Friday, February 10, 2006

Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen suddenly throws open Jericho lock-up and frees 56 convicted terrorists

DEBKAfile Exclusive: February 9, 2006, 3:11 PM (GMT+02:00). . .

Among the men freed without prior notice are 26 Islamic Jihad members from northern and central Samaria, who plotted and masterminded suicide bombings in Hadera, Netanya, and Kfar Saba in 2005.

Also released were 13 members of the PA General Intelligence Service, loyal to Col. Tewfik Tirawri, and 17 members of the PA Military Police – all of whom participated in terrorist attacks.

Abu Mazen thus renews Yasser Arafat's revolving-door policy for terrorists. . ..

Neo-Nazi revisionist on trial

From news.com.au network,From correspondents in Mannheim, February 10, 06 ...

NEO-NAZI historian Ernst Zuendel, one of the leading figures in the Holocaust denial movement, went on trial in Germany today on several counts of inciting racial hatred. Mr Zuendel, 66, was applauded loudly by supporters as he entered the packed court in Mannheim, in southwestern Germany.
His trial was suspended in November after the court ordered the replacement of his lawyer, who was being advised by Horst Mahler, a leading ideologue of Germany's far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).
Mr Mahler has praised the September 2001 attacks on the United States and has accused Jews of seeking "world domination".
Today, the trial was immediately dominated by a new row over his defence, as three lawyers chosen by Mr Zuendel complained about another three the court had appointed to the historian's defence team.

The lawyers, who also include right-wing sympathiser Juergen Rieger, complained that Judge Ulrich Meinerzhagen had given the three lawyers appointed by the state access to documents which was denied to them.
Mr Zuendel, who is seen as one of the main purveyors of anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi material in the world and has described Adolf Hitler as a "man of peace", sat quietly throughout the proceedings.
Besides inciting racial hatred, he is also accused of systematically promoting revisionist theories about the Holocaust in his books.
Denying the Holocaust is a crime in Germany and if convicted, Mr Zuendel faces up to five years in jail.
He left Germany for Canada at the age of 19 but was deported in March 2005 on a German arrest warrant.

Putin will invite Hamas to Russia

From Ynet News 9/2/06. . .

... Putin remarks that Hamas is not terror organization after Russian president tells press conference in Madrid he intends on inviting group leaders to Moscow in near future; Hamas official says group would accept invitation

..."Russia is maintaining contacts with the Hamas organization and intends in the near future to invite the leadership of this organization to Moscow," Putin was quoted as telling a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Madrid, where he was on a visit.

Putin reiterated that Russia does not consider Hamas a terrorist organization, and urged the global community to work with a Hamas-led Palestinian government.

"Hamas has arrived at the doors of power through legitimate elections," Putin said. "We must respect the Palestinian people and we have to look for solutions for the Palestinian people, for the international community, and also for Israel. Contacts with Hamas must continue."

Putin's declaration contradicts the stance presented by Moscow so far at the international Quartet discussions. His stance also comes as a surprise after he had expressed a firm position in the past about not talking to the terror groups that carried out the bombings in Moscow. Now he is inviting a group recognized as a terror organization by the world to visit his country....

Ali Waked and Roee Nahmias contributed to the report

Thursday, February 09, 2006

INSIDE THE HAMAS STRATEGY

From The New Republic on line: "Fight Delay" by Ehud Yaari Post date: 02.05.06Issue date: 02.13.06 Jerusalem, Israel ...

This is the concrete deal that Hamas is offering Israel: an open-ended armistice in exchange for a well-armed and independent Palestinian state; a prolonged cessation of hostilities, but no peace treaty and no resolution of the conflict's underlying issues. According to conversations with its leaders and its public statements, Hamas will recognize Israel as an "occupier state" while still rejecting its legitimacy. As a sign of their seriousness, the heads of Hamas have already quietly given assurances that they will unconditionally extend the tahdiah, the lull in attacks on Israel, that they painstakingly maintained in the year leading up to their stunning victory in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections on January 25. They will keep their terrorist weaponry on safety, without giving it up.

Unfortunately, it is likely that the Europeans will soon advise Israel to accept such a deal. The Egyptians are already arguing in private that an armistice without a peace treaty is preferable to another intifada. And, rest assured, down the road there will be Israelis who will urge taking the deal that is possible and giving up on the one that is necessary--that is, a final-status agreement incorporating Palestinian recognition of Israel. This is how Hamas hopes to achieve legitimacy and to consolidate its gains.

