By William Hawkins
Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts has used his combat record in Vietnam as a major campaign asset in his drive to become the Democratic candidate for president. His ads feature testimony from veterans, and a number of political pundits have claimed Mr. Kerry could compete with President George W. Bush for the military vote, which normally goes for the GOP. The Washington Post’s Mark Leibovich has argued that if Republicans attack Mr. Kerry “as a Massachusetts liberal,’ Vietnam will be his patriotic armor?’Missing from this coverage of Mr. Kerry’s record is what he did when he got home.
He immediately entered the political arena with the Radical New Left outfit Viet Nam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). This was an extremist fringe group. Some 2 ½ million Americans served in Vietnam, but by the VVAWs own accounting only 30,000 joined its ranks. This is very low number given that the Army was filled with draftees during an unpopular war. But then VVAW was not a mainstream organization like the American Legion or the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its portrayal of U.S. troops as war criminals turned off most vets,
Mr. Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April21, 197l, as the VVAW’s spokesman. Sen. Kerry’s campaign Website mentions this event in passing. The VVAW gives a transcript of Mt Kerry’s testimony on its Website, which it hails as “his greatest contribution to the anti-war movement and to VVAW."
Mr. Kerry opened by stating “war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, [are] not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command?’ According to tales related by Mr. Kerry, Americans had “raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam! As to what endangered America, Mr. Kerry stated “the crimes threaten it, not Reds?’
The VVAW showed more sympathy for those who refused to serve than those who did. According to the group’s own history, “VVAW fought for amnesty for war resisters, including vets with bad discharges. This is an interesting fact to set beside Kerry’s attempt to denigrate President Bush’s honorable service as a fighter pilot with the Air National Guard.
The Vietnam War was part of the larger Cold War struggle; Mr. Kerry acknowledged this in his testimony, but attributed it to “paranoia about the Russians.” The Soviets provided North Vietnam with the heavy weapons that allowed it to invade South Vietnam — and to kill 50,000 Americans.
In return for this military aid, the victorious Hanoi regime allowed the Soviets to base bombers and warships at the former US base at Da Nang. This deployment was of strategic importance as it outflanked the US-Japanese alliance, which hemmed in Russia’s northern naval bases.
VVAW is still active in left-wing circles, protesting American imperialism. Two weeks after the September11, 2001, terrorist attacks; VVAW issued a statement declaring “The use of massive power will only escalate the cycle of violence, spreading more death and destruction to more innocent people with no end in sight. We see many parallels between Vietnam and Afghanistan’ It went on to blame America for provoking the attacks, saying, “our country has to address the reasons behind the violence that has now come to our shores. The seeds of this anger and hatred were sown over many years. For over a century Western corporations have dominated the Middle East to profit from its oil. For the last 50 years, the United States has supported Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands and has helped prop up corrupt regimes in some Arab countries’
In March 2002, it issued another statement: ‘We in VVAW call upon all who support peace with social justice to act on their principles and Join with others in their communities to oppose the war on terrorism’ as it is currently being waged, and to oppose domestic terrorism in the guise of public safety as it is codified in the U.S. Patriot Act” It has taken part in antiwar protests concerning Iraq, proclaiming, “We do not have to go along with this empire building.”
Mr. Kerry cannot be held directly responsible for what VVAW has done since he left the group, but neither has he denounced its activities. His campaign Website Proudly mentions his VVAW membership and the VVAW Prominently displays its ties to Mr. Kerry.
And many of their public positions continue to match. YVAW thinks, “Iraq, along with its oil and humanitarian problems should be turned over to the U.N. and international humanitarian organizations” which is also candidate John Kerry’s position. And, opposition to military programs and defense spending has marked Mr. Kerry’s long Senate career.
It would seem Kerry’s service with the VVAW has had much more to do with shaping the senator’s public record on the issues than did his military service in Vietnam. He did what he had to do under fire and deserves praise for that. But what he has chosen to do since in politics is the better predictor of what he would do as president.
William Hawkins is senior fellow for national security studies at the U.S. Business and Industry Council.
The Son Must Refute Father’s Hateful Rants
By Mitch Album, The Detroit News, February 22, 2004
My sister married a wonderful guy. His father was a Hungarian Jew. During World War II, he and his eight brothers and sisters were imprisoned in German concentration camps. Some were killed in gas chambers. Others were put on a boat that was deliberately sunk. By the war’s end, my brother-in-law’s father was the only one left. For years, his wife would find bread stuffed under his pillow, a habit from Nazi starvation.
