Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Thursday, December 16, 2004
De Atkine notes that “officers returning from the Arab world describe the cultural barriers they encounter as by far the most difficult to navigate, far beyond those of political perceptions. Thinking back on it, I recall many occasions on which I was perplexed by actions or behavior on the part of my Arab hosts—actions and behavior that would have been perfectly understandable had I read The Arab Mind.”
To speak of Arabs is to speak of Muslims, for Arab culture is permeated by Islam. Islamic hatred of America and of Israel is more intense and more widespread today than it was in 1973. American pop culture and commercial imperialism constitute a threat to the Arab’s tradition-based society, and Muslims see Israel as America’s vanguard in the Middle East.
Patai, says de Atkine, does not deny the virtues of Arab culture. “The hospitality, generosity, and depth personal friendships common within the Arab world are rarely encountered in our more frenetic society. The Arab sense of honor and of obligation to the family—especially to the family’s old and young members—can be contrasted to the frequently dysfunctional family life found in our own society ”
But such is the burning hatred Arabs bear toward Jews that many willingly use their own children as human bombs, while the Arab street cheers such self-immolation. Hatred trumps love. Arab hatred was not born with the Balfour Declaration or the establishment of the State of Israel. It precedes Muhammad and remains deeply ingrained in Arab culture.
Patai quotes Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), the greatest historian ever produced by the Arabs. Khaldun’s portrait of Arab national character is that of a historian who could look back upon seven centuries of Arab history. The Arabs, he says, “are people who plunder and cause damage.” The civilizations they conquer are “wiped out.” “Places that succumb to the Arabs are quickly ruined.” “The reason for this is that [the Arabs] are a savage nation, fully accustomed to savagery ” “Savagery has become their character and nature. They enjoy it because it means freedom from authority and no subservience to leadership. Such a natural disposition is the negation and antithesis of civilization.”
Again, “because of their savagery, the Arabs are least willing of nations to subordinate themselves to each other, as they are proud, ambitious, and eager to be the leader.” (Recall Genesis 16:12 on the character of Ishmael: “He will be a rebel. His hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him.”)
The Arab’s sense of honor is notorious. Any insult or injury, let alone defeat in war, must be avenged. The Yom Kippur War was nothing less than an act of revenge for Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War—and that is why the war was launched on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.
Any bellicose people are well-practiced in deception; as for the Arabs, however, one must add they are unequaled in the art of ingratiation. Khaldun’s disciple, Taqi al-Din Ahmad al-Maqrizi (1364-1442), an Egyptian, writes that Egyptians “are extremely inclined to cunning and deceit, from their birth they excel in it and are very skillful in using it, because there is in their character a basis of flattery and adulation which makes them masters in it more than all the peoples who have lived before them or will live after them.”
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s campaign of deception before the Yom Kippur War is documented in my book Sadat’s Strategy. But he was also a master of ingratiation. He constantly referred to Secretary of State William Rogers, whom he had met for the first time, as “Bill.” When Secretary Kissinger replaced Rogers, he became “dear Henry” just as quickly.
Countless pundits have been deceived by Sadat. A few quotes may dispel their naiveté. In an interview with al-Anwar on June 22, 1975, Sadat said: “The effort of our generation is to return to the 1967 borders. Afterward the next generation will carry the responsibility.”
In a New York Times interview dated October 19, 1980, he boasted: “Poor Menachem [Begin], he has his problems ... After all, I got back ... the Sinai and the Alma oil fields, and what has Menachem got? A piece of paper.”
A year after signing the March 1979 peace treaty with Israel, Sadat ominously declared: “Despite the present differences with the Arab 'rejectionist' rulers over the Egyptian peace initiative, the fact remains that these differences are only tactical not strategic, temporary not permanent.”
By the way, in his Knesset speech of November 20, 1977, Sadat used the name of God 10 times in his first ten sentences. Surely a man of God would not lie about his desire for peace—a word he used 95 times in his 50 minute performance!
With astonishing insight, Ibn Khaldun points out that “The Arab can obtain authority only by making use of some religious coloring, such as prophecy or sainthood, or some great religious event in general.
Patai’s 1973 classic, says de Atkine, “has not aged at all. The analysis is just as (prescient and on-the-mark now [in post-September 11, 2001]) as on the day it was written. One could even make the argument that, in fact, many of the [Arab] traits described have become more pronounced.”
Israeli politicians and diplomats are children compared to the likes of PLO-Palestinian leaders like Abu Ala and Abu Mazen. And sending Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom to negotiate with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would be laughable if it did not have tragic consequences.
Despite its overwhelming military power vis-à-vis its Arab neighbors, Israel is retreating toward its indefensible 1949 borders. Even a Machiavellian like Ariel Sharon has become a poodle of the Arabs.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Please go to this site and read the full text of this speech given recently by Arnold Roth, the father of 15-year-old Sbarro victim Malki Roth. This man's articulate love, compassion, and good sense are, I am proud to say, thoroughly representative of the very best in Judaism.
Dear reader, if you have bought into the "moral equivalence" lie (Israel = "Palestine") of the media, please see if you can find a morally equivalent statement by an Arab leader, anywhere. Then reconsider whether or not your picture of the situation is valid.
by Sarah Honig
Among the junk mail that clogs my postbox daily, I found a Gush Shalom leaflet calling on me to fulfill my "national duty and the duty of every peace-loving person" to help remove all settlements. How do I pitch in? By boycotting anything that's settlement-made. To facilitate my task, I was supplied with a list of brands to be shunned. In case of unmarked agricultural produce, I must grill the retailer to make sure he's not selling me forbidden fruit. Moreover, I was urged to disseminate said blacklist amongst friends and relations, post it on neighborhood billboards and in my workplace.
Lastly, should I feel a tad discomfited, I was advised to ignore counterarguments that I collaborate in "depriving Jewish brethren of their livelihood." Most settlers, I was assured, anyway "aren't productive citizens but live off the public. This is why they had so much free time to participate in the violent demonstrations that preceded the Rabin assassination. "While most Israelis worked for a living, the settlers blocked roads and burned tires. Settlements constitute the chief obstacle to a historic rapprochement between Israel and Falastin."
I finally realized who's responsible for our collective distress and insecurity. I forgot about the Arab genocidal penchant for throwing us into the sea - long before any occupation or beyond-the-Green-Line settlements existed. I never asked about all the available time Gush Shalom altruists have to protest against the security fence and IDF roadblocks (which keep me and them alive). I was too reviled by the use settlers make of the right to free assembly and speech. I discovered who the parasites feeding off my honest toil were and was reminded of the dastardly mischief they were up to, which invariably led to Rabin's slaying. There's no telling what existential disaster they could drag us into. They make my skin crawl.
In ordinary times I'd quickly return to my senses and identify this as the post-Zionist fringe's self-destructive variation on entrenched anti-Semitic themes. These, however, aren't ordinary times. Ever since Ariel Sharon's epiphany, demonizing settlers is no longer an exclusive far-Left prerogative. Arik gave settler-bashing unprecedented respectability. Now that he no longer loves them, it's bon ton to vilify those freeloaders who infest our surroundings, endanger our perfect peace, dare dissent and protest against Arik's designs, and who may now be plotting the next assassination.
REINFORCED BY Tnuva's chairman, I can finally enjoy the coziness of the mainstream. It's good being in league with those who gang up on Public Enemies. It's good being on the same side as Arik, now King of the Enlightened Ones. It's good to enjoy the security of running with the majority flock, like the flock of hens that loomed large in the homespun childhood recollections Arik was once excessively fond of recounting.
Growing up in Kfar Malal, young Arik astutely observed the chickens on his family's farm. He noted that the hens clucked harmoniously most of the time; but if one took ill, its mates suddenly and ferociously turned on it, pecking, scratching, and clawing their victim to death. It was then the future general concluded that weakness encourages aggression. Those who can't defend themselves are terminated viciously. Those who don't deter, invite their own destruction. That's how it is in nature, in the barnyard, in Israeli politics, and in the Mideast. When Arik grievously injured the settlers, he must have realized he was turning them into fair game, not only for Gush Shalom's serial predators and Tnuva's chairman. Confused ordinary folk prefer being among the assaulting fowl rather than associating with pitiful pariah pullets everyone rips into.
That's why the projected construction of prison camps for entire settler families and of mock-settlements for destruction drills evoke not a grassroots murmur. Fearful folks are glad it's not happening to them and rationalize why the others have it coming. Arik counts on that. Manipulating mass psychology will win him support. It's elementary, but not without risks. The delegitimization, blackballing, and ostracism visited on slandered settlers could become the sad lot of us all.
One flock's top hen is another's ravaged prey. Arik seems to have conveniently relinquished his once-reliable chicken-sense. By retreating and dismantling veteran villages, he signals the rest of the world that Israel is weakening. He thereby turns Israel into the enfeebled chicken of this savage region and of the heartless world.
He weakens our moral claim to any part of this land in an international environment where it's already increasingly trendy to dispute Israel's very right to exist. He may be intent on dismantling some settlements. Enemies and their overseas sympathizers focus on all settlements, first outside the Green Line and later within. Like it or not, Arik, we're all in the same chicken coop.
Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380
Sunday, December 12, 2004
To: Brigadier General Rabbi Israel Weiss, Chief Rabbi of the IDF
From: Jonathan Pollard, 09185-016; FCI Butner, Butner NC, USA
Dear Rabbi Weiss,
As you know, our tradition teaches that a Jew does not sin unless he is afflicted by temporary insanity, a "ruach shtut". How else are we to understand why a G-d -fearing Jew like yourself, the Chief Rabbi of the IDF, would declare his support for orders to uproot thousands of Jews from their homes in the Land of Israel? I refer to your recent comments on IDF Radio supporting the evil disengagement plan and identifying secular military commanders and state officials as the ultimate authority which soldiers must obey. "Refusal to carry out orders is liable to bring about the collapse of the army and the end of the People of Israel's task," you said. "The army, the state is the authority." "We can't allow a soldier to do whatever he wants. This will bring a danger that the army will end its function and this nation will end its task," you declared.
With all due respect, Rabbi, it is difficult to imagine that you truly believe that it is the state and the army alone which protect us and ensure our viability as a People! The Jewish People lived for 2000 years without a state and without an army, under the grace of G-d Almighty - it is only because of His loving kindness and His will expressed as through the Laws of Torah, that we live in the Land today and continue to thrive as a People. When you visited with me 2 months ago, I told you that HaRav Mordecai Eliyahu, shlita, is my father. You replied joyfully, "We are sons of the same father! He is my father too!" You said that you consider HaRav Eliyahu to be your superior in Torah, and that before issuing any important Halachik ruling for the army, you first consult with him.
Surely you are aware that HaRav Eliyahu has unequivocally declared that it is forbidden for G-d -fearing soldiers to obey orders to uproot Jews from the Land! HaRav Eliyahu has ruled that it is better for soldiers to sit in prison than to take part in the expulsion of Jews from their homes. Rabbi Weiss, in light of your apparent disregard for the psak Halacha of your own rabbinic superior, how can you expect thousands of soldiers to rely on you?
In my dealings with Jewish leaders over the past 20 years, it is clear to me that often Heaven raises a man up to a position of power and authority not as a reward, but as a test. It is obvious that in this lifetime, G-d has placed you, of all men, in the unique position of being able to single-handedly defeat the immoral disengagement plan. You, amongst all men, can say "No!" to disengagement, and in so doing, support thousands upon thousands of soldiers to do the same! No other rabbi living in the Land today, is in such a powerful position as your are, in regard to this issue.
Just as good government never depends on laws, but upon the moral character of those who govern, so too an army depends not upon specific orders, but upon the personal qualities (midot) of its leaders. The functioning of the army is always subordinate to the will of those who administer it. The most important element of an army is who its leaders are. And Torah is the software that transforms it into a Jewish army. Without our divine software, we are nothing but machines and uniforms.
Rabbi Weiss, it appears that you are now being tested as both soldier and rabbi. You must now choose between your officer's commission and the yoke of Torah; between serving G-d or serving man.
Your choice will set the model for all G-d -fearing soldiers. It will also determine whether your name is revered for all generations as the rabbi who stood up to secular power in defense of the Land; or, G-d forbid, remembered as the rabbi who betrayed Jewish soldiers into defaming Torah and desecrating the Land.
Therefore, I plead with you to retract your statements regarding the disengagement plan! It is imperative that you issue a new ruling in harmony with the psak Halacha of HaRav Mordecai Eliyahu. Retracting now, especially since it is Chanukah, would be a great kiddush HaShem, in the best tradition of Mattityahu HaMaccabee himself.
I implore you to act now in the tradition of Gideon, of Yehoshua Bin Nun, and of Yehuda HaMaccabee! Be a Jewish warrior in defense of the Land! Say "No!" to disengagement! Kavod HaRav, by retracting your previous position and openly encouraging soldiers not to participate in uprooting Jews from the Land, you will create a powerful model of Tshuva not only for the soldiers but for all of Israel. You will bring relief to the Nation and honor to the Israel Defense Forces.
As it is written in Tehillim: "Some trust in chariots, some trust in horses; but we rely solely upon Hashem, our G-d!" As upholders of Torah we know that G-d and G-d alone is the ultimate authority for a Jew.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
In Column One: Leaving the Hall of Mirrors, Jerusalem Post columnist Carolyn Glick writes one of her most insightful and level-headed analyses ever. Thanks, Carolyn! (and thanks, Naomi, for pointing this out.)
You have to register with Jpost to read it, but it’s free.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Farewell, Raful. The memory of your life will continue to serve as an example.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
October 14, 2004
(via Naomi Ragen)
I'm proud and honored to stand here today as a Lebanese speaking for Israel--the only democracy in the Middle East. As someone who was raised in an Arabic country I want to give you a glimpse into the heart of the Arabic world.
I was raised in Lebanon, where I was taught that the Jews were evil, Israel was the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea.
When the Moslems and Palestinians declared Jihad on the Christians in 1975, they started massacring the Christians City after city. I ended up living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17 without electricity eating grass to live and crawling under sniper bullets to a spring to get water.
It was Israel who came to help the Christians in Lebanon . My mother was wounded by a Moslems shell and was taken into an Israeli hospital for treatment. When we entered the emergency room I was shocked at what I saw. They were hundreds of people wounded, Moslems, Palestinians, Christian Lebanese and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to their injury. They treated my mother before they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn't see religion they didn't see political affiliation, they saw people in need and they helped.
For the first time in my life I experienced a human quality that I know my culture would not have shown to their enemy. I experienced the values of the Israelis who were able to love their enemy in their most trying moments. I spent 22 days at that hospital, those days changed my life and the way I believe information, the way I listen to the radio or to television. I realized I was sold a fabricated lie by my government about the Jews and Israel that was so far from reality. I knew for fact that if I was a Jew standing in an Arab hospital I would be lynched and thrown over to the grounds as shouts of joy of "Allahu Akbar"-- "God is great"--would echo through the hospital and the surrounding streets.
I became friends with the families of the Israeli wounded soldiers. One such family member wasRina, whose only child was wounded in his eyes.
One day I was visiting with her and the Israeli army band came to play national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they surrounded his bed playing a song about Jerusalem, Rina and I started crying. I felt out of place and started waking out of the room, and this mother holds my hand and pulls me back in without even looking at me. She holds me crying and says: "It is not your fault." We just stood there, crying, holding each other's hands.
What a contrast between her, a mother looking at her deformed 19 year old only child, and still able to love me the enemy, and between a Moslem mother who sends her son to blow himself up to smithereens just to kill a few Jews or Christians!
The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in values and character. It's barbarism versus civilization. It's democracy versus dictatorship. It's goodness versus evil.
Once upon a time there was a special place in the lowest depths of hell for anyone who would intentionally murder a child. Now, the intentional murder of Israeli children is legitimized as Palestinian "armed struggle." However, once such behavior is legitimized against Israel, it is legitimized every where in the world, constrained by nothing more than the subjective belief of people who would wrap themselves in dynamite and nails for the purpose of killing children in the name of god.
Because the Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that murdering innocent Israeli civilians is a legitimate tactic for advancing their cause, the whole world now suffers from a plague of terrorism, from Nairobi to New York , from Moscow to Madrid , from Bali to Beslan.
They blame suicide bombing on "desperation of occupation" Let me tell you the truth. The first major terror bombing committed by Arabs against the Jewish state occurred ten weeks before Israel even became independent. On Sunday morning, February 22, 1948, in anticipation of Israel 's independence, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists on Ben Yehuda Street in what was then the Jewish section of Jerusalem . Fifty-four people were killed and hundreds were wounded. Thus, it is obvious that Arab terrorism is caused not by the "desperation" or "occupation," but by the VERY THOUGHT of a Jewish state.
So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism, now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. It's time to all stand up and support and defend the state of Israel , which is the front line of the war against terrorism.
Joel adds: If you were to translate the songs played by the Israeli Army band mentioned above, or any songs played or sung in Israel at any time, you would not find A SINGLE ONE calling for death of Arabs, or of any enemy. Even in today's secular Israel, all the music, all the art, and the longing of all hearts, is about peace and love.
Check it out if you don't believe me. And ask yourself: Do I have the right understanding of this conflict?
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Thrown onto the defensive during the first two days of fighting, Israel mobilized its reserves and eventually repulsed the invaders and carried the war deep into Syria and Egypt. The Arab states were swiftly resupplied by sea and air from the Soviet Union, which rejected U.S. efforts to work toward an immediate ceasefire. As a result, the United States belatedly began its own airlift to Israel. Two weeks later, Egypt was saved from a disastrous defeat by the UN Security Council, which had failed to act while the tide was in the Arabs' favor.
The Soviet Union showed no interest in initiating peacemaking efforts while it looked like the Arabs might win. The same was true for UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim.
On October 22, the Security Council adopted Resolution 338 calling for "all parties to the present fighting to cease all firing and terminate all military activity immediately." The vote came on the day that Israeli forces cut off and isolated the Egyptian Third Army and were in a position to destroy it (Herzog, p. 280).
Despite the Israel Defense Forces' ultimate success on the battlefield, the war was considered a diplomatic and military failure. A total of 2,688 Israeli soldiers were killed.
