Saturday, October 08, 2005

What me? ... the peace prize?

OSLO, Norway (CNN) -- The U.N. nuclear watchdog and its head, Mohamed ElBaradei won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. Elbaradei told CNN he was "overwhelmed."
.....ha ha ha ...

Bush Did the Job, Elbaradei Walked off with the Nobel Peace Prize

Elbaradei wins the "peace prize" ! Is this a new short story from Fanz Kafka? No, it's true....from DEBKAfile October 7, 2005, 3:43 PM (GMT+02:00) ...

In 2002, the United States, Britain and Israel strongly suspected the new Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradai, of employing secret delaying tactics to help three Muslim nations get their nuclear weapons programs off the ground. The nations were Libya, Iran and Egypt. Intelligence data showed those programs as being nourished by the technology, experience and expertise of Pakistan and North Korea, both motivated by their dire cash shortage. The assumption therefore in Washington, Jerusalem and London - later proved correct - was that the necessary funding was put up by Tehran, Tripoli and Cairo.

Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was also busy at the time preparing to go into nuclear weapons production. But, whenever the UN Security Council asked ElBaradei to go to Iraq and see what the Saddam regime was up to, he always came back denying any signs of prohibited activity but always adding that more checks were needed.

By mid-2004, a year after the US invaded Iraq - by which time Saddam was under lock and key, most people had come to terms with the conclusion that the Iraqi dictator was innocent of any nuclear aspirations, or even chemical and biological programs. It was then that the IAEA in Vienna began releasing highly-suggestive reports. Complete installations and equipment capable of use in nuclear weapons production were suddenly found to have been dismantled and removed from Iraq by a hidden hand.

Satellite photos, commissioned by the UN watchdog, were attached to the reports. They showed those same installations still standing in January and February 2003, weeks before the US invasion. A second set of photos were taken in May and June, just after Baghdad had fallen, showed the same installations stripped to the ground, their former sites flat and bare.

The IEAE director then came forward to voice concern lest the nuclear equipment concerned fall into the wrong hands. He was equally a Johnny-come-lately in the cases of the nuclear activities of Libya, Pakistan and Egypt.

By means of delicate diplomacy during 2003 and 2004, the Bush administration persuaded Libya to relinquish its nuclear weapons industry. US military planes flew the centrifuges Pakistan supplied Libya for uranium enrichment and its yellow cake out of the country to the United States. Pakistan, prodded by Washington, “uncovered” a nuclear black market ring headed by Dr Qader Khan, the father of the Pakistan nuclear bomb, and Egypt confessed to possessing a supply of enriched uranium for military purposes. While this was going on, Dr. ElBaradei and the IAEA teams stood on the sidelines in a supportive role.

These episodes demonstrate that the prime mover in dismantling the most dangerous focii of nuclear weapons production was the Bush administration rather than the UN nuclear watchdog and its director. It was only after these episodes were successfully concluded that ElBaradei realized that Washington had drawn up new rules for the international nuclear game. He began cooperating in earnest with America’s effort to disarm North Korea.

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has never been known for its objective, impartial justice in making its prestigious awards. Israelis will not forget that the Palestinian master terrorist Yasser Arafat was honored with the Peace Prize in 1995 at a time that he was preparing the most extensive suicide terrorism campaign against civilians ever seen before. Al Qaeda learned much from this Palestinian terror innovator.

The late Israeli prime minister Yizhak Rabin and the incumbent vice premier Shimon Peres were co-recipients of the same prize. They were genuinely under the illusion that Middle East peace was around the corner.

It may be said therefore, that President Bush and Vice president Dick Cheney, who rolled up their sleeves and got down to the job of defusing dangerous nuclear arms projects, will have to watch ElBaradei and his agency walking off with the credit for their efforts at a grand ceremony in Oslo.

Weisglass-Erekat meeting 'positive'

From Ynetnews ...

Meeting between senior Israeli and Palestinian officials defined as 'positive and serious'; a second meeting is scheduled for Sunday
Ali Waked

Special advisor to the prime minister Dov Weisglass and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat met Friday, less than a week before Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is set to meet Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian sources said the Weisglass-Erekat meeting was "positive and serious," as it dealt with the implementation of the Road Map peace plan and the Sharm agreements. The Israeli side defined the meeting as "good and positive."

...The Palestinians have requested the release of thousands of prisoners, but have not yet received an answer from Israel.

During the meeting, Weisglass also clarified Israel's objection to Hamas' participation in upcoming PA elections.

...It was decided that a second meeting would take place, probably on Sunday, where Erekat and Weisglass could discuss the groundwork in more detail prior to the Sharon-Abbas meeting next week. Israeli officials said that should both sides reach an agreement regarding the agenda for Sharon's meeting with Abbas, the two leaders would get together on Tuesday. However, should no understanding be reached, the meeting would be postponed.

...The Palestinians said the implementation of the Road Map peace plan and Sharm agreements were discussed during the meeting, as well as an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian towns, the release of prisoners and a solution for Palestinians expelled from the country.

The Palestinians also demanded Israel stop all construction of settlements and the security fence. They said the issue of the Rafah border crossing and upcoming PA elections was also raised during the meeting.

...Meanwhile, the Quartet’s Special Envoy James Wolfensohn met with Israeli and Palestinians officials Thursday evening to discuss a solution for the Rafah crossing, in preparation for the Sharon-Abbas meeting.

Both sides agreed to a series of talks in a bid to reach a solution leading up to the summit next week.

- Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report

Friday, October 07, 2005

Anti-Semitic incident in Perth

From the Perth Hebrew Congregation newsletter, 6/10/2005...

