.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Haveil Havalim #67 is up

The Hashmonean has just published the latest Haveil Havalim, featuring the best of the Jewish and Israel-related blogs for the past week. It is a relatively new blog and worth looking at.

As usual, it is an excellent collection, including articles about Yom HaShoah. I am honored that one of my postings was chosen (even before I was asked to nominate it myself!)

Check it out!

The "Naqba" no one talks about

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs expelled from their homes. Expulsions, summary executions of civilians by the brutal soldiers, horrendous torture, and mass detentions under the cover of war. None of them able to return to the homes they lived in all their lives.

This is not Israel in 1948, but Kuwait in 1992.

350,000 Palestinian Arabs were driven from their homes in Kuwait - and no one talks about it.

By almost any measure, Arabs have treated their Palestinian brethren worse than the Jews ever dreamed about. But this is not a story that you will hear Palestinian Arabs mention. They would prefer that the world pressue Jews, and not think about documented abuses from the first Gulf War (not to mention abuses of Palestinian Arabs in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Arab world.)

Now, why are these "naqbas" ignored? Could it be that the point of Palestinian Arab victimhood is really about destroying Israel, and not at all about Arab "survivors" of 1948 and 1967?

I only found this article fully quoted in one place on the Internet, although bits and pieces of the story can be found in many places, including most on-line encyclopedias and histories fo the Gulf War.

Here is how the San Francisco Bay Guardian reported the situation of the Palestinian Arabs of Kuwait in the aftermath of the first Gulf War (September 9, 1992):
DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, and pundits alike have described the "liberation of Kuwait" as an apex in U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II. With great fanfare and pronouncements of new openness and democracy for the oil-rich kingdom, the emir returned to his palace, rebuilt complete with gold toilet seats courtesy of the U.S. Army.

But those promises of freedom lasted only as long as television news teams stayed in Kuwait City. Reports from human rights monitors detail an ongoing Kuwaiti campaign to punish and expel the 350,000 Palestinians living in Kuwait before the war. Today, all but 60,000 Palestinians have been driven out by a combination of summary executions, torture, detention, forced expulsions, and a variety of other pressures. And according to human rights workers, Kuwait is trying to squeeze those last few out quickly.
...

More than 50 percent of Kuwait's prewar population was Palestinian. Many had lived their whole lives in Kuwait, holding positions from banking and business to laborers. Many were members of the professional classes that helped build Kuwait into a relatively modern society.

Roughly half of Kuwait's Palestinians, some 180,000, left during Iraq's occupation. But the real horror began with liberation.

The Kuwaitis launched a brutal campaign of punishment and expulsion against the Palestinians for the PLO's opposition to the Gulf War, ostensibly for their "collaboration" with the Iraqi invaders, despite the fact that many Palestinians had fought and died with the Kuwaiti resistance.

In April 1991, Amnesty International reported that "scores of victims had been killed and hundreds more had been arbitrarily arrested, many brutally tortured by Kuwaiti armed forces and members of the resistance." The report found that "teams of torturers often appeared to work in relays, maintaining the torture for hours."

Amnesty International has documented that 40 Palestinians were summarily executed, and another 120 disappeared. Five thousand were detained, most of whom were beaten and/or tortured. Another 7,000 Palestinians were formally expelled.

Kuwaiti officials have admitted that some excesses happened, but claimed these occurred without their knowledge and were committed by citizens who had endured great hardships by Iraqi invaders and their alleged collaborators.

But the implicit Kuwaiti government approval for these atrocities is underscored by the fact that no one has been brought to justice for crimes committed against Palestinians. Aziz Abu-Hamad, a senior researcher at Middle East Watch, said the Kuwaiti government has not made any serious effort to locate the 120 vanished Palestinians. Mass graves have been discovered, but Kuwaiti authorities have made no attempt to exhume these graves and identify the bodies.

An agency was created, called State Security Intelligence Police, Abu-Hamad said, which made a practice of telling Palestinians that if they didn't leave, "we'll come after you."

And the government has made it all but financially impossible for Palestinians to remain in Kuwait. All foreigners who worked for the Kuwaiti government were fired immediately after the Iraqi invasion. After the war, most foreign workers were rehired, but no Palestinians. Private employers followed suit. The oil and banking industries were forbidden to rehire Palestinians.

Besides throwing all Palestinians out of work, the Kuwaiti rulers are refusing to give them back wages, severance pay (one month's salary for each year of service under Kuwaiti law), or pension funds they are owed until they have their passport stamped with an exit visa (which gives them one week to leave).

By June 1992, another 110,000 Palestinians had left Kuwait, and a deadline of Sept. 30 will soon be announced for the remaining 60,000 Palestinians, Abu-Hamad said.

That Hamas "truce"

The Arab media has been mentioning a number of times that Hamas now has a "truce" with Israel, since at least February 2005. For example, the WRMEA quotes the editor of Lebanon's Daily Star:
Describing Hamas as a grandchild of Sharon and Israel’s policies, Khouri reminded the audience that Hamas nevertheless has kept a year-long truce with Israel.
An American editorialist at Al-Jazeerah.info goes one better:
Israel has violated the truce that the so-called terrorist organization Hamas has upheld for 15 months..."
Even the mainstream media has picked up on this, led by the resident Palestinian apologist at Reuters, Nidal al-Mughrabi:
While it has largely abided by a year-old truce, the government defended a suicide bombing carried out by the Islamic Jihad militant group in Tel Aviv on April 17 that killed nine people...
So, has Hamas really been staying away from terror since February 2005?

