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.

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Naomi Ragen
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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
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