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April 29, 2011


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

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

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page

New Middle East...

Hamas to PLO: Rescind recognition of Israel

Hamas makes its position clear: Group leader Haniyeh says Israeli presence 'on our land illegal, cannot be recognized.' Foreign Minister Lieberman urges Europe to adopt cautious approach to Palestinian unity deal
Elior Levy

Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh urged the PLO Friday to rescind its recognition of Israel in response to the Jewish state's objection to the Palestinian unity agreement.

Haniyeh said that there was no justification for recognizing the "Israeli entity" in wake of Israel's objection to Palestinian rights and unity.

Their presence on our land is illegal and cannot be recognized," the Hamas leader said.

Earlier, Haniyeh stressed that the temporary Palestinian government to be established following the unity deal will not embark on negotiations with Israel. He also made it clear that his group had no intention of recognizing the Jewish state.

Speaking on Friday, Haniyeh downplayed Israeli threats to thwart Palestinian reconciliation efforts.

"We move forward on what serves the interest of the Palestinian people, and the Israeli positions are of no interest to us," he said.

Israel needs to go on the attack.

Tell the world, no Palestinian state ever and Camp David is dead.

Bibi then needs to move the IDF into the Sinai in mass to secure the southern front.

Welcome to the new Middle East. But it seems like the same old Middle Eat to those of us not sticking our heads in the sand

April 28, 2011

New Egypt Part 2

Egypt to permanently open Rafah border crossing'
Egyptian FM Elaraby tells Al-Jazeera that Gaza crossing could be opened within 7 to 10 days; "steps taken to alleviate suffering of Palestinians."

The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza will open on a permanent basis within seven to ten days, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby told Al-Jazeera during an interview Thursday.

He said during the interview that steps would be taken in order to alleviate the "suffering of the Palestinain people."

The opening of the crossing would allow greater freedom of movement for people on both sides of the border, as well as goods in and out of Gaza without Israeli permission.

New Egypt Steps Out

Egypt sending team to Gaza to help implement unity deal
Team to help restructure, unify security forces in Gaza, a key condition for the success of the Hamas-Fatah accord, Egyptian security source says.

CAIRO - Egypt will send a security team to the Gaza Strip to help implement a reconciliation agreement reached by rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas, an Egyptian security source told Reuters on Thursday.

Restructuring and unifying security forces in Hamas-run Gaza is a key condition for the success of the accord, brokered by Egypt on Wednesday to overcome a rift that had stifled a Palestinian drive for independence.

"An Egyptian security delegation will head to Gaza to help settle and organize the internal security situation there, now that the reconciliation agreement is finally in place," said the security source, who declined to be identified.

He said the security team would seek to meld the disparate security forces belonging to Palestinian factions in Gaza, but declined to explain how.

The deal provides for the creation of a non-factional professional security force which would be subject to scrutiny by the Palestinian legislature.

Another security source said the team would consist of specialists from various branches of the Egyptian army. Like in a previous mission that ended in 2007, Egypt's intelligence service will oversee the team's work in Gaza.

The new Egypt is stepping out. It will not be like the old Egypt, where a cold peace paid the bills of an evil man and his family.

The new Egypt is going to be much more openly hostile to Israel and in time go to war with Israel.

Just think if Israel had never made peace with Egypt, they would be broke and have a military that was in worse shape than their bank account.

Instead they have some money in the bank and F16 planes and top of the line tanks from the Americans.

I hope one day Israel will learn we never win when we talk only when we fight do we achieve victory.

April 27, 2011

Hamas: National unity gov't won't take part in peace talks

Mahmoud Zahar says new Hamas-Fatah agreement doesn't mean terror group will recognize Israel or that it will participate in peace negotiations; Netanyahu says PA must choose between peace with Israel, peace with Hamas.

The establishment of a Palestinian national unity government does not mean that Hamas will recognize Israel or will participate in peace negotiations, senior Hamas official and a member of the Hamas delegation to the Cairo discussions Mahmoud Zahar said overnight Wednesday in Cairo.

"Our plan does not involve negotiations with Israel or recognizing it," Zahar said. "It will be impossible for an interim government to take part in the peace process with Israel."

Earlier, following a series of secret meetings in Cairo and Damascus over the past few weeks, Hamas and Fatah announced that they struck a deal to form a “national unity” government, and hold elections within a year.

The agreement, which has been hailed by both sides as “historic,” was reached under the auspices of Egypt’s Foreign Ministry and General Intelligence Force.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby said the agreement was aimed at paving the way for the Palestinians to seek UN recognition in September of an independent state on the 1967 lines.

“Palestinian divisions can’t continue while efforts are being made to ensure recognition of a Palestinian state,” Elaraby said, adding that he planned to visit Ramallah soon for talks with Palestinian Authority officials on this and other matters.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the PA needed to choose between a peace deal with Israel and one with Hamas.

“Peace with both is impossible, because Hamas aims to destroy the State of Israel and says that openly,” Netanyahu said, in a filmed statement uploaded onto YouTube. “It fires missiles at our cities and at our children.”

Netanyahu said the whole idea of reconciliation showed the PA’s weakness and raised questions of “whether Hamas will gain control over Judea and Samaria, the way it did over the Gaza Strip.

“I hope that the Palestinian Authority will make the right choice – that it will choose peace with Israel. The choice is in its hands.”

Representatives of the rival parties signed initial letters of an Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement, said Izat Risheq, a member of the Hamas delegation that held talks in Cairo with Fatah officials.

He said Egypt would invite leaders of all Palestinian factions to attend the ceremony for the signing of the formal reconciliation agreement between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal.

The Hamas delegation to the reconciliation talks was headed by Mashaal’s deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk, while the Fatah team was headed by Azzam al-Ahmed.

Zahar said the accord called for the formation of an interim unity government that would consist of “professional” figures, and reviving the work of the Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council, which has been paralyzed because of the Hamas-Fatah dispute.

The two parties have also agreed to release Hamas and Fatah prisoners held in each others' jails and to the establishment of a joint security committee, Zahar said.

Ahmed said the two sides had reached agreement on all points of contention, including the make-up of the unity government, fixing a date for presidential and parliamentary elections, and restructuring the PLO.

He said that next week, the Egyptians would summon representatives of all Palestinian factions to Cairo to hear their responses to the Hamas-Fatah deal.

Ahmed said the Egyptian authorities had been holding secret contacts with Hamas and Fatah in the past few weeks in a bid to end the dispute between them.

Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, dismissed Netanyahu’s warning to the PA that it must choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas.

Abu Rudaineh said Netanyahu must choose between a just and comprehensive peace with a unified Palestinian people, and settlements.

“The agreement between Fatah and Hamas is an internal issue, and Israel has nothing to do with it and it’s not a party to it,” the spokesman said. “The agreement enhances the unity of the Palestinian people and their just struggle to establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

This was not the first time that the Egyptians have announced an agreement between Hamas and Fatah.