It turns out that the US National Counterterrorism Center keeps a database of worldwide terror attacks over the past couple of years. And while Hamas seems to have "officially" kept relatively quiet since the elections, the database shows quite a few attacks that came way after the supposed "truce" (stats through the end of 2005):


04/10/2005 Gaza Strip Residence damaged in mortar attack by HAMAS in Nezer Hazzani, Gaza Strip

05/19/2005 Israel Israeli settlement and military post targeted in mortar attacks by HAMAS in Nahal Oz, HaDarom, Israel

05/19/2005 Gaza Strip Checkpoint point targeted in rocket and mortar attacks by HAMAS in Bayt Hanun, Gaza Strip 05/19/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement damaged in mortar attacks by HAMAS in Morag, Gaza Strip

05/19/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in mortar attack by HAMAS in Morag, Gaza Strip

05/19/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in mortar attacks by HAMAS in Atzmona, Gaza Strip

05/19/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in rocket attack by HAMAS in Nisanit, Gaza Strip

06/18/2005 Israel Israeli community damaged in rocket attacks by HAMAS in Sederot, HaDarom, Israel

07/16/2005 Israel 7 children, 9 civilians injured in rocket attacks by HAMAS in Sederot, HaDarom, Israel

07/16/2005 Israel Israeli settlement targeted in rocket attack by HAMAS in Nahal Oz, Gaza Strip

06/29/2005 Gaza Strip 1 civilian wounded in rocket attack targeting Israeli settlement by HAMAS in Gadid, Gaza Strip

06/29/2005 Gaza Strip 1 civilian wounded, 1 residence, Israeli settlement damaged in rocket attack by HAMAS in Newe Deqalim, Gaza Strip

07/14/2005 Gaza Strip 2 police officers wounded in armed attack by suspected HAMAS in Gaza, Gaza Strip

07/15/2005 Gaza Strip 1 child, 1 civilian wounded in mortar attack on Israeli settlement by HAMAS in Newe Deqalim,

07/15/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement damaged in rocket and mortar attack by HAMAS in Nezer Hazzani, Gaza Strip

07/15/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in rocket attacks by suspected HAMAS in Atzmona, Gaza Strip

07/16/2005 Gaza Strip 20 civilians, 7 children wounded in mortar attack on Israeli settlement by HAMAS in Nisanit, Gaza Strip

07/16/2005 Gaza Strip Crossing Point targeted in rocket attack by HAMAS at Sufa Crossing, Gaza Strip

07/16/2005 Gaza Strip Crossing point targeted in rocket and mortar attack by HAMAS at the Erez Crossing Point, Gaza Strip

07/16/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in mortar and rocket attacks by HAMAS in Nezarim, Gaza Strip

07/16/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in mortar attack by HAMAS in Kfar Darom, Gaza Strip

07/16/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in rocket attack by HAMAS in Newe Deqalim, Gaza Strip

07/16/2005 Israel 7 children, 9 civilians injured in rocket attacks by HAMAS in Sederot, HaDarom, Israel

07/16/2005 Israel Israeli settlement targeted in rocket attack by HAMAS in Nahal Oz, Gaza Strip

07/17/2005 Gaza Strip Several civilians wounded in armed attack by HAMAS in Kfar Darom, Gaza Strip

07/17/2005 Gaza Strip Several civilians wounded in mortar and rocket attacks by HAMAS on Nezarim, Gaza Strip

07/17/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in mortar and rocket attacks by HAMAS in Newe Deqalim, Gaza Strip

07/17/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in mortar attack by HAMAS in Atzmona, Gaza Strip

07/17/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in mortar attack by HAMAS in Gadid, Gaza Strip

07/17/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in mortar attack by HAMAS in Nisanit, Gaza Strip

07/17/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in rocket attack by HAMAS in Dugit, Gaza Strip

07/19/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in mortar attack by HAMAS in Atzmona, Gaza Strip

07/19/2005 Gaza Strip Israeli settlement targeted in mortar attack by HAMAS in Morag, Gaza Strip

09/21/2005 West Bank 1 civilian kidnapped and killed by HAMAS in Jerusalem, West Bank

09/24/2005 Israel 11 civilians wounded in rocket attack by HAMAS on Sederot, HaDarom, Israel

There are also literally dozens of rocket attacks that no group claimed responsibility for. And, of course, the fact that so many historical terror attacks have been claimed jointly by supposedly "competing" Palestinian Arab terror groups makes it pretty clear that Hamas is still involved in terror attacks even if they are no longer taking credit.

But even the official statistics show that those who claim that Hamas has been quiet for over a year are purposefully misstating the facts.

UPDATE: Keren Malki's list of terror attacks includes a failed Hamas attack from December:
2005-12-19

Intercepted: Israeli security personnel catch 2 armed Palestinian Arab men near the neighborhood of Har Homa, en route to doing a terror attack in Jerusalem. They have two firebombs, two knives, a Hamas flag and material for two pipe bombs. This is so insignificant that it goes unreported except for some Israelis newspapers.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Iran's nuclear "transparency"

Over the past week, a number of Iranian leaders said curiously similar statements:
Ahmadenijad: "Iran is the sole country whose nuclear activities are completely transparent. We are ready to hold talks to prove there has been no diversion in our peaceful nuclear activities," he added.
Chairman of Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani: "Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Iran has adopted transparency on nuclear program and met all requirements of NPT.

"We decided not to hide anything and proved our goodwill to UN nuclear agency," Rafsanjani said.

Deputy Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) for international affairs Javad Vaeedi: He said that Iranian nuclear program is transparent and Iran has observed Additional Protocol to NPT for the past three years.

Apparently, the IAEA disagrees about Iran's transparency. In the report released today, they write:
After more than three years of Agency efforts to seek clarity about all aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme, the existing gaps in knowledge continue to be a matter of concern. Any progress in that regard requires full transparency and active cooperation by Iran — transparency that goes beyond the measures prescribed in the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol — if the Agency is to be able to understand fully the twenty years of undeclared nuclear activities by Iran. Iran continues to facilitate the implementation of the Safeguards Agreement and had, until February 2006, acted on a voluntary basis as if the Additional Protocol were in force. Until February 2006, Iran had also agreed to some transparency measures requested by the Agency, including access to certain military sites. Additional transparency measures, including access to documentation, dual use equipment and
relevant individuals, are, however, still needed for the Agency to be able to verify the scope and nature of Iran’s enrichment programme, the purpose and use of the dual use equipment and materials purchased by the PHRC, and the alleged studies which could have a military nuclear dimension.

