.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Watch out for those lethal balloons!

In the latest case of mass Arab hysteria, an Israeli newspaper's promotion involving releasing many balloons into the air has been interpreted by Arab sources as an attempt to poison the Lebanese.

Here are what the balloons look like:


Here is how Hezbollah reports on them:

In Beirut's southern suburbs, poisonous balloons with Hebrew markings, similar to the ones found in the south, have been discovered. Security forces are currently investigating the issue.


Here is what Al-Jazeera said:
Media reports and security sources revealed on Sunday that Israeli planes dumped 10 suspicious green balloons over the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre on Saturday.

Sources also said that at least eight people, who attempted to touch the “suspicious green balloons,” are suffering from nausea and dizziness and were taken to the hospital.

The coast of Tyre had been sealed off to prevent people from touching the 'suspicious balloons', believed so far to be poisonous.

The Lebanese National News Agency reported that among those who were rushed to hospital were a Lebanese staff sergeant, a recruit and An Nahar reporter Rana Jouni.

Officials at a hospital in Nabatiyeh confirmed that similar green balloons were dropped over the market-town of Nabatiyeh, 54 kilometres south of the capital.
In the original Hezbollah story, they said that one of the people hurt by these balloons was a reporter from a Lebanese newspaper!

Which goes to show the veracity and gullibility of the Arab press.

Self-death count update

PCHR counts a total of 33 killed in the Fatah/Hamas clashes since last Thursday, and one more today, so our count of Palestinian Arabs killed by each other increases to 275 killed since Summer Rains started and 70 killed so far in 2007.

Jewish shrine vandalized by Arabs. Does anyone care?

Today I visited the burial place of Shmuel HaNavi (Samuel) outside Jerusalem. The site was recognized by the Byzantines also as a holy site, with ruins outside showing where Samuel himself walked as well as a massive Byzantine church that once covered the area.

Last Friday night, the Jewish synagogue that houses the actual tomb-area was vandalized by Arabs, with much damage to both property and to holy books, and at least one Torah was apparently stolen.

The only place I saw mention of this incident was here.

Here is a picture of the damage:


The men who were there today described it to me as a "pogrom."

So we have an amazing situation where an unquestionably Jewish holy site and holy objects were desecrated and the incident barely made even the Israeli newspapers.

A single Koran can be torn and it becomes worldwide news, but a major Jewish site being vandalized is literally not worth mentioning.

One must start to wonder why this is. Is it because it is a "dog-bites-man" story? Is it because admitting that Jews have an historic claim to all of Israel is unfashionable or considered impolite?

Swastikas in American synagogues done by teenagers on a lark get much more press than than the systematic destruction of Jewish holy sites by Muslims in Israel. And I'm not only blaming the liberal press, but even Arutz Sheva barely considered this a story.

There is something very seriously wrong with this picture.

Ha-Kotel Ha-Katan (updated)

Today I had the opportunity to visit the Kotel Katan, a small part of the Western Wall that can be reached only by walking through the labyrith of streets in the Muslim Quarter. At no point did I feel unsafe walking there with my family.

There were two bored Israeli guards watching the area, and absolutely no one else was there. Since it appears that the Kotel Katan is even closer to the Kodesh K'dashim (Holy of Holies) than the main Kotel, this was surprising and puzzling to me.

Here are two shots of the Kotel Ha-Katan:



Right nearby is a small gate that leads to the Temple Mount itself, also guarded by the same guards to not allow Jews to enter. I did manage to snap a shot through the open door:

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Civil war isn't what bothers PalArabs.

A very revealing insight in an op-ed in Arabic Maan News (autotranslated):
The words of the need Umm Khalil are identical to the words of journalist Ashraf the Marsh, Group in the newspaper "Jerusalem Arabi", which emphasized that what is happening now is a real tragedy and a national disaster, "not because there is internecine killings, between brothers, but because that constitutes a real threat to the Palestinian issue, whilst Israel is free to persists in the Judaization of the city of Jerusalem and building synagogues and driving local Arab citizens and is now building settlements, and exercise all forms of hooliganism and of assassination operations, and the incursions into Palestinian cities, in the time that the factions of which he of committing massacres and to engage in combat against innocent civilians who do not misdeed them in all that is happening."
There is an amazing psyche at work that regards civil war as only a secondary concern, but because Jews still manage to want to live in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria where they have lived almost continuously for millenia - that is the real problem!

Normal people would call this idea barbaric and bigoted. Normal people would be aghast at how unconcerned Palestinian Arab intelligentsia is at the fact that their own people are murdering each others by the dozens in the streets. A normal nation or tribe would place solving a civil war at the very top of their priority lists because of the value of human life.

But the world remains blind.

I'm sure it's all the Joooooz fault

I haven't been able to blog much, but as the headlines show, the PalArabs are back to their normal state of killing each other.

Given the JPost's numbers of 25 killed since Thursday, plus one killed Sunday in Beit Hanoun, our counts of PalArabs violently killed by each other has soared to 267 since Summer Rains and an astonishing 62 since the beginning of this year.

One of my dumber commenters accused me of celebrating whenever PalArabs are killed in this way. While this is categorically false, and I am not the least bit happy when innocents get killed in the crossfire or by false accusations or by gunshots at weddings and the like, I do admit to being quite satisfied when people who belong to terror groups are killing each other. So on the whole, with the exception of people like the 2-year old Bader Abu Qaraya who was killed by the bloodthirsty savages of Hamas (and is therefore called a "martyr" by Fatah), this has been a good weekend.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hamas/Fatah resume killing each other

After a couple of weeks of barely controlled violence between them, Hamas and Fatah have gone back to their normal ways of killing each other.
Gaza - Ma'an - Renewed clashes between the rival Fatah and Hamas movements broke out in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday morning. In the last 24 hours, three Palestinians have been killed in internal fighting (one from Fatah and two from Hamas), seven injured - including two children - and fourteen Palestinians have been abducted (nine from Hamas and five from Fatah) in tit-for-tat kidnappings.

Fatah has accused the Hamas movement and its Executive Force of besieging the house of Nabil Al Jarir, an Al-Aqsa Brigades member, which is the main military wing of Fatah, in Jabalia, in the north of the Gaza. Fatah say that Executive Force members shot at him, killing him, and in addition, they abducted his aide.

This came after an explosion targeted the car of an Executive Force member last night, killing one member, Husam Abu Mteir, and injuring another five force members in the car.

The Executive Force spokesman, Islam Shahwan, told Ma'an that the explosion targeted an Executive Force patrol. He told Ma'an on Thursday night, "the explosive device was planned to target an Executive Force patrol and resulted in the serious injury of two members. At the same time, a number of bystanders including two children were also injured."

In another development, fire was shot at a car belonging to 'Ad Dawa' radio station, which is affiliated to Hamas, and two people were injured. One of the injured, Ra'ed Subuh, 22, later died.
So while I haven't been able to research all the deaths as much as normal the past few days, my PalArab violent self-death counts are now at 244 since Operation Summer Rains and 39 since the beginning of the year.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Guess who's stealing land?

Palestinian Arabs have so far been guilty, as far as I can tell, of 100% of the crimes that they routinely falsely accuse Jews of committing. This is what is known as "projection" and it happens a lot.

The latest example is that the Palestinian Muslims are stealing Palestinian Christians' land. (Sorry, Jonathan Cook, you have been proven a moron yet again.)
A number of Christian families have finally decided to break their silence and talk openly about what they describe as Muslim persecution of the Christian minority in this city.

The move comes as a result of increased attacks on Christians by Muslims over the past few months. The families said they wrote letters to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the Vatican, Church leaders and European governments complaining about the attacks, but their appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

According to the families, many Christians have long been afraid to complain in public about the campaign of "intimidation" for fear of retaliation by their Muslim neighbors and being branded "collaborators" with Israel.

But following an increase in attacks on Christian-owned property in the city over the past few months, some Christians are no longer afraid to talk about the ultra-sensitive issue. And they are talking openly about leaving the city.

"The situation is very dangerous," said Samir Qumsiyeh, owner of the Beit Sahur-based private Al-Mahd (Nativity) TV station. "I believe that 15 years from now there will be no Christians left in Bethlehem. Then you will need a torch to find a Christian here. This is a very sad situation."

