Saturday, March 19, 2011

Killing babies is not a tactic. It is a crime against humanity

From THE JEWISH CHRONICLE ONLINE, March 17, 2011, by Emanuele Ottolenghi, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies:

The silliest of all Western reactions to the slaughter of the Fogel family has been to suggest that the murder of three children was aimed at torpedoing the peace process.

Murdering Israeli babies was never a tactical move against negotiations. It is a crime against humanity.

Besides, there has not been a peace process since 2009. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has shunned direct negotiations with Israel since September - and then, only after agreeing to negotiate in August after more than a year of boycotting direct talks. President Obama has done everything in his power to perpetuate this.

The most morally depraved response was that the murder was caused by Israel's provocation - the settlements. Blaming the victims for their own suffering is the kind of moral inversion that runs through centuries of Western excuses for the murder of Jews.

Anyone trying to find an excuse for the disgorging of a three-month old girl has lost their moral compass...

The most hypocritical response was to criticise Israel for responding by authorising the building of new housing units in existing settlement blocs.

Curiously, there are those who assume peace can only be achieved by removing Jews from settlements, rather than finding a territorial compromise with guarantees for those who wish to continue to live there to do so without fear.

...Itamar ...highlights the double standard Israel is subjected to. It is expected to treat its Arab minority well. But a future state of Palestine is excused for [pursuing] ethnic purity in its population at the expense of people who have lived on the land for three generations or more.

...So, what impact will the slaughter have? It will strengthen the gut feeling many Israelis have about their neighbours. As Israel's foremost new historian, Benny Morris, concluded long ago, Israel is fighting barbarism. There shall not be any peace, any time soon. Not after this.

Shame on people for blaming Israel for the spilled blood of its children.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Swatikas fly in the Lithuanian capital

From The Simon Wiesenthal Center, March 13, 2011:

Jerusalem - The Simon Wiesenthal Center has labeled a neo-Nazi march of approximately 1,000 participants held this past Friday in the heart of the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius “the worst type of anti-Semitic and xenophobic incitement against Lithuania’s minorities” and harshly criticized the failure of the country’s political, intellectual, and religious leadership to condemn the march unequivocally.

In a statement issued here today by its Israel Director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center called upon Lithuanian elected officials to denounce such demonstrations and upon the leaders of the ruling Homeland Union party to sanction their MP Kazimieras Uoka who was among the marchers.

According to Zuroff:
“Such demonstrations are an affront to all members of the minority groups living in Lithuania, and especially insulting to the country’s Jewish citizens, many of whom are Holocaust survivors. To see hundreds of young people marching with Lithuanian flags and swastikas down the main avenue of the capital of a member of the European Union and NATO is enough to send shivers down the spine of any person with a knowledge of Lithuanian history during the years 1941-1945 and any sense of morality.”

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Israel Seizes Ship Loaded With Iranian Arms for Gaza

From The New York Times, March 15, 2011, by ISABEL KERSHNER:

JERUSALEM — Israeli naval commandos intercepted and commandeered on Tuesday a cargo vessel en route from Turkey to Egypt that was loaded with weaponry, Israeli officials said.

Military officials said that the ship, which was flying a Liberian flag, had sailed to Turkey from Syria. ... the assessment was that they were bound for Gaza, the Palestinian coastal enclave controlled by Hamas.

...The interception took place outside Israeli territorial waters 200 nautical miles west of the coast and was in accordance with international maritime law ...the weapons shipment originated in Iran ...

...The ship was being escorted to the Israeli port of Ashdod where the crew would be questioned and the cargo would undergo further inspection, officials said.

...Israel was careful to emphasize that it had ascertained that there was no Turkish or Egyptian involvement in the incident., to avoid any misunderstanding...

Let's stop pretending that the PA is "moderate"

From PMW, 15 March 2011, by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik:

In the following op-ed PMW argues that Palestinian cessation from incitement to hatred and glorification of terror is not just another issue - it is a prerequisite to a peace process.

The Palestinian Authority and its leaders share the blame for the murders of the five Israelis from Itamar on Friday - including two children and an infant - along with the terrorists who committed them. It is the PA and its leaders who have prepared the ground for these murders with the incessant incitement to hatred and the glorification of violence and terror.

In spite of its conciliatory statements in English, the PA continues to use all the structures it controls to demonize Israelis and to promote violence. Terrorists are presented as heroes and role models for Palestinians, teaching that killing Israelis is a way to earn eternal fame.