Regrettably, these transparency measures are not yet forthcoming.
But, not to worry: Helmut Schmidt says that Iran's nuclear program is just hunky-dory, and he brings as proof a supposed fatwa (unpublished, of course) that was supposedly made by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei forbidding the creation of nuclear weapons. Everything's great! We can trust Iran's statements - why would they lie?

Unfortunately, Schmidt seems to ignore another little fatwa from this past February:
Iran's hardline spiritual leaders have issued an unprecedented new fatwa, or holy order, sanctioning the use of atomic weapons against its enemies.

One senior mullah has now said it is "only natural" to have nuclear bombs as a "countermeasure" against other nuclear powers, thought to be a reference to America and Israel.

The pronouncement is particularly worrying because it has come from Mohsen Gharavian, a disciple of the ultra-conservative Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, who is widely regarded as the cleric closest to Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

It's official. I'm an infidel.

I am happy to say that I have joined the Infidel Bloggers Alliance . I'll be posting some of my articles there as well as here.

Thanks to Pastorius of Cuanas and Someguy at Mystery Achievement (whose blog seems to have been hijacked) for inviting me.

Iran "center of peace and tranquility" - plans suicide terror and dirty nukes

(Ahmadinejad) said Iran is the center of peace and tranquility, stressing, "We call for peace and tranquility for all states. We have not attacked any country and are not regarded as a threat to the world. The Iranian nation is independent."

He stated that all Iranians are duty-bound to take steps towards development of Iran, adding, "Iran should become the most advanced and powerful country in the world."
And thanks to an Arab newspaper in London, we can see exactly how peaceful Iran is:
Eight fundamentalist Islamist organizations have received large sums of money in the last month from the Iranian intelligence services, as part of a project to strike U.S military and economic installations across the Middle East Asharq Al-Awsat has learned.

The plan, which also includes the carrying out of suicide operations targeting US and British interests in the region, as well as their Arab and Muslim allies, in case Iran is attacked, was drawn up by a number of experts guerilla warfare and terrorist operations, and was revealed by a senior source in the Iranian armed forces' joint chief of staff headed by the veterinary doctor Hassan Firouzabadi,

The source added that the forces of the Revolutionary Guards’ al Quds Brigades, under Brigadier General Qassim Suleimani is responsible for coordinating and providing logistical support for the groups taking part in the execution of the plan, codenamed al Qiyamah the Islamic word for "Judgment Day".

The plan includes three steps, which Asharq al Awsat has examined in earlier reports. The source gave more details about how the plan will be implemented. He said, “Most of Iran’s visitors in the last four months, including the leaders of revolutionary groups in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, as well as the heads of Hezbollah cells in the Persian Gulf and Europe and North America were asked, when they met with the Iranian intelligence minister Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei and his aides: are you ready to defend the Islamic revolution and vilayat e faqih? If you agree to take part in the great jihad, what would you need to be ready for the great fight?

Amongst the leaders who visited were the head of one of the Iraqi armed group who was very clear and honest. He said his men would transform Iraq into a hell for the Americans if Iran were attacked.

The source also said that the military training camps of the Guards were opened for the fighters of the Mehdi army in Iran to receive the necessary training. Iran had also increased its financial assistance to Moqtada al Sadr to more than 20 million dollars.

The same applied to Islamic Jihad in Palestine which has received large sums of money, large quantities of arms and military training for its cadres in Isfahan, including street fighting methods.

As for the Lebanese Hezbollah, several loads of arms have been sent to; they include rockets, explosives, and guided missiles. Hezbollah's arsenal includes more than 10 thousand rockets short-range rockets and missiles including Fajr, Nour, Arash, Hadid.

An estimated 80 members underwent private training last year on how to carry out suicide operations from the air (through the use of kite planes) and undersea operations using submarines.

While denying that Hamas had joined the list of organizations ready to help Iran in its likely war with the U.S, the source indicated that the external success of the movement, which enjoys considerable Iranian support both financial and military, was strengthened following the latest visit by its leaders to Tehran. This was translated in the Palestinian masses’ support for Iran, against Israel and the United States .

According to Iran, the latest military plan includes:

1- A missile strike directly targeting the US bases in the Persian Gulf and Iraq , as soon as nuclear installations are hit.

2- Suicide operations in a number of Arab and Muslim countries against US embassies and missions and US military bases and economic and oil installations related to US and British companies. The campaign might also target the economic and military installations of countries allied with the United States .

3- Launch attacks by the Basij and the Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi fighters loyal to Iran against US and British forces in Iraq , from border regions in central and southern Iraq .

4- Hezbollah to launch hundreds of rockets against military and economic targets in Israel .

According to the source, in case the US military attacks continue, more than 50 Shehab-3 missiles will be targeted against Israel and the al Quads Brigades will give the go-ahead for more than 50 terrorists cells in Canada, the US and Europe to attack civil and industrial targets in these countries.

What about the last stage in the plan?

Here, the Iranian source hesitated before saying with worry; this stage might represent the beginning of a world war, given that extremists will seek to maximize civilian casualties by exploding germ and chemical bombs as well as dirty nuclear bombs across western and Arab cities.

Here is a textbook case where waiting for the inevitable conflict will end up increasing the number of dead.

Sometimes war is moral, and Iran is turning into a textbook case. The longer we wait the more it will hurt us. Time is squarely on Iran's side, unless its president should happen to have an unfortunate accident.

