Saturday, August 17, 2002

Questions about the effect of Lariam, an anti malaria drug taken by soldiers sent to Afghanistan. 3 Fort Bragg soldiers have murdered their wives, two committed suicide after, and it seems all three took this medication.
Divest and Conquer By ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ
Forward 5/31/02

A nasty and immoral campaign is being waged around the world to damage
Israel's economy by coercing universities and other institutions into
divesting their holdings in Israel, as some of them did from South Africa
during the apartheid regime. There is no justification for the comparison
between the two, and the divestment effort should be opposed by anyone who
supports human rights.


As fair-minded observers understand, the two cases are entirely different.
South African apartheid was a racist system by which a minority controlled
and subjugated a disenfranchised majority. The campaign for South African
divestment was inspired and joined by long-term advocates of neutral
support for human rights across the board. Israel, by contrast, is a
functioning democracy that guarantees full equality before the law to all
its citizens, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. The anti-Israel
divestment campaign has been inspired by pleaders with a particular animus
toward Israel and little commitment to human rights in general.


The intellectual leader of this campaign is none other than Noam Chomsky,
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguist, who has long favored
the abolition of the state of Israel and the substitution of a "secular,
binational state" based, it seems, on the model of Lebanon. This is the
same Chomsky who has defended the "findings" of the notorious French
antisemite and Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, who claims "the Jews"
were responsible for World War II. Chomsky has said that he saw "no hint
of antisemitic implications in Faurisson's works," including his denial of
the Holocaust, which Chomsky claims is based on "extensive historical
research." Chomsky went so far as to write an introduction to one of
Faurisson's antisemitic books.


Of course, Chomsky is not alone in his divest-from-Israel campaign. He is
joined in his ignoble effort by a motley assortment of knee-jerk
anti-Zionists, rabid America-haters, radical leftists such as the
Trotskyist Spartacist League and even a few of Chomsky's former students
who now teach in Israel. Some in this movement would take the money now
invested in the Middle East's only democracy and have it sent to
"progressive" states - countries such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Cuba and the
Palestinian Authority, which support and finance terrorism.


Thankfully, the divestment effort has garnered little support so far among
respectable human rights advocates. Here in Cambridge, Mass., on Chomsky's
home turf, a petition demanding divestment from Harvard and MIT garnered
just 412 signatures from among students, faculty, staff and alumni of the
two institutions, while more than 5,300 signed petitions opposing
divestment. The result should surprise no one.


There is no intellectually or morally defensible case for singling out
Israel for divestiture. Universities invest in a wide array of companies
that have operations in countries all over the world, including many that
systematically violate the human rights of millions of people. And these
other countries are not defending themselves against those who would
destroy them and target their civilians. Yet this petition focuses only on
the Jewish state, to the exclusion of all others, including those that -
by any reasonable standard - are among the worst violators of human
rights.


As an advocate, teacher and student of human rights for almost 40 years, I
feel confident in asserting that Israel's record on human rights is among
the best in the world, especially among nations that have confronted
comparable threats.
Israel has the only independent judiciary in the entire Middle East. Its
Supreme Court, one of the most highly regarded in the world, is the only
court in the Middle East from which an Arab or a Muslim can expect
justice, as many have found in winning dozens of victories against the
Israeli government, the Israeli military and individual Israeli citizens.
There is no more important component in the protection of human rights and
civil liberties than an independent judiciary willing to stand up to its
own government. I challenge the proponents of divestment to name a court
in any Arab or Muslim country that is comparable to the Israeli Supreme
Court.


As the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel is the only country
in the region that has virtually unlimited freedom of speech. Any person
in Israel - whether Jewish, Muslim or Christian - can criticize the
Israeli government and its leaders. No citizen of any other Middle Eastern
or Muslim state can do that without fear of imprisonment or death. As one
wag recently put it, citizens of Israel and the Palestinian Authority have
exactly the same right of free speech - both may criticize Israel and
praise Yasser Arafat.


Israel is the only country in the world that has openly confronted the
difficult issue of protecting the civil liberties of the ticking bomb
terrorist. The Israeli Supreme Court recently ruled that despite the
potential benefits of employing "physical pressure" (that is, using
non-lethal torture in order to extract information), such pressure is now
illegal in Israel. Brutal torture, including lethal torture, is
commonplace in nearly every other Middle Eastern and Muslim country.
Indeed, American authorities sometimes send suspects to Egypt, Jordan and
the Philippines precisely because they know that they will be tortured in
those countries.


The list could go on and on, and by every single standard Israel would
surpass other countries against which no divestiture petition has been
directed. To be sure, Israel is far from perfect. I have been critical of
some of its policies, as have countless Israeli citizens. Crucially, there
are mechanisms within Israel for improving its civil liberties and human
rights record. These mechanisms do not exist in other Middle Eastern and
Muslim nations.


Even when judged against European nations, Israel's human rights record
does very well. It is far better than that of France on virtually any
criterion, even if one forgets about the Algerian War, in which the French
military tortured and murdered thousands of people. It is least as good as
the British record in dealing with terrorism in Northern Ireland. The
Israeli legal system is far superior to that of Italy, Spain and many
other European countries.


There are, of course, difficult issues to be resolved between Israel and
the Palestinians. These include the future of the settlements, the
establishment of Palestinian self-governance and the prevention of
terrorism. These issues will require compromise on all sides. Americans
are and must be free to criticize Israel when they disagree with its
policies or actions, as they criticize any other country in the world
whose record is not perfect. But to single out the Jewish state of Israel,
as if it were the worst human rights offender, is bigotry pure and simple.
Those who sign the Chomsky petition should be ashamed of themselves. If
they are not, it is up to others to shame them.


