Friday, December 23, 2005

PETA's Ties to Terrorism?

By Cam Edwards
Townhall.com | December 23, 2005

This week’s revelation that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been the subject of an FBI investigation into the animal rights group’s possible ties to terrorism has stunned many liberals. PETA’s general counsel, Jeff Kerr, called the investigation “shocking and outrageous”, saying “it's an abuse of power by the F.B.I. when groups like Greenpeace and PETA are basically being punished for their social activism."

Two things here. First, how is PETA being punished? They’re being investigated. There’ve been no charges. There’ve been no indictments. They’re not being punished at all.

Secondly, and really the broader question: Should PETA be investigated for possible ties to terrorist groups like the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front, two domestic terror groups responsible for a series of arsons, bombings, and other violent acts that have caused hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage? Again, many liberals say no. At the popular lefty website www.dailykos.com, a front page story decried the investigation, saying “Everything that many of us consider moral (taking care of the environment, opposition to the war, freedom to speak our minds, to protest, etc.) is on the FBI's ‘there might be a terrorist connection list.” So what are the chances that the liberals are right? Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the FBI’s files on PETA. I do, however, have an internet connection. Five minutes on Google can get you some pretty interesting information.

Did you know, for example, that PETA gave $1500 to the Earth Liberation Front back in 2001? That would be the same Earth Liberation Front recently described as one of the nation’s top domestic terror threats. According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, this “gift” (acknowledged in PETA’s end of the year tax return) is the only public donation the Earth Liberation Front has received.

PETA’s tax returns show some other interesting payments as well. A $2,000 payment to a David Wilson, at the time a spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front. A $5,000 payment to Joshua Harper, a self-described anarchist who faces terrorism charges for smoke bombing an insurance company with ties to a medical research firm.
Harper, incidentally, denies being a terrorist. He did tell the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, however, that he has a spark of hope “"a spark of hope in every broken window, every torched police car and every mink running free as their hearts desire." He also says his ultimate goal is the “complete collapse of industrial civilization”.

Harper’s not the only animal rights extremist with a gift for eloquence. How about this quote from… well, let me wait to tell you who actually said this.

“I think it would be a great thing if, you know, all of these fast-food outlets and these slaughterhouses and these laboratories and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow. I think it's perfectly appropriate for people to take bricks and toss them through the windows, and you know everything else along the line. Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it.”

Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds an awful lot like an endorsement of violence.
But PETA’s non-violent, so that quote couldn’t have come from one of its leaders, right? Wrong. Those are the words of Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s Director of Vegan Outreach. But hey, this is just one guy. Surely this attitude isn’t common at PETA, right? Well, here’s another quote, this time from PETA’s head, Ingrid Newkirk.

“We are complete press sluts.”

Whoops. Wrong quote, although she did say that in the New Yorker magazine back in 2003. This is the quote I was looking for.

“I will be the last person to condemn ALF.”

She’s right. PETA doesn’t condemn the Animal Liberation Front. In fact, Newkirk has written a gushing biography of the terrorist group entitled “Free the Animals”. She’s provided financial support for the ALF publication No Compromise. PETA has, over the years, compared ALF to the French Resistance, called the terrorist group the “army of the kind”, and has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the defense funds of ALF members charged with crimes.

In fact, Newkirk herself ended up as a footnote in the trial of Rodney Coronado, an ALF member convicted of firebombing a laboratory at Michigan State University. Newkirk received two packages from Coronado, one the day before the bombing, the other shortly afterwards. The second package was actually intercepted by the FBI. Inside the package were documents stolen from the lab. U.S. Attorney Michael Dettmer said Newkirk had “arranged to have the package[s] delivered to her days before the MSU arson occurred.”

Again, you don’t need to have a top secret clearance to learn these things. You just need to do some digging on the internet. After learning these facts, I’m not “shocked and appalled” that the FBI is investigating a possible tie between PETA and eco-terrorists. I’d be shocked and appalled if the government wasn’t looking into PETA.

I’ve been fortunate enough to write a few columns on the animal rights extremists for Townhall.com, and after every one I always get a few emails from people criticizing me for writing about these organizations. They’d rather I highlight the positive stories of animal lovers, of which there are many. I’ll make these folks a deal. As soon as I start seeing some of these animal lovers renounce PETA, ALF, and others who condone violent terrorist actions, I’ll write a nice story about an animal lover. If not, I’ve got a great story in the pipeline about a number of animal rights extremists recently arrested in New Jersey, including one guy facing charges of “making a terrorist threat”. The peaceful, nonviolent activists strike again.

Here`s the link

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Pentagon Breaks the Islam Taboo?

From Frontpage Magazine:

December 14, 2005

By Paul Sperry

Washington's policy-makers have been careful in the war on terror to distinguish between Islam and the terrorists. The distinction has rankled conservatives who see scarce difference.

A little-noticed speech by President Bush in October gave them some hope. In a major rhetorical shift, he described the enemy as "Islamic radicals" and not just "terrorists," although he still denies that radicalism has anything to do with their religion.

Now for the first time, a key Pentagon intelligence agency involved in homeland security is delving into Islam's holy texts to answer whether Islam is being radicalized by the terrorists or is already radical. Military brass want a better understanding of what's motivating the insurgents in Iraq and the terrorists around the globe, including those inside America who may be preparing to strike domestic military bases. The enemy appears indefatigable, even more active now than before 9/11.

Are the terrorists really driven by self-serving politics and personal demons? Or are they driven by religion? And if it's religion, are they following a manual of war contained in their scripture?

Answers are hard to come by. Four years into the war on terror, U.S. intelligence officials tell me there are no baseline studies of the Muslim prophet Muhammad or his ideological or military doctrine found at either the CIA or Defense Intelligence Agency, or even the war colleges.

But that is slowly starting to change as the Pentagon develops a new strategy to deal with the threat from Islamic terrorists through its little-known intelligence agency called the Counterintelligence Field Activity or CIFA, which staffs hundreds of investigators and analysts to help coordinate Pentagon security efforts at home and abroad. CIFA also supports Northern Command in Colorado, which was established after 9/11 to help military forces react to terrorist threats in the continental United
States.

Dealing with the threat on a tactical and operational level through counterstrikes and capture has proven only marginally successful. Now military leaders want to combat it from a strategic standpoint, using informational warfare, among other things. A critical part of that strategy involves studying Islam, including the Quran and the hadiths, or traditions of Muhammad.

"Today we are confronted with a stateless threat that does not have at the strategic level targetable entities: no capitals, no economic base, no military formations or installations," states a new Pentagon briefing paper I've obtained. "Yet political Islam wages an ideological battle against the non-Islamic world at the tactical, operational and strategic level. The West's response is focused at the tactical and operation level, leaving the strategic level -- Islam -- unaddressed."

So far the conclusions of intelligence analysts assigned to the project, who include both private contractors and career military officials, contradict the commonly held notion that Islam is a peaceful religion hijacked or distorted by terrorists. They've found that the terrorists for the most part are following a war-fighting doctrine articulated through Muhammad in the Quran, elaborated on in the hadiths, codified in Islamic or sharia law, and reinforced by recent interpretations or fatwahs.

"Islam is an ideological engine of war (Jihad)," concludes the sensitive Pentagon briefing paper. And "no one is looking for its off switch."

Why? One major reason, the briefing states, is government-wide "indecision [over] whether Islam is radical or being radicalized."

So, which is it? "Strategic themes suggest Islam is radical by nature," according to the briefing, which goes on to cite the 26 chapters of the Quran dealing with violent jihad and the examples of the Muslim prophet, who it says sponsored "terror and slaughter" against unbelievers.

"Muhammad's behaviors today would be defined as radical," the defense document says, and Muslims today are commanded by their "militant" holy book to follow his example. It adds: Western leaders can no longer afford to overlook the "cult characteristics of Islam."

It also ties Muslim charity to war. Zakat, the alms-giving pillar of Islam, is described in the briefing as "an asymmetrical war-fighting funding mechanism." Which in English translates to: combat support under the guise of tithing. Of the eight obligatory categories of disbursement of Muslim charitable donations, it notes that two are for funding jihad, or holy war. Indeed, authorities have traced millions of dollars received by major jihadi terror groups like Hamas and al-Qaida back to Saudi and other foreign Isamic charities and also U.S. Muslim charities, such as the Holy Land Foundation.

According to the Quran, jihad is not something a Muslim can opt out of. It demands able-bodied believers join the fight. Those unable -- women and the elderly -- are not exempt; they must give "asylum and aid" (Surah 8:74) to those who do fight the unbelievers in the cause of Allah.

In analyzing the threat on the domestic front, the Pentagon briefing draws perhaps its most disturbing conclusions. It argues the U.S. has not suffered from scattered insurgent attacks -- as opposed to the concentrated and catastrophic attack by al-Qaida on 9-11 -- in large part because it has a relatively small Muslim population. But that could change as the Muslim minority grows and gains more influence.

The internal document explains that Islam divides offensive jihad into a "three-phase attack strategy" for gaining control of lands for Allah. The first phase is the "Meccan," or weakened, period, whereby a small Muslim minority asserts itself through largely peaceful and political measures involving Islamic NGOs -- such as the Islamic Society of North America, which investigators say has its roots in the militant Muslim Brotherhood, and Muslim pressure groups, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose leaders are on record expressing their desire to Islamize America.

In the second "preparation" phase, a "reasonably influential" Muslim minority starts to turn more militant. The briefing uses Britain and the Netherlands as examples.

And in the final jihad period, or "Medina Stage," a large minority uses its strength of numbers and power to rise up against the majority, as Muslim youth recently demonstrated in terrorizing France, the Pentagon paper notes.

It also notes that unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam advocates expansion by force. The final command of jihad, as revealed to Muhammad in the Quran, is to conquer the world in the name of Islam. The defense briefing adds that Islam is also unique in classifying unbelievers as "standing enemies against whom it is legitimate to wage war."

