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June 30, 2009

Israeli Navy takes control of aid boat headed for Gaza

Small ferry carrying medical supplies that set sail from Cyprus Monday with 21 peace activists, medical supplies intercepted off Strip's shore; passengers say army jammed boat's radio signals

Ali Waked, Anat Shalev
Published: 06.30.09, 16:18 / Israel News

At around noon Tuesday the Israeli Navy intercepted and took control of a boat that had set sail for the Gaza Strip with three tons of medical supplies, Palestinian sources said, adding that the Navy jammed the boat's radio signals.

The IDF Spokesperson's Office confirmed the report. Israeli military sources said there was no violence after the small ferry, sailing from Cyprus with activists from the US-based Free Gaza Movement, was intercepted off Gaza

I still think the navy should sink these ships.

Sink one ship and let all the rats on board go down with the ship and that will be the end of the attempts to run supplies to the terrorist strong hold that is Gaza..

June 29, 2009

Abbas restates rejection of Netanyahu's conditions

Date: 29 / 06 / 2009 Time: 18:04

Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated on Monday
his rejection of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's stipulations for a
two-state solution.

Speaking at an event inaugurating a housing project northwest of Ramallah,
Abbas said, "If Israel agrees on freezing settlement construction, we can
start negotiations, however, they have to accept the two-state solution
rather than imposing pre-conditions that empty that solution of its

Netanyahu said in a speech on 14 June that Palestinians must recognize
Israel as a Jewish state, and that any future Palestinian state must be
demilitarized and enjoy no control of its airspace or borders.

"A Palestinian state [must] live side by side next to Israel in dignity and
stability," Abbas said, reiterating what his spokesperson said immediately
after Netanyahu delivered his speech two weeks ago.

In a different regard, Abbas addressed the issue of the new round of
Fatah-Hamas talks in Cairo. "We gave emphatic directives to our delegation
to Cairo because we don't want this dialogue to last forever, and we want
this round to make success at any rate," Abbas asserted.

He added, "Today we released a number of detainees, and I emphasize that we
don't have anybody who have been detained for political affiliation because
we respect people's freedom. However, anyone who tries to disturb security
and order in this country will not be given opportunity."

According to the Palestinian Authority security spokesman, Abbas ordered the
release of 100 security detainees from West Bank prisons in a goodwill
gesture to Hamas.

The PA's Preventive Security Service released the first 12 of these in
Nablus, in the northern West Bank on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile Abbas' Fatah movement has accused the Hamas-led government in Gaza
of detaining dozens of its members overnight in what could be a blow to
unity efforts ahead of a 7 July deadline set by Egypt. Fatah released the
names of more than 90 men who had been arrested in the overnight sweep,
which Hamas has denied.

Hamas also accused the PA of arresting seven more of its men in the West

June 28, 2009

Capture of 'spies' hits Israel

The roundup of around 40 alleged Israeli agents in Lebanon has in all probability been a serious blow for Israeli intelligence

UPI Published: June 25, 2009 at 1:20 PM

The roundup of around 40 alleged Israeli agents in Lebanon in recent weeks
has in all probability been a serious blow for Israeli intelligence at a
time when its longtime adversary, Hezbollah, is bracing for another
onslaught by the Jewish state.

Both sides are nervous -- Israel because valuable eyes and ears inside
Lebanon have been lost, Hezbollah because the existence of these cells, some
of them set up 25 years ago, was an immense security failure on its part and
will mean it will have to do a lot of housecleaning and reorganizing.

All this means is that two of the Middle East's most ferocious adversaries,
whose intelligence war over the years has been one of the most heated in the
region, have both been badly damaged and want to hit back.

The turmoil in Iran and the emergence of a hard-line, right-wing government
in Israel under hawkish Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fuel this unease
and sense of vulnerability on both sides. And in the volatile Middle East,
those are usually portents of trouble.

With one cell after another being rolled up, the Israelis will no doubt have
told whatever other intelligence assets they may have in Lebanon to lie low.
And it seems clear, given the rank of some of the Lebanese arrested in the
crackdown, that the Israelis had penetrated Lebanese society and its
military widely and deeply.

The alleged agents included a former general in Lebanon's premier security
service, two army colonels and a former mayor. Lebanese authorities say most
of those arrested, including those just listed, have all confessed that they
had been spying in Lebanon for years.

Some said they were recruited by Israel's various intelligence services --
Mossad, which operates outside Israel; the Shin Bet internal security
service, which operated in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories; and
Aman, military intelligence -- as far back as 1982 when Israel invaded

In Lebanon, given Hezbollah's nationwide military structure and the danger
it poses for the Jewish state, the Israelis will have to rebuild the
networks smashed by Lebanese intelligence and Hezbollah's security branch to
regain the intelligence flow that is vital to military operations.

This means that to an extent that can only be guessed at, the Israelis are
more vulnerable regarding Hezbollah than they have been for many years.

When Hezbollah abducted Israeli soldiers on the border on July 12, 2006,
Israel responded with wave after wave of airstrikes in what became a 34-day
war. The Israelis were able to destroy bunkers containing most of
Hezbollah's long-range rockets capable of striking deep into Israel, almost
to Tel Aviv, in under an hour.

Their intelligence was that good, and some of that must have come from
agents they had on the ground. Those assets may no longer be available, and
the Israeli air force may not be able to strike with such devastating
accuracy next time around.

Hezbollah, too, is jumpy, and with some reason. From what information is
available about the alleged spies' activities, they were focused primarily
on tracking Hezbollah leaders and key operatives, identifying command
centers and safe houses.

Several senior Hezbollah officials who were assassinated were probably
targeted by intelligence provided by the Israeli agents. At least one of
these agents had secured a commercial contract with Hezbollah's
administrative branch to maintain its vehicles and had planted tracking
devices in them that went undetected for years.

It does not take a great stretch of the imagination to surmise how many
secret facilities and key Hezbollah operatives were uncovered in what must
stand as one of the most successful espionage operations mounted in many

It seems that the assassination of several senior Hezbollah figures likely
resulted from the activities of the Israeli spy rings. Among those killed
was the Shiite movement's fabled and shadowy operational chief, Imad
Mughniyeh, the most wanted fugitive in the world until Osama bin Laden
struck on Sept. 11, 2001.

Mughniyeh, indicted in the United States for the June 1985 hijack of a TWA
jetliner in which a U.S. Navy diver was murdered, was assassinated in one of
the most secure districts of Damascus, the Syrian capital, after a meeting
with Syrian intelligence chiefs.

A bomb placed in the headrest of his SUV was detonated by remote control
when he got into the vehicle. It was one of the most spectacular
assassinations in the Middle East for years. It hit Hezbollah hard, and it
has carried out no operation of any significance against Israel since then.

Syria threatens to take back Golan by force

Syria threatens to take back Golan by force
By Haaretz Service Last update - 19:16 27/06/2009

Syrian officials threatened on Saturday to take back the Golan Heights by
force if a peace agreement involving the return of the strategic plateau is
not reached with Israel, Army Radio reported.

A group calling itself the Syrian Committee for the Freedom of the Golan
said it would take steps to regain control of the territory, adding that
Israel has not shown willingness to achieve peace or to return what they
called "Syrian land."

The comments were made at the inauguration ceremony, attended by Syrian
President Bashar Assad, for a new communications center in Quneitra.

"The communications center will report on the troubles of Syrian residents
residing in the occupied Golan under barbaric and racist Israeli rule,"
Syrian Information Minister Mohsen Bilal was quoted as saying at the
ceremony, in a reference to Druze in the Golan who wish to live under Syrian

Last Sunday, Assad rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to
resume peace talks between the two countries from "point zero."

Assad said the negotiations should resume from the point at which they
stopped under former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, when the two sides had
planned to formulate mutual commitments that would enable the talks to move
to a direct negotiations stage.

The indirect negotiations stopped some six months ago, following Operation
Cast Lead, and the announcement of early elections in Israel.

Israel gained control of the Golan Heights during the 1967 Six-Day War.
Syria insists that the basis for peace talks with Israel is a full
withdrawal from the territory.

June 26, 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

UNIFIL finds 20 launch-ready Katyushas

Jun. 26, 2009

In an effort to prevent a flare-up along the northern border, UNIFIL has
increased its operations in southern Lebanon and has begun entering villages
in search of Hizbullah weapons caches, according to information obtained
recently by Israel.

In one recent successful operation in the eastern sector of southern
Lebanon, UNIFIL peacekeepers uncovered close to 20 Katyusha rockets that
were ready for launch.

