leaders in the monthlong crisis over Syria's role in Lebanon.
Monday, March 21, 2005
A bus stop located on Sanhedrin St. in Yavne was stolen in its entirety early Monday.
The perpetrators loaded the bus station, including the cement surface the station was situated on, onto a truck in the middle of the night, according to the Yavne Municipality.
A number of residents who live near the station said they noticed the truck and the thieves but did not report the incident to the police.
COLOMBO, March 19 (Bernama) -- Attallah Quiba, the Palestinian ambassador in Sri Lanka, believes that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was killed by unnamed Israelis using advanced technology, the Island newspaper said.
Responding to questions at a media conference in Colombo on Friday, Quiba claimed that two Israelis who met Arafat on the day he was taken sick 'used a laser device to attack Arafat.'
'They tried to flee after using the device but were wrestled down by the Palestinian Authority security personnel. Both men were carrying Canadian passports.'
Quiba was quoted as saying the Palestinian Authority immediately informed the Israeli government of the 'attempt on Arafat's life.' Samples of Arafat's blood were tested in 16 countries and it was revealed that he had been poisoned by high technology, he said.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Lebanon has pulled out of this year's Eurovision song contest because of the presence of an Israeli participant in the show, organizers said Friday.
A statement posted on the Eurovision Web site said Lebanon was forced to withdraw because its national television station could not broadcast the Israeli portions of the contest, to be held May 19 and 21 in Kiev, Ukraine.
Tele Liban's head, Ibrahim Khoury, confirmed the decision to pull out, telling The Associated Press that Lebanon was unaware of the presence of an Israeli participant when it confirmed its entry in December.
'Lebanon is in a state of war with Israel. If the Israeli contestant wins, we would have to show the celebrations,' Khoury said. He added that Lebanon would also be obliged to air the Israeli Web site on which viewers could vote for the Israeli participant. 'I cannot do this,' he said.
Khoury said the decision to withdraw was 'painful,' particularly as Lebanon was participating with a talented contestant, Aline Lahoud, who has also pulled out of the show.
The station is obligated to pay its participation fee, plus an additional penalty which Khoury did not specify.
Friday, March 18, 2005
The sad part is...why do Jews have to act stealthily to buy land in their own capital?
Two groups of Jewish overseas investors have discreetly purchased the lands, hotels and restaurants around the Jaffa Gate into Jerusalem's Old City. Until now, the properties, worth millions of dollars, were mostly owned by the Greek Orthodox Church.
The investors involved had as their goal the redeeming of Jerusalem property for the Jewish people. The deal itself was carried out in perfect secrecy, according to a report in the Maariv newspaper, and involved money transfers through various European banks.
Jaffa Gate is the main western entrance to the Old City and is flanked by shops, mostly Arab-run, geared towards tourists. Just inside the gate, is one of the capital's best known sites, the Tower of David.
The Palestinian Authority's decision to purchase more than 100 new vehicles for all members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the new cabinet has drawn sharp criticism from some Palestinians.
The PA s 24 ministers will each receive a German Audi A-6 car, which costs $76,000. The 86 lawmakers will be given the cheaper version of Audi, the A-4, which costs an estimated $45,000.
Palestinian columnist Yahya Rabah on Thursday attacked the decision to buy the expensive vehicles at a time when the PA is cutting expenditure in many fields, and can't pay police salaries.
'How will we explain the decision to pay only $1,500 to the families whose houses have been demolished or blown up?'"
STATEMENT REGARDING THE MURDER OF MUHAMMAD MANSOUR
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Office)
Friday, 18 March, 2005
On Thursday, 13.1.05, Muhammad Mansour was kidnapped for interrogation in the context of being suspected - by fugitive Fatah Tanzim terrorists in the Balata refugee camp - of cooperating with Israel.
According to the fugitives, Mansour admitted that he cooperated with Israel and worked with an Israel Security Agency (ISA) officer, having passed on information that led to the arrest and death of several senior fugitives in the camp, including Nadr Abu Lil and Hashem Abu Hamdan, senior Fatah Tanzim terrorists in Nablus, who directed several attempted suicide attacks inside Israel and who were killed in an Israeli action.
After his interrogation, Mansour was brought before a Muslim cleric who heard his confession before Mansour was executed, in order to add religious credibility to the confession. Mansour was filmed confessing and expressing regret for his actions.
On the evening of 14.1.05, fugitives called on residents of the Balata refugee camp to gather in the marketplace in order to observe the execution. Thousands heeded the call. Mansour, his hands bound, was ordered to kneel on the ground. Tanzim fugitives shot Muhammad Mansour in full view of the gathered crowd. When Mansour fell over onto the ground, one of the fugitives emptied an entire clip from his sidearm into Mansour's head. The mother of Nadr Abu Lil thereupon came out, stabbed Mansour's corpse and gouged out its eyes. The mother of Hashem Abu Hamdan and his brothers thereupon gashed Mansour's corpse with knives and axes.