Israel, therefore, has a tough decision to make within weeks, if not days: test an extended ceasefire and allow Hamas to slide into power or prevent its worst enemies from taking control of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). In 1993, when the Oslo accords opened the doors to Yasir Arafat, Israel unwittingly imported a vicious civil war, waiting in vain for Arafat to transform himself into a peaceful neighbor.

If Israel deludes itself into thinking that Hamas is about to undergo a purifying metamorphosis, it will wake up to discover that Islamic fundamentalists are running the P.A.--without even pretending to accept Israel's right to exist.

...For the time being ... Hamas is offering an armistice that recognizes the June 1967 lines, including Palestinian sovereignty in East Jerusalem. There are Hamas leaders who indicate that it may be possible to integrate this proposal with the establishment of a Palestinian state within "provisional borders," ...

...Hamas is presenting this political vision in order to smooth its way to hegemony. It must ease Israeli fears--and, indeed, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has stupidly announced that Hamas is behaving "responsibly"--and reassure Fatah that partnership with Hamas will not necessarily lead to a dead end or to more bloodshed. And, not least importantly, Hamas wants to provide the Europeans and the United States with the illusion of progress toward peace so that they will continue giving aid to the Palestinian Authority.

...There is no reason, for now, to doubt Hamas's willingness to enter into a prolonged armistice. The volume of terrorism perpetrated by the movement has declined steadily since the summer of 2004. ...This conduct reflected Hamas's decision to take over the Palestinian Authority before again turning its sights on Israel. Indeed, the Cairo agreement--an accord between Hamas and P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas in March 2005--comprised a simple tradeoff: a lull in terrorist operations in exchange for elections.

...Israel and its friends must decide whether to let the tiger gain strength .... Until Hamas accepts Israel's right to exist and renounces terrorism, Israel should freeze its economic agreements, border procedures, and all other dealings with the P.A. A diplomatic siege and an active boycott should be developed, coupled with persistence in counterterrorism operations. Any attempt by Hamas to invite Iran to step in must be subverted in an effort to nip this hostile new regime in the bud.

Ehud Yaari is the Middle East commentator for Israel TV Channel 2 and an associate of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Facts vs. Fiction:

The following text appears in an article Facts vs. Fiction: A Report from the Front, By Karl Zinsmeister, The American Enterprise, March 2006

The report questions why, despite many successes and a heap of progress, the positive side of the War in Iraq does not feature in media coverage:

A good question. More than perhaps any news event in a generation, coverage of the Iraq war has been unbalanced and incomplete. The dangers that keep most Western reporters completely cloistered in the artificial bubble of a few heavily guarded hotels create many distortions. But the disdain of the press corps for this war is also crystal clear in the overall reporting.

One media critic (Arthur Chrenkoff) did a content analysis of a typical day (January 21, 2005), and counted this breakout of freshly published stories on Iraq:

• 1,992 covering terrorist attacks • 887 essays alleging prisoner abuse by the British
• 289 about American casualties or civilian deaths in Iraq
• 27 mentions of oil pipeline sabotage
• 761 reports on public statements of terrorists
• 357 on U.S. anti-war protestors
• 121 speculations on a possible American pullout
• 118 articles about strains with European nations
• 217 stories worrying over the validity of the upcoming January 30 Iraqi election
• 216 tales of hostages in Iraq
• 123 quoting Vice President Cheney saying he had underestimated reconstruction needs
• 2,642 items on a Senate grilling of Condoleezza Rice over Iraq policy

Balanced against these negative stories, Chrenkoff ’s computer search found a grand total of 96 comparatively positive reports related to Iraq:

• 16 reports on successful operations against insurgents
• 7 hopeful stories about Iraqi elections
• 73 describing the return of missing Iraqi antiquities

Tendentious reporting is clouding understanding and spawning inaccuracies. In January 2005, for instance, the New York Times editorial board had become convinced that civil war was just around the corner in Iraq and suggested “it’s time to talk about postponing [Iraq’s first] elections.” Less than two weeks later came the popular outpouring that inspired observers around the globe. Snookered yet again by over-gloomy reporting, the Times insisted on October 7 that Iraqis were “going through the motions of democracy only as long as their side wins.” Just days after, the minority Sunnis announced they were joining the political process, and turned out in force to vote on the constitution, and then in Iraq’s historic parliamentary election.

