Lots of stuff this week. The subject of the Dubai hit is still hot in the Middle East, though we have seen nothing on it in the US news.
US FIFTH COLUMN?
I never thought I would see the day that I honestly believed there was a “fifth column” working to ruin the United States. That has all changed now.
A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group, such as a nation, from within, to the aid of an external enemy.
How else would one define the people that President Obama has brought into government? From a chief aide who sees Mao as one of her heroes to Attorney General Eric Holder who has brought supporters of terrorists into the Justice Department. See this from Fox:
2/24/2010 - Proving Jews in Jerusalem and More
Holder Admits that “at least” Nine Obama Dept. of Justice Officials Worked for Terrorist Detainees!
Israel Attorney General Eric Holder says nine Obama appointees in the Justice Department have represented or advocated for terrorist detainees before joining the Justice Department. But he does not reveal any names beyond the two officials whose work has already been publicly reported. And all the lawyers, according to Holder, are eligible to work on general detainee matters, even if there are specific parts of some cases they cannot be involved in.
Holder's admission comes in the form of an answer to a question posed last November by Republican Sen. Charles Grassley. Noting that one Obama appointee, Principal Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal, formerly represented Osama bin Laden's driver, and another appointee, Jennifer Daskal, previously advocated for detainees at Human Rights Watch, Grassley asked Holder to give the Senate Judiciary Committee "the names of political appointees in your department who represent detainees or who work for organizations advocating on their behalf…the cases or projects that these appointees work with respect to detainee prior to joining the Justice Department…and the cases or projects relating to detainees that have worked on since joining the Justice Department."
Obama selects a voice of radical Islam
February 22, 2010
President Obama has made some terrible appointments during his first year in the White House, including now-former White House environmental adviser Van Jones, who once signed a petition accusing President George W. Bush of allowing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as a pretext for going to war. Jones also defended a radical Marxist group in San Francisco known as Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement.
But, as Examiner columnist Cal Thomas wrote recently, Obama's selection of Rashad Hussain, his deputy associate White House counsel, as U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, "should be of concern to Congress and the American people." Comprising 57 member states, the OIC's charter makes clear its purpose is to "defend" and "disseminate" the Muslim faith. Whenever human rights collide with Islam, the OIC sides with the latter.
In announcing Hussain's selection as a U.S. diplomat, Obama first cited the fact that the Texas-born Yale Law School graduate is a Hafiz, a person who has memorized the Arabic language version of the Quran. Put aside the uproar that would have ensued had Bush enthused that his hypothetical selection for the Court of St. James was mainly qualified because he had memorized the Anglican Church's Book of Common Prayer. Hussain's Muslim beliefs appear to go quite beyond merely knowing Quranic verses. As Thomas points out, Hussain has a long history of participating in activities connected with the Muslim Brotherhood, a major organizational and theological wellspring for radical Jihadists who seek to impose Shariah law on America and the rest of the world….
I’M NOT A SINGLE VOICE WITH A RADICAL ATTITUDE. NEITHER ARE YOU!
In case you get to feeling like you are all alone in thinking that the Obama regime is way out there, you are not. One of the brightest minds in today’s media is columnist Charles Krauthammer. Here is his take on what’s happening.
BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
The first-year agenda of a promising young president has gone down in flames.
In the latter days of the Carter presidency, it became fashionable to say that the office had become unmanageable and was simply too big for one man. Some suggested a single, six-year presidential term.
The president's own White House counsel suggested abolishing the separation of powers and going to a more parliamentary system of unitary executive control. America had become ungovernable.
Then came Ronald Reagan, and all that chatter disappeared.
The tyranny of entitlements? Reagan collaborated with Tip O'Neill, the legendary Democratic House speaker, to establish the Alan Greenspan commission that kept Social Security solvent for a quarter-century.
A corrupted system of taxation? Reagan worked with liberal Democrat Bill Bradley to craft a legislative miracle: tax reform that eliminated dozens of loopholes and slashed rates across the board - and fueled two decades of economic growth.
Later, a highly skilled Democratic president, Bill Clinton, successfully tackled another supposedly intractable problem: the culture of intergenerational dependency. He collaborated with another House speaker, Newt Gingrich, to produce the single most successful social reform of our time, the abolition of welfare as an entitlement.
It turned out that the country's problems were not problems of structure but of leadership. Reagan and Clinton had it. Carter didn't.
Under a president with extensive executive experience, good political skills and an ideological compass in tune with the public, the country was indeed governable.
IT'S 2010 and the first-year agenda of a popular and promising young president has gone down in flames. Barack Obama's two signature initiatives - cap-and-trade and health care reform - lie in ruins.
Desperate to explain away this scandalous state of affairs, liberal apologists haul out the old reliable from the Carter years: "America the Ungovernable." So declared Newsweek. "Is America Ungovernable?" coyly asked The New Republic. Guess the answer.
The rage at the machine has produced the usual litany of systemic explanations. Special interests are too powerful. The Senate filibuster stymies social progress. A burdensome constitutional order prevents innovation. If only we could be more like China, pines Tom Friedman, waxing poetic about the efficiency of the Chinese authoritarian model, while America flails about under its "two parties ... with their duel-to-the-death paralysis."
