Monday, December 31, 2007

  • Monday, December 31, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Palestine Press Agency (Arabic) has a breaking news item: "Death of a young man from a family Dairi during violent clashes taking place in the Sabra downtown Gaza." The dateline says 1:57 AM.

So the new year started just as peacefully as the old one ended.

Since I started counting on June 28, 2006, I have recorded 815
violent Palestinian Arab deaths in the territories by PalArabs.

UPDATE: Two more die in a gun battle this morning. 3 this year.
  • Monday, December 31, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
In yet another subtle but telling piece of bias by the media, a number of news outlets are describing the Gaza Hajj pilgrims in Egypt as "stranded:"

Canadian Press: Stranded Palestinian pilgrims protest in camps in northern Sinai area of Egypt

All Headline News: "Thousands of Palestinian pilgrims were stranded on the Egyptian side of the Gaza border following a dispute over how they will return to the Gaza strip."

BBC: "Protest by stranded Gaza pilgrims"

Boston Herald: "Stranded Palestinian pilgrims protest in camps in northern Sinai"

AP: "Stranded Palestinians Set Fire to Camps"

These people aren't stranded. They can choose to go to their homes any time they want - they just have to be checked to make sure that they are not illegally smuggling money or weapons. If they refuse to do that, this does not make them stranded - it means that they are choosing to stay away from their homes.

By calling them stranded, it appears that they have no choice in the matter, that Egypt and Israel are forcing them into an impossible situation. They aren't stranded - they just consider Hamas' wishes more important than returning to their homes.

UPDATE: Backspin quotes the Independent on the pilgrims who are going home through Egypt via Keren Shalom.
  • Monday, December 31, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Jerusalem Post reports:
Anniversary celebrations for the Fatah movement turned violent in the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis after nightfall Monday, and medics said three people were killed.

They said one of the dead was a Hamas police officer, and another was a Fatah supporter. About 30 people were wounded, they said.
YNet confirms that the third to die is a teenager; Ma'an translates it to "child." Palestine Today says 5 were killed. Palestine Press makes it sound like the fighting is still going on and it appears the number dead is at least 5. For now I will only count 3 until we get the names of all the victims, so for now the 2007 Palestinian Arab self-death count is at 606.

Which means that 2007 is ending exactly the same way it started.

UPDATE: Ma'an, PalPress and PalToday all agree on five dead. 608. For now, based on these stories, I am assuming one minor.

UPDATE 2: Ma'an Arabic as well as PalToday now says 6. 609.
It is not only the BBC that has these problems, of course, but the BBC claims to be "independent, impartial and honest", and this clearly isn't true:
More than 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims stranded in Egypt have held protests after they were blocked from travelling through a border crossing to Gaza.

The pilgrims broke windows and started fires to protest against the decision to move them to a temporary camp.

Israel has insisted that the pilgrims must return to the Gaza Strip through a crossing that it controls.

It says it wants to ensure that no weapons or money are being channelled to militant groups.

The pilgrims returning from the Hajj in Mecca include several prominent members of the Hamas movement, who fear they will be detained if they try to travel through an Israeli-controlled crossing.
The BBC finally admits that some of the "pilgrims" are Hamas members. They don't mention, however, that there at least some known terrorists among them.

Egyptian authorities have moved more than 1,100 of the pilgrims to several temporary camps set up in and around the Mediterranean coastal city of el-Arish.

Reports say the pilgrims shouted slogans against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Hundreds of riot police surrounded the protesters, while the fires were put out.

A 67-year-old Palestinian woman collapsed and died during the protests, reports said.

After the unrest ended, some pilgrims continued their protest by refusing to accept meals provided by the Egyptian government.
Again, accurate as far as it goes. But the Beeb doesn't mention the very pertinent fact that some of the pilgrims that left through Rafah have already returned via Keren Shalom:
Palestinians, returning from the hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, cross through the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and Egypt, on their way to Gaza Strip Monday, Dec. 31, 2007. Another group of Palestinian pilgrims, include some members of the militant Hamas group, have rejected Egypt's demands that they enter Gaza through the Israeli-controlled Aouja border crossing. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

If some of the pilgrims who went through Egypt are returning to their homes through Keren Shalom, then that makes the motives of the others a bit suspect. (The other set of pilgrims who went through the West Bank and Jordan returned through the Erez crossing.) One would think that this little fact should be mentioned.

The BBC might also want to verify or refute Debka's report that Hamas hajj pilgrims met with Ahmadinejad in Mecca and he gave them $50 million, and that they got an additional $100 million from the Muslim Brotherhood. Is Debka any more or less reliable than the anonymous "reports" the BBC mentions above? There is no way to know - the Beeb doesn't reveal who is behind those reports.

In early December, Israel allowed some 2,200 Palestinian pilgrims to leave Gaza through the Rafah border-post.
This is simply a lie - Israel protested Egypt's opening of Rafah, and the BBC did report that.
  • Monday, December 31, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Palestine Press Agency may be rabidly anti-Hamas but lately all of its stories ended up being corroborated by others, often a couple of days later. So here are today's stories from the Arabic edition:

* Hamas looted trucks filled with aid from Jordan
* Hamas threatened Egypt if it doesn't allow Hamas hajj terrorists to cross Rafah unimpeded
* Hamas abducted 30 Fatah members in northern Gaza
* Hamas threatened journalists not to cover Fatah celebrations of its 43rd anniversary tomorrow in Gaza
* Hamas arrested hundreds of Fatah members in Rafah
* Hamas stormed a house in Khan Younis and another in Jabalya
* Hamas abducted an "intelligence officer" in Rafah
* Hamas attacked mourners at a funeral who were displaying Fatah flags

And all of these stories are from today.
  • Monday, December 31, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the Sun (UK):
A FANATICAL Pakistani cleric told The Sun yesterday of his chilling dream to turn the world Muslim – by force if necessary.

Qari Hifzur Rehamn, 60, spoke openly of imposing Islamic law’s stoning and beheading on Britain – as Pakistan was rocked by unrest over the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

He warned: “We want Islamic law for all Pakistan and then the world.

“We would like to do this by preaching. But if not then we would use force.”

Rehamn, 60, spoke in the Pakistani town of Kahuta as the call to prayer echoed over the dusty streets.

He is Imam of the town’s fundamentalist religious school or madrassa, where classes for kids as young as nine include Jihad or Holy War and barbaric punishments.

His teachings are frightening enough. But his mosque lies in the shadow of the secret bunker where Pakistan produces nuclear weapons.

And when asked if it would be right to nuke British infidels, he laughed and answered: “Probably.”

Rehamn, in a flowing grey beard and turban, explained Islamic, or Sharia Law as we sat surrounded by some of his 250 students.

He said: “Adulterers who are married should be buried in earth to the waist and stoned to death.

“Homosexuals must be killed – it’s the only way to stop them spreading. It should be by beheading or stoning, which the general public can do.

“Thieves should have their hands cut off. Women should remain indoors and films and pop music should be banned.”

