June 04, 2009

Kudos to Mort Klein, President of the Zionist Org. of America

At least one American Jewish leader has some cajones.

WorldNetDaily Exclusive
Thursday, June 04, 2009

Israeli Arab lawmaker clashes with U.S. visitor

Knesset member rants, demands American Jewish leader be banned

May 31, 2009

By Aaron Klein
WorldNetDaily

JERUSALEM An American Jewish leader was restricted by security guards from entering Israel's parliament after he questioned an Arab lawmaker over seemingly anti-Israel statements and practices, WND has learned. The episode unfolded last week when Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, was in the Knesset waiting room with a group of other U.S. Jewish leaders who had come to parliament for pre-scheduled meetings with the country's top leadership, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The group was about to enter when Klein noticed Israeli Arab Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi was walking into the building.

According to Klein and several witnesses who spoke to WND, the ZOA president approached Tibi and questioned him about a conference the lawmaker attended in Doha last year in which he reportedly registered as a representative for the state of "Palestine" and not Israel. Tibi, who once was an official adviser to late PLO Leader Yasser Arafat, has multiple times represented himself as acting for "Palestine." Klein also questioned Tibi about scores of purported anti-Israel statements the lawmaker made, such as recent public charges of Israeli apartheid against the Palestinians.

“I asked Tibi if he thinks it appropriate for a Knesset member to be blackening Israel's image by calling it an apartheid state and going around as a paid Knesset member and yet representing himself as from the so-called state of Palestine, which doesn't exist," Klein said. Both Klein and multiple witnesses related how after the questions were asked, Tibi started screaming at the top of his lungs for security to expel Klein, accusing the Jewish leader of physically and then verbally assaulting him. More than one witness told WND Tibi was "acting like a maniac." When the guards entered, Tibi immediately retracted his claim of physical assault, but maintained that Klein had verbally assaulted him - a charge denied by the many witnesses in the room at the time.

In line with instructions from the Knesset speaker, Likud member Reuven Rivlin, security guards were instructed not to allow entry to Klein until he formally apologized to Tibi, an action Klein refused to take. "Why should I apologize for asking Tibi a legitimate question?" Klein asked. "And why should Rivlin side with Tibi? Rivlin has been a friend of mine for years and agrees with my views, plus I didn't do anything wrong." Klein called up Knesset Members Aryeh Eldad of the National Union Party and Danny Danon of Likud, both of whom invited Klein into the building as their personal guests, but the Jewish leader was still denied entry.

After waiting in the lobby for over two hours, Klein was finally allowed in when Tibi accepted an in-person statement from the ZOA president that he did not mean to offend Tibi with his questions. That statement was brokered by a lawmaker from the opposition Kadima party. At the time, according to witnesses, Tibi refused to shake Klein's hand. The drama did not end there, however.

About 30 minutes after the truce, Klein and other Jewish leaders ran into Tibi again in a large open section of the Knesset. They told WND that they overheard Tibi speaking on his cell phone in English about how Klein was only allowed into the building after he officially apologized to Tibi. At that point, Klein's deputy, Steve Goldberg, approached Tibi to point out to the lawmaker that he was inaccurately describing the fiasco. "That's a total lie. Stop telling people that lie. Klein never apologized," Goldberg said, according to witnesses. Tibi then started screaming at Goldberg, prompting about 12 security guards to rush into the room. Tibi claimed to the guards that Klein and Goldberg had both verbally assaulted him. He demanded the pair be barred from the Knesset immediately. Klein and others in the room, however, pointed out that Goldberg acted alone and that Tibi was not verbally assaulted. Tibi then relented and instructed the guards to only boot Goldberg, who was promptly escorted from the building and was not allowed back in that day.

In an interview with WND yesterday, Tibi claimed that when Klein first approached him in the Knesset lobby, the Jewish leader had told Tibi he should not be allowed in the Knesset building because of his alleged anti-Israel views. That claim was strongly denied by Klein and other witnesses who were interviewed. Tibi also told WND that Klein was a "rightist" who is "anti Arab. He has a problem with me because my first name is Ahmed," Tibi said. Klein retorted, "No, I have a problem with him because he is anti-Israel and also a Knesset member."

Knesset Member Danon said he filed a formal complaint with the Knesset
speaker about the episode. "Tibi is not running the Knesset," Danon told WND. "There is no reason a Jewish leader who spends his life defending Israel abroad should have to go through this travesty in the Knesset building. I am proud Klein did not apologize, and I commend him for the questions he asked Tibi."

And you thought that Bar Ilan University was immune from the disease of Jewish self-hatred and auto-annihilation? Think again:

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2005

A Puzzlement in Religious Positions

(How is it that the governing body of the 70 million world-wide member
Anglican Communion takes the Hebrew bible far more seriously than most of the 13 million Jews of the world and their religious and temporal organizations?)


Anglican churches in the U.S., Canada, face split over Gays


By Julia Duin, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, March 6, 2005

The U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada must cease ordaining homosexuals and conducting blessings of same-sex unions by the year 2008 or withdraw from the worldwide - Anglican Communion, the denomination’s archbishops ruled Feb. 24. 2005. In the meantime, the two churches cannot participate in the governing body of the 70-million-member Anglican Communion, according to a five-page communiqué issued from a conference in Northern Ireland.

“There remains a very real question about whether North American churches are willing to accept the same teaching on matters of sexual morality as is generally accepted elsewhere in the Communion;’ the document said.
“We request the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of
Canada voluntarily withdraw” from the Anglican Consultative Council, which operates the day-to-day functions of the Anglican Communion under Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

The Rev. Jan Nunley, an Episcopal Church spokeswoman, said no decision had been made on whether the U.S. church, represented at the conference in Northern Ireland by Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold, would abide by the request. The three U.S. members of the Anglican Consultative Council “will speak with the presiding bishop when he returns from Ireland [...],“ she said.


In the communiqué, 35 archbishops and presiding bishops representing the national churches on six continents gave their US and Canadian members until the summer of 2008 Lambeth Conference to decide whether to split from the world-wide body or adhere to Anglican policy that forbids both actions. The Americans and Canadians also have been summoned to a meeting in Nottingham, England, in June to explain why they departed from Anglican policies in both matters.

The Canadian church began conducting same-sex blessing ceremonies in May 2003 and the US. Episcopal Church in November, 2003 consecrating a homosexual bishop, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, a divorced man living with his male lover.

Bishop Griswold issued a brief statement February 24 admitting that the communiqué “will not please everyone.”…“It is important to keep in mind that it was written with a view to making room for a wide variety of perspectives," he said.

Several Episcopal dioceses, including the Diocese of Washington, have been conducting same-sex blessing ceremonies, although Washington Bishop John B. Chane has asked parishes to refrain from doing so while the matter is being debated in worldwide Anglicanism. However, Anglican bishops during the 1998 Lambeth Conference in England, voted in a statement saying sex between homosexuals is “incompatible with Scripture?" That policy still holds, the communiqué said. The statement is a victory for Anglican conservatives, who oppose the same-sex ceremonies and Bishop Robinson’s consecration.

The Rev. Martyn Minns, the canon at Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax, Va., who was in Ireland monitoring the meeting, was not willing to use the word “victory" but to describe the bishops’ findings, instead, calling them “a very strong rebuke. “It’s clear that the Americans and Canadians have been suspended for three years while they consider whether to be Anglicans or not," he said.

Several Anglican provinces already have split with the U.S. Episcopal Church over the Robinson matter, and several archbishops from Africa, Southeast Asia and South America have conducted services and offered Episcopal oversight for conservative Episcopal churches in dioceses with liberal bishops.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2004

The Great Arab Refugee Scam

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.
I
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.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:06 PM | Comments (113) | TrackBack

February 06, 2004

Gaza: The Case Against Israeli Withdrawal

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
wrote:

"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,
2003)

* 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,
1993)

* 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
www.zoa.org
Morton A. Klein, National President

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 12:21 PM | Comments (140) | TrackBack

February 04, 2004

Adultery begets Martyrdom, too

(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.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:12 PM | Comments (108) | TrackBack

February 01, 2004

The Bush/Sharon Double Standard - The State of the Union Speech

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.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:34 AM | Comments (185) | TrackBack

January 30, 2004

Requiem for the Kibbutz Movement and the Socialistic System in Israel


(Now if the Israelis would only allow Economics Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get rid of the repressive elements of the Histadrut Labor Union and wrench Israel into the 21sst century of economics)

(A most thoughtful article by Saul Singer, Jerusalem Post International Jan. 9, 2004)

During the impressionable year after my 15th birthday, I lived on a kibbutz - Kissufim, to be exact, now in the news because of its proximity to the Gaza Strip, but then just a typical collective community enjoying the arid beauty of the northern Negev. Then, over a quarter of a century ago, the kibbutz existed in its original form. Most of the children slept in children's houses, rather than in their parents' homes a few, steps away. The dining room was a hub of activity, morning, noon, and night. I remember the bottoms of my feet strengthening
from walking around barefoot, the smell of Eucalyptus trees and tractors, and considering the bicycle a form of high-speed transportation.

A week ago, the United Kibbutz Movement, the largest group of kibbutzim, met to officially bless the dissolution of the original collectivist ideal into a construct I dubbed "renewed" kibbutzim. In a "renewed" kibbutz, members will own their own houses, be able to work outside the kibbutz, and receive differential salaries according to their contribution to the collective economy. Children's houses went by the wayside long ago, in favor of parents raising children in their own homes.

It is easy to sneer at the demise of the kibbutz as one more nail in the coffin of socialism. That it surely is, both because the kibbutz was socialism in its purest form and because the conditions afforded that experiment could not have been more favorable. The kibbutzim survived for years under the umbrella of a largely socialized system and so were able to enjoy government benefits without suffocating under the general collapse of a fully planned economy.

The irony is, that if our economy had gone further and faster in the free market direction and was growing at a nice clip then the kibbutzim might be thriving today. The richer a kibbutz is the more it can afford to stick to socialism.

But the kibbutz was not just an economic experiment but also a social one. When I lived on a kibbutz, I thought it was smart to give kids some distance, however small, from their parents. I saw how it produced kids who tended to appreciate their parents more, and had less need to go through the normal adolescent rebellion against them.

Yet the children's houses were scrapped long ago, irrespective of the economic woes that scuttled other sacred beliefs. What this shows is the power of human nature, and the futility of social and economic systems that try to reshape that nature rather than take advantage of it.

Another irony was that the kibbutz, a system designed to eliminate materialism and competition, produced opposite results. Kibbutzniks were often extremely competitive, to their credit, whether in sports or the military. And it is hard to escape the materialism of the classic kibbutz obsession over whether one member had a better television, or somehow benefited from a wealthy uncle, and so on.

Though there are religious kibbutzim, it is no coincidence that most are archly secular, because the kibbutz philosophy was ultimately very un-Jewish. Judaism, its ultra-Orthodox offshoot notwithstanding, is the most respectful of human nature of the three Abrahamic religions. Other religions deal with human vices by going to the opposite extreme, thereby turning asceticism, pacifism, and abstinence into ideals. The attempt to tame materialistic instincts by creating pure equality is of the same cloth.

The question is often asked why the Bible not only begins with stories rather than laws, but with such unsavory descriptions of the Patriarchs that we recall so prominently in the daily prayers. We remind ourselves that we are descended from Jacob, who manipulated his brother and fooled his father in order to obtain the birthright, to mention one among many unsavory incidents. Maybe the purpose of this is not to forget our ancestors’ foibles but to confirm that there is no perfection in humanity, that the ideal is not perfection, but to manage imperfection? Kari Marx was a Jewish anti-Semite who wrote that "Money... is the Jew's real God." As a socialist, he was right to see Judaism as the enemy because capitalism is based on a very Jewish idea: adapting the problematic sides of human nature for good.

Judaism does not try to ban alcohol, sex, or competition, but to co-opt and channel them. Wine becomes part of hallowing the Sabbath, as doe’s sex with one's spouse. Capitalism channels human traits like ambition and greed in a way that does not prevent their abuse, but also produces critical byproducts, such as the ultimate elimination of poverty. Capitalism even contains within it the potential of increasing freedom from competition. The record shows that richer societies are more charitable, allow for many non-material luxuries rare in poor societies such as high literacy, support for the arts, and cleaning up the environmental mess created by an economy's industrial phase.

I had a good kibbutz experience, and I know many people whose lives have been similarly enriched. The kibbutz would be a sad thing to lose. But I would rather lose the kibbutz than squash human nature.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:50 AM | Comments (191) | TrackBack

January 18, 2004

Requiem for the Kibbutz Movement and the Socialistic System in Israel

(Now if the Israelis allow Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get rid of the repressive elements of the Histadrut Labor Union and wrench Israel into the 21st century of economics)

(A most thoughtful article by Saul Singer, Jerusalem Post International Jan. 9, 2004)

During the impressionable year after my 15th birthday, I lived on a kibbutz - Kissufim, to be exact, now in the news because of its proximity to the Gaza Strip, but then just a typical collective community enjoying the arid beauty of the northern Negev. Then, over a quarter of a century ago, the kibbutz existed in its original form. Most of the children slept in children's houses, rather than in their parents' homes a few, steps away. The dining room was a hub of activity, morning, noon, and night. I remember the bottoms of my feet strengthening
from walking around barefoot, the smell of Eucalyptus trees and tractors, and considering the bicycle a form of high-speed transportation.

A week ago, the United Kibbutz Movement, the largest group of kibbutzim, met to officially bless the dissolution of the original collectivist ideal into a construct I dubbed "renewed" kibbutzim. In a "renewed" kibbutz, members will own their own houses, be able to work outside the kibbutz, and receive differential salaries according to their contribution to the collective economy. Children's houses went by the wayside long ago, in favor of parents raising children in their own homes.

It is easy to sneer at the demise of the kibbutz as one more nail in the coffin of socialism. That it surely is, both because the kibbutz was socialism in its purest form and because the conditions afforded that experiment could not have been more favorable. The kibbutzim survived for years under the umbrella of a largely socialized system and so were able to enjoy government benefits without suffocating under the general collapse of a fully planned economy.

The irony is, that if our economy had gone further and faster in the free market direction and was growing at a nice clip then the kibbutzim might be thriving today. The richer a kibbutz is the more it can afford to stick to socialism. But the kibbutz was not just an economic experiment but also a social one. When I lived on a kibbutz, I thought it was smart to give kids some distance, however small, from their parents. I saw how it produced kids who tended to appreciate their parents more, and had less need to go through the normal adolescent rebellion against them.

Yet the children's houses were scrapped long ago, irrespective of the economic woes that scuttled other sacred beliefs. What this shows is the power of human nature, and the futility of social and economic systems that try to reshape that nature rather than take advantage of it.

Another irony was that the kibbutz, a system designed to eliminate materialism and competition, produced opposite results. Kibbutzniks were often extremely competitive, to their credit, whether in sports or the military. And it is hard to escape the materialism of the classic kibbutz obsession over whether one member had a better television, or somehow benefited from a wealthy uncle, and so on.

Though there are religious kibbutzim, it is no coincidence that most are archly secular, because the kibbutz philosophy was ultimately very un-Jewish. Judaism, its ultra-Orthodox offshoot notwithstanding, is the most respectful of human nature of the three Abrahamic religions. Other religions deal with human vices by going to the opposite extreme, thereby turning asceticism, pacifism, and abstinence into ideals. The attempt to tame materialistic instincts by creating pure equality is of the same cloth.

The question is often asked why the Bible not only begins with stories rather than laws, but with such unsavory descriptions of the Patriarchs that we recall so prominently in the daily prayers. We remind ourselves that we are descended from Jacob, who manipulated his brother and fooled his father in order to obtain the birthright, to mention one among many unsavory incidents. Maybe the purpose of this is not to forget our ancestors’ foibles but to confirm that there is no perfection in humanity, that the ideal is not perfection, but to manage imperfection? Kari Marx was a Jewish anti-Semite who wrote that "Money... is the Jew's real God." As a socialist, he was right to see Judaism as the enemy because capitalism is based on a very Jewish idea: adapting the problematic sides of human nature for good.

Judaism does not try to ban alcohol, sex, or competition, but to co-opt and channel them. Wine becomes part of hallowing the Sabbath, as doe’s sex with one's spouse. Capitalism channels human traits like ambition and greed in a way that does not prevent their abuse, but also produces critical byproducts, such as the ultimate elimination of poverty. Capitalism even contains within it the potential of increasing freedom from competition. The record shows that richer societies are more charitable, allow for many non-material luxuries rare in poor societies such as high literacy, support for the arts, and cleaning up the environmental mess created by an economy's industrial phase.

I had a good kibbutz experience, and I know many people whose lives have been similarly enriched. The kibbutz would be a sad thing to lose. But I would rather lose the kibbutz than squash human nature. ##

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:57 AM | Comments (120) | TrackBack

January 06, 2004

Former Minister of Defense Moshe Arens and Jordanian Prince Hassan bin Talal


These two astute elder statesmen come up with a genuine peace concept attempting to rescue Israel, Jordan, the United States and the rest of the civilized world from the guaranteed catastrophe of the US State Dept. “Roadmap” and the “Geneva Initiative” of Israel’s four discarded political Dwarfs - Beilin, Burg, Mizna and Lipkin-Shahak

Also see previous entries in Israel Commentary relative to this issue:
A Breath of Fresh Air - Dec. 29, 2003
Geneva Initiative Unmasked Dec. 12, 2003
Israel’s Fence - Nov. 24, 2003

Looking over the Horizon

From the Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz


By Moshe Arens

The Likud ministers who have recently presented various versions of Israeli unilateral withdrawals, unilateral moves or unilateral separation schemes from the Palestinian population are right about one thing: There is almost no chance of reaching a settlement with the Palestinian Authority, regardless of who the prime minister, selected by Chairman Yasser Arafat, will be. But their conclusion - that Israel therefore should now withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria and uproot the settlements there - is way off. It is myopic vision at its utmost.

The peace process with the Palestinians is being held hostage by the Palestinian terrorists of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Brigades and other groups and movements with various exotic names. It has been proven time and again that there can be no useful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians as long as acts of terror continue. This was the underlying assumption of Prime Minister Sharon's policy when he first took office. The principle was incorporated in the U.S.-sponsored road map: The first step on the road to peace must be the dismantling of the infrastructure of Palestinian terrorism. That step has not been taken by Arafat, nor by Abu Mazen, nor will it be taken by Abu Ala, or by any of his successors. For the simple reason that, even if they were willing to take on this task (and that is highly doubtful), they are eminently incapable of accomplishing it.

Under these circumstances, staging a unilateral Israeli withdrawal, which means moving the IDF out of areas it entered during operation Defensive Shield to combat Palestinian terrorism, means leaving those areas under terrorist control and bringing terrorism back to the doorstep of Israel's cities. In other words, a return to the days of the massacres at the Dolphinarium and the Park Hotel.

The belief that the fence currently being built can serve as adequate protection and make unnecessary the presence of the IDF in the areas beyond the fence is an illusion. Israelis will not be able to live peaceably as long as terrorists reign in the areas across the fence. It's just too close for comfort.

The inescapable conclusion is that a partner for negotiating a settlement with Israel must be someone that is willing to take on the terrorists and is capable of subduing them. In the absence of such a partner, that mission remains in the hands of the IDF and the Shin Bet security service, which have been doing a creditable job of this difficult and unpleasant task.

Israel has a neighbor to the east, which has demonstrated over the years both the determination and the ability to suppress terrorism. It is Jordan. Arafat and the PLO were close to taking over Jordan, when they were driven out by King Hussein in "black" September of 1970. That was the real origin of the demand for a "second" Palestinian state. In the years that followed, the Jordanians have shown themselves very effective in suppressing terrorism. In that area they evidently can be relied upon.

It is therefore not idle speculation to consider Jordan as the eventual partner for a settlement of the outstanding issues between Israel and the Palestinians. There is little question regarding the legitimacy of Jordan in that role. Seventy percent of its population is of Palestinian origin, its queen is Palestinian, Judea and Samaria were annexed to Jordan in 1949 and Jordanian citizenship was bestowed on the population there. The most difficult issues, Jerusalem and territorial compromise, would be easier to handle in such a framework. Jordan already has a capital, in Amman, and does not need a second one, and the territories of Judea and Samaria are contiguous to Jordan geographically.

There is only one fly in the ointment. The Jordanians are concerned that the absorption of additional Palestinians, who have been radicalized by the PLO in the past decades, could destabilize the kingdom. They don't need that kind of headache.

Is this likely to change in the years to come, and what can Israel do to bring about such a change? Israel should strengthen its relations with Jordan in the battle against terrorism and contribute to the growth of the Jordanian economy. The U.S. and the European Union should be encouraged to make large-scale investments in the Jordanian economy so as to strengthen and stabilize the present regime. The time may come when a prosperous Jordan will feel sufficiently strong and confident to assume the role of representing Palestinian interests in negotiations with Israel. It is such thoughts, rather than unilateral moves, that should be occupying the minds of Likud ministers.##


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:40 PM | Comments (238) | TrackBack

December 28, 2003

Startling Revelations Re: Israeli Political Intrigue


December 21, 2003

Dear Yitzchak

I just wonder how much following Shaul Mofaz has. I have a suspicion he may be the man that gets in, avoiding the enmity between Sharon and Netanyahu and bypassing Olmert who I learned to dislike quite easily upon one of his appearances here. He seems the ultimate opportunist.

Be well and careful,

Jerry


This morning I was fortunate enough to receive, in reply, this tremendous analysis of the inner workings of the current Israeli political scene. Those that read the pages in our web page should have no doubts as to who I pray wins this political struggle that, in the end, may well determine the continued existence of the Jewish State.

December 28, 2003

Jerry Shalom,

Mofaz is in a delicate political position. The reason is that he is not a Member of the Knesset and he is only serving as a Minister at the request of Sharon. That means that according to the Israeli law, in case that Sharon has to resign before his tenure ends then Mofaz is not playing in the battle of succession. It will be mainly between Netanyahu and Olmert. Also, Mofaz can be asked to resign at any time from his position by the PM and in 2 weeks to be forgotten by the public opinion. That is why he has to play a very delicate political game between Sharon and Netanyahu. Mofaz interest is that if Sharon resigns then to have general elections so that he could run to become MK and to nominate himself to leadership of the Likud and the country.

On the other hand, Olmert's interest is not to have general elections in case that Sharon resigns. He is still too weak in the Likud and in the general public opinion. In case that Sharon resigns and there no general elections are called, then the cabinet will appoint one of its members that is also an MK to the position of PM. Now, Olmert is a very close friend of Lapid (Chairman of SHINUI) and he is also close with Peres (he served as chairman of Peres' 80th birthday celebration). That is why Olmert is working behind scenes (maybe also with the help of Sharon) to make a new unity government with Labour party. He could count on their votes in the cabinet in case that Sharon resigns.

Now, Netanyahu is working to oppose Olmert and Netanyahu's interest is closer to the interest of Mofaz and Shalom these days and that is why they are cooperating these days. I also hear that Livnat is cooperating together with them and that means that they are quite strong opposition to Olmert and thus to Sharon as well. But the game is very delicate. No one wants to go to the battle at a premature time.

Hope I did not make it too complicated.

Best wishes,

Yitzchak

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:35 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 17, 2003

Netanyahu - PA Arabs not the problem

NETANYAHU: DEMOGRAPHIC PROBLEM NOT WITH PA ARABS, BUT WITH ISRAELI-ARABS

"The chronology is not peace, economic prosperity, security," Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said this morning at the much-touted Herzliya Conference, "as some still feel. I hold that the order is precisely the opposite: First security must be stabilized, using the means I described, then economic prosperity, and then peace. Because otherwise, every peace agreement is hostage to suicide terrorists."

Netanyahu, who served as Israel's Prime Minister from 1996-99, spoke at the beginning of the second day of the conference organized by the Institute of Policy and Strategy of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. The three-day event is designed to bring together the country's military, political, academic, and economic brass, and has become the most influential forum of its nature on contemporary Israeli policy.

Netanyahu said that a demographic problem exists - but not with the "Arabs of Palestine, but rather the Arabs of Israel." He said that there is essentially no demographic problem with the Arabs of the PA, in that they are already under PA control, "even if the army sometimes goes into the cities." However, Netanyahu said, "regarding the Israeli-Arabs, who will remain Israeli citizens, here we have a problem... In our Declaration of Independence, we say that our raison d'etre is that we are a Jewish state, and this means that we must guarantee a Jewish majority. But we are also a democracy..." He said that if the Arabs become a minority of 40%, the State will cease to be Jewish - but if we remain with 20%, or even less, but with tough and violent relations, then this harms the State's democratic nature. "We therefore need a policy that will first of all guarantee a Jewish majority - I say this with no hesitation, as a liberal, a democrat, and a Jewish patriot - ... and one that will balance between these two needs."

Regarding the future borders, Netanyahu said that Israel must protect its vital security interests: "What connection is there between their right to self-definition and their ability to station themselves on hills near Ben Gurion International Airport and shoot down a landing plane?

There is no connection. I therefore say that any peace agreement has to be built on two elements: The entire Palestinian population, or almost all of it, must be under self-rule of the Palestinians, and not Israeli; and Israel must maintain its control over the entry of arms and fighters into those areas."

Netanyahu said that there is no reason for despair, and that the situation has improved both economically and security-wise since last year.

The Finance Minister spoke of the importance of the counter-terrorism partition fence from many standpoints, including "economics, defense, demography, and as something that advances peace... Last night I signed an order releasing 700 million more shekels for the construction of the partition."

He said that under the present circumstances, we can't proceed diplomatically with the PA because "we have no partners on the other side." He said that a true peace partner must drop all its intentions to destroy Israel, "what they call the right of return or the liberation of occupied Palestine... What's important is not what they [the PA Arabs] say in Geneva, but what they say in Jenin, and in Kalkilye, and in Ramallah. We see that they [are far from that point] - from their education, their textbooks, their marketplace talk, their public dialogue - they have not dropped their plans [to destroy Israel]; on the contrary, they are encouraging it... The second test of a partner must be that they neutralize their tools of destruction - terrorism." Netanyahu said that he does not believe that a moderate PA leadership can arise under the current conditions of hatred and daily incitement, and that therefore Israel "must first take steps to destroy terrorism and bring about a societal interest in stability, and only then will a moderate leadership be able to arise."

Netanyahu had strong criticism of all the new plans being spouted by Likud ministers with no coordination with the Prime Minister. "The multiplicity of plans causes damage to Israel," he said.

Both Gen. Amos Gilad and Gen. (res.) Oren Shachor expressed opposition today to unilateral gestures by Israel. "Even if the war lasts until 2020," Shachor said, "we must not withdraw unilaterally." Gen. Shachor headed the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria and was a senior member of the Israeli negotiating team with the PA under the Rabin and Peres governments, while Gen. Gilad is head of the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic Desk.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:19 PM | Comments (81) | TrackBack

December 12, 2003

The Geneva Initiative Unmasked


By Yossi Klein Halevi

Excerpted from an article in International Jerusalem Post, Nov. 7, 2003

Reading the initiative's 26-page document is a surreal experience. The document fearlessly penetrates the most intractable issues of the Palestinian-Israeli abyss. Jerusalem? Here's a color-coded map of how the city of conflict will be transformed into the city of peace. Refugee return? There's no dilemma that men of goodwill can't resolve. The Temple Mount? Give us a real problem.

The only hitch is that it's a monumental act of self-deception. Which is precisely what makes it such a worthy successor to the pre-Yom Kippur conceptzia that it supposedly negates. The conceptual sin of the Geneva Israelis - Yossi Beilin, Avraham Burg, Amram Mitzna, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak - is to assume that we can still negotiate a comprehensive peace with this generation of PLO leaders, and that they will abide by their commitments. That sin emerges from the Left's refusal to concede the enormity of the Palestinian betrayal of peace, and to cling instead to the cowardly claim that both sides are responsible for the failure of Oslo.

Cowardly, because the notion allows left-wingers to avoid admitting just how wrong they were about peace with the PLO. That failure wasn't just a lapse in judgment about Yasser Arafat's character; it was a failure to comprehend the depth of Arab rejectionism of Israel's being. Not surprisingly, the initiative itself contains Oslo-sized loopholes waiting to be abused. The fact that disagreement has already begun over interpretation of the document is the inevitable result of negotiating with Arafat's regime. While Israeli negotiators insisted they had won a Palestinian renunciation of the right of return, Palestinian negotiators were telling their people that they had done no such thing.

The supposed historic breakthrough of the Geneva Initiative is simply that it doesn't mention the right of return. In other words, the Palestinians have refused once again to renounce their goal of demographically destroying Israel. And so while Israelis are expected to repudiate their right of return to post-1967 borders in the most tangible way, by physically uprooting settlements, Palestinians won't even offer a verbal repudiation of the right of return to pre-1967 Israel.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:39 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 09, 2003

“Palestine” - Destination Terrorism

By Uri Ulitzur, The International Jerusalem Post, November 7, 2003

The "vision of a Palestinian state" is something we have already tried. In the years since Oslo, particularly the last three, we have seen what the Palestinians intend to do with the tools of independence and statehood, if they are given them. They already had a state-in-the-making, and they used it to build a huge terrorist base and a society mobilized and incited to hate Israel.

The Palestinian Authority did nothing to promote its own people's economy and welfare. It used all the tools of government in its hands in order to cultivate the terrorist capabilities of many systems and organizations, and in order to educate masses of people from kindergarten to old age towards war, hatred, and suicide terrorism. If the PA has been a swamp of terrorism, corruption and incitement, then the Palestinian state will be a whole lake. It will grow a center of international terrorism, and will be totally mobilized towards war over the next phase of "liberating Palestine."

This also has objective reasons: the Palestinian state - the one from the Bush vision or the Beilin dream - is a dwarf country, territorially splintered, and devoid of any economic infrastructures or resources. You cannot squeeze two states into our tiny land, between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. There is hardly room here for one state; you have to be blind not to see that.

Why are there so many blind people among us, some of whom are intelligent and wise in every other area - because we are living under terror. Terror is a first rate cause of political blindness and of the phenomenon of hallucinations and illusions. Terror distorts its victims' judgment, it makes them feel as if they share the guilt, develop dependency on the aggressor, and have baseless faith that a simple solution to the situation is hiding around the nearest corner. Every terrorist knows that, and all terrorism is built on that.

Therefore, the first step of any political plan has to be defeating terrorism. It is not a security but a political matter. It is a pre-condition for the very existence of political judgment. No political plan has any hope unless it is preceded by a decisive defeat of terrorism, not just militarily but conceptually no peaceful solution has any chance unless every child in Gaza and every analyst in every news media in the world knows that terrorism has been militarily defeated and caused the Palestinian people only harm, and that every person and every organization that engaged in terrorism has disappeared from the political map.

And this solution is not hiding around the nearest corner. It is far away, and the path to it is strewn with obstacles, mines, internal divisions and pain. It requires the courage to say: No, my friends - there is no political horizon right now and no negotiating table, because there is terrorism.

The idea that a political solution can appear instead of defeating terrorism is the illusion that keeps the political horizon infinitely distant. The road cannot be shortened. A political solution will come only after terror is defeated. That is the first step in a three-phase political plan. The second phase is a long interim period during which Palestinian self-rule will be established under Israeli responsibility; the third phase is a region-wide permanent settlement, in which not only Israel but also Egypt and Jordan will be required to allocate land towards resolving the Palestinian problem.

I am sure that is the solution that will come at the end of the process, but the process might last 50 years. Therefore the question that matters to our own lives, and our main role towards a solution, is the first phase: defeating terrorism - unequivocally, without compromise and without illusions.

The writer, former bureau chief of the Prime Minister's Office, is editor of Nekuda monthly of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:44 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

December 04, 2003

Howard Dean vs. Israel


HOWARD DEAN PROMISED THAT IF HE IS ELECTED PRESIDENT, THE UNITED STATES WILL NO LONGER SUPPORT ISRAEL THE WAY IT HAS IN THE PAST UNDER BOTH DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS.

IN HIS OWN WORDS HE WILL INSIST THAT THE UNITED STATES BE "EVEN HANDED." THIS IS A TERM REGULARLY EMPLOYED BY ARAFAT AND HIS COTERIE OF ADHERENTS THAT MEANS TO BE ANTI-ISRAEL!!

GOVERNOR DEAN MADE THESE COMMENTS ON CNN, SEPTEMBER 10, 2003 ON THE WOLF BLITZER SHOW. HE HAS REPEATED THOSE WORDS SINCE.

