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August 31, 2008

The Problem Grows

Free Gaza Group Wants Regular Trips from Cyprus

(IsraelNN.com) Two Free Gaza boats reached Cyprus with several Gaza students who had not been allowed by Israeli authorities to leave and said it will launch a regular service to and from Gaza after having symbolically broken Israeli sovereignty on territorial waters off the Gaza coast last week.

One of the pro-Arab protestors, Derek Graham, said that the group will start a regular ferry service in an effort "too keep the borders open."

Just think if the Navy would have sunk these ships it would be over. Now these scum, lovers of terrorist that murder Jews want to start a ferry service.

I stand by my first post sink these ships and hunt down the leadership of this group and the financial backers and kill them.

But since Israel has gone out of the business of defending it's citizens we all know nothing will happen.

Since we did nothing, the problem grows, it doesn't go away.

Sunday, August 31, 2008
Russia threatens to supply Iran with top new missile system as 'cold war' escalates

Russia is deploying the threat to sell a "game changing" air defence system
to Iran as a high stakes bargaining chip in its new "cold war" with America,
The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

By Philip Sherwell in New York and William Lowther in Washington
The Sunday TElegraph (UK) Last Updated: 11:29AM BST 31 Aug 2008

US intelligence fears the Kremlin will supply the sophisticated S-300 system
to Tehran if Washington pushes through Nato membership for its pro-Western
neighbours Georgia and Ukraine.

The proposed deal is causing huge alarm in the US and Israel as the S-300
can track 100 targets at once and fire on planes up to 75 miles away.

That would make it a "game-changer", greatly improving Iranian defences
against any air strike on its nuclear sites, according to Pentagon adviser
Dan Goure. "This is a system that scares every Western air force," he said.

Senior US intelligence operatives believe that Russia is planning to use a
stand-off over the S-300 to create a foreign policy showdown that would test
the mettle of a new US president.

Republican candidate John McCain has taken a strongly anti-Kremlin line on a
series of international issues and backed Georgia's desire to join Nato. His
Democratic rival Barack Obama has also indicated he supports Nato membership
for Georgia.

"The message from Moscow is very clear," said George Friedman, director of
Stratfor, a leading US private intelligence agency. "They are saying if you
don't stop meddling in our sphere of influence, this is what we are going to

"Back Georgia and Ukraine for Nato membership and you'll see the S-300 to
Iran. It is a very powerful bargaining chip and a major deterrent to US
actions in the region. Moscow is playing very strategically on America's
obsession with Iran."

Moscow has been infuriated by the steady encroachment of Nato into the
former Soviet bloc and the recent granting of independence to the ex-Serbian
province of Kosovo against its wishes.

After American condemnation of Russia's foray into Georgia, Moscow invited
Syria's dictator Bashar al-Assad, a long-time US foe, to discuss military
deals in a deliberate signal of how it could cause trouble for Washington.

A senior US intelligence operative who recently returned from the Middle
East said Russia is believed to have struck a tentative deal to sell the
S-300 to the Islamic regime. There are reports that Russia has already moved
some basic components for the system to its close ally Belarus, ready for
possible transfer to Iran.

"Moscow cannot simply threaten to strike the deal," the official told The
Sunday Telegraph. "Iran certainly thinks it has a deal. And the Israelis
believe that a deal has been reached but that they can still block it."

The outgoing Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert is expected to pass that
message on to his counterpart Vladimir Putin and President Dmitri Medvedev
when he visits Moscow next month. Israel has already ended military
assistance to Georgia in an effort to placate Russia.

Russia has denied previous assertions by senior Iranians that a deal has
already been finalised on the S-300.

Dan Goure, a long-time Pentagon adviser, said: "If Tehran obtained the
S-300, it would be a game-changer in military thinking for tackling Iran.
That could be a catalyst for Israeli air attacks before it's operational."

Dr Friedman said that if it became operational, it would effectively rule
out Israeli air raids and seriously complicate any US aerial bombardment.

The system would take up to a year to become operational. In the meantime,
Israel would come under heavy domestic pressure to launch an attack on
Iranian nuclear plants, which the West believes are part of a secret atomic
weapons programme but which Tehran claims are for civilian energy.

A senior Iranian military commander warned yesterday that any attack on Iran
would start a major conflict. "Any aggression against Iran will start a
world war," deputy chief of staff for defence publicity, Brigadier General
Masoud Jazayeri, said in a statement. "The unrestrained greed of the US
leadership and global Zionism... is gradually leading the world to the edge
of a precipice."

August 29, 2008

MERF Appearance

For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.

The time of the show is 3pm EDT, 12 noon Pacific and Arizona, 10pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the host radio program web page http://kknt960.townhall.com/

Israel Has Decided: Iran Will Not Have Nukes

28 Av 5768, 29 August 08 12:53
by Gil Ronen and Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) Israel's leadership resolved, in top-level strategic discussions three months ago, to do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from having nuclear bombs. This is Maariv's front-page headline on Friday.

Maariv's veteran political reporter Ben Caspit stops short of detailing the precise solution Israel will implement to put an end to Iran's nuclear program, but writes, "Preparations for an Israeli military option intended to stop Iran's nuclear program are underway."

The results of the series of highest-level discussions are thus clear: "The debate between those who believe in doing everything, including a military operation, to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, and those who think we can live with Iranian nukes, has been settled."

Not only that, but "if the ayatollahs' regime does not fall in the next year, if the Americans do not strike militarily, and if the international sanctions do not break the Iranian nuclear plan, Israel will have to act forcefully."

Olmert: Home Front and Air Force
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave a strong hint of Israel's intentions when he said in a closed forum last week that the IDF has only two truly important commands: the Home Front Command and the Air Force.

Caspit writes that at present, the U.S. is refusing to cooperate with the Israeli plan and will not give Israel the necessary permission and codes it needs to overfly Iraq in order to attack Iran. "We'll help you defend yourselves," the Americans say, offering special radar systems, "but we won't let you attack."

A security source put it this way: "The Americans have accepted the fact that Iran will be a nuclear power, and are trying to get us to accept it too." But we will not, says Caspit.

Sneh's Bloodless Plan
Former Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh proposes a third option: A total international embargo on spare parts for Iran's oil industry and a complete international boycott of Iran's banks.

Others have called for an end to investments and an international divestment capaign from Iran and countries doing business with Iran, including Opposition Leader Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.

Sneh sent an eight-clause memo to both McCain and his challenger, Sen. Barack Obama, outlining the plan that he says will be the "most rational and cheap, and will not cause bloodshed." If the U.S. recruits all of Europe to take part in these "genuine" sanctions, Sneh says, Iran's regime will be toppled from within. The time to implement this program is within the next 18-24 months; otherwise, Sneh warns, the only alternative will be an Israeli military strike.

Sneh, who recently resigned from the his Labor Party Knesset seat to form a new party, visited last week in Switzerland and Austria - two countries that have announced plans for huge oil and gas investments in Iran in the coming years.

Hearing his hosts describing their future investments, Sneh said he told them quietly, "What a shame, because Ido will set it all on fire." Ido is Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan - Commander of the Israel Air Force that would carry out the air strikes on Iran.

"Investing in Iran in 2008," Sneh told the Austrians, "is like investing in Germany's Krups plant in 1938; it's a high-risk investment." The Austrians turned pale, Sneh said.
© Copyright IsraelNationalNews.com

Letter to Hugh Hewitt


I want to tell you that the choice of Sarah Palin for VP by McCain was brilliant.

I have been talking with many gun guys most of them are either current ex special ops military or cops.

I was in Arizona last week meeting in person with a bunch of these kinds of guys and they were pretty down on McCain, but today after the pick of Sarah Palin these guys are pumped up and are already talking about her for President after McCain.

Just for your info more people are killed in Alaska by moose than by grizzle bears, and she hunts them.

But do not call her husband our Dennis Thatcher, for Mr. Hatcher was a wimp, Sarah's husband is a man that can handle a snow mobile all most as good as you since he has won the top snow mobile race in the world 4 times.

I think I can dig up my assault rifles from their hiding place, Sarah loves guns.

I will now be putting a McCain poster on my front yard.

Palin for President will get my vote in the future.


August 28, 2008

Terrorist Target IAF

Cell plotting to assassinate Israeli pilots, scientists arrested

Joint IDF, Shin Bet, police operation exposes Islamic Jihad cell comprised of three Palestinians, two Israeli Arabs, who planned to assassinate Israeli pilots, scientists
Efrat Weiss

An Islamic Jihad cell plotting to assassinate Israeli pilots, scientists and university lecturers was exposed in a joint IDF, Shin Bet and police operation. The arrest was cleared for publication on Thursday evening.

The cell was comprised of three Palestinians and two Israeli Arabs from Shfaram. The group also planned to carry out a shooting attack against the IDF checkpoint near Beit Zeit, in the Ramallah area, and go after those suspected of collaborating with Israel.

The planning of the assassinations was still in the early stages.