Source: Myths & Facts Online -- A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Mitchell G. Bard, http://www.JewishVirtualLibrary.org.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
In reality, the Jewish people have maintained ties to their historic homeland for more than 3,700 years.
The Jewish people base their claim to the Land of Israel on at least four premises:
1) the Jewish people settled and developed the land;
2) the international community granted political sovereignty in Palestine to the Jewish people;
3) the territory was captured in defensive wars and
4) God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham.
Even after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the beginning of the exile, Jewish life in the Land of Israel continued and often flourished. Large communities were reestablished in Jerusalem and Tiberias by the ninth century. In the 11th century, Jewish communities grew in Rafah, Gaza, Ashkelon, Jaffa and Caesarea.
The Crusaders massacred many Jews during the 12th century, but the community rebounded in the next two centuries as large numbers of rabbis and Jewish pilgrims immigrated to Jerusalem and the Galilee. Prominent rabbis established communities in Safed, Jerusalem and elsewhere during the next 300 years. By the early 19th century — years before the birth of the modern Zionist movement — more than 10,000 Jews lived throughout what is today Israel (Dan Bahat, ed. Twenty Centuries of Jewish Life in the Holy Land, Jerusalem: The Israel Economist, 1976, pp. 61-63.).
The 78 years of nation-building, beginning in 1870, culminated in the reestablishment of the Jewish State.Israel's international "birth certificate" was validated by the promise of the Bible; uninterrupted Jewish settlement from the time of Joshua onward; the Balfour Declaration of 1917; the League of Nations Mandate, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration; the United Nations partition resolution of 1947; Israel's admission to the UN in 1949; the recognition of Israel by most other states; and, most of all, the society created by Israel's people in decades of thriving, dynamic national existence.
“Nobody does Israel any service by proclaiming its 'right to exist.' Israel's right to exist, like that of the United States, Saudi Arabia and 152 other states, is axiomatic and unreserved. Israel's legitimacy is not suspended in midair awaiting acknowledgement.... There is certainly no other state, big or small, young or old, that would consider mere recognition of its 'right to exist' a favor, or a negotiable concession.”
Source: Myths & Facts Online -- A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Mitchell G. Bard, http://www.JewishVirtualLibrary.org. To order a copy of the paperback edition of Myths and Facts, click HERE. Myths & Facts is also available in Spanish, German, French, Russian, Portuguese and Swedish.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Monday, September 06, 2004
The enemy is the man who shot Tali Hatuel when she was nine months pregnant and then shot her four little girls in the head at point blank range. The enemy is the man who blew up elderly Holocaust survivors at their Passover Seder in Netanya. The enemy is the man who blew up the nightclub in Bali, who laid the bombs on the train tracks in Madrid. The enemy is the political framework that train this man and rewarded him. The enemy is the country or countries that financed the political framework. The enemy is the leader of these countries.
The enemy is the religious leaders of these countries, who did not teach their people right from wrong. The enemy is the congregations who sat through the hate-mongering sermons. The enemy is the head of the family who went home and beat his wife, and strapped suicide belts on his sons, and slit the throats of his daughter and sister for supposed violations of the family honor. The enemy is the child who grows up in such a culture and becomes one of its perpetrators.
The enemy is the Western nations who turn a blind eye, looking to excuse this behavior so it will not have to do anything about it. The Sunday Telegraph, Le Monde, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Bild, all claiming the problem is that the Russian government has brought this on itself by angering the Chechans. It is the victim who is to blame. Just as Israelis deserve what they get. Tali Hatuel deserved what she got. Her little girls. The little children of Beslan. The only way to stop the murderers of children from murdering is to give into their demands, these newspapers claim [http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2004/09/06/202.html]
I disagree. The only way to stop murderers from murdering is to destroy them.
And if you say this is impossible, I say: think back sixty years. The Thousand Year Reich is the dust of history. We destroyed their leaders, their governments, their buildings, their youth movements, their philosophy. We destroyed it all. We didn't negotiate. We didn't appease. We didn't try to show them our softer side. We uprooted the evil from mankind, because no negotiations, no fence, no signed agreement,no borders, no words were effective against them.
Long before September 11, I wrote to this list: If an Israeli grandmother and her grandchild are not safe in a playground, than no grandmother and no grandchild anywhere in the world are safe in a playground.
If the children of Beslan were not safe in their school, then no child and no school is safe anywhere in the world. Until this enemy is destroyed root and branch, without mercy or equivocation.
The breakdown in morality which we witness everyday is finally engulfing us. Those in the Western news media who call armed terrorists, men who wire schools with explosives and murder women and children, "hostage-takers" and "militants" are setting themselves up to mourn their own children.
A generation ago, fifty million people died because the reaction of their governments and their religious leaders and their press came too late. The Neville Chamberlains saw to that. Too late. And for us, who have our Shimon Peres', and our Yossi Beilins, and our Chiracs, and our Kofi Anans, and Michael Moores and John Kerrys will it also be too late?
For the children of Beslan, the answer is yes. And for your children?
Copyright Naomi Ragen, 2004.
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Friday, September 03, 2004
John Loftus Speech Yom Ha Shoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day2004 Jewish Community News, August 2004
It always seems a little strange to have an Irish-Catholic talking about Yom Ha Shoah. I had an unusual education in the Holocaust. When I was working for the Attorney General, I was assigned to do the classified research about the Holocaust, so I went underground to a little town called Suitland, Maryland, right outside Washington, D.C. and that's where the US Government buries its secrets - - literally. There are twenty vaults underground and each vault is one acre in size. Anyone see the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark"? The last scene of that movie is what the underground vaults are really like, only not as organized as they are in the movie. And in those underground vaults I discovered something horrible. I learned that many of the Nazis that I had been assigned to prosecute were on the CIA payroll, but the CIA didn't know they were Nazis because the British Intelligence Service had lied to them. What the British Intelligence Service didn't know was that their liar was Kim Philby, the Soviet communist double agent - - a little scandal of the Cold War. But our State Department swept it all under the rug and allowed the Nazis to stay in America until I was stupid enough to go public with it.
What do you do when you want to go public with a story like this one? You call up 60 minutes. We had a great time. Mike Wallace gave me 30 minutes on his show. For a long time, it was the longest segment that 60 minutes ever did. When the episode about Nazis in America went on the air back in 1982, it caused a minor national uproar. Congress demanded hearings, Mike Wallace got the Emmy award, and my family got the death threats. It was a great trip.
Then a funny thing happened. Over the last 25 years, every retired spy in the U.S. and Canada and England all wanted me to be their lawyer, for free of course. So I had 500 clients, they paid me $1 apiece. So I am the worst paid lawyer in America, but among the better employed.
Let me give you an example. This year a friend of mine from the CIA, named Bob Baer wrote a very good book about Saudi Arabia and terrorism, it's called "Sleeping with the Devil". I read the book and I got about a third of the way through and I stopped. Bob was writing how when he worked for the CIA how bad the files were. He said, for example, the files for the Muslim Brotherhood were almost nothing. There were just a few newspaper clippings.
I called Bob up and said, "Bob, that's wrong. The CIA has enormous files on the Muslim Brotherhood, volumes of them. I know because I read them a quarter of a century ago." He said, "What do you mean?" Here's how you can find all of the missing secrets about the Muslim Brotherhood -- and you can do this too. I said, "Bob, go to your computer and type in two words into the search part. Type the word "Vanna," V-a-n-n-a. He said, "Yeah." Type in "Nazi." Bob typed the two words in, and out came 30 to 40 articles from around the world. He read them and called me back and said,"Oh my God, what have we done?"
What I'm doing today is doing what I'm doing now: I'm educating a new generation in the CIA that the Muslim Brotherhood was a fascist organization that was hired by Western Intelligence that evolved over time into what we today know as al Qaeda. Here's how the story began.
In the 1920's there was a young Egyptian named al Bana. And al Bana formed this nationalist group called the Muslim Brotherhood. Al Bana was a devout admirer of Adolph Hitler and wrote to him frequently. So persistent was he in his admiration of the new Nazi Party that in the 1930's, al Bana and the Muslim Brotherhood became a secret arm of Nazi Intelligence. The Arab Nazis had much in common with the new Nazi doctrines. They hated Jews; they hated democracy; and they hated the Western culture. It became the official policy of the Third Reich to secretly develop the Muslim Brotherhood as the fifth Parliament, an army inside Egypt. When war broke out, the Muslim Brotherhood promised in writing that they would rise up and help General Rommell and make sure that no English or American soldier was left alive in Cairo or Alexandria.
The Muslim Brotherhood began to expand in scope and influence during World War II. They even had a Palestinian section headed by the grand Mufti of Jerusalem, one of the great bigots of all time. Here, too, was a man - - The grand Mufti of Jerusalem was the Muslim Brotherhood representative for Palestine. These were undoubtedly Arab Nazis. The Grand Mufti, for example, went to Germany during the war and helped recruit an international SS division of Arab Nazis. They based it in Croatia and called it the "Handjar" Muslim Division, but it was to become the core of Hitler's new army of Arab fascists that would conquer the Arab peninsula from then on to Africa - - grand dreams.
