Saturday, December 28, 2002

Arafat Takes On bin Laden

By Joseph Farah

Well, if we're to believe what we heard last week, Yasser Arafat is angry at Osama bin Laden. Arafat says he doesn't want the al-Qaida terrorist hiding behind "the Palestinian cause."

He denounced the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States, and explained how his struggle against Israel is different than the one being waged by bin Laden against the West. It was all very persuasive ­ if you didn't know a thing about Arafat's history.

· For years, Arafat has attended meetings with terrorists from all over the world ­ including bin Laden.

· He has used his Palestinian Authority subsidized by taxpayer dollars from the United States, to whip up hatred among his people for not only Israelis, but for all Jews and for all Americans. (Just recall the celebrations in the streets of Ramallah and Gaza as the World Trade Center collapsed.)

· Arafat is a professional liar and con man (aside from being a bloody murderer).

· Arafat has forged unholy alliances with many Islamist terror groups and individuals throughout his career while proclaiming to be at war with those forces.

To understand what I am telling you, you have to have some knowledge of Marxist principles ­ particularly the Hegelian dialectic. An idea or event generates its opposite, leading to a reconciliation of opposites, or a synthesis. That is how progress is achieved ­ through conflict, whether it's real conflict or phony conflict, manufactured by two or more conspirators.

When you see a schism develop between Arafat and some other terrorist group ­ be ot Hamas or Hizbollah or al-Qaida ­ understand what is at work. There is no schism. It's not real. They are play-acting. They are reading off the same page. It's the dialectic at work. The fix is in.

Arafat received training in these principles not only in the old Soviet Union, but from his friends in Vietnam, his friends in China, his friends in the hideously repressive Stalinist regime of Romania under Nicolae Ceausescu and others. He may not be a Marxist, but he has learned the lessons that made the discredited ideology a force in the world.

Arafat is playing a shrewd game - shrewd enough to have fooled top diplomats in the United States and leaders in Israel for the last 10 years or more. Whenever he's on the ropes, whenever he is about to lose power, because he has gone too far on his bloody terrorist campaign, whenever he is about to relegated to the ash heap, he resurrects himself and reinvents himself as a peacemaker and moderate in the Arab world. That is what he is attempting to do, once again, by distancing himself from bin Laden. He sees the handwriting on the wall.

One of his best friends in the Arab world, Saddam Hussein ­ also one of bin Laden's steadiest supporters, is about to become pita toast. He doesn't want to join Hussein in exile,in hiding or in hell. He knows the U.S. is amassing a military force in the Middle East that is capable of overrunning the entire region - if that was a desire of U.S.policy. He knows the map of the region is about to be redrawn. Iraq could be as pacified and as liberated as Afghanistan within 90 days. Where will that leave Arafat?

If Arafat is as supportive of Hussein and Iraq as he was in the first Persian Gulf War, it would leave him irrelevant. He made that mistake once. He won't make it a second time.

Let's remember that it was Arafat who came before bin Laden. There would be no bin Laden without Arafat. Arafat is the godfather of Arab terrorism. He invented it. It was under his orders that the first commercial airliners were hijacked. It was under his orders that U.S. diplomats and other civilians were murdered. It was under his orders that Olympic athletes were killed. It was under his orders that hundreds of innocent Americans and thousands of innocent Israelis have perished.

There is no difference between bin Laden and Arafat. Let me repeat that for emphasis: There is no difference between bin Laden and Arafat.

Arafat led the way, set the example and benefited from his 40-year campaign of terrorism. Bin Laden just took it a step further. He executed it with more precision, more daring, and higher death tolls. But he still learned from Arafat ­ and they both serve the same master.

Friday, December 27, 2002

Why doesn't Israel have a constitution?

Read this illuminating article by JIA's Chuck Chriss. And if your heart tells you to, please contribute to JIA's support on that site, too.

Thursday, December 26, 2002


From Naomi Ragen:

On June 24, 2002, President Bush set forth the conditions that the Palestinian Arabs must fulfill in order to merit U.S. support for the creation of a Palestinian Arab state. Among the major obligations are that the Palestinian Arabs must

1. "dismantle the terrorist infrastructure,"
2. "end incitement,"
3. "elect new leaders not compromised by terror," and
4. unequivocally embrace democracy and free-market economics.

This report analyzes Palestinian Arab actions during Dec. 17 - Dec. 23, 2002, the 26th week following President Bush's speech. .......

1. "Dismantle the Terrorist Infrastructure"

What They Must Do: President Bush said that the Palestinian Arabs must "engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure." Those terms were previously defined in the Oslo and Wye accords as including arresting and imprisoning terrorists; shutting down bomb factories; seizing terrorists' weapons; extraditing terrorists to Israel; punishing factions of the PLO that engage in terrorism; and outlawing terrorist groups.

The Bush administration has also said that in rebuilding its police and security forces, the PA must reform them so that they fight against terrorists instead of taking part in terrorism.

The training, under the supervision of U.S., Egyptian, and Jordanian security officials, began on September 19, 2002; however, Israel has protested the fact that at least 100 of the 150 PA security officers participating in the course "were involved in attacks on Israeli civilians." (Middle East Newsline, September 17, 2002)

What They Did During Week #26:

A. No Terrorists Arrested: There were no reports of terrorists being arrested or imprisoned.

B. No Terrorists Extradited: The PA continued to ignore Israel's 45 requests for the extradition of terrorists.

C. No Terror Groups Outlawed: The PA did not outlaw Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, or any other terrorist groups.

D. No Terrorists' Weapons Seized: There were no reports of the PA seizing terrorists' weapons. By contrast, in Rafiah on December 22, Israeli forces discovered ready-to-detonate bombs in a private house, and an entrance to a tunnel to Egypt that was used for smuggling weapons to the PA.

E. No Closing of Bomb Factories: There were no reports of the PA shutting down any bomb factories.

F. No Punishing of PLO Terror Factions: There were no reports of the PLO leadership punishing PLO factions that are engaged in terrorism, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

G. New Terrorist Attacks: Throughout Week #26, Israeli forces were engaged in "Operation Determined Stand," resulting in a sharp decrease in terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, during Dec.17-Dec.23, 2002, there were at least 17 terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, in which 1 person was murdered and 5 wounded:

December 17:
* A terrorist with an explosives belt was intercepted while trying to attack the Israeli Army's "Tarmit" outpost near the Egyptian border

* Shooting attack near the Egyptian border; two senior officials of the Defense Ministry's Construction Department were wounded

* Shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers near the Egyptian border

* A bomb discovered in Hebron

* Shooting attack on Israeli motorists near Netzarim

Attack on Israeli Army vehicles in the Central Region.

December 18:
* Firebomb attack on Israeli soldiers in Shechem (Nablus); two wounded

* Shooting attack on an Israeli motorist near Morag

* Bombs found near Morag

* Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Rafiah.

December 19:
* Bomb discovered in the Morag greenhouse.

December 20:
* Shooting attack on Israeli motorists near Netzar Hazani; the town's rabbi was killed.

December 21:
* Grenade attack on Israeli soldiers near Morag; one wounded

* Shooting attack on a German diplomat in Jenin.

December 22:
* Two Hamas terrorists intercepted near Jenin on their way to carry out an attack

* Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza.

December 23: * Shooting attack on Israeli soldiers in Rafiah. ...........

2. "End Incitement"

What They Must Do: President Bush stated that the Palestinian Arabs must "end incitement to violence in official media, and publicly denounce homicide bombings."

What They Did During Week #26: The PA's official newspapers, television, and radio continued to broadcast a steady stream of anti-Israel, anti-American, and pro-violence incitement, and PA officials continued to make inciting statements.

For example, at a PA-sponsored ceremony in Gaza on December 18, titled "Palestine and Iraq in the Same Trench," 25 families of Palestinian Arab "martyrs" received grants from Saddam Hussein totaling $280,000.

Sketches of Arafat and Saddam Hussein appeared together on a poster beside the Iraqi and PA flags. During the ceremony, support was expressed for Iraq in its coming battle with the United States and one of the speakers, the poet Omar Halil Omar, "praised the role of Iraq and the Commander Saddam Hussein, and stressed that Iraq's land will be a graveyard for the American soldiers," according to the official PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al- Jadida, Dec. 19, 2002, as quoted by Palestinian Media Watch. .........

3. "Elect New Leaders Not Compromised by Terror"

What They Must Do: President Bush stated that the Palestinian Arabs must hold "fair multiparty elections by the end of the year, with national elections to follow," in which they "elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror."

What They Did During Week #26: The PA has announced that it will hold elections for chairman of the PA and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council on January 20, 2003, IF Israel withdraws from various parts of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. (New York Times, June 27, 2002)

It remains to be seen whether those elections, if held, will be free and fair, as President Bush has urged, or will be marred by ballot-stuffing and intimidation of voters and potential non-PLO candidates, as were the last PA elections, in 1996. .......

4. "Build Democracy Based on Tolerance and Liberty"

What They Must Do: President Bush said that the Palestinian Arabs must "build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty," with "a new constitution" and "a truly independent judiciary. He said they must "confront corruption," and "the Palestinian parliament should have the full authority of a legislative body." They must implement "market economics," and create "a vibrant economy where honest enterprise is encouraged by honest government."

In addition, there must be "an externally supervised effort to rebuild and reform the Palestinian security services" with "clear lines of authority and accountability and a unified chain of command."