UNIFIL operates under Security Council Resolution 1701, passed following the
Second Lebanon War in 2006. Operations in villages have been a point of
contention between UNIFIL and Israel, which said over the past three years
that the peacekeeping force was failing to prevent Hizbullah's military
buildup in southern Lebanon since it refrained from entering villages.

Hizbullah, the IDF believes, has deployed most of its forces and weaponry -
including Katyusha rockets - inside homes in the villages. Until now, UNIFIL
and the Lebanese army have mostly operated in open areas.

According to information obtained by Israel, UNIFIL has also succeeded
recently in thwarting attacks that were planned against its own personnel.

UNIFIL's increased activity comes amid concerns in Israel that Hizbullah
will launch an attack along the northern border to avenge the assassination
of the group's military commander Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus last year.

Hizbullah was behind a thwarted attempt earlier this year to attack the
Israeli Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, according to foreign sources. The group
has also tried using Palestinian proxies for attacks within Israel, without
success. These frustrations, Israel fears, might lead the group to try a
retaliatory attack against the northern border, which would be easier

While Hizbullah has amassed tens of thousands of Katyusha rockets since the
2006 war, it is having trouble recruiting new fighters and is short several
hundred men. Before the Second Lebanon War, the assessment in Israel was
that Hizbullah had some 6,000 fighters.

The group's current recruitment difficulties are believed to stem from its
failure to keep its promises to rebuild homes in Lebanese villages damaged
during the war in 2006. This disappointment with Hizbullah is also
understood in the IDF as being responsible for the group's defeat in
parliamentary elections in Lebanon earlier this month.

Meanwhile, late Thursday night, Lebanese news agencies reported that the IDF
was moving tanks and armored vehicles to the border area along the Mount Dov
and Mount Hermon region. There was no Israeli comment on the reports.

Lebanese newspaper A-Safir reported that Israel had proposed direct
political negotiations with the new Lebanese government, making the overture
via an Israeli army delegation in contacts with its Lebanese counterpart
under UNIFIL's auspices.

Earlier Thursday, Lebanese lawmakers overwhelmingly reelected a
pro-Hizbullah parliament speaker, signaling that the political factions are
moving toward a unity government.

Reelecting Hizbullah ally Nabih Berri for a fifth consecutive term is
expected to smooth the way for the formation of a new government in the
coming weeks, which majority leader Saad Hariri is tipped to head.

Hariri said picking Berri for the job "consolidates national unity and
preserves civil peace."

The choice of Berri, a Shi'ite, is in accord with Lebanon's sectarian
power-sharing structure, which calls for the speaker to be a Shi'ite, the
prime minister a Sunni and the president a Maronite Catholic. Both
parliament and cabinet are divided evenly between Muslims and Christians.

Berri heads the Shi'ite Amal movement that together with Hizbullah controls
most of the Shi'ites' 27 seats in the 128-member legislature. He was the
sole candidate for the post, which he has held since 1992.

Berri addressed lawmakers after his appointment, urging rivals to assist in
the formation of a national unity government.

The Lebanese should "benefit from favorable regional and international
developments... to consolidate peace and stability," he said. "This requires
that we contribute toward the creation of a national government."

The June 7 vote brought victory for the Western-backed coalition, which
fought off a strong challenge from Hizbullah and its allies. But it also
underscored the deep divisions among the Lebanese.

AP contributed to this report.

June 25, 2009

Excerpt from IDF Chief of the General Staff Speech at IAF Flight School Graduation Ceremony Today, June 25th, 2009, the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, delivered a speech at the IAF Flight School Graduation Ceremony in the Hatzer

Today, June 25th, 2009, the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi
Ashkenazi, delivered a speech at the IAF Flight School Graduation Ceremony
in the Hatzerim air force base in southern Israel. In his speech, the Chief
of Staff addressed the graduates, their families and other guests, and
related to the Iranian threat on Israel and the importance of a strong and
advanced air force as part of a strong IDF and a strong state of Israel that
will successfully face the challenges of the future.

The following is an excerpt from Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi's speech:

"As of today, you are entrusted with the world's most advanced flight combat
systems, combining advanced technology and sophisticated arming systems,
developed after years of investment in research, development and

"However, not for one moment do we forget that the qualitative advantage of
the IDF and the IAF lies in the dedicated, ethical and trained soldiers such
as yourselves, who have the ability to push the weapon systems to maximum
performance, and sometimes even further than that.

"We are seekers of peace, not of war, but a realistic observation of the
reality in the Middle East reveals a number of risks and security challenges
that we are likely to face.

"The re-election of the Iranian President, his threatening statements
against Israel and his country's constant race to obtain non-conventional
weapons, forces us to maintain an alert and watchful military and a skilled,
sharp air force in order to remove any threat hovering over the heads of our
citizens and civilians. It is our duty as an army to lay down all of our
options and prepare ourselves to confront any threat, near or far, and we
shall continue to do so.

"The IDF will continue to face these challenges at land, air and sea, with
regular and reserve forces, while strengthening ourselves, training and
arming according to a long term plan.

"As the Chief of the General Staff, I know that only a big, strong and
qualitative IDF, that has this kind of air force, is the one to deter war
away from this land, successfully face any challenge, near or far, and if
required to defeat our enemy and prevail!"

June 23, 2009

Israel removes roadblocks across the West Bank

Last update - 03:57 24/06/2009

By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff
Tags: palestinians, israel news

Recent weeks have seen a dramatic change in Israel's roadblock policy in the West Bank. Right under the nose of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israel Defense Forces has lifted some of the main, permanent roadblocks in the West Bank, which have played a central role in restricting the movement of Palestinians, mostly between the main Palestinian cities.

The decision of the defense establishment to ease Palestinian travel very much reflects the steps the Palestinian Authority security forces have taken against the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank. American pressure and demands the Palestinians be allowed to move freely in areas where there is no security risk are also a factor.

Currently, there are only 10 manned roadblocks within the West Bank (excluding those linking the territories with Israel), and searches are not carried out at every one of them. A year and a half ago, there were 35 manned roadblocks in operation.
Moreover, the defense establishment has allowed several hundred Palestinian businessmen, holders of BMC (Businessman Card) permits, free access to Israel. However, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says its data shows there are 630 different obstacles and roadblocks in place throughout the West Bank.

A week ago the DCO roadblock (set up by the Civil Administration) was removed from the way heading into Jericho from the south. This gives the city's residents free access to all parts of the West Bank. The lifting of the roadblock to Jericho also allows access to the city to Israelis who might want to visit the casino there.

June 22, 2009

The Battle that Ended in Victory for One Exceptional Officer

Lieutenant Asael Lubotzky breaks glass under chupah with leg doctors saved after he seriously wounded from a direct anti-tank missile hit

Rambam Medical Center
Public Affairs and Spokesman

22 June 2009

During the Second Lebanon War, Lieutenant Asael Lubotzky (now aged 26) from
the esteemed Golani Infantry Brigade, was admitted to Rambam Medical Center
after being seriously wounded from a direct anti-tank missile hit, in
Lebanon at the place that became known as the Battle of Bint Jbeil. From the
moment he began to receive treatment in the field and up until his arrival
to the hospital, none of the treating doctors imagined that his right leg
could be salvaged, but Dr. Alexander Lerner operating on him at Rambam
thought differently. Last Sunday, June 7, Asael Lubotzky stood under the
chuppah and performed the breaking of the glass ritual with his right leg.

In July, 2006, Lt. Lubotzky arrived to Rambam, suffering from severe burns
and injuries to both his legs. In those same dramatic moments, Lubotzky met
the man who would change his life forever. Upon his arrival to the hospital,
he was immediately wheeled into the operating room; there he was treated
initially by Professor Michael Soudry, the Director of the Orthopedic
Division at Rambam, and Dr. Alexander Lerner, Senior Orthopedic Surgeon in
the Department Orthopedic Surgery A. His first encounter with Dr. Lerner,
Lt. Lubotzky does not recall, "I was unconscious at the time. Only after the
surgery did I discover how pessimistic the field doctors were about the
extent of my injuries prior to my arrival to the hospital; they contemplated
where the best amputation spot would be."

The main goal of the operation at Rambam was to try to save his legs,
against all odds. After a long rehabilitation, Lubotzky underwent more than
20 orthopedic and cosmetic operations attended by Dr. Lerner. "Dr. Lerner
stayed optimistic about the injuries to my legs from the very beginning,"
Lt. Lubotzky said in admiration, "He was so hopeful that he could save my
leg and that one day, he could be there to witness the breaking of the glass
on my wedding." These words are what kept Lt. Lubotzky going, throughout the
long and often painful rehabilitation period.

