JINSA Report #312
February 26, 2003
India-U.S.-Israel Conference Leads to Joint Front Against Terrorism
JINSA and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India sponsored a conference in New Delhi this month, in which participants from both countries plus Israel met to discuss international security and a common approach to international terrorism. The participants issued a joint statement that read, in part:
"India, Israel and the United States are united by a shared commitment to democratic values, human rights and fundamental freedoms. Yet all three are confronted by terrorism in its multiple forms… there can be no justification for any form of terrorism; no cause can justify it…
India, Israel, America and other countries have been victims of terrorism for many years. But it took the events of September 11, 2001 to convince many that concerted action to confront this global menace is necessary. So, while we applaud the successes in Afghanistan… the menace of terrorism persists across the world. "The ultimate threat to humanity is the combination of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction."
The conferees agreed:
"The U.S., India and Israel, as sister democracies and common victims of international terrorism should pool their resources and experiences in dealing with this menace. We urge the creation of a trilateral governmental mechanism to promote cooperation and concerted action against terrorism, and we call on other like-minded nations to join in. At the same time, we conferees will continue to work together as a private organization informing the public and influencing governments toward this goal.
"All three countries have been victims of terrorism… All three must take appropriate action against those who fund, incite, train or give safe haven to terrorists."
JINSA's delegation included President Norman Hascoe, Chairman Mark Broxmeyer and Communications Director Jim Colbert. The American panelists were legendary CIA Anti-Terrorism official Duane “Dewey” Clarridge; former Deputy FBI Director Steven Pomerantz; and former deputy UN Ambassador Harvey Feldman. Israel was represented by former National Security Advisor and IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan; former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit; and Prof. Martin Sherman of Tel Aviv University. The Indian panelists were: renowned terrorism fighter K.P.S. Gill, now President of the Institute for Conflict Management; B. Raman, director of the Institute for Topical Studies and head of the counter-terrorism division of the Research & Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency, from 1988 to 1994, as well as;
Gopalaswami Parthasarathy, a recent High Commissioner to Pakistan, career diplomat and currently with the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi.
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Arab-Moslem Fanaticism and Intransigence
Are they the root cause of Middle East turmoil?
For the last five decades, the world has been convinced, mostly because of unrelenting Arab propaganda, that the conflict between Israel and the "Palestinians" is the root cause of the constant turmoil in the Middle East and that Israel should make "concessions" to the Arabs. But is that the real reason for the turmoil and for the violence? Or is there another much deeper, more fundamental reason behind it?
What are the facts?
Islam's hatred against the West
We Americans are reluctant to criticize or even to discuss the religions of others. We consider it a personal matter. But the hatred of the Moslem-Arab world against the West, especially against the United States (the "Great Satan") and Israel (the "little Satan"), can only be explained by comprehending the psychology and the principal religious tenets of Islam. Islam is a worldwide religion, but it originated in Arabia and it survives in Arabia in its purest form, unaffected by any outside influences. Islam dominates the policies of the Arab countries.
Islam believes itself to be in possession of the holy truth, in the name of which any act of violence is permitted and encouraged. It is only with that understanding that the acts of savagery, the suicide bombers in Israel, the bombing of the World Trade Center, and other acts of murderous fanaticism all over the world can be explained.
Decline and rise of the Arab Moslems
For the first six centuries after the Moslems spilled forth from Arabia, they conquered much of the world. The Arab Moslems did, in their ascendancy, give rise to a substantial civilization. But, beginning with their expulsion from Spain, a long decline set in that lasted until the early 20th century. That decline was the more bitter, because it was inflicted by the despised "infidels." It was something that had to be remedied by whatever means. Injured pride had to be salved; the enemies who caused this humiliation and this injury had to be destroyed.
The 20th Century brought national independence to the Arab states. Two other fundamental events occurred: 1) The discovery of the world's largest oil deposits under the Arabian peninsula, and 2) The creation, in 1948, of the state of Israel, which ever since its birth has been the concentrated focus of the hatred and venom of all Moslem Arabs, a hatred that unites them, that even surpasses their hatreds against each other, and that has launched them into five disastrous wars against Israel. Even the rape of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein's Iraq was explained as being a step towards the 'liberation of Palestine," a claim so bizarre, so patently absurd, that it can only be comprehended and given credence by a mind obsessed with the ideology of Arab Islam.
Modern Arabs obsessed with Israel
The obsession of the Moslem Arabs with Israel is totally irrational. To have Israel as an independent country in the middle of the Arab-Moslem world is utterly intolerable to them. That is the reason that, making allowance for the very cold peace with Egypt and the recently concluded peace with Jordan, the 21 Arab states, among them the richest countries in the world, with a combined population of more than 200 million and with a land area greater than that of the U.S., have concentrated obsessive ferocity by military, economic, ideological, political, diplomatic, and any other means to destroy the tiny Jewish community of Palestine, and its successor, the Jewish state of Israel - only 5 million people, in a country just one-half the size of San Bernardino County in California.
Acts of terror in the United States, Argentina, England, and Israel have sobered many who had believed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be the cause for the unrest in the Middle East. The fact is that war is endemic in the Arab world and that the Moslem Arabs have been waging war against each other and against their non-Arab neighbors for centuries. But, as much as the Moslem Arabs hate each other, most of them are united in their greater hatred against the "infidel Jews" and their any country, and they have built vast war machines for the ultimate “jihad" to nuke the Jews, to poison them by chemicals or biologicals, or to chase them into the sea. The focus on the Palestinian plight is designed to divert attention from the many domestic problems and inter-Arab conflicts, and to direct the Moslem-Arab frustration against Israel, the "infidel Western outsider."
