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April 30, 2010

Leaders Lack Moral Courage

US: Proximity talks to begin next week

Peace process to resume? Secretary of State Clinton says US expects indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks to get underway next week; Special envoy George Mitchell will be returning to Mideast, she says

Latest Update: 04.30.10, 20:22 / Israel News

Back on track? US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday she expects Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks - indirect discussions through US mediators - to begin next week.

"We will be starting with proximity talks next week," Clinton told reporters, saying US special envoy George Mitchell would be returning to the Middle East.

Clinton said the US expected an Arab foreign ministers meeting on Saturday to endorse the new talks, which would give Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas political cover to resume indirect negotiations.

"Ultimately we want to see the parties in direct negotiations and working out all the difficult issues," Clinton said during a meeting with visiting Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah.

"They've been close a few times before," Clinton said. "So we are looking to see the resumption of those discussions."

One Abbas aide, Saeb Erekat, said his side would await the results of the Arab foreign ministers meeting on Saturday as well as of a Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee next week.

Kuwait's Al-Sabah said he was confident Arab states would back the initiative to get talks back on track. "We support fully the position that the United States has taken," he said.

US assurances to Abbas?

On Friday, State Department Spokesman Phillip Crowley said the US was "working around the clock to move forward with proximity talks. He added that the US hopes that indirect talks "will set the stage for a resumption of direct negotiations on all permanent status issues as soon as possible."

As part of the efforts to convince the Palestinians to enter the talks, the US has given Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas private assurances, including an offer to consider allowing UN Security Council condemnation of any "significant new Israeli settlement activity," the Guardian reported overnight Friday.

“Never let the enemy pick the battle site.”

George S. Patton

I know Patton was not a friend of the Jews, but he had the same heart of a warrior that Israel used to have.

Israel must go on the attack and seek victory for anything less than victory is a betrayal of the payers and hopes that lived in Jewish hearts for over 2000 years.

Israel must first say no to America.

This entails saying no more American money and no more "peace" talks with our enemy.

Israel then must seek to establish strong ties with other nations using our weapons technology and the lure to secure these ties.

But this will not happen and I will close with an other quote from Patton.

“Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men.”

April 29, 2010

Likud votes in Netanyahu's favor

Seventy-six percent of Likud Central Committee members vote in favor of prime minister's bid to postpone elections to movement's institutions. Moshe Feiglin, head of 'Jewish Leadership' branch, slams Netanyahu saying, 'We can't afford to have leader who takes Rights' votes and hands them over to Left'

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 04.30.10, 00:21 / Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed the Likud Central Committee members to vote, and it seems to have paid off. The official results released Thursday night show that the Likud chairman vas victorious in delaying elections in the party's institutions. Some 76% of the party's central committee members voted in favor of delaying elections, while 23% voted against the motion. In total, around 80% of the committee's members showed up to vote.

Netanyahu welcomed the results and said this is an "important achievement, which proves, once again, that the Likud is a responsible and sound movement, that deserves to lead the country." He thanked the party's members for responding to his calls "and leaving their homes to vote for the movement's true path."

Head of the party's right-wing "Jewish Leadership" movement Moshe Feiglin assembled his supporters after the ballots boxes were closed and said he accepts the loss, but vowed to run for the party's chairmanship soon. "We will be back running for the party's chairmanship sooner than we think, and we must win," he said at an assembly in a Jerusalem hotel.

"We cannot afford to have a national leader that takes the Right's votes and hands them over to the Left," said Feiglin, who leads the branch that is opposed to postponing elections. This movement will gather a strong, broad national camp that has a God, and has faith. Tomorrow morning I am going to see to it that people join Likud."

He went on to say, "It is possible that, if it wasn't for all kinds of escapades, we would have won – but there is certainly a large group that is not affected by my words."

'We are being cheated'
He said that during the election, it became apparent that Netanyahu is concerned "only with what happens within his party. If it wasn't for 'Jewish Leadership', nothing would have stood in his way to divide Jerusalem. Still, it seems we are working with our hands and legs completely ties. We are being cheated in the elections. "

Feiglin added, "The USSR collapsed when the public stopped legitimizing the government. Today I asked members of the Central Committee who voted in favor of Netanyahu: 'When you learn that Netanyahu used your votes to divide Jerusalem, who will you vote for?', and they said, 'for you'."

Fatah tensions flare as Abbas rejects Fayyad statehood plans

By Avi Issacharoff Haaretz Last update - 11:37 28/04/2010

The long-simmering tense relations between Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are flaring up again after
Abbas struck down a plan by Fayyad to declare Palestinian statehood
unilaterally in summer 2011.

In an interview with Channel 2 on Monday, Abbas said that a Palestinian
declaration of statehood - a scenario that provokes great concern in
Israel - is not on the agenda.

Abbas and Fayyad, longtime political rivals, have maintained a reasonable
working relationship. Both men are careful not to criticize one another or
contradict the other's statements in public.

However, sources in Ramallah said yesterday that their relations hit a rough
patch following Fayyad's interview with Haaretz earlier this month in which
he hinted that the PA would unilaterally declare a state in August 2011 if
peace talks with Israel fail.

Abbas and his aides were miffed at what they perceive as Fayyad's attempt to
circumvent his authority and dictate an agenda to the president and the
other institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization. As prime
minister, Fayyad is no more than the head of a government that is subject to
the authority of the president.

Fayyad's statements to Haaretz contradict a long-standing position held by
Abbas, who does not view a unilateral declaration of statehood as serving
Palestinian interests.

Fayyad's statements and actions are gaining greater popularity in public
opinion polls. The prime minister has also demonstrated greater independence
by taking decisions without input from the president's office. Abbas
associates are closely monitoring him. Despite Fayyad's claims that he has
no interest in running for the presidency, senior Fatah officials say, in
effect, he is running a political campaign by making high-profile
appearances usually reserved for elected officials.

Fatah observers note Fayyad's recent participation in a marathon in Nablus;
his burning of products made in the settlements; planting of olive groves;
and appearing in a Bedouin robe.

Fayyad is not a member of Fatah, and its members are looking with concern at
indications an increasing number of Palestinians are expressing support for
the prime minister's policies. Should Fayyad decide to run for president,
that could threaten Fatah's candidate for the post.

Abbas, in delivering remarks to the Fatah Revolutionary Council on Saturday,
appeared to have lost patience with Fayyad and said the only body authorized
to make decisions for the Palestinian people is the PLO.

"It is not the factions or the governments that take ownership of
decisions," Abbas said, indirectly hinting at Fayyad's independent course of

In Monday's interview with Channel 2 Arab affairs correspondent Ehud Ya'ari,
Abbas was asked whether the PA intends on declaring statehood in August
2011. "No, we will not take unilateral measures," Abbas emphatically said.
"We will abide by agreements."

Abbas' comments are interpreted as a ringing slap to Fayyad's plans. After
the Haaretz interview, the prime minister backtracked by saying that
Palestinian preparations for a state will be completed by August 2011.

Abbas associates reprimanded Fayyad for the interview, claiming that a
unilateral declaration would play into Israel's hands by limiting the scope
of the new state to 50 to 60 percent of the West Bank and leave it without
Jerusalem as its capital.

April 28, 2010

Poll: Majority of Israel's Jews back gag on rights groups

By Or Kashti Haaretz Last update - 10:34 28/04/2010

More than half of Jewish Israelis think human rights organizations that
expose immoral behavior by Israel should not be allowed to operate freely,
and think there is too much freedom of expression here, a recent survey

The survey, commissioned by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at
Tel Aviv University, will be presented Wednesday at a conference on the
limits of freedom of expression.

The pollsters surveyed 500 Jewish Israelis who can be considered a
representative sample of the adult Jewish population.

They found that 57.6 percent of the respondents agreed that human rights
organizations that expose immoral conduct by Israel should not be allowed to
operate freely.

Slightly more than half agreed that "there is too much freedom of
expression" in Israel.

The poll also found that most of the respondents favor punishing Israeli
citizens who support sanctioning or boycotting the country, and support
punishing journalists who report news that reflects badly on the actions of
the defense establishment.

Another 82 percent of respondents said they back stiff penalties for people
who leak illegally obtained information exposing immoral conduct by the
defense establishment.

"Israelis have a distorted perception of democracy," said Daniel Bar-Tal, a
professor at the university's school of education, and one of the
conference's organizers. "The public recognizes the importance of democratic
values, but when they need to be applied, it turns out most people are
almost anti-democratic."

Another conference participant, Ben-Gurion University's David Newman, called
the polling results "very worrying," adding that there has been an assault
on freedom of expression in recent years.

"We say Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, but in Europe they
are beginning to think of us otherwise," he said.

Virtually all the respondents, 98 percent, said freedom of expression was
important, but the picture changed when the questions got into the details.

Regarding human rights groups' rights to operate freely, responses varied
based upon the respondents' reported political views. Of those who said they
were right-wing, 76 percent said human rights groups should not have the
right to freely publicize immoral conduct on Israel's part.

The political differences were not as apparent in response to some other

The poll showed 65 percent of all of those questioned think the Israeli
media should be barred from publishing news that defense officials think
could endanger state security, even if the news was reported abroad.

Another 43 percent said the media should not report information confirmed by
Palestinian sources that could reflect poorly on the Israeli army.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents opposed harsh criticism of the country,
an increase of 10 percentage points from 2003.