Gaza institutions of higher learning

H/T: OpinionJournal's Best of the Web Today
Several people have been hurt in Gaza City in clashes between rival groups of students supporting ruling Palestinian party Hamas or their opponents, Fatah.

The two sides fought around their campuses, throwing stones and homemade explosives and exchanging gunfire.

At least 15 people were wounded in the fighting in Gaza City, which involved students from two of the city's universities.

Al-Azhar University is dominated by Fatah and the Islamic University - by Hamas.

It is nice to see the best and the brightest young minds in the nascent Palestinian state take such interest in political matters. The leaders of tomorrow somehow manage to find time between their sociology classes and their bio midterms to build explosives and shoot each other.

It must take enormous maturity to balance their rich social lives, their backbreaking workloads and their responsibilities to acquire scarce ammunition. But these students know that they are the leaders of tomorrow, ready to guide the great Palestinian nation as it continues to transform itself from a backwards third-world group of ignorant bigots into an even more backwards group of well-educated murderers, terrorists, thieves and thugs.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Iran freaks over Israeli visit

A few days ago, Yediot Aharonot reported that a group of Israeli geological experts visited Iran to give technical advice and had been greeted warmly:
In recent weeks the Muslim republic has been enjoying the skills of Israeli experts recruited to help with rehabilitating the country after recent earthquakes have caused massive damages and devastation.

Three Israeli infrastructure consultants who returned to Israel at the end of the week from a secret visit in Iran on the invitation of a Tehran official, told Israel's leading daily Yedioth Ahronoth they were stunned by their stay in the country.

"We were amazed to discover the gap between Israel's public conflict with Iran, and the depth of the commercial cooperation between the countries, estimated at dozens of millions of dollars a year. We were greeted warmly and felt no hostility on the part of our hosts," one of the Israeli experts said.

The Israeli consultants were sent to Iran on behalf of a Dutch company that is partly owned by an Israeli. The company recruited the Israeli engineers and advisors, who specialize in infrastructure rehabilitation works, and flew them to Iran with special travel passes, after leaving their Israeli passports behind in Holland.

The head of the mission, a 47-year-old Israeli who visited Iran five times in the last 15 years, recounted the visit. "Upon arriving at the airport in Tehran we were greeted by a government employee… from there we were taken to a luxurious hotel located near the Jewish district. We were escorted by a security guard during our entire stay."

"In recent years trade relations between Israel and Iran have blossomed in certain fields, mainly agriculture. The Iranians indirectly buy from Israel spare parts for machines, vegetable seeds, and water filtering systems," he stated.
Well, this is too much for Iran. The Iranian press agency, IRNA, reported that Iranian diplomats hotly denied any such event ever took place:
Iranian Embassy in Syria in a statement issued on Thursday denied the claim made by the Zionist daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, about the visit of Israeli experts to Iran describing the report as baseless.

The document, a copy of which was faxed to IRNA representative office in Damascus, quoting an Iranian diplomat said that the report has been released while the degree of hostility of the Zionist regime with Iran, on account of Iran's will to seek justice, is clear to everyone and the Zionist politicians admit giving priority to measures against Iran.

The Iranian diplomat pointed to Iran's constant stance in not recognizing Israel and severing complete relations with his regime in all fields including economical, agricultural and technical since the victory of the Islamic Revolution and said, "The Zionist regime tries to mislead public opinion through hypocrisy and propaganda, while pretending that its ties with Islamic countries are normal." He referred to Iran's announced material and spiritual support for the Palestinian government-elect as the reason for Israel's failed blockade of this government and said that in retaliation, Israel disseminated false news to disrupt brotherly ties between the governments of Iran and Palestine.

According to him, the world public opinion, in particular that of the world of Islam, are well aware of Iran's stance and its principled and enduring policies towards the Palestinian issue as well as the Zionists' attempt to create discord among the Islamic Umma, adding that such false and instigating news have no impact on them.
Well, it sounds like it made an impact on them to me!

You can now add "hypocrites" and "liars" to the ever growing list of words to accurately describe the Iranian leadership.

Peaceful Arab press conferences and rallies

Every day, it seems, some Palestinian Arab terror organization holds a "news conference." Since Gaza and the West Bank have the ratios of reporters to citizens, invariably Reuters and AP and AFP show up and take pictures. Rarely are the subjects of these "press conferences" revealed in any reporting, or even the names of the speakers. It appears to be just another strange fiction that pops up when you mix a population that supports terror and reporters anxious to report anything.

Yesterday was an Al Aqsa "press conference."

Masked members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah movement, attend a news conference in Gaza City.


Today was a "Popular Resistance Committee" press conference:


Palestinian militant members of the Popular Resistance Committee take part in a news conference in Gaza April 27, 2006. The Palestinian militant group's armed wing is preparing for its role in a new police force that has sparked tensions between the new Hamas-led government and President Mahmoud Abbas.

Yup, hand-grenades are standard police gear.

Meanwhile, the peacemakers of tomorrow are getting psyched, with their cute little toy Katyushas:


A Lebanese Muslim Shiite child carries an effigy of the Star of David with the head of the skeleton of an Israeli soldier where a Lebanese flag and a Hezbollah flag were inserted during a rally marking the 10th anniversary of what is known in Lebanon as the 'Qana massacre,' in front the United Nations' house, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, April 27, 2006.

Sweden, Israel and Nazi Germany

From an old Ha'aretz article (no longer there, this is from the Google cache:)
"From 1937, Swedes wanting to marry Germans of so-called Aryan blood had to give assurance that none of their grandparents belonged to the Jewish race," reads a study on Sweden's church by Anders Jarlert of Lund University.

Newspapers gagged criticism of Hitler, of the occupation of Norway or the murder of millions of Jews in concentration camps, while cultural links between the Nazis and Sweden flourished.

