Thursday, December 21, 2006
Posted: 21-12-2006 , 20:11 GMT
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he hopes to hold a summit with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert by the end of the year. The two leaders have expressed readiness to hold their first summit for months.
"We always showed our willingness to hold this meeting with Olmert, and it's no secret that we hope it will take place before the end of this year," Abbas said at a news conference with the visiting Italian foreign minister, Massimo D'Alema. "There is progress in preparations for this meeting."
According to Abbas, he wants Israel to free hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, but Olmert has ruled out a prisoner release until Hamas activists release an Israeli soldier they captured last June.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian rocket aimed at Israel landed on a home in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, moderately wounding a 2-year-old boy sleeping in his bedroom, hospital officials and residents said, according to the AP.
The rocket fire further strained a cease-fire reached between Israel and Palestinian groups late last month. Israeli officials say Palestinians have fired more than 40 rockets since the Nov. 26 truce, and Olmert warned this week that his patience is wearing thin.
On the internal front, Gaza remained calm Thursday on the second day of a renewed truce between the Palestinian rivals.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
Monday, December 18, 2006
Two rival Palestinian governments emerge as Mahmoud Abbas updates Condoleezza Rice on the Palestinian scene after his early poll call
Courtesy of DEBKAfile:
The chairman of the Palestinian central elections committee says that technically he needs at least 140 days to prepare the polls, which Hamas vows to boycott.
Hamas’s flat rejection of Abu Mazen’s authority to call early elections for the president and parliament and the consequent factional violence is polarizing Palestinian territory. DEBKAfile’s military sources report two rival government administrations taking shape – Hamas in the Gaza Strip, where Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority officials are being driven out; and Fatah on the West Bank - although Hamas controls some enclaves. Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, who is under sentence of death from the Hamas religious council, addressed a demonstration in the West Bank town of Jenin Sunday, Dec. 17, and called on all Palestinians to back the Abbas-Fatah cause against Hamas.
Palestinian security officers and public sector officials are reaching a point where they can no longer sit on the fence but must declare loyalty to one faction or the other. Many will be influenced in their choice by which of the two can pay their wages. Hamas’ exchequer is known to have been stuffed by at least quarter of a billion dollars – and maybe more on the way - deposited by Iran. DEBKAfile’s Palestinian sources disclose that Abu Mazen is preparing to draw for the first time on the multibillion dollar Palestinian Development Fund, whose capital is invested in many parts of the world, for paying security officers and expanding Fatah’s grass-roots base.
DEBKAfile’s military sources reveal that last week, US and Israel transferred a quantity of automatic rifles to Abu Mazen’s Fatah forces
The guns reached Dahlan who handed them over to the faction’s suicide wing, al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Abbas’ only reliable strike force. Dahlan is now in command of the armed campaign against Hamas from presidential headquarters in Ramallah. Israeli officials are turning a blind eye to transfer of the arms into the hands of the most badly-wanted masterminds of Fatah suicide killings, such as Jemal Tirawi from Nablus.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
It seems to me that antisemitism is making a major resurgence these days, and even gaining some acceptance.
Not in this order but, Mel Gibson makes his anti-Jew attacks, makes a very, IMO, muffled "apology" and the whole thing is forgotten.
Disgracefully, Jimmy Carter produced one of the most virulent attacks I've heard, ever, from any politician.
He actually claimed that the "Jewish Lobby" controls American Policy.
I find this trend extremely disturbing.
About the "Jewish Lobby".
There is some truth to the old gag, "What do you get when you put two Jews in a room?"
Answer, "An argument."
There is no foreign policy consensus on the part of the "vast Jewish/Zionist lobby."
The article below takes on some of the major concerns I see developing.
Ku Klux Klan leader and other Holocaust deniers gathering in Iran, former President Carter's controversial new book calling the situation in Palestinian territories apartheid, and a former secretary of state who says the Arab-Israel conflict is standing in the way of victory in Iraq are examples of anti-Semitism becoming more pervasive, the head of the Anti-Defamation League said last night at Temple Sholom."Anti-Semitism is today no longer a page of history, it is a history of today," said Abraham Foxman, the league's outspoken national director who Foxman has been national director since 1987 and has worked for the league since 1965.Gavriel Rosenfeld, a Fairfield University professor and chairman of the volunteer committee that helped organize the event, said, "To put it perhaps in the post-9/11 terminology, he's one of the Jewish community's most valuable first responders."Foxman was saved from the Holocaust as an infant by parents who gave him to his Polish nanny, who raised him as a Catholic. His parents survived and later reunited with him.With such a background and belief that strides have been made in combating anti-Semitism, Foxman said he has been surprised that the barrage of anti-Semitism is daily, constant and growing."Google Holocaust, log on to Holocaust and you will find 'anti-Holocaust'," he said. "Better, Google Jew and first you will find out about anti-Jews and anti-Semitism. ... The logarithm of this new invention, which is supposed to be a boon to knowledge, has an underbelly, which is a superhighway for hate."Events across the world have threatened to heighten anti-Semitism and present a threat to Jews across the world, Foxman said.Iran's president sponsored a conference in Tehran, inviting participants such as David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and other people who believe the Holocaust didn't occur."Yesterday in Tehran, (Presi-dent Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad along with the conference reminded his audience that God has proclaimed that Israel has to go," Foxman said. "Just as the Soviet Union disappeared, so does the Jewish state."Foxman also repeated his public criticism of Carter's new book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." Carter has said he wrote the book because he believes the media squashes anti-Israel discourse."It's classic anti-Semitism and it doesn't come from David Duke, it doesn't come from Pat Buchanan, it comes from this sweet, smiling peanut farmer," Foxman said.Finally, Foxman also accused the Iraq Study Group, which is headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, of unfairly blaming Israel and Jews for the war in Iraq. The group's report said the United States must address the Arab-Israel conflict in order to succeed in Iraq."You want peace in Iraq, you've got to resolve the Arab-Israel conflict," Foxman said. "What kind of nonsense? But it's not nonsense, we are being blamed again."Though Foxman said that he is concerned by what he sees, he has optimism in the future."As dark as the clouds get, when we look at who we are and what we believe, we shall and we will overcome," he said. "Happy Hanukkah. Thank you."
Monday, November 20, 2006
Iran has invited the Iraqi and Syrian presidents to Tehran for a weekend summit with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to hash out ways to cooperate in curbing the runaway violence that has taken Iraq to the verge of civil war and threatens to spread through the region, four key lawmakers said on Monday.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has accepted the invitation and will fly to the Iranian capital Saturday, a close parliamentary associate said.
The Iranian diplomatic gambit appeared designed to upstage expected moves from Washington to include Syria and Iran in a wider regional effort to clamp off violence in Iraq, where more civilians have been killed in the first 20 days of November than in any other month since the AP began tallying the figures in April 2005.
The Iranian move was also a display of its increasingly muscular role in the Middle East, where it already has established deep influence over Syria and Lebanon .