So what does he think of Britain? The dad insisted: “The nonbelievers must be converted to Islam. Morals in your society, with women wearing revealing clothes, have gone wrong.”
And here I thought there was no compulsion in Islam.
  • Monday, December 31, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ma'an (Arabic, autotranslated, cleaned up):
The Arab Baath Socialist Party announced a rally tomorrow, Tuesday, in the city of Nablus, to commemorate the anniversary of the martyrdom of the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The party's leadership called on the Palestinian masses to participate in the ceremony in the Hall bureau in the city of Nablus two p.m., in memory of the late President Saddam Hussein.
Isn't it nice to know that the West Bank is so progressive?
  • Monday, December 31, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
B'Tselem just came out with its annual report on how horrible Israel is, and for purposes of "balance" it threw in some statistics on Palestinian Arabs killing each other.

It comes to the apparent conclusion that even with a reduction of Palestinian Arab deaths at the hands of Israel this year, Israel was responsible for more PalArab deaths than Palestinian Arabs themselves were. It counts 373 Palestinian Arabs killed by the IDF and 344 killed in internal fighting.

The press releases don't go into the details of B'Tselem's methodology, and its apparent attempt to keep track of intra-Palestinian Arab violence gives it a veneer of respectability and even-handedness. But look a bit deeper into how it claims to get its numbers, buried almost unnoticeably on its website:
Since the beginning of the current intifada, B’Tselem has published on its website the names of every person (Israeli, Palestinian, and foreign) who was killed in the violence.
The data include the person’s name, age, and place of residence, the date and place of death, and who killed the individual. The data on Israelis who were killed indicate whether they were a civilian or member of the security forces. Regarding Palestinians who were killed, the data state whether they took part in the fighting, in the event that B’Tselem has this information. In some cases, the data provide a short description of the circumstances in which the individual was killed.
B’Tselem emphasizes that the listing of a person as a civilian, or having not participated in the fighting, or the inclusion of any other details regarding the cause of death, does not indicate that the person or entity that killed the individual violated the law, or that the deceased was innocent, or that any other legal or moral conclusion can be drawn from the facts. The lists of fatalities relate to persons killed during incidents related to the al-Aqsa intifada, and are to be viewed solely in that light.
The problem is that B'Tselem uses a very expansive definition of deaths related to the intifada when counting Israeli killings and a very narrow one when counting Arab killings.
For example, it counts this as an Israeli killing related to the intifada (and as a killing of a minor):
Jihad 'Alian Muhammad a-Nabahin, 17 year-old resident of al-Bureij Refugee Camp, Deir al-Balah district, killed on 09.11.2007 in al-Bureij Refugee Camp, Deir al-Balah district, by gunfire. Did not participate in hostilities when killed. Additional information: Killed when he and his friend tried to cross the perimeter fence and enter Israel.
If he was killed for only trying to cross a fence, and had no intent to do anything bad to Israelis (as B'Tselem implies when it says that he was not participating in hostilities), then what exactly does this death have to do with the intifada?

But when it comes to intra-Arab deaths, B'Tselem becomes much more restrictive in saying that they have to do with the intifada. While Hamas/Fatah battles do seem to count, tunnel collapses and "work accidents" and Arabs shooting other Arabs at checkpoints and Christians killed for being Christian and many other types of deaths do not make it into their list. So while over 600 Arabs were violently killed by each other this year, B'Tselem implies that the number is only 344, thereby neatly making it look like Israel is responsible for more Arab deaths than Arabs themselves are - a very wrong implication.

But B'Tselem's dishonesty does not end there. They nicely list 53 minors and come to conclusions that most of them "did not participate in hostilities" when they were killed. Probably most of them didn't, but again B'Tselem's definition of "not participating in hostilities" includes minors who tried to cut through the fence around Gaza, trying to escape arrest, trying to "collect" Qassam rocket launchers, or throwing stones (the very definition of "intifada" according to Palestinian Arab propagandists.) Once again, B'Tselem interprets its own definitions in ways that maximize propaganda value and minimize adherence to a true picture.

One interesting statistic that B'Tselem doesn't bother mentioning in its press release: the number of females killed. B'Tselem likes to count "minors" even though the majority killed were 16 and 17 years old. But its own list shows only 2 adult women (and 3 girls) killed by Israel during the year, as opposed to the 41 adult women and far more than 3 girls killed by PalArabs this year, statistics that B'Tselem doesn't count in its quest for "human rights."

In other words, B'Tselem will use statistics that seem to imply an Israeli policy of random shooting of non-combatants but that randomness falls apart when one sees that the minors are usually fully grown and the number of females killed is diminishingly small compared to men.

Publicizing those statistics as well as the others mentioned would make Arabs look more bloodthirsty than Israelis, and B'Tselem cannot countenance such a conclusion.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

  • Sunday, December 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Jerusalem Post reports:
Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, on Sunday called for the murder of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad for "collaboration" with Israel and the US.

This was the first time the group has openly called for Fayad's assassination. In the past, the group distributed leaflets strongly condemning Fayad and calling for his dismissal.

Fayad has been under heavy criticism from some Fatah leaders and activists, who accuse him of denying them public funds and plotting to undermine Fatah's grip on power. Other Fatah leaders have also accused Fayad of seeking to consolidate his power with the hope of replacing Mahmoud Abbas as PA president.

The threat was made in a leaflet distributed by the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the Gaza Strip. Some Fatah officials in Ramallah sought to distance themselves from the threat, claiming that the leaflet had been forged. They even went as far as accusing Hamas of being behind it.

"The command of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the Gaza Strip calls on all its elements and striking forces in the West Bank to immediately eliminate the so-called Salaam Fayad," the leaflet said. It claimed that Fayad's Ramallah-based government was working for Israel and the US.
Fatah is not the only terror group upset over the unelected "prime minister" of the PA. Islamic Jihad and Hamas took great offense at his sorrow over the murder of the two Israeli hikers last week. The pro-terror Palestine Today reports (autotranslated):
Islamic Jihad said such statements are a stab in the back of the Palestinian people and are outside the bounds of unanimity with the Palestinian resistance.

The Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said that the statements detract from the extent of resistance, does not represent our people in any way.
Similarly, the Islamic Jihad Qudsway website criticized Fayyad for offering condolences to the families of the murdered Israeli boys, and for using the word "sad" to describe it.

I am about halfway through reading "Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948" and hope to write a review when I'm done. But this very reminiscent of the 1936-39 Arab riots: for about six months, the rival Arab factions in Palestine managed to hold together long enough to keep a strike going, but afterwards the Husseinis started accusing all of their political rivals of "collaboration" - leading to the murders of some thousand Palestinian Arabs. The Nashashibis, who were just as interested in a Palestinian Arab state as the Husseinis but who wanted to work with the British to achieve it, and who did not have a problem with speaking to Zionists when it suited their interests, were targeted and killed by the intolerant terrorist Husseini clan.

In 1937-38, as now, pragmatists had to be silent because of fear for their lives. The terrorists have a near-monopoly on public opinion because the comparative moderates are targeted and threatened for their views - a problem that the terrorists themselves rarely have within the Arab world. By the nature of that society, the extremists have a huge advantage because the moderates are usually not the type to advocate or execute political assassinations.

Fayyad, because he is more realistic and willing to talk to Zionists, gets called the worst name in the Arab vocabulary: a traitor to the cause. His desire to balance the PA budget gets him death threats. Such is the state of the enlightened Palestinian Arab society.
  • Sunday, December 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
The saga of the Gaza Hajj pilgrims and their likely terrorist guests continues. YNet reports:
Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority reached an agreement on Sunday evening to allow more than 1,000 Palestinians returning from the haj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia to return to their homes in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas had demanded that Egypt reopen the Rafah crossing to allow the pilgrims to pass directly into the coastal territory rather than force them to pass through Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom border crossing.

