July 31, 2004

Kerry Convention Speech ignores Israel

New York Post, July 31, 2004


July 31, 2004 -- Democrat John Kerry never once mentioned Israel in his big speech and overall America's closest Mideast ally rated scarcely a word at the Democratic convention, sparking concern among some pro-Israel advocates. "I'm disappointed. It would have been very helpful if he did [mention Israel]," said Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens), who feels the omission could cost Kerry support, especially among Orthodox Jews.

Another pro-Israel delegate wondered aloud if the omission was "a Michigan play" — with Kerry eager to court the sizable Arab-American population in a state that's now a dead heat.

Running mate John Edwards gave a five-word mention to "a safe and secure Israel," and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) gave a pro-Israel speech nowhere near prime time.

Former Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat backing President Bush, said Kerry's omission of Israel is "surprising" and "disturbing" and could be a warning that Kerry feels he has to cater to supporters who aren't pro-Israel.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2004

Michgan Democratic Convention Delegate Has Ties to Al-Qaeda Sleeper Cell!

By Debbie Schlussel July 27, 2004

John Kerry is trying to show he’s "tough on terrorism. "But with delegates like Ismael Ahmed, it’s a tough sell. Ahmed, a Michigan delegate to this week’s Democratic National Convention, is a long-time Democratic activist and a repeat delegate. But the Democrats aren’t touting him to the media. In fact, the only place you’ll read about Ahmed’s delegate credentials is on Al-Jazeerah’s website.

In this first Presidential nominating convention since 9/11, Ahmed’s presence at the convention and his views are more disturbing than ever. Ahmed is the founder and executive director of ACCESS – the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, based in Dearborn, Michigan. Under Ahmed’s leadership, ACCESS paid for commercial driving lessons and attempts at hazardous material hauling certificates for two men convicted as part of the Detroit Al-Qaeda sleeper cell. Testimony at their trial revealed that the men planned to bomb the MGM Grand Casino and a host of other prominent US sites.More chilling is that since ACCESS’ multi-million dollar budget is largely tax-funded, tax dollars likely paid for these men to get their "job training" organized by ACCESS.

When confronted with this, Ahmed made no apologies. On the contrary, he was defiant in defending his organization’s aid to the Qaeda sleepers, comparing their membership in the terrorist group to mere "political credential," such as Democrat or Republican.

In 2002, ACCESS sponsored and funded the Second Annual Palestinian Students Divestment Conference at the University of Michigan. The conference’s keynote speaker was Sami Al-Arian, the now-indicted, alleged leader of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group. His activities were well-known at the time, including letters stating that "the merger with the brothers in Hamas" was almost complete and bragging of a successful bus-bombing in Israel.

Other conference speakers included assorted anti-Semites and anti-Westerners who had previously exhorted violence against and murder of Jews.When confronted on ACCESS’ sponsorship of this conference, Ahmed – whose agency provides tax-funded "sensitivity training"-- told a reporter that it was a cultural activity for Arabic children in the area.

Ahmed apparently thinks that donating to terrorist groups is also a "cultural activity." He opposed the Clinton Counter-terrorism package of 1996, because it prohibited donations to terrorist groups, including Hezbollah and Hamas. Ahmed told a Detroit paper of the difficulty finding Arab-Americans who did not give to these groups.Give Ahmed credit for his honesty – for once.

He has been less than truthful about his own background. For example, he has bragged in writings and to reporters of his "tours" and "hitches" in Vietnam and claimed that he is a "Vietnam Veteran."But, while Ahmed did serve in the U.S. Army, any time he spent in Vietnam was as a tourist – unlike his party’s likely Presidential nominee. While Ahmed was briefly in Korea, military records show that most of his military career was spent stateside at Fort Knox. "Records do not indicate veteran served in Vietnam," wrote Scott Levins, Assistant Director for Military Records at the National Personnel Records Center.

Then there is Ahmed’s reason for founding ACCESS. The organization claims it exists to help Americans of all sorts get social service help. But in an old newspaper interview, Ahmed admits he founded ACCESS "as an advocacy group" while campaigning to persuade auto unions to divest their Israeli bond portfolios. Since then, Ahmed has used ACCESS to shake down corporations and government, much the same way Jesse Jackson has for Operation PUSH and the Rainbow Coalition. And what a coincidence: Ismael Ahmed ran one of Jackson’s successful wins of the Michigan Democratic Primary in the 1980s.
Ahmed continues to shower Jackson with accolades, including keynote speeches at ACCESS’ annual banquet. "Unfortunately," he recently wrote, "Americans had not listened to Jessie [sic] Jackson’s election warning to ‘Stay out of the Bushes.’ "

But, despite the dig, Democrats are not alone in pandering to Ismael Ahmed and ACCESS. In fall 2002, President Bush went out of his way to recognize ACCESS, citing it and an Americorps volunteer who worked for the agency, in a speech at a Detroit area public school. Thereafter, Bush sent then-Americorps chief, Leslie Lenkowsky, to shower ACCESS with a multi-million dollar Arab Americorps program.

While Americorps volunteers typically help build Habitat for Humanity homes for the poor and help underprivileged kids learn to read, Ismael Ahmed’s Americorps program is political. He sends volunteers to work for the Arab-American Institute, a Saudi-funded lobbying group headed by Democratic advisor James Zogby – all at taxpayer expense.

After 9/11, ACCESS campaigned against universities cooperating with federal agents to find foreign students linked to terrorism. In 2002, ACCESS was raided by federal agents in a Medicaid fraud investigation. A television report and several newspaper articles said ACCESS was involved in helping foreign Arabic women fraudulently obtain Medicaid to have their babies here in the United States.With delegates like Ismael Ahmed, John Kerry will have a tough time showing us he’s the best guy to fight terror.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:57 PM

July 25, 2004

Michael Moore and American (and Jewish) self-loathing

By Dennis Prager, The Washington Times, July 18, 2004

Did you ever notice that there are no Germans going around the world
saying or making movies about how awful Germany is or has been
. Given that Germany unleashed two world wars and invented industrialized genocide, why has there been no German Michael Moore?

