Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tehran wants Barack Obama in the White House, rules out war

From a DEBKAfile Special Report, October 23, 2008:

During a visit to Bahrain, Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani said Wednesday, Oct. 22, that Tehran would prefer Democratic senator Barack Obama in the White House next year. He also ruled out any US attack on his country. “The risk was low before, but now I am 100 percent certain that the United States will not unleash a war against Iran,” he said at a new conference in Manama.

... Larijani is one of the most powerful voices in Tehran’s conservative camp and a close confidant of supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He would not have spoken out in favor of Obama without top-level sanction.

The location Larijani chose for his statement is significant: Bahrain is one of America’s greatest friends in the Gulf region, host to the US 5th Fleet headquarters. Tehran was laying claim to a foothold in the Gulf region.

The argument he advanced against a US attack was arithmetical: “The economic crisis has cost America 1,400 billion dollars and Washington is working to resolve its internal problems and not a war.”

Shas decides not to join government

From Ynet News, 24/10/08:

The Shas party officially announced Friday that its Council of Torah Sages decided not to join a new government led by Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni.

The ultra-Orthodox party said in a statement that Shas had demanded real aid for the disadvantaged population and sought to protect Jerusalem, but was turned down...

...In a press conference held Friday afternoon, Shas Chairman Eli Yishai said his party's decision was final...."We made our decision according to our principles. Shas cannot be bought. We stick to our goals and principles."

As for the Jerusalem issue, he noted that ".... Jerusalem is not for sale."

...Shas' spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, was presented Friday morning with the understandings reached between the Shas and Kadima negotiation teams. In a telephone survey, the Council of Torah Sages' members voted against joining the government.

"Throughout the entire coalition negotiations, Shas did not ask for treats, titles or any political upgrade," the statement read.

"Shas asked for real aid for the Israeli society's disadvantaged population and sought to protect Jerusalem..."

The statement went on to say that "Shas stressed throughout the talks that if Jerusalem's status is not strengthened and if it is not made clear that the Israeli capital is not cash, this will have an effect on any future dialogue and will present Israel as a country which fails under diplomatic pressure and as a serial conceder."

Obama Would Fail Security Clearance

From the Philadelphia Bulletin, October 21, 2008, by Daniel Pipes:

With Colin Powell now repeating the lie that Barack Obama has "always been a Christian," despite new information further confirming Obama's Muslim childhood (such as the Indonesian school registration listing him as Muslim), one watches with dismay as the Democratic candidate manages to hide the truth on this issue.

Instead, then, let us review a related subject – Obama's connections and even indebtedness, throughout his career, to extremist Islam. Specifically, he has longstanding, if indirect ties to two institutions, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), listed by the U.S. government in 2007 as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding trial; and the Nation of Islam (NoI), condemned by the Anti-Defamation League for its "consistent record of racism and anti-Semitism."

First, Obama's ties to Islamists:

The Khalid al-Mansour connection: According to former Manhattan Borough president Percy Sutton, Al-Mansour "was raising money for" Obama's expenses at Harvard Law School. Al-Mansour, a black American (n├ę Don Warden), became advisor to Saudi prince Al-Walid bin Talal, CAIR's largest individual donor. Al-Mansour holds standard Islamist views: he absolves the Islamist government in Sudan of sponsoring slavery, he denies a Jewish tie to Jerusalem, and he wrote a booklet titled "Americans Beware! The Zionist Plot Against S. Arabia." (Both Obama and al-Mansour deny Sutton's account.)

The Kenny Gamble (also known as Luqman Abdul-Haqq) connection: Gamble, a once-prominent pop music producer, cut the ribbon to the Obama campaign headquarters housed in a south Philadelphia building he owns. Gamble is an Islamist who buys large swaths of real estate in Philadelphia to create a Muslim-only residential area. Also, as the self-styled "amir" of the United Muslim Movement, he has many links to Islamist organizations, including CAIR and the Muslim Alliance in North America. (MANA's "amir" is Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.)

The Mazen Asbahi connection: The Obama campaign's first Muslim outreach coordinator resigned after it came to light that he had served on the board of a subsidiary of the Saudi-sponsored North American Islamic Trust, with Jamal Said, another unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Hamas funding trial. Asbahi has ties to CAIR's Chicago and Detroit offices, to the Islamic Society of North America, yet another unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas funding trial, and to other Islamist organizations.