What They Did During Week #26:

* The PA continues to claim that it is in the process of implementing what it describes as its "reform plan," but experts doubt that the reforms will be genuine. Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said of the plan: "While it offers promising elements of change, the plan is only likely to strengthen the unacceptable status quo." (Middle East Newsline, July 9, 2002)

* On October 29, 2002, Arafat announced the appointment of a new cabinet; however, 16 of the 19 cabinet members had likewise been members of the outgoing cabinet. (New York Times, October 30, 2002)

* Furthermore, on October 29, 2002, the PA announced it had condemned to death an Arab human-rights worker (Heidar Mahmoud Hussein Ghanim, an employee of the leftwing Israeli group B'tselem) for "spying for Israel." ..................

Sent by Naomi Ragen

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Will Warren on 9/11: Malignity

From Unremitting Verse

On that day we awoke to malignity,
The ferocious intent to do us harm,
That day of rage and sorrow, of smoke and alarm,
Of souls lost in the fires of iniquity.
We felt the familiar world distort,
As when one sees his pathology report:

Examination reveals a profusion
of poorly differentiated cells
that compose an abnormal mass, which swells
against nearby structures. Intrusion
into adjacent structures is found;
the margin of the mass shows infiltration
of the surrounding tissues. Aberration
of function is pronounced. Necrosis around
the primary site and other nearby
tissues is seen. Evidence of metastatic
spread to distant locations is emphatic.
Indicated aggressiveness is high,
as the cells’ primitive form is apparent.
Diagnosis: neoplasm, malignant.

Yet what we have is not a cancer that kills
By insensate grasp, but one that thrills
In its spread, that rejoices in its sign:
Not malignancy, but malignity.
Its hosts feed and water it like a treasured tree,
In love with malice, rapturous for the malign.

Why do they hate us so? some still ask.
Is this so hard? Don't psychology
And Occam’s razor agree with history?
Because they are haters. They love to bask
In falsehood's glow. They regard the others
As Others, not as ones who might be brothers.

On that day we awoke, and this we know:
The man of malice poses the greatest threat.
If his way be clear, our doom, and his, are met.
Our best will block his way, and each will go
As a surgeon, not exchanging eye for eye:
Excising malignity, dispatching the lie.

--Will Warren


By Joseph Farah

Despite two years of intense terrorism against Israeli civilians by the Palestinian Authority, Jerusalem is still willing to reward the violence and participate in the creation of yet another Arab police state in the Mideast - probably under the direction of the bloodthirsty, would-be tyrant and friend of Saddam Hussein, Yasser Arafat. Will they ever learn?

Worse yet, this capitulation by Sharon comes under pressure from the United States, which claims to be fighting a war on terrorism.

Maybe it's time for a little review of history.

Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, the umbrella group under which many Arab terrorist groups united, was classified as a terrorist organization from its inception in 1964 until 1993. Magically, following the Oslo Accords, in which Arafat theoretically renounced terrorism, he and his group become non-terrorists. They got a full pardon, a clean slate, they were bestowed political "grace" - or unmerited favor. It was truly unmerited.

Arafat may have mumbled some magical words, but he did not stop his terrorist campaign.

In fact, a study conducted by my friend Rachel Ehrenfeld showed Arafat used the public relations coup of 1993 to launch a whole new career as a drug trafficker, arms smuggler, money launderer and counterfeiter to help amass a fortune estimated by the British National Criminal Intelligence Services nearly 10 years ago at $10 billion.

You might think a fortune like that would lead to moderation. But, Arafat has every incentive to maintain his terrorist and criminal escapades. After the first year of the 2-year-old uprising utilizing suicide bombings and other terrorist tactics against Israel, the Palestinian Authority's annual revenues from donations jumped 80 percent - from $555 million to more than $1 billion.

Not surprising Arafat has provided the inspiration and financial model for terrorist groups all over the world - including Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

Arafat's PA has survived and flourished since 1993 based on two sources of revenue, reports Ehrenfeld: "international donors such as the European Union, the Arab states and the United States; and " criminal enterprises.

Want to know how much of your taxpayer money goes to fund Arafat? You better sit down.

The U.S. has given $548.7 million in direct aid to the PA, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation. But the total sum, according to Ehrenfeld's study, is actually $1.1 billion.

The European Union is even crazier than Washington. Altogether, in loans and aid, the EU has provided $2.52 billion to the PA.

Then there's the U.N., which provided $521.7 million just this year, about 30 percent of which came from the U.S.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Arafat has taken these "investments" from the West and put them to work in criminal enterprises to create new revenue streams.
" The PA oversees massive counterfeiting of CDs, DVDs, clothing, cosmetics and schoolbooks.
" The PA oversees the counterfeiting of Israeli, Jordanian and Kuwaiti currency.
" The PA shakes down ordinary citizens for tribute through kidnappings, extortion, even phony traffic violations.
" Stealing cars from Israel is rampant in PA territory, and the government runs the relicensing of those cars.

Then there's the drug-running, arms-smuggling, etc. It all adds hundreds of millions to the phantom PA budget.

Where does all this money go? Israeli government estimates say about $1.3 billion went directly into the pockets of Yasser Arafat.

So, not only is this man a murdering terrorist, he's a thief. Not only is he a liar, he's a con artist. Not only does he victimize Israelis, he victimizes his own people.

Yet, Israel continues to travel down this dead-end "road to peace." And the United States and Europe, unable to admit their mistakes, keep applying the pressure to continue this business-as-usual approach to Mideast policy.

It's time to call the PA what it is - a terrorist, criminal enterprise. It's time to cut off the donations. It's time to seize the assets. It's time to declare war on it as a terrorist entity. It's time to free the people under its grip like we're about to free the people of Iraq.

Joseph Farah's nationally syndicated column originates at WorldNetDaily,
where he serves as editor and chief executive officer.

Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

News from Hebron

1. Attempted terror outside Kiryat Arba

This morning at about 11:30, terrorists opened fire on employees of the Kiryat Arba municipality, working at "Hill 29," opposite the Givat HaHarsina gas station. The shots were fired from an Arab house in the vicinity. No one was injured. A short time later, following arrival of Israeli security forces, two bombs were detected near the area where the men were working. When bomb squad experts arrived to dismantle the explosives, they discovered that the bombs were fake. The security forces broke into the house from which the shots were fired, but the terrorists had already escaped.

A Hebron spokesman issued the following statement: Five weeks ago Kiryat Arba suffered tragedy when three members of their emergency squad were killed by Arab terrorists and others were wounded, some critically. This morning four employees of the Kiryat Arba municipality were the targets of Arafat-terrorists. There is no doubt that the continued passivity displayed by the Israeli government and the Defense ministry, following the killing of 14 people in less than a month and a half is a clear signal to the terrorists: do what you want, shoot, wound, kill; don't worry, for whatever you do there is no price, no punishment, nothing to prevent you from spilling more Jewish blood. The fact that the terrorists are treated to eviction of Jews from their land, as happened here last Wednesday night, is icing on the cake. This is tantamount to incitement, again, the government's message to the terrorists: 'if we can do it, so can you.' When will the government wake up - the danger is not to Hebron or Kiryat Arba. The danger envelopes the entire state of Israel. No one is immune, be they in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Eilat or Kiryat Shemona. Ariel Sharon - speak the language Arafat and his terrorist thugs understand: Force and Land. Eliminate the terrorists and return Eretz Yisrael to the People of Israel. Only then will the terror come to an end.

2. Memorial Olive Trees

The Hebron Gift Shop posted the following letter:

The past month has not been easy in Hebron and Kiryat Arba. The murder of twelve men, including three Kiryat Arba residents, the Hebron commander, Col. Dror Weinberg, HY”D, and eight other officers and soldiers is a heavy blow to our communities.

Please accept our thanks for your strong support and moving letters during this difficult time.

We have decided on a special way to commemorate the memories of those killed. In preparation for the Tu b’Shvat “festival of trees,” we are planting olive trees in Kiryat Arba-Hebron. These area will be named “The Hebron Heroes’ Forest.

We would be honored to have you participate in planting trees in memory of our beloved.

You will find details at “The Hebron Internet Gift Shop” [ ].

All participants will receive a beautiful certificate honoring the contribution and participation in this worthwhile project.

Naomi Ragen: An illuminating conversation

Dear Friends,

Forget the blah-blah of news commentaries. This true exchange between an Israeli man (who writes and speaks about the Holocaust) and an Israeli-Arab student at Hebrew University will make you understand what is happening in the world, and in Israel.

Every blessing,

Naomi Ragen

Conversation on the Beach

By Solly Ganor
Herzliya, Israel
Friday, December 6, 2002

About half a mile from where I live in Herzliya, on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, stands an old mosque. It was built during the Middle Ages and a Moslem holy man is buried on that site. The holy man's name was Sidney Ally and that is how the mosque is known to this day. The beach bellow, stretches all the way to Herzliya to the South, and Netanya to the North.

I often go there for walks because from its heights one has a panoramic view of the sea and the whole area. There is another reason why I go there; from that hill, at certain weather conditions, the Mediterranean turns into a colour of blue that can not be seen anywhere else.

Last Friday, as the wind began blowing from the East, the Medi, as we call our sea, began calming down. It flattened the waves coming ashore until it became as placid as the Kinneret during the summer. It was then that the deep blue colour, as if by a magic wand, emerged from the depth of its waters. It wasn't the first time I saw it and I always witness that phenomenon with rising spirits. " If there is so much beauty in this world, then there is hope for us humans yet." I said to myself.