Are there any Japanese making films about the absence of Japanese soul-searching or expressions of sorrow over their country’s enslavement, torture and murder of Asians in World War II? Has anyone ever encountered any Japanese self hate? Any Belgians telling the world how bad their country is? Argentineans? French? France surely has reason to produce people ashamed of their country

The answer, of course, is no. In fact, among all the world’s peoples, only two produce large numbers of individuals who have greater sympathy for those who hate their country or national/ethnic group than for those who love it —Americans and Jews.

Many on the American Left loathe America -(they love the Constitution and their vision of what America could be) and have contempt for the average
American. That is why most of the Left has such admiration for Michael Moore, who has said, among so much more, the following:

• Americans “are possibly the dumbest people on the planet . . . in thrall to conniving, thieving, smug p----s” (London Daily Mirror).
• “Should such an ignorant people lead the world?” (Open letter to the German People in Die Zeit)

Elsewhere, he speaks of - America as bringing immeasurable misery and sadness to the world and as essentially deserving attacks on it.

There are no comparable self-haters in any other countries except Israel, whose leftists have the same contempt for their country. Nor among any other group except the Jews, whose Left also generally loathe the Jewish state (and America).

Israeli professors in the West are often the leaders in anti- Israel demonstrations and movements. Jews such as Professors Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky devote much of their lives to trying to harm the one Jewish country in the world and express hatred of Jewish institutions.

Here is Finkelstein:
• Jewish organizations “steal, and I do use the word with intent, 95 percent of the monies earmarked for victims of Nazi persecution” (Counterpunch, Dec. 13, 2001)
•Jews “are ‘not Zionist by conviction, they are Zionist - because it is useful for their political and more recently financial self-interest” (same).

In a lecture delivered in Beirut, Mr. Finkelstein likened Israeli actions to “Nazi practices” during World War II, albeit with some added “novelties to the Nazi experiments” (Commentary June 2002).

And Noam Chomsky wrote the foreword to a book denying the Holocaust. This is the same as a black professor writing the foreword to a book by a Ku Klux Klansman.T

This self -loathing on the part of Americans and Jews is all the more remarkable when you consider that leftists of every other group strongly affirm their national, cultural and ethnic identities. For example, while American and Jewish leftists ceaselessly attack America and Israel, black and Hispanic leftists ceaselessly defend blacks and Hispanics.

How then, to explain this anomaly of American — Jewish self-loathing?I offer four explanations in no order of importance.

First, those Jews and Americans who loathe Israel and America are virtually always on the Left, and the Left around the world hates America and Israel. You can’t be a leftist and strongly defend America or Israel. The Left will shun you. And since most of these individuals’ primary identity comes from being a leftist, being ostracized from fellow leftists is hell on earth . . .. .

Second, many leftists are psychologically adolescents. And one feature of adolescent psychology is anger at a parent who claims very high ideals and turns out to be flawed. Many on the Left are angry at America and Israel for being imperfect and therefore disappointing them.

Third, the words ‘American” and “Jewish both represent distinctive value systems, not only national and ethnic identities. And these value systems clash with leftist values. Both American and Jewish identities are rooted in religion and divine chosenness. And the further left one goes, the greater the hostility to religion — especially to Judaism and Christianity (not to Islam, which the Left often defends,, because many Muslims hate Judaism and Christianity as much as the Left does) not to mention to any notion of national or religious exceptionalism.

When you add to this that America also represents capitalism and holds liberty-higher than equality; you can further understand why America elicits so much hatred from its own leftists.

Fourth, since America and Israel are the two most hated countries in the world, and the Jews are the most hated ethnic/religious group, many Americans and Jews would rather identify with the haters than with the hated. That is why, for example, so many American leftists base a large part of their case against George W Bush on his having increased anti-American sentiments around the world. This makes leftists livid.

Again, like adolescents, they yearn to be part of the in-crowd (meaning America and Israel-haters) and fear being disliked. There may be other explanations. But what is certain is that American self-hatred and Jewish self-hatred are unique phenomena that play a particularly destructive role in our world.

Dennis Prager hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show based in Los Angeles.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:42 PM

July 23, 2004

For whom should Jews vote?

July 23, 2004

“As Arab Americans prepare to participate in 2004's Democratic
and Republican party conventions, a new poll of Arab American voters shows
Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry's lead over President George W.
Bush is growing to a more than 2 to 1 margin.”

James Zogby, President American Arab Institute, personal friend of Bill Clinton and Chief Arab-American Propagandist

If Arab Americans are 2/1 for John Kerry, is there some message as to for whom Jews should be voting and sending campaign contributions? Or are there still some Jews that think they and American Arabs share the same political agenda?

Jerome S. Kaufman

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2004

American Catholics and Israel

Redacted from an interview of Don Kenner, Director, Catholic Friends of Israel (CFOI) by Joseph Alexander Norland on the web page, IsraPundit

IsraPundit: Other than maintain the CFOI site, Mr. Kenner, in what activities is CFOI engaged currently?

Don Kenner: The website, the blog, letter-to-the-editor campaigns, op-eds, and contacts with lay Catholics are our main activities at the moment.
We protested (faxes,emails, phone calls) a fundraiser in a Berkeley Catholic Church for the International Solidarity Movement, our position being that politics aside, no Catholic church should be raising money for an organization that aplogizes for terror. We owe this future focus of the group to a Catholic woman in California who saw the ad for the fundraiser and contacted us.

IsraPundit: Are you able to speak about your pro-Israel message in churches?

Don Kenner: There are generally two kinds of Catholic churches: those that allow political activity and those that limit on-site speakers and groups to the pastoral concerns. The former tend to be left-wing and the latter tend to avoid politics. Personally, I would rather speak to groups of Catholics in their homes, but we aren't there yet.