Many other establishment media organs have been equally out of line. When Iraq’s unprecedented new constitution was ratified by 79 percent of voters (in a turnout heavier than any American election), the Washington Post buried that story on page 13, and put this downbeat headline on it: “Sunnis Failed to Defeat Iraq Constitution: Arab Minority Came Close.” The four top headlines on the front page of the Post that same day: “Military Has Lost 2,000 in Iraq,” “The Toll: 2,000,” “Bigger, Stronger, Homemade Bombs Now to Blame for Half of U.S. Deaths,” and “Bush Aides Brace for Charges.”

The Enemy Speaks ...

From MEMRI Special Dispatch Series - No. 1087, February 7, 2006 (just a few extracts - follow the link to read the whole articel)...

Hamas Leader Khaled Mash'al at a Damascus Mosque: The Nation of Islam Will Sit at the Throne of the World and the West Will Be Full of Remorse – When it's Too Late

The following are excerpts from an address by Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al at the Al-Murabit Mosque in Damascus. The address was delivered following the Friday sermon at the mosque, and was aired on Al-Jazeera TV on February 3, 2006. To view this clip, visit: http://www.memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1024.

TO VIEW OTHER CLIPS ON HAMAS VISIT: http://www.memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S5&P1=151.

"We Say to This West... By Allah, You Will Be defeated"

..."America will be defeated in Iraq. ... The nation of Muhammad is gaining victory in Palestine. ...in Iraq, and it will be victorious in all Arab and Muslim lands....victory and glory will be upon our nation, and the West will be full of remorse, when it is too late. "

..."I say to the [European countries]: Hurry up and apologize to our nation, because if you do not, you will regret it. .... Tomorrow we will lead the world, Allah willing. Apologize today, before remorse will do you no good. Our nation is moving forwards, and it is in your interest to respect a victorious nation.

... "This victory, which was clearly evident in the elections, conveys a message to Israel, to America, and to all the oppressors around the world: You have no way of overcoming us. If you want war, we are ready. If you want democracy, we are ready. Whatever you want - we are ready. You will not defeat us. The time of defeat is over. Defeat within six days, defeat within hours, the defeat of armies - all this is over.

..."Today, you are fighting the army of Allah. You are fighting against peoples for whom death for the sake of Allah, and for the sake of honor and glory, is preferable to life. You are fighting a nation that does not tire, even after 1,000 years of fighting. .... Wherever you turn, you will fail."
... "Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded. Allah willing, before they die, they will experience humiliation and degradation every day. America will be of no avail to them. ... Today they have frail leaders, who don't even know where our Lord placed them.
"Allah willing, we will make them lose their eyesight, we will make them lose their brains.

..."Their weapons will be of no avail to them. ..."Israel has begun to sense that its superiority has come to an end. Its army, which has superior conventional weapons - the air force, the armored corps, and the missiles - there are no longer wars in which these are used.... We don't want [conventional] wars, thank you very much. Leave the war to the peoples. Today, the Israeli weapons are of no use against the peoples. We have imposed a new equation in the war. In this equation, our tools are stronger. That is why we will defeat them, Allah willing.

..."Hamas has a vision. Hamas has a plan. Hamas can manage the political battle, just like it managed the military battle, but in a different language, with different tools, and recognizing Israel is not one of them. Nor is giving up the rights, giving up the right to resistance, and nor is giving up the weapons of the resistance.

..."Nevertheless, we want to deal with politics...."

... "I say to America, Europe, and the West: It is in your interests to change your relations and policies regarding the Arab and Islamic nation and the Palestinian cause. Because we are winning, it is in your interests to deal with the victors, not the losers. ...Israel will be defeated and will be of no use to you. The Arabs will be victorious. The Muslims will be victorious. Palestine will be victorious. Change your policy soon, if you want to protect your interests, and maintain healthy relations with the East."

Anglican Shame

From JPost Feb. 8, 2006 0:15 Updated Feb. 8, 2006 3:07 By GEORGE CONGER ...

The former archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday he was "ashamed to be an Anglican" following Monday's vote by the Church of England to disinvest from companies whose products are used by the Israeli government in the territories.

