August 31, 2003

Arab Political Expediency

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Following the recent attack on the Shia Islam’s holy shrine in Najaf, Iraq, August 29, 2003, I found the statement of imam Sayed Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn Michigan quite revealing. The imam bemoaning the attack by fellow Arabs stated, “After the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, this is the most important shrine for us. This is a big, big blow for millions of Shi’ites around the world.”

Funny, for the last 36 years, (by “coincidence” since Israel in the 1967 Six Day War regained Jerusalem and King Solomon’s Temple Site which, by the way, was built approximately 3000 years ago - 1600 years before Muhammad was even born), I have heard nothing but how the Temple Mount was Islam’s “Third Holiest Site.” I guess, as many observers have suspected right along, claims vary depending upon what is politically expedient and necessary in order to justify whatever the fabrication of the moment.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:04 AM | Comments (132) | TrackBack

U.S. Troops in Israel – A Disaster Foretold


By Herbert Zweibon From: Outpost, August 2003

In recent weeks, former U.S. Middle East envoy Martin Indyk and Senator Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, among others, have raised the idea of sending American troops to en- force peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The Bush administration, while not yet publicly endorsing the idea, has not ruled it out, either--a sure sign that it has not dismissed it out of hand.

A similar trial balloon was floated in 1994 in an attempt by the Clinton administration to sell the idea of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Stationing U.S. troops on the Golan was a terrible idea, and stationing them in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza is even worse. The Palestinian Authority wants U.S. troops because it knows from experience that such a force would serve as a shield for continued terrorism against Israel.

In Lebanon, groups of terrorists had no trouble penetrating UNIFIL lines to attack Israel, while the Israeli Army repeatedly found itself stymied when approaching UNIFIL's lines in pursuit of terrorists.

Another problem with Israel trading territory for GIs is that there is no way to be sure how long the GIs will stick around. America's hasty withdrawal from Lebanon and Somalia as a result of casualties inflicted by local terrorists is certainly an indication that if things turn ugly on the ground, domestic pressure may result in a sudden change in U.S. policy. Every Gl will be walking around Ramallah and Gaza with a bull’s-eye on his back. Palestinian terrorists will not long resist that temptation. The illusion that "America will protect us" will be shattered when coffins of GIs begin arriving back in the U.S.-but by then, Israel will no longer control the territory it needs to protect itself.

Nor is terrorism the only possible reason for the U.S. to break a promise. The American abandonment of Vietnam was due to casualties, but the U.S. abandonment of Taiwan was due to simple, cold political calculations. In 1956, the Eisenhower administration promised Israel that it would have free passage through the Straits of Tiran if it withdrew from the Sinai, but when that passage was threatened in 1967, Eisenhower was long gone
and the Johnson administration did not consider itself bound by its predecessor's pledge.

Stationing U.S. troops on Israel's borders would be detrimental in other ways, as well. It would involve huge expenditures and therefore introduce new strains on the American budget. It would also involve committing large numbers of American soldiers at a time when the U.S. military is already stretched thin. A recent CATO Institute report found that U.S. forces abroad "were stretched to the breaking point even before the latest
action against Iraq," and Army Times has reported that "the war in Iraq doubly burdened some Army families when soldiers who had returned from a six-month tour in Afghanistan or a year tour in South Korea found themselves quickly deployed to the Persian Gulf."

Furthermore, the relationship between Israel and the United States was always based on the understanding that Israel would fight its own battles, and was asking nothing from the U.S. except weapons with which to defend itself. It would turn Israel into a weak, vassal state that would owe its existence to an outside power. If Israel puts itself in the position of being dependent upon U.S. troops to protect it, the Jewish State will find every one of its policy decisions subject to the yardstick of "What will the Americans say?" Stationing GIs in Judea and Samaria would undermine Israel's national security, endanger the lives of American soldiers and change the U.S.-Israel alliance in ways that would serve neither country.

Herbert Zweibon is chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:15 AM | Comments (171) | TrackBack

August 29, 2003

India-Pakistan Divide Widens

Border fence depicts mistrust, suspicion in dispute over Kashmir.

(So, Israel is not the only one building a fence to protect its citizens from Moslem invasion. India has been creating such a fence for years, defending against a Pakistani Moslem invasion and a claim to the land of Kashmir that historically does not exist. The situation and history parallels in many ways, the fabricated Moslem claim to the territories of Judea and Samaria and Gaza in Israel.

Rarely however, does one hear of India’s 1800 mile fence while the 370 mile fence, of which only 1/3 has been built, to protect Israel’s citizens from the daily mayhem of homicide bombers, is in the news and universally condemned on a daily basis.

The sensitive reader will also note the slanting of this article developing a moral equivalency between the Indian claim and the Pakistani claim just as the media does with the Arab and Israeli claim, ignoring all historical facts and cleverly presenting the Moslem as the offended party.)

By JulietteTerzieff, San Francisco Chronicle August 25, 2003

NARLWAR, Pakistani-Indian border — From his resting perch under a small clump of trees, Mohammad Khalil casts an eye over the rice paddies he has worked all his life. Forty feet behind him is a line of rocks painted white, signifying where India begins. A few feet beyond is a 10-foot-high set of electrified double fences, replete with 25-foot-tall floodlights and guard posts evenly spaced along the other side.

"We didn't have these things when, I was a kid. That just shows how divided everything has become," muses the 42-year-old Khalil. The fence is part of an Indian initiative, begun in the 1980’s, to seal off its 1800-mile border with Pakistan. More than half the border fence is built, at a cost of more than $300 million. Building continues, despite a peace initiative launched by Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee this spring.

The fence vividly depicts the deep mistrust and suspicion that exist after 55 years of troubled bilateral relations between the two nuclear-armed rivals. The Indian Border Security Force is moving ahead this summer with an effort to extend the fortification along a ceasefire line dividing the disputed state of Kashmir. India claims sovereignty over the state, but; Pakistan retains de facto control of the northern part. The two South Asian rivals have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan territory.

India has long accused its smaller neighbor of funding, arming and training Muslim militants who have regularly slipped across Kashmir's poorly demarcated Line of Control to launch deadly attacks on Indian security forces. Pakistan vehemently denies the charge. Officials hope to have the border sealed by the end of next year. "Everyone has to defend themselves but it just seems so... fatalistic, like they expect peace talks to fail," Khalil said.

It wouldn't be the first time. Several times in the past 50 years, talks have broken down over the Kashmir issue — with India insisting on dominion and Pakistan demanding a plebiscite to determine the territory's future. The nations came to the brink of war as recently as last year after a December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament left 14 dead. India blamed Islamic militants and Pakistan's spy agency; Pakistan denied any role in the attack. Pakistani officials decry India's attempts to build a defensive fence in Kashmir. But Pakistanis also have taken precautions along their recognized international border.

In the area near Wagah, the only official land border crossing between the two countries, where Indian tanks penetrated in 1971, Pakistan created a canal with steep sides about 1,000 feet inside the border to prevent motorized infantry from passing. The construction encroached slightly on some Pakistani residents land, but they still work their field right up to its edge.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:28 PM | Comments (162) | TrackBack

August 28, 2003

The Good and the Bad

Fortunately, I did not see my name in today's newspaper obituary column.

It came as no surprise however, to see that my golf game had been listed.

jsk

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:27 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Getting Back to Basics with Jibril Rajoub, Arafat’s new appointee

From an interview with Rajoub by Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review and Analysis)

(Interpretation of Rajoub’s statement – Palestine is “occupied by the Jews.” Our only plan has always been to get rid of them. Anyone that thinks otherwise is beyond naïve and self-delusion, including the Israelis, the American government that comes up with a new “peace plan” every two years and all the mindless “Liberals” of the world.) jsk

Jibril Rajoub: PA Government Is Subordinate to Arafat

Aaron Lerner Date: 28 August 2003

Jibril Rajoub, security advisor to Yasser Arafat, told Israel Radio in a live interview in Hebrew broadcast this morning that "the (PA) government is subordinate to Chairman Yasser Arafat".

When asked if the PA will take action against Hamas and Islamic Jihad,
Rajoub explained that "we cannot do anything under the occupation. We cannot
do anything without Israeli reciprocity."
When Rajoub was asked if the PA leadership has come to the conclusion that Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror threatens the PA, Rajoub replied, "the occupation threatens us."