"All three countries intend to hold a three-way summit among Iraq, Iran and Syria to discuss the security situation and the repercussions for stability of the region," said Ali al-Adeeb, a lawmaker of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa Party and a close aide to the prime minister.
Syria to US: Help in Iraq for Golan Heights
The Sunday Times reported this weekend that Syria is expected to demand American help in securing the return of the Golan Heights from Israel as the price of cooperation over Iraq.
Ayman Abdel Nour, a leading reformer in the ruling Ba’ath party, told the Times that Syrian President Bashar Assad wants America and Britain to use their influence with Israel to raise the return of the Golan Heights, seized by the Israelis in the 1967 war.
“It will be the top demand,” he was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
According to the report, Assad has ruled out cooperating with the Americans in return for the promise of unspecified benefits.
“The Syrian leadership is fed up with the Americans and does not trust their word when it comes to future aid for Syria,” Abdel Nour told the Sunday Times.
“Syria will not do anything unless it has secured guarantees from Washington and London that every action Damascus takes to help them will be reciprocated. It will be a step by step scenario: These actions for those actions,” he said.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Photo: JTARon Kampeas
Always eloquent and passionate, Bibi is making the rounds of American Media outlets this week.
Tonight you can catch him on the Glenn Beck show at 5:00 MST.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
He will be terribly missed. Let the celebrations of his life and legacy begin.
I'd start with Friedman's eloquent letter to William Bennett, urging him to end America's disastrous war on drugs. It went unheeded, of course. Sad for this country that the federal government has come to be stocked with more William Bennetts, and fewer Milton Friedmans.
UPDATE: The New York Times obit for Friedman is up, and it's very good.
Posted by Radley Balko on November 16, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Here’s what Fuse Action has to say:
Monday, November 13, 2006
War Crimes Suit Filed in Germany Against Rumsfeld, Janis Karpinski to Testify, Plaintiff's Suit Category: News and Politics
Tuesday, November 14th, 2006War Crimes Suit Filed in Germany Against Rumsfeld, Other Top U.S. Officials Over Prisoner Torture
Attorneys with the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a war crimes lawsuit today in Germany against outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and other high-ranking U.S. officials, for their role in the torture of prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo. We go to Berlin to speak with CCR president Michael Ratner. [includes rush transcript]
The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a criminal complaint in Germany today against outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The complaint requests that the German Federal Prosecutor open an investigation - and ultimately, a criminal prosecution - looking into the responsibility of high-ranking U.S. officials for authorizing war crimes in the name of the so-called "War on Terror."
Former White House Counsel and current Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and former CIA Director George Tenet, are also charged in the complaint. The suit is being brought on behalf of a dozen torture victims - 11 Iraqi citizens who were held at Abu Ghraib prison and one Guantánamo detainee. The plaintiffs claim they were victims of electric shock, severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation and sexual abuse. The complaint filed today is related to a 2004 complaint that was dismissed. This new complaint is filed under new circumstances including the recent resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. Germany"s laws on torture and war crimes permit the prosecution of suspected war criminals wherever they may be found.
Michael Ratner, the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He joins us from Berlin, Germany.
Ms Huffington has a few words to say, as you might imagine:
Civil rights activists filed suit Tuesday asking German prosecutors to open a war crimes investigation of outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and a host of other U.S. officials for their alleged roles in abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay.
The 220-page document was sent to federal prosecutors by U.S. and German attorneys under a German law that allows the prosecution of war crimes regardless of where they were committed. It alleges that Rumsfeld personally ordered and condoned torture.
Read Whole Story
Also from the blogosphere comes this take
A coalition of human rights groups has filed a criminal lawsuit against former US secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld in Germany, accusing him of war crimes. A first attempt to prosecute him in 2004 failed, but the activists feel they have a better chance this time -- and they have a powerful witness on their side.(...) The coalition, led by the New York-based civil rights group Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), filed a criminal complaint against Rumsfeld on Tuesday at the Federal Prosecutor's Office in Karlsruhe, Germany. The complaint calls on the prosecutor to investigate whether high-ranking US officials authorized war crimes in the context of the war on terror. The complaint is being brought on behalf of 12 alleged torture victims, 11 of whom are Iraqi citizens who were held at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. The twelfth man is Guantanamo detainee Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi citizen identified by the US as a would-be participant in the 9/11 attacks and held at Guantanamo since January 2006. After al-Qahtani did not respond to normal questioning, he was allegedly subjected to a regime of aggressive interrogation techniques, approved by Rumsfeld and known as the "First Special Interrogation Plan,"
Friday, November 10, 2006
"I am not advocating an Israeli pre-emptive military action against Iran and I am aware of its possible repercussions," Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, a former general, said in comments published Friday in The Jerusalem Post. "I consider it a last resort. But even the last resort is sometimes the only resort."
Sneh's comments did not necessarily reflect the view of Israel's government or of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said government spokeswoman Miri Eisin.
Olmert, who was arriving in Washington on Sunday, said he was confident in the U.S. handling of the international standoff over Iran's nuclear program. The Bush administration and other nations say is a cover for developing atomic weapons, but Tehran says the program is peaceful.
"I have enormous respect for President Bush. He is absolutely committed," Olmert said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show. "I know that America will not allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons because this is a danger to the whole Western world."
The United States and its European allies have proposed a raft of sanctions to try to curb the country's nuclear development.
Israel sees Iran as the greatest threat to its survival. Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel's destruction, and Israelis do not believe his claims that Iran's nuclear program is meant to develop energy, not arms.
Iraq's atomic program 25 years ago with an airstrike on its unfinished nuclear reactor. Experts say Iran has learned from Iraq's mistakes, scattering its nuclear facilities and building some underground.
Sneh's tough talk is the boldest to date by a high-ranking Israeli official. Olmert and other Israeli leaders frequently discuss the Iranian threat in grave terms, but stop short of threatening military action.
Years of diplomacy have failed to persuade Iran to modify its nuclear program so it can't develop weapons.
AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
JERUSALEM — The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, and Prime Minister Ismail Haniya failed Monday in their efforts to finalize a deal on a national unity government but planned to try again today, aides said. Abbas, who leads the secular Fatah movement, and Haniya, who heads the militant Islamic faction Hamas, seemed close to an agreement on a new Palestinian government that would be made up of professionals and technocrats not directly linked to either faction. The new government would seek to end the Palestinians' international isolation and win a restoration of Western assistance cut after Hamas came to power in the spring. "There are issues to be discussed tomorrow and maybe the day after," said Nabil Aburdeineh, a spokesman for Abbas, as the talks in Gaza City broke up Monday night. "We agreed on one thing: a national government of professionals will be coming." Abbas and Haniya announced Sept. 11 that they had reached a tentative agreement or a unity government. But the negotiations quickly stalled with increased fighting between armed Hamas and Fatah groups, and the meeting Monday between the two was their first in weeks. Abbas, whose headquarters are in Ramallah, in the West Bank, travels only occasionally to Gaza, where most senior Hamas leaders are based. Abbas' decision to make the trip signaled that the negotiations had reached an advanced stage. Mustafa Barghouti, a prominent legislator brokering the talks, said earlier on Monday that the sides had already reached an agreement in principle. "Both parties have realized that no one party can lead the Palestinians, and there is a need for a coalition that will include everyone," he said. In another development, Israel began withdrawing tanks and other armored vehicles late Monday night from the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanun, Palestinian security officials said. The Israeli forces entered the town six days ago to halt Palestinian rocket fire and clashed daily with Palestinian militants. It was not clear if all or just some of the Israeli forces were leaving, and the Israeli military did not immediately comment.