Israel was insisting that they must all pass through Israeli security checks on the grounds that some of them might be carrying arms or money for Hamas.

Palestinians sources claimed that the agreement stipulated that Egypt would check the Palestinians and report to Israel about any large sums of money found on the pilgrims.

Israel was concerned that senior Hamas members carrying large sums of money raised in Saudi Arabia were among the throngs of Gazans that were preparing to enter the Strip.

Hamas blamed Israel and the PA government led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for trying to use the pilgrims to leverage political pressure on the organization.

"Those Palestinians are our brothers. We'll find them a solution, but let's do without loud mouthing. Negotiations won't work that way," he told a news conference in Cairo.

The case of the pilgrims gave rise to a heated debate in the Egyptian parliament on Sunday, with most members favoring their return directly to Gaza without Israeli checks.

Hamas Islamists called on Egypt to open its shuttered border crossing with the Gaza Strip to let the Palestinians return to their Gaza homes on Saturday.
What the news media is refusing to mention is that by Egypt acquiescing to Hamas demands to open Rafah, it is a slap in the face of not only Israel but also of the PA, which nominally is supposed to control the Gaza crossings. By Egypt allowing Hamas to dictate how Rafah operates, Egypt is giving de facto recognition of the Hamas government of Gaza as being legitimate.

From this article is appears that a majority of Egypt's parliament supports Hamas' position concerning Rafah. For some reason, no one considers it strange that a nation, ostensibly at peace with Israel and an ally of the US, would so blatantly support Hamas at a time when its influence among Palestinian Arabs - and Gazans themselves - appears to be slipping. It doesn't seem to be in Egypt;s best interests to strengthen Hamas politically. So why does its government support Rafah being open in this case?

The answer, only half jokingly, is the Islamist Lobby.

A small population of Islamists can in many cases control the foreign policy of Egypt, as well as many other Arab countries. While the "realists" will try to cozy themselves up to the West, many in the government naturally sympathize with the hard-line, anti-West Islamist lobbies.

And, like the much talked-about Israel Lobby and Americans, the people in Arab countries are much more sympathetic to the Islamist lobby as well. Western aid is great but they don't like having any strings attached. Sure, some actions by some terrorists are beyond the pale, but in general they are solidly behind the goals of terror organizations.

For some reason, no one asks the Arab countries to be "even-handed" concerning Middle East peace. It is axiomatic that they will be 100% supportive of any side that fights Israel. But Western nations, when they naturally sympathize with the Western-oriented Jewish state, are accused of not being "honest brokers." Having 90% of the United Nations in knee-jerk opposition to Israel is not nearly enough for these hypocritical advocates of "even-handedness" - no, it is easier to blame a mysterious Jewish lobby for any possible pro-Israel actions in the West.

This is the power of the Islamist lobby. Just by adopting an anti-Western, anti-Zionist attitude, it wields great power in all Arab nations, and pro-Western "realists" cannot really fight it.

What is the major weapon in the Islamist Lobby arsenal? What does it do that makes it so effective?

The answer is as obvious as it is hardly mentioned: the implicit threat of violence. If Arab nations do not toe the Islamist Lobby line, they can expect terror attacks on their soil from thousands of Islamists already living there.

So even though Hamas is a threat to Egypt as well - even though the free flow of weapons and money to Gaza is not in Egypt's interests - the Islamist Lobby can ensure that Egypt toes its line. The implicit threat of Islamist violence, which is the real power of the Islamist Lobby, is far more seductive than the empty Western threats of cutting aid by a percentage point or two.

To some extent, the entire world is held hostage to this threat, but the likelihood of any nation capitulating to the Islamist Lobby threats is directly proportional to the number of Islamists on their land. And the number of Islamists is itself directly proportional to the number of Muslims.

The worst that anyone can say about the so-called Israel Lobby is that its members can threaten to support a different candidate in a free election. But, as Egypt and now Pakistan knows, the Islamist Lobby can threaten - and follow through on their threats - in much more bloody and effective ways.

Terrorism, and its implicit threats of violence, is just as much a political tool as fundraising or lobbying. But one doesn't see it being denounced quite as vituperatively when it is only a background threat that silently moves politicians to act in ways that are good for their self-preservation but bad for their nations and the world.

So don't expect any editorials denouncing Egypt's capitulation to those who support Hamas. The fear of the Islamist Lobby ensures that any criticism of it will be much quieter than that of other special interest groups.
  • Sunday, December 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
On the right hand side of this blog you can see the poll. It will stay up through New Year's Day.

Vote for the most deserving dhimmi of 2007!
  • Sunday, December 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
As I suspected, this story was all but ignored in the European press. The exception proves the rule.

And note how the EU condemned it:
EU spokeswoman Alix deMauny said the bloc distributes its food aid through U.N. agencies, rather than directly, and does not export any sugar to Gaza.

"Based on the information received, it appears that these bags cannot be confused with any kind of EU humanitarian aid," deMauny said. "We would consider it an isolated criminal act and we condemn it."

Smuggling explosives in order to make bombs to kill Jews is "an isolated criminal act"? Sounds suspiciously like how the PA considers murdering Jews on a hike. Terror, it seems, is never the case when Jews are the intended victims.

  • Sunday, December 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ma'an:
Hebron security commander Samih As-Sayfi said on Sunday that Friday's killing of two Israeli soldiers in the West Bank was a criminal offense, not an act of political violence in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Earlier, the military wings of Hamas, Fatah, and Islamic Jihad all claimed responsibility for the attack.
And since robbery wasn't the motive, it must have only been old-fashioned anti-semitism. You know, the usual Jew target-practice. Anyone can understand that motive.
The commander said that statements by Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades, Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades, and Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades were attempts to curry favor with the Palestinian public and confuse the security services.
See? Just because the Palestinian Arab public overwhelmingly supports killing random Jews on a hike doesn't mean it is, Allah-forbid, a political killing!

Who would ever think that general violence against Jews was political?
  • Sunday, December 30, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Iranian PRESSTV website used a satirical Photoshopped image as proof of Iran's benevolence towards Jews. I had noticed and even linked to this picture (since replaced.)

Read the whole story at The People's Cube.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

  • Saturday, December 29, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
al-'Aretz notices what we've noted a few times in the past month - how accurate the IAF has been in killing terrorists and not killing civilians:
The Shin Bet and the IAF (in some cases the IDF Southern Command is also involved) are responsible for the most lethal part of combating terror organizations in the Gaza Strip: the assassinations from the air, for which Israel coined the euphemism "pinpointed thwarting." This past month alone, at least 40 armed terrorists were killed in IDF air attacks.

Lately, the thwartings have indeed become more worthy of the title "pinpointed." In all the attacks of recent weeks, only gunmen were hurt, as confirmed by Palestinians. The rate of civilians hurt in these attacks in 2007 was 2-3 percent. The IDF has come a long way since the dark days of 2002-2003, when half the casualties in air assaults on the Gaza Strip were innocent bystanders.
(I believe that Ha'aretz is mistaken in saying that no civilians were hurt in the past few weeks, I think it meant that none were killed. There were some injuries, at least according to the Palestinian Arab press.)