Here's an alternative to singling out Israel for divestment: Let
universities choose nations for investment in the order of the human
rights records. If that were done, investment in Israel would increase
dramatically, while investments in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan,
Philippines, Indonesia, the Palestinian Authority and most other countries
of the world would decrease dramatically.


I challenge Noam Chomsky to a public debate on whether universities should
invest in or divest from companies that do business with Israel and other
countries.

Alan M. Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard University and author
of "Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age" (Little, Brown &
Co., 2002).

Thursday, August 15, 2002

NY lawmaker wants to end all aid to PA
Reacting to reports that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat hoarded an estimated $1.3 billion in funds meant for the Palestinian people, a New York lawmaker is proposing legislation to immediately end all aid to the PA.

Noting that the US has donated more than $500 million in foreign aid to the Palestinians since 1999, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) proposed plans to offer an amendment to the Foreign Appropriations Bill that would end all aid to the PA, including humanitarian aid.

"He's suckled long enough at the trough of US foreign aid. It's time to cut off Arafat's international welfare check," Weiner said in a written statement released yesterday.
Palestinian rally calls on Saddam to bomb Tel Aviv
Palestinians protesting in the Gaza Strip on Thursday chanted in support of Yasser Arafat and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, calling on Saddam to bomb Tel Aviv, Israel Radio reported .
The rally held in the southern town of Rafah included many youths and children brandishing guns an mock explosive devices.
Thinking out of the Middle Eastern box:
The great success of the Arabs has been to convince people that the war is between Israel and the Palestinians. And, of course, it is true that it is the Palestinians with whom Israel must live most intimately, and with whom it must come to an agreement, explicit or tacit, to achieve peace and security.

But it is a great mistake to think that the Palestinians are influenced only by themselves and Israel. They have never been independent actors. They are deeply influenced by the Arab and Muslim worlds, and always will be. The influence is partly psychological - people's feelings and identity - and partly a matter of politics. Much of the Palestinians' strength, especially diplomatic, comes from Arab and Muslim states. And many of these states play an active and influential role in Palestinian politics, in some cases represented by proxy forces.

Therefore it should be no surprise to suggest that part of Israel's theory of victory is a drastic change in the politics of the Arab world. While the politics of this world has been relatively stagnant for decades, the Soviet Union had been stagnant for more than 70 years when it fell apart almost overnight.

There is a very good chance that neither Saddam Hussein nor the rule of the ayatollahs in Iran will last until 2006, even if President Bush is not as formidable as his supporters believe. And, if Bush is not to be a failure, both regimes may be gone much sooner.

The program of the Iraqi opposition, hammered out in long negotiations among representatives of all factions and groups of Iraqis, is to establish the first pluralist, federal Arab state, to eschew weapons of mass destruction, and to live in peace with their neighbors. They want to reject the ideology of Arab nationalism and return to something more like the traditional Middle Eastern pattern of different ethnic and religious communities living side by side.

Of course, they may not succeed, but the chance for an important degree of success is certainly good enough to include in a reasonable theory of victory.

Prospects for a post-ayatollah Iran are also favorable. Iran is a great cosmopolitan civilization. And its current policies are almost completely inconsistent with Shi'ite traditions, as well as with the democratic hopes that have taken hold widely as a reaction to the current regime. Therefore, it is unlikely that a few years from now Iran will still be the leading government supporting international terror, urging Palestinians to fight harder against Israel, and providing them with guns and money.
Keep reading.
Palestinian Lies & Western Complicity:
JUST THE FACTS
What are the facts, then?

Since the second stage of Oslo was implemented in 1995, and most Palestinian towns and villages were ceded to the control of Arafat's Palestinian Authority, over 95 percent of the Palestinian Arab population of the West Bank and Gaza have not been under physical Israeli occupation. Yet amazingly, Arab spokesmen keep talking about their need to fight Israeli occupation, and officials and the media seldom challenge them. It seems like everyone forgot that in signing the 1992 Oslo accords, Israel recognized Arafat's PLO as the official representative of the Palestinian people. Arafat was brought back, with his henchmen, from exile in Tunisia and given control of territories that Israel occupied in the defensive 1967 war — areas that never belonged to any Palestinian entity.

In return for self-government, the Palestinians undertook to revoke parts of their national covenant that called for Israel's destruction, and never again to resort to violence. These pledges were constantly violated the moment the Israeli occupation was removed.

Still, Israel, exhausted by incessant Arab attacks, and eager for peace, continued implementing the Oslo agreements — including the ceding of territory and relinquishing control over their population. Since Oslo 2, the Palestinians have enjoyed self-rule of sorts. We say "of sorts," not because of the repeated incursions Israel had to make to thwart suicide bombing attacks, but because rule by Arafat's Palestinian Authority was not really "self-determination." The election by which Arafat was elected with an over 90 percent majority, Bolshevik style, was rather questionable and was never repeated again.

In fact, the "Authority" Arafat has established is even more repressive than many of the 21 dictatorships governing all other Arab states. His Tunisian henchmen did what they knew best. They immediately established a rule of terror, brooking no opposition, and wrested control from the local leadership. They systematically violated the Palestinians' most rudimentary human rights, engaging in extortion, kidnap, torture, and summary execution. They robbed the inhabitants of their livelihood, creating such mayhem that the Palestinian standard of living was cut by half and unemployment rose to over 60 percent. Every resource was exploited to wage a war against Israel, including considerable funds earmarked by the EU and U.S. as aid for the refugees.