Right now political leaders don't understand the true nature of the threat,\ it says, because the intelligence community has yet to educate them. They still think Muslim terrorists, even suicide bombers, are mindless "criminals" motivated by "hatred of our freedoms," rather than religious zealots motivated by their faith. And as a result, we have no real strategic plan for winning a war against jihadists.

Even many intelligence analysts and investigators working in the field with the Joint Terrorism Task Forces have a shallow understanding of Islam.

"I don't like to criticize our intelligence services, because we did win the Cold War," says a Northern Command intelligence official. "However, all of these organizations have made only limited progress adjusting to the current threat or the sharing of information."

Why? "All suffer heavily from political correctness," he explains.

PC still infects the Pentagon, four years after jihadists hit the nation's military headquarters.

"A lot of folks here have a very pedestrian understanding of Islam and the Islamic threat," a Pentagon intelligence analyst working on the project told me. "We're getting Islam 101, and we need Islam 404."

The hardest part of formulating a strategic response to the threat is defining Islam as a political and military enemy. Once that psychological barrier has been crossed, defense sources tell me, the development of countermeasures -- such as educating the public about the militant nature of Islam and exploiting "critical vulnerabilities" or rifts within the Muslim faith and community -- can begin.

"Most Americans don't realize we are in a war of survival -- a war that is going to continue for decades," the Northcom official warns.

It remains to be seen, however, whether our PC-addled political leaders would ever adopt such controversial measures.

Cross-posted at IsraPundit

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Quotes from: "Poll finds support for use of torture in war on terror" from AP, Dec 7

"By Will Lester
Associated Press
December 7, 2005

Most Americans and a majority of people in Britain, France and South Korea say torturing terrorism suspects is justified at least on rare occasions, according to a poll conducted in the United States and eight U.S.-allied countries.
Only in Italy and Spain do most people oppose torture under any circumstances, the AP-Ipsos survey found, while in Canada, Mexico and Germany there is a nearly even split.
However, majorities in every country except the United States said they did not want Americans conducting secret interrogations of terror suspects on their soil, reflecting concern about reports of secret prisons run by the CIA in Eastern Europe.
Meanwhile, an Internet video once again threw the spotlight on al Qaeda's architects of terror. The group's deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri said today its leader, Osama bin Laden, is still alive and leading the holy war against the West, Reuters news agency reported.
"Al Qaeda for holy war is still, thanks to God, a base for jihad [holy war]. Its prince, Sheik Osama bin Laden, may God protect him, is still leading its jihad," al-Zawahri said in a video posted on a Web site frequently used by militants.
"I bring a message of joy to all Muslims and mujahedeen that al Qaeda, thanks to God, is spreading and expanding and strengthening," he said.
In the poll, about two-thirds of those living in Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Spain said they would oppose allowing the United States to secretly interrogate terror suspects in their countries.
Almost that many in Britain, France, Germany and Italy said they feel the same way. Almost two-thirds in the United States support such interrogations on U.S. territory by their own government.
Officials with the European Union and in at least a half-dozen European countries are investigating reports of secret U.S. interrogations in Eastern Europe. The EU has threatened to revoke voting rights of any nation in the federation that was host to a clandestine detention center.
On the issue of torture, 61 percent of Americans refused to rule it out. About one in 10 -- 11 percent -- said it could be justified often, while 27 percent said sometimes and 23 percent said rarely. Almost four in 10 -- 36 percent -- said it could never be justified; another 3 percent were unsure.
Majorities in Britain, France and South Korea felt similarly, with South Koreans most willing to countenance it as a routine practice. In that country, 53 percent said it is sometimes or often justified, while only 10 percent said it should never be used.
Only in Italy and Spain do majorities oppose torture under any circumstances. The strongest opposition came in Italy, where six in 10 said it is never justified, while 54 percent of Spaniards took that position."

"The polls of about 1,000 adults in each of the nine countries were conducted between Nov. 15 and Nov. 28. Each poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Abbas Approves PA Assistance to Families of Suicide Bombers

From Israel Resource Review:

"Jonathan D. Halevi
Special report to "News First Class-Hebrew" at www.nfc.co.il

On the very day of a suicide bombing in Netanya, Machmud Abbas, the chairman of the Palestinian Authority gave budgetary approval to assistance for the families of suicide bombers.

Each martyr's family will receive a monthly stipend of at least $250 from the PA.

The budget for families of martyrs, prisoners, and the wounded could reach $100 million a year out of an annual budget of over $1 billion."

Cross-posted at IsraPundit

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Crisis at Columbia: Nadia Abu El-Haj

By Hugh Fitzgerald
FrontPageMagazine.com | October 10, 2005

Nadia Abu El-Haj, an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Barnard, is listed among the members of the MEALAC faculty at Columbia. A graduate student at Duke University, she turned her doctoral thesis into a book: “Facts on the Ground: Archeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society.” One admiring reviewer (from the University of Chicago) said the book offers “an anthropology of colonialism and nationalism, which follows Foucault and Said” in which “she points to the convergence of archeology’s project with that of colonialism.” Others have not been so kind.

For this book is not really about archeology at all. Rather it is a relentless attack on how and why Israelis, Jews really, have done archaeology in the land they have the audacity to call Israel. For the past, like the present, is merely a cruel and daring fiction foisted on the world at the expense of Palestinians, a social construction, as the orotund phrase has it. Ignoring or destroying whatever got in their way, Jewish archaeologists have been relentless in their pursuit of the Jewish past to claim the land and its history for modern Israel, and of course to dispossess Palestinians and their “claim” to the past.

But El-Haj, it seems, is not really an archeologist. There is not the slightest evidence that she has ever seen the work of Israeli archeologists, ever visited a dig, ever studied the history of the development of Israeli archeology, ever inquired as to how Israeli archeologists choose the sites they do choose for digs (do they get instructions from the Jewish Agency? The ZOA? The Mossad?). She appears not to have any record of the kinds of artifacts the Israeli archeologists, often working with Western, non-Israeli and non-Jewish colleagues, have discovered, catalogued, and meticulously studied.

Shabby or pseudo or nonexistent scholarship disguises a naked political assault. Israel is guilty. Its crime: daring to dig, under the soil of Israel, on land where Jews lived from perhaps 1000 BCE until this very day. And built temples, and wrote on pottery and left scrolls on parchment, and fashioned menorahs, and cups for drinking, and dishes for eating – in short, a rich variety of artifacts for uses sacred and profane. But to demonstrate a connection between Jews past and Jews present is unacceptable, an abuse of archaeology, serving the cause of a “construct,” a Western imperial falsehood. That is, a Jewish state.

Is it surprising, is it illegitimate, is it deplorable, that in once again having a restored Jewish state, that the Jews of Israel should not have dug into the earth, not attempted to study the past, including – and this must be emphasized for it is left entirely out of El-Haj’s account – artifacts from every period, and not only artifacts of the Jewish past? Israeli archeologists have, often with foreign colleagues, discovered Roman coins and mosaic floors and temples, have uncovered Byzantine artifacts, and those of the Islamic conquest, both of the Arab period, and of the period of Ottoman rule. Many of the Islamic artifacts have, in fact, been meticulously and scrupulously catalogued, studied, and preserved – all serious students know about the Islamic Museum in Jerusalem and its exceptional collection. Does Nadia El-Haj? El-Haj seems to think that the study of the Jewish past by Israeli archeologists, observing the highest professional standards, known for the meticulousness, is an outrageous political act, an act of “Jewish settler-colonial nation state-building” (that phrase itself deserves analysis, for the hysterical confusion of its English).

El-Haj’s political fulminations may attempt to hide behind the rhetoric of “scholarship.” Is there a single example of attempts by Israeli archeologists to either hide the past, or destroy the past, or to create a false past? If so, she has failed to mention it in her book – which, by the way, relies entirely on quite recent, English-language publications, as critical reviewers noted. And since she is a Palestinian nationalist, how does her charge sheet compare with the treatment toward ancient sites by the Palestinian Arabs and by the Arabs more generally?

As is well known, in Islam there has been an almost total indifference to the non-Islamic or pre-Islamic world. Many of the artifacts of that world have been destroyed over 1350 years of Muslim conquest and subjugation of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists. In India, the Muslim conquerors destroyed as much of the Buddhist and Hindu heritage as they could, sometimes in order to quarry the stone, sometimes to destroy statuary. The Indian historian K.S. Lal has provided a meticulous list of tens of thousands of identified Hindu temples destroyed by the Muslim invaders, for example. The recent destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas was not an aberration; those Buddhas were virtually the last remnants of the Greco-Buddhist civilization that Afghanistan had once possessed.

The systematic assault by the Palestinian Arabs on all sorts of significant sites, some of them regarded as holy, was on display again in 2002, when the systematic and complete destruction of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus (that destruction can be seen on-line), took place. This was no aberration. Even El-Haj had to mention the matter in her book (knowing that if she omitted it altogether, reviewers might notice), but she justified it as the uncharacteristic, but understandable reaction of desperate people, brought to the end of their collective tether by the diabolical behavior of the Israelis.

In Egypt, members of the Muslim Brotherhood even muttered about destroying the Pyramids, but cooler heads prevailed. It was not out of Egyptian nationalism, save among the Copts and a small sliver of the Egyptian elite, nor out of any respect for the pre-Islamic past, but rather the fact that too many Egyptians depend for their livelihood on tourist dollars, that managed to prevent attacks. Similarly, the tourist attraction of Petra seems safe, precisely because it is a money-maker, not out of some deep conviction that these Roman-era ruins are otherwise of note.

In Iraq, the old Sunni elites, trained by Gertrude Bell and others, did acquire a certain taste for preserving the pre-Islamic artifacts, and that seems to be the one exception – and an exception only among a very small sliver of Iraqi society – to the general indifference to any artifacts except those representing the time of Islam, not that of the pre-Islamic Jahiliyya.