When an ambulance came to collect the body, it was stoned by the mob. The ambulance driver was beaten and forced to flee the scene. Mansour's corpse was later delivered to the hospital, after having been further abused by the mob. The mob set out for Mansour's house and was met by his father who came out and declared that his son was a traitor whom he disowned. Thus the mob
was deterred from burning the home.
A senior Tanzim fugitive from Balata, Ala Sanakhara, told a Palestinian Authority publication that they were responsible for Mansour's murder due to the fact of the latter's having caused the death of a Tanzim "fighter" and that they took upon themselves the responsibility to act in place of the security services.
The state of Israel wishes to clarify that Muhammad Mansour had no connection whatsoever with any ISA officials or with any other Israeli elements.
Hizbollah's al-Manar television channel, branded a terrorist organization by the United States, will no longer be available on European satellites from Monday, media regulators said Thursday.
The announcement came at a meeting of European Union broadcasting regulators in Brussels, where national watchdogs from the 25-nation bloc agreed to step up action against TV broadcasts which incite hatred or promote racism and xenophobia.
Last year, a French court banned al-Manar from a satellite owned by France's Eutelsat because its broadcasts were deemed anti-Semitic and a potential threat to public order.
Dutch regulators discovered that a satellite owned by New Skies Satellites was carrying al-Manar and has ordered the company to stop doing so, because the channel did not have the required Dutch license.
'We saw that al-Manar was being transmitted by New Sky Satellite (NSS). We assessed that al-Manar does not have a Dutch license ... and NSS will now take al-Manar from its satellite,' Jan van Cuilenburg, head of the Dutch Media Authority, told Reuters.
'As of Monday al-Manar will no longer be available on any European satellites.'
But Lebanon's parliament has criticized the French ban on al-Manar, saying the ruling showed the reach of "Zionist pressure" on France.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Sometimes, ruling the world has its advantages.
KARACHI - In the changing world, where many Arab countries, as well as the Palestinian leadership, have adopted a more flexible policy toward Israel, decision-makers in Pakistan are developing a strategy to better relations with the Jewish state, though without compromising Islamabad's standing among Islamic countries.
Sources in Pakistan's strategic circles tell Asia Times Online that Pakistan believes that cordial relations with Israel will help neutralize much unnecessary pressure on Pakistan, and regain lost ground against India.
Indian rhetoric about Pakistan's so-called fundamentalist Islam portrays the country as the "naughty boy" of the region which supports anti-US and anti-Israeli movements. This has contributed to Pakistan's strategic isolation in South Asia.
Pakistan's leadership believes that despite support for the US-led "war on terror", the country does not get the status - and inducements - it deserves.
Pakistan initially has tried to open some back channels to establish communication with Israel, which does not have any direct grudge against Pakistan, except for a fear that Pakistan could be capable of developing nuclear warheads to target Israel. The sources tell ATol that in behind-the-scenes talks between officials of the two countries, Israel has been assured that Pakistan has largely capped its nuclear warhead program up to a specific range aimed at deterring India.
Pakistani officials are cautious, though, not to damage Pakistan's relations with other Islamic countries, especially Saudi Arabia.
"All decisions [about recognizing Israel] will be in line with member countries of the OIC [Organization of Islamic Countries], especially Arab countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, but a non-diplomatic limited interaction with Israel is a pragmatic approach in the present geo-strategic situation of the country and cannot be ruled out at any stage," a strategic expert told ATol.
"Though it is unrealistic to assume that Pakistan-Israel relations would immediately get relief for Pakistan, as there are strong Israeli reservations on Pakistan's policies, of course cordial terms with the Zionist state will surely neutralize Zionist lobbies in Washington in the Indo-Pakistan arms race," he added.
Bangladesh Industries Minister and the chief of the right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Matiur Rahman Nizami, has categorically accused anti-Islamic Zionist elements for perpetrating the recent spate of terror-related violence in the country.
Describing it as an well orchestrated international conspiracy to destabilise normal life in Bangladesh, Nizami, a minister in the four-party coalition government of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, rejected the suggestion that radical forces were operating in the country.
"As part of the conspiracy being hatched by the Zionist forces against Islam and the Muslims across the world, an identified quarter here has been trying to label the country a haven of the fundamentalist forces,' the minister said addressing a rally in Bangladesh capital on Tuesday.
Hmmm..The PA got billions of dollars and has nothing to show for it. But where could all of this money gone?
And is there the slightest chance that this distinguished EU commission decided to look at the question from the other side - where did the terror groups get their money from? Is there the possibility that they ignored the records that Israel had of Arafat transferring funds directly to terrorists? Any chance they even referred to the smoking gun documents surrounding the Karine-A?
Nah...that would be a little too inconvenient.