The February 6 divestment vote, which was backed by current Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, was "a most regrettable and one-sided statement," Lord Carey said, and one that "ignores the trauma of ordinary Jewish people" in Israel subjected to terrorist attacks.
Lord Carey joined Jewish leaders protesting the vote by the General Synod, the church's legislature, to adopt a "morally responsible investment in the Palestinian occupied territories and, in particular, to disinvest from companies profiting from the illegal occupation, such as Caterpillar Inc., until they change their policies."

The church's call to pressure Caterpillar and other multi-nationals to withdraw from the territories was a "one-eyed" response that "only rebukes one side," Lord Carey said, and displayed the church's "propensity to reduce complex issues to black and white."
Jon Benjamin, the chief executive officer of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, branded the synod vote "simplistic" and "unbalanced."

"What it shows is that the thinking of people who support these resolutions is not very sophisticated," he said. There were sound reasons why the Israeli government had adopted its security policies, but these were never "aired or discussed" by the synod, Benjamin said.

....The chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews, the Rt. Rev. Christopher Herbert, bishop of St. Albans,... objected to the disinvestment call, telling the synod it was "unbalanced" and failed to reflect the complexity of the situation. A counter motion offered by the pro-Israel pressure group "Anglicans for Israel" was not presented to the synod, as time was called on the debate after one hour.

The synod adopted the motion by a show of hands, with Archbishop Williams voting in favor, and the archbishop of York, John Sentamu, abstaining.

Dr. Irene Lancaster, of the Center for Jewish Studies at Manchester University, said the vote marked "a very black day for Anglican-Jewish relations....The Jewish community will have to reconsider their attitude to interfaith work with the Anglican community," she said, adding, "The writing is on the wall for the Jews of Great Britain, 350 years after they settled here."

The symbolism of this vote was that "Israel will be criticized regardless of what happens," Benjamin said. In the mind of the Church of England, "nothing Israel ever will do will be right, while nothing the Palestinians will do will ever be wrong," he charged.

After the Hamas Victory: The Increasing Importance of Israel's Strategic Barrier in the Jordan Valley

Thanks to Roy for alerting us to this material from Institute for Contemporary Affairs (founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation) JERUSALEM ISSUE BRIEF Vol. 5, No. 17, 7 February 2006 by Dore Gold (this is a brief extract only - follow the link for the full article with references)...

The massive electoral victory of Hamas in the Palestinian parliamentary elections has created an entirely new strategic reality for Israel which vastly increases the importance of the Jordan Valley (a desert zone almost devoid of population) for Israel's security in the near term.

With Hamas dominating the Palestinian Authority, Jordan could find itself sandwiched between the pro-Iranian forces in Iraq and a pro-Iranian Palestinian Authority. In addition, should Israel face a new round of armed Palestinian violence, its ability to isolate the Hamas regime from external reinforcement will be a key security requirement.

....Control of the Jordan Valley enables Israel to deal with any likely eventuality to the east. Should Israel withdraw from the Jordan Valley to the line of the security fence, it would not be able to stop the flow of insurgents and equipment into the West Bank to the terrain dominating Ben-Gurion Airport and other vital parts of Israel's national infrastructure along its coastal plain.

While some have misinterpreted Sharon's ultimate map of withdrawal in the West Bank, asserting that he planned to pull back to the line of the security fence or even to the line that President Clinton had proposed in 2000, all evidence indicates that Sharon was determined to retain the Jordan Valley and many other vital areas beyond the security fence.

Israel's Eastern Front
After the 2003 Iraq War, it became commonplace in parts of the Western policymaking community to assert that, since the U.S. had eliminated the threat emanating from the armored formations of Saddam Hussein, Israel could relax its traditional territorial claims for defensible borders in the West Bank. The argument was further reinforced by the fact that Israel had a peace treaty with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan since 1994. This led many observers to the conclusion that Israel no longer needed to control its strategic barrier in the Jordan Valley that served as its primary line of defense since 1967.

....It was Israel's deputy prime minister, Yigal Allon, who first proposed to the Israeli cabinet just after the Six-Day War on July 26, 1967, that Israel retain new defensible borders based primarily on control of the eastern slopes of the West Bank hill ridge down to the bottom of the Jordan Valley, as well as the Judean Desert that was adjacent to the Dead Sea. As Israel's foreign minister in 1976, in the first government of Yitzhak Rabin, Allon wrote in Foreign Affairs: "I am referring to the arid zone that lies between the Jordan River to the east, and the eastern chain of the Samaria and Judean mountains to the West from Mt. Gilboa in the North through the Judean desert until it joins the Negev desert. The area of this desert zone is only 700 square miles and it is almost devoid of population."