Just two months ago, PA President Mahmoud Abbas sent a clear message of support for terror when he awarded $2000 to the family of a terrorist who attacked IDF soldiers.

Last week, the PA's official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida announced a football tournament named after Wafa Idris, the first female Palestinian suicide bomber, and three weeks ago PA TV, which is under the direct control of Abbas's office, broadcast videos glorifying the terrorist Habash Hanani, who in May 2002 entered Itamar and murdered three Israeli students. Twice the PA named summer camps after the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 led the most deadly attack in Israel's history in which 37 civilians were killed in a bus hijacking, both in 2008 and again this past summer.

But the long arm of the PA's promotion of violence and terror goes even farther, penetrating the realm of culture and music, which has been used so often in recent years in other places in the world to promote peace and tolerance. Last year, PA TV broadcast a number of performances of a band called Alashekeen, including a song anticipating the conquering of Israel through holy war. The song presents all of Israel as "Palestine," mentioning the Carmel region near Haifa, and the cities of Lod, Ramle, and Jerusalem as regions to be liberated: "In Ramle we are grenades... the Palestinian revolution awaits [them]... We replaced bracelets with weapons. We attacked the despicable [Zionists]. This invading enemy is on the battlefield. This is the day of consolation of jihad. Pull the trigger. We shall redeem Jerusalem, Nablus and the country."

More significant than the repeated exposure on PA TV and at cultural events was the fact that Abbas chose to honor the musical group. He issued a presidential decree turning it into an official Palestinian national band.

COMPOUNDING THE PA's nationalistic hate promotion are its Islamic-based messages. The PA seems to have adopted what was once thought to be only Hamas ideology, that the conflict with Israel is a Ribat - a religious war for Allah to defend Islamic land in which conflict with Israel is uncompromising. Abbas's appointed minister of religion, Mahmoud Habbash, has taught repeatedly that the conflict with Israel is not territorial but is in accordance with Islamic law: "Allah has preordained for us the Ribat on this blessed land. We are committed to it by Allah's command. Let no one be mistaken or under the illusion that Ribat is a choice and nothing more. It is a commandment."

He has also preached that the conflict against Israel - over all of Israel - is cited in the Koran: "The catastrophe, in truth, did not begin in 1948, but began perhaps in 1917 with the cursed [Balfour] Declaration, which gave a promise to those who did not deserve it... Since that date, resolute people, fighters and Ribat fighters have not ceased upon our blessed land... This conflict is explicit in the Koran and our obligation with regard to it is clarified by the Koran."

In short, the PA, like the Hamas, is telling its people that Islam does not allow for reconciliation with Israel.

WITH CONTINUOUS messages like this coming from the so-called moderate leadership of the PA, is it any wonder that people can go on terror rampages like the one in Itamar this weekend? Palestinians may assume that their leaders and society will honor them if they murder Israelis, that their families will receive payment if they are killed, and that their religion encourages Israel's disappearance.

Was the terrorist who committed those brutal killings dreaming about a future Palestinian summer camp in his name? Was he imagining Allah granting him everlasting rewards in paradise for fulfilling his command? Did he feel that he was fulfilling his national duty and would receive a financial reward?

And what about the international community which has accepted and naively believed PA leaders' assurances that incitement had stopped? It was the international community, represented by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which stipulated preconditions for the PA to enter into a renewed peace process:

"We will only work with a Palestinian Authority government that unambiguously and explicitly accepts the Quartet's principles: A commitment to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Road Map"
(House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, April 23, 2009).

The Road Map states that "all official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel."

The international community has completely failed because it never followed up to see if these preconditions had actually been met, but gladly satisfied itself with Abbas's promises, and continues to fund the PA.

Everyone involved in the peace process is making a tragic mistake by assuming the incitement is just another issue that has to be dealt with, like the issues of water, borders, and refugees. All of those are issues that must be negotiated as part of a peace process. But as long as the Palestinian Authority continues to teach these messages, clearly there is no peace process.
It is incumbent on the international community to inform the Palestinian Authority that a condition for "working" with it, as Clinton stated, is that it erases the messages of hate and replaces them with peace promotion.

And until that time the international community must ostracize and isolate the Palestinian Authority, just as they do Hamas, and stop pretending there is a peace process.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The "moderate" Palestinian Authority incites terrorism

From a PMW Bulletin, 13 March 2011, by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik:

 PA TV glorified terrorist who killed 3 in 2002 terror attack in the town of Itamar
A Palestinian Authority video TV tribute to "Martyrs" three weeks ago included the terrorist who killed three Israelis in a 2002 terror attack in the West Bank town of Itamar. Itamar was the scene of Friday's terror attack, in which Ruth and Udi Fogel and their three children were murdered.