The better thinkers, bewildered and furious that their president has not gotten his way, have developed a sudden disdain for our inherently incremental constitutional system.
Yet, what's new about any of these supposedly ruinous structural impediments? Special interests blocking policy changes? They have been around since the beginning of the republic - and since the beginning of the republic, strong presidents, like the two Roosevelts, have rallied the citizenry and overcome them.
And then, of course, there's the filibuster, the newest liberal bete noire. "Don't blame Mr. Obama," writes Paul Krugman of the president's failures. "Blame our political culture instead. ... And blame the filibuster, under which 41 senators can make the country ungovernable."
Ungovernable, once again. Of course, just yesterday the same Paul Krugman was warning about "extremists" trying "to eliminate the filibuster" when Democrats used it systematically to block one Bush (43) judicial nomination after another. Back then, Democrats touted it as an indispensable check on overweening majority power. Well, it still is.
Indeed, the Senate with its ponderous procedures and decentralized structure is serving precisely the function the Founders intended: as a brake on the passions of the House and a caution about precipitous transformative change.
LEAVE IT to Mickey Kaus, a principled liberal who supports health care reform, to debunk these structural excuses: "Lots of intellectual effort now seems to be going into explaining Obama's (possible/likely/impending) health care failure as the inevitable product of larger historic and constitutional forces. ... But in this case there's a simpler explanation: Barack Obama's job was to sell a health care reform plan to American voters. He failed."
He failed because the utter implausibility of its central promise - expanded coverage at lower cost - led voters to conclude that it would lead ultimately to more government, more taxes and more debt. More broadly, the Democrats failed because, thinking the economic emergency would give them the political mandate and legislative window, they tried to impose a left-wing agenda on a center-right country. The people said no, expressing themselves first in spontaneous demonstrations, then in public opinion polls, then in elections - Virginia, New Jersey and, most emphatically, Massachusetts.
That's not a structural defect. That's a textbook demonstration of popular will expressing itself - despite the special interests - through the existing structures. In other words, the system worked.
NOW YOU’VE READ IT, consider this. The Obama/liberal/ “progressive” movement’s total disregard for the Constitution.
QUESTION: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO DRILL HERE; DRILL NOW?
The fact is that after the Presidential election, the Republicans dropped the ball. I know, Glenn Beck hammered them at CPAC, and Rush Limbaugh defended them on his show, but the truth is that they have been far too cooperative.
Only at CPAC did a few voices say that “NO!” was not a bad thing for Republicans to cry out. When the White House and the Congress (BTW, where’s Pelosi been lately? ) are turning the country into a European, Socialist nation, what’s wrong with saying” No?”
And what is wrong with trying to keep “Drill Here and Drill Now” alive. I for one think we should be drilling everywhere we can find oil in our own nation, including the coastal shores.
ALGORE, CALL HOME!
We understand there is still a some places where the snow is piled high! And Gore and a few of his mindless followers are saying it is the fault of Global Warming.
That ain’t flyin’ most places. It made Gore and lots of his pals rich, but now even the United Nation is beginning to get the idea that, well, the oceans aren’t really lapping up on the Shores of St. Louis, Missouri, and global temps haven’t gone up for the past fifteen years! Maybe it was all just another way to pound on American enterprise!
Monday, Feb 15 2010
Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995
By Jonathan Petre
14 February 2010
The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.
Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.
Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.
The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.
Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon….
I TOLD YOU SO!
That’s what a lot of people, including conservative talk show hosts, yours truly and a handful of others were saying. Middle class tax hikes are coming out of the Obama White House. We’ve learned that after Glenn Beck started pounding on Van Jones and other socialists in the White House the IRS audited him. Hmmm.
HAVING A NARROW WAIST IS NOT ALWAYS A BENEFIT!
Just ask Israel. Take a careful look at the map below. It clearly shows the distance terrorist-fired rockets can travel and how the major areas of Israel are under that umbrella of danger.
The photo below is part of the large stack of rockets fired from Gaza. That pile is located behind the police station in Sderot.
Rockets That Hit Israel from Gaza
In 2007 a “Grad” type rocket similar to the Katyusha’s fired by Hezbollah was discovered near Bethlehem. It had not been fired, but it sure woke up a lot of people in Israel security forces.
Now comes word that a smaller, but still large Kassam rocket that was manufactured in a West Bank village was captured by the Palestinian Authority’s security forces. Said rocket was then turned over to Israel’s security people on Monday. It was ready to be launched toward central Israel.
The rockets are made in small welding shops. The thin steel is formed into a tube, sealed on one end where the propulsion exits, and capped with a twelve or fifteen pound “warhead” of TNT. A simple 223 caliber bullet is used as a detonator.
While I was in Sderot one day, their bomb disposal policeman gave us a detailed explanation of what is used for fuel, how it is assembled, etc. It ain’t rocket science. (Forgive the pun.)
Now, go back up to the map above and notice that “central Israel” includes all the area from Jaffe to above Caesarea. It is one of the major population areas of the country.