Qumsiyeh, one of the few Christians willing to speak about the harsh conditions of their community, has been the subject of numerous death threats. His house was recently attacked with fire-bombs, but no one was hurt.

Qumsiyeh said he has documented more than 160 incidents of attacks on Christians in the area in recent years.

He said a monk was recently roughed up for trying to prevent a group of Muslim men from seizing lands owned by Christians in Beit Sahur. Thieves have targeted the homes of many Christian families and a "land mafia" has succeeded in laying its hands on vast areas of land belonging to Christians, he added.

Fuad and Georgette Lama woke up one morning last September to discover that Muslims from a nearby village had fenced off their family's six-dunam plot in the Karkafa suburb south of Bethlehem. "A lawyer and an official with the Palestinian Authority just came and took our land," said 69-year-old Georgette Lama.

The couple was later approached by senior PA security officers who offered to help them kick out the intruders from the land. "We paid them $1,000 so they could help us regain our land," she said, almost in tears. "Instead of giving us back our land, they simply decided to keep it for themselves. They even destroyed all the olive trees and divided the land into small plots, apparently so that they could offer each for sale." When her 72-year-old husband, Fuad, went to the land to ask the intruders to leave, he was severely beaten and threatened with guns.

"My husband is after heart surgery and they still beat him," Georgette Lama said. "These people have no heart. We're afraid to go to our land because they will shoot at us. Ever since the beating, my husband is in a state of trauma and has difficulties talking."

The Lamas have since knocked on the doors of scores of PA officials in Bethlehem seeking their intervention, but to no avail. At one stage, they sent a letter to Abbas, who promised to launch an investigation.

"We heard that President Mahmoud Abbas is taking our case very seriously," said Georgette Lama. "But until now he hasn't done anything to help us get our land back. We are very concerned because we're not the only ones suffering from this phenomenon. Most Christians are afraid to speak, but I don't care because we have nothing more to lose."

A Christian businessman who asked not to be identified said the conditions of Christians in Bethlehem and its surroundings had deteriorated ever since the area was handed over to the PA in 1995.

"Every day we hear of another Christian family that has immigrated to the US, Canada or Latin America," he said.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Yad Vashem preparing to honor Arab hero

I've mentioned Arabs who saved Jews from the Holocaust before. Now Yad Vashem is set to honor one of them:
An Arab who saved the lives of two dozen Jews during the Holocaust is about to receive an unprecedented honour from Israel. Khaled Abdelwahhab, a wealthy Tunisian landowner, is poised to become the first Arab to be celebrated as a Righteous Gentile.

The award, presented by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance authority, is granted to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust in which six million died.

More than 21,000 people have been granted the title of Righteous Among the Nations since it was established in 1963, with Oskar Schindler probably the best known. But, in spite of stories of heroism and friendship recorded by members of North Africa’s once-large Jewish community, no candidate has emerged from the Arab Muslim world.

The story of Khaled Abdelwahhab was uncovered by an American Jewish expert on Arab and Islamic politics who was researching for a book.

A survivor told Robert Satloff that Abdelwahhab had rescued 23 Jews, including her family, as they sheltered in an olive oil factory after being thrown out of their homes by German soldiers. He feared that the women were going to be put to work in a brothel and gave them sanctuary for the remaining six months of the German occupation.

Interviewed at her home in Los Angeles a few weeks before her death, Anny Boukris said that Abdelwahhab had discovered that German officers were planning to take her mother, Odette, to work in the brothel they had set up in Mahdia, on the east coast of Tunisia.

Abdelwahhab’s father was a good friend of the Boukris family, so he drove straight to the olive oil factory and told all the Jews sheltering there that their lives were in danger and that they must go with him immediately.

He settled them all at his family farm in the village of Tlelsa, 20 miles from Mahdia, and they remained there until British troops ended the German occupation in April 1943.
...
Estee Yaari, of Yad Vashem, told The Times that a file on Abdelwahhab had been opened and would be considered by a commission of experts led by a supreme court judge. “It looks as if there is enough material to move this forward and he would be the first Arab to become a Righteous Among the Nations,” she said.

Dr Satloff, executive director of the Institute for Near East studies in Washington, uncovered the story of Abdelwahhab’s heroism while working on a book that he hoped would break “the conspiracy of silence” in the Arab world surrounding the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust.

Dr Satloff, who flew to Israel to meet Yad Vashem officials yesterday, said: “These stories are only coming to light now because we haven’t looked too hard before at the Holocaust experience in Arab countries. But another reason is that Arabs who did save Jews didn’t want to be found. They are reluctant to admit that they saved Jews.
As I wrote in October: "As with the Europeans, there were evil Arabs, indifferent Arabs and a small amount of heroic Arabs. We must not forget the good ones just as we must not forget the evil ones."

Same old same old

One of the truisms about the PalArab media is that if there is the slightest chance that Israel was involved in the death of an Arab, Israel will be blamed immediately and without any second thought.

But if there is no way to blame Israel, then the person will have died under "mysterious circumstances."

Here's a good example, where a man arrested by Hamas three days ago somehow died. Hamas says it was a heart attack.

Contrast this with this report of a PalArab girl that was said to have been shot by Israel (not only by Maan but by Western news agencies as well).

Now, who really killed her?

For the purposes of my death count, the first example is pretty clear-cut to me so I will include it, the second one is still unclear (although she was not shot) so I will not assume for now that she was a self-death. Which brings the counts up to 241 and 36.

Meanwhile, terror rocket fire continues unabated from Gaza to Israel (well, Jimmy Carter doesn't consider bombs raining from the air randomly in residential neighborhoods to be terror) with five rockets over the past day. As Maan says:
The two brigades assured in separate statements that these operations came in response to Israel's continuous aggression against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They also vowed their continued resistance and jihad.

I wonder if the word "jihad" in this statement is the inner kind?

Blogging will be light

Sorry, but given a choice of blogging or touring the Holy Land, I gotta go with the Eretz Option.

The Elders are staying in the beautiful Jerusalem neighborhood of Bakah, which isn't touristy at all but is very charming, if a bit out of the way. So I won't have time for too much over the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Another failed anti-Israel boycott

The Socialist Party in Norway announced a boycott of Israel last year.

Since then, imports have increased by 15%.

This sort of thing seems to happen a lot.

Arabs seethe over Israeli vodka bottle

It appears that an Israeli company is selling vodka with a picture of Jerusalem on it.

And in the picture of Jerusalem one of the buildings has a large dome.

This seems to be a problem, according to Maan News Arabic (autotranslated):
The Aqsa Institution for Reconstructing Islamic sanctities strongly condemned an Israeli firm marketing wine bottles bearing the image of the Dome of the Rock mosque and the city of Jerusalem and is considered a violation of the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque and violation of sacrosanct, and disregard for the feelings of millions of Muslims and their sanctities.

(A man saw it while visiting Rehovot and reacted...)

"As soon as my vision for the pictures on bottles of wine I Petkserha and kept one of Publish and circulate it, asking all the officials to act to stop this violation which shook the depths of my feelings."

The Foundation Far Jeroboam, which carries the picture of the Dome of the Rock of the type of vodka bearing the symbol "Afraizrkia" and the name of an Israeli company, "Pouloina of import and export in 2000. Z ", based in the city of Ashdod water, while shows on the back of the bottle being manufactured in the city Vzelia in the State of Ukraine," and that the highest religious body which Jewish rabbis "Rabanut major" has licensed the marketing in addition to Jewish religious schools in Britain.

Commenting on the case lawyer said Zahi Ngidat spokesman for the Islamic movement : "This is a horrendous act of demons company, and that this del, it shows that the craftiness of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa is as a result of Israeli institutional and popular."

For its part, the Aqsa Foundation stated: "It has become clear that the Zionist alliance crazier sinned development agenda in the daily work of the violation of the sanctity of al-Aqsa mosque Quds Fund and its Waqf all buildings and there is no doubt that the marketing of wine bottles carrying posters of the image of the Dome of the Rock and the city of Jerusalem is a violation of the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock mosque, which is one of the holiest Islamic sanctities of Muslims, and that he found and disregard for the feelings of one and a half billion Muslims."
I suppose that one solution would be to move that building elsewhere where it wouldn't pollute the photographs and artwork depicting Jerusalem, so that a half-billion Muslims wouldn't be so offended whenever something like this happens.