The silence was interrupted by a noisy bus full of Arab worshipers who arrived to the mosque for their Friday services. They wore the traditional Arab garb, and entered the mosque quietly. Some of them threw me hostile glances. Their arrival brought me back to our desperate conflict with these people for the piece of land we call Israel, and they call Palestine. Only a few years ago at Camp David, we deluded ourselves that they are finally ready for peace; Israel and Palestine living next to each other for the mutual benefit of both peoples. But that was not to be. They are still not ready to relinquish their old dream to oust us out of the Middle East.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" I heard a voice behind me speaking English. As I turned around I saw a well dressed young man of about twenty five, looking wistfully at the sea. By his accent and looks I realized that he was an Arab, probably one of the lot that arrived by bus. A quick visual scan of his body assured me that he didn't come to stab me, or blow himself up. I nodded. "Yes, it is beautiful." Well, we have at least one thing in common, I thought.

And then I had a second thought. "Here stands an Arab youth next to me, in the heart of Israel, calmly admiring with me the sea. There was not a shadow of a doubt in his mind that something bad would ever happen to him here in Israel. I tried to imagine myself standing that way in Ramalah, and having that conversation with an Arab youth. Then I remembered a scene filmed by an Italian TV correspondent in Ramalah last year.

Two Israelis, who by mistake took a wrong turn, found themselves among a mob of Palestinians. They were brought to the Palestinian police station where they were lynched and their mangled bodies were thrown out of the window, to the cheering crowds below. They kicked them and beat them until they were an unrecognizable mess of flesh." The Italian TV crew, who filmed that scene, had to run for their lives to escape the mob. Fortunately, they were able to sneak the film out and show it to the world, one of the few films that were ever shown of the Arab atrocities. But the world isn't interested in Arab atrocities. They are used to them and they don't make good news.

For a while we stood in silence admiring the view.

"Didn't you come with the others to pray?" I asked just to make conversation. I was curios about him. Why did he join me? It wasn't just to watch the view, of this I was sure. "I know what that old fool will say by heart. He is of the old school and preaches moderation. Fortunately, his time is over."

"You don't think that moderation is a good idea?"
"What has moderation ever done for us? We have been moderate long enough. We are growing weaker while you have grown stronger. It is time for us to act."

I was a little surprised by his belligerent tone right from the start. Usually Arabs are polite in the beginning of a conversation.

"Do you think that you were moderate up to now? Would you call five wars the Arabs launched against us, moderation? I wonder what you would call hostility?" He gave me a sober look.

"Hostility is what you are getting now. Our young people are blowing themselves up in all of your major towns, taking with them hundreds of your Israelis. President Arafat have promised you a million "Shahids" to march on Jerusalem. The march has already began, and it won't be thanks to Arafat. He is another old bungler. Things are changing. Until now you had the upper hand, but no more! Our "Shahids" are the answer to your atomic bombs. If necessary, one "Shahid" can be an atomic bomb, here in Israel, in America, in Europe, or anywhere the Jews and the Crusaders live. We don't need millions of dollars worth of sophisticated labs and expensive scientist. What we have is cheap and efficient. That is because we are not afraid to die. We have finally found your soft underbelly, your Achilles' Heel. You Judeo-Christians worship the sanctity of life, while we don't mind dying for Islam." The last sentence he said with certain pride in his voice.

From the way he expressed himself, I realized that he is a student. As if confirming my thoughts, he told me that he is a student of political science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "Do all the Arab students studying at the Israeli universities share your views?"

"Absolutely! A few may be oriented towards the West, but the overwhelming majority are for the new emerging Renaissance of Islam."

Then he smiled and said, " You might as well enjoy the beautiful view from "Sidney Alley" while you can. You won't be able to do so for long. If I were you, I would pack and leave for safer countries." I gave him a long look.

"Thanks for the advice, but I remember another Arab who gave the same advice to us in 1948, when the British were pulling out. He may have been your grandfather, for all I know. He lived in a village somewhere around here and he was a friend of a Jewish man named Peytan whom I knew as well. Peytan lived in Kefar Shemaryahu across the road. One day the Arab neighbor came visiting Mr. Peytan and strongly advised him to pack and leave. At the same time, he brought out a measuring tape and began to measure the room they were sitting in.

'What are you doing?" asked my friend.

"Look, you are going to lose your house anyway. There is no way that six hundred thousand of you can stand up to the combined might of six Arab regular armies, not to mention our Palestinian battalions. We can actually kill you with our hats!" Yes, that is what he actually said: "We can kill you with our hats." We have been good friends for a long time. You might as well give me your house rather than to someone you don't know."

"His advice reminded me of your advice. Yet during the 1948 war, that was forced on us by you, your 'grandfather', not only didn't get the house in Kefar Shemaryahu, but he lost his own house and became a refugee. And now he is blaming it on the Jews. Fifty-five years later he still sits in the camp. His views haven't changed much. He still wants not only his house back, but he wants the house in Kefar Shemaryahu, of his Jewish friend as well. Will he ever get it? I doubt it."

"Yes, he will get it! And you know why? Because in 1948 they were all cowards! Today, our generation is proving that we are not! Eighteen determined men with carton cutters who were not afraid to die, defied the big American might, causing them thousands of dead and trillions of dollars worth of losses. We found out that we can bring the Western capitalist system to its knees, and we shall do so! It is a shameless selfish system that causes endless human misery around the world, especially in the third world countries and for Islam. It is time for it to go!" It was obvious from the way he said it that he didn't say it for the first time.

"Communism, Nazism, Fascism, they all were defeated by the Western Democracies, What system do you propose to replace it with?" I asked. I was beginning to get irritated with this young Arab.

"Islam!" He said fiercely.

"Islam?" I asked. "Islam? What did Islam ever do for the countries under its rule? It brought nothing but poverty and misery to the masses, while bestowing fabulous riches to the rulers. All you have to do is look around you. Israel, that was in 1948 a pauper state, barely able to feed its population, has grown into a modern self sufficient state. We have absorbed a million Jews from the Arab countries, who fled for their lives leaving all they possessed behind, while your Arab brothers with their billions of petro dollars let the Palestinians rot in refugee camps. While we progressed in the last fifty years, the Arab states have only regressed . As a matter of fact, the Arab masses are worse off than when they were under the British or the French rule. How many Nobel prize winners has Islam produced? How many new inventions to benefit mankind? Practically zero! How many Einsteins, Freuds, Salks and Rubinsteins has Islam produced? Zero! From a once vibrant Arab civilization, that gave us Algebra and the concept of the zero, Islam has plunged you into a pit of fanaticism, lliteracy, poverty and corruption, and you would like to force the world into the same abyss?"

For a while he looked at me perturbed. "We all make mistakes. But Islam with all its faults is a thousand times more preferable to the abomination that is the West." He finally said quietly. Then he gave me a fierce look and said: "If you had said in any Arab country about Islam, what you have just said to me, you would be a dead man!"

"I am sure I would. And if you had said in any Arab country denouncing their corrupt regimes the way you are denouncing Israel, you would be a dead man too. Yet, here you are, studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, allowing yourself openly to speak of subversion and treason against the State of Israel, without any fear of being arrested, let alone being killed for it. Doesn't it say something to you?"

" Yes, it says that you are weak, and that weakness will be your undoing." He said seriously.

"Isn't there a way our two nations could ever come to terms and make peace?" Again he gave me that serious look.
"Yes, there is a way. We are not like the Nazis who gave you no other choice but death. We give you the chance to convert to Islam, then you will become a part of us and our people will live in peace." For a while we stood in silence looking at the sea.

"You will never defeat us because we have a secret weapon, the same weapon that saved us from you in 1948."I said.

"Yes, and what is that, your atom bomb?" His tone was derisive."
No. In Hebrew it is known as 'Ein Breira'.
"Ein breira? That is your secret weapon? It means 'there is no other choice. Why, we too can say the same thing."
"But that is not quite true. We have 'no other choice' because you challenge our very existence in this country, whereas we don't do that. We are quite willing to coexist with you as a Palestinian state and an Israeli state, side by side. You don't."

There was nothing more to be said. The sun was dipping towards the horizon in the West, and the sea lost it's deep blue colour. The magic was gone. It was time to go home.

"Good bye. I have to go inside the mosque. I promised them a lecture." He said walking away. I could imagine what the lecture was all about. We didn't offer to shake hands. After all, you don't shake hands with your sworn enemy. I walked home depressed. If there was a way out of this conflict, I didn't see one.

Monday, December 23, 2002


Dear Friends,

I send you an important piece by the well known columnist Carl Alpert which explains why misguided peace movements in Israel are not just a harmless expression of delusional, unfounded optimism; to the Arabs, they are a sign of weakness and an encouragement to keep those bombs coming. Those Jews abroad who fund Peace Now, Rabbis for Human Rights, Yesh G'vul, Meretz, the Labor Party, Women in Black, etc. etc. are not forging ahead towards a peace settlement; they are encouraging the extremist elements now in control of the Palestinians, their dream of destroying the State of Israel and the ongoing violence against the Jewish people.

Please read and pass on.



by Carl Alpert

Haifa - There is no lack of news, almost daily, on events in the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation, but certain fundamental aspects of that struggle have received little attention. It is time the spotlight should be turned on them.

Statements by Palestinian leaders, sermons in mosques, and articles and editorials repeated in their press all lead to expression of a general opinion that the Arabs are winning in the ongoing battle with Israel. The few Arab personalities who raise timorous voices, pointing to the resultant desperate economic situation of their people, and the overpowering strength of Israel, are at once hushed up by the prophets of victory, and even threatened with harm. The masses follow the lead of their war-mongers.