IF THIS WERE NOT ENOUGH, GOVERNOR DEAN ON THAT SAME SHOW
CHARACTERIZED THE HAMAS TERRORISTS AS "SOLDIERS".

FOR THE FIRST TIME WE HAVE SOMEONE RUNNING FOR THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WHO IS CALLING TERRORISTS SOLDIERS.

(Of course these comments put Dean in "good" company i.e. Al Sharpton who I am sure feels the same way) Jsk

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 02, 2003

Blame the Chaos on Sharon

By Isi Leibler, The Internet Jerusalem Post, Dec. 2, 2003

Have we really begun losing the plot? In the old days, when we witnessed apparent bungles we would convince ourselves that we were not privy to all the facts and time would show that our leaders were in reality playing a smart game. Today we no longer suffer such delusions. Take the Geneva Accord, which amounts to a vastly inferior version of the Oslo disaster.

The initiative was launched by the same failed politicians who inflicted Oslo upon us and were decisively rejected by their constituents. In a normal society they would have been universally condemned and probably prosecuted for undermining their democratically elected government at a time of war.

Imagine the inconceivable scenario of a Belgian government financing a right-wing politician to promote policies opposed by the Swiss government. Yet the Swiss launched a full-blown festival to celebrate the signing with hundreds of journalists, rock stars, Hollywood actors, politicians and former president Jimmy Carter being flown gratis to Geneva.

The Israeli media also had a fest. Viewing the Ilana Dayan TV program, which presented film clips of Beilin's negotiations with the Palestinians, is a surrealistic experience. We see Beilin nonchalantly agreeing to cede Efrat to the Palestinians and his assistant, Lord Levy's son, handing over other areas of Jewish settlement. Instead of telling the Swiss to stop interfering in our internal affairs and being more explicit about the outrageous behavior of the failed politicians, our prime minister decided to play down the entire issue.

But then, lo and behold, President Moshe Katsav hosted a meeting with Beilin and the Palestinians. He praised them for indulging in dialogue and gently admonished them for failing to promote their project through the government. This kindergarten political spiel was of course ignored, but understandably the media highlighted the photo opportunities of Katsav holding court with Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo. Could one visualize the Queen of England holding chat sessions and being photographed with a former minister conducting negotiations with the Argentineans during the Falklands War?

In the light of this, it is somewhat bizarre to express disappointment that the Americans, who initially disassociated themselves from Geneva, are now sending official observers and praise Beilin's "constructive peace initiatives." One might even consider it somewhat churlish to criticize Colin Powell for literally following the example of the president of Israel.

THE MADNESS goes further. Former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg continues uninhibitedly to defame Zionism and Israel and tells the world that our schoolchildren relish killing old men and women. And we complain about European anti-Semitic outpourings!

And the lunatic Right contributes to the ultimate ideological insanity by announcing its support for a purportedly binational state which would grant Arab citizens only limited rights under Jewish sovereignty.

Despite the fact that we remain engaged in a cruel war, the chaos prevails at all levels.

In the space of one month IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon publicly criticized his government; four former GSS chiefs aired their individual political bias and reprimanded the government, encouraging Palestinians to revive their dreams about Israel unraveling because of internal disputes; the Oslo resurrection promoted by Ami Ayalon and Sari Nusseibeh was praised by US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; resolutions were submitted in the US Congress promoting the Geneva charade and the Ayalon-Nusseibeh initiative; and a plethora of other independent, opposition and semi-official so-called seminars and other forms of quasi negotiations with Palestinians taking place all over the world without any apparent government frame of reference.

And to top it off: following the endorsement of the Road Map by the Security Council, Kofi Anna condemns us for building a security fence and violating UN resolutions, serving ominous notice of possible future attempts to impose sanctions.

Who is to blame for this anarchy and chaos? Unquestionably, the government. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cannot continue mumbling inanities and ignoring all these independent initiatives. He must cease the zigzags, hinting at "painful sacrifices" and unilateral withdrawals one day and warning the Palestinians that if they do not get their act together they will lose their last chance to ever achieve statehood the next.

It is not because we face a hostile administration that US policy has begun tilting against us. It is, rather, a byproduct of our paralysis and mistaken belief that by doing nothing our problems will be overcome. A warm personal relationship between President George W. Bush and Sharon does not warrant a neglect of Congress and American public opinion. Indeed it would appear that because of its strong support for Israel we have begun taking Congress somewhat for granted.

There is little doubt that our seeming inertia, combined with the absence of a more concerted campaign to promote our position in the US, contributed to the recent disastrous public chastisement of our policies by the administration and the deduction of $300 million from our loan guarantees – to which our government barely responded.

Sharon must realize that if he continues on his present path, Bush will simply drift into making more anti-Israeli gestures to mollify the Europeans.
The premier must provide leadership, make difficult decisions, and talk to the nation. He must begin charting a long-term strategy, despite the realization that there are no quick fixes capable of resolving the complex challenges facing us. And he must involve his cabinet, as this country cannot endure another Napoleonic initiative.

It is also high time for Israelis to demand that their elected leaders behave in a more transparent manner. A true democracy requires public involvement in the political process between elections. If the public is given the opportunity of debating policy options they will assuredly contribute towards achieving a constructive policy and game plan. That will be infinitely preferable to being confronted with ex cathedra government policies launched under pressure and in desperation.
The people of Israel are far more mature than many of our current leaders seem to believe. And democracy ultimately thrives in an environment of accountability, leadership and transparency.


The writer is senior vice president of the World Jewish Congress.
ileibler@netvision.net.il

_________________________________________________

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:45 AM | Comments (47) | TrackBack

November 24, 2003

Israel’s “Fence” - The Continuation of a Dangerous Lie

By Jerome S. Kaufman

(Re-printed from the Detroit Jewish News, Nov. 14, 2003 and Arutz Sheva (Israel National News - Oct. 28, 2003)

Confusion and conflict continue to reign supreme over the existence, extent, route and composition of the “Fence” that Israel is now constructing in an attempt at protecting itself against the lethal, painfully effective terrorist destruction and demoralization of its own people.

Why the confusion and conflict? The reason is quite simple - the Israelis themselves and their supporters around the world live in a state of self-induced misinformation and delusion as to the entire scenario. What is the fence for? Is it to protect Israeli citizens? Yes, but will it be effective? Has there ever been a fence of any great length effective against a marauding enemy or an enemy truly dedicated to circumventing or destroying that fence? Was the Maginot Line of the French effective against the invading German blitzkrieg of WW II? Was the Great Wall of China effective against hoards of Mongol invaders? Are the Rio Grande, the border patrol and their fences effective against migrants dedicated to entering the United States?

Does a fence make any military sense? If one has an enemy dedicated to his destruction, does one hide in the cellar like the Jews of the shtetels of Poland and Russia? Was that effective against the Cossacks pounding on the cellar door? Does one build a ghetto along a slender Mediterranean corridor packed with more Jews per square inch than any other place in the world, in order to isolate these Jews from their enemies? Yes, the Germans did that to the Jews of Warsaw and that ghetto wall was very effective. The only problem was that ghetto wall was effective in killing Jews rather than saving them.

And, what if one has the great advantage of overwhelming force and power? Does one follow the rules of engagement that cater to the weaknesses of one’s enemy? Does one create another Lebanese security zone within Israel itself? How effective was that? Does one allow his own power to be neutralized and allow one’s enemy to continue to wreck havoc upon his greater forces or does one use one’s overwhelming force to finally destroy the enemy and stop the killing?

Suppose your declared friends and allies discourage you from using this power. But what about these “friends and “allies? Did the Americans or Europeans use Marquis of Queensborough Rules in WWII destroying Cologne, leveling Berlin or dropping atomic bombs upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Do the Arabs use Marquis of Queensborough rules in their endless internecine warfare? Was that the format in Iraq vs. Iran or Iraq vs. Kuwait or Jordan vs. the Palestinian Arabs or Hafez Assad vs. his own citizens in Hama or Saddam Hussein vs. his own Kurds or his own Shiites in Iraq or his own sons-in-law for that matter?

In any case does Israel need an excuse or a dispensation from the rest of the world to protect its own citizens? What does the rabbi say? Is he going to repeat his sermon about tikkun olam when your wives, children and land are bleeding to death and another Holocaust of Jews, but this time in their own land, transpires before our very eyes?

But, in fact, that all begs the question. The real question always remains, whose land is it? Is 5764 years of Jewish history a lie? Because the rest of the world, besmirched in its centuries of anti-Semitism, continues to blame the Jews for every hangnail that surfaces and delights in accepting the gross lie of Arab pre-possession and Israeli “occupation” does that make it true? Should many Jews and many Israelis continue to be so uninformed as to buy into this gross lie? Does any knowledgeable person not know that the “settlements” are on Israeli land and it is the Arabs that are the ‘occupiers.” And does anyone really care if it is a lie or not?

What only matters in practice is the fact that Jesus was misinformed. The meek do not inherit the earth - at least not in our lifetime. Perhaps we should leave that possibility to the Messioch and Jesus Christ and anyone else involved in the First or Second Coming, depending upon one’s religious persuasion. Perhaps the Israelis should use their full power to protect their people right now. Forget creating another ghetto for Jews. Forget the ridiculous hypocrisy of a fence that is itself destructive and ineffective and instead continues to promote and delineate the lethal abomination of a “Palestinian State” invented for a previously non-existent “Palestinian People.”

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:07 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

November 18, 2003

A little killing of Israelis is OK

Sharon Changes Policy -Palestinians Can Murder Some Israelis Without
Response

Aaron Lerner Date: 18 November 2003

Army Radio correspondent Kaveh Shafran reported on the 11:00 PM news
magazine tonight that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has made an important
policy change out of a desire to please Washington
: Sharon now takes the
position that during a cease-fire period Israel will not react Palestinian terrorists carry out attacks if the attacks are "small". Shafran did not say how many Israelis the Palestinians could murder in a given attack before the attack would no longer qualify for the "no response" status.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il

(What other leader or nation would accept a policy like that? Look for Sharon to lose the next elections - not due to the ascent of the Left but rather due to the disgust of his own Party and that of the Israeli people in his inability to protect them from their blood enemies)

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:14 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

November 16, 2003

The Ultimate Goal of Israel’s Left - Self-Destruction via the Geneva “Initiative”

(An absolute gem by Sarah Honig, The International Jerusalem Post, Nov. 14, 2003)

What do the following have in common? Unauthorized negotiations with enemy representatives during wartime; a make-believe surrogate government to which fringe radicals appoint themselves; the mobilization of foreign pressure against the country's legitimate leadership; refusal to serve in the IDF or obey politically incorrect orders; paralyzing the economy via wildcat strikes that benefit monopolist unions; maligning legislation to preserve and safeguard the Jewish character of the state and demonizing the notion of a military solution to a violent conflict?

In any of the above, if you dare oppose Leftist dogma, you're denounced as a benighted reactionary or fascist. At the very least, to come out against a righteous pet cause celebre’ is to be perforce decried as anti-democratic and a danger to all that's civilized, enlightened and progressive. The Left unilaterally usurps for itself a monopoly of all that's moral, high-minded, cultured and refined. Coming to grips with this mind-set is key. Without awareness of the stigma automatically attached to whatever doesn't mesh with left-wing doctrinaire truisms, it's impossible to place into proper context the hubris of has-been politicos and their brazen private enterprise diplomacy.

By parading sanctimoniously as guardian of our collective conscience, the Left issues itself a license to subvert. Hence leftists think nothing of accepting funds from foreigners like the French, Belgians or Swiss (who're ostensibly committed to non -interference in the affairs of others) in order to willfully Ideological blinders inhibit them from admitting to anything untoward in their "Geneva Initiative," though it serves foreign interests and undermines the authority of the lawful government, elected by a landslide to further policies diametrically opposed to those they champion.

Despite overwhelming rejection of their platform by the electorate, they see nothing undemocratic in attempting to alter the voters' verdict post-factum with outside sponsorship, convert local opinion to the deceptive perception of ruthless terrorists as reasonable and peace-loving, while portraying their own government as brutish and uncompromising.

Since said leftists have convinced themselves that they can do no wrong, they'll eagerly seek to impress upon us that their avid courtship of Arafat's stooges is the epitome of Zionist dedication, whereas attachment to the Temple Mount or Rachel's Tomb is atavistic and sinister.

They don't judge the people's choice as binding. It's at most a recommendation, which they aren't obliged to accept. The rules of the democratic game are useful to them so long as they protect and promote their ideology. Everything is measured by this narrow utilitarian yardstick. What corresponds with their slant is democratic and what doesn't is anti-democratic. Adherence to the rules is selective and interest-oriented. Just like Sgt. Bilko's cavalier, anarchic self-serving attitude to ethics. Back in the golden age of TV he flashed his broad smile each week and delivered rousing pep talks touched with a tad of larceny to members of his motley platoon. In one classic episode he reminded his assembled malingerers, sharpies and assorted anathemas of authority that "the end justifies the means, especially if it's our end.

For Yossi Beilin and his platoon too no universally applicable standards exist, only expedient ones. Hence, when the Left is in power, even the slimmest of formal majorities suffices. Yet once the Left is trounced, the will of the majority is deemed tyrannical. Superseding it by imposing the will of the minority becomes the democratic essence, an inalienable right. According to our political Bilkos the majority's self-defense is illegitimate. The democratic ethos is used to crush democratic ethics.

This is the Geneva Initiative's subjective environment. Since leftist ideology is presumed synonymous with virtue, it's also equated with democracy. Anyone at odds with virtue is automatically defined as democracy's villainous foe. If the public isn't receptive to the leftists' message, then its opinion can be overruled and dismissed as too shallow and wrong-headed to decree that terror must be combated, that no negotiations should be conducted under fire, that certain territorial concessions are unacceptable or that tenor-mongers mustn't be rewarded. Sadly, the politically prostrate Left's attempts to bypass the will of the majority are aided and abetted among others by the courts, the media and the academic establishment. The political interest of the above-mentioned is upheld as democracy incarnate. Democracy is portrayed as indistinct from the left-wing agenda.

This liberates the Left from opposition-party constrictions. Even when relegated to the political sidelines, it's inherently entitled to have its way. If it determines that the greater good demands leftist hegemony, then democracy's conventional rules don't apply, never mind the protests of the aggregate of lowbrow fools who comprise the backward majority. Paraphrased in Bilko's immortal words: "Different rules for different fools."

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:25 AM | Comments (32) | TrackBack

November 06, 2003

The Geneva Initiative - Another Commentary


By Yossi Klein Halevi

Excerpted from an article in the International Jerusalem Post, Nov. 7, 2003


Which brings us to the Geneva Initiative:

Reading the initiative's 26-page document is a surreal experience. The document fearlessly penetrates the most intractable issues of the Palestinian-Israeli abyss. Jerusalem? Here's a color-coded map of how the city of conflict will be transformed into the city of peace. Refugee return? There's no dilemma that men of goodwill can't resolve. The Temple Mount? Give us a real problem.

The only hitch is that it's a monumental act of self-deception. Which is precisely what makes it such a worthy successor to the pre-Yom Kippur conceptzia that it supposedly negates. The conceptual sin of the Geneva Israelis - Yossi Beilin, Avraham Burg, Amram Mitzna, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak - is to assume that we can still negotiate a comprehensive peace with this generation of PLO leaders, and that they will abide by their commitments. That sin emerges from the Left's refusal to concede the enormity of the Palestinian betrayal of peace, and to cling instead to the cowardly claim that both sides are responsible for the failure of Oslo.

Cowardly, because the notion allows left-wingers to avoid admitting just how wrong they were about peace with the PLO. That failure wasn't just a lapse in judgment about Yasser Arafat's character; it was a failure to comprehend the depth of Arab rejectionism of Israel's being. Not surprisingly, the initiative itself contains Oslo-sized loopholes waiting to be abused. The fact that disagreement has already begun over interpretation of the document is the inevitable result of negotiating with Arafat's regime. While Israeli negotiators insisted they had won a Palestinian renunciation of the right of return, Palestinian negotiators were telling their people that they had done no such thing.

The supposed historic breakthrough of the Geneva Initiative is simply that it doesn't mention the right of return. In other words, the Palestinians have refused once again to renounce their goal of demographically destroying Israel. And so while Israelis are expected to repudiate their right of return to post-1967 borders in the most tangible way, by physically uprooting settlements, Palestinians won't even offer a verbal repudiation of the right of return to pre-1967 Israel. ...

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:19 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Geneva Initiative - Another Israeli-Left Exercise in Self-Delusion

By Evelyn Gordon, The International Jerusalem Post, November 7, 2003

When the Geneva Initiative" was first unveiled last month, it was immediately clear that it constituted a gross violation of democratic norms: A small band of opposition figures,

(Namely the usual suspects -Yossi Beilin, Avraham Burg, Amram Mitzna, and Amnon Lipkin-Shahak - all failed Israeli politicians with virtually no following within their own Labor Party - jsk)

acting without the elected government's knowledge or consent, had negotiated a draft "peace agreement" with an enemy, with the explicit aim of generating international pressure on future Israeli governments to endorse the concessions contained therein. The full extent of the damage, however, became evident with publication of the document's full text - because a close reading makes it clear that this is an agreement to which no sane government could ever consent.

Even before the publication on October 24, it was known that the Israeli negotiators had conceded almost completely on territorial issues, granting the Palestinians most of east Jerusalem, including Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount; most of the West Bank, including major settlements, such as Efrat and Ariel, that even the most dovish Israeli governments have always insisted on keeping and part of the Negev, as compensation for border adjustments on the West Bank.

It was also evident that the agreement would create a security nightmare in Jerusalem (among other places), subjecting every neighborhood of the city to the fate suffered by Gilo during the current intifada - that of being within easy shooting range of sovereign Palestinian territory. But the territorial concessions are only the tip of the iceberg. There is also, for instance, the fact that all disputes over implementation of the agreement would be resolved by an Implementation and Verification of a Group (IVG) composed of the United
States, the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and various other countries.

While the IVG's exact mechanism is unclear - the details are contained in an annex that has not yet been completed - Article 16 clearly states that if attempts at mediation fail, either side may submit the dispute to an arbitration panel, whose decisions will be binding. In short, this agreement would require Israel to accept the dictates of international arbitrators on even the most sensitive security issues.

Furthermore, the document would mortgage the country's economic future by committing it in advance to pay reparations in an amount that Israel would have little voice in determining. Specifically, it establishes an International Commission composed of Israel, the Palestinian state, the UN, the US, UNRWA, all of Israel's Arab neighbors, the EU, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, Japan, the World Bank and Russia - in short, a commission on which Israel is overwhelmingly outnumbered - and instructs it to appoint a panel of experts to estimate the value of Palestinian property lost in 1948.

What is perhaps most astonishing, however, is just how little the Israeli team obtained in exchange for all its concessions. According to chief negotiator Yossi Beilin, the agreement provides Israel with three major achievements.

• The first relates to security. The Palestinian state will be demilitarized, and it will fight terror by disarming militias and arresting terrorists. Considering that the Palestinians have made identical pledges on demilitarization and terror in no less than five previous signed agreements - and that these pledges have been massively violated every time - why another such pledge should be considered an achievement is an enigma.

• Second, claims Beilin, the agreement includes Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. This, it turns out, is simply false-. The agreement merely "recognize(s) Palestine and Israel as the homelands of their respective peoples." Beilin can assert that Israel's "respective people" is the Jewish people, but the plain meaning of the text is that Israel is the homeland of its inhabitants, Jewish and Arab alike in short, a bi-national state.

• Finally, Beilin boasts of a Palestinian concession on the refugees' "right of return." The agreement states that Israel, and Israel alone, will decide how many Palestinian refugees it is willing to accept. This, however, is no concession at all - because as long as Israel remains a sovereign country with control over its own borders, the "right of return" could never be implemented without its consent in any case.

In short, what the Palestinians conceded - the "right" to flood Israel with hundreds of thousands of refugees - was something they never had the power to carry out in the first place. Yet Israel would pay for this nonexistent concession with real territory, real money and real security risks. That may be Beilin's idea of a good deal. But it is hard to imagine a majority of Israelis agreeing with him.

The writer is a veteran journalist and commentator.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 28, 2003

The Arab “Right of Return"


By FLAME

Is it a valid demand and how would it affect Middle-East peace?

Three years ago. President Clinton and Ehud Barak, then Prime Minister of Israel, made every effort to achieve final peace between Jews and Arabs. They offered the "Palestinians" 97 per cent of the "West Bank" and Gaza, the eastern part of Jerusalem as their capital, and $30 billion in refugee compensation. But Yasser Arafat did not accept this overly generous offer. He insisted on the "right of return," flooding Israel with as many as five million so-called "refugees." When this outrageous demand was not granted, he broke off negotiations and started his bloody Intifida, the war against Israel, which by now has killed about 2,000 people on both sides and has left many thousands more wounded, many of them crippled for life.

What are the facts?

Who are the so-called "refugees?" On the very day that Israel declared its independence, five Arab-states invaded the nascent Jewish state. In fiery broadcasts and confident of victory, their leaders urged the Arabs to flee the war zone, so as not to impede the invading armies. Once victory was achieved and after all the Jews had been killed or had fled, the Arabs could return, reclaim their property and loot that of the Jews.

Things didn’t t turn out that way. About 420,000 Arabs followed the call of their leaders and became refugees. About 200,000 accepted the promises of the Israeli authorities that they would not be harmed and that they would become citizens of the new state, with the same rights as the Jews. Hardly any of the original refugees are still alive. But those who claim to be their descendants (who astonishingly now number as many as five million) clamor to "return" to Israel. With the single exception of Jordan, none of their Arab brethren have allowed them to settle in their countries and to become citizens. They have confined them to squalid refugee camps, supported by UNWRA (a dependency of the U.N. and financed mostly by the USA).

Those refugee camps are seething hotbeds of hatred against Israel and are the sources for terrorists and suicide bombers. Is the Palestinian "refugee" problem unique? Migrations of populations are nothing new in world history, especially after major wars. About 15 million Germans were (often brutally) expelled from what became western Poland, from what used to be East Prussia and from the Sudetenland. Millions of Muslims and Hindus, following bloody battles, migrated to India and to what became Pakistan. Other major migrations following the World Wars were those of the French from Algeria, Armenians, Turks, Greeks, Cypriots, Kurds and others. It is only the "Palestinians" who insist on being "repatriated." But more to the point, Israel has absorbed over 600,000 Jews who were expelled from Arab countries and millions of others from all over the world. All of them are productive citizens of their new country.

Since the founding of Israel in 1948, the Arabs have waged unrelenting wars to defeat the Jewish state, but they have been unable to do so by military means. The destruction of Israel, however, remains a cornerstone of the PLO charter, which has never been rescinded. What the Arabs have failed to achieve by force of arms they are now determined to accomplish demographically, by flooding Israel with millions of "Palestinians."

The "right of return" is the one concession that Israel can never grant and can never accept. The world must not forget that Israel was founded for one purpose only, namely to be the home of the Jewish people. Even today, more than twenty per cent of the population of Israel are Arabs, almost all of them hostile and a potential fifth column. Even if only a fraction of those who claim the "right of return" were indeed to come to Israel, Arabs would swamp the country, and Israel would cease to exist as a Jewish state.
'
According to the U.N., only those who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted in their home countries..." are considered "refugees." For instance, the Cubans who fled Castro are considered refugees, but their children and grandchildren living in Miami are not. Only the "Palestinians" have been granted special status by the U.N., by which all of their descendants, for generations to come, are considered "refugees."

The purpose of this special status is to assist in the destruction of Israel. Israel is prepared to pay huge amounts in (unwarranted) compensation to those "refugees." But under no circumstances will it ever or should it ever accept the "right of return." What that would accomplish in one stroke would be the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Israel will never allow that to happen and the world should not request it either. The problem has to be solved by settling the "refugees" in any or all of the 22 Arab countries. Peace will never come about as long as the Arabs insist on the "right of return"—a "right" that can never and will never be granted.

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

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:27 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

October 21, 2003

Palestinian Version of Terror Control

Excerpted from editorial by Saul Singer
The International Jerusalem Post, October 17, 2003

It is by now well established that the Palestinian Authority - with all its men under arms and multiple security forces that efficiently quash dissent is not lifting a finger to prevent terrorism. But this is just the beginning. In the same breath that it condemns terrorism in English and Hebrew, the PA continues to encourage it with abandon in Arabic to the Palestinian people.

On September 21, Al-Ayam reported on a soccer tournament. No fewer than 13 PA officials, led by close Arafat adviser and media figure Saeb Erekat, used the event to deliver a powerful political message: We honor suicide bombers.

The event was given the sporty title, "The Shahids [Martyrs] Tournament, of the Path of the Palestinian National Struggle for Palestinian Institutions, 2003." Each of the 24 competing teams was named for another leader in the PA'S pantheon of terrorism, including:

· Yihye Ayash ("the Engineer"), Hamas's most prominent mastermind of suicide bombings
· Dalal Mughrabi, a woman terrorist who hijacked a bus killing 36 in 1978
· Raid Carmi, chief of Fatah's suicide bomber wing.

Saeb Erekat on behalf of Arafat presented the trophy, after the officials led the crowd in standing for a "moment of pride in memory of the spirit of the martyrs," the newspaper reported. At the same time, official PA television continues to broadcast the message that Israel - all of Israel - will be destroyed through the terrorist offensive that it continues to glorify. Last week, the PA began to re-broadcast a clip produced last October showing a beating heart, dripping with blood, which is suspended from a map of Israel. The evocative graphics are accompanied by the refrain: "Allah is Great/Oh, the young ones/Shake the earth, raise the stones/You will not be saved. Oh Zionist/From the volcano of my county's stones. You are the target of my eyes" (see Palestinian Media Watch, http://www.pmw.org.il, for full translations and video clips).

To call what the "moderate" Palestinian leadership is doing hypocrisy is to understate, since that term implies greater effort to hide the truth. In this case, the truth is broadcast through print media and airwaves, hidden only behind the thin barrier of the Arab language.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:15 PM | Comments (95) | TrackBack

September 23, 2003

The Land of Delusion

By Caroline Glick: Sep. 19, 2003 The Jerusalem Post


Sunday, September 21 Israel's Who's Who were joined by the rich and famous
from around the world at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv to celebrate Shimon
Peres's 80th birthday. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is scheduled to attend the festival, as is former US president Bill Clinton. Mikhail Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela are also set to be there.

More than providing the public with yet another display of Peres's narcissism, the gala event will show the yawning gap between the world we occupy and the world occupied by Peres and his friends and supporters. In the world we live in, every promise of peace and a New Middle East has not only been broken, but has blown up in our faces. In the world we live in, the notion that it is either possible or desirable to negotiate a peace deal with the PLO has been rent asunder.

But in the Land of Peres, it is reality, not Peres, that is wrong. It is reality that is doomed to be remembered in history as a failure. It is reality that is to be condemned as not merely inconvenient but as impossible to countenance.

And so it is that 10 years after that first handshake on the lawn of the
White House Rose Garden, Peres defends Yasser Arafat and condemns Israel
. In a recent television interview with Fareed Zakaria on MSNBC, the erstwhile foreign minister held up Arafat as a paragon for combating Hamas in 1996, after 60 Israelis were blown to bits in eight days of carnage.

When Zakaria asked him why Arafat stopped combating Hamas, Peres replied
that it was the fault of his successor, Binyamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu, according to Peres, was to blame for Arafat not combating Hamas because Netanyahu was not forthcoming enough in negotiations with Peres's Nobel co-laureate.

Never mind that Peres's entire claim that Arafat fought Hamas is a lie.Arafat, ahead of the 1996 general elections in Israel, rounded up, as he was wont to do, several hundred "usual suspects." Less than a week later, and
before the elections had taken place, he had already released more than a
hundred of them. At the same time, Muhammad Dahlan, then head of his
Preventive Security Service in the Gaza Strip, was actively hiding Hamas
terror chief Muhammad Deif, who had orchestrated the attacks. And Peres knew
this.

The upshot of all that Peres has told us for the past decade is that he
cannot be held responsible for the consequences of his strategies. He must
only be congratulated for the hope he bestowed on us all.

And herein lays the entire problem not just with Peres but with all his
honored guests and supporters. While some continue to blame Israel for the
Palestinian war being fought against the state, others claim to be more
"pragmatic." These people are willing to allow that Arafat is not a partner
in peace, but still protest that Israel must move ahead with the
non-existent peace process, "along the lines of the Camp David proposals."

And so it is that former US Middle East mediator Dennis Ross came to write
an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this week protesting the government's
decision to "remove" Arafat. Ross, who was the only Oslo pusher to
acknowledge that Arafat would never cut a peace deal with Israel, explained
that if Israel were to expel Arafat from its heartland, it would have to be in the context of large Israeli concessions to the Palestinians.

Like Peres, Ross refuses to acknowledge reality. If Israel were to make
concessions of any kind to the Palestinians as part of its move to expel, arrest, or kill Arafat, these concessions would only go to the unrepentant murderers who'd take his place. Surely Ross knows this. Surely Peres does, too. So the question must be asked. What is it that propels these urbane and cultivated men to such conclusions?

The answer was given three weeks ago by no less of an authority than Ian
Buruma, in no less a venue than The New York Times. There, in an article
titled "How to talk about Israel," Buruma explained, "The Palestinian cause
has become the universal litmus test of liberal credentials." And so it is.
In the wreckage of Oslo it is important to note who its greatest beneficiaries were. The Israelis? Our lives have become a crapshoot. The Palestinians? Their standard of living was decimated by Arafat's kleptocracy, while their children were brainwashed by its jihadist media.

No. The real beneficiaries of the Oslo process were people on the political
Left like Peres and Ross and Annan and Clinton and their peace-activist
friends. At Oslo, where Yasser Arafat and his PLO were crowned in glory and
legitimacy, these men finally found a way to be pro-PLO and "pro-Israel."
As long as Israel had a government that favored Arafat and Oslo, they could ignore the fact that Arafat's regime was among the greatest human-rights abusers in the world. They could, as the UN did this week, condemn every
move that Israel takes to defend itself against aggression, never condemn the massacre of Israeli civilians, and still say they were friends of Israel because they believed in peace. They could equate Zionism with racism, as Mandela has, and pretend that they actually cared about the human rights of Jews because they support Oslo. They could keep their place on the liberal A-list without ever having to come to terms with the fact that what they claimed to be supporting and what they actually were advocating were mutually exclusive.

But now that is over. Oslo is dead. The overwhelming majority of Israelis want Arafat to disappear and do not believe that peace can be achieved in the foreseeable future. The PA stands revealed as the terrorist regime it has been since its inception.

Sides must be chosen. Some leftists, like Meron Benvenisti and Uri Avnery,
have already done so. Benvenisti advocates the destruction of the Jewish state, and Avnery acts as a human shield for Arafat.

In America, historian of Zionism Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, like philanthropists Edgar Bronfman and Marvin Lender, has also chosen sides by appealing to President George W. Bush to put sanctions on Israel and to view Israel and the PA as equivalents. Thus do they remain acceptable to their liberal friends, rather than true to genuinely liberal values.

Then again, at least they've "shown their cards" as Bush might say. Not so
men like Peres and Ross, who continue to view reality as just another
option, and choose self-delusion over the plain meaning of facts.

No doubt many on the Left are emotionally, politically, and financially
invested in the false assumptions of Oslo. And yet the time has come to cut
their losses. If the values they espouse are more important to them than the
company they keep, they will side with reality. If, on the other hand, hanging with the A-list is what really motivates them, at least they'll have a great party to go to. When it's Happy Hour in the Land of Delusion, the drinks are free.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:39 PM | Comments (35) | TrackBack

September 17, 2003

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon addresses meeting of Arab Local Council Heads,

September 17, 2003

Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser

I would like to welcome the Committee of Arab Local Council heads. I invited the heads of the Arab local councils to an open conversation in light of the publication of the Or Commission report. It was written in the report that the treatment of the Arab sector is a very important and sensitive issue that must be personally dealt with by the Prime Minister.

As is well known, six months ago, upon the establishment of the current
government, I established a ministerial committee to deal with the non-Jewish sector and I decided to chair the committee so that I might deal with this issue as well.

This is the only committee that I personally took upon myself. It has already held several discussions in which decisions - that have already been carried out - were taken. I will not detail them all here but I will point out one important decision on the completion of the four-year plan to assist and advance the Arab sector. Due to budget cuts in recent years, it was decided to extend the plan for another two years in order to complete the commitments in spite of our economic difficulties.