In late 2009, the two parties were close to signing a deal in Cairo, but the ceremony was canceled at the last minute after Hamas backtracked in protest against Abbas’s failure to support a motion at the UN Human Rights Council that would have endorsed the Goldstone Report on the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead offense in the Gaza Strip.

In February 2007, Hamas and Fatah signed their first unity government agreement in Mecca. The agreement collapsed four months later when Hamas seized full control of the Gaza Strip.

While Wednesday’s announcement caught most people by surprise, Netanyahu has been warning against a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation for weeks. In mid-March he asked, in a CNN interview, how the PA could be “for peace with Israel and peace with Hamas that calls for our destruction.”

Senior diplomatic sources in Jerusalem, meanwhile, downplayed the announcement, saying there have been similar ones in the past that went nowhere because agreement could not be reached on cardinal questions such as whether Hamas would allow the PA a foothold back in Gaza, and whether Fatah would let Hamas return to the West Bank.

In light of experience with such announcements, one source said, it was important to “wait and see what will happen this time.”

Vice Premier Silvan Shalom said the deal between Fatah and Hamas revealed the true face of the Palestinian leaders who have refused to negotiate with Israel over the past two years.

“Now it is clear to everyone that they are not seeking peace,” Shalom said. “We must ask the world whether there is a way to make peace with people who openly declare that their goal is to destroy the State of Israel. A Palestinian state would be a Hamas- Iranian outpost in the Middle East.”

National Union MK Arye Eldad said the unity agreement should enable the prime minister to free Israel from international pressure that he said had made Netanyahu panic in recent months.

Eldad called on Netanyahu to announce that as long as the PA was cooperating with Hamas there would be no negotiations or concessions.

The Meretz faction released a statement expressing cautious optimism regarding the deal. The statement said Meretz hoped the deal will bring about moderation and flexibility that would enable the diplomatic process to advance and bring about the release of St.- Sgt. Gilad Schalit.

“In the event that the deal is officially signed, we hope that Gaza will go in the way of Ramallah and not the opposite,” faction chairman Ilan Gilon said.

Ding ,Dong the wicked witch is dead.

This will bring an end to the peace joke.

April 26, 2011

Poll: Over half of Egypt wants end to Israel peace

Survey conducted by US-based research center shows 54% of Egyptians would like to see 1979 peace treaty scrapped
Associated Press

More than half of all Egyptians would like to see the 1979 peace treaty with Israel annulled, according to a poll conducted by the US-based Pew Research Center.

The results of the poll, released on Monday, highlight the deep unpopularity of the three-decade-old treaty, which is central to US policy in the region and was scrupulously adhered to by former President Hosni Mubarak, until his Feb. 11 ouster.

The poll also revealed that most Egyptians are optimistic about where the country is headed following the 18-day popular uprising that brought down the president, and they look forward to greater democracy in their country.

The fall of Egypt's autocratic leader and the rise of a more democratic system, however, could threaten relations with neighboring Israel.

According to the poll results, only 36% of Egyptians are in favor of maintaining the treaty, compared with 54% who would like to see it scrapped.

Despite the decades of peace and limited trade between the two countries, most Egyptian view the Israelis poorly, largely because of perceptions that they mistreat the Palestinians.

Opinions varied according to income, with 60% of lower income Egyptians supporting the treaty's cancellation while only 45% of the wealthier classes thinking it should be done away with.

Only 40% of Egyptians with a college education felt the treaty should be scrapped, as well.

The poll, based on interviews with 1,000 Egyptians around the country, was conducted between March 24 and April 7 as part of the Spring 2011 Pew Global Attitudes survey held in 22 countries.

The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The country's youth-led pro-democracy movement, which rocked Egypt and reworked the political environment, had a dramatic effect on people's attitudes. The polls show a major rise in optimism and changing of national priorities.

Egyptians spilt on next leader

In 2007, Egyptian were evenly split over which was more important, a strong leader or democracy, but in the recent poll 64% rated democracy higher.

Egyptians remained quite split on just who they wanted to lead them as new political forces emerge after the decades of repression. In September, elections will be held for a new parliament after the one overwhelmingly dominated by Mubarak's ruling party was dissolved.

The conservative Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and the largely secular April 6 movement - two groups closely involved in the uprising, had the highest approval ratings in society, with over 70% seeing them in a very or somewhat favorable light.

People also overwhelmingly approved of the army, which forced out Mubarak and is currently in the control of the country.

Of those whose names have been put forward as possible candidates for the upcoming November presidential elections, former Arab League head Amr Moussa was the most popular, with 89% giving him a very or somewhat favorable rating.

Former presidential candidate Ayman Nour trailed with a 70% rating while Nobel Prize Laureate and reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei only had 57% rating.

The United States continued to garner low approval ratings, with only 20% of Egyptians seeing it in a positive light, up from 17% in 2010.

Only 15% of those interviewed thought Egypt should have closer relations with the US - as opposed to 43% who though the two countries could use some distance.

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April 24, 2011

Report: Palestinians set Joseph's Tomb on fire

Nablus agitated after shooting of Israelis; masses gather near holy site, several youths try to set compound ablaze. 'Sight was reminiscent of Second Indifada,' witness says
Yair Altman

Twenty-four year old Ben-Yosef Livnat, a father of four from Jerusalem – and Minister Limor Livnat's nephew – was killed, and five others were wounded.

Palestinian sources reported local Palestinian youths gathered around the Tomb's compound shortly after the incident and set it on fire.

A group of Palestinian youngsters rolled burning tires into the Tomb's plaza, which was renovated only a few months ago.

A Palestinian source said black smoke towered over the gravesite, adding the sight was "reminiscent of the days of the Second Indifada."

One killed, 4 wounded from PA police gunfire in Nablus

Group of 15 Breslev hassidim hit with gunfire from Palestinian Authority policeman as they leave Joseph's Tomb prayers; group didn't coordinate visit with IDF; PA officer identified "suspicious" individuals, fired.

One Israeli worshiper was killed and four were wounded in Nablus early Sunday morning after their vehicle was shot at by a Palestinian Authority policeman as the group was exiting the city from prayer services held at Joseph's Tomb. Magen David Adom said one person was in serious condition, one in moderate condition and two others in light condition.

The Palestinian police officer who opened fire told investigators in the Palestinian security forces that he identified "suspicious" individuals and fired at them, the IDF said. The shooting took place in an area of Palestinian Authority security jurisdiction. The PA policeman was being interrogated by Palestinian security officers. Several hours after the incident, dozens of Palestinians rioted near Joseph's Tomb and set tires on fire, Israel Radio reported. Settlers claimed that Palestinians vandalized the holy site in the wake of the attack.

A security source said a dispute had preceded the shooting incident. The argument involved the PA policeman who opened fire and the group of of 15 Breslev hassidim who arrived at the site. The source said the Israeli worshipers arrived at the tomb without coordinating their visit with the IDF, as is standard request, and without army protection.

