Tuesday, May 13, 2003

PA not acting against terror

Accepts 'roadmap,' but splits hairs on definitions

Posted: May 12, 2003
© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

Publicly the Palestinian Authority has accepted the Middle East peace roadmap offered by the U.S., Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, but quietly negotiators are splitting hairs over definitions of terms, WorldNetDaily has found.

In the Palestine Liberation Organization's "Roadmap Status Report," the group makes clear it will not act against terror until it is permitted to rebuild its security force and until it receives clarification on the definition of the term "incitement."

The document clearly states the PA is prepared to comply with the requirement to "undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis everywhere" only when its "security apparatuses are allowed to be rebuilt."

As to the roadmap requirement that "all official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel," the PLO negotiators say they are "awaiting definition of incitement."

While Israel is being criticized for not accepting the "roadmap" without conditions, the Palestinian Authority has been praised by diplomats and pundits internationally for accepting it. However, it is clear from the PLO statement that the Yasser Arafat-Abu Mazen regime has its own set of preconditions for acceptance of the plan.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, planning a meeting later this week with Palestinian Prime Minister Mazen, also known as Mahmoud Abbas, says he will never make compromises that affect Israel's security. President Bush has ruled out dealing with Arafat, branding him as a failed leader entwined with terror attacks on Israel. Arafat was not at the table when Powell met with Mazen.

"To start the process there must be an end to terror, and steps must be taken to end terror," Sharon told the Jerusalem Post today. "We made it very clear that when it comes to political solutions we are ready to make painful compromises, but when it comes to security there will not be any compromises, not now and not in the future. Therefore, in order to move forward, it should be quiet, it should be calm."

Sharon is also set to meet with President Bush next week in Washington, at which time the meeting agenda will range over the broad strategic future of the Middle East.

"It will be very interesting and important, particularly after the victory in Iraq," Sharon said.

Palestinian officials accuse Israel of delaying talks on implementing the "roadmap" the last 10 days.

Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Nabil Shaath said today Sharon delayed talks on the plan until his May 20 meeting with Bush. The delay, Shaath said, "means another 10 days of suffering for the Palestinians."

Shaath reiterated a call for Israel to submit a formal response to the "road map." Sharon has said he wants some modifications to the plan before giving his final response. The Palestinians say they accepted the plan, but their official response shows clear reservations.

The "roadmap" is a plan devised by the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union that calls for the setting up of an independent Palestinian state by 2005, and establishing peace and security for Israel.

Monday, May 05, 2003

The road map: We’ve been down this same road before

The much-ballyhooed road map to peace reminds me of the 18 UN resolutions issued to get Iraq to disarm. They were rehashes of previous edicts, warning, proscriptions, and so on, which never did have the basic desired effect of disarming a renegade regime. The bottom line in the UN-Iraq fiasco is that diplomacy alone cannot cause a government to disarm itself when it chooses not to do so.

The whole road map thesis is built on the idea of all that is needed to implement peace is electing new leadership in the Palestinian Authority. Enter Abu Mazen and let the games begin. There is nothing in Mazen’s legacy to suggest he will do anything differently than his predecessor, and boss, Arafat. Even the concept of a moderate is misleading – a Palestinian moderate is the one who buys the explosives and weapons for the Palestinian extremist.

In the past 32 months of the intifadeh – a fancy Arabic word for premeditated murder – there has been no abatement of terrorism by the Palestinians despite agreement after agreement. There has not even been an effort to change their language. Yet, Palestinian leaders – Mazen being the latest mouthpiece of an oft-spoken refrain – say that they have made “significant strides” towards peace while Israel has not.

What “strides” has that been? The ability to lie in English as well as they do in Arabic? Just last March, Mazen was quoted in the Arab Media as saying that “Palestinians will never abandon their right to armed struggle.” To put it into plain English so that the yahoos in our state department can understand, this means that terrorism will always be an option when they cannot get their way diplomatically.

For Palestinians, their idea of a ceasefire is “hudna”: a temporary truce to allow them to become militarily stronger and destroy Israel. Usually, ceasefires are the first step towards peace. Not so in the Palestinian world – ceasefires are just a step towards more jihad.

Given that Arafat still controls the militant groups within the PA and is still in control of overall security, the election of a PM and cabinet in the Palestinian Authority is just so much window-dressing for more Hegelian dialect. They have already breached the main points of the road map anyway.

Israel has its hands around the mouth of an alligator. Every time it loosens its grip on the alligator’s snout, it gets bit. Yet, the world continues to insist on Israel to loosen its grip if the alligator promises not to bite. The only solution is to neutralize the alligator permanently. Yet, don’t count on the alligator changing its disposition anytime soon.

The issue is not settlements, or “occupation”, that is the problem. It is the terrorism, stupid. End the terrorism, and everyone’s lives will get easier. Israel does not need to promise to stop incitement against Palestinians, for goodness sakes! That is the dumbest thing that has ever been written into a peace treaty. Palestinians need to give up their blood lust – pure and simple – and start living in the 21st Century, not the 7th Century.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Abu "boo-boo" Abbas...