Every now and then some nut case says the Holocaust was faked. Usually, you dismiss him as pathetic. Last week, however, a man named Hutton Gibson told a national radio host that the Holocaust never happened, that there were no concentration camps, only “work camps,” and that Jews basically made the whole thing up. Hutton Gibson is Mel Gibson’s father. So this nutcase must be addressed. He must be addressed because his son has made a movie called “The Passion of the Christ” depicting Jesus’ last hours. There are fears the movie will stoke anti-Semitism. I have not seen the film yet — it opens this week — so I can pass no judgment on it. But I have heard his father. And he needs no movie to spew hatred.
Jews “are after one world religion and one world government” Hutton Gibson declared. He said Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who is Jewish, should be hung. He said Holocaust museums were “a gimmick to collect money.” In fact, he called the entire Holocaust “fiction.” He said Jews weren’t killed, “they simply got up and left! They were all over the Bronx and Brooklyn and Sydney and Los Angeles. They have to go where’s there’s money.”
That would be news to my brother-in-law’s aunt, another Holocaust survivor who, thanks to Nazi experiments, was left sterile, unable to have children. She still bears a Nazi number burned into her arm. I suppose Hutton Gibson would call that “a tattoo she got in the Bronx.” Now the elder Gibson is not new to this stuff. He writes books and magazine articles denying the Holocaust and scorching the Jewish faith. And, I am not saying that Mel Gibson believes what his father does. But, he has to say so himself. Instead, to date, Gibson has refused to fully refute his father. He acknowledges the Holocaust, but says, “Nothing can drive a wedge between me and my blood. He’s my father. I love him.”
That’s fine. But denying hatred does not cancel love. By his own doing, Gibson has put himself on a stage where he has new obligations. He’s not promoting a “Lethal Weapon” movie here, where he’s a crazed cop who swears and drinks and sleeps with women (all pretty non-Christian stuff, by the way). No. He has made a deeply religious movie, a lightning rod for Christians and Jews, and one he claims was inspired by his faith, including “going back to the things I was raised with." One presumes his father did some of that raising.
Mel Gibson insists he is not anti-Semitic. He can prove it by declaring his father’s words are wrong. How would Gibson feel if his father had been gassed, shot or hung in Auschwitz or Dachau instead of his luckier fate, enjoying a good, long life hurling insults at others?
The reason Nazism existed is because people lived in denial. If you visit the site of concentration camps today, you will be astounded by how close neighborhoods were to the gates. Yet no one did anything — even as innocent people were murdered a stone’s throw away.
No one asked Mel Gibson to become a spokesman on faith. He did that himself. Now that he has hopped on center stage, he can’t simply hear what he wants. He has an obligation to publicly shoot down his father’s words. After all, Gibson said he made his movie because he could no longer deny his faith. Imagine someone denying your existence
By Saul Singer, Editor, The Jerusalem Post, February 20, 2004
Bush administration envoys are expected in Jerusalem soon to hear about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s proposed unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The plan, though it may at first seem problematic for the US, is an opportunity to revive and update Bush’s two-state vision.
At its most basic level, Sharon’s plan can be seen as the product of a sound Bush policy gone off course. In June 2002, Bush made the boldest US pitch ever for Palestinian statehood but conditioned it on an end to terrorism and Palestinian regime change. Then, in the run-up to the war in Iraq, the Bush administration embraced the road map and joined Europe in covering Yasser Arafat with a fig leaf of a Palestinian Authority prime minister. The result has been no regime change and no end to terrorism.
Sharon’s unilateralism is, more than anything, an admission that the US and Israel have, at least for now, both given up on Palestinian regime change. This is a tragedy for all concerned. It means dooming Palestinians to live under Arafat’s police state, and risking that suicide bombers will be replaced by missile attacks Most of all, it risks signaling that the Palestinians have gamed territory through their terror was creating a setback for, the hope of peace and security for Israel, and the war against terrorism generally.
How can President George W. Bush salvage his vision of two states’ living side by side in peace and freedom? Three steps are needed, two of which involve incremental adjustments to long-standing US policy. The first is to revive what is supposed to be current policy namely the American insistence ‘on Palestinian regime change, even if Israel has written it off. As the Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Amu Toameh reported recently, Fatah has been hit with a wave of resignations among its own activists protesting the lack of elections for its governing institutions. What is the US doing to encourage such voices?
Why is the US not working harder to isolate the PA, given that it is completely dominated by Arafat and refuses to lift a finger against terrorism? Second, the US should endorse the alternate second component of Sharon’s plan, the balancing of withdrawals from settlements with, as Sharon put it in his December Herzliya speech, “(strengthening Israel’s] control over parts of the Land of Israel which will constitute an inseparable part of the State of Israel in any future agreement”
It would be a departure for the US to support this half of the Sharon plan, because the US has always regarded settlements as an obstacle to a two state approach to peace. But Sharon’s plan is tailored to facilitate a two-state scenario by withdrawing from precisely those settlements that were, let’s admit it, designed to block a Palestinian state In this context, why should the US not help Israel demonstrate that terrorism does not only produce territorial gains but will exact a territorial price, so long as this price does not block the two-state scenario?