"The government and authorities did what they thought was necessary to keep peace but I think they did more than was necessary," Amark told Reuters in an interview.

"There was not much rationale for a German attack as Germany got what it wanted from Sweden," he said. It was easier to buy iron ore from Sweden than invade and risk it sabotaging iron mines.
Perhaps it is in this context that we can understand why this happened:
Sweden has withdrawn from European military exercises due to be held next month in Italy because of Israel’s participation, Swedish foreign ministry and military officials said on April 26.
The Spring Flag air exercises in Sardinia May 8-25 “have been organized for peacekeeping operations and we don’t want to take part because of Israel’s participation,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Nina Ersman told AFP.
The nine countries due to participate — Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden — were to train together for a future collaboration in international peacekeeping operations.

But Israel would unlikely be able to be involved in any such peacekeeping operations, the foreign ministry said, calling into question the need for the exercises.

OK, quick thought exercise: Would Sweden have withdrawn if Egypt or Kuwait would have participated?

UPDATE: Sweden cozies up to Hamas.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What Liberals and Muslims have in common

I just read a bizarre article from looney left cartoonist Ted Rall, pretty much praising Hamas and ranting against the West, saying Israel should give Hamas lots of money and that Hamas has proven its peaceful intentions, plus some moonbat ravings at neocons for good measure. In his worldview, there is nothing good about the West and nothing bad about radical Islam. For example:
The Bushies might have lost Afghanistan and Iraq, but they got exactly what they wanted in Palestine: democratic elections, a peaceful transfer of power, a radical Islamist group ready to disavow terrorism and transform itself into a parliamentary political party, a majority party willing to work with Israel and her allies. It was a staggering victory for the neoconservative agenda, a golden opportunity to co-opt one of the most prominent organizations of militant Muslims in the world, and proof positive that democracy prevails over terrorism.
Of course we have the astonishing stupidity of his remarks, especially in the wake of the Tel Aviv terror attack that Rall's peaceful Hamas endorsed. It is way too easy to waste ones time pointing out Rall's willful ignoring of facts as he makes his case, yet again, that the right-wing is evil incarnate and that Islamic terrorists are just misunderstood freedom fighters.

But what struck me is that you hardly ever see mainstream, thinking liberals blast morons like Rall. Most Senate Democrats are not idiots, and many liberal commentators are quite bright as well. Occasionally, when a moonbat like Rall really crosses the line there may be a small show of outrage by the mainstream Left, but in general the liberals are loathe to publicly distance themselves from the lunatic, Daily Kos fringe.

Just like ordinary Muslims are mostly silent when their "tiny minority" of terrorists attack Westerners.

The reasons may be different, but the results are the same - both Islam and the Left have become hijacked by the nutcases, because there is no sense of palpable outrage from the mainstream.

And in the cases of both the Ralls and the Islamic Jihads of the world, what is needed is not an occasional op-ed here and there saying "well, they went a little too far, but I can understand their anger." What is needed is a wholesale purging of the offensive elements and a reclaiming of the middle.

(It is not surprising that many of the "9/11 Republicans" still embrace traditionally liberal viewpoints on subjects like abortion and women's rights. They are not rebelling against the Joe Liebermans or Alan Dershowitzes of the world, but they are disgusted at the Ted Ralls. )

Just a little hand waving, mein Führer

I'm not sure which is more disturbing - the fact that Fatah students like to imitate Nazi salutes, or the fact that the AP caption is so clueless?

Palestinian supporters of the Fatah movement wave their hands as they shout slogans during a campaign rally for the students' council elections at the Open Jerusalem university in the West Bank city of Hebron Wednesday April 26, 2006. The elections are scheduled for Saturday April 29. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Abu Mazen sinking in the quicksand of irrelevance

The latest quote from our favorite moderate Holocaust denier as he travels throughout Europe:
"It is important for me to clarify that the Palestinian legislative elections, which brought Hamas to power, is not an obstacle in front of negotiations. "
I think Israel should counter-offer that they would be happy to negotiate with his prime minister's soccer ball,

as that would increase the chances of a breakthrough.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Occupation doesn't cause terror - it impedes it

When Israel left Southern Lebanon, terror increased in Southern Lebanon.

When Israel left Gaza, terror increased in Gaza.

When Israel turned day-to-day security for the West Bank to Arabs, terror increased in the West Bank.

And now we see annual major terror attacks in the Sinai. Al Qaeda is apprently happily ensconsed in what was once Israeli-controlled land.

People say that terror is a result of "occupation", but, objectively speaking, there is a much stronger correlation between Israel ceding territory and more terror.

Now, why do most people think that this trend will reverse itself if Israel gives up more territory?

Palestinian Arab army training, always good for a laugh


"If I wear this camouflage and close my eyes real tight, I'll be invisible!"

More pictures of Palestinian "Preventive Security Forces" training at Soccer Dad, AbbaGav, and LGF.

Egyptian editor: Israel definitely to blame for Dahab bombings

In most civilized societies, delusions get you medicated or committed.

In Egypt, they get you positions of power.
The editor of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Osbua, Mustafa Bekhari, blamed Israel for the series of bombing attacks in Dahab Monday night, which killed 24 people. “There is no doubt a link between yesterday’s blasts and the earlier bomb attacks in Egypt, and we should point an accusing finger at Israel,” Bekhari said during an interview with Israeli-Palestinian radio station Kol Hashalom.

“Israel has an interest in carrying out such attacks because it refuses to recognize Sinai as part of Egypt because its tourism industry is so profitable,” Bekhari said. (Roee Nahmias)
That reasoning is even more of a stretch than the usual insane mutterings that emanate from Egypt. But when you blame the Jews for everything, do you really need a logical sounding reason? Your readers will believe it anyway.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Egyptian analyst: Can't rule out Mossad in Egyptian blasts

Retired General Salah al-Din Salim, an Egyptian researcher at the Strategic Studies Institute in Cairo, said that it could not be ruled out that the Israeli Mossad was involved in the terror attack in Dahab.