PA video: Pour flames on settlements

Song on official TV encourages Palestinians to attack Jews in territories

Posted: May 2, 2003
© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

A music video being played on official Palestinian Authority television calls for attacks on Jews living in settlements in the so-called occupied territories.

Palestinian Media Watch has posted the video, which can be watched using Windows Media Player or Quick Time, on its website.

The video shows a Palestinian gunman followed by an image of a Jewish man and his wife walking. The translated lyrics of the song at that point are: "Foreigners have no place on this land."

While the singer intones, "Pour over the settlements great flames," the video shows aerial views of Jewish settlements.

In addition to the man and wife, the video includes footage of Jewish teen-age girls and an Israeli soldier.

The Palestinians shown include masked militants firing automatic weapons.

The words of the song are repeated throughout the video:

From the mountain of fire [Nablus] came the rebels ...
Everywhere there are settlements.
Oh brave Nablus, keep the cauldron ablaze;
Pour over the settlements great flames;
Foreigners have no place on this land;
Foreigners have no place where Shahids [died for Allah] were killed.
This week, just hours after Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas took office, international Middle East mediators presented Israel and the Palestinians with the long-awaited blueprint for peace dubbed the "road map."

Last week, President Bush praised the new prime minister as "a man dedicated to peace," even as charges were made that Abbas provided financing for the terrorist attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.

According to Palestinian Media Watch, Abbas was quoted in the newspaper A-Sharq Al Awsat in March as saying, "The Intifada must continue. And it is the right of the Palestinian people to rise and to use all means at their disposal ... all means, even guns. ..."

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Palestinian snipers along the road (map)

Army intelligence: Abu Mazen unable to halt terror

By Amos Harel

Military Intelligence told the political echelon at the beginning of the week that the new Palestinian government headed by Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has no intention of uprooting the terrorist infrastructure. "According to what we know now, Abu Mazen plans to speak with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders, and not clash with them," a senior military source told Haaretz yesterday.

In recent weeks much has been written about the different approaches being taken by the army and Shin Bet with regard to what to expect from the Palestinian Authority. While even before Abu Mazen's appointment, army heads were relatively optimistic and spoke of the rare opportunity created as a result of the new prime minister in the PA and the American victory in Iraq, the Shin Bet was providing more pessimistic views.

Now the gap between the two bodies appears to have been totally erased. Military Intelligence shares the Shin Bet's view that at least for now, Abu Mazen is not planning a comprehensive change. "He may have opposed the violent intifada from the first day," say military sources, "but he's barely a third of the new political framework in the PA. The other two-thirds are Yasser Arafat and the terror organizations, which continue to support violence."

The new prime minister, says Military Intelligence, feels he lacks domestic legitimacy and therefore has to concede to Arafat on critical issues, which has already eroded his ability to fight terrorists in the future. The sources say Abu Mazen began his job with excellent conditions for a significant change, in light of the developments in Iraq and the Palestinian failure to achieve anything through violence, but it does not appear he plans to actualize those conditions fully.

In any case, what he does plan to achieve is far from what Israel is demanding of him. Military Intelligence's prognosis is that the terror from the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and parts of the Tanzim will continue. "At most," one senior officer said cynically, "the PA will reach an agreement with them not to commit attacks between 2 and 4 in the afternoon."

Military Intelligence predicted Abu Mazen would win confirmation for his government, despite Arafat's obstacles. For his part, Arafat continues to believe he will remain the real manager, whether behind the scenes or on the stage. Intelligence officials also admit that the forecasts of Arafat's political death last summer were premature. He is alive and kicking, and meanwhile has managed to constrain Abu Mazen.

As far as the terror organizations are concerned, the coming months will be an all-out race. After the defeat in Iraq and the total lack of violent resistance to the American powers in Iraq, the main focus returns to Israel and the territories. For the elements that direct the Palestinian terror from outside the territories - Syria, Hezbollah and especially Iran - there is enormous importance to a renewal of the terror against Israel now, especially in light of Tehran's fears that Damascus might concede to American pressure and limit activity of the terror organizations in Damascus.

It's not only the Palestinian will to fight terror that is being questioned in Israel, but also its ability to do so. Mohammed Dahlan has not shown any signs of readiness to enforce his will in the West Bank and some of the heads of the security apparatus are asking out loud why they have to make an effort for him. When the new minister looks around, he is not likely to see them fighting shoulder to shoulder with him, says Military Intelligence.

There's been no change in the motivation of the terror groups, says Military Intelligence. "They're climbing the walls because it has become so difficult for them to infiltrate a suicide bomber into Israel, but that doesn't mean they have ceased trying."

Monday, April 28, 2003

The top ten things you'll never hear a Syrian diplomat say...

  1. Yes, we smuggled mercenaries into Iraq to kill Americans

  2. Yes, we are granting safe haven to former Iraqi leaders

  3. Yes, we are hiding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction

  4. Yes, we are producing weapons of mass destruction

  5. Yes, we are training and supporting terrorism

  6. Yes, we are still illegally occupying Lebanon

  7. Yes, we commit human rights violations

  8. Yes, we are seeking to destroy Israel

  9. Yes, we have been lying all along

  10. Yes, we have no bananas

And Saddam was a humanitarian...