It is one thing for the US to support a two-state solution, quite another to support the Palestinian demand to drive Israel back to the pre-1967 lines.
UI Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, which launched the whole land-for-peace concept, were deliberately crafted so as not to require a total Israeli withdrawal to the arbitrary and untenable Green Line.
The third necessary step, which is more of an update than a change in policy, Is for Bush to say simply that the “right of return” is inconsistent with recognition of Israel, and therefore with his two-state vision for ending the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is an update, because it was once thought to be enough to require the Palestinians to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and that in this context the claim of a Palestinian right to move to Israel would fall by the wayside.
If Bush takes these three steps - shows he hasn’t forgotten about the need for Palestinian democracy, recognizes Israel’s need to couple limited consolidation with its withdrawal, and clarifies that the demand of “return” is incompatible with -a two-state solution —-he will have begun to rescue his listless Middle East policy. The alternative is to continue a bloody stalemate that harms Israelis, Palestinians, and American objectives in the region.
By Caroline Glick, The Jerusalem Post January 16, 2004
The poll conducted recently by the European Union which found that Europeans considered Israel to be the single greatest threat to world peace shocked many and caused the EU’s political leadership to cringe with embarrassment. And yet, according to Geneva-based historian Bat Yeor the results are the culmination of a European policy now three decades old. Yeor was born in Egypt and as a Jew was forced to renounce her Egyptian citizenship in 1955 when she fled with her family to Britain.
In November1973, French president George Pompidou and German chancellor Willy Brandt met in Paris and proclaimed a joint resolution aligning EC policy with the Arab demands against Israel. This, according to Yeor was the first official European declaration of a unified foreign policy. After this proclamation, the Arab League opened a formal dialogue with the EC. It was not a simple exchange between elites from the two sides, it established three bodies that would regulate European-Arab relations regarding the Us, Israel and Arab immigration to Europe.” The aim of these joint policies was to force an Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines, to enable free immigration of Arabs to European countries and to apply consistent pressure on the US to end its support for Israel, she says.
The main organ of this new framework was the European-Arab Dialogue, or EAD. The EAD encompassed political, parliamentary and cultural dialogues and also oversaw the European agreement to allow unimpeded immigration of millions of Arabs to Europe. According to Yeor, “The volume, of this population flow was unprecedented in the history of European colonialization. And also unprecedented was the European decision to allow and encourage the new immigrants to maintain their ties to their countries of origin and thus prevent their integration into European society”
In a continuous flow of joint resolutions, Arab and European officials celled for the diffusion of Arabic and Islamic culture in Europe through European universities. A pinnacle of these efforts, Yeor argues came during French President Jacques Chirac’s 1996 visit to Cairo. “During that visit Chirac proclaimed that Europe and Muslims should write history together.”
As to Arab cultural autonomy in Europe, the resolution of the 1975 conference of the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation anchored this effort by calling for the European governments to facilitate the creation of generous means to enable immigrant workers and their families to participate in Arab cultural and religious life.” The results of these policies on Europe have, according to Yeor, been nothing short of disastrous.
“What the Europeans did not realize at the time was that their embrace of the Arab and Muslim world did not simply involve their abandonment of Israel. What they were actually destroying was themselves. “Europe is a continent built on the roots of Judeo Christian traditions and history and values. By allowing unlimited Arab immigration and the Islamization of their universities, they were destroying their own culture. The new culture that has taken form in Europe is one of subservience to Islam. The new religion, in the post-Christian Europe is ‘Palestinianism’ whose core belief is the need to destroy Israel and replace it with a Palestinian state. Palestinianism replaces a Jewish Jesus with a Muslim Jesus.”
For Israel, the European decision to merge its foreign policy with the Arab world has led to diplomatic isolation and demonization, according to Ye’or. It was in the wake of the Yom Kippur War and the increased European cooperation with the Arab League that European countries began voting against Israel in the UN and seeking to isolate it in international bodies. The 1975 UN General Assembly Resolution that equated Zionism with racism was a capstone of these efforts.
“Since the intifada broke out in 2000, the rejection of lsrael and the embrace of the embrace of Palestinians had taken on cult-like attributes,” Yeor notes. “Every manifestation of public and political life must-take up the Palestinian cause. In a very real way, the embrace of the Palestinians provides a mask for the expression of traditional Europe anti-Semitism.” Europe’s embrace of the Arab political agenda for Israel lies, according to Yeor, at the root of European unwillingness to cooperate with the US on the war on terror.