On retrospect, Lt. Lubotzky's injuries lead him to notable accomplishments.
Less than a year ago, his story was published in the book "From the
Wilderness and Lebanon," by Yedioth Books that recounts his personal
experiences from the Second Lebanon War. Within a very short time, almost
from the moment it was printed, it entered the best seller list in Israel.
About two years ago, Lubotzky was accepted to the Hadassah Medical School in
Jerusalem, Israel. "A great part of this decision, to become a doctor, was
inspired by the exemplary model set by Dr. Lerner," recalls Lubotzky.

About a year and a half ago, Lt. Lubotzky met his future wife, Avital Shimal
(now 23) whom he wed just last week. "About two months ago, Asael called me
up, and told me that he'd held up to his part of the bargain and that it was
now my turn to hold up to mine," remembers Dr. Lerner. "With great
excitement and emotion I stood at his wedding, watching him stand on his own
two legs, under the chuppah, breaking the glass on his very first try,
dancing with his family and friends, and even with me; the joy was great,"
tells Lerner. "Among the guests were former patients also admitted to Rambam
during the Second Lebanon War, and I was happy to meet with them and see the
progress of their recovery," he recalls.

June 21, 2009

PRC leader to marry on third anniversary of Shalit capture

Abu Mujahid says he wants his wedding day to be 'blessed as day kidnapping was carried out'
Ali Waked

As Israel prepares to mark the three-year anniversary of the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, Ynet has learned that in Gaza the date will mark the wedding of Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) spokesman Abu Mujahid.

The PRC is one of the organizations responsible for Shalit's capture, and Abu Mujahid told Ynet he had chosen to marry on its anniversary.

He said he wanted his first day as a married man to be "as blessed as the day in which the kidnapping was carried out, when Allah saw our success and victory".

Abu Mujahid said the capture was a historic day for the Palestinian people. "I wanted my wedding day to be joyous and mark the third anniversary of the operation's success and victory," he said.

"On that day hope was given to thousands of Palestinian prisoners who never dreamed they would see the light of freedom, and they can see that day is not far. It was also the day we avenged our martyrs. I think the ceremony will even begin at 6 am, the time of the kidnapping itself," he added.

When asked whether he thought his actions were insensitive Abu Mujahid said, "It depends on who is looking at it and how. No one should preach ethics to us or speak to us about suffering and lack of sensitivity. We have suffered and we are suffering from the occupation and so it is our right to celebrate our large victory on this day, and I plan to enjoy myself at the wedding."

I say let the Air Force hot the wedding with as many bombing runs as possible to show that kidnapping our soldiers will result in you not being able to live a normal life.

New Tel Aviv bar bans IDF soldiers in uniform, settlement products

By Hagai Matar, City Mouse Haaretz Last update - 11:52 21/06/2009

A new vegan bar opened last week in Tel Aviv that bans Israel Defense Forces
soldiers in uniform and boycotts products made in West Bank settlements.

The Rogatka - "slingshot" - bar was opened by an "anarchist collective" who
once ran the Salon Mazal bar; it is located on Yitzhak Sadeh street in
central Tel Aviv.
The new ideologically-devoted bar will not seek to make a profit, and the
founders say they hope it will bring together left-wing activists,
environmentalists, and other fellow travelers, under the banner of cheap
drinks and fair trade products.

The bar's ban on soldiers in uniform and the carrying of weapons, along with
its boycott on products made in the settlements, derive from what employees
see as the connection between all forms of oppression, from the slaughter of
animals to sexism to occupation.

"We can't hold views against discrimination and oppression, while at the
same time support the infrastructure that exploits human beings and other
animals," said Adi Vinter, one of the bar's founders.

"We wanted to show it's possible and even worthwhile to live differently,"
Vinter added.

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 21.6.09:

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the diplomatic speech that he
gave at Bar-Ilan University last week:

"The importance of the speech was in defining Israel's national consensus on
achieving a peace agreement. The items that I presented are not conditions
for the start of negotiations. We do not condition the start of
negotiations on any conditions; on the contrary, we insist that there be no
pre-conditions either by our side or by the other side. But I certainly
came to express fundamental positions that are vital for Israel's future,
for the existence of a genuine peace with its neighbors and for the
maintenance of its security, since there is no peace without security.

The two main points that I sought to emphasize were: First of all, that we
are talking about two states for two peoples and one of these is the Jewish
People, and the Jewish People are entitled to a national state of their own.
Of course, there are non-Jews in it and they enjoy full civil rights but the
state is a state of the Jewish people, with the symbols, language and
holidays of the Jewish people, and with the ability of every Jew to
immigrate here and become a citizen, what is incorrect regarding the
so-called 'right of return.' This will not be implemented in the State of

It was important to me to emphasize that the Palestinian side must recognize
Israel as the national state of the Jewish People just as we are being asked
to recognize the Palestinian state as the national state of the Palestinian
people. Moreover, a peace agreement must put an end to their claims in this
regard and to all claims, and put an end to the conflict.

I think that according to these remarks which were made, certainly by
previous prime ministers, I think that we are serious in our desire to
achieve a peace agreement. We want to be serious in this demand, which we
are making on the other side, as one of the two main components of the

The second issue, of course, is demilitarization because security will not
be achieved except by demilitarization and demilitarization does not detract
from the Palestinian self-determination. I do not understand why, for the
purpose of Palestinian self-determination, they need Kassams and GRAD
missiles. I can understand that they need a strong police force and
security services; we are encouraging this but they do not need tanks,
artillery or missiles. But we, on the basis of our experience and what has
happened in the places we evacuated, are entitled - more than any other
country in the world - to demand that the Palestinian state be a
demilitarized state.

Therefore, on these principles - recognition of Israel as the national state
of the Jewish People and an end to claims, and the clear demand that the
international community guarantee effective demilitarization measures - I
think that we have thereby covered the areas of a very broad consensus among
the Israeli public. They could have been concealed; they could have been
unclear. I think that what was done sharpened the foundations of the
national consensus that is necessary to achieve peace.

I insisted on these matters in my talks with foreign leaders. We will
discuss them today and I will continue to raise them in my talks in Europe."

Prime Minister Netanyahu informed the Cabinet of his trip this week and of
his talks with French and Italian leaders including French President Nicolas
Sarkozy and Italian Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. He also noted that he
will meet with George Mitchell in Paris.

The Cabinet held a diplomatic discussion following the Prime Minister's

2. Prime Minister Netanyahu announced his decision to extend the term of
office of Mossad Director Meir Dagan until the end of 2010.

3. Pursuant to the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments) and on the basis of
the recommendation of the State Service Committee, the Cabinet decided to
exempt from public tender five senior positions in the Defense Ministry
National Emergency Authority.

4. The Cabinet decided to rename the Bailiff's Office and Fine Collection
Center as the Enforcement and Collection Authority.

5. The Cabinet established the Ministerial Committee on the advancement of
the Status of Women and appointed Minister Limor Livnat as its Chairwoman.

6. The Cabinet established the Ministerial State Control Committee and
appointed Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman as its Chairman.

7. The Cabinet discussed ways to improve and make more efficient the
licensing of business enterprises in Israel in comparison to other countries
and, to this end, appointed a steering committee to make the relevant

8. The Cabinet approved measures to extend Government participation in
daycare costs incurred by qualified working mothers who reside in southern
confrontation line communities.

9. Pursuant to Article 14a of the 1988 Anti-Drug Authority Law, the Cabinet
appointed Yair Geller as the Authority's Director.

June 19, 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

Egypt, Syria increase pressure on Hamas to seal agreement with Fatah

Egypt, Syria increase pressure on Hamas to seal agreement with Fatah By Akiva Eldar Haaretz Last update - 01:12 16/06/2009 www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1093222.html

Egypt and Syria have upped their pressure on Hamas in recent days, in
support of a reconciliation agreement with Fatah. The deal would include a
multinational Arab force in the Gaza Strip that would operate in parallel to
joint Fatah-Hamas security forces.

An Egyptian source told Haaretz that the American administration is aware of
the plan's details and apparently special envoy George Mitchell has asked
the Damascus government to use its influence over Hamas to push the plan and
the Quartet conditions. The Americans promised the Syrians that if they take
on a positive role in the Palestinian channel, the U.S. would act to resume
negotiations in the Syrian track.