MORE DISCOUNTING OF THE ARAFAT BIG LIE
If you have been to our pages you might have already heard that at the 2000 Camp David meeting with Arafat, then PM Ehud Barak and former President Bill Clinton, Arafat gave Clinton this long lecture about how the Jews had never even been in Jerusalem until modern times. There was never a Jewish Temple on Mt. Moriah, etc. To his credit Clinton informed Arafat that he wasn’t buying into the propaganda.
But lots of others did, which goes to prove that FDR’s comment about telling a big enough lie long enough will gather lots of believers.
Well, archeology is busy establishing the truth about how long there have been Jews in Israel.
The photo below is one we took from above the actual dig in Jerusalem where a new find has been made. This is located at the western end of the Western Wall Plaza. The wall lies directly east of the dig.
Jerusalem Dig (Ernie Moore)
'J'lem city wall dates back to King Solomon'
BY ABE SELIG
"It's the most significant construction we have from First Temple days in Israel," says archeologist Eilat Mazar.
Ancient stone fortifications that were recently uncovered outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City date back some 3,000 years to the time of King Solomon and support the biblical narrative about the era, according to archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, who spoke to a group of reporters at the site on Monday.
If the age of the wall is correct, the finding would be an indication that Jerusalem was home to a strong central government that had the resources and manpower needed to build massive fortifications in the 10th century BCE.
"It's the most significant construction we have from First Temple days in Israel," Mazar said on Monday. "And it means that at that time, the 10th century, in Jerusalem there was a regime capable of carrying out such construction."
The section of the city wall revealed, which is 70 meters long and six meters high, is located in the area known as the Ophel, between the City of David and the southern wall of the Temple Mount.
An inner gatehouse for access into the royal quarter of the city was uncovered in the city wall complex, along with a royal structure adjacent to the gatehouse and a corner tower that overlooks a substantial section of the adjacent Kidron Valley.
The excavations in the Ophel area were carried out over a three-month period under the auspices of Hebrew University and with funding provided by Daniel Mintz and Meredith Berkman, a New York couple interested in biblical archeology.
The excavations were carried out in cooperation with the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and the Company for the Development of East Jerusalem. Archeology students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as volunteer students from the Herbert W. Armstrong College in Edmond, Oklahoma and hired workers all participated in the excavation work.
"The city wall that has been uncovered testifies to a ruling presence," Mazar said. "Its strength and form of construction indicate a high level of engineering, and the city wall is at the eastern end of the Ophel area in a high, strategic location atop the western slope of the Kidron Valley.
"A comparison of this latest finding with city walls and gates from the period of the First Temple, as well as pottery found at the site, enable us to postulate, with a great degree of assurance, that the wall that has been revealed is that which was built by King Solomon in Jerusalem in the latter part of the tenth century BCE," she continued.
"This is the first time that a structure from that time has been found that may correlate with written descriptions of Solomon's building in Jerusalem," she added.
"The Bible tells us that Solomon built - with the assistance of the Phoenicians, who were outstanding builders - the Temple and his new palace and surrounded them with a city, most probably connected to the more ancient wall of the City of David."
Mazar specifically cited the third chapter of Kings I, which includes the words "until he [Solomon] had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about."
The six-meter-high gatehouse of the uncovered city wall complex is built in a style typical of those from the period of the First Temple, like Megiddo, Beersheba and Ashdod. It has a symmetrical plan of four identical small rooms, two on each side of the main passageway.
A large, adjacent tower also stood at the site, covering an area of 24 by 18 meters, where it served as a watchtower to protect entry to the city. Today the tower is located under the nearby road and still needs to be excavated.
Pottery shards discovered within the fill of the lowest floor of the royal building near the gatehouse also testify to the 10th-century-BCE dating of the complex. On the floor, excavators found remnants of large storage jars that survived destruction by fire and that were found in rooms that apparently served as storage areas on the ground floor of the building. One of the jars shows a partial inscription in ancient Hebrew indicating it belonged to a high-level government official.
"The jars that were found are the largest ever found in Jerusalem," said Mazar, adding that "the inscription found on one of them shows that it belonged to a government official, apparently the person responsible for overseeing the provision of baked goods to the royal court."
In addition to the pottery shards, cult figurines were also found in the area, as were seal impressions on jar handles with the word "to the king," testifying to their usage within the monarchy. Also found were seal impressions (bullae) with Hebrew names, indicating the royal nature of the structure.
Nonetheless, other archeologists posit that the biblical narrative reflecting the existence of a powerful monarchy in Jerusalem is largely mythical and that there was no strong government to speak of in that era.
Aren Maeir, an archeology professor at Bar Ilan University, said he has yet to see evidence that the fortifications are as old as Mazar claims. There are remains from the 10th century in Jerusalem, he said, but proof of a strong, centralized kingdom at that time remains "tenuous."
While some see the biblical account of the kingdoms of David and Solomon as accurate and others reject it entirely, Maeir said the truth was likely somewhere in the middle.
"There's a kernel of historicity in the story of the kingdom of David," he said.
Now Time Magazine is accusing archeology of making things difficult for the Arabs and President Obama. (Or am I repeating myself?)