“Until September 11, Chirac and Villepin said that the root cause of terrorism is the lsrael-Arab conflict. This is of course the Arab-Islamic view, like the Nazi view of the centrality of Jews as the root of all evil. It is a vision long developed and adopted by Europeans.
“When George Bush said, after September 11 that ‘you’re either with us -or with the terrorists,’ he didn’t understand what was going on in Europe. The truth is that for 30 years the Europeans were with the terrorists. They can’t fight the Arabs; they have allowed the Arabs to dictate their policy since 1974. It is a huge problem. Part of the reason is also that they are terrified of terrorism.
This decision was to be subservient, not to fight and that has been their policy for 30 years. By attacking Israel, they believe they are saving themselves, but really, they are destroying themselves. “Increasingly,” Yeor notes, “the European-Arabian alliance has led to the increase in European anti-Americanism. For the Arabs, President Bush’s quotation’s from the Bible and the allusion to the Judeo-Christian roots of America is anathema.”
In 1960 she settled in Geneva and has, over the past 30-odd years been a trailblazer in The study of how Muslims have, throughout Islamic history, mistreated their non-Muslim minorities and indeed, how Muslims today attempt to take over non-Muslim societies.Bat Yeor was in Israel last month giving a series of lectures on her newest book, Eurabia.
In it she presents her thesis that today Europe is both consciously and unconsciously surrendering its Judeo-Christian roots and embracing new cultural and political identities in which Arab and Islamic traditions, including the tradition of dhimmitude (the subservience-of non-Muslims to Islamic culture and expansionism), are its central unifying themes.
In line with her analysis, Yeor defines the new anti-Semitism in Europe as ‘an expression of the mutation of Europe into a new culture and society linked with profound cultural and religious transformations” During her visit, she discussed With The Jerusalem Post what she sees as the results of Europe’s abandonment of Israel.
“After the 1962 French withdrawal from Algeria, French President, Charles De Gaulle, who up to that point favored Israel, completely changed France’s policy toward the Arab and Muslim world. There was a convergence between France’s embrace of the Arabs and its attempt to weaken the Atlantic alliance with America. The Arabs were to give France strategic independence from the US. France’s attempt, first through the European Economic Community and now through the European Union to create a unified European foreign policy in competition with the US and led by France, sees European alliance with the Arab world as one of the primary sources of this strategic independence.
While, in Yeor’s view, “De Gaulle’s strategy was in the abstract,” the European embrace of the Islamic and Arab at the expense of Israel and the US became a concrete policy in the wake of the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the subsequent OPEC oil embargo of the West.
As to the Arab "Refugee Right of Return"
By Schmuel Katz, The International Jerusalem Post, October, 2003
The story of the Arabs who left the coastal areas of Palestine in the spring of 1948 encapsulates one of the great international frauds of the 20th century. The Arabs are the only declared "refugees" who became refugees by the initiative of their own leaders. The concoction of the monstrous charge that it was the Jews who had driven out the Arabs of Palestine was a strategic decision made by the leaders of the Arab League months after the Arabs' flight.
The Arab "refugees" were not driven out by anyone. The vast majority left at the order or exhortation of their leaders - always with the same reassurance - that it would help the Arab states in the war they were about to launch to destroy the State of Israel. The fabrication can most easily be detected by the simple circumstance that at the time the alleged expulsion of the Arabs by Zionists was in progress, nobody noticed it.
Foreign newspapermen abounded in the country, in daily contact with all sides -and they did in fact write about the flight of the Arabs, but even those most hostile to the Jews saw nothing to suggest that the flight was not voluntary. In the three months that the major part of the flight took place, the London Times, a newspaper most notably hostile to Zionism, published 11 leading articles on the situation in Palestine, in addition to extensive news reports. In none was there even a remote hint that the Zionists were driving Arabs from their homes.
Even more pertinent: No Arab spokesman made such a charge. At the height of the flight, the Palestinian Arabs' chief representative at the United Nations, Jamal Husseini, made a long political statement (on April 27) that was not lacking in hostility toward the Zionists; he did not mention refugees. Three weeks later (while the flight was still in progress) the secretary-general of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, made a fiercely worded political statement on Palestine; it contained not a word about refugees.