Syria launches image-mending campaign in US

Janine Zacharia Apr. 27, 2003
Jerusalem Post

Syria has launched a public relations offensive designed to repair its image in the US after severe criticism by top Bush administration officials.

Damascus dispatched Boutheina Shaaban, director of media relations at the Syrian Foreign Ministry, to Washington and New York. On Thursday, Shaaban appeared before the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington to defend Syrian support for Hizbullah and its sheltering of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Damascus, and to insist that Syria had not provided shelter to Iraqi officials.

An articulate English speaker who studied abroad, Shaaban is close to the Assad family. She served as translator and close adviser to late president Hafez Assad for many years and continues to advise President Bashar Assad.

Shaaban said she had come to "confront some stereotypes rather than to confirm them." In addition to her appearance at CFR, Shaaban spoke to the Center for Strategic and International Studies and appeared on cable news programs.

She arrived just as the bulk of criticism of Syria has begun to subside. US President George W. Bush told NBC's Tom Brokaw Thursday that the Syrians "appear to want to be helpful" when it comes to catching Iraqi leaders who fled across the border into Syria. In addition, Bush chastised "left-wing critics" who said his administration is "so militaristic they're getting ready to invade Syria." Secretary of State Colin Powell will head to Syria soon as part of a Middle East tour designed to promote the road map for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

It was not clear who initiated the CFR panel. Syria does not employ a full-time lobbyist in Washington, and the quickly arranged event resembled ones that wealthy Persian Gulf governments put together with the help of local public relations firms when they have problems with Washington.

There has been mounting concern in recent weeks among US companies with investments in Syria that new legislation moving through Congress could lead to fresh sanctions on Damascus and thwart business dealings there.

Conoco, an oil company with the largest US investment in Syria, may, for example, have to cut its ties with Damascus if the Syria Accountability Act passes.

Shaaban said Syria never had good relations with the Iraqi regime and insisted that Syria "has always worked for peace and for security and stability," citing its support for the Madrid peace conference over a decade ago. US-brokered Israeli-Syrian peace talks fizzled after a brief spurt in January 2000 in West Virginia.

Sen. Bob Graham (D-Florida), who spoke with Shaaban on the CFR panel, praised Syria for "playing an important role in apprehending Iraqi officials who as fugitives fled into their country" and insisted that, compared to other countries, it is "at best a relatively minor producer and controller of weapons of mass destruction." But he challenged Syria to abandon its support for Hizbullah, which he said has terrorist sleeper cells in the US.

Lebanese Ambassador to the US Farid Abboud said Hizbullah is not a terrorist organization by definition, because "since its inception there was no attack on civilian targets." Hizbullah is the primary suspect in the deadly attacks on a Jewish center and the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1994.

Hizbullah, Shaaban insisted, "does not have anything against the United States." Its leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, however, spews some of the most anti-American rhetoric in the region.

She defended Syria's refusal to shut offices of Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Damascus, saying they were simply "press offices" for the 500,000 Palestinians living in Syria. The US has repeatedly asked Syria to close them, saying they support and help orchestrate terrorist attacks by Palestinians in Israel.

"Instead of condemning Hamas and [Islamic Jihad] and Hizbullah and suicidal bombs and all this, end occupation, end settlements," she said.

Asked about Syria's ongoing occupation of Lebanon, Shaaban insisted Syria, which profits enormously from its presence there, does "not intend to stay in Lebanon except when it is needed." She said Hizbullah's strikes against targets in northern Israel are justified as long as Israel remains in control of Shaba Farms. The UN has certified Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon as complete but Shaaban insisted that Shaba Farms are part of Lebanon.

She failed to adequately answer why Syrian journalist Ibrahim Hamidi, a reporter for the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper, has been imprisoned for months without being charged. "He was jailed for reasons violating the Syrian law," she said. Colleagues of Hamidi say he was arrested because the Syrian regime did not approve of an article he wrote.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Arab rock videos portray Jews as murderers

Palestinian footage shows Israeli soldiers killing
children, elderly

Posted: April 22, 2003 © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

Two music videos being played on Palestinian television are being used to propagate a hate for Israel among Palestinian children, reports an organization that monitors the media in the Middle East.

Palestinian Media Watch offers Internet users the ability to watch the two videos, one of which debuted in January.

The first video (viewed via Windows Media Player) suggests that Israel
soldiers are murders and encourages young Palestinians to take up arms against the Jewish state. The video includes scenes of:

  • A laughing girl on a swing, which turns into a burning swing and burning child's rocking horse;

  • A father reading his young son a section from the Quran calling him to fight the enemies;

  • The father handing his son a stone to throw at Israelis;

  • A bomb hidden (by Israel) inside a soccer ball that blows up when a child kicks it; Actors depicting Israeli
    soldiers murdering an elderly man by shooting him in the head; and

  • A mother and her infant being blown up by Israeli soldiers.