The European Union's anti-fraud office said Thursday that it has found no conclusive evidence that EU aid to the Palestinian Authority was diverted to fund terror groups or anti-Israel propaganda.
The independent European Anti-Fraud Office, known as OLAF, said its investigators found that it was necessary to continue to include financial safeguards in aid packages to the Palestinians.
The probe was opened in February 2003 following charges from European Parliament members that EU aid from 2000 to 2002 had been wasted or diverted to support anti-Israel propaganda or terrorism.
'The investigation has found no conclusive evidence of support of armed attacks or unlawful activities financed by the European Commission's contributions,' OLAF said in a statement.
'However, the possibility of misuse of the Palestinian Authority's budget and other resources, cannot be excluded, due to the fact that the internal and external audit capacity in the Palestinian Authority is still underdeveloped,' it added."
It sounds like the esteemed committee couldn't find a single French franc in the hands of an Al Aqsa terrorist that had the inscription: "This money is meant for a hospital in Ramallah."
According to an annual report released by B'nai Brith Canada's League for Human Rights on Tuesday, anti-Semitism in Canada is at its worst point in more than two decades. A total of 857 incidents were reported in 2004, nearly 47 percent more than the previous year, according to the report. It also said that the number of incidents had increased more than three-fold since 2000.
Dimant believes the real number of anti-Semitic incidents could be even 10 times higher, saying that the vast majority go unreported. While most of the incidents in 2004 were "merely" cases of harassment, the report noted that the greatest increases were registered in vandalism and violent attacks.
Synagogues were targeted 74% more often than in 2003. Cemetery desecrations increased more than 300%. As in Western Europe, Canada has seen a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic attacks carried out by Arab immigrants.
"Kill the Jews" graffiti scrawled in a university library in Hamilton is but one example of anti-Semitic incidents that are multiplying on campuses across Canada. Jewish students were now very afraid, Dimant said, because the "atmosphere has been poisoned."
What's worse, he added, is that university authorities refused to admit they have a problem. "Some have told us, 'You have to expect a little bit of anti-Semitism,'" Dimant said. "But why? Why do we have to tolerate any anti-Semitism?"
Do we even have to ask?
Damascus has been secretly dispatching dozens of Palestinian youths to Lebanon during the past two weeks, alongside the apparent withdrawal of Syrian forces from the country, Farid N. Ghadry, president of the Reform Party of Syria, a U.S.-based opposition party, said this week.
“The youths underwent training by Syrian security services, designed to incite and disrupt Lebanese opposition,” he said.
“Our sources in Syria revealed that two weeks ago some 70-80 Palestinian youngsters aged 18-20 left the Neirab refugee camp, the largest refugee camp in Syria, on their way to Lebanon. “
Ghadry said the youngsters were taken to a training camp and told their Palestinian brothers in Lebanon were about to be massacred and needed their help. He added he expects hundreds of additional Palestinians to be dispatched to Lebanon after undergoing Syrian training.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Here's a part:
Here, first, is the way Palestinian Arabs have manifested their alleged embrace of peace and democracy in the months since Mahmoud Abbas replaced Yasser Arafat. Abbas was elected last January 9 with 62 percent of the vote, but, as Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki clearly shows, this was not a vote against terror: Two thirds of Palestinians still see terror as an effective weapon, and they give all credit for Israel's decision to withdraw from Gaza to the terrorists.
Hamas, the largest of the many Palestinian terrorist groups, boycotted the election, claiming it was based on the "illegal" Oslo "peace," but they did field candidates in the municipal election for control of Gaza on January 27, winning 77 out of the 118 seats — a victory margin of 67 percent. This huge Palestinian terror majority makes no secret of the fact that they intend to drive Jews out of Israel and Americans out of the Middle East. They are closely allied with all the other terrorist groups in the region, and with all the terror-sponsoring states. During both Iraq wars, they marched in support of Saddam Hussein; today, they march for Syria, and for Hezbollah, along with allied Palestinian terror groups like Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the terror wing of Abbas's own party, Fatah.
On March 11, there was a big pro-Syrian demonstration in Gaza. Thousands of armed, masked Palestinians waved Palestinian flags tied to Syrian and Lebanese ones. They burned American and Israeli flags, along with effigies of George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon, with the caption "You have no place here." As usual, they all screamed "Death to America" and "Itbah al Yahud" ("Kill the Jews"), as well as "Yes, yes," to Syria and Hezbollah.
Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas, the man our press keeps assuring us is "a moderate," has made no move to disarm these men or the hundreds of thousands of others like them who form a majority of all Palestinians in the West Bank as well as Gaza. Instead, he proposes to integrate gunmen who are not already members of the Palestinian security forces into their ranks, arming and training them with huge new infusions of American and European cash.
Last week, Abbas sent a different message to the beleaguered minority of Palestinians who actually do want peace — those who try to thwart planned terrorist attacks by reporting them to Israeli authorities. Fifty-one Palestinians are currently under Palestinian death sentences, more than half of them for "collaborating" with Israel, but executions have been suspended since August 2002. On March 3, Abbas lifted the ban, ordering the execution of 15 of them this month.
