The Lebanon-Galilee Border
Gleanings on Global News at the Time of the End
The Sanhedrin and the Jewish Legal System
The Catholic’s Battle for Jewish Holy Places
The Protestant, Islamic and Eastern Orthodox’ Bid for Hegemony in Jerusalem
The History and Holy Places Judaism
The Holocaust and the Nuremberg Trials Remembered
The Prime Minister Rabin Assassination Conspiracy
The Days of the Beginning of Geula (Redemption)
Before the coming of the Maschiach of Yisra’el (Messiah of Israel)
August 15 to December 15, 2005
Rosh Hashannah – October 4, 2004
The fall of 2005 will be a year that will go down in Jewish prophetic history. According to the Chassidic rabbinic sages, the “Geula” or the days of redemption started on the day that the Jewish people were forcibly expulsed from Gush Katif in Gaza. As Rabbi Arie Shechter, a specialist in the computer analysis of the Torah hidden codes recently stated, the signs of Geula b’ito, the coming of the redemption by God in their own time during days of disasters and catastrophes, began on Rosh Hashannah 5766. The Gaza Disengagement according to the rabbis triggered the opening days of coming redemption, called Geula, of the Maschiach of Yisra’el. Israel has now entered into a new era of redemption. Once the beginning of Geula has been set in motion, the Day of the Lord and the coming of the Messiah will come between one and seven years, maximum.
According to the students of the Jewish prophet Achiya HaShiloni and his most famous disciple, Baal Shem Tov, the expulsion from the “outer villages of Israel” was predicted for over a century ago. Set this in motion with the recent public announcement in September, 2005 by the esteemed centurion Sephardi Elder Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri, a warning was given to the Jews “to return to the Land of Israel due to terrible natural disasters which threaten the world.”
Lest our memories fade on that day, let us remember when the mothers and fathers, children, students in the yeshivas and synagogues were forcibly evicted from their homes and four months later 80% of them were living like refugees in Israel. These four global news series are dedicated to preserve an archive of that moment in time when the first Jewish government drove their people off the land in which the God of Israel gave to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. May Hashem, the God of Israel remember!
2 Chronicles 20:7 - Did You not, O Hashem,
Drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel,
And gave it to the seed of Abraham Your friend for ever?
Scandals and Power Battles as Israel prepared for a New Zionist Government
Sharon Implicated in Another Campaign Funding Scandal – September 20, 2005
Israel National News - Just before departing New York Sunday night,
PM Sharon allegedly managed to violate campaign funding laws by taking part in
a dinner at which participants donated well over the permitted amount. A report by Israel's Channel Ten television reporter
Raviv Drucker last night provided a detailed report on the Sunday night affair.
He related how the organizer and hostess - NIna Rosenwald - sent letters to
selected invitees asking for $10,000 per person or couple, and how the 5th
Avenue location was closed off for over an hour for what the police described
as a "top secret" reason. Only the 15 invited couples were permitted
to enter Rosenwald's apartment, after having paid the minimum amount in
Rosenwald is a member of the CFR (Council of Foreign Relations), but is also Chairman of the Board of MEMRI (Middle East Media and Research Institute), a member of CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting), AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) and many other prestigious bodies. The letter, as summarized by Drucker, states, "The problem: As you know, Prime Minister [sic] Binyamin Netanyahu is running against Sharon, and the one who wins will most likely be Israel's next Prime Minister. Unfortunately, Sharon does not enjoy the same financial support that Netanyahu has amassed over the past decades. We therefore ask you to contribute $10,000 each for a non-profit organization working all over Israel that is especially effective in bringing people to the polls. Please help; the future of Israel is truly in danger... The Prime Minister said that he is very interested in hearing your thoughts."
Though New York police did not allow Channel Ten's reporters to get near the scene, and even detained its photographer for a short while, the station identified the arrival of Sharon's convoy and was able to obtain footage of the Prime Minister entering the building through a back entrance. Among the participants at the dinner were World Trade Center insurance beneficiary Larry Silverstein and Bonds President and former Health Minister Yehoshua Matza. A reporter asked Silverstein on his way out if Sharon had thanked him for his donation. Silverstein replied, "No. But it's not necessary; we're here to support the man."
Israel's campaign funding laws allow candidates to receive donations of only $7,800 per person or couple - significantly less than the amount requested. The Prime Minister's Bureau responded that Sharon and his staffers had no idea that money was raised for the dinner. MK Tzvi Hendel, who has been greatly outspoken on the corruption of the Sharon family, said in response, "I am not at all surprised. Nothing has changed: Sharon remains the same, and so does the corruption in his family. I call upon the Attorney General to wake up and to have Sharon tried for his criminal acts, before we turn into a third-world country once and for all." In fact, later in the day, the Movement for Quality in Government filed a police complaint against the Prime Minister, and Attorney General Menachem Mazuz announced that he will investigate it. Alon Pinkas, who recently completed a term as Israeli Consul in New York, said this morning that while it's theoretically possible that Sharon did not know of the fund-raising, "Enough; we're sick of it already."
Sharon will spend the coming days before Sunday trying to head off a challenge to advance the Likud primaries. MKs Netanyahu and Uzi Landau wish to move up the primaries date from next April to this coming November, so that they can sooner challenge Sharon for the party leadership. The scheduling vote will be held early next week in the Likud's 3,000-member Central Committee. Landau and Netanyahu say that Sharon is planning to start a new party if he loses the leadership race. The cite ambiguous statements made by Sharon supporters in recent days in support of this position. The accusation has hurt Sharon in party polls, and he reportedly plans to try to walk a tight wire over the coming days: he will refute the charges that he plans to quit, while refraining from committing absolutely to remain in the Likud. By Hillel Fendel
Austrian Prosecutor “Almost Certain” Sharon Took Bribe – September 19, 2005
Israel National News - A senior Austrian prosecutor familiar
with evidence gathered against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Austria said he
was “almost certain” the prime minister has taken a bribe. The prosecutor, Gerhard Yarush, is intimately familiar with the
case in which a wealthy South African Jew, Cyril Kern, allegedly funneled money
to Sharon’s family via an Austrian bank. “After viewing the evidence that has
been gathered thus far, my conclusion is that it’s almost certain that Ariel
Sharon took a bribe,” said Yarush to the Jerusalem Post. Yarush is
responsible for the ongoing Austrian investigation into the scandal involving
Sharon and sons. Sharon lives with his two sons, Gilad and Omri, on Sycamore
ranch in the Negev, in an extended family relationship.Yarush says there can be
no possible reason other than bribery “for the transfer of such large sums
of money to the Sharon family.” He said that the Sharon family’s explanations
“are not sufficient.”
According to the allegations under investigation, an Austrian millionaire, Martin Schlaff, used Cyril Kern as a conduit for transferring money to the Sharon family. Schlaff is one of the owners of a casino in Jericho that attracted thousands of Israeli gamblers prior to onset of the Oslo war in September 2000. The casino operated under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority, and its profits were purportedly used to finance PA activities, including the sponsoring of terrorism against Israeli targets. One of the major economic objectives of the Palestinian Authority has been to reopen the Jericho casino. By Scott Shiloh
Omri Sharon Indicted on Corruption, Forgery and Perjury Charges – August 29, 2005
Israel National News - MK Omri Sharon, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s son
and closest political coordinator, was indicted Sunday for corruption, forgery
and perjury related to the election of the Prime Minister. The elder Sharon son is accused of setting up fake
companies in order to conceal illegal contributions to his father’s 1999
election campaign to chair the Likud Party and become its candidate for prime
minister. The indictment accuses Omri
Sharon of accepting more than 6 million shekels ($1.3 million) in 1999 and 2000
from foreign and Israeli groups for his father's campaign. That figure far
exceeds the legal fund-raising limit stipulated by the Parties Funding Law.
Omri Sharon established the fictional Annex Research Company to funnel the illegal contributions to his father’s campaign. Sharon the son paid suppliers and consultants directly from overseas accounts, using the company to bypass the scrutiny of the Likud Party comptroller and ordering those paid to falsify receipts.
If convicted of the crimes, Omri Sharon could face up to five years behind bars. He is hoping to have the sentence reduced to community service. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has gone on record as insisting on jail time.
MK Sharon waived his immunity last month when it became clear that his Knesset colleagues would not uphold his immunity should he request a Knesset vote on the matter. There is speculation that the younger Sharon is taking the fall for much more widespread corruption of the Sharon family, including the Greek Island affair. Omri Sharon wrote a letter to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin last month insisting that he was completely to blame for all illegal activity and not his father. "It is true, in my managing of my father's 1999 election campaign, I did not stand by the rules of the Parties Law, and for that I will face judgment," Sharon wrote, but insisted that his full defense would only be revealed before the court that chooses to try him. It is possible that the trial of Omri Sharon will reveal evidence against the prime minister, which could lead to a reopening of the case against him and a possible indictment against the senior Sharon as well – something Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has refrained from pursuing until now. By Ezra HaLevi
Sharon's Son Convicted of Campaign Corruption – November 16, 2005
Lekarev - Omri Sharon, the 41-year-old son of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was convicted of charges related to the financing of his father's 1999 primaries campaign, after he entered a guilty plea at the outset of his trial, which opened on Tuesday. Omri Sharon's lawyers were also expected to announce Tuesday that their client plans to retire from politics, a step seen as an effort to mitigate the sentence. Under the law, the sentence could be as much as five years in prison, but the actual penalty is likely to be much lighter, legal analysts said.
Sharon was convicted of a number of serious violations, among them fictitious registration of corporate documents, which carries a maximum five- year term; lying under oath and violations of the election code, which are punishable by fines. Under a plea bargain concluded on Monday, the prosecution presented an amended indictment, from which a charge of corporate fraud and breaching corporate trust will be modified to a lesser charge. However, sides have yet to reach an agreement on Sharon's sentencing.
Sharon's son faces jail in corruption case – November 16, 2005
The Guardian Ariel Sharon's eldest son, Omri, is facing a prison term and expulsion from parliament after pleading guilty yesterday to laundering illegal funds for his father's election campaign and of lying to investigators.
Omri Sharon and his father, Ariel. Photograph: EPA
In a move seen as designed to protect Israel's prime minister, Omri Sharon made a deal with prosecutors in which he admitted falsifying the financial records of shell companies set up to handle hundreds of thousands of pounds in illegal funds, breaching campaign financing laws and perjury. In return, the prosecution dropped charges of fraud and breach of trust. The state said it would seek a prison sentence for Omri Sharon, 41. He faces up to five years in jail but the sentence is expected to be lighter. His lawyers said the campaign laws were "too difficult to uphold" and therefore he should receive only a fine. He will also be expelled from parliament, where he is an MP for his father's Likud party, if he does not resign first. The guilty plea will strengthen the widely held perception, reflected in opinion polls, that the Sharon family, along with many other politicians, is corrupt but it is unlikely to affect the prime minister's electoral support. Most Israelis vote mainly on security and confidence in Mr Sharon remains high on that issue.
The prime minister has denied knowledge of the illegal funds
used to his benefit but there is speculation that Omri took responsibility to
save his father political embarrassment. The newspaper Ma'ariv, reported that
he decided not to fight the charges against him because he wanted to avoid
embarrassing revelations in court that could damage his father and his party in
the run-up to a general election expected in spring. He admitted laundering
more than £750,000 through shell companies to illegally fund his father's
successful campaign for the leadership of Likud six years ago. The charges
against him said that Omri Sharon told companies that wished to donate money in
breach of party funding laws to issue receipts for work or services they had
not received. Campaign laws permit candidates for political party primaries to
collect about £100,000 for each campaign. The police are also investigating
allegations that when the illegal campaign funds were discovered and the state
comptroller ordered that they be repaid, a second slush fund was set up to do
so. The fraud squad is probing allegations that Mr Sharon's younger son, Gilad,
received £865,000 from Cyril Kern, a British-born businessman friend of the
prime minister who lives in South Africa. That money was allegedly used to
repay the original illegal campaign funds. There is no suggestion that Mr Kern
knew how the money was to be used. Austria is investigating Gilad because the
money from Mr Kern was transferred via a bank in Vienna. Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
Likud Loyalists: World Loves Sharon - Because He Caved In – September 16, 2005
Israel National News - Leading Likud Party MKs have reacted with disdain
to the red-carpet treatment received by Prime Minister Sharon in New York. Sharon arrived in New York last night to take part in the United Nations' World Summit in honor of its 60th
birthday. World leaders appear to be waiting in line to meet with him,
including U.S. President George Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bush reportedly made a special request to
meet with Sharon to express his admiration for the withdrawal from Gaza. Other leaders with whom Sharon will meet are those of Jordan, Turkey, Canada, Australia, and others, including possibly the emir of Qatar.
Sharon's address to the U.N. General Assembly tonight will be in Hebrew, and will apparently be directed mainly to Likud members back in Israel. Sharon faces a critical Likud Central Committee vote in two weeks' time that will determine whether he will face a major challenge to his party leadership in the very near future, or only several months from now. Sharon did not respond directly to reporters' questions on the plane to New York whether there will be further disengagements. He said only, "I intend to carry out the Road Map with all its clauses. The disengagement was a process that was not easy; it was painful, but was implemented properly. As I said, it was the hardest decision I ever made, but I said I would do it - and I did it."
Many Likud Cabinet ministers and MKs are not impressed with Sharon's reception in the United States. Binyamin Netanyahu, Sharon's main competitor for party leader, said, "Sharon has traded 'shtachim' (territory) for 'shtichim' (red carpets)" [a play on the phrase 'territories for peace]." Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin said that Sharon is receiving such first-class treatment merely because he left the path of the Likud.
MK David Levy, a former three-time Foreign Minister and past contender for Likud Party leader, said, "The world always loves Israeli leaders when they fold up in the face of international pressures." Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom is accompanying Sharon on his visit to New York, and will also meet with international leaders. Minister Shalom watered down his original opposition to the disengagement over the past several months.
AFSI (American Friends for a Safe Israel) is planning a demonstration outside the United Nations for between 11 AM and 2 PM Thursday, while Sharon is scheduled to be delivering his speech. "It is vitally important [for people to] attend this demonstration," writes AFSI Director Helen Freedman. "By his talk at the UN, Sharon expects to bask in both American and international approval! He should not be rewarded for such behavior" following his "betrayal of his people in Gush Katif and Northern Samaria." Though PM Sharon has said repeatedly that the PA must disarm terrorists and fight terrorism in order that the diplomatic process may continue, this does not appear to be happening. He told Newsweek a few days ago that the PA's signing of an election agreement with Hamas terrorists, instead of disarming them, is a "major problem." He told reporters on the plane that the issue will be discussed with Bush: "This is something that must be dealt with." By Hillel Fendel
Shilanski: Sharon's Views Very Leftist – November 23, 2005
Lekarev - Dov Shilanksy, holocaust survivor and one the “fighting family,” the small cadre of fighters who made up the “Etzel” (Irgun), the underground, nationalistic group commanded by Menachem Begin during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, is no newcomer to the Likud. Shilanksy was in the Likud’s forerunner, the Herut party, way before Ariel Sharon got the idea of merging Herut with a number of small parties at the liberal center. That famous merger turned into the Likud. Herut, though, with Begin at the head, still made up the party’s ideological core. Before forming the Likud, however, Sharon had another brilliant idea: form a party with MK Yossi Sarid, whose political views put him at the far left of the spectrum. According to Dov Shilanksy, Sharon has come full circle. “From our perspective, Sharon did the right thing,” by leaving the Likud. “Ideologically, he’s closer to Yossi Sarid than to the party I belong to [the Likud].” MK Sarid is a member of the Meretz-Yahad party that favors returning all of Judea and Samaria, as well as the Old City to Arab rule.
Shilansky says that in the last election, Sharon “stole” the votes of Likud voters. Shortly after the election, Sharon began espousing policies, such as the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza which ran against the party’s election platform. Sharon’s plan to disengage or withdraw from Gaza and northern Samaria, destroying in the process 25 Jewish communities, was also diametrically opposed to the party’s platform. In fact, the idea for the withdrawal was put forward by Sharon’s opponent in the 2000 election campaign, MK Amram Mitzna of the Labor party. “Now he’s gone back to where he belongs, with us remaining where we belong, faithful to our ideology,” Shilansky said.
Shilanksy, who served in the 1980’s as Chairman of the Knesset, has stayed faithful to the Likud’s core values of building Jewish communities throughout the land of Israel. Shilansky was one of the key speakers at the final rally against the disengagement in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square last August. Shilansky said he is not worried about polls that show Ariel Sharon’s new party attaining more votes than the Likud. He said Likud the party has endured unfavorable polls before, but despite this, the Likud must remain faithful to its ideology until it ultimately prevails. Quoting Yitzhak Shamir, who as head of the Likud party served as Israel’s prime minister for most of the period from 1983-1992, Shilanksy held there was no need to change Likud ideology: “The Arabs are the same Arabs, and the sea the same sea.”
ELECTION DATE SET FOR MARCH 28 – November 23, 2005
Lekarev - Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has approved a compromise agreement for general elections to be held on March 28, 2006. Under the agreement, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will be permitted to appoint new Knesset ministers until the elections are held to replace those who have resigned from the government in the past few days.
President Moshe Katsav gave his approval to the compromise agreement; Attorney General Menachem Mazuz followed suite following a consultation with Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee Chairman Michael Eitan. The Knesset will hold its vote today on definitively dissolving the Knesset, based on the compromise deal. The bill will state: "The 16th Knesset will be dissolved before the end of its term, elections to the 17th Knesset will be held on March 28, this law will come into effect on December 9, 2005."
The agreement states that Katsav will be permitted to issue an order for the Knesset’s dispersal by December 8; should the order be issued by this time, the Knesset Dispersal Law will expire, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will be able to appoint ministers without the Knesset’s approval. Meretz-Yahad MK Zahava Gal-On said in response to the agreement, “I expect Sharon to appoint only ministers who are vital to running the country, and not those who are vital to his new government.”
Sharon Attempts to Destroy Another of His Works: The Likud – November 22 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel
National News) - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has announced he is quitting the
party he is credited with founding 32 years ago, and will start a new one.
Approximately a dozen Likud MKs will apparently join him. Prime
Minister Sharon ended the suspense that gripped the country for a number of
weeks, and made known his decision around midnight Sunday night: He will not
run for the Likud Party leadership, but will rather quit and form his own new
party. The reason, apparently, is as Binyamin Netanyahu - his main challenger
for the party leadership - said on Friday: "Sharon knows that the
Likud as a party will never accept his dictates for additional withdrawals, in
the framework of the Roadmap or in a unilateral and arbitrary manner, as
happened in Gush Katif. Every territorial compromise in the future will be
contingent upon a referendum. Therefore, he has been left with no choice but to
[try to] carry out his policies via a different party."
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon speaks at the Israel Business Conference in Tel Aviv Monday Dec. 5, 2005. A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up Monday among shoppers waiting to enter a mall in the central Israeli town of Netanya, killing at least five people and wounding more than 30 others. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Commentators noted that Sharon would
never have taken such a risky and controversial step if he was not planning to
continue his policy of withdrawals from Judea, Samaria and even
Jerusalem.Sharon submitted his resignation to President Moshe Katzav on Monday
morning, and elections must be held within 111 days afterwards - 21 days to see
if an alternative government can be formed (which most observers feel it
cannot), and then 90 days of campaigning. The election will apparently be held
on Wednesday, March 8, 2006, the 8th of Adar 5756 - unless the Knesset
dissolves itself, causing another three-week delay in the election. The
Knesset Sharon's decision to quit puts the political framework into a dizzying
spin. The Likud will have to regroup and see who is left after its leader
leaves and takes with him approximately a third of its Knesset Members. In
addition, six people have already announced or intimated their intentions to
run for party leader once Sharon leaves. They are Netanyahu, Uzi Landau, Moshe
Feiglin, Sha'ul Mofaz, Yisrael Katz, Silvan Shalom, and possibly Limor Livnat
(who later said she would not run).
MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said, shortly after Sharon's decision was made public, that the right-wing - including the pared-down Likud, the National Religious Party, the National Union, and Yisrael Beiteinu - will have to merge into one bloc. "What logic didn't do, fear will do," he said, explaining that the right-wing bloc should have been formed long ago. "The political map has been redrawn," Eldad said. "It's right, center, left, hareidim and Arabs - that's it." It was not immediately clear why Eldad considers Sharon's new party to be a centrist one.
Ariel Sharon founded the Likud in 1973, when he said to have twisted Herut Party leader Menachem Begin's arm to accept a union with two other right-wing nationalist groups. Beginning in 1977, the Likud won six of the next nine national elections - in 1977, 1981, 1988, 1996, 2001, and 2003. The Likud lost only in 1992 and 1999, and reached the equivalent of a tie with Labor in 1984. Sharon is now searing apart the party, with several of the current party ministers planning to bolt the party and join him. These include Ehud Olmert, Tzippy Livny, Avraham Hirschson, Gideon Ezra, and possibly Meir Sheetrit, as well as MKs Ruhama Avraham (Netanyahu's former top assistant), Eli Aflalo, Majli Wahabe, Roni Bar-On, Ze'ev Boim, and several more. It was noted that just as Sharon had confounded former supporters by destroying the settlement enterprise in Gush Katif that he himself had so much to do with, he was now doing the same thing with his political home, the Likud. Likud MK Ehud Yatom said, "The man who built the Likud is now acting to dismantle it, just like he, the father of the settlements, is planning to continue to uproot them in Judea and Samaria."
MK Omri Sharon, the Prime Minister's son who pleaded guilty last week to violating campaign funding laws on behalf of his father's primaries victory in a previous election, has not resigned from the Knesset as a result - and MK Aryeh Eldad thinks he knows why: "This way, he can be possibly the 14th MK to join his father's new party - and if in fact the new party gets that many MKs, that is more than a third of the Likud. According to election laws, if one-third of a party breaks away, it receives one-third of the parent party's campaign funding and broadcast time - and in the case of the Likud, of course, this adds up to a lot. That's apparently why Omri Sharon didn't resign - to keep the millions for his father's new party."
Likud MK Ayoub Kara: "We have thankfully been ridden of Sharon."
Shinui leader Tommy Lapid: "Sharon's decision was made out of personal considerations. He won't help the middle class, won't fight against religious coercion, and won't fight corruption."
Meretz leader Yossi Beilin: "The split in the Likud is a welcome blessing for those who support dividing the land. It provides a true opportunity for a coalition headed by the peace camp and with former Likud members, who now understand that for the last 38 years they fooled the nation and themselves, and that the dream of a Greater Land of Israel was a dangerous and false dream." By Hillel Fendel
Knesset Dissolved – November 21, 2005
Lekarev - The Israeli parliament voted to dissolve itself Monday evening. The final vote was 84 in favor of a motion to dissolve the 16th Knesset, with zero opposed. The vote spares President Moshe Katsav the task of deciding to declare the Knesset disbanded as a result of a request from the acting prime minister, Ariel Sharon. New national elections will take place in the month of March, 2006.
Following the vote, Knesset Member Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party), one of the parliamentarians who put forward the motion to dissolve the current Knesset, said that a circle is now completed "for me and for the NRP, along the lines of 'a sinner must not benefit' from his sin." MK Orlev went on to say, "It is appropriate to go to the people and to ask for their trust, and the people will know how to distance those who are evil, corrupt and immoral when it comes to education, social justice, Jewish identity and the Land of Israel. The people will know how to select those who are good, and who are loyal to the Torah of Israel, the People of Israel and the Land of Israel."