I see the need to improve the situation and status of Israeli Arabs as being of the highest importance; this is so that genuine equality of rights and obligations may be achieved for all Israeli citizens. I emphasize here the rights and obligations of all Israeli citizens. Today, to my regret, before the conclusion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we have difficult issues. I believe that the day will come in which upon the conclusion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it will be possible to demand not only rights but also obligations.

Israeli Arabs deserve equality as a right and not as a privilege. My
government has set this as a priority, to implement this basic value, and I want to emphasize that you also have the responsibility to achieve these aims
. There is distress as a result of the plight that exists in the cities that you lead, and you will have to make efforts, with our help, but greater efforts.

The majority of the Arab public is law-abiding, and it is their right to protest and demonstrate whilst observing the law. It must not happen that a small, inciting and extremist minority should take advantage of this right and instigate violent outbursts. Jews and Arabs will live together in the State of Israel.

I am trying to look backwards, to the days of my childhood at the moshav. I did not think that there would be a day where Jews and Arabs would not live
together.

This State is truly wonderful but very complicated, Jews and Arabs, secular and religious, religious and ultra-orthodox, etc. I could make a very long list here.

In order for us to be able to live together, two things need to exist. The
first is that the law must be fully observed and kept by everybody without
exception; Israeli citizens must completely follow the law. The second is that justice must be carried out. If the law is not upheld there can be no justice. If we know how to keep both of these things, all Israeli citizens upholding the law and doing justice, it will be possible to live together and develop the State of Israel and to have not just peaceful relations and mutual understanding, etc. but greater achievements in all areas. This is my request to you. I ask you to take this opportunity to call on the Arab public and its leaders to show responsibility and to act together with us in order to bring about the complete integration of the Arabs into Israeli society.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:36 AM | Comments (93) | TrackBack

September 05, 2003

Perhaps a Message from Israeli Jets?

(Jewish blood, Lord willing, will not be so easily come by next time around)

Israeli jets honor Holocaust victims

(From the Detroit News, World Briefs, September 5, 2003)

OSWIECIM, Poland — Ignoring objections from the Auschwitz Museum, three Israeli F-I5 jets piloted by descendants of Holocaust survivors circled the former Nazi death camp Thursday to pay tribute to the victims. The Auschwitz Museum, which maintains the grounds of the former Nazi death camp, complained that the show of military might was an inappropriate way to commemorate the victims.

PS ( But, so was killing them in the gas chambers)

Comment received from knowledgeable Israeli friend after posting:


Jerry Shalom,

Here is another perspective about this story. Israeli F-15 jets that are flying from Israel to Poland can also fly from Israel to Iran. The logistics, range and navigation needed to fly from Israel to Poland is very similar to the one needed to Iran!! It is a direct sign to the whole world to do something about the ongoing Iranian nuclear project or else Israel will know what to do at due time.

Best wishes,

Yaacov

More on Targeting Iran

The Washington Times, September 7, 2003

Israel has ready a plan to bomb Iran's Bushehr nuclear- power plant should the Persian Gulf coast facility, now under construction, begin producing weapons-grade material, an insider tells us. This source says Israel has mapped out a route its jet fighters would take to destroy what is designed to be a two-reactor plant. A successful strike would ensure that the radical Tehran regime does not develop nuclear weapons. Iran has tested 600-mile-range ballistic missiles that can reach Israel and carry nuclear, biological or chemical warheads.

Russia has signed an $800 million contract to provide two reactors for the plant near the port city of Bushehr. The United States opposes the deal, as well as any nuclear program in Iran. Israeli F-16s penetrated Iraqi airspace in 1981 to bomb the Osiraq nuclear-power plant, at the Tuwaitha nuclear center near Baghdad.

Analysts believe the action, while condemned by the international community, kept Saddam Hussein from acquiring the bomb. (And saved thousands of American lives in the 1991 Gulf War and now in the war with Iraq 11-12 years later) U.S. Central Command has contingency plans for war with Iran, but there is no active discussion of invading a country that President Bush has put in the "axis of evil." Still, some in the Pentagon talk unofficially of what would be needed to take out the Bushehr plant.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:41 PM | Comments (107) | TrackBack

August 28, 2003

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

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

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

Jibril Rajoub: PA Government Is Subordinate to Arafat

Aaron Lerner Date: 28 August 2003

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

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

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

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

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

August 07, 2003

“Peace” and “Cease Fire” Palestinian Arab Style

Arutz Sheva News Service

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


SUICIDE ATTACK THWARTED

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

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

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

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

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

July 30, 2003

Avoiding Reality

Gen. (Reserve in Israel Defense Forces) Shmuel Arad, speaking with Arutz-7 Israeli TV/Radio Station, July 30, 2003 said:

"We (the Israelis) have become experts in closing our eyes to the reality (in order to accommodate President Bush and our own inadequacies). We have consistently ignored the PA violations, particularly in the areas of incitement and terrorism... We continue to settle for short-range quiet at the expense of dangers in the long-range.

We should take no Road Map steps at all until the Palestinian Authority disarms the terrorists according to their Road Map obligations - for after all, we know that this process will simply blow up, with the terrorists giving one excuse or another. The process is totally asymmetrical, and we're losing all the great achievements made by the army and GSS (Government Security Services) in the past 18-24 months, such as the thousands of terrorists arrested by IDF soldiers who risked their lives to do so. If the process continues to be asymmetrical, it will simply blow up."

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 29, 2003

ISRAEL AND THE JEWS AS SEEN IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

(SOUNDS FAMILIAR)

FROM: THE BRITISH JEWISH CHRONICLE, JULY 18, 2003

BY GEOFFREY ALDERMAN

IN LAST week's Jewish Chronicle, my fellow-columnist Melanie Phillips addressed some fundamental issues relating to the public image of the state of Israel in Britain, and to the lamentable state of Israel's PR efforts. She was right to do so. But she also raised another issue, certainly more important in terms of the image of the Jewish state in the West — namely the nagging feeling, now (in my experience) expressed more openly than ever before in non-Jewish circles, that the re-creation of the Jewish state was itself a terrible mistake, and that, in the long term, this mistake must, somehow, be "rectified."

This is a phenomenon that we must now have the courage to confront. I've sometimes been reprimanded for speaking about the "re-creation" of the Jewish State. But that is precisely what happened in 1948. There was once a Jewish state. It was destroyed — "ethnically cleansed" in modern parlance — and we Jews were, for the most part, driven into exile.

Over the centuries, our religion served as a proxy for our national identity, so much so that, in the view of some, it replaced our national identity. But the idea that a set of religious dogmas and rituals can replace a national identity, entirely and for all time, is manifestly false. When the Nazis set out to destroy us, it was not merely or primarily our religion that they had in their sights. It was nothing less than the Jewish people that they wished to eradicate.

There were many Jews who went to the gas chambers protesting that they were not and never had been Jewish. It is said that the great historian Marc Bloch, when about to be shot by his Gestapo torturers in France in 1944, insisted that he was being executed merely as a resistance leader, not as a Jew. If he did say this, he was wrong. The non-practicing anti-Jewish Jews whom the Nazis executed en masse were destroyed because of their Jewish national identity, not their degree of religiosity or their politics.

Herzlian Zionism was opposed in certain Jewish circles precisely because it sought to re-create a Jewish national identity, to give that identity a political form, and to endow it with a territorial home. This programme struck fear into Jewish religious leaders of the right and left. On the right, Herzl was denounced because he was not a religious Jew. The fact that the Almighty had chosen an irreligious Jew as His instrument of national redemption was simply beyond the limited comprehension of most Orthodox rabbis a century ago — though not all, and I should add that the saintly Rabbi Wemer, Rov of the Machzike Hadass synagogue in London's East End, was a remarkable exception to this rule.

On the left, the Reform and Liberal leaderships were petrified that the political emancipation Jews had won in Europe would be jeopardised, and the right of asylum for persecuted Jews would be put at risk, if Jews dared to claim that they did indeed constitute a separate nation. German Jews had to demonstrate that they were more German than the Germans, British Jews that they were more British than the British, and so on. Above all, Jews had to show that, far from being "cosmopolitan," and "rootless," their roots lay in the enlightened countries in which they happened to find themselves. Nazism exposed — at a terrible price — this dangerously false set of assumptions.

I'm often asked why, if we Jews now have our nation-state restored to us, we do not all go there. Well, why should we? After all, the Irish now have their nation-state restored to them, but there are more Irish people and people of Irish extraction living in the "Diaspora" than in Eire.

The re-establishment of the Jewish state has, however, created some fresh problems. The first is that, although we were given back our nation-state, it was returned to us with a sitting tenant. We need to make it clear that although sitting tenants have rights, they are the rights of the tenant, not the rights of the landlord. The second problem is more complex. The re-creation of the Jewish state has given rise to profound theological turmoil in the Christian and Islamic worlds.

In the Islamic world — a world suffering from very considerable psychological problems originating in a perceived loss of status and power over the past 200-or-so years — the existence of a state ruled by Jews, with Jerusalem as its capital, is an anathema. In the Christian world — or, more accurately, a section of the Christian world — the existence of this state is regarded as a brazen affront and challenge to supposed Christian values.

I regard attempts to reconcile Islam to the re-created Jewish State as a complete waste of time. But there are, in Britain, today, and around the world, Christians whose attitude towards us, and our state, is much more positive because they see — as I do — in the re-creation of the Jewish state the fulfillment of a Divine promise. We must draw strength from and build upon such friendship.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:34 PM | Comments (53) | TrackBack

July 24, 2003

Being a Jew – A “High-Risk” undertaking

By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin commenting upon the Torah portion of the week: Numbers 30:2-36:1 International Jerusalem Post July 25, 2003

One of the most agonizing conversations I've ever had was with an American immigrant whose 12-year-old daughter had just been murdered by terrorists. When I arrived at the home of the bereaved, I found the mother lying in a fetal position, obviously in mute shock. At length she acknowledged my presence, and said: "You know what frightens me the most, what fills me with such unspeakable guilt that I can't even begin to function? My mother is on her way here from New York, and I know she'll blame me; after all, she warned me all along not to place my children at risk in such a dangerous country!"

All of us with children and grandchildren in Israel - where our homes, our schools, the shopping centers and the roads have been turned into front lines - must live with the same risks. Are we doing the right thing? I believe the answer can be found in a reading between the lines of a thrice-repeated dialogue found in this week's portion. Chapter 32 of the Book of Numbers - 42 verses long – deals with a request by the tribes of Reuven, Gad and half the tribe of Menashe to remain on the eastern side of the Jordan River, which had excellent grazing fields for their cattle.

(Please note that G-d had given the Jews the land on both sides of the Jordan River. In modern terminology that would, of course, include the sacrilegiously called West Bank, known by true historians as Judea and Samaria, plus all of what is now Jordan. This territory was later the same area that was conquered by King Solomon and was the extent of later biblical Israel)

Since this would seemingly exempt them from the obligation to join in the major battles with the seven indigenous nations for the heartland of Israel, Moses castigates them: "Will your brethren go out to war while you remain here?" he challenges (Numbers 32:6). The tribes that want to remain in Trans-Jordan modify their request: "We will build sheep fences for our cattle here and dues for our children. And we will be in the vanguard of the children of Israel... We will not return to our own homes [in Trans-Jordan] until every member of the children of Israel inherits his land" (Numbers 32:16-19). Seemingly, they respond to Moses' charge and agree to participate in the war before inhabiting the Trans- Jordan. Nevertheless, it requires two more dialogues between Moses and the tribesmen before the great leader is satisfied (Numbers 32:20-27,28-32).

Why so many conversations? What did Moses find disturbing after they had already agreed to fight? A careful reading of the text indicates three remaining problems:

Reuven and Gad had based the request on their desire to "build sheep fences for our cattle here and dues for our children." Moses corrects their priorities, telling them that as long as they participate in the war, they may "build cities for your children and fences for your sheep" (Numbers 32:24). He is gently but undeniably chiding them for putting their cattle before their children; our children must be our prize possession, concern for them must come before concern for material wealth or livestock. They leam their lesson, and respond – in this second dialogue - "Our children, our wives, our cattle and our animals will remain there, in the cities of the Gilad" (Numbers 32:25).

In a similar vein, Reuven and Gad agree to be "pioneer warriors in front of the children of Israel." Once again, Moses deems it necessary to correct their language, understanding that phraseology reflects philosophy: "And Moses said to them, if you will do this thing, if you will be pioneers in front of God in the war" (Numbers 32:20) - the battle is to be fought in front of, and for the sake of, God, rather than in front of and for the sake of the children of Israel.

The importance of the land of Israel is not merely in providing material sustenance and protection for the nation of Israel; the importance of the land is to provide a model society for the world, based on ethical monotheism; it is a battle fought - first and foremost – by and for God. And here again the Israelites "get the message;" in the second dialogue, they declare: "And every pioneer among your servants shall pass in the army before God to wage war, just as my master has spoken" (Numbers 32:27).

However, from Moses' perspective, one point of contention remains; Reuven and Gad still expected to first deposit their children and cattle safely in Trans-Jordan, and only then go out to do battle with the rest of the Israelites (Numbers 32:26,27). Here, they are making a policy decision: the children's lives are not to be placed at risk. Moses must then open a third dialogue, in which he once again establishes the only acceptable order: first you must fight, and only then can you together with your children and your possessions - settle in TransJordan (Numbers 32:29,30).

The tribes finally acquiesce, declaring, "we will pass over as pioneers [warriors] before God into the land of Canaan, and with us will be the possession of our inheritance [our children and cattle] from the other side of the Jordan" (Numbers 32:32). The children must share in the danger - together with the rest of the Jewish people.

The Torah is here teaching a critical lesson to all subsequent generations - including our own. To be a Jew means is to belong to a "high-risk" profession; there are certain values for which you must be willing to sacrifice your lives, and even the lives of your children. Indeed, we learn from the binding of Isaac the great paradox of Jewish history: only if you are willing to place our future at risk for the sake of God, His Torah and His people, will you be worthy of having a future.

Shabbat Shalom

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:49 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Why the Palestinian Arabs Are Winning the Media War

Redacted from an interview with David Bedein Hasbara, Jerusalem-based Israel Resource News Agency,

Why do you believe that the Palestinians have been doing a better job than the Israelis on the public relations front"?

Palestinian media professionals have no qualms about deceiving the media for political advantage. There are hundreds of examples. In their attempt to convince the world that the IDF massacred hundreds of civilians in the Jenin refugee camp during Operation Defensive Shield, they used animal carcasses to fill the air with the stench of rotting flesh in places where reporters and UN officials were likely to visit. The IDF caught that ploy on video, as they did a staged funeral in which "the body" jumped out of the coffin and ran for cover when an Israeli surveillance plane flew over the site.

The Palestinians have an excellent track record in manipulating images that appear in the world media. They achieved an enormous propaganda windfall at the beginning of the second intifada, when a Palestinian film crew working for a French television network recorded the shooting of eleven-year-old Mohammed al-Dura as his father tried in vain to shield him during a battle at a road junction near Gaza. The video, edited to portray the IDF as heartless child killers, fit the Palestinian story line perfectly. A thorough IDF investigation, which was issued three weeks after the incident and confirmed by a German TV crew, showed that the bullets fired at the boy had come from the direction of Palestinian gunmen who had attacked an Israeli guard post. But the world had "witnessed" the shooting of al-Dura, as the media scripted it--an atrocity committed by Israeli troops--and the damage could not be undone.

i>How do Palestinian P.R. professionals get their training today, and who funds it?

The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) provides courses and more than thirty how-to manuals on public relations, media relations, fundraising, communications, lobbying, and public speaking. PASSIA trains Palestinian academics who will be teaching abroad on how to promote their cause on university campuses; in addition, Palestinians in the U.S. are taught how to seek out the Arab constituencies in each congressional district and how to lobby members of Congress for political and financial support of the Palestinian cause. And who picks up the tab for PASSIA? The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a program of the U.S. State Department, grants PASSIA and eighteen other Palestinian media relations firms in Jerusalem more than $1 million annually. It was only this past March, after a U.S. House International Relations Committee staffer discovered that USAID was providing allocations for Palestinian media relations, that members of Congress became aware of this aid. A surprised Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) looked at PASSIA's advocacy manual and said incredulously: "Here we are in Congress paying them to lobby us."

The major Palestinian media organization, known as the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC), is heavily subsidized by the European Union and the Ford Foundation. Headed by Dr. Ghassan Khatib, a close associate of Yasser Arafat, JMCC provides the foreign media with topnotch professional services--affordable camera crews, translators, photographers, and transportation, as well as daily press bulletins, briefing papers, and people to interview.

The Israeli government provides the visiting press with bushels of bulletins, but leaves the provision of camera crews and translation services to the private sector. No Israeli TV crew can compete with the heavily subsidized JMCC, which essentially has cornered the market on media services for the foreign press. The foreign press is totally dependent on Palestinian technical support personnel, who have a strong influence on the narrative and images that appear in the Western media.

Do the Palestinians have a P.R. presence in Washington, DC?

Their man in Washington is Edward Abington, who served as U.S. consul in Jerusalem when USAID began to finance PASSIA in the '90s and is now registered as a paid foreign agent for the PLO in Washington. Abington coordinates information from JMCC, PASSIA, and other Palestinian information agencies and puts a moderate face on the Palestinian cause, which often means damage control. For example, each time one of Arafat's militias takes credit for a terror attack, Abington's office quickly issues a statement to the media denying Arafat's involvement..

Abington also provides the press and the U.S. government with "translations" of Arafat's speeches. On May 15, 2002, Arafat delivered a speech to the Palestine Legislative Council in which he compared the Oslo accords to the ten-year peace treaty between Mohammed and the Jewish tribe of Qureish, a treaty the founder of Islam tore up two years later, when his forces had the power to slaughter the Jewish tribe. This portion was edited out of the copy sent to President Bush.

Are Palestinian medical and relief organizations involved in the "media war"?

Yes, the so-called Palestinian human rights organizations, the Union of Palestine Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC), run by Dr. Mustafa Al-Bargouti (brother of jailed Fatah Tanzim leader Marwan Al-Bargouti), coordinates its strategies with Dr. Fatchi Arafat's Palestinian Red Crescent Society in disseminating wild reports of Israeli medical neglect and torture of Palestinians. There have also been numerous incidents in which false information issued by UPMRC sources has been picked up by U.S. media.
How is the UPMRC funded?

It receives $300,000 annually from the United States for P.R. And Dr. Arafat's Palestinian Red Crescent Society receives $215,000 a year in U.S. assistance. Both agencies are on the list of the fifty-nine non-government Palestinian organizations that have shared $100 million in U.S. aid since 1997.

Do you believe the United Nations plays a role in advancing the Palestinian P.R. agenda?

Definitely. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) maintains a professional media relations department and a news service called the UNRWA television network, both based in the Ain el- Helweh UNRWA refugee camp in Lebanon. UNRWA cooperates with the media services of the PLO and the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) to provide the visiting press with information and services. Its literature focuses largely on the plight of the refugees who are being housed in camps until they can "return to their homeland"--

The UN's agenda is to present the Palestinian Arabs as victims. In Witness to History: The Plight of the Palestinian Refugees, one of several primers distributed by UNRWA and published by MIFTAH, the Palestinian media agency run by well-known Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi and commissioned by the Canadian government, the UN asserts, on page 13, that all "refugees and their descendants have a right to compensation and repatriation to their original homes and land...."

How do the Palestinians and Israelis different in their methods of media relations?

Professionally trained and disciplined Palestinian spokespeople usually present themselves as a ragtag bunch of amateurs. They meet Western reporters in modest Jerusalem or Ramallah hotels or against the backdrop of refugee camps. This tactic has been very successful in reinforcing the stereotype of their side as the aggrieved underdog. An interview with a Palestinian in an alleyway with burning tires and bullets flying overhead captures the imagination of editorswho place a premium on entertainment value--the human drama unfolding.

In contrast, when foreign correspondents meet with Israeli officials, they are often greeted by slick government spokespeople at fancy hotels, state-of-the-art media centers, or modern offices. Israeli spokespeople labor under three false notions: first, that formal, professionally packaged P.R. is persuasive; second, that lengthy explanations of the history of the conflict will be more effective than sound bytes in convincing the public of the rightness of their cause; and third, that the moral correctness of their action and cause is self-evident to any rational, fair-minded human being. Along these lines, Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres once said: "Good policies are good P.R.; they speak for themselves." Unfortunately, Peres was wrong. A lie can be more powerful than the truth, if you market your lie well enough for people to believe it.

In contrast to the seemingly uncoordinated messages coming from Israel, spokespeople of the autocratic Palestinian Authority adhere to a party line with practiced discipline, simply reciting the standard litany of complaints about their "oppression," the "occupation," "human rights abuses," "racism," etc.


PA rarely engages in confrontation with the foreign press. A rare exception occurred in October 2002 when two IDF soldiers were lynched in the Ramallah police station. The gruesome scene was captured by an Italian TV crew and sent abroad without going through PA censors. The PA demanded an apology and a promise never to do it again--or lose permission to cover Palestinian territory. The Italians said mea culpa and promised never again to embarrass their hosts. We asked our staffer to fly to Rome to interview this Italian crew, who told us, on the record, how they had been browbeaten by PA security officials into providing a letter of apology.


Do you believe that many Western journalists harbor an anti-Israel bias, or are there other factors which work in favor of the Palestinian point of view?

I agree with the assessment of Dr. Mike Cohen, a Jerusalem-based strategic communications analyst and IDF reserve officer, who says that most foreign journalists are not inherently anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, or pro-Palestinian. They are, however, easily swayed by Palestinian manipulation, which relies on the reporters' and editors' lack of background knowledge, combined with the lack of time and desire to take a deep look at the facts. Another factor is the fear of losing access to Palestinian sources and logistical support if their stories are perceived as hostile. Moreover, non-Palestinian reporters are deliberately impeded and intimidated when trying to cover news that may embarrass the PA. I know of several foreign journalists who had reported incidents of Palestinian incitement and were thereafter barred from PA briefings.

Are there dissenting Palestinian voices in the Palestinian media?

One rarely hears a dissenting voice among the Palestinians because anyone who publicly criticizes the PA can be imprisoned or even executed. The foreign media is told, and dutifully reports, that the person in question was a "collaborator." A case in point: in early March 2002, BBC reported the execution of two Palestinians who had been accused by the PA of collaboration. When the BBC crew met with the families of the two victims, they discovered that both had a history of opposition to the PA and that both had openly criticized Arafat. The BBC correspondent told me that these were dissidents, not collaborators, but BBC World Service chose not to report the story.

In the final analysis, how important is the P.R. factor in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Absolutely crucial. So long as Western journalists project an image of the PA as a defender of human rights and Israel as a brutal occupier, development funds from the United States and the European Union will continue to flow into the PA's coffers with little public protest about some of that money being used to bankroll the intifada, including suicide bombers, as documents seized from Arafat's office during Operation Defensive Shield prove. So long as Palestinian P.R. professionals continue to dictate the story line to the media, Israelis will continue to be portrayed as the villains and the Palestinians the victims. It's time to change the script.

===========================
FREEMAN CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES P.O. Box 35661 * Houston, Texas 77235-5661 E-mail: freemanlist@aol.com for complete interview. ====================================


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:48 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 23, 2003

A Beautiful Story of the Jews and the Diamond Industry

(Or, as your bubba might say, "If the world deals you a lemon, make lemonade")

From the Web Site, TIME OUT 4 Israel

From Rags to Riches on the Shores of Netanya

by Michele Schaefer

The diamond-cutting industry in Palestine barely existed in the late 1930‘s. However, by the end of World War II, Palestine had become the largest diamond manufacturing center in the world. The story of this remarkable achievement is the story of the State of Israel itself, and therefore, is a tale of worldwide events, pioneering spirit, the ingenuity and determination of a few individuals, and, of course, traditional Jewish mazel (luck). Or in this case, "mazel und broche" (luck and blessing), the phrase which has concluded each and every deal made between diamond dealers throughout the world, from Tel Aviv to Tokyo, for almost as long as the industry has existed.

Jews were a dominant presence in the diamond industry for centuries prior to its establishment in Palestine. The story of how this came to be is the story of the Jewish people in the Diaspora. Diamonds were often referred to as the "trade of refugees", especially suited for those frequently on the move, for they could be easily pocketed, concealed on the body, and readily converted into money anywhere.

Furthermore, until recent times, diamond cutting and polishing required few tools beyond the skill of the craftsmen. Therefore, the business could be instantly established wherever they would resettle. For the Jews of Europe, this was particularly crucial, since they were repeatedly forced to flee from country after country, taking only what they could carry.

When Portugal established the first ocean route to India, which had been the single source of diamonds until the early eighteenth century, Jewish Sephardic merchants in Lisbon arranged for Indian diamonds to be brought back on each ship’s voyage. Lisbon quickly became the primary entry point of diamonds into Europe. Prior to that, camel caravans had brought Indian diamonds through the Ottoman Empire, where they were purchased by Jewish tradesmen who then resold them to Jewish merchants throughout Europe.

Following the expulsion of Jews from Spain and then Portugal during the Inquisition, many diamond merchants and skilled cutters settled in the Netherlands and Belgium, quickly making Amsterdam and, to a lesser extent, Antwerp, the primary diamond centers of Europe. A less favorable regulatory environment in the Netherlands ultimately shifted the balance in favor of Antwerp, which even today remains the key diamond center in Europe.
Jews played leading roles in the industry during the discovery of the Brazilian diamond mines in the mid-eighteenth century.

They also were involved during the discovery of the South African mines on the De Beers brothers’ farm in 1871, which ultimately led to the establishment of the famous De Beers conglomerate, first headed by Cecil Rhodes, and then by Sir Ernest Oppenheimer. Of German-Jewish descent, it was through Sir Ernest that the London-based De Beers would have, by the early twentieth century, created a worldwide monopoly not only over the production of diamonds, but also over their distribution. Oppenheimer’s family has retained control of the De Beers Corporation until today.

Among the trickle of new immigrants permitted into Palestine in the late 1930’s were two Jewish refugees dressed in rags, who disembarked at Haifa’s port. Given their impoverished state, one would have expected them to have meager, if any, possessions. Indeed, the refugees had virtually nothing, except for a small container of what looked like bits of broken translucent glass. These refugees were skilled diamond cutters from Antwerp. The bits of broken glass were, in fact, rough diamonds. In the long tradition of Jewish refugees, these were the only items of value they managed to take with them on their latest journey to a new land where they hoped to reestablish their trade.

The refugees eventually came into contact with Oved Ben Ami, the mayor of Netanya, and one of Palestine’s most energetic, creative entrepreneurs. Ben Ami would later go on to fund Israel’s newspaper Ma’ariv. He had been greatly involved in the development of Netanya from an unsettled marsh at its founding in 1928, to a small but growing city.

Ben Ami was always seeking new ways to promote Netanya‘s expansion, and after his encounter with the two refugees, he became convinced that diamond cutting was the ideal industry to establish there. He merely needed a supply of diamonds, and skilled diamond cutters! Undeterred, he set out to acquire these resources, and it was his determination more than anything else that enabled the potential for Israel to emerge as a leading diamond-cutting center to first take root.

At that time, British restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine were rigorously enforced. Ben Ami managed to persuade the High Commissioner’s Office to grant permission for sixty Belgian diamond cutters to come to Palestine, in excess of the immigration quota. He achieved this by stirring up British fears that the cutting experts, and the diamond trade in general, was at risk of falling into Nazi hands. This was not a far-fetched argument, given the very real possibility of Germany overrunning Belgium. Britain had a great interest in protecting the diamond trade, Ben Ami argued, since the industry, in the form of the London-based De Beers, was largely in British hands. Eventually the British granted him the entry permits.

Ben Ami next approached the formidable De Beers conglomerate directly. He himself flew to London in early 1940 to present his case to their representative, who at first dismissed the idea of supplying diamonds to remote, undeveloped Palestine as an absurd suggestion. Over some time, however, as a result of worsening conditions in Europe, appeals to De Beers' Jewish connections, and relentless pestering more than anything else, Ben Ami managed to acquire a small shipment of medium-grade, rough diamonds for Palestine.

Tragically, few of the sixty visas for Belgian diamond cutters were ever used. After concluding his business with De Beers, Ben Ami went to Antwerp to arrange for their immigration. However, only a handful were willing to leave Antwerp. Despite the Nazi threat, most preferred to remain in familiar, still-neutral Belgium than to travel to distant Palestine, which was also potentially threatened by the Axis. Ben Ami returned to Palestine in early May, 1940. On May 10, the Nazis invaded Belgium and the Netherlands. These two countries were under German control by the end of the month, and their diamond-cutting industry was indeed lost for the Allies.

The stock of rough stones Ben Ami acquired launched Palestine’s diamond-cutting industry on the shores of Netanya. Following the loss of the European cutting centers, De Beers continued to supply Palestine with a consignment of medium-quality diamonds. These stones, called melees, required more labor to process than better quality diamonds. But Palestine during that time had an abundance of cheap labor, so this was of little consequence. Furthermore, a new method of polishing was developed in Palestine during that period, called the "chain of six", which divided each job among six men, instead of employing a single master craftsman. This reduced the amount of time and skill required to produce a finished product, and, in melee stones, resulted in no noticeable difference in quality.

By the end of the war, fully 5,000 cutters had been trained in Palestine. De Beers had shipped rough diamonds there worth more than 100 million dollars. Antwerp attempted to reclaim the market following World War II, but the banks, the government, and business leaders of what, by then, had become the State of Israel, promoted the continued success of the industry. Israel subsequently became the world’s leader in production of melee stones.

As Israel's diamond industry grew, manufacturing centers were opened in many Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Safed and Nazareth. Israel’s Diamond Exchange, or “Bourse“, as it is known in the trade, was opened in 1968 in Ramat Gan, where business is conducted in the long-standing tradition of a verbal agreement and a handshake. In an industry filled with legendary figures, Israel has developed its share, including one Joseph Goldfinger who, it is claimed, was the role model for a character in one of Ian Fleming’s novels.

Polished diamonds were Israel's leading export industry during the early decades of the State and remain a major factor in its economy today. Polished diamonds contributed over 7.5 billion in exports in 2001. This probably even surpasses the visionary Oved Ben Ami's expectations of what was possible on the shores of Netanya. It is truly a tale of mazel und broche, and classic Israeli brawn.

Michel Schaefer is a Time Out 4 Israel reader who lives in Montreal.
© 2002-2003 im4israel. All Rights Reserved

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:26 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 20, 2003

Israeli Approach Misguided and Self-Defeating

(Redacted from an article in the Jerusalem Post International July 18, 2003)

BY AHARON LEVRAN

Chief of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon was quoted earlier this month as saying that the cease-fire with the Palestinians and their renouncing of terror constitute an Israeli victory. This statement, however, is rash and inappropriate, since it is too early to conclude that terror has ended, and especially because the cease-fire with the Palestinians and their verbal renunciation of terror cannot add up to an Israeli victory - certainly not the decisive, unequivocal one that was needed.

Had Israel's objective in the "war of terror" forced upon us by the Palestinians been merely to make them recognize that they will never attain their national aspirations by terror, Ya'alon's statement would have made some sense - since it would have implied that the Palestinians recognize that they haven't yet succeeded in forcing the Israelis out of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, 'a la Hizbullah model in Lebanon, or in crumblingour “soft, hedonistic Israeli society”, as they wished. But if indeed that was Israel's objective, it was minimalistic to begin with. Such a goal, given our national security and the current state of the conflict, would be fundamentally erroneous. In any case, determining - even de facto - that the objective has been achieved by virtue only of preventing enemy gains, is a Pyrrhic victory.

Before clarifying what we mean by a Pyrrhic victory, let's define concepts of military victory. Victory is professed when the winning side achieves most or all of its strategic goals with minimum losses, while the losing side has not attained its goals and paid a heavy price to boot. Conversely, decisive victory refers to a much dearer strategic situation: the enemy has lost its ability, as well as its will, to fight. As an illustration: In boxing, victory is determined by points, while a decisive outcome ends in a knockout.

On the other hand, victory alone, in which the Palestinian Arabs have merely failed to achieve their goals, is insufficient. Furthermore, we haven't even won according to Ya'alon's version - at least not a full victory, since the Palestinians have certainly achieved a not insignificant number of their goals. A Palestinian state has never been such an acute issue, precisely when the Palestinians have initiated a heinous war of terror. The American administration, despite its longtime opposition to a Palestinian state, is now at the forefront of its supporters. Thus, the administration, whether blindly or innocently, is helping the instigators of regional and global terrorism, by which it contradicts its own hard-line policy of war on terror.