"Faith in democratic values was not measured abstractly, but rather was put
to the test regarding specific cases. Then, it turns out the Israeli public
is not tolerant or pluralistic," Bar-Tal said. "The education system teaches
students about government authorities and election procedures, but there is
no in-depth discussion about democratic values and [how to] instill them.
The whole subject of values is perceived as something left-wing."

In contrast to Bar-Tal and Newman, Bar-Ilan University's Gerald Steinberg
said in academia, "it is actually people who are supposed to be pluralistic,
meaning people on the left, who oppose the freedom of expression of their

Steinberg is an active member of the organization NGO Monitor, which tracks
non-governmental organizations in Israel.

"The criticism we receive is not over the details and the facts, but rather
that we are fascists who are endangering democracy. Instead of opening the
subject for public debate, the complaints against us lower the quality of
debate," he said.

PA forces could trigger dustups'

Defense officials warn against security ops outside Area A.

Palestinian Authority security operations which deviate from PA-controlled Area A could generate clashes with IDF soldiers and armed settlers and lead to escalation in the West Bank, senior defense officials warned on Wednesday.

The admonition came as the army opened an investigation into an incident that started on Monday night, when PA security officers from Jericho pursued a Hamas man into territory under Israeli control in the Jordan Valley and, after a firefight, captured him.

Under Israel’s agreements with the PLO, PA security forces are allowed to operate in Area A – which is under complete Palestinian control. In rare cases and after receiving special approval from the IDF, they are sometimes allowed to operate also in Area B, where the PA has authority over civilian matters and Israel over security. Under no circumstances are the PA forces supposed to operate in Area C, which is under complete Israeli civilian and military control.

The incident in question began on Monday night in a village near Jericho, when PA forces tried to arrest a Hamas operative in the city. The Hamas man fled and ended up near Moshav Petzael, an Israeli settlement in the Jordan Valley. Settlers called the IDF after they heard gunfire.

The army said that the PA operation in Jericho had been coordinated with it, but that the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria was investigating the incident to prevent similar operations in Area C in the future.

In the past, there have been instances of PA security forces venturing into areas under Israeli security control without permission. Last August, for example, a Palestinian security officer was spotted near a junction north of the Efrat settlement just off Route 60, the highway connecting Jerusalem and Gush Etzion.

The PA policeman, who was from Bethlehem, told IDF officers that he had ventured out to the road, which had recently been opened to Palestinian traffic, to inspect a car accident. He was detained by IDF troops from the Etzion Brigade, and his weapon was confiscated. He was released several hours later.

The IDF’s concern is primarily due to the misunderstandings that can be caused by having armed Palestinians walking around in areas that are off-limits to them.

“This can lead to misunderstandings and violent clashes between the sides,” one IDF officer explained.

The army believes that the PA is testing it by sending forces to areas where they are not supposed to operate. One official said the move was in line with PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s plan to declare statehood by the summer of 2011.

“This way they are showing the Palestinian people that they are in control of the entire territory and have authority everywhere,” the official explained.

Five battalions of 500 Palestinian soldiers each, trained by US security coordinator Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton in Jordan, have already deployed throughout the West Bank alongside seven regional battalions.

By 2011, another five battalions will have undergone training. Fayyad’s plan is to then dismantle the regional battalions and expand the Dayton-trained battalions to close to 1,000 soldiers each, bringing the total number of PA soldiers to around 10,000. With the police and the Presidential Guard, the number of armed PA security officers would come to around 20,000.

It is going to come to a fight in the end, so why are we going to allow the USA to train an additional 5,000 terrorist?

Before the final fight their will be many incidents where PA forces and IDF soldiers will clash.

How many sons are we going to bury before the folly becomes clear to our leaders?

If it is so clear to so many that in the end we are going to fight why are we giving the PA time to train and equip more terrorist?

8 Har Bracha students AWOL

After 'operational strike', three combat yeshiva students absent from base, five others declared 'wanted' after refusing to transfer to hesder yeshiva
Kobi Nahshoni

Eight Har Bracha yeshiva students are missing from military service and are "wanted" by the army, including three combat soldiers from the Kfir brigade who left their base without permission. Ynet has learned that they intended to turn themselves over to their commanding officers in the coming days so that the IDF would be forced to cope with their protest.

A few weeks ago, some students from the Har Bracha yeshiva started what they called an "operational strike". Since then they have refused to take part in anything their units do.

Some have already been tried and jailed, but three others have been treated forgivingly by their officers and have not been punished. They interpreted this as an escape from coping with their ideological protest, and decided to make their protest more extreme.

"The soldiers hope that (the army) won't be able to ignore desertion by officers," one of their comrades told Ynet. "It's important to them (the army) understands that the strike is not a disciplinary offense of problematic guys. These are disciplined and excellent soldiers who want to get the IDF back to its real purpose. For this they are willing to run away from the base and even sit in jail."

Another five Har Bracha students have joined the three. The army has declared them 'absent' after they refused to transfer to a yeshiva within the hesder arrangement even though as soldiers they are required to be in active service or in an institution recognized by the IDF.

About a month ago, the Har Bracha yeshiva announced it would not try to change the defense minister's decision, and would try to return to the arrangement with the IDF as a hesder yeshiva, enabling those who wish to continue in the same track to study at a different yeshiva.

The yeshiva released a message, saying "Due to the threats and pressure from the defense minister on the Har Bracha yeshiva students, the yeshiva management has decided to assist the students to sign up in a different yeshiva, so that they can finish the hesder track in the IDF."

The yeshiva management decided that from now on students at the yeshiva would follow the same track as in other haredi yeshivas, postponing their military service till the end of their studies.

"We are satisfied with our public standing despite the high price the yeshiva is paying. We are sure that the connection with our students will not be harmed, and they will continue to visit, study and benefit from the spirit of the yeshiva. They are all loved and wanted in our Beit Midrash."

Har Bracha announced that "those students who decided not to accept the solution we offered and continue at the yeshiva while being prepared to be jailed, are sanctifying God… They are the future of the nation. We hope that in time, the important people at the Defense Ministry will change or return to their religion, and then Har Bracha will be able once more to offer its students to proudly take on military service while studying on the hesder yeshiva track."

This is not the way to do it.

A handful of guys saying they are on strike, stops nothing.

But can this be a start at stopping government policies, I don't think so.

The reason that I don't think so is that I know of certain combat units that have stopped letting Hesder guys into their unit.

Could these men have influenced more soldiers if they had stayed in and tried to educate their fellow soldiers, I think yes.

April 27, 2010

Special Border Police task force formed to protect Palestinians

IDF Spokesperson 26 April 2010 , 09:48

A special task force from the Border Police to be positioned in Samaria
region to prevent harm to Palestinian property and ensure public order. The
decision was made due to violent confrontations during Independence Day.

A special task force from the Border Police will be stationed in the
northern Samaria region in order to prevent retributional violence from
settlers against Palestinians, to prevent damage to property, and to ensure
public order. The force is expected to deal with complex challenges while
strengthening regional security.

Army radio reports that the Border Police intends to send experienced
veterans to the field that can handle complex situations as part of the task
The decision came in part due to violent confrontations during Independence
Day, where a settler lightly injured an IDF soldier by through a bottle at
him. Moreover, another suspect was arrested for puncturing the wheels of
military vehicles in the area. The suspect was arrested and taken for

April 26, 2010

Joke, is on some Jews

James Jones apologizes for 'Jewish merchant' joke after uproar

(Video) ADL says joke in which Jewish merchant swindles thirsty Taliban fighter 'inappropriate and stereotypical.' National security advisor: I wish that I had not made this off the cuff joke
Yitzhak Benhorin

VIDEO - National Security Adviser James Jones opened his remarks at the 25-year anniversary gala of the Washington Institute For Near East Policy last weekend with a joke in which a Jewish merchant fleeces a thirsty Taliban fighter.

CBS reported that the joke, which many claimed was in bad taste, was conspicuously absent from the version of the remarks distributed to the media.

Here is how it went: "A Taliban militant gets lost and is wandering around the desert looking for water. He finally arrives at a store run by a Jew and asks for water.

The Jewish vendor tells him he doesn't have any water but can gladly sell him a tie. The Taliban begins to curse and yell at the Jewish storeowner. The Jew, unmoved, offers the rude militant an idea: Beyond the hill, there is a restaurant; they can sell you water.

The Taliban keeps cursing and finally leaves toward the hill. An hour later he's back at the tie store. He walks in and tells the merchant: "Your brother tells me I need a tie to get into the restaurant."

Foreign Policy reported that the participants, many of whom were Jewish, laughed heartily, but conservative blogs and some Jewish community leaders pounced on the remark.

Anti-Defamation League head Abe Foxman called the joke “inappropriate," saying, "It's stereotypic," he said. "Some people believe they need to start a speech with a joke; this was about the worst kind of joke the head of the National Security Council could have told."

Jones apologized on Monday, saying, "I wish that I had not made this off the cuff joke at the top of my remarks, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it. It also distracted from the larger message I carried that day: that the United States commitment to Israel's security is sacrosanct."

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the joke was not included on the transcript because the release was based on Jones' prepared remarks.

Gibbs was quoted by CBS News as saying that the White House had not requested the apology and that it "rightly speaks for itself."