Why did they leave? Monsignor GeorgeHakim, then Greek Catholic bishop of Galilee, the leading Christian personality in Palestine for many years, told a Beirut newspaper, Soda al-Janub, in the summer of 1948: "The refugees were confident that their absence would not last long, and that they would return within a week or two. Their leaders had promised them that the Arab armies would crush the 'Zionist gangs' very quickly, and that there was no need for panic or fear of a long exile." The initiative for the flight was indeed no secret. One of the famous American newspapermen of the time, Kenneth Bilby, who had covered Palestine for years, explained the Arab leaders' rationale for the flight in his book New Star in the East, published in 1950: "Let the Arabs flee into neighboring countries. It would serve to arouse the other Arab countries to greater effort, and when the Arab invasion struck the Palestinians could return to their homes and be compensated with the property of Jews driven into the sea."
There is also the piquant report in the files of the British police at Haifa, of how the leaders of the Jewish community pleaded with the leaders of the Arab community not to leave Haifa, and how the Arabs refused. There is too, in the annals of the UN Security Council, a speech by Jamal Husseini heaping praise on the Arabs of Haifa for refusing to stay put and insisting adamantly on leaving their homes. The British police then kindly provided transport and helped the Haifa Arabs across the Lebanese and Transjordanian borders.
When, four months after the invasion, the prospect of those that fled returning "in a few weeks" had faded, there were some recriminations. Emil Ghoury, a member of the Palestinian Arabs' national leadership, said in an interview with the Beirut newspaper, Daily Telegraph: "I don't want to impugn anybody, but only to help the refugees. The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the action of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. "The Arab states agreed upon this policy unanimously, and they must share in the solution of the problem."
The policy adopted inside the country was emphasized by the leaders of the invasion. The prime minister of Iraq, Nuri Said, thundered: "We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down." One of the Arabs who fled later succinctly summarized the story of the refugees in the Jordanian newspaper Al-Difaa: "The Arab governments told us: Get out so that we can get in. So we got out, but they did not get in."
Later, after the fighting began, many Arab villagers who believed the false rumors of a massacre at the village of Deir Yassin "panicked and fled ignominiously before they were threatened by the progress of the war." So wrote the British general Sir John Glubb, who commanded the Transjordanian army. Throughout the war there were two incidents - at Ramie and Lod - in which a number of Arab civilians were driven out of their homes
by Israeli soldiers. The total number of Arabs, who evacuated, even according to the British Mandate's statistics, could not have been more than 420,000.
This figure conforms roughly also to the figure published from Arab sources, and by the UN. The central, horribly cruel fact is that the Arab states - who had brought about then- plight - denied them residence rights; and the idea was born that they should be left in camps and used as a weapon for Israel's destruction. "The return of the refugees," said president Nasser of Egypt years later, "will mean the end of Israel."
It was in the immediate aftermath of the war that the refugee scam was developed into an international operation. As soon as the UN Disaster Relief Organization started providing - food, shelter, clothing and medical attention to the Arabs who had fled Palestine, a mass of needy Arabs descended on the camps from all over the Arab states. The organization had no machinery for identification; so the arrivals simply signed the register as refugees and, received the free aid.
Already in December 1948, the director of the Relief Organization, Sir Rafael Cilento, reported he was feeding 750,000 "refugees." By July 1949 the UN reported a round million. The Red Cross International Committee joined the party. It pressed for the recognition of any destitute Arab in Palestine as a refugee. Thus about 100,000 were added to the list. To add a touch of mordant humor, the Red Cross authority wrote about the additional people that: "It would be senseless to force them to abandon their homes to be able to get food as refugees." So these people stayed at home, received their free services there, and were added to the rolls of the refugees
Thus - and by other more expectable means of humanistic falsification we have, in the third generation, a large amorphous mass of Arabs, all of them comfortably lumped together in official UN lists as Arab refugees, described as "victims of Israeli aggression" and demanding the right of "return."
While everybody in Israel has rejected the Arab demand for accepting the return of the "refugees," the government has not rejected the idea that if negotiations for a settlement take place the problem of the refugees will be discussed. Moreover, there has been talk of "compensation" by Israel. There have even been voices suggesting the return of a "symbolic few" of the refugees.
Israel must, from the outset and forever, unequivocally reject such ideas.
Once and for all Israel must remind whoever has to be reminded that the responsibility for the displaced Arabs lies wholly and absolutely on the shoulders of the Arab states. Their utterly unprovoked invasion of the territory of Israel in May 1948 was a crime. Its declared intent was a crime. Six thousand Israel citizens were killed in that war, and thousands of others were injured. It was the Arab states that called on the Arab population to evacuate, all in order to facilitate accomplishment of their evil purpose.