'The Mossad's ability to penetrate the Bedouins in Sinai is known,' Salim said in an interview with al-Jazeera.
I suppose he can't rule out Martians, Quakers and three separate two-year-olds who spontaneously combusted simultaneously.

I wonder if this general was involved in any of the many Egyptian "victories" over Israel in previous wars.

The Holocaust in the New York Times of 1942-43

In 1943, a three-column article on Page 1 of the Palestine Post described how the the Inter-Allied Information Committee described the genocide of the Jews of Europe then in progress, along with Nazi atrocities against all of its occupied areas. Here is an excerpt:


This committee was set up by a number of Allied nations, and the report was distributed by the United Press, meaning that most newspapers on the planet had access to this information - it was not from an uncorroborated eyewitness or an isolated reporter, but it came right from an official Allied war committee. This committee, which later became the United Nations Information Office, also issued other reports throughout the war on Nazi war crimes.

A search on "Inter-Allied Information Committee" in the New York Times archives shows that occasionally, the august Times would report on the Holocaust too. Indeed, this very article was mentioned in the New York Times months earlier, in August.

But on page 7.

Deliberate Nazi Murder Policy Is Bared by Allied Official Body; More Than Million Lives Taken in Campaign to Wipe Out Entire Peoples -- Jews and Poles Undergo Severest Treatment
New York Times.: Aug 27, 1943. pg. 7, 1 pgs

LONDON, Aug. 26 (U.P.) -- The Inter-Allied Information Committee, in an official incomplete accounting of Axis war crimes in occupied Europe, tonight accused Germany, Italy and their satellites of carrying out with increasing tempo a deliberate program of wholesale theft, murder, torture and savagery unparalleled in world history.

Here are some of the other New York Times' article titles and abstracts that refer to this committee - and the page numbers that they were printed on.
OFFICIAL MASSACRE
New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Sep 28, 1942. pg. 16,

From London the Inter-Allied Information Committee set up by the exiled Governments reports that the number of known victims of Nazi executions has now reached the almost incredible figure of 207,373. Even this figure is good only for the day it was issued. Every morning German firing squads revise it upward.


2,000,000 Jews Murdered
New York Times
New York, N.Y.: Apr 20, 1943. pg. 11, 1 pgs

Total Nazi Executions Are Put at 3,400,000; Poland, With 2,500,000 Victims, Tops List
New York Times New York, N.Y.: Feb 28, 1943. pg. 12, 1 pgs

LONDON, Feb. 27 (AP) -- Nearly 3,400,000 persons had been executed or had died in prison in nine Nazi-occupied countries by the end of 1942, the Inter-Allied Information Committee of the United Nations said in a statement today.

ALLIES DESCRIBE OUTRAGES ON JEWS; United Nations Office Here Releases Report on Fate of 5,000,000 in Europe
EXTERMINATION IS FEARED Situation in Each Country Held by Germans Is Analyzed in Summarized Form
New York Times New York, N.Y.: Dec 20, 1942. pg. 23, 1 pgs

What is happening to the 5,000,000 Jews of German-held Europe, all of whom face extermination, is described in a statement released yesterday by the United Nations Information Office.

This was covered very well in a book, "Beyond Belief'" by famed Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt (ironically reviewed favorably by the New York Times itself in 1985):
In December 1942, for example, when The Chicago Tribune covered a major report from the Inter-Allied Information Committee in which Nazi-occupied Poland was described as ''one vast center for murdering Jews,'' the paper put the story on page 18 next to a marriage announcement. The previous month The New York Times had run a story about a statement from a member of the Polish National Council that a million Polish Jews had already been killed. It appeared on page 16, next to a report on the hijacking of a truckload of coffee in New Jersey. Such eerie editorial decisions were the norm, not the exception, and there was relatively little improvement until the very end of the war.

On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, let us remember that the world did know what was going on as early as 1942, and chose to ignore it or bury it.

The Hate Israel Intelligentsia (Bruce Thornton)

One of the best articles I've seen analyzing the new anti-semitism.
The Hate Israel Intelligentsia
Keeping Jews in their place…
[by Bruce S. Thornton] 4/24/06

As if there isn’t enough evidence of the ideological corruption of America’s universities, along come Chicago’s John Mearsheimer and Harvard’s Stephen Walt, arguing that the “Israel lobby” dominates American foreign policy to the hurt of our own national interests. Alan Dershowitz has exposed the errors of fact and the sophomoric logic that mar this thesis, and that should embarrass what are supposed to be two of the best universities in the country. Personally, I consider it intellectual malfeasance to harp on the Israel lobby while ignoring the Palestinian lobby––which includes most of the faculty of American universities, most of the Middle Eastern Studies Departments, most of the media’s editorial boards, the Council on American Islamic Relations, the U.N., and a significant chunk of the State Department.

Critical analysis like Dershowitz’s is important, but equally significant is the question of how ideas usually found on neo-Nazi websites can be seriously entertained by otherwise educated people. Anti-Semitism certainly isn’t the whole answer, if only because the term is too broad to catch the various subsets of anti-Jewish bigotry. This isn’t to say that anti-Semitism doesn’t still exist. Obviously, old-fashioned anti-Semites, particularly in Europe, have found that in a post-Holocaust world, one can still indulge the same bigoted stereotypes of all-powerful cabals secretly manipulating world events, as long as one dresses them up in “pro-Palestinian” or “anti-Zionist” camouflage. But I’m not sure that most of those, including Muslims, who rail against the evil Jews really want them all to disappear, as Hitler did. They just want the Jews to stop being so uppity and to keep in their place.