Nonetheless, the idea that only 2-3% of the deaths from airstrikes during the entire year have been civilians is nothing short of phenomenal.

The Gaza terrorists are quite happy knowing that they live in cities and that the civilians around them act as de facto human shields; violating Geneva Conventions is not a very big taboo for them. They keep their explosives and tunnels and leaders in populated areas, hoping that if Israel does attack that they can win the propaganda victory of having many of their fellow citizens blown to bits as well.

The incredible statistic of one civilian death for every 40 or so terrorists is more than just amazing. It proves beyond any doubt (if you are not an inveterate liar) that the IDF, unlike its enemies, does not target civilians; it proves yet again that the IDF is the most moral army in history; and it proves that Israel spends far more time and effort in how to protect Arab civilians than Arab terrorists do. It is a record that the armies of the US, Britain and the rest of the free world should envy.
  • Saturday, December 29, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the Jerusalem Post:

The IDF and Shin Bet uncovered 6.5 tons of potassium nitrate hidden in sacks that were disguised as aid from the European Union, the army announced on Saturday.

Security forces discovered the stash in the cargo of a Palestinian truck at a West Bank checkpoint earlier in December. According to the IDF, the material, hidden in sugar sacks, was planned to be used by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

"Potassium Nitrate is a banned substance in the Gaza Strip and the Judea and Samaria region due to its use by terrorists for the manufacturing of explosives and Kassam rockets," the IDF spokesperson wrote in a statement.

"This is another example of how the terror organizations exploit the humanitarian aid that is delivered to the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip with Israel's approval," the statement read.

Reuters adds:
"We are looking into this report," said an EU official in Israel. "If it is found to be accurate, this is an illegal act that should be condemned."
It will be very interesting to see if this story gets any traction in European news outlets, and if there are any reactions of outrage by EU diplomats. So far, I cannot find it being picked up by any specific newspapers or websites outside Reuters. (Typically, major stories will be picked up by many news outlets in minutes.)

UPDATE: The story is now over six hours old and only a satirical UK site has published it, according to Google News.

Friday, December 28, 2007

  • Friday, December 28, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Thanks for all the comments and nominations for EoZ Dhimmi of the Year.

Because there is a probability of coercion and abject fear behind the Iranian Jewish community leaders' statements, I will take them off the nominee list.

Some of these fit in better with Jihad Watch definition (the person "who behaved in the most pusillanimous, abject, and/or suicidally stupid way in the face of Islamic supremacist bullying and intimidation, peaceful or violent") or with LGF's Idiotarian definition ("the most moonbattish, obtuse, deranged, or duplicitous person or group of the year") so if possible I would like to try to stick with the official EoZ definition:
The nominees should be prominent non-Muslims who have accepted and embraced their second-class status in a Muslim-dominated world.
This means that being merely anti-Israel or anti-semitic is not necessarily enough to be the Dhimmi of the Year, but actually doing things to boost political Islam at the expense of the Western world. I would prefer people who did something dhimmi-like specifically during 2007.

At the moment, the nominees are (with links to appropriate dhimmi-like statements made in 2007 when available, please help me fill in those I do not have.) The people who may not qualify are in parentheses; if you can show a quote that boosts their Dhimmi bona-fides it will be taken into consideration.

Rev. Manuel Musallem
Bishop Tiny Muskens
Jimmy Carter
(Walt and Mearsheimer)
Nancy Pelosi (just for putting on the scarf)
Robert Fisk
(The EU) (h/t Jeff)
(Noam Chomsky)
James Petras
Ken Livingstone
(Ron Paul)
(Condoleeza Rice)
US Congress (not that I'm really against that resolution, but look at the California congress members) h/t Jeff
James Abourezk
Hanan Ashrawi
Dr Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury
Christiane Amanpour
Juan Cole (excellent choice, Yitzchak!)

Nominations will end on Sunday, December 30, and I'll hopefully start the voting soon afterwards.
  • Friday, December 28, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
In another astonishing day of IDF effectiveness, some 8 terrorists were eliminated yesterday with no civilian deaths.

Seven Palestinian terrorists were killed in several incidents in the Gaza Strip.

A top Islamic Jihad man, Muhammad Abu Abdullah, also known as Abu Murshud, was killed in an air strike late Thursday evening.

An IDF spokesman said Abdullah was a senior operative in charge of manufacturing Kassam rockets and explosives. The operation was carried out with the assistance of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), he added.

According to Palestinian sources, IAF aircraft fired several missiles toward the car in which Abdullah and other gunmen were traveling. The sources said that two other Palestinians were killed in the air strike and several others were wounded.

In another operation Thursday overnight, an IAF aircraft killed a Hamas gunman near the southern Gaza Strip security fence.

Palestinian sources said five others were wounded in the attack.

During earlier operations in Gaza earlier in the day, the IDF killed five members of Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip in air strikes and fire exchanges.

Two Islamic Jihad men were killed in an IAF strike on their car in the early evening, Palestinian officials said. The military said it targeted a car filled with explosives on the way to an attack.

Earlier, the IDF killed three Palestinian gunmen in an exchange of fire and an air strike in the southern Gaza Strip, the army reported. Palestinians said the dead were members of Hamas.

Nine people were wounded, including four civilians, Palestinians reported, claiming that among the wounded was a 13-year-old boy. None of the injuries were life threatening, officials said.

IDF troops killed one of former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei's bodyguards, the military said Friday morning.

Palestinian sources reported that IDF troops operating south of Ramallah in the town of Bituniya shot and killed Muatassem a-Shariff, a Fatah operative and a Presidential Guard member. Eye witnesses said a-Shariff was shot while after opening fire while trying to escape IDF troops who came to his house in order to arrest him.

The Palestine Center for Human Rights counts 1 Gaza civilian death from December 13-26 out of 23 total killed by the IDF. In their detailed report I could not find the name nor circumstances of that supposed civilian death. In fact, when I added up their 23 deaths I didn't find any civilian, unless you count a "police officer" as a civilian. PCHR likes to add the appearance of Israel shooting randomly at civilians with lines like "At approximately 20:30 on Monday, 17 December 2007, an IOF aircraft fired a missile at civilian car (a white Skoda), in which the commander of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) and his bodyguard were traveling, in al-Nasser Street in the north of Gaza City. The missile hit the car and killed the two occupants."

According to PCHR's own very biased reports and counting the deaths from today, the IDF has managed to kill 54 terrorists since November 29 - and only 6 civilians. And this source tries as hard as it can to classify victims as "civilians" even if they do a clearly aggressive act, so chances are the ratio is even more impressive. (One of the victims from early December was "shooting birds." The December 6th report mentions one civilian that I could not find in their detailed report either.)

Arabic news sources have been buzzing about Hamas' discovery of "collaborators" in Hamas itself - including at least one prominent member - that help the IDF identify and eliminate terrorists. It looks like the IDF and Shin Bet have been doing a good job on Gaza intelligence lately, although it has been much harder since Israel abandoned Gaza.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

  • Thursday, December 27, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) -- Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests attacked each other with brooms and stones inside the Church of the Nativity as long-standing rivalries erupted in violence during holiday cleaning on Thursday.