It is a chutzpa of historical dimensions and significance to ask Israel to even discuss giving an inch or paying a penny of the price of the refugee problem. And it is dangerous for any Israeli spokesman to even agree to take part in any discussion of the subject - at any forum or in any context whatsoever. Indeed, the Israeli government should long ago have declared - but even now it is not too late: "We shall not participate in any discussion of the so-called refugee problem. This is a problem the Arab nation must solve for itself in its own spacious territories."
The writer, a co-founder with Menachem Begin of the Herut Party and member of the first Knesset, is a biographer and essayist.
(Once again, the facts get in the way of Arab propagandist Jim Zogby and his pollster brother, John. The American Arab population is, in fact, about 1/3 their claims - 1.25 million vs. 3-5 million!
More Arabs move to area
The Detroit News June 14, 2002 by David Shepardson
DEARBORN — Metro Detroit is home to the largest concentration of Arab Americans and Arab immigrants, newly released U.S. Census figures show. Dearborn's Arab population more than doubled by 2002 to become 30 percent of the city's population. Home to more Arab Americans than any other Michigan City, Dearborn saw its population of Arab Americans, as well as Arab residents who aren't American citizens, jump from 14,000 to 29,344.
Metro Detroit's Arab-American population jumped 56 percent in the last decade, according to newly released figures by the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2000, 92,328 people reported primary Arab ancestry, up from 59,029 in 1990. But the new figures, which come from the long-form census questionnaire that went to one in six households in 2000, only furthers the debate between demographers and community leaders on the accuracy of the count.
Arab-American leaders and some demographers argue the census still far undercounts Arabs, especially recent immigrants. "These numbers are bizarre. They are so low," said James Zogby, president of the American Arab Institute in Washington. John Zogby, a New York pollster, attributes what he calls an undercount to confusion by immigrants and their suspicion of government. But he noted that the new census numbers reinforce his belief that although southern California has a larger number of Arabs and Arab Americans,
Metro Detroit has a higher percentage.
"There is no doubt that Metro Detroit has the highest- density community of Arab Americans in the country, "said John Zogby, who estimates there are more than 400,000 Arabs in Michigan. James Zogby and the Arab American Institute estimate the Arab population in the United States is at least 3 million. But, the United States Census Department puts the Arab population at 1.25 million, up from 940,000 in 1990.
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff: "Gaza is crucial to Israel's security"
On June 19, 1967, in the wake of the Six Day War, the U.S. Secretary of
Defense instructed the Joint Chiefs of Staff to present their "views,
without regard to political factors, on the minimum territory" that Israel
would be "justified in retaining in order to permit a more effective defense
against possible conventional Arab attack and terrorist raids."
Ten days later, the Joint Chiefs presented a report which concluded that
Israel needed to retain substantial portions of the Golan Heights, and
Judea-Samaria, and all of Gaza. With regard to Gaza, the Joint Chiefs
"By occupying the Gaza Strip, Israel would trade approximately 45 miles of
hostile border for eight. Configured as it is, the strip serves as a salient for introduction of Arab subversion and terrorism, and its retention would be to Israel' s military advantage."
Throughout history, foreign armies have used Gaza as a springboard for
invading the Land of Israel, from Pharoah Sethos I in the 13th century BCE,
to Napoleon in 1799. The British army, under Allenby, used it as an
invasion route in 1917.
In 1948, Egypt used Gaza as its route to invade the newborn State of Israel.
Advancing through Gaza, the Egyptians soon reached Yavneh, just fifteen
miles from Tel Aviv. Several Jewish towns in Gaza, including Nitzanim, Yad
Mordechai, and Kfar Darom, were destroyed by the Egyptians and not rebuilt
until after Israel recaptured the area in 1967.
What prominent Israelis have said about Gaza:
* Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in 2002: "Netzarim [a Jewish town in
Gaza] is the same as Negba and Tel Aviv; evacuating Netzarim will only
encourage terrorism and increase the pressure upon us." (Arutz 7, Nov. 25,
* Then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said in 1988: "To just get up and
leave Gaza would be a mistake and a scandal. It would create a chaotic
situation, a situation like Lebanon; I don't suggest we take such a step."
(Israel Army Radio's "Good Evening, Israel" program, March 22, 1988)
* Yitzhak Rabin's Minister of Housing and Construction, Binyamin
Ben-Eliezer, said in 1993: "I wish I could believe that pulling out of Gaza
would solve the problems. But this won't solve anything and is only running
away from the problem which we have to face." (Jerusalem Post, March 9,
* In 1971, Yisrael Galili, a minister in the cabinet of Golda Meir's Labor
Party government, said that Gaza was "critical for Israel's security and
could never be given up." The Labor government began building fourteen
Jewish communities in Gaza. (Jerusalem Report, July 14, 2003)
The Jewish presence in Gaza dates back to biblical times:
Gaza has been a part of the Land of Israel since biblical times. The
borders of Israel specified in Genesis 15 clearly include Gaza, and it is
described in Joshua 15:47 and Judges 1:18 as part of the inheritance of the
tribe of Judah, and in Kings it is included in the areas ruled by King
Solomon. The area came under foreign occupation during some periods, but the Jewish king Yochanan, brother of Judah the Maccabee, recaptured Gaza in 145 CE and sent Jews to rebuild the community there.