On what do they base their optimism? On two factors: on the visible physical results of their violence, and on what they regard as a spirit of defeatism which appears to them to be sweeping over Israel.

With regard to the first: Gideon Levi, a pro-Palestinian columnist in the daily paper Haaretz, has for some time been serving as a mouthpiece for their point of view. On the subject of the alleged success of the terrorism, he has noted that ever since the Yom Kippur War, almost 30 years ago, everything that the Arabs have gained has come about as a result of their use of force. They point to the Yom Kippur War itself, Egypt's surprise attack, which ended with the surrender of the entire Sinai, even the last of Israel's holdings, Yamit.

The first Intifada gained for them the Oslo agreement, the safe ensconcing of Arafat in the West Bank, the establishment and arming (by Israel) of the Palestine Authority, and the withdrawal of Israel from major West Bank cities and most of Gaza.

It was the repeated violence of the Hizbullah that brought about Israel's hasty withdrawal from Lebanon.

More recently, Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader, observed that the bloody and painful terrorist attack on a bus in Jerusalem was what motivated Amram Mitzna, head of the Labor Party, to declare thereafter that he is prepared to withdraw unilaterally from the Gaza Strip. In other words, it appears to them that everything they have gained, and Israel's capitulation, has always come about after intense terrorist violence. The obvious moral, therefore, is to continue with the violence until Israel is brought to its knees, and then eliminated entirely.

The second factor contributing to their optimism, and hence encouraging them in their determination to continue with the terror, is the reaction of certain elements in Israel and among liberal-minded Jews in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The peace movements in Israel, though they represent only a very small fraction of public opinion, are regarded by the Palestinians as an indication of a growing spirit of defeatism here. Jewish street demonstrations and public meetings attacking government policy are looked upon by most Israelis only as an expression of a naive and misguided group exercising their freedom in a democracy. But to the Arabs, who do not understand democracy, such actions are taken very seriously and are regarded as indications of a significant split in Israeli public opinion.

The Palestinians derive encouragement as a result. Jews in other parts of the world as well, who endorse the so-called peace movements here, are in effect bolstering the Palestinians in their determination to increase their apparently successful terrorism. After all, they feel that they have help from unwitting collaborators within the Israeli ranks.

Further, the publicity given to the relatively few Israelis who have refused to serve in the army in the West Bank adds substantially to the belief that Israeli morale is disintegrating. Unwittingly, the idealistic but short-sighted Jewish humanitarians, are playing into the hands of Israel's foes, and are in large part responsible for continuation and extension of the terror.

The Arabs also compare the reaction at funerals of the victims on both sides, as shown here on television. Arab funerals are marked by excited fury, fist-waving and incitement. Jewish funerals are distinguished by the tears and subdued grief of the mourners. This, too, is regarded as a sign of growing Israeli weakness and imminent collapse, in contrast to Arab fervor and determination.

But after all this is said, it must be noted that the vast majority of Israelis remain confident and determined. They would prefer to reach a peaceful agreement with the Palestinians, but if the latter persist in resorting to violence, Israel has no alternative but to respond with force. A change may come when a new, sane, responsible leadership emerges on the other side, prepared to teach their people that good neighborliness is preferable to hostility. When that time comes, Israel will not be found wanting.

x x x

Naomi Ragen
Please visit my Web page at:
and subscribe to my mailing list by sending an empty email to:

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Jane, Yasir, Shoshana, and Mitzna

By Naomi Ragen

I was invited to attend a V-Day tribute to the doctors and nurses of Hadassah Hospital. I had no idea what V-Day meant, and found out it had to do with the feminism of the Vagina Monologues, an off-Broadway play written by Eve Ensler. The delegates, including the playwright, and Jane Fonda, had been touring the area, with a stop in Jordan to speak to women there about violence against women. I actually have an acquantaince in Jordan, Princess Wdjan Ali, a wonderful woman who is battling for an end to honor killings.

One of the highlights of the evening at Hadassah was a presentation by Shoshana Gottleib, a young, religious mother of four, who told the audience how the van she was in was attacked by murderous machine-gun fire by terrorists, and how bending down to put orange peels in a plastic bag, she avoided the bullet that went through her headrest. As it was, Shoshana was critically injured, her spinal cord severed, paralyzing her for life from the chest down. One of the most interesting parts of Shoshana's presentation was her revelation that the terrorists who opened fire on her were three policemen in Arafat's Palestinian Authority, a fourth, who was Arafat's personal bodyguard in Force 17, and a fifth who had been recruited with the promise of $500. One of the terrorists videotaped the attack on the van, and it was sent to Yasir Arafat.

While Fonda stood with the rest of us to give Shoshana Gottlieb a standing ovation for her narrative of courage and survival, and she sounded quite sincere when she called the doctors, nurses and victims treated at Hadassah Hospital -- which is open to all and treats Arabs and Jews with total equality--real heroes,(we even had a brief pleasant chat about playwrighting and women's rights afterwards) I was surprised by some information that I heard later. First, as I paused to chat with Shoshana Gottlieb and her wonderful husband in the parking lot, she told me Ms. Fonda was planning to visit Yasir Arafat in Rammallah the following day. " She asked me if I had something I wanted to say to him," Shoshana told me. " I told her, I want the video tape."

Later, I understood that Ms. Fonda met with with Fatima al-Kasba, 37, who lost two teenage sons in the conflict, although we never did learn how. And I think it makes a difference if they died strapping on suicide belts, or as innocent bystanders....don't you?

Nevertheless, I give Ms. Fonda credit for coming to this area and for trying to understand the conflict,and for not coming out with inflammatory one sided statements, although she should not have been demonstrating with Women in Black, the women's group that pressured for the Oslo Accords, and in so doing put so many other mothers into the black of mourning.

While Ms. Fonda I think means well, I don't think the same can be said of Labor and Meretz representatives, including the personal adviser of Labor chair Amram Mitzna, who met last week in London with representatives of the Palestinian Authority. Yes, believe it or not, they are still meeting with Arafat.

The meetings took place under the auspices of the Peres Center for Peace (whose main accomplishments so far has been giving each other enormous salaries and sponsoring unsuccessful soccer tournaments between Arabs and Jews). Mitzna's aide, along with those of Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Haim Ramon, Matan Vilnai, Zahava Gal-On and Roman Bronfman, met with a Palestinian delegation that included Mahmoud Yaseen, who is in charge of protocol in Arafat's office (Hmm. I wonder if he's the one to ask for Shoshana Gottleib's videotape?), and the assistants of Information Minister Yasser Abd Rabbo, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), Nabil Shaath, Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala) and others.

"These meetings, designed to renew the dialogue between the parties, were planned a long time ago and did not take place until now for various reasons," explained the director of the Peres Center for Peace, Ron Pundak. (Ron was the main writer of the Oslo Accords. I once heard him say with a gleeful smile that he had put in so many clauses it would impossible for Israel to ever reverse the process)."It was made clear in the meetings that the real differences between the sides are not related to substance but rather to a lack of trust because of the conflict in the last two years," Pundak noted.

Not related to substance, huh? I'd say that video tape of the deliberate attack on Shoshana Gottlieb that paralyzed her for life and the $500 bucks Yasir promised the people who did it was substantive, even if the cowards, morons and brain-dead of the Labor Party and Meretz can't figure it out.

"Both sides have expressed the will to reach peace and live in mutual respect and recognition, and to end the occupation and the terror, the Israeli participants said."

Where have we heard that before? Oh, was it 700 Israeli dead ago? Ten thousand Israeli injured ago? Hadassah treated 2,100 victims of terror last year alone. " This is the only way to promise both nations a future of good neighborly relations, peace and security within safe borders based on international recognition and other initiatives, such as the Arab peace initiative and the speech made by President Bush last June, the parties said. Blah, blah. You get it. If you elect Labor or Meretz, get ready for Oslo II, and the next round of dead and injured. The next two thousand mothers paralyzed for life for $500 (He never got the money, he said.)

"Both sides aren't hearing each other's narratives, and maybe that's our role as artists." Jane Fonda said of the meetings with Israeli and Palestinian women. I for one, Jane, am listening. And what I hear, for the most part, is baloney.

I thank Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA for information on the meeting in Europe sent through his mailing list.
Naomi Ragen
Please visit my Web page at:
and subscribe to my mailing list by sending an empty email to:

Friday, November 29, 2002

Daniel Gordis: Dispatches from an Anxious State

In New York last week, I had occasion to be interviewed on NPR. It still amazes me how many people listen to talk radio, and of those, how many find the time to search the web in order to write email comments on what they've heard. I was pretty flooded with responses to the interview (, and rather struck by one particular theme that appeared in many of the letters. The following is typical -- I use it as the example because it was somewhat less inflammatory than many of the others:

"Listening to you on the Leonard Lopate show, I couldn't but be amazed at your disregard for the lives of your children. When the neighborhood we were living in deteriorated to the point that it was no longer safe to walk the streets we moved. We could have stayed, worked with the neighborhood association, joined the block watchers, etc, but in the meanwhile we had images of our children coming home from school mugged, bloodied, or even killed. It wasn't worth it to be heroes. . . . How will you feel if one of those suicide bombers kills your child when you could have avoided it by moving back to the States? Israel does not need you, it has many, many people who will fight the good fight, and in any event the problems are caused by forces beyond your control. Doesn't your family come first? Richard"

Well, Richard, I didn't answer that e-mail until today, because I didn't really know where to begin. But today was the kind of day in Israel that clarifies everything -- why we're here, why this isn't anything like the neighborhood that you left, and why we're not killing our children, but giving them something to live for.