In other words, the hater of Israel doesn’t mind if Jews stick around, as long as they play the role they’re supposed to: the marginalized victim whose fate is to suffer and provide us with objects of pity. That’s why popular culture’s favorite Jew is the Holocaust victim. As such, the Jew can even keep his religious identity, as long as it is kept thin and reduced to a few charming folkways no more significant than clog-dancing or bagpipes. In other words, don’t be too observantly Jewish, and don’t take being Jewish too seriously. Actually taking religion seriously is the monopoly of Muslims, who especially in Europe are allowed all sorts of leeway in expressing their fanatical devotion to their faith, even when it conflicts with the foundational political ideals of their countries.

But to keep someone a pitiful victim is to reduce his humanity, to leave him a passive object that exists only to arouse in others particular sorts of feelings. In other words, the victim can never be fully equal to others, but must remain in a subordinate condition. Here is where the position of Jews in the European imagination is similar to their status in the Muslim world. Most Muslims don’t want Jews to disappear, just Israel. Jews have lived in the Muslim world for centuries, but they did so as a subordinated minority whose public behavior and demeanor were always supposed to testify that they were inferior to their Islamic overlords. As possessors of the ultimate divine revelation, Muslims were justified in reminding Jews and Christians, who both rejected that culminating revelation, that they were inferiors allowed to live only by their spiritual superiors’ dispensation, which could be arbitrarily lifted at any time.

This is the contemptuous, conditional forbearance that many today extol as Muslim “tolerance.” It reminds me of the position of blacks in the Jim Crow South. After all, many Southerners who believed in segregation despised the Klu Klux Klan’s terrorism, and sincerely liked black people. These more respectable segregationists didn’t want to kill all the blacks, just to make sure that they lived in a way that publicly testified to their inferiority. Such Southerners believed that given the innate, ineradicable differences between the races, both peoples were better served by maintaining in social and political life the various mechanisms for asserting the superiority of the white race and its natural right to rule. So too with the dhimmi in Muslim societies: they can live and even practice their religion, so long as they demonstrate that they are inferior.

But the existence of Israel upsets all these long-established roles for Jews. Not just because Israel fights––Jews can fight, as they did at Masada and in the Warsaw ghetto. But they’re not supposed to win. To have their own nation, and thus be equal to the world’s other nations, and then to defeat in battle better armed, more numerous enemies, is to violate the image of the Jew established for centuries. It is to make him our equal, and to call forth paranoid fantasies about nefariously influential cabals to explain this disturbing change. For the Jew’s job is to be a victim, and thus perpetually inferior. He is to suffer and die, or else to leech away his Jewish identity and thus not really be a Jew, which is another sort of death.

These thoughts are speculative, no doubt, but the bizarre demonization of Israel cries out for explanation. So does the obscene double standard applied to Israel’s actions when defending herself, and the actions of the enemies sworn to her destruction. So does the obsession with Israel in the U.N. and in the E.U. So does the callous indifference to the murder of Israelis and the numerous attempts to destroy her. What else explains the astonishing phenomenon of a terrorist gang being taken for a legitimate government by the rest of the world? What else explains the long indulgence of the corrupt thug Arafat? What else explains an entire U.N. agency dedicated to one small group, even as in the rest of the world millions have starved and died? What else explains the way year after year propagandistic lies and disinformation such as the “Jenin massacre” are shrugged away even after they are exposed?

The reason isn’t just ignorance, though I have personally encountered fervent supporters of the Palestinians who could not recite two accurate facts from the history of the Middle East. Nor is anti-Semitism of the rabid Nazi variety the answer. Something else is at work here, an intellectual and moral corruption that cannot be cured with better P.R. or information campaigns. Its persistence means that Israel cannot become complacent even about the support of the United States. Israel ultimately can rely on nothing other than her own strong right arm.

The terror convergence

As much as liberal wishful-thinkers and Jew-haters who pretend to only be anti-Zionist try to ignore them, the facts keep showing that the war against Palestinian terror is the same as the war against worldwide Islamic terror. Just yesterday:

  • News First Class (Hebrew) reports that:
    Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal confirmed that the Palestinian Authority under Hamas rule has become a hothouse for the growth, development, and encouragement of terrorists.
    "Our government is a big tent that provides protection for the forces of Jihad," he said at a meeting near Damascus.
  • Iran's president met with a senior Hizbollah terrorist to plan both terror attacks against the West as well as to send hundreds of rockets to Israel from Lebanon in case of an armed confrontation.
  • Osama bin Laden railed against Western imperialistic powers not giving money to Hamas for free all the while castigating the West for its supposed war against Islam. I guess he doesn't like the West unless it is giving terrorists money.
Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood: they all have the same stated goals. It is amazing that Western apologists for Palestinian Arab terror keep pretending that somehow killing Jews is different...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Zionism, Imperialism, and Extramarital Sex

The Axis of Evil, from the Iranian perspective:
TEHRAN: An international Zionist conspiracy, an American bid to enact regime change in Iran and extra-marital sexthese are the main dangers facing the Islamic republic today. Or so says a close aide to Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, a powerful cleric seen as the ideological and spiritual godfather of Iran’s hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “The most important challenges for the regime are the policies of the United States and the Europeans. They are trying to make trouble for us. They are trying to topple our regime,” argued Hojatoleslam Mohsen Gharavian.