Time Magazine Digging Up Trouble in Jerusalem
Shevat 27, 5770, 11 February 10 05:28
by Hana Levi Julian
(Israelnationalnews.com) The United States-based Time Magazine complained this week that the archaeological activities of the City of David Foundation, also known as “Ir David” or “Elad,” are making life difficult for President Barack Obama.
Specifically, “on a political level,” wrote Time's Jerusalem bureau chief Tim McGirk, “it complicates efforts by the White House to enable both Palestinians and Israelis to share Jerusalem as their respective capitals, a key demand of the Palestinians.”
The article, which claimed “the willful jumbling of science and faith is threatening Jerusalem's precarious spiritual balance,” essentially accuses the City of David Foundation, which McGirk refers to as a “right-wing Jewish settler organization,” of hijacking Israel's political agenda. It also implies the organization is forcing Muslims to accept the Jewish truth of Biblicalhistorical statements through archaeological discoveries.
But the claim doesn't stick. Those parts of Jerusalem that were restored to the city in the 1967 Six Day War, which took place more than 40 years ago, have long since been annexed. Their status, and that of the city itself,is not negotiable, according to Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Regev told Israel National News in an interview earlier this month that there was no intention to divide the capital, now or in the future. “The prime minster's position is clear and unchanged. Jerusalem is the united capital of Israel and will remain such in the future,” he said.
Time did note that the City of David Foundation has the support of the Israeli government at city and national levels as well as the backing of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), which monitors all archaeological activity.
However, it failed to point out that the City of David, known as Silwan in Arabic, has only been an Arab village since the 1930s. Some 60 percent of the land is Jewish-owned, including a number of acres purchased by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild in the early 20th century, prior to the appearance of the Arab villagers.
McGirk also omitted the fact that Jewish familieslived in Shiloah (its Hebrew name) as early as 1882.The Jewish residents were literallydriven from their homes by Arab attackers in the late 1920's.
During the city administrations of then-Mayors Teddy Kollek (1965-1993)and Ehud Olmert (1993-2003), some 88 illegal Arab structures were built in the area, which is zoned asa public “green area” marked for preservation and development of parks and tourism. The illegal buildings have since been marked for demolition by the administration
(Arutz Sheva online)
HERE’S HOW ISRAEL CAN REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE (IN IRAN)
Israel announced this week that it has a fleet of jet powered, unmanned aircraft with a wingspan the size of a Boeing 757, that can fly for twenty hours without refueling, and which can reach Iran.
Oh, yes, it can also carry serious bombs.
Not that any of this will make Teheran nervous. No, not at all.
Iran’s squirrely little President said that Israel “should be resisted and finished off if it launched military action in the region.”
Since Israel is not weak, worried, or near being wounded, it isn’t near being “finished off” either.
MAYOR BARKAT CLEANING UP!
Actually his workers did a real, serious clean up of areas in the Arab sector of the city. East Jerusalem is marked by trash heaps, rats and filth in most areas. We have seen piles of trash larger than most motor homes.
As the J-Post reported, “An integrated team of municipal employees from different departments worked to improve and rehabilitate infrastructure, clean garbage dumps, and collectdebris. They also replaced and added garbage containers.
“In Shuafat, garbage dumps were cleaned, damaged garbage containers were replaced, and new containers were added.The Municipality repaired roads and built a new sidewalk at the entrance to the Shuafat for the benefit of the residents and school children.
In A-Tur, the Municipality performed a comprehensive cleaning operation that included cleaning accumulations of garbage and construction debris. The Municipality also replaced 16 damaged garbage containers and added 6 new containers in the neighborhood.
“In the Beit Hanina neighborhood, the Municipality rehabilitated and cleaned the Tahan commercial center. The Municipality repaired pavements and pits in the area. Graffiti and construction debris was also cleaned. Damaged trash containers were replaced and the entire commercial center area was re-paved.”
We applaud these efforts. For years we have maintained that the Arab communities throughout Israel were treated as second-class areas, including the schools, roads, etc. It will only help to make their lives better, and perhaps diminish some of the animosity that is so common.
Here’s a headline blurb from the GPO:
1. Bus in Damascus. Cars in Beirut. Apartment in Gaza.
THE EXPLOSIONS THAT ARE PURSUING HAMAS AND THE IRANIANS.
Series of meetings between Hamas and Revolutionary Guards in recent months have ended in mysterious explosions and deaths. Approximately two months ago, eight were killed in Syria; last week, at least four were killed in Gaza.
NEWS FOR TOURISTS
When I do lectures before tourist groups in Jerusalem they are stunned to learn that each week the Israel Security Agency (Shabak) deals with 50-75 legitimate terrorist threats throughout the land.
“But it seems so peaceful,” they often say. One went so far as to say, “You are sure not a beacon of joy for us!” I laughed and wondered if they wanted reality or just some soft music. They actually wanted the former but were stunned at the facts. The fact that Israel stops the threats is the reason there is peace for tourists.
This week another operation came to light.
IDF foils plan to kidnap soldier
BY JPOST.COM STAFF
Five Hamas operatives arrested on way to commit attacks in Israel.
After a media blackout was lifted Thursday, the defense establishment revealed that the IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) foiled a Hamas attempt to kidnap an IDF soldier in December 2009.