Throughout the centuries, there was a large Jewish presence in Gaza in
fact, it was the largest Jewish community in the country at the time of the
Muslim invasion (7th century CE). Medieval Christian visitors to the region
mentioned the presence of the Jewish community in Gaza including Giorgio
Gucci of Florence (1384), Bertandon de la Brooquiere (1432), Felix Fabri (14
83), and George Sandys (1611). So did Jewish travelers, such as Benjamin of
Tudela and Meshullam of Voltera (1481).
The medieval Jewish communities of Gaza included many famous rabbinical
authorities, among them Rabbi Yisrael Najara, author of the 16th-century
hymn Kah Ribbon Olam, which to this day is sung at Shabbat tables throughout
the Jewish world, and the kabbalist Rabbi Avraham Azoulai, author of the
famous book Hessed L'Avraham. Writing about the question of whether or not
there living in Gaza fulfills the biblical requirement [mitzvah] to live in
the Land of Israel, the famous sage Rabbi Yaakov Emden, in his book Mor
Uketziya, wrote: "Gaza and its environs are absolutely considered part of
the Land of Israel, without a doubt. There is no doubt that it is a mitzvah
to live there, as in any part of the Land of Israel."
The Jews of Gaza were forced to leave the area when Napoleon's army marched
through in 1799, but they later returned. The Jewish community in Gaza was
destroyed during the British bombardment in 1917, but later it was rebuilt
again. When Palestinian Arab threatened to slaughter the Jews of Gaza
during the 1929 pogroms, the British ruling authorities forced the Jews to
leave. But in 1946, the Jews returned, establishing the town of Kfar Darom
in the Gaza Strip, which lasted until 1948, when Egypt occupied the area.
Rewarding terrorists is wrong -- and dangerous:
During the past three years, Palestinian Arab terrorists have carried out
tens of thousands of terrorist attacks against Israel, murdering nearly
1,000 Israelis and maiming many more. The terrorists demand, among other
things, that Israel withdraw from Gaza and expel the Jewish residents.
Terrorists, like all criminals, deserve to be punished for their crimes, not
rewarded. For Israel to withdraw from Gaza and expel the Jewish residents
would be to reward the terrorists. It would also encourage more terrorism,
by demonstrating to the terrorists that additional violence may bring about
additional Israeli concessions.
An Israeli withdrawal means creating a terrorist state in Gaza:
The Palestinian Authority regime currently administers parts of Gaza but
does has not have sovereignty, because of the presence of the Israeli Army.
The PA does not control the borders, does not control sea access to Gaza,
and does not have a full-fledged army. If Israel withdraws from the area,
the PA will be able to establish a sovereign state.
Such a state would certainly be a terrorist state, to judge by how the PA
has treated terrorists until now. It has not disarmed or outlawed terrorist
groups; it has not shut down their bomb factories; it has not closed down
the terrorists' training camps. It has rewarded terrorists with jobs in the
PA police force. In short, the PA has actively collaborated with and
sheltered terrorists. Moreover, the PA itself has sponsored thousands of
terrorist attacks against Israel.
The PA has also created an entire culture of glorification of terrorism and
anti-Jewish hatred in its official media, schools, summer camps, sermons by
PA-appointed clergy, and speeches by PA representatives. PA school
textbooks teach that Jews are "evil racists."
Creating a Palestinian Arab state in Gaza would not lead to peace:
Establishing a state in Gaza would not satisfy the Palestinian Arabs' goals.
The aim of a Palestinian Arab state would not be to live in peace next to
Israel, but to serve as a spring board for terrorism and invasions aimed at
annihilating the Jewish State. The PA makes no secret of its goal; the
official maps on PA letterhead, in PA schoolbooks and atlases, and even on
the patch worn on the uniforms of PA policemen show all of Israel not
just the disputed territories labeled "Palestine."
A Palestinian Arab state in Gaza would be an anti-American dictatorship:
The last thing the world needs now is yet another totalitarian,
anti-American terrorist state. Yet that is exactly what a Palestinian Arab
state in Gaza would be, judging by the behavior of the PA during the ten
years since it was created. The PA is a brutal Muslim dictatorship that
tortures dissidents, silences newspaper that deviate from the PA line, and
persecutes Christians. The official PA media actively incite hatred against
America, and the PA maintains warm relations with the most anti-American
regimes in the world, including Iran, Syria, Sudan, and North Korea.