After all, this isn't the first time:

Palestinians denounce putting photo of Jerusalem mosque on Israeli wine bottles
Palestine-Israel, Politics, 9/29/1999

The Palestinian Ministry of Information denounced the procedure taken by an Israeli company putting a photo of Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque on wine bottles named "Jerusalem 2000," saying, "Starting such a procedure hurts the Moslems' feelings in Jerusalem, Palestine and the whole world."

Amazingly, in the 1999 case the Israeli company caved in:
An Israeli wine maker has agreed to change the design of one of its labels which depicted holy Islamic shrines on the label.

Al-Aqsa Mosque and the adjacent Dome of the Rock - both prominent features of the Jerusalem skyline - appeared on the label of the "Jerusalem 2000" brand produced to mark the coming millennium.

The association between alcohol, which is forbidden in Islam, and religious sites has proved highly offensive to Muslims around the world.

The owner of Baron Wine Cellars, Yonathan Tishbi, said his company had never intended the label to offend anyone, but it has been changed in response to complaints.

Officials at the winery said new labels would come out next week, but would not say what they will look like. Bottles already distributed will not be recalled.

Protests were led by the Secretary General of the Arab League, Esmat Abdel-Meguid, who said the issue illustrated Israeli disdain for Muslim feelings.

As well as religous sensibilities, the label touched on the ultra-sensitive question of the future of Jerusalem, whose future status is due to be discussed by Palestinians and Israelis in the coming months.

"This insolence is consistent with Israeli policies of Judaizing Jerusalem," Yasser Arafat's Palestinain Authority said.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry called for a strong response from the Islamic world to confront what it saw as ridicule.

The action "once again proved that (Israel) will not miss any opportunity to affront and insult the cultural heritage of the Islamic civilization," a spokesman in Tehran said.
(People interested in media bias should not miss the last paragraph of the 1999 BBC story linked here.)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Christian proto-Zionism redux

I started reading "Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present" by Michael Oren. It will be a while before I finish it and review it completely, but so far it seems to be an incredible book, meticulously researched, describing America's involvement in the Middle East.

From an early article about this book I was inspired to look up George Bush, an early proto-Zionist, professor of Hebrew and Christian scholar, to see which of his writings I could find on-line. I found a number of scholarly commentaries on the Old Testament as well as a biography of Mohammed that he wrote, but I wasn't able to find the book Oren refers to about the "restoration of the Jews" to Zion (and their conversion.)

Today I did, as a part of a much larger book of Christian pamphlets:

From skimming through it one can see his undeniable scholarship, as he takes apart Ezekiel in English, Hebrew and Greek and spins it towards his thesis.

While I can't tell how influential Bush was compared to the other proto-Zionists I discovered in that same era, I am very much looking forward to reading the rest of Oren's book.

Peretz in dreamland

Israel's defense minister Amir Peretz said two interesting, and utterly embarrassing, things at the Herzliya conference:
"Every Palestinian contact that recognizes Israel, I see as a partner in negotiations - even if we're speaking of Hamas."
The naivete and wishful thinking that is revealed in this statement is overwhelming.

The idea of "recognition" is becoming as popular as the idea of a "peace process," a castle in the clouds. Just because Abbas nominally "recognizes" Israel doesn't mean that he does not want to see it destroyed as soon as possible by Palestinian Arab arms.

And Hamas, by ideology, cannot possibly recognize Israel in any meaningful way and still remain Hamas, so to think that if they mouth the words "recognize" that some magic will occur and they can be dealt with as negotiating partners is too stupid for words.
"In spite of the mistakes, there were important achievements during the war. In the end, we changed the reality in southern Lebanon. We proved that the threats of rockets, the kidnappings, and the terror are not capable of leaving us paralyzed and helpless - and furthermore, we exposed the plans of Iran and Syria."
So, how has the reality in Southern Lebanon changed? Apparently not very much, as the border is now filled with Hezbollah flags again and Hezbollah has already replenished all that it had lost. And if it took a war to expose the plans of Iran and Syria vis a vis Hezbollah, then something is seriously wrong with Israel's ability to tell its side of the story, as everybody knew about Iran's involvement with Hezbollah before the war.

Yemenite Jews threatened, flee homes in fear

From Ha'aretz:
Some 45 Jews of Sa'ada county in Yemen left their homes after being threatened by radical Muslims, the Saudi daily Al Wattan reported on Monday.

According to the report, the extremists told the Jews to leave their homes within ten days, after which time they will be exposed to abductions and looting.

The Jews moved into a hotel in the town of Sa'ada, north of the Yemenite capital Sana. A formal complaint was submitted to the Yemenite President Abdullah Salah, the report said.

The threat message - attributed to disciples of Shiite-inclined religious leader Hossein Bader a-Din al-Khouty - said that the Jews are acting in a manner that "primarily serves global Zionism, which is acting persistently to disseminate decay amongst the people and to cut them off from their principles, values, their morals and religion."

The message also said that the threats are based on surveillance conducted on the Jews, and that "Islam calls upon us to fight against the disseminators of decay."

Israel Radio on Monday interviewed a recently-arrived immigrant from Yemen, who identified himself only as Masoud, who managed to contact one of the women forced out of their homes.

The man was told that the Jewish community received letters last Friday, saying "whoever remains at his home, will be killed or his children will be taken away."

According to Masoud, the Jews who fled their homes told him "their condition has worsened, they are staying in a hotel, and they are scared." He said that the members of the Jewish community are not interested in immigrating to Israel, and wish to keep living in Yemen.

They blame their strife on the oblivious Yemenite government, which refuses to offer them assistance. The Jewish community, say its members, does not have efficient communication channels with the regime that would allow it to influence its actions.

The Jews under threat contacted local authorities and demanded fair treatment as ordinary Yemenite citizens. They told the authorities among other things that Islam imposes taxes on Jews in return for protection and security.

The Al Watan report said also that last week four masked men approached Yehie Moussa Merhavi, member of the Jewish community, to emphasize the will act on their threats. Merhavi said he was told that if the Jews do not leave their homes in two days, "they will only have themselves to blame" for the consequences, which will include abductions and looting.

Following the incident, the community was forced to evacuate the homes in which they lived for generations, and leave their home town under the protection of tolerant local sheikhs.

"We have been taken out of our homes, our money is lost, we cannot provide for our children. We came to the county's capital (Sada) to plea before the president and the government to treat us fairly, because we are Yemenites," Merhavi told Al Watan.

The Jewish community in Yemen consists of several hundred members, who are not interested in leaving it. The Jews maintain a community life, including a cheder for children's torah instruction and regularly pray.
The original al-Watan autotranslated article is here.

The last paragraph of the al-Watan article says:
A complaint filed by Jews to the Governor of the province, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh appealed for Muslims to protect them from the threat of massacre, especially as they *mion, imposed by the tributes to Islam and give them the right to protection and security, in addition to the pocket of the rights guaranteed to them by the constitution and the law like all other citizens.

Evidently the Jizya poll-tax on Jews that are meant to protect them isn't quite as effective as Muslims may have you think.

To its credit, al-Watan seems to be on the Jews' side, and includes a couple of pictures of the community:


More on the remaining Yemenite Jewish community can be found in the Jewish Virtual Library.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

PalArab weddings are a blast!

At the El-Bashiti wedding in Khan Younis, Gaza last Thursday, one of the happy celebrants lost control of his assault rifle. He killed the groom's brother and injured three others, including one of those ubiqitous "security officers" and two teenage boys.

This is of course not unusual in the peaceful land of Palestan: I have documented a few other wedding manslaughters. But it is no big deal - because these people weren't killed by Israelis, no one really cares.

Meanwhile, on Friday a 51-year old was also assassinated in Khan Younis by gunfire from a car as he was going to the mosque, so our counts of Palestinian Arabs violently killed by Palestinian Arabs are now at 238 since Summer Rains and 33 so far in 2007.

UPDATE: Dead body found in Hebron, evidently "criminal activity." 239 and 34.

UPDATE 2: Man in his 30's shot and killed in the Bureij camp in a clan clash. 240 and 35.

HH CIII

The 103rd Haveil Havalim is out.

As they say in the old country: mamesh brilliant.