He tells Jewish jokes and Israel getting nuked by Iran doesn't worry him.

The biggest joke is on the Jews that voted for Obama

Obama fulfills Cairo pledge with entrepreneur summit

US president launches new effort to build business and social ties to Muslim world, but analysts say need for progress on big issues like Middle East peace will overshadow initiative

US President Barack Obama launches a new effort on Monday to build business and social ties to the Muslim world, but analysts say the need for progress on big issues like Middle East peace will overshadow the initiative.

Obama hosts a two-day Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship that will bring together about 250 successful business and social entrepreneurs from more than 50 countries, most with large Muslim populations, fulfilling a pledge he made in his Cairo speech to the Islamic world last June.

The president will address the summit at the end of the first day to underscore his commitment to "deepening our engagement around the world with Muslim-majority communities," Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said.

While the summit is widely viewed as a positive step that demonstrates follow-through on the Cairo address, analysts said Obama would ultimately be judged on his handling of the bigger issues in the Muslim world - the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Iran's nuclear program, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Davos crowd and more

The two-day entrepreneurial summit brings together a diverse group of people ages 20 to 79, "everybody from ... the Davos crowd to people that are not traditionally invited to things like this," said one senior administration official.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and other senior U.S. officials will participate in sessions alongside private sector experts like Yahoo! chief executive Jerry Yang, Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus and Arif Naqvi, head of Abraaj Capital, the largest private equity firm in the Middle East.

The aim is to bring together successful business and social entrepreneurs from different countries, venture capitalists, development bankers and other business experts to discuss ideas and share experiences with a view toward creating support networks that will help promote development in the region.

The White House has urged groups outside the government to participate by organizing their own related events, and that has spawned more than 30 other sessions by such groups as the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce, Arab Empowerment and the Middle East Youth Initiative at Brookings.

I could say lots of things about the Jews that voted for Obama, but why bother most of them till refuse to see the man for what he is.

IDF kills Hamas man near Hebron

Israeli forces encircle house of Hamas military wing official Ali Sweiti, call on him to exit. When Hamas man refuses to turn himself in, bulldozer demolishes part of house. Sweiti, behind 2004 shooting attack, found dead among rubble. 'It doesn't relieve the pain, but it's slightly encouraging,' says father of officer killed by Sweiti exactly six years ago

Hanan Greenberg
Latest Update: 04.26.10, 14:05 / Israel News

A joint Border Guard, IDF and Shin Bet force on Monday killed Ali Sweiti, 42, a member of Hamas' military wing in the Hebron area after encircling his house in the village of Beit Awa. Residents of the village carried Sweiti's body, and clashes broke out between the residents and the Israeli forces.

As the IDF encircled the house, Palestinians opened fire at the force. The Israel Defense Forces said no soldiers were injured in the shooting. During the operation, a bulldozer demolished part of the house.

The soldiers called on Sweiti to exit the house several times. After he refused to turn himself in, the force employed the "pressure cooker" procedure, which included firing at one of the house's external walls. Other methods were also used to get Sweiti to leave the building.

The force used a bulldozer to gradually shake the structure in which he was hiding and give him another chance to turn himself in. At the end of the operation, the terrorist was found dead among the rubble of the house he was hiding in.

Sweiti has been wanted by Israel since 2002, for his involvement in shooting attacks. Among other things, Sweiti was behind the killing of Border Guard officer Yaniv Mashiach in 2004. Two soldiers were injured in the 2002 incident.

Killed exactly 6 years after murder

The relatives of Border Guard officer Yaniv Mashiach had to wait exactly six years for their loved one's killer to be captured. Yaniv's father, Reuven, told Ynet that the Border Guard commander was the person who informed him of the death of his son's murderer.

"It doesn't relieve the pain," he said. "His death won't bring my son back, but knowing that he is no longer alive and won't be able to hurt Jews anymore is slightly encouraging."

Reuven said that the symbolic date – exactly six years after his son's murder – was special. "Yaniv's fellow soldiers always told me that no matter how long it takes, they will capture the murderer alive or dead, and now they've managed to do it in a special operation.

According to the father, "All terrorists, wherever they are, should know that the security forces will settle the account and therefore they should stop with the terror, because we'll never let go."

Yaniv's brother, Kobi, who traveled to Hungary on Sunday as part of his studies, spoke with the father after receiving the news. "Now I'm happy," he said. "I'm happy he won't smoke any cigarettes anymore or drink coffee and enjoy life."

April 25, 2010

Israelis oppose freeze, blame Obama for tension

Poll: Israelis oppose freeze, blame Obama for tension, think Obama turning
to Arabs at expense of Israel

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 25 April 2010

Poll carried out by Shvakim Panorama for Israel Television Channel 1 of a
representative sample of adult Israelis (apparently includes Israeli Arabs)
broadcast on the evening of 23 April as published in Yisrael Hayom today:

What do you think of the American demand to freeze construction in
Support 21.8% Oppose 71.6% Don’t know/refuse reply 6.6%

Who is responsible for the tension between the USA and Israel – Obama or
Obama 58.6% Netanyahu 16.2% Both 17.6% Don’t know/refuse reply 7.6%

Is Obama interested in improving relations with the Arab states at the
expense of Israel?
Yes 60.9% No 26.5% Don’t know/refuse reply 12.6%

April 23, 2010

MERF Appearance

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

The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 12 noon Pacific, 9pm 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

How can a retired four star general of the USMC be so wrong?

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:

What's the danger if Iran has nuclear bombs?

"A nuclear-armed Iran could transform the landscape of the Middle East,
precipitating a nuclear arms race, dramatically increasing the prospect and
danger of local conflicts, fatally wounding the global non-proliferation
regime, and emboldening the terrorists and extremists who threaten the
United States and our allies."
National Security Advisor James L. Jones

So here is what National Security Advisor James L. Jones thinks the downside
is if Iran has nukes:

#1. Nuclear arms race - both on a regional and global level
#2. Local conflicts - apparently with conventional weapons.
#3. "Emboldening the terrorists and extremists"

What's missing from the list?


Bottom line question: Does National Security Advisor James L. Jones
entertain the possibility that a nuclear-armed Iran might actually use a
nuclear weapon?

This is not an academic question.

When you weigh the costs of stopping Iran from getting the bomb against the
benefits, the cost-benefit equation is profoundly different if you think
that Iran might nuke someone.

If National Security Advisor James L. Jones and the rest of the decision
makers in Washington thought that Iran might nuke someone if they got the
bomb they would be willing to pay almost any price to make sure this didn't

But they don't.

And, unfortunately, Iran knows this.

April 22, 2010

Biden: Iran sanctions soon, no Israeli strike likely

American VP tells ABC 'everyone, including Netanyahu, agrees that next step we should take to curb Tehran's nuclear program is UN sanction route'

Published: 04.22.10, 21:22 / Israel News

Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday he expects new UN sanctions on Iran by late April or early May and dismissed the notion that Israel might attack the Islamic Republic before first allowing sanctions to take their course.

Biden issued the latest US warning to Iran, which is locked in a standoff with the West over its nuclear program, in an appearance on ABC television's "The View" talk show.

"Everyone from the Israeli prime minister straight through to the British prime minister to the president of Russia, everyone agrees the next step we should take is the UN sanction route," Biden said.

I hope Biden is wrong about Israel agreeing not to hit Iran.

If Israel ever agrees to allow an other country veto power over issues that effect the survivability of the State of Israel, all will be lost.

April 21, 2010

USA Misses The Boat . Again

US report: Iran's 1st priority is survival

Iran's military strategy aimed at deterring Israel and US, official American report says; Iranian military is large but inefficient, not equipped to counter Israeli army, document says
Yitzhak Benhorin

WASHINGTON – The Iranian military's prime objective is to preserve the regime and deter the US and Israel from striking, a Defense Intelligence Agency report submitted to Senate this week states.

"Iran's principles of military strategy include deterrence, asymmetrical retaliation, and attrition warfare," the report says. "Iran's military strategy is designed to defend against external or 'hard' threats form the United States and Israel."

"Iran's nuclear program and its willingness to keep open the possibility of developing nuclear weapons is a central part of its deterrent strategy," it says.

The report notes that Iran aspires to become the most influential Mideastern state, but in recent years its ideological objectives have given way to pragmatic considerations of survival.

No new aircraft
The report's declassified notion notes that while Iran's military comprises 20 million soldiers, it is mostly ineffective and unequipped to counter advanced armies such as Israel's or Turkey's.

"Iran maintains very sizeable military forces, but they would be relatively ineffective against a direct assault by well trained, sophisticated military such as that of the United States of it allies," the report notes. "At present, Iran's forces are sufficient to deter or defend against conventional threats from Iran's weaker neighbors."

The report includes a breakdown of Iranian military equipment, including its tanks, armored personnel carriers, and battleships. According to the report, the Iranian Air Force comprises 52,000 members, including 19 assault squadrons, 10 cargo squadrons, and one intelligence gathering squadron.

However, the report notes that Iran has not procured new aircraft in more than 10 years.

These idiots could not be more wrong.

Of course these are the same people that didn't see the fall of the Berlin Wall or have been unable to find Bin Laden.

They have give zero input to the strain of Islamic thought that infects the leadership of Iran the 12th Madi.

These people believe the world must be in flames before the 12th Madi can return from the well that he lhas lived in for centuries and lead Islam to victory.