At the end of World War II, the Muslim Brotherhood was wanted for war crimes. Their German intelligence handlers were captured in Cairo. The whole net was rolled up by the British Secret Service. Then a horrible thing happened. Instead of prosecuting the Nazis - - the Muslim Brotherhood - - the British government hired them. They brought all the fugitive Nazi war criminals of Arab and Muslim descent into Egypt, and for three years they were trained on a special mission. The British Secret Service wanted to use the fascists of the Muslim Brotherhood to strike down the infant state of Israel in 1948. Only a few people in the Mossad know this, but many of the members of the Arab Armies and terrorist groups that tried to strangle the infant State of Israel were the Arab Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Britain was not alone. The French Intelligence service cooperated by releasing the Grand Mufti and smuggling him to Egypt, so all of the Arab Nazis came together. So, from 1945 to 1948, the British Secret Service protected every Arab Nazi they could, but they failed to quash the State of Israel. What the British did then, they sold the Arab Nazis to the predecessor of what became the CIA. It may sound stupid; it may sound evil, but it did happen. The idea was that we were going to use the Arab Nazis in the Middle East as a counterweight to the Arab communists. Just as the Soviet Union was funding Arab communists, we would fund the Arab Nazis, to fight against. And lots of secret classes took place. We kept the Muslim brotherhood on our payroll. But the Egyptians became nervous. Nasser ordered all of the Muslim Brotherhood out of Egypt or be imprisoned, and we would execute them all.
During the 1950's, the CIA evacuated the Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia. Now when they arrived in Saudi Arabia, some of the leading lights of the Muslim Brotherhood like Azzam, became the teachers in the Madrasas, the religious schools. And there they combined the doctrines of Nazism with this weird Islamic cult, Wahhabiism. Everyone thinks that Islam is this fanatical religion, but it is not. They think that Islam - the Saudi version of Islam - -is typical, but it's not. The Wahhabi cult was condemned as a heresy more than 60 times by the Muslim nations. But when the Saudis got wealthy, they bought a lot of silence. This is a very harsh cult. The Wahhabiism was only practiced by two nations, the Taliban and Saudi Arabia. That's how extreme it is. It really has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is a very peaceful and tolerant religion. It has always had good relationships with the Jews for the first thousand years of its existence. For the Saudis, there was a ruler in charge of Saudi Arabia, and they were the new home of the Muslim Brotherhood, and fascism and extremism were mingled in these schools. And there was a young student who paid attention- - and Azzam's student was named Osama Bin Ladin. Osama Bin Ladin was taught by the Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood who had emigrated to Saudi Arabia.
In 1979 the CIA decided to take the Arab Nazis out of cold storage. The Russians had invaded Afghanistan, so we told the Saudis that we would fund them if they would bring all of the Arab Nazis together and ship them off to Afghanistan to fight the Russians. We had to rename them. We couldn't call them the Muslim Brotherhood because that was too sensitive a name. Its Nazi cast was too known. So we called them the Maktab al Khidimat il Mujahideen, the MAK. And the CIA lied to Congress and said they didn't know who was on the payroll in Afghanistan, except the Saudis. But it was not true. A small section CIA knew perfectly well that we had once again hired the Arab Nazis and that we were using them to fight our secret wars.
Azzam and his assistant, Osama Bin Ladin, rose to some prominence from 1979 to '89, and they won the war. They drove the Russians out of Afghanistan. Our CIA said, "We won, let's go home!" and we left this army of Arab fascists in the field of Afghanistan. Saudis didn't want to come back. Saudis started paying bribes to Osama Bin Ladin and his followers to stay out of Saudi Arabia. Now the MAK split in half. Azzam was mysteriously assassinated apparently by Osama Bin Ladin himself. The radical group - - the most radical of the merge of the Arab fascists and religious extremists - - Osama called that al Qaeda. But to this day there are branches of the Muslim Brotherhood all through al Qaeda. Osama Bin Ladin's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, came from the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the results of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad. There are many flavors and branches, but they are all Muslim Brotherhoods. There is one in Israel. The organization you know as "Hammas" is actually a secret chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood. When Israel assassinated Sheik Yassin a month ago, the Muslim Brotherhood published his obituary in a Cairo newspaper in Arabic and revealed that he was actually the secret leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza. So the Muslim Brotherhood became this poison that spread throughout the Middle East and on 911, it began to spread around the world.
I know this sounds like some sort of a sick fantasy, but go to your computer and type in the words "Vanna," V-a-n-n-a and the word "Nazi," N-a-z-i, and you will see all of the articles come up. Those are all the pieces of information that the CIA was trying to hide from its employees. It did not want them to know the awful past.
So, in 1984, when I was exposing European Nazis on the CIA payroll, at the same time they were trying to hide from Congress the fact that they had Arab Nazis back on the payroll to fight the Russians - - a stupid and corrupt program.
So, when Bob Baer studied his files, he was just stunned. A whole generation: the current CIA people know nothing about this. And believe me, the current generation CIA are good and decent Americans and I like them a lot. They're trying to do a good job, but part of their problem is their files have been shredded. All of these secrets have to come out. So, of course, my clients in the intelligence community said, "Well, what are you doing?" They gave me an example. They said, "Here's how the Saudis finance these groups. The Saudis have established a group of charities on a street in Virginia. It's 555 Grove St., Herndon, Virginia." So I said,"OK, the Saudis are terrorists, so what?" These charities fund Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda. The Saudis are getting tax deductions for terrorism. They have set up front groups so all the terrorists groups in the U.S. and the front groups get the Saudi money as a charitable donation.
I said, "You're kidding me." Nope. And they told me that right near where I lived in Tampa, Florida was one of the leading terrorists in the world. There were these two professors at the University of South Florida. One had just left - - and he was now in Syria - - and he was the world head of Islamic Jihad. His number two, the head of Islamic Jihad in the Western Hemisphere, was Dr. Sami al-Arian, who is still employed as a professor at the University of South Florida. You've got to be kidding. This can't be true. Yes, these guys are raising money all across America and shipping it to Syria to go down to Palestine, the Palestinian areas, and hire suicide bombers to kill Jews.
They sent me the video tapes. There was Professor al-Arian on stage and one of his friends gets up and says, "Now, who will give me $500 to kill a Jew? There are people standing by in Jerusalem who will go out in the street and stab a Jew with a knife, but we need $500." And he said, "All of this money will go to the Islamic committee for Palestine." And that is the front group in the United States for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
So I had all my friends in the FBI and CIA send in these files. I said, "Why haven't you prosecuted this guy? You've known about him since 1989." "We'd love to. We've tried to prosecute him but we were told we couldn't touch him because he gets all of his money from the Saudis, and we are all under orders not to do anything to embarrass the Saudi government." I said,"I don't mind embarrassing them."
You know what I did? I donated money to the charity that was the terrorist fund, because under Florida law, that gave me the right to sue the charity to find out where my money was going. It was hilarious. In early March, 2002, I drafted a long lawsuit exposing Professor Sami al-Arian, naming all the crimes he'd committed, all the bombings in Israel, the fundraising in America with terrorism. I mentioned how his money got to him from the Saudis and how the Saudis had convinced our government not to prosecute him for political reasons. Because of my high-level security clearances, everything I write is sort of classified material and has to be sent back to the government before publication, for censorship. So I sent my long lawsuit complaint to the CIA, and they loved it. They said, "Oh, great.We don't like the Saudis either. Go sue them." Three days later two FBI Agents showed up at my door, saying, "You know, there are only 21 people in the U.S. government that knew some of this information, and now you're 22. How did you find out?" I said, "I'm sorry, I can't tell you, attorney-client privilege." That's why my clients pay me $1.00 each.
The day before I went to file the lawsuit, I got a frantic phone call from the United States Department of Justice. They said, "John, please don't file the lawsuit tomorrow. We really are going to raid these Saudi charities. We're going to close them down. Just give us more time." "Oh yeah, you're going to raid them. That's what you told me in January - -and again in February, and now it's March. You want more time? I'll give you until 4:00 o'clock tomorrow. I'm filing my complaint at 10:00 a.m., so that at 4:00 p.m., I'm going to release the address of the Saudi charities. Back tomorrow. I filed my lawsuit at 10:00 o'clock, and told the press. I was going to hold something back for a little bit. At 10:15, the U.S. Government launched Operation Greenquest, a massive raid on all the Saudi charities in homes and businesses, and in one hour we shut down the entire Saudi money- laundering network in America.
From March 20, 2002 to the present, the government has found more and more evidence seized in those archives on that single raid that day. The evidence was so compelling that Professor al-Arian is no longer giving his speeches. He is now in federal prison awaiting trial. His accomplice, Hammoudeh, has also been indicted. Some 32 different people have been indicted in the United States as a direct result of these efforts.