The Minha Husaini connection: The campaign's second Muslim outreach coordinator has an Islamist background, having served as an intern in the Muslim Public Service Network. Immediately upon her appointment by Obama, she met with a group of about thirty Muslims including such notorious figures as CAIR's Nihad Awad; the Muslim American Society's Mahdi Bray, who has publicly supported the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups; and Johari Abdul Malik of the Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Va., who has advised American Muslims: "You can blow up bridges, but you cannot kill people who are innocent on their way to work."

Second, Obama's ties to the Nation of Islam:

Obama's long-time donor and ally Antoin "Tony" Rezko partnered for nearly three decades with Jabir Herbert Muhammad, a son of NoI leader Elijah Muhammad, and says he gave Jabir and his family "millions of dollars over the years." Rezko also served as executive director of the Muhammad Ali Foundation, a rogue organization that, without Ali's permission, exploited the name of this CAIR awardee.

Jeremiah Wright, Obama's esteemed pastor for twenty years, came out of a Nation background, recently he accepted protection from an NoI security detail, and has praised Louis Farrakhan, the NoI's leader, as one of the "giants of the African American religious experience." Wright's church celebrated Farrakhan for his having "truly epitomized greatness."

Farrakhan himself endorsed Obama, calling him "the hope of the entire world," "one who can lift America from her fall," and even "the Messiah."

That Obama's biography touches so frequently on such unsavory organizations as CAIR and the Nation of Islam should give pause. How many of politicians have a single tie to either group, much less seven of them? John McCain charitably calls Obama "a person you do not have to be scared [of] as president of the United States," but Obama's multiple links to anti-Americans and subversives mean he would fail the standard security clearance process for Federal employees.

Islamic aggression represents America's strategic enemy; Obama's many insalubrious connections raise grave doubts about his fitness to serve as America's commander-in-chief.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Germany reveals Holocaust-era directory

From THE JERUSALEM POST, Oct. 23, 2008, by Associated Press:

The German government on Thursday handed Israel's national Holocaust memorial personal details of the 600,000 Jewish residents of Nazi Germany, the most comprehensive record to date of German-Jewish life during the Nazi era.

German Culture Minister Bernd Neumann presented the "Directory of Jewish residents in Germany 1933-1945" during a ceremony at the Yad Vashem memorial. "This allows us for the first time to show the complete list of Jews who lived in Germany during the Nazi era," said Neumann. "But this list is much more than a list. It is a unique document about life in Germany and tells the story of those who could not tell their own story."

Neumann, whose responsibilities include German commemoration of the Holocaust, said he hoped the list would "restore to these victims part of their honor." ...The new directory includes the names and addresses of Nazi Germany's Jewish residents and classifies them into those who survived, those who perished and those whose fate remains unknown. The list includes details on emigration, detention and deportation, as well as where and when people died.

"This list adds to our understanding of what happened to the Jews in Germany," said Yad Vashem director Avner Shalev. "Every new piece of information allows us to piece together the story of individuals and communities during the Holocaust. This list, in conjunction with other material in our archives, helps fill in gaps in our knowledge of what occurred."

With this latest list, Yad Vashem has essentially completed its database on German Jewry during the Nazi era, Shalev said. Its focus will now turn to compiling a similar database on the Jews who lived in Poland and eastern Europe, an extremely difficult task because of poor record-keeping, large scale executions and mass destruction of villages.

"We are nearing the point where we will reach the limit of extracting human memory," Shalev said. "It's a scary point, because beyond it everything will be lost."

It took 20 German scientists four years to compile the directory and cost euro1.57 million (US$2.24 million). It was presented to German Chancellor Angela Merkel a few weeks ago and she instructed Neumann to hand over a digital copy to Yad Vashem.

Around 2.5 million data records were collected from more than 1,000 sources, including Jewish and Nazi archives, according to "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future," the German foundation that produced the directory together with the German federal archives. "It is a memorial to those murdered and those forced into exile. The shame for the crimes committed by the Germans is mixed with grief for the loss that Germany inflicted upon itself," said Martin Salm, the chairman of the foundation. "The murderers wanted to eradicate the Jewish people and Jewish identity. They did not succeed." Franka Kuehn, a spokeswomen for the foundation, said the list would serve as a tool for survivors and descendants of victims to find out more about what happened to their families in Germany.

Following Yad Vashem, the records will also be made available to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the Jewish Claims Conference and the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany.

The list is not being made public. It is subject to strict German data protection laws, given that it contains names of people who are still alive.

Terrorism goes on and on ...