The basilica, built over the grotto in Bethlehem where Christians believe Jesus was born, is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities.

Any perceived encroachment on one group's turf can touch off vicious feuds.

On Thursday, dozens of priests and cleaners were scrubbing the church ahead of the Armenian and Orthodox Christmas, celebrated in early January. Thousands of tourists visited the church this week for Christmas celebrations.

But the clean-up turned ugly after some of the Orthodox faithful stepped inside the Armenian church's section, touching off a scuffle between about 50 Greek Orthodox and 30 Armenians.

Palestinian police, armed with batons and shields, quickly formed a human cordon to separate the two sides so the cleaning could continue, then ordered an Associated Press photographer out of the church.

Four people, some with blood running from their faces, were slightly wounded.
So the Palestinian Arab Christians, who are more moderate than their Muslim counterparts, in the moderate West Bank, cannot stop themselves from beating each other up in their own holiest places.

But we can be sure that Palestinians would happily allow free access for Jews to worship in their own holy spots in a future Palestinian Arab state, right?
  • Thursday, December 27, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Check out the differences in captions of these three pictures:

A view is seen of the Israeli neighborhood of Har Homa in east Jerusalem, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007. At their first summit since pledging to renew peace talks and try for a treaty next year, Israeli and Palestinian leaders faced a familiar obstacle on Thursday, Israeli construction in a disputed part of Jerusalem.(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

A view of the settlement of Har Homa near Jerusalem December 27, 2007, with the outskirts of the West Bank town of Bethlehem in the background. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert balked on Thursday at a total freeze in settlement activity as demanded by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli officials said. Abbas had demanded that Olmert commit to halting all settlement activity, including so-called natural growth, as called for in the long-stalled "road map" peace plan. But Israel stood by plans to build hundreds of new homes in an area near Jerusalem known to Israelis as Har Homa and to Palestinians as Jabal Abu Ghneim. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Israel considers Har Homa as part of East Jerusalem. Palestinian Arabs consider it a part of the West Bank. Reuters doesn't even try to hide which side it agrees with, and it even takes pains to show Har Homa near "the West Bank town of Bethlehem," when it would have been just as easy to show it near the rest of Jerusalem.

AFP tries to have it both ways:

View of the Jewish Har Homa settlement in southern Jerusalem. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have met to try to jumpstart newly revived peace talks which have stalled after just two sessions over the issue of Israeli settlements. (AFP/File/Musa Al-Shaer)

  • Thursday, December 27, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ma'an (Arabic) is reporting that Egypt is not allowing the Gaza Hajj pilgrims to return through the Rafah crossing, from where they came. 1200 of the pilgrims are stranded at the Gulf of Aqaba and Egypt is saying that they can only re-enter Gaza through the Keren Shalom crossing, which is controlled by Israel. The report further confirms earlier Israeli claims that some of the "pilgrims" were Hamas members who refuse to go through Keren Shalom because they would be arrested by Israel.

The anti-Hamas Palestine Press Agency quotes Debka as saying that a number of top Hamas officials, including Khalil al Haya, had left Gaza through Rafah and met with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Mecca. PalPress also quoted an Israeli source (possibly also Debka) that at this meeting, Iran gave some $50 million to the Hamas leaders to keep their terror attacks against Israel going.

It makes sense that after meeting with Israeli leaders at Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday the Egyptian government might have had second thoughts about allowing Hamas members to travel freely between Gaza and the rest of the world through Egypt.

At any rate, these are the first confirmations I've seen to the original Jerusalem Post article I previously linked to (no longer online) saying that Israel identified terrorists who had left Gaza through Rafah.

UPDATE: Ma'an now has the English story.
  • Thursday, December 27, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Despite all the faults of the Arab countries - despite all of their anti-semitism, misogyny, corruption, antipathy towards the West, persecution of minorities and myriad other problems - they still manage to keep their governments going. Even when run by dictators or monarchs-for-life, a government still needs thousands of faithful civil servants to do the millions of ordinary, boring bureaucratic functions to keep things running, and the Arab world has been pretty successful at this job for decades. Arab governments have survived assassinations and other deaths of their leaders without collapsing. While there have been exceptions like Lebanon and Iraq/Kuwait, for the most part there is a fairly reliable status-quo.

One of the outstanding attributes of Palestinian Arabs, however, has been their utter inability to create or maintain a functioning government. Ironically, even though Palestinian Arabs have traditionally had more education - and more common sense - than their Arab brethren, they have completely failed in choosing effective leadership.

Why should this be?

We need to look at the history of Palestinian Arabs to understand why PalArabs never truly had any leadership.

There have been three major periods of Pali leadership: the Husseini era, the Arafat era and the Intifada era.

The Husseini era, where the de facto leader of the Palestinian Arabs was the Mufti of Jerusalem, was by any objective analysis a disaster. Haj Amin al-Husseini used his supposed leadership to enhance his own status and to launch terror attacks against the British and the Jews; while the Zionists were building institutions and filling any vacuum that the British would leave, the Arabs attacked and whined about how they weren't being treated fairly. The 1936 riots - which the Arabs of Palestine still consider their "Great Revolt" - resulted in the Husseini factions crushing their Arab rivals, then in the British expulsion of Husseini (where he got cozy with Hitler) and it left no one to truly lead the PalArabs. Historians are practically unanimous that this was the reason that the Zionists won in 1948 - they were better prepared than the Palestinian Arabs were and most of the neighboring Arab countries were big on promises but short on the actual desire to help.

The Palestinian Arabs were left leaderless through the 50s and most of the 60s, but they romanticized the Husseini era as a golden age of Palestinian Arab nationalism. The West Bankers seemed pretty satisfied with being under Jordanian rule.

While the Arab nations gained independence and started doing the real work involved in keeping countries going, their leaders paid lip service to the "Palestinian cause" - using them as pawns in their own power plays. Yet the leaderless Palestinian Arabs believed them even as these leaders showed no desire to create an independent Arab Palestine and continued to discriminate against them.

The long-dormant "cause" got resurrected after the Six Day War as the Arab nations realized that their Pali pawns might be able to accomplish through terror what the Arabs could not do with military power. And Yasir Arafat, a clone of Amin Husseini, stepped right up to do what Husseini did: he used power to increase his own prestige, to terrorize not only the Jews but the entire world in a spectacularly successful play for sympathy, and he did nothing to actually help the people that he was supposedly leading. No institution building, no nation building, no planning a state. And yet, the Palestinian Arabs - marginalized by other Arab nations and invisible for decades - enthusiastically embraced Arafat, who had no ability nor desire to change his persona as a revolutionary into a leadership role.

Like Husseini in 1936, Arafat overreached in 2001 and ended up turning from a respected putative leader into a reviled and marginalized non-entity because he only knew how to use terror to achieve his goals. But his accomplishment of unifying the Palestinian Arabs is viewed as nothing less than heroic by the very people he ended up hurting the most with his policies.

It is instructive to learn that the Palestinian Arab per capita GDP peaked not during the Oslo period , but in 1992 - when PalArabs were still fully under Israel's economic control. Even with the millions being donated by the world towards Oslo, with everyone including Israel supporting Palestinian Arab independence, the PalArabs themselves could not find the leadership to pull it off. Instead, they happily kept the Arafat personality cult and kleptocracy intact.