Peaceful PalArab news

I'm not certain if it is the same one, but apparently the synagogue that the Arabs are so upset about is being built 100 meters away from the Dome of the Rock, in the Cotton Market. So the "extremist Jews" will have to expand it through a few dozen businesses before getting close to the mosque, but it is enough for the PalArabs to make a worldwide call to stop the construction and claim that it will cause "structural damage" to the mosque.

Islamic Jihad announced that they shot 8 rockets at Israel in recent days, including one today to Sderot and two towards Ashkelon.

Two shops, a pharmacy and a cafeteria were blown up in Gaza by rival fighting PalArab families.

We mentioned last week about a Tel Aviv trade show, sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace, to help Palestinian Arab high-tech companies do business in Israel. Well, a prominent Nablus official isn't happy about it and wants the Palestinian Arabs to boycott any companies that participate. Sami Al-Sadr wants to publish a blacklist of the names of the companies and will lobby the PA to launch an investigation of this terrible crime of cooperating with Israelis.

More news you won't read anywhere else


EoZ News Headlines:
  • Mahmoud Abbas is meeting with Islamic Jihad terror leaders in Damascus.
  • Fatah accuses Hamas of building a "tunnels republic" under Gaza - with American money.
  • The PA Interior Minister confirmed that half of a $120 million donation delivered to the PA is simply missing.
All this and more on EoZ News!

That great moderate, Mahmoud Abbas, traveled to Syria to meet with that other great moderate, Bashir Assad. But while there he also paid a respectful visit to Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad movement. But not to worry - I'm sure he's a moderate also.

Meanwhile...
The spokesperson of the Fatah movement in the West bank, Jamal Nazzal, on Saturday accused the Hamas movement and government of spending millions of US dollars on the excavation of tunnels between the Gaza Strip's cities. He compared the network of tunnels in Gaza to that which Al-Qaeda established in Kabul.

Nazzal said that the tunnels, which have been discovered, indicate a huge project aimed at establishing an underground structure which he called, the "tunnels' republic," to which press and law can have no access.

According to the spokesperson, Palestinian minister of interior Dr Mahmoud Zahhar had recently confirmed that $120 million was delivered to the Palestinians, yet only $60 million entered the treasury. Fatah has demanded that the finance ministry reveal the whereabouts of those millions.
We already mentioned Friday how the chaos in Gaza is ensuring that there is no accounting oversight, but even we are surprised at the audacity of just taking $60 million.

Not that this little incident will dissuade Europe and the US from giving more and more to the "moderate" Abbas, or to pressure Israel to give millions more of "tax revenue" to be earmarked for killing Israelis.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Palestinian Arabs forging Israeli money


But the forged coins are so bad, the victims seem to be their own people, not Israel.

From Maan News:
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Many Palestinian merchants and store keepers have confirmed that the Israeli five shekel coin is easily forged and is widespread in the Palestinian territories. However, it can be easily identified.

Ma'an News Agency has acquired one of these forged pieces, which are now spreading throughout the occupied Palestinian territories. The coin can be identified easily because, although it appears almost perfectly shaped, it seems to be made from copper which is apparent when scratched.

This phenomenon of forged 5 shekel coins is going to mainly affect those Palestinians of low income as better off Palestinians and businessmen do not require such small change. Five Israeli shekels is a little over one US dollar.

A 15-year-old boy told Ma'an that he felt so ashamed when he went to buy something from a shop and he was told by the shopkeeper that the coin was forged.

Another local man told Ma'an that a Palestinian criminal gang travelled to China and asked a local factory to fabricate a large quantity of these coins. They then brought these forged coins to the Palestinian territories, the man said. However, no official source has been able to confirm this.

Ma'an News Agency is endeavouring to obtain official answers from the relevant official departments, especially in regards to advice for ordinary people who acquire such coins.

Iran's state-run prostitution and slavery ring

Here is an amazing article about what is really going on in that enlightened nation that aims to be the model of Islamic morality and integrity in the world:
...Iran's new Islamic-guided government has established a system of legalized prostitution, through the practice of "sigheh" or "temporary marriages," by which a mullah arranges a "legal union" between a man and a girl (some as young as nine years old) for a fee. The so-called marriage can last anywhere from one hour to 99 years. Under this system, men are free to enter into as many temporary marriages as they so desire, without having any legal obligation or responsibility toward the women and children that they "marry" only to use as sexual objects and slaves.

Not surprisingly, this legalized system of slavery and oppression has led to a growing sex-trafficking industry that is partially operated by government officials and mullahs themselves. The girls who are forced into this system of sexual and economic slavery are typically transported to various countries in the Persian Gulf and are sold to individuals as well as to established brothels. The budding industry of sexual trafficking of Iranian girls has led to growing concerns about the spread of AIDS/HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases throughout the region.
The article goes into much more detail on other abuses of women and children in Iran, including the death penalty against children. Read the whole thing.

Secondary effects of Gaza chaos

Reuters' terror apologist, Nidal al-Mughrabi, has an interesting article on how people are staying away from Gaza because of the danger there. While he spins it in the patented Reuters way, there are some facts that he buries and whose implications he ignores completely.
Simon McGregor-Wood, chairman of the Foreign Press Association (FPA) in Israel, said fewer foreign journalists have been going to Gaza due to the uncertain security situation.
This means that not too many people are reporting on how truly bad things are in Gaza. When an attack with multiple deaths occurs between Fatah and Hamas, it makes the news; when people get killed from gunfire at weddings or "work accidents" or clan clashes it never does. The hourly threats and rhetoric between Hamas and Fatah get ignored as well, not to mention the lower-level non-fatal attacks between them as well as between prominent families and the militias. The irony is that reporters are leaving Gaza because of the daily insecurity but they aren't reporting it!

This also means that in a strange kind of way, amateurs like me are better reporters about what is happening in Gaza than real reporters on the ground there. They are clearly afraid for their lives and of being kidnapped, and the terrorists do not care about a free press and routinely will go after anyone who happens to piss them off that day, including reporters. While most Palestinian Arab newspapers are mouthpieces for one movement or another, and there is certainly some self-censorship, they do more reporting that the foreign media does and it is easier to discern the truth of what is happening in Gaza from the original Arabic sources than from a foreign reporter in an armored car with a police escort who knows that if he reports something upsetting he may die.

Khalil Abu Shammala, director of Ad-Dameer Association for Human Rights, said foreign donors to some of his group's projects no longer visit Gaza to follow up on activities they finance.
This is the very last sentence in the story, and is probably the most important. Remember how all the donors from Europe were saying how careful they are now to make sure that there is transparency and accountability to ensure that their aid would make it to the people who need it? Well, throw all that out the window. Some or most of the aid ends up going to buy guns and RPGs and giant posters of whatever terror leader is popular in a specific area.

Gaza is run by thieves, thugs and murderers.

And Gaza is the model of what a Palestinian Arab state would look like.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Carter/Nazi story finally gets some coverage

I quoted and linked to a JTA story three weeks ago that Arutz Sheva just picked up as an "exclusive."

See...my readers get all the scoops :)

Hamas threatens Al-Arabiya TV

Maan News, in English:
The Palestinian government has announced that it will prosecute the television station Al-'Arabiya for the news it broadcast on Wednesday night, in which the television channel reported that Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh uttered the controversial statement, "We will not accept conditional aid, even if it were to come from God."

The government has described this statement, which was disclosed during a programme called "Akher Sa'ah", meaning 'The Final Hour', as lies and fabricated. In a statement, the government also said that they are considering boycotting the Al-'Arabiya satellite channel and are calling on the station to stop broadcasting the news.

The article goes on to say that Haniyeh was just quoting something a Fatah advisor said on Al-Manar TV and would never have said such a blasphemous comment.

But a little more color and detail emerges from the Arabic Maan News account of the aftermath:
The Fatah movement condemned threats against journalists, the media, local, Arab and international multiple formats by the Hamas movement and the government. "

Fatah said, "Hamas lost Atzanha and balance across crazy threats against the Arab channel judiciary and its correspondents in Gaza and the contents of the threats brutal murder, arson, kidnapping and a succession of terrorist methods multi following the broadcasting of a report that the audio recording of the Prime Minister insulted by the divine self..."

Now, the rhetoric and wild accusations between Fatah and Hamas have been steadily increasing so there is no way of knowing if Hamas really threatened murder or kidnapping because they didn't like a news story in this case. But it would be consistent with attacks against reporters and news outlets in the past, including recent attacks and threats against the Wafa pro-Fatah news agency.