Monday, November 6, 2006
This is similar to the proscription for peace of the banned Kach Party, founded by Rav Meir Kahane, OBM.
Israel was on the "front line of a clash of civilisations between the free world and extremist Islam," he said.
On Iran, he said: "Every week, the president of Iran declares his intention to destroy us."
Mr Lieberman, 48, the leader of Yisrael Beitanu (Israel Our Home), who has previously urged Israel to bomb Teheran, said: "Iran is the base of an axis of evil which is a problem for all the world."
Mr Lieberman, whose addition to the coalition as "strategic threat" minister prompted the resignation of a cabinet colleague, also said that Israel's 1.25 million Arab minority was a "problem" which required "separation" from the Jewish state. "We established Israel as a Jewish country," he said. "I want to provide an Israel that is a Jewish, Zionist country. It's about what kind of country we want to see in the future. Either it will be an [ethnically mixed] country like any other, or it will continue as a Jewish country."
Protest has been muted. There have been no mass demonstrations. Few voters or politicians seem scandalised as they were in 2003.
Analysts say the smooth appointment of a man recently considered an extremist -rabble-rouser is a sign of political radicalisation in Israel.
"After the summer war in Lebanon, many Israelis have moved to the Right," said Gideon Doron, professor of political science at Tel Aviv University. "They think security is bad and trust Palestinians and Arabs less. They don't believe in the possibility of peace through negotiations, so Lieberman has become the centre of a new consensus."
While Mr Olmert says "Israel Our Home" will not change government policy, it seems almost inconceivable that the prime minister's main election promise of withdrawing tens of thousands of Jewish settlers from the West Bank will be implemented with Mr Lieberman – himself a settler – in the cabinet.
Mr Lieberman, for one, has other ideas. He has no intention of withdrawing Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Instead, he wants to keep them while, "in return", redrawing Israel's border to eject thousands of Israeli Arabs from the country.
"Minorities are the biggest problem in the world," he said in his soft, Russian-accented English. Asked if Israeli citizens of Arab descent should be forced out through territorial redistribution, he said: "I think separation between two nations is the best solution. Cyprus is the best model. Before 1974, the Greeks and Turks lived together and there were frictions and bloodshed and terror.
"After 1974, they constituted all Turks on one part of the island, all Greeks on the other part of the island and there is stability and security."
When it was pointed out that in Cyprus thousands were forcibly driven from their homes, he replied: "Yes, but the final result was better."
Later, an aide to Mr Lieberman tried to flesh out his remarks. "Israeli Arabs don't have to go," he said. "But if they stay they have to take an oath of allegiance to Israel as a Jewish Zionist state.
Such straightforward sentiments have made Mr Lieberman the most powerful new force in Israeli politics.
Since he split with the Likud party and its leader, the former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to form his own party in 1999, he has in effect monopolised the votes of more than a million Russian immigrants. At elections earlier this year, Israel Our Home demolished Likud's traditional grip on the Right to win 11 seats.
Mr Lieberman insists that the world must unite against "an axis of evil led by Iran. Iran is the biggest threat. It's a problem for the whole world, but Israel really has a bad location. We are on the front line between the clash of civilisations between the free world and the extremist Islamic world."
Saturday, November 4, 2006
27 Terrorists killed in IDF Gaza raids over weekend
Earlier, an IDF non-commissioned officer was seriously wounded in clashes with militants the town. Initial investigations indicate that special forces operating against rocket launch sites passed over an explosives charge, and the officer was wounded in the ensuing gunfire exchange. His family has been notified.
Five Hamas militants and two civilians were killed Saturday in a series of incidents in the Strip, bringing to 42 the Palestinian death toll there since the start of an IDF operation Wednesday
The rocket maker, identified by Hamas as Louay al-Burnu, was killed Saturday in Gaza City with two other members of the militant faction. Another Hamas fighter was killed in a gun battle with Israeli forces after firing an antitank rocket near Beit Hanun, and an Israeli noncommissioned officer was badly wounded. A Palestinian civilian, Marwan Abu Harbid, 46, died when an Israeli tank shell hit his home, burying him inside, a relative told The Associated Press.
In nearby Jabaliya, a Hamas member died from wounds from an artillery shell, which wounded four other members of Hamas’s military wing. Later Saturday, two brothers, both members of Hamas, were killed in a helicopter strike, as was a 16-year-old Palestinian, according to Agence France-Presse.
Since Israel began its new campaign to halt rocket fire into Israel four days ago, more than 40 Palestinians have been killed, most of them militants, and one Israeli soldier has died. More than 200 Palestinians have been wounded, some 30 of them seriously, Palestinian health officials and doctors at local hospitals said.
The rocket fire has continued, with 28 rockets landing in Israel since the operation began Wednesday, an army spokesman said. At least three Israelis have been wounded by shrapnel. Because Beit Hanun is so close to Israel, Palestinian militants often come there to fire their short-range Qassam rockets, made in Gazan workshops, toward nearby Israeli towns like Sderot and Ashkelon.
For three hours on Saturday morning, Israeli troops stopped patrols in Beit Hanun, a town of some 25,000 people, to allow civilians to leave their homes and open shops, and to let aid groups deliver supplies.
Israeli troops have been rounding up young men suspected of being militants and questioning them. Most have been released. At least 15 men have been detained and brought to Israel for further questioning, an army spokesman said.
The houses the Israelis destroyed contained weapons, the army said, including antitank missiles, automatic rifles and grenades.
Also on Saturday, a 12-year-old girl was shot in the head and killed by an Israeli sniper in Gaza, Palestinian officials said. The Israeli military expressed regret, saying the sniper was aiming at an armed militant.
The Israeli operation is a continuation of the Gaza offensive that followed the capture of an Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, on June 25. Corporal Shalit remains a hostage, as do two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah a few weeks later.
Friday, November 3, 2006
In Poland, long a symbol for the most virulent anti-Semitism, gangs of Nazis and Polish sympathizers roamed the country-side committing pogroms and helping to further Germany's final solution.
With the invasion of Poland Harry Haft, a 16 year old Jewish boy, betrothed to his lovely wife, planning to wed in a few days, was tragically captured by the Nazis while rescuing his older brother, and sent to German enforced labor camps.