Sharon's New Party Officially Named 'KADIMA' – November 25, 2005
Lekarev - The new political party launched by Ariel Sharon upon his resignation from the Likud has finally been officially registered under the name KADIMA which is the Hebrew word for 'Forward'. Meanwhile, Sharon is seeking to attract Israeli Arab leaders to his newly-launched Kadima Party, hoping to set the stage for securing the Israeli Arab vote. According to a report in the Arabic Kol el-Arab, the prime minister is planning to make offers to Israeli Arab public officials from the Galilee and Triangle areas.
Polls Favor Sharon's New Party – November 30, 2005
Lekarev - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Labor Chairman Amir Peretz can be quite satisfied with the results of the most recent political poll. Peretz receives 27 seats in the poll, while Sharon wins with 34 seats for his new party Kadima. Each of them has gained one more seat compared to last week's poll. The significance of the poll's findings is that Sharon and Peretz will be able to form a national unity government after the elections with 61 Knesset seats and with no need for a coalition with other parties. According to the poll, the ultra-orthodox parties gain six seats, while Shinui continues its downhill spiral with only five seats (compared to six in last week's poll). Yisrael Our Home, Meretz-Yahad and the National Union also receive five seats each. The National Religious Party receives 4 seats, and the Arab parties gain 8 seats altogether. The poll was conducted among 500 respondents, who constitute a representative sample of Israel's adult population. The maximal sampling error is four percent.
It's Official – Shimon Peres resigns from Labor Party – December 1, 2005
Lekarev -Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres officially resigned from the Labor Party yesterday, leaving his political home of nearly six decades to campaign for Ariel Sharon's new centrist party, Kadima. The 82- year-old Peres, who has held every major cabinet position, left Labor after his humiliating loss to union leader Amir Peretz in the race for party leader three weeks ago. He said he was supporting Sharon because he had the best chance of restarting the peace process with the Palestinians. Peres' defection was a coup for the premier's new Kadima Party as the major political factions scramble to snare high-profile supporters before March parliamentary elections. Many Israelis respect Peres for his decades of service to the country, but many also view him suspiciously as a dove and political opportunist. Under a reported deal worked out with Sharon, Peres would campaign for the prime minister without officially joining Kadima. If Sharon wins, Peres would receive a senior cabinet post, either dealing with the peace process or with his pet project to develop Israel's sparsely populated Negev desert and northern Galilee regions.
Top Labor Officials say 'Good Riddance' to Peres’ – December 1, 2005
Lekarev -Top Labor officials said today that Peres's departure from Labor is good for the party. "Peres for 20 years has been a burden that has harmed Labor," former MK Weizmann Shiri said. "No one seriously wanted him to stay. I am glad if he has finally left. He has undermined every Labor leader in the last decade. I give credit to Amir Peretz for not letting him undermine him." A current Labor MK was even more blunt, saying "Good riddance. Labor would never have been able to recover as long as the shadow of Shimon Peres hovered over the party."
Several Labor officials have been calling upon Peres to retire for years. Former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg and Labor Secretary-General Eitan Cabel have compared Peres to an evergreen tree that doesn't let any new flowers sprout underneath. "I called upon him to leave two years ago," Cabel said. "I think he shouldn't have left [now] especially in such a dishonorable way that hurts his image. It's painful but it could lead to good things for Labor." Peretz's office said that international leaders had been pressuring Peres to remain with Labor. They said that leaders of international labor and socialist parties had been calling Labor to ask for an explanation as to why Peres would leave when Labor is doing well in the polls. But a Peres associate said that world leaders want Peres to join Kadima.
Former Agudat Yisrael MK Promoting Right-Religious Coalition – November 30, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Rabbi Yisrael Eichler,
formerly representing Agudat Yisrael in parliament, is working to draft joint
"red lines" for all right-wing and religious political parties. In an
interview with Arutz Sheva Radio on Tuesday, Rabbi Eichler said that his
efforts are aimed at foiling a divide-and-conquer approach from being effective
against the religious and right-wing parties. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon used
such an approach successfully after the last elections, according to Eichler,
ultimately destroying both the Torah world and the Jewish communities of Gaza and northern Samaria. "And his hand is still outstretched for more," the
former MK warned. Rabbi Eichler said that he is working on drafting key
non-negotiable positions for all religious and right-wing parties to agree upon
ahead of coalition negotiations for the next government. He is seeking to
prevent a situation in which, among the right-wing and religious parties,
"in order to get some extra kneideleh [matzah ball], one [party]
will enter [the coalition] at the expense of another."
Ideally, Eichler would like to see a joint commitment by the right-wing and religious parties that any future coalition must include all or none of them. However, barring that, he is working on a minimal agreement that the religious Zionist parties will fight legislation that could harm the interests of Hareidi Torah institutions and the Hareidi parties will fight legislation that harms the interests of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The first stage in forming his envisioned right-religious coalition, Rabbi Eichler said, is forming a single Hareidi bloc including Shas, Agudat Yisrael and Degel HaTorah. However, Eichler admitted that such a bloc is difficult to generate. Shas, he said, is concerned about losing traditionalist, but not Orthodox, voters to the secular parties should the Sephardic movement agree to join Ashkenazi Hareidim in one party. By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
Ya'alon Gives Support to Netanyahu – December 9, 2005
Lekarev - Former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's campaign for Likud leadership has been strengthened with the support of former IDF Chief of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon.
Ya'alon himself is prohibited from running for Knesset because the mandatory "cooling-off period" between the end of his army service and the beginning of a possible political career has not passed. But sources close to Netanyahu said that it is likely that if Netanyahu were elected prime minister, he would appoint Ya'alon as his defense minister.
News of Ya'alon's endorsement capped a successful week for Netanyahu in which MK Uzi Landau dropped out of the leadership race and joined his campaign team. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin also announced his support for Netanyahu in the December 19 primary.
Ya'alon served as IDF Chief of Staff until June 1, 2005. He was fired by Prime Minister Sharon because of his opposition to the disengagement from Gaza.
Netanyahu: Likud Will Return to its Principles - November 22, 2005
Lekarev - The eight candidates to replace Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as Likud chairman will meet today with Likud Central Committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi to negotiate a date for the Likud leadership race. Hanegbi will convene the central committee in Tel Aviv on Thursday to finalize a date for the race. Sharon handed in his resignation letter from the Likud to Hanegbi, who will replace him as Likud chairman in an interim capacity.
MK Binyamin Netanyahu declared Tuesday morning that the Likud was returning to its principles, and to the visions of Jabotinsky and Begin. In an interview with Army Radio, Netanyahu claimed that Sharon had essentially left the Likud two years ago, but that now the party would return to its roots. The move is one that the public has eagerly awaited, according to Netanyahu. He attacked Sharon's vision of democracy, saying that the prime minister's new party would be one of marionettes. According to Netanyahu, Sharon is essentially establishing "Labor Party B" and a vote for Sharon would be a vote for the Left. "Sharon is a dictator. What does it matter if the dictator smiles and if he has a sense of humor if he leads you to dictatorship, corruption, and endangers the security of the state," Netanyahu charged. With the recent conviction of Sharon's son on corruption charges, many in Israel agree with Netanyahu's assessment. Foreign minister Silvan Shalom has joined the Likud leadership race against Binyamin Netanyahu, and notably, Defense minister Shaul Mofaz, who spurned Sharon’s invitation to leave the Likud and go with him into the new party.
Always the General, Sharon Leaves Trojan Horse in Likud – November 30, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Ariel
Sharon, former general and master tactician, who broke away from the Likud to
form his own party, Kadima, may have left behind hundreds of supporters who
remain loyal to his cause. These supporters, making up an army
of potential Trojan horses, may severely affect the Likud’s ability to maintain
political independence from the party’s former leader and founder. Sharon’s
supporters, for example, still comprise a substantial proportion of the Likud’s
governing body, the Central Committee. That committee can influence the format
of the party’s Knesset list, including the position of each individual
candidate, and ultimately whether that candidate gets elected.
While the prime minister’s supporters may have a moral duty to follow his footsteps and leave the party he abandoned, such a move has yet to occur. They also have the option of timing their move to the benefit of Kadima’s party interests. Some Likud members are worried that Sharon’s supporters will attempt to fashion a list of party candidates that will appear unattractive to potential Likud voters. Another possibility is that Sharon’s backers will attempt to form a list favorable to joining a coalition led by Sharon’s new party, Kadima. Despite the threat looming over the viability of the Likud as an independent party, many senior party officials, however, are sanguine, convinced that Sharon’s loyalists will not deliberately harm the party.
However, representatives of MK Binyamin Netanyahu, who is a candidate to head the Likud, have voiced their concerns over the Trojan horse issue to INN. They said that the party has not formulated a plan to deal with the problem. Since resigning from the government last August just before Sharon carried out the disengagement plan, Sharon and Netanyahu, who served as finance minister, have become bitter electoral rivals.
On the other hand, another candidate for the Likud
leadership, Moshe Feiglin, was unperturbed by the issue. “In my estimation,
this is nothing more than a tempest in teacup,” said Feiglin. “Every telephone call Omri Sharon
makes to a Likud activist will be recorded and exposed,” he said cynically. Sharon’s son,
Omri, who was convicted last week of committing fraud and of violating election
campaign laws, was the Likud’s kingpin, before departing to join his father’s
new party. Feiglin
believes that Sharon’s supporters simply will not be bothered to vote in the
Likud’s primary elections scheduled for January. More practically, however,
Feiglin said that Likud members who publicly endorse Sharon should be denied
the right to vote in party elections. Feiglin said that aside from using this
sanction, there was no other reasonable solution to the problem.
Another candidate for the party’s top spot, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, predicted that Sharon’s supporters “will move over to his new party.” He said the fuss is over Likud members who had supported Sharon over his rival, Netanyahu, but have decided to remain in the Likud sans Sharon. Party stalwart, MK Yuval Steinitz, head of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is also not worried about a potential Trojan horse problem. “Such worries are exaggerated,” he said. “Likud Central Committee members are patriots who would not want to harm the Likud.” Steinitz cited his own particular experience, saying that he had the support of party officials and activists, despite the fact that he did not support Sharon’s policies. Steinitz said that Sharon will not attempt to influence the party’s primaries because “the overwhelming majority never took his orders in the past.”
In contrast, another party stalwart, MK Michael Eitan, Chairman of the Knesset Constitution and Law Committee, said he was worried that Sharon’s men will try to intervene in internal Likud politics, but that “there is nothing that can be done to stop this phenomenon.” He said, however, that he did not think that Sharon’s supporters would have a significant impact on selecting the party’s Knesset list. “Likud Central Committee members are not robots,” he said. An attempt by Sharon to influence the list would affect “200-300 Central Committee members” at most, said Eitan, pointing out that such a number would be insignificant in a committee with 3000 members. By Scott Shiloh
Lekarev - In politics for more than a half century, Peres has served in almost every cabinet post but rarely won an election. His main challenger is trade union leader Amir Peretz, followed by Binyamin Ben-Eliezer who are wooing 100,474 registered voters.
Labor Party Votes Today – November 9, 2005
Lekarev - Wednesday could go down in history as the first day that Shimon Peres won an election since defeating Yitzhak Rabin for the Labor Party leadership in 1988. The polls in 318 polling stations opened Wednesday morning and were set to close at 8 p.m. Results are expected by 10:30 p.m.
Peres, who voted in Ramat Gan, told reporters before casting his vote that he intends to lead Labor against the Likud in the next general elections and for the coming years. When asked why he was running again despite his past pledge not to, Peres replied, "Unfortunately, the party deteriorated into an impossible situation and won only 19 mandates. I did not expect that. I did not plan to run but friends urged me to do so."
Peres, who has lost five elections for prime minister and one for president, vowed not to take seriously the polls that predicted that he would easily defeat Peretz and Ben-Eliezer and become Labor's candidate for prime minister.
Election Upset: Peretz Defeats Shimon Peres - November 10, 2005
Lekarev - In an unexpected result and a blow to the old guard of Israel's Labor Party, Histadrut (trade union) labor federation Chairman Amir Peretz was named the new chairman of the Labor Party early this morning, defeating the incumbent and favorite, Vice Premier Shimon Peres. The new Labor chief quickly reiterated his intention of pulling the party out of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government, propelling the country into political disarray and advancing the likelihood of early general elections. "Amir will discuss with the prime minister an agreed date for an election," said Yuli Tamir, a Labor legislator and Peretz supporter.
Peretz, a fiery union leader, wants to steer the party back to its socialist roots, pull out of the coalition and force early elections. His message has resonated with Israelis disenfranchised by government cuts in social spending and the country's growing gap between rich and poor. Shortly after 6 A.M., amid cheering from Peretz's supporters, Labor Secretary- General Eitan Cabel announced that Peretz had won with 42.35 percent of the votes, while Peres came in second with 39.96 percent of voters.
Thus far, Peres has refused to call Peretz to congratulate him and has already asked the legal department of the Labor Party to investigate possible election fraud. His request, however, was flatly denied.
Who Is Amir Peretz – November 11, 2005
Lekarev - Labor party's newly-elected chairman started his political career after a friend persuaded him to run for mayor of his home town of Sderot more than 20 years ago; after progressing through the ranks, Peretz became Histadrut (labor union) chairman and a Knesset member. Amir Peretz was born in 1952 in Morocco and came to live in Israel with his family at age 4, where he settled in a Western Negev transit camp that eventually become the town of Sderot, a name you are probably familiar with as it has been the scene of countless rocket attacks from the Palestinians in Gaza. Peretz's father, who headed the Jewish community in Morocco, found work in a factory in nearby Kibbutz Ruhama, while his mother worked in a local laundry.
Peretz was recruited into the army at age 18 and served as a munitions officer in a paratroopers division. He was seriously injured in Sinai in 1974. Over the next two years, Peretz underwent a long rehabilitation process, was bedridden for one year and then confined to a wheel chair. He finally learned to walk again, defying doctor's predictions. Still confined to a wheel chair, Peretz decided to fulfill his dreams and established a farm on Moshav Nir Akiva near his home town of Sderot. Peretz grew vegetables and flowers, specializing in roses and garlic. During this time he met and married his wife Ahlama. Today they have four children and live in Sderot.
The newly-elected Labor party chairman first entered the political arena in 1983, after childhood friends persuaded him to run for mayor of Sderot. Peretz ran for mayor on behalf of the Labor party, and at the young age of 30 won his first election. He went on to serve City Hall for five years. His progress through the Labor party was made along side Avraham Burg, Haim Ramon and Yossi Beilin. He become a Knesset member for the first time 1988 and has held that position ever since.
Following a difference of opinion regarding the Histadrut trade union federation's place in society, Peretz established the "New Life with the Histadrut" faction, together with Haim Ramon. In 1995 Peretz was chosen as Histadrut chairman and was voted in by a large majority once again three years later. He became a leader for the working class, leading endless strikes and battles. Following a dispute with then Labor party leader Ehud Barak, Peretz established the One Nation party in preparation for elections for the 15th Knesset in 1999, winning two mandates. He went on to win three mandates in the next general elections. In 2004, the Labor party unified with Peretz's One Nation party. Ironically, Shimon Peres was instrumental at the time for leading the campaign to unify the two parties and placed pressure on several movements in a bid to allow for this move.
Who is Amir Peretz? – November 11, 2005
Labor party's newly-elected chairman started his political career after a friend persuaded him to run for mayor of his home town of Sderot more than 20 years ago; after progressing through the ranks, Peretz became Histadrut chairman and Knesset member
YNet News - Amir Peretz was born in 1952 in Morocco and came to live in Israel with his family at age 4, where he settled in a Western Negev transit camp that eventually become the town of Sderot. Peretz's father, who headed the Jewish community in Morocco, found work in a factory in nearby Kibbutz Ruhama, while his mother worked in a local laundry. His given name was Armand, which was later changed to Amiram and then to the more modern Amir.
Peretz celebrates his victory (Photo: AFP)
From the early age of 14 years, Peretz and his friends started advertising leaflets about social injustice, admiring no other than revolutionist Che Guavana. Peretz was recruited into the army at age 18 and served as a munitions officer in a paratroopers division. He was seriously injured in Sinai in 1974. Over the next two years, Peretz underwent a long rehabilitation process, was bedridden for one year and then confined to a wheel chair. He finally learned to walk again, defying doctor's predictions. Still confined to a wheel chair, Peretz decided to fulfill his dreams and established a farm on Moshav Nir Akiva near his home town of Sderot. Peretz grew vegetables and flowers, specializing in roses and garlic. During this time he met and married his wife Ahlama. Today they have four children and live in Sderot.
Mayor of Sderot at 30
The newly-elected Labor party chairman first entered the political arena in 1983, after childhood friends persuaded him to run for mayor of Sderot. Peretz ran for mayor on behalf of the Labor party, and at the young age of 30 won his first election. He went on to serve City Hall for five years. His progress through the Labor party was made along side Avraham Burg, Haim Ramon and Yossi Beilin. He become a Knesset member for the first time 1988 and has held that position ever since. Following a difference of opinion regarding the Histadrut trade union federation's place in society, Peretz established the "New Life with the Histadrut" faction, together with Haim Ramon. In 1995 Peretz was chosen as Histadrut chairman and was voted in by a large majority once again three years later. He became a leader for the working class, leading endless strikes and battles. Following a dispute with then Labor party leader Ehud Barak, Peretz established the One Nation party in preparation for elections for the 15th Knesset in 1999, winning two mandates. He went on to win three mandates in the next general elections. In 2004, the Labor party unified with Peretz's One Nation party. Ironically, Shimon Peres was instrumental at the time for leading the campaign to unify the two parties and placed pressure on several movements in a bid to allow for this move.
Peretz Vows to Follow in Rabin's Footstep – November 11, 2005
Lekarev - Several hours after he was announced as the new leader of the Labor Party, Histadrut Chairman Amir Peretz returned to his political roots to outline his political vision as the Labor candidate for prime minister. His victory was an unexpected blow to the Labor old guard. Speaking near the grave of slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin at the Mount Hertzl cemetery in Jerusalem, Peretz stressed that reaching a peace accord with the Palestinians is at the top of his political priority list. "We will not rest until we reach a permanent agreement (with the Palestinians) that would secure a safe future for our children and that would provide us with renewed hope to live in a region where people lead a life of cooperation and not, G-d forbid, where blood is shed from time to time," Peretz said. This means a return to "Oslo".
The new Labor chairman emphasized this move is a direct continuation of Rabin's political heritage: "I came today to make a vow to Rabin, once again, that I intend to do everything I can to continue his way, I intend to do everything I can so that [Rabin's] assassin would know he failed to murder peace." Peretz recounted his long tenure as a loyal supporter of the late prime minister: "I was by Rabin's side in the days he struggled for his place in Israeli politics, I was with him in his days of isolation, and also in the days of overwhelming support from the people of Israel when they flooded him with warmth and admiration. I was also next to him on that dreadful night when we lost Yitzhak (Rabin) in the murder that shocked Israel and sought to severe and end his life and his way."
Peretz Campaign: Sharon Wants Terror – December 15, 2005
Lekarev - In an explosive charge, the Labor campaign of Amir Peretz has accused Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of perpetuating terrorism for his own ends. Labor party leader Amir Peretz’s campaign manager, Motti Morel, issued the charges.
Morel charged the prime minister with creating a 'security spin,' saying: "When he doesn't have any answers to social problems, he can always 'put the pedal to the metal' so there will be attacks - and the issue (on the public agenda) will then be security. He can decide if there will be attacks." "I assume Sharon's people also saw the film 'Wag the dog.' They are making war in order to deflect attention. Every campaigner knows the film, and it's turning into reality before our eyes,” Morel said.
Israel´s Prof. Aumann Wins Nobel Prize in Economics - October 10, 2005
Israel National News -Prof. Robert J. Aumann of Heb. U. is a co-winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Economics, for "enhancing our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis."
Aumann, a religious Jew
who grew up in New York City and currently resides in Jerusalem, won the
prestigious prize together with Prof. Thomas C. Schelling of the University of Maryland. The two established game theory as the dominant approach towards
understanding conflict and cooperation between countries, individuals and
organizations. They will share the $1.3 million prize. The official name of the prize, which will be awarded in
Stockholm on Dec. 10, is The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in
Memory of Alfred Nobel. Nobel himself established awards for physics,
chemistry, medicine, peace and literature, and Sweden's central bank added
economics to the list in 1968.
Aumann's research is not
easily understood by the layman. It involves concepts such as neo-Walrasian
theory, core equivalence in a "continuum" economy, the
"perfectly competitive" scenario and approximate purification of
mixed strategies. His six books include " Values of Non-Atomic
Games," "Game Theory" (in Hebrew), and "Repeated Games with
Incomplete Information." He has written and delivered papers entitled
"Game-Theoretic Analysis of a Bankruptcy Problem from the Talmud,"
"Asphericity of Alternating Knots," and dozens more.
Prof. Yisrael Aharoni, head of the Mathematics Department of the Jerusalem College of Technology (Machon Lev) in Jerusalem, studied briefly under Prof. Aumann. Expressing satisfaction at Aumann's Nobel recognition, Aharoni told Arutz-7, "Three years ago, another Israeli professor, Daniel Kahneman, won the Economics prize, and he basically said that economics is all psychology. What's interesting is that this winner, Prof. Aumann, says basically the opposite, that economics is all mathematical and logical."
Prof. Aharoni said that a famous article by Prof. Aumann, in which he applies his theories to explain a difficult Mishna in Tractate Ketubot and another Mishna in Tractate Baba Metzia "caused economists and mathematicians around the world to take an interest in Talmudic texts and see how they deal with economic/legal issues." "It's gratifying to see," Aharoni said, "that the Nobel Prize committee recognized the contribution of mathematics to economics, as it has done in the past regarding similar contributions to medicine, chemistry and other areas."
Prof. Aharoni said that Aumann showed how "the results of all sorts of competitions and arguments between people or entities can be analyzed mathematically. For instance, a seller has various options, such as selling less for a higher price or more for a lower price. The buyer also has various options. The relevant data can be analyzed and a level can be found such that both sides will end up as satisfied as possible under the given circumstances." Another example of the application of game theory is in the area of "repeated games." If a situation is faced once, Prof. Aharoni explained, "the best strategy is used, but if it is encountered many times, it is likely that one strategy will be used a certain amount of the time, and another strategy for the remainder - given the advantages and disadvantages of each. This is so because of the very fact of the repetition. For instance, if you buy bread every single day, some of the times you will be willing to travel further to pay a lower price - but not all the time, because then the seller will raise the price." Previous Israeli Nobel Prize winners include Shmuel Yosef Agnon (Literature, 1966), Daniel Kahneman (Economics, 2002), and Avraham Hershko and Aharon Ciechanover (Chemistry, 2004). Yitzchak Rabin and Shimon Peres won a controversial Peace Prize in 1994. By Hillel Fendel
Israeli Wins Nobel Prize; Credits His Fellow Workers – October 11, 2005
Lekarev - Israel's Prof. Israel (Robert) Aumann and American Thomas Schelling won the 2005 Nobel economics prize on Monday for their “Game-theory analysis”, which can help resolve conflicts in trade and business - and even avoid war. Their studies have found uses in “Security and disarmament policies, price formation on markets, as well as economic and political negotiations”, said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarding the 10 million crown (USD 1.30 million) prize.