This "progress" is more than enough to satisfy our road-map partners, but it is nowhere near enough to satisfy Palestinian gunmen. When Abbas tried to hold a meeting in Gaza last week, Islamic Jihad gunmen broke it up by surrounding the meeting hall and firing a hail of bullets into it. That sent Abbas and his cronies scurrying back to Ramallah in the West Bank. There, on March 10, Palestinian gunmen from Abbas's own party — Fatah — followed suit: They broke up the meeting he tried to hold there, too, firing their guns and smashing windows and chairs. And of course, Kassam rocket attacks on Israeli civilians in Gaza continue: There were two more last week, along with an automatic weapons attack in Hebron, wounding two Israelis, plus the bombing of a beachfront nightclub in Tel Aviv on February 25 that killed five and wounded 50. But for the vigilance of Israeli counterterrorism forces, there would have been many more.
Yesterday (3/15), leaders from more than 40 nations gathered in Jerusalem to dedicate a new, expanded Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.
Yet at the very time that this monument to Nazi evil was inaugurated, the American cable network C-SPAN planned to give a notorious Holocaust denier a broad audience to promote his ideology that the murder of six million Jews never occurred. This, in the name of 'journalistic balance'. Here's what happened:
Deborah Lipstadt, Holocaust scholar at Emory University (pictured), will deliver a talk at Harvard University this evening (3/16), promoting her new book, History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving. C-SPAN wished to broadcast Lipstadt's talk on the network's BookTV program, but informed Lipstadt that a recent speech of Irving's (recorded by C-SPAN) would need to be broadcast as well. C-SPAN producers explained their reasoning to Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen:
'We want to balance [Lipstadt's lecture] by covering him [Irving],' said Amy Roach, a producer for C-SPAN's Book TV. Her boss, Connie Doebele, put it another way. 'You know how important fairness and balance is at C-SPAN... We work very, very hard at this. We ask ourselves, 'Is there an opposing view of this?'
C-SPAN, that is, sought out an 'opposing view' to Lipstadt's confirmation of the Nazi Holocaust. Lipstadt refused to be cast side-by-side with Irving, on the grounds that Holocaust denial does not merit public debate. Cohen asks the appropriate question: 'For a book on the evils of slavery, would C-SPAN counter with someone who thinks it was a benign institution?'
In personal correspondence with HonestReporting, Lipstadt explained:
I would have been delighted to appear on C-SPAN's BookTV. It is an important venue and is watched by a book-reading audience. However, there was no way I was going to be forced into debating a man who is the equivalent of a flat-earther. I spent six years in court fighting this man. We defeated him completely. That C-SPAN should now give him an opportunity to resurrect arguments which the court found completely false is appalling.
Appalling ― six million times over.
HarperCollins, the publisher of Lipstadt's book, has supported Lipstadt's decision not to appear on C-SPAN, despite the fact that this loss of publicity means a loss of book sales.
HonestReporting encourages subscribers to write to C-SPAN, questioning its policy that grants equal air time to mendacious and immoral claims.
Comments to C-SPAN: email@example.com
Creating a supportive social environment for terrorists has been a critical factor in the Palestinian Authority’s successful promotion of suicide terrorism. To this end, PA policy has been to honor terrorists as Shahids (Martyrs for Allah), and to teach Palestinian mothers to celebrate when their children die as terrorist Shahids. Categorizing these dead terrorists as Shahids grants them the highest honor a Muslim can achieve, and is therefore cause for a mother to celebrate, according to this PA teaching.
This pressure on Palestinian mothers to celebrate their dead sons as Shahids continues under the regime of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and even increased this past week with repeated PA TV promotion connected to International Woman’s Day.
Preaching before an audience that included Abbas, Sheikh Yusuf Juma’ Salamah said in Friday’s sermon on PA TV that the ideal Palestinian woman is like Al Khansah, the heroine of Islamic tradition who celebrated her four sons’ death in battle by thanking God for the honor. Salamah, the PA Minister of Waqf, quoted Al Khansah: “Praise Allah, who granted me honor with their deaths.” [PA TV, March 11, 2005]
It’s important to note that this was the first Friday sermon broadcast since the PA announced last week that it would control and vet all Friday sermons delivered in West Bank and Gaza strip mosques. This portrayal of the ideal Palestinian woman as one who willingly sacrifices her sons as Shahids, therefore, continues to represent official PA ideology – especially since this sermon was delivered in the presence of Abbas.
Two days later, PA TV broadcast a theatrical skit that included veneration of the same Al Khansah. A father taught his son her declaration: “Praise Allah, who granted me honor with their deaths.” [PA TV, March 13, 2005]
Both the sermon and the play portray Al Khansah’s celebration of the deaths of her four sons as superior to the way she mourned the deaths of her two brothers, who died before she adopted Islam.