In addition, the Palestinians are immeasurably better off now than during the Oslo process. There, Yasser Arafat was barely designated "rafa" let alone "president," and the Oslo Accords made no mention whatsoever of a Palestinian cabinet Now, lo and behold, Abu Mazen is a bona fide prime minister of a pending state. In the Oslo process and afterwards, there was barely a "safe passage" from the West Bank to Gaza; today territorial continuity is touted even by Israel's prime minister.

Israel may be proud that the Oslo process is dead, but the road map we've adopted makes Oslo look like a tame kitten. One of its awful ironies is that Israel is called upon to end incitement against Palestinians, as if Israel were encouraging young people to commit suicide. It’s worth noting the words of S. Yizhar (who can't be accused of right-wing leanings) for stopping the epidemic of suicide bombers: "A society which encourages its young people to kill themselves sets itself outside the pale of humanity; there must be no dealings whatsoever with them, just as there are no dealings with cannibals (!)" Unless they are dealt a telling blow that spells their permanent defeat, they will resume the armed struggle whenever their demands are not met in full.

The hackneyed contention that peace is made with enemies deserves the retort that genuine peace is made with enemies who have been defeated, or who have completely changed their ways. Any other kind of peace is the beginning of the next war. We won't elaborate here on how to win decisively, but a required outcome entails exacting a political price from the Palestinians. It's not enough to deny them their goals: We have to make them lose what they have already gained. Nothing short of falling back to worse positions in every confrontation might teach them that terror and violence are truly pointless. And in reply to the trite claim that terror and an armed struggle for national aspirations can never be cowed by force, we can cite many examples of military victory over terror. And in reply to the trite claim that terror and an armed struggle for national aspirations can never be cowed by force, we can cite many examples of military victory over terror.

An instructive model of total military victory is Turkey, which stamped out terrorism and the battle for independence waged by the Kurds (PKK). Following some 15 years of bloody conflict, the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocelan was arrested and the movement declared in 2002 that it was disbanding to become a legitimate political organization.

In Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers renounced their demand for independence in the same year, after a 20-year struggle, declaring they were content with autonomy. Spain would never dream of granting the Basques recognized as a terrorist organization by the European Union - independence despite ETA's 34 years of terrorism. The IRA in Northern Ireland has been wielding arms since 1969, until the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 in which it was agreed that they would disarm, and more important, that Northern Ireland would remain part of the United Kingdom.

Giant nations such as India in Kashmir, China in Tibet, and Russia in Chechnya are refusing to give up any territory despite violent terrorism. Jordan, Syria, and Egypt too have fought terror without giving in, and crushed the threat. In Europe and Japan urban-anarchist terrorism was quashed. These are only a few of the success stories of victory over terror; Israel, however, barely recognizes as "victory" our preventing the enemy from gaining its objectives.

It is false to claim that terror will always win out, and that those fighting for independence will eventually gain it. This claim doesn't hold water even conceptually, since it implies that terrorists have a winning strategy to begin with, and insinuates that the war on global terror being fought by the US is doomed to failure from the outset.

The writer, a retired brigadier general and former senior intelligence officer, is a strategic analyst.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:23 PM | Comments (145) | TrackBack

July 18, 2003

Song of Hate

By Robert A. Sklar, Editor, The Detroit Jewish News, July 18, 2003

Don't be duped. There are fewer suicide bombers now than there have been during 33 months of Palestinian terror. And President George W Bush seems to believe Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority's new prime minister, is sincere in trying to break the hold of terrorists despite his anti-Jewish past. But hard-core Palestinians loyal to Yasser Arafat, their president and a proven master of murder, still want to claim the Jewish state as theirs.

Palestinian children still learn that Jews are nothing more than evildoers blocking reclamation. This indoctrination to seek Death for Allah — Shahada — permeates conversation, textbooks and music videos. "The message has not yet changed," says Itamar Marcus, the no-nonsense director of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Media Watch, "and this is what I think is most significant. Until we get a change in the message, until they teach that Israel is acceptable, then we are not going anywhere."

One of Israel's most astute and admired monitors of Palestinian culture and politics, Marcus warns us to watch the transparent, corrupt PA. leadership, which to the public means Abbas, but in reality means Arafat, a sworn Jew hater.
We'd better take heed.

Last week, the same day the Israel news media and world leaders sung the praises of Palestinians for removing graffiti from some walls within the disputed territories, the PA. Held school graduation and broadcast it on Palestinian TV. "The high school students were singing and dancing," Marcus says in a provocative interview broadcast on Israel TV on July 10, the day the PA ordered the Palestinian news media to stop incitement. The song they were dancing to? As Marcus relates, these were the words to the song playing in the background as parents, educators and a TV audience looked on:

With words and with a rifle we will sing. From Jerusalem to Gaza, Ramallah, Al Biro, Haifa, Jaffa and Ramla, there is no alternative even if they promise us the Garden of Eden. The sound of the submachine gun is heard. We will live and die only that our homeland should return to us. I am a Palestinian. My weapon is the stone and the knife.

Does that sound like a commencement ceremony Jews should applaud? It's foolish to think, even for a moment, that the mood on the street among Palestinians has changed. Sure, some Palestinians see through the blood-soaked cloaks of hate worn by Arafat and his henchmen. But they have no ability to rise up against those in power. ##

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:19 PM | Comments (142) | TrackBack

Britain and Israel find common ground – IRA aiding Islamists in Terror

Prime Ministers Sharon and Blair find common ground

From: Arutz-7@IsraelNationalNews.com

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and British Prime Minister Tony Blair this week agreed to increase cooperation between the two countries, including the sharing of intelligence data. The agreement comes as Israel is seeing increasing signs of involvement of the IRA in attacks originating in the Palestinian Authority and as Islamist terrorists threaten both countries with attack. Each country will appoint two emissaries who will be responsible for the transfer of intelligence information. On behalf of Israel, Sharon has selected Dov Weisglass and his military secretary Maj.-Gen. Yoav Gallant for the assignment.

In Israel, meanwhile, the intelligence and military struggle against terrorism continues. Today (Friday), the commander of the IDF’s military police force issued an alert regarding the abduction of soldiers by terrorists. Acting on intelligence community warnings, military police have been placed on alert and soldiers have been instructed to be increasingly vigilant.

Following the successful release of kidnapped taxi driver Eliyahu Gur-El, and the capture of his abductors, IDF forces last night razed the Ramallah-area homes of two of the terrorists involved in the incident. A statement released by the Office of the IDF Spokesperson stated the homes were razed to send a clear message to terrorists, that there is a price to be paid for their actions. Also yesterday, several terrorists were apprehended in the Shomron and Gaza.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:31 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 13, 2003

(Finally, a Ray of Sunshine from the European Union)


Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom meets with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Jerusalem, July 11, 2003

In his meeting today with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told ForeignMinister Shalom that in his meetings with the 25 ambassadors representing the countries of the European Union, he discussed his vision that Israel would join the European Union. Despite the fact that Israel is located geographically on the other side of the Mediterranean, culturally and economically Israel is a Western European and democratic country.

The Italian Prime Minister further added that not one of the ambassadors at the meeting was opposed to this idea. In addition, Berlusconi stated that he is receiving Foreign Minister Shalom as the current President of the European Union, and it is his intention to advance the Marshall Plan, to expand it, in order to help revive the economies of Israel and the countries in the region, and especially the Palestinian economy. Berlusconi also suggested to convene a regional conference in Sicily.

Foreign Minister Shalom stated that the courageous decision of Berlusconi not to meet Arafat during his visit to Israel, led many Foreign Ministers to do the same. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shalom conveyed to Berlusconi a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, that he appreciates his position as President of the European Union, as a balanced once in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In reference to the suggestion to convene a regional conference in Sicily, Foreign Minister Shalom said that indeed it is to be considered. Foreign Minister Shalom thanked the Italian Prime Minister for his efforts to include Hamas on the list of terrorist organizations: "We believe that in the time of your Presidency, European countries will become more balanced."
Similarly, Foreign Minister Shalom brought up the danger of Iran's nuclear armament, which constitutes a danger to global stability. As for the Marshall plan of Berlusconi, ForeignMinister Shalom stated that there is no doubt that this is another important element.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 02, 2003

Giving up any of the land of Israel - Rebbe Schneerson 1983

The Rebbe’s Roadmap


This article contains a translation of a small portion of a speech ("sicha") given by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of blessed memory, on May 17, 1983 on the eve of Shavuot. Excerpted by Rabbi Menachem M. Pellin

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In these troubling times for the Jewish people, many may look at the situation in Israel as an endless tunnel of Jewish blood. Think about it. We tried "the peace process" - that didn´t work. We tried "strategic incursions" - that didn´t work. What is left?

Ah, but there is a solution left. There is something Israel has not tried. They did not try the Rebbe´s Roadmap.

In a public gathering, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneersohn, addressed the issue of settlements and a peaceful Israel. This talk was on the eve of Shavuot in the year 5743 - 1983; twenty years ago. Let´s listen in.....

“It´s obvious... anyone that gives away land (settlements) to the gentiles is in direct defiance of Shulchan Aruch [the Code of Jewish Law]....

“...And even if there will be Jews that will be stubborn and want to give away settlements [of Israel] to the gentiles, since ´the word of G-d will stand forever,´ G-d will see to it that the gentiles will not accept [the land]. This has happened many times in the past. They [Israel] sent ministers... [to negotiate the giving away land]. [They] stood in front of the gentiles like a pauper by the door begging them to take pieces of the land of Israel. The Gentiles spit in front of them and give them a slap in the face. [They say] they don´t want to take any land from you... and they come back many times from the meetings very ashamed and embarrassed at their rejection.

“The gentile doesn´t change his mission (set forth by G-d); therefore, when G-d doesn´t want that the settlements of Israel to be given away to the non-Jews, even if the Jew will suggest to give the settlements to the gentile, the gentile will not be ready to accept... But he will ´clothe´ [his reason for rejection] in a sensible excuse. He will say ´these settlements are not enough´ because really he wants it all.

“But the true reason that the gentile is not accepting the settlements is because his mazal [divine source] feels that G-d doesn´t want this to happen. And as I stated above - this has happened many times, and not only once, but many times. We already saw what the outcome of this was. Many sacrifices, many Jews were killed. Every single one of these [murdered] Jews is a complete world. Nevertheless, the fact of matter doesn´t bother them enough to stop acting like this; i.e., asking the gentile to take more land.

“May it be G-d´s will, since we are standing at the eve of Shavuot, a spirit from above should awaken them. From now on they should stand strong and straight, with the pride of being Jewish. In every matter which the Torah teaches us. It´s not worthy to act in a way which is against the Torah - to run after a gentile and beg before him that he should agree to take settlements of [Israel]. This that they are doing will not help the situation at all. On the contrary! It causes that we should become shamed and disgraced. As was the case in the past.”

The Rebbe´s solution:

“From now on [Jews] should behave in a way that is in accordance with the Torah.... Obviously, when you talk to a gentile, you should tell him that the land of Israel was given to us as our eternal inheritance to an eternal nation; i.e., the Jewish nation. Any Jew, even in another part of the world, in this generation and in every generation, has a connection to the land of Israel. Therefore, there is no [single] Jew who is authorized to give away settlements. Since the land of Israel belongs to every Jew, wherever he may be, in every generation.

“When you speak to a gentile with the correct stance, we will merit to receive the lineage of true respect. And all the gentiles themselves will want to help us. They will even consider it as respect for themselves.”
--------------------------------------------------------

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 12:37 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

July 01, 2003

Limited Palestinian Arab State

Clarification of original statement
by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The Washington Post Tuesday, June 24, 2003

The choice of headline for my June 20 op-ed article, "A Limited Palestinian State," did not accurately reflect my position.

As stated in the article, I believe that in a final peace agreement the
Palestinians should be given all the powers that are necessary to govern
themselves but none of the powers that could threaten Israel.

There is, to my knowledge, no accepted term in international law for this
type of nonbelligerent sovereignty. Until there is an accepted term, I prefer not to use the word "state," because of the unlimited sovereignty it implies.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU Jerusalem

The writer is a former prime minister and the current finance minister of
Israel.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:59 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 30, 2003

Legality of the Israeli Settlements (Communities of Judea, Samaria and Gaza)

By Eugene W. Rostow, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, (1966-1969) and former Dean of the Yale Law School

(Consolidated Articles of April 23, 1990 and October 21, 1991 from The New Republic.).

With varying degrees of seriousness, all American administrations since 1967 have objected to Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) on the ground that it would make it more difficult to persuade the Arabs to make peace. President Carter decreed that the settlements were "illegal" as well as tactically unwise. President Reagan said the settlements were legal but that they made negotiations less likely. The strength of the argument is hardly self-evident. Jordan occupied the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) for nineteen years, allowed no Jewish settlements and showed no signs of wanting to make peace.

(United Nations) Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. Resolution 242, adopted after the Six-Day War in 1967, set out criteria for peace-making by the parties (to the conflict); Resolution 338, passed after the Yom Kippur War in 1973, makes resolution 242 legally binding and orders the parties to carry out its terms forthwith. Unfortunately, confusion reigns, even in high places, about what those resolutions require.(Since 1967)

Arab states have pretended that the two resolutions are "ambiguous" and can be interpreted to suit their desires. And some Europeans (Russian) and even American officials have cynically allowed Arab spokesman to delude themselves and their people to say nothing of Western public opinion about what the resolutions mean. It is common even for American journalists to write that Resolution 242 is "deliberately ambiguous”, as if the parties are, equally free to rely on their own reading of its key provisions.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Resolution 242, which as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs between 1966 and 1969, I helped produce, calls on the parties to make peace and allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until " a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" is achieved. When such a peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces "from territories" it occupied during the Six-Day War not from "the" territories, nor from "all" the territories, but some of the territories, which included the Sinai Desert, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

Five-and-a-half months of vehement public diplomacy made it perfectly clear what the missing definite article in Resolution 242 means. Ingeniously drafted resolutions calling for withdrawals from "all" the territories were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly. Speaker after speaker made it explicit that Israel was not to be forced back to the "fragile" and "vulnerable" Armistice Demarcation Lines, but should retire once peace was made to what Resolution 242 called "secure and recognized" boundaries agreed to by the parties. In negotiating such agreement, the parties should take into account, among other factors, security considerations, access to the international waterways of the region, and, of course, their respective legal claims.

Resolution 242 built on the text of the Armistice Agreements of 1949, which provided (except in the case of Lebanon) that the Armistice Demarcation Lines separating the military forces were "not to be construed in any sense" as political or territorial boundaries, and that "no provision" of the Armistice Agreements "shall in any way prejudice the right, claims, and positions" of the parties "in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine problem.” In making peace with Egypt in 1979, Israel withdrew from the entire Sinai, which had never been part of the British Mandate. …

Resolution 242 leaves the issue of dividing the occupied areas between Israel and its neighbors entirely to the agreement of the parties in accordance with the principles it sets out. It was, however, negotiated with full realization that the problem of establishing "a secure and recognized" boundary between Israel and Jordan would be the thorniest issue of the peace making process.

The heated question of Israel settlements in the West Bank during the occupation period should be viewed in this perspective. The British Mandate recognized the right of the Jewish People to "close settlement" in the whole of the Mandated territory. It was provided that local conditions might require Great Britain to "postpone" or "withhold" Jewish settlement in what is now Jordan. This was done in 1922. But the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine, west of the Jordan River, that is in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated, and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors. And perhaps not even then, in view of Article 80 of the UN Charter, "the Palestine Article," which provides that nothing in the Charter shall be construed… to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments…"

Some governments have taken the view that under the Geneva Convention of 1949, which deals with the rights of civilians under military occupation, Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal, on the ground that the Convention prohibits an occupying power from flooding the occupied territory with its own citizens. President Carter supported this view, but President Reagan reversed him, specifically saying that the settlements are legal but that further settlements should be deferred since they pose an obstacle to the peace process.

This reading of Resolution 242 has always been the keystone of American policy. In launching a major peace initiative on September 1, 1982, President Reagan said, "I have personally followed and supported Israel's heroic struggle for survival since the founding of the state of Israel thirty-four years ago: in the pre-1957 borders, Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel's population lived within artillery range of hostile Arab armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again."

Yet some Bush (Sr.) administration statements and actions on the Arab-Israeli question, and especially Secretary of State James Baker's disastrous speech of May 22, 1989 betray(ed) a strong impulse to escape from the Resolutions as they were negotiated, debated, and adopted, an award to the Arabs all the territories between the 1967 lines and the Jordan River, including East Jerusalem. The Bush (Sr.) administration seem(ed) to consider the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to be "foreign" territory to which Israel has no claim. Yet, the Jews have the same right to settle there, as they have to settle in Haifa. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip were never parts of Jordan, and Jordan's attempt to annex the West Bank was not generally recognized and has now been abandoned. The two parcels of land are parts of the Mandate that have not yet been allocated to Jordan, to Israel, or to any other state, and are a legitimate subject for discussion….

The Jewish right of settlement in the West Bank is conferred by the same provisions of the Mandate under which Jews settled in Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem before the State of Israel was created. The Mandate for Palestine differs in one important respect from the other League of Nations mandates, which were trusts for the benefit of the indigenous population. The Palestine Mandate, recognizing "the historical connection of the Jewish People with Palestine, and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country, " is dedicate to "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

The Mandate qualifies the Jewish right of settlement and political development in Palestine in only one respect. Article 25 gave Great Britain and the League Council discretion to "postpone" or "withhold" the Jewish People's right of settlement in the Trans-Jordanian province of Palestine now the Kingdom of Jordan if they decided that local conditions made such action desirable. With the divided support of the council, the British took that step in 1922.

The Mandate does not, however, permit even a temporary suspension of the Jewish right of settlement in the parts of the Mandate west of the Jordan River. The Armistice Lines of 1949, which are part of the West Bank boundary, represent nothing but the position of the contending armies when the final cease-fire was achieved in the War of Independence. And the Armistice Agreements specifically provide, except in the case of Lebanon, that the demarcation lines can be changed by agreement when the parties move from Armistice to peace. Resolution 242 is based on that provision of the Armistice Agreements and states certain criteria that would justify changes in the demarcation lines when the parties make peace.

Many believe that the Palestine Mandate was somehow terminated in 1947, when the British Government resigned as the mandatory power. This is incorrect. A trust never terminates when a trustee dies, resigns, embezzles the trust property or is dismissed. The authority responsible for the trust appoints a new trustee, or otherwise arranges for the fulfillment of its purpose. Thus in the case of the Mandate for German South West Africa, the International Court of Justice found the South African government to be derelict in its duty as the Mandatory power and it was deemed to have resigned. Decades of struggle and diplomacy then resulted in the creation of the new state of Namibia, which has just come into being. In Palestine, the British Mandate ceased to be operative as to the territories of Israel and Jordan when those states were created and recognized by the international community. But its rules apply still to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which have not yet been allocated either to Israel or to Jordan or become an independent state. Jordan attempted to annex the West Bank in 1951 but that annexation was never generally recognized, even by the Arab states, and now Jordan has abandoned all its claims to the territory.

The State Department has never denied that under the Mandate "the Jewish people" have the right to settle in the area. Instead, it said that Jewish settlements in the West Bank violate Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949, which deals with the protection of civilians in wartime. Where the territory of one contracting party is occupied by another contracting party, the convention prohibits many of the inhumane practices of the Nazis and the Soviets before and during the Second World War the mass transfer of people into or out of occupied territories for purposes of extermination, slave labor or colonization, for example.

Article 49 provides that the occupying power "shall not deport or transfer part of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”. But the Jewish settlers in the West Bank are volunteers. They have not been "deported" or "transferred" by the government of Israel, and their movement involves none of the atrocious purposes or harmful effects on the existing population the Geneva Convention was designed to prevent. Furthermore, the Convention applies only to "acts by one signatory carried out on the territory of another”. The West Bank is not the territory of a signatory power, but an unallocated part of the British Mandate. It is hard; therefore, to see how even the most literal minded reading of the Convention could make it apply to Jewish settlement in territories of the British Mandate west of the Jordan River. Even if the Convention could be construed to prevent settlements during the period of occupation, it could do no more than suspend, not terminate, the rights conferred by the Mandate. Those rights can be ended only by the establishment and recognition of a new state or the incorporation of the territories into an old one.

As claimants to the territory, the Israelis have denied that they are required to comply with the Geneva Convention but announced that they will do so as a matter of grace. The Israeli courts apply the Convention routinely, sometimes deciding against the Israeli Government. Assuming for the moment the general applicability of the Convention, it could well be considered a violation if the Israelis deported convicts to the area, or encouraged the settlement of people who had no right to live there (Americans for example). But how can the convention be deemed to apply to Jews who have a right to settle in the territories under international law: a legal right assured by treaty and specifically protected by Article 80 of the UN Charter, which provides that nothing in the Charter shall be construed "to alter in any manner rights conferred by existing international instruments.” The Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way to the right of the existing Palestinian population to live there.

Another principle of international law may affect the problem of the Jewish settlements. Under international law, an occupying power is supposed to apply the prevailing law of the occupied territory at the municipal level unless it interferes with the necessities of security or administration or is "repugnant to elementary conceptions of justice”. From 1949 to 1967 when Jordan was the military occupant of the West Bank, it applied its own laws to prevent any Jews from living in the territory. To suggest that Israel as occupant is required to enforce such Jordanian laws a necessary implication of applying the Convention is simply absurd. When the Allies occupied Germany after the Second World War, the abrogation of the Nuremberg Laws was among their first acts.

The general expectation of international law is that military occupations last a short time, and are succeeded by a state of peace established by treaty or otherwise. In the case of the West Bank, the territory was occupied by Jordan between 1949 and 1967 and has been occupied by Israel since 1967. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 ruled that the Arab states and Israel must make peace, and that when " a just and lasting peace is reached in the Middle East, Israel should withdraw from some but not all of the territory it occupied in the course of the 1967 war. The Resolutions leave it to the parties to agree on the terms of peace.

The controversy about Jewish settlements is not, therefore, about legal rights but about the political will to override legal rights. Is the United States prepared to use all its influence in Israel to award the whole of the West Bank to Jordan or to a new Arab state, and force Israel back to its 1967 borders? Throughout Israel's occupation, the Arab countries helped by the United States, have pushed to keep Jews out of the territories so that at a convenient moment, or in a peace negotiation, the claim that the West Bank is "Arab" territory could be made more plausible. Some in Israel favor the settlements for the obverse reason: to reinforce Israel's claim for the fulfillment of the Mandate and of Resolution 242 in a peace treaty that would at least divide the territory.


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

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 26, 2003

The Sharks taste Blood


BY NAOMI RAGEN, An excerpt of article from The International Jerusalem Post, June 27, 2003

What is it about the office of prime minister of Israel that turns fearless generals into spineless jellyfish? How is it that people who can read complicated strategic maps and plot the crossing of the Suez Canal under enemy fire suddenly can't negotiate their way across the street without getting run over? We cannot blame the disastrous stewardship of Israel over the last 10 years that has left her people battered, her economy near ruin, her political stature at its nadir on any particular party line.

The fact is, Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon, although on different points on the political spectrum, have all fallen equally into the same incomprehensible patterns of self-destructive leadership. All share equally in the ongoing disaster that is the stewardship of our precious Jewish homeland, the State of Israel.

It was Rabin who invented the Orwellian doublespeak of terror victims as "sacrifices for Peace." It was Barak who continued to absorb terror attacks with a stiff upper lip, saying they wouldn't "deter him from pursuing peace”. And now it is Sharon who tells us that lack of reciprocity on the Palestinian side "won't budge" him from blindly ripping up settlements in exchange for nothing. And he says it as if ifs a good thing, a brave thing he's doing, instead of utter stupidity.

I would have thought that if Israelis had learned anything at all from the wave of terror following Oslo it might have been the simple concept that when you sign an agreement and keep your end, you have to insist that the other side do the same and be held accountable for violations. Otherwise, what you have is capitulation and defeat, and the abandonment of your people to mass murder. ...

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 23, 2003

Can you believe this. Are the Israelis out of their minds?

Israel To Permit Weapons Smuggling Route From Egypt To Northern Gaza?

Aaron Lerner Date: 23 June 2003

Israel Television Channel One Mabat News reported this evening that while
there has been a dispute between Israel and the Palestinians regarding an
Israeli security presence on the main North-South highway that links the
southern portion of the Gaza Strip with the central and northern portion,
that Israel has already assured the Palestinians that the security presence
they want will be "unseen".

This would mean that while Israel would like to have forces in the area to
try to prevent the slaughter of Israelis making their way to and from
Israeli communities in the Gaza Strip that Israel has no intention to have
any contact with the Palestinian traffic.

The removal of any Israeli controls should help streamline the distribution
of weapons and explosives from Egypt to the entire Gaza Strip. To date Egypt
has declined to make any serious effort to prevent smuggling from Egypt to
the southern end of the Gaza Strip via tunnels that cross under the border.

While Egypt continues to enjoy considerable praise from America for its
efforts to arrange for a temporary cease-fire during which Hamas, Islamic
Jihad, Fatah Tanzim, etc. can prepare, without Israeli interference, for
renewed battle, it has yet to be called on to make the most obvious
contribution it could make for peace: close down the terror tunnels.

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

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:54 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

June 22, 2003

Recipe for Middle East Peace: Palestinian Civil War


Dennis Prager comes up with a brilliant solution – perhaps the only one?

By Dennis Prager, The Washington Times, June 16-22, 2003

Like the proverbial broken record, some of us have been saying for years that only one thing can bring peace to the Middle East: a Palestinian civil war. It should now be as obvious as anything can be that this is the case. A significant percentage of Palestinians do not want peace with Israel; they want peace without an Israel. If, these individuals and groups are not fought by those Palestinians who want peace with Israel, peace is impossible.

The need for Palestinians to fight one another in order to make a state is hardly unique. Many states, including the United States and, to a lesser extent, Israel, as, have had to fight civil wars in order to survive. If the American government had not been prepared to fight a civil war, there would be no United States as we know it, and slavery in America would not have been abolished. Likewise, the first prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, killed fellow Jews who resisted his call to put down their arms and accept the Israeli government.

The questions for the Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen are therefore as stark and as difficult. Does he have the courage and leadership qualities to be the Palestinians' Lincoln or Ben Gurion? Does he have enough support among Palestinians, who in every poll over the last years have supported terror and the destruction of Israel, to engage in political and military battle with fellow
Palestinians?

Can he neutralize Yasser Arafat, who encourages the Palestinian terror groups?
And, if the Palestinian prime minister does take on Hamas and other terrorist groups, can he avoid being assassinated by fellow Palestinians who want Israel destroyed? Could he survive an almost inevitable assassination plot organized by the Iranian regime, the major supporter of those that seek Israel’s destruction?

We do not know the answers to these questions. But we will know them soon. Because, without a positive answer to each, peace is not possible. We are at one of those rare and important moments in history when anyone who wants to can see the roots of a world conflict with perfect clarity.

The only reason there has not been peace between Israel and its Palestinian and other Arab neighbors since 1948 is the refusal of most Arabs and large numbers of Muslims elsewhere to accept the existence of a Jewish state in Israel.

Israel showed at Camp David in 2000 that it would do everything except commit suicide for real peace with the Palestinians. Yet precisely when Israel offered a Palestinian state on 95 percent of the West Bank, Palestinians resumed blowing up Israelis wherever Israelis live, eat, travel, pray and work. It was clear to all but those who hate Israel that Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians wanted Israel destroyed more than they wanted a state. And now, once again, Israel is making clear its willingness to do just about anything for peace — this time under a right-wing prime minister.

It is time for the world to see the 55-year-old truth that Israel wants peace while its enemies want Israel destroyed... unless the Palestinians are willing to
fight their terrorists. Nothing will demonstrate that Palestinians are willing to live alongside Israel as much as their willingness to fight fellow Palestinians.

For those who claim "war never solves anything," a mantra of such ignorance that only the well educated believe it, the Palestinians can provide another example of how war, or at least a willingness to wage war, can solve a great deal. Just as the Nazi atrocities were ended only by war, so, too, the Palestinians will have a state and enjoy peace and freedom only by declaring, and if need be fighting, a war - a civil war. For their sake and the world's sake, let us pray they wage it. ##

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

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 16, 2003

The Well-kept Secret - Israel's 14 objections to the Roadmap


Interview of Member of Knesset, Galon,

“I Can't Require Text of Gov't Decision Before Debate”

By Aaron Lerner of IMRA Date: 15 June 2003

IMRA interviewed MK Zahava Galon (Meretz), in Hebrew, on 15 June 2003.

IMRA: I understand that you initiated the call for the Knesset session to
discuss the Cabinet's decision regarding the Roadmap.

Galon: Yes.

IMRA: Have you asked the Prime Minister's Office to provide the Knesset with
an official copy of the 14 Israeli "Remarks" regarding the Roadmap that were
attached to the cabinet decision before the Knesset session to be held this
Monday?

Galon: I haven't asked. I am not able obligate them to do this.

IMRA: As you know, the Prime Minister's Office has yet to release an
official copy of this document. So you are going to have a Knesset debate
without having an official copy of the document.

Galon: Yes. The procedure at the session is that I say what I have to say
and then the Prime Minister is supposed to give a report. This is not
actually a deliberation regarding the documents - unless he himself decides
to bring the documents. But I do not have the standing to demand that he
bring the 14 Remarks. Unfortunately.

IMRA: This is certainly an odd situation.

Galon: Yes. I agree with you.

[The following is the document that the Prime Minister has referred to
frequently in various official pronouncement and has declared to be "red
lines" yet continues to refuse to officially make public:

The Roadmap: Primary Themes of Israel's Remarks

1. Both at the commencement of and during the process, and as a condition to
its continuance. calm will be maintained. The Palestinians will dismantle
the existing security organizations and implement security reforms during
the course of which new organizations will be formed and act to combat
terror, violence and incitement (incitement must cease immediately and the
Palestinian Authority must educate for peace
).
These organizations will engage in genuine prevention of terror and violence through arrests, interrogations, prevention and the enforcement of the legal groundwork for investigations, prosecution and punishment. In the first phase of the plan and as a condition for progress to the second phase, the Palestinians will complete the dismantling of terrorist organizations (Hamas. Islamic Jihad. the Popular Front, the Democratic Front Al-Aqsa Brigades and other apparatuses) and their infrastructure, collection of all illegal weapons and
their transfer to a third party for the sake of being removed from the area
and destroyed., cessation of weapons smuggling and weapons production inside
the Palestinian Authority
, activation of the full prevention apparatus and
cessation of incitement. There will be no progress to the second phase
without the fulfillment of all above-mentioned conditions relating to the
war against terror.

The security plans to be implemented are the Tenet and Zinni plans. [As in the other mutual frameworks. the Roadmap will not state that Israel must cease violence and incitement against the Palestinians].

2. Full performance will be a condition for progress between phases and for
progress within phases. The first condition for progress will be the
complete cessation of terror, violence and incitement. Progress between
phases will come only following the full implementation of the preceding
phase. Attention will be paid not to timelines, but to performance
benchmarks (timelines will serve only as reference points).

3. The emergence of a new and different leadership in the Palestinian
Authority within the framework of governmental reform. The formation of a
new leadership constitutes a condition for progress to the second phase of
the plan. In this framework, elections will be conducted for the Palestinian
Legislative Council following coordination with Israel.

4. The Monitoring mechanism will be under American management. The chief
verification activity will concentrate upon the creation of another
Palestinian entity and progress in the civil reform process within the
Palestinian Authority. Verification will be performed exclusively on a
professional basis and per issue (economic, legal, financial) without the
existence of a combined or unified mechanism. Substantive decisions will
remain in the hands of both parties.

5. The character of the provisional Palestinian state will be determined
through negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel
.
The provisional state will have provisional borders and certain aspects of
sovereignty, be fully demilitarized with no military forces, but only with
police and internal security forces of limited scope and armaments, be
without the authority to undertake defense alliances or military
cooperation, and Israeli control over the entry and exit of all persons and
cargo, as well as of its air space and electromagnetic spectrum.

6. In connection to both the introductory statements and the final
settlement, declared references must be made to Israel's right to exist as a
Jewish state and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian
refugees to the State of Israel.

7. End of the process will lead to the end of all claims and not only the
end of the conflict.

8. The future settlement will be reached through agreement and direct
negotiations between the two parties, in accordance with the vision outlined
by President Bush in his 24 June address.