The suggestion that Israel divest itself from its historic heartland, the 2,362 sq. mi. "West Bank," and from the Golan would lead to strategic suicide.
The real cause of the never-ending turmoil in the Middle East is the unremitting desire of still most of the Arab-Moslem states to destroy Israel, their inability to come to terms with its very existence. That hatred and that intolerance are fueled by Arab-Moslem fanaticism and intransigence and unwillingness to accept diversity in the region. Only when that will be overcome can peace and tranquility finally come to the Middle East
Facts and Logic about the Middle East, P.O. Box 590359 • San Francisco.CA 94159
by George Will, February 24, 2003
In Europe, anti-Semitism has been called the socialism of fools, which is confusing because socialism is the socialism of fools. Confusion has been compounded because Europe, nearly six decades after the continent was rendered largely Judenrein, has anti-Semitism without Jews, as when the ambassador to Britain from France — yes, our moral tutor, France — calls Israel a ",——ty little country."
But some clarity can be achieved by understanding that America has become for many Europeans what Jews were for centuries. From medieval times until 1945, Jews often were considered the embodiment of sinister forces, the focus of discontents, the all-purpose explanation of disappointments. Now America is all those things.
"These were not only young, politicized people," said Romano Prodi, head of the European Commission, speaking of the European demonstrations protesting U.S. policy toward Iraq. "This was the whole society that took part in a spontaneous way." America approached this endgame with Iraq worrying about the "Arab street" but finds more trouble in the "European street." However, if Prodi's assessment is essentially correct, the broad-based demonstrations could not have been essentially motivated by concern for Iraq's rights. European demonstrations protesting U.S. involvement in Vietnam arose largely from the European left's residual sympathies for communist regimes and insurgencies.
And the last time U.S. policy —actually, it was the policy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization caused large numbers of Europeans to take to the streets was in the early 1980, when intermediate-range missiles were deployed, at the request of Europe's governments, to counter a Soviet deployment. Those demonstrations drew upon the caricature of President Ronald Reagan as a reckless "cowboy," upon residual sympathy for the Soviet Union and upon fear of Europe becoming a nuclear battlefield.
Today's demonstrators against a war to disarm Iraq can hardly be explained by fear for their safety or by sympathy for Saddam Hussein's fascism. The London demonstration — 1 million strong, much the largest in British history — was not as large as the death toll from the war Saddam Hussein launched against Iran. The demonstrators simultaneously express respect for the U.N.'s resolutions and loathing for America, the only nation that can enforce the resolutions. This moral infantilism — willing an end while opposing the only means to that end — reveals that the demonstrators believe the means are more objectionable than the end is desirable.
The demonstrators must know that Slobodan Milosevic and the Taliban would still be tyrannizing Muslims were it not for U.S. power. But they do not care. And the demonstrators must know that if they turn President George W. Bush into "the noble Duke of York" (who "had ten-thousand men, he marched them up to he top of the hill, and he marched them down again"), Hussein will bestride the Middle East, and emulators — and weapons of mass destruction — will proliferate. That the demonstrators do not care is a measure of their monomania —anti-Americanism.
For Europe's elites, anti-Americanism is a sterile response to the galling fact that Europe committed semi-suicide in the 20th century.
But many of these elites' economic and defense policies are deepening Europe's self-inflicted anemia. For example, Germany, which accounts for one-third of the euro zone's economic output, had Europe's worst average annual growth rate during the past decade - 1.3 percent, barely better than Japan's 1 percent). Business Week, calling Germany 'Japan on the Rhine," reports that the nation that gave the world aspirin was in the l960s the world's leading producer of pharmaceuticals, but now does not have a pharmaceutical company among the world’s top 15.
The curdled arrogance of some European elites, and especially of lose clinging to a status that they sense is eroding, was displayed last Monday in Jacques Chirac's dressing down of Eastern European leaders who support U.S. policy. Speaking of them with the disdain of a duke deploring bad manners among the servants below stairs, Chirac said they were guilty of "not well brought up behavior" — something like using the fish fork during the salad course — and that "they missed a good opportunity to keep quiet" because several are still applicants for membership in the European Union.
There is not much to be gained just now from additional attempts to reason with a leader that tone-deaf, or from attempts to soften the monomania of those swarming in the "European street." Perhaps U.S. policy can change European minds by changing facts in Iraq. Perhaps not. However, America's vital interests are more dependent on those facts than on those minds.
George Will writes for the Washington Post Writers Group, 1150 15th,
NW, Washington, DC, 20071.
A Speech By Don Feder
To The Christian Coalition Symposium On Islam
"Muslims And The Judeo-Christian World, Where Do We Go From Here" February 15, 2003
Let me to begin by thanking the Christian Coalition of America and its president, Roberta Combs. It took a lot of guts to hold this forum.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to say a few words to you -- Nigeria, the Sudan, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Armenia, Macedonia, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Chechnya, Russia, the Kashmir, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
What do they all have in common? In each country or province, there isan ongoing struggle involving Moslems and non-Moslems. Samuel Huntington, author of 'The Clash of Civilizations,' tells us that out of 22 active conflicts in the world today, 20 involve Moslems and someone else" Moslems and Christians, Moslems and Jews, Moslems and Catholics, Moslems and Orthodox, Moslems and Hindus.
This phenomenon might be explained in one of three ways:
Possibility #1 -- For some bizarre and inexplicable reason, no one else can get along with Moslems, and so we all are driven to make war on and persecute them. By the way, many Moslems - who have an active persecution complex, notwithstanding that they are the ones usually doing the persecuting - firmly believe this.