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
imra@netvision.net.il, http://www.imra.org.il

--------------------------------------------

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:11 AM | Comments (179) | TrackBack

August 26, 2003

An Independent Palestinian State?

By FLAME

Would it be a peaceful neighbor of Israel or would it lead to war?

President Bush, prodded by the "international community" and in order to appease the Arabs, who are furious about our war against Iraq, has designed a "Road Map" for the Middle East, aided by the "quartet" of the U.N., the European Union and Russia. At the end of that road, presumably in 2005, an independent Palestinian state would arise as a peaceful neighbor of Israel.

What are the facts?

An aura of inevitability

The concept of a Palestinian state, which has by now acquired an aura of almost inevitability, is a fairly new and, quite unjustified one. It is unjustified because there are no distinct "Palestinian" people—they are the same Arabs as those of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. The concept of a Palestinian state came about after the Six-Day War in 1967. It is the product of unrelenting Arab propaganda and insistence. A Palestinian state never occurred to the Ottomans who ruled the area until their defeat in World War I, nor to the British when they had the mandate over Palestine until 1948, nor to the Jordanians who ruled the "West Bank" from 1948 to 1967.

George Bush (father) declared, "...In accordance with U.S. traditional policy, we do not support the creation of an independent Palestinian state." It is therefore difficult to understand why his son, our current president, would declare that it was "...a vision of longstanding U.S. policy to create a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River."

The thought that a Palestinian state next to Israel would be a peaceful neighbor is ludicrous. The stated purpose of the Arabs, endlessly repeated and never excised from their "covenant," is to acquire whatever territory they can, in order to use it as a base for the final assault against the Jewish state and for the hoped-for extinction of the hated "Zionist entity" once and for all.


Even ten years after the ballyhooed Oslo Accord, the Palestinian Arabs still proclaim that "Palestine" would extend "from the river to the sea," which means that Israel would cease to exist, would be destroyed and absorbed by the new "Palestine." The State of Israel does not exist in Palestinian or any other Arab schoolbooks or on their maps. Tel Aviv does not exist. The Jewish holy places do not exist. The "West Bank" and Gaza are only the first step. They want it all!

"Palestine" demilitarized? Many, even those who concede the, unrelenting hostility of the Arabs, contend that Israel would be in no existential danger from a Palestinian state because it could be made a condition of its creation that it be demilitarized, for a number of years or perhaps even forever. But those who propose that know better, of course. Even today, as the Palestinians are under the severe weapons restrictions that they accepted in the Oslo Accord, which allowed only a police force with light weapons, they have artillery, rockets, missiles and all kinds of heavy weaponry that they have
smuggled into their territory.

A ship laden with 50 tons of deadly weapons was intercepted by Israel in the Red Sea. Many shipments of arms have been intercepted in the Mediterranean; and there is a steady influx of arms through secret tunnels from the Sinai, which, in quest of peace, Israel has foolishly ceded to Egypt. But the heavy weapons that "Palestine" would inevitably acquire, despite all solemn covenants to the contrary, aren't really necessary.

With an independent Palestine in control of the Judean ridges, and with Israel only nine miles wide at what would be its narrow waist, heavy weapons would not be required to make life impossible in the truncated and mortally vulnerable Jewish state. Katyusha rockets, one of the Arabs' favorite weapons, would cover virtually all of Israel—impeding civilian life, industry, civil and military aviation, and, in case it came to that, mobilization of troops.

The one million Arabs living in Israel as Israeli citizens would be a convenient and deadly fifth column, ready to spring into action. Israel would, of course, respond to any such attack. That would inevitably result in a major war, a war that would ultimately set the entire region on fire and would undoubtedly involve weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear ones. How can the world, how can the United States possibly promote such a project—a project likely to bring untold disaster to the world?

The Arab world is presently comprised of twenty-two states of nearly five million square miles and of one hundred forty-four million people. The greater Islamic world contains forty-four states with one billion people. Israel, with five million people, is smaller than Lake Michigan, smaller by half than San Bernardino County in California. There seems to be no need for another Moslem/Arab state, especially one that would certainly serve as an advance base for the ultimate destruction of Israel, the state of the Jews. How the President would promote the creation of a terrorist state, a state that without question would become a mortal enemy of the United States, and how he would countenance the inevitable destruction of the Jewish state, the only loyal ally of the United States and its only strategic asset in the area, is incomprehensible.

House majority leader Tom DeLay put it well when he said, "I can't imagine this president supporting a state of terrorists... The peace plan is a road map to destruction."

FLAME - Facts and Logic About the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359 • San Francisco, CA 94159
Gerardo Joffe, President

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:34 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 24, 2003

The Palestinian Arab Refugee (?) Problem


By Daniel Pipes

(The preposterous lie of “Palestinian” Arab Refugees aided and abetted by the near 21000 employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) who promote their own cause and cushy jobs feeding off the public trough. Over 90% of these employees are themselves Arabs with 40% of the funding coming from the American taxpayer!) Jsk


Here's a puzzle: How do Palestinian refugees differ from the 20th century's 135 million other refugees? Answer: In every other instance, the pain of dispossession, statelessness and poverty has diminished over time. Refugees either resettled, returned home or died. Their children — whether living in South Korea, Vietnam, Pakistan, Israel, Turkey, Germany or the United States — then shed the refugee status and joined the mainstream. Not so the Palestinians. For them, the refugee status continues from one generation to the next, creating an ever-larger pool of anguish and discontent.

Several factors explain this anomaly, but one key component — of all things is the United Nations' bureaucratic structure. It contains two organizations focused on refugee affairs, each with its own definition of "refugee": The U.N. High Commission for Refugees applies this term worldwide to someone who, "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted is outside the country of his nationality." Being outside the country of his nationality implies that descendants of refugees are refugees. Cubans who flee the Castro regime are refugees, but not their Florida-born children who lack Cuban nationality. Afghans who flee heir homeland are refugees, but not their Iranian-born children. And so on.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, an organization set up uniquely or Palestinian refugees in 1949, defines Palestinian refugees differently from all other refugees. They are persons who lived in Palestine "between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict." Especially important is that UNRWA extends the refugee status to "the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948." It even considers the children of just one Palestinian refugee parent to be refugees.

The High Commission's definition causes refugee populations to vanish over time; UNRWA's causes them to expand without limit. Let's apply each definition to the Palestinian refugees of 1948: By the U.N.'s (inflated) statistics, they numbered 726,000. (Scholarly estimates of the number range between 420,000 and 539,000.) The High Commission definition would restrict the refugee status to those of the 726,000 yet alive.

According to a demographer, about 200,000 of those 1948 refugees remain living today. UNRWA includes the refugees' children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as Palestinians who left their homes in 1967, all of whom add up to 4.25 million refugees. The 200,000 refugees by the global definition make up less than 5 percent of the 4.25 million by the UNRWA definition.

By international standards, those other 95 percent are not refugees at all. By falsely attaching a refugee status to these Palestinians who never fled anywhere, UNRWA condemns a creative and entrepreneurial people to lives of exclusion, self-pity and nihilism.

The policies of Arab governments then make things worse by keeping Palestinians locked in an amber-like refugee status. In Lebanon, for instance, the 400,000 stateless Palestinians are not allowed to attend public school, own property or even improve their housing stock. It's high time to help these generations of non-refugees escape the refugee status so they can become citizens, assume self-responsibility and build for the future. Best for them would be for UNRWA to close its doors and the U.N. High Commission to absorb the dwindling number of true Palestinian refugees. That will only happen if the U.S. government recognizes UNRWAs role in perpetuating Palestinian misery. In a misguided spirit of "deep commitment to the welfare of Palestinian refugees."

Washington currently provides 40 percent of UNRWAs $306 million annual budget; it should be zeroed-out. Fortunately, the U.S. Congress is waking up to this need. Chris Smith, a Republican on the House International Relations Committee, recently called for expanding the General Accounting Office's investigation into U.S. funding for UNRWA Tom Lantos, the ranking Democratic member on that same committee, goes further. Criticizing the "privileged and prolonged manner" of dealing with Palestinian refugees, he calls for shuttering UNRWA and transferring its responsibilities to the High Commission.

Other Western governments should join with Washington to solve the Palestinian refugee problem by withholding authorization for UNRWA when it next comes up for renewal in June 2005. Now is the time to lay the groundwork to eliminate this malignant institution, its mischievous definition and its monstrous works.

Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum. His e-mail address is
Pipes@MEForum.org

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:55 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 18, 2003

Farmington High School International Affairs Course Crosses the Line to Propagandizing.