IsraPundit: Your site states that "We believe there are millions of Catholics who represent an untapped resource for support of the Jewish State and its right to defend itself from terrorism." To what extent have you indeed met with popular support among Catholics? Do you find that the readership of your site is increasing?

Don Kenner: I fervently believe that most Catholics in North America have sympathy for Israel's plight and justifiably see their war against terror as linked to our war. The average Catholic soccer mom who writes the checks to the local Church certainly does not support the PLO, ISM Palestinian "resistence" or any other pro-terrorist abominations. Most Catholics, and this includes many in Europe, see radical Islam for what it is: ravenous and unreasonable.

IsraPundit: What data make you believe that "Most Catholics in North America have sympathy for Israel's plight"?

Don Kenner: Most American Catholics are typically American. These lay Catholics are patriotic, suspicious of an over-reaching government, and hard line when it comes to things like terrorism. They sympathize with Israel in the same way that most Americans in general sympathize with Israel. In other words, the phrase "Most Americans sympathize with Israel" does not change when one uses the subset "Most American Catholics...".

Apart from that general observation, I also have specific indications:
- Our email box tends to confirm lay Catholics support Israel.
- Letters to the Editors: in major Catholic publications, anti-Israel material generally comes from Priests, Nun, or liberal activists/writers, while a healthy pro-Israel response comes from lay Catholics.
- Anti-Israel comments are among the most controversial things a priest can say, especially after 9-11.

Think of the Church as having three levels: 1) The Vatican/the Bishops, 2)the Middle Management (Priests, local Church and parish officials, directors of ministries, etc.), and 3) lay Catholics. There is much focus on 1), but in fact it is 2) where the problems with anti-Israel bias reside, and this "middle management" does not represent your average lay Catholic when it comes to controversial issues. This rift has been exacerbated since 9-11.

IsraPundit: Are you considering ties or collaboration with other religious groups, such as Christian Zionists?

Don Kenner: I've been the lone Catholic at a Christian Zionist conference and have always been treated with kindness and respect. However, many Protestant evangelicals regard us Papists as either fools or Satan's concubine. There is much suspicion and often the cause of a safe Israel is used as a cover for debating doctrinal issues. Don't misunderstand me: I thank G-d every day for my evangelical Christian brothers. On both Israel and many other issues we share common ground. I hope that ALL supporters of Israel can work more closely together in the future.

I often find myself defending Protestant fundamentalists to my fellow Catholics, and just as often defending my Church against wild, conspiratorial accusations by both Protestant and Jewish activists. Here's a recent one: the Vatican is manipulating Arab opinion to effect an Arab-Christian take over of Jerusalem so that Rome can, once again, control this holy city. I hope everyone reading this interview can see past this, but I've twice had this put to me and been dared to deny it. Needless to say, the last person who suggested such a thing was Franco, and the idea was rejected.

Realize this: the same news organizations that write outrageous falsehoods about Israel also apply the same lack of professionalism and ideological rigor to their coverage of the Catholic Church. Often it's the very same commentator. When James Carroll divined that the essence of Catholicism was antisemitism, many of our Jewish friends nodded in assent, but when the same James Caroll compared the cutting down of olive trees with suicide bombings, they were less impressed with his acumen. We were not surprised to see the anti-Catholic bigot beating up on the Jewish state. (See CFOI article dated March 20, 2004.)

IsraPundit: How did you research the Israel/Arab conflict so as to become a pro-Israel advocate?

Don Kenner: Twenty years ago I believed in a one state solution (Palestine) and thought insane anyone who considered the Jewish state a permanent entity. Everyone I knew believed this, so it made sense. But even at the time I knew my knowledge of the Arab-Israeli conflict was limited to a few Chomsky-like platitudes. So how did I change?

This may sound strange, but after a period of ignoring the whole Mid East conflict, it was my conversion to Catholicism that set me on the road to Zionism and clear-headed thinking about the Jewish state. The example of the Holy Father with regards to Catholic-Jewish relations, coupled with the simple admonition that Catholics are called to seek the truth, set me on this course.

IsraPundit: A news story in Ha'aretz, 7 July 2004, reported that "The Catholic Church condemned anti-Zionism as a cover for anti-Semitism by means of a joint statement issued by a forum of Catholic-Jewish intellectuals this week." How significant do you deem this statement in terms of changing the official Catholic anti-Israel stance?

Don Kenner: Since the signing (ten years ago) of the Fundamental Agreement between Israel and the Holy See, I don't think there has been anything like an 'official Catholic anti-Israel stance'. The statements from the Vatican, from Bishops, and from other Catholic leaders have been varied and uneven, with the most positive declarations coming from Pope John Paul II. There have been many sad and ridiculous statements from Catholic Bishops, statements that are rarely criticized by Jewish leaders in the U.S. (A little help, please!!).
As to equating of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, it is on target and overdue. There have been other indications that the pro-Israel (or at least not pro-Palestinian) forces in the Church were making their views known. As you might imagine, we at CFOI are elated with the statement.

IsraPundit: Will this statement have any impact on such practical issues as Israel's security barrier, which a gathering of Catholic bishops condemned?

Don Kenner: I regard the American Catholic participation in that one-sided, insensitive, ahistorical, and morally inane statement against Israel's security barrier to be the lowest point in the history of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. What we need is a declaration by courageous, faithful Catholics that the Jews have a natural right to defend themselves from terrorism, consistent with Catholic teachings on subject. Too many hard politicos of the left have carved out a pro-Palestinian trench in our Churches. A little sunlight is the best disinfectant.

IsraPundit: Do you support the so-called "two-state solution"?

Don Kenner: Israel acquired the disputed territories from invading Arab countries. If she wishes to trade some of it away to achieve security, it would seem silly for a bunch of Catholics to protest. However, I believe that the land-for-peace scheme has been an unmitigated failure, precisely because the so-called peace partners want to liberate "occupied Tel Aviv."