Arafat's war disrupted trade with Israel and the employment there of most Palestinian labor — both sources of increasing Palestinian wealth. A nascent Palestinian civil society was destroyed, enabling the PLO to radicalize an increasingly impoverished population, and to transform their misery into pathological hatred for Israel.

Yes, the Palestinians are right in feeling under occupation and oppressed. But they are mistaken to think it is by Israel.

The audacious lie about the occupation is based, of course, on a bigger, more basic falsehood: namely, that Israel stole "Palestinian Arab lands" and that the PLO is fighting for the restitution of these illegally "occupied lands," especially those ostensibly usurped for Israeli "settlements" (which occupy, in fact, less than three percent of the West Bank's area, and were built on empty government-owned land).
Keep reading.
Click over to Dawson and read why a second Palestinian Arab state is really quite a bad idea. Thanks Jim for pointing out the link.
REVITAL BARASHI, NINTH VICTIM OF HEBREW U ATTACK DIES
Aug 10, 2002 - Revital Barashi, 30, of Jerusalem, mortally wounded in the attack, was one of nine people killed when a bomb exploded in the Frank Sinatra student center cafeteria on the Hebrew University's Mt. Scopus campus.
Do you remember this? I can't forget it. Thanks Imshin for posting the link.

Sergeant First Class Yosef Avrahami, a resident of Petah Tikva, was 38 years old.
Corporal Vadim Nourezitz, a resident of Or Akiva, was 33 years old.

"After they stabbed him, they carried him to the window and threw him out. He was stabbed so many times."

Hani Avrahami, the wife of one of the two Israelis killed by a Palestinian mob in Ramallah, heard from her husband's killers on a cell phone while he was being murdered.

She was surfing the Internet that afternoon and saw a report of Israeli soldiers in trouble in Ramallah. Anxious, she called the mobile phone her husband Yosef had taken with him to reserve duty.

No one answered at first. She tried again. This time a voice asked: "Who are you looking for?"

"Yossi, my husband," said Hani.

"I just killed your husband," said the voice.

Vadim Nourezitz was 33, a newly married Russian immigrant. Yosef Avrahami, 39, was a toy salesman and father of three.

Police pushed journalists away from the entrance, but what happened next was captured by a cameraman for an Italian TV station: One of the soldiers, in Army boots, being thrown from the window to the mob below.

The mob set upon the soldier and carried him to a traffic circle about a block away, where some tried to put a tire around his body and set it afire. An argument broke out over doing this.

Bodies brutalized

Just then, an ambulance drove up, and workers pulled the body away from the crowd.

None of the witnesses saw what happened to the second soldier inside the police station. But Vatikay said that when the bodies were turned over to Israeli authorities later, they were in "very, very bad" condition.

Both were brutalized; one was also burned.

"I talked to the [Israeli] doctor who saw the bodies. He was crying," said Roni Shaked, the Israeli journalist who wrote the grim account in Yediot.

"He said it was exactly like a tank went over their bodies."

It is almost two years now. I cried as I read this again today.
Daniel Pipes writes:
..one moderate Muslim leader, Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, has warned, extremists have "taken over 80 percent of the mosques" in the United States; another moderate refers to the Islamist leaders as "swindlers" and "radicals." The main institutions of American Islam do not represent the interests and views of the moderate Muslims who are good American citizens.

The most visible Muslim organizations are those that claim to represent Muslim political interests, and especially the trio of the American Muslim Council, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. It is striking to note that all three organizations are Islamist and so seek to forward goals deeply at variance with mainstream American principles (as well as the aspirations and concerns of a majority in the Muslim community). They aspire to achieve four general goals: winning special privileges for Islam (e.g., calling for the creation of a White House Muslim advisory board); intimidating and silencing the opponents of militant Islam (e.g., having death edicts brought down on them, as happened to Khalid Durán); raising funds for, apologizing for, and otherwise forwarding the cause of militant Islamic groups abroad, including those that engage in violence (e.g., the Holy Land Foundation, closed down for raising money "used to support the Hamas terror organization," in President Bush's words); and sanitizing militant Islam (e.g., jihad is not warfare but a form of moral self-improvement).

Which brings us to the subject of terrorism: Since the November 1990 assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane by an Egyptian, the immigrant Muslim community has been associated with a great number of violent incidents - many having taken place long before the atrocities on September 11, 2001. These include the February 1991 murder of Mustafa Shalabi in Brooklyn, N.Y.; the January 1993 attack on cia personnel, killing two; the February 1993 World Trade Center bombing; the March 1994 shooting at a van of Orthodox Jewish boys, killing one; the February 1997 murder atop the Empire State Building of a Danish tourist; the October 1999 crash of an EgyptAir flight near New York City, killing 217; the February 2002 murder of a Tennessee state license examiner; and the July 2002 attack on the El Al counter at Los Angeles International Airport, killing two. In its long history of immigration, the United States has never encountered so violence-prone and radicalized a community as the Muslims who have arrived since 1965.
Read whole article: Faces of American Islam
We Are People Too by Moshe Sheskin

A number of years ago, during a stint in the Israel army reserves, I was
posted at one of the bridges over the Jordan River. It was my unit's
responsibility to examine the travelers, coming from Jordan, prior to their
entry into Israel and the disputed territories in order to prevent contraband
from entering the country, especially detonators,. As our commanding officer
remarked, "Remember, if a bomb goes off due to your negligence, it may also
mean the life of your wife and children." His comments had an instantaneous
effect upon us and although the temperature in the Jordan Valley in August
hovered around the 50 degree mark and hordes of flies added to our discomfort,
we meticulously examined each and every traveler, their documents, baggage,
personal effects and a body search when necessary.