Indeed, many Muslims oppose even Muslim sites which would distract from worship of Allah. When the Wahhabi under Abdul Aziz ibn Saud conquered Mecca, they razed to the ground virtually every old building then standing. An old Ottoman fort was one of the few buildings spared. In 2002, overnight, that Ottoman fort was also destroyed.

Like her distant mentor, the presiding genius domus over so much of Middle East matters today, Edward Said, El-Haj seems incapable of understanding that other societies, the representatives of other civilizations, are capable of studying the past as something other than a political project, and in Israel, as something other than working hand-in-glove with “Jewish settler-colonial nation state-building.”

That such a book was written, and published, is a disgrace. That its author was, at a time when hundreds or indeed thousands of worthy graduate students in this and related fields cannot find employment, was given a job at Columbia, is deplorable.

Hugh Fitzgerald wrote this piece for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, which is designed to critique and improve Middle East Studies at North American colleges and universities. It is part of a series of analysis addressing Columbia University’s Middle East Studies faculty.

Here`s the link.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Howard Grief: "The Origin of the Occupation Myth"

From NATIV:

Howard Grief

Inasmuch as Israel is always unjustly condemned by the United Nations as an occupier of “Arab land” in regard to Judea, Samaria and Gaza, a condemnation that has no basis in either fact or law, it is important to trace the origin of this pernicious myth. This myth has provided the world body with the necessary pretext to intervene constantly in the internal affairs of these Jewish lands. The myth originated and has persisted to this very day, astonishingly enough, with the aid of Israel’s legal establishment or coterie of eminent jurists ensconced in several centers of authority, notably (1) the Supreme Court of Israel;
(2) the Attorney-General’s Office;
(3) the Ministry of Justice;
(4) the International Law section of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), operating under the Military Advocate-General’s Command; and
(5) the Law faculties of Israel’s universities.

The individual who bore the greatest responsibility for this myth was Meir Shamgar, who was Military Advocate-General from 1961 to 1968, and later the Attorney-General of Israel and the President of the Supreme Court. He was at the epicenter of the decision made by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s National Unity Government during the Six Day War to apply not Israeli law but the laws of war to all the liberated Jewish territories, in particular the provisions of the Hague Regulations of 1907, as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

This application was completely inappropriate to the situation considering the historical connection and sanctity of these territories to the Jewish People and their legal inseparability from the Jewish National Home.

What moved Meir Shamgar to invoke the laws of war? He described what he did without providing the rationale for doing so in an article he wrote called, “Legal Concepts and Problems of the Israeli Military Government – the Initial Stage”.1

Shamgar did not conceal his belief that military government based on international law relating to occupied territories was the proper course to follow in regard to Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Golan and Sinai. He referred in a general sense to these territories as “enemy territory” or “occupied enemy territory”.2 Elsewhere he called the same territories “occupied”, “under military occupation” or “administered”, but he never called them “liberated territories of the Jewish National Home”, which was their true legal status under international law after their liberation from the illegal Jordanian and Egyptian occupation respectively lasting from May 15, 1948 to June 6-8, 1967.3

In two revealing and significant footnotes, Shamgar admitted that he had planned the entire legal framework for any territories Israel conquered in a future war with Arab states. He formulated his plan in the early 1960s before the Six Day War was either foreseen or its results imagined. He did this to avoid the situation of a supposed legal vacuum that had prevailed in Sinai after Israel’s lightning victory in the 1956 war, when no plan existed for the legal administration of the peninsula during Israel’s three month stay there.

He conducted special courses for platoon officers belonging to the Military Advocate’s Corps. All military advocates carried with them “movable emergency kits” which contained the laws of war (Hague 1907, Geneva IV 1949 etc.) and a large set of precedents of military government proclamations and orders, as well as detailed legal and organizational instructions and guidelines. In addition, Shamgar wrote and published a comprehensive vade-mecum which he called, “Manual for the Military Advocate in Military Government”.

As a direct result of Shamgar’s ill-conceived plan of what Israel was supposedly obliged to do under international law in the event that the IDF re-captured or liberated any territories of the Land of Israel in Arab hands, a regime of military government based upon the provisions of the Hague Regulations of 1907, specifically Articles 42 and 43, was immediately established in the wake of Israel’s total victory on three fronts in the Six Day War. Military Government was defined by Shamgar as “the form of government established by a country which has occupied enemy territory, whether the [occupied land] was formally under the sovereignty of such enemy or whether it could be regarded as former sovereign territory of the occupying power or any of its allies”.4 Despite Shamgar’s disclaimer that in establishing a military government, Israel was not necessarily occupying enemy territory that was truly under the sovereignty of the enemy state, especially in regard to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. That was in fact the general perception in the rest of the world, made even more believable by the very application of the provisions of the Hague Regulations relating to “occupied territories”.

The military government was made up of four regional entities covering
1) the Gaza Strip and northern Sinai;
2) central and southern Sinai;
3) Judea and Samaria; and
4) the Golan Heights.

The application of Articles 42 and 43 of the Hague Regulations meant that in the case of the (single) region of Judea and Samaria, Jordanian law as it existed on June 7, 1967 that included unrepealed provisions of Mandatory law and remnants of Ottoman law would continue to be enforced unless amended or repealed by new security enactments of the Military Government.

In the case of Gaza, this meant that Egyptian military regulations that had been in force in the period from May 15, 1948 to June 6, 1967 would also continue to be applied, as well as unrepealed Mandatory provisions unless the law was also amended or repealed by the Military Government. In regard to northern Sinai, which was linked to Gaza to form a single administrative unit, the pre-1967 legal system remained in effect under the Military Government. Even Jerusalem came for a brief time under a military government from June 7 to June 28, 1967, that ceased to exist only after “East” and “West” Jerusalem were finally reunited by virtue of a government order and proclamation.

The Golan Heights indeed presented a unique problem. As a result of the fighting that took place there in the Six Day War, none of the judges or lawyers remained in the region after June 10, 1967 to administer the local Syrian law, nor were any Syrian law books available for use. With the breakdown of the previously existing judicial administration, and in accordance with the accepted principles of international law applicable to occupied territories, Israel created new courts for both civil and criminal proceedings under military administration.5 Security enactments were formulated setting out the substantive law, procedure and law of evidence in civil matters that followed the laws and practice in Israel, and this was also done for criminal offenses and trials. The military administration of the Golan Heights came to an abrupt end with the passage of a Knesset law on December 14, 1981, that henceforth applied the law, jurisdiction and administration of the State of Israel to this territory, thus in effect annexing it.

The setting up of a military government for all the liberated territories of the Land of Israel formerly under illegal Jordanian or Egyptian occupation was incredible in the extreme. As noted above, despite Shamgar’s disclaimer, its effect was to delegitimize or deny the rights of the Jewish People and its assignee, the State of Israel, to permanently govern these precious Jewish territories recognized by the Principal Allied Powers in 1920 as belonging to the Jewish People. The person mainly responsible for this outrageous, ignorant and unforgivable legal conception that has caused untold damage to the Jewish Zionist case to this very day was Meir Shamgar, one of Israel’s most eminent jurists.

The fatal flaw in Shamgar’s plan that should have flashed a red light was that there was never any true obligation incumbent upon Israel to apply international law to the areas of the Land of Israel recaptured in a defensive war by the Israel Defense Forces. This was because Judea, Samaria and Gaza were previously designated by international law in 1920 and 1922 as integral parts of the Jewish National Home under the Mandate for Palestine read in conjunction with the Franco-British Boundary Convention of December 23, 1920 and hence were being legally repossessed by Israel. The Golan Heights were also to be considered an integral part of the Jewish National Home, though illegally removed from the Home by Britain in a trade-off agreement with France dated February 3, 1922, which took effect only on March 10, 1923.

Sinai was illegally excluded from the Jewish National Home which was supposed to include all territories to which Jews had a proven historical connection and had settled or governed in the days of the First and Second Temple Periods, when Palestine’s borders were first delineated on December 23, 1920. It was excluded because Britain had decided in 1906 to attach Sinai to Egypt to protect the Suez Canal which it controlled from possible Turkish attack. Egypt had been under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire since 1517, but in 1882 it was occupied by Britain which ruled it until Egypt attained its independence by a treaty concluded in 1922. The British were apprehensive about the earlier administrative border extending from Rafiah in the north to the city of Suez at the southern exit-point of the Suez Canal, since this border afforded the Turks easy access to the Canal, especially at the southern end.

To change the administrative border between the Sanjak of Jerusalem and the Province of Hedjaz, on the one hand, and the Sinai Peninsula, on the other, Britain deliberately fomented a crisis with Ottoman Turkey called the Aqaba Incident, in which they delivered an ultimatum to Sultan Abd-al-Hamid II on May 3, 1906, demanding a new border in Sinai from Rafiah to the head of the Gulf of Aqaba (Gulf of Eilat), near Taba.

The British backed up their ultimatum by sending military and naval forces to the area, one gunboat dropping anchor at Rafiah and another off Taba. Under an imminent threat of war, the Sultan, acting under duress without the support of any foreign state, had no choice but to accede to the new administrative dividing line demanded by the British. An agreement was quickly negotiated and concluded on October 1, 1906, in which (italics in the original) “Egypt was granted administrative rights in Sinai up to a line drawn from Rafa to the head of the Gulf of Akaba, Turkey expressly retaining the right of sovereignty.”6

Meinertzhagen further observed in his Diary that in 1917, General Allenby, unaided by the Egyptian Army, conquered and occupied Turkish Sinai, which, by right of conquest, was at Britain’s disposal. In actual fact, since Britain was then acting on behalf of the Principal Allied Powers (the wartime coalition of Britain, France, Italy and Japan), Sinai was at the disposal of these Powers as a group rather than of Britain alone, and since at least half of Sinai was part of the Land of Israel, it should have been attached to Palestine, i.e., the Jewish National Home, in 1920 when its borders were demarcated for the first time in accordance with the spirit and intent of the San Remo Resolution. Sinai was in fact administered until 1892 from what later became Palestine, and about half of Sinai was included in the Sanjak of Jerusalem until 1906. In any event, Egypt was never recognized as the sovereign of Sinai under international law, but at best its administrator. In fact, in 1906, the Egyptian National Movement under its leader Mustafa Kamil, opposed British attempts to annex Sinai to Egypt.

