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December 31, 2012

Fight Today

Peres sets conditions for Hamas talks

President undeterred by criticism over his remarks on peace process, says 'Hamas must decide if they want peace or war. There is nothing wrong with talking to them, as long as we get an answer'
Noam (Dabul) Dvir

President Shimon Peres appears undeterred by the row caused by his remarks on the peace process. A day after he complimented Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, sparking criticism within the Likud Beiteinu party, the president further commented on Israel's relations with the Palestinian Authority.

"People ask about Hamas, why aren't we talking with Hamas? There is nothing wrong with that as long as we get an answer from them," Peres said Monday.

He clarified that in order for talks with Hamas to be possible, the Palestinian organization must accept the International Quartet's conditions.

Addressing the leaders of Christian sects ahead of the New Year, the Israeli president made it clear that "Hamas and Gaza must decide what they want – war or peace. Israel will be glad to see them make achievements and build. We have no satisfaction seeing citizens in Gaza suffering. If they don't fire – they won't be fired on."

According to Peres, "We are willing to talk to Hamas, but they aren't. They must accept the Quartet conditions. These are not conditions set by us, but by the international community. They must decide if they want peace or fire."

Commenting on the funds transferred to the Palestinian from the Qatari government, the president stated that "they must use the money they got from Qatar for construction rather than rockets. This is most people's opinion."

Peres is among Israeli officials who firmly object to peace talks with Hamas as long as they fail to recognize the State of Israel.

"I believe the Israelis, like the Arabs, will want to see an end to the conflict," the president added. "This is not just a desire. It must be achieved, and we have to work to achieve it."

Heated debate among politicians

On Sunday, Peres said at the Foreign Ministry's annual conference, "There is a clear majority for the principle of two-states for two peoples," complimenting Abbas as being "the only Arab leader who publically stands up and says that he is for peace and against terror."

The president's remarks stirred heated debate among Israeli politicians.

Commenting on Peres' announcement, Environment Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) issued a statement declaring that "it is unfortunate that the president chose to present a political stance that encourages the condemnation of Israel by the international community."

Politicians from the centrist and leftist bloc rushed to Peres' defense. "The Likud's attack on the president… is aggressive and despicable," said Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich. "Saying that Peres was encouraging the condemnation of Israel in the world is appalling. Peres is responsible for thwarting attacks on Israel and is its best ambassador."

Hatnua Chairwoman Tzipi Livni also backed the president's remarks, saying that "President Peres acted responsibly in telling the public the truth about Israel's status. The truth is that Israel is already an isolated country, and with no diplomatic progress it only becomes more isolated."

Then we wonder why the world put demands on Israel to sit and talk with Hamas.

Mr. President with all due respect Hamas has done their talking, rockets fired out of Gaza into Israel.

I feel a push is coming to try and force Israel into giving up Judea and Samaria.

It is know that Bibi will be the next Prime Minister, he has given up Jewish land in the past. He speaks of the two state solution.

I don't trust him.

If Israel gives up Judea and Samaria, I will give up on Israel.

I will stop blogging.

The fight will be over and from that point on, it will only be study of Torah for Yoni.

But until then, I fight.

December 30, 2012


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, 11AM 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

Supreme Court: MK Zoabi can run for Knesset

Special, nine-judge panel renders unanimous ruling overturning Central Election Committee's decision to disqualify controversial Knesset member from nearing elections. Likud's MK Danon insists: Her days in Knesset are numbered
Aviel Magnezi

The Supreme Court has overturned the Central Election Committee's decision to disqualify MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) from running for a Knesset seat in the upcoming elections.

Sunday's ruling, rendered by a special panel of nine judges headed by Supreme Court President Asher Grunis, was unanimous.

"The court's decision proves that the attempts to have me disqualified were the result of political and personal persecution against me, against my party and against the Arab public as a whole," Zoabi said in a statement released moments after the ruling.

"The motions to have me disqualified were devoid of any legal merit. Still, this ruling does little to erase the threats, delegitimization and physical as well as verbal abuse that I have endured – in and outside the Knesset – over the past three years."

The ruling, she added, "Proves that the Election Committee abused its authority. Balad and I will not be deterred by the delegitimization attempts made against us.

"We won't allow anyone – in or outside of the Knesset – to decide the Arab public's position or limit our political aspirations. We will continue fighting against racism and the occupation and we will continue to dutifully represent the Arab public."

Attorney Hassan Jabarin, head of Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, who represented Zoabi, welcomed the decision: "All disqualification motions against Arab parties and Knesset members over the past 15 years had no legal merit and were meant only to delegitimize elected Arab officials.

"Zoabi's case is different because there was also an attempt by the Right wing of the Knesset to portray her at a terrorist, despite the fact the she has never been charged of any crime.

"We welcome the ruling, which above all shows that the Central Election Committee was wrong."

'Court decision regrettable'

The Likud-Beiteinu campaign issued a statement following the Supreme Court's decision, saying it was "regrettable."

"We regret the Supreme Court's decision to allow MK Zoabi to vie for a Knesset seat. Given the court's interpretation of the law it is obvious that the law must change and clearly state that anyone supporting terror is automatically disqualified from being a Knesset member.

"The Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu will use their next parliamentary term to amend the existing law."

MK Ofir Akunis (Likud), who promoted the bid to disqualify Zoabi issued the following statement: "After two years of considerable efforts to have MK Zoabi disqualified – out of the deep belief that democracy has the right to defend itself against those who seek to destroy it from within – the court has spoken.

"I deeply regret the Supreme Court's decision, but I respect it. I will continue to use the parliamentary tools at my disposal to protect and fortify Israel's democracy."

MK Yuval Zellner (Kadima) echoed the sentiment: "I regret the Supreme Court's ruling regarding MK Zoabi. She systematically and actively acted against IDF soldiers and the values of the State of Israel.

"Unfortunately, instead of focusing on promoting the legitimate needs of her constituents, Zoabi acted foolishly and compromised the fragile coexistence between Arabs and Jews."

MK Danny Danon (Likud) stated that while he respected the court's decision, he found it "unacceptable."

"Today, the court decided to back the Marmara's terrorist instead of the Navy Commandos, using Zoabi's parliamentary immunity as a shield. Zoabi belongs in prison."

Danon stated that once the new Knesset is sworn in, he intends to promote a bill that would ensure that the Election Committee's right to disqualify lists whose members incite racism or negate the existence of Israel, is upheld. The Election Committee jurisdiction on the matter is detailed in Basic Law: The Knesset.

"The 'Zoabi law' will be enacted and she can be sure that her days in the Knesset are numbered," Danon exclaimed.

Fellow Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely lamented the decision, saying "The court has sent a message to the Arab MKs, saying that they can abuse their position, speak against the State of Israel and get away with it."

Attorney Nidal Othman, of the Coalition against Racism, welcomed the decision: "The court proved today that it was a beacon of sanity in the midst of the racist atmosphere in Israel.

"The Elections Committee's racist decision was overturned by the Supreme Court, which upheld its duty as the protector of elected officials.

"The Elections Committee's racist decision made a mockery of the principles of democracy. It is only right that the power to disqualify (lists) is removed from its hands and placed with a legislative authority."

MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) commented on the Supreme Court's decision to allow MK Zoabi to run for the Knesset, saying that the court "thwarted a takeover attempt by Netanyahu."

"It's very disconcerting that the ruling party will stop at nothing, even compromise democracy, to gain a few more ballots."

Hassan Shaalan, Yoval Karni and Moran Azulay contributed to this report

Some days it is clear, that part of my people either don't want their own country or they are mental.

This woman should be killed in a car accident if the State doesn't have the courage to arrest her for treason and after a fair trial hang her, then spread her ashes next to Eichmanns.

Oh well she will give me plenty to write about when the new Knesset is swore in, or swore at as time goes on.

French bestseller unravels Nazi propagandist’s cryptic last words about Purim
‘Code of Esther’ gets Paris buzzing about an alleged biblical prophecy connecting the Jewish festival and Nazi Germany
By Rebecca Benhamou December 28, 2012, 2:39 pm

PARIS — “The Code of Esther” reads like “The Da Vinci Code,” yet has nothing to do with fiction. In its first seven weeks in French stores, the book sold more than 26,000 copies, enough to put it on best-seller lists and earn national attention.

“This is unlike anything I‘ve experienced before,” says co-author Bernard Benyamin, a leading figure in French investigative journalism and a co-host of the popular TV program “Envoyé Spécial.”

“I never thought I would face this kind of challenge.”

After his mother passed away last year, 63-year-old Benyamin visited his local synagogue in Paris to recite the Kaddish. While there, he met television director and entrepreneur Yohan Perez — his future co-author — who used their encounter to share findings from a four-year investigation into two seemingly disparate topics: senior Nazi official Julius Streicher and the biblical Book of Esther.

Perez and Benyamin’s new best-seller opens at the post-war Nuremberg trials, then shifts to the October 1946 execution of Streicher, a key Nazi propagandist and the publisher of the anti-Semitic newspaper Der Sturmer. Just before he was hanged, Streicher turned to witnesses and snapped, “Purim festival, 1946!”

“When I first listened to this story, I was cut to the quick,” says Benyamin. “My mother had just died; I was lost. I needed something to hold onto, and this fascinating project was just what I needed.”

The authors believe they’ve uncovered peculiar similarities between a biblical drama and the Holocaust

To understand Streicher’s final words, Perez decided to look into the textual origins of Purim — the Book of Esther. Part of the Ketuvim, or Writings, of the Hebrew Bible, the book recounts plans to exterminate the Jewish people by Haman, a high-ranking royal adviser, and how those plans were thwarted by Esther, a Jewish woman who had hidden her religious identity to marry Ahasuerus, the king.

Unlike the 20th century genocide that Streicher helped to carry out, the slaughter in Persia was avoided. Yet the more Perez tried to read between the lines, the more he saw peculiar similarities between the two events.

Just like Haman and his 10 sons, Streicher and nine other Nazi defendants were hanged. (Hermann Göring, the head of the German air force and a key figure in planning the Holocaust, killed himself in his jail cell. The Talmud says that Haman’s daughter also committed suicide.)

“Yohan didn’t want this story to sound trivial. He urged me to take part in the project because I already had a strong reputation in journalism,” says Benyamin, who spoke to The Times of Israel by phone. “But I have to admit that if my name hadn’t been on the cover, people might have not taken the book as seriously.”

In “The Code,” the co-authors draw readers’ attention to the Book of Esther’s place as one of the most mysterious, distinctive texts in the Torah.

“It is, in fact, the only book in which the key protagonist is a woman,” Benyamin notes, “and in which the name of God is never explicitly mentioned.”

But arguably even more intriguing is the style — even the calligraphy — in which the text is written. For generations, Jewish scholars have pondered differences in the sizes of individual letters, as well as other mysteries that inspired talk of “the code of Esther.”

A research trip to Jerusalem proved a key stage of Benyamin’s journey. There, he interviewed “the man who deciphered the code”: Rabbi Mordechai Neugroschel, a Holocaust educator and co-founder of Arachim, an Israeli organization that promotes the application of Jewish philosophy to modern society.

According to Neugroschel, the key to the code of Esther lies in the names of Haman’s 10 sons. Three of the Hebrew letters — a tav, a shin and a zayin — are written smaller than the rest, while a vav is written larger. The outsized vav — which can also represent the number six — corresponds to the sixth millennium in the Zohar, the central books of Jewish mysticism. As for the tav, shin and zayin, their numerical values add up to 707. Put together, these letters refer to the Jewish year 5707, which corresponds to the secular 1946-1947.

In his research, Neugroschel also noticed that the 10 Nazi defendants were executed on Oct. 16, 1946 , which that year was also Hoshana Rabba — the day that God’s judgment of the world is finalized after Rosh Hashanah, according to the Zohar.

Describing himself as a “non-observant Jew with a rational outlook on life,” Benyamin says that the seeming connections shook him, describing the Book of Esther as a “prophecy” of what was to occur centuries later in Europe.

Nevertheless, he says, “We are not trying to do religious propaganda here. It is up to the readers to interpret this.”

“I had many pre-conceived ideas about Jewish scholars before I met Rabbi Neugroschel and others,” he says. “I’ve always been slightly agnostic, so when he told me about the code of Esther, my brain was turned upside down… I was in the middle of a situation I never thought I would experience and, strangely, I didn’t want it to end.”

Looking for more information, Benyamin and Perez flew from Israel to the Germany city of Landsberg am Lech. “It was the most hectic moment of the investigation,” Benyamin says. “This is where everything started. Hitler wrote ‘Mein Kampf’ while imprisoned there, following the attempted coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch.”

As Benyamin explored Landsberg prison, he found another peculiar similarity with the Book of Esther: the existence of a man named Max Amann (the spelling of “Haman” in French), one of Hitler’s earliest followers and later the head of Eher Verlag, the Nazi party’s publishing house. It was Amann who suggested that Hitler title his book “Mein Kampf.”

‘Unearthing the mysteries of this text was undoubtedly one of the biggest intellectual challenges of my career’

Unlike Esther, Benyamin has never hidden his Jewish origins. But he knew that writing about the purported secrets of a biblical text presented certain risks, especially for a reporter with a reputation to protect in a largely secular country. Yet he says he never worried that he was putting his professional standing on the line.

“I didn’t fear the reaction of readers and critics, not even for one split second, because this is the result of a transparent, rational, journalistic investigation,” he says.

Except for a handful of positive reviews, the French media have largely overlooked the book. But the idea of a secret connection between ancient Persia and Nazi Germany has piqued public interest, generating both solid sales and a spin-off documentary that Benyamin is working on now.

When the investigation ended, he recalls, he felt “groggy.”

“I just needed to catch my breath — I felt like I ran a marathon,” he says.

“My vision of religion has changed,” he continues, although “it doesn’t mean that I will become more observant.”

Whatever the book‘s impact on his religious life, he takes pride in bringing discussion of the Book of Esther to a mass secular audience, and in the exploration it forced him to do for himself.

“Unearthing the mysteries of this text,” he says, “was undoubtedly one of the biggest intellectual challenges of my career.”