9. There will be no involvement with issues pertaining to the final
settlement. Among issues not to be discussed: settlement in Judea, Samaria
and Gaza (excluding a settlement freeze and illegal outposts), the status of
the Palestinian Authority and its institutions in Jerusalem, and all other
matters whose substance relates to the final settlement.

10. The removal of references other than 242 and 338 (1397, the Saudi
Initiative and the Arab Initiative adopted in Beirut). A settlement based
upon the Roadmap will be an autonomous settlement that derives its validity
therefrom. The only possible reference should be to Resolutions 242 and 338,
and then only as an outline for the conduct of future negotiations on a
permanent settlement.

11. Promotion of the reform process in the Palestinian Authority: a
transitional Palestinian constitution will be composed, a Palestinian legal
infrastructure will be constructed and cooperation with Israel in this field
will be renewed. In the economic sphere: international efforts to
rehabilitate the Palestinian economy will continue. In the financial sphere:
the American-Israeli-Palestinian agreement will be implemented in full as a
condition for the continued transfer of tax revenues.

12. The deployment of IDF forces along the September 2000 lines will be
subject to the stipulation of Article 4 (absolute quiet) and will be carried
out in keeping with changes to be required by the nature of the new
circumstances and needs created thereby. Emphasis will be placed on the
division of responsibilities and civilian authority as in September 2000,
and not on the position of forces on the ground at that time.

13. Subject to security conditions, Israel will work to restore Palestinian
life to normal: promote the economic situation, cultivation of commercial
connections, encouragement and assistance for the activities of recognized
humanitarian agencies. No reference will be made to the Bertini Report as a
binding source document within the framework of the humanitarian issue.

14. Arab states will assist the process through the condemnation of
terrorist activity. No link will be established between the Palestinian
track and other tracks (Syrian-Lebanese). ]

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il, Website: www.imra.org.il

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 10, 2003

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, et.al

How terribly frightening and depressing that the survival of a whole nation, a whole people, depends upon the poorly determined decisions of a handful of inept politicians.

Misreading The Map

BY HERB KEINON, The International Jerusalem Post, June 6, 2003

Behind the cabinet's historic decision last week to adopt the American road map lurk failures of intelligence and teamwork The unmistakable "music" coming out of the Prime Minister's Office in the weeks leading up to last Sunday's cabinet acceptance of the road map was that the Bush administration understood Israel and would support its position. True, President George W. Bush made comments in the White House Rose Garden in mid-March about the map being the practical implementation of his Middle East vision speech of June 24, but this was largely chalked up here as either pandering to the Arabs before the war in Iraq, or trying to throw a bone to ally Tony Blair.

The message that won the day inside the Prime Minister's Office was that of Sharon's all-powerful bureau chief Dov Weisglass: "Don't worry, the Americans understand us. The Americans are with us." As a result, Israel tried to ignore the map, concentrating instead on Bush's "vision." Weisglass's insistence that the White House understood Israel's positions led to strain with Ephraim Halevy, head of the National Security Council, who warned in internal meetings that Israel was on a collision course with the US over the plan.

Halevy, however, was effectively sidelined on this issue. And then, lo and behold, the country woke up last Sunday to headlines that the Bush administration is indeed pressing Israel to bring the road map to the cabinet, and that Jerusalem's long-discussed reservations would not be included.

The Americans may have understood Israel's position, but they didn't necessarily agree. Rather than incorporate Israel's reservations in the text, or provide side letters that would have anchored Israel's position, the White House released a statement saying it shares Israel's view that these are "real concerns," and "will address them fully and seriously in the implementation of the road map." Whatever that means?

The point is that the country was presented with one picture of Washington's position, and woke up to another. And this is not the first time with this administration. Prior to the January elections, Sharon and his staff had the electorate believing the loan guarantees and financial aid Israel needed from the US were in the bag. Reality, however, was somewhat different. Instead of $8 billion in loan guarantees, Israel got $9 billion, and instead of $4 billion in aid, Israel received $1 billion.

The same misreading of American intentions was reflected in the overly rosy scenarios painted here for the "day after" Iraq. The PM's office would have had us believe the war would change all parameters, reduce pressure on Israel, make it easier to get rid of Yasser Arafat, and even perhaps sweep the road map off the table. But none of this happened.

Which makes one wonder about some of the government's other major assumptions. At a press briefing on Sunday following the cabinet meeting, two senior government officials speaking off the record said it is dear to the Americans that serious moves by the Palestinians to tackle terror are preconditions to any significant Israeli action on the road map. When reminded that the language of the map states that the steps should be taken in parallel, the thrust of the reply was: "Don't worry, the Americans are with us on
this."

No matter how one views this week's cabinet decision, one thing is clear: Israel misread US intentions - and not for the first time.
Which raises a fundamental question: How can there have been such faulty diplomatic intelligence? The obvious place to look is at the embassy in Washington. After month of feuding between Sharon and his then foreign minister Shimon Peres over who should be named ambassador to the US, a compromise candidate was finally agreed upon – Danny Ayalon. Ayalon, Sharon's foreign policy adviser for two years, went to Washington with no ambassadorial experience, and without the personal clout of his predecessors – people such as Yitzhak Rabin, Moshe Arens, Zaiman Shoval, Itamar Rabinovich, Simcha Dinitz and Moshe Arad.

The road map started to move in August, a short time after Ayalon arrived. That Sharon was reportedly caught by surprise when Bush presented him with a draft of the plan during his October visit does not speak well of the diplomatic intelligence job the embassy performed. One must also look at the Foreign Ministry. Where was the minister when the plan was first floated, and why was the ministry not working either to nip it in the bud if the government felt it didn't reflect Israel's interests, or at the very least get Israel's reservations incorporated into it? One reason is that back in September, the Foreign Ministry was in the hands of Shimon Peres and his director-general Avi Gil, for whom the map was welcome.

In November, Benjamin Netanyahu took over the Foreign Ministry for a short stint, and immediately called the road map into question, saying it should be pushed off until after the war in Iraq. However, everything Netyanyahu said was viewed in the context of his race against Sharon for the Likud leadership. Much of the heavy work on the map took place from mid October until the second draft was published on December 20. It was during this period that the Quartet members - the US, EU, UN and Russia – along with the Palestinians and other Arab countries, were busy providing input. The Prime Minister's Office and Foreign Ministry, however, were much less involved - with Sharon and Netanyahu engaged instead in an election dog-fight. The result was that Israel's reservations were not incorporated into the December 20 plan, and - despite expectations - were not incorporated afterward either.

The final point in this triangle is the Prime Minister's Office, which has pretty much single-handedly run interference on this issue with Washington. And the person doing the leg work there was Weisglass who traveled to the US on numerous occasions since December to thrash out the road map. A successful lawyer, Weisglass –bureau chief in April 2002. Weisglass's critics ask whether he might have missed some nuances that those with more experience may have picked up. In addition, the internal discussions of the plan took place behind closed doors in the Prime Minister's Office - without the input of the Knesset or the cabinet. In addition, the Prime Minister's Office was operating on certain assumptions that - in retrospect -seem to have been faulty. The first was a tendency to over-play the divisions between the State Department and the White House and a penchant to disregard the clear signals corning from the State Department that it viewed the plan with utmost seriousness.

The second assumption was that the close personal relationship between Sharon and Bush would keep Bush from any arm twisting. It did not. The third assumption was that the Palestinians would not take the reform measures needed to get to the road map's starting gates. And the final mistaken assumption was that if Israel just rode out the Iraqi war - showing restraint and acting "responsibly" – new diplomatic vistas would open up, making the road map irrelevant. Paradoxically, Iraq - and Sharon's reticence in the run up and during the war to enter into a conflict with Bush - kept the government from seriously challenging the road map. Instead, the opposite took place. Saddam Hussein is out of the way, "Iraq" has come and gone, but the road map is being pursued more forcefully now than ever. ##


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 08, 2003

The Arab Solution for Israel – Just Disappear

No Real Arab Moderates

BY DAN SCHEUFTAN, The International Jerusalem Post May 30, 2003

If the problem Israel faced with the Arab minority were one of a radical Islamic group laundering money for a terrorist organization in the occupied territories, it would have been simple. The courts could have decided if the evidence presented by the state is incriminating and conclusive, and the state could punish the individuals involved or outlaw the radical group.

The problem, however, is much wider. The democratically elected leadership of the Arabs in Israel, with consistent and overwhelming public support, presents the Jewish majority with a far more fundamental challenge. The challenge is not to a specific policy of one particular government, but to the basic tenets of the State of Israel. This includes the outright rejection of the Jewish nation-state, total identification with Israel's worst enemies, and at least understanding, if not outright sympathy, for the violent means employed by these enemies against the Jewish population.

For decades, Arabs in Israel advocated the establishment of a PLO-led Palestinian state. They marched under the banner of "two states for two peoples." Now that Israel is officially committed to a two-state policy, the cat is out of the bag: They accept the establishment of an Arab state for the Palestinians, but reject a Jewish state alongside it.

A close examination of the universalist slogans they have learned to recite reveals that they propose a mechanism that will first undo the Jewish state (calling it "a state of all its citizens) then change the demographic balance (through the elimination of the Jewish Law of Return and the introduction of the Arab "right of return") to turn the only Jewish nation-state into another enchanting Arab state.When it comes to the rejection of the Jewish nation-state, to the identification with its enemies and to the understanding towards the violence against the Jewish population, there is no real difference between "Islamic radicals" and other so-called "moderates."

All the leaders delegitimize the Jewish state, and only differ when it comes to the brand of the terrorist organization closest to their hearts: Hamas and Ahmed
Yassin for the Islamic movement, and MK Abdul Malik Dahamshe; Tanzim and Yasser Arafat for MKs Ahmed Tibi and Muhammad Barakei; Hizbullah and Nasrallah for MKs Azmi Bishara and Jamal Zkhalka. Another MK, Tateb a-Sana, called a terrorist action in the heart of Tel Aviv "a legitimate struggle."

The real problem for Israel is not that its Arab citizens will dictate their perverted version of self-determination that denies it to the Jewish people, or that Palestinian terrorism will dictate Arafat’s will. Israel is strong enough to prevent both. The problem is that the hostility elected Arab leaders manifest will convince the mainstream of the Jewish majority that the Arabs within are as much an enemy as the Palestinians without.

The dramatic increase in the involvement of Israeli Arabs in terrorist actions inside Israel, and the massive financial assistance to the terrorism-supporting infrastructure the Islamic Movement is suspected of providing, will not help.

The writer is a senior fellow at the National Security Studies Center of the University of Haifa and at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 12:51 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 06, 2003

The Myth of "Settlements"

Are they indeed the "root cause” of violence In the Middle East?

One of the enduring myths about the Arab-Israeli conflict is that the "settlements" in Judea/Samaria (often called the "West Bank") are the source of the conflict between the Jews and the so-called "Palestinians." If that problem were solved—in other words, if Israel would turn Judea/Samaria over to the "Palestinians"—peace would prevail and the century-old conflict would be ended.

What are the facts?

Erroneous Assumptions: Various fallacies and erroneous assumptions underlie that belief, so often repeated that even those who are friendly to Israel, even many Jews in Israel and in the United States, have come to accept it. Our government, generally friendly to and supportive of Israel, has bought into the myth of the "settlements;" it has regularly and insistently requested that the "settlements" be abandoned and, one supposes, be turned over lock, stock, and barrel to those who are sworn to destroy Israel.

The very designation of the Jewish inhabitants of Judea/Samaria as "settlers" is inappropriate because it connotes something foreign, intrusive and temporary, something that is purposefully and maliciously imposed
.
But that is nonsense of course. Why would the quarter-million Jews who live in Judea/Samaria be any more "intrusive" or any more "illegal" than the more than one million Arabs who live in peace in what is called "Israel proper" or west of the so-called "green line"? Nobody considers their presence as intrusive; nobody talks of them as an obstacle to peace.

Most of us, regrettably perhaps, are too worldly and too "sophisticated" to put much stock in the argument that the territories in question, Judea and Samaria, are indeed the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people that they were promised by God to Abraham and his seed in perpetuity.
Jews have lived in that country without interruption since Biblical times. There is no reason why they shouldn't live there now. Why should Judea/Samaria be the only place in the world (except for such countries as Saudi Arabia) where Jews cannot live?

Legal Aspects: But how about the legal aspect of this matter?

Isn't the "West Bank" "occupied territory" and therefore the Jews have no right to be there? But the historic reality is quite different. Very briefly: The Ottoman Empire was the sovereign in the entire area. After World War I, the British were awarded the Mandate over what was then called Palestine; it composed present-day Israel (including Judea/Samaria) and present-day Jordan. Article 6 of the Mandate "encouraged close settlement by the Jews on the land," including the lands of Judea/Samaria and Gaza (Yesha). That was later confirmed by the Balfour Declaration. Britain, for its own imperial reasons, separated 76 percent of the land—that lying beyond the Jordan River—to create the kingdom of Trans-Jordan (now Jordan) and made it inaccessible to Jews.

In 1947, tired of the constant bloodletting between Arabs and Jews, the British threw in the towel and abandoned the Mandate. The UN took over. It devised a plan by which the land west of the Jordan River would be split between the Jews and the Arabs. The Jews, though with heavy heart, accepted the plan. The Arabs virulently rejected if and invaded the nascent Jewish state with the armies of five countries, so as to destroy it at its birth.

Miraculously, the Jews prevailed and the State of Israel was born. When the smoke of battle cleared, Jordan was in possession of the West Bank and Egypt in possession of Gaza. They were the "occupiers" and they proceeded to kill many Jews and to drive out the rest. They systematically destroyed all Jewish holy places and all vestiges of Jewish presence. The area was "judenrein."

In the Six-Day War of 1967, the Jews reconquered the territories. The concept that Jewish presence in Judea/Samaria is illegal and that the Jews are occupiers is bizarre. It just has been repeated so often and with such vigor that many people have come to accept it.

How about the "Palestinians," whose patrimony this territory supposedly is and about whose olive trees and orange groves we hear endlessly? There are no such people. They are Arabs—the same people as in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and beyond. Most of them migrated into the territories and to "Israel proper," attracted by Jewish prosperity and industry. The concept of "Palestinians" as applied to Arabs and as a distinct nationality urgently in need of their own twenty-third Arab state, is a fairly new one; it was not invented until after 1948, when the State of Israel was founded.

But here's a thought: How about a deal by which the "settlements" were indeed abandoned and all the Jews were to move to "Israel proper." At the same time, all the Arabs living in Israel would be transferred to Judea/Samaria or to wherever else they wanted to go. That would indeed make Judea/Samaria "judenrein," and what are now Arab lands in Israel would be "arabrein." The Arabs could then live in a fully autonomous area in eastern Israel and peace, one would hope, would descend on the holy land. (GOOD LUCK!)

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

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 05, 2003

Ze'ev Begin: Arab terrorists know terror works - Jews yield

How very sad with only one end in sight.

By Ze'ev B. Begin Ha'aretz (Magazine section) June 2003

The cafes are open, even those that were shattered to pieces. The shopping
malls are packed with people, even the malls that were blown up. People take
the bus to work and thousands of picnickers swarm to the nature sites.
Couples are marrying, children are being born. The majority of the public
agrees with the statements by Israel's defense ministers that the country's
citizens are showing excellent resolve in the face of terrorism. That's not
true.

The logic of terrorism is cruel but simple: inducing governments to change
their positions by intimidating the citizens – hence the yardstick by which
to measure the effectiveness of terrorism. By that yardstick, there is only
one conclusion to be drawn from the Israeli case: The terrorism perpetrated
by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas against Israel has
been a very successful project.

For many years after 1967, Israeli governments and the majority of the
public objected to negotiations with the PLO, opposed the establishment of
an Arab state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, supported
the widening of Israel's borders to include parts of Samaria, Judea and the
Gaza District, insisted on the application of Israel's sovereignty to
greater Jerusalem, and were against the return of the Arab refugees into the
State of Israel.

Those positions have been eroded. Official negotiations with the PLO have been conducted for the past 10 years, the majority of the public does not oppose the establishment of an Arab state west of the Jordan and, moreover, the majority of the Jewish respondents in a March 1999 survey (conducted by Tel Aviv University's Steinmetz Center for Peace) thought that "the Palestinians' demand for an independent state is justified." So justified that last week the government, under Likud leadership, adopted a plan based on the vision of the establishment of an Arab state in the western Land of Israel.

On the Jerusalem question, the Israeli government in 2000 put forward an
official proposal according to which the city would be divided and on the
Temple Mount, Israel would make do with sovereignty over the subterranean
section. Regarding the border issue, the public and its leadership - all the
way to the far ends of the Israeli left - took a resolute position: The 1949
armistice lines demarcate the smallest territory to which Israel can agree.
Not any more. By 1996, high-ranking officials in Israel suggested that the
Gaza Strip be expanded at the expense of the Halutza area in the western
Negev. A look at the map shows that in this area, the proposal is congruent
with the United Nations' partition map of 1947.

So what's left? The last Zionist bastion: opposition to the return of Arab
refugees to the State of Israel. However, the foundations of that bastion,
too, are being undermined. In July, 2000, according to another survey by the
Steinmetz Center, 22 percent of the Jewish respondents supported the idea
"to allow 100,000 refugees to return to their former homes inside the Green
Line, that is, within the State of Israel." In January, 2001, an Israeli
cabinet minister and a member of the delegation to talks with the PLO at
Taba put forward a proposal for "a just solution for the Palestinian
refugees based on UN General Assembly Resolution 194, providing for their
return" [emphasis added - Z.B.B.]. In April, 2003, 32 percent of the Jewish
respondents in a survey agreed to the proposition that "a limited number of
refugees will return to Israeli territory within the framework of family
reunifications." Recently an Israeli jurist recommended (Haaretz, April 14,
2003, Hebrew edition) that Israel adopt the UN's proposed model for peace in
Cyprus, which includes the return of refugees in a quota limited to 10
percent of the population that will absorb them. In the Israeli case, that
would mean more than 500,000 refugees.

During this entire period, the basic positions of Hamas and the PLO remained
intact. Not an iota has been changed. The Palestinian Covenant, which
rejects the right of the Jews to maintain a Jewish state, has not been
annulled, as the chairman of the Palestinian National Council, Salim
Zaanoun, admitted in February, 2001. The demand to realize the refugees'
right of return to their original homes within Israel continues to be put
forward vehemently. The goal remains "Palestine, liberated and Arab," "from
the river to the sea," or, in the words of the late moderate, Faisal
Husseini, "We have to bring about the dissolution of the Zionist entity,
gradually."

How did all this come to pass? How, in the face of the rigid and steadfast
Arab stand, did the positions of the Israeli public and government move
closer to some of the positions of the PLO and Hamas? Since two-thirds of
the Jewish public repeatedly attributes to the Arabs the intention of
destroying Israel, the explanation for this phenomenon does not lie in
eruptions of good will or in a readiness to compromise in response to
reported softening in the position of the enemy. Only one reason can account
for that long-term change of positions: the pressure of terrorism.

The naive desire for "just a little respite" has been shown to be a powerful
agent of erosion. The horrors of repeated murders intimidated the public and
wore it down and induced Israel's governments to abandon their basic policy
guidelines. The only consistent element in the Israeli position has been the
constant retreat from its stated positions on issues that are critical to
the country's future. Evidently, terrorism works.

Submission to violence, under the alluring slogan "Don't be just, be wise,"
is not only morally but also practically flawed. The distress signals sent o
ut by Israel are received loud and clear in Gaza and Jenin, and are also
correctly deciphered. The tactical dispute there does not override the
logical conclusion of the leaders of the terrorist organizations that
violence is drawing them closer, step by step, to the realization of their
goals. That conclusion is not based on the wishful thinking of fired-up
zealots, but on a chain of irrefutable facts. This is how any observer with
eyes in his head would analyze the erasure of clear "red lines" and the
dissolution of solid Israeli positions.

Successful projects are not terminated, and contrary to the rumor that was
floated here about 60 years ago, our neighbors are not dumb. They can teach
us the value of soumud - of clinging to one's land and one's goal. They
adhere to Article 9 of the Palestinian Covenant, which asserts that: "Armed
struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This is the overall
strategy, not merely a tactical phase." They are watching and reading and
learning and understanding. They know that the Jews want to live well. Now.
From the knowledge they possess, which by now includes the economic
explanations by members of the Israeli government for their decision to
accept the "road map," despite their initial reluctance to do so, our
neighbors conclude that in order to live well now, the Jews are ready to
continue their retreat, both political and physical. Under these conditions
the prospect for peace is not small. It is nil.

Our peace activists resemble generals. The latter are convinced that the
campaign will be decided after they conquer just another hill, one more
chunk of a commanding terrain, while the former are certain that they need
just one more clandestine meeting in order to bring the ordeal to a happy
end. Following the failure of the Camp David summit in July 2000, Israel's
foreign minister stated that only four additional days were needed to reach
an agreement with the PLO. In January, 2001, upon the failure of the Taba
conference, he took a more sober approach: This time he declared that two
weeks were missing to complete the task.

Neither two weeks nor two months nor two years - because after years of
retreat, we have succeeded in etching the minds of the chiefs of the
terrorist organizations with a simple awareness that is grounded in reality:
Faced with force, ultimately, the Jews yield. Fourteen reservations? Red
lines? For Israel? Come on ...

The writer is a former minister and Likud MK and son of deceased Prime Minister, Menachim Begin

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:40 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Dealing with the total propaganda lie that Israel is on “Occupied Arab Land”

By Alyssa A. Lappen to Israpundit.com with contribution by Jerome S. Kaufman

International law has recognized no sovereign nation in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza or Jordan since the entire area was under the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire from 1517 to 1917 after WWI.

The League of Nations in 1919 initiated International Law and assigned the Palestine Mandate to become the returning homeland of the Jewish people. The land was assigned, in trust only, to British Administration. Britain was to have no permanent sovereignty or right of assignment under the League Mandate.

Despite this, Britain almost immediately unilaterally violated international law removing 75% of the Mandate to form the Arab territory of Transjordan. Later, in 1947, Britain re-named the area the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in order to give it even more pseudo-legal standing prior to Britain’s forced withdrawal from what was to become Israel.

In the meantime, in 1923, 1936, 1939 and 1948, the British and the Jordanians illegally and unilaterally ethnically cleansed Jews from the original Jewish Mandated territories. Then, when the State of Israel was declared in May 1948, Jordan invaded this territory and illegally annexed as part of Jordan the territories of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) in this war of aggression. Jordan’s military acquisition was not recognized internationally except by the British and Pakistan.

This confiscated Jewish land and its Jewish homes had been legally owned, by right of purchase, under circa 1854 Ottoman land laws. The 1937 Peel Commission and the1948 UN partition plans designated now so-called "Palestinian" lands, including East Jerusalem and its 100,000 1948 Jewish majority, as internationally controlled areas.

In fact, it was Jordan that had become the “occupying power” in 1948 and it was not until the Six Day War of June 1967 that they were finally driven out of the land that was never to have been theirs in the first place. Once Israel regained the land, almost immediately, the Arabs cleverly developed the complete myth that it was Israel that was on “Occupied Arab Land” while the new “Palestinian” Liberation Organization was created in 1964.

Thus, by no legal definition, except that of Arab propagandists and uninformed historians and political commentators is Israel an occupying power. It is unfortunate that this basic and revealing history has been universally forgotten or discarded, even by the Israelis.

For maps, consult the Martin Gilbert Maps of the Conflict of the Middle East.



>

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:33 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 04, 2003

PM Sharon's speech to Arabs and Pres. Bush, June 4, 2003

Pretty hard to argue with PM Sharon's remarks and all the nuances and contingencies stated and implied. To paraphrase, If the Arabs want a genuine peace, the Israelis are available. If this is just another ploy to further their long held ambition to eliminate the Jewish state, forget PM Sharon's number. At least, that is what I hope he is saying.

Jerome S. Kaufman

PM SHARON'S 4.June.2003 AQABA CONFERENCE REMARKS

Israel Government Press Office Wednesday, June 04, 2003


I would like to thank His Majesty King Abdullah for arranging this meeting,
and express Israel's appreciation to President Bush for coming here to be
with Prime Minister Abbas and me. Thank you.

As the Prime Minister of Israel, the land which is the cradle of the Jewish
people, my paramount responsibility is the security of the people of Israel
and of the State of Israel. There can be no compromise with terror and
Israel, together with all free nations, will continue fighting terrorism
until its final defeat.

Ultimately, permanent security requires peace and permanent peace can only
be obtained through security, and there is now hope of a new opportunity for
peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel, like others, has lent its strong support for President Bush's
vision, expressed on June 24, 2002, of two states - Israel and a Palestinian
state - living side by side in peace and security. The Government and people
of Israel welcome the opportunity to renew direct negotiations according to
the steps of the roadmap as adopted by the Israeli government to achieve
this vision.

It is in Israel's interest not to govern the Palestinians but for the
Palestinians to govern themselves in their own state. A democratic
Palestinian state fully at peace with Israel will promote the long-term
security and well-being of Israel as a Jewish state.

There can be no peace, however, without the abandonment and elimination of
terrorism, violence, and incitement. We will work alongside the Palestinians
and other states to fight terrorism, violence and incitement of all kinds.
As all parties perform their obligations, we will seek to restore normal
Palestinian life, improve the humanitarian situation, rebuild trust, and
promote progress toward the President's vision. We will act in a manner that
respects the dignity as well as the human rights of all people.

We can also reassure our Palestinian partners that we understand the
importance of territorial contiguity in the West Bank, for a viable,
Palestinian state. Israeli policy in the territories that are subject to
direct negotiations with the Palestinians will reflect this fact.

We accept the principle that no unilateral actions by any party can prejudge
the outcome of our negotiations.

In regard to the unauthorized outposts, I want to reitirate that Israel is a
society governed by the rule of law. Thus, we will immediately begin to
remove unauthorized outposts.

Israel seeks peace with all its Arab neighbors. Israel is prepared to
negotiate in good faith wherever there are partners. As normal relations are
established, I am confident that they will find in Israel a neighbor and a
people committed to comprehensive peace and prosperity for all the peoples
of the region.

Thank you all.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:20 AM | Comments (68) | TrackBack

June 03, 2003

Arafat's Nakba Day Speech

As usual, Arafat turns around all the facts simply replacing the word Jew and Israeli by Arab and the new term “Palestinian” to construct his fairy tale of the events that occurred. He is a long way from stupid. This reconstruct fairy tale has been dreamed up to cleverly suit his own politician ambitions. Make no mistake and don’t ever be deceived into thinking Abu Mazen is any different. He is simply the latest ploy in the “Phased Plan” to destroy Israel – currently re-named the Roadmap.

Arafat is the man and the newly invented “Palestinian” Arabs are the people to whom the United States, Israel’s supposed friend, expects Israel to give up territory essential to its very existence. That is not the demand of a friend. This is the demand of a very obtuse, naïve or deceitful enemy.

May the Almighty continue to protect Israel and continue to be its life force and guiding light.

Jerome S. Kaufman

June 3, 2003

Arafat's Nakba Day Speech From IMRA, Aaron Lerner

The following is the full text of a speech marking Nakba Day delivered by
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. (1)

'To Those Who Believe in Returning' (3-4 Million!)

"'We desired to show favor to those considered weak in the land, and to make
them leaders and make them inheritors of our bounties, and to establish them
on the earth...'" (2)

"Our heroic Palestinian people, in the homeland and in the diaspora, our
beloved brothers in the noble Arab homeland, our friends, the free and
honorable men in the world, our residents standing fast in the refugee camps
[who believe in] steadfastness and return, our sons and the fruit of our
loins in the prisons and houses of detention, our generations that increase
in courage and honor."

'The Accursed Day of May 15, 1948, On Which the State of Israel Was
Established'

"The great imperialistic Zionist conspiracy against our Arab nation and our
homeland Palestine, which began with the Zionist Congress in 1897 in Basel,
Switzerland, reached its accursed peak on May 15, 1948. On this accursed
day, the state of Israel was established by force of arms, as [the result
of] imperialistic conspiracy, on the ruins of our homeland Palestine. Our
people [were] strewn from our homeland, in exile, in the diaspora, and in
the refugee camps by massacres. Has the world forgotten, and [have] our
people forgotten, the massacre of Deir Yassin and Qibiya and Nahalin and the
other massacres in 1947, 1948, and since?"

"In 1947, the imperialistic forces that controlled the U.N. at that time
forced the partition of our homeland, Palestine, into two states: one
Palestinian Arab and one Israeli Jewish. But the State of Palestine did not
arise, and never saw the light [of day], and [none gave even] minimal
consideration to the decision of international legitimacy [i.e. the U.N.]
regarding our people [and its right to] an independent state on the historic
land of Palestine."

"Our Palestinian people had to choose between two paths: between
disappearing and being eradicated, and steadfastness, conflict, and
adherence to our right over our eternal homeland Palestine. Our Palestinian
people, a people of bravery, did not hesitate to choose the path of standing
at the front of the battle for the land, at the front of the battle blessed
by Allah, the first direction of prayer and the third most holy place, the
place Muhammad reached during his night journey, and the place of Jesus'
birth."

"Our people [do] not accept humiliation, contempt, submission, obedience,
enslavement, and imperialism in the places holy to Christianity and Islam...
because it is a believing and noble people and in its blood flows the blood
of faith and honor, love of the homeland and love of the nation [that
increase] as the conspiracy expands."

'Palestine is the Land of the Battlefront'

"Palestine is our homeland, the land of the battlefront and the holy land,
our homeland and the homeland of our fathers and grandfathers, the homeland
of our grandchildren and of the generations to come. Palestine is our
homeland. It has no substitute, and we have no other homeland. Every
Palestinian refugee looks forward to the day when he will embrace the
homeland and restore its identity and the honor of the citizen in his
homeland Palestine."

"'They are those who have been driven out of their homes unjustly only
because they affirmed: Our Lord is Allah.'" (3)

"Our Palestinian people which stands fast on the land of the battlefront,
our meritorious Arab nation, we are the nation of the brave, a nation [like]
the phoenix. [The Palestinian people are] the strongest number in the
equation of war and peace in the Middle East today. This is our situation
and our truth in this continuing struggle that we wage for the sake of our
right to our homeland Palestine."

"In the beginning, some wondered where the Palestinian people [were]. Do
they dare ask today where [they are]? Is there anyone who will say today
about our people that the older ones are dead and the young ones have
forgotten? And what have they to say about the Palestinian knight,
Fares 'Ouda, the boy who challenged a tank with a stone and fell as a martyr
for the sake of the holy places, the homeland, and freedom?"

"The Palestinian truth cries out today. It is clear as the sun throughout
the world, and no one will continue to be estranged from it and ignore it -
because Fares 'Ouda said the words that every Palestinian [should be say],
before falling as a martyr in the Israeli tank fire: 'Either [we obtain] a
homeland, freedom, and independence, or [we go in the path] of martyrdom for
the sake of Allah, the homeland, and honor!"

"For the past 55 years, martyrs and wounded have fallen for the sake of the
freedom of the homeland and the return of its sons. Today, thousands of
Palestinian men and women are locked away in the occupation's prisons and
houses of detention, because they do not accept the occupation and
persecution and are determined [to attain] freedom and independence. They
have the blessing, and they have the promise and the vow that their freedom
and their rescue are our greatest concern and our supreme goal. Their
freedom is the freedom of the homeland."

'The Martyrs Improve the Land with Their Blood'

"In the cities of Palestine, in its refugee camps, in its settlements and
villages, its plains, its mountains, its groves of trees, and its coasts,
over 70,000 martyrs and wounded have fallen defending the homeland's freedom and independence and the places holy to Islam and Christianity. They have blessing and glory. They are among the martyrs and the saints, who are the best friends [of the martyrs] who improve [the land] with their blood for
the sake of independence and freedom and the establishment of the independent State of Palestine whose capital is Jerusalem, if Allah wills
it, they will 'enter the mosque as they had entered it the first time;' (5)
Allah never fails in His promise.'"6

"By means of our battles, our sacrifices, our national unity, and our
determination, our nation has imposed itself and its cause on the equation
in the Middle East and on all attempts to eradicate it, to make it
disappear, or to turn it into a people scattered in diaspora, in exile, and
in the refugee camps. The political truth with which none disagree today is
that war will break out in Palestine and peace will begin from Palestine,
the independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem."