The Hamas-Fatah reconciliation plan includes the creation of a joint
dozen-member committee, to be under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas' indirect authority. The committee, only authorized to act in Gaza,
would be in charge of post-Operation Cast Lead reconstruction, government
reforms, and preparations for the January 2010 presidential and legislative
council elections. All factions would undertake to honor the election
results and allow the elected government to rule in both Gaza and the West

Military forces from Egypt, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and other
Arab countries would assist local forces in maintaining order until and
throughout those elections. The plan is expected to increase pressure on
Israel to open border crossings and to push a deal for the release of
kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit forward. The Egyptian source noted that Hamas
had not deviated from its position regarding the number and identity of
prisoners to be released in exchange for Shalit.

According to the source, the main obstacle to the plan is the refusal of
Hamas' leadership to accept Abbas' authority. However, Egypt did announce a
July 7 deadline for the deal. Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, who met
last week in Damascus with Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal, told
Haaretz he believes Meshal is very interested in reaching a deal before the

As part of the feverish activity to reach an agreement, Meshal met last week
in Cairo with Egyptian intelligence head Gen. Omar Suleiman. A senior Fatah
delegation also visited Cairo a few days ago.

Since U.S. President Barack Obama's Cairo speech earlier this month, Hamas
has seemed more distressed and shown signs of a willingness for greater
flexibility. Meshal praised Obama's speech, saying that Hamas would not
constitute an obstacle to talks.

By contrast, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on Sunday met with
derogatory responses from Hamas. The organization's Gaza spokesman, Fawzi
Barhoum, said the speech expressed "extreme and racist" ideology and offered
no new policy.

If this were to happen it would severely limit the ability of Israel to respond to the daily terror attacks that come from Gaza.

Free Gaza to sail cement into Strip in defiance of Israeli seige

Date: 19 / 06 / 2009 Time: 10:20 www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38666

Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Free Gaza movement will set sail on 25 June with 15
tons of cement, a material strictly prohibited entry into the area by
Israeli crossing authorities.

"We are putting Israel on notice that they cannot continue to starve a
population into submission and deny them basic building materials to
rebuild," said a statement from the Free Gaza movement, "And we put Israel
on notice that they cannot continue to make money on their occupation of
Gaza by forcing supplies to come through their portals and charging for

According to organizers the June voyage will be the first of three summer
deliveries, the second and third of which the group hopes to sail a cargo
ship into the area carrying large loads of materials for reconstruction. The
voyages are set for July and August, the last to mark the first year
anniversary of the first successful Gaza ship convoy.

Crew on the first voyage, according to organizers, include Nobel Peace Prize
Laureate Mairead Maguire, former US Congressional Representative Cynthia
McKinney, 84-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein and representatives
from 17 countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar. "The oldest
passenger is 84 and the youngest is 23," a statement from the group said.

I said from the time the first boat sailed Israel should sink the boat and put an end to these efforts.

If Israel would have done just that by now it would all be over and a distant memory.

June 17, 2009

Palestinian Reactions to Netanyahu's Speech: 'Akin to a Declaration of War';

MEMRI Special Dispatch | No. 2406 | June 16, 2009

'Netanyahu is a Liar and a Crook'; 'The Speech is Worthless and Warrants a
Determined Response'; 'Not In a Thousand Years... Would [He] Find a Single
Palestinian' to Agree to His Conditions

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's June 14, 2009 speech was met with
hostility by all Palestinian factions. The Palestinians called Netanyahu "a
liar and a crook," stated that the only purpose of his "hollow" speech was
to placate U.S. President Barack Obama, and claimed that he was effectively
ruining the chances for peace. Senior Palestinian Authority officials called
on the U.S. to force Israel to implement the two-state solution, and on the
PA to toughen its positions. Hamas called on PA to stop security
coordination and to reassess their position on negotiations with Israel.

Following are excerpts from reactions in the PA press to the speech:

PA: Netanyahu's Speech Has Ruined the Chance for Peace
Palestinian Authority negotiations department head Saeb 'Ariqat stated: "The
peace process can be compared to a turtle, and now that Netanyahu has turned
it over, it's lying on its back. Not in a thousand years will Netanyahu find
a single Palestinian who would agree to the conditions stipulated in his
speech. The speech is a unilateral declaration ending the political
negotiations on permanent status issues."(1)

Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority president,
stated: "The speech has destroyed all peace initiatives and [chances for] a
solution." He called on the U.S. administration to fulfill its
responsibility in this respect, and added that "Netanyahu's failure to
recognize the Arab Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state and his
attempt to impose a solution to the Palestinian problem outside Israel will
not lead to a just and comprehensive peace, as prescribed by the U.N.

PLO Executive Committee Secretary Yasser 'Abd Rabbo stated: "Netanyahu's
speech was hollow, and it ruined the chances to advance toward a balanced
settlement. The speech is worthless and warrants a determined response.
Netanyahu is a liar and a crook; he is looking for ploys to disrupt the
peace endeavor."(3)

Some PA officials appealed to the U.S. to put pressure on Israel. Thus,
Palestinian Ambassador to Egypt Nabil 'Amro stated: "Netanyahu's speech is
nothing but a hoax [to deceive] America; it does not constitute a positive
step towards peace. Netanyahu's speech is not an initiative, but a poor show
presenting a political stance adopted for no other reason than to appease
Obama." 'Amro called on Obama to force Netanyahu to accept the peace process
and the American position on the two state solution.(4)

The editor of the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Hafez Al-Barghuthi, wrote:
"Binyamin Netanyahu said nothing new in his speech; rather, he reiterated
[his] pre-election positions, and spat in the face of all those who counted
on Obama's magic wand to swallow the serpents of the settlements and to make
Netanyahu change his skin and recognize the two-state [solution]. The
Palestinian side is not ready to form a state, no matter how small, since
Obama has not demanded that the Palestinians unite their ranks and eliminate
the rift between Fatah and Hamas."(5)

If Israel Does Not Grant the Palestinian Refugees the Right of Return, PA
Will Sign Only a Hudna Truce
Senior Fatah official Bilal Al-Hassan contended that the Palestinians must
set forth the following demands: full Israeli withdrawal from the
territories occupied in 1967; the dismantling of all settlements, including
construction in East Jerusalem; the establishment of a fully sovereign
Palestinian state; rejection of the idea of exchanging territories; the
payment of damages to West Bank and Gaza residents for all the destruction
caused by the occupation; and a solution to the right of return problem
based on U.N. Resolution No. 194. In addition, should Israel not agree to
the return of the Palestinian refugees, only a hudna truce and an agreement
on reversing the consequences of 1967 war will be signed - but not a
Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement.(6)

Talal 'Ukal, Palestinian political analyst and columnist for the PA daily
Al-Ayyam, stated that in his view, the Palestinians should intensify
pressure on Israel by accusing it of war crimes as well as assign greater
importance to Europe's attempts to establish an international front opposing
settlements. He said that they must demand not only a stop to the building
of settlements, but that they be considered an aggressive, illegitimate, and
illegal element. 'Ukal also called for the elimination of the rift between
the Palestinians.(7)

Hamas: Demand to Recognize a Jewish State - A Racist Position
Hamas issued an announcement, stating: "Netanyahu is offering the
Palestinians a state without identity, sovereignty, army, or weapons;
without Jerusalem or the right of return. And at the same time, it insists
on leaving the settlements in place. He is offering an economic peace in
return for normalization and recognition of the Zionist entity. Netanyahu
tried to use some misleading expressions [to describe] his quest for peace
and his racist position - especially [regarding his demand] that the
Palestinians recognize the Palestinian land as a Jewish country, as well as
his dismissal of the right of return and the Palestinians' right to
Jerusalem. These positions reveal the falsehood of his peace advocacy. The
declarations and positions expressed in this speech have increased the
hatred and enmity towards this enemy.

"Netanyahu's racist speech is a message to all those betting on a settlement
to immediately stop longing for this mirage. Hamas is calling on the Arab
countries to stop marketing normalization or negotiation plans vis-à-vis the
occupation. Hamas's announcement has also called on the PA to stop providing
the [Zionist] entity with free security services, as well as to reassess its
position and to again embrace Palestinian unity, in light of Netanyahu's
clear declaration that he would not give the PA anything of substance. Hamas
elaborated that [Netanyahu's] statements would only make the Palestinian
people more steadfast on its position, Jerusalem, the right of return, and
the refusal to recognize this racist occupation."(8)

Senior Hamas Official: Netanyahu's Speech Proves that Resistance Is the Only
Way to Attain Rights
Hamas official Dr. Ahmad Bahr, who is acting speaker of the Palestinian
Legislative Council, stated: "[Netanyahu's] racist speech rests on denying
the [existence of] the Palestinian people and on disregarding their
suffering, and [affirms] that a racist entity [exists] on Palestinian soil.
It is an arrogant Zionist speech, rife with threats and condescension
towards the Palestinians as well as towards the Arab and Muslim peoples.