After Arafat's syphilitic life ended, a new era of non-leadership emerged. Mahmoud Abbas never had either Arafat's charisma nor his blood-thirst, and as a result the more radical "leaders" rushed to fill the void for a people who desperately want them. The PalArabs are severely hampered by their own deeply flawed ideas of leadership and heroism that have been inculcated in them now for generations. Using Husseini and Arafat as their heroes and prototypical leaders, the Palis are unable to find nor support the fresh blood and new, pragmatic leadership that they need. While the Arab nations have been able for the most part to move on past the Nasser era and into practical governance, as corrupt and flawed as it may be, the Palestinian Arabs have been left behind with no idea of what kind of leader can get them out of their limbo. Terror-worship remains, new "martyrs" are celebrated daily and the cult of death has been implanted, almost genetically, into their collective psyche.

This cartoon was recently shown in a Saudi newspaper:

Terrorist on right: "Don't forget, when you want to blow yourself up, make sure you do so with your right hand – blowing yourself up with your left hand is forbidden!"

Source: Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, December 26, 2007

It seems strange that Saudi Arabia, a proud theocracy as well as supporter of terror, can effectively make fun of the "religious" dimensions of suicide bombing.

It is explainable because the Saudi royal family is a target of Islamist terror as well, and high on Al-Qaeda's list. The practical realities of running a country trumps sloganeering and some types of martyr-worship.

But can one imagine this cartoon appearing in a Palestinian Arab newspaper? Not at all. The entire Palestinian Arab culture is so dependent on their self-image as "resistance warriors" for their cause, and suicide bombing is such an integral part of that self-image, that it is unthinkable that such a cartoon could appear in the West Bank. Similarly, no Palestinian Arab leader would dare denounce terror as a tactic when it has been the cornerstone of all previous leaders from Husseini to now. The Palestinian Arabs are held hostage to their own national myths of the beauty of terror, and it is inconceivable that a strong leader can emerge that can denounce terror while at the same time build a responsible, pragmatic society that can live in peace with all of its neighbors.

And it will take at least another generation for the poisonous, self-destructive mindset to be eradicated from the PalArab psyche. Until it happens, they will remain without true leadership, as they have been for decades.

  • Thursday, December 27, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Israelis are known for being direct and blunt. But comments made by David Landau, editor of the Israeli daily, Haaretz, to Condoleezza Rice about Israel needing to be “raped” by the U.S. to achieve a Mideast settlement caused quite a stir among the 20 or so attendees at a confidential briefing with the secretary of state on a recent visit to Israel.

The incident, which took place Sept. 10 at the private residence of America’s ambassador to Israel, Richard Jones, has not been fully reported until now. What is contested is not the raw language Landau used but the context of his impassioned comments.

Following Rice’s briefing to the gathered military, academic and media elites at the dinner, the guests offered their views and comments about the Mideast impasse. Landau, who was seated next to Rice, was said to have referred to Israel as a “failed state” politically, one in need of a U.S.-imposed settlement. He was said to have implored Rice to intervene, asserting that the Israeli government wanted “to be raped” and that it would be like a “wet dream” for him to see this happen.

When contacted this week, Landau said the description was “inaccurate” and “a perversion of what I said.” He said his views had been delivered with “much more sophistication.”

But he added: “I did say that in general, Israel wants to be raped — I did use that word — by the U.S., and I myself have long felt Israel needed more vigorous U.S. intervention in the affairs of the Middle East.”
In a vacuum, it would be merely shocking to read that the editor of Israel's leading daily newspaper wants to see his nation "raped" by the US.

But in context when Landau has already admitted that he doesn't even pretend to pursue an objective journalistic policy, where he actively uses his newspaper as a thinly-veiled propaganda tool, this is beyond the pale of even the most liberal, freedom-loving democracy. It is not democratic to ask a foreign government to actively undermine your own government's policy. If Ha'aretz' news policy is to encourage outside nations to force Israel to do things most Israelis don't want, that is closer to sedition than free speech.

(h/t My Right Word)

UPDATE: See Augean Stables, Backspin, Israel Insider.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yesterday, a tunnel collapsed in Gaza, injuring 8.

Today, another one collapsed, killing 1 and injuring several.

The 2007 PalArab self-death count rises to 601.

"Training accident" kills a 26-year old Hamas member in Gaza. 602.
It was no accident: it was an internal Hamas murder.
UPDATE 3: One PalArab reported killed, another injured in a presumed family feud. No names yet. 603.
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
I recently wrote about the 2006 winner...who do you think should get the honor for 2007?

The nominees should be prominent non-Muslims who have accepted and embraced their second-class status in a Muslim-dominated world.

A couple of likely nominees would be:

Iranian Jewish leaders Maurice Mo'atamad and Ciamak Morsathegh
Rev. Manuel Musallem
Bishop Tiny Muskens (and if you follow that link, enjoy the irony of this one)

Who else?

UPDATE: I see that Jihad Watch has two similar awards, but I think there is room for more.
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ma'an (Arabic) has an article about honor killing statistics this year, saying that the number of such killings has gone down this year to only 9 as opposed to somewhat higher numbers in years past.

One very interesting paragraph (autotranslated and cleaned up):
The study revealed that some of the murders, which are committed against women for reasons of honour, in reality are caused for a completely different reason. They are often related to the question of inheritance, in the refusal of many large families granting women their share of inheritance, being careful that the money not go to a strange man in the event of her marriage. As a result, the proportion of "spinsters" are high in wealthy families.
So not only are women's lives worth less than "family honor," but they are also worth less than family money as well. And the women who are unfortunate enough to have been born into wealthy families have a hard time getting married, as their families pressure them to remain single to keep the money in the family.

Perhaps some enterprising Islamic lawyer can create a sharia-compliant pre-nuptial agreement?

UPDATE: In the comments section of the Israellycool posting of this article, two authors on similar topics weigh in.
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
On December 21:
The attempts by a Zionist organization to persuade Iranian Jews to leave the country and receive $10,000 in return have failed.

The organizers of the project in Israel and the United States have voiced their disappointment after they were given the cold shoulder.

According to a report by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), of some 25,000 Jews living in Iran, only 125 accepted the money during the course of the one-year project.

Iran's Jewish community leaders denounced the IFCJ attempts in a statement saying “Iranian Jews will not abandon their identity for any amount of money.”

We love our Iranian identity and culture, so threats and enticements would not persuade Iranian Jews to give up their identity,” the statement added.
When did anyone make any threats? Sounds more like the Iranian Jewish "leaders" are saying what they think the Iranian mullahs want to hear.

December 25:
Forty Iranian Jews secretly flew to Israel yesterday, completing a yearlong covert operation to start a new life in the country that Iran's leader vows to "wipe off the map."

The modern-day Exodus was the largest influx of Iranian Jews to Israel since Ayatollah Khomeini established his hard-line Islamic Republic in Tehran in 1979.

The smuggled immigrants were greeted by relatives who screamed with joy and tossed candy as they were reunited at Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv.

"I feel so good," said a 16-year-old who gave his name as Yosef.

He arrived with his brother, sister and parents and was greeted by grandparents he hadn't seen in six years.

"I just saw all of my family. You can't put that into words," he said.