We were at a Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel (The Western Wall) this morning. After the service was over, I grabbed a cab to head back to the office for a meeting. The news was prattling about something that "even we were unprepared for."

Uh-oh. That was the first I'd heard about the attack in Mombassa. Details were sketchy, and the only way the news could get any information was to speak on cell phones to Israelis who were actually at the site. One woman, just shy of hysterical, told the story of the explosion, and recounted how it took just under two hours for the first Kenyan ambulances to arrive. (Tonight, Israelis still can't believe that. We get to these disaster sites in two to three minutes, though admittedly, we have a lot more practice.) When asked what she expected would happen next, she said, "I assume Israel will send doctors, medicine and soldiers, and then they'll bring us home." And she was right. The news immediately cut to an airfield, where five IAF planes were being loaded with the medical equipment and personnel that the Kenyans couldn't seem to amass, and shortly thereafter, the planes and their cargoes were on their way.

You see, Richard, this isn't some dumpy neighborhood somewhere in the States that makes no difference to anyone but those who can't get out of it. This is what we call home. Muslim extremist evil knows no borders. We've known that for a long time. Remember Munich? Remember New York? Muslim terrorism isn't about the settlements, or the "occupation" (which may or may not be a bad idea, depending on who you ask, but certainly isn't the root cause of all this terrorism), but about Israel herself and about Israelis and Jews wherever they may be. (Truthfully, it's about Western Civilization, which the Jews for some reason are seen to represent.) And when Jews end up butchered in Mombassa, they know one thing. Kenyan incompetence will not allow them to be stranded.

We'll get there. And we'll bring whatever's left of them home.

And then we heard about the two shoulder-mounted missiles fired at the Arkia jet carrying 271 people, and how they missed. And on tonight's news, even CNN showed a home video one of the passengers had taken as the plane prepared to land. Outside the window, IAF F-16's were flanking the jet, making sure that it hadn't been damaged and was safe to land. They were so close that from the cabin window, the passenger was able to film the pilot and navigator relatively clearly. And as the plane landed, the video caught the clapping and spontaneous singing of "Heveinu Shalom Aleichem" -- a kitchy old Israeli homecoming song that no one on that plane had sung for decades. But no matter. There was no reason to be embarrassed by the kitch. Six decades ago, when people fired at Jews across the world, there was no one willing to do anything.

The F-16's outside the window showed our children, Richard, that we're not disregarding them or their safety -- we've brought them to the only place on the planet where Jews can take care of themselves.

Of course, we're not always successful, Richard. You're right. Sometimes, they get us. In the past two years, there have been 14,500 terrorist attacks in Israel. No exaggeration. What's amazing is that relatively few have killed people. Still, when two terrorists shot up a Likud Party headquarters this afternoon killing six people (so far), it was the culmination (though the day's not over, so one hesitates to use that word definitively) of a rather horrible day. But no one's running away. The Likud party primary didn't get cancelled or delayed. The polls stayed open. The countries these terrorists "represent" don't have a single democracy to their credit (save Turkey, if you call that military-in-the-shadows-government-sham a democracy), but we do. They blow up a hotel, try to shoot down a jet, shoot up a bus station and we still vote. Quietly, peacefully, democratically. And in the midst of all the sadness and grief, many of us are proud of that. I think we have a right to be.

You weren't proud of that neighborhood you left. Probably because it didn't stand for anything too important. Because it reeked hopelessness. So you left, and rightly so. But this place does stand for something important. And even on dark days like today, in which everyone I know was sullen, recovering from one bit of news only to hear another, this place pulses with hope. Those doctors flying to Mombassa are what this place is all about. The F-16's shadowing the 757 making its way home are what this place is all about. And the quiet, orderly voting is what this place is all about. What kind of a person in their right mind would leave this, Richard? This isn't a neighborhood. It's home. And with all its faults, and there are many, it's a dream come true. Walk away from that? How would we get out of bed in the morning and look in the mirror?

The chit-chat over dinner tonight was fascinating. Micha, our youngest and nine years old, was trying to understand the difference between Sharon and Netanyahu. Apparently, today's Likud primary had been much discussed in his fourth grade class. His older siblings were trying to explain. When they told him that Sharon has said that he's willing, in principle, to see a Palestinian state, Micha asked incredulously, "given them LAND?" To which his brother and sister explained that "they" need someplace to live, too, which is why Sharon says that. But then, they continued, "the Arabs probably won't stop killing us for a long time, which is why maybe Netanyahu's right." Elisheva and I didn't say much, and just listened to this rather lengthy discussion.

They had most of it right, some of it wrong. But guess what, Richard? They were talking about the future, a future they believe in. In just a couple of years, our daughter will get to vote, too. (That, of course, would not be the case if she lived in the Palestinian Authority. Or Lebanon. Or Syria. Or Jordan. Or Saudi Arabia. Or Egypt.) And she'll vote about stuff that really matters. The direction her country takes will be her choice, too. You're right that we can't completely stop the terrorism, and you're right that there's some danger here. But here's what our kids have learned: Life isn't about staying alive. It's about believing in something that matters while you're alive. And at the dinner table tonight, watching our kids think out loud about how much you should trust people who've been doing this to you for two years, but what you'll have if you're not willing to risk anything, I realized that it works. They actually still believe in the future. There wasn't a grain of hopelessness in their conversation. I bet that wasn't true when people talked about your old neighborhood, was it? And that's what makes all the difference.

Yes, Richard, our family does come first. And that's why we're here. To raise our kids in a place that's all about them, about their history, their future, their sense of being at home. To live in a place that unlike that old neighborhood, matters very much. Not because we're heroes, for we're not. But because we know just a bit about Jewish history; and because we have no right to expect other Israelis to "fight the good fight" if we're not willing to.

On the news this afternoon, they interviewed some alleged aviation expert about the attempted attack on the Arkia 757. He explained how these missiles work, and gave a whole dissertation on the ease of operation of heat-seeking shoulder-launched missiles. When he was done, the interviewer asked him, "Then how did they miss? After all, a lumbering 757, barely off the ground? How do you explain this?"

His answer, I thought, was telling. He said, "I can't explain it. Either they fired without priming the heat-seeking element on the missiles, or they were faulty. But normally, there's no way to miss. It was a miracle."

He didn't mean anything theological by the comment, of course, but today's the day before Hanukkah. In your old neighborhood, and in your new one, too, it's Thanksgiving. I remember it well. College football during the day. Beer and pretzels, and chatting with friends. Turkey and stuffing at night. Not bad at all.

None of that here. Just a regular old dinner. But not so tomorrow night. Tomorrow night, when you look outside our living room window, in the windows of virtually every other apartment within sight, there are going to be Hanukkah candles flickering. Religious families, secular families. Left wing families, right wing families. Native families and immigrant families. American families and French families. Young families and old families. Sharon families and Netanyahu families. They'll all have candles in the window.

Because Richard, somehow, in spite of everything, we still believe in miracles. Some of them happened a long time ago. But others are still happening. We understand them in different ways, and we disagree passionately about how to keep them going. But after a day like today, somehow we find ourselves still believing in them.

It's a crazy, dangerous place, this neighborhood of ours, Richard. But it's home. And it's a miracle. It really is. And from that, you see, you just don't walk away.

Now do you get it?

Happy Hanukkah.

(c) 2002 Daniel Gordis The first four years of these dispatches, along with other brief essays on life in Israel, have now been published by Crown Publishers as "IF A PLACE CAN MAKE YOU CRY: DISPATCHES FROM AN ANXIOUS STATE."

For more information, see

The Amazon link is

You are welcome to forward this e-mail if you would like, but only in its entirety and unedited, including the information below. However, this material may not be published in print or posted on a web site without the express, written consent of the author.

You can subscribe to the list at (see the box on the top left of the screen) or at If, for some reason, this doesn't work, you can also subscribe by sending a BLANK email to: Topica will automatically send you a confirmation message to which you must reply. Unsubscription information is included automatically in each newsletter.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Naomi Ragen: Giving thanks

It’s awfully late, past midnight, and I should be going to sleep instead of sitting here writing this. But somehow I can’t allow this day to end without talking about it to someone.

I am trying to find my feet. To know where it is I am now that the world as we know it doesn’t seem to exist anymore. The daily murder of Jewish children by armed, adult men wasn’t supposed to happen anymore. Not to my generation. The world had learned a lesson, cried a tear, placed a memorial wreath. It was horrified at the practical results of the ideology of antiSemitism. We Jews had forgiven, if not forgotten. Taken the reparations. Bought Volkswagen cars and DeDetrich dishwashers…. Now, it was supposed to be a land dispute with neighbors we were embroiled in..

The hotel blown up in Nairobi reminded me of the Park Hotel in Netanya, blown up on Seder eve. I was there. I knew exactly how those people in the lobby felt, and the ones in their rooms who spoke about the shattering of glass, the slivers that flew past their faces. The holiday turned nightmare. The family get together that will scar and sear the family’s memory for as long as they live, even if they walked away without a scratch. I cannot even begin to imagine how an injury or death would affect the family.

I sat all day thinking: the world as I know it has disappeared. Well, not all day. Because for us Israeli-Americans today was also Thanksgiving. It’s a day we’ve been spending together, eating turkey, here in the Middle East, for thirty years. My Israeli-born children insist on it. So, the raw turkey was sitting on the counter, and the green apples in the bowl waiting to be peeled for the pie. The sweet potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn muffins were all still raw ingredients.