The second video is older, says PMW, but has been played more frequently in recent days. It presents the message to children that throwing stones at Israelis is a way to defend their mothers' honor. In one scene, young boys throw stones at a glass window with Jewish symbols: the word Israel in Hebrew, a star of David, an Israeli flag and an Israeli soldier. Immediately after the window and the Jewish symbols are smashed, all the flames on a Menorah are extinguished.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Unkindest Cut

by Hassan Fattah

The New Republic
Post date: 04.16.03

On the eve of Saddam's fall on April 9, hundreds turned out in Bethlehem to offer their condolences to the relatives of Imad Humabi, a Palestinian who had volunteered to fight in Iraq and had been killed in battle. Humabi, who had grown up in Amman and was virtually unknown in the town, was rumored to have been an attempted suicide bomber. But as the villagers poured in, most simply expressed their regret that the young man had given his life for nothing.

For some in the Middle East, the war in Iraq was the last stand for Arab nationalism. For others it was only the latest tragedy to beset the region. But no matter their take, most Arabs expected the invasion to be a long, bloody fight. If nothing else, the thinking went, the Iraqi regime would teach the United States a lesson, even as it collapsed.

So when Baghdad fell in a matter of days, it left the Arab world stunned. Every assumption, every calculation, and every article of faith had suddenly been undercut. And nowhere was that reaction more pronounced than in the Palestinian circles that had looked to Saddam as their only champion, a heavyweight who had stood the test of time. Many had seen Iraq's fight against the United States as analogous to the Palestinian intifada. They had expected Saddam and his crew to stand just as firmly as the Palestinians had. But he had failed them.

One need only consult the unusually sedate Arab media to gauge the depths of the disappointment now settling in across the Middle East. Arab TV reports continue to lament the vandalism and looting in Baghdad under the watchful eye of American troops. An editorial in the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat recently mourned the demise of Arab identity.

But it was the Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that most succinctly captured the depths of Arab despair, running a cartoon of an elderly Palestinian man weeping as he waved a flag imprinted with the name "Baghdad." "Everybody felt personally defeated not only in their position [supporting Iraq] but also in their expectation," says Mahdi Abdul-Hadi, head of the Palestinian Academic Society in Jerusalem. "Our thinking and way of being is dominated by our passions. ... People expected steadfastness and a willingness to stand up. How could Jenin stand up to all that bombardment, how did Arafat resist the siege in Ramallah for all these months, but Saddam couldn't stand up to the invasion of his country?"

A recent public opinion poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC) summed up the feeling, reporting that 56 percent of Palestinians surveyed believe the war in Iraq will have a negative influence on the Palestinian cause. "I think people were so surprised that there wasn't any resistance and were so disappointed with the reaction," says Khader Abuswai, acting director of the JMCC. Abuswai explains that in recent years the Palestinian "street" has been eager to seize on the slightest hint of a successful resistance. But each time that resistance fails to produce any tangible results, the ensuing despair can be intense. "It happened with the Intifada, and nothing happened. And now it happened in this war and still nothing happened."

Even the most ardent Saddam supporters have trouble suppressing their disillusionment. "These are not the Iraqis that I knew," laments Mohanna Shbatt, an activist with the Arab Liberation Front, the Palestinian branch of the Baath movement. Shbatt had studied in Iraq and looked to Saddam as the last true Arab leader. He had carried Saddam's flag in Gaza for years and just two weeks earlier had been responsible for dispensing Saddam's money to families of Palestinian militants and civilians killed in the intifada. Saddam had handed out $32 million over 30 months, but in just a matter of days he had become an embarrassment. "I didn't think that the Iraqi people could fall so far," Shbatt broods.

All of which has provoked a desperate round of defiance among Palestinian elites. In his office in Jericho a few days later, Palestinian spokesman and minister for local government Saeb Erekat railed against the dramatic fall of the Iraqi government and the looting and occupation that stripped the country of much of its history, maybe even its dignity. "What this means to us is that we have to be more determined than ever to stop the occupation," Erekat said, quite determinedly. The leaders of terrorist organizations like Islamic Jihad and Hamas have offered a different take on the same idea: They've promised to escalate their attacks against Israelis.

What's not clear is how representative these views are. At the very least, many non-Palestinian Arab opinion-makers are beginning to see the fall of Baghdad as an opportunity for introspection. "If we don't face ourselves and discuss our shortcomings ... nobody can do anything for us. We are responsible for all that is happening to us," wrote Saudi columnist Anas Zahid in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat. In the Lebanon's English-language Daily Star, Shafeeq Ghabra, president of the American University of Kuwait, sounded an even tougher note. "These fateful days have revealed the degree of cultural degradation in our region."

And that message may be resonating with the average Palestinian. "It's bad news, but always in bad news there is good news," says Abdul Hadi. "It's time for [our leaders] to take a position--this has simply exposed their hypocrisy." "At the end of the day, people are saying that we have to speak our mind. There's not going to be obedience to rulers as before," he adds. "This has been a lesson to every Arab regime that they need to look to their people. If a storm comes from outside, the only way to stand is to have a constituency supporting you."

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Hamas kids' magazine: 'Destroy rapist Jews'

Periodical claims Iraqi children being 'torn to shreds' by U.S.

By Jon Dougherty
© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

A monthly children's magazine published by the Hamas terrorist organization urges Palestinian and Iraqi children to pray for Allah to "destroy the cruel, rapist Jews" and bring victory to the Palestinian and Iraqi causes.