Possibility #2 -- These jihads, terrorist wars, religious persecutions and instances of ethnic cleansing all are the work of Moslem militants, extremists, fundamentalists, fanatics who have somehow, again inexplicably, gotten it all backward and transformed a religion of peace into a religion that looks remarkably like the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. I'll let you in on a secret: World War II wasn't the work of Nazis and Japanese militarists, but of Nazi 'militants' and 'fundamentalist' Japanese militarists.
Possibility #3 -- In fact, Islam is not a religion of peace. It is a religion which, throughout its 1,400-year history, has lent itself well to fanaticism, terrorism, mass murder, oppression and conversion by the sword. Long before the age of political correctness and multicultural indoctrination, Winston Churchill, that keen observer, described Islam as, 'that religion which above all others, was founded and propagated by the sword, the tenets and principles of which are incentives to slaughter and which in three continents had produced fighting breeds of men (and) stimulates a wild and merciless fanaticism.'
It's so obvious that it hardly bears repetition. You don't have Orthodox rabbis hijacking airplanes in response to Jews for Jesus. Jesuits don't shoot up Baptist seminaries to protest the Reformation. Members of the Church of Latter Day Saints don't tell you they'll cut your throat if you don't accept the prophetship of Joseph Smith and the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Buddhists don't put out contracts on those who offend them. Hindus don't call members of other religions, dogs, pigs and the sons of apes.
And still our leaders desperately insist that Islam is a religion of peace. As the body count mounts, and the atrocities become more outrageous, the pronouncements become more bizarre. Islam is a religion of peace. No, wait, it's not just a religion of peace, it's also a religion of tolerance, charity and compassion. Jihad isn't holy war. Why no indeed, it's a spiritual struggle, an effort to overcome bad habits, a Tony Robbins-style self-improvement program. Said the White Queen to Alice: 'When I was young, I practiced believing three impossible things before breakfast. Now, I can believe anything.' At times it seems like the White Queen is advising the White House on Islam.
This morning, you've had lectures about Islam by some distinguished experts. I am neither distinguished nor an expert. But I spent 20 years of my life as a journalist observing the affairs of men and nations. I believe in common sense, in arriving at conclusions based on the evidence at hand, and in logic. And when I encounter something as absurd as the establishment's pronouncements on Islam, I want to know why?
Why do our leaders insist on telling us these soothing lies? And why does a credulous public readily believe them?
Basically, there are three reasons for these delusions about Islam:
Reason #1: Pragmatism. Arab Moslems have the oil energy resources on which the West, thanks to environmentalists, is heavily dependent. Further, a number of Moslem states are ostensibly allied with us - Egypt and Saudi Arabia most prominent among them. Our leaders have decided that to tell the truth about Islam would offend our Moslem friends and suppliers - the guys we supposedly need to help us control the extremists and keep the pumps operating. By the way, relying on Saudi Arabia to control Moslem 'extremists' is like expecting Tony Soprano to fight organized crime.
Reason #2: The American tradition of tolerance. Religious tolerance was one of America's founding principles. It was enunciated by George Washington, in his message to the Hebrew congregation of Newport, Rhode Island. From America's inception, we had no religious test for public office. There was no established church. There was no official persecution of religious minorities. Compared to the Old World, the New World was blessedly free of sectarian strife.
And, lo, it was good. America grew up without an official church, but with thriving religious communities. In the 1950s, when I was growing up, it was an article of faith that religion is a social good. It didn't much matter which faith an individual professed - whether little Johnny took communion, or wore a skull cap, or lit candles and burned incense - as long as he believed in a God who required moral conduct, that was enough.
In this frame of reference, candor about Islam seems like vile bigotry, the type of religious intolerance that goes against the American ethos. The problem is, today's situation is unique. America has never experienced a phenomenon like Islam before. The closest we came to it was in our encounters with fascism and communism in the 20th century - ideologies that were, I hasten to add, quasi-religious in character.
How does one tolerate the intolerant? How does one accommodate a creed that elevates homicide to a religious obligation, which - in the name of its faith - is killing Christians, Jews and Hindus the world over, a religion which, given the opportunity, would remake America in the image of Saudi Arabia or Iran?
Reason #3: Fear. If Islam isn't a religion of peace, what are the implications for the West and others in a world with almost a billion Moslems - a world where Islamic states have powerful armies, ballistic missiles, weapons of mass destruction, terrorist auxiliaries and millions who are willing to die, and kill - for the glory of Allah and his prophet? What are the implications for Europe, with its burgeoning Moslem populations? What does it mean for the United States, whose
Moslem population could reach 10 million by the end of this decade? What does it mean for the West, where a new mosque opens twice a week?
It's simply more comforting to tell soothing lies than to confront unpleasant truths. The West has become very adept at this. Consider the lies appeasers told about Nazism in the 1930s. (When Hitler first came to power, commentator Walter Lippman hailed him as a sincere nationalist. After Munich, Neville Chamberlain said the Fuehrer was a man he could do business with.) During the Cold War, liberals closed their eyes to the reality of communist brutality and imperialism. Today, our elite -- the media and academia, Democrats and Republicans -- are doing the same with Islam. Call it old appeasement in a new bottle.
Regrettably, avoiding reality doesn't change reality. In and of themselves, words do not alter that nature of things. We can tell ourselves until we're blue in the face that Islam is kinder and gentler - a Methodist service, but in Arabic, with prayer rugs and sans shoes - and terrorists will still be trying to kill us in the name of their god. In the Third World, the Islamic advance will continue to creep down the West and East Coasts of Africa, into the Balkans, the Indian subcontinent and East Asia. Islamic immigration to the First World will continue to challenge Judeo-Christian civilization. And millions the world over will continue to believe that they have a divine mandate to conquer us, to rule us and - if we resist - to kill us.
What should our response to Islam be? That's the subject for another speech. However, in closing, let me repeat something I said a moment ago - because it bears repetition - hiding from the truth doesn't change it.