During an interview with four university students for International Women’s Day last week, PA TV broadcast a telephone call from the Dean of Media at Al-Aqsa University. He expressed admiration for the “unique Palestinian woman ... she is the one who shouts for joy on the day of the Shahid.” [PA TV, March 10, 2005]
Promoting the Al Khansah ideal for Palestinians is a very powerful message for Muslims. Al Khansah was a poet in the early Islamic period. Before she converted to Islam, her brothers died, and she grieved. However, Islamic historian Ibn Athir writes that after she converted to Islam, she delivered a fiery speech encouraging her four sons to march into battle for Allah. When all four were killed, the poem she wrote was one of joy, rejoicing that Allah had honored her with the deaths of her sons.
Al Khansah is considered the archetypal mother of Shahids, a woman glorified by Palestinians for encouraging her sons to kill and die for Allah, and rejoicing when they achieved their Shahada deaths.
From a very young age, Palestinian girls are taught to adopt Al Khansah as a role model with her message of celebrating death in combat – which in contemporary Palestinian society includes death while committing acts of suicide terror. A music video for children, broadcast hundreds of times over three years on PA TV, included the farewell letter of a child Shahid, including the words: “Mother don’t cry for me, be joyous over my blood.”
In addition, the Palestinian Authority has named at least five girls schools “the Al Khansah School for Girls,” in Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, Han Yunis and Rafah. [Al Hayat Al Jadida, Jan. 9, 2005]
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
By Nadav Shragai
"Unauthorized settlement outposts" have existed here for many years, ever since Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel resumed in the early 20th century.
"A small Jewish settlement among large Arab villages to the east, north and south," wrote Moshe Smilansky about the first settlement, Petah Tikva, in its early years. "Its houses are in one place, in Yehud. Its fields are elsewhere, and Arab fields are in between, and the ownership of the land is complicated."
Morally, there is no difference between the settlement of parts of the Land of Israel inhabited by Arabs in the early 20th century and settlements and outposts in parts of the Land of Israel inhabited by Arabs in the early 21st century. Either both are moral, or both are immoral. The real debate over the Model 2005 outposts is also unrelated to law and order. It is taking place between those who think there is nothing more moral, and those who think there is nothing more immoral.
Both settlement movements were the product of normative political Zionism. Settlements in the Negev and the Galilee were political, just as settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are political. And who knows this better than Ariel Sharon, who, before his opinions changed, urged his colleagues to "seize the hilltops"?
Carmiel and the hilltop communities in the north were established to Judaize the Galilee. Ariel and the outposts were established to Judaize the northern West Bank. Both were established as part of the great battle over the Land of Israel. The outposts were meant to fill in the empty spaces between established settlements, to prevent the Arabs from seizing control of them. Some of the lands on which the outposts were built were purchased, as in Migron and Givat Assaf. Once upon a time, this was called redeeming the land. Today, with the confusion characteristic of the spirit of the times, this is called "seizure."
It turns out that the World Zionist Organization's settlement division, a government agency, took its organizational and ideological affiliation with the WZO too seriously. Ron Shechner, the defense minister's advisor on settlements - an honest man, the salt of the earth, who was criticized in the Sasson report - also played a role. The ministers and the prime minister knew; some encouraged the process. The prime minister himself gave a detailed explanation of how to turn a barren outpost into a settlement. And he asked Einat Ehrlich of the outpost of Amona: "Why aren't you people building?"
That is how Israel was built. Even some of the "major settlement blocs" that Sharon (still?) wants to keep began their lives as unauthorized outposts. Even Ma'aleh Adumim, a large city, the largest settlement in the territories, began as an outpost with temporary housing. It is all a matter of definition - and who is doing the defining. If the outposts are neighborhoods of existing settlements, as they have been over the last 12 years, they are legal. But if they are "new settlements," which are not "adjacent," as determined by Sasson, they are "illegal."
The Sasson report is political and problematic, not only because it ignores Sharon and the rest of the political echelon, which approved and gave orders and knew, and not only because it ignores the legal system's responsibility for what happened, but also because it was born of a discriminatory approach.
Less well-publicized investigatory committees have in the past investigated illegal building in East Jerusalem and Israel's Arab sector. Their conclusions were unequivocal. When Haim Ramon served as minister for Jerusalem affairs under Ehud Barak, he informed the Knesset that more than 20,000 buildings had been built without a permit in East Jerusalem. Documents were seized at Orient House a few years ago that proved that this construction was not merely a response to the population's distress; it was also a political move. But nobody proposed destroying these buildings. On the contrary: Israel under Barak and Shimon Peres and Ramon negotiated with the Palestinian Authority over their retroactive legalization.