'Whoever Thinks a False Peace Can Deceive our People is Hallucinating'

"We have declared in the past that the option of peace, the peace of the
brave, which we signed with our partner Yitzhak Rabin of blessed memory, is
our strategic option. But despotic power and enormous conspiracy rejected
and are still rejecting our option for the sake of a just, eternal, and
comprehensive peace in Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon and in the entire
region in accordance with international legitimacy and its resolutions: 242,
338, 425, 194, 1397, and other resolutions and agreements, the most recent
of which is the road map."

"Whoever thinks that a false peace can deceive our people is hallucinating.
There will be no peace without a full Israeli withdrawal from all the
Palestinian and Arab territories, to the June 4 [1967] line. Likewise, the
illegal settlements, which plunder our land, our nation, and our freedom,
must cease to exist. The settlers must leave our Palestinian land. Peace
cannot come about and security cannot be maintained in the shadow of the
occupation and the settlements."

"We support a just, eternal, and comprehensive peace, a peace of the brave
in exchange for a full withdrawal from our Palestinian and Arab land. This
is the principle approved by the Arabs according to the initiative of Saudi
Crown Prince Abdullah. This is the basis for the principle of the Madrid
peace conference, the Washington [conference], and the Cairo [conference],
and the Sharm Al-Sheikh, Taba, Wye River and Paris [conferences], and other
[conferences]. [This principle is] land for peace."

'I Call on Our People and Our Noble Arab Nation to Close Ranks'

"At a time when the conspiracy is expanding and the conspirators against us
and against the entire region proliferate, I call on our people and our
noble Arab nation to close ranks for the return of our occupied territories,
for the sake of our freedom and our defense of the places sacred to
Christianity and Islam in the blessed land. [I call on our people and on our
nation] to stand against this storm that is passing over all of us in the
region. We will triumph, with Allah's help."

"My heroic sisters and brothers, I call on you, everyone, to [be subject] to
national discipline, to respect the general regime and social solidarity
[according to which] those with means will offer help to the needy. We are
[aboard] the ship of freedom, clinging to solidarity, and united. This is
the source of strength and loftiness for our people, in the face of the most
arrogant conspirator and the machine of war and destruction in its
possession. "

"I bless you all, and shake the hand of each one of you, every woman,
elderly person, boy, or girl, and tell them: This homeland, the places holy
to Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem and the other holy cities, our villages
and refugee camps, are all our [responsibility]. I instruct you to protect
this [responsibility] and defend it with your soul and your blood."

"'Do thou endure with fortitude, and thou canst do so only with the help of
Allah; and grieve not for them, nor feel distressed because of their
plottings.'" (7)

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), www.memri.org

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:28 AM | Comments (61) | TrackBack

June 02, 2003

A Rational Approach

Netanyahu boycotts Aqaba summit
2 June 2003

Israel Radio reports that Minister of the Treasury Binyamin Netanyahu
informed Prime Minister Sharon that he will not attend the Aqaba summit
because he opposes the creation of a Palestinian state. PM Sharon is
expected to proclaim his acceptance of a Palestinian state at the summit.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Two-State Solution


Will the “Road Map” lead to peace In the Middle East?

Two peoples - the Palestinians and the Israeli Jews living side by side in peace?

The "two-state solution" has been proposed for decades to terminate the increasingly violent Arab-Israeli conflict. It is now being resurrected as the "Road Map," sponsored by the "quartet," consisting of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations.

What are the facts'?
A false premise: The basic premise, that the "Palestinians" need" and deserve a state, is false. Because there are no such people as the "Palestinians," and before the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, nobody had ever heard of them. Until Jewish immigration to Palestine began, the country was sparsely settled, inhabited mostly by roving Bedouins. The industry and prosperity, the agricultural development, and modem infrastructure brought by the Jews proved an irresistible magnet for the Arabs from the surrounding regions.

The "two-state solution" has been tried before. Its most recent incarnation was the Oslo Accord, a detailed and elaborate plan, at the end of which a "Palestinian" state was envisioned. Israel, foolishly having acquiesced to the return of Yasser Arafat and his fellow thugs into the country, meticulously adhered to every point of that agreement, and in good faith turned big chunks of its country over to the control of the so-called "Palestinian Authority."

All the "Palestinians" had to do in return for this generosity, unprecedented in world history, was to renounce violence. But the "Palestinians," with the enthusiastic support of virtually all of the Arab states and of the Iranians, methodically violated even that modest requirement. They are armed to the teeth and continue to engage in bloody and violent struggle. They have caused untold havoc - close to 1,000 Israeli Jews killed and many more seriously wounded, just in the last two years.

The members of the "quartet" have taken it upon themselves to decide the destiny of Israel, without any consultation with Israel itself. Of its four members, only the United States can be considered friendly toward Israel.
But even our country, sad to say, seems to consider sacrificing Israel in the vain hope of currying favor with the Arabs and the Moslems of the world to assuage their rage and anger in the wake of our war with Iraq.

Implacable hostility: The United Nations is inexorably hostile to Israel, beginning with the infamous resolution that Zionism equals racism. The European Union - unable to shed its centuries-old poison of anti-Semitism and in order to appease an ever-increasing Moslem minority, has cloaked its antagonism toward the Jews into the more acceptable anti-Israelism. Russia, despite its bloody problems with its own Moslems, having killed thousands in Chechnya, but with an eye on the billions of dollars of potential profit from the Arab nations, continues to be steadfast in its opposition to Israel.

At first blush, the "two-state solution" would seem to be a reasonable one: Two states for two peoples. But there are no two peoples; there is only tiny Israel - smaller than Lake Michigan – opposed by the vast array of implacable hostile Arabs - twenty-two states 280 million people who want to carve a "Palestinian" state out of Israel's heartland. And the Arabs make no secret that that has only one single-minded purpose: to serve as a springboard for the final assault against Israel and its destruction - once and for all.

The world is fixated on creating a state for the "Palestinians," a non-existing people. Oddly, the world and the U.N. do not show any interest for real peoples, such as the Kurds, who have been languishing for centuries under the yoke of four different nations; for the Basques, whose struggle for freedom from France and Spain finds little sympathy; or for the Tibetans, who have suffered for decades under the brutality of the Chinese. And the United Nations has never acted on behalf of the suppressed Berbers in North Africa or concerned itself with the terrible fate of the Sudanese Christians.
No, it is only the "Palestinians" who engage the attention of the world body.

The failure of the Oslo Accord and the bloody and seemingly never-ending intifada have proved that the entire Arab world and the Iranians have only one foreign policy goal, and that is the destruction of Israel. U.S. generals know and Israeli generals know that Israel, without Judea/Samaria (the "West Bank"), is indefensible. The Arabs don't care about a twenty-third Arab state. They want the destruction of Israel. With the Arabs dominating the Judean heights and with that the ability to cut Israel in two at its narrow 9-mile-wide waist in one armored thrust, the two state so-called "solution" would be the death knell for Israel.

It is deplorable that the United States - Israel's best friend by far- would attempt to impose such a "solution" on its staunchest ally and friend and on the only country in that entire area of the world that shares America's democratic and humane ideals and on which our country can count in any contingency. No nation can be expected to enter into a suicide pact.
Therefore, regardless of what the "quartet" or anybody else might wish to impose on Israel, there will be no "Palestinian" state, no "two-state solution."

By FLAME
Facts and Logic About the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359 • San Francisco, CA 94159

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:09 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 01, 2003

As to Words, Promises, Declarations

Israel is commanded by the world to accept the same garbage but this time it is called Roadmap rather than Oslo Process or Declaration of Principles. How many times will Israel be asked to buy the same Arab carpet and how many more times will Israel be so stupid as to buy that carpet?

LETTER FROM YASSER ARAFAT TO PRIME MINISTER RABIN,

September 9, 1993

Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel

Mr. Prime Minister,

The signing of the Declaration of Principles marks a new era in the history of the Middle East. In firm conviction thereof, I would like to confirm the following PLO commitments:

The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.

The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.

The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence, free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability. Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators.

In view of the promise of a new era and the signing of the Declaration of Principles and based on Palestinian acceptance of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel's right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently, the PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.

Sincerely,(!!)

Yasser Arafat, Chairman The Palestine Liberation Organization


2. LETTER FROM YASSER ARAFAT TO NORWEGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER:

September 9, 1993

His Excellency
Johan Jorgen Holst
Foreign Minister of Norway

Dear Minister Holst,

I would like to confirm to you that, upon the signing of the Declaration
of Principles, the PLO encourages and calls upon the Palestinian people in
the West Bank and Gaza Strip to take part in the steps leading to the
normalization of life, rejecting violence and terrorism, contributing to
peace and stability and participating actively in shaping reconstruction,
economic develoment and cooperation.
--------------------------------------------
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 22, 2003

Any confusion with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon?

In case there is any confusion as to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s “Roadmap?”

(Excerpted from an Interview in International Jerusalem Post, May 23, 2003 by Herb Keinon and Liat Collins)

- Asked whether Jews would continue to live in the settlement towns of Beit El and Shilo, Sharon said yes and then asked the questioner whether he would ever expect Jews to once again live under Arab rule, implying such a condition impossible.

- Denied any pressure from US to give up settlements. There is no pressure from anyone other than the Jews themselves.

- He does not view the “security fence” as either a political or security border, but rather simply a present hurdle attempting to keep terrorists out of Israel.

- He has no problem with a Palestinian state devoid of terrorism but such a state must achieve its own answer to the Arab refugee problem. “There cannot be two states for one people” (the Arabs).

- Any discussions with PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas do not constitute negotiations under fire but simply are now dealing with the issues of security and incitement.

- “The era of speeches, declarations, and promises has passed – they have no more weight. There were those who in their naiveté’ thought 10 years ago that you can count on promises, but that is no longer valid, no one pays attention anymore. Now all that counts is action.”

- Israel does not have to get involved with whether or not it accept the “Roadmap.” Rather Israel is committed to the vision of President Bush’s speech of June 24, 2002.

- The two primary issues continue to be security and democratic reform within the PA.

- In the meantime, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said that in the two weeks since Abbas became PA Prime Minister, there has been no sign of the PA taking any real action against terrorist organizations.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:39 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

May 14, 2003

"Palestinian Arab Deals on Wheels

From: The International Jerusalem Post, May 9, 2003

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s bureau chief and financial adviser, Fuaz Mahmoud Hamade, was arrested by Israel Police near Beituniya last week after he was found driving a stolen Israeli car.

Hamade, 54, told police he did not know the car was stolen, saying that he had received the car in the morning from the head of transport in Arafat’s Ramallah compound in order to drive his children to school. He said that his own vehicle had been destroyed when the IDF shelled the Mukata compound last year.

"The car Hamade drove had Palestinian license plates on it, but we matched the
serial number on the engine and other body parts and found that it had been
stolen from the Jerusalem area four months ago," said Binyamin district police
chief Dep.-Cmdr. Itak Rahamim.

He noted that RA officials had been caught using stolen cars several times, in many cases smuggling weapons meant for terrorist organizations. Police recovered nine stolen vehicles in all during raids last Saturday, arresting one other suspect in addition to Hamade.

“Accompanied by the IDF - we daily enter Area A to search for stolen vehicles, in addition to operations in areas under Israeli security control," he said. Since Operation Defensive Shield Rahamim said, some 800 stolen vehicles had been caught in similar raids. Scores had been repainted and were used by the Palestinian Police, he added.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:44 PM | Comments (84) | TrackBack

May 04, 2003

The Hated Solution

By Dr. Jerome S. Kaufman
(The Detroit Jewish News, May 2, 2003)

Many times, I, a supposed Zionist maven, am asked: “Well, how would you solve Israel’s problems?”
The difficult part is that I know the questioner will not like my answer. He or she will simply walk away mumbling incoherent unpleasantries. Solutions that require confrontation rather than uninvolved passivity are not welcome. It is so much easier to simply turn away using some irrational rationalization.

There is also a basic misinformation problem perpetuating the misconception that Israel is on “Palestinian occupied land” and must get off. We have no time for a history lesson but take my word for it: The Israelis are on only a small part of the land that was supposed to be the Jewish homeland by all historical, legal and biblical criteria. But nobody knows that anymore and the Arabs will never buy into it. So, let’s take a more practical tack:

Even the most dedicated leftist now understands that fundamentalist Arabs do not want the Jews in the Middle East in any way other than as dhimmi, the second-class citizenship the Jews suffered for 2000 years under Arab rule.

· The Arabs will continue to gnaw away at Israel, undermining its existence in every way possible -- through the art of boycotts, the indoctrination of hatred in preschoolers, the hatred that’s generated on the college campuses, the Palestinian-sympathizing attempts at divestment from Israel, the professional Arabists and propagandists deluging the world media and the inroads into the American educational system under the transparent guise of anti-globalization, anti-nuclear energy, anti-global warming, affirmative action and diversity. Do you think these glorious shibboleths are truly in Jewish or Israeli interests?

· Look at the map of Israel. Do you understand its miniscule size? It is basically only 40 miles wide, including Judea and Samaria (West Bank); at Netanya, it is only 9 miles wide and at Tel Aviv not much further. Do you know the topography? Do you know that the hated “settlements” are on the Judean mountain range that protects the Israeli coast from immediate invasion and capitulation?

· Do you comprehend that such a small strip of land cannot possibly accommodate two nations, especially one irrevocably dedicated to the destruction of the other, yet incapable of sustaining its own economy.
Do you think all of the above begs the question? Wrong.
All of the above dictates the only answer.

Israel must remain so strong and so defensible, the Arabs dare not once again invade Israel because they would be destroyed along with their legendary self-deluding pride. Did Uncle Sam -- via President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith and so many of my heroes --blink and make “friends” with their intractable enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq? Or, did they destroy them and are now dictating a peace that will be in America’s best interests?

Israel cannot afford to deal with its enemies in any other way. The Jewish state, still under attack after 55 years, must deal as the Americans have -- from the universally understood currency - strength.

What about the territories? If you looked at the map of Israel, you must see they must remain under Israeli jurisdiction. Let’s get to specifics. I like the term “municipal authority.” The concept is to give the Arabs complete management over all their civic functions sans Israeli citizenship. Such citizenship was never Israel’s obligation. Israel must insist, through the world bodies, that the huge and wealthy Arab nations take in the supposed refugees and that those who remain in Israel behave themselves. The U.N.-financed, hate-generating “refugee” camps must be disbanded.

What about Israel’s economy? Tourism is dependent upon a vibrant economy and a welcoming secure country. It is Israel’s job to make its streets, markets, schools, nightclubs, etc., safe for its own citizens and its tourists. How preposterous to give that basic national responsibility to the Arabs or the United States! When Israel is safe, there is little question that Jews will flock in from the world over. Why would they remain as a hated minority in France, Argentina and Russia, even Britain? How many more Americans, especially our dedicated religious Jews, would make aliyah?

One other congenital problem: Israel’s economy remains in the throes of a pipedream called socialism. It is dominated by an archaic Histadrut labor union steeped in the original Russian misconception. Despite Israel’s awful times, the Histadrut is about to call a general strike and further cripple the economy. The union is unhappy with Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempt at bringing Israel into the 21st century incorporating the realism of capitalism. Until this gargantuan change occurs and the Jewish state elects to pay its own bills and removes itself from the American dole, Israel’s future will remain tenuous and will continue to take a very dangerous back seat in the relationship.

See, I told you that you would not like the answer. ##

Jerome S. Kaufman is National Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:59 AM | Comments (82) | TrackBack

April 27, 2003

The United Nations and Israel

Is the Jewish state getting a fair shake from the world body?

Several years ago, we published one of our clarifying messages under the heading of "The UN and the Middle East." In it, we described how the UN seems to be totally obsessed with Israel. Now, a few years later, it might be time to revisit the topic.

What are the facts?

An outcast: Israel is indeed an outcast in the United Nations and thus, by extension, a pariah in the whole world. Though rounded in 1948 - over fifty years ago and at about the same time as many other countries in the wake of World War II - its "legitimacy," its "right to exist," are still being questioned and a topic of constant debate in the UN.

Following the 1967 Six-Day War, the hostility of the United Nations against Israel expanded out of all bounds. Between 1967 and 1988, the UN Security Council passed 88 Resolutions against Israel and the UN General Assembly passed more than 400.

In 1974, Yassir Arafat addressed the General Assembly with a bolstered pistol on his hip and received a standing ovation by that body. The hostility against Israel reached its peak in 1975, when the General Assembly passed Resolution 3379 declaring "Zionism as a form of racism." This infamous Resolution remained in effect for sixteen years when, under intense pressure from the United States, it was finally repealed.

What is the reason for the collective hostility of the UN against Israel? All of this hostility is based on the very structure of the United Nations. In the General Assembly, 130 of the 190 members will always, automatically, vote against Israel. The inner circle of this hatred is the core of twenty Arab nations, which initiates the harshest condemnations of Israel. Those countries are part of the larger 56-member Muslim group, which can reliably be counted on automatically to join the Arab block in their anti-Israel Resolutions.

And those countries are almost always joined by the "non-aligned" group, which are essentially the underdeveloped countries of the world. They have little interest in Israel, but they are united in their hatred of the United States and consider Israel its surrogate. Each country in the General Assembly counts the same. The vote of the United States counts the same as that of, say, Rwanda or the Ivory Coast.

Syria, deservedly classified as a terrorist state, has been elected to a 2-year term on that Council. Such outlaw countries as Libya, Iran, North Korea, and even Saddam Hussein's Iraq are eligible for membership.

The most virulent center of anti-Israel activities within the UN. The Human Rights
Commission CUNHRC) has classified Israel as the principal human rights violator in the world today. Since its inception, about 25% of its Resolutions have condemned Israel. Such egregious human rights violations as those of China in Tibet, or of Russia in Chechnya don't even come to the floor for discussion. The genocide in Rwanda, the ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, the horrifying "communal strife" in Indonesia's East Timor, the "disappearance" of a few hundred thousand refugees in the Congo, and the ruthless rampage of the Sudanese Muslims against the Christians are not found worthy of the attention of the Human Rights Commission.

Such canards as the "blood libel," that Jews use the blood of Muslims and Christians for the baking of their Passover matzos or of the Israelis injecting Arab children with the AIDS virus are earnestly discussed in that forum.

Finally, there is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), established in 1949 to assist the Palestinian "refugees". For more than 50 years, UNRWA has funded and administers the so-called "refugee camps" - hotbeds of murderous anti-Israel activity, including the notorious camp in Jenin, which is the source of most of the suicide bombers who have so far killed over six hundred Israeli civilians and wounded thousands more.

Obviously, the pressure that the Arabs and other Muslim countries are able to exert because of their disproportionate economic power is the main cause of the anti-Israelism (anti-Semitism) of the UN. But most disturbing is the participation and acquiescence in such activity on the part of many of the European nations which, by their actions or inaction, were complicit in the Holocaust. As to the underdeveloped nations of the world, all of which are represented in the General Assembly, one would hope that they would look to Israel as a country from which they could learn and that they would wish to emulate. Virtually all of the countries created after WWII, most of them in Africa, have regressed socially, politically, economically, and in virtually all other respects since freeing themselves from their colonial condition. Millions and millions have died in fratricidal wars. Millions have died of starvation and millions are condemned to die by famine and by AIDS. Instead of condemning and hating Israel, they should take it as an example of how to build an advanced, prosperous and competent nation.

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

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:57 AM | Comments (43) | TrackBack

The Farce of Abu Mazen Appointment


Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA)
WEEKLY COMMENTARY ON ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO, imra@netvision.net.il
By Aaron Lerner Date: 24 April 2003

The drama surrounding the appointment of Abu Mazen has been a farce while the pressure on Israel to accept the roadmap in its present form is grossly
hypocritical:

When the dust settles Arafat will remain very much in the center of
Palestinian decision making process - ultimately controlling both the guns
and the talks. And while President George W. Bush's vision is of a new
Palestinian leadership clean of terror, Abu Mazen himself openly endorses
terror attacks beyond the Green Line and intends to keep his Fatah Tanzim
terrorist militia in business. Abu Mazen's promoters fed the press stories
about his plan to close down the "Al Aqsa Brigade" wing of Fatah Tanzim but
in truth it is nothing more than a scheme to rename that wing along with
possibly a photo opportunity marking the end of the "Al Aqsa Brigade" label.

The Europeans and the State Department have made it clear by their "no
questions asked" policy towards the composition of the Abu Mazen government
that they are continuing with the "automatic pass" policy (the policy
followed by the United States during the Clinton Administration) according
to which the Palestinian Authority is judged as being in compliance with its
obligations regardless of what it actually does. Declarations and photo
opportunities, as a rule, take the place of actual compliance.

Consider the grand welcome being given to Dahlan. The appointment of Dahlan,
under whose leadership the PA's Preventive Security took a leading role in
the production of illegal weapons and the coordination and implementation of
terrorist attacks is viewed as a positive move rather than the negative move
that it is.

As for hypocrisy, consider this: a few weeks ago British Prime Minister Tony
Blair proclaimed in Northern Ireland that "to those who can sometimes say
that the process in the Middle East is hopeless, I say we can look at
Northern Ireland and take some hope from that." Since then the deal in
Northern Ireland has fallen apart with Blair backed today by the United
States in his assessment that the IRA has failed to answer unambiguously
regarding its intentions to disarm, to relinquish all paramilitary activity
and to end the conflict! And yet Blair has the chutzpa to keep pushing the
roadmap - a document that makes the failed Good Friday Agreement perfection
in comparison.

Does Israel have a choice? Absolutely. Isn't Sharon in a corner? Hardly.

Sharon has wall-to-wall support in his coalition government to reject the
road map in its current form
. As Shinui chairman Minister Yosef Lapid
explained to a stunned Israel Radio anchor this morning, Shinui would only
support the roadmap if it were amended to reflect changes that Israel has
asked for. As far as Lapid is concerned it is not even relevant to discuss
now how the cabinet would vote regarding the roadmap because he does not
expect Prime Minister Sharon to present the roadmap to the cabinet for
discussion or approval before it is amended to reflect these changes.
And Shinui occupies the left end of the political spectrum in his
government.

As for America, both the Senate and the House overwhelmingly support Israel
on this issue, as do many of the key elements of President Bush's own
constituency. Elections are not far away.

President Bush is no fool. He knows that the road map in its current form
is a paper foisted on him by the Arabists in Foggy Bottom and Europe that is
far removed from his own vision. It is a win-win proposition for him to
ultimately back Israel's logical, reasonable and critical requirements for a
revised roadmap.

The same goes for refusing to unilaterally sacrifice Israel's security in
"gestures" for Abu Mazen. Anyone with foresight realizes that what little
temporary benefit Abu Mazen may gain by such moves will be swamped by the
negative impact of the terror such measures will expose Israel to.

Sharon isn't in a corner. He just has to stand his ground. Other Israeli
leaders faced much more difficult challenges standing alone. Surely he,
with the wall-to-wall support of his cabinet and the understanding of the
American Congress, can lead the nation through this challenge.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:19 AM | Comments (71) | TrackBack

April 16, 2003

Arabian Fables II

More fanciful Arab myths to sway world opinion.

Earlier this year, we (FLAME) published our message, "Arabian Fables (I)", in which we made clear how the Arab propaganda machine creates myths and lies with which to misinform the world. We discussed the myths of the "Palestinians" and of the "West Bank" and the mythical concept of "occupied territories". In today's message, we shall address three more of these myths.

Jerusalem ("Arab East Jerusalem")

The Arabs have assiduously propagated the myths that Jerusalem is an Arab capital, that (after Mecca and Medina) Jerusalem is their third holy city, and that it is intolerable to them that infidels (Jews) are in possession of it. The reality of course is that Jerusalem was never an Arab capital and that it was, until the Jews revitalized it, a dusty provincial city that hardly played any economic, social, or political role.
Jerusalem is mentioned hundreds of times in the Jewish Bible and has been the center of the Jewish faith and the focus of Jewish longing ever since the Romans destroyed the Temple in the early years of the first millennium. Not once is Jerusalem mentioned in the Koran.

As to "East Jerusalem":

There is East Saint Louis, there is East Hampton, and there used to be East Berlin, but, until the Arab propaganda machine created the concept, there was never in 'history an "East Jerusalem", let alone an "Arab East Jerusalem". Arabs now predominantly inhabit the eastern part of Jerusalem, though their proportion is decreasing. But what is the reason for this? It is because the Jordanians destroyed all traces of Jewish presence from the eastern part of the city and drove all the Jews out during the 19 years (between 1948 and 1967) in which they were in occupation of the eastern part of the city. The world, informed by Arab propaganda, considers those Jews who wish to return to the eastern part of the city to be troublemakers or worse.

The concept of Jerusalem being a holy Arab city and the capital of whatever political entity the "Palestinians" may eventually form is a myth and so of course is the concept of "Arab East Jerusalem".

"Settlements"

When Jordan came into possession of Judea/Samaria and the eastern part of Jerusalem, following the invasion of the newly-formed Jewish state, and stayed in occupation for 19 years, it systematically obliterated all Jewish villages in the area under their occupation, drove out the Jewish inhabitants, and left the area "judenrein" (free of Jews) — the first time that concept had been applied since the Nazis created it during their short and bloody reign in Germany. When the Israelis recovered these territories, they rebuilt these villages, created new ones, and built new towns and suburbs to existing cities, especially Jerusalem. The Arabs decided to call these towns and villages "settlements", with their connotation of illegitimacy and impermanence.

The world, including the United States, is much agitated over these population centers and, goaded by the Arabs, declares them to be impediments to peace. What nonsense! Nobody considers the tens of thousands of Arabs who continue to stream to these territories as impediments to peace. The term "settlements", too, is a propaganda myth created by the Arabs.

"Refugees"

In 1948, when six Arab armies invaded the Jewish state in order to destroy it on the very day of its birth, broadcasts by the advancing Arab armies appealed to the resident Arabs to leave their homes so as not to be in the way of the invaders. As soon as the "quick victory" was won, they could return to their homes and would also enjoy the loot from the Jews, who would have been driven into the sea. It didn't turn out quite that way. Those Arabs, who, despite the urgings of the Jews to stay and to remain calm, foolishly left, became refugees. Those who decided not to yield to those blandishments are now, and have been for over 50 years, citizens of Israel, with all the same rights and privileges as their Jewish fellows.

But what happened to those refugees - by best estimates about 600,000 of them? Did their "Arab brethren" allow them to settle in their countries, to work, and to become productive citizens and useful members of their societies? No! They kept and still keep them, their children, their grandchildren, and in some cases even their great-grandchildren, in miserable "refugee camps", so that they can be used as political and military pawns in order to keep the burning hatred against Israel alive and in order to supply the manpower for the unremitting fight against Israel.

During those more than fifty years, Israel has taken in more than three million Jewish immigrants from all parts of the world and has integrated them productively into its society. According to the "Palestinians", the Arab "refugees" have now marvelously increased to five million (!). It is the intent and fervent desire of the Arabs that all of them should return to Israel so as to destroy the country without the necessity of war

The "refugees" are a red herring and another myth created by the Arab propaganda machine. The Arab propaganda machine, aided by the most high-powered public relations firms in the United States and all over, has created myths that, by dint of constant repetition, have been accepted as truth by much of the world. No sensible discussion, no peace in the Middle East, is possible until those Arab myths have been exposed for what they are.

Authored by FLAME – Facts and Logic about the Middle East
PO Box 590359, San Francisco, CA 94149, Gerardo Joffe, President

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:34 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 13, 2003

The Final Say on the Israeli Elections


By Professor Ruth Wisse, Harvard University,

(Excerpted from an article in Commentary April 2003)

...The election was indeed one of the most decisive in Israel's history. If Sharon were to prove sufficiently skillful, it might also turn out to be one of its most significant. Fully 70 of the 120 seats in the Knesset went to parties of the Right. Likud doubled its own seats from 19 to 40, while Labor dropped from 25 seats to 19 and Meretz fell even more precipitously from ten seats to six. The relatively low voter turnout—68 percent—may be attributed to the discontent of Left-leaning voters who could no longer support their accustomed parties but could not yet bring themselves to vote for the alternative. They voted neither "us" nor "them."

WHAT HAD happened? Evidently, ignoring every other issue, the Israeli public had conceived of this election as a referendum on the Oslo accords of 1993, and had charged the political parties most implicated in that debacle with belated responsibility for its outcome. Without drawing attention to the fact, voters had found a way of finally repudiating the legacy of Yitzhak Rabin.

Although it is now forgotten, the late prime minister had been on his way to defeat at the polls when he was fatally shot by Yigal Amir in 1995. The killer, by reinforcing the image of a uniformly extremist internal opposition, effectively precluded further criticism of the policies that many Israelis were beginning to think had put the nation at risk.

For all these years, leftists had tried to use Rabin's assassination as a means of blocking any confrontation, by themselves as well as by others, with their own failed policies. Now the voters had decided to do the job for them. The assassination did more than take the life of an elected leader, which was crime enough; by creating a martyr to "peace," it also prevented the public from rendering its own verdict on his leadership.

In retrospect, the most telling feature of the election was the total absence of the "peace" slogan. A decade ago, urged on by the Clinton administration, Israel's leaders had taken a desperate, death-defying "risk for peace"; so high a price had been paid for that reckless act that, even if no one was now inclined to scold them for it, neither was anyone about to let the charade continue. Like addicts recovering from a near-fatal overdose, Israelis had become disinclined to indulge false hopes. Now it remained for Sharon to form a workable coalition and try to vindicate the public's common sense.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 11, 2003

A Great Blessing. A Challenging Charge



What with Pesoch around the corner, our rabbi spoke of the oft-related miracle of G-d imposing his will upon the Egyptians, suffering multiple plagues upon them until they were at least momentarily convinced of their folly in attempting to hold the Jewish people in bondage.

But then the Rabbi’s discussion took a new turn - one unfamiliar to me. He advised us that the Mishnah determined that G-d was not only speaking of physical bondage. He was in fact speaking also of spiritual and mental enslavement wherein the individual allowed himself to become limited in his ability to accept new ideas, new challenges, and new approaches to life.

The rabbi spoke of the inability to relieve one’s self of habits, work, personal relationships which were detrimental to his well being, either physically, mentally, psychologically or all of the above.

The rabbi went further. He directed the concept specifically to us – the Jewish people. He said that G-d had in fact given the Jewish people a unique blessing – the ability and charge to refuse enslavement in any guise. What a marvelous blessing! And has not that blessing become manifest. Are the Jewish people not at the forefront of new ideas, concepts, movements and challenges to the general society? Is this a politically incorrect declaration? My apologies.

One could be enslaved by things, even ideas – money, clothes, a home, the quest for fame and glory, television, movies, exercise, computer compulsion, smoke, drink, sex, maybe even bowling – all reasonable but, not to the point of actual enslavement actually taking over a person’s life. The message was to beware of this more subtle, insidious form of bondage and, with the new Pesoch, accept the Jewish people’s charge to, with G-d’s help, escape.

What an epiphany! And here I always thought that all I had to do for Pesoch was learn the Four Questions, get a little drunk from the wine and try not to fall asleep during the Seder.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:03 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 08, 2003

A map to national disaster

By Uzi Landau
Ha'aretz 8 April 2003

If the Quartet's road map is accepted, Yasser Arafat will win the greatest
victory of his life. Despite the blatant violation of all his commitments in
the Oslo agreements and his responsibility for the murder of more than 1,000
Israelis - nearly 800 of them during the last two years of terror - he has
not been punished. On the contrary, he is holding on to the far-reaching
concessions granted him at Oslo and in addition will get what even Yossi
Beilin and Shimon Peres refused to give him: the establishment of a state,
"independent, viable, sovereign with maximum territorial contiguity," in
principle, and without negotiation. That state is the main goal of the map,
resulting from a childish belief on the part of the Quartet that the mere creation of the state will guarantee peace.

At the same time there's no mention in the map of any of the conditions
noted by the government as essential for our existential security: demilitarization; our complete control of the air space; a ban on the authority to sign international agreements, for example.

As far as we are concerned, there are two inviolate conditions: public
recognition of Israel's right to exist, including an end to the incitement
educating toward our destruction in the Palestinian school system and
inculcating peace as a value from an early age, and Palestinian
relinquishment of their demand for the refugees to return to Israel.

These demands, without which there is no chance for peace, do not appear as
a condition. Moreover, the Saudi Arabian initiative, which the map says has
"ongoing importance," speaks of solving the refugee problem through UN
Resolution 194, which includes the "right of return," as its centerpiece.

Borders: Those who believed Israel would be able to maintain control over
areas of decisive strategic importance for our defense, find the map speaks
about "ending the occupation that began in 1967," in other words, a return
to what Abba Eban called "the Auschwitz borders."