In the 20th century, Western man became expert at make-believe -- one reason for the decline of the West. After the Second World War, we told ourselves that the danger was over. The United Nations would make war obsolete. (Today, the UN is trying to make deterrence obsolete.) After the Cold War, we supposedly had reached the end of history. Still, history rolled merrily along. In many ways, the world a more dangerous place today. When your head is firmly in the sand, another part of your anatomy is fully exposed. ##
By Morris Amitay
Old timers here in Washington and elsewhere might remember a popular comedian of the Fifties called Red Buttons. One of his regular shticks was “strange things are happening”. Well, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq “strange things” are indeed happening, and worth mentioning.
For instance, isn’t it strange that the UN official sent to Tehran last week to inspect Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities is the same El-Baradei that recently stated (with a straight face) “We are not getting cooperation with Iraq, but hope to get it in the coming weeks”! If the UN didn’t get it for twelve years, why should El-Baradei harbor even the slightest hope of getting Iraqi cooperation in the “coming weeks”? And what should this tell us about his effectiveness in preventing Iran from producing “the bomb”?
Isn’t it strange that peacenik Jews here don’t realize that despite their opposition to a war against Iraq, this will never count with the radical anti-Semitic elements that control the anti-war movement? To paraphrase Pogo – “how can they hate us, when we are so sincere”?
Seeing “Rabbi” Michael Lerner (who has yet to produce proof of his rabbinic ordination) being rejected as a speaker at the recent big anti-war rally speaks volumes about the orientation of the organizers of these pitiful events.
Isn’t it strange that it took our Justice Department nine years to indict Florida professor Sami al-Arian after Steve Emerson first “outed” him in his brilliant “Jihad in America” television expose? And isn’t it strange that even now Arab human rights groups are rushing to defend him charging “racism”, and bleating about violations of “freedom of speech” and academic freedom?
Strange isn’t it that a charlatan and racist demagogue, a mediocre ultra-liberal Representative (who as a former Mayor of Cleveland led the city to financial ruin), and an ethically challenged one-term Senator are all mounting Presidential campaigns? Wouldn’t the media do us all a big favor by denying them the coverage they are obviously seeking – and also spare us the exaggerated deference with which they will be treated by serious Democratic candidates?
Isn’t is strange that Jewish Americans still remain (although in diminishing numbers) supportive of the Democratic Party when most of Israel’s Congressional critics are Democrats – and Israel’s most stalwart friends in Congress, like Senators Sam Brownback, Jon Kyl, Mitch McConnell, and John McCain are Republicans? (And isn’t it strange that this observation comes from a card-carrying Democrat?)
It seems quite strange that the Israel-bashing Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) would often include stories from a widely read Israeli daily newspaper. But when that newspaper is Ha’Aretz, it really isn’t that strange at all with the likes of columnists Amira Hess (“the sweetheart of El-Fatah”) and Akiva (“off the wall”) Eldar gracing its pages and giving aid and comfort to Israel’s bitterest enemies.
Isn’t it strange that a Muslim FBI agent could refuse to wear a wire in order to nail a suspected Muslim terrorist – and still remain an FBI agent? Could it be FBI Director Mueller, who recently hosted a love fest with Muslim Americans – many of whom were some pretty suspicious characters – has a blind spot when it comes to identifying the very people he should be investigating?
It seems strange that so many Jewish American diplomats are still directly involved with the “peace process”. But when you consider how these officials invariably bend over backwards to demonstrate they are not pro-Israel, the State Department apparently knows a good thing when they see it. Even with the departures of Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, and Aaron Miller, we still have Richard Haase in Policy Planning at State, Dan Kurtzer our Ambassador in Tel-Aviv, and the Jerusalem Consulate’s Charge d’affairs, Jeff Feldman. Where is that old-fashioned anti-Semitism at State when Israel could really use it?
It is at all strange that a poll commissioned by the New York Times would support the Times’ contention – expressed ad nauseam editorially, in its op-ed columns and by its slanted news coverage that - “Poll Find Most in U.S. Support Delaying a War.” It is stranger still whenever the Times ever reports anything contrary to their incessant anti-war campaign.
Isn’t it strange that the following quote by an American President was by one William Jefferson Clinton (12/19/98) – not by the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
“The decision to use force is never cost-free. Whenever American forces are placed in harm’s way, we risk the loss of life. And while our strikes are focused on Iraq’s military capabilities, there will be unintended Iraqi casualties…. Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people…. But once more, the United States has proven that although we are never eager to use force, when we must act in America’s vital interests, we will do so.”
And finally, perhaps the strangest thing which happened last week was when Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, publicly described Iran as a democracy? Did we hear right, or having failed to save Saddam, could it be State is now defending the mullahs’ terrorist regime? On the other hand, maybe Armitage meant to say “theocracy” – not democracy, and it must have been a strange slip of the tongue? We certainly hope so.
Morrie Amitay is a former Executive Director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
By ELLI WOHLGELERNTER The Jerusalem Post Feb. 18, 2003
Seventy-one percent of Americans believe that the Palestinians should not be given a state, since they have not fulfilled President George W. Bush's conditions for creating a state, which he outlined in his speech of June 24.
These were the findings of a poll of 1,000 Americans conducted last week by John McLaughlin and Associates and sponsored by the Zionist Organization of America.
Bush's conditions include "fighting terrorism, stopping the promotion of hatred in its media, ending the encouragement of murder in its schools,becoming a democracy, and respecting human rights."
Approximately 13% believe the Palestinians have fulfilled these conditions and should be given a state.
The respondents were 36% Republicans, 37% Democrats, and 21% independents;
53% Protestants, 28% Catholics, and 2% Jews; 76% Caucasians, 11% African-Americans, and 10% Hispanics.