According to Nablus Governor Jibreen al Bakri, the shooting attack was a "security incident" and not a terror attack. Bakri said the group of Breslev hassidim raised suspicions since they entered the city without prior coordination with the proper authorities. At first shots were fired in the air as a warning and then at the vehicle, he said. Bakri said the incident was being investigated and refused to say if the shooters were Palestinian Authority police. He added that the authorities who were in the area were detained and were being interrogated about the details of the incident.

Three vehicles with 15 Breslev hasidim entered the city in the early morning hours to attend prayer services at Joseph's Tomb. On the way back, around 6 a.m. they encountered a surprise checkpoint and were met with a hail of gunfire from a Palestinian jeep. The fire continued even after the vehicles turned back in an attempt to escape. Two of the three vehicles were hit.

The worshipers were able to evacuate themselves to the IDF Samaria district brigade base and the Har Bracha settlement which were near by and received initial emergency medical care.

The death of a 25-year-old male was pronounced at the scene. The victim was identified as Ben Yosef Livnat, the nephew of Minister of Culture and Sports Limor Livnat (Likud). Livnat was married, a father of four and was a resident of Jerusalem. A 20-year-old man was injured in serious condition, suffering of an abdominal wound. He was airlifted to Bellinson Hospital in Petah Tikva where he underwent surgery. A 17-year-old youth was evacuated by a Magen David Adom Yarkon crew in moderate condition, suffering a wound to his shoulder. Another two individuals were injured in light condition. They did not require evacuation and received medical treatment on location.

The funeral procession for Livnat was scheduled to leave the Elon Moreh settlement at 11 a.m. and head in the direction of Jerusalem. He will be laid to rest at the Mount of Olives cemetery.

Senior IDF officials were expected to hold a meeting with Palestinian officials later Sunday to clarify details of the incident.

When asked about the possibility that Palestinian police shot at the car, Gershon Mesika, head of the Samaria regional council, told Army Radio that Breslov hassids attempt to illegally enter Joseph's Tomb almost every month. He added that Palestinian Police are familiar with the regular occurrence, and would have no reason to shoot at visitors.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

Some may try to write this incident off as a mistake, a so called police officer doing his job.

But once again a Jew is dead and other Jews wounded at the hand of a Palestinian.

The IDF has said this is not terrorism, but according to Jews involved in the incident the Arabs were yelling Allahu Akbar at the time of the shooting.

Lastly can we please have the Israeli papers call the place by it's real name Shechem not the name give to it by the Romans Nablus.

One of the Breslovers who was in the second car in the convoy and was lightly wounded told Ynet: "We arrived at the tomb like on many occasions in the past. Near the tomb we saw a spikes chain. One of the guys jumped out of the car and moved it aside.

"At this point a uniformed Palestinian police officer with a Kalashnikov in a jeep woke his colleagues up and they started firing into the air…I was in the front seat. We started driving fast in the direction of the tomb; we got out of the vehicles and kissed the tomb.

"When we got back to the vehicles the police shot at the vehicles, they were screaming 'Allahu Akbar'. It was crazy, they were shooting to kill. I screamed at the driver to drive out of there quickly. When we got to Har Bracha we attended to the wounded."

Palestinian security forces have arrested one suspect in connection with the shooting, who is recounting his version of events with additional members from the patrol force. Palestinian sources who spoke to the IDF have claimed that the shooting was preceded by the Breslovers throwing rocks at the Palestinian police.

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April 22, 2011


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

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

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page

When A Kiss Is Not Just A Kiss

Peres: Israel needs to present peace plan

President urges Netanyahu to stop wasting time amid reports of formulating US peace initiative. 'Instead of others presenting plans, Israel should present its own,' he says

Ilana Curiel
Published: 04.22.11, 14:25 / Israel News

Pressure on prime minister over peace efforts are increasing – this time from President Shimon Peres' direction. "Instead of others presenting plans, Israel should present its own plan," Peres said Friday, a day after the New York Times reported that US President Barack Obama plans to unveil a new peace initiative.

"We don't need more peace plans, we need to implement peace," Peres added during a tour of the Negev. The president said that the NYT report was "nothing but speculation".

"Implement Peace" what does this mean and how do you do it?

I am just a simple guy but I think it takes two to tango. When one side does not want peace you have no peace.

Let me put it an other way you have a person you are attracted to and you really want to kiss that person. If that person is willing and seeking your kiss you have a wonderful thing. If they don't seek your attention and your kiss and you force it on them you end up in jail, ask Katsav.

How about this for an Israeli peace plan.

There will never be a Palestinian state and our message to the Palestinians is you have two choices you can live in the Jewish state with resident status that will bring you into the system. You will pay taxes, get to vote in local elections, provided to swear allegiance to Israel the Jewish State.

Second choice you don't do the above and it will mean war and those that choose not to live at peace in Israel will be deported.

April 21, 2011

Tel Aviv demonstration calls for Palestinian statehood

Israeli intellectuals drowned out by rightist couter-protesters chanting "traitors" at event outside Independence Hall; verbal altercations, shoving matches break out; no injuries, arrests are reported.

Verbal altercations and shoving matches broke out next to Tel Aviv's Independence Hall on Thursday, as a group of Israeli artists and intellectuals prepared to read a declaration supporting the founding of a Palestinian state based on 1967 lines.

As of 2 p.m. a handful of counter-protesters and cameramen swelled into a mob of hundreds shouting "traitors" and "fifth columnists" among other chants as the group of artists began arriving.

Eventually, Israeli theater legend Hanna Maron took to a microphone in the pedestrian walkway on Rothschild Blvd. and read from the declaration, as a cavalcade of boos and insults largely drowned out her words.

"Israel's Declaration of Independence was made in accordance with the United Nations' decision to divide the land between two states: a democratic Jewish and a democratic Arab state. Each people was expected to fulfill its natural right of self determination in a sovereign state. We consider the independence of the two states and the unqualified end of the occupation a moral and an existential imperative as well as a necessary condition for a good neighborhood," the statement read.

The demonstration had a largely volatile edge to it, but was eventually dispersed shortly after 3 p.m. without any injuries or arrests made.

The demonstration came on the heels of a press conference held in Tel Aviv two weeks ago by a group called "The Israeli Peace Initiative", made up largely of former security leaders. The group called for the Israeli government to launch a peace settlement based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which, like the declaration on Thursday, called for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines, in addition to a compromise on the Palestinian refugee issue.

Understand these people are traitors, scum and cowards.

April 18, 2011

Ahmadinejad: 'The era of Zionism has passed away'

Speaking at celebrations for Iran's Army Day, Ahmadinejad denounces Israel and capitalism, accuses US of fomenting Arab unrest.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, addressing crowds gathered on Monday in honor of Iran's Army Day, stated that "the era of Zionism and capitalism has passed away."

Discussing the unrest sweeping Middle East and North Africa, Ahmadinejad pointed the finger of blame at the United States, accusing Obama and his government of conspiring to create a rift between Iran and other Arab nations.

Ahmadinejad's rhetoric has followed a similar theme in recent days.

In public speech last week, Iranian president says he envisions new Middle East without presence of Israel, US and their allies.

Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard operatives plan to attack Western targets in the coming days, a Lebanese report said on last week.