"This speech by the criminal Netanyahu showed that some are [still] enticed
by his imaginary peace and by his failing plans, while others still harbor
hopes of pleasing the Zionists and the Americans. This speech proves that
resistance is the only way for the Palestinian people to attain its
legitimate rights - and mainly the right to liberate its country, to
establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its eternal capital, and to
bring a million Palestinians back home, whence they were expelled by Zionist
terrorist gangs."(9)

Islamic Jihad: The Arab Initiative Must Be Revoked
The Islamic Jihad spokesman stated: "Netanyahu's speech was deceptive
through and through - it clearly disregarded the rights of the Palestinians.
Netanyahu's speech has proven that the wave of extremism has engulfed the
state of the Zionist entity, and that therefore it is impossible to achieve
a peace agreement with this state. The Arab League must declare the Arab
peace initiative revoked, and stop betting on a settlement, because
Netanyahu's speech was an answer to this initiative.

"The Palestinians must unite their ranks, as should the Arabs and the
Muslims, in order to stand up to radicalization that has taken hold of
Israel on all levels.

"It is impossible to come to terms with the occupation, even of one inch of
the Palestinian soil. The conflict will continue until the occupation of
Palestine ends."(10)

PFLP: Netanyahu's Speech "Akin To a Declaration of War"
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called Netanyahu's speech
"akin to a declaration of war and an insult to the international community."
It was further stated: "The peace that Netanyahu offered to the Palestinians
and the Arabs is a peace of serfdom, with the Palestinian state as an
Israeli reservation, and the PA a civilian administration of its residents,
who would be dependent on the occupation's munificence, and on its security
and economic sovereignty. Netanyahu's call for security, economic activity,
meetings with Arab leaders, and negotiations with the Palestinians - while
Israel continues acting against the Palestinians - is a mockery of the Arab
leaders and the Arab peace initiative."

June 16, 2009

U.S. officials skeptical on a demilitarized Palestine

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's condition that any Palestinian
state be unarmed would be hard for the other side to accept, State
Department officials say.
By Paul Richter LA Times 8:54 PM PDT, June 15, 2009

Reporting from Washington -- U.S. officials reacted skeptically Monday to an
Israeli proposal that the United States and other world powers guarantee
that a new nation of Palestine remain demilitarized as a condition of its

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said for the first time Sunday
that Israel would be prepared to live side by side with a Palestinian state,
but only if world powers guaranteed that it would be "demilitarized." The
proposal came in a major statement of his views on the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict that attracted attention worldwide.

"We take the security of Israel very seriously, but we need a solution that
works, and this would be very difficult for the Palestinians to swallow,"
said an official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity
of the diplomacy. American officials "are a long way away from the point
where we'd be talking about this kind of arrangement."

He noted that Netanyahu provided no specifics about what would be a complex
task. Netanyahu has said previously that Israel could not agree to the
creation of a Palestinian state that possessed a military, had full control
of its borders or wielded authority over electronic communications.

Despite the criticism, U.S. officials were generally positive about the
speech, suggesting that it represented another step toward the high-level
negotiations they want to see begin soon between Israelis and Palestinians.

They hailed Netanyahu's acceptance of the idea of a separate Palestinian
state, despite the conditions. U.S. officials were willing to overlook the
fact that Netanyahu did not agree to the Obama administration's insistence
on a complete halt in the growth of Israeli settlements in Palestinian

Palestinian officials bristled at Netanyahu's speech, but U.S. officials
portrayed the speech as simply laying out the Israeli opening position in
what was likely to be a protracted discussion.

"It's going to be a complicated negotiation," said Ian Kelly, the State
Department spokesman.

Netanyahu said in his speech that the Palestinians would need to recognize
Israel as a "Jewish state," a comment that was widely taken to mean there
would be no right of return for Palestinian refugees.

But Kelly said U.S. officials took the view that it meant only that "the
Palestinians need to recognize the right of Israel to exist."


Jimmy Is Still An Idiot

Carter: Holding back tears in Gaza Jun. 16, 2009 jpost.com staff and AP , THE JERUSALEM POST

Former US president Jimmy Carter said he was holding back tears when surveying the destruction in Gaza following Israel's Operation Cast Lead earlier this year, Israel Radio reported Tuesday.

Carter said that it was discomforting to see the devastation in Gaza but also to see Kassams falling on Sderot, according to Israel Radio.

The way to stop this is through dialogue and peace, Carter told reporters.

Carter was in Gaza on Tuesday for a meeting with Hamas leaders in which he said he would try to persuade Hamas leaders to accept the international community's conditions for ending its boycott of the Islamic militant group. Carter added that after his talks in Gaza, he will meet with officials in the Obama administration.

The former president is also due to deliver a letter by the parents of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit to Hamas and is due to meet with Noam Schalit upon his return from Gaza, Israel Radio reported.

What an idiot.
The news just broke that their were two bombs on Carter's exit out of Gaza that were supposed to murder the former President and that he plans to ask Obama to remove Hamas from American terrorist list.
What an idiot.

June 14, 2009

Bibi's Game

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Netanyahu calls for demilitarized Palestinian state
Jun. 12, 2009

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lifted the shroud from his diplomatic endgame on Sunday night, saying at the BESA Center at Bar-Ilan University that he would support a Palestinian state if he received international guarantees that it would be demilitarized, and if the Palestinians accepted Israel as the Jewish homeland.

"If we receive this guarantee regarding demilitarization and Israel's security needs, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, then we will be ready in a future peace agreement to reach a solution where a demilitarized Palestinian state exists alongside the Jewish state," Netanyahu said to applause - the first time he has said he would accept a Palestinian state.

US President Barack Obama welcomed the prime minister's speech, calling it an important step forward.

"The president is committed to two states, a Jewish State of Israel and an independent Palestine, in the historic homeland of both peoples," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement. "He believes this solution can and must ensure both Israel's security and the fulfillment of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations for a viable state, and he welcomes Prime Minister Netanyahu's endorsement of that goal."

But Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah expressed outrage and shock over Netanyahu's call for a demilitarized Palestinian state and his demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The officials said the speech was much worse than they had expected. They also warned that Netanyahu's policies would trigger a new intifada.

In his much anticipated, 30-minute speech that was broadcast live both in Israel and in much of the Arab world, the prime minister not only dealt with the two-state issue, but also confronted the contentious issue of settlement construction head-on, saying that he would not - as the US and the Arab world are demanding - freeze all settlement construction.

"The territorial question will be discussed as part of the final peace agreement," he said. "In the meantime, we have no intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional land for existing settlements."

But, he added, "There is a need to enable the residents to live normal lives, to allow mothers and fathers to raise their children like families elsewhere. The settlers are neither the enemies of the people nor the enemies of peace. Rather, they are an integral part of our people, a principled, pioneering and Zionist public."

Regarding Jerusalem, Netanyahu said it "must remain the united capital of Israel with continued religious freedom for all faiths."

He did not tackle the issue of a Palestinian state, or the settlement issue, until well into his remarks, and until after he corrected the impression Obama left with his Cairo address on June 4, that Israel was the product of the Holocaust, and not the result of a timeless Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.

The connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel goes back more than 3,500 years, the prime minister said. "This is the land of our forefathers.

"The right of the Jewish people to a state in the Land of Israel does not derive from the catastrophes that have plagued our people," he said. "True, for 2,000 years the Jewish people suffered expulsions, pogroms, blood libels and massacres which culminated in a Holocaust - a suffering which has no parallel in human history.

"There are those who say that if the Holocaust had not occurred, the State of Israel would never have been established. But I say that if the State of Israel would have been established earlier, the Holocaust would not have occurred."

Netanyahu, clearly relating to Obama's narrative in the Cairo speech, said the Jews' right to a sovereign state in Israel "arises from one simple fact: this is the homeland of the Jewish people, this is where our identity was forged."

Alongside this truth, he said, is another: "Within this homeland lives a large Palestinian community. We do not want to rule over them, we do not want to govern their lives, we do not want to impose either our flag or our culture on them."

The prime minister said that in his vision of peace; two peoples will "live freely, side by side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other."

Any peace agreement would need to be based on two principles: the first is a clear and unambiguous Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, and the second is that a future Palestinian state "must be demilitarized with ironclad security provisions for Israel," he said.