Five Hamas men were arrested on December 12, 2009, while trying to infiltrate Israel from Egypt, carrying explosives, a gun, a silencer, and $15,000 in counterfeit money.
During the arrest, two of the operatives were wounded. The attack was planned by Rahad Said, a senior commander in the group's military wing in Gaza, a defense source said.
In his interrogation, Salaman Abu Atik, a 43-year-old senior Hamas member specializing in weapons smuggling, confessed to having infiltrated Israel at the behest of Hamas to carry out a terror attack and kidnap an IDF soldier. Hamas has hoped that the kidnapped soldier would serve as a bargaining chip in prisoner exchange negotiations with Israel.
Atik also admitted to having been sent on several other occasions by Hamas into Israel with the intent to commit terrorist acts - plans that were never actualized.
Atik told his investigators that another Hamas activist, Ibrahim Za’arah, was planning to enter Israel to commit a terrorist act. Based on the intelligence information provided to Shin Bet by Atik, Za’arah, 44, was arrested on December 31 with two bombs on his person weighing 6-7 kilograms, as well as detonation devices.
Za’arah confessed during his interrogation that he planned to plant the bombs in heavily populated areas. Za’arah said he was ordered to carry out the attack within 10 days after his entering Israel.
He also admitted that his entering the country was in order to assist Atik in kidnapping and murdering an IDF soldier.
OH, MY! STOP THE PRESSES!
There are times when I even now am amazed at the absolute stupidity of some people. Here is an article about the whining that is taking place because Israel is taking the war to those who want to murder every Israeli man, woman and child in the land. Imagine.
February 13, 2010
Israel is accused of waging covert war across the Middle East
Sheera Frenkel in Jerusalem
Israel is waging a covert assassination campaign across the Middle East in an effort to stop its key enemies co-ordinating their activities.
Israeli agents have been targeting meetings between members of Hamas and the leadership of the militant Hezbollah group, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
They are also suspected of recent killings in Dubai, Damascus and Beirut. While Israel’s Mossad spy agency has been suspected of staging assassinations across the world since the 1970s, it does not officially acknowledge or admit its activities.
The current spate of killings began in December when a “tourist bus” carrying Iranian officials and Hamas members exploded outside Damascus. The official report by Syria claimed that a tyre had exploded but photographs surfaced showing the charred remains of the vehicle — prompting speculation that a much larger explosion had taken place.
Several weeks later a meeting between members of Hamas, which controls Gaza, and their counterparts from Hezbollah in its southern Beirut stronghold in Lebanon was also attacked, resulting in several deaths.
Hamas had sought to cover up the incidents because it was embarrassed, a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah told The Times.
“There has been growing co-operation between Gaza and Iran. Israel can read the writing on the wall and they know that with the help of Iran, the Hamas Government in Gaza will become stronger and will fight better.
“But Israel is overstepping their boundaries. Other countries don’t want to become a killing field for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Most recently, the top Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed in Dubai on January 19, 2010. He is believed to have been poisoned by a woman who visited his room at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai.
Israeli officials said that Mabhouh had been a key figure in procuring Iranian-made longer-range rockets for Hamas that could be fired at targets in central Israel.
The exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has vowed revenge for Mabhouh’s death. He has also suggested that the current fighting between Hamas and Israel will become more regional. In an interview with the London-based al-Hayat newspaper, Mr Mashaal said that future wars with Israel would not be fought solely in the Gaza Strip.
Under the current Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, Israel is believed to have renewed efforts to kill high-level opponents. Only months after the former paratrooper assumed leadership of the intelligence service in October 2002, senior Hezbollah operatives in Lebanon began to be targeted. He was credited with ordering the killing of two relatively senior Hezbollah members who were killed in southern Beirut in July 2003 and August 2004.
More recently, Israel has been accused of planting a car bomb in Damascus that killed the top Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyah in February 2008. The Israeli Cabinet minister Daniel Herschkowitz last week praised the Mossad chief as one of the agency’s most successful leaders.
When asked about Mossad’s involvement in the Dubai slaying, Eli Yishai, the Interior Minister, smiled and said: “All the security services make, thank God, great efforts to safeguard the security of the state of Israel.”
While some countries are questioning whether Israel isn’t taking credit to increase the reputation of its defence establishment, other moderate Arab States are now describing the assassinations as a “covert war” between Israel and Hamas.
Diplomats said they were aware that covert Israeli operations had increased. “We watch their comings and goings; we are aware that there is more activity both on our ground and other countries in the region,” said an Egyptian diplomat. “They are trying to embroil us all in their conflict.”
Tensions between Israel and Hamas have remained high, despite the relative quiet that has ensued since the end of Israel’s offensive in Gaza last winter. Israeli troops were placed on alert yesterday after intelligence suggested that Hamas planned to abduct soldiers. Israel said this week that it had foiled a kidnapping in December by arresting the Hamas operative Slaman Abu Atik on the Israeli-Gaza border. He planned to enter Israel via Egypt, said the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service.
WE OFFER YOU THE FOLLOWING, JUST IN CASE YOU THINK THAT SPIES ARE A NEW INVENTION, AND THAT ISRAEL IS CRUEL FOR USING THEM. In case you don’t know, there was no castigation from the Lord for the deed below.