But not the Saudis - - not the Saudis. A month after I filed my lawsuit against al-Arian, I did it: I caused some trouble. I invited some 40 of the top trial lawyers in America to come down to St. Petersburg, Florida. Boy, did I have a deal for them. I wanted them to put up millions of dollars of their own money - I'm poor, I had no money to give them - - but I wanted to do something for America. These are lawyers like Ron Motley that had won billions of dollars in their lawsuits against the tobacco industry and the asbestos industry. I said, "What I want you to do is look at the evidence I've collected. It's the same Saudi banks and charities that funded Sami al-Arian that also funded al Qaeda." I said, "I want you to bring a class action in Federal Court in Washington on behalf of everyone who died on Sept. 11th. I'm going to work for free and collect all the evidence, introduce you to the experts, provide all the exhibits and documents. and we have to do this for America." The lawyers studied all the documents I collected, and on August 15, 2002, they filed the largest class-action lawsuit in American history in the Federal District Court in Washington D.C., asking for one trillion dollars damages against the Saudis.
The lawsuit said essentially that all these Saudi banks had one thing in common. They were bribing Osama bin Ladin 300 million dollars a year to stay out of Saudi Arabia and go blow up someone else. Well, on 911, we found out we were someone else, and the Saudis had to pay for their negligence. So that lawsuit is coming along very well. And more and more people in the CIA and FBI are sort of using me as a back channel to get our information. So, believe it or not, they've actually given me my own TV show now on Sunday mornings on FOX TV nationwide. I'm on at 11:20 eastern standard time. And ABC Radio has given me a national radio program, but I'm on at 10:30 at night and it's past your bedtime.
What I've become in my old age is a teacher. Twenty-five years ago I was a lot younger, a lot thinner, but now every day I get 500 to 1,000 e-mails from honest men and women around the world from the intelligence community. And we have to end the evil in this world. We have to recognize that al Qaeda simply didn't spring up on its own. The evil route was Nazism. The al Qaeda Doctrine is the same as the Arab Nazis held. They hated Jews, they hate democracy, and they hate Westerners for Western culture. Al Qaeda is nothing more than the religious expression of Arab Fascism. We allowed this branch of the Nazi trunk to survive, to flourish, and it has come back to haunt us.
We must do a better job. Look at these children. They are our legacy. If we are to keep our children safe, we must teach them the lessons of the past. Every generation should know what these candles mean. Not only that one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the world really happened, but the evil that caused it - - Nazism - - survived because we didn't fight hard enough. We didn't finish the job. But we must tell our children that in every generation the men and women of America have stood side by side with our Jewish, Christian, and Moslem brothers. We have risen up together against hatred. America is united now. We will win the war on terror, and we will finish the job that these soldiers and survivors started more than a half century ago. We must set the standard that to teach a child to hate is the worst form of child abuse. We must work together to end racism in our children's lifetime. We must teach our children to remember the Holocaust and be proud, so proud of those who survived and inspired us with their courage. In their name, in their honor, let us go forward and fight together.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
I am A Lucky Arab
I am a lucky Arab. My grandfather, Mohammed, travelled on foot from his home in Iraq in the early part of the last century looking for work.
Jews had come to British-controlled Palestine in the thousands, joining the Jews that had always been here, buying up land from absentee Turkish Muslim owners, and they needed many workers to help them build the land. He married,raised a large family, worked hard, and lived quietly.
I live in Haifa in Israel. In 1948 when Israel declared its independence, Arab armies from surrounding Arab states attacked with the intention of destroying the new state. I was about 15 years old and remember well the radio broadcasts from Arab states telling us to leave our homes and move eastward 'temporarily' while the advancing Arab armies wiped out the Jews. They told us we would then return in triumph to our homes and would have the joy of taking over all the Jewish assets-their homes, farms, shops, cars, and bank accounts.
My father, Ibrahim, was a very wise man, a learned man, and a man of peace. We had good relationships with our neighbors, Christian, Jew, and Muslim. He gathered the entire family and explained why he did not believe it wise to flee, that he did not believe the Jews would mistreat us. We stayed put. We are still here.
Today I still live in my father's old stone house with my wife and the youngest of our eight children. My older children and my many grandchildren all live nearby. We have never been mistreated, and we are much better off than those Arabs who fled and who ended up in miserable refugee camps being supported by the UN and charities.
I want you to know what my life is like as an Arab citizen of Israel. I was educated in Israeli schools and universities. I became a pharmacist and worked in a large pharmacy in Haifa. I was paid the same salary, and received the same benefits as Jewish colleagues. Now I'm retired. I receive two pensions; one based on the investment plan to which my company belonged and I contributed. The other comes from the Israeli government National Insurance plan.
I have eight children. Every month I received child allowance paid from the government until each became 18. I know of no other country where this happens, certainly not any Arab nation.
Our entire family is covered by the National Health Plan which provides good medical care. All my children were born in hospital, my wife received excellent ante and postnatal care. All medical and surgical is covered from the first Shekel from birth to death, and when we die even the cost of burial is covered!
My children went to school with Jewish children, they were members of the same sports clubs and the community center, and they all received university educations, some with state scholarships.
I pray in a Mosque, which was built on land donated by the Jewish National Fund. I am a citizen, I have a passport, can travel anywhere, anytime. I vote in local and national elections, and we have a number of Arab members in Parliament.
I have a very good life, and so has my family. I feel for those forced to live under Arafat, for they are being used and abused badly. I long for the day that Arafat is no more, that a real peace treaty can be negotiated with Israel, so that the Palestinian Arabs can have a better life also.
I long for the day I can travel to visit cousins in Ramallah without fear of being called a collaborator and executed. I thank Allah my grandfather came here. I thank Allah my father didn't leave in 1948. I thank Allah my children were raised here, in the only free country in the Middle East.
We are very lucky Arabs.
[Name withheld for security reasons]
Sunday, July 04, 2004
By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | June 23, 2004
Here's a new slogan for the zeitgeist: stay quiet and you'll be OK. This was the message, according to the tapes released last week, that Muhammad Atta gave to the passengers on the ill-fated airplane that he and his fellow terrorists had commandeered.
Stay quiet and you'll be OK. Don't mention that a Saudi imam who spoke at the opening of a large new Islamic center in London once preached a sermon in which he called Jews "evil offspring, infidels, distorters of [others'] words, calf-worshippers, prophet-murderers, prophecy-deniers... the scum of the human race 'whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs," and "an ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption." AP noted that in London he said that Islam's history was "the best testament to how different communities can live together in peace and harmony." The BBC called him "one of Islam's most renowned Imams" and reported his praise for British Muslims for having "taken great steps towards achieving community cohesion."
Neither said anything about his hate speech.
Stay quiet and you'll be OK. Have you heard about the churches destroyed in Kosovo? "To keep the Serbs from claiming this area as part of their national heritage," says Mikhael de Thyse of the Council of Europe, "some Albanians are attacking their churches." In March, the cathedrals in Pristina and Prizren, Kosovo's two main cities, were burned to the ground. Others that have been destroyed include the Holy Archangels Monastery, a charming and, of course, irreplaceable jewel dating from the fourteenth century. The local bishop has had harsh words for NATO peacekeepers, who he says have done little or nothing to protect the churches. But the media establishment has kept mum. Jihad in Kosovo? Come on. Everyone knows the Balkan Muslims are the victims, not the perpetrators!
Stay quiet and you'll be OK. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan went to Harvard to give the commencement speech and receive an honorary degree. The intrepid Charles Jacobs of the American Anti-Slavery Group was ready for him, saying at a rally the day before: "Kofi Annan does not need to come to Harvard tomorrow, he needs to go to Sudan. ... He needs to go to the North, and he needs to tell Khartoum to free the slaves. There are tens of thousands of slaves like Francis Bok, still serving their masters in Sudan. Kofi Annan needs to tell the truth:
For a decade Khartoum wages ... what they call a Jihad against Christians and tribalists in the South. Kofi Annan never once said that the war was a Jihad.
It's not diplomatic to say...but it's the truth. Two million people died because of this war. Tens of thousands were enslaved. Arab militias storm African villages, kill the men and capture the women and children like Francis Bok. Kofi Annan needs to tell the world about Jihad slaves. It's not diplomatic...but it's the truth."
Stay quiet and you'll be OK. In Saudi Arabia, a young Indian Catholic, Brian Savio O'Connor, has been imprisoned and tortured by the religious police, the mutawa. Says L'Osservatore Romano: "Officially the Mutawa has accused O'Connor of using drugs and praying to Jesus Christ, accusations which imply he runs the risk of being punished with the death penalty. The family says that the proofs of his use of drugs have been fabricated by the police, while it does not deny that Brian is a good Christian." Where is the outcry? Why haven't you read about Brian O'Connor in the New York Times? Why hasn't 60 Minutes gone to Riyadh to put a Saudi official or two on the hotseat?
As Ralph Peters has had the courage to declare, "It's time to end the politically correct baby-talk insisting that Islam isn't the problem. In the decaying Arab world, Islam is the problem - because of the way bitter old men interpret and deform its more humane precepts while embracing its cruelest injunctions." It's time to end the baby talk, and the silence. For whatever combination of political correctness, fear, and indifference has made for the silence on these stories and others like them, it does nothing but play into the hands of those who would destroy us.
Stay quiet, and the jihad will continue to advance: in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Israel, and Indonesia, and Nigeria, and the Philippines, and Western Europe, and elsewhere - and if you think we will not feel its impact here, just remember where Atta was when he said those words, and what happened next.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and the author of Onward Muslim
Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery Publishing), and Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter Books).