"Martyrs (Shahids) of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Nablus. The Palestinian National Resistance Brigades." [PA TV (Fatah), several times daily Feb. 21-24, 2011]

The video was in honor of the anniversary of the founding of the DFLP (Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine), and was broadcast on PA TV several times daily for four days. It featured a collage with photographs labeled "Martyrs (Shahids) of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Nablus." It included the picture of terrorist Habash Hanani, who in May 2002 entered Itamar and murdered three students in the local high school. (Shown at bottom right of photo.)
PA TV glorified additional terrorists with photographs, including Ahmad Yasser, who carried out a shooting attack in the town of Yitzhar in June 2002, injuring three soldiers (shown at lower left corner of PA TV collage above), and Hani Al-Akad, who in 2004 recruited female suicide terrorists and planned a double suicide attack in Tel Aviv (holding a machine gun, shown at upper right of PA TV collage above.)

"The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Heroes of the special operations in northern Palestine" [PA TV (Fatah), several times daily Feb. 21-24, 2011]
Another photo collage in the video labeled "Heroes of the special operations in northern Palestine" showed 16 photographs of DFLP members from the past posing with weapons, some dressed in military uniforms, others making V-signs.

The DFLP has carried out several terror attacks in the north:

-The 1970 attack on a school bus near the town of Avivim in which 12 Israelis were killed, including nine children;

-The 1974 attack in the town of Ma'alot in which more than 20 people were killed, most of them children, when terrorists took them hostage in a school.
-A 1974 attack in the town Beit Shean in which four Israelis were killed.
This PA TV video is an example of the Palestinian Authority's policy of continued terror glorification.

Click to see Palestinian Media Watch's report From Terrorists to Role Models

The grisly work of Arab "peace activism"

The Fogel family has permitted the publication of these horrifying photographs of their murdered loved ones so that the world can see the work of despicable terrorists. See this posting for further details.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Brutal killings of a sleeping family

From the Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2011, by Edmund Sanders, reporting from Awarta, West Bank:

A grisly trail of toys and blood led paramedics to the first three bodies: a mother, father and their 4-month-old infant, stabbed to death in their bed. In the next room, medics say they found the body of an 11-year-old sibling.

Finally, with growing dread, they reached the last bedroom, where a 4-year-old boy with knife wounds and a faint pulse was fighting for his life, ambulance workers said Saturday on Israel Radio. The medics worked frantically, but unsuccessfully, to resuscitate the toddler. One called it a scene of "incomprehensible horror."

...Israeli leaders condemned the attack on Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their children and launched a massive manhunt throughout the region, setting up checkpoints, sealing off Palestinian villages, imposing curfews and conducting house-to-house searches, Palestinians said.

"Israel will not stand by idly after such a despicable murder and will act vigorously to safeguard the lives of the citizens of Israel and punish the murderers," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday.

The White House offered its condolences to the victims' family, saying in a statement, "There is no possible justification for the killing of parents and children in their home."

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also criticized the killings. "As we have always rejected violence against our people, we reject it against others and we condemn it."

....In the past, Palestinian militants have defended such attacks against Jewish settlers in the West Bank, describing the settlers as combatants in the conflict rather than civilians.

..."We will not rest until we capture the murderers," Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, Israel's new army chief of staff, said after visiting the family's home in Itamar.

The hilltop settlement, home to 1,000 ideological and religious families, remained closed by the military Saturday as investigators worked to understand how infiltrators managed to evade its electric fence and intruder-detection devices.

The attacker, or attackers, appears to have climbed over or cut through the fence Friday night and crawled through a window of the family's home, according to Israeli media reports.

Two other children were also in the home, but escaped harm by hiding. Around midnight, another daughter arrived home after a youth outing and discovered the scene with a neighbor.

...Over the last two years, Israel has lifted many roadblocks and checkpoints in the area surrounding Nablus, including one at Hawara, near the highway turnoff to Itamar and Awarta. Now settlers are demanding the military checkpoints be reinstalled.

"This was a barbaric act that shows the true face of the so-called Palestinian struggle for liberation," said Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council, a settler group.

He said Israel should suspend its cooperation with Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and do more to protect settlers living here.

The last deadly attack on a West Bank settlement was in August, when four ...were killed near Hebron. A group affiliated with Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, claimed responsibility for that attack.