Forced into bare-knuckle brawls to entertain Nazi soldiers and Polish collaborators,
Mr Haft learned to defeat his hapless opponents as mercifully as possible, while allowing himself to survive with the hope of someday re-uniting with his family and finding his beloved bride-to-be, Leah.
Harry Haft drew an apparently unending strength from within his heart and soul and survived the death camps, eventually escaping from Auschwitz-Birkenau and the details of his escape are riveting and heart-rending, as well as filled with inevitable brutality .
The story isn't over at his escape, however.
Incredibly, Harry Haft becomes a celebrated boxer, after coming to America, eventually contending with the great champion Rocky Marciano in a controversial heavy weight fight while Marciano is at the height of his pugilistic ability.
The book is filled with shock and horror, but also hope and tenderness.
The author, Mr. Haft's son, Alan Haft, who lives and works in New Mexico with his wife Gail, has done a splendid job in not only chronicling the story of a Holocaust survivor, but capturing the essence and personality of his father, who the reader feels as if he knows personally after this literary journey together.
"Harry Haft..Survivor of Auschwitz and challenger of Rocky Marciano" clearly and chillingly chronicles this heroic young man's journey through horror and ultimate redemption, and indicates, sadly, once more, the true depth of the loss of six million of Mr Haft's brethren, coreligionists and our fellow human beings.
I strongly recommend this well researched, well written, and deeply moving, biography.
It's available at Amazon.com.
For convenience, click the link below:
Thursday, November 2, 2006
In addition, The sources assert that the overflights are routine reconnaissance operations designed to gather intelligence about Hezbollah, which has committed terrorist acts against innocent Israelis and opposes the right of Jews to live in Israel.
Israel insists the flights must continue because arms are still smuggled to Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, and the soldiers have not been freed, in violation of the cease-fire. Hezbollah's kidnapping of the soldiers sparked the summer war.
The U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen backed up Israel's assertions on Tuesday when he said the Lebanese government has reported arms smuggling into Lebanon from Syria since the truce. Hezbollah gang leader Nasrallah also said the guerrilla group had reinforced its arsenal.
Later in the day Israeli fighters flew over Hezbollah hideouts in a show of force, diving over Hezbollah strongholds in south Beirut , causing Hezbollah criminals to flee in outright panic and fear.
American and European officials have stepped up their demands for Hezbollah to disarm in accordance with the U.N.-brokered cease-fire, but the criminal group has repeatedly refused to lay down its arms.
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
8 terrorists were also killed.
According to Israeli sources, "The operation is directed against terror organizations in the town and its goal is to disrupt and prevent the launching of Qassam rockets into Israel."
More than 300 Qassams have been fired from Beit Hanoun this year.
Abbas, the leader of the terrorist orginization Fatah, aka PLO, aka other names when trying to hide complicity in some of their terrorist acts,strongly condemned the Israeli actions that has left 8 terrorists dead and nearly 40 supporters of the terrorists wounded.
Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit is still held by the Palestinians, and one hopes the military actions will continue until the terrorists release him.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Suleiman meeting with Hamas on ShalitUS National Intelligence Director also in Cairo; Haniyeh: Deal "almost closed."
[ more » ]
In Washington: Olmert should attend the next Arab summitBy MJ ROSENBERGIt is absurd to believe that the Palestinian insurrection can be defeated militarily.
[ more » ]
Committee calls for law to govern sex selectionBy JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICHOnly three couples out of 124 who have applied were given permission to choose children's sex.
IDF reservist wounded in shooting attackTwo Hamas members killed in Gaza; Galant: Hamas building real army in Strip.
Nat'l alert at highest ahead of paradePolice to decide Wednesday whether Gay Pride Parade will go on as planned.
Katsav released from Hadassah HospitalPresident underwent series of tests; doctors find nothing abnormal.
Rabbis meet with Abbas on Shalit issueMK Rabbi Melchior: Abbas wants to be leader who signs peace deal with Israel.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Apparently that is not correct, after all as we see from this article at Reuters
Monday 30 October 2006, 21:49 Makka Time, 18:49 GMT
Iraq is set to ask the UN Security Council to renew the mandate governing the presence of US-led forces in the country for another year, said Hoshiyar Zebari, its foreign minister.
Zebari said that despite differences between the US and Iraq over security, there was "no rift whatsoever" between the two over the ultimate goal of a democratic Iraq.
"We believe still there is a need and the presence of the multinational force is indispensable for the security and stability of Iraq and of the region at the moment."
"At the same time, the Iraqi government is ... willing to take more security responsibilities from these forces to do its part."
UN Security Council resolution 1637, which mandates the US-led presence, expires on December 31.
Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, said last week that Iraq could probably ensure its own security in six months if the US gave Iraqi police and soldiers more training, arms and control over their own operations.
"We believe still there is a need and the presence of the multinational force is indispensable for the security and stability of Iraq and of the region at the moment."Hoshiyar Zebari, Iraq's foreign ministerHe also said the issue of training and weapons for Iraqi forces, and the extent of Iraqi government authority over their own security, would probably be dealt with in a separate understanding with US-led forces, rather than through the UN.
Zebari also confirmed that Walid al-Mualem, Syria's foreign minister had agreed to visit Baghdad, possibly in November.
Zebari said the visit, the first by a Syrian minister since the US-led invasion in 2003, would be an "acid test" of Syria's attitude.
Iraq and the US accuse Syria and Iran of supporting fighters opposed to Iraq's US-backed government.
Stephen Hadley, the US national security adviser, met his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad on Monday to discuss military and political co-ordination, the Iraqi government announced.
It said Hadley met with Mouwafak al-Rubaie in his Green Zone office after a decision late last week to form a joint commission to co-ordinate US-Iraqi relations, especially on military activity.
"The two sides discussed the work of the committee which was agreed to by the prime minister and the American president and is designed to co-ordinate development of the Iraqi security forces, expedite military training, reconciliation among Iraqis and the war against terrorism," the statement said.
The US embassy confirmed Hadley's visit, but gave few details.
"He is here as part of ongoing consultations with the Iraqi government," an embassy official said.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Jack Wohl was my friend.
Born in Germany in 1920, he attended school in Berlin until the rise of the nazis, whereupon the family moved to Hamburg and he attended Jewish School by day and sabatoged the German military, with the Macaabis, a Jewish Resistance Organization, by night.
One of the family photos that Jack managed to salvage from the desecrations and destruction wrought by the hun anti-Jews shows him as an incredibly beautiful young child of 5 or 6, smiling as his mother held him.
On the sidewalk, in the photo, was spray painted a large black swatztika.
As I viewed the photo, which I often did, when visiting with Jack at the rehab center where I worked as a Med Tech, and he was a patient, I couldn't help but
feel, viscerally, the agony that was about to be visited upon these noble and decent souls, of which they were so obviously unaware when the photo was taken.