The survey also found that:
By a margin of 77% to 12%, Americans say "the United States should stop giving the Palestinian Arabs $150 million" in aid each year.
61% believe "the goal of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority is the eventual destruction of Israel," while
19% say the goal is "to have a small state living in peace alongside Israel."
51% say a Palestinian state will be a terrorist state, compared with 25% who believe it will be a civilized democracy.
73% want the US government to demand that the PA "turn over all Palestinian Arabs accused of killing or wounding American citizens," while 16% say the US should not make that demand.
64% believe world leaders should refuse to meet with Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, who claimed that the Nazis did not murder 6 million Jews, while 20% say world leaders should meet with him.
"Here you have a question: 'Do you think the Palestinians fulfilled Bush's requirement?' It has nothing to do with Israel. So this question is as fair as you can get.
It also sends a message to politicians like [Connecticut Senator] Joe Leiberman, who says in speech after speech that most Americans support a Palestinian state. This shows that most Americans are overwhelmingly against it."
Morton Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America said the survey reflects a growing American awareness of the threat of Islamic terrorism. "They do not want to create yet another state that will be a mini-Iraq promoting hatred and murder," he said. "They understand that Islamic terrorism threatens not only Israel, but also America and the world."
U.N. Hate Crime Finally Partially Corrected
February 17, 2003
For the first 55 years of Israel’s existence the Arab Nations of the United Nations General Assembly were able to keep the State of Israel from becoming a first class member of the UN. Israel has been the only nation unable to be elected as a temporary member of the Security Council. Axis of evil nations such as Syria, Iraq, North Korea plus all the Third World dictatorships have not only been part of the Security Council but, in many cases, have chaired it.
Israel Elected to U.N. Body
New York/JTA — Israel was elected to a U.N. General Assembly body for the first time in decades. The General Assembly unanimously chose an Israeli delegate as one of three vice chairs serving on the Working Group on Disarmament, headed by Indonesia.
Israel's candidacy was presented by the Western European and Others
Group (WEOG) which is the regional grouping Israel joined in May 2000. For 55 years, since its founding in 1948, Israel has been the only country excluded from one of the U.N.'s regional groups.
"Israel's election marks an important step toward ending the anomaly of
Israel's treatment at the U.N., whereby Israel was the only member state
excluded from actively participating in the U.N. election process as a full and
equal member," said Israeli U.N. official, Arye Mekel.
A Pivotal Election
The Jerusalem Post International
Feb. 7, 2003
The change in the makeup of the new Knesset establishes this election as the most pivotal since 1977, when the Likud replaced Labor for the first time in the history of the state.
The Right's landslide in the 2003 Knesset election was found to be even larger than initially reported when the tallying of the vote was completed last Thursday, with the Likud and National Religious Party each winning an extra seat.
The Likud's Knesset faction will have 38 MKs, and the NRP's six.
Two seats on the Left were lost, with Am Ehad and Hadash both dropping from four to three seats. The tilt to the Right in the final result comes from absentee ballots: Soldiers, prison inmates, hospitalized patients and diplomats.
The members of the 16th Knesset are to be sworn in on February 17.
Thirteen parties were elected to the 16th Knesset, two fewer than to the 15th.
The Likud won 29.3 percent of the vote, while the Labor Party got 14.4
percent, worth 19 seats. Shinui won 12.2 percent of the vote and 15 seats.
Shas won 8.2 percent, which gave it 11 seats, and the National Union won 5.5
percent for seven seats. Meretz's 5.2 percent of the vote was worth six seats,
United Torah Judaism got five seats, and 4 both Yisrael Ba'Aliya and the United Arab List received two.
Each Knesset seat was worth 25,137 votes, and the 1.5 voting threshold amounted to 47,225 votes. A total of 3,200,773 citizens voted in the election out
of 4,720,075 eligible to vote. Voter turnout was 68.3 percent, the lowest ever for a general election, according to the Central Elections Committee.
Among the parties that did not cross the threshold were Green Leaf, the pro-
legalized cannabis party which won 1.2 percent and the right-wing Herut, which won 1.1 percent.
Female representation in the 16th Knesset will be the largest ever in the
country's history at 18 MKs out of 120, up from 17 in the previous Knesset.
Veteran MK Yehudit Naot (Shinui) said she was disappointed that more women
hadn't made it in. "It's a small step forward, but at least we are going in the
right direction." Naot said she is now hoping for an increase in the number of
women appointed to the cabinet.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had more women in his government than any of his
predecessors. Prior to the Labor Party’s breakaway in October, he had three female ministers: Limor Livnat (Likud) for education, Dalia Itzik for industry (Labor), and Tzipi Uvni (Likud) for agriculture. There were two female deputy ministers: Dalia Rabin-Pelossof and Nomi Blumenthal.
But even that is still not enough, said Naot. The number of female parliamentarians should be proportional to the female population.
Livnet said the presence of female parliamentarians in government improves
the standing of women in Israeli society Among the new faces, scheduled to enter the 16th Knesset, is Gila Finkelstein, who was the fifth person on the National Religious Party ticket. She's the first NRP female Knesset member in 21 years. ##
It is fortunate that Americans have not had to experience the terrorism that has engulfed Israel. Maybe a simple chart ratio will give us some idea?
As we know, there are about 280 Million Americans and there are about 5 million Israeli Jews.
Since the Arabs began their present so-called Intifada against the Israelis in September 2000 through Jan.25, 2003, which is less than 2 and ½ years, there have been:
724 Israelis killed – mostly innocent civilians with the greater proportion being women and children.
5,055 Israelis injured.
This has resulted from 16,209 separate attacks!
By simply using the proportion ratios shown above, these figures would transpose into:
40,544 Americans killed and 283,000 injured as a direct result of terrorism in a 2.5-year period!