"The eighth edition of Al-Fateh [The Conqueror], was published [last month] and it seems that over the last eight months it has caught the eyes of its young readers," says an analysis by The Media Line, an Israel-based group offering news and commentary on the Middle East.

"The Conqueror" icon of the Al-Fateh magazine.

Pleas for violence against Jews, contained in the magazine's editorial, is preceded by descriptions of alleged suffering by Iraqi children as a result of the U.S.-led war to oust Saddam Hussein. It says the children are suffering due to cruelty being committed against them by coalition forces.

"Their pure bodies torn to shreds, their heads in one place and their arms in another," says the editorial, designed, TML believes, to provoke fear and hatred in the hearts of young Palestinian readers.

The editorial says the enemy's hatred and insensitivity "are caused by the Jewish filth, and they are inspired by the Jews' cruelty, heresy and barbarity."

The editorial also devotes much space to describe Palestinians who provide information to Israeli intelligence and military officials as people who "sold their religion, their honor, their conscience … to the Jews and the Americans … and became animals to be used at any time."

The editorial calls them "traitors to their own people, their land and their brothers."

"They betray Allah and his messenger [the Prophet Muhammad] and the Arabs and Muslims in Iraq, Palestine and around the entire globe," it continues.

Felice Friedson, president and CEO of The Media Line, told WorldNetDaily she believes the magazine's creators are ratcheting up the hate-filled rhetoric against Israel and the Jewish faith to attract more readers – a ploy that seems to be working.

She said the magazine's website has attracted 1.6 million visitors since its launch. It uses simple language, light stories and endearing illustrated characters, TML analysts have said.

Yo, Quartet! If you don't get rid of groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aksa, and the other Palestinan thugs, you can take your "road map" and shove it.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Palestinian support of Saddam continues

U.S. forces battled irregulars from Arafat's territory in Iraq

© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

When the U.S. Army's 3rd infantry division locked into fierce fighting south of Baghdad last week, officers were surprised to learn they were not always battling Iraqis.

Military sources tell Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin captured prisoners of war in that fight included Palestinians and Jordanians who used rocket-propelled grenades, suicide trucks, artillery and sniper fire to attack U.S. troops.

Military sources referred to the resistance as "thugs" who appeared to be attempting to reorganize Iraqi resistance in and around Baghdad.

The involvement of Palestinian fighters from Yasser Arafat's territory was no fluke.

Islamic Jihad and Arafat's Fatah both sent hundreds of its men from Lebanon and Syria on suicide missions against U.S. and British forces, according to G2B sources.

Meanwhile, leaders of various Palestinian groups say they will escalate the fight against Israel following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. The threats came as many Palestinians continued to express deep disappointment at the defeat of the Iraqi army, saying they still don't understand what went wrong in Baghdad. In some places, Palestinians were seen removing posters of Saddam Hussein from the streets and public buildings, according to the Jerusalem Post.

A cartoon in the Palestinian Authority's daily Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda showed an Arab man, with tears streaming from his eyes, hoisting a black flag that carried the label Baghdad.

Palestinian columnist Adli Sadeq heaped praise on Saddam, saying "despite some reports that he struck a deal for himself, his family, and some of his close aides enabling [them] to leave Iraq unharmed ... the man tried his best and did all that he could."

Writing in Al-Hayat, Sadeq said, "[Saddam] was a thorn in the eye of the imperialists, and we will not change our mind about him, though we know that he made some mistakes, like other great leaders who ruled difficult societies."

Al-Quds, the largest Palestinian daily, described the collapse of Baghdad as a nakba (catastrophe). "This is not going to be the last nakba," it said in an editorial. "The Anglo-American victory will open the colonialists' appetite to devour more Arab capitals. This nakba is added to a series of disasters that have plagued the Arabs and Muslims over the past century. Perhaps this latest disaster will bring about a genuine awakening of the Arabs and Muslims."

Y'mean...like wake up and realize it's the 21st Century, and not the 7th?

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Clueless in Gaza...

Hamas, Jihad leaders express sorrow over Saddam's fall

By Haaretz Service

Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders in the Gaza Strip expressed sorrow Wednesday over the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime and urged the Iraqi people to rise against the West, Israel Radio reported.

Senior Hamas official Abdel Aziz Rantisi said that he hopes the Iraqis install a Muslim government and urged the people to join a popular uprising in the streets against "American-Zionism."

Mohammed al-Hindi, Islamic Jihad leader in the Gaza Strip, said that he hopes the situation in Iraq is ultimately rememberd just as what happened in Beirut, when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982.

Hindi said that in the end the popular resistance in Iraq will be victorious.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Why Arabs love Israel

By Joseph Farah
Executive Editor, WorldnetDaily.com

© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

Over the last quarter century, the Hispanic population of the United States has exploded.

Immigration laws have been ignored. The huge border separating the U.S. and Mexico is virtually unpatrolled. And the illegal population of recent immigrants has been offered a series of amnesties forgiving past trespasses.

Some within that community – and it is certainly a small minority of the population – are resentful about life in America. Some are even promoting the idea of creating a separate Spanish-speaking state of Aztlan in the southwestern United States.