Jack grew to young manhood with his equally dark and handsome brother, being affluent they dressed stylishly, they looked healthy and happy, but as the years passed, in the photos, I could see the change in their demeanor, from carefree youths, to fighters and survivors of a state turned killer.
Jack's family, in Berlin, prior to the Holocaust, were prominent in society and highly respected.
Jack's father was a surgeon, credited with developing, at the time, revolutionary techniques for saving his patients lives.
I would often sit at his father's desk while we talked, history emanating intensely from the finely crafted walnut roll top antique.
Jack became a wanted criminal due to his anti-Nazi exploits, but with the help of bribes, was finally able to escape, on a ship, from Germany.
"I watched my father from the ship as he got smaller and smaller in the distance.
I knew I would never see him again.
The German's murdered him.
They murdered everyone who stayed.
I didn't know this for years of course, and when I landed in New york and disembarked, I kissed the ground and said, 'Thank G-d for America.'"
Jack lived with his uncle Max Wohl on the lower eastside of New York.
"One time, after I first came to America, Uncle Max walked out of the bathroom, going to the bedroom, naked.
His wife and married daughter happened to be in the hall when he walked through, and his wife, Ilsa, caught him in the bedroom and said, " You pig! Aren't you ashamed of yourself, being naked in front of your daughter?'
and he said, "she's married allready, she's already seen it.' "
Eventually, Jack Wohl became the first licensed optometrist in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jack didn't make a lot of money, however, as he spent most of his profits buying matierials to make glasses for the poor, and mainly, the local Navajo Indians.
Every night, for 50 years, Jack drove downtown and served meals, at the rescue mission, to the poor.
While Jack was with us at the rehab center, a Rabbi arrived, and Jack and I would go visit him and the other Jewish patients, most of whom were old and feeble.
I would say, "Jack let's go visiting, do a mitzvah."
And Jack would respond, in his charming way, offhandedly, "A mitzvah, yeah."
"one day, " Jack said, "I was at a restaruant with my wife, in Albuquerque, and a man came over to our table and said, Mr Wohl, I want to apologize for what the German's did to the Jews, I ask your forgiveness.
I told him I'd forgiven the Germans a long time ago.
He was the first, and only German, that ever did that."
"Jack, " I asked, "How could you forgive the Germans, after what they did?"
"Hate destroys you, Michael, you have to let it go." He said.
"You can't forget, but you can forgive."
Once I knocked on the door of Jack's room, "Come in", he said and in the gloom
he was watching tv, the history channel, it was a documentary about the Nazi crimes.
This was the only time he ever seemed distant.
"I was there." he said.
"I can tell when they are showing something as it happened, or not.
I was there.
I saw hitler.
My father operated on Goebbels.
One night I was riding my bicycle and a group of brownshirts knocked me off the bike and beat me.
When my father was smuggling me out of Germany, storm troopers boarded our train
and took my father off.
He was gone for two hours.
When he came back his face was white.
I had never seen my father like this.
I noticed his gold watch was missing.
He'd bribed the stormtroopers to let us go."
Jack repayed the crimes of the holocaust by living a life of kindness and service to human beings. To the least of mankind he offered his hand and his heart.
As I stood there watching Jack's sadness, his face reflected in the glow of the television replaying the crimes of the German nation, I put my hand on his shoulder and squeezed gently, "Hey Jack, let's go visit the Rabbi, do a mitzvah."
He smiled, "Yeah, a mitzvah."
Jack Wohl, of Blessed Memory, passed away last week.
He will always be in my hearts core, in my heart of hearts, forever.
He was a mensch
Posted by Michael Blackburn, Sr at 10:21 AM
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Imam justifies rape of unveiled women. Australia's top Muslim cleric compares victims to 'uncovered meat' that attracts cats
Muslims often "protect women's honor" by stoning them to death in
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
As the enemy shifts tactics, we are shifting our tactics...
I will send more troops to Iraq if General Casey says, I need more troops in Iraq to achieve victory. ....this is a struggle between radicals and extremists who are trying to prevent there to be a democracy, for a variety of reasons. And it's in our interest that the forces of moderation prevail in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. A defeat there -- in other words, if we were to withdraw before the job is done, it would embolden extremists. They would say, you know, we were right about America in the first place, that America did not have the will necessary to do the hard work. That's precisely what Osama bin Laden has said, for example. A defeat there would make it easier for people to be able to recruit extremists and kids, to be able to use their tactics to destroy innocent life. A defeat there would dispirit people throughout the Middle East who wonder whether America is genuine in our commitment to moderation and democracy.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Radical Islam is enjoying an orgy of blood-letting around the world.
Here are some examples of their current hi jinks:
On Sunday, youths set a bus ablaze on the outskirts of Paris, then stoned police and firemen trying to put out the flames. Bus drivers refused yesterday to take to the streets of Grigny, south of Paris, in protest.
It was at least the fifth time in recent weeks that youths have launched an apparently concerted attack on the police and symbols of the French state.
"The attacks of the last few weeks show [the gangs] are well prepared and using military-like organization," said Gaelle James, of a police trade union.
She said gang members were getting "younger and younger, and more and more violent".
Across France in the first six months of this year, 21,000 cars were burnt out and there were 2,882 attacks on the police, fire and ambulance services.
Arab Killings In Iraq
(AP) At least two more policemen were fatally shot early Tuesday in the southern Iraqi city of Amarah, where militiamen loyal to an anti-American cleric have been hunting down officers aligned with a rival group in a new outbreak of Shiite-on-Shiite revenge attacks.
A U.S. military spokesman said there had been no word on the fate of a U.S. Army solider reported missing in Baghdad on Monday. Troops carrying photos of the missing soldier continued door-to-door searches while Army Kiowa reconnaissance helicopters circled overhead in the central Karradah district.
The missing soldier's name and other personal details have not been officially released. American troops who raided Baghdad's al-Furat TV on Monday said they were looking for an abducted American officer of Iraqi descent who had gone to join family members in Karradah.
"We have not heard anything," Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, an American spokesman in Baghdad, said Tuesday.
"We are sure U.S. forces are doing everything they can in the search."
A U.S. military official in Washington on Monday said the missing soldier was a U.S. Army translator of Iraqi descent who may have been abducted. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not cleared for release.
The American military announced that two more U.S. Marines were killed during combat in the insurgent stronghold of Anbar province. The deaths raised to 89 the number of U.S. forces killed in October, the highest toll for any month this year and on course to surpass the October 2005 total of 96. Before that the deadliest months were January 2005, at 107; November 2004 at 137 and April 2004, at 135.
Police captain Hussein Salih Hassan was killed Tuesday in a pre-dawn gun battle with attackers who forced their way into his home, Ali Challoub, an administrator at Amarah's al-Sadr Public hospital, said. A non commissioned officer, Ala' Ghlayyim Zned was killed in his home by machine gun-toting attackers at around the same time, Challoub said.
