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Friday, May 26, 2006

News roundup

For some reason, today's Daily Alert is filled with a huge number of links to great stories, and I don't have enough time to dedicate separate posts to each like I would like to. Here are some highlights:

A preview of how Hamastan would be:
Zarqawi Backers Lay Down Sharia Rules - Sharon Behn (Washington Times)
Imams loyal to terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi have issued threats in mosques in a western Baghdad neighborhood against anyone who does not follow Islamic law, terrified residents are saying.
Zarqawi supporters reportedly killed six men for wearing knee-length shorts in another Baghdad neighborhood on Tuesday, despite the 106-degree weather.
Other rules laid down by the Zarqawi supporters forbid men from wearing orange or red clothes or using gel in their hair. Women no longer are allowed to work, and girls cannot study.

This sounds like some "peace activists" are trying to provoke Israel into killing some of the people they pretend to defend, in order to get some good video:
Palestinians Testing Gaza Fence Security - Hanan Greenberg (Ynet News)
Around 20 Palestinian arrived at the Gaza border fence on Sunday near Kibbutz Nir Am. They crossed one fence and approached the electronic sensor fence.
Despite requests by soldiers, the Palestinians refused to leave the area and began rioting. In an attempt to disperse the rioters, IDF soldiers fired in the air, but the Palestinians did not disperse.
One of the Palestinians approached the fence, and in response soldiers fired at his legs.
Last Wednesday, a few dozen Palestinians arrived at the border in northern Gaza, burned tires, threw rocks, and even climbed the electronic fence.
Attempts by the IDF to disperse the rioters by firing in the air failed, and eventually the soldiers fired at their legs.
Just like "peace activists", NGOs need to be monitored:
European NGOs Against Israel - Interview with Gerald Steinberg (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Many in European politics, academia, the media, and the NGOs use almost identical semantics. These four elements of society parallel each other, and work together as well, reinforcing each other in the overall attack on Israel.
The key anti-Israeli policies are emphasized by powerful European NGOs.
Another small victory in the battle against dependence on Arab oil:
Trash Treatment Plant Makes Clean Energy - Leah Krauss (UPI)
ArrowBio Waste Management Technologies' on-site generator just outside Tel Aviv is powered by biogas, the rich methane gas mixture released when organic trash decomposes.
About 25% of this energy goes to power the machinery at the site. The other 75% of the non-polluting power goes back onto the national grid, and the Israel Electric Corp. credits the company for it.
With rising oil prices and a growing concern for the environment, Israel, like other countries all over the world, is making a push to rely on more sources of alternative energy.
An American Righteous Gentile from WWII:
New Stamp To Honor U.S. Envoy in WWII Who Helped Jews Escape - Christopher Lee
66 years ago, Hiram Bingham IV, a blue-blood American diplomat in France, defied U.S. policy by helping Jews escape the Nazis in the early years of World War II. Bingham's actions cost him his Foreign Service career but won him the undying gratitude of the more than 2,000 refugees he helped save by issuing them travel visas and false passports, and even at times sheltering them in his home. The Yale-educated son of a former U.S. senator, Bingham died in 1988 at age 84. His own children did not learn the extent of his wartime deeds until 1996, when a son found a cache of old journals and correspondence stashed in a hidden closet in the family's Connecticut home. The U.S. Postal Service issues a stamp next Wednesday in his honor. (Washington Post)
A very long and incredible article about a woman who fights terror on the Internet:
Private Jihad - Benjamin Wallace-Wells
Rita Katz, who was born in Iraq and speaks fluent Arabic, spends hours each day monitoring the password-protected online chat rooms in which Islamic terrorists discuss politics and trade tips: how to disperse botulinum toxin or transfer funds, which suicide vests work best. Katz, who is the head of the Search for International Terrorist Entities, or SITE Institute, and her researchers mine online sources for intelligence. She has worked with prosecutors on more than a dozen terrorism investigations, and many American officers in Iraq rely on Katz's e-mails to brief their troops on the designs for explosives that are passed around terrorist websites. (New Yorker)

Despite everything, Israel's economy is booming:
Israel's Economy Leaving Palestinians Far Behind - Joshua Mitnick
At a time when the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza are teetering on the brink of a collapse, Israeli growth - with a 6.6% GDP rise in the first quarter of 2006 - has returned to the torrid pace set before the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising. It's also a recognition of a growing separation between the Israeli and Palestinian economies. Per-capita income - a measure of the standard of living - is 17 times higher in Israel than among its neighbors from the West Bank and Gaza. Now the possibility of full economic disengagement looms. (Christian Science Monitor)
See also Israeli Business Sector Shines Despite Dangers - Abraham Rabinovich
Sever Plotzker, economics editor of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper, noted that Israel's business-sector GDP growth rate of 10.6% outpaced even China's, as did the industrial sector's 27% annualized growth. (Washington Times)
And more:
  • Syrian Subversion by Proxy - Editorial
    Syria continues to occupy the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. Lebanese who visited the Bekaa several weeks ago said they saw Syrian military forces on Lebanese territory. Last week, the Lebanese Army clashed with members of Fatah Uprising, a Palestinian rejectionist group based in Damascus. After the fighting began, Palestinians based in Syria sent 50 fighters, as well as trucks, jeeps, and an anti-aircraft gun, across the border to aid the Fatah group in combating the Lebanese Army. Syria, in short, is subverting Lebanon by proxy. (Washington Times)
  • The Protocols, 21st Century-Style - Benjamin Neuberger
    Another academic boycott of Israel is being organized in Britain. The organizers are not a majority but clearly rather a small minority. However, there are no initiatives for boycotts against other countries: not against Iran, which is denying the Holocaust and threatening to destroy Israel; not against Sudan, which is committing genocide in Darfur; not against Saudi Arabia, where people are executed for religious infractions; and not against China, which is carrying out oppression in Tibet and Shenzhen. Nor is the hated United States being boycotted.
    When I was on sabbatical at Oxford University in 2003-2005, I was astonished to see how many professors and students identified Zionism with racism, imperialism, and colonialism. In these circles there is no understanding at all of the Jewish history of pogroms, persecution, and deportations, or of the meaning of the Holocaust. They do not know, and they do not want to know, that we have historical roots in this country, that our language is non-European, that half of the Jews in Israel did not come from Europe, that those who did come from Europe were considered alien and shunned "Semites" there, and that the Zionists had no colonialist mother country. The writer is a professor of political science at the Open University. (Ha'aretz)
    See also Stop the British Academic Boycott of Israel - Colin Shindler
    The writer lectures in Israeli Studies at the University of London. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Egyptian-Italian Journalist: Hamas Terror Is Not a Reaction to Occupation - Assaf Uni
    "Israel's right to exist is today the international criterion for distinguishing between the terrorist camp and the camp of life," says Magdi Allam, the Egyptian-Italian journalist and writer who is now visiting Israel. "On one side, there is the Hamas government, Iran, fundamentalist Islam and even parts of the extreme left and right in Europe." On the other side, he says, are Western countries and "supporters of the right to live." The West, he believes, does not understand that it is under attack, and is trying to conduct a dialogue with the Muslims attacking it. Allam, 54, immigrated to Italy some 30 years ago and is today the deputy editor of Corriere della Sera, Italy's largest newspaper. (Ha'aretz)