Unless these two conditions were met, he said, "there is a real danger that an armed Palestinian state would emerge that would become another terrorist base against the Jewish state, such as the one in Gaza. We don't want Kassam rockets on Petah Tikva, Grad rockets on Tel Aviv, or missiles on Ben-Gurion Airport. We want peace."

Netanyahu did not spell out what type of international guarantees he had in mind, but said that to achieve peace, "we must ensure that Palestinians will not be able to import missiles into their territory, to field an army, to close their airspace to us, or to make pacts with the likes of Hizbullah and Iran."

In an apparent reference to unceasing calls from the US administration for Israel to declare it is willing for a Palestinian state to be established, Netanyahu said, "It is impossible to expect us to agree in advance to the principle of a Palestinian state without assurances that this state will be demilitarized. On a matter so critical to the existence of Israel, we must first have our security needs addressed."

He began his tightly written speech by stressing the importance peace has always played in Jewish civilization, and then by saying he supported Obama's vision for regional peace and security.

"I turn to all Arab leaders tonight and I say: "Let us meet. Let us speak of peace and let us make peace. I am ready to meet with you at any time. I am willing to go to Damascus, to Riyadh, to Beirut, to any place - including Jerusalem," he said.

Turning to the Palestinians, Netanyahu said he knew first hand "the face of war."

"I have experienced battle," he said. "I lost close friends, I lost a brother. I have seen the pain of bereaved families. I do not want war. No one in Israel wants war."

The prime minister said it was necessary to be honest about why it has been so difficult to end the conflict.

"Even as we look toward the horizon, we must be firmly connected to reality, to the truth," he said. "And the simple truth is that the root of the conflict was, and remains, the refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own, in their historic homeland."

Netanyahu repeated his call to the Palestinians to begin negotiations immediately and without preconditions. In an oblique reference to the road map, he said Israel was obligated by its international commitments and expected "all parties to keep their commitments."

The coalition's right wing expressed disappointment with the call for Palestinian statehood and vowed to fight it.

Likud MK Danny Danon said the acceptance of Palestinian aspirations for statehood was "one unnecessary sentence in a brilliant speech. It goes against the Likud platform and we will work in the Knesset faction and central committee to make sure it doesn't get implemented."

MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi) said that his Knesset faction "has to weigh its political steps in light of the dangerous implications of Netanyahu's speech and his agreement to establish a Palestinian state."

Contrary to prespeech expectations, the prime minister did not dwell heavily on Teheran's nuclear program or last Friday's elections there, relegating the Iranian threat to one paragraph.

"The Iranian threat looms large before us, as was further demonstrated yesterday. The greatest danger confronting Israel, the Middle East, the entire world and human race is the nexus between radical Islam and nuclear weapons," he said.

"I discussed this issue with President Obama during my recent visit to Washington, and I will raise it again in my meetings next week with European leaders. For years, I have been working tirelessly to forge an international alliance to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons," he said.

Khaled Abu Toameh, Tovah Lazaroff and Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.
This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1244371095741&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Bibi is playing the game that Shamir tried to play, that is being clever.
Why doesn't he just tell the truth that their is a Palestinian State and it is called Jordan.
That Judea and Samaria also known as the West Bank is ours and their will never be an Arab State on our land.

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

June 12, 2009

Israeli's Back Bibi Not Obama

A poll carried out this Wednesday and Thursday by Maagar Mohot Survey
Institute (headed by Professor Yitzchak Katz) finds that the Israeli public
wants Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to reject President Barack Obama's
demands and believes that meeting Obama's demands will only lead to
additional pressure on the Jewish State.

The poll also finds that the overwhelming majority of Israelis supports
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's argument against the feasibility of
establishing a sovereign Palestinian state that is subject to various
security restrictions. Netanyahu has warned that it is impossible to
enforce security restrictions and limitations on a sovereign Palestinian

The telephone poll of a representative sample of 503 adult Israel Jews on
10-11 June 2009 has a survey error of +/- 4.5 percentage points.

Results follow:

According to various reports in the international press President Obama has
given an ultimatum to Prime Minister Netanyahu according to which Israel
must enter negotiations for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian
state within two years.

#1 Should Netanyahu agree to President Obama's demand of a complete
construction freeze beyond the Green Line - including in Jerusalem and
settlement blocs - including "natural growth"?
No 56% Yes 37% Other replies 7%
(Among Likud voters: No 81% Yes 12% Other 7%)

#2 Is President Obama's demand of a construction halt truly a "make or
break" issue for the United States or if Netanyahu holds his ground there
really won't be a crisis?
Make or break 32% Won't be a crisis 50% Other replies 18%
(Among Likud voters: Make or break 19% Won't be crisis 63% Other 18%)

#3. Should Netanyahu agree to President Obama's reported demand that Israel
rescind Israeli sovereignty over the Old City and other parts of Jerusalem
that are beyond the Green Line as part of an agreement with the
No 69% Yes 18% Other replies 13%
Kadima voters: No 63% Yes 26% Other 11%
Labor voters: No 57% Yes 29% Other 14%
Likud voters: No 82% Yes 1% Other 17%

#4 Should Netanyahu agree to President Obama's reported demand that Israel
abandon the settlement blocs as part of an agreement with the Palestinians?
No 51% Yes 34% Other replies 15%
Likud voters: No 75% Yes 17% Other 8%

#5 If Netanyahu bows to current U.S. pressure on the matter of construction
in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, will the pressure that the
United State places on Israel in the future be less, the same or increase?
Less pressure 23% Same pressure 22% More pressure 39% Other replies 16%
Likud voters: Less 19% Same 23% More 39% Other 19%

#6 Was Binyamin Netanyahu correct when he warned in the past that if a
sovereign Palestinian state were established that it would be impossible to
enforce security restrictions and limitations on it?
Was right 59% Wrong 28% Other replies 13%
Likud voters: Was right 83% Wrong 15% Other 2%
Kadima voters: Was right 43% Wrong 42% Other 15%

June 11, 2009

Obama's former pastor: Jews don't let him talk to me

In interview to Daily Press, Reverend Jeremiah Wright blames 'them Jews' for US president's 'mistakes' such as not sending delegation to UN racism conference; says Jews don't want Obama talking about 'ethnic cleansing in Gaza by Zionists because that's anti-Israel'
Yitzhak Benhorin

WASHINGTON - Even today, in the wake of rising anti-Semitism in the United States, that reared its head in the deadly attack on the Washington Holocaust Museum; there are still those in the US that are not hindered from expressing an aggressive position against the Jewish people.

US President Barack Obama's former pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright in an interview with the Daily Press on Wednesday expressed the same kind of racist views that led Obama to distance himself from the church before he was elected president.

When asked if he had spoken to Obama since his election, Wright blamed the White House, and "them Jews" in particular, for not allowing the president to talk to him.

"Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me," he said, "I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office. ...

"They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He's a politician; I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do."

Wright also blamed the Jews and Israel for Obama's decision not to send a US delegation to the World Conference on Racism (Durban II), and said that he did not do so for fear of offending Israel.

"Ethnic cleansing is going on in Gaza. Ethnic cleansing (by) the Zionists is a sin and a crime against humanity, and they don't want Barack talking like that because that's anti-Israel," Wright said.

The pastor's tone was very forgiving of the president, who he said has "made mistakes… He listened to those around him. I did not disown him".

When asked if he voted for Obama in the 2008 elections, Wright told the Daily Press: "Of course I voted for him; he's my son. I'm proud of him.

"I've got five biological kids. They all make mistakes and bad choices. I haven't stopped loving any of them."

June 10, 2009

IDF developing battlefield robot snake

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Jun. 9, 2009

A robot snake, capable of recording video and sound on the battlefield, is on the way to join the the IDF's hi-tech arsenal.

According to a Channel 2 report - click here to watch the clip - the spying robot, which is about two meters long and covered in military camouflage, mimics the movements and appearance of real snakes, slithering around through caves, tunnels, cracks and buildings, while at the same time sending images and sound back to a soldier who controls the device through a laptop computer.

Able to bend its joints so well that it can squeeze through very tight spaces, the new device will be used to find people buried under collapsed buildings. The snake is also able to arch its body, allowing it to see over obstacles through its head camera.

Researchers studied the movements of live snakes in order to create the most natural and realistic robotic version.

The snake's cost has yet to be determined, as it is still being developed; however, according to Channel 2, the IDF plans to provide combat units with these devices.

Besides recording multimedia, the snake may also be used to carry explosives.

The Defense Ministry, with experts from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, based their intelligence-gathering robot on a previous project of Ben-Gurion University, which created a slew of robotic animals with special abilities.