Speech given by Dr. Jerome S. Kaufman at Farmington School Board Meeting, August 12, 2003

First, I would like to thank all of those on the Board for devoting so many hours to what is many times, I am sure, a thankless job. It was also very reassuring to hear the pledge of allegiance recited at the beginning of the meeting. This gesture reminds us of the fact that this is an American school system where American values should be taught and American patriotism should be encouraged.

Which brings me to the subject at hand:
The course on International Affairs.

I was surprised to find when searching the web that the recent action by the Farmington Board starting a course on International affairs has been commented upon nationally.

An organization called The Center for Individual Freedom, which is a non-partisan constitutional advocacy group that protects individual freedoms and rights in the educational arenas, wrote the following article on its web page.

A High School International Affairs Program Crosses the Line to Propagandizing

www.cfif.org/htdocs/freedomline/current/in_our_opinion/farmington_michigan.htm

“Learn today . . . Lead tomorrow”. That is the public relations campaign motto adopted this year by the Michigan Department of Education. It is a good motto in principle, but a terrible one in practice if the public school students are learning lessons that undermine American values and leadership.

A perfect example comes from the Farmington, Michigan, Public Schools which recently eliminated the requirement for 12th grade American government, replacing it with an International Affairs program that includes on its menu of courses a class on terrorism, with the strong implication that the U.S. is the terrorist.

Yes, you read that right, a course on “terrorism.” Approved course materials for the program will “explore” such ideas as:

· America’s “war against terrorism is a fraud;”
· “The U.S. has turned into a fascist state;”
· “The war against terrorism is “Bush’s Jihad;”
· “ The Taliban are victims of American Terrorism.”

‘Perhaps most astoundingly, one article encourages students to apply this definition to U.S. conduct in the world.’

Unfortunately, what is happening here is not unique. We are not just speaking about one International Affairs course. We are talking about a lethal, anti-American project that is currently overwhelming our entire educational system.

I had a personal experience with this attempted indoctrination. On March 3, 2001, I attended a course given at the Michigan State Library and Historical Center in Lansing, Michigan. The course was co-sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council, the Arab World and Islamic Resources (AWAIR) and the Middle East Policy Council. Invited to the course were educators from all over the State of Michigan. We were there all day long listening to the political propaganda of Ms. Audrey Shabbas, a paid member of the Arab World and Islamic Resources organization. The Aramco Oil Company, a major oil producer in Saudi Arabia, underwrote the course.

Ms. Shabbas also volunteered to send out completely free, a huge teaching kit to those present. It consisted of tens of books, pamphlets, videos, and periodicals all devoted to extolling the virtues of the nations of the Middle East. From a teacher’s stand point it had to be completely irresistible. Here were all the lesson plans and material one would ever need as long as one went along with the program.

At our last meeting here, one lady in the audience astutely asked why is the International Affairs course dominated by affairs of the Middle East. That is a marvelously intuitive question. She asked, “Why are International Affairs courses not more about England, France, Europe, Australia, Africa, wherever else? The reason is simple. It is because addressing those very worthwhile subjects does not accomplish the public relations goal that is the raison d’etre of most of these International Affairs courses.

There is another illustrious non-profit organization that specializes in examining textbooks used in the public schools. The organization is called the American Textbook Council. Of interest to us are the conclusions that the Council made after analyzing textbooks concerned with the Middle East. Here is a direct quote from the summary of their 35-page article entitled, Islam and the Textbooks. www.historytextbooks.org/islam.htm

The study surveys the content of world history textbooks used across the country in grades seven through twelve. It reviews coverage of jihad, sharia, slavery, status of women, and terrorism, comparing the lesson content to factual material found in prominent histories and recognized sources. This review faults world history textbooks that deal with these most complicated and important subjects.

Its main conclusions include:
(1) world history textbooks hold Islam and other non-Western civilizations to different standards than those that apply to the West,
(2) domestic educational activists, Muslim and non-Muslim, insist at once on harsh perspectives for the West while gilding the record of non-Western civilizations,
(3) Islamic pressure groups and their allies seek to suppress critical analysis of Islam inside and outside classrooms, and distorted textbook content is one symptom of this phenomenon, and
(4) publishers respond to pressure groups on account of political expediency and sales.

As a result, they are giving American children and their teachers a misshapen view of the past and a false view of the future.That result is exactly what we, in the Farmington School District, should be diligently trying to avoid.

It is my understanding that there are over 12000 American students in this district. It would be truly tragic to have them graduate with a perverted understanding of their own great country and its relationship to the rest of the world.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 17, 2003

James Baker back, Ugh

Israel’s wobbly ally?

By Caroline B. Glick

The Internet Jerusalem Post, August 15, 2003

(James Baker simultaneously representing the U.S. Government and his trillion dollar law firm client, Saudi Arabia. Are you kidding me?) jsk

Eyebrows were raised on Tuesday when, just hours after Fatah and Hamas bombed civilians in Rosh Ha'ayin and Ariel, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said that Palestinian terrorism would have no effect on US Middle East policy. "We will continue to move forward on the road map " he said. "We will not be stopped by bombs, we will not be stopped by this kind of violence."

The question arises: How can the US not reassess its policy of coddling the Palestinian Authority when the policy has already failed so abundantly?
Unfortunately, the Bush administration's policy on the Palestinian issue is part and parcel of an overall inconsistency in the administration's approach to the Middle East that bodes ill not simply for Israel, but for the US and its allies all over the world.

Laying out the foundations of the administration's foreign policy doctrine last week, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice explained that US foreign policy is aimed at making the world a safer and better place. The former, she said, is advanced through military campaigns like those in Afghanistan and Iraq. The latter is done by promoting freedom and democracy abroad.

"There is one region of the world where all the challenges of our time come together, perhaps in their most difficult forms: the Middle East," Rice said.
She's right. After the 9/11 attacks, it is inarguable that the Arab world, whose 22 states have not one democratic government among them and whose clerics daily call for jihad against the US, manifests the most direct threat to US and global security.

Iraq and the PA were Rice's two examples of how the US is advancing its dual agenda in the Middle East. She referred to the recently inaugurated Iraqi Governing Council as the "most promising" advance toward stability and democracy since Saddam Hussein's regime was deposed in April. In her words, "It serves as a first step toward Iraqi self-government and toward a democratic Iraq which can become a linchpin of a very different Middle East in which ideologies of hate will not flourish."

Yet there are indications that the Bush administration will squander much of the good work US forces have done in destroying the Ba'athist regime. Over the past month, reports have surfaced that the White House intends to appoint former secretary of state James Baker to lead the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. Proponents of the appointment note Baker's tremendous experience in the region and his close association with regional leaders.

But a Baker-led occupation government is cause for alarm. "Putting Baker in charge of Iraq means the US is handing the country over to the Saudis," one senior diplomatic source told me this week. Baker is one of the Saudi government's chief supporters in the US. His law firm, Baker Botts, is now representing the Saudi government in the $1 trillion law suit filed against Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the 9/11 attacks by the victims' families. Baker also serves as senior counsel and partner in the Carlyle investment group, which is a financial adviser to the Saudi government.

In view of this, it is not unreasonable to assume that as head of the Iraq occupation authority, Baker would not support the geo-strategically vital idea of keeping liberated Iraq out of the OPEC cartel.

As for the Palestinians, Rice applauded the "reformed" leadership of PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and security chief Muhammad Dahlan. "A new Palestinian leadership is emerging that says, in Arabic and in English, that terror is not a means to Palestinian statehood, but rather the greatest obstacle to statehood," she said. Then she added that "Israel has to fulfill its responsibilities to help that peaceful state emerge."
It is debatable at best whether either leader has made such anti-terrorist declarations. Not debatable is that Dahlan and Abbas refuse to take any action against terror groups.

Far from working toward reconciliation, they, like their boss PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, have used every opportunity to condemn Israel and to undermine the legitimacy of its actions to defend itself against the same terrorist aggression that they are supposed to be combating. In insisting on backing its hand-picked Palestinian leadership, the Bush administration is both rhetorically and effectively embracing a terror regime and abandoning a democratic ally.

Speaking of the US's own fight against terrorism, Rice briefly noted operations by the Homeland Security Department to secure potential targets like airports, power plants, and government buildings against attacks. "But if we in the United States are to preserve the nature of our open society there is only so much of this 'hardening' that we can do. We must also address the source of the problem. We have to go on the offense," she said. So while the Bush administration claims to be going on the offensive, it attacks every move Israel makes - both defensive and offensive - to protect itself against terrorism.