So what do you do if you hold with these beliefs and the world is not in flames?

You develop a nuclear weapons program and provide the flames.

This report is 100% wrong.

Weekly Summary of Humanitarian Aid Transferred into the Gaza Strip

April 20th, 2010

IDF Spokesperson and CoGAT Update:

Over the last week, between April 11th and 17th, a total of 700 truckloads,
consisting of 17,412 tons of humanitarian aid were transferred into the Gaza
Strip from Israel via the various crossings. Likewise, four truckloads,
containing carnations and medical equipment, were exported from the Gaza

1,784,561 liters of diesel fuel and 956 tons of cooking gas also crossed
into Gaza.

Additionally, 488 medical patients and accompanying individuals from the
Gaza Strip crossed into Israel and the Judea and Samaria region for medical
treatment and 115 Palestinians entered Israel for other various reasons. 209
staff members of international organizations crossed into the Gaza Strip,
and 206 crossed from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

Essential humanitarian food products including wheat, flour, meat, chicken,
fish and cooking oil in addition to agricultural produce, animal feed,
hygiene products and medical supplies were among the goods that crossed into
Gaza this past week.

Why are we doing this are we really this stupid?

Nothing in or out of Gaza should be the policy of Israel.

Gaza protesters test Israeli no-go zone

Published today (updated) 20/04/2010 19:58

Gaza – Ma'an – Shots were fired after hundreds of Palestinians marched north
of Beit Lahiya toward the Israeli military no-go zone in the northern Gaza
Strip on Monday.

Local Initiative coordinator Saber Az-Za’aneen said residents began the
rally from the Atatra village raising Palestinian flags and marching toward
the barbed-wire fencing.

Az-Za’aneen said a number of Israeli military jeeps surrounded the area
where the rally was intended to take place and opened fire at them. No
injuries were reported.

An Israeli military spokesman said security forces operating in the same
area spotted a group of Palestinians approaching the barrier along the
northern Gaza Strip.

The force fired warning shots in the air in an attempt to drive them away
from the fence, the spokesman said. The group left the area without
incident, the official added.

It looks like a pen but it can foil a bomb

By Karin Kloosterman
April 15, 2010

A new weapon in the arsenal shared by airport security personnel and police resembles a pen but can detect bomb detonators in powder form at as little as five micrograms.

The ACRO-P.E.T resembles a pen and can detect TATP, a peroxide bomb detonator used in many major terror attacks worldwide.

It's a white crystalline powder with a distinctive acrid odor. TATP is a peroxide bomb detonator and an explosive of choice for airport bombers. If it had been detected at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the underwear bomber en route to Detroit several months ago would have been foiled much sooner.

Would-be bombers have managed to smuggle TATP on board before. In 2001, Richard Reid of al-Qaeda targeted American Airlines Flight 63 with a TATP trigger for a bomb concealed in his shoe. But underwear and shoe bombers beware: A technology developed by Israelis and Americans is now your nightmare.

Collaboration between an American researcher and Prof. Ehud Keinan of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology has culminated in a new way to foil terrorists carrying TATP-based explosives. Resembling a pen - although you can't write with it - the device is a new weapon in the arsenal shared by airport security personnel, police and environmentalists. Keinan and Prof. Philip Dawson from the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, recently developed and commercialized the ACRO-P.E.T. (Peroxide Explosives Tester) - a simple and cost-effective device for detecting TATP.

Operated by touch, the sensitivity of the device is quite high, as it can identify as little as five micrograms of TATP, an amount that can't be seen by the human eye. An operator touches the tip of the device to the surface of the suspicious material. The tip is then removed and the operator replaces it on the "pen" and presses three levers, each of which releases 300 micro liters of solution. A color change indicates the presence of TATP. If it's there, that's the time to make arrests.

"It's a next generation tool," Keinan tells ISRAEL21c, "most airports are not equipped with any devices [like this]."

Pinpointing terrorists before it's too late

At a cost of about $25 per unit, the explosives tester is being sold through Acro Security Technologies. Founded and based in Israel, Acro Security sells the ACRO-P.E.T. and other products to pinpoint terrorists before it's too late.

The pen-like device is a disposable item that can be used by non-experts, like US troops in the Middle East, customs police, regular police and even environmentalists.

"Sometimes we face environmental hazards that use peroxide-based chemicals," Keinan relates. "But it's especially useful at airports for reducing false positives any time peroxides or suspected peroxide materials are found. The main thing is the war against terror.

"Some major airlines equip every plane with these detectors. If, for example, the 25th of December Nigerian guy - if they knew using this device what material they had on board, they could have reported the material before landing. Knowing beforehand is important to know how dangerous a material is and how it should be handled, whether it's real or fake," Keinan explains.

Keinan hopes that the ACRO-P.E.T. device will be made available on all flights, giving airline hosts a quick and accurate way to test suspicious materials they may discover. This will help ground authorities to prepare better and respond more rapidly if a suspected terrorist manages to make his or her way on board.

Hard to detect, until now

TATP is extremely lethal and has played a role in major terrorist attacks for the past three decades, relates Keinan: "There are several reasons for the popularity of TATP among terror groups all over the world. It's easy to prepare from inexpensive raw materials, and was difficult to detect [until now]."

Previous research on the science behind the device was reported in the journal Crystal Growth and Design. And lucky for Keinan, he retained royalty rights after the Technion showed no interest in helping him to commercialize the research.

Keinan and Dawson's research was funded by organizations like the Binational Science Foundation (BSF), an Israel-US initiative that funds science research between the two countries to meet common goals.

"We invented the chemistry," Keinan tells ISRAEL21c. "It's based on enzyme catalysis, a colorimetric system sensitive to hydrogen peroxide. We developed the methodology, and hold the American patent, which is the basis of the product. It's been commercialized for about one and a half years and it's picking up momentum."

Dawson's lab has developed new protein engineering tools that enable synthetic organic chemistry to be applied directly to proteins. These tools are being used to address fundamental questions in protein folding, stability and enzymatic catalysis.

Ten years of science

Working on the science behind it for about 10 years, it took several years for the researchers to find the right investors to take their idea to the commercial phase. The Israeli contribution escorted the product through development, and through the first, second and third prototypes. The final product is now in use around the world in South Africa, Australia and China, and also in the US where the company is now focusing its marketing efforts.

Aside from his work on ACRO-P.E.T., Keinan is still working on research at the Technion and is an associate professor at Scripps. He would gladly tell ISRAEL21c about his latest project, but "it's security-related and highly classified," he admits.

April 20, 2010

Haredim demonstrate, try to burn flags in Beit Shemesh

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox take to streets in Bnei Brak, throw stones at police. In Beit Shemesh, Neturei Karta burn Israeli flags

Yoav Zitun
Published: 04.20.10, 17:25 / Israel News

While the State of Israel celebrates 62 years of independence, hundreds of Haredi demonstrators took to the streets Tuesday afternoon in Bnei Brak, clashing with police who tried to prevent them from burning Israeli flags.

The demonstrators blocked off a main road and threw stones at a patrol car, which was damaged. No injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, a group of Neturei Karta demonstrators in Beit Shemesh burned flags during a demonstration against the State.

It is not bad enough that Obama and Iran are against us?

We need so called Jews to hate us also?

I can't put in print what my feelings are against these so called religious, so called Jews!

April 19, 2010

Israel celebrates 62nd anniversary

Celebrations of joy replace Memorial Day sorrow as State marks 62 years of independence. PM Netanyahu says, 'We are not here by chance; we are here because this is our land.' Knesset Speaker Rivlin addresses divisions within Jerusalem

Israel's 62nd Independence Day celebrations commenced Monday evening with the traditional torch-lighting ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. The theme of this year's ceremony was Theodor (Binyamin Ze'ev) Herzl's adage, "If you will it, it is no dream" – and it honored the State's achievements on the 150th birthday of its visionary.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a special statement for the occasion, saying, "On this Independence Day we mark two of the Jewish nation's miracles: The miracle of revival and the miracle of building. The miracle of revival, because I an not familiar with any other nation in history that was scattered all over the world and lost control of its destiny but still managed to return to its homeland and rebuild its sovereignty there.

"The other miracle is building: What we have built in this land since the State of Israel's inception. Israel is quickly becoming a regional economic superpower and a global technological superpower. In this world of knowledge in the 21st century our possibilities are endless: In science, medicine, technology and art. In each and every field, the forces of genius within our nation break out and create a magnificent country," the PM's statement read.

Netanyahu also mentioned the nation's capital, saying, "We are not here by chance. We are here because this is our land. We've returned to our land, to our city - Jerusalem - because this is our land, this is our city.

"I know there are many more miracles ahead of us. Herzl said, 'If you will it, it is no dream,' – we willed it. We wanted what so many generations of Jews wanted; (Jews) who dreamed and prayed and cried a sea of tears with the hope that we will make it to this place," said Netanyahu, "I know we are capable of creating many more miracles."

During the ceremony, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin spoke about Herzl's contribution: "Sixty two years after the vision of Altneuland (the old new land) materialized, we, the generation of the country's inception, know full well that Israel's salvation came to us not by prophets, nor by diplomats, but only by those who dared to stop dreaming and start realizing; only by those who ceased to wait for the moment in which the revival of Israel will be in the hands of a Caesar, foreign king or government; only by those who rose up and made a move."