Being reunited with relatives was only one reason for their secret escape, the immigrants said.

"I was scared in Iran as a Jew," Yosef's brother Michael, 15, said.

Like others, they declined to give their family name to protect relatives still in Iran. The new arrivals - 10 families and three individuals who traveled by themselves - said they had to abandon all their possessions when they fled.
Some of the immigrants disputed claims that they suffered from rising anti-Semitism under Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"I'm in heaven," said Avraham Dayan, 63, who hadn't seen his son in the 11 years since he made his own secret escape from Iran.

He recalled how he was jailed in Iran in 1993.

"I didn't know that the authorities were listening to my phone, and they came to arrest me," he told The Jerusalem Post.

"They said I was a friend of [Israeli Prime Minister Menachem] Begin, that I was a Zionist, and they threw me in jail."

"I bribed my way out of jail, bribed my way to an Iranian passport and left Iran," he said. He added his son also obtained a new passport by bribes.
And today:
Representatives of the Jewish Community in Iran said Wednesday that Iranian Jews have never taken steps to emigrate because of the good living standards enjoyed by religious minorities in Iran and their common cultural roots.

In a communiqué published a day after news of 40 Iranian Jewish immigrants landing in Israel, Jewish community leaders Maurice Mo'atamad and Ciamak Morsathegh wrote that "the report that was published regarding the Iranian Jewish community by the foreign news agencies is an outright lie."

Jewish representative in the Iranian Parliament, Mo'atamed, and President of Tehran's Jewish community Mareh-Sadegh, continued: "The massive propaganda issued by the enemies of the Iranian people and the Jews of Iran has never influenced Jews because of our historical, cultural, and national roots in Iran.

"As we have previously declared, the childish attempts to tempt us and the spreading of lies by anti-Iranian Zionist-Imperialist elements can in no way harm the strong connection of Iranian Jews to the Iranian nation and the sacred government of the Islamic Republic."

Again emphasizing their loyalty to the regime, the leaders write, "We, the Jews of Iran, are Iranians, have always been Iranians, [funny - they were never Persians? -EoZ] and will always be Iranians. We are ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of our homeland. In spite of foreign propaganda we shall continue to live in the land of our birth."

The Jewish community representatives blamed other countries for raising the immigration issue. "Any attempt on part of foreigners to meddle in Iranian Jewish internal affairs constitutes a part of the West's plan to attack the Iranian people and to fracture Iranian unity. The Jews of Iran, therefore, strongly condemn this completely unacceptable interference. The collective, peaceful life of Iranian Jews throughout history is a testament to the shared path of the Iranian nation and Iran's Jews.
Let's assume that Iran is extraordinarily benevolent towards its Jews and that the Iranian Jews are beloved by all Iranians (as Iran's Press TV illustrated its article on the topic.)

Now, when 40 Iranians (out of 200 this year) are interviewed on Israeli soil, what would one expect the leaders of the Iranian community to say?

Perhaps that they are sad to see their friends leave? Or that the ones who left have made a big mistake? Or that the ones that left were malcontents as opposed to the peaceful majority of Iranian Jews?

But you would not expect them to say that the entire episode was fiction.

The fact that they bend over backwards to say something so absurd indicates that they are making statements out of fear, not out of conviction. They are parroting Ahmadinejad-style rhetoric to prove to the nation their loyalty. And the only reason to do that is because of the fear of what would happen to them if they would react differently - they have seen first hand what happens to their friends who are labeled "Zionist spies."

I have no doubt that Iranian Jews are treated better than any Jews in Arab countries are. I am sure that there is no overt, obvious persecution of the Jewish community there.

But the over-the-top reaction from the "leaders" of that community to this news are perhaps the best proof that the Jews in Iran live in great fear, and will say anything necessary to stay on the mullahs' good side.
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the Daily Telegraph (h/t Backspin):
A Christian children's home in Bethlehem, which has provided sanctuary for abandoned youngsters and orphans for more than a century, is being squeezed between Israel's security clampdown and growing hostility from Palestinian Muslims.

Babies have been abandoned to die on rubbish tips or in the street because the Israeli security wall that now hems in the West Bank city makes it difficult for distressed mothers to reach the Holy Family Children's Home.

Social workers also report that Palestinian Muslims are now more reluctant to rely on a Christian institution in the post-September 11 climate of distrust between the faiths.

Consequently, the number of children gathering around the home's modest Christmas tree this year will be half of that from recent years.

Sister Sophie, who runs the home, said: "The wall makes Bethlehem feel like a zoo. It makes it difficult for mothers to travel and so these children are being delivered in poor conditions and then abandoned on the street.

"Some of the little ones are already ill with severe health problems when they are found."

The home, which opened in 1895, was once the largest provider of care in the West Bank for abandoned children and young mothers who fell foul of Palestinian society's conservative and often brutal taboos.

Unmarried mothers or young Muslim women pregnant by non-Muslim men would flee in fear of their lives from so-called honour killings where members of their family would rather kill them than have their name tarnished.

In Bethlehem, a tradition had developed where such mothers were offered medical care for the delivery of the child who might then be brought up by a relative or in a foster home.

The 25ft concrete security wall has been ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

But Israel has persisted, arguing that it reduced the threat of suicide bombers.

A social worker said: "This home has been functioning for decades. But now, more than ever before, Palestinian families who consider sending their child here want to know about religion." This Christmas, only 15 children are left in the home.

Diana Mubarak, the director of social welfare in Bethlehem, said there were no other facilities in the occupied territories capable of looking after such infants.

Under Palestinian law, adoption is illegal. So Mrs Mubarak's department looks for foster homes to look after the foundlings.

If the religion of the child is not known, it is assumed they are Muslim.

So we have found out that even with the billions of dollars flowing into the PA, there are no Arab Muslim orphanages; Muslims would rather throw their babies in the garbage than have them raised by Christians, PalArab Muslims would rather kill their daughters then have their neighbors find out that they are pregnant; the PA outlaws adoption and therefore encourages the throwing out of babies.

Yet the entire tone and emphasis of the article is to blame Israel for daring to build a wall to keep out suicide bombers, and it bends over backwards to make sure that no one blames the Palestinian Muslim culture for any of this - even to the point of saying that the reasons that Muslims don't want Christians to raise the abandoned babies is because of "the post-September 11 climate of distrust between the faiths" as if somehow the heroic Christians who are trying to save the Muslim babies' lives are equally to blame for Muslims preferring to treat them like rubbish.

  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
YouTube didn't like me posting the 30 second clip, so here is the next-best thing:

               [Lodgatorium Comfort Dome Inn: Corridor. Fry and Zoidberg walk
out of Ballroom A and Fry sees a sign outside Ballroom B.]

Ooo, a bot-mitzvah. Shalom hunger, shalom
free food!

[He walks in and Zoidberg follows. A robot blocks Zoidberg's

No shellfish!

[He slams the door.]

That is so unfair!

Tell me about it.

[Cut to: Lodgatorium Comfort Dome Inn: Ballroom B. The Jewbots
dance around the bot-mitvah bot at extremely high speed. The
banner behind them says "Hayom Ani Robot". Fry gets some food
from the buffet.]

So what's the deal? You guys don't believe
in Robot Jesus?