Last week, the administration attacked the newly passed legislation that makes it more difficult for Palestinians who marry Israelis to receive citizenship. This law, whose national security implications are clear, is no more draconian than procedures the US itself enacted in 1986 to protect itself against foreigners who enter into fictitious marriages to receive residency status. The decision to build a fence to protect itself against terrorists is even more strongly condemned. From Bush to Powell to their spokesmen, the entire apparatus of the US government seems to have ratcheted up its rhetoric in placing the IDF's counterterror operations on a moral par with the massacre of Israeli civilians.

The administration has also ordered Israel not to take action against the growing Hizbullah threat from Lebanon, which over the past month has taken the form of direct aggression against civilians and military installations. As for the greatest strategic threat presently emanating from the region, the Iranian nuclear program, the US is now moving steadily toward repeating with Iran the same failed policy of UN weapons inspections it used for 12 years against Iraq.
While Israel estimates that the Iranians are only one year away from nuclear capabilities, the US has moved discussion of the imminent threat to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency.

In a fine imitation of the policy of Iraq's former government, Iran is making a show of cooperating with IAEA officials. Now IAEA officials are apparently set to present a second inconclusive report about Iranian compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at their meeting in September.

The consequences of the Bush administration's policies for Israel can be simply put: We must no longer seek to coordinate our activities with Washington. The US is actively abandoning Israel, while embracing its authoritarian and terrorist enemies and neighbors even as it hollowly claims to be doing just the opposite. The unreformed and unrepentant PA leadership cannot be given control of territory today or statehood tomorrow.

Hizbullah bases in Lebanon must be destroyed. And the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran must not be allowed to materialize as the UN impotently engages the duplicitous Iranian government. The consequences of the administration's policies for US national security are no less apparent. Its current fetish with Israeli-Palestinian engagement has allowed the Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians, and Saudis to continue with their support for terrorism and incitement against the US. Perceiving the US as unwilling to confront its open hostility, the Arab League did not bat an eyelash when it voted to refuse to recognize the Iraqi Governing Council.

As the Egyptians loudly proclaim their support for Israeli-Palestinian peace and blame its nonexistence on Israel, a weapons smuggling tunnel from the Sinai to Gaza unearthed this week was found to have originated in an Egyptian border guard base. On July 30, Egyptian religious authorities reiterated their call for all Muslims including women and old people to attack US and coalition forces in Iraq.

As for Syria, President Bashar Assad is directly arming and enabling Hizbullah as well as the guerrilla fighters in Iraq. He also continues to aid and abet Palestinian terror groups headquartered in his capital city.

For their part, the Saudis have taken no steps to close down the offices of their government supported charities either at home or abroad that have been directly implicated in global terror funding.

The US's abandonment of Israel is also liable to impact its strategic posture in Asia. Why should China be deterred from overrunning Taiwan when the US is abandoning Israel to similar totalitarian forces? Why should South Korea or Japan trust the US's commitment to their security from the North Korean nuclear threat when the US is not taking action against Iran and reportedly reining in Israel from taking action against Iran on its own?

In concluding her remarks, Rice said, "The desire for freedom transcends race, religion, and culture The people of the Middle East are not exempt from this desire. We have an opportunity and an obligation to help them turn this desire into reality. That is the security challenge and the moral mission of our time."

Again, Rice is correct. And yet, with its current Middle East policy of embracing terror regimes like the PA and anti-American tyrannies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, while publicly condemning Israel for trying to advance the administration's own stated policy, the US is failing to meet this challenge. Instead, the Bush administration's policies are damaging America's credibility, moral standing, and national security.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:45 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Criticizing Israel’s Protective Fence – Another Bush/Powell Double Standard


Editorial – The Detroit Jewish News, August 15, 2003

Let's be clear about what this fence is and what it is not. It is a security barrier that Israel has had to put up to make it harder for the would-be bombers to cross over from the West Bank and blow up Israeli civilians at markets, pizza parlors and discotheques, and on buses. It is going up as a reaction to a hideous pattern of terror that the Palestinians chose to pursue after rejecting an incredibly generous peace settlement that Israel's Ehud Barak offered them three years ago at Camp David and again at Taba, in Egypt.

It is the same thing as the fence Israel has built around the Gaza Strip and at the borders with Lebanon and Syria. It is no more illegal than the barricades the United States has put up along the Rio Grande to slow the influx of illegally entering immigrants and, perhaps, it will be more effective. Its historic antecedent is the Great Wall of China. In its intent, it is the same as checkpoints at airports or security doors for businesses or a lock on the front door of homes. The point is to keep the bad guys out.
I

It is not a wall to enclose the Palestinians, who are free if they choose to cross over into Jordan — therefore, it is nothing like the ghetto walls that for centuries Jews were required to live behind in European cities. It also bears no comparison with the Berlin Wall that the Soviet Union put up to keep East Germans from seeing the success of Western democracy.

Yes, it is expensive, but what price should we put on the lives of the more than 800 Israelis who have died in terror attacks since the latest Palestinian uprising started 34 months ago? Yes, it interferes with the lives of many Palestinians, just as the Palestinian terrorism has disrupted ordinary life in the Jewish state. When Palestinians started the terror, did they think there would be no consequences or that the consequences would somehow be preferable to what they could have accomplished by continuing the peace talks?

Shouldn't they — and the rest of the world — consider the possibility that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are more responsible for the fence than is the Israeli leadership The security fence may not be completely compatible with the spirit of the road map for peace that the U.S., Russia, the United Nations and the European Union drafted, but nor is it necessarily an impediment to achieving the map's goals of building mutual trust that could lead to a long-range permanent settlement. It is surely easier for Israel to negotiate when the threat of suicide bombing is reduced — the primary goal of the barrier.

Israel should, however, do a great deal more to assure the civilized world that it does not intend to make the path of the current fence a permanent feature of the landscape. Israel should devise a convincing way of committing to a secure but less intrusive barrier that follows negotiated boundaries once the terror stops. (I do not agree with this part. Whose territory was it supposed to be in the first place? Israel’s!! So, any damn fence they put up is on what should have been the Jewish homeland in any case. Let all the Arabs go to Jordan, which was taken from what was to have been the Jewish Homeland in 1923! Let’s start with the basic irrefutable facts! Of course, the Arabs, the American State Department and the immediate world, don’t want to hear about that!) jsk

Of course, it would be wonderful if the fence were not needed, because the Palestinians had truly rejected their hatred of the Jewish state and their incitement against Israeli civilians. But as Tuesday's two suicide bombing attacks showed once again, for now the fence must stand. ##

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:10 AM | Comments (119) | TrackBack

August 14, 2003

Whose side are you on?

By Tony Blankley, The Washington Times August 10, 2003

Senator Joe Lieberman has set in motion an important line of discussion concerning post-Iraq War policy and politics. While he made a partisan — but not entirely unfair critique of President Bush's management of prewar preparations and postwar execution of policy, the crux of his speech was a fierce criticism of those Democrats who displayed a "disquieting zeal" questioning the necessity of the war: "By their words, some in my party are sending out a message that they don't know a just war when they see it, and more broadly, they're not prepared to use our military strength to protect our security and the cause of freedom." After his speech, he named Howard Dean, John Kerry and Richard Gephardt as fitting that description.

Jaded political analysts see his statement as merely an attempt to carve out a distinct position in the Democratic presidential primary contest. But it is more than that. Sen Lieberman is an inept campaigner, but a first-rate and serious statesman. And, he has essentially asked the age-old and crucial question in human affairs: Whose side are you on?

It is the question that many Republicans have been afraid to ask. It is the same question that Ann Coulter has notoriously asked and answered in her current best- selling book,"Treason." Sen. Lieberman has carefully avoided the pungency of the "T" word. But what would one call political leaders who were not prepared to use our military to protect our security and our freedom?

For those of us who believe that America and our way of life is in danger from jihadist terrorists and the WMD rogue states that help them (and that is at least two-thirds of Americans), it has been breathtaking to watch the glee and abandon with which elements of the media, the Democratic Party and our former allies in Europe have been attempting to turn our military victory in Iraq into a postwar debacle.