More terrible Israeli oppression

Maan News (Arabic) reports that next Monday there will be a trade show in Tel Aviv featuring 25 Palestinian Arab technology companies who want to get business cooperating with Israeli companies.

PalArab terror apologists may note that this conference is organized by the Peres Center for Peace and therefore doesn't represent the mainstream of Israeli thinking, which is of course filled with hate and apartheid and genocidal wishes as they never tire of saying. However - is there a Palestinian Arab counterpart to the Peres Center for Peace?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Two forgotten examples of historic Arab rejectionism

These are both very small stories, and as far as I can tell they have been forgotten by history. But in their own way they illuminate how hard it is to consider compromise with Arabs today.

A small detail in a story about the 1956 Sinai campaign from the Time magazine archives:
In 1953 Ben-Gurion suffered an election setback and retired to a pioneer desert community. Into office went Moshe Sharett, a modest, cautious lawyer who made some effort to diminish Arab hostility, to settle the problem of the 900,000 Palestinian refugees, to let some of them back into Israel and to join with Arab states in diverting Jordan water to desert land on which refugees could build new homes.

The Arabs rejected all of Sharett's proposals.
Here's another interesting find from the same source, from 1965:
...It all began with some remarks by Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba, who often says out loud what most sophisticated Arabs say only in private. Returning home from a Middle Eastern tour in which he visited the Jordanian refugee camps near Jericho, where 71,000 Palestinian Arabs have languished for 17 years, Bourguiba declared that it was obviously impossible to erase Israel from the map by force and that therefore it made sense to accept its presence. He proposed that the long-festering refugee problem be settled on the basis of the 1947 United Nations partition plan, which would require Israel's surrender of about a third of its territory.

The West applauded Bourguiba's effort to begin an Arab-Israeli dialogue, but Israel's Arab neighbors responded with a bellow of rage. Two months ago, Bourguiba had infuriated Middle East Arabs by rallying North Africa to reject Nasser's campaign against West Germany. Now Bourguiba's Arab critics were angrier than ever. Government radios, from Baghdad to Cairo, blasted Bourguiba as a traitor, a madman "who should be locked in an asylum," and as a Judas "who should be immediately executed." Mobs blossomed in the streets of half a dozen Arab capitals. In Cairo, 20,000 students charged across the Nile bridge to Gezira Island and tried to burn down the Tunisian embassy. In Jerusalem, Bourguiba Street was hastily renamed by Jordanian authorities. In Baghdad, even resident Tunisian students joined the anti-Bourguiba demonstrations.

Compromise was as rare a concept among Arabs in 1953 and 1965 as in 2007.

Arabs turn their backs on their Palestinian Arab "brothers" - again

Since the fall of Saddam, Palestinian Arabs who live in Iraq have been under attack:
A Palestinian official says 520 Palestinian refugees have been killed by militias since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

The head of the refugee affairs department at the Palestine Liberation Organization, Zakaria al-Agha, said Wednesday a total of 809 Palestinians have been attacked, of which 520 were killed and 140 injured and maimed.

...Palestinians, all of whom are Sunni and perhaps a handful of Christians, have become a favorite target for government-backed Shiite militias since the U.S.-led forces toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in April 2003.

The attacks are generally regarded as acts of vengeance, not because the Palestinians are Sunni, but because the community supported Saddam's regime, which had provided the Palestinian refugees with free homes, an education and livelihoods in Iraq during its three-decade reign.

It is interesting that the PLO official continues to refer to these people as "Palestinian refugees" rather than the more accurate "Iraqi refugees of Palestinian origin," as they have lived there for generations, as ReliefWeb notes:
Although the violence in Iraq is so extreme that all civilians are at risk regardless of their religion or ethnicity, certain groups are particularly vulnerable. One such group is the Palestinians of Iraq. Many have been in Iraq since 1948, have children and grandchildren born there, and consider that country their permanent home. During Saddam Hussein's rule, Palestinians received special privileges. Palestinians were given subsidized housing, often to the detriment of Iraqis who were evicted or forced to rent their property to Palestinians free of charge.

Perceived as loyal to Saddam Hussein and the Baath party, Palestinians are now targeted by all factions in Iraq. Their vulnerability is increased by the fact that they are stateless and have nowhere to go. Some have tried to flee the country and are now living in a no-man's land in between Syrian and Iraqi borders. UNHCR has unsuccessfully tried to negotiate their admission into an Arab country or resettle them.
And then comes this beaut:
Despite the sensitivities linked to the resettlement of Palestinians outside a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel, there is no other immediate solution for the Palestinians from Iraq. The UN estimates that around 15,000 remain in Iraq and are in imminent danger.
Let's sum up:
  • All Arabs in Iraq, not just Shiites, hate the Palestinian Arabs.
  • Even though their situation is considered grave, their neighboring Arabs refuse to let them in.
But on the other hand:
  • Palestinian Arabs who settle in other lands and become successful are still called "refugees."
  • The idea of resettling Palestinian Arabs in other Arab lands, even when they are in dire need, is frowned upon because of "sensitivities."
The first two points show that Arabs don't give a crap about Palestinian Arabs on a human level, period.

The last two points, however, show that there is great political importance to keeping the idea of a "refugee" problem alive as long as possible.

Remember that Palestinian Arabs are the only group in history whose descendants are considered to be "refugees" as well. This is a purely political decision made by the UN, whose only purpose is to extend Palestinian Arab suffering as a means to pressure Israel.

And similarly, the very idea of moving Palestinian Arabs anywhere in the world besides Israel - even if the PalArabs themselves would want to do it themselves - is considered so "sensitive" to the political leaders of the Arab world that the psychology has been put into place that it is not even mentioned aloud as a possibility until there is a dire need.

When a few dozen Iraqi PalArabs were moved to Canada a couple of months ago, the political leadership was very upset - because helping individual Palestinian Arabs and making them happy is counterproductive to the "unity" of the "Palestinian people!"

Other Arabs hate Palestinian Arabs on a human, gut-level and will not lift a finger to truly help them. The money they send is used more for guns than butter. The Palestinian Arab leaders themselves have a vested interest in keeping Palestinian Arabs suffering.

And there is a huge portion of the world (including, as can be seen above, "human rights" organizations like ReliefWeb who will only consider resettling PalArabs when they are in imminent danger from non-Jews) that will do anything they can to keep Palestinian Arabs suffering just to be able to blame Israel for their problems.

Jerry Seinfeld and the Shabbat-observant realtor

From Arutz Sheva:
American Jewish comedian Jerry Seinfeld was ordered by the court to pay a Sabbath-observant realtor her fee, which he withheld due to her not having answered her phone on Saturday.

The realtor, Tamara Cohen, was unavailable when Seinfeld tried to reach her on a Saturday in February, 2005, according to the New York Post. The comedian and star of the highly successful sitcom bearing his name wanted to see a luxury apartment on 82nd street but could not get in touch with Cohen.

Seinfeld’s estate manager had visited the apartment with Cohen in January 2005, when the listing broker for the townhouse agreed to co-broke the house with her. On Friday, February 11, the estate manager and Seinfeld’s wife Jessica were shown the property by Cohen again. The next day, after Cohen did not answer her cell phone due to it being the Sabbath, the Seinfelds visited the apartment on their own, buying the home for $3.95 million without a broker.

Seinfeld testified that Cohen did not deserve the payment as she had been unavailable when he and his wife wanted to see the home. Both Seinfelds said they had not known the reason Cohen did not return their calls was that she was a Sabbath-observant Jew.

New York State Supreme Court justice Rolando Acosta ruled that the Seinfelds must pay Cohen at least $98,000 for her role as co-broker – a ruling that is seen as a positive defense of religious worship for Sabbath observers.

Acosta said that notwithstanding Cohen's failure to immediately return the Seinfelds' calls, "[T]he evidence clearly indicates that she served as the Seinfelds' real estate broker."

"The only real issue here . . . is whether the broker's fee was 5 or 6 percent," Acosta said, meaning Cohen may get as much as $118,500.

Richard Menaker of Menaker & Hermann, the law firm that represented the Seinfelds, said he intends to move to re-argue. "Not a single one of the [six] arguments we made was addressed," Menaker said, according to Law.com. "At the oral argument I pointed out that Ms. Cohen is not licensed. You can only recover on an oral agreement if you're a licensed real-estate broker," he added. Cohen’s lawyer said that she is in fact licensed and that the court apparently agreed.