We believe he was built and that he
was a very well programmed robot but
he wasn't our Messiah.
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Palestine Today reports that Egypt is considering revoking the citizenship of some 25,000 Egyptians who have moved to Israel by marrying Israeli Arabs, saying that they are a threat to Egyptian national security.

Some observers think this is unlikely in light of the Egyptian/Israeli peace treaty.

The article quoted a recent World Bank report that the 25,000 Egyptians in Israel sent some $42 million back to Egypt, compared to the total of $78 million that Egypt has given to Palestinian Arabs.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

  • Tuesday, December 25, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
An organization, Terror Free Tomorrow, recently surveyed 1004 Saudis as to their opinions of various subjects.

The MSM picked up on the Saudi antipathy towards Bin Laden and the Saudis' desire to have closer relationship with the US, trumpeting how relatively "moderate" the Saudis are. The beginning of the AP story:
People in Saudi Arabia deeply dislike countryman Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, yet have only lukewarm views about the United States, one of the kingdom's allies, a poll showed Monday. Bin Laden is seen favorably by just 15 percent of Saudis, and the al-Qaida terror organization he founded gets approval from only 10 percent, the survey found.
And the beginning of Reuters' article on the poll:
Most Saudis oppose Osama bin Laden and back the government in its campaign against al Qaeda, but say they want more democracy in the U.S.-allied Islamic country, according to poll findings released this week.

The study conducted by U.S. group "Terror Free Tomorrow" showed 15 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Saudi-born al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and 88 percent approve of the government's efforts to pursue militants inside the kingdom.
But buried among the "good news" was the fact that an overwhelming majority of Saudis despise Jews, and that most of them want to see Israel destroyed, period. In addition, Saudis prefer Iran to the US and Ahmadinejad to Bush.

Here are some relevant results:

Nearly 80% of Saudis do not have access to the Internet.

Here are the percentages that viewed these named countries favorably:
China Iran United States Pakistan UK France Turkey
61.3 46.9 39.5 52.2 58.8 58.8 70.9

The percentage that viewed Jews favorably: 6%
Very unfavorably: 81.7%

The percentage that viewed Christians favorably: 29.2%
Unfavorably (somewhat or very): 54.3%

Agreeing with this statement:
I oppose any peace treaty recognizing the State of Israel, and I favor all Arabs continuing to fight until there is no State of Israel in the Middle East: 51.3%

Favor Saudi Arabia developing nuclear weapons: 52%

Percent against permitting women to drive in Saudi Arabia: 54%

Percent in favor of providing financial assistance to mosques and madrassas in other countries: 81.3%

Favorable opinion of Hezbollah: 33.3%
Unfavorable: 42.4%

Favorable: 37.2%
Unfavorable: 39.1%

Suicide bombings are never justified: 73.9%
Sometimes or often justified: 13.1%

Supporting a theocracy for Saudi Arabia: 40.5%
Oppose: 40.8%

Favorable opinion of:
George Bush 12.2%
Hassan Nasrallah 38.6%
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 31.1%
Osama bin Laden 15.3%
  • Tuesday, December 25, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last year, I declared Jerusalem Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna to be the 2006 Dhimmi of the Year for his consistent, slavish adherence to the Islamist position on pretty much everything, including religion. He is a man who can be counted on to consistently blame Jews for everything that happens in the Middle East, including Arab attacks on Christians.

Today, he is desperately trying for two in a row. In an Arabic interview during a trip to Algeria, he states that there is no reason for dialogue recently proposed by the Vatican between Muslims and Arab Christians, because they are fundamentally identical:(autotranslated)
Dialogue, which I referred to the Vatican for the Catholic Church or the West, but for us Orthodox church, we believe that we do not need such dialogues with our fellow Muslims, we are the sons of one region and the builders of civilization and one of our Arab Oriental, and the Orthodox Church has not come out of wars or Alafranjh With the arrival of Western colonialism, but is the daughter of the East, where Christ was born the Church of the Nativity in peace, that is approximately the age of the Church of the Millennium.

...We believe that Muslims and Arabs are our brothers, [who] share the same concerns and we look forward to a common destiny.

...we feel that any harm to Islam or one of its symbols are [attacks on us as well], and anything that affects on Islam or Muslims affects us, and we have denounced the abuses against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, and we have our position clear through statements and positions.

We particularly welcome the Western delegations in Palestine and hold conferences and participate in many international forums, which are trying to provide the right image for our fellow Muslims and followers of Islam. Personally, I think that the crisis involves the West''ignorance''of Islam.

[Declaring Israel to be a Jewish state] is totally unacceptable to us, because it means the [abrogation of] the right of return ...and the deportation of more than a million and a half Palestinians from the occupied territories [of] 1948!
He also recently said that Jerusalem should be Judenrein:
We as a church will fight any smuggling of real estate to Jewish organizations.
Does one get the impression that this man is an Islamist or a Christian? Normal Dhimmis accept the supremacy of Islam; Hanna goes beyond that to accept the legitimacy of Islam more than his own purported faith.
  • Tuesday, December 25, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
Al-Hayat al-Jadida reports that on Sunday, mortars were fired towards Sderot - by the Fatah al-Islam group, known for its affinity to al-Qaeda and its fighting against the Lebanese army last summer: (autotranslated, cleaned up):
Dubai - a. P. B - The group "Fatah al- Islam," associated with Al-Qaida, said that it fired a missile Sunday at Sderot in southern Israel, according to a statement by the Palestinian branch reported yesterday on an Islamist website.

According to the statement, "The Fatah movement in the land of Islam Rabat (Palestine) that the Sheikh Osama bin Laden battalion launched Sunday at 00 pm local time 15 shells of the type Zarqawi. The statement said that" your brothers in the battalion Sheikh Osama bin Laden managed to December 23 when 00 t 15 hours of launching missiles of the type of manufacturing a local Zarqawi, on the settlement of Sderot. "and added that the perpetrators of the attacks" were able to withdraw safely "after the attack, without specifying where it was launched missile.

The statement could not immediately ascertain the validity of the independent source confirms that the attack on Sderot, which will broadcast a video tape on it "as soon as possible" falls within the "chain operations aimed at revenge for our computer in the Cold River" in northern Lebanon.
Somehow, I don't think that it was in retaliation for a computer crash in Lebanon so the auto-translation is unclear there, but it is apparently a reaction to the Lebanese army siege on the Nahr el-Bared "refugee" camp ("Cold River.") But in that unparalleled Arab terrorist logic, if Arabs attack Arabs the blame must be laid on the Jews and the residents of Sderot must pay.

Notice also how the terrorist groups love to refer to mortars as "missiles" and they name them after other terrorists, showing their huge pride in violence and terror. And although Hamas and the other terror groups in Gaza strenuously deny any ties to al-Qaeda, I don't think we are going to see any Hamas actions against this group in Gaza - if it even exists (hyperbolic press releases may be Gaza's greatest export.)
As usual, this is far from complete, and it is more to show how ignored the Qassam issue is rather than to show how many are being fired. Many Qassams never make it in the news, and the rare times that the IDF publishes statistics shows that I am usually undercounting by about 50%. Also, these are Qassams that make it to Israel; many that are fired explode in Gaza itself.

This list does not include mortars being shot from Gaza, which are usually much more numerous on any given day.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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