Furthermore, until 1948, Egypt never claimed Sinai as part of its sovereign territory except for the northwestern, triangular area, which the Turkish Sultan had permitted Egypt to administer during the 19th century, to compensate it for relinquishing its administration of Crete and not because it was within Egypt’s “ancient boundaries”.7 The whole of Sinai was subsequently appropriated by Egypt before its exact status under international law could be ascertained, in order to prevent the emerging Jewish state from claiming or annexing it.

Prime Minister Menahem Begin erred grievously in 1978 when, during the peace negotiations with Egypt at Camp David, he did not challenge President Anwar Sadat’s false assertion that Sinai was “sacred Egyptian soil” though it was nothing of the kind. Begin, the erstwhile champion of the Greater Land of Israel, let Israel’s right to Sinai be lost by default. His costly blunder and probable violation of law resulted in Israel’s complete and unnecessary withdrawal from Sinai that has had a long and important historical connection with the Jewish People.

The foregoing pertinent facts concerning Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Golan and Sinai should have been uppermost in the mind of anyone given the task to decide whether to apply international law or Israeli law to these territories. This task was executed by Meir Shamgar, who made the wrong decision for reasons known only to himself. He was apparently not adequately familiar with some of the cardinal legal documents in the post World War I period, which affirmed Jewish legal rights and title of sovereignty to all of Palestine, as the Jewish National Home, particularly the Smuts Resolution of January 30, 1919 which became Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, the San Remo Resolution of April 25, 1920, the Franco-British Boundary Convention of December 23, 1920, the Mandate for Palestine confirmed on July 24, 1922 and finally, the Anglo-American Convention of December 3, 1924 respecting the Mandate for Palestine.

What is even more puzzling and legally very grave, which reflects badly on Shamgar’s reputation as a jurist, was the manner in which he overlooked or neglected two fundamental Israeli constitutional laws that exclusively governed the post-Six Day War situation before the enactment two and a half weeks later on June 27, 1967 of Section 11B of the Law and Administration Ordinance.

This was not only stupendously wrong, but also a staggering violation of the Rule of Law. Had he been more aware of the true significance of these constitutional laws, they would undoubtedly have steered him in the right direction, or at least warned him against the application of international law pertaining to the rules of warfare to the liberated Jewish territories of Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Golan and Sinai.

These laws were the Area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordinance used in 1948 by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Justice Minister Pinhas Rosen in applying the corpus of law of the State of Israel to territories of the Land of Israel beyond the UN Partition lines, repossessed by the IDF in the War of Independence, as well as the ubiquitous Law of Return, which entitled Jews to settle in all parts of the Land of Israel under Israel’s expanded jurisdiction.

It is really dumfounding that Shamgar who was so preoccupied with observing international precedents and guidelines regarding the procedure to be followed after the effective conquest of what he perceived was “enemy territory”, failed at the appropriate moment to utilize the leading precedent established in his own country when, during the War of Independence, additional areas of the Land of Israel were recovered by the IDF, that were thenceforth subject to the law of the State.

The above facts and precedent were simply ignored or never even thought of by either Shamgar or any members of the team of military advocates who participated in his training program. In several conversations the present writer has had with the jurist Eliezer Dembitz, who attended the training courses organized by Shamgar and served as a Justice Ministry official, as well as a senior legal adviser to the Knesset Finance Committee, Dembitz has confirmed that, to his knowledge, no one who attended these courses ever propounded the argument that there was no legal necessity to apply the laws of war to the territories liberated in the Six Day War.

By his unwise actions calling for and resulting in the application of the norms of international law to these territories, Shamgar entangled Israel in the morass and endless dispute about the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Hague Regulations, and moreover, gave credence to the mislabeling of the territories as being “occupied” and the consequent libeling of Israel as an “occupier” of “Arab land”. This proved to be an enormous propaganda coup for the Arab cause, while severely undermining Israel’s legal argument that the liberated territories were the patrimony of the Jewish People as enunciated in the Biblical record and confirmed in several post-World War I documents.

Subsequently, Shamgar seems to have had some second thoughts about what he had planned and overseen to fruition. While he concurred in the application of the Hague Regulations, which he viewed as customary international law that was always binding on Israel, in regard to the conquest of “enemy territory”, he did not accept the fact that Israel was likewise bound by the Fourth Geneva Convention since the latter represented conventional international law that the Knesset had never introduced into Israel’s legal system and in any case applied only to “occupied territories” over which neither Jordan nor Egypt had been recognized sovereigns with a valid title.

Nevertheless, Shamgar’s second thoughts on the subject were of no avail since he had already created the mold of a military administrative framework that (except in the cases of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights) was never subsequently repudiated or converted into Israeli civilian administration governed in all cases by Knesset statutory law. The first two proclamations that were issued by Brigadier-General Chaim Herzog, the future President of the State, regarding the region of Judea and Samaria that resulted in the application of Jordanian law and drafted8 by the Director-General of the Ministry of Justice, Zvi Terlow, based on the organizational legal guidelines and arrangements compiled by Shamgar in the vade-mecum, are still in effect in those parts of this region not governed by the “Palestinian Authority”.

The fact that Israel never incorporated Judea, Samaria and Gaza into the State, which since 1967, has been viewed by foreign opinion and most jurists in Israel as “occupied territory”, is directly traceable to the Government’s implementation of Shamgar’s plan, guidelines and arrangements. The “Manual for the Military Advocate in Military Government” written and expanded by Shamgar proves beyond reasonable doubt that he is the one most responsible both for the establishment of a military government in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and the pernicious notion that Israel is an occupying power. This so bedevils us today.

The tragic mistake and violation of law committed by Shamgar has now become immeasurably worse by two recent Supreme Court judgments,9 rendered by the President of the Supreme Court and former Attorney-General, Aharon Barak, who decided, without reference to any of the aforementioned laws or international documents that indicated otherwise, that Judea, Samaria and Gaza are indeed territories held by Israel under “belligerent occupation”. Barak, in his clever, off-the-mark judgments, did not specify the states or people whose land Israel has been occupying or when such states or people were recognized under international law as having the sovereign right to Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

His judgments which bind the Government of Israel, unless overturned by legislation, and give great comfort to Israel’s enemies and detractors both within and without, are therefore even more damaging than the non-binding, non-enforceable advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case involving the legality of Israel’s security fence being constructed in Judea and Samaria. The Court, sitting in The Hague, established by the Charter of the United Nations (Article 92) as the principal judicial organ of the UN, in a biased, legally unsupportable opinion delivered on July 9, 2004, declared the security fence illegal under a false reading of international law. It disregarded the cardinal fact that the whole of Palestine was set aside by international law in 1920 and 1922 as the Jewish National Home. The relevant documents of international law noted above were either completely ignored or, in the case of the Mandate for Palestine, while mentioned, its purpose and principal provisions were not discussed at all. At the same time, the ICJ recognized the fictitious national and political rights of a fictitious nation that calls itself “the Palestinians”, a term that earlier identified the Jews of Palestine prior to 1948, and was scornfully rejected by the Arabs of the country. The ICJ further stated that Judea and Samaria are “Occupied Palestinian Territory” and that Israel has the status of an “Occupying Power”. This opinion gives the Arabs a public-relations bonanza, but has absolutely no legal merit or validity. It reflects only the twisted, baseless views of the Arab League and the “Palestinian Authority” as well as the dozens of Islamic nations represented at the United Nations.

The ICJ opinion proves how some respected jurists who had not already committed themselves to favoring the Arab cause prior to giving their opinion can be hoodwinked into swallowing nonsensical, illogical arguments, based on irrelevant UN resolutions and data that lack the force of law in deciding the issue at hand. Yet this unconscionable advisory opinion has been praised by none other than the most revered figure in Israel’s judiciary, Aharon Barak, who found that the ICJ opinion “also contains many things that are favorable to Israel”. He added, “I can definitely see the possibility in the not-too-distant future when the State will base many of its arguments [apparently concerning the route of the fence] on this opinion.”10

Never has Shamgar’s 1967 folly reached such heights of absurdity! If Israel’s leading jurists treat Judea, Samaria and Gaza as “occupied territories” and discount Jewish legal rights and title of sovereignty over them, or believe such rights do not exist at all, little can be expected from leaders and media figures in foreign countries who have expressed themselves in a similar manner or have maliciously accused Israel of “stealing” the land of another people. The tremendous legal and political harm which these jurists have caused to the Jewish legal case cannot be rectified or reversed in a single stroke. However, a beginning can certainly be made to overcome this damage by having the Knesset pass a special law declaring that Judea, Samaria and Gaza are definitely not occupied territories, but rather the patrimony of the Jewish People.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Endnotes
1
See the volume entitled Military Government in the Territories Administered by Israel 1967-1980: The Legal Aspects, edited by Meir Shamgar, Hebrew University Jerusalem – Faculty of Law, Harry Sacher Institute for Legislative Research and Comparative Law, Jerusalem (1982), Hemed Press, reprinted 1988, pp. 13-60.

2
Ibid., pp. 13, 28, 31.

3
Shamgar did make one scant reference to “liberated areas” on p. 14 of his article, but this reference was not explicitly linked to the liberated areas of the Jewish National Home, but to liberated areas in a broader or general sense.