At one point, while going through the process, a young lady shouted at me.

"We are people too you know".

Her anger and discomfort were apparent but the words were penetrating so
that for many years, during my more liberal period, I couldn't shake her cry
and my feeling at that time echoed her frustration and agony. Peace was a
necessity and I was convinced that it was within the realms of possibility,
at least within the next few years..

I firmly believed that we had reached a point in our
relationship with our Arab cousins where we no longer would control their
destiny but could live side by side, two separate people sharing a common
land and history. I felt that the agreements reached by the Palestinian
Authority through Arafat would finally bear fruit and that we really had a
partner for peace.

The cry of that young woman melted into nothingness in October
2000 when two of our soldiers, who had lost their way, were brutally
lynched. The elation by the populace and those who had actually perpetrated
this sadistic act has been permanently etched in my mind.

Thus the intafadah was born and with it, a change in my
attitude. No more did I hear that young women crying to me, "We are people
too". Slowly but surely, after many months of increased conflict and with it
the increased loss of life in the civilian population, my liberalism and
socialist thinking gave way to a distinct hard line. I can no longer believe
in the ability of Arafat to make peace. I no longer believe in Arafat's
commitment to peace evident by his refusal to honour signed agreements.
Arafat's rhetoric only proves once more that the goal is not only that of a
Palestinian State but the complete destruction of Israel.

I lost faith in the Israeli Arabs, the majority of whom not only approve of the
intafadah but support it in many other ways. This is borne out by the numerous
articles and polls that were carried out over the last few years. As citizens of
Israel, I had expected a certain degree of loyalty, while understanding their
feelings and their frustration with respect to our problem with their kinsmen.
The action of our Arab members of the Knesset only showed me that we had
a 'fifth column' in our midst. Yes, it's now my turn to cry out,

"WE ARE PEOPLE TOO, YOU KNOW"

We don't educate our children to hate.

We don't revel in the death of innocent civilians.

We don't shoot our guns in the air to celebrate an Arab death.

We don't march in the streets to celebrate massacres.

We don't have support of a United Nations with a built in Arab majority.

We don't have the support of the Europeans and their anti-Semitic attitudes.

We don't use humans with bombs attached to commit suicide and kill innocent
people.

What we do have is the will to survive and the will to live in peace. What
we want is to take our place in the Middle East as a recognized partner for
the sake of all. What we want is a democratic region where social and
economic conditions will be the right of every individual. When will this
happen? When Arabs will begin to live in peace with each other and recognize
the rights of the individual. Until then, we have no choice but to defend
ourselves and remain strong, not only against our immediate neighbors, but
if need be, against the world.

WE ARE PEOPLE TOO, YOU KNOW.

**********************************************************************************
"[A] thousand years before the Prophet Mohammed was born, the Jew,
already exiled, sitting by the waters of Babylon, was singing:
If I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning."
-Psalm 137:5, quoted by British M.P. Alfred Duff Cooper, July 30, 1939.
Barghouti Indictment Reveals Pyramid of Terror - Dan Izenberg
Marwan Barghouti is head of the West Bank Fatah organization, the Tanzim, and the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, all of which have been declared terrorist organizations by Israel.
Barghouti was indicted on charges including premeditated murder, accessory to murder, incitement to murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and participation and membership in a terrorist organization.
The indictment includes a list of 37 operations carried out or attempted by terrorists under Barghouti's command that claimed the lives of 26 Israelis.
Barghouti was always informed and updated about the actions of his field commanders and knew in advance about attacks. He was directly involved in enlisting activists for the organizations, persuading them to take part in terrorist operations, and providing the logistics for their operations. He was also involved in their financing, arming, and training.
See Text of Barghouti Indictment - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3
A Mideast Specter: Modernity - George F. Will
Francis Fukuyama notes demographic trends that give Europe a huge stake in the transformation of the Middle East. As the median age in Europe rises, in the Middle East and North Africa it will remain at about 21. "So you're going to have this little island of well-to-do elderly people surrounded by vast numbers of people who are a good deal younger and poorer, all wanting to move to the island." (Washington Post)
Who Killed Muhammad Al-Dura?
Muhammad Al-Dura, the poster child of the current Palestinian uprising, was not killed by IDF gunfire at Netzarim junction, according to an inquiry by the German ARD television network based on a study by Israeli physicist Nahum Shahaf.
Shahaf analyzed all available unedited videotape from the area of the event, spoke with IDF soldiers and photographers who were present, and concluded: The Palestinians, in cooperation with foreign journalists, arranged a well-staged production.
Talal Abu-Rahma - the man who brought the world the famous pictures showing Muhammad Al-Dura the moment he was shot - states that he never said the IDF killed Al-Dura.
In the videotapes of the area in front of the Palestinian position - in the area that is supposed to be under IDF fire - one can see the audience. Close to 200 men, teenagers, and children are standing there in two or three rows, with the people in the front row sitting on the edge of the sidewalk. Passing next to them are teenagers riding on bicycles.
In an area distant from the IDF position, people are posing as if they are taking cover at the time of battle, while at the same time, behind them, men and children are walking around freely and smiling, as are many TV photographers (all of whom are Palestinians), just like in Hollywood.
The raw videotape shows that the Palestinian television photographers themselves were part of the events, and that by the time their edited material was received by European, American, and Israeli news editors or networks, it was already in such a format that all that was needed was to add a few anti-Israel comments.
Furthermore, the father's testimony that Muhammad was hit in the back does not square with the claim that he was shot by IDF soldiers.
A People that Celebrates Mass Murder - Michael B. Oren
In Gaza, crowds of children reveled and sang while adults showered them with candies in celebration of the cold-blooded murder of 9 people - 5 of them Americans - and the maiming of 80 more at Jerusalem's Hebrew University. In the mid-1990s, after bus bombs in Israel killed dozens, an estimated 70,000 Palestinians filled a Gaza stadium to cheer a re-enactment of the massacre. For a majority of Israelis, the issue is whether a fundamentally sound society can trust one that has lost its mental and moral bearings. (Wall Street Journal)
Palestinian Counterfeit Industry Funds Terrorism
Profits from a massive manufacturing operation in the Palestinian territories producing counterfeit CDs, computer software, and designer clothing are funding terrorist activities, according to a classified Israeli Police intelligence investigation reported in Maariv. "The owners of factories producing the fake merchandise pay royalties to Hamas, Fatah, and even to senior Palestinian Authority officials," an Israeli involved in the operations revealed.
Smuggled Parts Help Iraqi Military Maintain Arsenal
Spare parts for Iraq's military are being smuggled from Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics, keeping Saddam Hussein's troops prepared for combat despite an international embargo on weapons trafficking, U.S. defense officials say. The equipment - from truck tires to aircraft parts - is being brought across the border from Syria and Jordan in trucks, officials believe. (Boston Globe/AP)
Iraq's Official Policy of Ethnic Cleansing of Non-Arabs
Osman Siddiq, his wife, and eight children were deported in July from their home in Kirkuk and trucked 80 miles east to the self-governing Kurdish enclave that lives under Western air protection. The Siddiqs are Kurds, the predominant ethnic group in northern Iraq, and they had rejected Decree 199, proclaimed last year by Saddam Hussein for "nationality correction" - Iraq's equivalent of ethnic cleansing. It gives Kurds and other minorities (Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Turkmen) the chance to avow that they "mistakenly" registered themselves as non-Arabs and that they wish to reclaim their Arab origins. (New York Times)