Eight months ago, researchers at Ben-Gurion University reported they had developed "robot snakes" capable of navigating through pipes and narrow openings.

The Ben-Gurion report also detailed other robot animals, including, a cat that climbs walls using its claws, and a "dog-droid" that responds to the human movements.

The idea of serpent-like robots is nothing new in the world of technology. Shigeo Hirose, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has been working on "serpent robots" since the 1970s.

Hirose's ACM-R5 robot, which had the ability to glide through water, unlike the IDF version, debuted in the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan.

AP contributed to this report.

U.S. envoy suggests possible West Bank land exchange

By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent and DPA Last update - 16:30

The U.S. must create the conditions for the speedy resumption of
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Washington's envoy to the region said
Wednesday in Ramallah, as he assured Palestinians that America would never
abandon their "legitimate aspirations."
During his talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. special
envoy George Mitchell also introduced the possibility of a territorial
exchange in the West Bank as part of the peace process.

Mitchell reportedly brought up the idea of offering the Palestinians Ma'aleh
Adumim and the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, according to the BBC.

The U.S. envoy also put forth a possible compromise to the Palestinian
refugee issue, said the BBC.

"The only viable solution for this conflict is for the aspirations of both
sides to be met in two states," former U.S. senator Mitchell told
journalists after meeting Abbas in the West Bank city.

"The U.S. has an obligation to create conditions for the prompt resumption
and early conclusion of negotiations," he said, adding that "America will
not turn our back to the legitimate Palestinians aspirations for dignity,
opportunity and a state of their own."

Israelis and Palestinians, he said, had to meet their obligations under the
international Road Map peace plan.

"It is in their interest as well as the interest of other countries in the
region," he said.

The road map, a performance-based initiative, outlines a series of steps the
sides have to take, culminating in a Palestinian state being established
alongside Israel.

Although Israel has previously accepted the road map, Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to explicitly endorse the establishment of a
Palestinian state, and has rejected the U.S. demand, which is also an
Israeli obligation under the peace plan, to halt all settlement activity.

On Tuesday, Mitchell met with Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

The former U.S. senator and broker of the Good Friday peace agreement in
Northern Ireland communicated the Obama administration's desire to see the
Gaza crossings reopened so as to enable the entry of building materials for
post-war reconstruction.

Mitchell added that Washington understands the need for proper border
inspections that will ensure no building material be used by Hamas. The U.S.
seeks to involve Hamas' rival, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, in
the process so that the crossings' reopening not be interpreted as a Hamas
achievement, Mitchell said.

Mitchell also reiterated on Tuesday that the Obama administration is
adamantly insisting on a freeze of construction in all Israeli settlements
in the West Bank.

Mitchell said that opposition to Israel's settlement policy has been
Washington's position for the last 40 years, and that the administration had
no intention of backing down on the demand for a total freeze.

During their meeting on Tuesday, Netanyahu told Mitchell: "Israel is acting
to advance peace and security with the Palestinians and with the Arab

In his round of meetings with senior Israeli officials on Tuesday, Mitchell
demonstrated a more moderate tack in discussing his government's
disagreements with Jerusalem over West Bank settlements.

Mitchell assured Israel on Tuesday that Washington would remain its close
ally despite differences over West Bank settlements and peacemaking with the

Mitchell said the U.S. commitment to Israeli security is unshakable, adding,
"We come here to talk not as adversaries and in disagreement, but as friends
in discussion."

The envoy made the comments Netanyahu at his side before a meeting with the
premier Tuesday evening.

Earlier Tuesday, Mitchell told President Shimon Peres his goal was to create
conditions for "prompt resumption and early conclusion" of talks leading to
the establishment of a Palestinian state "side by side in peace and security
with the Jewish state of Israel".

"Let me be clear. These are not disagreements among adversaries. The United
States and Israel are and will remain close allies and friends," Mitchell
said. He later voiced the same sentiment.

Israel reveals training to deal with Iranian anti-aircraft

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 10 June 2009

Israel Television Channel 2 News last night broadcast an item (url below)
detailing how IAF pilots are already training on simulators to be able to
avoid being shot down by S 300 missiles. Israel has asked Russia not to
deliver the S 300 anti-aircraft system to Iran.


June 08, 2009

Major Test For Bibi

Palestinians: US will demand IDF pullout from West Bank cities

Ahead of US envoy Mitchell's visit to region, PA demands control of positions it held prior to outbreak of second intifada in 2000; 'we lived up to our end of the bargain, now it's time Israel reciprocates,' Palestinian official says
Ali Waked

Palestinian officials said Monday they were close to reaching an agreement with the US according to which the Obama administration would demand an Israeli withdrawal from positions that were manned by Palestinian forces prior to the outbreak of the second intifada at the end of September 2000.

IDF forces currently controls positions situated at the entrance to large Palestinian cities in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority is demanding that these positions be moved and that Israeli forces be prevented from entering the cities.

Speaking to Ynet ahead of George Mitchell's scheduled visit to the region, Palestinian officials said they would brief President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy on the PA's continued efforts to maintain security in areas under its control.

According to the officials, part of the Authority's success has to do with the dismantling of various armed groups, particularly those affiliated with Fatah. The PA is working diligently to abide by the security-related clauses of the US-backed Road Map for peace initiative, they said.

"Now it's time for Israel to reciprocate and fulfill its part of the Road Map initiative, meaning the transfer of control to the Palestinian security forces in such a way that by the end of the process PA security forces will return to all the outposts they had controlled on the eve of the second intifada," one official said.

The Palestinians are also demanding that the IDF be prevented from operating in areas under full control of the PA.

"We've shown that we are acting in accordance with our supreme interest, which is to maintain calm and security so the Israelis will not have an excuse (not to implement the Road Map initiative)," said a PA official.

"Therefore, we will tell Mitchell that we've held up our end of the bargain, and now we expect that a clear timetable be set for the return of Palestinian forces to their pre-intifada positions."

This is going to be a major test for Bibi.

We know from experience that if we pull the IDF back to pre 2000 positions that the end result will be dead Jews.

OK Bibi what are you made of?

Gaza gunmen use booby-trapped horses against IDF

Army continues to investigate foiled terror attack south of Karni crossing. Initial probe reveals cell believed to be affiliated with al-Qaeda arrived with trucks, horses loaded with explosive devices, may have planned to kidnap soldier
Hanan Greenberg

An Israel Defense Forces' investigation into a major terror attack thwarted Monday morning south of the Karni crossing in the Gaza Strip revealed that the gunmen, believed to be affiliated with al-Qaeda, arrived at the crossing with several trucks and at least five horses loaded with explosive devices and mines.

According to the army, it is possible that the gunmen had planned to kidnap a soldier.

A new organization called "the army of Allah's supporters" claimed responsibility for the foiled terror attack. The organization said it would release details about the attack later in the day

About 10 to 12 terrorists took the horses off the truck and began planting the devices near the fence. At this stage, they were spotted by an IDF force and began firing at soldiers from Golani's 13th Regiment.

The troops fired back, and the terrorists tried to escape and return the horses into the truck. At least four gunmen were killed in the battle.

The force chose not to enter the Strip for fear of an abduction trap, and the army sent warplanes and tanks to the area instead.

Meanwhile, the IDF continues to investigate the foiled terror attack. The initial probe revealed that the cell had prepared for the attack for a long time. A senior military source told Ynet that complicated and combined attack had been thwarted and that it was safe to assume that the terrorists had planned a kidnapping as well.

The cell's goal was undoubtedly to target soldiers near the border fence. The terrorists were first spotted some hundreds of meters from the border fence, after opening fire at a Golani force on the Israeli side of the border.

Immediately after the first shots were fired, additional IDF forces were dispatched to the area and fired massively at the cell. At this stage, some of the cell members began escaping on cars and a truck, which they may have been planning to use for the abduction.

Mortar sells were fired from the Palestinian territory in order to help some of the terrorists to escape. This activity points to the fact that another cell was engaged in covering for the cell. The goal may have been to attract some of the forces into the Strip or set a trap for them should they enter the Palestinian territory.

IDF sources noted that the investigation into the incident was still at its early stages, but that it was already clear that the soldiers' activity – as well as the warplanes and tanks which fired at the cars the terrorists escaped in – helped foil a well-planned terror attack.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised the soldiers' activity on Monday afternoon. Speaking at a Labor faction meeting, Barak said that "in an operational, purposeful and efficient activity the IDF thwarted an operation aimed at carrying out a major attack on the fence… The results speak for themselves and testify to the alertness of the forces along the Gaza border."