All this raises an obvious question: If life in America is so bad for Spanish-speaking immigrants, why do they continue to flock to the United States?

Why do I ask this question today? Not because I am writing about immigration in America, but because I want to make a point about immigration in the Middle East.

Conventional wisdom suggests a huge Arab population was displaced by the creation of Israel in 1948. It suggests the remaining Arab population in Israel has been mistreated. And it further suggests the solution to this problem is the creation of an Arab Palestinian state on Israeli land.

There are several glaring misconceptions in this view:

  • The Arab population displaced by the 1948 war has been greatly exaggerated. The actual figure is no more than 500,000. Even more important is the cause of that displacement. The 1948 war was declared against Israel by all of its Arab neighbors. The refugees left Israel at the urging of those Arab states. They were told to leave because their homeland was about to be liberated by Arab forces. Of course, we all know Israel survived. Who is morally and legally culpable for creating those refugees? I would suggest it is the Arab states, not Israel.

  • Far from being mistreated, the Arab population in Israel and in the territories administered by Israel has been freer than the population in any Arab state. Arabs in Israel vote. They elect leaders to the Knesset. They have their own political parties. They have their own newspapers. They have full rights to citizenship. They are free to speak their minds. As an Arab-American journalist who has spent a good deal of time covering the region, I can tell you there is more freedom for Arabs in Israel than in any Arab state.

  • Land cannot possibly be the contentious issue as the Arab and Muslim states in the region already have 800 times as much territory as Israel. The Arabs have 50 times the population of Israel. The Arabs have all of the oil reserves of the region. They have 21 states of their own – all varying shades of police states. It's difficult to imagine how one more will bring peace to a region that has known some of the most devastating and costly wars of the last century.

  • But, to top it all off, I seem to be the only observer asking pointed questions about the Arab-Israeli conflict: If conditions for Arabs are so bad in Israel, why is the Arab population exploding? Why do Arabs continue to flock to the tiny Jewish state from virtually every Arab and Muslim land in the world?

    In 1949, the Arab population of Israel was about 160,000. Today, it is over 1.2 million.

    This is hardly attributable to higher birth rates. Most of the growth in Arab population is due to migration. In other words, Arabs are picking up stakes in Arab lands and choosing to live in Israel.

    This trend, of course, doesn't include Arab Jewish migration to Israel. No one talks about the staggering number of Arab Jewish refugees – as many as 1 million – who fled the Muslim world with little more than the clothes on their backs to reach the safety and security of the Jewish state in the last 50 years.

    We're led to believe Arabs hate Israel – and, indeed, it's true there is an irrational, inexplicable form of virulent anti-Semitism growing in the Arab and Muslim world. But when they vote with their feet, Arabs seem to love Israel. They continue to choose it as a place to live over life in their native countries as they have for the last half-century.

    I'd love to hear one of the Arab nationalists explain this phenomenon.

    Monday, April 07, 2003

    Do you really want to give these folks their own state?

    Palestinians boycott US, UK products

    Khaled Abu Toameh
    Copyright 1995-2003 The Jerusalem Post - http://www.jpost.com/

    A day after the Palestinian Authority's mufti ruled that Muslims must prevent US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair from setting foot in the "blessed, sacred holy land of Palestine," Palestinians have launched a boycott campaign aimed at American and British products.

    The decision is clearly linked to the fatwa, or religious edict, issued Saturday by Sheikh Ikremah Sabri, who was appointed to the senior post by PA Chairman Yasser Arafat in 1996.

    The fatwa bans Muslims worldwide from providing any kind of assistance to the US and Britain in their war on Iraq.

    Asked how Muslims should behave if Bush or Blair visit the Holy Land, Sabri explained: "We should not receive them. Each one of them is persona non grata in Palestine."

    He holds the two leaders responsible for "war crimes" against humanity.

    The call for boycotting American and British goods was published in the West Bank and Gaza Strip Sunday as thousands of Palestinians continued to stage demonstrations in support of Saddam Hussein.

    In Gaza City, hundreds of Fatah activists took to the streets to celebrate the "defeat" of the US and British troops at Baghdad Airport.

    The celebration followed a press conference by Iraqi Information Minister Said Sahhaf in which he claimed that Iraq's Republican Guard fighters managed to drive the coalition soldiers out of the airport, killing several hundred "mercenaries."

    Shortly after the Iraqi minister appeared on Al-Jazeera and other Arab TV stations, the Fatah members, waving Iraqi and Palestinian flags and posters of Saddam and Arafat, gathered outside al-Azhar university in Gaza City to express their jubilation at the ostensible defeat of the American and British soldiers.

    Calling for the launching of suicide attacks against the invading forces in Iraq, the Fatah demonstrators, who were joined by many passersby and policemen, announced the beginning of an initiative to boycott all American and British-made products.

    Some of the activists later raided shops in Gaza City and confiscated US-made cigarettes and other goods found on shelves.

    In Jenin, representatives of various Palestinian factions also announced their intention to clear local markets of any American and British products.

    According to Sheikh Bassam Sa'adi, a leader of the Islamic Jihad organization in the Jenin area, anyone who buys American- or British-made goods is financing the war against the Iraqi people.