What do you think our response would be? Would the world accuse us of excessive force no matter what we did to protect our civilian population? Would we be worried, as are the Israelis constantly, about collateral civilian damage? Would we put our soldiers at extra risk protecting injury to an enemy that has declared its intent to remove us from the face of the earth?
I DON’T THINK SO.
This quote from Time Magazine (Feb. 3, 2003) was in answer to the rhetorical question as to why Prime Minister Tony Blair has convinced the British to side with the United States completely against Saddam Hussein:
"Tony Blair has been motivated since he was a student by a deeply held set of morals - indeed religious beliefs - that good should triumph over evil and that the forces of righteousness have an obligation to do what they can to improve the world."
Too bad Blair gets considerably confused relating these principles to Israel vs. the Arabs when British oil and other monetary interests with the Arab States come into play.
Jerome S. Kaufman Feb. 11, 2003
By Caroline Glick, The International Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2003
In 1981, IAF Col. Ilan Ramon flew one of the F-16 jets that blew up the Iraqi nuclear reactor in Osirak. In so doing he saved the country and perhaps the entire world from the specter of a nuclear holocaust.
For the past 16 days, as Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon again saved us. This time he was not armed with a payload of bombs. This time Ramon set off for outer space on the Columbia space shuttle, armed with a picture of the Earth as seen from the moon drawn by a Jewish boy in Theresienstadt concentration camp, a Torah scroll from Bergen Belsen, a microfiche copy of the Bible, the national flag, a kiddush cup, and the dreams and hopes of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
Ramon saved us this time not by clearing our skies of the threat of nuclear attack, but by reminding us of who we are and of what we can accomplish if we only have faith in ourselves. Ramon made clear at every opportunity that he went to space, not simply as a citizen of the State of Israel, but as a Jew. As the representative of the Jewish people he recited kiddush on Friday night. As a Jew he said Shema Yisrael as the space shuttle orbited over Jerusalem. As a Jew he insisted on eating only kosher food in outer space. And as a Jew he told the prime minister from his celestial perch, "I think it is very, very important to preserve our historical tradition, and I mean historical and religious traditions."
In so doing he showed that there is no limit to what a person can accomplish as a Jew. He said to all Jews, here in Israel and throughout the world, even as anti-Semitism again threatens us, even as Jews in Israel are being murdered just for being Jews, our enemies will never define us or tell us there are limits to what we can do.
But Ilan Ramon was not simply a Jew. He was an Israeli Jew. And, as a scientist and fighter pilot his was the face of Israeli exceptionalism. Ramon excelled in all he did. He was first in his class in high school. He was first in his class in flight school. He was first in his class in astronaut training. On a break from the air force in the 1980s, after completing his studies in electrical engineering and computer science at Tel Aviv University, Ramon joined the team at Israel Aircraft Industries that developed the Lavi fighter jet.
On the Columbia, Ramon conducted environmental research on desertification.
Today, when mediocrity seems to be the unifying characteristic of so many of the personalities that make up our national landscape, Ramon reminded us of what we can and should aspire to. Speaking of Ramon a few months before the shuttle launch, his fellow astronauts praised his professionalism above all.
As we have been consumed for more than two years with our daily reality of terrorism and pain, Ramon reminded us that there are other sides to our lives in Israel. Our mastery of science has placed our tiny state at the cutting edge of space research. Like our friends, the Americans, we will not be limited by gravity in our quest for answers to the riddles of the universe.
Finally, Ramon was a husband to Rona and father to Assaf, David, Tal, and Noa. Our hearts go out to his family members. But we can only pray that they will take comfort in the fact that in his life, their Ilan saved both the life and the spirit of his country. ##
By Jerome S. Kaufman,
The Detroit Jewish News, February 7, 2003
As I listened closely to President George W. Bush's State of the Union address, I kept listening for references to issues close to my own heart. Finally, after hearing about some very important social and domestic issues and associated proposed legislation, the president made a one-sentence reference to my own issue. He said, "This administration is interested in a ‘peace' between a secure Israel and a democratic Palestine." Well, great! Who does not want that? And, I am OK, Jack.
If the president is serious and knows of what he speaks, those of us who understand the geopolitical and philosophical impossibility of a Palestinian state can feel more secure by the president asking for a "democratic Palestinian state and a secure Israel." That, of course, is an oxymoron.
The two concepts cannot possibly exist simultaneously — certainly not in this lifetime as not in the over 1,300 years since Muhammad's forces poured out of the Arabian peninsula.
There is no such thing in the whole world as a democratic Arab state. Since “Palestine” would, of course, be an Arab state, why would anyone think that "Palestine" would not simply be more of the same? Maybe that is President Bush's implied meaning? And let us hope that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, once again overwhelmingly elected by an enlightened right-wing electorate, also understands this concept as an oxymoron.
Surely both of these strong, astute leaders know such a "democratic state" would have only one goal — the elimination of the Jewish state. Then the "Palestinians" could return to being simply Arabs and the manmade myth of the "Palestinian" Arab would naturally just disappear, along with Jordan, into a greater Syria or a greater Iraq or a greater Iran. Just get those infidels, those hideous Jews, out of the way so we can get on with the business of world Islamization.
Behind The Words
But, the president did, in fact, to my mind at least, make a number of references to the State of Israel. I think he might have done so inadvertently, not thinking that Israel could possibly fall under these particular concepts and declarations. He said several things that might fall into what, let us call, "inadvertent references to Israel."
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BY MICHAEL FREUND,
The International Jerusalem Post,
Feb. 7, 2003,
For the second time in the past two years, Israel's voters went to the polls last week and overwhelmingly repudiated the Left, once again shattering the myth that the country is divided down the middle between Right and Left.