June 05, 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

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority react to Obama's speech

Date: 04 / 06 / 2009 Time: 21:33

Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority said it considered US
President Barack Obama's speech in Cairo "a new and different American
beginning and a new message to the Israelis," while Hamas said the remarks
contained a number of good points.

PA presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeinah said in a statement that
"President Obama's readiness for partnership, listening, building confidence
and confronting tension" ought to be celebrated, and applauded the US
leader's remarks on Palestinian suffering.

He added that "the time has come to establish a Palestinian state," which he
called "the first basic step necessary to build a just and comprehensive
peace in the region."

Abu Rudeinah went on to say that "President Obama's speech is encouraging
beginnings that should be built on and we will be ready to go forward with
the peace process in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the
national rights of the Palestinians, based on justice and equality."

Meanwhile, the Hamas movement hesitantly described Obama's speech as a
refreshing change, although "full of contradictions." Regardless, the
movement welcomed the speech, calling it complimentary and playing on
emotions, as well as focused on diplomacy above threats.

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum said that the speech was focused on
"improving America's image in front of the whole world, yet it was full of
contradictions, lacked policies and practical steps on the ground to curb
the [Israeli] assaults and to support the Palestinian right of sovereignty
on their land, end settlement and their suffering under the occupation."

He added that "Obama mentioned the popular support for Hamas but did not
talk about lifting its isolation and respecting its legitimacy," adding that
"he confused the facts when he described Hamas' defense of the Palestinians
as violence, while he did not talk about the real Holocaust and war crimes
that the Israeli army carried out in front of the whole world."

Barhoum noted that Obama's "repeated demands for Hamas to recognize Israel
and the conditions of the Quartet would be legitimizing the occupation,
giving it a cover to continue with its criminal policies against the
Palestinians." "Recognizing the conditions of the Quartet means approving
the righteousness of the policy of collective punishment, which the US
imposed on the Palestinians as a penalty for their democratic choice."

He noted that "Obama's demand for the Arabs to normalize ties with Israel
and to assist it is a frank call to reward the occupation for its crimes."

Regarding Obama's remarks on Jerusalem being a holy city for three faiths,
Barhoum said, "Jerusalem needs an American stand to stop Israeli policies
against it; recognizing the illegitimacy of the settlements [in East
Jerusalem] is a good thing but he needs to actually end settlement there."

The Hamas official concluded by saying, "We noticed that in his speech Obama
ignored the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their homelands,
even though it is a legitimate right recognized under international law."

June 04, 2009

Palestinians pleased with Obama's Koran quotes

Sources within PA say US president understands Israeli-Palestinian conflict 'root cause' of Mideast stability; PRC spokesman says speech shows Obama constrained by 'Zionist lobby'
Ali Waked

Sources in the Palestinian Authority expressed their satisfaction with Barack Obama's speech in Cairo on Thursday, stressing the fact that the American president did mention the word "terror" even once.

The sources said they were pleased with the fact that Obama did not differentiate between isolated Israeli settlements and the settlement blocs as a whole, as well as with his call to stop Palestinian "suffering".

"It is very important that Obama addressed 1.5 billion Muslims from such an important city like Cairo, and it is very important that he quoted seven verses from the Koran and stressed that there was no hostility between the US and Islam," a Palestinian source said.

"Obama did not use the word 'terror' even when speaking of al-Qaeda, and used 'violence' instead; he did not speak like (former US President) George W. Bush. Obama understands that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root cause of instability in the Middle East, and therefore we can we be calm; it is the Israelis who should be worried," he said.

According to the Palestinians, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's government is implementing the Road Map for peace initiative to the letter, including action against armed Palestinian factions.

Earlier Thursday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said "there is a change between the speech of President Obama and previous speeches made by George Bush. But he complained that Obama did not specifically note the "suffering in Gaza" following the three-week Israeli offensive earlier this year and did not apologize for US military attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"So all we can say is that there is a difference in the statements, and the statements of today did not include a mechanism that can translate his wishes and views into actions," said Barhoum.

According to the Popular Resistance Committees' armed wing, the Salah Al-Din Brigades, Obama's speech was pro-Israel.

"It is clear that regarding the Palestinian issue Obama is constrained by the Zionist lobby that controls the White House and surrounds him with Jewish advisors," spokesman Abu Mujahid told Ynet Thursday evening.

"We can assume from Obama's speech that the war against Islam will continue," he said.

June 03, 2009

Obama = Trojan Horse

Obama Renews Openness About His Muslim Roots Ahead of Egypt Speech The president showed long ago that he is comfortable talking about his roots, in his two biographical books -- now, he's citing those roots ahead of his speech to the Muslim world


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

June 3, 2009: President Barack Obama receives a gift of a gold necklace called the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, the country's highest honor, from Saudi King Abdullah at the start of their bilateral meeting at the King's Farm in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)

President Obama has spoken proudly of American Muslims, even referencing his heritage as the son of a Muslim man, ahead of his highly anticipated speech Thursday in Cairo aimed at shoring up relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

Obama's openness about his own Muslim heritage may seem startling after his presidential campaign last year went to great lengths to debunk false rumors about his religion -- he is Christian -- but the president showed long ago that he is comfortable talking about his roots, which are addressed in his two biographical books, "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope."

Now, Obama appears to be citing those roots as a tool for encouraging more moderate elements of Islamic society to rise up and ally with the United States.

He referred to his childhood in Indonesia in an interview with the BBC ahead of his trip. Adviser Denis McDonough did the same on Friday.

In an interview with a French television network, Obama also stressed the need for a better dialogue and the common ground between East and West.

"One of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslims Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world," he said.

And while addressing the Turkish Parliament two months ago, Obama said the United States has been "enriched" by Muslims.

"Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country -- I know, because I am one of them," Obama said.


Please open your eyes America to what Obama is!

He is a Trojan Horse!

June 02, 2009

Obama says Iran's energy concerns legitimate

The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:24 AM

LONDON -- President Barack Obama suggested that Iran may have some right to nuclear energy _ provided it proves by the end of the year that its aspirations are peaceful.

In a BBC interview broadcast Tuesday, he also restated plans to pursue direct diplomacy with Tehran to encourage it set aside any ambitions for nuclear weapons it might harbor.

Iran has insisted its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity. But the U.S. and other Western governments accuse Tehran of seeking atomic weapons.

"What I do believe is that Iran has legitimate energy concerns, legitimate aspirations," Obama said, adding that the international community also "has a very real interest" in preventing a nuclear arms race.

The president has indicated a willingness to seek deeper international sanctions against Tehran if it does not respond positively to U.S. attempts to open negotiations on its nuclear program. Obama has said Tehran has until the end of the year to show it wants to engage with Washington.

"Although I don't want to put artificial time tables on that process, we do want to make sure that, by the end of this year, we've actually seen a serious process move forward. And I think that we can measure whether or not the Iranians are serious," Obama said.

Obama's interview offered a preview of a speech he is to deliver in Egypt this week, saying he hoped the address would warm relations between Americans and Muslims abroad.


Are we starting to see the truth about Obama.

He is anti Israel and pro Muslim.

It is going to be a long four years.

Please G-D deliver Israel from what is coming.

June 01, 2009

Obama Blocks Sale To Israel

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Administration blocks helicopters for Israel due to civilian casualties in Gaza
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has blocked Israel's request for advanced U.S.-origin attack helicopters. ShareThis

Government sources said the administration has held up Israel's request for the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter. The sources said the request was undergoing an interagency review to determine whether additional Longbow helicopters would threaten Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

"During the recent war, Israel made considerable use of the Longbow, and there were high civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip," a source close to the administration said.

The sources said Israel has sought to purchase up to six new AH-64Ds in an effort to bolster conventional and counter-insurgency capabilities. They said Israel wants to replenish its fleet after the loss of two Apache helicopters in the 2006 war with Hizbullah.

The Israel Air Force has also requested U.S. permission to integrate the Spike extended-range anti-tank missile into the AH-64D. Spike ER, developed by the state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, has a range of eight kilometers and was installed on the Eurocopter Tiger and AgustaWestland A129 helicopters.

The sources said the deployment of Spike would require integration into the Longbow's millimeter-wave fire control and acquisition system. They said this would require permission from both Boeing and the U.S. government.

Israel's Defense Ministry and air force have discussed procurement of additional Longbows with the U.S. firm Boeing. But the sources said the Longbow as well as other defense requests have been shelved by the administration amid its review of the potential use of American weapons platforms by Israel.


For all you Jews that voted for Obama, do you really think he is pro Israel?

He will sell Apache helicopters to Egypt but not Israel, with friends like this...

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