If we succeed in bringing order out of the chaos of Iraq, we advance measurably the effort to defeat the will and hope of the terrorists and their supporters. If Iraq becomes peaceful and law-abiding, can Iran, Syria and others be far behind? The dreadful sickness that has had the Middle East by the throat for generations will begin to abate, and we will be able to realistically dream of a more secure life once again. But if we fail, then a hard and grievous future is before us.

There is an old phrase that if you shoot at a king — don't miss. Vastly more so is that true about going after the will of terrorists. If our effort at showing strength reveals only weakness, if we are driven from the field in ignominy, we will surely reap the terrorist whirlwind. As Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur once instructed: "There is no substitute for victory."

And so, we return to Sen. Lieberman's implicit question: Who's side are you on? Of course, it is fair game to criticize the president's handling of any aspect of his administration. Constructive suggestions for how to do a better a job are both fair and needed. Even cheap, vicious, lying accusations against the president's domestic and non-critical foreign policies and politics are (perhaps regret- fully) part of our political tradition. But what are we to conclude about the breathless Washington journalists who incorrectly, but genuinely, think they smell Watergate and Pulitzers as they obsessively try to destroy a president by undercutting public support for his vital Iraq effort?

How are we to judge Democratic presidential aspirants who, half-crazed by their desperate search for votes, don't even address the consequences of their opposition? Undercutting a life-and-death presidential policy without even considering the consequences is like tearing down a dam without first draining the water it contains. Only a flood of death can follow: American death; here, at home.

Democratic Sen. Lieberman has said that Democrats Howard Dean, Richard Gephardt and John Kerry are sending a message that they are "not prepared to use our military strength to protect our security and the cause of freedom." Would it be unfair for a fearless Washington press corps to ask those men, "Whose side are you on?"

Tony Blankley is editorial page editor of The Washington Times.
He can be reached via email at tonyblankley@erols.com.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:55 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 13, 2003

The Fate of Arab versus Jewish Refugees in the Middle East

By George Bornstein

The Middle East is rapidly becoming Jewish-free. A look at the reasons why, helps to put into perspective the debate about Palestinian refugees from Israel. The number of Jews in the Muslim Middle East stood at 1.5 million after World War II. Today it stands at 40,000, of which fewer than 5,000 remain in Arab countries.

Throughout the Arab world, Jewish communities have been persecuted and forced to emigrate, often with their property confiscated. From 1948 to 2001, according to "The Atlas of Jewish History" and the textbook, "Myths and Facts”:

· Jews in Morocco declined from 285,000 to 5,700!
· Jews in Tunisia declined from 110,000 to 1,500!
· Jews in Algeria declined from 140,000 to less than 100!
· Jews in Egypt declined from 75,000 to less than 100!
· Jews in Syria from 30,000 to less than 100!
· Jews in Lebanon from 20,000 to less than 100!

Iraq is a vivid example of this trend. The 2,700-year-old Iraqi Jewish community, which dated back to Biblical times and numbered 150,000 in the mid-20th century, has been ethnically cleansed from Iraq during the past half-century. Persecution has reduced the once-vibrant community to less than 100 people today. Decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were enacted in Iraq as early as 854-859 and again in 1344.

More recently, the pro-Nazi coup of Rashid Ali in 1941 inspired a pogrom in which armed mobs with the complicity of the police and army murdered 180 Iraqi Jews and injured almost 1,000. In the 1940s, the regime declared Zionism a crime and used it as a pretext for hanging Jews.

The nadir of persecution came in 1968, when the Baath regime jailed scores of the remaining Jews and hanged n of them in the public squares of Baghdad. Half a million Iraqis paraded and danced through the streets and past the scaffolds of the bodies where the Jews still dangled, a well-documented display that for once caused public protests outside Iraq.

Most of these refugees fled to Israel. The number of Jewish refugees from the Middle East equals or exceeds the number of Arab refugees from Israel. Exact figures are notoriously problematic, but the number of Jewish refugees is more than 800,000, of which at least 650,000 came from Arab nations and the remainder from non-Arab but still Muslim countries like Iran and Turkey.

The number of Palestinian Arab refugees from Israel is similarly about 650,000, though partisans on both sides make larger claims for their respective groups. To check against inflated numbers, the last British census taken in Palestine indicated 1.2 .million permanent Arab residents in all of then Palestine, which included what is now Israel and the West Bank.

But if the numbers were similar the fates were not. Jewish refugees from Arab countries were resettled immediately by the Israelis into Israel and integrated into the socioeconomic fabric of that tiny democracy, which comprises less than 1 percent of the Middle East. Arab refugees from Palestine were kept in camps by the non-democratic countries to which they fled, even though those nations had more than 100 times the land mass and population of Israel and could have integrated them far more easily. A complex panoply of laws evolved to keep Palestinian refugees from becoming citizens, exercising full legal rights and often even owning land in surrounding Arab countries.

Palestinians living in Lebanon, for example, lack basic rights and cannot become citizens. The treatment of Palestinians was unprecedented globally after World War II. At that time, the world had more than 50 million displaced people, including millions of Germans from Eastern Europe, Jews who had escaped the Holocaust and more than 10 million Hindus and Muslims on the India-Pakistan border alone. All of them, except the Palestinians, were resettled by the countries to which they emigrated.

Ironically, more than half as many Palestinian refugees were expelled from Kuwait alone after the First Gulf War as from Israel in 1948. Although Arab partisans sometimes argue that all anti-Jewish feeling in the Middle East derives from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the facts indicate otherwise. True, Jews were often better treated in the Islamic Middle East than in Christian Europe, but the lack of a Holocaust there hardly testifies to humane treatment. Indeed, an influential Palestinian leader of the times, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, tried to persuade the Nazis to sign a declaration that “they accord to Palestine and to other Arab countries the right to solve the problem of Jewish elements in Palestine and other Arab countries, in accordance with the interest of the Arabs and, by the same method, that the question is now being settled in the Axis countries” – that is to kill all the Jews.

Jews and Christians suffered grievously in Arab lands for centuries before the mufti's effort. They were barred from public office or armed service, forbidden to ride horses or camels, subjected to forced service and compelled always to defer to Muslims in public and not to testify against them in court. The British vice consul in Mosul, Iraq, noted in 1909 that "The attitude of the Moslems toward the Christians and the Jews ... is that of a master towards slaves, whom he treats with a certain lordly tolerance so long as they keep their place."

Scholar Bernard Lewis's landmark study "The Jews of Islam" indicates that the same phenomenon occurred regularly throughout the region. The fate of the Jews of Islamic lands reminds us that the history of. the Middle East and Israel-Palestine is more complicated than current simplifications sometimes suggest. Only the strength of Israel and its allies guarantees the survival of the "other refugees" in their native region, from which they have elsewhere already been purged. ##

George Bornstein is a professor of literature at the University of Michigan. This article appeared in the Detroit News, August 5, 2003

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:52 AM | Comments (115) | TrackBack

August 12, 2003

Israelis Fence Building Doesn’t Merit U.S. Sanctions

Editorial from The Detroit News, August 11, 2003, Editor – Nolan Finley

Every country has the right to take extraordinary measures to protect against terrorism Critics of Israel would have us believe that it is a fence that blocks the road to peace in the Middle East. It's not the fence. It's the terrorism.

Israel began building the 380-mile security barrier, now partially completed, for no other reason than to stem the flow of terrorists entering the country from the West Bank. It is an extremely costly, last-ditch response to the three-year campaign of terror. Palestinians equate the fence to the Berlin Wall, and accuse Israel of using the barrier to solidify borders that are still in dispute. They are winning support in the U.S. State department, which reportedly is recommending economic sanctions against Israel if the fence building continues. The Bush administration may withhold a portion of U.S. aid to Israel. That's both unfair and unwise.

The Palestinians have the power to stop the fence building by stopping the terrorism. They are unwilling to do that, so Israel must do what it; must to protect itself. While not a perfect solution, the fence construction began because fences have proven to be an effective anti-terrorism tool. A fence separates the Gaza Strip from Israel, and not a single suicide bomber has entered Israel from Gaza. But more than 100 terrorist attacks have been launched from the West Bank, where the border is open.

Palestinians see the fence as walling them off from jobs and economic opportunities in Israel. That is a legitimate concern, and, again, one that the Palestinians can address by stopping the terrorism.

It is hypocritical of the Bush administration to threaten Israel with economic harm for taking positive measures to protect itself, while allowing the Palestinians to flaunt key conditions set down in the president's road map to peace. Specifically, the road map demands as a first step a dismantling of the terrorist organizations. That hasn't happened.