In 1972, Allon explained that this security zone, amounting to approximately one-third of the West Bank, needed to be placed under Israeli sovereignty. Israel paved a north-south road in the West Bank known as the Allon Road, just above the Jordan Valley, that roughly marked the western border of the "Allon Plan" region.

... In October 1995, just one month before he was assassinated, Rabin stressed in his last Knesset address: "the security border of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term." Rabin still believed in the critical importance of the Jordan Valley in 1995, even though he had signed the Oslo Accords two years earlier and had negotiated a peace treaty with the Jordanians, as well, in 1994.

In 2005, Eitan Haber, who was Rabin's chief of staff and speechwriter, confirmed that Rabin sought to retain well above a third of the West Bank. According to Haber, Rabin said the Palestinians would receive 50 percent or maybe, at the most, 60 to 70 percent of the West Bank.

...Prime Minister Ariel Sharon maintained Rabin's legacy. In an interview on April 24, 2005, Sharon went into considerable detail: "The Jordan Rift Valley is very important and it's not just the rift valley we're talking about [but]...up to the Allon Road and a step above the Allon Road."

Indeed, Allon's concepts had already crossed party lines in Israel years earlier, for back in 1997, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described his own ultimate map for the borders of Israel by using the term "Allon-Plus."

Some American publications have misinterpreted Sharon's ultimate map of withdrawal in the West Bank, asserting that he planned to pull back to the line of the security fence or even to the line that President Clinton had proposed in 2000. But all evidence indicates that Sharon was determined to retain the Jordan Valley and many other vital areas beyond the security fence.

...Finally, on February 6, 2006, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, whose ministry was responsible for designing the route of the security fence under Sharon, declared his view that the Jordan Valley would ultimately be incorporated into Israel.

...In 2006, Israel faces a rapidly changing strategic landscape. ....If mujahideen from Iraq seek to infiltrate the Hashemite Kingdom, there is little to stop them from gaining entry. According to those stationed along the Iraqi-Jordanian border, the entire border zone is extremely porous.

...Speaking on January 23, 2006, at the Herzliya Conference to a panel on "Defensible Borders for Israel," former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Yaalon warned that Israel might face the threat of mujahideen from the Iraq war seeking to infiltrate into Israel. .... Iran is determined to become the dominant force in post-Saddam Iraq, utilizing the fact that Shiites make up 65 percent of the Iraqi population..... it would be a mistake to rule out the prospect that Iraq might become a new center of Shiite terror groups like Hizballah, that would seek to infiltrate Jordan and, eventually, Israel. Indeed, Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical Iraqi Shiite cleric, declared in 2004: "I am the beating arm for Hizballah and Hamas here in Iraq." With Hamas dominating the Palestinian Authority, Jordan could find itself sandwiched between the pro-Iranian forces in Iraq and a pro-Iranian Palestinian Authority.

...It is a very real possibility that ...missiles have entered terrorist inventories and could be supplied in large numbers to the Palestinians, altering the scale of any future confrontations.
Moreover, there is an even greater strategic threat emerging from ... the potential destabilization of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan itself. Dr. Azzam Huneidi, head of Jordan's Islamic Action Front, which represents the Muslim Brotherhood in the Jordanian parliament, expressed his confidence that the Hamas victory among the Palestinians will be followed by the victory of other Islamist parties.

Control of the Jordan Valley enables Israel to deal with any likely eventuality to the east. Should Israel withdraw from the Jordan Valley to the line of the security fence, as some observers have suggested, it would not be able to stop the flow of insurgents and equipment into the West Bank to the terrain dominating Ben-Gurion Airport and other vital parts of Israel's national infrastructure along its coastal plain. In addition, the vacuum created by any such Israeli pullout could draw insurgent volunteers into Jordan in great numbers, which would destabilize the Hashemite monarchy.

Dr. Dore Gold, who served as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations in 1997-1999, heads the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. His book Hatred's Kingdom surveys the rise of Islamic militancy in Saudi Arabia.

Large minority of British Muslims condone terrorism

From a Political Briefing by Peter Riddell, The Times, February 07, 2006 ...