4
Ibid., p. 28.

5
Ibid., p. 55, and also p. 453 which contains the Court’s Order for Ramat HaGolan (Order 273) issued by the Military Government.

6
See Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen’s book, Middle East Diary 1917-1956, Thomas Yoseloff, Publisher, New York (1960), pp. 17-19.

7
See “Myths and Facts 1978, A Concise Record of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”, published by Near East Report, Washington, DC (1978), pp. 41-42.

8
The information regarding the drafting of the first two military proclamations for Judea and Samaria was conveyed to the present writer by Professor Ya’akov Meron, an accomplished legal expert and jurist who served in the Ministry of Justice for 30 years as the adviser on Muslim Law in Arab countries.

9
See the case of Beit Sourik Village Council v. the Government of Israel, HCJ 2056/04 (rendered on June 30, 2004); see also the case of Gaza Coast Regional Council v. Knesset of Israel, HCJ 1661/05 (rendered on June 9, 2005).

10
The Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2005.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Gen. Amidror: Targeted Killings Work

From Israel National News:

10:50 Nov 02, '05 / 30 Tishrei 5766
By Hillel Fendel



Israel's successful air-strike killing of a top Fatah terrorist in Gaza last night, netting the death of a Hamas terrorist to boot, has again aroused the debate over the policy's effectiveness.



Despite terrorist threats to avenge the killings, former IDF Intelligence Deputy Chief Gen. Yaakov Amidror said this morning that the policy of targeted killings "most definitely leads to a drop in terrorist-inflicted deaths."

The target of yesterday's air strike was Hassan Al-Madhun of the Al Aksa Brigades terrorist wing of Fatah, the party headed by Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). Al-Madhun was responsible for the twin attack in Ashdod’s harbor in 2004, and for the bombing of the Gaza-Negev Karni Crossing, killing a total of 16, as well as other attempted attacks. He was further engaged in planning additional attacks for the coming days, the IDF Spokesman announced.

Israel transferred information on Al-Madhun to the Palestinian Authority several times in the past year, emphasizing that he was involved in major attacks that were liable to cause a collapse of diplomatic efforts and a resumption of bloodshed. Despite this, the PA did little or nothing to stop his activities or arrest him.

An unexpected bonus of the air-strike was the killing of a Hamas terrorist traveling in the car with Al-Madhun - Fuazi Abu Kara. Al-Madhun had been known to work in close cooperation with Hamas.

The double strike elicited a war-cry from the Palestinian terrorist organizations, including Hamas. "We cannot be expected to sit quietly in light of this killing," Al Aksa sources stated, and Hamas agents made similar threats.

The threats reawakened a question that is invariably asked in similar situations. Gen. Amidror, speaking on Army Radio, quoted the "precise statistics" of a study by Prof. Ben-Yisrael of Tel Aviv University, showing that "we used to have a full 140 deaths a month, and we were able to bring it down to 50 a year - without even a kilometer of fence."

Amidror explained that this achievement was enabled in two stages: "First by re-conquering Judea and Samaria [in 2002], and then, three months later, by arresting or killing terror leaders... It causes them to spend their time finding hiding places, instead of planning terror attacks."

Cross posted at IsraPundit

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Misrepresentations of Israel

By Steven Plaut
Middle East Quarterly | October 4, 2005

Daniel Bar-Tal and Yona Teichman,
Stereotypes and Prejudice in Conflict: Representations of Arabs in Israeli Society,"
Cambridge University Press, 483 pages

If you are of the opinion that stereotypes dictate and determine all of human achievement and conflict, if you believe that psychobabble offers the most promising way out of the Middle East conflict, then this book is a must for you.

Both authors are professors of psychology at Tel Aviv University and have worked for many years on studying "stereotypes." There is an enormous literature in sociology and psychology on stereotyping in general and in textbooks and the media in particular. Much of it is cited in this tedious book, which contains a reference list that is nearly 50 pages long.

The book's thesis goes something like this. Whatever the past causes of the Middle East conflict, today the violence and conflict are being perpetuated by the fact that stereotypes of the "other" are common, inculcated by the schools and the media. The only stereotypes that matter are those held by Jews concerning Arabs. The authors' evidence of widespread racist stereotypes of Arabs held by Jews? Mainly it is studies of drawings of Arabs made by pre-schoolers or very young Jewish children, plus some tendentious parsing of the Israeli media.

Now the real problem in this book is that it has a thinly-disguised political agenda and its bias shows up everywhere. There is no serious evidence that "stereotypes" affect economic achievement and success. While citing negative stereotypes about Chinese held by Americans (p.41) the authors forget to note the phenomenal educational and economic success by Chinese Americans, who out-earn whites. There is no evidence that all those "reverse stereotypes" ubiquitously found in politically-corrected textbooks, about women lumberjacks, Jewish hockey players and Cherokee nuclear scientists, have had any impact on social mobility. The authors use the term "ethnocentric" as a synonym for ethnic, and anyone identifying themselves as belonging to an ethnic group must suffer from "ethnocentricity", especially if they are Jews.

The authors consider stereotypes as racist and evidence of intolerance, never mind how true they are. The fact that nearly all Palestinians endorse suicide bombers should not be regarded as legitimate empirical grounds for Israelis drawing conclusions about the savagery of most Palestinians. The fact that almost all Israeli Arabs vote for pro-violence anti-Zionist Arab political parties having Stalinist or fascist orientation should not serve as empirical evidence for any conclusions regarding Israeli Arabs held by Jews. The authors use "prejudice" and "stereotypes" interchangeably, but what happens when an ethnic group actually exhibits certain traits? The willingness to dismiss all group characterizations as "stereotypes" proves that the authors suffer from an acute prejudice regarding such things.

More generally, the authors hold that only Jewish stereotypes about Arabs matter, citing Edward Said (p. 94). Those discussions in the Palestinian media of Jews drinking blood for Passover, poisoning Palestinian food, spreading AIDS, etc. etc. do not interest the authors. Not a single cartoon drawn by a Palestinian child of a Jew is included in the book. It is only Jewish stereotyping of Arabs that is an obstacle to peace, not Palestinian textbooks and radio stations calling for genocide of Jews. And the fact that pre-schoolers might hold stereotype images about EVERYTHING in their toddler world, from teachers to tricycles, has not occurred to the authors, who never examine any pre-schooler drawings about anything besides Arabs. The scientific evidence that pre-school cartoons signal emerging racist attitudes in adults is that the authors believe this to be true.

And while the learned duo were out the parsing Israeli media (under the near-totalitarian hegemony of Israel's far-Left, by the way) and schoolbooks, they just never got around to examining which OTHER stereotypes were being inculcated purposely there, such as about Orthodox Jews, Jewish settlers, kibbutzniks, homosexuals, environmentalists, etc.

The bias is not surprising. While Teichman seems to be blessedly uninvolved politically, Bar-Tal is smack in the center of Israel's Far Left, as seen in such things as his joining the anti-Zionist fringe in signing his name to political petitions, including one calling for international armed intervention in the Middle East conflict to impose a settlement on Israel, or one condemning Israel for using arms against "unarmed demonstrators."[1] Bar-Tal has written for the anti-Semitic far-Leftist web magazine "Counterpunch", blaming Ariel Sharon there for the current violence and justifying Palestinian terrorism.[2] Bar-Tal's work is commonly cited as "evidence" that Israelis are racists, including by scores of Bash-Israel and anti-Semitic web sites and even in the UN's anti-Zionist Report on Racism and Xenophobia.[3]

Most of the "findings" in the book are old hat. Other previous studies making essentially the same arguments about Israeli schoolbooks include Adir Cohen's An Ugly Face in the Mirror, articles by Hebrew University's Eli Podeh,[4] the "Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace",[5] and quite a
few earlier articles by Bar-Tal or Teichman themselves.

One indication of the bias in the book is that the PLO's official web site sings its praises for proving how racist Israelis are.

Notes:

[1] http://oznik.com/petitions/010427signers.html

[2] http://www.counterpunch.org/bartal0422.html

[3]
http://www.unhchr.ch/Huridocda/Huridoca.nsf/0/
d96d50d790ad4a47c1256b760047dac7?Opendocument

[4] http://www.teachkidspeace.com/doc213.php

[5] http://www.teachkidspeace.com/doc210.php

Here`s the link.

Cross-posted at IsraPundit

Friday, October 14, 2005

Quote from "A Middle Eastern hub of innovation and enterprise" in Britain`s Telegraph from the 2nd of October

"Luke Johnson (Filed: 02/10/2005)

One of the more astonishing economies is Israel. This small Middle Eastern state has reinvented itself in the past 15 years as an extraordinary hub of innovation - despite the Palestinian conflict.

The roots of its economic success lie in its connections to America and its significant industrial-military strength. Almost a quarter of its workforce are graduates, many of them scientists, engineers or technicians. Others were educated in the US and Russia or are graduates of the Israel Defence Forces.

They are reaping the benefits of substantial military research and development budgets in civilian life. There are strong ties between business, the armed forces and academia and this has fostered a remarkable number of start-ups.

The US software, telecoms and electronics industries have invested heavily in Israel. IBM, Motorola, Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, HP and Applied Materials have pumped billions into plants and R&D facilities, taking advantage of tax breaks and a skilled workforce. Their confidence - and capital - have stimulated hundreds of spin-off ventures which have transformed Israel.

America also taught Israel the importance of venture capital. Today it has 80 local VC funds which manage more than $10bn. This is the second largest pool of such risk capital in the world - in a nation with fewer than 7m people.

Each year for the past six years more than $1bn has been invested in Israeli technology companies. This funding has fuelled more than 1,000 businesses in areas such as mobile telecoms, computer software, semiconductors and internet security.