Judges 3:14-30 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
16 But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
17 And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.
18 And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.
19 But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.
20 And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.
21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
22 And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.
23 Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.
24 When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.
25 And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.
26 And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath.
27 And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.
28 And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.
29 And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.
30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.
DUBAI HIT STILL HOT
First of all, here is a link to an editorial by Jerusalem Post David Horovitz regarding the Dubai hit. It is excellent, and I know you will enjoy it.
Also, the Dubai police want Meir Dagan, Mossad’s chief arrested. WHAT A LAUGH!
As if any head of any nation’s intelligence network would surrender to an enemy nation. Dubai an enemy? Figure it out for yourself.
No one has proven where the agents involved in the assassination were actually from, where they went, or even their true identities. The request is more nonsensical Arab propaganda.
HAMAS MAN IS THE “REAL KILLER” – so Dubai says…
A UAE newspaper even went so far as to say, “Senior Hamas member Salah Bardawil said in a press conference on Saturday that Mabhouh had put himself at risk by booking his trip through the internet and had taken a risk by informing his Gaza family by telephone at which hotel he would be staying.
“Bardawil added that his movement was not accusing rival faction Fatah or the Palestinian Authority of being directly involved in the assassination, but reiterated Hamas' claim that two officers belonging to the PA' security apparatus, who work for a company belonging to a senior Fatah official, took part in the assassination.
This goes along with our own comments last week that the killers could easily have been either Hamas or Fatah. That the Arabs are starting to admit such things is amazing!
A few years ago I reported on the fact that more Jews were expelled from Arab nations as Arabs left what is now Israel. I well remember when I commented on the fact during various lectures there was almost always shock from my audiences.
The fact is that most of the 800,000 Jews were reduced to the clothes on their backs before they were kicked out. They mostly went to Israel (some initially and others eventually). They were aided in their resettlement and now are Israeli citizens.
Now there is a move to bring these facts to the table in discussions of refugees, both Arabs and Israelis. If the Arabs can claim massive (billions) in financial settlement and indeed, be able to claim they want to move back to their original lands, then what about the Jews that were kicked out of Arab nations? Shouldn’t they also have financial repayment?
Interestingly, most of the Jewish refugees were forced to leave. Most of the Arab refugees were told to leave by their Arab neighbors in the nations that made war against Israel in 1948. They were told that after the war was over they could return to their homes, but for now it would be safer in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, etc.
Of course, the Israelis won the war (and the wars to follow), and the Arab leaders decided to make hay from the refugees by keeping them in shameful conditions in the “camps” which are now cities. Not a lot full of tents. Granted those cities are dreadful, primarily because the nations where they are located keep them so.
Israel vies to bring Mideast Jewish refugees into talks
BY RACHELLE KLIGER / THE MEDIA LINE
New bill to seek compensation for eastern Jews and cement their narrative as an integral part of any future peace negotiations.
Israeli lawmakers are seeking a law that will make compensation for Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries after 1948 an integral part of any future peace negotiations.
Lawmakers put together a bill demanding compensation on behalf of current Jewish Israeli citizens, who were expelled from Arab countries after Israel was established in 1948, leaving behind a significant amount of valuable property.
Originally submitted almost a year ago to the Knesset, the bill passed its first hearing two weeks ago. Now various interest groups are pushing the bill with the Knesset’s 120 members before it is subjected to a second and third hearing next week.
The bill was sponsored by MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas) and follows a resolution passed in the US House of Representatives in 2008, calling for refugee recognition to be extended to Jews and Christians similar to that extended to Palestinians in the course of Middle East peace talks.
“I think the term ‘compensation’ is too limited a term,” former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler told The Media Line.
Cotler, a vocal advocate of the campaign, was one of several international representatives at the Knesset conference discussing the bill, organized by MK Nissim Ze’ev on Monday.
“We’re not just speaking about financial compensation or indemnification,” Cotler said. “We’re talking about justice for Jews from Arab countries. This speaks to the question of, among other things, rectifying the justice and peace narrative of the last 62 years where the question of Jews from Arab countries has not been part of the narrative.”
“There have been more than 160 UN resolutions on the matter of refugees,” he continued. “All 160 dealt with Palestinian refugees only. I’m not saying they shouldn’t address Palestinian refugees, but I’m saying there’s no justice and no truth if it does not also address the plight of Jews seeking justice from Arab countries.”
According to the international advocacy group, Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC), some 850,000 Jews were displaced from Arab countries after the State of Israel was established. These include Jews from Syria, Trans-Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
Speaker of the Knesset Rubi Rivlin (Likud Party) said the issue was an important counterweight to Palestinian claims for a right of return to homes from which they were expelled or had to leave in 1948, and which are now part of Israel.
“The Arab peace initiative, based on the Saudi initiative, has a clause that calls for a just solution to the Palestinian refugee issue,” Rivlin said at the conference. “Israel is opposed to the right of return… we have to make an appeal today, to say that there is no room for bringing up the Palestinian right of return without the Jewish refugee issue being resolved. This has to be heard in the political discourse in Israel and in the international community.”