According to a new Populus poll for The Times...of 500 British Muslims between December 9 and 19 (of whom 30 per cent were in London and 55 per cent were aged between 18 and 34)....

...A majority regard the Jewish community and its links to Israel with suspicion. More than half both think that it is right to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day and believe that the Jewish community has no interest in the plight of the Palestinians and has too much influence over British foreign policy.

Nearly two fifths (37 per cent) believe that the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target “as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East”.

Moreover, only 52 per cent think that the state of Israel has the right to exist, with 30 per cent disagreeing, a big minority.

One in six of all Muslims questioned thinks suicide bombings can sometimes be justified in Israel, though many fewer (7 per cent) say the same about Britain. This is broadly comparable to the number justifying suicide attacks in ICM and YouGov polls of British Muslims after the July 7 attacks.

...12 per cent of 18 to 24-year-old Muslims believe that suicide bombings can be justified here (Britain), and 21 per cent in Israel. A fifth of all Muslims, and a quarter of men, say suicide attacks against the military can be justified, though only 7 per cent say this about civilians....

Monday, February 06, 2006

More than $930 million from Palestinian coffers

From ABC News Online, Monday, February 6, 2006. 7:22am (AEDT) ...

There are revelations more than $930 million has been pilfered from the Palestinian Authority coffers, as Israel agreed to unblock funds it owes the Palestinian Government. ...News of the gaping hole in the Palestinian treasury was revealed by Attorney-General Ahmed al-Meghani at the end of an internal corruption inquiry. "We are talking of a figure of around $US700 million," Mr Meghani told reporters in Gaza City, saying numerous indictments would be handed out in the coming days.

....Negotiations
In order to flesh out the plans for forming a new government, Haniya and fellow (Hamas) leader Mahmud al-Zahar were expected in Cairo later Sunday for talks with the movement's Damascus-based political supremo, Khaled Meshaal.

The Islamist delegation was also to meet with senior Egyptian leaders to discuss its position towards Israel, before heading off on a tour of Arab and Muslim capitals in the region.
In an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel news magazine, Mr Meshaal said Hamas would work with Mr Abbas. The Palestinian leader and Hamas officials agreed Saturday to convene the Palestinian parliament on February 16 as a first step toward forming a new government.

Mr Meshaal also said Hamas would respect agreements signed with the Jewish state but would refuse in the process to compromise Palestinian interests. "We will view the signed treaties as established facts," he said, in comments printed in German. "We will act pragmatically but without sacrificing the rights of the Palestinian people."

- AFP

$53.2 million to Finance PA

From Arutz Sheva 19:12 Feb 05, '06 / 7 Shevat 5766 By Scott Shiloh ...

The government of Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has approved the transfer of $53.2 million to Finance the PA, despite concerns that the Hamas will use the money to finance terror against Israel.

A government committee chaired by Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has approved the transfer of NIS 250 million ($53.2 million) to the Palestinian Authority, after a five-day delay. The panel of senior ministers and representatives of the country’s security establishment decided to transfer the money, mainly duties collected on imports to the PA, despite worries that the Hamas may use the money to fund a terror campaign against the Jewish state... on the grounds that the Hamas has yet to take formal control of the PA government.

MK Gidon Sa’ar (Likud) said the government’s decision was tantamount to “giving a prize to terror and providing rewards for Hamas policy.” He added, “When terrorism strikes Israel in the north, south, and center of the country, Olmert gives kosher certification to the Hamas, and promotes political and security blindness.”MK Zvulun Orlev, chairman of the National Religious Party said the government’s decision was like “oiling the terror wheels of the Hamas.”The Hamas, which won a landslide victory in the PA election two weeks ago, is expected to form a new government by the end of the month.

.... A number of Israeli officials expressed concern that failure to make the monthly payment could precipitate a collapse of the PA. Government legal experts said that Israel had no right under the Oslo accords to withhold the money, so long as the PA is ruled by the Fatah party. The Olso accords were based on legal recognition by the PLO, led by the Fatah, of the State of Israel. The accords also preclude parties that do not recognize Israel from running in PA elections. The PA flouted that provision by allowing the Hamas to run in the election.