The two Israeli Arab members worked on the fundraising front, trying to secure money for the purchase of weapons. The two attempted to contact the Islamic Jihad headquarters in Syria to this end. The cell did have some arms in its possession and had trained extensively ahead of its plan to carry out the Beit Zeit shooting attack.

The names of those arrested are:

1. Anis Saffouri – a 20-year-old resident of Shfaram, a communications student at the Bir Zeit University in Ramallah.

2. Hussam Khalil – a 19-year-old resident of Shfaram, an electrical engineering student in Jordan.

3. Mahmoud Bader – a 19-year-old resident of Beit Lakiyah, an Islamic Jihad activist at the Bir Zeit University.

4. Ibrahim Tamliya – a 25-year-old resident of Ramallah, considered a prominent Islamic Jihad activist

5. Ibrahim Hamed – a 26-year-old resident of the Kalandiya refugee camp, an Islamic Jihad activist

Anis Saffouri's father, Jamil Saffouri, is one of the suspects implicated in the lynching of Jewish terrorist Edan Nathan-Zada in Shfaram.

Hussam Khalil is the son of a prominent Balad operative, and Shfaram officials were surprised to hear his name connected to the fundamentalist Islamic Jihad. Both Balad and 'Sons of the Villages' are secular movements.

Connections to 'Al-Manar' reporters

According to the details revealed in the investigation, Anis Saffouri relocated to Ramallah in 2006 to study in Birzeit. Saffouri, already a member of the Sons of the Village movement, developed ties to activists for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, as well as personal and professional ties to reporters linked to the Hizbullah-affiliated 'Al-Manar' network.

Saffouri later became active for the ' Jamaat al-Islamiya' movement at Birzeit, and worked to raise funds to support the Islamic Jihad's military operations. He formed a cell with other activists belonging to the organization from the Ramallah region, and worked to recruit other Israeli Arabs to the cell.

Hussam Khalil was marked by Saffouri as the man who could help transfer funds from Jordan to Israel to help finance the cell's operations. Khalil traveled to Ramallah to meet Saffouri and another activist, expressed his willingness to help transfer the funds and was officially recruited to the Islamic Jihad.

Hussam confessed in his questioning that he was aware of Saffouri's intentions and understood that the money would be used for military operations.

The Shin Bet said the case exposes the cooperation between Israeli Arabs who study in the territories and terror operatives who live there. Saffouri and Khalil will be indicted at the Haifa District Court in the coming days on charges of grave national security offenses.

Our enemy never gives up and we must never forget that, Israel must always be on form to keep terrorist from being successful.

August 27, 2008

IAF buys new fix for bombed runways: resume operations within minutes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 27, 2008

The Israel Air Force has purchased a unique material that can be laid on
bombed-out runways within minutes to enable fighter jets to take off with
barely any delay, defense officials revealed Tuesday.

Until now, the IAF had been dependent on asphalt companies to repave damaged
runways. The new solution can allow a base to resume operations within

The air force recently conducted a number of tests with the new material,
including the takeoff of fully-loaded fighter jets.

A top IAF officer told The Jerusalem Post the decision to buy the material
was made in line with the lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War, when
more than 4,000 Hizbullah rockets pounded Israel.

The IAF was concerned that Syria and Hizbullah would target air bases in an
effort to neutralize Israel's fighter-jet capability, the officer said.

"Our assumption is that we will be under a heavy barrage of missiles in a
future conflict," the officer said. "This applies to all of the air force
bases - in the South and the North."

For this reason, the IAF is also considering purchasing several Joint Strike
Fighters, which have vertical-takeoff capability. The IDF has announced
plans to purchase at least 25 F-35 jets with the option to purchase dozens

The decision to consider the vertical-takeoff airplane, the F-35B, was made
due to an understanding that in time of war Israeli bases and runways would
be heavily targeted by enemy missiles.

Also Tuesday, the Israel Air Force's official magazine reported on a new
avionics system installed in F-15I fighter jets that enables pilots to drop
several smart bombs simultaneously. Smart bombs, or precision-guided
munitions, are guided weapons intended to maximize damage to the target
while minimizing civilian damage.

The F-15I is Israel's most advanced bomber and has a range of over 4,000
kilometers with the ability to reach speeds of up to Mach 2.5. The plane can
carry an assortment of missiles.

Palestinian newspaper chief editor sees "political surprise" behind Rice's irrational optimism

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Date: 27 / 08 / 2008 Time: 11:57

Ramallah - Ma'an - The editor of a leading Palestinian newspaper believes
that Condoleezza Rice is preparing a political surprise.

Hafith Barghouthi, the chief editor of the daily Hayat Al-Jadidah, wrote in
an editorial published on Wednesday that Rice's seemingly unjustifiable
optimism about the US-backed Palestinian-Israeli peace talks may be
attributable to developments in the negotiations themselves.

"It seems a political 'meal' is being cooked on fire behind the scenes as
the statement released by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, and the
US secretary of state shows unprecedented optimism about reaching agreement
before the end of this year," the article said.

Under the title "Comprehensive Peace", Barghouthi said that the number and
apparent intensity of the meetings Rice held with Palestinian and Israeli
negotiators may yet yield results.

"The fact that Rice met with both negotiation teams separately, then
together proves what she said in the press conference about both sides
abstaining from negotiating in front of the media. All this indicates that
the negotiations are serious," he wrote.

"It is regrettable that the Israelis leak what they have to media while we
[Palestinians] don't. That is why you find us frustrated as nothing comes
out of the negotiation process," Barghouthi added. He was referring to last
week's leak of an Israeli proposal for borders that would give Palestinians
93% of the west bank while annexing land now occupied by settlements.

Barghouthi highlighted that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for
the continuation of negotiations even after US President George W Bush steps
down in January, "in order to avoid waiting another seven years." Abbas was
referring to the perception that it took Bush seven years of his presidency
to show interest in the Palestinian question.

According to Barghouthi, President Abbas plans to reach a final,
comprehensive, solution rather than an interim agreement that again
postpones resolution of the final status issues: Jerusalem, borders, and

He said Palestinians would reject a mere "declaration of principles" that
Rice was rumored to be seeking from the negotiators.

Barghouthi added that if Palestinians do not shift their attitudes (perhaps
reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah could help this) they could find
themselves once again facing Israeli accusations that they are not "real
partners" in the peace process.

August 26, 2008

Rice And Abbas

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Secretary Rice Remarks With Palestinian President Abbas [negotiating Jerusalem now]

They are dealing with all issues before them. No issue is off the table.

Remarks With Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
August 26, 2008

PRESIDENT ABBAS: (Via interpreter.) In the name of God, the merciful and the
compassionate, again, we welcome Dr. Rice and thank her for her repeated
visits, unprecedented level of visits - number of visits, unprecedented in
the history of the region. These visits, if they indicate anything, they
indicate basically the will and the determination of the American
Administration to reach a solution for the core issues that are contested,
which are the main core issues that we always remind the people of, which
are Jerusalem refugees, borders, settlements, water and security. And
therefore, this visit comes in this context and in this determination that
we appreciate highly for the American Administration, President Bush
personally and Dr. Rice.

Yesterday, 198 Palestinian prisoners were released and this means that joy
has overwhelmed all the Palestinian people, particularly in the West Bank.
And we hope that efforts continue in order to release all the prisoners. And
we understand that once we reach an agreement, that the issue of prisoners
would be one of the issues of the main issues that will be addressed, and
that have to be cleared and have to be solved by the final solution.

Today, we have exchanged conversation about these issues. We have focused on
these issues. And we have focused also on the settlement activities that
continue, that are ongoing, and that are undoubtedly an obstacle, a main
obstacle in the road of the peace process. And as you all know, we reject
all the settlement activities in principle because they contradict with the
agreements and the Roadmap plan and the objectives of Annapolis that have
started one year ago - almost one year ago.

We have also discussed the situation in Gaza Strip and the urgent need to
alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people and opening the doors and
the crossing borders - points for the people and for the goods, so that life
can continue in the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that there is a truce in
Gaza Strip and we have supported this truce and we have provided all support
to this truce - yet the situation in Gaza Strip is intolerable, unbearable.

And I would like to add here that we are seeking reconciliation,
Palestinian-internal reconciliation based on the Yemenite initiative and the
initiative by - that was endorsed by the Arab League in Damascus. And we are
ready for the national dialogue that is being conducted in Cairo and that is
led by the initiative of Egypt, which is exerting huge efforts in this

We have also discussed the issues related to the importance of reaching
complete, comprehensive solutions, not partial solutions, and not postponing
any of the main issues. The solution should be comprehensive, and as we have
worked relentlessly throughout this peace process in order to achieve the
aspirations of the - our people and their dream in having an independent
Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with its capital, Jerusalem, within
the framework of the Palestinian fundamental principles. And we here - we
will continue our efforts with the Bush Administration, President Bush's
Administration, in order to reach the solution.

And we hope that - we have to exert all efforts, ongoing efforts, relentless
efforts in the coming period, and we should not leave any opportunity and
should not miss any opportunity or waste time. And this is our policy and
this is our willing, because it is in the interest of our people and the
interest of Israel and the region and the world as a whole that we reach a
comprehensive and genuine peace agreement.

Finally, I thank Dr. Rice again for all her efforts and I thank her for
coming here in this repeated manner and this space of visits, which is
unprecedented. And I reiterate here that it indicates, really, the
willingness and the determination to reach a peace solution. You're welcome,
Dr. Rice.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you very much for
welcoming me here. I've had a series of very good discussions here, also
earlier today in the trilateral with the chief Palestinian negotiator, Abu
Ala and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

We have discussed the progress that the parties are making in the
negotiations toward a two-state solution. We've also had discussions of how
to move other aspects of the Annapolis process forward, including improving
life for Palestinians, the Palestinian people on the ground, as well as the
Roadmap obligations. General Fraser is here and, in fact, as the Roadmap
monitor, and General Fraser will stay on for a couple of days to continue
the work on the Roadmap implementation.

Mr. President, I want to thank you for your continued dedication to the
Annapolis process and I believe that with will and with effort, we can reach
the goals of Annapolis. And so, again, thank you for having me here and I
think we are ready for your questions.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) Mr. President, you said that the American
Administration wants to reach a solution and is determined to reach a
solution. But the American Administration has failed so far to stop
settlement activities. How do you think that they will help in achieving a

Dr. Rice, you are talking about an opportunity that there might be progress
in the peace process. Where is this opportunity and what kind of progress
that you are talking about?

PRESIDENT ABBAS: (Via interpreter.) I can say that the American
Administration is exerting genuine efforts to reach peace - a peace
agreement and is exerting genuine efforts to implement the first article of
the Roadmap plan, which Dr. Rice have implied and indicated, particularly in
the presence of General Fraser, who is working towards this objective. Since
things have not succeeded so far, it does not mean that we have failed. It
means that there is more determination and more willingness to find a
solution for all these issues.

SECRETARY RICE: Yes, on the settlement issue, I think I've made very clear
the U.S. position that the settlement activity is not conducive to creating
an environment for negotiations, yet negotiations go on. We continue to
press the Israelis about their Roadmap obligations and to work with the
Palestinians on their Roadmap obligations as well.

As to progress in the peace process, I would just like to remind everyone
that this time last year, we, of course, didn't have a peace process. And
perhaps it's well to go back to when President Bush came to office in 2001,
in the midst of the breakdown completely of the peace process with the
second intifada underway, with the election of Prime Minister Sharon who
explicitly did not come to power intending to be a part of the peace
process. And so President Bush has worked tirelessly over the last years -
last seven years of his Administration to lay a foundation for this peace
process, to declare the importance of a two-state solution not just to
Israel and to Palestinians, but to the United States as well, and to support
the establishment of the institutions of a Palestinian state, including the
Roadmap monitoring role, including the date and mission on training and
equipping of Palestinian forces, including the fact that the United States,
for the first time, transferred directly to the budget of the Palestinian
Authority American taxpayer resources.

And so I would just like it understood that President Bush has been a
tireless advocate of the establishment of the institutions, and ultimately,
the establishment of the Palestinian state itself. We still have a number of
months before us to work toward the Annapolis goal and we're going to do
precisely that. But again, this is not easy. If this had been easy, somebody
would have solved it a long time ago. And it has fallen to us to try again
to find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. God willing and with
the goodwill of the parties and the tireless work of the parties, we have a
good chance to succeed.

MR. MCCORMACK: Matt Lee of AP.

QUESTION: Hi. Madame Secretary, Mr. President, I'm - I have to apologize
because I have to ask two things that are a bit further --

SECRETARY RICE: I've already told the President you weren't going to ask
about --

QUESTION: -- further afield.

SECRETARY RICE: -- the Palestinian issues. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: -- which I apologize for.

Madame Secretary, this morning, we've had several rather significant
developments: one, the North Koreans have announced that they are going to -
they have suspended their disablement because you have not yet removed them
from the state sponsors of terror list. I'm wondering what your reaction is
to that and how you think that will affect the process.

And then secondly, just within the last hour or so, President Medvedev has
signed a decree recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
He's done this despite strong warnings from yourself and from the Bush
Administration, as well as others. How does this square with the ceasefire
that he signed and what does it mean for U.S. policy? Thank you.

SECRETARY RICE: First, on North Korea, look, we have made very clear - we
made clear at the Six-Party ministerial that we were awaiting a verification
mechanism that could assure the accuracy of the statements that North Korea
made in its declaration or - and/or gave us ways to verify those - the
accuracy of those statements. So I assume that North Korea recognizing that
it - recognizes that it still has obligations.

I would just note that the Chinese President and the South Korean President
reaffirmed just - I'm not sure on the timing, because of the time changes,
either yesterday or today - that the work ahead is to get that verification
mechanism and therefore, to proceed with denuclearization. We actually are
in discussions with the North Koreans. And I think we'll just see where we
come out in a few weeks.

Now, as to the matter of the Russian apparent or intention to recognize two
parts of - two regions that have been in conflict, but are clearly within
the internationally recognized borders of Georgia by multiple Security
Council resolutions, I think it is regrettable. It puts Russia, of course,
in opposition to a number of Security Council resolutions to which it is
party as member of the Security Council, as member of the United Nations,
and most appallingly, as a member of the P-5.

The ceasefire also talked about the importance of moving forward to an
international way to deal with these zones of conflict. And so to preempt
those international discussions is extremely unfortunate. Not only has the
United States warned about this, but so has Europe. It simply means that the
Russian President continues not to honor the commitments on - that the
Russians have signed onto.

But I want to be very clear: Since the United States is a permanent member
of the Security Council, this simply will be dead on arrival in the Security
Council. And therefore, in accordance with other Security Council
resolutions that are still enforced, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are a part
of the internationally recognized borders of Georgia, and it's going to
remain so. Thank you.

MR. MCCORMACK: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY RICE: Oh, I'm sorry. There's another --

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) Mr. President, do you believe that the American
Administration has done enough in order to reach a peaceful agreement with
the Israelis? And what do you expect from the new American Administration?

(Back to English) Madame Secretary, you've said earlier today that you're
still hopeful that the sides can reach to a peace deal before the end of
this year. How can you convince, first of all, President Abbas that this is
doable? And how can you convince the critics that the timeline is very
short, since already eight months have passed without achieving anything?
Thank you.

PRESIDENT ABBAS: (Via interpreter.) As we are - we know, the peace process
since Camp David has stopped. And consequently, since the beginning of the -
Mr. Bush's Administration until before Annapolis conference, there were no
contacts whatsoever, or efforts from any party towards the peace process,
and particularly from the United States. And when President Bush announced
his call for a meeting - for an international meeting in July 2007 and then
after that, the Annapolis conference, from that time, since then, the real
efforts - the American efforts have started towards the peace process.

And when I mentioned earlier that Dr. Rice have visited us more than 12
times now as well as President Bush, who also visited us, I think this is
towards - it shows the keenness and the efforts by the American
Administration towards the peace process. And therefore, I am fully
convinced of the credibility and the genuine efforts of the American
Administration in terms of the peace process.

What do we want of the new administrations? That they will continue with the
peace process. If we fail to reach an agreement, at least we should not
waste - seven years should not be wasted and should - to find new solutions.
And therefore, we should focus now on the coming period, regardless of how
short this period of time is. At least we should exert all the efforts. It's
important not to waste time. It's to benefit from the time that - and what
is important is that everyone is very serious and committed. And if we reach
an agreement, then it's very good. If we do not reach an agreement, then we
wish for the new administration, that it will continue what we have already
started and where we've reached today.

SECRETARY RICE: As to convincing the critics, I'm not going to try. It's not
actually my concern. As to discussing this with President Abbas and with
Prime Minister Olmert, with Abu Ala, with Tzipi Livni, I see people who are
committed to trying to achieve this goal. And so that is my role, is to help
them work to achieve this goal.

And again, the parties made a very wise decision early on that they were not
going to go to the microphones every time they met and talk about what they
have or have not achieved, because they have a principle which is very
important, that they don't want a partial agreement, that they understand
that there are - these major issues are interconnected and therefore, until
everything is agreed, you can't have an agreement. And so I don't think you
should expect that they're going to come out and talk about any partial
progress that they have made, because it would only harm the process to do

What I can tell you is that it is a very serious negotiating process. They
are dealing with all issues before them. No issue is off the table. This is
the most intensive discussions that have been there at least since Camp
David and, in some ways, they've employed new mechanisms to deal with these
issues that were not even there in 2000. And so this is very, very hard.

I just want to repeat, if there had been an easy solution to the
establishment of two states living side by side, it would have been done a
long time ago. But obviously, there are many, many interlocking problems.
But I can tell you again, when we go into these trilaterals, I am impressed
by the work that they have already achieved in between, the work that they're
still trying to do. And my job is to help them find ways to - ways of
convergence and ways to get greater convergence and to do whatever the
United States can to mobilize the international community in supporting

MR. MCCORMACK: Last question (inaudible).

QUESTION: Yes. For both of you, it's Madame Secretary's seventh visit here
since Annapolis. Can both of you at least give us some measure of the
progress you've made in those seven visits on the core issues?

SECRETARY RICE: Look, if it took two visits or 22 visits, I think that it
would be worth it to see the Palestinians and the Israelis engaged in as
serious a negotiating process as they are engaged in now.

The fact of the matter is these issues are very hard. And just like they're
not going to give you a partial update on what they've done, I'm not going
to give you a partial update on what they've done. Their job and ours is to
keep the momentum going, to keep working at the issues, to keep finding
solutions when there is a road that seems not open to find another road to
address the same issue. And that's the kind of work that they do. And so
this isn't a matter of a scorecard, that after one visit we've achieved
one-tenth of a solution, and after another, we've achieved two-ninths of the
solution. That's not the way that this works.

But I can tell you that they are very seriously working. They have a very
serious process despite, by the way, a lot of odds against them, whether it
is a lot of complications politically which are always - always seem to be
here in this region, some understandable and undeniable bitterness about
Roadmap applications, implications about settlement activity and so forth.
Despite all of that, they continue to press forward. And that's what I'm
here to do, is to help them continue to press forward.

MR. MCCORMACK: Thank you.

PRESIDENT ABBAS: (Via interpreter.) In one word, briefly, I would like to
say that these efforts that have been exerted were not wasted, were not done
in vain. If they - we felt it was done in vain, then we would have stopped.
So we feel that we are exerting efforts and that there is - there are
benefits inevitably from these efforts. And hopefully, in the future, you
will see these results.

What's The Use, Why Even Serve?

Israel pardons 48 wanted Palestinians Date: 26 / 08 / 2008 Time: 17:31 www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=31547

Nablus - Ma'an - Israel pardoned 48 Palestinian activists on Tuesday it had
previously deemed "wanted," including 21 from the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian security source told Ma'an that the Palestinian and Israeli
negotiation teams agreed during a meeting on Monday to allow the former
Palestinian fighters to return civilian life without fearing arrest or
assassination by the Israeli military.

Fourteen people received total amnesty, and another 34 received partial
amnesty, meaning that they will not be arrested so long as they remain in
areas of Palestinian Authority (PA) control (Area A of the West Bank, a
series of enclaves designated by the Oslo interim agreement).

In addition to the list of 48, Five former fighters who were detained in the
PA's Juneid prison in Nablus received complete amnesty and five detainees in
the jail received partial amnesty.

Another 20 men will be released from PA custody.

Ma'an's correspondent in Nablus identified the activists who have been
pardoned as:

Mahdi Akkubah, Ala' Sulaiman, Amr Amirah, Ala' Sanakrah the most prominent
activist on the list), Salah Abu Leil, Abdul-Nasser Abu Kushuk, Raed Fakhr
Addin, Muneer Qatawi, Abdul-Mun'im Sanakrah, Muhammad Zabaru, Yasin Banat,
Sa'id Misha, Muhammad Al-Hajj, Muhammad An-Nuri, Yousif Salah, Muhammad
Hashash, Ali Kojak, Mujahid Abu Zeid and Sireen Abu Salim.

Only 19 names appear hear because, a security source explained that two of
the 21 Nablus men were not in fact wanted by Israel.

So why should my son and the son's of others that serve in the IDF continue to serve?

What is the point of these boys' risking life and limb, just so Israel can release terrorist or pardon other terrorist?

I am getting to the point of wishing my son was not in the IDF, he could be in university here in the USA, moving his life ahead instead of risking his life for a morally bankrupt leadership in Israel.

I Never, thought I would ever have such thoughts, but Israeli leadership and their strangle hold on power, makes me question some days what is the use.

August 25, 2008

We Seek Victory, Is The Answer

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Abbas: No peace till all prisoners free
Aug. 24, 2008
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST

Israel freed nearly 200 jailed Palestinians on Monday - including a terrorist mastermind from the 1970s who became the Jewish state's longest serving Palestinian prisoner - in a goodwill gesture made hours before US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's latest peace mission to the region.

At the start of her visit, Rice praised the Israeli gesture: "This is something that matters a lot to the Palestinians, it matters a lot to the Palestinian people and it is obviously a sign of goodwill."

The prisoners received a hero's welcome upon their return to the West Bank, where thousands of people joined celebrations at the Ramallah headquarters of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and elsewhere throughout the West Bank.

"We will not rest until the prisoners are freed and the jails are empty," Abbas told the cheering crowd.

However, a moment of tragedy marred the joyous occasion when, according to the mayor of Yamoun, a crowded balcony gave way in the village, killing a nine-year-old girl and injuring 16 others. Relatives had crowded onto the rickety balcony to await the arrival of Muhammad Abahra, freed after eight years in prison.

In Israel, the government came under fire for freeing Palestinian prisoners without receiving anything in return.

Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu said that releasing the prisoners would weaken Israel and would not strengthen moderate Palestinians.

"The crumbling Kadima government continues to demonstrate weakness that causes national humiliation," Netanyahu said.

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, who is running for leadership of the Kadima Party and who voted against the prisoner release in the cabinet last week, again voiced his opposition on Monday, saying Israel should only be freeing prisoners for captured soldier Gilad Schalit.

"I ask: Why are we releasing prisoners with blood on their hands?" Mofaz said. "We will have to release prisoners for Gilad Schalit. We need more determined leadership that will know how to maintain the interests of Israel - and the interest of Israel is to release Gilad Schalit. For that we need to keep prisoners to use in exchange for him. Releasing prisoners now is a very big mistake."

The prisoners arrived in Ramallah after being released at a military checkpoint near Jerusalem. The prisoners, some waving black-and-white checkered keffiyeh headdresses as they stepped off Israeli buses, kissed the ground before boarding Palestinian vehicles.

Among the 198 Palestinians freed was Said al-Atba, who served 31 years of a life sentence for masterminding a 1977 market bombing that killed one woman and wounded dozens of others in Petah Tikva. Al-Atba, 57, was the longest serving Palestinian inmate in Israel and is widely seen by Palestinians as a symbol of all the prisoners.

"I feel like I've been born again," al-Atba told The Associated Press. "This is a victory over the handcuffs," he added, but noted that thousands of prisoners remain behind. "We salute them and we must do all that we can to liberate them."

His brother, Hisham, came from Saudi Arabia, where he works, to greet him. "I feel great, great joy," he said. "We had lost hope that my brother would be released because he's been in prison for 32 years."

Al-Atba's sister, Raida, said she had prepared her brother's favorite food, stuffed grape leaves and zucchini.

The fate of the roughly 9,000 prisoners in Israeli jails is emotional for Palestinians, many of whom know somebody behind bars or have themselves served time. Abbas, who is struggling to show his people the fruits of the peace talks, has repeatedly urged Israel to carry out a large-scale release.

"It's not easy for Israel to release prisoners. Some of the individuals being released today are guilty of direct involvement in the murder of innocent civilians," Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said. "We believe this action can support the negotiation process and create goodwill."

Upon her arrival, Rice praised the Israeli gesture. "This is something that matters a lot to the Palestinians, it matters a lot to the Palestinian people and it is obviously a sign of good will," she said, calling on both sides to carry out more confidence-building measures.

Rice, making her seventh trip to the region since peace talks were relaunched last year, has been trying to broker a peace agreement by the end of the year.

Speaking to reporters on her plane, she acknowledged it was unlikely the sides would meet their year-end target, but said all sides remain committed to that goal. The talks have been complicated by Israeli political turmoil and Palestinian infighting.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is battling a corruption investigation, has said he will step down after the Kadima party chooses a new leader next month. It remains unclear who his successor will be, and whether the government will be able to stay in power.

On the Palestinian side, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas's forces last year. Israel has said it will not carry out any peace deal until Abbas regains control over Gaza. Both Israel and the US have labeled Hamas a terrorist group.

In the presidential compound in Ramallah hung a giant poster with pictures of Abbas, al-Atba and another veteran prisoner being freed, Mohammed Abu Ali, a lawmaker from Abbas's Fatah party.

Abu Ali was jailed in 1980 for killing 20-year-old yeshiva student Joshua Saloma in Hebron and later convicted of killing a Palestinian in jail he accused of collaborating with Israel.

In the festive Ramallah crowd was Abu Ali's wife Suad, 51, and the couple's three children: Ibrahim, 32, Palestine 29, and Leila, 27.

"When Muhammad was arrested I was 22 years old, my children were babies," she said. "My family's life has begun today."

Also among those freed were a 16-year-old girl who had been jailed for trying to stab an Israeli soldier and a young mother who had been incarcerated since January 2007 and had been raising a baby behind bars. She was sentenced for ties to Hizbullah.

Wearing a long loose robe and a face veil, 30-year-old Khawla Zeitawi held her young daughter on her hip as she paused before the grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Palestinians say 74 women are in Israeli jails.

Israel has released prisoners to Abbas in the past, most recently last December. But it has balked at releasing Palestinians serving time for deadly attacks. It appears to be easing its criteria following a prisoner swap last month with Hizbullah. Under that deal, Israel exchanged Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese man convicted in a notorious triple murder, for the remains of two Israeli soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.

Eager to bolster Abbas in his rivalry with Hamas, Israel says the latest release is meant to show the Palestinians that dialogue, not violence, is the best way to win concessions.

Hamas is demanding Israel free of hundreds of prisoners in exchange for Gilad Schalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants in a cross-border raid two years ago.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

Israel released terrorist as a sign of good will. The Palestinians released Kassam rockets as a sign of their evil intent.

When are we going to learn this is a war where winner takes all.

My answer to Abbas would be then fine we do not seek peace with the Palestinians, We seek only victory.

Qassam rocket fired from Gaza

Shmulik Hadad YNET Published: 08.25.08, 17:10 / Israel News

Despite the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, a Qassam rocket was launched
from northern Gaza Monday afternoon, landing in an open area in the western
Negev, in the Sha'ar Hanegev region.

There were no casualties or damages and it appears that the rocket did not
explode. Sappers are dealing with the dud.

August 24, 2008

Releasing Terrorists: New Victims Pay the Price: 50% return to terror

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jerusalem Issue Brief
Institute for Contemporary Affairs
founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation

Vol. 8, No. 8 24 August 2008

Releasing Terrorists: New Victims Pay the Price

Nadav Shragai

The Israeli Cabinet approved on August 17 the release of almost 200
Palestinian security prisoners as a "goodwill gesture" to Palestinian
Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. The list includes several prisoners "with
blood on their hands," who, by definition, were involved in the murder of

According to an informal estimate by Israeli security bodies, about 50
percent of the terrorists freed for any reason whatsoever returned to the
path of terror, either as perpetrator, planner, or accomplice. In the terror
acts committed by these freed terrorists, hundreds of Israelis were
murdered, and thousands were wounded.
Israel freed 400 Palestinian prisoners and five other prisoners in return
for Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was held captive by Hizbullah, and for the
bodies of three soldiers kidnapped on Mount Dov. According to Knesset
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzahi Hanegbi, from the date
of the deal on January 29, 2004, until April 17, 2007, those freed in the
deal had murdered 35 Israelis.

An investigation by the Almagor Terror Victims Association in Israel
revealed that at least 30 of the terrorist attacks perpetrated since 2000
were committed by terrorists freed in deals with terror organizations. Many
were freed in the framework of goodwill gestures because they were defined
by Israel as "without blood on their hands." The bloody swath cut by these
terrorists claimed the life of 177 persons, with many others wounded and
made invalids.

Another "Goodwill Gesture"

In anticipation of the return to the Middle East of U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice, the Israeli Cabinet approved on August 17 the release of
almost 200 Palestinian security prisoners as a "goodwill gesture" to
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. The list includes several
prisoners "with blood on their hands," who, by definition, were involved in
the murder of Israelis.

Since 1985 the State of Israel has freed over 10,000 Palestinians who were
serving prison sentences for hostile activity or terror actions, and this
resulted in the murder and death of hundreds of Israeli citizens. Some of
the Palestinian terrorists were freed in the framework of deals with terror
organizations that involved the exchange of a few isolated Israelis who were
taken captive by the terrorists, for hundreds and thousands of terrorists.
Another portion were freed in the framework of what were termed diplomatic
"goodwill gestures." Sometimes the terrorists were freed because their
prison terms had been concluded or shortened.1

According to an informal estimate by Israeli security bodies, about 50
percent of the terrorists freed for any reason whatsoever returned to the
path of terror, either as a perpetrator, planner or accomplice. In the
terror acts committed by these freed terrorists, hundreds of Israelis were
murdered, and thousands were wounded.2 In the case of the Jibril deal in
1985, the Israel Defense Ministry determined that 114 out of the 238 who
were released returned to terrorism. During 1993-1999, 6,912 terrorists were
freed in the wake of various diplomatic agreements, and 854 of them (12.4
percent) returned to terrorist activity, carried out terrorist attacks,
murdered or planned to harm Israeli citizens, and were reincarcerated.3

Israel freed 400 Palestinian prisoners and five other prisoners in return
for Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was held captive by Hizbullah, and for the
bodies of three soldiers kidnapped on Mount Dov. The deal was transacted in
Cologne, Germany, on January 29, 2004. According to the information provided
by Knesset member Tzahi Hanegbi, the chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs
and Defense Committee, from that date and until April 17, 2007, those freed
in the Tannenbaum deal had murdered 35 Israelis.4

A comprehensive investigation recently conducted by the Almagor Terror
Victims Association in Israel revealed that at least 30 of the terrorist
attacks perpetrated since 2000 were committed by terrorists freed in deals
with terror organizations. Many were freed in the framework of deals,
understandings, or goodwill gestures because they were defined by Israel as
"without blood on their hands." The bloody swath cut by these terrorists
claimed the life of 177 persons, with many others wounded and made invalids.
These statistics have been informally confirmed by security officials.5

Victims and Murderers

Dr. David Applebaum, head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Shaarei
Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, and his 20-year-old daughter Nava, were
murdered by a suicide bomber on September 9, 2003, when they went to Café
Hillel on Emek Refaim Street in central Jerusalem. Nava was to be married
the next day. The murderer, Ramez Sali Abu Salim, from Rantis, northwest of
Ramallah, had been freed from an Israeli prison in 2002. He was rearrested a
few months later, but was freed again on February 20, 2003. Seven months
later he was sent by the Hamas command in Ramallah to commit a terror attack
in the heart of Jerusalem.

Also killed in this terror attack were Alon Mizrachi, 20; Gila Moshe, 40;
Yehiel Emil Toubol, 50; David Shimon Avizdris, 51; and Shafik Yihya Karem,
22, from Beit Hanina. An additional 60 people were wounded.

The famous Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in Israeli
prison for five acts of murder, was arrested for the first time in 1976 for
hostile activity. After being freed, he became one of the leaders of the
first intifada in 1987. Arrested again by Israel, he was expelled to Jordan.
Permitted to return in the framework of the Oslo agreements (1994), he
became the general secretary of the Fatah organization on the West Bank.
With the start of the second intifada, Barghouti became the leader of the
Tanzim, which was responsible for many terror attacks against Israelis. Some
were carried out under the name of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. In April
2002 he was arrested, placed on trial, and in May 2004 he was convicted of
five acts of murder. The prosecution waived 21 additional murder charges and
33 other charges.6

Sheikh Ahmed Yasin was first arrested in 1983, after guns were seized in his
home. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison for holding weapons,
establishing a military organization and calling for the liquidation of the
State of Israel, but was freed by Israel 1985 in the framework of the Jibril
deal.7 In 1987 Yasin established and headed the terror organization Hamas.
In 1989 he ordered the killing of Palestinians suspected of collaboration
with the IDF and the Israel Security Agency, and he subsequently commanded
the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers. For these crimes, Yasin
was given a life sentence. He was freed in 1997 as part of an agreement
between Israel and Jordan after the botched assassination attempt by the
Mossad on Khaled Mashaal in Jordan. After his release, Yasin resumed
preaching violence and terror, and the IDF and the Israel Security Agency
reported to the government that Yasin was involved in planning terrorist
attacks on the operative level. On March 22, 2004, he was killed by missiles
fired by Israel Air Force combat helicopters.8

Freed Murderers Kill Again

Abdullah Abd Al-Kadr Kawasme was originally arrested in 1988, following the
murder of policeman Nissim Toledano, and was exiled together with 400 Hamas
and Jihad activists. Upon his return to Israel, he was imprisoned and
charged with membership in Hamas and involvement in hostile terrorist
activity, and was released in 1994. He was responsible for many terrorist
attacks including the infiltration into the community of Adura on April 27,
2002, where four people were killed, including five-year-old Danielle Shefi.
Kawasme was also responsible for the infiltration of the community of Carmei
Tzur on August 6, 2002, in which three people were murdered; two suicide
bombings carried out in tandem in Jerusalem on May 18, 2003, in which six
people were killed and 20 wounded; and a suicide bombing in Jerusalem in
June 2003 in which 17 people were killed and 105 were wounded. Kawasme was
killed by the IDF on June 21, 2003.

Karim Ratteb Younis Awis was serving a life sentence for causing the death
of a collaborator, but was released in a goodwill gesture to the
Palestinians. On November 27, 2001, he dispatched two terrorists who opened
fire on civilians at the central bus station in Afula, murdering Michal Mor
and Noam Guzofsky and wounding an additional 84 people.9

Nasser Abu Hameid, who had been given five life sentences for the murder of
five collaborators, was released in September 1999 in the framework of the
Sharm el Sheikh Agreement. After the outbreak of the second intifada, he was
documented mutilating the corpses of IDF reserve soldiers Vadim Norzitz and
Yossi Avrahami. In December 2000 he murdered Binyamin and Talia Kahane near
Givat Zeev. In February 2002 he was involved in plotting the terrorist
attack in which policewoman Galit Arbiv was murdered in Neve Yaakov, and he
commanded the murder of Gadi Rejwan in the Atarot industrial zone in
northern Jerusalem. In March 2002 he was responsible for a terror bombing at
the Seafood Restaurant where Eliyahu Dahan, Yossi Havi, and policeman Salim
Barakat were murdered. In December 2002 he was sentenced to seven life terms
for the murder of seven Israelis and was convicted of 12 counts of attempted
murder and additional crimes

Abbas ibn Muhammad Mustafa Alsayd was released in 1996 after three years in
prison for directing disturbances in Tulkarm. He was responsible for many
terror attacks and in September 2005 he was convicted of murdering 35 people
and wounding hundreds in the terror attack at the Park Hotel in Netanya on
the eve of Passover, March 27, 2002, and at the HaSharon Mall in Netanya on
May 18, 2001.10

Matsab Hashalmon was released from jail as part of the "Tennenbaum deal" on
January 29, 2004. Three months later he recruited suicide terrorists Ahmed
Kawasme and Nissim Jaabari, who blew themselves up on August 31, 2004, on
two buses in Beersheba, killing 16 civilians and wounding scores of others.

Iyad Sawalha headed the military wing of Islamic Jihad in Samaria. He was
imprisoned for two years for his involvement in the murder of collaborators
and was freed in 1998 in the wake of the Oslo Accords. On June 5, 2002, he
was responsible for blowing up a bus at Megiddo junction where 17 people
were murdered and another 42 were wounded. On October 21, 2002, he was
responsible for detonating an explosive-laden jeep near a bus at Karkur,
leaving 14 people murdered and scores wounded.

The list of freed terrorists and their victims goes on and on.

Israel's Dilemma

The Victims of Arab Terror International has appealed many times to the High
Court of Justice against the freeing of terrorists, but all the petitions
have been rejected. In one of the petitions (High Court of Justice case
914/04), Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levi expressed the dilemma that he
finds himself in as a justice and as an Israeli citizen when confronted with
the freeing of terrorists, and their reversion to the path of terror.

This is not the very first time that by virtue of agreements it signed, the
State of Israel frees terrorists who sowed death and destruction in our
midst. After every such prisoner release, the hope reverberated in many
hearts that this time a change would ensue and those freed would no longer
return to the path of terror and could possibly even serve as ambassadors
for disseminating the idea of peaceful coexistence. It would seem that there
is no need to elaborate to what extent this hope was in vain, and it might
be more fittingly defined as a false illusion. If we needed further proof
that those freed were not intent on peace, one can find it in the bloody
events that have accompanied us since October 2000. Many of those whom
Israel had in the past set free participated in these horrific events. These
incidents have taken their toll in human life, sometimes as an everyday
occurrence, and altered the lives of the wounded victims' families from top
to bottom. I saw myself forced to concur with the decision of my colleagues,
and with trembling hand I added my signature, and with the sole hope that
beats inside me, namely that those who adopted the decision and have a
complete picture before them and whose shoulders bear the responsibility to
ensure the safety and security of Israeli citizens were persuaded that the
decision that they adopted was the correct one, despite the terrible risk
involved for all of us in the freeing of the miscreants.11


Hundreds have been murdered and many more wounded in terrorist attacks
perpetrated by terrorists who have been freed from Israeli prisons.

There needs to be a change in the "rules" that have crystallized in recent
years where thousands of terrorists are released in return for isolated
kidnap victims. This will limit the damage, for fewer freed terrorists will
be free to return to the path of terror. One should not pay any price in
order to bring about the release of kidnap victims or captives.

Furthermore, the terrorists that Israel frees in return for captives should
not be freed into the West Bank, but abroad, as was done in certain cases in
the past. This will make it harder for them to injure residents of the State
of Israel.

* * *


1. From a discussion with a military source.
2. From a discussion with a military source.
3. According to a senior figure in Central Command.
4. Confirmed by Knesset member Tzahi Hanegbi to the writer.
5. For further details, see the full investigation on the Almagor Terror
Victims Association website www.al-magor.com/39719/
6. The security report, the reports of the Almagor organization, and the
verdict and sentence handed down against Barghouti.
7. The Jibril deal involved an exchange of captives that took place on May
21, 1985, between the Government of Israel headed by Shimon Peres and the
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command, a terrorist
organization headed by Ahmed Jibril. In the framework of the exchange, 1,150
prisoners and security detainees who were imprisoned in Israel were freed in
exchange for the return of three Israeli captives: Hezi Shai, Yosef Grof and
Nissim Salem, who had been taken captive by Jibril's organization at the
time of the First Lebanon War. The deal was supported by all the ministers
in the Israeli government, both from the Labor Party and the Likud, with the
sole exception of Yizhak Navon. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners were freed
in the territories and most of them, as almost all the security bodies
concur today, constituted the backbone of the leadership for the first
intifada that erupted three years later.
8. From newspaper reports and a security report summing up the incident.
9. From the sentence of the military court in Beit El, file 3478/02: "The
crimes for which the accused is paying the penalty today, demonstrate that
the gesture extended to them was not justified and that it led to the
killing of additional innocent citizens. The danger posed by the accused was
clear after he had already been convicted of murder in the past. The need to
keep them at a distance from human civilization forever was also
self-evident. After his release, the accused demonstrated that the gesture
was unjustified and the steep price for this was paid by many Israeli
10. The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report on the
terrorist attack at the Park Hotel in Netanya from March 2004, as well as a
report by the Almagor organization.
11. High Court of Justice 914/04, Victims of Arab Terror International
against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 2004 (1) pp. 781-783.

* * *

Nadav Shragai is the author of At the Crossroads, the Story of the Tomb of
Rachel (Jerusalem Studies, 2005); The Mount of Contention, the Struggle for
the Temple Mount, Jews and Muslims, Religion and Politics since 1967 (Keter,
1995); and "Jerusalem is Not the Problem, It is the Solution," in Mister
Prime Minister: Jerusalem, ed. Moshe Amirav (Carmel and the Florsheimer
Institute, 2005). He has been writing for the Israeli daily newspaper
Ha'aretz since 1983. His previous studies for the Jerusalem Center include
Jerusalem: The Dangers of Division - How to Meet the Demographic Challenge
without Subtracting Arab Neighborhoods (Hebrew, 2008; English, forthcoming);
"The Latest Damage to Antiquities on the Temple Mount" (February 2008); and
"The Palestinian Authority and the Jewish Holy Sites in the West Bank:
Rachel's Tomb as a Test Case" (December 2007).

This Jerusalem Issue Brief is available online at:

Dore Gold, Publisher; Yaacov Amidror, ICA Chairman; Dan Diker, ICA Director;
Mark Ami-El, Managing Editor. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
(Registered Amuta), 13 Tel-Hai St., Jerusalem, Israel; Tel. 972-2-561-9281,
Fax. 972-2-561-9112, Email: jcpa@netvision.net.il. In U.S.A.: Center for
Jewish Community Studies, 5800 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore, MD 21215; Tel.
410-664-5222; Fax 410-664-1228. Website: www.jcpa.org. © Copyright. The
opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Board of
Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

The Institute for Contemporary Affairs (ICA) is dedicated
to providing a forum for Israeli policy discussion and debate.

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August 22, 2008

MERF Appearance

For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.

The time of the show is 3pm EDT, 12 noon Pacific and Arizona, 10pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the host radio program web page http://kknt960.townhall.com/

Al-Saqer calls for combating Jewish schemes

Kuwait News Agency - 21 August, 2008

Arab Interim Parliament (AIP) President Mohammad Al-Saqer called on
Wednesday upon Arab, regional and international parliaments, the UN, Arab
League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to combat the
Israeli scheme to divide the Aqsa Mosque into separate sections for Muslims
and Jews.

Al-Saqer said in a statement to the press that the Israeli plan "is crime
much graver than burning of the Aqsa Mosque in 1969." He added, that the
Jewish settlement plans and digging under the Aqsa Mosque had reached a
dangerous stage. Asserting that the continuing Israeli violations of
international resolutions and the Fourth Geneva agreement in 1949 exceeded
all boundaries.

Al-Sager asserted that such inhumane activities are unacceptable, especially
as they are increasing on daily bases, including arrests, destruction,
building settlements and the separating wall in the West Bank.

Al-Sager called upon Palestinians to join efforts in facing this crisis and
overcome their domestic disputes, as the Jewish plans are a greater crisis.

Israeli People Are Not Stupid

Panel poll: 67% Disengagement failure, 66%:29% Oppose disengagement in Judea and Samaria

Panel poll of Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) carried out for the
Knesset Channel (99) as reported in the 22 August edition of Makor Rishon

Was the disengagement from the Gaza Strip a success or failure?
Failure 67% Partial success 25% Complete success 4%

Do you support an additional disengagement in Judea and Samaria?
Support 29% Oppose 66%

This raises one question in my mind,why is their no major political party that reflects the will of the Israeli people?

When will we be able to raise up a party that matches what the people of Israel want?

August 21, 2008

Hamas Again Denies Red Cross Appeal to Visit Shalit

(IsraelNN.com) Red Cross officials met with Hamas leaders in another attempt to allow visitors to kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, as provided by the Geneva Convention. As in previous appeals, Hamas remained silent.

Shalit was kidnapped more than two years ago and is believed to be alive, but his condition is not known.

Still The Same

Jordan frees killers of Israeli soldiers AFP 20 August 2008 http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5j-V03wmP9e1_eIBNLsGf1rhH3c1Q

AMMAN (AFP) - Four Jordanian prisoners handed over by Israel last year to
complete their life sentences in the kingdom were released from a jail north
of the capital Amman on Wednesday.

The four, who were convicted of killing two Israeli soldiers in November
1990 four years before Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty, received a
hero's welcome from relatives as they walked out of Qafqafa prison carrying
Jordanian flags.

Jordan's Islamist-dominated trade unions said they were planning a festival
later on Wednesday to celebrate the release of the prisoners, who were
transferred by Israel in July 2007 in a goodwill gesture to King Abdullah

Under Jordanian law, a life sentence is equivalent to 25 years in prison and
a "year" of jail in the kingdom comprises just nine months.

According to police, the four men were freed after serving three-quarters of
their sentences because they had exhibited good conduct.

The trade unions had joined with members of parliament and journalists in
campaigning for the men's release after Israel freed all its Lebanese
prisoners in an exchange with the Shiite militant group Hezbollah last

Is this really any shock?

I went on vacation to the back country of Montana and Arizona where I had no connection to Israeli news and now I have returned and everything is the same all messed up.

August 10, 2008


I am leaving on vacation and will be enjoying the back country of America, and I will not be able to post again until August 21.

Report: Slain Aide to Assad Sent Missiles to Hizbullah

(IsraelNN.com) General Mohammed Suleiman, the senior aide to Syrian President Bashar Assad who was assassinated nine days ago, supplied advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Hizbullah, according to sources quoted by the Times of London. Suleiman was killed by a bullet from a silencer in the northern Syrian port of Tartus.

Suspects in the killing include elements within the Syrian government, which underwent a purge following the February assassination of Imad Mughibyeh. Fingers also are being pointed at Israel, which recently has warned Syria it is crossing "the red line" by supplying Hizbullah with weapons.

Naalin, Bilin Rioters Meet 'the Skunk'

(IsraelNN.com) Rioters at Naalin and Bilin met the "Skunk" Friday: a device developed by the Technologies Administration and Israel police which sprays an extra-smelly substance on its targets.

The Skunk was developed as part of efforts to come up with means of riot dispersal that do not cause death or permanent injury.

Border Police sources say they were pleased with the results of the Skunk's first performance Friday. Rioters said that on Sunday, too, they sensed a stench in the air, which they described as being similar to sewage, and which does not come off even after a shower.

August 08, 2008

MERF Appearance

For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.

The time of the show is 3pm EDT, 12 noon Pacific and Arizona, 10pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the host radio program web page http://kknt960.townhall.com/

Cut The Cord

Israel stays out of Turkish deal out of fears of US Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 5, 2008 www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331192831&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Concerns that competing with American-backed defense industries would
endanger Israeli-US relations led the Ministry of Defense to back down from
submitting a bid for a $400 million deal to develop and manufacture a new
tank for the Turkish Armed Forces.

According to sources in Israeli defense industries, Turkey informed the
Israeli Defense Ministry of its interest in developing a new tank and asked
if Israeli Military Industries would be interested in putting in a bid,
which could have been for as much as $1 billion.

The sources said that SIBAT - the Defense Ministry's Foreign Defense
Assistance and Defense Export Organization - decided not to submit a bid so
as not to compete with the Americans and endanger Israeli-US defense

Instead, the $400m. deal went to South Korean contractor Hyundai Rotem,
which signed with Turkey last week in Ankara. The deal will include
technology transfers worth $330 m. as well as the production of four
prototypes for $70 m.

Defense officials confirmed industry claims that Israel was concerned that
if it submitted an offer it would upset the Pentagon and potentially upset
relations between the two countries, similar to the way tensions flared in
2005 after Israel was accused by the US of upgrading Chinese aerial drones.

In August 2005, the crisis was partially resolved after Israel and the US
signed an understanding that effectively granted the US veto power over
Israeli arms sales to selected countries which Washington felt compromised
its national security - including China. Turkey is not one of those

"America is our number one customer, with over $1 billion in annual sales,"
one official explained. "If we would have competed in the Turkish tank deal
there is a chance that we would have lost out on more significant contracts
in the US."

In response to the report, Defense Ministry Spokesman Shlomo Dror released a
statement saying that the Defense Ministry does not discuss matters related
to defense negotiations.

Israeli Military Industries has nearly completed a $700 m. upgrade of
Turkey's fleet of ageing Patton-series M60 tanks, a deal signed several
years ago.

I tell you it is hard today to keep waving my American flag, or for that matter my Israeli flag.

I worry that the relationship has just got way out of balance and it is not health for either country.

Israel needs to look how we can be friends but even a mother and child must cut the cord for life to go on.

American Support, Good Or Bad?

Three-star middleman By Aluf Benn Haaretz 8 August 2008 www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1009578.html

If a Palestinian state is ever established in the West Bank, Gen. Keith
Dayton will want to be remembered for playing a significant role in its
establishment, as the person who helped the Palestinians to create a modern,
effective and properly equipped security force. Like British officer Orde
Wingate, who taught the Jewish soldiers of pre-state Israel what an army is
and how to fight terror, Dayton is also laying the foundations for the
"state in the making" - for the Palestinians. He feels a deep sense of
mission and is confident his endeavor will succeed.

This week Dayton left on a home visit to the United States, after completing
three missions: The first battalion of the rebuilt Palestinian National
Security Forces, numbering 500 soldiers from the West Bank, completed four
months of training in Jordan; a Presidential Guard training college is being
constructed outside Jericho; and a strategic-planning department has been
created in the Palestinian Authority's Interior Ministry in Ramallah, to
establish decision-making and work processes. On the eve of his departure,
Dayton finalized plans for a second Palestinian battalion to leave for
training in Jordan, and after lengthy delays, obtained the approval of the
Israeli Defense Ministry to equip the Palestinian forces with protective
vests and new jeeps.

Dayton, a three-star general (one of only 35 in the U.S. Army), was posted
in Jerusalem at the end of 2005 as the U.S. security coordinator in the PA.
Unlike other international envoys that come for short visits, he and his
staff live here and work in the field. The challenge facing him is very
complicated. He must convince the Palestinians that if they manage to
organize their security forces, they will be bringing statehood closer. He
must show the Israelis that if they loosen their restrictions a bit, the
Palestinians will prove they are a responsible neighbor, and that it is
worth the Israelis' while to support the Palestinians and not focus only on
Iran and the Hezbollah. He must also explain to the Congress in Washington
that American taxpayers' money is not being wasted on another futile attempt
at reform in the Arab world.

"I'm an American, I'm here to advance America's interests, but I'm also here
because of the relationship between your country and mine," said Dayton, in
an interview with Haaretz. "The U.S. wants me here to build Palestinian
capacity, because we believe that this will facilitate a Palestinian state,
what your government and [Ariel] Sharon and others said they wanted to see

"We're trying to build their capacity to govern themselves, in such a way
that their territory does not become a launchpad for attacks against

The question troubling Israelis is whether that force will ever be able to
take responsibility, to allow us to live without fearing rockets and without
the Israel Defense Forces having to maintain a presence among the
Palestinians all the time.

Dayton: "I'll give you a one-word answer, which is yes, but it is going to
take time. I work with your defense forces. I understand very clearly the
challenges they face. But I take great inspiration from something I heard,
and I've heard more than once, from [IDF chief of staff] Gabi Ashkenazi. He
says: As they do more, we will do less. My goal is to give them the
capability to do more, so that the IDF will do less. And I have to assume
logically that, eventually, the IDF will feel comfortable that it can leave
altogether. I think they can do it."

How long will it take?

"This is my personal view, I'm not speaking for the United States. Some of
that depends on Israel. We are going to work very hard to present a
disciplined, right-sized Palestinian force that will support a Palestinian
state. It's very important in that context that the Palestinians have a
genuine political horizon that they can aspire to. I tell these young men
they're building their future. I think we all should work very hard, as hard
as we can, to make sure that's the truth. I think it can definitely be the
truth, I meet with your senior IDF officers and I see willingness to do

"But at the end of the day, this is not a spectator sport for any of us. The
Palestinians are on the playing field, and you're on the playing field. We
all have to understand that. And I'm on the playing field. Neither Israel
nor the U.S. are referees on this. And so how we interface with the other
side makes a big difference. There is money programmed in the U.S. budget
for this process, continuing to 2010, 2011. We don't intend to give up on
this. The timing depends on my ability to create what my government wants me
to create, but it also depends on interaction between what I create and the
IDF and the government of Israel."

As a professional military man Dayton says he understands the logic behind
the roadblocks the IDF has set up in the territories. He also understands
why the roadblocks irk the Palestinians. As a diplomat, he tries to bridge
the needs of the two sides.

Cobra and Dome

Keith Dayton has been in the U.S. army for 38 years, starting in the
artillery corps and rising to the level of brigade commander. In 1997 he
received his first administrative assignment, as U.S. defense attache to
Moscow, and he later served in senior planning positions in the Pentagon and
as head of the delegation on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, following
the American invasion in 2003. During his travels through ruined military
barracks in Iraq, he saw graffiti on the walls depicting the Dome of the
Rock being strangled by a cobra symbolizing Israel. It was then that he
realized how important and sensitive this issue is in the Arab world.

Dayton came to Jerusalem after the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, as a
replacement for Gen. Charles Ward, who had been promoted to four-star
general. His first job was to "downsize, right-size and professionalize" the
PA forces in Gaza. Then Hamas won the elections, and everything got more
complicated. The ban on contact with Hamas joined a prior ban on the entry
of Americans to the Gaza Strip (imposed five years ago, following the murder
of three American contractors in Gaza).

Congress refused to finance that first job, for fear the money would fall
into Hamas hands. Dayton and his staff of Americans, Britons and Canadians
tried to help PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Presidential Guard, which was
operating the border crossings, and particularly in Rafah. Without any
funding, however, "We didn't train or equip anybody."

Dayton and his men miscalculated the balance of power in the Gaza Strip, and
when the battles between Hamas and Fatah began, in the spring of 2007, they
were confident in the combat readiness of the Presidential Guard. The Hamas
takeover and the collapse of Fatah, a few weeks later, surprised the

"It's very hard to know what's going on in Gaza," said Dayton. "We had a
series of problems with Egyptians, Israelis and the Palestinians concerning
the border crossings, and every time we had one of these meetings you'd hear
alarming reports from people inside Gaza saying, you know, isn't there some
way you can get us some help?"

Dayton and the administration asked Congress to transfer funds to the
National Security Forces, which was the PA's main force against Hamas.
Congress refused. "In retrospect, it might have been a mistake," said

The fall of Gaza led to his job being shifted from Gaza to the West Bank.
His boss, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, ordered him to rebuild
the PA's forces in the West Bank. The establishment of the emergency PA
government headed by Salam Fayyad lifted the political restrictions, and
Congress was convinced to transfer money, for fear that the West Bank would
follow in Gaza's footsteps. Dayton's aid mission received $86 million and
was able to tackle its job.

Since then two more American generals have arrived in the territories: Jim
Jones, who is formulating future security arrangements, and William Fraser,
who is following the implementation of the U.S. road map plan. Dayton
rejects out of hand any suggestions of a turf battle between the generals,
and insists they are working together closely.

The work plan drafted by him with the Palestinians calls for the retraining
of the Presidential Guard, and the establishment of five battalions of a
revivified National Security Forces, which will operate as an armed
gendarmerie alongside the "blue" police that the European Union is
organizing, training and equipping. The Jordanian government offered its
police-training facilities to the PA. At the same time construction began on
the facility for training the Presidential Guard, and the Interior Ministry
in Ramallah was set up as a professional security headquarters with foreign

The security reforms in the PA are nothing new. They were proposed six years
ago, as a way to end Yasser Arafat's institutionalized anarchy of many
competing security forces. Dayton diplomatically evades the question of how
many such forces are operating in the PA.

"Our goal was to build capacity for the future," said Dayton.

Ultimately, there are to be three forces: the police, the National Security
Force and the internal security force (i.e., the intelligence service).
Veterans of Arafat's forces will be retired and gradually replaced by new,
younger recruits. National security personnel will include staff from all
over the West Bank, who are not territorially or clan based. The recruits
for the second battalion, which will start training at the end of the month,
were chosen from among thousands of volunteers.

'Building a state'

Dayton is very enthusiastic about what the Palestinians he saw at the
Jordanian training base.

"The Jordanians said, after the first couple of weeks, who are these people?
They're quick learners, they're disciplined, they follow orders, and they're
motivated," recalled Dayton, who visited them with PA Interior Minister
Abdel-Razak Yahya, a familiar figure for Israelis from the early days of the
Oslo process.

"He may look like an old man," said Dayton, "but he's a young man. He gave a
speech to them, which was just amazing. He told these guys, 'You're not
learning how to fight the Israelis, you're not here to fight the occupation,
you're here to fight the forces of disorder, the forces of crime and
lawlessness inside Palestine.' He said 'armed groups,' which was his way of
saying 'terrorists.' He said: If you do your job properly, we will have a
state. The national project will succeed.'

"I went to the graduations," continued Dayton, "and I'm not naive. I watched
them, kinda looked them in the eyes, and I'm telling you, these are new
people. Now it can all go bad if political progress doesn't happen, I guess,
but these are new people. They think they're building a state, and I'm
pretty pleased about that."

Dayton has received an additional budget of $75 million, which he will use
to train and equip two more battalions of the National Security Force in the
coming year, to continue the existing projects, and to organize additional
training for senior commanders of all PA security entities. His optimism is
based not only on Congress' generous budget, or on the motivation of the
Palestinian recruits, but on the assistance he is receiving from Israel. Its
defense establishment allowed the Palestinian soldiers to leave for training
in Jordan and to return quickly. The passage of 600 men through the Allenby
Bridge lasted an hour and a half. All the Israeli authorities, the Border
Police the IDF, the airports authority and the Shin Bet security services
sent representatives to speed up the process. Defense Minister Ehud Barak
approved the requests for equipment.

Dayton: "Ehud Barak himself has told me, I will not obstruct your program,
because I want to see if you can pull this off."

Sources in the defense establishment say Dayton's activities are welcome and
important, because the establishment of institutions of law, government and
order in the PA are a foundation for the taking of responsibility.

The first attempt at deploying the new Palestinian force came in an
operation meant to maintain order in Jenin. Dayton praised the PA for its
decision to send the force there, and is pleased with the results.

"A year ago," says Dayton, "Jenin was the Wild West. People were running out
with guns all over the place, shootouts all the time. Jenin now is a place
where policemen walk the beat! And they're unafraid, and shops are open

Still, the cooperation with the IDF, which began with fanfare in May - the
IDF even allowed the Palestinians to operate in villages right along the
separation fence - has soured since then. Barak visited there two weeks ago,
met with Israeli and Palestinian commanders, and commented that the work of
the Palestinian force is a welcome change: not without problems, but it is

Dayton met last week with GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, who was
worried about those problems. Dayton promised to work toward improving the
situation with the Palestinians. He also knows it will be very difficult to
rebuild the trust that was shattered between the IDF and the Palestinians.
Still, he is optimistic. He has no doubts that he made the right decision in
accepting his current position: "This is terrific. I will have devoted at
least three years of my life to this and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

"This is the potential," continues Dayton, recalling the emotional
graduation ceremonies at the training camp in Jordan. "It works, if the
politics works, the rest of this is going to work. I'm gonna build you
[Israelis] stuff that your government is going to look at and say: Let's
take a little bit of risk and give them a chance and see what they can do.
And we're very close to that point."

This is so typical of the American way of business in the Middle East, let's build and arm a force and hope it will be used for good and not bad.

What if it fails and we all know it will fail, how many Jews are going to die at the hands of these better trained terrorist?

I am coming to the point of no return with the American policies in the Middle East, I have started to ask myself the question if Israel would be better off without American support.

August 07, 2008

Miki Goldwasser To Olmert: Come Back To Your Senses

Miki Goldwasser To Olmert: Come Back To Your Senses

(IsraelNN.com) Miki Goldwasser wrote on an Israeli Hebrew website Thursday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should "come back to your senses" and stop making goodwill gestures to the Palestinian Authority (PA). She wrote on Ynet the day after Prime Minister Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni offered to free an unspecified number of Arab terrorists.

"A gesture for what?" she wrote. "I was crying after I heard it. The grave of my son is still fresh. The pain is terrible. Yet despite this, I cannot but think all the time about Aviva Shalit, Gilad’s mother, who needs to cope with oh-so-humanitarian Israeli gestures while her own son is held in cellars of horror."

She said she wants talks with Hamas to advance, but did not state what Israel should offer to secure the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. The bodies of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were returned last month, two years after they were kidnapped and killed by Hizbullah terrorists. Israel freed five Lebanese terrorists, including child killer Samir Kuntar and four Hizbullah guerillas in return for the bodies.

I had to make an emergency business trip out of the country and took my new lap top with me and forgot to enter in the password for my blog with me, so that is the reason the blog has been dead for a week, I will be back blogging today.

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