IsraPundit: Thank you, Don, for this interview. For the sake of Israel and for the sake of our own democracy in North America, I hope that your organization is successful

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 20, 2004

Re: Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction – Whose Error?


Previously we discussed things that we knew were true. There are also
things we thought were true but popular wisdom said we should have known
were false.

* We thought Saddam was seeking yellowcake uranium in Niger, but he
* And the corollary, we thought Saddam was trying to acquire a nuclear
capability, but he wasn't.
* And the other corollary, we thought the infamous "16 words" in the
State of the Union address were true, but they weren't.
* We thought Saddam was working on affixing chemical sprayers on MiGs,
but he wasn't.
* We thought Saddam had contacts with al-Qaeda operatives, but he didn't.
* We thought President Bush and Prime Minister Blair were telling the
truth about Iraq based on the collective wisdom of Western intelligence
services, but they weren't (i.e., "they lied").

But wait! All those things we thought were true then knew were false,
were, in fact, true!

Saddam was seeking yellowcake and a nuclear capability, and British
intelligence knew it. Saddam buried the MiGs in the desert, and we've
found them. There were contacts with al-Qaeda--and no one has proven the
negative proposition about Saddam and plans for 9-11. And, most
importantly, although the British and U.S. Senate reports on
intelligence prior to the war are damning of American and British
collection and analysis capabilities, both reports are adamant that
President Bush and PM Blair did not apply pressure, manipulate or doctor

They did not lie. Joseph Wilson did.

The first lesson should be less for us than for those who would do us
harm. If Western intelligence collection and analysis leave much to be
desired (they do) but if after the attacks of September 11 Western
governments are no longer willing to risk large scale attacks by
state-supported terrorists (they aren't), it is suddenly in the interest

It argues strongly for transparency by states that don't want to be
attacked by us, not Saddam-style obfuscation. Libya's Khaddafi
understood that what happened to Saddam could happen to him and turned
over his nuclear and chemical arsenal. Nasty countries with long-range
missile technology and chemical/biological programs--Syria, for
example--should note that IF we made a mistake about Saddam's arsenal,
we could make the same mistake about Syria's, with the same affect.

Rather than rending our Western garments, we should be reminding our
adversaries that our mistakes could be their problem.

JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs)
1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 515
Washington, DC 20036

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 19, 2004

A letter from a personal Israeli friend living in Judea/Samaria/Gaza (not “West Bank”) describing what is really happening in Gaza

July 15, 2004

Dear Jerry,

Kissufim is the main road junction and artery for both civilian and military traffic in Gaza. It extends from the area entering the Gaza Strip where, on both sides of the road, there still exist many Arab houses used as sniper positions.

The houses must be destroyed to make this vital artery traversable just as the highway to Jerusalem at the time of the first Arab war in 1948. To our mutual dismay the Israeli Supreme Court remains very Left in its positions, continues to rule for the Arabs and not its own people by not allowing the destruction of these sniper houses by the Israel Defense Forces.

We therefore desperately need a Smart Fence, sensitive to any movement day or night to protect our lives. I wish I could take you around Gush Katif for you to see yourself what a wonderful place the Jews have created there over the last 40 years.

Militarily, the IDF knows the importance of our presence there and warns against our removal. Such a removal gives a prize to terror and the attacks will not only increase but our communities on the immediate Israel coastline – Ashdod and Ashkelon will be in the same situation attacked by missiles etc. as has been Gush Katif to this very minute.

I agree with you that it is the Arabs that should be confined by fences and not the Jews in their own country. Why create a Warsaw ghetto here in Israel? But since the government is weakening our military position all over the country, protective fences have become essential to save Jewish lives.

The entire government and Supreme Court situation is insane

Jordanian officers were just here with IDF officers in Judea/Samaria discussing the Jordan Valley – our Eastern border, as the next Sharon give-away.

The Egyptians are discussing our southern western border. The fact that each day from Egypt not only weapons and explosives are brought into Gaza to murderers but enormous tunnels are dug from Egypt to smuggle the missiles, explosives, weapons and Bosnian and Kosavan snipers who along with the Hezbullah from Lebanon murder our civilians and soldiers daily.

The world and our own general public are kept unaware of the repeated daily anti-tank and sniper fire from Egypt on our soldiers and civilians. . I know because I get the beeper reports from the army positions.

Government insanity and weakness prevails. There is no strong leadership. We are led by a group of our own criminals in government who for a Volvo automobile, a government salary and the lure of self-importance are willing to sacrifice our country.

We pray for a miracle, refuse to give up and continue in our chosen work.

Be well and please continue to assist us.


(PS – Anyone who wishes to contribute a donation to help build this crucial fence along the Kissufim road junction, please contact me via a comment at the bottom of this article. It will remain private and not published)

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 16, 2004

“Palestinian Arab Autonomy, No PA State” PM Yitzhak Rabin

Concept of Regional Palestinian Autonomy to face the coming Storm

By Aaron Lerner 15 July 2004

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in his last policy address to the Knesset on October 5, 1995 before the vote to ratify the Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement:

"We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority."

That's right. Rabin opposed a sovereign Palestinian state. He considered the "two sovereign state" solution a non-starter.

If Rabin were alive today he might find himself more comfortable with the views of National Religious Party leader Eitam, who advocates Palestinian regional autonomy within an Israeli envelope, than he would with the views of either his Labor Party rival Shimon Peres or Likud head Ariel Sharon - both proponents of "two sovereign state" solution schemes.

But wasn't Mr. Rabin aware of the "demographic problem"? The "demographic problem" hinges on what might normally be an esoteric question relegated to political philosophy debates in the ivory tower of academe: is it a sufficient expression of the right to vote for the Palestinians to elect the leaders of an autonomy or must they have the right to vote for the leaders of a sovereign state?

The "demographic problem" hinges on this otherwise esoteric question because the "demographic problem" only exists if the Palestinians in the autonomy can vote in the Israeli Knesset elections.