December 27, 2012

Barghouti predicts he’ll be president of Palestine, says right of return is ‘sacred’

Most popular West Bank leader, serving multiple life terms for murder, tells Israeli TV Abbas would have been ‘finished’ had he not pressed ahead with UN membership move
By Times of Israel staff December 26, 2012, 9:13 pm 11

Palestinian Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti is escorted by Israeli police into Jerusalem's Magistrate Court to testify as part of a US civil lawsuit against the Palestinian leadership, in January, 2012. Barghouti was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002 for organizing murderous anti-Israeli attacks during the second intifada (Photo credit: Flash90)
Palestinian Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti is escorted by Israeli police into Jerusalem's Magistrate Court to testify as part of a US civil lawsuit against the Palestinian leadership, in January, 2012. Barghouti was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002 for organizing murderous anti-Israeli attacks during the second intifada (Photo credit: Flash90)

Marwan Barghouti, the West Bank Palestinian leader who is serving multiple life terms in an Israeli jail for orchestrating the murders of Israelis in the second intifada, told Israeli interviewers that he will eventually become the president of Palestine and castigated current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for ostensibly abandoning the demand for a “right of return.”

Barghouti, who is serving out five life terms at Hadarim prison for the murder of five Israelis, including three who were killed in a bombing in Tel Aviv’s seafood market in 2002, was interviewed in jail for two hours late last month, Channel 10 reported on Wednesday night. Israel’s military censors prevented the TV channel from broadcasting the filmed conversation, whose content was instead presented by Channel 10′s Arab affairs reported Zvi Yehezkeli in the form of quotations and reported remarks.

Noting that Barghouti, the former head of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah Tanzim militia, consistently polls as the most popular West Bank Palestinian leader, the TV report quoted him as saying that he bitterly opposed Abbas’s recent intimation of readiness to compromise on the right of return. Abbas told a Channel 2 interviewer two months ago that he personally did not seek the “right” to live in his hometown of Safed in northern Israel.

For the Palestinians, said Barghouti, the right of return is “sacred.” The Palestinians claim a right for millions of Palestinians and their descendants who lived in what is today Israel to return to their homes — an influx that would end Israel as a predominantly Jewish state. The demand, flatly rejected by Israel, has been a key obstacle to peace efforts over the years.

A bitter rival of Abbas’s, Barghouti said the PA president would have been “finished” had he not pushed ahead with what proved to be a successful bid to gain nonmember observer state status for the Palestinians at the UN General Assembly in late November.

Barghouti also said he would not promise that there will be no third intifada — it will be “a popular uprising, not a violent one,” he said. “If the occupation continues, the uprising will come,” he promised. “The Arab Spring won’t pass [Israel] by.”

The TV report said Barghouti had been “broken” when the deal for the release of captured Israeli solder Gilad Shalit went ahead in October 2011 without Israel accepting Hamas’s demand that he be included among the more than 1,000 Palestinian security prisoners released.

It said his visitors all tell him he will not spend the rest of his days in jail, and that he knows he is unlikely to be freed unless Hamas kidnaps more Israelis as bargaining chips.

Barghouti spoke of himself as a future president of Palestine, the report said, talked of a Palestine along the pre-1967 lines but without relinquishing the demand for a right of return, and vowed that under his rule Hamas would not come to power in the West Bank.

Nonetheless, he expressed a certain admiration for Hamas, the report said. “Hamas realizes that Israel only understands force,” Barghouti said. Its rocket fire into Israel from Gaza “is good,” he said, “but I’m not saying that using them all the time is good.”

The interview took place toward the end of last month’s Operation Pillar of Defense, the TV report said, and Barghouti said the conflict had “only strengthened Hamas.”

Two questions come to mind, when I read this story.

Why is an interview of this terrorist allowed?

Second question, why is this man even still alive?

I just don't understand, any of this.

December 26, 2012

Kill an Arab woman or Kill a Jew

Abbas aide: No plans to outlaw 'honor killing'
Published yesterday (updated) 25/12/2012 14:14
By Soraya Al-Ghussein and Hannah Patchett

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas has no plans to amend laws that
reduce sentences for suspects who claim an "honor" defense for murdering
women, his legal adviser says.

"Why change it? This would cause serious problems," Hassan al-Ouri told
Ma'an, adding that such a reform would "not benefit women."

In May 2011, the president pledged to amend the law to guarantee maximum
penalties for "honor killing" in response to protests over the killing of
university student Aya Baradiya in Hebron.

The decision was announced in a phone call to a primetime show on state TV,
drawing tears among crowds of mourners shown in a live link-up from the
Ramallah studio to Baradiya’s hometown.

Abbas suspended Article 340, which offers a pardon for murder if the
perpetrator committed the crime on finding his wife in bed with another man.

The reform was cosmetic: Article 340 had never been used in Palestinian
courts since it was legislated in 1960.

"So why did we change the law? To garner public opinion," al-Ouri said in an
interview in the presidential compound in Ramallah.

"I, personally, was against the amendment because the crimes that happen in
the street have no relevance to Article 340," the legal adviser added.

Al-Ouri says the president will not change the go-to clauses for lawyers
seeking leniency for clients who claim they committed murder to defend
family "honor."

Articles 97 to 100 of the Jordanian Penal Code, in force in the West Bank,
still offer reduced sentences for any act of battery or murder committed in
a "state of rage."

"The (law) only addresses 1 percent of the problem. What we need is a new
culture," al-Ouri said.

Other officials insist the penal code is the problem.

The law "privileges the killer," Interior Ministry official Haitham Arrar
told Ma'an.

"It encourages some people to commit crimes against women, which will go (as
far as) killing them," said Arrar, who heads the ministry's democracy and
human rights unit.

Abbas fears 'conservative forces'

The Palestinian Legislative Council has not met since 2007, when Hamas and
Fatah split, but women's rights expert Soraida Hussein dismisses arguments
that reforms must wait until parliament reconvenes.

"For us, for women, all this is irrelevant," said Hussein, general director
of the Women's Technical Affairs Committee, an umbrella group of women’s
organizations. "Until now, our lives -- in law and in practice -- are seen
as less than men's."

The president should issue a decree that "anybody killing anyone else will
be sentenced to the highest sentence possible, whether it is a woman or a
boy," says Hussein.

"The minute the law is changed and applied, the minute people will think
twice," she says. "It's simple and it's not done."

Hussein suggests Abbas is hesitant to pass legal reforms because "he is not
ready yet to confront conservative forces."

In 2009, Abbas ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women, but al-Ouri, the legal adviser, says it will
only be implemented "so long as it doesn’t contravene Islamic code."

"Look, we are for total equality but if there is a basic tenet of Islamic
code that we would be forced to change under CEDAW, then people would revolt
and brand us as non-believers," al-Ouri said.

'Dressing up honor'

Lax laws encourage murder suspects to claim "honor" in their defense,
officials and women’s rights activists say.

"Because the penalty is one or two months, they consider killing her and
dress it up as honor," Minister of Women's Affairs Rahiba Diab told Ma'an.

Khawla al-Azraq, who runs a women’s counseling center in Bethlehem, notes
that femicide is a global issue but "now in Palestine, they call this honor

"Sometimes these girls are abused by someone in the family and they need to
cover this (up) and they kill her; sometimes because they need her money,"
she says. "These are the real reasons for killing."

"In Palestine, this is the gap, that until now we don’t have our own
legislation that really can protect women."

The Independent Commission of Human Rights says 13 women have been killed
this year, but the real figure is likely to be higher.

"There has been historically a problem of documentation," says Hussein, the
women's rights expert. The cause of suspicious deaths of women was often
recorded as "fate," which could refer to forced "suicides" or being pushed
from a building, she explained.

Despite repeated requests since September, the Ministry of Interior did not
provide Ma'an with the official number of women whose deaths were recorded
as "fate" in 2012.

Such a wonderful society.

If we can't murder Jews then let's kill our own women and make it legal.

The left is evil, because the left hates Jews and Israel they cover up for the murder of innocents both Arab women and Jews.

The problem is, the left is using our freedoms to destroy us.

PSR - Survey Research Unit: Joint Palestinian Israeli Press release

26 December 2012

Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll, December 2012
Given the outcome of the Israeli operation in Gaza and the UN recognition of
a Palestinian state, Palestinians move towards Hamas’ over Abbas’s way,
whereas Israelis stand steadfast in their evaluations and preferences.

These are the results of the most recent poll conducted jointly by the Harry
S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey
Research in Ramallah. This joint survey was conducted with the support of
the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in
Ramallah and Jerusalem.

Given the UN recognition of a Palestinian state and the outcome of the war
between Hamas and Israel, which is seen by over 80% as a victory of Hamas,
60% of Palestinians prefer Hamas’ way over Abbas’s way (28%) to end the
Israeli occupation and build a Palestinian state. Correspondingly, there is
an increase of 11 percentage points in the choice of armed attack as the
best option to force Israel to withdraw from the territories and a 7 point
decline in the choice of peaceful non-violent resistance compared to a year
ago. Compared to three months ago, there is a 7 and 8 percentage point
increase in vote intention for Hamas and Haniyeh in legislative and
presidential elections, and Haniyeh wins a presidential election if it were
to take place now.

Israeli views of the conflict with the Palestinians are quite sturdy and
complex. Their opinions with regard to Israeli options vis a vis the Hamas
regime and the shelling from Gaza are the same now, following operation
“Pillar of Defense”, as they were following operation “Cast Lead” in 2009.
The most popular strategy (40%) is for Israel to carry out ad-hoc operations
against the shelling and get out. A majority of 54% believes that Israel can
overthrow the Hamas regime, yet a similar majority of 55% supports the
cease-fire with Hamas, and 51% support negotiations with the Hamas
government if needed in order to reach a compromise agreement with the
Palestinians. And 65% of Israelis consider it impossible to reach these days
a final status settlement with the Palestinians, as do the Palestinians

The Palestinian sample size was 1270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the
West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations
between December 13 and 15, 2012. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli
sample includes 600 adult Israelis interviewed by phone in Hebrew, Arabic or
Russian between December 9 and 13, 2012. The margin of error is 4.5%. The
poll was planned and supervised by Prof. Yaacov Shamir, 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

For further details on the Palestinian survey contact PSR director, Prof.
Khalil Shikaki or Walid Ladadweh, at tel. 02-2964933 or email
pcpsr@pcpsr.org. On the Israeli survey, contact Prof Yaacov Shamir at tel.
03-6419429 or email jshamir@mscc.huji.ac.il.


(A) Reactions to the Israeli operation in Gaza and the recognition by the UN
of the Palestinian state as a non-member state

81% of the Palestinians think that Hamas came out the winner from the latest
round of conflict between Israel and Hamas. Israelis are divided in their
assessment: most – 42% - think that neither side came out the winner, 26%
think Israel won, 20% think Hamas won and 10% say that both sides won.

In their assessment of whom the cease fire agreement between Hamas and
Israel serves better, the two publics coincide. The modal category is that
it serves better are the interests of the Palestinians (41% of the
Palestinians and 42% of Israelis). A close 39% and 36% respectively say that
both sides benefit. Only a minority on both sides think that Israel benefits
more (16% of Palestinians and 13% of Israelis.
55% of Israelis support the cease fire with Hamas; 41% oppose it.

When we ask Israelis how Israel should respond if the shelling of Israeli
communities from Gaza resumes, 40 % think that Israel should carry out
ad-hoc operations against the shelling and get out; 25% suggest that Israel
should reoccupy the Gaza Strip and stay there; 28% believe that Israel
should use primarily diplomatic rather than military steps. Following the
Israeli “Cast Lead operation in Gaza in 2009, the corresponding figures were
quite similar: 38%, 30%, and 28%.

41% of the Israelis believe that Israel cannot overthrow the Hamas regime in
Gaza while 54% believe it can – very similar results to those obtained in
March 2009, following operation Cast Lead, when 43% of the Israelis believed
that Israel cannot overthrow the Hamas regime in Gaza while 55% believed it

43% of Palestinians expect that given the outcome of the latest round of
violence between Israel and Hamas, Israel will not wage a ground offensive
against the Strip in the near future, whereas 52% think that it will.

When Palestinians are asked, given the outcome of the war between Hamas and
Israel and the UN recognition of a Palestinian state, whose way is the best
to end the Israeli occupation and build a Palestinian state: Hamas’ way or
Abbas’s way, 60% say Hamas’ way and 28% Abbas’ way.

Correspondingly, Hamas gains in strength among the Palestinian public. If
new presidential elections were held in the PA, Haniyeh would win with 48%
of the vote of those participating, to Abbas’s 45%. Three months ago, Abbas
received the support of 51% and Haniyeh 40%. The percentage of vote for
Haniyeh is the highest since Hamas’ electoral victory in 2006. In
legislative elections, 35% of those who would participate say they would
vote for Hamas and 36% for Fateh,. These results indicate a sharp increase
in Hamas’ popularity compared to our September results when it stood at 28%;
Fateh’s popularity remained almost unchanged during the same period.

We asked Palestinians how they can force Israel to withdraw from the
territories of the Palestinian state, after the UN recognized the
Palestinian state, and Israelis what they think Palestinians will do. 41% of
Israelis think the Palestinians will resume the Intifada including armed
confrontations, while 26% think they will start non-violent resistance such
as peaceful demonstrations, and 20% think they will return to negotiations
with the Israeli government. Indeed, 41% of the Palestinians think that
armed attacks on army and settlers can force Israel to withdraw from the
territories; while 24% think peaceful non-violent resistance can force
Israelis to withdraw and 30% think that negotiations with Israel can bring
it to withdraw. In response to a similar question in December 2011,
Palestinians were split among these three options: 31% thought peaceful
non-violent resistance can force Israelis to withdraw; 30% thought that
armed attacks on army and settlers and 32% thought that negotiations with
Israel can bring it to withdraw.

32% of Israelis think that after the UN recognized the Palestinian state as
a non-member state, Israel should accept the decision and start negotiations
with the Palestinians about its implementation; 26% think that Israel should
accept the decision but not allow any change on the ground by the
Palestinians; 27% think that Israel should oppose the decision and intensify
the construction in the settlements; 4% think that Israel should annex the
territory, and 6% think that Israel should invade the PA and use force in
order to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Following the UN recognition of the Palestinian state as a non-state member
and the Israeli operation in Gaza, 61% of the Israelis think that armed
attacks will not stop and the two sides will not return to negotiations,
whereas two thirds of Palestinians think that negotiations will resume with
or without armed confrontation.

(B) Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities

· 53% of Israelis support the cooperation between the US and Israel
in bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities, and only 20 % support a strike by
Israel alone without the cooperation of the US; 21 % oppose any strike. The
corresponding figures in our previous polls in September and in June were
very similar, with a slight decline in opposition to any strike: 52%, 18%
and 24% in September , and 51%, 19% and 26% in June correspondingly.

· Most Palestinians to not think that Israel will carry out a
military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, if Netanyahu wins the
January elections (55%; 34% think Israel will strike).