Nor did anyone suggest indicting successive mayors of Jerusalem or interior ministers for having deliberately turned a blind eye to this construction, sometimes for political reasons. There is also widespread illegal building in the Arab and Bedouin areas of Israel. The state accepts this, because reality - which includes the battle over this disputed land - is stronger.
The story of the outposts, just like the story of the construction in East Jerusalem, is a story about seeking to alter the status quo. But the outposts are an action of the old Zionist variety, which is now gradually being made illegal - first by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, then by Talia Sasson, and the High Court of Justice will doubtless follow in their footsteps.
In essence, the state is currently redefining Zionism as a movement that retreats under pressure, terrorism and threats, as a movement that gives up its dreams. The naive residents of the outposts are out of step. Nevertheless, they understand quite well what many others, perhaps even in the erring and confused Likud Party, will understand later: Gush Katif, the northern West Bank and the outposts are only the beginning. Sharon and his advisor Dov Weisglass - who, together with their new partners, Yossi Beilin and the Arab parties, are tearing the land and the nation apart - are already planning to uproot tens of thousands of additional Jews from the West Bank. And in secret, they are even talking about Jerusalem.
A Palestinian resident of Kalkilya, Naim Hable, who was freed in the release of 500 Palestinian security prisoners on February 21, was caught along with two others with 102 M-16 assault rifle bullets, a knife and stolen property at a checkpoint outside Kalkilya on Monday.
A Palestinian militant accused of ordering the killing of an Israeli minister will be freed from jail in Jericho when Israel pulls back from the city this week, President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday.
But Israel said it had not agreed with the Palestinians that Ahmed Saadat or any of the other three it accuses in the 2001 assassination could be released after the redeployment around the West Bank city set for Wednesday.
Abbas told Reuters by telephone that Saadat and Fuad al-Shobaki, an aide to the late Yasser Arafat accused of arms smuggling, would be released after Israeli troops left.
'Saadat and Shobaki will be released from prison in Jericho when Jericho is handed over to the Palestinians,' Abbas said.
'The two men were placed by Israel on the wanted list and the agreement we have with Israel is that once it leaves our cities, the fugitives will have immunity. Therefore, they will be freed, and the Israelis are aware of this.'
But Israel's Defense Ministry said Israel and the Palestinians agreed at a meeting on Monday where they discussed the pullback from Jericho 'that the murderers of (Tourism Minister) Rehavam Zeevi will remain in prison.'
Monday, March 14, 2005
Knesset Member Michael Eitan (Likud) said this evening that sources in the Palestinian Authority (PA) have informed him that the PA will cancel the scheduled executions of 15 Arabs charged with helping Israel prevent terror or track down terrorists.
A complaint to police charging incitement recently was filed following a Moslem cleric's religious ruling that anyone who helps Israel to prevent terror attacks must be killed. Human rights and left-wing organizations recently have declared their opposition to the death sentences.
For what has been described as 'the first time in living memory,' a Jewish house of worship in Switzerland has been set afire. Less than a kilometer away, a Jewish-owned shop was also set alight.
Both attacks, which local police said were connected, occurred last night in the southern Swiss city of Lugano. Elio Bollag, the president of Lugano's Jewish community, described the incidents as 'anti-Semitic.' No one was hurt in either attack, but the synagogue's library was almost totally destroyed in the firebombing.
It was reported in the name of Jewish leaders in Switzerland that this was the first time in living memory that a Swiss synagogue has been attacked in this manner.
Previous anti-Semitic vandalism has included only graffiti daubed on walls.
Lugano apparently has a strong Arab population. The Neue Zurcher Zeitung reported just yesterday that tourism officials in the city have published a brochure in Arabic omitting references to aspects of European life that could offend Muslims. A comparison of the Italian, French or German versions of the Lugano tourist board's brochure with the Arabic-language text reveals that in the latter, pictures of churches are missing. In addition, references to the local variety of pork-based salami have been replaced with cheeses from the Italian-speaking region.
In June 2001, Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, 71, of Bnei Brak was murdered in Zurich. The murderer, who rendered 11 children orphans, was never caught.
Switzerland's Jewish population has remained steady at approximately 20,000 for several decades.
Hezbollah has a history of killing Americans.
We are now approaching the 20th anniversaries of the murders of Robert Dean Stethem and William Buckley. The CIA station chief in Beirut, Buckley was beheaded by the Hezbollah on June 3, 1985. Stethem, a Navy diver, was murdered by Hezbollah the same month aboard hijacked TWA Flight 847. An eyewitness described Stethem's killing:
"They singled him out because he was American and a soldier. . . . They dragged him out of his seat, tied his hands and then beat him up. . . . They kicked him in the face and knee caps and kept kicking him until they had broken all his ribs. Then they tried to knock him out with the butt of a pistol--they kept hitting him over the head but he was very strong and they couldn't knock him out. . . . Later they dragged him away and I believe shot him."