Just a few short years ago - even after Oslo was signed - even Shimon Peres thought that autonomy was sufficient. and that thus the "demographic problem"
was not relevant. "We thought that autonomy is basically, almost independence," Peres explained.

Ironically, the only significant development relating to this issue since then is that the Oslo experience demonstrated how fundamentally dangerous and unworkable a sovereign Palestinian state would be. Regional level autonomy provides the opportunity to the Palestinian population to exercise a form of self-rule without jeopardizing Israel's security.

Contrary to the radical changes associated with the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state, movement towards regional level autonomy is a natural
development as municipal level leadership gives priority to the provision of municipal services over what might be termed "national concerns".

It should be noted that there have been numerous occasions that Palestinian municipal level authorities have cooperated with Israel in matters relating to
municipal services in contravention of instructions from Ramallah.

That's not to say that this very same municipal leadership has abandoned either the Palestinian rhetoric or goals - just that on a practical level their focus is the provision of local municipal services.

This week there was renewed discussion of the need to prepare to meet the challenge of a post-Arafat power vacuum. It would appear that Prime Minister Sharon wants to somehow hide from the challenge by retreating while Arafat is still in power. But you cannot hide from a problem in your house simply by closing off a room.

Redoubling efforts towards regional level autonomy via increased cooperation on a municipal level, in contrast, may help towards providing the stability to weather the coming storm.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava) Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730

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July 15, 2004

The “Documentary” Control Room”

To my surprise several film critics have come out praising the so-called “documentaray” called Control Room. It is supposedly about the inner workings of the Arab propaganda TV network, Al-Jazeera. Evidently, the movie critics and I were watching different films but somehow, they both had the same name. The film that I watched had very little to applaud.

Much of the film centered around an admitted proud liar, Samir Khadir, Senior Producer of Al-Jazeera. Most footage showed Khadir smirking his way through the film while glorying in the lies he himself was telling his Arab audience. One would have to guess this necessary in order to satisfy the Arab leadership involved with the company, save his own neck and provide enough money to support himself and his family. It was hardly an attempt at honest reporting.

In one segment Khadir’s dedication was obvious. He raised hell with a junior staffer who had brought in an American commentator for a supposedly objective evaluation of what was happening in the Iraq war. Mr. Khadir did not like what the expert was saying so he simply cut him off and then, addressing his Arab TV viewers, made up an entire dialog as to what the man supposedly had said and what would suit Khadir, his bosses and his Arab audience.

But then the truth came out of Khadir - almost by accident. After spending the entire film bashing the West and telling complete lies to his own people while deliberately feeding into their self-destructive delusions as to their importance, their place in history, the infallibility of their religion, the progress of their war, etc, Khadir suddenly described his life’s ambition – he would love to get a job with Fox News!

What about his family? Well, that was easy. He said his goal was to get his children into the United States under student visas and then see to it that they were able to stay here permanently as American citizens. So much for the great glories of Islam and Arab culture.

In another segment, the Al-Jazeera producer, Deema Khatib, a young woman that evidently had had some exposure to the West, proudly declared that in her writing and producing she was simply protecting her own people. The question screeched out, protecting them from what – the truth, their own inadequacies, the great depth of their ignorance and their falling off the world stage of progress in the arts, science, literature, standard of living, democracy, women’s rights, children’s rights, civil liberties, etc.

Khatib’s main embarrassment was the fact that the Americans had won the initial stages of the war so easily. She lamented where was our army; where was the vaunted Republican Guard of Saddam Hussein? She was not remotely concerned with the liberation of her people from a bloody tyrant who had killed thousands and treated the whole nation as his personal fiefdom. She just wanted to make sure the Americans did not beat and embarrass him - a sentiment that still pervades many Iraqis.

Then film critic Robinson later describes a “genteel giant”, Hassan Ibrahim, who spent a great deal of time and effort trying to brainwash a young American office involved in watching the Al-Jazeera operation. At the end of the conversation, the “genteel giant” concluded for the young officer that, of course, Israel was the source of all the problems in Iraq and the Middle East. Unfortunately the young officer nodded his head in agreement and said that he hoped to spend more time with Mr. Ibrahim in order to obtain more information!

So, unlike Mr. Robinson, I do not recommend you see the film. It has nothing to offer other than to confirm the fact that the word “documentary” seems to have taken on a life of its own with truth not a necessary part of the definition.

Jerome S. Kaufman

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:25 AM | Comments (58) | TrackBack

July 13, 2004

Abandoning Gaza By FLAME

Would Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza lead to peace?

Prime Minister Sharon of Israel, under enormous pressure by the U S government to “do something,” has agreed to vacate Israeli settlements in Gaza, together with certain settlements in Samaria (the northern ‘West Bank”), in hopes that this might lead to an end of the bloody Arab/Israeli conflict. Perhaps not too surprisingly, Mr. Sharon’s own Likud party has overwhelmingly rejected plan. But that is certainly not the end of it. It is bound to be resurrected.

What are the facts?

The primary error is the concept that Gaza belongs to its mostly Arab inhabitants. Gaza, which had previously been a province of the Ottoman Empire, became after the First World War, part of the British Mandate of Palestine. In 1947, the UN proposed to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab sectors The Jews accepted the partition— the Arabs rejected it out of hand, and in 1948, on the very day of Israel’s founding, five Arab armies invaded the nascent Jewish state

Miraculously, the ragtag Jewish forces defeated the combined Arab might. But after that war, Jordan remained in occupation of the “West Bank” and the eastern part of Jerusalem. Egypt stayed in control of the Gaza strip. It remained there until after the Six Day War of 1967, when, in one of the most astonishing actions in military history, Israel once again defeated the combined Arab might. At the end of that brief but decisive conflict Israel found itself in possession of all of the areas that the Arabs had previously occupied, including the Gaza strip. After it assumed administration of the Strip in 1967, Israel made every effort to improve the life of the Gazans, and to provide decent housing and infrastructure. All such efforts were rebuffed by the Arabs, who preferred keeping the Gazans in miserable “refugee camps,” where they would fester in squalor for over fifty years, dreaming of bloody vengeance against Israel.