The latest killings in Amarah follow the murders of four policemen on Monday, which were blamed on fighters of the Mahdi Army headed by hard line anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Those forces appeared to have control of the southern city's streets after the police force dominated by the rival Badr Brigades fled. Although the Iraqi army set up a few roadblocks, troops did not seek to block Mahdi fighters.
The spread of revenge killings among Shiites in their southern heartland poses a new challenge for the Iraqi government and American forces struggling to control insurgent and sectarian bloodshed to the north _ especially in Baghdad. It also bodes ill for greater political progress; both al-Sadr's party and the sponsors of the Badr Brigades, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, are members of the ruling Shiite coalition.
The attacks came despite a public call by al-Sadr to halt the killings, suggesting that splinter groups were developing within his militia.
GAZA CITY,Palestinian Murders
Gaza Strip A Palestinian security officer was killed Sunday night in internal Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian security officials said.
The man worked for Preventive Security, a security organization allied with President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, the officials said. The identity of the assailants was not immediately known, but the officials linked the killing to internal Palestinian violence that has been raging in the Gaza Strip for weeks. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.
Fatah is embroiled in a feud with Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the government in the Palestinian Authority. At least 14 people have been killed in street violence between forces loyal to the rivals. Early Sunday, a Fatah activist was killed in a clash with Hamas gunmen.
More Arab genocide in Darfur
Arab tribesmen killed hundreds of villagers in late August in the western Darfur region, the United Nations human rights office said.
Militia groups from the Habbania tribe carried out a ``brutal campaign'' in southern Darfur, involving ``wholesale burning of villages, looting and forced displacements,'' the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a report published yesterday.
The campaign, which may have killed several hundred civilians, ``appears to have been conducted with the knowledge and material support of government authorities,'' said the report, which called for an independent inquiry. ``Government knowledge, if not complicity, in the attacks is almost certain.''
The conflict in Darfur, a region the size of France, has caused the deaths of as many as 400,000 people and driven more than 2 million from their homes.
To Palestinians blowing up Jews is much more fun than negotiating.
France is 20% Muslim.
Europe correctly fears becoming Islamic in
the near future.
The U.S., and Israel , which I call IsraelAmerica, is the last
bastion of freedom in the world.
When we entered Iraq we should have
killed far more people and done much more damage than was done.
But mistakes were made.
Nonetheless, we cannot lose in Iraq.
If we give up, cut and run, redeploy, or whatever you call it, the U.S. will not be
able to tolerate the slaughter that will increase dramatically upon our
departure, we will have to go back, and the situation will be infinitely more
The only way to win the war on terror is to throttle the
The war on terrorism is the Third World war, and it
won't be won by the U.N., which talks and talks, as they are doing in Darfur,
and when all the innocent are dead say, "Problem solved."
Monday, October 23, 2006
From the NY Times
On Baghdad Streets, a Police Partnership Falters (October 22, 2006)
Details of the blueprint, which is to be presented to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki before the end of the year and would be carried out over the next year and beyond, are still being devised. But the officials said that for the first time Iraq was likely to be asked to agree to a schedule of specific milestones, like disarming sectarian militias, and to a broad set of other political, economic and military benchmarks intended to stabilize the country.
Although the plan would not threaten Mr. Maliki with a withdrawal of American troops, several officials said the Bush administration would consider changes in military strategy and other penalties if Iraq balked at adopting it or failed to meet critical benchmarks within it.
A senior Pentagon official involved in drafting the blueprint said Iraqi officials were being consulted as the plan evolved and would be invited to sign off on the milestones before the end of the year. But he added, “If the Iraqis fail to come back to us on this, we would have to conduct a reassessment” of the American strategy in Iraq.
In a statement issued Saturday night, a White House spokeswoman, Nicole Guillemard, said the Times’s account was “not accurate,” but did not specify what officials found to be inaccurate.
The plan is being formulated by General George W. Casey Jr. and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, the top military and civilian officials in Iraq, as well as by Pentagon officials.
General Casey has been in close consultations with the White House as the debate over the way forward in Iraq has intensified in recent weeks. And he and Mr. Khalilzad took part by videoconference on Saturday in a strategy meeting with President Bush and senior administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top American commander in the Middle East, and Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“We’re trying to come up with ways to get the Iraqis to step up to the plate, to push them along, because the time is coming,” a senior administration official said. “We can’t be there forever.”
Until now, the Bush administration has avoided using threats of deadlines for progress, saying conditions on the ground would determine how quickly Iraq took on greater responsibility for governing the country and how soon American troops could withdraw. CBS News has reported that the Pentagon was studying these questions, but the broad scope of the steps under consideration and the benchmarks that are being contemplated have not been disclosed.
“We’ve been coordinating with the Iraqis for months on a series of measures they can take to assume more control of their country,” the White House statement said, “and to form the basis for a national compact between all communities in Iraq on the way forward.”
The idea of devising specific steps that Mr. Maliki would have to take was described by senior officials who support the plan but would speak only on condition of anonymity. Their willingness to discuss a plan that has not been fully drafted appeared intended at least in part to signal renewed flexibility on the part of the administration, and perhaps also to pre-empt the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, a commission led by James A. Baker III and charged with formulating a new strategy in Iraq. It is expected to issue recommendations late this year or early next year.
The plan also moves the administration closer to an idea advocated by many Democrats, who have called for setting a date for beginning phased withdrawals of American troops from Iraq as a way to compel Iraq’s government to resolve its internal divisions and take on more responsibility.
Frustration is growing among senior American military officers and civilian officials in Iraq and at the Pentagon with Mr. Maliki for his failure to move decisively against Shiite militias and on a wide range of other fronts. Even the implied threat that the administration would reassess its presence in Iraq may not be enough, senior officials said.
In Baghdad, Iraqi leaders have been watching the discussions carefully and expressing uneasiness over the growing political pressure in the United States for a troop pullout.
Tensions between Washington and Baghdad reached a new point on Monday when Mr. Maliki, who took office in May, used a telephone call with Mr. Bush to seek assurances that the United States did not intend to oust him. The White House said after the call that Mr. Bush had pledged full support for the Iraqi.
Mr. Rumsfeld alluded to discussions about benchmarks on Friday at a Pentagon news conference, noting that Mr. Khalilzad and General Casey “are currently working with the Iraqi government to develop a set of projections as to when they think they can pass off various pieces of responsibility.”
He emphasized the urgency of transferring more security and governing responsibilities to the Iraqis. “It’s their country,” he said. “They’re going to have to govern it, they’re going to have to provide security for it, and they’re going to have to do it sooner rather than later.”
Next Page »
Friday, October 20, 2006
By JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
October 18, 2006
A federal appeals court in Washington has upheld the State Department's designation of a militant Jewish group, Kahane Chai, as a terrorist organization.
In a unanimous ruling yesterday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found "substantial support" for the State Department¹s action in 2004 reaffirming its ban on the group.
Judge Douglas Ginsburg cited Kahane Chai's "glorification" of a 1994 attack on the Tomb of the Patriarchs, also known as the Mosque of Abraham, in the West Bank town of Hebron. In the assault, an American-born Jew, Baruch Goldstein, killed 29 Arab worshippers.