Internationalization of the conflict: In the first year of the previous,
unity government, Israel was careful not to use all that was necessary to
defeat the terrorist organizations in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, it
did not topple the Palestinian Authority and did not expel Arafat. The
price: hundreds of killed, thousands of wounded, and a rapid deterioration
to a deep and unprecedented economic depression that we are now desperately
trying to end. We did so to prevent the internationalization of the conflict
by the entry of foreign observers and international conferences, that would,
in effect, take out of our hands the sovereignty over management of the
conflict and harm our ability to defend ourselves effectively.

That's exactly what the road map does. Internationalization under Quartet
orchestration: It convenes two international conferences meant to establish
the Palestinian state and lead to a permanent agreement, accompany the
process, establish a supervisory mechanism for the implementation, judge the
disputes between the PA and Israel, set a "realistic timetable" for progress
and become involved in the negotiations "when necessary."

Jerusalem: The road map gives the Palestinians a political status equal to
ours and determines that the decisions in the negotiations over the city's
status will be with regard to "the political and religious interest of both
sides." In other words, the division of Jerusalem. To remove any doubt about
the Quartet's intentions, the road map emphasizes, "the government of Israel
will reopen Palestinian institutions closed in East Jerusalem." And of
course that includes the notorious Orient House.

A prize for terror: Without any condition for an end to terror first, Israel
is ordered to immediately dismantle all the outposts and freeze all
settlement activity, including natural growth - another bonus the
Palestinians didn't even get at Oslo.

The road map is a huge prize for terror. In its wake the Palestinians will
not only achieve their strategic goals, but will reach a clear conclusion:
terror pays. They will get all the concessions we shower on them, organize
themselves with money they get from the world and us, rebuild their terror
units and attack us at the moment convenient for them. Our experience from
the Oslo agreement teaches us that for us, the map bodes a future in which
terror is much, much worse.

It's possible to understand why the European members of the Quartet
initiated the road map. They are the ones who cynically attack President
Bush, who is fighting the free world's war against Saddam Hussein; and
during the years, with the same cynicism, they turned a blind eye to
terrible Palestinian terror and held us responsible for it. They support the
Palestinians and Arafat, Saddam's ally, and demand we concede unceasingly to
terror.

Will the Americans accept the European positions? Is it possible the U.S. -
which regards terror as the greatest danger to Western civilization, and is
led by Bush, who declared war on terror without concessions of negotiations
until it is totally eradicated like in Afghanistan and Iraq - will adopt a
map saturated with far-reaching concessions that will only encourage terror
?

The road map does not express the "Bush vision" as expressed last June. It
is not a recipe for peace, but for national disaster. Accepting it will lead
to terror and war under far more difficult conditions that we've ever known.
If Israel wants to live, it must make as clear as possible and as early as
possible that without basic preconditions, the map is totally unacceptable.

The writer is the Israeli Minister responsible for the secret services and strategic relations with the U.S.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:35 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

April 03, 2003

The New Palestinian "Moderate" Prime Minister

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY, AFTER 2 WEEKS UNDER ITS NEW
PRIME MINISTER: TERROR & INCITEMENT STILL RAMPANT

News Release by the Zionist Organization of American, April 4, 2003
www.zoa.org

NEW YORK- Although two weeks have passed since the appointment of a
supposed "moderate" as the Palestinian Authority's new prime minister, the
PA's anti-Jewish and anti-American terrorism and incitement are just as
rampant as ever.

On March 19, 2003, Arafat's number two man, Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu
Mazen) became prime minister of the PA. While PA officials claimed this fulfilled
President Bush's requirement for "new leaders not compromised by terror,"
Palestinian Arab terror has continued.

During Abbas's first two weeks in power:

* The PA did not seize any weapons from terrorists.
* The PA did not shut down any terrorist bomb factories.
* The PA did not outlaw or punish any terrorist groups.
* The PA did not honor any of Israel's 45 requests for the extradition of
terrorists.
* Terror continued: Between March 19 and April 2, there were at least 44
terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 2 people were murdered and
46 were wounded.

* Incitement continued:

--Official PA Television on March 28, 2003 broadcast a 40-minute live
sermon by Sheikh Muhammad Jamal Abu-Hannud, in the Sheikh Ijlin Mosque in
Gaza, in which he said: "The children of Iraq are being massacred, Iraq is
being bombed, and the sons of Iraq are being killed. Iraq, the Arab Muslim
country, has been the cradle of civilization since the dawn of history and
the capital of the Islamic Caliphate. Aggression against Iraq is an
aggression against international law, religious, humanity, and values,
morals, and principles. Aggression against Iraq is an aggression against
Islam, the Koran, and Muhammad's message. If Iraq falls down, God forbid,
the crusaders will target the Koran."

Sheikh Abu-Hannud said that President Bush, "the enemy of Allah and His
messenger, created hatred against the United States all over the world
through his aggressiveness and by calling for a change in the educational
curricula in Arab and Islamic countries." He concluded: "O Allah, help the
Iraqi people and leadership be victorious over their enemy. O Allah, defeat
the United States and its allies."

--On March 28, 2003, official PA Radio broadcast a 28-minute live
sermon by Sheikh Yusuf Abu-Sneinah in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, in which he appealed to Allah "to help the Iraqi people be victorious over the enemies" and denounced what he called "the ugly massacres committed by the U.S. and British invasion forces." He added: "Non-Muslim countries have taken an honorable position, although they are defending their interests in theregion. They have condemned the aggression and refused to allow the
invading forces to use their territories and their territorial waters. They also
refuse to sever their relations with Iraq." He concluded: "O Allah, help our Muslim people in Iraq be victorious over the infidels. O Allah, destroy the Muslims' enemies, for they are within your power. O Allah, destroy them all."

--On March 23, 2003, the PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida published a
cartoon depicting a glorious Iraqi eagle with two soldiers, one American
and one British, caught in its claws. (Translation courtesy of Palestinian
Media Watch.)

--Official PA Television on March 21, 2003 broadcast a live sermon by
Sheikh Ibrahim Mudayris, in the Sheikh Ijlin Mosque in Gaza, in which he
said, "Allah is stronger than the United States, Britain, and Israel, and he will
avenge for his subjects from their enemies, the arrogant on this earth.
Allah will drown the small pharaoh of our time, the president of the United
States. America will drown in our seas. It will face death in our skies and lands,
Allah willing. America and all tyrants will drown in their blood in our land, Allah willing."

He added: "Here is the Crusader, Zionist United States waging war on
our Iraq; Iraq of Islam and Arabdom, Iraq of civilization and history, Iraq of
science, and Iraq of steadfastness. It is waging a Crusader, Zionist war on
Iraq...Allah willing, the United States will be annihilated. Iraq, Palestine, the Arab homeland, and the Middle East will be a cemetery for the oppressive tyrannical invaders. O Allah, O Supporter of the oppressed, we have been treated unjustly in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan. O Allah, destroy the pillars of America and Britain. O Lord, shake the land under their feet. O Allah, shake the land under Israel's feet."

--On March 21, 2003, official PA Radio broadcast a live sermon by
Sheikh Muhammad Hussein in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, in which he said: "From the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque we reject and condemn this criminal aggression against Iraq and its brave people...O Allah, O revealer of the Koran, mover of the clouds, and vanquisher of infidels, defeat the infidels and help us
triumph over them. O Lord, face them and spare us their evil. O Allah, shake
the land under their feet...O Allah, kill them all and leave no one alive."


No Disavowal of Pro-Terror Statements:

Despite becoming prime minister, Abbas has so far refused to disavow
his recent statements supporting the murder of Israelis.
Abbas had told the Arab newspaper Alsharq Al-Awsat on March 3, 2003:
"We didn’t talk about a break in the armed struggle ... It is our right to
resist. The Intifada must continue and it is the right of the Palestinian
People to resist and use all possible means in order to defends its
presence and existence. I add and say that if the Israelis come to your land in
order to erect a settlement then it is your right to defend what is yours."

The interviewer then asked: "Including using arms?" Abbas replied:
"All means and arms as long as they are coming to your home, as this is the
right to resist. The restriction applies only to 'Shahada -Seeking'
[suicide] operations and going out to attack in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. There is no
justification to go out [of the territories] to fight the army."Thus Abbas supports murdering all Jews in the territories, both soldiers and civilians whom he defines as "settlers"--that is, Jews who reside in (or happen to be visiting) Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Golan, the Old City section of Jerusalem (where the Jewish Quarter, Western Wall and Temple Mount are situated), and Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Gilo, Ramat Eshkol, French Hill, and the Hebrew University Campus

No Disavowal of Holocaust-Denial Writings:

Despite becoming prime minister, Abbas has so far refused to disavow
the book he wrote in 1983, called The Other Side: The Secret Relationship
Between Nazism and the Zionist Movement, in which he stated that the Nazis may actually have killed "only a few hundred thousand" Jews, not six million; that Zionist leaders "give permission to every racist in the world, led by Hitler and the Nazis, to treat Jews as they wish, so long as it guarantees
immigration to Palestine. Zionism not only gave this permission but was
seeking more victims in order to maintain equality with the sacrifices of
other nations during the war"; and that "the interest of the Zionist
movement is to inflate this figure [from several hundred thousand to 6
million] so that their gains will be greater." (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 26, 1995)

A February 2003 poll by McLaughlin & Associates found that 64% of
Americans believe that "world leaders should refuse to meet with Abbas and
treat him the same as others who deny or minimize the Holocaust." Only 20%
of Americans believe that world leaders should meet with Abbas.


No Disavowal of Statements That Jewish Temple Wasn't in Jerusalem:

Despite becoming prime minister, Abbas has so far refused to disavow
his statements claiming that the ancient Jewish Temple in Jerusalem never
existed. In an interview with the Israeli Arab newspaper Kul Al-Arab
(Aug.8, 2000), Abbas was asked: "The Israelis want you to forget the past
and turn your gaze to the future." Abbas replied: "According to this logic, he
who wants to forget the past, namely the Israelis, should not claim that
the Jewish Temple is underneath the Haram [the Temple Mount, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is situated]. They demand that we forget what happened to the
refugees 50 years ago and at the same time The Jews claim that 2,000 years ago, they had a holy place there. I challenge the assertion that there has ever been a Jewish Temple." (Translation courtesy of MEMRI.) ##

(This is the guy and the people that President Bush and the Arabist American State Department is asking Israel to accept and allow a State of Terror five minutes away. I am surprised that Prime Minister Sharon of Israel does not ask President Bush to allow Iraq to take over Canada and be our next door neighbor.

Jerome S. Kaufman)


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:59 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 02, 2003

Israel Gov't Briefing

From an Israeli Government Briefing - February 20, 2003

Ehud Ya'ari, IDF Chief of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz noted that Arafat launched the Oslo War for one reason: to snatch a state without having to commit to peace.
Arafat had calculated that Barak's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon and his generous overtures to the Palestinian Arabs meant that Israel was exhausted, and would not seriously resist an attempt by Arafat to set up a Palestinian state without a peace deal. According to Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, a writer for The Jerusalem Post. Palestinian Arabs understand this, and editorials throughout the Arab world quote various PA spokespersons on this strategy. Israeli and Western journalists, however, have inexplicably ignored what the Palestinian Arab leadership itself says about the Oslo War, and have chosen instead to blame Israel in one way or another for the outbreak of the violence.

Abu Toameh, speaking as an Arab, expressed surprise at the abiding gullibility of the Western press. Not for one moment did Arafat ever intend to be "Ehud Beilinized"; Arafat had been waiting for Israel to reveal all its cards and give its maximum offer, believing that Israeli public opinion would let Arafat grab it without quid-pro-quo so as to avoid war. In other words, war was probably part of Arafat's strategy from the outset in 1993. In the Arab press, Arafat is lionized for so bold and cunning a strategy; in the Western press, there is an utter lack of awareness. Abu Toameh opined that until more Western journalists learn to read Arabic, the West will have no idea of the true intentions of Palestinian Arab leaders, and will continue to rely on the cynical propaganda that Arab leaders spoon-feed them in English.

Brig. Gen. Eival Gilady (chief of the Strategic Planning Division, Israel Ministry of Defense), Avi Dichter (head of the "Shabak" - the General Security Service), as well as a number of Knesset Members, admitted that all the warning signs were there to be read, but the army, the security services, and the politicians simply deluded themselves since they wanted peace so much. The PA'S incitement—on TV, radio, in mosques, schools, summer camps—to terrorism against Israelis should have sent up a red flag, especially as this was a violation of the Declaration of Principles. Israel's decision not to demand PA compliance with the terms of Oslo made the Oslo War almost inevitable. By refusing to read the signs that indicated that Arafat really had an alternative strategy, Israel must now pay in blood.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:55 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

April 01, 2003

More Arab Distortion

More Arab Distortion? Who really killed Rachel Corrie?

(Besides, what right had she to be there in the first place?)

By Judy Lash Balint

Jerusalem-The news that a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist, Shadi Sukiya, was
captured by an elite anti-terror unit of the Israel Defense Forces while hiding
out in the Jenin offices of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) did not
make a ripple in the flood of coverage from the Iraqi front last week.

Just eleven days earlier, the ISM did make world headlines when Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old ISM member, was run over by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah and died of her injuries.

Maybe the fact that a "peace" organization was found defending terrorists twice
in a two-week period will factor into the inquiry called by several Washington
state congressional representatives into the circumstances of Rachel Corrie's
death. But don't be surprised if the revelation that two Kalashnikovs and a
handgun were found along with a terrorist in the Jenin ISM office will hardly
feature in the search for the truth about Rachel Corrie.

Only one thing is certain about the circumstances surrounding the death of
International Solidarity Movement (ISM) protestor Rachel Corrie: she died in
Rafah, on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip.

But is Israel responsible for her death, or do the doctors at the Arab hospital
where she was taken still alive after the accident bear any responsibility?
What about the ISM that organizes protests in a closed military zone and harbors known terrorists in their field offices? How she died, exactly where she passed her last moments and who should take the blame for Rachel Corrie's death are questions that demand answers.

The congressional inquiry called for by Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) will have to
sort it all out, but the inconsistencies in the eyewitness testimonies raise
doubts about the simplistic conclusions already being drawn.

By all accounts, Rachel Corrie was one of a group of protestors attempting to
disrupt the work of two IDF bulldozers leveling ground to detonate explosives in
an area rife with terrorist activity. The bulldozers moved to a different area
to avoid the protestors, and Corrie became separated from the group. Some of
the agitators stood with a banner, while Corrie picked up a bullhorn and yelled
fruitlessly at the driver encased in the small cabin of the 'dozer. This went on
for several hours on the afternoon of March 16. It's the kind of activity
favored by the young pro-Palestinian types who make up the ISM.

There wasn't enough action for Corrie. According to a fellow Evergreen State
College student, Joseph Smith, 21, who was at the site, Corrie dropped her
bullhorn and sat down in front of one of the bulldozers. She fully expected
that the driver would stop just in front of her. "We were horribly surprised,"
Smith told me by phone from Rafah the day after the incident. "They had been
careful not to hurt us. They'd always stopped before," he said.

As the 'dozer plowed forward heaping up a pile of dirt and sand, Corrie
scrambled up the pile to sit on the top, screaming slogans at the driver. Smith
says she lost her footing as the bulldozer made the earth move beneath her feet.
"She got pulled down," he says. "The driver lost sight of her and continued
forward. Then, without lifting the blade he reversed and Rachel was underneath
the mid-section of the 'dozer-she wasn't run over by the tread."

Capt. Jacob Dellal of the IDF spokesperson's office confirms what Smith says
about the driver: he lost sight of Rachel. Inside the cab some 8' off the
ground, visibility is very restricted. The protestors should have known that
and kept within the driver's line of sight to avoid getting hurt, Dellal
asserts.

The strange thing about this part of the story is the discrepancy over the
photos given to the press and posted on several pro-Arab websites.

As Smith describes to me his version of events, I ask about the series of photos
printed in an Arab newspaper I picked up that morning in Jerusalem's Old City.
"They aren't of the actual incident," he states firmly. "We'd been there for
three hours already, we were tired-we already had a lot of pictures."

Yet these are the pictures used on the ISM website, www.palsolidarity.org to
document the before and after of Rachel's interaction with the bulldozer. The
same pictures are featured as a photo-essay on the site of Electronic Intifada,
(http://electronicIntifada.net/v2/article1248.shtml) where they're even attributed to Joseph Smith.

There are several shots of the back of a woman with a blond ponytail facing a
bulldozer. She's standing in an open field, wearing an orange fluorescent
jacket, and holding a megaphone. Even Michael Shaikh, the International Solidarity Movement media coordinator, won't confirm that these are pictures of Corrie taken the day she died.
"I'm fairly sure" they're of the incident, he tells me by phone from his Bethlehem office. In the same conversation, Shaikh asks me not to contact Joe, Greg or Tom, the Rafah ISM eyewitnesses again directly: "They're still in trauma."

The pictures should have raised all kinds of questions to photo editors, but all
the major newspapers and wire services chose to run the photos regardless. If
there are pictures of Rachel before and after, why didn't the same photographer
consider it important to document the act of the bulldozer running her down?

Where is the mound of earth Rachel clambered up and was buried in? The woman shown lying bleeding from her nose and mouth is lying on a flat piece of ground, and she's not covered in sand. So Corrie was either knocked down by the 'dozer, or fell in front of it. ISMers assume that she was intentionally run over, but there's no proof that was the driver's intent.

The real issue is was Rachel alive when she was taken by Palestinian Red
Crescent ambulance to Martyr Mohammed Yousef An Najar Hospital? In other words, where did she die? Were adequate efforts made to save her in the hospital?

Again, there are conflicting stories. Joseph Smith tells me in a telephone
interview the day after the tragedy, "She died in the hospital or on the way to
the hospital." CNN also reported that Rachel died there. ("Israeli bulldozer
runs over 23-year-old woman." CNN, Monday, March 17, 2003)

In his account posted on www.arabia.com, ISMer Tom Dale has a slightly different story. On March 17 he writes: "I ran for an ambulance, she was gasping and her face was covered in blood from a gash cutting her face from lip to cheek. She was showing signs of brain hemorrhaging. She died in the ambulance a few minutes later of massive internal injuries. "

But Dr. Ali Mussa, director of Martyr Mohammed Yousef An Najar Hospital where
Corrie was taken isn't so clear. On the day of the event, Dr. Mussa tells AP
Gaza reporter Ibrahim Barzak that Rachel died in the hospital. ("American Killed
in Gaza" AP. March 16, 2003)

One week later, in a telephone interview with me, Dr. Mussa states definitively
that Rachel died at the scene, "in the soil," as he puts it. "The main cause of
death was suffocation," Mussa asserts. There were no signs of life, no heartbeat
or pulse when she arrived at the hospital, he says. Mussa states that Rachel's
ribs were fractured, a fact determined by X-rays. (Is it normal procedure to
X-ray a dead body?)

Doesn't quite jive with the photo essay on the pages of the Electronic Intifada
website for March 16, 2003. (Photo story: Israeli bulldozer driver murders
American peace activist by Nigel Parry and Arjan El Fassed, The Electronic
Intifada, 16 March 2003. http://electronicIntifada.net/v2/article1248.shtml)

A caption under one photo of doctors leaning over a female patient reads:
"Rachel arrived in the Emergency Room at 5:05 P.M. and doctors scrambled to save her. By 5:20 P.M., she was gone. Ha'aretz newspaper reported that Dr. Ali Mussa, a doctor at Al Najar, stated that the cause of death was "skull and chest
fractures." Dr. Mussa told me he was one of the treating physicians-yet he
alone maintains that Rachel was dead before she was put into the ambulance. To
further complicate matters, on that same website, a report from the Palestine
Monitor is cited. Here, the writer says that Rachel fractured "both her arms,
legs and skull. She was transferred to hospital, where she later died."

Just who is Dr. Ali Mussa? Clearly a man in favor with the Palestine Authority
hierarchy. Dr. Mussa's views are aired on the official website of the PA's
Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation: (January 27, 2003)
There, Dr. Mussa accuses Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "terrorist government" of
"deliberately killing Palestinian children in Rafah."

A few days after the incident, ISM Media Coordinator Michael Shaikh tells me by
phone from Rafah that three ISMers, Tom, Alice and Greg were in the ambulance
with Rachel. "She died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital," says
Michael. But Greg Schnabel, 28, who is quoted in numerous wire service and
newspaper stories, never says he witnessed the death of his comrade in the
ambulance. In his account published a few days later on the ISM website, he
carefully states that she died twenty minutes after arriving at the hospital.

What happened to Rachel's body after her death? Depends who you ask. Dr. Mussa says it was kept for 24 hours at the hospital before a Red Crescent ambulance transported it "to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv," via the border where an Israeli ambulance took over. Michael Shaikh says "we lost track of it (her body) after she died." Three ISMers tried to escort the body, but only one was permitted on the ambulance on the Israeli side. According to his account, the ambulance drove straight to the Israeli Forensic Institute at Abu Kabir, where an autopsy was performed. "The Israelis are trying to say she died from a blow to the head by a rock," Shaikh recounts.

Speaking about the autopsy, one of Rachel's ISM trainers, Iowa native LeAnne
Clausen, a fieldworker for the Christian Peacemaker Team based in Beit Sahour,
tells me: "The general sentiment within ISM is that the Israelis are trying to
suggest perhaps Rachel was on drugs."

In reality, IDF spokesperson Dellal says that initial Israeli investigation
results indicate that the cause of death was most likely a blow to the head and
chest by a blunt object-possibly a chunk of cement dug up by the bulldozer.

In keeping with ISM sympathies, Rachel received a "shaheed" (martyr) procession in Rafah, the day after her death. But here again, there's confusion between reality and photo op. Some accounts noted that her coffin draped in an American flag was paraded through the streets. Yet a picture on the site of her college town's peace movement, the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace (www.omjp.org/rachelphotos.html) shows Arab women holding a coffin covered by a Palestinian flag with the caption: Palestinian funeral for Rachel.

Confusion and obfuscation seem to be a trademark of the ISM. Last May, a number of ISMers raced past Israeli soldiers into the Church of the Nativity in
Bethlehem, where dozens of Palestinian terrorists had holed up to evade capture
by the IDF outside. After an agreement was reached, the ISM members refused to leave the church, holding up the solution. Then they charged that they were
mistreated by clergy, who claimed the ISMers desecrated the church by smoking
and drinking alcohol.

Another revealing ISM action took place shortly before the Bethlehem incident,
when a number of protestors managed to make their way past IDF barricades into Yasser Arafat's Ramallah compound to "protect" the terrorist leader.

Last week's Rafah activity falls into the same category of ISM defense of Arab
terrorists. IDF efforts in Rafah are concentrated on preventing the flow of
arms and explosives over the border from Egypt into the terrorist's dens that
riddle the area. Less than a week after Rachel died defending terrorists,
Israeli tanks moved into Rafah, surrounded several houses, and arrested two
Hamas members. IDF spokesperson, Dellal calls Rafah "the most dangerous area in the West Bank and Gaza, and decries the "provocative protests" of ISM. "There's nothing wrong with civil disobedience, but these people crossed the line of what was safe for everyone," Della says.

So, while the memorial services laud and remember Rachel Corrie as a "peace activist" "murdered by Israeli occupation forces," the truth lies elsewhere.

An Israeli bulldozer injured Corrie as she tried to prevent it doing its job of
protecting Israeli civilians, but she was alive when she was taken to An Najar
Hospital, according to at least three eyewitnesses. Only Dr. Mussa, a man intent
on accusing Israel of child killing, claims otherwise. None of Rachel's
comrades have stated they were with her in the hospital when she died.

The Corrie episode in Rafah may end up being ranked with the "murder" of
12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura by Israeli forces in a firefight at nearby Netzarim in September 2000. Months after the event, the official IDF inquiry and a German TV report revealed that there was little doubt that al-Dura was hit by
Palestinian fire. An independent French journalist, Gerard Huber, claims that
the entire incident was fabricated for press consumption. ('Contre-expertise d'
une mise en scene,' Editions Raphael, Paris).

And all the while, the ISM continues to encourage misguided young people like
Rachel Corrie from around the world to spend time in the Middle East providing
cover for terrorists. Bring on the inquiry.

Judy Lash Balint is a Jerusalem based writer and author of Jerusalem Diaries: In
Tense Times (Gefen) www.jerusalemdiaries.com.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:47 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 03, 2003

Mis-directed Wishful Thinking

Arutz Sheva News Service March 3, 2003

Some diehard optimists are saying that because February saw one of the lowest totals of Israeli deaths since the Oslo War began - seven soldiers in three attacks, and no civilians - Arafat is apparently interested in keeping down terrorism, at least until after the upcoming war with Iraq. They say that he is afraid of "American pressure" following the defeat of Saddam Hussein.

Most security sources, however, say that the drop in the number of attacks and casualties has nothing to do with Arafat, and everything to do with Israel's anti-terror efforts.

During the month of February, the Israelis thwarted no less than 57 attempted attacks. These included 13 suicide attacks, two car, and five attacks on utposts and communities in Gaza.

In addition, it was announced yesterday that a Hamas cell was in the midst
of planning to place a bomb in the way of a vehicle carrying Prime Minister Sharon, to attack a Jerusalem synagogue, and to fire mortar shells at Gilo.

IDF sources say that the PA is taking no action against terrorism, except some measures to stop rocket attacks against the Negev from within Gaza. If the measures continue, today's rocket attacks against Sderot show that they were not successful.

U.S. President Bush spelled out last year several conditions that the PA must fulfill in order for a Palestinian state to be established, including the isarming, dismantling, and outlawing of terrorist groups.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 17, 2003

Israel Elected to UN Body

U.N. Hate Crime Finally Partially Corrected
February 17, 2003

For the first 55 years of Israel’s existence the Arab Nations of the United Nations General Assembly were able to keep the State of Israel from becoming a first class member of the UN. Israel has been the only nation unable to be elected as a temporary member of the Security Council. Axis of evil nations such as Syria, Iraq, North Korea plus all the Third World dictatorships have not only been part of the Security Council but, in many cases, have chaired it.

Israel Elected to U.N. Body

New York/JTA — Israel was elected to a U.N. General Assembly body for the first time in decades. The General Assembly unanimously chose an Israeli delegate as one of three vice chairs serving on the Working Group on Disarmament, headed by Indonesia.

Israel's candidacy was presented by the Western European and Others
Group (WEOG) which is the regional grouping Israel joined in May 2000. For 55 years, since its founding in 1948, Israel has been the only country excluded from one of the U.N.'s regional groups.

"Israel's election marks an important step toward ending the anomaly of
Israel's treatment at the U.N., whereby Israel was the only member state
excluded from actively participating in the U.N. election process as a full and
equal member," said Israeli U.N. official, Arye Mekel.

Posted by at 04:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 13, 2003

Israel's election

A Pivotal Election
The Jerusalem Post International
Feb. 7, 2003

The change in the makeup of the new Knesset establishes this election as the most pivotal since 1977, when the Likud replaced Labor for the first time in the history of the state.

The Right's landslide in the 2003 Knesset election was found to be even larger than initially reported when the tallying of the vote was completed last Thursday, with the Likud and National Religious Party each winning an extra seat.

The Likud's Knesset faction will have 38 MKs, and the NRP's six.
Two seats on the Left were lost, with Am Ehad and Hadash both dropping from four to three seats. The tilt to the Right in the final result comes from absentee ballots: Soldiers, prison inmates, hospitalized patients and diplomats.

The members of the 16th Knesset are to be sworn in on February 17.
Thirteen parties were elected to the 16th Knesset, two fewer than to the 15th.
The Likud won 29.3 percent of the vote, while the Labor Party got 14.4
percent, worth 19 seats. Shinui won 12.2 percent of the vote and 15 seats.
Shas won 8.2 percent, which gave it 11 seats, and the National Union won 5.5
percent for seven seats. Meretz's 5.2 percent of the vote was worth six seats,
United Torah Judaism got five seats, and 4 both Yisrael Ba'Aliya and the United Arab List received two.

Each Knesset seat was worth 25,137 votes, and the 1.5 voting threshold amounted to 47,225 votes. A total of 3,200,773 citizens voted in the election out
of 4,720,075 eligible to vote. Voter turnout was 68.3 percent, the lowest ever for a general election, according to the Central Elections Committee.

Among the parties that did not cross the threshold were Green Leaf, the pro-
legalized cannabis party which won 1.2 percent and the right-wing Herut, which won 1.1 percent.

Female representation in the 16th Knesset will be the largest ever in the
country's history at 18 MKs out of 120, up from 17 in the previous Knesset.
Veteran MK Yehudit Naot (Shinui) said she was disappointed that more women
hadn't made it in. "It's a small step forward, but at least we are going in the
right direction." Naot said she is now hoping for an increase in the number of
women appointed to the cabinet.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had more women in his government than any of his
predecessors. Prior to the Labor Party’s breakaway in October, he had three female ministers: Limor Livnat (Likud) for education, Dalia Itzik for industry (Labor), and Tzipi Uvni (Likud) for agriculture. There were two female deputy ministers: Dalia Rabin-Pelossof and Nomi Blumenthal.
But even that is still not enough, said Naot. The number of female parliamentarians should be proportional to the female population.

Livnet said the presence of female parliamentarians in government improves
the standing of women in Israeli society Among the new faces, scheduled to enter the 16th Knesset, is Gila Finkelstein, who was the fifth person on the National Religious Party ticket. She's the first NRP female Knesset member in 21 years. ##

Posted by at 03:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 11, 2003

Prime Minister Tony Blair - American Ally

This quote from Time Magazine (Feb. 3, 2003) was in answer to the rhetorical question as to why Prime Minister Tony Blair has convinced the British to side with the United States completely against Saddam Hussein:

"Tony Blair has been motivated since he was a student by a deeply held set of morals - indeed religious beliefs - that good should triumph over evil and that the forces of righteousness have an obligation to do what they can to improve the world."

Too bad Blair gets considerably confused relating these principles to Israel vs. the Arabs when British oil and other monetary interests with the Arab States come into play.

Jerome S. Kaufman Feb. 11, 2003

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 09, 2003

Exposing the Oxymorons

By Jerome S. Kaufman,
The Detroit Jewish News, February 7, 2003

As I listened closely to President George W. Bush's State of the Union address, I kept listening for references to issues close to my own heart. Finally, after hearing about some very important social and domestic issues and associated proposed legislation, the president made a one-sentence reference to my own issue. He said, "This administration is interested in a ‘peace' between a secure Israel and a democratic Palestine." Well, great! Who does not want that? And, I am OK, Jack.

If the president is serious and knows of what he speaks, those of us who understand the geopolitical and philosophical impossibility of a Palestinian state can feel more secure by the president asking for a "democratic Palestinian state and a secure Israel." That, of course, is an oxymoron.

The two concepts cannot possibly exist simultaneously — certainly not in this lifetime as not in the over 1,300 years since Muhammad's forces poured out of the Arabian peninsula.

There is no such thing in the whole world as a democratic Arab state. Since “Palestine” would, of course, be an Arab state, why would anyone think that "Palestine" would not simply be more of the same? Maybe that is President Bush's implied meaning? And let us hope that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, once again overwhelmingly elected by an enlightened right-wing electorate, also understands this concept as an oxymoron.

Surely both of these strong, astute leaders know such a "democratic state" would have only one goal — the elimination of the Jewish state. Then the "Palestinians" could return to being simply Arabs and the manmade myth of the "Palestinian" Arab would naturally just disappear, along with Jordan, into a greater Syria or a greater Iraq or a greater Iran. Just get those infidels, those hideous Jews, out of the way so we can get on with the business of world Islamization.

Behind The Words

But, the president did, in fact, to my mind at least, make a number of references to the State of Israel. I think he might have done so inadvertently, not thinking that Israel could possibly fall under these particular concepts and declarations. He said several things that might fall into what, let us call, "inadvertent references to Israel."

  • "The course of this nation does not depend upon the decisions of others." President Bush was referring to the United Nations, the European nations and all others whose interests might be contrary to those of the United States. Well, I suppose he meant "this nation" must also refer to the State of Israel?

  • "Americans and the world will not be blackmailed by North Korea." Well, that's easy. Just substitute the words Israelis for Americans and Palestinian Arabs for North Koreans and the reference is exact.

  • "Saddam Hussein will not dominate a vital region and threaten the interests of the United States of America." Great! Again just substitute the words Yasser Arafat for Saddam Hussein and the State of Israel for the United States of America.