The Kurds of Iraq are Girding for War
Guerrillas, known as "peshmergas," are working day and night hauling sandbags, digging trenches, and bulldozing mountain roads to their front lines. In what may be the opening battle of the war for Iraq, the Kurds are preparing to crush the Taliban-inspired Islamists known as Ansar-al-Islam, who have seized territory on the Iraqi-Iranian border. (The Dawn - Pakistan)
MARWAN BARGHOUTI INDICTED
Marwan Barghouti was indicted in Israel today and has been charged with murder, aiding and abetting murder, promoting murder, attempted murder, criminal conspiracy, and being an active member of a terrorist organization.

Barghouti is accused of heading Fatah, the Tanzim and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Judea and Samaria and of being a central partner in the decision-making of those organizations, which in the past two years, have perpetrated dozens of terrorist attacks in which many Israeli citizens were killed and hundreds wounded. Barghouti led, administered, financed and initiated many terrorist actions against Israelis through terrorists such as: Nasser Aweis, Nasser Abu-Hamid and Raed Karmi. A clear picture emerges of an arch-murderer who had an active hand in dozens of terrorist actions.

Barghouti's indictment was prepared by State Prosecutor's Office Criminal-Security Affairs Department Director Devorah Chen, esq., with the approval of State Prosecutor Edna Arbel, following Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein's decision to prosecute senior terrorists apprehended during Operation Defensive Shield in the civil courts.
Do yourself a favor and take the time to read this. An excerpt:
The most important element of any security measure, Schneier argues, is people, not technology—and the people need to be at the scene. Recall the German journalists who fooled the fingerprint readers and iris scanners. None of their tricks would have worked if a reasonably attentive guard had been watching. Conversely, legitimate employees with bandaged fingers or scratched corneas will never make it through security unless a guard at the scene is authorized to overrule the machinery. Giving guards increased authority provides more opportunities for abuse, Schneier says, so the guards must be supervised carefully. But a system with more people who have more responsibility "is more robust," he observed in the June Crypto-Gram, "and the best way to make things work. (The U.S. Marine Corps understands this principle; it's the heart of their chain of command rules.)"
"The trick is to remember that technology can't save you," Schneier says. "We know this in our own lives. We realize that there's no magic anti-burglary dust we can sprinkle on our cars to prevent them from being stolen. We know that car alarms don't offer much protection. The Club at best makes burglars steal the car next to you. For real safety we park on nice streets where people notice if somebody smashes the window. Or we park in garages, where somebody watches the car. In both cases people are the essential security element. You always build the system around people."
Thanks to Silflay Hraka for posting the link.
You must click over to read Oceanguy's story about the lies that lie behind the evening news.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