I wondered: How can I go on? Is it right for me to go on, prepare a family dinner, an evening of laughter with sons, daughters, grandchildren, greatgrandparents? I thought of calling everyone up and cancelling. But then, what to do with all this food? Reluctantly, I set about making Thanksgiving dinner.

And when the turkey was crisp and brown, the pie bubbling with fragrant juice, the potatoes mashed, the sweet potatoes baked…I heard the news on the radio suddenly switch from talking about Mombasa, to talking about Beit Shean.

Armed men with submachine guns opening fire on people standing on line to vote. Men with grenades. Six dead, twenty injured. In a sleepy little town. People there were being asked not to go out of their homes, because a gunmen might still be on the loose.

A sense of panic went through me. Was this, then, war? Would they be blowing up cars on the highway? Attacking the trains? Could we really get into the car and make the hour and a half ride to Netanya to bring our holiday meal and cheer to Mom and Dad, who can’t get around anymore? Mom – who lived through Auschwitz. And Dad, who just had his ninetieth birthday, who lost his first wife and two small children to the gas chambers? Should we cancel on them, stay home, lock the doors, draw the curtains, shut off the lights?

My daughter told me she was taking her three children to Mom and Dad, whatever I decided to do. So did my son and his wife, who were both at the Passover Massacre just a few months back. My children weren’t afraid. Weren’t about to give up or give in, or stop living, or stop feeling joy, stop celebrating being alive and having a family and living in the Jewish State. Just yesterday, this same daughter spent the evening with her sister in law, whose young husband is dying of cancer. A handsome father of four. Thirty-eight years old. His little girl crawled into bed beside her father, who can no longer see, and asked: “Do you know who this is?” And he answered: “Of course. You have your own scent. Like a flower. Do you know,” he asked her, “how much I love you?”

My daughter wanted our family to be together this Thanksgiving. And so I, reluctantly, full of fears, loaded my car with a box full of a Thanksgiving feast. In the beginning of the journey, I watched every car on the highway nervously. We said the travel prayer, asking God to let us come and go safely, a prayer we have been saying for forty years, long before the Intifada, or Oslo made it necessary. I felt better after that. I tried not to think about the elections which will decide the course of Israeli history.

And you know what? When we arrived, safely, unpacked the food, set the table, we did forget, for a little while. Surrounded by all the people I love, passing the warm, good food around the table, giving some comfort to Mom and Dad, seeing some smiles on their faces as we invaded their small, quiet world with our talk and laughter, and small children that made a mess, spinning Chanukah dreidels, eating gold foil wrapped chocolate money, setting up plastic bowling pins on the living room carpet, and spreading playing cards over the couch. I had somehow entered the old world again, the good world, the world I grew up in, the world in which I raised my own four children.

It was, for an hour or two at least, a reminder of all those things we are fighting so hard for, we Israeli Jews. All the things we so deserve after all that has happened to us.

I knew the feeling would not last, because there were fellow Jews to mourn over, and that couldn’t, shouldn’t be forgotten. We needed to bring that into the world we are creating, day by day. But for those few hours, I felt great thanks for the things that God in His goodness, has granted me to rejoice in.

I’m going to sleep now. I don’t know how I’ll feel in the morning. But I’m hoping some of that good, old world I love will force its shape, insist on its place in the world I inhabit, even as corrupt men full of sickening evil insist on reshaping it in their own image. But I have learned something: I will see many more days of thanksgiving, if only I have the courage to insist upon them.

God bless you all. Have a Happy Chanukah. Insist on it.

To subscribe, send a blank message to

WIG: Is Sharon creating a monster?

Ruth Matar, Women in Green Radio Program Arutz Sheva, November 27, 2002
Last night I returned to Israel after a ten-day stay in the United States. I had gone to the States to attend America-Israel fairs in Chicago, Illinois and Houston, Texas. These fairs are organized all over the United States by friends of Israel to give a boost to the Israeli economy, since very few tourists come here because of the Palestinian suicide bombers. On this occasion, therefore, I went to the States, not just as Ruth Matar, Co-leader of Women in Green, but also as Ruth Matar, Jewelry and Judaica Designer and Craftsman. To all the organizers and friends who I met at these fairs: You are wonderful, and your standing with Israel gives us renewed courage in these very difficult times.

I returned to a country in political and economic turmoil. Many of the people who have been some of Sharon’s staunch supporters feel they are about to be outmaneuvered and betrayed by their erstwhile hero. Sharon has always been admired for his surprise military tactics to get the best of his enemies. For example, in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, when things looked very bleak for Israel, Sharon, in a surprise move, encircled the Egyptian army and would have been able to march on to Cairo if not for American intervention. Since Sharon was elected with a landslide majority in February of the year 2000, he has used such surprise tactics on the very people who brought him to power.

Over the span of his public career Ariel Sharon has taken very firm positions on issues concerning Israel as the Jewish homeland, Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Oslo Accords. The man whom we admired and believed in, the man who expressed our deepest feelings, the man whom we trusted with Israel’s future, our national security and defense has shocked us to the core. He has done--as it is said in the military--“about face!” contradicting the positions which he took prior to his winning the election as Prime Minister. I’m going to quote from some articles which were published in the Jerusalem Post and written by Ariel Sharon under his own byline prior to his election.

“By recognizing this murderer’s organization, the PLO, the government has committed an act of madness. By reviving Israel’s greatest enemy on the eve of its disintegration and turning it into Israel’s shield against Hamas, the government has added crime to folly….There can be no reconciliation, historic or otherwise, with the man who ordered the murders of school children in Avivim, Maalot and Antwerp, and of eleven Jewish athletes in Munich…”

“For the first time, a Jewish government has formerly recognized Jordan’s standing vis-a-vis holy Islamic sites in Jerusalem. All this without a referendum, without elections, a Knesset or cabinet decision. It is as though it was a private matter. No, they would probably have taken more care over a private matter. Jordan isn’t the only country with standing on the Temple Mount. The King of Morocco is angling for influence, and the Monarch of Saudi Arabia is lusting for a share. And what about Yasser Arafat? A vigorous argument is raging over who has more right. Yet, the only element not cited by the government of Israel is the Jewish People. Some clarification is in order: only one people--the Jewish People--exercises sovereignty over Jerusalem in all its parts--especially our Holy sites, and primarily the Temple Mount. We cannot accept any foreign sovereignty over Jerusalem. Full rights of religious worship, yes; sovereign status--never.”

August 14, 1994, A LACK OF SELF-RESPECT
“Jerusalem is our capital only because of the Temple Mount. It is because of the Temple Mount that we say on Seder night, ‘Next year in rebuilt Jerusalem.’ It is because of the Temple Mount that we have settled in the Land of Israel and not in Argentina or Uganda; it is ‘the land of Zion and Jerusalem’, as our national anthem has it.

When Jews pray, wherever they may be in the world, they face the Temple Mount. When Moslems pray, even if they are on the Temple Mount, they face Mecca.

Whoever is willing to relinquish full control over the Temple Mount is actually ready, now emotionally, tomorrow in practice, to forfeit everything.

Before 1967 we didn’t possess the Temple Mount, but we never stopped, even for one second, striving to return to it. I used to say to my late son Gur when he was a child and we would ascend Mount Zion to view the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount is ours but it is not yet in our hands.

That is why the most important result of the Six Day War was not the winning of the Sinai or the Golan, but our return to our holy place, the Temple Mount.”

November 2, 1994, THINGS THAT ARE SACRED “I didn’t vote for the peace agreement with Jordan, even though I really wanted to. I am in favor of peace agreements with all the Arab countries, particularly Jordan. Jordan is the existing Palestinian state and there mustn’t be another. One thing is totally unacceptable: granting the Kingdom of Jordan a formal role vis-a-vis the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site in a political agreement. No nation in the world would have done such a thing. No sane government would have dared contemplate such a step. Only those who hold nothing sacred could behave this way. And if nothing is sacred, we shall not go on existing here. Our generation has no right and what, after all is the span of a single generation--to deprive future generations of the Jewish People’s holiest site? Conceding rule over the Temple Mount is the beginning of conceding rule over Jerusalem.”

It is hard to believe that the man who wrote these stirring words is the man who after his election formed a unity government with the architect of Oslo, Shimon Peres.

It is hard to believe that this is the same man who now professes that if elected he will once again form a unity government with the Labor Party. The Labor Party has just elected as its standard-bearer the ultra-leftist Amram Mitzna, who is offering the Palestinians not only negotiations under fire, but Israeli withdrawal under fire.

Mitzna explicitly promised that his first move as Prime Minister, should he ever reach this post, would be to evacuate all the Gazan settlements. He also promised to immediately resume negotiations with Yasser Arafat--disregarding Arafat’s failure to honor every previous agreement with Israel and without even demanding that the Palestinians stop the violence in the interim--and to evacuate most West Bank settlements within a year of taking office, with or without an agreement.

In other words, what Israel had previously offered in exchange for an end to the conflict Labor is now offering free of charge--with not even a temporary halt to the violence required in exchange. It is hard to imagine a more ringing endorsement of terror’s efficacy. In fact, the Palestinian Authority continues to heap praise on Labor Party Chairman Amram Mitzna and called on Israelis to vote for him in the January 2003 election if they want peace and security--the first time that Palestinian Authority officials have openly endorsed a candidate.

What has happened to Ariel Sharon? The man who called the Palestinian entity a terrorist entity now supports the creation of a Palestinian state. Is his motive to attract votes from the left? Or is his motive to remain in the good graces of George W. Bush and the US State Department?