  • "The United Nations inspection team in Iraq should not be on a scavenger hunt. Rather a genuine peaceful partner would simply destroy their weapons of destruction." Again, that's easy. Just slip in the Israel Defense Forces for United Nations and Palestinian Authority for Iraq.

  • "It is not a United States option trusting in the strategy of Saddam Hussein." Great! All we have to do is substitute the name Arafat for Hussein.

  • Finally, "Feb. 5, 2003, the U.N. will specially convene and [U.S. Secretary of State] Colin Powell will present the United States case for war on Iraq." Great again. Just replace Powell with Sharon and Israel for the United States and Palestinian Authority for Iraq.
There! The word game is complete and all my anxieties about President Bush's State of the Union speech and his references to Israel came to naught. He talked about Israel in the most favorable of terms throughout the speech. Surely he must plan to continue as a staunch, dedicated, consistent, unambiguous ally of the only legitimate democracy in the Middle East - the State of Israel. Thank you very much, Mr. President. ##

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:32 AM | Comments (0)

Dean Esmay Blog

Many thanks to Dean Esmay for being the prime mover and shaker in creating this site. We will try and make it worth your attendance. Please feel free to make constructive comments. We aspire to one day approach the excellence of Dean Esmay's web page. If you want to see what a blog is supposed to look like, with a whole lot of good information and freedom of expression, visit Dean's World. Immediate entree' click here

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 12:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 07, 2003

Shattering the 50-50 Myth

BY MICHAEL FREUND,
The International Jerusalem Post,
Feb. 7, 2003,

For the second time in the past two years, Israel's voters went to the polls last week and overwhelmingly repudiated the Left, once again shattering the myth that the country is divided down the middle between Right and Left.

In 2001, Labor prime minister Ehud Barak, the Left's candidate, received just 37.61 percent, or barely more than a third, of the popular vote. And in last Tuesday's balloting, Labor and Meretz, the two main left-wing parties, received a combined total of fewer than 30 seats in the Knesset, signifying the support of less than 25 percent of the electorate. Such numbers are hardly consistent with the fabled political or ideological equilibrium that is said to exist in Israel. If anything, it demonstrates just how little support the left wing has among the public.

The results become even more significant when one considers just how vulnerable Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was as a candidate for the top job in the land. In addition to a string of unsavory allegations about corruption, fraud and sleaze, the Likud-led government headed by Sharon presided over one of the worst 24-month periods in the country's history. The security situation has not appeared so bleak in decades, as rockets crash into Sderot, suicide bombers target Tel Aviv, and people think twice before boarding the bus to work. In 2002, a total of 453 Israelis were killed in Palestinian terror attacks, the highest toll since the founding of the state.

The economy has also been in decline since Sharon took power, with unemployment soaring to 10.5 percent, leaving more than 260,000 Israelis out of work. At the end of 2000, by contrast, the rate was 8.8 percent. Inflation in 2002 increased significantly too, reaching 6.5 percent. That was double the government's target rate for the year and more than four times the 1.4 percent figure of 2001.

By all accounts, then, Amram Mitzna, Yossi Sarid and their colleagues on the Left
should have coasted to an easy victory. Amid unprecedented terror and an increasingly painful recession, the situation was ripe for portraying the Likud-led government as one that had failed in virtually every major area. The leaders of the Left, despite their clear inability to prevail at the ballot box, refuse to believe that they have lost the support of wide swaths of the public in recent years.

While campaigning this past weekend, Mitzna said that he was unable to "decipher the genetic code -of the voter, whose predicament is so bad, yet he continues to vote for the Likud." What Mitzna and his comrades do not seem to understand is that this election, like the one before it, had nothing to do with the voters' DNA, and everything to do with their rejection of the Left's failed ideology.

After a decade of Oslo, and the disastrous consequences it has wrought, the people of Israel are hardly in the mood to countenance the kind of far-reaching concessions that Labor continues to propose. Mitzna’s talk of dividing Jerusalem, unilateral withdrawal and forcibly removing hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes, sounded like it was taken straight from Barak's script, which, as we all know, bombed at the box office in the February 2001 election.

By sticking to these ideas, rather than acknowledging their obsolescence, Labor and the Left have painted themselves into a political comer, one that will continue to grow smaller and lonelier with each passing year. After Barak's downfall, the Left tried to pin it on his personality, pointing to all sorts of perceived character flaws and managerial failings on his part. After Tuesday's defeat, the same process is likely to repeat itself, as Mitzna's persona, rather than his policies, takes much of the blame. But this election was not about personalities, it was about politics, and it showed just how far Israelis have come in rejecting Oslo and its proponents.

Hopefully, as he puts together a new coalition in the coming weeks, Sharon will bear this important lesson in mind. For, as much as Israelis may wish for another national-unity government to be formed, they are even more inclined to see a national survival government, one that finally abandons the path of Oslo and puts their security first, before any other consideration. ##

The writer served as deputy director of communications & policy planning in the Prime Minister's Office from 1996 to 1999.

Posted by at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 05, 2003

Fighting Thomas Friedman

By Caroline B. Glick
The Jerusalem Post - January 17, 2003

If anyone doubts the power of the media to transform the policies of democratic governments, one need only to look to The New York Times' columnist Thomas Friedman for proof.

It was Friedman, after all, who a year ago invented the so-called Saudi plan for peace in the Middle East. Last February, reacting to the precipitous drop in American public support for the kingdom in the wake of mounting evidence of Saudi sponsorship of al-Qaida and hatred for the US generally, the House of Saud invited Friedman to Riyadh as part of a PR campaign.

Over dinner in a gilded palace, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah told Friedman that he was considering a peace initiative whereby in exchange for Israel's retreat to the 1949 armistice lines and acceptance of Palestinian refugees, the Arab world would normalize its relations with Israel. Friedman and The New York Times Jumped on Abdullah's propaganda bandwagon and the "Saudi Plan" was born. It took but a week from press time for the White House to embrace the imaginary and dangerous initiative that is now firmly ensconced in the so-called "Road Map" for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Now Friedman is back in the region. Reporting from Cairo on Sunday, he wrote about the ferocity of anti-American sentiment in Egypt. Yet rather than condemn the hatred and call for a re-evaluation of US support for Hosni Mubarak's America-bashing dictatorship, he wrote that Americans must understand that the root cause of this hatred is United States support for Israel. I am not-talking about what is right, or what is fair, or even what is rational," Friedman wrote of Arab hatred. But, he concluded, if we ignore it, if we dismiss it all as a fraud, we will never fully harvest the positive changes that could come from regime change in Iraq."

Put another way, if the US doesn't put pressure on Israel in a way that will convince the irrational, hate filled anti-American and anti-Semitic Egyptian "street" that the Bush administration isn't simply a tool of "the Jewish lobby," then the Arabs will continue to hate the US and blow up more of its skyscrapers.

This week we were witnesses to two dangerous diplomatic charades that showed that key international players are already on board with Friedman's cause of throwing Israel to the wolves in an attempt to mollify the Arab world. First there was Tuesday's conference on Palestinian reform in London, to which Israel was not invited. Defying Israel's reasonable refusal to allow Arafat's minions to travel to London to take part in a conference whose sole outcome would be legitimizing his terrorist regime, the British insisted that these terror apologists participate.

In a highly provocative move, the British bypassed the travel ban by setting up a satellite hookup joining Ramallah and Gaza to London. In so doing, the British government made a decision to legitimize Arafat's terror regime just one week after Arafat's Fatah organization took credit for the massacre of 23 people in last week's bombing Tel Aviv. Far from steering clear of the outrageous embrace of Arafat's terror factory, the US State Department dispatched Assistant Secretary of State William Burns to the summit. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher applauded Britain's embrace of the Palestinian Authority stating that the "reform" summit advances President Bush's, vision of a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

In the international community's embrace of Arafat’s regime through its support for a patently fraudulent reform effort, we see an example of a Munich-like decision where Israel plays the role pf Czechoslovakia.

In the London conference this week we saw the British again leading the West in ignoring everything that is known about a dictator's aggressive behavior and designs and turning a blind eye to the genuine depravity of the society that he leads through indoctrination and terror. And as in 1938, we see a British bid to force a democratic ally to accept concessions that will prevent it from defending itself against that aggression and depravity.

The honored guest at the London summit was Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. Suleiman has recently made a name for himself by hosting the ongoing EU-backed summit of Palestinian terror chiefs in Cairo. Suleiman came to the meeting crowned in glory as the mastermind of the talks presumptively aimed at calling for a halt to the murder of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists. Israeli security sources have repeatedly called these talks, like the reform rhetoric, a sham aimed only at giving the appearance of interest in ending the Palestinian terrorist war against Israel. This is engineered, they warn, in order to pave the way for the international community's selling out of Israel to these uninformed and unrelenting terrorist chieftains.

In reality, what stands as a basis for the Cairo discussions is a plan that would both bolster the legitimacy of terrorism and prevent Israel from fighting to defend itself. The plan, which has so far received conditional and duplicitous approval by Arafat, calls for the establishment of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.

The borders of this state remain conspicuously undefined. According to the plan, the various terrorist organizations would agree to stop killing civilians although it is unclear whether they would stop killing all civilians. The terror organizations would be allowed to continue to kill IDF forces. In exchange for this vague and limited temporary halt to Palestinian aggression, Israel would redeploy its forces out of areas previously transferred to Arafat's control, would release all the terrorists arrested over the past two years and would cease all military actions against the terror organizations.

It takes few powers of discernment to realize that this cease-fire plan is a complete lie. Yet the EU has been sponsoring this charade and the State Department has been highly supportive of Egypt's "positive role" in attempting to end Palestinian terrorism; Suleiman was so comfortable in London that he did not even feel it necessary to present the great accomplishments of his mediation efforts to those assembled. Rather he sufficed with a promise that these efforts would continue. For their part, Arafat's lackeys announced on Thursday that the talks would continue in Cairo starting next week.

What is Israel to do when faced with an enemy that uses lying as its principle tool of diplomacy? What is Israel to do when the pivotal Western powers the US and Britain are only too happy to accept the Arab lies in an attempt to appease their hate filled societies? What is Israel to do when super influential columnists advocate fashioning US foreign policy in a manner that rewards insane and groundless hatred by abandoning loyal and rational democratic allies?

At the same time that the London appeasement conference was taking place, Labor leader Amram Mitzna announced that the Labor party will not join a unity government led by Ariel Sharon. Given the fact that it took Mitzna's colleagues less than five minutes to dispute his position on record, it is likely that while Mitzna himself may not join a Sharon led government, his Labor colleagues will do so happily. Now that Yossi Beilin has left Labor, the only Oslo extremists of Thomas Friedman's ilk left in the party are Amram Mitzna and Shimon Peres.

Sharon claims with some justification that, only with a unity government can Israel properly defend itself against military and diplomatic aggression. There is some truth to the claim that having had Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Dalia Rabin heading the Defense Ministry helped build the national consensus around the need to take offensive action against the Palestinian terrorist war machine. At the same time, it is absolutely clear that Shimon Peres's presence at the helm of Israel's diplomatic front for the past two years hindered Israel's cause in the diplomatic arena. Rather than combating appeasement-prone foreign ministries, Peres strengthened and legitimized the voices in the West like Thomas Friedman's that are committed to appeasing Arab hatred.

There is no doubt that Shaul Mofaz is an excellent choice for Defense Minister. But there is also no doubt that to form a national unity government Sharon will have to give the Labor party responsibility for either the Defense or Foreign Ministry. Today, thanks in large part to Mofaz's leadership as IDF Chief of Staff; our army is capable of doing what it takes to defend against military aggression. But after two years of Peres' stewardship, and the better part of the past ten years under his tutelage, the Foreign Ministry is yet to be readied-for its vital task of fighting, the Western appeasement drive.

Beginning with Friedman's overt call for the US to appease the Arab world at Israel's expense, and continuing both at the London summit where that call was advanced and with the international embrace of Cairo's diplomatic deception, we saw this week both the ideological underpinnings and the first fruits of the renewed drive to sacrifice Israel's security for the Arab world's self-respect

Back in October 2001, Prime Minister Sharon warned the West that Israel would not be the second Czechoslovakia in the present world war against Islamic terrorism. For his warning Sharon was roundly condemned, particularly by the Bush White House, which resented being compared to Neville Chamberlain's government. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration's adoption of Friedman's policy prescriptions, first by embracing the fictitious Saudi peace initiative and now by legitimizing irrational Arab hatred by pressuring Israel to accept an imaginary cease-fire and fraudulent reforms of Arafat’s terror regime shows Sharon's warning to have been on target.

In the months ahead, Israel's primary challenge will be use every opportunity to repeat Sharon's stem warning to the West against treating us like Czechoslovakia. It will take our most powerful diplomatic guns to fight this fight. Winning it will in many respects be even more difficult than emerging victorious from the military struggle. This fact must be at the core of the Prime Minister's thinking as he forms his next unity government.

Founded in 1991, we are the largest worldwide coalition of Jewish and Christian organizations, with more than 200 groups representing millions of people dedicated to Israel. Though we have many different backgrounds, we have one common goal: A Safe and Secure Israel. Israel is not just a Jewish issue. Millions of Christians resolutely endorse the principle of peace with security for the state of Israel. Because we work closely together and speak with a united voice, our message is being heard.

National Unity Coalition for Israel, Shawnee, Mission, KS 66208, voicesunited@israelunitycoalition.com, Tel. 913-432-7900

Posted by at 10:44 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 30, 2003

Muhammad, the Documentary?

By Jerome S. Kaufman

(Article below appeared in redacted version, Detroit Jewish News, Jan. 3, 2003)

For some reason, as I watched the supposed documentary Muhammad, I had the feeling that I was viewing The Lion King or some similar Disney Production? Maybe it was the extravagant grandiose scenery and impressive crowd scenes. Maybe it was the fact that there was something obviously fictional and one sided about the whole presentation.

The Foxnewswatch TV program, with its usual panel of renowned political experts, immediately called the presentation politically dishonest and a shrieking example of why the Federal Government should get out of funding Public TV and Radio. The government itself becomes culpable and an apparent ally and enabler for obvious distortions and political agendas of this sort divorced from reality and in fact, counterproductive to honest political discussion. The script and visuals of the film consisted of a carefully crafted Muslim piece of political propaganda. It was an obvious attempt to counter today’s very hard facts of current on-going worldwide Muslim terrorism. It was also a deliberate attempt to revise ancient history to conform to current Arab political ambitions.

The most egregious of these distortions was the attempt to re-enforce an Arab claim to Jerusalem as their third holiest religious site. A history of Mohammed’s allegorical visit to Jerusalem is depicted that is pure conjecture. It is based entirely on one line in 17 Sura (chapter) of the Koran. This chapter recounts the story of a dream Mohammed had where he takes a midnight ride (al-Isra) on his flying horse al-Buraq, which had the face of a woman, the body of a horse and the tail of Peacock. The narrative of the Koran in Sura 17 describes it as follows: "Glory be to Him, who carried His servant by night from the Holy Mosque (in Mecca) to the further mosque (al-masjid al-Aqsa), the precincts of which we have blessed." “The furthest mosque.” That is the only phrase upon which the whole myth of Arab claim to Jerusalem is made!

The conjecture, ably and plentifully enhanced by later politically motivated Arab commentaries, is that must refer to Jerusalem. In fact Jerusalem is not mentioned in Koran even once! By contrast Jerusalem is mentioned over 677 times in the Hebrew bible, repeatedly expressing Jewish adulation and centuries old longing to return and re-iterated multiple times daily in their prayers.

The other egregious politically motivated distortion revolves around the Treaty of Hudaibiya. A cover up is attempted to becloud Yasser Arafat’s frequent reference to this treaty when he addresses only Arab audiences. The connotation is always, “Don’t worry. I am not really making peace with these Jews. Remember the Treaty of Hudibaya.” The actual facts of this treaty were that Mohammad was unable to defeat the Quarish tribe, a supposed Jewish tribe that resided in the town of Hudaibiya in battle. He therefore made a 10-year treaty with them. After just two years, Mohammed successfully marshaled enough forces to beat the Quarish. He then discarded the Treaty of Hudaibiya and defeated the Quarish permanently in route to conquering the entire Arabian Peninsula.

The comparison to the current Israeli/Arab negotiations is not hard to make and the duplicity of Arafat is thus flagrantly exposed. In order to cover Arafat’s gaffs as far as Western audiences are concerned, the only thing to do was to change the whole history of the event. This film with dedicated historical revisionism attempts to do just that.

The real tragedy of this entire film is that it is a visual success. It has also been cleverly positioned to coincide with the Christmas and Chanukah holidays. Television networks will thus have a readily accessible vehicle that costs them nothing as a result of government and private Arab funding. There is also the vast swampland of the politically correct that will demand equal time for this “politically dishonest” propaganda film. Islamists will thus have been completely successful in their primary goals that is, unless we wizen up to this extragant charade.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:35 AM | TrackBack

January 15, 2003

Judaism's New Friend

Generations of persecution have conditioned Jews to see the Vatican as an enemy. It is time for Jews to recognize how much the Church has changed and to take yes for an answer.

BY YOSSI KLEIN HALEVI
The International Jerusalem Post

In the fall of 1989, on the 50th anniversary of the start of World War II, I traveled to Poland and unexpectedly began a process of personal reconciliation with Christianity. Poland was, admittedly, an unlikely place for that process to happen. And the timing was even more unlikely: It was the height of the controversy over the Auschwitz Convent, which Jews saw as a deliberate
attempt to "Christianize" the Holocaust, retroactively stripping the victims of their Jewishness.

For their part, Poles saw a convent at the site of the murder of tens of thousands of Polish Catholics as a natural expression of their faith, and the attempt to remove Polish nuns from Polish soil as an unbearable infringement on their sovereignty. And so I'd come to Poland to write about the irony of how two wounded peoples managed to nurture their animus long-distance even, after few Jews remained in the country. In Krakow, I was invited by a Dominican monastery to meet several dozen young monks. It was my first interfaith encounter. Until then, I'd visited churches only as a reluctant tourist. I'd grown up in a Brooklyn neighborhood of Orthodox Holocaust survivors who equated Christianity with Nazism, and for whom entering a church meant violating the memory of all those who died resisting the Cross. As a child, I would cross the street rather than even walk past a church, afraid that grasping hands might reach out, kidnap me and forcibly raise me as a Christian, a Jewish, amnesiac.

Now, as I passed through the cold stone halls of the monastery, accompanied by robed escorts, all my childhood fears resurfaced. Jesus on the cross seemed to me a taunt celebrating the crucifixion of the Jews. 1 felt I was walking in the shadow of death. I was led to a vaulted underground chamber filled with robed young men. Their eager smiles tried to reassure me: We are desperate to learn about the missing Jewish piece of our being. For two hours they asked me all those questions forbidden under communism and now not just possible but urgent - about Hassidism and Zionism and the Jewish contemplative tradition. And with the concern of those who themelves lived in a difficult geography, they wanted to "know how Israel could survive surrounded by enemies.

When I asked them about Jozef Cardinal Glemp, the head of the Polish church who was inciting anti-Semitism in his defense of he Auschwitz convent, one monk replied delicately: "We think he doesn't always know what he's saying." His friends laughed. No one rose to defend Glemp. Finally, they asked me to offer a prayer in Hebrew. With bowed leads and closed eyes, the young monks listened as I recited the 23rd Psalm: "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death." We were a few hours' drive from Auschwitz, but the shadow of death wasn't in this house. Here, we were brothers in prayer, humbled and joined by suffering.

Since that transformative encounter, my connection with Christian communities, especially in Israel, has intensified. I discovered remarkable groups living among us and working to deepen the Christian world's relationship with the Jewish people. And as Christians this week celebratethe birth of their faith in this land, Israeli Jews have an opportunity to learn about that largely invisible Christian presence.

Few Israelis, for example, know about the Beatitudes, an international community of monks and nuns who pray in Hebrew and celebrate Jewish holidays. They even fast on Yom Kippur, embodying the New Testament's insistence that Christians are a branch grafted onto the olive tree of Israel. Few Israelis know about the Sisters of Sion, which began as an order praying for the conversion of Jews to Christianity and which has now, in effect, reversed its "mission" and is helping bring Judaic teachings to the Church. Or the Urfeld Circle, which links German Catholics and Israeli kibbutzniks in ongoing dialogue. Or "Bat Kol," a Catholic group whose name is taken from the talmudic expression for a heavenly voice, and which brings theology students from around the world to Jerusalem to study the weekly Torah cycle, complete with rabbinic commentaries. These groups are only the most prominent expression of the theological transformation occurring within much of Christianity, especially the Catholic Church.

In recent decades, the Church has not only neutralized its traditional teaching of contempt toward Judaism and the Jewish people, but effectively reversed it, no longer seeing the Jews as cursed but blessed.

When the pope made his pilgrimage to the Western Wall in March 2000, the media focused on the apology for anti-Semitism contained in the note he placed between the stones. But the real story was the wording of that message: The pope referred to the Jews as "the people of the covenant," repudiating 2,000 years of supersessionism - Christianity's insistence that the blessings of the covenant were no longer valid for the "old Israel" and had been usurped by the Church. Now, though, the Church was reversing one of its seminal doctrines and insisting that two parallel covenants could coexist, one for Christians, one for Jews.

The shift is hardly confined to obscure doctrine. Its message is regularly preached in Catholic churches and taught in Catholic schools and seminaries, creating the potential, as one monk in Jerusalem said to me, for the transformation of the Church from the central point of hatred for the Jews to the central point of love for them. One concrete result is the repudiation of Catholic missionizing toward Jews. Though the process began after the Holocaust, the suspension of missionary activity was at first unspoken: The Church understood the vulgarity of missionizing among a survivor people, but lacked a coherent theological justification for its restraint. Now, though, increasing voices within the Church are making the non-missionizing policy theologically explicit. For if God’s covenant with the Jews has never been revoked, then the survival of the Jewish people as an independent entity must be part of his plan.

Last August, a joint statement by American rabbis and Catholic Bishops affirmed precisely that point And a remarkable document on Christian-Jewish relations recently issued by an American group of interdenominational Christian scholars, In view of our conviction that Jews in an eternal covenant with God, we renounce missionary efforts directed at converting Jews. If Jews do not share our faith in Christ, are in a saving covenant with God, then Christians need new ways or understanding the universal significance of Christ" Together, these revolutionary changes form the most extraordinary religious story of our time: the process of healing humanity's deepest religious wound. No religion has ever challenged its own negative theology toward another faith as profoundly as have Catholicism and parts of Protestantism.

Surely no religion has had a greater need to atone. But the capacity of Christianity for teshuva - the Hebrew word invoked by the Catholic Church in describing its process of reconciliation with the Jews – says much for its spiritual integrity and vitality. Not all parts of the Catholic Church understand the new theology, or embrace it with equal fervor. The process will take generations, and contradictory interpretations and setbacks will no doubt emerge.

The repudiation of missionizing by American bishops, for example, recently provoked an anguished protest by the American Catholic conservative commentator, William F. Buckley, who insisted that making an exception of the Jews would undermine the foundation of Christian belief in Jesus as savior.

Despite such resistance, the change is proceeding because its motive isn't just historical guilt but spiritual insight. As one Jerusalem nun put it: "The great shock of the Holocaust for the church was that we'd thought the Jews weren't faithful to God, but suddenly we discovered that God's enemies are also the enemies of the Jews. The new theology didn't emerge only from Christian guilt; it came from the realization that we had misunderstood the role of the Jews in history, which is to be a sign for God's presence in this world."

Yet the story of the Church's astonishing transformation leaves many Jews unmoved. Out historical wound is still so raw that many of us simply don't believe the Church's teshuva is genuine. Some even discern a trick: The Church Is still trying to convert us, through love now instead of brutality. And so rather than celebrate one of the great Jewish victories of the post-Holocaust era, many Jews continue to cling to an archaic perception of the Church as enemy, weighing its every pronouncement for hints of recidivism. We delight in each new expose’ of the Church's unsavory past, while ignoring or minimizing its heroic efforts to make amends today. Last year's big Church-bashing book was David Kertzer's, The Popes Against the Jews; this year's version is Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair. Over the past decade Jewish organizations have waged bitter feuds with the Vatican on issues like the guilt of Pope Plus XII and the Church's refusal to accept a direct link between Christian teachings and the Holocaust - all
of them battles over the past.

When the dialogue began nearly 50 years ago, Jewish groups confronted the Vatican with two non-negotiable demands. The first was that the teaching of contempt be repudiated. The second was recognition of the State of Israel - a move not only of political but theological significance, negating the old Church doctrine of the “wandering Jew” punished with homelessness for “rejecting Jesus.” The Vatican has fulfilled both demands and, in the case of theological contempt, has gone well beyond mere repudiation. The very fact that nearly all our disputes with the Church now focus on historical, especially Holocaust-related issues is proof of how far the Church has come in accepting the Jewish agenda.

Perhaps we are indulging our rage now simply because it's finally possible.
For centuries Jews were forced to speak of their bitterness toward the oppressive Church in euphemisms, unable even to explicitly name the source of humiliation. Now, thanks to Jewish sovereignty and, ironically, a transformed Church, Jews can finally unburden themselves. The problem, though, is timing. When the dialogue began after the Holocaust, both sides understood that the onus for change was entirely on the Christian side, and that the only
concession Jews were expected to offer was to show up.

But now we've entered the second generation of dialogue. And when one side continually offers overtures and the other side responds with sullenness or worse, the temptation is to withdraw. A one-way process of reconciliation cannot sustain itself indefinitely. To be sure, there have been a few significant Jewish gestures toward Christianity in recent years, most notably the statement Dabru Emet (Speak Truth), signed by Jewish scholars and published in 2000 as an ad in the New York Times. Dabru Emet not only acknowledged the Church's new theology of Judaism, but also offered a reciprocal new Jewish theology of Christianity, celebrating it as the carrier of the God of Israel to the nations.

But all too often, the Jewish community allows feuds over historical
interpretation to dominate its relationship with the Church. We have the right to insist that the Church show respect for Judaism and the Jewish people in the present, and that it raise its future generations in a spirit of reconciliation - precisely what the Church is now doing. But our legitimate demands over the present and the future don't extend to the past. We have no right to dictate to the Church how it should understand its own history. And we certainly have no right to tell it whom it should elevate as its saints. Instead, we need to allow Christians the freedom – and grant them the trust - to confront their own past. That trust is not misplaced. After all, Catholics have written some of the most powerful critiques of Christian anti-Semitism - from Edward Flannery’s The Anguish of the Jews to James Carroll’s Constantine’s Sword -. The Christian self-confrontation with the past has just begun. That is their struggle, not ours.

After decades of relentless Christian self-examination of their theology of contempt, it's time for Jewish soul-searching as well. The rabbinic ban on even stepping inside a church may have made sense at a time when Jews were a vulnerable minority resisting a voracious and triumphalist Christianity; it is offensive when Jews are once again a sovereign people living in its own land - and responsible for the first time for a Christian minority.

That is only the most glaring example of an embedded Jewish hostility to Christianity. Of course there is no comparison between the historical consequences of Christian and Jewish contempt for each other's faiths; and Jewish anti-Christianity was an expression of psychological self-defense, but no longer. Creating a healthy Israeli Judaism freed from ghettoization depends
in part on creating a new Jewish relationship with Christianity.

Now that we're back home, a key spiritual expression of our return should be reconciliation with the faith that emerged from our midst just before we were exiled from this land. Almost from its inception, Christianity attempted to expel the Jews from the House of Israel. By now confirming the ongoing validity of God's covenant with the Jewish people, the Church is acknowledging that the House of Israel is expansive enough to accommodate both Jews and Christians.

That essential shift in Christian thinking challenges us to accommodate in our conception of the House of Israel the religion that has brought Israel's ancient story to the world. Responding to Christian overtures is a key Jewish self-interest. At a time when much of Islam seems intent on assuming Christianity's old role of generating religiously inspired hatred of Jews, nurturing the Christian-Jewish dialogue can offer a measure of protection. We desperately need allies to counter the growing delegitimization of Israel and of the Jewish story
.

An example of how the Christian- Jewish dialogue can help us fight the war against demonization was provided earlier this year by Boston Catholics who undertook a public campaign to convince Muslims that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a fraud. That isolated example needs to become a central component of the dialogue. Protecting the integrity of Jewish history from a new big lie-rather than ensuring that Catholics read their own history in the "correct" way - is the over-riding Jewish interest today

This past year has been traumatic for both the Jewish people and the Catholic Church. Arguably Jews haven't felt so vulnerable or so alone since the 1930s. For its part, the Church has lost the trust of many of its people in the wake of the sexual abuse and cover-up scandals; the Church's ancient tradition of celibacy - which helped produce some of the world's great mystics, from St. Francis to Thomas Melton - Is now widely mistrusted, even ridiculed.
When friends are in trouble, they support each other. Jews should be telling the Church that we, who have experienced the authenticity of its teshuva, trust its capacity to morally renew itself in the face of its current struggles. And the Vatican should be telling us that it sees the attack on Jewish legitimacy now spreading through the Muslim world and Europe as an attack on itself, and that honest debate over Israeli policies cannot be allowed to turn into an
indictment of Israel's existence.

Most profoundly, Christians need to hear from Jews that we respect their spiritual authenticity and relationship to the House of Israel, and don't despise them as "goyim" or worse, as potential Nazis. And Jews need to hear from Christians that they respect the centrality of Israel for Judaism today, and won't tolerate the renewed demonization of the Jews under the guise of criticism of the Jewish state.

The success of the reconciliation movement between Christianity and Judaism has implications far wider than relations between the two faiths. At a time when the future of humanity may well depend on the ability of Islam to overcome its triumphalist theology; the Christian-Jewish dialogue is sign of hope. Few would have believed a half-century ago that the Vatican would be capable of reversing supersessionism, a doctrine that seemed integral to the identity of the Church. For a world struggling against despair, the Christian-Jewish dialogue proves that religion is still capable of contributing to the evolution of humanity.

The writer, Israel correspondent for the New Republic, is author of “At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land.”

Posted by at 04:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 22, 2002

Seeds of Peace Award?

The actions of the organization called Seeds of Peace, alma mater of PLO stalwart, Adam Shapiro, never cease to amaze. Their latest action is a point in fact. Within the last couple of weeks invitations were sent out announcing a “Gala Dinner” and advising that at the dinner, Congressman John Dingell of Dearborn, Michigan was to be the recipient of the Seeds of Peace Congressional Leadership Award. John Dingell!

Perhaps the Jews involved with Seeds of Peace do not know Dingell’s record in the United States Congress vis-a-vis Israel? Some of the his more recent highlights include:

Oct. 10, 2002 - was one of 133 Congressman against vs. 296 for the bill granting President Bush power to take military action against Iraq should specific circumstances warrant.

May, 2002 – Dingell was one of just 21 Congressman who refused to support Resolution 392 expressing solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism.

March 2002 – Dingell refused to sign the Waxman/Ros-Lehtinen Letter urging President Bush to add Al-Aqsa Brigade, Tanzim and Force 17 – all supporters of Yasser Arafat - to the U.S. government list of terrorist organizations. (235 Congressmen did sign)

July, 2001 – Dingell was one of only 4 Congressman that refused to allow Israel to obtain a UN video tape showing the Hizballah terrorists kidnapping Israel soldiers on the Lebanese border.

Feb. 2001 Dingell was the only congressman voting against Resolution 34 congratulating Prime Minister Sharon for calling for an end to violence at that time. 410 Congressman voted for the resolution.

Dingell, over the years, has been one of less than 100 of 435 Congressman who consistently vote against the Foreign Aid Appropriations Bill whose largest beneficiary is Israel

Last year it was reported by Jonathan Tobin, Editor of the Philadelphia Exponent, that John Dingell was listed as one of the few Congressman elected by the Arabs to their Hall of Fame. Favorable election is afforded those Congressman and Senators voting most consistently against Pro-Israel legislation.

As to Seeds of Peace, it has had on its Board of Directors, since its beginnings, Saeb Erekat, Chief Negotiator for Yasser Arafat. Seeds also has had on their programs to speak: Yasser Abed Rabbo, chief media spokesperson for Yasser Arafat, and Yossi Beilen discredited Israeli former member of the Knesset and one of authors of the disastrous Oslo Peace Accords. Evidently it should be no surprise then, that they have selected John Dingell for their Congressional leadership award. The only question that still remains is why do Jews continue to support this pro-PLO, anti –Israel organization? Is this too part of the Oslo “Peace” Process? Is anyone ever arrested for appropriating and maliciously misusing words?


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack