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May 31, 2009

High Court orders freeze of construction at settlement

Court issues interim stop-work order on at least ten permanent structures being built in settlement of Halamish-Neve Tzuf in West Bank following petition filed by Peace Now
Aviad Glickman

The High Court of Justice issued an interim order to stop construction efforts in the settlement of Halamish-Neve Tzuf on Sunday. The judges' decision follows a petition filed in early May by the left-wing 'Peace Now' movement.

The order, signed by Justice Edna Arbel, specifies that all work must cease on the structures discussed in the case. The order further states that the buildings could not be sold or populated.

The Peace Now petition asked the court order Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Central Command chief, Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, to take any action necessary to freeze the construction of the ten or more permanent structures being built in the center of the Halamish-Neve Tzuf settlement in the West Bank.

The petition questioned by stop-work and demolition orders were not issued and enforced by Barak's office. The organization also demanded to know why the necessary steps have not yet been taken to investigate and begin legal proceedings against those responsible for the illegal project.

According to the petition, the permanent structures were built on land belonging to the state.

Attorney Michael Sfard, who is representing Peace Now, says that the construction was carried out without building permits and that the project is in contradiction with the existing plans for the area.

"As with all the cases of illegal construction carried out by Jewish residents in the West Bank, here too the arm of the law is absent and furthermore, the plaintiff's attempts to alert (law enforcement agencies) of the developing situation were ignored," said Sfard.

The petition further asserted that Barak and Shamni have failed to enforce zoning and construction laws in the area under their jurisdiction, this despite their pledges to do so.

Israeli ministers: No West Bank settlement freeze

Last update - 14:35 31/05/2009

By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent and News Agencies

Senior members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet reiterated Sunday that the government has rejected a U.S. demand to halt all activity in West Bank settlements, despite strongly-worded demands from the Obama administration to do so.

"I want to make it clear that the current Israeli government will not accept in any way the freezing of legal settlement activity in Judea and Samaria [West Bank," Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told Army Radio.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Eli Yishai of Shas told his fellow cabinet ministers Sunday that the U.S. demand on settlement activity was tantamount to "expulsion."

President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, have both made very public calls for Israel to institute a total freeze on construction in all West Bank settlements. Tensions between Washington and Jerusalem have been growing as a result.

Israeli political officials have accused the administration of taking a preferential line toward the Palestinians on this issue.

May 30, 2009

MERF Appearence

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, 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 MERF web page

May 28, 2009

This Sale Must Be Stopped

Egypt - AH-64D APACHE Longbow Helicopters (Source: US Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued May 26, 2009) www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/105577/us-approves-%24820m-sale-to-egypt-of-ah_64d-apache-longbow-helicopters.html

WASHINGTON --- On May 22, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified
Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Egypt of
12 AH-64D Block II APACHE Longbow Helicopters and associated equipment,
parts, training and support for an estimated cost of $820 million.

The Government of Egypt has requested a possible sale of 12 AH-64D Block II
APACHE Longbow Helicopters, 27 T700-GE-701D Engines, 36 Modernized Targeting
Acquisition and Designation Systems/Pilot Night Vision Sensors, 28 M299
Hellfire Longbow Missile Launchers, 14 AN/ALQ-144(V)3 Infrared jammers, and
14 AN/APR-39B(V)2 Radar Signal Detecting Sets.

Also included: composite horizontal stabilizers, Integrated Helmet and
Display Sight Systems, repair and return, transportation, depot maintenance,
spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical
documentation, U.S. Government and contractor technical support, and other
related elements of program support.

The estimated cost is $820 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national
security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a
friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for
political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. This sale is
consistent with these U.S. objectives and with the 1950 Treaty of Mutual
Cooperation and Security.

Egypt will use the AH-64D for its national security and protecting its
borders. The aircraft will provide the Egyptian military more advanced
targeting and engagement capabilities. The proposed sale will provide for
the defense of vital installations and will provide close air support for
the military ground forces. Egypt will have no difficulty absorbing these
helicopters into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic
military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be The Boeing Company in Mesa, Arizona, and St.
Louis, Missouri, General Electric Company of Lynn, Massachusetts, and
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, Florida. There are no
known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale requires the assignment of one U.S.
Government representative to Egypt for a period of six years to provide
intensive coordination, monitoring, and technical assistance to assure a
smooth transition of the helicopters in country. Additionally, six
contractor representatives will be in Egypt conducting duties as Contractor
Field Service Representatives for a period of five years and with a possible
five-year extension.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of
this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law. It does not mean that
the sale has been concluded.

This sale should be blocked by Congress. The only use Egypt has for Apache helicopters is to destroy Israeli tanks.
So please call your Representatives in Washington D.C. and ask them to block this sale.

May 27, 2009

Arab MK: We Won’t Recognize Jewish Israel

Reported: 23:28 PM - May/27/09

(IsraelNN.com) Arab Knesset member Ahmed Tibi said on Wednesday that "we won't recognize a Jewish and Zionist Israel despite [MK Zevulun] Orlev's law, even if we pay a personal price." His comments came in response to a bill proposed by Orlev which would mandate jail time for anyone calling for the end of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

"This coalition will end up proposing the Bill Against Being Shocked by the Occupation, which will carry a prison term of five years for anyone who expresses such shock," Tibi said.

Years ago Israel should have killed Tibi, when he was an Israeli citizen giving advice to Arafat he should have been killed

New Technion Mini Robot Can Operate Inside Body

Reported: 19:57 PM - May/27/09

(IsraelNN.com) Israel’s Institute of Technology, the Technion, is set to introduce a miniature crawling robot with the potential to treat lung cancer by performing precise medical procedures inside the human body. The robot, ViRob, can navigate and crawl within blood vessels, the digestive tract, and the respiratory system, move in tight spaces and curved passages, and remain for periods of time within the body.

The robot will be official presented at the upcoming Israel Life Sciences Industry Biomed Conference. “This robot is a major breakthrough in the biomedical industry, as it allows doctors to access inaccessible areas in the body with minimal invasion. The technology enables a centralized treatment without scattering materials to unnecessary areas in the body," said Technion's Kahn Medical Robotics Laboratory head Professor Moshe Shoham.

Schools discriminating against Ethiopians to be sanctioned

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

May. 27, 2009

The Education Ministry intends to impose financial sanctions on five Petah Tikva schools that caused an uproar last year by refusing to accept several Ethiopian students based on their ethnicity, The Jerusalem Post discovered on Wednesday.

In a letter obtained by the Post and dated May 13, the ministry's director-general, Dr. Shimon Shoshani, said he approved recommendations made by a committee appointed last year to look into such discrimination, and that the five private schools investigated would not be approved for government funding if they continued to turn away Ethiopian students.

There are three categories of schools that receive varying degrees of financial support from the Education Ministry: state-run institutions, which are fully funded; semi-privatized ones, which receive 75 percent of their budgets from national and local government; and completely private schools, which receive 55%. In 2008, five private religious schools in Petah Tikva, all partially funded by the government, made national headlines when parents of Ethiopian students complained that their children had been refused places.

"It's completely unfair that children whose parents pay their taxes are refused places in schools that are funded, even partially, by the government," Jasmin Keshet, legal adviser for the Ethiopian Community rights organization Tebeka, told the Post on Wednesday.

Keshet said that following the Petah Tikva incident last summer, Tebeka petitioned the High Court of Justice requesting that government funding to any school - private, semi-private or state-run - that refuses to admit Ethiopian students be stopped.

The court called on the Education Ministry to establish a committee to look into the incident, and then-director general Shlomit Amichai appointed attorney Motti Bass (the committee then became known as the Bass Committee) to investigate the schools involved.

"Its recommendations were presented last December, but the elections and changeover in government postponed their approval," said Keshet, adding that the letter she received Wednesday from ministry director-general Shoshani "was a welcome surprise."

In the letter, Shoshani writes that "educational institutions unwilling to assist in the national goal [of integration and absorption] should also not qualify for government funding."

The policy only extends to the five schools in Petah Tikva named in the Bass report, however, and a spokeswoman for the ministry said that additional cases would be judged individually.

"While we obviously welcome these steps," said Keshet, "this is a nationwide problem. Every year there are always Ethiopian students forced to stay home from school because of such policies, it is not only a problem in Petah Tikva."

She said she planned to continue to push the Education Ministry to adopt a universal policy against any school that prevents Ethiopian students from joining its ranks.

"This kind of discrimination needs to end as soon as possible," she said.

This is great news, it shows Israel is living up to the dream. I 100% support the Ethiopians in Israel as I have found them to be wonderful people and a great addition to the fabric of Israel.

May 26, 2009

State media: Israeli January air strike on Sudan convoy killed 119

Defense minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein tells parliament 119 people,
among them dozens of Ethiopians, Somalis were killed during January strike
on arms smugglers bound for Hamas-ruled Gaza
Reuters Published: 05.26.09, 07:34 / Israel News

A total of 119 people were killed when unidentified aircraft attacked a
convoy of vehicles travelling close to Sudan's border with Egypt in January,
state media reported on Monday.

Sudan's defense minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein made a report to
parliament saying the attack on a suspected smuggling convoy was still under
investigation, the state Suna news agency said.

Details of the air strike on a remote road in Sudan's eastern Red Sea state
first appeared in the international media in March and sparked widespread

Newspaper reports in Egypt and the United States suggested the attack was
aimed at arms smugglers bound for Hamas-ruled Gaza via Sudan and Egypt and
was carried out by either the United States or Israel.

Sudanese officials told Reuters at the time they suspected Israel, which was
at the time engaged in an offensive in the Gaza Strip, with the declared aim
of halting rocket attacks on Israel by Palestinian militants.

The United States denied any involvement while Israeli officials refused to
confirm or deny their planes or unmanned drones took part.

At the time, estimates of the death toll from the attack ranged from 30 to

'Iran helping Hamas smuggle arms'
According to Suna, Hussein's report said the attack was on a convoy that was
made up of 1,000 civilians involved in "a smuggling process at the border
with Egypt".

"(The minister) disclosed that 119 people were killed; among them were 56
smugglers and 63 smuggled persons from Ethiopian, Somali and other
nationalities," read the report.

Hussein said the ongoing investigation was being carried out in cooperation
with Sudan's ministry of foreign affairs, security agencies and authorities
from neighboring countries.

Sudanese officials, speaking on condition on anonymity, told Reuters in
March it was an open secret arms smugglers used the remote roads running
along Sudan's red Sea coast for the smuggling of arms, contraband and

Sudan remains on a US list of state sponsors of terrorism, but the State
Department has said it is cooperating with efforts against militant groups.

A report from the US-based Washington Institute for Near East Policy this
year quoted Israeli sources as accusing Iran of helping Hamas smuggle arms
into Gaza via Sudan and Egypt. Egypt says it does its best to stop the

May 25, 2009

Foreign Ministry document: Venezuela sends uranium to Iran

Herb Keinon , THE JERUSALEM POST May. 25, 2009

In a sign the Foreign Ministry may be switching its focus from dealing
primarily with the Palestinians to more "classic" functions involving the
rest of the world, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon will travel to South
America next week to attend the meeting of the Organization of American

Ayalon's visit to Honduras will be a prelude to a visit there later this
year by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has also said he will travel
to Africa by the end of the year.

Ayalon told The Jerusalem Post that in the last few years Israel had not
paid sufficient attention to Latin America, and that his trip was the
beginning of efforts to rectify that situation.

He said that Israel had numerous business and political interests in South
America, one of which is to "raise the flag" regarding inroads made both by
Iran and Hizbullah in the region.

He pointed out that Hizbullah has "sleeper cells" in South America,
including those believed to be responsible for the bombings in the early
1990s of the embassy and the Jewish community building in Buenos Aires.

Senior diplomatic officials said that devoting time to South America and
Africa represented a significant change in the Foreign Ministry's direction,
noting that it had been years since an Israeli foreign minister had traveled
to either continent.

"In the last few years the foreign minister was mortgaged to the peace
process, and the classic activities of the ministry - building relations
with countries in South American and Africa - were abandoned," one senior
official said.

Perhaps because Lieberman had little faith in the future of the peace
process, he said, he was interested in focusing more on bilateral ties with
smaller countries that might not be that involved in the diplomatic process,
but with whom good, strong relations were very important.

Another official, however, took a somewhat different view, saying that
Lieberman was indeed focusing more attention on South America and Africa
than in the past, but that this was primarily due to a feeling that it was
urgent to counter Iran, which was making inroads in both continents.

According to a Foreign Ministry document that was published on Ynet on
Monday, Iran and Hizbullah are indeed making deep inroads into South
America. According to the document, Hugo Chavez's Venezuela was not only
helping Iran bypass UN Security Council economic sanctions, but also, along
with Bolivia, was providing the Iranians with uranium.

According to the document, Iran moved into Latin America in 1982, through
Cuba, and eventually opened a number of embassies in the region, in Mexico,
Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Uruguay. Teheran developed
extensive economic ties with these countries that continue to this day.

Chavez was also responsible for Iran's developing ties with the leftist,
anti-American bloc in Latin America made up of Bolivia, Nicaragua and -
increasingly - Ecuador, according to the document.

Iran recently opened new embassies in Bolivia and Nicaragua, and Bolivia as
well as Venezuela broke off diplomatic ties with Israel after Operation Cast
Lead earlier this year.

Israeli concern about Teheran's inroads into Latin America is not new, and
emerged at a meeting then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni held with her
visiting El Salvadoran counterpart in November, during which she warned that
South America was fast becoming a platform for spreading Iranian ideology.

"Iran is searching for openings, and countries it can penetrate, to
compensate for the vulnerability created by the [economic] sanctions
[against it]," Livni said at the time. "We are witness to the disturbing
phenomenon of Iranian infiltration into South America, so much so that Latin
America has become a convenient base for spreading Iranian political and
economic ideology. The strengthening of ties between South American
guerrillas and the Iranian terrorism activists is plain to see."

Nationwide drill to simulate war, intifada, Israeli Arab uprising

'Turning Point 3' exercise to be launched next Sunday with 'battle in Gaza',
shifting to 'war' in northern Israel. Forces to also practice uprising by
Israel's Arabs. PM Netanyahu: It's just a routine drill
Roni Sofer YNET Published: 05.25.09, 07:15 / Israel News

Israel's most extensive nationwide drill will be launched next Sunday with a
"battle in Gaza", spreading into a "war" in northern Israel as well. In
addition, the forces will practice a scenario of uprising and rioting by
Israel's Arabs.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to convey a calming message to
Israel's neighboring countries during Sunday's cabinet meeting, saying that
"this is a routine drill, which was planned several months ago and is held
every year in order to coordinate between civil and military systems."

The "Turning Point 3" exercise will begin on May 31 and will last five days.
The drill will be operated by the Defense Ministry with the assistance of
the National Emergency Authority. It is aimed at training the Israeli home
front, from the government level down to the plain citizen level, and will
simulate a comprehensive regional war.

According to the scenario, the war will involve Hamas, Hizbullah and Syria.
Palestinians will carry out terror attacks, and Israel's Arabs will riot in

The Political-Security Cabinet will practice the various scenarios, while
the Israel Defense Forces will mobilize forces in accordance with the
occurrences. The proposed scenario simulates an escalation lasting three
months, reaching its peak with an overall attack on Israel.

The outline of the drill has been presented to the government ministers. The
overall war scenario begins with an escalation on the Gaza front, which
leads to an IDF ground offensive. After 60 days of fighting in Gaza,
tensions in the north heat up. The army is forced to enlist reserve forces
and launches a war on the northern front.

During the war, the Israeli home front will be hit by barrages of missiles.
Simultaneously, a terror offensive will develop and extensive riots will
take place across the country.

Air raid siren to sound across country
The drill will kick off on Sunday with an exercise to the ministers at the
weekly cabinet meeting. Monday will see the IDF, Home Front Command,
Emergency Economy, Israel Police, government ministries and local
authorities take part in the drill.

On Tuesday, an air raid siren will be sounded across the country, roads will
be blocked and citizens and school students will practice entering bomb
shelters. The Political-Security Cabinet and national information system
will take part in the drill on Wednesday. On Thursday, the last day of the
drill, IDF corps will hold field exercises and the training of the Home
Front Command headquarters will continue.

As part of the drill, the cooperation between organizations and the local
authorities will be examined. In addition to the war scenarios, the forces
will also practice a major terror attack, a natural disaster, an epidemic or
an operational malfunction in a hazardous materials facility.

Last week, the Israel Air Force held a three-day drill that included various
scenarios and staged fronts the force may have to handle. Pilots also
practiced a number of combat maneuvers. The drill was annual, but
incorporated scenarios relevant to the current threats faced by Israel. As
part of the drill, members of the IAF were briefed on Iran's test-launch of
its new missile, the Sajjil-2, which has been said to pose a threat to
Israel's security

Arab League: No 57-state solution to Mideast conflict

By DPA Last update - 21:54 23/05/2009 www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1087547.html

A "57-state solution" to the Arab-Israeli conflict that would see
Muslim-majority countries offer Israel full diplomatic recognition in
exchange for peace "is not on the table," the head of the Arab League said
on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters at the end of a meeting of foreign ministers from the
57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting in
Damascus on Saturday, Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa said media
reports suggesting the OIC might offer Israel a joint peace deal were

"This is not on the table. All talk of this is inaccurate," Mussa said.

Jordan's King Abdullah II, in a May 11 interview with the Times of London,
had spoken of a "57-state solution."

"We are offering a third of the world to meet (the Israelis) with open
arms," King Abdullah said two weeks ago. "The future is not the Jordan River
or the Golan Heights or Sinai, the future is Morocco in the Atlantic to
Indonesia in the Pacific."

"The Jordanian proposal is in accordance with the Arab proposal," Mussa said
Saturday. "The conflict would be finished with Israel's withdrawal from all
occupied territories and the establishment of an independent Palestinian

Mussa said that if Arabs and Israelis struck such a deal, other
predominantly Muslim countries would likely follow suit.

"But we do not see any progress in the current circumstances," he added.
"Though there is a lot of clarity in the U.S. position, which can benefit
everyone involved."

Pay attention Bibi.

Make no deals and better yet, never sit at the same table with our enemies for we have never received anything good from these acts of good faith only more dead Jews and more pressure for us to weaken Israel.

May 22, 2009

MERF Appearence

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, 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 MERF web page

'1 in 4 Israelis would consider leaving country if Iran gets nukes

Last update - 21:49 22/05/2009
By Ofri Ilani, Haaretz Correspondent

Some 23 percent of Israelis would consider leaving the country if Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University.

Some 85 percent of respondents said they feared the Islamic Republic would obtain an atomic bomb, 57 percent believed the new U.S. initiative to engage in dialogue with Tehran would fail and 41 percent believed Israel should strike Iran's nuclear installations without waiting to see whether or how the talks develop.

"The findings are worrying because they reflect an exaggerated and unnecessary fear," Prof. David Menashri, the head of the Center, said. "Iran's leadership is religiously extremist but calculated and it understands an unconventional attack on Israel is an act of madness that will destroy Iran. Sadly, the survey shows the Iranian threat works well even without a bomb and thousands of Israelis [already] live in fear and contemplate leaving the country."

Women are more fearful than men that Iran will obtain nuclear weapons: 83 percent of female respondents said they fear such a scenario in contrast to 78 percent of men; 39 percent of women said they would consider leaving the country in such an event as opposed to 22 percent of men.

Age was also a factor for respondents: 89 percent of those aged 42 and above said they were fearful of a nuclear Iran, in comparison to 61 percent of those aged 18 to 41.

Some 80 percent of left-wing voters and 67 percent of right-wing voters expressed deep concern over a nuclear Iran. Respondents describing themselves as centrists were the most fretful, with 88 percent saying they feared Iran would obtain the bomb.

The poll was conducted among 509 people representative of Israel's adult population.


Hears His Masters Voice

Last update - 21:51 22/05/2009 Yossi Melman / Obama quashed Israel military option against Iran By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent

Israel's military option against Iran has died. The death warrant was issued courtesy of the new U.S. administration led by Barack Obama.

All the administration's senior officials, from the president to his vice president, Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others are sending strong, clear hints that Israel does not have permission to strike Iran. Yet, given their familiarity with the Israeli client, they have not made do with simple hints and intimations. Washington dispatched the new CIA director, Leon Panetta, to Israel. Panetta made clear to Netanyahu, in so many words, that an Israeli attack would create "big trouble."

Perhaps Israel at one point had just a small window of opportunity to exercise the military option, or, in other words, the possibility of attacking sites in Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. This is assuming, of course, that Israel indeed has the military capability for carrying out such a mission - an assumption that raises many questions. This is a mission that requires gathering pinpoint intelligence, to identify the precise targets without harming thousands of innocent civilians.

Simply put, one of the targets of such a strike is the uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan, which lies in the heart of a congested civilian population. A realistic military option is also contingent on fighter jets finding undetected routes, as well as carrying a sufficient payload of bombs and missiles to inflict heavy damage on the targets.

Let us assume that Israel does, indeed, have a reasonable military capability which would enable it to strike at the targets, inflict heavy damage and set Iran's nuclear program back a few years. The opportunity to realize this capability arguably presented itself to Israel a few years ago. Iran at the time was subject to an intense international offensive. Inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency repeatedly exposed its lies and levied sanctions against the Tehran regime.

Threats made by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel from the map and his insistence on denying the Holocaust aroused great sympathy for Israel. This sympathy was buttressed by the Olmert government's willingness to hold peace talks with Syria and seek an agreement with the Palestinians. Above all, this friendly international atmosphere was backed by an accommodating Republican administration and a president who was ready to support (or to turn a blind eye to) any Israeli operation. In addition, Iran's ability to respond to an attack with missiles was limited.

But all this is now in the past. The sanctions are stuck. Ahmadinejad has, for the time being, softened his bellicose rhetoric. The production of Iranian missiles has doubled.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not ready to recognize the right of the Palestinians to a state of their own, nor does he have any intention of holding serious negotiations with Syria, regarding withdrawal from the Golan Heights. This position reduces international support for Israel. Yet, most importantly, there is a new president in Washington, one who has outlined a new policy vis-a-vis Iran. He has announced the start of negotiations with Iran, and even though he mentioned that the talks will have to be concluded by the end of this year, he did not set a clear deadline. All these factors, including the explicit statements made by administration officials, put Israel in its place.

The supreme tenet of Israeli defense policy states that Jerusalem must not launch any strategic initiative that stands in contradiction, or places in harm's way, the clear interests of the United States. This stance has underpinned every fateful decision taken by Israel relating to matters of war and peace. Israel embarked on the Six-Day War only after it was convinced that the U.S. would not oppose. In the hours leading up to the Yom Kippur War, Israel refrained from launching a preemptive strike for fear that Washington would blame it for starting the war. Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 only after Defense Minister Ariel Sharon came under the impression that the U.S. would view the move with understanding. During the first Gulf War in 1991, the U.S. did not permit Israel to respond to Iraqi scud missiles, and Israel obliged.

If this tenet remains the cornerstone of defense policy, then Israel once again will not act against the explicit wishes of the U.S. Thus, when Israeli leaders say that "all options are open," this is nothing but a dog's bark being louder than his bite. Or, if you will, a mouse that roars. If the U.S. does not alter its policy, then Israel no longer has the military option at its disposal - if it ever had such an option at all.

I am going to show my age by remembering an ad when I was a child growing up in the USA by RCA records where a dog was sitting with it's head over at an angle towards a old speaker horn from a old record player and the caption was hears his masters voice or something close to this.

If Israel does not hit Iran to free not only Israel of the threat of nukes being used against Israel, then our leaders in Israel have become nothing more than the poor dumb dog in the RCA ad.

Speak Bibi, fetch Bibi, roll over and play dead Bibi.

The only problem is Bibi may take all of Israel down with him if he hears his masters voice.

May 21, 2009

This Will Cost Jewish Lives

Military advocate general prohibits IDF use of violent means

Brig.-Gen. Mandelblit supports reprimand of officer who claimed limited violence against Palestinians is sometimes necessary
Hanan Greenberg

Military Advocate General Brigadier-General Avi Mandelblit warned IDF soldiers Thursday against employing any kind of violence against Palestinians during their operations in the Palestinian territories.

Mandelblit said he supported GOC Central Command Gadi Shamni, who has reprimanded Kfir Brigade Commander Col. Itai Virob for stating the opinion that violence was at times inevitable.

Meanwhile IDF officers have said that Mandelblit's position was divorced from reality.

"We don't support violence, we thoroughly condemn it, but sometimes there are impossible situations during which power is employed. Our combat troops need to know that if something like this happens they have our support, otherwise we have a big problem here," one of the officers told Ynet.

But Mandelblit has mentioned in several letters supporting the reprimanded officer that Shamni's approach expresses the army's position on the issue, and that the IDF would have to be clear on this in order to prevent serious moral errors by soldiers and officers.

The military advocate general has notified attorneys representing the Kfir Brigade officer and soldier currently on trial for violence that he would not lift the charges against them or decrease them, and that the trial would continue as planned.

But senior officers continue to claim that the demand to operate in the Palestinian territories without the use of violence at all is simply impossible.
"The combat soldiers receive missions and are well aware of the importance of their success because this is prevention of terror. Sometimes there is no choice and in order to protect the citizens of Israel a certain amount of limited violence is employed," one officer said.

This PC stupidity is going to cost Jewish lives, period.

The Palestinians are the enemy, it is not just a handful of terrorist that operate in the Palestinian society that is the problem. The problem is that the Palestinian society is morally sick and evil, it is a society that supports suicide bombings and teaches it's children to hate and to want to grow up to be martyrs.

If the terrorist were just a handful of bad people and the Palestinians really wanted peace then they the Palestinians would have wiped the terrorist out a long time ago for the sake of obtaining peace.

The Palestinians no longer fear most of the IDF, they fear Kfir from the IDF and MAGAV the Border Police, but PC stupidity is taking these units that are feared and making them less feared everyday and make no mistake this will cost Jewish lives.

May 20, 2009

First Temple period seal with the name Shaul found in City of David excavations

A photo of the seal in high resolution can be downloaded from this link -

Press Release
Tuesday May 19, 2009

A Bone Seal Engraved with the Name Shaul, from the Time of the First Temple,
was Found in the IAA Excavations in the Walls Around Jerusalem National
Park, in the City of David

The seal was displayed during a visit there by the Knesset presidium prior
to Jerusalem Day

Today (Tuesday) the Knesset presidium, headed by Speaker Reuben Rivlin,
visited the City of David in Jerusalem. A Hebrew seal that dates to the time
of the First Temple was displayed for the first time during the visit. The
seal was found in an excavation that is being conducted in the Walls Around
Jerusalem National Park, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and
in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority, under the direction of
Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukron of the IAA,
and underwritten by the 'Ir David Foundation'.

The seal, which is made of bone, was found broken and is missing a piece
from its upper right side. Two parallel lines divide the surface of the seal
into two registers in which Hebrew letters are engraved.

A period followed by a floral image or a tiny fruit appear at the end of the
bottom name.

The name of the seal's owner was completely preserved and it is written in
the shortened form of the name Shaul. The name is known from both the Bible
(Genesis 36:37; 1 Samuel 9:2; 1 Chronicles 4:24 and 6:9) and from other
Hebrew seals.

According to Professor Reich, "This seal joins another Hebrew seal that was
previously found and three Hebrew bullae (pieces of clay stamped with seal
impressions) that were discovered nearby. These five items have great
chronological importance regarding the study of the development of the use
of seals. While the numerous bullae that were discovered in the adjacent
rock-hewn pool were found together with pottery sherds from the end of the
ninth and beginning of the eighth centuries BCE, they do not bear any
Semitic letters. On the other hand, the five Hebrew epigraphic artifacts
were recovered from the soil that was excavated outside the pool, which
contained pottery sherds that date to the last part of the eighth century.

It seems that the development in the design of the seals occurred in Judah
during the course of the eighth century BCE. At the same time as they
engraved figures on the seal, at some point they also started to engrave
them with the names of the seals' owners. This was apparently when they
started to identify the owner of the seal by his name rather than by some
sort of graphic representation."

It appears that the "office" which administered the correspondence and
received the goods that were all sealed with bullae continued to exist and
operate within a regular format even after a residential dwelling was
constructed inside the same "rock-hewn pool" and the soil and the refuse
that contained the many aforementioned bullae were trapped beneath its
floor. This "office" continued to generate refuse that included bullae,
which were opened and broken, as well as seals that were no longer used and
were discarded into the heap of rubbish that continued to accumulate in the

A photo of the seal in high resolution can be downloaded from this link -

For further details, kindly contact: Yoli Shwartz, Israel Antiquities
Authority spokesperson, 052-5991888, dovrut@israntique.org.il

May 19, 2009

Police State

Bill: Limit protests outside officials' homes

Proposal asks to obligate protestors to first obtain license for any demonstration held outside private home of public figure, even if it is only one person. Bill passes first reading with majority of 19 votes, Likud MK slams motion as 'undemocratic'
Amnon Meranda

A bill significantly limiting citizens' right to protest outside the homes of public officials passed its first reading by the Knesset plenum on Monday.

If the bill passes the second and third readings, protestors will have to obtain a license to be allowed to demonstrate in front of officials' homes.

The requirement for a license will apply to any number of protestors – starting from one, and a number of conditions will have to be met for such a license to be issued.

Currently, only groups of over 50 people require a license to protest, but the government wishes to change this. "A person's right to privacy in their home stands alongside the freedom to protest," the bill proposal read.

"This right has been recognized as an important constitutional right, since a person's home is their 'last refuge' – a person should not be forced to listen to other people's opinions if they do not wish to. A person has the right to 'seclude oneself' in their private home," it continued.

The proposal further said it was meant to "give preference to a person's right to privacy in their own home, under circumstances that do not constitute a complete prevention of the freedom of expression, but only a certain limitation to this freedom."

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch presented the bill, and was followed by MK Yariv Levin (Likud) who, surprisingly, abstained from the vote and slammed the proposal.

"I am a member of the coalition, but I am also a civilian," Levin said, adding that the bill itself was initiated by Kadima and adopted by his party.

"This is an Ariel Sharon-style proposal to shut people up," he continued, "It's legislation that forbids
a person to stand with a sign and it is undemocratic."

National Union MK Uri Ariel addressed Minister Benny Begin during the session, and asked him: "Do you oppose having someone with a sign stand in front of your house?"

Ariel was supported by Hadash MK Dov Khenin who said, "This is a particularly bad proposal that harms the freedom to protest and demonstrate. The Knesset should give a clear message to the government and say: 'We don't want to see such laws in this house'."

The bill passed its first reading with a majority of 19 votes and six objections.

So why are the members of Knesset wanting to close down free speech?

Is it that they are getting ready to give away Israel's future under American pressure.

This bill is just one more piece of evidence about how big the gap between Israeli's and the Knesset really is.

Does Israel really need to become a police state?

Yes it does, if our leaders are going to give away our land.

May 15, 2009

MERF Appearence

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, 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 MERF web page

Our Enemy Speaks

MEMRI Special Dispatch | No. 2359 | May 15, 2009

Egyptian Religious Endowments Ministry Official: The Pigs Living Today Are
Descended from Jews - And Must Be Slaughtered

According to a May 9, 2009 report in the Jordanian Arabic-language news
website www.factjo.com, the superintendent of da'wa affairs at the Egyptian
Ministry of Religious Endowments, Sheikh Ahmad 'Ali 'Othman, has issued a
fatwa stating that all pigs living today are descended from Jews and must
therefore be slaughtered.

Following are excerpts:

Sheikh 'Othman: The Jews that Allah Turned into Swine Were the Forefathers
of Today's Pigs
According to the website, Sheikh 'Othman states in his fatwa that all pigs
are descended from the Jews whom Allah transformed into apes, swine and
worshippers of Satan, and must therefore be slaughtered. He bases this on
Koran 5:60: "Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, [as
judged] by the treatment it received from Allah? Those who incurred the
curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes
and swine, those who worshipped Satan - these are [many times] worse in
rank, and far more astray from the even path!"

The report states: "'Othman argues that this verse [refers] to the people of
Moses, and that [Muslim commentators] Ibn Kathir, Al-Tabari and Al-Qassimi
bring proof of this in their books. He [also] points out that there are two
schools of thought on this among the Koranic commentators: One opinion
states that the Jews whom Allah turned into swine remained that way and died
without multiplying, while the other says that they did multiply and that
their descendants are still alive today.

"In support [of the latter opinion], the sheikh quotes hadiths in which the
Prophet describes one of the signs that will herald the arrival of Judgment
Day: The Jews will turn into pigs and will then be swallowed up by the

The report quotes 'Othman as saying: "I personally tend to believe that the
pigs living today are descended from those Jews, and that is why Allah
forbade us to eat them, saying, 'Forbidden unto you [for food] are carrion
and blood and swineflesh [Koran 5:3].' In addition, one of the things that
Jesus will do when he returns to earth on Judgment Day is kill all the pigs,
and that is proof that they are descended from Jews. All the pigs on earth
will be destroyed by Jesus on Judgment Day."

'Othman also says that "he who eats pork is like one who eats the bread of
an impure man," and that "the divine religions, [namely] Christianity and
Judaism in their undistorted [form], forbid the eating of pork."

According to the report, 'Othman claims that his fatwa is supported by some
senior Al-Azhar sheikhs, who are afraid to express their opinion in public.
'Othman is quoted as saying: "I have presented my fatwa to the [Al-Azhar]
Academy of Islamic Research, in order to obtain a clear opinion about it,
but I have not yet received a [formal] reply. This is because [Al-Azhar] is
afraid to issue such a fatwa, which may cause the ulema to be accused of

Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee Head: 'Othman's Statements Are Untrue
The report also presents the response of Sheikh 'Ali Abu Al-Hassan, head of
the Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee. He calls 'Othman's statements "untrue,"
saying: "When Allah punishes a group of people because they have incurred
his wrath, the punishment applies only to them. When Allah was angry with
the people of Moses, he turned them [and only them] into apes and pigs. It
was an unusual punishment, meant to serve as a deterrent to others. But
[those apes and pigs] died, and did not multiply, as Sheikh Ahmad 'Ali
'Othman claims."

For assistance, please contact MEMRI at memri@memri.org.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent,
non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle
East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background
information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with
proper attribution.

May 13, 2009

Hiltler Youth = Hitler Elderly

Pope: Walls don't last forever

Benedict XVI slams Israel's security fence during visit to Palestinian refugee camp after holding mass in Bethlehem, endorses establishment of independent 'sovereign homeland in the land of your forefathers'
Ali Waked

"In a world where more and more borders are being opened up it is tragic to see walls still being erected," Pope Benedict XVI said on Wednesday afternoon in his visit to the al-Aida refugee camp in the West Bank. "How earnestly we pray for an end to the hostilities that have caused this wall to be built," he said.

Defending Benedict

The wall, he said could be taken down, if Israelis and Palestinians could remove the walls around their hearts.

"Overshadowing much of Bethlehem, the wall that intrudes into your territories, separating neighbors and dividing families… Although walls can be easily built, we all know that they do not last forever, they can be taken down. First, though, it is necessary to remove the walls that we build around our hearts," he said.

"On both sides of the wall," he said, "great courage is needed if fear and mistrust is to be overcome." The pope called the wall a "stark reminder of the stalemate that relations between Palestinians and Israelis seemed to have reached."

He also urged young Palestinians to "have the courage to resist any temptation to resort to acts of violence or terrorism."

Addressing the assembled crowd, the pope said it was understandable that Palestinians feel frustrated. "Their legitimate aspirations for permanent homes, for an independent Palestinian state, remain unfilled," he said.

The pope also used his platform in Bethlehem to endorse the establishment of a Palestinian state. Standing next to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the pope said: "Mr. President, the Holy See supports the right of your people to a sovereign Palestinian homeland in the land of your forefathers, secure and at peace with its neighbors, within internationally recognized borders."

Abbas' presence at the ceremony in Bethlehem, as well as that of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also gave both a brief respite from the political turmoil in Ramallah over the formation of Fayyad's new government, which was scheduled to have been sworn in yesterday but Fatah officials failed to bridge the existing gaps in time.

'We have 11,000 Shalits'

Residents of the refugee camp presented the pontiff with keys, a recurring Palestinian icon intended to symbolize the homes left behind in 1948. Two young girls, one Christian and one Muslim, who both have relatives jailed in Israel also presented the pope with a letter on behalf of 11,000 Palestinian prisoners.

"Israel has one Shalit, we have 11,000 Shalits," the host of the ceremony said, referring to captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Local residents said that they believed that the pope, as a German native, should be particularly sensitive to the issue of separation fences.

A spokesman for the committee charged with preparing the ceremony for the pope's visit said that he hopes today's media coverage raises awareness of the refugee issue around the world.

During his visit to the Palestinian Authority the pope donated 70,000 euro to the residents of the al-Aida camp. Karen AbuZayd, commission-general of UNWRA, said that the money would be invested in building classrooms at the refugee camp's school for boys.

The pope also said that he prayed for Israel to remove the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip since Hamas seized control of the coastal enclave from Fatah.


I am going to be blunt this Pope was a member of the Hitler Youth as a young man in Nazi Germany and he still has the same poison inside of him.

The Pope had a chance to make a stand and to tell the world something like this. I was a member of the Hitler Youth
and I was wrong. Just as today the Palestinians have turned their society into the Hitler Youth of today, they teach their children to hate Jews and even how to murder Jews on television programs for children . They hope their children grow up to be suicide bombers and even the Nazis of my youth were never so twisted as to want our own children to die.

The Pope should have voiced his total support for Israel and condemned the Palestinians, but he didn't so I will call it like I see it it has gone from being a Hitler Youth to a Hitler elderly.

May 12, 2009

Growing Divergence Between Jerusalem and Washington?

Efraim Inbar

BESA Center Perspectives Papers No. 75, May 11, 2009


Despite the reassurances of Shimon Peres and of foreign ministry officials,
American Middle Eastern policy under Obama may lead to US-Israeli tensions.
However, the policy directions adopted by Washington have significance for
American national interests and the defense of the free world that go far
beyond the Washington-Jerusalem bilateral relationship. While as a
superpower the US has large margins of error, we have to pray that its
learning curve regarding international realities will be short.

Obama's intention to "engage" countries like Iran and Syria in order to
start a "new page" in bilateral relations strike most Israelis and Mideast
Arabs as naïve; as if nice words can change established national interests.
Arabs, as well, as Israel, want to see Iran and its proxies rolled-back, not
appeased, by Washington.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent statement to the effect that
Arab support for Israel's bid to prevent the nuclearization of Iran requires
Israeli flexibility on the Palestinian issue - is similarly worrisome. It is
hard to believe that the State Department does not understand that the
moderate Arab states will cooperate to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear
bomb regardless of the Palestinian issue. The Iranian threat dwarfs any
potential repercussions of an impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian track.
Above all, preventing a nuclear Iran is a paramount American interest. If
Washington's current prism on world affairs obfuscates its strategic
judgment, the West is in trouble.

Recently, we also learned that the White House is trying to make kosher the
transfer of funds to a Palestinian government that includes the radical
Islamist Hamas. This is another sign of strategic folly. Hamas, a recognized
terrorist organization, is an Iranian proxy, with a clear Jihadist agenda.
Hamas has strong ties to the Islamic opposition in Egypt that wants to
replace the pro-Western Mubarak regime. Arab moderate states are alarmed by
the resilience of Hamas' rule in Gaza and the last thing they want is to aid
this radical organization. The struggle against Hamas, just as the quest to
prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, serves American interests and
those of its allies in the Middle East. It is only marginally related to
Israel. Unfortunately, Obama's Washington does not get it yet.

Leaders in the moderate Arab states view Obama's early initiatives with
great apprehension. Israelis are similarly skeptical. According to a poll
commissioned last month by the ADL and the BESA Center for Strategic
Studies, only 37 percent of Israelis trust Obama to make the right decisions
on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and 63 percent believe that his rapprochement
with the Arab and Moslem world will come at Israel's expense. Japanese
citizens expressed similar critical attitudes towards Obama after the timid
American response to the North Korean long range missile launch and Pyonyang's
decision to restart its nuclear reactor.

The reason for the skepticism is clear. US attempts to endear itself to the
Muslim world have failed in the past, such as when the US sided with Muslims
in Pakistan, Bosnia and Kosovo. Likewise, attempts to appease Muslim actors
such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hamas and Hizballah, project American
weakness and are unlikely to be reciprocated with conciliatory policies.
American gestures only reinforce the belief that the decadent West will
eventually succumb to Muslim determination and cultural superiority.

Furthermore, the chances for progress toward a two-state solution in the
Israeli-Palestinian arena, which the US favors, are dismal. The two national
movements cannot reach a compromise, particularly as long as the
Palestinians refuse to accept the Jewish right to self-determination.
Furthermore, the Palestinians have failed to establish a functioning
centralized state, and the centrifugal tendencies will intensify with Hamas
ruling Gaza. The growing influence of Hamas in Palestinian politics
radicalizes Palestinian society and weakens its ability to reach and
implement a settlement with Israel.

Similarly, negotiations with Syria are not likely to end in a peace treaty.
Damascus is not ready to pay the price: disconnecting from Iran and losing
Israel as a convenient enemy with which to prop-up the Alawite regime.
Damascus sees a weak America on its way out from Iraq and has no reason to
distance itself from Iran, the rising power in the Middle East. Since 1976,
all American attempts to put a wedge between Damascus and Tehran have
failed. It is not clear if Obama can offer Bashar Assad more than his

In the Middle East, misguided American policies, particularly regarding
Iran, may have disastrous consequences such as the fall of Egypt, Saudi
Arabia and Turkey into Islamist hands. Under such a scenario, Israel would
remain the only country where an American airplane could land safely in the
Middle East; this is not a thought that Jerusalem relishes. Israel would
much prefer that President Obama get up to speed on Mideast realities as
quickly as possible.

Efraim Inbar is professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University and
director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies. An earlier
version of this article was published as an op-ed on May 11, 2009, in the
Jerusalem Post.

BESA Perspectives is published through the generosity of the Littauer

May 11, 2009

'It's not for ourselves, it's for all of us'

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

May. 11, 2009

IDF reserve soldiers left wives and kids at home, and put jobs and hobbies on hold as they departed for the battlefield willingly and with valor last winter.

On Monday, some of those reservists were recognized at a ceremony at Glilot, near Tel Aviv, as Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi presented them with special honors for outstanding service during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza last January.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post before the ceremony, two of the soldiers spoke of what that service meant to them, and what their comrades' sacrifices meant for the country.

"My parents live in Kibbutz Carmiya, near Ashkelon, which is well within rocket range," explained Captain N., an infantryman from a Givati Brigade reserve unit, whose full name could not be used due to military restrictions.

"When I was going into Gaza, I truly felt like I was fighting for my home, because my home was under attack. That said, when the fighting started, my soldiers, who are from from all over the country, were calling my phone nonstop, asking me, 'Why are we still sitting at home? We're ready to go.'"

"Everybody wanted to help out, to do their part, to give something," chimed in air force Major M. "I felt no different. Throughout the war, my unit backed up forces on the ground and preformed routine searches for targets."

Captain N., who fought in Gaza in the past, led his troops on reconnaissance missions deep inside the Strip.

"I spent the entire war inside houses and buildings," he said.

Both Captain N. and Major M. admitted that returning to the battlefield was not the same as heading there for the first time.

"Frankly, it wasn't easy to go back," said Captain N. "As an officer, there's more expected of you, and as an officer in the reserves, you have to refresh yourself before you go back. I also served in the Second Lebanon War, and it was difficult to go back then as well. It's never simple. The saving grace is that I'm with Givati, which is a very organized unit, with an echelon of higher-ups that's well in place. I always felt that I had someone to speak with, someone to ask, if I had questions."

The burdens on a reservist's mind are much heavier than those of young enlistees, the captain said.

"You bring with you things that wouldn't cross an 18-year-old's mind," he continued. "The things you're leaving at home - whatever's going on at home. If your kids are sick or something like that, you have to set it all aside."

"When you're in the air force reserves, you're always doing training," Major M. said. "But suddenly, during the war, it becomes a 24-hour job. I have five kids at home, and I left them with my wife. That certainly made it more intense."

Both men said they were proud to don their uniforms again, and dismissed reports of unethical behavior by troops as a misrepresentation.

"The level of ethics, the dilemmas we went through when identifying targets were extraordinary, and those who say otherwise are a minority misrepresenting the majority," said Major M.

"I always try to look at the positive side," Captain N. said. "I look at the sacrifices my soldiers have made, what their families give, and what the the wounded have given. As far as the negative stories that came out after the war, it's a shame, because they undermine all the good that goes on. I feel like I was in every house on the ground [in Gaza], and from my experience, I never once felt that we crossed the line."

"At the same time, I appreciate the debate," he continued. "It's a positive process that refines our ethics. We have to talk and debate, so that we all know very clearly what is allowed and what isn't."

Captain N. lamented the attitude some hold toward reserve duty, telling the Post that while the army's treatment of reservists has improved, the public was often ill-informed about reserve duty.

"Within the last couple of years, since the Second Lebanon War, I've gotten a lot more out of my service, as I feel that the army has improved its attitude toward reservists, be it with regard to training, supplies or just overall treatment," said Captain N. "But it's important that the army, and Israeli society as a whole, knows who we are, and know what we're doing."
This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1242029500728&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

May 10, 2009

Blame The Victims

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

'Evacuees didn't know what they wanted'
May. 10, 2009

The reason that the process of resettling the evacuees from Gush Katif is taking so long is because they did not know what they wanted and refused to cooperate with the government before the withdrawal, Yonatan Bassi, the first head of the Sela Administration for Assistance to Settlers from the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria, said Sunday.

Basi was speaking at the first public session of the State Commission of Inquiry into the Handling by the Authorized Authorities of the Evacuees from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria.

At a press conference earlier in the morning, Doron Ben-Shlomi, head of the Gush Katif Settlers' Committee, charged that the government had failed in its mission to resettle the residents. "The state commission will examine the government's past and present failures," he said. "We hope the committee will bring an end to these failures in every area."

Most of the questions posed by the three members of the commission headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Eliyahu Mazza and including Prof. Yedidya Stern and Dr. Shimon Ravid, were based on the criticism of the government's performance included in a special report submitted by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss in March 2006.

In that report, he accused Sela of failing to rent enough hotel rooms to accommodate the families who needed them in the first days after the unilateral withdrawal and of failing to provide longer-term temporary housing for the hundreds of families that needed them. He also charged that Basi had ignored three reports published prior to the establishment of Sela dealing with the resettlement of the residents.

The most important one was prepared by Gideon Witkon and included a list of potential communities in areas of national priority that could absorb the settlers.

"The main thing that was lacking in Witkon's report is that you can use force to evacuate people, but you can't use force to resettle them," replied Bassi. "There is no point in preparing plans to resettle people without their agreement."

He added that Lindenstrauss had failed to understand this.

The reason Sela did not know in advance where the settlers would agree to move, how many of them wanted to continue living in the communities they had lived in in the Gaza Strip, how many wanted to rent apartments as their temporary solution and therefore did not need hotel rooms in the first days after their evacuation was because the settlers refused to talk to them and tell them what they wanted. For example, "the head of the Gaza Regional Council, Avner Shimoni, did not believe there would be a withdrawal and prevented us from contacting families," said Bassi.

The fact was, he continued, that all the residents of the four settlements who were evacuated in the northern part of the West Bank, including Ganim, Cadim, Homesh and Sanur, had all been resettled without problem and were not part of the state's commission's investigation.

Even in the Gaza Strip, at least one community, Pe'at Sadeh, had been resettled without problems.

Before the withdrawal, Sela did not know how many families would want to live in their former communities and how many would resettle individually. Because the families would not tell it, Sela made the assumption that half would want to live as communities and half would resettle individually. In the event, 80 percent of the families chose to settle communally and required temporary housing solutions together.

In response to questions about what efforts Sela made to communicate with the settlers, Bassi said they had mailed letters, made phone calls to the settlers, and established an internet site where settlers could find out how much compensation they would receive for their homes without having to deal directly with Sela or identify themselves.

One of Lindenstrauss' criticisms had been that Sela did not establish a call center for settlers to phone and receive information until just before the evacuation. But Basi said he did not believe this was an effective measure compared with the ones employed by Sela.

Meanwhile, Ben-Shlomi told reporters that out of 1,400 families who want to live within their former communities, only about 60-70 are living in permanent homes today and 500-600 are in the process of building their permanent homes. There are about 18 different building sites earmarked to accommodate the families who want to live within their communities. The infrastructure to enable the construction of permanent housing has not been started in 10-11 of these sites, he said.

He added that 20 percent of those who were farmers, businessmen or civil servants in Gush Katif are unemployed and charged that the government is doing nothing to help them. Out of 400 Gush Katif farmers, only 50-60 have jobs today.

This is like blaming women for rape.

You throw your own citizens from their homes in a place where you ask them to move to, taking on themselves great risk and many citizens that heard the call of their government paid the price by being murdered by terrorist.

Then you blame them because you the government, failed to meet your obligation, to these brave citizens,

What they wanted is to not be thrown from their homes in a stupid effort to placate the world and the Arab terrorist.

They wanted victory over our enemies not to be treated like enemies by their own government and the IDF.

May 08, 2009

MERF Appearence

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, 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 MERF web page


PM Netanyahu Appoints Ministerial Committee on Developing the Palestinian Economy and Improving Palestinians' Quality of Life (Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser) Thursday, May 07, 2009

Following his meeting last night (Wednesday), 6.5.09, with Quartet envoy
Tony Blair, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to appoint a
ministerial committee on developing the Palestinian economy and improving
the Palestinians' quality of life. The committee's members will be: Defense
Minister Ehud Barak, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Minister Silvan
Shalom. Due to the importance that he ascribes to the issue, Prime Minister
Netanyahu will chair the committee himself. He will ask Minister Shalom to
begin advancing several economic projects soon in Jenin, Jericho and the
Qasr al-Yehud baptismal site.


So the Palestinians will love us?

It will never happen and why are they Israel's responsibility?

Let Arabs take care of Arabs and Jews take care of Jews.

May 07, 2009

Netanyahu approves transfer of NIS 50 million to Gaza

By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent Last update - 02:36 07/05/2009 www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1083791.html

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday instructed defense officials
to transfer NIS 50 million to banks in the Gaza Strip in order to help pay
Palestinian Authority salaries.

Despite having waged criticism against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for
similar actions, Netanyahu approved the transfer after meeting on Wednesday
with Quartet envoy Tony Blair.

Blair relayed to Netanyahu the frustration expressed by Palestinian Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad, who complained that Israel is preventing funds from
being transferred to the Strip.

Defense officials told Netanyahu that NIS 50 million would cover PA salaries
and would be enough to save the Gaza banking system from collapse. The sum
is less than what was originally requested by the Palestinian Authority.

So Bibi is the great hope of the right wing, hahaha.

A true right wing PM would not give the PA any more money.

May 06, 2009


Date added: 5/6/2009

JERUSALEM -- The Israeli government has allowed illegal Arab construction
in all areas of the W. Bank while continuing to destroy illegal Jewish
A recent report by the Civil Administration said that the army and the
police have routinely enforced demolition orders against illegal Jewish
structures but have frozen all demolition orders on illegal Arab structures.
The Civil Administration is a branch of the army which is responsible for
supervising both Jewish and Arab construction in the West Bank,
"The Israeli sector is under much more heavy supervision and scrutiny
than the Palestinian sector and this is because of the high level of
sensitivity and policy of enforcement," the report said. "From the month of
March 2008, there has been a total freeze on enforcement [of demolition of
illegal Arab structures] in the Palestinian sector."
The report shows that 36 percent or 105 out of 293 illegally built
structures owned by Jews in the West Bank were destroyed in 2008. In
contrast, only 17 percent or 111 out of 646 Arab-owned structures illegally
built on private Jewish land or State land or survey lands were destroyed.
Survey land is land that the State of Israel has not yet claimed but the
land does not belong to Arabs. Still, Jewish regional councils in Judea and
Samaria have said that illegal Arab construction, including Arab
agricultural projects, are taking over survey lands as well as State land.
The Movement for the Protection of National Lands said that the European
Union supports charity organizations like the British-based "Oxfam" in
supplying Arabs with farming equipment and building materials to take over
land in the West Bank. Movement officials said this phenomenon was
especially prevalent in the areas between Bethlehem and Hebron in the Jewish
Gush Etzion bloc of settlements and near Jewish communities in the southern
Hebron Hills.
"There are tens of [charity] organizations that are active and work hand
in hand with the Palestinians," Oved Arad of the Movement for the Protection
of National Lands said. "They build on lands which belong to the State,
including land that is used for military exercises. They pave roads and
prepare land for farming. They have no license for this. The Civil
Administration doesn't do anything at all. If you go to speak to the
officials, they say it's a directive coming from higher authorities."
The Civil Administration report cites the numerous demolitions -- at
least six times -- of some of the Jewish outposts, including Nezer, located
in Gush Etzion and Maoz Esther, located in Samaria and Hazon David near
Hebron while citing a substantial drop in illegal Arab construction in 2008.
"An analysis of the 2008 data points to a clear trend of increased
activity in light construction, additions to existing structures and the
building of caravans in the [Judea and Samaria] areas," the report said.
"...And this is on a background of a decrease in irregularities on private
land and definitely in Palestinian areas."
Whereas the Civil Administration report cites the violation of building
orders among Jews, it does not record similar violations in the Palestinian
"A large portion of the reports of irregularities deal with violation of
[Civil Administration] orders," the report said. "Obviously, these reports
do not affect the number of illegal structures in an outpost or a

Palestinian killed at Cave of Patriarchs

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

May. 6, 2009

Border policemen shot and killed a suspected Palestinian attacker who approached them at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Wednesday night.

However, sappers who arrived at the scene to check whether the man was carrying a bomb or a weapon discovered the he was unarmed.

From the initial inquiry it emerged that the Palestinian arrived at a security post near the Muslim side of the cave and aroused the suspicions of the border policemen there.

After refusing to be searched, he fled toward other Border Police forces at a different post.

The border policemen there called on him to stop, and when he refused to heed their calls, they shot him. A border policeman was lightly wounded by shrapnel and was evacuated to Jerusalem's Sha'are Tzedek Hospital.

The cave was declared a closed military zone and worshipers were told to vacate the site.

May 04, 2009



Telephone poll of representative sample of 610 adult Israeli Jews conducted
23-26 April 2009, at for THE BEGIN-SADAT CENTER
(Maagar Mochot) - Interdisciplinary Research and Consulting Institute Ltd.,
managed by Prof. Yitzhak Katz - CEO.


Do you agree or disagree with the proposition that the United States is a
loyal ally of the State of Israel?

02% 1. Totally disagree
08% 2. Disagree
18% 3. Somewhere in between
58% 4. Agree
10% 5. Totally agree
4% 6. Don't know and other answers

What is your attitude, as an Israeli, toward the U.S. on a scale of 1-5,
where 5 = very positive, and 1 = very negative?What is your attitude, as an
Israeli, toward the U.S. on a scale of 1-5, where 5 = very positive, and 1 =
very negative?

01% 1. Very negative
02% 2. Negative
24% 3. Somewhere in between
46% 4. Positive
26% 5. Very positive
01% 6. Don't know and other answers

In your opinion, if and when Israel is faced with a serious crisis involving
a threat to its very existence, a so-called 'moment of truth,' would the
U.S. help Israel or not in such a case?In your opinion, if and when Israel
is faced with a serious crisis involving a threat to its very existence, a
so-called 'moment of truth,' would the U.S. help Israel or not in such a
08% 1. It would not help
76% 2. It would help
16% 3. Don't know and other answers

What do you consider to be the main reason for the U.S. having so far
developed close relations with Israel?What do you consider to be the main
reason for the U.S. having so far developed close relations with Israel?
15% 1. The democratic tradition and the values shared by the two countries
26% 2. The political power of American Jewry
49% 3. Israel's vital role as strategic partner
10% 4. Don't know and other answers

Are close relations with the U.S. vital or not to the State of Israel's
national security?Are close relations with the U.S. vital or not to the
State of Israel's national security?
04% 1. Not vital
91% 2. Vital
05% 3. Don't know and other answers


How would you describe U.S. President Barack Obama's attitude towards the
State of Israel?How would you describe U.S. President Barack Obama's
attitude towards the State of Israel?

01% 1. Very unfriendly
07% 2. Unfriendly
33% 3. Neutral
32% 4. Friendly
06% 5. Very friendly
21% 6. Don't know and other answers

Will the Obama administration and Netanyahu's government be able to maintain
the friendly ties between the U.S. and Israel, or will U.S.-Israel relations
deteriorate and become fraught with tensions during their incumbencies?Will
the Obama administration and Netanyahu's government be able to maintain the
friendly ties between the U.S. and Israel, or will U.S.-Israel relations
deteriorate and become fraught with tensions during their incumbencies?
26% 1. Relations will deteriorate and become fraught with tensions
48% 2. Friendly relations will be maintained.
26% 3. Don't know and other answers

Do you approve or disapprove of President Obama's policy toward Israel?Do
you approve or disapprove of President Obama's policy toward Israel?
02% 1. Strongly disapprove
19% 2. Disapprove
28% 3. Approve
04% 4. Strongly approve
47% 5. Don't know and other answers

President Obama has said he plans to devote major attention to helping end
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How much confidence do you have in his
judgment to make the right decisions about this difficult conflict?President
Obama has said he plans to devote major attention to helping end the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How much confidence do you have in his
judgment to make the right decisions about this difficult conflict?
05% 1. Very little confidence
32% 2. Little confidence
32% 3. Some confidence
05% 4. Great deal of confidence
26% 5. Don't know and other answers

How would you define your opinion of President Obama: favorable or
02% 1. Very unfavorable
12% 2. Somewhat unfavorable
54% 3. Somewhat favorable
06% 4. Very favorable
26% 5. Don't know and other answers


In your opinion, are the Middle-East interests of the U.S. and Israel
different, complementary or similar?In your opinion, are the Middle-East
interests of the U.S. and Israel different, complementary or similar?
23% 1. Different interests
32% 2. Complementary interests
39% 3. Similar interests
09% 4. Don't know and other answers

Obama has declared his intention of bringing about reconciliation with the
Muslim and Arab worlds in order to improve the United State's position and
image therein. Do you believe or not that such reconciliation will be at the
expense of Israel's interests?Obama has declared his intention of bringing
about reconciliation with the Muslim and Arab worlds in order to improve the
United State's position and image therein. Do you believe or not that such
reconciliation will be at the expense of Israel's interests?
16% 1. It will not come at Israel's expense
63% 2. It will come at Israel's expense
21% 3. Don't know and other answers

Which of the following is closest to your view?
32% 1. The U.S. should enter into direct talks with Iran with no
51% 2. The U.S. should not negotiate with Iran
17% 3. Don't know and other answers

Suppose all diplomatic and economic efforts fail to convince Iran to shut
down its uranium enrichment plant. If that happens, would you support or
oppose Israeli military action aimed at destroying the Iranian nuclear
facilities?Suppose all diplomatic and economic efforts fail to convince Iran
to shut down its uranium enrichment plant. If that happens, would you
support or oppose Israeli military action aimed at destroying the Iranian
nuclear facilities?
15% 1. Oppose
66% 2. Support
19% 3. Don't know and other answers

Supporters of Israeli military action against Iran (in the event that
diplomatic and economic efforts failed to convince Iran to shut down its
uranium enrichment plant) were asked Question 16 below:
16. Would you still support Israel taking military action if the Obama
administration opposed Israel taking action?
15% 1. Oppose
75% 2. Support
10% 3. Don't know and other answers


To what extent do you follow news coverage of American affairs?To what
extent do you follow news coverage of American affairs?

07% 1. Not at all
14% 2. To a small extent
43% 3. To a moderate extent
23% 4. To a large extent
10% 5. To a great extent
03% 6. Other answers

What is usually your primary source of information on American affairs?What
is usually your primary source of information on American affairs?
48% 1. Israeli television channels
14% 2. Israeli press
09% 3. Israeli radio channels
02% 4. Magazines/periodicals in Israel
14% 5. Internet
03% 6. Word of mouth (through friends, family, etc.)
05% 7. Foreign media channels on cable television (CNN, FOX, etc.)
05% 8. I take no interest in the U.S., I have no primary source of
information, and other answers

In your opinion, is the current level of support by American Jews for the
Israeli government's policy too little, too much or about right?In your
opinion, is the current level of support by American Jews for the Israeli
government's policy too little, too much or about right?
28% 1. Too little
42% 2. About right
09% 3. Too much
21% 3. Don't know and other answers

Should American Jews feel free to publicly criticize the Israeli government
and its policy?
11% 1. Certainly not
41% 2. No
28% 3. Yes
07% 4. Certainly yes
13% 6. Don't know and other answers

Do you feel that American Jews continue to be close to Israel, or are they
drifting away from it?Do you feel that American Jews continue to be close to
Israel, or are they drifting away from it?
29% 1. They are drifting away
45% 2. They continue to be close
26% 3. Don't know and other answers


How do you define yourself in terms of religion?How do you define yourself
in terms of religion?

57% 1. Secular
26% 2. Traditional
06% 3. National religious
09% 4. Orthodox
02% 5. Other answers

If the average gross income in Israel is NIS7,500 per month, how would you
define your income level?If the average gross income in Israel is NIS7,500
per month, how would you define your income level?
14% 1. Far below average
23% 2. Below average
26% 3. Same as average
16% 4. Above average
01% 5. Far above average
20% 6. Refuse to answer and other answers

How do you define your political and ideological outlook?How do you define
your political and ideological outlook?
28% 1. Right-wing
24% 2. Rightward tendency
36% 3. Center
07% 4. Leftward tendency
04% 5. Left-wing
01% 6. Refuse to answer and other answers

May 03, 2009

Poll: Most Jewish Israelis back attack on Iran

By Aluf Benn Haaretz Last update - 02:07 04/05/2009

A large majority of Israeli Jews support military action aimed at destroying
Iran's nuclear facilities, according to a survey sponsored by the
Anti-Defamation League.

According to the poll, co-sponsored by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic
Studies at Bar-Ilan University, a large majority of those who support a move
by the army said they would maintain their support even if the Obama
administration opposed it.

An overwhelming majority also said they believed close relations with the
United States were essential for ensuring Israel's security.

The survey, administered by the Maagar Mochot research institute, involved
610 respondents, constituting a representative sample of Israeli Jews over
the age of 18.

Asked about military action against Iran, 66 percent said they approved of
it, 15 percent said they were opposed and 19 percent said they did not know.
Among those who said they approved army action, 15 percent said they would
change their minds if the United States opposed it, while 75 percent said
they would not. The rest said they did not know or gave other answers.

Focusing on Israeli-U.S. relations in the Obama era, the survey revealed
concern over possible erosion of U.S. support for Israel, and over a
rapprochement between the United States and Arab countries at the expense of

Sixty percent of the respondents said they had a "positive" or "very
positive' attitude toward President Obama. However, only 38 percent said
they thought his attitude to Israel was friendly - in contrast to 73 percent
of respondents in a 2007 poll, who defined the attitude of the previous
president, George W. Bush, as friendly.

Asked whether reconciliation with the Arab and Muslim world would come at
the expense of Israel's interests, 63 percent said they believed it would;
71 percent, however, said the interests of the United States and Israel were
"similar" or "complemented each other."

Most Israelis, according to the poll, follow the news in America, mainly
through the Israeli media.

May 01, 2009

MERF Appearence

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, 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 MERF web page

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