We have been informed by the Northern Suburbs Hebrew Congregation that on the morning of Erev Rosh Hashanah (3 October 2005) there was a security incident of some concern, plus an anti-Semitic sign etched onto the doorway of their newly constructed synagogue.We convey to all their members our solidarity, and that we share their pain and disgust at this outrageous act of anti-Semitism and racism.....

US Senate Will Probe Saudi Distribution Of Hate Materials

From The New York Sun, by MEGHAN CLYNE October 5, 2005

WASHINGTON - The American government is demanding that Saudi Arabia account for its distribution of hate material to American mosques....

The flurry of activity comes months after a report from the Center for Religious Freedom discovered that dozens of mosques in major cities across the country...were distributing documents, bearing the seal of the government of Saudi Arabia, that incite Muslims to acts of violence and promote hatred of Jews and Christians.

A Washington-based group that is part of the human rights organization Freedom House, the Center for Religious Freedom also found during its yearlong study that the Saudi-produced materials describe democracy and America as un-Islamic. They instruct recent Muslim immigrants to consider Americans as enemies and the materials urge new arrivals to use their time here as preparation for jihad. The documents also promote the version of Islam officially embraced by Saudi government and several of the September 11, 2001, hijackers, Wahhabism, as the only authentic Islam....

...Also demanding answers about the hate materials is the State Department's undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, Karen Hughes. During a high-profile trip to the Middle East last week, Ms. Hughes said American representatives had addressed the propagation of Saudi hate material in America during private meetings with government officials.

...The undersecretary did not elaborate on the results of the private meetings, but the degree to which Saudi Arabia is making efforts to stop the propaganda will be a subject of the Senate hearings, Mr. Reynolds said.

Requests for comment from the Embassy of Saudi Arabia yesterday were not returned.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Clash 'humiliates' Palestinian police

From The Australian, by Abraham Rabinovich, Jerusalem, October 04, 2005 ...

TWO dozen policemen last night stormed the Palestinian parliament building, firing in the air to protest against their humiliation by Hamas militants following the worst clash between the factions in a decade. This followed running gun battles on Sunday between police and Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip, raising fears of a civil war.

Three people were killed - including Shati refugee camp deputy police commander Ali Makawi - and more than 50 wounded as the Palestinian Authority attempted to enforce its authority by confiscating weapons from Hamas operatives in Gaza.

...The clash was triggered when police stopped a car in Gaza City containing four armed Hamas operatives and demanded that they hand over their weapons. One of the four was Mohammed Rantisi, the son of the former Hamas leader in Gaza, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, who was assassinated last year by Israel. He refused the demand and when he attempted to drive off the police fired at the car's tyres. Hamas operatives living in the area soon joined in the fight while members of the Fatah movement, headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, joined in on the side of the policemen. The fighting spread to other neighbourhoods and the Shati refugee camp, at the edge of Gaza City.

The clashes came amid the growing tension that followed the PA's announcement four days earlier that it would no longer allow arms to be carried in the streets by militants. Hamas officials said they had no intention of abiding by that order. Palestinian sources reported that both sides were mustering forces for possible continuation of the confrontation.

A senior Hamas official in Damascus, Mohammed Nazel, accused the PA of trying to liquidate Hamas, which is challenging Fatah's control of the PA by fielding candidates in the coming legislative elections. "There is a faction of the Palestinian Authority trying to eradicate Hamas and it plans a widespread conflict in the West Bank," Mr Nazel said. "The hands of this faction, which is backed by Washington and London, are stained with Palestinian blood, and Hamas will confront it, even at the price of civil war."

The PA's Interior Ministry issued a similarly militant announcement. "Hamas bears full responsibility for this crude violation of the law and the games it is playing with Palestinian blood," it said. "We are determined to enforce the law and no one is above it."

Civil war is precisely what Mr Abbas has sought to avoid; but under US and Israeli pressure he has made firmer demands of the militants to hand over their weapons or at least to desist from displaying them in public. Israeli Army chief Dan Halutz told Israel Radio that the clashes might mark "the beginning of the beginning" of PA efforts to enforce law and order in the territory vacated by Israel...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Canberra 'failing' in hunt for Nazis

From The Australian, by Christopher Dore, October 03, 2005 ...

AUSTRALIA has been slammed for failing to track down and prosecute 'at least several hundred' Nazi war criminals believed to have found refuge here.

(listen to ABC radio at 10am WST for an interview with Colin Rubenstein on this subject - Sandgroper)

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which is dedicated to finding suspected World War II criminals and helping prosecute them, says Australia has failed to do enough and needs to take 'additional steps, urgently'.

'Australia remains the only major Western country of refuge which admitted at least several hundred Nazi war criminals and collaborators, which has hereto failed to take successful legal action against a single one,' the centre's director, Efraim Zuroff, says in his annual report analysing the efforts of governments worldwide.

"Numerous attempts have been made ... to convince the Australian authorities to adopt civil remedies -- denaturalisation and/or deportation -- to deal with Holocaust perpetrators in the country, but the Government has refused to do so." Australia's position is in contrast to the US, which Dr Zuroff praises for launching dozens of investigations and managing to secure three prosecutions in the past 12 months.

..."It is ...extremely unlikely that they will be able to obtain any convictions while they continue to insist on prosecuting these suspects on criminal charges," he says. "This is particularly true in Australia, where all witnesses in such cases must appear in person, a factor which would make a successful prosecution next to impossible, given the country's geographical distance from the scene of the crimes committed."

Aside from Mr Zentai, the Wiesenthal Centre earlier this year also tracked down another Australian pensioner suspected of connections to the Nazis: Hungarian-born Melbourne man Lajos Polgar.