Zionist Organization of America
Morton A. Klein, National President
(But I’m not so sure about the 70 male virgins waiting in heaven)
By Abraham Rabinovich, The Washington Times, February 1, 2004
JERUSALEM — A Palestinian mother of two small children, who killed four Israelis by blowing herself up at a border crossing, carried out the suicide bombing to atone for having committed adultery. The attack two weeks ago marked the first time the militant group Hamas had used a female bomber, part of an evolving belief that women who are disgraced by sexual activity outside marriage can "purify" themselves by becoming "martyrs, Israeli
security officials said.
The officials, who closely monitor the evolving ideology of the Islamic militant organization, spoke to reporters in the wake of the Jan. 14 attack by 22-year-old Reem Raiyshi. Raiyshi left her 18-month-old daughter, Doha, and her 3-year-old son, Obedia, and blew herself up at the Erez crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel, killing three soldiers and a private Israeli security guard.
The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot first reported that the woman was compelled to carry out the attack as atonement for betraying her husband with another man. According to the report, based on Israeli military sources, Raiyshi's husband is a Hamas operative who urged her to carry out the suicide mission. The Associated Press, citing Israeli security officials, reported on Jan. 19 that Raiyshi was an adulteress forced to carry out the attack to restore her family's honor. It is not uncommon for Palestinian women accused of adultery or of having sex before marriage, to be killed by their families trying to rid themselves of perceived disgrace.
The officials told AP on condition of anonymity that Raiyshi's illicit lover recruited her, giving her the suicide bomb belt. Palestinian security officials said her husband drove her to Erez to carry out the attack. After the bombing, Raiyshi's family refused to speak to reporters, a rarity in these cases, and did not set up a mourning tent for her. Her brother-in-law, Yousef Awad, said the bomber and her husband had had a huge argument with the family two months ago and had not been seen since. He refused to elaborate.
Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin told reporters in the Gaza Strip on Jan. 19 that the militant group would look to women to step up and fulfill their "obligations." He suggested male bombers were increasingly being held back by Israeli security measures.
By Jerome S. Kaufman
“Our enemies asked for war and war is what they got", President G.W. Bush
Walter Mitty, as usual, took over my dreams the very night President GW gave his State of the Union Address. But, President Bush's lean, fit, body suddenly had an Ariel Sharon head with Sharon saying the words "Israel" or "Israeli people" where President Bush would have said the "United States" or "American people". Some of the quotes of the speech follow below. Maybe you can make the image and word changes of my dream? It makes a very comforting illusion.
". We will answer every danger and every enemy that threatens the American people."
" … The country has many challenges. We will not deny. We will not ignore and we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses (Knessets), to other presidents and other generations. We will confront them with focus and clarity and courage."
"As we fight this war, we will remember where it began -- here, in our own country. This government is taking unprecedented measures to protect our people and defend our homeland."
"In the Middle East, we will continue to seek peace between a secure Israel and a democratic Palestine" (Phew! That was really a great part of the dream since I did not have to worry about a Palestinian State anymore what with "democratic and " Palestinian" being an oxymoron)
". We have the terrorists on the run. We're keeping them on the run. One by one, they are learning the meaning of American justice." (Evidently Sharon gave up on making truces with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah having noticed that Bush did not make truces with the Taliban and Al Qaeda)
"Our war against terror is a contest of will in which perseverance is power. . Whatever the duration of this struggle, and whatever the difficulties, we will not permit the triumph of violence in the affairs of men -- free people will set the course of history. (Applause.)
".. Yet the course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others. (Applause.) Whatever action is required, whenever action is necessary, I will defend the freedom and security of the American people." (Applause.)
"We seek peace. We strive for peace. And sometimes peace must be defended. A future lived at the mercy of terrible threats is no peace at all."
"Americans are a resolute people who have risen to every test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our country, to the world and to ourselves. America is a strong nation, and honorable in the use of our strength. We exercise power without conquest, and we sacrifice for the liberty of strangers."
We Americans have faith in ourselves, but not in ourselves alone. We do not know -- we do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind all of life, and all of history.
May He guide us now. And may God continue to bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
But, then I woke up and realized it was just another one of my Walter Mitty dreams - a damn lie with Ariel Sharon going back to his large body and not substituting the words "Israel and Israeli people" for "United States and American people" at all.
And, I will never understand why this simple transition is so difficult.