To discuss this important question, we have with us tonight Yossi Ben-Aharon, former Director-General of the Primer Minister’s office.

But first, my Co-leader Nadia Matar will discuss how the Government and the Media refuse to acknowledge the will of the majority.

(A recording of this entire program, including the interviews, is available on Click on "On Demand Audio" on the blue bar.)

Even if Mr. Sharon, in his heart, is totally opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state and does not believe it will materialize, his words are raising expectations in every capital in the world, and carry the risk of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Palestinian terror war is a key link in the worldwide chain of Islamic terrorism. There is no distinction between Saddam Hussein’s use of poison gas against the Kurds and Shiites, Osama bin Laden’s incineration of 3,000 Americans in New York and Washington, and the murder of over 700 Israelis by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Yasser Arafat’s own Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade since Sharon became Prime Minister. They are one and the same menace.

President George W. Bush and the State Department continue to pressure Israel to establish a Palestinian state. In fact, the United States is planning to submit the final draft of the Road Map Plan to the Quartet on December 20. The Americans are pushing the Plan so that a Palestinian state be established as soon as possible. One of the plan’s first demands is a total freeze on Jewish construction in Yesha, Judea, Samaria and Gaza though Arabs will be permitted to continue building freely.

I firmly believe what Knesset Member Rabbi Benny Elon is alleged to have said at the Christian Solidarity Rally on May 11 in Washington D.C. “I believe that the United States Christians are the only ones who can stop the danger of a Palestinian state.” I would like to add, however, that I think that Jews are just as important in this endeavor to convince President George W. Bush to stop pressuring Israel. Establishing a Palestinian state in the Holy Land is directly against what is written in the Tenach (the Bible).

The following is a copy of an email sent by Judy Stone of Grapevine, Texas to President Bush and other government officials.

Dear Mr. President:

If the blowing up of Bus #20 in a west Jerusalem neighborhood during rush hour this morning does not BLOW UP the ROAD MAP to a Palestinian state, what will it take? I am a Christian who has often ridden Bus #20 when I have visited Jerusalem. I am vividly picturing the absolute horror in my own mind. Can you not see it?

At least 11 have died, INNOCENT, UNARMED young people and adults. How many arms, legs, heads, guts strewn over the street and hanging from the trees and buildings will it take? How much human blood? Yes, it IS human blood, not the blood of monkeys and pigs, as the Muslim religion teaches its adherents in the Middle East and even in its Islamic schools IN THE UNITED STATES!

How much HORROR are the Israelis expected to absorb?

Michael Freund just wrote an article in the Jerusalem Post enumerating 15,298 terror attacks in Israel since the “new intifada began over 2 years ago. Now the number is 15,299. How many more?

No more pressure on Israel to facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state! PLEASE! It is absolutely insane!

Signed: Judy Stone

It is tremendously important that you email or fax President Bush to stop pressuring Israel with the Road Map to a Palestinian state. Unfortunately, the establishment of a Palestinian state “means the end of the State of Israel”.

Fax President George W. Bush at 1-202-456-2461, or email him at

Your letter may be the one which will convince President Bush that his constituency is passionate about the survival of the Jewish State of Israel!

Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380
To contribute:

To subscribe to the Women In Green list, please send a blank email message to:

Killings of Israelis over past two days

Headlines from DEBKAfile:

Five Israelis killed, 40 injured - 7 seriously, one critically - in Palestinian shooting-grenade rampage at Beit Shean central bus station, post office and crowded Likud voting booth, Thursday afternoon. Soldiers shoot two dead. Suspected booby-trapped car found nearby. Among wounded are three sons of veteran Israeli politician David Levy

Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, arm of Arafat’s Fatah, claims Beit Shean killings

PM puts Mossad Director Dagan in charge of security crisis created by two major terrorist attacks, believed by al Qaeda, on Israeli targets in Mombasa, Kenya early Thursday. Unknown group called “Palestinian Army” claims Mombasa attacks mark anniversary of UN resolution creating Jewish state in broadcast over Hizballah TV Al Manar

Ten killed, including 3 Israelis - two of them children, more than 80 wounded - of which 13 Israelis - in suicide car bomb blast at Israeli-owned Mombasa Paradise Hotel as 146 Israeli tourists checked in. Two Israelis in critical condition. IDF sends two Hercules transports with medical staff to aid and evacuate casualties

Two heat-seeking missiles fired at same time from white minivan misses Arkia Boeing 757 taking off from Mombasa airport. Plane with 260 unhurt passengers and crew has landed at Ben Gurion. Kenya police announce two arrests, report attacks carried out by two teams of three men each of Arab appearance

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Powell on the moon

DEBKAfile headline: "Powell Wednesday: Palestinian Intifada was clearly a mistake. It hasn’t brought the Palestinian people closer to a state or to peace."

Why does he think a state or peace were the goal?

Why doesn't he know that the goals were simply to kill more Jews?

Monday, November 25, 2002

Media blackout on Women-in-Green demonstration outside PM's office

The Government and the Media Refuse to Acknowledge the Will of the Majority!

We purportedly live in a democracy where there is a free press and where our government is responsive to the will of the People. Not so! You would think that a demonstration held outside of the Prime Minister's Office yesterday morning in which citizens raised their voices in protest against the creation of a Palestinian State would at least be reported in the Media that day or the following morning. It was not.

WOMEN IN GREEN have amassed over 350,000 signatures to date to a Petition addressed to Prime Minister Sharon, voicing rigorous opposition to another Arab State east of the Jordan River. Each day new signatures are faxed to the Prime Minister - which he apparently ignores. These signatures represent the will of the overwhelming majority of the Jewish People here in Israel, as well as the position of masses of people abroad.

Unfortunately, the media has a silent pact amongst themselves not to report any events of a Jewish nationalistic nature. It is a deplorable censorship within this so-called democracy. A very large majority of the Jewish People have national feelings. Judaism and the Torah, in fact, encourage such feelings.

Member of the Knesset Yuri Shtern, former MK Elyakim Haetzni and Jan Willem Vander Hoeven, President of Christian Zionist for Israel, and Nadia Matar, co-chair of Women In Green, spoke at this important occasion and on this important topic. Despite our Media Release, no TV, no radio, no reporters were present, only an abundance of photographers. Nothing appeared in any of the newspapers, nor on television, nor on radio, that day or the following day! The editors of these papers, in consonance with their conspiracy to suppress national feelings, saw to it. In stark contrast, even the smallest innocuous demonstration of Meretz or Labor receives widespread coverage in our media.

Moreover, the media both here in Israel and abroad, do everything in their power to prevent the people from realizing that the Jewish populace shares a common opposition to another Arab State within the Biblical Land of Israel. That opposition is not surprising. The hatred of Jews taught in the Arab school system, and expressed in their propaganda, is an established fact. Moreover the murders and immoral terrorist behavior of the Arabs over the past two years, daily reminds us all of the terrible consequences which would follow the establishment of an Arab State within our midst.

Prime Minister Sharon has done nothing during his term in office to rectify the deplorable present state of affairs in the way the public receives its news and information. Our Courts, moreover, have lent a helping hand to suppress the will of the Knesset which had passed a law over two years ago, legitimizing Arutz 7, a small radio station which strives to report the news objectively. The courts have thus given its silent approval that the left remain in control of our present media.

We need a citizen uprising and protest against this intolerable situation. Until that occurs, the Jewish People will not fully recognize that the position they hold against the establishment of a Palestinian State is one shared by an overwhelming majority. Both the Government of Sharon and the media should be made to listen to the will of that majority! People power could bring about the necessary changes to make Israel a vibrant democracy.

Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380
To contribute:

To subscribe to the Women In Green list,
please send a blank email message to:

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Words spoken by widows Rivka Buanish and Rivka Duchan at memorial rally last night in Hevron

Saturday night thousands attended a memorial rally near the site of last week's murderous terror attack. The rally was held in the new "Giborie Hebron" - "Heroes of Hebron" neighborhood, which will connect Hebron to Kiryat Arba.

Among those speaking were Rabbis Moshe Levinger, Dov Lior, Moshe Bleicher and Eliezer Waldman, as well as Kiryat Arba Mayor Tzvi Katzover and MK Yuri Stern.

********** Pictures at: ***********

Two of last Friday's widows also spoke. Mrs. Rivka Duchan, wife of Alex Duchan, who was killed during the battle, wrote a letter which was read during the memorial. Alex Duchan was a member of the Kiryat Arba emergency security squad and father of four.

Mrs. Rivka Buanish, wife of Ya'akov Buanish, chief security officer for Kiryat Arba, father of seven, also spoke.

The following are translations of their remarks. (The original Hebrew can be seen at: and

Rivka Buanish – Sat night, Nov. 23, 2002

Yitzhak, Dror, Alex Yonaton, and Alex Tzvitman,

You did not choose to be heroes. First of all you were good husbands, fathers to your families, sons, brothers.

You did not choose to be heroes, but you knew that this was the order of the day.

Yitzhak, when you entered the alleyway, you knew that you were going to correct what had happened at Kever Yosef, at Joseph’s tomb, which so pained you. “How is it possible that soldiers are wounded and killed and it is impossible to evacuate them. It’s not possible!” And that’s what you did. When all the army couldn’t do it, you took your soldiers with you, together with Israeli soldiers who were able to do it, and you did it, you avenged the sin of Kever Yosef.

Here in Hebron, we avenged Kever Yosef.