Friday, July 02, 2004
The joy of our childhood songs - "We went on a hike/ and found an anemone/ on the grass-filled hill/ in the west", a childhood filled with simple, naive symbols: "The mail has arrived today/ in a red car/ and it brought me a letter/ a letter with a stamp".
The bitter-sweet longing of the songs that lovers sing - "The wind, the darkness and the water/ told me that you walked here barefoot", and "On the path, in the field/ a couple is walking alone/ and her hand is held in his/ as a blessing of Shalom".
The beauty of our country - "The daffodils are blooming in the nature reservations/ fields of flowers are blossoming along the shores"
The special culture we are building here, filled with colors of different voices - "So eat and drink, and enjoy the wine/ today you are young, tomorrow you will be old..."
Her songs are filled with our reality - "In our garden, every summer/ guests come from all over the world/ and each one of them has his own language/ and his own way to say "shalom" - and her spirit has given us the great songs that have become the milestones of our most challenging times, with the compassion of "all that we shall ask - let it be", the sensitivity of "Over all these/ please keep guard/ my dear lord", and the greatest prayer of all, the immortal "Jerusalem of gold".
So much longing, happiness, joy and and pure love Naomi Shemer has introduced into our lives. She has written the soundtrack of our modern history. She was the undefeated queen of Israel's best poetic yearning. She has left us with a legacy that will continue to be part of the core of our identity for many generations to come. She will be gravely missed, and today we are all mourning. But tomorrow - tomorrow we will take comfort in the legacy she has left behind - as she has told us in her own words:
"To wake up tomorrow morning
with a new song in our heart
to sing it with all our might,
to sing it with pain,
to hear the flutes playing in the free wind -
and to start all over again."
Liat Ben David
Thursday, June 03, 2004
The following was sent to me by Gilbert Simons from his as yet unpublished book on this subject.
"How did this artificial Arab country of Palestine come into being? Ahmed Shuqairy, a lawyer, created it out of thin air, at the bequest of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. From his pen came the Palestine National Covenant, a historical revisionist document creating a mythical state, concurrently eliminating Israel from the history books. He then created an organization, The Palestine Liberation Organization (the PLO), to destroy the reborn state of Israel, while 'liberating' his fictitious Arab Palestinian state, a circular tour de force. Nasser appointed him the PLO's first Chairman. No 'Palestinians' were involved.
"In his memoirs, Shuqairy reminisces: 'Firstly, I started by laying down the Palestinian entity on paper, like the engineer who traces the plan of a building with all of its foundations, details and measurements. I wrote, altered, erased and changed the order of the articles until I formulated the 'National Covenant' and the 'Fundamental Law' of the Palestine Liberation Organization.' (From the Summit to Defeat, with the Kings and the Presidents). Ahmed Shuqairy himself acknowledged before the Security Council: 'It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria' [which itself was not a nation, but a province of the Ottoman Empire for about 700 years until the Empire was carved up by the victorious Allies in 1918].
"PLO Claim: Ahmed Shuqairy, the author of The PLO Covenant or Charter, set down in Article 4: 'The Palestinian personality is an innate, persistent characteristic that does not disappear, and it is transferred from father to son....,' Article 7 reads: 'The Palestinian affiliation and the material, spiritual and historical tie with Palestine are permanent realities.' But then, Shuqairy ran into a problem. Creating a Palestinian identity on paper was one thing, but getting Arabs to behave as if it was real was another. Arabs had to be taught these 'innate characteristics,' an oxymoron. Blithely ignoring the contradiction, in the same Article 7, quoted above, Shuqairy added: 'The upbringing of the Palestinian individual in an Arab and revolutionary fashion, the undertaking of all means of forging consciousness and training the Palestinian, in order to acquaint him profoundly with his homeland, spiritually and materially, and preparing him for the conflict and armed struggle, as well as for the sacrifice of his property and life to restore his homeland, until the liberation - all this is a national duty.'
"Another contradiction which did not bother Shuqairy was to claim that the Arabs of the area were uniquely 'Palestinians,' while simultaneously asserting that 'The Palestinian people are a part of the Arab Nation,' (Article 1), thus no different from the Arabs of the Middle East and North Africa, which of course is a fact."
There has never been a distinct-Arab Palestinian culture, literature, dialect or national consciousness. Zuhayer Muhsin, head of Sa'iqa [sub-group of the PLO], in an interview with James Dorsey for Trouw, 31 March 1977 put the whole matter in perspective, admitting: "It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity, because it is in the interest of the Arabs to encourage a separate Palestinian identity in contrast to Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity is there only for tactical reasons. The establishment of a Palestinian state is a new expedient to continue the fight against Zionism and for Arab unity."
Sunday, May 30, 2004
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz May 30, 2004
[WARNING: The following contains graphic descriptions of violence.]
Nick Berg, an American from Philadelphia, was kidnapped and tortuously beheaded by Arabs in Iraq sometime in May. The murderers filmed the deed and proudly displayed the victim's severed head.
After killing six Israeli soldiers in an attack on an armored vehicle in Gaza on May 11, the Arabs near the scene of the carnage gleefully held aloft human body parts in front of rolling cameras. One of the Arab terrorists was later interviewed on film with what appeared to be a human head in front of him.
The week before, after shooting at Tali Hatuel's car, causing it to skid and stop, Arab terrorists walked over to the vehicle to finish the occupants off. They looked at the heavily pregnant mother and her four no-doubt frightened girls; the youngest was two years old. And then shot them all. At point-blank range. With sadistic satisfaction, they systematically murdered Tali Hatuel and her unborn son, as well as all of Tali's daughters - Hila, age 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, and two-year-old Meirav.
In Fallujah in March, crowds of townspeople dragged four American civilians out of their vehicles, shot or beat them to death, mutilated their bodies, dragged them through the streets, suspended them from a bridge and burned them.
And they danced and cheered.
With their children.
In Ramallah in 2000, two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped, beaten, stabbed countless times, had their eyes gouged out, and were literally disemboweled and dismembered by an Arab lynch mob.
The people - and I use the term loosely - who carried out the initial beatings threw one of the victims down to the waiting mob, where his face was further crushed with stones, feet, fists and even a heavy metal window frame. One Jew was set on fire and dragged along the street as Arab onlookers danced and cheered. Some of the butchers celebrated their crimes with the victims' internal organs. One of the killers, famously captured on film, proudly displayed his blood-soaked hands to the cheering Ramallah crowd.
And it gets worse. In 2003, nearly two years later, Arab parents in Gaza cheered again when their little children dressed up as members of the Ramallah lynch mob, complete with hands painted blood red, for a kindergarten graduation ceremony.
According to a report by Dr. Michael Widlanski, an Israeli Arabic expert, the Voice of Palestine called the attack on the Hatuel girls "an act of heroic martyrdom". The targeted children and their mother, the PA radio reported only as "five settlers".
Among the participants at the funerals of the Hatuel family members was President of Israel Moshe Katzav. He said, "This day of blood will be engraved in our history. An earthquake has happened. No one in the world can stand apathetically by in the face of these acts by such evil people. Where are those who speak in the name of Allah?"
National Review contributing editor David Frum posed the same question in his May 12 "Diary" on NRO: "Where are the imams?" he asked.
Some of "those who speak in the name of Allah," Mr. President, were busy sawing Nick Berg's head from his body in Iraq. "Allah is great!" they shouted in triumphal glee as they killed their bound and helpless victim. The imams are in the mosques, Mr. Frum, waving swords and exhorting their followers to behead a Jew: "Allah willing, we will cut off his head! Oh Jews! Allah is great! Allah is great!" They are also in Saudi Arabian palaces, telling their subjects that they are 95% certain Zionists are behind Islamist terrorism. They are also writing for the Arab media, explaining that Jews are behind all the evil in the world. And they are even organizing soccer matches, Mr. President, honoring mass murderers.
This is the enemy. Don't look away.
Perhaps when another rally is held in support of Iraqi "resistance" or "Palestinian liberation" somewhere in the world, counter-protesters can remind the ever-so-sensitive and progressive demonstrators of Nick Berg's scream of pain, or of two-year-old Meirav Hatuel cowering in her car seat, or of the Ramallah or Fallujah savages dancing with human entrails.
During the lynch of the two IDF soldiers who had taken a wrong turn into Ramallah in 2000, one of the Arab murderers paused in his savage beating to answer a cell phone belonging to one of the dying soldiers.
He told the worried voice on the other end of the line, "We are killing your husband."
There is a Talmudic dictum that states, "One who is merciful to the cruel, will ultimately cause cruelty to the merciful."
It seems to me that we, Israelis and Americans, have proven the Talmudic sages absolutely correct. Please, no more mercy.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
This is probably the most important letter that I have ever written to you. I implore you to forward this letter or a letter in your own words, accompanied by the original PALESTINIAN NATIONAL CHARTER OF 1964, to President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, your Senators and Congressmen, your local newspaper, your family, friends and acquaintances. It would be preferable, when sending your letter to government officials, to print the accompanying Charter and send it by registered mail. E-mail, unfortunately, often does not get the proper attention of the recipient.