Rep. Eliot Engel (D – NY), who supported the congressional resolution and attended Monday’s conference, said there was hypocrisy in the way the international community dealt with the Palestinian refugee community.
“The Arabs today, as they have done for 50 years, use the Palestinian refugee population as political pawns,” Engel said. “They want them to live in misery. They want them to suffer and then to blame the Jews. The fact of the matter is that the blame lies right at the foot of the Arab states, be it Saudi Arabia or Jordan or Egypt or any of those countries that have lots of petro-dollars and they don’t even spend a shekel to help their refugees.”
Monday’s conference was marked by heated arguments from members of the audience, which included Jews who were expelled from Arab countries in the years following the establishment of the state.
Gila Naftali, an Egyptian born Jew who was expelled with her family in 1956 when she was eight years old, said there has been a systematic marginalization of eastern Jews. She was almost banished from the auditorium by security when she lashed out at MK Danny Ayalon that “You don’t know what it’s like to be kicked out of your country within 24 hours.”
Ayalon, a proponent of the bill whose father left his belongings behind in Algeria to come to the fledgling country in 1948, shook Naftali’s hand on his way out, in a gesture of reconciliation.
The government came under criticism from Jews expelled from Arab states, who feel these initiatives are too little and too late. Others have questioned how the compensation, if acquired, will be allocated.
“I don’t just want compensation,” Naftali later told The Media Line. “Everybody will get the compensation. I want money for this building that was in our family for four generations,” she said, brandishing a sepia photograph of her former Cairo home.
Stanley Urman, executive director of JJAC said he was aware of these sentiments.
“I feel for their plight and their pain,” he told The Media Line. “We, the Jewish people and the State of Israel, must take responsibility for not being successful enough in bringing this to the world’s attention.”
The fact that the US has already passed a resolution to this effect could serve to impact any future negotiations.
“They have sway,” Urman said, in reference to the US brokers. “Whether they bring this up in a forceful manner is yet to be seen. The US is a member of the Quartet and all seminal Middle East issues are going through the Quartet, so the US certainly would be our voice at that table.”
The Israeli bill stipulates that “The state of Israel will not sign, directly or by proxy, any agreement or treaty with a country or authority dealing with a political settlement in the Middle East without ensuring the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries according to the UN’s refugee treaty.”
“In any discussion where the Palestinian refugee issue is brought up in the framework of peace negotiations in the Middle East,” it continues, “the Israeli government will bring up the issue of compensation for loss of property and giving equal status to Arab refugees who left their property after the state was established and to Jewish refugees from Arab countries.”
Ze’ev stressed that Iran was also included in the bill, even though it was not defined as an Arab country.
Levana Zamir, chairman of the international organization of Egyptian Jews said she welcomed the initiative.
“Finally, after 62 years, the Knesset is accepting a law that recognizes our rights,” she told The Media Line. “I’m just sad that my father didn’t have the privilege of seeing this. He fought for this and after he passed away I took the matter into my hands. As Jews from Egypt we should be very happy because there’s a peace agreement with Egypt, so once there’s a law, we should start demanding money.”
Zvi Gabai, who represents Jews from Iraq, said it was a shame this was not done sooner.
“In the meantime,” he said, “the Palestinians and spin doctors have exploited the Palestinian refugee matter and presented it as though the Palestinian refugees were the only issue and that there were no Jewish refugees, without presenting two sides of the coin – that there were not only the Palestinians who suffered but also Jews from Arab countries who suffered and lost property, without bringing this matter to a decision, there will be no justice.”
The Palestinian Return Centre, a London-based organization defending the rights of Palestinian refugees with the aim of resettling them in their original homes, said it was not farfetched to believe that Jews would get compensation, but stressed that it was wrong to draw parallels between the two refugee populations.
“The Jews who were kicked out of Arab countries have found a place to live,” a spokesperson for the organization told The Media. “They have found luxury, work, good housing and a government. But the Palestinians have found nothing. They are not allowed to work in 70 professions in Lebanon. They’re not allowed to travel. They don’t have passports or basic freedoms and they’re being bombed in Gaza’s camps.”
“There is no parallel in the suffering,” the spokesperson continued. “The Palestinian suffered double what the Jews in the Arab countries suffered…. The [Arabs] have enough money and enough political will to solve the problem with Israel, but the problem is with Israel. If Israel is willing to conduct peace on the basis of giving rights to the Palestinians, I guess the Arabs would compensate the Jews, if that happened.”
WHO DUNNIT? WHO CARES?!
Did Mossad kill a Hamas terrorist in a Dubai hotel?
Dubai wants Meir Dagan, Mossad’s Chief, arrested, which is a childish, ludicrous desire.
But there are serious questions and meatier areas to discuss than whether the man who brought better morale to the Mossad will fly to Dubai and hold his wrists out for Arab shackles.
For instance, the Arabs across the “terrorist-board” all want to point to Israel as the do-ers of Mabhouh. But what if they are not? And I remind you that Israel’s position has always been that they do not publicly admit or deny any of Mossad’s role in the world of spy intrigue. There have been some embarrassments, as mentioned in David Horovitz’s editorial. But the victories are not spoken of.