In 2001, Labor prime minister Ehud Barak, the Left's candidate, received just 37.61 percent, or barely more than a third, of the popular vote. And in last Tuesday's balloting, Labor and Meretz, the two main left-wing parties, received a combined total of fewer than 30 seats in the Knesset, signifying the support of less than 25 percent of the electorate. Such numbers are hardly consistent with the fabled political or ideological equilibrium that is said to exist in Israel. If anything, it demonstrates just how little support the left wing has among the public.
The results become even more significant when one considers just how vulnerable Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was as a candidate for the top job in the land. In addition to a string of unsavory allegations about corruption, fraud and sleaze, the Likud-led government headed by Sharon presided over one of the worst 24-month periods in the country's history. The security situation has not appeared so bleak in decades, as rockets crash into Sderot, suicide bombers target Tel Aviv, and people think twice before boarding the bus to work. In 2002, a total of 453 Israelis were killed in Palestinian terror attacks, the highest toll since the founding of the state.
The economy has also been in decline since Sharon took power, with unemployment soaring to 10.5 percent, leaving more than 260,000 Israelis out of work. At the end of 2000, by contrast, the rate was 8.8 percent. Inflation in 2002 increased significantly too, reaching 6.5 percent. That was double the government's target rate for the year and more than four times the 1.4 percent figure of 2001.
By all accounts, then, Amram Mitzna, Yossi Sarid and their colleagues on the Left
should have coasted to an easy victory. Amid unprecedented terror and an increasingly painful recession, the situation was ripe for portraying the Likud-led government as one that had failed in virtually every major area. The leaders of the Left, despite their clear inability to prevail at the ballot box, refuse to believe that they have lost the support of wide swaths of the public in recent years.
While campaigning this past weekend, Mitzna said that he was unable to "decipher the genetic code -of the voter, whose predicament is so bad, yet he continues to vote for the Likud." What Mitzna and his comrades do not seem to understand is that this election, like the one before it, had nothing to do with the voters' DNA, and everything to do with their rejection of the Left's failed ideology.
After a decade of Oslo, and the disastrous consequences it has wrought, the people of Israel are hardly in the mood to countenance the kind of far-reaching concessions that Labor continues to propose. Mitzna’s talk of dividing Jerusalem, unilateral withdrawal and forcibly removing hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes, sounded like it was taken straight from Barak's script, which, as we all know, bombed at the box office in the February 2001 election.
By sticking to these ideas, rather than acknowledging their obsolescence, Labor and the Left have painted themselves into a political comer, one that will continue to grow smaller and lonelier with each passing year. After Barak's downfall, the Left tried to pin it on his personality, pointing to all sorts of perceived character flaws and managerial failings on his part. After Tuesday's defeat, the same process is likely to repeat itself, as Mitzna's persona, rather than his policies, takes much of the blame. But this election was not about personalities, it was about politics, and it showed just how far Israelis have come in rejecting Oslo and its proponents.
Hopefully, as he puts together a new coalition in the coming weeks, Sharon will bear this important lesson in mind. For, as much as Israelis may wish for another national-unity government to be formed, they are even more inclined to see a national survival government, one that finally abandons the path of Oslo and puts their security first, before any other consideration. ##
The writer served as deputy director of communications & policy planning in the Prime Minister's Office from 1996 to 1999.
By Caroline B. Glick
The Jerusalem Post - January 17, 2003
If anyone doubts the power of the media to transform the policies of democratic governments, one need only to look to The New York Times' columnist Thomas Friedman for proof.
It was Friedman, after all, who a year ago invented the so-called Saudi plan for peace in the Middle East. Last February, reacting to the precipitous drop in American public support for the kingdom in the wake of mounting evidence of Saudi sponsorship of al-Qaida and hatred for the US generally, the House of Saud invited Friedman to Riyadh as part of a PR campaign.
Over dinner in a gilded palace, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah told Friedman that he was considering a peace initiative whereby in exchange for Israel's retreat to the 1949 armistice lines and acceptance of Palestinian refugees, the Arab world would normalize its relations with Israel. Friedman and The New York Times Jumped on Abdullah's propaganda bandwagon and the "Saudi Plan" was born. It took but a week from press time for the White House to embrace the imaginary and dangerous initiative that is now firmly ensconced in the so-called "Road Map" for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Now Friedman is back in the region. Reporting from Cairo on Sunday, he wrote about the ferocity of anti-American sentiment in Egypt. Yet rather than condemn the hatred and call for a re-evaluation of US support for Hosni Mubarak's America-bashing dictatorship, he wrote that Americans must understand that the root cause of this hatred is United States support for Israel. I am not-talking about what is right, or what is fair, or even what is rational," Friedman wrote of Arab hatred. But, he concluded, if we ignore it, if we dismiss it all as a fraud, we will never fully harvest the positive changes that could come from regime change in Iraq."
Put another way, if the US doesn't put pressure on Israel in a way that will convince the irrational, hate filled anti-American and anti-Semitic Egyptian "street" that the Bush administration isn't simply a tool of "the Jewish lobby," then the Arabs will continue to hate the US and blow up more of its skyscrapers.
This week we were witnesses to two dangerous diplomatic charades that showed that key international players are already on board with Friedman's cause of throwing Israel to the wolves in an attempt to mollify the Arab world. First there was Tuesday's conference on Palestinian reform in London, to which Israel was not invited. Defying Israel's reasonable refusal to allow Arafat's minions to travel to London to take part in a conference whose sole outcome would be legitimizing his terrorist regime, the British insisted that these terror apologists participate.