So this is hezb Allah, the Party of God, the spear of Iranian influence in the Levant and chief local enforcer of Syria's occupation of Lebanon. Last week, it organized a counter-demonstration in Beirut on Syria's behalf, following weeks of anti-Syrian protests that had led to the resignation of puppet Lebanese Prime Minister Omar Karami. Now Mr. Karami has been renamed to his post by puppet Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, a move the Lebanese opposition wasted no time in denouncing. The dividing line in Lebanon, separating a pro-independence coalition of Druze, Christians and Sunnis from the pro-Syrian Shiite Hezbollah, has now become clear.
As have the stakes. The size of Tuesday's rally has been exaggerated: Our Lebanese sources tell us there were around 350,000 protestors, not 500,000 as commonly cited, and that many of them were bused in direct from Damascus. Also notable was that while the demonstrators waved Lebanese flags, they mounted Syrian President Bashar Assad's portrait. But all this only underscores how much rides on the question of Lebanon's independence--and how far Syria, Hezbollah and Iran may go to preserve the status quo.
For Syria the stakes are economic and political. An estimated one million Syrian guest workers reside in Lebanon and remit their wages to relatives back home, and Syrian officials have plundered much of the international aid Lebanon received over the past decade. The Bekaa Valley also serves as a lucrative transit point for narcotics and other contraband. Without Lebanon, Syria's economy might collapse.
So, too, might the Assad dynasty: Bashar's grip on power is far less sure than his father's, and the loss of prestige that a withdrawal from Lebanon would entail might well be politically fatal to him and the minority Allawite clique through which he rules.
For Iran the stakes are strategic. Its elite Revolutionary Guards operate terrorist training camps in the Bekaa. Iran has also placed upward of 10,000 missiles in Lebanon, including the medium-range Fajr-5 rocket, bringing half of Israel within their reach. It thus maintains the option of igniting a new Mideast war at any moment, as well as a hedge against the possibility of a pre-emptive Israeli strike on its nuclear installations. Yet if Syria withdraws, no pro-independence Lebanese government will indulge Iran's military presence. The Lebanese have had enough of allowing their territory to serve, Belgium-like, as the battleground of choice for foreign powers.
For Hezbollah, the stakes are greater still. During the years when Israel maintained a security zone in southern Lebanon, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah could present himself as a patriot fighting occupation. But Israel removed its forces from Lebanon in 2000, and now Nasrallah's support for Syrian occupation exposes a different set of motives: not patriotic, but Jihadist. And the last thing the Jihadists want is for Lebanon to again become a flourishing, pluralist, cosmopolitan Arab state.
Syria's withdrawal would likely precipitate a Lebanese decision to enforce U.N. Resolution 520, which requires the Lebanese Army to patrol its border with Israel, a function now performed by Hezbollah. At length, it could lead to the disbanding of Hezbollah as an independent militia, though its terrorist wings would likely continue to operate.
How does the Bush Administration manage the crisis? There are reports that it is considering a softer line toward Hezbollah in the hopes of encouraging its acquiescence to a Syrian withdrawal. But we are confident President Bush would not lightly betray the memory of Stethem, Buckley or the hundreds of other Americans killed by Hezbollah over the years.
The latest news is that the young Assad promised U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen on Saturday that Syria will withdraw completely. This is promising. But given the stakes all around, skepticism is in order and world pressure will have to continue. The help of the French here has been welcome, due in part to Jacques Chirac's personal ties to the murdered Lebanese patriot Rafik Hariri. However, France still declines to call Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
The Cedar Revolution began as an outburst of rage against Hariri's killers. It has been sustained by what former U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross calls "the absence of fear"--the belief that the Syrian government will not do in Beirut's Martyrs' Square what the Chinese did in Beijing's Tiananmen. A joint Franco-American declaration that a crackdown in Lebanon would have serious consequences for Damascus would help give all Lebanese patriots the courage to move forward.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Friday, March 11, 2005
by Semha Alwaya
In discussions about refugees in the Middle East, a major piece of the narrative is routinely omitted, and my life is part of the tapestry of what's missing. I am a Jew, and I, too, am a refugee. Some of my childhood was spent in a refugee camp in Israel (yes, Israel). And I am far from being alone.
This experience is shared by hundreds of thousands of other indigenous Jewish Middle Easterners who share a similar background to my own. However, unlike the Palestinian Arabs, our narrative is largely ignored by the world because our story -- that of some 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries dispossessed by Arab governments -- is an inconvenience for those who seek to blame Israel for all the problems in the Middle East.
Our lives in the Israel of the 1950s were difficult. We had no money, no property; there were food shortages, few employment prospects. Israel was a new and poor country with very limited resources. It absorbed not only hundreds of thousands of us, but also an equal number of survivors of Hitler's genocide. We lived in dusty tents in "transit camps," their official name because these were to be temporary, not permanent.