In response to the news, Prof. Aumann remarked that his colleagues in research deserve the prize just as much. Schelling, 84, teaches at the University of Maryland. “Game theory” is a science of strategy, which attempts to determine what actions different “players” - be they trading partners, employers and unions or even crime syndicates - should take to secure the best outcome for themselves. Schelling has been applying it to global security and the arms race since the 1950s while Aumann has conducted analysis of “Infinitely repeated games” to identify what outcomes can be maintained over time. “Insights into these issues help explain economic conflicts such as price wars and trade wars, as well as why some communities are more successful than others in managing common-pool resources,” said the Academy citation. "This is truly a very exciting moment. Israel Aumann, Nobel Prize laureate (Photo: Haim Tzah) I didn't really have much time to think about it. Actually, I had no time at all, because the phone didn't stop ringing," Auman said at a press conference held at Hebrew University in Jerusalem Monday. When asked what his great discovery was, Aumann laughed and said "I really don't know. You will have to ask other people." "I don't really know that much about economics," Aumann added. The Nobel Prize winner appeared to be very embarrassed by all the media attention directed at him, and by the applause that welcomed him when he entered the conference.
Israel Aumann was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1930, and according to his older brother Moshe he was "a mischievous child, but sweetly so." The family fled for the United States eight years later, where Israel and his brothers were awarded Jewish as well as General education. In 1956 Aumann made Aliya to Israel and started working at the Hebrew University. Those of you who have traveled to Israel with me in the past have at times been privileged to hear his older brother, Moshe Aumann, speak to our groups. Moshe is a retired diplomat with Israel's Foreign Ministry.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon spoke with Prof. Aumann Monday and congratulated him on his win. "I was very excited to hear about your win, and it gives great pride to the State of Israel and its citizens," Sharon said. Mazel tov to Prof. Aumann and to all the Aumann family.
Pride of Israel - Aumann Receives Nobel Prize – December 11, 2005
Lekarev - Professor Israel (Robert) Aumann of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University has accepted the Nobel Prize in Economics in Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday evening. Aumann’s excited family members were also on hand to watch the emotional moment, as Sweden’s King Gustaf presented the prize to the Israeli scholar.
Over the weekend, Professor Aumann visited Stockholm’s major synagogue, where he was warmly received. Israeli Deputy Ambassador in Stockholm Ran Yaakovi said that Aumann “brings great honor to Israel.” Yaakovi, who attended the ceremony, reported on the emotional event. “From where I was sitting during the ceremony, I was proud to see so many kippot,” he said. “The Jewish community, which comprises about 15,000 people, received him very warmly.”
In a very interesting side note, to all you students who struggle with Math, Israel Robert Aumann was told by a teacher when he was young, that he wasn't 'good in math'. I wonder if that teacher lived to see this day!
Bible-and-Science Professor Yehuda Felix, 83 – December 10, 2005
Yehuda Felix of Jerusalem, who devoted his life to research of the world of
botany and zoology in the Bible, passed away on Dec. 2 at the age of 83. Prof.
Felix, 83 at his death, was among the founders of the Land of Israel Studies
Department at Bar Ilan University, and headed it for many years. He authored
some 20 books and dozens of articles; his last work was a new edition of
Tractate Maasrot of the Jerusalem Talmud, published this year. Among his works
was the classic, "Flora and Fauna in the Mishna." Prof. Felix immigrated to the Holy Land in 1939 at the
age of 17, and lived for several years in the religious Kibbutz Sdei Eliyahu in
the Jordan Valley. After graduating from Hebrew University, he lectured in Bar
Ilan, and frequently in Yeshiva and Harvard Universities as well.
His papers and writings combined research in Torah and science. A representative paper of his dealt with a puzzling incident in the past week's Torah portion, in which the Patriarch Jacob mysteriously arranged for the birth of a surprisingly large number of speckled sheep. Prof. Felix explained Jacob's success based on the Mendelian genetics principles of dominant and recessive genes. His theory is that Jacob treated the early-mating sheep and the late-maters differently [see Gen. 30, 41-42, and Rashi], in accordance with the discovery some decades ago of the fact that such behavior reveals the sheep's white/speckled genotype. (The article was published in Hebrew in Techumin Vol. 3.) By Hillel Fendel
Alberta, Canada and JNF Sign Partnership in Water Research – October 7, 2005
Israel National News - A Canadian province and the State of Israel have
signed an agreement for water research, which will benefit water-scarce
countries worldwide. The Government of Alberta, Canada has pledged $1 million (Canadian) towards a joint venture with the Jewish National Fund for
Israeli and Canadian scientists to research water irrigation and conservation
techniques in Israel. This is the first cooperation of this kind between a
Canadian province and JNF-KKL. At a ceremony on Tuesday evening, JNF (Keren
Kayemet Le'Yisrael - KKL) World Chairman Yehiel Leket and Alberta Minister of
Infrastructure and Transportation, Dr. Lyle Oberg, signed the agreement.
Dr. Oberg is leading an Alberta mission to Israel that has been visiting sites central to Israel's water infrastructure, including the Sapir Station, where the national water carrier transfers water from the Galilee to the Negev; the Beit Shean Valley, where the reservoir system and Jordan River drainage basin are managed; the Shafdan Waste Water Treatment Center; the Besor research and development station; and the Arad Water Recycling Complex Water Desalination Plant. The Canadian delegation has also been meeting with leading government officials, including Vice-Premier Shimon Peres. The research conducted by Alberta and Israeli scientists will support Alberta's Water for Life Strategy and will be available worldwide to aid those regions suffering from water scarcity. By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
Developing Technology to Reduce Hurricane Damage – September 23, 2005
Israel National News - Israel is on the forefront of developing solutions to mitigate the damage from hurricanes such as Katrina, which lashed the southeastern United States earlier this month. The Tnufa, "Momentum," committee, which is headed by Chief Scientist Dr. Eli Opper, has approved a preliminary research and development program aimed at advancing the development of an innovative technology for barriers against floods like the ones that followed Hurricane Katrina, according to a Globes Business report. The technology will make it possible to speedily build anti-flood barriers of any length and height necessary to protect a population center from the kind of massive flooding that destroyed thousands of homes in New Orleans.
The committee has also approved a preliminary R&D program for the development of a small personal water purification system, to be used by those stranded during disasters. Many died of thirst or from drinking contaminated water followed the US hurricane. "The recent events in the US lent urgency to these plans," said Tnufa director Jacob Fisher. "The Tnufa committee has approved $350,000 for 16 preliminary R&D programs. Six of the programs are in the life sciences, three are for information systems, and seven are for consumer products or in other fields." Unfortunately, the new technology will not be ready in time for Hurricane Rita, the storm currently heading toward Texas. By Ezra HaLevi
Israel's "Mister Pomegranate” – September 21, 2005
Lekarev - A renovated tailor's workshop in the old Turkish market in Haifa is an unlikely setting for the hub of a research company. But it's here that the Israeli company Rimonest Ltd. and its co-founder Dr. Ephraim Lansky are finding new ways to bring pomegranate extracts to the public both in Israel and abroad, and working on innovations which have resulted in a cascade of worldwide research confirming the health benefits of pomegranate extracts. It is his work that has "helped put bottles of pomegranate juice on the shelves of supermarkets all over the world" quips Lansky in his lab.
In 1991 as a practicing MD in the US with an interest in herb medicine, he was invited to an international conference on medicinal and aromatic plants in Israel. While perusing the conference's program he noticed the quote on the cover from the Song of Songs, attributed to King Solomon. A whole collection of plants were mentioned, and Lansky's interest was sparked by the pomegranate. A search of the scientific literature revealed a solitary paper published in 1964 in which an Egyptian team discovered that oil from pomegranate seeds has a high content of the female hormone estrone. They demonstrated its hormonal effect on rabbits and mice, all well before estrogens of plant origin, phytoestrogens like those in soy, became part of the 'alternative' regime for menopausal women.
At the next conference in 1992, Lansky presented a paper on this work which captured the interest of Professor Dan Palevitch, of the Department of Agriculture at the Hebrew University in Rehovot, a well-known figure in herbal medicine in Israel. "He encouraged me to move to Israel to pursue research into the health properties of pomegranates," Lansky told ISRAEL21c.
The early days of research began on Lansky's Haifa kitchen table while he was also learning Hebrew. Palevitch drove him out to a government agricultural establishment where he collected sacks of pomegranates. Lansky first had to isolate the tiny white seeds that are embedded in the glistening ruby red arils of the pomegranate, and they were then cold-pressed to produce oil. 500 kg of pomegranates produce a mere 1 kg of oil. Fresh from the kitchen table Lansky went to the Technion to find a laboratory where he could research estrogenic properties of his precious pomegranate oil. He connected with a professor of food sciences, Ishak Neeman, who was already set up to investigate anti- oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Why not test the pomegranate oil and wine Lansky had made?
In 1999 their landmark paper was published - pomegranate extracts showed high anti-oxidant activity, the stuff of potential anti-cancer therapies. The same year Rimonest Ltd was launched as part of Israel's prestigious Technion incubator, receiving a start-up grant of $400,000 from the government's Ministry of Trade and Industry. A laboratory was rented at the Technion campus in Haifa. Lansky could now follow his first interest and confirm the estrogenic properties of pomegranate seed oil. But something unexpected happened. So, the next time you're at the supermarket, grab that Pomegranate Juice. It's really good for you!
New Law: Foods Must be Marked Milk, Meat or Pareve – December 7, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - As of today, food may not be sold in Israel without being marked as either meat, dairy or pareve (neither milk nor meat). A new law to this effect passed its third and final reading in the Knesset today. It was originally proposed by MK Uri Ariel (National Union) as an amendment to the Kashrut law. The original law provided only that a food billed as Kosher carry the name of the authorizing rabbi, rabbinate or Kashrut agency. "The Ministry of Trade could have merely issued a directive requiring the new markings," MK Ariel said, "but it did not do so. The Merchants Union complains that many Kashrut-conscious consumers refrain from buying certain foods because they are not marked as dairy or pareve. The new law will help consumers avoid the problem of whether to buy a food because of the fear that it may contain milk or meat ingredients."Jewish law forbids the eating of milk products and meat products together, as well as the consumption of milk products within six hours (or three, according to some customs) of eating meat. By Hillel Fendel
Israelis Developing Alternatives to Arab Oil – November 9, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - An Israeli inventor and company are trying to
use garbage and leftover olive pulp from olive-oil factories, respectively, to
replace oil in providing fuel and electricity to the Jewish State. From
one ton of garbage, half a ton of oil, 300 kg of gas or 150 kg of green coal,
from which electricity is produced, can be extracted, according to inventor Dr.
Sergei Rosenberg. Dr. Rosenberg spoke with Arutz-7 about the development of
his invention that turns garbage into oil. "I turned to the Ministry of
Infrastructure with my invention and they told me to build such a machine
outside Israel and they would consider bringing it here," Rosenberg described. "I built the machine in Moldova and demonstrated there that it
works – with the oil undergoing tests demonstrating that the process is not
Asked by Arutz-7's Yigal Schok why Israel is not pursuing the invention to wean the Jewish State off of Arab-controlled oil, Dr. Rosenberg said that the state was afraid of implementing the changeover due to concern of taking away the monopoly of the oil tycoons. "To my surprise much of the interest actually came from Arab parties because they have a lot of refuse they want to get rid of in an efficient manner," Rosenberg said.
Dr. Rosenberg gained the experience necessary to come up with his invention from working in Russia before he immigrated to Israel. "In Russia I helped with the building of an artificial reservoir, a number of power stations and I designed the water system for the nuclear core in Chernobyl, but Israel did not hire me for similar work since I don't have any connections. I have other ideas, such as wind turbines that operate on air and exploiting the power of the ocean's waves to produce power."
Another company, Genova Ltd., is also working on alternatives to Arab oil. The company has signed an agreement, according to Globes, with an olive press in the village of Julis, in the Galilee to establish a small facility to produce electricity from the waste from olive pressing. The facility is slated to produce an estimated 200 kilowatts of power, enough to provide 70 homes with power. It will also provide for the disposing of olive waste formed during oil production, which has until now posed an environmental hazard.Genova’s method heats the waste to temperatures abover 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, transforming it into a flammable gas. Burning that gas is environmentally-friendly, releases no greenhouse gases and causes no damage to the earth’s ozone layer. The gas operates an electricity-generating turbine. The company hopes to market the product, which will be small enough to fit on a countertop, to other olive-oil producing countries such as Spain and Italy. By Ezra HaLevi
Ashkelon Desalinization Plant Up and Running – August 26, 2005
Israel National News - The much-anticipated Ashkelon water
desalinization plant is up and running, with treated sea-water already being
supplied to the Negev from the Mediterranean Sea. The plant began delivering water to the National Water
Carrier Wednesday, which will carry it to southern Israel. The water is now
being delivered to the Negev at a rate of 3,500 cubic meters (924,000 gallons)
of water per hour. This is only the first stage of the plant's production.
Capacity will be doubled to 7,000 cubic meters per hour by the end of this
year, which will amount to 100 million cubic meters per year.
The sea-water is rendered drinkable through the use of reverse osmosis, in which salt water is forced through a semipermeable membrane that does not allow the salt molecules to pass though. The salt is then returned to the Mediterranean Sea. The desalinated water costs 52 agurot (12 cents) per cubic meter (264 gallons) and is considered to be of high quality since it contains no contaminants, salts, or other substances in it. The water arriving at homes in the Negev is mixed together with ordinary water in order to continue to provide minerals and substances needed by the body. Another positive aspect of the desalinated water is that it is "soft" water, which saves on the use of laundry powder and fabric softeners, and does not leave calcium deposits in pots, pans and pipes as normal Israeli "hard" water tends to do. By Ezra HaLevi
Report: SHARON WILL DIVIDE JERUSALEM – December 14, 2005
Lekarev - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior campaign pollster Kalman Gayer has let the cat out of the bag – Sharon plans to divide Israel's capital, Jerusalem, should he win the elections. In response, the Likud has launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, after Newsweek quoted the Sharon adviser saying the Prime Minister intends to concede parts of Jerusalem and allow the creation of a Palestinian state on 90 percent of the West Bank. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the slogan “Peres will divide Jerusalem” during his 1996 elections campaign, and it now appears the slogan will be used again in the campaign against Sharon.
Netanyahu himself, responding to the report, told Likud activists during a meeting in Netanya that “the secret is out.” He explained, “Sharon’s people are exposing what he’s trying to hide, but everyone already knows – Sharon will divide Jerusalem and bring the Palestinians to the 1967 borders.” Likud MK Uzi Landau also responded with anger, saying “the prime minister, as usual is misleading everyone - past experience teaches us that when the prime minister is quick to deny, we know for certain the reports are true.” Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office denied reports that Sharon is willing to concede parts of Jerusalem in a final peace accord with the Palestinians. Reaction throughout Israel on this development is coming in fast and furious. There is an uproar over it and let's hope that the uproar will be large enough to turn the tide for the elections.
Spanish Writer: Europe's Miserable Mistake – November 8, 2005
Lekarev - Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez, a Spanish writer, posted an article recently in the newspaper of Barcelona entitled, All European Life Died in Auschwitz. NOTE: This article was written BEFORE the riots began in France. This is a summary of the article.
I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth - Europe died in Auschwitz. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world. The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.
And under the pretence of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride. They have turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naïve hosts. And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition. We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs. What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe. Selah!
Arab Journalist Speaks Out Against Paris "Intifada” – November 9, 2005
Lekarev - Outspoken Arab journalist, Joseph Farah of the WorldNetDaily website has written a pointed commentary on the "intifada" going on in France. Here's what Joseph had to say.
It's clear France is no longer in control of its population. It's clear millions within its borders are struggling for freedom and independence. It's clear that these people are not rioting for the sake of rioting, they are responding to oppression from French authorities. It's clear that their uprising cannot be met with state violence, because that would only lead to a 'cycle of violence'. It's clear that these freedom-fighters whom I have dubbed "Paristinians" want a state of their own. (Farah is an Arab Christian) It's clear that the international community must force France to the negotiating table with these freedom fighters to begin thepeace process that will inevitably lead to the creation of an autonomous, independent state of "Paristine." If it's good enough for Israel, it's good enough for the French surrender monkeys who have been leaders of the global movement to force the Jewish state into appeasement of terrorists.
We've got to stop referring to this "intifada" in France as "riots." This is a movement for self- determination. This is a movement for independence. This is a movement for freedom from imperialism.The analogy is apt.
That's not "Frere Jacques" they're singing in France. It's "Fire Jacques." The president of France can see the cinder in the eye ofothers, but is missing the beam in his own. What's good for the goose liver is good for the gander liver. The chicken cordon bleu has come home to roost. It's time for France to stop the hypocrisy.
It's time for the French to take a dose of the medicine they have been handing out to the Jews of Israel. It's time to end the apartheid within its population. It's time for France to stop treating those poor, Muslim immigrants as second-class citizens. It's time to accept the only permanent solution that can address the root problem in French society . the recognition of the "Paristinians" as a legitimate negotiating partner. Enough rubber bullets! Enough police repression! Enough calls for restraint! Enough with the threats! Before this cycle of violence spreads throughout all of Europe, France needs to do the right thing. The French have been speaking out of both sides of their mouths for too long. They've been speaking out of both of their nostrils for too long, too. If appeasement was the solution in Iraq, it's the solution for the "Paristinian" revolt. If appeasement was the solution forHitler, it's the solution for the "Paristinian" revolt. If appeasement was the solution for Israel in dealing with its "Palestinian" problem, it's the solution for France's "Paristinian" uprising.
As I mentioned yesterday in my column, if France has these kinds of systemic problems with its Muslim population, then it is time to partition France. It's time for an independent Muslim state to becreated. After all, isn't that what France and other European nations have determined is the proper solution for Israel?
These are not just riots. This is an intifada, just like the one begun in 2000 within and around Israel. France and other countries, including the United States,have demanded that Israel meet those attacks with land concessions to therioters and suicide bombers. That is the only viable, long-term solution, they say. They claim this violence will never cease until those oppressed by Israel are granted an independent, autonomous state of their own. Why should the solution be any different in France? Stop the violence! Now, not at a snail's pace. The time has come to begin talks with the "Paristinians" about their own future homeland of "Paristine"!
Europe's Ticking Bomb – November 10, 2005
Lekarev - The violent riots spreading across France as Muslim gangs of youths surge out of the immigrant suburbs to invade town centers with disturbing new slogans depicting Paris as ”Baghdad-on-the Seine” indicating their campaign as the start of Europe’s Ramadan Intifada. That single slogan made a mockery of president Jacques Chirac’s efforts of the last three years to distance France from President George W. Bush’s Iraq war. Furthermore, the French government’s helplessness in quelling the trouble is encouraging other European communities to follow suit - in Denmark, Belgium, Spain and Sweden, for starters.
Chirac, after lying low for 10 days, finally called an emergency security meeting in Paris last Sunday, Nov. 6. He then promised arrests, trials and punishment for those who “sow violence or terror” across France. But politics as usual held him back from instituting tough measures or naming those responsible for the violence, let alone deploying the necessary forces. French police are still under orders not to open fire unless fired on first. No names have been released of ringleaders despite several hundred arrests. There are plenty of indications that the riots are not simply spontaneous outbursts of frustration by disadvantaged youths of North and black African descent, but centrally organized mayhem, an “intifada” activated by Muslim networking.
The Chirac-de Villepan government, trying to live down interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy’s provocative pledge to deal with what he called “scum,” is not acknowledging this. Because they refuse to recognize the rampage for what it is, they are withholding the forces required to restore order and so letting the danger get out of hand. Police, firemen and paramedics are no match for a fast developing civil war. The army will have to be brought in at some point, preferably sooner rather than later. For a start, marksmen need to be posted to pinpoint the ringleaders and the bottle-bomb wielders targeting cars, schools, shops, warehouses and public buildings.
France to Impose Curfews – November 8, 2005
Lekarev - The French Cabinet has approved emergency measures allowing local officials to impose curfews in communities at risk of rioting after the nation endured a 12th night of unrest. "We will now be able to act in a preventative manner to avoid these incidents," Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said today in announcing the measure. The curfews are expected to go into force on Wednesday.
The riots spreading across France have exposed the anger, disillusionment and racial tensions simmering in Paris' poor, immigrant neighborhoods. Europeans said Monday they were bracing for copycat violence in impoverished quarters of their own big cities.
Here in Israel there is strong feeling that these riots are being co-ordinated behind the scenes. Time will tell, I suppose.
Raging Muslim Mobs Continue to Devastate France – November 7, 2005
Lekarev - Raging Arab mobs continued their rampage of destruction around France last night, burning 1408 vehicles in the worst violence yet. Rioters fired at police and burned schools and churches in the 11th night of violence in France, despite words from the president that restoring order was a top priority.
Ten riot police were injured by youths firing fine-grain birdshot in the southern Paris suburb of Grigny, national police spokesman Patrick Hamon said. Two were hospitalized but their lives were not in danger, he said. It was the first time police were injured by weapons fire since the unrest started.
Rabin Murder Theories Gaining Credence - November 7, 2005
Exactly 10 years after Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, officials responsible for his security at the time are calling for a new inquiry into intelligence and security failures leading up to the killing.
Dror Yitzhaki, who headed the Shin Bet internal security services' bodyguard unit at the time, brushed off conspiracy theories that assassin Yigal Amir was not the lone gunman. However, he has now issued his call for a new inquiry into the assassination.
In his first interview since the assassination, the man in charge of Rabin's security the night he was killed called for a new inquiry into the killing, saying key questions remain unanswered.
The "Paris Intifada” – November 6, 2005
Lekarev - Marauding bands of Muslims set fire to cars and warehouses and pelted rescuers with rocks again last night, as the worst rioting in a decade spread from Paris across France to other cities. In a savage assault on a bus passenger, rioting attackers doused a woman, in her 50s and on crutches, with an inflammable liquid and set her afire as she tried to get off a bus in the suburb of Sevran Wednesday, judicial officials said. The bus had been forced to stop because of burning objects in its path. She was rescued by the driver and hospitalized with severe burns.
Police said troublemakers fired bullets into a vandalized bus and burned 85 more cars in Paris and Suresnes, just to the west. In Meaux, east of Paris, officials said youths stoned rescuers aiding someone who had fallen ill. The latest report is that more than 900 cars have been destroyed in the ten nights of rioting.
UK's July 7 Bombing Investigation Uncovers AlQaeda Global Central Command – November 6, 2005
Lekarev - American, British and Israeli terrorist experts are reviewing some commonly-held working hypotheses about the structure of al Qaeda as a loose network of branches without a central command. Their curiosity has been aroused by the manner in which al Qaeda has managed to plant a new operational nucleus in the Gaza branch of the Palestinian Hamas, a reality ignored for a time, but no longer in doubt. But all three governments hesitate to go public with this admission because it would overturn some of their most cherished policies.
The Bush administration’s goal of putting the Gaza Strip on its economic feet is seen as a key milestone on the road to an Israeli-Palestinian accommodation. The Blair government is heavily staked in three MI6 Secret Service command and control centers in the Gaza Strip, to boost Mahmoud Abbas’ efforts to exercise his authority over the unruly territory. The Sharon government staked all its political capital on the wrenching evacuation of Israel civilians and troops from the Gaza Strip enhancing Israel’s national security and buying the Jewish state international kudos for a peace initiative.
All three see the presence of an al Qaeda outpost in the Gaza Strip hosted by Hamas as gravely jeopardizing their respective policy objectives. Therefore it appears that they are digging their heads in the sand instead of confronting the danger in conjunction and head-on.
This absence of opposition is fully exploited by al Qaeda to deepen its penetration of the Gaza Strip as a launching pad first for the West Bank and Israeli Arab community. The more long range goal is to make the Gaza Strip a key operational forward base for attacks against America and Europe. Certain security agencies deeply fear that Gaza may soon outdo Iraq, Pakistan, the Philippines and the Caucasian as a major stronghold for al Qaeda’s global offensive. This development not only threatens to defeat key Western Middle East policies, but challenges Washington’s strategic conception of the nature of the global Islamist organization.
The investigation into the July 7 London bombings, and the July 23 Sharm el-Sheikh attacks as well as the infiltration of Gaza in August all point to a centralized force which streams operational manpower according to a master plan. Pinning down a single source for all three projects would demonstrate finally that the global terrorist offensive does not emanate from a diffuse, rudderless entity, but that a single central command with finite manpower resources plots the most significant terrorist operations according to a unified global strategy. This conclusion is reinforced by a recent discovery of British domestic intelligence, the MI5, which is charged with fighting al Qaeda terror in the country. MI5 has turned up a link between the July 7 suicide bombers in London and the two British suicide bombers of Pakistani origin who attacked the Mike’s Place beachfront bar in Tel Aviv next door to the US embassy on April 30, 2003. This discovery leads to the conclusion that al Qaeda not only commands a centrally-controlled manpower pool, but that it dates back two years at least. In other words, for at least that long, Western counter-terror strategists have been working according to a false notion that terrorist groups around the world were "fringe groups, loosely organized and operating independently of each other". This notion needs to be utterly rejected for the war on terror to make any headway at all.
Bush Tells PA: 'Don't Worry, I'll Sway Israel' – October 16, 2005
National News - U.S. President George W. Bush summoned PA officials to his
office this past week and reassured them he will "sway" Israel to open up the Gaza area and not expand Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria. The New
York-based Bloomberg News reported that President Bush summoned Palestinian
Authority (PA) officials to a 30-minute unscheduled meeting following complaints
conveyed by Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes. She told the president that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey regard his support for a new Arab state in Israel as an empty slogan.
When the PA delegation complained to President Bush that expanding Jewish communities, such as the city of Ma'aleh Adumim, might make a new Arab state unacceptable, he eased their fears and said, "Don't worry. I have some political sway with Israel and will use it if need be."
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is in Jordan and on a tour to Egypt, Vatican, France and Spain before flying to Washington to meet President Bush on Thursday, and the White House meeting was aimed to ease PA worries. Israel has maintained that no further concessions can be granted to the PA until it takes measures to stop incitement and disarm terrorists. One example of the PA's "revolving door" policy of arresting and releasing terrorists was described in the New York Times on Friday. It reported that Prime Minister Sharon asked Abbas at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit in February to inform Israeli authorities of the address of Arab terrorist Hasan al-Madhoun, a former member of the PA security forces who helped organize the suicide bombing at Ashdod in March 2004.
Abbas promised he would arrest the terrorist within 48 hours. After the time expired, the Prime Minister raised the issue with the American government, and the PA arrested al-Madhoun and then released him the following day. Later, the same terrorist was behind the attempted suicide bombing of a Be'er Sheva hospital by a woman. Prime Minister Sharon and Abbas canceled a planned meeting this past week after aides told Abbas that Israel would refuse to commit itself to PA demands for the release of jailed Arab terrorists and IDF withdrawals from more cities. "It was only Washington that wanted the meeting," the Timesreported.
At the impromptu White House meeting with PA officials, President Bush assured them that he would pressure Israel to open up the Gaza region, according to the Post. Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres met with PA negotiator Saeb Erakat on Friday on re-opening the Rafiah border between Gaza and Egypt. "I believe that in a short time we can come to an agreement," Peres said. He added Israel might remove its opposition to third party supervision of the crossing, leaving Israel without direct surveillance. However, Erakat rejected Israeli demands that cameras be mounted at the terminal. The crossing was closed several days before Israel pulled out its troops from the area early last month, but Arab terrorists quickly re-opened it. Egypt officially has been manning the crossing, but Foreign Ministry officials said arms smuggling continues daily. By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
U.S. Jews Pushed Rice Into ´Unprecedented´ Intervention – November 20, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Jewish Americans leaders
urged Rice to change tactics and directly impose on Israel an agreement to
re-open the Rafiah border, but even liberal leaders worry Israel's security has
been breached. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week broke her
previously stated policy of "guiding, but not directing" negotiations
between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Rice used "unusual
personal involvement" to pressure Israel and the PA, according to the liberal
New York Jewish daily The Forward. Under the agreement, Israel agreed to drop its demand for direct surveillance at the Rafiah border and to rely
on video cameras without having authority to intervene on matters of security.
The left-wing Israel Policy Forum, Reform movement members and Americans for Peace Now met with Rice to express their backing before her recent trip to the Middle East. The Forum also sent a letter to Rice stating the "strong support" that the Bush administration has "from Jewish Americans on both sides of the aisle."
A letter-writing campaign is underway to U.S. President Bush and Secretary Rice. its gist is that they are gravely endangering Israel by allowing the PA to control the Gaza border. The Rafah agreement is in direct contradiction to the Disengagement law, according to left-wing activist Meron Benvenisti. He wrote in the Hebrew daily Haaretz, "One should not dismiss the importance of the Rafah agreement, [which] contradicts the Disengagement plan as approved by the Knesset. [The law] stated that Israel will oversee and guard the external land envelope."
Abe Foxman, director of the liberal Anti-Defamation league (ADL), told The Forward, "I am nervous about this" because Israel's security may have been compromised. "I worry because there is a basic asymmetry, an imbalance, between the two parties. For the Palestinians, it is about status and sovereignty, which could always be adjusted, while for Israel it is about security and trust. If you make a mistake..., there is no going back." CBS news reported that Rice staged "a virtual all-nighter before getting both the Israelis and Palestinians to agree to the deal."
A State Department spokesman dodged a question by a reporter who began to ask, "It's the first time that this administration is directly implicated in the negotiations..." Spokesman Adam Erelie interrupted the reporter and replied, "Not really. No, we've been involved very directly and very intensively for a long time." Rice said that she still is a" big believer" in letting Israel and the PA conduct their own negotiations, but added that direct intervention sometimes is needed. Her direct intervention was questioned also by David Twersky, director of international affairs for the American Jewish Congress. He said Rice's shuttle diplomacy for "a very small, modest achievement just shows how bad things are. What's going to happen when there is something really important to discuss?" By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
U.S. Leaders' Pressure Said to Endanger Israel – November 18, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel
National News) - A letter-writing campaign is underway to U.S. President
Bush and Sec'y of State Condoleezza Rice. The gist is that they are gravely
endangering Israel by allowing the PA to control the Gaza border. The
background of the letter is this week's Rafah agreement, forged under strong
pressure by Secretary Rice. The agreement deals with the Rafah Crossing along
the Philadelphi Route between Egypt and Gaza, which for years has been a
favored spot for terrorists to smuggle in terrorists, weapons and drugs. Under
the terms of the newly signed arrangements, Israel foregoes almost all control
in the area, becoming vulnerable to terrorist threats from Sinai, Gaza, Judea and Samaria.
A sample letter can be seen here.
The campaign is being undertaken on the backdrop of the signing of the agreement that all Israeli security bodies consider dangerous. It also takes into account the U.S. insistence that Israel do nothing to prevent Hamas terrorists from taking part in the upcoming Palestinian Authority election. Similar campaigns in the past have concentrated not only on letter-writing protests to public officials, but also on writing letters to newspaper editors, calling radio programs, and other methods of "getting the word out." The sample letter accuses Bush and Rice, by pressuring Israel to allow Palestinian travel between Gaza and Hebron, of "establishing a pathway for violence," of "putting Israel at grave risk," and of "siding with our terrorist enemies." It also criticizes the agreement for "permitting the construction of a seaport in Gaza," and for not insisting on the cessation of terror. "By not taking a stand against Hamas running in the Palestinian elections," the sample letter continues, "you are forcing Israel into dangerous compromises with the Palestinians and are guaranteeing more terror in the Middle East. These untenable policies are an outrage and are counter-productive to our efforts in Iraq." By Hillel Fendel
A major terrorist attack was foiled against the Karni terminal crossing from Gaza to Israel - amid US-EU pressure for Israel to yield on security safeguards at Palestinian border crossing to Egypt – November 13, 2005
Monday, Nov. 14, an IDF force intercepted a Palestinian band approaching the goods terminal for Palestinian exports armed with explosive devices and a recoilless grenade launcher. One terrorist was killed and two seriously injured in the exchange of fire. DEBKAfile adds: This was the second Palestinian attempt in two days to blow up the Karni terminal with Israeli personnel. It occurred while US secretary Condoleezza Rice and EU external affairs executive Xavier Solana pushed hard for Israel to relent on its demand for security cameras to relay images of Rafah arrivals incoming from Sinai. They also demand that all the Gaza-Israel crossings remain open amid continuous Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israeli personnel.
DEBKAfile: The impasse over the border crossings was complicated Monday by a fresh Palestinian demand. The PA now wants a presence on the Kerem Shalom crossing from Egypt which is wholly located in Israel territory. The Palestinians refuse to give ground on Israel’s demand for live television camera images on incoming traffic from Sinai through Rafah, offering only to route the transmissions through a third party. The Palestinian demand for a security presence on Israeli soil is consistent with its longstanding territorial aspirations to fit the Gaza Strip into the defunct 1949 armistice lines rather than the borders they themselves endorsed in the 1994 Oslo interim peace accords. This would entail enlarging the Gaza Strip by adding slices of the Israel Negev. Every single visit by a US secretary of state to the region on a peacemaking mission is accompanied by a bloody Palestinian terror attack in what has become a ritual. En route from Saudi Arabia, Rice voiced the view that a Palestinian state would enhance Israel’s security. A Palestinian-Israeli peace, she said is a top US priority.
Debkafiles - The Palestinians are stalling over Israel’s insistence on CCTV to screen entrants from Egypt. But EU external affairs executive Javier Solana is due Thursday to finalize an agreement ahead of the arrival in Jerusalem of US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice who is pushing hard for the Rafah crossing to be reopened quickly. Israel has agreed to deploy European inspectors at the Gaza-Egyptian border terminal of Rafah in lieu of its four decades-long security monitoring presence. DEBKAfile adds: The Palestinians are denying the European monitors real authority to bar access to terrorists or smuggled goods. Israel security sources have described the plan to DEBKAfile as a sieve with very large holes.
Israel to Retreat at Rafiach Crossing in Favor of EU Observers – November 1, 2005
Israel National News -The Sharon government has completely dropped demands to supervise
the Rafiah crossing and will allow the EU to place observers there, a step the
PA hopes will lead to more concessions. The Cabinet
approved a new arrangement Tuesday, allowing the European Union to monitor the
crossing, on condition that it informs Israel on traffic. Israel also demands that on-line cameras be mounted at the crossing. The agreement comes a few days
after confirmed reports that wanted terrorists have crossed from Egypt to Gaza.
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz last week, under mounting American pressure, surrendered the demand that the crossing be used only for people crossing from Gaza into Egypt. Israel had insisted that passage from Egypt to Gaza be allowed only through the Kerem Shalom crossing in the western Negev next to the Gaza region. Mofaz was originally opposed to the Palestinian Authority (PA) demand for granting the European Union observer status but backed down Monday night, according to German and French news agencies.
The PA dropped its demands that it supervise the border without outside observers, and hopes the compromise will be a step towards turning the Rafiah passage into the main entry for people and merchandise. Quartet envoy James Wolfensohn has publicly criticized Israel for allegedly delaying the re-opening of the crossing. PA minister Ghassan Khatib charged that Israel's demands for live cameras and the right to ban the entry of suspected terrorists represent a "refusal to coordinate in good faith." By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
15 Wanted Terrorists Enter Gaza Via Rafah Crossing – December 3, 2005
Lekarev - On Friday, the Palestinian Authority allowed 15 wanted terrorists to enter Rafiah, violating a deal to provide Israel with on-line video surveillance. Several of the terrorists had been expelled by Israel, including Ahmed el-Malah, a founder of the Hamas terrorist organization, whom Israel deported to Lebanon 14 years ago.
Under pressure from American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Israel recently backed down from demands that it place security officials at the border. It agreed to depend on viewing border activity via on-line video cameras and to accept the presence of European observers, although they have no authority over the PA. The agreement does not prohibit terrorists from entering from Egypt, and PA officials asserted that anyone with a local identity card can cross the re-opened border in Rafiah, which straddles Egypt and the Gaza area. Israeli officials have complained that the cameras do not always provide live communication. One source said that the lack of constant on-time monitoring was due to a "technical problem."
Franklin Admits Sharing Info With AIPAC and Israeli Embassy – October 6, 2005
Israel National News - Ex-U.S. Defense Department official Larry
Franklin has pleaded guilty, in a plea bargain arrangement, to three counts of
passing classified information about Iran to Israeli diplomats and lobbyists. Franklin, whose
expertise is Middle East affairs, pleaded guilty to passing secret information
to Israeli diplomats and to members of the American-Israeli Political Action
Committee (AIPAC). He said he was "frustrated" by the U.S. government's policy on a particular issue - apparently its stance on Iran - but that he never
intented to harm the United States. He said that he hoped to influence American
policy by sharing military information with the lobbyists, in the hope that
they would pass it on to the National Security Council.
Franklin also admitted having met with Naor Gilon, Rafi Barak and a third Israeli diplomat in Washington. He said he shared information with them regarding weapons tests in the Middle East, military activities in Iraq and other matters. During the court hearing yesterday, Franklin said that he assumed the information was already known to Israel, and that he received far more information than he gave. Franklin will be sentenced on Jan. 20. Though the charges carry maximum sentences of 25 years, Franklin is hoping that his consent to testify in a future trial against the two AIPAC lobbyists - Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman - will gain him some consideration. In addition, the plea agreement calls for Franklin to forfeit his government pension, and not to speak with the press until three years after he leaves prison.
AIPAC, a lobbying organization for the Israeli government, fired the two lobbyists back in April, when the story first broke, and has reportedly cooperated with the government investigation. Rosen and Weissman were indicted this summer on charges of conspiring to receive and transfer classified information, and their trial is set to begin in early January. It is assumed that the plea bargain arrangement with Franklin will make it easier to prosecute them. This is not certain, though. Franklin is expected to testify that the information he shared with the lobbyists was classified, and that he told them as much. However, at the hearing yesterday, he began detailing one of the documents in question, until he was stopped by lawyers warning him that he was revealing classified information. This would appear to indicate that he was not aware of the level of secrecy of the documents in question. In any event, a lawyer for Rosen said he does not think the plea bargain will affect his client's case. "The actions of a government worker in dealing with classified information," he said, "is simply not the same as that of a private person, whether he is a reporter or a lobbyist." At a previous court hearing last month, Rosen's lawyers complained they were not given access to classified documents used by the prosecution. The Israeli Embassy released this statement in response to Franklin's confession: "We have full confidence in our diplomats, who are dedicated and professional and act in accordance with diplomatic procedure." By Hillel Fendel
After Row Over Drones, Israel and US Resume Strategic Talks – November 30, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - After Israel reportedly agreed to subject defense exports to American approval, the US has resumed strategic security talks with Israel. After a three-year hiatus, the United States and Israel resumed strategic security talks on Monday. The discussions, which began in
2001, were put on hold over Israel’s decision to upgrade “Harpy” drones
originally sold to China in 1994. American worries that the drones
could potentially be used against U.S. forces brought about the cancellation of
the deal with China. A memorandum signed between Israel and the United States last August paved the way for a resumption of the strategic talks. In that
memorandum, Israel agreed to subject weapons exports to third countries to
guidelines which protect U.S. interests. According to some reports, the U.S. must consent to such exports.
While the U.S. and Israel have a wide-range of diplomatic, commercial, and military ties, the Harpy issue jeopardized strategic cooperation between the two countries. In addition to canceling the strategic talks, the U.S. precluded Israeli companies from participating in the development of next-generation U.S. fighter aircraft. When asked why the talks had been suspended for so long, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said only that they had not taken place for “logistical” reasons. According to reports, Tzachi HaNegbi (Likud), who serves as a minister without portfolio, and the directors-general of the foreign affairs and defense ministries headed the Israeli delegation to the talks. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns headed the U.S. delegation.
Another development opening the way for a resumption of the talks was the retirement of former Defense Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron. U.S. officials had refused to meet with him, claiming he had misled them in regard to the Harpy upgrade agreement with the Chinese.The U.S. – Israel strategic forum was set up to provide a means for discussing strategic long-term issues between the two countries. The forum stressed discussion of regional threats and changes in global security. Prior to the Harpy deal, U.S. officials were displeased when the contents of the confidential talks had been leaked to the press. News agencies have already reported that Monday’s talks focused on the Iranian nuclear threat and other regional issues, such as tensions along Israel’s border with Lebanon. By Scott Shiloh
'Israel to return to combat plane
project' – In Pentagon meeting, Mofaz and Rumsfeld agree to end crisis
between Israel, U.S. on Israel-China arms deal- November 4, 2005
YNet - Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz met Friday evening in the Pentagon with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The meeting was intended to symbolize the end of the "Chinese Crisis" and the return of the defense relationship between the countries to its previous condition through bilateral cooperation, including a resuming of Israel's involvement in the JSF future combat aircraft project. "All the controversial issues have been removed. Israel continues to take part in the project as an evaluated participant, and the U.S. has repeated its commitment to sell the aircraft to Israel," Mofaz told Israeli reporters at the end of the meeting.
Regarding Israel's commitments to the Americans, Mofaz made it clear that "We will meet them. Some of them are linked to the tightening of supervision on the technological-defense export and some to the reorganization of the different systems." The issue of the Israeli request to sell spare parts of AF16 aircrafts to Venezuela was not discussed in the meeting and was defined by Mofaz as "Not a big deal."
A joint statement by the U.S. Defense Department and the Israeli Ministry of Defense said that the two officials reviewed the defense relationship between the United States and Israel on all its aspects. The statement added that the U.S. had repeated its fundamental commitment to Israel's security and wellbeing, including maintaining its high quality military advantage. The two parties reconfirmed their decision to continue developing the defense relationship between the two offices and defense establishments, including on issues related to the global war on terror and the efforts to prevent the distribution of mass destruction weapons, the statement concluded. Yitzhak Benhorin
The World Watches As Saddam Goes on Trial – October 19, 2005
Lekarev - Nearly two years after his capture, Saddam Hussein is finally facing trial Wednesday for alleged crimes against fellow Iraqis. In some ways, Iraq also will be on trial, with the world watching to see whether its new ruling class can rise above politics and prejudice and give the former dictator a fair hearing. Saddam's lawyer said Tuesday he would ask for a three-month adjournment at his client's trial for a 1982 massacre, and challenge the court's competence to hear the case. The trial begins today.
Saddam Hussein after his capture in Iraq
Khalil al-Dulaimi's comments appeared to suggest that his defense strategy will focus not on the details of the massacre but rather on the broader question of the legitimacy and competence of a court set up under US occupation in 2003. Iraq formally became a sovereign nation again in June 2004, but the United States continues to wield vast influence. Saddam and seven senior members of his regime are facing charges that they ordered the killing in 1982 of nearly 150 people in the mainly Shiite village of Dujail north of Baghdad after a failed attempt on the former dictator's life.
One-Third of PA Arabs Thinking about Emigrating – October 31, 2005
Israel National News - A new survey reveals that 31 percent of Arabs in the PA think about living permanently in another country, and a jailed terrorist and the Hamas leader are the favorites to be PA president. The large number of those contemplating emigration is reflected by concern for security, revealed in the newly released Palestinian Center for Public Opinion poll by Dr. Nabil Kukali. Almost two-thirds of the people (64.8 percent) are worried about their personal safety. Dissatisfaction with the current PA administration was registered with 61.5 percent of the respondents favoring a new cabinet, currently headed by Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala), who serves as president of the PA.
The most popular person
to replace him is Marwan Barghouti, who is serving multiple terms of life
imprisonment for terrorist attacks. He was commander
of the Fatah and Tanzim terrorist gangs when arrested in April 2002, and
Barghouti was convicted two years later on five counts of murder, one of the
victims being a Greek Orthodox monk. The second most popular candidate is the leader
of the Hamas terrorist movement, Mahmoud al-Zahar. Qureia trailed the list with
support of only 5.4 percent.
The PA legislative council recently passed a no-confidence vote, which technically forced Abbas to appoint a new president, but no action has been taken. The PA has scheduled elections in January for its legislative assembly. It postponed them this past summer following fears that the Hamas terrorist organization would win more than one-third of the seats. Dr. Kukali said his latest poll shows that 25.6 percent of the participants support Hamas and that 37.6 percent back Abbas' Fatah party. Support for the Islamic Jihad terrorist group jumped from three percent in June to 5.2 percent. The changes in numbers for Fatah and Hamas were marginal. He also reported that an overwhelming majority (81.4 percent) wants an end to the anarchy and violence that has plagued the PA, but a similar majority also support getting rid of the heads of all security departments. The survey included men and women over the age of 18 from villages and cities and was conducted between in mid-October, according to Dr. Kukali. By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
The Red Internationale and Islamists Bid to Control Israel
Islamics Want 'World State' with Jerusalem as Capital – November 14, 2005
Lekarev - Islamic radicals are using the Temple Mount as a focal point for planning and preaching the establishment of a world Islamic state with Jerusalem as its capital. One of the radical groups operating on the Temple Mount is Hizab Altahrir (The Islamic Liberation Party), which espouses an ideology similar to Al Qaeda. Hizab Altahrir’s network spans most Western European countries. The party puts Islamic revolution and an uncompromising form of Jihad (holly war) at the top of its political agenda. The group advocates subjecting the entire world to Islamic law (Shariya), and destroying non-believing nations and religions.The party has targeted Europe, specifically Denmark, for spreading its ideology, and providing a springboard for renewing Islamic conquests in Europe. A senior party activist in Jerusalem, Sheikh Issam Amira, expressed this philosophy in a recent speech which he made on the Temple Mount:
“Listeners! The Moslems in Denmark make up three percent [of the population], yet constitute a threat to the future of the Danish kingdom. It’s no surprise that in Bitrab (the ancient name of Medina, a city in Arabia to which Mohammed immigrated) they were fewer than three percent of the general population, but succeeded changing the regime in Bitrab. It’s no surprise that our brothers in Denmark have succeeded in bringing Islam to every home in that country. Allah will grant us victory in their land to establish the [Islamic] revolution in Denmark.”
After Denmark, the Sheikh said, the party will carry the revolution to Oslo and change its name to Medina. “They will fight against their Scandinavian neighbors in order to bring the country into the territory of the revolution,” he said. “In the next stage, they will fight a holy jihad to spread Islam to the rest of Europe, until it spreads to the original city of Medina where the two cities will unite under the Islamic flag.” People across the world had better start taking such proclamations and goals seriously because the Islamic fundamentalists are VERY serious!
Qureia: 'No Jerusalem, No Peace' – December 14, 2005
Lekarev - "No Jerusalem, no peace,” declared PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia at a special cabinet meeting of the Palestinian Authority’s government on Monday. Quriea, also known by the name he used as a PLO terrorist, Abu Ala, is a senior PA offical, second to PA chief Mahmoud Abbas.
He promised that the Palestinian Authority would never give up its demand for sovereignty over Jerusalem and goal of making it the capital of a Palestinian state. That goal, he said, has become the PA’s primary consideration for peace with Israel.
Abbas: 'We're Close to Jerusalem' – November 16, 2005
Lekarev - In an address for the Palestinian "Independence Day" (the date in which former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat declared the establishment of an independent state during the first intifada) Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday that "Oslo has brought the Palestinian people back to their land, which is a very short distance away from the gates of Jerusalem."
On a day when Jerusalem and Washington welcomed the crossings deal , Abbas again blasted Israel's unilateral policy and its aspiration to reach temporary agreements, "which end in a temporary state, constituting cantons with no territorial sequence and controlled by Israel." Under the pretension of dismantling terror infrastructures, Abbas charged, Israel is interested in pushing the Palestinians into a civil war, on which it conditions the negotiations. Israel is also trying to dictate conditions to the Palestinians to form democracy, Abbas added, hinting to Israel's stand regarding Hamas' participation in the elections.
Abbas Approves Monthly Grant To Families of Suicide Bombers - December 10, 2005
National News - The head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has
approved a new law, providing monetary grants to the families of suicide
bombers. Abbas gave his approval just six days ago, a day before
a suicide bomber struck the HaSharon Mall in Netanya, killing five Israelis and
wounding scores of others. The legislation
refers to the suicide terrorists as shahids (martyrs), a term generally applied
to a person who dies in an operation fighting against Israel.
Under the new law, the terrorist’s family will be paid a base sum of $250 per month. The law takes into account extended family arrangements commonplace in Arab societies. The families of married terrorists are entitled to an additional $50 per month, and $15 are added for each child, $25 for each parent, and $15 for each brother who lived with the terrorist prior to his death. The monies, to be paid out of the general budget of the Palestinian Authority, are significant sums for average Arab families living in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Both Israel and the United States have taken legal action in recent years to shut down organizations that distribute money to the families of terrorists, especially suicide bombers. The budget of the Palestinian Authority is largely subsidized by grants from European nations and the United States. Israel also regularly transfers money to the PA. Much of that money is collected as customs duties on goods entering Israel bound for the PA, or for Arabs living under its jurisdiction.
Below is an English translation of an overview of the new law, as published by the PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:
"...The fifth clause of the draft law includes granting a monthly allowance to the family of every shahid, taken from the general budget of the [Palestinian] National Authority… The sum of the allowance is estimated to be $250, but if the shahid was married [at the time of death], another $50 are to be added to the sum mentioned above, and if the shahid had children, [an additional sum of] $15 will be allocated to each of them. In addition, if the shahid had a [living] father or mother, a sum of $25 will be allocated to each of them. If the shahid had brothers, whom he had been taking care of, each of them will be allocated [a sum of] $15... The transfer of the allowances to the families of the shahids is expected to be carried out by the Institute for the Care of the Families of Shahids, through special [bank] accounts [opened] for the eligible people... By Scott Shiloh
Lekarev - Washington and Jerusalem are disturbed by the abrupt firing of Alexander Rumyantsev as head of the Russian Agency for Atomic Energy, Rosatom, a job he held four years. Russian president Vladimir Putin offered no explanation for his replacement of Rumantsev with a former Russian prime minister, Sergei Kiriyenko, who has no experience in the nuclear energy field. What gives?
DEBKAfile’s sources in Washington and Moscow report the sacked minister was trusted by the US and Israeli governments to stand firm against letting Iran have Russian technological assistance for building a nuclear weapon. Rumyantsev, who is Jewish, was also trusted by Israeli officials concerned with Iran’s nuclear activities, after Iran was obliged on his initiative to return the fuel rods from the Russian- built atomic reactor in Bushehr.
US and Israeli officials fear that Rumyantsev’s dismissal means that Putin is reviewing Moscow’s nuclear relations with Tehran and may be contemplating putting them on a less restrictive basis.
MOSCOW ARMS SYRIA WITH TOP FLIGHT SURFACE MISSILES – October 11, 2005
Lekarev - Despite Russian President Putin's promises to the contrary, Moscow has quietly sold to Syria the highly sophisticated Iskander SS-26 “Stone.” Neither the United States nor NATO have anything in their arsenal to match the "Stone's" unique attributes. For a speedy delivery in the first quarter of 2006, the Syrians paid cash. The value of the transaction is unknown but it certainly runs into hundreds of million dollars, given that Syria has purchased 26 of the most advanced missile of its kind in use anywhere in the world.
With a 400-km range and a 480-kilo warhead composed of 54 elements, the missile hits a target within a 20-meter radius. Two missiles with a range of 280km are mounted on each launch pad. The system can be used against small and large targets alike, easily overcoming air defenses. It is almost impossible for existing electronic weapons systems to prevent the Iskander’s launch because of its speed and high flexibility. Its targets are found in mid-flight by satellites, accompanying airplanes, conventional intelligence centers or a lone soldier directing artillery fire. Targets may also be found by feeding photos into the missile’s computer by means of a scanner.
The self-direction device functions even in fog, darkness or storms. The name Iskander is Alexander (the Great) in the Turkoman language. Weighing 3,800 kilos it is operated by a crew of three. It comes in two versions: the 500-kilo version provided the Russian Army and the 280-kilo missile sold to Syria.
So impressive is the Russian “Stone”, that in 2004, the Americans sought to include it in various treaties signed with Russia for precluding the manufacture and sale of certain weapons. Moscow balked. A Western missile expert says: “Even a small quantity of these missiles is capable of radically changing the balance of strength in local conflicts.” It is a strategic weapon for countries with a small area like Syria.
Moscow “leaked” the news of a big new arms deal with Syria that included the following missiles: the Iskander SS-26, SA-10 Grumble ground-to-air, and SA-18 Grouse (Igla 9K38) shoulder-launched anti-air missiles capable of hitting objects at an altitude of 3,600 meters and range of 5,200 meters. Israeli raised the ceiling over this transaction as radically shifting the balance of strength between the Jewish state and Syria. Washington embarked on a quiet diplomatic dialogue to deter Damascus from acquiring the new hardware, maintaining it posed a threat to the US army in Iraq. After weeks of pressure, president Vladimir Putin and defense minister Sergei Ivanov relented and promised Washington and Jerusalem to withhold the Iskander SS-26 from Syria. The other items would have their aggressive options “neutered” and rendered fit for defensive use alone. It is now clear that Putin’s promise to the Americans and Israelis to withhold the missile’s sale was no more than a time-winning ploy until an opportunity presented itself to go through with the transaction.
Russians in Gaza – November 8, 2005
Lekarev - Take a good look at this photo - these are Palestinian 'security forces' in training. And who is training them? And what does this photo remind you of?
This Report told you earlier based on intelligence information but now it has been officially publicized that Russian military experts have arrived in the Gaza Strip to help train the Palestinian security forces. Palestinian Authority security officials finally admitted openly that the Russians have arrived.
According to the officials, the Russian experts have begun training Palestinian security forces in various fields. The officials pointed out that this was the first time that Russian officers had arrived in PA- controlled areas and that the Russians will also be training forces in the West Bank.
A senior Israeli diplomatic official confirmed that the Russians were in Gaza, saying that since Gaza is no longer under Israeli control, Jerusalem has no say as to which country dispatches advisers to the area.
Meanwhile, Egypt and the European Union have announced that they will help train Palestinian forces and provide ammunition for them as well.
Al Qaeda Goes to China – November 18, 2005
Lekarev - Al Qaeda has diverted a small but potent force from Iraq to open a new front - in China. In the last two to three weeks, this unit has entered China’s Xinjiang Uygur province. DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s counter-terror sources have tracked it to the border town of Kushi where the terrorists have been absorbed by the al Qaeda infrastructure of local Uygur Muslim extremist cells. Their plan of campaign in the first stage is to reach Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai for strikes against US embassies and consulates, American firms operating in China and American tourists.
This al Qaeda group was previously revealed by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 229 on Nov. 11 (A Jihadist Airlift) as having flown out of Baghdad between mid- September and early October, stopping over in Qatar and proceeding to Konduz in northern Afghanistan for special training. We also reported that American and British military and intelligence officials decided after consultation that the large-scale forces needed to eradicate the Konduz training facility would be hard to muster. They therefore resolved to await events. Our sources reveal a further reason for their inaction: US intelligence was anxious to find out the destination of the mysterious al Qaeda force as a pointer to where it was heading and its plans. The terrorists slipped north from Konduz into Tajikistan and on to the Kyrgyz section of the strategic Fergana Valley which straddles Central Asia. There, they rendezvoused at two places, Osh and Jalal- Abad close to the Kyrgyz-Uzbekistan border.
The Islamist terrorists were guided from Konduz into Kyrgyzstan by armed men of al Qaeda’s operational arm in Uzbekistan, the MUI, which also has tentacles in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as training camps in the Fergana Valley. The commander of these cells is Tahir Yuldashev, an old comrade of Osama bin Laden who fought alongside him in Afghanistan. Beijing was caught totally unprepared by the al Qaeda penetration. While government officials are doing what they can to draw wraps over the new menacing presence for Chinese cities, military and intelligence leaders are sounding the alarm as loud as they can. The confusion over the terrorist threat reigning in the Chinese capital was illustrated by an incident eight days ago. On November 9, the Chinese police alerted the US embassy in Beijing to a possible attack by Islamic rebels on luxury hotels throughout China. The US embassy accordingly advised American visitors to “review their plans” to stay at four- and five-star hotels in China over the coming week. China’s Ministry of Public Security responded to these warnings, which were obviously sourced in Chinese police circles, with anger. It issued a statement accusing an unnamed “foreign citizen” of fabricating the so-called attack on four- and five-star hotels in China. The Chinese foreign ministry chipped in with its own comment. “Chinese public security has never issued such a warning for foreigners on the hotel issue,” its spokesman told reporters. “Chinese hotels are safe!” he added for good measure. Hmmm - we'll see.
Iran: 'Zionist Days Are Numbered' – December 13, 2005
Lekarev - According to an Islamic Republic News Agency report, the former Iranian President, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said in a meeting with senior Hamas member Khaled Mashal, that the "Zionist entity's days are numbered", in yet more rhetoric coming out of Iran promoting the destruction of Israel . The agency said that in a report released by the Iranian Expediency Council, headed by Rafsanjani, that the former leader pointed to the political standstill facing the ‘Zionist’ regime and its withdrawal from some of the territories as reasons for its approaching demise. "The high spirit, resistance and hopefulness of the Palestinian people for restoration of their violated rights are among the factors leading to the current situation encountered by the Zionists," he said.
Rafsanjani said Iran would continue with its fundamental policy of supporting the ‘oppressed’ Palestinian people, adding that resistance is the only option left for the Palestinians in order to restore their rights.
Iran's President: "Move All Israelis to Europe” – December 9, 2005
Lekarev - A couple of weeks ago, he called for Israel 'to be wiped off the map.' Now Israeli Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be moved to Europe so the West can "make amends for the Holocaust" - a Holocaust which he denies happened!!!
Speaking at an Islamic summit in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, he said "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail," the official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. "Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is then: is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?"
"If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it," he added. UN Secretary General reportedly said he was 'stunned' by Ahmadinejad's remarks. Israel has soundly condemned the statements as outrageous and racist.
Notice his focus on Jerusalem. Does it remind you of Zechariah 12 - 14?
Iranian President Calls for Transfer: Israel to Europe - December 9, 2005
National News - The latest to join the list of Holocaust deniers is Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said Thursday that Iran does not accept that "Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces." Speaking
in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Ahmadinejad said, "Some European countries insist
on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces, and they
insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that,
they condemn that person and throw them in jail." "Although we don't accept this claim,"
Ahmadinejad said, "if we suppose it is true, our question for the
Europeans is: Is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for
their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?"
The Iranian president then suggested that the State of Israel be dismantled and rebuilt somewhere in Europe: "If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe, like in Germany, Austria or other countries, to the Zionists, and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe, and we will support it." Israeli government spokesman Raanan Gissin was quoted as saying in response, "Just to remind Mr. Ahmadinejad, we've been here long before his ancestors were here. Therefore, we have a birthright to be here in the land of our forefathers and to live here."
Just two months ago, Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." The Nazis murdered some 6-7 million Jews during the Holocaust years, mainly between 1939 and 1945. Holocaust denial, which the Anti-Defamation League calls "one of the most notable anti-Semitic propaganda movements to develop over the past two decades," is a violation of laws governing racial defamation and hate crimes in some western European countries and Canada. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan also rejected the two aspects of Ahmadinejad's remarks. A spokesman for Annan said he was "shocked" to hear that the Iranian leader "reportedly cast doubt on the truth of the Holocaust and suggested that the State of Israel should be moved from the Middle East to Europe." Annan quoted a UN General Assembly resolution of last month rejecting “any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event,” and urged all countries “to combat such denial, and to educate their populations about the well established historical facts of the Holocaust, in which one third of the Jewish people were murdered, along with countless members of other minorities.”
U.S. spokesmen tied Ahmadinejad's remarks to the ongoing international concern over Iranian nuclear dangers. State Department spokesman J. Adam Ereli said the comments were "appalling and reprehensible," adding, "They certainly don't inspire hope among any of us in the international community that the government in Iran is prepared to engage as a responsible member of the community." White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, "It just further underscores our concerns about the regime in Iran. And it's all the more reason why it's so important that the regime does not have the ability to develop nuclear weapons." The LA Times reported today, "Israel and the United States have cited Iran's hostility toward the Jewish state as a reason that it must be prevented from developing nuclear weapons." In fact, however, U.S. spokesmen frequently refer to Iranian threats against "its neighbors." More to the point, however, is this week's news that Iran has increased the range of its missiles to 1,250 miles, putting parts of Europe within reach as well.
Deadline for Strike Against Iran – December 1, 2005
Lekarev - Military Intelligence Chief Aharon Zeevi Farkash said yesterday that after March, Israel must be prepared to use means other than diplomacy to halt Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Farkash would not detail other options, but sources on the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which Farkash was addressing, said it was clear that Israel would have to consider taking military action against Iran.
"In my years here, seeing the data I have seen, I feel it is clear that Iran has passed the point of no return," said committee chairman Yuval Steinitz (Likud). "It is accurate to say that unless Iran encounters a major interference, it will have a functioning nuclear arsenal within one or two years."
US Intelligence Expert: Regime-Change the Answer in Iran - December 13, 2005
Arutz Sheva – Israel National News - Former U.S. Justice Department prosecutor and intelligence expert John Loftus says that Israel is unable to thwart Iran's nuclear projects through military action – but that there is an alternative. "Israel only has a few option and striking back is not one of 'em," Loftus told Israel National Radio's Tovia Singer. "The F-16-IL version that Israel possesses only has a combat radius of about 2,200 kilometers and you would need about 3,000 to hit the hard targets in Iran. Iran saw what [Israel] did to the Osarik reactor in Iraq and have spread their nuclear development stuff all over the country and a lot of the stuff is in the northeast corner of the country – completely out of Israel's flight range. So, unless Iraq votes to allow Israel overflight rights to attack Iran – which isn't going to happen - then Israel simply doesn't have the fuel to fly around Saudi Arabia to come up the Straits of Hormuz and attack Iran. There is simply not a military option available to Israel."
Loftus stressed, however, that there are other options that
are likely to succeed and are already being put into effect. "The Bush
administration is hoping that, ironically with [French Prime Minister Jacques]
Chirac's help, UN pressure will cause a regime-change in Syria. That the [UN's] Mehlis investigation [examining the Syrian government's connection
to the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri] is going to come down
hard and heavy. The US military is chomping at the bit to go across the border
and take out the terror bases in Syria that Assad claims are not there. Once Syria is gone, Iran is isolated, with US troops on both their borders, in Afghanistan and in Iraq." The intelligence expert, who has contacts in the
Pentagon, says that the strategy is not for the US to actually invade Iran, but to affect a regime-change. "One of the intelligence agencies, which shall
remain nameless, asked me to hold a conference of dissident groups in Iran. We are holding
that conference and getting ready for regime-change."
Singer asked Loftus why US fighter jets do not bomb Iranian nuclear targets on their own from aircraft carriers in the region. "That's a real good question that has been carefully studied," Loftus answered. "There are over 360 separate targets inside Iran that have been identified. Most of them are non-vulnerable – many underneath residential neighborhoods and Islamic shrines. These are not places we can bomb. The Iranians were paying attention when Iraq's reactor was bombed and have learned the lessons."
"So what is to be done to bring about a regime-change?" singer asked. "The aircraft carriers are there to defend the picket-line of ships that will place a blockade on the Straits of Hormuz," Loftus said. "Ninety percent of Iran's economy is based on oil exports – so a blockade of as little as three weeks can cause their economy to collapse, the people to rise up and the mullahs to be overthrown. The problem with this is that Iran knows that this is the most likely scenario and they have been preparing for three years to thwart it. They [Iran] have developed vessels whose job is to sink as many oil tankers as possible to block the Straits of Hormuz [to other countries that use that route]. Once two, three or four vessels are sunk, you have cut off 40% of the world's oil supply. So the US doesn't mind – we have a six-month stockpile of oil - but the EU is much more fragile and susceptible to oil shocks. So we might have to dump a large share of the US stockpile on the world market until the regime falls." Asked whether he really thinks the government will topple so easily, Loftus responded, "It is hard to do polling in Iran – you have to do it by telephone and you therefore only end up talking to the urban population. But we found that 83% of the Iranian urban population hates the mullahs and don't want to grow up under a dictatorship. Most of the country is young and wants music videos and TV and not the mullahs." By Ezra HaLevi
Will Israel Strike Iran – December 11, 2005
Lekarev - The Sunday Times in London reports that Prime Minister Sharon is preparing for a possible strike on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran. Israeli officials have denied the story. Quoting unnamed military sources, the report states that Israeli intelligence warned its government that Iran was operating small enrichment facilities concealed in civilian locations. The Times says that Sharon has ordered the military to prepare for a possible strike by the end of March (just before the election?).
Just last week, Prime Minister Sharon said, "I think it's clear that we cannot allow a situation in which Iran becomes a nuclear power... This is an international problem, and not just ours." Two days ago, U.S. Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph said that Iran is closing in on nuclear weapon production and that even U.N. sanctions may not deter it. He said the Iranian government is "very aggressive, very determined to develop nuclear weapons." Iran claims it is seeking only civilian nuclear power, but "we know this is not the case," Joseph said.
– December 5, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - The Iranian nuclear threat has been known for years, but only now has it suddenly become a hot issue in Israel. PM Sharon: "We cannot allow a situation in which Iran becomes a nuclear power." Speaking at a joint press conference with his new political partner Shimon Peres on Sunday, Prime Minister Sharon said, "We see Iran as a great threat. This is an international problem, and not just ours. I think it's clear that we cannot allow a situation in which Iran becomes a nuclear power.
This is a Feb. 12, 2005, satellite image released by Digital Globe and annotated by the Institute for Science and International Security of the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) at Isfahan, Iran with tunnel entrances to the north of the facility. Iran may be placing its nuclear sites inside special tunnels because of threats of attack Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator said in an interview published Friday Feb. 25, 2005. Israel is expanding its war arsenal to deal with what it views as the greatest threat to its existence: a nuclear attack by Iran, although Israeli security officials said a strike against Iran is not on the horizon because of the complications involved (AP Photo/Digital Globe, File)
Israel is not the one leading the process,
but it is a partner with those countries that are concerned about this
dangerous development. We are working together with Europe and the U.S. It seems to me that the most correct expression was that of President Bush who said,
'I don't think that this topic can be left on the agenda without fundamental
treatment.'" International Atomic Energy Agency Chairman Mohammed El
Baradei told the British newspaper “The Independent” that once Iran resumes the enrichment of uranium, it will be only “a few months” away from
manufacturing an atomic bomb. El Baradei estimates that the Iranians will
resume uranium enrichment at its reactor in Bantaz over the next few days.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said on Sunday that he does not believe that diplomacy will solve the problem of the Iranian threat. Speaking with members of the foreign press in Tel Aviv, Halutz said he does not believe American and European pressure on Iran regarding ongoing nuclear enrichment efforts will bear fruit. The IDF commander pointed out that Iran has continued its nuclear program to date, despite international pressure. MK Dr. Yuval Shteinitz (Likud), Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that Israel must take seriously a warning by an Iranian official that Tehran is working towards establishing 20 nuclear reactors. The head of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, has said that Iran has issued permits for the construction of another 20 nuclear power plants. Two are slated to be built in March 2006. Shteinitz added that Iran is seeking to become a global nuclear power, working toward building tens of nuclear weapons in the coming years.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei looks up as he holds Islamic holy book, the Quran, as he attends a ceremony to commemorate those who died in a plane crash on Tuesday, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2005. At least 115 people, most of them journalists, died when a military transport plane crashed into a 10-story apartment building near Tehran Mehrabad airport Tuesday as the pilot attempted an emergency landing after developing engine trouble.(AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)
Iran reacted with threats of its own.
"Israel knows that if it takes a mistaken step, it will be met with a
strong response from Iran," said a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Tehran. "Israel's declarations are influenced from the internal crisis of the
Zionists, and its threats indicate that it is an element that endangers the
region." Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, a candidate for Chairman of the
Likud Party, was asked this morning on Army Radio why this issue has suddenly
come to the fore. Does it have something to do with the current election, he
was asked? "You'll have to ask those who brought it up," he
responded. "I have been dealing with this issue for a long time, trying to
get it on the United Nations agenda. Up until about two months ago, it was
thought that this was only Israel's problem - but now the world is realizing
that Iran is also manufacturing missiles that can reach London, Rome, Paris, and Madrid." By Hillel Fendel
Israel Threatens Iran – December 5, 2005
Lekarev -The Iranian nuclear threat has been known for years, but with the recent evidence of Iran's closeness to nuclear capability, it has become a hot issue in Israel. PM Sharon said the other day, "We cannot allow a situation in which Iran becomes a nuclear power." Speaking at a joint press conference with his new political partner Shimon Peres on Sunday, Prime Minister Sharon said, "We see Iran as a great threat. This is an international problem, and not just ours. I think it's clear that we cannot allow a situation in which Iran becomes a nuclear power. Israel is not the one leading the pr ocess, but it is a partner with those countries that are concerned about this dangerous development. We are working together with Europe and the U.S. It seems to me that the most correct expression was that of President Bush who said, 'I don't think that this topic can be left on the agenda without fundamental treatment.'"
International Atomic Energy Agency Chairman Mohammed El Baradei told the British newspaper “The Independent” that once Iran resumes the enrichment of uranium, it will be only “a few months” away from manufacturing an atomic bomb. El Baradei estimates that the Iranians will resume uranium enrichment at its reactor in Bantaz over the next few days. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said on Sunday that he does not believe that diplomacy will solve the problem of the Iranian threat. Speaking with members of the foreign press in Tel Aviv, Halutz said he does not believe American and European pressure on Iran regarding ongoing nuclear enrichment efforts will bear fruit. The IDF commander pointed out that Iran has continued its nuclear program to date, despite international pressure. MK Dr. Yuval Shteinitz (Likud), Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that Israel must take seriously a warning by an Iranian official that Tehran is working towards establishing 20 nuclear reactors.
Iran Vows Response – December 5, 2005
Lekarev -An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Hamid Riza Asaffi, speaking with journalists in Teheran, said that recent Israeli statements on Iran's nuclear project showed that the Israeli government is frustrated from a failure to bring pressure from the international community to on Iran.
"The Zionist authorities are well aware that if they make a foolish mistake against Iran, Iran's harsh response will be destructive and determined," said the spokesman. "Their approach comes from their anger over the fact that they can't realize their plans," he added.
Earlier, Benjamin Netanyahu told the Voice of Israel national radio network that "Israel must take every necessary step to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran must be prevented from developing this threat to the State of Israel. If, by the elections, the current government works to achieve this, I will give it my full support – and if it does not, I intend on establishing the next government, and then we'll act."
Israel To Join International Effort Against Iranian Nuclear Threat – December 2, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Israeli
strategists believe that Iran’s nuclear potential is a real threat and have not
ruled out the possibility of taking military action. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expressed Israel’s intention to take
part in a U.S.-led international effort to block further development of Iran’s growing nuclear capabilities. "Israel and other countries cannot accept a
situation where Iran has nuclear arms. The issue is clear to us, and we are
making all the necessary preparations to handle a situation of this kind,"
the Prime Minister stated Thursday. "The danger does not only affect Israel, but also Middle Eastern countries and many other countries around the world.
Therefore the recent efforts led by the US must include free countries that
understand this grave danger," Sharon said.
While Sharon maintained that a U.S.-led coalition has the military capabilities to combat Iran, he added, "Before anyone decides on a military step, every effort would be made to pressure Iran to halt this activity. It seems to me such efforts can be fruitful." Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz also advocated the pursuit of diplomacy with Iran in a Thursday interview with Israel Radio. IDF Intelligence Chief Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash suggested Wednesday that Israel might be forced to consider using military tactics to bring an end to the Iranian nuclear program. "If by the end of March, 2006 the international community will have failed to halt Iran's nuclear weapons program, diplomatic efforts will be pointless. Iran has the upper hand in negotiations with the international community,” explained Farkash.
Following Farkash's assessments, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Yuval Shteinitz asserted, "The comments by the head of Military Intelligence convey a harsh, worrying and dark picture. Iran is going to become a nuclear power in the region and the world is helpless." According to Shteinitz, Iran’s nuclear capabilities are rapidly advancing. He cited Iran’s production of 45 tons of UF-6 gas used in the centrifuge process for producing enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. "In my years here, seeing the data I have seen, I feel it is clear that Iran has passed the point of no return. It is accurate to say that unless Iran encounters a major interference, it will have a functioning nuclear arsenal within one or two years," Shteinitz said.
According to reports from IRNA, Iran's state news agency, Ahmadinejad maintains Iran’s right to continue to advance its nuclear program and believes that ultimately pressure from the West will not impede Iranian nuclear development. "We sent the message to Westerners that we would stand firm to the end, and that we would never abandon our right, and when they realized [Iran] is firm in its stands, they backed off," Ahmadinejad said. Intelligence Chief Farkash believes that the recent escalation along Israel’s northern front was instigated by Iran in an effort to shift international focus away from its nuclear development. "The latest flare-up in the north was a strategic plan by Hizbullah. They hoped we would retaliate by firing rockets and hitting civilians. We have seen evidence of them preparing for this type of attack along the border," Farkash said.
Sharon called for international pressure to be applied to put an end to ongoing Syrian and Iranian support of the Hizbullah. “In the wake of recent activity in the north I sent letters to the leaders of central European nations and the U.S. It is imperative that Hizbullah not deploy troops along the border. I demanded that pressure be applied to disarm the Hizbaullah and bring an end to Syrian and Iranian assistance to the Hizbullah,” Sharon stated. By Debbie Berman
IRAN: WE CAN SPY ON ISRAEL – November 17, 2005
Lekarev - They claimed the satellite would be purely scientific, but just one month after its launch - and only weeks after the Iranian president said Israel should be wiped off the map - the head of Iran’s space program now says the Iranian Sina-1 satellite is capable of spying on the Jewish state. The launch of the Russian-made Sina-1 satellite into orbit aboard a Russian rocket last month marked the beginning of Iran’s space program, and officials say a second satellite - this one Iranian-built - will be launched in about two months, heightening Israeli concerns.
The Sina-1’s stated purpose is to take pictures of Iran and monitor natural disasters in the earthquake- prone nation. Sina-1, with a three-year lifetime, has a resolution precision is about 50 meters (yards). But as it orbits the Earth some 14 times a day from an altitude around 1,000 kilometers (600 miles), with controllers able to point its cameras as they wish, Sina-1 gives Iran a limited space reconnaissance capability over the entire Middle East, including Israel.
Meanwhile, a report out of Vienna declares that Iran has begun processing a new batch of uranium despite Western pressure on it to halt sensitive atomic work, possibly harming attempts to defuse a standoff over its nuclear aims. Iran had notified the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in late October that it intended to process a new batch of uranium at its Isfahan uranium conversion plant but did not start the work last week as originally planned. "Conversion has resumed," the diplomat, who is close to the International Atomic Energy Agency, told Reuters.
Iran´s New Satellite Capable of Spying on Israel – November 18, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Iran, just weeks after its
president called for Israel's destruction, admits that its new Sina-1 satellite
is capable of spying on Israel. The
Islamic country insisted the satellite was for scientific purposes, prior to
its launch aboard a Russian rocket last month. Officials said its purpose was
to take pictures of Iran and monitor regions prone to earthquakes. The head of
the country's space program, however, told the Associated Press that the
satellite is able to easily spy on the Jewish State from outer space. ''Sina-1
is a research satellite,'' said Deputy Telecom Minister and head of Iran's space program Ahmad Talebzadeh. Asked directly if it could be used to spy on the
Jewish state, Talebzadeh said, ''Technically speaking, yes. It can monitor Israel - but we don't need to do it. You can buy satellite photos of Israeli streets from
Israeli officials acknowledge that Iran's satellite is a danger to the Jewish state. "We know that they spy on us," Chairman of the Knesset Defense Committee Ephraim Sneh (Labor) told AP. "What they are trying to do is look for places where a mega-terror attack can take place." With Iran able to monitor everything from Israeli military deployment to locations of key strategic targets, it is feared that such information could be provided, in real time, to the handful of terror organizations under its sponsorship. Iran plans to launch an additional satellite, the Misbah, in two month's time. Sneh said the launching of the satellite is part of Iran’s ambition to become a global military power.
Meanwhile, Iran still claims that its nuclear program is peaceful, aimed at producing electricity. The BBC reported Wednesday, though, that Iran has already enriched uranium to ten times the concentration needed to produce electricity. Israel and the U.S. believe that Iran aims to produce nuclear weapons. It is unclear what steps will be taken to prevent the Islamic country from becoming a nuclear power. By Ezra HaLevi
Iran Buying Time – November 25, 2005
Lekarev - Iran's negotiations with the international community are an attempt to buy time as the Islamic nation pushes ahead with a nuclear weapons program, a respected Israeli think tank said in its annual report on the military balance in the Middle East. The Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University said Iran is "walking a thin line" between continuing negotiations with international inspectors while advancing its military program.
"The dynamic that has characterized negotiations thus far leaves little room for hope that Iran will terminate its program," the report said. "Should the program advance to the point that Iran achieves nuclear capability, this would represent the most significant long-term potential threat facing Israel and the strategic balance in the area."
Europeans Rally Against Iran – November 3, 2005
Lekarev - As Iran continues to express displeasure over a planned pro-Israel rally scheduled to be held in Rome today, Italian politicians from the left and right have said they will attend the event to protest remarks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in which he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." A wave of demonstrations in support of Israel swept across Europe Wednesday evening, with protestors gathering in front of Iranian embassies in a number of capitals.
Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini said Wednesday the international community had to maintain a "firm line" against Tehran, and said he had instructed Toscano to tell the Iranians why "there has been so much indignation and concern" about Ahmadinejad's remarks in Italy. Fini has said he would attend Thursday's pro-Israel rally.
Debkafiles - The clandestine arrival of scores of Iranian Revolutionary Guards specialist instructors via Damascus is Tehran’s response to the shortcomings displayed by the Hizballah when it bombarded northern Israel on Nov. 21 - DEBKAfile’s military sources reveal. Our exclusive sources disclose they stole into the Hizballah’s Lebanese Beqaa Valley bases complete with two new weapons systems. One is the new Iranian Motemared (Rebel) anti-tank missile, exposed for the first time in the Middle East. The IDF is not familiar with this weapon, beyond that it is the Iranian version of the Russian K and capable of piercing protective anti-explosive belts 1100-1200 mm thick. It is an all-weather weapon, day-or-night and wire-guided. The missile does not work well where there are tall trees, high electricity wires or water pipes, but is at peak effectiveness in open country of hills and valleys such as South Lebanon.
The surprise the Iranians brought with them was a mockup of an Israel Merkava (Chariot) tank. No one knows where it was manufactured or from what materials. Intelligence watchers report it is an exact replica of the real thing. The Iranian instructors have set up base at three farms in the Yanta Vadir al Ashair region of the Beqaa valley, where they are instructing Hizballah operatives. They have obviously studied the Hizballah video shots from the bombardment, which depicted an unmanned Israeli tank taking heavy pounding from Sagger missiles without sustaining damage or bursting into flames. The Iranians decided that the Motemared was the answer for destroying an Israeli Chariot. They also seem to have drawn lessons from Iraq where Sunni guerrillas have found ways to disable heavy US M1 Abrams tanks. The day after its bombardment, Shiite terrorists withdrew troops from the border region. Israeli commanders thought at first it was a tactical retreat for regrouping. Later it turned out the operatives had gone to the Iranian training camps, to study the Chariot’s vulnerabilities and how to use the new missile against them. The way Iranian RG officers were able to cross into Lebanon from Syria, set up training bases and smuggle in weapons systems shows how little has changed in Lebanon since the Syrian army was ousted. Notwithstanding the UN probe into the Hariri murder, UN Security Council resolutions expelling foreign armies from the country and US-French efforts to help Lebanon recover its sovereignty, Syria and Iran can still make free of Lebanese territory. This episode also shows how closely Israel’s armed forces are watched by Iran and the speed at which its strategists are capable of drawing operational lessons.
UN Issues First Ever Censure of Hezbollah – November 24, 2005
Lekarev - The United Nations Security Council issued an unprecedented condemnation of Hezbollah on Wednesday night after an attack Monday that wounded 11 Israelis and caused damage to property. Following pressure from Israel and the United States, the Council - which has never before reprimanded the Iranian- backed group - expressed "deep concern" over Hezbollah's "acts of hatred." It also urged the Lebanese government to impose order in southern Lebanon and prevent Hezbollah from operating there.
According to the UPI news agency, the statement, proposed by the U.S. ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said the clashes "were initiated by Hezbollah from the Lebanese side, and which quickly spread along the entire Blue Line." It also expressed regret at the casualties on both sides.
Report: Osama Bin Laden Alive and Well – December 3, 2005
Lekarev -The grim, thankless war on global Islamic terror achieved its biggest breakthrough ever with the mass arrests of dozens of al Qaeda suspects in 11 countries in a roundup ongoing since November. The detainees have provided the biggest eyehole yet on the inner workings of this arcane organization. Their most amazing revelation, according to DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s sources intelligence and counter-terror sources, is that Osama bin Laden is again operating out of Afghanistan and filling new training camps there, less than four years after the US-led coalition threw his organization out of the country.
More than 50 senior operatives are known to have been detained so far and the circle is widening. Not all the arrests have been announced. The roundups, especially in the latter half of November, are believed to have broken the backs of seven networks and their regional headquarters, the most resounding blow ever inflicted on Osama bin Laden’s organization. Important al Qaeda operatives were picked up in Belgium – Brussels, Antwerp, Charleroi and Riemst; Morocco – Rabat, Casablanca and Agadir, and Spain - Al icante, Granada and Murcia, as well as France, Denmark, Holland and Turkey. Detentions took place more quietly in the UK, Tunisia and Algeria and the Syrian end of the chain was laid bare. Close collaboration among the anti-terrorist forces of Europe and NATO- in step with American agencies - lent the crackdown depth and scope.
The prize? Access for the first time to Qaeda’s most deeply buried secrets, its methods of operation – present and future - the organization of networks, hierarchy, logistical data and funding. In the space of two weeks, Western counter-terror agencies, after years of groping in the dark, are looking deep into the structure assumed by al Qaeda since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on America and the Afghan war. More data is being garnered now than was ever unearthed about the Islamist terrorist group’s operational and logistical networks in the period leading up to 9/11 – or even since its founding in the late 1989. Al Qaeda’s founder is far from being the iconic figurehead busy with theological doctrine and superseded by a younger generation of leaders - as depicted by many pundits in the West. Intelligence input explodes this myth and portrays him as vitally active and in supreme command of al Qaeda’s operations worldwide. He is the deciding voice on operational policy and execution; he picks the targets for attacks, orchestrates the campaign against US forces in Iraq, orders the movements of units from place to play and allocates funding. Bin Laden is fully abreast of al Qaeda’s activities and the war waged on his organization. While new commanders have indeed emerged, they are bin Laden’s appointees and he keeps them on a tight rein by efficient methods of communication, says the report. Even Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, commander of the Iraq branch, is subordinate to bin Laden and acts under his orders. Al Qaeda is a dynamically expanding organization, constantly building new regional commands for the dual purpose of manpower recruitment and the staging of terrorist attacks. The detainees have revealed that in the last year alone, three new commands were created according to bin Laden’s planning: al Qaeda of the Levant, al Qaeda- Palestine – which extends from the Sinai Peninsula to Palestinian-controlled areas, and al Qaeda-Arabian Maghreb (North Africa).
Al Qaeda Lebanese Leader Recruits Suicide Bombers – December 6, 2005
Lekarev - The reputable Lebanese Shiite weekly, Shiraa, which opposes Hizballah carries three important revelations in its coming issue: 1. Osama bin Laden’s organization has set up an operations command base in Lebanon. 2. Imad Mughniyeh, the long-sought Hizballah terrorist and hostage-taker, is touring Palestinian refugee camps in the south, especially Ain Hilwa, for talks on al Qaeda’s behalf with sympathetic Palestinian leaders. 3. A large CIA-FBI team has arrived in Lebanon to find out what what Mughniyeh is up to in southern Lebanon. Shiraa reports that the terrorist chief also met with Jemal Suleiman, head of the Palestinian Ansar Allah, as well as Abu Mahujayn, Shehada Jawahr and Khaled Safayn, leaders of Palestinian militias in the Bureij camp of Beirut and Tripoli. They all traveled to the south for the meetings.
DEBKAfile adds: Mughniyeh is on the United States’ most wanted list as one of the most dangerous terrorists in the Middle East with the same price on his head of $25m as Osama bin Laden. The visiting US intelligence team is seeking to find out if al Qaeda’s south Lebanon base is synchronized with its new center in the Gaza Strip for a mega-attack in Israel. Israeli officials seem unworried by this new menace from Gaza, but the Americans are concerned lest Mughniyeh has been tasked to orchestrate simultaneous strikes against Israel from its northern and southern borders.
INTERPOL: Bioterror Attack Imminent - November 21, 2005
Lekarev - A bioterrorist attack is not a case of "if" But "when," the international police organization Interpol warned today, citing threats by the al- Qaeda terror network to use biological weapons to kill millions of people. Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said the world was woefully unprepared to cope with the impact of such a bioterrorist attack and said there was too little cooperation between law enforcement and public health authorities on the issue. "In my view, al-Qaeda's global network, its desire to do the unthinkable and the evidence collected about its bioterrorist ambitions ominously portend a clear and present danger of the highest order that al-Qaeda will perpetrate a biological terrorist attack," he said at the opening session of a three-day workshop to train African police agencies on how to reduce the risk of bioterrorism. Noble cited al-Qaeda claims that it has the right to kill 4 million people using biological and chemical weapons.
Al Qaeda: European Christian Converts Ready to Strike - November 10, 2005
Lekarev - In a message carried by the Global Islamic Media Front, considered an Internet mouthpiece for the Al- Qaeda terrorist organization, Islamists warn that there are native European converts to Islam dubbed - Rakan Bin Williams - roaming the continent, preparing to strike.
"Al Qaeda's new soldiers were born in Europe of European and Christian parents. They studied in your schools. They prayed in your churches and attended Sunday mass. They drank alcohol, ate pork and oppressed Muslims, but al-Qaeda has embraced them so they have converted to Islam in secret and absorbed the philosophy of al-Qaeda and swore to take up arms after their brothers. They are currently roaming the streets of Europe and the United States planning and observing in preparation for upcoming attacks," the web-communique threatened, according to the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
Hamas and the Internet – November 24, 2005
Lekarev - On October 10, 2005 the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center here in Israel issued a Special Bulletin dealing with the extensive use Hamas makes of the Internet to spread disinformation, terrorist propaganda and incitement to violence. It should be noted that of all the Palestinian terrorist organizations, Hamas has the most significant Internet presence. The Bulletin presented the findings of an examination of Hamas's nine leading Internet sites (which appear in seven languages). Those findings showed that the sites, which are orchestrated by Damascus and operate in Beirut , continue to use the services of ISPs located in Eastern Europe ( Russia and the Ukraine ) and South East Asia ( Malaysia and Indonesia ) .
Pictures convey a powerful message, as does this one which Hamas uses on the Internet to market its terrorist message. This is one of many photos from the Hamas online children's magazine Al-Fateh showing children holding weapons, stones and volumes of the Qur'an and sporting green Hamas headbands.
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom speaking before the summit conference in Tunis on November 16, called for international cooperation in the struggle against using the Internet to promote terrorism and violence. His remarks were included in the closing agreement issued at the end of the conference, a diplomatic victory for Israel.
seeking to 'terminate' Jews honored - Awarded 'Islamic
Personality of the Year' at international event - October 26, 2005
WorldNetDaily.com A Muslim cleric who has prayed to "terminate" the Jews was awarded Islamic Personality of the Year at a ceremony in which he called Islam a religion of "harmony and kindness" that rejects terrorism. As WorldNetDaily reported, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al Sudais – the veteran Quran reader and imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia – prayed to Allah in 2003 in front of 2 million followers to "terminate" the Jews, who he called "the scum of humanity, the rats of the world, prophet killers ... pigs and monkeys."
But he was honored Sunday during the closing ceremony of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award, an annual event in the United Arab Emirates capital during Ramadan aimed at promoting Islam's main text.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al Sudais, left, receives Islam Personality of the Year award in Dubai (photo: Gulf News)
According to the event's website, the Islamic Personality of the Year "must have an honorable history in serving Islam and Muslims." In his remarks upon receiving the award, the sheikh said, "The message of Islam and Muslims is modesty, fairness, security, stability, sympathy, harmony and kindness." In his April 2003 address in Mecca, however, Al-Sudais urged Arabs and Muslims to abandon peace initiatives with Israel – comments carried worldwide by Reuters and the Associated Press.
While some media at the time suggested his racist characterization of Jews was a singular occurrence, Al-Sudais has described Jews variously as "evil," a "continuum of deceit," "tyrannical" and "treacherous," WND reported. Last December, Al-Sudais was listed as a "specially invited guest" of an Islamic conference in Florida. Following media exposure, however, his name disappeared from conference materials. On the International Holy Quran Award website, the event's organizing committee said Al Sudais "has been selected for his devotion to the Quran and Islam." "His remarkable and ear-catching intonation of the Quran during the Haj [pilgrimage] season and during the Taraweeh [special night prayers during Ramadan] in the holy mosque has made him very famous and beloved among the Muslim community," said Saeed Hareb, vice chairman of the organizing committee. Al Sudais reflects a bright picture of Islam and Muslims, Hareb added. "He became a recognized personality among the Muslim community through his Quran reading and working as a specialized professor in Fuqoh [Islamic jurisprudence]," he said. The award selection is carried out through nomination by states, universities and specialized institutions, according to the website. The winner's "writings or stances should be universally recognized," it says. Al Sudais was born in 1961 in the Al Qaseem area of Saudi Arabia where he reportedly memorized the Quran at the age of 12.
Assad Threatens the World if UN Imposes Sanctions – December 12, 2005
Lekarev - In a special interview to the Russian TV station Rossiya, Syrian president, Bashar Assad, declared the Middle East and the whole world would suffer if Syria were subjected to UN sanctions. DEBKAfile reports that the US and France have jointly prepared the following plan of action to be pursued at the United Nations: 1. France has drafted a seven-point Security Council resolution voicing deep concern over Syria’s failure to fully cooperate with the UN inquiry in accordance with resolution 1636. The Hariri assassination is defined for the first time as an act of terror, a short step towards holding Damascus guilty of terrorism. 2. The US requests the inclusion in the draft of the phrase: “Syria has for the second time violated Security Council resolution 1636. Personal sanctions are proposed for the Syrian officers suspected by the UN panel of complicity in the Hariri murder plot, including a ban on travel and freeze on their overseas assets.
According to our sources, those two steps will be followed by three more: International arrest warrants against Syrian suspects; Subpoenas to additional Syrian officers for questioning at UN headquarters in Vienna; Detlev Mehlis, who intends to retire as head of the UN Hariri team after submitting his report to the Security Council on Dec. 15, will first to turn over to the Beirut authorities Hussam Taher Hussam, who fled to Syria and caused a sensation last week by alleging the UN had offered him a bribe to implicate Syrian officers. Mehlis now has the testimony of his girlfriend, who remained in Lebanon. She reports that she was present with Hussam at the scene of the assassination on the day of the crime, when a phone call came through from Col. Jam’a Jam’a, right hand of Gen. Rustum Ghazaleh, a senior suspect. He asked Hussam where he was. When Hussam said he was at the murder scene, Jama told him to get out fast because his life was in danger.
This collapse of Damascus’ attempt to discredit the UN probe is behind president Assad’s threatening statement to Russian TV, in which he said the stability of the Middle East and the world would be imperiled by UN sanctions against Syria. DEBKAfile’s sources add that the threat is a symptom of his desperation after discovering that he can no longer count on a Russian veto vote against sanctions. The Syrian leader has also been let down by the Saudis. King Abdullah not only spurned Assad’s pleas to intercede on his behalf with Washington, but invited the enemy of his clan, the Lebanese Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, for an official visit to Riyadh Saturday, Dec. 10.
Report on the Assassination of Rafik Hariri Blasts Syria – December 13, 2005
Lekarev - Hours after the assassination of a prominent anti- Syrian activist in Beirut on Monday, details from a report submitted by UN investigator Detlev Mehlis reached the press, indicating that the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services were likely involved in the assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik Hariri. The 25-page report from the German prosecutor and his team again accused Syria of trying to obstruct his probe when it demanded that they revise their findings after a crucial witness recanted his testimony. "This was, at the least, an attempt to hinder the investigation internally and procedurally," commented Mehlis.
Syria denies involvement in the Hariri blast and has also waged a campaign to discredit the commission, citing a Syrian witness, Husam Taher Husam, who recanted his testimony to the commission and said he had been bribed to frame Syria. Mehlis said that recantation hadn't affected his findings. In fact, he said, "the investigation has continued to develop multiple lines of inquiry which, if anything, reinforce this conclusion."
According to Israeli Channel 2, the report urges Syria to detain its senior officers, suspected of involvement in the assassination. Among those Mehlis wants to interrogate, according to the report, is Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara. The report names 19 Syrian and Lebanese officials who are suspected of involvement in the murder. In addition, the report accuses Syria of burning intelligence documents pertaining to the assassination and methodically intimidating witnesses. Mehlis also claims that there are new witnesses who had followed Hariri prior to his assassination.
Another Assassination in Lebanon – December 12, 2005
Lekarev - Staunch anti-Syrian lawmaker and journalist Gebran Tueni was killed Monday when an explosion hit his convoy as it made its way through Beirut. At least four people were killed in the blast, security sources said. The blast destroyed the armored car as it was driving in the Mekalis area, a Christian eastern suburb that lies a few kilometers from the headquarters of the United Nations team investigating the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri in February.
At least three people inside the car were killed, their bodies charred beyond recognition, witnesses said. Tueni was a firebrand critic of Syria who was elected to parliament in this year's election. Lebanese Druze leader and anti-Syrian MP Walid Jumblatt confirmed Tueni's death and accused Syria of killing him. Asked if he was jumping the gun by accusing Syria, he told Al Jazeera television: "This is my reading of the situation. We've had enough killings, enough assassinations. He [Tueni] was targeted because he was the voice of freedom, him and others like him." Syria said later that the timing of the explosion indicated an intention to damage Damascus' reputation. As publisher of the An-Nahar newspaper, Tueni voiced fierce criticism of Syria's domination in Lebanon since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. He was among the most outspoken critics of Damascus and blamed it for Hariri's murder. He said in August he had received "accurate" information that his name was on an assassination hit-list and had spent much of his time abroad since then, citing security fears.
Israel, U.S. Disagree Over Post-Assad Syri – December 3, 2005
Lekarev - Israel and the US are at odds over the future of Syria in a post-Bashar Assad era, according to a headline article in today's Jerusalem Post. In a strategic dialogue held last week in Washington between the two countries, Israeli representatives warned that a future regime in Syria, should Assad lose power, might be just as problematic as the old one.
The Israelis projected three possible scenarios if the current regime does fall - all of them dangerous for the stability of the region.
The first was the possibility that Syria would deteriorate into total chaos and plunge into some sort of civil war; the second was that Assad would be succeeded by another member of the ruling Alawite sect who would be a hardliner like Assad; or, third, that an extreme Islamic regime would take over the country. Sources briefed on the content of the talks said these Israeli warnings stood in stark contrast to the American view as it was presented in the dialogue. The Americans said they believed that, after Assad, Syria would go through an evolutionary process similar to the one Lebanon has experienced in the past year, and would transform into a free political society. This optimistic scenario is based on the positive experience in Lebanon and the significant pro-reform forces already active in Syria.
Assad of Syria, Abbas of PA Both in Trouble – October 26, 2005
Lekarev - Two significant players in the Middle East are in trouble. President Bashar Assad of Syria's staff is furiously trying to conduct damage control after a UN report into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri last February pointed a finger of accusation directly at Assad's inner circle in Damascus.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, was sternly warned in Washington a few days ago that he had better get serious about bringing order back into the Palestinian Authority, bring terrorism to a complete halt, and get control of a chaotic situation. He came away from Washington rebuked and empty-handed.
The implications of both of these leaders being in trouble at the same time are discussed in a special DEBKAfile report which I have linked below and which I hope you will have time to read to give you a grasp of some of the workings affecting Israel directly at this time.
Assad Calls For Attacks Against Israel – September 28, 2005
Lekarev - Syrian President Bashar el-Assad has instructed Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders in Damascus to step-up terror attacks against Israel in an effort to divert the focus of the international community away from him, PA intelligence officials report. According to the Palestinian Authority (PA) report, Assad is concerned over mounting diplomatic pressure against him, well aware the White House favors increased sanctions against Damascus. "Syria is under siege. Do what you must in the territories. Draw fire away from us," President Assad said.
The Syrian ruler met with the terror chiefs earlier this month, and according to the PA report, the recent meeting in Cairo between el-Assad and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discussed Assad’s instructions to increase terror attacks, stating Mubarak opposes such a move – with the Egyptian leader instructing Assad not to involve himself in the Israel-PA conflict.
Given that Hamas and Islamic Jihad maintain elaborate terrorist offices in Damascus, it should come as no surprise that Assad exercises direct influence. He has consistently refused pressure from the White House to close down the terrorist headquarters in his capital.
Assad: Any Syrian Guilty in Harari Case Will Face Trial – October 26, 2005
Lekarev - Under mounting international pressure, Syrian President Bashar Assad has promised that any Syrian accused will face trial if "proved by concrete evidence" to have had a role in the killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, according to a copy of a letter obtained Tuesday by the Washington Post and sent to the United States, Britain and France. The pledge, in a letter from Assad dated Sunday, is the most substantive response by Syria to the UN investigation into Hariri's death.
Late Tuesday, the US, France and Britain challenged the rest of the UN Security Council to adopt a very tough resolution against Syria which would threaten sanctions if Damascus fails to cooperate fully with the UN investigation. According to the copy of the letter provided by diplomatic sources in Damascus, "Such use of this report will have big, serious repercussions on the already tense situation which our region goes through, at a time when we are more in need to have objective and constructive positions that would help the countries of the region to achieve stability." The US State Department is very skeptical about the letter. "Once again Syria has demonstrated by its policies and its actions that it's out of step with the international community and in this instance specifically, by its failure to correctly read the tea leaves and fully cooperate" with the UN investigation, State Department spokesman J. Adam Ereli told reporters Tuesday.
Assad's Brother-in-law Prime Suspect in Assassination – October 19, 2005
Lekarev - A U.N. investigator has named the brother-in-law of Syrian President Bashar Assad as a prime suspect in the assassination last February of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a German report said on Tuesday.
Stern Magazine, in extracts from an article due to appear on Thursday, named Syrian military intelligence chief Asef Shawkat as a suspect in the probe led by chief United Nations investigator Detlev Mehlis. Shawkat is widely seen as the second most powerful man in Syria after Assad. Mehlis, a German prosecutor, had questioned Shawkat "not as a witness, but as a suspect”, said Stern, without giving the source of its information. Mehlis is due to present his report to U.N. Secretary- General Kofi Annan on Friday on the February 14 killings of Hariri and 20 others in a truck bomb blast in Beirut. Annan met Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss the expected report and its consequences.
DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources disclose that although the Assad government promised to hand over five high-ranking officials for the UN investigator Detlev Mehlis to question in Vienna, only three arrived aboard a special Syrian flight Tuesday, Nov. 29. They were driven straight to UN offices in the Austrian capital in heavily screened vehicles. Our sources report that each is being quizzed separately starting from the evening of their arrival. The identities of the three officers are concealed under a thick blackout imposed by the Mehlis team. Just before they took off, the Syrian authorities announced the suspects would be flown over in two groups and this was the first. DEBKAfile’s sources offer three reasons for the decision to send the suspects over in two parts:
1. It is a Syrian ploy to force the UN team to send the first group back before releasing the second batch of officers for questioning in Vienna..
2. Damascus wants an interval between the two sets of interrogations to make sure their stories to the UN interrogators match.
3. The Syrians also want to see where Mehlis is heading in his inquiry. They hope to be wiser when they have a chance to question the first group of officers on its return home. Once they are clear on this, they will decide whether or not to let the UN team have the second batch of high-ranking Syrian suspects for questioning in Vienna.
Syrian Foreign Minister's Death Suspicious – October 14, 2005
Lekarev - Israeli reactions to the "suicide" of Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kenaan cast doubts that the former head of Syrian intelligence in Lebanon did in fact put an end to his life. Political sources here speculate that he was assassinated or possibly committed suicide knowing his assassination was imminent, to avoid torture before being killed.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom hoped that Kenaan’s assassination will not be a scapegoat for the sins of Syrian President Hafez Assad. “The Syrians feel that the rope is getting tighter around their necks,” said Shalom referring to the U.N. investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri several months back. “Syria is a state that supports and instigates terror, and is directly involved in the liquidation of Hariri,” Shalom asserted. Apparently, international investigators into the Hariri assassination have conclusive evidence implicating his killers. Hariri was killed in a truck bomb attack that ripped through his convoy in Beirut on February 14. The U.N. report is expected to be published on October 25.
Kanaan's body was laid to rest in his northern home town in a low-key funeral on Thursday. He was the architect of Syria’s iron fist over Lebanon over the last 30 years and he established the cooperative ties between Hizbullah and Damascus, which facilitated the flow of Iranian arms to the Lebanese Shiite group --- a sworn enemy of Israel. In recognition of his work Kenaan was appointed to the prestigious post of interior minister, making him the de facto chief of Syria’s security agencies. Kenaan was a close confident of former president Hafez Assad who died in 2000. He was a relative of Assad’s wife and he was put in charge of preparing Bashar for the presidency following the death of Assad’s eldest son, Basel.
Lekarev - In a turbulent court hearing, al-Qaida-linked suspects charged with plotting a massive chemical explosion in Jordan shouted insults yesterday at their military judges and threatened to pursue holy war until they topple this kingdom's moderate Muslim Hashemite monarchy, led by King Abdullah II. "Terrorism is a badge of honor on our chests until Judgment Day," shouted defendant Hassan al-Smeik from the dock during a brief half-hour hearing. "In the name of God, we're pursuing the path of Jihad until we uproot you, exterminate your state until the rule of the king vanishes."
Al-Smeik and 12 others, including fugitive al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, are charged with conspiring to commit terrorism in April 2004 with a foiled plot to detonate an explosion at the headquarters of the General Intelligence Department in the capital, Amman. The government says if the attack had been carried out, it would have sent a cloud of toxic chemicals across Amman, killing thousands.
King Abdullah II swore in a new Cabinet headed by a prime minister who pledged Sunday to restore Jordan's reputation as a haven of stability in the Middle East, an image shattered by this month's triple suicide attacks in the capital. "Security and stability will remain a Jordanian distinction, despite the terrorist incident which targeted innocent people in the capital of your kingdom," Prime Minister Marouf al- Bakhit told Abdullah after the brief ceremony.
Terror in Jordan; 67 Killed, More than 120 Wounded – November 10, 2005
Lekarev - Three suicide/homicide attackers detonated nearly simultaneous explosions last night at hotels in downtown Amman, Jordan, killing at least 67 people and wounding more than 150 others. Al Qaeda has now claimed responsibility for the terror attack in which one of the targets was a wedding reception with some 300 people in attendance. Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher said Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al Qaeda in Iraq and that country's most-wanted terrorist, is among the suspects. al-Zarqawi has declared 'war' on all fellow Arabs who cooperate with the US led war in Iraq. Jordan is a moderate Arab country, a friend of the US and has peaceful relations with Israel. Though security forces sealed off the hotels soon after the attacks, a reporter for the Jordanian Times, Rana Husseini, said she gained entrance to the Radisson about 20 minutes after the explosion. The lobby and wedding hall were "destroyed," with shattered glass all over the floor, she said. "There were tables and chairs turned over, there was blood on the chairs," she said. "It was really a horrific scene." Ashraf Khalid, the groom, told reporters the blast took place as he and his bride were entering the banquet hall at the Radisson. He lost as many as 10 of his relatives, including his father, Khalid said, adding that no westerners were at the party. 'A shock to all of us' "This is not Islam," Khalid said. "This is a terrorist attack in our capital." Muasher said the attacks were "something that Jordan is not used to." "This is the first really extensive attack we've had, probably ever, in the kingdom," he said. "This has come as a shock to all of us," Kawar told CNN. He added, "We try to be as vigilant as possible but, at the end of the day, we're all vulnerable to such attacks." Video from the scene showed hundreds of police and emergency officials cordoning off the area around the hotels. Inside the Radisson, a hole was blown into the ceiling of a ballroom and tables and chairs were strewn across the room. Dozens of ambulances were lined up outside the hotels, loading up and speeding off, their sirens wailing.
The blasts occurred first at the Radisson SAS, then at the Grand Hyatt and then at the Days Inn between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. (2 p.m. and 3 p.m. ET). The three hotels are within a few hundred yards of one another. The largest blast occurred at the Radisson during a wedding celebration, set off by a suicide bomber wearing a belt packed with explosives. Most of the casualties there were Jordanian, he said. Randa Jaaqoub told CNN she was in the Hyatt lobby with her fiance when that blast occurred. "Everything just exploded, and we had fire and smoke all over," said the Jordanian-American from Illinois. "We saw the bodies and blood all over." The couple ran into the kitchen and then outside, where they made their way to a hospital. Jaaqoub suffered superficial wounds, and her fiance's knee was cut. "We were just in total shock because, here in Jordan, it's a safe place," she said. When I heard the news last night and switched on the TV, I felt as though my blood ran cold. I have stayed at the Radisson Hotel in Amman with tour groups in the past and to see the lobby in the condition pictured above was chilling, to say the least.
Counter-Terrorism Analysis of the Jordan Attack - November 10, 2005
Lekarev - The suicide attacks last night on three US-owned five-star hotels popular with Westerners in Amman, Jordan points to four disturbing manifestations:
1. The constant US offensives on al Qaeda sanctuaries in Iraq have not been able to restrict the movements of its activists in Iraq and across its borders.
2. The fact that Zarqawi is able to redirect elements of his Iraqi strength to other points in the Middle East means he is not short of manpower.
3. The ablest Western intelligence agencies are employed in the Middle East to combat al Qaeda, as well as the Jordanian and Israeli services. Yet none have achieved any penetrations capable of forecasting al Qaeda’s next moves.
4. There is no evidence to bear out President George W. Bush’s assertion that al Qaeda’s operational capabilities have been damaged. Since its July 7 transport offensive in London, the group has been on the offensive around the world, in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
5. Israel’s evacuation of the Gaza Strip has opened the door to al Qaeda and brought the international jihadists right up to its borders.
Each one of the above is deeply troubling, let alone all five together.
Jordan United Behind Their King – November 11, 2005
Lekarev - A day after the Amman terror attacks , the Jordanian capital was crowded with people. Thousands of people wearing kaffiyah headdresses raised Jordanian flags Thursday. The air was filled with a lot of rage and a feeling of unity and partnership. The bombing may have caused tourists to flee from the kingdom, but it seemed that all Jordanians had gathered together under the Hashemite flag and the picture of King Abdullah.
One of the youths gathered in the city streets said he is raising the Jordanian flag in order to say that Jordan is in his heart. "The city is filled with sorrow because we have lost many people in these acts of terror. We are all crying," he added. The terrible traffic jams due to the dozens of spontaneous demonstrations and processions did not anger the Jordanian police officers. Many young people were busy attaching pictures of the king on shops, private houses and cars. Everyone was busy hanging Jordanian flags everywhere, and a slogan condemning the attacks could be seen on every balcony.
Along the entire way from the Days Inn hotel to the Hyatt hotel, residents gathered and sang patriotic songs, traditional songs and songs in honor of the Hashemite kingdom and the royal family. Thousands of vehicles passed, carrying Jordanian flags, young people and old people, women and men – all raising flags and pictures of the king.
CNN reported late last night here that two of the three suicide bombers that struck three luxury hotels in Jordan’s capital Amman on Wednesday are believed to have been Iraqi citizens. According to the report, Al-Zarqawi's al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for the bombings in a website posting. The website posting referred to the hotels frequented by westerners as "retreats that were planted in the land of Muslims in Amman." The message continued: "After studying the targets and watching, we chose the places to carry the mission on some of the hotels, which the Jordanian dictator turned into a backyard for the enemies of faith - the Jews and the Crusaders."
Ramadan Begins; Security Tight – October 6, 2005
Lekarev -Some 2,500 police officers were deployed in and around the Old City of Jerusalem today, the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Police officers were stationed in the alleyways of the Old City and around the Temple Mount and Western Wall in an effort to prevent possible disturbances. They did not, however, restrict the age of worshipers allowed to enter the Temple Mount compound.
Also this morning, Israel Radio reported that the Israel Defense Forces had renewed its warning against hitchhiking, citing threats of Palestinian abductions of soldiers and civilians. The Middle East is jittery this week as it heads into Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and spiritual introspection that has become a time of increased attacks by suicide bombers who believe they receive extra blessings by carrying out attacks at this season. From Iraq to Lebanon to Sinai, the month of prayer and after-dark feasting is now a month of heightened security.
Australian Intifada? – December 12, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - First Israel, then France, Denmark and Belgium - and now Australia. Muslims rioted for a second night in Sydney and nearby suburbs Monday,
attacking resident and police and smashing cars. The
latest "Intifada" began down under with a group of Lebanese
immigrants beating two life guards on Sydney's Cronulla beach Sunday. The Beach
is the site of a memorial for victims of the Islamic terror attacks in Bali, in which six local women were murdered. Thousands of Australian youths then flocked
to the beach and began indiscriminately attacking anyone they believed to be
Arab immigrants. About 300,000 Muslims live in Australia, the majority in large
cities. Soon after, Arab youth began attacking police and smashing cars around
the Sydney area. Thirty-one people were injured, 28 arrested and approximately
one hundred cars were smashed during the night. Hundreds of young Muslims then
gathered near the Lakemba Mosque in southern Sydney, readying to travel to Maroubra Beach where up to 300 locals were reportedly waiting for an arranged fight until
the police intervened.
Monday night, Arab mobs descended on Cronulla, stabbing a woman, assaulted several passers-by and smashing shops around the area. Police told Australian news agencies that there were hundreds of armed men in the Muslim crowd as well. Meanwhile, crowds of local Muslims surrounded mosques, flashing handguns before news cameras and saying they were merely responding to information they had that local gangs intended to attack their place of worship.There are also reports of text messages circulating within the Arab community calling for revenge attacks in Cronulla next Sunday and police are still searching for an Arab man who stabbed another man in the back Sunday night. The Australian Associated Press reported that gunshots were heard near Cronulla beach Monday, but police could not confirm the report.The main focus - in the aftermath of Sunday's events - was on the attacks launched by local Australians, including drunken surfers and white-supremacists, on fellow citizens of Arab descent. Australian Prime Minister John Howard condemned the attacks on the Arabs at the Sydney beach. "Attacking people on the basis of their race, their appearance, their ethnicity, is totally unacceptable and should be repudiated by all Australians irrespective of their own background and their politics," Howard said.
International Provocateurs in the Land of Israel
Do you Know this Young Woman? – October 6, 2005
Lekarev - Last summer, Frontpagmag.com exposed the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) as a front group that works closely with the PLO and Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist terrorist group. The ISM exploits international volunteers to pose as "peace activists," who end up aiding terrorists by interfering with the anti-terror operations of the Israeli army. In doing so, they often transform themselves into "victims."
A case in point: the famous young anarchist student named Rachel Corrie, whom ISM recruited at Evergreen College in Washington State. Corrie was killed when she sat in front of an Israeli army bulldozer to block it from demolishing a weapons smuggling tunnel hidden behind a bush. A young British man named Tom Hurndall also returned to the UK in a coma after his turn waging war against the State of Israel. These individuals call themselves "peace activists." But at their Ohio State Palestine Solidarity conference two years ago, Adam Shapiro, another co-founder, admitted that ISM members are run by the PLO -- with PLO plainclothes handlers at every event in the West Bank and Gaza. In their training sessions, they are instructed never to interfere with children throwing stones at Israelis or with the terrorists’ activities.
Such pro-jihadist incidents, resulting in the needless deaths of young Western college students, led to the formation of the organization Stop the ISM (www.stoptheISM), created to combat their pro-terrorist activism. Stop the ISM has spent most of the last year infiltrating the ISM. Volunteers have actually joined ISM groups from all over the U.S. to report their planned actions against the Israeli border police. The ISM used to take any warm body that walked in the door to go to "Palestine." Now, however, it requires registration and references from at least two bona fide radical activists to attend this summer’s training sessions. Some of Stop the ISM’s volunteers were screened out, but some made it in only to find out, through an intercepted email, that the training sessions slated for June 10-12 in the U.S. were canceled because they were being infiltrated.
ISM co-founder George Rishmawi, a Canadian- Palestinian communist, gave the rationale for why the ISM recruits internationals: "When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore. But if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice."
Rishmawi now operates out of Pasadena, California, at least, when he isn’t in the West Bank or Gaza. As a lifelong communist, allied with the PLO’s PFLP/communist-wing, Rishmawi developed a consortium of anarchists and radicals to fight for the Palestinian cause. Rachel Corrie fit this profile perfectly. The ISM is still benefiting from Corrie’s death, touring the United States with Corrie’s mother, who describes her daughter as 'an angel' and human rights activist despite her role in aiding the would-be murderers of innocent Jews. In her letters home, Corrie called terrorist murderers "martyrs" and praised their jihadist ways. One of her heroes' missile attacks intentionally targeted a children’s preschool where a four-year-old toddler was killed, a child born after his parents spent fifteen years trying to conceive. Other feats of ISM human rights activities have included trying to squat inside houses used as bomb making factories to prevent their demolition by Israeli authorities. Paul LaRudee, the head of Norcal ISM in the San Francisco Bay Area, has boasted of sleeping in a suicide bomber’s bed.
These individuals call themselves "peace activists." But at their Ohio State Palestine Solidarity conference two years ago, leaders admitted that ISM members are run by the PLO, with PLO plainclothes handlers at every event in the West Bank and Gaza. In their training sessions, they are instructed never to interfere with children throwing stones at Israelis or with the terrorists’ activities. Such pro-jihadist incidents, resulting in the needless deaths of young Western college students, led to the formation of the organization Stop the ISM (www.stoptheISM), created to combat their pro-terrorist activism.
Stop the ISM is trying to identify the young woman with the bullhorn in this photo above. She is an ISM activist speaking at a Hamas rally held near Ramallah in the West Bank (note the Hamas flag in front of her at the rally). In the photo she is surrounded by known members of Hamas. Is she an American? If so, we want to notify Homeland Security about her. By U.S. law it is illegal to work in cooperation or support of known terrorist groups. The ISM tries to claim it is a "peace group" when it is in fact a subversive war movement under the guidance of the PLO and supports terrorists. If you recognize this woman, please email stoptheISM@att.net
Hevron Arabs Ask Jews For Help in Banishing Leftist Activists – November 23, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Arab leaders in Hevron have
contacted the city’s Jewish leaders for help in getting rid of self-proclaimed
anarchist volunteers who, they complain, are destroying their traditional way
of life. The anarchists, many of whom are members of the
International Solidarity Movement, flock to flashpoints throughout Judea and Samaria, ostensibly to help PA Arabs contend with IDF closures and protect them from
harassment. In actuality, many of the volunteers seek confrontations with IDF
soldiers and local Jewish residents, taking advantage of their Western
passports to cause havoc – knowing that, at worst, they will be deported, not
The local Arabs in the Hevron region whom the activists claim to be helping are now complaining that the American and European students behave in a provocative and offensive manner in Hevron’s public areas. The Arabs say the activists disrespect the moral norms and standards of the local population. Several local Arab residents told the Kol Ha’Ir newspaper that the activists have been exposing the local youths to drug use and sexual promiscuity.
One interviewee told Kol Ha’Ir that the volunteers show a disregard for the religious norms of the local villages and teach the local youth to reject and disrespect the traditions of their forefathers. "These anarchists come here and undermine the education we give our children. At first we took them in with hospitality - after all, they claimed they wanted to help us, so why kick them out? But very quickly they infuriated me with their lewd behavior." In a bid to rid the region of the anarchists, local Arab leaders approached representatives of the Jewish community in Hevron – a rare, but not unheard of occurrence – in order to find a solution. The two sides agreed to have Arabic-speaking Jewish observers along Hevron’s main thoroughfares to replace the anarchists in ensuring calm between the city’s Jewish and Arab populations. The left-wings activists would then be informed by the local Arab population that they appreciate their offer to help, but that they are no longer needed.
Hevron spokesman Noam Arnon confirmed the arrangement to Arutz-7, saying that the new replacement observers will be acceptable to local Arabs. He added that the international anarchists came to Hevron come from Western cultures steeped in sexual lewdness and depravity, permissiveness, and drug use. "Their presence in Hebron serves to inflame violence because they are seeking to create provocations and encourage violence," Arnon said. He added that the observers end up causing more trouble for the local Arab population, by antagonizing soldiers and brazenly leading local Arabs in between Jewish homes.
Arnon recalled a specific incident in which an Arab woman tried to stab an IDF soldier with a knife. The soldiers grabbed her, but were attacked by a group of anarchist volunteers who tried to free the woman and take the knife out of her hand and hide it. In recent months, Jewish organizations have also come to Hevron to stand up to the anarchist activists. The Jewish activists investigate the anarchists regarding their entry to Israel and strengthen the morale of the soldiers in withstanding attacks by leftist extremists. By Ezra HaLevi
The Palestinian’s Bid to Own Israel
Palestinian Terrorism: Five Dead in Netanya - December 5, 2005
Sheva (Israel National News) - Second time in five months: A Palestinian
suicide terrorist murders five people at the HaSharon Mall in Netanya. Some 50
were wounded, including at least three in critical condition. The
blast occurred at approximately 11:30 AM. Some 55 people are reported wounded
in light and moderate condition. Approximately half of them were evacuated to Laniado Hospital in Netanya, and the others were taken to Hillel Yafeh in Hadera and Meir
in Kfar Saba. Large police forces flooded
the area and erected checkpoints, causing large traffic jams, and helicopters
were sent into the air, to try to track down those responsible for driving the
murderer to the site. Two cars were reportedly seen speeding away from the site
of the attack.
A Jewish Ultra-Orthodox man looks at the scene of a suicide bomb attack in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya Monday Dec. 5, 2005. A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up Monday among people waiting to enter a shopping mall, killing at least five and wounding more than 30. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
As has occurred many times in the past, the terrorist was unsuccessful in entering the mall, and was forced to detonate himself outside the building. A policewoman who was lightly wounded reported that a passerby alerted her to a suspicious figure, who began to run when she gave chase in her police car. "He was blonde, tall and holding a large bag. One of the [mall's] guards grabbed him by the shoulder, but I yelled, 'Forget the shoulder, get his hand!' because I saw that he had his hand in the bag. But then he blew himself up..." She said it was the seventh time she had been present at the scene of a terrorist attack. Other witnesses that the guard pushed the terrorist away from the entrance to the mall. Police Chief Moshe Karadi said the explosion occurred about ten meters from the mall entrance. It is assumed that the Islamic Jihad is behind the murderous attack. The Palestinian Authority issued an immediate condemnation - but Israeli sources say it has almost never taken concrete action against the terrorists in its midst.
Israeli police officers and crime scene investigators survey the scene beside a covered body following a suicide bombing in Netanya December 5, 2005. A Palestinian suicide bomber killed five people and wounded at least 40 outside a shopping mall in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya on Monday in the first attack of its kind in six weeks. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
The HaSharon Mall has seen similar scenes before. Five months ago, on July 12, five people were killed when a suicide terrorist blew himself up outside the entrance to the mall. Close to 90 people were wounded. The 18-year-old murderer was a resident of Tul Karem, just a few kilometers to the east of Netanya. In May 2001, a suicide terrorist blew himself up in the same place, killing five. Less than a half-hour after the attack, commentators noted that once again, the controversial partition fence/wall had not succeeded in keeping the terrorists out. One surmisal is that the terrorist had simply hitched a ride into Netanya. This was the fifth such attack this year. Just six weeks ago, a terrorist bombing in an open-air market in the city of Hadera, to the north of Netanya, killed five people and wounded more than 30. By Hillel Fendel
ISLAMIC JIHAD CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY - December 5, 2005
Lekerev - The Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the attack in a phone call to Palestinian journalists, identifying the bomber as Lutfi Amin Abu Salem, a resident of the northern West Bank village of Kafr Rai, located between the towns of Jenin and Tulkarem. The Islamic Jihad is the only terror organization that has not agreed to the Palestinian factions' tahdiya, or "calm."
A video grab taken from footage released by Islamic Jihad shows Lotfi Abu Saada whom they claim was the suicide bomber who killed five people and wounded more than 40 outside a shopping mall in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya December 5, 2005. In a further blow to peace hopes stirred by Israel's Gaza pullout, Islamic Jihad said it was avenging Israel's recent killing of senior members of the militant group. REUTERS/Handout
"It's obvious that the Palestinian Authority is showing no intention to take real steps to dismantle or disarm the terrorist organizations," Ra'anan Gissin, spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said in response to the bombing. The bombing was "a direct consequence of not taking these steps." He further accused Syria, Iran and Hizbullah of encouraging terrorism in Israel "for the purpose of scuttling the process that seemed to be gaining momentum," but added that this did not absolve the PA of responsibility. Gissin told reporters that the security cabinet would meet Monday evening to decide what measures Israel would take in response to the bombing. "We'll take all necessary steps to defend ourselves," he stressed, and added that Israel would not be limited in any way in its response.
Whom We Mourn – December 5, 2005
Lekarev - Today Israel mourns the five victims of yesterday's terror attack in Netanya: Daniel Golani, 45, of Nahariya, (top left), Haim Amram, 26, of Netanya(top right, the Mall security guard) and across the bottom from left to right, Alexandra Grimatzky, 65, of Netanya, Iliya Rosen, 38, of Bat Hefer, and Kinan Tzumai, 20, of Petah Tikva.
Daniel Golani owned three clothing stores by the name of Hashdera in Nahariya and had come to Netanya to investigate opening a fourth store in the mall. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Haim Amram has worked at the Mall as a security guard for a number of years and was present at the July bombing, but was unhurt at that time. He is being hailed as a hero because he personally stopped the bomber from entering the mall, thereby causing a much larger tragedy. Haim died instantly when the bomber detonated himself.
Alexandra Grimatsky used to walk at the mall regularly. When her son, Doctor Andrai Grimatzky, a urologist, heard of the bombing, he immediately began calling his mother's cell phone but received no response. After checking at all the hospitals he finally located her body at the Forensic Institute. He was the only son of his mother, immigrants from the Ukraine.
Aminah, center, the mother of Lotfi Abu Saada, 23, a suicide bomber who blew himself up Monday in the Israeli city of Netanya, and unidentified family members react at her house in the West Bank village of Illar near Tulkarem, Monday Dec. 5, 2005. Abu Saada blew himself up killing five Israelis. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)
38 year old Ilana Rosen had come to the mall to shop for new clothes as she was to start a new job in just a few days. Ilana leaves behind her husband and three young children, ages 12, 9 and 5. Her 12-year- old son was on an annual school trip at the time of the attack, and was rushed home, escorted by a teacher. Family members said that her 9-year-old daughter felt something was wrong, until she was told that her mother was murdered in the attack. The five year old sat and drew pictures, dazed by the commotion. Many people arrived at the family home, friends and relatives, to offer support.
May those who mourn today be comforted with all the mourners in Zion.
Palestinians "Celebrate" Five Years of Intifada – September 29, 2005
Lekarev - Yesterday, Palestinians marked the fifth anniversary of their current terrorist campaign against Israel, commonly known as the "Al Aqsa Intifada." A third intifada, or uprising, far more intense in scope is on the horizon, they said, blowing away Western assertions that the region is gaining momentum towards peace in the wake of Israel's "disengagement" from Gaza and northern Samaria. Since that day, 1,064 Israelis have been murdered and another 7,500 maimed and wounded in thousands of acts of terrorist brutality.
Over 4,000 Palestinians have died in that same time, a large percentage of them while engaging in anti-Jewish violence. Palestinian Authority officials told Ynet the large death toll was acceptable due to the fact the violence had led to Israel's surrender of the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria. Analysts say the pullout has whetted their appetite for more. "Israel withdrew from Gaza and accepted the Road Map, so everyone should realize that this intifada achieved" great results for the Arabs, Palestinian Legislative Council member and senior Fatah faction leader Mohammed Ranaim said.
On September 29, 2000, then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon led a small delegation of Likud Party Members of Knesset atop Jerusalem's Temple Mount prior to the Jewish holy day of Rosh Hashanah. The event was utilized by the Palestinians and their Israeli Arab allies to justify what is now known to have been pre- planned hostilities. While Sharon and his delegation were rescued from the Temple Mount that day without injury, the PA-controlled territories erupted in an orgy of violence that soon spilled over to the Israeli Arab community.
Teaching Babies to Hate - December 6, 2005
Lekarev - MEMRI has posted a new video on its website which I am strongly urging ALL OF YOU to watch and get everybody you know to see it. It's less than five minutes but it's an absolutel MUST SEE! Particularly after yet another suicide attack yesterday, the truth MUST be told. Thanks to Naomi Ragen for making me aware of this new video and thanks to MEMRI for their oustanding work.
Please watch this and forward this. Our conflict is not a land dispute. These people hate Jews. All the the presentIsraeli leaders either don't know this, or don't want toknow this. Giving our enemies land, our homes, and our heads only furthers their blood lust. The same tricks the Nazis used to get Jews to cooperate, are being used on us again. And again, we make believe that the PLO is sorry when Jews die, because they say they are sorry, while terror groups operate without restrictions in PLO controlled towns like Tul Karem, where the suicide bomber came from.
Neve Dekalim Now Training Camp for Suicide Bombers – November 18, 2005
Lekarev - In what expelled Jewish residents of the area are calling the "ultimate insult," Hamas has turned the former Jewish capital of the Gaza Strip, Neve Dekalim, into a terror training camp and has used the territory to launch rockets into Israel, according to a report by World Net Daily. Before Israel's Gaza withdrawal in August, Neve Dekalim was the largest town in Gaza's Gush Katif slate of Jewish communities. The neighborhood was usually bustling with residents dining, shopping and going to work.
It contained Katif's industrial zone, government buildings, and some of the largest synagogues and stores in the area. Housing was tight, with a total of 467 units in the neighborhood filled by Jewish families who moved in from throughout Israel and across the world. Israel bulldozed Dekalim and the rest of Gush Katif after its withdrawal Aug. 14, leaving only the area's Jewish greenhouses intact after they were purchased for the Palestinians in a deal brokered by private American citizens.
All Israeli Security Branches Warn Against Border Deal – November 18, 2005
Lekarev - All of Israel’s security branches sent strong written protests to Sharon against the new Gaza crossings deal as exposing Israel to grave terrorist peril. US secretary Rice forced the accord through in a diplomatic blitz Tuesday Nov. 15
The protests came from the top levels of Israel’s armed forces, the Shin Beit and all other intelligence services and the police. Rarely before have so many expressions of alarm been rushed to the head of government by all of top security agencies.
By this extreme step - 1. Each of the branches submitted separate warnings to prime minister Ariel Sharon and defense minister Shaul Mofaz. They were alerted to the grave hazards in store when the crossings are reopened later this month and the rest of the accord goes into effect, lacking appropriate security controls. 2. Each branch placed its reservations in writing to clearly record where responsibility lies for the worst possible contingencies. Security sources report gloomy forecasts from all the leading officials responsible for Israeli national security and the war on terror. The accord signed Tuesday caught them in the middle of constructing a new security system designed to safeguard the country after Israeli troops were pulled out of the Gaza Strip. The new accord threatens to push this system aside. Israel is divested of the means of keeping terrorists from making free use of the crossings which reopen Nov. 25 and the Palestinian convoys driving from Gaza to the West Bank and back from Dec. 15. There is no longer any barrier to Palestinian terrorists bringing shoulder-launched anti-air missiles any time to the point from which they can turn Israel’s international airport into a disaster zone and paralyze international air traffic to and from the country.
It is being said that the prime minister’s office made sure the six-page accord left by Rice was not translated into Hebrew. Israeli television and radio audiences were therefore not exposed to its contents. Israel is denied any veto power over the arrival of terrorists from Sinai to Gaza or from Gaza to the West Bank in both directions. A wanted terrorist can simply board a bus in Gaza and commute to Hebron or Ramallah without restraint. Israel officials may not stop and search the vehicle, albeit on Israeli soil, let alone make an arrest. They can only gnash their teeth in frustration. Equal freedom of control is promised the merchandise and container trucks. The American and European inspectors at the Gaza-Israeli crossings will not allow the Israeli officers free rein to effectively search them for hazardous freights lest the 150-per-day quota be slowed. The Palestinians will thus be quite free to movee as many terrorists and as much material and explosives as they like between the Gaza and the West Bank. Therefore, when Israeli security leaders saw with dread the collapse of their painfully wrought war on terror – a NATO military mission arrived in Israel as Rice left to study Israel’s tactics and techniques – circles close to Palestinian minister Mohammed Dahlan in Ramallah were crowing with delight. They praised Condoleezza Rice for helping them break down Israel’s regime of crossings and barriers.
I strongly suspect that those of you in the USA and in other countries were also NOT told the full story of this much applauded accord - think again!
Did Arafat die of AIDS – September 8, 2005
Lekarev - The release of Yasser Arafat's pathology report has reignited a heated debate about the former PA Chairman's cause of death. Although no sources point to a definitive conclusion, most signs, including an admission by Arafat's doctor Ashraf al-Kurdi, that the French doctors that cared for Arafat found the virus in his blood, point to AIDS as the cause of death. Some however are still insisting that he was poisoned. Al-Kurdi's implausible allegation that the virus was given to Arafat by Israel to disguise poisoning was rejected outright by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office, which according to a report in Haaretz, called the accusation "nonsense".
After Arafat died on November 11, 2004 at the military hospital in Paris, top secret copies of his pathology report were handed over to Arafat's widow, Suha, and senior Palestinian Authority officials. On the date of his death, Israeli media reported that the hospital concealed the cause of his death, with the hospital citing French privacy laws; a concealment which strengthened the suspicion that Arafat had died of AIDS.
After the French rejected requests for Arafat's medical records, suspicions grew even stronger. Israel conducted its own inquiry into the possibility of AIDS and both intelligence and medical sources suggested to Israel's "intelligence branch" that such a possibility was "much more than speculation." Later it was brought to light that the French had accepted a falsified death certificate indicating Arafat's place of birth as Jerusalem, rather than his actual birthplace of Cairo, further strengthening suspicions of a cover-up. When Arafat's family had admitted that to publicize the medical truth would harm the Palestinians, the possibility of AIDS grew even liklier still. According to a report in Haaretz, Arafat's pathology report findings are finally about to be published for the first time.
assassin poisoned Arafat in ear - Palestinian officials, terrorists deny PLO
leader died of AIDS – November 17, 2005
JERUSALEM (World Net Daily – Even though four official investigations and a hospital pathology report failed to find evidence of foreign substances in late PLO Leader Yasser Arafat's bloodstream, a former senior Arafat aide claimed yesterday an Israeli assassin killed the Palestinian leader by blowing a slow-acting poison into his ear. Several close Arafat associates and Palestinian terror leaders denied to WND rampant rumors Arafat was a homosexual or that he died of AIDS. "It was easy to poison him in the ear, because he was under siege and he used to receive a lot of people and he used to hug them to kiss them and my assumption is that the perpetrator carried a small balloon of gas and he could blow it in Arafat's ear," said Ahmed Abdel Rahman, who worked closely with Arafat. Rahman, speaking to a London-based Arabic newspaper on the occasion the one-year anniversary of Arafat's death, said Arafat was poisoned at the end of September 2003 and lost 13 kilograms during the course of 16 days. Rahman did not offer evidence to back his accusations. David Baker, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, dismissed Rahman's statements as "nonsense. That claim is totally baseless."
Arafat's grave at one-year death anniversary last weekend. Photo: WorldNetDaily .
Arafat died Nov. 11, 2004, in a French military hospital. The official cause of his death was never released because French law prohibits distribution of medical records to anyone other than immediate family. Arafat's widow, Suha, has refused to divulge any details of his illness. Some have speculated Arafat died of poisoning or AIDS. The authors of a new Israeli book that features a large section on Arafat's death claim Dr. Ashraf al-Kurdi, Arafat's personal physician, told them he knows Arafat's French doctors found the AIDS virus in his bloodstream.
In "The Seventh War," journalists Amos Harel and Avi Isacharoff state they were provided with an analysis of a confidential pathology report from the French hospital in which Arafat died, which reveals three main possibilities as to the cause of death: AIDS, poisoning or an infection. Israeli and foreign doctors who told the authors they saw the report list the specific cause of death as a massive brain hemorrhage. They say the report details do not lead to a conclusive determination on what caused Arafat's death, but many of the symptoms he exhibited were typical of AIDS. Al-Kurdi, who played no role in Arafat's medical care during the final weeks of the Palestinian leader's life, refused to divulge the source of his AIDS information. He claimed to Harel and Isacharoff the virus was put into Arafat's blood in an effort to blur the traces of poisoning, which he says was the "real" cause of death. Some physicians who said they saw Arafat's medical records told the Israeli authors they were shocked French doctors either failed to test Arafat for HIV or did not include results of an AIDS test in their report. A recent investigation by the New York Times, which claimed it too saw Arafat's medical records, concluded the late PLO leader died of a stroke. The Times report, which claims it is the "first independent review of [Arafat's medical] documents" disputed claims Arafat died of AIDS. But like the Israeli analysis, the report states Arafat's French doctors did not include HIV testing in their records, "an omission experts found bizarre."
As WND reported, an official Palestinian Authority investigation last month into Arafat's death was inconclusive. "Neither the Palestinian, nor the French report arrived to conclusive results regarding the causes of Arafat's illness and death," PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said regarding his government's official investigation. "The reports did not prove that Arafat was poisoned, but they do not void the possibility that Arafat was poisoned by an unknown kind poison."
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told WND Arafat did not die of AIDS. "There is absolutely no truth to these AIDS rumors and reports, which are baseless and part of the same campaign that tried to smear Arafat while he was alive," said Erekat. "I trust the French, and they didn't conclude anything about AIDS. I am not an investigator, so I can't say how he died, but I don't think it was from AIDS." Responding to rampant rumors Arafat was a homosexual, Erekat said, "That is utter nonsense and doesn't merit any reaction." Ala Sanakreh, West Bank chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a terror group founded by Arafat, denied in a WorldNetDaily and Talk Radio Network interview last week Arafat was a homosexual. "This is not true! If someone says this we will cut his head!" exclaimed Senakreh.
In a recent WorldNetDaily exclusive interview Hamas chief Mahmoud al-Zahar said he is suspicious the PA may have been involved in Arafat's death.
"I can tell you from the beginning that this committee will never publish its results," al-Zahar said, referring to the recent PA investigation. "It will not do so in order to keep from harm elements and members in the PA. Also, its members do not want Palestinian elements and other personalities and even other states to be involved in their investigation. "I, myself, as a doctor wonder what is the disease Arafat supposedly had that cannot be diagnosed and that the big France did not succeed in diagnosing. This is a crime and it is a political issue. And many persons, many elements and many states are not interested in clarifying this story in order to prevent problems. I also believe that Arafat died a long time before the official statement of his death was given. He died at least a week before it was announced."
Meanwhile, Farouk Kaddoumi, head of the PA's Fatah faction, has demanded the U.N. Security Council open an investigation into "the assassination of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat."
PA: Americans Gave OK to Poison Arafat – November 18, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - Arabs have intensified
charges that Israel poisoned Yasser Arafat, and a former aide to Arafat said
the U.S. condoned the killing. Arafat's wife Suha and terrorists in Gaza demand a probe. The Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported that Bassam Abu
Sharif, former advisor to Arafat, said on a Palestinian Authority (PA)
television program that he warned Arafat that Israeli officials were planning
to poison him with the knowledge of the American government. "The
Israelis planned to kill him by poison, because of Sharon's promise to the
Americans that [Arafat] will not be killed by bombing," Abu Sharif told
Arab viewers. He continued, "According to the confirmed
information I have, [Defense Minister Sha'ul] Mofaz spoke to [Prime Minister
Ariel] Sharon in the following manner: 'This is an opportunity to get rid of
Yasser Arafat...' Sharon was silent for a moment, and then looked [at Mofaz and
said], 'Only if it would be done in a way that the accusing finger won't be
pointed at Israel.' These are the exact words." Abu Sharif also stated
that France, where Arafat died after being hospitalized, knew about the alleged
poisoning but hid it in order to prevent "igniting" Arabs. However,
he added that "that every Palestinian will see it as his duty to avenge
[the death of] Yasser Arafat."
The Associated Press (AP) described the latest PA accusations describing the alleged poisoning as "a plot reminiscent of Shakespeare's Hamlet." Arafat confidante Ahmed Abdel Rahman charged, "It was easy to poison him in the ear, because he was under siege and he used to receive a lot of people and he used to hug them to kiss them and my assumption is that the perpetrator carried a small balloon of gas and he could blow it in Arafat's ear." Israel has denounced the PA charges as slander. "That is nonsense. That claim is totally baseless," said Israeli government spokesman David Baker. Last February's Sharm el-Sheikh accords signed by the PA included provisions of an end to incitement in PA-run media.
Arafat's wife Suha, who previously objected to an autopsy of her husband's body, has called for an international investigation into Arafat's death, according to United Press International (UPI), which quoted the official Libyan News Agency that she supported a similar call by Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi. In Gaza, hundreds of terrorists armed with rifles and missiles marched and shot in the air on Thursday in a call for investigation into the death of Arafat along with a demand for jobs. They defied a recent PA order against displaying weapons in public parades. Arabs have raised the issue of poisoning ever since Yasser Arafat died on November 11 last year. Doctors never declared the cause of death but medical reports showed that he had a blood disease, possible caused by AIDS. His personal physician, Dr. Ashraf Al Kurdi, has called for an autopsy but has made contradictory statements in interviews. He was quoted by Global Research website as stating, "We took blood samples and there were no poisons, or HIV infection." He later speculated in an interview quoted on the Arab Aljazeera web site that a virus was injected into Arafat's body to hide poisoning. Al Kurdi was denied access to Arafat the last several days of his life. By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
PA Intensifies Search for Arafat’s Billions – November 15, 2005
Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) - A year after Arafat’s death, the PA has
intensified its search for hundreds of millions of dollars that disappeared in
his wake. Now the PA is asking Israel’s help to find the lost loot. The
PA’s appointee for financial matters, Salam Fayid, has asked Israeli
intelligence to help search for Arafat’s secret investments, estimated at
upwards of one billion dollars. The PA wants the money to help set up a
state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Most of the efforts to find the money are focusing on locating a web of complex investments spread around the world by Arafat’s financial advisor and personal confidante, Mohammed Rashid. Rashid has so far been unwilling to volunteer detailed information regarding those investments. A number of investments were purportedly made in various tourist sites in Africa, with others in communications and other international high-tech companies. Rashid, considered an expert at moving and hiding money, so far has not left any significant leads.
Arafat’s wife, Suha, who currently lives in Tunisia, is also apparently a party to the money’s disappearance. Suha’s expense account in Paris has led investigators to open a file into suspicions of her involvement in laundering money in Swiss bank accounts, according to Israeli newspaper Yediot Acharonot. Five years ago, at the onset of the Oslo War, Suha and her daughter moved to Paris, where she received a stipend from Arafat that ballooned to a quarter-million euros per month. Suha began investing in international companies through the help of financial advisors like Rashid, who made it difficult to follow the money. Suha did not attend Arafat’s funeral last year, out of fear the PA was after her money. An intelligence source has said that it is possible that the location of Arafat’s millions may never be known. By Scott Shiloh
Closing the Border to Terrorists – November 29, 2005
Lekarev - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is expected to instruct the IDF to take practical measures to prevent the infiltration of suicide bombers to Israel from Gaza, via Egypt, this following repeated intelligence warnings regarding Palestinian terror groups’ plans to take advantage of the recent opening of the Rafah crossing and the breached Egyptian border to transfer terror cells from Gaza to Rafah, and from there to population centers in the Negev region.
During last Sunday’s cabinet security briefing, security establishment officials spoke of information pointing to possible attempts by Gaza suicide bombers to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing and then infiltrate the Negev region via the breached border. During today’s meeting, the prime minister is expected to instruct the security establishment to take preventive measures to seal off the breached border with Egypt. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, along with several other key security officials, are set to also be briefed on Egypt’s activity aimed at closing off the border.
Go to: Fall 2005 – “The Land and the Nation of Israel”, Part One
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