The British Left Goes Anti-Semitic
Thanks Imshin for posting the link.
American Citizens Killed or Injured by Palestinian Terrorists
Since September 13, 1993, at least 37 Americans have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists and at least another 72 Americans have been injured. This is a list of names and dates of attacks on U.S. citizens.
On Fighting Corruption in the Arab World - Dr. Abd Al-Wahhab Al-Effendi
Charges of corruption have no meaning unless they take place in an open and transparent regime, with known and fixed rules and regulations, clear foundations for accountability, and independent and neutral apparatuses to deal with it.
In the Arab world, where there are absolute autocratic regimes, the concept of corruption loses all meaning, as the law is the ruler's will; he decides what is permitted and what is forbidden, and his bonuses and gifts are a legitimate livelihood. The ruler chooses to favor his friends and cronies - the men of his court, his entourage, and his proteges - in what is considered the embodiment of legitimate gain. (Al-Hayat - London/MEMRI)
Marwan Barghouti: Terrorist Chief - Peter Hermann (Baltimore Sun)
Most Israeli officials believe Marwan Barghouti is not the man they once thought he was. Far from being a political reformer, they say, he is an unabashed militant, the financier of suicide bombers and gunmen who have killed dozens of Israeli civilians.
Barghouti, general secretary of Arafat's Fatah faction for the West Bank, was arrested in April in Ramallah during Operation Defensive Shield.
The Israeli army says Barghouti also commanded the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a militant wing that escalated its attacks from sporadic shootings of Jewish settlers in the West Bank to suicide bombings and attacks in Israeli cities.
Among the PA documents captured by the IDF is a memo from a militant leader who wrote to Barghouti complaining that Palestinian security officials had confiscated an M-16 assault rifle and that he wanted it back. Handwritten at the bottom of the memo is this: "I request the return of the weapon to the brothers or suitable monetary compensation. Thank you and all the best, Marwan Barghouti."
In another memo, Barghouti requests that Arafat approve paying 19 fighters $3,000 each, all of whom, he wrote, "are wanted by the occupation authorities."
The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported that other papers show Barghouti provided money to Palestinians involved in the lynching of army soldiers in a Ramallah police station on Oct. 12, 2000.
Israeli authorities have said that during interrogation, Barghouti confessed to his involvement in attacks.
Barghouti's popularity in the West Bank is high, but his influence beyond Ramallah is not clear. In outlying villages and northern West Bank cities that serve as militant strongholds to rival factions, his directives are considered but not necessarily followed.
U.S. Spots Activity at Iraqi Biological Weapons Facility
A convoy of about 60 trucks was photographed by a U.S. spy satellite at a known biological weapons facility near Taji last week, according to U.S. intelligence officials. After the war, the Taji plant was found to have produced hundreds of liters of botulinum toxin and was suspected of producing anthrax spores.
Iraq is a self-sufficient producer of a variety of deadly germ weapons, noted Kelly Motz, a specialist on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, that include aflatoxin, anthrax, botulinum, and other agents. It also has worked on deadly viruses, possibly a virus similar to smallpox. (Washington Times)
HE'S BILLION-DOLLAR ARAFAT
Yasser Arafat has secretly amassed at least $1.3 billion in "personal assets," Israel's chief of military intelligence said yesterday.
Maj. Gen. Aharon Zeevi's comments were based on financial documents and other evidence confiscated earlier this year from the PLO chairman's headquarters in Ramallah and other Palestinian Authority offices in the West Bank.
Zeevi gave few details about Arafat's fortune in his regular monthly briefing before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense committees.
But a high-ranking Israeli official said the confirmed $1.3 billion is believed to be only a fraction of Arafat's true holdings.
A 1994 British intelligence report allegedly put the figure at more than $10 billion. Recently, a knowledgeable Israeli source put the figure at $11 billion.
Oo ya, you've just got to keep reading.
A visual commentary on diplomacy..enjoy. Hope it made you giggle :-)
From a recent Time article: "If we sort out Iraq and Detroit develops a hydrogen engine," says a U.S. diplomat, "Saudi Arabia will go back to being a fascinating, benighted part of the world that people don't visit."

This is the solution to the problems in the Middle East. Cut of the money flow. Switch to Fuel Cells. Make them drink their oil.

Energy giant Shell prepares for end of oil era - by Andrew Mitchell
REUTERS October 4, 2001
NEW YORK - Big Oil must prepare itself for the end of the hydrocarbon age as alternative energies win over consumers in coming decades, chairman of world No. 2 energy firm Royal Dutch/Shell said yesterday.
Oil giants from the last century will have to look to their laurels if they are not to be unseated as motorists move towards hydrogen-powered vehicles, and renewable energies, such as wind or solar power, emerge, Shell chairman Phil Watts told reporters.
"One thing I am convinced of is that the next 50 years is not going to be more of the same. An energy company had better make sure it has the necessary expertise and knowledge," Watts said at the launch of Shell's 'Long Term Energy Scenarios'.
Shell has moved firmly into the same camp as fellow oil supermajor BP, which has made vigorous efforts to carve out an environmentally friendly public image.
The world's No. 1 oil firm, Exxon, has by contrast concentrated firmly on its oil and gas interests, and had little truck with the environmental lobby.
Shell has pledged to spend between $500 million and $1 billion in the next five years to develop new energy businesses, concentrating primarily on solar and wind energy.
"There will be different sources of energy by the middle of the century. It challenges what our portfolio will be," Watts said. "I don't know if Shell will be transmogrified by it, but I wouldn't like the opportunity to pass by default."