Housing was eventually built for us, we became Israeli citizens, and we ceased being refugees. The refugee camps in Israel that I knew as a child were phased out, and no trace of them remains. Israel did this without receiving a single cent from the international community, relying instead on the resourcefulness of its citizens and donations from Diaspora Jewish communities. Today, many of Israel's top leaders are from families that were forced to flee Arab countries, and we make up more than half of Israel's Jewish population.
I was born in Baghdad, and like most other Iraqis, my mother tongue is Arabic. My family's cuisine, our mannerisms, our outlook, are all strongly influenced by our synthesized Judeo-Arabic culture.
There once was a vibrant presence of nearly 1 million Jews residing in 10 Arab countries. Our Middle Eastern Jewish culture existed long before the Arab world dominated and rewrote the history of the Middle East. Today, however, fewer than 12,000 Jews remain in these lands -- almost none in Iraq.
What happened to us, the indigenous Jews of the Arab world? Why were 150, 000 Iraqi Jews -- my family included -- forced out of Iraq? Why were an additional 800,000 Jews from nine other Arab countries also compelled to leave after 1948?
When the world of the 1930s and '40s was divided between the democratic Allies and the Fascist Axis, Arab nationalists in Iraq and Palestine chose to form an alliance with Nazi Germany. The father of Palestinian nationalism and the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, began his close collaboration with Nazi Germany in the mid-1930s.
The British put out an arrest warrant for the pro-Nazi Palestinian leader, but he escaped when war broke out in Europe in the spring of 1939. Later that year, he arrived in Baghdad and linked up with pro-Nazi Iraqi nationalist Rashid Ali al-Gaylani. In 1941 al-Husseini and al-Gaylani engineered a pro- German coup against the pro-British Iraqi government, which brought a reign of terror to Iraq's Jews. This culminated in what we remember as the Farhud, an Arabic word akin to "pogrom."
In a two-day period Arab mobs went on a rampage in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq, murdering, raping and pillaging these cities' Jewish communities. Nearly 200 Jews were killed, more than 2,000 injured; some 900 Jewish homes were destroyed and looted, as were hundreds of Jewish-owned shops. My father was a survivor of the carnage. He hid in a hole dug in the ground to save his life. He saw Iraqi soldiers pull small children away from their parents and rip the arms off young girls to steal their bracelets. He saw pregnant women being raped and their stomachs cut open.
Britain eventually regained control, but al-Husseini and other Palestinian nationalists had already fled to Berlin where they became honored guests of the Nazi state. Hitler told a grateful al-Husseini that "Germany's only remaining objective in the [Middle East] would be limited to the annihilation of the Jews living under British protection in Arab lands."
Later, in a speech over Radio Berlin's Arabic Service, al-Husseini voiced support for the Nazis' "Final Solution" and became the first Arab leader to call openly for the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands -- some eight years before there was a single Palestinian refugee.
Even though Hitler lost the war, al-Husseini's call was heeded. In 1948, Iraq rounded up and imprisoned hundreds of Jews. Others were removed from their jobs in the civil service, business licenses of Jews were revoked, and quotas were placed on Jewish high school and college students. Later, discriminatory restrictions were imposed on Jewish travel abroad and the buying or selling of property. Thus, even if Jews wanted to escape Iraq, they could not do so legally, and they could not liquidate their assets.
In 1950, the Iraqi parliament passed a law called Ordinance for the Cancellation of Iraqi Nationality for Jews, Law No. 1 that stripped Iraqi Jews of their citizenship. In 1951, the Iraqi parliament passed another law, confiscating all Jewish property. Within a year, most of Iraq's ancient Jewish population, my family included, fled to Israel.
Elsewhere in the Arab world, Jews faced similar circumstances. In Libya in 1945, nearly 100 Jews were massacred. In 1948, the Jewish communities of Aden and Algeria were rocked by a series of attacks that left hundreds dead and many more injured. Discriminatory laws against Jews were passed in other Arab countries. Within a decade, the exodus of Jews from Arab countries was almost complete, with most going to Israel.
All of this was conducted under the guise of law by Arab governments. This forced Jews to flee lands where we had lived for thousands of years before the Arab-Islamic conquests.
Since 1949, the United Nations has passed more than 100 resolutions on Palestinian refugees. Yet, for Jewish refugees from Arab countries not a single U.N. resolution has been introduced recognizing our mistreatment or calling for justice for the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees forced out of our homes. This imbalance of the world's concern is itself an injustice.
Arab governments instituted policies that led to nearly 900,000 Middle Eastern Jews becoming stateless refugees. Those same governments forced about 750,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants to remain in impoverished refugee camps, refusing them citizenship and denying them hope.
Peace between Israel and the Arab world requires a solution that recognizes that there were two refugee populations. Acknowledging and redressing the legitimate rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries will promote the cause of justice, peace and a true reconciliation.
Semha Alwaya is an attorney in the Bay Area and a founding member of Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (www.jimena-justice.org).