A very poor plan

If Jewish settlements in Gaza were to be abandoned, it would be understood as a victory for terrorism. Inevitably, if Israeli settlers and the Israeli military were to leave the area, the terror emanating from Gaza would increase the violence would explode. The Gaza terrorists, no longer restrained by the Israeli military would launch hundreds more rockets, missiles and mortar rounds into Israel. Short of blanketing the area with massive artillery and air strikes, which would cause tens of thousands of deaths (and which the world would not allow to happen), Israel would stand defenseless against such onslaughts.

In proposing the abandonment of Gaza with its approximately 7,500 Jewish inhabitants, who, in stark contrast to the Arabs surrounding them, have created prosperous communities, industries and agriculture in the area, there is nothing at all that the Israelis: are expected to receive for such an enormous sacrifice. There isn’t even a promise -though it would in any case be quite meaningless — to abstain from violence.

In accepting a plan to vacate Gaza, Israel would effectively relinquish the right of its citizens to live anywhere they wish in the land of Israel. Such right is unquestioningly granted to the Arabs. They live in Gaza, of course, and in the ‘West Bank.” Over one million of them live in Israel proper, where they have equal rights with the Jews and enjoy all benefits of citizenship.

The plan for the Jewish inhabitants to abandon Gaza is a thoroughly bad one. It would acknowledge that, in order to be acceptable to the Arabs, Gaza had to be “judenrein” — free of Jews — a concept invented by the Nazis. It would reward terror and would be understood as a sign of weakness. It would leave the Arabs at complete liberty to import the most destructive weapons through their port and their airport. Nobody doubts that they would do just that. It would not bring the solution to the Arab/Israeli conflict one step closer. To the contrary, it would exacerbate it and very likely result in full-fledged war, quite possibly involving weapons of mass destruction.

But here’s a better idea. Yes, move all Jews from Gaza and even from those parts of the “West Bank,” that might eventually be ceded to form an autonomous Arab entity and repatriate them to “Israel proper. ” But, at the same time, evacuate all Arabs from Israel and resettle them in Gaza, the “West Bank,” or wherever they might want to go. Such exchange of populations would be drastic, but certainly not unprecedented. The vast exchange of Muslims and non-Muslims on the Indian subcontinent, though accompanied by much bloodshed, is perhaps the best and ultimately most successful example of such population exchange.

Facts and Logic About the Middle East
P0 Box 590359 San Francisco, CA 94159
Gerardo Joffe, President

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July 11, 2004

U.S. Eonomy on track for near-record year

I was pleasantly surprised to read this item after hearing all the gloom and doom economic predictions coming from the Kerry political campaign.

By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press – July 7, 2004

WASHINGTON — The economy appears headed for a banner year despite a springtime spike in energy prices and a recent increase in interest rates.
In fact, many analysts are forecasting that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, will grow by 4.6 percent or better this year, the fastest in two decades.

There were strong 4.5 percent growth rates in 1997 and ‘999, when Bill Clinton was president and the country was in the midst of. a record 10-year expansion.
But if this year’s growth ends up a bit faster than that, it will he the best since the economy roared ahead at a 7.2 percent rate in 1984, a year when another Republican president — Ronald Reagan — was running for reelection.

“We are moving Into a sweet spot for the economy with interest rates not too high, jobs coming back and business investment providing strength,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Bank One in Chicago, who is predicting GDP growth of 4.8 percent this year.

President Bush is highlighting the improving economy at every opportunity while Democratic challenger John Kerry has focused on what he calls a middle class squeeze of rising health and tuition costs and laid-off workers forced to take lowerpaying jobs.

Who will win on the all- important pocketbook issues? Economists aren’t sure.
“It is unclear whether voters will remember the past year and the better jobs created during that period or the past four years,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Economy.com.

Assessing the economy at midyear, most private economists are sticking with the optimistic forecasts they had six months ago, even though inflation driven by surging energy prices, rose higher than expected and the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates last month.

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July 09, 2004

Sharon makes Gaza Judenrein

Subject: LETTER FROM RUTH MATAR, Thursday, June 17, 2004

Dear Friends,

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made a most shocking statement: "BY THE END OF 2005 NOT ONE JEW WILL REMAIN IN GAZA".

I want to point out that the Jewish Communities in Gaza are not just a collection of a few caravans erected on some desolate sand dunes.

The following are some pertinent facts about Gaza:

*21 communities, most of them founded some 20 years ago
* Close to 8,000 residents
* 26 synagogues
* Over 20 yeshivot, schools and other educational institutions (not including nurseries and kindergartens)
* 900 acres of greenhouses growing bugless lettuce, cherry tomatoes (90% of Israel's exports), organic vegetables, spices, flowers, plants and more.
* $60 million a year in exports - an average of $7,500 for every man, woman and child
* Manufactures 70% of all of Israel's organic produce.
* Has faced over 4,000 mortar shells and Kassam rocket attacks, as well as 10,000 shooting incidents, at the hands of Palestinian terrorists over the past 3.5 years.
* A 10% growth in population since the Oslo War began in September

Why is Sharon so anxious to make Gaza Judenrein? Does he think that this will help the stability and security of the rest of the country? Of course it will not accomplish this! Quite the opposite! The Kassam rockets, instead of being fired on Jewish communities in Gaza, will be fired on southern cities, like Ashkelon and Sderot, and may even again target Sharon's farm in the Negev! (His farm has actually been hit on one occasion.)

Sharon has handed the Arab terrorists a great victory. They well understand that terror has brought them the result of Jews abandoning Jewish Land and Jewish Communities, and that additional terror will bring them even greater results.

Sharon has also damaged the idea of the existence of global terrorism. President Bush said in his address before cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy on June 2, 2004, that the war against Jihad ideology must be fought throughout the Arab world. But not in Judea, Samaria and Gaza?