Instead, the peace process was allowed to commence with only the shaky promise of a three-month truce from the Palestinians. The road map also demands democratic reform of the Palestinian Authority. That was initially read to mean the ouster of Yasser Arafat, as chairman of the authority. But Arafat is still in place, and still apparently making most of the decisions. Appointed Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has said emphatically that he clears everything with Arafat.

So why, then, focus on Israel's fence building, when the Palestinians have not met a single condition of the road map to peace? Phase One of the road map asked Israel to start dismantling illegal settlements on the West Bank. It is doing that. But it did not require Israel to halt its fence building.

To punish Israel for taking every possible step to protect itself from terrorists, while allowing the Palestinians to continue harboring and supporting terrorist networks, is poor policy that will jeopardize the security of the Israeli people. The United States should never put itself in the position of discouraging the victims of terror from protecting themselves.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:29 AM | Comments (65) | TrackBack

Setting free Palestinian killers would encourage other terrorists

By Nolan Finley

When it comes to posting outrageous demands, grafting clever defenses for terror and making murder sound like a most noble act, nobody beats the Palestinians. They're now skating around the real obstacle to peace in the Middle East — terrorism — by diverting attention to the 6,000 or so Palestinians locked up in Israeli jails.

If Israel truly wants peace, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas says, it will swing open the cell doors and let all the prisoners dance out. Yeah, that'll happen. To its credit, Israel is releasing those detained for minor offenses like rock throwing. Several hundred prisoners are now back home, mostly unrepentant, and many still agitating for violence. But Israel says it won't free those with blood on their hands, a position the United States has to support. Abbas, however, told Newsweek that every prisoner should be freed. "Both sides killed each other," he said. "We must ask the people to forget about the past and to live for the future."

Forget about Shalhevet Pass? She was the 10-month-old Israeli baby shot by a sniper in Hebron in 2001, while out with her father. Mahmud Amru intentionally placed the infant's head in the cross hairs of his rifle and squeezed the trigger. This cold-blooded killer is among the prisoners Abbas would see unchained in the name of peace.

What Abbas is doing is making another back door attempt to legitimize terror as a military tactic. Once again, the Palestinians are floating the defense that terrorist killings are no different than killings by soldiers responding to terror. If the release of baby killers is bartered for as part of the peace deal, their classification changes to combatant from murderer, since no civilized nation would free murderers. And the moral equivalency debate is won.

Israel must be careful how far it moves in this direction. Already, one freed prisoner, Ahmed Jbarra, who served 28 years of a life sentence for killing 14 people, is using his freedom to rally Palestinians to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

Freeing a few rock throwers is one thing. But no one who actively engaged in terrorism, encouraged terrorism or lent support to the terrorist networks should ever see daylight again. To let them go reinforces the message that terrorism is acceptable, as long as the cause is just.

The problem is that every terrorist believes the murders they commit are justified by the righteousness of their cause. The Palestinians are the all-time champs of rationalizing murder. They're so good at the game that they've leveraged a withering campaign of violence to force negotiations that will eventually lead to statehood—and without having to answer for terrorism.

Allowing the peace talks to go forward without first destroying the terrorists was a mistake, abetted by an American administration too eager to show results in the Middle East It would be compounded by freeing those terrorists who have been caught and punished. Try then to convince the world's insurgents, rebels and malcontents that terrorism doesn't work.

Nolan Finley is editorial page editor of The Detroit News.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 12:29 AM | Comments (159) | TrackBack

August 08, 2003

Global Warming – A Legitimate Issue or …

just a way for the European Union and the Third World to cut down the United States while aided and abetted by a Democratic Liberal Party that would like to get back in power.

By Stephen Dinan
THE WASHINGTON TIMES, August 8, 2003

Senate Republicans are pushing back on the issue of global warming, with the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee questioning not only the evidence for warming, but also the link between human actions and climate change.
"This research begs an obvious question: If the Earth was warmer during the Middle Ages than the age of coal-fired power plants and SUVs, what role do man-made emissions play in influencing climate?" asked Chairman James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma. " "I think any person with a modicum of common sense would say, 'Not much,' " Sen. Inhofe said.

His July 28 speech and a committee hearing on July 29 in which two scientists discussed their research questioning the human link to climate change were a precursor to a showdown on carbon emissions expected as the Senate debates the energy bill.

Republicans said they expect to defeat amendments that would impose curbs on carbon dioxide emissions, but sources in both parties said some weaker amendments that would require industries to report their carbon emissions to the government are likely to pass. Sen. Inhofe called the amendments "politically driven" and pointed to the sponsors — some of whom are running for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination — as evidence that climate science is being overtaken by politics."

All of the Democrats running for the nomination — the one group that is the most cherished to them in order to get the nomination is the environmental groups," Sen. Inhofe said. Democrats said the evidence for warming is overwhelming and criticized those who pushed for more studies rather than action. "One would have to be madder than a March hare to fail to see the need to act," said Sen. James M. Jeffords, Vermont independent, who Democrats have tapped to be the ranking opposition member on the committee. Sen. Inhofe is chairman of the committee that has direct power over the issue, so a bill that mandates curbs on carbon emissions is not likely to pass the panel. Therefore, those who favor restrictions can best get their way by attaching amendments to the pending energy bill. Burning fossil fuels puts carbon dioxide in the air and, according to some models, the gas then traps the sun's heat inside the atmosphere and changes climate patterns. But, some scientists have argued that there’s no evidence of a link between recent warming and human activity.

In the hearing, called by Senator Inholfe, Willis Soon with the Harvard Astrophysics, said he and his colleagues had catalogued hundreds of studies and concluded that local and regional climate change, which has been detected, matters more than global climate change. Mr. Soon also said there was a "Medieval Warm Period" from 800 to 1300 A.D. and a cooling from 1300 to 1900, and that there exists no proof that current warming trends are out of line with the earlier warming period.

"There is no convincing evidence from each of the individual climate proxies to suggest that higher temperatures occurred in the 20th century than in the Medieval Warm Period," he said. "Nor is there any convincing evidence to suggest that either the rate of increase or the duration of warming during the 20th century were greater than in the Medieval I Warm Period."

Michael E. Mann, a professor at the University of Virginia and one of the authors of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report said , that Mr. Soon's study was "unsound." He said most scientists have reached a consensus that warming in the late 20th century "cannot be explained by natural factors but, instead, requires significant human influences during the 20th century."

Still, Sen. Inhofe said, he is convinced by Mr. Soon and his colleagues that "the balance of the evidence offers strong proof that natural variability is the " overwhelming factor influencing climate."

Michael McKenna, a Republican strategist on environmental issues, said Sen. Inhofe's public criticism "makes it easier for Republicans to be where they should be on the issue, and he makes it more difficult for Democrats to create random mischief because they know they have an opponent who has substantive knowledge on the issue."

For the past five years, the debate on climate change has focused on the Kyoto treaty, which most Democrats and some Republicans have urged the United States to ratify in recent years.

The 1997 treaty, which President Clinton signed but did not send to the Senate for ratification after a 95-0 vote warning him against submitting the pact, would require industrial nations to cut emissions of carbon dioxide to slow global warming. But the treaty excludes such developing nations as China and India, and opponents say it would devastate the economies of the affected nations.

When British Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed a joint meeting of Congress on July 17, he made a plea for U.S. leadership on implementing the Kyoto treaty, and supporters of the treaty say it is an important indicator of U.S. standing in the international community. “The climate change issue is important because it reflects whether our country is going to be in the mainstream, “ said Senator Rob Wyden, Oregon Democrat and a member of the environment panel. ("In the mainstream" attempting to pacify nations whose primary goal is to diminish our power?)

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 12:39 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 07, 2003

Terrorism Link in California Governor Davis Recall

(Redacted from original article by Debbie Schlussel)

I’m a proud conservative Republican from Michigan, but I’m appealing to Californians of all political stripes not to support the recall of Gov. Gray Davis. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) — funder of the recall effort and the only announced candidate to replace Davis." Instead of communists, Issa’s allies are radical Islamists and supporters of terrorism against Americans, Israelis, Christians and Jews.