Judge Ginsburg said the secretary of state who reaffirmed the designation, Colin Powell, acted reasonably because of evidence linking Kahane Chai to death threats against Israeli police officers and a prime minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon.
The panel, which included Judges David Sentelle and Stephen Williams, said its assessment of the evidence against Kahane Chai was circumscribed by precedents that preclude any judicial verification of the claims against the group. "We make no judgment as to the accuracy of the information in the record," Judge Ginsburg wrote. "We do not invalidate a designation simply because it is logically possible that the secretary's conclusion might be wrong."
Kahane Chai was founded in the wake of the 1990 assassination of the founder of the Jewish Defense League, Rabbi Meir Kahane. Both groups called for the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.
An attorney for Kahane Chai, Kenneth Klein, did not respond to a phone message seeking comment for this article.
The court also upheld a new terrorist designation for a Web site — www.Kahane.org. The judges said the site was registered to a "chameleon-like" Kahane Chai leader, Michael Guzovsky.
Americans are banned from knowingly donating to designated terrorist groups, and American financial institutions may not hold funds for such groups. The court said such restraints, even on the Kahane Web site, "do not violate its First Amendment right to speak."
New York Sun
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Steven Spielberg on Wednesday presented a documentary about the Nazi massacre of tens of thousands of Jews at the Babi Yar ravine in Ukraine, several weeks after Ukraine marked the 65th anniversary of the tragedy.
The film by Ukrainian director Serhiy Bukovsky, 'Spell Your Name,' for which Spielberg worked as co-executive producer, contains the testimony of Jewish survivors who escaped brutal execution and those who rescued friends and neighbors during the Holocaust.
"The stories and experience of survivors in Ukraine need to be seen and heard by the people of the world, who may not know what happened in Ukraine during the Holocaust," Spielberg said at a news conference.
The film was produced by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, a Los Angeles-based organization founded by Spielberg in 1994.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
The man who Geraldo Rivera calls "a creep, sleazy, anti-Semite" appeared on Good Morning America Oct 13th, continuing his P.R. campaign that began with his recent DUI arrest, the goal of which seems to be to pave the way for acceptance of the release of his latest film due out late this month.
After saying that the anit-Jew comments he made were just drunken ramblings, and didn't represent his true views, and that the statement he made to arresting officers that "Jews cause all the wars", was not something he really believed, he admitted that he did have "pent up anger" resulting from criticism of his version of the "Passion Play" as being anti-Semitic.
He said, "I received a lot of brutal attacks from Jews, and not one apology."
He also stated that he was "angry" about the "Jews activities" during the conflict between Israel and the terrorist organization Hezbollah in Lebonan.
In a related story, Bill O'reilly, Fox News right wing commentator, (who recently settled a sexual harassment case out of court) defended Gibson and said that Geraldo should forgive Gibson because, in his words, to Geraldo, "You are a Jew Catholic."
O'Reilly also expressed his view that negative criticism directed against Gibson's father was unfair.
Gibson's father, you may recall, in denying that the Holocaust actually occurred, said, " Six million Jews weren't murdered in Germany, they just moved to Florida."
Although, at the time, Gibson didn't address that comment, he did say he "would punch anyone in the mouth" who said his father was a liar.
I actually emailed Gibson at the time, and wrote, "Mel Gibson, you are an unrepentant anti-Jew. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Oh, and your father is a liar.
I've enclosed my phone number so you can call me and we can meet at the local boxing club so you can punch me in the mouth, if you are able."
Surprisingly, he never called.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Her apartment was dark and atmospheric, with rich polished walnut, mahagony and cherry wood tables and chairs.
A brilliant lady, she escaped from Nazi Germany in the 40's.
She spoke 7 languages fluently, including Yiddish and Hebrew.
Ilsa was non-religious, but she loved the Jewish people.
She observed the Holy Days because she felt the tradition was important for continuity of her people's culture.
There was a reform synagogue in midtown that I felt had the kind of atmosphere that I thought would be perfect for her, but I could never persuade her to go.
"Well," I ventured finally, "There's a conservative synagogue just a few blocks from here.
Let's you and I go there Saturday."
She wouldn't come, however.
"Why won't you go to Shul, Ilse?" I asked her.
She leaned back in her burgundy, overstuffed chair and said, "Michael, let me tell you this little story."
I got comfortable in a chair facing her and started to light my meerschaum.
She smiled and touched my hand, "Don't smoke, Michael, it's bad for you."
I put the pipe down and listened as she began her little story.
"In the Old country, Bert the tailor's son was coming home from Berlin, from the university, where he had studied medicine. His father could hardly wait.
'My Son, the Doctor! Here he will have plenty of patients, now people could get sick whenever they felt like it!"
The doctor came home on Friday.
Saturday morning his father wanted him to go to shul.
"I'm not going, Tatte," said his son.
"Why not?" exclaimed his father. "You are ashamed to be seen with me ? Now that you're a doctor you don't have to pray or praise G-d? Maybe you are tired, or sick, G-d forbid."
"No, Tatte, I'll tell you why I won't go, however. Imagine that you are the richest man who ever lived.
So rich that a few rubles here or there doesn't matter to you at all. You are a wealthy man.
Now imagine that a widow lives across the street from you, and she has children, and they need help.
What would you do?"
"I'd help her of course,"
"I'm sure you would. But would you wait until the widow came and begged for help? Cried her heart out? Fainted for you?"
"G-d forbid! If I knew, why would I wait?"
"And G-d" says the doctor, "Is he better or worse than you? If He is better, he already knows that poor sickly people need help, and He doesn't wait for them to come and beg him."
"You mean about praising him?"
"Well, Tatte, how would you like it if someone came up and praised you to your face, saying, 'what a good tailor! What a fine tailor! The one and only tailor in the world!"
"Stop, already." interrupts the old man. "I'm getting nauseous just from..."
"Sure you are. And you know why? Because you are not a fool who enjoys someone praising him in this way.
G-d is wiser than we are, He needs our praise? He needs someone to stand before him three times a day and say, 'a good tailor! A fine tailor!'
A good G-d, a fine G-d, one who created heaven and earth, you think he doesn't know better?"
The old man thought about it for a moment, then suddenly bounced out of his chair.
"Everything you say is true, Son, but a person still has to Daven, doesn't he?"
"Now do you understand, Michael?" Ilse asked gently.
I smiled back, "I understand, Ilse."
"We'll have coffee." she said.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
With all of the Islamic murders occurring in Iraq and
Afganistan things seem to have quieted down at least temporarily in Eretz Israel.
5,000 evangelical Christians march for Israel in Jerusalem By Reuters More than 5,000 evangelical Christians, including believers from as far afield as Congo and New Zealand, marched through Jerusalem Tuesday to voice their support for Zionism and the state of Israel.