(C) Attitudes, perceptions and expectations regarding a permanent settlement

Clinton/Geneva Parameters

The Clinton parameters for a Palestinian-Israeli permanent settlement were
presented by President Clinton at a meeting with Israeli and Palestinian
officials twelve years ago, on December 23, 2000, following the collapse of
the July 2000 Camp David summit. The Geneva Initiative, along similar lines,
was made public around the end of 2003. These parameters address the most
fundamental issues which underlie the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: (1)
Final borders and territorial exchange; (2) Refugees; (3) Jerusalem; (4) A
demilitarized Palestinian state; (5) Security arrangements; and (6) End of
conflict. We address these issues regularly since December 2003, and in the
current poll we revisited these crucial issues, amidst a turbulent Middle
East and the recent political and diplomatic developments in the UN, the
Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

56% of Israelis and 43% of Palestinians support a permanent settlement
package along the Clinton parameters. The results indicate a significant
decrease in support for the Clinton / Geneva permanent settlement package
among Palestinians and a slight decline among Israelis compared to December
2011, when 58% among Israelis and 50% among Palestinians supported this

Since 2003, we observed only once majority support for such a settlement on
both sides: in December 2004, shortly after the death of Arafat. The level
of support then was 64% among Israelis and 54% among Palestinians. In 2011
the results came close, where among Israelis there was 58% support, and
among Palestinians – 50% to 49% opposition.

Below we detail support and opposition to the individual items in the
Clinton / Geneva permanent status package.

(1) Final Borders and Territorial Exchange

Among Palestinians 53% support or strongly support and 45% oppose or
strongly oppose an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
with the exception of some settlement areas in less than 3% of the West Bank
that would be swapped with an equal amount of territory from Israel in
accordance with a map that was presented to the Palestinian respondents. The
map was identical to that presented to respondents in December 2011, when
support for this compromise, with its map, stood at 63% and opposition at

Among Israelis 46% support and 49% oppose a Palestinian state in the
entirety of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip except for several large
blocks of settlements in 3% of the West Bank which will be annexed to
Israel. Israel will evacuate all other settlements, and the Palestinians
will receive in return territory of similar size along the Gaza Strip. In
December 2011, 51% of the Israelis supported this component while 44%
opposed it.

(2) Refugees

Among Palestinians 41% support and 56% oppose a refugee settlement in which
both sides agree that the solution will be based on UN resolutions 194 and
242. The refugees would be given five choices for permanent residency. These
are: the Palestinian state and the Israeli areas transferred to the
Palestinian state in the territorial exchange mentioned above; no
restrictions would be imposed on refugee return to these two areas.
Residency in the other three areas (in host countries, third countries, and
Israel) would be subject to the decision of these states. As a base for its
decision Israel will consider the average number of refugees admitted to
third countries like Australia, Canada, Europe, and others. All refugees
would be entitled to compensation for their “refugeehood” and loss of
property. In December 2011, 45% agreed with an identical compromise while
53% opposed it.

Among Israelis 42% support such an arrangement and 49% oppose it. In
December 2011, 42% supported it and 51% opposed.

(3) Jerusalem

In the Palestinian public 29% support and 70% oppose a Jerusalem compromise
in which East Jerusalem would become the capital of the Palestinian state
with Arab neighborhoods coming under Palestinian sovereignty and Jewish
neighborhoods coming under Israeli sovereignty. The Old City (including al
Haram al Sharif) would come under Palestinian sovereignty with the exception
of the Jewish Quarter and the Wailing Wall that would come under Israeli
sovereignty. In December 2011, an identical compromise obtained 40% support
and 59% opposition.

Among Israelis, 38 % agree and 59 % disagree to this arrangement in which
the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem including the old city and the Temple
Mount will come under Palestinian sovereignty, the Jewish neighborhoods
including the Jewish quarter and the Wailing Wall will come under Israeli
sovereignty, East Jerusalem will become the capital of the Palestinian state
and West Jerusalem the capital of Israel. In December 2011, similarly, 38%
supported this arrangement and 60% opposed it.

(4) Demilitarized Palestinian State

Among Palestinians 28% support and 71% oppose the establishment of an
independent Palestinian state that would have no army, but would have a
strong security force and would have a multinational force deployed in it to
ensure its security and safety. Israel and Palestine would be committed to
end all forms of violence directed against each other. A similar compromise
received in December 2011, 32% support, and opposition reached 67%.

As in previous polls, this item receives the lowest level of support by
Palestinians -- 1% lower than the Jerusalem item. Unlike the refugees and
Jerusalem components, this issue has not received due attention in public
discourse, as it should, since it may become a major stumbling block in the
efforts to reach a settlement.

Among Israelis 70% support and 26% oppose this arrangement compared to 67%
support and 33% opposition obtained in December 2011.

(5) Security Arrangements

In the Palestinian public 46% support and 53% oppose a compromise whereby
the Palestinian state would have sovereignty over its land, water, and
airspace, but Israel would have the right to use the Palestinian airspace
for training purposes, and would maintain two early warning stations in the
West Bank for 15 years. A multinational force would remain in the
Palestinian state and in its border crossings for an indefinite period of
time. The task of the multinational force would be to monitor the
implementation of the agreement, and to monitor territorial borders and
coast of the Palestinian state including the presence at its international
crossings. In comparison, in December 2011, 50% of the Palestinians
supported this parameter while 49% opposed it.

In the Israeli public 59% support and 35% oppose this arrangement compared
to 63% who supported it and 33% who opposed it in December 2011.

(6) End of Conflict

In the Palestinian public 59% support and 39% oppose a compromise on ending
the conflict that would state that when the permanent status agreement is
fully implemented, it will mean the end of the conflict and no further
claims will be made by either side. The parties will recognize Palestine and
Israel as the homelands of their respective peoples. In December 2011 63%
supported and 35% opposed this item.

In the Israeli public 68% support and 28% oppose this component in the final
status framework. In December 2011, similarly, 70% of the Israelis supported
it while 27% opposed it.

The Whole Package

Among Palestinians 43% support and 56% oppose the whole package combining
the elements as one permanent status settlement. In December 2011, 50%
supported and 49% opposed such a package.

Among Israelis 56% support and 40% oppose all the above features together
taken as one combined package. In December 2011 58% supported and 39%
opposed such a package.

It is important to see that the pattern of support for the overall package
is more than the sum of its parts, suggesting that people’s calculus is
compensatory and trade-offs are considered. Despite strong reservations
regarding some of the components, the overall package always receives
greater support in both publics, where the desirable components and the
chance of reaching a permanent status agreement seem to compensate for the
undesirable parts.

Despite the actual majority support for the final status package in Israel,
only 33% of the Israelis estimate that a majority in their society supports
this package, while 57% believe that the majority opposes it. These
perceptions tap the normative facet of public opinion and indicate that the
package has not acquired widespread normative legitimacy in the Israeli
public. Among Palestinians, where the majority opposes such a package, 49%
identify this majority, while 42% think that there is majority support for

In terms of mutual perceptions, majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians
think that there is no majority support for this permanent status settlement
package on the other side. 55% of the Israelis think that a majority of
Palestinians opposes such a package, and 56% of the Palestinians think that
a majority of Israelis opposes the package.
Both sides' expectations regarding a final status settlement are grim: 65%
among Israelis and 62% among Palestinians think it is impossible to reach
such a settlement these days.

· As we do periodically in our joint polls, we asked Israelis and
Palestinians about their readiness for a mutual recognition of identity, as
part of a permanent status agreement and after all issues in the conflict
are resolved and a Palestinian State is established. Our current poll shows
that 65% of the Israeli public supports such a mutual recognition and 30%
oppose it. Among Palestinians, 40% support and 59% oppose this step. In
September 2012, 62% of the Israelis supported and 30% opposed this mutual
recognition of identity; among Palestinians, 44% supported and 54% opposed
this step.

(D) Conflict management and threat perceptions

· 51% of Israelis support negotiations with the Hamas government if
needed in order to reach a compromise agreement with the Palestinians, 46%
oppose such talks. However 66% think that the majority opinion opposes such

· Among Israelis, 55% are worried and 44% are not worried that they
or their family may be harmed by Arabs in their daily life, in September
2012 the corresponding figures were 51% and 48%. Among Palestinians, 74% are
worried that they or a member of their family could be hurt by Israel in
their daily life or that their land would be confiscated or home demolished;
26% are not worried. Similar results were obtained in our September poll
(72%; 28%).

· The level of threat on both sides regarding the aspirations of the
other side in the long run is very high. 61% of Palestinians think that
Israel’s goals are to extend its borders to cover all the area between the
Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel its Arab citizens, and 20%
think the goals are to annex the West Bank while denying political rights to
the Palestinians. The modal category among Israelis is that the Palestinian
aspirations in the long run are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy
much of the Jewish population in Israel (42%); 18% think the goals of the
Palestinians are to conquer the State of Israel. Only 12% of the
Palestinians think Israel’s aspirations in the long run are to withdraw from
part of the territories occupied in 1967 after guaranteeing its security,
and 6% think Israel aspires to withdraw from all of the territories occupied
in 1967 after guaranteeing its security. 23% of Israelis think the
aspirations of the Palestinians are to regain all of the territories
conquered in 1967, and 13% think the Palestinians aspire to regain some of
the territories conquered in 1967.

· These mutual perceptions are very much off the mark.

21% of the Israelis say the aspirations of Israel are to withdraw to the
1967 border after guaranteeing Israel’s security; 40% say it is to withdraw
from parts of the territories after guaranteeing Israel’s security; 13% say
it is to annex the West Bank without granting political rights to the
Palestinians living there; and 14% say it is to annex the West Bank and
expel the Palestinians living there.

Among the Palestinians 29% say that the aspirations of the Palestinian
Authority and the PLO are to regain some of the territories conquered in the
1967 war; 33% say it is to regain all the territories conquered in the 1967
war; 21% say it is to conquer the State of Israel and regain control over
the pre 1948 Palestine; and 12% say it is to conquer the State of Israel and
destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel.

December 25, 2012

Israel Feeds The World


Here is what the top Palestinian NGO once wrote:

"Palestinian Centre for Human Rights...Warns of the dangers caused by
continued manufacturing or storage of explosive devices by Palestinian
resistance groups in civilian-populated
areas, which threaten the lives of Palestinian civilians and violate
international humanitarian law."

Then contrast these two HRW statements:

"Under international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, civilians and
civilian structures may not be subject to deliberate attacks or attacks that
do not discriminate between civilians and military targets. Anyone who
commits serious laws-of-war violations intentionally or recklessly is
responsible for war crimes.

and this:

"Human Rights Watch research in Gaza found that armed groups repeatedly
fired rockets from densely populated areas, near homes, businesses, and a
hotel, unnecessarily placing civilians in the vicinity at grave risk from
Israeli counter-fire... Under the laws of war, parties to an armed conflict
are required to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians under
their control from the effects of attacks and not to place military targets
in or near densely populated areas. Human Rights Watch has not been able to
identify any instances in November in which a Palestinian armed group warned
civilians to evacuate an area before a rocket launch."

So while HRW does in their article terms it a "war crime" for the
Palestinians to TARGET Israeli civilians, the core violation that
facilitates this activity - that they use HUMAN SHIELDS - is not explicitly
cited as a "war crime" without even addressing the ongoing Palestinian crime
of manufacturing and storing the weapons in a civilian area. PCHR condemned
this Palestinian activity even when the terrorists were not shooting. HRW
seems to say that as long as there isn't a battle going on there is nothing
wrong with manufacturing and storing weapons in civilian areas.

Why does it matter?

Because the operative issue every day of the week is stopping the
Palestinians from continuing with their practice of manufacturing or
storing explosive devices in civilian-populated areas.]

Gaza: Palestinian Rockets Unlawfully Targeted Israeli Civilians
Residents Describe Deaths, Destruction from Attacks
December 24, 2012
Human Rights Watch

(Jerusalem) – Palestinian armed groups in Gaza violated the laws of war
during the November 2012 fighting by launching hundreds of rockets toward
population centers in Israel.

About 1,500 rockets were fired at Israel between November 14 and 21, the
Israel Defense Forces reported. At least 800 struck Israel, including 60
that hit populated areas.

The rocket attacks, including the first from Gaza to strike the Tel Aviv and
Jerusalem areas, killed three Israeli civilians, wounded at least 38,
several seriously, and destroyed civilian property. Rockets that fell short
of their intended targets in Israel apparently killed at least two
Palestinians in Gaza and wounded others, Human Rights Watch said.

“Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming
civilians was their aim,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at
Human Rights Watch. “There is simply no legal justification for launching
rockets at populated areas.”

Under international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, civilians and
civilian structures may not be subject to deliberate attacks or attacks that
do not discriminate between civilians and military targets. Anyone who
commits serious laws-of-war violations intentionally or recklessly is
responsible for war crimes.

During and after the November fighting, Human Rights Watch interviewed
witnesses, victims, and relatives of people killed and injured by rocket
attacks in Israel, as well as Israeli officials from two communities struck
by rockets, and a spokesperson for the Israeli emergency medical services.

Human Rights Watch research in Gaza found that armed groups repeatedly fired
rockets from densely populated areas, near homes, businesses, and a hotel,
unnecessarily placing civilians in the vicinity at grave risk from Israeli

The Palestinian armed groups that are known to have launched rockets at
Israel – Hamas' Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Islamic Jihad's Saraya
al-Quds Brigades, and the Popular Resistance Committee's Nasser Salahaddin
Brigades – at times said that their attacks targeted civilians or they
sought to justify the attacks by calling them reprisals for Israeli attacks
that killed civilians in Gaza.

On November 18, for example, the al-Qassam Brigades announced that it had
launched a Fajr 5 at Tel Aviv “as a response for the ongoing aggression
against Palestinian people.” The Nasser Salahaddin Brigades stated on
November 10 that it had launched four rockets at Israeli communities close
to Gaza as a “revenge invoice” for Israeli shelling that had killed four
Palestinian civilians.

The laws of war prohibit reprisal attacks against civilians, regardless of
unlawful attacks by the other side, Human Rights Watch said. Statements by
armed groups that they deliberately targeted an Israeli city or Israeli
civilians are demonstrating their intent to commit war crimes.

Hamas, the ruling authority in Gaza, is obligated to uphold the laws of war
and should appropriately punish those responsible for serious violations,
Human Rights Watch said.