Moreover, Israelis have learned how to tap money abroad. There are more than 70 Israeli companies quoted on Nasdaq. And increasing numbers of businesses raising investment in London have Israeli connections.

Empire Online, the internet gambling company recently in talks with PartyGaming, and 888.com, which went public this week at a value of almost £600m, were both founded and controlled by Israeli entrepreneurs. Remittances from foreign supporters are vital for the country.

Meanwhile, several of the leading Russian oligarchs are Jews who have invested heavily in Israel and have close connections with the country.

Indeed, rapid immigration of more than 1m mostly highly qualified, ambitious Jews from the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s provided a considerable stimulus to Israel - as well as boosting its population by more than 20 per cent.

The economy has shrugged off a sharp decline in tourism, a stagnant agricultural sector and the high costs of terrorism, and grown at rates of up to 6 per cent annually in recent times. GDP per capita at $19,000 is now higher than Spain, Portugal or New Zealand.

The high-tech boom commenced in Israel with the formation of the government-sponsored Yozma programme in 1993. This channelled investment into early-stage technology companies.

Since then a number of world-beating technology businesses have been established, including Checkpoint, a leader in enterprise network security; Teva, a giant in generic drugs; Amdocs, a pioneer in phone billing systems, Converse, a big noise in voicemail systems, and various companies such as ICQ, Audiocodes and Vocaltec which specialise in internet utilities such as instant messaging and internet telephony.

But money is not the only thing that has inspired Israel's development. Its talented people also have an appetite for risk. Israel is yet another example of a small nation which has outperformed much larger countries endowed with far greater natural resources: Singapore, Ireland and Switzerland are other cases in point. Each demonstrates that intellectual capital is the most important asset any state can possess.

What is remarkable is that Israel was founded in 1948 as a socialist republic, and that the government still controls more than 45 per cent of the economy - even though this proportion is declining..."

• Luke Johnson is chairman of Channel 4 and Giraffe

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Britain's history of 200-years of jihad

From Mellanie Phillips`s Diary:

"September 27, 2005

Britain's 200-year jihad
On my travels for the past few days, I have been reading a book which tells the story of a quite astonishing part of British history of which I was previously unaware. In 'White Gold', Giles Milton records the appalling details -- gleaned,it appears, from a wealth of historical documents including diaries and letters -- of a seaborne Islamic jihad against Britain which lasted for no less than two centuries.

From the early seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, thousands of British men women and children were kidnapped by Arab corsairs and sold into slavery in Morocco where they were kept in conditions of unspeakable barbarism. The astounding thing is that these British victims were not merely sized at sea where they ran the gauntlet of such pirates in places such as the Straits of Gibraltar. They were actually abducted from Britain itself.

Corsairs from a place in Morocco called Sale -- who became known in Britain as the ‘Sally Rovers’ -- sailed up the Cornish coast in July 1625, for example, came ashore dressed in djellabas and wielding damascene scimitars, burst into the parish church at Mount’s Bay and dragged out 60 men women and children whom they shipped off to Morocco. Thousands more Britons were seized from their villages or their ships and dispatched to the hell-holes of the Moroccan slave pens, from where they were forced to work all hours in appalling conditions building the vast palace of the monstrous and psychopathic Sultan, Moulay Ismail, who tortured and butchered them at whim. Most of them perished, but the book records the survival of a tenacious Cornish boy Thomas Pellow, who survived 23 years of this ordeal and whose descendant, Lord Exmouth, finally ended the white slave trade when he destroyed Algiers in 1816.

The book makes clear that this assault upon the British people (and upon Europeans and Americans who were similarly seized) was a jihad. The Sally Rovers, writes Milton, were called ‘al-ghuzat’-- the term once used for the soldiers who fought with the Prophet -- and were hailed as religious warriors engaged in a holy war against the infidel Christians who were pressurised to convert to Islam under threat of hideous punishment. What is even more striking was the response of the British crown. For almost two centuries, it made only the most ineffectual attempts to rescue its enslaved subjects. Those who had succumbed to the torture and inhumanity of the Sultan and converted to Islam were deemed to be no longer British and therefore outside the scope of any rescue. The pleas of Pellow’s parents were simply brushed aside. Popular outrage forced successive Kings to dispatch a series of feeble emissaries to try to get the Sultan to end this vile traffic and release the slaves, all to no avail.

But this went on for virtually two centuries. For almost 200 years the British state either sat on its hands or wrung them impotently while the Islamic jihad seized, enslaved and butchered its people. And then it appears, this staggering onslaught was all but airbrushed out of our history.

Food for disquieting thought."

Here`s the link.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Zion Mule Corps, the Jewish Legion, and their Irish Commander, Colonel John Henry Patterson

The Jewish veteran-The Official Publication of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA
The Zion Mule Corps, the Jewish Legion, and their Irish Commander, Colonel John Henry Patterson

By Yanky Fachler

Season: Winter, Volume: 58, Number: 1



Born in 1867, John Henry Patterson was an Irish Protestant who drew spiritual inspiration from Old Testament warriors. After becoming an officer in the British army, specializing in railroad construction in India, he was sent to Africa in 1898 to construct a railroad bridge spanning the Tsavo River. When two man-eating lions mauled and mutilated over 100 Indian and African workers, Patterson shot the lions. His book, The Man Eaters of Tsavo, was described by President Teddy Roosevelt as “the most thrilling book of true stories ever written.”

After fighting with distinction in the Boer War, Patterson became embroiled in a sex scandal while leading a safari in Kenya, resigned from active duty, and reappeared on the eve of World War One in Alexandria, Egypt. Here he met two Russian Jews agitating for the formation of a Jewish Legion that would help the British kick the Turks out of Palestine. One was journalist Vladimir Evgenevich (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky. The other was Joseph Trumpeldor, the one-armed hero and veteran of the Japanese-Russian War. Four times awarded the St. George Order, the highest Russian military award for bravery, Trumpeldor became the first-ever Jewish officer in the Tsarist Army.

The Jewish Legion idea was turned down by the British commander. “Under the law I am not entitled to accept foreigners into the British army. I can offer you only one thing: to form a mule transport unit from your young people and send it to a different Turkish front.” Jabotinsky felt that this was an insult to the Jews, and refused. Trumpeldor saw little difference between trenches and transport, and agreed.

The officer appointed by the British to command the Jewish muleteers was John Henry Patterson. His second-in-command was Trumpeldor. In April 1915, the Assyrian Jewish Refugee Mule Corps (soon known as the Zion Mule Corps), sailed from Egypt to Gallipoli with several hundred men and 750 mules. They landed at V Beach on the Helles Peninsula in the midst of heavy fighting, and quickly distinguished themselves transporting water, ammunition, food, and other supplies to the front lines.

The Zion Mule Corps was deactivated in May 1916, but the British soon needed more manpower. In July 1917, Patterson was promoted to full Colonel, and began organizing the Jewish Legion. Acknowledging that he had been wrong about the Zion Mule Corps, Jabotinsky now accepted a commission as recruiting officer for the Jewish regiment.

Among the thousands of Legionnaires were 120 former muleteers, a large contingent of Russian Jews from London, and a mixture of foreign nationals from Allied and neutral nations. Eventually, 150 American Jewish volunteers joined the Jewish Legion, as well as a further 1,000 Palestinian Jews. Prominent Legionnaires included Israel’s first prime minister David Ben Gurion, and the father of another future premier, Yitzhak Rabin.

On 2 February 1918, the day before embarking for Egypt, the Jewish Legion marched through London’s Jewish quarter. The Jewish Chronicle reported: “...thousands of Jews and Jewesses marched merrily together with the ‘Judeans’ from the Tower whence the march began after they had been addressed by Colonel Patterson, who rode at the head of the picturesque Jewish troops.”

In June, the Legion was transferred to Palestine under the command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) commanded by General Sir Edmund Allenby, who was notoriously antagonistic towards Zionist aspirations. He was also opposed to the Balfour Declaration of November 1917, which promised the Jews a homeland in Palestine.

After successfully participating in the liberation of Damascus just before the end of the war, the Judean Regiment was pared down from three battalions to one. The remaining Legionnaires faced open discrimination from the British military authorities. Britain announced it was establishing a permanent army of occupation in Palestine, but turned down a large contingent of American Legionnaires who volunteered to serve in this force. By 1921, all that remained of the Jewish Legion was a mixed Arab-Jewish militia headed by former Legionnaire Eliezer Margolin. When anti-Jewish riots in Jaffa left 13 Jews dead, Margolin led armed Jewish militiamen into the city to protect the Jews. For this breach of discipline, he was forced to resign. This effectively marked the end of the Jewish Legion.

Patterson became highly critical of the anti-Semitic policies of the British authorities, describing these policies as “a foul stain on our fair name.” This prolific soldier/writer wrote two books about his experiences with his Jewish soldiers, With the Zionists at Gallipoli and With the Judeans in the Palestine Campaign. For the next three decades, Patterson’s dedication to the Zionist cause never wavered. He moved to the US, where he became a staunch supporter of Jabotinsky. In 1941, a year after Jabotinsky’s death, Patterson helped establish the Emergency Committee for an Army of Stateless and Palestinian Jews.

Chicago’s Field Museum has a permanent exhibit of Patterson’s man-eating lions. When Patterson lectured at the museum in 1924, the museum purchased the lions’ skins and skulls, and taxidermists created the life-like mounts that have been on public display for nearly 80 years. The largest repository of Patterson’s documents and personal effects are stored at the Jabotinsky Institute in Tel Aviv. In 1932, a group of American, Canadian and Argentinian former Legionnaires founded a moshav (agricultural settlement) called Avichayil (Father of the Army) near Netanya. Here they built Beit Hagdudim (Legions House), a museum dedicated to Patterson and the Jewish battalions of World War One.