THE PALESTINIAN NATIONAL CHARTER
(Al-Mithaq Al-Kawmee Al-Philisteeni)*
* "Al-Kawmee" has no exact equivalent in English but reflects the notion of Pan-Arabism
We, the Palestinian Arab people, who waged fierce and continuous battles to safeguard its homeland, to defend its dignity and honor, and who offered all through the years continuous caravans of immortal martyrs, and who wrote the noblest pages of sacrifice, offering and giving.
We, the Palestinian Arab people, who faced the forces of evil, injustice and aggression, against whom the forces of international Zionism and colonialism conspire and worked to displace it, dispossess it from its homeland and property, abused what is holy in it and who in spite of all this refused to weaken or submit.
We, the Palestinian Arab people, who believe in its Arabism and in its right to regain its homeland, to realize its freedom and dignity, and who have determined to amass its forces and mobilize its efforts and capabilities in order to continue its struggle and to move forward on the path of holy war (al-jihad) until complete and final victory has been attained,
We, the Palestinian Arab people, based on our right of self-defense and the complete restoration of our lost homeland- a right that has been recognized by international covenants and common practices including the Charter of the United Nations-and in implementation of the principles of human rights, and comprehending the international political relations, with its various ramifications and dimensions, and considering the past experiences in all that pertains to the causes of the catastrophe, and the means to face it,
And embarking from the Palestinian Arab reality, and for the sake of the honor of the Palestinian individual and his right to free and dignified life,
And realizing the national grave responsibility placed upon our shoulders, for the sake of all this,
We, the Palestinian Arab people, dictate and declare this Palestinian National Charter and swear to realize it.
Article 1. Palestine is an Arab homeland bound by strong Arab national ties to the rest of the Arab Countries and which together form the great Arab homeland.
Article 2: Palestine, with its boundaries at the time of the British Mandate, is a indivisible territorial unit.
Article 3: The Palestinian Arab people has the legitimate right to its homeland and is an inseparable part of the Arab Nation. It shares the sufferings and aspirations of the Arab Nation and its struggle for freedom, sovereignty, progress and unity.
Article 4: The people of Palestine determine its destiny when it completes the liberation of its homeland in accordance with its own wishes and free will and choice.
Article 5: The Palestinian personality is a permanent and genuine characteristic that does not disappear. It is transferred from fathers to sons.
Article 6: The Palestinians are those Arab citizens who were living normally in Palestine up to 1947, whether they remained or were expelled. Every child who was born to a Palestinian Arab father after this date, whether in Palestine or outside, is a Palestinian.
Article 7: Jews of Palestinian origin are considered Palestinians if they are willing to live peacefully and loyally in Palestine.
Article 8: Bringing up Palestinian youth in an Arab and nationalist manner is a fundamental national duty. All means of guidance, education and enlightenment should be utilized to introduce the youth to its homeland in a deep spiritual way that will constantly and firmly bind them together.
Article 9: Ideological doctrines, whether political, social, or economic, shall not distract the people of Palestine from the primary duty of liberating their homeland. All Palestinian constitute one national front and work with all their feelings and material potentialities to free their homeland.
Article 10: Palestinians have three mottos: National Unity, National Mobilization, and Liberation. Once liberation is completed, the people of Palestine shall choose for its public life whatever political, economic, or social system they want.
Article 11: The Palestinian people firmly believe in Arab unity, and in order to play its role in realizing this goal, it must, at this stage of its struggle, preserve its Palestinian personality and all its constituents. It must strengthen the consciousness of its existence and stance and stand against any attempt or plan that may weaken or disintegrate its personality.
Article 12: Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine are two complementary goals; each prepares for the attainment of the other. Arab unity leads to the liberation of Palestine, and the liberation of Palestine leads to Arab unity. Working for both must go side by side.
Article 13: The destiny of the Arab Nation and even the essence of Arab existence are firmly tied to the destiny of the Palestine question. From this firm bond stems the effort and struggle of the Arab Nation to liberate Palestine. The people of Palestine assume a vanguard role in achieving this sacred national goal.
Article 14: The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national duty. Its responsibilities fall upon the entire Arab nation, governments and peoples, the Palestinian peoples being in the forefront. For this purpose, the Arab nation must mobilize its military, spiritual and material potentialities; specifically, it must give to the Palestinian Arab people all possible support and backing and place at its disposal all opportunities and means to enable them to perform their role in liberating their homeland.
Article 15: The liberation of Palestine, from a spiritual viewpoint, prepares for the Holy Land an atmosphere of tranquillity and peace, in which all the Holy Places will be safeguarded, and the freedom to worship and to visit will be guaranteed for all, without any discrimination of race, color, language, or religion. For all this, the Palestinian people look forward to the support of all the spiritual forces in the world.
Article 16: The liberation of Palestine, from an international viewpoint, is a defensive act necessitated by the demands of self-defense as stated in the Charter of the United Nations. For that, the people of Palestine, desiring to befriend all nations which love freedom, justice, and peace, look forward to their support in restoring the legitimate situation to Palestine, establishing peace and security in its territory, and enabling its people to exercise national sovereignty and freedom.
Article 17: The partitioning of Palestine, which took place in 1947, and the establishment of Israel are illegal and null and void, regardless of the loss of time, because they were contrary to the will of the Palestinian people and its natural right to its homeland, and were in violation of the basic principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.
Article 18: The Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate System, and all that has been based on them are considered null and void. The claims of historic and spiritual ties between Jews and Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of history or with the true basis of sound statehood. Judaism, because it is a divine religion, is not a nationality with independent existence. Furthermore, the Jews are not one people with an independent personality because they are citizens to their states.
Article 19: Zionism is a colonialist movement in its inception, aggressive and expansionist in its goal, racist in its configurations, and fascist in its means and aims. Israel, in its capacity as the spearhead of this destructive movement and as the pillar of colonialism, is a permanent source of tension and turmoil in the Middle East, in particular, and to the international community in general. Because of this, the people of Palestine are worthy of the support and sustenance of the community of nations.
Article 20: The causes of peace and security and the requirements of right and justice demand from all nations, in order to safeguard true relationships among peoples and to maintain the loyalty of citizens to their homeland, that they consider Zionism an illegal movement and outlaw its presence and activities.
Article 21: The Palestinian people believes in the principles of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, human dignity, and the right of peoples to practice these principles. It also supports all international efforts to bring about peace on the basis of justice and free international cooperation.
Article 22: The Palestinian people believe in peaceful co-existence on the basis of legal existence, for there can be no coexistence with aggression, nor can there be peace with occupation and colonialism.
Article 23: In realizing the goals and principles of this Convent, the Palestine Liberation Organization carries out its full role to liberate Palestine in accordance with the basic law of this Organization.
Article 24: This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.
Article 25: This Organization is in charge of the movement of the Palestinian people in its struggle to liberate its homeland in all liberational, organizational, and financial matters, and in all other needs of the Palestine Question in the Arab and international spheres.
Article 26: The Liberation Organization cooperates with all Arab governments, each according to its ability, and does not interfere in the internal affairs of any Arab states.
Article 27: This Organization shall have its flag, oath and a national anthem. All this shall be resolved in accordance with special regulations.
Article 28: The basic law for the Palestine Liberation Organization is attached to this Charter. This law defines the manner of establishing the Organization, its organs, institutions, the specialties of each one of them, and all the needed duties thrust upon it in accordance with this Charter.
Article 29: This Charter cannot be amended except by two-thirds majority of the members of the National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization in a special session called for this purpose.
*Adopted in 1964 by the 1st Palestinian Conference
Dear Friends, the question is often asked: since the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) was founded in 1964, what were the Arabs liberating at that time? The answer is: that part of the Holy Land which the Jews were able to hold on to when five armies, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Transjordan, attacked Israel in the bitterly fought War of Independence, in 1948. 6,000 Jews were killed in the War of Independence, 1% of the nation's total population. As a result of the War, Egypt took over the Gaza Strip. TransJordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria, which it then named the "West Bank." At that time, King Hussein of Jordan significantly changed the name of TransJordan (across the Jordan) to just plain Jordan. By the way, this illegal occupation of Judea and Samaria, was recognized by only two countries, Britain and Pakistan.
It is important to pay great attention to article 24 of the PLO National Charter of 1964, which reads as follows: "THIS ORGANIZATION DOES NOT EXERCISE ANY TERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE WEST BANK IN THE HASHEMITE KINGDOM OF JORDAN, ON THE GAZA STRIP OR IN THE HIMMAH AREA. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields."
When did the PLO discover its passionate attachment to the Biblical Homeland of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, declaring it to be their fictional Palestinian homeland, even though these areas are repeatedly mentioned in the Judeo-Christian Bible as promised to the Jewish People by Hashem? Of course, there never was such a country called Palestine, or a nation called Palestinians.
The Arabs themselves make it clear in this 1964 Palestinian National Charter (in the Introduction of the Charter) that they are part of a larger Arab people (Arabism), and that it is incumbent on all Arab people to move forward on the path of HOLY WAR (AL-JIHAD) until complete and final victory has been attained.
Here in this 1964 Palestinian National Charter we see the planting of the seeds of "global Jihad."