    "We want all Palestinians to boycott these products, which are abundant in our markets," he added, stressing that the ban also includes Israeli products.

    Thursday, April 03, 2003

    Palestinians name Jenin square after Iraqi suicide bomber

    By Hassan Fattah, Associated Press, 4/1/2003 08:01

    JERUSALEM (AP) A square in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin
    has been named after an Iraqi suicide bomber who killed four U.S.
    troops over the weekend, camp officials said Tuesday.

    The naming of the square is part of a weeklong commemoration of
    the first anniversary of 11 days of fighting between Israeli troops
    and about 150 gunmen in the camp.

    The April 2002 battle was one of the toughest in 30 months of
    Israeli-Palestinian fighting. Fifty-two Palestinians and 23 Israeli
    soldiers were killed, and large patches of the Jenin camp were

    On Monday, a small square in the camp was named after Ali Joafar
    al-Noamani, a non-commissioned Iraqi officer who blew himself up
    Saturday at a U.S. checkpoint in southern Iraq, killing four U.S.

    The bombing symbolizes the close ties between Iraqis and
    Palestinians, said Akram Abu Esbaa, organizer of the

    ''We are experiencing the same tragedy here in Palestine that
    they are in Baghdad,'' he said.

    As part of anniversary, camp residents plan to march in support
    of Iraq on Thursday and hold prayers in a demolished section of the
    camp Friday in honor of the Iraqi dead.

    Residents also hope to collect thousands pints of blood to be
    delivered to Iraq through the Red Crescent Society, camp officials
    said. By Tuesday, they had collected hundreds of pints.

    In Gaza City, about 700 Palestinians marched in support of Iraq
    on Tuesday, carrying Iraqi flags, posters of Saddam Hussein and
    banners reading ''No Blood for Oil.''

    The bomber was an innocent Iraqi civilian

    forced at gunpoint to blow himself up. One of these days, they are going to

    get the real news.

    More Palestinian hypocrisy

    Muslim cleric wants to see Americans orphaned

    Palestinian sheik slams Arab leaders, gives pep talk to Saddam

    Palestinian TV broadcast a Muslim sermon on Friday that chided Arab leaders for not coming to Iraq's defense and prayed for Allah to make more American orphans and widows.

    The sermon by Sheik Muhammad Abu al-Hunud was delivered in a Gaza mosque and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

    Al-Hunud lashed out at fellow Muslims for not supporting the "slaughtered" Iraqis under siege by coalition forces.

    "The sons of Iraq are slaughtered, Iraq is bombarded; the sons of Iraq are murdered," he declared. "[Iraq] is an Arab Muslim country, the cradle of civilization since the dawn of history, the capital of the land of Muslim caliphates. The Iraqi people are crying for help. ... Where are you, oh Arabs? Where are you, nation of Islam? ... Be free, or die honorably. The sons of the Arab and Muslim nation are murdered, its sons are slaughtered, its homes demolished – and the Arabs are standing and watching."

    Without naming names, al-Hunud criticizes Arab nations that are giving any sort of aid to the United States.

    Now, what about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens slaughtered by Saddam? Where was this loud-mouth then? We killed "Brave and glorious fighters" who (1) use women and children as human shields, (2) force all male citizens to fight at gunpoint (some of whom were 10-year old children) or to become homicide bombers (3) blow up Iraqi marketplaces, (4) fire weapons from mosques and (5) store weapons and munitions in hospitals and schools. Saddam and his slime target civilians to kill, since the only way it can kill coalition forces is by fake surrenders asnd other perfidious means.

    Al-Hunud continued his sermon by equating any assault on an Arab country as an assault on the religion of Islam.

    "The aggression against Iraq is an aggression against humanity, against values and principles."

    Britain, are you listening? European Union, are you listening? Russia, are you listening? United Nations, are you listening? Do you really want to create a Palestinian state with this Saddam-kind of mentality?

    Wednesday, April 02, 2003

    Israel can't win for losing

    By Joseph Farah, Executive Editor
    Posted: April 2, 2003
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

    Have you noticed the further Israel bends over backward to achieve peace with its neighbors, the more excuses those neighbors find for maintaining a state of war?

    In the latest example, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad explains why no matter what the Jewish state does – even if it achieves a settlement with the Palestinians and other Arab states – Israel will never be a "legitimate state," presumably one Assad recognizes has an absolute right to exist.

    Assad made the statements in an interview in the Lebanese paper Al-Safir – really a house organ for his puppet government in that state.

    "There are countries in the Middle East with diverse nationalities, but they have social and historic cohesiveness," Assad explained. "Despite the ethnic diversity within each nation, the social fabric of the region, by and large, is one. On the other hand, the [social] structure in Israel is an anomaly. It is a country with one characteristic, which is a religious characteristic. Its democracy stems from this characteristic. It is not a democracy based on the state's boundaries. Therefore, it is inconceivable that Israel will become a legitimate state even if the peace process is implemented, because its structure deviates from the region's norm, and maybe from the whole world …"

    Now, let's analyze this statement – something no one in Lebanon or Syria would dare do for fear of swift, sure and draconian reprisals:

    For starters, let's apply the Assad litmus test to a nation run by some of his best friends – Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi Arabia is the most religiously intolerant nation on the face of the earth – bar none. The kingdom restricts an entire city, Mecca, to Muslims alone. A Jew, a Christian, a non-believer isn't allowed to set foot in the city. While Saudi Arabia feverishly exports its brand of Wahabbi Islam around the world though support of maddrasses – schools that brought the world the Taliban of Afghanistan – it doesn't allow any evangelism by other faiths, Muslim or non-Muslim. In fact, it doesn't even permit private worship by non-Muslims to take place. Possession of a Bible is a criminal offense. There is not a single church or synagogue anywhere in the country. Yet, Assad has the temerity to criticize Israel for its secular and highly pluralistic style of government.