In a highly provocative move, the British bypassed the travel ban by setting up a satellite hookup joining Ramallah and Gaza to London. In so doing, the British government made a decision to legitimize Arafat's terror regime just one week after Arafat's Fatah organization took credit for the massacre of 23 people in last week's bombing Tel Aviv. Far from steering clear of the outrageous embrace of Arafat's terror factory, the US State Department dispatched Assistant Secretary of State William Burns to the summit. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher applauded Britain's embrace of the Palestinian Authority stating that the "reform" summit advances President Bush's, vision of a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict with Israel.
In the international community's embrace of Arafat’s regime through its support for a patently fraudulent reform effort, we see an example of a Munich-like decision where Israel plays the role pf Czechoslovakia.
In the London conference this week we saw the British again leading the West in ignoring everything that is known about a dictator's aggressive behavior and designs and turning a blind eye to the genuine depravity of the society that he leads through indoctrination and terror. And as in 1938, we see a British bid to force a democratic ally to accept concessions that will prevent it from defending itself against that aggression and depravity.
The honored guest at the London summit was Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. Suleiman has recently made a name for himself by hosting the ongoing EU-backed summit of Palestinian terror chiefs in Cairo. Suleiman came to the meeting crowned in glory as the mastermind of the talks presumptively aimed at calling for a halt to the murder of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists. Israeli security sources have repeatedly called these talks, like the reform rhetoric, a sham aimed only at giving the appearance of interest in ending the Palestinian terrorist war against Israel. This is engineered, they warn, in order to pave the way for the international community's selling out of Israel to these uninformed and unrelenting terrorist chieftains.
In reality, what stands as a basis for the Cairo discussions is a plan that would both bolster the legitimacy of terrorism and prevent Israel from fighting to defend itself. The plan, which has so far received conditional and duplicitous approval by Arafat, calls for the establishment of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.
The borders of this state remain conspicuously undefined. According to the plan, the various terrorist organizations would agree to stop killing civilians although it is unclear whether they would stop killing all civilians. The terror organizations would be allowed to continue to kill IDF forces. In exchange for this vague and limited temporary halt to Palestinian aggression, Israel would redeploy its forces out of areas previously transferred to Arafat's control, would release all the terrorists arrested over the past two years and would cease all military actions against the terror organizations.
It takes few powers of discernment to realize that this cease-fire plan is a complete lie. Yet the EU has been sponsoring this charade and the State Department has been highly supportive of Egypt's "positive role" in attempting to end Palestinian terrorism; Suleiman was so comfortable in London that he did not even feel it necessary to present the great accomplishments of his mediation efforts to those assembled. Rather he sufficed with a promise that these efforts would continue. For their part, Arafat's lackeys announced on Thursday that the talks would continue in Cairo starting next week.
What is Israel to do when faced with an enemy that uses lying as its principle tool of diplomacy? What is Israel to do when the pivotal Western powers the US and Britain are only too happy to accept the Arab lies in an attempt to appease their hate filled societies? What is Israel to do when super influential columnists advocate fashioning US foreign policy in a manner that rewards insane and groundless hatred by abandoning loyal and rational democratic allies?
At the same time that the London appeasement conference was taking place, Labor leader Amram Mitzna announced that the Labor party will not join a unity government led by Ariel Sharon. Given the fact that it took Mitzna's colleagues less than five minutes to dispute his position on record, it is likely that while Mitzna himself may not join a Sharon led government, his Labor colleagues will do so happily. Now that Yossi Beilin has left Labor, the only Oslo extremists of Thomas Friedman's ilk left in the party are Amram Mitzna and Shimon Peres.
Sharon claims with some justification that, only with a unity government can Israel properly defend itself against military and diplomatic aggression. There is some truth to the claim that having had Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Dalia Rabin heading the Defense Ministry helped build the national consensus around the need to take offensive action against the Palestinian terrorist war machine. At the same time, it is absolutely clear that Shimon Peres's presence at the helm of Israel's diplomatic front for the past two years hindered Israel's cause in the diplomatic arena. Rather than combating appeasement-prone foreign ministries, Peres strengthened and legitimized the voices in the West like Thomas Friedman's that are committed to appeasing Arab hatred.
There is no doubt that Shaul Mofaz is an excellent choice for Defense Minister. But there is also no doubt that to form a national unity government Sharon will have to give the Labor party responsibility for either the Defense or Foreign Ministry. Today, thanks in large part to Mofaz's leadership as IDF Chief of Staff; our army is capable of doing what it takes to defend against military aggression. But after two years of Peres' stewardship, and the better part of the past ten years under his tutelage, the Foreign Ministry is yet to be readied-for its vital task of fighting, the Western appeasement drive.
Beginning with Friedman's overt call for the US to appease the Arab world at Israel's expense, and continuing both at the London summit where that call was advanced and with the international embrace of Cairo's diplomatic deception, we saw this week both the ideological underpinnings and the first fruits of the renewed drive to sacrifice Israel's security for the Arab world's self-respect
Back in October 2001, Prime Minister Sharon warned the West that Israel would not be the second Czechoslovakia in the present world war against Islamic terrorism. For his warning Sharon was roundly condemned, particularly by the Bush White House, which resented being compared to Neville Chamberlain's government. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration's adoption of Friedman's policy prescriptions, first by embracing the fictitious Saudi peace initiative and now by legitimizing irrational Arab hatred by pressuring Israel to accept an imaginary cease-fire and fraudulent reforms of Arafat’s terror regime shows Sharon's warning to have been on target.
In the months ahead, Israel's primary challenge will be use every opportunity to repeat Sharon's stem warning to the West against treating us like Czechoslovakia. It will take our most powerful diplomatic guns to fight this fight. Winning it will in many respects be even more difficult than emerging victorious from the military struggle. This fact must be at the core of the Prime Minister's thinking as he forms his next unity government.
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