Rivlin spoke of life in Jerusalem, and the divisions among the city's population. "In an era of cultural openness, we are witnessing a dangerous process of deepening entrenchment of each group behind its four walls. This entrenchment only brings about cultural and political polarization.

"Look, for example, what Jerusalem has become in the past decade: separate neighborhoods, separate public transportation, separate shopping malls for haredim and seculars, Arabs and Jews. Ghettos separated by walls of estrangement, if not by walls of cement," he said.

"Before I light a torch," added Rivlin," Look how distant Jerusalem's reality is from the vision that brought the city together. Can we, in our current state, while under a harsh and painful offensive over the sovereignty of our own capital, say wholeheartedly that we had no part in its division into tribes, bits-and-pieces? Have we become addicted to walls yet again?

"The same walls that protect us, supposedly, from the 'other', but in fact only chain us to our fears? Our fear of the 'other' across the wall, be it an Arab or a haredi, is contradictory to the essence of Zionism; contradictory to everything that Zionism has created here over the past 150 years," he said.

The following were selected to light torches in this year's ceremony:

* Dalia Dorner, president of the Israeli Press Council and retired Supreme Court Judge.

* Ram Belinkov, former head of the finance ministry's budget division.

* Yossi Feldman, founder of Ein Gedi Field School and the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites.

* Sarah Shpechner, 91, who was a Palmah parachutist in Europe during the Nazi occupation and the first Israeli Women's Corps officer in the IDF.

* Amnon Lavi, principal of the Golani school for special needs children in Beit Shean who went blind at a young age.

* Tel-El Filou, 17, an instructor and organizer in the Tzofei Ha'Eda youth movement in Modi'in.

* Yousef Matanes, A Bir'im-native Arab Christian, active in promoting coexistence between Jews and Arabs.

* Professor Ariel Feldstein, head of the Sapir College academic program and one of the nation's leading experts on the life and philosophy of Theodore Herzl.

* Asher Hirsch, 83, head of the Zionist General Council and a veteran member of the Zionist administration.

* Eyra Chaitin, who works with the Jewish National Fund in the field of forestry – an occupation considered rare among women.

* Tzvi Levanon, 79, a reserve colonel in the IDF who serves as director of the Haganah Veterans Association on its 90th anniversary.

* Avraham Greenzeid, 84, who served as an officer in the Red army and fought many battles against the Nazis.

* Raya Strauss-Ben Dror, from the founding family of Strauss food company, who has spent her time establishing volunteer framework to promote Israeli society.

* Major Doctor Avraham Yitzchak, 37, who immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia at age 18 and is close to completing his studies as a surgeon.

According to data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics ahead of Independence Day, the State of Israel has a total population estimated at 7,587,000 people.

The Jewish population is estimated at some 5,726,000 (75.5% of the total population) and the Arab population at some 1,548,000 (20.4%), while the population of those considered "others," who do not belong to either group, is estimated at 313,000 (4.1%). Many belonging to the "others" group include immigrants who are not listed as Jews with the Ministry of Interior.

As for the weather, the forecast shows fair weather on Monday, but on Tuesday temperatures will rise and those planning to BBQ outdoors are recommended to dress lightly and drink plenty of water.

April 18, 2010

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day starts at sundown Sunday in memory of 22,682 soldiers that paid the price for us to have Israel . We also remember 2,000 victims of terror.

RIP Gai, Sharon, Dov, Yosef and Ariela.


Neturei Karta hold anti-Israel protest on Memorial Day eve

Members of radical anti-Zionist sect clash with police officers in Jerusalem during moment of silence in memory of fallen soldiers. One protestor arrested after torching Israeli flag

Shmulik Grossman
Published: 04.18.10, 22:47 / Israel News

While the Remembrance Day ceremony in honor of Israel's fallen soldiers took place at the Western Wall plaza Sunday evening, a group of Neturei Karta used the occasion to demonstrate their hostility towards the State of Israel.

Some 150 members of the anti-Zionist sect rioted in Jerusalem's Shabbat Square and waved anti-Israel signs. One protestor went as far as burning the Israeli flag and was promptly arrested.

An undercover police detective disguised as a haredi man spotted the suspect torching the flag and arrested him.

A local haredi man said that the group's protests this year had a harsher tone than in previous remembrance days. "They called out slogans against Israel and wrote 'Jews aren’t Zionists' on their signs. They continued rioting even when the siren went off," he said.

He further stated that the group's conduct was unacceptable to many of the haredim residing in the area.

These traitors should be deported, at the very least.

What I would really like to see is the whole group outlawed in Israel

April 16, 2010

MERF Appearance

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

The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 12 noon Pacific, 9pm 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

April 15, 2010

Poll: 91% against Obama imposing deal

By GIL HOFFMAN The Jerusalem Post 14/04/2010 07:45

Huge majority against forced plan to divide J'lem, cede Jordan Valley.

A huge majority of Israelis would oppose an attempt by US President Barack
Obama to impose a final-status agreement with the Palestinians, a poll
sponsored by the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA) organization
found this week.

Leading American newspapers reported last week that Obama was considering
trying to impose a settlement if efforts to begin indirect proximity talks
between Israel and the Palestinians proved unsuccessful. The option was
discussed in a meeting with current and former advisers to the White House.

Asked whether they would support Obama imposing a plan dividing Jerusalem
and removing the Jordan Valley from Israeli control, 91 percent of Israelis
who expressed an opinion said no and 9% said yes, according to the poll of
503 Israelis, which was taken by Ma’agar Mohot on Sunday and Monday and had
a 4.5% margin of error.

Eighty-one percent said it was improper for Obama to try to force such a
plan on the two sides, while 19% of those who expressed an opinion said it
was proper.

The poll asked whether it would create enduring peace or enduring conflict
should Jerusalem be divided, with Jewish neighborhoods remaining part of
Israel and Arab neighborhoods becoming part of a Palestinian state.
Eighty-four percent said conflict and 16% said peace.

The numbers were similar for the Jordan Valley, where 90% opposed
relinquishing Israeli control and 10% were in favor.

Meanwhile, a poll of Palestinians conducted on April 8-10 by the Center of
Opinion Polls and Survey Studies at An-Najah University in Nablus asked
Palestinians whether they would accept the creation of a Palestinian state
within the pre-1967 borders with a land exchange as a final solution for the
Palestinian problem, and whether they would support or reject making
Jerusalem a capital for two states.

The numbers on the two-state solution were 66.7% against, 28.3% in favor,
and 5% who did not know or did not express an opinion. On the Jerusalem
issue, 77.4 said they opposed such a plan, 20.8% were in favor, and 1.8% had
no opinion or chose not to express it.

Four Terrorists Targeted This Morning were Heavily Armed

IDF Spokesperson April 13th, 2010

IDF searches following this morning's incident near the central Gaza Strip
security fence, turned up the bodies of terrorists associated with the
Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization. The IDF found explosive
devices, assault rifles, hand grenades and additional weaponry on the

Earlier this morning, an IDF force identified a number of suspicious persons
planting explosives along the security fence in the central Gaza Strip. The
force fired at the suspects, and confirmed direct hits. Four militants were
apparently killed and two injured as a result of the shooting.

The presence of Palestinian civilians in the area adjacent to the security
fence in Gaza is used by terrorist organizations as cover for their
activities, including planting explosive devices, planning terrorist attacks
and attempts to kidnap IDF soldiers. For this reason, the IDF considers this
a combat zone.

On March 26th, an IDF officer and an IDF soldier were killed and two
soldiers were injured, during an exchange of fire with terrorists who were
planting explosive devices along the security fence.

Approximately 350 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel from the Gaza
Strip since Operation Cast Lead last year.

The IDF operates defensively on both sides of the Gaza Strip security fence
on a routine and daily basis, in order to locate and thwart terrorist
efforts and to ensure the safety of Israeli residents in the area.

The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of the State of
Israel and will continue to operate resolutely against anyone who uses
terror against it. The IDF holds Hamas as solely responsible for maintaining
peace and quiet in the Gaza Strip and its surrounding area.

April 14, 2010

IDF concerned over 'Fayyad intifada'

Army says escalation in West Bank violence unacceptable, taking measures to contain demonstrations against security barrier. 'A stone can be deadly,' senior IDF officer says
Hanan Greenberg

The IDF has been relaying messages to the Palestinian Authority asking that it work towards curbing riots and demonstrations in the West Bank, particularly those surrounding the security barrier.

The army fears the protests may lead to further escalation, and IDF Central Command chief Major-General Avi Mizrahi has ordered a series of measures aimed at defusing tensions.

The IDF is looking to end the weekly demonstrations against the construction of the West Bank security fence, which are held mainly in the Palestinian villages of Naalin and Bil'in. The protests usually result in clashes between security forces and demonstrators, among them hundreds of left-wing activists.

Two Palestinians were recently killed near Nablus when IDF forces fired rubber-coated bullets at them. The Palestinians claimed the soldiers used live fire.

Data compiled by the Central Command show that 2009 saw 120 riots in Bil'in and Na'alin, while the cost of the crowd-dispersing means used to restrain the demonstrators is estimated at NIS 6.1 million (about $1.7 million).

The army is also concerned by the support these riots, dubbed "the white intifada," are getting from the Palestinian Authority's leadership, particularly Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

The riots, during which demonstrators throw stones and firebombs, are organized and get media coverage.

"These demonstrations should be non-violent. They can protest quietly. We cannot accept a situation whereby throwing stones and Molotov cocktails is legitimate," a senior IDF officer told Ynet.

"The Palestinians claim the protest is non-violent, but we claim otherwise and refuse to let this situation go on. People are allowed to wave signs and sing, but we will not allow violence. A stone can be deadly," he said.

The data further indicate an increase in injuries among the Israeli security forces and the Palestinian demonstrators: From 102 injuries in 2008 (including 50 sustained by Israeli security personnel) to 145 in 2009 (62 sustained by Israeli security personnel).

As part of the effort to curb the violence, the army has arrested Palestinians suspected of igniting the riots and expelled foreign nationals who had participated in the demonstrations. In addition, the army is focusing more on pursing legal action against Israeli leftists and anarchists. Central Command chief Mizrahi has recently issued an order according to which the Naalin and Bil'in areas will be closed military zones on Fridays.

The army said the injunction is meant to make it clear to the Israelis taking part in the demonstrations that they are breaking the law.

UK authority: Western Wall not in Israel

Advertising Standards Authority wants tourism ads showing holy site removed because it implies 'occupied territories are part of Israel'

Published: 04.14.10, 11:24 / Israel News

The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) criticized Israel for including pictures of the Western Wall in a tourism advertisement, claiming that the holy site is technically not located within the country's borders, the Independent reported Wednesday.

"We told the Israeli Tourist Office not to imply that places in the Occupied Territories were part of the state of Israel," ASA, which is a public organization but not government-funded, said in a statement.

Whose temple was the western wall a part of?

It was part of the Jewish Temple not an Arab, Chinese or Christian temple.

It is part of the Jewish Temple, the two mosques are what does not belong.

April 13, 2010

Nothing In Or Out Of Gaza

Aluminum to enter Gaza after 3-year Israeli ban
Published yesterday (updated) 13/04/2010 10:40

Gaza – Ma'an – Israel has informed the Palestinian Authority that aluminum
and wood will be permitted entry into Gaza, officials said Monday.

The announcement was made by Nasser As-Seraj, assistant undersecretary in
the Ministry of National Economy, and was confirmed by Palestinian liaison
official Raed Fattouh.

Fattouh told Ma'an that the first truckload of wood is expected to enter
Gaza on Thursday -- the first delivery for over three years -- but that it
remains unclear when the transfer of aluminum is expected.

Israel prohibited the entry of a number of construction goods, including
aluminum, since Hamas' takeover of the coastal enclave in June 2007.

As a result, many homes and vital infrastructure destroyed during Israel's
Operation Cast Lead over 15 months ago remain damaged and in vital need of
repair, with many residents forced to live in tents.

I don't care if every Arab in Gaza has to live in tents.

I do care that goods that Israel will now allow into Gaza will be made into rockets to be fired into Israel.

But the world cries for terrorist and their supporters and Israeli leadership caves into the pressure.

Nothing in or out of Gaza, while they still hold a hostage and engage in acts of war against Israel.

Barkat wants to renew razing orders in east Jerusalem

Ynet learns Jerusalem mayor wants police to carry out demolition orders issued in October

Ronen Medzini
Published: 04.13.10, 13:15 / Israel News

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat demanded recently that the city's police force renew the razing of illegal structures in east Jerusalem on which demolition orders have been issued, Ynet learned Tuesday.

The municipality has held off on implementing the orders since October due to political instability and pressure on the part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer responded to Barkat's orders by calling the mayor "a strategic threat to the stability in the Middle East".

"Jerusalem Municipality has decided to adopt an extreme right-wing policy that may bring on another intifada and isolate Israel from the world. Barkat must retract his orders publicly, before it's too late," he said.

If the police opt to carry out the municipality's orders, the demolitions may begin within the next few days and renewed political backlash over illegal construction in the city can be expected.

Jerusalem Municipality said in response, "There is no news on the matter and no special demands have been made. The Jerusalem Municipality cooperates with The Israel Police to carry out court orders in all areas of the city according to the annual plans.

"The demolitions were delayed for a number of months until Jerusalem's development budget was approved by the Interior Ministry, which also includes funds for razing."

PA response

Elements in the Palestinian Authority were quick to express outrage over the step, which was described by a Fatah official as "a new Israeli war crime, a massacre against Palestinian homes in Jerusalem." Khatem Abd al-Kader, Fatah's Jerusalem chief said that the decision jeopardizes "hundreds of houses, mainly in Silwan but also in Ras al-Amud, Jabel Mukabar, Beit Hanina and other locations."

Al-Kader added, "This is a declaration of a new war. We have witnessed a feigned state of calm over the last few weeks in respect to the razing order, in the backdrop of pseudo-US pressure. The world must intervene to prevent this decision which adds fuel to the explosiveness of the Israeli policy."

Good, then Israel should do the same thing in all of Israel.

Arabs build illegal homes and nothing happens to them.

I would love to build a house on a hill top south of where my home is now, but can't do it because it is government land and if I built the government would come tear it down.But Arabs have been building where ever they want for decades and Israel does nothing.

Iranian official: We're month away from joining 'nuclear club'

Iranian Atomic Energy deputy chief says no country would consider attacking Islamic Republic after it reaches nuclear capabilities
Dudi Cohen

Iranian Atomic Energy deputy chief Behzat Sultani said Tuesday that the Islamic Republic will join the "nuclear club" within one month and added, "No country will consider attacking it after that." He provided no further details. Sultani added that 70% of the Arak nuclear reactor has been completed.

According to a report by the Iranian Fars news agency Sultani made the stataments during a meeting with students at the city of Kashan in central Iran. He boasted by saying, "despite the fact that our enemies thought Iran couldn't enrich uranium to a 20% level – we had no technical problem and it was performed under the agency's inspection."

Sultani stressed that Iran was only planning to use nuclear technology for electricity purposes. "Our next step is to expand the use of nuclear technology for other purposes than energy and fuel, so that food products, proteins and vegetables will sustain for longer periods and in higher quality."

'Different interpretation'

The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a response to a meeting held between Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President Barak Obama during the NPT conference in Washington. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tehran doesn't "consider the statement as approval of the US stance and unfair actions."

He told reporters on that "our interpretation is different" but didn't elaborate.

Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the possibility of a military conflict with Iran during an interview with CBS.

"I would not want the world to wake up to a conflict between Israel and Iran, quite simply because the international community has been incapable of acting," Sarkozy said, calling a possible Israeli strike against Iran "a disaster".

The French president added, "I consider the fact that Iran should get its hands on a nuclear weapon - a military nuclear weapon, together with the many statements made by Iranian leaders against the democracy that is Israel is dangerous and unacceptable."

If this is true, I have to wonder if it is too late to stop Iran from "joining the club".

If Israel's leaders made suck a huge mistake we are in deep trouble.

April 11, 2010

PM slams world silence on Iran

Netanyahu warns Iran’s genocidal intentions reminiscent of holocaust.

Marking the start of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day before a crowd of hundreds that gathered in the Warsaw Ghetto Square at Yad Vashem on Sunday night, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu chided the international community for its relative silence in the face of Iranian threats to destroy the Jewish State and the Islamic regime's ongoing race towards nuclear weapons.

"We are witness today to the new, old fire of hatred," Netanyahu said from the podium. "Hatred of Jews inflamed by organizations and regimes of Islamic extremists – most of all Iran and its satellites."

"Iran's leaders are rushing to develop nuclear weapons as they freely announce their desire to destroy Israel," he continued. "But in the face of these calls to erase the Jewish State from the face of the earth time and time again, we see at best mild protests, and these too seem to be fading."

"We don't hear the forceful protests that are required, we don't hear strong denouncement, or the angry voice," he added. "But as usual, there are those who direct their criticisms against us, against Israel."

"The world accepts Iran's declarations of annihilation yet we still do not see the international determination required to prevent Iran from arming. I call on the enlightened nations to rise up and denounce this intention to destroy, and to act with real determination to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons."

Speaking before the prime minister, President Shimon Peres also addressed the Iranian threat, stressing that the world could not display the apathy that had cost so many lives in the past.

"It is our right and duty to demand of the nations of the world not to repeat their indifference, which has cost millions of human lives, including theirs. The United Nations must be attentive to the threats of annihilation coming from one of its members, against another member state," Peres said.

Peres added that the fire in which Jewish books were burned during the Holocaust would continue to burn "in our hearts, as an impossible separation from the six million of our brothers, men, women, elderly. From a million and a half of our children – an incredible potential for life, for ability, [that was] annihilated – a loss never to return."

The ceremony began Sunday evening at 8 pm and was broadcast live on Israeli television. The central theme for this year’s Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day is "the Voice of the Survivors" – those who, according to a press release from Yad Vashem, “honor the victims and strive to safeguard their memory.”

Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, himself a Holocaust survivor, lit the Memorial Torch at the beginning of Sunday's ceremony. Hana Weiss also spoke on behalf of the survivors.

After six survivors – Eliezer Ayalon, Leo Luster, Sara Israeli, Hannah Gofrit, Baruch Shub and Jakob Zim – each lit a torch, a traditional memorial service for the victims of the Holocaust took place.

Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yonah Metzger recited Psalms, Chief Sefardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar recited Kaddish and Cantor Asher Hainowitz recited El Ma'aleh Rahamim, a prayer for the souls of martyrs.

Other Participants in the ceremony included musician Gali Atari and the Ankor Choir under the direction of Dafna Ben Yohanan, as well as the IDF Paratroopers’ Honor Guard. Actor Lior Ashkenazi also recited a narrative piece.

During the weekly Cabinet meeting earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu announced that the Cabinet had decided to allocate NIS 50 million in subsidies for medicines for Holocaust survivors.

"Approximately 80,000 survivors of the camps and ghettos will receive discounts of up to 90% on medicines," Netanyahu said.

The Cabinet also approved significant discounts in electricity payments for Holocaust survivors and disabled World War II veterans who are recognized as needy by local authorities.

"These decisions join others that have been made in recent years and are designed to assist survivors," Netanyahu added. "The fact that we are making these two decisions today, at the beginning of the Government's second year in office, attests to our abiding commitment, as well as that of the entire country, to the survivors."

April 09, 2010

MERF Appearance

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

The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 12 noon Pacific, 9pm 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

Netanyahu cancels trip to U.S. nuclear summit

By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Service and Agencies Last update - 00:27 09/04/2010

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not leave next week on a planned trip
to Washington, where he was scheduled to participate in a nuclear security
summit hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama, Israel Radio reported on

Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor will take Netanyahu's
place in the nuclear summit, the radio report said.

Obama has invited more than 40 countries to the summit, which will deal with
preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to terrorist groups.

Netanyahu was due to arrive in Washington on Monday evening and was set to
take part in three or four sessions on Tuesday before returning to Israel on

While the reason for Netanyahu's cancellation was not made immediately
clear, sources claimed that the PM may have canceled the trip for fear Egypt
and Turkey would demand that Israel sign up to the international Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT.

Why should Israel go to this summit at all?

My first thoughts were good for Bibi for not going when I heard this on the news. But now I read that Israel is sending a deligation, I have to wonder how stupid is Bibi.

Bibi did not cancel Israel's trip to the summit, just Bibi is staying home.

April 08, 2010

Iran to Unveil New Nuclear Achievements This Friday

Iran to Unveil New Achievements on National Day of N. Technology
News number: 890116108015:33 | 2010-04-05Nuclear

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali
Akbar Salehi announced on Monday that the country plans to unveil a series
of new achievements on Iran's annual National Day of Nuclear Technology.

"On Friday, concurrent with the National Day of Nuclear Technology, a number
of our country's achievements would be unveiled in the presence of the
president," Salehi stated.

Salehi did not mention if the new achievements have been made in Iran's
indigenous civilian nuclear technology or any other field, but said that the
Iranian people should wait to hear some good news during the ceremonies to
be held on Friday.

The nuclear official further pointed to the ongoing international pressures
on Iran for its nuclear activities, and called on his organization's
personnel to double their endeavors and efforts to "make up for the rough
political and international conditions created by the West against Iran".

"Self-reliance in this (nuclear) industry requires doubled and multiplied
activities and needs double endeavors and high self-confidence if we intend
to be in a good position," he added.

Washington and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear
weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never
presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran
denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful
purposes only.

Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to
provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel
would eventually run dry.

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling
every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment,
Tehran is now under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for
turning down West's illegitimate calls to give up its right of uranium

Tehran has dismissed West's demands as politically tainted and illogical,
stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians' national
resolve to continue the path.

April 07, 2010

Yahya Ayyash building 'shocking incitement'

Prime Minister's Office shocked by report that Palestinian presidential offices will be named after Hamas' chief bomb maker, says 'world must strongly condemn this wild incitement by the Palestinians'. PA officials deny report
Roni Sofer

The Prime Minister's Office expressed its anger Wednesday over a report on a decision to name the Palestinian presidential offices being built in Ramallah after arch-terrorist Yahya Ayyash and called on the international community to condemn it.

Ayyash, who was Hamas' chief bomb maker and was nicknamed "the engineer", was assassinated by Israel in January 1996.

Sources in the Palestinian Authority denied that such a building existed and noted that only recently the PA avoided naming a Ramallah square after a female terrorist who carried out a deadly terror attack on an Israeli bus in 1978.

"This is shocking incitement to terrorism by the Palestinian Authority," Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in response to the decision, which was reported by Channel 10.

"Next to a Palestinian Authority building in Ramallah, a street is being named after arch-terrorist Yahya Ayash, who murdered hundreds of innocent Israeli men, women and children. The world must strongly condemn this wild incitement by the Palestinians for terror and against peace."

Ayyash, born in 1966, was the most wanted terror suspect in the territories before being assassinated 14 years ago. In 1992, while studying electrical engineering at the University of Birzeit, he joined Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. That same year he prepared a car bomb for the first time. It was meant to explode in the Ramat Gan area but was defused by sappers.

He was active in the West Bank and planned car bombs, smuggled explosive devices into Israel and trained suicide bombers. For four years he would wear a skullcap, dress as a woman and driver cars with stickers supporting Israel's rule in the Golan Heights in order to avoid the Israeli security forces.

In January 1995, several months after a deadly terror attack on Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Street, he escaped to the Gaza Strip for fear of being killed. A year later, he was assassinated as his bomb-laden cell phone exploded.

April 06, 2010

What Is Obama's Game

Gates: Iran, N. Korea not immune from attack

US unveils new nuclear policy forswearing use of atomic weapons against non-nuclear countries; defense secretary emphasizes all options open regarding countries failing to comply with Non-Proliferation Treaty

The Obama administration unveiled a new policy on Tuesday restricting US use of nuclear weapons but Defense Secretary Robert Gates emphasized that "all options are on the table" when it comes to nuclear-defiant Iran and North Korea.

Kicking off a hectic week for President Barack Obama's nuclear agenda, his aides rolled out a strategy review that renounced US development of new atomic weapons and could herald further cuts in America's stockpile.

The announcement, calling for reduced US reliance on its nuclear deterrent, could build momentum before Obama signs a landmark arms control treaty with Russia in Prague on Thursday and hosts a nuclear security summit in Washington next week.

Obama's revamped strategy is likely to draw criticism from conservatives who say his approach could compromise US national security and disappoint liberals who wanted the president to go further on arms control.

Under the revamped policy, the United States for the first time is forswearing use of atomic weapons against non-nuclear countries, a break with a Bush-era threat of nuclear retaliation in the event of a biological or chemical attack.

But the new strategy comes with a major condition that the countries will be spared a US nuclear response only if they are in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That loophole means Iran and North Korea would not be protected.

During a news conference on the release of the US Nuclear Posture Review, Gates had a clear message for these two states.

"We essentially carve out states like Iran and North Korea, that are not in compliance with (the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), and basically all options are on the table when it comes to countries in that category along with non-state actors who might acquire nuclear weapons," Gates told reporters.

The Nuclear Posture Review is required by Congress from every US administration but Obama set expectations high after he vowed to end "Cold War thinking" and won the Nobel Peace Prize in part for his vision of a nuclear-free world.

Seeking to set an example, the Obama administration said the United States would consider use of nuclear weapons only in "extreme circumstances" and committed to not developing any new nuclear warheads.

But it said that while reducing the role of nuclear weapons in national security, the United States would strengthen its conventional arsenal.

The administration also pledged to pursue further arms control with Russia beyond the new START pact Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will sign this week promising to slash nuclear arsenals by a third.

Obama now faces the challenge of lending credibility to his arms control push while not alarming allies under the US defense umbrella or limiting room to maneuver in dealing with emerging nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea.

Next week Obama is due to convene a summit meeting in Washington, which will be attended by some 50 heads of state, to discuss nuclear security around the world. Iran is also holding a conference, to be held a few days after the US summit, under the heading – nuclear energy for all, nuclear arms for none.

Iran will be Obama's first major test for the new nuclear strategy. In an interview with the New York Times, Obama clarified that Iran's current direction will enable it to obtain nuclear capabilities, but he did not mention any timeline. He also avoided the question of whether the US was aware, as Israel is, that a nuclear Iran is to all intents and purposes the same as a nuclear-armed Iran.

The review is a test of Obama's effort to make controlling nuclear arms worldwide a signature foreign policy initiative. It is also important because it will affect defense budgets and weapons deployment and retirement for years to come.

Is this an attempt by Obama to take away Israel's deterrence ?

That is if Israel has nuclear weapons.

Would this new policy remove from the table Israel responding with nuclear weapons if we were to be hit by Arab chemical weapons?

If Israel were to be hit by chemical weapons would America back a response by nukes under this new policy.

If memory serves me correct it used to be any weapon of mass destruction was equal to any other weapon.

In other words if the USA was hit with chemical or biological weapons then the USA could and would respond with nuclear weapons.

Now the USA will only respond to nuclear weapons and biological attacks using nukes.

How bad must a biological attack be before the USA would use nukes or allow Israel to use nukes?

Is a biological attack that kills 50 people worse than a chemical attack that kills 5000?

Why did Obama take chemical weapons out of the formula, because the Syrians, Saudis and other Arab countries have chemical weapons?

April 04, 2010

Survival Is The Issue

GAZA, April 3 (KUNA- Kuwait News Agency) -- The Free Gaza Movement and the
Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH), in cooperation with Turkish, foreign and
European associations in Istanbul, decided to revive the "marine uprising"
and form a convoy of ships that would said to Gaza.

Deputy chief of the popular anti-siege committee Jamal Al-Khudari, in a
press release, welcomed this move and said that such coordinated efforts
would lend technical and logistic support to the campaign.

Around 20 vessels, among them Turkish, Malaysian and European ships, will
head to Gaza by the end of April or the beginning of May, depending on
weather conditions and technical arrangements, he noted.

Al-Khudari wished that this would break the siege on Gaza, and open a
waterway between the Strip and the world to allow freedom of movement of
A number of political, media and parliamentary figures from various
countries will be onboard those ships, which will also carry building
material, cement, medical supplies, relief and humanitarian aid, school
stationary, electrical transformers and children's food supplements, he

A large number of ships set said for Gaza in an express of support to the
Palestinian people, but Israel prevents a lot of these from passing through.

Maybe if Israel would have reacted like I suggested this idea would not keep growing.

We should have sunk the first ship they tried to sale into Gaza.

Israel has to make up it's mind if it wants to survive, I am not sure what the answer would be.

Fatah: Hamas realized projectile fire useless

Published today (updated) 04/04/2010 10:13

Ramallah - Ma'an - Fatah said Saturday evening that the movement appreciated
Hamas' decision to deter the launching of homemade projectiles from Gaza
toward Israeli towns, a spokesman said.

Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf said that comments made by Hamas leader Ayman
Taha on the BBC were a "positive development," adding that "Hamas realized
President [Mahmoud] Abbas' call upon the movement, which was made more than
once, to avoid disastrous Israeli reaction toward homemade projectiles."

"This realization came late, as Hamas previously chose to neglect such calls
out of commitment to partial interests and external agendas," Assaf added.

"How long it will it take Hamas to realize that it is necessary to end
disagreement which has harmed the Palestinian cause, in the same way as the
movement has realized that homemade projectiles are harmful to Palestinian
interests," the spokesman said.

Taha told the BBC that Hamas is "working to curb Gaza rocket attacks," while
deposed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh also urged the international community
to intervene to avoid an escalation in violence.

"We are contacting the other Palestinian factions in order to reach an
internal consensus as to the measures we may take in order to protect our
people and strengthen our unity," Haniyeh said.

Taha said the de facto government was "working hard to deter any faction
from acting individually."

Israel allows goods for trading into Gaza

For first time in three years privately imported clothes, shoes enter Strip, but merchants say goods have been damaged by being held at port since 2007 and that they need more to replenish stocks

Israel allowed a shipment of clothes and shoes for Palestinian traders into the Gaza Strip on Sunday for the first time three years.

A military spokesman said clothes and shoes had been allowed into the territory on a regular basis as part of humanitarian aid. But this was the first time that privately imported clothing was allowed in for traders to sell on.

Palestinian officials said the goods arrived in the coastal enclave via the Kerem Shalom border crossing. Ten trucks of clothing and footwear were expected during the day, they said.

Why would we do such a thing, when Kassam rockets are being fired into Israel?

Maybe I missed the news and thee Palestinians released their hostage Gilad Schalit.

Oh I know why, we have a tough guy named Bibi as Prime Minister.

Tough guy, yeah right he is going to fold.

April 02, 2010

MERF Appearance

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

The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 12 noon Pacific, 9pm 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

Violent day in West Bank

Several clashes reported across Judea, Samaria Friday: Some protestors reportedly hurt by IDF forces during violent rallies; US national detained by troops; elsewhere, Israeli female sustains light wounds in stoning attack
Shmulik Grossman

A violent Friday across the West Bank saw stone-throwing attacks and clashes involving settlers, Palestinians, leftist protestors, and security forces.

In a demonstration held at east Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarah neighborhood, dozens of leftist and Arab activists gathered in order to protest the government's intention to "Judaize" the neighborhood.

Several protestors were hurt in the clashes and others were detained.

Elsewhere, dozens of settlers from Yitzhar headed to the Palestinian village of Hawara in order to hold a protest march. The demonstrators were upset after settlement resident Shmulik Cohen sustained serious wounds Thursday as his vehicle was stoned.

According to the settlers, Palestinian villagers hurled stones at them, before Border Guard forces arrived at the site and dispersed the stone-throwers using tear gas.

"If defense forces do not provide us with security, nobody should be surprised to see the residents trying to take care of it on their own," one protestor said.

However, the army said that settlers were hurling stones at the soldiers during the protest and that the rally was dispersed without any injuries. Responding to the IDF's claims, a source in Yitzhar slammed the army for smearing the settlers instead of ensuring their safety.

Meanwhile, at least two cases of stone-throwing attacks on Israeli vehicles were reported in Samaria. In one case, an Israeli female sustained light wounds northeast of Ramallah and headed to hospital for treatment. No injuries were reported in another stoning attack, near the Kalandia roadblock south of Nablus. A vehicle was damaged in that incident.

US citizen detained

In another clash, in the village of Nabi Salah northwest of Ramallah, leftist protestors said that two men were hurt by IDF rubber bullets. The wounded protestors were hit in the arm and leg, the leftist activists said. The IDF denied accusations that it used live fire in dispersing the protest, insisting that forces only used rubber-coated bullets and tear gas.

Violent clashes and rallies were held at several other West Bank sites. In one village near Ramallah, about 100 Palestinians hurled stones at IDF forces. A similar incident was reported in a Palestinian village south of Bethlehem. A US citizen who demonstrated at the site along with about 80 Palestinians confronted a Border Guard police officer and was detained.

IDF forces at the site responded to the violence with tear gas and declared the area a closed military zone.

In yet another protest, three photojournalists were injured, according to Palestinian sources. An Italian national at the site was reportedly detained.

Elsewhere, hundreds of leftist activists, Palestinians, and foreigners gathered for the weekly anti-fence protest in the villages of Na'alin and Bil'in. Protestors hurled stones at security forces in both sites. No injuries were reported.

Ronen Medzini and Ali Waked contributed to story

April 01, 2010

Israeli warplanes bomb Gaza Strip, Palestinians say

Week after two soldiers killed near Israel-Gaza border and few hours after Qassam hits south Israel, witnesses say IAF carried out at least five missile attacks on various targets; no immediate reports of casualties

Ali Waked and Reuters
Latest Update: 04.02.10, 01:34 / Israel News

Israeli warplanes carried out at least five missile attacks on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip overnight Friday, Palestinian witnesses said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Witnesses said four of the air strikes took place near the central town of Khan Younis, the site of a deadly clash last week between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen. The fifth air strike rocked Gaza City.

Shin Bet notes rise in Palestinian terrorism

Print Edition
Photo by: AP

125 attacks in March compared to 53 in Feb.; hike attributed to recent J'lem unrest.

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) released on Thursday its monthly report on March and noted a slight increase in Palestinian terrorism which it attributed to the recent violent demonstrations in Jerusalem.

In total, 125 terror attacks were recorded in March in comparison to 53 in February. The major increase was recorded in Jerusalem and along the Gaza border, where three people were killed, including a Thai worker and two IDF soldiers.

In Jerusalem, 27 attacks were recorded in contrast to 3 in the month before. 62 attacks were recorded in the West Bank in contrast to 37 in the previous month. In total, there were 54 Molotov cocktails thrown in the West Bank and another 25 in Jerusalem.

Israel fears Obama heading for imposed Mideast settlement

By Ari Shavit, Haaretz Correspondent Last update - 02:26 29/03/2010

U.S. President Barack Obama's demands during his meeting with Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu last Tuesday point to an intention to impose a permanent
settlement on Israel and the Palestinians in less than two years, political
sources in Jerusalem say.

Israeli officials view the demands that Obama made at the White House as the
tip of the iceberg under which lies a dramatic change in U.S. policy toward

Of 10 demands posed by Obama, four deal with Jerusalem: opening a
Palestinian commercial interests office in East Jerusalem, an end to the
razing of structures in Palestinian neighborhoods in the capital, stopping
construction in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, and not building the
neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.

But another key demand - to discuss the dispute's core issues during the
indirect talks that are planned - is perceived in Jerusalem as problematic
because it implies that direct negotiations would be bypassed. This would
set up a framework through which the Americans would be able to impose a
final settlement.

It is not just Obama's demands that are perceived as problematic, but also
the new modus operandi of American diplomacy. The fact that the White House
and State Department have been in contact with Israel's European allies,
first and foremost Germany, is seen as part of an effort to isolate Israel
and put enormous political pressure on it.

Israeli officials say that the Obama administration's new policy contradicts
commitments made by previous administrations, as well as a letter from
George W. Bush in 2004 to the prime minister at the time, Ariel Sharon.
According to this view, the new policy is also incongruous with the
framework posed by Bill Clinton in 2000.

Senior Israeli sources say that as a result of the U.S. administration's
policies, the Palestinians will toughen their stance and seriously undermine
the peace process' chances of success.

Moreover, sources in Jerusalem say that the new American positions undermine
the principle of credibility that has guided U.S. foreign policy since the
end of World War II. Ignoring specific promises made to its Israeli ally
would make other American allies lose trust in its commitments to them.

Israeli officials warn that if the United States shirks its past
commitments, the willingness of the Israeli public to put its trust in
future American guarantees will be undermined - as will the superpower's
regional and international standing.

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