You didn’t choose to be heroes, but you did it. You left us a legacy, and we will follow it, with pain, but with strength. This too, we did not choose, but we will do it.

You told me two weeks ago, when we returned from Ma’arat HaMachpela, “This is where the troubles will start,” because you always knew, you so felt here what was going to occur, everything so strongly throbbed in your heart, you were able to know when and what would happen.

You planned, here with Dror, a promenade. We will fulfill your legacy, and we will establish here, not only a promenade, but also a large neighborhood, a neighborhood connecting Kiryat Arba and Hebron, for from Hebron the truth will emerge, from Hebron the salvation to all of Am Yisrael.

Twelve were killed here, 12 Shivtei Yisrael – the 12 tribes of Israel, for all of Am Yisrael. You fought, not only for Kiryat Arba and Hebron, but for all of Am Yisrael.

We will be strong, and we will build here, together with everyone, all of us will unite together, Hebron comes from the word to join together, we will all join, the government, the army, the residents here, all of us brothers, and all of us together will do it.

May we be comforted in the building of Hebron.

Rivka Duchan – Sat night, Nov. 23, 2002

Alexander Yonaton, my dear husband,

I want to tell you that I draw my strength from you, from our dear children, and from all that we learned together all the good years I was privileged to be your wife.

Alexander Yonaton, you fell for the defense of your country, but I did not fall – I am here, very strong, marching forward with our children, and as I believe, “in the beginning G-d created that heavens and the earth,” I fully believe in the coming of Mashiach and in revival of the dead.

Alexander Yonaton, what can I tell you? “HAPPY IS the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the L-RD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that bringeth forth its fruit in its season, and whose leaf doth not wither; and in whatsoever he doeth he shall prosper.”

Alexander Yonaton, a soldier in the army of the L-rd, a Jew of Israel.

Alexander Yonaton, my husband, and father of my children, so loving, and so loved.

And now, that you are beneath the holy throne, tell the Creator of the world to hear our cry, and to redeem us with a strong and steady arm.

Am Yisrael, I love you so much, and Alexander Yonaton loved you so much, whether you are in Eretz Yisrael or outside of Eretz Yisrael.

I want to tell my people, Am Yisrael, “Shema Yisrael, HaShem Elokenu, HaShem Echad.” “Hear oh Israel, the L-rd our G-d, the L-rd is One.”

Stand and cry out to our Father in heaven.

May it be Thy will, G-d our Father and G-d of our fathers, that you will have mercy on us, on our children, and our infants, on the people in Zion and the holy land, on the sanctity of Am Yisrael, on the sanctity of the land, and the entirety and security of the people and the land, especially during this time of great danger facing us in the holy land.

Master of the Universe, do for Your sake, not for our sake, for Your Great and Awesome Name, that should not be desecrated by the nations of the world, and save us.

And all those who think evil about your people Israel, breach their counsel and spoil their thoughts.

And the verse should be fulfilled, “Terror and dread falleth upon them; by the greatness of Thine arm they are as still as a stone;”

And fulfill the verse, “Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and thou shalt rejoice in the L-RD, thou shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel”.

And we shall lift up our eyes in your return to Zion with mercy,

Amen, may it be Thy will.


As of November 20, 2002, there had been a total of 15,298 Palestinian terror attacks against Israel since the start of the "intifada" in September 2000. The number increased by one a day later, on November 21, when a Palestinian bomber blew up a bus filled with elderly women and young children in Jerusalem. Not surprisingly, the world has likely taken more angry notice of Israel's defensive actions to prevent further terror than of the grotesque cowardice of Palestinian terrorism. Murdered Jews, after all, are an old story.

Israelis have endured nearly one terror attack every hour of every day for twenty-five consecutive months. These attacks have had nothing to do with self-determination or freedom-fighting. Rather, they have targeted, almost exclusively, the most vulnerable and defenseless civilians. And while Palestinian propaganda, funded heavily from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, always seeks to suggest equivalence between Arab terror and Israeli counterterror, there is a longstanding and meaningful difference between premeditated murder and unintentional casualties of essential self-defense against murder.

Nonetheless, the world chooses not to notice. At best, public opinion refuses to blame the Palestinians or supporters of Arab/Islamic terror in other countries. At worst, public opinion openly supports such terror as "national liberation."

Universities, at best, are unmindful. The scholars are busy with more weighty matters, especially those that do not pertain to real life in any way. In academe the truly fashionable concern is now for "diversity," "strategic planning" and "multiculturism." Understandably, there is no time for Jewish agony, anguish and suffering.

Who is to blame for cowardly forms of terror? If the Palestinians are to be blamed at all, we hear from almost all educated quarters, responsibility belongs only to Hamas, or to Islamic Jihad, or perhaps to Nobel laureate Arafat's Fatah. But surely it does not belong to the broader Palestinian community. Surely only the Arab "extremists" are blameworthy.

Yet, as we learn from all reliable survey research, an enormously disproportionate share of Palestinians fully supports the bus bombings, the burnings, the lynchings, and the shootings of Jewish noncombatants. Enjoying the now open support of Al Qaeda - support which is often accepted gratefully and without embarrassment - Palestinians in Israel as well as in Judea, Samaria and Gaza revel proudly in shedding the blood of Jewish children. And why not? Most of the "civilized world" argues that they may wage their particular armed struggle "by any means necessary." And the killing of Jews always buys them and their families a secure place in Paradise.

What could be easier to understand? Of course they could earn such a piece of immortality just as confidently by targeting Israeli military personnel, but they avoid such an option wherever possible. That course, after all, would require courage.

The cowardice of the Palestinian terrorist is unparalleled in the history of insurgent warfare. Although there is no shortage of examples of revolutionary fighters who disregard humanitarian boundaries in battle, the record of fighters who purposely and consistently seek utterly innocent and defenseless targets is actually very small. Several weeks ago, when a Palestinian terrorist machine gunned two Jewish infants still sucking on pacifiers (after stabbing the mother), the image of the murdered children was a source of feverish exaltation throughout the Palestinian communities in Jenin, Ramallah and Gaza. When, a year earlier, a newborn Jewish child was shot deliberately by a sniper, Palestinian celebrants hailed the murder as "yet another military victory against the Zionist occupation." When, several years ago, two Russian-Jewish Israelis who had not yet learned to speak Hebrew took a wrong turn into Ramallah, they were torn apart - literally - by howling mobs of frenzied Palestinians. When, after blinding and disemboweling the two Israelis, several young men in a Palestinian "police station" held up the still-dripping eyes and internal organs for all to see, THOUSANDS of ordinary Palestinians began to dance and chant wildly. And when, so very recently, a terrorist from Bethlehem entered the Jerusalem bus on November 21, he waited, patiently, until it was fully loaded with schoolchildren. Only then, only then - did he turn his wretchedly defiled body into a bomb.

What kind of people are these? What boundless levels of cowardice are they willing to undertake and sustain? What manner of fear can occasion such an utter lack of human regard for life? What vision of "Jihad" can transform schools, nurseries and buses into exploding altars of human sacrifice? Are there no limits, no limits at all, to Palestinian terrorism?

I don't know the complete answers to these questions. I do know, however, that it is not despair. There are many, many other peoples on this planet whose conditions of daily life are much, much worse - indescribably worse - and these people never resort to pure barbarism. I know, also, that Palestinian schools and mosques systematically demonize "The Jew" and emphasize his or her alleged subhumanity. It is far easier to kill "the sons of pigs and monkeys" than it is to kill a fellow human being.

But this still does not explain the incomparable cowardice of the Palestinian terrorist. I suspect the truest answer has something to do with this murderer's overwhelming fears of death. Let us not forget that the suicide/homicide bomber does not really feel he is giving up his own life in his terrible deed. Rather, he murders Jews to ensure his absolute freedom from death - and also, according to the latest authoritative rulings of Arab clerics, the immortality of his closest relatives - by "dying" for the sake of Allah. "Do not consider those who are slain in the cause of Allah as dead," says the Koran. "They are living by their Lord."


LOUIS RENE BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of this article.

Louis Rene Beres
Professor of International Law
Department of Political Science
Purdue University
West Lafayette IN 47907

TEL 765/494-4189
FAX 765/494-0833

Many thanks to Naomi Ragen for sending this.

Ha'aretz: Secret paper shows PA running explosives plant

Ze'ev Schiff writes about the discovery of paperwork confirming the role of the PA in ALL the bombings. My guess is this will not affact liberals in Israel or elsewhere.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Who owns the land? Follow-up

Many thanks to the list member who supplied the following additional information about who owns the land of Israel. The truth will be heard, if we shout it long enough and loud enough. It will be heard above the bombs, the sceams of the fanatics in the streets of Bagdad and Islamabad, and the yada yada of the brain-dead news media. It will.

Naomi Ragen

After 1948, the land of Arabs who left the territory of Israel was assigned to an administrator of absentee lands, and under Israeli law the absentee Arabs could return and reclaim their land. Thousands of them did so (the figures I have seen are over 15,000). As to those absentee Arab land owners who refused to deal with Israel, their land was taken by eminent domain (called "compulsory purchase" in British law, or "expropriation" in European civil law), and they were paid fair market value plus interest.

This is a story that for some reason has not received any publicity, an act of informational neglect that from the point of view of "hasbara" (Hebrew: "explanation") is positively criminal. This story should be told.

Gideon Kanner
Professor of Law Emeritus
Loyola Law School

Don't take my word for any of this. Check it out with your Israeli sources. I believe that the Office of Administrator of Absentee Property still exists in Israel. Please check it out.