After winning the PA election, the Hamas repudiated the Oslo accords, calling them null and void.The government panel decided that further transfers of money to the PA will be made on a case-by-case basis, in order to make sure that a Hamas-led government does not use the money to finance terror against Israel. Ze’ev Boim (Kadima), Minisiter of Housing, said on Sunday that “this payment is the last one that gets transferred to the PA in this fashion. If the Hamas forms a government, not a single shekel will be transferred to them.”

The PA also receives substantial subsidies from the European Community and the United States. The U.S. has announced that it will not authorize the transfer of additional funds to the PA until the Hamas recognizes Israel’s right to exist. Commentator Michael Freund noted that the transfer of funds "only serves to undermine the case that Israel has been trying to make in recent weeks both to Washington and Europe. After pushing the international community to isolate the newly-elected Hamas regime, how can Israel now justify keeping such a regime afloat?"...

Jews dragged into cartoon controversy

From JPost Feb. 5, 2006 18:47 Updated Feb. 5, 2006 20:57 By HERB KEINON ...

...A Belgian-Dutch Islamic political organization, the Arab European League, posted anti-Jewish cartoons on its Web site on Saturday in response to the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that appeared in Danish papers last year and offended many Muslims, unleashing violent demonstrations around the Islamic world.

One of the AEL cartoons reportedly displayed an image of Anne Frank in bed with Hitler, and another questioned whether the Holocaust actually occurred. Dyab Abou Jahjah, the party's founder and best-known figure, defended the action on the Dutch television program Nova Saturday. "Europe has its sacred cows, even if they're not religious sacred cows," he told the program.

The AEL espouses nonviolence but has gained a reputation for extremist views, and opposes Muslims integrating with non-Muslims. It promotes the participation of Muslims in political dialogue in European countries, but is internally divided as to whether or not to participate in elections directly.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry, which over the years has often protested anti-Semitic political cartoons in the Islamic world, stayed true to its policy regarding the Danish newspaper cartoon controversy and refused to issue a response. One ministry official said that the "cartoon wars" were not Israel's battle, and that it did not want to get dragged into it. If Israel would react to the whole controversy, the official said, the Islamic world would eventually blame Israel for being behind the whole incident.

The Anti-Defamation League, however, did not feel the same restraints.
In a statement released on Friday, the ADL said the fact that despicable anti-Jewish caricatures appear daily in newspapers across the Arab and Muslim world has been overlooked in the whole controversy. "While invoking the supposed 'freedom of the press' in their countries, Arab and Muslim leaders have refused to take any action to stem the drumbeat of anti-Semitism in widely circulated newspapers, many state-sponsored," the statement read. The statement said that the leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia have "virtually ignored" appeals from the United States and Jewish organizations to put an end to incitement in their media.

"One would hope that leaders of the Arab and Muslims would turn all of the anger being aimed at the European press into a larger lesson for their own people about the power of images," the statement read. The statement said that the ADL was opposed to religious, racial and ethnic stereotyping in the media," and found "some of the cartoons in Jyllands-Posten troubling, particularly the direct linkage of Mohammed and violence."

At the same time, statement said the ADL was "gravely concerned" by the extreme violent reaction these cartoons have generated. "It is certainly the right of individuals and governments to express their disagreement with these depictions," the statement said. "However, the use of violence, threats, boycotts and other extreme reactions are highly inappropriate and bode ill for future debates involving Islam, democracy and free speech."

AP contributed to this report.

Tens of thousands at Zion Sq. protest police action at Amona

From JPost Feb. 5, 2006 1:05 Updated Feb. 6, 2006 1:09 By ETGAR LEFKOVITS ...

Tens of thousands of right-wing demonstrators thronged the streets of downtown Jerusalem Sunday night, calling for a state commission of inquiry into the excessive use of force by police at the Amona settlement outpost last week.

The theme of the rally was "Olmert is bad for the Jews," referring to Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The demonstration, the largest of its kind since the Gaza Strip evacuation last summer, was organized by the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

The crowd, predominantly religious teenagers, repeatedly called on the government to establish a commission inquiring into what they called "the brutal police violence" during the Amona clashes, in which more than 200 people were injured. ....

...Earlier Sunday, Olmert rejected calls from across the political spectrum for the establishment of a state commission of inquiry, saying that the police and the army had to be left out of the political debate.

"What I never would have believed in my worst dreams is that a Jewish police force would act the way they did," said Oren Amitai, 30, of Amona, whose illegal home was among those demolished. "What hurts most is that Jews did this."...