Unfortunately, the United States Government has not as yet realized, that the Arabs refusal to recognize Israel's right to its historic Homeland is an integral part of Jihad ideology. The fight against the very existence of Israel by radical Islam is an important and essential part of global Jihad and is the engine which fuels worldwide terrorism.

In fact, the news just broke yesterday that the U.S. independent commission investigating the events of 9/11, revealed that al-Qaida planned to carry out attacks on American targets during scheduled trips by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the White House. This new information is based on the interrogations of September 11 plot mastermind Kahlid Shaikh Muhammad. This attack was supposedly to punish the United States for its perceived support of Israel.

Thus it becomes clear that it does not help the United States in its fight against terrorism to target the bullies (Saddam Hussein and Co.) in one neighborhood, and protect the very father of modern terrorism (Arafat) and his crew in the adjoining neighborhood.

With yesterday's revelation of al-Qaida's motivation for the horrific attack of 9/11, it is hoped that President Bush will now pursue the policy that should certainly be in America's interest, namely to include the Palestinian Arabs as an enemy in the struggle against global Jihad and worldwide terrorism. America must no longer be afraid to displease its Saudi "friends"(15 of the 19 hijackers of 9/11 were Saudi citizens.) During the last week we hear every day about Americans in Saudi Arabia being killed, taken hostage, or threatened with Arab style execution. The Saudi Royal Family has continually closed their eyes to terrorism by their subjects, as long as it did not affect them. By the way, how come the perpetrators always manage to escape from the Saudi jails?

Remember the Khobar Towers attack on American soldiers in Dharan in Saudi Arabia on June 25, 1996? 19 U.S. Servicemen lost their lives and hundreds were injured. This happened during the Presidency of Bill Clinton. It has repeatedly been alleged that the Saudi Government was not very cooperative in the investigation of this tragedy.

Moreover, hopefully, even the U.S. State Department will now realize that it isn t Israel that is provoking a conflagration in the Muslim world that might threaten American interests, it is the very existence of the Holy Land not being part of the Islamic Empire, that so enrages al-Qaida and its Saudi sponsors.

It is to be hoped, that under these new revelations, President Bush will no longer support Ariel Sharon's undemocratic plans which he is trying to force down the throats of the Israel people. Sharon has successfully manipulated President Bush into believing that the majority of the Israeli people want to cut and run from their restored Homeland, and that they want to forget the thousands of Jews who fought and died in the wars initiated by the Arabs. This is not true! In fact, their sacrifices would be in vain if Sharon, G-d forbid, would succeed in his undemocratic machinations such as his unilateral disengagement plan from Jewish Communities in Biblical Gaza and Samaria, and the establishment of a Palestinian state on Jewish Land.

Such realization by President Bush would, of course, have an effect on the American fight against terrorists in Iraq. A great many of the so-called "foreign fighters" and suicide bombers are actually Palestinian Arabs who currently reside in Biblical Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380

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July 08, 2004

Robert Bork/Pat Robertson - Power Grab of the Left via the Courts Here, Israel and the Immediate World.

(redacted from article: The Judiciary's Left Liberal Agenda)

CBN.com – Robert Bork is a distinguished jurist who was nominated to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in 1987. He has also served as Solicitor General and has been a Distinguished Professor at Yale University. He is now a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and he has written a book on judicial activism called, Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges. He recently appeared on The 700 Club to talk with Pat Robertson about the issue.

Pat Robertson: Judge Bork it's a pleasure to have you back with us on The 700 Club. What is this business of coercing virtue? What are the courts trying to do and who's driving the train?

Robert Bork: Well, the train is being driven by what we call loosely the 'Intellectual Elite.' They're not very elite, but I can't think of a better name other than the 'Chattering Class' or the 'Olympians' or something of that sort. I'm talking about university professors, law school professors, journalists, print and electronic, Hollywood celebrities, much of the clergy, church bureacracy and so forth, foundation staff. These are people who shape opinions, people who are verbalists and they are well to the left of the American public. And the most distinguishing feature they have is that they are much less religious, in fact, they have a real animosity toward religion. (More) than the American public does in general. But they are doing their best to drive public religion out of the public square and they've just about succeeded.

Pat Robertson: Well, if they get rid of religion, they're sort of idealistic, what is it they are trying to do?

Robert Bork: Well, they're trying to have their own version of Utopia manifested, largely through the courts. They have a value system that when you put it up for election, when someone confesses to it as a candidate, he loses, and you can't get the more extreme items through the legislatures. So, the courts, being part of that class, the intellectual class, and responding to that class, have by and large joined that side of what we call the culture war. Not all judges, of course, but enough of them to make theirs the winning side in the courts.

Pat Robertson: If you said, 'OK, I am the Utopian candidate and here is my agenda, one, two, three, four.' What would my principles be as one of these Utopians?

Robert Bork: It would be strict separation of the church and state, which is contrary to the Constitution's original meaning. It would be abortion-on-demand, it would mean the normalization of homosexuality, and a whole list of cultural aims that the majority of Americans don't agree with.

Robert Bork: One of the really terribly disturbing features of the Supreme Court, and this is true of the courts of all Western nations, is that they are making up constitutional rights that are nowhere in the Constitution. There is nothing in the Constitution one way or another about homosexual sodomy and the Supreme Court finds it’s a constitutional right. There's nothing in the Constitution one way or another about abortion. It's not against abortion, it's not for abortion, but the Supreme Court made up a right to abortion. Now, that's the most distubring thing. They are constantly making up the Constitution as they go along and they are making it up according to the agendy of the left-liberals. The ACLU might as well be writing the Constitution these days.

Pat Robertson: Well now, you call this in your book 'the American disease' and people have stood in some horror to see a democratic nation like the United States being seized by what amounts to a coup d'tat and yet, you say this American disease is spreading. As a matter of fact we're picking up some of the cases from Zimbabwe or from the European Court of civil rights.