As we said recently in praise of our own intelligence agents, we do not want to see their faces on television screens, whether for victories or defeats. The fact remains that these men and women need to function in the shadows. As Horovitz reminded his readers, whoever ran the op presented the faces of eleven operatives (now fifteen) for the world’s intelligence agencies to post in their face recognition software, and at custom’s cameras from now forward. That is not a great thing, regardless of which nation ran the hit.
But ask yourself this… didn’t the actual people in that operation realize that there were plenty of cameras in Dubai. At the airport, in the hotel lobby, in elevators and foyers. Security cameras are a way of life today.
When you go out, check for yourself. How many are hanging over highways to observe traffic flow? I assure you that before any team members of any hit team from any country arrived in Dubai they knew exactly which locations had cameras, which direction they pointed, and who was monitoring the cameras. That is a part of every team briefing. In essence, the members of the team “plays to the cameras” in the sense that nothing they will be doing which will be on camera will draw undo attention. Actually it is only common sense. The team does not do recon. There are special people for that job, and they “fit in.”
DID A HAMAS ELEMENT WHACK MABHOUH?
Our pure guess is that they did not. It just isn’t Hamas’ nature to swat a fly when they could toss a grenade. These are not the most sophisticated folks. Not that there are not men in Hamas who wanted him dead. It just doesn’t seem like their kind of operation.
DID FATAH WHACK THE OPPOSITION?
Now we come to a very interesting proposition. What if Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah terrorist group decided to “put the fear of Allah” into Hamas? What if they can see that Hamas is still strong and getting stronger in both the West Bank and Gaza? What if they wanted to send a message to Hamas to leave at least the West Bank politics alone or there would be some more of their members dying? Such things are not beyond consideration.
A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS
And what if ole Mahmoud decided that Israel owed him some favors for the assistance provided by Fatah during Operation Cast Lead in the form of information given? How about if Abbas asked Israel for some assistance in the area of tips for operating, etc. so they could whack Mabhouh? Would Israel really help Abbas?
Why not? Israel has been helping Abbas since before Arafat’s death. They like dealing with him rather than some of the cretins in Palestinian ranks. Would they really help arrange a hit? Again, why not? It ingratiates Abbas. It removes a bad guy. It gives Mossad something to hold over the heads of Abbas & Company for later use. What’s not to like about it?
DID MOSSAD HELP ABBAS?
I don’t know. Underline that. I don’t know. I’m just a poor traveler who has a vivid imagination, who likes a great mystery. But then, there are some very interesting possibilities, you must admit.
DOES MOSSAD USE NEW ARRIVALS IN ISRAEL?
Yes, it does. Especially young, “clean” arrivals (olim) who are usually invigorated to be in Israel. We know of one set of Israelis who immigrated that were asked to allow the use of their passports for some intelligence efforts. Also, we know of one young man who was sent on a trip to Moscow to make contact with some refusniks (this was well before Glasnost). Interestingly they were busted by the NKVD (The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (Russian: Народный Комиссариат Внутренних Дел, Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del).
As our friend told the story, “They banged on the apartment door where we were meeting. The people we had come to meet were scared, but not any more than I. In they swarmed with the long black leather coats, cold eyes, and all. They ordered us out of the apartment and back down to the street. A car was there and their leader told us to get in.
“I told him we were just tourists. He laughed and told us to get in. We got in!
“They took us to the airport and put us on a plane headed to Heathrow. No suitcase, no nothing. Not even our passports. I didn’t care. I thought for sure they were going to put us up against the wall and shoot us!”
I have to tell you that I was laughing out loud at this point. No, I’m neither cold hearted nor insane. I was just remembering times that I was that scared and the relief one feels when the moment has passed.
At Heathrow they were met by a man from the Israeli Embassy, put on an El Al flight for Tel Aviv, and their time working for Israeli intelligence was over. He did put time in as an Israeli paratrooper, serving in Lebanon, but that’s a story for another day.
WHERE DOES THE MABHOUH AFFAIR GO FROM HERE?
Exactly nowhere. Dubai will disclose more of their operation. They don’t get many headlines. Interpol will make proclamations. They love the headlines too. Nothing will come of it. It was a perfectly carried out operation and our guess is that the eleven people are somewhere like Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Brazil or Argentina, or even Bradenton, Florida with a new look, new documents, and behaving like the locals. The looks they assumed for the cameras in Dubai are in dumpsters all over the world.
There are lots of Arab leaders who are very happy that Mabhouh is stone cold dead. Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, UAE, Iraq, and others will not be putting a candle-lit memorial on the sidewalk anytime soon. In fact his demise could have been the work of any of the above players.
If Israel did it, there will be the pro forma whining, threatening, and so on. Then life will return to what passes for normal here, deep sighs and a few winks will pass, and everyone will get on with the business of worrying about the crazies in Teheran.
It is an interesting life.
Thanks for spending some time with us. As I’ve said for years, we don’t have to invent the news. It’s interesting without that.
And thanks to those of you who keep us in your prayers for safety, support and our work. We appreciate you more than you know, and pray for you also.
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Psalm 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
Psalm 60:12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
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This Week In Israel is written for those with a real interest in Israel and what affects that nation. Written from a position of love and concern for the people, we want to educate, at times entertain, and keep you up to speed.