In case you forgot why we have those nasty checkpoints in the West Bank, see this, by Efrat Weiss and Ali Waked from Ynet News, 22/10/08:

A 17-year old Palestinian was detained when soldiers at Hawara checkpoint near Nablus found a molotov cocktail and a pipe bomb on his person. The youth was transferred to security forces for questioning.

...and this from THE JERUSALEM POST, Oct. 23, 2008, by staff and Judy Siegel:

Terrorist kills man, wounds cop in J'lem

86-year-old Avraham Ozeri was killed and a police officer was moderately wounded Thursday morning when they were stabbed near a school on Vardinon Street in Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood by a young Palestinian terrorist.

Police said that the assailant, 21-year-old Mohammad Elmadan, from a village near Bethlehem, was stopped for inspection by a pair of officers, a man and a woman, when he pulled out a large knife and attacked the man....

...The attack was the second in a month in Jerusalem and the fourth since July.

On September 22, a Palestinian plowed his car into a group of soldiers at a busy intersection, injuring 13 before he was shot dead.

In two incidents in July, Palestinians carried out attacks on city streets using heavy construction machinery, killing three people and wounding several others.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Self-induced, self-perpetuating Nakba

From The History News Network, Thursday, October 16, 2008, by Philip Carl Salzman, professor of anthropology at McGill University:

The greatest Middle Eastern success in public relations opinion-shaping in the last forty years has been the Palestinian self-definition of themselves as a separate people and as victims of Israel and the West.

The entire world, it appears, has been convinced. Europeans and many Americans, not to mention members of the Muslim umma, trip over each other offering sympathy and buckets of money to the Palestinians. The United Nations makes unique arrangements for the Palestinians, and numerous UN bodies devote themselves solely to the needs of the Palestinians. And those same Europeans and Americans, and the members of those UN organs, risk apoplexy in their violent denunciations of Israel—Israel the bully, the oppressor, the colonialist, the racist—for thwarting the Palestinians.

Palestinians and their partisans... explain their unfortunate situation as a result of Western imperialism and colonialism... The responsibility for any and all current disabilities of the Middle East, according to postcolonial theory, rests with Europe and America, whose interventions have only victimized and destroyed Middle Eastern society and culture.

There is a certain inconsistency in the Arab and Muslim narrative about imperialism and colonialism. About the period of the 7th to the 18th centuries, when the Arab Muslim Empire spread by the sword from Arabia across all of the Middle East and North Africa to Morocco in the west, to Sicily, Portugal, Spain, and France in the north, and to Central Asia and India in the East, followed by Ottoman conquests in Europe, the narrative of imperialism and colonialism is triumphalist. Endless slaughter, forced conversion, slavery, and wholesale expropriation of property were all for the glory to God, and all good.

But the rise of the West, and its relatively brief and limited interventions in the Middle East, are viewed as the height of evil. Why? Because God choose Muslims as his True Followers, and as such, they have a right—no, a duty—to dominate. The stagnation of the Muslim world in the 19th and 20th centuries, and its relative weakness in relation to the rising West, are today blamed by Palestinian and Arab partisans on Western intrusion in the region....

.... Narratives of victimization, such as the Palestinian one, neglect to account for the active Arab response to the Jews and to Jewish immigration. Explaining all by Western imposition robs the Arabs of Palestine of their agency, and infantalizes them. In reality, Palestinians responded actively: Elite landowners sold the Jews land, while the populace in general closed ranks against the Jews....the opposition to the Jews was both organizational and religious. Jews were not kinsmen and, worse, were infidels. Arab opposition to the Jews, expressed in riots and pogroms, was ratchetted up in the face of Jewish desires for national autonomy and independence.

After all, it was believed that any part of the Dar al-Islam must remain under Muslim dominance forevermore. And for a thousand years, Jews under Islam had been a subservient and despised minority, cowering under the power of their Muslim masters. The Arabs in Palestine thought that the Jews could not and would not stand up to them, and they acted on that well established cultural principle. Honor would allow nothing less.

The Arabs acted according to their tradition...They refused compromise with inferiors; they refused to divide and share, rejecting a UN settlement. Instead, they strove for complete victory, as their ancestors had.

However...The Jews they faced were not dhimma, and they did not cower; against the odds, and with little outside help, they fought and won. The Arab states answered the call, but were ineffectual, and failed.

The "Nakba" was self-induced by the Arabs. They demanded all or nothing, and got nothing. But they have continued to hold to the rejectionist position, taking an annihilationist stance toward Israel and the Jews. So in reality the self-induced "Nakba" is self-perpetuating....