Robert Bork: I know, well, it's…the Canadians, when they framed their charter in 1982, their Constitution, said they did not want to undergo the American disease. But of course they have, their court is as least as activist as ours and they should have discovered it's not an American disease, it's a judicial disease. And everywhere courts have been given the power to override legislatures they have begun to make up the Constitution to fit the left-liberal desires. That's because the culture war runs across all Western nations and the forces in that war are the same in all Western nations.

Pat Robertson: You mention in Israel, and that's shocking to me, that there was a power grab in the Israel court that's worse than what we have here in Washington.

Robert Bork: Israel must have the most activist, and from my point of view, the worst court in the Western world. They have developed an intrusive, pervasive constitutional law without really having a Constitution. Now that's hard to do, but they've managed it and they have managed to get themselves in a position where they, in effect, control the membership of their own court. They've done a variety of things -- there's so many, I list a lot of them in the book, but there's too many to list here.

Pat Robertson: You said the Attorney General is appointed, or under the control of the Supreme Court, the choose their members and are not appointed by the President or Prime Minister.

Robert Bork: Well, there's a commission that chooses candidates, I think it's a nine-member commission, and the Supreme Court has three members on that commission, but the others are like the head of the Bar association, deans of law schools and so forth, people who are influenced by the court. Now, it is said, and I think it's true, that no one has ever been accepted or put on the Supreme Court or rejected by the court over the contrary views of the Supreme Court. So they have the effective power to control appointments to their own court.

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July 05, 2004

Michael Moore and Hizbullah

From: Washington Times, July 4, 2004

A little help from my friends

The company distributing filmmaker Michael Moore’s Bush~bashing movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” says it won’t reject an offer of help from Middle East terrorist organization Hezbollah, WorldNetDaily. com reports.

The Web site had reported earlier that terrorists affiliated with the Iran-backed network two weeks ago offered to help promote the film in the United Arab Emirates.

The movie industry publication Screen Daily reported, “In terms of marketing the film, distributor Front Row is getting a boost from organizations related to Hezbollah, which have rung up from Lebanon to ask if there was anything they can do to support the film.”

The story then quotes FrontRow Managing Director Gianluca Chacra. “We can’t go against these organizations as they could strongly boycott the film in Lebanon and Syria.”

Terror-war supporting organization Move America Forward publicized the Chacra quote and reacted strongly against it, WorldNetDaily said. “Michael Moore dismisses Americans who are upset with his film and the impact it has in undermining support for the war against terrorism,” said Melanie Morgan, vice chairman of Move America Forward “ At the same time, his distribution companies are concerned about offending the sensibilities of terrorists.

That certainly gives rise to asking the question: Whose side are you on?”

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July 02, 2004

Senator Kerry Missing

When both houses of Congress voted to show support of Israel last week Senator Kerry was Missing in Action. That should be sending a potent message to friends of the Jewish state

By Zev Chafets, Jewish World Review, June 29, 2004

Kerry's no-show conveyed a tacit but unmistakable revelation of dissent.
Congress voted overwhelmingly last week to affirm the Bush revolution in Middle East policy. On Wednesday, by a 407-9 vote, the House "strongly endorsed" two promises made by the President to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in a letter of April 14: 1) The U.S. agrees that it is "unrealistic" for Israel to pull back to the pre-1967 lines and dismantle its major West Bank settlements, and 2) the U.S. does not expect Israel to resettle Palestinian refugees. The next day, the Senate passed a similar nonbinding resolution. The vote was 95 to 3.

The Bush doctrine, now ratified by both houses of Congress, radically alters more than 30 years of American Middle Eastern diplomacy. It puts the U.S., for the first time, flatly on the Israeli side of the post-Six-Day War dispute. Not surprisingly, Sharon hailed this as "a great day in the history of Israel."

Only three senators voted against the pro-Israel resolution: ex-Klansman Robert Byrd of West Virginia, John Sununu of New Hampshire and independent James Jeffords of Vermont. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, skipped the ballot. So did only one other senator: John Kerry. He was in California.

Why did Kerry absent himself? He had some commitments on the West Coast - meeting with retired auto exec Lee Iacocca, taking a bow at a Hollywood fund-raising concert — nothing he couldn't have skipped to cast a vote on America's new Israel policy. No, Kerry ducked out because he didn't want to be there. His no-show conveyed a tacit but unmistakable message of dissent.

President Bush's tilt toward Israel is very unpopular in Old Europe, among American foreign policy establishmentarians and in the Naderite wing of the Democratic Party. All three constituencies matter very much to Kerry. His Senate no-show signals to them that a Kerry administration wouldn't be bound by his predecessor's promises or policies.

This may seem politically courageous. In fact, it is not. True, support for Israel is widespread in the U.S. — last week's margins in the House and Senate make that plain. But those for whom it is the key issue will undoubtedly vote for Bush. No American President (heck, no Israeli president) has ever been such an ardent Zionist.

For run-of-the-mill pro-Israel Americans, Kerry is supportive enough. Democratic Jews (the party's main Israel constituency) aren't really all that concerned about details. They can live with a return to the "evenhandedness" of the Clinton-Gore years. After all, even Jimmy Carter, who was downright unfriendly to Israel, got around 60% of the Jewish vote in 1980. Kerry can expect considerably more than that.

That's why the accusation that Bush's pro-Israel policies are politically inspired — a charge made most recently by Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.) — are absurd. Sure, Sharon's blessing may do the Republicans some good in Miami or Borough Park, Brooklyn. But there simply aren't enough "Israel first" votes to change the outcome of an election.

George Bush knows this. So does John Kerry. That's why the senator could afford to punt on Thursday. It won't hurt him politically, and it broadens his options if he's elected. President Kerry will be able to shift back to a more "evenhanded" approach to the Middle East conflict without being accused of flip-flopping. After all, on the day the Senate voted to ratify Bush's promises to Israel, Kerry just happened to be 3,000 miles away.

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