The report was based on information gathered by Western intelligence agencies monitoring the “recent abnormal movements of cadres suspected of belonging to Hezbollah or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard,” the Beirut Observer website said.

According to UPI, the report said the attacks are meant to divert global attention from indictments the international United Nations tribunal is expected to serve in the investigation of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Also last week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the world would see a new Middle East without the United States and Israel. He made the remark in a speech to thousands of people in the southeastern city of Zahedan, Iranian Press TV reported.

“A new Middle East will emerge without the presence of the United States and the Zionist regime [Israel], and their allies in the near future,” Ahmadinejad said.

He accused the US and Israel of plotting to “spark an Iranian- Arabian Shia-Sunni conflict.”

Ahmadinejad denounced “US imperialism” in the region, saying, “Regional governments and nations should remain vigilant to overcome US plots, and to not play in the US court.”

Israel was nearing its end, he said, and added, “Regional nations have awakened, but the global arrogance intends to sow discord among countries in the region.”

The Iranian people and regional nations are unhappy with the existence of the Zionist regime [Israel], and are against it. They will continue their fight until the defeat of the US and Zionist regime in the region,” Ahmadinejad said.

April 17, 2011

IDF: 2 Palestinians arrested in Fogel family massacre

Palestinian youths from Awarta "saw children sleeping in Fogel home," snuck in and stabbed them to death; suspects affiliated with PFLP.

Two Palestinian youths from the village of Awarta were arrested in recent days for the brutal slaying of five members of the Fogel family in their Itamar home last month, the IDF and Shin Bet said on Sunday following the lifting of a media ban on the investigation.

The suspects have been named as Hakim Maazan Niad Awad, an 18-year-old high school student, and Amjad Mahmud Fauzi Awad, 19, both from the West Bank village of Awarta, located 2 kilometers south of the settlement of Itamar.

The suspects have confessed to the stabbings and re-enacted the murders, security forces said on Sunday. According to Army Radio, they did not express remorse for their crimes.

Both men are affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP) terror group and received significant assistance from family members and friends after the attack, security forces added.

The suspects planned the stabbings days ahead of time. On the night of March 11, after unsuccessful attempts to obtain firearms from a local PFLP representative in their village, the two set out toward Itamar on foot, armed with knives, a wirecutter and masks to cover their faces.

After walking one kilometer, they cut the wire fence that surrounds Itamar, climbed through a forest and over a hilltop, and reached a row of homes.

The suspects at first entered a home adjacent to the Fogel residence, but found that nobody was home. They stole an M-16 rifle from the home, ammunition and body armor, before walking on.

"They saw children sleeping in the home, and entered the Fogel family residence," the IDF said.

Immediately after entering the home, the youths set their knives on two young brothers sleeping in their beds, 4-year-old Elad and 11-year-old Yoav.

They then entered the parents' bedroom, where they launched a knife attack on Ehud and Ruth Fogel. The parents fought back, attempting to fend off the attackers, but died of their stab wounds during the struggle.

The two then left the house. One of the suspects returned and stabbed the three-month-old baby Hadas after she began crying.to death in her crib.

According to Israel Radio, Amjad said that he was unaware that there were two other children in the house, and that if he had known, he would have stabbed them as well.

After completing the slaughter, the suspects walked back to the village and told Hakim's uncle, PFLP member Salah Adin Awad, what they had done.

Salah hid their firearms and instructed them to burn their clothes, which were covered in blood.

The youths then resumed their daily life, while Salah sent the weapons to a friend in Ramallah, Jad Avid, who hid the guns in his home.

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), which led the investigation, said the attack was a premeditated terror attack carried out by suspects who have affiliations with the PFLP.

"They received much support from family members and friends in their environment," the Shin Bet added.

Several suspected accomplices are also under arrest.

The IDF has arrested and questioned dozens of suspects in Awarta in recent weeks.

"The intelligence operation and pooling of resources [between the army, police and Shin Bet] led to the arrests," a joint statement said.

IDF Spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich said: “The murders of five family members including a three-month baby constitute a clear war crime and a crossing of all red lines. The IDF has invested in numerous operational and intelligence efforts, and has worked closely with other security forces in order to find those responsible for this vicious murder.”

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz on Sunday expressed his condolences once again to the Fogel family after the announcement of the arrests.

Katz told Army Radio, "To those Palestinians who said 'it can't be one of us' [who committed the crime], well it turned out to be one of you."

JPost.com staff contributed to this report.

OK so what?

Will these two get the death penalty?

Will Israel trade them for Shallit or to make good will gesture to the Palestinians?

April 15, 2011


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

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

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page

Shed No Tears

Hamas claims Israel killed Italian to stop Gaza flotilla
Islamic groups disclaim kidnapping, murder of activist; al-Qaida-linked group had previously claimed responsibility, made ransom demands.

Radical Islamic terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip distanced themselves from the kidnapping and murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, who was found dead early Friday morning in the Strip.

Among the groups who disclaimed the attack was Tawhid wal-Jihad, the al-Qaida-linked group that had initially said it was holding the Italian national and conditioned said they would only release him if their own leader, recently arrested by Hamas, was released, Gaza-based newspaper Palestine Today reported.

I don't care who killed this supporter of terrorist, I am just hoping that thia is just the start of ISM people turning up dead.

If Israel did this all I can say is about time.

If the Palestinians did it maybe they caught him with someones sister. You bring your liberal western ways to Gaza and it just may bite you.

Either way I will shed no tears.

April 14, 2011

Terrorist group in Gaza kidnaps Italian rights activist

In YouTube clip, Al-Qaida linked group threatens to execute Vittorio Arrigoni unless Hamas releases the group's leader.

A Jihadist group in the Gaza Strip aligned with al Qaida threatened on Thursday to execute an abducted Italian it is holding within hours, unless Hamas Islamists release the group's leader.

A You Tube clip the group posted on Thursday said the man they were holding, Vittorio Arrigoni, would be killed on Friday at 5 p.m. local time (1400 GMT) unless Hamas releases Hesham al-Sa'eedni, whom it detained last month.

"If our demands are not met within 30 hours the captive will be executed when the period is over," a text on the video clip said.

Arrigoni, an Italian pacifist and blogger, has lived in the Gaza Strip for some time. He was shown blindfolded with blood around his right eye and a hand can be seen pulling his head up by his hair to face the camera.

A spokesman for the Hamas interior ministry in Gaza City said it was investigating the abduction.

It was unclear when Arrigoni was kidnapped or where he was being held, but an Italian diplomat who serves in the region confirmed to Reuters he had been abducted.

The Arabic text that accompanied the footage of Arrigoni also said "the Italian hostage entered our land only to spread corruption" and it described Italy as "the infidel state".

Arrigoni is the first foreign national to be abducted in the Gaza Strip since BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who was held for 114 days by an al Qaida-inspired clan group named the Army of Islam. He was released in 2007.

Arrigoni came to the Gaza Strip on a boat bringing humanitarian supplies in 2008.

So please let me understand this.

You are going to cut the head off of a ISM member, you need a knife I will loan you one.

This is justice, that is if it is not a put up.

April 13, 2011

Zoabi calls for third Palestinian intifada against Israel

MK Schneller: Balad MK should lose parliamentary immunity; Zoabi says Israeli Arabs should "initiate a popular struggle against the occupiers."

MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) renewed calls Wednesday to strip MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) of her parliamentary immunity after she was quoted in a local newspaper as calling on Palestinians to start a third intifada.

Zoabi told a reporter that “I hope [the Palestinians] will start a large popular struggle that is political and strategic, similar to the first intifada and not the second.” She explained that “the second intifada was more violent, while the first was good. Tahrir Square in Egypt must be the new model for Arab youth – I would like them to initiate a popular struggle against the siege, because occupiers cannot expect to live normal lives.”

In response, Schneller said Zoabi should be stripped of her parliamentary immunity and put on trial for calling for rebellion.

“Zoabi crossed the line a long time ago, and democratic immunity cannot be allowed to continue to harm the State of Israel and its citizens,” he complained. “I intend to demand that Knesset legal advisor Eyal Inon probe her statements, and if there have in fact been calls to rebellion, to strip her immunity and try her.”

Zoabi is no stranger to controversy.

Last May, following a trip to Libya, she and five additional MKs faced fruitless attempts by other lawmakers to strip them of their parliamentary immunity and try them for visiting an enemy state.

Less than a month later, Zoabi was the subject of even greater controversy following her participation in the Gaza flotilla aboard the Mavi Marmara.

Then, as well, MKs called for her prosecution, but made do with parliamentary sanctions imposed by the Knesset House Committee.

Why is she still walking around free?

April 12, 2011

Condition of teen injured in Hamas bus attack worsens

16-year-old Daniel Viflic's condition upgraded to extremely critical at Beersheba hospital, following anti-tank missile attack.

The condition of Daniel Viflic, the 16-year-old boy injured in the anti-tank missile attack on a school bus in the Negev on last week, has worsened, according to a statement released by Beersheba's Soroka Medical Center on Tuesday. The boy's condition was upgraded to extremely critical and life-threatening.

Viflic suffered severe head trauma and was artificially respirated while unconscious after an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip struck his school bus in the Negev last Thursday.

Please G-D grant this young man a full recovery.

April 11, 2011

Breakthrough expected in Itamar murder investigation

IDF continues to arrest suspects from the Palestinian village of Awarta; Palestinians says over 100 residents detained since Fogel murders.

A breakthrough is expected in the investigation of the Itamar murders as the IDF continued to arrest suspects from the Palestinian village of Awarta which remains under a military curfew.

On Sunday, the IDF swept into the village and arrested over a dozen more suspects possibly connected to the murder of Udi and Ruth Fogel and their three children, including their three-month old baby daughter.

According to the Palestinians, over 100 residents of the village have been detained by the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) since the Fogel murders.

The Palestinian Authority has called the arrests "incessant abuse campaigns held by the Israeli occupation army against the people of the Awarta village."

The Shin Bet has taken fingerprints from detainees as well as DNA tests. Fifty men still remain in detention.

Late Monday night as he spoke with The Jerusalem Post by telephone, village resident Jamal Kawarik said that a helicopter was circling the homes overhead and that soldiers were in the streets, including near his residence.

"Here," he said, "I'm holding up the phone so you can here the sound of the helicopter." Since the murder, he said, the entire village has lived in fear.

"We are not sleeping or eating well," Kawarik added.

Earlier in the month, he said, he and his wife were investigated and then released.

"Thank God nothing happened," Kawarik said.

On Sunday morning, he said, the IDF entered the village and 4 a.m. and ransacked a number of homes.

"They threw everything on the floor," he said. "The oil, the rice, the salt, the sugar, the flour and they mixed it together as if it was in a mixing bow. It got on everything, the sofa, the clothes."

On Sunday, residents of Itamar marked 30 days since the murders and laid a cornerstone for a new study hall at the yeshiva where Udi taught before he was killed.

Now I can only hope the suspects put up a fight and our side comes through it clean and they don't..

April 10, 2011

Arab League and Yoni Agree

Arab League plans to ask UN to impose no-fly zone over Gaza
Amid escalation in violence along border Moussa says proposal to be presented to UNSC; Gaza ceasefire brokered by UN official Robert Serry who acts as intermediary between Hamas and J'lem, Ma'an reports.

The Arab League on Sunday announced during a special meeting in Cairo that it plans to press the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza amid an escalation in violence in the area, AFP reported.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said he plans to present the proposal to the UN Security Council, the report said.

The announcement came as Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported on Sunday that UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Roberty Serry successfully brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip including Hamas.

The deal, reportedly reached Saturday night stipulated that the IDF stop its air and artillery strikes against Palestinian terrorist groups, who also reportedly have agreed to halt their rocket and mortar fire.

Neither Jerusalem nor Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip have announced a ceasefire, but senior officials made statements Sunday hinting to their openness towards such a deal.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said early Sunday that Jerusalem was willing to accept a mutual ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza after several days of projectile fire and IDF strikes, adding that "If necessary, we will act, but," he said, "restraint is also a form of strength."

"If they stop firing on our communities, we will stop firing. If they stop firing in general, it will be quiet, it will be good," Barak told Israel Radio.

On the Gazan the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, Al-Quds, said that it was committed to a ceasefire with Israel, saying it was in the "interests of our people not to give Israel an excuse to launch a major military operation in Gaza."

The announcement came only hours after the group claimed responsibility for firing three mortars and a rocket into Israeli territory Sunday morning.

Abu Ahmed, Islamic Jihad's spokesperson, said that his group would cease violence "so long as Israel fulfills it's responsibility and stops attacks against the Palestinian people in Gaza."

Hamas also softened its language on Sunday.

The group's spokesman in the Gaza Strip, Sami Abu Zuhri, on said that "The Palestinian factions are not interested in escalation." He added, "if the Israeli aggression stopped, it would be natural for calm to be restored."

Reuters contributed to this report


I agree 100% let's make a deal, Israel will not fly over Gaza and you don't shoot thousands of rockets and mortars out of Gaza no problem.

But since you are terrorist and have built the sickest society in the world I need something to help keep you honest.

The IDF will ring Gaza with artillery units that will back track every mortar or rocket you fire out of Gaza and even before it lands we will fire 100 high explosive rounds back at the location you fired out of. I don't care if you fire out of a school yard during lunch break and it is full of kids, you will get return fire.

So come on let's make a deal.

April 08, 2011


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

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

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page

Are They Serious

Foreign Minister Demands Netanyahu Apologize for Accusing Palestinians of
Itamar Operation
Date : 7/4/2011 Time : 16:35

RAMALLAH, April 7, 2011 (WAFA) - Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Malki
Thursday demanded Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu should apologize
to the Palestinians for accusing them of the Itamar killings.

Israeli officials and media accused the Palestinians of the killing of a
family of settlers in Itamar, south of Nablus, last month.

Malki condemned the Israeli army operations in Awarta, the closest village
of Itamar which soldiers have raided several times looking for the Itamar

He described the army operations as collective punishment and a flagrant
violation of international laws and norms, particularly the Fourth Geneva

He wondered for how long will Awarta remain under the mercy of Israeli
attacks under the pretext of searching for perpetrators after almost a month
of the Israeli investigation.

He called on the United States and the quartet to intervene immediately to
stop the continuous aggression on the Palestinians in the occupied
territory, especially in Awarta.

I wonder how load they will scream if Israel ever get's a real Prime Minister that will use all the power available to protect Jews in all of Israel.

April 07, 2011

Obama and some Jews

I had a conversation with a friend last night. He is one of the liberal friends that I have.

He is Jewish and is Orthodox.

He used to be much more liberal than he is today, because of my influence today he owns handguns, and even a Colt AR15, one of the so called assault weapons.

In spite of the fact he is Orthodox and a gun owner he voted for Obama last time and will do so again.

I laid out for him the history of Obama and Israel.

I have sent him video's of Samantha Power where she clearly states that she favors military intervention against Israel. I sent him articles that speculate she will be the next Secretary of State .

He denies or excuses every piece of evidence I lay out.

He attacks me as being a two issue voter, guns and Israel. Which is not true I am a one issue voter Israel and if the Federal government wants my guns I am either a criminal or I have left America for good. But they will not get my guns. So I am a one issue voter, Israel. I must also state that if America harms Israel, I am also leaving America for good.

This friend views social issues on par with Israel and is willing to risk Israel to gain on his views when it comes to internal political issues in the USA.

So I got upset and asked him how can you be so blind, you sound like what the Jews of Germany must have sounded like prior to them hearing Juden Rouse.. Besides you are putting my children at risk as well as every other Jew in Israel.

I really don't understand Jews like this, they are mental in my book to be willing to put Israel at risk in exchange for socialist policies.

G-D forbid my friend and other stupid Jews get the worse President in American history reelected.

Marmara to return to Gaza in May

Vessel involved in deadly raid in May 2010 scheduled to take part in another flotilla to Gaza Strip next month, IHH declares. Total of 15 ships to participate in 'Freedom flotilla 2'

Elior Levy
Published: 04.07.11, 15:30 / Israel News

The Marmara ship which was involved in the deadly IDF raid last May is scheduled to return to Israel as part of the "Freedom flotilla 2" next month, head of the IHH Bülent Yildirim said Thursday.

The flotilla is slated to depart in the second half of the month of May. "What happened in last year's flotilla will not affect us or the next flotilla," Yildirim said. He noted that the Marmara will depart from Europe and will carry artists, journalists and politicians. The organizers claim more than 15 vessels are slated to take part in the flotilla.

Israel never should have returned any of the ships involved in flotillas to Gaza.

I hope Israel learns it's lesson this time around, seize every ship. Sell them and take the funds and divide the amount of the sales first to those soldiers that were wounded and then to all the soldiers that assaulted the ships.

Israel must also declare war on the groups behind the flotillas and hunt down the leaders and kill them.

Teen critically injured in attack on Negev bus

Initial report suggests anti-tank fired from Gaza Strip hit bus driving near Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council; 16-year-old boy critically injured, another man sustains leg wounds. IDF bombs target in Gaza, killing one, according to Palestinians

Ilana Curiel

A 16-year boy was critically injured after a bus driving near the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council was hit, apparently by an anti-tank missile, fired from the Gaza Strip on Thursday. He is currenlty being treated for severe trauma to the head, after sustaining shrapnel injuries.

An hour later the fire from Gaza continued, with 15 mortar shells launched at Israel. One of the shells exploded inside a town in Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported.

This could have been so much worse. The bus had just unloaded around 30 students prior to being attacked.

The time has long past for Israel to close the water, electricity and all of Gaza.

This could be viewed as violations of international law, so what.

It also is a violation of international law to shoot rockets out of Gaza into civilian areas and school buses.

April 06, 2011

Poll: One-third of Palestinians support Itamar attack

Most Gazans seek widespread demonstrations against Hamas; Palestinians don't think Mideast protests will bring statehood.

One-third of Palestinians support the attack in Itamar in March, in which an Israeli family of five was murdered while 63 percent opposed it, according to a Hebrew University poll released on Wednesday.

The survey was conducted by Prof. Yaacov Shamir of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University, and Prof. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).

Shamir and Shikaki also found that 67% of Gazans seek to organize demonstrations against the Hamas government, like the ones in Egypt and Tunisia.

However, most Palestinians (66%) and Israelis (73%) do not think that such protests "would be capable of ending the occupation nor of stopping settlements."

Nearly 70% of Israelis said that it is unlikely that Israeli Arabs would hold major demonstrations.

Over half (54%) of Palestinians said they did not think that protests in the Middle East would increase the likelihood of establishing a Palestinian state in the next five years, while only 42% agreed.

Stupid Should Hurt

Peres: Israel won't agree to Iranian presence in Golan

In interview with CNN, president adds that Israelis who dislike Obama are 'wrong'. Meanwhile US slams Gilo construction bid

President Shimon Peres said Tuesday Israel was willing to change things in the Golan Heights, but will not agree to Iranian presence there.

Peres: Israel won't agree to Iranian presence in Golan

In interview with CNN, president adds that Israelis who dislike Obama are 'wrong'. Meanwhile US slams Gilo construction bid
Yitzhak Benhorin

President Shimon Peres said Tuesday Israel was willing to change things in the Golan Heights, but will not agree to Iranian presence there.


Is it really possible to be this stupid?

Has Peres not been watching the news for the last few months?

Egypt's next leader has stated he will go to war with Israel to protect the Palestinians in Gaza.

Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain,Egypt, Syria all are in turmoil.

Israel will not agree to Iran on the Golan, I agree with this.

But I understand their is only one way to assure this, Israel stays in the Golan.

Unfortunately from our stupid President to our stupid Prime Minister they are Cowards, Scum and Traitors that in time G-D forbid may give up the Golan and everything else.

Being this stupid should be fatal, to save the rest of us from suffering.

April 05, 2011

Itamar's security fiasco

On night of Itamar attack, alarm goes off eight times indicating security fence was breached. Undertrained, unequipped guard who responds on scene finds nothing. Could Fogel family massacre have been prevented?
Ravid Oren

Friday night, March 11, 2011. The alarm system of the electronic fence surrounding the West Bank outpost of Itamar goes off at exactly 8:59 pm.

ver the next three minutes, seven more warning messages register on the computer screen in the settlement's operation room, indicating that someone might be trying to breach section 20 of the fence. A security officer scours the specified area, but does not find anything unusual.

Things return to normal, with the approval of the settlement's security coordinator, who does not arrive on the scene. No military force is alerted.

That same night, five members of the Fogel family are stabbed to death.

No one sees the terrorists slip in or out of Itamar. They walk around town undisturbed for over two hours.

'IDF knew it's a dead spot'

Itamar is protected by guards provided by a private company, Nof Yam Security. The town's security coordinator, an IDF subordinate, is in charge of these guards. On the night of the attack, guard Yuri Antropov was securing the settlement, answering to coordinator Matanya Ben-Shitrit.

The infiltration took place at a blind spot, hidden by trees and unseen by the town's security cameras. "The area wasn't exposed because the Civil Administration objected," an element of the Samaria defense establishment said. "The IDF knows very well that it is a dead spot. I didn't ask for exposure because it wasn't something achievable." Only after the attack was the area cleared of trees.

If section 20 of the fence was under surveillance, the terrorists could have been identified. But Ben-Shitrit, the security coordinator, said that a camera was not installed because there was no one to finance it. "If the IDF agreed to install a camera here, it would have been here a long time ago," he said.

Moreover, the security guard, who arrived on the scene minutes after the alarm went off, surveyed the area using only his vehicle's head lights. He did not carry a searchlight or night vision equipment; he did not even have a flashlight with him.

According to the defense establishment element, the settlement and the regional council were supposed to equip the guards with flashlights and searchlights, while the army is supposed to provide the night vision devices.

"I asked for these tools but was refused," Ben-Shitrit said. "Now the patrol cars have the necessary tools. Everyone wakes up after an attack."

After scanning the fence segment twice, the guard reported to Ben-Shitrit that he did not find anything out of the ordinary. The security coordinator, who was home, told him to return to routine activity without visiting the area in person. The investigators concluded that the terrorist were already in Itamar at that time.

"According to the rules, the person who had to search the spot was the patrolman, not both of us," Ben-Shitrit explained. "If I or even the IDF chief of staff arrived on the scene, we would not have been able to find the breach. Even the company commander admitted that he couldn't locate it, and said that if we sent for him he wouldn't have come."

Antropov, the guard, seconded his superior's claims. "Even the trackers, who arrived there at night, after the attack was reported, couldn't find anything," he said. "Only the following day they noticed that the fence was bent upwards, which can indicate an infiltration point. It's impossible to call a break-in only because the fence was touched."

10 seconds is all it takes

The "smart" fence surrounding the settlement was designed to identify movements caused by touch, cutting or shaking. The computer screen registers the time of the breach, the time that the alarm was turned off by the guard, and the time that the breach was terminated.

"This case did not seem suspicious because animals sometimes touch or collide with the fence for many minutes," Antropov said.

"It was irrelevant because it was a routine occurrence," Ben-Shitrit added. "There can be a shift with 200 fence collisions caused by animals."

But a security source claimed that if the guard was properly trained, he would have realized that it wasn't an animal rocking the fence.

While the fence does not differentiate between animal and human touch, the length of the alarms should have raised suspicion. Out of the eight warning messages that registered on the screen that evening, the longest one lasted 18 seconds.

"According to a test done after the terrorist attack, it takes 10 seconds on average to get through the fence," Antropov said. "A fat tracker got past the fence with a jump, and there was a shock that lasted maybe a few seconds."

Antropov noted that he and his fellow guards did not train extensively on the fence system.

"We were ordered to treat each warning in the dead spot in the same manner, regardless of how long it lasted, by sending a patrolman out," he said. "Only after the attack did the technician explain to us the different lengths."

Procedure changed after attack

An IDF element said that Itamar's security procedure was written by the security coordinator and an IDF regional defense officer, and signed by a brigade commander. The security coordinator was trained on the procedure by IDF officers.

"I did not see any security procedure file before the attack," Antropov said. "Now it's in the operation room."

Furthermore, before the attack it was unclear who is supposed to sign off after a false alarm sounds; the guards would notify the security coordinator, then things would return to normal. The procedure changed after the attack, requiring an IDF brigade to patrol the area of the breach if no sign of an animal is found. A brigade commander or deputy commander must sign off before routine activity is resumed.

According to a Samaria security element, the IDF usually is not dispatched in response to shocks to the fence. "While the patrol unit is notified in most cases, there were so many warning messages lately that it stopped responding to them," he said.

From 11:09 pm to 11:11 pm, another string of five warning messages registered in the Itamar operation room. Some of the messages lasted almost 30 seconds. A patrolman searched the fence, again not finding anything. The guards returned to normal, this time not notifying the security coordinator. In retrospect, it was found that at that time the killers climbed the fence on their way out. The Fogel family members were already dead.

An IDF spokesman said in response that the army is looking into the incident, and the findings of the inquiry, which should be presented before the Central Command chief and the IDF chief of staff in the coming days, will be studied and internalized. He also noted that the fence is responsibility of the regional council.

"Itamar's fence is one of the best in the world, and the defense establishment approved it," said Eitan Livne, the president and CEO of Magal Security Systems, which manufactured the fence's sensors. "It fulfils the strict criteria of few false alarms and high chances of registering true warnings."

April 04, 2011

No Tears

Actor Juliano Mer-Khamis gunned down in Jenin
Prominent Israeli filmmaker and peace activist was the son of a Jewish mother and a Christian Arab father from Nazareth.

Well-known actor, filmmaker and peace activist Juliano Mer-Khamis was shot dead in his car Monday in Jenin, the volatile West Bank city in which he made his home and founded the controversial Freedom Theater.

A masked assailant shot Mer-Khamis five times from close range at the entrance to the theater, a Palestinian Authority security source said, adding that a woman who was in the car was lightly wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Mer-Khamis is survived by his wife, who is pregnant with twins, a daughter and a son, who was reportedly also with him at the time of the shooting.

Mer-Khamis, 52, was rushed from the theater in the Jenin refugee camp to the city’s hospital, but doctors were unable to save his life.

His body was later transferred through a checkpoint to Israeli authorities and taken to the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir.

Mer-Khamis was the son of Arna Mer, a Jewish Israeli activist for Palestinian causes, and Saliba Khamis, a Nazareth-born Christian and one of the leaders of the Israeli Communist Party in the 1950s. The filmmaker’s maternal grandfather was Gideon Mer, a Lithuanian-born scientist who pioneered the study of malaria in Mandate- era Palestine.

An uncompromising critic of Israel in later life, Mer-Khamis’s mixed parentage meant he spent much of his life straddling both sides of the Green Line.

He was born and raised in Nazareth, the hub of Arab life in Galilee, but served as a combat soldier in the elite IDF Paratroopers Brigade and as an adult split his time between Haifa and Jenin.

His cousins are the director and screenwriter Lihi Hanoch (the former wife of iconic pop star Shalom Hanoch) and the musician Ran Efron.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned the killing.

“We cannot stand silent in the face of this ugly crime,” he said. “It constitutes a grave violation that goes beyond all principles and human values, and it contravenes the customs and ethics of coexistence.”

Kadoura Musa, the PA governor of Jenin, said a team had been set up to investigate the murder.

“The person who did this will be caught regardless of his identity,” Musa said. Mer- Khamis, he said, “was a resident of the Jenin refugee camp and helped build Palestine. He did not deserve to die this way.”

The Jenin refugee camp was the scene of one the fiercest battles of 2002’s Operation Defensive Shield after the IDF determined it to be the home of a “large and varied terrorist infrastructure” and the launch pad for a number of deadly suicide attacks.

Mer-Khamis opened the Freedom Theater there in 2006. The venue was firebombed three years later, after leaflets were distributed in the refugee camp describing Mer- Khamis as a “fifth column” and calling for his death.

In a 2009 Reuters interview, Mer-Khamis attributed the opposition to a “ghetto mentality"” and “dictatorship of tradition” built up under Israeli occupation.

One of the theater’s cofounders was Zakariya Zubeidi, Jenin chief of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades described in a 2006 Sunday Times profile as “chief strategist of suicide bombers in the camp Israelis refer to as ‘the capital of suicide terrorism.’” In 2007 Zubeidi renounced terrorism and said he had committed himself to “cultural resistance” through theater.

On Monday, a Jenin resident who lives near the theater told Britain’s Guardian newspaper: “I don’t think he was killed because he was Jewish. Some people were angry with the liberal values he was promoting at the theater, but to me he was a very nice guy who worked hard for the people here.”

Mer-Khamis was an outspoken, often strident proponent of Palestinian rights and a fierce critic of Israel. “Armed struggle is legitimate as long as it’s against an occupier and is done on occupied land,” he said in a 2009 press conference at his theater.

“But if there isn’t history, culture and art behind one’s rifle, that rifle kills rather than liberates.”

“I’m in favor of a single Palestinian state from the river to the sea,” he said at the same press conference. “If the Jews want to live with us, ahlan wasahlan (welcome).”

He consistently rejected the label of “Israeli-Arab,” telling Israel Radio the same year: “I’m 100-percent Palestinian, and 100-percent Jewish.”

Mer-Khamis’s first film was The Little Drummer Girl, a 1984 US adaptation of a John Le Carre thriller on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. He later appeared in a number of films by leading Israeli filmmakers Avi Nesher and Amos Gitai, and in Wedding in Galilee by the Nazareth-born director Michel Khleifi.

In 2002, he was nominated best actor at the Ophir Awards, Israel’s “Oscars,” for his performance in Gitai’s film Kedma.

A year later, Mer-Khamis produced and co-directed his first documentary film, Arna’s Children, on his mother’s work to establish a children’s theater group in Jenin in the 1980s.

Israelis from the film and theater world also expressed their shock at the killing.

“He was a special person, brave but crazy to do what he did,” fellow actor Alon Abutbul told Reuters.

“I was stunned, I stopped breathing, he was a person I liked so much,” added Nesher. “This is such an absurd murder because he went there to give.”

I have no tears, for a traitor.

May all traitors meet the same end.

April 03, 2011

Samantha Power to be the next Secretary of State?

Samantha Power to be the next Secretary of State?

Irish-born adviser now key to Obama foreign policy

,IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Saturday, April 2, 2011, 7:21 AM
Updated Saturday, April 2, 2011, 11:08 AM

READ MORE- Samantha Power credits President Obama with Libyan uprising

A flattering New York Times profile has increased speculation that Samantha Power, the Dublin-born aide to President Obama, could be his next Secretary of State or National Security Adviser.

She has been the main architect, along with Hillary Clinton, of the Libya policy and has an increasing influence in the White House inner circle.
No Irish-born person in recent history has had such influence on a president. Power, now 40, moved to the US from Ireland at age 10.

With Hillary Clinton due to step down after Obama’s first term, she would be a live candidate to succeed her if Obama wins re-election.

The Times reported that on Monday night last, Samantha Power took to the podium at Columbia University in New York two hours before President Obama was due to address the nation on Libya and received a rock star reception.

Power, who is one of Obama’s key advisers on foreign policy, insisted that Libya was not going to be the main topic of conversation.

“I’m not going to talk much about Libya,” she said, as quoted in The Times.

However, when later questioned she defended the administration’s decision in establishing a no-fly zone, adding failure to do so would have been “extremely chilling, deadly and indeed a stain on our collective conscience.”

Since she began her career working as a war correspondant in Bosnia at the tender age of 22, Power has believed that nations have a moral obligation to prevent genocide. She can bring life to these ideals from her position of the National Security Council.

“She is clearly the foremost voice for human rights within the White House,” Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, told the New York Times “and she has Obama’s ear.”

Power won a Pulitzer Prize for her 2002 book on genocide, entitled “A Problem from Hell,” which examined the U.S. foreign policy response to genocide.

The book argues that the Armenia, Nazi Germany, Cambodia and Rwanda genocides occurred because of government authorities averted their eyes and individuals made the choice not to intervene.

“The most common response,” Ms. Power wrote, “is, ‘We didn’t know.’ This is not true.”

Some of her critics say that she could be pushing the U.S. into another Iraq. The conservative blog American Thinker says that Obama has “outsourced foreign policy” to the Dublin woman. She has also drawn the ire of the Israeli lobby for her pro-Palestinian positions.

Power attempts to keep a low profile after she described Hillary Rodham Clinton as "a monster" during the 2008 presidential election campaign. Her remarks saw her step down from her position as an advisor on Obama’s campaign. Since then, the women have reconciled.

Obama initially headhunted Power in 2005, after reading her book. After a long meeting, Power decided to take leave from her Harvard professorship to work for the then senator.

Despite her efforts to remain low key, the Dublin woman has an impressive artillery with two Ivy League degrees (Yale undergraduate, Harvard Law). http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Sam...119112959.html

Wow, we could have a Secretary of State that advocates for a military invasion of Israel to protect the poor little Palestinians.

I am going to say two things, on this potential disaster for America. First if she becomes the Secretary it will hasen America's down fall.

Second you want to invade Israel, fine have at it. Israel with the help of G-D will survive and all those that go against Israel will go the way of all super powers that tried to destroy the Jewish people. They will be destroyed and become a page in the history of the world.

April 01, 2011


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

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

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page

Netanyahu asks UN's Ban to help stop Gaza flotilla in May

PM tells UN secretary general that fleet of ships scheduled to arrive in Gaza in May is being organized by "radical Islamists."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday spoke with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and asked him to work towards stopping a planned flotilla which is scheduled to arrive in Gaza in May. Netanyahu told Ban that the flotilla is being organized partly by radical Islamists, whose aim is to provoke and cause violence.

Netanyahu said that today Gaza is open to all types of goods through land borders. "Because of the attempt to smuggle weapons into Gaza by sea, Israel must act with force against the flotilla," Netanyahu said.

Earlier in March, pro-Palestinian movements in Europe, including the Free Gaza movement, said they planned to send another flotilla to Gaza in mid-May. Organizers have said that the flotilla will include 15 ships from a number of different countries, and thousands are expected to participate.

I think this is a good move by Bibi.

If Israel can get the UN to adopt "responsibility to protect" regarding missile and mortar attacks coming out of Gaza he will have pulled off a miracle.

I don't think Israel will be successful in this effort and must start a media blitz starting now in the EU and USA about the arms being smuggled into Gaza and the attacks coming out of Gaza against Israeli civilians.

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