I'm no expert on real estate law, but I believe that if she is a licensed broker and was the broker for that property she indeed deserves the money. In fact, it is considered very bad form (if not illegal) to bypass the broker and make a deal for a property that the broker represents.

The fact that they saw the house with Cohen on Friday solidified her position as a listing broker for the property, so it sounds to me like the judge did the right thing.

The next question is - if Seinfeld found out that the broker was at a funeral, or out of town for a day, or that her phone was broken - would he have fought paying the fee?

The IDF kills some terrorists (video)

From the IDF website:
A few days ago, during the evening, a force from the Givati Brigade's Shaked Battalion identified two suspicious figures crawling near the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. The force called out on the two figures, discovered to be terrorists, and when the two did not stop the force fired at them. Due to the explosives the terrorists were carrying on them, the firing led to a large explosion. Through their alertness and high operational effectiveness, the IDF forces thwarted a terror attack attempt.

And since the IDF website doesn't make their videos as easy to see as possible, I uploaded it to YouTube. It is a hell of an explosion.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Gaza, 1955

In 1955, way before Fatah and Arafat and "occupation," Palestinian Arabs staged a series of terrorist raids from Gaza into Israel proper. Israel hit back, briefly but strongly.

Notice from this account in Time magazine how many parallels there are to today.Isr (Notice also that Time refers to the PalArab refugees as "Palestinian Arabs," not "Palestinians.")
The Gaza strip is a geographic absurdity perpetuated by hate and pride. Ever since Israel's warriors swept south in 1948 to the Negeb desert, Gaza has stood as a defiant outpost in which Egyptian soldiers held out against Zion to the day of armistice. All around the 5-by-25-mile sand strip, a stealthy border war has since been waged, and blood spilled almost nightly.

To the young Israeli farmers who labor, gun in hand, in nearby desert settlements, the Gaza strip is an intolerable threat to their lives and lands. To the Egyptians patrolling its long salient of indefensible dunes, it remains a symbol of Arab defiance against unconfessed defeat. Behind the 20-inch-wide furrow that passes for its frontier, 219,000 Arab refugees squat in sandy squalor, existing only on U.N. charity and staring balefully across the border at the slopes now green with Israeli corn.

The incident that touched off last week's Gaza flare-up might have happened any day. Israeli soldiers, their command cars stacked with small arms, sped on routine border patrol close to an Egyptian command post. Suddenly there was shooting. Caught in the open without cover, the Israelis, guns blazing, crossed the border and took the command post. When they retired, they left three Egyptians dead.

As usual in such cases, the U.N. mediator, Canada's Major General Edson L. M. Burns, respected as much for his toughness as for his patience, tried to get both sides together: the familiar rhythm in these flare-ups is violence met with violence and followed by quiet. But this time the rhythm was broken. Small groups of Arab raiders carried the fight deep into Israel. Known as Al Fedayeen (Self-Sacrificers), the sneaker-shod guerrillas are recruited from Palestinian Arab refugees, and are thus adventurers without a country who know Israel's landscape because it was once their own. Most of them are followers of the former Mufti of Jerusalem, who used to recruit men to fight both the British and the Jews. The Mufti has been living in exile in Cairo.

The Self-Sacrificers fanned out across Israel, mined roads, shot up army trucks, dynamited the Voice of Israel's radio tower, just 15 miles south of Tel Aviv. From the cover of citrus groves, they shot down four farmers. Two Yemenite Jews fell, attacked from behind as they bent over irrigation pipes. Another was killed by a burst of Sten-gun fire through the open door of a pumping station. A Jewish newcomer from Iraq was caught as he cycled home from work in a nearby orchard. Tracks showed that he had been dragged off his bicycle, stood up against a wall and shot. A grandfather was cut down as he walked, lantern in hand, with his family; his wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandson were wounded.

This was something new in the border warfare, and its will-o'-the-wisp character unnerved many Israelis. In the Negeb communities, 50,000 farmers stood guard at their doorways. Troop patrols raced along roads from Dan to Beersheba. After one ambush, soldiers grabbed a wounded Self-Sacrificer trying to get back to Gaza, and learned that he had set out on patrol from the headquarters of his organization at Khan Yunis (Inn of Jonah), southwest of Gaza.

That night Israel struck back in reprisal. A strong armed force drove into Gaza. Arabs playing tricktrack and drinking a late cup of coffee at a cafe in the border village of Beni Sawil watched in silent horror as an entire company of Israeli halftracks rumbled through the streets. But the Israelis ignored them and made for their objective, the big concrete police fortress of Khan Yunis, one of the old "Taggart forts" built by the British. The Israelis were convinced that it was headquarters of Al Fedayeen. The raid was brief and bloody. The Egyptian commander reported 35 killed. The Israelis said they lost one man.

The Israelis sent a message to General Burns answering that they were now ready to accept his ceasefire. But before peace could be restored, two Israeli Meteors overtook two Egyptian Vampire jets as they swooped low over Israeli settlements north of Gaza. One of the Egyptian jets exploded in the air; both crashed well inside Israeli territory. All that farmers found of one pilot was his hair, ripped in one wiglike piece from his skull.

Underlying these skirmishes, and giving them special urgency, was an uncertainty on each side as to the intent of the other. The Israelis feared that Lieut. Colonel Nasser's military junta, anxious to distract attention from its failures in the Sudan (see below), might have decided to stir its people against Israel. Egyptians feared that the big vote for extremist parties in Israel's July elections reflected a popular demand for a more vigorous border policy. At this point, the U.S., the U.N. and Britain all got into the act. General Burns called for a special session of the U.N. Security Council. The U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, West Pointer Henry Byroade, telephoned Washington that he was convinced of Egyptian good faith in wanting a ceasefire, and asked that Washington so inform the Israelis. Assistant Secretary of State George V. Allen telephoned Premier Moshe Sharett in Tel Aviv, and his message helped reassure the Israelis. Both sides agreed to talk ceasefire.

At week's end the continuing sound of gunfire was heard along the Gaza strip, in the way that constitutes normal relationships on the furrowed border. But there was hope now that only steadfast hostility, not open war, was the prospect once more.
Israelis making the desert bloom while Arabs sit and stew? Check.
Palestinian Arabs targeting and murdering Jewish civilians? Check.
Israel avoiding civilians and aiming for a military target? Check.
The world considering only occasional cross-border skirmishes to be a normal part of a "cease-fire"? Check.
The terrorists being led by a man who had no interest in ever accepting Israel? Check.

Islamic supremacism in the UK

From YNet, a story describing a UK documentary that went undercover in British mosques and found that they weren't exactly talking about peace and brotherhood.

The video is on YouTube:






A British television documentary, 'Dispatches: Undercover Mosque,' broadcast on Sunday evening on the UK's Channel 4 has uncovered hate-filled speeches and rhetoric delivered in a number of British mosques, and directed against 'unbelievers,' Jews, Christians, and gays, among others, as well as religious justifications of marriages between prepubescent girls and adult men.

Some of the mosques targeted by the program were previously considered to be centers of moderate Islam in Britain. One mosque featured in the video was associated with a Muslim leader working with the British government to strengthen ties between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

The program's female narrator warned of "an ideology of intolerance and bigotry spreading throughout Britain, with its roots in Saudi Arabia," as images of the mosques and worshippers flashed across the screen.

One preacher was seen saying: "We Muslims have been ordered to do brainwashing."

The main English-language speaker of a Birmingham mosque, Abu Usama, who is an American convert to Islam, spread hatred of Christian and Jews in the footage.

"It has come to pass that the Christians and the Jews, America , France, the UK and Germany, they have come against the religion of al-Islam," Usama said, adding: "Why give up your religion to please someone who is an enemy to you?"

In the film, British Muslims at a mosque were told that that Islam will eventually gain "the uppermost strength" and form an Islamic state. They were instructed to "form a state within a state, until we take over."

In the Islamic state, Abu Usama said if a Muslim tried to leave Islam, he would be killed. "If the imam wants to crucify him he should crucify him. The person is put up on the wood and he's left there to bleed to death for three days," he said.

'Marrying prepuescent girls Okay'

"The Islamic state he predicts will have a single, life-time ruler with no opposition party or elections," explains the narrator.

