Sunday, April 30, 2006
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!
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.
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:
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
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 andBut, 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?
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.
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.
Thanks to Pastorius of Cuanas and Someguy at Mystery Achievement (whose blog seems to have been hijacked) for inviting me.
(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."And thanks to an Arab newspaper in London, we can see exactly how peaceful Iran is:
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."
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.Here is a textbook case where waiting for the inevitable conflict will end up increasing the number of dead.
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.
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.
Several people have been hurt in Gaza City in clashes between rival groups of students supporting ruling Palestinian party Hamas or their opponents, Fatah.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.
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 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
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.