Today the chant of ‘Death to America’ has become like the verse of a prayer. The US should take this into consideration,” Gharavian said, while also warning European statesmen that they could even “expect a revolution like the one which toppled the Soviet Union.”
The Ayatollah himself has a very poor and mostly broken website, where you will find this gem of a fatwa commanding Palestinian Arabs to bow themselves up with whatever Jews they may find:
It is regrettable that the propaganda of the enemies of Islam has influenced the Muslim `Ummah so much that Muslims instead of planning for the uprooting of the Zionist regime and its arrogant supporters have occupied themselves with questioning and discussing the legitimacy of the Palestinian's self-defence which is carried out under the most oppressive conditions imaginable. For sure, when protecting Islam and the Muslim `Ummah depends on martyrdom operations, it not only is allowed, but even is an obligation (wajib) as many of the Shi'ah great scholars and Maraje', including Ayatullah Safi Golpayegani and Ayatullah Fazel Lankarani, have clearly announced in their fatwas. Consider the rewayah from the prophet of Allah (SA) who said: "Whoever is killed in defence of his belongings, he/she is Shahid." (Wasa'il al-Shi'ah, v.15, p.121)

Fatah hockey fan

I'm not sure what to make of this guy...

Armed Fatah militants of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a group linked to the Fatah Movement, are seen at the municipal building of the West Bank city of Nablus, Sunday, April 23, 2006. Dozens of Palestinian gunmen loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas stormed the Nablus municipal building Sunday and gave the mayor, who is from the rival Hamas group, half an hour to shut down his offices in a reaction against comments made by Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas' political wing, accusing Abbas of treachery. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

Google News indexes Arab joke site as "news"

I've mentioned before that Google News indexes some questionable "news" sources, but it appears that they have outdone themselves - they now index an Arab joke site, sort of like The Onion without the humor, called Kabobfest. Here is a typical article with some hilarious Arab Holocaust jokes.

Kabobfest is nothing more than a Blogger site with a bunch of contributors. Many of its stories are just made up, yet Google has no problem treating it the same as it treats the New York Times. (Then again....)

Interestingly, one main contributor is someone named Nadeem, who is apparently Nadeem Muaddi, a leader of the ISM who sometimes poses online as a Jew named Chaim Sugarman, and even has pretend conversations with him on the Kabob blog.

Jihad Unspun was eventually dropped by Google, but the Kabobfest site is still indexed a few days after I emailed Google.

The "highest birthrate" myth

The Dallas Morning News has a not-so-terrible article about a couple from Fort Worth who are now "settlers". But the article repeats the myth that the Palestinian Arabs have some of the world's highest birthrates.

Forgetting the fact that a very convincing study was done showing that the Palestinian Arab population growth rates are a myth, let's use even the discredited assumptions and compare the Palestinian Arab birthrate numbers to others throughout the world.

According to the CIA Factbook, the estimated birthrates for the West Bank this year is 31.67 per thousand, and in Gaza it is 39.45. Combined, this would come out to about 34 (since the West Bank has more people than Gaza).

When put onto this chart, the Palestinian Arab territories would rank 44th in birthrate among 208 nations. High, but far from the highest (Niger, at 48.91.)

Just like the "Gaza most densely populated" myth, these lies are used to bolster Palestinian Arab claims, and lazy journalists repeat them without doing even basic fact checking.

(From reading the study at pademographics.com, it is interesting that the PA statistics for absurd population growth rates were based not only on false birthrate assumptions, but also on the faulty pre-intifada assumption that there would be over 50,000 Palestinian Arabs immigrating to the territories annually from 2001 on, when in fact there is a net emigration of over 8000 a year.)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Pro-Hamas bias at The Guardian

This article is a week old but I hadn't noticed it until it was copied at a Palestinian Arab site.

Most of the article talks about the terrible conditions that people in Gaza are living under (funny, before the financial crisis the articles also talked about their terrible conditions.) But here and there is revealed the author's biases:
Karni is officially closed because the Israeli army has declared a security alert for the Jewish Passover holiday. Yet it has barely been open this year.
Apparently, the army was correct, although you will never see the Guardian admit that.
To add further misery, in retaliation for militants firing home-made Qassam rockets at Israel, the Israel Defence Force has bombarded the north of Gaza with thousands of artillery shells.
Notice that the author,Conal Urquhart,describes Qassams as "home-made"; as if they aren't deadly. And what about all those metal workshops that Israel always bombs - are they in homes? Notice also his implication that Israel's response is disproportionate to the threat - if only Israel would let its citizens be blown up more often, there would be more peace. And, finally, notice that Israel's actions only "add misery" and have no constructive purpose.
Confronted with the crisis facing Palestinian society, Russia broke ranks with fellow mediators the EU and Washington yesterday by promising emergency aid to save the authority from complete bankruptcy.
Russia, according to the author, has nothing but humanitarian concerns at its heart, as opposed to the nasty EU and Americans. The author cannot for a minute think that Russia perhaps has an ulterior motive to be a player in future peace negotiations. Nope, those Russians are just in the forefront of worldwide aid. I wonder how much they gave Darfur.
At the root of Gaza's problems is Israel's determination to force Hamas to recognise the state of Israel and renounce violence. Israel has been joined in its efforts by Britain, the EU and the US. Hamas militants have been on a ceasefire for 16 months but they are determined to withhold recognition of Israel at least until it withdraws from occupied Palestinian territory.
Here we have the root of the twisted mind of the author. The root of Gaza's problems is Israel's wanting not to be blown up? What kind of an idiot is this?

The root of Gaza's problems is the unbridled embracing of terror that its residents advocate. The root of Gaza's problems is the utter inability to build a decent society after decades. The root of Gaza's problems is that they are completely and totally dependent on third parties to exist.

Also, the Hamas "cease fire" is non-existent - there have been both successful and many unsuccessful Hamas attacks in the past year, including rocket attacks. (Not to mention that the "cease-fire" is 15 months old, not 16.)

Finally, we have the admiration that the author has for Hamas' "determination" to not recognize Israel, "at least" until Israel surrenders all territories. To this pro-terror Hamas sycophant, this is all very reasonable sounding. Israel is the root of Palestinian Arab problems, and no amount of facts will budge this moral midget from his preconceived "truths."

None of this is too surprising coming from the Guardian, but it still needs to be pointed out when it happens.