A video purchased at a bookshop at the largest mosque in London, the Regents Park mosque, contained footage of a young, Saudi-trained Muslim cleric, Sheikh Faiz, who was seen saying: "Kafir (infidel)," as he drew an imaginary line on his forehead. "The worst word that can ever be written. A sign of infidelity. Disbelief. Filth. The sign of dirt." The preacher calls Jews "pigs," and said they would be "killed when the end of the world comes."

"This creature will say, oh Muslim, behind me is the Jew, come and kill him," the preacher shouts, before carrying out an impersonation of a pig sound, saying, "all of them," to the laughter of the audience.

The video showed a leading Muslim figure, who took part in a government taskforce to tackle extremism, comfortably taking part in a religious conference at the Birmingham mosque, in which discrimination against homosexuals was encouraged, as well as violence against girls who refused to wear the hijab.

"Allah has created the woman deficient," said the Birmingham mosque speaker. "Her intellect is incomplete, deficient. She may be suffering from hormones that will make her emotional. It takes two witnesses of a woman to equal the one witness of the man," he added.

A Saudi video on sale at one of the mosques showed a preacher saying: "Men are in charge of women. Wherever he goes, she should follow him. She shouldn't be allowed to leave the house without his permission."

Another sheikh on video says 10-year-old girls should be hit if they do not put on the hijab covering.

'The summit of Islam is jihad'

One speaker at a Birmingham mosque, Dr. Billal Phillips, said that the marriage of Islam's prophet, Muhammad to a nine year-old girl, Aisha, meant that contrary to modern laws, such marriages were acceptable.

"The prophet Muhammad practically outlined the rules regarding marriage prior to puberty. With his practice, he clarified what is permissible, and that is why we shouldn't have any issues about an older man marrying a younger woman," he said. "It is looked down upon the society today, but we know that the prophet Muhammad practiced it. It wasn't abuse or exploitation, it was marriage," he added.

"Do you practice homosexuality with men? Take that homosexual man and throw him off the mountain," declared Abu Usama. He later was heard calling for Allah "to bring about the means and the ways" to "… go out and perform the jihad."

"The peak, the pinnacle, the crest, the highest point, the pivot, the summit of Islam is jihad," said Sheikh Faiz, on a DVD sold at the mosque in Birmingham.

Iran's plans are right on course

A year ago I wrote a series of articles that maintained that Iran's goal was to become the undisputed leader of the Islamic world and use that as a platform to become a global superpower. Events since then have only solidified my opinion.

Here is an inconsequential article from the Iranian press that, when analyzed, shows the Iranian goals of being the Islamic world superpower is still quite alive and well:
TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called for the adoption of new methods of propaganda for the growth and exaltation of the Hajj pilgrims.

The Leader further reiterated the necessity for taking the opportunity of Hajj to practice cultural and spiritual activities, and called for the adoption of initiatives to propagate the Islamic values and increase knowledge of the Hajj pilgrims.

He underlined that cultural activities spark intellectual evolution, reminding that providing service to Hajj pilgrims is a precious opportunity.

Ayatollah Khamenei also underlined the importance of the spiritual and cultural effects of Hajj, and called for the adoption of new methods of propaganda to elevate the thoughts of the pilgrims to Mecca, the House of God.

At the beginning of the meeting, representative of the Leader and caretaker of Iranian Hajj pilgrims presented a report on the performance of Hajj rituals in Mecca this year, and said that the efforts and progress made by the Islamic Republic in the field of the nuclear technology and the victory of the Lebanese Hezbollah over the Zionist regime's aggression have encouraged the pilgrims from other countries to show more affinity with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
If one wants to be the leader of all Muslims, the best place to show leadership is at Hajj where millions gather annually. Iran grasped this and spends much effort and time to provide Hajj pilgrims with organized Iranian propaganda - both religious and political. Iran is clearly trying to usurp Saudi Arabia's position as the religious center of Islam, and it is trying to establish itself as the political center as well, a position that has been pretty much vacant since Egypt signed Camp David.

Saudi Arabia still has Mecca and Medina, of course, so it still owns the geographic center of Islam and the Hajj destination. But the holy cities of Shiite Islam are both in Iraq (Karbala and Najaf). And Iran has been trying to pump up the importance of its own holy cities of Qom and Mashhad. It would not be surprising to see Iran try to increase its influence on the Iraqi Shiite holy cities to push the Islamic world towards Iran and away from Saudi Arabia.

Hamas to Fatah: "You idiots, the tunnels were to kill Jews!"

I reported yesterday that Fatah accused Hamas of building tunnels under Gaza filled with explosives (and some originating from mosques) to target Fatah offices and residences.

Hamas is now hotly denying it, saying the tunnels were meant to kill any Jewish invaders that might show up and is accusing Fatah of helping the Zionist cause by giving away Hamas' military secrets.

For some reason I'm imagining the Keystone Kops with a serious arsenal.

Terrorists love their press releases

Terrorists using the most Western of devices, press releases, is an interesting phenomenon. Mostly they get ignored except for the photo-ops showing lots of men in ski masks.

But even though it is probably false bravado, it is worth it to read what these guys have to say, if only toremind the world that no matter what Israel does there will be large organized groups who are unwilling to ever compromise.

Here's a press release, autotranslated, from Islamic Jihad threatening Israel with a new type of rocket that includs 100 bomblets. The boilerplate ending paragraphs are as illuminating as the main points:
Military statement issued by the Al-Quds Brigades

The commencement of red flowers in response to rocket attacks on the Gaza Strip and the West steadfast Habib

And the red flowers. The missile contains 100 rockets

The Zionist enemy is still commit crimes and create justifications and pretexts to exercise more aggression against our people, which shows that this enemy eager for blood, and remains the victim is the Palestinian people.

وAnd we in the Al-Quds Brigades military arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, declare that all the cells are ready to respond to the enemy in case of attack on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and we launch a rocket containing 100 rockets, and also the operation and compliance of the Al-Quds Brigades of the people in the West Bank and especially the Mujahideen our people and on top of the soldiers and leaders of Al-Quds Brigades will begin this process immediately at the start of any aggression on our land and people.

And we in the Al-Quds Brigades-stress : the Zionist enemy that knows well that Sderot and Majdal and two, is the target of a missile Al-Quds Brigades, and that any encroachment Bmujahidi Al-Quds Brigades in the Gaza Strip or the West will pay the price dearly enemy.

(He will enough to defend their security and sovereignty)

Glory to the martyrs of shame and humiliation for the traitors and cowards

It is a Jihad, Jihad. Victory or martyrdom

Information War

Al-Quds Brigades

نThe military wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine

15-1-2007مToday, Monday, 26 Dhul - Hijjah 1427 Hijri approved 1-15-2007

Monday, January 15, 2007

On a personal note....

The Elder family is not known for planning ahead very much. In that vein, we just decided that a very-long-overdue trip to Israel would be fun - starting next week.

So if anyone knows of a good apartment to rent in Jerusalem (the closer to the Old City, the better) preferably with two bedrooms, kosher kitchen, Internet access and the usual amenities that spoiled Americans might want, for about two weeks, please email me at coolboardpresident - at- yahoo dot com.

תודה רבה!

The Gaza underground

One of the joys of reading the Palestinian Arab press in the auto-translated Arabic is uncovring the rich tapestry of culture, education and technology that these enterprising people have that we just don't hear about in the West.

So while we know about how adept the Palestinian Arabs are at digging tunnels under borders, we didn't know that the same skills are being used in much more productive ways.

Today, Abdel Hakim Awad, spokesman for Fatah, announced an extensive network of tunnels underneath Gaza that were all aimed at Fatah institutions and leaders - and filled with explosives. Not only that, but some of the tunnels originated in mosques. Imagine that!

Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh responded back that the Fatah textbooks included a geography question that was asking the distances between Gaza at 30 degrees longitude and Baghdad at 45 degrees longitude, where an assassination attempt was being planned for Haniyeh. (It seems unlikely that textbooks are that new or topical, but it seems to be what he was accusing.)

There is so much more to learn about these lovely people!

UPDATE: I misunderstood the geography question - it was Fatah that claimed that Hamas had this question, showing not Fatah antipathy towards Hamas but Hamas paranoia (and, Fatah claims, divisiveness.)