"After the war, we wanted even more for the people of Israel to know that we are not afraid. God wanted us to come to show them we love them," said Jan Christianson, 61, who came from New Zealand with her husband.
The pilgrims, many of them wearing t-shirts bearing the slogan "Israel, you are in our hearts," were welcomed on Sunday with a message from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
"This is the city God has chosen to be the capital of the Jewish people and it will remain the capital of the Jewish people," the recorded message said. In response, the crowd applauded and shouted in Hebrew: "The nation of Israel lives!"
First rabbis are ordained in Germany since the Holocaust ...
Three men were ordained as rabbis in Germany this week, the first to be confirmed in the country since the Nazis destroyed the College of Jewish Studies in Berlin during World War II.
New rabbis Daniel Alter, 47, of Germany, Thomas Cucera, 35, of the Czech Republic, and Malcolm Matitiani, 38, of South Africa are the first ordained graduates of Abraham Geiger College, which opened in 1999.
For many German Jews, the event, held at Dresden’s new synagogue, is a symbol of the rebirth of Jewish life in Germany, where more than 500,000 Jews lived before the Holocaust. Many emigrated and 200,000 were killed at Nazi hands, and after the war between only 10 and 15,000 were left in the country. Today, more than 100,000 Jews live throughout Germany.
New Year honey sales expected to top NIS 55 million ...
Israel’s honey sales are expected to top NIS 55 million this New Year, making up about half of the sales for the year in total, according to a Federation of Israeli Chamber of Commerce survey.
1900 tons of honey are sold in the month before the holiday, with 15% in gift baskets. Israelis consume one half kilogram per capita each year, which is 25% more than in Europe and the US.
The honey harvest is expected to lose between 100 and 200 tons this year due to recent war activity and agricultural fires.
Magal to install security system along northern border ...
Magal Security Systems plans to install a perimeter intrusion detection system along Israel’s northern border, with completion scheduled for early 2007.
The Israeli Defense Ministry will provide about $5.5 million for the project.
Magal’s systems “are currently protecting the majority of Israel’s borders,” according to the company’s CEO, Izhar Dekel.
Shots fired at Oslo synagogue ...
In Norway shots were fired at the Oslo synagogue. No one was wounded. Apparently the shots were fired from a passing car.
The synagogue is located next to the municipality and is the only synagogue in the capital.The building's facade was hit by the shots.
Since the outbreak of war in Lebanon attitudes towards Jews in Norway have deteriorated. About 1,200 Jews live in Norway, mostly in Oslo with an additional 500 Israelis located through out the country.
Minor earthquake shakes Israel ...
A magitude 4 earthquake was felt across Israel on Sunday morning. There were no injuries or damage reported. Jerusalem residents felt the tremor and reported seeing their coffee and chairs move.
Eight days prior, a light earthquake was felt in Jerusalem as well as one several months ago.
Saturday, October 7, 2006
[ See All ]
Peace Journalism Oct 7 2006 5:08PM GMT
Daily India Oct 7 2006 4:37PM GMT
Assad: Syria preparing for Israeli attack
OptusNet Oct 7 2006 4:37PM GMT
Lebanese PM urges UN action over Israeli flights
Daily India Oct 7 2006 4:37PM GMT
Israeli troops foil Palestinian bombing
Gulf Times Oct 7 2006 4:24PM GMT
US promises receive a cold response from Palestinians
Jerusalem Post Oct 7 2006 4:24PM GMT
Breaking point for Israel, PA talks
Gulf Times Oct 7 2006 4:22PM GMT
Haniya defiant on Israel, hits out at 'diktats'
Yahoo! Singapore News Oct 7 2006 4:08PM GMT
Enough evidence to charge Israel president: police
Friday, October 6, 2006
In the 17th century Baruch Spinoza took up where Maimonides left off.
A major issue for Spinoza was what he considered to be a rational relationship with G-d. Spinoza argued that the Tanakh should be read as a method of understanding Jewish belief at successive stages of development.
He wrote, "Knowledge of G-d is not based on books but on the idea transmitted to the prophets of the Divine Mind," i.e. "obedience to G-d and and the practice of justice and charity. His views were seen as opposition to Rabbinic authority and in religious court he was excommunicated. Yet so overwhelming was his intellectual power that his work is considered to be the foundation of the philosophies of Descartes, Newton, Locke, Voltaire and Kant, each of whom in their own way followed in Spinoza's tracks. Zionism is considered by many to be the intellectual prodigy of Maimonides, Spinoza and Mendelssohn(the father of Jewish Enlightenment).
Although none of these thinkers were secular, they are widely credited with providing the intellectual foundation of secular thought.
From the 19th century onwards more and more Jews began to equate Judaism not with Religion but with a culture, a way of life.
Secular Jews believe in reason and reality, that is, the power of humans to solve their problems.
They believe that every human being deserves life, freedom and dignity.
They believe in the value of Jewish identity, separation of church and state as well as the survival of the state of Israel.
The question then is whether secular Judaism is a threat to the continued existence of the Jews, a positive development, or merely another expression of variation among the Jewish people.
Monday, October 2, 2006
The militants, known as the Popular Resistance Committees, said stalled talks aimed at freeing Corporal Shalit had resumed but offered no details.
"If the Zionist enemy decided to enter Gaza in a large scale raid, the file of the soldier may get closed again," said Popular Resistance Committees spokesman Abu Mujahed.
"If they enter Gaza and kill people or even if they eliminate all Gazans, they will never regain their soldier."
Egypt said it had secured agreement with Israel for a prisoner swap but the militants had turned it down.
"Egypt succeeded in securing a swap deal with Israel to free (Palestinian) women, children, elders and those who have been serving long prison terms in exchange for the soldier," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told Dubai-based Al Arabiya television in an interview aired on Monday.
"A deal that could have guaranteed freeing 900-1,000 prisoners -- but sadly they have decided to keep holding him (Shalit)," said Aboul Gheit.
Egypt has been trying to broker a deal for the release of Shalit, who was seized in a cross-border raid from the southern Gaza Strip on June 25.
Israel responded by launching a ground offensive which has killed more than 220 Palestinians.
Abu Mujahed, whose group was one of three that took Shalit, said Egyptian-mediated talks on a swap had recently resumed.
"Contacts may have stopped at one stage but they have been resumed recently ... We have just demands. If these demands are not met, there will be no solution to this issue," he said.
A source close to the Shalit negotiations said: "Egyptian efforts and contacts with the factions are continuing".
Israel's top general, Dan Halutz, said on Sunday Israel could step up military action in the Gaza Strip to halt rocket fire at the Jewish state.
"We will have to find a military means to reduce the rocket fire on Sderot," Halutz told Israel Radio, naming the southern Israeli city frequently struck by rockets fired from Gaza.
Asked what more the army could do, Halutz replied: "For example a more continued and deeper ground action ... we are holding consultations about this."
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said last week Israel may release more Palestinian prisoners than expected as part of possible deal covering the release of Shalit.