In a short political career, Issa’s statements and actions consistently defend terrorists, terrorist groups and terrorist sponsor states.Saudi Arabia’s longtime lobbyist, James Gallagher, contributed to Issa’s campaign in November 2002, and Issa tried to overturn key classified evidence portions of President Bill Clinton’s 1995 counterterrorism bill. Issa is also credited with "declawing" the Patriot Act.Then, there’s Issa’s dance with Hezbollah, an organization that is on the State Department’s terrorist list and one of the largest components of Al Qaeda.

In the 1980s, Hezbollah — which means "Party of Allah" — murdered more than 260 U.S. Marines while they slept in Beirut and tortured to death Col. Richard Higgins (in 1990) and CIA attache William Buckley. Hezbollah endorses "the use of hostages," "suicide in jihad operations" and "the duty of all Muslims to engage in Islamic jihad if it ensures the ultimate goal [of] inflicting losses on the enemy."

Less than a month after Sept. 11, Issa visited Syrian President Bashar Assad, praising Hezbollah and lauding Assad’s policies (Syria is on the State Department’s terrorist list). The Tehran Times and IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency, the official Iranian news agency) quoted Issa’s statements to Assad in Damascus: "Hezbollah acts legitimately and has never been involved in terrorist activities.... Hezbollah and any other Lebanese group has the right to resist the occupation of its territory.... Hezbollah’s humanitarian and governmental actions were legal.... Such behavior would be customary in any country."

Issa denies the statements, but as a recent Los Angeles Times cover story demonstrates he has a record of stretching the truth — about his military record, his criminal history, his business affairs and his political positions. In November 2001, for instance, Issa told syndicated columnist Debra Saunders he was vehemently against Arabs suing the airlines and government over profiling. At the same time, he told the rest of the press of his plans to introduce legislation to make it easier for Arabs to collect monetary damages for airline and government profiling.And Issa’s other statements and actions corroborate their veracity:·

Less than a month after Sept. 11, in an Oct. 9, 2001, interview with the Beirut Daily Star’s Ibrahim, during a trip to Lebanon, Issa said, "It is Lebanon which will determine whether the party’s [Hezbollah’s] activities constitute terrorism or resistance ... If [Hezbollah] wants the world to understand that its activities are legitimate, they should say it.... Resistance is a legitimate right recognized [by the U.N.].... I have a great deal of sympathy for the work that Hezbollah tries to do." He expressed hope that Hezbollah would "reform" and become a "government" like the P.L.O. ·

On Oct. 31, 2001, the London Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat, reported, "U.S. Congressman of Lebanese origin Darrell Issa, during his recent visit to Beirut in the mid of October," conveyed a proposal to Hezbollah leadership to remove Hezbollah from the State Department’s terrorist list and "normalize U.S. relations with" the group. Hezbollah refused the offer. ·

Days after Sept. 11, Issa, during his House International Relations Committee’s discussion of fighting terrorism, tried to draw a distinction between "Palestinian groups that are resisting Israeli occupation" and Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. · During his November 2001 trip to the Middle East, Issa told his hometown newspaper, the North County Times, that he was "particularly impressed with Arafat." "He is quite a charismatic individual, despite being a very small man and very old," the congressman said. "He has a wry sense of humor. He gives you food off his plate if you sit next to him." In April 2003, Issa spoke of Arafat’s "charm" (also in the North County Times).

Issa’s softness on Syrian-sponsored terrorism is legendary, too. Syria is home to several fugitives, including Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner, Hamas political director Moussa Abu Marzook, Islamic Jihad chief Ramadan Abdullah Shallah and Jamil Al-Gashey, the only surviving perpetrator of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre — all wanted and/or indicted in the United States. However, Assad refuses their extradition.· Issa vehemently opposes the Syrian Accountability Act, which imposes sanctions on Syria until it stops sponsoring Hezbollah and other terrorists. Issa said Syria is "cooperative." · In June 2003, Issa attended the Beirut signing of a major oil deal between Syria and two U.S. firms. The contract states the companies will spend $29 million in Syria and train the state-run Syrian oil company.

Darrell Issa wants to be governor of California and ultimately president. With a record like this, do you want to help him?

Debbie Schlussel, a Detroit-based attorney, radio talk-show host and conservative political commentator. dschlussel@yahoo.com.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

“Peace” and “Cease Fire” Palestinian Arab Style

Arutz Sheva News Service

Thursday, Aug. 7, 2003 / Tisha B'Av 5763


SUICIDE ATTACK THWARTED

It was announced that the IDF and Shabak (General Security Service) had arrested a teenager from Shechem a few days ago shortly before he was about to perpetrate a suicide terrorist attack against Jews. He told his interrogators that Fatah leader Abu Sharah was his "handler." The IDF had recently given Abu Sharah's name to the Palestinian Authority security forces, but they did not arrest him. PA leaders Abu Mazen and Muhammed Dahlan have said that they do not plan to take action against the terror organizations in their midst.

The Jerusalem Police arrested ten Arab youths last night, on suspicion of vandalizing and desecrating gravesites at the ancient Jewish cemetery on Mt. of Olives. They are alleged to have smashed gravestones, scrawled anti-Jewish graffiti and defecated on the stones, and stolen ornaments from the graves throughout the past year. More arrests are expected.

This past week, IDF forces arrested a total of 72 wanted Arabs of the Palestinian Authority. Three explosive devices were detonated towards IDF forces during this period, and 22 instances of terrorist gunfire were reported. In the most serious incident, a woman and her three children were wounded in a terrorist shooting attack on the Har Gilo-Jerusalem Highway.

The IDF reported on Monday that since the onset of the "hudna" ceasefire five weeks earlier, there were no fewer than 195 terrorist attacks in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, claiming the lives of four Israelis and wounding 22.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 11:08 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 06, 2003

Lest we forget our “Arab ally”, Syria


Back in Damascus …

By Carole B. Glick

The American effort to seed democracy in and uproot violence from postwar Iraq has understandably shifted the world's attention away from the political ailments that plague neighboring countries. However, the despotism and belligerency that characterize the regimes in Teheran and Damascus continue to threaten the Middle East's stability and prosperity. Only the future will tell just how far-sighted and effective the American response to the recent student upheaval in Teheran has been. As for Syria, there are reports that Washington is actually about to make a move. The US reportedly has told Damascus categorically to withdraw from Lebanon, deport terrorist leaders who are headquartered in Damascus, and dismantle Hizbullah.

Under the present circumstances, Damascus, if it has any sense at all, will take such a statement from Washington seriously. Then again, if past performance is any indicator of future behavior, Syrian President Bashar Assad has shown that he can be counted on not to believe the US is serious and not to adhere to Washington's demands. In the past, this behavior has not served Assad badly. After Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit to Syria in May, for instance, the US expressed satisfaction that Syria was moving to dismantle terrorist headquarters in Damascus. In fact, Syria dosed down no terrorist headquarters and has reportedly continued to transfer terrorists and supplies to Iraq to aid in the widening guerrilla war being fought against US and British forces there.

Syria's role in the global terrorist war against the US, Israel, and other Western countries is a known quantity. Syria houses terrorist headquarters. Syria has provided Hizbullah with a territorial base in Lebanon. It arms Hizbullah, allows the transfer of Iranian arms to Hizbullah from Damascus's airport, and allows Iranian Revolutionary Guards to operate in Hizbullah bases in the Bekaa Valley.

As Gal Luft, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington, points out in an article in the latest issue of Commentary magazine, with its sophisticated armaments, territorial base, state sponsorship by Syria and Iran, and financial resources, Hizbullah has out-stripped al-Qaida as the most dangerous terror organization with global reach.

Whereas al-Qaida is generally viewed today to be in the possession of antiquated Soviet-era anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and small arms, Hizbullah is armed with modem Iranian missiles and rockets. These munitions render it capable of shooting down planes, destroying tanks, and launching attacks against targets in Israel that cover fully a quarter of the population. In fact, ahead of the US invasion of Iraq, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon claimed that Iraq was moving its weapons of mass destruction through Syria to Lebanon. This view has been repeated since the war by Western intelligence sources.

Well before Operation Iraqi Freedom, key US policymakers and lawmakers were fingering Syria and Hizbullah and arguing that the two pose a greater threat to US national security than Iraq. One of the reasons given behind the scenes for the US aversion to fighting either the Syrians or Hizbullah was that such action would make it impossible for the US to continue differentiating between its war on global terrorism and Israel's. A US operation in Syria or Lebanon would expose the reality that many in Washington desperately wish to ignore - that the US and Israel are fighting the same war.