NK-nik returns from Iran to see his wife left him

The man in this picture, Moshe Aryeh Feldman (he's the one on the left), stayed an extra couple of weeks in Iran to lecture atIranian universities about how evil Zionists are. He just came back home to Austria to see that his wife had left him.

Well, at least someone still loves him.

Morning Palestinian Arab news roundup

All from Maan News:

  • An infant was shot in the head and killed during a clan clash (top story in Arabic, tiny news item in English)
  • Two more PalArabs were kidnapped in Gaza
  • A professor at Najah University says Iran has every right to a nuclear bomb (he didn't even pretend that Iran was only trying to create a peaceful nuclear energy program). He also blames Arabs for not being on Iran's side, saying that they all need to work together against America and Israel.
  • The Nablus police announced that there were 39 murders and 25 suicides in Nablus in 2006. I know most of these aren't included in my PalArab self-death count.
  • "Unknown" gunmen shot a PalArab policeman.
  • A Palestinian Arab minister revealed that there was a plot to assassinate him. The interesting twist is that the would-be assassins were hired for the task, promised $30,000 on a successful hit.
  • In a remarkable mirror of American-style "peace activism," there is a sit-in in tents in downtown Gaza City protesting Palestinian Arab infighting. And just like the American "peace activists," these neo-hippies want to se all the PalArabs get together in peace and love to direct all their efforts in the fight against Israel. Not so surprisingly, the people behind this lovefest are terrorists who are not involved in PalArab governmental affairs, like the Popular Front.
The PalArab self-death counts are now at 236 violently killed by each other since Operation Summer Rains and 31 so far this year.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Three blind mice

From the Washington Post:
Abbas spoke at a joint news conference with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is touring the region this week on what she bills as an effort to listen to ideas to rekindle the stalled peace process. Rice said she wants to "accelerate" a three-stage U.S.-backed 2003 peace plan known as the "road map" but has been vague about what she means. "When I say accelerate, we want to look at it and see how fast you can move," she told reporters traveling with her.

So far, Rice has been hearing conflicting advice: the Israelis have touted the idea of jumping to the second stage, an interim state, and the Palestinians have pressed for going to the third stage, a permanent state.
The WaPo doesn't bother to illuminate its readers as to what is in the "first stage" of the roadmap that everyone now seems to want to skip.

So let me fill in some of that gap. Here are the first couple of paragraphs of Phase I of the Roadmap:
In Phase I, the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence according to the steps outlined below; such action should be accompanied by supportive measures undertaken by Israel. Palestinians and Israelis resume security cooperation based on the Tenet work plan to end violence, terrorism, and incitement through restructured and effective Palestinian security services. Palestinians undertake comprehensive political reform in preparation for statehood, including drafting a Palestinian constitution, and free, fair and open elections upon the basis of those measures. Israel takes all necessary steps to help normalize Palestinian life. Israel withdraws from Palestinian areas occupied from September 28, 2000 and the two sides restore the status quo that existed at that time, as security performance and cooperation progress. Israel also freezes all settlement activity, consistent with the Mitchell report.

At the outset of Phase I:

  • Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.
  • Israeli leadership issues unequivocal statement affirming its commitment to the two-state vision of an independent, viable, sovereign Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel, as expressed by President Bush, and calling for an immediate end to violence against Palestinians everywhere. All official Israeli institutions end incitement against Palestinians.

Security

  • Palestinians declare an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism and undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere.
  • Rebuilt and refocused Palestinian Authority security apparatus begins sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. This includes commencing confiscation of illegal weapons and consolidation of security authority, free of association with terror and corruption.
So not only are the Palestinian Arabs trying to get around the obligations of stopping terror - so are the current Israeli leaders! Olmert et.al. are ready to give the Palestinian Arabs a state, right now, with seeming no preconditions and temporary borders.

And Abbas, true to form, is rejecting this absurd gift, proving once again that peace and statehood is not the goal of the "moderate" Fatah. Building a state, with an effective police force and judiciary, with the responsibility for job creation and tax collection and all the myriad parts of a real, functioning government is the furthest thing from Abbas' mind. An entity that now has almost nothing continues to bargain as if it holds the upper hand.

And who suffers because of the famous "moderate"'s unyielding position? The people that he supposedly is leading!

Meanwhile, Rice and Olmert and Abbas ignore that pesky little fact that the current elected leadership of the PalArabs is even more extreme and even less interested in running a state than Abbas is!

We are watching the supposed leaders of three countries just pretend that terror doesn't exist, that Hamas doesn't exist and that Abbas has some power, all in a rush to reward a people who explicitly support terror with a state. They are all closing their eyes to the reality that is splashed on the front pages of papers for months - that terror still exists, that Hamas and Fatah can't cooperate, that statehood is not the desired end-state for the majority of Palestinian Arabs.

It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

"Palestinian" flag kerfuffle

The latest salvo in the Hamas/Fatah conflict is that Hamas has added some (presumably Koranic) text to the Palestinian Arab flag:

Fatah is very upset over this move, calling it "illegal."

I'd love to know exactly what it says. Right now I'd say that odds are much more likely that it says something like "Palestine will be liberated through blood and sacrifice" than that it says something like "We love the land!"

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Followup on "killing the filthy Kuffar"

Last week I mentioned a Jihad Unspun article showing, from an extreme Islamist perspective, how at least one literal interpretation of the Koran is about as intolerant and bigoted and supermacist as is possible.

My question was and remains, what, if any, is the basis within Islamic jurisprudence to disagree with this interpretation?

A couple of years ago a front-page article in The Spectator pretty much claimed that there is no such thing as moderate Islam. In what may be an oversimplification, the author says that while the Koran has many contradictory verses, in general the later verses trump the earlier ones and (also in general) the later verses tend to be more intolerant.

One serious attempt to refute that article was published in Islamica magazine, and while that author blunts some of the arguments he does not seem to really attack them head on. He anecdotally claims that moderate Islamic scholars have spoken out against the extremist interpretations within Islamic law, however he brings as an example of "moderation" statements by Sheikh Qaradawi, who has written his own fatwas supporting suicide bombing Israeli civilians. He also tries to deflect the argument by comparing Koranic verses with Old Testament verses that seem to be much more radical, which is not so much an argument as it is misdirection.

Daniel Pipes is famous for saying that "militant Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution." However, in a rather exhaustive review by Laurence Auster, Pipes' thesis that moderate Islam represents the majority of Muslims is questioned, as Pipes himself seems unable to come up with a meanigful way to differentiate them.

My question is a bit more basic. Islamic law may be arcane to Western ears but fundamentally it should be a coherent legal system with reproducible and explainable rules. It should not be a big stretch for a knowledgable Muslim to be able to explain to a Western audience some basic rules of interpretation and be able to illuminate how some Koranic verses can be shown to not be taken literally or to have been superceded by other legal considerations.

If a Jew or a non-Jew interprets a Torah verse or a Talmudic argument in a way that makes it look evil, there are no shortage of modern Torah scholars who are ready and willing to create web pages and articles that rebut the arguments one by one. The quality of the back-and-forth arguments are almost irrelevant (a layman would not know easily which arguments are more convincing) but the important thing is that religious Jews are so emotionally invested in their belief system and its underlying basic texts that they will happily research and teach their methods of interpretation to anyone who asks.

Islam, on the surface, is similar to Judaism in that it is a legal-based religion, unlike Christianity. If the extremist interpretations are so abhorrent to the vast majority of Muslims, including Muslim scholars as the Islamica article attests, then where are the web pages that refute the jihadist interpretations, point by point? Where are the books and articles that go into detail about these verses? If the extremists are such a tiny minority, why are we not seeing them treated the way that the Neturei Karta was treated by every major Orthodox Jewish group in the wake of their visit to Iran?

Much of Robert Spencer's work seems to show that there is no real alternative way to interpret Islam that does not tend to support extremism. Where are the Muslims that can prove him wrong - in the context of the Koran and Shari'a?

Because even if the arguments are esoteric and delve deeply into Islamic legal principles that outside people could not possibly appreciate, just the existence of such resources would go a long way towards the West believing that militant Islam is an anomaly and not mainstream.

Personally, I really want to believe that moderate Islam exists and is predominant. But the most moderate Islam that I have seen has been either still way too extreme for Western cultural mores (Qaradawi), or a clear repudiation of Islam's basic tenets (Wafa Sultan).

Am I wrong?