OIL ON TOP
Oil currently sucks up around 40 percent of primary energy use. While that will fall to barely 25 percent by 2050, oil will still be the top dog, above gas at 20 percent, according to Shell figures.
"We are going to have oil and gas for many, many years," Watts said. "The internal combustion engine is not going to go away. It's going to fight for its life. Under pressure the internal combustion engine is going to develop."
Automakers such as Toyota and Honda are already selling hybrid cars which combine traditional engines with battery powered motors.
The vast markets of China and India are key examples of how nations and energy firms alike will need to balance rapidly growing energy needs with rising import dependence and environmental effects, Watts said.
Natural gas will initially pick up much of the slack as oil's preeminence slowly wanes, Watts said. After that, the outlook is far less certain as new technologies fight to establish themselves.
"We could see an evolutionary progression, the so-called carbon shift, from coal to gas, to renewables, or possibly even to nuclear," said Watts.
"A second scenario explores something rather more revolutionary; the potential for a truly hydrogen economy, growing out of new and exciting developments in fuel cells and advanced hydrocarbon technologies," he added.
According to one Shell scenario, rapid growth in fuel cells from 2025 - which produce electricity from hydrogen and cut harmful emissions - could shift the energy business dramatically away from oil long before oil becomes scarce.
Radical changes possible in the energy business means the old order which dominated the last century such as Exxon, BP and Shell itself cannot afford to assume they will dominate for the next 100 years.
"That would be a very complacent view. Longevity in corporations is not the norm," said Watts.
Oil companies will have to be more sensitive to environmental concern, he added. "Companies are not charities but they do have values," he said.

This is the solution to the problems in the Middle East. Cut of the money flow. Switch to Fuel Cells. Make them drink their oil.

Let's spread the word and make this happen sooner rather than later.

If the Saudis sold onions instead of oil," says Gregory Gause, a Saudi expert at the University of Vermont, "we would be talking about how to isolate them."

Monday, August 12, 2002

AMOTZ ASA-EL's Letter To Vaclav Havel

Dear Mr. President,
We don't know each other technically, but spiritually we do.

After all, had it not been for totalitarian circumstances - those which deprived your family of its hefty assets in postwar Prague and mine of its very roots in interwar Czechoslovakia - we might have been fellow citizens in the same country; the same country that was shaped by philosopher Thomas Masaryk; the same Masaryk whose exemplary republic of freedom, tolerance, and prosperity inspired equally your father and mine to believe in that monumental humanist's ideals even, and particularly, when evil seemed to win the day.

They say that when thousands of dissidents rotted in jail cells, dungeons, and gulags beyond the Iron Curtain, we Israelis inspired them in our own struggles against the Soviet Union. In fact, besides challenging communism's designs in the Middle East, we and the rest of the Jewish people also tirelessly demanded of the free world to rally behind people like you, that select few who waved freedom's torch in the faces of those who turned its trampling into an article of faith.

Now the tables have turned, and it's your turn to rally for other victims of totalitarianism.

THOUGH IT'S been 23 years, I gather there's hardly a week, maybe not even a day, when you don't recall that fateful morning of May 29 when, struggling to cling onto your toothbrush, razor, and comb, they - you know who - loaded you handcuffed into a van before unloading you at the Ruzyne Prison for a memorable, debilitating, and surely formative four years behind bars. I, too, while so physically distant from your ordeal, thought of it frequently, when solemnly singing with friends in singalongs, during our university years on Mount Scopus, Israeli poet Ya'acov Orland's timeless lines:

In the cellars there is a howling wild

In the cellars there is no light in the windows

But a man is weeping there like a child

But a man is dreaming there dreams

Still, in the past two years, let's face it, I have been thinking of your trauma a bit less frequently, not only because yours had such a happy end, but because I and my people have traumas of our own to contend with, ones which, incidentally, are piling up by the day.

Even so, this week I did recall your plight, and not because of my country's suffering, but because of a man who, much like you once were, is an intellectual facing up to despotism, if even his personal redemption and moral victory, unlike yours, remain a distant dream in a dark basement. His name is Saad Eddin Ibrahim, and his Ruzyne Prison is in Cairo.

A sociologist and human-rights activist who dared monitor what in his country passes for an election process, Ibrahim got seven years for defaming Egypt and accepting without authorization funds from foreign donors. Convicted with him were also most of the 27-person staff in his Ibn-Khaldoun research center.

In a country where the president is repeatedly "elected" by 97% majorities while the public itself languishes in poverty and ignorance, Ibrahim has indeed plenty to unearth, and the regime to hide.
No one, Vaclav, should know this better than you, just like you know better than all of us what it is like to be sentenced for such ludicrous charges.

You remember - even I do - that you and your 10 colleagues convicted back in '79 under Article 98 of the Czechoslovak criminal code for "subversion" were members of a forum aptly self-styled the Committee to Defend the Unjustly Prosecuted. Well, it's time to reassemble that forum and tell Hosni Mubarak to disband his kangaroo courts and unchain their own unjustly prosecuted, for their crimes are but a microcosm of all that is so sick about the entire Middle East.

IN HIS Closely Watched Trains - one of the Prague Spring's loveliest fruits - director Jiri Menzel's hero, Milos, recalled that when German tanks entered his village, his grandfather chased after them with a broomstick, demanding that they flee his homeland. "After that," he concluded in typically Czech cynicism, "the Germans met no serious resistance."

Egypt - which jails not only intellectuals for being dissidents, but even gays for being gays - has yet to even meet the old man with the broomstick.

You can make the introduction, Vaclav, and what you can wield is a lot more than just a broomstick; yours is a moral authority second to no one's in this cynical international system, one that can furnish Ibrahim with that "Power of the Powerless" of which you wrote so eloquently and effectively shortly before your own arrest.

If you set up an international forum for the release of Saad Eddin Ibrahim, and if you threaten to downgrade Prague's diplomatic ties with Cairo, Mubarak will know you mean business and ultimately deliver.

Better yet, coming from you, Europe will humbly accept what it so rudely refuses to hear from Israel and America, namely that the Middle East is a powder keg not because of the Jews - who have already offered their interlocutors all they had ostensibly wanted - but because their enemies are dictators.