..."Our generation will not give up and let the government give land that God gave us to the enemy who wants to kill us," said Ohio-born Rachel Reinbach, 18, of Jerusalem.

READ MORE ON THE BATTLE AT AMONA
Injured teen's mom slams 'brutal' police
Policeman has no regrets despite almost losing eye
Security: Sticks and stones
Editor's Notes: A self-imposed terror attack

Offensive Cartoons

From an Honerst Reporting COMMUNIQUE: 5 February 2006 ...

...The decision of several European newspapers to publish cartoons portraying the Islamic Prophet Mohamed has led to death threats and rioting around the world. While many in Europe are standing firm, the cartoons' publication has also produced strong apologies by international leaders and some of the media. The managing director of France Soir (one of the papers that published the cartoons) was even fired "as a powerful sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual for allowing them to be published."

Jyllands-Posten, the original Dutch paper that published the cartoons, had this to say: "They (The cartoons) were not intended to be offensive, nor were they at variance with Danish law, but they have indisputably offended many Muslims for which we apologize."

We wonder why no similar outcry and apologies have come after viciously anti-Semitic and anti-Israel cartoons are published on an almost daily basis throughout the Arab world.

...As documented by Palestinian Media Watch, the Arab Press exercises almost no self-censorship in the publications of cartoons which involve gross stereotypes of Jews.
Not a week goes by in the Arab world without a "political" cartoon portraying Jews as either blood-suckers, Nazis, or the indiscriminate killers of Palestinian children.

The Anti-Defamation League points out that: The U.N. designation of January 27 as a Holocaust memorial day was an occasion for many newspapers to run cartoons and columns that denied or downplayed the horrors of the Holocaust. Additionally, many newspaper articles accused Jews of using the Holocaust to justify the persecution of others

In an interview with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, analyst Joe Kotek, writes that "The main recurrent motif in Arab cartoons concerning Israel is 'the devilish Jew.' This image conveys the idea that Jews behave like Nazis, kill children and love blood."

"A major theme in Arab cartoons is the blood-loving or blood-thirsty Jew. This originates in Christian anti-Semitism. The Christian anti-Semitic libel alleged the Jews needed Christian blood for their Passover service. Its claim is that the Jew is evil, as his religion forces him to drink blood. In today's Arab world this image of unbridled hatred has mutated into the alleged quest for Palestinian blood. Blood-drinking Jews are frequently shown by Al Ahram, one of Egypt's leading dailies. On 21 April 2001, it printed a cartoon showing an Arab being put into a flatting mill by two soldiers wearing helmets with Stars of David. The Arab's blood pours out and two Jews with kippot and Stars of David on their shirts drink the blood laughingly."

Yet, we find very little condemnation and apologies from the international community when these cartoons are published. In response to the offending cartoons of Muhammad, many like The Vatican said that "the drawings amounted to an "unacceptable provocation" and the right to freedom of expression "cannot entail the right to offend the sentiment of believers." One wonders why the same standards have not been used in reacting to the (anti-Semitic) cartoons.

On the other hand, Die Welt, one of the German papers to print the cartoons, got it right when they noted (as quoted in CNSNews.com): "The protests from Muslims would be taken more seriously if they came across as less hypocritical," the Hamburg-based daily said, noting that no protests greeted the depiction by Syrian television of rabbis as cannibals."

Unfortunately it is not just the Arab world that seems comfortable publishing blatantly anti-Semitic slurs in the guise of "political" cartoons. As previously documented by Honest Reporting, media in Europe and the United States have published cartoons that go beyond offensive.
A political cartoon published in The Independent in 2003 depicted Ariel Sharon biting into the flesh of a Palestinian baby. The background shows Apache attack helicopters firing missiles, and blaring the message "Vote Likud." Sharon is saying, 'What's wrong, you never seen a politician kissing babies before?" The government of Israel lodged an official protest to the cartoon by Dave Brown. Yet no apology similar to the many we are hearing from around the world today was forthcoming. Not only were no apologies forthcoming, but the UK's Political Cartoon Society awarded it first prize in its 2003 "Cartoon of the Year" competition, choosing it over 34 other entries....

For an eye-opening selection of more cartoons of this nature, go to Tom Gross Media.com. With the lack of remorse that we hear from publications of these cartoons one has to conclude that the threat of violence is the only reason that most of the media are so concerned with offending Muslim sensibilities.