"Article 1: Palestine is an Arab homeland bound by strong Arab national ties to the Arab Countries and which together form the great Arab homeland"
"Article 3: The Palestinian Arab people has the legitimate right to its homeland and is an inseparable part of the Arab Nation..."
"Article 12: Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine are two complementary goals; each prepares for the attainment of the other..."
"Article 13: The destiny of the Arab Nation and even the essence of Arab existence are firmly tied to the destiny of the Palestine question..."
And finally, article 14 clearly spells out the necessity of Jihad: "The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national duty. Its responsibilities fall upon the entire Arab nation, governments and peoples, the Palestinian peoples being in the forefront. For this purpose, the Arab nation must mobilize its military, spiritual and material potentialities; specifically, it must give to the Palestinian Arab people all possible support and backing and place at its disposal all opportunities and means to enable them to perform their role in liberating their homeland."
Unfortunately, the United Nations and the European Union have bought into the fantasy of a Palestinian nation and a Palestinian state, to replace the Jewish Homeland. Tragically, even the United States, supposedly Israel's best friend, is working with the Arab world to make the realization of another Arab state a reality. Shouldn't the US State Department and the rest of the Unites States government take a good thorough look at the PLO National Charter of 1964 and the lies contained therein?
In the Jerusalem Post of May 5, 2004 there was an article by Michael Freund about the U.S. National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice fundraising for the PA.
"According to a May 3 article in The Washington Post, the Bush administration has launched a 'diplomatic offensive' aimed at allaying Arab concerns regarding the president's recent embrace of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Gaza withdrawal plan.
"Among other things, the paper notes, 'the administration in recent days has tried to emphasize its concern for the Palestinians.' This has included an effort to drum up financial support for the PA. 'As part of the diplomatic offensive,' the report says, 'national security adviser Condoleezza Rice last week called some Arab countries that were behind in making payments to shore up the Palestinian Authority.'
"Isn't that thoughtful of her. With American casualties mounting daily in Iraq, Osama Bin-Laden still on the run, and North Korea threatening to develop more nuclear weapons, doesn't Rice have better things to do than making sure Arafat can balance his checkbook? Indeed, Rice's telethon on behalf of the PA is particularly astonishing in light of some of the Palestinians' recent actions.
"Just this past weekend the PA transferred funds to Hamas-affiliated organizations in Gaza, claiming that economic conditions in the territories were the reason for the move. But if the PA itself is truly in such need of funds that the US national security adviser must intervene, why is it showering money on Hamas terrorists?"
The pressure on Ariel Sharon from the United States Government to evacuate Jewish Communities to make possible the establishment of another Arab state within the Promised Land, has been enormous. This coming Sunday, May 30, Prime Minister Sharon is trying to force the Israeli Cabinet to approve his unilateral disengagement plan to abandon the Jewish Communities in Gaza, as well as some in Samaria. In Gaza alone, this plan, without any reciprocal agreement from the Arabs, will hand over hothouses, factories, homes, schools and synagogues to the Arabs, making at least 8,000 people homeless. Sharon has said that even if the Cabinet does not support him, and even though his own Likud party overwhelmingly in a referendum rejected his plan, he will go ahead, because he knows best!
Now the question is, will the most important democracy in the world, the United States, support such blatantly undemocratic behavior?
It is up to you dear friends, to remind the United States Government of the intentions of the Arab world as spelled out in the Palestinian National Charter of 1964, which were the seeds planted for the Muslim Global Jihad, which the Judeo-Christian world will have to defeat in order to survive.
With Blessings and Love for Israel,
Sunday, May 09, 2004
There are only a couple of possible explanations for why the world is not out even now, protesting the intentional murder of a pregnant woman and her four young daughters by Palestinian gunmen.
I think it's clear that had the shooters been Israeli soldiers and the victims a Palestinian family, millions of righteously indignant protesters would have hit the streets and the airwaves calling for the capture and punishment of the murderers and, no doubt, the immediate dismantling of "the Zionist entity."
They do that when a Palestinian civilian gets unintentionally caught in the crossfire. They do it when actual gunmen and terrorists are killed. They do it when fences are constructed to keep the killers out. They do it when terrorists' houses - their houses, not their families - are destroyed. They do not do it when defenseless Jewish women and children are gunned down in the street.
There are only a limited number of explanations for this - none of them very pleasant.
One must realize that we are talking about the intentional murder of a pregnant woman and four little girls. Someone had to take aim at and shoot an obviously pregnant woman and four small children ages 2 to 11. This was not a case of accidental collateral damage. This was a targeted killing. And, I'm sorry, but there is absolutely no moral equivalency between the targeted killing of an armed (or even an unarmed) terrorist mastermind, and the murder of an unarmed pregnant woman and her children, no matter how much certain people would like there to be. It is the difference not between apples and oranges, but between apples and skyscrapers.
Had the victims been any other pregnant woman and her children, practically anywhere else in the world, there would have been a deafening hew and cry.
So, either much of the world is OK with the Jews as victims or they have a very low opinion of Arabs.
What I mean is, that unless there is a collective understanding that Jews are unimportant, expendable or worse, justifiable targets, the only other explanation is that the world feels the Palestinian Arabs are simply incapable of civilized behavior. Unless the world is collectively thinking, "well, they're Arabs, what do you expect?" then we can explain the deafening silence over this atrocity only through worldwide, systemic and deeply entrenched anti-Semitism.
I'm not crazy about either explanation, but I think I hope it's the former, because there is some chance for the Arabs themselves to change that perception by behaving in a civilized manner, and by calling on their misguided brethren to do so, too.
The latter explanation, on the other hand, has terrifying and far-reaching implications that I'd prefer not to contemplate, and which people all over the world, in the United States in particular, are dismissing as impossible.
Unfortunately, those of us familiar with history know that dismissing unpleasantness out of hand doesn't make it go away. On the contrary, it allows it to fester and grow.
If the international acquiescence to or rationalization of the murder of that Jewish family isn't a function of anti-Semitism or a belief that no better behavior can be expected from Palestinian Arabs, then it can only be a fear, a terror as it were, that to speak out against the wholesale slaughter of innocent Jewish men, women and even children may bring the wrath of the proverbial Hun down upon the protester.
If that's it we're all doomed, of course, because that means the terrorists have already won.
(What make these murders even more horrendous, is the fact that the Arabs involved deliberately came up to the car afterwards and slaughtered the children at close range.)
Monday, April 26, 2004
One of ther reasons I started this mailing list was to try to share that which we in Israel are experiencing. All day long today, Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers and (for the first time) victims of terror, I tried to think how I could explain to someone outside the country what we here go through.
How can I make someone who doesn't live here understand what it means to sit by your television set hour after hour watching family after family break down in tears as they describe the pain of losing a beloved son or daughter? And the pictures of the fallen, how they flash by, the handsome young men, the winning grin, the dark blue eyes, the strong young bodies, the beautiful young women --and all so young, so young, so very young.
There was one show that filmed mothers and fathers describing the last conversation they had with their child, and then how they learned the terrible news. Some feared it all along; others never suspected. Some were furious at the soldiers who came to tell them; others didn't want to open the door at all; and still others didn't believe a word, trying again and again to call the cell-phone number.
There was the Russian immigrant who had lost her lovely young daughter in a Tel Aviv disco bombing: "I dreamt about her wedding, having grandchildren. Now that will never happen." Was she sorry she'd moved to Israel? "No," she said. "This is our country. This is what my daughter wanted. It was her dream." And the Ethiopian mother who had lost her soldier son....and the friends we have known for years talking about losing their son, a war hero. I remember when David Granit was born. His mother didn't know she was pregnant with twins, identical twin boys, redheads like their mother. Their father Menachem saw one son born, then went home. When he came back to visit his wife, she said: "We have a son." I know, he answered, confused. "No, another son." How we all laughed at this story. David was killed in Lebanon saving the lives of his soldiers who were under heavy fire. "I didn't want a hero," his sister wept. "I wanted my brother."
On the radio, I heard a bereaved mother talking about the importance of memorial day. "For one day the whole country feels like I feel every day." It was important for people to call, to enquire, to comfort. To make those suffering from loss feel surrounded by a cocoon of warmth and love and solidarity, she said. That is so hard, I thought. Because the last thing in the world you want to do is intrude on someone's private grief. But Memorial Day makes that grief public, giving all of us a chance to say: We live because your son, your daughter, your father, your brother, your sister gave their lives to guard and protect us. Our country continues to function because your grandmother, your little girl, took a bus, bought a pizza, sat in a park, and in so doing, lost their lives to those who wish to take our country away from us. Too cowardly to fight our soldiers, they fight our old people, our babies.
When Memorial Day is over, we will dry our tears. We will go out into the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, our hearts still heavy with cumulative grief, and watch the fireworks. And little by little, we will start to smile again, to celebrate that our little country--our little miracle-- is 56 years old. And that, despite everything, we love her and wish her well and would give anything --anything--to protect and nuture her and her people, the bravest and most compassionate people in the world.
Happy Birthday Israel. God Bless the Jewish people, the People of Israel. May He heal our wounds, and dry the tears from all faces.