If the US is finally reaching the conclusion that Syria's sponsorship of global terrorism can no longer be brushed aside and that Hizbullah can no longer be allowed a free pass because its primary target has always been Israel, this is wonderful news for the war on terror. If, on the other hand, the US is unwilling to join forces with Israel in combating this common threat, then there can be little long-term gain from a US operation against either Syria and its proxies have never concealed their enmity to the Jewish state.

If the US decides that it must launch military operations somewhere between Syria and Lebanon, Israel must be a partner. For Israel, being kept at arm's length during such US actions would send a message of weakness and impotence to its neighbors that would only sow the seeds of future aggression. If the US retains its military credibility at the expense of Israel's regional legitimacy, the Middle East will never be stabilized.

From: International Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2003

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 03, 2003

Middle East Scholar, Pipes Gets Smoked By False Accusations


By Adam Kaplan, Washington D.C. Correspondent, Boycott Watch

Summary: A Congressional nomination is being derailed based upon misquotes and words taken out of context. Boycott Watch uncovered the false accusations and is bringing to your attention so you can see the results of blatantly false information used at the highest levels of government.

Dr. Daniel Pipes (www.danielpipes.org), head of the Middle East Forum, was nominated by President Bush to serve on the U.S. Institute of Peace on April 4.(http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/04/20030401-1.html) As the information below will tell you, what has happened since the nomination is that Pipes has been unfairly discredited and made to appear as an intolerant bigot by extremist organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council), Arab American Institute (AAI), and Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation (MAS). This is despite Pipes' years of publications which distinguish, as President Bush and most Americans agree, the differences between moderate Muslims and militant, fundamentalist Islamists. Pipes has received letters of endorsements from the ZOA, ADL, American Jewish Committee, Pakistan Today, American Mideast Associations (comprised of Muslim moderates, Christians or expats from Iran, Syria, etc.), and a plethora of academics. The letters can be viewed at (www.supportingdanielpipes.org).

At the Senate Health/Education/Labor/Pensions committee nomination vote for Pipes on Wed. 7/23, Sen. Ted Kennedy came out and based his whole anti-Pipes argument on a quote that Pipes wrote in 1990. According to Kennedy (reading straight from CAIR's talking points), Pipes said that "Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene…"(11/19/90)-National Review "The Muslims are coming! The Muslims are Coming."

However, if you go back and read this article, the quote is taken out of context. Pipes, in a tongue and cheek manner, is referring to intolerance of Western Europeans towards immigrants, particularly the Turks. In fact, Pipes portrays an optimistic view of Muslim integration to European society, providing that the immigrants practice a moderate, non-militant form of the religion. "If handled properly, the immigrants can even bring much of value, including new energy to their best societies…if they modernize, Muslims have a good chance to become literate, affluent, and politically stable" write Pipes.

What this means that the primary argument of the committee's ranking member is based on propaganda formulated by CAIR and poorly researched by Kennedy's staff. Senators Harkin, Dodd, and Jeffords went along to brand Pipes as a "highly controversial individual who is not qualified for this position." "When [Pipes] talks about Muslims being funny looking, maintaining different standards of hygiene…I don't know why we are even considering this person, Mr. Chairman," said Sen. Harkin. The other Democratic Senators present, Sen. Clinton, Murray, and Reed (RI), remained silent while one Republican, Sen. John Ensign (NV) spoke out in favor of Pipes.

All of the other Republicans besides Chairman Judd Gregg (NH) left the meeting, making a vote on the Pipes nomination impossible due to there not being a quorum present. Also of note is that Sen. John Warner (VA) said after hearing Harkin's pathos-filled speech about how his mother was an immigrant and 'looked and dressed funny too', (which by the way was based on the misquote from National Review), he would look further into his decision on Pipes.

Sen. Gregg then adjourned the meeting and postponed the Pipes nomination until after the recess once members had a chance to "talk to each other." It is clear that the opposition's smear campaign against Pipes is continuing. Yesterday CAIR issued a press release which claims that Pipes in a July 25th speech to a young conservative group compared all Islamic people to Nazis (http://www.cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=149&page=AA). This too was a lie. The article that CAIR opportunistically used was based on an article from Cybercast News Service which covered the Pipes 7/25 speech. After I had a conversation with CNS Executive Editor Scott Hogenson who was in the process of issuing a retraction to the article that was so opportunistically used by CAIR, CNS news put out this: http://www.cnsnews.com/ForeignBureaus/archive/200307/FOR20030729f.html

Another one of the alleged Pipes "quotes" which Sens. Kennedy/Harkin were so appalled by had the nominee saying "The Palestinians are a miserable people…and deserve to be" to an audience at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. An article by Ira Stoll from the April 14th New York Sun refutes this allegation profusely.(article can be found on www.supportingdanielpipes.org).

Basically, CAIR/AAI/AADC, etc. ran a campaign of lies and distortions to defame Dr. Pipes. After the hearing, they had an impromptu press conference in the hall of the Dirksen building, where opposition leaders such as Nihad Awad (exec. Dir. Of CAIR), Jean Abi-Nader (Arab American Institute), Mahdi Bray (Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation), and Mary Rose Oaker (AADC) gloated to Al-Jazeera reporters that they considered the postponement a major victory. "The American Muslim and Arab communities will remember who voted which way on Pipes for a long time to come. We are very pleased with the outcome of today's hearing, but the fight is not over," said MPAC spokeswoman Sarah Eltantawi.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:48 PM | Comments (77) | TrackBack

August 01, 2003

Politicians take note!

Beyond Iraq: The Next Move, a book that claims Israel is being used as a pawn to pay the appeasement bill for the US war in Iraq, has reached The New York Times best-sellers list. Published in April by US evangelical author Mike Evans, founder of the Jerusalem Prayer Team (www.jerusalemprayerteam.org), the book made news in June by briefly ranking second between Harry Potter and Hillary Clinton on Amazon's best-sellers list. Evans attributed the phenomenon to the fact that America's Bible-believing Christians are voting against the Road Map by buying the book.

"There is no other way in the world that a book that was totally unknown the first week in June could take off like this. These are the same Christians who voted for President George W. Bush," Evans said, "and I think they are attempting to send a signal to him that they are not happy campers and want him to back off."

Bush is greatly admired by Bible believers, Evans noted, "but if he forces us to choose between him and the Bible, he could very well experience the same problem his father did after the '91 Gulf War when he did not get reelected." Christians are very concerned. They believe that God will curse America if America touches prophecy, and they believe that the Bible land is prophecy.

The fact that Jerusalem is part of the road map really worries all Bible-believing Christians, in that the prophecies say that Jerusalem will be in the hands of the
Jewish people when the Messiah returns. "Christians believe that, if Jerusalem is
divided, America will have challenged the word of God and the power of God and
will bring a curse on our nation. This is taken from the Abrahamic covenant 'I
will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee.'"

From the International Jerusalem Post, August 1, 2003


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:56 AM | Comments (159) | TrackBack

America/Israel Double Standard

(How about a little moral equivalency instead of hypocritical condemnation)

BY LIAT COLLINS AND SARAH HONIG

Israelis understand what America is up against, because we have been suffering casualties, not only among our soldiers and not in a foreign land. We have suffered fatalities at the hands of terrorists in restaurants, town squares, wedding halls, buses and even our homes. We do not begrudge America happiness on this success, (the killing of Saddam Hussein’s sons) but we wish it were matched by similar feelings toward our own fight against terrorism.

Instead, we must constantly contend with international indignation and condemnation - even from Washington - that our own war on terrorism triggers. The international community always requires Israel to meet very restrictive criteria for targeting even the most vicious terrorist chiefs: Did they pose a clear and present danger? Were they "ticking bombs?" Are they "political" leaders who should enjoy some immunity as they commission mass-murders? We can imagine, for example, the reaction if the 14-year-old son of a terrorist kingpin died with his targeted father. Qusai's son, Mustafa, was killed alongside his father and uncle, but the Americans consider him collateral damage – a luxury not afforded the Israelis.

We congratulate America and yet caution against double standards. We face the same enemies and fight the same defensive fight for freedom, justice and enlightenment. The difference is only that the threat against us is far more menacing and existential. We deserve support and not censure if, once again, we need to take steps like those of the US against Saddam's heirs. No one understands America better than we do; no one has earned America's understanding more than we do.

Excerpted From: WEEK IN REVIEW
The International Jerusalem Post, August 1, 2003

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:36 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack