Friday, February 27, 2009

Holidays and more

As a general principle, Jewish holidays are divided between days on which you must starve and days on which you must overeat.

Many Jews observe no fewer than 16 fasts throughout the Jewish year, based on the time-honored principle that even if you are sure that you are ritually purified, you definitely aren't.

Though there are many feasts and fasts, there are no holidays requiring light snacking.

Note: Unlike Christians, who simply attend church on special days (e.g. Ash Wednesday), on Jewish holidays most Jews take the whole day off. This is because Jews, for historical and personal reasons, are more stressed out.

The Diet Guide to the Jewish Holidays:

Rosh Hashanah ------- Feast
Tzom Gedalia ----------- Fast
Yom Kippur -------------- More fasting
Sukkot -------------------- Feast for a week +
Hashanah Rabbah ---- More feasting
Simchat Torah --------- Keep right on feasting
Month of Heshvan ----- No feasts or fasts for a whole month. Get a grip onyourself.
Hanukkah ---------------- Eat potato pancakes
Tenth of Tevet --------- Do not eat potato pancakes
Tu B'Shevat ------------ Feast
Fast of Esther --------- Fast
Purim --------------------- Eat pastry
Passover ---------------- Do not eat pastry for a week
Shavuot ------------------ Dairy feast (cheesecake, blintzes, etc.)

17th of Tammuz -------- Fast (definitely no cheesecake or blintzes)
Tish B'Av ----------------- Serious fast (don't even think about cheesecake or blintzes)
Month of Elul ------------ End of cycle. Enroll in Center for Eating Disorders before High Holidays arrive again.

There are many forms of Judaism:

Cardiac Judaism ---------- in my heart I am a Jew.
Gastronomic Judaism --- we eat Jewish foods.
Pocketbook Judaism ----- I give to Jewish causes.
Drop-off Judaism --------- drop the kids off at Sunday School; go out to breakfast.
Twice a Year Judaism -- attend service Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

You know you grew up Jewish when:

You did not respond to the teacher calling roll on the first day of school because you thought your name was "Princess".

You've had at least one female relative who drew eyebrows on her face that were always asymmetrical.

You spent your entire childhood thinking that everyone calls roast beef "brisket."

Your family dog responds to complaints uttered in Yiddish.

Every Sunday afternoon of your childhood was spent visiting your grandparents.

You've experienced the phenomena of 50 people fitting into a 10-foot-wide dining room hitting each other with plastic plates & forks trying to get to a deli tray.

You thought pasta was the stuff used exclusively for kugel and kasha with bowties.

You watched Lawrence Welk and Ed Sullivan every Sunday night.

You were as tall as your grandmother by age seven.

You never knew anyone whose last name didn't end in one of 6 standard suffixes (-man,-witz, -berg, -stein, -blatt or -baum).

You grew up and were surprised to find out that wine doesn't always taste like year-old cranberry sauce.

You can look at gefilte fish without turning green.

You grew up thinking there was a fish called lox.

You can understand some Yiddish but you can't speak it.

You know how to pronounce numerous Yiddish words and use them correctly in context, yet you don't exactly know what they mean.

Is that Kenahurra or is that kaninehurra?.

You have at least one ancestor who is related to your spouse's ancestor.

You grew up thinking it was normal for someone to shout "Are you okay? Are you okay?" through the bathroom door if you were in there for longer than 3 minutes.

You have at least six male relatives named Michael or David.

Your grandparent's furniture smelled like mothballs, was covered in plastic and was as comfortable as sitting on sandpaper.

Monday, February 23, 2009

daily alert

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February 23, 2009
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In-Depth Issues:

Al-Qaeda Tells Hamas: Don't Accept Truce (Reuters)
Al-Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri urged Palestinians in Gaza not to succumb to Arab pressure for a truce with Israel. "Jihad to liberate Palestine and all Islamic land should not stop," he said.
In a recording posted on the Internet on Monday the militant leader said: "I reaffirm to our brothers the fighters in Gaza and everywhere that the mujahideen against crusaders in various battle zones are willing to give their brothers in Gaza and everywhere training and preparation."

French Teenagers Victims of Cairo Bomb (Times-UK)
A 17-year-old French girl died and 17 other French teenagers were injured when a bomb exploded in a crowded Cairo market on Sunday.
22 people were injured in the blast including the French children, a German tourist, three Saudis and three Egyptians.
Extreme Islamist groups have in the past deliberately targeted the lucrative trade in tourists.

Kerry Given Letter for Obama from Hamas - Eli Lake and Betsy Pisik (Washington Times)
A senior UN official in Gaza gave Sen. John Kerry a letter addressed to President Obama from Ahmed Youssef, an adviser to Hamas, without informing Kerry of the letter's origin, Frederick Jones, a spokesman for the senator, said Friday.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters that the letter was not endorsed by Hamas or the Gaza government.
See also U.S. Officials Outraged at UN Over Hamas Letter to Obama (Fox News)
U.S. officials are furious with the UN for its role in Hamas' attempt to enlist U.S. Sen John Kerry to transfer a letter to President Obama, an official source said.
The incident also has raised security concerns over how much Hamas knew about Kerry's travel plans.

Dubai Fined $300,000 for Israeli Tennis Star Visa Dispute (Times-UK)
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour on Friday levied an unprecedented series of fines and penalties on Dubai tennis authorities for its denial of a visa to Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer.
The tour's board decided that Peer will receive $44,245, an average of the prize-money she received at events last year; the tournament was fined $300,000 for a breach of tour rules, and the event will have to post a $2 million financial performance guarantee to stage the event in 2010.
Larry Scott, the tour's chief executive officer, said: "These actions send a clear message that we will not tolerate discrimination and we will not allow this situation to happen again."
See also Player Withdrawals Hit Men's Dubai Tennis Event (AP)
The Dubai Tennis Championships will start next week without five of the top seven men's players scheduled to compete at the ATP Tour event.
Defending champion Andy Roddick of the U.S. said Friday he won't attend because he doesn't agree with the United Arab Emirates' decision to deny Israeli Shahar Peer a visa.

Key Links
Media Contacts
Back Issues
Fair Use News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

* Netanyahu to Form New Israeli Government - Isabel Kershner
Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the Likud Party, was invited by Israel's president, Shimon Peres, on Friday to assemble the next government. Netanyahu immediately called on the Kadima Party, led by Tzipi Livni, and the Labor Party, led by Ehud Barak, to join him in a unity government. Netanyahu will have up to six weeks to put together a governing coalition. He was tapped for the premiership after he gained the endorsement of 65 members of the 120-seat Knesset. (New York Times)
See also Netanyahu Vows to Work with Obama for Peace - Aron Heller
Israeli prime minister designate Benjamin Netanyahu promised Sunday to work with the U.S. to promote peace in the region. "I intend and expect to cooperate with the Obama administration and to try to advance the common goals of peace, security and prosperity for us and our neighbors," Netanyahu told reporters ahead of a meeting with visiting Sen. Joseph Lieberman. (AP)
See also U.S.: We Will Work with the Next Government of Our Ally Israel
Acting deputy State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said Friday, "The United States is a longstanding and firm ally of Israel. We will work with the next Israeli government, however it is composed."
He added: "The position on Hamas for the State Department, for the United States, is very clear. Should they accept the existence of the State of Israel, should they stop trying to violently overthrow the State of Israel, should they wish to reengage in the peace process and stop trying to rearm by smuggling rockets and other arms into Gaza, then there could be a place for them in future discussions. But until that happens, I don't see our position changing." (State Department)
See also below Observations - Netanyahu: Unite All the Forces Within Our People to Face the Challenges (IMRA)
* Rockets Fired from Lebanon Wound Three in Israeli Arab Village - Robert Berger
Three rockets were fired toward Israel from Lebanon on Saturday. One slammed into an Israeli Arab village in the Galilee in northern Israel, wounding three people. A local resident told Israel's Army Radio there was a lot of broken glass and damage in several houses. Israeli artillery returned fire. Israeli officials said such attacks could not take place without the knowledge of Hizbullah which controls South Lebanon, while Hizbullah, which is backed by Iran and Syria, said it was not involved. (VOA News)
* Britain and Italy Threaten to Drop Out of Durban II - Leon Symons
Britain and Italy could join Canada and Israel in refusing to attend the Durban II Review Conference in April unless they receive cast-iron guarantees that it will not turn into an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel arena of hate. Britain's Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown said on Tuesday: "I was at the first conference. I have never seen such a disgraceful event in quite a long international life....We are not going to stand idly by and allow this racist stuff to get through and be seen as acceptable. We are not going to have it." On Monday, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said: "We will not send an Italian delegation [if it is the same as Durban 2001], but we will try to harmonize our position with other countries who are the friends of Jews." (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
* Amnesty Seeks Embargo Against Israel, Palestinians
Amnesty International is calling on the UN to impose an arms embargo on Israel and the Palestinians, saying both sides used weapons supplied from abroad to carry out attacks on civilians during their three-week conflict in Gaza. The group issued a report Sunday that detailed "evidence of war crimes and other serious violations of international law by all parties." Malcolm Smart, Amnesty's Middle East director, called on the U.S. to immediately suspend military aid to Israel. (CNN)
See also Israel Responds to Amnesty Report
Amnesty International's report presents a biased version of the events, and does not adhere to professional criteria and objectivity. The international community has accepted the fact that Hamas was solely responsible for the military confrontation, but the Amnesty report is dedicated almost exclusively to the censure of Israel. There is no mention in the report of Hamas' deliberate use of civilians as human shields: Hamas' bases, ammunition depots and battlegrounds were all purposely located in the midst of Palestinian population centers. The IDF never intentionally targeted civilians. The witnesses providing the descriptions appearing in the report are interested parties and under Hamas pressure.
The comparison of the supply of weapons to Israel and Hamas is inappropriate. Can a comparison be made between the weapons used by al-Qaeda and those used by NATO forces? Amnesty chose not to mention that Hamas is supported by foreign extremists in its struggle against the legal and recognized government of the Palestinian Authority. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

* Durban II Draft Document "Getting Worse" - Tovah Lazaroff and Abe Selig
The draft document for the UN anti-racism conference, dubbed Durban II, is problematic both for Israel and Western democracies in general, Israeli Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Roni Leshno Yaar said Sunday. The initial draft of the Durban II text, posted on the UN Web site, speaks of "laws based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination of the occupied territories" and a "contemporary form of apartheid." In the last week, the Palestinians tried to introduce language into the document regarding the 2004 advisory ruling by the International Court of Justice at The Hague against the security barrier, said Leshno Yaar. The Americans were present but did not appear to have made improvement in the document, which he said "is getting worse every day." (Jerusalem Post)
* Palestinians Continue Rocket and Mortar Fire at Israel from Gaza - Yanir Yagna
Palestinians in Gaza fired a Kassam rocket and two mortar rounds at Israel on Sunday. On Saturday a rocket struck Ashkelon, after Gaza militants fired 10 mortar shells and a Kassam rocket on Friday.
Egypt on Sunday opened its Rafah border crossing with Gaza to let students, third-country residents and medical patients cross into Egypt. Also Sunday, Gaza medics said five Palestinians were found dead in a smuggling tunnel under the border with Egypt. (Ha'aretz)
* Hamas Sentences Accused Collaborator with Israel to Death by Firing Squad
A military court in Hamas-ruled Gaza on Sunday sentenced a man to death by firing squad for allegedly collaborating with Israel. Rights groups say that Hamas executed 17 men who escaped jail during Israel's military operation in Gaza last month, after being convicted as collaborators. Amnesty International reported on Feb. 10: "Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip have carried out a deadly campaign of abductions, killings, torture and death threats against those they accuse of 'collaborating' with Israel, as well as opponents and critics." (Ha'aretz)

Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

* Yes, We Should Worry about Iran's Satellite - Uzi Rubin
Iran successfully orbited its Omid satellite earlier this month. As a first satellite for a novice space-faring nation, it compares well with the Sputnik and America's tiny Explorer 1. When the first Iranian spy satellite starts transmitting high resolution photographs of U.S. installations in the Middle East and elsewhere to Tehran, the true significance of the Omid will become evident.
The Safir space launch vehicle calls for even closer scrutiny. The strong synergy between ballistic missiles and space launchers was seen when the Soviet Union's first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the R7, was used to orbit Sputnik 1. Half a century later, the Soviet R7 rocket is still going strong as the first stage of the very reliable Soyuz launcher. The real sophistication of the Safir lies in its second stage. Its propulsion is based on storable liquid propellants that can be kept almost indefinitely, making it launch-ready at any moment - a significant advantage for military missiles. The Safir demonstrates scientific and engineering proficiency coupled with global-range missile technology in the hands of a radical regime and a nuclear wannabe.
Iran's first space launch symbolizes the fact that Iran is now poised to project power globally. The writer was head of Israel's Missile Defense Organization from 1991 to 1999. (Wall Street Journal)
* UNseen Abuses: The UN Human Rights Council - Editorial
What do these have in common: genocide in Darfur; child soldiers in Chad and Congo; compulsory sterilization of women in China; suppression of dissent in Cuba, Iran, Syria and Russia; rape as a political weapon in Zimbabwe; sex trafficking in Asia; denial of human rights to minorities and women in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries? Answer: None of those gross abuses has drawn the notice of the UN Human Rights Council. No, the council has had other matters to attend to, the vast majority of which focused on Israel. Pretty much whenever an Israeli soldier has responded to terrorism, the group has cranked out a formal condemnation. Twenty in less than three years. (New York Daily News)


Netanyahu: Unite All the Forces Within Our People to Face the Challenges (IMRA)

After being assigned by Israeli President Shimon Peres to form the next government, Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday:

* At this fateful hour, the State of Israel faces enormous challenges. Iran is developing nuclear weapons and poses the greatest threat to our existence since our War of Independence. Iran's terror proxies confront us in the North and South, and the worst global economic crisis in the last 80 years threatens the jobs and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Israelis.
* These great challenges obligate us to work together and to unite all the forces within our people. I call on the members of all the parties to put politics aside and to place the good of the country first. I turn first of all to the chairwoman of Kadima, Tzipi Livni, and the chairman of the Labor Party, Ehud Barak, and say, let's join hands and work together in a national unity government to secure the future of the State of Israel.
* The great tragedies in the history of our people happened when we did not unite in the face of great challenges. But the opposite is true as well. The great victories occurred when we put our differences aside and stood together as one during moments of truth. Today, we face such a moment of truth.

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civilian casualties

Subject: The British Interviewer and Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu, in an interview with British Television this week.
I guess it can be attributed to Minister Netanyahu's days studying
history at Harvard.

The interviewer asked him: "How come so many more Palestinians have
been killed in this conflict than Israelis?" (A nasty question if
there ever was one!)

Netanyahu: "Are you sure that you want to start asking in that direction?"

Interviewer: Why not?

Netanyahu: "Because in World War II more Germans were killed than
British and Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone's mind
that the war was caused by Germany's aggression.

And in response to the German blitz on London, the British wiped out
the entire city of Dresden, burning to death more Ge rman civilians
than the number of people killed in Hiro shima.

Moreover, I could remind you that in 1944, when the R.A.F. tried to
bomb the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen, some of the bombs missed
their target and fell on a Danish children's hospital, killing 83
little children . Perhaps you have another question?"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Friends of Israel


1. The Chairman and CEO of STARBUCKS, Howard Schultz, is an active =

In 1998 he was honored by the JerusalemFund of Aish HaTorah with 'The =
Israel50th Anniversary Friend of ZionTribute Award' for his services to =
the Zionist s tate in 'playing a key role in promoting=20
close alliance between the United Statesand Israel '.=20
At a time when other businesses were desperately pulling out of=20
Israel, Starbucks decided to help Israel 's floundering economy and=20
invest in Israel .=20
It has been revealed that Starbucks still continues to support=20
Israelby sponsoring fund raisers for Israel .

2. THE LIMITED STORES, Express, Lerner New York, VICTORIAS
The Limited, Inc. was founded by Leslie H. Wexner in 1963 in
Columbus, Ohio.
2,800 stores. Includes: THE LIMITED STORES, Express, Lerner New
York , VICTORIAS SECRET and BATH & BODY WORKS, and employs over
115,000 people.
Its founder, president and CEO Les Wexner is a Zionist. He is on
the board of directors of Emet, the Pro-Israel Media 'War Room' whose
function is to ensure that all media in the US stays biased in
favor of Israel.
In 1984, Les Wexner who is one of the world's 200 wealthiest people
created the Wexner Foundation. Its missio n state ment is
'strengthening Jewish Leadership in North America and Israel .
One of the programs the Foundation runs is the Wexner Israel
Fellowship Program which annually brings up to ten Israeli
have participated thus far.
The Wexner Foundation sponsors 'Birthright Israel ' - a program that
pays for young American Jews to take free indoctrination trips to
It is also a long-standing supporter of Hillel - the bastion of
Zionism on campus.

3. THE HOME DEPOT: Its founder and co-chairman of the Board is an
active Zionist. He created the board of directors of Emet, the
Pro-Israel Media 'War Room' whose function is to ensure that all
media in the USstays biased in favor of Israel .

4. DISNEY: Walt Disneys Millennium exhibition at the Epcot
Centre in Floridadepicts Jerusalemas the capital of Israel. Of the 8
million dollars it cost to set up the exhibition, Israel
contributed 1.8 million and worked with Disney to develop its content.


The buy up of Israeli company Mirabilis, creators of ICQ (internet
chat program), for $287m in 1998 forms part of AOLs investment

In 1998, Mr. Ted Leonsis, CEO of AOL studios (a business unit of
AOL) received the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister
Netanyahu. This is the highest tribute ever awarded by the 'State
of Israel ' in recognition of those individuals and organizations that through their investments and trade relationships have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.

6. COCA COLA: From 1966 onward Coca-Cola has been a staunch
supporter of Israel.
In 1997 the Government of Israel Economic Mission honored Coca-Cola at the Israel Trade Award Dinner for its continued support of
Israel for the last 30 years and for refusing to abide by the Arab League
boycott of Israel In contrast Pepsi abided by the Arab League boycott of Israel
which ended in May 1991, after 1992 Pepsi is also trading in
In 2001 the Coca-Cola World Headquarters hosted and was the main
sponsor of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala
It has been revealed that Coca-Cola Israel sponsors training
programs for its workers on subjects including the Israeli-Arab conflict
Jewish Agency and the Israeli government.
In July 2002, it has been announced that Coca-Cola is to build a
new plant at Kiryat Gat.

7. ESTEE LAUDER: Estee Lauder's chairman, Ronald Lauder, also one time chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is the current president of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) - Ronald Lauder is an ardent Zionist.

8. SARAH LEE. (Includes Hanes, Playtex, Leggs, Champion). This is
also not to be con fus ed with the frozen snacks company. This is in
regard to the clothing giant.=20
Sara Lee owns 30% of Israel 's leading textile company Delta Galil.
Sara Lee is the world's largest clothing manufacturer, this opens
the worlds markets to Israel, with cloths originating in Israel and
being sold around the world under one of the many famous Sara Lee brands.

In 1998, Mr. Lucien Nessim of Sara Lee Personal Products received
the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is
the highest tribute ever awarded by the 'State of Israel ' in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through
their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to
strengthen the Israeli economy.

The News Corporation Limite is one of the world's largest media
companies with total assets as of September 30, 2005 of
approximately; US $58 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$18 billion. News Corporation's diversified global operations include the production and distribution of motion pictures and television programming; television, satellite and cable broadcasting; the
publication of newspapers, magazines and books; the production and distribution of promotional and advertising products and services; the development of digital broadcasting.
News Corporation is the world's leading publisher of
English-language newspapers with operations worldwide. The Company publishes more than 175 different newspapers, printing more than 40 million papers a week.

Murdoch's New Corp. invests heavily in Israel.
Murdoch News Corporation was one of three US companies that was lauded for their support of Israel at the America-Israel Friendship League Partners for Democracy Awards dinner (25th June 2001).& nbsp;Murdoch himself co-chaired the dinner.=20
News Corp.'s digital technology company based in Jerusalem , called NDS, has grown from 20 to 600 employees in the past decade.

10. NESTLE: The swiss company owns 50.1% of Israeli food maker Osem
Investments. In dec 2000, it announced it will invest millions of
dollars to operate the new R&D centre in israel .
In 1998, Mr. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe on behalf of Nestle, received
the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is
the highest tribute ever awarded by the 'State of Israel ' in
recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through
their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to
strengthen the Israeli economy.

11. OVERSEAS ADVENTURE TRAVEL: Company is ba sed in M assachusettes,
is known for their many world tours and relatively cheap group
travel. The company donates money to over 50 countries in which it
operates in to help fund schools, food aid, etc. and averages=20
between $5,000 and $25,000 per country. However, Israel received a flat $1,000,000 from Overseas Adventure Travel, as it's president is a

12. IBM: IBM invests heavily in Israel . IBM senior vice-president
and general counsel, Lawrence Ricciardi, who noted that his company
employs 1,700 people in Israel, said in an interview with the
Jerusalem Post, 'This wedge of land and the huge ideals it
re presents are very important to IBM.'
IBM was one of three UScompanies that was lauded at the
America-Israel Friendship League Partners for Democracy Awards
dinner (25th June 2001 ) hosted by Sharon.
In May 2002 the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce awarded IBM the
Ambassador's Award' in recognition of its outstanding contribution
to the development of the Israeli high-tech industry and to advancing
trade between the U.S.and Israel. IBM established operations in
1949 and was the first large American company with a wholly owned
subsidiary in Israel, introducing computers to the country.

13. KIMBERLY-CLARK: (Huggies, Kotex, Kleenex) In 1998, Mr. Robert
P. Van der Merwe, chairman of Kimberly-Clark Europe received the
Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is the highest tribute ever awarded by the 'State of Israel ' in recognition of
trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli
Kimberly Clark Corp owns 49.9% interest in Israeli company Hogla
(6/96) through America-Israel PaperMills $49.9m.

14. RIVER ISLAND clothing chain, ISROTEL and IBROTEL HOTELS in
Spain and Portugal, BRITANNIA PACIFIC PROPERTIES. (This one probably
0Arelates least to any of us) - a diversified internationa
investment company, with headquarters in London, England. They said to be one of the largest real estate o wners i n the Sacramento Metropolitan area.

It appears that the British based Lewis Trust Group is a prominent supporter of Israel.
Mr Lewis's activities have included the raising of money for the
Jewish National Fund. He is also a member of the Israel-Britain
Business Council. This organization is dedicated to the development
of the ZionistS tate, by channeling British capital to the
occupied territories for the benefit of the Zionists and the
exploitation of the Palestinians.

15. NOKIA: Nokia have started to invest heavily in Israel.
Nokia general manager Lars Wolf said in an interview with The
JerusalemPost (4 March 2001): 'We are really focusing on Israel
from all perspectives, because we have an internal project called
'Project Israel ' which means we a re looking at Israel from a networks
perspective, from the perspective of Nokia Ventures Organization,
and also from the perspective of Nokia Research Center.'
Nokia Venture Partners, a branch of Nokia Ventures Organization,
launched a new20$500 million fund in December 2000 and allowed that
a 'disproportionate' amount of it would go into Israeli companies.
Nokia Research Centeris on the lookout for Israeli start-ups with
which it can cooperate.

16. TIMBERLAND: (clothing, shoes, boots, jackets, etc.)
Timberlands is a $1.1 billion footwear, apparel & accessories
company. Its President and CEO Jeffrey Swartz is an active zionist.

In a recent 'solidarity visit' to Israel, where he made it clear he
was speaking as the CEO of Timberland, he suggested sending 100 IDF
soldiers to the USfor a week as ambassadors for Israel.

Although Timberland is a publicly traded company, his family holds
approximately 47% of the stock and has approximately 81% of the
voting power.

17. DESERT EAGLE: Desert Eagles are the only firearms that Israel does not buy from the US or other countries. However, many of the
parts of these firearms are imported from other countries and they
are merely assembled in Israel . Regardless, Israel prides them as
their own and it is strictly an Israeli company.

18. CATERPILLAR: Caterpillar is a company based in Illinois that
manufactures large construction equipment such as bulldozers,
tractors, various demolition equipment and has a line of 'tough
guy' clothing apparel. Caterpillar happily supplies Israel with all of
its current fleet of D9 and D10 bulldozers, some of the largest
armored bulldozers in the world. officials to Harvard for a year long
MPA program.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Daily alert

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Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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Subscribe RSS-XML
February 20, 2009

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In-Depth Issues:

IAEA Finds Graphite, Uranium Traces at Suspected Syrian Nuclear Site - Mark Heinrich (Reuters)
UN inspectors found graphite and more uranium traces in test samples taken from a Syrian site Washington says was a covert graphite nuclear reactor almost built before Israel bombed it, officials in Vienna said on Thursday.
One senior UN official said the discovery of additional uranium traces was "significant."
The IAEA's November report said the site bore features that would resemble those of an undeclared nuclear reactor.
The U.S. says the site was a reactor that was close to being built with North Korean assistance and designed to produce plutonium for atomic bombs.
See also U.S. Urges IAEA to Take Up Syria Nuclear Concerns (AFP)
State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid called on the International Atomic Energy Agency Thursday to discuss mounting evidence of a clandestine nuclear program in Syria at a meeting next month in Vienna.


Who Will Be the Next Head of the UN's Nuclear Watchdog? - George Jahn (AP)
As Mohamed ElBaradei's 12-year tenure as director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency comes to an end, member states will in the coming weeks elect a new leader of the UN agency charged with probing Iran's nuclear program, pressing Syria to reveal its atomic secrets, and thwarting terrorists from getting the bomb.
Two men are vying for the post: Japan's Yukiya Amano, a low-key career diplomat who would be expected to depoliticize the agency, and South Africa's Abdul Samad Minty, a former anti-apartheid activist who promises a more hands-on approach to mediating nuclear crises.


Argentina Orders Holocaust-Denying Bishop Out - Debora Rey (AP/New York Times)
The bishop whose denials of the Holocaust embarrassed the Vatican was ordered Thursday to leave Argentina within 10 days.
The Argentine Interior Ministry said it had ordered Richard Williamson out of Argentina because his comments on the Holocaust "profoundly insult Argentine society, the Jewish community and all of humanity by denying an historic truth."


Israeli Tennis Player Given Visa for Dubai - Firouz Sedarat (Reuters)
The United Arab Emirates will allow Israel's Andy Ram to play in the men's Dubai Championships next week, the state news agency WAM said on Thursday.
Top Israeli player Shahar Peer had to forfeit her place in the women's tournament in Dubai this week after the UAE blocked her visa application.


South Korea to Buy Israeli Radar System in $215 Million Deal - Yossi Melman (Ha'aretz)
South Korea has decided to buy Israel Aerospace Industries' Green Pine radar warning system in a deal worth $215 million, according to Sunday's Korea Times.
On Monday, Israel's Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd., said it had won 22 million euros in contracts to supply Mexico's federal police with airborne surveillance systems.
See also Mexico Adds More Israeli Surveillance Platforms (Defense Industry Daily)


Israel OKs Golan Apple Export to Syria (AFP)
Truckloads of apples were sent from Israel's Golan Heights to Syria on Tuesday after Israel authorized the export of 8,000 tons of produce.
This is the fourth year the International Committee of the Red Cross has organized this operation.


Useful Reference:

Israel's Alamo - Lenny Ben-David (I*Consult)
Parts of the Etzion Bloc, on the road from Jerusalem to Hebron, were purchased by Jews 20 years before the State of Israel was declared in 1948.
When Arab militias attacked Jewish communities throughout the region in 1947 and 1948, the Haganah dispatched soldiers to hold the Etzion Bloc, a key position on the southern approaches to Jerusalem.
Five months of siege and attacks against the Jews of the Etzion Bloc ended with the massacre of 250 Jewish defenders on May 13, 1948.
After Israel captured the West Bank in June 1967, the children of the Etzion Bloc's defenders returned.
Today, the Etzion Bloc is one of the "major population centers" in the West Bank cited by then-President George Bush in a letter to Ariel Sharon in 2004 that would remain under Israeli control after a peace agreement.


For Researchers: Search the Daily Alert Archive
All back issues of Daily Alert since May 2002 are available online and are searchable.
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Iran Has Enough Enriched Uranium for a Nuclear Bomb - Daniel Dombey
Iran has built up a stockpile of enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb, UN officials acknowledged Thursday, saying Iran had produced more nuclear material than previously thought. They said Iran had accumulated more than one ton of low enriched uranium hexafluoride at a facility in Natanz, which if further enriched could produce more than 20 kg. of fissile material - enough for a bomb.
"It appears that Iran has walked right up to the threshold," said Peter Zimmerman, a former chief scientist of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. The new figures come in a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog. David Albright, the head of the Institute for Science and International Security, said: "If Iran did decide to build nuclear weapons, it's entering an era in which it could do so quickly." (Financial Times-UK)
Hamas Refuses to Free Israeli Soldier in Return for Lifting Gaza Blockade - Ian Black
Hamas has flatly rejected Israel's demand that it free a captive soldier in return for lifting the blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian movement called instead for international pressure on Israel to force the borders open. Mousa Abu Marzook, the deputy leader of Hamas, told the Guardian in Damascus Thursday that Corporal Gilad Shalit would only be released in return for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. The soldier is believed to be alive but his whereabouts are unknown and he has not been seen by the International Red Cross. (Guardian-UK)
Sen. Kerry Shuns Hamas During Gaza Visit
The U.S. will not change its stance towards Hamas, John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former Democratic presidential candidate, said during a tour of Gaza Thursday. This visit "does not indicate any shift whatsoever with respect to Hamas....What it indicates is our effort to listen and to learn," Kerry said in the Israeli town of Sderot before entering Gaza. Kerry told the Gazans: "Your political leadership needs to understand that any nation that has rockets hitting it for many years threatening its residents is going to respond." Hamas "needs to make it clear how it is willing to move to make peace and those decisions have not been made yet." (Al-Jazeera-Qatar)
Mitchell Briefs Jewish Leaders on Mideast Plans
In an on-the-record conference call Thursday, Middle East special envoy George Mitchell briefed Jewish leaders on his work thus far. Mitchell said settlements were "an important issue, but not the only issue," and that while Palestinian and other Arab leaders bring up settlements in every conversation, he will not pre-judge the issue. The envoy also noted that divisions among the Palestinians made dialogue more difficult. Mitchell said he was struck while reading the "Mitchell Report" on the region he wrote eight years ago how much has changed in that time. For instance, he said, Iran was not mentioned in that document, but the country was brought up in the "first sentence" of his initial meetings with every leader in the region. (JTA)
Security Classification "Czar" Can Testify in AIPAC Staffers' Case
The Bush administration's former "classification czar" can testify for the defense in the case against two former AIPAC staffers. Federal Judge T.S. Ellis III in an order released Wednesday allowed the testimony of William Leonard, who headed the Information Security Oversight Office, in the classified information leak case. Leonard could be the most damaging witness to the prosecution when the two go on trial for allegedly relaying classified information to colleagues, journalists and Israeli diplomats. Leonard, who oversaw classification procedures from 2002 to 2008, and his predecessor, Steven Garfinkel, have argued in retirement that the government overclassifies. Their expertise could undermine arguments that the information allegedly handled by Rosen and Weissman met the standards of "national defense information," which Ellis has said the government must prove. (JTA)
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Palestinian Rocket Fire Continues - Anshel Pfeffer
Palestinians in Gaza fired three rockets at Israel Thursday evening that struck near Sderot and Netivot. Two rockets had been fired at Israel earlier in the day. In response, the Israel Air Force bombed six smuggling tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border, causing secondary blasts which indicated that explosives were hit. (Ha'aretz)
See also Palestinians Fire Ten Mortar Shells at IDF Troops on Gaza Border
Palestinian gunmen on Friday fired ten mortar shells at IDF troops operating near the Kissufim crossing to Gaza. (Jerusalem Post)
Declaration to Fight Anti-Semitism Signed in London - Jonny Paul
A declaration pledging to challenge anti-Semitism was signed on behalf of all participating nations on Tuesday, the final day of the London Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism. Noting the dramatic increase in anti-Semitism being disseminated in the media and attacks targeting Jewish persons and property, the London Declaration was signed by 125 parliamentarians from 40 countries. The parliamentarians issued a declaration stating that the international community must "not be witness or party to another gathering like Durban in 2001," in reference to the infamous UN "anti-racism" conference in which the focus on Israel, to the exclusion of all other issues, was widely perceived as anti-Semitic.
"There is a new sophisticated, globalizing, virulent and even lethal anti-Semitism, reminiscent of the atmospherics of the '30s and without parallel or precedent since the end of the Second World War," said former Canadian attorney-general and founding co-chair of the conference Irwin Cotler. (Jerusalem Post)
15 Palestinians Escape from PA Prison - Ali Waked
15 prisoners escaped last Friday from a PA prison in Jericho. Most belonged to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and were being held as part of an amnesty agreement between Israel and the PA which grants pardons to members of terror groups who sign contracts committing them to good behavior. PA officials said the prisoners had dug a tunnel dozens of meters long underneath their cells in order to escape. (Ynet News)
See also PA Arrests 6 Jailbreakers - Ali Waked
Palestinian security forces in Jericho arrested six of the 15 prisoners who escaped from a PA prison on Friday. The PA set up an investigatory committee on Saturday, based on the suspicion that the escaped prisoners had received help from security forces and prison jailers, with the tunnel merely serving as a cover story. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

Does an Anti-Semitic Conference Deserve U.S. Participation of Any Kind? - Editorial
The first "Durban" conference was named for the South African city where the UN held its 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and was chiefly notable as a virulent display of anti-Semitism. Yet last weekend, the Administration announced it would participate in "conference preparations," while reserving judgment on whether to attend the conference itself. Back in 2001, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell refused to appear at Durban for fear that it would turn into a carnival of hatred and grievance. That's exactly what happened, prompting Powell to withdraw the U.S. delegation. As he put it at the time, "I know that you do not combat racism by suggesting that apartheid exists in Israel."
The UN has been merrily planning the "Durban Review Conference" for April, whose purpose is to "reaffirm the Durban Declaration." The preparatory committee is chaired by Libya. Vice chairs include Iran and Cuba. The conference is organized under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council, which the previous U.S. Administration refused to join. In the latest draft of the so-called "Outcome Document," Israel's "racial policies" are a major theme. The draft also calls for "limitations on the exercise of the right to freedom of expression" in order to criminalize all criticism of Islam. There is also an effort to extract reparations for the long-banned trans-Atlantic slave trade: States that "have not yet condemned, apologized and paid reparations" for the trade are urged "to do so at the earliest." (Wall Street Journal)
See also U.S. Holds Firm on Reparations, Israel in UN Racism Conference Talks - Colum Lynch
The Obama administration on Thursday concluded its first round of UN negotiations on racism, pressing foreign governments to drop reparation demands for slavery and to desist from singling out Israel for criticism in a draft declaration to be presented at a UN conference in April. Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, dispatched Felice D. Gaer, a human rights advocate, and Betty King, a former U.S. diplomat, to Geneva to make the U.S. case in discussions on the draft declaration. The administration "is pushing back against efforts to brand Israel as racist in this conference," Gaer said, but cautioned that U.S. attendance at this week's final preparatory meeting does not mean the U.S. will participate in the conference. (Washington Post )
Chance for Change in Iran - Guy Bechor
Iran's presidential elections on June 12 will be a clash of two divergent inclinations within the leadership. Former President Mohammad Khatami represents the desire to reach out to the West, while incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has pushed Iran to adopt a radical policy and face international isolation. The popular Khatami already served as president for eight years, in 1997-2005, and could not return for a consecutive third term in office before taking a break in line with Iran's constitution.
Should Khatami regain the presidency, this will not mark the end of the Islamic revolution, but its substance will be softer. Khatami rejects out of hand Ahmadinejad's statements against the U.S., Israel, and the Jews. He claims that these declarations caused great damage to Iran on the diplomatic and economic fronts. It would also not necessarily mean an end to Iran's nuclear project (a decision to be made only by spiritual leader Khamenei). Under Khatami's leadership, Iran's support for Hizbullah and Hamas will be maintained, yet the sums of money involved (as Iran faces an economic crisis with the decline in the price of oil) will become smaller. (Ynet News)
New Iranian UAV Capability Is Troublesome - Editorial
Iran has developed a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles with a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced this week. The new UAV could soar over every U.S. military installation, diplomatic mission or country of interest in the Middle East. Drones are very attractive to smaller states because they are inexpensive, stealthy and pose fewer risks than conventional aircraft. In 2007 Iran claimed to have begun producing "suicide drones" invisible to radar and usable as guided missiles to attack U.S. ships. Should Iran arm its drones with missiles having chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear warheads, any of which are or soon will be within Iranian capabilities, the UAVs will be strategic, offensive weapon systems. (Washington Times)
Attack of the Libel Tourists - Editorial
The problem is known as libel tourism; the damage inflicted on the First Amendment and academic freedom is serious. Disgruntled subjects of articles or books produced and distributed almost exclusively in the U.S. file suit in foreign jurisdictions to get around the strong First Amendment protections afforded here to journalistic and academic works. Britain has become a favorite venue for unhappy subjects because plaintiffs win cases that would be thrown out by U.S. courts.
U.S. lawmakers are considering legal avenues to address the problem. One bill would empower U.S. judges to block enforcement of a foreign libel judgment if it does not comport with U.S. standards. It would also help immensely if Britain strengthened free-speech protections in its laws, as some British lawmakers are considering. (Washington Post)
See also Libel Tourism: International Forum Shopping for Defamation Claims - Avi Bell (Global Law Forum-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Turkey's Shift Toward Iran and Syria - Jonathan Spyer
Last weekend, a conference held under the title "Gaza, The Victory" took place in Istanbul, bringing 200 Sunni clerics and activists together with senior Damascus-based Hamas officials. The location of the conference is a further indication of the move of the Islamist AKP government in Turkey toward a more open alignment with anti-Western and anti-Israeli forces in the region.
The atmosphere in Turkey during the Israeli operation in Gaza became deeply charged against Israelis and Jews - with a number of ugly incidents recorded across the country. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed off the stage in protest during a debate with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres in Davos, Switzerland. Erdogan attended the emergency summit in Doha on Jan. 16 that was convened by Syria and Qatar to offer support to Hamas, and he publicly questioned Israel's UN membership.
In courting Hamas and hosting Islamist gatherings, the AKP government in Ankara is seeking to build Turkey's regional "strategic depth" - its preferred phrase - by building up relations with Syria and Iran. Since it is becoming increasingly unfeasible for countries to maintain close relations with both the U.S.-led and the Iranian-led camps, the prospect of Turkey moving toward the Iranian-led alliance can no longer be dismissed as fanciful. Turkish analysts have noted the rise of a "Muslim nationalist" orientation in the country. The writer is a senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya. (Jerusalem Post)
Arabic-Language Israeli Web Site Aims to Sway Opinions in the Arab World - Brenda Gazzar
An Arabic-language "hasbara" (information) Web site edited by former Israeli ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel, now a research fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, offers a sampling of news items and perspectives that many Arabs in the Middle East are rarely served. "It is true that in the last six or seven years there has been a kind of a revolution that has happened in the Arabic media," Mazel said. "You have newspapers published in London like al-Hayat, a-Sharq al-Awsat and others that really give much more information about the world than the traditional Arab press,'s far from being enough. I don't think that they cover 80 to 90% of what is being said about them (in the Western press)."
The Web site, which Mazel said has a limited budget and garners about 2,000 readers a month, also features historical pieces about the Jewish people's historic connection to the Land of Israel. Many of the letters sent by readers from around the Arab world had been positive toward Israel, Mazel said. Some readers have even asked for political asylum or job opportunities in Israel. "We fight through a war of ideas," Mazel said. "I cannot go to Yemen, to Saudi Arabia and sit with people and talk. So we have now this wonderful tool called the Internet and through the Internet, we transmit to them some of these ideas." The Web site, updated weekly, is located at (Jerusalem Post)
Israel Has No Choice - Joy Kocher
For Israel, a nation smaller than the state of New Jersey, the issue is the daily bombing of unarmed civilian neighborhoods, causing death and injury to residents, destroying homes, cars, school, workplaces, and streets. Israel doesn't do this. There has never been an Israeli suicide bomber and their citizens don't shoot bombs day after day into Gaza cities. What would this nation do if Cuba started bombing Florida, Mexico bombed Phoenix, or some militant group in Canada started bombing Helena, Montana? When "talking" to foreign leaders and signing all kinds of documents doesn't stop it, what's left? These attacks on Israel have been going on for over eight years. Being bombed by a foreign country used to be an act of war. If some of us had to be on the receiving end of this torment day after day, we might think differently about it. I'm sorry, but I'm taking Israel's part. (Helena [Montana] Independent Record)

Israel's Gaza Operation and International Law - Robbie Sabel (Strategic Assessment-Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)

International law and the UN Charter recognize the inherent right of states to use force in self-defense against an armed attack. The right applies even if the attack is by irregular forces.
Hamas has not denied that its attacks were targeted at Israeli towns; such attacks are a violation of the laws of war. The IDF correctly saw itself as being bound by the laws of war in its conduct, notwithstanding the total disregard of these rules by its opponents.
The IDF repeatedly warned civilians of impending attacks, using leaflets and mass telephone messages. It does not appear that any other military has ever taken such steps to minimize civilian casualties, nor is there any other similar conflict on record in a built-up area where the percentage of civilian casualties in relation to combatant casualties was lower.
Israel uses phosphorous shells in flares and smoke shells. Such shells are standard equipment in all NATO militaries as well as the Arab states' armed forces. They are of course dangerous to handle when burning but absolutely legal. The International Committee of the Red Cross has confirmed that there was no evidence that these shells were used in Gaza in any irregular way.
Once armed conflict develops, international law does not require proportionality of response. A state defending itself may indeed strive to cause disproportionate damage to its enemy's military targets and military capabilities. Let the attacking state or organization beware.
Dr. Robbie Sabel, a former legal adviser to the Israel Foreign Ministry, teaches international law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.

Support the Daily AlertDaily Alert is the work of a team of expert analysts who find the most important and timely articles from around the world on Israel, the Middle East and U.S. policy. No wonder it is read by heads of government, leading journalists, and thousands of people who want to stay on top of the news. To continue to provide this service, Daily Alert requires your support. Please take a moment to click here and make your contribution through the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lyndon Johnson and Israel

Lyndon Johnson's Historical Connection to Israel -
Truly a Righteous Gentile

The Associated Press published a few details today about LBJ's 'personal and often emotional connection to Israel.' Based on newly released tapes of the president's conversations, the news agency pointed out that during the Johnson presidency (1963-1969) 'the United States became Israel's chief diplomatic ally and primary arms supplier.' LBJ is quoted in one conversation, ''I sure as hell want to be careful and not run out on little Israel.'

The news report does little to reveal the full extent of Johnson's actions on behalf of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Indeed, the title of 'Righteous Gentile' is certainly appropriate in the case of the Texan. Most students of the Arab-Israeli conflict can identify Johnson as the president during the 1967 war. But few know about LBJ's actions to rescue hundreds of endangered Jews 30 years earlier, actions that could have thrown him out of Congress and into jail.

The Texas congressman's district had only 400 Jews, but clearly the Johnson family's Christian teachings had given him a strong affinity for Jews and their return to the Holy Land.

Five days after taking office in 1937, LBJ broke with the 'Dixiecrats' and supported an immigration bill that would naturalize illegal aliens, mostly Jews from Lithuania and Poland. In 1938, Johnson was told of a young Austrian Jewish musician who was about to be deported from the United States. With an element of subterfuge, LBJ sent him to the U.S. Consulate in Havana to obtain a residency permit. Erich Leinsdorf, the world famous musician and conductor, credited LBJ for saving his life.

Johnson Saved Hundreds of Jews

That same year, LBJ warned a Jewish friend that European Jews faced annihilation. Somehow, Johnson provided him with a pile of signed immigration papers that t were used to get 42 Jews out of Warsaw. But that wasn't enough. According to historian, James M. Smallwood, Congressman Johnson used legal and sometimes illegal methods to smuggle 'hundreds of Jews into Texas, using Galveston as the entry port. Enough money could buy false passports and fake visas in Cuba, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. . Johnson smuggled boatloads and planeloads of Jews into Texas. He hid them in the Texas National Youth Administration.. Johnson saved at least four or five hundred Jews, possibly more.' On June 4, 1945, Johnson visited the Dachau concentration camp. According to historian Smallwood, Lady Bird later recalled that 'when her husband returned home, he was still shaken, stunned, terrorized, and 'bursting with an overpowering revulsion and incredulous horror at what he had seen.''

As President, Johnson met with Israel's Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and undertook to replace the recalcitrant France as Israel's principal arms supplier, providing Patton tanks and Skyhawk jets and Phantom jets.

Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin once asked Johnson why the United States supported Israel when there are 80 million Arabs and only three million Israelis. 'Because it is right,' responded the straight-shooting Texan.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

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February 17, 2009

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Egypt Cracking Down on Gaza Smugglers? - Ashraf Khalil (Los Angeles Times)
Gaza smuggling-tunnel owners have begun to direct their fury at the Egyptian government as Egypt has begun to impose stronger checkpoints throughout the Sinai Peninsula to prevent merchandise from reaching the tunnel zone.
There's talk of police using informants to find hidden entrances and destroy dozens of tunnels with explosives or huge water hoses.
"They seem to be taking it seriously this time," says Musab Shurrab, a police officer stationed at the border wall.
Tunnel traffic resumed for about a week after Israel ended its offensive in Gaza on Jan. 18, with a new wave of goods appearing in Gaza's markets.
Then, the owners say, something changed as extra security forces began appearing on the Egyptian side of the wall.
Tunnel owners say they hope the current crackdown is just a temporary show by the Egyptians to satisfy international demands.


New Hamas TV Puppet Declares War on Zionists - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook (Palestinian Media Watch)
After having three Hamas children's television puppet hosts - the Mickey Mouse look-alike, the bee and the rabbit - all die on TV, Hamas has introduced a new one, a bear named Nassur.
The bear appeared Friday on Hamas TV promising to be a Jihad fighter, and declaring war on the Zionists.


Tennis Channel Won't Televise Dubai Event in Protest - Richard Sandomir (New York Times)
The Tennis Channel will not televise the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships this week to protest the United Arab Emirates' refusal to grant an entry visa to the Israeli player Shahar Peer.
See also Bye-Bye, Dubai - Harvey Araton (New York Times)
Tennis should finish its business in the gulf this month and say, "Bye-bye, Dubai."


Jewish Students Held Hostage in Toronto Hillel - Tori Cheifetz (Jerusalem Post)
Jewish students at York University in Toronto were forced to take refuge in the Hillel office last Wednesday as anti-Israel protesters banged on the glass doors, chanting, "Die, Jew, get the hell off campus."
See also Manchester U. Students Vote to Condemn Israel - Jonathan Kalmus (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
In an emergency general meeting of the Manchester University's Student Union on Wednesday, 550 students voted for a motion to boycott Israeli goods and condemn Israel's Gaza operation, defeating 200 voting against.
See also Oxford Students Defeat Anti-Israel Campaign - Marcus Dysch (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
A motion calling for the university to condemn Israel's action in Gaza was rejected by the Oxford University Student Union on Friday by 40 votes to 21.
Jewish academics at the university had earlier expressed concern over last month's library sit-in by anti-Israel protestors.

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Report: Israel Launches Covert War Against Iran's Nuclear Program - Philip Sherwell
Israel has launched a covert war to disrupt Iran's illicit nuclear program, U.S. intelligence sources have revealed. A former CIA officer on Iran told the Daily Telegraph: "Disruption is designed to slow progress on the program, done in such a way that they don't realize what's happening....The goal is delay, delay, delay until you can come up with some other solution or approach. We certainly don't want the current Iranian government to have those weapons. It's a good policy, short of taking them out militarily, which probably carries unacceptable risks."
Reva Bhalla, a senior analyst with Stratfor, a private intelligence company with strong U.S. government security connections, said, "With cooperation from the United States, Israeli covert operations have focused both on eliminating key human assets involved in the nuclear program and in sabotaging the Iranian nuclear supply chain." (Telegraph-UK)
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Weakens Grip of Islamic Hard-Liners - Jeffrey Fleishman
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia weakened the hold of Islamic hard-liners Saturday by appointing the first woman to a ministerial post and dismissing a leading fundamentalist cleric and the head of the nation's powerful religious police. The king dismissed Sheik Ibrahim Ghaith as head of the Commission of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which oversees the religious police. The monarch also removed Sheik Saleh Lihedan as chief of the country's highest religious tribunal. In September, Lihedan issued a fatwa saying it was permissible to kill TV executives for broadcasting "evil" and immoral programs. (Los Angeles Times)
See also Saudi Arabia Appoints First Female Minister - Julian Borger (Guardian-UK)
French Court Holds Vichy Government Responsible for Deporting Jews During Holocaust - Verena von Derschau
France's Council of State, its top judicial body, on Monday recognized the French government's responsibility for the deportation of Jews during World War II in the clearest such recognition of the state's role in the Holocaust. Thousands of Jews were deported from France to Nazi death camps by the collaborationist Vichy regime. The council called for a "solemn recognition of the state's responsibility and of collective prejudice suffered" by the deportees. (AP)
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Livni to U.S.: Don't Participate in "Durban II" - Raphael Ahren
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told visiting leaders from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Monday that Israel must give up part of its land "in order to remain a Jewish and democratic state." "Israel is fighting for existence not only because it's the only democracy in the Middle East, but also because it's the only Jewish state in the world." She also said Israel must take the initiative and come forward with its own peace plan to head off international programs. "Any plan put on the table will not be in our interest," she said.
She appealed to the U.S. not to participate in the UN-sponsored Durban II anti-racism conference, set to be held in Geneva this April, which is expected to be an anti-Israel forum. "Israel expects the free world not to participate in Durban II," she said. The Conference of Presidents comprises 51 member organizations representing virtually all political and religious streams of America Jewry; from the Orthodox Union to the Union of Reform Judaism, as well as the American Friends of Likud and the local branches of Peace Now. (Ha'aretz)
Netanyahu: Palestinians Should Have Sovereignty, But Not at Israel's Expense
Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting leaders from the Conference of Presidents on Monday that while he would not want to govern the Palestinians, Israel must maintain control of all borders and airspace. The Palestinians "should govern themselves, but they shouldn't have certain powers that would threaten the State of Israel," he said. Netanyahu also ruled out unilateral territorial pullbacks, charging that Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 has allowed Hamas to take over the territory. (AP/Ha'aretz)
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Obama's High-Risk Engagement at the Durban Review Conference - Gerald Steinberg
The Obama Administration's decision to jump into the preparations for the UN's Durban Review Conference is a bold but risky move. If the Americans succeed in reversing the agenda so that it actually focuses on discrimination against minorities around the world, and is not another platform for anti-Israel obsession, it would mark a major success and set the stage for restoring U.S. influence and values. Alternatively, if this strategy fails, and the text remains poisonous, an American-led walkout with the 27 members of the EU and some others would delegitimize the Durban process.
However, if Washington hesitates and compromises, allowing the Organization of the Islamic Conference and like-minded NGOs to control the agenda, the participation of the world's democracies will do immense damage. (Jerusalem Post)
All Over Europe, Evidence of a Rise in Anti-Semitism - Denis MacShane
The periodic crises that have shaken world capitalism in the past century and a half are marked by a common political phenomenon: the rise of political anti-Semitism. Attacks on Jews and Jewishness constitute the canary in the coal mine that tells us something is going seriously wrong. The UK's Community Security Trust reports as many attacks on Jews in the first weeks of 2009 as in the first six months of last year. As the world enters a new era of economic crisis, anti-Semitism is back.
Is it unreasonable to argue that the reason that there is worldwide anger against Israel but not against other regimes or religions that carry out massacres of Muslims is because the Israelis are Jews? Jews are again made to feel they are not full citizens of the countries of their birth because they refuse to support the right of Hamas and Hizbullah to use terror attacks against Israeli civilians. The canary in the coal mine seems in danger of its life once again. Denis MacShane, MP, is a former Minister for Europe and the author of Globalizing Hatred: the New Anti-Semitism. (Times-UK)
The Coming Swarm - John Arquilla
A new "Mumbai model" of swarming, smaller-scale terrorist violence is emerging. The basic concept is hitting several targets at once, even with just a few fighters at each site. Al-Qaeda and its affiliates have been using swarm tactics for several years. Jemaah Islamiyah - the group responsible for the Bali nightclub attack that killed 202 people in 2002 - mounted simultaneous attacks on 16 Christian churches in Indonesia on Christmas Eve in 2000. Even 9/11 itself had swarm-like characteristics. In the years since, al-Qaeda has coordinated swarm attacks in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen and Iraq. This pattern suggests that Americans should brace for a coming swarm. The writer teaches in the special operations program at the Naval Postgraduate School. (New York Times)

The Morality of the Gaza War - David Forman (Jerusalem Post)

Now, after the war in Gaza, every Arab country and every terrorist organization knows that Israel, no matter which political party heads the government, will no longer play by conventional rules, feeling itself restricted by international pressure or restrained by internal moral discussions.
From now on, should we be forced into war with our sworn enemies, we will use all the power at our disposal to defeat them. If they come after our civilian population, their civilian population will be endangered tenfold. We must liberate ourselves from making moral comparisons to demonstrate to the world how ethical we are. Even if we were to prove not only the justice of our cause, but the utter brutality of Hamas, it would matter little.
Should we not unleash our strength to combat a terrorist ministate that turns our life into a living hell through a constant and indiscriminate barrage of bombs being fired into the country with the sole purpose of killing as many innocent people as possible? Like any nation, Israel not only has the right, but the responsibility to use its entire military might to protect its citizens.
Since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, more than 6,000 rockets were fired into the South. The world would tell us that our recent response was disproportionate; America, NATO, England, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the allied armies of World War II were never subjected to a similar torrent of hypocritical criticism.
Should we have waited until a Grad missile struck a kindergarten, killing dozens of children, so our reaction would then be judged proportionate?
We should make no apologies for the war except to express our sorrow for Palestinians who are so willingly sacrificed because of the bellicosity of those of their brethren who cry out for our ultimate destruction. In the end, the war in Gaza was a practical necessity; and, as such, our incessant discourse about the ethical implications means very little.
The writer is the founder of Rabbis for Human Rights.


Friday, February 13, 2009

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February 13, 2009

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Report: Hamas Agrees to Long-Term Truce - Salah Nasrawi (AP/Washington Post)
Hamas deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk said Thursday in Cairo that the Islamic militant group agreed to an 18-month truce with Israel for Gaza, the official Egyptian news agency MENA reported.
Egyptian diplomats have been working as go-betweens to try to arrange a truce deal between Hamas and Israel.
Israel has insisted that any cease-fire must include an end to firing rockets from Gaza into Israel and a halt to Hamas arms smuggling.


Much at Stake for Egypt in Palestinian-Israel Talks - Jeffrey Fleishman (Los Angeles Times)
Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman has been working to cement a lasting truce between Hamas and Israel, and to bring reconciliation between rival Palestinian parties.
Cairo believes that hammering out a long-term cease-fire between Hamas and Israel and easing hostilities between the Palestinian camps will reaffirm its stature as the Obama administration is considering renewing nearly $2 billion in annual U.S. military and economic aid to Egypt.
"Egypt...wants to say to the American administration, 'We are quite useful for Middle East peace'," said political analyst Mustafa Kamel Sayed.
"Hamas officials in Gaza are realizing they have no other party to turn to except Egypt. No other Middle East country can play this role," he said.


International Criminal Court to Issue Arrest Warrant for Sudan's President - Colum Lynch (Washington Post)
The International Criminal Court's pretrial judges have decided to issue a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan's Darfur region, according to a UN official.
Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be charged by the Hague-based court with war crimes, and the first Arab leader to face the prospect of being tried for atrocities by an international tribunal.
The decision comes seven months after the court's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina, accused Bashir of directing a campaign of mass murder that has left more than 300,000 civilians dead and driven more than 2.7 million from their homes in Darfur.


Abbas Flails Out at His Only Possible Partner for Peace - Martin Peretz (New Republic)
PA leader Mahmoud Abbas has been conducting an international campaign to get world leaders to isolate the Likud the way they isolated Hamas.
With whom will he negotiate if not a Likud government if Netanyahu is the prime minister? His own Fatah movement depends on Israel for its sustenance.


Hamas Converted Medicine Bottles from Humanitarian Aid into Grenades - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
Medicine bottles transferred to Gaza as humanitarian aid by Israel were used by Hamas as grenades against IDF troops.
The bottles were filled with explosives, holes were drilled in the caps, and fuses were attached.
The medical grenades were discovered in northern Gaza during last month's battle against Hamas.
"This is another example of Hamas' cynical use of humanitarian supplies to attack Israel," a Defense Ministry official said Thursday.


Israel Overtakes Russia as India's Top Defense Supplier - Josy Joseph (Daily News and Analysis-India)
Israel may have overtaken Russia as the biggest beneficiary of India's defense budget in the last two years, officials in the know said.
India has entered into joint development of several missile systems with Israel. After the November 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai, the two countries decided on the joint development of medium-range surface-to-air missiles (MRSAM) for the Air Force.


Iraqis Seek Reparations for 1981 Israeli Attack on Nuclear Reactor (DPA/Qatar Tribune)
Iraqi parliamentarians are demanding Israel pay billions of dollars in reparations for a 1981 Israeli attack on the Osiraq nuclear reactor, Baghdad's daily Al Sabbah reported on Thursday.
Mohammed Naji Mohammed of the United Iraqi Alliance is leading a campaign for the Iraqi foreign ministry and courts to seek reparations.


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

Ayatollah Khamenei: Gaza Victory of Palestinians Against Israel a "Miracle"
"What really happened in Gaza was truly like a miracle," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, noted in a meeting with visiting Palestinian Islamic Jihad chief Ramadan Abdallah. The Supreme Leader again congratulated Palestinians on their victory over the Zionist regime's army. Khamenei went on to say that the Zionist regime's collapse has already begun. He reminded Palestinian resistance leaders that, as on the battleground, the Palestinians must insist on their political position to "force the enemy to retreat." He expressed hope for a complete liberation of Palestinian lands and said he "strongly believes that the final victory will come in the not-too-distant future" if the resistance continues at this pace.
For his part, Ramadan Abdallah thanked Iran for its help to Palestinians, especially during the recent war in Gaza. He said the victory over the Zionist regime's army was a "great strategic development" and promised "final victory" by the Palestinians. (Tehran Times-Iran)
Pope Tells Jews Holocaust Denial Is "Intolerable" - Philip Pullella
Pope Benedict, trying to defuse a controversy over a bishop who denies the Holocaust, said Thursday in Vatican City that "any denial or minimization of this terrible crime is intolerable," especially if it comes from a clergyman. The pope told Jewish leaders from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: "The hatred and contempt for men, women and children that was manifested in the Shoah (Holocaust) was a crime against humanity. This should be clear to everyone, especially to those standing in the tradition of the Holy Scriptures." The pope also confirmed that he was planning to visit Israel, the first visit by a pope since John Paul visited in 2000. (Reuters)
Pakistan Arrests Chief Suspects in Mumbai Attacks - Stephen Graham
Pakistan acknowledged for the first time that the Mumbai terrorist attacks were launched from its shores and at least partly plotted on its soil, saying Thursday that it had arrested most of the chief suspects including one described as "the main operator." Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik said Pakistan has started criminal proceedings against eight suspects, suggesting it is serious about punishing those behind the November attacks, which killed 164 people. Malik said those in custody included Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarrar Shah, both Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders named by India as the masterminds of the attack. (AP)
See also The Saudi Connection to the Mumbai Massacres: Strategic Implications for Israel - Col. (res.) Jonathan Fighel
The Mumbai attacks have been linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba and radical Islamic groups in Kashmir generally. Saudi Arabia has contributed very much to what Lashkar-e-Taiba looks like, how it thinks, its motivation, ideology, and funding. The notion of global Islam has also penetrated to Gaza and exists under the umbrella of Hamas. Hamas could agree to a hudna (calm) for fifty years, but there will be no recognition of Israel or a cessation of the struggle against it. If Hamas was ready to act pragmatically, it would no longer be Hamas. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Hampshire College Cuts Ties with Firms Invested in Israel - Peter Schworm
Student activists at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., are hailing a divestment decision by the board of trustees that they say makes the college the first in the country to break financial ties with companies specifically because they do business with Israel. But the college strenuously denies the move was politically motivated. Students for Justice in Palestine said it had urged trustees over the past year to sell off holdings in a mutual fund run by State Street Global Advisors in order to divest from six companies because of human rights concerns in the Palestinian territories. The companies were: Caterpillar, United Technologies, General Electric, ITT Corporation, Motorola, and Terex.
Sigmund Roos, chairman of the board of trustees, said the board never reviewed the group's petition. Roos said he was disappointed that students had portrayed the board's decision as a protest of Israeli policy. (Boston Globe)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

Israel: Two-Thirds of Palestinians Killed in Gaza Fighting Were Terrorists - Amos Harel
Two-thirds of the Palestinians who were killed in the Gaza fighting were members of terror organizations, Israel Channel 2 News reported Thursday. A report issued by Military Intelligence and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories listed 1,134 Palestinian fatalities, 673 of whom belonged to Hamas and other groups. (Ha'aretz)
No Change in Election Results After Soldiers' Vote Counted - Shahar Ilan
Israel's Central Elections Committee said on Thursday the apportionment of Knesset seats would remain without change following the final tally of Israel Defense Forces soldiers' ballots. (Ha'aretz)
See Complete Knesset Election Results below
See also Arabs Make Gains in New Israeli Parliament
Arab parties have increased their representation in Israel's newly elected parliament by one seat. The Balad party won three seats, Ra'am-Ta'al won four, and Hadash, that had three members in the previous Knesset, won four. Last month, Israel's Supreme Court overturned a decision to disqualify two Israeli Arab parties from running for Knesset. The Central Elections Committee had previously decided to ban the parties on the grounds that they did not recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish democratic state and supported an armed struggle against Israel. (Media Line)
Palestinian Rocket Fire from Gaza Continues - Ilana Curiel
Palestinians in Gaza fired three Kassam rockets at Israel Friday morning, two of which landed near Sderot. (Ynet News)
See also Recent Rocket Attacks Not By Hamas - David Blair
At least 40 rockets and mortar bombs have been fired at Israel from Gaza since Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire on Jan. 18. However, an Israeli security official said groups other than Hamas carried out the most recent attacks. "Our intelligence says it's not them," he said. Instead, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees and fighters linked to the supposedly moderate Fatah movement are thought to have launched the strikes. (Telegraph-UK)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

Beyond Gaza - Bilal Y. Saab
Israel's Gaza operation will not achieve a strategic outcome that goes beyond a breakable ceasefire. Hamas will find a way to eventually re-arm and re-engage in the same destructive behavior against Israel. At the same time, Hamas leaders will not be able to explain to Palestinians how shelling Israeli towns with rockets and terrorizing Israeli society will better their lives and advance the cause for statehood. Negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians based on the 1967 boundaries seem almost futile today.
There is little reason to believe that Israeli leaders will now accept, rightly or wrongly, going back to the 1967 borders where Israel's cities would be connected by a corridor nine miles wide, leaving population centers exposed and within mortar range of adversaries. It is equally difficult to imagine how Palestinians, as weak and divided as they are, will ever be able to change the balance of power in their favor and achieve their aims.
The future of Palestinian refugees lies either in full citizenship in some of the countries where they now live, or in relocating them to areas that can absorb them far better than Gaza and the West Bank. The writer is a research analyst at the Saban Center. (Saban Center for Middle East Policy-Brookings Institution)
Mr. Chavez vs. the Jews - Editorial
Venezuela's Jewish community seems to have replaced George W. Bush as President Hugo Chavez's favorite foil. After Israel's offensive against Hamas in Gaza last month, the caudillo expelled Israel's ambassador and described Israel's actions in Gaza as "genocide." Then Chavez turned on Venezuela's Jews. "Let's hope that the Venezuelan Jewish community will declare itself against this barbarity," he bellowed on a government-controlled television channel.
Government media quickly took up the chorus. One television host close to Chavez blamed opposition demonstrations on two students he said had Jewish last names. On a pro-government Web site, another commentator demanded that citizens "publicly challenge every Jew that you find in the street, shopping center or park" and called for a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses, seizures of Jewish-owned property and a demonstration at Caracas's largest synagogue. On Jan. 30 the synagogue was duly attacked by a group of thugs, who spray-painted "Jews get out" on the walls and confiscated a registry of members. (Washington Post)
An Iranian Satellite in Space - Yiftah Shapir
On Feb. 3, Iran successfully launched its first entirely homemade satellite, the Omid ("hope"), from the space center in Semnan Province, southeast of Tehran, on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. The Omid is a small research satellite that will return to the atmosphere in June-July 2009. The two stage Safir 2 satellite launcher is liquid fuel-powered. Its successful launch demonstrates the capability to fire, manage, and separate the stages. It also shows an independent capability to construct, launch, and control satellites.
The real concern is that satellite launch technology is similar to the technology required in order to launch ballistic missiles. A missile capable of carrying a load of several dozen kilograms is also capable of carrying several hundred kilograms for distances of thousands of kilometers. This means that Iran can threaten West European countries. Yet Iran has had a military missile program for a long time, and the range of its Shehab-3 missile has covered Israel for at least the past decade. From this standpoint, the inherent threat of the solid-fuel Sejil missile, whose first trial took place last November and that was probably designed for military purposes, is much more serious than the direct threat stemming from the Iranian space program. The writer is a Senior Research Fellow and Director, Military Balance Project at the INSS. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
Engaging Iran - Michael Young
There has been much talk of "engaging" Iran of late in Washington. The real question, however, is how does the U.S. engage Iran successfully? What can the U.S. do against an Iran that is building a nuclear weapon in order to become a regional hegemon? An Iran that is able to appeal to Shiites in Arab societies, perhaps most importantly in Lebanon? That can play on Arab sympathy for the Palestinians, while also influencing its allies in Iraq? And that can on occasion raise the domestic heat on American friends such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan? Amid all the talk of...well, talking to Iran, the Obama administration has yet to formulate a new and comprehensive policy toward the Islamic Republic. To talk is not a strategy. The writer is opinion page editor of the Beirut Daily Star. (Middle East Strategy at Harvard)
Jimmy Carter and the Camp David Myth - Arthur Herman
The myth of Camp David hangs heavy over American foreign policy, and it's easy to see why. Of all the attempts to forge a Middle East peace, the 1978 treaty between Egypt and Israel has proved the most durable. Camp David was indeed Jimmy Carter's one major foreign policy accomplishment amid a string of disasters including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the rise of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and Ayatollah Khomeini's ascent in Iran.
But the truth is that Carter never wanted an Egyptian-Israeli agreement, fought hard against it, and only agreed to go along with the process when it became clear that the rest of his foreign policy was in a shambles and he desperately needed to log a success. Carter's preferred Middle East policy was to insist on a comprehensive settlement among all concerned parties. It was Sadat's historic trip to Jerusalem in November 1977, where he discussed a separate peace between Egypt and Israel, and forestalled Carter's plan for a Geneva peace conference - not Camp David - that marked the true seismic shift in Middle East relations. (Wall Street Journal)
Weekend Features

How a Turkish Diplomat Saved 20,000 Jews During the Holocaust - Zeyno Baran and Onur Sazak
It is tragic that Turkey, a country that had been the savior of so many Jews - first during the Spanish Inquisition and later during World War II - has been transformed into one whose Jewish minority lives in fear. In 2007 Emir Kivircik published The Ambassador, a biography of his grandfather, Behic Erkin, the courageous Turkish ambassador to France who saved 20,000 Jews in France from the Holocaust. When World War II erupted, 10,000 Jews in France were Turkish citizens, and another 10,000 had previously been Turkish citizens. Erkin managed to get Turkish citizenship for the latter 10,000 Jews and then convinced both the French and Nazi governments to allow them all to return to Turkey. Zeyno Baran is a senior fellow and the director of the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute. Onur Sazak is a research associate at the center. (Weekly Standard)
Iran's Women Fight for Rights - Nazila Fathi
Women's rights advocates say Iranian women are displaying a growing determination to achieve equal status in the country's conservative Muslim theocracy. Increasing educational levels and the information revolution have contributed to creating a generation of women determined to gain more control over their lives, rights advocates say. To separate the sexes, the state built schools and universities expressly for women, and improved basic transportation, enabling poor women to travel more easily to big cities, where they were exposed to more modern ideas.
Yet women still face extraordinary obstacles. Girls can legally be forced into marriage at the age of 13. Men have the right to divorce their wives whenever they wish, and are granted custody of any children over the age of 7. Men can ban their wives from working outside the home, and can engage in polygamy. By law, women may inherit from their parents only half the shares of their brothers. Their court testimony is worth half that of a man. (New York Times)

A Minority Report from the West Bank and Gaza - Khaled Abu Toameh (

The idea of Oslo was not bad - separation between Jews and Palestinians who did not want to live together. But the way Oslo was implemented brought disaster on both Jews and Arabs. The assumption was that if you bring thousands of PLO fighters and you dump them into the West Bank and Gaza and you give them millions of dollars and guns, they will do the dirty job of policing the West Bank and Gaza. The result was that people who had never received any basic training, people who had never finished high school, became colonels and generals in Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority.
Arafat turned out to be a crook. Most of the money literally went down the drain and supported the shopping sprees of Arafat's wife who was living in Paris. Instead of building us a hospital, Arafat built a casino in Jericho, across the street from a refugee camp. The fact that Arafat was crooked didn't surprise us Palestinians. We were only surprised by the fact that the international community kept giving him money and refused to hold him accountable when he stole our money.
By depriving the people of money, Arafat radicalized the Palestinians who did not see the fruits of peace. In addition, the West gave Arafat guns so that he could kill Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but instead he directed those guns against anyone who said they wanted reform or democracy. Arafat used weapons provided by America to suppress the leaders of a new leadership.
The West also gave Arafat money to open a TV and radio station, which say: "Jihad, jihad, kill the crusaders, kill the Jews, kill the infidels." Arab leaders always need to make sure that their people are busy hating somebody else, preferably the Jews and the Americans. Otherwise their people might rebel, and they might demand reforms and democracy.
This incitement drove people into the open arms of Hamas. Arafat was telling people how evil the Jews are, and people then said: "Hamas is right, Jews are the sons of monkeys and pigs. Why should we make peace with them?"

Knesset Election Results - 2009 (Previous # of Seats)
Party Seats Change
Kadima (Livni) 28 (29) -1
Likud (Netanyahu) 27 (12) +15
Israel Our Home (Lieberman) 15 (11) +4
Labor (Barak) 13 (19) -6
Shas 11 (12) -1
3 Arab parties 11 (10) +1
United Torah Judaism 5 (6) -1
National Union 4 *
Jewish Home 3 *
Meretz 3 (5) -2
* National Union and Jewish Home together received 9 seats in 2006
(Source: Ha'aretz)

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