Patterson’s Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Legion helped lay the foundations for the Israel Defense Force 30 years later. Soldier, adventurer, writer and Christian Zionist, Colonel John Henry Patterson died in 1947, just a year before the establishment of the Zionist state that he had always supported.

2000 JWV. All rights reserved.

Here`s the link.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Immigration taboos

"Thomas Sowell
August 16, 2005

Immigration has joined the long list of subjects on which it is taboo to talk sense in plain English. At the heart of much confusion about immigration is the notion that we "need" immigrants -- legal or illegal -- to do work that Americans won't do.

What we "need" depends on what it costs and what we are willing to pay. If I were a billionaire, I might "need" my own private jet. But I can remember a time when my family didn't even "need" electricity.

Leaving prices out of the picture is probably the source of more fallacies in economics than any other single misconception. At current wages for low-level jobs and current levels of welfare, there are indeed many jobs that Americans will not take.

The fact that immigrants -- and especially illegal immigrants -- will take those jobs is the very reason the wage levels will not rise enough to attract Americans.

This is not rocket science. It is elementary supply and demand. Yet we continue to hear about the "need" for immigrants to do jobs that Americans will not do -- even though these are all jobs that Americans have done for generations before mass illegal immigration became a way of life.

There is more to this issue than economics. The same mindless substitution of rhetoric for thinking that prevails on economic issues also prevails on other aspects of immigration.

Bombings in London, Madrid and the 9/11 terrorist attacks here are all part of the high price being paid today for decades of importing human time bombs from the Arab world. That in turn has been the fruit of an unwillingness to filter out people according to the countries they come from.

That squeamishness is still with us today, as shown by all the hand-wringing about "profiling" Middle Eastern airline passengers.

No doubt most Middle Eastern airline passengers are not carrying any weapons or any bombs -- and wouldn't be, even if there were no airport security to go through. But it is also true that most of the time you will not be harmed by playing Russian roulette.

Europeans and Americans have for decades been playing Russian roulette with their loose immigration policies. The intelligentsia have told us that it would be wrong, and even racist, to set limits based on where the immigrants come from.

There are thousands of Americans who might still be alive if we had banned immigration from Saudi Arabia -- and perhaps that might be more important than the rhetoric of the intelligentsia.

In that rhetoric, all differences between peoples are magically transformed into mere "stereotypes" and "perceptions."

This blithely ignores hard data showing, for example, that people who come here from some countries are ten times more likely to go on welfare as people from some other countries.

The media and the intelligentsia love to say that most immigrants, from whatever group, are good people. But what "most" people from a given country are like is irrelevant.

If 85 percent of group A are fine people and 95 percent of group B are fine people, that means you are going to be importing three times as many undesirables when you let in people from Group A.

Citizen-of-the-world types are resistant to the idea of tightening our borders, and especially resistant to the idea of making a distinction between people from different countries. But the real problem is not their self-righteous fetishes but the fact that they have intimidated so many other people into silence.

In the current climate of political correctness it is taboo even to mention facts that go against the rosy picture of immigrants -- for example, the fact that Russia and Nigeria are always listed among the most corrupt countries on earth, and that Russian and Nigerian immigrants in the United States have already established patterns of crime well known to law enforcement but kept from the public by the mainstream media.

Self-preservation used to be called the first law of nature. But today self-preservation has been superseded by a need to preserve the prevailing rhetoric and visions. Immigration is just one of the things we can no longer discuss rationally as a result."

Here`s the link to Thomas Sowell`s Townhall.com piece.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Ha’aretz Fuels Anti-Israel Bias

"August 6, 2001 by Andrea Levin

Ha’aretz Fuels Anti-Israel Bias



In a familiar syndrome, many otherwise impartial American journalists newly posted in Israel slip quickly in their reporting into unmistakably hostile views of the country. Why?

One factor is their sources in the Israeli media. As Eric Weiner, former Jerusalem bureau chief for National Public Radio, told a Palestinian media symposium, every working day began with scanning local papers for stories. He relied especially on what he termed the “very respectable [Israeli] newspaper” Ha’aretz. Like NPR, countless other media cite Ha’aretz writers regularly, while a global audience reads the paper’s English Internet edition online.

Although Ha’aretz bills itself as “an independent newspaper with a broadly liberal outlook,” many of the opinion writers and some reporters espouse views of the extreme far left, and factual accuracy is often sacrificed to their political predilections. Reporter Amira Hass, for example, has just been ordered by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court to pay $60,000 in damages to the Jewish community of Hebron for her false and incendiary report that Jewish residents there had abused the corpse of a dead Arab shot by Israeli Border police in a violent incident. The allegations were disproved by multiple televised accounts of the event.

The same reporter’s stories, replete with distorted and inaccurate charges that Israel is an “apartheid” state, steals Palestinian water, callously targets Palestinians over the age of 12 with sniper-fire, and generally subjugates Arabs out of sheer viciousness, are posted on countless anti-Israel websites. So also is the commentary of a score of other Ha’aretz writers (Gideon Samet, Gideon Levy, Akiva Eldar, Baruch Kimmerling, Ze’ev Sternhell, Joseph Algazy, Danny Rubenstein, Moshe Reinfeld and many more), in the company of other favorites of such websites like Noam Chomsky, Hanan Ashrawi and Edward Said (eg: cesr, pmwatch, globalsolidarity, liberate-palestine).

Indeed, a look at such sites and the content of the Ha’aretz articles posted suggests that Ha’aretz writers are in the vanguard of those making the Palestinian case against Israel.

Hass and the extreme among her colleagues are also eagerly quoted by the most virulent anti-Israel commentators in the American media. The Orlando Sentinel’s Charley Reese, a syndicated writer obsessed with supposed Israeli iniquity praises Hass for writing “poignantly of this practice [of targeting Palestinians over 12 with sniper-fire] in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz.”

A ferociously anti-Israel writer at Connecticut’s Hartford Courant, Amy Pagnozzi, warmly endorses the observations of veteran Israel-basher Robert Fisk from Britain’s Independent newspaper, who said: “In particular, coverage in the Israel newspaper Ha’aretz ‘outshines anything’ reported in the States...The Israeli paper’s Gaza correspondent, Amira Hass, recently reported on an Israeli Defense Forces sniper whose orders were to shoot anyone over 12 as fair game.”

In addition to the Reeses, Pagnozzis and Fisks who seize on the strident anti-Israel voices at Ha’aretz, more mainstream American reporters and commentators routinely reflect the less radical but still harsh views of others at the paper (as well as carrying at times the views of less ideologically driven and more factually accurate Ha’aretz reporters). These, for instance, are a few of the Ha’aretz observations conveyed to millions of Americans.

Danny Rubenstein told National Public Radio listeners in October 2000 that Jews do not value the land of Israel the way Arabs do, since Jews are urban dwellers. He blamed Israel for not having dismantled “even one settlement since the Oslo agreement” – as though Oslo had stipulated such measures.

Rubenstein is the same journalist who reported as fact, and without including the IDF’s vehement refutation of the lie, that Israel was using poison gas against Palestinians (Ha’aretz February 15, 2001).

Doron Rosenblum, another favorite with the American mainstream media, often provides ridicule of Israeli leaders. An Associated Press story quoted a December 2000 Rosenblum observation that prominent Israeli figures Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu are, “a bunch of junk satellites that continue to orbit the earth even after their mission is over – an eternal beehive of has-beens and schemers...”

Akiva Eldar too, despite a record of factual sloppiness and twisted interpretation, is often cited. A May 23, 2001 New York Times story quoted him declaring that Ariel Sharon’s “shelling of Jibril Rajoub’s house removes any remaining doubts. Ariel Sharon has decided to turn the Palestinian Authority into the enemy.” Thus eight months into an unprecedented mini-war launched by Arafat’s PA, Eldar points the finger at Sharon.

Like many of his colleagues, Eldar joins the outside world continuously in wagging his finger at the Jews. A Washington Post story (July 21, 2000) quoted him saying that Israeli public opinion against the division of Jerusalem is indicative that, “there is something about Jerusalem that addles the brain.”

Another Israeli journalist based at a different newspaper, Yediot Ahronot's Nahum Barnea, wrote in November 2000 in a publication of The Israel Democracy Institute that there are Israeli reporters who do not pass the “lynch test.” These are journalists who could not bring themselves to criticize the Palestinians even when two Israelis were savagely murdered by a Palestinian mob in Ramallah. Which journalists? Gideon Levy, Amira Hass and Akiva Eldar of Ha’aretz. Barnea wrote: “And then the lynch test came, and before it the test of the shooting and fire bombs of the Tanzim fighters, and before it the test of the violations of the Oslo Agreement by Arafat, and it turns out that the support of some of the prominent reporters [for Palestinian positions] is absolute. ...They have a mission.”

The ultimate political effects of prestigious Israeli media disseminating continuous and often inflammatory anti-Israel misinformation in English in the era of the Internet should not be underestimated.




Copyright © 2001 by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. All rights reserved. This column may be reprinted without prior permission."

Here`s the link.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Delusions of a people under siege by Melanie Phillips

"Jewish Chronicle, 5 August 2005

One of the most distressing features of the current hostility towards Israel is the part being played by Jews themselves, both in Britain and in Israel.

Many struggle to explain why they choose to disseminate lies and libels about Israel, thus lining themselves up squarely alongside those who hate the Jewish people. It is hard to exaggerate the importance of certain Israeli academics in this process of demonisation and delegitimisation.

For their value to those who wish Israel ill is that, however extreme or mendacious their claims about Israel might be, they cannot be accused of prejudice against the Jews because they are Jews themselves. Thus they provide a crucial alibi for those who wish harm against Israel and the Jews, and have led many others who are simply ignorant horribly astray.

Now, however, an impressive new book torpedoes the myth that Jews cannot be Jew-haters. In ‘The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People under Siege’ (Smith and Kraus), American psychiatrist Kenneth Levin demonstrates that the phenomenon of Jews who side with the oppressors of their own people has very deep roots indeed.