SOME 2,500 years ago, Queen Esther pleaded with King Ahasuerus to salvage the Jews from his adviser Haman's claws. "For we are sold," she explained, putting on the line her own life, "I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish."

With Arab despotism breeding, cheerleading, and in some cases actually assisting the suicide attacks that are killing us by the hundreds - even in a bastion of peace like the Hebrew University, on the very Mount Scopus where you received an honorary Ph.D. and where we used to rally for East Bloc dissidents like yourself - we Israelis now also feel "sold to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish."

You're in a position to lead an international counterattack on the despotism that is behind this ongoing nightmare; if not for us Jews' sake, then for Thomas Masaryk's.
Sudan's militant Muslim regime is slaughtering Christians who refuse to convert to Islam, according to the head of an aid group who recently returned from the African nation.
The forced conversions are just one aspect of the Khartoum government's self-declared jihad on the mostly Christian and animist south.
Villagers in several areas of the northeast Upper Nile region say that when women are captured by government forces they are asked: "Are you Christian or Muslim?"
Women who answer "Muslim" are set free, but typically soldiers gang-rape those who answer "Christian" then cut off their breasts and leave them to die as an example for others. Keep reading.
New Policy Saves Lives
It was reported today that a Palestinian from Jenin had shot his son in the leg after he learned - from the IDF - that his son was planning a suicide attack against Israel. In addition, another father brought his son to an IDF checkpoint and turned him in, claiming that the young man was planning a suicide attack. The army says that these are only two of several recent incidents affirming the effectiveness of its new policy of demolishing homes and expelling terrorist relatives in saving Israeli lives.
Arab Crime in U.S. Funds Overseas Terror - John Mintz and Douglas Farah (Washington Post)
Authorities are quietly investigating more than 500 Muslim and Arab small businesses across the United States to determine whether they are dispatching money raised through criminal activity in the U.S. to terrorist groups overseas.
The criminal activity includes skimming the profits of drug sales, stealing and reselling baby formula, illegally redeeming huge quantities of grocery coupons, collecting fraudulent welfare payments, swiping credit card numbers, and hawking unlicensed T-shirts.
$20-30 million is raised annually through these scams, providing a substantial portion of the money that Middle Eastern terror groups spend annually, authorities said.
Investigators suspect that some of the money has gone to Palestinian groups that use suicide bombings to kill Israeli civilians, including the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, federal officials said.
Senior U.S. officials said they are concerned that the inquiry might be seen as ethnic profiling but are simply going where leads take them.
A cigarette smuggling ring in North Carolina also arranged for the delivery of military equipment, such as mine detection gear, blasting equipment and night-vision goggles, to Hizballah.
Arab gangs in Canada truck millions of tablets of pseudoephedrine into the U.S. where it is sold to Mexican gangs that use it to manufacture methamphetamine, officials said. Authorities have tracked $10 million in the gang's profits to the Middle East, tracing a portion of that money to accounts that are used by Hizballah, officials said.
Pilot Refuses to Fly Israeli Official
A pilot for a Delta Air Lines subsidiary would not fly Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Melchior from Cincinnati to Toronto because the pilot thought Melchior posed a security risk. Similar previous incidents have involved the Israeli consul general in New York and a bodyguard of Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. (AP/Washington Post)
Faces of American Islam - Daniel Pipes and Khalid Duran
However numerous the American converts to Islam, it is the immigrant community that sets the tone. Fashioning a separate American Islam, away from such historic centers as Egypt and Pakistan, will be a great challenge. (Policy Review - Hoover Institution)
A Potemkin Democracy - Victor Davis Hanson
Palestine is a Potemkin democracy, with the sham facade of elections and republicanism but the dreary reality of an uninterrupted dictatorship since its inception under the Oslo accords. Arafat's initial election was rigged and the absence since then of a real opposition, parliamentary debate, and an independent judiciary proves that.
Syria Keeps a Tight Grip on Dissidents
Haitham Naal, 51, Syria's longest serving political prisoner, has been released after serving 27 years behind bars, a Syrian human rights group has said. Naal, who suffers from cancer, told the Lebanese daily An-Nahar he had been released because of his deteriorating health. Last year 10 Syrian dissidents were tried and imprisoned for undermining the constitution and defaming the state through their speeches, among them two parliamentary deputies. More than 1,000 dissidents are imprisoned in Syria.

Syria: Saddam's Newest Playmate - Michael Freund
A recent Washington Post story that Syria is evolving into an "anti-terror ally" is little more than Beltway wishful thinking. The number of dignitaries, delegations, and diplomats traveling between Iraq and Syria in recent months has hit a feverish pace. At the same time, Damascus continues to play host to a range of terror groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad; has cooperated with Iran in transferring rockets, weapons, and explosive materials to Hizballah in southern Lebanon; and appears to be permitting al Qaeda members fleeing Afghanistan to find refuge in Syrian-controlled Lebanon.
Wife Murdered as Husband Came to Rescue Her
Yafit Herenstein, 31, was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist at her home in Moshav Mechora in the Jordan Valley on Saturday night. Her husband, Arno, a member of the community's standby security team, arrived home just as the terrorist opened fire on his wife. The terrorist then turned his gun on Arno, who was seriously wounded. Residents rescued their two young daughters, age 2 and 4 months, from inside the house, as soldiers charged the terrorist and killed him.

May those who knew and loved Yafit Herenstein be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Help the wounded. Help the families.