    As far as Israel's structure deviating from the region's norm, I would suggest that is high flattery from Assad. There are some 22 police states surrounding Israel. The Jewish state is the one truly free country in the Middle East.

    This interview should illustrate to the entire world just how futile are Israel's efforts to achieve peace with the Arab world through concessions and negotiations from a position of weakness. I really hope Washington is reading. I really hope this statement is not missed over at the Bush State Department. I really hope the White House is watching – even while it continues to push hard for the creation of a Palestinian state as the solution for peace in the Mideast. I trust the doves in Israel's own Labour Party read this interview and understand what it means.

    It means there is nothing Israel can do to mitigate the hatred focused upon it in places like Damascus. It is an irrational hatred. It is a self-destructive hatred. It is a hatred that is all-consuming and unquenchable.

    So, why try?

    There's an old saying that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It seems to me that is exactly what Israel has been doing for more than 10 years in the so-called "peace process."

    And why does the U.S. State Department continue to promote the same, old solutions despite their abject, undeniable failure over more than a decade?

    Syria: Israel will never be legitimate

    President Assad claims U.S. just doing Jewish state's bidding in Iraq

    Posted: April 1, 2003
    5:00 p.m. Eastern

    © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

    In an interview in a Lebanese newspaper, Syrian President Bashar Assad has lashed out at Israel, saying as long as the Jewish state exists it will be a threat.

    Assad, who has expressed support for Saddam Hussein's regime in the face of coalition action, gave the interview to the pro-Syrian daily Al-Safir. His comments were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

    The Syrian leader claimed the U.S. is doing Israel's bidding in the war on Iraq.

    "[The Americans] removed their masks and said that they wanted oil and that they wanted to re-draw the map of the region in accordance with the Israeli interests," he said. "Israel has a vested interest in dividing Iraq into small ethnic, national and ethnic mini-countries, so that Israel could enjoy legitimacy. There are countries in the Middle East with diverse nationalities, but they have social and historic cohesiveness. Despite the ethnic diversity within each nation, the social fabric of the region by and large is one.

    "On the other hand, the [social] structure in Israel is an anomaly. It is a country with one characteristic, which is a religious characteristic. Its democracy stems from this characteristic. It is not a democracy based on the state's boundaries. Therefore, it is inconceivable that Israel will become a legitimate state even if the peace process is implemented, because its structure deviates from the region's norm, and maybe from the whole world. ..."

    Assad says Israel could get its way in rearranging the region based on a "racial, religious or ethnic basis" because the "Israeli lobby" has clout with the United States.

    Saying he was not surprised by the Iraqi resistance to coalition forces, Assad claimed "the U.S. and Britain are incapable of controlling all of Iraq." While they may conquer Saddam's state, he believes the U.S. will not actually control it.

    Assad slammed those Arab countries that are helping to facilitate "the aggression" and called for the implementation of the Arab Defense Agreement.

    "According to this agreement, if an Arab country is invaded, the rest of the Arab countries should defend it," he noted.

    Assad says the fact that there has not been an "exodus" of refugees from Iraq, proves that the nation is still strong.

    "The first lesson that the Iraqi citizen had learned is that displacement and leaving [home] last forever," he said. "Therefore the solution is resistance. This was the first lesson learned from Lebanon, and after that from the Intifada. There is no disaster, because there is no exodus. The problem is not the occupation, but whether the people are willing to resist it or not. ... Today, the Iraqi citizen sees that America is coming and wants to occupy his country and kill him, and he is willing to experience for himself what happened in Palestine. ... I believe that the situation will be much harder for the Americans and the British."

    Asked if Syria feels threatened, Assad again referred to Israel:

    "As long as Israel exists, the threat exists. As long as there is aggression against an Arab country, and as long as there is a war close to our borders, the danger continues. Anyone who does not worry in such circumstances does not see reality. Worry does not mean fear, but readiness for the confrontation. ..."

    Continued Assad, "... None of us and none of the Arabs trust Israel. It is natural that we should always expect an Israeli attack, even when it does not threaten. It should be known that Israel is based on treachery. This is a point to be considered thoroughly. We are dealing with treachery and threats, which accompanied the establishment of Israel. Since its very inception, Israel has been a threat. It is the Israeli nature, and for that Israel was established.

    "Based on this understanding of Israel's nature and role, we should deal with the possibility of protracted aggression. ... Israel does not care about the international public opinion. The U.S. is unable to reign it in; to the contrary, the Israelis are the ones who control [the U.S.] now through their lobby. ..."