During the November fighting, Palestinian armed groups launched rockets that
reached further into Israel than ever before, with eight rockets reportedly
striking or being intercepted in the Tel Aviv area and three near Jerusalem.
Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades stated on November 22 that armed groups during the
fighting had launched 12 long-range rockets, one toward the city of Herzliya
in the Tel Aviv district and three toward Jerusalem.

Israel's Internal Security Agency (ISA) said that about half of the rockets
fired into Israel were short range, reaching up to 20 kilometers; slightly
less than half were medium range, reaching 20 to 60 kilometers, and less
than 1 percent were long range reaching over 60 kilometers.

The Israel Defense Forces said that its “Iron Dome” anti-rocket defense
system intercepted more than 400 rockets during the November fighting. Of
the rockets that hit Israel, the vast majority landed in open areas, causing
no injuries or damage.

In addition to the locally made Qassam rockets and Soviet-designed Grad
rockets long used by Palestinian armed groups, the Qassam Brigades announced
that it had launched a locally made larger rocket, called the M75, as well
as Iranian-produced Fajr 5 rockets. Officials from Hamas and Islamic Jihad
said that Iran had supplied Palestinian armed groups with military support.

The Guardian newspaper quoted an Iranian military official's statement to
Iranian media that Iran had not supplied rockets but had provided technical
information to Palestinian armed groups that enabled them to build their own
Fajr 5 rockets. The Fajr 5 has a reported range of 75 kilometers, capable of
reaching the Tel Aviv metropolitan area from Gaza, with 90 kilograms of
explosives in its warhead.

Supplying weaponry to a party to a conflict knowing that it is likely to be
used to commit war crimes constitutes the aiding and abetting of war crimes,
as demonstrated in the April conviction of former Liberian president Charles
Taylor by the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Civilian Victims
The three Israeli civilian deaths came from one rocket that struck an
apartment building in Kiryat Malachi near Ashdod around 8 a.m. on November
15, killing Aharon Smadja, 48, Mira Scharf, 25, and Yitzhak Amsalem, 24. Two
men and an 8-month-old baby were wounded.

A statement by Hamas's al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for
launching five Grad rockets at Kiryat Malachi that day at 7:50 a.m.

The Israeli emergency medical service, Magen David Adom, said that during
the November fighting, medics treated thirty-eight civilians wounded by
rockets, three of them severely and four of them moderately. The wounded
included a 50-year-old man in Ashkelon, whose foot was traumatically
amputated by a rocket blast; a man in Ofakim who was severely wounded when a
rocket hit the car in which he was riding; and a 43-year-old man in the
Zeelim area who suffered severe injuries to his upper body from rocket

Kfir Rosen, a 26-year-old state employee, described a November 20 rocket
blast that injured him in the shoulder and leg:

The things in the house flew around, doors were blown out, the whole
building shook. A splinter from the rocket flew past and scraped my throat.
After the explosion we couldn't see a thing; it was all full of smoke and
dust. A [concrete] block from upstairs hit my shoulder, and another hit the
back of my hip.

Rockets also destroyed civilian property including homes and schools. On
November 20, a rocket tore the roof off a school in Ashkelon.

Some rockets launched by Palestinian armed groups fell short and struck
inside Gaza. On November 16, a rocket that appears to have been launched
from within Gaza hit a crowded street in the Gazan town of Jabalya, killing
a man, 23, and a boy, 4, and wounding five people.

Launching from Residential Neighborhoods
Human Rights Watch interviewed four witnesses to rocket launches from
densely populated areas inside Gaza, and heard second-hand reports about
many more. Unlike during previous fighting, armed groups seem to have fired
many rockets from underground tunnels, opening a hatch to launch the

One rocket was launched on November 20 at around 1:30 p.m. just off Wehda
Street in Gaza City, about 100 meters from the Shawa and Housari Building,
where various Palestinian and international media have offices. “I saw it
[the rocket] go up and heard it, and then smoke was in the office,” a
witness said.

One man said he saw a rocket launched from the yard of a house near the
Deira Hotel in central Gaza City, though he could not recall the date.

International and Palestinian journalists traveling around Gaza during the
fighting told Human Rights Watch that they did not see any Palestinian
militants moving in the open, suggesting that Hamas has developed a network
of tunnels for personnel and perhaps rockets.

Under the laws of war, parties to an armed conflict are required to take all
feasible precautions to protect civilians under their control from the
effects of attacks and not to place military targets in or near densely
populated areas. Human Rights Watch has not been able to identify any
instances in November in which a Palestinian armed group warned civilians to
evacuate an area before a rocket launch.

The rockets launched by Palestinian groups cannot be aimed precisely enough
to target military objectives in or near civilian areas, Human Rights Watch
said. Under the laws of war, such weapons are therefore indiscriminate when
used against targets in population centers. The absence of Israeli military
forces in the areas where rockets hit, as well as statements by leaders of
Palestinian armed groups that population centers were being targeted,
indicate that the armed groups deliberately attacked Israeli civilians and
civilian objects.

Human Rights Watch has repeatedly condemned indiscriminate rocket attacks on
Israeli population centers, as well as Hamas' failure to hold anyone
accountable for those attacks. Human Rights Watch reiterated those

The November 14 to 21 hostilities between Israel and Hamas and armed groups
in Gaza involved unlawful attacks on civilians by both sides. Four Israeli
civilians and at least 103 Palestinian civilians died during the fighting.
The fourth Israeli civilian, an Israeli Bedouin named Alayaan Salem
al-Nabari, 33, was killed on November 20 in a mortar attack in the Eshkol
Regional Council area that reportedly wounded several soldiers. According to
the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he was accompanying his cousin who
works for a company that builds tents for the military.

“A limited military arsenal that relies on largely indiscriminate rockets
does not justify a failure to respect the laws of war, which apply to all
sides in a conflict whatever their capabilities,” Whitson said. “As the
ruling authority in Gaza, Hamas has an obligation to stop unlawful attacks
and punish those responsible.”

Rocket Attack Cases

Kiryat Malachi
On November 15, at around 8 a.m., a “Grad” type rocket struck the top two
floors of a four-story apartment building in Kiryat Malachi, a town of
20,000 people 25 kilometers north of Gaza. The rocket killed Aharon Smadja,
48, Mira Scharf, 25, and Yitzhak Amsalem, 24. The blast wounded Scharf's
husband, Shmuel, and the couple's 8-month-old boy. The rocket also wounded
Boris Chorona, 52, a deliveryman who had been standing outside the building.

Smadja, a rabbi, lived on the third floor of the building with his wife and
their four children, his cousin Rachel Gueta told Human Rights Watch. Gueta,
who spoke with residents of the building, said that a warning siren
sounded – Israel's “Color Red” system, which alerts residents of incoming
rockets – and that Smadja, his wife, and children went downstairs to a
designated protected area inside the building. Smadja then heard Amsalem's
mother calling her son to come to the protected area, and Smadja went
upstairs to get the younger man. The men were reportedly killed while
standing next to a window in Amsalem's apartment.

“The rocket hit the fourth floor and penetrated through to the third,”
destroying the Smadjas' apartment, Gueta told Human Rights Watch. “The
police let [Smadja's wife] go back to the apartment once to get some
clothes. Her kids said, ‘You came back with clothes, but not with dad.'”

Gueta said that Smadja's corpse was badly disfigured from the blast. “The
funeral was horrible. The nylon that was supposed to cover the body was not
closed properly. And two sirens sounded during the funeral. We had to run to
[a protected area in] the synagogue.”

Chorona, a furniture deliveryman from Tiberius, was standing outside the
apartment building when the rocket hit. Chorona's daughter-in-law, Roxanna,
told Human Rights Watch that he was “waiting by the [delivery] truck” when
shrapnel from the rocket almost completely severed his hand. Doctors “saved
his hand but it doesn't function,” she said. “A splinter from the rocket hit
the nerve. He can't work. He needs his wife's help to shower and eat.” The
rocket also badly damaged the truck.

A Kiryat Malachi spokesman, Yossi Peretz, told Human Rights Watch that the
rocket was the only one that has hit the town.

Rishon LeZion
On November 20 at about 6 p.m., a rocket that Israeli media identified as an
Iranian-produced Fajr 5 struck the top two floors of a seven-story apartment
building in Rishon LeZion, a city of 220,000 about 60 kilometers northeast
of Gaza.

Kobi Mordechai, 31, a gas station attendant, lived with his wife and three
young children in an apartment on the sixth floor. The family and a friend
were home when the siren sounded, he said:

We ran into the shelter [in the hallway outside the apartment], all six of
us. Then we heard a huge explosion. I went out of the shelter but couldn't
see a thing. The electricity was gone, and everything was full of smoke and
what looked like fire, so we went back in. Only when someone came to get us
and we left the building did I understand it had been my apartment. The
rocket was in my house ­– it hit my house directly. The whole place is in
ruins; almost nothing is left. We managed to get just a few things out. The
kids saw our house on television; they saw their shelter, their toys. They
asked their grandmother, “Grandma, will you also not have a house soon?”

Kfir Rosen, a 26-year-old employee of the Rishon LeZion municipality, lived
with his parents and brother on the second floor of the building. His
parents were not home at the time. Rosen told Human Rights Watch that he
heard the “Color Red” early-warning siren and warned his brother to go to
their shelter, but his brother said that he wanted to see the rocket
intercepted by Israel's “Iron Dome” anti-rocket missile system. He told
Human Rights Watch: “I asked myself, ‘What's the chance that the rocket will
actually fall on me of all places?' and we stayed on the balcony. The siren
stopped, and about 20 seconds later we heard an enormous boom.” He said that
pieces of his building struck him in the shoulder and hip.

Rosen said that the rocket “made a big hole in the balcony on the third
floor above mine, and then fell down to the neighbors' lawn. Even the
apartments in the adjacent building were damaged by the blast.” He said
police “only gave us minutes to retrieve a few things” from the building,
because “they say the upper floors might fall down, the structure isn't
safe.” Rosen and his family are living in a hotel while the building is

The armed group that fired the rocket apparently packed it with
anti-personnel shrapnel. “Lots of tiny balls that were inside the rocket
flew out all over the place” when it hit, Rosen said. Small holes that he
said were caused by the shrapnel had pockmarked the wall of the building and
another building across the street.

On November 17 at around 8 a.m., a rocket struck a private home in Ashdod
while five people were there, badly damaging the house and wounding the
mother. A daughter, 22, who was not in the house at the time, said her
father, mother, 14-year-old sister, brother-in-law, and 2-year-old niece
were at home when the rocket struck. The woman said she saw the house a few
hours after the explosion:

We don't have a shelter at home, so they were all hiding in my room, which
is on the bottom floor and has fewer external walls. We had two floors, and
the top floor is what saved my family. An iron beam stopped the rocket; it
exploded on the top floor. A brick flew and hit my mother in the head. When
I arrived at the house, it was just awful. I didn't know that this is what a
rocket does to a house; the news doesn't really show you. My little sister's
room doesn't have a ceiling anymore. My niece started to wet her bed. After
that, when there were [rocket] sirens, she'd go into the shelter shaking and

Rockets struck Ashdod repeatedly during the fighting, including rockets that
hit a residential area on November 16 and a store on November 20.

Residents of Sderot, a residential community near the Gaza perimeter that
was first struck by rockets from Gaza in 2002, described near-hits from
rockets that exploded during the eight-day conflict.

“We couldn't leave our houses for a week; we were constantly in the
shelters,” Shirly Seidler, 25, a journalist with Yedioth South who lives in
Sderot, told Human Rights Watch. Residents have 10 to 15 seconds after the
rocket siren sounds to enter a protected space, she said.

One rocket hit the house across the street from her home in Sderot:

We ran to the shelter when we heard the siren, then heard two really strong
blasts that made the house shake. It had hit the house across the street
from ours. There were gas balloons where the rockets had fallen, and we
thought we'd have to evacuate. We were running around barefoot in our
pajamas, and there were a few moments of real panic, with ambulances,
police, police sapper units, and bulldozers digging out the rocket.

Many Sderot residents moved away due to fear of rocket strikes. “I know a
lot of people with children who got up and left” during the fighting,
Seidler said.

Rotem Ochana, 25, an employee at Sapir College, said that a rocket hit the
basketball court across the street from his house. He also witnessed several
interceptions of rockets by Israel's “Iron Dome” anti-rocket system on
November 16, while driving near the Ad Halom junction outside Ashdod. He

The sirens began, so I pulled over, and there was a bus and two other
private cars that also stopped on the side of the road with me. There were
four sirens in a row, and we saw all the interceptions over our head. I saw
two kids running from place to place and a hysterical mother trying to grab
them. Once the sirens ended, I got back in the car to get to a shelter, and
a fragment from the interception fell and broke my windshield on the
driver's side. After that, I didn't leave the house again until everything
calmed down. It made me realize how bad it must be on the other side [for
Gaza residents] where they have no sirens or shelters.

In response to questions from Human Rights Watch, the Ashkelon municipality
spokesperson said that 36 rockets struck the city during the November
fighting, and that Israel's “Iron Dome” system intercepted an additional 60
rockets that would otherwise have hit.

Rockets seriously damaged the Mekif Bet and Ronson schools in the central
Kiryat Hachinuch area. Shrapnel from the rocket traumatically amputated a
man's foot near Zipora House, a building across the street from the Rambam
religious school. Shrapnel also penetrated and severely damaged the car he
had been driving, the spokesperson said.

December 23, 2012

45% are Idiots

Poll: 45% of Israelis support unilateral withdrawal
Rafi Smith poll: 80% of Israelis support IDF presence in W. Bank in the case of unilateral withdrawal until agreement is signed.

Almost half of the Israeli population supports a unilateral withdrawal from the Palestinian territories on the basis of the 1967 lines, according to a poll conducted by Rafi Smith for the Blue and White Future movement.

Forty-five percent of respondents answered they would back a unilateral withdrawal while maintaining the large settlement blocs including western Samaria, Kedumim, Jerusalem, Ma’aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion.

In a similar survey conducted in June, only 38% of respondents supported such a withdrawal.

Eighty percent of respondents supported leaving an IDF presence in the West Bank in the case of unilateral withdrawal until a final status agreement is signed. All Yahadut Hatorah supporters answered "yes" to this question, while on the other side of the political spectrum, 64% of Meretz supporters also answered in favor of IDF security measures.

Seventy-six percent of those surveyed supported the principle of compensating settlers who agree to evacuate voluntarily, with 95% of both Yesh Atid and The Tzipi Livni party supporters favoring this idea.

Meanwhile, 68% of respondents backed early preparations by the state to absorb settlers now living east of the security barrier, in order to facilitate implementation of the process, down 10% from the June survey. This 10% decrease was mostly attributed to right-wing and Orthodox respondents.

The percentage of Bayit Yehudi supporters who answered in favor of unilateral withdrawal rose by 16% since June to 41%.

Co-chairman of the Blue and White Future movement Gilad Sher said that the Israeli public is beginning to internalize the idea that a Jewish democratic state requires withdrawing from the Palestinian territories, with or without an agreement.

"It is the duty of a responsible government - any government - to promote the reality of two states for two peoples as a clear interest for national security," Sher stated. "The status quo and the ineffectiveness of the current government is leading to the end of Zionism, which established in Israel the national and democratic home of the Jewish people."

"We must curb the danger of a bi-national or unequal state through one-sided constructive steps," he continued. "The government must prepare, with courage and responsibility, the infrastructure along the security barrier while conducting controlled, responsible and planned evacuations from settlements located outside the settlement blocs, and to successfully absorb those forced to evacuate in order to maintain a Jewish, democratic, legitimate and secure Israel."

I hope this is a one off poll that is a mistake and not a trend.

45% of Israelis are idiots and have not learned from Gaza.

If Israel give up and retreats from Judea and Samaria, I will be forced to examine my support of Israel.

December 21, 2012


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, 11AM 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

Israel: Palestinians power-drunk

Foreign Ministry warns PA's pledge to take far-reaching steps against Israel if Right wins elections is 'delusional and suicidal'; Jerusalem gears for possible ICC backlash
Itamar Eichner

"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seeking to incite a confrontation with Israel no matter what," the Foreign Ministry said Friday, following the Palestinian leader's announcement that Ramallah will actively try to isolate Israel in the international arena.

On Thursday, the Palestinian Authority, bolstered by its new UN status, said that should the Right, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, win the coming elections – which is a near-certain possibility – it will actively try to destabilize both the Israeli government and Jerusalem's standing worldwide.

The Palestinians said that they would exacerbate the steps taken against Israel, including staging mass demonstrations in the West Bank, encouraging the international community to impose sanctions, and ending the security cooperation that has helped preserve quiet in recent years.

Ramallah has yet to seek membership with The Hague, but Jerusalem is gearing for the possibility that the Palestinians will pursue International Criminal Court (ICC) action against Israeli officials.

"The 'new rules' the Palestinians are talking about are no different than the old rules that have always resulted in conflict, hatred, violence and their defeat," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

"The Palestinians' tragedy is that instead of dedicating efforts to building themselves, they are focusing on trying to harm Israel. Instead of building their future they are immersed in attempts to ruin ours.

"This strategy has led to nothing but failure after failure for them. They continue digging in their heels out of some delusional, suicidal power drunkenness," he said.

Nevertheless, Jerusalem is following the PA's steps carefully. Sources in the Foreign Ministry said that the Palestinians are systematically filing complaints with international bodies against Israel over settlement construction – more so since the government announced new building plans for the contested E1 area.

According to the Foreign Ministry, since the PA gained nonmember status at the UN, the complaints have taken on a new tone – one that includes international law citations and criteria – in preparation of possible ICC action.

Jerusalem sources believe that the Palestinians are likely to file ICC charges against Israel, based on The Hague's ruling that displacing population off occupied territory is a war crime.

Prior to the UN General Assembly's vote on the Palestinian status bid, Abbas said that should it be granted, the Palestinian Authority would not pursue ICC action against Israel.

Itamar Eichner is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent

The world is clearly about to end, I don't know if the Mayans were correct, but we are near the end.

Yoni is cheering for Assad in Syria and the PA.

Israeli leadership has never taken the threat of the Palestinians seriously, Israelis are blow up and shot for decades and our leaders are secure with their security. While at the same time not allow free ownership of guns by Jews in Israel and while handcuffing the IDF.

But when Abu Jihad sent a team to try and murder Rabin, in no time at all Rabin to sent commandos to kill Abu Jihad.

Maybe now that the PA is going to take Israeli leaders to the International Criminal Court, our leaders will wake up and get serious.

So come on PA bring it on go after Israeli leaders, you got my support.

Just don't come crying to me.

When you get what you deserve, and end up dead.

December 19, 2012

Comptroller to probe Israel gun laws

Special inquiry to look into gun control regulations following recent incidents involving security guards who murdered their wives, as well as Newtown massacre
Tova Tzimuki

State Comptroller Yosef Shapira is planning to conduct a special inquiry into Israel's gun control regulations following recent incidents involving security guards who murdered their wives – as well as the massacre of children in Newtown, Connecticut.

The inquiry will focus on the Ministry of Public Security, which is responsible for the supervision of firearm licensing and security companies authorized to posses weapons and hand them over to their employees.

The comptroller will examine whether licenses to carry weapons are granted in accordance with the law.

As for security companies, the comptroller will probe whether they meet the terms of the law for obtaining large amounts of weapons and supervise the guns after they are transferred to the employees.

State comptrollers have already looked into the Israel's gun control regulations in the past, and public committees have been appointed to suggest improvements in the licensing and supervision of weapons. Shapira will examine whether such a follow-up had indeed taken place.

In addition, the report will deal with the desired policy for the possession of weapons by individuals and for monitoring license holders' use of their guns.

This article speaks for itself as to leftist idiots in power.

December 18, 2012

I want to thank G-D, I am a man.

I want to thank G-D, I am a man.

Not just the fact that I am a male, but I think I meet the definition of what a man should do.

I have of my own free will, in both my countries picked up the gun and hunted evil.

I have been at homicide scenes in the USA, where multiple victims were murdered.

In Israel I have seen more suicide bombings and terrorism, than I need get into here.

I am angry that some crazy punk, murdered all these people last week.

But I am sick and tired of hearing people talk of love, gun control and mental health issues.

I am tired, of not hearing a common sense response to evil.

Let me be blunt, lock down a school and you provide fish in a barrel for evil crazy people to murder. But it is PC way, to try to feel we are doing something.

I am tired of people not facing facts that in the USA we have less rampage killings, than other places in the world.

I am tired of people not wanting to grow up and state the obvious. That a gun in the hands of good people is the answer to rampage killings and many other forms of evil.

When a person wants to commit such an evil, give them the answer they deserve.

A burst of accurate gun fire to the chest and head.

Rid the world of evil, the only way possible and shut up about PC BS.

Iran: Newtown massacre was Israeli conspiracy

Iran: Newtown massacre was Israeli conspiracy

Tehran news website quotes 'expert' alleging horrific Connecticut shooting that claimed lives of 20 children, six adults was Israeli scheme meant to exert revenge on US following 'humiliation at UN'
Dudi Cohen

"The Newtown massacre was the result of an Israeli conspiracy" an Iranian news website proclaimed Tuesday.

The United States is still reeling from the murderous rampage that left 20 children and six adults dead in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday. Tehran – which on Sunday offered its condolences to the victims and their families – is now promoting an alternative explanation to the horrific event.

Iran's Press TV website quoted Michael Harris, former Republican candidate for governor of Arizona and GOP campaign finance chairman, as saying that "An Israeli death squad was involved in the Sandy Hook shooting."

According to the report, Harris called the Newtown tragedy a "terrorist attack," adding that it was "Israel's revenge" and that it was meant to "teach the US lesson," following the Palestinian's status upgrade in the UN.

According to the report, the shooter, Adam Lazna, was meant to be the scapegoat.

Press TV failed to note where Harris was interviewed. The website also dubbed him an "intelligence analyst," but the GOP member has no known ties to the intelligence community in the US.

The report further quoted him as linking the Connecticut incident to Anders Behring Breivik's murderous spree in Norway, in 2011.

"This is exactly what Israel did in Norway; the political party that voted for sanctions against Israel was retaliated against by a 'lone gunman' who killed 77 children.

"This is what Israel always does, they go after the children… The same thing happened at Sandy Hook. Nobody buys the lone gunman story anymore, not with the Gabby Giffords’ shooting, not with the Aurora 'Batman' shooting, certainly not with Breveik, and certainly not in Connecticut," he said.

Harris, reportedly citing the "numerous inconsistencies" in the shooting's "cover story," said that "This is another case where Israel has chosen violence and terrorism where their bullying in Washington has failed."

Press TV further quoted him as saying that "Israel believes the United States threw them under the bus" in the wake of the "humiliation suffered" during Operation Pillar of Defense and the Palestinians' success in the US.

The Iranian news website said that the Republican official further called the shooting "a signature attack by Israel," saying it was "reminiscent of the attacks that killed so many children in Gaza."

Press TV is considered a dubious source, at best, for both domestic and international affairs, as it is a known vehicle of the Iranian regime.

The news website often targets Israel, taking every opportunity to try and drive a wedge between Jerusalem and the international community by using defense, security and intelligence "experts."

Sure why not?

Let's ban gun and Jews, they are evil.

Guns and Jews to the furnace.

December 17, 2012

A-G recommends not to ban Zoabi from running

Weinstein says there isn't enough evidence to warrant disqualifying Zoabi, UAL-Ta'al, Balad, Strong Israel from Knesset run.

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein recommended on Monday to the Election Committee not to disqualify MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) and allow her to run in the upcoming January 22 Knesset election.

Likud MK Ofir Akunis gathered the requisite signatures to petition Zoabi's banning earlier this month.

The Attorney-General said that despite the evidence gathered against Zoabi, that he deemed as "disturbing and substantial," it is not enough to disqualify her.

Weinstein also rejected requests from the Election Committee to disqualify United Arab List-Ta’al, Balad and Strong Israel.

Article 7a of the Basic Law: The Knesset says that a party list or an individual candidate cannot reject Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, incite to violence or support armed combat by an enemy state or terror organization against the State of Israel.

The Attorney-General stated that evidence against Balad and UAL-Ta'al does indicate on "disturbing closeness" to rejecting the State of Israel as a Jewish state, as well as indicate on their support in the armed struggle of a terrorist organization. However, the presented evidence is not sufficiently strong to justify disqualifying the two parties.

Addressing the request to disqualify Arieh Eldad and Michael Ben-Ari's new party Strong Israel, Weinstein said the evidence presented is not convincing, clear and unequivocal enough to prove the list rejects the existence of Israel as a democratic state.

Final decisions as to which parties or individuals are disqualified will be released on December 23, one month before the election. The High Court can overturn decisions until January 1.

Although the committee has disqualified parties in recent years, including Balad and UAL-Ta’al in 2009, the High Court of Justice has overturned all such decisions, except for Rabbi Meir Kahane’s Kach party in 1988.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

We are a messed up nation.

If the AG of Israel can't find enough evidence to disqualify Zoabi and her party from running, then Hamas should be able to run as a party for the Knesset.

A woman that was on the flotilla to try and break the blockade of Gaza, a woman that during an anti Israel outburst in the Knesset assaulted an usher.

If we are this stupid, I question our right to have a state of our own.

December 16, 2012

'First we take Damascus, then Tel Aviv'

Salafist leader warns that once rebels topple Assad's regime they will set their sights on Israel; says 'We won't rest until Palestine is liberated'
Roi Kais

The leader of the radical Salafist movement in Jordan, whose organization actively supports the Syrian rebels' efforts to topple President Bashar Assad's regime warned Sunday that once the Damascus opposition achieves its primary goal, it will set its sights on Israel.

The group's leader, Abed Shihadeh, who is also known as Abu Muhammad al-Tahawi, spoke at the funeral of a Jihadist who committed a suicide attack in Amman last week.

"We tell Benjamin Netanyahu, the (Israeli) prime minister, get ready. The army of the Prophet Mohammad is coming your way."

Shihadeh added: "Those carrying explosives in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will find you, Allah willing," he added. "The next fight is between us and you."

The jihadist leader further pledged to "Take over Damascus and then head to Tel Aviv… As far as we are concerned, Palestine stretches from river to sea, from Rafah to a-Nakura. We will not rest until Palestine is liberated."

Commenting on the United States' decision to add the al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra to its terror watch list, Shihadeh said that "Allah blesses the heroes of Jabhat al-Nusra.

"America is the mother of all terror in the world," he added, further blaming the US for "standing by Assad and the Jews."

Come on Putin, put Russian troops into Syria to support Assad.

It is better for Israel for Assad to win, so I am going to be honest and cheer for him.

School Shooting

Rampage violence, is not an American problem.

It is a world wide problem, since 1904 the world has seen over 1261 such incidents.

They happen in free countries such as America, and they have happened in dictatorships such as the former USSR and China.

The weapons range from edged weapons, firearms and metal bars.

I predict that America will see new gun control, over the latest school shooting. Despite the evidence of the good that guns have done in two of the latest incidents.

We know that the shooter in Oregon was confronted by a civilian that was carrying a pistol, the civilian held fire because of people being behind the shooter. The shooter was working to try and clear a malfunction in his rifle, he saw the civilian aiming at him.

The shooter only fired one more round, the one that took his own life.

We know at the Sandy Hook, that when the shooter heard the first responders approaching he took his own life.

It is time we have a serious discussion about the positive aspect of gun ownership.

Guns in the hands of good people, prevent violence.

Israel proved that guns in our schools, stopped our schools from being targeted by terrorist.

Gun free zones create a pool of victims for these sick individuals.

I promise you, let a teacher kill one of these crazies and the rampage violence at schools will stop.

The sick twisted people that engage in rampage violence, are small insignificant having never done nothing in their lives of significance . They feel power when they murder innocent weak people, it is their way of saying see I can do something in my worthless life and then they take their own lives.

Just ask yourself the following question. Why don't these incidence happen at gun ranges, gun shops, police stations?

The answer is clear, because they would have to face real men and women that are strong and are willing to kill to defend their lives.

December 14, 2012


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, 11AM 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

December 13, 2012


New Fatah logo eliminates Israel

Mahmoud Abbas’s party issues icon redolent with anti-Israel symbolism
By Elhanan Miller December 13, 2012, 4:50 pm

As Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas continues to voice support for a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, condemning the use of violence, his party, Fatah, seems to have a different scenario in mind.

A new logo, issued by Fatah ahead of the party’s 48th anniversary celebrations, is replete with bellicose symbols including the barrel of a rifle and a Palestinian keffiyeh (headscarf) covering the entire territory from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea, eliminating the state of Israel, Palestinian Media Watch revealed Wednesday.
Fatah's new anniversary logo (photo credit: courtesy/Palestinian Media Watch)

Fatah’s new anniversary logo (photo credit: courtesy/Palestinian Media Watch)

The logo, published in official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah on December 10, also features other loaded images, including the Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, a white dove in shackles, and a key symbolizing the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants. The words on the logo read “the state and victory.”

The Palestinian Authority consistently eradicates Israel’s existence in its official maps in government offices, schools and the media, Palestinian Media Watch reported.

Ido Zelkovitz, an expert on Fatah at Haifa University’s department of Middle East history and the Ezri Center, said that Fatah is directing its combative message largely at a domestic audience, in a bid to respond to rival movement Hamas’s fiery rhetoric.

“Armed struggle is an integral part of Fatah’s founding ethos,” Zelkovitz told The Times of Israel. “The message is: if goals can’t be achieved through negotiations, the military option is always there… For Fatah, remaining weaponless is having no identity.”

The number 48 is also highly symbolic, a reference to the 1948 establishment of Israel and the ensuing Palestinian Nakba, or disaster. The 48th anniversary marks the day in which Fatah went from clandestine to public activity through firing “the first bullet” at an Israeli water pipe on January 1, 1965.

Zelkovitz considers the white dove in shackles a dual symbol. It represents both the Israeli procrastination in the peace process and a demand to liberate Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Fatah representative in Gaza Yahya Rabbah told local media this week that his movement will celebrate its anniversary in Hamas-controlled Gaza ”in the right time and place.”

Despite the combative spirit represented in the new logo, Zelkovitz contends the PA leader Mahmoud Abbas understands that the armed struggle has led Palestinians nowhere, and consistently speaks up against it.

“There are various streams inside Fatah, and not everyone is committed to [Abbas's] hopes and aspirations,” he said.”The same is true for us here in Israel, where not all politicians conform to the ideas of their party leaders.”

Riots in Hebron continue after teen's death

Riots in Hebron continue after teen's death

Palestinian youths, Israeli security forces clash day after Palestinian teen is shot dead at checkpoint; officer who fired at 'armed' youth receives death threats

Ynet reporters
Published: 12.13.12, 12:34 / Israel News

The clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops continued in Hebron on Thursday as tension in the region continued to mount over the death of a local teenager.

The 17-year-old Palestinian was shot dead on Wednesday by a Border Guard sergeant when he brandished a gun that later turned out to be fake. The incident occurred at a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The officer received threats to her life as photos of her circulated on social networks.

On Thursday morning, dozens of Palestinian youths in the West Bank city threw stones and bottles at troops, who responded with tear gas. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries.

The confrontations followed several days of violent riots in the region. Last week saw two incidents in which IDF troops were forced
to retreat after being attacked by stone-throwing mobs, and on Tuesday an army vehicle caught fire while Palestinian protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at soldiers in Naalin.

'You're going down'

The name and photo of the border police officer who fired at the Palestinian teen was released by the Israeli media on Wednesday before being placed under a gag order. Palestinians web users circulated the image, alongside images of other Israeli combat troops, in the social media and international anti-Israel forums.

The messages branded the officer as a criminal and featured threats to her life.

"There's no escaping death," one of the messages said. "You're going down," said another.

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch spoke with the sergeant on Thursday and praised her for exemplary conduct.

"You acted as you were trained, with courage, determination and without hesitation, as is expected of Border Guard combatants," he said.

The officer recalled on Wednesday that she didn't have much time to consider her actions.

"I saw the Palestinian pull a gun out of his back pocket and hold it up to the other soldier. I knew I only had a few seconds so I cocked my weapon and looked for the right angle – so as not to hurt the soldier."

According to the sergeant, she was a few yards away, at the checkpoint post, during the incident. "He (the soldier) asked a Palestinian teenager for his ID. I stepped out to fill out a checkpoint report and I saw the Palestinian attack the soldier and take out a gun."

Turn our computer warfare units loose track down every single threat.

Then kill every person that made a threat.

Let's admit we are at war for the future of the Jewish people and our country.

This officer did every thing perfect, and good for her.

She should not have to live in fear, let those that make threats live in fear for the day that Israel kills them.

December 12, 2012

IDF seeks to clarify rules of engagement

Military aims to meet demand for clear directives for engaging rioting Palestinians, following soldiers' complaints that their 'hands are tied'

Yoav Zitun
Published: 12.13.12, 00:59 / Israel News

The rapidly growing number of clashed between IDF soldiers and Palestinians in the West Bank have prompted the IDF to issue new directives to the Judea and Samaria Division commanders regarding rules of engagement pertaining to stone-throwing incidents.

Soldiers serving in the West Bank complained in recent days that "their hands are tied" vis-à-vis Palestinian rioters in the sector, due to the military's orders to exercise restraint.

The directives came under scrutiny over the past few days over several embarrassing incidents, where soldiers had to flee rioters rather than engage them due to ambiguous orders.

The new directives, a copy of which was obtained by Ynet on Wednesday, aim to clarify the rules of engagement, and while they stress discretion, they clearly state that soldiers are allowed to open fire in the event of an imminent threat.

Clash at Qaddum

Amongst other things, the document states that, "During foot patrols, when soldiers identify that Israeli vehicles are being stones, constituting clear and present danger, they must fire to eliminate the threat only under the following conditions: Static and single shots, without endangering other vehicles."

In cases involving Molotov cocktails thrown at troops, the soldiers are ordered to "Fire at the source until the threat is neutralized."

"When on foot patrol, if protesters stone our forces, massively and physically endangering soldiers, suspect engaging procedures must be put into effect in full, culminating with aiming the weapon at the assailant's lower extremities. However, if the stoning poses to true physical threat the arrest should be conducted using reasonable force."

The document clearly stated that should IDF troops come under gunfire, they must respond by returning fire at the source and engaging any suspects.

Directives pertaining to fire protocols in checkpoints – both permanent and temporary ones – have also been clarified further.

The new orders also focus on vehicular terror attacks, i.e. – incidents when terrorists attempt to run soldiers over: "Should a directed attempt to run soldiers over be made and it cannot be thwarted, troops must apply suspect arrest procedure and they may fire at the car. But should there be any doubt or any chance that the incident in accidental soldiers must hold their fire. Once the vehicle no longer poses a threat, soldiers must hold their fire."

A senior GOC Central Command source explained that "So far the containment and restrain policy has proven itself as preventing incident from escalating. These orders all derive from battle ethics. We must exercise discretion and keep live fire as the last resort.

"We don't want to shoot indiscriminately and harm innocent people and if something like that happens we immediately offer assistance. Had we opened fire on every teenager that rioted during Operation Pillar of Defense it would have spilled into the West Bank ."

This is a middle ground response by the IDF.

I think the response should have been much stronger.

You throw stones at our soldiers, police and civilians, the response should be aimed fire at the rock throwers.

If they throw a Molotov cocktail, shoot to kill.

Gun fire against Jews must be dealt with an the terrorist killed.

These measures will bring calm to Judea and Samaria.

December 11, 2012

IDF defends policy of restraint

Senior military source says policy of restraint in West Bank proved itself by preventing further violence. 'We can't fire at any stone-thrower and don't want to hurt noncombatants,' he said
Yoav Zitun

The IDF is defending its policy of restraint in cases of West Bank riots following criticism in the wake of two incidents that saw soldiers fleeing scenes of conflict.

"This policy has resulted in safer routes and very few casualties," a senior officer at the Judea and Samaria Brigade said.

"Had we fired indiscriminately during the many protests surrounding Operation Pillar of Defense and shot at every 13-year-old stone thrower, then we would have seen the operation spill over to the West Bank," he added.

Meanwhile, the IDF continues to investigate the Hebron and Kafr Qaddum incidents in which soldiers were photographed retreating as Palestinians pelted them with stones.

An initial inquiry into the Kafr Qaddum incident suggests that the soldiers failed to follow protocol by escaping and should have used crowd dispersal means instead.

The source stressed that the two incidents are isolated events and that most of the cases that led to internal inquiries in the past years were of soldiers who decided to open fire, mostly justifiably.

He further added that the IDF has updated its guidelines for company commanders and divided them to an array of possible scenarios.

The longest standing order which has not changed in the past decade is still valid: In clear cases of life threatening situations, a soldier must decide himself whether to open fire at the suspect or fire warning shots.

"We had many cases, including in the past month, where soldiers opened fire at protesters who put their lives at risk and did the right thing," the officer said.

Referring to the last two incidents he said, "The soldiers had the option of opening fire but felt they should not and in the Hebron case they did the right thing; they succeeded in preventing the hurling of stones at an Israeli community and no soldier was hurt."

The officer explained that the policy of restraint has proven itself in that it has prevented retaliatory terrorist attacks and violent protests.

"All fire orders are based on the purity of arms. It is our duty to act proportionately and fire a weapon only as the last resort. We do not want to hurt noncombatants and fire indiscriminately."

He revealed that fire orders are constantly being reviewed and that the IDF is considering the introduction of new crowd-dispersal means such as stun guns and special sponge bullets. The use of rubber bullets for example is only permitted upon the battalion commander's approval as they can be fatal if shot from a close range.

The military source further revealed that the IDF's fire orders do not distinguish between Jewish or Palestinian assailants. "In any case, it is always preferable to avoid firing whenever it is possible."

To sum this article up, we are losing not only the battle but maybe even the war.

Retreat is the policy of the IDF and the Israeli leadership and it is working so well for us.

You can see the results in the love pouring in towards Israel from the EU, UN and the USA.

US supplies Egypt with F-16 fighter jets

Mubarak signed deal, Morsi to reap benefits: 20 fighter jets courtesy of US administration. Republicans fume: Egypt yet to prove itself democratic

The US will supply Egypt with 20 F-16 fighter jets as part of a billion dollar aid package, FoxNews reported. The first four jets will be delivered on January 22, after undergoing examinations in Fort Worth, Texas.

The deal was signed in 2010 during the reign of Hosni Mubarak. But given the political instability sweeping the country, some have begun to wonder whether it is wise to donate fighter jets to an already 200 strong air force fleet.

Quoting Malou Innocent, a foreign policy expert, FoxNews said: “Should an overreaction (by Egypt) spiral into a broader conflict between Egypt and Israel, such a scenario would put US officials in an embarrassing position of having supplied massive amounts of military hardware … to both belligerents.” The report added that: “Given Washington's fiscal woes, American taxpayers should no longer be Egypt’s major arms supplier.”

Keep your friends close

Republican Congresswomen Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwomen of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, criticized the military aid to Egypt. “The Obama administration wants to simply throw money at an Egyptian government that the president cannot even clearly state is an ally of the United States,” she said.

On the other hand, Pentagon spokesperson Col. Wesley Miller remarked, "The US-Egypt defense relationship has served as the cornerstone of our broader strategic partnership for over thirty years.

"The delivery of the first set of F-16s in January 2013 reflects the US commitment to supporting the Egyptian military's modernization efforts. Egyptian acquisition of F-16s will increase our militaries' interoperability, and enhance Egypt's capacity to contribute to regional mission sets."

State Department official Andrew Shapiro also argued in favor of the administration's plans to continue with military aid: “I know that the uncertainty over the Egyptian transition has prompted some in Congress to propose conditioning our security assistance to Egypt. The administration believes that putting conditions on our assistance to Egypt is the wrong approach, and Secretary Clinton has made this point strongly.

"Egypt is a pivotal country in the Middle East and a long-time partner of the United States. We have continued to rely on Egypt to support and advance US interests in the region, including peace with Israel, confronting Iranian ambitions, interdicting smugglers, and supporting Iraq,” he told FoxNews.

Waiting for Sunday
While Egyptian President Muhammed Morsi has nullified presidential decrees granting him far reaching powers, the new constitution is far from in being in place with its fate hinging on the political tensions between the pro-Morsi Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and the liberal and left wing opponents.

Ongoing protests have prompted Morsi to allow police forces to arrest protests, though he stresses that such a move is only temporary. On Sunday a much anticipated constitutional referendum is scheduled to be held.

All I will say is to every Jew that voted for Obama, thanks a lot.

December 10, 2012

This is very bad

Video of IDF troops fleeing Palestinian rioters causes stir

Video shows Combat Engineering Corps soldiers retreating under shower of Palestinian stones • IDF: Soldiers have to balance restraint and respect for human rights with decisive action • Eli Yishai: Soldiers should make full use of their weapons.
Lilach Shoval and Efrat Forsher

Not a pretty picture. Screenshot of soldiers fleeing as Palestinians hurl stones in Kafr Qaddum village.

Just one day after a video surfaced on YouTube documenting Israel Defense Forces soldiers running away from an angry Palestinian mob in Hebron, a similar event was documented in Kafr Qaddum on Friday.

A Palestinian cameraman caught on tape and uploaded to the Internet a clip of what appears to be a reduced-size battalion of the Combat Engineering Corps trying to disperse a demonstration in Kafr Qaddum, located west of Nablus. In the video, the soldiers first approach the crowd to subdue it, but a few moments later they flee from the Palestinians after being showered by stones.

The soldiers approached again to try to disperse the demonstration but again were met with organized resistance in what looked like an ambush. The soldiers, armed with riot gear, fled again, trying to take cover behind a wall. The wall however did not provide sufficient cover, so the troops fled back to their base, with the Palestinians in hot pursuit, shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is great).

The incident has caused great embarrassment to the IDF, which is investigating why the soldiers did not act with more decisive force.

In the video, one also sees a number of other videographers as they attempt to document the event, wearing masks as a defense against the possible use of tear gas by soldiers. The camera also caught Palestinian demonstrators celebrating their success in causing the soldiers to flee.

In light of the recurrence of such incidents, Interior Minister Eli Yishai issued a letter on Monday to Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser, stating that "Palestinian crowds pose a real threat to the safety of the forces" and adding that the threat could be "life threatening." The letter demanded an urgent cabinet discussion of the matter, with Yishai seeking official military guidelines on how soldiers should behave in such situations.

"The conclusion of these incidents without casualties is tantamount to a miracle, but we must not rely on this recurring in the future," Yishai added. "In my opinion, IDF soldiers should make full use of their weapons when they feel that their lives are in danger, and they must know that they will enjoy the full support and understanding of all institutions should they be forced to do so."

Kafr Qaddum is well-known to the security establishment, as every Friday there are serious disturbances in the area by young Palestinians attempting to provoke IDF soldiers. Last Friday, two soldiers and a border guard were injured in the demonstrations. The IDF is currently investigating whether the soldiers were injured in the conflict documented on the video or one of the other disturbances that took place simultaneously in the region.

One military source said on Sunday that the video aroused suspicion. "When one sees the video, one has to question what caused this behavior. It's true that the soldiers should show restraint and preserve human rights, but this does not mean they shouldn't act decisively. We need to find the right balance between the two right things and therefore the issue is being investigated."

Since Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip a couple weeks ago, terror activity in Judea and Samaria has increased, with an emphasis on disrupting order and popular terrorism including Molotov cocktails and tire burning.

The IDF Spokesperson's unit issued a statement: "The incident will be investigated by senior commanders in the field. ... Following the incident, the guidelines for dispersing violent demonstrations with determination and professionalism have been sharpened, applying operational and moral considerations with respect to restraint of power."

Let me be blunt, Israel is in grave danger.

When our soldiers are being chased away by a mob, we have lost deterrence.

Bibi needs to go to President Shimon Peres and get a blanket Presidential pardon for all Israelis.

That will protect them from prosecution for shooting at stone throwers.

Then Bibi needs to tell all Israelis on a national announcement, if someone is throwing stones at you.

Shoot back and shoot to kill.

Bibi needs to order the Interior Ministry to issue gun permits to every Jew that wants one, instead of the gun control that we have today. Let a Jews pocket book determine what kind of gun and how many he has not the government.

Go to the web page news article to view the video, I have tried to upload but for some reason I can't get it to work.

December 07, 2012


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, 11AM 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

Hamas leader Mashaal arrives in Gaza for the first time

Fatah accepts invitation to celebrate 25 years since Hamas's founding, a sign of rapprochement between the rival Palestinian factions; relatives of slain Hamas commander Jabari travels from W. Bank for celebrations.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal kissed the ground upon arriving in the Gaza Strip for the first time on Friday to attend celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement.

The Hamas leader declared the moment of his arrival in the Strip to be his symbolic "third birth," setting foot in the coastal enclave for the first time and returning to the area of Mandate Palestine for the first time since 1967.

Mashaal clarified that his "first birth" was his literal birth, and the second, his survival of an Israeli assassination attempt. His "fourth birth," Mashaal said, would take place "when the whole of Palestine is liberated."

On Thursday, Mashaal’s wife and daughters arrived in the Strip together with 15 Hamas officials.

Relatives of slain Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari also headed from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip via Egypt to attend the celebrations.

Jabari, whom the IAF killed on November 14, was originally from Hebron.

Fatah has accepted Hamas’s invitation to participate in celebrations in the Gaza Strip marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement.

The invitation, the first of its kind in more than a decade, is seen as yet another sign of rapprochement between the rivals parties.

Hamas and Fatah have pledged to work hard to end their differences in the aftermath of Operation Pillar of Defense and the UN General Assembly vote in favor of upgrading the Palestinians’ status to nonmember observer state.

Following last month’s IDF air offensive in the Gaza Strip, several Fatah officials, including Nabil Sha’ath, took part in “victory” celebrations organized by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Last month, Hamas banned Fatah supporters in the Gaza Strip from holding rallies on the anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat.

Fayez Abu Aitah, a spokesman for Fatah, confirmed that his faction would participate in the Hamas celebrations, which will be launched on Saturday.

He said that the Hamas anniversary comes amid a “positive and good atmosphere following the victories of our people.”

Yehya Rabah, a senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip, also confirmed that his faction would attend the Hamas celebrations.

“There is no reason why we should not participate with our Hamas brothers in the celebrations,” Rabah said. “This is a step forward toward achieving reconciliation.”

It should be 100% clear who won the fighting in Gaza.

Hamas won, Israel lost.

This article gives us all the evidence we need to declare a loss for Israel if we are going to be truthful.

Fact number one, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal entered Gaza today.

Fact number two, Israel allowed relatives of slain Hamas commander Jabari to travel from Hevron to Gaza to be part of this.

The Palestinians have not changed at all, Israel G-D forbid could give them Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem and their would be no peace. Mashaal said it today they want all of Israel.

I was watching the BBC this morning and they had an Arab talking head on that said very clearly until the crime of the creation of Israel has been over turned we will not have peace.

Bibi, that worthless Coward, Scum and Traitor, was PM when Israel faked an attempt on Mashaal so as to have the excuse to release Sheik Yassin from Israeli prison before the terrorist died in our prisons. It turns out when the Sheik got out he returned to terror and we killed him in the end, doesn't matter.

Bibi you got a second chance kill Mashaal before the week end is out.

December 06, 2012

Swedish artist uses Shoah victims' ashes

Jewish community outraged by picture painted with ashes taken from Majdanek concentration camp's crematoria. 'I am sickened by his work and obsession with necrophilia,' leading community member says of artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff

A Swedish artist is accused of desecrating the bodies of Jewish Holocaust victims by using ashes taken from the crematoria of the Majdanek concentration camp to paint a picture, the British Daily Telegraph newspaper reported Wednesday.

According to the report, artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff mixed the ashes from the Nazi facility with water to compose a small painting of grey streaks, and his work is now on display in a gallery in the Swedish city of Lund.

The Telegraph reported that Salomon Schulman, a leading member of Sweden's Jewish community who lost many of his relatives in the Holocaust, had condemned the painting as "revolting."

Schulman wrote in a letter to a local newspaper, "Who knows, maybe some of the ashes originated from my relatives. No one knows where they were deported: All my mother's siblings and their children, and my grandparents… I am sickened by his work and obsession with necrophilia."

According to the Telegraph, Von Hausswolff took the ashes from Majdanek during a 1989 visit to the camp. He explained that the ashes appeared to "contain the memories and the souls of people: People tormented and murdered by other people in the most viscous war of the 20th Century."

The British newspaper reported that despite the scandal surrounding the painting, the Lund gallery owner Martin Bryder defended the decision to exhibit the work of art, telling the Polish News Agency, "Please come to the gallery, see the painting and judge for yourselves whether it's controversial."

Majdanek was a concentration and death camp established by the Nazis during World War II on the outskirts of the city of Lublin in Poland. The camp operated from October, 1941 until July, 1944. Its Jewish prisoners arrived from Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, France, Belgium, Greece, Holland and Poland (including 10,000 prisoners after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising).

Several underground movements were active in Majdanek, and attempts to escape the camp were carried out from time to time. On the eve of the camp's extermination, the Nazis had a plan to turn it into a sort of "Auschwitz 2," which would accommodate as many as 250,000 prisoners – five times its size at the time.

As Soviet forces rapidly approached Lublin in late July 1944, the Germans attempted to cover up the traces of murder and destroy the camp, but about one-quarter of the buildings were preserved.

In October 1944, the first commemoration site of Nazi camps was set up in Majdanek. Less than 10% of the camp's staff members were put on trial, and several were executed.

Some 500,000 people from 28 countries passed through Majdanek, and 360,000 of them perished – more than half were Jews. Some 60% of the victims died of hunger, illness and abuse, and the rest were murdered in the gas chambers or executed.

This man should be killed!

In northern Mali, music silenced as Islamists drive out artists

In northern Mali, music silenced as Islamists drive out artists
By Sudarsan Raghavan, Published: November 30

BAMAKO, Mali — Khaira Arby, one of Africa’s most celebrated musicians, has performed all over the world, but there is one place she cannot visit: her native city of Timbuktu, a place steeped in history and culture but now ruled by religious extremists.

One day, they broke into Arby’s house and destroyed her instruments. Her voice was a threat to Islam, they said, even though one of her most popular songs praised Allah.

“They told my neighbors that if they ever caught me, they would cut my tongue out,” said Arby, sadness etched on her broad face.

Northern Mali, one of the richest reservoirs of music on the continent, is now an artistic wasteland. Hundreds of musicians have fled south to Bamako, the capital, and to other towns and neighboring countries, driven out by hard-liners who have decreed any form of music — save for the tunes set to Koranic verses — as being against their religion.

The exiles describe a shattering of their culture, in which playing music brings lashes with whips, even prison time, and MP3 and cassette players are seized and destroyed.

“We can no longer live like we used to live,” lamented Aminata Wassidie Traore, 36, a singer who fled her village of Dire, near Timbuktu. “The Islamists do not want anyone to sing anymore.”

In Malian society, music anchors every ceremony, from births and circumcisions to weddings and prayers for rains. Village bards known as griots sang traditional songs and poems of the desert, passing down centuries-old tales of empires, heroes and battles, as well as their community’s history. In this manner, memories were preserved from generation to generation, along with ancient African traditions and ways of life.

In current times, lyrics serve as a source of inspiration and learning, a way to pass down morals and values to youths. They have also been used to expose corruption and human rights abuses, and have helped eradicate stigmas and given a voice to the poor.

“In northern Mali, music is like oxygen,” said Baba Salah, one of northern Mali’s most-respected musicians. “Now, we cannot breathe.”

In March, amid a military coup that left the government in disarray, Tuareg rebels who once fought for Libyan autocrat Moammar Gaddafi joined forces with secessionists and Islamists linked to al-Qaeda. They swept through northern Mali, seizing major towns within weeks and effectively splitting this impoverished nation into two. Soon afterward, the Islamists and al-Qaeda militants took control.

They have installed an ultraconservative brand of Islamic law in this moderate Muslim country, reminiscent of Afghanistan’s Taliban and Somalia’s al-Shabab movements. Now, women must wear head-to-toe garments. Smoking, alcohol, videos and any suggestions of Western culture are banned. The new decrees are enforced by public amputations, whippings and executions, prompting more than 400,000 people to flee. The extremists also destroyed tombs and other cultural treasures, saying they were against Islamic principles.

The death of music was inevitable. It is, perhaps, Mali’s strongest link to the West. Musicians such as the late guitarist Ali Farka Toure, the Tuareg-Berber band Tinariwen and singers such as Salif Keita exported their music to the United States and Europe. They often collaborated with Western musicians.

Since 2001, Western artists such as Robert Plant have performed at the Festival of the Desert, outside Timbuktu, transforming Mali into an international artistic and tourist destination. In January, U2 frontman Bono performed with Tinariwen. This February, though, the festival will be held in neighboring Burkina Faso.

The international recognition helped spark a new generation of young artists in the north. Some fused songs in their native Songhai and Tamashek languages with Arabic and French. Others melded traditional rhythms of the desert with rap, hip-hop, reggae, funk and blues. Bands weaved traditional Malian lute and fiddles with electric guitars.

In recent times, the lyrics have addressed social and political issues. In “Waidio,” Arby sings about the plight of women trapped by war. She has also sung about Fulani cattle herders and the hard labor endured by salt miners.

‘Music is against Islam’

Today, in the city of Gao, 39-year-old singer Bintu Aljuma Yatare no longer listens to music on her phone. The Islamists will confiscate it, she said. Five musicians in her band have fled to neighboring Niger; two others are in Bamako. She cannot leave because she has to take care of her aging parents.

Every evening, she risks being sent to prison: She shuts the windows and doors of her house and sings in her native Songhai language. “Sometimes I lie in my bed and hum my songs softly,” she said. “The only way for me to survive this nightmare is through music.”

The other day, she wrote a song about the drivers who take people out of northern Mali to safer pastures.

For reggae musician Alwakilo Toure, his home in Gao was not a sanctuary. He was strumming his guitar when six armed militants barged into his compound. With guns pointed at his head, one Islamist grabbed the guitar and smashed it to bits with his foot. “The guitar was my life,” Toure recalled. “I had nothing else to do.”

Two weeks later, he fled to Bamako.

In a telephone interview, one of the Islamists’ top commanders declared that his fighters would continue to target musicians.

“Music is against Islam,” said Oumar Ould Hamaha, the military leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, one of the three extremist groups controlling the north. “Instead of singing, why don’t they read the Koran? Why don’t they subject themselves to God and pray? We are not only against the musicians in Mali. We are in a struggle against all the musicians of the world.”

Artists without a home

In a cramped apartment in Bamako, about a dozen young artists were recording a song, a fusion of rap and traditional melodies. In one corner, there was a microphone and a computer to mix the tracks. Next to that was a synthesizer.

All the artists were from northern Mali, and none were playing with their own instruments because they had either been burned or shattered by the Islamists. The group included Toure, who was coaching a singer.

But their escape to Bamako is bittersweet.

It has been difficult for the musicians to earn money in the capital. They sing in the lan­guages of the north, but most people in Bamako speak only the southern Bambara language.

“In Bamako, people don’t understand what we sing,” Toure said. “It really hurts us that we can’t perform. Most of us don’t have jobs. Many of us now rely on our relatives for money.”

But even in exile, they have found a way to take a stand against the Islamists.

“We feel like soldiers,” said Kiss Diouara, a 24-year-old rapper. “This is our way to fight our war.”

A few minutes later, he played his group’s most recent creation. The video included a collage of news clips and photos of Islamists destroying ancient mosques and asserting their power. In the video, Diourra raps:

Free the North

We want peace in our land

We want to go back to our homes

Arby understands. For the past eight months, she has lived out of a suitcase.

Arby knows she could easily travel outside Mali for work. Her 2010 album, “Timbuktu Tarab,” was widely acclaimed in the West. She had opportunities to settle in the United States, she said.

But Mali is where she is most inspired, specifically in Timbuktu, she said.

“When I think of Timbuktu, I am lost,” said Arby, wiping a sudden tear that trickled down her cheek. “When I dream of Timbuktu, I wake up. When I think of Timbuktu when I am speaking, I stop speaking. My heart is broken. Timbuktu is everything to me.”


I love music.

I love all music except opera and hard rock.

The music of Mali is among my favorite kinds of music.

I am not alone in this the musical geniuses of Israel Idan Raichel also loves the music of Mali, he has toured with musicians from Mali.

People of the west wake up, Islam wants to steal the good things of life from us.

Letting these Islamic thugs silence northern Mali is a crime against humanity.

But the west and the world will remain silent, then one day wonder where has the music gone.

December 05, 2012

PA petitions UN against Israeli 'war crimes'

After obtaining U.N. recognition as a nonmember state, Palestinians request a Security Council session based on Israel's decision to build housing units in area E1 • "We must take advantage of this anger against Israel," says PA foreign minister.

Daniel Siryoti

Palestinian leaders delivered a harsh complaint to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday in light of Israel's recent decision to move ahead with plans to build an additional 3,000 housing units in area E1 between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim.

A letter sent to Ban from Ramallah said "Israel is acting belligerently and forcefully while trampling on all the principles and guidelines of international law, and responds with disdain and insult to the demands and will of the international community. All enlightened countries of the world must send a clear and tough message to the Israeli government saying that its illegitimate policies will result in severe consequences and a deepening of its political isolation, which it alone will be responsible for due to the obstacles it has placed in the path of peace."

A statement by the office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday said that in accordance with the new Palestinian status in the U.N., PA leaders are in contact with U.N. Security Council officials with the goal of forcing Israel to cancel its decision to build in area E1. "The expansion of the settlements is tantamount to war crimes and we will not sit idly by," the statement said.

Egypt joined other countries on Tuesday in summoning Israel's ambassador to rebuke Israel for its decision. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki congratulated the Egyptian move and said, "We must take advantage of this anger against Israel and work to form a united international front that will determinedly oppose Israel."

Malki pointed out that King Abdullah II of Jordan is scheduled to visit Ramallah on Thursday and said, "This will be a historic visit, since it will represent the first visit by a leader to the state of Palestine that was recognized by the U.N. A visit by King Abdullah is a clear message to Israel that Jordan stands by the Palestinians."

Also on Thursday, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal is set to make a historic visit of his own to the Gaza Strip.

I have an old cop frame of mind.

Don't know if I got it from my grandfather that used to be an old west sheriff, he always carried a brace of pistols and a sap.

Or if I got it from being an old time deputy myself.

But I figure like this if the punishment doesn't fit the crime then it isn't effective.

I will spell it out like this, I meet someone on a dark street.

They tell me, give me your money, I have a gun and I am not afraid to use it.

Now I can reach into my pocket and pull out a sap and try and knock the guy out. But I risk getting shot while I try to save this guys life.

Or I can pull out my Glock and fill the guy with lead to the point he is dead before he hits the ground.

Either way, the punishment for me is going to be the same.

I going to put so much lead in this guy he is going to sound like a babies rattle.

So you want to get all worked up over 3000 apartments, fine.

I will just annex it all, take my punishment, but the problem is solved.

Looks to me, the Palestinians are not going to choose wisely.

I pray Bibi, pulls out his Glock and deals in lead ,instead of words.

December 04, 2012

Israel stands firm, won't reverse building plans

Israeli ambassadors across Europe reprimanded for decision to expand construction beyond the Green Line • Israeli official: The Europeans understand that Israel had no other option • Abbas aide: "Israel is pushing and forcing us to go to the ICC."
Shlomo Cesana, Yoni Hirsch, Eli Leon, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

The Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Foreign governments claim Israeli construction in E1 is a severe detriment to the two-state solution.

Officials in Jerusalem are not overwrought by the diplomatic attack from Europe over Israel's decision to authorize the construction of 3,000 additional housing units in Judea and Samaria.

After Israeli ambassadors were reprimanded in London and Paris, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that the objections from Europe would not stop the construction plans, and that those who had voiced their opposition should have considered the ramifications before allowing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to embarrass Israel at the United Nations.

Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser on Tuesday said Israel's settlement expansion announcement came in response to the Palestinians' attempt to gain statehood at the U.N. in a unilateral way.

"The Israeli government needs to make it clear that unilateral steps by the Palestinians are not the way things are going to get solved,” Hauser said.

“We're trying every way possible to get the Palestinians back to the table. The Palestinians think that they can get achievements by unilateral action, and we are showing them that they cannot. If anyone thinks that because of pressure Israel won't build in Gilo and Ramat Shlomo then he doesn’t understand the map of Israeli interests.

"There is consensus in the Israeli public and politics that there are areas that we have to keep normal life going. We are not talking about a little stone in the desert. We are talking about Jerusalem. We have to see the whole picture: It is unacceptable that the Palestinians play alone on the chessboard. We will act according to the behavior of the Palestinians. If they persist with unilateral moves we will react."

Also Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, played down the international response, saying Israel isn't happy about it but that "it's not the end of the world."

A senior Abbas aide, Nabil Shaath, said late Monday that "by continuing these war crimes of settlement activities on our lands and stealing our money, Israel is pushing and forcing us to go to the ICC."

Shaath' comments marked the most pronounced Palestinian threat yet of turning to the ICC, though officials suggested privately that appealing to the international court is a step of last resort.

Last week, Abbas said that he's not going to turn to the ICC "unless we were attacked" and that he informed many countries, including the United States, of this position.

Meanwhile, a senior Israeli official told Israel Radio on Tuesday that the Europeans understood that Israel had no other option than to respond as it did. According to the official, the argument is over the degree of severity of Israel's response, not about the response itself. The official emphasized that if Israel had refrained from responding to Abbas' U.N. initiative, the damage to Israel would have been greater.

Other Israeli diplomats, meanwhile, told Israel Radio that by dispatching threatening messages through the Israeli media over the past 24 hours, European leaders had tried testing Netanyahu's political strength. According to the Israeli officials, the European leaders had hoped that Netanyahu would abort the decision to build in E1, an area of land between Jerusalem and the city of Maaleh Adumim, beyond the Green Line, which was why the prime minister had decided to harden his stance.

For Israeli representatives in Europe, however, Monday was an unpleasant day. In a coordinated European response, the British, French, Danish, Spanish and Swedish Foreign Ministries summoned their respective Israeli ambassadors to protest the government's decision to expand construction beyond the Green Line. The British Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that "Britain's deep concern" had been expressed to the Israeli ambassador.

The U.S., too, joined the chorus of criticism on Monday.

"We reiterate our long-standing opposition to Israeli settlement activity and East Jerusalem construction," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. "We oppose all unilateral actions, including settlement activity and housing construction, as they complicate efforts to resume direct, bilateral negotiations and risk prejudging the outcome of those negotiations, and this including building in the so called E1 area.

"We urge Israeli leaders to reconsider these unilateral decisions and exercise restraint as these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations to achieve a two state solution."

At the State Department, spokesman Mark Toner said the E1 plans were "especially damaging" to prospects for a resumption in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The E1 area "is particularly sensitive and construction there would be especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution," Toner said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Brazil and Australia also summoned their respective Israeli ambassadors to protest the government's decision.

"Australia has long opposed all settlement activity," Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in a statement after Israeli Ambassador Yuval Rotem's meeting with senior Australian officials. "Such activity threatens the viability of a two-state solution, without which there will never be security in Israel."

Carr said Israel's actions had complicated the chances of fresh negotiations between the two sides. "I am extremely disappointed with these reported Israeli decisions," he said.

Diplomatic protocol in such cases states merely that the host country is expressing its discontent to the summoned ambassador.

According to a statement issued by the French Foreign Ministry, the Israeli ambassador was again informed that France condemned the Israeli settlement enterprise in all its forms: "The settlements are illegal in the eyes of international law, are a detriment to the trust required to renew dialogue, and are an obstacle to peace and justice based on a two-state solution. Construction in the E1 area will be severely detrimental to the two-state solution by isolating Jerusalem — which is to become the capital for both states — from the West Bank and threaten the territorial continuity of the future Palestinian state. We call on both sides of the peace process to refrain from any measure that could hinder the timely renewal of unconditioned negotiations, which we wish for with all our hearts."

The British satellite news agency Sky News reported on Monday that Britain was considering imposing sanctions against Israel if it went through with the expansion plan, including recalling British Ambassador to Israel Mathew Gould, at least for a short while, and submitting a request to the EU to consider postponing commercial agreements with Israel, which provide Israel access to European markets.

In France, as in Britain, officials distanced themselves from a report by the Israeli daily Haaretz, according to which they had considered recalling their ambassadors for consultation. The French Foreign Ministry said, "We have other means at our disposal to express our objections."

Israeli officials said that reports pertaining to the suspension of commercial ties with EU countries were also false, and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor said commerce was proceeding as usual.

Meanwhile, the next political storm over Israeli construction could be brewing. After a two-and-a-half-year freeze, the government directed the Regional Committee for Planning and Construction to meet on Dec. 17 to advance plans to build 1,600 housing units in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo in northern Jerusalem, which is also beyond the Green Line. The committee will also discuss further construction in the capital's Givat Hamatos neighborhood.

The plan to build in Ramat Shlomo was first revealed in March 2010 during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. The initiative, and the timing of its publication, angered the U.S. administration, which forced Israel to shelve the plan.

Amid the diplomatic pressure from abroad, politicians in Israel ratcheted up rhetoric against their detractors from home. Environment Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) blasted the opposition parties, saying, "If you were a responsible opposition, you would be backing the government. You are first and foremost responsible for this landslide."

Opposition Leader MK Shaul Mofaz said: "We can't continue pretending there is a solution other than two states. Israel has lost the moral majority, which had always been on our side."

Yoni On New Radio Program

Hear me on the Tami Jackson show.

Tonight at 8 PM Pacific / 6 AM (Wednesday) Israel Yoni Tidi will be the guest for the full hour on The Tami Jackson Show http://the405radiolive.wordpress.com/

Tami and Yoni will discuss Israel, Palestine, the UN vote and more. Listen live via the http://www.live365.com/index.live player & call 877-297-8022 to talk!

December 03, 2012

Punch Line is, Israel

Israel resumes family visits for Gaza prisoners
Published yesterday (updated) 02/12/2012 20:38

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Sunday resumed family visits for
Gazan prisoners jailed in Israel, a prisoners group said.

Saber Abu Karsh, chairman of the Gaza-based Waed Prisoner Association, said
in a statement that 59 family members will visit Nafha prison on Monday.

The group will depart from outside the offices of the International
Committee of the Red Cross, Abu Karsh said.

In late October, the Palestinian Authority ministry of detainees said that
Israel had canceled family visits for prisoners from Gaza, three months
after they were resumed.

In July, Israel allowed the first visits to prisoners from Gaza in five
years. Visits had been banned since 2007 to pressure Hamas to release
Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was freed in Oct. 2011.

Israel agreed to resume family visits for Gaza prisoners as part of a deal
to end a mass month-long hunger strike in Israeli jails. At the time,
Minister of Detainee Affairs Issa Qaraqe said visits were resuming on an
"experimental basis."

Since 2007, the International Committee of the Red Cross had called for the
resumption of family visits and it welcomed the first visits in July.

"This is a first step and we hope that visits by residents of Gaza will
resume in full," said Juan Pedro Schaerer, the head of the local ICRC
delegation, in July.

"We have repeatedly called for the resumption of family visits, which are a
lifeline for detainees and their families. Under international humanitarian
law, Israeli authorities have an obligation to allow the detainees to
receive family visits."

We are a joke of a country.

We let the world and the Arabs walk all over us, all the time and I am getting sick of it.

Vassal or Free Jews

Britain, France mull measures against Israel over settlements

UK, France summon Israeli envoys in protest of settlement construction amid reports the countries are considering recalling own ambassadors; Germany, Russia and Sweden chime in with criticism

Britain and France on Monday weighed measures against Israel to protest at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to expand settlement building after the United Nations' de facto recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Sky News reported that the suspension of trade agreements with the Jewish state is also among the sanctions under consideration in the UK.

Germany urged Israel to refrain from expanding settlements and Russia said it viewed plans to put more new homes in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem with serious concern. Sweden's foreign minister, Carl Bildt, echoed the stentiment on his blog.

Diplomatic sources said both London and Paris were considering the unprecedented step of recalling their ambassadors to Tel Aviv, but both countries signaled there was still room for maneuver to avoid a deep crisis with Israel.

"There are other ways in which we can express our disapproval," a French Foreign Ministry official told Reuters in Paris after diplomatic sources said France and Britain were mulling whether to order their envoys home from Tel Aviv.

The French government called in the Israeli ambassador to Paris, Yossi Gal, to express disapproval over Israel's settlement plans.

Britain said it summoned Israel's ambassador in London, Daniel Taub, to the Foreign Office to hear its concerns over settlement building.

"Any decision about any other measures the UK might take will depend on the outcome of our discussions with the Israeli government and with international partners including the US and European Union," a Foreign Office spokesman said.

Angered by the UN General Assembly's upgrading on Thursday of the Palestinians status in the world body from "observer entity" to "non-member state", Israel said the next day it would build 3,000 more settler homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Such settlement projects in the past, on land Israel captured in a 1967 war and which Palestinians seek for a future state, have routinely drawn almost pro forma world condemnation.

But in a dramatic shift that Netanyahu would have certainly realized would raise the alarm among Palestinians and in world capitals, his government also ordered "preliminary zoning and planning work" for thousands of housing units in areas including the so-called "E1" zone east of Jerusalem.

Such construction in the barren hills of E1 – still on the drawing board and never put into motion in the face of opposition from its main US ally – could bisect the West Bank, cut off Palestinians from Jerusalem and further dim their hopes for a contiguous state.

The settlement plan, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, would deal "an almost fatal blow" to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Britain made clear it would not support strong Israeli retaliation over the UN vote that Palestinians sought after peace talks collapsed in 2010 in a dispute over settlement building.

"We deplore the recent Israeli decision to build 3,000 new housing units and unfreeze development in the E1 block," a Foreign Office spokesman said. "We have called on the Israeli government to reverse the decision."

Palestinians welcome recall

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said he hoped Britain and France were considering the step.

He said building in E1 "destroys the two-state solution, (establishing) East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and practically ends the peace process and any opportunity to talk about negotiations in the future."

Sami Abu Zuhri, spokesman for the Hamas Islamist movement that governs the Gaza Strip, said the settlement plans were "an insult to the international community, which should bear responsibility for Israeli violations and attacks on Palestinians."

Recalling the envoys would be a powerful diplomatic rebuke to Netanyahu, three weeks after he won strong European and US support for an offensive in the Hamas Islamist-run Gaza Strip, which Israel said was aimed at curbing cross-border rocket fire.

Israel's vice prime minister, Moshe Yaalon, told Israeli Army Radio he was not aware of any such move.

"I did not hear of this, either via the foreign ministry or the prime minister's office. Therefore I have a hard time believing it is true," he said.

Netanyahu, favored by opinion polls to win a Jan. 22 national election, has brushed off world condemnation of his latest settlement plans and complaints from critics at home that he is deepening Israel's diplomatic isolation.

He told his cabinet on Sunday that his government "will carry on building in Jerusalem and in all the places on the map of Israel's strategic interests".

But while his housing minister has said the government would soon invite bids from contractors to build 1,000 homes for Israelis in East Jerusalem and more than 1,000 in West Bank settlement blocs, the E1 plan was still in its planning stages.

"No one will build until it is clear what will be done there," the minister, Ariel Attias, said on Sunday.

Approximately 500,000 Israelis and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Vassal or free Jews, choose.

Bend our knees to man or bend our knees to G-D, time to choose.

Choose poorly and it will hurt.

Stay cowards and only give lip service to building 3000 apartments or be strong and annex Judea and Samaria.

Stop wanting to be like the other nations and embrace our special place in the world as part of G-Ds plan and do the right thing.

You can be a coward and the world hates you or you can stand with G-D and watch the world stand in awe. s

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