The 12th century Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela wrote of the Jews of Constantinople that much of the enmity they attracted was the fault of the Jewish tanners who made leather and polluted their streets with filthy water. The psychological terror caused by persistent enmity and persecution caused Jews over the centuries to convert, to force others to convert and to oppose such marks of identification as Jewish schooling.

Over and over again in 19th and 20th century Europe, emancipated Jews looked down in contempt upon Jews from the east who inconveniently drew attention to their origins through their appearance and behaviour. In order to protect themselves, the enlightened Jews — the maskilim —absorbed the anti-Jewish feeling that surrounded them and re-directed it at the religiously observant.

The founding father of the Jewish Enlightenment, Moses Mendelssohn, denounced Yiddish as ‘a language of stammerers, corrupt and deformed’. Karl Marx, whose father converted from Judaism to Christianity in order to blend into society, agreed with the Jew-baiters of the time that the Jews were immutably materialistic and degenerate and that it was this that drove them to be corrupted by trade.

In order to gain acceptance from the surrounding society, the maskilim jettisoned not just the religion but the goal of the return to Zion. Instead, they embraced universalism and assimilation, declaring that the Jews should become citizens of the world’s nations and promoting Enlightenment principles of individual worth, reason and liberty.

Between the wars, widespread anti-Jewish prejudice in the United States similarly resulted in a flight of the intellectual classes from Jewish identity through conversion, changes of name and — perhaps most tellingly from the point of view of today’s difficulties — a tendency to blame fellow Jews for the hatred directed at them.

The real sting of Levin’s book, however, is to relate this ancient historical pathology among a beleaguered and traumatised people to the attitude of today’s Jews towards the plight of Israel, and in particular the flight from reality, logic and common sense displayed during the years of the Oslo ‘peace process’.

Controversially, he roots this in the revulsion felt by the Labour left at the election in 1977 of Menachem Begin — not so much because of his expansionist policies but on account of his support from the religious, the Sephardim and the petit bourgeoisie (horrors!), the victory of which disdained constituencies the left regarded as a great national catastrophe.

Refusing to sympathise with the discrimination suffered by the Sephardim, they directed their egalitarian fervour instead at the Arabs. The Likud government became the ‘other’, and thus the way was paved for the great moral inversion by the Israeli left in which Israel — the victims of the Arabs — were blamed for instead for oppressing them.

What followed was Peace Now, the systematic demonisation of Israel by a significant slice of the Israeli intelligentsia and the terrible delusion that peace with the Arabs was round the corner if only Israel made enough concessions. Levin sets this in the important context of the ‘New Historians’ — the Israeli anti-Zionists and post-Zionists who rewrote and falsified Israel’s history and thus handed the enemies of the Jews the intellectual weapons with which they are currently pursuing the destruction of Jewish nationhood.

What is fascinating and sobering about Levin’s account is the common threads linking the Jew-hating Jews of antiquity with those of today: the intellectual snobbery, the sucking up to powerful patrons, the internalisation of the surrounding hatred, the belief that they could become invisible as Jews, and the blaming of fellow-Jews for their own persecution.

Those who are not thus broken by this psychological siege of the Jews, concludes Levin, have to become not just resisters but educators. ‘The alternative, however disguised in claims of higher principle, is an ignoble capitulation to murderous bigotry’— and Israel’s annihilation."

Here`s the link.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Quotes from Reflections on the Ninth Day of Av (Tisha B'Av) by Yoram Ettinger

From Yoram Ettinger`s Official Site:

"13.08.2005 (20:56)

The Ninth Day of Av has been a most ignored commemoration day, in spite the fact that it solemnizes the destruction of the Temple, the destruction of Jewish national infrastructure, a 2,000 year exile, and the culmination of three weeks of national/religious predicament (Yemey Beign Hameitzareem).

REFLECTIONS ON THE NINTH DAY OF AV (TISHA' BE'AV)



1. The Ninth Day of the Jewish month of Av (August 14, 2005) commemorates a series of major Jewish calamities:



*The Golden Calf (1312 BC);

*The failure of the "Ten Spies", which caused 38 additional years in the desert;

*The destruction of the First Temple (586 BC), 100,000 killed and a nation exiled;

*The destruction of the Second Temple (70 AD), 2 million killed and a nation exiled;

*The crashing of the Bar Kokhba Rebellion (135 AD), 100,000 killed;

*The pogroms of the First Crusade (1096), scores of thousands slaughtered;

*The expulsion of the Jews from Britain (1290);

*The expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492);

*The eruption of WWI (1914)

*The end of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the massacre of 50,000 survivors in concentration camps; (May 1943).



2. The Ninth Day of Av is the central of the Four Days of Fast, commemorating the destruction of the First Temple: the 10th day of Tevet, the 17th day of Tamuz, the 9th day of Av and the 3rd day of Tishrey.



3. The Ninth Day of Av has been a most ignored commemoration day, in spite the fact that it solemnizes the destruction of the Temple, the destruction of Jewish national infrastructure, a 2,000 year exile, and the culmination of three weeks of national/religious predicament (Yemey Beign Hameitzareem).



4. The Book of (5) Lamentations (Megilat Eikhah) is read on the Ninth Day of Av, reminding us of the state of the Jewish Nation following the destruction of its religious and national infrastructure."

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Quotes from "Disengagement is fueling terrorism" by Evelyn Gordon in the Jerusalem Post

"...the fact that Palestinian violence hit an 18-month high in July."

"...according to the Shin Bet, the number of Palestinian attacks in July exceeded the total for any other month of the past year and a half."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

British Opinion Surveys From an Islamist Hell

"By Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 25, 2005

Estimating how many potential terrorists reside in one’s country is a highly inexact business, but there’s a striking correlation between a British government report recently leaked to London’s Times a new opinion survey commissioned by the Daily Telegraph.

Drawing on unidentified “intelligence,” the government report (analyzed by me at “The Next London Bombing”) finds as many as 16,000 “British Muslims actively engaged in terrorist activity.”

Then, using standard survey research methods, the reputable YouGov polling firm interviewed 526 Muslim adults across Great Britain online during July 15-22, weighing the data to reflect the British Muslim population’s age gender, and country of origin. The survey found that 1 percent of them, or “about 16,000 individuals, declare themselves willing, possibly even eager, to embrace violence” in the effort to bring an end to “decadent and immoral” Western society.

Should their ranks really be so thick, such a huge number of potential terrorists could cause for Britain an unprecedented security crisis, with all the attendant economic, social, political, and cultural ramifications one can imagine.

The YouGov survey contains many other statistics that should spark the interest, if not shock, of Britons and other Westerners.

· Muslims who see the 7/7 bombing attacks in London as justified on balance: 6 percent.

· Who feel sympathy for the “feelings and motives” of those who carried out the 7/7 attacks: 24 percent.

· Understand “why some people behave in that way”: 56 percent.

· Disagree with Tony Blair’s description of the ideology of the London bombers as “perverted and poisonous”: 26 percent.

· Feel not loyal towards Britain: 16 percent.

· Agree that “Western society is decadent and immoral and that Muslims should seek to bring it to an end”: 32 percent willing to use non-violent means and (as noted above) 1 percent willing to use violence “if necessary.” Just 56 percent of Muslims agree with the statement that “Western society may not be perfect but Muslims should live with it and not seek to bring it to an end.”

· Agree that “British political leaders don’t mean it when they talk about equality. They regard the lives of white British people as more valuable than the lives of British Muslims”: 52 percent.

· Dismiss political party leaders as insincere when saying “they respect Islam and want to co-operate with Britain’s Muslim communities”: 50 percent.

· Doubt that anyone charged with and tried for the 7/7 attacks would receive a fair trial: 44 percent.

· Would not inform about a Muslim religious leader “trying to ‘radicalise’ young Muslims by preaching hatred against the West”: 10 percent.

· Do not think people have a duty to go to the police if they “see something in the community that makes them feel suspicious”: 14 percent.

· Believe other Muslims would be reluctant to go to the police “about anything they see that makes them suspicious”: 41 percent.

· Would inform the police if they believed that knew about the possible planning of a terrorist attack: 73 percent. (In this case, the Daily Telegraph did not make available the negative percentage.)

Another opinion poll, this one commissioned by Sky News and carried out by Communicate Research (which interviewed 462 UK-based Muslims by telephone) found similar results:

· Muslims who agree with what the London suicide bombers did: 2 percent.

· Who believe there is a Koranic justification for the bombings: 5 percent.

· Disagree with the statement that “Muslim clerics who preach violence against the West are out of touch with mainstream Muslim opinion”: 46 percent.

· Think of themselves as Muslim first and British second: 46 percent. Another 42 percent do not differentiate between the identities. A mere 12 percent see themselves as British first and Muslim second.

Comments:

(1) It is hard to say which is the most alarming of these many worrisome statistics, but two stand out. That less than three-quarters of Muslims in Britain indicate they would tell the police about an impending terrorist attack raises grave doubts about the Blair government’s tactic of getting Muslims to police their own community. That one-third of Muslims do not accept British society and want to end it, presumably to pave the way for an Islamic order, casts comparable doubts on Britain’s much-vaunted multicultural ideal.



(2) Even the Telegraph’s interpreter of its survey, Professor Anthony King of Essex University, feels compelled to sugar the results, calling them “at once reassuring and disturbing, in some ways even alarming,” whatever that means. In several specific instances, he turns hair-raising statistics into cheerful ones (that 73 percent would warn of an impending terrorist attack he deems “impressive”). The newspaper’s and the professor’s panglossian attitude makes one wonder what might wake the British to the Islamist hell growing in their midst."



"Mr. Pipes...is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Miniatures (Transaction Publishers)."

Here`s the link with many embedded hyper-links in the text.

Also see this post from this blog in this context.